Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)

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RFC: spelling of "organisation"/"organization" in descriptive category names[edit]

 Administrator note:: This RfC was closed on 17 April 2019, and reopened after editors suggested the same at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Further discussion of recent RfC on organisation vs organization. Lourdes 07:31, 18 April 2019 (UTC) Should all Wikipedia categories which use the word "organisation"/"organization" as part of a descriptive name per WP:NDESC be standardized to use the "Z" spelling, i.e. "organization" rather than "organisation"?

Note that this proposal does not apply to proper names, such as Category:International Labour Organization, which should use the name selected per WP:Article titles for the title of the head article. It applies only to the descriptive category titles invented by Wikipedia editors per WP:NDESC, such as Category:Agricultural organizations based in the Caribbean, Category:Organizations established in the 19th century, Category:Religious organizations by faith or belief, Category:Sports organisations of Ireland, and Category:Paramilitary organisations based in the United Kingdom. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 19:57, 4 April 2019 (UTC)

Extended explanation[edit]

This question may sound like trivial pedantry, but Category:Organizations has about ten thousand descriptively-named sub-categories. Those are inconsistently named, and therefore generate a steady stream of renaming proposals at WP:CFD.

Per WP:NCCAT, category names should "follow certain conventions", but there is no clear convention here; no single principle (or even agreed set of principles) defining which spelling to use. This makes the category system hard to use and hard to maintain, because it is difficult to predict which spelling is in use in each case

Over the years, these categories have been the subject of numerous renaming discussions, and several are open now. Several well-established principles are applied, but they are often fuzzy or conflicting, and they produce varying outcomes depending on the good faith interpretations of the experienced editors involved. Many categories have been renamed multiple times.

  1. MOS:TIES recommends that for English-speaking nations, we should use the (formal, not colloquial) English of that nation.
    • It is often hard to determine which (if any) usage is preferred in any given country
    • There is disagreement about whether the "S" spelling is actually the clearly-preferred option in any national variant of English
  2. MOS:RETAIN advocates that the initial version should be retained in the absence of consensus to the contrary.
  3. Geography. No policy appears to cover usage in non-English-speaking nations, so editors apply in good faith a variety of well-reasoned principles which produce different outcomes, e.g.
    A/ Countries which are geographically closer to the UK than the US should use the British spelling, and vice-versa
    B/ Commonwealth countries (i.e. the former British Empire) should follow British spelling.
    • Those two principles clash for the many former British colonies in the Americas
    • There is legitimate dispute about the extent to which British usage persists 50 years after independence

These inconsistencies create clashes of principle. If MOS:RETAIN is applied, then each container category ends up with a random assortment of spellings, depending on the choice of the creator.

However, most categories for organisations are intersections of two or more category trees, e.g.* Category:Sports organisations of Iran is an intersection of Category:Organizations by type and Category:Organizations by country.

Taking that example: if we apply MOS:TIES, we get inconsistent titles in Category:Sports organizations by country, e.g. Category:Sports organisations of Mozambique/Category:Sports organizations of the Comoros.

On the other hand, if we apply consistency across Category:Sports organizations by country, that creates inconsistencies with MOS:TIES-derived names for the country categories. e.g. if Category:Sports organisations of Mozambique was renamed to use "Z", then that would clash with the grandparent Category:Organisations based in Mozambique.

In CFD discussions, the main argument for standardisation is that per American and British English spelling differences#-ise,_-ize_(-isation,_-ization), some British usage prefers the "S" spelling, bit there is no overall preference ... and that while the "S" spelling" is unacceptable in American usage, the "Z" spelling is acceptable variant in all countries.

On the other side, arguments against standardisation prioritise MOS:TIES, and assert that "S" is the standard British usage. They note how ENGVAR variations are accepted in other types of category. One example of this is Category:Association football players, whose subcategories variously use "association football players", "footballers" or "soccer players", depending on local usage. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 19:58, 4 April 2019 (UTC)

Organizations: Discussion/survey[edit]

add your comments and/or !votes here
  • Use "z". I'm British, and use both spellings interchangeably. In some parts of the English-speaking world only "z" is correct, but in others both "s" and "z" are correct. I don't know of anywhere where "z" is incorrect. I must add that it's very tiresome that we have to even discuss this, but there are certain editors who seem to like arguing for arguing's sake. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:27, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Couldn't category redirects solve tis without renaming anything? If the answer apears to be "no they can't" then I agree with every word of the above comment by Phil Bridger. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:28, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
    • Categories use WP:soft redirects (see Example), unlike e.g. lists which use hard redirects; while these can reduce the problem, they require an extra click. – Fayenatic London 22:15, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
  • @Beeblebrox, two years ago I thought that redirects might be a partial solution (with the limitation which @Fayenatic notes), provided that there was a bot to apply them in all instances, on an ongoing basis. So I proposed the bot, at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/BHGbot 3, and there were so many niggles that I gave up. (The bot was approved for a trial run, but there were strong objections to making it an open-ended task, which is exactly what would be needed for the bot to solve the problem).
That's why I have come around to the view that we should fix the problem at source by abandoning the pretence that British English has such a strong preference for the "s" spelling that we shouldn't use Z in any topic relating to the former British Empire other than in the United States. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 22:18, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Don't standardize. Personally, I use British English with a "z", but I don't think it is good idea to bow to the consistency zealots on this. They'd only find something more serious to worry about. Johnbod (talk) 21:37, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
    • If there is continuing conflict without standardization, "don't standardize" is the wrong solution. There might be some reasonable middle ground toward standardization and away from conflict, but a basic non-vote definitely isn't it. --Izno (talk) 22:11, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use z. I'm British and use "s" in my personal and professional writing, but it is often inconvenient in Wikipedia that the spelling of categories for orgs is unpredictable. Using the Oxford spelling with the "z" is not un-British anyway. We already use the non-French "z" spelling for France (see CFD in 2017 closed by me) and various other countries in Europe/Commonwealth. Let's take it all the way. – Fayenatic London 22:15, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
    • I am prepared to make exceptions for Australia and New Zealand. NZ apparently uses -ise; these sources are not best quality but IMHO suffice to demonstrate that point.[1][2][3] However, other former colonies are not so evidently wedded to the "s" spellings. Let's switch to "z" in UK, British Overseas Territories, Europe, Asia, S America, the Caribbean, and the remainder of Oceania. – Fayenatic London 08:52, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - organize was good enough for Samuel Johnson and so it is good enough for me (in the UK). The Americans have in this case adhered to correct classical English. Oculi (talk) 22:17, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use z. I agree with the observations of both Phil Bridger and Oculi. And if something is correct everywhere, it ought to take precedence over one national preference. Now the consistency folks can worry about why Category:Television shows by country rolls up to Category:Television programs where "shows" is correct wherever English is used but the spelling of program/programme may differ. Cheers, Carlossuarez46 (talk) 23:33, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
  • On the point of commonality, do see MOS:COMMONALITY. --Izno (talk) 23:42, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use "z", since it is considered acceptable in British English (unless I've been doing it wrong all this time). Jc86035 (talk) 09:38, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Don't standardise. Continue to use "s" in countries that predominantly use "s" (like the UK, Australia and New Zealand). It's very rare to see "z" in the UK outside Oxford these days. We don't change other category names for consistency, so I have no idea why we'd want to here. It is clear from the media, from previous WP discussions and from usage in WP articles by British editors that "s" is now greatly preferred in the UK. -- Necrothesp (talk) 10:21, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
    • @Necrothesp, your statement that we don't change other category names for consistency is plain false. On the contrary, large numbers of category names are changed for consistency every single day. Most weeks, several hundred categories are renamed for consistency at WP:CFDS per WP:C2B, WP:C2C, or WP:C2D ... while new consistent conventions are repeatedly established at full CFD discussions.
It's also clear that you well know that statement to be false, because you yourself have made plenty of CFDS nominations on the basis of consistency. including [4], [5], [6], [7], [8]. That's only a small sample, and it is very sad to see an admin asserting as fact something which they have demonstrably known for many years to be untrue.
The reason we seek consistency, as you clearly well know, is that inconsistent titling is confusing for both readers and editors. You also do huge numbers of article moves on that very basis per the policy WP:CONSISTENCY (part of WP:Article titles), and as noted above the same principle applies to categories: see WP:NCCAT.
In this case, we have policy on what to do: MOS:COMMONALITY says "For an international encyclopaedia, using vocabulary common to all varieties of English is preferable: Use universally accepted terms rather than those less widely distributed, especially in titles". In this case, the Z spelling is a universally accepted variant, even if it is not universally preferred ... whereas the "S" spelling is not acceptable in American English. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:11, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
You misunderstand me. As usual, it appears. We do not change category titles for consistency in WP:ENGVAR circumstances. We may change them for consistency in non-ENGVAR circumstances if it is uncontroversial, yes. This is a different issue. And despite claims to the contrary, this is an ENGVAR issue, as "z" is indeed very rarely used these days in British English. -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:54, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
No, Necrothesp, I did not misunderstand you. I correctly understood the clear meaning of what you actually wrote, which now turns out to be radically different from what you now claim you intended to say. Please do not misrepresent your change of assertion as someone else's failure to understand.
As to ENGVAR, for over a century the leading dictionary of British English has been the Oxford English Dictionary, which continues to recommend the "Z" spelling as the preferred form. Are you really, seriously, trying to claim that OED's recommendation is not an acceptable usage in British English? Really? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 13:09, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
@BrownHairedGirl, FWIW the OED is now the last part of Oxford clinging on to Oxford spelling; even Oxford University itself has deprecated its use ‑ Iridescent 22:36, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Our present policy wastes a great deal of editors' time and effort. It doesn't produce consistent results. Consistency in country subcategories is achieved at the expense of inconsistency in all the other hierarchies. Consistency would increase our efficiency and enable us to quibble about things that are more important. There is nowhere where spelling organization with a z is wrong. The problem really is that in the UK it is seen, quite mistakenly, as American linguistic imperialism.Rathfelder (talk) 12:40, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
    • No, it's merely seen as uncommon in the present day. An archaic usage preserved by Oxford but not much elsewhere. -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:57, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support "z" - Barring specific cases where a proper name using "Organisation" is involved, the more inclusive "organization" should be used in all other cases. It is clear that this has been an ongoing issue that repeatedly comes up and it will save everyone's time in the long run to make this a standard convention. The fact that one spelling ("z") is acceptable (if not preferred) globally and the other is unacceptable in large parts of the world makes this change an obviously better convention over the current hodge-podge of MOS:RETAIN-based random spellings or multiple CFDs to attempt to meet MOS:TIES. I think BrownHairedGirl has made a very compelling argument and I haven't (yet?) seen any substantive argument against it. - PaulT+/C 14:11, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Don't standarise per Necrothesp. There's no reason to change the status quo here, and Oxford is not an authority for the whole of British English (and definitely isn't for Australian or New Zealand English, where -ise is strongly preferred). IffyChat -- 14:30, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
    • Also, this is NOT a commonality issue, many parts of the world primarily use 's', just as much as many areas use 'z'. This isn't the American english Wikipedia, it's the English language wikipedia for all users of the English language. IffyChat -- 08:23, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Slightly alternate proposal: Use "z" but create a preference setting where editors who want to see the word spelled with an "s" in category names can see it that way. bd2412 T 14:54, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • @BD2412 I appreciate the quest for a solution which gives as many people as possible most of what they want. That's a good approach throughout life.
So I have no objection in principle to that idea, but is it technically feasible? I know that much wizardry can be achieved by AJAX, but even if some cunning code could change the displayed spelling of category titles as they appear at the bottom of an article or at the top of a category page, how would it distinguish between descriptive titles and proper names, so that it converted Category:Sports organizations of Estonia but not Category:International Labour Organization or Category:Organization of American States?
Readers might like this, but it would cause problems for editors, who would never see the actual title of the category, and be mystified why tyoing in the "S" spelling produced a redlink. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:23, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
My initial thoughts on this would be that 1) some kind of tag would need to be put on formal names to prevent them from showing up with the "s" spelling, if we care to do that, and 2) irrespective of the outcome of this discussion, there should be a category redirect pointing from the "s" spelling to the "z" spelling. When using hotcat, at least, this will change the input to the correct category. bd2412 T 15:36, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
So who gets the job of tagging all the relevant categories, and maintaining those tags? As the Pages per ActiveEditor ratio continues to grow, we need fewer of those maintenance tasks, not more.
As to redirects, yes I agree. As I noted above in reply to Beeblebrox, I tried two years ago to create a bot to do just that, but the BRFA got drowned in nitpicking so I gave up.
I do think that Phil Bridger's reminder of the fate of the time/date preference thing is worth remembering. It was all just seen as too much complexity for too little benefit. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:52, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
Before going too far with that proposal I would remind editors that we used to do something similar with dates in articles, where they were presented in dmy or mdy format in accordance with a preference. That system was done away with - here is one discussion but I'm sure there were more - for reasons that could also be applicable to this proposal. Phil Bridger (talk) 15:59, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use 'z' except in countries where 'z' is plain wrong (perhaps Australia and New Zealand?). Marcocapelle (talk) 16:36, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support "z" I do a lot of work on organizational categories. Our present policy wastes a lot of my time and energy. It prioritises consistency by country over consistency by subject, for no obvious reason, even where English is not a native language in the country concerned. Personally I have been using s for about 55 years, even though I was brought up to revere the Oxford English Dictionary, but I think the importance of consistency should outweigh personal preference I . Rathfelder (talk) 17:26, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose standardisation z these days is a variant, not the standard modern spelling in British English with the OED and related publishing house very much fighting a losing battle on this. In other countries z is used even less. Whatever is done there will be inconsistency as there are numerous main articles and lists using s, to say nothing of other cases where different spellings and terms are in use (programmes/programs/shows has already come up) so trying to impose a global consistency just isn't going settle things. Timrollpickering (Talk) 18:14, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use “z” per MOS:COMMONALITY, Z would be preferred because it is accepted intenationally and S is not. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 19:30, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use "z" Standardization helps, it's categorization. It is WP:COMMONSENSE to use what's more common. --QEDK () 20:06, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Don't standardise. I don't see this as a problem, and "z" is not acceptable in Australian (or I presume NZ) English. Frickeg (talk) 21:29, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
    • @Frickeg, do you have any actual evidence that the "Z" spelling is not an acceptable variation in Australian English? Sorry to be a where's-the-WP:RS pedant, but in countless CFD discussions I have seen many confident assertions of national preferences in spelling, but there is almost never any evidence offered. Please can you fill the gap, and be the one who actually provides the sources which support your claim that "Z" spelling is never an acceptable variation in Australia? Thanks. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 22:02, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
      • The Macquarie Dictionary, the closest thing to an authority here, says (paywalled) "Current Australian usage clearly favours consistent use of -ise". Although Macquarie does list "-ize" as a variant (perhaps "not acceptable" was an overstatement, but "very rarely used" is certainly true; Macquarie also lists practically all US spellings as variants, which doesn't mean they're generally acceptable in AusEng), I have been unable to find a single Australian style guide that allows "-ize", and you will practically never see it in Australian publications. It is clearly recognised as an Americanism, and even if there is some doubt about the common British usage, there really isn't for us. I see no reason why WP:TIES would not apply, and WP:RETAIN when we are talking multi-national categories. Frickeg (talk) 23:38, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Thanks @Frickeg. Would you be ale to quote the rest of the entry? The actual wording is important to the application of MOS:COMMONALITY, and your paraphrasing raises a few questions for me.
As to WP:RETAIN, it is a disastrous principle to apply to any category set and esp large sets, because it produces random outcomes across category trees. That makes it hard for editors to add categories, hard for readers to type them, and massively complicates all sorts of maintenance and templating functions. That's why so many categories of all types are renamed very day per WP:C2C. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 00:43, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
  • The entirety of the entry "-ise": "a suffix of verbs having the following senses: 1. intransitively, of following some line of action, practice, policy, etc., as in Atticise, apologise, economise, theorise, tyrannise, or of becoming (as indicated), as crystallise and oxidise (intr.), and 2. transitively, of acting towards or upon, treating, or affecting in a particular way, as in baptise, colonise, or of making or rendering (as indicated), as in civilise, legalise. Compare -ism, -ist. Also, -ize. [from (often directly) Greek -izein. Compare French -iser, German -isieren, etc.] Usage: -ize is the usual spelling in US English. In Britain there is some variety: some publishers standardise on -ize, but others use -ise. Attempts to distinguish -ize in words based on Greek (idolize, monopolize) from -ise in words that have come to English from or through French (realise, moralise) founder on the difficulties of knowing the precise history of many words. Current Australian usage clearly favours consistent use of -ise, a practice which has the advantage of being easy to remember." Frickeg (talk) 03:20, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Many thanks, @Frickeg. That's a clear recommendation of "ise", but not an outright deprecation of "ize". That would certainly support using "organisation" in articles ... but in category titles, which are navigational devices rather than enyclopedic content, it seems to me that MOS:COMMONALITY justifies using the non-preferred spelling. This isn't a petrol/gasoline issue, where one usage is clearly deprecated. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 21:10, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use "z" - Just for fun, I did a survey of usage on Belizean news sites. Belize is a Commonwealth country, but geographically close to the U.S. I expected usage to be about even, but usage of "organization" was 34 times higher than "organisation"! I would be OK with leaving a specific exception for UK-related categories, but overall it seems like "organization" is the more internationally-prominent spelling. Kaldari (talk) 22:27, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Alternate Proposal - use z for all categories except in the country where s is the clear choice - and I'd suggest a discrete list be created of these (UK, NZ, Australia are primary). This will at least shrink the issue - where it's an either/or, or any of these geographical proximity cases, they default to z. It won't quite resolve the issue, but I think it's an improvement that will avoid most of the likely blowback from fellow s-speakers. Nosebagbear (talk) 22:46, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • @Nosebagbear, I'd very much prefer simple standardisation, but I think that your proposal could provide some limited improvement if this RFC agreed an actual list of which countries fall into that category. Without that definitive list, we would effectively have no change; we would still face the same CFD debates over and over again about which if any is the preferred usage in Ruritania (see e.g. the CFR debate on Organizations based in Oman). I appreciate what you are trying to achieve by changing the default, but it still risks an ongoing saga of many dozens of case-by-case debates. So I think that proposal would have more chance of meaningful assessment if there was some actual evidence for the claimed clear preference for "S" usage in NZ+Australia, and in any other country which editors want to list. As I note above, these discussions are overwhelmingly dominated by assertions rather than evidence, but the sincere indignation which often accompanies the objections is nearly always unevidenced. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:42, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use z unless the content categorized is predominantly using s. That is, default to z which is acceptable in every ENGVAR, but retain s for local WP:CONSISTENCY if all or most articles in the category are non-North American and (not "or") are also using the s spellings in their content and (where applicable) titles. E.g., a "Category:Animal rights organisations in England" category should likely not move to the z spelling, but "Category:Animal rights organisations" certainly should be (and is) at Category:Animal rights organizations, for MOS:COMMONALITY reasons. The z spelling is preferred even in British academic writing (and an encyclopedia is basically academic writing), so z is a sensible default for multiple reasons.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:50, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
I see several problems with that:
  1. It would lead to inconsistencies within the category tree for each country, which would be even worse than the current mess
  2. It would make category titles unstable, because as articles are created or deleted or recategorised the balance would change
  3. Assessing it would require a lot of editor time, but editor time is increasingly scarce: the ratio of articles per active editor is almost 4 time what it in 2007, and participation in CFD discussions is at ~5—15% of the levels in 2006. There is a persistent, multi-month backlog of CFD closures. However nice it might theoretically be to have such fine-grained decisions, we simply don't have the resources to sustain them.
We need a simple solution which creates stable outcomes, and where mistitled pages can be identified with the help of tools such as AWB and Petscan. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 01:54, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
I don't see 1 as a real problem. There will always be inconsistencies, unless Oxford/Harvard spelling is made mandatory on Wikipedia for everything, which isn't going to happen (though it's a proposal I would support for the same reason I supported MOS:JR getting rid of the comma that some older Americans still prefer). Not concerned about 2, either. It's already a criterion (a speedy one, in fact) that category names are to align with article names, so it's already just a fact that they'll shift over time as the mainspace content changes; this is a dynamic site. But the rate of change of s/z stuff is barely detectable, anyway, so there's not really much potential for churn. I'm not sure how much editor time would be consumed, per point 3, but it's something we already do at CfD anyway, about lots of things. It only consumes the time of editors who choose to spend a lot of it at CfD, like you and I do, and we're pretty good at recognizing patterns and getting on with our !votes. If we had a rule like this, it should produce one outburst of category renaming activity, then remarkable stability after that: defaulting to z, unless there's a compelling and demonstrable reason to use s for a particular case. I'm "optimizing for the probable rather than the possible" here; there is no limit in the imagination to what could be possible, but we know from experience that most British topics, for example, are going to use the s spelling, so we can already predict how British-specific categories are going to be spelled. If we default to z for stuff with no national tie, then we can also predict how the majority of categories will be spelled, absent some overwhelming cluster of s-titled articles within one.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:41, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use "z" - Our categorization system should not be a endless battleground for nationalistic emotions or editorial ownership, but to serve as an internal system by which we order pages. As such, having a consistent style which makes life easier (and faster) for readers and editors, and will save time wasted in category discussions, is much better goal than any variation of the current system. Also editor supporter statements above me. --Gonnym (talk) 19:51, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use "zed" (or "zee" if you like) As a bit of a traditional Brit, I support Oxford spelling which prescribes -ize endings and hence avoids transatlantic conflict. Not sure on Australian / New Zealand / Indian usage though. Greenshed (talk) 20:02, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use "z" – Though "s" may be more common in the UK, that's like 60 million people compared to 1.5 billion English speakers. Z is more global, used either primarily or as an acceptable variant in almost all if not all English-speaking countries. Standardization is a good idea for consistency, readability, searchability, and reducing the needless category renaming. Levivich 22:07, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
    • India, Australia and New Zealand all use 's' primarily, and so do most English speakers in Europe and Africa, It's not just Britain. IffyChat -- 08:23, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
      • @Iffy, do you have any actual evidence from reliable sources to support your assertion that most English speakers in Europe and Africa use 's' primarily? I don't mean some cherrypicked example, but some evidence of the claimed pattern of usage. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 09:21, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use "z". When I use HotCat to put articles in categories it is a nuisance to have two seperate alphabetical lists. And my copy of the Collins Paperback German Dictionary, 1988 edition, only lists Organization in the English side. It tells me that Organisation is the German spelling. Bigwig7 (talk) 12:21, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use only one, this is a direct presentation to readers, so having 2 content categories for a spelling variant isn't useful. I prefer the "z" option slightly, as there seem to be more sources with that variant. — xaosflux Talk 18:59, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Mostly use "z" - except for English-speaking countries where "s" is more common, use "z" everywhere. It's more intuitive, although this doesn't override the ENGVAR principle to use the local spelling. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 15:22, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Standardise on "z", with the exception for names involving "s". I'm normally one for letting people use whatever spelling they feel is appropriate, but this seems like a reasonable case for standardisation, and as noted, there are very few contexts in which "z" is actively wrong rather than merely not-preferred. Andrew Gray (talk) 19:07, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use "z", except in official names of organisations (sic). My initial idea was to use "z" for all non-specific categories and "s" for categories specific to regions that use that spelling, but it might be too hard to determine for non-English-speaking countries. We'd waste a lot of time arguing over individual countries, like Russia where usage can be quite split. -- King of ♠ 04:40, 9 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Z per many good !votes above, starting with Phil Bridger. Jonathunder (talk) 20:33, 9 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use "z" When it comes to global categories like this standardization is far more important than ENGVAR. And I say that as one who has always spelled organisations with an S. Harry Boardman (talk) 13:06, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use "z", except when referring to a proper name. A convincing cost benefit case has be made for more uniform and predictable categories. A Google comparison of hits for the two spellings shows a 76% dominance for the Z spelling, and I came across a graph showing that Z is dominant in the UK by a 2-to-1 ratio and apparently increasing. Australians and some others may not be happy, but they surely are familiar with the predominate US/UK spelling. At least they will find that Wikipedia consistently has the "wrong" spelling, rather than having to deal with it being chaotically wrong. Alsee (talk) 14:32, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
    Followup comment: Regarding WP:ENGVAR, there is a big difference between articles and categories. Individual articles can happily co-exist with different ENGVARs, however categories are encyclopedia-wide and a category naming must be done (as best we can) from an encyclopedia-wide perspective. WP:ENGVAR does not apply to categories, and I reject slippery slope arguments that this proposal is a threat to article content. The opposes are making a very poor argument that unpredictably and inexplicably confusing the majority is somehow preferable over predictability and minimizing the issue. I also urge the closer to take into account Closing discussions#How to determine the outcome that consensus is not determined by counting heads, and the fact that there was an abrupt surge of oppose-votes after this discussion was selectively canvassed. That surge in opposes is clearly not an accurate reflection of general community consensus, and canvassed responses should be weighted accordingly. For comparison, I closed a 20-vs-10 RFC[9] with a firm consensus for the 10, after almost entirely discounting the majority as blatantly canvassed. In this case the result is easier - I believe there is still a majority for Z even with the canvassed responses. Alsee (talk) 22:31, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Do not enforce spelling. "ize" endings are not acceptable in New Zealand English, and Wikipedia is never going to be 100% consistent (unless we throw out WP:TIES and WP:ENGVAR, which is way beyond the scope of this proposal).-gadfium 03:42, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
    Can you produce evidence that "ize" endings are not acceptable in New Zealand English? Rathfelder (talk) 12:48, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
    I'll bet money the answer is "no". NZ doesn't have any NZ-specific style guides from a reputable publisher. NZ writers follow British style guides, like almost everyone in the rest of the Commonwealth, aside from Canada. Even Australia does (the government-published style guide is obsolete and generally ignored, and the Cambridge style guide for .au is simply the British one with some Australian vocabulary added, and Oxford doesn't make one for .au in particular, nor does any other publisher we'd care about).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:46, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia:Manual of Style doesnt really help in this discussion. It's directed at articles, not categories. Rathfelder (talk) 12:48, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support a common-sense standardization that will free up editor time for more important things. MB 15:54, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use "z". I agree with OP arguments, and find opposing comments ineffective. Years back, the article Theater (Amer Eng) was moved to Theatre (Brit Eng) based on the fact that Americans sometimes spell it the British way, so MOS:COMMONALITY overrides RETAIN. The same argument is works here: Americans use only one spelling, but British use both, undermining any TIES argument. RETAIN is a fall-back position used when nothing else can reach consensus. Now, in all the many thousands of categories, I suspect there may be a very few specific exceptions that can be made, but I believe that for "Organization", COMMONALITY trumps RETAIN, and these should all use "z" to avoid the great majority of pointless future category spelling discussions, and let a new separate special discussion/RFC can started for the very few that somehow "must" use "s". --A D Monroe III(talk) 17:16, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
  • It's possible that in New Zealand, or some other part of the English-speaking world, "z" is regarded as incorrect, but is anyone really offended by its use? I, as a Brit, do not get offended when I read an Indian or American book in English that doesn't always use the same grammar or spelling that I use myself, but simply, if I notice it at all, treat it as part of life's rich tapestry. Surely we have more important things to concern ourselves about? Phil Bridger (talk) 17:50, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:CREEP, WP:ENGVAR and MOS:TIES. The category system is broken and needs replacing with a more sensible system of attributes which can be combined freely rather than being constrained into an arbitrary tree. A better system would provide for synonyms and that's a better way of handling such variation. I'd expect this to emerge as WikiData becomes more established and we can then discard the categories. Andrew D. (talk) 22:15, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use "z" - "z" is accepted almost everywhere. When categorizing articles, it's tiresome to guess which spelling a specific category uses. Standardization to the most common spelling is the best solution. -Zanhe (talk) 23:18, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - WP:CREEP, WP:ENGVAR and MOS:TIES are pretty clear in this regard. Unless we're going to go down the same route Wikidata have taken - treating US English and UK English as different languages, and therefore setting up a whole new Wikipedia project for one or other of them, then let's continue to be inclusive and stick to the existing guidelines. WaggersTALK 11:43, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use Z because category names need to be predictable and standardized to serve some of their controlled-vocabulary purposes, and thus should be considered all part of a single document for the purposes of ENGVAR. EllenCT (talk) 07:48, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm a non-native speaker and use both. I personally don't care either way, nor see the need to standardize/standardise. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 07:50, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use z, in deference to the wishes of England's future monarch.[10] Thincat (talk) 08:07, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Do not standardise WP:CREEP, WP:ENGVAR and MOS:TIES, as cited by others, are convincing and clear. We shouldn't be forcing editors to use what are considered clear misspellings in some countries. If we were to standardise then it should be to international English but I wouldn't support that as that would be considered incorrect in the US. --AussieLegend () 10:05, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose I though we had WP:ENGVAR and MOS:TIES precisely to prevent this kind of direspect to linguistic norms in other countries. It is "organisation" in Australian English. Kerry (talk) 10:21, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Do not standardise per WP:ENGVAR. Or if you really must pick one, use 's'. ;-) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 11:20, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • "The Manual of Style (MoS or MOS) is the style manual for all English Wikipedia articles." Categories are not articles. Oculi (talk) 11:26, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • @Oculi: "The English Wikipedia prefers no national variety of the language over any other." I don't see a need to distinguish between categories and articles here. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 15:53, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - use "s" or "z" according to the relevant variety of English. Aoziwe (talk) 13:48, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use Z - As we are talking about categories - a Wikipedia-based navigation structure - we should simply use the spelling most often used in English as a whole. MOS:ENGVAR is an article prose guideline - it does not strictly apply to categories of Wikipedia origin. As has been pointed out, some countries use "s" predominantly, but its often inconsistent and seems to be on a decline. In fact, Google Ngrams limited to "British English" only shows a "z" dominance. The key, though, is that "z" is recognizable by almost everyone. This is a default, and exceptions may be allowed for categories with strong WP:TIES, but editors would need to demonstrate with strong evidence "S" is dominant for that category's topic area. To accomplish that, I would say we hold at least 3 sub-RFCs after this one to determine specifically the S/Z question for UK-, Australia-, and NZ-related categories - perhaps held on their respective WikiProjects. Evidence, not anecdotes must be presented. -- Netoholic @ 14:35, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Do not standardise per WP:CREEP, WP:ENGVAR and MOS:TIES. Number 57 19:08, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Use S - This is English Wikipedia and we should be using the standard spelling in England/Britain. Z is American, and since the British have colonised almost every country in the world, we should be using the Queen's English, not American English, unless the organisation in question spells its name with a Z. To use the American spelling here would be pushing for the American spelling rather than traditional British spelling. Despite their super power status, America did not colonised the world, and most English speaking countries especially in Africa use British spelling, not American spelling. E.g. colonised (and not colonized), organised (not organized), organisation (not organization), capitalised (not capitalized), etc. The English language came from England, not America. So let's use the traditional spelling in England. Failing that, let's not standardised but leave it up to individual editors.Tamsier (talk) 20:29, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose – use "s" or "z" as per relevant ties in the subject area. Cavalryman V31 (talk) 20:42, 18 April 2019 (UTC).
  • Oppose -- No change Roger 8 Roger (talk) 21:10, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose -- I'm not persuaded that we need a one-off micro-exception to ENGVAR just for categories. Though ENGVAR has its rough edges, it has kept relative peace for more than a decade. Keeping category names tidy doesn't seem like enough benefit. --Trovatore (talk) 21:21, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Weak support for stanardizing but don't care if it's s or z. Can we start making deals? Maybe America agrees to concede ou/o (colour) and ll/l (travelled) in exchange for s/z? Or we could hold an ENGVAR draft! :) — Rhododendrites talk \\ 21:40, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as written: Lets not be confrontational about something that has been pretty well settled for at least a decade, if not longer. There is little to be gained by this proposal. Can't ReDirects from one spelling to another be set up rather than, as one person above alluded to, setting up two separate language wikis? I'm American, by the way, and I cannot support, per WP:ENGVAR and MOS:TIES. Think about it. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 21:43, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • comment unlike a spelling like 'color', the use of '~ize' is a regional affectation. A support vote suggested it would be "fun" to do this, the enjoyment being the reaction I assume; unnecessary, overtly divisive and disruptive 'fun'. cygnis insignis 01:13, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Standerdise It was the comment above that made me think to go look. We have Category:Colour and Category:Organisations both are soft redirects to Category:Color and Category:Organizations. Pick one. What does it matter which one? CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 02:00, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Do not standardise per MOS:ENGVAR. Daveosaurus (talk) 02:40, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Do not standardise per MOS:ENGVAR, except within regional contexts. Bermicourt (talk) 07:47, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose standardis/zation, it's incorrect to say category names are inconsistent, simply on the basis they differ from the American spelling. As per most things on Wikipedia, WP:COMMONNAME should apply. If the categories are related to countries where 's' is normally preferred to 'z', then why is "organisations" not perfectly acceptable? The important thing is the category 'tree' and being able to find the correct category as easy as possible. Sionk (talk) 10:07, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Don't standardize. It's the thin end of the wedge. Deb (talk) 15:22, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
  • No need to standardize - ENGVAR can guide us when there is a strong national tie to the categorization... and where there is not, I see no need for over-consistency ... No one will be confused if a category using “ise” contain a sub-category using “ize” and vice-versa. Readers will still be able to navigate between related categories and articles. Blueboar (talk) 16:30, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose – We should not be giving preference to any particular variety of English. ENGVAR is a long-standing agreement, and the precedent established by overruling that here would be a bad one. – bradv🍁 16:42, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose last tim ei check this was the English language Wikipedia, not the US Spelling English language Wikipedia, or for that the English spelling English Wikipedia. As so many before have link ENGVAR says acceptable to either spelling, this action stikes me that it ahs a a lot similarities to things like Infoboxes & Templates which have already altered a person understanding of a topic. Why would we as the English language Encyclopaedia want to destroy what is a beautiful language that accept variations in all its glory, whether its an s or z it doesnt matter each have their origins in difference that make English such a wonderful language where we can use the same spelling to describe so many different things in different ways, where every place adopts words from where it is.... To stay ture to being an English language Wikipedia then our priority should be to ensure the regardless of the variants in spelling or meaning we should embrace its usage to reflect its diversity. Until there is a body like that in France which defines every french word, its usage and spelling then value our differences as they are, there enough other work around here to be done that has real benefit. Gnangarra 07:36, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Z is not American usage. Its the original British usage. MOS:ENGVAR is very unhelpful when it comes to categories, because if people use Twinkle, as many do, it creates two seperate lists of categories. Nobody is suggesting changing the spelling of the names of articles. What we have at present is a system which standardises categories withing a country, but messes it up when it comes to the other heirarchies of categories. Rathfelder (talk) 09:59, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
  • prefer Z OED recorded -ize way earlier than -ise. I don't like etymology interfere with orthography, it just wreaks havoc. -- K (T | C) 13:52, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
  • No. Category police should not be making ise/ize decisions. Instead, categories should always reflect and defer to decisions made at the parent articles. Top level categories should always have a parent article. Categories exist to serve article navigation, little more. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:37, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Solution in search of a problem. Stifle (talk) 09:01, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
I don’t see any problem ... the Czech articles are categorized with “z” and the Slovak articles are categorized with “s”. Simple enough. different categories, different spellings. Blueboar (talk) 20:40, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose /Do not standardise - I asked for the debate to re-opened. A lot of groups use the -s spelling. There is no need to standardise, just use common sense. - Master Of Ninja (talk) 09:09, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Do not standardise: while the primary usage in Britain may be up for debate, that's not the case in Australia (admittedly I don't have access to an authoritative Australian style guide, but other Australian Wikipedians seem to agree, and I've found several sources that imply "-ise" is common in Australia (e.g. It’s time to recognize and internalize the US suffix ‘ize’) and a couple of style guides (e.g. National Museum of Australia)). The nomination mentions several unresolved disputes, regarding ise v. ize in various forms of English, that affect the application of MOS:TIES; the solution is to resolve those disputes, not this attempt to impose a standard contrary to ENGVAR. EDIT: I've just noticed Frickeg has been kind enough to quote the Macquarie Dictionary, which says "Current Australian usage clearly favours consistent use of -ise". – Teratix 13:51, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Just a note, I would support a version where all categories are standardised as "z" unless they are related to a country that primarily uses "s" (MOS:COMMONALITY trumping MOS:RETAIN). – Teratix 12:56, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Do not standardise Write some software so that it doesn't matter. Charlesjsharp (talk) 19:56, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Although the goal of standardisation (nudge nudge wink wink) is a noble one, as others have said, ENGVAR exists for a reason. Here are some RS to illustrate the dominance of "-ise" in Australian English:
The Conversation article quoted above by Teratix [11]: Craving the firm foundations of the establishment, Australians have standardised ise as the correct national form. Proselytising for ize is to no avail. Text editing changes ize to ise by default.
In the Australian Journal of Linguistics in 2014 [12]: The Australian English references (columns 3–6) show complete unanimity on -ise across three decades... the consistency of the Australian references contrasts with the ultimately uncommitted treatment in the British set. Further, Looking first at the Australian frequency data in columns 2 and 3 of Table 2, we see the -ise spellings well in the majority from the 1980s on, based on the uninflected forms of the three verbs; and close to or over 90% when the -ed forms are added...
In the AJL in 2010 [13]: English in Australia starts with a clear majority of <ize> and moves to an even more pronounced majority of <ise>.
I hope that goes some way to providing the evidence being requested in this discussion.
Triptothecottage (talk) 04:15, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I dont see a big problem in leaving S in the categorisations for Australia and New Zealand if it will let us standardize the rest of the world. But nobody is suggesting that any actual articles should be changed. The different spelling wastes a great deal of editors time. Rathfelder (talk) 13:26, 25 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Once this change is made, the next suggestion will be changing the articles as well. My view is that "-ise" is used in more countries so perhaps go with that. This does seem like debating trivialities. Someone did mention developing a system that would translate between "-ise" and "-ize"? - Master Of Ninja (talk) 18:42, 25 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Don't standardise Per WP:ENGVAR. I have to go back and forth between -ise and -ize in the work I do based on the client, and it doesn't make sense to mandate the usage of a different form of English in areas that clearly use one form or another. I would say that in the event of a conflict, -ize should win out, though. Also, thank you to the person who reopened this discussion. SportingFlyer T·C 05:33, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Our present policy builds in a conflict between consistency by country and consistency by topic. Rathfelder (talk) 11:44, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I like the idea of a Preference setting--show everything not in quotation marks in US spelling or UK spelling. How does he Chinese WP decide which form of characer to display? Isn't that a user option? DGG ( talk ) 00:46, 29 April 2019 (UTC)
    • Is this a possibility? If the Chinese WP has this, could the feature be ported over and solve this issue? - Master Of Ninja (talk) 16:53, 29 April 2019 (UTC)
      • zhwiki uses ugly wikitext to specify alternate names that a reader might see, depending on their preferences (that link goes to zhwiki where the "Content language variant" preference can be seen). For example, "-{zh:米;zh-cn:米;zh-tw:公尺;zh-hk:米;}-" is the wikitext for the name of the m (meter/metre) unit. The feature is interesting but far too intrusive for use here. Johnuniq (talk) 23:02, 29 April 2019 (UTC)
  • This is a tempest in a teapot - This discussion is using a blatantly disproportionate amount of resources compared to the scope of the dispute. It should be ended in whatever way, in the closers best judgement, kills and buries this issue in the most permanent manner possible. In particular, oppose any no consensus or wishy-washy resolution, make a decision that ends this, and stick to it. Tazerdadog (talk) 00:20, 30 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Do not standardize per ENGVAR. My second choice would be something similar to what SMcCandlish proposes above: default to "z" unless there are significant MOS:TIES to a country where "s" is preferred. Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 02:34, 30 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I would agree on that as well, if standardization is beyond reach. Many editors in this discussion seem not to realize that this is not primarily about what to use for Australia or the United Kingdom, but most and for all what to use for China, Thailand, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Spain, Senegal, Angola etc etc Marcocapelle (talk) 07:01, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
  • When a blanket change is created it impacts other uses. It would be better to just change those categories rather than change a policy where it has impact it to usages that are otherwise correct. One size doesnt fit all. Gnangarra 07:29, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
  • This is a pointless discussion if I ever see one. feminist (talk) 11:09, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I dont think some of these contributors do much categorization. They dont know how much editots time and effort is wasted because of the lack of standardisation. Rathfelder (talk) 07:44, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Note Votestacking. This RFC has been subjected to blatant WP:VOTESTACKING (or more precisely Votebanking) by @Number 57. In these 12 edits[14] on 17/18 April, Number 57 notified 12 WikiProjects which have clearly been selected as likely to attract editors who prefer the "S" spelling.
The votestacking has worked; it clearly did produce the desired influx of editors who support Number 57's view.
It is surprising and very disappointing to see a long-standing and experienced admin engaging in such a clear attempt to rig the discussion. Note that for example Number 57's list of counry projects notified [15] didn't even notify the two major English-speaking countries in North America, i.e. Canada and the USA — clearly because they prefer the Z spelling
I hope that Number 57 will apologise for this, and make some amends by promptly notifying every country WikiProject ... and that this RFC's clock will be reset from the date when #57 confirms that the notifications have all been made. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 14:49, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Notifying the WikiProjects of countries that use the "s" spelling is a perfectly reasonable thing to do when there's a proposal to stop using their preferred spelling across the whole of Wikipedia, and it's not something I'll be apologising for. Cheers, Number 57 14:56, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
@Number 57, you know perfectly well that this is not a proposal to stop using their preferred spelling across the whole of Wikipedia, because it applies only to a limited set of categories, and not to any other pages.
As an admin for 12 years, you also know perfectly well that this sort of votebanking is a very basic form of disrupting consensus formation.
So I repeat: please promptly remedy your votestacking by posting the same message to all country pages. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:04, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
I disagree with both of your assertions, and I won't be posting the message to WikiProjects of countries to which the spelling doesn't really matter. Number 57 15:08, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
@Number 57: The RFC very clearly applies only to categories, so your decision to "disagree" with that fact is a simple misrepresentation of a simple reality.
The policy on votestacking is also very clear, and it seems that you "disagree" with that too.
Since you seem unwilling to engage with these realities, I will sadly have to raise this highly disruptive misconduct elsewhere. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:14, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
It is clear canvassing. You cherry-picked the WikiProjects which would increase your POV vote tally. --qedk (t c) 06:11, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
I can appreciate 57's point of view here (disclosure: I participated in this discussion after viewing one of his notices). He was notifying projects which he thought would be most affected by this proposal. Example: the United States WikiProject won't be affected by this discussion, because the US usage is "z" and all US-related categories probably already use it. In contrast, the Australia WikiProject will definitely be affected because the Australian usage is "s" and so Australia-related categories would be changed as a result of this discussion.
It is important to understand the intent here. The term votestacking implies a bad-faith intent, which was not the case.
An easy solution is to notify any projects deemed relevant that weren't alerted initially. There is no need to escalate the matter. – Teratix 08:26, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
The current usage is mixed, which is what we are seeking to standardize, if you think this is not canvassing, you should read over WP:CANVASSING again. The policies are clear and the malintent/intent is secondary to the canvassing that took place. If Number 57 will inform WikiProjects which are inclined towards 'z' usage as BHG said, that would be construed as informing, this is just blatant. --qedk (t c) 08:52, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
From Wikipedia:Canvassing: "Canvassing is notification done with the intention of influencing the outcome of a discussion in a particular way". Intent is essential for an action to constitute canvassing. 57 has outlined his reasons for not informing other countries' noticeboards. This was not done with malicious intent.
Again, a simple remedy is to notify any other projects deemed relevant. It doesn't have to be 57, anyone can do it. – Teratix 09:02, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
Please read the entire page, i.e. WP:VOTESTACKING as well. Intent only matters upto the point it can be construed to be a mistake. If I wanted to change all references on Wikipedia from PRC to China and I informed only PRC-related WikiProjects, that is canvassing, my intent is irrelevant. The onus is on Number 57 to make this a non-partisan notification, not me, or anyone. --qedk (t c) 14:20, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
I too appreciate 57's position, they notified those they deemed to be directly affected by this proposal. Cavalryman V31 (talk) 00:25, 9 May 2019 (UTC).
From WP:VOTESTACKING: "Votestacking is an attempt to sway consensus ...". Again, intent is central. Qedk's example of PRC and China misses the mark here; for a start there is no separate PRC WikiProject (it redirects to WikiProject China). Secondly, it makes sense when changing all references to a country to inform all WikiProjects related to a country; both WP China and the hypothetical WP PRC are involved, as articles related to them would be affected. This is not the case here. US-related (and others that use "z") categories won't be affected by this discussion, as the primary usage in the US is already "z" and thus categories will already use "z". This proposal is only looking at extending the "z" usage to other countries's related categories.
@QEDK: I never said the onus was on you to notify other projects, merely that if you felt concerned, the option was available. – Teratix 01:09, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
@Teratix, the majority of countries are not English-speaking. Some of them have a consistent usage, and some do not. Those which have been standardised on one spelling have been chosen on a range of ad-hoc bases as set out in the nomination.
Those countries will be affected by the outcome. Their WikiProjects have as much right to be notified as any other. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 01:50, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
  • If these notifications had been done in good faith, they would have been done transparently, i.e. with a disclosure here of which projects were notified and why. @Number 57 is a very experienced admin, and knows well how to ensure that the neutrality of notifications can be scrutinised. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:17, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
It is possible to assume bad faith on both sides of this proposal. For instance it could be argued that if standardisation truely is the goal, then this RFC would have been to adopt common spelling, not “only Z”, with the spelling to be determined by a separate (or a preferential) poll.
Because of the way this RFC has been worded, 57’s actions are warranted. Cavalryman V31 (talk) 06:03, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
The solution is to identify and notify any relevant WikiProjects that haven't been already. 57 notified the WikiProjects that would most obviously be affected – countries that use the "s" spelling. – Teratix 06:09, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm amazed this discussion is still active, seeing that I asked for it to be re-opened. I had no idea WP:VOTESTACKING and WP:CREEP were concepts. I actually felt that the original discussion was a potential "vote stacked" effort to push through presumed consensus, and it's nice to have had a wider discussion about this policy. I re-iterate one of the problems was that once you made the change to categories, which some claim is trivial, it would eventually migrate as a policy to most wikipedia pages. What's the ideal solution? No, idea. However as my previous vote above would suggest that there is no policy on -ise or -ize. - Master Of Ninja (talk) 08:10, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
    • @Master Of Ninja, it is utterly bizarre to suggest that the original discussion was a potential "vote stacked" effort. The proposal was made a central venue, and listed[16] at WP:CENT.
Please either identify in what way WP:VOTESTACKING was "potentially" breached, or withdraw that allegation. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 14:09, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
      • @BrownHairedGirl - I think what I had written was perceived in a way that I did not intend, and I am not making any allegations at all. As I mentioned I am not familiar with WP:VOTESTACKING apart from having went through the link, and the accusations made against another editor on the above thread. My feeling that such a change did not go to a wide enough forum, seeing that after re-opening the discussion there has been much more activity on this thread. - Master Of Ninja (talk) 10:50, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment- I was going to close this mess, but after a few hours of sifting through the discussion, and poring over the policy, I just decided that I didn't want to close this. I think it's fair to say I am fairly well-versed in category, naming convention, and cavassing policies on Wikipedia. But after I started to write up what was turning into a lengthy close, and with my sincere apologies, I just was having a hard time bringing myself to care enough to continue on, so I decided that I'd rather let someone else step in and close this if they want. Here are a few things I found, in case it should help whoever closes this: a.) To start with, clearly there was inappropriate canvassing done. The Wikiprojects notified were all regional ones. And were clearly a small subset of all regions potentially affected by this discussion (the whole English-speaking world). And what about Wikipedia:WikiProject Linguistics? Please see WP:CANVASS for more information on how to appropriately canvass. b.) Much of the discussion is subjective "I prefer z" or "I prefer s", rather than policy references or reliable sources. After sifting through policy (like ENGVAR and COMMONALITY), it seems that this is what is apparently being relied on, for referenced usage, in policy. As forWP:RETAIN,it would seem to not apply to this discussion because, as it states: "When an English variety's consistent usage has been established in an article, maintain it in the absence of consensus to the contrary." - This discussion is about a page's name, not the contents of the "body" of it. And finally, International Organization for Standardization - this page's title struck me funny in light of this discussion. Happy editing : ) - jc37 09:05, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
  • It is not true that all English-speaking nations will be affected by this discussion. For example: United States-related categories will use the "z" spelling no matter the outcome of this discussion. This is true of all countries using "z". – Teratix 07:00, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
    One of the options was "S". Levivich 03:03, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
    I suppose that's technically true, but I count one serious !vote in support which boils down to "English Wikipedia should be in British English only." No basis in policy (indeed, outright contradicting ENGVAR), not addressed in the nomination and no chance of passing this discussion. A non-issue. – Teratix 06:45, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
    Creating a straw man argument and then being dismissive of it as an option, does not change that the notification was clearly done in contravention of WP:Canvassing. Make no mistake - if such disruption were to continue, any uninvolved admin, may choose to take preventative action, which could include blocking. I would rather to not see that happen. - jc37 23:13, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
    @Jc37: Please explain what about my reasoning constitutes a straw man argument. You have claimed there was inappropriate canvassing; your justification was The Wikiprojects notified were all regional ones. And were clearly a small subset of all regions potentially affected by this discussion (the whole English-speaking world). In my reply, I have explained why this is not the case with a supporting example. Levivich has raised a valid objection (there was technically another option), so I have pored over the discussion and found virtually no-one taking it seriously. I summarised and examined the one serious !vote I observed, and found it to be completely lacking in policy-based reasoning. Then in your reply, you repeat your initial assertion and for some reason raise the possibility of a block. Why? – Teratix 00:50, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @jc37 - this is why the whole rushed proposal was an utterly bad idea. You can see how much debate can be had on this, and I don't believe it's Wikipedia's role to standardise [;-)] English. - Master Of Ninja (talk) 07:53, 25 May 2019 (UTC)
  • @jc37 - Can you clarify why WP:RETAIN would not apply in the light of WP:AT, which advises that "…The rest of MoS […] applies also to the title."? Thanks. I'm just trying to better understand the blend of guidelines. ogenstein (talk) 01:30, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Well, first off this discussion concerns category titles not article titles. Secondly, I went to WP:AT for find your quote to see what context might be found there, and when I did a page search for the word "applies" (among others), I did not find anything like the sentence you quoted. But to answer generally: We follow the MoS when applicable, though, when necessary, we of course may WP:IAR, or create new exceptions to the MoS, as necessary, as well. Which I believe is the intent of this proposal, and what you all appear to be discussing the merits of. - jc37 23:13, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Do not standardise this is not the American Wikipedia, it is a project for all English speakers. This is why not every article is written in US English. ENGVAR is very clear on this, and many countries use the s, and they should be allowed to continue to do so. Joseph2302 (talk) 10:58, 24 May 2019 (UTC)
  • The idea that spelling with a z is American usage is a very widespread delusion. Please read American and British English spelling differences. Rathfelder (talk) 09:55, 25 May 2019 (UTC)
  • It's easy to say use British for UK/Commonwealth and US otherwise but what about the rest of the world? TBH I do think things should be standardiz/sed but how, eh? Maybe British for Europe and American for the rest of the world. --Hanyangprofessor2 (talk) 08:50, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Use "z" per Phil Bridger. In my estimation, that encapsulates the argument. CThomas3 (talk) 00:36, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment So you want to force uniformity and tromp on one 'side' or the other, but "hard redirects are too hard"? Precluding a technical solution while preferring a politiciṡ̃ƶed solution seems to incline towards bias rather than away from it. "Or what's a wiki for?" Shenme (talk) 14:18, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment - British spelling isn't so much a mode of spelling as it is a set of stylizations which make it different from the American or Irish English. This small set of stylizations can be listed and evaluated, and each seems like they will come up short, when put to a vote (as is here). Why use s when its vocalized z? Why use ou instead of just o, per French influence (is everything French the ideal form?). -ApexUnderground (talk) 06:48, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
So you believe everything should be spelt phonetically? Cavalryman V31 (talk) 07:14, 16 June 2019 (UTC).
The problem always is on which accent should you base the phonetics? Template:@ApexUnderground is that not the wrong way around? The major differences between English and American English spelling came about by Webster's concious decision. As regards s/z and or/our there are subtle differences in pronunciation. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 12:47, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Petition to amend the arbitration policy: discretionary sanctions and deletions[edit]

The arbitration policy's section on "Ratification and amendment" says, "Proposed amendments may be submitted for ratification only after being approved by a majority vote of the Committee, or having been requested by a petition signed by at least one hundred editors in good standing."

This is the petition part of the amendment process. The ratification process may be started if and when the petition is signed by at least one hundred editors in good standing.

The first paragraph of the "Policy and precedent" section of the arbitration policy is amended to add the following underlined text:
The arbitration process is not a vehicle for creating new policy by fiat. The Committee's decisions may interpret existing policy and guidelines, recognise and call attention to standards of user conduct, or create procedures through which policy and guidelines may be enforced. The Committee does not rule on content, but may propose means by which community resolution of a content dispute can be facilitated. The Committee's discretionary sanctions must not authorise the deletion, undeletion, moving, blanking, or redirection of pages in any namespace.

See the "Rationale by Cunard" subsection for further background and this AN discussion for discussion about the drafting of this petition.

There is a parallel discussion at #RfC: community general sanctions and deletions that should not be confused with this one about the Arbitration Committee's discretionary sanctions.

Cunard (talk) 07:28, 5 May 2019 (UTC)


  1. Cunard (talk) 07:28, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  2. Support, although it’s only the deletion part that really matters. Anticipating objections of CREEP, this is required to limit the creep of discretionary sanctions subverting deletion policy, and crossing from behavioural remedies to over-blunt remedies. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:37, 5 May 2019 (UTC). Actually, I think I oppose limits on blanking user pages for reasons relating to discretionary sanctions. The blanking of an inappropriate userpage is often the best simplest quietest and least confrontational way to dealing with some perceived problems, especially if done in the userspace of a blocked user for example. Deletion is censorship, blanking is tidying. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:42, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  3. Phil Bridger (talk) 07:45, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  4. I agree with the sentiment, but would suggest a different implementation. The approach described can easily be avoided by ArbCom developing an alternative procedure at a different page. ARBPOL (bizarrely) allows ArbCom complete discretion over its procedures and the community no mechanism to challenge them even if the procedures create policy or are otherwise inconsistent with ARBPOL. The issue here is (a) whether ArbCom does (or should) have deletion authority, and, if so, (b) whether they should be able to delegate it. My view is that (a) they currently don't, so the recent deletion is invalid and should be reverted based on the DRV, and (b) they should have such authority (Rob has offered a couple of reasonable reasons why) but should only be able to exercise it themselves but not delegate it to AE or any other process. Any deletion undertaken during DS / AE procedures should be an ordinary deletion subject to ordinary procedures. If ArbCom deletes a page for private reasons with majority support, I see little reason to question whether the page needs to go. I am willing to accept that if there is a reason to question the action, one of the Arbitrators will raise it, as such deletions can be expected to be very rare. EdChem (talk) 08:23, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  5. It is a well established principle that ArbCom is supposed to deal with conduct and not content. Deleting a page is a content decision, just as removing a paragraph from a page would be. ArbCom can sanction people who add content but they aren't supposed to be ruling on what the encyclopedia does and does not say. The same goes for ArbCom-authorised discretionary sanctions. Hut 8.5 09:25, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  6. Support, without objection to tweaking the wording, e.g. to permit ArbCom to delete its own pages, since they already have all authority over those anyway (this codicil is to address Nosebagbear's semi-oppose below). It could also be tweaked to permit undeletion as a response to "badmin" deletion actions addressed as patterns of tool abuse, without regard to the specific content (i.e., a behavior-addressing not content-determinative decision); but I can't easily think of a way to say that concisely. I have to disagree vehemently with EdChem that ArbCom should otherwise have (thus be able to delegate) any kind of content deletion authority, because ArbCom is completely barred both from content decisions, and from invention of policy, which includes new deletion criteria or procedures. Agree that the deletion that sparked this was invalid and must be reverted (even if re-imposed by proper community process later, which is hardly certain). I also don't buy the idea that blanking or redirection are any different from deletion for these purposes. Page moving is also a content matter (either a titling dispute, or a dispute about whether particular content suits a particular namspace), so nix on that, too.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  11:05, 5 May 2019 (UTC); rev'd 11:24, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  7. Tazerdadog (talk) 11:33, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  8. pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 15:45, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  9. S and echo SMcCandlish but adding a few of my own thoughts: (a) that simplicity without ambiguity is desirable; therefore, I support Galobtter's wording: "The Committee has the power to delete pages, but may not delegate that power to individual admins" and (b) I am of the mind that ArbCom may be over-delegating its authority in areas where it's needed most - decisions the community entrusted to them as a body corporate to avoid individual admins making discretionary decisions involving actions that are riddled with ambiguities and/or potential biases, perceived or otherwise. Atsme Talk 📧 15:49, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  10. Support. In response to some of the objections below, note that this would not prevent an admin from deleting under existing CSD, nor would it prevent ArbCom from directly deleting a page or pages itself via motion. It only places its restriction on discretionary sanctions, keeping them from becoming something admins can invoke when deleting pages in order to make them difficult or impossible to contest via existing deletion mechanisms. --Aquillion (talk) 16:07, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    @Aquillion: that is the intent but the wording is ambiguous. See also Nosebagbear's comments. Thryduulf (talk) 16:45, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  11. Arbcom needs to respect its boundaries.—S Marshall T/C 16:09, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  12. Support. The "oppose" perspective reminds me of the people who argued in 1791 that a Bill of Rights was unnecessary in the U.S. because a democracy would respect the people's rights and the judiciary would uphold them based on traditional procedures. Which was, at best, naive. The 'Arbitration Committee' is rapidly consolidating institutional power with unreasonable grasping like the arbitrary declaration that all of the politics in the U.S. since 1933 is one topic area subject to one of its decisions to resolve a 'dispute'. You can't chain it down fast enough but you should try. Wnt (talk) 18:55, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    @Wnt: I agree with the intent of this proposal and agree that something is needed but I disagree that this proposal will achieve that aim. I believe Nosebagbear, SmokeyJoe and possibly others also think this way. Thryduulf (talk) 20:06, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    Most definitely - much of the unhappiness arose when ARBCOM couldn't agree to limit DS' authority on the area. The ambiguities in this (particularly ARBCOM's authority) either have to be settled by us or by ARBCOM, and I'd rather avoid the unhappiness that might come from them having to rule on the limits of their own authority. Nosebagbear (talk)
    @Thryduulf and Nosebagbear: The alternate proposal I saw at [17] seems like this with major loopholes added, and I don't see why they would be needed. Regular admins seem to be capable enough of deleting material in sensitive cases as it is, and we have regular processes for anything else. Arbcom's remit is supposed to be arbitration -- settling irreconciliable disputes between limited groups of editors, probably by banning somebody/everybody involved. The fact that someone was topic-banned or banned by Arbcom ought to provide enough guidance to suggest what to do with dubious articles linked to the controversy. And the fact is, even the brightest of bright lines -- like that paid editors aren't supposed to directly edit articles -- seem to get blurred near the point of uselessness around here. I think that collection of ifs and buts I see in your draft will fly apart like a house trailer in an EF5 once it comes to a significant political disagreement. Wnt (talk) 20:45, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    I believe an amendment will have to state whether ARBCOM has the authority itself, or not. Individuals seem split as to that. I believe it is a necessary covering aspect but can certainly understand the opposite view. I also feel that the amendment i've put in VPI is clearer than either the current status quo or this one. That is not to say it is flawless or there isn't a better way. I argue in this sense that seeking perfection risks being the enemy of good (and critically, better). Nosebagbear (talk) 21:04, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  13. Support – All deletions should be done within deletion policy (XfD, CSD, or PROD). All deletions should be reviewed at DRV. The community, through consensus, must always have The Last Word™ about what pages are removed from the encyclopedia. There should be no exceptions to these principles. I do not trust any individual to have the unilateral power to delete a page, and I do not trust any small group of individuals (whether it's Arbcom, or "uninvolved administrators at AE", or whatever) to have the sole responsibility of reviewing deletions. The thing about DRV is that anyone can show up and make an argument and be counted. This is not true at AE or Arbcom, which are venues that have shown, in this firearms article instance and in other instances, to not be sufficiently sensitive to community consensus. Deletion is just too important to leave in the hands of the few. Levivich 21:48, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  14. Support. Calidum 04:22, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  15. Support - The scope of the proposed amendment is limited to DS, so it would not limit ArbCom's ability to exercise their authority to delete (if that authority actually exists). –dlthewave 11:35, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  16. (Summoned by bot) Makes sense, sunds about right. SemiHypercube 12:20, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  17. Support. Since the Gun Control arbitration clarification request didn't result in any clarification over whether deletion is an allowable discretionary sanction (DS), this is a reasonable proposal to provide that clarity. Cunard did a good job at limiting the applicability of the proposed regulation to DS and at explaining why this needs to be an amendment to the arbitration policy, not the DS page. Deryck C. 14:07, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  18. Support per Levivich and SMcCandlish. —⁠烏⁠Γ (kaw)  09:17, 07 May 2019 (UTC)
  19. Support, noting that the incident inspiring this petition is one of the incidents in response to which I am protesting the Committee. Also note that, while the AE deletion being appealed was not valid in the opinion of many respondents to the clarification request, and the community's deletion review unquestionably overturned the deletion, the restored page was deleted again under auspices of Arbcom authority anyway. This clarification needs to be made, one way or the other, and I prefer this way. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 12:55, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
  20. Support, I have general concerns about ArbCom growing their powers more than necessary for their functions. Stifle (talk) 11:03, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  21. Support - the Committee was made for dispute resolution and dealing with other community-based problems, not article-based. Currently it seems that ArbCom may be pushing an agenda by enforcing article deletion while railing against community consensus (see Ivanvector's !vote and his essay). Defying community consensus on the grounds of authority is blatantly bureaucratic and is definitely bad faith, and goes against what Wikipedia stands for. Community consensus should be the the final say on content, not an elected body that we have to hope are doing the right thing. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 14:23, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
  22. Support: Whatever I was going to say I think User:Kirbanzo stated it perfectly. I will add that to me this screams "overstepping boundaries". Otr500 (talk) 00:16, 10 June 2019 (UTC)


  1. Oppose in implementation - I too agree with the sentiment, but banning ARBCOM from all page deletion is unwise. Instead, I back @EdChem:'s thoughts - we should limit it to ARBCOM itself only. I'd back an alternate amendment for that, as we could run into a few cases (especially with offwiki info) that warranted page deletion that we couldn't handle with a total ban. In effect, we risk "bad cases make bad law". Those with similar mindsets, please oppose and form a new one, not support Nosebagbear (talk) 09:32, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    Agree. A formal motion by ArbCom to delete certain pages is not offensive. What is offensive is delegation of authority to others to delete unilaterally, etc. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 09:50, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    Typically Arbitrators are administrators. If they are informed of some kind of outing/defamation on a page as a byproduct of arbitration work, they are not prohibited from deleting it in their personal capacity as administrators. They do not need the authority of Arbcom to prohibit reversion of the deletion -- the main disincentive is simply that the admin undoing it would be seen as using his tools to make such material visible again, which would probably cause as much complaint whether or not that content had been the subject of an arbitration case. Am I missing something here? Wnt (talk) 20:52, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  2. I don't know if I agree with the intent but I initially thought this was a reasonable, albeit inelegant, solution, and as such intended to support: this is the petition to start a ratification vote, not the ratification vote itself. After rereading the below, however, I no longer think it would be productive to have a ratification vote on this, so I must oppose this petition as written. ~ Amory (utc) 10:39, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  3. Slight oppose I believe AE should be able to delete pages as long as the page deletion is relevant to conduct and not content (the only exception being the content must fall within an area of sanctions.) Rare? Yes. I also believe most deletions in this space should be subject to review at DRV (most implying there will be some deletions that aren't reviewable such as office actions), and enforcing the result of the DRV will not lead that user closing/enforcing the DRV to administrative sanctions. I agree there's a problem here that needs fixing, though - AE should not unilaterally delete pages based on content - and I commend Cunard for leading the charge - I just don't think that a blanket ban on AE deletions is the most effective response. SportingFlyer T·C 11:33, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    @SportingFlyer: Cunard's proposal doesn't say ArbCom can't enact remedies that involve deletion, but rather that DS doesn't include deletion. It's proposed as an amendment to the Arbitration Policy rather than the DS policy, purely because DS is an ArbCom resolution and therefore could not be directly amended by community resolution. Deryck C. 19:51, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  4. Oppose the specifics. I fully agree with the intent - all deletions not involving private information must be permitted by either CSD, Prod or XfD, and must be reviewable at DRV, but per EdChem, Nosebagbear and others this wording is poor and introduces new ambiguities. I do not believe it is within policy (certainly it is contrary to the spirit) to change the wording of an amendment between petition and ratification. Thryduulf (talk) 11:47, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  5. Oppose - I would back this alternate amendment. --MrClog (talk) 14:10, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  6. If a page's existence presents a content issue, DS can't be used to delete it anyway, because arbcom can't delegate authority it does not have. If a page's existence presents a conduct issue, and the topic area is toxic enough that normal community processes have failed and DS had to be authorized, then there's no reason to expect the deletion processes to be immune from that toxicity - especially the less well-attended ones. T. Canens (talk) 17:25, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    It actually is somewhat less affected since a massive amount of AfD participation is from general AfD participants rather than individuals linked to a page (active pages are only rarely in AfD), and this is even more so in DRV. Nosebagbear (talk)
    AfD, perhaps (though it's not as if AN(I) don't have their own share of regulars), yet virtually all AfD discussions involve indisputably content issues and are outside arbcom's remit anyway, so it's not particularly relevant. Many other XfDs do not have as many. As to DRV, it can correct an admin's misreading of an XfD, but it can't do much if the underlying XfD is itself broken due to the influx of partisans on both sides. T. Canens (talk) 17:49, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  7. Oppose ARBCOM already has a hard enough time enforcing its decisions. Restricting it even more is step in the wrong direction. Yilloslime (talk) 17:32, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  8. Oppose. As an admin active at AE, I cannot remember an enforcement action or request other than the recent one concerning one userspace page that involved deletion. This is by far not happening frequently enough to warrant a discussion at this level, or changing policy. If we ever get to a point where rogue AE admins are deleting pages by the dozens to circumvent deletion policy, then action might be warranted - but probably more at a disciplinary rather than at a policy level. Sandstein 06:56, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  9. Oppose As has been noted several times, this is not a problem that needs a solution. No one has yet, once, demonstrated a Wikipedia article which does not yet exist but should, only because ArbCom forced it to be deleted. --Jayron32 15:03, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  10. Oppose see WP:ARBPIA3, where G5 would apply and having it be under AE would make a lot of sense. Agree generally, however. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:09, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  11. Oppose As for the related discussion, I doubt that this is regurarly happening/needed, and there is simply no reason why the road needs to be closed. And even if there is policy against it, there is anyway IAR / occasional exception possible, so whether it is codified in policy or not, it will/may still happen. We are NOT a bureaucracy. --Dirk Beetstra T C 17:39, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  12. Hard cases make bad law, they say. I think this really applies here. – Ammarpad (talk) 20:02, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  13. Oppose. Solution in search of a problem. This simply doesn't happen enough to be worthwhile adding to the policy. Besides, this writing wouldn't do much, since it would still allow ArbCom theoretically to separately authorize deletions. It just disallows them as part of standard discretionary sanctions. What you want is probably something to the effect of "The Arbitration Committee may not authorize any non-arbitrator to delete any page outside of the deletion policy." ~ Rob13Talk 05:20, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
  14. Oppose – while I agree that ArbCom should not be involving itself in content decisions such as deletion, this is not the best way to make that clarification. – bradv🍁 05:42, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
  15. Oppose - agree with several others, this seems to be a solution based on an outlier. Not a great way to set policy. Springee (talk) 13:25, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
  16. Oppose - per T. Cannens, though I think we need to make sure admins do not use AE as a content bludgeon. It didn't happen in this case, but I have seen it happen in the past. --Kyohyi (talk) 13:42, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
  17. Oppose WP:G5 is policy, and therefore deletion is explicitly part of AE. The workload on ArbCom is great enough, and delegation of authority is both practical and in accord with the concept of a self-regulating community. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 00:40, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
  18. Oppose This is specifically included in G5, also per Beetstra while this is rarely used it doesn't make sense to close this avenue if there are future issues arising that the community can't seem to deal with. --Cameron11598 (Talk) 13:16, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
  19. Oppose per G5 --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 20:56, 24 May 2019 (UTC)


  • Notifications posted at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard, Wikipedia talk:Deletion review, Wikipedia talk:Deletion policy, Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion, and Template:Centralized discussion. Cunard (talk) 08:11, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    @Cunard: Why not any arbitration pages? There should be a notification at WT:ARBCOM at a bare minimum, because that is the policy you intend to change. WT:AE would also be courteous as this is in direct response to an AE action. – Joe (talk) 08:41, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    Good point. Notifications posted at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee and Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement. Cunard (talk) 09:14, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Pinging Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Gun control#Clarification request: Gun control (April 2019) participants: GoldenRing (talk · contribs), Dlthewave (talk · contribs), Bishonen (talk · contribs), Simonm223 (talk · contribs), Ivanvector (talk · contribs), Doug Weller (talk · contribs), Black Kite (talk · contribs), Levivich (talk · contribs), RexxS (talk · contribs), S Marshall (talk · contribs), SmokeyJoe (talk · contribs), Hobit (talk · contribs), RoySmith (talk · contribs), Sandstein (talk · contribs), Cryptic (talk · contribs), GreenMeansGo (talk · contribs), DGG (talk · contribs), Drmies (talk · contribs), Xymmax (talk · contribs), Wnt (talk · contribs), Spartaz (talk · contribs), Fish and karate (talk · contribs), Alanscottwalker (talk · contribs), Deryck Chan (talk · contribs), Atsme (talk · contribs), SMcCandlish (talk · contribs), EdChem (talk · contribs), Aquillion (talk · contribs), Ymblanter (talk · contribs), Nosebagbear (talk · contribs), and Mojoworker (talk · contribs).

    Pinging Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2019 February 24#User:Dlthewave/Whitewashing of firearms articles participants: Rhododendrites (talk · contribs), Pudeo (talk · contribs), Godsy (talk · contribs), Serial Number 54129 (talk · contribs), Simonm223 (talk · contribs), SportingFlyer (talk · contribs), A Quest For Knowledge (talk · contribs), and Hut 8.5 (talk · contribs).

    Pinging Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Proposed amendment to Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy regarding the Arbitration Committee's power to authorise deletions participants: Timotheus Canens (talk · contribs), King of Hearts (talk · contribs), BU Rob13 (talk · contribs), Nosebagbear (talk · contribs), TonyBallioni (talk · contribs), Newyorkbrad (talk · contribs), SilkTork (talk · contribs), DannyS712 (talk · contribs), Nick (talk · contribs), and Praxidicae (talk · contribs).

    Cunard (talk) 08:11, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

  • SmokeyJoe (talk · contribs), blanking under discretionary sanctions would not be the "best simplest quietest and least confrontational way to dealing with some perceived problems". Blanking as a normal editorial or administrative blanking coupled with a discretionary sanctions topic ban if the creator is being disruptive would be the "best simplest quietest and least confrontational way to dealing with some perceived problems". A discretionary sanctions blanking requires an editor or uninvolved admin who disagrees with the blanking to appeal at WP:AN, WP:AE, or WP:ARCA. I think it is preferable for any editor or uninvolved admin to have the option to undo the blanking so that the page can then be discussed at WP:MFD.

    Cunard (talk) 08:19, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

    • I disagree. A new sanction-based instruction to a user may instruct them to cease a particular line of work in their userspace. The enforcing admin would appropriately blank the usersubpages. It is appropriate that a dispute of this be treated as sanctions appeal. While it could be community-discussed at MfD, the blanking of a subpage is not in any way offensive to deletion policy, and the question of blanking usersubpages muddies the central problem of sanction enforcement crossing deletion policy. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:08, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I understand the intention here, but this would not subvert the current situation in which if an admin deleted a page to support an ArbCom ruling that the action is first discussed within ArbCom specified venues (including ANI) before going to another venue such as DRV. The current situation does not support or encourage the deletion of pages, but lays out where discussions of such deletions should first take place, and that such deletions should not be reversed until it is decided and agreed that the deletion was inappropriate. SilkTork (talk) 08:25, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    • This petition disallows admins from using discretionary sanctions to delete pages. If this ratification is successful, any admin who deleted pages under discretionary sanctions would be violating the arbitration policy. Although under the motion the Committee passed recently, the deletion still would need to be discussed at WP:AN, WP:AE, or WP:ARCA, the admin response now should be "the deletion is not within administrator discretion because it violates the arbitration policy" instead of "I cannot say that [the] interpretation and application of that guideline is outside reasonable admin discretion" or "it is within administrator discretion" (quotes from the recently closed AE discussion about the page deletion under discretionary sanctions). This petition has no effect on an admins deleting a page to support an ArbCom ruling if the deletion is unrelated to discretionary sanctions.

      Cunard (talk) 09:14, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

  • I agree that DS should not be used for deletion, but this text doesn't seem to fit in that section, which is about how ArbCom's rulings relate to policy in general terms. In fact, WP:ARBPOL doesn't mention discretionary sanctions at all – presumably because DS are an extended system of sanctions authorised by ArbCom rather than a core part of the the arbitration policy. Wouldn't this make more sense added to Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions? – Joe (talk) 08:48, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    The community cannot amend DS directly. Galobtter (pingó mió) 08:52, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    I originally intended to modify Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions but as noted here, that page can only be modified by the Arbitration Committee. Cunard (talk) 09:14, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    @Galobtter and Cunard: If there's sufficient support here I'd be willing to propose a motion to change the discretionary sanctions directly. I think that would be neater than an ARBPOL amendment, and if there's obviously strong community support, it would be more likely to pass. (The reason our similar motion in the gun control ARCA didn't pass isn't because the majority of arbs disagreed, it's because they thought it wasn't necessary). – Joe (talk) 17:00, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    Joe Roe (talk · contribs), thank you for the offer. I agree that an arbitration motion to change the discretionary sanctions directly would be cleaner than an arbitration policy amendment and would support that. Cunard (talk) 03:17, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree with EdChem above that the amendment proposed here would not solve the issue (or at least it wouldn't the best way) - as ArbCom could in theory then create a "Biscretionary Sanctions" that allows deletions (I don't think ArbCom would try to brazenly circumvent the amendment as such, but we should try to go and solve the issue at its root rather than amending a single page). Something more along the lines of "The Committee has the power to delete pages, but may not delegate that power to individual admins." would be better. Galobtter (pingó mió) 08:52, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    • I would make a change that was somewhat more constrained, like: "The Arbitration Committee is authorised to delete pages that form a part of disruption considered during standard procedures, or by motion where off-wiki discussion is necessary. This authority does not extend to making decisions about encyclopaedic content and cannot be delegated beyond the Committee. All deletions undertaken outside this provision are governed by the deletion policy and subject to standard appeals provisions." That, or add it to the lest of areas authorised for ArbCom action under ARBPOL. EdChem (talk) 09:11, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    • I hope the Committee would not create something like "Biscretionary Sanctions" to allow deletions. If they did (which I do not think they will if this amendment passes), the community can pass a broader amendment to the arbitration policy. I am proposing this change because it is narrowly tailored and has a better chance of achieving consensus than a broader amendment. The arbitration policy currently does not explicitly grant the Committee the power to delete pages. It is unknown whether the community would support an amendment to the policy that explicitly allows the Committee to delete pages. An amendment that allows the Committee to delete pages would need to explain in what circumstances the Committee could delete pages and the community would be divided over what those circumstances should be.

      I support any parallel efforts to amend the arbitration policy as suggested by you and EdChem.

      Cunard (talk) 09:14, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

      • @EdChem: - I agree entirely with EdChem - I think we could actually regret making a restriction this broad (bad cases make bad law etc) - please note, that if we end up with two simultaneous ones that pass, we end up in the circumstance of either the latter replaces the former or the one with the most !votes passes. And it isn't clear which. Nosebagbear (talk) 09:28, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
      • Cunard, your proposed wording addresses ArbCom's ability to authorise deletions via DS. Implicitly, that means that ArbCom can itself authorise deletions, or why else add what you are suggesting. Whether you tailor it to be a narrow change, its effect is broad. EdChem (talk) 09:36, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
        • My proposed wording only says that discretionary sanctions cannot authorise deletions. I do not think the wording implicitly authorises or disallows the Arbitration Committee from authorising non-discretionary sanctions deletions. Some editors and arbitrators believe that the arbitration policy already authorises the Committee to authorise deletions (and some believe the opposite) so this amendment will not affect that.

          Cunard (talk) 09:51, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

    • I feel that despite the wording, the real target of this amendment is not ArbCom but admins who might take an overly-broad reading of what a particular WP:DS allows. ArbCom is small and fairly tightly-run; but we have over a thousand admins, as well as many very broadly-worded WP:DSes. We don't need to micromanage or set detailed rules for ArbCom. So the purpose here is not really 'ArbCom cannot do X', but 'admins cannot choose to interpret something ArbCom does as X.' If we're in a situation where ArbCom is knowingly, deliberately, and intentionally specifying an entire class of page for deletion (rather than an overly-enthusiastic admin justifying a page deletion under a broad DS), I feel it would be better to resolve that separately. And, more generally, it isn't really feasible for us to make rules for every possible thing that ArbCom might do wrong. --Aquillion (talk) 16:13, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I've suggested a possible alternate at VPI - section for clarity on ARBCOM's power and a very slightly broader restriction. Not that I think they'll create a new GS, but worth covering other aspects. Nosebagbear (talk) 10:16, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  • With any of the suggested wordings, can an editor banned under DS have his contributions removed (via deletion or editing)? --Izno (talk) 16:25, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    @Izno: - i don't think any of the active/proposed wordings would affect the CSDs (which are community generated) so I suppose G5s which apply to whole pages created by already banned editors could still be removed (however the editor came to be blocked). I wouldn't say that was a particularly evident loophole. As to contributions of banned editors, that seems to be an always-going discussion, but I don't believe any of the wordings would affect that either. Nosebagbear (talk) 17:47, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    I was less looking at CSD and more the direction of WP:BANREVERT (BANREVERT is really whence G5 derives its authority). It also did not read to me like BANREVERT is affected by the suggested change. --Izno (talk) 18:22, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    Much the same as the previous point as far as I can tell - I don't think it would be affected by the change. Nosebagbear (talk) 21:27, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I think there is a major series of Arbcom decision that are being overlooked here: The BLP cases. While I generally oppose DS deletions, as it screws up our normal deletion review process without good reason, the BLP cases illustrate how deletion may be a necessary tool for effective enforcement of Arbcom remedies. I'm not sure if this would really work out, but my though would be that it would be better to leave Arbcom the tool, but exclude it from the default DS toolset. Thus, for something like BLP, Arbcom could explicitly authorize deletion as a DS action, but without a specific deletion authorization, deletions would not be covered under the DS appeal regime. Monty845 04:09, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
    • CSD documentation of BLPDELETE is in my opinion unclear, but discussions at WT:CSD reached a consensus that BLP deletions are covered by WP:CSD#G10. For anything needing deletion for BLP reasons, delete under G10 "for BLP reasons". Do not include any reference to any sanction. If the page is a BLP violation, it is a BLP violation regardless of who authored it. Feel free to block the user posting BLP-violating material. No need to mention any sanction. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:29, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Amendment Procedure[edit]

Unless I really don't understand the procedure - something I won't rule out - we're in stage 1 of an amendment to the policy: the gathering of 100 signatures on a petition. The other way that this stage can be completed is by a majority vote of ArbCom. After stage 1 is successfully completed an amendment will be formally opened for ratification at which point it'll need 100 supporters while having a majority.Therefore, people who are opposing at this point are sending a signal about their lack of support but not actually stopping this process from moving forward. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 18:39, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

That's correct (or at least how I read it). Standard procedure for a petition but colliding with our great love for sectioned !voting. It's a fine way of organizing those encouraging folks not to sign the petition, but, yes, it's not stopping anything. ~ Amory (utc) 18:53, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Yes, but by explaining why we don't support it provides an opportunity to tweak and/or amend the proposal, or (my preference in this case) replace it with an alternative, before it gets to ratification. AIUI Small changes might be ok at this stage, but anything significant may (imho should) invalidate the support of those who signed before the most recent change; I believe that no changes can be made during the ratification stage. Thryduulf (talk) 20:00, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
And that all seems great. I just wanted to alert those who might not be as aware of the significance of what they were doing or who might be confused why, if this gets 100 signatures, they could see this reposted "like new". Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 20:16, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

Rationale by Cunard[edit]


An administrator deleted User:Dlthewave/Whitewashing of firearms articles with the rationale "Arbitration enforcement action under gun control DS". The term "gun control DS" refers to Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Gun control#Discretionary sanctions.

Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions#Page restrictions says:

Any uninvolved administrator may impose on any page or set of pages relating to the area of conflict page protection, revert restrictions, prohibitions on the addition or removal of certain content (except when consensus for the edit exists), or any other reasonable measure that the enforcing administrator believes is necessary and proportionate for the smooth running of the project.

The dispute is whether "any other reasonable measure that the enforcing administrator believes is necessary" includes the deletion of a page as part of the discretionary enforcement process. The Arbitration Committee at a recently closed clarification request did not decide whether pages can be deleted under "other reasonable measures" as part of the enforcement process. The Committee instead passed the motion:

All actions designated as arbitration enforcement actions, including those alleged to be out of process or against existing policy, must first be appealed following arbitration enforcement procedures to establish if such enforcement is inappropriate before the action may be reversed or formally discussed at another venue.

There is further discussion about the motion on the Arbitration Committee noticeboard here.

Conflict between deletion review and arbitration enforcement

Both Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2019 February 24#User:Dlthewave/Whitewashing of firearms articles and Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement reviewed User:Dlthewave/Whitewashing of firearms articles.

Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2019 February 24#User:Dlthewave/Whitewashing of firearms articles was closed as "The clear consensus is that this deletion should be overturned per the deletion policy. It now requires arbcom to sanction this."

A parallel review of the deletion at an WP:AE request titled "Arbitration enforcement action appeal by Dlthewave" was instead closed as:

Appeal declined. The requisite "clear and substantial consensus of [...] uninvolved administrators at AE" to overturn this discretionary sanction is not present.

The page was re-deleted despite the strong community consensus at deletion review to overturn the deletion.

EdChem (talk · contribs) put it well here here:

[T]he difference between DRV and AE is not merely the standard applied, it is also the question considered. DRV looks at whether the page should have been deleted, whether there is a policy-based justification, etc. AE looks at whether the action is within administrator discretion under DS. An AE deletion is endorsed even if every admin who comments says "I wouldn't have done that but I can see how it is a possible conclusion to reach and so is an allowable exercise of discretion." It is true that AE can also say "looking at the page, the deletion decision is unreasonable / goes beyond allowable discretion" but the process as now enforced does not mandate that there be a consensus in favour of the deletion for it to be upheld, it merely requires there to be no consensus that the decision was outside of discretion.

Why is a change needed to the Arbitration policy to prohibit deletions under discretionary sanctions

Without a change to Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy:

In the proposed amendment, I am also including "undeletion, moving, blanking, or redirection". Undeletion, the reversal of deletion, is included because an undeletion under discretionary sanctions would require a deletion discussion to happen at WP:AE, WP:AN, or WP:ARCA instead of at WP:XFD. Moving, blanking, and redirection are also included because they are or can be pseudo-deletions.


As noted here, the community cannot directly amend Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions because it is an Arbitration Committee decision. Limiting the scope of the Arbitration Committee's discretionary sanctions requires modifying Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy.

The petition is listed as an RfC for advertisement purposes but will follow the petition and ratification process of Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy#Ratification and amendment instead of the 30-day schedule of RfCs.

Cunard (talk) 07:28, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

KISS. Deletion is not a sanctions enforcement tool[edit]

All of this is too complicated. I propose instead:

Explanatory comments:

  1. For virtually everything needing immediate deletion, existing CSD suffice. G11 for unsourced promotion. G5 for pages created in violation of a ban.
  2. Deletions for privacy or child protection reasons already occur, and will continue to occur, without the need for deletion needing to reference any "sanction".
  3. WP:Deletion review is a respected community forum that operates by consensus. Decisions to temp-undelete, or speedy close, operate by consensus, with no complaints to date except for where "sanctions" have crossed the deletion line.

--SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:53, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

  • This says everything it needs to say. Thryduulf (talk) 10:59, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Love it. Levivich 13:29, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Seems reasonable. I would support this · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 06:17, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I support these principles, SmokeyJoe (talk · contribs).

    There are two ways they can be proposed: as a regular RfC and as an arbitration policy amendment.

    Wikipedia:Consensus#Decisions not subject to consensus of editors says, "The English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee may issue binding decisions, within its scope and responsibilities, that override consensus." Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions is one of the Committee's "binding decisions". Some Arbitration Committee members believe that the Committee's scope includes the authority to authorise admins to delete pages under discretionary sanctions (link to clarification request).

    They base this on the discretionary sanctions procedure's allowing admins to take "other reasonable measures that the enforcing administrator believes are necessary and proportionate for the smooth running of the project", which some interpret as including deletions. A current arbitrator said that the discretionary sanctions procedure is subject to WP:CONEXCEPT and the community can narrow its scope only through an arbitration policy amendment.

    The only way for these principles to be binding is if they were proposed as an arbitration policy amendment. Where in Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy would these principles be added? I support proposing this as an alternative amendment since it's gained the support of Thryduulf (talk · contribs), who opposed the original amendment, so could sway other opposers.

    Cunard (talk) 07:08, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

  • Support Levivich's version as first choice and original wording as second choice. This is another case where it's just not ArbCom's job. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 16:16, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment - I support this, and would adopt it. I fully support the impulse leading to the main proposal, but I think the language introduces too much confusion. As I have mentioned elsewhere, my belief is that ARBCOM lacks the authority to delete pages outside of its narrow role of acting on private information not appropriate to share on-wiki, and I disagree that deletion is a remedy for a conduct dispute outside of what is provided in the deletion policy. I would in no way limit an individual arbiter's authority to act in their own administrative or oversight capacity. I disagree with those who say that this outlier case is not worthy of amending the policy because it has revealed that the committee cannot agree as to the limits of its authority. It therefore is appropriate for the community to set such limits, if it can in fact agree as to what they are. Xymmax So let it be written So let it be done 23:24, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

Even more KISS: leave it as is. It is not an enforcement tool, it has never been used as an enforcement tool. Plain, non-AE enforcement also has never included deletion. There is just now one (or a couple of cases) where pages were deleted because of a AE. There is simply no reason to write down a rule for that, it is utterly rare, there may not be many cases where it is needed but IF it is needed (for some obscure or IAR reason) it should simply be possible (and anyway, people will IAR on the cases where your now newly written enforcement rule is to be ignored). We are not a bureaucracy. Rather, just a sentence that those (rare) deletion reviews for the sanction-related areas should be properly cross-linked between the two is sufficient. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:48, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

Dirk Beetstra, explain to me then the deletion of User:Dlthewave/Whitewashing of firearms articles. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:47, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
@SmokeyJoe: that is not up to me, that is to the person who deleted it. And I am not saying that these were those examples that needed deletion, but I am against codifying that into policy - I can think of scenarios that could use deletion (this content is an example of something that does not fall under CSD criteria ..). --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:37, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
As per 'even more KISS: leave it as is' .. oppose. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:25, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. I could almost get on board with the full ArbCom being allowed to delete something, but the idea that a single admin, acting on his/her own, but in the name of ArbCom (i.e. AE) could delete something beyond review, is just absurd. The above concise statement fixes the problem. My one nit is that WP:G9 should still not be reviewable. I'm not sure I've ever seen a G9. Has it ever been used? Looking through the back links, it doesn't look like it ever has. Which seems like about the right frequency. -- RoySmith (talk) 23:45, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
    • WP:CSD#G9 would be reviewable to the extent that the WMF authority is verified. A random admin claiming G9 authority based on thier interpretation of what WMF said, that should be overturned. I would expect that known "(WMF)" account to be used to do the deletion, a verified functionary. As G9 doesn't restrict to the reason for deletion, there would be no validity to request review of the underlying reason, just that the policy (G9) was complied with. I completely trust the admins regulars at DRV to do the right thing. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:31, 9 May 2019 (UTC) For bona fide G9s, it’s all pretty professionally laid out at Wikipedia:Office actions, including who may do them. I see WMF take child protection seriously. I see that some Arbs are inching towards assuming Office responsibility and authority. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 13:30, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
    • I recall someone saying that WMF were quick and easy with G9 deletions of images of WMF buildings. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 12:42, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose this as well Per the same reasons as above. There has not been demonstrated that there exists enough of a problem to justify enacting this policy. The one or two times that AE has been used to justify deletions are rare enough to not merit a policy dealing with it. --Jayron32 14:03, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
    • It’s more about stopping Arbs from expanding their own scope. They never had power over content, now they authorise others to delete subject only to their own procedures for review. It’s a straight line to the end of consensus and WikiGovernment by ArbCom. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 14:12, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
      • The sky is not falling. "If we don't fix this now, all of Wikipedia will end as we know it" is hardly a useful rationale for enacting a policy. Irrational alarmism is not a useful attitude to take. --Jayron32 13:39, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
            • It’s not that the sky can be seen to be falling, more that ArbCom is undermining the foundations. What can’t they do do, if they can render their own policy subversion unreviewable? —SmokeyJoe (talk) 17:28, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
        • I agree that SmokeyJoe is being overly alarmist. But, I really can't see any legitimate reason for ArbCom to be deleting things. We've never had a rule against it, because nobody ever thought it was needed. It was common sense that it would never happen. Now that it's happened, and ArbCom has insisted they have the right to do it, this is the logical time to tell them that they can't.

          Tools already exist to delete things. If a page meets a WP:CSD, that can be used. If not, then regular XfD should be fine. And, if something really is so bad that it has to go quickly, ArbCom can always ask WMF to delete it as an office action. You could even do something like blank and protect the page, or revdel the offending material pending review.

          The toxic combination here is not just the deleting, and not even just the deleting beyond the reach of community review. It's the delegation of that power to any admin who happens to wander by WP:AE and deputises themselves to act ex cathedra, enforced by pain of desysopping to any other admin who intervenes. That cannot stand. -- RoySmith (talk) 14:07, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

          • No Roy. I am being appropriately alarmist. Compare Enabling Act of 1933. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 16:06, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
            The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
            The behavioural police, ArbCom and their self-selecting AE deputies, need to be kept out of policy making and rewriting and subversion. WP:DEL and WP:CSD do not give ArbCom and their AE deputies the right to Speedy delete. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 17:24, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
            • Did you seriously just invoke Godwin's Law? Wow. Just... I mean... Wow. --Jayron32 17:28, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
              • What do you think are their limits? SmokeyJoe (talk) 17:31, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
                • What, you're going to equate ArbCom with Nazis and then have the gall to think we can continue a nice little discussion over the matter. Seriously dude, just go away. I have no intention of continuing a discussion with someone who would do that. If that's the direction you're going, you have nothing useful at all to say. I consider this discussion over. --Jayron32 17:49, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. This is simpler and cleaner than the original proposal, and is correct, so just do it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:24, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support this clearer wording. the wub "?!" 22:06, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'm afraid this wording would limit the use of G5, which is sometimes needed in edge cases. I really do get the concerns here, but the overwhelming majority of admins do not want to use deletion as a sanction (myself included.) What is happening is that anything with DS is one of the most difficult areas of the project, where the normal part of policy that work well elsewhere don't work as well. That is the whole point behind DS. There are limited cases (ARBPIA3 enforcement is the biggest example that comes to mind, but I'm sure you could find others) where deletion may be the preferred tool to enforce sanctions. In the overwhelming majority of cases it is not and will not be used, but writing hard rules for difficult areas is almost always a bad idea. See also WP:CREEP. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:19, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support with caveat. Per TonyBallioni, we need to do still allow G5 enforcement of bans. I would tweak it to something even simpler: "All deletions made in the course of arbitration enforcement must be in accordance with deletion policy and are reviewable at Wikipedia:Deletion review." -- King of ♠ 14:35, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
Any admin can still delete under G5, but they do it as an administrator, not a functionary, or using the stick procedures of arb enforcement. Even an arb can do that, but they can't claim immunity from reversion. I do not see why they would need to do that. If some admin is reverting deletions to help a banned editor, arb com can and should take action on that. DGG ( talk ) 05:14, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
  • There's no way in hell I'll support allowing a 7-day public discussion at DRV about a privacy deletion, which is what the third sentence will do. Also per TonyBallioni. T. Canens (talk) 13:08, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
Are you concerned that DRV would result in the privacy violation being restored, either as the result of consensus or to allow public review? A deletion review doesn't guarantee temporary undeletion; that would be at the (terrible) discretion of an individual admin. –dlthewave 01:26, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
Existing policy already prohibits admins from revealing private info which may be in the deleted text. Like it or not, discussion of the issue (i.e. the publicly available aspects thereof) will take place publicly somewhere on-wiki, because someone will start a thread, unless you impose a sitewide gag order on the whole thing (WP:OUTING is the only case I can think of which enforces such a broad prohibition). -- King of ♠ 00:59, 27 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose seem like a poor idea. There are privacy issues beyond what we can do in public --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 20:59, 24 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Prefer Cunard's amendment, but would be prepared support this instead if Cunard's amendment fails. I'm concerned that this alternative amendment might be too broad; and ArbCom should be allowed to pass a bespoke sanction that includes deletion, just not as part of the existing system of Discretionary Sanctions. Deryck C. 13:32, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support this simple, logical amendment, but I think Levivich's second proposal is really the way to go. – Teratix 04:05, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: I will make this easy, "Deletion is not a sanctions enforcement tool" so I support consensus, no matter how it is worded or tweeked, that makes this clear. Otr500 (talk) 00:24, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

Draft PROD[edit]

I know this is a borderline perennial proposal, but why is it that this doesn't exist? Stuff like Draft:Fisayor Montana are perfect candidates for non-speedy but non-discussion based deletion: apparent self-promotion based draft created by a user that goes on to sock to promote himself, would be A7 eligible in mainspace, but doesn't fit any of the G-criteria, MfD seems like a waste of effort, and keeping it around doesn't really do anyone any good.

I hate to say this, but it isn't exactly like draft space is filled with hidden gems. Most of it is crap that will never be mainspace eligible but gets a pass at CSD because we don't apply it that strictly to drafts, and no one wants to bother going through MfD for it. PROD makes sense here. I'm not proposing a formal RfC (yet), but getting views on PRODs for drafts outside the normal circles who discuss draft deletion would be useful to forming a potential proposal in my view. TonyBallioni (talk) 05:08, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

  • Support. It would be helpful to extirpate the dross at source. Xxanthippe (talk) 05:54, 15 May 2019 (UTC).
  • Support expanding the scope of PROD to cover drafts is a good idea.Reyk YO! 06:02, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Virtually all draftspace pages are virtually unwatched, and so this is a backdoor WP:NEWCSD. WP:PROD only works acceptably in mainsapce because it is assumed that all worthy pages are watched, and for the few exceptions, there are Category:Proposed deletion patrollers. The requested new CSD doesn't exist because for every draftpage that is not CSD eligible, CSG#G13 suffices. Draft:Fisayor Montana looks pretty WP:CSD#G11-eligible, so what is the point of that example? I do support WP:CSD#A11 being broadened to draftspace, with caveats, such as the author being advised of a WP:REFUND route.
It is true that most of it is crap. This is mostly because mostly only newcomers with no Wikipedia skills try to write new pages there. For all others, they learn about WP:DUD. Everyone is welcome to edit Wikipedia articles, but this should be be taken to the extension that everyone is welcome to start new topics before even becoming autoconfirmed. The probability of a newcomer arriving with a new topic that is so far un-covered anywhere in mainspace, and needs a new page *now*, and some Wikipedian is not already writing, is vanishingly small. To the extent that it is true that all draftspace pages may as well be deleted without care, it is true that all of draftspace should be shut down. The costs of running draftspace for AfC for newcomers who can't be bothered to spend four days and ten edits improving existing content far exceeds the value of the pages that come out of AfC and couldn't have been started in mainspace or userspace. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:50, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Well, I disagree that the page in question met G11 which is about tone, not intent, but someone else disagreed and went ahead and deleted it. That’s unfortunate in my view because stretching G11 for cases like this just renforces the idea that it is the main/only way to deal with promo crap, which isn’t true. I also disagree with what you say about it being a new CSD; it takes 7 days and allows removal by the author. If I’m reading the rest of your comment correctly you’re arguing draft space is a failure, which I agree with, but I’m also not sure why that’s a reason to oppose this. TonyBallioni (talk) 11:28, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
      • I didn’t see the deleted page, only the deletion log. I have supported a number of CSD expansions, but the usual opposition defeating them is that G11 serves. Can we temp-undelete the delete page? If it needs deletion, and G11 doesn’t apply, then there’s a problem needing a solution. I think a draftprod allowing the author, and effectively only the author as no one else is watching, to remove it, is not a useful way to go, because either the author will simply remove it, or the author has left to not return and there is no harm in letting it sit the six months. I also don’t like it because it is a perversion of the PROD system, which was predicated on it being used on pages that editors are watching.
        On the whole of draftspace being a failure, my problem is that this is a part solution that is far short of a solution. This is really just a comment, not the reason to oppose. I think we might be agreeing that there is a problem needing some solution.
        I think there is widespread variation in understanding of the scope of G11. I don’t agree that it is limited to tone. I think G11 is well applied to anything remotely interpreted as promotion if it is unsourced, or sourced or linking only to unsuitable sources, most typically YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the subject’s personal website. A recent discussion on differences of interpretated scope of G11 is at User talk:SmokeyJoe#Re: Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Draft:Laura with me. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 12:26, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
The worst thing about AfC and draftspace is that invites wide-eyed newcomers to start a new page, in isolation from the real community, isolated from mainspace editors with similar topic interests, and leaves them to wallow. Draftspace PROD would only make this worse. Better to not invite them to start new pages in the first place, better to tell them to improve existing content. No new worthy topic is an orphan topic. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:24, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Neutral I support in principle, but most of the crap gets cleaned up automatically. I'm worried that becoming too deletionist in draft space could be on the WP:BITEy side. There's plenty of stuff in draft space which is fine, or which helps the writer become acquainted with our processes. I also agree there probably needs to be some way to more easily clean up pages like the one TonyBallioni identified. I don't know where I'd vote on an RfC, I'd want it to be narrowly tailored, hence my neutral stance. SportingFlyer T·C 12:42, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose until there is evidence that there is a need to delete drafts that are not speedy deletion candidates sooner than G13 allows and that there are so many of these that MfD would be overwhelmed. Despite multiple draft prod suggestions over several years, nobody has been able to demonstrate there is a problem that draft prod would be capable of solving. Thryduulf (talk) 16:10, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:CREEP, CSD G13 is completely adequate to its task. I don't think we are running out of space in the Draft: namespace. UnitedStatesian (talk) 16:14, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as WP:CREEP. The existing tools work well enough. -- RoySmith (talk) 16:39, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment first this is not a proposal it was trying to open a discussion about what would be an acceptable form of proposed deletion for drafts. There is literally nothing to support or propose. Second, to the CREEP point, this is the exact opposite of CREEP. It’s removing the completely unnecessary step of MfD for deleting hopeless drafts.
    Finally, RoySmith, to your point: the current CSD criteria do not work. We have a massive AFC backlog, well over 80% of which will never be mainspace ready and probably 50%+ would be A7 eligible if in mainspace. Draft space is broken and is nothing more than a dumping ground for stuff that’s going to be deleted 6 months after the author gives up on trying to write their autobiography in most cases. Having an actual discussion about making processing of drafts work in 2019 rather than in the 2005 era mindset of every byte of text being sacred is needed. Not because keeping them around is that harmful, but because it isn’t beneficial, and it takes time away from reviewers focusing on the minority of drafts that will actually become articles. TonyBallioni (talk) 16:55, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
    • What is the benefit in deleting "hopeless" [citation needed] drafts sooner than 6 months? Specifically, how will this improve the encyclopaedia and increase editor retention? If it doesn't do both of those things then I don't really see it as something worthwhile spending any time or effort on. Thryduulf (talk) 17:44, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
      • Thryduulf, the benefit is that it would create a painless deletion process for drafts that no one would oppose at MfD. Would provide those who work in draft space with more options, while also providing new users with more flexibility to contest deletions than creating a draft specific CSD criteria. There is zero benefit to the encyclopedia in keeping the mass of A7-quality drafts around until G13 comes along. I'd also support getting rid of draft space all together and just have people wait 4 days to create a new page as has been suggested a few times here, but I doubt that would gain consensus (and I think the PROD method would be better for saving new content, fwiw.) TonyBallioni (talk) 19:20, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
    • I think there's a great difference between drafts that were created in draft space and then neglected, and articles that editors have chosen to move to draft space with little quality control over whether they should have been moved there in the first place, but in neither case do we need any new procedure and neither contributes to the AfC backlog unless they are submitted to AfC. My preferred solution would be to do away with draft space altogether and get back to the normal wiki process by which articles on notable subjects are developed in main space, and ones on non-notable subjects are deleted. The whole process of moving articles to draft and then speedy deleting on sight after six months is simply disruptive. I don't normally look out for such articles but I noticed Franz von Gernerth yesterday, and have seen other articles on clearly notable topics before that should never have been draftified. If the same standards are to be applied to articles in draft space as to those in main space then what is the point of draft space? Phil Bridger (talk) 18:34, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I see no evidence of any problem which must be dealt with more urgently than G13 allows and isn't covered by G10, G11 or G12. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 13:31, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose As there are so few watchers that a prod would go unnoticed. There is no hurry to delete the harmless material, and te harmful content gets deleted via other speedy deletion criteria anyway. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:46, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment: I agree with this PROD in principle because it's always been something I thought we should probably have; while G13 is generally reserved for drafts that might have some promise but neither the creator or other editors are interested in improving. However, I'm not aware of how many drafts arrive through the Article Wizard (it would be interesting to know) and hence how many of the drafters blatantly disregard the instructions at the Article Wizard. One possible solution would be to increase ACPERM to 90/500 and deprecate AfC entirely. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 04:50, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I generally see the Draft namespace as not fit for purpose, and a draft PROD as an improvement. The main problem is that the existence of G13 virtually guarantees the deletion of a draft after six months regardless of any other considerations, it discourages evaluation of a draft before deletion. We need the deletion process to be more discerning overall: and it's a step in this direction if editors can prod the bad drafts leaving a smaller pile of stuff with higher potential for others to sort through before everything gets bulldozed after the set period of inactivity. – Uanfala (talk) 11:33, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as unnecessary and overly aggressive to newbies, hundreds of drafts are deleted every day through csd G13, 11 and 12 and G6 can be used for BLP violations such as bios about private people, while deletion for test edits can be used for single sentence efforts. There are many good articles in draft space that would be vulnerable to prod and give more workload to prod patrollers, thanks Atlantic306 (talk) 19:37, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Comments: I am not opposed to attempts at finding easier ways for reviewers, therefore also agree with "this PROD in principle" so thanks to User:TonyBallioni but per User:SmokeyJoe there can't be "a part solution that is far short of a solution". There needs to be some agreed upon solution that many won't consider WP:CREEP. I have become disheartened at times after randomly clicking on many multiple drafts (and quickly going to the next so sort of wading through the crap), in search of one that would make a passable article or one that might possibly have substance enough that would survive an AFD, in a sometimes attempt to not be "too deletionist" (per User:SportingFlyer). I attempt to use the stop choice only when I see several rejections and reviewers suggestions being continually ignored on re-submissions or just patent advertisement or serious violations. I would never want to hinder a new editor or possibly good new article creations and sometimes just leave comments. Considering these things it would be cool if there could be more categories other than Category:Declined AfC submissions that could separate drafts that have been reviewed and those that haven't as opposed to just those that are declined. Category:Pending AfC submissions states, "This category lists the submissions that are waiting to be reviewed through the AfC process." that if commented on seems not accurate. It also seems it would give benefits that some progress could be visible. I suppose comments from "prod patrollers" would be important on this and I don't know enough yet about the actual "workings" so just offering comments. Otr500 (talk) 13:28, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - project-minded editors keep trying to push G13 in this direction, by adding caveats and deletion waiting periods and exemptions and what-not. Let's just do this instead. If someone PRODs a draft and nobody objects within 7 days, it's harmless to delete it. If the creator returns, PRODs are automatic REFUNDs. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 13:51, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Suppor: At this time per User:Ivanvector as it make sense. It seems this may need relisting for more input. Otr500 (talk) 01:23, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

Woe to them which are but bunches of numbers![edit]

How authoritative is WP:Basic copyediting when it states: "The month, day, year style of writing dates requires a comma after the year, e.g. On September 15, 1947, she began her first year at Harvard"? I ask because recently I discovered an IP (Special:Contributions/ that was doing just the opposite in dozens of articles. Their arguably good faith contributions look to have been confused as vandalism and rolled back.

[18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23]

Regards, Guywan (talk) 11:50, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

I think it's very authoritative, especially since the final comma would be there to mark the end of an introductory phrase, even if the year weren't somewhat oddly treated similarly to how an unrestrictive appositive would be (compare how "On 15 September 1947" would be treated). Dhtwiki (talk) 20:49, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
@Guywan: The more "authoritative" source would be MOS:DATEFORMAT. (talk) 07:44, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, BoN. I overlooked that. (^_^.) Guywan (talk) 11:00, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

ACC backlogs[edit]

There's been a lot of discussion recently about the backlogs at WP:ACC, for example here and here (where I was advised to post to VPP). At this time there are 5,417 open ACC requests going back 5 months. There are 60 registered operators of the ACC interface, and only a minority are active. Apparently, ACC currently receives about 80 account requests per day. This is not a good situation. If anyone wants to join up and help out, please do so. However I'm here to discuss a change to the wording of the advice we give to users.

Since ACC was introduced many blocks templates have been changed to advise users that if they can't edit they, "request an account be created for you". This strikes me as really bad advice for a first step solution. Their first step should not be to pile onto the volunteer backlogs, but to try and create an account using any method available to them. Although not universally true, I'll bet almost everyone has access to another IP address - some immediately, and some at a later time, but all within 5 months. I've listed a bunch of the most relevant templates at WT:ACC. I don't have the precise wording we should be using, but I'm going to suggest they get changed to 'demote' ACC to a last resort as soon as possible. Some pings: @1997kB, Bluerasberry, BU Rob13, Callanecc, Cymru.lass, Dane, DeltaQuad, JJMC89, Nosebagbear, Oshwah, QEDK, Stwalkerster, Swarm, and UninvitedCompany: (and apologies to anyone I've left out) -- zzuuzz (talk) 22:28, 25 May 2019 (UTC)

  • Not that I'm particularly active at ACC, but if admins who are not CUs are making blocks of wide ranges, it may be useful to mark them as ACC ignore or simply disable the account creation block feature (or consult a CU). It depends on the case, obviously but if you're blocking a really wide mobile range or something of the sort, it's likely there is a fair amount of collateral. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:32, 25 May 2019 (UTC)
    • What Tony mentions is one of the biggest issues I see, and have to make blocks ACC ignore so they aren't queued for that reason. I cleared out 50 requests from two ranges in the CU queue because of these types of blocks. On the other side, ACC is moving further towards automation and getting these people through a lot faster, maybe without human intervention. But this coding will still take some time to move forward. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 23:21, 25 May 2019 (UTC)
      • Indeed ACC ignore should be used far more often. However marking ACC ignore only reduces the burden on checkusers, and not the general 5-month backlog. I see reducing unnecessary input to the entire process a key step forward. Although most people probably arrive through block messages, I also get the impression that both OTRS and UTRS direct users to ACC. -- zzuuzz (talk) 23:34, 25 May 2019 (UTC)
        • UTRS has a wonderful template that tells school children to create accounts at home and then to use ACC if that doesn't work. Might be worth copying some language there. TonyBallioni (talk) 23:39, 25 May 2019 (UTC)
(Sorry if I'm repeating anything already covered by others.)
  • Using <!--ACC ignore--> in the block rationale will only help the ACC CU backlog but not the overall ACC backlog, but yes it should be used more. Wide range blocks or blocks where the target never uses an account should have it, especially for {{rangeblock}}.
  • In addition to not disabling account creation when blocking, block templates should direct the user to create their own account when this is the case, e.g. {{rangeblock}}'s |create=yes. (The option needs to be used in the block rationale, not just on a talk page.)
  • I'm thinking that we should create a help page to link from block templates when account creation is disabled. This page can detail using another connection and/or location to create an account with ACC as a last resort. We'd then have two options in the templates: 1) If you do not have an account: link to help page 2) If you have an account: log in.
  • Referrals from OTRS and UTRS can be necessary since those tools don't show IP and UA (CU only) data like ACC does.
— JJMC89(T·C) 00:20, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
UTRS does have CU data, but only provides it to CUs. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 01:58, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I'd love to get more people helping out with ACC (hint hint!), but it's probably also a good shout to reduce the incoming traffic until we've at least got the backlog a bit more under control. I've just been through and mostly cleared out the ACC CU queue (there's 13 requests left in it at the time of writing). I'd like to point out that the automation we're trying to bring in is for accepts only. I'm very strongly opposed to automating declines for the simple reason ACC is the backstop for when automation preventing account creations elsewhere (looking at CAPTCHAs, AntiSpoof, AbuseFilter, TitleBlacklist, etc) has failed. Most of the checks that are performed we have some form of automation in the works for checking, but everything is on a hair-trigger so if the slightest thing is found it'll still be up to a human to review. None of this is integrated into the tool yet, that's still a work in progress. stwalkerster (talk) 00:35, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
  • The problem with changing our wording on block templates is that, if we direct editors to just try another IP address, we're going to be telling some block targets how to evade their block. That's not ideal. ~ Rob13Talk 03:05, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
    This is indeed a valid point, and probably one of the main reasons I haven't changed the templates so far. It's probably a risk worth taking though, if the wording can be got about right. Any vandals taking this route will just get blocked again on their other network, which probably won't be a hassle. -- zzuuzz (talk) 14:11, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I've been a short-term ACC tool member (>24 hours) and long-term OTRS member and I quite agree, I think a few months ago, PrimeHunter and a few editors went out and tried to remove info-en-at-wikimedia-dot-org from seemingly unnecessary places. The general view was that it helped reduce numbers somewhat, but it wasn't enough a dent we wanted to put in the backlog. I'm not sure if all the "ACC as a last resort"s can be removed, but certainly a lot can be. We don't reference ACC much in OTRS but the one template that does refers to it as an alternative in case normal account creation is not possible. --qedk (t c) 04:59, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
However I believe that template could be re-written to suggest using an additional IP first. I'm not sure how much block evasion this would encourage. It might get a few more seriously basic evaders through, but anyone competent enough they'd actually cause a big enough nuisance would a) already know to use another IP first b) not use ACC and summon any additional attention. Thus minimal negatives for a slight rewrite I'd say. Nosebagbear (talk) 10:13, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
I think wording it like "try resetting your network connection" is better, although that is some sort of poor security through obscurity tactic. More importantly, my point is how often will it actually resolve the matter and not have them send us some other ticket. --qedk (t c) 03:18, 27 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I've been planning to help reword WP:ACC to help encourage users to create their own account if possible and then continue with a request if they're still unable to do so. With the number of requests that we receive a day, as well as the number of users that I end up noticing that eventually just create their own account after the request is made - I'm quite certain that many of these users visit the ACC page as a first resort. Just providing a short paragraph and a way to help users troubleshoot the main reasons (such as CAPTCHA not loading and emails not coming through - just make sure to turn off adblockers and check your spam folder) that they may be having trouble creating an account will (hopefully) reduce the amount of new requests. Doing this would be a win/win for us... even if it reduces the number of new requests by a small amount. ~Oshwah~(talk) (contribs) 00:59, 27 May 2019 (UTC)
  • direct users to automated options I am in favor of revising our documentation to advise users to try automated options before requesting manual review and account creation. I expect that will lessen the number of incoming requests. I continue to recognize the problem. I cannot commit to leadership in reform but I am ready to back someone else's proposals or ideas. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:24, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "Direct users to try a different IP address" pretty badly fails to recognize that likely the vast majority of users would not know how or may not be able to for various reasons. We're supposed to make things easy for users who want to contribute, not make them jump through endless hoops in hopes of maybe being gifted with an account some time in the next half a year. Plus what BU Rob13 said about evasion. If we need more hands then we need more hands. I was somewhat active on the CU queue before some unpleasantness last month but never really on actually creating accounts or processing the main queue. I'll look into that when I have more time. Anyone know of a good guide? Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 14:22, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
    The guide is at Wikipedia:Request an account/Guide. — JJMC89(T·C) 03:38, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

Implicit CCI notification requirement?[edit]

WP:CCI currently includes the text After submitting a case, please notify the contributor by adding {{subst:CCI-notice}} ~~~~ to the bottom of their talk page. It is not necessary to notify individuals who are currently blocked for copyright infringement, even if temporarily.

Saying "Please do X" doesn't necessarily imply a policy requirement so much as an option courtesy, in my reading, but saying that it is "not necessary to notify individuals who are currently blocked" would seem to imply that it is necessary to notify those who are not. However, if it were like AN/ANI/ANEW I get the impression that it would be a lot clearer than that and explicitly say you must notify the reported user; my understanding is that the difference is that those fora are for requesting sanctions, while CCI is just about cleaning up copyright problems. If my interpretation is correct, then there is no requirement to notify CCI reportees, but rather it is an optional courtesy. Given how apparently obscure CCI is (the backlog is massive, and not receiving much attention) I get the impression that no broader community discussion has been held over whether there is a requirement to notify the reported user(s) or not, so I brought it here.

(This is not related to either of the currently open reports there that were filed by me over the last several months.)

Hijiri 88 (やや) 09:02, 29 May 2019 (UTC)

  • It seems reasonable, but the "no need to" section should probably be expanded, if not to all blocks (could cause issues with a short 3RR) then at least indefs Nosebagbear (talk) 09:23, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
"Please do not touch" doesn't mean that the unexploded ordinance marked by this sign won't blow up in your face if you decide that "Do not touch" is merely an optional courtesy.
Hijiri 88, you are incorrect in thinking that "please" means that a behavior is optional. "Please" means that we're polite and relatively formal. Imagine a police officer saying to you, "Sir, please get out of your vehicle". Do you really think that's an optional instruction? WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:00, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
Umm... no... I took it as meaning exactly what you say it does (as indicated by my own action taken at around the same time as posting the above -- I took a whole lot of shit for doing so, but that's beside the point); what I mean is that it should be an optional courtesy, and if it is in fact something "you must" do (to quote the edit notice on ANI) it should probably say as much. Your explanation doesn't explain why ANI is not "polite and relatively formal". Hijiri 88 (やや) 05:25, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
  • It should not be an optional courtesy, and I recommend changing the word "please" to "you must." "Please" is more collegial but will be read as "you don't have to do it" by users who don't want to do it. SportingFlyer T·C 07:00, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, but what about those who forget? I first heard of CCI because I posted about an issue on ANI, an admin told me to file a CCI, and I went ahead and did on the fly (I was in a rush) exactly as I had been told to rather than how the relatively-difficult-to-read prose instructions half-way down the page said to (and I had already notified the subject of the ANI thread anyway, and given plenty of advance warning before that). The reason we require notifications for AN, ANI, etc. is to allow editors to defend themselves from block/ban requests, but CCI is just meant to establish whether content needs to be cleaned up, and if so to facilitate such. I'm generally opposed to blanket-requiring notifications for cases like this (@SportingFlyer: How do you feel about WP:SPI, which actually discourages notifications unless specifically deemed necessary?), but if we are going to do so then an edit notice should be added similar to AN, ANI, etc. Hijiri 88 (やや) 07:31, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
It needs to be fixed so it is clear, or, more specifically, there needs to be an RfC to gain consensus to fix it. The "no other requirements" along with the word "please" on the notification don't make it clear the user should be notified. CCI is meant to address copyright problems with specific users - there are other forums for other copyright issues, and the goal of CCI is to clean up the content and inform the user they may be committing "large-scale, systemic" violations. If a user is already blocked for copyright infringement, they should already aware of this. But CCI, while rarely used, is also very serious. "I forgot because I was in a hurry" isn't a great look. (Also, the SPI's a red herring. Not every user needs to be notified every time they're under some sort of investigation.) SportingFlyer T·C 08:26, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
and inform the user they may be committing "large-scale, systemic" violations Well, if that's what you meant, then I think it would need to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis anyway. I've filed three CCIs, and in all three cases the subject had already been made well aware of the problem on their talk page, so a notification with that specific purpose would be just as redundant as a notification to an already-blocked user. I would not be opposed to a requirement to notify editors who may not already be aware that they are violating copyright, but if I had to put a number on it I'd say any more than two messages specifically addressing the copyright concerns in question should be enough to say "already aware". Hijiri 88 (やや) 09:41, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

Naming convention policy - "U.S." vs. "American" in disambiguators[edit]

Is there a blanket policy that states whether to use "U.S." or "American" in disambiguators when referring to a subject that has an affinity to the United States? Asking since I'm beginning to run across some issues pertaining to disambiguating article titles about people (Example: "U.S. politician" vs. "American politician"). If I recall, for a while, the titles of television series articles (WP:NCTV) were instructed to use "U.S. TV series" as opposed to "American TV series", but it seems that recently changed ... even though the talk page of WP:NCTV shows that there was not consensus to move some titles away from their "U.S. TV series" disambiguator titles. So, back to my initial question now that I've gotten that preamble out of the way ... Does a policy exist that specifically states to use either "U.S. (subject)" or "American (subject)" in disambiguators? Steel1943 (talk) 05:26, 30 May 2019 (UTC)

  • Not sure where you see that there was no consensus at WP:NCTV as this RfC closed with one. --Gonnym (talk) 06:07, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
  • We don't have a blanket policy, but if one is to be made it should reflect that (American ---) be used for people as a demonym, but (U.S. ---) be used for non-persons (newspapers, films, TV series, organizations, etc.) to reflect the actual name of the country of location or origin. -- Netoholic @ 06:53, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Although not related to disambiguators some category trees mix French, German, Dutch etc and then use United States rather than American so a wider issue as to how United States/American is used. MilborneOne (talk) 07:22, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
  • No, we don’t have a policy on this... nor do we need one. The goal of disambiguation is to separate subjects with the same name, not to group subjects together ... so there is no need for the terms used as disambiguators to be consistent between subjects. Blueboar (talk) 14:05, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
    • I disagree that we don't need some sort of streamlined process, but comments like this give me an idea how I would need to formulate an RfC if I ever create one for this issue. Steel1943 (talk) 20:14, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Unless there's some context that makes the other option better, I would prefer "American" as it avoids the U.S. vs US debate. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 21:15, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Part of the issue is that "American", while usually referring to the United States, can also just refer to the Americas as a whole. Referring to something as "US" avoids that issue, while adding the issue that it can be "U.S." or "US". Rockstonetalk to me! 21:54, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

Sandboxes, Drafts and Redirects[edit]

Hey, all,

I'm posting this query on the policy page because I have a general question. I am currently deleting hundreds of redirects to deleted pages. Almost all of them are redirects from editors' sandboxes to deleted draft pages. In doing this, I have noticed that there are some editors who task themselves with moving drafts out of editors' sandbox and into Draftspace. I understand that this is the area where people now generally work on draft articles but, as far as I know, we are still telling new editors to start work on articles in their own sandboxes. This seems silly if, as soon as the editor goes inactive, we move their works into Draft space.

If this is the new policy (or has just become the new custom), I think we should state this in new editor information and get the word out because many editors are still telling newbies to create articles in their sandboxes. I guess we should skip this step and tell them to put their new work in Draft space instead. I imagine this would involve changing the welcome templates we post and also getting the Help desk and Teahouse on board.

What do you think? I can't imagine the hours of time some folks have spent moving all of these pages over when the new editors could just have been started in the Draft space instead. Just a colossal amount of unnecessary extra time and work to move pages when they could have been in the space to begin with. Liz Read! Talk! 22:57, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

I vaguely remember there being some discussion about moving user drafts into the draft namespace not too long ago but can't for the life of me remember where. If I remember this correctly though it was somewhat contentious. Some saw moving userspace drafts into draft space as a way of gaming WP:G13. I'd hesitate to say there's a firm consensus on it, but if someone knows the discussion I'm thinking of it might help you some. Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 21:37, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Liz, I think that some of this happens when people submit their userspace pages to AFC. If so, then that ought to be visible (to admins) in the history of the since-deleted page. If there are systematic efforts to do this outside of the AFC process, then perhaps the individuals in question should be encouraged to stop it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:11, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
This is generally an AfC process - the sandbox is the first thing new editors who immediately want to create an article come across. Hunting down how to make a draft is quite tricky until you gain a little information (whether by welcome or being otherwise pointed). The article wizard converts them to drafts in the process of submitting to AfC. Can you imagine the effort (and intensive pointlessness) of doing so, just to employ G13? I don't know if accepting an AfC draft terminates the original redirect, but in any case the number will be spiking up because of the AfC backlog. Nosebagbear (talk) 12:20, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
Some editors will, on WEBHOST grounds, move stuff out of userspace and into draftspace so it can be G13 regardless of whether the article was submitted or not (and sometimes regardless of whether it had the AfC tag or not). I know one editor who is not currently active who regularly did this. This bothers me and here is a practical piece that such editors should hopefully consider when doing such moves (if any are still currently doing them). Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 00:45, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
My recollection of the discussion Wugapodes refers to is that one of the reasons given for creating new articles in the userspace rather than the draftspace or mainspace is to keep them out of the hands of AfC. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 02:27, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
@Hawkeye: - What do you mean "out of the hands of AfC" - we neither chase down non-submitted drafts for G13s or look for non-submitted drafts to be added. I've only heard of 1 or 2 cases of anyone (who hadn't created it or been drawn to it) finding a draft and deciding to submit it. Nosebagbear (talk) 12:00, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
Nosebagbear, Who is the "we" in that statement? There was definitely at least one editor who had been doing exactly that. In looking over the last 1500 moves it doesn't appear to still be happening currently which is good. Longstory short I don't think we, collectively as Wikipedians, should that. I think there's nothing wrong with new or experienced editors creating drafts in their sandboxes. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:23, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
Barkeep49 - it was we in the sense of reviewers, or at least in the general sense of reviewers - bizarre behaviour and incompetence are hardly unheard of (not to mention several recently being disbarred for being paid editor lying scum). I've absolutely nothing against where editors make their proto-work - it would be the height of hypocrisy if nothing else. My point purely related to the redirect aspect of the discussion. Nosebagbear (talk) 17:32, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
I see nothing wrong with starting articles in a user subpage, as long as it doesn't get ridiculous and the editor remains reasonably active. I do it all the time. When the page is in good enough shape to be called a draft, I move it to draftspace. Sometimes I just build it up to sufficient quality to move to article space, and move it to article space. bd2412 T 17:44, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm not seeing any policy issues here. The way I like it is: if you want to draft a new article "by yourself" you should use a user sandbox - if you want your draft to be open to collaboration, use draft space. I don't see a lot of utility in bothering to delete usersandboxes that are redirects to deleted pages. In fact if it someones primary usersandbox (e.g. User:Foo/sandbox as opposed to User:Foo/SomeArticleTitle) the deletion may not be needed at all, just blank it - or just leave it alone, its not hurting anything right? — xaosflux Talk 20:16, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
Well, I think Barkeep49 is getting at my concern. There are a few editors who spend a lot of time moving old drafts from sandboxes to Draft space where, because most of the editors are not currently active, the drafts get deleted after 6 months. Since I'm in the position of deleting the red link redirects from user sandboxes to the deleted Draft pages, my concern (although admittedly a remote possibility) is that an editor returns to work on a draft in their sandbox and--poof!--it is gone and they don't know what happened to it. They can look at the page log and see that the page was moved but I think most new editors might not even know that a draft restoration was possible. Not every admin who deletes drafts sends a G13 message to the content creator. I think we overestimate the facility of new editors with the maze of policies and procedures that are involved with editing on Wikipedia.
First, we are talking about thousands of sandbox drafts that are being moved. And even if only a few dozen would result in viable articles, it's still a loss. I think regular editors can be blase about the frustrations of new editors but, as I see it, because of retirements, deaths and unfortunate blocks, Wikipedia must rely on a regular influx of new editors if this project is going to be around in another 18 years. That's my concern. Anything that squashes the work of new or infrequent editors is a minus (given the exceptions of spam, copyright violations and other unacceptable content). </soapbox> Any way, I've stated my concern, if there isn't an impetus to do something about it (and I'm not sure what that would be), then I have said my peace and go back to my regular work. Liz Read! Talk! 01:21, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
I did have an article I was working on suddenly moved to the draftspace. Our specific problem at Wikipedia:WikiProject Olympics was that large numbers of articles on athletes are created in advance of the games. Many are already notable, but some will only become so when they actually become Olympians. Waiting until then to write the articles means that they will not be available when they are wanted most. The articles are therefore held in user space until the games begin. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 02:25, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

WP:UNDUE for less developed articles[edit]

As a result of the recent North Face COI editing controversy, a lot of attention is being paid to how to describe the incident on The North Face's page. Any views specifically on that situation should be directed there, so as to keep the discussion in one place, but I want to bring one question raised by that discussion here to see about establishing a broader consensus. The North Face is a start class article, and many sections are pretty bare-bones, so as a result, any mention of the controversy in any amount of detail will take up a significant portion of the article. This has led some editors to argue that it would be WP:UNDUE. Others, however, contend that, were the article fully developed, spending a paragraph on the controversy would not take up a huge amount of space proportionally and would probably be fine, and that the article won't become more fully developed unless we allow additions, even if it temporarily leads to some unbalance. So: To violate WP:UNDUE, does content need to be undue with regard to the current state of an article, or does it need to be undue with regard to what the article is expected to become once it is fully developed? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated! (I do realize it's in some ways a proxy for the whole WP:Immediatism/WP:Eventualism debate.) Thanks, Sdkb (talk) 21:10, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

While I cited UNDUE in that discussion the issue at play there is really WP:PROPORTION (aka the first subsection of Due weight). That argues for particular caution for events in the news as in that article. The more eyeballs that are on an article the more important it is, in my opinion, that we get it right in the moment. I am on the "current state of an article" side of things but also think that in most situations it's not a big deal and we should defer to the enventualism side of things. In most cases it's only when it's absurdly long (e.g. overly long plot summaries), is getting regular attention, or is up for some sort of article status (e.g GA, A class, FA) that we need to be at our best about UNDUE coverage.. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 00:41, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
I've raised this before...twice, but the first time was 7 years ago in reference to my first ever attempted article. I imagine it failed for several (numerous?) reasons, but on being told to instead merge it into a pre-existing article, its watchlisted editors raised concerns about UNDUE - and I raised them at the Help Desk, to which I got a "meh, we don't know a clear answer"-esk response. Moving on, it's a worthwhile issue to discuss. I find it unfair that (if UNDUE is in effect) an editor is stuck with a choice: Increase the rest of the article to avoid UNDUE, potentially requiring a 4x increase, or truncate large amounts of relevant detail. That then leads to a second question - do we prefer to avoid unfairness to our editors or a misbalance of article content? Nosebagbear (talk) 09:36, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
  • To avoid UNDUE, I would lean towards more Summary and less Detail when it comes to adding material on recent events. Blueboar (talk) 12:18, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

Use of "royalty-free" photographs from Shutterstock in Wikipedia articles?[edit]

This page published by Shutterstock, Inc. says:

216 centaurus constellation stock photos, vectors, and illustrations are available royalty-free.

And below that, many images are seen. Can these be used in Wikipedia articles? "Royalty free" is not the same as "public domain", nor need an image be in the public domain to comply with Wikipedia's policies. Michael Hardy (talk) 21:24, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

"Royalty free" only means you don't have to pay ongoing royalties to use them once you've bought them or paid the subscription fee or whatever; it has nothing to do with copyright. Shutterstock's terms of use specify pretty clearly that they reserve copyright over work hosted on their site and that it is not free to use. I would say you cannot use them on Wikipedia; anything you might use would very likely fail WP:NFCC#2. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 21:37, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
YOU MAY NOT: Resell, redistribute, provide access to, share or transfer any Visual Content except as specifically provided herein. For example and not by way of limitation, the foregoing prohibits displaying Content as, or as part of, a "gallery" of content through which third parties may search and select from such content. Meters (talk) 21:44, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
Definitely unusable. Same issue with the "free" allowance that Gettys uses, it fails the definition of a free license set forth by the WMF (free to redistribute and modify for any purpose including commercial). --Masem (t) 21:53, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
TL;DR: "rights-managed" = a restaurant where you pay for each dish, "royalty-free" = an all-you-can-eat buffet, "free content" = a collective farm. -- King of ♠ 00:14, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

Guideline: Avoid Plus-One-More-Thing lists[edit]

Representative examples can be useful to aid understanding a topic but this can never include all possible examples. Nevertheless, it's easy to add the one more example that a user cares about. Each individual user is acting in good faith but the resulting article decreases in quality.

In the article on weight training is this Plus-One-More-Thing list.

Sports where strength training is central are bodybuilding, weightlifting, powerlifting, strongman, highland games, hammer throw, shot put, discus throw, and javelin throw. Many other sports use strength training as part of their training regimen, notably: American football, baseball, basketball, football, hockey, lacrosse, mixed martial arts, rowing, rugby league, rugby union, track and field, boxing and wrestling.

The examples are not wrong but they do not help the reader.

I suggest a content guideline to avoid these ad-hoc lists. --TomCerul (talk) 15:07, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

Train station notability[edit]

I have started an RFC at Wikipedia talk:Notability#Request for comment on train station notability to formally establish whether or not the often repeated claim at AFD that there is consensus that all train stations are notable actually has support. SpinningSpark 18:54, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

"Bill Whitney seems to have it all....."[edit]

I have always wanted to take an axe to any and all articles whose "Plot" section consists of breathless scene-by-scene, edit-by-edit, play-by-play creative writing episode of encyclopedic content. I would delete 90% of content at a stroke. The question I ask here is, what can we do about WP:PLOT and similar policies, how can we police them properly, how can we stop, specifically, an article such as Society (film) begin its "plot" section with "Bill Whitney seems to have it all....."? That is not how "plot" sections should start. That is how a trailer starts, that's how an essay starts, that's how a commentary starts. Wikipedia is better than this, so what can we do? How do we finally take "plot" sections by the neck and shake them out of their 14,000 word description disease? doktorb wordsdeeds 22:08, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

This isn't a very informative answer, but since you asked: There's a near infinite about of work to be done, and the only magic wand is to go edit. Alsee (talk) 00:23, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

Applicability of the Goldwater Rule and HIPAA to information published in places generally considered to be reliable sources[edit]

The discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Health of Donald Trump has raised a number of issues with far-reaching implications with respect to the propriety of Wikipedia reporting information published in reliable sources about the health of public figures. I would therefore like to gauge the community's sense on the applicability of these issues. Specifically:

  1. Where sources that we generally consider to be reliable sources (e.g., CNN, BBC News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Hill, Forbes) publish articles containing the opinions of third parties regarding the health of a BLP subject, are we bound by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) from reporting the information contained in these publications?
  2. Where sources that we generally consider to be reliable sources publish articles containing the opinions of mental health professionals specifically regarding the mental health of a BLP subject, are we bound by the Goldwater Rule from reporting the information contained in these publications?

If reporting of this material is improper, this would implicate a wide range of material covered in hundreds, perhaps thousands of articles, from descriptions of injuries to athletes to reports of substance abuse problems by celebrities, and of the state of mind of victims and perpetrators of crimes. It is therefore probably better to have a definitive answer to these questions sooner rather than later. bd2412 T 21:57, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

As we are not a covered entity, HIPAA doesnt apply to us. And the Goldwater rule would only apply to those editors who are psychotherapists, and even then they have an out because publishing a third parties opinion reported in RS is not giving a medical opinion themselves. While the APA might have ethical issues with it, its functionally unenforceable on ENWP. Only in death does duty end (talk) 22:02, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Should we apply these rules to ourselves, then, even if they do not legally apply to us? bd2412 T 23:38, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Medical professionals shouldn't be doing this stuff. As a matter of editorial discretion, I would prefer if we generally didn't include it in articles. But in a case like this, where there is a plausible argument that the controversy over the medical opinions is itself notable, it is regrettably necessary to include the opinions that are the subject of the controversy. Regardless, articles are not covered by, nor should we adopt a policy to treat articles as if they are covered by HIPPA or the Goldwater Rule. The inclusion of this sort of information in an article should be discussed on a case by case basis. Monty845 02:34, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • We're clearly not covered by HIPAA. I've never heard of the Goldwater Rule. I don't think either are an issue for the project as a whole. SportingFlyer T·C 05:45, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • While I am not a lawyer, I think I can confidently say that Wikipedia is not a "covered entity" under HIPAA. (Generally, health care clearinghouses, employer-sponsored health plans, health insurers, and medical service providers that engage in certain transactions.) So no, HIPAA does not apply to us.
    Similarly, while I have so special expertise in determining what is and is not a "person", I'm pretty sure that Wikipedia does not qualify as a psychiatrist who is a member of the American Psychiatric Association rendering a professional opinion. So no, that does not apply to us either.
    It is the job of Reliable Sources to determine what is noteworthy and appropriate for publication, and it's our job to summarize what those sources say, in Due Weight proportion to presence and significance of various views in those sources. If sources such as CNN, BBC News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Hill, Forbes, are all reporting something, then that is obviously a very major part of extremely public discourse. We need to accurately summarize what those sources say. Alsee (talk) 12:09, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • The concern is more about repeating defamatory statements someone else published when they are not "privileged" to repeat a statement. A persons medical record/health condition is private information protected by HIPPA (including public figures, celebrities, politicians, etc.) If medical professionals are providing a diagnosis about a person's medical condition in violation of their own ethics rule, and it gets published in a defamatory/libelous/slanderous manner by media, what are the potential repurcussions if repeated? I may be overly cautious but why gamble if it's just speculation, an ethical violation and/or protected information? It would probably be better to contact WMF Legal for a definitive answer but again, is it worth going through all that trouble or is it better to just leave it out of the pedia since it's considered speculation/gossip anyway? Just my cautious nickel's worth. Atsme Talk 📧 17:32, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Most of the privileges apply here. For purposes of providing information on current events, Wikipedia is afforded the reporter's privilege to report news. Of course, statements can only be defamatory if they are determined in a court of law to be untrue. Furthermore, statements of opinion (including professional opinion) can not be defamatory, because they do not assert facts. By definition, medical opinions are just that - opinions. bd2412 T 19:56, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
      Correct, except that statements are defamatory if they damage someone's reputation, and courts can still consider this to be the case even if they are true. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 21:10, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
      It is black-letter law that defamation is defined as "the communication of a false statement". bd2412 T 21:13, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────And one other thing that concerns me - they are opinions made in violation of their own professional code of ethics. Wouldn't want to be them. Atsme Talk 📧 21:42, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Suggestion: Ability to soft-block users.[edit]

If an user has good faith, but makes low-quality edits due to being a Wikipedia beginner, they could be soft-blocked, meaning that they can still submit edits, but all of their edits will be stored as pending changes instead of being published immediately. This concept already exists on the German Wikipedia (as WP:Sighting). ––Chanc20190325 (talk) 01:15, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

I think on English Wikipedia WP:SOFTBLOCK might have a different meaning than perhaps it does on German Wikipedia. -- Marchjuly (talk) 10:10, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
This helps explain all of the weird colors I see when I try to edit DE-wiki or look at an article's edit history. Softlavender (talk) 10:36, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Hmm like a "moderated" reverse-right? I personally don't find pending changes helpful when patrolling because as much work is involved to audit, versus semi-protection that prevents them (of course, the difference is that it's only visible when logged-in). In this case, it would not introduce more work when patrolling (edits would have been done anyway if not moderated and show on watchlists/recent-changes), but may if it was commonly used in situations where editors would normally be under a block... The way pending changes currently work, they have special status like higher priority on watchlists; would these moderated edits be distinguishable from normal pending changes ones? Perhaps it'd help editor retention and be a good idea? Another thing worth wondering: if this was active and working, would the next proposal to prevent IP address editing alternatively propose to have all IP address editing moderated (however, similar proposals never gained much consensus)? —PaleoNeonate – 11:06, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Pending changes is buggy and useless at best, and harmful because it requires more patrolling at worst. If we should be having any discussion it would be about banning the use of this feature on, not expanding it. TonyBallioni (talk) 11:12, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
The editing level is probably very different to DE-Wikipedia, too —PaleoNeonate – 11:19, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
And this now reminds of the possibility of article revisions (where when an article reaches a certain quality status, a particular revision can be flagged as the last official one to publicly display). If I remember the functionality exists as a module but was never enabled/accepted on EN-Wiki. —PaleoNeonate – 11:25, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I agree with Tony here - PC, as currently used, is close to useless - edits still need to be reverted, the interface is opaque and confusing - and it seems to be a total lottery whether an edit gets approved or not, depending on the understanding of the reviewer as to what PC is even for. ...Having said that, there are more than a few occasions where I could see putting an editor's edits "on review" might be helpful, and it's a little tempting at first glance to imagine that PC could be 'repurposed' for that - but... you'd need an entirely different set of reviewers with a different mindset and a whole new set of procedures, plus PC would need to be able to be set per-user instead of per-article, which sounds like a nightmare interface-wise, and I'm not sure how you'd go about assembling that group of people and those interface changes/'rules'. -- Begoon 11:29, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • This would actually make the users more powerful - their PC-edits would block any page they edited on from edits taking place until it was processed. Nosebagbear (talk)
  • I attempted to get a better Pending-Change platform through on the Wishlist, but no joy there - it really doesn't work if 2 or more editors have participated, as processing them becomes extremely hard. Nosebagbear (talk) 15:22, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Some newbies actually need the time-out which allows the ones who are serious about helping to build an encyclopedia the time necessary to research and study our PAGs and learn a little more about the community. Pending changes only adds more work on top of piles of backlogs we're already dealing with - and like Tony said, it's buggy. Time out, and possible mentoring. Atsme Talk 📧 00:00, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
Without commenting about my own views, I'd like to explain how this could be partially implemented using the current pending-changes software. This would be modeled after the current enwikibooks, were users who haven't met certain criteria yet have all of their edits to pc-protected pages flagged as "pending"
Extended content
  1. Create a new user group (referred to here as editor, but identical to the autoreview user group that comes with the FlaggedRevs extension - current, autopatrolled users are a part of the "autoreview" user group)
  2. Give the editor user group the autoreview</code. > user right, meaning that their edits are automatically patrolled when pending changes are enabled
  3. Automatically give the editor user group to users who meet the threshold for autoconfirmed using wmgAutopromoteOnceonEdit, but have it be an explicit user group like extendedconfirmed, rather than implicit like autoconfirmed
  4. Grant administrators the ability to grant and remove the editor user group using wgAddGroups and wgRemoveGroups
  5. Remove the autoreview right from the autoconfirmed user group
At this point, the rights changes are done. Normal users should have seen no change, since all users that currently have the autoreview right as part of the autoconfirmed group still have the right. However, since it is given using a different user group, it can, like extendedconfirmed, removed from (and given to) editors using Special:UserRights. To "soft-block" a user, a sysop can simply revoke their membership in the editor group, which would mean that all of the user's edits to pages in ns:0 (articles) and ns:4 (Wikipedia:) would be set as pending if the page already has pending changes enabled.
An alternative could be to revisit the use of Wikipedia:Deferred changes. --DannyS712 (talk) 02:50, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • My understanding is that all new accounts are unconfirmed until they are at least four days old and have made ten edits. This means they are already limited in how they can edit any page which is protected, but can freely edit pretty much any non-protected page. It's the protection added to the page, which probably has nothing to do with these new editors, that restricts them from editing. What's not clear (at least to me) about this proposal is whether the OP wants to place some kind of restriction on all new editors or only those editors whose first few edits seem to be a problem.
    The first approach sort of sounds like a learner's permit for editing where the new accounts are allowed to edit, but only under supervision or review of some kind. I'd imagine that most people who edit for the first time expect their edits to go live when they press "Publish changes", but this would sort of be like requiring them to press "Propose changes" instead. Since Wikipedia encourages editors to be BOLD, it seems to understand and accepts that mistakes are going to be made, and hopes that these will eventually be caught and cleaned up by those more familiar with relevant policies and guidelines. This approach seems to limit BOLD to being applying to only after you've passed an entrance exam or completed an orientation of some kind.
    The second approach seems to be sort of like an "time out" or "teachable moment", where the edits are not enough of a problem to warrant perhaps a user warning or direct administrator involvement, but still require some kind of mild reprimand. The editor who made the good faith mistake gets limited access for some designated period of time or mumber of edits in the hope that they will learn from their mistake(s). This seems like it would be even harder to implement than a learner's permit approach because you're first going to have to determine how low is a "low-quality edit" (i.e. simple formatting or style errors, WP:RS error, BLP or copyright violation) and then determine who is going to explain why the edit was a problem. Are these editors going to all be required to participate in some Wikipedia re-education class where they will receive advice on how to edit properly? What if they don't want to? They might just stop editing altogether or decide to do so as an IP or different account.
    I think OP's proposal is well intended, but also seems like something which would have a hard time receiving the kind of support it would need from the community to be effectively implemented. -- Marchjuly (talk) 06:00, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Community health initiative/User reporting system consultation 2019[edit]

There are only 2 weeks remaining on the consultation period of a user reporting system on abuse.

Given the current discussions that are limited to their respective pages (WP:FRAM and WP:AC/N) a pointer to the meta/WMF discussion seemed critical.

Unlike the Talk Page consultation, this seems to have not been added to the banners.

With the shortness left, please participate and spread knowledge of the discussion - it's had very little involvement given the potential impact. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:26, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Since there are absolutely no details about what is intended, it is very difficult to give meaningful comments.Nigel Ish (talk) 16:45, 15 June 2019 (UTC)


The topic box at Syrian Civil War is not wide enough; it's only four columns, there should be at least one more column. Can someone technical stretch this topic box and add another one or two or three more columns? -ApexUnderground (talk) 06:12, 16 June 2019 (UTC)