Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive276

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Done by The Anome. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 20:28, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This user is already indeffed, but given this, I suggest that his/her talk page access also be revoked. Erpert blah, blah, blah... 20:17, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Note: New essay about arbitration accountability[edit]

Good-faith essay speedied as requested by creator. (non-admin closure) Erpert blah, blah, blah... 01:39, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Please see: WP:ARBACCTChed :  ?  05:51, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Well that should be interesting as Arbcom handles cases which the community seems to be unable to resolve by itself through consensus. --NeilN talk to me 05:55, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
So is it a good thing that a ruling body is above reproach? — Ched :  ?  06:05, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Given the amount of "Arbcom is incompetent" variations posted on a regular basis I don't think anyone can say Arbcom isn't reproached. But I don't see how you can say "arbitrators should be expected to act within the consensus of the community" when the community can't decide what that consensus is. --NeilN talk to me 06:27, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
I was expecting to see a new user account, but instead I'm seeing no context. Might I suggest if you're going to advertise a half-written essay that you give it, and the section advertising it, a meaningful title. -- zzuuzz (talk) 06:34, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
I've changed the header to something more meaningful. I have to agree with Neil otherwise; if an issue has worked its way up to arbitration it's almost a given that there is no community consensus about that issue.Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 09:27, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, this doesn't actually make any sense whatsoever. Arbcom cases are pretty much by definition situations where there is no community consensus. For example, if 95% of the community likes red fireplugs, that would never go to Arbcom. But if 50% like red fireplugs and 50% prefer yellow, that could go to Arbcom and whatever Arbcom decides will be against half the community. Arbcom decisions are essentially always controversial, but that isn't a bad thing--it's why Arbcom exists. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 14:46, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree. Conceptually, based on what ARBCOM does, this essay proposes an impossibility. Sergecross73 msg me 15:50, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Presumably this means, if the community reached consensus on a matter it had previously been divided on, that an ArbCom decision could be reversed. But if you believe that ArbCom would ever allow itself to be overruled, then I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. Reyk YO! 16:59, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Reviewing the talk pages of the main and evidence pages of WP:ARBAE2 will provide context. NE Ent 15:59, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Arbcom rarely (if ever) takes on content disputes. They deal with editor(s) conduct issues. GoodDay (talk) 16:23, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
@NE Ent: I guessed that (agree with most of your evidence, BTW). The cutting of the Workshop phase seems really ill-advised. You've got editors yelling at you to fix your screwup and you don't want them to suggest how to go about doing that and perhaps realizing that "fixing" may not be that easy or straightforward? --NeilN talk to me 16:33, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
  • My apologies if it is a poor idea. I've always felt that those who we elect to serve our project should be accountable to we who elect them. The concept isn't meant to address a single arb, or even an individual case. WP:ADMINACCT is entrenched in our policies, (and referenced frequently); I believe that it is a concept which should carry over to higher levels. There are many here who are far better than I at hashing out an idea into words. I appreciate everyone's time and feedback here. But hey, if I'm wrong in my thinking, then feel free to delete this, and I'll move on. — Ched :  ?  17:47, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
  • In any system in which representative are elected, the ultimate accountability insurance is to not re-elect them if they run again. Admins, on the other hand, are lifetime appointments, so strict accountability requirements make sense, as they are what desysoping is based on. BMK (talk) 18:10, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
  • WP:ADMINACCT deals with actions by admins. Is your essay designed to deal with arbitrator actions or how they participate and !vote in arbcom cases? --NeilN talk to me 17:59, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Good question, I'll have to think on that. — Ched :  ?  18:12, 5 November 2015 (UTC) Not "how they vote" though. Everyone "(!)votes" as their conscience dictates. — Ched :  ?  18:15, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment -- This seems like more harassment, threats based on innuendos of "don't rule a certain way, or the mob will hold you accountable". If nothing else, it's a POINTY attempt to send a message. I am disappointed. Dave Dial (talk) 20:13, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry you (or anyone) would see it that way Dave. It certainly wasn't my intent. Feel free to CSD, AfD, MfD, or any XfD you think is right. I won't even register an oppose there. — Ched :  ?  20:23, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Nah, I'm not going to get involved on whether the essay should stay or not. I just wanted to register my disappointment. I've not posted on the case page since it was accepted, nor do I plan to. I've been disappointed there too(ArbCom), waiting for the adults to make the right decisions. It might be too much to ask of volunteers, from the WMF and the community. The site has grown, as has the internet. Dave Dial (talk) 20:29, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Absolutely nothing in Ched's background indicates he would stoop to harassment. I do think the arbs are at a crossroads and the decisions they must make at this point will not be easy or obvious, but they must in my opinion deal with the people who elected them and they are accountable to the community. The community does not help by harassing them, and some of the comments I've seen are vicious. I do believe that when one is in the throes of difficult situations and decision making a reminder of what the fundamental principles are can be invaluable and a breath of fresh air. This is what Ched is offering.(Littleolive oil (talk) 20:39, 5 November 2015 (UTC))
  • I went ahead and tagged it for WP:CSD as {{db-self}}. Apparently there isn't much desire for this. Sorry to have troubled you folks with a poor idea. Thanks for your time. — Ched :  ?  21:06, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
I think it was a good idea but there is a fair amount of confusion surrounding this case, which may be why there was so little input, so it might be better to post or repost again later once there is order. I suspect that when arbs are pushed back and forth incessantly it can become hard to see the clearest way forward. This reminder of what arbs are responsible for and maybe for what they aren't might be an important feature of progress.(Littleolive oil (talk) 21:14, 5 November 2015 (UTC))

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Edward Sims Van Zile[edit]

Resolved: Attributed on En WP, note on the talk pages of both projects, explanation to user who transwikiied the content without requisite attribution. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 03:20, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

The article Edward Sims Van Zile was created by copy and pasting the article I created in my userspace User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )/Edward Sims Van Zile into mainspace by another editor without proper attribution. Can someone merge the edit histories so that I show up with the creation of the article? Then I can delete my userspace version. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 02:06, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

It was not copied from your sandbox, but from Simple English Wikipedia; it reflects material authored by people other than you, Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ). I will make sure proper attribution to the Simple English Wikipedia is supplied and speak to the user about how this is done. Your sandbox version is not needed, as you are attributed for your contributions on Simple. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 02:53, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

─────────────────────────This is a general question about transwikied articles. When I copy sections of one article to another one, I always add the "copied" template, which puts up a banner saying that the source article now serves as attribution for the receiving article and should not be deleted. However, we have no authority over other wikis, so we have no way of ensuring that the source article -- in the current case on -- is deleted, which would leave our article unattributed, which I believe is a copyright problem for us. How do we deal with this? BMK (talk) 03:37, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

That's a good question, I'd never really thought about it. I suppose the edits could be imported if necessary? Jenks24 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 10:32, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
We can also do a complete list of all authors on the talk page. As long as it's pointed to in edit summary, it meets all requirements for attribution in accordance with our Terms of Use §7(b)(iii). --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:43, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
User:Moonriddengirl: I think that you are misreading the terms of use. The point you referred to says that attribution may be given "Through a list of all authors". Special:Book (the only place I'm aware of where a list of authors is given in list form) says "Contributors: Moonriddengirl, BG19bot, TDKR Chicago 101 and KasparBot". This list is incomplete (Simple Wikipedia has other contributors), so it is not a list of the kind referred to in the terms of use.
The terms of use lists two alternative ways to provide attribution:
  1. "Through hyperlink (where possible) or URL to the article to which you contributed". Text was contributed to two different places (Edward Sims Van Zile and simple:Edward Sims Van Zile), but Special:Book only links to one of those places (the one on English Wikipedia). This method is obviously not used either.
  2. "Through hyperlink (where possible) or URL to an alternative, stable online copy that is freely accessible, which conforms with the license, and which provides credit to the authors in a manner equivalent to the credit given on the Project website". One could maybe say that Edward Sims Van Zile is an "alternative, stable online copy" of simple:Edward Sims Van Zile. However, it does not seem to "credit the authors in a manner equivalent to the credit given on the Project website" as the credit information is two clicks away (click on "view history" and go through all edit summaries and click on a link in one of the edit summaries). On Simple English Wikipedia, the credit information is only one click away (click on "view history"). It is also debatable whether the "alternative, stable online copy" "confirms with the license".
Attribution is a complex thing and it is easy to make a mistake somewhere. You might have seen this discussion on Commons where an external reuser of a picture got an invoice from a Commons uploader because he had used a thumbnail downloaded from Commons instead of using the original version of the file. EXIF data (which may contain attribution information) is stripped by Mediawiki when thumbnails are generated. --Stefan2 (talk) 18:10, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
Stefan2, I don't believe I am - I believe it pretty clearly permits a list of authors - but I think special book download is problematic in a number of ways, including that it does nothing to accommodate Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia, since it does not provide the edit summary that includes attribution. If we rely on attribution from Special:Books, nobody can ever copy substantial content from another Wikipedia page, ever. Only the original contributor could do so. (Unless we link to the source article on the page itself, with a url.) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:26, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
[edit conflict] Nope, no chance: for whatever reason that I don't understand, import only works with a few other wikis, and simple: isn't one of them. Perhaps it would simply work to dump a list of authors into the talk page and add a link to it? Nyttend (talk) 14:44, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
Here's a question asked out of ignorance: is there any way to transclude the simple article's history to our talk page? Or perhaps cutting-and-pasting the history up to the point of the transwiking would be sufficient, even though there would be no links to each contributors edit? BMK (talk) 21:54, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
Cutting & pasting works fine. Per my link above, a list of authors is sufficient, even without links to each contributor's edit. Every editor agrees to this when they hit save. :) We used to do this routinely with copyright cleanup, before the days of rev deletion. In the case of this particular article, I did the same thing there that we do on local wiki articles - put a note on the talk page explaining why the history needs to be retained. But this is a cross-article issue, and it would be great if we could do this - and especially if we had some way to automate this. Then we'd never have to worry about deletion anywhere. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 22:09, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
I *could* do an import from the Simple English Wikipedia because I can do importupload on this wiki, but I don't really like doing imports in cases like this, because they mess up people's contributions pages. Graham87 07:34, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
User:Graham87: What do you mean with 'messing up people's contributions pages'? In the past, edits could be assigned to the wrong user when the same user name belonged to different users on different projects, but SUL finalisation should have solved this problem when pages are imported from other Wikimedia projects. Is there something else which may be messed up? --Stefan2 (talk) 18:10, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
@Stefan2: People have edits that they made in one wiki on their contributions page of another. But the size of the Simple English Wikipedia page is very different to that of the English one; was a straight copy really involved? Graham87 08:50, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

SPA violating BLP[edit]

Dewanifacts (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) appears to exist for the sole purpose of inserting the name of the person totally acquitted of Murder of Anni Dewani into the article as many times as possible. NE Ent 15:53, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

This is an absurd allegation made by someone who not only does not know what they are talking about, but on their own admission, does not have the time to read up and check before making such a scurrilous accusation against me. NE Ent posted for the first time today on the Talk page of this article stating "Collect -- rip it all out. Unfortunately I have to go real life and don't have time to do it myself.". It appears that NE Ent spent about 25 seconds analysing my contributions and decided that rather than read up before attacking, he/she would simply make this ridiculous accusation and throw my name in the mud.
If anyone takes the time to read the edits that I have made and the discussions that I have had on the aformentioned Talk Page over the last few months, they will see that far from impinging on the rights of the acquitted person in this case (Shrien Dewani), I have been a staunch defender of that person's right to a fair and just representation here on Wikipedia in line with WP:BLP. I have abided by the rules and spirit of Wikipedia and have endeavoured to engage in constructive, collaborative debate to script a better Article. I expect that if you asked for the view of senior respected editors such as Robert McClenon they will attest to the fact that these allegations are unfair and not based in reality and that I have made valid and helpful contributions.
Quite aside from everything mentioned above, There are two rather cogent facts that NE Ent seems to have ignored. (i). The far majority of the mentions of Shrien Dewani's name have been added by other people - not me. (ii) I actually am in agreement with those who suggest that his name is mentioned too much and that lots of mentions can and should be excised from the article as they are no longer relevant. I have proposed discussion to this effect on the Talk page of the article (See this for yourself on the Talk page - section 34. "Suggestions to improve neutrality of the article")
All up - a thoroughly meritless accusation. Dewanifacts (talk) 17:01, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
Since you are an admitted "staunch defender of that person's right to a fair and just representation here on Wikipedia", it makes sense to examine your contributions to see if they cross the boundary of POV editing and to determine if you are a single-purpose account with a possible conflict of interest (as hinted at by your account name). When you set out on the quest you have given yourself, you should not be surprised when such questions are raised. BMK (talk) 19:48, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
Looking at your contribution list, there's no doubt whatsoever that you are a SPA, since you have not edited any article or talk page other than Murder of Anni Dewani and its talk page, to which you have 214 combined edits, out of your total of 278. [1]. As for "abid[ing] by the rules and spirit of Wikipedia", well, I'm the last person to look down on someone who's been blocked for edit warring, but in fact you have been blocked twice for just that in the 2 months you've been editing, so your claim is not really accurate.
In general, Wikipedia is not improved by editors with your profile, who instead attempt to put a bias in place, so it's perfectly acceptable for NE Ent to bring you up as a subject for scrutiny. BMK (talk) 19:56, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
Given their extremely tight editing focus, I think it would be a good idea for Dewanifacts to say, in this thread, whether they have any conflict of interest with regard to Shrien Dewani. Are they in any way connected to this person or their family (in which case the restrictions in the COI policy should come into effect), or are they being paid for their editing (in which case they also need to comply with the requirements of WP:TOU regarding paid editing). BMK (talk) 20:10, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

Background, history, comments[edit]

Executive Summary: Dismiss this thread as a bad filing. Robert McClenon (talk) 01:50, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

Unfortunately, I mostly agree with User:Dewanifacts and completely disagree with User:NE Ent, whose hasty entry here is very un-ent-like. (For the benefit of those unfamiliar with Lord of the Rings, ents are large, patient, long-lived humanoids, part tree but sentient, slow to anger, who dislike the “hastiness” of mortals.) NE Ent’s characterization of User:Dewanifacts as a single purpose account is correct, but his assessment of the role of Dewanifacts in the dispute over Murder of Anni Dewani is very far off the mark. Dewanifacts is what I will call a Truth and Justice Warrior, not at all the same as a Social Justice Warrior (SJW). SJWs seek to impose a POV on Wikipedia to advance a particular concept of social justice. Dewanifacts is an SPA who is very committed to neutral point of view and to establishing verified facts from reliable sources in a particular case that has been a terrible miscarriage of justice until recently (until the acquittal of Shrien Dewani).

My experience with this case began on 14 August 2015 when a dispute was brought to the dispute resolution noticeboard and I agreed to act as volunteer moderator (informal mediator). At the time, the article was page-protected for the first time. The stated issue was whether a particular source was biased and should be discounted or removed. However, the alleged bias was basically a criticism of the case against Shrien Dewani. (That is, the criticism was consistent with the fact that the case against him collapsed as being based on the testimony of lying criminals.) One editor was pushing strongly for the removal of material implying that the case against Shrien Dewani was bad, because they were insisting that it was a proved fact that the murder was a murder-for-hire. (It is true that previous court findings had referred to murder for hire, but that finding was based on false pleas.) It was very much a WP:ONEAGAINSTMANY dispute. The editor who was the “one” was not Dewanifacts. Dewanifacts was one of the editors who was trying to clean up the article to reflect the collapse of the murder-for-hire view. (The other editor, who was pushing the anti-Shrien-Dewani agenda, has not edited in the past ten days or so.) I was trying to work with the parties to develop an RFC, the only way that I saw to resolve the sourcing dispute. I had asked the parties to mediation not to edit the article after it came off page protect. However, as soon as the article came off page protection, parties began edit-warring again, and I had to fail the mediation. My subsequent involvement has been one of trying to maintain WP:NPOV, including the fact that a particular living person has been formally acquitted (because the case was based on lies by criminals). Although User:Dewanifacts is an SPA, they are the rare case of an SPA who is working to improve the encyclopedia.

On 17 September User:Collect, not one of the previous editors, made massive cuts to the article, basically eliminating the entire description of the trial of Shrien Dewani except for one clause in the lede. (By removing all description of the trial from the body of the article, this left the lede making a statement not substantiated by the body, contrary to proper article structure.) This was reverted, and the article was then page-protected a second time, on 17 September, and came off page-protection on 17 October. While I agree that the description of the proceedings against Shrien Dewani were far too long, I disagreed with eliminating the entire account. The case is notable not so much because a tourist was murdered in South Africa, but because it was a massive miscarriage of justice by the South African police and government.

I disagree with the complaint by User:NE Ent against Dewanifacts, who is an SPA but who is an SPA for accuracy in a specific case where there has been injustice. The interpretation of the biographies of living persons policy by User:Collect (who has a long history of inconsistent application of BLP, sometimes very loose, sometimes absurdly rigid) that the acquittal of an individual should be treated as if the trial never happened is extreme and eccentric.

I think that every editor agrees that the number of mentions of Shrien Dewani in the long text of the article was excessive, and that it needed drastic trimming. The problem is that the complete excision of all mention of the trial and acquittal, which is much of why the case is notable, is inappropriate. A much shorter description of the trial, concluding that the case was dismissed as based on lies, is not only appropriate but necessary. The current shortened version is not so much a whitewash of Shrien Dewani, who needs no whitewashing because he is innocent, as a whitewash of a miscarriage of justice.

Since this thread appears to be a request for administrative action against Dewanifacts, by an editor User:NE Ent who is acting hastily and in accordance with an eccentric interpretation of BLP, I suggest that this thread be closed. There is a Request for Comments pending at Murder of Anni Dewani, a better way to resolve a content dispute (whether or not the RFC is neutrally worded).

Robert McClenon (talk) 01:50, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

Because Dewanifacts is, as you admit, clearly a SPA, I think it's imperative that we get a statement from them dealing with the questions I asked above: do they have a conflict of interest, and are they a paid editor? BMK (talk) 02:48, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Robert McClenon for taking the time to explain all that. Hi BMK, there is already a section on the Talk page of the article (Section 24: "COI Tag") where I have declared my position and this has all been discussed, however you are right in saying that should have made it clear in my response to this allegation. I can catagorically state that I have no link whatsoever to the Dewani or Hindocha families, nor anyone who knows or represents the Dewanis or Hindocha families, nor am I paid by anyone for my interest or online representations in this case. I represent an independant website dedicated to finding and uncovering the truth about what happened to Anni Dewani. We have no agenda other than seeking the truth and achieving true justice for Anni Dewani. This agenda is clearly stated on our website - Thanks Dewanifacts (talk) 07:53, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for declaring your conflict of interest. Since you "represent an independant website dedicated to finding and uncovering the truth about what happened to Anni Dewani", I am going to insist that you cease editing the article directly, and, per the requirements of WP:COI, make suggestions on the talk page which will be put in effect by non-conflicted editors if they agree with them. No person can serve two masters, and you cannot serve the WP:NPOV requirements of Wikipedia while at the same time "seeking the truth and achieving true justice for Anni Dewani". Wikipedia does not deal with "truth", per se, we deal only with what can be verified through the use of reliable sources. Given your statement, I am telling you here that I, a totally uninvolved editor, will delete any future edit you make directly to the article, but will (of course) not stand in the way of other editore putting your suggested edits into effect. BMK (talk) 08:18, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
BMK I have read through WP:COI and I cannot see anything that gives you the power to "insist" on me not editing the article. In fact it seems like you are acting contradictory to the Wikipedia "assume good faith" doctrine. Who or what gives you the authority to ban me from editing the article? Please can you clarify this so that this is 100% transparent and I am satisfied that you have the power to make such a directive. Thanks. Dewanifacts (talk) 08:43, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
(ec) I don't think your rash judgement is helpful, given you haven't even read the article in the first place, as you state here. Being ignorant about a situation and uninvolved are not the same thing. One of those two clearly does not help in building an encyclopedia. I would suggest exercising caution and carefully examining the facts before declaring an intention to edit-war. Samsara 08:50, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
The above comment is (I assume) addressed toward BMK and I concur with the sentiment expressed by Samsara. Were I to be editing in a disruptive manner, I would understand a hard line approach such as the one displayed by BMK, however I think that good faith should be assumed unless and until there is cause for concern. The Talk page of the article is testament to the fact that I am committed to the collaborative process and have been a strong advocate for discussing changes on the Talk page and only making edits once consensus has been reached, or no opposition voiced. In practice, I don't have that much of an issue with not making edits, however I don't like bullies and people on power trips and I would like BMKto either show who gave him the power to make such a directive, or retract it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dewanifacts (talkcontribs) 09:57, 26 October 2015
Dewanifacts (talk · contribs) is an SPI with a user name that conveys their agenda, and they have a website dedicated to fighting the good fight, and now they are at Wikipedia to make sure the world is told the truth. Those are very large facts which BMK correctly identifies as red flags needing attention—if you have studied the topic, and Dewanifacts' edits, and the dewanifacts website, you might help by explaining how Dewanifacts is assisting. Johnuniq (talk) 09:42, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Hi Johnuniq, can you clarify your last sentence please. I'm not quite sure who you are suggesting should be doing the explaining..... Dewanifacts (talk) 09:49, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm afraid it is you, Dewanifacts. -Roxy the dog™ (Resonate) 10:04, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
I am happy to explain. As Johnuniq points out, I am a SPA and I have never pretended to be anything else. I chose a name that made this bleedingly obvious. I am exceptionally well studied in the facts and nuances of this complicated saga and am in a good position to help guide the article. If you look at my edits you will see that they are neutral, avoid conjecture and only present neutral, reliably sourced facts that can be substantiated in their entirety. Dewanifacts (talk) 10:59, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Stop pinging me. I see you know how to spread jargon to obscure the fact that you are using Wikipedia as part of your campaign. Perhaps you are a great editor, but someone with such a blatant agenda needs to take a more cautious approach—stop trying to brush off very reasonable concerns with jargon; instead, restrict your activities to infrequent suggestions on the article talk page to highlight any perceived problems. Johnuniq (talk) 11:15, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
How is a self-admitted SPA who only focuses on the Anni Dewani issue even allowed to operate under the handle "Dewanifacts"? Doc talk 11:18, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
More to the point; why would I not be "allowed" to? What rule have I broken? Dewanifacts (talk) 12:36, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Interesting question - and note that I here object to being accused of somehow being inconsistent on WP:BLP - my position is consistent as best I am able, and I have never argued for using any "loose" requirements on BLPs. Period. I find that a person who has a specific POV on the case at hand, as the two editors clearly do represent, should not be the ones editing the material. Once the request to re-open the inquest was denied, I suggest the playing field had changed substantially. The material which I just removed was not the "major edit" I am accused of - and I invite those who make or iterate that accusation to recant. [2]. With warm regards, and trusting that those who accuse me of doing what I damn well do not do will note that fact. BTW, I find the net effect of the material with its more than three dozen iterations of Dewani's full name does more to confuse readers about his "guilt" than my edits which used the word "husband" and left material containing the name fully visible in the footnotes. Collect (talk) 12:13, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
You made the major edit on 17th September, after which it was reversed alongside pleas to discuss all changes on the Talk page. The article was locked for a month and Darouet then made a similar major edit on 22nd October, with you finishing his handiwork a few hours later by excising every single mention of Shrien Dewani's name from the article, under the false guise that its inclusion was a BLP violation. As mentioned elsewhere, the number of name mentions is irrelevant. What matters is the context. Amanda Knox's name is mentioned six dozen times in the article on Meredith Kercher's murder, so if your numbers game has any relevance then Dewani is actually mentioned comparatively much fewer times and your outrage should be directed toward other Wikipedia crime articles such as the one I've just mentioned.Dewanifacts (talk) 12:52, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

The progression of the discussion on this noticeboard is somewhat alarming. It began with a wholly unfounded allegation against me, which has been shown to be misguided and unfair. That should be the end of the matter. I am merely a person who took an interest in this case largely because it was misreported and misrepresented in the media, and set up a wordpress site in conjunction with a few others, to put the facts forward in a neutral non biased fashion. I am aware of what Wikipedia is and is not here to achieve and I do my damndest to stay within the guidelines and to participate in the true spirit of Wikipedia. I will declare again that I have no issue with discussing edits on the Talk page first and I don't really care whether it is me or someone else who enacts the agreed edits, however I won't be bullied by wikipedia editors on power trips who think they can talk down to me and give directives and declare their intent to edit war with me. Dewanifacts (talk) 12:44, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

On the other hand, excessive length in any article where the "possible guilt" of a living person is clearly discussed often leaves readers with "there was smoke so there must be a fire" as the implication. In cases if miscarriages, Wikipedia generally deals with the issues in a far more concise manner (vide Richard Jewell where the total amount in any presenting any negative inference about the person is zero, and the praise section is large, and the bombing article is only 13K total, with less than half being about Jewell - leaving no room for any "smoke = fire" misapprehensions by readers) rather than having 30K+ characters about material many would find to support such inferences, and possibly find such to be actually implied by the article. Indeed, the entire article on the murder had reached 71K with about half of the entire article being about Shrien Dewani and his trial - and almost none of that half was about the actual exoneration. So much for me being wrong about WP:BLP - if a person sees one paragraph abut the exoneration, and 6,000 words about the person maybe being guilty, that is UNDUE by any measure. When we have one short paragraph about the exoneration and three dozen mentions of his name - I find that against WP:BLP in esse.
(The lead has all of "Dewani was exonerated, with the Western Cape High Court ruling that there was no credible evidence to support the allegations."
while the lead also has "In his plea bargain agreement, Zola Tongo said that Anni's husband, British national Shrien Dewani of Bristol, had offered R15,000 to have his wife killed.[9][10] Following an application by South African authorities, Senior District Judge Howard Riddle ruled in August 2011 that Shrien Dewani could be extradited to face charges in relation to the murder. The extradition order was approved by Home Secretary Theresa May on 28 September 2011. A High Court ruling of 30 March 2012 put the extradition on hold, based on expert witness opinion of Shrien Dewani's mental health and prospects for recovery.[11] Shrien Dewani continued to state his innocence, and his family described the allegations of Tongo as "totally ludicrous".[12] Following a long legal battle, in January 2014, the English High Court of Justice rejected Shrien Dewani's plea against extradition to South Africa,[13] and he was extradited to South Africa on 7 April 2014 and taken to court on 8 April 2014.[14] The cost of the extradition to British taxpayers was £250,000.[15] Shrien Dewani's trial began on 6 October 2014. On 24 November 2014, after the closure of the prosecution case, counsel for Shrien Dewani argued for the trial to be halted and charges dismissed pursuant to Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act, citing a lack of any credible evidence linking Mr Dewani to the crime."
which suggests to me inescapable conclusion that the person named did, indeed, commit the crime. Do you see the difference in space given to a short sentence about exoneration compared to the entire rest of the lead? Collect (talk) 13:06, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Collect. The lede needs some serious paring down. Everything in bold should go.
In his plea bargain agreement, Zola Tongo said that Anni's husband, British national Shrien Dewani of Bristol, had offered R15,000 to have his wife killed.[9][10] Following an application by South African authorities, Senior District Judge Howard Riddle ruled in August 2011 that Shrien Dewani could be extradited to face charges in relation to the murder. The extradition order was approved by Home Secretary Theresa May on 28 September 2011. A High Court ruling of 30 March 2012 put the extradition on hold, based on expert witness opinion of Shrien Dewani's mental health and prospects for recovery.[11] Shrien Dewani continued to state his innocence, and his family described the allegations of Tongo as "totally ludicrous".[12] Following a long legal battle, in January 2014, the English High Court of Justice rejected Shrien Dewani's plea against extradition to South Africa,[13] and he was extradited to South Africa on 7 April 2014 and taken to court on 8 April 2014.[14] The cost of the extradition to British taxpayers was £250,000.[15]
You will get no arguments from be about removing that information. Save for a single mention, everything else in the article regarding the extradition process should be scrapped. The itemising of Dewani's and Tongo's versions of events should be scrapped (I Added all of that stuff but I now agree that its irrelevant information). The "trial of Shrien Dewani" section should be reinstated to what it was on September 17th, but with the removal of the stuff about his sexuality in the opening paragraph. The rest of that section is probably the most important part of the whole article as it ties everything together and summarises the court's findings in exonerating Dewani and showing up his accusers as a bunch of lying criminals who made up the "murder for hire" story to gain leverage and obtain sentence reductions for giving evidence implicating the innocent Shrien Dewani. Here is the article version as at 17th September - Dewanifacts (talk) 14:11, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Exactly -- the rhetorical trick of repeatedly mentioning the "innocent" to imply guilt is as old as Shakespeare: "For Brutus is an honourable man;" NE Ent 00:24, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

More comments: Summary of content and conduct issues[edit]

The discussion here is now a combination of content issues and conduct issues. This is a conduct noticeboard, so I will try to identify some of the issues that either should be taken to a content forum, dealt with here, or taken to another conduct forum

First, the discussion of how much of the original material in the lede and in the body about the trial of Shrien Dewani is appropriate is a content issue. Take that to the article talk page, or, with a different set of editors who are all trying to comply with the biography of living persons policy, request a new thread at the dispute resolution noticeboard, or, with a different set of editors, take it to requests for formal mediation. I will not mediate at either mediation forum, because I am no longer neutral.

Second, there has been edit-warring between the too-long and too-short versions of the article and the lede. Stop edit-warring and discuss. Someone should write a much-shortened version, rather than edit-warring and arguing for and against the weird interpretation of WP:BLP taken by User:Collect (who has a long history of inconsistent interpretations of BLP anyway). Edit-warriors should be dealt by draconian application of discretionary sanctions.

Third, Dewanifacts is an SPA. That isn’t a dispute, but there is no rule against being an SPA, and Dewanifacts is an SPA who is committed to a reasonable version of WP:NPOV in a case where there has been a terrible miscarriage of justice.

Fourth, User:Dewanifacts may have a user name requiring administrative attention. Take it there.

Fifth, User:Dewanifacts has been asked whether they have a conflict of interest. I suggest that be taken to the conflict of interest noticeboard.

I don’t see any need to continue this fragmented discussion here. Can some uninvolved admin close it, noting that there are other venues? Robert McClenon (talk) 17:18, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

Robert, the solution to a "fragmented discussion" in one venue is not to parcel it out to numerous other venues. I suggest it stay here, where all the factors concerning Dewanifacts' bias, COI, SPA-ness, and inappropriate name can be discussed. BMK (talk) 22:34, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
I have put neutral pointers to this discussion on WP:COIN, WP:BLPN and WT:Username policy. BMK (talk) 22:43, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
You iterate an inaccurate "fact" about me - I do my damndest to be absolutely consistent with regard to WP:BLP which includes my frequently stated opinion that Articles which make "allegations" make bad encyclopedia articles, especially when any sort of POV can be attached thereto. I suggest that articles subject to WP:BLP in any manner which make allegations be strongly constrained. This specifically includes use of opinions or claims that a person or persons bears "guilt by association" with any other person or group. I trust this disabuses you of a "fact" which has no actual basis in fact. Cheers. Collect (talk) 17:22, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Collect, most of us have been around long enough to realize that's bullshit.  Quoting from the Arbitration Committee's finding of fact regarding you - "Collect's article edits are indicative of incorporating a non-neutral point of view... add(ing) poorly sourced negative materials to certain biographies of living persons while removing reliably sourced material from other BLPs".  The only consistency about your application of BLPs is that it is governed by whether or not you agree politically with the subject.  Cheers, 2600:1000:B017:4A5F:66DC:B0D3:50F:3D95 (talk) 17:54, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

Category:Wikipedia protected pages without expiry[edit]

I've been going through Category:Wikipedia protected pages without expiry looking for pages which may or may not need to still be indefinitely protected. While some clearly do, others are likely not necessary. For example, I have found several pages which had protections dating back up to 9 years ago, for mostly minor vandalism. Permanent protection is to be used sparingly, and only when the target page is likely to be a target for vandalism in perpetuity (for example, 4chan rightly is permanently semi-protected; one would expect it to attract a lot of vandals). However, many of these look like they were permanently protected or semi-protected so long ago, and are NOT general vandalism targets, so it's hard to justify keeping them protected forever. Since the default should be everyone can edit, except in cases where we have evidence they cannot; it seems hard to justify having over 3000 unexpiring protections, were some of them (maybe even most) clearly aren't needed. For example, 2009 in downloadable songs for the Rock Band series was indefinitely semi-protected WAY back in 2009. After 6 years, it is unlikely this article will receive enough heavy, drive-by vandalism necessary to maintain indefinite protection. I've been going through each page in the category, looking through the history, and trying to see if indefinite protection is still needed. It's a long task however, and requires a little good judgement and experience. If any other admins wish to help out, reviewing these articles and deciding how much is still really needed, feel free to pitch in and help. --Jayron32 19:17, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Look at you go, upholding an ideal and stuff.
I'll poke through a few. Keegan (talk) 22:16, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
When going through the category do note that not all pages that are showing up are protected indefinitely. I'm not sure what's causing this, but for example Labour hire in Namibia is listed and yet the page is clearly only protected for six months. Keegan (talk) 22:27, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
After looking at a random sample of ten or so pages, it looks like a lot of them have PC turned on, rather than semi. Is there maybe a more specifci cat for indef semi protection? Beeblebrox (talk) 22:46, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
I was wondering the same thing about this category, Jayron32. There is also an enormous category (over 40K userpages) in Category:Wikipedians who are indefinitely blocked for a violation of the username policy (and there are other large username categories) where accounts that are not currently blocked need to be removed from this category. That is a lot to take on so maybe I'll look over your old protected pages when I'm not busy with arbitration business. Liz Read! Talk! 20:41, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
That sounds something that should not require a page-by-page review. A bot or script should be able to tell who is blocked and who isn't, and to remove those who are not from the category. Let me see if we can scare up a bot operator for that... Beeblebrox (talk) 01:29, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Filed a request] at WP:BOTREQ. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:35, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Beeblebrox. I know of similar rote edits that need to be made and I hadn't considered seeing if a bot could handle them. Liz Read! Talk! 19:40, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
I suggest that the pages to unprotect go via WP:RFPP with a ping to the protecting admin (if still around). Right now, RFPP is usually not backlogged, and we can handle such requests reasonably quickly.--Ymblanter (talk) 01:44, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
A category does exist for semi-protected pages, see Category:Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages. A few months ago, I started evaluating articles, and Gilliam unprotected quite a few. I'd be happy to pick this back up, if the admin corps was willing to evaluate them on a mass scale, instead of having to post every one to WP:RfPP. Kharkiv07 (T) 13:09, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

Adding fake heights[edit]

Please are preventing of adding fake heights to iranian actors and actress such this and sabotage by Erfan 1375World Cup 2010 (talk) 23:24, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

same problem by some IPsWorld Cup 2010 (talk) 23:31, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

I have blocked the named account indefinitely as they have been warned repeatedly over the course of several months and have completely ignored it, never once having edited any kind of talk page. If you could identify the IPs causing similar problems that can be looked into as well. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:15, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

also some IPs that are shown in my contributions page possibley could belong to this user because handwrtting the same only adding fake heights please check them. , ,

I undo all of them World Cup 2010 (talk) 00:49, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

I think the main point is these are unsourced heights. Getting into fake or not is a level of engagement that's not needed. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 09:04, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Per WP:DUCK I'm more than willing to believe those three IPs are the same user who is now blocked. However, they have not used any of them in several days. If they return and evade the block by editing while logged out, post here again and ask for a WP:RANGEBLOCK. (which i don't know how to do but you can usually find an admin who does by posting here.) Beeblebrox (talk) 19:14, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Based on your report, everything appears to be in the range from to (; is that correct? עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 04:50, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

List of Wikipedians by article count[edit]

Hello administrators, List of Wikipedians by article count has stopped updating since past few weeks. Can someone please give this a look? Many thanks. Arun Kumar SINGH (Talk) 06:18, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Are you sure? Definitely seems to be updating regularly. — Earwig talk 08:20, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
It seems to be (according to the page history log), but it isn't. My count has gone up by about 5 articles in the last few weeks, and I know I've added at least 100 new stubs in that time. Unless some of my other early articles have been deleted (unlikely, as every page I create goes on my watchlist), I think something is broken with the update. I make my count to be at least 300 articles greater than the current total, and I don't include disambig pages I've created from article moves (so it should be even higher). Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 08:41, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
I believe there is some issue with data/dumps going on. Because is also not updating since Oct. 12th. I'd raise it with WMF engineering. --Errant (chat!) 08:54, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Hello Earwig, no its not updating anything (although the bot seems to be getting activated everyday). According to the report, I have created 553 pages (including redirects) whereas, as per this, I have created 927 pages. Arun Kumar SINGH (Talk) 09:12, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
AKS.9955, it is unlikely that someone from WMF will see your question here so I would crosspost this request at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) which gets more traffic from WMF staffers who work on technical matters. Liz Read! Talk! 20:34, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
I second Liz here – the article is definitely not updating properly (I should now be on it, but I'm not), and this problem definitely needs more eyes on it, so a post to WP:VPT sounds like a fine idea. --IJBall (contribstalk) 22:20, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Files for deletion to Wikipedia:Files for discussion[edit]

Hi, there was recently a consensus reached about changing the name and merging in the Non-Free content review material.

Can some adiministrators advise on what needs to be done to enable the merge to proceed? Sfan00 IMG (talk) 13:05, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

See Wikipedia talk:Files for deletion#Discussion regarding updating FFD to accommodate the NFCR merge. MER-C 14:20, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure about the consensus but I see pages being moved from FfDeletion to FfDiscussion. I hope any associated links are also addressed. Liz Read! Talk! 19:37, 29 October 2015 (UTC)


I was thinking about the MediaWiki:Rev-delundel interface message, which is the (del/undel) text used for revdel links. I've always found this to be a poor wording choice. The MediaWiki default is now (change visibility), which you can see on the test wiki, for example. A quick survey of other wikis shows many use the "change visibility" version, dewiki uses (+/-), and some others use variants like (show/hide). I prefer all of these to the current one. So, what do we think? If this has been discussed before, I apologise, but I assumed it hadn't since MediaWiki:Rev-delundel has no backlinks. — Earwig talk 08:16, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

A think that wording makes sense. --Errant (chat!) 13:31, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
I'd say delete it and just use the MediaWiki default unless someone provides a good reason why our project needs to be unique for this. Jenks24 (talk) 12:58, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
At the time the message was overridden, the text was "show/hide". In 2013 it was changed in MediaWiki to "change visibility". I think the latter is better link text for the link. Legoktm (talk) 00:10, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Since there doesn't seem to be any opposition, I've gone ahead and changed the message. The relevant actions (if people decide to revert) are 1, 2, and 3. Hope no one gets confused! — Earwig talk 22:31, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

  • I agree with this change and I think it's an improvement. Thanks for suggesting this Earwig. Swarm 19:34, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Users EEng and Ricky81682[edit]

WP:ANI is the better forum for this, and a topic on this has already been opened over there. (non-admin closure) --IJBall (contribstalk) 19:24, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

People might have noticed that there has been a bit of a war going on regarding longevity related articles for quite a while now. Usually the same people (EEng, CommanderLinx, Canadian_Paul and Ricky81682) nominate articles about validated supercentenarians for deletion and then join up to all vote "Delete" to support the subjects of the articles "not being notable enough" because they believe that "longevity does not warrant notability". This has been going on since at least May this year and has resulted in the deletion of numerous longevity related articles. Furthermore, the anti-supercentenarian crew has suggested that there is no need for age validation and that unvalidated data should be mixed with validated data. The terms "validated and verified" stems from the ages of the people in the articles having been deemed reliable by organisations such as the International Database of Longevity (IDL) or the Gerontology Research Group (GRG). The nominators have suggested that neither the IDL or GRG are reliable enough. There have been votes regarding this and the result was that the GRG's Table E was reliable, but not the GRG's Table EE. EEng and Ricky81682 appear to have forgotten what these terms mean as of late since they keep asking what they actually refer to. They nominated several well-sourced articles about people who were the oldest, or close to, living people on earth for deletion suggesting that they are not "notable enough". Recently they have also started disrespecting the subjects of these articles by saying things such as:

"Delete and redirect to List of people who eat oatmeal."(EEng),

""at her death probably the oldest living New Englander" -- WTF, "probably"???" (EEng) and

"Oldest in Louisiana... really? Why not the oldest in Rhode Island? Are we to have fifty simultaneous articles about the oldest person in each US state, and hundreds of others about deceased formerly-oldests? And of course the territories and possessions! What about Wales, Scotland, England? Essex, Surrey, Kent? Bavaria, Tuscany? Each Swiss canton? The states of India? Pedestrian details of an unremarkable, and unremarked, life. NOPAGE. (EEng), "Please don't ask that question. You may jinx us with a flood of people who support that question affirmatively in all seriousness." (Ricky81682), "I've performed the anti-jinx ritual." (EEng).

I propose that a topic ban regarding longevity related articles is given to both of them since they are obviously only out to destruct articles about longevity and show clear disrespect for the deceased by saying things such as the ones mentioned above.

Evidence of recent disrespectful behaviour by EEng:

  • "Born-worked-married-died, plus (if you can believe it) "Ray followed, as much as possible, the Boston Red Sox baseball team. After watching baseball games, she often had cake and ice cream. At her 108th birthday celebration, she was greeted with the song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and a cake with the Red Sox symbol on it. Ray continued to buy Red Sox merchandise, and commented that she intended to continue doing so." The followup statement that a completely unrelated old person, Fred Hale, "who lived to be 113 years 354 days old, was also a fan of the team", borders on self-parody.", Source
  • "Most of the article recounts the Keystone-cops confusion over who's oldest that year or whatever.", Source
  • "Three people mentioned in these articles died while I was reading your long post.", Source
  • ""The two were the first to build a concrete bottom pool in Cherokee County at that time". Definitely the kind of detail our readers want and need. NOPAGE.", Source
  • "Almost half of the article is about the mechanics and trivia of verification, plus the fascinating fact that she and her husband were interviewed together for the 1920 census. Wow! The rest is pedestrian details of everyone's life: born, married, worked, died.", Source
  • "Delete and redirect to List of people who eat oatmeal", Source
  • "Long article packed with pedestrian life details ('One time she had lunch with the Salvation Army. "I like that, they're friendly," Carroll said.').", Source
  • "And the fanboys say we don't have open minds!", Source
  • "Apparently nonnotable (I could find no sources other than the single one in the article) and her life was utterly pedestrian i.e. there's nothing worth saying about her in the article, other than that she lived a long time.", Source
  • "Born, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, lived, died. WP:NOPAGE, and anyway apparently one source.", Source
  • ""the fourth-oldest person in the United States and the seventh-oldest in the world for little over a month" -- imagine, a whole month. "Even as her hearing and vision failed, friends said Shull didn't mind visitors and liked to clutch their hands while she talked" -- oh for Pete's sake.", Source
  • ""at her death probably the oldest living New Englander" -- WTF, "probably"??? Other than born-married-worked-died, the only thing the article actually says about her is, "She was also a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan, and the staff of the nursing home where she lived reported her delight at the team winning the 2004 World Series." Fascinating." Source

Evidence of recent disrespectful behaviour by Ricky81682:

  • "Individual who was the world's second oldest "verified" person (whatever verified means)", Source
  • "Individual who was the world's second oldest "verified" person (whatever verified means) is not sufficient for notability.", Source
  • "You may jinx us with a flood of people who support that question affirmatively in all seriousness." , Source
  • "Person who was the oldest person ever recorded born in Prince Edward Island, the fourth-oldest person ever born in Canada, and ultimately the oldest American ever (and second oldest in the world) is full of cruft about these "titles", not actually notable and per WP:NOPAGE should be deleted.", Source
  • "Now we need a succession box for that.", Source
  • "It seems like Sanborn was merely a pretender to the claim of being the oldest living person..", Source
  • "This kind of name-calling is evidence that a topic ban is necessary." (Regarding me calling him a troll by nominating an unsourced article about an unverified claimant and then withdrawing the nomination based on the premise that there might be sources.), Source

There are several more examples of this kind of behaviour from both users, but this should be enough to give people the general picture.

Sincerely, 930310 (talk) 14:20, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Unblock of Billy Hathorn in 2013[edit]

There is a clear consensus to indeff block and ban Billy Hathorn. Everyone has discussed all possible solutions but I am also guided by Moonriddengirl's comments as our greatest expert on COPYVIO. There is no cause to reproach Amalthea for their unblock. The question remains whether or not a bot should be written to broadly delete all the user's edits in view of their sheer quantity. I'll now enact the block and ban. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 06:06, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I may be right off track here, but here goes. This is further to a discussion that began at Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2015 August 7 in relation to the article Timothy Dwight Hobart. I've no first-hand knowledge of the history, but, as I understand it:

  • A CCI for Billy Hathorn, requested by cmadler, was opened on 27 July 2011; it now has about 4800 articles outstanding, or some 7% of our total backlog of 72,000.
  • The user was indeffed for copyright violations and BLP issues by Ironholds on 29 September 2011,
  • repeatedly evaded the block by socking,
  • and was unblocked by Amalthea on 27 April 2013 with the comment "not effective"; Amalthea later wrote "a bazillion edits that should really have been looked at as part of the CCI are now untrackable for us".

I believe that two questions arise, one small and one large:

  1. Is there community consensus that Hathorn should be free to edit here? (please see below for my comment)
  2. What, if anything, could or should be done to prevent the sort of abuse that led Amalthea to make that unblock decision? Are we interested in finding ways of dealing better and more robustly with this sort of thing?

To be clear: I'm not criticising, in any way, anyone who tried, or anything that was done, to contain this problem – it seems to have been just a mass of work for a lot of people. I'm merely asking for comment. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 19:55, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

Hathorn is still violating copyrights and denying that there is a problem – please see my comments here and at Talk:Susan Pamerleau; also this edit. Yes, the copyvio in that article is not very extensive; nor is it negligible. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 19:55, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
My impression from reading that unblock reason is it happened because the block didn't stop the copyvios, instead causing block evasion that a) negates the effectiveness of the block and b) makes it harder to track the problem edits. Basically, "The block merely makes it harder to track the copyvios since they still happen through sockpuppets, but it doesn't stop them". Imma think on this.Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 20:50, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
The problem with the unblock is that no one has been monitoring the user, and no one should be expected to have to monitor the user, checking their every edit to make sure it's copyright compliant. This is beyond the scope of what we can expect of our volunteers, even those who are interested in helping with copyright clean-up. If someone is violating the terms of use, which includes a statement that we are obliged to engage in "Lawful Behavior – You do not violate copyright or other laws", then they should be blocked. Perhaps a checkuser could monitor for socks and block them as they appear. Hopefully the editor would quit socking at some point if all their socks were blocked and all their edits were reverted. -- Diannaa (talk) 21:30, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Question- What proportion of their edits, rough percentage wise, might be considered copy vios? Blackmane (talk) 21:48, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
I had spot-checked his edits in the months after the unblock, but only for a while, of course :/
Considering all circumstances I remain convinced that the unblock was the right move to make, even though the comparison from Talk:Susan Pamerleau shows that the problems and fundamental misconceptions from back then still exist two years later.
If there are questions I should answer I'll do my best.
Amalthea 22:31, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm strongly leaning toward reblocking him indefinitely. We shouldn't reward a socker by unblocking him! Sure, unblocking a helpful-but-socking user might occasionally be beneficial, but it would be absurd to say "You're unstoppable with your socking and copyright-infringing, so we give up and unblock you", and I don't see a big difference between that and the reason for unblocking him. Users who repeatedly flout our policies need to be shown the door, and especially in cases of recidivism after the removal of an indefinite block: get indeffed for a good reason, get unblocked, and start up the bad behavior — why should we believe anything you say? Why shouldn't we just revert, block, ignore you? Amalthea, I'm willing to be convinced that I'm wrong and that you're right. Would you mind giving us more extensive reasons and trying to convince me that the unblock was the right move to make? Nyttend (talk) 00:02, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
While I appreciate very much Justlettersandnumbers trying to drive this towards a solution (we need one), I also feel the need to speak up to explain the situation that Amalthea was dealing with here. :) The unblock was not intended as a reward, I know; it was simply an end-of-the-rope attempt to find a solution when traditional measures demonstrably weren't working. Transparency was chosen in preference to what we were then dealing with. Keeping up with Billy's socks was a massive time-consumer, and as best as I remember I spent quite a bit of time and energy on RBI myself. (I use it heavily when dealing with block evading serial copyright infringers, even now.) I would have much rather Amalthea had produced a magic wand and found a way to stop the issue, but can't fault him for failing to do so. No more could I. :( At the time Billy was unblocked, his socks were not demonstrating the copyvio pattern he had previously shown in the swathe of articles I spot-checked, but it's not possible to say definitely they weren't happening. Unfortunately, it's massively time consuming to check for those, and material may be missed. Additionally, I have no doubt there are many socks that were never identified.
Basically, I think Amalthea's decision - while not the solution one would hope for - was pragmatic. We could not effectively block him, and his edits were likely to escape review. Making them transparent meant the ability to at least review them, while the fragmented accounts and IPs he was using previously were difficult to review at all. Given that years after his initial block, he still doesn't get it - and by his note on Talk:Susan Pamerleau doesn't really seem to even understand the issue - I think Billy remains a problem. But if he is indefinitely blocked again, I think it will require some creativity to enforce it, since it's hard to know how technical measures could be brought to bear here. I don't think one or two people trying to WP:RBI can make a difference. :( --Moonriddengirl (talk) 02:29, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
I had a look over the SPI page and grasp the enormity of the problem. I'd really like to see what @Billy Hathorn: has to say about this and, if it's not a satisfactory explanation, don't see why a site ban with the application of the nuclear option should not be considered. If one cannot trust all, then one must suspect all. Blackmane (talk) 02:45, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
with respect to detecting the contributions if he resumes socking, his ordinary choice of subject and manner of writing is highly distinctive. We may not be able to block him no matter what he may turn his hand to, but we can block him in this field at least. The material his socks added was on the customary subject in the customary manner. I'm not ay sure an unblock such as the one in question here is ever justified: I tend to think not, but I don't want to rule out there might be some justified case. If it ever is done in such a case, I think it would warrant prior discussion. For this case, the detectability of the contributions forces me to the conclusion that it was an unblock that should not have been done, even on the basis of the evidence at the time, not just because of the subsequent copyvios. Even the best active admin make errors. But if it is not agreed that an unblock in such circumstances takes great caution and discussion, we will need a policy saying so. MRG? Amalthea? DGG ( talk ) 04:46, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
It's been a couple of years and memory is fallible, but I think it's worth noting that this situation was a bit more complex than "This isn't working; let's just let him disrupt under his main account so we can see it." (Although transparency was a major factor.) Blocking Billy in the first place was the right call. He repeatedly violated various policies related to content and was absolutely unwilling to change his editing behaviors no matter who called him on it or how it was explained. But from a copyright standpoint, Billy was not one of those people who copy-pastes wholesale from sources that I recall; his taking often may not rise to substantial similarity (although only a judge could make that determination). It's more a matter of close paraphrasing brief runs from his sources in a manner that is clearly plagiarism as Wikipedia defines it and as most Western academicans would. This kind of writing does constitute a "copyvio" as a violation of Wikipedia's copyright policy, because we require that, except for clearly marked quotations, creative content from your sources be written in your own words (oversimplifying, but basically true). However, a spot-check prior to the unblocking had not shown copying issues in his sock contributions, and he was not (as best as I recall) violating BLP anymore by citing himself or unreliable blogs.
Dealing with his socks, especially socks who might otherwise not be violating policy, was disruptive in itself. The nuclear option has collateral damage beyond the time it requires for a user to go through and rollback, especially the longer it takes you to discover the sock. Other contributors waste their time polishing the work of banned editors and are not particularly happy when you roll back an article to an earlier state without at least being able to demonstrate that the content itself was wrong. Demonstrating that the content itself is wrong is essentially compressing the time it takes to do a CCI. (As an aside, Billy's CCI has been edited a grand total of 31 times in the four years it has been opened. Conducting CCIs is hard. Conducting it on an editor like this one? Doubly hard.) Doing this with dozens of socks and IPs - especially where the issues that led to the original block did not then seem to be a factor - was disrupting the project in itself.
After his unblock, both Amalthea and I reviewed Billy's contributions for a time. (See User_talk:Billy_Hathorn/Archive_20#Copyright_issue for one issue found as I was still following him four months after the unblock - it proved to be an old issue reinstated; the next section demonstrates Amalthea's continued engagement as well.) This was not intended to be a throwing in the towel, but another approach to prevent disruption. It wasn't the best solution and quite probably not the right solution. But it was also not a unilateral overthrow of a community ban; it was a single admin choosing to unblock a user, as we do all the time. And it was done with caution.
I don't have much more time right now, but I will note that as I recall there is another potential way to deal with this kind of thing that was not thought of at the time. I can't remember this guy's name at the moment, but we dealt with a person who was copy-pasting content into, I think, sports article where we used a bot to blank or revert his content and place a template asking people who wanted to restore it review it for copy-pasting and annotate their findings on a list. Something like that might be a way to work with cases like this - where the person who is following the trail of a blocked serial copyright infringer doesn't have to manually review and revert each edit and the community can be mobilized in assisting. User:MER-C, do you remember that case? I'll look for it later if nobody else does. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 15:59, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
Post family lunch outing, I have remembered: Wikipedia:Contributor copyright investigations/Darius Dhlomo, with the considerable assistance of User:Uncle G. This was an extreme case, and I wouldn't really want to use it for every CCI case, but for serial copyright infringing sock puppeteers, it might be the way to go. It also, honestly, might be judiciously used to diminish some of the mounting backlog at WP:CCI. Having a couple of people who whittle away at this monumental task is misusing their time. Perhaps if violations exceed a certain threshold, it's an alternative we should consider. (User:Wizardman, User:Diannaa - thoughts on that idea? Is it crazy, or something we might want to propose more formally?) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 19:19, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
I feel the nuclear option is appropriate whenever there is sockpuppetry involved. MER-C 19:38, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
Knowing all their contribs will be reverted might serve to deter the violator from socking. This is why I typically remove all sock contribs, regardless of their value. Bot removal of edits might be a worthwhile option for the cases that are otherwise unsolvable due to sources not being provided, or the sources being inaccessible and uncheckable. FYI, the backlog currently contains 152 cases and 72,239+ articles, up from 142 cases and 71,258+ articles on this same date a year ago (14 cases were closed, but 24 new cases were added, and at least one case was substantially expanded). -- Diannaa (talk) 20:17, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
Might I also suggest that the foundation should contract some paid employees to work on copyright clean-up? The current system of expecting volunteers to clean up over 150 CCI cases containing 72,000 articles and hundreds of thousands of diffs is obviously not realistic, as the backlog continues to grow. Some cases have been sitting unexamined for over five years. --Diannaa (talk) 00:06, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
It's difficult for me to know which account to use to answer this, Diannaa. :) This is volunteer mode, and I haven't consulted anyone else about this, but basically my understanding has always been that the Foundation can't do this. There's a critical separation between being an online service provider and a content provider. The laws that govern the former are quite different from those govern the latter, as the former has safe harbors that the latter does not receive. If we lost that safe harbor, it has always been my belief that the entire model of the movement would have to change, as individual editors would no longer be solely legally responsible for laws they violate on our sites. We go well and above legal requirements in addressing copyright concerns on Wikipedia, and obviously I'm for that, since I have spent so much time doing it. :) But I fear that losing OCILLA would of necessity make open-editing obsolete. Again, this is my opinion as a volunteer. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:14, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
The Timothy Dwight Hobart article is now a one-paragraph shell. The article was not a copyright violation. Someone claimed there was too much following closely from tshaonline. That material was corrected months ago. Yet the article was gutted to one paragraph will all the references for that paragraph. It began on the board in 2008.
The Susan Pamerleau article was said to have followed too closely from her campaign website. This too was corrected: there were three claims, very minor, all further scrambled. Sheriff Pamerleau's PR person gave permission to lift the copyright from her campaign site, but administrators here said the permission is invalid. At any rate, there is no copyright violation. One should read the article entirely. It was on a temporary page if one can find it. Thank you. Billy Hathorn (talk) 04:00, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Indef. I believe action(s) executed WRT this situation were made in an honest effort to correctly address the issue. The admin(s) previously involved have my full confidence. Tiderolls 06:36, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Indef. To do otherwise would tell users (especially the sneaky-disruption type, such as massive copyvioes) that if they sock enough, we will unblock them. Enforce, as needed, with rangeblocks, checkuser checks on accounts, and possibly (if applicable) edit filters. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 08:29, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Indef or ban, whichever has more support per Old Misheu, and the editor's completely unconvincing denial above. BMK (talk) 08:37, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Not sure about nuking from orbit, though. BMK (talk) 03:49, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Indef, unquestionably. Unblocking someone because they're using sockpuppets seems like it was a pretty bad idea -- I don't see how it made him easier to catch, since nothing stopped him from using a sock to post all his copyvios while using the original account for normal editing. Additionally, even if keeping up with his socks is a lot of work, it is work that is necessary as long as he's still posting copyvios (and as far as I can tell, he never even agreed to stop.) Banning a sock also makes it easier to remove possible copyvios, because it means that everything he posted with that sock can be summarily reverted as an edit by a banned user, without having to determine exactly what the copyvio is -- it shifts the burden of proof for keeping or reinstating one of his edits on to whoever wants to keep it (or, at least, it requires that an editor in good standing have enough confidence in the edit to be willing to accept responsibility for it), which, I think, is a reasonable thing to do when someone has enough of a history of copyvios to get permanently banned. --Aquillion (talk) 11:48, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Indef: It may well take a lot of time to enforce against socks, but it undoubtedly also takes a lot of time to monitor and correct the significant copyright violations. Given that both paths are time consuming, a block seems preferable as it shows that Wikipedia is actually willing to enforce its own policies. Champaign Supernova (talk) 19:47, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

At this point, he should not only be banned, but I wonder if there's a way to nuke his edits. He's made so many that it would be very difficult to do and it's not something I would normally condone, but he's been so disruptive for so long that his edits will be impossible to clean up otherwise. I also did a cursory check on the Hobart article mentioned, and if he seriously thinks that wasn't copyvio then an indef block and ban is the only solution. MRG notes above that we've nuked once before, and it may in fact be the only solution. Wizardman 20:46, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

Müdigkeit, I brought this here rather than to ANI because (a) it isn't an incident but a long-term problem and (b) it's an (un)block review, as mentioned under "Issues appropriate for this page" in the instructions above. If I was wrong I apologise. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 11:44, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
User:Müdigkeit, I think it's probably not just about this user but about this kind of issue, which happens to have a specific case at its core. The two are intertwined. I think this is probably the right place. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:14, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Now I know. Thanks for the answers.--Müdigkeit (talk) 13:23, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
On another note, ANI is for "incidents". AN is usually for slightly bigger fish frying like site bans, etc. There is some overlap between the two but if you hang out here for a while, you'll see that ANI is a bit more dynamic than AN. Blackmane (talk) 01:49, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Happy to go for an indef in this case, but are we seriously going to nuke, which means delete every article he's created? Surely a solution like in the Darius Dhlomo case where pages were blanked until they were reviewed would be better. Jenks24 (talk) 10:53, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with you, Jenks24. Nuking his subsequent sock edits is one thing, but the nuke solution now could be quite damaging. For context (this link will expire), he has contributed significantly in his editing career under this account to over 9,000 articles. Since his unblocking, over 4,500. I do not know (as was asked above) what percentage of these will be problems, but I suspect that there will be many which are not. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:14, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Nuking all of BH's edits would do harm. I have other problems with some of his recent article creations. Namely they being totally sourced via paid newspaper obituaries. Those type of obituaries fail WP:RS when it comes to most details about a person's life and IMHO shouldn't be the only source for establishing someone's notability....William, is the complaint department really on the roof? 14:06, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
  • The Darius Dhlomo solution is the current plan, and is what I support. Anything substantial added by any new sockpuppets will be removed indiscriminately. MER-C 14:14, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Ban, automatically delete any new potentially-copyright edits, have human users filter through the user's past edits. We can't nuke all his previous edits, as he may very well have made a non-copyrightable change to a featured article, for example. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 15:11, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I also agree with Jenks24. Nuking could create a lot more work for us, imo. Connormah (talk) 03:00, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Suppport ban. Also support whatever nuclear option gains consensus, whether it be a tactical nuke or something more like Tsar Bomba. Blackmane (talk) 01:49, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Bumping thread for 30 days. Diannaa (talk) 03:19, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

  • Clearly there are problems here. But to claim that the list of decorations is a copyright infringement is ludicrous. The full list can be found at the USAF web site - and is PD-US as work of the US govt. - and would be otherwise as a bare compilation of facts. If it were not, all the sources that cite them would be in breach too.
  • If we cannot explain the (admittedly slightly bizarre) limitations of Wikipedia policy to this editor, then the we need to have someone better at explaining, or a simpler policy.
  • I suggest that the editor be shown how to use Earwig's copyvio detector, and we re-asses this in a couple of weeks.
  • All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 21:31, 2 November 2015 (UTC).
    • I don't know who will admit that our policies are bizarre. Plagiarism and copyright violations have been explained to him often enough, and the subject matter is hardly as complicated as gerrymandering or electoral votes. Of course Billy understands it; he's playing dumb and I think he thinks it's nothing but a bureaucratic impediment to his creation of articles. Why else be so adamant in using the word "scramble", if not to suggest avoiding detection is the only thing that matters?
      What is a bit bizarre is putting all of this, years of serial copyright violations, on one copied source from one article; San Antonio Magazine is certainly not PD-US as work of the US govt. (For the uninitiated, Rich Farmbrough is referring to what was happening at Talk:Susan Pamerleau.) I appreciate your attempt to educate him, but you have more faith than I do. Then again, Billy's been cited more than once for sourcing problems (and now again that pops up in User_talk:Billy_Hathorn#Copyright_problem:_Susan_Pamerleau), so maybe there is a pretty staggering lack of competence here. Drmies (talk) 04:24, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Support ban plus nukes from orbit or whatever. Finally. I spent a few months trying to clean up after Billy's habit of creating an article about every person born in Louisiana. OhNoitsJamie Talk 23:23, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I'd suggest that the next person to read over this should consider closing it. The discussion has largely died and the consensus is about as unanimous as you can get on Wikipedia. Jenks24 (talk) 05:37, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Questions arising from the above[edit]

(putting this here as it relates directly to the discussion above; if that's wrong, please move it to the foot of the page) Three questions arise from the above closed discussion:

1. In closing and acting on this discussion, Kudpung has intentionally left open the question of how to deal with Hathorn's contributions. He wrote "The question remains whether or not a bot should be written to broadly delete all the user's edits in view of their sheer quantity", which most people have simply called "nuke" and many have favoured. The alternative, which also seems to receive a good deal of support above, is the "Darius Dhlomo" approach, in which a bot would place a scary notice on all his articles (in the CCI, or to date?) in the hope of enlisting some community help. If consensus could be reached on which of these is preferred, we could perhaps move forward with this. I see a third possibility, which is to nuke all the sockpuppet edits without compunction, and put the scary notice on those made under his real username.

2. My second question at the start of this thread was "What, if anything, could or should be done to prevent the sort of abuse that led Amalthea to make that unblock decision? Are we interested in finding ways of dealing better and more robustly with this sort of thing?" Before coming here, I asked Maggie Dennis (WMF) (Moonriddengirl in her official capacity) if there was anything the foundation could do improve ways of dealing with this kind of thing. Her careful and detailed reply included this:

… "how to handle the unblockable" strikes me as a massive community health issue. So I think this conversation is doable. I suspect that getting something like this on the radar would require:
(a) metrics to help define and demonstrate the scale of the problem.
(b) a showing of community support for putting WMF resources (time, money) to address it, and
(c) ideally some preliminary ideas for what addressing it might look like.

So, is there in fact (a) the need and (b) the will to ask the WMF to look at this? And does anyone have any of those "preliminary ideas"?

3. Something clearly has to be done about the CCI backlog. It's just not realistic to imagine that a tiny handful of dedicated (and largely unnoticed and unthanked) editors will be able to plod their way through 72,000 articles; new CCIs are constantly adding to the pile. MRG has indicated reluctance to use the Darius Dhlomo approach on all CCIs; what about using it on a sub-set of them (those that are very large, those that involve sockpuppetry, those that involve paid editing?), possibly with a more discreet notice than the DD one? By not tagging those articles, we run the risk of good-faith editors spending time and effort on improving content that will in any case eventually have to be discarded; and that's a bad use of editor time.

I'm sorry if this is the wrong venue for this. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 19:17, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Now's the time to ask the WMF for better blocking and abuse mitigation tools. MER-C 21:08, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
I suppose this venue is as good as any. I suggest we start by pinging all those who voted above. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:10, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Good thought, thank you, Kudpung. I think those who voted or commented were Jo-Jo Eumerus, Diannaa, Blackmane, Amalthea, Nyttend, Moonriddengirl, DGG, Tide rolls, Od Mishehu, BMK, Aquillion, Champaign Supernova, Wizardman, Müdigkeit, Jenks24, WilliamJE, Connormah, Rich Farmbrough, Drmies and OhNoitsJamie. Hope I didn't miss anyone. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 01:49, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
I managed to miss editor Miniapolis (sorry!), and also to ping editor BMK instead of BMK. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 09:12, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
I know that it's a huge amount of text, but I'm still in favor of nuking all articles created by him and not significantly edited by others. The first step would be bot deletion of all articles never edited by other users, aside from bot edits and human edits that were marked as minor. This done, the bot could give a full list of articles that had fewer than X non-minor edits by humans (I'll suggest five), and admins could go through the list to check for non-minor edits, marking ones that had been checked and cleared. Once these were done, the bot would give us a list of all other articles created by him, and we'd repeat the delete-or-mark process. Splitting up the process would both make it easier to do (simply by making more-but-smaller chunks of work) and make it so that we got the more-likely-to-be-problematic articles first. The time-related problem at CCI is that you're supposed to check each article individually against the potential sources, if I remember rightly. If we're deleting everything that's not gotten significant contributions from other editors (by which I'm meaning major rewrites, not just significant content additions), we don't need to worry about checking contents: a few seconds would suffice to check virtually all articles, and the exceptions would involve checking just a few diffs. I'd suggest that the bot handle all deletions, including ones that had been checked and cleared for deletion. Two process points: (1) Bot uses an edit summary reading something like "Deleting page created by user with an extensive history of copyright infringement. Page may be recreated by any user", because we don't want to discourage people from creating new articles on the same topics. (2) Bot's userspace has a fully protected page on which admins can leave a list of links, and the bot deletes every article that's linked from this page. This would potentially save us a ton of time (you can check twenty pages and copy/paste their names much faster than you can check them and delete them) as well as ensuring a consistent edit summary. Since the deletions requiring human checking would be bot-performed on human instructions, we wouldn't need to worry about WP:CONTEXTBOT. Nyttend (talk) 02:08, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Sounds good. We should mention the relevant policy somewhere -- Wikipedia:Copyright violations#Addressing contributors -- in case someone gets annoyed about the deletions. I also suggest copyvio blanking them for a week or two beforehand to give editors a chance to rewrite the content if they desire. MER-C 20:13, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Can we have a link to the CCI? That is the best place to start investigating. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 12:46, 17 November 2015 (UTC).
Wikipedia:Contributor copyright investigations/20110727. Only current until August 2012. MER-C 20:08, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Nyttend's proposal looks sensible to me too. Blackmane (talk) 02:02, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

suspicious User[edit]

Wrong venue. Blackmane (talk) 02:01, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Hi please check and review User:Sheydai background. I think this account is belong to Category:Sockpuppets of Manimihan

such as Maninimihan this user is also intersted in Hossein Shahabi ‎and his films

World Cup 2010 (talk) 14:05, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

There is a page (Sock Puppet Investigations) for you to report such concerns, which is a better venue for such things. --Errant (chat!) 14:10, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. Follow the directions at Sock Puppet Investigations and create a case there. This is the proper place to report concerns like this. ~Oshwah~ (talk) (contribs) 11:37, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

John Witherow Verification[edit]

Being discussed at WP:BLPN Blackmane (talk) 02:00, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Hello team,

I have been trying to verify the John Witherow page for a day or so now, with further citations needed (apparently) for it to be made official. I think I've added quite enough - how do i get this verified? Thanks TheoTheoDaviesLewis (talk) 10:47, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

This matter is already being dealt with at WP:BLPN; the OP has also raised the matter at the help desk and my talk page. I'd suggest inadvertent WP:FORUMSHOPPING. GiantSnowman 10:52, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Enfranchising voters in arbcom elections[edit]

I'm closing this because it has been open two weeks with healthy input but has had no further comments for approx. 5 days, hence I think the discussion has clearly completed. Also we are now in the election period (with nominations open & voting due to start on the 23rd) so it seems logical to close this thereby giving a decent period of "decision-made" to let it sink in and think about implementation. Firstly the issue of venue: there was disagreement about venue, although no clear consensus that this is entirely the wrong venue. In the end the discussion was advertised around and input seems to be broad from plenty of users. There is no reason I can see for this to invalidate consensus on the question posed here. Secondly, on the question asked. It's clear there is community consensus to utilise the massmessage system to send Arbcom voting notifications to eligilble members. According to my reading there are three key oppose reason:
  1. That the message would be spam and unwelcome; this is a valid concern that many supporters also recognise. This was also the most common oppose reason. It's clear the the community feeling is that messages should make all reasonable efforts to honour opt-outs (such as use of nobots etc.).
  2. That the message would bring unwelcome voters & lead to a poor election outcome; this seems the argument with the most discussion between supporters/opposers. I can't see any strong consensus that this is a concern of enough weight to invalidate the overall community feeling.
  3. Anti-Arbcom opposition; i.e. the view that Arbcom is the wrong solution so opposition to any attempts to promote it. This argument appears to hold limited support with commenters and so has relatively limited weight.

There was also some discussion about the proposers role and motivations, I'm counting, on balance, that oppose as a combination of #1 and #2 above. I think any discussion about the proposers motivation, should they be of continued concern, is better raised elsewhere.

On the support side the community clearly felt very positively that this action would enfranchise voters and bring more eyes onto the Arbcom election process. It is also clear that supporters agree the notification should respect nobots and other anti-notification steps users have taken.

From this reading of the RFC my judgement of consensus is that the community agrees that:

  • The massmessage (or other appropriate service) can be used to send a neutral massmessage about voting in the Arbcom elections
  • To be sent to all users who meet the voting criteria but utilising all realistic efforts to avoid spam etc.
Happy to discuss this closure at any point. As mentioned above, I feel this is a good time to close the discussion because it gives time to iron out implementation, and ensure opt-out is effective, before voting commences. --Errant (chat!) 11:57, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I would request that this section be closed by at least one uninvolved admin approximately seven days from now.

I recently started a discussion on my user talk page about low arbcom voter turnout, which became a greater concern to me after stumbling across multiple content editors (including one with over 75k edits to ENWP who was unaware they were eligible to vote.) In privately solicited feedback, there was widespread agreement that the normal banners are slightly obtuse to anyone not already deep inside our administrative side, and leave a lot of the eligible electorate unaware they are eligible - an issue of special concern after 2014's votes were only 60% of those of 2013's.

Therefore, I propose, that immediately after the candidate nomination period has ended, a massmessage be sent out to all editors active in the previous three months who meet all criteria to vote for arbcom. I further suggest that the massmessage be sent from a neutrally named secondary account (which I or anyone else can grant +confirmed and +massmessage to in order to carry out the delivery. My currently suggested text for the massmessage is this:

Hi username, Please note you are eligible to vote in the current ArbCom elections as long as you have not already voted in them on a different account and are not evading a block or ban. The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to impose binding solutions to disputes between editors, primarily for serious conduct disputes the community has been unable to resolve, including the ability to impose bans, topic bans, civility restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail. You can review the candidates statements and vote here if you wish to and haven't done so already. <sig here>

(except, with all relevant wikilinks filled in.)

Any thoughts? In a time when we've had greatly declining voter turnout (no other editor metric fell as greatly as arbcom turnout,) it certainly seems in the best interests of the encyclopedia to inform all recently active users who are eligible to vote by the already established voting requirements that they are eligible to vote for arbcom, along with a brief description of what arbcom is (which I stole from one of their pages,) and a brief description of some of the actions arbcom can take. I don't think it's in our best interests to have only a tiny fraction of the eligible electorate be aware they are even eligible to vote (let alone what for,) and know a lot of eligible voters who would take the time to educate themselves about the candidates and vote according to their interests but who are (or were) unaware they were eligible to vote. I've been told that the necessary list should be easily generatable. Kevin Gorman (talk) 20:12, 26 October 2015 (UTC)


  1. Support - as proposer, with reasoning above. This is or something very similar is standard practice among any organization that holds elections with a specified electorate. I am disinclined to go beyond users three months back, because I don't want to wake the long-departed. Chris Troutman's oppose vote seems to miss the fact that arbcom participation has fallen faster than any other editing metric, and that people with editcounts in excess of 50k have been found unaware they were eligible to vote. We declared what our electorate would be, and then declined to let most of the electorate know they were part of it. Kevin Gorman (talk) 20:12, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
  2. Support - I'm at a loss to understand the "oppose" votes, since this might do some good, and is unlikely to have any negative repercussions. BMK (talk) 22:32, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
  3. People can opt out if they don't want to receive voting notifications. This is too important to ignore. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 00:24, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
  4. What Ed and BMK and Kevin say. Also, it's free. Drmies (talk) 22:32, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
  5. Support - I can't think of how informing editors that they are eligible to vote is a bad thing. Liz Read! Talk! 22:38, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
    • Liz: See below. Apparently there are still people around who see some kind of danger in having a broad electorate. BMK (talk) 23:00, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
  6. Support - considering how much power ArbCom has over even the average editor, it's important that as many people as possible chime in during votes. A simple "get out the vote" notice is harmless, contrary to the conspiratorial feelings of certain opposers. clpo13(talk) 23:44, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
  7. Support - in favor of more exposure to Arbcom elections.StaniStani 23:54, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
  8. Support provided the message is (as proposed) sent from a neutral user account - for example from one of the Election Commissioners. A one-off message notifying people of their eligibility to vote is unlikely to be that annoying, and is worth it if it lifts turnout. Some participants here have also highlighted talk of people running tickets to skew the election results in favour of specific viewpoints - a larger pool of voters reduces the success of this tactic, and will help ensure Arbcom is as representative as possible of the entire editor base. And along with more voters we need more candidates. To all those who've contributed to Arbcom process discussions or supported/opposed particular case outcomes this year - time to put your money where your mouth is by putting your name forward. -- Euryalus (talk) 01:33, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
  9. Support. Only seeing potential upside in this very sound and logical proposal by Kevin Gorman. Strongly Support. Thank you, — Cirt (talk) 03:07, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
  10. Support per BMK, and in particular per many of the replies to the opposition. It simply doesn't make sense not to advertise this. —⁠烏⁠Γ (kaw) │ 07:30, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
  11. If, and only if we can target such messages to only go to people who are entitled to vote then I would be OK with this. ϢereSpielChequers 10:48, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
  12. Support. This seems reasonable. HiDrNick! 13:24, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
  13. Support I'm from a country with compulsory citizen voting & don't get the (mainly) US/UK cringe on increasing Wikipedia voter numbers. (Should add: I'd like to see compulsory ArbCom voting a requirement of being a bureaucrat/admin/clerk/etc.) AnonNep (talk) 13:49, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
  14. Support - This is a very sensible proposal, consistent with the principles expressed in WP:SOP. The banner site notices are useful, but can be easily overlooked among the other clutter. I agree with Euryalus that the notification should come from the Electoral Commission. While most of the oppose votes below have me wondering what the benefit of carving out a narrower electorate would be, I find that Carrite's comments stand out as unnecessarily accusatory (and inflammatory). - MrX 14:13, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
  15. Support in concept but I think a few of the opposers make a fair point when they say this should have been raised during the RfC for this year's election, which has ended. It is a little late to propose this for the upcoming election. Neutron (talk) 14:36, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
  16. Support: I don't see any problems. Canvassing concerns don't sound convincing to me. Spam concerns either: it is not like ArbCom is constituted every week. Kingsindian  16:10, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
  17. Support. More participation in elections makes for a healthier community, online or offline. As long as the notifications are delivered neutrally and ecumenically to all eligible voters, this can only be a plus.--Pharos (talk) 19:50, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
  18. Support. Being also from a nation with compulsory voting, despite the obvious contradiction to what others perceive as Democracy, I am often confused how citizens from other democracies are satisfied with a barely sufficient majority of the voting population choosing their governments. Arbcom, which has the largest reach of any body on Wikipedia, is usually elected by not even anything remotely resembling a majority of editors and those who do vote are usually those familiar with the back end of WP, the policies, politics, etc. This sets a dangerous precedent of a very powerful body being elected by a minority. If you want to see how such a body is reflected in democratic society I suggest looking at the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, which isn't a democracy in any way but does have this odd election system. Blackmane (talk) 01:33, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
  19. Support—I see no possible harm from additional communication. My experience is that you need to overcommunicate by a factor of at least ten to make people aware of processes. Arbcom is sufficiently important enough that we should aim to maximize potential voter awareness of the elections. Grondemar 01:55, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
  20. Support More voter participation sheds more light on the process. More eyes need to be on Arbcom. Parabolist (talk) 02:10, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
  21. Support As a resident of and registered voter in the United States, I am embarrassed by the turnout in elections. As a registered voter, I just received in the mail a sample ballot for the elections coming up next Tuesday. Is it spam? Is it canvassing? No to both. It's a reminder that gives me details of my option to participate and my potential choices on Election Day. Community participation in Arbcom voting is even more atrocious. Registered Wikipedia editors are registered Arbcom voters, and reaching out to inform these editors on a systematic basic to inform them of their right to vote is something we should be doing as a matter of course. We don't mandate voting, but we should at least be providing a formal nudge to solicit much greater scope in the electoral base. The argument that informing every prospective voter constitutes canvassing borders on the ludicrous. Alansohn (talk) 14:51, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
  22. Support 1) It is good to let eligible people know about elections; and 2) should anyone complain about a message appearing on a User talk page, remind them that: you know, that's where we leave messages for them; there is plenty of room on it, it's not like it is taking up valuable space; the page is not just theirs; and ignore/delete is the way to deal with any such imposition, minor as it is. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:38, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
  23. Support Improving voter turnout is always better than the alternative. OhanaUnitedTalk page 17:15, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
  24. Support Seems like a harmless idea to me. Mark Arsten (talk) 19:02, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
  25. Support - sure, why not? But make it something that respects {{nobots}} please. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 21:15, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
  26. Support Increased participation in the ArbCom elections will mean the new ArbCom will represent a larger sample of Wikipedians. Great idea, Kevin! RO(talk) 22:36, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
  27. Support - To a point I am a bit concerned with the spam side of things but at the same time feel some people here may have absolutely no idea they can vote, Meh we need as much participation as possible. –Davey2010Talk 00:01, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
  28. Support. The fleeting annoyance of receiving a mass-message is overcome by its utility. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 01:20, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
  29. Support Enfranchisement is important. --Tt(talk/contribs) 04:45, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
  30. Support Informing people of the elections is the first step in building a larger and more informed electorate. The Interior (Talk) 17:46, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
  31. Support As a registered voter, I think it is important to solicit feedback from other people. If we send them a mass ping like the one you mentioned above, the turnout would be better instead of editor not being aware of these elections. Editors might not immediately see a general announcement on the other hand. (talk) 19:15, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
  32. Strong support. It's important that voters be a large sample of the general Wikipedia population. Far from being canvassing, this proposal would make it harder to canvass; obviously, a message sent to absolutely everyone is not canvassing (it says so explicitly on WP:CANVASS), but more importantly, the more voters from the electorate as a whole we have, the less impact individual efforts to manipulate the vote by targeting some specific subset of the electorate will have. --Aquillion (talk) 19:38, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
  33. Weak support, maybe even weak to the point of damning with faint praise. I agree with the criticisms that AN is the wrong venue for deciding this, but my concern is partly mitigated by the fact that it is listed at CENT, which is how I found it. I also think it's a problem that, because it was raised after the actual RfC, there hasn't really been an adequate discussion about the wording of the message. I think it's poorly written. It sounds like it keeps saying "we have determined that you are eligible to vote, except that we haven't checked whether you already voted or whether you are a sockpuppet, so maybe we are wrong". It also should put a greater emphasis on how voters can, and should, research the candidates before voting. On the other hand, I'm not bothered about the "spam" issue, and I figure that more publicity is the best way to counteract any organized block voting, if that really is being organized. And bottom line, my best guess is that this won't actually change the results of the election. So that's not a ringing endorsement. But I am all in favor of more editors being enfranchised and more editors being engaged in general, and I doubt that this message will do any lasting harm. So I don't object to trying it as an experiment, and next year, we can see whether or not it's worth continuing. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:10, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
  34. Support Makes the process more robust against skulduggery. Rhoark (talk) 18:25, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
  35. Support More editor participation in a project which requires editor participation is always a good thing. Gamaliel (talk) 21:50, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
  36. Support Down with the cabal that is not a cabal! Brustopher (talk) 21:52, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
  37. Weak support If more editors participate, there's less risk of results being affected by inappropriate canvassing and sock puppetry. Wording of the message could probably be improved; if this proposal succeeds that should be discussed before the message is sent. Peter James (talk) 00:32, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  38. Weak support because of everything Tryptofish said. Opabinia regalis (talk) 01:15, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  39. Support - A reasonable idea and one that should have implemented years ago. Opposers are unconvincing. Jusdafax 01:37, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
  40. Support - Anything we can do to increase the participation rate in and understanding of Wikipedia's internal administrative processes is a self-evident good. The risk of a massive influx of uninformed voters is small. And any marginal annoyance that results from the "spam" message is trivial in comparison to the greater good. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 01:46, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
  41. Support — I respectfully disagree that increasing voter turnout can ever be a bad thing when there is no other skulduggery going on (e.g., patently dishonest campaign platforms). If we have anything to fear from uninformed voters, then we should take efforts to inform them. The fact of the matter is these uninformed voters have the right to vote: If having a higher turnout increases the risk of a catastrophic outcome, such as an incompetent person being elected, then the answer is to reform the process to mitigate that already-extant risk. I don't contend that new restrictions on who can run should be undertaken, but if the fear is the election of someone incompetent, then we should have that discussion. Otherwise, the risk is something like the election of someone who might not otherwise have been elected... and that's not catastrophic on its own. I would suggest that others look to BMK's learned response to an opposer below. To summarize: Merely because those proposing a way of increasing voter turnout are hoping to impact the outcome of an election does not make that increased turnout wrongful. So long as the notification is impartial, it is fine. And ArbCom elections are rare and important enough that whatever marginal increase in effort in carrying out the election cannot reasonably be said to outweigh the benefit in credibility that a greater voter turnout would grant. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 02:14, 4 November 2015 (UTC)


  1. Oppose. Not only is there no evidence to back up the assertion that more voters would benefit the results of Wikipedia's elections, low voter turnout is a sign of voter apathy, not disenfranchisement. Long term editors that are unaware of the politics of Wikipedia should stick to editing and not involve themselves with the drama. I support rule by self-selectors; wrong-headed drives like the foolishness being discussed on Kevin Gorman's talk page are almost always the tool of aggrieved parties attempting to overthrow the status quo. Chris Troutman (talk) 20:29, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
  2. Oppose. There are sufficient notices. I think turnout is dictated by whether there are issues or personalities that bring people to vote. A controversial and recent ArbCom action brings out many who would not vote in a quiet year. I suspect also people would be annoyed by an unrequested message.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:36, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
  3. Oppose per Chris troutman. Arbcom members should be elected only by those who care about the results, and adding a ton of extra votes in this manner will either produce the same result or cause someone(s) to be elected by people who don't care about the performance of the arbitrator(s) in question, a problem compounded by the chance of a second-tier candidate getting elected when the already-would-have-voted candidates would have known to support someone better. We already publicise the fact that it's time for Arbcom elections, so anyone can vote; it's not like we're doing a registration drive in real life to help people register when they don't what to do to register. Keeping in mind Guy Macon's comment, I'd like to note that a major difference between this and RFA is the manner of voting — the only difference between successful and unsuccessful Arbcom candidacies is the number of votes, without a minimum number being required, so the current election process is successful in electing people; it's not like some real elections (e.g. Bulgarian nuclear power referendum, 2013, to pick one randomly) that fail if the total number of voters is too small. It's very different from RFA, where it can reasonably be argued (correctly or not, I don't know) that adding extra participants will routinely improve an individual's RFA. Nyttend (talk) 12:01, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
  4. Oppose per my comment on Kevin's talkpage. Low participation is a product of people not caring about the result and of people not feeling the effort required is worthwhile (researching candidates is a huge timesink), not a product of unawareness. My personal feeling is that the importance of Arbcom is grossly overstated and most of the missing voters agree and don't care about the result. If one concedes your argument that Arbcom has a genuine discernable effect on the lives of normal editors, then to be frank while I'm sure there will indeed be people who are unaware the elections are on, anyone who manages to miss the glaring watchlist notice which remains in situ for a month, the notification on every significant noticeboard, the discussion on many if not most high-profile talkpages and usertalk pages, and the frantic canvassing efforts by every off-wiki criticism site and mailing list, is someone who is so detached from the day-to-day running of Wikipedia that they shouldn't be involved in decisions. ‑ iridescent 19:38, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
    • What the cause of low turnout is is really not relevant to the question here, nor the importance or lack of importance of ArbCom. What do you object to about a low-cost method which could possibly get more people to vote? Is it a "