Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive94

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

Noticeboard archives


Vandal activity[edit]

A long term POV vandal is on the scene again.

Some editors may remember a previous incarnation as user:KrishnaVindaloo 6 months ago (ANI discussion - worth reading).

Editors and admins would probably benefit from reading up on the above two links, and familiarizing themselves with this vandal for future. Three reincarnations have been blocked, there are several more awaiting removal. Future reincarnations are likely.

This post and details kept brief in accordance with WP:DENY. FT2 (Talk | email) 18:13, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Anchor Link Bot[edit]

Link: Special:Contributions/Anchor Link Bot

This bot is adds 'warnings' to articles about external links to sections, see here. What is the purpose of this? Why was this ever approved? The way, the truth, and the light 06:45, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

It, IMO, is doing a good thing. Those who change the header titles will know to update the incoming links, or they will not function as expected. And its adding only in-code comments, thats not affecting display formatting. --soum talk 06:55, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
I think it's quite a funky little idea, for the reasons that Soum highlights above. Riana (talk) 07:02, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
I quite like it. For editors who do a lot of WP:MSH fixes such as myself, it's a nice reminder. Fvasconcellos (t·c) 13:41, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
I also think it's a good thing - remember, without such notices, a good-faith edit changing a section title by one character can completely break navigation. It's not making visible notices, just hidden comments on the effect of editing a section header. -- Gavia immer (talk) 14:03, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Oh, OK. Some editors might think there's something wrong with having those links, from seeing the messages. And I don't know how many section links there are; I was worried that some articles would have so many as to be excessively cluttered by this bot. But I guess it's not inherently a bad thing, for the reason stated above. The way, the truth, and the light 06:45, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
In my opinion, the Anchor Link Bot serves absolutely no useful function! I might add that the large majority of readers and editors will never even see the comment on the Edit page. Also, the "What links here" serves the same function. - mbeychok 20:45, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
"What links here" does not work for sections. The idea is that someone changing the section title would see, through the comment, what links to that section and could fix the incoming links.
I should also remind people that this is a reason to use redirects. For example, Fulton Street (IRT Lexington Avenue Line) redirects to Fulton Street/Broadway–Nassau Street (New York City Subway)#IRT Lexington Avenue Line platforms. If the name of the section is changed, only the redirects to that section need to be changed, rather than all incoming links that are currently to those redirects. This is also true for articles like list of minor Maryland state highways and a "list of minor characters in Foo".
Looking at the bot's recent contributions, the link from 1982 Golden Raspberry Awards to Annie#1982 film is one obvious case that would be better as a link to a redirect at Annie (1982 film). --NE2 00:07, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Removing talkpage warning templates[edit]

I recently posted a warning at [1] which he reverted. Is this kosher? He's marking reverts as minor and that is what I warned him for? Kyaa the Catlord 02:30, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Marking reverts as minor is allowed. Secondly, since he's using the administrator rollback function which automatically marks reverts as minor edits, he would have a hard time complying even if he agreed with you. --ɐuɐʞsəp (ʞɿɐʇ) 02:33, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Is he using the rollback function properly? Should I open a case at Incidents? I don't want to escalate this, but he's been edit warring badly on Gundam related articles, baiting the Gundam wikiproject and well... I'm not saying anything else. My question remains though and expands to "why do we have a warning template for minor edits" that links to a page that says "don't mark reverts as minor" when this is normal practice when using that function? (Not that I could tell he's using the rollback function anyways.) Kyaa the Catlord 02:46, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, well, he's not been in a good mood recently, but your attitude towards him isn't particularly nice. Nor is you accusing him of vandalism, really. --ɐuɐʞsəp (ʞɿɐʇ) 02:51, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Admin rollback has a distinct edit summary. It might be good for it to automatically link to a page describing what administrator rollback is.
As for the reverts, it's disingenuous to speculate on the inappropriateness of my reverts when making reverts with explanations like "rv fuckage" and "go crusade elsewhere". - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 02:55, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Edit warring IS considered vandalism by most of us normal editors. Removing valid talk page material is vandalism. In the very least his actions have been disruptive, I'm rather sad I didn't realize he'd broken 3rr the other day on MSN-04 Sazabi . Kyaa the Catlord 02:59, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
The word "vandalism" has a very specific meaning at Wikipedia, and it doesn't include edit-warring. Most edit-warriors actually believe that their edit would improve Wikipedia, and they edit-war because they don't know about better dispute resolution tactics. That's very different from vandalism, which is edits made with the intention of compromising the integrity of Wikipedia. Neither edit-warring, nor removing valid talk page material, is vandalism. Accusations of vandalism do tend to derail dispute resolution discussions, and are best avoided. -GTBacchus(talk) 07:06, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Actually, you're wrong on the second. Blanking valid comments (which reverting them off the page would "blank them") from a talk page which is not your own is considered vandalism per WP:VAND. But thanks! Kyaa the Catlord 07:10, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
I spoke a bit hastily. Removing talk page material can vary. The page says such edits are "generally" regarded as vandalism. It remains true that accusations of vandalism against another editor are pretty much unhelpful. Best practice involves avoiding the "v-word". -GTBacchus(talk) 07:21, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Can I ask, Kyaa, why you warned him for marking them as minor? Was there a reason you thought this was against the rules? Mostly because, since it's perfectly allowable, if there's a place where this came up, it should be corrected. --Thespian 02:56, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

If you follow the warning template to minor edit, it says that you should not mark reverts as minor. Kyaa the Catlord 02:59, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
actually, it says "Reverting a page is not likely to be considered minor", not that it shouldn't be marked as such. This is not a comment on whether the actual edits were (haven't looked at them, I was just curious if I'd missed something, though as deskana and the minor edit page point out, the tool he used marks those revers as minor automatically), but simply that there isn't a policy saying reverts are automatically not-minor. --Thespian 04:54, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Kyaa, I suggest reading WP:VAND, which describes what vandalism is on Wikipedia. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 03:01, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Modifying users comments and blanking them, via rollback in this case, is considered vandalism. Thank you for showing me where I pulled that out of, which was NOT MY ASS. Kyaa the Catlord 03:02, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
That is quite enough incivility from you. Do not do it again. --ɐuɐʞsəp (ʞɿɐʇ) 03:08, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
And his condescending tone is not incivil? I'll do my best, but when faced with someone who is not treating me in a civil manner I've failed and sunk to his level. Kyaa the Catlord 03:10, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
You've crossed a line, he hasn't. You need to back off. AMIB know what he's talking about, and arguing with him won't get you anywhere pleasant. So please, heed my advice. --ɐuɐʞsəp (ʞɿɐʇ) 03:13, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
He blanked a talk page comment using rollback. This is considered vandalism via the page he linked. Kyaa the Catlord 03:15, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Users can remove comments on their own talk pages at their whim. Now, like I said... --ɐuɐʞsəp (ʞɿɐʇ) 03:17, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
That is not what was being referred to. I called AMIB a vandal when he removed a comment from Wikiproject Gundam's talk page not his own. Kyaa the Catlord 03:18, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Such is why providing diffs with your comments is useful. I'd revert an edit where I was called a vandal too. AMIB isn't a vandal. --ɐuɐʞsəp (ʞɿɐʇ) 03:19, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
The diff in question is this one. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 03:21, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
As far as dispute resolution, saying "rm trolling" in an edit summary is about as helpful as calling another editor a "vandal". It's a good way to escalate. -GTBacchus(talk) 08:05, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
It was probably not the most diplomatic way of describing it. I should not have let my frustration with most of WP:GUNDAM get the better of me. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 08:08, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
It's a mistake we all make, sometimes. -GTBacchus(talk) 08:23, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

I want to emphasize that I'd be happy to discuss with Kyaa the points on which we differ (specifically, use of fictional statistics and in-universe versus out-of-universe writing). Blind reverting (which has also included the reversion of typo fixes, style fixes, and formating fixes) and accusations of being part of a cabal or vandalising are not helpful, though. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 03:18, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

If you did other than pontificate when we tried to talk to you, vaguely refer to WAF and attempt to minimize the sources we use for the articles, maybe those who disagree with your unilateral changes would discuss them with you. Talking down to people does not make them want to discuss anything with you. Kyaa the Catlord 03:25, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
I've done my best to respond to the questions I've been posed. I've had a bit of difficulty separating disagreements from accusations that I'm pursuing some sort of deletionist agenda. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 03:30, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps if you had opened discussion on the talk pages, as the revert page suggested, after being reverted the first time and did not begin edit warring (see the history of the Sazabi that I linked earlier), you'd have been treated less as an enemy by the project. The history of the Sazabi doesn't make it look like you had any interest in discussing and it has taken you two days to even talk back to us on the Project page and your first step there was to blank Malik's comment. Based on your actions, would you trust someone to listen to you if you were on the other side? Kyaa the Catlord 03:35, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
User talk:MalikCarr, User talk:Jtrainor, and Talk:MSN-02 Zeong. I even posted before implementing the infobox at WT:GUNDAM#New infobox - Template:Infobox MS Gundam.
Your first edit accuses me of disrupting Wikipedia to make a point, with no explanation what that point might be. Your second edit, rv infobox fuckage, speaks for itself. Your third accuses me of vandalism, and the fifth accuses me of being on a crusade. In fact, while you accuse me of not trying to discuss things on talk, your first edit to a talk page is reverting my removal of MalikCarr's trolling.
I'm seeing a lot of projection, here. Let's move beyond speculation on motivation and accusations and move back to WT:GUNDAM, where there was at least the beginning of some productive discussion. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 03:46, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, you're edit warring to make a point. You fucked up the infobox. Your continued edit warring may not being vandalism, but it certainly is disruptive. And you aren't on a crusade? You certainly are acting as if you were. Its needless for me to point out that calling Malikkcarr a troll is a personal attack as well. Kyaa the Catlord 03:50, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm curious what point it is that I'm trying to make. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 03:54, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Apparently: "My template is better than yours! Neener neener!" and "This data is trivia! Trivia bad!" but not giving any rational on why the weapons attached to a "warmachine" would be trivia. The weapons on a battleship, regardless of it being fictional, define what the battleship is. Kyaa the Catlord 03:58, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
And checking the history on the Zeong, it took Jtrainor suggesting you go away on the talk page before you stopped edit warring on that one long enough to respond. And yes, you were revert warring before you replied. The timestamps don't support your statements. Kyaa the Catlord 04:04, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, let's strip out the silliness. "This template is better than the previous table." "This trivia is not appropriate for Wikipedia." I'm not editing Wikipedia to prove some sort of point experimentally. I'm replacing an inappropriate table with a templated table that is appropriate, and removing trivia I know not to be appropriate.

That's not disrupting Wikipedia to make a point. That's editing Wikipedia.

As for the battleship, the weapons on a battleship are a large part of what a battleship is, yes. However, a fictional battleship's weapons are only as important as their role in the plot. Fictional statistics, added in a guide to the fictional universe long after the publication of the fictional work itself, aren't of any importance. Instead, its role in the story, its conception by artists and writers, and its influence on fans and critics and other artists are what matter.

It's not as though this is my personal opinion. (Well, it is, too.) It's the core of Wikipedia's policy on writing about fiction, in both WP:FICT and WP:WAF. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 04:11, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Yea... I agree with Mr. Black. This is still an encyclopedia in the end... not a Gundam fan site. Sasquatch t|c 05:10, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Just a note: As a result of this I wikilinked the word "revert" on the system page MediaWiki:Revertpage to the appropriate section in Help:Revert, where it explains what the admin rollback is and that it is marked minor. ViridaeTalk 06:13, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Much appreciated. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 06:58, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Weighing in on the original query: editors can remove warnings from their own user space. A certain percentage of those are mistaken or misused. My personal suggestion is to invite a respected and uninvolved editor to evaluate the warning: too often, it becomes a fresh source of contention to take down the template oneself. Third party intervention places the action above suspicion (either by removing it or explaining why it's appropriate), which helps editors refocus toward productive directions. DurovaCharge! 15:44, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Please see WP:RPA. Corvus cornix 20:47, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Bungled page move; please fix[edit]

Resolved: Or seems to be? – Luna Santin (talk) 23:47, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Template:Trinidad-bio-stub - Apparently a new user tried to move this template instead of transcluding it onto the page of interest to him. (I'm more than a little surprised.) Could someone please undo the move? Shalom Hello 09:17, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

I think that's all sorted out now. -GTBacchus(talk) 09:24, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
But now the page history is lost at the bottom of the page with the revisions by User:Waacstats. Tim Q. Wells 09:29, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Ok, now that part's fixed. That was weird. -GTBacchus(talk) 09:36, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Move format query[edit]

I would like to enquire, why has the move format changed so that the Special:Whatlinkshere link was removed so that you can no longer check for double redirects?

This is the current new format

Moving Medway Viaduct.png

What happened to the old format? Can it be incorporated into this new format? Or the old one be brought back?

Simply south 11:12, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

I believe that's due to some recent changes in the Mediawiki software. If you haven't, you may also want to read this and the linked bugreports for some further information. --S up? 13:46, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
It looks like MediaWiki:Pagemovedtext has been replaced by MediaWiki:Movepage-moved. If that's true, wouldn't editing MediaWiki:Movepage-moved to match MediaWiki:Pagemovedtext restore the functionality? -- JLaTondre 14:05, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
I liked the old format, with the whatlinkshere link, and used that functionality regularly when completing page moves. -GTBacchus(talk) 17:55, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Seconded - an edit to bring back those links would be good.
Not currently possible, $3 and $4 don't work in links. Prodego talk 18:52, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, what does that mean? -GTBacchus(talk) 18:59, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
It means that it is impossible to put in a link to anything other then the articles. It is possible to put them in by typing the entering the full url, but that will break the page for people on the secure server. Prodego talk 19:43, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Ok. How is that represented by "$3" and "$4"? (Sorry for the annoying questions; I'd like to know more about Mediawiki...) -GTBacchus(talk) 19:50, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
$1 = bypassing redirect link to old page; $2 = bypassing redirect link to new page; $3 = name of old page, currently broken; $4 = name of new page, currently broken. Prodego talk 19:53, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. -GTBacchus(talk) 20:12, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure how "$3" and "$4" are relevant. The old version only used "$1" & "$2" (see the source for MediaWiki:Pagemovedtext). -- JLaTondre 22:40, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes, this definitely needs to be fixed, whether at our level or at the MediaWiki level. --NE2 00:11, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Islam Fully-Protected while being ToFA[edit]

Just so everyone knows, today's featured article, Islam, has been fully protected by Moreschi while it's displayed on the main page. Look at today's history. Oh, and just before saving, I now see it's been reverted back to semi-protection. I feel a wheel-war coming on :( --(Review Me) R you talking to me?Contribs@ (Let's Go Yankees!) 17:49, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Good. --Hemlock Martinis 17:48, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
No, it's been reduced to semi-protected again. We should never fully protect a main page article. Semi-protection is pushing it, but is justified in this rather exceptional case (and has Raul's support). -- ChrisO 17:51, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
However, when Phil reverted to semi, he left move protection semi, while it should've beens sysop like before. Can someone change this? --(Review Me) R you talking to me?Contribs@ (Let's Go Yankees!) 17:54, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Already done by Nick. -- ChrisO 17:58, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Admins should be fucking well trusted not to wheel war, or else they shouldn't be admins. Keep the faith.

Now, where was I? Oh, yes: my protection. Today, due to massive edit-warring, the article has metamorphosed way outside what Raul actually promoted. Someone even added a {{totallydisputed}} tag at one point. This sends out completely the wrong image of Wikipedia - on TFA, for fuck's sake! 30-second vandalism that gets whacked by MartinBot is fine, but edit-warring like this? So, I reverted to the version of the start of today, and protected. Phil unprotected, but we've worked out a compromise. Anyone who edit wars gets blocked. Moreschi Talk 18:34, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Sounds fair enough. I'm utterly unsurprised at the way this has turned out, though. -- ChrisO 00:05, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
The article has been fully-protected again. Is this "off the Main Page" enough for everyone's liking? -- tariqabjotu 00:29, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
It's still linked from the Main Page TFA box. We're going to have problems for at least the next couple of days until it leaves the Main Page entirely. -- ChrisO 00:30, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Protected image[edit]


see Wikipedia:Help_desk#Protected_image.3F -- Image:Types of Carbon Nanotubes.png needs to be replaced with the image from Image:Types of Carbon Nanotubes fixed.png. --Ma Baker 20:50, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

The file was in fact on Commons. I uploaded it, the file is bigger than the previous one. -- lucasbfr talk 22:53, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Fixing the history of an article[edit]

Resolved: History-merge done. --ais523 17:18, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

The article Ionian mode (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has a corrupted history after a page move back in December. The ragged history makes it difficult to see where important material has been lost. Can someone fix it? — Gareth Hughes 17:09, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Looks like when moving the article (that had been cut-and-pasted, presumably) over the redirect, the edit history was deleted and remained at the correctly capitalised location but deleted; I've history-merged the deleted with the undeleted history, and it should be fine now. --ais523 17:18, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for doing that. I didn't want to mess it up further. — Gareth Hughes 17:29, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Transnistria[edit]

This arbitration case has now closed and the decision may be found at the link above. Markstreet and sockpuppets, as well as William Mauco and EvilAlex are indefinitely banned from making any contributions related to Transnistria. This applies to all namespaces, including talk and user talk pages. For the arbitration committee, David Mestel(Talk) 17:43, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Problems with checkuser[edit]

I recently made a checkuser request, and it took nearly a week before the request was completed. I was wondering if anything can be done to make the process of checking for sockpuppets occur quicker.--SefringleTalk 04:27, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

What did you have in mind? A quick glance at the recently completed requests seems to indicate that 1-4 days is pretty standard, which seems fine if[unless, was what I meant] the cases are particularly urgent for some reason. Let me remind you that checkusers, like all of us, are volunteers, and that their numbers have to be strictly limited since they have access to sensitive information. Chick Bowen 06:14, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
And yet, I think there are a lot of trustworthy potential candidates out there, if people felt there was a need for more. (I think we could use at least one more.) Grandmasterka 06:27, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, probably we could use at least one more.--SefringleTalk 07:02, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
A request from 6 days ago (second Hel Hufflepuff request) still ghadn't been dealt with. Od Mishehu 08:34, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree that there are several great users who could be trusted with checkuser rights, Voice of All is probably the most active check user. The Sunshine Man is now Qst 14:45, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
In that case, the thing to do would be to e-mail the arbcom mailing list, or bring it up at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee, which several of the committee members keep an eye on. Chick Bowen 15:59, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Done. Grandmasterka 18:00, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Not sure adding checkusers helps. We have 1000+ admins, yet we still have many backlogs. We've had some users very active on checkuser then just stop etc. Trying to get people to not report so many (i.e. remember checkuser isn't the be all and end all of sockpuppet checks, if it's obvious no need for checkuser, if the disruption is that great a checkuser needs to be that urgent then the disruption itself may warrant some blocks etc. etc.) --pgk 06:16, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Blocking of User:Nleobold[edit]

He has today violated the three-revert rule on the page regarding Jerrold Nadler and Deborah Glick. He has repeated written commentary unbefitting of an encyclopedia: he has stuffed these articles with his personal commentary (POV) on these persons. This commentary is possibly libelous. E.g., he is charging Nadler with being a socialist. I and JamesNLane have had dialogue with him regarding our edits on the pages in question. Furthermore, he does not sign with the four tildes.

He has persisted in an unprofessional manner. I formally request a block upon him. Dogru144 18:16, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

  • comment This posting has been duplicated on Requests for Arbitration, AN3RR and here. Peace.Lsi john 18:43, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Requesting edit to protected page[edit]


Would someone please edit Wikipedia:Today's featured article/October 26, 2006 and replace the link to Actors (which is a redirect) to Actor (perhaps something like [[Actor]]s to keep the text syntactically correct).

I realize that front page FA archives are to represent the content of the article at the time it was put on the front page, but changing a link to a redirect so that it instead links to the target of the redirect isn't really a change to the content of the article. Kurt Weber 18:39, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Done, although I don't know that it matters that much. ;) --BigΔT 18:58, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks a lot. I'm just going through and replacing all links to redirects with links to the actual article, just for the hell of it...and it was really bugging me to see that same page up there day after day without a thing I could do about it :D Kurt Weber 20:33, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
You might wish to read WP:REDIRECT#Don't fix links to redirects that aren't broken. -- JLaTondre 21:03, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not sure this is the best use of your time, Kurt. Chick Bowen 21:18, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Why was the database locked?[edit]

The database was locked for a full hour between 14:54 and 15:54 UTC today. This was not a time zone error - it was actually locked for a full hour. Does anyone know why this happened, and what needs to be done so that it won't happen again? Shalom Hello 15:58, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Its actually really annoying when that happens, normally its just for a few minutes but it was ages this time, as for your question I have no idea. The Sunshine Man is now Qst 15:59, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
I assume it was just due to excessive website traffic? You're right, it was unusually long. --Sm8900 16:00, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
It was down due to a network problem. AzaToth 16:02, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
A downtime of that length is unusual, yep. If it's not announced, beforehand, the answer is almost definitely a mix of "something broke" and "we can't do anything about it, other than let the devs do their job." If they need us to do something, I have no doubt they'll let us know. Also, IRC tends to be a good place to find out about these things -- the #wikipedia channel can give some updates, but in particular #wikimedia-tech can be a useful channel, when you're looking to keep posted on these situations. – Luna Santin (talk) 23:32, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, Wikipedia:Don't worry about performance --Steve (Stephen) talk 04:03, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

BatchMaster Software[edit]

I have deleted and protected the page BatchMaster Software as a promotional page, previously deleted after a deletion vote/discussion. In a deletion review, I suggested the creator to create the article in user space first, which he did (User:Rahulkhare/BatchMaster Software). Now I am not sure whether or not the newly created article is appropriate for Wikipedia; could somebody else review it and respond on the user's talk page? - Mike Rosoft 19:37, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Done. Waggers 19:57, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

User talk:Dr. Submillmeter[edit]


A new user accidentally created this page while trying to place a message on my real talk page. As the message is also on my real talk page, can this one be deleted? Dr. Submillimeter 23:09, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Edit warring at Wikipedia:No original research[edit]

I copy-edited this policy on the 27th of June with these edits. These edits did not change the policy, which remained the same but was expressed more clearly in better grammar. One edit was reverted immediately by User:SlimVirgin and the remainder reverted by her today - despite the fact that the changes were generally welcomed on the talk page. Now, two other editors have reverted to the copy-edited version and user:Crum375 has twice reverted back to the original. I have engaged with SlimVirgin on both her talk page here and here on the policy talk page but during this discussion she preformed the initial revert. Could some uninvolved parties please try to work out what exactly is the problem here? Tim Vickers 22:47, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

As a update I've now been accused of WP:POINT, bad faith editing and edit warring, despite that fact that I have never made a revert to retain any changes that I have made to a policy page. I'm not happy about this. Tim Vickers 00:36, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
That's some pretty pedantic back-and-forth going on there. I don't see why people are so concerned, given that the extremely subtle differences that some seem to see in the copy-edit would be cases of Wikilawyering if they were every put into practice as some sort of defense. --Haemo 00:42, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree, if this were any other page I would have just walked away and let the people who seem to own it work it out amongst themselves. However, I think it is pretty important that the policy pages are as clear as they can possibly be. Having phrases like "it is important that editors situate the research; that is, provide contextual information" will be completely opaque to most readers, especially people with English as their second language. Tim Vickers 00:50, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Same problems going on at WP:V, with SlimVirgin behaving in a manner that (while I like to assume good faith, she may mean well) but borders on WP:OWN. Numerous other editors have expressed concerns about her wording on the WP:V policy page. At this point, it's important that she works with others on the talk page towards consensus. I'm not sure I see that happening yet. This all appears to be similar to what's going on at WP:NOR. It's very frustrating, to say the least. I generally avoid policy pages, not wanting to be involved in such disputes. But have genuine concerns about the way the policy page stands now, and especially how the discussion and edit warring is going. --Aude (talk) 00:46, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Tim and Aude; Tim appears to also be a victim of WP:BITE. I first encountered Tim on Talk:Veganism, and to the best of my knowledge he does not engage in WP:POINT, bad faith editing or edit warring. As for the troublesome wording on WP:V, this has recently come up in a discussion on Talk:Terraforming in popular culture; SlimVirgin was the original author of the policy that states, "Any edit lacking a source may be removed", which she added at 21:40, 16 December 2005. This problematic wording has led to some editors removing unreferenced content from an article - without making citation requests - even when the content is itself easily verifiable. This has been discussed in at least three separate instances for years,[2][3] [4] without any resolution to this problem allowed on the policy page. —Viriditas | Talk 02:54, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
He's been editing for a year, so it has nothing to do with BITE. SlimVirgin (talk) 03:38, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Tim has stated upfront that he is new to editing policy pages, and in this section he has also admitted that he is inexperienced. —Viriditas | Talk 04:04, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Viriditas, please make sure you know what you're talking about before weighing in. Tim tried to change "may be removed" to "will be removed" [5] (citing Jimbo, who has said no such thing). If you think the former's too tough, you certainly wouldn't support the latter. SlimVirgin (talk) 03:28, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Please excuse my failure for not seeing Tim's edit to that particular section, as you reverted it approximately three minutes after he added it. [6]. Perhaps if there were less reverts and more discussion pertaining to the topic, this would not be a problem. Regardless of Tim's change, that wording is still problematic, and as the links above demonstrate, you have not allowed anyone to change it since 2005. —Viriditas | Talk 03:44, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
It isn't problematic, but strongly supported, so long as the caution advised in the policy is adhered to. I've seen you take advantage of it many times, Viriditas. Tim Vickers's attempt to strengthen it to the point of requiring all uncited material to be removed would have been absurd, which is why it was quickly reverted, and that why he's pissed off. People arriving to edit policies who know nothing about them isn't helpful, and it's not WP:OWN to undo the damage. I probably won't comment here again because this is part of Tim's forest fire, and part of the POINT that I sense is going on; he's started this discussion on four policy talk pages that I know of, plus at least two user talk pages, and now here, even though it has nothing to do with admin actions, and he's already been answered several times by myself and others. SlimVirgin (talk)
You seem quite fond of making unsubstantiated allegations that have no basis in fact, so I won't bother replying to the one you've made above. Also, please stop reading motives into Tim's foray into policy editing. He has honestly admitted his inexperience and yet you keep biting. Please stop. —Viriditas | Talk 04:07, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
For the record, the only reason Viriditas has turned up here is because he was recently thwarted by me and a few others from obsessively posting to a disambiguation talk page to which he posted 330 times in three days with various insults, before Radiant temporarily banned him from it. SlimVirgin (talk) 04:12, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
No, the reason I showed up here, is because I have dealt with Tim previously and I enjoyed his contributions, and I don't share your opinion of his editing behavior. Furthermore, I recently had to deal with the fallout of your ownership on WP:V in Talk:Terraforming in popular culture, as I stated above. You are welcome, of course, to believe whatever you want. And, your tendentious, disruptive modification of my comments is not only rude and disrespectful, but demonstrates that you don't care what other editors think or feel, as I have asked you many times not to interrupt my comments but you continue to do it. —Viriditas | Talk 04:20, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
What do people suggest I do? I don't want to escalate this in any way, and it seems silly taking something so minor to any kind of mediation. Could somebody more experienced than me talk to SlimVirgin about this and persuade her to be less defensive? I agree entirely that policies should not be changed without clear consensus and careful discussion, but defending bad grammar against copy-editing seems to be taking this principle too far. Tim Vickers 03:07, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Tim had never edited any of the core content policies or guidelines until a couple of days ago. He turned up first (as I recall, without checking diffs) at RS, arguing that scholarly sources should be prioritized over non-scholarly ones, unless the latter weren't available, which would have been a major violation of NPOV. He then turned up at V trying to make the same change, and then at NPOV trying to make some other change, and then at NOR, where he edited in a way that changed a description of what a secondary source is, making it inaccurate — all the while claiming that he only wanted to fix some grammar. I have no idea what's going on. The reverting has led to page protection of two of the policies so far. Some of his edits are pointless tweaks of wording; others make subtle or substantial changes that show he's not understood what he's writing. It almost has the sense of a WP:POINT to it — that, because his scholarly/non-scholarly thing was opposed, he's going to make damn sure he gets to make some changes anyway, and will scream WP:OWN if he doesn't. This is the third day I've had to spend time on it, for no benefit so far. SlimVirgin (talk) 03:24, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
  • For the record, changing "he or she" to "their" is not exactly grammatical, unless, by "grammar," you mean "ignorant." Geogre 13:04, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Does choosing a more reliable source make for POV ? Shyamal 03:59, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
  • So, um, scholarly sources are always better than non-scholarly ones? Scholarly sources do not make or perpetuate mistakes (like, oh, giving Samuel Johnson the wrong years in school because each scholar cribbed his chronology from the last)? The most-cited being better, always, than the less-cited? So, for example, we can just give up and hand the keys to Google, which can use its "link-to" algorithms on Google Scholar to find all sources necessary for any topic, and a sort of Google News approach can clip everything, and Wikipedia can be an information aggregator? (Rules, rules, rules, rules, and procedures and procedures, and please follow the yellow stripe on the floor to the office of verification, where you may prove, without any independent assessment by anyone, that you are better than the previous edit. I thought we were people, with judgment.) Geogre 13:04, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
SV, why didn't you engage with Tim on the policy's talk page or on his user page? Your quick reverts of his good faith work on the policy wasn't helpful for the situation. Whether or not his edits are actually improving the policy or not should be discussed in the appropriate channels. Just because he hasn't worked on policy much in the past doesn't mean that he can't participate now. In fact, fresh views from the "outside" may be just what some policies in the project need. The policies belong to the entire community, not just "established" editors, whatever that means. CLA 04:08, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
My history owith SV is, in my recollection, a little different from how it is portrayed above. I saw this post at the village pump that raised concerns about a major change made to WP:RS by SlimVirgin. I read the policy and developed an alternative wording on the talk page with other editors. I then compared the old wording to the new one in a straw poll with unanimous support for the new version. I then put this in the guideline and it was then reverted by Crum375. The reason for the reversion given was that the SlimVirgin thought the proposed wording conflicted with WP:V. The discussion therefore moved on SV's advice to the WP:V talk page. I did not add the proposed change to WP:V, as it was contested by SlimVirgin and Crum375. The discussion about how and if to change WP:V is ongoing, with SlimVirgin and Crum375 arguing that the original wording be retained. Reading how badly-written this policy was, I made non-contentious copy-edits to both WP:NOR and WP:NPOV. One section of NPOV was so bad I raised it on the talk page here and another editor started making substantial edits to improve this. I reverted these and suggested that we develop an alternative on the talk page, retaining the same meaning but much clearer wording. This was done with imput from a third editor here but SlimVirgin objected to the proposed draft with the short statement "I strongly object to this, because it's badly written and therefore unclear." and has not responded to any further questions on the talk page about what she found unclear. In general, while most editors on these pages have engaged in constructive discussion, I have not been able to get SlimVirgin and Crum375 to engage in a similar manner. Tim Vickers 04:54, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Let me start out by commenting that I generally appreciate SlimV 's work both as a contributor and admin. But her presentation of this issue is a little off. Maybe Tim did initiate discussion to change WP:RS, but at least a half dozen editors participated. A wording addition was proposed concerning the relative reliability of academic peer reviewed sources versus news sources, specifically with regard to scientifically oriented articles only (roughly speaking). This change in wording was supported by at least a dozen different editors with exactly zero editors opposing on the talk page for about 4 days (Discussion here). The addition was reverted twice without a comment by SlimV on the Talk page. Also, Tim didn't just "turn up at WP:V", we were all directed to go there by SlimV because RS (in her opinion) is both deprecated and useless. There's no point to changing it, as WP:V is now where anything needs to be added or changed regarding sources.
I also want to add (obvious, I know, but there's a point) SlimV is an administrator, and I am not. I don't feel welcome to participate in discussion on policy pages, and so I've pretty much stopped because there doesn't seem to be a point in trying. Nevertheless, I do appreciate Tim (and a couple of others) for sticking with it in this instance because I continue to feel that the addtitional language originally proposed on the WP:RS talk page (initial discussion linked above) does not violate NPOV (which has been made clear, just makes me generally ignorant of policies and a bother). R. Baley 04:52, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
R. Baley, the people who turned up to support Tim Vickers were not experienced policy editors. You could have a thousand people turn up to support it — if it fundamentally undermined NPOV, and I believe his suggestion would have done, it would make no difference, because NPOV is a Foundation issue. Scientific or scholarly point of view has been rejected many, many times. That's not to say we let in nonsense, but what counts as reliable counter-POV on any given occasion is a matter of editorial judgment. I say that as someone who is known to be very strict about good sources. But we simply can't say that scientists will invariably be prioritized in articles they want to claim as their own (though usually they will be). Similarly, we can't have historians always prioritized over other reliable sources about historical events, or literature professors always prioritized over other writers in articles about novels. Should Holocaust historians have the only word when it comes to the Holocaust? No. They should mostly have it, perhaps they should almost always have it, but if there are strong and reliable dissenting views, they must be heard. Anyway, this is a content dispute; nothing to do with this board, so if you want me to continue, please post a query on one of the talk pages. Talk:NPOV would probably be best. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:05, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
I endorse SlimVirgin's statement with regard to scholarly/scientific and non-scholarly scientific referencing. — Nearly Headless Nick {C} 06:07, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree... she's articulated it quite well here, too. NPOV means that we present the scholarly view, as the scholarly view, and that we present a strong and reliable dissenting view as a strong and reliable dissenting view. Precisely what "strong" and "reliable" mean will have to be sorted out on a topic-by-topic basis, but the goal isn't to write "Scholarpedia". -GTBacchus(talk) 06:23, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
I've only just noticed that Tim Vickers posted a note on the village pump about conducting a straw poll to force the scholarly edit into WP:V. This is not how policy is made, ever, and these forest fire posts are extremely inappropriate, and make it increasingly difficult to assume good faith. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:10, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
"...make it increasingly difficult to assume good faith." Yeah, I guess... if you're bad at it. I find it easy to believe that people make all sorts of mistakes in their approach without suspecting bad intentions.

Statements about how difficult it is to assume good faith are characteristic of tendentious editors and newbies. Most, if not all people, pursue the good, as they understand it, and they do what they believe to be necessary to get there. I've never seen an argument on Wikipedia (or elsewhere) advanced by somebody concluding that the other party is acting out of some other, sinister, motive.

It wouldn't be that hard for a one-year user to believe that straw polls and such are how we make policy. We're not exactly transparent about these things, after all. -GTBacchus(talk) 05:26, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Except that he's been told many times that it's inappropriate, and yet he continues. AGF doesn't involve being deaf, dumb, and blind. Either he knows what he's doing and is deliberately out to cause a problem; or he has so little idea about policy creation and maintenance that he really believes we can (and should) fundamentally undermine NPOV via a village pump straw poll. Neither possibility is an attractive one. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:32, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, maybe he doesn't think his edit undermines NPOV. It sounds as if he's been told by some people that his edits are inappropriate, while others have said otherwise. Is that not a question on which people can disagree in good faith? How should he know that your word is the final one? -GTBacchus(talk) 05:39, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
SV, I'm going to formally ask you here to apologize to Tim. You've just implied that he's acting in bad faith, is deliberately out to cause a problem, and that he believes that he can fundamentally undermine NPOV. This is a personal attack that I believe you're doing with the intention of undermining his credibility because he has ideas that are different than your own. I think you've stepped over the line. CLA 06:53, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Cla68...are you stalking Slims edits? I have never seen you post on this policy page before, at least not until Slim showed up. I think you're here to pick a fight.--MONGO 07:02, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
We can review my actions in a separate thread if you want to. The issue here isn't me. I think that attacking and attempting to undermine the credibility of another editor who is obviously making good faith efforts is wrong. CLA 07:11, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Then stick to the issues at hand. If you are here to admonish Slim, I suggest you make such commentary on her talkpage instead.--MONGO 07:23, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I agree with you to some extent. I think it was right to publicly call SV out on her bad faith accusations of another editor since she did so publicly, but I should have asked her to apologize on her talk page. CLA 07:34, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

(outdent) GTBacchus, I think the point is that the same editor, who has never edited policy pages at all, is now simultaneously changing all our core policies. He has been cautioned that this is not a good way to do things, that these policies reflect a delicate balance of compromises and coherence with other policies, yet he seems intent in making multiple changes, big and small. Yes, he could have a good intent, but the bottom line is still disruption. Crum375 05:46, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Crum375, I have no problem with what you just said. That's very different from "these forest fire posts are extremely inappropriate, and make it increasingly difficult to assume good faith." A lot of people get a bee in their bonnet about something, and that's pretty different from having sinister motvies. It remains the case that I've never seen any point advanced by "difficult to AGF" rhetoric - it's not good dispute resolution. -GTBacchus(talk) 05:54, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Any substantive changes on any policy should have consensus on the policy talk page before changes are introduced into the policies. However, even minor alterations such as may remove to will be removed, has far reaching and huge ramifications in article text. I have no doubt Tim Vickers is trying to make the wording of a few policies better, and I in fact find many of them to be too wordy and miss the point, but I suggest that on long established policy pages, consensus for these changes needs to be established on the policy talk pages first.--MONGO 05:45, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

I think regardless of what subtle differences there are in the two version, it appears that a significant number of Tim's rewording is benign, content-wise, and beneficial. Why doesn't everyone involved just implement those changes, and then hash out the subtle differences on the talk page, instead of this tiresome and acrimonious revert-warring. --Haemo 05:54, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Thats what I'm getting at. Policy pages are always watched by numerous off-wiki venues. Edit warring on them is really bad. Again, I commend Tim for trying to make changes, but the place to implement them is here, on the discussion pages first.--MONGO 06:16, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Tim Vickers, I'd agree with MONGO here. Editing policy pages here is a very delicate type of operation, and the best (only?) way to do it is very slowly, with great caution, and with more discussion than you might at first suspect. A year of editing articles doesn't necessarily prepare one for the minefield that is editing policy pages. -GTBacchus(talk) 05:54, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

(reply to Mongo) I think you might have missed the part where a consensus was reached on the talk page in the discussion I linked to above (WP:RS, link here). Not just consensus, but unanimity. I wish now the page had been watched more closely. I would have looked at it more closely myself had somebody, anybody, registered opposition to the idea with a good point (or points). I still think the idea we discussed has merit as a guideline, but I wouldn't support it as official policy (and to read SlimV's response to my earlier post, it seems we agree on the final outcome regarding the emphasis of articles -also, this policy looks to be unofficially in place on a lot of science based articles already). I won't speak to other people's motives, but for myself, I was just seeking clarity in a guideline to head off future conflicts. R. Baley 07:42, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

SlimVirgin does an awesome job most of the time, but she's not perfect. I haven't looked at everything Tim has been doing, but I've experienced the same frustration with Slim over WP:BLP. After posting twice on Slim's talk page, and posting to the policy's talk page, I still have not gotten any reply from her at all. It was not until I contacted her via IRC that I was able to actually discuss some of the issues around the edits. What's surprising is that she wasn't even aware of the reasons for my (and others) concerns. From her point of view I was "reverting for the hell of it". She was right about which of our versions was better written, but seemed to give that more weight than which one would be less abused as a policy. It's great to make things better worded, and to make more sense grammatically, but we're talking about policy pages, where instructing people accurately is a higher priority than winning an essay contest. Slim, you write well, far better than I do, but please get off your high horse and listen to your fellow editors. Being awesome at writing doesn't make said writing perfect in the Wikipedia policy environment. Don't be so condescending to everyone else, and stop ignoring people simply because they don't write as well as you do. One way or another, we need to express certain things in our policy pages, and it would be of a great help if you were to work with us on that.

Having said all this at the end of a long day, with my own thoughts running wild, I hope I've made a little bit of sense. -- Ned Scott 06:16, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

I have a problem with SV's statement, "the people who turned up to support Tim Vickers were not experienced policy editors." I've looked through the project, and I haven't found a list of Wikipedia:Experienced policy editors. Tim was and is trying to do the best he can to make the policy better and some others have tried to help him and some admins have apparently tried to hinder him. Accusing him of bad faith and other tactics to stonewall his efforts is unfortunate.
Tim, please stick with it. I read in some statements above that some other editors have also run into interference in editing policies from some of the same administrators. This bears close scrutiny by the community. Tim and others have identified that there are some problems with the policies as they're currently written, and I commend them for trying to improve on the earlier work of others. CLA 06:45, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Once again, my actions appear to be being misrepresented by SlimVirgin, the post she refers to on the Village Pump reads:

A proposal has been made to incorporate a new wording on reliable sources (that is based on a proposal that was approved unanimously in a straw poll at the WP:Reliable sources talk page) into the WP:Verifiability policy. The proposed new section is on the policy talk page at Wikipedia talk:Verifiability#Sources 2. link

I don't see how anybody could reasonably conclude, as SV does, that this post shows that "Tim Vickers posted a note on the village pump about conducting a straw poll to force the scholarly edit into WP:V." Indeed, when an editor did try to add this wording to WP:V, I removed it myself, with the edit summary of: "This can't be added from a poll on another page, please comment on the proposed new version on this talk page." These constant misrepresentations and personal attacks are neither constructive nor civil. They must stop. Tim Vickers 16:45, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

For me this isn't so much an issue of specific changes; I agree with SlimVirgin's stance on some of the specific issues, and with Tim on others, and this isn't the right venue for discussing them in any case. It's an issue of ownership. On the one hand, Tim is being attacked because he's not edited policy pages before, and those who support him are similarly blown off with a "you couldn't possibly understand" dismissiveness. Add to that speculation about sinister ulterior motives on the part of Tim, a long-time editor and admin who's contributed tons of feature-quality content to Wikipedia and never run afoul of the law. How are editors expected to gain experience on policy pages if even people of Tim's background get this kind of reception? I'm all for stable policies and getting consensus on the talk page, but I'm really disappointed with the approach being taken to enforce that stability. MastCell Talk 17:22, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
I have to agree with MastCell here. I won't even mention the possible merit (or lack thereof) of the edits being discussed—this is exactly why I won't touch policy—, but let me just state the patently obvious: this kind of thing is extremely detrimental to the well-being of the project.
By the way, I've collaborated quite extensively with Tim over the past year. I don't think that should hold any bearing here, but whatever. Fvasconcellos (t·c) 17:27, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
SlimVirgin is continuing to perform reverts on policy page WP:V, despite being a party in the dispute that lead to its protection. She has been asked by User:Aude to stop doing this on the talk page diff but she has now reverted the page again. Tim Vickers 20:43, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
And again. Tim Vickers 21:44, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
That she reverted to the version it was originally locked at is a bit of a saving grace. But all the editors involved should know better, and may need a bit of a butt-kicking to get their heads back on straight. WilyD 20:49, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

This is a sad state of affairs. Anyone who is familiar with the chaotic history of the article Evolution knows that Tim Vickers has a remarkable ability to draw together warring editors on highly charged and POV articles and generate compromise for the good of the encyclopedia. He has first-hand experience in the trenches with Wiki's core policies. When Evolution was FARC'd, I never believed it could be featured again, much less in only four months—something that happened largely because of Tim's efforts, knowledge and character. He is an experienced editor who works well with others. On the other hand, part of the reason these policy pages are in turmoil to begin with is that WP:RS was gutted when WP:ATT was prematurely enacted—a broad and sweeping policy change which didn't enjoy consensus, partly because of the kinds of issues we're seeing again. These policies aren't working well now; change is needed to restore some of those policy pages to content which existed pre-ATT, but many editors give up after attempting and being trashed (I certainly did). It's a shame that the efforts of an editor with a proven track record of working well with others are being received this way. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:38, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Sandy, what you say is simply not correct. RS has been in turmoil since its creation. It has gone through several periods of gutting and expansion; periods of multiple editors trying to remove the guideline tag; and periods of being redirected. It has always served only to cause confusion about which page is policy and what it says exactly. And ATT was not any kind of change, never mind broad and sweeping. It was a summary of NOR and V, intended to address the less-than-brilliant writing and the spread of the sourcing policy over two pages. Tim's efforts are not appreciated because he has edit warred to change core policies, yet clearly doesn't understand them: one of his changes would have fundamentally violated NPOV. And he has left scores of posts on various talk pages in an effort to start a forest fire and stir up controversy. It has been incredibly unhelpful, to see the least. SlimVirgin (talk) 02:47, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Congratulations, SV. The above post was your 45,000th edit. Jehochman Hablar 02:58, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
It's actually around 60,000; the edit counter you used stops at 45,000. But thanks for the congrats, anyway. :-) SlimVirgin (talk) 03:39, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm feeling foolish, again. Interiot, your edit counter kinda sucks. No information is preferable to wrong blah blah blah. Jehochman Hablar 03:48, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
I tend to agree with the first line of this post -- why on earth are established editors and admins edit-warring over these changes? People need to just calm down, relax, and start discussing this in a calm and reasonable fashion. The accusations and fingerpointing are way, way out of line -- simple copyediting of policy pages should not be a cause for acrimony, especially on this order. --00:17, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Quite possibly, hundereds of people have complained of SlimVirgin's aggressive and confrontational style. Everywhere I look in the present or past, people including administrators have complained about SlimVirgin. Why is this person still a sys-op here? Before you point out diffs about me, this about SV, not me. What can be done? What is the solution? --Matt57 (talkcontribs) 02:45, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
The solution is for people not to focus on editors but on content. The problem is that our core policies are a delicate balance of compromises and self-coherency. When people barge in and merrily start an editing spree on multiple policy pages, making many changes big and small, this clearly creates a major disruption. These policies need to be stable, and changes need to be done carefully. Before making changes, it is very helpful to get experience on the Talk pages, preferably a few months worth, if not longer. Policies are not regular articles, where you can express the same thing in many different ways; here small changes can have major implications. So we need to trust the experienced users, and tread carefully and intelligently. More specifically, SlimVirgin has done a tremendous job writing and maintaining the core policies, as well as many articles, many contentious and difficult. It would be very useful for any editor who wants to edit the core policies to communicate with her and get her views about the rationale and history of the various policies. Once all that is understood, we certainly encourage people to be bold and edit, but to do so without sufficient learning and understanding is fool hardy and disruptive. Crum375 03:11, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
No. An administrator has to prove that they are far and above non-admin users. According to policy(WP:RFA): "Administrators are held to high standards of conduct because other editors often turn to them for help and advice.". Yes SlimVirgin has done 45,000 edits and has done a lot of work for this website but when 100's of people are complaining about a certain hard-working but confrontational and aggressive city mayor, maybe its time to check if he can get re-elected or not. The undenyable fact is that if SlimVirgin was not an admin right now and were to RFA, she would get refused pretty easily with many people complaining of her aggressive, confrontational attitude and revert wars. Her adminship should be reevaluated. If people's approval is what determines the success of an RfA, it should also be used to determine whether someone is no longer suitable for the job or not. --Matt57 (talkcontribs) 03:22, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Matt has turned up because I've just nominated an apparent attack page of his for deletion. Matt, this is an example of the stalking you were asked by multiple editors to stop just the other day. SlimVirgin (talk) 03:28, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Should I accuse of a stalk too because you followed me to Edina's page and then proceeded to MfD the watchlist page I created? Or should I remind you of the 3RR you did today and the personal attacks? This is not a stalk. People here have genuine problems with you and I have voiced my opinion too and yes I've had problems with you too like many other people and I have a right to voice my opinion here. --Matt57 (talkcontribs) 03:41, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Comment on accusations - SlimVirgin wrote "he has edit warred to change core policies, yet clearly doesn't understand them: one of his changes would have fundamentally violated NPOV. And he has left scores of posts on various talk pages in an effort to start a forest fire and stir up controversy" This is a blatant accusation of bad faith. This also accuses me of edit warring - but if you look at my contributions you will see that I have never reverted edits on policy pages to replace any of my edits. Indeed, in this edit diff I removed material I had proposed for addition to WP:V, and stated that we needed to discuss it more on the talk page. I am saddened and angry at these constant personal attacks and misrepresentations. It would be unacceptable coming from a normal editor, but coming from an experienced administrator like SlimVirgin, it is even worse. Tim Vickers 04:28, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

All this means that there really needs to be a system for de-adminship. This is the single most important issue that I see on Wikipedia. If the leaders of a project are not in harmony with each other and if there are some leaders against whom there are a lot of complaints, thats the single most critical issue for any project. I'm reading up on Wikipedia:Requests for de-adminship which says there's currently no system for de-adminship. --Matt57 (talkcontribs) 04:37, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't see what any of this has to do with Slim's admin access. -- Ned Scott 05:53, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
This has everything to do with her admin access. The reason why she doesnt get blocked for her aggressive editing, reverts and personal attacks([7]) and 3RR violations (and countless misses of 3RR's) is that she's an admin. The reason why she's still an admin is that there isnt any system to de-admin her. Ideally, she should go through another RfA like she did when she became an admin for the first time and then we would know how much of a community consensus she gets. This is a Wikipedia dysfunction to let ops like her to retain her title. Everyone has problems with her. --Matt57 (talkcontribs) 06:08, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

The essence of the problem[edit]

This issue has exposed a problem I've been concerned about for some time. Apologies for the length.

SandyGeorgia, Marskell, and a few other editors have to some extent taken over featured-article issues. They review them, write the standards, and they created the FAR process of demoting articles that don't meet their standards. In itself, there's nothing wrong with that: all areas of Wikipedia have editors who specialize in them. What concerns me is that they seem to feel this gives them special insight into Wikipedia's sourcing policies, and there seems to be an effort on their part to make those policies more and more rigid.

I applaud tight sourcing policies; anyone who knows my edits knows that I want only good sources to be used in Wikipedia. But I feel that Sandy, Marskell, and now Tim Vickers it seems, go too far. One of the reasons WP:ATT failed is that Marksell refused to allow an exception for pop culture issues, even though there clearly is such an exception, and people only have to read our pop culture articles to see that — they use all kinds of websites as sources that would never be allowed in article about history or science. If editors weren't allowed to use them, those articles couldn't exist. Yet Marskell dug his heels in, which lost us several key supporters, and we missed out on a good chance to get the sourcing policies in order.

In itself, the pop-culture thing is perhaps not a major issue. But combined with this latest attempt to change the policy to prioritize scholarly sources, which Marskell was one of the initiators of, I find it worrying.

There are good editors who won't submit FACs anymore because of the atmosphere. They say there's an unreasonable effort to force editors to provide more and more citations, and to insist on better and better sources. Quality is important, but we have to be reasonable, we have to be user friendly, and we have to encourage people to write FAs, not kill any enthusiasm they might have. And our policies must be prescriptive and descriptive. If people, as a matter of fact, use specialist personal websites for pop culture articles, it's kind of silly to have a policy that makes no allowance for that.

GTBacchus put it well when he said that this is not Scholarpedia. Wikipedia would never have gotten off the ground if the Marksell/Vickers approach had been adopted. Being neutral means we have to include views we don't like, views that might make us wince, stuff you'd never find in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. But at our best, we're better than the EB, in part because we allow all reasonable voices to be heard, scholarly or not. The drive to tighten the sourcing and citation policies has to stop before we relegate them to complete irrelevance. SlimVirgin (talk) 03:28, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

That discussion belongs on Wikipedia talk:Verifiability. This is not the place to discuss the specific contents of policies, this is the place to discuss the attitude and actions of editors that have led to edit warring on two policy pages. An apology would be nice for your repeated accusations that I have acted in bad faith and edit warred on policy pages (which is completely untrue, as I suspect you know). However, if you are unwilling to do that, are you at least willing to show a less proprietorial attitude towards these pages and seriously engage with the editors who are making good-faith attempts to improve them? A very good start would be for you to discuss your objections to the copy-editing you reverted at this talk section which seeks to reach a consensus wording on these minor grammatical changes. Tim Vickers 04:09, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
The discussion is appropriate here, because it's about V, NPOV, FA, Citing sources, your actions, and a general trend that I want to highlight. Marksell wrote recently that: "Non-scholarly opinion is actively suppressed on a number of our well-hit science articles, even when particularly widespread and even when noted in reliable but non-scientific sources (emphasis added). Global Warming has remained an FA precisely because editors have gamely stuck to that principle. With the WSJ, the Telegraph, and the National Post—all de jure reliable—you could create a fine (but generic) skepticism section. And it would have no place in the article. Thankfully, it won't wind up in the article while our better science editors are watching it." [8]
I find that very worrying and I feel it needs to be discussed widely. As GTBacchus said, we report scholarly sources to show what the scholarly sources say, and other sources to show what other sources say. We don't leave one group out. If that's happening at FA, as Marksell claims, we need a broad community debate to make sure it doesn't go too far, and it's definitely not an attitude that should be reflected in our content policies. SlimVirgin (talk) 04:21, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Your worries are unfounded; no groups have been left out. The section entitled Issue_debate_and_political_processes uses plenty of non-scholarly sources (NYT, AP, International Herald Tribune, Pew Research Center, MSNBC, ABC, USA Today, Ceres, The Hill, Reuters) to report the scholarly opinion, and links to split articles covering controversial and skeptical perspectives. This is also true for the rest of the article. —Viriditas | Talk 04:53, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
What is Marskell referring to then? And he claims it's happening with a number of science articles, that other views are being "actively suppressed," even when widespread and reported by reliable sources. He is one of the most active FA reviewers, so what he says has to be taken seriously. SlimVirgin (talk) 04:55, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
I can't see anything in Global warming about alternative views. Can you point to them, please? SlimVirgin (talk) 05:10, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
I gave you an answer the first time around (links to split articles covering controversial and skeptical perspectives:Global warming controversy and politics of global warming); you can also find a direct link to the "alternative view" in the lead section: "The American Association of Petroleum Geologists is the only scientific society that rejects these conclusions. A few individual scientists disagree with some of these conclusions as well." —Viriditas | Talk 06:18, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Most alarming. I won't bother to point out all the fallacies in the long post above (too many to bother with), but taking the most recent in the long string of misrepresentations, Marskell isn't even close to one of the most active reviewers at FAC, I scarcely bother editing policy pages because it's not worth trying to get through this wall of defense and then be attacked for opining, I had nothing to do with redesigning FAR, and all of us hold different views on pop culture and citing, so it might be good to stop trying to connect dots that don't exist. These are serious accusations you are making against a number of respected editors, SV; please remain factual. I'm quite shocked at the endorsement above of ownership of the policy pages (that anyone wanting to address policy needs to check first with SV and review it with her on her talk page?), and the level to which this has degenerated. It's beginning to look like a very simple problem of ownership, and an unwarranted attack against a serious and productive editor who tried to copyedit and make some reasonable changes. Most alarming. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:41, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Sandy, are you simply ignoring that Tim Vickers tried to make very substantial changes to key policies? That uncited edits "will" be removed, instead of "may," and that non-scholarly sources could be used only when scholarly ones weren't available? That is no copy edit.
As you're involved in FA, and you say I'm wrong about what's happening there, could you respond to Marskell's point that "Non-scholarly opinion is actively suppressed on a number of our well-hit science articles, even when particularly widespread and even when noted in reliable but non-scientific sources. Global Warming has remained an FA precisely because editors have gamely stuck to that principle." [9] Is that correct, in your experience of FACs? Is it a view you support? SlimVirgin (talk) 05:51, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Deflection of the issue: I haven't followed your conversation on that topic with Marskell, don't intend to, and am not going to respond to something that may be taken out of context that is between you and him. The issue here is your treatment of Tim Vickers, not my opinion of something Marskell may have said to you and whose context I may not know. I would say that you only have to read the Global warming FAR if you want to know which editors may or may not be suppressing any particular anything, and it's not likely to ever be Tim Vickers. This topic has wandered so many directions that it gives the impression you're grasping at straws rather than engage with Tim to develop consensus. The issue is not that Tim made edits to policy pages, rather that you haven't engaged with him to discuss those edits and achieve consensus. And he has a good track record of getting along with others and achieving compromise, even on sticky topics. You've made an escalating series of alarming charges against him, have apologized for and retracted none of them, and still haven't apparently attempted to hammer out the issues raised on the appropriate talk pages. The level to which discussion of a simple edit has escalated is becoming absurd. Deflecting the conversation many directions won't change the fundamental issue at hand. This kind of editing is why ATT failed—it was pushed through without consensus and the reasons for its failure had little to do with "pop culture" and more to do with people believing there had been a lot of stealth and ownership and no consensus-building—just like we're seeing here. I really encourage you to put all of this aside and just work with Tim; try it, you might like it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:28, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
The issue is going to have to be addressed, Sandy, because it's a serious one, so there's no point in trying to ignore it. I haven't taken Marskell's remark out of context; by all means, follow the link and see for yourself. He said unambiguously that reliable non-scholarly sources are being "actively suppressed," and he gives Global warming as an example from FA. You say that Marskell isn't really involved in FA, but he's the most active poster by a long chalk on featured article review; the third most active poster to Wikipedia:Featured articles (with many more posts than you), and the second most active on featured article review talk. So I have to assume that he knows what he's talking about, and what he claims is happening there is very worrying. Is it a position you support? SlimVirgin (talk) 06:42, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Slim, I unpacked the Global Warming example in the midst of this thread. The principal point: "For the record, what is excluded on Global warming is non-science sources to introduce scientific skepticism." I assume you didn't miss it, as you commented later.
You're dissembling again. You didn't make that comment as part of that thread, but on my talk page, [10] where you wrote very clearly that non-scholarly POV is being "actively suppressed" on some science articles, even when it's widely believed, even when it's reported by reliable sources. You posted on my talk page:

Non-scholarly opinion is actively suppressed on a number of our well-hit science articles, even when particularly widespread and even when noted in reliable but non-scientific sources. Global Warming has remained an FA precisely because editors have gamely stuck to that principle. With the WSJ, the Telegraph, and the National Post—all de jure reliable—you could create a fine (but generic) skepticism section. And it would have no place in the article. Thankfully, it won't wind up in the article while our better science editors are watching it.

What is particularly worrying is the comment: "Global Warming has remained an FA precisely because editors have gamely stuck to that principle." Given that you're one of the people who goes around trying to demote FAs, it sounds as though you would consider doing that if reliable non-scholarly sources were added to the article. I'm not going to carry on arguing with you about this point. What you wrote is exactly the opposite of everything Wikipedia stands for, and your efforts to add something to the content policies that supports that attitude will be strongly resisted. SlimVirgin (talk) 21:28, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't think that's accurate regarding the global warming article in any event. The article makes clear that there is a lay controversy and links to the main controversy article which is linked to the main article. The real issue (which has been, if I may, grotesquely overstated) is that very often in science related articles what would normally constitute a reliable source is oversimplified to the point of being wrong. For example, the New York Times "Science Times" section is considered to be one of the best sources of general science news for the lay population and it frequently has problems. One example that stands out particularly in my mind was their last article on the proof of the Poincare Conjecture which had a variety of errors. We therefore need to be careful when we have a contradiction between a scholarly science source and unscholarly source when in doubt to use the scholarly source. When there is a disconnect between what the scientists and the lay population think, that should obviously be acknowledged and the best way to do so is generally with reliable lay sources such as newspapers. If one looks at topics that are controversial among the lay population such as Intelligent design one can often see (I don't know if the current iteration of that article has such a sentence) a discussion of the lay opinion on the matter. It would seem reasonable to me to add a sentence or two more to Global warming to note the disconnect between scientists and the rest of the population. Part of this perceived problem may be that we do not officially have a distinction in levels of reliable sources. That is, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the East-BumbleFuck Advocate and Nature are treated as essentially the same per how WP:RS is written. We shouldn't confuse giving different reliable sources different levels of weight with completely writing off large sets of generally valid sources. JoshuaZ 15:51, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
"Global warming was an increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans that appears to have ended in 1998."[11] That is what does not belong. Non-scientific sources used to challenge a scientific claim. I have said this multiple times. If you want to take one post of mine and ignore all of my other posts elaborating it, go ahead. But don't come back and talk to me about dissembling. Marskell 07:37, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Newspapers and other non-scholarly reliable sources are perfectly fine for material that is not science as such. That's the main idea, a perfectly defensible one in keeping with good practice, both on wiki and off—you respond to scientific theory with sources of a scientific nature, a fact I have sourced to the ArbCom in our discussions. But I don't want to comment at too great length on Global Warming because it is the work of others. William C. can probably best describe the evolution of the page.
As for FAR, you don't edit there and I must guess that your long and largely inaccurate post above was provided by someone else. I certainly did not "write the standards". WP:WIAFA has been edited by multiple people and it's basics have remained largely unchanged for quite a while. On the FAs, you'll find some good editors who advocate literally citing every sentence and other good editors who refuse to cite any of their secondary sources inline. Navigating these extremes is quite difficult. I've actually thought of myself as moderate on the FAR closures, more demanding than some, more accomodating than others. FARC closures, incidentally, were handled by Jeffrey Gustafson for nearly a year before the review/removal merger, while closures since have been handled by Joelr31 and I. The keep rate before I edited was about one-third. The keep rate since I've edited has been about one-third.
Regarding good people not coming to FA, I have no answers for you. I do in fact rarely review there, and where I do it's usually in support of editors I know are capable of handling a nom. Both FAC nominations and FA promotions are going up, not down. There is attrition and there is influx, as anywhere, but FAC is still seeing healthy production and great contributors in my looking at it. One good example would be, oh I don't know, Tim Vickers, who has taken ten articles through. With the obvious caveats, I have no reason to doubt his educational background and his efforts on Wiki speak for themselves. When you have the time and capability to take ten biology and chemistry articles to FA status—including those as core as Evolution and DNA—perhaps then you can come back and lecture people about why non-scholarly sources should be held equivalent to scholarly ones in the sciences.
But this is in fact a diversion, as the principle point of the initial thread is SlimVirgin's ownership on P&Gs. The question to my mind is not whether she does exercise WP:OWN, which should be perfectly obvious to anyone who edits in the area, but whether it's a good or bad thing. On balance, a strong argument can be mounted that her control over policy has been a boon, because the important policies have remained well organized. While I've decided that she doesn't have a clue about best practice in sourcing some areas of the mainspace (which is true of everybody, obviously) I still respect her opinion on the evolution of policy. Marskell 07:24, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Continuing the earlier discussion[edit]

SV, would you please address Tim's concerns instead of going on tangents that aren't related to why Tim originally brought this to the attention of the noticeboard? CLA 04:24, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
CLA, I and others have responded at length above to Tim's concerns. Clearly Tim's edits on multiple policies, though most likely well intentioned, were very disruptive. Hopefully he will understand that and be able to edit more carefully on policy pages in the future. Your accusation of other editors of 'going on tangents' is uncivil, especially when the posted material directly relates to the section's heading. Crum375 04:36, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not asking you to respond to Tim, I'm asking SV to respond. Her actions are the reason that he brought this to the noticeboard, and so far hasn't responded fully to Tim's concerns about her actions, and instead has leveled personal attacks on him. Furthermore, she has taken the discussion off on another direction, away from why Tim started the thread. I don't think she needs you to defend her or try to explain her actions, she should and needs to be able to do that herself, especially because she is an admin.
SV, please respond to Tim's concerns. CLA 04:49, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Crum375, could you please explain why these copy-edits to WP:NOR, this single copy-edit to WP:NPOV or these copy-edits to WP:V are "clearly disruptive"? Tim Vickers 04:45, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Tim, I believe it is a cumulative effect. It seems you started a large number of edits simultaenously on several policies. Some were simply equal in meaning, while some introduced subtle changes. For others to then go in and separate out the various issues would be difficult, so it is often easier to revert. As example of the non-trivial edits, I'll mention just a sample few, based on my own observation:
  • 'introduces a new theory' vs. 'introduces a theory' - your version would imply that if I introduce an old theory, for which I have no good sources, it would be acceptable. Clearly that's not the case, and the original language reflects that.
  • 'reputable publisher' vs. 'reputable source', although there is repetition, the term publisher connotes a regular publishing house, which is more appropriate than just a source.
  • 'may be removed' vs. 'will be removed' - there is clearly a difference in meaning.
There are numerous other smaller changes, where at best the change is neutral. The bottom line is that for someone to go through all of these requires some effort, especially when they are done simultaneously to various pages. Policy pages should remain stable. Even tiny changes can have an effect, and even if they don't, the end result is a lot of extra work created, for little substantive change. Crum375 05:22, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

So the best examples of my "clearly very disruptive" edits to policy are these three edits? That's almost funny! The first is edit 1, which has now been endorsed by 4 different editors on the talk page - two here and a further two here. The only other person who has objected to the second change is SlimVirgin, and she said it was wrong for a different reason than you in this post. If "Expert policy editors" cannot agree amongst themselves on the meaning of a phrase, then it must be unclear. Only the final edit is a substantive change in meaning, and I agreed with its reversion. However, it was not SlimVirgin writing this long, condescending piece of ownership that contained no reasons why the change was wrong, saying only as "senseless" that I should try to change policy at all that persuaded me. What was actually useful was User:Jeepday providing this short and polite explanation. Just looking at the two different responses to this one edit encapsulates the whole problem with SlimVirgin's approach. User:Jeepday explained politely why this was wrong and provided links to expand their reasoning. User:SlimVirgin offered no explanation but warned me off from trying to improve the policy by saying - "It's senseless, and it won't lead to anything good. Some reflection would therefore be appreciated." Tim Vickers 12:21, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Plus this edit to RS, some of which makes no sense at all (e.g. "Articles that rely solely on primary sources also require a secondary reliable source.") And changing "Wikipedia articles should ideally report all majority and significant-minority treatments of a topic published by reliable sources, scholarly and non-scholarly" to "The most reliable material is published by scientists, scholars, and researchers, particularly publications in peer-reviewed journals and academic presses. These sources are preferred in subjects such as medicine, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. However, alternative reliable sources are used when scholarly publications are not available - such as in topics related to popular culture or current events (emphasis added)." [12] That is reminiscent of Marskell's claim that reliable sources are being "actively suppressed" on science subjects if not scholarly.
Then he spent the next two days writing 300 posts to various project and user talk pages, the village pump, and AN about how he was only trying to do a copy edit. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:36, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Firstly, RS is not a policy. Secondly, that section on "Generally unacceptable sources" isn't my addition, I merely reverted Crum375's removal of a large section of the guideline with the advice that they discuss it on the talk page. I added the other material to this guideline after a unanimous straw poll here where eleven editors gave their full support for the change. Finally, how on earth can you describe adding something backed by such overwhelming consensus to a guideline as a disruptive edit to a policy? Ths is the last straw for me. I have previously been thinking that you were acting in good faith, but your presentation of this ridiculous list of non-changes and changes supported by clear consensus as "Clearly disruptive editing" has convinced me otherwise. Tim Vickers 12:35, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

The statement which you say "makes no sense at all"—Articles that rely solely on primary sources also require a secondary reliable source—makes perfect sense to someone who edits medical articles. Perhaps it could be better worded so you would understand, but it makes complete sense to me. You don't pull a research article off of PubMed and write an out-of-context article around that purely primary source; you put it in the context of reliable secondary sources to avoid, for example, laypersons drawing their own conclusions from research taken out of context. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:55, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
It's not relying on primary sources if it includes, and indeed requires, secondary sources, so the sentence makes no sense. You should read the rest of the edit, because that wasn't even the worst of it, and it's not a copy edit by any standard. Tim himself was unable to explain what he meant by part of it. Here's another example of him struggling to explain something he added, [13] which is completely meaningless: "A confidential source, i.e. those sources which are considered confidential by the originating publisher may hold uncertain authority, as the original cannot be used to validate the reference." So, in other words, if the New York Times publishes a story based on a leaked secret CIA document, Wikipedia's not allowed to mention it because the "originating publisher" considers it confidential (yes, indeed), and it may "hold uncertain authority." I can't imagine why anyone is trying to defend this kind of editing.
More importantly, Sandy, please address the issue of Marskell saying that non-scholarly sources are being "actively suppressed." Is this something you support, and is it happening at FAC, as he indicates? SlimVirgin (talk) 06:17, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Stop this constant distortion. Just stop. That is an edit on a guideline page where I reverted a deletion of somebody else's material and asked the editors concerned to talk about it on the talk page. Look at the diff. Tim Vickers 23:16, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
There is no distortion. You revert-warred to include badly written, incoherent material, which you now want to dissociate yourself from, because you weren't able to explain what it was trying to say. This suggests you were restoring it without having read it, just to make the point that you must be allowed to edit these pages even if you're adding nonsense. These policies and guidelines need to be stable and they need to make some sense so that when people refer to them, what they came to find is there. If they're constantly changing, or if people can't even parse some of the sentences, they're no use, and may as well not exist.
However, this issue is not about you, no matter how much you're insisting that your edits are vitally important. What is at stake here is the attempt to add to the policies that scholarly sources must be prioritized, and Marskell's claim that non-scholarly reliable sources are being actively suppressed in certain FA articles. That's what needs to be addressed, so if you want to be constructive, rather than keeping your various forest fires lit, please move on and address it. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:27, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
I would love to move on from this endless and tedious evasion of a very simple point. Just provide reasons for your reversion Here is a link for you. Engage with the other editors on the talk page. You must have had reasons for reverting edits. Please provide them. It is that simple. Tim Vickers 23:37, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

S/he did address it, calling it a "deflection" from the issue of how Tim's been received. He's been hit with almost a complete set of the WP:OWN#Comments. In all seriousness, I prefer to hang out on the talk page and not jump into editing policy, and I don't agree with all of Tim's proposed changes, but this atmosphere is poisonous; it discourages editors, even those with a track record as admirable as Tim's, from getting involved. I respect the experience of those who have developed and maintained our core policies, but I'd respect that experience even more if it was used to guide, educate, convince, and develop obvious good-faith contributors who want to become involved in crafting policy. Instead, I'm seeing that experience being asserted to put editors in their place and "actively suppress" dissenting opinion. MastCell Talk 06:47, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Request for advice[edit]

This has gone on too long and does not seem to be getting anywhere. The issue is not the policy, the issue is ownership, misrepresentations and personal attacks. What do people advise me to do? The three options I am considering are.

  1. Walking away from the whole thing, taking a Wikibreak and never going near policy pages again.
  2. Opening a RfC on SlimVirgin and asking for both of our actions to be examined rigorously.
  3. Entering mediation about how policy is edited and discussed (as suggested below).

Advice please. Tim Vickers 13:12, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm saddened by the way you and others have been treated, with WP:BITE, as I do like SlimVirgin and respect her work here. In most cases, as with articles, I would just drop it and not have the patience to spend time going through the dispute resolution process. In this case, policy pages are of sufficient importance, as is civility and WP:OWN of policy pages. The other day, I tried leaving a note on her talk page, trying to reason with her and seek her input on the policy talk pages. When I left my note [14], I noticed notes left by six other people regarding what's been going on with WP:RS, WP:V and WP:NOR. Her response: simply archive her talk page. Discussion is ongoing on the policy talk pages, with others working towards consensus. I tried to get discussion going on WT:V and moving towards consensus, as has Tim on WT:NOR with Wikipedia_talk:No_original_research#Working_towards_a_consensus_wording. SlimVirgin has not participated in those discussions. I don't know how we can work towards consensus with her if she refuses to discuss with people on the policy talk pages. At this point, WP:RFC (regretfully) might not be a bad idea. Going down that path is not a decision to take lightly, but may be necessary. Once and for all, I would like to see this resolved. --Aude (talk) 13:42, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, to each his own. Call me pessimistic, but I highly doubt that any outcome of a RfC on this matter would be productive. I'm still absolutely stunned that such established contributors—indeed, some of the people I respect most here—are involved in such a petty dispute over such a critical aspect of the project. No one has cut anyone any slack, I've seen no willingness to compromise, and the above threads are proof of the—to quote MastCell—poisonous atmosphere that has developed. What could and should have been a productive, civil discussion degenerated almost instantly into an airing of grievances. Tim, I must say it would be a shock to lose an article writer of your caliber over this. It wouldn't be fair for you to be "run out" of policy pages and IMHO it wouldn't be productive for some of our most established editors to go through an invariably pointless dispute "resolution" process. I'm sorry if I have no more advice, and I echo Aude's hope that this situation will be put behind all those involved as soon as possible. Fvasconcellos (t·c) 14:04, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Marskell's comment above is the most accurate, The question to my mind is not whether she does exercise WP:OWN, which should be perfectly obvious to anyone who edits in the area, but whether it's a good or bad thing. On balance, a strong argument can be mounted that her control over policy has been a boon, because the important policies have remained well organized. While I've decided that she doesn't have a clue about best practice in sourcing some areas of the mainspace (which is true of everybody, obviously) I still respect her opinion on the evolution of policy.
SV uses tactics to maintain policy pages that are in general, unacceptable behavior. However she is hardly the only one, she is just the one that you are most likely to get to respond on the talk page. This has been going on for a very long time, few people can be surprised to hear this. However I believe these tactics are in good faith, which simply means the people using them believe they are benefiting Wikpedia. And the most of the the time they probably do benefit Wikipedia. This is not one of those times. At this point, I don't think even Tim believes all of his edits should have been accepted into the policy. However I cannot see how even the staunchest defender of "policy stability" cannot pick out three of Tim's edits as acceptable. There is plenty of middle ground in this dispute. No one has dark motives in this, they just want to make Wikipedia better. Go to mediation. Do not limit mediation to the disputed edits, but include the question of the process for making changes to policy in the dispute. Look for solutions rather than blood, and everyone will be indebted to you all for tackling such a long-standing problem. Policy editing is broken and has been broken for a very long time. There are too many problems with the policies to allow it to stay broken.--BirgitteSB 14:12, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Tim, I hope options 1 and 2 above are not the only choices; it would be an utter disgrace to Wiki if this caused you to stop editing or dampened your enthusiasm about the Project, or took your time away from writing and into the dispute resolution process. Per WP:WBFAN, you are among Wiki's finest (and that doesn't count Tuberculosis, which you saved from FAR), but more importantly, your record on Wiki shows you to be a kind, compromising, consensus-building editor. This is a sad and embarassing moment for Wiki. I hope you'll make a choice that doesn't deprive Wiki of your talent, and know that you didn't deserve for a matter of a few policy edits to degenerate to this. BirgitteSB has wise words, but it's a shame if we should lose a talented writer to a broken process. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:17, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Don't worry Sandy, I'm not making a melodramatic threat of walking away and stopping adding content. I enjoy contributing too much to ever do that! What I am saying is that if an area is so tightly defended by a small group of editors that making a copy-edit of a page that doesn't change its meaning can lead to a revert war, page protection and then a ream of accusation and counter-accusation at ANI, this area is not one I am happy contributing to. Tim Vickers 14:38, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Tim, stop pretending this is about a copy edit. It's about you trying to add that scholarly sources should be prioritized above non-scholarly reliable ones; it's about you wanting to add that uncited material "will" be removed, rather than "may" be; it's about you adding material to the policies that couldn't even be parsed; and it's about Marskell boasting that reliable non-scholarly sources are being "actively suppressed" in science subjects that are FAs. You turned up like a bull in a china shop in an area you have no knowledge of. On the one hand, you insist that expertise matters; on the other hand, you think no expertise is needed to write and maintain policy. Please see the contradition in your position. SlimVirgin (talk) 21:44, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
I have addressed all those points previously SlimVirgin, please stop trying to deflect this discussion with personal attacks and misrepresentations. It might help even just a little if you were to contribute to the discussion of consensus wording on the NOR talk page. Here is a link for you. Two days after you started a revert war and triggered the protection of a policy page, you have not provided reasons for your reverts. That just isn't acceptable. Tim Vickers 22:49, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I've just flicked through this huge, bloated tome for the first time. Slim V, you do such good work on WP, but sometimes I wish you'd be less aggressive. There's nothing worse than having all of your work reverted when most of it involves the improvement of the prose, with only a small proportion in contention. That would make me furious (indeed, it did when my good work cleaning up the mess at FU was whollly reverted after the same fashion.) Why couldn't you have been selective in your reversion, and why couldn't you have engaged with Tim about the issues before/after doing so? (A similar point was made above, I see.) This has become a damaging, hurtful discussion and is going nowhere for the cost. Tony 14:58, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Tony, you haven't read what he tried to add. This is just one example from one page: "A confidential source, i.e. those sources which are considered confidential by the originating publisher may hold uncertain authority, as the original cannot be used to validate the reference." [15] It's terrible writing; it's incoherent (he couldn't even explain it himself), and it implies that if the New York Times publishes material based on a secret CIA document, we couldn't report it!
I don't agree that the discussion is going nowhere. I think it's revealed a problem that's been developing for some time and that needs to be fixed, namely that a small number of users are trying to impose SPOV on certain articles, and now on the policies. SlimVirgin (talk) 21:44, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
As some one who was party to pressing the button which blew this up, mainly due to making the WP:POINT that it was the reverts that were the disruptive behaviour, not the edits, I feel I ought to add by 2p into the pot, albeit with an apology for that disruptive button press. Though a mere 2 year old in Wiki years and not the greatest contributor, I have been involved in voluntary groups of this form for a long time (TeamB sysop in the CompuServe years of the early 1990s, a computer support group that has a lot to do with the emergence of that style of working, very proud of it I was too). One of the biggest problems with such groups, in all walks of life, is that when people go astray it is very hard to deal with, because we all want to be nice and sometimes you have not to be nice.
Everyone must be allowed to be imperfect, but in doing so must allow that we ourselves are imperfect too. I see it as perfectly acceptable to have a little fallout every now and again, but as part of that there is the responsibility to recognise that there are two parties to a disagreement. Walking away from an argument is the best way to inflame the situation. It is this one aspect of behaviour that I would ask SV to consider. I won't dig through the evidence, it is plain, and this leads to a sense of frustration as we cannot resolve a dispute that has arisen out of good faith on both parts if the discussion is only held on the selective terms of one party. I sense SV has great pride in her work, and that is good, but, to be trite, pride comes before a fall. I would ask that SV swallows a little pride, and tries to see that her style is part of the problem (not the cause, but the escalation). However right in principle her aims are, in practice they are working against The Greater Good (citation: Hot Fuzz). Spenny 15:46, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
...oh and without wanting to be too inflammatory, so I will say no more, I would also like to ask Crum375 to consider whether working in concert in the way that he(?) does is also unhelpful. This speaking as one approach does get a little bit spooky, and certainly made me feel uncomfortable. Spenny 15:56, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
IanMSpencer, are you saying that I shouldn't voice my opinion freely? If I happen to agree with someone, I would think that I should be allowed to say so. If there is some censorship rule that you think I am violating, please let me know. Crum375 22:00, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Hi, I am happy that you have an opinion, but I feel that there is a point where where you shadow someone in support, eventually it creates a suggestion of several voices in opposition whereas it is one. I don't have a problem with mates working together, as long as you recognise that sometimes there comes a point where that reinforcement of another voice is not really a separate opinion. I am not wanting to be a nasty person, but as it is all a bit nasty, lets sort out the issues, get upset, make friends again and move on. To be clear, SV has spoken, you have backed up, no 3RR is invoked by co-operation, the superficial view is that it is a consensus of opinion against the change. I wanted to understand the contradiction between SV's reputation and her actions and so I followed her edit log. In the areas she was identified as being contentious, you were there as well. For the sake of moving on, I thought we might as well clean up that bit of slightly stained laundry. So I know that was a contentious statement for me to add, but to properly move on I thought I would. I see already that SV has engaged elsewhere and has recognised my good faith in the comment, so please accept that I am trying to point out in good faith that you are involved too. Honest, I am wanting to be helpful which you would understand if you met me face to face. Ian or Spenny are fine either way, name and surname is a little formal :) Spenny 23:29, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Ian, I am sorry if I am being dense and not following. If I happen to be in support of an editor and voice my opinion to that effect, how is that 'stained laundry'? What am I missing? Crum375 00:15, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Crum, I am sorry that this poor attempt at relaxed writing has made you think there was more to that comment than simply trying to invent a turn of phrase over dirty laundry. I can see that it might have undertones that were not intended and I sincerely apologise. The point you are missing is that as an administrator when things get hot, there is a need to calm things down. However, in places where SV has got overly involved (in my personal opinion), you appear to me to be reinforcing her entrenched positions. As a friend, sometimes you need to say "You're right, but you are handling it wrong." rather than be another pair of hands making the same argument. I see various times where there is a bit of tag wrestling going on. To be clear, I want to raise this because it is not the underlying principles that are necessarily the problem, it is the way that they are being handled which is the inappropriate bit, so as much as some of my contributions have clearly been unhelpful, I think it is important for you to understand that I see you as having contributed to the escalation, rather than being a calming influence. Spenny 09:04, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Tim, I propose option #4: Realize that policy editing here is a hornet's nest, and act accordingly. If that means avoiding policy pages altogether, so be it. If you wish to have a role in policy page development, I advise you to lurk more, observe the patterns and trends that are particular to each policy page, and act very carefully, and sometimes obliquely. You didn't know what kind of minefield you were wading into, and you're not any less of a good editor for making that mistake.

In general, if you're reverted on a policy (or guideline) page, it's especially important to follow best practices (e.g., the zero-revert rule, unfailing civility in the face of personal attacks) and to direct discussion towards finding out why you were reverted and what's at stake. As you get to know the people minding a particular page, they get to know you too, and communication flows more easily. Edits should be made slowly, and with assiduous care regarding subtle changes in meaning. Making the same edit twice is an especially bad idea on policy pages, where stability is so important.

SlimVirgin didn't seem to consider that your error was primarily inexperience with policy pages, and was too quick, it appears, to conclude bad faith. At the same time, she's quite smart and very often correct about policy questions. Of course you're welcome to open an RfC on any topic you like (RfCs on a situation are sometimes more effective than RfCs on a person), but I don't think she's harder to work with than plenty of other Wikipedians, and it's quite possible to generate the constructive dialogue you're after. Be very polite, very direct, and very focused on the edit in question, and you'll do fine. -GTBacchus(talk) 21:30, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Problem is that edits were made to the respective policy and guideline pages based on talk page discussion have been reverted by SlimVirgin. Yet, she has not participated in various discussions going on the policy talk pages that were basis for the edits. - WT:V discussion, WT:NOR, as well as on guideline talk pages - WT:RS. On WP:RS, for example, the edits were supported by all on the talk page, with SlimVirgin saying nothing. But then she reverted on the guideline page, even though changes were made reflecting talk page consensus. That's really not constructive if she will revert and not discuss. That needs to change. --Aude (talk) 21:39, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Gosh, GTBacchus, that's great advice you gave Tim, but that's how he always conducts himself, that's what he did, and it didn't turn out "fine". SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:47, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
I have to agree somewhat there. At the time the change was reverted, there had been reams of talk page discussion, and the consensus of editors who had expressed an opinion on the talk page was in favor of the edit. I don't think Tim was acting precipitously or recklessly, and the response he got was out of proportion to what he actually did. We preach civility, assuming good faith, consensus over unilateral assertion of authority, the zero-revert rule, commenting on content and not the contributor, welcoming interested newbies, no page ownership, etc - but if our most experienced editors can't or won't put those principles into practice when dealing with clearly well-meaning editors on some of our most important pages, what does that say about how seriously we take those principles? The response to Tim (and a few other editors) has had some characteristics of a well-run political campaign - deflect questions, stay on the attack, keep the focus on the inexperience or other perceived shortcomings of your opponent, allege ulterior motives, refer to debate as a waste of time and equivalent to "hostage taking". I'm definitely seeing GTBacchus' first point - that policy pages are a minefield. I guess I'm reluctant to accept the implied second point, which is that things have ever been thus and it's not worth addressing the atmosphere. I'm not trying to single anyone out; I'm not convinced Tim's proposed changes are for the best; at the end of the day I'll always be more interested in editing articles rather than policy - but this spectacle is a little disturbing nonetheless. MastCell Talk 22:07, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Upon reading these replies, I left a message at SlimVirgin's talk page, asking whether she'd comment in this thread. She declined to do so, with a message at my talk page that some readers here may find illuminating. I would suggest that we're talking about two different kinds of edits - some basic copy-edits, that don't change the meaning of the policy at all, and some intended copy-edits that actually introduce differences in meaning, whether intentional or not. It might be helpful to separate those two types of edits; the former can probably be made without controversy, and the latter are probably best left to more extensive discussion. Is it at least clear which edits are which? -GTBacchus(talk) 01:05, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
This issue has already been recognised and certainly in the case of NOR, a sensible approach to resolving this is being undertaken. Spenny 09:08, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Hmm after reading this there seems to be 2 very simple solutions. Deep discussion should take place before changes (even copy-editing) are implemented to policy. Another is SlimVirgin should realize that even though her view and actions on the subject are justified she sometimes does not properly articulate the reasoning for her actions assuming (I'm guessing) that it would be common knowledge. I would encourage SV to be more responsive to established editors who come to policy talk pages. Vandals don't need essay like explanations but established editors should not be brushed off with sentence long responses. Both of this courtesy principals are pretty straightforward and have somehow been missed by editors here. 23:08, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

That's a very good summary. An example of the discussions I have been trying to have on policy pages is Here where a clearer version of the summary of the policy has been developed in multiple drafts by four editors over three days. SlimVirgin's single contribution to this discussion? "I strongly object to this, because it's badly written and therefore unclear.". This abrasive dismissiveness is not acceptable and not constructive. Tim Vickers 23:26, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
My little extra bit of advice is: let's take the pain of this discussion. There are some important issues to see through here and although it is painful, there is good understanding to be gained from working out a better way of resolving policy, which has to be able to embrace the skills of the whole Wiki culture, not just those who know. The principle of stability over resolution is not good. I feel that something good is about to pop out, be optimistic, don't walk away. Spenny 23:49, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
I lack to see any issues to discuss here except lack of understanding and paranoia. Policy pages are to remain stable due to the their importance of being the foundation wikipedia stands on. SV is just trying to insure that, attacking her for WP:OWN is ridiculous. Copy-editing policy should be done with great surgical precision to avoid changing the context of the sentence(s). Changing the context through discussion is miracle work since it requires a great amount of consensus from all sides of wikipedia. Anything in regards to policy should be taken slowly and worked out. I applaud SV for ensuring this. What I do not understand is why she refrained to provide better explanations for her disagreement with edits until here although I can guess. Spending hours on in on wikipedia for such a long time will make you more robotic and inpatient to things you perceive as maintenance work. Also SV engages in policy pages the same way main authors in engage in their articles and is quite understandable. In conclusion I hope SV will understand that talking was a lack on her part. Now SV assertion about scholar-POV agenda from established editors at FAC/FAR is bogus to me. People like Sandy although come off cold at times do try to ensure that sourcing is proper on articles that catch their interest. I haven't really seen any pushing of some scholar-only writing. I would also like to remind everyone that's what going on here might end badly. When editor behavior is in question it's very easy to make "point" comments asserting speculations to be true. Feeling might be hurt and people might leave like is always the case at arbcom. I guess this is the downfall of wikipedia discussion: since it's not a forum every comment has to have a point and come off as strong as possible; making a speculation seem like the truth would be the easiest way. I recommend people shake hands and communicate more on user/article talk pages. There is no need to question people's intentions without properly engaging in conversation with them. This goes for "Tim has scholar-POV agenda" and "SV owns policy pages". People, please be more understand of your "opponents". 00:44, 1 July 2007 (UTC)


I will pick up on the one issue, which is the stability. Early on this was established as the reason for the disconnect. However, WP:STABILITY is not policy per se, nor is there any indication that this is intended to mean set in stone, and I would have thought it was fundamentally against the founding principles (there are no rules). To nearly quote a comment to me, stability is more important than anything else. I think that is the crux of the problem and worth having a little working party have a ponder on, because clearly a number of administrators do seem to accept that as a valid point of view. Be clear though, as someone who probably only even looked at policy pages for the first time 6 months ago (policy seems to be invading the day to day lives of editors more than it used to), there is a warning to be careful, but not any indication that the policy pages are the preserve of some higher being of Wikipedian. So for people of the stature of Tim, for example, to be hauled over the coals for doing something which is actually a sensible thing to do given the public face of the policy is unacceptable - not just for him personally, but for the public in general. If the rule is stability above all else, then policy needs to be taken out of the public domain. However, I do not believe that is the intent - policy is in the ownership of the whole of Wikipedia and as such, with care, must be accessible to all. (If there is a more appropriate place to put this discussion, please put it there and point me there) Spenny 08:55, 1 July 2007 (UTC)


I will list my impressions of what I think I did wrong here. I hope that other people involved can add similar lists of honest self-critical analysis and we can learn from this.

  • I edited too quickly across multiple policy pages.
  • I assumed that a lack of comments on talk pages implied consent.
  • I made an edit here that was a mistake and should have been discussed beforehand.

I hope we can use this particularly acrimonious example of misunderstanding and debate rather than discussion as a stimulus to think about how we can better handle similar conflicts in the future. Tim Vickers 01:10, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Comments like this are a breath of fresh air and very respected by people like myself. I applaud you. 01:28, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Tim, I also very much applaud your grace in this discussion, and I hope it's finally reciprocated. There's so much that's troubling here. One way to put it: SlimVirgin either did not know or did not care that she was dealing with another admin with a completely unblemished record. And she did not know or did not care that, regardless of adminship, she was dealing with a very heavy mainspace editor who's contributions are of the highest order.
At the risk of referring to an old can of worms in the middle of a new one, I'm reminded of Giano's recent comments wrt IRC, which have clear parallels here (entitlement and OWN, how decisions get made, etc.) While his method in raising the issue was ill-considered, I respected one fundamental principal involved: our judgement of another editor should only be do they make the mainspace a better place? Is their motive to leave it better than they found it? If, as in your case, the answer is demonstrably "yes", then the editor must be respected. They shouldn't be glibly reverted and have their good faith challenged.
SlimVirgin deals with a lot of trolls because she edits policy, edits contentious issues in the mainspace, has a large volume of edits in general, and (sad, but true, and I say it with utmost sympathy) she has an identifiably female handle. She deals with bad editors with bad motives, constantly. And I think a very simple act of displacement occurs: when angry, she posts to good editors as if they are trolling. "It's therefore becoming increasingly difficult to assume good faith" to you on WT:V, or "Marskell, are you trying to mislead people deliberately?" to me. Comments like this are uncalled for and not constructive in the slightest.
And this all leads to a very serious question: does SlimVirgin have special prerogatives with regard to policy editing? I would like that question answered. When I come to a mainspace page that I'd like to improve, it's always best to check who has edited it most heavily (various scripts allow you to do so) and to try to involve that person. If you do that on policy, SlimVirgin will almost always come up. Her opinion certainly does matter, and asking her "what do you think of this?" is certainly a good idea. But surely, surely, surely SV does not have a veto over policy. At present, she behaves as if she does. Marskell 08:31, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Marskell, given that Tim and I have agreed to work with one another, it's inappropriate of you to try to drag this out. It's particularly odd for you, given your involvement in ATT, to imply that I have a veto over policy. If I did, neither V nor NOR would exist; ATT would be in place, and ATT/FAQ would have been developed. Maybe I left my veto at home when it was most needed. So we're left with NOR and V, and the task is to ensure that at least they don't deteriorate. Your edits would have caused serious deterioration; in fact, if you'd had your way, V and RS would now contradict the NPOV policy. They were therefore resisted and will continue to be resisted. SlimVirgin (talk) 08:43, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
If you and Tim have worked things out, that's great, and I won't comment further in that regard. So I'll leave it with the last: "does SlimVirgin have special prerogatives with regard to policy editing?" is a question I would like answered. Marskell 09:00, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
As Slim has replied to Tim with good grace, I retract. Marskell 13:29, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

  • (restore indent) Comment I stopped reading the comments after about 10 responses or so when the bashing and attacks started to take over the whole discussion. I wanted to provide a neutral comment and might be able to help the discussion (the original one). I don't know who is who and did also never edited any WP policy. I looked at the edit that was referred to by TimVickers. I also have to say that English is my second language.
Change of Line 16
Original: It introduces a theory or method of solution;
New: It introduces a new theory or method of solution;
My opinion
The original statement means to me (if taken literally) that no theories are allowed in Wikipedia articles, only proven facts. Knowing that there are a lot of theories mentioned in articles and that even articles about theories exist, I would shake my head and "violate" the rule. The new version clarifies that a theory is not a problem, but that a new theory is. Big difference.
Line 27
Original: The only way to show that your work is not original research is to produce a reliable published source who writes about the same claims or advances the same argument as you.
New: The only way to show that your work is not original research is to produce a reliable published source that advances the same claims or makes the same argument as you.
My opinion
Here I would not use "advances" in any case and change it to "makes the same claims and arguments". The addition of "advances" inplies (for me) that as long as the reference is about the same subject and makes speculations and advances, I can make my own speculations and advances in the Wikipedia article (to demonstrate a conflict for example).
There were a bunch of occurences of "or" replaced with "and", which should be carefully reviewed, those little changes are similar to some law changes by the patriot act. The change of an or to and or vice versa changes the meaning of a sentence a lot. Each of those changes should only be made with having a clear consensus and prior discussion (which is implied by "having a consensus".

Those are my two cents. Hope it helps. Thanks. --roy<sac> Talk! .oOo. 18:26, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

It might be best to comment on the copy-edit in the talk page section I set up to arrive at a consensus wording. The link is Here. Several editors have contributed to this, but unfortunately not everybody who was involved in the reversion conflict has chosen to comment, so this is only the provisional wording at the moment. Tim Vickers 01:18, 2 July 2007 (UTC)


I've removed the protection, it all seems calmer. Hiding Talk 12:38, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Month-long backlog[edit]

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but there's a month-long backlog at Category:Images with no fair use rationale. Any assistance here is GREATLY appreciated. Borisblue 06:50, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

I know it doesn't help the backlog, but I have placed fair-use rationales on all radio and TV station/network related images. I would do more, but I only know how to rationale radio and TV station/network logos. Take Care and Happy 4th....NeutralHomer T:C 09:35, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm just curious, why wouldn't that help the backlog? Borisblue 17:41, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
It was only about 50 to 100 images out of what seems like maybe 2,500 or more. So, 100 wasn't alot. - NeutralHomer T:C 17:54, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
This backlog was caused by the one-month moratorium on deletions that expired on July 1. We've been reducing the backlog, but it will probably take a little time. --After Midnight 0001 14:35, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/PalestineRemembered[edit]

Because the dispute being arbitrated has resolved and any restrictions on the involved editors have been lifted, this arbitration case has been closed with no further action being taken. This notice is given by a clerk on behalf of the Arbitration Committee. Newyorkbrad 15:46, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

AFD discussion[edit]

I'm looking for advice. User:Serenesoulnyc created several articles in the past, and I just nominated two of them for deletion because their references did not check out. However, someone in the AFD discussion sort of implied that I made the nomination in bad faith. I said I would request comment by more knowledgeable Wikipedians, but I don't know where to make the request. Does WP:RFC handle requests on AFD discussions? Or should I just wait for other people who may want to comment? — Zerida 20:16, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

(Shrug) I don't see any problem. It's clear to me (and to you) that this was a good faith nomination, so try not to worry about it. FWIW, I don't think Dan Gluck was implying anything different - he was trying to think out loud, if this article isn't a hoax, why should we want to delete it? This should be the worst of your troubles on Wikipedia. Amen. Shalom Hello 20:35, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't see anyone implying that the nomination was made in bad faith, either. Dan Gluck just said that the article's creator "got involved in some fight with Zerida"; he doesn't even connect that to the nomination... and he's still for "merge or neutral", which isn't how people usually react when they think a nomination was made in bad faith. --Aquillion 16:51, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate the feedback. However, Dan Gluck has chosen not to clarify what he said, and I've also been unsuccessful in getting others to discuss the claims presented in the article more thoroughly. I've decided to withdraw the nomination so that it does not become about my motivations rather than the article's content. Hopefully, someone who has not had the misfortune of dealing with the Serenesoulnyc episode will choose to address it. — Zerida 20:59, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
That is... extreme. After all, it was headed towards delete. And then someone closed it as withdrawn (which isn't usually done when the nominator withdraws after someone else supported deletion), then changed it to delete (which short-circuits its five days on AFD, but is at least probably where it was heading anyway). Well, whatever, it seems all right. --Aquillion 01:47, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Actually, it's not "extreme" to request that a nomination for deletion be withdrawn if doubts were cast about the nominator's intentions. WP:AFD states that "If the reasons given in the nomination are addressed by editing, the nomination should be withdrawn by the nominator." In addition, WP:DP states: "It is also inappropriate to request deletion because of an editorial dispute." I felt that this was the implication made by changing a vote twice with the reason given being "a fight"–a mischaracterization of what had actually ensued between me and the article's creator. I would have been perfectly satisfied with an opposition to my deletion proposal for content reasons that did not seem to reflect on my character. I did not prticularly appreciate it after I gave a reference-by-reference explanation of why this could not possibly have been genuine research.
At any rate, I don't want to belabor the issue. I was just going to mention that Jewish Slave trade still appears to be alive and kicking after taking a closer look at this user's contributions. Not clear why it was duplicated; perhaps the creator feared one would be deleted or tried to make a redirect but didn't know how. It may be a candidate for speedy deletion, but I would ask again that it be re-nominated by someone who did not interact with its creator and let it run its course this time. Some of his other work appears curiously genuine [16], but again it could use a second a look. Also, I have closed my other related nomination as 'Withdrawn' (a person who left input there after I withdrew the nomination is a confirmed though unrelated sockpuppet). I would encourage someone to re-nominate that one too. — Zerida 01:53, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Badlydrawnjeff[edit]

This arbitration case has now closed and the decision may be found at the link above. Badlydrawnjeff is cautioned to adhere to the letter and the spirit of the Biographies of living persons policy. Violetriga is admonished for undeleting content deleted under WP:BLP without first undergoing a full discussion to determine its appropriateness, as outlined here. Night Gyr is cautioned to avoid undeleting BLP content without going through a full discussion. For the arbitration committee, David Mestel(Talk) 17:20, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Principle #4 in this case could set new policy for BLP. The question is, do ArbCom decisions stand as policy en.Wikipedia-wide? If so, then someone needs to add the wording from this case to the BLP policy page. CLA 23:13, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't, and they don't. WP:BLP says that, and WP:CSD may - I haven't kept track of the back and forth editing there. ArbCom doesn't set policy, but their precendents are often watched (comparable to the American Supreme Court, versus policies as "laws"). ArbCom decisions don't prevent policies from later being changed, either. WilyD 23:29, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Arbitration decisions impact policy in complex ways. Just suppose there was no consensus for a change in policy, and just suppose an editor encountered an extremely damaging article and deleted it "per BLP". And just suppose another editor, without discussion or seeking consensus, undeleted it as "out of process deletion". A naive person might think that, the policy not having changed, it would be okay to do that. However the arbitration committee has ruled here that the spirit as well as the word of the BLP matters, and that undeleting a BLP deletion without consensus is against the spirit of the policy.
But of course someone who goes and deletes stuff simply because he thinks he can get away with it isn't going to have much joy either. I don't think those who have lamented this ruling so loudly on the talk page of the proposed decision have realised how balanced it really is. Although the Biographies of living persons policy is important, abusing it for arbitrary deletions would be just as much against the spirit of the policy as capriciously undeleting, and would attract similar sanctions. --Tony Sidaway 23:47, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
The topic of ArbCom decisions and policy I think is important, especially since I've observed editors being threatened with blocks and blocking rationales that quote ArbCom opinions/decisions. Either ArbCom makes or defines policy or they don't. I don't have a problem with either one, as long as this is stated somewhere in unambiguous terms. In this case, ArbCom does appear to be adding further detail or definition to the policy with the line, "The burden of proof is on those who wish to retain the article to demonstrate that it is compliant with every aspect of the policy." I just reviewed WP:BLP and don't see a statement to this effect in the current policy, therefore, ArbCom appears to me to have added some definition to the policy, if, in fact, they have the authority to do so. CLA 01:29, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
They don't set policy, we do. ViridaeTalk 01:31, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Up to a point. Conduct of disputes is in the hands of the arbitration committee, which gives the committee the final say across a great swathe of policy. It's collective view cannot be cast to one side. --Tony Sidaway 01:38, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Okay, but does it state this anywhere on a policy page? If it did, in which policy page would such a statement be most appropriate? CLA 01:44, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
You're still looking at the words on the page. As I said before, the spirit of the policy is what matters. Editors who say "but it isn't written anywhere in the policy document" are likely to get short shrift from the arbitrators in BLP cases. --Tony Sidaway 13:03, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Being that the "spirit" of the policy can be applied pretty much without consequence and to vastly different interpretations doesn't help matters. The intention of BLP was to get rid of unsourced and possibly libelous information on Wikipedia, it's now morphed into an ill-defined "Protect the victim" catch all. How can it possibly be argued that by protecting Tanya Kach follows the spirit of the policy? I'm sure Doc and JzG mean well, but given that the AFD was speedily closed (after DRV sent it back there), quite a few would argue that such a backdoor deletion is not in the spirit of BLP and is detrimental to the encyclopedia. Short shrift from the arbitrators? Given the absolute "spirit of BLP" paranoia that affected Newyorkbrad at Talk:Michael J. Devlin, I'm not sure it really matters. - hahnchen 00:13, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
I think cautioning him as suggested by ArbCom is pretty much futile. He's effectively left the project. bibliomaniac15 BUY NOW! 01:34, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
The general principle to be drawn from this case is that reasoned opposition to a policy does not exempt an editor from following the policy. There is no change to the policy itself implied. Chick Bowen 02:06, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Complex interwiki link question[edit]

Will parser functions work on MediaWiki pages? Would it be possible to include something on MediaWiki:Dellogpagetext that, for images only, would link to the deletion log for the same image name at commons? Chick Bowen 16:32, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

You can try asking over at the Village Pump. Sasquatch t|c 16:56, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
They don't work properly (although I seem to remember they do work in some situations), but there's a workaround that sometimes works. You can put the parserfunctions in a template (make sure to full-protect it; such templates traditionally start Template:MediaWiki_), using $1 and $2 (etc.) literally in the template to refer to the params of the MediaWiki page. (Remember to test this carefully; it's a bit of a hacky solution, and if I remember correctly it doesn't always work.) --ais523 17:21, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks--those templates are useful--hadn't known about any of those. I'm now remembering the last time I tried something fancy like this, though, when I broke stuff and got yelled at. . . Chick Bowen 02:36, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Pointy AfDs[edit]


Could an admin close these two AfDs? (AfD Alfonso Fraga and AfD La Mansion). The nominator (and author) User:Callelinea AfDd them to make a WP:POINT after numerous COI articles of theirs were AfD, and believes if these pass AfD now, they can't be deleted in the future. They have also voted Keep on both AfDs. I'd close them myself as an uncontroversial nomination withdrawn, but I commented on both, so probably best not to. EliminatorJR Talk 21:47, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedian protester[edit]

At, [17]. Well, it amused me anyway ;) --Steve (Stephen) talk 00:38, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Very cute! It would be a nice stunt if someone actually did this at a rally. Is anyone here likely to be invited to one? :-) -- ChrisO 00:42, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Heee. I emailed the creator to release that one under cc-by or cc-by-sa. I think it would be a hilarious addition to his article (He appears to be a Wikipedian, from the note here. -N 01:02, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
He has his own article (Randall Munroe) and the talk page says that he has edited under the username Xkcd (talk · contribs). hbdragon88 01:33, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Didn't he also make a fake Wikipedia article out of his whiteboard a couple weeks ago? I think I saw it on the village pump.
That comic scares me, since I see myself reflected in it far more often than I would like to. --tjstrf talk 01:55, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
My mother has hated me ever since I showed her the comic about cats. [18] She says now whenever she talks to her cats she thinks about that comic and it makes her feel dumb. Heh. --Golbez 02:23, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
I found it [19] hbdragon88 02:05, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Even there, you have penis vandalism. How sad. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 03:03, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Very sad. Ha, next rally I go to I am SO tempted to bring one of those signs ;). Loved the wiki-whiteboard! :) CattleGirl talk 05:50, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Student organization officer lists[edit]

A few people are protesting my removal of a list of national officers for a student organization I'm involved with off-wiki. As far as I know, it's always been a Wikipedia standard not to include such lists (for the same reasons we don't allow schools to have lists of a student government executive board). Is my interpretation correct? Is there a relevant standard that I'm missing that I should point them towards? I say it falls under, mostly, not a directory but just want opinions to see if I'm missing something bigger than that. Thanks, Metros 11:44, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

No, definitely delete. Generally, student organizations are not important enough to impart any notability to their officers. --Haemo 11:48, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh, trust me, I know that; I'm just looking for a better way to explain this in them using relevant policies. Metros 11:53, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Unblocking Anarcho-capitalism[edit]

Resolved: Account remains blocked. -- Jonel (Speak to me) 22:38, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Hi. I've been in touch with Anarcho-capitalism (talk · contribs) via email. This user is currently blocked as a sockpuppet of Billy Ego (talk · contribs), based on a checkuser that found them coming from the same geographic area. The IP addresses, however, are dymanic. Having reviewed the contributions of both users (and some other suspected socks), I believe they are different people, and that Anarcho-capitalism is a good faith contributor who's been caught in somebody else's block.

There was also a suspicion that Anarcho-capitalism is the same person as the infamous User:RJII. Having reviewed their contributions, I believe these are also different people. Anarcho-capitalism wants to contribute to Wikipedia without being caught by other users' blocks, and I'm inclined to give him a chance. Before unblocking, I'm submitting the situation for other admins' consideration.

This editor has used multiple accounts to work around blocks in the past (User:Personal Business and User:FargoWells are two examples), but has agreed to use the one account, User:Anarcho-capitalism, and to work with me to avoid some of the problems he's run into in the past. He also requests that his roommate's account, Regulations (talk · contribs) be unblocked, as another piece of collateral damage.

The editor points out that, even if one were to think that he's the same as Billy Ego or RJII, the behavior for which those editors are banned doesn't seem to be exhibited from the Anarcho-capitalism account, so there's no real preventative benefit to the block. He's also agreed not to repost his controversial userpage that was MfD'd before. What do other admins think? -GTBacchus(talk) 18:56, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

  • Support unblock. I am not an administrator, but I have enough pattern recognition at WP:SSP to see that, checkuser be damned, this is far from a clear-cut case. I can see from User talk:Anarcho-capitalism (what I can't see in the emails) that the user is legitimately surprised to be blocked forever, and doesn't seem to be fooling around as a kind of "spite check." I'm more than willing to give him a second chance. Shalom Hello 19:30, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Blocking admin: Doesn't worry me, I think the block was requested on one of these noticeboards citing the arbitration case I used as the block summary. ViridaeTalk 00:32, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
    • Starting point here would be to consult with the checkuser who did the check if he is around. (If this was one of the socks picked up during the Billy Ego arbitration case, though, the check was done by Mackensen, who is on a wikibreak right now.) Newyorkbrad 00:34, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
      • You may want to see Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser/Case/Billy Ego as well - quite a litany. In the meantime, I oppose unblocking this editor in the strongest possible terms. A large number of his socks have popped up on anarchism-related pages, and they've invariably been disruptive. Another characteristic is impassioned pleas of innocence, claims that checkuser made a mistake, claims of shared computers, roommates, etc. Once the unblock request is declined, these tend to morph into admissions of guilt and vengeful threats that their next sockpuppet will be able to slip by checkuser. Regulations (talk ·