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The future of portals

A concerted effort gets this issue out on time

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We did it!

Following Kudpung's op-ed "Death knell sounding for The Signpost?" in the 29 March issue, the user comments encouraged a burst of enthusiasm to keep the newspaper in print. Despite the retirement of many regular contributors and editors, an all out effort was made for this bumper issue. We thank those former members of the editorial team for their dedication over the years, and while we are currently operating on an ad hoc editorial staff, we hope you like this month's publication and look forward to receiving submissions for the May issue.

Reader comments

Bri is a 10+ year Wikipedia contributor and acted as interim publication manager for this month's and last month's issue of The Signpost. Eddie891 has been contributing to Wikipedia for over one year. They have both been involved in reviving The Signpost since June 2017.

We heard you

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Pitching-in on a participatory publication

Feedback from The Signpost's readers on Kudpung's op-ed last issue "Death knell sounding for The Signpost?" was robust, and as somewhat frequent contributors, made us think of solutions, both incremental and major. Here are our cards on the table. This is intended to document a few of the incremental changes made so far, and to keep the conversation going.

Immediate problems

Publishing is hard and requires unusual technical skills; see Bluerasberry's 2017 grant proposal for a solution, or Bri's followup rapid grant submitted after the last issue. The rapid grant proposal is intended to demonstrate for a short time (three months) that a funded publication manager role could help keep the publication on time and basically keep the work on its feet until we get some of the other stuff sorted out. Bri listed himself as the fundee because it was easier and quicker than finding an organization to sponsor it and finding another individual with the required skills.

Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Submissions is buried and user contributions are inordinately hard. To trial a solution, we have put together WP:Signpost/Quick Start to make it easier for first-time contributors. We're still working out the kinks.

Publication manager update

Just before publication of this issue, Chris troutman announced he is willing to take over as publication manager starting with next month's issue, for which we are very grateful. This apparently renders the grant proposals moot.

Incremental fixes

Lots of ideas worth exploring came in from the community. Here are a few:

  • Different publication schedule
    • Navigation links
    • Autofill submission block (duh)
  • Automate tedious parts (e.g., part of F.C., traffic report, etc.)
  • Consider allowing the Arb report to become just scripted by arbitration clerks, almost like the summaries.
  • Change all Signpost page names from Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost... to Wikipedia:Signpost...
  • Consider Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/Mirroring
  • Email addresses for team members at a custom domain (or a "group" email-list address like might be helpful)
  • Enable Visual Editor for contributions

Simplifying the publication model

A longer discussion took place related to whether we should strip away the gloss that makes it hard to publish, and make contributing to The Signpost a lightweight process more like editing any article. Would we lose brand identity doing this? Would editorial control evaporate? More discussion is required before committing to this.


An energized community of contributors, readers, and newsroom volunteers are what really would keep The Signpost going. Can we do some incremental things to reinvigorate, reward, and recognize?

  • Participation badges/chicklets.
  • Reach out, e.g., an automated notice once a 500(?) edit milestone is hit. Increase visibility.
  • Figure out why others (OZOO, Armbrust, EpochFail, Piotrus, Milowent, Kaldari) stopped writing and if they will come back.
  • Becoming a User group?

Moving towards social media

The Signpost has a tiny social media footprint which we could probably leverage better. We need to put our heads together to think about responses to modern social media. Just a few ideas off the top of my head listed here. These would be tiny steps on the way to an overhaul listed below. Would somebody be willing to create The Signpost Show? We could start just by reading headlines for the Spoken Wikipedia's channel on YouTube, but I could see a video outlet becoming more of an integrated entity or even driving The Signpost (more below).

  • Why is our Twitter feed not visible in the pages of The Signpost?
  • Where do replies to Twitter icon Twitter go?
  • The Signpost Show

Dream big: Signpost 2.0

"Dream big" ideas have been floating around but need a place to land. Here are some of the things that have been discussed, in a grab-bag fashion. Readers are invited to further discuss how to organize and implement (especially where funding is required).

 · Radical look & feel overhaul: integrated video, modern look and feel, easy user interaction, easy social sharing (incl. hashtag feedback), you know, more 2018 and less 1995. Re-imagining the whole thing from the start, in other words. Ideally with input from new media experts with specific knowledge of Web based platforms. · Overhaul the submissions pages to make it inviting and easy as pie to contribute. · How about a "feed" of content proposals automatically formatted? That and some programming changes on the editorial side including short-term snippets and longer-term serious reporting and roll-ups. · More bot curated content as has been suggested – traffic report has been specifically mentioned here.  · User-customizable editions, filters, periodicity. · Upvote/downvote model for TOC presentation. · Multiple curators of multiple views  · Ad-hoc and self-organizing editorial board based on followership.

Reader comments

The story of a photo

There have been numerous debates on the use of a non-free image to depict Kim Jong-un, most notably two RfCs (one in 2012, and another in 2015). These debates began even before he was leader of North Korea (see 2010 discussion). A non-free image was never approved, and literally dozens of uploads of non-free images of him under various file names were deleted both on en.wikipedia and on Commons (see example here, and example on Commons). A FAQ (see Talk:Kim Jong-un/FAQ) was even added to the header of the talk page informing people why there was no image of him. Non-free images or copyright violating images of him were added to the infobox of the article countless times. In every case, the images were removed. Efforts were made to generate a free license alternative, by way of photo-realistic images and sketches. Even that became a subject of debate (see discussion) and edit warring. Finally, after nearly 12 years of the article's existence, a free license image of Kim Jong-un has been made and released. This image, found and uploaded to Commons on March 6 by Cyberdoomslayer, is a derivative work from File:Kim Jong-un at the Workers' Party of Korea main building.png, and a day later is already in use on 8 different language Wikipedias. It is currently being used on dozens of Wikipedias.

The Wikimedia Foundation stated in their 2008 resolution on licensing policy that non-free images of living people would almost always not be allowed. No.1 of the 10-point local English Wikipedia policy, of which all points must be met, explicitly states "or could be created", which echoed the Foundation's decree in that we could not allow non-free content where free license content could be created. This was the sticking point with all Kim Jong-un photographs until this image was found; no free license images existed or could be located. The uploading of this image has finally broken the Gordian knot, and ended many years of debate on a crucial non-free content licensing issue. Eddie891

Wikimedia foundation wins legal battle against Italian official

Cesare Previti, described by the English Wikipedia as "a former Italian politician and convicted criminal", sued WMF to remove what he said was damaging information about him. In Previti v. Wikimedia Foundation, Previti sued the Wikimedia Foundation for hosting an article with defamatory content.

The case, which was initiated in 2012, was originally decided in favor of Wikimedia by the Civil Court in Rome, and was affirmed by the Court of Appeals of Rome on Feb. 19, 2018. "The court held that as a hosting provider, the Wikimedia Foundation cannot be held liable for the content of Wikipedia articles, which it does not control. The court also noted that both the Foundation and the Wikipedia sites themselves provide information about the open and collaborative nature of the encyclopedia." The Wikimedia Foundation said the ruling "protects the community editing model". (adapted from a Wikimedia blog post by Jacob Rogers and Emine Yildirim)

Death of Stephen Hawking

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Hawking defies gravity in a modified Boeing 727

Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who passed away in the middle of March, was one of the most influential scientists of all time. Pageviews of Hawking’s article led the Top-10 across all language Wikipedias and was the most popular of the month on the Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Polish, and Farsi Wikipedias (and probably more). The English Wikipedia entry on Hawking is a former Featured Article; the featured photo on the right has been selected as Picture of the Day on Wikimedia Commons for 26 April 2018.

Hawking's research on black holes achieved groundbreaking work in the field of quantum gravity and theoretical cosmology. A recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, in 2002 he was ranked number 25 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.

His 1988 book A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes is a popular-science book on cosmology (the study of the universe). The book which was written for nonspecialist readers with no prior knowledge of scientific theories, appeared on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 4.5 years. It sold more than 20 million copies and was translated into 35 languages by 2001. One of his greatest unfulfilled desires was to travel to space; on hearing this, Richard Branson offered a free flight into space with Virgin Galactic, which Hawking immediately accepted.

Hawking was born in Oxford, England on the 300th anniversary of Galileo's death and died on the 139th anniversary of Einstein's birth. His private funeral took place on 31 March, in Cambridge. During a thanksgiving service on 15 June, his ashes will be interred in the nave of Westminster Abbey next to the grave of Sir Isaac Newton and near that of Charles Darwin. Fifteen years before his death he directed that the Bekenstein–Hawking entropy equation be his epitaph. Kudpung (adapted from a Wikimedia blog post by Ed Erhart)

New administrators

Making a total so far of just three new additions to the mop and bucket brigade for 2018, we welcome two new administrators:

  • Cordless Larry from the UK who has been around since 2005. Larry is one of the most prolific participants at the Teahouse and is an OTRS agent. He decided to run following unanimous positive feedback at the Optional RfA candidate poll (ORCP).
  • 331dot from the State of Maine made his first edit in 2012. A regular Teahouse host and New Page Reviewer, on his RfA which passed at 186/5/4 he exercised his prerogative and chose not to answer several of the barrage of user questions.

Both RfA were nominated by Ritchie333. On 1 April five editors were desysoped for inactivity. Kudpung

Notability guideline substantially rewritten

The notability guideline for organizations and companies has been substantially rewritten and adopted by the closure of this request for comment. Among the changes, the guideline more clearly defines the sourcing requirements needed for organizations and companies to be considered notable. Kudpung

Passings: Craig Franklin

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Craig Franklin

Craig Franklin, user:Lankiveil, was a long-standing Irish-Australian Wikipedian who served as a board member (2011–2015) and president (2013) of Wikimedia Australia. Franklin joined Wikipedia on 12 August 2004 and became an administrator in August 2008. He also served as an oversighter for the English Wikipedia, a clerk for the Arbitration Committee, an OTRS volunteer, and as a member of the ombudsman commission. In 14 years dedication to the project, never a month went by without an edit. He passed away unexpectedly on 15 April 2018, a day after his last edit. Kudpung

Brief notes

  • Milestones: The English Wikipedia hit 5.6 million articles, with the creation of Raymond C. Morgan.
    The Chinese Wikipedia has reached 1,000,000 articles.
  • New policy: "We [Wikipedia] require those involved with paid editing on Wikipedia to link on their user page to all other active accounts on external websites through which they advertise paid Wikipedia editing business." see here.
  • Gender Gap Data Data on the gender gap (as relating to articles) across Wikimedia has been released. It ranges from Welsh Wikipedia with 46% male, to Tajik Wikipedia, with 1.0% female.
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Tony Sebro
  • Tony Sebro's appointment as Deputy General Counsel has been announced by the Wikimedia Foundation. Sebro, a member of the New York bar, joins the WMF after working since 2011 at the Software Freedom Conservancy—a public charity that acts as the home for more than 40 free and open source software projects. He also has a degree from MIT in mechanical engineering.
  • Successful scholarship awardees for Wikimania 2018 have been notified by email. Some applicants have been advised that they are on a stand-by list and will be informed by 1 June. The Foundation's open annual conference takes place 18-22 July this year in Cape Town, South Africa with a leitmotif based on ubuntu, the Southern African philosophy, to focus on Wikimedia’s gaps in content and contributors.
  • The ACPERM debate, recently closed with an overwhelming consensus but had some minor opposition from Wikimedians-in-Residence and Outreach organizers. To address their concerns, a RfC launched by TonyBallioni is currently underway at Requests for comment/Event coordinator proposal. Calling for a new user group, it appears to be gaining serious traction.
Keeping events safe booklet.pdf
  • Joe Sutherland, WMF Community Advocate, has announced this month a Keeping Events Safe resource kit — a short, high-level booklet which documents the most important aspects of event safety.
  • Page Previews, deployed on 17 April – almost exactly three years in the making – is one of the largest changes to desktop Wikipedia made in recent years. By hovering over a link to another article, a short summary of the subject and an image (if available) is displayed. The feature allows readers to get a quick grasp of what’s behind a link without committing to a click-through.
  • GLAM: The closure of the Rapid Grants program between May 14–June 30, 2018 has been announced. This year the amount of grants offered to the community was almost doubled compared to last year's quarter. This means that the funds for this fiscal year have been expended. The last date for applications for a rapid grant will be 11 May 2018. 'Wiki Loves Earth' participants are encouraged to apply for a Rapid Grant before the closure. The grant program will be open again on 1 July and applications will be accepted from 1st through 15th of each month.

Reader comments

Should Wikipedia be asked to cure the Internet?

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Guy with a mop. Mopping up after plutonium production?

Bloomberg Businessweek recently published an op-ed in which the writer argued for a "Digital Protection Agency". According to the article, after social media companies make a mistake "they mop it up with Wikipedia or send out a message that reads, 'We take your privacy seriously'". This practice is becoming increasingly common as companies face recoil over videos and comments that propagate conspiracy theories and fake news. In an article published by Wired, entitled Don't Ask Wikipedia to Cure the Internet, the author criticized the move by companies, writing "Using the crowdsourced encyclopedia as a shield, platforms abdicate responsibility for their own problems." A Washington Post article noted that Wikipedia is becoming the "good cop" of the internet. The decisions, however, are not incredibly out of line with the moves of other companies, such as Amazon and Apple, to utilize Wikipedia as their digital assistant.

In October of 2017, Facebook announced that they would be adding an information button (Information icon) to their news feed that users could click on to read the Wikipedia page of the news organization publishing an article, in an effort to combat the spread of fake news. In March of 2018, YouTube stated that text boxes called "information cues," with links to Wikipedia (and other sources) would appear next to videos to help discredit conspiracy theories. The Wikipedia foundation said in a statement that "We were not given advance notice of this announcement", and Katherine Maher tweeted that "frankly, we don’t want you to blindly trust us. Sure, we’re mostly accurate - but not always! We want you to read Wikipedia with a critical eye. Check citations! Edit and correct inaccurate information! You can’t do that in a simple search result." A month before, Google (the parent company of YouTube) decided to put a label next to state owned media organizations, linking to the Wikipedia article.

In the face of such disinformation and privacy concerns, some went so far as to propose a Facebook clone, run in the same manner as Wikipedia. This hypothetical social media service was termed 'Wikiface'. Others raised concerns about the reliability of such measures, arguing that taking content from Wikipedia opens the floor up for conspiracy theorists to spread their views, or for vandalism to be given a wider field of view. Such things have previously happened, including an instance when vandals caused Siri to respond to the question "What is an Indian?" by saying "they are a little brown and they smell like curry and they eat it". In late March, Wikimedia's Chief Revenue Officer complained about Apple and Amazon using Wikipedia's content without giving back to the foundation.

Several Wikipedians gave their thoughts:

"it's a good thing if these social media companies use Wikipedia properly. If they started linking to unverified material or add content into Wikipedia themselves, then it could be bad for the companies' (and Wikipedia's) reputations. The reader would not benefit if they are directed to a poorly sourced article that itself looks like it could be a hoax. However, among some groups, the perception of Wikipedia as a reliable source is low. In an ideal world, the articles that are being linked-to would be at least of the same quality as you may expect from an article that is run for Did You Know. It would be optimal if Wikipedia could recruit experts in these subject areas that could help edit the Wikipedia articles, discrediting the hoaxes.
— Epicgenius

Most controversial topics are already semi protected and relatively decently watched. I am hoping that this will be enough to deal with much of the potential disruption.

On the plus side this sort of exposure may bring in more people who are interested in improving or maintaining these topics as they may see Wikipedia as having a potentially greater impact.
Well YouTube has announced this effort, I do not think it has rolled out yet. It would be nice to help with maintenance if they provided us with a list of articles they plan to link to. This would also allow us to determine what effect their change has on readership if any.
We could of course potentially build something internally [by] creating a list of articles based on traffic coming from YouTube.
— Doc James

Mike Pompeo did not serve in the Gulf War after all

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We hope this is actually a picture of Mike Pompeo. Can't be sure, though.

Quartz describes in this piece how an IP inserted an unsourced claim that the CIA director, and current nominee for the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo served in the Gulf War – he did not. His cavalry squadron was not one of the units sent to Iraq in 1991. The problem is that several other outlets repeated the claim and months went by before the CIA issued a correction and the error was removed from Wikipedia. The Quartz piece said, "The situation shows how much major media outlets have come to rely on Wikipedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia run by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit that employs less than 300 people".

The false claim was picked up by the Los Angeles Times ("an army officer who served in the 1991 Persian Gulf War"), The Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker. Trey Gowdy, in his letter of support for the nominee, wrote "Michael Pompeo spent five years serving in the United States Army, including in the Gulf War". The article was viewed over 850,000 times between when the erroneous information was added in December 2016, and when it was corrected in April 2018.

In brief

  • Penny Wong: In February, Buzzfeed and others reported that "The Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet has launched an investigation into who in the department is editing [vandalizing] the Wikipedia page of Labor's leader in the Senate, Penny Wong". After several months, the department has given up the investigation.
  • Previews: It was noted by several news organizations that Wikipedia added page previews "designed to help save you from disappearing too far down internet rabbit holes".
  • The tale of a tweet: Government officials of Uttar Pradesh were left red-faced when they sent Guru Nanak birthday tweets–about seven months early. They were quick to blame the mishap on Wikipedia, with one writing "Sorry for Guru Nanak Ji’s birthday tweet. The confusion happened due to Wikipedia (enclosed). Apologies to everyone".
  • They like trains: The New York Times reported on the work of two members of WikiProject New York City Public Transportation, Epicgenius and Kew Gardens 613.

Do you want to contribute to "In the media" by writing a story or even just an "in brief" item? Edit next month's edition in the Newsroom or leave a tip on the suggestions page.

Reader comments

Zarasophos is currently working on everything related to Jadidism. He also recently took up Editing the Signpost.

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The thread was found on AN/I April 20th, 2018, extending to more than double the shown length in total. The number of involved editors was close to twenty, and growing.

Out of over one hundred questioned editors, only twenty-seven (27%) are happy with the way reports of conflicts between editors are handled on the Administrators' Incident Noticeboard (AN/I), a recent survey by the Community health initiative on English Wikipedia found. The survey, which was undertaken by the Wikimedia Foundation Support and Safety and Anti-Harassment Tools teams, also found that dissatisfaction has varied reasons including "defensive cliques" and biased administrators as well as fear of a "boomerang effect" due to a lacking rule for scope on AN/I reports. Ideas for improvements included moderation of discussions by neutral clerks as well as bans of uninvolved editors in AN/I discussions. The survey also included an analysis of available quantitative data about AN/I.

53% avoided making a report due to fearing it would not be handled appropriately

Invitations to the survey were sent to editors who had recently contributed to the AN/I boards, but were also posted publicly on noticeboards and through Wikimedia affiliate mailing lists. Overall, 136 people completed the survey; 100 of those claimed to have been editors for longer than five years, which conforms with the teams' warning that the opt-in nature of the survey and its small sample would most likely result in a skew towards experienced editors.

Nearly three quarters (72.06%) of the participants reported being involved in an incident reported on AN/I in the last twelve months before the survey took place, while about as many (73.13%) said they were dissatisfied with the way reports are handled on AN/I. These do not necessarily have to be the same people – the survey was anonymous – but still, that's not a very good quota. There was also general consensus among answers that the AN/I process breaks down with increasing case complexity. However, while more than six in ten (62.5%) participants said they "sometimes" or "frequently" disagreed with the outcome of AN/I cases, nearly as many (51.13%) reported they "agreed" or "strongly agreed" with the general process of AN/I reports.

"Otherwise 'popular' users often avoid heavy sanctions for issues that would get new editors banned."

A specific problem raised by several answers is the discrepancy in the handling of new and old users – which is especially interesting considering the high self-reported experience of the participants. "Rarely is the discussion unbiased in these cases [...] where one of the users is new and the other one is a 'old hat' with plenty of friends", one editor writes. This bias of Wikipedia meta structures towards more experienced users – even in cases where that experience should not generally matter, such as in AN/I decisions that should be made according to Wikipedia policy – has already been reported on in other circumstances.

Another issue that could potentially further this clique-building was a perceived lack of admins actually active on the noticeboard – one participant reports seeing "the same old faces time after time." Participants speculated that this may be associated with the sometimes extreme complexity and long history of cases discussed on AN/I, as well as the "thanklessness of both the admin's and the involved editor's role." Finally, almost half (48.49%) of the participants said that discussions on AN/I are "almost never" or "rarely" focused and neutral.

"Discussions need to be clerked to keep them from raising more problems than they solve."

While there was no lack of criticism, there was also a consensus that AN/I in general was a positive thing in need of reform. This sentiment is also shared among admins active on AN/I, according to Oshwah:

The improvement to AN/I advocated by most editors was the introduction of moderators to keep discussions relevant to the discussed issue. These moderators would not have to be admins, as they would not be responsible for the final verdicts; instead, they would keep order so that admins could proceed with their investigations. Two other proposals that aimed in a similar direction were a ban on uninvolved editors getting involved in AN/I discussions and the introduction of a fill-in report form, which would allow more standardized procedures.

Oh, and there is a Harvard paper

The Wikimedia Foundation also reached out to the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program (HNMCP) in the autumn of 2017 to provide recommendations for reports and management of conflicts between editors. HMNCP observed several communities, interviewed experts and finally published an extensive catalogue of findings and recommendations.

The findings of the paper are similar to the ongoing internal criticism against AN/I: a discussion-based culture and a decentralized network of noticeboards without effective moderation do not lead to effective case management. For HMNCP, the result would be the replacement of the noticeboards with a single, centralized evaluation system. While this is harsher than what editors wanted in the internal survey, many of the proposed ideas seemed to build on similar ideas.

Another finding of HMNCP is a systemic inability of Wikipedia report structures to convert precedents into standards, with many cases being negotiated in very similar fashions time after time again. It is noticeable that Arbitration Committee (ArbCom) cases already function in a fashion of strictly enforcing and, if necessary, modifying prior verdicts. The status of ArbCom as Wikipedia "High Court" could inspire AN/I to adopt an analogous standardized way of conduct, in a fashion adopted to the generally lower profile of cases.

The HMNCP report applies the general idea of standardization in three recommendations:

Especially the call for better organization of complex discussions seems very much in line with the proposal of report forms and the exclusion of uninvolved editors made in the Wikimedia survey.

Finally, HMNCP recommends a better standardization and dissemination of systems and policies across Wikimedia communities and offers a bit of warning: Harvard "assumes no responsibility for the implementation of the recommendations expressed herein".

Reader comments

Kudpung has been a Wikipedia contributor since 2006 and and an administrator since 2011. His focus is on policy changes concerning deletions/notability, RfA, and the improvement of the new page patrolling and AfC processes. The views expressed in this article are his alone and do not reflect any official opinions of this publication.

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Editathon, Swansea University

Confirming the massive 2011 consensus to put an end to the inappropriate pages that comprise up to 80% of a day's intake of new articles, the new ACTRIAL debate was closed on 18 April this year after running for exactly 30 days almost to the hour, with a clear majority to permanently implement a new rule: in future, the creation of articles in mainspace is to be limited to users with confirmed accounts. Champagne corks were heard popping from as far away as New Zealand.

The RfC registered 88.8% consensus for the most important change in editing policy since the Foundation limited article creation to registered users in December 2005. Faced with an imminent roll out of ACTRIAL by community administrators in 2017 using a locally developed filter, the Wikimedia Foundation offered support this time round in the form of professional statistical research. The results and those of the ensuing debate illustrate that while the WMF brusquely rejected the trial in 2011 (The Signpost, 26 September 2011), under the organic evolution of Wikipedia they are able to respond to urgency. The volte-face was welcomed by the community.

How they voted

Among the users opposing the introduction of the new rule, the arguments were centred mainly around an expected increase in the workload for reviewers at Articles for creation (AfC), and claims made by several Wikipedian-in-Residence (WiR) employees and other Outreach and editathon volunteers, that the move would inhibit the creation of new articles by session participants. Wikipedians-in-Residence, who primarily maintain a link between their institutions and the Wikimedia editing community by organising, for example, training events and editathons, are generally paid for their work either by the institution or by a Wikimedia-related organization. Many editathons are also organised by the outreach teams of Wikimedia chapters, and Wikipedia projects such as Women in red. Solutions suggested by those countering the arguments included the need for these organisations to be more aware of developments throughout Wikimedia and related projects, providing more support from administrators (Sysops), or even the creation of special user rights for the organisers.

I am deeply concerned that AfC is simply not fit for assessing new articles. I have reviewed a tiny fraction of the biographical articles requested for speedy deletion recently from this project, and have found a worrying error rate, far in excess of the usual NPP errors. In a very small sample (not had time to look at more, for firefighting all the problems uncovered so far) potentially viable articles are being rejected for relatively trivial stylistic reasons, for not having inline citations, for being written in the wrong tone or for suspected COI.
– Espresso Addict
The difference between the admin workload and quality of new articles with and without the autoconfirmed requirement is like night and day. It also makes paid for spam stand out sufficiently enough that it can be detected with simple behavioral heuristics. (...) Anti-abuse tools in MediaWiki are sufficiently derelict that a subject matter filter can only currently be implemented by the edit filter. (It is near impossible to get any useful software development out of the WMF in any reasonable amount of time.)

Finally, I had the privilege of deleting the first page created by a non-autoconfirmed user after ACTRIAL ended, and yes, its creator made no effort to understand what an encyclopedia is before he edited one.

Opposing on the premise of much increased AfC submissions, admin Espresso Addict who has herself deleted over 3,500 pages, expressed her concerns in the discussion section that reforms for AfC appear to be overdue:

To which Insertcleverphrasehere replied "New users ending up at AfC is entirely a result of the fact that AfC exists, and therefore becomes the only option for a new user who wants to publish now. ACTRIAL was never about sending new users to AfC instead of NPP, but rather about stopping them from creating new articles in the main space altogether (for a time). (...) AfC reforms can come later, and I for one am committed to making sure that happens, but ACTRIAL is needed now to prevent an overwhelming deluge of terrible submissions from overwhelming New Page Patrol."

Jim Henderson (supporting) exposes in the discussion section his experience as an editathon facilitator with an arresting description of those who attend his many sessions in New York:

Where such debates often serve to highlight related problems, commenting early (vote #16), admin MER-C highlights the difficulties in communicating the needs for assistance from the Foundation: "It is near impossible to get any useful software development out of the WMF in any reasonable amount of time."


Summing up, closer Primefac concludes by saying "Other concerns that were brought up were that this change moves us further away from 'The Wiki Way' (where anyone can create and edit a page immediately after joining), it gives a barrier to those wanting to immediately use the Content Translation tool, and for 'philosophical reasons'."

The RfC resolution was passed by 207 editors supporting, against only 26 in opposition. ACTRIAL is scheduled to go ACPERMANENT (or ACREQ) on 3 May, or earlier, by WMF core software developers. A debate is taking place to discuss a suggestion made by TonyBallioni for solutions requested by the event coordinators.

Moving forward – AfC meets NPP

In another venue, workshopping some future suggestions for the two systems, according to Kudpung the Wikiproject Articles for creation (AfC), and the core function of Page Curation (aka NPP) share the same goals:

  1. Ensuring that inappropriate new articles are not published in main space.
  2. Helping the creators of articles with potential to better understand how they can efficiently prepare their articles before publishing in mainspace and thus avoid deletion.

These two systems, if they were to function at an optimal level, would appear to complement each other well by addressing not only the needs of the creators of new pages, but also those of the reviewers.

Clarifying that they are as similar as they are different, Insertcleverphrasehere explains that "while the the two systems are almost the same, they operate at different stages of content creation and apply slightly different criteria for retention or rejection: while AfC is proactive, the reviewer doesn't have to prove anything, the submitter must demonstrate notability/suitability, while NPP is reactive, the the reviewer has to prove non-notability/unsuitability". He goes on to imply that "NPP is the 'necessary evil' (if we want to have quality control) and AfC is the 'necessary kindness' (if we want to be able to provide a path for very new editors to create articles)".

New developments in the aftermath of ACPERM
New Pages Feed

As the systems of reviewing new pages and for processing drafts are inextricably correlated, talks are on-going at The future of NPP and AfC and at AfC Process Improvement with the participation of Foundation envoy Marshall Miller who is looking into the possibility of supporting improvements to the AfC process.

Curation tool

Other recent talks on improvement to AfC include suggestions that the New Page Reviewer user right (NPR) should become the default qualification for processing submitted Drafts. In order to demonstrate their understanding of the challenges of better reviewing, a large number of active AfC reviewers have already applied at Requests for permissions for access to the NPR user group. Administrators have been able to accord many applicants that key to the Curation tool set.

Other suggestions include the AfC process sharing the New Pages Feed and the Page Curation tool, and encouraging the WMF to address the list of required improvements to the new page patrolling software.


While regular AfC reviewers are expecting some possible help from the WMF on the design and wording of their templates, the New Page Reviewer faction remains optimistic that the deciders of Foundation engineering projects will accord top priority to upgrading the Page Curation software developed by the WMF 6 years ago.


Per the RfC, the page creation limitation enacted during ACTRIAL is now permanently implemented as of 26 April 2018 22:37 (UTC)

Reader comments

Jytdog edits mostly about health and medicine. He also works on conflict of interest and advocacy issues more broadly.

Sewage overflow.jpg
We catch some promotional articles, but that grate has big holes.

Our mission is to provide the public with articles that summarize accepted knowledge, working in a community that is open to anybody. That mission remains as ludicrous as it ever was, yet the editing community has been surprisingly successful at realizing it. That success has led to Wikipedia being used by pretty much everybody as a first stop to learn about anything, but also to a perception that Wikipedia is a crucial platform for promoting organizations, people, or products.

So along with all the great and interesting new pages that are created every day, the reviewers at New Page Patrol and Articles for Creation face a torrent of sewage – promotional pages about people, video games, movies and companies that come pouring into Wikipedia. For a long time, the community has discussed how to deal with this flood and has done work to address it. One part of the discussion and work has been focused on contributors. The ongoing efforts to deal with conflicted and paid editors have been part of that. The Autoconfirmed article creation trial (ACTRIAL) was another. It was a resounding success, and the community said it wants to permanently adopt this filter in the follow-up RfC, as discussed elsewhere in this issue.

All good! But the thing that matters most on Wikipedia is content, and there has also been a call to raise the standards in the content policies and guidelines. The aim is to more easily filter out and remove pages that are not encyclopedic, while keeping and welcoming new articles that are. Parts of this discussion have centered around notability guidelines and essays, all of which implement our fundamental policy that Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information.

Finding a new consensus

The notability guideline for organizations (called ORG or NCORP) is used to judge the notability of nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

A series of discussions on raising NCORP standards started over the summer after yet another hand-wringing session on Jimbo's talk page about promotional editing. These discussions were remarkably free of bickering between deletionists and inclusionists – you can review them in archive 17 and archive 18 of the associated talk page.

On March 22 an RfC adopting a major revision of NCORP was closed (permalink), and was implemented later that day.

The discussions initially focused on the qualities of the organization itself (for example, its annual budget, number of employees, or "impact"), but those efforts failed to gain consensus. The focus then shifted to the description of what kinds of sources are useful for demonstrating notability. In late January Renata, who had made only one prior comment in the series of discussions, provided the first draft of what came to be adopted – it is just remarkable how things like this emerge from the editing community.

Sources, sources, sources

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The standard has been raised! It is up to each of us not to let it fall.

The new content includes the self-explanatory lead:

As it always has, this section emphasizes that the notability of an organization is judged based on there being:

The revision explains what each of those elements means in greater detail, and provides examples of sources that are not useful for demonstrating notability – those that fail one of the above criteria.

Wikipedia's written policies and guidelines are only valid to the extent that they are the expression of the living consensus of the editing community and to the extent that they are practiced, day to day. With regard to NCORP, please take some time to read the revised WP:ORGCRIT section, and please keep the clarifications of this guideline in mind when creating or evaluating new articles, and especially in deletion discussions, where the shit hits the fan.

Reader comments

Wikipedia's myth of the clean Wehrmacht and what you can do about it

Germans in the Ost.jpg
Poster reads: "German Soldier is Fighting for Europe", aka "romantic heroicisation of the German army fighting to save Europe from a rapacious Communism".[1]

Note: This op-ed has been adapted from an article on the same topic in Society for Military History's Headquarters Gazette, Winter 2018.[2]

Despite the abundant World War II historiography published in the last 20 years, the popular perceptions of the German armed forces as an apolitical and professional institution that stood apart from the Nazi regime largely remains intact in the Anglophone world. The myth of the "clean Wehrmacht"—and even clean Waffen-SS—lives on. Below are my experiences in dealing with the issues of historical distortions in Wikipedia articles, along with my outreach to outside experts and suggestions for the Wikipedia community.


Nowhere was the distorted picture more apparent than on English Wikipedia c. 2015, with the articles on "Stuka aces" and "Panzer aces";[3] thousands of recipients of the "coveted Knight’s Cross" awarded for "extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership";[4] and generals leading from "the frontlines" with "jovial, caring attitude".[5] There were Waffen-SS commanders who "opposed the Nazi party"[6] and Luftwaffe pilots who were "rabidly anti-Nazi".[7] A Wehrmacht general was "praised for his humanitarianism",[8] while a field marshal had a whole section dedicated to same.[9] Collaborationist police units "clashed" with SS forces, who moreover only "tried" to execute concentration camp inmates.[10] In the more extreme example, a commander of an SS death squad "worked (...) to reduce the atrocities committed".[11]

That some of Wikipedia's low-trafficked articles would be sourced to AchtungPanzer!, Aces of the Luftwaffe, and other dubious websites was not surprising.[12] But what troubled me was that the concept of Nur-Soldat ("merely soldier") was so prevalent on Wikipedia. This view celebrates the martial accomplishments of military men with a focus on their medals, "ace" status, enemy materiel destroyed—ships sunk, aircraft downed, tanks "busted", bridges blown up, and so on while dismissing social and political context of the war as irrelevant. Because of the questionable sources, which tend to be hobbyist and / or non-independent in nature, this view frequently veers towards fan fiction and hagiography. Undertones of war-time Wehrmacht propaganda are also present since that’s where the origins of the sources often lay.[13]

The other side of the coin is the "clean Wehrmacht" mythology, which emphasises the professional, apolitical image of the German armed forces and its commanding officers, who (according to the myth) stood apart from and in disapproval of Hitler’s regime, whom they allegedly opposed at every turn. An apologist worldview akin to the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, it posits that if it weren’t for Hitler’s inept leadership, difficult terrain and weather conditions on the Eastern front, and Allied material superiority, the German army would have emerged victorious. This outlook borders on historical revisionism and whitewashing: accomplishments are celebrated while crimes and ideological alignment with the regime are minimised, in contrast to the contemporary historiography of the war.[14]

Reaching out to outside experts

Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt found my email "disturbing".

I was surprised that editors did not share my concerns or appreciate the extent of these problems. Faced with what I perceived to be issues of entrenched local consensus, I emailed a number of historians, providing examples from my user page (User:K.e.coffman) and a few Wiki discussions. I initially emailed those experts whose books I read and used in my editing. I then expanded my outreach to members of the Military History Working Group, a German professional association that focuses on interdisciplinary war studies and military history. I also contacted the U.S.-based international Society for Military History and was invited to submit a story for their quarterly newsletter.[2]

Reaching out to historians was relatively straightforward: those in academia almost always have their emails published in their University profiles. Military History Working Group publishes a member list, which includes contact information, specialisation, and interests. I received responses from about half of those whom I emailed. Some referred me to others while some offered encouragement and feedback. Below are select quotes from the responses I received:[15]

Let me recommend Ronald Smelser and Edward J. Davies, The Myth of the Eastern Front (NY: Cambridge University Press, 2008). It provides an interesting (or horrifying) look at the topic you wrote about.
— Charles D. Melson, U.S. Marine Corps Chief Historian (retired)

This is fascinating and quite disturbing.
— Deborah Lipstadt, Holocaust historian

I had noticed occasionally that on some pages this myth of the clean Wehrmacht is reproduced but wasn't aware that it is done so systematically. Even more do I appreciate your work.
— Thomas Kühne, historian of Nazi Germany

The English Wikipedia pages are far more sympathetic towards the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS than the German ones. Of the mainstream websites, Wikipedia and Amazon are the worst distributors of pro-Nazi perspectives and the Wehrmacht myth.
— Jens Westemeier, military historian

Yes, this is one of those myths about Nazi Germany at war that simply won't lie down and die, no matter how many stakes are driven through its heart. The nature of Wikipedia is a large part of the problem, because "enthusiasts" are the ones who tend to spend the most time writing and editing.
— S.P. MacKenzie, military historian

Some sources belong in the dustbin of history

Why should this concern Wikipedia editors? First, I believe that mythology in our articles has a large—and detrimental—impact on the popular perception of the World War II history, due to Wikipedia's high rankings in search engines and perceived authoritativeness. An academic article may be read by a thousand of people in total, but a page on Heinz Guderian, for example, receives an average of a thousand views per day, every day.

Second, we should use sources that do not meet the bar set forth in WP:MILMOS#SOURCES with caution. In my experience, the types of sources that almost always turn out to be problematic fall roughly into these three categories:

  1. Phaleristics-oriented catalogues of award winners and their respective decorations; these are primary sources insufficient for establishing notability or for sourcing matters of history.
  2. Landser-pulp literature, known in German as Landser-Hefte, which aims to heroicise the military men and strays into historical fiction while doing so. Franz Kurowski is the prime example of such authors.
  3. Deliberate historical distortions, published by authors such as the fringe Richard Landwehr and various authors affiliated with HIAG, the post-war Waffen-SS lobby group in West Germany. In German, these works are generally published by far-right and extremist publishers such as the Munin Verlag, the Arndt Verlag, and the Nation Europa Verlag, among others.

In North America, Group 2 & 3 titles are being published by militaria presses J.J. Fedorowicz and Schiffer Publishing. Some eventually find their way into speciality publishers, such as Osprey Publishing and Stackpole Books that have a wider distribution. The prolific Kurowski reached even wider audiences through the publication of his works in the mass-market Ballantine Books.

"A new era has opened in which new histories and fresh perspectives on the war [on the Eastern Front] are not only possible, but expected. It is no longer acceptable to simply parrot the views of historians who wrote their books, no matter how definitive at the time, more than twenty years ago."

—Historian Lee Baker, of University of Cincinnati, writing in The Journal of Slavic Military Studies in 2008[16]

Finally, we need to be aware of the conflict between recent historiography and older popular history or even academic publications, which present more positive views of the German military, such as those steeped in Cold War mentality. The key underlying issue is that many sources that would normally meet Wikipedia's criteria for WP:IRS are unusable because they are dated or skewed by political or self-serving, exculpatory motivations.

Wikipedia can be a wonderful resource to educate the public about the important issues of history. What’s great about it is that it’s always evolving, with new knowledge added all the time. It’s in everybody’s interest that this knowledge is free of historical distortions. I’m looking a for wider awareness of these issues and I thank the Signpost for providing me with an opportunity to share my perspective.

K.e.coffman has been a member of WikiProject:Military History since 2015 and a member of the Society for Military History since 2017. His Good Articles include Rommel myth, HIAG, Arthur Nebe, Hitler's Generals on Trial, Mogilev Conference, and others. K.e.coffman can be reached at User talk:K.e.coffman or via email

See also

Related community discussions from WP:MILHIST archives:

Relevant essay:


  1. ^ * Smelser, Ronald; Davies, Edward J. (2008). The Myth of the Eastern Front: The Nazi-Soviet War in American Popular Culture. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 191. ISBN 978-0-521-83365-3.
  2. ^ a b Headquarters Gazette, Society for Military History, Winter 2018, p. 10.
  3. ^ See AfD:List of Stuka aces and 2015 version of the Panzer ace article.
  4. ^ "...the coveted Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub)..." in Otto Weiß (pilot).
  5. ^ "His jovial, caring attitude towards his troops resulted in him being granted the affectionate nickname Papa Scholz" in Fritz von Scholz, cited to a hagiographic source.
  6. ^ "Opposition of the Nazi Party" (section), in Wilhelm Bittrich (uncited).
  7. ^ Edit summary: "It is a firm fact, was Marseille rabidly anti-Nazi" in Der Stern von Afrika.
  8. ^ "The Cardinal left notes in his diary praising Bayerlein for his humanitarianism", in Fritz Bayerlein (uncited).
  9. ^ "Humanitarianism" (section), in Erwin Rommel. See also: "Humanitarian actions" (section) and "humanitarian actions" (body), both in Wehrmacht.
  10. ^ "On September 19, 1944 Police Battalion 287 had a clash in Klooga concentration camp with members of the German Sonderkommando, who tried to execute prisoners in the camp", in Estonian Auxiliary Police, cited to a fan site. See also: Talk:36th Estonian Police Battalion#Novogrudok.
  11. ^ As detailed on Talk#Use of source, in Arthur Nebe.
  12. ^ Problematic WII content: Selection of diffs on my user page.
  13. ^ See for example: Talk#Sources, in Hans-Ulrich Rudel; Talk#Propaganda origins, in Helmut Wick; and Talk#Tags, in Erich Hartmann. All three are GA / MilHist A-class articles.
  14. ^ See for example: Talk#Leeb and Einsatzgruppe A, in Wilhelm von Leeb, and Talk#Commissar order, in Erich Hoepner.
  15. ^ Note: Before submitting my draft to SMH, I approached each historian for quote approval. My email was: "I reached out to the U.S. based Society of Military History, who invited me to submit an article for their newsletter. I'd like your permission to quote you in the article, which is attached as a Word document." Sample responses were: "I have no objection to my inclusion as quoted in your piece for the SMH newsletter" and: "You have permission to quote me. In fact, you can say: this is fascinating and quite disturbing".
  16. ^ Baker, Lee (2008): "Review: The German Defeat in the East, 1944-1945 by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr". Journal of Slavic Military Studies. Jul-Sep 2008, Vol. 21 Issue 3, pp. 593-594. DOI: 10.1080/13518040802313985.

Reader comments

Indy beetle has been a Wikipedia contributor since 2016. His main focus is on content related to history, politics, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Map of the worldwide distribution of geotagged Wikipedia entries, circa 2006. Wikipedia is still lacking in proper coverage of many regions outside of the West.

Anyone who has been staying informed on the Wikipedia community's affairs by now surely heard of it: our problem of systemic bias. Special attention is often given to the gender gap in our content and the diverging proportion of female and male contributors. In fact, it would seem that is all the people hear about – or that the media cares about. Leafing through Google News results, one can find countless articles on our gender bias issues and the many, many edit-a-thons and other methods meant to alleviate them:

Most of these news articles open with the citation of the infamously unimpressive percentage of women contributors on the site or the proportions of women biography or women's issues articles to their counterparts. Recent Wikidata statistics suggest that the gender gap remains a wide gulf to cross. There is still work to be done in this area. Between Women in Red and the Art+Feminism campaign an impressive amount of energy and effort has been directed at the issue, and no doubt it would benefit the encyclopedia for the work to continue full steam ahead.

But what about our geographical biases? They aren't given anywhere near the same attention as the gender gap—and the effect they have on our image can be just as glaring. This leads to us to doing things as embarrassing as inventing a Congolese prime minister and forgetting about it while the falsehood circulates through other language Wikipedias ([1][2][3][4]). Note that there are articles on American municipal officials that are longer than those on 14-year Burkinabé presidents, and pieces on popular Western TV episodes that are more developed than a highly influential political ideology of the 1960s.

Many African WikiProjects have no Featured Articles and at most only a handful of Good Articles to their name:

The same problem exists for some of our Asian areas:

A few countries from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean also suffer:

Many of these WikiProjects are all but abandoned. WikiProject Africa, which is responsible for managing all content related to a continent home to 1.2 billion people, nominally has 179 members. An appeal to discuss the project's direction in February garnered responses from only three users. Its "Open tasks" sections hasn't been updated in four years. This project and its contemporaries may be tagged "Relevant for Countering systemic bias", but – being reduced to little more than organizational tools – they seem mostly irrelevant for seriously combating gaps in coverage. The last major push to improve Africa content was the 2016 Destubathon, which successfully brought expansions to over 2,000 articles. These additions formed the basis for The 10,000 Challenge, "aiming to reach 10,000 article improvements for Africa long term from a series of regional contests and general independent article contribution." Improvements are still listed once or twice a week, but momentum has noticeably slowed and followup contests were never organized.

Covering all topics duly and comprehensively is key to maintaining the encyclopedia's academic integrity. But it is quite clear that a mere commitment to academic integrity will not energize enough people to fill these gaps. While Wikipedia isn't supposed to be the place to right great wrongs, it is undeniable that the popular appeal of Women in Red and the Art+Feminism edit-a-thons is derived from a sense of establishing social justice. Contributors, particularly our newest female members, are galvanized to create content not because of some lofty goal to bring open knowledge together under one umbrella project in an equally weighted manner across subject matter, but because they feel like they are lifting up a marginalized group onto one of the most popular modern platforms. Maybe it's sacrificing principle for expediency, but perhaps by linking our geographical biases to a greater social cause, more users can be encouraged to correct them.

A key component of that method is that most of the users who "advocate" do it for themselves. That is, women like writing about women. Men like writing about men and Americans, Canadians, Brits, and Australians like writing about America, Canada, Britain, and Australia; that's the most common hypothesis for how Wikipedia ended up with systemic bias in the first place. So, if increased recruitment of women editors is addressing the content gender gap, will getting more African, Asian, and Latin American members alleviate geographical bias? Put simply, yes. Wikipedia is already seeing a rise in articles on Indian, Nigerian, and Zambian topics from editors in those countries. It's a functional strategy, but it does mean that the community must – as it should always – be prepared to offer assistance and guidance to new members, including having the patience to negotiate language barriers and cultural divides.

But it is not enough to simply wait and hope that others will come to pick up the slack. There may be no deadline, but the longer the community waits the longer the gap areas will languish. All editors should try and go a little outside their comfort zone. Like politics? Try the history of labor unions in Burkina Faso's public affairs. Interested in music? Perhaps Congolese rumba will pique your interests. Fancy yourself a geographer? Check out the mountains and glaciers of Central Asia. A little broadening might just be enough to get people to put their feet in the door that opens into a great new realm of possibilities. Let's show the world that we are tackling our deficiencies on all fronts.

Reader comments

Signpost poll
Signpost poll: Should portals be eliminated?
Foundation Logo Transparent.svg  
  Yes (40%; 23 votes)
  No (60%; 35 votes)
ENWP current events portal.png
The Current Events portal, one of Wikipedia's most popular portals.
ENWP arts portal.png
The Arts portal, seen by some as a model for portal automation.
ENWP prehistory of Antarctica portal.png
The Prehistory of Antarctica portal, a portal currently up for deletion at MfD. It had not been updated since 2016 before the discussion.

Are portals to be open or closed?

There is an ongoing discussion about whether to eliminate the Portal namespace. Portals are lists of topics formatted similarly to the Main Page. They contain featured articles, pictures, Did You Know sections, and other content. They were first introduced in 2005 after the concept was initially used on the German and Polish Wikipedias. Portals are generally maintained by the relevant WikiProject, such as the WikiProject Mathematics that runs the Mathematics portal. The biggest portals are linked at the top of the Main Page, and articles often contain links to their associated portals. Other portals, such as Portal:Contents and Portal:Current events are not based on a specific topic; instead, they contain pages of special interest from many topic areas. There are currently 1,515 portals[1] and 149,069 total pages in portal-space[2] (this number includes subpages of portals).

Since this discussion started, WikiProject Portals has been re-activated with a focus on "revitalizing Wikipedia's portal system". The previously inactive WikiProject was relaunched on April 17, 2018 by The Transhumanist.[3]

The discussion is currently taking place at the Village Pump under Ending the system of portals. It will run until "around May 8".[4]

Arguments for eliminating portals

Proponents of eliminating portals point out that many are rarely edited and often contain outdated information. Supporters of elimination also claim that since Wikipedia is not a social media site the argument of connecting users with common interests is irrelevant.[5] Galobtter, who launched the RfC, says that "In essence, portals try to straddle reader-facing and editor-facing stuff, but are terrible at both."

Arguments for keeping portals

Supporters of keeping portals mention that some portals have been designed to require little maintenance, by randomly cycling through timely featured content (such as with the Arts portal). They see this as a model that could be brought to other portals. Portal supporters also argue that they are a good way to connect users who share common interests (see the above section for the anti-portal rebuttal). In addition, they point out that the biggest portals can receive thousands of page views. Therefore, deleting them would be a disservice to the readers, whom they see as the portals' main audience.

Alternative proposals

Other users think that instead of deleting all portals, some or all of them should be marked as historical. Some believe that specific portals such as Portal:Contents should stay, with the rest removed or marked historical. Still others suggest moving portals to Wikipedia space, under the page of the relevant WikiProject.


Reader comments


The case on Civility in infobox discussions concluded on March 28th; a new system of Infobox probation was established as a result of the case. No new cases have been accepted.

Two separate case requests were filed as the result of a dispute regarding the contents of WikiProject Christianity's ICHTHUS newsletter. One motion was passed in response, admonishing Future Perfect at Sunrise for edit-warring in the dispute.

A request for a case based on POV editing involving the WWII Clean Wehrmacht (described in The Signpost's Op-ed section) was filed by K.e.coffman naming LargelyRecyclable as a party. Four arbitrators have voted to accept the case, with 0 opposes and 0 abstentions. Discussion currently is about whether there is a non-content dispute to be analyzed, and whether the dispute has been discussed sufficiently at other forums.


A proposed motion requiring appeals of discretionary sanctions to first be heard at either Arbitration Enforcement or the Administrator's Noticeboard appears unlikely to pass, with a current vote total of 7 opposes to 1 support.

Reader comments

This week, we're checking out ways to motivate editors and recognize valuable contributions by focusing on the success of WikiProject Military History. Anyone unfamiliar with WikiProject Military History is encouraged to start at the report's first article about the project and make your way forward. While many WikiProjects provide a barnstar that can be awarded to helpful contributors, WikiProject Military History has gone a step further by creating a variety of awards with different criteria ranging from the all-purpose WikiChevrons to rewards for participating in drives and improving special topics to medals for improving articles up to A-class status to the coveted "Military Historian of the Year" award. We asked several Milhist project members for their thoughts.

  • How long have you been a member of WikiProject Military History? Do you prefer working on articles related to particular subjects, people, or time periods?
    • I have been involved with MILHIST for over nine years. In terms of article writing, I tend to focus on Australian infantry units and Second World War battles involving Australia as this is the area of military history I am most comfortable with (although even in this field I am still learning every day and would not consider myself anything but an amateur at best). However, working within MILHIST has provided me with the opportunity to expand my knowledge, and as such I have tried to branch out a little to other areas, including working on articles relating to New Zealand infantry units, and battles of the Pacific War not involving Australia. My work at MILHIST A-class review (as well as GAN and FAC), though, has allowed me to get involved in a broader range of topics also. I have really enjoyed this aspect of the project, as well as the opportunity to interact with many different people from all walks of life. AustralianRupert (talk)
    • I have been with the Military History Project since December 2006. Originally I focused on articles related to technology and logistics in the Australian Army in the First and Second World Wars, the areas I wrote my master's and doctoral theses on. Since 2011, I have worked on improving the articles related to nuclear weapons. Working on a series of articles in a particular topic area allows you to re-use the sources that you have assembled. I have brought over 60 military articles to FAC. For every major, FAC-worthy article that I create, I also create a couple of lesser, GA-quality articles. These are often new articles, but I have also taken seven articles that I created all the way to FAC. Hawkeye7 (discuss)
    • I've been a member of both the Military history Wikiproject and Wikipedia for over ten years, and in that time I've seen or done almost everything that can be seen or done in the Military history Project. I started off just editing articles, then worked on moving articles up to GA, A, and FA class, then switched to article reviews, and now I'm working largely within the realm of our in house newsletter The Bugle, where I've done a number of op-ed pieces commemorating the 100-year anniversary of World War I. In addition, I'm still something of a think tank, offering my suggestions and advice on milhist matters. TomStar81 (Talk)
    • I've been involved with MilHist almost as long as I've been on WP, which is over a decade now. I primarily write biographies of Australian military aviators, but have branched out to do some Australian Army and Navy personnel as well; I also write a lot of RAAF unit articles. I find myself better suited to articles with a narrow but deep focus, such as bios and unit histories -- broader topics like battles and wars I tend to leave to others. I like to take the articles I edit through as many review processes as I think they can stand, from our B-Class assessment to GAN, A-Class Review, and FAC; in turn I review others' articles. I've been a coordinator of the project for most of the past several years, and also edit the Bugle newsletter with Nick-D. Ian Rose (talk)
  • What sets this Wikiproject, which has remained relatively active, apart from most other projects, which have fallen into slow decline?
    • To be honest, I'd argue that MILHIST is also currently in a process of decline and that this mirrors (broadly) the general trend on Wikipedia. I would argue, though, that this is normal for any organisation following a period of rapid expansion, as it finds its equilibrium. AustralianRupert (talk)
    • The Military History Project has not been immune to the general inexorable decline process, and to survive in the long run Wikipedia needs to ditch some of the dogma. We have the advantage that the subject is highly accessible to the general public. We have some advantages over other projects in our subject area. Military history is amenable to eventualism. For the moment at least, historians write books, which are not subject to loss through technological changes. There is a general demand for the books. Most bookstores have a Military History section. It also means that there is a thriving trade in second hand military books, whereas the work I did for the Paralympics required the mobilisation of a workforce and the attendance at events to grab the information while it was available. Although frowned on by academia, military history has a loyal following, and the project is lucky to have a solid core of highly knowledgeable editors. It is pleasing that the Military History Project has carved out a reputation for high quality workmanship. A key part of this has been our A-class review process. It has standards comparable to FAC, but more structured and without its limitations. Like FAC, its standards have risen over time. I tried to simplify its administration by automating it with a Bot. Hawkeye7 (discuss)
    • To be brutally honest, we've lost our thrusters and have been suffering a slow decline over the last few years due to an absence of new contributors to Wikipedia in general. That combined with our ever changing standards is making it harder for us to maintain the articles and reviews and such at currently acceptable levels. For the time being this is somewhat offset by our core of hardcore contributors, but there's only so much that they can do to keep us in orbit. If Wikipedia as a whole could rebound somewhat, this problem in general may resolve itself - if we could convince enough people to give the site a chance. TomStar81 (Talk)
    • I tend to agree with Rupert, Hawkeye and Tom that MilHist has also slowed down, although I'd still count it as thriving in comparison to some areas of WP. Just to take an example close to my heart, while we've not always run closely to our planned schedule with the Bugle newsletter, we've never missed an issue. In terms of what sets the project apart, not being an active member of any similar projects it's perhaps difficult to say but I do think there is a good sense of community and -- generally -- a lack of conflict (perhaps ironically in light of our subject interest). As far as processes go, A-Class Review is still a very important and distinguishing aspect. Ian Rose (talk)
  • Is the success transferable to other projects, by changing how they work?
    • Each project has its own strengths and weaknesses, and its own challenges and opportunities. As does MILHIST. We do some things well, while other areas could be improved. Such is life. Ultimately, the key to success for any project will be to build a core of editors keen to work together for a common(ish) purpose. Achieving this, and maintaining it, is difficult, but there are certainly many ways to do so. AustralianRupert (talk)
    • As is the case everywhere on Wikipedia, a small group of editors create 90 per cent of the content. Ironically, military history is a peaceful, constructive and collaborative community. But the key is always enthusiasm and a desire to spread knowledge in pursuit of our educational mission. Hawkeye7 (discuss)
    • We have a particular contributor base that works with our particular model for our articles and reviews and such, so copying what we have won't automatically work for other projects. That being said, solving the larger Wikipedia related issues would (in theory) help all the projects by bringing in fresh blood, fresh perspective, and fresh ideas to projects that we can all agree we sorely need. TomStar81 (Talk)
  • Is there any work that the project has done you would like to highlight as being particularly successful?
    • I think our A-class review process has been quite successful over the years. The project's newsletter, The Bugle, is also an aspect that I think deserves highlighting. This is largely the result of a small group including its dedicated editors, Nick-D and Ian Rose, and some regular contributors such as Hawkeye7 and TomStar81. AustralianRupert (talk)
    • Echoing Rupert, even though A-Class Review doesn't attract quite the same interest it once did, it's still going quite strong, and I think serves as a model for any project seeking to create a "pre-FAC" community assessment process. Rupert was also too modest to mention his own contributions to the Bugle, often helping with project news, contest results and so on -- this sort of effort has meant that Nick and I really do just need to edit much of the time, most of the original writing being done by other project members, as one would hope. Ian Rose (talk)
  • Are there any methods you use to prevent biases and conspiracy theories from existing?
    • I think site wide policies such as WP:V and WP:FRINGE say it best. AustralianRupert (talk)
    • We do keep an eye on the articles for this, and in fairness we've had trouble in the past with some black project related material for which sourcing is generally fringe at best. A conscious effort to keep the pages clear of conspiracy material helps, but I personally feel that the larger problem is with the never ending amount of popular culture related appearances which people document in trivial ways in the articles. While there can be no denying that military equipment is a popular culture area, most of what we see is material that is not sourced, poorly, sourced, and generally not really needed in the articles in question. Wrangling all this into corals so it can be handled correctly can be challenging at times, especially when dealing with new or unregistered users who feel that the material should be present at any cost. TomStar81 (Talk)
    • There are constant conflicts with Randy in Boise. This mostly affects the infoboxes and the lead, as Randy doesn't have the wherewithal to read the articles. As early as 1964, Richard Hofstadter warned that anti-intellectualism was a consequences of the democratisation of knowledge. There is a trend of disparaging experts, who have a record of debunking cherished beliefs. Many people think that Wikipedia means that we don't need experts anymore; they seem unaware that those experts are the very people who made the information available on Wikipedia. WP:FRINGE sounds like a reference to the tinfoil hat brigade, but as the term is defined on Wikipedia, it also covers many popular and widely-held ideas and beliefs. Biases that affect Military History often arise from the very heart of English-speaking culture. Our best defence is each other; the collective will of the project that can marshal numbers needed to fight off challenges from individuals or even small groups. Hawkeye7 (discuss)
  • Anything else you'd like to add?
    • The project's ongoing success will be tested in the coming years. To remain successful, we need to ensure that we welcome new editors while managing to keep our olds and bolds. New isn't always better, but the old ways also aren't always the best way either. Encouraging people to get involved in the broader processes of the project will also be a challenge. We need to ensure that our processes are simple, but also effective in producing quality content, while providing an editing environment that encourages people to participate and enables them to feel part of a community. Whether we can achieve this remains to be seen, but it will be a defining part of our Wikipedia journey as a project. AustralianRupert (talk)
    • For some years now we've escaped the downward spiral of Wikipedia's dry rot but it's finally starting to catch up with us, and that should concern everyone here. If a large project as successful as ours has been is starting to feel the grasp of lady death's cold fingers then it means we've reached a point where Wikipedia is going to have to evolve if it is going to survive. New members are urgently needed, but our overall sense of community has declined in the last five or so years such that these days it seems that the site survives less on contributors and more on luck. We need to reignite that spark from the old days when this was still an exciting and cool place to be, otherwise the constant burnout is going to be the death of all of us. TomStar81 (Talk)

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The following content has been republished from the Wikimedia Blog. The views expressed in this piece are those of the author alone; responses and critical commentary are invited in the comments section. For more information on this partnership see our content guidelines.

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Editor Nagualdesign's Hierarchy of Editor Subservience

Ever get that itch to drop the pretense of congeniality and just let loose with how you really feel about an issue? Wish there was a place where you can vent as your internal pressure continues to climb?

Channel all that pent-up energy into the creating your own essay! They can be a great outlet when compared to ad-hominem-attacks-every-one-knows-are-true-about-an-editor-but-are-just-afraid-to-say-so. I tend to lean toward the humorous types, but others lean toward the grim. Since this is Wikipedia and I am an editor, I really don't have to create new content to be considered amusing because others have already done this for me.

I can magically read the emotions of the editor(s) who write essays. They run deep. I detect that some have really poured their heart and soul into their work. I am saddened because some emotions are not exactly positive and are actually somewhat grim. Some essays can be so grim as to make you drop you head onto your computer keyboard, break down and cry.

Essays are strangely therapeutic for me. My suffering is relieved in the act of reading (and re-reading) some essays. On dark days when all my contributions are reverted, it brings healing to my wounded heart to read the very words the essayist uses to express my own emotions. Someone finally understands my heart and my agony. It's as if the author has committed a copyvio of the words that exist within me. How could they know? How could they understand? It's as if the essayist knows exactly what I am going through in response to the cruel reversions to Open Thy Lattice Love and Feline diseases. The burden lifts. I sigh. I move on.

I have realized that an essay is the perfect environment for sarcasm and irony. These are unappreciated skills on Wikipedia. Conveying such things in writing is a very rare ability. I usually can't pull it off and admire those who can. Those who are particularly skilled can intertwine Punssee image and double meanings into their writing without you realizing it until you get to the end of their sentence. On the happier side of things, the policy on pointiness doesn't apply to essays. If it did there would be no essays. You get away with (if you're good) writing things in an essay that would get you into trouble if you 'said' the same thing on a talk page.

Finally, can we deny that many unreferenced articles and lists are really essays written by (usually) well-intentioned folks that mistake their opinions for an encyclopedia article? No listing of such article-essays are part of this piece, but you all know who you are. If you would like to confess, leave your comments after this Signpost article.

Grim and grimmer

Punch cartoon of the Second Balkan War. King Carol I of Romania points his pistol at King Peter I of Serbia and King Constantine of Greece while he steals Southern Dobrudja from the disarmed Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria. This is a pun on the mental disorder of impulsive stealing for the sake of stealing. [1]
Though I wasn't moved to tears, I was able to force out a few sniffles. This one is disappointingly short but has great potential for getting point-i-er.
Grim but humorous all wrapped up into a tidy package.
This section of a policy page needs an explanatory essay written describing it further. I'll probably accept the assignment.
...obviously you've mistaken WP for Wiktionary. Not even two sentences make an article. But how about three? four? How about a really long sentence with five clauses?
Essay-worthy but probably can't be understood by those active in WP:WikiProject American Idol.

Humorous (though with sometimes deadly serious purpose)

This would mean something entirely different if it contained a comma instead of a colon. Not really about the deletionists, but an essay that is more along the lines of vandalism.
Someone got this right.
A little snotty/funny but the punchline is good: "Sometimes people write lengthy posts at WP:ANI in hopes of defusing a situation; however, the ensuing drama means it is diffused instead."
Poking fun at cherished grammar and usage myths.
Actually the next Humorous Signpost article.
Sure it is. "Ego does not matter to Wikipedia"? Hah!
Also debatable.
Creating this essay is on my to-do list.
I was really into this essay, then it got a little weird. I mean what is this supposed to mean? "Brick crystallizer: A game master can also choose to re-crystallize a brick that has been dissolved, turning it back into a normally-functional brick." Your game character probably has the special skills necessary to do things to bricks. Aren't you lucky!
Voted "most misleading essay title",[Citation Needed] this essay gives marginal magical advice for use when everyone is against you.

Notes and dubious references

  1. ^ Though the image is free, the caption can be attributed to those editors who contributed content to the Pun article. The amusing explation of the copyright status accompanying the image follows: "You must also include a United States public domain tag to indicate why this work is in the public domain in the United States. Note that a few countries have copyright terms longer than 70 years: Mexico has 100 years, Jamaica has 95 years, Colombia has 80 years, and Guatemala and Samoa have 75 years. This image may not be in the public domain in these countries, which moreover do not implement the rule of the shorter term. Côte d'Ivoire has a general copyright term of 99 years and Honduras has 75 years, but they do implement the rule of the shorter term. Copyright may extend on works created by French who died for France in World War II (more information), Russians who served in the Eastern Front of World War II (known as the Great Patriotic War in Russia) and posthumously rehabilitated victims of Soviet repressions"
  2. ^ All people know this

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This traffic report is adapted from the Top 25 Report, prepared with commentary by igordebraga (March 25 to 31), Stormy clouds (April 1 to 7), and Ahecht (April 8 to 14).

And the wiki bank talks of the articles of March (March 25 to 31)

Another month closes, even if the weekly report has entries for things bound for April (#8). In the meantime, there's quite a variety of topics: it's three Google Doodles, it's movies, it's people depicted on TV shows and movies, it's a revived sitcom and its main star, it is death (the ever-present death list and 2018's most), it's saintful (a Christian holiday), it's sinful (a porn star the White House is trying to hush), it's the promise of life in your heart.

For the week of March 25 to 31, 2018, the most popular articles on Wikipedia, as determined from the WP:5000 report were:

Rank Article Class Views Image Notes
1 Chipko movement Start-Class article 1,293,097 Chipko 2004.jpg Google celebrated the 45th anniversary of this case of literal tree huggers, namely a group of Indians who clung onto trees to prevent them from being cut.
2 Stormy Daniels C-Class article 873,116
Stormy-Daniels Chicago Exxxotica, July 13, 2013.jpg
While the U.S. president being involved in sexual scandals isn't exactly new, porn star Stormy Daniels is currently deserving of her stage name given the fuss emerging from an affair she had with Donald Trump back in 2006, even earning a segment on 60 Minutes.
3 Deaths in 2018 List-Class article 732,054
Death and Matt (30873177).jpg
In spite of no high-profile departures this week, still high on the list. Also, the image to left is named "Death and Matt", which sounds like a weird sitcom. Speaking of that...
4 Roseanne B-Class article 725,404
Seems like almost every 1990s TV show is getting a revival. The ABC sitcom starring Roseanne Barr as the head of an Illinois working-class family is getting eight episodes after nearly 21 years off the air, possibly ignoring that increasingly absurd final season.
5 Ready Player One (film) Start-Class article 641,958
Steven Spielberg & Ernest Cline (36023677912).jpg
Ernest Cline's best-seller Ready Player One is a love letter to the 1980s and nerd culture, and as such right in the first 50 pages mentions the name of Steven Spielberg. No wonder the man himself took the job to adapt the book, in his words to prevent it from being a work overloaded on Spielberg references (at most, there is the T. rex from Jurassic Park and the DeLorean from the Spielberg-produced Back to the Future). A pretty fun adventure, Ready Player One got good reviews and has already grossed nearly 200 million dollars worldwide in its opening weekend.
6 Good Friday B-Class article 634,107
Christ on the cross (1631), by Rembrandt.jpg
The ever-changing holiday remembering how a man who tried to make the world a better place was instead beaten and crucified.
7 Hannah Glasse Start-Class article 525,781
The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy' by Hannah Glasse Wellcome L0034891.jpg
Another Google entry, for the cookery writer who had a big hit back in the 18th century with The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy.
8 Easter B-Class article 585,494
Hase mit Ostereiern (1).jpg
The holiday celebrating how three days after #6, the man was brought back to life – and yet the date is mostly associated with a rabbit that delivers chocolate eggs. And that this year, had the misfortune of falling right on April Fools' Day.
9 Black Panther (film) C-Class article 598,326
Chadwick Boseman (35411712094).jpg
The exploits of King T'Challa of Wakanda – portrayed by Chadwick Boseman, pictured – are now the (unadjusted) fourth highest-grossing movie ever in the North American box office with $652 million, and might even become #3 next week given Titanic is only $7 million away. Worldwide, it broke the all-time top 10, becoming Marvel's third biggest success behind the two Avengers. If Black Panther already made this much money, imagine the damage Avengers: Infinity War will cause later this month!
10 Anandi Gopal Joshi C-Class article 584,196
Dr. Anandibai Joshee, M.D., Class 1886.jpg
Google for the third time, this time honoring one of the earliest Indian female physicians, who died at just 22 but even has a Moon crater named after her.

The (Messianic Korean) Sound of Silence (April 1 to 7)

No, we aren't delivering the Report late as our way to provide an April Fools joke. Instead, it's just because the data dump that provides the basis for the list is facing a delay due to a change of server and, sadly, the news on it are as quiet as the top entry of the week, a film where real-life couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski barely make a sound to avoid noise-seeking aliens. Hope the WP:5000 can come back like Jesus on Easter Sunday, perhaps even having some songs to accompany the return (#4). For now, we have some reminders of the last few months – Black Panther and the franchise it is a part of, a return of K-pop band Exo, the ever-present death list, an upcoming WWE event still getting a lot of views in anticipation – and one of last week, Spielberg's latest hit Ready Player One. Along the ever-expected apparition of Google Doodles, there's people enraged by a media conglomerate (#2), and – as proof that Wikipedia is not so American – the Commonwealth Games, a player from the football across the pond, and (once the list returned) the latest Bollywood blockbuster.

Rank Article Class Views Image Notes
1 A Quiet Place (film) C-Class article 1,473,474
Emily Blunt and John Krasinski.jpg
The less said, the better. The thriller film emulated the success of Get Out, as John Krasinski, an actor primarily known for his comedic roles transitioned to writing and directing a thriller. The film used positive word-of-mouth and strong reviews to generate massive sums at the box office, far in excess of its expected take. It has also left me nervous that the sound of my typing may endanger my very life...
2 List of stations owned or operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group List-Class article 1,161,442
Sinclair Broadcast Group new logo.svg
Blame it on John Oliver, who may have instigated a media tsunami against Sinclair, the owner and operator of a cornucopia of local news stations stateside. Following on from a rather excellent investigative piece last year, Oliver discussed Sinclair and its potential political propaganda on the latest episode of Last Week Tonight. Subsequently, the internet began investigating which stations they can expect to see chief political analyst Boris on, ahead of their attempted acquisition of Tribune Media. Dubious journalism abounds, so maybe fake news is more endemic than previously thought.
3 Exo (band) C-Class article 971,006
Ivanka 28423868 10156303279802682 1201440222164748173 o.jpg
K-pop continues its persistent penetration into Western media this week, the continuing high views are symptomatic of this. Exo are a very popular K-pop group, but they have not yet seeped into Western culture like some of their peers. However, after performing at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in their native South Korea in dramatic and entertaining fashion, they have hit the headlines in the West. Perhaps they can cross the Pacific and become superstars stateside. I may not have too much of an affinity for their lyrics, but their music cannot be worse than the supposed perfection of current compositions. I cannot speak to their musical quality, but with Wikipedia interest like they are currently receiving, I anticipate an appearance for the band on the annual report.
4 Jesus Christ Superstar Start-Class article 844,313
Jesus Christ Superstar.jpg
This famous 1970 rock opera about the Messiah saw a resurgence once NBC used it for their latest live concert broadcasts.
5 WrestleMania 34 Symbol question.svg 771,588
Superdome from Garage.jpg
It's on April 8, so expect one more list featuring this WWE event.
6 Ready Player One (film) Start-Class article 770,664
Steven Spielberg & Ernest Cline (36023677912).jpg
Another film entry here, and one which I thoroughly enjoyed. Spielberg's blockbuster adaptation of Ernest Cline's novel became ambling its way into cinemas worldwide last week, and it depicts a dystopian world where everyone spends the vast majority of their time in an advanced variant of VRChat, but with less Sonic characters. Parzival teams up with an electric girl, and a ragtag group of gamers, to capture something you may have eaten last week in the Oasis in an entertaining, if divisive, tentpole hit film. Still, it features memorable moments of poignancy like this, so its success is not surprising.
7 Deaths in 2018 List-Class article 725,481
People have a horrible, inevitable tendency to die – such is the circle of life (nants ingonyama bagithi Baba). As such, the list of the recently deceased is a continuing, morbid attraction for patrons of Wikipedia, and ensuring that it remains a fixture of the report. This week's iteration features many prominent figures, including Ray Wilkins (#10).
8 Baaghi 2 Start-Class article 702,321
Long time no see, Bollywood. And this time with an action movie that's not only a sequel but a Tollywood remake, starring the awesomely named Tiger Shroff (pictured).
9 2018 Commonwealth Games C-Class article 689,412
Gold Coast 2018.png
"Well, imagine the Olympic Games without the United States, China and Russia. Then imagine a track meet dominated by sprinters from Wales. And you have: the Commonwealth Games."

The 21st edition of these games between the UK and most of its former colonies started on April 4 in Gold Coast, Australia.

10 Ray Wilkins Start-Class article 661,044
Ray Wilkins Memorial Wall (27382762868).jpg
This week, English football, still reeling in the wake of Cyrille Regis' death, lost another legend with the death of Ray Wilkins, a brilliant bastion in midfield for both Chelsea F.C. and Manchester United. As a result, he was a bane for staunch Reds like myself, but his talent and prowess on the ball was unquestionably superb, and his transition into coaching was also admirable. Wilkins, particularly at Stamford Bridge, was a figure of mountainous proportions, and if the club's touching tribute to him is any indication, his impact will not be forgotten anytime soon. Sometimes, football transcends rivalry, and being a mere game, and morphs into something poignant, and powerful, and greater. Wilkins inspired such moments, and will be sorely missed.

U Can't Hear Me (April 8 to 14)

Another intriguing iteration of the Report this week, one dominated once again by sports and media. There are a handful of persistent entries, while a major wrestling event (at the confluence of sports and acting) is responsible for multiple entries, and has slotted itself at the apex. However, there is diversity in the list, introduced by some Google Doodles and /r/TIL entries, which help bolster the report significantly. As such, the report was entertaining to compile and incorporated scouring sports networks, cinemas, and social media alike. I hope it is as entertaining to peruse.

Without further ado, for the week of April 8 to 14, the most popular articles on Wikipedia, as determined from the WP:5000 report were:

Rank Article Class Views Image Notes
1 WrestleMania 34 C-Class article 2,254,753
Rock Rousey WM31.jpg
As promised in last week's report, this week kicked off with WrestleMania on April 8th. Despite WrestleMania 34 having what some are calling the "worst main event in WrestleMania history", for the third year in a row, WrestleMania took the top spot during the week in which it aired.
Symbol arrow up.svg Up 4 spots from last week.
2 A Quiet Place (film) C-Class article 1,995,964
In addition to barely missing out on first place in its second week on this list, this John Krasinski (#17) and Emily Blunt (#20) horror film barely missed out on taking first place in the (arguably less important) box office totals in its second week (losing to #14, Rampage (2018 film)). It may have had the best second weekend ever for a scary movie that wasn't a sequel or based on a book, but I'm still not going to see it. I like to sleep at night.
Symbol arrow down.svg Down 1 spot from last week.
3 Cardi B B-Class article
Cardi B 2016.jpg
It was a good week for Vine and Instagram star-turned-rapper Cardi B. Her debut studio album Invasion of Privacy was released on April 6 and took the top spot on the Billboard 200, she became the first female artist to chart 13 entries simultaneously on Billboard Hot 100, she was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, where she announced her pregnancy, and on April 9 she became the first person to co-host The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
4 2018 Commonwealth Games medal table Start-Class article 1,537,519
Commonwealth of Nations members with territories.png
Lots of people were searching for the 2018 Commonwealth Games this week, but most of all, the question on everyone's mind seemed to be how many medals each country had won.
5 Patrick Reed C-Class article 1,282,256
Augusta National Golf Club, Hole 10 (Camellia) - cropped.jpg
In sports that are the opposite of WrestleMania, the 2018 Masters Tournament was held at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia from April 5–8. Reed won by just one stroke over #18 on this list, Rickie Fowler, earning his first major title.
6 India at the 2018 Commonwealth Games Start-Class article 1,259,010
Ashoka Chakra.svg
Since more people live in India than in all other countries in the Commonwealth of Nations combined, it's no surprise that more people were interested in how India did than any other country in the Commonwealth Games.
7 2018 Commonwealth Games C-Class article 1,222,518
"Too Late!" (1885) - TIMEA.jpg
As mentioned above in #4 and #6 above, the games continued this past week on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. Fans of non-scripted sports will be happy to know that if you add up the pages on this list related to the Commonwealth Games, they got almost twice the views that WrestleMania 34 did.
Symbol arrow up.svg Up 2 spots from last week.
8 Mark Zuckerberg B-Class article 938,727
Mark Zuckerberg - Caricature.jpg
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg testified before the US Senate on April 10 and April 11 about the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data breach. The main conclusions of the testimony seemed to be that most senators have no idea how social media sites work.
9 Glenn Quinn Start-Class article 914,649
Roseanne Logo.svg
ABC successfully revived the sitcom Roseanne last month, but missing from the revival was Mark Healy, the character played by this Irish actor. Quinn died in 2002, and the episode that aired on April 10th ended with a title card dedicating the episode to the "loving memory of Glenn Quinn".
10 Omar Sharif C-Class article 761,404
Omar Sharif 2015.jpg
This Egyptian actor, known for his roles in Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, and Funny Girl, was honored with a Google doodle on April 10th, his 86th birthday.


  • These lists excludes the Wikipedia main page, non-article pages (such as redlinks), and anomalous entries (such as DDoS attacks or likely automated views). Since mobile view data became available to the Report in October 2014, we exclude articles that have almost no mobile views (5–6% or less) or almost all mobile views (94–95% or more) because they are very likely to be automated views based on our experience and research of the issue. Please feel free to discuss any removal on the Top 25 Report talk page if you wish.

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In brief

New user scripts to customise your Wikipedia experience

Latest tech news from the Wikimedia technical community: 2018 #16 & #17. Please tell other users about these changes. Not all changes will affect you. Translations are available on Meta.

  • Recent changes
    • Profiling statistics for an abuse filter tell how often edits match the filter. The statistics for the abuse filters were reset after 10,000 actions. Wikis can now decide to reset it more or less often. They can file a phabricator task to do so. [5]
    • Advanced item Abuse filters will now treat integers and floats more precisely. For example, 5/2 was rounded down to 2 but will now be 2.5 and 2*4 will be the integer 8 and not the floating-point number 8.0. Division values are the only ones changed. For the rest only strict comparisons (=== and !==) will be affected leaving the values unchanged. [6][7]
    • All Wikipedias now have Page Previews.
    • The iOS and Android apps now have synced reading lists. This means you can save articles to a private list that can be seen on your other devices if you use the apps.
    • The icons in the 2010 wikitext editor have changed. [8]
    • The visual editor and the 2017 wikitext ask you to write an edit summary after you press Publish. This button now also shows an ellipsis. This is to show that pressing Publish is not the last step. [9]
  • Future changes
    • The new PDF renderer could not create PDFs from books. Books are in this case collections of pages on a Wikimedia wiki. PediaPress will take over development of the books-to-PDF function. [10]
    • Advanced item Pywikibot will no longer support Python 2.7.2 and 2.7.3. [11]
    • <mapframe> will come to most Wikipedias in May. This means that you can put interactive maps in the articles. Nine Wikipedias that use a strict version of flagged revisions will not get this feature in May. [12]
    • The rollback function could change. This was a German community request. All editors with rollback rights can leave feedback on the proposed solution. The last day to leave feedback is 4 May (UTC).

Rollback, view with confirmation prompt in the diff.png
This is what the rollback confirmation could look like – what do you think?

Installation code

  1. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:The Transhumanist/SearchSuite.js' ); // Backlink: User:The Transhumanist/SearchSuite.js
  2. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:KATMAKROFAN/retroambox.css' ); // Backlink: User:KATMAKROFAN/retroambox.css
  3. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:Bellezzasolo/Scripts/adminhighlighter.js' ); // Backlink: User:Bellezzasolo/Scripts/adminhighlighter.js
  4. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:AnAwesomeArticleEditor/voteSymbolsLite.js' ); // Backlink: User:AnAwesomeArticleEditor/voteSymbolsLite.js
  5. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:Anchorvale/scripts/Sandbox2.js' ); // Backlink: User:Anchorvale/scripts/Sandbox2.js
  6. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:Sam Sailor/Scripts/Sagittarius+.js' ); // Backlink: User:Sam Sailor/Scripts/Sagittarius+.js
  7. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:Lingzhi/reviewsourcecheck.js' ); // Backlink: User:Lingzhi/reviewsourcecheck.js

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GISP2D1837 crop.jpg
An ice core that has been excavated by means of ice drilling

This Signpost "Featured content" report covers material promoted from March 2 through April 20. Text may be adapted from the respective articles and lists; see their page histories for attribution.

Featured articles

27 featured articles were promoted this week.

Droxford Station (27780537330).jpg
Station building Droxford railway station, Droxford, Hampshire
Beta-Hydroxy beta-methylbutyric acid 2.svg
β-Hydroxy β-methylbutyric acid
Hogwarts Express Hogsmeade.jpg
A Hogwarts Express train arriving at Hogsmeade station in Islands of Adventure
Red-tailed Tropicbird RWD2.jpg
A Red-tailed Tropicbird in flight
Un souverain à l'effigie de Georges V.jpg
A British Sovereign
Battle of Warsaw 1705.PNG
A scene from the Battle of Warsaw
University of Washington Station entrance, Aug 2016 (29979336625).jpg
The entrance to University of Washington station, in front of Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington
The pyramid of Neferirkare, with its original step pyramid structure jutting out from underneath the rubble
Moorgate, platform 9 - Geograph-4644899-by-Richard-Vince.jpg
A dead-end tunnel at platform 9, Moorgate station
An Australian army CH-47 Chinook Helicopter lifts a front loader off the flight line at Special Operations Task Force-Southeast's Forward Operating Base Camp Ripley, Tarin Kowt.jpg
An Australian army CH-47 Chinook Helicopter lifts a front loader off the flight line at Special Operations Task Force-Southeast's Forward Operating Base Camp Ripley, Tarin Kowt
Banksia petiolaris2 email.jpg
Banksia petiolaris inflorescence

Featured lists

23 featured lists were promoted this week.

Featured pictures

Four featured pictures were promoted this week.

Reader comments

Images of tripoints in honor of Raising the Flag on the Three-Country Cairn, an iconic photograph taken on 27 April 1945, which was the last day of the Second World War in Finland.

Kolmen valtakunnan rajapyykki 27.4.1945.png
Finnish soldiers raise the war flag at the Three-Country Cairn between Norway, Sweden and Finland (also called Treriksröset)

Beyond this gallery

Many more fine images can be found at List of tripoints.

Reader comments

If articles have been updated, you may need to refresh the single-page edition.