Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive235

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Noticeboard archives


The Pirate Bay[edit]

[[1]] - TPB is now likley to be blocked in the UK. This means that some citations will become difficult for UK based Wikipedians to confirm

The current links to TBP in Wikipedia are here:*

I've removed some links to TPB already : typically in articlespace, I've got no objections to admins carefully reviewing these removals.

The number of clearly 'bad' links is tiny though.

Sfan00 IMG (talk) 22:06, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

I've got concerns about these links in general. For example this citation doesn't even support the material it is a citation for. I suspect some of these links are spam. The one Sfan00 IMG removed in this diff is another example. Material isn't supported, but it's a torrent to download the copyrighted track.--v/r - TP 22:10, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Is Sfan00 IMG planning to remove offline cites to foreign newspapers that are "difficult for UK based Wikipedians to confirm"? Exactly what's the point of this knee-jerk reaction? 2 lines of K303 22:19, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
No. Offline Cites to Journals aren't problematic. Sfan00 IMG (talk) 22:22, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Great, so ignoring the problem that they might not source what's claimed, why are you removing cites just on the basis people in one country may have difficulty confirming them? Since you spectacularly missed the point of what I just said.... 2 lines of K303 22:24, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
That confuses me too. I can understanding removing the links on the grounds that they make us guilty of contributory copyright infringement, but removing a link from a userpage on the grounds of "Removing Piratebay link - Blocked in UK" doesn't make sense to me. Nyttend (talk) 22:55, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
What the what? There is no way an editor should be removing links on userpages based on that reasoning. Also, I agree with asking why the user would be removing valid links/citations in articles based on this same reasoning(may be blocked in the UK). That is not up to any specific editor to decide and, if it's not Wiki policy, is itself a violation. Dave Dial (talk) 23:07, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, I just used a scholar source that costs $50 to read. Maybe I should remove it because some wikipedians might not be ready to pay that amount? Or how about books that don't have preview in google books (and are not available in pirate websites), should I stop using those because they are difficult to verify for some wikipedians? --Enric Naval (talk) 23:21, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
We should definitely be removing most of these for linking to copyright violations, but not for being inaccessible in the UK (although being illegal to possess might be a grounds). MBisanz talk 23:19, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the response, I'll revert the user space link you mention. Sfan00 IMG (talk) 23:24, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
@Sfan00 IMG, I looked at a few removals and they look OK. People complain because you are copy/pasting "blocked in UK" in most edit summaries, you make it sound like a knee-jerk removal. use "copyright violation" for edits like [2]. Use "primary source" for [3]. --Enric Naval (talk) 23:32, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
This is utterly ridicolous. We're not UK-based and there is no reason to remove links based on the UK status. I've reverted your removals when they were unjustified (several were just irrelevant/pirated stuff). For what it's worth, TPB has been blocked in Italy for years, and I didn't go around remove the links then. This is just utterly silly. Snowolf How can I help? 23:42, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
I've reverted a few my myself based on consensus here, I've also noted in the edit summary that one appears to be public interest (and is as far as I can see PD-US Gov in any event). Sfan00 IMG (talk) 23:47, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Links to pirated stuff should be removed, see WP:ELNEVER. --Enric Naval (talk) 23:49, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
The Reinstated items are not linking to 'pirated' material, hence the revert. Sfan00 IMG (talk) 23:51, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm satisfied that you get the gist of the complaints here, and most of your removals were justified for various reasons other than the one being complained about. In any case, good luck and happy editing. Dave Dial (talk) 23:55, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Also created {{CensoredLink}} Although the wording is more polite in tone than some people might want ;) Sfan00 IMG (talk) 00:04, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

It would be better to switch the pirate bay links into direct magnet links, this avoids the issue of linking to a possibly censored site. At the end of the day that is how the Torrent is hosted on TPB anyway. It's entirely possible a site may disappear, but the magnet link is static. --Errant (chat!) 08:48, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

WP:ELNO #7. We have more editors who self-identify as furries than we do readers who have clients installed on their computers that can digest a magnet link. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 13:37, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Except TPB currently only offers magnet links themselves. So if the purpose is to provide a link to the torrent all linking to TPB does is add an extra click :) So to take on your reasoning; per ELNO#7 we should switch to using magnet links, as TPB is blocked in some countries and therefore the torrent is currently less accessible than it could be. --Errant (chat!) 14:21, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
From what I can tell, the majority of our links to the present TPB site are not actually to torrents. And ELNO#7 strongly discourages linking to torrents regardless of whether it's over http, magnet, gopher or anything else for that matter. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 14:26, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
This ELNO#7 is about media inaccessible to users. Torrents are not inaccessible! Many people have the software already, and if not, getting it is as easy as a free download of μTorrent. In fact, in Wikipedia:Reference desk/Computing#Who's censoring this stuff?, I found a torrent to be more accessible than the Commons file. It took a request for expert assistance to point me at a download manager that could get .ogv video off the Commons server after 34 lost connections, whereas I was able to download and watch the torrent on my own with no problem! Wnt (talk) 18:12, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
That said, ErrantX's suggestion to use magnet links directly makes some sense. While it is distasteful for Wikipedia to set itself up as a copyright-censored torrent tracker alternative to TPB, politics must take a back seat to Wikipedia's top priority of getting the reader to the WP:EL-compliant sources with the least amount of trouble. Though it is also time to make sure we give Britons good coverage of the alternative methods of accessing material from the UK, such as the VPNs Pirate Bay mentions. Wnt (talk) 18:52, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Request for comments on my closure of Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Seamus (dog) (2nd nomination)[edit]

I recently closed Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Seamus (dog) (2nd nomination), a lengthy and contentious deletion discussion as keep, with a lengthy rationale. As I expected (what with the nature of the topic), an editor has disagreed with my closure and has begun a discourse with me at User talk:ItsZippy#Articles for deletion/Seamus (dog) (2nd nomination). I've given further explanation of my actions to him there, but I think it would be helpful for another administrator to review my closure; I have said that I am willing to accept an alternative if others think that would be necessary. Could someone have a look and give me their opinion, please? Thanks. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:49, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

This is like forum shopping your close - please just address the issues and request raised on your talkpage - Youreallycan 20:54, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
It's probably because of that that he's asking his colleagues. It's probably therefore the right thing to do. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 22:05, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Its not correct procedure at all - if an administrator is not confident of his own close without asking other administrators to comment then clearly he should not have closed that or for that matter any other discussion - especially when they are aware the discussion is contentious Youreallycan 22:15, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
 :: Hi, I'm ItsZippy. I am 18 years old. Ah, Wikipedia, always improving. Nice to check in and get reminders of how this encyclopedia is administered.Bali ultimate (talk) 22:33, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
So ad hominems are the word of the day? (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 22:23, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
It's not an ad hominem. I have mentored many young journalists in my career (all of them over 21 when starting out). Some went on to be brilliant, some were washouts. None of them were qualified to exercise editorial discretion, in any capacity, without years of work and training. The fact that you have 18-year-olds running around casting nonsensical super-votes when any adult professional editing an encyclopedia would say: "The dog story? A graph or two in the Romney election campaign article" and move on. This is an entrenched, deeply harmful systemic problem and yet another reason for qualified professionals to stay away. There is nothing ad hominem about pointing out that untrained teenagers should not be making these kinds of judgements, on (unfortunately) the most frequented online resource for knowledge. (I know, it will never change. But sometimes I can't help pointing out folly when I see it). Ah, and before someone says "grownups are incompetent too sometimes" let me save you the trouble. Some mature people are unqualified. No 18-year-olds are qualified.Bali ultimate (talk) 22:31, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
If I may say (speaking as an "untrained teenager, who knows, maybe I should be seen and not heard), "pointing out that untrained teenagers should not be making these kinds of judgements" is exactly what constitutes an ad hominem argument and a silly one at that. In any case it's just ridiculous to assert that being any given age must make you inept at making judgment calls. - Jarry1250 [Deliberation needed] 01:23, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
"None of them were qualified to exercise editorial discretion, in any capacity, without years of work and training." Really, its the pathetic journalists who've written 100s of stories about Seamus that are to blame here, not the 18 year old who has paid attention only too well to what journalists are telling us.--Milowenthasspoken 03:22, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
You illustrate my point very well. Journalism is, largely, ephemera. The hot, the new, what people are talking about right this second. The decisions I make at my newspaper about what we publish in the daily are very different from the decisions I make about what we publish in the weekly. And the decisions about what is an encyclopedia topic are different still. Judgement, maturity, and discretion are what inform the process. Adolescents (and their adult fellow travelers) who read a newspaper article and feel that "tells" them an encyclopedia article should be written (based on transient ephemera) are precisely the problem. Sheesh.Bali ultimate (talk) 13:58, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
I agree, though I do not think the problem is particular to young people. The wider culture informs us all that the ephemeral has infinitely greater weight than it does in reality. 24/7 news stations might be far the most obvious symptoms of this disease but they are most certainly not the worst. Moreschi (talk) 14:14, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, if this were one newspaper article on an ephemeral subject, you might have a point. In this case, we're talking about 100+ articles over at least five years. While we all have our own views of what an ideal encyclopedia would cover, admins are not given the freedom to close discussions based on their personal views--they're required to close based on our guidelines, which is what the admin in question did. Mark Arsten (talk) 16:15, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Again with the "adolescents"... Judge people on the decisions they make, not their age. There's simply no reason even to refer to it, for it to every come up in a discussion of this nature. - Jarry1250 [Deliberation needed] 17:03, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook when he was only 20 years old. Suhas Gopinath founded a company and became its CEO when he was only 14 years old. If someone can handle CEO's job at the age of 14, then ItsZippy, who is much older, can easily handle the role of a Wikipedia admin at the age of 18. --SupernovaExplosion Talk 05:04, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
It had better be an extraordinarily sharp 14-year-old admin, wise far beyond his years, before I even had to question his or her age. I've got t-shirts older than that. 14 years old and making life decisions? Really? Scary stuff, folks... Doc talk 05:19, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
What a strange false comparison. I am not sure how running a business compares with adhearing to objectively looking at political issues, and if the movie "Social Network" is even close to reality, Zuckerberg would make a terribly biased admin. Arzel (talk) 13:38, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Zippy, here's my 2 cents. The plus:fantastic closing statement. The minus: absolutely inverse "decision" than was possible based on the arguments. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 22:23, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
+1. Also, if I may, a small suggestion: It'sZippy, your mop is still somewhat new. It may be a good idea to avoid the particularly contentious decisions for the moment, until you're a bit more comfortable handling it. Salvio Let's talk about it! 22:34, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
  • (Non-admin comment, with caveat that I participated in the AfD). I think that the close was reasonable (and far from "absolutely inverse"), and that you explained it very well. I also think that you handled the complaints at your user talk very considerately. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:14, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm guessing this is going to wind up at DRV anyway, but here's my two cents - decently argued close, but I think it's a horrible decision that misses the big picture. We have an article on Mitt Romney's dog. Not the dog controversy, the actual Dog Itself. Jesus H Christ. I'm sorry, but if that close doesn't represent a facepalm moment as far as Wikipedia's claims to be a serious encyclopedia are concerned, I don't know what does. Moreschi (talk) 23:22, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
    • A few years ago we had a political party make a statement that the governing party leader ate kittens. It became a big election kerfluffle. I don't think we have an article about said kittens. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 23:45, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
      • That's because there are no reliable sources to prove that the kittens existed or were eaten :P Snowolf How can I help? 05:00, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
        • To clarify, I might just grit my teeth and howl in pain - but ultimately accept - an article on the dog controversy, but one on the actual dog itself is a joke. It's generally accepted that when someone/something is notable for one event only and has no chance of having an encyclopedic biography they are incorporated into the article on that event. Madeleine McCann, Ian Huntley and so on are redirects for perfectly good reasons. But no, while this is a bad close I do not think it is a call-for-desysop-and-call-him-a-terrible-person close. Moreschi (talk) 09:57, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
    • I haven't read either the article or the afd so I'm not commenting on their content (I might do so later, if I have the time and stomach to read the things). But this dog is now quite famous and it would have surprised me if we didn't have an article about it. We've had Bo (dog), Barney (dog), Buddy (dog), Socks (cat), etc. for quite a while. So the deletion attempt on Seamus offhand sounds tendentious, regardless of whatever wikilawyering may have framed it. (talk) 15:13, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I think it's a perfectly reasonable close, well grounded in policy. Moreschi is free to promote a guideline on the notability of dogs. Someguy1221 (talk) 23:31, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
    For what it's worth, I said in the AfD discussion that it should be renamed from the dog to the incident, per WP:BLP1E. I was only half-joking, because it really is a problem over multiple pages that we name articles for animals, when they are really about events that happened. BLD1E, anyone? --Tryptofish (talk) 00:12, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
    Well, BDD1E in this case. 28bytes (talk) 03:07, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
    The article title is kind of peripheral to the topic coverage, and if there's battling going on then the problem is with the editors rather than the topic. FWIW, noticing just now that Laika (sort of the ultimate in BDD1E's) is a Featured Article was one of the increasingly rare moments that made me proud of Wikipedia. (talk) 17:47, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I have to agree with BWilkins and Moreschi on this one. 28bytes (talk) 23:40, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I think some of my colleagues here are taking a hyper-serious view of things. WP will not be a laughing stock for covering what newspapers cover. (What people laugh at us about are the sort of topics people here think important, but newspapers do not cover.) DGG ( talk ) 00:14, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Yes, indeed. Newspaper folk know that those pesky lanthanides and crab grasses are not newsworthy, and we should be rightly ridiculed for any thinking that encyclopaedicity and newsworthiness are synonymous. ☺ Uncle G (talk) 01:07, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm with Moreschi here. Scientific commentary on a dog Mitt Romney owned in 1983? The mass media are aiming for the lowest common denominator, as a purported encyclopedia we should aim much higher. Kevin (talk) 00:26, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I concur with BWilkins and Moreschi here. MBisanz talk 00:30, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I think it is ridiculous that we have decided to delete Obama Eats Dogs, which is basically a right wing attack on Obama, but kept Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Seamus (dog) (2nd nomination) a left wing attack on Romney. Wikipedia's editor base clearly leans to the left, but I would have hoped that we could have put our political biases aside and make a fair decision regarding both articles... Both have received ample media coverage and pass the General Notability Guidelines, so there is really no excuse. Monty845 02:28, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
False equivalence works better in the mainstream media than on wikipedia. On wikipedia, we're just haphazard. Yes, most of the world is "biased" against the American far right, perhaps that influenced the outcome.--Milowenthasspoken 03:14, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I took part in the AfD discussion, and I thought that ItsZippy did a very good job with a difficult issue. He actually read through all the arguments, and wrote a detailed response that explained his conclusion based on Wikipedia's policies. That's what a closing admin is supposed to do. WP:ROUGHCONSENSUS states, "Consensus is not determined by counting heads, but by looking at strength of argument, and underlying policy (if any)." If an editor does not like the outcome, they have every right to go to deletion review, but ItsZippy did nothing wrong, and I think this is just a case of "I just don't like it" syndrome. Debbie W. 02:40, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I support keeping the article. It is well-written, well-sourced, and Seamus is arguably the second most famous/notable dog in the US right now. — GabeMc (talk) 02:45, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I agree with DGG's comment. Paul Erik (talk)(contribs) 03:41, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I would have to question the experience of any admin that would make the following statement. Merging with the Obama dog article, as noted, would not be correct as the two issues are very different in nature. As any person can see the two issues are directly related. The poorly named "Seamus" article is nothing more than a political talking point from the left, pushed by a single journalist for several years. The Obama dog eating story is political response from the right to that talking point. To make the statement that they are very different in nature seems quite odd. Arzel (talk) 04:04, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I was going to save this for the DRV, but I'll say it now: Admins have some leeway when closing discussions--they're not vote-counting robots. They weigh consensus and strength of argument, and that's what was done here. In fact, I think the closer's rationale was pretty well reasoned--far more reasonable than the ad hominem attacks against him, at least. Mark Arsten (talk) 04:02, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Reluctantly have to agree that ItsZippy came to a reasonable close, and was wise to come here for review. I don't agree with his conclusion, but I cannot find a considerable fault in the reasoning. I still believe the article is not much more than an attack, especially as written. Although the closer felt there was a consensus to Keep even lacking a clear consensus to delete, we still Keep. So I hesitantly support the close. -- Avanu (talk) 04:15, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Meh - It is becoming clear over the last few years here that to actually get a non-notable hit-piece deleted when the target is hitting a conservative American politician requires a great many dominoes to line up just so. When the inherent bias of most Wikipedia editors plus the I-never-met-an-article-I-didn't-like dogma of others joins forces, the odds are long, and a closer is left with little alternative but to count sheep. Tarc (talk) 04:54, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Reasonable closure by ItsZippy. --SupernovaExplosion Talk 05:08, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I can see a potential reason why ItsZippy would close the AfD that way, but his reasoning was not reasonable, nor did it justify his close. At DrV, I would probably vote to reopen, rather than to revert the close. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 06:23, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I'm just going to point out something that was pointed out by myself, Debbie and others in the midst of that AFD: this topic has been covered by The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, International Business Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Irish Times, and the Guardian over the period of at least a year in most cases and in some cases even more. That's not an exhaustive list; almost every major paper in the US and many internationally, as well as radio and television, have covered this story. It's not our job as editors to second guess our sources or express disregard for what they consider to be a worthy topic. Our job is to take sources, determine their reliability, and based on what they report, represent fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by said reliable sources. Significant views on this topic obviously exist; we would be remiss to ignore them. I fully understand that many people here believe that this topic is not worthy of being in this encyclopedia - I don't disagree with a lot of these arguments, but I believe that NPOV should trump all else. SÆdontalk 09:11, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. I only commented at the AfD in question, since I never vote. But wouldn't it be much better that whenever an AfD discussion exceeds (say) 20 or 30 votes and has lengthy discussion, then let it by closed by 3 admins, not 1. This doesn't happen very often and would not unnecessarily burden the admin who "dares" to close it. I also think that for controversial decisions, the closing admins should be randomly selected. That would remove questions about admins coming in to close something based on their own opinions. MakeSense64 (talk) 09:37, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
    • This is a very sensible suggestion. There's going to be a lot of similar kerfuffle this election season and I strongly recommend we follow this procedure when closing similar AfDs. Moreschi (talk) 09:57, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
    • I agree with your proposal. Although I think that ItsZippy did a fine job explaning his rationale, having 3 closing admins for contentious AfDs would reduce any allegations of bias or mistake by the admin. Debbie W. 10:49, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Maybe, but it might also just lead to a mini-admin debate too. ... -- Avanu (talk) 14:23, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • As others have said above, (and I do appreciate the effort) - I think the close was incorrect, but appreciate the attempt at both determining a consensus and at providing the reasoning. Political, Religious, and National debates are always going to be difficult for anyone to close, and there's always going to be someone who disagrees with it. I also agree that there will be a DRV in the near future. And the trifecta mentioned above is something I can easily support. — Ched :  ?  10:54, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • MakeSense64's suggestion, well, makes sense! What a solid idea. Pesky (talk) 15:35, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
      • The bureaucracy will expand to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy! Except it won't. This was, by the arguments above, simply a bad close (even if the closure action itself was exemplary and should be complimented for a difficult situation like this). We haven't enough admins active in closing AfDs already without new procedures being put in place for something as idiotic as head counts. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk)

If the AfD closure was faulty for some reason there's Deletion Review where disputants can present their case why there was fault in the rendering of consensus from the AfD. Hasteur (talk) 16:28, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

  • I recommended "delete" and the result was "keep". But I was fine with the close. There's a fundamental flaw in that admins, who are just are just people with some extra tools to implement basic policies, are elevated to being the (only) people who handle complex closure situations. But I don't think that it hurt us here. North8000 (talk) 16:34, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks everyone for the helpful comments made here. I don't have a great deal to add here, really - my reasons for the closure are at the AfD and expanded at my talk page. I am more than happy for someone to open a DRV if they think that is necessary; I'll accept whatever outcome that may have. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 17:17, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

@ItsZippy; I personally think that you handled a tricky one pretty well. And I don't think that we should generalise about people just because of their calendar age, at all. We have some truly exceptional youngsters here in WP, and ageism is not a good way to go. A good 18-year-old Wikpedian is a very different animal from yer-average bog-standard global-population 18-year-old.

@Thumperward, I've noticed, over the recent past, that your patience / understanding quotient seems to have dropped a bit. I feel that maybe you're feeling a bit too WikiStressed? Things got on top of you a bit too much? Have a few nice cool beers, and a Granny-hug, and take some time to do something which makes you feel happy, as often as you can. Pesky (talk) 04:58, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Sounds like a "BLPet1E". ;) Fortunately, BLP only covers living persons - at least, not until dogs start suing for libel. (Probably that gives us about five years - not yet, anyway) Wnt (talk) 18:03, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Saint Jerome Emiliani Institute[edit]

Could someone look at Talk:Saint Jerome Emiliani Institute please - it seems to be an intriguing mix of multiple accounts, copy-pasting and a possible copyvio. Unfortunately I've been too busy in the last couple of days to look into it. Thanks.  An optimist on the run! 22:06, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

The creator of this is from the institute and has permission to make the page. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:15, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Since when does anyone need persmission to make a Wikipedia page? (talk) 00:53, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Orange Mike[edit]

New user Admarkroundsquare (talk · contribs) uploaded a new logo for Round Square and explained at the help desk that he works for the organisation and asked for help updating the article with new information and the new logo. So Orangemike (talk · contribs) blocked him without discussion and slapped an offensive template on his user page.

This seems inappropriate to me. Is this the way admins typically treat new users? Do you, as a group, approve of this kind of behaviour? I've notified Mike of this discussion. I haven't discussed it with him because he clearly thinks it's OK and I'm actually interested in what the admin community thinks. I'm not looking for any action, just opinions (unless there's a pattern of rudeness). --Anthonyhcole (talk) 12:19, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

This is certainly the appropriate venue for this kind of discussion, Anthony; I am not even remotely offended. My reasoning was that the username Admarkroundsquare was clearly for advertising and marketing of Round Square, and thus was inappropriate. I will readily acknowledge that I am not hospitable towards advertising and marketing in Wikipedia, but did not think my actions were out of line. That "offensive template" was designed by Wikipedia's user interaction gurus, not by me, and is the standard template for spamusernames. --Orange Mike | Talk 12:33, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
The issue at hand is not really blocking the editor, but your attitude in dealing with these people. Which is problematic IMO. --Errant (chat!) 12:40, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
  • People with undisclosed but obvious affiliations edit articles like this every day, I see it all the time. If he was less honest, he wouldn't have disclosed it like most. I always like it when editors disclose it honestly.--Milowenthasspoken 12:37, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Mike has a particular... view.. of editors associated with organisations or their own biographies - which is that they are bad people, here for a nefarious agenda and must be immediately blocked with prejudice or put in their place. Part of the problem is that block notice (not his fault) which doesn't help explain the issue at hand to what is probably a well meaning individual who doesn't know how things work. But then we also have this from earlier today - Wikipedia:BLP/N#Keith_Gary - in which he bites heavily at a new editor on the basis of reading "my Wikipedia page" as asserting some kind of ownership. I've recently noted Mike's work through a recent AN/I and I have quite a lot of concerns about how he deals with COI, BLP subjects etc. as well as possible issues with content he is adding in his own topic field. An RFC/U might be in order, although it would be nice to see his response to these concerns. -Errant (chat!) 12:40, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
content he is adding in his own topic field???? --Orange Mike | Talk 12:44, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
We'll deal with that in a moment. But reviewing the block procedures; why did you use a "bad faith" template for an account that has tried (and failed) to update their logo, then asked for help on the helpdesk? Certainly the username was wrong, but why not use {{Uw-softerblock}} in the absence of any actual promotional editing? --Errant (chat!) 12:46, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Ummm... "How do I delete a page from Wikipedia that was produced ages ago. I need to replace the whole page with up to date information and new logo." isn't promotional? --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 12:52, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Misguided, sure. Aiming to be promotional. But assuming they can't have WP:NPOV explained to them is a succinct failure of assume good faith. --Errant (chat!) 12:57, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, it's a username block, and the username does contain the name of the organization. The discussion of COI seems relatively neutral. I don't see this as horrible. Possibly a little more tact was in order, but that's arguable.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:06, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
I will readily concede that I have low tolerance towards paid editors and the entire COI/PR/spindoctor industry (which seems to have us targeted for conquest or destruction, if we don't yield to their demands). On the flip side of WP:AGF, I will point out that it was at my instigation that we created the {{causeblock}} template, for the clueless well-intentioned advocate who creates an account in the name of their cause or not-for-profit organization, but is not spamming Wikipedia. --Orange Mike | Talk 13:32, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Seems to be a simple case of WP:ORGNAME. User had a clearly promotional username and was engaging in promotional activity. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 13:40, 27 April 2012 (UTC)


  • Users who adopt such a username and engage in inappropriately promotional behaviors in articles about the company, group, or product, are usually blocked.
  • Users who adopt such usernames, but who are not editing problematically in related articles, should not be blocked. Instead, they should be gently encouraged to change their username. (emphasis not mine)

This editor did not make any problematic edits. In fact, they don't have a single edit in article space. Also, how is a newbie supposed to know about WP:ORGNAME? I've been on Wikipedia for 2-3 years now, and I've never seen that policy before. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:07, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Uh, the guy made it clear that he was here to construct a page for his company. Again, Advertising and Marketing. WP:NOTAD. The fact that you are ignorant of the relevant policy is really quite meaningless. I have been around for around the same amount of time and have known about it for quite a while. Spend a couple months patrolling new pages and recent changes and you'll learn these ropes right quick. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 15:31, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Hmm, I think your response here rather highlights the problem... A new user is always ignorant of policy; treating them as a criminal rather than trying to educate them is simply bad faith. So what if they are here to market their company/organisation - doesn't make them a bad person incapable of changing. I hope to god you don't patrol new pages with that sort of attitude. --Errant (chat!) 15:39, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
This particular block I find to be justifiably "preventative". As outlined before, policy is pretty clear on promotional behaviour and usernames. If the guy is such a "good person", then why don't you go and suggest that he change his username and mentor him on policy? If you're right, then he should warm right up to it. As for myself, I grew tired of NPP about a year ago, to an extent because of PR guys like this one. I'm not buying your line. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 15:49, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Furthermore, speculations on whether or not an editor is a "good person" or "bad person" are really quite irrelevant. Such wishy-washy subjective labels are not part of the workings of this site. I have never seen a block that says "You have been blocked indefinitely from editing Wikipedia because you are a bad, bad person." I am sure that many vandals, POV-pushers, and even banned users are great guys/gals in real life—they just cause issues for the functioning of the project. Character evaluations are utterly meaningless. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 16:08, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

I am not understanding how {{softerblock}} is considered offensive – especially since it starts with "Welcome to Wikipedia", and kindly tells to "please take a moment to create a new account". --MuZemike 15:56, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Orange Mike originally placed {{Uw-spamublock}} on the user's talk page and it has since been replaced with {{softerblock}}, so it was the spamublock template that was referred to as offensive. -- Ed (Edgar181) 15:59, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
OK, I see why: We usually do that to direct users who have already made edits to change their username so that they get to keep their contribs when switching to another username (normally via WP:CHU); {{softerblock}} is more intended when there are no contribs under the username (or they have all been deleted) and when it would be easier for that person to simply create another account on his/her own without our assistance, unlike the other username blocks. --MuZemike 16:15, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
This is now a non-issue, as the original {{Uw-spamublock}} has been replaced with {{softerblock}}. There is no evidence that the user even saw the harder block template—it was up for less than 24 hours—so the slightly too-harsh response by Orangemike is old news. Orangemike should be forgiven this very minor blip which was only a matter of degree of response. I am 100% supportive of anyone who stands between PR agents and Wikipedia, to make it more difficult to turn the encyclopedia into a promotional tool. Binksternet (talk) 16:29, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
  • The block and the {{Uw-spamublock}} block notification template were appropriate. Advertising is not permitted on Wikipedia, and the username indicates that this was the account's purpose. I do not see the problem here.  Sandstein  17:22, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
    You might think that, but that's not what WP:ORGNAME says. If this is the new community concensus, then someone should make following changes:
  • Users who adopt such usernames, but who are not editing problematically in related articles, should not be blocked. Instead, they should be gently encouraged to change their username. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:22, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
  • The block was itself valid. So what would've happened if the guy had a non-promotional username and posted "Hey, this company's logo changed, see the link here", would we have blocked him immediately with a bad faith template? That's where I have trouble with this one. I think we can block, advise them why (and a template does not work well for this) and still accept valid, correct information. Someone says that an article is out of date, getting blocked doesn't mean they're wrong. UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 17:39, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm going to have to agree with Ultra on this one. I prefer the ErrantX approach much better. I'm not saying the block was wrong - but, if you're not "not hospitable" toward a particular group of new editors, then take a break from that area for a while. No need to wp:bite someone just because they don't know the rules. Personally I think admins. should strive to achieve higher standards than that. The guy/gal wants to update a logo, and we slap him with some "you're outta here" template? We can do better, and we should. — Ched :  ?  18:20, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes, clearly User:Orangemike has declared a strength of opinion in this area that makes his use of tools in the area totally inappropriate - if you can't stay unemotional in a sector then stop policing it - Here is the user Orangemike very recently immediately attacking a user after a very good faith request to contribute a picture after the user opened a good faith thread at the BLPN noticeboard - Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons/Noticeboard#Keith_Gary - Youreallycan 18:36, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
    • I object strongly to that categorization. The user talked about an article about himself as if it was his MySpace or Facebook page, in language that implied ownership of the article; I firmly stated that the article was just that: an article, not a "page". It is him, but is not his' and is not under his control. That is not an attack in any way. --Orange Mike | Talk 19:15, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
      • You can strongly object all you like. Anyone is able to look at that discussion - you started on an attack position not a welcome one - you assumed a lack of good faith - you attacked , you didn't show any good faith or welcome at all - not at all - users can read that discussion and see for themselves. -How can I add photos to my wikipedia page? - did you help them in their question ? - no you didn't, not in any way - Youreallycan 19:24, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
        • Mike; I think that is the crux of the problem. Because my reading of the comment was "the article about me". You assumed that meant he could control it, which is a lack of good faith - especially as a perfectly reasonable reading of the comment doesn't show that. When users ask for help you should give it to them nicely - not jump down their throats. You categorically & needlessly attacked him. --Errant (chat!) 19:30, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
          • Lord knows I've had plenty of disagreements with Youreallycan, but he's right in this case. Your response was not at all welcoming or friendly. You have no idea when they said "my article" if they meant "it's an article about me" or if it meant "it's an article I control". You assumed the latter, and not the former. It seems to me that newbie isn't going to be aware of WP:OWNERSHIP and probably doesn't realize that such language can be interpretted to mean ownership. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:33, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
  • The block itself was fine, if a bit too quick. Choosing to use {{softerblock}} would have been much better, but it's not required, It's a judgement call, and not everyone knows about it (or thinks about it, with the automated tools that many people use). I'd just like to point out that this is part of what is something of a campaign over Orange Mike himself (and Cla68, not coincidentally). Making decisions about other users through that prism, and with passions running high, isn't the best way to manage things. At the very least it opens people up, on both "sides" of the issue(s), to criticisms over their politics.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 19:07, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
"Assume good faith" does not mean burying your head in the sand and pretending that nothing is going on. --MuZemike 19:28, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
And what exactly is going on? The only thing we know for sure is that they said that the logo in our article is out of date and the wanted to update it. I checked out their web site and it turns out Admarkroundsquare was correct. tThe logo in our article is out of date. Here's the new one. What's wrong with updating the logo to their current one? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:37, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
"How do I delete a page from Wikipedia that was produced ages ago. I need to replace the whole page with up to date information and new logo."--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 19:39, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
You say that as if it contradicts what I said. Let me clarify. The only thing we know for sure is that they said that the logo in our article is out of date and the wanted to update it. What other changes they had in mind, we don't know. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:42, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Yup; and I absolutely agree, Sarek, that they probably wanted to do exactly as you posit. But why does that mean they are not welcome? Do you disagree with any of our policies? I'm guessing there are some you think are wrong, or at least not perfect; but no one wants to block you for it! Because you have had the concept of community concept explained, and accepted it. But what you are advocating is not giving them the chance to have it explained... --Errant (chat!) 19:47, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

What am I supposed to be "positing" here? I was quoting the editor verbatim. I'm not advocating anything, except not misrepresenting the information we have. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 19:53, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
heh. yes sorry a little sleepy here... consider my comment intended generically, then. --Errant (chat!) 19:59, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
I'd like to point out that, regardless of what anyone here may or may not desire, "Indefinite" doesn't mean "permanent". This user still has talk page access, and is quite welcome to request a name change (which will likely involve and unblock, but there's nothing wrong with that). AGF can just as easily be applied to everyone in this discussion rather than just a few of the participants.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 21:46, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Let me draw a comparison - you are on vacation in some country which language you barely speak, looking for a hotel. Eventually you find one and walk in, but once you walk inside and try to ask the receptionist for a room you are grabbed by a doorman and tossed out. Once outside the doorman hands you a note stating that you are not wearing black shoes, thus you are not allowed entry again until you do. Now, what will you do - get some black shoes or be abhorred by your treatment and search for a new hotel?
What i am trying to explain here is that new editors are complete rookies who only just made their first edit, and often don't have a clue what they are doing. Just blocking them with a template message will scare people away - period (Unless they have a specific reason to "get the black shoes" such as marketeers). I utterly detest spammers and marketeers and i am only to glad to throw those out, but all to often we truly lack empathy towards new editors. Note that this is quite a general comment on newbie treatment, though it does somewhat apply in this case as well. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 22:22, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I don't disagree. I'd like to see the policy changed so that "automatic blocks" are not issued, basically unilaterally, against users who certain administrators feel have "promotional" user names, and I've spoken out against that in the past on AN/I. That seems like a separate issue though.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 22:35, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Excirial, your example would make sense if there was no sign at the door of your hotel. But there is. In English. You walk in anyways. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 00:07, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes indeed, there is. But have you recently looked at the sign up page and imagined what it looks like to a new user? It is so riddled with links, text, policies and so on which means that it is easy to miss the sign. How often do you read the entire EULA when installing some software, and did you ever you read the entire manual when you buy something from a store? I am not surprised that editors just see the two "Fill me in" boxes for username and password and ignore the rest.
I don't intend to state that not seeing the rules doesn't mean that they are there. My entire point is how we deal with people who go over the line - a friendly comment or even a softblock and a manually written explanation of the block are vastly preferable over a spamblock. Especially in cases where the editor did nothing to bad so far. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 12:16, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Proposed blocking. --MuZemike 23:57, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

OrangeMike should be drawn and quartered. Now that I have your attention, everyone seems to be quoting WP:AGF without assuming any good faith on the part of OrangeMike; saying he "attacked" a new user instead of considering the fact that he was following what he thought in good faith to be the policy. No permanent damage has been done, and even as an admin who thinks WP:BITE is the worst problem on Wikipedia right now, I don't think any further action is required. The harsh template has been replaced by a more welcoming message, and instructions on requesting an unblock if the user wishes. I think we should also start a new policy: Wikipedia:Please do not bite the admins. We are human after all, and no one has just straight-up asked OrangeMike if he'll agree to be less WP:BITEy in the future. So....

OrangeMike, could you please agree to be less WP:BITEy in the future, especially if they are posting in the correct venues seeking help? -RunningOnBrains(talk) 06:29, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Running, I try not to be bitey; but I simply cannot agree to any commitment which would preclude me from blocking blatant violations of our rules. Advertising and marketing by COI editors is one of the biggest dangers to our prized neutrality here, and it's delusional to pretend otherwise in the sacred name of AGF. Nonetheless: I'm already keeping this discussion in mind when choosing between a softerblock and a spamuserblock.
I am already, also, keeping this discussion in mind when encountering folks who genuinely don't understand the distinction between "my page" (which I control) and "an article about me" (which I do not).
I hope some of those who have piled on me will agree to spend more time at the Help Desks and maybe in the Tea Room, helping those noobs you are advocating for. (Yes, some of you already do; it would be obnoxious and unfair of me to pretend otherwise.)
I would also hope that this discussion might lead to some discussion in the appropriate venues about improving the wording of the standard templates, which some of you clearly consider a bit bitey.
I hope this response is satisfactory to those not of a lynch-mob mentality. For those who are of that mind: sorry, I have no intention of going away or of dropping the Mop-and-Bucket with which I have been entrusted. I've been shat upon by the best; I don't frighten easy.
I am, however, weary. I myself would like to go back to trying to improve the content of this encylopedia; I've got several projects I've been neglecting while this discussion dragged on. --Orange Mike | Talk 17:05, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, that's a step in the right direction, but please keep in mind that WP:ORGNAME says that you cannot block someone for their account name until after they're had problematic edits. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:39, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Thought experiment[edit]

I was thinking about how to demonstrate the perspective that is eluding some of the commentators here - and perhaps this is it. Imagine that I flicked through your contributions. I expect that, and this applies to all of us here, I could find something that violates one of our policies in some way or other (ostensibly or otherwise). Is it to be assumed you, being regular editors, know policy and therefore are deliberately violating it? Should I block you and whack a template on your userpage? Or is it more likely that an explanation would be of effect? This is the core of the issue; as regulars Wikipedia is as natural to us as breathing. To a new user - yes, even one who wants to make their article say nice things - it is a black box. By assuming the worst of faith & dumping an aggressive template note on their page (which they probably don't even know exists, yet) we don't even make an attempt to educate them, we just decide they are unsalvageable. What's the response? They are upset, create a new account and try to "delete" the article. They contact OTRS. They decide Wikipedia is obnoxious and tell their friends. Seriously, the way we treat newbies is disgusting. I'm sorry to Mike that he has become the current focus, because he is far from the only guilty one, but he is a strong example of one of our most pressing problems. --Errant (chat!) 19:37, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

OK, so our Standard Operating Procedure should be then, if we find usernames that don't fall within our policy, should be to tell the user to change his/her username and/or establish an account, and if he/she doesn't, then ignore the problem? --MuZemike 19:42, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Uh, I'm not sure how I would be suggesting that... if we take this case I gave you an example (by doing it) of what we should be doing - which is politely blocking the username, explaining why and then trying to answer the question posed. Ignoring the problem is silly, as is stamping around all over the place. --Errant (chat!) 19:45, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Maybe the next question should be: Is a block ever a polite action? Because from what I gather above, the answer seems to be "no". --MuZemike 19:48, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
I invite those who complain so much about our treatment of newbies to pop over to UAA and see what's actually going on there. If you don't like the way things are being handled, do it yourself; guess what, after the thousandth SEO upstart tries to spam about his company, your patience will run thin. We have a username policy for a reason, and people who violate it should change their usernames. It's not unlike requiring someone to put on a shirt before they walk into an establishment with a "No shirt, no shoes, no service" sign. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:50, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
That's a bad analogy, because we don't have a sign of that sort. What we do have is a global invitation to edit... A lot of the UAA stuff is obvious, I agree, but many (such as this one) are not. It would certainly be worth having a discussion about improving the default templates to assume better faith, certainly. @MuZemike; of course a block is impolite, but often that is the only option. My argument is that it shouldn't be the first option if the situation doesn't seem utterly lost from the get go. --Errant (chat!) 19:55, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Have no sign for that? Good — so make one. Should be easy. Oh, strike that. I just logged out, and looked at the "create an account"-page. There is a sign. Maybe make it bolder or colored. Or blinking. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 20:08, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
From the "create an account" page:
"Username policy prohibits usernames which are promotional, misleading, or offensive:
  • promotional usernames:
  • containing existing company, organization, group, or website names (including non-profit organizations)"
There is a clear warning. This isn't some obscure guideline, this is explained up front when a user creates an account. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 20:19, 27 April 2012 (UTC).
Might be nice if the process to change a username was made easier by programming. If this issue is one that some newbies feel bitten by, and administrators get tired of seeing, then a more 'self-serve' process, where admins can check a box or something might cause fewer problems for editors and admins also. -- Avanu (talk) 20:20, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
reality is that, as I suggested above, you could make the note blinking yellow with stars in 70pt, some people never follow it, either because they are dumb, illiterate, or just willfully ignoring it. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 20:23, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
We can assume good faith, but I don't think we can assume people aren't stupid, illiterate, or ignorant. Some people have an amazing capacity to impress, not by their feats of strength, but by their ability to take something that seems foolproof and still find a way to mess it up. We do hope admins at least have one eye (figuratively), in order to lead the nation of the blind if needed. -- Avanu (talk) 20:33, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

I've never seen much sense in that part of the username policy that says they can't include names of companies or organizations. It's a simple fact that we have lots and lots of editors who edit on behalf of their company or organization – often in a problematic way, often not; we couldn't stop them doing that even if we wanted to, and at present we don't actually prohibit their editing as such. It strikes me that as soon as we're stuck with working with these editors, we should actually encourage rather than prohibit their announcing their affiliations in their names. I've often found blocking such account to have been quite counterproductive. Fut.Perf. 12:43, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Absolutely agreed.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 15:41, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
There are difficulties and complications in keeping track of who is entitled to use a company or organization name. If Bob works for FooCorp, and creates User:Bob(FooCorp), what happens when Bob moves to another company? Do we close the account? Do we rename it to User:Bob(NewJob)? Does FooCorp's HR department give it to Carol, and rename it to User:Carol(FooCorp)?
Who actually holds the copyright for the submissions made by the account, Bob or FooCorp? How do we know that Bob really works for FooCorp, and is entitled to represent them in public? Who gets to make the call on right-to-vanish questions?
Do we want to be in a position where the Foundation has to deal directly with FooCorp's legal department?
Sure, we probably could hammer out some sort of policy on these issues, and then ignore it to try to come up with new ideas on the fly when we found the edge cases where it broke, and be embarrassed when some random admin was a dick to a charitable organization and the incident made the papers on a slow news day, and then end up with all the bitter arguments and recriminations that would necessarily fall out of the whole mess—but it's not worth our bother. We deal with individuals, not with corporate entities, and we expect usernames to reflect that. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:25, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

It's super clear[edit]

What Errant and others are trying to tell the admins is that POLICY states you need to try to resolve a problem without resorting to the use of tools, leading by example, and behaving in a respectful, civil manner. Using language or taking actions that feel like an attack on someone who is most likely 100% ignorant of policy is not in line with policy itself. It would be like a police officer shooting a suspect and later saying "I could just tell he was going to shoot me", even if he was just standing there and the officer hadn't said one word, and the suspect didn't have a gun drawn. I'm puzzled why those of you who are administrators can't simply say "yes, that is what policy says, I will recommit to being civil, and lead other editors by example". Rather what I often see is a zillion excuses why it simply isn't done. Every one of us understands that reality won't allow a perfect world, but there's no reason for admins to avoid saying, "OK, I see your reasonable point, I'll do my best." We end up in this long nitpicky discussions because of that simple lack of humility and human-ness that would put the issue to rest instantly. -- Avanu (talk) 20:05, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

hm. So what you're saying is that only admins are supposed to read policy, and are then under the obligation to explain to everybody else individually what the policies are. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 20:14, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Not at all. Without question Admins should know policy. But so should editors. Take another pass at what I wrote above; you're very much missing the point. -- Avanu (talk) 20:24, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
@Bwilkins, actually in looking at that diff, it shows not really an ignorance of policy in that he's not aware of it, but an ignorance of policy in a WP:IAR way. Look, in the end, why put the letter of the law over the spirit of the law? There are times when it seems like the bureaucratic mindset has pushed away the friendly neighborhood spiderman mindset. Peter Parker would be our greatest admin because he knows 'with great power comes great responsibility', and without an honest recognition of one's own weakness, you limit yourself. -- Avanu (talk) 13:59, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Bwilkins, it's you and the blocking editor and a whole bunch of editors on this page who seem to be ignorant of policy. Seem to be, but the policy, don't block has been pointed out several times here. So I don't know what's going on. Do you agree that the policy says we should discuss the name with unproblematic editors, and encourage them to change it? If you do, can you concede that you've been misreading policy? --Anthonyhcole (talk) 16:59, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Practice is generally nuke from high orbit if there is a hint of corporate editing. Username vios pick up all the COI ones, and we have a block first _practice_ Secretlondon (talk) 18:47, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

My page[edit]

One of the things that makes Wikipedia seem unfriendly to outsiders is that the use of plain English ("my page" or "our article" being shorthand for "the article about me, or the company I represent") triggers an immediate assumption of bad faith: the article subject must be claiming WP:OWNERSHIP of said article. Well, they may be, but probably they're just trying to communicate in plain English because they didn't realize that the "Wikipedia way" of referring to an article requires you use a bit of convoluted speech. "The article about me" is OK, "my article" will get you into trouble. 28bytes (talk) 20:25, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Another way to put it is: profound lack of empathy -- inability to remember that everyone here once didn't know squat about Wikipedia and made equivalent "mistakes". Nomoskedasticity (talk) 20:50, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Hence this rather old essay of mine (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 00:10, 28 April 2012 (UTC)


Clearly Mike breached WP:ORGNAME here, but clearly some ORGNAME/COI editors are a nightmare. I deal with obsessive fringe theory POV-pushers a lot, so probably have an inkling of what he has to deal with. In that light, I'm more than happy to cut him some slack.

I'm disappointed though by the response of most of the rest of you. He did cross the line in terms of civil behaviour and policy. This was an opportunity to quietly remind him of WP:ORGNAME and WP:BITE, and gently encourage him into line. A couple did, but most of his peers supported him in his denial that he'd done anything wrong. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 14:15, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

The message I use is:

if the name you have used includes or refers to the subject of the article, you must choose another username. As explained in WP:USER, only individuals may edit. When you have a username that is or includes the name of your organization, you imply that you are editing officially, and have a superior right to edit the page. But that is not the way WP works--all editors are considered equal--and your contributions like those of any editor must be justified by sources. I'm sure you do not intend to give such impression, but that's why we have the rule. Therefore, please choose another name. On that user page, you should say whom you are working for.

I do say this for partial names also. I think that partial names also promote ownership,& perhaps our written policy needs to be changed to reflect that.

But I do not block unless they are being uncooperative, and then I word it something like "To ensure you make another account, I am blocking this one." ; since the usernameblock preset on Twinkle defaults to prevent their making another account, it defeats entirely the purpose of our policy on user names, they they should make another one. On the one hand we tell them to do it, on the other we prevent their doing it. It's time to fix twinkle: the default for username block should be a usernamesoft block. This meets the purpose.

Because of the widespread use of Twinkle and the need to keep things in sync, the procedure for changing these templates has now gotten so lengthy --requiring in effect a long period of experimenting with different versions under the guidance of the foundation, where after many months very little if anything has actually been accomplished, that we need to come up with something better ourselves. We have let Twinkle become our master. DGG ( talk ) 15:45, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Actually, that's not quite true. The kinds of tests the foundation people did with some of the templates have nothing to do with the technical needs of Twinkle, and they certainly don't mean WP:BOLD no longer applies to templates. If you want to change the wording of a template used by Twinkle, just change it. I'm sure it's possible, because I've done it numerous times recently. It's only if you need to change Twinkle itself that it may get complicated. Fut.Perf. 07:50, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Precisely why I've never used any (semi)automated tools or scripts or anything like that on any WMF site, with the sole exception of the nominate-this-file-for-deletion script at Commons. It's not hard to write something out by yourself. Nyttend (talk) 01:44, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Anthonyhcole's summary, except for how clear the situation is. Orangemike rightly applied "usually blocked", but probably (perhaps) didn't rigorously apply "inappropriately promotional". It seems user asked for help fully in accord with the new brightline. To solve the larger problem, softblock with policy link, rename option, and monitoring is appropriate; and block warning, brightline link, and monitoring is also appropriate. However, I particularly wanted to affirm the observation about Orangemike's rapid ability for self-adjustment, especially compared against the nonspecific category of "some admins I know" (or for that matter the category of non-slack-cutters). Search "orange" at the following link for more evidence of this high mark of his character, as well as significant evidence of a noob-enfolding Orangemike: JJB 15:04, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Bwilkins and others[edit]

Above, I pointed out to Bwilkins that he and others appear to be either misreading or deliberately flouting WP:ORGNAME. He hasn't responded.

  • The policy says:

This does not prohibit every use of a company, group, or product name as part of a username.

so it is not obvious that "Admarkroundsquare" is a breach of this policy, and yet Orange Mike simply asserts it is a blatant violation of our rules, Wehwalt says "and the username does contain the name of the organization" as though that means there's obviously a problem with the name, Lothar says it "Seems to be a simple case of WP:ORGNAME", MuZemike asserts the name doesn't fall within our policy, Blade asserts the name violates policy, Fut.Perf. says "I've never seen much sense in that part of the username policy that says they can't include names of companies or organizations."
I'd like Fut. Perf. to point me to the part of username policy that says they can't include names of companies or organizations as part of a username.
  • The policy says:
  • Users who adopt such a username and engage in inappropriately promotional behaviors in articles about the company, group, or product, are usually blocked.
    *Users who adopt such usernames, but who are not editing problematically in related articles, should not be blocked. Instead, they should be gently encouraged to change their username.
which is pretty unequivocal. Applying either {{Uw-spamublock}} or {{softerblock}} is a block. And yet Sandstein says "The block and the {{Uw-spamublock}} block notification template were appropriate," UltraExactZZ says "The block was itself valid," Ched says "I'm not saying the block was wrong," Ohms law says "The block itself was fine."

There is an unambiguous disconnection between policy and practice. That policy seems to be worded as it is in order to expressly prevent the kind of behaviour engaged in by Mike and supported by others here. I don't know enough of the dynamics at NPP or the politics of PR editing to have an opinion as to whether behaviour should conform to policy or vice versa, but clearly your behaviour and policy need to be reconciled. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 06:11, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

See WP:CONSENSUS. When that many admins agree... Doc talk 07:04, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
If admins are using a procedure "hardblock on sight" that is not supported in guidelines then it needs to be added to guidelines so that users affected by it can a, avoid it happening to them and b, so that they can be pointed to the reason they have been blocked clearly written down for them, - Youreallycan 09:58, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Hardblock on sight should not be applied in situations where Wikipedia is not being harmed in some concrete way. Issuing hard blocks for soft errors is out of line with our civility policy. -- Avanu (talk) 10:03, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
This behaviour is not only "not supported in guidelines" it is expressly proscribed by policy. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 03:40, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

The blocking of MonmouthMuseumWales (talk · contribs) (discussed here at RFCN) is another example of an admin going straight to a block without first discussing the issue with a user who has made no problem edits. In this instance the user name was the same as the organisation, so a name change is usually expected, but rather than follow policy and gently explain the situation, the account was blocked. Bwilkins thinks that's fine, and accuses the unblocking admin of misreading [4] --Anthonyhcole (talk) 09:28, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

  • This sort of thing has been happening for years. It was exactly what happened to me when I started: [5] (and no, JzG never did apologize). Nomoskedasticity (talk) 10:20, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Blocking usernames that explicitly promote a company/organization in and of themselves has been long practice here. The policy (WP:UN) is that:

    When choosing an account name, do not choose names which may be offensive, misleading, disruptive, or promotional.

    A username that appears to represent more than one person, or appears to promote a product/company will be blocked. That is appropriate, that is long standing practice. Whether Mike used the right template above is the question but the block and others of this kind are appropriate. Gentle explanation can happen afterwards but users with promotional names will not be allowed to use these (becuase using them promotes what ever it is they are promoting)--Cailil talk 13:53, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
You're quoting that line out of context and claiming it says something that it clearly doesn't (i.e. no where in that line does it say anything about blocking the account). Here's the part about blocking accounts:
  • Users who adopt such a username and engage in inappropriately promotional behaviors in articles about the company, group, or product, are usually blocked.
    *Users who adopt such usernames, but who are not editing problematically in related articles, should not be blocked. Instead, they should be gently encouraged to change their username.
So, the block was an error. The admin should have gently encouraged the user to change their username. If anyone disagrees, that's fine: start an RfC and get the policy changed. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 16:40, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
*sigh* As the guy who designed the much-used {{coiq}} template, I can tell you that we sure as heck are NOT going to RFC every single obviously promotional username. That would be a horrific waste of everyone's time. We have the very gentle {{softerblock}} template for a reason - it's an AGF template. Someone want to create {{SoSoftItsLikeCharmin}} instead? (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 17:14, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
No, I'm saying that if you disagree with policy, then you should start an RfC on the policy, not the username. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:24, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
This is interesting. Bwiklins seems to think that MonmouthMuseumWales and Admarkroundsquare are "promotional". What's promotional about them Bwilkins? They're clearly identifying an affilliation with the organisation, but they're not promotional. It's not MonmouthMuseumrocks or RoundSquareWillSaveYouMoney. Calling them promotional is weird. You can't just "call" any username that incorporates an organisation name promotional as an excuse for not following WP:ORGNAME. Follow that policy or change it to fit your behaviour. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 06:35, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
The entire problem is that they are accounts that appear to be the organization's, rather than a person's. When User:Microsoft adds an unsourced fact to Microsoft, it's going to be left alone - because that's the official word from Microsoft itself (I know, it wouldn't, but play along). Thus, the prohibition. In this case, the block came from the confluence of having a username that matches the company AND editing in regard to that company. If the user had gone off to edit articles on hockey teams, no one would've noticed the username problem. My problem with this block wasn't that the user was blocked - he should have been and was - but that no one said why. He just got an angry wall of text, and no answer to the question. When I block such an editor, I template - but then explain below. "You got blocked because you can't have a username that matches the company. So you'll need a new username, which you get by doing X Y and Z. Now, you wanted to update your own page, and you can't because of your obvious Conflict of Interest - but if you show me what the inaccuracies are, we can figure something out." Engaging them, even if they don't end up unblocked, sidesteps all of the bad faith and bad feelings that seem to have come up here. They may respond, they may not - if they do, we get accurate information and (maybe) an editor who sticks around (with a new username and staying the hell away from his COI). If not, I've wasted two minutes of my life. But this seems to greatly reduce the "Wikipedia is a bunch of assholes" factor, which is worthwhile. UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 12:20, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
I like your attitude, but you're wrong on a couple of points. Notwithstanding what some admins may do, policy allows a username to incorporate a company name (e.g. User:Mark at Alcoa), and allows such a user to add content to the organisation's article. Neither is a blocking "offense;" we appreciate the transparency. Certainly, if they're biasing the article they should be pointed to the relevant policies, and if they continue they should be corrected, blocked if necessary. But that goes for anyone regardless of the username.
In this instance the problem is with the blocking editor. He breached policy and is supported and encouraged in that by Bwilkins and others. I see that they haven't changed the policy yet to conform with their behaviour. If that's not going to happen, they should conform to the policy. It's not a big deal, or even a difficult or complex issue to grasp. The policy says one thing. They're doing another. Now that this has been pointed out, if they continue summarily blocking people for having an organisation name as a username, or blocking people (or threatening to block them) simply for incorporating an organisation name as part of their username, they will be demonstrating contempt for community consensus and should be desysopped. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 03:29, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
A point of clarification, I don't believe the example you used is consistent with the username policy which states: "usernames that are specifically disallowed":

Promotional usernames are used to promote an existing company, organization, group (including non-profit organizations), website, or product on Wikipedia"


And no, that is not the problem as described in the original AN. It was about a template and a perception of editor conduct in regards to an overzealous nature to these types of usernames as I recall. Not sure if it was actually proven as such.--Amadscientist (talk) 08:45, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
What's promotional about User:Mark at Alcoa? It identifies the user's affiliation with the organisation. That's not promotion. That's transparency; something we like. Blocking accounts like that has no basis in either logic or policy.
Not sure what you mean by "original AN". If you're referring to my original post in this thread, I was drawing attention to this very point. The editor was acting diametrically against policy. Personally, I have a problem with that. Particularly when it's an admin, and when it involves blocking editors. Just seems off to me. But it seems it doesn't bother the majority of admins commenting here. I have a problem with that too. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 13:18, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Even if it were promotional, we're supposed to encourage the user to change names, not block them. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 15:53, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
There's a huge difference between a username like "Mark at Alcoa" and "Alcoa". The first clearly identifies an individual which is allowed. The second identifies an organization which isn't. The issue is less about promotion, and more about ensuring that an account represents an individual. This is made pretty clear at WP:ORGNAME. -- Atama 16:18, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
A Quest for Knowledge is correct. See also WP:UAAI: "users who adopt such usernames but who are not editing problematically should not be summarily blocked; instead, they should be gently but firmly encouraged to change their username." --JN466 19:25, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
This is pretty much the point. Look at the username and how it reflects a breach in guidelines or policy. "Mark at Alcoa" does not breach any policy, as explained above. Then you have the example of something just without any identification to an individual ("Mark at...") and just "Alcoa", which, as you said would be more about ensuring the account represents an individual and less about promotion...then there is what this username was, "Admarkroundsquare". Which contained both an intent of promotion (advertising and marketing) as well as a specific company. This falls within the existing block policy and the original template could also be seen as simply meaning that new comers are not exempt from the block policy based soley on being new and not knowing the policy as you can read the policy BEFORE you register a promotional username AND we don't know if this editor was already editing with an IP to have even had such experiance while already contributing. While a more subtle warning with the block is better, it is understandable why a more sterner approach was selected and my experiance with Mike's similar blocks is that he has been in the right on all points he has made.--Amadscientist (talk) 20:04, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Could you please re-read "users who adopt such usernames but who are not editing problematically should not be summarily blocked; instead, they should be gently but firmly encouraged to change their username", noting in particular the words I have put in bold? Thanks. --JN466 20:46, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't need to re-read it. You show clearly that it states "Should" not "They are required" or "Must". Hmmmm. Guess that was not something you thought about?--Amadscientist (talk) 04:31, 2 May 2012 (UTC)signature added by JN466 07:28, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
If a policy says you "should not" do something it really means you ought not to do it. In particular, you "shouldn't" hard-block such users, as then they can't register a compliant account. If they do insist on writing crap, by all mean warn and then block; but don't block after five harmless edits just because of what someone's account is called. --JN466 07:35, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

So, I will ask again for clarification: Do we then inform such users with problematic usernames that they need to change their username, and, if they don't, we just simply ignore the problem? --MuZemike 03:01, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Of course not. If the username is the name of a group and it is being used to edit content related to the group, and after having the problem explained in clear and friendly terms the user chooses not to avoid the topic or abandon the name, it should be taken from them (indefinitely blocked). If it is a shared account, regardless of the name, it should be blocked (again in a clear, friendly, helpful way). If the name is promotional, it should be blocked (again, in a clear, friendly helpful way). Clearly "promotional" doesn't mean "a username that incorporates a group name."
Usernames that are not identical to the name of an organisation, nor promotional, nor a shared account, that simply identify the user's affiliation with a group are good. They are transparent. Something we encourage.
If the username is an organisation name, e.g., User:Alcoa, and it is not being used to edit content related to the organisation, there is no problem. If they are editing those articles, are pointed to WP:ORGNAME, and agree to no longer edit those articles, there is no problem.
The present problem: (1) When the username is the same as an organisation name and it is being used to edit content related to that organisation, the editor should be (per policy) politely pointed to WP:ORGNAME and gently, politely encouraged to either abandon the account or avoid that topic. Presently, they are just being summarily blocked with an unfriendly template. (Even the softblock template is officious.) (2) Usernames that incorporate an organisation name, though permitted, are being summarily blocked as "promotional" or "COI", when they are patently not promotional, and when editing with a COI is not a blockable "offense." Indeed, we encourage editors with a COI to declare it, and incorporating the organisation name in the username is as clear a declaration as we could ask for.
And it goes without saying that if an editor is biasing a topic, and won't conform to NPOV, regardless of the name, they should be blocked, topic-banned or site-banned. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 05:30, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Do you exactly understand how official organizational accounts work, i.e. not on Wikipedia, but in general (such as with Twitter)? In common practice, a company hires or assigns one or more people to operate this "official company account", and, over time, companies may rotate out people in charge of this account. The problem is that this goes against our policy that accounts are not to be shared. --MuZemike 05:52, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Yep. If only one user is using the account, it's not that kind of account. But, even if it is only used by one user, User:Alcoa shouldn't be used to edit content related to the organisation, because it could easily be mistaken for such an account. Whether User:Admarkroundsquare is a shared account could be established by asking the question, "Is this a shared account?" and pointing them to WP:NOSHARE and WP:ROLE. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 07:42, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
There is an easy solution to that. They can have accounts like User:Mark At Round Square, User:Jill At Round Square, etc. and can identify the full name of the person who operates the account on the account's user page, if need be with a confirmation e-mail from the company to OTRS just like we do it in other cases where impersonation could be a problem. At any rate, no one should be hardblocked just for having the wrong account name. --JN466 08:03, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
The problem should not be ignored if the user has a problematic user name (or wants to share an account), and does not respond to the gentle persuasion called for in policy. On the other hand, I would think most users would happily change names once the issue was explained to them. --JN466 08:03, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Unblock request[edit]

I have raised an unblock request for Admarkroundsquare, at Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Unblock_request:_User:Admarkroundsquare. The user is currently hard-blocked, meaning they are unable to create a username policy-compliant account. This is an invidious and abhorrent way to treat people. --JN466 21:15, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Well that's not quite true; they could use an unblock request and ask for a new username. But that would require reading the instructions, which didn't work out so well the first time around... The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 22:16, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
They had no such instructions, because these had been replaced, by a well-meaning admin, with a soft-block template simply telling them to create a new account. --JN466 23:34, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Floquenbeam has lifted the hardblock but left the username blocked, which should allow the user to get on with updating the article. [6] --Anthonyhcole (talk) 11:41, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Larger issue unresolved[edit]

The larger issue - the disconnect between policy and supporters of OrangeMike's block - remains unresolved. Can someone who supports this block please propose a change to WP:USERNAME? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 04:47, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Why, this doesn't seem supported by the discussion. It does appear that Mike, while perhaps taking a more proactive response, was within policy and guidelines. I see that the editor that was blocked did make an edit, so the argument that they could not have done anything wrong to warrent a block is incorrect. The actual edit was indeed asking a question at the help desk...HOWEVER that is still an edit and the question asked was basicly asking how to get guidence to make it easier to get the POV results they wanted. This very well could be seen as the direct conflict in context to the promotional username that gave Mike the option as an administrator to make that call and he is willing to block when he identifies the criteria to do so. The danger to the encyclopdia is real and the amount of issues from these types of editors could range from "gaming the system" to outright harrasment of editors and individuals offwiki to those not involved here at all. I have seen it and Mike has seen it and so have many other editors. This has never been about Mike's supporters but the issue of the block he administered. About the template, He made an edit and that was the correct template to use in my view. It gave the editor the chance to take care of the situation right then and there with clear instructions. If anything went wrong it was replacing that template.--Amadscientist (talk) 05:15, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
The user said that the current page on their company is out of date. I am sure it is. So we have an out-of-date page in mainspace. Does that concern you at all? The ideal solution here is that someone works with the user to update the page in line with policy, not that the user is blocked. And there is assuredly a disconnect between policy and at least some admins' practice. I played a small part in the discussions that led to the present wording of the user name policy. The intention was that this practice of "first shoot, ask questions later" blocking should cease. --JN466 07:41, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, a user informing us in the name of his company that our article on said company is outdated really ought to be punished properly for making such a horrible, horrible POV/COI edit. It might lead to "outright harrasment of editors and individuals offwiki" otherwise, after all. Seriously, how on earth do you jump from a user asking to update an article to throwing around "off-wiki harassment"? --Conti| 11:48, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
@Amadscientist: This editor did not make any problematic edits. In fact, they don't have a single edit in article space. Policy is quite clear that such editors should not be blocked. For those who disagree with policy, the correct course of action to change the policy. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 12:12, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

This discussion seems to have moved to Wikipedia_talk:Username_policy#WP:ORGNAME. Maybe close this now? (But don't immediately archive as there are a couple of current discussions linking to this one.) --Anthonyhcole (talk) 11:37, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Requesting a topic ban for User:BruceGrubb[edit]

Topic ban enacted. Fut.Perf. 18:22, 5 May 2012 (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’d like to propose a topic ban from articles related to Christianity for User:BruceGrubb, as suggested by several editors at the end of a thread on the Original Research Noticeboard: Wikipedia:No_original_research/Noticeboard#Christ_myth_theory. BruceGrubb has problems with original research, misrepresentation of sources, the use of poor sources, and biased editing (largely in the promotion of fringe theories and fringe viewpoints on mainstream subjects). In addition, he often derails talk page discussions with long, rambling barely-relevant edits that often include text copy-pasted from earlier posts on different topics.

These issues can be seen in his recent activity on Josephus on Jesus. In this edit (inadequately described as a “major cleanup”) Bruce inserts text based on fringey sources from 1892 and 1912 and another mainstream source from 2002. There’s been extensive discussion on the article talk page, which indicates that the 2002 source doesn’t say what Bruce claims; he seems to be basing his text on a blog post that builds an argument based on the 2002 source—as Bruce himself says, “What the blog next does is takes the pieces Mason presented and puts them together in a different way…” Since the blog is not a reliable source, putting this in the article is WP:OR#SYNTH, i.e. advancing an original argument through the use of published sources. This is a major issue with Bruce’s editing, but he usually claims that he’s simply explaining what’s in the source, rather than creating his own interpretation of the source.

I’ve had extensive experience with Bruce’s editing at Christ myth theory—years of experience, in fact, so I’m not sure how to boil it down into something concise. Perhaps it’s enough to say that Bruce has been the most active editor on this article in the last year ([7]) and is responsible for almost all of the text in the lead and the first few sections; in the discussion at Wikipedia:No_original_research/Noticeboard#Christ_myth_theory, many editors agreed that the article had significant problems with OR/SYNTH, and even Bruce himself seems to complain that the article is problematic. So perhaps he should take a break. (That noticeboard also illustrates how difficult it is to discuss issues with Bruce—he writes gigantic posts that rarely respond directly to anyone’s points.)

Also notice that attempting to improve these articles often inspires a revert, e.g. [8] [9] (this resulted in the article being protected for 3 days) and [10] [11] and [12] [13]. Bruce has also been removing posts from his user talk page ([14] [15] [16] [17]), which is obviously his right, but it doesn’t indicate a willingness to solve problems constructively. --Akhilleus (talk) 18:56, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Support - The history of demanding self-published sources be recognized as acceptable is troubling, and the recent misrepresentation of sources at Josephus on Jesus is even more so. I might limit the scope of the ban to early Christianity, including issues related to the Historicity of Jesus, but I am not sure that Bruce has ever shown much interest in any other Christianity-related topics, so I have no real reservations about the ban as proposed. John Carter (talk) 19:09, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Seems that covering alternative history is not enough but could this be seen as attempting to write alternative history as OR into existing articles? I think so.--Amadscientist (talk) 19:25, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I am afraid that it looks like some WP:CANVASSing may have begun Special:Contributions/BruceGrubb since there are posts to talk pages of editors who are not currently mentioned in this thread. If this is in error than my apologies. MarnetteD | Talk 19:48, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Why is that under my comment. I have this page watch listed and it was the latest discussion.--Amadscientist (talk) 21:35, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
It is under your comment because when I posted it there were no other posts after yours and, thus, this was the place to put it. I was simply trying to alert those that started this thread that something was up. I don't know where else it might have been placed and I was certainly not trying to make any comment about your post. If you want to outdent or indent it further please feel free to do so. MarnetteD | Talk 22:33, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
No need to do that. Thanks for clarification.--Amadscientist (talk) 23:46, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
He has verbally attacked myself and other editors in IMHO violation of AGF (see Talk:Christ_myth_theory/definition for some of that--did Anthony really deserve that kind of response?)
He has ignored the comments of his fellow administrators User:SlimVirgin (Talk:Christ_myth_theory/Archive_30) and User:Elen of the Roads ([Wikipedia:No_original_research/Noticeboard#Christ_myth_theory]) (who I have directly notified regarding this) as well at that of the community that IMHO clearly support my position that there is no real there there regarding this as a unified topic and numerous other behaviors to IMHO POV push that article it something not supported by the material.
For example, Akhilleus has even gone as far as to say and I quote "Schweitzer's comment in his autobiography is immaterial here" A quote that established just how Schweitzer classified John M. Robertson, William Benjamin Smith, James George Frazer, and Arthur Drews is immaterial?!? How does that work? Biblical scholar Marshall's two historical Jesus options (flesh and blood man or Gospels reasonably accurate) was similarity dismissed with something like 'Marshall doesn't give us enough options'.
@Amadscientist your alternative history comment makes no sense, unless you hold to the idea the Gospels are reasonably reliable as historical documents--something hotly debated (especially with regards to Mark and Luke).
@MarnetteD I would like to point out that User:SlimVirgin and User:Elen of the Roads are ADMINISTRATORS and this is the ADMINISTRATORS noticeboard. User:SlimVirgin felt the entire article was one big CFORK to begin with and User:Elen of the Roads stated "More significantly, since what is clear is that there isnt "a" christ myth theory, there are many of them, the article should focus on a run through the theories and their authors, not be containing sections such as that starting "There is no independent archaeological evidence to support the historical existence of Jesus Christ."
Funny thing, I am the one who removed that "There is no independent archaeological evidence" stuff while the rest of you were perfectly happy to leave it in.--BruceGrubb (talk) 21:06, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Elizium23 is challenging the following:
"A quick look at some of the creationist pamphlets and books shows just how misleading and dishonest their presentations are. Typical of the genre is the little pamphlet Big Daddy, published by creationist Jack Chick." (Prothero,, Donald R.; Carl Dennis Buell (2007). Evolution: what the fossils say and why it matters. Columbia University Press. pp. 334–335. ISBN 0231139624.)
""Nebraska man," as we outlined already, was the mistake of one scientist and was corrected within a year." (Prothero,, Donald R.; Carl Dennis Buell (2007). Evolution: what the fossils say and why it matters. Columbia University Press. pp. 334–335. ISBN 0231139624 pg 334)
As I explained in talk:Chick_tract#NPOV_does_NOT_apply_to_the_content_of_reliable_sources_but_how_they_are_worded_in_article_space NPOV applies to reliable sources which Columbia University Press clearly is. He provided NO reliable source to counter this but rather comes crying here that I am somehow violating NPOV. Now you have a prime example of the nonsense I have to deal with.--BruceGrubb (talk) 21:15, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - I spent an hour today reading up on a source on Josephus on Jesus which BruceGrubb had twisted to support the almost exact opposite of what the author says. It was used out of context, and significant parts of the line of reasoning which it was supposed to support were not discussed at all; the source given by BruceGrubb for those parts is the "amateur research community". I don't think issues of WP:OR and WP:SYN get any clearer than that, and when I asked BruceGrubb on the talk page whether the source actually supported that critical piece of information (before looking it up myself), he did not answer that rather simple yes-or-no question but responded with what a collection of further unrelated citations which supported parts of his position and therefore to him apparently justify his synthesis. If this were a single incident I'd say a stern warning might be sufficient, but apparently it is not, and more thorough measures are required. Huon (talk) 21:31, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. This has been going on too long - it's got way past warnings, talkings to, advisings, noticeboards, talkpages or discussions. Bruce has a (metaphorical) banana in each ear - anything you say sounds to him exactly like what he wants to do.Elen of the Roads (talk) 22:11, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
You'll notice the way he says above that I support his position...classic example of this problem. I said he'd written a bunch of OR into the article, and suggested someone ask for a topic ban. Elen of the Roads (talk) 22:17, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Elen of the Roads, you are then denying that I stated on your own talk page "I believe you and I are in agreement that there is no one Christ myth theory thought I must ask if you share SlimVirgin's view that the entire article is one big CFORK." (sic)? Do you also disagree with the clarification above that clearly states that my position that "there is no real there there regarding this as a unified topic"? I have to ask who here really has "a (metaphorical) banana in each ear"?--BruceGrubb (talk) 22:27, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Possibly the same person who is stated below to have considered the Oxford and Cambridge university presses unreliable because they are in a nominally Christian country? Bruce, I have to say that your obvious personal belief in the idea that Jesus/Christ was a myth has apparently so seriously warped your judgment that there seems to be increasing, perhaps unanimous, agreement regarding your conduct. Whether you personally would ever admit to that, of course, is another matter. However, please read WP:POV - there seems to be ever-increasing evidence that your biggest problem lies there. John Carter (talk) 23:43, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: I also made comments on the WP:NORN board, so I will just provide general points here. The problems I see, as outlined by Akhilleus are:
  • Continued use of Self-published sources. This happens even after the user has been notified that a source is self-published. A recent example was the book by Richard Gibbs referred to in the links above. It is still there with a "self-published tag" on it.
  • Continued use of WP:Original research items. The user even calls these the results obtained by "amateur research community" without naming the amateurs. There is a serious WP:OR issue here and it does not want to go away. It will be WP:OR for ever.
  • Continued use of outdated and antique sources that have been long surpassed by modern scholarship. I once commented that a source he used was from 1910 and was over 100 years old. The retort was that no, it was republished in 1912 and was hence only 99 years old.
  • Continued "knowing use" of statements that fail verification. At one point the user may admit that material is not in a source, then will add it again a few weeks later with the same source but with somewhat different language. As user Huon stated on talk today after directly checking Mason's book: "Bruce Grubb is twisting Mason's points beyond recognition".
  • Continued use of WP:Walls of text as a method for changing the subject.
There is really little hope for remedy in this situation, and a topic ban is the best and perhaps the only way to stop the incredible waste of time that will otherwise ensue if this user realizes that "they can do all of this" and walk away scott-free. That can not happen. History2007 (talk) 22:09, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. I haven't followed the subject area in question (thankfully), but I'm very familiar with Bruce's edits at WT:V and the related mediation pages, and I regard those edits as borderline disruptive, so the rationale expressed by those supporting the topic ban rings true to me. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:17, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: An indefinite topic ban on all religion-related articles very broadly construed is LONG overdue, if not an outright community ban. This user constantly produces sources that clearly fail our policies, introduces OR and synth that abuse the sources, is a master of WP:IDHT and WP:DEADHORSE, and sttempts to flummox anyone opposing him with long, rambling, barely coherent and off-topic filibustering. As someone else put it, a classic tendentious and disruptive editor that has wasted an enormous amount of time on the part of other editors. Fortunately, I have not had to deal with him myself, but have been lurking on the articles he mentioned and am surprised that it took so long for someone to start up a topic ban discussion. As I said, it's LONG overdue, and there is no hope that this editor will ever be able to edit productively in the banned area. There are fundamental competence issues that cannot be overcome. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 23:21, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. This is an editor who tried to argue that Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press are unreliable sources because they are somehow linked to a Christian (British) state, and because the former publishes Bibles! [18]. Bruce has constantly and consistently misrepresented sources over a long period. At one point he claimed that a passing remark by the writer of an obscure article in a sociology journal was proof that Christ myth theory was a widely accepted view among sociologists. His posts are long walls of text comprising often almost unintelligable if interminable arguments. They function as battles of attrition against anyone who opposes him. I admit that I gave up the effort of expecting productive debate years ago. His agenda is clear: to make Christ myth theory seem more plausible and more widely accepted than, in fact, it is. He is an unrelenting POV warrior who believes that pious fraud is a legitimate means to convey WP:Truth. Paul B (talk) 23:24, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I won't tediously reiterate the reasons provided above, but I agree entirely. Eusebeus (talk) 23:55, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
The Oxford and Cambridge issue was when I thought COI applied to sources as we as to editors. To clarify it wasn't just that Oxford and Cambridge published bibles but they had a special contract with the Crown (ie head of the Anglican church) to print the Authorized King James Version (the official bible of the Anglican church). As I said back then to expect any kind of verdict other then "Jesus existed as the Bible portrays him" from them was an on par with Brigham Young University Press saying anything but the Book of Mormon is historical accurate, Gregorian University Press saying anything but negative things about abortion, any German university from 1936 to 1945 doing anything but proving Jews were a parasitic/despicable/vile race, any 1950s US university saying anything but negative things on any subject views as communist, or a university that is getting huge grants from tobacco companies would say anything but that smoking is safe/good for you. This is known as "Confirmation bias" or "hypothesis locking" which Horace Mitchell Miner so brilliantly satirized in his famous 1955 "Body Ritual among the Nacirema" article.
This is all ignoring the fact Oxford and Cambridge are in a country that until 1998 had a very broad Blasphemy law that would have made any meaningful review of the historical nature of Jesus next to impossible.--BruceGrubb (talk) 06:31, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
This is simply disingenuous. UK case law had long since established that denying the existence of God, or arguing against fundamental Christian tenets, did not qualify as blasphemy so long as it was done in a civil and respectful manner. This was true since at least the mid-20th century. Your point does not stack up. Moreschi (talk) 11:50, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
I think it was pretty much established in the mid 19th century when Charles Bradlaugh was acquitted of blasphemy for his numerous anti-Christian publications. Bruce's portrayal of Britain as some sort of Christian police-state with censorship comparable to Nazi Germany just indicates that he has a fundamentally distorted view of reality. Ps I wonder how the Grand Inquisition allowed these ones to be published by OUP [19] [20] Paul B (talk) 11:56, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
And John William Gott (1921), Whitehouse v. Lemon (1977), and Michael Newman (1992) all show those blasphemy laws were still an effective tool at censoring ideas in a manner very similar to McCarthyism despite Bradlaugh's victory (which according to his wikipedia page was overturned by the Court of Appeal on a legal technicality)
In 1988 with regard to complaints regarding Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses by the Muslim community the House of Lords stated the laws only protect the Christian beliefs as held by the Church of England.--BruceGrubb (talk) 16:53, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
The idea that modern publications from the UK are not reliable sources because the UK law somehow prevents the discussion of the historical veracity of Christ is simply ludicrous. Bear in mind that On the Origin of Species was published in London in 1859, Thomas Henry Huxley had his famous debate with Soapy Sam Willberforece in 1860, and went on to publish Man's Place in Nature in 1863.
Indeed, as long ago as 1729 (R v Woolston) the Court "desired it might be taken notice of, that they laid their stress upon the word general, and did not intend to include disputes between learned men on particular controverted points." In 1841, the sixth report of the Commissioners on criminal law observed that "if the decencies of controversy are observed, even the fundamentals of religion may be attacked without the writer being guilty of blasphemy." Since that point, the prosecutable offense has been "blasphemous libel', as Article 214 of Stephen's Digest of the Criminal Law, Ninth Edition, 1950, makes clear. "It is not blasphemous to speak or publish opinions hostile to the Christian religion, or to deny the existence of God, if the publication is couched in decent and temperate language." The prosecutions Bruce refers to relate to satirising Christ as a circus clown (Gott 1921) (the prosecution in this case caused public outrage), contemplating having homosexual sex with Christ (Gay News 1977) and St Theresa of Avila having a passionate snog with Christ (Newman 1992 - note in this case that the filmmaker was never prosecuted, the film was banned under the Video Recordings Act 1984, and Newman was arrested (twice) for distributing the video, but was never prosecuted). --Elen of the Roads (talk) 18:08, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
No, you are misrepesenting sources again: this time Wikipedia itself! Bradlaugh was acquitted of blashpemy absolutely. The conviction that was overturned was a separate matter. That was an obscenity trial, when he published a manual of sex advice as part of his promotion of family planning: nothing to do with blasphemy whatever. The rest of your post is typical of your method of creating distractions and irrelevancies. We are talking about being able to publish anti-Christian, atheistic etc literature. The fact that Islam was not protected by the law which covered scurrilous material insulting Christian belief has nothing to do with this. There was no censorship of ideas remotely comparable to McCarthyism. How do you think Bertrand Russell and numerous other atheists got their books published? The (very rare) cases you mention led to convictions because of the insulting and abusive language that was used. All of this is largely irrelevant to the question being debated here - your abuse of sources. Paul B (talk) 17:25, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
I am not sure if anything is going to be achieved through a detailed discussion of the laws here, and most readers will probably not read through the details - I certainly will not. I am not sure if the rest of the debate will be affected by the specific legal issue here. The summary of this discussion is that Bruce still argues that Oxford University Press "was somehow controlled" not to publish on specific issues and is hence at times not suitable for use in Wikipedia. Can we just leave it at that? Thanks. History2007 (talk) 17:36, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
You really don't understand what "confirmation bias" or "hypothesis locking" are do you? Its not a question of "somehow controlled" (unless you mean influence) as demonstrated by Minor's article (which given your comments you clearly either haven't read or didn't get the point of) but the mindset that is encouraged. The ability to be among the handful of printers allowed to print the official KJV for the Church of England in the UK caries with it a lot of prestige and money. To think that is not going to create some "confirmation bias" or "hypothesis locking" regarding the historical nature of Jesus is to ignore basic common sense. Even The Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology (ISBN 978-0199245765) acknowledges that the resurrection cannot be verified by historical investigation while also admitting theologians say the resurrection happened 'in history'.
As I said: "There are fundamental competence issues that cannot be overcome." Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 07:06, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
"This is all ignoring the fact Oxford and Cambridge are in a country that until 1998 had a very broad Blasphemy law that would have made any meaningful review of the historical nature of Jesus next to impossible." What kind of fantasy world are you living in? All the major Jesus myth books were published in the UK before 1998 without any censorship. For example, Allegro's The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross was published by Hodder & Stoughton. Paul B (talk) 09:38, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Request for admin closure: The votes are now 10 to zero in favor of a topic ban. The reasons provided by the users who support a ban are generally uniform and consistent, and the comment by Dominus Vobisdu just above echoes the observation that Bruce's statements in this thread do not reflect an awareness of a need for change, rendering any type of warning ineffective. Ten-zero probably amounts to consensus on this, so closure would be appropriate so we can move on. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 07:31, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Oppose closure now, it's been less than day. and insert "not voting" blurb here. Suggest waiting at until, say Friday. Nobody Ent 11:32, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
(non-admin intruder ;P) Oppose topic ban. Any kind of mentoring or re-focussing on the cards? Much less humiliating and quite possibly more constructive. My personal opinion is that while BG can come across as irritating, it's generally because he has something sensible to say and nobody's listening. I (think I) can see both sides of the problem here. Bruce has an excellent mind and (check his user page) background / qualifications. He's not an idiot. But ... BG, you can be a bit over-intense and over-verbose, even though you have good points, and people rebel against that. Hugz, anyways, and I hope that whatever happens is a sensible and constructive way forwards. Pesky (talk) 14:55, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Given the evidence and the well-reasoned rationales above, I'll be okay with closing this unless significant evidence to the contrary is given in the next day or so. I'm uncomfortable with a topic ban being enacted after such a short period in general, but the support is all well-reasoned rather than just pile-on. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 17:35, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • People are bringing up diffs from 2008. If the problem complained of has been been ongoing for four years, the complainants should have the patience to allow a ban discussion to last more than a mere 22 hours and some minutes. Snap decisions on this noticeboard almost always turn out to be bad decisions, not least because third parties don't necessarily read these noticeboards every day of the week, or every hour of the day.

    Of course, that people are bringing up 4 year old diffs does raise the question of whether this is a current problem. However, the somewhat amazing claim, dated 2012-05-03 06:31, earlier in this very discussion, about OUP and CUP, does indicate that it is. On the other hand, the 2008 diffs don't actually read as people are here portraying them, which undermines the case for the ban somewhat in the eyes of this uninvolved observer. If you want to sway the opinions of third parties, rather than merely echo the opinions of an involved group who have already made up their minds long since (which is a waste of this noticeboard), you need to make a better case with diffs. Wading through four years of talkpage contributions takes time. (I speak from experience.) Most people that you are addressing this ban proposal to aren't going to do it on their own.

    And reading Talk:Chick tract#NPOV does NOT apply to the content of reliable sources but how they are worded in article space I see that there's blame to be shared around a bit, if that's any guide to the sorts of talk page discussions you are claiming to have had. It is rather silly, people, to say that "I never claimed that talk pages are subject to NPOV" only four edits below saying "Headings should be neutral". At best, that's logic chopping. If you're going to upbraid BruceGibb for a bad talk page discussion style, I suggest not setting up such silly arguments amongst yourselves in the first place. Splinter in your brother's eye, and all that.

    Uncle G (talk) 00:53, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

    • Huh? What's self-contradictory about saying "talk headings should be neutral" and "talk page discussions are not subject to NPOV"? Both statements are quite correct. Yes, talk headings should be neutral, but the reason for that is not the NPOV policy; it's something else. Perfectly logically consistent position to take. Fut.Perf. 06:07, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose  This is a content dispute and the remedy is not logically related to the objection.  I am familiar with BGs edits at WT:V.  BG has repeatedly given IMO well-founded evidence at WT:V of Wikilawyering WP:OR arguments against his position.  I see repeated references to WP:OR above, in fact, it is the first "problem" raised in this thread.  I think this entire exercise is better explained by issues that don't belong at ANI.  Personally, I would read more of BG's posts if they were more concise.  It would also help if the beginning and end of quotes were clearly marked.  I've also seen the problem of a long post changing the topic of a thread.  BG is an internalized editor, but has a broad knowledge of Wikipedia policies, guidelines, and essays.  Unscintillating (talk) 01:26, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Actually no one is trying to stop him from typing on WP:V. The issue is that the continued "knowing use" of improper sources on other pages, and arguments that are clearly, clearly far less than logical. And I did say "knowing use" of improper sources. What is the use of a user having a "broad knowledge" of policy as you state, if he is determined not to follow policy, but violate it again and again by inventing sources, removing tags at will, misrepresenting references, using self-publishers in one breath, then challenging Oxford University Press in the next breath. There are diffs and statements by a number of people that affirm this pattern of conduct. Let us reproduce more diffs below. This is a straightforward task. History2007 (talk) 01:58, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
"I think this entire exercise is better explained by issues that don't belong at ANI." I'm not sure I follow this sentence, but this is not ANI. It's AN. It's the appropriate board to request a topic ban. "This is a content dispute and the remedy is not logically related to the objection." No, it is not a content dispute, It is about the abuse of sources and other behaviour issues. "BG has repeatedly given IMO well-founded evidence at WT:V of Wikilawyering WP:OR arguments against his position." I've no idea what this means. Arguments about policy are not subject to WP:OR. Policy is decided by the community, so you can't criticise someone for "OR" arguments in favour of specific wording. However, this is beside the point. This is about a topic ban, not blocking all editorial activity. The topic is early Christianity, and more specifically Christ myth theory. This will not affect Bruce's ability to contribute to discussions about WP:V, though I should note that Bruce's arguments there are tangentally related since he is, in effect, attempting to weaken the rules against OR in articles. Still, he has every right to argue for that view. Paul B (talk) 10:51, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Requested Diffs: Uncle G asked for diffs, let us add some here:
  • User claims that Van Voorst (a professor) is WP:RS reliable, but not when his book is published by Eerdsman The same user who uses self-published books and "amateur research" claims that 100 year old publisher Eerdmans has a "horrid QA department" and hence what Van Voorst publishes through them in 2001 or so is unreliable. As I pointed out in this edit on page 162 of his book Michael McClymond relies on Van Voorst' book, and calls it the "best recent discussion on the topic". And on page 154 of his book, after reviewing the historical issues, Craig L. Blomberg states: "The fullest compilation of all this data is now conveniently accessible in Robert E. Van Voorst". One of the best books on the topic is labelled as unreliable by a user who uses self-published items. Eerdmans publishes many highly respected professors in fact, as I pointed out here.