Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)

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The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss proposed policies and guidelines and changes to existing policies and guidelines.
If you want to propose something new that is not a policy or guideline, use Village pump (proposals).
If you have a question about how to apply an existing policy or guideline, try one of the many Wikipedia:Noticeboards.
This is not the place to resolve disputes over how a policy should be implemented. Please see Wikipedia:Dispute resolution for how to proceed in such cases.

Please see this FAQ page for a list of frequently rejected or ignored proposals.

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Has policy changed re: inline use of sister project linking?[edit]

I've recently seen more inline linking in article text to articles in other language projects, where it supposedly even is OK to use that method for sourcing. Having always thought that we need to source articles speciically, not in an indirect manner like that, I'd like to know if there has been a policy change since I first logged in 10 years ago. Anyone know? --SergeWoodzing (talk) 17:00, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

To my knowledge, all Wikipedias (including our own) are unreliable sources per WP:UGC. They may (and should) cite reliable sources for their assertions, but those sources need to be cited again here. Putting a link to the other Wikipedia article in the citation (like this: [1]) is not enough. DaßWölf 19:28, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
@SergeWoodzing: We should not reference to any open wiki, and do not consider ourselves a reliable source. If the article on, say, de.wikipedia has a sentence that has a reference there, then you don't link to the german article, you use the reference from there. --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:17, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
Agree with those two. Of course, not all editors know this, but hopefully they won't explode when you tell them. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 07:51, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
It's quite important to distinguish between citing other wikis (which is not acceptable) and linking to articles in foreign language wikis where an English language article does not yet exist. For instance "with musicologist Cornelia Schröder-Auerbach [de] and violist and composer Hanning Schröder [de], in 1930 he founded the Harlan Trio" is acceptable but the example given by Daß Wölf is not. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 09:05, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
Martin of Sheffield, note that I there accept the use if the ill template, not de:Hanning Schröder (which appears as a bluelink). —Dirk Beetstra T C 09:13, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

Reflist - Has policy changed re: inline use of sister project linking?[edit]


  1. ^ de:Hauptseite. German Wikipedia. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
@SergeWoodzing:, it would be much easier to answer this question if you could give a concrete example where a link to another language Wikipedia has been considered acceptable as a source. Phil Bridger (talk) 08:20, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
Thank you! After receiving highly appreciated opinions here, I made this change yesterday to the latest one of several during the past months. There is an older example with four svWP links toward the end of the first § here. I have not made any changes there yet. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 17:29, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
In neither of those cases is/was the interwiki link being used as a reference here. Phil Bridger (talk) 17:42, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
You are right. Part of my question, however, regardless of references, is whether or not we are now OK to use interwiki inline citations linking like those that, when subjects do not have articles on enWP. I haven't thought we are supposed to do that. Perhaps Google translate has improved to a degree which makes it more feasible to do that nowadays? --SergeWoodzing (talk) 18:21, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
Depends on language, Svante Thunberg g-translated seems rather helpful/understandable to me (I like the The Archipelago Doctor translation). Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 19:07, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
Once again, these are links, not citations. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:12, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
Phil Bridger: sorry i misstyped last time above. Fixed now. Are you - or is anyone else - willing to address the question as it does not pertain only to citations?

Does anyone know if it now has become acceptable to add inline links to subjects where there are articles in sister-language projects but none here as yet?--SergeWoodzing (talk) 19:34, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

As far as I am aware that practice has always been regarded as acceptable. The ill template has been around since 2013, but my memory goes back further than that. Can you provide any evidence that this was ever considered unacceptable? It seems obvious to me that this is good practice, because any individual language Wikipedia will inevitably be subject to a bias towards articles that can be sourced in that language. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:52, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
  • My understanding has always been that we should NOT include inline links to articles in other projects (such as other language WPs). This is primarily due to the fact that other projects and language WPs have different core policy rules than we here at enWP do (ie they don’t follow our rules on Verification, NPOV, NOR, Notability, etc.) Blueboar (talk) 20:07, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Whenever a title is suitable for a red link it is also suitable for an interwiki link. Why on Earth not? Let's not assume that the English Wikipedia is the be all and end all, and that it is anywhere near complete, particularly when it comes to topics whose sources are not in English. Phil Bridger (talk) 21:09, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
Help:Interlanguage_links#Inline_links may have something helpful, my reading is that using them (like Cornelia Schröder-Auerbach [de]) is a case-by-case consensus thing. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 20:55, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

Thank you all, but my question is not (not) about red links, where I understand, it's about blue links that go directly to articles on other language Wikis. Acceptable? --SergeWoodzing (talk) 15:11, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

  • Well.... in general, other wikipedia's shouldn't be considered a "reliable source" to be used in a reference, regardless of how the linking mechanics are performed. — xaosflux Talk 15:28, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
Ah, you mean like in "Ulf Brunnberg, Kisa Magnusson, Bill Öhrström and Bruno Wintzell". IMO bad idea and potentially annoying for readers. In general, a "normal-looking" wikilink should not take you outside en-WP. The ill-template is preferable. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 15:38, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
I agree. The {{ill}} template, which I was unaware of before this discussion, gives the best of both worlds: a local red link and a live link to another language Wikipedia with further information. Phil Bridger (talk) 16:30, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
Thank you again! I too agree. And I've learned something new, now again, despite being an old dog. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 17:46, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
SergeWoodzing, the answer is in WP:SISTER. "Normal-looking" inline links to other language editions of Wikipedia are not absolutely banned, but they are discouraged. However, regular links to Wikisource (e.g., you're talking about a non-notable document that Wikisource happens to have a copy of) and Wiktionary (e.g., words that may be unfamiliar to some readers) are accepted. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:09, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Attempting to overturn recent consensus[edit]

I was looking for a project page that stands for the proposition that an editor should not attempt to revisit a topic for which a discussion was just closed by starting a new discussion on the same topic. Since WP:TOOSOON is taken by a page on people seeking admin rights before they are ready, I decided to expand and repurpose my prior essay on moratoriums into Wikipedia:Attempting to overturn recent consensus. Let me know if I've missed anything. Cheers! bd2412 T 21:04, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

This appears to be a new proposal that would require consensus to implement. If this is the page where the consensus is supposed to be achieved, I support the proposal as it appears to be in good working order, although it should not apply when any new request is substantially different from previous ones. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 21:34, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
It might be worth adding some language to that effect, and delineating factors that make a new request substantially different from previous ones. bd2412 T 21:42, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
BD2412, I think it is nice expansion from WP:Moratoria.
It is a mix of sort-of existing and recognized best practice, to wait before trying the same thing again, and is gently pushing the concept further. It crosses the unclear line between essay and proposal. It is very similar to WP:RENOM, which is primarily for seeking deletion after an AfD "keep" decision.
It lacks comment on relitigating a discussion that was closed as "no consensus". These cases tend to be worst cases of beating dead horses until the community gets more than annoyed. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:07, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
I agree. Somewhere in Wikipedia we need to provide some guidance on when it is not okay to try to hastily relitigate something where strong feelings have not yet settled, and this is a start. bd2412 T 14:31, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
Any protection against reopening a topic needs to be dependent on the original discussion having been notified to any relevant/interested projects, and on it having been held in the right place. Cabayi (talk) 14:39, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
I agree with this idea. Perhaps come up with some redirects to point to this essay with some shorter titles, so that people can find this more easily. Sm8900 (talk) 14:47, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
Good idea, if it is workable. Earlier this year we had a suggestion that "chairman" be changed into furniture or some neologism. The proposal failed to achieve consensus. Within hours of being closed it was reopened, with the same result. Immediately after that it was reopened for a third time. When you see behaviour like this it is pretty pointless taking part in an RfC. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 15:11, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
@Cabayi: I agree, but do you have wording in mind for this? For now I am just copying what you wrote. bd2412 T 17:39, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
BD2412, the gloss you added to my text fills out the balancing points. I'm happy. Thanks, Cabayi (talk) 09:10, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
Just for the record, WP:TOOSOON is about notability and WP:NOTNOW is about RfA. (We really need to fix this, but I don’t know how.) —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 22:39, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
Well I knew it was one of them. Still, no policy page (or any guidance) one when it is too soon to start a new discussion of a previously settled issue. bd2412 T 23:17, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I think this needs to be taken on a case by case basis. I was recently involved in a case where I requested for a "consensus" to be overturned. Long story short the proposal gained "consensus", but it was big change that affected a lot of projects, and was against other Wikipedia policies. The original submitters suggested that they advertised this widely, but for a such a big change I successfully argued to re-open it on the basis that it needed to have much more input to even argue there was consensus. After many months the whole debate was closed as no consensus, because in reality there was no consensus. So I have strong feelings about consensus, and perhaps the outcomes should have votes for/against/abstain in summaries. Consensus should be able to be overturned if there is consensus that it should be. However there needs to be balance of being able to overturn inappropriate change, against repeatedly bringing the same proposal to a table. I think a sensible way of doing this is that if recurrent RfC on the same topic are proposed, then it should be escalated to admin/multiple admin/governing board at some level. It really just needs everyone to play honestly. Master Of Ninja (talk) 09:19, 12 October 2019 (UTC)

American or British spelling? Neither.[edit]

This discussion was more a request for comment generally on issues related to WP:ENGVAR rather than a firm proposal. There is no consensus. The proposer Getsnoopy is going to use the results of this discussion to write a proposal on his proposed changes (see below, but in summary to propose to standard all English variants to Oxford spelling). I will leave the proposer to make the decision on best forum to post, however Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals) could be an option. I note the concerns below of multiple initiated discussions: it is better having one centralised discussion and crossposting a link to this to other relevant boards, although please check the WP rules on crossposting before doing this. Further once the proposal has been posted it may be worthwhile to inform editors participating in this discussion, and to make reference that this discussion (and related discussions on other boards) has been previously completed. - Master Of Ninja (talk) 08:27, 22 October 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I don't understand why this has historically been made a bigger issue than it should be. Clearly, picking one or the other inevitably brings up defensiveness, so why not pick a 3rd neutral option? Retain MOS:TIES, but in the case that an article doesn't have any real ties (e.g., science), use Oxford spelling. It's the most etymologically accurate, most neutral, most international version of English used by almost every international organization. In terms of vocabulary, keep the current policy where you follow the standard that's already been established in the article, and/or maintain MOS:COMMONALITY. Having a "retain the variant of English used by the OP (original poster)" policy creates a silly first-mover advantage for article creators in some sort of race to create a bunch of article stubs tagged with their favourite variant of English and effectively tie the hands of all subsequent contributors. And supporting multiple variants of spelling is absolutely asinine in my opinion. If 193 countries around the world and basically every international organization can agree on a common standard, why can't Wikipedia? Getsnoopy (talk) 18:22, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

  • Because we reached a consensus to allow more flexibility. Blueboar (talk) 18:27, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
  • The standard is to use the most appropriate variant for the article in question. See WP:COFAQ#ENGLISH and MOS:ENGVAR. I feel as long as the English is readable and understandable these slight variances shouldn't be a problem. However every now and again someone wants to push their own view of what is correct English onto the whole of Wikipedia, which then generates pushback, and leads to extended debates rather than improving Wikipedia. Trying to standardise things will never generate consensus - see the whole debacle the lasted months over trying to spell organisation/organization. I think the OP also is incorrect in stating that other organisations have agreed on a standard: in reality if you want to do work you can have to be pragmatic and accept slight variants in English. And these are variants in that apart from slight spelling differences there is complete mutual comprehensibility. We should not worry too much over this. - Master Of Ninja (talk) 08:53, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
    • @Master Of Ninja: The UN (and therefore all countries that interact through that body) uses Oxford spelling exclusively, as does the IMF, ISO, IEC, BIPM, etc. I've never considered "it's not a big deal" to be a good argument, if at all. The same could be said about many things in WP:MOS because one could say, "At the end of the day, what matters is the message getting across. Grammar, spelling, style, formatting, etc. are all secondary." The point of standards is to make communication efficient and frictionless. Insofar as that is possible, we should strive for it. Getsnoopy (talk) 20:52, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
      • @Getsnoopy: The standard is English and most people can get around the common variants of spellings. What is your actual proposal here? The way you've formatted the original post is a general complaint about a contentious subject that is already explained in MOS:ENGVAR. Is it the Oxford spellings you want to standardise around? If so say so. I'm not sure further discussion without a proposal is a good use of time. If you really want to change a policy I would go and build consensus for a view, and then form a proper argument and subject it a RFC (not sure which board is most appropriate). I wish you luck with this as it requires a lot of energy, which is IMHO better spent just making and editing good articles. Another option is to get involved with some of the technical side of Wikipedia - there was a suggestion of porting over something that is used in another language Wikipedia (?variants of Chinese) that automatically translates the spelling based on your dialect. Master Of Ninja (talk) 09:07, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
        • @Master Of Ninja: Yes, that's what I'm proposing. I said that in no unclear terms: "Clearly, picking one or the other inevitably brings up defensiveness, so why not pick a 3rd neutral option? Retain MOS:TIES, but in the case that an article doesn't have any real ties (e.g., science), use Oxford spelling." As for improving WP, while I agree with you that there are many ways of improving WP, I think this is one of the ways to do that as well. Getsnoopy (talk) 20:00, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
          • @Getsnoopy: Your original post then needs to be clearer that this is what you are proposing. I feel that the current consensus is actually the most pragmatic and inclusive for editors, however don't listen to a naysayer like me and if you want to propose it, propose it. I would however start a new thread and *explicitly* state that this is your proposal, rather than write it what looks like a complaint that has been discussed many times over the years. Like I say village pump may not be the best place to discuss this but I'll leave that up to you to decide; not the best place as if you want to effect change you really, *really* need to engage stakeholders and come up with a consensus or more like supermajority of editors/admins in charge to make a common style standard. I would start your proposal as e.g. "Proposal to make English style as Oxford English", state what your proposal and define Oxford English, and then state your reasons why you want this to be done, and to make it balanced benefits and drawbacks. I would start as a request for comment before potentially pushing it to a vote. Again good luck with this. Master Of Ninja (talk) 08:55, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
            • @Master Of Ninja: I'll be sure to do that; I guess as this discussion has been progressing, I changed my proposal to the one at the bottom of this section if you want to take a look. Which venues do you suggest I make this proposal in? And which stakeholders do you suggest I engage to make progress on this? Getsnoopy (talk) 21:52, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
              • @Getsnoopy: I'm not sure where your proposal is, but then again there's so much in the thread now I've lost where everything is. Anyway you can get a flavour of why people are in favour of WP:ENGVAR here. I'm not sure which forum is best to propose something like this in - have a look at the MOS pages and the general Village pump pages to see where it best fits in. It may need crossposting, but again don't know the rules on this as I tend to focus on editing rather than stay on WP politics - the only reason I have this page on my watchlist was that someone some time ago tried to push through a proposal in (my perception) a fairly underhanded way. There will be a lot of stakeholders with different views so can't really list them all, but they will be under the umbrella of wikipedia editors. Master Of Ninja (talk) 06:17, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I would love Wikipedia to agree on a standard, whatever standard that might be, but we have enough editors who are not willing to agree on a standard to make that impossible. An example of how we can not agree on a standard in one tiny area, let alone for the whole of Wikipedia, can be found at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 153#RFC: spelling of "organisation"/"organization" in descriptive category names. We Brits are perfectly capable of reading American books written in English, just as Americans can read sources written in Indian English, with no problem, so this should not be an issue. The only problem I remember ever having had in this area is with pronunciation rather than spelling, when, when I was following an online course in architecture, the instructor kept talking about "nitches". It took me a bit of time before I realised that she was talking about niches, which I would pronounce very differently. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:35, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
    • I totally agree. I have seen some of the most absurd and wasteful edits over the diff twixt AmerEnglish and BritEnglish, AusEnglish and the idea of CanaEnglish or JamaEnglish or any other country where English is the primary language such as Liberia, boggles the mind.
    • @Phil Bridger: But that's exactly the crux of my point: I wouldn't be OK with any standard, since I, for example, don't agree with American spelling even though I'm American. And again, this is not to say that the other aspects of a dialect should be standardized as well (vocabulary, etc.); I'm merely talking about spelling. So I'd be fine with people using "elevator" vs. "lift" or "trash can" vs. "rubbish bin" as long as we spell them the same way. And I think the reason people haven't been willing to agree is that the options presented have always been one particular national variant at the expense of another. As far as I can tell (and search for), I haven't seen Oxford spelling being proposed as a standard. Getsnoopy (talk) 02:14, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
  • To me I don't care if it is spelled color or colour, neighbor or neigbour, labor or labour, my only peeve is with colloquialisms that are not known or used outside of a region (Angle land and Mericke have plenty), Oldperson (talk) 20:44, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
    • This edit was reverted because it wasn't believed to be policy. I was told to take it to "the talk page".What talk page? The comment was agreement. This editor doesn't see what a big deal it is if an edit is made in AmerEnglish or BritEnglish.Oldperson (talk) 01:25, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above. This is a long-contentious area of Wikipedia, and there's no likelihood or reason for the consensus to change. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 01:44, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
    • @John M Wolfson: Well the point is about whether it's a reasonable proposal, not what its likelihood of success is. If everybody thinks it is reasonable and should change, then obviously, the likelihood of its success is 100% regardless of old consensus. Getsnoopy (talk) 02:14, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oh boy, an evergreen discussion. But MOS:ENGVAR is pretty clear, and to me at least it doesn't make sense to not use Australian English on some very Australian articles. SportingFlyer T·C 11:11, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
    • @SportingFlyer: I actually don't think this specific discussion has been had. In the past, most people have proposed using one national variety wholesale, which is not what I'm proposing. And you'd still be able to use Australian English in terms of vocabulary, grammar, etc., just not spelling. Besides, Oxford spelling is quite similar to that of Australian spelling. And all of this notwithstanding, I'm only proposing Oxford spelling for generic articles; MOS:TIES would still be retained for all articles with strong national ties. Getsnoopy (talk) 20:34, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
  • The idea of "Oxford spelling" as some kind of compromise between various competing spelling standards might be tempting in theory, but in fact you're basically suggesting that we write a significant number of articles in an form of spelling that essentially no editors or readers use in their daily lives. Oxford spelling is no less arbitrary than any particular national variety of English, and it has the disadvantage of being unfamiliar to everyone, aside from UN bureaucrats and British academic journal editors, I guess. Even the least-common English regional spelling variety is at least accepted as normal by those native to that region. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 23:35, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
    • ?? Loads of Brits, including me, use Oxford spelling all the time. I think you're under a misapphension there. But there is a lot more to ENVAR than the limited number of issues Oxford spelling would settle. No need to to heckle, Getsnoopy. Johnbod (talk) 23:41, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
    • Loads of Brits reading something using Oxford spelling would just think it is American. MilborneOne (talk) 14:36, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
      • There's no perfect answer, and the system we have is probably the least-bad one. I'm not in favor of "You must always do it this way" type prescriptions when avoidable. It's alienating. The current system gives some leeway to article creator, which is fine. Don't muzzle the ox that treads out the corn.

        Also, I mean if you wanted to lock down one single standard, I suppose the best would probably be American English rather than Oxford spelling or anything else. Reason being -- I looked this up, and was actually quite surprised -- about 2/3 of native English speakers are Americans. England and Canada and South Africa and Australia &c. taken together are large, but America is very large. I'm not recommending this, tho. Herostratus (talk) 18:38, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
        • @Herostratus: There are many rules in WP:MOS which outline how one "must always do it this way", and yet there are no complaints there even though a lot of those rules vary among countries, dialects, and even publishers. As for American English, the US's English-speaking population is only about 25% of all English speakers in the world, and the remaining 75% speaks some variant of British/Commonwealth English. Wikipedia is not only for "native English speakers", so using native English speaker statistics serve as a weak argument. The fact that WP hasn't been able to settle on American English as the standard for everything is no coincidence considering those facts. Getsnoopy (talk) 04:12, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
          • Actually, there are plenty of complaints, but the MoS regulars (I sort of speak as one, I guess, though a bit malvolentieri) are organized and manage to shut them down. Trying to impose British spelling on American editors, as a site-wide preference, would be a whole different ball of wax. They won't put up with it. I won't put up with it. And while non-native speakers are absolutely welcome here as both readers and contributors, it seems to me they're less likely to have fixed views on variety. In any case consistency is massively overrated, in general. --Trovatore (talk) 04:46, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
            • Seconded. There are complaints. Consistency is overrated. Consistency is good for editors (readers probably don't much care) for the sake of not having endless arguments over some things. And yes, if I am creating an article about something that is not country specific, I am not going to write "colour". Phhht. That's right out. (If the article's already started, that's different, for the sake of comity I'll go along with the article creator -- just as she will go along with me.) Yes the point about Indians (they use British English, and a lot Indians speak English very well and it is both common and official in India) is important, but so is the point about 2/3 of native speakers being American. They both matter. That's one reason why the system we have now is probably OK. Herostratus (talk) 15:33, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
          • @Trovatore and Herostratus: How exactly is that a "whole different ball of wax"? "They won't put up with it. I won't put up with it" isn't a valid reason for how that's any different than any of the other standards. Also, I find it ironic that as a "MoS regular", you're claiming that consistency is overrated. Imposing British spelling is exactly what I'm against as well, which is why the title of the section is "American or British spelling? Neither"; I'm proposing a neutral option which is Oxford spelling. The Oxford English Dictionary specifies "color" as a co-headword with "colour"; it actually does that for all the -our/-or suffix words, so no one would have to spell it only as "colour" and such. Getsnoopy (talk) 20:00, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
            • Consistency is overrated. That's my opinion, whether you find it "ironic" or not. You are in fact proposing imposing British spelling, albeit a particular subtype of British spelling that conservatively retains one feature American spelling has also retained. You have not made the case that such a change is necessary; its downside in terms of the bad feeling it will engender is obvious. --Trovatore (talk) 20:20, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
              • @Trovatore: Given that all editors have already accepted the existence of MOS, I don't really see that adding to that set of standards will "engender" a "bad feeling". Getsnoopy (talk) 21:52, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
                • We aren't talking about en dashes versus hyphens here. This proposal is essentially a proposal to deprecate American spelling, with the sole exception of -ize endings. If you don't understand how that could engender bad feeling, then I don't know what to tell you. --Trovatore (talk) 23:48, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
                  • @Trovatore: No, it isn't. Oxford spelling allows for -our/-or suffixes co-equally (as I've already mentioned), as well as preferring the -ize suffixes. But that's besides the point; the proposal is about choosing a neutral variant of English for what are essentially neutral articles (international articles with no strong ties to any particular variant). It seems like you're quite biased/defensive about maintaining American spelling rather than rationally understanding what the proposal is actually calling for. And I've in fact tweaked my proposal to make it the least disruptive; please read the bottom of this section. Getsnoopy (talk) 07:07, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • User:Getsnoopy, can you give a few examples of article creators who are "in some sort of race to create a bunch of article stubs tagged with their favourite variant of English"? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:22, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
    • @WhatamIdoing: Yes, here are a few: Coupé, International Date Line, and Carbon fiber reinforced polymer. If you look at the early histories of those articles, you'll see that they've been tagged with a certain variant of English early on (the latter one hasn't been explicitly tagged, but the edits all veer in the direction of supporting American English, for example). Getsnoopy (talk) 04:12, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
      • These all go back to 2003 or 2002 in the last case. You say: "the latter one hasn't been explicitly tagged, but the edits all veer in the direction of supporting American English, for example". Well, double doh! Maybe it was written by American editors. Enough of this. Johnbod (talk) 17:21, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
        • @Johnbod: How is what year they were created in relevant? Also, did you read what the question was about? I was pointing out examples where in the "stub" stage of an article, the article was explicitly tagged with one variant of English which is usually unnecessary at that stage of an article. The fact that that has been done would indicate that some article creators are trying to impose their favourite variant of English. The latter example was originally titled "Carbon fibre", and there were some editors who changed it to "fiber" arbitrarily (hence the point about not being explicitly tagged with {{Use American English}}, but setting the stage for that in the future). Getsnoopy (talk) 20:00, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
          • Whatamidoing's question was stated in the present tense, and you gave examples from the early days of Wikipedia. That does not seem to be particularly convincing as an argument that this is a widespread current problem. Admittedly there's no way you can establish that with "a few examples"; has almost 6M articles, so even if you can find three or four current cases, it doesn't prove much. I imagine this does happen to some extent, but you have a very heavy burden of proof to show that it happens enough to justify your incredibly disruptive proposal. (To clarify, I don't mean that making the proposal is incredibly disruptive; it's only a little disruptive, as probably not that many people are paying attention. But it would be incredibly disruptive if implemented.) --Trovatore (talk) 23:03, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
            • I don't agree that the proposal would be disruptive if the assumption is that people are aware of the differences and that they can navigate them with ease. See my proposal at the bottom of this section for how to make this proposal the least disruptive. Getsnoopy (talk) 21:52, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
  • With the current policy a large proportion of editors get to write in "their" variant of english, and where people write in articles that are obviously in another version of english there is a good chance that they know or are aware of the difference. If we changed to one standard form of spelling then a whole swathe of editors would find themselves being ticked off by pedants for not conforming to MOS. That makes this proposal one that is likely to lose us far more editors than it gains us, and with the community divided as to whether editor retention or civility is our biggest problem, standardising on one form of spelling is going to make things worse, whichever of those two you consider our biggest current problem. Remember our editors are unpaid volunteers, we don't require them to learn MOS before making their first edit, and nor should we. ϢereSpielChequers 00:01, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
    • Yah. Generally speaking, editor relations work better on a peer-to-peer model rather than a cop-to-perp model. When possible (it's not always possible), it's better to be like "let's talk about this and work it out" rather than "I'm reporting you to ANI". If there's some kind of "rule" made that, when creating a non-location-specific article, I have to write "computer programme"... well, I'm not going to do that, so then when I don't, I guess I'll get in "trouble", and how is that helpful to what we're trying to do here. Herostratus (talk) 02:43, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
    • @WereSpielChequers and Herostratus: Hmm...those are good points. I guess the point of my proposal is not to catch violators of this proposed rule "red handed" and reprimand them in some way. We already have many articles which are in violation of MoS, and there are many editors who go in and edit those articles to make them compliant over time. I'm imagining a similar mechanism with this. So how about this: currently, editors are forbidden from changing the English variant of an article if it's already been established; we should change the rules so that if an editor wants to change the variant to Oxford spelling for a non-strong-ties article, it should be allowed. That way, editors who want to get going initially will not be burdened/dissuaded by onerous rules, but editors who favour consistency have the freedom to make the articles compliant. Getsnoopy (talk) 21:52, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
      • No. The purpose of WP:ENGVAR is to avoid the ill feelings and wasted time that results from people with nothing better to do who go around looking for articles to tweak according to their favorite rule. This is a good WP:BIKESHED issue which people are happy to discuss at length, but the take-home message is that there will not be a change to ENGVAR. Johnuniq (talk) 02:43, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
        • @Johnuniq: I don't understand what ill feelings could arise from changing a neutral article to what is arguably the most neutral English variant; strong ties articles will remain, and so will neutral articles where there's no motivation to change it. If editors want to optionally change neutral articles to Oxford spelling, they can. People who've been following MOS:RETAIN will continue to follow it thereafter. As for wasted time, it's an editor's choice; if you don't want to expend the energy to change articles, that's totally fine, but why would you prevent others who are motivated to improve the consistency of WP from doing so? Getsnoopy (talk) 07:07, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
          • What makes an English variant neutral? Or not-neutral? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 08:38, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
            • @Gråbergs Gråa Sång: Any English variant specific to a particular region is by default non-neutral; Oxford spelling (despite what the name suggests) is not really used very much in England (as compared to "standard British" spelling). It's also in terms of spelling features: Oxford spelling prefers -our suffixes, but -ize suffixes, but also -lyse suffixes. Since it has a mix of features from all the major English variants, it's the most neutral, which is why practically every international organization in the world (including the UN) has adopted it. Getsnoopy (talk) 16:03, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
          • How many articles have you created? Believe me, if someone spends a month writing an article after purchasing and studying reference books, it is likely that ill feelings will result from a passerby with no interest in the topic who changes the style because rules. The wasted time comes from arguing about the style changes. Johnuniq (talk) 09:36, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
          • @Getsnoopy: Wikipedians invest a lot of time and effort writing articles. If you change their work into a different spelling than the one they know and use, the expectation is that subsequent edits to that article have to be in the new spelling. Not everyone knows or uses oxford spelling, so such a move will cause ill feelings among editors who are no longer able to maintain articles that they have voluntarily put a lot of time into. This would cause ill feelings, a level of ill feelings that is guaranteed to prevent such a decision getting consensus. If it were implemented it would lose us editors. I left another site in recent years when they decided to standardise on US spelling, I would leave this site if it decided to standardise on a version of English other than the one I use. Alternatively you could end the rule about article consistency, but that would give you a situation where some articles were inconsistent as to spelling within an article. I don't see this site having consensus to go to a system where half of an article might be in one spelling system, and the other newer half in the system preferred by the person who originally wrote the first half. ϢereSpielChequers 09:47, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
            • @WereSpielChequers and Johnuniq: I see, I can understand that. But the problem already exists for strong-ties articles. If I'm an editor using American spelling who spends a month researching and creating an article about an article on a New Zealand topic, for example, then some passerby with no interest in the topic can come in and change the style to New Zealand spelling under current rules. Wouldn't that engender "ill feelings" for the creating editor? Similarly, if a creating editor created an article, and another editor saw that it had some places where there were style errors (no spaces between quantities and their units in measurements, for example), so they went in and edited it, are you saying the the creating editor would "feel bad" about this? It's not a personal attack; we're all trying to improve WP together. And unless we have editors who solely create articles, they will have edited other people's articles as well (which presumably will use spelling other than their own). I don't know that having to use a spelling that they don't use in their daily life "locks them out" of being able to contribute at all; and if it does, then they're not far away from Googling the differences between the two (which they presumably would've done already if they're editing articles other than their own). Being "locked out" of an article and refusing to learn spelling differences (and maybe subsequently quitting an entire platform) seems quite dramatic, and I doubt they'd be able to get far as an editor seeing as they most likely would have encountered a situation where their spelling of choice wasn't used in an article, so they'd be bound by MOS:RETAIN. Getsnoopy (talk) 19:41, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
          • Yeah, and re "We already have many articles which are in violation of MoS, and there are many editors who go in and edit those articles to make them compliant"... well in some of those cases it is the MOS that is wrong not the article. Because whatever people do, that that is the standard -- the de facto standard, and we are not a rulebound entity that favors de jure over de facto.

            There are actually a number of rules that are mostly ignored. Somewhere in the MOS, for instance, there is a prescription against using place of birth/death in the vital-statistics line after a bio name: "John Howard Smith (April 9, 1814, Lincoln, Nebraska – August 13, 1889, New York City)" is not allowed. It's not allowed because somebody came in and added that, and while several people grumbled, nobody WP:BRD'd it (unfortunately). "Birth and death places, if known, should be mentioned in the body of the article, and can appear in the lead if relevant to notability, but not in the opening brackets alongside the birth and death dates." Well that's not just micromanaging pettifoggery, it's anti-function since in short bios (one or two paragraphs) it makes sense to out vital locations in the opening parenthesis, rather than awkwardly shoehorning them into the article text. Again, in this case it was just one person's preference.

            Anyway, do I follow that rule? No, of course not, not when it makes the article worse. What do you take me for? I'm here to write articles (and stuff), not shuffle papers. Herostratus (talk) 16:27, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

            • @Herostratus: Isn't that more of an issue of WP:BRD not being followed properly than it is of MoS being incorrect? I mean if MoS is "incorrect", then it would be changed, and if not, then the article text would be changed. Why have a MoS at all if it wouldn't be followed? Getsnoopy (talk) 19:41, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
              • @Getsnoopy:"if MoS is 'incorrect', then it would be changed"... only in theory. The way it works here actually, it is very hard to change anything. To change the MOS requires basically a supermajority, which is hard to get. I'm sure if I wanted to change or get rid of ""Birth and death places, if known, should [not] be mentioned... in the opening brackets alongside the birth and death dates", I could get let's say 9-6 in favor, so no change. Many people are of the mind "I, personally, don't do this or like to see it, so it should be forbidden" rather than "I, personally, don't do this or like to see it, but that's just my personal aesthetic, and it's not a big deal, so let other editors do it if that's their preference". Because: people. That's how a lot of people roll. It's mediocre IMO, but it is what it is. Consequently we are encrusted with a number of rules, not MOS particularly, which are non-useful and not followed. Herostratus (talk) 07:17, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
              • Because we keep hoping, against all odds, that Wikipedia articles will be written by people who not only know something about the subject matter, but also people who care more about producing a educational article for a reader who actually wants to learn something, than (e.g.,) producing an article that complies with All Teh Rulez.
                And Trovatore was absolutely correct: I wrote that question in the present tense on purpose. I want to see evidence that there is a current-meaning-this-very-month race to create articles just to be able to declare that this or that subject must henceforth be handled in someone's favorite form of English. I very strongly doubt that this is happening, and if it is, I want to hand out Wikipedia:Barnstars to everyone involved. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:05, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
                • @WhatamIdoing: Oh I didn't mean that there is a race to create articles; that would be great (at least from that particular perspective). I meant that for articles stubs (which, tautologically, have already been written) that haven't quite "formed" their own English variant (bottom-up) or haven't been tagged explicitly with an English variant template (top-down), there's an incentive for editors to go in and add in their favourite English variant template to the article to essentially "lock in" future editors. Insofar as showing that that's happening, I was pointing out those examples. As for whether that's happening currently, I'd have to run a query on the database to be able to tell you, but I wouldn't say it's zero. Getsnoopy (talk) 00:14, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
                  • WP:RETAIN says "When an English variety's consistent usage has been established in an article, maintain it in the absence of consensus to the contrary." A stub doesn't have "consistent usage of a variety", and nothing is "established"; it's mostly a placeholder. It's a misuse of the templates to apply them to stubs.
                    Of course that doesn't mean it never happens. I don't ever recall seeing it happen, but WP is big. But you haven't shown any evidence that it's a current problem at all, and even if it is, the obvious course of action is to address that misuse, not to propose a nuclear change to the treatment of English varieties in the whole encyclopedia. --Trovatore (talk) 02:47, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
                    • @Trovatore: I guess I was using the term "stub" loosely. Yes, if the content is merely a paragraph or so, it would be misuse of the policy. But if the content is long enough, it wouldn't be misuse but would still "fall through the cracks". For example, if an article has been fleshed out to enough length to not qualify as a proper "stub", but only has enough content where it can be determined to be any English, it could be tagged as any variant. But let's say there's enough content to determine that it's some sort of Commonwealth English, but it gets tagged as Canadian English, then it would have to follow down that path for the rest of the life of that article when maybe it was being actually written in British English, for example. Regardless, the point isn't that that's the whole reason I'm proposing this change. The primary reason is consistency; the secondary reason is to ward off any potential "misuse" as you're describing it. And again, it is the farthest from a nuclear change. It's opt-in. If it were to be implemented today, nothing would happen; no one would be in violation of any rule. Only if editors want to make articles consistent would this apply, and it would happen quite slowly. Getsnoopy (talk) 20:02, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
                  • I'd love to see proof that editors are so in love with their national variety of English that they're willing to expand lots of articles for the purpose of "locking in" future editors (at least until the same future editors have a quick chat on the talk page and decide to change it). I don't find the claim particularly credible, but I'd be happy if a love of spelling were actually some editor's primary motivation for building the encyclopedia. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:10, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
                    • @WhatamIdoing: But that's exactly my point: one needn't expand an article. An editor can just go in an tag an article with a certain variant of English while it's in the "stub" stage, and that's it. The article would have to follow that path of English spelling for the rest of the life of the article. Getsnoopy (talk) 20:02, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
                      • That's not true. Tagging the article "documents" the established standard (or, more precisely, someone's best guess at the established standard). If you wrongly tag an article, then it can simply be removed. And none of this "for the rest of the life of the article" because the relevant rules say that the style can be changed at any time, just be having a quick chat on the talk page. I really begin to think that you don't understand anything about the rule that you're hoping to replace. English varieties are NOT PERMANENT, the template is documentation, not decision, and nobody's doing this anyway. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:25, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
                        • @WhatamIdoing: No, I understand it just fine. On the contrary, I'm beginning to think you're not understanding my point at all. Yes, the tag documents rather than theory. But almost every editor just looks for a tag before editing an article, and proceeds to edit it compliant with said tag. Unless you're telling me every editor reads every article in full, parses it, and comes to a conclusion about which variant it's written in independent of the tag at the top, the tag has power. So when an article is in a stage when it doesn't quite have a specific variant, but has enough length to be considered one of any of the variants, an editor can tag it with a specific variant and send its future editors down that path. I agree that it's not truly "for the rest of the life of the article", but it effectively is, since MOS:RETAIN lists MOS:TIES and "reduced ambiguity" (ironically itself ambiguous) as the only valid reasons to change it. So a "quick chat" on the talk page wouldn't mean much, unless you're saying that the discussion on the talk page trumps the reasons listed in MOS:RETAIN. Getsnoopy (talk) 23:42, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
                          • What's your evidence that "almost every editor" looks at those tags? I'd guess that a majority of editors honestly have no idea what {{EngvarB}} means. Also, they're not used in ~90% of pages anyway. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:07, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
                            • @WhatamIdoing: Isn't that the expectation? I'm giving people the benefit of the doubt. Getsnoopy (talk) 17:51, 20 October 2019 (UTC)
          • I was recently involved with a copy edit process where the ce initially decided that Britain wouldn't do (needed to be UK and so on) and as well changed EngvarB to Oxford spelling. After I queried the Brit thing, the ce thought that maybe it ought not to have been changed after all and that it could be switched back, haven't decided yet what to do about the Oxford spelling bit because article has "ise"s and "ize"'s both. Not complaining just mention it as indicative. Selfstudier (talk) 17:00, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I wonder if a sizable chunk of the friction over which dialect of English we should standardize on might be avoided if in those cases where someone wants to rewrite an article into another dialect that editor simply asked first. Post the question on the Talk page, wait a month, & if no one objects go ahead & do the rewrite. (Personally, due to my eclectic reading interests, I conclude I write in a mangle of English dialects, so I wouldn't be surprised were I asked if I minded if my article were re-written in American English.) -- llywrch (talk) 20:25, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
    • @Llywrch: Hmm...that is a good point. More of an organic approach, eh? Although one problem I see with this is that MOS:RETAIN says "maintain it in the absence of consensus to the contrary", which I would take to mean that if no one responded to your request, it doesn't count as consensus. Getsnoopy (talk) 20:02, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
      • llywrch, as the guideline has said for several years now, you don't even have to wait for a whole month. Ordinary, everyday, garden-variety consensus from a quick chat on the talk page is all you need to change the variety. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:25, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
        • Based on how little traffic most talk pages get, unless there is evidence to the contrary I think waiting a month is a good rule of thumb. If one can't be bothered to respond after a month, then it's safe to assume that no one cares much. On the other hand, if an editor can't remember she/he asked about changing the dialect of English for an article after a month, & maybe forgets to go back to that article, then it's safe to assume this isn't an important issue, & maybe should not be done. In any case, asking then waiting to make a change like that -- which is not critical to some of us, but is to others -- this shows a bit of civility, a modicum of respect. Which is not often enough shown enough around here. (And really, do we need a guideline to dictate showing a modicum of respect to each other?) -- llywrch (talk) 22:50, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
          • Based upon Category:Wikipedia behavioral guidelines and Category:Wikipedia conduct policies, we apparently think that we need 12 policies and 20 guidelines to dictate that modicum of respect. ;-) WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:17, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
            • Generally, if someone wants to massively expand an article I might agree to that, but otherwise would be likely to object to any change on principle - the principle being "let sleeping dogs lie". I'm far from being the only editor to feel this way (a decent claim of a "strong connection" would be different). Johnbod (talk) 04:39, 19 October 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Please be aware that Getsnoopy started a similar thread at Template talk:Convert#Spelling and WP:COMMONALITY with no mention of this thread. Looking through his contribution history, I see that he has started similar discussions on multiple pages/templates without referring to any of the others. I find this divide and conquer approach highly suspicious.  Stepho  talk  02:26, 19 October 2019 (UTC)

  • Thanks - but it's more "divide and flop". Time to close this discussion. Johnbod (talk) 04:39, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
  • @Stepho-wrs: How is that relevant? They're completely separate issues. And suspicious of what, exactly? Getsnoopy (talk) 17:43, 20 October 2019 (UTC)
    • Because everything to do with regional differences of spelling is in WP:ENGVAR and hence {{convert}} and many other templates are subservient to ENGVAR. If I was trying to game the system then I would try to convince some major templates to go my way, then use their results to influence the main policy discussion by saying "hey, we're already doing it my way in practice, we may as well make it policy". I would also keep the template discussions strictly separate from each other, not advertising about any other discussions ( hoping that other editors won't see any relevant points in the other discussions) and claiming that there is no relationship between spelling in one template and spelling in another. That way, I could lose the argument in many of them but hopefully win in one of them and claim that one as the path to policy victory. I would also avoid at all costs talking at WT:ENGVAR and WT:SPELLING where knowledgeable editors hang out. So far, you are doing 10 out of 10 on such a plan.  Stepho  talk  18:58, 20 October 2019 (UTC)
      • @Stepho-wrs: While I'm flattered, you're giving me way too much credit than I deserve; you clearly need to get acquainted with Hanlon's razor. This is my first foray into anything related to WP policy, so I looked around and saw that something like an ENGVAR discussion is "evergreen" and bound to get outright rejected, so rather than launching into a proposal, I read that the issue should first be brought up in Village pump (here). And so I did. This issue (proposing allowing articles to be changed to Oxford spelling as an exception to MOS:RETAIN), in my mind, is completely separate from the issue of correctness and commonality that's associated with the SI units. So I proposed that idea on the {{convert}}. If you look at my conversation above with @Master Of Ninja, I was trying to suss out the venues in which to bring up this issue, and he didn't quite know where it was best. Little did I know that I was meant to cross-post or somehow declare all my ongoing proposals throughout WP. I was hoping for this conversation to shake out and consider all the ideas before posting it somewhere as an actual proposal. Your guess of some grand conspiracy, while valiant, is just not true. Getsnoopy (talk) 07:55, 21 October 2019 (UTC)
        • No problem, I can accept ignore instead of malice :)
ENGVAR would have been the proper place because it is the central policy over regional variations in spelling - which is exactly your topic. However, this talk page is also a reasonable place - as long as a notice was left at ENGVAR to say so. Templates such as {{convert}} simply follow ENGVAR, therefore discussions on such templates must wait for the discussion on ENGVAR (or here) to finish before they implement the result.  Stepho  talk  22:24, 21 October 2019 (UTC)

What about Canadian spelling, which is a compromise between Oxford and Webster's? TFD (talk) 19:43, 20 October 2019 (UTC)

  • @The Four Deuces: But Oxford is already a compromise between Webster's and Chamber's (for example). It allows -our and -or suffixes co-equally (though it prefers the former), allows -re and -er suffixes co-equally where it's etymologically accurate (though it prefers the former), prescribes -ize endings where they make sense, prescribes -yse endings, etc. It's the best of all worlds. This is why almost every international organization uses it. Getsnoopy (talk) 07:55, 21 October 2019 (UTC)
    • Even if organisations that employ full time staff and which can afford to train new staff into a corporate standard do this; It isn't a viable route for a volunteer based project that needs to minimise barriers to new volunteers. ϢereSpielChequers 08:07, 21 October 2019 (UTC)
    • @WereSpielChequers: Agreed, which is why I addressed this point up above. I think we've come full circle at this point. Getsnoopy (talk) 04:21, 22 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Is there any move forward either with a firm proposal or closing the thread? I think as has been stated WP:ENGVAR exists for a reason. If a proposal can be written, supported with statements, and then voted on, it would allow things to move on without what seems like endless debate. Master Of Ninja (talk) 09:05, 21 October 2019 (UTC)
    • @Master Of Ninja: Yes, I think we can close this discussion now. I have everything I need to write an actual proposal, which I'll be doing on the talk page of WP:ENGVAR. Getsnoopy (talk) 04:21, 22 October 2019 (UTC)

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

An alternative to consensus[edit]

It's been about a week and no *ahem* consensus is emerging towards anything that can be actionable. No prejudice against another discussion once something concrete is proposed. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 05:11, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

An alternative to consensus. Apparently the idea of consensus is taken for granted on WP. Not surprising since the vast majorityof editors and admins come from an academic environment and are accustomed to peer review. (When it comes to peer review I can't help but think of the treatment of the father of plate tectonics aka continental drift, (Alfred Wegener) received at the hands of his peers, Let me commence my dissertation with my opinion about consensus. I realize that WP has been "put together" and the rules written by academicians whose forte is peer review and consensus. That may work well in an area where the subject matter is narrowly defined (e.g. endocrinology), but doesn't work at all in an area open to the general public. The problem with consensus in this environment is that it is too easily weighted by proponents or opponents of a particular subject. As shofly pie attacts flies, so does a pile of dung. People will gravitate towards an article in which they have a particular interest and as a consequence will,if endowed by power, exert control over content in that article. Thus when an editor shows up and posts something that is threatening to the beliefs of the controlling consensus, even though it is well researched and sourced, it tends to be reverted with the most specious of charges, and reversion of the revert leads to edit warring and of course the edit war is bound to be won by the editor who has the longest history on WP and has a long standing relationship with other editors, especially those of a like mind. Not to mention the whole affair is disruptive and leads to anger and bad publicity,which apparently is reflected elsewhere on the internet, such as phorae and blogs,and apparently some erstwhile editors have had their (user) name dragged through the mud on the internet.

Point being is that consensus is not the way to run a multi faceted project. A scientist does not submit an article on endocrinology to a group of psychiatrists, much less a conglomeration of plumbers, cops and beauticians. Also editors should start giving more thought to their edit summaries when they revert.Oldperson (talk) 23:38, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

You're not actually suggesting anything, just complaining in a roundabout way about "losing" something. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:43, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
  • So what's your idea of an alternative? You need consensus to try and ascertain the correct truth. However articles can have sections to account for multiple viewpoints. We have consensus because we really don't have a better way at the moment. Master Of Ninja (talk) 09:11, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Peer review is based on consensus? Please tell that to Reviewer is that a redlink? – Joe (talk) 09:21, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I think Oldperson has a point, since in practice Consensus is often invoked to trump basic policies like V and NPOV. The Consensus rule assumes that everyone is equally committed to the core policies and will come to a reasonable agreement on what those policies require. But, especially in dispute-prone areas of the project, that is often not how it works at all. That said, I don't see any way to fix this problem. Zerotalk 09:42, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
    Granted, but like all coins that coin has a flip side. If I cite V or NPOV incorrectly and refuse to back down, what is the mechanism for overriding me? Oh yeah...consensus, uninvolved close, and close review, as necessary. ―Mandruss  20:39, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Would it be possible for a revert popup where reverter picks relevant policies being relied on or am I asking for too much there?Selfstudier (talk) 10:38, 12 October 2019 (UTC)

@Oldperson: If I get the drift of your complaint (and it's entirely possible that I don't), it sounds as though you might have found Citizendium more congenial than Wikipedia. But Citizendium is essentially a dead project, whereas Wikipedia is a daily fact of life. Granted, there could be other explanations (network effects and so on), but from the data we have, peer review doesn't seem to have shown itself an effective way to build an online encyclopedia. --Trovatore (talk) 23:39, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
@Trovatore:Thanks, and thanks for the link to Citizendum. Actually mine was not a complaint,but an observation. The biggest problem I have with consensus is that the only people who are attracted to an article are folk who have an emotional, religious, professional, political interest in the subject, and thus consensus weighs in in favor of those who have the most interested editors. Even something as inane (to an uninvolved westerner) as say an African or Indian or Chinese ethnic group, all it takes is one innocent well meaning edit to awaken the hives. But I understand when it is the only tool in the toolbox.Oldperson (talk) 00:20, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
Wellll... yes this can happen. One point is that local consensus can't (or isn't supposed to) override consensus of the larger community. For instance, a group of editors involved in an article can't just decide to ignore WP:RS or WP:NPOV for the purposes of that article. Or any rule which is generally followed by the community at large. For situations like this, WP:RFC can be your friend.
Maybe it's just me, but my experience is that, usually, when a person is significantly outnumbered in a talk discussion, it just means that they're wrong, or at least "wrong" in the sense that other people just honestly don't agree with them, and don't find their arguments convincing. It's happened to me many times certainly: I feel really strongly that I'm right, but the other editors in the discussion are against me 9-2. Drive you nuts, but I'm (almost always) not being tag-teamed or brigaded; people just plain don't agree with me. That's life on the Wikipedia. Herostratus (talk) 02:57, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
A group of editors involved in an article certainly can decide that an editor's citation of RS, NPOV, or any other policy, is without merit or outweighed by other policy arguments. It's easy as hell to raise the NPOV flag in error, either because one doesn't understand NPOV or because they don't agree with it. I know of more than one experienced editor who repeatedly makes false-balance arguments and hangs the NPOV label on them, despite being corrected on that again and again.
The body of our policy is sufficiently rich, vague, nuanced, watered-down, and self-contradictory, that a knowledgeable editor can present a policy argument for A or !A in most situations. And there are not enough highly competent editors willing to spend their time on the difficult, thankless, and often stressful job of uninvolved closes; in most cases we have to assume that a majority of those present won't be wrong on policy. ―Mandruss  03:37, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
BUT....consensus does not overrule NPOV policy: This policy is non-negotiable, and the principles upon which it is based cannot be superseded by other policies or guidelines, nor by editor consensus. Seriously. Atsme Talk 📧 20:04, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
"Consensus does not overrule NPOV policy" is not really a meaningful statement, because the policy can't enforce or apply itself. It takes a consensus of editors to do that, to interpret the policy and decide its consequences for a particular content question. postdlf (talk) 20:18, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
And then again, sometimes the local majority are wrong on policy. It is the system we have, and with all its faults it works a lot of the time. If there is a better way (including in efficiency of time spent), for a largely unidentified/pseudonymous-user crowdsourced project, I would like to know some details. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 08:28, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
Peter Southwood - There are solutions and politically viable ones. Solutions include:
  1. Take policy out of the hands of the common (wo)man, as that noble experiment has clearly failed. Institute a policy board of highly qualified editors. Their mandate would be to:
    1. Make the body of our policy greatly less rich, vague, nuanced, watered-down, and self-contradictory. Applying it correctly, and recognizing incorrect application of it by others, wouldn't require an IQ north of 110 and three years of heavy editing experience. There would be considerably less disagreement, and we would be less vulnerable to POV pushing via policy abuse.
    2. Prevent a recurrence of the uncontrolled creep that got us to this point.
  2. An army of highly qualified closers.
Politically viable solutions include:
  1. None. ―Mandruss  20:50, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
I doubt that the listed solutions are reasonably practicable, aside from any political objections. I don't think that we can get there from here. Cheers, · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 05:59, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
Consensus has its shortcomings, but I think that some editors here are taking an overly pessimistic view of it. The sheer scope of Wikipedia means that a one-size-fits-all set of rules is going to be impossible to uphold and will definitely get in the way of things in the long run. Also, the fact that most discussions have valid policy-based rationale for A and !A is at least partly because experienced editors (usually) know better than to waste their time arguing A if guidelines and policy say B. signed, Rosguill talk 06:14, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

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

Require registration[edit]

I believe that at this time and age, Wikipedia should require that all those who wish to edit or add to our project should be registered users. It is easy for an unregistered user to vandalize an article which many of us have gone through a lot of trouble to write, then immediately make a copy as if that is what was truly written, thereby dis-crediting our project and adding to the reality that ours is an unreliable encyclopedia. The fact is that the majority of the vandalism is caused by un-registered users who have nothing better to do with their lives. If Wikipedia wants to keep it's good and honest contributors who love to share their knowledge with the world in general and wants to gain some sense of being a reliable encyclopedia, then it must do something to protect it's contributors and the articles which they have written from the constant vandalism going on, otherwise what's the use of staying here? Tony the Marine (talk) 05:50, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Um, is this a proposal? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 08:11, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I feel that this is where we're eventually heading. I'm personally neutral on it, although the WMF might block it if passed like they did here and some other times. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 17:52, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Given m:IP Editing: Privacy Enhancement and Abuse Mitigation things might have changed substantially enough to allow another discussion. I support. --Rschen7754 18:16, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - It's time to face reality.--WaltCip (talk) 20:18, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Not requiring registered accounts allows people to more easily make pests of themselves. Having said that, I will note that there are other facets to this discussion. One such facet I will call the problem of "regulars". You know—the good ol' boys club. It's one thing to be collegial, it is another thing to be cliquish. Many people vote together. I'm not entirely immune to that. Unregistered accounts do this less. They are not only free of a personal identity but they are less likely to form alliances. No, I have no proof for this. Bus stop (talk) 20:49, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    Many editors tend to think the same way. That doesn't mean they "vote together", and they would still think the same way if they were unregistered. It would be harder to imagine that they were "voting together", however, since it's harder to remember IP addresses (and IP addresses often change with some frequency anyway). ―Mandruss  04:13, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    It is definitely much harder to remember IP addresses. And IP addresses change. Ultimately I'm opposed to unregistered accounts. I found myself arguing with someone with an IP address, and an IP address that kept changing just in the span of that argument. That's when I decided that I oppose unregistered accounts. But at other times it has occurred to me that unregistered accounts are like fresh air. They tend to have less history and consequently their perspectives have the potential of being new and unencumbered. Bus stop (talk) 04:43, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I'll give a moral support with mixed feelings because I see many very useful IP edits and lots of us, including me, started editing as IPs and might not have started if registration had been required. What is tipping me to support is the fact that I monitor some error-tracking categories and I usually see 20 or 30 articles per week where an IP with very few other edits has made arbitrary changes to birth dates, or other dates. I only see articles where the IP has accidentally broken the date (recent example) so there are many more changes. Recent changes that trigger the possible birth date change tag are listed here. Johnuniq (talk) 21:11, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support. I won't bother composing the strong case for this. It has already been written numerous times (and probably others could provide one or more links to it). The main question is whether WMF cares about a community consensus on this issue. Userbox. ―Mandruss  21:26, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Yeah, the proposal linked by Rschen7754 is nonsense but it's not clear to me how forcing registration would solve the issue. More importantly though the support case here is just as evidence-free as all other proposals to restrict editing to registered accounts made so far; besides, so as long as we are attached to Wikimedia we are supposed to Founding principles which do not permit a total ban on IP editing. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 21:38, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    These principles may evolve or be refined over time... - It appears that whoever wrote that was wise enough to allow that things might change in ways that justified revision to the founding principles. ―Mandruss  21:44, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    Maybe, but this wouldn't be the right place to ask. More substantively, given that "leave an open door and deal with problems as they come" philosophy is what allowed Wikipedia to achieve its current status, this does not seem to be a good part to change. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 21:55, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    @Jo-Jo Eumerus: Maybe, but this wouldn't be the right place to ask. So you're saying that this is wrong venue and no consensus here can stand even a chance of getting that item removed from the founding principles? Then why haven't you moved to close on procedural grounds? ―Mandruss  22:02, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    My concern is not mainly the procedural one and arguing procedural points tends to drive discussions off-course. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 07:14, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose, but would support if this ever came to fruition. -- Rockstonetalk to me! 21:48, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

*Support - This worked back in 2003 when the internet was barely ever used and vandalism wasn't a thing ..... It really is about time the project was made in to a mandatory-registration site. –Davey2010Talk 22:05, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

  • Even more significant, that was when we had just started building the encyclopedia and needed an enormous work force to do it. Sixteen years and 5 million articles later, we can do fairly well without the editors who decline to create a completely anonymous account simply because they have an aversion to registration of any kind (or, dare I say it, because they want to avoid the accountability that comes with a persistent and stable identity). ―Mandruss  22:17, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    How exactly is a completely anonymous account related to a persistent and stable identity? Looking through my last 100 blocks I see there are more throwaway sockpuppet accounts than IP addresses. Registration is overrated. Just ask the Twitter Bots. -- zzuuzz (talk) 22:44, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    I think there is a difference in character between the individual who doesn't want accountability and avoids it in a manner fully legitimized by the site, and the individual who is prepared to sock to avoid it. RegReq won't suddenly transform a large number of the former into the latter, in my view. ―Mandruss  23:13, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    2003 when the internet was barely ever used and vandalism wasn't a thing You and I have very different memories of 2003. ~ Amory (utc) 01:49, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    • Amorymeltzer - I don't think I started using the internet at home not until something like 2004-2005 so I assumed everyone else was the same lol, Certainly didn't the internet in '03 and certainly didn't know EN existed lol. –Davey2010Talk 14:02, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per zzuuzz - Admittedly I have mixed feelings on it however it is indeed true socking is an issue here although not all socks are vandals, Mandatory registration wouldn't stop the vandalism and so in that respect maybe something needs to be done about both not just one or the other ..... or maybe I'm over-thinking this!. –Davey2010Talk 14:09, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    • Support - Vandalism will go down. BigDwiki (talk) 01:17, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment/Question about logistics - As said above I'm neutral to this whole thing (but would support if that whole IP-masking shenanigans comes true, though thankfully it doesn't seem to have much traction), but if this does pass and the WMF doesn't block it, would the "Edit" tab for any given article redirect any non-logged in user to Special:CreateAccount with an editnotice about mandatory registration? Would this depend on the level of page protection? Thinking about it some more this would have the positive side effect of reminding users when they are logged out and forget to log (back) in, although that in of itself is not a reason to adopt this proposal. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 22:20, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. requiring an account to edit. "You can edit now" is a founding principle and the key mechaism for turning readers into editors. However, some of the problems would be ameliorated by auto-welcoming, whether on the first, fourth or tenth edit. Also, to assist registration, given the difficulty of finding a good username, a pronounceable username should be suggested.
Weak oppose unless a way is found to make “edit right now” remain true. Maybe some kind of auto-registration. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 08:47, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
Support requiring an account to create new pages, and requiring an email address to authenticate. Throwaway alternative accounts performing subtle vandalism and promotinal content creation are a far more serious threat to Wikipedia than silly kids making silly test edits. The need for an email address is a small measure to curb mass alt. account creations. A mobile telephone for authentication may be a good idea. Without revealing private information, account creators should be auto prompted to explain multiple accounts linked to the same IP, email address, or telephone number, not for actual scrutny, but to apply discouragement for creating many unlinked account. For people with accessiblity or access problems, there is Wikipedia:Request an account, although that process's 6 month backlog soounds pretty bad. It does however have good suggestions for overcoming most problem.
IPs can still get help to create an article, via Wikipedia:Requested articles, for example. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:51, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
    • Stirring stuff, but who is monitoring the many IPs who delight in making arbitrary changes to numbers and dates (see my comment at 21:11, 14 October 2019)? Inserted junk can be handled months after the event because it's easily recognized but I suspect that articles are being eroded in a way that will not realistically be cleaned up. You are right that anyone can edit was a founding principle, but its time has passed. Johnuniq (talk) 23:09, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
      • I don't disagree with your "moral support" for requiring registration for editing. If that were to happen, I think registration should be made much easier. If IP vandalism is both serious and takes months to repair, that would mean that the active editor count per article has fallen below a threshold, and it marks the senescence of Wikipedia as we new it. I suspect that this is the case. I think the answer is to decease the ease with which new people can create new pages, but to not decrease the ease with which readers can fix things immediately. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:29, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
If the active editor count per article has fallen and Wikipedia is truly past its peak in terms of membership, then you can't assume that the ease in which IP vandalism occurs wasn't a contributing factor. I spend more time repairing than I do contributing (way more), and it's discouraging. It wasn't always like that, especially early on after I first joined. It just so happens that the editors who used to watch the articles I'm interested in and fight vandalism are no longer around; they've given up and left. So I've found myself assuming that role more and more over time. Allowing IP drive-by disruption to remain uninhibited could actually encourage the downward trend, if in fact we're in the middle of one. Just shedding some light here that the trend may actually be the result of the problem (i.e. increasing IP vandalism) as opposed to being a reason we cite in favor of allowing it to continue. --GoneIn60 (talk) 03:46, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose: I had a lot more typed up, but I'll be concise: I don't believe we ought to betray our principles so rashly. I don't like IP spam and all that stuff either, but this is not the way to do it (and neither is the WMF's debacle-in-the-making). I don't have any alternatives, but I do know that this isn't the way. (As an addendum, should the WMF proposal go through, I may reconsider this vote). Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 23:59, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong mixed feelings. I can see the thinking here, and have often thought the same. I also know that there are IP addys out there still contributing good material to the project. (also that Jimbo prefers IPs be allowed to edit - or at least he used to, but Larry Sanger preferred registration, .. but see how poorly that worked). I'll think on this, and if I end up feeling more strongly one way than the other, I'll revisit ..... maybe. — Ched (talk) 01:11, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    there are IP addys out there still contributing good material to the project. Absolutely, but we should not assume that we will lose them if we require registration. It's quite possible that their position is "I don't want to register if I don't have to." And, remember, they are likely just as addicted as we are. ―Mandruss  01:21, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
And here [1] is an edit by an IP that is totally unproductive. Only too common in my experience. Xxanthippe (talk) 01:36, 15 October 2019 (UTC).
  • Just like we shouldn't assume they'll stay, trying to guess their position is laughable. Addicted? You probably aren't familiar with my editing history. — Ched (talk) 17:13, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure what that is supposed to show; that an IP was unproductive? I can find registered users who cause more trouble than that. — Ched (talk) 17:13, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support – (1) Registration doesn't stop anybody from using any other website. (2) Editing an article really isn't something you do in five second on a whim. If you do that, you usually screw it up. It kind of requires a commitment to be a productive editor. You have to at least review the article history and talk page before making any but the most trivial edits. The work that goes into editing is so much harder than registering an account, I just can't imagine how the latter would stop anyone from the former. (3) IP editors have a hard time integrating into the community, in no small part because it's impossible to remember which IP is who. On a collaborative project, that is a real barrier to success and productivity–can't work with someone if you don't remember their name because it's a string of numbers. (4) We sink a lot of time in dealing with IP vandalism. This will reduce that, freeing up editor time. (5) Email registration is probably a good idea, too, to prevent mass account creations. Levivich 02:59, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    Some good points, and add the difficulty of communicating with an editor who can't receive pings and whose user talk page is often a short-term affair. By the time I get to their talk page, it's no longer their talk page. This, in an environment where editor communication is crucial. I once spent a good six total hours of my time over a number of days trying to chase one of these guys down, and finally gave up in frustration. It's absolutely crazy that we some of us find ways to justify things like that. ―Mandruss  03:13, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    And what makes you think a freshly-registered user will want to stay, or even communicate? We get reports of uncommunicative users all the time at AN/I, and it can't be attributed to a language barrier. Not to mention seeing your first edit reverted out of hand shortly after it is made is a good enough reason to never want to log in again. —v^_^v Make your position clear! 23:59, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose An evergreen proposal, and not one I think that will improve the project. There's lots of good IP editors - the vast majority, in fact. SportingFlyer T·C 03:20, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose there are countless areas of the encyclopedia where this would have an overwhelmingly negative impact. Sports probably stand out as the biggest (score), but also copy editing, general fixes, and overall maintenance. There's also the huge recruitment aspect: most people who become active editors first edited as an IP. Get rid of that, you get rid of the gateway to editing as a whole, and we actually start losing numbers. TonyBallioni (talk) 03:23, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    most people who become active editors first edited as an IP. Please show evidence that they wouldn't have registered immediately if that had been required.
    Ok, I'm weary of debunking obvious reasoning errors, so I'll cease bludgeoning this discussion. Good luck all. ―Mandruss  03:28, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    OTOH there is no evidence that IP vandals wouldn't register immediately if that was what was required. Galobtter (pingó mió) 03:31, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    Has someone cited vandalism reduction in a Support argument? I haven't. ―Mandruss  03:34, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't know what the impact would be on editor recruitment (probably negative) but TBH I could very well see this make it harder to fight vandalism. Vandals can easily create an account, and it would be certainly much harder to do {{schoolblock}}s (and school vandals represent a fairly large portion of all vandalism) when only CU's can track IP edits. Galobtter (pingó mió) 03:31, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment – I share similar concerns with other editors that required registration for all editing activity may not be the best solution for a host of reasons. However, there's a lot of middle ground between outright registration and open IP editing, and I suspect technical limitations have prevented good proposals from ever coming to fruition. Examples of alternative proposals (technical limitations aside):
    • Allow IP editing to continue as it does today, except on articles that have reached GA or FA status. Gives active editors incentive to stick around and promote articles.
    • Don't require registration for the first several articles (say 5) from any given IP. This allows immediate contribution, but discourages disruptive editing in one pass across dozens of articles. The number can reset every 30 days or some other specified timeout period.
    • Require random email verification from IPs. This means for the most part, they still have the ability to edit at will. However, on occasion (every 5-10 edits for example), it will prompt them to verify an email address. This will encourage them to register over time, especially if making good edits. IPs flagged as disruptive will have to constantly register new email addresses to continue their disruption. This happens transparently in the background without admin/human intervention.
    • IPs can create new articles and actively contribute to articles that are fairly new (say less than 2 years in age). This allows the rapid formation of new content, but discourages vandalism years later after an article has undergone significant changes.
    • Some combination of the above
Again, there are undoubtedly some technical limitations (unknown to me) which would prevent proposals like this from ever seeing the light of day, but I suspect the only possible compromise depends on an alternative solution that doesn't beat a tack with a sledgehammer. --GoneIn60 (talk) 04:30, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I wrote this almost twelve years ago, and about 90% of it's still relevant to this discussion. —Cryptic 05:41, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Insufficient data to make a rational statistics based decision. As far as I know, there is no convincing evidence that the current positive effects of IP editing exceed the negative effects or vice versa, and I see no easy way of measuring it. Those who struggle against the damage are likely to focus on the negative effects, those who don't are less likely to do so. I for one do not consider it a worthwhile use of my time and skills to concentrate on policing bad actors, but I also yearn for more collaboration and constructive input from a wider range of contributors with some clue and competence. I do not think that the status quo is tenable over the long term. An interesting experiment would be for WMF to clone Wikipedia, and make one clone for only registered editors, and the other for status quo. See which one thrives and which fails. They could be re-merged later after the effects are known. I know which one I would edit and use, but I don't know if it would be the one to thrive or fail. Editors would tend to migrate to whichever version they found most satisfying to work on. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 07:11, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    • PS: In the topics that I edit most, my impression is that very little value is added by IP editors, but not very much harm is done either, and what harm there is is mostly fixed quite quickly, by registered editors. My assessment of net value of IP edits in these topics is negative. This trend may vary enormously, I just don't know. IP requests and comments on talk pages appear to be more often of some value, possibly because the IP editor that engages in dialogue is more clueful and serious than one who does not. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 07:30, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
      • PPS: I would Support a trial of obligatory registration, either for the whole Wikipedia, or for parts thereof, where the parts could be opt-in by WikiProject, opt-out by WikiProject, or randomly selected. Run on a similar basis to WP:ACTRIAL. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 07:37, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose pending IP Masking result - I would probably agree with this if IP masking was bought in with high-level limitations on sight. It definitely looks like it's coming, but NKohli does seem willing to engage, so actual implementation is a bit up in the air. In any case, I don't see a need to jump the gun. IPs are a net positive once you've factored in the ability to create registered accounts so easily. After that discussion, this will need a properly thought out RfC. Nosebagbear (talk) 08:49, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. I initially wanted to oppose based on the fact that on-the-spot editing is a founding principle (as at least one other editor stated). But with the growing number of visitors, and diminishing number of dedicated patrollers (at least per article), open IP editing poses a quality risk to the project. Considering accounts can also be instantly created, even without email verification, or having an email address altogether, making registration mandatory is still quite open in honest opinion. As Pbsouthwood stated, a trial would be a good first step. Rehman 09:01, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Nag Encourage registration with something like "edits will be restricted as to number/size/scope until registered".Selfstudier (talk) 09:05, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - absolutely. GoodDay (talk) 09:11, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • If we're really going to be talking about this, then I do indeed oppose it. There's been no evidence proffered to justify such a completely radical proposal, nor any evidence supporting the claims made in the proposal. Vandalism is a fact, and requiring accounts might limit it a bit, doing so won't remove the issue. Especially when a news story breaks, anonymous editors are the lifeblood of content creation; TonyB points out other areas of advantage. As enWiki has grown, we have relatively fewer active editors, and we do not need to encourage but rather than reverse that trend. This would certainly be tossing the baby with the bathwater. ~ Amory (utc) 09:56, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Suggestion. It does not have to be all or nothing. A partial trial of non-IP editing could be introduced by allowing semi-confirmed (or whatever) users to apply WP:Semiprotection to articles that they judged needed it without having to go through the rigmarole of applying to administrators. The semi-protection could be removed by administrators on application as it is now. It could then be assessed if the trial improved or degraded the editing of affected articles. Xxanthippe (talk) 10:13, 15 October 2019 (UTC).
  • Right for the wrong reasons I disagree with OP's rationale (assigning the majority of vandalism to IPs, equating vandalism with discrediting an article), but I agree with the proposal. Registration is quick and easy, and if we make it mandatory and someone can't or won't take the five minutes to make an account, I have to wonder how they survive the rest of the Internet where registration is already required. creffpublic a creffett franchise (talk to the boss) 12:52, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • More thoughts on logistics If we are going to have a trial of this on only part of Wikipedia (say, FAs and GAs), we'll need a new form of protection that's not outright semi-protection (which restricts editing to autoconfirmed users). Also, concerns of vandals creating accounts, while valid, can be partially assuaged by (still?) allowing administrators to have a sort of account-creation autoblock; this would not to the best of my knowledge require the knowledge of the specific IP address entailed and thereby CU, although it might significantly increase unblock request backlogs. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 14:04, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • It's complicated. I would absolutely support this if IP Masking is shoved down our throats. As it is, requiring accounts might make it harder for non-checkusers to identify peristent vandalism, as it's easier in many ways to create sock accounts than to change your IP address (especially if you want to change your IP to avoid a rangeblock). While I might support only allowing IP editors to edit in a "Pending Changes" mode, I wouldn't support an outright stop to IP contributions at this time. --Ahecht (TALK
    ) 14:43, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Yes, it's perennial, but I've always supported it. Most vandalism I see is from IP editors, and, to be brutally honest, the majority of edits I see from IP editors are either outright vandalism or so poor as to be worthless. Both require immediate reversion. -- Necrothesp (talk) 14:51, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Actually I see loads of minor or sometimes valuable corrections or adjustments, & would not want to lose the ability of drive-by people to do this. Only ready to support limiting ips to a set number of edits - say 20, perhaps per year. I might also support maximum numbers of characters added or removed. Of course this would only hamper some ips and not others. I'm happy not to go on tolerating ips who edit very heavily over a long period - most are no doubt returning banned users or sock-puppets. Johnbod (talk) 15:11, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • No thanks. There is less of a case for this than there used to be as the edit filters revert much vandalism without needing human involvement. We still need IP editing as an entry point into editing, and i doubt that anyone disputes that. The real question is whether the registration process would lose us more goodfaith editors than badfaith ones. I'm in the camp that considers that vandals mostly do the minimum necessary to do their vandalism, so allowing IP editing, like allowing blank edit summaries, makes vandals easier to spot, but not more numerous. If that theory is correct, then mandatory registration would lose us more new good editors than bad as well as making vandals a tiny bit harder to spot. It would be interesting to see some academic research on these very different views of the benefits of compulsory registration, but Citizendium and WikiTribune are enough evidence for me. Of course we could go the whole hog and require registration via facebook et al. That likely would deter many vandals, but it isn't exactly compatible with our open source ethos. ϢereSpielChequers 15:29, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Largely per WereSpielChequers and Davey2010. I am not sure it would have the intended effect and there is certainly a chance of doing more harm than good. Many good users started life here as IP editors and the fact that many IP edits are not that great only means they need help and guidance. PackMecEng (talk) 15:42, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • One part of me wants to ban IP editing, but it's really kind of pointless. Making an account is free and easy, and we don't limit how many accounts a user can (as opposed to, may) have. So people just make throw-away accounts and that's really no different than editing as an IP. Yes, we say you can't be a sock, but we do very little to prevent it. So which would you rather have; anonymous vandals using IPs, or anonymous vandals using throw-away accounts? -- RoySmith (talk) 15:52, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Neutral. Based on my observations over the years, I have the feeling this won't help with the problem of vandalism, just change it. But it will force the WMF to consider which should be given priority: keeping Wikipedia open to anyone to edit (over the quality of content), or improving the content of Wikipedia (over allowing everyone to edit it). -- llywrch (talk) 16:20, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose, this would not substantively help with vandalism and would only provide another access barrier to editing. Basically in agreement with WereSpielChequers's comment/observations above. postdlf (talk) 16:27, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
Although I'm not in support of outright registration, I think it's naive to assume making it harder to vandalize wouldn't have a noticeable impact. Would it solve the problem and stop everyone? Of course not. Would it curb the behavior for some over time, given the increased effort and nuisance it would create for them? It's a reasonable possibility. Right now, they just have to change IPs or IP ranges. Imagine the nuisance of having to create a new account and verify email every single time on top of that. --GoneIn60 (talk) 17:18, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose There are probably a limited number of times where the weight of anonymous IP editors overwhelmed all admin capabilities and reasonable protection routes. The day to day IP stuff that causes problems is out-balanced by the number of IP that actually make useful contributions. --Masem (t) 17:23, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support in principle, as IP editing has several practical drawbacks. But the lack of actual and meaningful data about this aspect is a valid concern. A trial (either for a strictly limited time or in a limited area of articles) could help to gather more substantial evidence and analyze possible effects on the community. GermanJoe (talk) 17:29, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose I don't think I can add much to a discussion that has already been had many times over the years. I believe WP:HUMAN and WP:WNCAA already cover a lot of my thoughts on this matter, there's even an association of us that remain unregistered on principle, see here. Many editors are not attracted to the social side of Wikipedia which account creation invariably snares them deeper into they just want to go about their business and be left alone. In addition, this will prevent many useful and constructive editors from participating, remember 80%+ of IP edits are constructive. Far from being a horde of spammers, vandals, and trolls new and anonymous users built most of Wikipedia's content, see here. I've done WP:RCP, the problems caused by WP:VOAs are equivalent to those caused by IPs and when subtle often take longer to get noticed. Finally, compare Wikipedia to Citizendium and tell me if that's really the direction we want to go in. I have my issues WMFs idea as well, but this is not the solution. (talk) 18:22, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
        • I absolutely don't support long-term frequent ip editing. There's no way having an account "snares people deeper into the social side of Wikipedia" if they don't want it to - this is just nonsense. Thousands of registered users just ignore any messages - User talk:DilletantiAnonymous is a shining example for you, with 246K bytes, not one by him. As an ip you are exposing a remarkable amount of personal information to anyone on the internet who cares to check it. Numbers are hard to remember for other editors & registered editors will rightly remain suspicious of those who choose not to register. Some may be harmless, but very many are not. Johnbod (talk) 04:17, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
    • Oppose, as per above, and other's arguments. (Consider my opinion changed) --MoonyTheDwarf (Braden N.) (talk) 18:53, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Equating IPs with vandals is insulting, considering that the vandal edits from IPs are a minority of all IP edits made. This is also not a fight we should be having right now in the first place considering Framgate. Also, requiring registration would more like than not discourage actual good-faith editors while doing nothing whatsoever to thwart vandalism, especially since we already get a lot of accounts that register just to vandalise/have a laugh at our expense, and that is before autocon/EC-buster socks. —v^_^v Make your position clear! 21:06, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. A large number of our good edits are from IPs. I have a large watchlist, and... I dunno, easily 10% of the good edits are from IPs. So for a start you're throwing those away right off, most of them.
Then, you have that X% of registered editors first dip their toes in as IPs. What X% is I don't know? 50%? More? Less? Whatever it is, you're throwing some of those future editors away. Registering an account takes a certain amount of emotional commitment to editing, a commitment we would be asking for in advance of a sample of the experience. (It does, and arguments of "no it doesn't" or "it didn't for me" doesn't change that: it does.) I never register at websites for features I don't either plan to use a lot, or have come to use a lot, even tho I have a throwaway email account. I just don't. Lot of people don't, probably.
As to the proximate reason for this proposal, "It is easy for an unregistered user to vandalize an article which many of us have gone through a lot of trouble to write, then immediately make a copy as if that is what was truly written"... is that an actual real problem? I have not heard this. Also, if someone is trying to be be like "See, even this Wikipedia articles says that Trump is a space alien", the fact that she's pointing to a copy on her own web site kind of takes away most of the value there. Plus if you're committed to this level of trollery, I image you'll just register an account.
Project is not broken AFAK. If IP vandalism is spiking, I haven't seen evidence on my watchlist. If something is not broken, trying to fix it might break it. Herostratus (talk) 21:33, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Vandalism is easily dealt with and might even be a positive because it gives people something to do as reverting vandalism is useful and easy. What is becoming untenable is the large number of arbitrary changes to numbers and dates and other factoids. Unfortunately that's anecdotal with no hard information available. However, see the example I posted above, and see these and these edits (reported at ANI). There is no way to evaluate arbitrary changes by a shifting IP other than to spend a couple of hours investigating the sources for each number. Johnuniq (talk) 23:03, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Edits by a registered user can be evaluated. If someone registers and does nothing but make arbitrary number/date changes, they are automatically suspect. I would politely ask them on their talk page what the reasons for the changes were. If no response and the changes continue, the editor will end up indeffed and their changes rolled back without fuss. It is much harder doing that with an IP as they usually ignore their talk pages due to disinterest, or shifting IP. IPs are also used to templated waffle on their talk and I suspect that many of them ignore it for that reason. An IP cannot be indeffed, and getting even a month-long block on an IP is not easy due to Wikipedia's folklore from the early days about AGF: a new and brilliant editor might want to use that IP tomorrow. Johnuniq (talk) 02:27, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • To your point, nothing would. However, requiring new registration coupled with email verification would discourage a lot of them from staying active over time. Being disruptive becomes a product of diminishing returns; the effort required begins to outweigh the satisfaction. The proposal here isn't the right way to do it though. We need an automated system in place or a tool for non-admins that allows more pressure to be applied to offending IPs, while at the same time preserving unhindered access for the vast majority of other IPs. There are better options we're not discussing. --GoneIn60 (talk) 02:35, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • "what would stop a registered user from doing exactly the same" There is a psychological element. An identity is something to protect. We care about our reputations. Simply making someone create a user-name causes them to think about what user-name to choose. Right there, in the making up of a user-name, one is becoming responsible for something. Many of us have the experience of regretting our choice of user-name or at least considering preferable alternatives. Bus stop (talk) 04:34, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Yet we get users who register an account just to commit vandalism all the time. "Protecting" an identity is meaningless if the identity is throwaway in the first place. —v^_^v Make your position clear! 20:49, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Vandalism is easily dealt with and might even be a positive because it gives people something to do as reverting vandalism is useful and easy. Please read the rest of my comment where I replied to you above because it contains substantive points that you have not acknowledged let alone responded to. Johnuniq (talk) 23:18, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • might even be a positive because it gives people something to do as reverting vandalism is useful and easy. - PRICELESS! ―Mandruss  23:34, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Reverting obvious vandalism is easy. Reverting subtle vandalism is not - it is quite possible that a lot of it remains unreverted, particularly if done by registered editors. Reverting vandalism and investigating possible vandalism are not particularly productive uses of time in comparison with actually building an encyclopedia. Reverting vandalism may have the theoretical upside of drawing one's attention to other aspects of an article that could use a bit of improvement, but only if they result in that improvement actually happening. Vandalism is a huge timesink, but it kind of goes with the territory. It is part of the natural environment of an open Wiki, a form of parasitism. We adapt or die. Look at filters, they are an adaptation that has served us well. What would happen if they had not been developed? We need better defenses. Sometimes we get them. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 06:37, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Most of us started out making an edit or two before registering, and most of us would find it easy to create a new account if we wanted to foment mischief. It's ultimately none of my business why someone would want to reveal their location and in many cases more by not cloaking themselves in a user name, and banning it would be one more barrier to joining the editing community, one more discouragement, when we want to draw people in and always will (no, the encyclopedia is not "nearly finished", and yes, we need fresh eyes and hands if only to replace those we inevitably lose every year, if not to provide fresh perspectives and new skills) and requiring registration will do nothing to hinder vandalism. If anything it will make some kinds of vandals, such as schoolkids, harder to detect. Yngvadottir (talk) 05:12, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Despite Mandruss's unsupported assertion that there is "a community consensus on this issue.", there is not. For example, in the current discussion my vote will make this a 12-15 in favor of the opposition, not counting split votes or nuanced answers or the like. I don't see how that represents a "consensus" to require registration. Nor am I aware of any of the past discussions on this exact issue which had such a consensus. Normal operation of Wikipedia should have zero barrier to entry, even creating a free account presents an unneeded and burdensome barrier to entry which will ultimately drive away good-faith users more than it would drive away bad-faith vandals. --Jayron32 15:51, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
    @Jayron32: Would have appreciated a ping. I've given up on this discussion as hopeless, so haven't been following it, and only happened to notice your comment by freak accident.
    The lack of consensus you correctly refer to did not exist at the time of my early comment, so I think "unsupported assertion" is more than a bit inappropriate. I didn't say there was a consensus, I allowed that there was a potential for one at that time. ―Mandruss  22:25, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Just noting that I would support if this proposal had a chance of passing. Regardless of whether most IP edits are constructive, it's still a fact that the vast majority of vandalism comes from IPs, as seen by this graph if we are to trust it. They also add to the unconstructive pile we already have to deal with regarding registered editors. It's not offensive to acknowledge facts. Been here since 2007, and I've seen, especially when patrolling with WP:STiki or WP:Huggle, that most of the vandalism comes from IPs. Requiring registration would cut down both on vandalism and socking. And Wikipedia requiring registration isn't the same as what happened to Citizendium. Citizendium wanted more than just registration. And other sites that have tried to be like Wikipedia aren't as successful anyway. Wikipedia was first and had already attained a level of popularity that Citizendium had to compete with. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 00:58, 17 October 2019 (UTC) Updated post. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:07, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
    • That graph is based on 248 edits that happened 12 years ago. Even if it happened to be a representative sample, back then, I think things might have changed in the meantime. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:51, 21 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Facts not in evidence. IPs are WP's main problem? We'd be better off without them, because they do so much more harm than good, even considering many contributing editors started as IPs? Exactly what problem is this drastic change supposed to solve, and how is this the only way to solve it? This change is supposed to have no negative consequences whatsoever, and we know this how? Well, I think WP's main problem is editors that joined after 2010; we should get rid of all of them. This new proposal of mine is as rational and justified as the one proposed here. --A D Monroe III(talk) 01:25, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
    Please help us with gathering the required evidence. What is the methodology for determining how many IP editors would register if it were required? Once we have that, how do we compensate for IP editors who are less than forthcoming in their responses – those who say they wouldn't because they don't want to, but actually would if it came to that? Do we pretend those editors don't exist in significant numbers? And so on. Explain these things to me and I'll get right on it.
    There is such a thing as unreasonable burden of proof. Akin to moving the goalposts, it's placing them a mile away from the kicker from the outset. ―Mandruss  02:09, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
    You've made the assertion that IP edits are a problem that needs fixing, and that Wikipedia is better off if we just got rid of them. It isn't really incumbent upon others to provide evidence that you're wrong. Null hypothesis requires that the burden is always on the person making the positive assertion to provide evidence to support it. Demanding that every assertion one makes must be accepted as true without proof otherwise is strange. Asking for simple evidence that requiring registration is necessary is not an unreasonable standard. You've (in the collective) asserted Wikipedia needs to do this. Why? --Jayron32 12:41, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
    Inertia lives in demands that proponents of change prove the unprovable. It makes it virtually impossible to respond to change, in this case that change being 18 years and 5 million articles. If you dispute my assertion that proponents' arguments are unprovable, I've asked for some explanation of how to prove them – an eminently fair request – and I have not seen that. As I said, unreasonable burden of proof. Absent debate judges, you and others making that unreasonable demand will prevail here, being enough to prevent a consensus for change, but I'm not going away without calling you out for unfair argument. ―Mandruss  06:13, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
    You've not even established that we need anything to change. You've said we do, without providing any evidence that we do. And then said that anyone who asks for a reason why is making unreasonable demands. I still don't see why you can just demand a major change to the way Wikipedia operates, and provide no evidence why we need to. --Jayron32 14:10, 21 October 2019 (UTC)
    We have provided reasoning why we need to – reasoning based in knowledge of the world, human nature, logic, etc. That's the best we can be expected to do. I've no beef with countering reasoning – that's what fair discussion is – but I don't like my arguments rejected out of hand because they lack proof of the unprovable. ―Mandruss  22:43, 21 October 2019 (UTC)
Here's an idea. Why not have software supply would-be unregistered users with accounts, including computer-generated user-names? In other words—you would have no choice. If you want to abandon that assigned account, you are free to do so. But there should be some type of a small penalty to disincentivize abandoning assigned accounts, such as a 24 or 48 hour waiting time to get a new assigned account at that IP address. The advantage to this is that the computer-generated user-names would be much more memorable than the string of numbers of an IP address. Bus stop (talk) 00:36, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per every other time this has been proposed. Sam Walton (talk) 08:19, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose as requesting my account took a few weeks, and people who just want to fix on typo or similar, aren't going to go through the hassle of requesting. this will only gate-keep the editing of Wikipedia, which goes completely contrary to the goals of Wikipedia. ArkayusMako (talk) 12:09, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
I'm not arguing one way or the other for the "registration", just responding to the above. @ArkayusMako:, I have no idea why it would take a couple weeks, it's usually pretty instantaneous. Glitch on our side, your ISP, some point in between? IDK. But sorry about that.— Ched (talk) 12:30, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - I have seen many useful edits by IP users. Especially small fixes and updates. I did a few of those myself before creating an account. And if I ever stop using a registered account, then I will continue to make some of those edits as an IP user as well. I also see many good reasons why people would want to avoid being part of the Wikipedia community. It is rather toxic at times. --Hecato (talk) 14:38, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose – Fighting vandalism is a huge time sink here, but it won't necessarily be stopped by registration, which may leave us with the inveterate, belligerent vandals, while keeping useful editors out. I'm seeing a lot of helpful edits from IPs on my watchlist, and my sense is that vandalism has gone down since I became active in 2013. Dhtwiki (talk) 19:39, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support - IP vandals are a major time sink, they chip away at the credibility of the pedia, and I see no feasible way the good aspects of not registering possibly outweigh the bad. Atsme Talk 📧 20:13, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - I have always thought that allowing unregistered editors to edit in article space was an original mistake, but because it was an original mistake, it might not be corrected. Now that WMF is prepared to go to bizarre lengths to protect unregistered editors from themselves, in a way that will probably interfere with the prevention of vandalism, we should recognize that the easier way to protect unregistered editors from giving away their IP addresses is to require that they register pseudonymously (or with names), and we have always had pseudonymous registration. Perhaps the WMF has considered the risk that unregistered editors are facing with regard to privacy and not the counter-balancing consideration of the integrity of the encyclopedia. If the WMF really really wants to allow unregistered editors with masking, it could restrict their editing to talk pages, but that would sort of be the worst of both worlds. Just tell them to register. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:59, 20 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose because IP editing is a core principle of Wikipedia and must continue to be. Also, in my experience, the IP vandals I have dealt with are usually very minor nuances, whereas the vandals who take the time to actually register are the ones who waste a significant amount of our time, and this proposal will do nothing to solve that issue. --Secundus Zephyrus (talk) 15:33, 23 October 2019 (UTC)
    • The problem is that many IPs have a hobby of changing numbers and other factoids because it's fun. What they do cannot be called vandalism because it might be a good-faith edit. If done by a registered user, their activity would be noticed eventually and their changes reverted after blocking the user. That is not possible for shifting IPs. The example I posted above is still there after ten days and exposure on this noticeboard. Johnuniq (talk) 00:45, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support. The myriad disadvantages of IP editing far outweigh the advantages, including more privacy with an account. I have often proposed a short intro period where IP editing of talk pages is allowed, for example up to 50 edits, and then require registration, but that can be gamed with IP hopping. IP editing of articles should not be allowed, even now. -- BullRangifer (talk) 02:37, 24 October 2019 (UTC)

Require pending changes protection[edit]

it is clear that this proposal stands no chance of being enacted, as it runs counter to the fundamental mission of Wikipedia at the most basic level. Universal or broad-based forms of protection are basically always shot down per WP:PEREN, while this variation is novel, the litmus test for potential success as a proposal should be is the protection applied to individual articles on a case-by-case basis. As soon as protection in any form applies to "all articles", it isn't going to happen. Leaving this open any longer isn't likely to result in a change in this attitude across Wikipedia, as should be clear from the pile-on opposes that have rapidly come up. --Jayron32 15:43, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should there be a new non-flagged pending changes protection for all pages? QuackGuru (talk) 21:02, 15 October 2019 (UTC)

A non-flagged pending changes protection means any editor with more than 500 edits can approve an edit. This is a good compromise. QuackGuru (talk) 21:47, 15 October 2019 (UTC)

I recommend WP:PCPP for all pages. Only approved edits will pass, while still allowing IPs and new accounts to edit pages. People are spending hours each day reverting vandals. This change will cut back on vandalism while freeing up more time to improve articles and pages. QuackGuru (talk) 21:02, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support as proposer. See the edit history of this article. Pending changes protection is working like a well-oiled machine. QuackGuru (talk) 21:11, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • No. If you want this and the consequential eternal backlogs that come with it, learn German.v^_^v Make your position clear! 21:19, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support as worth a try. Xxanthippe (talk) 21:26, 15 October 2019 (UTC).
    • I feel I need to point out that what is being proposed here is FlaggedRevisions being deployed here on en.wp. Pending Changes is a very deliberately neutered version of it that we only got because we as a community objected to it. —v^_^v Make your position clear! 21:29, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
      • I have updated the proposal for a new non-flagged pending changes protection. A non-flagged pending changes protection means any editor with more than 500 edits can approve an edit. QuackGuru (talk) 21:36, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
        • Which is an idiotic idea that even most pro-PC/FR users rejected when we were debating PC/FR. Edit count is not an accurate predictor of whether someone knows how to review (which is also why most automatic-reviewer-status proposals have failed). —v^_^v Make your position clear! 21:42, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
          • Do you have a better idea? QuackGuru (talk) 21:47, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
            • Yeah. Jettisoning Pending Changes entirely. I have made my position on PC/FR very clear (if this is news to you, you have not been] paying attention), and am dead serious about anyone interested about seeing how it works on a project-wide scale learning German and contributing to de.wp. Oh, and PC is contraindicated on pages that see high volumes of edits because it causes massive backlogs. —v^_^v Make your position clear! 22:01, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
              • Non-flagged pending revisions would have much less backlog because anyone with over 500 edits can check it. QuackGuru (talk) 22:44, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
                • Edit count is not and never will be a substitute for what is actually required to be a CRASH member that doesn't suck at their job. In all previous discussions all edit-count-based automatic reviewer proposals have failed. —v^_^v Make your position clear! 23:20, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
                • Currently, everyone with over 500 edits can patrol all of the non-protected articles and revert vandalism. What would change by putting them all under protection while allowing editors with 500+ edits to review them? isaacl (talk) 23:28, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
                  • The proposal is not about changing what is the requirement for WP:Reviewers. I'm trying to think of a way to make it easier for a new process for non-flagged pending changes. QuackGuru (talk) 23:33, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
                    • There isn't going to be one because there is consensus against basing the reviewer right or anything equivalent in power solely on edit count. You're trying to circle a square by allowing non-reviewers to review articles, which isn't even technically possible at present AFAIK. —v^_^v Make your position clear! 23:38, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
                  • What would change by putting them all under protection? The edits would not be visible to the general public until checked. QuackGuru (talk) 23:33, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
                    • What would change is the backlog would get even more unmanageable. Even if we stick with just EC users (47,637, deliberately not counting myself) and just mainspace (5,951,561) the ratio is 1 editor for every 124.9 articles. For reference, when I crunched the numbers of active reviewers to BLPs - much smaller numbers, both, and done years ago during the PC "fuck you got mines", the ratio I got was approximately half that (1:65). —v^_^v Make your position clear! 23:39, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
                    • You said that backlogs would be reduced since anyone with over 500 edits could review the pending changes. But why would these editors be more willing to review potential vandalism changes than they are now? They have the full ability to do so now, and since the content is live there is a greater urgency to perform reviews. What would entice them to engage in this endless, thankless task? isaacl (talk) 23:43, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
                      • There is an unseen backlog of edits from the countless edits that never get checked. That is the real backlog. If the backlog is unmanageable then the vandalism is currently unmanageable because there are too many edits that go unchecked. QuackGuru (talk) 13:15, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Pending changes is very useful in certain limited situations. BLPs come to mind as particularly suited to PC protection. However, the backlog that would result from turning it on for all pages would be insane. There would be no way for the editing community to keep up with that. If you think the "hours each day" spent reverting vandals is wasted, the hours each day reviewing and approving or reverting every single edit by non-autoconfirmed users that would result from having PC on by default would be at least 10 times the current amount of time reverting vandals. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 22:07, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose ONUnicorn hits the nail on the head. This is also rife with the antipathy to anonymous editors. I know some people don't believe this but IPs do make good edits - I see dozens every day. This would mean those good edits would be held in limbo until they are checked. Add to this the fact that there are dozens - 100s - 1000s of articles that are not on any active editors watchlists and there would quickly be countless edits that never get looked at. MarnetteD|Talk 22:26, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Not the right time for this, if ever: wholly inefficient for current editors; and how would we accrete new editors? (What, wait for their edits to go through, even if an IP focuses solely, on, say, United States diplomats of the 20th century? Now, that's one of my fields, but even I have to be away from the computer at times...) Like MarnetteD, as well, I can't help but see this as tinged with distaste toward anonymous editors. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 23:32, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Pending changes works well for pages where there are a few people paying special attention. Not so good elsewhere. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 05:57, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose This goes squarely against the five Pillars, namely Wikipedia is free content that anyone can use, edit, and distribute. If the community would really want all articles to be protected in some form, the community would have formed consensus to just do that a long time ago. Lectonar (talk) 13:44, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
    Also: a lot of vandalism by IPs and regular users is reverted by IPs; no need to cut them off by showing some kind of mistrust which is unearned. And a lot of valuable content is also created by IPs. Lectonar (talk) 13:47, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Same as with other, prefer a registration "nag".Selfstudier (talk) 14:55, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

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

CC-BY attribution for every contributor[edit]

Given the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License that is applied to contributors—contributed content.

How is the "CC BY" (a component of cc-by-sa) attribution effectively "shown/presented" for every contributor:

  • Does it have to be in the article content as a non-displayable remark? —apparently not.
  • Does the article contribution history effectively function as "CC BY" attribution to each individual contributor? —where is the policy/opinion-essay that presents how this is compliant with Creative Commons Attribution requirements. --2db (talk) 16:21, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
An article history is considered the history of contributor contributions for CC-SA. It is why it is important that page moves are done properly and not through copy-and-paste, that merged content should be identified by the oldid/diff where it originated from, and history merges used when merges occur followed by deletions so the contributions are kept. External to WP, it thus is sufficient to simply link to the WP page the CC-SA content was pulled from as the edit history can be found there. See WP:REUSE for the instructions to reusers of WP content. --Masem (t) 16:30, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Only caveat here is that this applies to textual content on Wikipedia, and may not extend to media uploaded under a different but compatible free license under different terms. GMGtalk 16:34, 16 October 2019 (UTC)


  • An article history is considered the history of contributor contributions for CC-SA.

Ok, this implies that "article history" also meets the "CC BY" (a component of every CC–License) as attribution of the contributors—contributed content.

As I understand, every contributor "owns" each "original-work" textual contribution. However when the owner/contributor publishes said textual content on WP, the owner is agreeing to apply the unrevocable CC license mandated by WP. Now WP still has a requirement to give "CC BY" attribution to the contributor—which is met by the "article history" mechanism.

I concur that the "article history" mechanism, meets the "CC BY" content attribution requirement—as proper attribution to the contributor, however that is my opinion. Has any policy/essay been published on why this is correct? --2db (talk) 17:44, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

I mean, I don't know that there's ever been a court case challenging this form of attribution under the license. That's the only real form of precedent setting publication on the matter. GMGtalk 18:53, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
It is part of the Wikimedia Foundation's terms of use that we agree to when we edit. We agree to be attributed in this way. See m:Terms of Use. StarryGrandma (talk) 19:05, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── What is the status of a contributors—contributed content that has deleted from the article. Does the unrevocable CC license mandated by WP per the original terms for publication by the contributor become null and void after x amount of time? --2db (talk) 03:50, 20 October 2019 (UTC)

@2db: basically, it doesn't change things: that the Wikimedia Foundation, though its volunteers, has chosen to stop publishing a contribution has no bearing on the copyright release that was made by the original contributor. You can release any copyrightable work you produce under CC or any other license you want - we just only accept for publishing works that are under that license. The Creative Commons license, and the GFDL are not licenses to, or licenses of Wikipedia. — xaosflux Talk 04:04, 20 October 2019 (UTC)
Copyright doesn't last for ever, more like life plus 70 years. But as some of our contributors are rather young, this could lead to some interesting discussions about Copyright in the next century. If it is Life plus seventy, and one assumes human life expectancy sticks at 115 being a safely high number, then by 2180 you should be safe to assume that early versions of Wikipedia are out of copyright. However, I'm not sure if the rules are different for collective works, afterall we were able to include work from the 1911 Britannica after less than a hundred years. ϢereSpielChequers 21:43, 22 October 2019 (UTC)

RfC on additional page mover permissions[edit]


There is a current request for comment at Wikipedia talk:Page mover (discussion link) regarding whether page movers should be permitted to move pages which are full-protected. As this would require a change of policy, I'm cross-posting here. Sceptre (talk) 18:08, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

Require a captcha for every IP edit in reader-oriented spaces[edit]

Look, if you really want to encourage IPs to register an account without requiring them to do so, and you don't want regular editors to face the backlog from making all IP edits pending changes, just require IPs to enter a captcha for each and every individual edit made in mainspace, template space, category space, image space, and portal space. Incidentally, this will help prevent editors with accounts from accidentally making edits while logged out, since they will get the same notice that a captcha is needed before they can save. IP editors who are serious about improving the encyclopedia will likely trudge through some captchas to make their changes (and perhaps will use fewer edits, since I have seen IPs go through a string of 20 edits to fix up an article, when they could have used the preview function and avoided all that). IP editors who merely want to comment in talk page discussions will be unaffected. bd2412 T 19:14, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

*lol* Irritate the hell out of them before they do it to us - or auto-gen an ad they have to watch before they can make any changes. Love it! Atsme Talk 📧 20:33, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
@Tony the Marine and QuackGuru: Does this satisfy your concerns? bd2412 T 19:16, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
@BD2412: long-standing issues such as phab:T6845 should probably be solved first... — xaosflux Talk 19:24, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
I proposed a captcha because it is a minor annoyance that would nudge people towards registering and make IP vandalism more time consuming for the IP. We could just as easily use a popup on each edit requiring the IP editor to confirm that they wish to continue even though their IP address will be recorded, or the like. bd2412 T 19:34, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
I know we're not really voting (or maybe we are?) but support. Anyone can edit and this does not prevent it, but as has been repeatedly pointed out over a very long time, registering an account is more anonymous than editing with your IP address attached to every edit. Whatever technical issues there are solved first, of course. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 19:37, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
This definitely helps. There are some IPs that never register but have made hundreds of edits. It should be capped off at about 100 edits (not including talk pages) to require a captcha for IPs and new accounts. QuackGuru (talk) 19:50, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as counterproductive and yet more "Fuck Tha IPs" bullshit. Why would you demand a CAPTCHA to revert vandalism? That's something that IPs can and will do, and throwing this sort of barrier up is going to discourage that. —v^_^v Make your position clear! 20:52, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
    • All new edits by IPs and new accounts would require a captcha for at least the first 100 edits. Talk page discussions would not require a captcha. QuackGuru (talk) 20:59, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
      • There's no way to meaningfully tell a new edit from a revert for IPs that don't know how to use page histories. —v^_^v Make your position clear! 21:04, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
        • A new edit or a revert for IPs and new accounts would still require a captcha under the proposal. QuackGuru (talk) 21:37, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
          • 100 captchas? I would have sworn off Wikipedia before I was a 1/5th of the way through - and that's not counting that our captchas are terrible Nosebagbear (talk) 21:45, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
          • Is your actual plan to flip off IPs and softban them from Wikipedia, QuackGuru? Because that is the only way I can still presume good faith and reconcile your proposals. Also, what Nosebagbear says above. —v^_^v Make your position clear! 21:55, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
    • I think a registration nag/limitations till registered is sufficient.Don't like captchas.Selfstudier (talk) 22:42, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose: I despise captchas, too. (They don't like me; and don't get me started on their image-based replacements: even worse.) I wouldn't dream of inflicting them on others. This is a proposal that, if implemented, would do immeasurable harm to IP editors and to Wikipedia's image as a whole. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 23:16, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
And I forgot to mention this: I believe this proposal, if implemented, would fall afoul of the nondiscrimination resolution at WP:ACCESSIBILITY. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 23:22, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
I do not think captcha is the answer. When I first wrote my comment I was expressing my personal opinion which I titled "I Believe", I had no intentions of creating a "support" or "oppose" issue, however the title was changed to "Require Registration" by someone else. I know there are a lot of un-registered users who are good at what they do and mean well. Most of these end up being registered users who have made great contributions to our project. However, many users agree with me that the majority of the vandalism made to our great articles are made by non-registered users who have bad-faith editing on their minds. My personal believe is that they and everyone else for that matter should be held accountable for their contributions, whether these are positive or negative. I have known many great contributors to this project who gave up because of all the negative editing going on. That is why I believe that Wikipedia has to or should implement some rules or policy to protect those of us who love this project and wish for it to reach high standards of reliability. That is all I have to say in regard to my personal believes and this subject. Tony the Marine (talk) 23:50, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

Little late to the show (I had to figure out which pictures showed a crosswalk partially obstructed by a traffic light manufactured by Consolidated Lighting between 1937-1962), but: it is true that "the majority of the vandalism made to our great articles are made by non-registered users". Not only that, but the majority of the vandalism made to our lousy articles are also made by non-registered users. That matters, but it matters a whole lot less than this: the net effect of edits by not-registered users is positive. I base this on watching a 2,000-article watchlist for ten years. The net effect of edits by not-registered users is less positive than the net effect of edits by registered users, this is true. But so? It's still a positive. IP's vandalize, but they more often fix spelling, improve grammar, add good material, correct facts, add refs, and so forth. Herostratus (talk) 03:32, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

  • Not captcha but some minor friction/login-reminder on most or all IP edits seems like a good idea.  Just an extra OK click to say I'd really rather not log in or make an account should be enough.  I logged out for this edit just to see what I would get. I got a welcome/start editing dialog; is that always there, or just on first edit from an IP address? (talk) 04:07, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
    • Probably just from the first edit. The last time I accidentally logged out and made an edit, I was surprised to see the edit coming from my IP address. I frankly would have preferred some kind of head's up. Yes, some minor friction. bd2412 T 04:12, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
      • I got it again. Maybe because in a private window there's no cookie to say I've seen it already? (talk) 04:15, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
        • Yup, no such notice on second edit in same private window. (talk) 04:16, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose any barrier to entry for good-faith edits. --Jayron32 14:41, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose From my experience, exceedingly slow. Captcha should only be used to prevent vandal bots, spam bots, ad bots, and other non-human vandals and advertisers, not humans. Plus Captcha might not work in some areas, and on some networks I have found that it doesn't work at all. From AnUnnamedUser (open talk page) 23:22, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Captchas are used to filter out non-human agents. There doesn't appear to be any spate of malicious anonymous bots, so the proposal seems to be only about erecting obstacles in the way of IPs. Maybe this could entice a small number of them to register an account, but it's sure to annoy the hell out of many others and deter them from editing altogether. – Uanfala (talk) 13:02, 20 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree with ("Not captcha, but some minor friction/login-reminder on most or all IP edits seems like a good idea.") I don't have anything specific to propose at this time. So, I oppose this exact proposal but support a later attempt to get us somewhere. While we do not want to discourage good-faith contributions, we do need to encourage account-creation, and discourage bad-faith (or even "grey-faith" – boneheaded, test/experiment, or just plain clueless) edits, most especially bad-faith ones done in rapid-fire succession. It's been a problem for 18 years and is not abating, so steps need to be taken, and have needed to be taken for a very long time. It's shameful how much constructive volunteer time is wasted cleaning up after bad IP edits. I'm extremely skeptical that the amount of good content contributed per day by IPs exceeds the amount of mess everyone else has to clean up. Maybe it did in the 2000s, but likely not today.  — AReaderOutThatawayt/c 05:39, 22 October 2019 (UTC)

Request for comment[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Requests for comment/2019 community sentiment on binding desysop procedure. GMGtalk 01:03, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

Multiple users logged in on same account[edit]

Does anyone know if there is any rule against more than one person being given & using the password of a user account? Can't find anything on that. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 20:30, 19 October 2019 (UTC)

@SergeWoodzing: That's not usually allowed, see WP:NOSHARING. -- John of Reading (talk) 20:40, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
Thank you - that's what I was trying to find. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 20:41, 19 October 2019 (UTC)

It's good to know there's a restriction, Portuguese Wikipedia even had a shared sysop account at some point, I just assumed it was allowed and a study group I direct considered doing it for organisational purposes (and to avoid meatpuppetry accusations). We never did it anyway. Leefeniaures audiendi audiat 21:36, 19 October 2019 (UTC)

This strays from the original topic, but why isn't there a policy that explicitly bans or otherwise restricts shared accounts whose usernames don't imply that they're shared? From AnUnnamedUser (open talk page) 00:23, 24 October 2019 (UTC)