Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)

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The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss already proposed policies and guidelines and to discuss changes to existing policies and guidelines.

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Hi, I was just wondering what the correct template is for signalling articles which have copypasted text from an out of copyright source. This article is a word for word copy from this source, and I'm pretty sure that's not ok, so we must have a template. Boynamedsue (talk) 16:45, 7 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

It is ok, since the source is in the public domain and the text is properly attributed. There are many templates used to attribute the sources being copied, and that article uses one of them (Template:DNB). Firefangledfeathers (talk / contribs) 16:49, 7 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
In the early days, it was considered a good thing to copy articles from the 1911 Encyclopedia Brittanica to fill in the gaps. Donald Albury 17:02, 7 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Many people (not the OP) don't seem to understand the difference between copyright violation and plagiarism. Copyright violation is the copying of copyrighted text with or without attribution against the terms of the copyright licence (with an allowance for "fair use" in nearly all jurisdictions). Plagiarism is the passing off of someone else's work as one's own, whether the work is copyrighted or not. This is not copyright violation, because it is out of copyright, and not plagiarism, because it is properly attributed. Phil Bridger (talk) 17:47, 7 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
So, let me get this straight, are users saying that it is ok to copypaste text from an out of copyright text as long as that text is attributed? This feels very wrong, which wikipolicies allow this?Boynamedsue (talk) 22:19, 7 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
See the content guideline at Wikipedia:Plagiarism. While at least some editors would prefer that such material be rewritten by an editor, there is no prohibition on copying verbatim from free sources; it is allowed as long as proper attribution to the original source is given. Donald Albury 22:39, 7 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think it needs to be done with considerable caution if at all, and it just seems like a less ideal option in almost every case, save for particular passages that are just too hard to rewrite to the same effect. But I think the consensus is that it is allowed. Remsense 01:20, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Copyright has a limited term (though these days, in many countries, a very long one) precisely to allow the work of the past to be built upon to generate new creative works. isaacl (talk) 01:48, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Nothing new is generated when you copy something verbatim. Traumnovelle (talk) 08:43, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Remixing from sampled works is increasingly common. Imitating other people's work is done to learn new styles. Jazz music specifically has a tradition of incorporating past standards into new performances. Critical analysis can be more easily placed in context as annotations. And from an educational standpoint, more people can learn about/read/watch/perform works when the barrier to disseminating them is lessened. What's in copyright today is the source of new widely-spread traditional works in the future. isaacl (talk) 14:44, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Aye, every time you read a poem it's a new translation. If this were Wikiversity, I think there'd actually be a lot of room for interesting experiments remixing\ PD material. Remsense 14:46, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
You wrote a lot but none of it actually addresses what I've said. Traumnovelle (talk) 15:33, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I gave examples of new creative works that have copied past work verbatim. isaacl (talk) 04:11, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Actually, comparing the two, and looking at the edit history, it is not at all true that "...This article is a word for word copy from this source." Much has been changed or rewritten (and many of the spicy bits removed). This is fairly typical for this sort of biography, I would say. Johnbod (talk) 02:48, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes, I was a bit imprecise there, it is the first three to four paragraphs of the life section that are directly lifted word for word. I'm just a little shocked at this as anywhere other than wikipedia this would be classified as gross plagiarism.Boynamedsue (talk) 05:21, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
If it's clearly noted as an excerpt (and not just a reference) I wouldn't feel able to say that. However like I've said above, the number of cases where this would be the best option editorially is vanishingly few for an excerpt of that length. Remsense 05:22, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
(As such, I've explicated the attribution in the footnote itself, not just the list of works.) Remsense 05:37, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • Collecting, copying or reproducing high quality, classic writings on a topic is quite common in publishing. See anthology, for example. Andrew🐉(talk) 20:54, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
That is true, but publishing big chunks of it unchanged as part of a new book under a new name, without specifically stating that this text was written by someone else is not. If you cite someone else, you have to use different language, unless you make it clear you are making a direct quotationBoynamedsue (talk) 21:01, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
But the article does (and did) specifically state that it was written by someone else. Phil Bridger (talk) 21:31, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
It didn't. It cited a source, that is not the same as stating the text was a direct quotation from that source. It now states: "This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain" which is an improvement but does not differentiate between which parts are direct quotes and which use the source properly.Boynamedsue (talk) 21:40, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
That seems very unneeded, as no one is claiming specific authorship of this article, and as the material used for derivation has long been linked to so that one can see what that version said. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 21:50, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Anywhere but wikipedia, passing off someone else's words as your own is plagiarism. The kind of thing that people are rightly sacked, kicked out of universities or dropped by publishers for. This includes situations where a paper is cited but text is copy-pasted without being attributed as a quote.
I'm more than a little shocked by this situation, but if so many experienced editors think that it's ok, there's not much I can do about it.Boynamedsue (talk) 22:00, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
That's because we aren't trying to impress the teacher with our sooper riting skilz. We're providing information to the WP:READER, who isn't supposed to care who wrote what. This is fundamentally a collective effort. Note the tagline is "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" not "By Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". There exist WP:FORKS of Wikipedia where 99.9% of the content is unchanged. Are they plagiarizing us?
An analogy that might help is the stone soup. If you grew the carrots yourself, great! But if you legally gleaned them instead, so what? The soup is still tastier. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 22:27, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yeah, wiki-mirrors are clearly plagiarising wikipedia, even though they are breaking no law. Wikipedia is a collective effort of consenting wikipedians, it is not supposed to be a repository of texts stolen from the dead. That's wikisource's job.Boynamedsue (talk) 22:34, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
A Wikipedia article doesn't proport to be your work. They are a collaborative effort by multiple people. The fact that some of these people are long dead before this text shows up here is irrelevant. If copying from a PD source, you certainly should make it clear where the text is from, but it's not an absolute requirement. Additionally, if a statement of the source wasn't done by the revsion author, it can be done subsequently by anyone else (assuming no blocks or bans forbid this particular person from editing this particular article). Animal lover |666| 15:28, 9 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I don't see why it would be acceptable for it not to be made clear. Once more, there's a distinction between copyvio and plagiarism—the fault with the latter for our purposes broadly being that readers are not adequately made aware of where what they are reading came from. The obvious default assumption of any reader is that they are reading something a Wikipedia editor wrote. Tucked away as it is, there is an edit history that lists each contributing editor. This is not superfluous context to me, it's about maintaining a sane relationship between editors and audience. Even if there's potentially nothing wrong with it divorced from social context, in terms of pure claims and copyright law—we don't live in a media environment divorced from social context, there's no use operating as if we don't meaningfully exist as authors and editors. Remsense 15:34, 9 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
By the way, plagiarizing Wikipedia would be a copyright violation, since Wikipedia texts are released under a license that requires attribution. Same can't be said for PD texts. Animal lover |666| 18:43, 9 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
When EB1911 was published, copyright in the United Kingdom expired seven years after the author's death, so "the dead" would probably just be surprised that it took so long for their work to be reprinted. Wikipedia exists to provide free content, the defining feature of which is that it can be reused by anyone for any purpose (in our case, with attribution). So it shouldn't really be surprising that experienced editors here are generally positive about reusing stuff. – Joe (talk) 19:18, 9 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
The stuff you are claiming is "plagiarized" is getting far better attribution than most of the writing in Wikipedia. Most of the contributing writers get no credit on the page itself, it is all in the edit history. I'm not sure whose writing you think we're passing this off as. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 15:19, 9 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think simply being stated at the bottom is pretty much exactly the level of credit editors get—for me to feel comfortable with it it should be stated inline, which is what I added after the issue was raised. Remsense 15:21, 9 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
To be fair I think the only reason these things tend to be noted with a template at the bottom of the article is that the vast majority of public domain content was imported in the project's early days, as a way of seeding content, and back then inline citations were barely used. – Joe (talk) 19:23, 9 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Uh, what are we going to do, dock their pay? jp×g🗯️ 07:42, 10 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Was thinking more along the lines of tagging the text or reverting, a talkpage message and possibly blocks for recidivists. But like I said earlier, it appears that the consensus is that things are fine how they are. World's gone mad, but what am I off to do about it? Nowt. Boynamedsue (talk) 08:14, 10 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
The text you're worried about was added twelve years ago by a user who that has been blocked for the last eleven years (for, wait for it... improper use of copyrighted content). I think that ship has sailed. – Joe (talk) 08:24, 10 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
There you go, gateway drug.Boynamedsue (talk) 08:27, 10 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I don't think that hypothesis is replicable. Alpha3031 (tc) 09:58, 10 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • There does appear to be a consensus that such works need to be attributed somehow, and despite whatever disagreement there is, the disagreement in substance appears to be how that is done. What we are doing in these instances is republication (which is a perfectly ordinary thing to do), and yes we should let the reader know that is being done, but I'm not seeing a suggestion for changing how we do that. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:53, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    It seems to me that the OP asked a question and got an answer, and discussion since has been extracurricular. Remsense 14:57, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Sure, but the OP does have a point that the more the use of the work looks like our work and not someone else's work, the more it looks like plagiarism. For example, putting a unique sentence in from another's work, and just dropping a footnote, like all the other sentences in our article, is not enough, in that instance you should likely use quotation marks and even in line attribution. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:19, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I think, as with most things, it depends on the situation. Plagiarism is not just the use of words without attribution, but ideas. An idea that has general acceptance might get attributed inline once in an article if it is associated strongly with a specific person or set of persons. But every mention of DNA's double helix doesn't have to be accompanied with an attribution to Watson and Crick. If some info about a person is written up by a reporter in a now public-domain source, for many cases it's probably not too essential to have inline attribution when including that info in an article. If it's something that reporter was known for breaking to the public, then it would be relevant. isaacl (talk) 15:43, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    But that was not the situation being discussed, it was word for word, copying the work. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:48, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Sure; just underscoring that if the concern is plagiarism, it applies more broadly to the restatement of ideas. Rewording a sentence doesn't prevent it from being plagiarism. Even with a sentence being copied, I feel the importance of an inline attribution depends on the situation, as I described. isaacl (talk) 15:55, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Sure, but that is similar a simple phrase alone, like 'He was born.' cannot be copyrighted nor the subject of plagiarism. Now if you use the simple phrase 'He was born.' in a larger poem and someone baldly copies your poem in large part with the phrase, the copyist violated your copyright, if still in force, and they did plagiarize. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:19, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Yes, copying a poem likely warrants inline attribution, so... it depends on the situation. isaacl (talk) 16:24, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    And that's the issue raised, regarding republication on wiki, is it currently enough to address plagiarism. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:35, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I think the need for inline attribution depends in the same way as for content still under copyright. The original question only discussed the copyright status as a criterion. I don't think this by itself can be used to determine if inline attribution is needed. isaacl (talk) 16:43, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    As plagiarism and copyright are two different, if sometimes related, inquiries. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:08, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    >If some info about a person is written up by a reporter in a now public-domain source, for many cases it's probably not too essential to have inline attribution
    It absolutely is essential per WP:V. Traumnovelle (talk) 15:49, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Attribution is required. Inline attribution is not (that is, stating the source within the prose). isaacl (talk) 15:58, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    It still requires sourcing. Traumnovelle (talk) 16:06, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Yes, attribution is sourcing. isaacl (talk) 16:15, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I think, better to distinguish the two. Attribution is explicitly letting the reader know these words, this idea, this structure came from someone else, whereas sourcing is letting the reader know you can find the gist or basis for the information in my words, there. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:16, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    My apologies for being unclear. I was responding to the statement that inline attribution absolutely is essential. Providing a reference for the source of content is necessary. Providing this information within the prose, as opposed to a footnote, is not. isaacl (talk) 19:57, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Certainly, it is possible to put explicit attribution in the footnote parenthetical or in an efn note. (I think your response to this might be , 'it depends' :))Alanscottwalker (talk) Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:18, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I think you might be talking past each other. isaacl is simply stating that WP:V requires attribution, it does not require any particular method of attribution. What method of attribution is preferable in a given place is not a matter for WP:V. Thryduulf (talk) 23:55, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Should be be providing in-line attribution for every sentence on Wikipedia to let the reader know which editor wrote which part of it? Wikipedia isn't an academic paper, as long as we can verify that there are no copyright issues with the content (such as an attribution-required license), attribution doesn't matter. --Ahecht (TALK
    19:32, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Surely there's some reasonable position between "attribution doesn't matter" and "attribute every sentence inline". Remsense 09:06, 14 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Yah, sorry those two extremes certainly don't follow from each other (Nor does the comment you are responding to discuss inline). The guideline is WP:Plagiarism and it does not go to those extremes on either end. (Also, Wikipedia does publically attribute each edit to an editor, and it does not need to be in the article, it is appendixed to the article.) -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:51, 14 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • Around 2006, I reworked a copy-pasted EB1911 biography about a 16th century person, it took me about a week. It has stood the test of time, and remains to this day a pretty good article despite having the same structure and modified sentences. The lead section is entirely new, and there are new sources and section breaks and pictures etc.. but the bulk of it is still that EB1911 article (reworded). I do not see the problem with this. Disney reworked Grimms tales. Hollywood redoes old stories. Sometimes old things are classics that stand the test of time, with modern updates. -- GreenC 16:44, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think everybody is fine with articles which are largely based on a single source when they are reworded. It's not the platonic ideal, but it is a good start. The problem we are discussing is when people don't bother to reword. Well, I say problem, I have been told it's not one, so there's nothing left to say really.--Boynamedsue (talk) 20:06, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
If you actually just reword a source like 1911, you should still use the 1911 template, and no, the thing you have not explained is why the template is not enough. Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:29, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose. This proposal is WP:GREATWRONGS. The article John Leslie, 1st Duke of Rothes is perfectly fine. It does not violate any policy, guideline or consensus. There is nothing objectionable about that article. The proposal to rewrite the article would not improve the article and would result only in disruption. The proposal to put a template on the article solely to disparage the inclusion of public domain content in the article would result only in disruption. It would be disruptive to discuss this proposal further, because this proposal is disruptive, because this proposal is WP:GREATWRONGS. James500 (talk) 18:50, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Huh? There is no proposal. Also, there has long been a template used on the article. Your attempt to shut down discussion is also way, way off, (and your RGW claim is risible). Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:12, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I propose all WP:GREATWRONGS should be righted immediately.Boynamedsue (talk) 20:06, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    WP:IAR! Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:12, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Amongst other things, the OP said that copying public domain text, with the correct attribution, "feels very wrong". James500 (talk) 20:49, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
So, WP:GREATWRONGS is applicable whenever anyone uses the word "wrong"?Boynamedsue (talk) 20:59, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Only when great. -- GreenC 15:44, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose any change to the practice of incorporating public domain content. Wikipedia is not an experiment in creative writing. It is an encyclopedia. It's sole and entire purpose is to convey information to readers. If readers can be informed through the conveyance of text that has entered the public domain, then this should not only be permissible, it should be applauded. BD2412 T 20:52, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Again, there is no proposal to do something different. The OP apparently forgot about things like anthologies and republication of out of copyright (like eg. all of Jane Austin's work, etc), but than when such matter was brought to his attention, retrenched to whether attribution was explicit (which we already do) enough, but has never explained what enough, is proposed. Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:24, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    The proposal was to create a maintenance template that encourages editors to delete all text copied from public domain sources from all Wikipedia articles, even if that text is correctly attributed, simply because it is copied from a public domain source. He actually tried to tag the article with Template:Copypaste (alleging copyright infringement), despite the fact that the content is public domain and was correctly attributed at the time, with the Template:DNB attribution template. James500 (talk) 23:49, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    That's not a proposal, he asked what template is appropriate, and he was given the list of templates at Template:DNB. Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:49, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • oppose the existence of a proposal: I would like to clarify, wherever people think they are seeing a proposal, there isn't one. I asked a question about what tag to use when people plagiarise out of copyright texts. I got an answer I think is stupid and expressed incredulity for a couple of posts. Then, when I realised that people were indeed understanding what I was talking about, said if so many experienced editors think that it's ok, there's not much I can do about it. WP:NOVOTE has never been more literally true, there is nothing to vote on here...Boynamedsue (talk) 04:07, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Support not adding any more bold-face votes. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 04:19, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Alanscottwalker says above that the more the use of the work looks like our work and not someone else's work, the more it looks like plagiarism.

Animal lover says above that A Wikipedia article doesn't proport to be your work. They are a collaborative effort by multiple people. The fact that some of these people are long dead before this text shows up here is irrelevant.

I think this is a difference in how people implicitly view it. The first view says "A Wikipedia article is written by people who type the content directly into the editing window. If your username isn't in the article's history page, then your words shouldn't be in the article. Article content should come exclusively from Wikipedia editors. If it doesn't, it's not really a Wikipedia article. This is our implicit promise: Wikipedia is original content, originally from Wikipedia editors. If it's not original content, it should have a notice to the reader on it to say that we didn't write it ourselves. Otherwise, we are taking credit for work done by someone who is them and not-us in an us–them dichotomy".

The second view says "A Wikipedia article is a collection of text from different people and different places. Where it came from is unimportant. We never promised that the contents of any article came from someone who directly edited the articles themselves. It's silly to say that we need to spam an article with statements that bits and pieces were pasted in from public domain sources. We wouldn't countenance 'written by a random person on the internet' in the middle of article text, so why should we countenance a disclaimer that something was 'previously published by a reliable source'? I don't feel like I'm taking credit for any other editor's article contributions, so why would you think that I'm claiming credit for something copied from a public domain source?"

If you the first resonates strongly with you, then it's shocking to see {{PD-USGov}} and {{EB1911}} content casually and legally inserted into articles without telling the reader that those sentences had previously been published some place else. OTOH, if you hold the opposite view, then the first probably seems quite strange. As this is a matter of people's intuitive feelings about what Wikipedia means, I do not see any likelihood of editors developing a unified stance. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:56, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

This is a reasonable summary of the issue. I think many of those who hold the first view work in or have close ties to fields where plagiarism is considered a very bad thing indeed. Academic and publishing definitions of plagiarism include using the direct words of another writer, even when attributed, unless it is explicitly made clear that the copied text is a direct quotation. For people who hold that view outside of wikipedia, the existence of large quantities of plagiarised text would detract seriously from its credibility and validity as a project.Boynamedsue (talk) 07:07, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I work in publishing, and there is plenty of space there where such specificities are not generally called for. If one is doing an abridged edition, children's edition, or updated version of a book, one credits the work which one is reworking but does not separate out phrase by phrase of what is from that source. Much the same goes, of course, for film adaptations, music sampling, and so on. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 16:28, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think the difference there is that you are giving primary credit to the original author, and your work is voluntarily subsumed into theirs (while of course correctly stating that it is a Children's version or an abridged edition, giving editor credits etc.). In wikipedia, we are taking other people's work and subsuming it into ours.--Boynamedsue (talk) 16:37, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think the dichotomy is useful but I doubt anyone can subscribe to the pure form of either position. If I had to guess, I would assume most editors would agree with most of the sentences in both statements when presented in isolation. Remsense 07:13, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
No. Your characterization is too gross to be useful and your made up dichotomy is just silly. We have those templates precisely because we try to give credit where credit is due, per WP:PLAGIARISM, so there is nothing shocking at all about {{PD-USGov}} and {{EB1911}} content. Sure, there are other ways to do it, than those templates, even so. Plagiarism is not a law, so your reference to the law makes no sense. But what is the law is, Wikipedia has to be written by persons, who can legally licence what they put on our pages, and if you did not write it you can't release it, nor purport to release it nor make it appear you are releasing under your licence, when you can't and you aren't. And Wikipedia does not warrant we offer good information either, in fact Wikipedia disclaims it in our disclaimer, that does not mean Wikipedian's don't care about good information. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:23, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Wikipedia is written by people who freely license their contributions by the act of editing. But, public domain material is already free, does not need to be licensed, and so can be freely added to Wikipedia. Material that has been released under a free license can also be freely added to Wikipedia, subject to the conditions of the license, such as attribution (although we cannot copy material under a license that does not allow commercial use, but that has nothing to do with this discussion). There is no policy, rule, or law that Wikipedia has to be written by persons (although the community currently is rejecting material written by LLMs). Reliable content is reliable whether is written by Wikipedia editors based on reliable sources, or copied from reliable sources that are in the public domain or licensed under terms compatible with usage in Wikipedia. I believe that we should be explicitly citing everything that is in articles, even if I know that will not be happening any time soon. We should, however, be explicitly citing all public domain and freely-licensed content that is copied into Wikipedia, being clear that the content is copied. One of the existing templates or a specific indication in a footnote or in-line citation is sufficient, in my opinion. Donald Albury 14:43, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes, you cannot present it as if you are licencing it (and indeed requiring attribution to you!) which is what you do if just copy the words into an article and don't say, in effect, 'this is not under my licence this is public domain, that other person wrote it.' (Your discussion of LLM's and what not, is just beside the point, you, a person, are copying, not someone else.) And your last point, we are in radical agreement certainly (about letting the reader know its public domain that other person wrote it, and that's what the templates try to do) we are not in a dichotomy, at all. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:28, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Alan, I think your response makes me more certain that my two polar ends are real. You're working from the viewpoint that if it's on the page, and does not contain words like "According to EB1911" outside of a little blue clicky number and outside of the history page, then the editor who put that text there is "purporting" that the text was written by that editor.
There's nothing in the license that requires is to let the reader know that it's public domain or that another person wrote it. You know that a quick edit summary is 100% sufficient for the license requirements, even if nothing in the text or footnotes mentions the source. The story you present sounds like this to me:
  • The license doesn't require attribution for public domain content.
  • Even if it did, it wouldn't require anything more visible than an edit summary saying "Copied from EB1911".
  • So (you assert) there has to be in-text attribution ("According to EB1911, a wedding cake...") or a plain-text statement at the end of the article ("This article incorporates text from EB1911") to the public domain, so the casual, non-reusing reader knows that it wasn't written by whichever editor posted it on the page.
This doesn't logically follow. I suspect that what you've written so far doesn't really explain your view fully. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:44, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
No. Your false dichotomy has already been shown to be of no value. Now you add to your baseless assumptions about clicky numbers and what not. I think that editors add content to Wikipedia under the license (otherwise we would have no license), yet I also think we need to tell the reader that the matter comes from somewhere else, when it comes from somewhere else. None of that should be hard to understand for anyone. (And besides, article histories are not secrets, they are public and publicly tied to text available to the reader and anyone else.) It's just bizarre that you would imagine an unbridgeable void, when basically everyone is saying that a disclosure should be made, and they are only really discussing degrees and forms of disclosure. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:13, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes, a disclosure should be made, and it was made. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:51, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes, indeed, and that is why the discussion is about form. Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:14, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Alan, I don't agree that the spectrum I describe is a false dichotomy, or that anyone has even attempted to show whether it has value, though I gather that you happen to disagree with it.
I don't agree that the CC-BY-SA license requires disclosure of the source of public domain material. I think that's a question for a bunch of lawyers to really settle, but based on my own understanding, it does not. I think that Wikipedia should have such requirements (e.g, in Wikipedia:Public domain, which notably does not mention the CC-BY-SA license as a reason to do so; instead, it says only that this is important for Wikipedia's reliability), but I don't think we have any reason to believe that the license does. This distinction may seem a little like hairsplitting, but if we propose to change our rules about how to handle these things, we should be accurate about what's required for which reasons. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:00, 15 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
It should not take a lawyer to tell you that to grant a licence you first have to have a right, and that you should not be misrepresenting that you have right when you don't. A lawyer can't give you the ability to be honest. You're not proposing to change rules, and indeed there is no proposal here, so that proposal talk of yours is irrelevant at best. (As for your false dichotomy, it is just a figment of your imagination, a useless piece of rhetoric, where you pretend you know what others think.) Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:37, 15 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I agree that to grant a license, you first have to have a right.
However, AIUI, the point of public domain content is that everyone already has the right to use it. Adding a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license to public domain material does not add restrictions to the material. The Creative Commons folks say this: "Creators may also apply Creative Commons licenses to material they create that are adapted from public domain works, or to remixed material, databases, or collections that include work in the public domain."
As far as I'm concerned, they might as well write "Yeah, you can put public domain material straight into a Wikipedia article", as our articles are practically the definition of "remixed material". WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:41, 25 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
How dishonest your statement is, no you don't have a copyright in the public domain, and the first sentence of that article says "CC licenses should not be applied to works in the worldwide public domain." It further advises to "mark public domain material, so that others know they are also free to use this material without legal restriction." Again, no one can give you the ability to be honest. Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:54, 26 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I never said that you have a copyright in the public domain. I said "everyone already has the right to use it [public domain material]".
The context of the sentence you quote is that adding restrictions when the entire work is public domain is legally ineffective. For example:
  • EB1911 is public domain.
  • I put the whole thing on a website with a CC-BY-SA license.
  • Result I can't enforce my claimed rights, because EB1911 is still public domain.
  • EB1911 is public domain.
  • I put one paragraph in the middle of whole page that is not public domain but has a CC-BY-SA license.
  • Result: The page is partially remixed work, and it's legal. The non-public domain parts are still CC-BY-SA, and the one paragraph is still public domain.
You seem to have only a partial quotation of a relevant sentence. The full sentence is "We strongly encourage you to mark the public domain material, so that others know they are also free to use this material without legal restriction." We strongly encourage == not a requirement for the license. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:54, 26 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Would you stop the misdirection, that the CC license should not be applied to public domain work and should be marked as still public when used, so that people are not misled that it has legal restriction, was my point, which you then totally wigged out about. The point is not to be dishonest with readers, that they are misled when you don't let them know its public domain, even when you used it and asserted your licence, as the license is only needed because of your copyright. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:34, 27 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I disagree with your claim that "people" are misled by having a paragraph from EB1911 in the middle of a Wikipedia article, because almost nobody has any idea how the licenses work or how Wikipedia articles get written.
The ones who do know tend to be Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks, and they don't care if there's a public domain paragraph in the middle, because they want the whole thing, not a single paragraph, and they want it automated, which means not looking at the contents line by line.
I disagree with your claim that we need to "let them know its public domain". Also, nothing proposed here, or in any example I've ever seen in discussions on this subject would "let them know its public domain". Spamming "According to the EB1911 entry..." into the middle of an article does not "let them know its public domain". That merely "lets them know that it's a quotation from a different publication". WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:38, 27 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Stop it. No one has suggested putting anything on the middle of the article. You're clearly wrong, the CC people say so. And your clearly wrong about not telling the reader, Wikipedia does it with templates already. Unless your trying to be dishonest, there is no reason not to tell. Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:09, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
You're clearly wrong, the CC people say so. The quotes from CC posted and linked here clearly prove that WAID is not wrong. In a discussion about honesty it is not a good look to repeatedly accuse someone of being dishonest when they are not being so. Tone down the rhetoric and start reading what other people are writing. Thryduulf (talk) 00:44, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
No, the CC people say "mark the public domain material, so that others know they are also free to use this material without legal restriction" when you use the CC license, and the Wikipedia guidelines agree that you should do so and even refers you to templates for that purpose, so WAID is wrong and yes it's a form of dishonesty not to give disclosure when you copy. Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:52, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
As has been pointed out to you already, that is only a partial quote and is misleading. The full quote, from [1] is Creators may also apply Creative Commons licenses to material they create that are adapted from public domain works, or to remixed material, databases, or collections that include work in the public domain. However, in each of these instances, the license does not affect parts of the work that are unrestricted by copyright or similar rights. We strongly encourage you to mark the public domain material, so that others know they are also free to use this material without legal restriction.
"We strongly encourage you to mark..." is not a requirement, but a recommendation.
Further, the CC website states {{tpq|CC licenses have a flexible attribution requirement, so there is not necessarily one correct way to provide attribution. The proper method for giving credit will depend on the medium and means you are using, and may be implemented in any reasonable manner. Additionally, you may satisfy the attribution requirement by providing a link to a place where the attribution information may be found.[2]
The templates you refer to in your 00:09 comment do not identify which content is available in the public domain, merely that some material was incorporated into the article in some way. It may or may not (still) be present in a form that is public domain. Thryduulf (talk) 01:50, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
There is nothing misleading about it, the CC still say "mark the public domain" material when you use the license and it says why, to let the reader know. And the templates still mark it as public domain material. Alanscottwalker (talk) 02:00, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
When someone presents evidence of you misleadingly selectively quoting, and you double down on the misleading selective quoting, twice, it is very difficult to continue assuming good faith. Thryduulf (talk) 02:05, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
You presented no such evidence, you proved what I said is true, the CC people are the ones who say when you use the license mark the public domain, indeed you admitted they said it, when you said it's their recommendation. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 02:11, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
"Mark it" sounds like the Imperative mood. What they actually said is "We strongly encourage you to mark", which is not the imperative mood. "We strongly encourage you to" means "but it's optional, and you don't have to". WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:56, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
That's irrelevant. The salient point is the same, marking is still something one should do, indeed they feel strongly about it. And as Wikipedia agrees in its guidance, its what Wikipedia indeed does and tries to do. Doubtful that's just coincidence, it is how responsible actors, act in this regard of good practice with CC licenses, strongly so. Alanscottwalker (talk) 09:43, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
But we don't do what they recommend. They want something like:
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.[public domain]
Editors here are saying that they want either "According to EB1911..." at the start of the sentence (which doesn't tell the re-user anything about the material being public domain) or they want {{EB1911}} at the end of the page (which doesn't tell the re-user which material is public domain). Neither of our standard practices actually follow the CC lawyer's optional recommendation. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:20, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
No, the CC people don't actually advise on how to mark, and again irrelevant, even if they did say there was another way to mark, we do do then what they recommend at least in spirit, because we are in accord with them that's it is something one should do. (And whomever these other editors are you wish to respond to, you should take up with them). -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:21, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The CC FAQ page says We strongly encourage you to mark the public domain material. It does not say "We strongly encourage you to mark that some unidentified portion of the licensed work contains public domain material". WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:47, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The CC FAQ page says there is flexibility in the how of all attribution, and that's not advice on how because they don't know what you are writing. Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:13, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
CC says marking public domain parts of a work is encouraged but not required.
CC says attribution methods can be flexible.
Alanscottwalker says just dropping a footnote, like all the other sentences in our article, is not enough
Alanscottwalker says if you did not write it you can't release it, nor purport to release it nor make it appear you are releasing under your licence
Alanscottwalker says you cannot present it as if you are licencing it
Alanscottwalker says the CC license should not be applied to public domain work and should be marked as still public when used, so that people are not misled that it has legal restriction
One of These Things (Is Not Like the Others)? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:07, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

1) WhatamIdoing takes that out of context, and all of what I said in that full remark is usual and unsurprising, eg., the use of quotation marks for quotes is common, don't you know, that's why quotation marks basically exist. Besides, when we correctly use the PD footnote template that is more than a usual footnote.

2) WhatamIdoing already agrees you can't release what you do not own, which is a thing that is universally acknowledged by everyone. It naturally follows, in honesty you should tell them it is PD, not your license.

3 and 4) That's why you mark it PD, per Wikipedia guidelines and CC advice, there are different ways to mark it PD, including in using the footnote template and the endnote template but sure there are other ways (and anodyne exploring various ways was what the conversation could have been until WhatamIdoing derailed it with a false dichotomy of an unbridgeable gap, and got overwrought when one said telling them it is PD is what you should do in CC situations) . -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:18, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

  • Wikipedia:Attribution seems very clear that all material that is knowing used from another source should be attributed, though how that attribution is done varies by scenario. That would mean knowing pulling from PD material in whole without providing attribution to the PD source is a violation. This doesn't mean we cannot wholesale use content from PD sources as if it were a whole article but that source should be named somewhere - that could be a talk page header, it could be a statement in an edit summary, it doesn't necessarily need to be a footnote on the mainspace article page. --Masem (t) 13:52, 27 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    That's fair as far as that page goes but the particular guideline is WP:FREECOPY, which is somewhat more emphatic -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:40, 27 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I wonder whether Wikipedia:Plagiarism#Copying material from free sources should be in Wikipedia:Plagiarism at all. Marking the copyright status of a paragraph has nothing to do with plagiarism. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:41, 27 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Sure it does, as with not doing plagiarism, its handling material honestly, and handling is telling the reader. Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:17, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I'm wondering whether the sections about copyright information should be in Wikipedia:Copyrights. For example, the Wikipedia:Plagiarism#Copying within Wikipedia section might fit better in Wikipedia:Copyrights#Re-use of text; Wikipedia:Copyrights#Re-use of text could go in Wikipedia:Copyrights#Using copyrighted work from others.
    I don't think that copyright is primarily a matter of honesty; it is a matter of legality. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:01, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Fits fine where it is, various ways, and use cases of telling the reader where the words they are reading are coming from, and is about being upfront with the reader, not taking unearned credit, not misleading the reader. So yes, honesty. Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:03, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    It is kind of a fantasy to think that, to the average reader, "credit" is being considered at all. Yes, we maintain the edit history of every article, but the typical reader is here to learn something about a subject, not to look for claims of who wrote what part of it. Taken to the extreme, of course, a requirement to provide attribution for everything in the public domain would mean that we would not be able to use any individual word in the English language without noting where that word was coined. BD2412 T 21:55, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I can see cases when the material presents subjective or questionable claims, or if we started to present out of copyright fiction as fact. I could numerous issues if we took a piece of medical journalism from the 19th century and present it as an encyclopedic piece without attribution. A straight forward biography in the PD of someone long dead is far less a problem. Masem (t) 22:51, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Notifying Wikiprojects and WP:CANVASS


This issue has disrupted multiple threads on unrelated issues, so I figure I should raise it at a nice central location where we can hash it out once and for all:

Is notifying the relevant Wikiprojects to a discussion ever a violation of WP:CANVASS?

(My position is no, it's not, but I'll save the argumentation for later.) Loki (talk) 02:02, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

It can be, if the Wikiproject is unrepresentative of the broader community. There are several ARBCOM principles relevant to this, including:

The determination of proper consensus is vulnerable to unrepresentative participation from the community. Because of the generally limited number of editors likely to participate in any given discussion, an influx of biased or partisan editors is likely to generate an improper illusion of a consensus where none (or a different one) would exist in a wider population.


While it is acceptable to notify other editors of ongoing discussions, messages that are written to influence the outcome rather than to improve the quality of a discussion may be considered disruptive. In particular, messages to fora mostly populated by a biased or partisan audience — especially when not public — are considered canvassing and disrupt the consensus building process by making participation lopsided.

No exception is made for if the forum is organized as a Wikiproject; an influx of biased or partisan editors is an issue regardless of whether they came from a non-representative Wikiproject or another non-representative forum.
WP:CANVASS says the same thing; it forbids notifications to a partisan audience, and makes it clear that WP:APPNOTE does not create exceptions to these rules; Do not send inappropriate notices, as defined in the section directly below, and do not send messages to users who have asked not to receive them.
It's important to note that most Wikiprojects are representative and non-partisan; our rules on canvassing only affect a very small number, and even those are only partisan on some topics within their area of interest and can be notified without issue on the rest. BilledMammal (talk) 02:09, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I have only a few short things to say:
1. The idea of a "partisan Wikiproject" is ridiculous. If such a thing existed, it would be WP:NOTHERE and get booted.
2. A Wikiproject tending to vote a particular way is not the same thing as a partisan Wikiproject: consider for instance a vote about whether evolution should be treated as true where everyone from WP:BIOLOGY and half of all other editors voted the same way while half of all other editors did (and assuming these groups are roughly balanced). In this case, the Wikiproject members are clearly in keeping with the global consensus and it's a minority of non-members that aren't.
3. The line in WP:APPNOTE that you're quoting was added only about a year ago with little discussion on the talk page. You are in fact one of the people who advocated adding it.
4. Both those lines from ArbCom that you're quoting come from the same case which was about a secret and partisan outside forum. Neither even contemplates the idea of notifications on Wikipedia being canvassing. Loki (talk) 02:32, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
We've had a long history of issues with partisan Wikiprojects, recently for example WikiProject Roads which became so hyper-partisan that it ended up forking rather than complying with policy and guideline when all their attempts to destroy those policies and guidelines failed. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 13:59, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
If a WikiProject is so problematic/"partisan" that it is causing significant issues and vote brigading, it needs to be taken to Arbcom. A project cannot be considered problematic by definition without at the very least community input through ANI, but preferably an Arbcom case. Curbon7 (talk) 21:50, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
No, it isn't. I have been accused of selective notification for notifying Wikiproject Quebec about an RfC concerning a Quebec premier, while not notifying other provincial wikiprojects, which is ridiculous. Anyway, the correct solution to perceived imbalances in notifications is always to notify more editors through various means of mass notification; it is never to accuse editors using these mandated channels of "canvassing" - the latter is what is disruptive, IMO.
And concerning BilledMammal's comment on this, the idea that any WikiProject would be a biased or partisan audience is set out here without any shred of evidence. Nor is there any evidence that Arbcom or INAPPNOTE had these public, on-wiki fora in mind when cautioning against partisanship. The fact is that Wikiprojects concern topics, not ideologies (whether on-wiki or off-wiki ideologies) so if you want to be informed on a topic where you disagree with the opinions of the most active contributors, the sensible thing has always been to join the wikiproject or at least to follow its page for updates.
Just for emphasis: accusing editors of bias because they belong to or notify wikiprojects is itself a violation of WP:NPA and disruptive. When I was accused of bias and canvassing for notifying Wikiproject Quebec, I felt both hurt and falsely accused - that is, once I was finished laughing at the absurdly false assumptions the accusation implied concerning my views about nationalism. Newimpartial (talk) 02:18, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

the idea that any WikiProject would be a "biased or partisan audience" is set out here without any shred of evidence.

As I understand it, the intent of this discussion is to determine whether it is theoretically possible for a Wikiproject to be unrepresentative or mostly populated by a biased or partisan audience and thus inappropriate to notify.
Whether any specific Wikiproject is unrepresentative or mostly populated by a biased or partisan audience is a different question that can be addressed elsewhere. BilledMammal (talk) 02:23, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I don't see the question posed in this section as whether it is theoretically possible for a Wikiproject to be biased and notifying it to be canvassing; I think the relevant question is whether this is a practical or relevant concern. What matters isn't the theoretical (how many angels can fit on the head of a pin) but rather the practical (is there an angel on the head of my pin, and if so, does it give me an unfair advantage in discussions to determine consensus of the community on a topic).
What is clearly the case is that these kind of accusations - claims that specific wikiprojects are partisan (always without evidence; always a "theoretical" concern) and that notfiying them is therefore partisan - have had real, and unmistakable toxic effects on-wiki. These effects have included individual editors feeling attacked and misunderstood, and also community time wasted on dramaboards, and to my knowledge the community has not reached consensus that any wikiproject notification was ever canvassing, though efforts have been (correctly) made to ensure that editors having differing perspectives on issues are also notified.
In any event, there is a clear and present cost to the community thanks to toxic discussion when certain editors insist on retaining the accusation of "canvassing by notifying partisan wikiprojects" within their arsenal. Given this evident pain point, it seems clear to me that the onus is on those holding this belief to present evidence that it is a real, not theoretical, possibility. Otherwise we are dragging down the level of civility in the community and wasting the time of editors and administrators just because certain editors believe they ought to be able to make a certain argument - even though, to the best of my knowledge, the community has never reached consensus that this argument was ever borne out in an actual situation on-wiki. Newimpartial (talk) 02:55, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

always without evidence; always a "theoretical" concern

That's not accurate; the discussions that Loki linked as provoking this discussion included evidence. However, I won't go into it here, both because I don't want to derail this discussion with talk of specific WikiProjects and because you are topic banned and thus can't engage with the evidence. BilledMammal (talk) 02:59, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Before this is closed, I wanted to clarify that when I said, to my knowledge the community has not reached consensus that any wikiproject notification was ever canvassing, I was referring to the act of issuing an appropriately worded, neutral notification to a Wikiproject. Issuing a non-neutral notification, whether to a wikiproject or a dramaboard, can of course be canvassing. The fairly extensive contributions made to this discussion have confirmed my opinion that a neutrally-worded notification to a wikiproject is never canvassing, and that the solution to selective notifications (e.g., concerning Israel-Palestine issues) is always to notify more editors, bringing in diverse views from other relevant projects or through centralized boards. I don't think this is applied Neutonian physics, here. Newimpartial (talk) 14:29, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Agreed with @Gnomingstuff. While I don't deny there have been legitimate and serious issues with canvassing, canvassing is slowly becoming Wikipedia's Stop the Steal. By that I mean, it's a accusation freely thrown out by someone when their idea loses at a !vote or is suddenly drowned out by opposing ideas. The obvious intent is to try for an appeal by mass discrediting any opposing opnion, rather than accept their idea might might have been an unpopular one. So any policy changes, IMHO, should be to clarify what is and is not canvassing and not introduce more confusion and open more doors for appeals and lawyering when ones proposal isn't suceeding.Dave (talk) 14:10, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Theres no such thing as a WikiProject being "unrepresentative", literally any editor can watchlist any WikiProject's talk page. I watchlist, for example: Wikipedia:WikiProject Arab world, Wikipedia:WikiProject Baseball, Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography, Wikipedia:WikiProject Egypt, Wikipedia:WikiProject Human rights, Wikipedia:WikiProject Islam, Wikipedia:WikiProject Israel, Wikipedia:WikiProject Israel Palestine Collaboration, Wikipedia:WikiProject Jewish history, Wikipedia:WikiProject Judaism, Wikipedia:WikiProject Palestine, Wikipedia:WikiProject Syria, Wikipedia:WikiProject Terrorism, Wikipedia:WikiProject United States courts and judges. Any notification to any of those I would see. Now there are times where notifying only specific WikiProjects that have an intended audience may be an issue, like only notifying WikiProject Palestine about some discussion also relevant to WikiProject Israel, but notifying WikiProjects that have within their scope whatever is under discussion is not canvassing. nableezy - 02:31, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Theres no such thing as a WikiProject being "unrepresentative", literally any editor can watchlist any WikiProject's talk page.

They can, but the possibility that they can doesn't mean the forum isn't unrepresentative if they don't. Consider a hypothetical; lets pretend that 90% of people affiliated (watchlisting, members, etc) with Wikipedia:WikiProject Israel are pro-Israel in relation to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Clearly, it would be unrepresentative, and a WP:CANVASS violation to notify unless there is an equally unrepresentative forum in the opposite direction that is also notified (perhaps Wikipedia:WikiProject Palestine).
To be clear, I'm not saying either of these are unrepresentative or mostly populated by a biased or partisan audience; I haven't looked into either of them, and am only using them for the sake of example. BilledMammal (talk) 02:38, 28 May 2024 (UTC) Edited 02:51, 28 May 2024 (UTC) to clarifyReply
If something is not relevant to WikiProject Palestine, like say an article on some random company in Tel Aviv, then notifying WikiProject Israel and not WikiProject Palestine would be totally fine. If something is relevant to both, then only notifying one would be an issue. I literally just said, in the comment you are replying to, there are times where notifying only specific WikiProjects that have an intended audience may be an issue, like only notifying WikiProject Palestine about some discussion also relevant to WikiProject Israel. But the idea that a page that any and every registered user can watchlist can be a target for canvassing is silly. I guarantee you "pro-Israel" users watchlist WikiProject Palestine, and "pro-Palestine" users watchlist WikiProject Israel. If the notification itself is neutral, it isnt a CANVASSING violation to post to a WikiProject about a discussion in its scope. nableezy - 02:43, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
This is similar to how I feel about it too: there are times when notifying only certain Wikiprojects says bad things about the notifier's intent, but I don't think there's ever a time where notifying only certain Wikiprojects ever causes provably skewed results.
(Furthermore, not notifying the relevant Wikiprojects is often also suspicious in this way. Sometimes it smacks of not wanting a decision to be scrutinized by people who regularly edit in the topic area.) Loki (talk) 02:48, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
You previously discussed your point of view regarding partisan WikiProjects at Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)/Archive 49 § Modifications to CANVASS, and it didn't get much support. As I said then, WikiProjects are just groups of editors sharing a common interest and working together to further the goals of Wikipedia, usually by working on various initiatives. Most of them are oriented around a content area, and thus attract the knowledgeable editors in that area. Notifying the corresponding WikiProjects for related content areas is considered to be a neutral way of reaching the interested editors who are best able to bring greater context to a decision. It's not partisan to be interested in a content area.
There can be groups that, by their nature, have self-selected a set of editors with a specific position on some issue, and thus its members are more prone to make partial arguments for that position. If someone set up WikiProject solely to vote in favour of removing all foreign language names from English Wikipedia articles, for example, then notifying it would result in vote-stacking. However the community has dealt with this by reaching a consensus that the group's purpose is counter to the best interests of the overall project and disbanding the group. isaacl (talk) 03:20, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • There have been issues relating to very cliquey Wikiprojects/similar pages. Not a huge number but hard to say "ever". The question says "the relevant Wikiprojects", which is plural, while I assume the issue is usually with a relevant Wikiproject. The common practice of simply notifying all Wikiprojects on the talkpage, with a neutral message the same across all notifications, works fine in the vast majority of cases. CMD (talk) 02:46, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    The question at issue here was originally sparked by someone notifying the relevant Wikiproject and all people on the talk page about an AFD for an essay closely related to LGBT issues. The assertion by some editors for deletion, including the person who started the AFD in the first place, was that WP:LGBT was biased such that notifying them at all, even in combination with a group of editors including some editors known specifically to oppose the existence of the page, was canvassing. Loki (talk) 02:52, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • No, the only thing that would make a Wikiproject notification a violation of WP:CANVASS is if the notification itself was done in a POV manner, such as calling for everyone at the Wikiproject to vote a certain way. Or you might get called out if it was, say, an RfC on a religious topic and the only Wikiproject you notified was Wikiproject Atheism. Though the solution to such a case is just to notify the other relevant Wikiprojects, which anyone can do. The only other case I can think of that would get you some side-eye and comments is if you were notifying Wikiprojects that very clearly had nothing to do with the topic at hand, such as if it was a Biology RfC and you went and notified Wikiproject Football. Though that would less be canvassing and more just...confusion. SilverserenC 03:08, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    FYI, notifying WikiProject Football about a Biology RfC would violate WP:CANVASS; see Spamming and excessive cross-posting. BilledMammal (talk) 03:11, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • No, notifying relevant Wikiprojects about a discussion does not in itself constitute violate WP:CANVASS. To be frank, some of the claims that it does have seemed to necessarily—whether the users writing such claims intend it or not—involve prejudicial assessments, such as the presumption that WP:LGBT is somehow inappropriately 'partisan' in a way contrary to Wikipedia's purpose because—why, honestly? Because of a presumption that the project draws in LGBT editors, and on top of that a presumption that LGBT editors are inappropriately 'partisan' about LGBT-related topics compared to cisgender and heterosexual editors? I really don't see how this claim, either in the abstract or in context, doesn't inevitably hinge on prejudicial presumptions about editors that violate the wmf:Policy:Universal Code of Conduct's tenets about collegiality, good citizenship, and creating a pleasant and safe space for participants. Hydrangeans (she/her | talk | edits) 06:32, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • Notifying a WikiProject cannot ever be a serious canvassing problem, since it's open, widely broadcast message. The issue usually is that some people sitting on a favoured WP:LOCALCON get upset at the extra attention it brings. Bon courage (talk) 07:36, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I think I've seen that happen. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 07:41, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • No, the basic assumption is IMO that Wikiprojects can be watched by all kinds of people. Hopefully several of them do so because of a general interest in the topics that can pop up, and not out of a desire to promote whatever every chance they get. Some projects are pretty close to various CTOPS, like Israel/Palestine, India/Pakistan and FTN, but that is still my basic assumption. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 07:40, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • In general and in principle, no; but in practice, in the past, certain WikiProjects have been problematic and hard to deal with. For example, Wikipedia:WikiProject Pornography fought a long and historically successful campaign to have their own SNG for pornstars, which allowed sources that weren't independent. The fighting went on for years until the SNG was finally deprecated in 2019 after this RfC; subsequently most of the pornstar "biographies" that Wikipedia used to host got deleted on the grounds that they didn't contain any biographical information at all. Porn performers' names, dates of birth, nationalities, families and career history outside porn are understandably kept quiet, so all the information we had on these people was pure kayfabe. And for another example, although the Article Rescue Squadron isn't a problematic WikiProject, it's certainly had its share of problematic members leading to various tedious Arbcom cases. I think that what history tells me is that where a WikiProject has started to develop their own groupthink and begun to diverge from mainstream Wikipedian thought, then we're going to have a problem; and people getting unhappy about notifying that WikiProject about discussions can be an early symptom of that problem starting to be noticed. To the best of my knowledge, there aren't any WikiProjects at that stage at the moment, but it's worth keeping an eye on.—S Marshall T/C 07:47, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • The Article Rescue Squadron also came to my mind, but that was because how it partially operated historically - a few users were using it to try and vote-stack AfDs with the goal of keeping articles rather than engaging with the arguments for and against deletion and/or improving the article. It took effort but those users were dealt with and that problem has passed. The groups current focus on improving important articles that would otherwise be at risk of deletion is unproblematic. So yes, partisan WikiProjects is a theoretical problem, but unless the OP or anyone else has any actual evidence of WikiProjects attempting to distort consensus then there is no issue here. Members of a WikiProject sharing an opinion is not itself evidence of anything untoward.
    An editor selectively notifying only some relevant WikiProjects is correctly dealt with by neutrally notifying the other WikiProjects, and, if necessary, separately engaging in dispute resolution regarding that editor. Similarly an editor notifying unrelated projects and/or making non-neutral notifications is an issue with that editor. These are not evidence of a problem with notifying WikiProjects generally or with notifying specific WikiProjects in particular. TL;DR neutral notifications to relevant WikiProjects is almost never canvassing. Thryduulf (talk) 08:56, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I think there are cleaner examples. ARS' purpose was to find promising candidates for a WP:HEY response, so it's reasonable for them to talk about current AFDs, even if it did have some problems. Similarly, I think it's usually fair to notify Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard about disputes involving fringe-y subjects, even though the dominant POV there is decidedly anti-fringe.
    In other cases, the only possible connection is that you happen to know this group has an opinion. For example, editors should not notify Wikipedia:WikiProject Composers about proposals to change Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Infoboxes, because that group has a history of disputes over infoboxes in "their" articles, and because if you were interested in infoboxes, you would probably not know that. A page about musicians is not an obvious place to look for information about infoboxes. However, it would be fine to notify Wikipedia:WikiProject Infoboxes, because it's an obvious page for anyone interested in infoboxes to be watching. Regardless of whether you are pro- or anti- or something else, and regardless of whether you were actively participating or silently lurking, if you wanted to be involved in infoboxes, you would expect to get infobox-related messages there. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:04, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • No. Notifying Wikiprojects is generally fine, and not prohibited as a purpose of projects is to provide all kinds of notice, neutral wording of the notice is key, though. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:25, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • Yes. Suppose a project -- let's say it's astronomy -- has people who are used to what's in specialized teaching or publications. Pinging them when the issue is what's best for the general reader -- let's say it's whether to capitalize Universe -- can tilt WP:MOSCAP talks. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 12:52, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    No, we absolutely want editors familiar with a topic to participate in a discussion. You seem to be saying that editors that are familiar with a topic will be less interested in what is best for the encyclopedia than editors who are not familiar with the topic. Assume good faith until proven otherwise. Donald Albury 13:51, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I didn't say what you claim I "seem" to have said. Try AGF yourself. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 17:17, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    To the question, Is notifying the relevant Wikiprojects to a discussion ever a violation of WP:CANVASS?, you responded "yes", and then said, Suppose a project -- let's say it's astronomy -- has people who are used to what's in specialized teaching or publications. Pinging them when the issue is what's best for the general reader -- let's say it's whether to capitalize Universe -- can tilt WP:MOSCAP talks. How am I supposed to interpret that to mean something other than you are opposed to pinging a project because its participants may have specialized knowledge and would therefore "tilt" (I presume the "wrong" way) the discussion. Can you rephrase your answer to make it clearer to me? - Donald Albury 17:38, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I will rephrase the words "Try AGF yourself." thus: You said I "seem to be saying that editors that are familiar with a topic will be less interested in what is best for the encyclopedia than editors who are not familiar with the topic" -- which would be an aspersion against my esteemed fellow editors, so you're making a conduct accusation. Then you suggest I try AGF. I'm hopeful that others didn't interpret my remark as aspersion or lack of AGF, perhaps because they can't read any such thing in them, perhaps because they can read WP:MOSFAQ. I won't engage further with you about this, unless you take it to WP:ANI. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 21:35, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I had a similar interpretation of what your original statement meant. I think this would have been more productive if you'd simply replied "That isn't what I meant; what I meant was..." I still don't know what you meant. Schazjmd (talk) 22:03, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I too thought you meant editors that are familiar with a topic will be less interested in what is best for the encyclopedia than editors who are not familiar with the topic when you said Pinging [people who are used to what's in specialized teaching or publications] when the issue is what's best for the general reader -- let's say it's whether to capitalize Universe -- can tilt WP:MOSCAP talks.. You have since stated that that is not what you meant, but you haven't stated what you did mean. Given I misunderstood the first time, I do not think my guessing again is likely to result in my getting the right answer so I will refrain from speculating. Thryduulf (talk) 22:23, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    That's polite of you. Well, I pointed to WP:MOSFAQ so you know the idea is that Although Wikipedia contains some highly technical content, it is written for a general audience. While specialized publications in a field, such as academic journals, are excellent sources for facts, they are not always the best sources for or examples of how to present those facts to non-experts. When adopting style recommendations from external sources, the Manual of Style incorporates a substantial number of practices from technical standards and field-specific academic style guides; however, Wikipedia defaults to preferring general-audience sources on style, especially when a specialized preference may conflict with most readers' expectations, and when different disciplines use conflicting styles. This sort of argument actually did arise in the series of universe|Universe discussions, and I remember an astronomer participant suggested magazines like Astronomy or Sky and Telescope weren't scientific journals, thinking that mattered. I have a vaguer recollection that the WP:CONLEVEL words ("... participants in a WikiProject cannot decide that some generally accepted policy or guideline does not apply to articles within its scope.") appeared when another project group thought their rules should apply within their project's articles, but that's not what I had in mind, I was only thinking about and mentioning capitalization of Universe, where I believed that specifically addressing those people would not be addressing representatives of the broader community, and subject expertise is not contested but it's about style not subject. And yes ngrams came up too, and I see that you mentioned a case (maybe a WP:MOSCAPS thread about something in French?) where subject expertise was helpful, ngrams were not. But I believe that in the case I brought up the opposite was true. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 14:49, 29 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Thank you, that was very helpful. I agree that it's important to have some sort of feedback to stay connected with the general reader, and I wouldn't want our running text to read like an Auguſtan newſpaper, with Words random'ly Capitaliſed. On the other hand, the improvement to the reader in clarity, meeting "expectations", etc. for MOSCAPS standardizations like the one mentioned, seems to me about epsilon. If these style confrontations significantly deter motivated editors from improving the encyclopedia, it is a net loss to us in terms of how much the general reader is actually able to learn from the encyclopedia in the future. This isn't intended as a declaration that "the WikiProject is always right"; just a reflection that our standing assumption that "the WikiProject is always wrong" may not actually further the goals of the encyclopedia. Choess (talk) 01:19, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    There was an issue related to this with capitalisation in the rail transport area a while back. In at least instance the MOS-focused editors had not understood that the same 3-4 word term was being used as common noun in one context and as a proper noun in another context meaning things like ngrams were not relevant (as they have no context). This is not something that would be obvious to most non-specialists but is clear to those knowledgeable about the topic area. Subject-specialist knowledge is, in many discussions, important context required to reach the correct decision - whether that decision is to follow specialist conventions or not. Thryduulf (talk) 15:02, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    This touches on something that's puzzled me for years. When a group of editors who are principally interested in interpreting policies & guidelines come into conflict with a group of editors, like a WikiProject, with some subject-matter expertise, we default to treating the latter as parochial fanboys. But it's not clear why this should be so in a broad moral sense: the P&G interpreters are not typically a larger or less hyperfocused group than a WikiProject. I think we tend to assume that because the community at large has ratified P&Gs to embody broadly-agreed upon principles, every statutory interpretation that invokes those P&Gs for a specific case enjoys the same level of broad community support. I'm not convinced that accurately describes the sentiments of the community, though. Choess (talk) 05:01, 29 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I agree. There is a tendency among some (but not all) p&g interpreters to assume that disagreement of their interpretation is disagreement with the policy/guideline rather than disagreement with their interpretation. In the rail transport area this has on multiple occasions manifested itself with sometimes heated accusations about disliking/objecting to/ignoring community consensus regarding e.g. capitalisation of common nouns when the actual disagreement was whether a given term was a common or proper noun. Thryduulf (talk) 07:43, 29 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • No, neutrally notifying a WikiProject about a discussion clearly within its subject matter is always permissible. It would not be at all helpful, for example, to prohibit notifying WP:MED on the basis that its members are more diligent about applying WP:MEDRS than the average Wikipedian, and thus "partisan". WikiProjects fundamentally are places where editors can be notified of discussions and editing opportunities related to a subject area. If a WikiProject can't reliably be notified of discussions within its subject area, it can't meaningfully function. It would be fairer to take any allegedly problematic WikiProjects to MfD rather than to try and place restrictions that would allow them to exist in name but not function.--Trystan (talk) 13:44, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • No, the idea that we should view people with an interest in a topic as being a biased set rather than an informed set is to speak against the value of knowledge. An informed person is of more value in a relevant discussion; we want the deletion discussion of the Smoking cures broken legs AFD to have more interest from those interested in Wikipedia's medical coverage in general and not just those who found themselves part of making such a page. The fact that the medical editors will not come up with the same view as whatever other editors choose to involve themselves in that discussion is a plus, not a problem. The idea that we can contact Wikiprojects only if they will respond in the exact same ratio as other editors would make contacting Wikiprojects pointless as it would have no impact on the results. The idea that Wikiprojects having an informed POV makes them a problem would suggest dismantling the entire Wikiproject system. Selectively notifying Wikiprojects with the intent of skewing results is a problem, but notifying all the obviously related Wikiprojects is not. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 16:24, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • No, I don't believe there's partisan wikiprojects to the extent that notifying the relevant ones is canvassing. In obvious cases (i.e. only notifying WP:ISRAEL for a dicussion about the Second Intifada) selective notifications could be a sign of canvassing, but properly performed WP notifications are not canvassing. AlexandraAVX (talk) 16:48, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Or at least attempted canvassing. It seems probable all kinds of editors would watch something like WP:ISRAEL. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 17:05, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Agreed. AlexandraAVX (talk) 17:07, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Another example is if we are discussing whether Foo (film) or Foo (train) is a primary topic or if Foo should be a dab. Notifying Wikiproject Film but not WikiProject Trains might seem unfair. However, I agree that 99% of notifications to projects do not constitute canvassing. Certes (talk) 17:17, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • Only if the notification does not meet WP:APPNOTE or is to a project which attempts to enforce a WP:LOCALCONSENSUS. If it is the former, rephrase; if it is the latter, focus on the local consensus-enforcement bit. ~~ AirshipJungleman29 (talk) 18:56, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    The contention I'm trying to argue against here is that there are some projects that are biased such that notifying them at all would not meet WP:APPNOTE. So, could you please rephrase? Loki (talk) 13:08, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    If there are projects that are so biased that a neutral notification about a topic relevant to their topic area would not meet APPNOTE then the Community needs to have a serious discussion (I guess at AN(I)) about that the problems with it and/or the relevant participants can be resolved. I'm not currently aware of any such groups, but if you are then please present the evidence. If you haven't got any such evidence, then please refrain from casting aspersions. Thryduulf (talk) 13:14, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Please read more carefully: the contention I'm trying to argue against here Loki (talk) 15:36, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    My apologies. Thryduulf (talk) 18:40, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    No problem! Loki (talk) 19:31, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • Is notifying the relevant Wikiprojects to a discussion ever a violation of WP:CANVASS? No. Can the language of such a notification be canvassing? Yes. Can there be disagreement about which projects are "relevant"? Sure, but I don't see a way to avoid case-by-case determinations of that. All of this said, it's not impossible that a project could function like a canvassing club, but that would need lots of evidence and again should be handled on a case-by-case basis. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 23:15, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • WikiProjects are an accepted option for dispute resolution per the policy Wikipedia:Dispute resolution § Related talk pages or WikiProjects. Some issues would be if the notification is phrased in a non-neutral way, or if only a subset of reasonably relevant projects were notified. —Bagumba (talk) 09:46, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • No, and saying "yes" is, inadvertently or on purpose, helping along years' worth of reputation laundering of the deletion crusades waged by like 10 editors against topics covered by certain WikiProjects -- cricket players, football players, roads, I'm probably missing a few -- by creating consensus for reasonable, unobjectionable-sounding policies and/or against scary-sounding straw men like "partisan bias." The idea is to make it easier to do this stuff as covertly as possible, without having to deal with the pesky obstacles of the rest of the project. To establish a kind of pre-emptive canvassing where they are the only people who ever find out about deletion requests. Gnomingstuff (talk) 22:03, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Yeah, I will also say that my immediate reaction to the accusation that started all this was "not giving notification to anyone who might like this essay that you're trying to get it deleted is also unfair for the same reasons as canvassing would be, and it's weird we don't have a policy about it". Loki (talk) 22:20, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • WP:APPNOTE leaves no room for ambiguity on this:
An editor who may wish to draw a wider range of informed, but uninvolved, editors to a discussion can place a message at any of the following:
  • The talk page or noticeboard of one or more WikiProjects or other Wikipedia collaborations which may have interest in the topic under discussion.
The policy says explicitly "one or more WikiProjects" (my emphasis on the word one). Therefore we can conclude from the actual WP Behavioural Guideline that drawing attention of a discussion to only one WikiProject is acceptable per WP Guidelines. TarnishedPathtalk 12:55, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
You need to read all of APPNOTE; the third last paragraph makes it clear that it does not create an exception to INAPPNOTE.
This makes sense; why would we ever wish to permit biased, partisan, or non-neutral notifications? BilledMammal (talk) 13:02, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • It really depends on the context... Not all wikiprojects are created equal, some are good places where non-partisan experts on a topic can be found and some are toxic slime cultures of fans and die hards. The biggest issue for me isn't really notification or non-notification its selective notification... People seem to want to talk about the Arab-Israeli conflict so lets use that as an example: if when soliciting comments to a discussion involving the war in Gaza a user notifies only WikiProject Palestine but not WikiProject Israel or vice-versa thats a problem. From my perspective if WikiProjects are being solicited then all of the relevant WikiProjects should be notified, but again it depends on the context. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 13:55, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    But in that particular example, is it really a problem? Isn't it likely enough interested editors are watching both? But sure, for a Arab-Israeli conflict thing, if you're doing one, may as well do the other. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 14:00, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    That doesn't seem likely, everything I have ever experienced on wikipedia suggests otherwise. Notifying different wikiprojects brings different people to the discussion, I have never encountered a topic area where multiple wikiprojects are made up of the exact same group of people. Anything that has the effect of skewing the discussion towards a specific POV is a problem and thats true whether or not canvassing is involved. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 14:09, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • I infer a couple of different sentiments in play here:
A) "It's just as likely for pro- and anti- users to watch the same WikiProject. It's WikiProject Israel, not WikiProject ProIsrael."
B) "In practice, participants in WikiProject Thing are mostly pro-Thing."
Is there any way of determining which of these is true? Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 15:04, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The difficulty is getting a list of participants. The ideal list would be a list of editors who watch a Wikiproject, but that data is not available. Instead, I've created an approximation based on the editors who are listed as members and the editors who have made at least five edits to the projects talk page.
For the purpose of demonstration I have applied to this Wikiproject US Roads in relation to this RfC; I have done so because the RfC is long past and Wikiproject US Roads has forked, so I feel using them as an example will produce less drama and be less likely to derail this discussion than more recent examples.
Extended content
Discussion Group Support Oppose
Count Percent Count Percent
Proposal 1: original research Members 12 100% 0 0%
Non-members 36 67% 18 33%
Both 48 73% 18 27%
Proposal 2a: reliable sourcing Members 10 91% 1 9%
Non-members 3 11% 24 89%
Both 13 34% 25 66%
Proposal 2b: image layers Members 6 67% 3 33%
Non-members 1 4% 27 96%
Both 7 19% 30 81%
Proposal 3: history Members 9 100% 0 0%
Non-members 10 34% 19 66%
Both 19 50% 19 50%
"Members" are determined by either being listed on the member list or having made five or more edits to the talk page
I didn't review multi-choice questions to keep the analysis simple, and I didn't review low participation questions as they lack sufficient data.
The evidence tells us that for some Wikiprojects there are topics the editors are collectively biased on, but I don't think it is true of the vast majority of Wikiprojects. BilledMammal (talk) 03:32, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
1. Why do you think this approximation is any good? Clearly the list of members is a lot more likely to actually agree with the project of the Wikiproject than the list of watchers, right?
2. Roads is a bad example exactly because they forked. Your argument would be benefited more by a negative example: if you could show some Wikiprojects where the membership does not seem to share similar opinions on topics relevant to the topic area that would at least prove WP:LGBT is exceptional. Loki (talk) 03:38, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
1. The result is the unchanged if I only include editors with at least five edits to the talk page.
2. The question is "can a Wikiproject be partisan", to the extent that notifying them is likely to generate an improper illusion of a consensus where none (or a different one) would exist in a wider population. Roads is a good example of this because they demonstrate that it is possible. If you believe all WikiProjects are partisan, then I encourage you to provide the evidence, but I am skeptical. Alternatively, find a WikiProject that editors would not expect to be partisan, link a few well-attended, centrally-held, binary RfC's that the WikiProject was notified of, and I can do the analysis for you. BilledMammal (talk) 03:55, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
This is to me a centrally flawed concerned; it basically brings it down to "it's okay to alert a Wikiproject only if they are so in accord with non-members that it makes no difference in the results", which is silly. We want informed people making decisions based on being informed, and information should be something that changes perspective. (It is also impracticable; we cannot be effectively surveying a given Wikiproject for their view in advance of notification, so implementing the idea that notifying a relevant-but-biased Wikiproject is canvassing would in essence shut down notifying Wikiprojects at all.) -- Nat Gertler (talk) 23:12, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I appreciate this data, but I interpret it quite differently from BM. For one thing, I would not regard the population of "non-members" who participate in a discussion as a kind of target for how the members of an "unbiased" wikiproject should be distributed. We have no way of knowing how well "non-members" represent the rest of the community or why they were motivated to participate in the discussion
Also, I want to point to the actual impact of the participation of project members on the four proposals mentioned. The first proposal was supported by members and non-members alike, so the participation of members was not likely to affect the outcome. The middle proposals were supported by members and opposed by non-members, and therefore did not reach anything approaching consensus even though members disagreed.
The most interesting case, though, is the last proposal. The net preferences of members and non-members pretty much canceled out, leaving the discussion seemingly deadlocked. I would argue that this is actually a desirable outcome of member participation; if we assume that members are more likely to be contributing to content development in this area, then it is better to have a non-consensus in which their voices are heard (motivating further discussion and new proposals) than a clear consensus against in which their perspectives are seemingly excluded.
And of course what makes this case relevant is also what makes it unusual: that members of a single wikiproject, sharing similar views, make up such a large portion of those !voting on a set of proposals. The much more typical case is that appropriate notifications of projects with different perspectives, or the use of WP:CENT, dilutes the participation from any one group to a small - if sometimes the best-informed - part of the whole. Newimpartial (talk) 21:14, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think both are true depending on which project we're talking about, there is a large diversity of WikiProjects and no generalization is going to apply to all of them. I will also note that some wikiprojects are strongly "anti-thing" like WikiProject Discrimination and WikiProject Alternative medicine. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 18:45, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • We need to give up the idea that all Wikipedia editors are at the two extremes. Either ideal where the objectives of Wikipedia fully overrule biases, or where where biases are so strong that they overrule the objectives of Wikipedia. In reality most editors are somewhere between those two extremes. Conversely, give up the idea that mere expression of concern of biased-influenced editing is is a severe accusation and violation of wp:AGF. On average, a wiki-project is typically going to be slightly biased. Regarding notifying them on a contentious topic, this should be recognized (and adjusted for by casting a wider net) but IMO it doesn't rise to the level of precluding notifying them or considering it to be a wp:canvas violation. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 16:03, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • I strongly disagree with the notion that a WikiProject can be considered partisan or problematic without the involvement of Arbcom or some other discussion venue; otherwise, those are just an editor's personal opinion. I am also concerned with the conflation of specific canvassing cases which occurred in private or semi-private off-Wiki venues (EEML and Tropical Cyclones) with on-Wiki WikiProjects. Curbon7 (talk) 02:47, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • I think I agree with Thryduulf's point (and Curbon7's too now I guess) here that a claim that an Wikiproject is so partisan that it is inappropriate to notify them of something within their scope of interest is a user conduct issue, an accusation of which should only be made with evidence at an appropriate forum (AN/I, but also AE or ARCA for CTs). Alpha3031 (tc) 04:22, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    It is certainly possible to CANVAS via a wikiproject notification … by wording the notification in a non-neutral way with the intent of generating desired support/opposition to an issue. However, that is a flaw with the wording of the notification, not the location of the notification. Blueboar (talk) 22:59, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • I think neutral notification of relevant WikiProjects is almost never canvassing. Part of the disagreement centers on the word partisan, which has expansive enough of a definition that we can be talking about very different things. BM's analysis of various WikiProjects above has no way of distinguishing between problematically partisan ("we vote differently than the general community because we're non-neutral") and positively partisan ("we vote differently because we know more than the general community"). I think Nat Gertler's thoughts on this are well-stated. A case against a WikiProject needs much more evidence, being essentially a misconduct allegation against a large group of editors. Firefangledfeathers (talk / contribs) 01:32, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Firefangledfeathers: what about the other point raised which is about selective notification of relevant WikiProjects? If someone notifies one relevant wikiproject but not another could that be an issue? Horse Eye's Back (talk) 01:07, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think commonly understood best practice is to notify them all if you're going to notify one. I sometimes think it's overkill. For example, I remember at least considering notifying some projects about a dispute related to J. K. Rowling and being torn about whether or not to notify WP:WikiProject Gloucestershire. I certainly wouldn't hold it against someone if they did so, and I wouldn't call it canvassing if someone left it off. Firefangledfeathers (talk / contribs) 01:35, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
In cases like that it makes sense to consider whether the specific dispute is relevant to that WikiProject. For example, if it was a dispute about whether Yate (where she was born) should be described as being in "Gloucestershire" or "South Gloucestershire" then the Gloucestershire project is definitely relevant. If the dispute was about which articles to include in her bibliography then the relevance is harder to see.
In general I don't think it should ever be regarded as wrong to notify all the WikiProjects that have tagged the article, or all the ones that are not tagged as inactive. If you think there is a relevant project that hasn't been notified, then the best thing to do is notify them and AGF that not doing so was not an attempt at canvassing unless you have a good reason not to. Thryduulf (talk) 01:59, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
It isn’t great to selectively notify, but the answer is to then notify the other relevant wikiprojects. nableezy - 02:40, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • An issue seems to be that the "is relevant to that WikiProject" test can be surprisingly subjective and unpredictable, as far as I can tell. People employ different (often unstated) heuristics to estimate relevance. Regarding "the best thing to do is notify them and AGF", this is my view too. I wonder about the scope of the AGF policy and its relationship to project notifications and the WP:INAPPNOTE guideline. AGF applies to individual editors. Wikiprojects are collections of editors. So, the AGF policy presumably extends to Wikiprojects as collections of editors. In that case, bias/canvassing concerns presumably always need to be evidence-based. Given the scope of AGF, assuming it extends to collections of editors with a shared property (like project membership), allowing people to use their own biases (maybe rebranded as 'common sense') to make non-evidence-based guesses about project bias impacting apparent consensus seems a bit inconsistent. Having said that, the AGF policy probably has its limitations in contentious areas where there is polarization and dishonesty (sockpuppetry), but it is policy, nevertheless. Sean.hoyland (talk) 03:44, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    On this question of selective notification: for a certain RfC about René Lévesque (former premier of Québec) at article Talk, I notified wikiprojects Canada and Québec, but I was told that that was somehow canvassing. The editor making the accusation then proceded to notify wikiprojects for the rest of the Canadian provinces that had nothing to do with Lévesque's career.
    I didn't formally object at the time - based on the "more eyes" theorem - but the notifications of apparently unrelated wikiprojects did feel to me like canvassing. What is the evaluation editors here would make that kind of (presumably tit-for-tat) notification? Newimpartial (talk) 10:43, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    There's a big difference between Wikiprojects, though. I can remember some of them listing AfDs for "their" articles on their Wikiproject page and descending en masse to vote Keep - topics that spring to mind were aircrashes, tornadoes (and US roads before they threw their toys out of the pram) - whereas participants from many other Projects treated the AfDs impartially and were quite willing to get rid of articles that didn't meet policy). Black Kite (talk) 11:01, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • It is my opinion that while current policy does allow for the notification of WikiProjects, it is clear that there is a bias for folks involved in them to keep articles that are in their subject area, as no single WikiProject is representative of the overall community, which is why it is considered a specialized community in the first place. While it is an open message available for everyone to see in theory, in reality it will only be seen by a segmented and unrepresented faction of the overall community, and the evaluation of sources is not something that people can't do simply because they aren't in a WikiProject related to the article at question. Even when the wording is neutral, often the notification will come from someone who has already voted !keep, so how is that (or any other vote) a neutral notification? Let'srun (talk) 13:03, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Even when the wording is neutral, often the notification will come from someone who has already voted !keep could not be more wrong. First of all, you're assuming this only occurs for AfDs, when in fact AfDs are probably the one of the fewest things notified to WikiProjects (RMs and RfCs likely being the most). Additionally, your assumption that it is primarily people who have X opinion on the topic are the one's who notify is just not backed up by reality, to the point it seems you are arguing against notifications altogether. I think you are focusing too much on the why question (Why should WikiProjects be notified) rather than the what (What WikiProjects should be notified). Curbon7 (talk) 21:37, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Just as likely to come from someone !voting delete, if they are on the losing end! — Iadmctalk  21:41, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    If someone with a strong opinion is notifying in an attempt to sway the discussion (which does happen, but is far from the only or even most common reason) then it's equally likely to be someone arguing to keep or delete if it's going the other way, or more likely from someone arguing for deletion if it looks to be headed for no consensus. It's probably equally likely to come from either side if the trend is merge or redirect. Not that notification in such circumstances is guaranteed to have the desired outcome - I recall one discussion a few years ago where someone arguing for deletion notified a WikiProject with the intent of preventing a no consensus outcome. Several editors saw the notice and showed up to the discussion but were evenly split and it still closed as no consensus. Thryduulf (talk) 21:59, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Just because an editor has domain area knowledge doesn't mean they are willing to bend English Wikipedia's standards for having an article. Domain area experts typically know the best reliable sources for their area of expertise, the most reliable indicators that the standards for having an article can be met, and what achievements are actually significant versus those that just sound impressive to someone unfamiliar with the domain. If there are cases where editors fail to adhere to general consensus on the standards for having an article, then I feel the community should deal with these situations individually. If mechanisms like WikiProject article alerts aren't going to be used to notify editors interested in a topic area, there isn't a scalable way for those interested editors to be involved in related discussions. In my view, I think that will reduce the effectiveness of these discussions. isaacl (talk) 01:27, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

"Failure to thrive"


I'm thinking it might be useful to have a reason for deletion that covers a swath of articles that never improve, but are technically just over the bar of notability. To come under this category, the article:

  1. Must be a barely notable subject, or be reasonably well-covered in other articles. A one-off event, a small subset of a main topic, or fancruft, say.
  2. Must have severe deficiencies in citation or bias
  3. No substantial edits in six months.
  4. Has had at least one nomination for deletion a minimum of six months ago.
  5. Will get three months to improve before a final deletion decision.

What do you think? Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.8% of all FPs. 14:38, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Huh? So this is for "articles", that have already survived AfD - then what exactly do you want to happen? Do you want AFD's to be able to close with a result of Up or out? Or do you want to make a new policy rationale that can only be argued on second AFDs? Do you even want this to do through a second AFD, or is this some sort of speedy criteria request? — xaosflux Talk 14:56, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Looks like he wants those rationales, as a group to be acceptable at AfD? Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:04, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Only at a second AfD. AfD currently normally acts as a check for potential. This is for articles unlikely ever to improve, after substantial notice - ones that will never reach the theoretical potential, with terrible quality. The kind of articles where the keep rationales are solely down to sources existing, nothing about the article as it stands being sufficient to keep it. It's also meant to be a very slow series of checks, to give it every chance. Also, preliminary suggestion; workshop at will. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.8% of all FPs. 18:03, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
if something is notable, why delete it? Lee Vilenski (talkcontribs) 15:04, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
It is not clear to me whether you are seeking to delete these pages so that they never have Wikipedia pages, or you are seeking to delete them with the hope that a healthier and more fertile page will grow in its place. If the latter, I should note that the argument WP:TNT usually is given accepted weight in deletion discussions, even if it's not exactly matched in policy and guidelines. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 20:54, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
So we want to delete barely notable articles now? Why? Who decides what is "barely" notable? Notable means notable, if we start deleting articles that are notable but that we don't like, there'll be no point in having WP:N. Cremastra (talk) 20:25, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Comment - I am on purpose not going to answer this question, because "what I think" is that it demonstrates what is wrong with a lot of deletion processes (especially AfD) at present, all of which assume the key question to be, "should X topic have an article?" I think this is almost always the wrong question.

I think the right question, almost always, is "does this verifiable information belong in an encyclopaedia?" (content that fails WP:V never belongs). There can be various reasons, set out rather inconsistently in WP:NOT, WP:BLP, WP:DUE, WP:NPOV, WP:FRINGE and even WP:N - which isn't supposed to be a content guideline - why certain content doesn't belong in an encyclopaedia.

For content that belongs in an encylopaedia, the question then is, where should it be placed? WP:PRESERVE and WP:PAGEDECIDE are among the few places that address this question clearly, but unfortunately WP:N has been the tool perhaps most frequently used by editors to argue about decide whether to remove or retain content. I think this is an unfortunate situation - there are very few circumstances in which the encyclopaedia benefits from not having articles on "marginally notable" topics, except when the content of those articles is not encyclopaedic to begin with (WP:POVFORKS, for example).

If we had a way to talk about encyclpaedic inclusion directly, away from Notability, we might be able to defuse some misguided "zero-sum" conflicts and design an encyclopaedia more the way actual editors would design it, rather than allowing the shape of Wikipedia's content to emerge from a series of bar brawls between editors with particular presuppositions about what topic does or doesn't "merit an article". I know that wasn't the question lol, but that is my answer. Newimpartial (talk) 15:40, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

I'd say marginal articles are fine if they're of reasonable quality, but if articles are going to languish in a permanently bad state, that's a problem. There are cases where a very bad article is worse than no article. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.8% of all FPs. 16:08, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I absolutely know the type of article you are talking about, I recentlty nominated an article for deletion that has been a one-sentence stub for fourteen years. However, I don't think "this survived AFD but we're still going to delete it" has much of a chance of ever becoming policy. Just Step Sideways from this world ..... today 17:04, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I just want to give articles every chance to thrive before we do delete them. There's other ways - WikiProject notifications, etc - but AfD usually forces a check of the article's potential: is there sources, etc - that I don't think any other current process does. If it has no potential, it gets deleted at the first AfD. If it's already of reasonable quality, this process shouldn't apply: it has thrived. This needs to be a slow process to have any effect. As I see it, though, this would be an argument to raise in a second AfD that would trigger the countdown to the final review. The review would be one admin comparing it to the state at the time of the failure to thrive AfD (which I think is sufficient given the number of steps before this) Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.8% of all FPs. 17:50, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

A way I think this could work: we make a template for something along the lines of "this article doesn't have enough quality sources in it to establish notability (regardless of whether those sources exist out there somewhere)". Then if X amount of time passes and the situation hasn't changed, that's taken as strong evidence in an AfD that, regardless of whether the sources exist somewhere, they can't actually be used to write an article. Loki (talk) 19:38, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

But the proposal here isn't for articles that aren't notable, rather ones that are borderline. I think everything here is in violation of WP:NO DEADLINE. Lee Vilenski (talkcontribs) 20:08, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
And not voting for it is in violation of WP:Delete the junk. Essays aren't policy. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.8% of all FPs. 22:25, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • Could you give an example or two of the sort of article this proposal is envisaged to apply to? – Teratix 11:12, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Note that this is just some things I've found by looking through the articles without sources categories, and some fad categories. These haven't passed through AfD, some of them might be handleable with a merge, and some might be salvagable - but the point of this proposal is to try and save the articles first.
    • Naked butler: It's possible this could be saved, but it's a lot of text, very little of it cited, so the accuracy and verifiability is very questionable. It's probably a thing, but such a weak article on a marginal subject is more likely to put inaccuracies into Wikipedia than to be genuinely helpful.
    • Campaign desk: Again, subject probably exists, but there's some oddities that make me concerned. The phrase "at popular retailers" makes me wonder about copyright of the text a little bit: it's a weirdly advert-y phrase. Uncited.
    • List of Fantastic Beasts characters - fancrufty article. Maybe it'll be saved, maybe not, but there's nothing in here that isn't redundant to the films' articles.
    Should these be deleted right now? No, the whole point of this proposal is to encourage attempts to salvage articles in this kind of state. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.8% of all FPs. 13:41, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Funny that the only citations in "Naked butler" are in the "Popular culture" section. Donald Albury 14:18, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    There were more citations (four) in the article as originally posted (I have made no effort to see if their removal was appropriate.) However, there is more sourcing to be found, such as this Evening Standard article. I'm not sure how the procedure here would help this article (if it were even eligible, which it is not) any more than standard tagging. With articles this old, we cannot assume that the original editors are still involved enough to be aware if the article was threatened by deletion. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 16:36, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    And, in fact, finally looking at the talk page of the article, there is (and has been since 2013) a long list of news sources which could be used. Any attempt to delete this article could be quickly laughed away by that list. If there are any good examples to which this proposed procedure should apply, this is not among them; someone who had concern with the quality of the article could improve it much more quickly than creating a deletion argument with the hope that someone else will do so. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 16:44, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Campaign desk appears to have text that is an exact copy of text at this site, but the text has been in WP since 2004, and the web site was first archived at the Internet Archive in 2006. Donald Albury 14:31, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    For the record, I'd say that the key type of article this would be good for dealing with is minor fads, advertising, or one-off events long past in similar states to those articles. But I'm not sure it's worth trying to find the perfect exemplar. While I do think articles on such things can be encyclopedic, there is a certain point where you have to say that if an article with only minor notability, especially one where the interest peak is long past, is still terrible, that we need to consider if it's ever going to get better, whatever the theoretical potential. If this results in people actively working on these articles instead, that's all the better. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.8% of all FPs. 16:15, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Well, were I pressed I would say, yes, as a matter of practice having marginal subject articles is a detriment to the encyclopedia because they are often abandoned junk in practice, at best filled with templates for years upon years, at least telling the reader, "if you have not figured it out yourself, which you may well have, this has been bad since 2010, and Wikipedia does not care about bad articles and bad information" (that's a real detriment to Wikipedia). -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:51, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Improving existing articles slightly is a much lower hurdle than creating a brand new article. If an article is full of irrelevant unsourced text but has a notable core then it should be reduced down to that state, not deleted. There's no deadline for when Wikipedia needs to be perfect, and an article existing in the first place is conducive to improvement. AlexandraAVX (talk) 18:19, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes, Wikipedia does not care about bad articles and bad information is what you just articulated in practice. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:23, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
If you find an utterly terrible article on a notable subject, be bold and stubify it. I don't see why we need a process specifically for deleting bad articles on notable subjects. If there's no consensus to TNT then there isn't. AlexandraAVX (talk) 18:27, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Let me relate a Wiki tale, although not directly on point to these marginal articles, not too long ago an architect's article was eligible to be featured on the main page for winning an award, kind of like a Nobel Prize, and the article was in poor shape under wiki policies, so seven days it stayed at the news desk while some harried pedians made some effort to improve, and it was not improved sufficient to feature. (and it may still not be good enough). Now, if there were no article and it was written up with the sources that came with the prize and which surfaced in a few days, that would have been easier for the crew, instead trying to source prose and facts when one does not know where it came from. Nor would coverage of the subject have been improved by stubification, certainly not good enough to be in decent shape and probably not good at all (especially when a good number of the world was looking for the topic). So, hope for the more marginal is likely misplaced. Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:09, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
If the prose is unsourced it can be deleted. There's nothing preventing someone from being bold and with good reason tearing out unsourced and bad prose and possibly replacing it with entirely new text. If the article really is entirely beyond saving, WP:TNT is a recognised option at AfD. AlexandraAVX (talk) 13:03, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Its not about "preventing someone", its about the doing the work by anyone, which we know through decades of practice is not something anyone apparently wants, coupled with the common sense of past is prologue. You say just delete a bunch in the article or just do other work, but cleaning up, if you care, is about significant work. In comparison, it's easier to create a decent article from the bottom up without having to do the cleanup first. Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:58, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Once again, whether it is easier to create an article from the bottom up or easier to create an article based on someone else's work is a matter of opinion. Thryduulf (talk) 11:26, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
It remains, not having to do cleanup first is less work. Alanscottwalker (talk) 05:06, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Apparently, it's a matter of taste; I find cleanup and reclamation to be much easier. Toughpigs (talk) 05:16, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
What do you find easier? To write a decent article you have to research and write, to cleanup you have to delete, try to understand what someone else was thinking, rework, test for cvio, etc. as well as research and write. The first is less work. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:50, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
If the existing article lists some sources, then I don't need to spend as much time looking for sources.
If the existing article has some solid sections, I can ignore those and focus my effort elsewhere.
If the existing article has information that wouldn't have occurred to me, then I get a better result.
I usually find it very easy to "understand what someone else was thinking".
On the flip side, if the existing article is really lousy, then a quick little ⌘A to select all and hitting the backspace button solves that problem. Even in such cases, the article 'infrastructure' (e.g., infobox, images, and categories) is usually sound, and keeping the existing ones usually saves time and effort.
I don't pretend that what's easiest for me is what's easiest for everyone, but I personally don't mind working with existing articles. Perhaps you are the opposite. That's okay. My experience doesn't invalidate yours, and yours doesn't invalidate mine (or the experiences of the multiple other people who have disagreed with you). WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:35, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
You are mostly off-topic as the premise of the proposal is only dealing in really lousy articles, and indeed ones that no-one is even doing your process of deletion or the rest. You think deleting large swaths is easy but it seems from your telling that is not something you spend much time thinking about it. As for your presumption about infobox and images and categories, your basis is for that is just assumption not evaluation. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:38, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
WhatamIdoing's point is simply that other people have a different opinion to you. Your assumptions about why that be are irrelevant. What constitutes a "really lousy article" is also a matter of opinion, and yours is no more or less valid than WhatamIdoing's or anyone else's. Do you understand that people can have a different opinion to you about subjective matters and contribute in good faith or are you being deliberately disruptive? Thryduulf (talk) 13:47, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
It is you who are being deliberately disruptive and you who are trying to prevent the presenting of opposing views. Somehow others can present opinions (who introduced "easiest" or "lousy") but just because you disagree with my view, you label it disputive. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:52, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I am not labelling your view disruptive because I disagree with it (see other people whose views I have disagreed with without labelling disruptive), I am labelling your view disruptive because you appear to be either unwilling or unable to distinguish between fact and opinion. Thryduulf (talk) 14:18, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
That makes little sense and I see now how why you disrupt things, I am using words as others use them, and your inability to not read my comments as statements of view is your fault, not mine. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:23, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
WhatamIdoing, If you care to reply to my 13:38 comment perhaps best to do so down here. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:05, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
that's more than enough, take it outside. Just Step Sideways from this world ..... today 19:32, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
No, because Wikipedia does not care. And you are wrong in substance too, it's easier to create a decent article than it is to reform one (and much more enjoyable) . Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:34, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Whether it is easier, and especially whether it is more enjoyable, is inherently subjective and so it is incorrect to say someone with a different opinion to you is "wrong in substance". Thryduulf (talk) 18:43, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
No. And your useless tangent is not adding anything here. Thanks word police. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:47, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
This is not the first discussion in which you have replied using ad hominems and borderline personal attacks to someone who simply has a different opinion to you. I really would like to believe you are capable of listening and collaborating, but nearly every comment you leave makes that harder. Thryduulf (talk) 18:59, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
You came in disruptive, to opine on the finer points of how you believe a phrase on "substance" has to be used. Which is far off-topic. So no, its not me who has shown poor collaboration here, it is you. Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:05, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
You are objectively wrong on just about everything it is possible to be objectively wrong about in that sentence. Please engage with the topic rather than with ad hominems. Thryduulf (talk) 19:13, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Just look, see how you are derailing anything having to do with anything with the proposal. Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:17, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I refuse to waste more of my time on your continued ad hominems. Thryduulf (talk) 19:27, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Looking at your comments is not ''ad hominem.'' Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:28, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Perhaps what we need is a second review process … one that is focused on Non-Improvability, rather than Notability. It would consider articles that are in such poor shape that they (arguably) can not be improved… regardless of whether the topic is notable. Blueboar (talk) 18:20, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I can't see many cases where a topic is notable without being possible to improve. If the article is irrevocably badly written then it can just be stubified. AlexandraAVX (talk) 18:23, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
There's strong WP:OWN issues sometimes there, especially in walled gardens. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.8% of all FPs. 20:23, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

While there may be articles covered by this that should be deleted, I don't think that editing inactivity is of any use in identifying them. And some of the other subjective criteria would be practically impossible to define or implement. Thanks for the idea and bringing it up here but IMO this is not workable and also not a very useful way to find articles that should be deleted. North8000 (talk) 18:58, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

I was initially torn between liking the idea of having a way to constructively reassess borderline articles that have not been improved in a long while, but also between being a firm believer in eventualism and the importance of recognising that Wikipedia is a work in progress. However, the more this discussion has gone on, the less I'm liking this. Merging, stubbifying, improving articles yourself (including using TNT), and similar activities that are not deletion are going to be preferable in nearly all cases. If you lack the subject or foreign-language knowledge to improve the article yourself use resources like WikiProjects to find people who do have that knowledge, sharing lists of the sources you've found but not understood to help them get started. If you don't have access to the sources (e.g. they're offline) then there are resources like the Wikipedia Library and at least some chapters offer grants to help you get them. Only when all of these options are unavailable or have failed, which is a small percentage of a small percentage, is deletion going to help and I'm not sure we need something other than AfD for that - especially as in a good proportion of these few cases notability is going to be questionable. Thryduulf (talk) 19:25, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

What if we have a process for quickly moving such articles to draftspace, and requiring AFC review/approval for them to be returned to mainspace? BD2412 T 20:00, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think that would basically be a backdoor deletion in many cases, a lot of the bad articles I come across are sometimes over a decade old and the original author is long gone. A PROD or AfD will let me and others interested in the subject area see them in article alerts, draftifying won't. AlexandraAVX (talk) 20:04, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
@AlexandraAVX: An AfD can lead to draftification, which can lead to deletion for abandonment (or, rarely, revitalization), but at least this resolution avoids keep rationales based on possible improvements that will never actually be made. BD2412 T 21:13, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I'm not sure how to ask my question without it sounding weird, but here goes: Who cares if the improvements are never made?
At the moment, the subject qualifies for a separate, stand-along article if the real world has enough sources that someone could improve it past the doomed WP:PERMASTUB stage (plus it doesn't violate NOT, plus editors don't want to merge it away). The rules do not require the article to be "improved", and never have.
So imagine that we have an article like User:WhatamIdoing/Christmas candy. It's two sentences and 100% uncited. Imagine that we all agreed that Wikipedia would almost certainly die before that article ever got improved. Why should that be considered a deletion-worthy problem? Why can't it just be left like it is? Who's it hurting? WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:13, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Anyone who reads the article and comes away believing something false or likely to be false?
Like, I don't see why this is hard to understand. Loki (talk) 04:25, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Do you see anything false or likely to be false in that article? WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:30, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
If there's something false in the article you can delete that. If the subject is a hoax then that's already a speedy deletion criteria. If it isn't a hoax you can remove any information that can't be verified. If the subject is notable then there inherently must be coverage that makes something about it verifiable. AlexandraAVX (talk) 09:09, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Agreed. This seems like an ornate process for which the problem it would address has not been actually identified; the OP came up with no examples that would qualify for this treatment. The standard processes allow for re-AfDing if the material is not notable under current guidelines, or stubbifying if it is. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 20:22, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

One structural note. Since the suitability of the article to exist in main space technically relates only to the subject of the article, technically, the subject of the article should be the only reason to remove it from mainspace. North8000 (talk) 20:32, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

That's not quite true, as there other things that are relevant in some circumstances - copyvios are the most obvious, but also articles not written in English or written by socks of banned editors. However, other than newly discovered copyvios I can't think of any that are likely to be relevant to articles being discussed here (and with old articles the chance of suspected copyvios turning out to be plagiarism of Wikipedia are of course greater). Thryduulf (talk) 20:47, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Thryduulf: Well copyvio is a problem with content, though if you have an article that is 100% copyvio there's really nothing to save. North8000 (talk) 13:38, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

I can understand this frustration. All the time I see articles that were poor quality get sent to AFD, the commenters there say that the existing article is crap but (minimal) sources exist, so the article should be improved rather than being deleted. It gets kept, then...nothing happens. 10-15 years later, the article is still very poor quality and essentially unchanged. Whatever original sources existed might not even be online anymore, but a second AFD probably won't get a different result. Sometimes I can stubbify/redirect, if there's gross BLP violations I can sometimes just delete it, but most just exist in this limbo indefinitely. If nobody cares to make a halfway decent article, then maybe we shouldn't have one. I would like it if there was a shift at AFD, especially for long-term poor quality articles, from "should this topic have an article" to "is this particular article worth showing to readers". In 2005, the best way to help Wikipedia was with a pen (writing new articles). In 2024, the best way is with pruning shears (removing bad articles, or trimming irrelevant bloat within articles). I'm not sure the best way to accomplish this, but some sort of draftification for these articles might be a good idea. 6 months is probably too soon, but setting it at 5 or 10 years would cut out a lot of crud. The WordsmithTalk to me 21:25, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

  • The OP ignores fundamental principals like no time limits, deletion is not cleanup, preserve, before etc.. it would be political and contentious. And I'm not sure it would do much to improve Wikipedia, plus alienate and piss off editors. The whole idea of keeping a crappy article on a notable topic is that someone will find it and work on it, "hey look at this crappy article I can make it better". -- GreenC 22:54, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
    He's not ignoring those ideas, he's trying to gain support for changing them. Sure, it would be contentious but that's not a reason to not discuss it. And yes, ideally someone will find a crappy article and work on it. But for many thousands of articles, it's been years and that hasn't happened. It probably never will. So the few people who stumble upon them are left with an unvetted, unsourced, incomplete or even misleading article about a topic. Jimbo had the right idea in this post[3], which became the foundation of our BLP policy but can apply elsewhere too. It's better to have no information about a topic than bad information. The WordsmithTalk to me 00:26, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    What if Nupedia, but without the experts? I think [4] from that same thread presents far more useful ground for reflection. Choess (talk) 01:59, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • Adam, I started a discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)#Ready for the mainspace the other day, on what it means for an article to be "ready for the mainspace". This seems to be an idea that some editors have adopted. Back when we were new, the general idea seemed to be that you determined whether something's ready for the mainspace (and almost all of us created everything directly in the mainspace back then) with a two-part checklist:
    1. Is the subject itself notable (e.g., if you spent time looking for Wikipedia:Independent sources, then you could find enough to write several sentences, even though nobody's bothered to do that yet)?
    2. Is the current article exempt from Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion (e.g., not a copyvio, not Wikipedia:Patent nonsense, not an obvious test edit)?
  • This could, and did, and was meant to, result in articles that said little more than "A campaign desk is an antique desk of normal size which was used by officers and their staffs in rear areas during a military campaign". (BTW, ProQuest 374234967 might be a useful source for examples that article, as will this one, if you'd like to add them, and will be particularly useful if you'd like to generalize from the desk to any sort of purpose-built furniture for mobile military officers.) However, I think that a minority of editors want to expand this checklist to look a bit more like this:
    1. Is the subject itself notable?
    2. Does the current version qualify for speedy deletion?
    3. Would I be embarrassed if someone I respected said "Hey, I was looking at this short Wikipedia article the other day..."? (e.g., the article has fewer than x sentences, fewer than y cited sources, fewer than z links...)
  • If requiring a certain volume sounds nice, what I think would be more practical is if we talked about what percentage of articles we were really willing to sacrifice to the spirit of "immediatism because I'm embarrassed that someone hasn't already WP:FINISHED this old article". If you're willing to delete, say, 1% or 10% or 50% of all articles to artificially raise the average quality of Wikipedia articles, then we can calculate what x, y, and z would be.
    NB that I don't think that deleting articles for problems that could be solved by ordinary editing would be a good idea, because I've found some of those old, neglected, even uncited substubs to be of immediate value to me recently, when often what I wanted was an easy way to figure out what the official website was, or a quick definition of an obscure term (19th-century furniture and clothing has ranked high in my searches recently, so Campaign desk is exactly the kind of article that I have been finding helpful). But if you're bothered enough to want to WP:DEMOLISH articles because they're not being developed to your standards, then let's talk about how much is the most you could imagine destroying, and see if we could figure out what we'd be losing as a result. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:57, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Case closed. IMO the time people spend here would be put into better use to improve our articles. --Dustfreeworld (talk) 04:42, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Of the three example articles given early in this discussion, viewing them outside of this discussion: #1 Would fail wp:notability #2 is good enough as is, and #3 is in Wikipedia's Twilight Zone: there is no system / mechanism that really vetts list articles. North8000 (talk) 13:50, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

For Naked butler, I can find a few sources:
These are both available through Wikipedia:The Wikipedia Library. Perhaps someone would like to put them in the article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:38, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I based my comments #1 based on a quick guess. The question is coverage of sources on the specific topic. Which in turn needs the article to be about a specific topic. My first guess is that that isn't there. But the overall point is evaluating articles based on things other than lack of development activity, and that the latter is not much of an indicator. North8000 (talk) 16:49, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Well, that's one of the problems with the proposal: it encourages people to seek deletion not on the basis of what sources might be available, such as this article in the Evening Standard (page 2 here) or this Herald-Tribune piece, but rather on their guesses of how the page will develop in the future. I see nothing in the OP's proposal that indicates that the goal is to try to save the article first, it makes no call for the implementer to try to save the article, just allows for the possibility that someone else may do so. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 17:10, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Huh? When something goes to 2nd AfD it could be "saved" like any other time, indeed that's when people often work on such (yes, yes, 'not cleanup', but that does not mean cleanup by hook or by crook is not good) the 2nd delete participants basically have to agree 'yeah, no one cares' for it to go. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:39, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes, it could be saved then, but it would take an odd interpretation that the goal of an AfD filing is to save an article, when the very point of an AfD filing is to request its destruction. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 18:56, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Indeed starting an AfD with the aim of doing something other than deleting the article could (arguably should) get the nomination speedily kept (WP:SK point 1). Thryduulf (talk) 19:08, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I did not say goal, I said it is regularly the outcome (including everytime there is no consensus or keep), the conversation is still about the suitability of having this article, nonetheless. Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:03, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
You appeared to be saying "Huh?" to a statement about the goal; if you were not "Huh?"ing that statement, I don't know what you were saying. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 21:09, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I did not think you were speaking about the goal of AfD, the proposal is for a new multi-factored rationale (like is this adequately covered elsewhere, etc.) that the AfD participants can either agree in or not. Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:35, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The goal of creating an additional excuse to delete things is to have things deleted. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 00:00, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Well, I would call it additional rational but yes, when the alternatives given are delete large swaths of the article or just let it continue to sit there in bad shape for more decades. Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:28, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I strongly suspect that #2, Campaign desk, is a copyvio, and has been so since it was created 20+ years ago, but I cannot yet prove so beyond any doubt. If it is determined that the original text, which is 95% of the current article, was a copyvio, then the article will have to be deleted. Donald Albury 16:36, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
It was written by an admin, AlainV. While it's not a perfect indicator, generally speaking, if I were looking for a copyvio, I wouldn't start by suspecting something written by an admin who wrote ~150 articles. It's at least as likely that the article was original here, and got copied over there. We have a copy from 2004; the Internet Archive has a copy of the Wikipedia article from 2005; the Internet Archive has a copy on a different website from 2006. I would not assume from this information that our article is the copyvio. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:58, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The wording's weird, though. That one phrase at the end... Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.8% of all FPs. 20:21, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Campaign desks were something of a trend back around the time this was written, so it doesn't seem as odd to me. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:47, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
One reason that I haven't acted on my suspicions is the possibility that the website copied from AlainV's articles (all 48 or them, with only three or four desks listed on the website that AlainV did not create an article for). I left a message on his talk page, but he hasn't edited in two years.
Looking more closely at Cylinder desk, I see that AlainV and others modified that article after he created it, and the website matches the state of the article in April 2006 rather than the original state when AlainV created it in November 2003. Given that, I withdraw any suggestion that AlainV copied from the Arts and Crafts Home website. Donald Albury 00:08, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
That was a good piece of detective work, Donald. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:42, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
As for the viability of "campaign desk" as a topic, why, here's just one of several books that I find on the topic of campaign furniture, so it appears that content on the topic can be sourced. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 21:07, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose There is no such thing as an article on a notable topic that will never improve. They always improve eventually if they are left for long enough. We have many articles that were massively expanded after more than a decade of inactivity. If a topic satisfies GNG, there will be people able and willing to improve it. The proposal is incompatible with the policy WP:ATD. James500 (talk) 04:19, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • General Comment I think that the advice at WP:NOPAGE is far too often neglected, and in many cases we would be better off upmerging content. By the same token there are definitely some encyclopedic topics that would be undue detail for a parent article, but will never expand beyond a few paragraphs because there isn't anything else to say about them, and that really isn't a problem either, those type of articles exist in traditional encyclopedias; people who are interested in the niche information can still find it, and it doesn't get in the way of everyone else.
    At some deeper level of course this is a request to rethink WP:N, especially WP:ARTN, and maybe shift the current consensus a bit as to when no article is better than the existing content. Much more specific criteria than failure to thrive will be needed for that to happen, and in the end we have to confront the fact that most articles simply do not meet the theoretical baseline standard (the small percentage that do become WP:GAs after being checked), and if history is any guide, changes will considerably increase the disruption associated with deletion, at least for a time.
    That isn't to say the underlying concern is without merit, and we all want better written articles, I'm just skeptical this is the best approach to get there. (talk) 04:01, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



I think we should refocus the discussion away from AFD… we DO have a problem with articles that are about notable topics, but are seriously problematic in other ways. I am thinking that we might need to create a NEW process to deal with such articles. Perhaps (for lack of a better name) we can call it “GAR” (for “Gut And Rebuild”)? Please discuss. Blueboar (talk) 14:41, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

I would be for a policy making it clearer that stubifying and similar are acceptable for badly sourced and very poorly written articles. But we already have several projects for rebuilding and restoring bad articles: WP:CLEANUP, WP:REFCHECK and WP:GOCE. I don't think creating a new process for it would help. We already have the BOLD, revert, discuss cycle for that. AlexandraAVX (talk) 14:50, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The "problem" is no one is doing it, whether it is because it is relatively harder or just not interested, someone still has to do the research and write, I suppose this GAR could draw attention to what no one is doing and it could help but doubtful it will make the article itself decent, what it could do is produce a list of sources which would certainly be better. It is better to direct readers to RS than whatever so-called "lousy" article we have. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:50, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
So, here’s the crux as I see it… when the issue is notability, we have a fairly clear threat (deletion) we can dangle in front of editors to force them to address the problem (or at least make the attempt). We also have a clear solution (supply sources).
But for other issues we don’t have a threat to dangle in front of editors to force (or at least strongly encourage) them to address the problem. We simply hope that, some day, someone might get around to it.
The question is… IS there some sort of threat (other than deletion) that would achieve the goal? The closest I can think of is: “Gut it back to a stub”. Blueboar (talk) 15:48, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I'm not sure "threat" is the right word, but it seems to me that criteria for compulsory draftification - and a dedicated noticeboard for that - could serve the intended purpose. Heck, it could even be accompanied by a proposed or a speedy draftification process as well. The trick is to come up with a word that starts with a letter other than D (or B). Articles for Transformation (AfT)? Newimpartial (talk) 16:17, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The problem with non-notable articles is that they are, well, not notable, and shouldn't be included in the encyclopaedia.
What is the problem with notable articles that are short that we are trying to solve? We can already remove unreferenced information (after looking for sources and either adding the sources you find or remove it as unverifiable if you can't find any). Why do we want to force people to expand this notable article under threat of deletion after a week (AfD) or six months (draftifying)? What does the encyclopaedia gain from this? Thryduulf (talk) 16:31, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Again, I’m trying to take deletion off the table here, and yet still convey a similar sense of urgency to editors (fix this “or else”). The only “or else” I can think of is: “We will pare this article down to a stub”. Blueboar (talk) 17:03, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I'm trying to understand why the urgency? Why do we suddenly need a deadline? Thryduulf (talk) 17:10, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Which editors? If we're dealing with old rot articles like discussed above, they are likely not editing Wikipedia any more. If we're dealing with newer problem articles, we're asking the editors to suddenly become competent? If you get into a war over paring something down, yes there are live editors and you can ask for a third opinion or somesuch., but in general, problem articles are better addressed by improving or paring them than in creating another system that relies on others. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 17:24, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think that threatening editors is probably the wrong way to build a healthy community or encyclopedia. Toughpigs (talk) 17:25, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@NatGertler, what if I don't want to do the work? What if my goal is to make other people do the work? I'm a WP:VOLUNTEER. I don't have to do anything I don't want to. But maybe I'd like to force "you" to do the work that I don't want to do. Threatening to take away basically accurate, appropriate information works on a timescale that humans can recognize. Either nobody cares, and the ugly article goes away, or a volunteer drops everything to save the article. I get to congratulate myself on prompting improvements without lifting a finger to do the work myself.
Waiting for someone to notice the problem and feel like fixing it doesn't feel like it works. Sure, some of them might get improved, but I can't see the connection. AFD forces people to do something about the specific article that I don't like. m:Eventualism just says – well, maybe some articles will get improved and maybe they won't, but I'll never know which ones, and it probably won't be the ones that I care about. I feel helpless and like there's nothing I can do, especially if I don't want to (or am not competent to) improve the articles myself. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:52, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Blueboar, "gut it back to a stub" won't work, because for the most part, the articles that are disliked are already stubs.
Also, nobody's stopping anyone from doing that now. Wikipedia:Stub#Stubbing existing articles (guideline) officially endorses it. Wikipedia:Editing policy#Problems that may justify removal (policy) provides a list of reasons for removing bad content without deleting the article.
I think the desire is to force other people to do this work. "My" job is just to complain that your work is sub-par (sending it to AFD requires three clicks and typing a sentence); "your" job is to put in whatever work is necessary to satisfy me (could be a couple of hours of work, especially if I dislike the subject and so demand an even higher level of activity).
Consider Campaign desk, given as an example above. It's a long stub (10 sentences, 232 words according to ProseSize). Two editors easily found sources for it. It's at AFD now. Why? I don't know, but I will tell you that it's quicker and easier to send something to AFD than to copy and paste sources out of this discussion. I also notice on the same day's AFDs that someone has re-nominated an article because the sources that were listed in the first AFD haven't been copied and pasted into the article yet. Why not copy and paste the sources over yourself? I don't know. Maybe adding sources to articles is work that should be done by lesser beings, not by people who are trying to "improve Wikipedia's quality" by removing anything that hasn't been improve to my satisfaction by the WP:DEADLINE – the deadline apparently being "whenever I notice the article's existence". WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:25, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Part of an editor’s job is to highlight problems that the author needs to fix. I do get that we ideally wear both hats at the same time, but… sometimes we can only wear one. It is quite possible for editors to identify problems with an article that they can not fix themselves because they don’t know the subject matter well enough to do so. We need something that tells those who DO know the subject matter: “hey, this urgently needs your attention”.
As for why there is urgency… we simply have too many articles flagged as having with serious problems that have never been addressed. We need something that will push those who can be authors into actually authoring. Blueboar (talk) 17:48, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
That model of "editors" and "authors" is based on a hierarchical professional structure that does not exist on Wikipedia. Everyone is an "editor" on Wikipedia; that word doesn't hypothetically grant you power over me. Toughpigs (talk) 17:51, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Blueboar, a while ago, I dropped everything to save articles such as White cake. (Please do not blame the innocent AFD nom; he, like 99.9% of people, didn't know the modern white cake is a technological wonder, and finding high-quality and scholarly sources about everyday subjects requires more than an ordinary search.) I had fun doing it, and those articles are much better now. (I'll deal with the complication that is fudge cake later).
But: Do you know what I could have been working on instead of those articles? Cancer survivor. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education in the United States. Epilepsy and pregnancy. Suicide. Multiple chemical sensitivity. The targeted articles are much better now. But is Wikipedia as a whole better off, when you consider the opportunity cost? I doubt it.
I think @Thryduulf is on the right track when he asks why we have such urgency. There was no urgency whatsoever about White cake. There were no errors in it. It had sources. It was, admittedly, much less awesome than it is now, but there is nothing seriously wrong. Ditto for Campaign desk, and almost all of the other "ugly" articles. So: Why should fixing that have been urgent? Did we really need something to push me into improving the article? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:57, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, but you did not need the article to do the research and write on white cake, and why it matters, is we are not showing our research, after sometimes decades, and thus adding value, rather we are suggesting that someone shared their thoughts on white cake on Wikipedia, when you can look at the rest of the internet and google for people's thoughts on white cake. The reader would have been better off, in the reliable information department, by finding reliable information on their own, then reading the unsourced, unexamined decidedly unreliable by Wikipedia's own disclaimer article. Anything that said in effect go, read this stuff, it is a good source, would have been better. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:17, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Alanscottwalker, why do you say that an article that cited seven (7) sources, including one from Oxford University Press, and that contained no errors is unsourced, unexamined decidedly unreliable? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:25, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Oh, sorry, I thought your story was about it being AfD'd for lack of sourcing, was it that the sources cited were unreliable or irrelevant meaning with no evidence in them of notability? (so yeah, the rest, of my comment would apply to the unsoured parts). Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:42, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Here's the article on the day it was nominated for deletion. It was one paragraph/six sentences long. That one paragraph had seven inline citations. Here's the AFD page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:29, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yeah, such AfD nominations are always hard to understand, as the inner logic of the nom is 'this is part of a notable topic' (here, cake). That's similar to the campaign desk example, the salient issue is whether to redirect to campaign furniture. Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:28, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
(edit conflict × 2) That doesn't explain why there is urgency. It identifies that you (and some other editors) dislike there being lots of articles that haven't been improved to your satisfaction yet. It does not explain why that many articles needing improvement is a problem, why nominated articles need fixing more urgently than the other articles, why you can't or won't fix it yourself, nor why you get to decide what articles other people need to prioritise. Thryduulf (talk) 17:55, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
(Friendly reminder: If you don't like edit conflicts, try that Reply button. Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-editing-discussion and "Enable quick replying" if you don't see one at the end of every sig.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:59, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Honestly, just the fact that you're considering "threatening" people in order to "force" them to do what you want suggests that this may be more about you than it is about the articles. The AfD process isn't about "threats" and "force", it's about identifying and deleting articles on non-notable subjects. Toughpigs (talk) 18:14, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I’m just being realistic. “Force” may not be the intent of the AFD process, but it is certainly a product of that process… because we “threaten” to delete articles on non-notable topics, lazy article authors are “forced” to provide sources to properly establish that the topic is indeed notable.
In any case, what I am fumbling around trying to envision is a process that would be “about” identifying and fixing seriously flawed articles on notable topics - a process perhaps similar to AFD, but not AFD. Blueboar (talk) 10:59, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The only things such a process could bring that existing policies, processes, task forces, collaborations, etc don't are a deadline and consequences for failure and nobody has yet identified why we need either of those. Thryduulf (talk) 11:09, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • OK… let’s break it down into more bite sized chunks… first: let’s consider articles with serious WP:NOT issues (That might be a clearer example of where the topic might be notable, but the article, as it currently stands, is problematic). Do we have any sort of process that would help us better identify and therefore fix such articles? Blueboar (talk) 11:51, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Yes - the various cleanup templates and categories. Thryduulf (talk) 12:03, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    What is the process behind those templates and categories? Blueboar (talk) 12:55, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    1. an editor identifies the that an article is in need of cleanup and applies the template.
    2. optionally, it gets added to a list (e.g. a backlog drive)
    3. an editor who can improve the article finds it through one of several methods (see below) and does so
    Methods of finding an article include:
    • seeing the banner template on an article they are reading
    • seeing the article in the category (directly or via some category intersection tool)
    • seeing the article in a list
    • seeing the edit applying the template on their watchlist
    Thryduulf (talk) 13:02, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    In other words… eventually, someday, maybe, someone might get around to fixing the article. But until that eventual day comes (perhaps years after it is identified) we are apparently OK with Wikipedia continuing to contain content that a (somewhat core) policy explicitly says Wikipedia should NOT contain?
    I’m sorry, but if that is our “process”, I don’t think it is effective (or at least not effective enough). I think we need a better process. A process that will incentivize our authors to fix WP:NOT issues sooner rather than later. Blueboar (talk) 14:00, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    As I stated the only things our processes lack is a deadline and consequences for failing to meet that deadline and you still haven't identified how having either of them will benefit the encyclopaedia. Policies and guidelines already allow you to remove policy violations when you see them. Thryduulf (talk) 14:13, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Looks to me, Blueboar has done so, 1) effectively disincentivizing long term-policy violations; 2) effectively. reducing long-term policy violations. 3) Wikipedia taking effective responsibility for long-term policy violations concerning the central reason Wikipedia exists, its content, because we can't/don't insist on individual accountability (no one can make an editor source that article they wrote 10 years ago) we need to make process for entire-project accountability, when individualist work has over the long-term failed, concerning its central mission. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:51, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I thought the whole point of this proposal is to deal with articles that aren't policy violations? Articles that are policy violations should have the policy violating parts fixed or removed, or (if that would leave nothing viable), nominated for deletion as soon as someone sees them. Thryduulf (talk) 15:54, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    What you're suggesting is a "double AfD" -- if an article has been at AfD and it's been demonstrated that the subject is notable, but you personally still don't like the current state of the article, then you want an extra do-over that gets you the result that you want. Toughpigs (talk) 15:55, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    And that someone else has to do the work, because if the only point was to fix the article, you could do that yourself. There is nobody in this discussion who is incapable of remedying serious policy violations in any article, including subjects we're unfamiliar with. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:00, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    With English Wikipedia's current consensus being that stub creation is encouraged, and with Wikipedia editors being volunteers, I think the only scalable way to continually improve articles is to build up groups of editors interested in various topic areas—which in the context of English Wikipedia, are WikiProjects—who can work through the queues of stubs. I realize that with most WikiProject talk pages being dormant, this isn't easy. Now that new editors each have their own personal newcomer homepage with an assigned mentor (though at present on English Wikipedia, due to a shortage of volunteers, only 50% of newcomers are shown a mentor on their homepage), perhaps mentors can help point new users to active WikiProjects. (Building a new consensus to manage the quality of new articles is an alternative, but personally I don't foresee a change being feasible in the intermediate term, given the most recent discussions amongst the editors who like to weigh in on this matter.) isaacl (talk) 16:09, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Should expanding stubs be prioritized over other tasks? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:18, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    You know the answer to that already: it's up to each person to decide what they want to work on. A group of interested persons can discuss situations, of course, and that may influence individual decisions. isaacl (talk) 16:23, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Our choices about which backlogs to "advertise" affect the choices people make. If we say "Stubs are bad, so please prioritize expand stubs", then we'll get more stub expansion. If we were instead to say "Improving popular articles is more important than ignored ones, even though they're less likely to be stubs", then we would expect to get more focus on popular articles. Each person will make their own decisions about what to work on, but people will also take official recommendations and nudges into account when making their individual choices.
    Some years back, Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine set an official goal of getting all Top-importance articles past the stub stage. (These tend to be rather generic subjects, like Burn and Infection.) I think that was valuable, but I'm not sure that there is similar value in encouraging the expansion of the least-read 50% of Wikipedia's articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:45, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Sure, that's up to the interested editors to decide upon. For better or worse, I can't keep other editors from discussing queues of interest to them. I can raise my concerns about their relative priority, and thus try to influence whatever decisions are made (whether that's tasks undertaken or text on a WikiProject page). isaacl (talk) 16:59, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    @Blueboar, could you give me an example (preferably hypothetical) of an article about a notable subject that has serious NOT violations? None of the examples above (e.g, Campaign desk) seem to be NOT violations.
    I feel like the common objections behind these discussions (which have been going on with some intensity for a couple of years now) don't involve serious policy violations at all. Instead, the objections appear to be:
    • WP:ITSUNREFERENCED, and I want someone else to add sources right now. We couldn't get a rule adopted to require sources in non-BLP articles earlier this year, but I want this non-BLP article treated as if we did adopt that rule.
    • It's an WP:UGLY little article. Personally, I prefer that articles be Start-class, or at least long stubs.
    • There has been WP:NOIMPROVEMENT for a long time and other editors are making WP:NOEFFORT to expand it.
    • This subject feels unimportant to me, so WP:WEDONTNEEDIT (e.g., species articles) even if it is accurate, verifiable, and cited.
    All of those shortcuts point to Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:15, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    • Sure… Suppose an article about a relatively obscure regional restaurant chain that does nothing but list every franchise outlet and its address, thus violating WP:NOTDIRECTORY. The chain might well be notable and thus worth an article… but the article we currently have is problematic. It probably needs a complete rewrite, not deletion… So… let’s say someone stumbles upon this article. They can identify the problem, but they don’t know the topic well enough to write about it (and perhaps they don’t really care enough to do so)… so they simply tag it and move on… And then… nothing happens… nothing changes… the article just sits there, tagged as violating policy, potentially for years. I don’t think that is in the best interest of WP. Surely there is some way to better incentivize fixing the article. Blueboar (talk) 18:43, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      The person who needs incentivizing is you. You are the one who's bothered by the article's existence. You can be the one who fixes it. Take out the addresses, look for reliable sources (probably in newspapers, for a restaurant chain). If you don't find any, then put it up for deletion. If you do, add them to the article. The problem is solved. You solved it! Toughpigs (talk) 18:46, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      Hmm… Nope… I’m not in a position to fix the problem myself. I don’t live in the area served by my hypothetical restaurant chain, I have never eaten there, I know nothing about it, I don’t even know what sources would help me to write a proper article. All I know is that the article (as it currently stands) is a directory of franchises (a WP:NOT violation). I DO care enough about WP to alert others to the problem, but I am not qualified to fix it myself. The best I can do is tag and move on.
      So, I ask again… THEN what? Do we (as a community) continue to just ignore the problems with the article I have identified?… because that is what is currently happening! Surely we can do better. Blueboar (talk) 19:44, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      Then you nominate it for deletion. We already have a process for this. If the article is kept, then at least a couple of sources have come up, and glaring problems like the addresses have been fixed. Toughpigs (talk) 20:43, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      Nah… If I nominate for deletion, I get told that the topic is notable (apparently there are reliable sources, even though I personally don’t know which are reliable). I get told that AFD isn’t for article clean up (so the WP:NOT violation persists), and I am scolded for wasting people’s time. Blueboar (talk) 21:32, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      So... you don't want to use AfD because you'll be told that you're wrong. Instead, you want a separate AfD process that will tell you that you're right? Toughpigs (talk) 21:36, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      Not at all… I want a new process that will better draw attention to problems and do more to incentivize editors who CAN fix the problems to actually DO so. That new process might (or might not) be modeled on AFD… I’m still very open to suggestions and inspiration on that. I simply know that our current “tag it and hope that someone eventually fixes it” system isn’t working. Blueboar (talk) 21:59, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      Is fixing that the right goal for Wikipedia?
      I think this point needs to get some direct attention. I agree that the hypothetical article described above is a WP:NOT violation as written.
      But: Is this really a "Oh my goodness, that actually violates a policy! Please, somebody do something, quick!" situation? Or could this be more of a "That's unfortunate, but not actually harmful, and frankly an article that only lists the locations is not as important as other problems I could be fixing" problem?
      Most of what we do is being done by about 10K experienced editors each month. The available volunteer hours do not expand to accommodate someone's desire to have this fixed on the m:immediatism time line. Incentivizing the editors who can clean up that article "to actually DO so" means incentivizing those editors to leave other problems unaddressed. So – is this really worth the cost? Are you glad that I expanded Cottage Inn Pizza when it was prodded a few months ago? Can that question be fully answered, if you don't consider what else I didn't do, because I spent an hour or so on that "relatively obscure regional restaurant chain"? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:34, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      If there isn’t any urgency, perhaps we should downgrade WP:NOT to an essay?… or rename it to: “What Wikipedia arguably shouldn’t be.” Ok, snark there… but yeah, I do think dealing with violations of major policies should out weigh a lot of the other, pettier things we obsess about as editors. Blueboar (talk) 00:20, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      Blueboar, you asked, "Do we (as a community) continue to just ignore the problems with the article I have identified?" And for me, the answer is that I would rather have lots of imperfect articles than give you and X other people the power to mass-delete articles that would pass AfD but you still think are kind of "meh".
      (Note that you have already said that the articles would pass AfD and that you would be accused of wasting editors' time if you nominated them.)
      If your proposal is (paraphrased), "Let's have a system that 'forces' people to improve random articles on notable subjects at my personal instruction or they get deleted whenever I want," then I vote for the system that we currently have. Yes, that hypothetical chain restaurant article is absolutely hypothetically fine with me. Toughpigs (talk) 01:25, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      Well, I don't think I'd describe the hypothetical article as "fine", but I also don't think that fixing it is urgent. If it gets done sometime before the heat death of the universe, then that would be great. But if we have more important content to work on, then I'm okay with it still being in its harmless but WP:UGLY and nominally policy-violating state when I die. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:28, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      Toughpigs… I’m not sure why you keep bringing up deletion… I opened this section by removing deletion as an option. But just to be clear - I am envisioning a new process to fix problematic articles… and NOT delete them. Blueboar (talk) 10:29, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      So this new process highlights that it is vital that someone drops what they are doing and fixes this article to your satisfaction right now. What happens if nobody does? It's already a stub, so gutting the article isn't an option, and deletion is apparently off the table, so we can't do that. What else is there? Do we pick an editor and stop them doing anything else until they've fixed this article? How do we choose which editor? What happens if they walk away from the project instead? Or do we just leave the article with a different banner on it to let people know that not only is this article is in a bad state but we disapprove of it being in bad state and we were unable to force anybody to fix it in time? Thryduulf (talk) 10:56, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      Thryduulf, part of the problem in my hypothetical is that the article (as it currently stands) ISN’T “already a stub”… it’s a directory of franchises and addresses. I could definitely see “stubify” being a step in the process (the “Gut” part of my suggested “Gut and Rebuild” name for the process) but what we really need is the next step… something that will incentivize editors to rebuild. That’s what I am searching for… and I don’t have the answer yet. I am hoping that I will become inspired as we continue to discuss. Blueboar (talk) 11:39, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      Other editors have identified articles that they see as being part of this process which are stubs. Thryduulf (talk) 11:42, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      Fixing the Policy Violation™ 😱 requires ten seconds. You open the editor, blank the list, and save it. Fixing that would be faster than manually tagging it, and approximately the same amount of time as using Twinkle to tag it.
      Now we have a substub with less information, which presents two problems:
      • Nobody who hates having an article with two sentences and a list of locations is going to be satisfied with an article that contains only the two sentences. It's still WP:UGLY and it's still irritating to all the people who want only high-quality articles right now.
      • "Less information" can itself be construed as a different Policy Violation™ 😱, because the Wikipedia:Editing policy says that Wikipedia should generally have more information instead of less.
      So now what? Keep complaining? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:03, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      @Blueboar, what if it's not so petty? The next major edit I made after that pizza chain was to expand Mastitis. I don't think we have an official policy that says "Improve health-related articles by providing accurate, well-sourced facts about common medical conditions, particularly if misinformation is spreading about that subject on social media", but I do consider that more important and more urgent than nominal compliance with a policy about whether Wikipedia should or shouldn't contain a list of locations for a restaurant chain. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:26, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      Sure, there are things that are more important… but there are a lot of things we (as a community) obsess about that are less important. Perhaps we should adjust our priorities? Blueboar (talk) 11:44, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
      Where does removing a list of locations from a pizza chain article fall in your priority list? What's less (and more) important? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:59, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I think what you're aiming for is literally impossible. Not difficult, but actually impossible, without fundamentally changing what Wikipedia is. Wikipedia is not a publication (like a traditional encyclopedia), it is a content platform. There is no way to get the users of a content platform to all work towards the same goal (any goal). The only rule that a content platform can impose -- what you call a "threat" but is more accurately described as an enforcement mechanism -- the only enforcement mechanism available to a content platform is to not allow particular content to be published (what we call "deletion"). If you want to improve the content on a content platform, literally the only possible way to enforce any standards, is to delete (or not publish) content that fails to meet those standards. So: draw a line, delete anything that falls below that line, that's all we can really do. If the content meets the minimum standards, there is no real way to require or even encourage it to be improved beyond those minimum standards. Real money won't work, and nothing else matters to people in the end. You can hope people make better content, you can help them, you can encourage them, but you'll never be able to require it--all a content platform can do is remove substandard content. As analogies, consider how could YouTube possibly get people to make better videos, especially without paying them? How could a community garden get its members to plant "better" flowers? They can rip out substandard flowers, but beyond that...? I think there's nothing. Levivich (talk) 21:40, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  Not an issue for Village pump (policy). Referred elsewhere.
Not a policy discussion. Not a useful discussion. Take it up at the talk pages of the various sections of the main page if you must Just Step Sideways from this world ..... today 00:11, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Like literally, everytime I come on the Front Page of wikipedia theres always a featured article of euther a British or english person. Is wikipedia owned by limeys or something? ENOUGH…HAVE SOME DIVERSITY FOR ONCE!! (talk) 21:53, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

On the contrary, almost all main page FAs are about America! Johnbod (talk) 22:05, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Bot-like usernames


The username policy disallows users to have a username that has "bot", "script" or other related words in them because they could potentially mislead other editors. In my on-and-off time on wikipedia, I never understood why these sorts of usernames should be prohibited.

My main issue is that I feel that it's too BITEY.

Imagine being a new editor, clicking on the edit button just to see a big ugly edit notice saying that you're indefinitely blocked from editing just because you put "bot" on your username. Wouldn't it demotivate, discourage, and dissuade you from ever editing Wikipedia, or going through the process of appealing a block?

I understand that admins should attempt to communicate to the user before taking any action, but I rarely see that happen.

The thing is, having a bot-like username is not disruptive to the encyclopedia. It's not trolling any users, or going to tackle the issue with bot-like editing.

So I ask you, what is the purpose of prohibiting bot-like usernames? OzzyOlly (talk) 01:57, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

If I see a user account called CitationBot, I assume it's a bot that in some way edits citations. Prohibiting bot-like usernames is intended to prevent that assumption from being misleading. If admins are not explaining the block reasoning, that is a distinct issue from the policy itself. CMD (talk) 02:30, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I could how some users might ignore edits because of their username, but first, the vast majority of times it's someone who stuck robot in their because they like robots or are otherwise entirely in good faith, and also users can check the account and its contributions. OzzyOlly (talk) 02:40, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Many usernames could be made in good faith that fall afoul of the username policy, the policy was not created to deal with bad faith usernames but to provide guidance for selecting usernames that do not impede communication and collaboration (or create potential legal issues). CMD (talk) 02:48, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
My issue is that bot-like usernames don't impede communication or are disruptive. I think we're risking shutting out perfectly good editors over minor "what-ifs" OzzyOlly (talk) 03:11, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Bot-like usernames do both, because we editors do not communicate with bots, and expect edits by bots to be very constrained along particular lines. The username policy does not shut out any editors. CMD (talk) 03:28, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I know it's not really a total blanket ban on editors, but the issue is that I don't believe there's a net gain in doing this. I mean, recent changes automatically doesn't show you bot edits, and it's pretty easy to distinguish a human from a bot editor (especially the ones who added bot not as an attempt to communicate anything) even without having to check if it has the bot flag.
I've checked around to see how many people are blocked because of this, I've only found two instances of bot-like behavior, both of which are simply people not realizing they need to seek approval from BAG if they want to bring a bot from another project. Some are blocked for vandalism, sockpuppetry, and other stuff but the vast majority are of just regular newcomers, acting in good faith. OzzyOlly (talk) 15:09, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
If an editor is so fragile that a username policy is something that causes them to leave this site forever, then don't let them know about all other policies and guidelines we have. Gonnym (talk) 18:01, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
If we're not (at least) issuing warnings about potentially unwanted but not automatically rejected usernames at the time of account creation, maybe we should be. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:07, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
It could be editors create a login on another language Wikipedia that does not have this rule. They can edit there where "bot" means something different, but editting here is a problem if it sounds like you are a robot. Some other names are a problem, eg "administrator" or "official" which could mislead. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 07:29, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
What if the person happens to be called LongBOTtom or likes the Bibles and uses TheSCRIPTures etc? There must be reasonable grounds? — Iadmctalk  08:00, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The policy doesn't disallow those. It only disallows names that suggest the user's a bot.—S Marshall T/C 08:20, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Oh OK. Thanks — Iadmctalk  08:22, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
What about User:Notbot? Looks like a bot to me even though you can say he's claiming not to be a bot — Iadmctalk  08:45, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
This is a borderline case and should be discussed with the community. I suspect it would?be allowed, but I can't be sure unless the discussion actually takes place. Animal lover |666| 12:35, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I really think we should offer to do the name change on their behalf rather than make them go through all this crap and then request one and then sit around and twiddle their thumbs while they wait for us to get around to it. At the very least, give them a week to come up with a new one or something, and then block them. jp×g🗯️ 08:35, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
We really shouldn't be indefing editors because of their username, unless it's obviously offensive. I know that's kind of what we do already, but we really should just look at their edits, and see if they're WP:HTBAE or not. If they are, drop a note on their talk page, ask them what username they want, instead of mass blocks and biting. OzzyOlly (talk) 15:17, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Theoretically, this is the rule, but in practice, the few admins who deal with this say it's too much trouble to check back to see if a request has been made. They block when it's not required because it's easier for them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:13, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Usernames that suggest that the underlying account is a bot should be a communicate-level prohibited name-that is they should only be blocked after a failed attempt to convince them to change name. Additionally, they should never be blocked if their primary wiki is not English-speaking, and probably not even for other English-language wikis. And merely having words like "bot" or "script" shouldn't be a problem, only names which actually imply that the account is one. Any borderline case should be discussed with the community; "borderline" should be defined as anything that a good-faith, long-time community member may support allowing. Animal lover |666| 12:25, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
What about robot*** or bot***, these cases used bot as prefix not a suffix? -Lemonaka 02:50, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
AFAICT anything that implies the user is a bot is disallowed, I'm assuming they used suffixes as an example, and not as a hard and fast rule. All I'm saying is that disallowing those usernames causes more harm than good, for resolving an issue that even a much more experienced editor like you has never seen. OzzyOlly (talk) 04:14, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@User:RobotGoggles Someone has called that your username is disallowed. Anyway, there are lots of user with a prefix instead of suffix and didn't cause any trouble. -Lemonaka 12:42, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I am unsure what this discussion is regarding but I have had this username for years. It is a reference to Robotron 2084, the arcade game that was my original username, ages ago. When I lost that email and I had to make a new account, I created a portmanteau of Robotron and "Goggles", my high school nickname. It has nothing to do with any implications that I am a bot, nor that I am a human. I think, and I may be wrong about this, that users don't think that "robot" is a word to use to describe automated users on a web forum or wiki. Robots are physical machines, not just computer programs and software. I've, in fact, never even been accused by other users of being a bot, even in heated talk pages where you would expect such an accusation to be made. RobotGoggles (talk) 19:19, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Maybe they see "RobertGoogles"? I did — Iadmctalk  19:28, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
In addition, Robot-Google. If someone thought " anything that implies the user is a bot is disallowed", then this username may both considered assuming that the user is a "bot" and a "COI" editor. However, unless editing disruptively, no one may give them a block just because of the username. So the topic is a little bit absurd. -Lemonaka 02:42, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Anyway, a bot from AmandaNP excessively positively detecting users may violate username policies, which may cause some trouble when a common newly registered user got a notice on WP:UAA just due to being detected. -Lemonaka 02:43, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
UAA should be done in such a way that doesn't notify reported users. Finding out about the report would be extremely BITEy for perfectly good user names, significantly BITEy for users with communicate-level disallowed usernames to find out that their names are problematic, and helpful for intentionally disruptively named users to help evade detection (I believe I covered the vast majority of reported names). Animal lover |666| 12:01, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Animal lover 666 Please report me for testing, I'd like to take a view whether they noticed reported users. -Lemonaka 14:30, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@OzzyOlly I meant that if you contribute constructively, why would someone blocked you for your username? Just as @Animal lover 666, merely having words like "bot" or "script" shouldn't be a problem. This is not something hard and robust. -Lemonaka 02:40, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Of course it isn't robust, what I'm saying is is that it's unnecessary to resolve an effectively non-existent problem. And new users, even ones that are contributing positively do get blocked because of this rule. OzzyOlly (talk) 02:48, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Unification of include-info and reject-info principles in the content policies


There is a suggestion to remove "not taking sides" from the NPOV policy, which is the essential point in its nutshell. The argument is that the terminology could be preventing that we reject fringe theories, etc., because that would be taking sides. Of course, this has never been the meaning of "not taking sides" in the policy. The language and the terminology are the superficial side of this. The concepts are the important side. Therefore, I suggested that before we consider the superficial terminological issue, we do a RfC about a better unification of include-info and reject-info principles in the content policies in general. I am concerned that I will be prevented from doing that RfC, because some would say that it disrupts the discussion. So, I am asking opinions about this here. Dominic Mayers (talk) 15:53, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Negative conflicts of interest


Our policy at Wikipedia:Conflict of interest is thorough in its coverage of situations where an advocate for an organization, product, or individual is posting positive things and suppressing negative things about their favored subject, but much less so for situations where an opponent of the same tries to tip scales in the opposite direction. The policy does state that "there can be a COI when writing on behalf of a competitor or opponent of the page subject, just as there is when writing on behalf of the page subject". Without naming names, in my time here I have seen, e.g., litigants attempting to insert negative information about judges presiding over their cases and about opposing counsel (including creating articles on decidedly non-notable lawyers and firms to this end), buyers and other constituents of suppliers and services taking to Wikipedia to vent displeasures with their relationship, and others who for a litany of other personal experiences feel that some non-notable (or possibly borderline-notable) thing is so bad that it nonetheless deserves promotion to a full encyclopedia article so that it can be properly griped about. I am somewhat surprised that after all these years we do not have some kind of WP:NOTAGRIPESITE policy in place addressing the fact that a negative personal relationship between an editor and an article subject is still a COI. BD2412 T 21:51, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

WP:ADVOCACY can be seen as addressing some of this. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 10:52, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Which names are suitable to list “given name” page? (And such page has a list of all notable people with this given name (without surname)


There is a Yuki (given name) page, list all notable Japanese people with name (without surname) Yuki, but their Chinese characters may be different (can be 雪, 幸, 由紀, 由貴, 由岐, 由樹, 友紀, 夕希, 有希, and others), the same holds for Do-yeon page, list all notable Korean people with name (without surname) Do-yeon, but their Chinese characters may be different (can be 渡然, 度妍, 度演, and others), but why not add a page for Chinese people? For example, “Yǔ-xīn (given name)” page, list all notable Chinese people with name (without surname) Yǔ-xīn, but their Chinese characters may be different (can be 語妡, 羽芯, 雨莘, 予歆, 宇馨, 禹昕, 瑀欣, and others)? All of Japanese, Korean, Chinese names use Chinese characters (Hanzi or Kanji or Hanja), which are logogram, thus unlike Linda (given name), which is a Western given name. 2402:7500:901:F0FF:2883:CBF9:5462:8F6A (talk) 03:48, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

This is the English Wikipedia. The names are grouped based on the English spellings of the names. Bookworm857158367 (talk) 04:21, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Of course I know, all of Japanese, Chinese, Korean names can be grouped based on the English spellings, such as Yuki (Japanese), Yǔ-xīn (Chinese), Do-yeon (Korean) (talk) 04:33, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Any individual whose given name is written in English as Yuki in several different sources, even if it isn't the primary English-language spelling. Same goes for multipart given names, if any part is spelled this way and used as the given name in several sources. Animal lover |666| 12:15, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Inclusion of List of compositions in an composer infobox


Does this go against any MoS? According to this edit it does. Is a notable list simply POV? See Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as an example of the list link and Aaron Copland for a notable works list — Iadmctalk  12:30, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

There was a discussion not so long back about this exact question. Unfortunately I can't find it or remember exactly what consensus it reached, but I think most people were in favour of including the link, although not necessarily with the wording "See list". I'm sad to say that it really does not surprise me to see the editor who reverted you edit warring and being obstructionate around infoboxes like it's still 2015. Thryduulf (talk) 12:55, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
No comment on the editor... Thanks for the heads up on the recent discussion. I'll look for it — Iadmctalk  13:42, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Thryduulf@Iadmc This topic came up in the past the same way it came up for Iadmc. An editor claimed at Antonio Vivaldi that these lists violated MOS:FORCELINK. So after discussing at that article's TALK, the subject was brought up at WT:MOSIBOX. After a discussion about FORCELINK, there was very little support for that these links violate FORCELINK. In that discussion some editors objected on the basis of MOS:INFOBOXPURPOSE. That was also discussed and again there was very little support for that interpretation. In fact, quite the opposite. For whatever reason, some of the involved editors continue to edit articles citing a MOS interpretation that the community hasn't endorsed. I'm not sure where you go from here, but good luck. Nemov (talk) 15:38, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think I'm remembering the same conversation as @Thryduulf, and my recollection was that adding a single "List of works..." link was considered preferable to a long list. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:13, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
If editors are knowingly editing against consensus then potentially a trip to ANI is required - especially if they are editwarring about it (or accusing others of editwarring about it). It's definitely a user conduct issue rather than a policy issue. Thryduulf (talk) 17:30, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
That's not an hornet nest I want to kick. It would probably require ARBCOM and given the editors at question here it seems like a headache. Nemov (talk) 18:13, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Explaining how adding info helps achieve the neutral point of view


I participated in long discussions in the NPOV talk page regarding Wikipedia taking sides. Some say it should take sides in removing fringe theories. Realizing that the true issue was a debate between including vs rejecting information, I suggested that we first discuss that more fundamental issue. A participant asked me to give examples that illustrate how "describing debates instead of engaging them" helps achieve the neutral point of view. This a difficult and important challenge that I do not want to take alone. Moreover, I wish to spend less time in these discussions. So, I wrote the essay Please, explain the neutral point of view that passes the challenge to the community. It is up to the community to react or not. Dominic Mayers (talk) 15:39, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

The biggest problem in that is that the approach you are suggesting for not taking sides appears to require the use of original research. For example when a judge is not taking sides, they are in their capacity allowed to look at all evidence and all relevant case law and then synthesize a decision from that. Ideally this show mirror establish case law but often judges cradt new concepts as to remain neutral. For us on WP, our job is only to summarize what is reported in reliable sources, and we cannot craft a conclusion not given explicitly in those sources. So we can only "not that sides" from what material is presented in reliable sources, and cannot include material that would perhaps likely make a more unbiased take on the topic if that material only originates in unreliable sources. We should work to present material in a way that appears to not take sides, but if one side of an argument is what RSes give 99% coverage of, we aren't able to craft a false balance to make both sides seem equal. — Masem (t) 16:02, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
As I explained, I wish to spend less time in these discussions. Dominic Mayers (talk) 16:06, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
This has been a consistent point of discussion in the NPOV talk page threads. -- LCU ActivelyDisinterested «@» °∆t° 16:54, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Wikimedia Movement Charter ratification vote! How should we spend a billion dollars?


I am writing to request feedback on the meta:Movement Charter by 25 June to publish as community reactions in the next issue of The Signpost.

Hi I am Lane Rasberry / user:bluerasberry. I am an editor for The Signpost. I also organize wiki stuff off-wiki in lots of ways, including in-person Wikipedia meetups and professionally as a Wikipedia researcher at my university.

I am writing to share the news that somehow - perhaps as an endpoint to 10 years of strategic planning - wiki governance has produced a draft Movement Charter. There will be a global ratification vote on it 25 June through 9 July. Lots of people have lots of views of this. My view is that this document would greatly influence and justify how the Wikimedia Movement spends the US$1,000,000,000 (billion dollars) which the Wikimedia Foundation is likely to collect over the next 6-8 years.

I am writing here to seek comments and reactions to the Charter. Also, please if you respect the views of any other individuals or organizations, then ask them to comment. I want to publish this in the next issue of Signpost to help inform voter decisions on the ratification. I also asked for comment at meta:Talk:Movement_Charter#Request_reactions_to_Charter_for_Signpost_newsletter and Wikipedia_talk:Wikipedia_Signpost/Newsroom#Movement_Charter_Ratification_vote. Thanks for any reactions. Feel free to post here, in the newsroom, or anywhere just so long as you share what you did for reporting in The Signpost. Bluerasberry (talk) 16:08, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

My initial reaction is that it doesn't feature the word "encyclopedia", and that's a shame. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 18:34, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I'm concerned the statement "The Wikimedia Movement is based on and embraces a factual, verifiable, open, and inclusive approach to knowledge-sharing", while full of good things, foregoes "ethical" or any other terminology that would be fight against justifying a pirate site. -- Nat Gertler (talk) Nat Gertler (talk) 18:51, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
This 'movement' is, needless to say, a fiction. People who edit stuff on WMF-hosted websites are no more a 'movement' than Redditors, or people who use X-that-used-to-be-Twitter. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:16, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
A movement for X
That used to be Twitter
From reading the posts
Must be named Xitter
-- LCU ActivelyDisinterested «@» °∆t° 20:07, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@AndyTheGrump [5]: The “Wikimedia Movement” refers to the totality of people, groups, and organizations who support and participate in Wikimedia websites and projects. It includes all of those who operate within the policies, principles, and values of the movement. It's a thing but still you point that it is really a fiction. — Iadmctalk  21:14, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I am well aware of what the WMF claims in regard to this supposed 'movement', when trying to justify their funding efforts. I have seen precisely zero evidence that anyone has done any research into the extent those who use WMF websites actually subscribe to the 'principles' and 'values' claimed, or that they consider themselves a part of any particular 'movement'. There is nothing whatsoever in the terms of use that describes such particular beliefs, and it would be grossly improper to require them. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:02, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
This just reads like meaningless marketing jargon to me, like calling a shopper doing some price comparison "the client's purchasing journey". That's not what a "journey" is, and this is not what a "movement" is. JoelleJay (talk) 18:17, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@AndyTheGrump@JoelleJay Yes. Marketing probably. I Follow the WP:5P and all that goes with it. I know nothing of 'principles' and 'values' of WikiMedia. A ficticious jargon and a waste of time no one will read. — Iadmctalk  18:22, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The 5Ps only apply to the English language Wikipedia, and while we adhere to them, there is no shortage of evidence that not everybody agrees with them. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 18:59, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Maybe the WMF should spend that money employing people in developing countries to digitize their print media rather than using it to create more and more ideological focus groups that have nothing to do with building an encyclopedia. JoelleJay (talk) 18:24, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The WMF's flight of fancy took off long ago, and it has completely lost contact with Wikipedia or any other real-world activity. It now exists mainly to deceive donors who think they are supporting Wikipedia into financing unrelated activities. I often consider making a constructive edit but do not bother, knowing that it would be abused in this way. I am not part of any so-called Wikimedia movement, and it does not represent me in any way. Certes (talk) 19:18, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Policy for chemical data page


Hello, when I was discussing Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/2-Pyridone_(data_page), some one noted that there are lots of datapages on Category:Chemical_data_pages, much of them are created by Edgar181 (talk · contribs) who was banned years ago. These pages are in different styles, and some of them lack references. We may need a policy for such pages, for example, should they merged to main article of the related chemicals? Should they moved to Wikidata? Is there Any additional requirements for such pages since they are not an article?

I've viewed previous discussion on project, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Chemistry/Archive 36#Data pages and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Chemistry/Archive 50#Chemical data pages - move to Wikidata?, no clearly consensus got. Some users who discuss this topic also banned for years. -Lemonaka 02:45, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Pinging Graeme Bartlett, Boghog, and Bduke, who seem to know things about chemistry.
Lemonaka, these look to me like very large infoboxes. Perhaps they could be transcluded into a collapsed section? WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:01, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Count me out. It is 20 years since I was a chemistry academic and I was more into physical chemistry and not individual chemicals. Bduke (talk) 05:04, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think I was the someone in that discussion. I am by no means an expert in chemistry but as an outsider I would assume that people who need such information have a better source for it than Wikipedia pages. I suspect that most of the pages are pretty-much unused but I would be happy for any deletion/merge decisions to be made on a case-by-case basis in case some some of them are considered useful.
I would suggest changing the line If using the full Chembox, a supplementary page should be created as soon as time allows on WP:CHEMBOX § Supplementary data page. Even if some data pages are useful, I don't think it is useful to encourage indiscriminately creating them for all chemicals. Mgp28 (talk) 07:25, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I've added links to this discussion from Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Chemistry and Template talk:Chembox Mgp28 (talk) 07:37, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Much of the info on the datapages are in the main articles under chemboxes. I never even knew these datapages even existed. They seem to be miscellaneous pages or partly redundant compared to chemboxes that are found in main chemical articles which provide up to date info. And some that I looked at don't seem to be updated for years on chemicals properties. Some carry interesting documents like Materials Safety Datasheets (MSDS). Ramos1990 (talk) 08:08, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
We should discourage datapage creation. Instead articles should be made if the information is too detailed for the main article. I like the idea of "Properties of chemical". The banning of Edgar181 really has no bearing on the quality. But the main issue with the datapages is the lack of references. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 09:58, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • Wikisource seems like the most appropriate place to include additional data that is beyond the scope of an encyclopedia article. Masem (t) 12:30, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    You may mean wikidata?? -Lemonaka 12:40, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • I vaguely recall AFD for the lot of them a few years ago, that did not get consensus to delete. Can't find the page at the moment... DMacks (talk) 03:08, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

MOS on date format by country


Hello. Recently I learned by observation that Wikipedia tends to use DMY date formats (except for US subjects). Can someone please cite that policy? MOS:DATETIES applies to the use of English by country, as does MOS:TIES. I cannot find an applicable policy for subjects from non-English-speaking countries in MOS:NUM. I searched your archives and found mainly arguments, not really a useful pointer, sorry. Thank you for your time. -SusanLesch (talk) 14:21, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

The applicable guideline is "Retain existing format". In summary,

*The date format chosen in the first major contribution in the early stages of an article (i.e., the first non-stub version) should continue to be used, unless there is reason to change it based on strong national ties to the topic or consensus on the article's talk page.

Jc3s5h (talk) 14:27, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for the quote. That's exactly what I need. However the administrator who corrected me thinks MOS:VAR doesn't apply. He says MOS:DATETIES covers Italian subjects. I have read, and re-read MOS:DATETIES and conclude that no, it relates to English usage by country. Where does MOS offer guidance on date format by country? -SusanLesch (talk) 14:38, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply