Difference between revisions of "Proposals for closing projects/Deletion of Bulgarian Wikinews"

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::::::::: The requested link has been added, along with a little extra context - thank you. I would also like to note that EO.WN did not include the disputed sentence quoted above (that was in the RU.WN version) as this wasn't verifiable. [[User:Audreycious|Aŭdrea]] ([[User talk:Audreycious|talk]]) 22:51, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
 
::::::::: The requested link has been added, along with a little extra context - thank you. I would also like to note that EO.WN did not include the disputed sentence quoted above (that was in the RU.WN version) as this wasn't verifiable. [[User:Audreycious|Aŭdrea]] ([[User talk:Audreycious|talk]]) 22:51, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  +
::::* I have explored most of your links directly and to sufficient depth, and this is what I want to say. This is a most usual cross-project conflict, nothing more. Bulgarian community is not unique. I have seen these many times. This happens in Russian and in English projects, not to mention smaller ones. Such conflicts regular arise not only between encyclopedists and journalists. Wikipedians regularly swear and complain about Commons and Wikidata. There is only one difference. Large projects can stand up for themselves.<br>The main reason is that different projects are based on completely different principles. For example, the principle of neutrality does not apply in Commons, Wikisource, Wikiversity, and Wikivoyage. This is usually shocking for wikipedians. Or the original reporting and original research are the most coveted content on Wikinews, Wikivoyage and Wikiversity.<br>That's why you perceive usual Wikimedia thing like something provocative. For example, we usually prohibit inexperienced users from voting on a particular project. Stewards regularly rule out such voices of "strangers" in small projects. All our projects have rules for admission to the election of administrators and arbitrators. We require experience in a specific, not some Wikimedia project. What is unusual for you here?<br>I can but don't want analyze all of your arguments in detail. There are many words in many discussions on many pages, and now it is too late. I have to repeat myself: there are a lot of emotions, manipulations, and almost no concrete facts. There are so many of you in this discussion that it looks like a persecution. I only regret that you fell into this trap.<br>I also regret that the LangCom was unable to deal with this problem. There is no evidence in "Formal closure recommendation". I also don't see any evidence of systemic violations in the Bulgarian Wikinews in the discussion. There are only words of one of the parties and just a few ridiculous mistakes for the entire duration of the project. But "he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone".<br>We must not close a live developing project with active users and the lack of concrete evidence of systemic disorders. Moreover, we haven't to delete Bulgarian Wikinews.<br>I hope the Board will be able to prevent an erroneous decision.<br>I have only one request: do no harm.<br>In any case, the Russian Wikinews community will try to publish a joint statement soon. --sasha ([[User:Krassotkin|krassotkin]]) 23:23, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
 
 
* I tried to read most of the discussions before sharing my opinion. I have been following the various Bulgarian-language "wiki-news" projects for a very long time because I joined the WMF projects in the now rather distant November of 2005. These projects have never worked with sufficient quality, they have always caused only problems when active. And particularly Wikinews has also been inactive most of the time. This is effectively a single-person project, a person who tries to be a journalist, but is not. News is written by journalists. The choice of which news to present to the readers is made by the editor-in-chief (usually the best journalist among his or her colleagues). And these Bulgarian projects have always been rather amateurish to say the least. I salute Stanqo for his enthusiasm and hard work (especially in the "Recent Events Project" on BG-Wikipedia, later basically continued on Wikinews), but IMHO it is pointless, and often even harmful work. Closing the project will not hurt anyone, it will simply remove a parasitic channel called "news". The "deletion" of this channel and of everything written - sorry, not written, but quoted from poorly selected "sources", will simply be "cleaning the Augean stables". My personal opinion, which I have expressed in discussions with other editors of the Bulgarian-language community, is that the Bulgarian Wikinews project (mind you, I don't give suggestions about other languages) can only reasonably exist if it publishes ONLY news related ONLY to WMF, Wikipedia and the sister projects.--[[User:Uroboros|Uroboros]] ([[User talk:Uroboros|talk]]) 15:31, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
 
* I tried to read most of the discussions before sharing my opinion. I have been following the various Bulgarian-language "wiki-news" projects for a very long time because I joined the WMF projects in the now rather distant November of 2005. These projects have never worked with sufficient quality, they have always caused only problems when active. And particularly Wikinews has also been inactive most of the time. This is effectively a single-person project, a person who tries to be a journalist, but is not. News is written by journalists. The choice of which news to present to the readers is made by the editor-in-chief (usually the best journalist among his or her colleagues). And these Bulgarian projects have always been rather amateurish to say the least. I salute Stanqo for his enthusiasm and hard work (especially in the "Recent Events Project" on BG-Wikipedia, later basically continued on Wikinews), but IMHO it is pointless, and often even harmful work. Closing the project will not hurt anyone, it will simply remove a parasitic channel called "news". The "deletion" of this channel and of everything written - sorry, not written, but quoted from poorly selected "sources", will simply be "cleaning the Augean stables". My personal opinion, which I have expressed in discussions with other editors of the Bulgarian-language community, is that the Bulgarian Wikinews project (mind you, I don't give suggestions about other languages) can only reasonably exist if it publishes ONLY news related ONLY to WMF, Wikipedia and the sister projects.--[[User:Uroboros|Uroboros]] ([[User talk:Uroboros|talk]]) 15:31, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
   

Revision as of 23:23, 14 September 2019

This is a proposal for closing and/or deleting a wiki hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. It is subject to the current closing projects policy.


The proposal is currently passing final decision by the Board of Trustees.


A question was raised on bgwiki's VP regarding the future of the Bulgarian Wikinews. The unanimous consensus seems that the project must be deleted if possible, or at the very least hard-closed (i.e. locked).

Here are the reasons to delete the project, as I see them:

  1. The project is, for all intents and purposes, completely abandoned. That nobody nowadays is there to write news however is the lesser evil.
  2. The only serious activity ever came from people spreading false and sensationalist ‘news’, de facto part of the Russian-sponsored campaign of disinformation and other locally-sponsored smear campaigns.
  3. As usual, these stories were buried in a stream of genuine news. Thus, the real problem is the lack of resources to control the news quality—and today we should know all too well how much work this is.
  4. The Bulgarian WMF community is practically the one in Wikipedia. The very same people support Wiktionary, Quote, Source, and Books. Keeping the quality even in Wikipedia alone is already quite a daunting task.
  5. Looking more broadly, Bulgaria is already facing serious problems with the freedom (and, by extension, the quality) of its media. Another source of bad journalism—whether intentional or not—is hardly needed.
  6. Considering how sensitive is the Bulgarian society over such problems today, a possible revelation of Wikinews as a source of fake news and smear campaigns would damage significantly all WMF projects' reputation.
  7. Last but not least, my personal opinion is that Wikinews is a broken concept by design. Good journalism requires professionalism, lots of resources, much better means of self-regulation than the ‘wisdom of the masses’, responsibility, accountability and so much more. It may work here and there, depending on the specific landscape, organization, people, etc., but in the general case there's little reason to believe that it would be better than the now infamous ‘news’ on Facebook.

Why a deletion is asked instead of closure? Even the existing ‘good’ content is already of very low quality. Not only the news stories themselves are lacking, but also in many places the interface is in Russian, apparently because templates have been copied from the Russian Wikinews and nobody bothered to translate them. And then of course we have all those false news, buried here and there. So, if that content is to stay online—and not continue causing serious embarrassment—someone will need to make the considerable effort to sift through the news, rewrite the genuine ones, fix those translations—and likely a bunch of other problems that will inevitably pop up. Honestly, I don't see anyone having that much time on their hands—and for an end result of questionable value.

In the light of all written above, I hope that this proposal will be accepted. It really isn't simply about what the Bulgarian community wishes. It's much more about acknowledging the realities of the world we live in today. Knowledge is a powerful tool—and that's why we are here—but as with any powerful tool, there are dangers as well. If we can't do good somewhere, let's at least make sure we do no evil either.
— Luchesar • T/C 12:14, 18 September 2018 (UTC)

Archived discussion: w:bg:Уикипедия:Разговори/Архив/2018/септември#Намаляваща активност в българските Уикиновини. George Ho (talk) 22:42, 22 August 2019 (UTC)

Initial discussion (September–October 2018)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
For the time being, I'm going to close the discussion. I'm leaving the proposal open (but suspended), and giving User:Григор Гачев 2–3 months to try to revive the project. I appreciate that there is skepticism that it will work at all, and that some people question whether Grigor will bring in objective contributors. Nevertheless, LangCom would prefer to see all options exhausted before choosing to close a project. Let's assume that on about 20 January 2019 we can assess whether there has been progress on this. StevenJ81 (talk) 17:29, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

Comments

@Iliev: It seems that currently langcom generally suggests soft-closure of inactive Wikinewses rather than technical closure. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 13:47, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
@Iliev and Liuxinyu970226: Under ordinary circumstances, we prefer soft-closure. A full closure may be appropriate here, though:
  • Iliev, please try to provide some specific examples of recent edits representing false or biased news.
Concerning deletion, though, it takes a lot to make us willing to delete a whole wiki. If we asked you to mark individual pages for deletion—not correction, simply deletion—could you do that? StevenJ81 (talk) 14:24, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
StevenJ81, thank you! I do actually understand the reluctance to delete projects: lots of potential technical issues and the decision cannot be simply undone if one day there's a change of mind. So I guess that, all things considered, locking the project may indeed be the best approach here.
Could I mark individual pages for deletion? To be honest, it would be much easier to mark the pages that need not be deleted. In the end, I guess I would be fine even with just locking the project, without deleting anything there—but let me better explain my point by presenting the case I had followed closely for years. It was actually an attempt to ‘merge’ Wikinews in Wikipedia, most likely because of the latter's stronger popularity.
It was a project named ‘Recent events’, which had been created initially on Wikinews a year earlier, in 2009-2010. There were numerous pushes to put the project, still sporting the Wikinews logo, on the main Wikipedia page. The visitor statistics, at the time compiled on stats.grok.se, were frequently mentioned in these discussions. 'Why isn't this on Wikinews, where it belongs?', 'Well, it needs to reach as many people as possible." For some time we considered it a mere nuisance: low-quality stories, sometimes sensationalist—but, hey, we've got so much else to do.
This is important: a news doesn't need to be blatantly fake in order to do damage. With this project, most stories were rather an example of 'bad journalism': not too reliable or unbiased sources, not too fair representation of the different points of view, not too accurately presented facts. Each such case could easily be blamed on editor inexperience or carelessness and looked relatively harmless. It was only the complete picture, once you saw the trend, that got really troubling. This means that pointing out the problematic stories on Wikinews requires someone to grasp that complete picture by reading through everything published there. And that's why I'd rather mark the few clearly 'not bad' ones (and I'd still need to double-check).
That project got deleted in the end, but at least one person behind it returned to edit in Wikinews, where I'm seeing they went as far as publishing some open call to the Bulgarian institutions—not connected to Wikipedia, thankfully, but nevertheless indicative of how Wikinews is perceived as a vehicle to publicize certain information or initiatives totally unchecked, even if not 'reaching that many people' (Wikinews is the only BG project, where I've not seen a single trustworthy editor in years).

So here are some really blatant examples from the project—they coincided with the general increase of such 'news' after the events in Ukraine in 2014. Had it not been for them, the other, less clearly manipulative stories in the project would have simply slipped under the radar, because even in Wikipedia the few volunteers can hardly find time to do the required extensive investigations (and the project was feverishly active at times).
This and the next one prompted a sources blacklist to be introduced. Since I investigated it personally, here are a few details. The linked ‘story’ was presented as an article from Der Tagesspiegel. However, we managed to find the original and there were an astonishing number of inconsistencies. The Bulgarian title said Merkel is forced to beg Erdogan to contain the migrants. But if Europe needs to kneel before someone for help, this is rather Moscow than Ankara, while the original was In the migrant crisis there are no good moves for the West. Merkel is again in Ankara, but probably the right person to talk to is Putin. An opinion. The article was presented as an editorial, which it wasn't. Most shocking was the conclusion—the text in Bulgarian [Europe] must kneel before Moscow and beg for help couldn't be found anywhere in the German original.
NB: I'm afraid some of the links don't work, as the project was—intentionally or not—rather technically complex, and the huge news stream timeouts on the attempts to restore it.
To conclude, to me it's a cost-benefit-risk analysis. The Bulgarian Wikinews has never produced anything of clear value and not shown even the slightest potential to do so. Even Wikipedia is struggling to find volunteers. There are serious problems with the media in Bulgaria. The whole region is known as a target for hybrid attacks. Finally, but most importantly, practically everyone who's not an editor can't tell the difference between Wikipedia, Wikimedia, and Wikinews.
If Wikinews is revealed as a source of bad information, it would be ‘Wikipedia’ in the ears of the majority. We'll damage one of the few enduring trusted, impartial, reliable sources of information in Bulgarian—and it shouldn't be necessary to explain how hard is such trust earned—for the zero benefit of keeping a project that for its more than 13 years of existence has only ever discredited itself and proved completely hopeless. Sorry for repeating myself, but I thought this was important to reiterate.
— Luchesar • T/C 14:00, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
  • I've left a message on the talk page of all the top 20 (in)active editors, with at least 10 contributions to the main namespace. It seems just fair. --Nemo 17:46, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Just to note that the discussion in the Bulgarian community, held on bgwiki's VP, is going to proceed at least until 24th of October.
    — Luchesar • T/C 09:55, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
  • The argument that we already have too few real media in Bulgaria, and one more fake media is not needed, appears to me distorted. Having too few real media is precisely the reason why we need projects like the Bulgarian Wikinews. Deleting it is destroying one of the few last opportunities to have a real media. What we need instead is advertising it, so that a community is gradually created around it. The name of Wikinews will gather decent contributors much more easily than a completely new project.
The problem with having too few contributors to the Bulgarian Wikipedia, very few of them new, is well-known - as well as the main reason for it: the high skin thickness a new editor needs to remain there beyond the first-day warmth. I personally have recruited for the project at least a dozen of people, all of them chosen for being able to contribute with a quality, all of them driven away by some older editors in at most a couple of months, swearing to never try it again and spreading the word. (Some of them refused later to join the Bulgarian Wikinews, out of fear by association.) One of the reasons I abandoned Wikipedia years ago was this hazing of most newer editors.
Thanks to Nemo for informing the BG Wikinews contributors that the project is proposed to be closed / deleted. None of the editors who proposed that tried to notify any BG Wikinews editors in any way, despite that an editor who didn't proposed the deletion explicitly suggested that. (All of them know my talk page in Wikipedia; most also have my personal e-mail and/or phone.) The persistent trying of some Wikipedians to take the important decisions behind the backs of those who would be affected by them is another reason I stopped contributing to Wikipedia, and do not plan to return before I see this tendency gone for good. (To my shame, I have participated in some of that - but I learned my lesson.)
-- Григор Гачев (talk) 12:04, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
I understand what you're saying and I do empathize with how you may be feeling, even though my memories of the times we worked together—and those were good times—have managed to start fading. By the standards of Wikipedia I'm afraid I already begin feeling somewhat old and weary—and at that time I was still wet behind the ears. :-) It's amazing how fast the time flies, indeed.
And yet I think you're not fair. You say that the Bulgarian Wikinews is ‘one of the few last opportunities to have a real media’; that we just need to advertise it—and ‘decent contributors’ will gather. I won't directly argue with this—I feel there's at least some truth to it—but why has it not happened for those 13 years? Why, instead, had it been left to decay to such a miserable state?
People have been driven away. It does happen—I have had my own moments of doubt. It's sad, but it's also inevitable, I guess, with such a diverse and unorganized community. In the end, as people, we accept the need to make sacrifices for the things—and people, for that matter—that we care about. I wouldn't blame anyone who felt they couldn't strike that balance any longer. But it's also unfair to criticise those who stay—and continue making sacrifices—for being the ones who get to take decisions.
In any case, I appreciate your thoughts. My memories may fade, but I still remember—and with a bit of nostalgy—the times you were one of those wiki-gurus I venerated as a rookie. So we may disagree, but I'm glad to know how you see the things. And by the way, if you change your mind and decide to undertake resurrecting the project, I think I'll be quite reasonably content.
— Luchesar • T/C 16:04, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
Advertising Wikinews editorship didn't succeeded mostly because very few people did it (AFAIK one). If eg. the BG Wikipedia community had tried to help, the result might have been different. Now it will be harder than 5 years ago - I second the worry about the Russian information warfare, and the people disappointed by the Wikimedia Foundation projects because of their experience with trying to be editors are more now, the word about their unpleasant experience has spread much farther. And, given the situation within the BG Wikipedia project, I very much doubt that such an effort will be made.
The driving of people away is a bit of off-topic here, but indirectly contributed a lot to the lack of success of BG Wikinews, so I will give it a line. In the BG Wikipedia, it is far stronger than the "inevitable with such a diverse and unorganized community". Unless this problem is recognized in full, and measures are taken to address it that will be felt as drastic and excessive by most editors who contribute to the hazing, it will persist. Last time I checked, the number of highly active editors there was a few dozens. A tolerance and support at the level in the English Wikipedia would easily bring that number to several hundreds within the course of 2 to 5 years. However, achieving that in practice will take efforts that I consider impossible within the current community there. (The problem, I believe, lies not in a particular editor or set of editors, but rather in the community informal structure. That is precisely what makes it so persistent and hard to tackle. People can change, but the informal rules tend to persist.)
Unhappily, the problem of trying to take decisions behind the backs of the affected ones is part of the same social construct, and appears as present as when I stopped contributing. This voting is a prime example. As I said, all editors who proposed the deletion know that I happen to be the administrator of BG Wikinews. Even if it is defunct, it is only normal to get in touch with the editors before putting forth a closing proposal - noting that on the common talk page of a mostly inactive project is not expected to reach many. As a minimum, all of the editors behind the proposal know my Wikipedia talk page, and most have my e-mail and/or my phone. Also, any of you could do what Nemo did, it is not that hard. Why you didn't, to the point that he felt necessary to do it, even if too late?
As for resurrecting the project, I don't think I will be able to do it alone, and the current situation in the community does not give me any hope that I alone will be able to muster collaborators within a reasonable timeframe. A proposal to make a community campaign for finding BG Wikinews collaborators could be quite successful right now, as many decent and professional Bulgarian journalists have no free outlet now - but the editors behind the closing proposal chose the exactly opposite approach. Why, if I may ask?... In addition, the voting is already underway and most votes from the BG Wikipedians are for closing, so the project is not really salvageable anyway, even if one or two of them change their opinions. Even if the real motives behind the proposal are benign, the lack of a real attempt to contact the project editors while they could influence the discussion or the voting, and/or to propose better alternatives, has ensured the outcome.
Well, one BG Wikimedia project less, and one badly needed opportunity for a real BG media less. Hope the editors behind the closing proposal are proud with the result. :-(
-- Григор Гачев (talk) 17:36, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
BTW, you mention that "if you change your mind and decide to undertake resurrecting the project, I think I'll be quite reasonably content". Would you take the challenge to stop the closing proposal and to help organize instead a community campaign to attract decent journalists to writing in BG Wikinews? If it is not successful in, say, 3 months, I will also support a closing proposal. If it is successful, I will take the duty to cleanup and re-organize the project as needed, and to administrate it. Standing behind your words? :-) -- Григор Гачев (talk) 17:51, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
Grigor, are you in a position to demand that this proposal be withdrawn right away, especially with the unanimous consensus agreeing that the project cannot be opened any longer? Why not ask StevenJ81, whom I'm pinging right now, to extend the discussion right away? --George Ho (talk) 04:17, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
It saddens me to see that you perceived my words as a challenge; they were well-meaning and sincere. And it should already be clear why I wouldn't accept your challenge. Besides, it isn't exactly fair, too. You claim to be ‘the administrator of BG Wikinews’: I don't think this means entitlement to personal notifications; I'd rather expect this to be the person who actively takes care of the project—or at least monitors the village pump.
— Luchesar • T/C 07:45, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
Process note:
1. I'm in no hurry to close this, as long as real discussion is continuing. I will try to give at least five days notice before closing if I think things have really stopped.
2. I would state that LangCom's preliminary point of view is that invalid and biased material needs to be deleted, and that there is a possibility of a hard closure here because of ongoing problems with invalid and biased content. However, it is very unlikely that the entire database would be (effectively) deleted.
3. @Григор Гачев: I'm willing to put this on hold if you want to work at resurrecting the project. I would put a hold for two months, and if I see progress, I could extend that up to a third month. But this project does have serious problems, and LangCom will not leave this proposal open indefinitely. StevenJ81 (talk) 21:16, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
George Ho, could you please point where I demand withdrawing the proposal? I challenge its supporters with what looks to me a better proposal. There is quite a difference between these two things. I am a bit surprised that someone can mistake the one for the other. Could you please explain how I have left you with such a wrong impression?
StevenJ81, I am trying to discover the real motives behind the proposal for closing the project, in order to understand what actually happens and what I can and should do. Is the project suggested for closing only because it is inactive, or the real motive is different.
I offered instead an initiative about the project: to attract journalists who will make the project active and of a good quality. When most decent journalists in your country have no outlet for real journalism, this is very easy for Wikipedia editors - it suffices to spread some word among friends, it will reach the journalists very quickly. I also promised to put in all needed work to clean-up the project. I believe that it would be strange to kill it when reviving is easy. In addition, I promised that if project does not become viable in three months, I will agree to closing it.
I believe that such an initiative should get the support of everyone who is concerned actually about project viability and quality. However, what I see is that the supporters of the project closure are against it. This makes me think that, even if I would do what is needed to revive the project, I would meet an opposition from more than a few people. I cannot even imagine what the reasons for it might be, but it looks to me that their existence is proven by this opposition beyond a reasonable doubt. I openly ask what are the motives against reviving the project, but do not hope that I will get a believable answer.
In such a situation, I am not sure if I will be able to overcome the project detractors, even if you grant 2 or 3 months of existence to it, as I don't know what to expect. You might help me in this, by joining my question why the initiative to attract experienced journalists and revive the project is being rejected by the supporters of the closure. A direct answer to this might help the evaluation what exactly is the problem that they see. Then, you will be able to decide if an attempt to do this has any chances, and to grant and extension, or there is no chance, and the project can only be closed.
Thank you in advance for any help on this! -- Григор Гачев (talk) 18:11, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
Here's what you said: "Would you take the challenge to stop the closing proposal". If it's not a demand, then it's a "challenge", right? If so, then I apologize. --George Ho (talk) 20:40, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
Moreover, here's an advice once the project becomes either hard-closed or deleted. Grigor, if you want to revive the project, you can create "Bulgarian Wikinews 2" via Incubator and then, if there are enough editors, propose a re-creation via Requests for new languages. Why is it that hard? --George Ho (talk) 22:11, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
I guess I need to make a few things clear.
  • "Votes" at project creation and project closure pages are advisory. The Language Committee decides whether projects are created or closed. It does not matter, for example, that most people writing on this page favor a closure, at minimum. If LangCom chooses not to close the project, it won't close.
  • At this point in history, LangCom has a strong bias against (hard) closing of projects. It closed projects at an earlier point in history when more were saturated with spam. These days, for the most part, automatic systems, in conjunction with the SWMT, tend to prevent that from happening.
  • Additionally, LangCom has a bias against closing projects that might then be resurrected and recreated. Closing and opening wikis is a lot of work; on the whole, LangCom prefers not to waste time and energy on such work. (Wikinews projects, unfortunately, are more problematic than the others when it comes to letting them sit idle. But on most of these, we've preferred a "soft close". Whether that would work here I don't know.)
Accordingly, if @Григор Гачев wants to take a real crack at fixing this project, we're inclined to give him some time to do that.
That having been said, Grigor, I would encourage you to go back and look at Luchesar's reasoning, which is here.
  • Even if I give you 100% benefit of the doubt with respect to items 1, 3 and 4—and I do—items 2, 5 and 6 don't go away so easily. Item 2 is likely to heat up as you gear up with 1, 3 and 4. Are you prepared to address that?
  • Item #7 is not directly about this project, but it's a serious issue, and one that makes it harder, for example, to protect a project from problems like item 2. Anyone can come here and edit, and until they "cross over the line", they are entitled to a point of view, just like you are.
Successfully resurrecting Bulgarian Wikinews is not something impossible, I don't think. But it will be hard, and will take a lot of ongoing effort. If you're willing to put in that effort, we're willing to give you the time to do so. But I think the near-unanimous point of view of contributors here speaks, if nothing else, to just how big a challenge you will be facing. StevenJ81 (talk) 22:44, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

(flush left, but continuing the topic)

George Ho, closing and then re-opening a project is that hard because, as StevenJ81 said, it is: a) a significant amount of work for the admins, and b) an incubator project will attract far less contributors than an official one. In such a situation, working to revive an existing project is the way to try and save it, and working to close and re-open it is the way to try and bury it.

StevenJ81, here is how I see the things:

  • If only I try to attract quality contributors, some will come in 2-3 months, but reaching over a dozen - I see this as a minimum for a healthy project - might take up to an year. If all concerned for that project - for example, all who voted for closing it because it is abandoned etc - try and help attracting good contributors just by spreading the word, in 3 months we will have well over a dozen. The latter will be a successful restart of the project. The former will require extra patience from you - I don't know if you will be willing to give it.
In addition, no newcomer - in fact, no editor at all - contributes perfect things. Wikis achieve quality through collaboration, which in turn requires numbers. If the people I can attract will be met too soon with a barrage of demands for perfectness, they may be driven away instead of being left to learn the ropes at a realistic rate. I want to understand the real motives of the supporters of the closure proposal in order to know what to expect at this, and thus what to tell you about the chances of the project revival.
  • Item 1 from the Reasons is only relevant if the choices are to leave the project as it is or to close it. When there is a choice to revive the project through attracting new editors, it is of far smaller importance.
  • Item 2 is a real concern for me, as the sensationalist propaganda and the smear campaigns are very active these days, and are often backed by big resources. I am ready to invest my efforts, and I know other people who would be happy to help too. I do not hope to achieve always perfect response, but the project will likely become able to maintain acceptable level of defense against the fake news relatively quickly.
  • Item 3 is in fact a part of Item 2, and thus has the same perspective.
  • Item 4 is one of the reasons why we need other projects who can attract different editors. A project like BG Wikinews, which is going to appeal to editors different from these in Wikipedia, appears to be well-suited as an attempt for a solution to this problem. Thus, this is actually a reason to keep the project.
  • Item 5 is the central reason why I want to preserve BG Wikinews. We have plenty of bad media and very few real media, and BG Wikinews is in the unique position to be able to join the real media, having the resources of WMF behind it - platform independent of those who own almost all BG media, stewarding experience, fame etc. Creating an alternative good media out of nothing will require amount of resources that, frankly, isn't available here to people who are interested in creating a real media. Whether BG Wikinews will be a source of bad or good journalism depends on us. I believe that we are able to foster the good and drive out the bad journalism there. Even if I turn out wrong, we would have at least tried, which in such a situation is very important - I believe that this makes it worth the effort.
  • Item 6 depends entirely on the notion that BG Wikinews will become a source of bad journalism. If it shows good journalism, which I believe that we can achieve, we will have the opposite effect - increasing the reputation of all WMF projects here, including the BG Wikipedia.
  • Item 7 is a personal opinion, and thus I can offer only my personal opinion against it.
Creating an encyclopaedia apparently requires way more professionalism and elitism than writing news. Yet, Wikipedia thrived exactly through allowing the non-professionals to contribute. It is the original project (Nupedia), who was intended to be written by the best professionals, that failed... Item 2, while a very serious concern by itself, doesn't have a very strong influence to the "professionalism" aspect, simply because the professionalism is not an absolute demand in the wiki projects. They achieve quality through collaboration instead of creator eliteness.

-- Григор Гачев (talk) 14:32, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

"working to close and re-open it is the way to try and bury it," said Grigor. You don't think it applies to Dutch Wikinews, does it? It was hard-closed in 2010 but then revived seven years later, i.e. in 2017, because of increasing activity over the years. FWIW, the closure occurred before the closing projects policy existed. George Ho (talk) 00:03, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
Two notes:
  1. What you can write in Wikipedia is controlled by the requirement for verifiability. News, however, by definition is ‘original research’. You need to trust it (or not), because you can't verify it—at least not in the sense you can in Wikipedia. In fact, verifiability on Wikipedia itself relies on this very level of trust in the sources. Trust, however, means responsibility and, by extension, professionalism, so saying that ‘[c]reating an encyclopaedia apparently requires way more professionalism and elitism than writing news’ seems to me like a gross underestimation of the importance of that responsibility. You effectively say that writing news requires way less professionalism than writing encyclopaedia articles, and I find this rather worrying.
  2. If the project is indeed so vitally important, why has all that planning not already been put into action? The notions of ‘barrage of demands for perfectness’ that could've hindered it don't seem too substantiated—otherwise the project wouldn't have been filled with rubbish. And surely removing that rubbish shouldn't have been expected to draw such demands—but it hasn't been done either. I'm trying hard to assume good faith, but many things really don't make sense.
    — Luchesar • T/C 08:18, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
People who are not edited in Wikinews have no right to vote for Wikinews. --Stanqo (talk) 15:45, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
George Ho, closing an then re-opening a project in principle is not necessarily a way to bury it. However, closing and then re-opening the BG Wikinews in the current situation is a way to bury it. That is why I refer in the quoted words to it, and not to eg. any project in principle. And the closing projects policy has nothing to do with that.
Luchesar, it is true that encyclopaedias have slightly different requirements than news. However, most of the requirements are by essence the same.
For one thing, most of the news in the modern outlets aren't original research, but are compiled by materials from other sources - news outlets, published documents, official or unofficial statements of people who are significant in the news context, etc. Disclosing these sources plays the same role as in encyclopaedias, with the same consequences about the level of trust, and has to be considered in exactly the same sense. Even if BG Wikinews becomes limited to sourced news only, it can still be a very useful media, esp. in the current Bulgarian situation.
The original research news also have at least one source - the editor who published it. This source gains or loses trust exactly like any other source does. It is true that the first few original research news by an editor will need an increased scrutiny by both the administrators and the readers, but the same is valid about an encyclopaedic article with new source(s). So far, a news article and an encyclopaedia article have the same requirements and require the same level of professionalism. It is just that encyclopaedias are by design only secondary and tertiary information sources, while news can be primary too.
There is however an important difference - the actuality of an article. With news, the actuality duration is usually in the number of few hours to few days, rarely more than a week. With encyclopaedias, the actuality duration is usually years or even decades, rarely less (almost only in recent events). News initially attract more attention than new encyclopaedic articles, but die to the far longer actuality a bad encyclopaedic article will usually have eventually more negative effect than a bad news article. In both cases, a degree of non-perfectness is unavoidable, but in news the harm from an equally big non-perfectness is usually smaller. This is not to say that we should not strive for quality there - just an explanation why writing encyclopaedias usually require higher level of professionalism than writing news.
There was no attempt to restart the BG Wikinews project for a long time because none of the BG Wikimedia community gave a thought about it. In short, it is mostly my fault. After a long lack of incoming news and a community there, I had simply forgotten about Wikinews, missing the buildup of bad and fake news, and the gradual changes in the real world journalism in Bulgaria. I am ready to take my responsibility for this. As a start, I offer to relinquish the administratorship of the project after it is successfully revived.
As for the demands for perfectness, I have seen them in a place other than Wikinews. My personal evaluation is that they achieve a short-term improvement of the content quality, but in long term result in driving away a big number of editors who would otherwise gradually learn to maintain acceptable quality. This decreases the number of the editors, resulting in turn in a loss of quality - far bigger in longer term than the short-term improvement. (As I said in a previous comment, wikis rely for achieving quality not on the perfectness of an editor, but on the number of editors.) Eventually, the result is that the project community consists mostly of elite editors, who however are very few and find taxing and stretching the effort to protect the project from vandalism, incompetence and other reasons for low quality.
There is however something that I very similarly try to assume good faith about, but something doesn't make sense to me. Some Wikipedians noticed the failing quality of the BG Wikinews, and that incensed them - rightly so, I feel the same way after seeing where the project has gone. However, I fail to understand how is that their almost unanimous reaction was to close the project instead of to attract editors and revive it - especially given that in the current situation the latter will be far easier than it would be, say, 5 years ago. It appears to me even stranger that, when pointed to the obviousness and the realistic achievability of the idea to revive the project, and the desire of someone to work for it, nobody among them changes their position. Frankly and directly, I cannot understand this decision, and hence I do not know what to think about it and what to expect, should I try to go ahead and attract editors. That is why I want to know the motives of those who insist on closing the project and not doing anything to help it instead, no matter how little, before I start to work on it again. Call me stupid, but to me the motives for such an attitude aren't self-explanatory.
Stanqo, I can understand the concern of some Wikipedians. Most of them are very experienced editors with a lot of contributions. Also, this vote is not binding. My strictly personal opinion is that they should better be able to vote in this case, even if some of them don't have contributions to the project.
-- Григор Гачев (talk) 21:04, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
Seems that in December 2018, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty will launch a Bulgarian service. When it is launched, I will request a license agreement to use content from Bulgarian RFE/RL service on Bulgarian Wikinews and verify the content of the wiki (see my alternative proposal below). More information here: [1] --Agusbou2015 (talk) 14:59, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
Григор Гачев,
  1. Now you say ‘the requirements are by essence the same’ for Wikipedia and Wikinews. 24 hours earlier you were claiming that Wikipedia required ‘way more professionalism and elitism’. What made you change your mind so quickly?
  2. It is true that there is a concept of ‘sources’ in the news as well. But verifiability is a strict requirement on Wikipedia, while with the news many times you might not even want to disclose your sources („X spoke to us on condition of anonymity“) and other times the sources might not be verifiable from readers' standpoint (e.g. you were given access as an accredited journalist). So no, it's not the same as with Wikipedia at all.
  3. You downplay the effect of bad news because of their supposedly shorter ‘actuality duration’. I guess you mean that news from 2014, for example, is not that relevant today. Sure, it may not be that relevant to our present lives, but for a Wikipedia article that covers events from 2014 it is that very news from 2014—good or bad, true or fake—that you'll rely on, more often than not. Some events may later be revisited or even revised by the media, but that's by no means guaranteed.
  4. What you are now proposing hasn't been attempted, you say, because ‘none of the BG Wikimedia community gave a thought about it’. Let me surprise you, Grigor. Actually, that was discussed many times, especially at the peak of the fake news campaign on Wikipedia. It was also discussed in the Wikimedians of Bulgaria user group, including on the national Wikiconference in late 2016.
    But my question was about you. You claim it's very doable—if only it weren't for this proposal—so why had you not ever tried it earlier?
  5. By the way, I'm not trying to blame you for being inactive here; I'm rather wondering if what has so far been stopping you—if not from attracting those journalists, then at least from clearing the garbage—isn't actually still present.
  6. Speaking of which, I just realized that most of the ‘news’ from speshno.info—that anonymous site—have been uploaded by Ботчо. If I'm not mistaken, this happens to be your bot...
  7. Finally, interesting how Stanqo shows up at this exact time. Your exchange with him was sweet. I guess you don't know that he was the main driving force (though hardly the mastermind) behind the fake news on Wikipedia.
Overall, I'm afraid that I'm seeing evasiveness, vague explanations, logical fallacies, shifting positions, inappropriate melodramaticism, all combined with some, let's say, thought-provoking coincidences. There are actually more things that bother me, but I don't want to turn my comments into walls of text as well. For now, if anything, you've only managed to strengthen my scepticism and raise even further questions.
— Luchesar • T/C 18:52, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

Votes

Seeing that people begin supporting one solution or another, I'll take the liberty to describe the three main such solutions. Please do correct me if I'm wrong.
  1. deletion, meaning that the project will effectively cease to exist on the internet (technically, its content will still be available in the form of XML backups);
  2.  hard-closure: the project stays on the internet, but cannot be edited anymore, except by certain groups of users with global rights, like stewards, staff, etc.;
  3. soft-closure: the project stays on the internet and can be edited, but its main page is replaced with a notice, explaining that the project is inactive.
    In the case with deletion, there's also the question whether the project goes to Incubator or is completely discarded.
    — Luchesar • T/C 15:15, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
  4. (added) leave open (or oppose) is still an option on the table. StevenJ81 (talk) 22:57, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
Oppose deletion. Better solution is moving it to Incubator. --Agusbou2015 (talk) 15:47, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Support deletion. This wiki deserves to be deleted. --Agusbou2015 (talk) 15:51, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Support soft closure of the wiki, without deleting or moving it to Incubator. --Agusbou2015 (talk) 15:55, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Agusbou2015, could you please elaborate on your reasons to support soft-closure? I see that you've voted on a few such discussions. Are you familiar with bgnews specifically, or is it that you have general reservations about hard-closures?
— Luchesar • T/C 14:44, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
  1. Full closure. --Rumensz (talk) 16:19, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
  2. Full closure.--Uroboros (talk) 22:15, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
  3. Full closure. In my opinion this project is broken by design simply because it is news site can never be Neutral Neutral hence the very existence of Wikinews is against one of the fundamental principles. That Wikinews requires well coordinated team of professionals and we don't have any team to take care of Bulgarian Wikinews is secondary yet very strong argument for closure. (14:34, 19 September 2018 (UTC)) The above comment was mine. I didn't notice I wasn't logged in meta. I'd be happy if the IP address is deleted if possible. --Сале (talk) 14:36, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
    Re-formatted list into numbers. George Ho (talk) 19:43, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
    IP address hidden. StevenJ81 (talk) 13:15, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
  4. Support hard closure, the currently bgwikinews is a lot of mess. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 11:21, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
    Can you Please clarify that you're supporting full closure or soft closure? --117.14.250.18 02:44, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
  5. Support Deletion (if possible), else Closure. It's not supported since a lot of time, and the community do not have enough resources to keep it in good condition. There are a lot of non-NPOV news and ones from unreliable sources, created for advertising purposes. If it's closed, upon a community decision we can delete the non-NPOV news and the ones from unreliable sources. --StanProg (talk) 11:25, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
    Indeed, hard-closing the project and then beginning to slowly remove the problematic content sounds like a very reasonable alternative if deletion wouldn't be an option.
    — Luchesar • T/C 14:44, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
    On second thought, as I realized that a locked wiki can only be edited by users with global rights, it's likely not going to be a particularly smooth process. The stewards are usually overloaded with work and I suspect they might not be too happy if they had to decide whether a particular news story is coming from a reliable source, whether it is NPOV enough, etc.—especially considering that none are likely to know Bulgarian and/or be familiar with the local specifics concerning the media landscape (e.g. the concentration of power and the smear campaigns). So, I don't know; probably deleting right away everything that's not absolutely clearly okay is the more realistic approach.
    — Luchesar • T/C 15:25, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
  6. Support Deletion (if possible), else Hard-closure.--Алиса Селезньова (talk) 16:50, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
  7. Support closure with a big red banner on every page that says something along the lines of "YMMV". Alexis Jazz (talk) 03:47, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
    In addition to that, enabling something so Bing/Google/etc won't index the project anymore would also be fine with me. Alexis Jazz (talk) 03:38, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
  8. Support Deletion or Hard-closure. The risks of bias when one (or even a few) editor/s are taking care of the news were discussed back in 2016 when Портал:Текущи събития was deleted.--Ket (talk) 07:06, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
  9. Support Deletion and hard closure. BG Wikinews has always been a dead horse, and the right thing to do is finally dismount–and bury–it. Spiritia 19:44, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
  10. Based on the information above, deletion is appropriate: we don't usually delete the database itself, so it's not irreversible, either. Based on stats:wikinews/EN/Sitemap.htm, it's the 4th least visited Wikinews, so the deletion or closure is not going to affect many; moreover, the wiki was last active (with 3 or more active editors) on December 2009. On the other hand, a spot check with Special:Random showed a lot of articles from before 2010, mostly by Seraphita~bgwikinews, which seem to be uncontroversial, often based on French-language sources or archived in cc-by-sa from speshno.info, where they seem to have since disappeared. So I also support closure with mass deletion/blanking of all articles created after a certain cut-off date, for instance September 2010 (the last month when at least 2 users were active and not just occasionally), or whatever other date the Bulgarian speakers find appropriate. This would achieve the purpose while allowing the other sister projects and the whole Bulgarian community to learn from the discussions and history of the project, in the spirit of Keep history. --Nemo 17:38, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
    At least some of the contributions of Seraphita~bgwikinews may be copyvios. Some may be further flawed—even rubbish—as the editor was known for their erratic behaviour. These concerns were raised by well-respected colleagues in the community who were active at the time, so I trust their judgement. As for speshno.info, this is exactly one of those completely anonymous sites with bad reputation: it's unclear who's behind it, where they source their stories from, are there any editorial policies, etc.
    — Luchesar • T/C 09:50, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
  11. Oppose. See my alternative proposal below. --Agusbou2015 (talk) 15:41, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

Alternative proposal

On December 2018, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) will launch (actually, reopen) a Bulgarian service.[1] I request a license agreement to reuse RFE/RL Bulgarian service content to Bulgarian Wikinews. I propose temporary soft closure of the wiki until impending launch of the service. --Agusbou2015 (talk) 15:27, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

If we go that route (even in part), I wouldn't soft close for just a month. In any case, if any of the ideas discussed here to keep the project going happen, someone will have to go in and start cleaning up infrastructure (like templates in Russian). And I'd suggest that anyone interested in trying to keep the project open actually start doing that now. StevenJ81 (talk) 15:59, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
Indeed. Given the concern of the proposers is about "bad content" existing in the wiki, an alternative proposal should start with concrete local work towards deletions (either by speedy deletion or other means). Otherwise one is just denying the need for action (which is a legitimate opinion, mind you; just not an alternative solution for the same goal). --Nemo 16:43, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, Agusbou2015; the proposal would become invalid. According to "Use Our Content", "The sale of RFE/RL content, however, is strictly prohibited." In other words, they would not agree to any license that allows commercial use without sufficient restrictions, like CC-BY, which many Wikinews sites use. George Ho (talk) 17:10, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
Furthermore, even when the proposal is not considered "invalid", copying its content and licensing it under CC-BY require permission from RFE/RL. Otherwise, doing so without sufficient permission is copyright infringement. --George Ho (talk) 17:22, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
Agusbou2015, George Ho is right about their policy. However, I would still try and ask if they will make an exception for Wikinews and will allow re-licensing under CC-BY all or some of their news. If they are asked with the right arguments, they might find some motivation to do it. The hope is slim, but it is worth trying. If I can be of use for that, I'd be glad to.
StevenJ81, does that count as a confirmation that the project will have 2-3 months of time to try surviving? Otherwise, it would be a waste of work to cleanup the project in a week or two, only to have it closed a day after the cleanup is finished. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 17:33, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

References

  1. "RFE/RL Expands To Bulgaria, Romania". RFE/RL. Retrieved 2018-10-19. 

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Subsequent comments

For the time being, further comments are welcome at this point on the page. Let's not start new !votes yet, please. StevenJ81 (talk) 17:29, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
  • It is only fair to give the proposed plan to revive the project a chance. I may be sceptical about it, but what matters in the end is that the problem with Wikinews is solved—one way or another. What constitutes ‘success’ in such endeavours may be a matter of interpretations, but IMHO one thing is indisputable: it should be a dynamic, persisting condition, not an isolated snapshot. In other words, even if after three months we see reasonable activity in the project, and even if that activity doesn't seem malevolent, the only way to guarantee the project well-being in the long term is by constant attention and care. And even though I've already stated that many of us are overloaded with wikiwork, I guess I'll bite the bullet, applying for adminship on the project.
    — Luchesar • T/C 12:03, 23 October 2018 (UTC)
No need until RfA at bgwikinews is complete. As long as it's run seven days, stewards will act promptly. StevenJ81 (talk) 14:35, 23 October 2018 (UTC)
Indeed, that's how I've always proceeded with the requests on the other projects. But nevertheless thanks, George Ho, I really appreciate your active stance on the fate of this project. :)
— Luchesar • T/C 15:44, 23 October 2018 (UTC)
(Nearly) Three days passed after the voting ended with unanimous consensus favoring your request. George Ho (talk) 07:59, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
George Ho, yes, thank you! I'm afraid I've got some critical things to finish in my job these days. They already got delayed by some recent changes to MediaWiki that broke the editing toolbars on bgwiki, and these needed urgent fixing. And perhaps more importantly, I also anticipate somewhat difficult negotiations with the stewards concerning the indef rights—I'm really not willing to accept only temporary ones—so I want to be able to properly concentrate on the likely long discussion.
— Luchesar • T/C 08:26, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
In short, I plan to take care of this on the weekend.
— Luchesar • T/C 08:27, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
@Iliev and George Ho: The stewards are not going to give you permanent rights. Don't waste your time. What you may be able to convince them to do—and my endorsement with the stewards would probably help—is to give you a full year term as an admin right away (instead of starting you off at 3 months or 6 months). StevenJ81 (talk) 16:07, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

19 December 2018

(This is an interim check, not a decision point on the request.)
@Iliev and Григор Гачев: There was a flurry of activity in October and November, and then things quieted down again. Neither of you (the two sysops) has been very active recently; only @User:Zelenkroki has been active in December. What are your plans going into 2019? StevenJ81 (talk) 16:24, 19 December 2018 (UTC)

StevenJ81, as I stated in my sysop application, I wouldn't interfere with the project till 20 January (I've only copied several templates to make pinging users easier). My general opinion has not changed. Though I haven't mentioned it, I actually know what at least a few real-live journalists think about Wikinews, and for this reason I'm not at all surprised to see nothing of the expected activity there in terms of both quantity and quality.
— Luchesar • T/C 16:43, 19 December 2018 (UTC)
In October and November, I tried to deal with some of the most prominent problems in the bg.wikinews contents. Some still remain, as I am still not sure what would be the best way to solve them. Most of these concern templates and other forms of editor convenience.
Talked to a couple of dozens of journalists. Most said they will consider starting to contribute after the New Year Eve; I'd expect that about half a dozen will actually try. There appears to be a lot of mistrust that any form of journalism would allow someone to actually speak of what they deem important, and a lot of disinformation about the Wikimedia Foundation projects that is hard to overcome. Will continue talking to these and other journalists and trying to convince them to try it.
Luchesar, are the real-life journalists you know aware that there is an ongoing attempt to revive BG Wikinews, and they are welcome?
-- 93.152.166.29 16:22, 22 December 2018 (UTC)
a lot of disinformation about the Wikimedia Foundation projects that is hard to overcome
It would be really helpful to provide examples of such “disinformation”.
— Luchesar • T/C 17:06, 23 December 2018 (UTC)
I support close this as approved. --125.36.185.115 02:38, 25 December 2018 (UTC)
In the meantime, let's give thanks to admins who deleted a bunch of problematic (mostly misleading) pages. George Ho (talk) 00:53, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
Not sure if it's such a meritorious deed, actually: it was the very same admin (or, rather, his bot) who had put those misleading pages online years ago and apparently never had a problem with them before the community expressed how deeply upset it is.
— Luchesar • T/C 08:24, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
Oh wait, I see that, according to move logs, a bunch of articles have been renamed and that prolific amount of redirects were deleted. I'll retract my full thanks then. However, I was supposed to refer to the deletions made two months ago, so I'll give partial thanks for that. George Ho (talk) 11:35, 27 December 2018 (UTC)

2 January 2019

@StevenJ81: Most (1239 out of about 1833) of the news in this project are from "speshno.info" (and sourced with it), which is highly unreliable website (no editorial team, no address, no contact information, not even information of the owner). Григор Гачев claims he has "direct participation" in the creation of "speshno.info", which is also disturbing for me. --StanProg (talk) 10:51, 2 January 2019 (UTC)
As for the disinformation about the Wikimedia projects, the most frequent version I have heard from journalists in response to my invitation to join bg.wikinews is that Wikinews is as censored as every other news outlet, only the censorship defends the interests of the US Government / George Soros / the globalist moguls / some conspiracy / ... (sorry, I didn't cared to remember every variant). The people who believed this usually believed the same or similar things about all other Wikimedia projects.
Another version I have heard is that the Wikimedia Foundation pays hefty salaries to the editors and the admins who contribute to and maintain this projects, and I am trying to trick people into participating for free, so I can pocket the money for their salaries. (And, of course, they are smart enough to not fall for such an immoral con.)
Another version is that the Bulgarian Wikimedia projects are governed and staffed by people who are egotistic jerks / Communist political cops / employees of some shady organization / members of a number of conspiracies / other things of the kind.
If you believe you want to know more of that, and that it will be of any use to you, I will consider recording what disinfo I hear about WMF projects and posting it.
As for the accusation of creating misleading pages here, I find it very serious - in effect, a direct slander. While I don't consider legal action, I believe that slander should not be welcomed in the WMF projects. To avoid it, I would plead before George Ho to provide examples of deleted pages that in his eyes were misleading (probably most pages deleted by me, except the non-needed anymore redirects?). Then, I will kindly ask Luchesar about his proofs that these pages have been put by an admin (or, rather his bot), who that admin is, and what makes him imply that they were kept here due to that admin's personal interest in them. If he cannot offer sound proof that this was the case, I will kindly ask him for his motives to state here such things. These motives will provide to me valuable insight on what contributions to the administration of BG.Wikinews I should expect from him.
BTW, I repeat my question above: Luchesar, are the real-life journalists you mentioned above aware that there is an ongoing attempt to revive BG Wikinews, and they are welcome? For example, did you notified them about it? I guess you did, that is what any sincere contributor to the WMF projects would do, but still would like to see it documented here, as a demonstration of goodwill to help the project.
As for the Speshno.Info articles: The news section of the Speshno.Info project was started with the idea to be an independent news outlet. Most of the people behind the project weren't comfortable with their names being known, as they feared getting into problems, despite the facts-only, no-comments policy. Not being so exposed to these problems, I created some of the technical infrastructure behind the project, hosted it and took most of its public relations. So, you can consider me responsible for these articles: they are shady and unreliable to the degree I am as an individual, and should be considered on par with my own news contributions.
I advocated before the others at Speshno.Info to permit the import of their new articles into BG Wikinews, under a license of my choice, in order to support BG Wikinews. (And did a technical mistake, typing down "CC-BY-SA" instead of "CC-BY", after a story of mine I licensed under CC-BY-SA just before tuning the import script. I am now fixing that mistake: my right to even re-license anew these news articles as I deem appropriate still holds.) I would like to know if this explanation satisfies StanProg; if not, I will happily answer any further questions.
-- Григор Гачев (talk) 20:06, 2 January 2019 (UTC)
I raised my concerns about possible copyright infringement. I could not find proof that the website hasn't explicitly given permission to allow content to be copied into BG Wikinews under CC BY as claimed by Grigor. I asked Grigor to provide a link or some sort of proof that the website gave out such permission; I've not yet seen proof as of date. George Ho (talk) 22:00, 2 January 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for noting this. Put a notice on the site under every original news that it can be shared under CC-BY, version 2.5. You can test it at eg. http://www.speshno.info/news.php?id=70397 . -- Григор Гачев (talk) 11:27, 5 January 2019 (UTC)
I swore that the license previously did not appear on the website's every article. If the CC BY license was recently added, then I can assume that speshno.info is your website, correct? George Ho (talk) 02:37, 6 January 2019 (UTC)
George Ho, you are completely right. Until recently, the site didn't featured any license for its news. The original site team - I am one of them - believed at the time (wrongly) that this amounts to the news being freely available to anyone of good standing. After you raised the concern about the site license, I talked to the others of the site team, and they happily agreed to put a notice that the news generated by the site are licensed under CC-BY 2.5. (The site contains also other news, which we cannot license at will and which aren't uploaded to BG Wikinews.) To your question - yes, I am one of the people behind the site. That is why I could achieve an agreement to give its own news to BG Wikinews. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 19:17, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
  1. So, you hope to salvage Wikinews with the help of ‘journalists’ who believe in “the US Government / George Soros / the globalist moguls / some conspiracy” being behind the world problems? Interesting.
  2. The ones I know want to build and maintain a professional reputation, which isn't really possible with the wiki concept, and also need to make a living. Simple as that. And they like Wikipedia—a lot—even trusting it more than would be wise.
  3. It now turns out that you control that speshno.info website—banned on bgwiki 3 years ago—and Wikinews has been filled up with information copied from it. In the meantime, you've either not noticed or not bothered to notice the other crap that filled the project. And when other editors raise their concerns, you accuse them of ‘slander’. You know, even mentioning the possibility of legal action in such context would've got you a permanent, irrevocable ban on bgwiki, because this (“While I don't consider legal action”) is already an indirect threat (“know that I can consider it”), seeing there is no constructive reason to mention it otherwise. This discussion, in my opinion, is becoming rather absurd and a pitiful waste of time.
    — Luchesar • T/C 18:09, 6 January 2019 (UTC)
Iliev, I think this matter needs the attention of stewards who may do something about the content either using or being used by the website, probably owned or operated (fully or partially) by Grigor. Agree? George Ho (talk) 00:34, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
That's probably correct. I'll add: for content to be used on a WMF project, it must be allowed under CC BY-SA, not simply CC-BY. I am going to check in with the stewards here. StevenJ81 (talk) 22:04, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
We are not WMF Legal so we can't act like them, but I thought (since Wn uses CC BY) it is fine to import CC BY materials. — regards, Revi 02:58, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
However, -revi, that website hasn't cited other sources yet. We believe that the articles are first created into Wikinews and then the other website. If the other website went first, that website hasn't cited other sources as of date. George Ho (talk) 07:26, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
I haven't read the whole discussion here per TL: DR;. I'm just replying to StevenJ's comment, specifically "for content to be used on a WMF project, it must be allowed under CC BY-SA, not simply CC-BY". — regards, Revi 07:27, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
Thank you, @Revi. StevenJ81 (talk) 16:05, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
 Iliev, I think this matter needs the attention of stewards who may do something about the content either using or being used by the website, probably owned or operated (fully or partially) by Grigor. Agree?  by George Ho
No objections from my side. I'm cautious for the time being—before LangCom has the opportunity to review the case—so that a failure of the project revival attempt cannot be blamed on some ‘malicious interference’ (sadly, I cannot exclude this in the light of the repeated hints by Григор at possible ‘hidden motives’ of the people who supported the proposal as well as what's presented by him as some rather unfriendly atmosphere in the existing Bulgarian wikicommunity).
— Luchesar • T/C 19:10, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
Luchesar, I obviously don't intend to rely on journalists who believe such hoaxes. (And, if we are going in this direction, I will warn in advance that I also don't intend to invite mass murderers, terrorists and serial rapists. If you expect an influx of other kinds of similar undesirables, please be welcome to name them, so I can document in writing that I don't plan to invite them, too.)
While searching for journalists who would contribute to bg.wikinews, I also found many who would like to do it, but currently don't dare for different reasons. Some mentioned that if the site gets some activity and there is no repercussions for the editors, they will eventually overcome their fears. (Whether those fears are well founded is a different topic.) So I believe you that the journalists you know might not want to be involved, and give you credit for talking to them about this.
As for your "concerns": it was the very same admin (or, rather, his bot) who had put those misleading pages online years ago, meaning me, is not a concern. It is a slander - and I repeat my opinion that for WMF would not be wise to allow slander without consequences on spaces governed by it. (This will quickly turn it into "the place where anyone can slander anyone" - hardly the kind of fame WMF would like, I guess.) I will leave the WMF personnel to decide how to react on it, and reserve the right to raise the matter before them. And I still wonder what motives might drive someone I have no personal friction with to resort to slandering me.
The “While I don't consider legal action” is the best wording known to me to state, well, exactly that. (BTW, I would love to see a justification before WMF for a ban on someone because he declared that he does NOT consider legal action, including after being slandered on WMF-governed pages.)
As for using a site banned on BG Wikipedia: BG Wikinews is a different project that is not bound to accept the rules of BG Wikipedia. I agree that in many cases these rules might be a good idea; in this particular case they obviously wouldn't be.
George Ho, the news uploaded to bg.wikinews from Speshno.Info are written with enough of my participation to claim authorship, and uploaded to bg.wikinews by a bot controlled by me. For that reason, I believe that they count as news written by me (as an author, I have the unlimited right to publish them in any number of places and license them under any license(s) I want - provided that the other authors give their consent, which they do). I see no reason, legal or practical, to treat them differently from any other news written by a contributor.
As for your concern that Speshno.Info hasn't cited its sources: is there a BG Wikinews policy that requires the sources to cite sources in turn? I agree that this sounds like a good idea, but am not aware of such a policy already in place - and therefore cannot see why such a source should be already ineligible.
StevenJ81, if a CC-BY-SA license is required instead of CC-BY to import news here, I guess that there will not be any problem to license the own news of Speshno.Info under this license too. (However, while I am not a legal expert, it appears to me that a CC-BY-SA requirement might not be a good idea: CC-BY-SA is a strong copyleft license. A CC-BY-SA license on the original site would force Wikinews to offer the imported news also under CC-BY-SA, which would contradict its CC-BY license.)
-- Григор Гачев (talk) 19:17, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
I was mistaken about that. Sorry. Will strike through all my related comments. StevenJ81 (talk) 21:27, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
 (...) the most frequent version I have heard from journalists in response to my invitation to join bg.wikinews is (...) the US Government / George Soros / the globalist moguls / some conspiracy 
You don't expect me to believe that you got such replies from serious journalists, do you? And I would expect you to try contacting only such. Also, I'm sure everyone'd appreciate if we keep this on-topic and concise (I'm referring to the “rapists”, etc.)
 (...) if (...) there is no repercussions for the editors, they will eventually overcome their fears 
What “repercussions” and from whom? The government? The mafia? WMF isn't exactly known for easily revealing the identities of its editors—quite the opposite, actually. Or is it again the “evil” Wikipedia editors who rip the newbies apart? This wouldn't make sense too: obviously nobody has given a damn for all the crap in Wikinews in the recent years—a perfect opportunity to unleash the harshest of criticisms otherwise. Apologies for the French, but I'm really getting fed up with the drama.
 it was the very same admin (or, rather, his bot) who had put those misleading pages online years ago, meaning me, is not a concern. It is a slander 
I'll give you that on “misleading”—I had used the wording of George Ho's note, but apparently I had somewhat misunderstood what he had in mind. So I apologize about that word. But this doesn't change the other facts: that it was your bot that had been uploading those articles en masse, that this site has caused enough concern among various editors to be banned on Wikipedia, and that even though you now claim to be “one of the people” behind the site, it still remains largely anonymous.
 (...) is there a BG Wikinews policy that requires the sources to cite sources in turn. I agree that this sounds like a good idea, but am not aware of such a policy already in place - and therefore cannot see why such a source should be already ineligible. 
Am I getting this right? You admit that this is a reasonable requirement, but because it hasn't been codified in a policy, you see no reason to adhere to it? Should you really need a written policy to force you into doing what you consider right and not doing what you consider wrong? And yes, for a source to be trusted, you need to know enough about it: who's behind it, what policies are followed and how well, what is its reputation in general, etc. etc.
By the way, I just thought about something: all those numerous copied news articles linked back to your site, which, as you admitted yourself, had at the time been very new. And the site also has a prominent enough “for advertisers” link. I can't help to think that it's at least plausible that you may have used Wikinews as a free way to get more impressions. This isn't BBC or CNN, after all, to claim that it's a fair exchange: Wikinews only gains bad reputation for using anonymous sources.
 I would love to see a justification before WMF for a ban on someone because he declared that he does NOT consider legal action 
WP:NLT advises against even the use of terms that sound legal enough, because this already “may reasonably [be] underst[ood] as a legal threat”. If you really want to not be misunderstood, you should choose your wording carefully. If you insist that “while I don't consider legal action” has to be taken literally, think about how “while I don't consider killing you” would be perceived. Nobody should need to be reassured that he or she isn't going to be killed—or sued.
— Luchesar • T/C 23:41, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
Here's the Bulgarian version of WP:NLT, just in case. George Ho (talk) 23:53, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, George! I don't actually want to get deeper into this: it's off-topic, this discussion is already too long-winded, and I only reacted because I initially misunderstood Grigor's words as being targeted not at me, but at StanProg's concern about Grigor's site being “unreliable”, and thus a possible attempt to discourage people from expressing such concerns with veiled legal threats. Apparently this hadn't been the case though and I hope it's all settled now.
— Luchesar • T/C 08:35, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
Luchesar, as I did noted above, there is plenty of misconceptions about the WMF projects. I don't know what exactly are the fears these journalists have: as you surely guess, the topic is too sensitive to ask about. The fact I observed is that some of them have these fears, and believe that if there is no repercussions for the editors, they might overcome the fears. Like with the fears, I do not know what repercussions they expect, and/or will watch for. The most sensible action I can think of is to leave that to them.
As for your attempt to defend your words, I quote exactly the full exchange, with the context:
 In the meantime, let's give thanks to admins who deleted a bunch of problematic (mostly misleading) pages. George Ho (talk) 00:53, 27 December 2018 (UTC) 
 Not sure if it's such a meritorious deed, actually: it was the very same admin (or, rather, his bot) who had put those misleading pages online years ago and apparently never had a problem with them before the community expressed how deeply upset it is.
— Luchesar • T/C 08:24, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
 
It only makes sense that George Ho refers to the bad articles that I deleted by hand. Obviously, he couldn't mean the redirects remaining after moving some articles under new names with fixed date-spelling errors (eg. 5 December instead of 05 December): these are redirects, not articles. (He later explicitly points that it is the deleted articles which he gives credit for.) So, referring to these articles, you implied that they are the bad pages deleted by me that were uploaded by my bot and kept there for my own reasons. (In addition, the community never expressed any deep feelings against these articles; I deleted them on my own decision, because of overlooked bad quality.) I believe these words of yours very well cover the definition for slander.
Yes, I see no reason to adhere in BG Wikinews to a policy that doesn't exist there, even if it appears reasonable to me. The policies are effectively the legislation of the WMF projects space. If you don't have a law codified in a jurisdiction, you may not apply it, even if it appears to you sensible - there is a reason for that. In addition, you already know who is behind Speshno.Info, so the logic says that this problem should be no more too. And I know that, even if not explicitly specified in the Speshno.Info news, they had good sources, so I don't see a reason to apply a non-policy idea, even if generally sensible, where it will have no sense.
As for your hint on using BG Wikinews for SEO, you surely know that MediaWiki puts a "nofollow" attribute in external links, so they do not reflect on the algorithms of the searching engines. For that reason, linking external sources in MediaWiki-based sites does not change their search rating etc. I sought ways to support the BG Wikinews projects, and using the own news of a site I participate in and can get a permission from the others appears to me a good idea. I am proud with it and would repeat it again, if I could - probably with a more knowledge about licensing details etc, as to dispel any possibility of alleging that it violates some policy.
In addition, the news section of Speshno.Info is long inactive and there are currently no plans to revive it, or indeed the site activity at all. It doesn't take advertisements for years already. If my motives were to advertise the site, I would have now no reason to still keep in BG Wikinews the news from it (more than half a decade old anyway), and would happily delete them to mitigate an attack against a news resource that is to me potentially very valuable to the Bulgarian journalism. The reason I do not do it is that I believe it is wrong in principle. (If that wouldn't conflict with the declaring sources policy, I would happily delete from these news any mentions of Speshno.Info, in order to stop any allegations about advertising abuse.)
(It might be interesting for you to know that, when the Speshno.Info team discussed the idea for uploading our news to BG Wikinews, the site had a very good SEO and was showing for most of those news ahead of BG Wikinews. So, uploading the news here was actually a loss for us: people could read them in BG Wikinews, without seeing our advertisements, thus losing us income. We decided to sacrifice that in order to help BG Wikinews... Now it turns out a base for problems for me. Guess what the chances are that someone who is aware of this case will be willing to contribute to a WMF project.)
-- Григор Гачев (talk) 12:32, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
I really am not going to participate any more in turning this discussion into an unreadable monster. My colleagues and I have already expressed clearly what we see as fundamental problems with this project that justify its hard closure. You have your chance to prove that the problems are not so fundamental in their nature and can be solved. In the end, all this talking at the moment is largely irrelevant. In 10 days we may perhaps continue. Just one thing though:
 you surely know that MediaWiki puts a "nofollow" attribute in external links 
Grigor, I know you well enough to know that you know what “impressions” are. And the same applies, I think, in the opposite direction. Let's really respect each other's intellect.
— Luchesar • T/C 13:46, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
Luchesar, I see that you really assume bad faith on my part. That is often impossible to refute / change, but I will try my best.
Speshno.Info uploaded in BG Wikinews all of its own news, in full text, simultaneously with publishing it. For a BG Wikinews reader, there would be absolutely no need to go to Speshno.Info: they would gain nothing from that. On the contrary, Speshno.Info was losing readers (and impressions) since its news were available otherwise, and on a site that is generally well up on the search ranks. (For some news, BG Wikinews was coming before Speshno.Info, even when the latter was SEOed at its best.) I will repeat that: from uploading its news on BG Wikinews, Speshno.Info was losing magnitudes more impressions than it was gaining. The team of Speshno.Info had some arguments about this, comparing the impressions on own news uploaded to BG Wikinews with impressions on news that we were not permitted to upload there. (When these news were coming from a less known site, we had on them far more impressions than on ones uploaded to BG Wikinews. If BG Wikinews had driven any noticeable number of impressions to us, that should have been the opposite.)
If that still doesn't convince, you, I have an offer. Let's apply before WMF for an exception from the sources citing policy for Speshno.Info, and explain that it is important for reaching agreement on a key topic. If they permit us that exception (I hope they will), I will delete from BG Wikinews all links to Speshno.Info. (The articles themselves I will keep, as they are still good news, and you know very well how much work is writing over 1000 good articles.) -- Григор Гачев (talk) 12:23, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
What I assume—or do not, for that matter—is of no importance here. But since you mentioned it, if you go back to the beginning of this discussion, you'll recall that my initial attitude was very different from what it is now. Actually, I still do find it more probable that you are well-meaning. The problem is that even well-meaning people don't necessarily do good things. OK, let me briefly—and for the last time, indeed—sum up a few of my thoughts:
  1. In the last 5 years the project has been left to decay to a very miserable condition—this practically isn't disputed by anyone. As de facto The administrator of the project, you hadn't done anything to stop or control it. That's OK. I don't blame you. We all get really busy with our real lives and it goes without saying what the priority should be. You had no time—I totally understand it.
  2. If I were in your place, I guess I would've said “Guys, yes, it's very difficult to keep this project alive. I don't know, though... Should we perhaps try it one more time? Of course, since even I haven't been able to do anything these many years, I'll totally understand if you say it isn't worth the effort.” This seemed to me like the reasonable reaction to expect.
  3. Instead—and to my not small surprise—you pounced on the people who supported the proposal with accusations of acting “behind your back” (let me make a note to the readers that your last edit on the project at the time had been almost 2 years earlier) and with unspecified, but apparently malicious “motives”. Even if the real motives behind the proposal are benign (...), you wrote.
  4. You talked how this proposal is “destroying one of the few last opportunities to have a real media” and how everyone must instead “attract journalists who will make the project active and of a good quality”. However:
    a) the project had already been, for all intents and purposes, basically destroyed—and this seems to not have bothered you that much until the proposal came in;
    b) unless you really considered the Wikipedia editors evil, you must've realized that they possibly had reasons to believe how “attracting the journalists” thing wasn't going to work.
  5. Your lengthy, long-winded posts haven't made this discussion particularly efficient, but I'm to blame at least as much for letting myself slip into details, while what's important is the complete picture. This is why speshno.info and your relation to it are also mostly irrelevant. It isn't the real problem. Neither is the mess in the project in general. It's the future of it—or, rather, the lack thereof.
  6. You've blamed the Wikipedia community for not helping. I'll give you that. It's true. But have you asked yourself—“why”? Could it be that the editors there don't care about—or even don't want—good journalism? Or could they simply be too stupid to understand how important this is? I'm sure you actually know the answers. And can perhaps even understand why practically everyone who cares thinks it's time to lay Wikinews to rest.
  7. I really believe you may be well-meaning. It's not difficult to imagine Wikinews as the drug-addicted teen, whose parents at some point simply gave up­—perhaps realizing there's nothing they could do to stop the downfall of their otherwise beloved kid. That is, until one day they learned from the news that their offspring had gotten himself into despicable things: theft, robbery, even murder. Many parents, now facing such grim reality, may start desperately seeking for a miracle exit. It's a tragic story, and whatever we may think of the parents' actions or inaction, it at least deserves our empathy. But the reality can't—and must not—be ignored either.
  8. Thankfully, Wikinews is no such confused kid who simply went down the wrong road. If anything's at stake, it's just the well-being of the Bulgarian community. But, then again, I don't really have to persuade you—when the facts speak, even the gods remain silent, as we say here in Bulgaria—and in a week or so we'll have the opportunity to revisit the facts and see if the last three months managed to change something significantly enough.
That's really the last thing from me till January, 20th. While you are obviously at will to comment on it, please respect my wish to not get involved into further discussions until that date.
— Luchesar • T/C 18:52, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
I agree that our discussions mostly drowned into details. However, there is something in your last words that I have to reply to.
Yes, the proposal to close BG Wikinews was done behind the back of the site editors. Not being active doesn't always mean not being interested in reviving it. A lot of people in BG Wikipedia - including you - know very well that at least two of these (me and Stanqo) are around and active. It is only normal to notify us that the idea is being discussed. Had this happened, we all would come to WMF a common position on what to do... Instead, I learn about the proposal post-factum, by a wild chance. If you were at my place, would you see that as normal? Well, I didn't too. Does that appear strange to you?
As for your doubts that the project has a future - I have mine, too. I have talked so far to about a hundred of journalists, and about the same number of non-journalists who might be interested. At least 20 expressed strong interest in participating. One more initiative to reach almost every journalist in Bulgaria started a week ago. So far that translates into next to no activity. If there are still no editors on Jan 20 - and especially if the project is permitted to exist for some more time, due to my late reach to the numbers of the potentially interested, and the situation is still the same - I will very happily support its closing. People who constantly complain that they have no place to publish real news, but when given an opportunity don't use it, don't really need it... But giving the things one last try with all you have is often the only way to be completely sure that you did everything you could to save something. I guess that you understand and support that too, despite having to be the devil's advocate in this situation.
(And yes, I very well understand the support of the BG Wikipedians for closing the project - maybe in depth that might surprise you. However, it is something I would prefer to discuss over a beer. :-) ) -- Григор Гачев (talk) 23:50, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
 (...) at least two of these (me and Stanqo) are around and active  by Григор Гачев
 let me make a note to the readers that your last edit on the project at the time had been almost 2 years earlier  by Luchesar (diff)
 (...) Stanqo (...) was the main driving force (though hardly the mastermind) behind the fake news on Wikipedia  by Luchesar (diff)
 People who are not edited in Wikinews have no right to vote for Wikinews.  by Stanqo (diff)
Nothing more to say.
— Luchesar • T/C 09:34, 15 January 2019 (UTC)
Oh, come on. Just say that the missing notifications was a good faith oversight and stop quarrelling about it, other points raised here are much more relevant. It's completely normal for people to return to a wiki page or project years after their last contribution, with an expectation they won't have suddenly vanished. Nemo 18:19, 15 January 2019 (UTC)
 other points raised here are much more relevant 
This. — Luchesar • T/C 08:27, 16 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Nearly all content on the wiki has been deleted, so this proposal was basically implemented by the users themselves. Is it really worth discussing about the remaining 70 or so articles? The discussion can be reopened (and the opinions above counted) if the wiki returns to its previous state. Nemo 09:22, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
@Nemo bis: Actually almost nothing is being deleted. We still have 1239 out of totally about 1833 news copied from "speshno.info". --StanProg (talk) 11:52, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
And, anyway, I'm afraid that the root problem of the Bulgarian Wikinews—which I explained in my initial proposal—cannot be solved by a simple cleanup. This is the reason for all those “delete [the project] if possible, else hard close [it]” votes.
— Luchesar • T/C 13:06, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
https://xtools.wmflabs.org/adminstats/bg.wikinews.org/2018-11-01 shows over 400 deletions which is a bit more than "almost nothing", but ok. I was tricked by Special:Statistics which only counts 86 content pages. Nemo 15:27, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
This page more accurately shows 100+ pages still remaining. George Ho (talk) 18:44, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
@Nemo bis: These are 95%+ redirects and some duplicated or wrong (not actual templates) templates. Note the summary "съдържанието беше: „#пренасочване" which means "the content was: #REDIRECT". The actual pages remain. There was some cleanup indeed, but it was a minor one. The biggest problem with the unreliable/conflict of interests source remains. --StanProg (talk) 11:18, 16 January 2019 (UTC)
@Григор Гачев: I got the impression above that most of the articles copied from speshno.info are pretty old—perhaps five years or so. Is that right? StevenJ81 (talk) 10:57, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
Yes, that is right. Since then, the project has been practically abandoned, with practically no perspective to be resurrected. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 12:57, 20 January 2019 (UTC)

26 January 2019

The request for steward intervention is closed as "not done" because none of the stewards understand Bulgarian language. If reopening the initial discussion is too soon, how about starting a deletion discussion on numerous pages on either bg-wikinews or via RFC subpage? George Ho (talk) 22:27, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

In the last three months I haven't seen anything to convince me that the future of this project can be any brighter than its past. In fact, I read and saw things that made me even more concerned. Some colleagues, apparently more frustrated than I am, have suggested appealing to AEJ and even Commissioner Gabriel for help in solving this case, but I don't think we're Facebook or Google to really need other people tell us that we have responsibilities before the society.
— Luchesar • T/C 20:13, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
It would be really precious to get advice from someone under whose watch the Commission wrecked havoc on the copyright debate. Nemo 07:05, 29 April 2019 (UTC)
I totally share your concerns over the recent EU decisions in the field of copyright (by the way, it's not just the Commission's fault). But automatically transposing that to a completely different topic—such as the disinformation and propaganda risks—would constitute an association fallacy: because the Commission did something we disapprove in one field, then we should reject everything else that comes from them as well. I'm sure you haven't meant this, but it could've been perceived that way.
— Luchesar • T/C 10:22, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

4 February 2019

Anyone following this proposal and interested in the future of the project might want to check Content review #3: Wikipedia as a "source"? on Wikinews' village pump.
— Luchesar • T/C 11:42, 4 February 2019 (UTC)

I have two questions.
If I understand correctly, the bulk of the pages were brought in from speshno.info. And whether Grigor does or does not have the right to do this from a copyright perspective, the truth is still that these pages are at least five years old. Correct?
Using Wikipedia as a source on Wikinews isn't quite prohibited the way using Wikipedia as a source on Wikipedia is. But unless it's supporting a very non-controversial fact, it's a bad idea. How often does this happen? StevenJ81 (talk) 20:03, 4 February 2019 (UTC)
Sorry for the much belated reply; real life can sometimes be frustratingly demanding. Concerning speshno.info, my opinion is that we should stop focusing on it. It's not the problem itself—just another manifestation of the underlying issues with the project that I've outlined in the proposal. For the time being it's probably fair to give the revival attempt more time, given the high expectations of it—to grow a strong local community with rules that would make the project resilient enough.
— Luchesar • T/C 12:33, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

31 May 2019

Several months have passed since the closure of the discussion. What are the developments of the project? Have almost all options been exhausted yet? Shall the discussion be reopened? George Ho (talk) 07:06, 31 May 2019 (UTC)

A main point behind the appeal to not close the project was that “[some] quality contributors (...) will come in 2-3 months, but reaching over a dozen - (...) a minimum for a healthy project - might take up to an year“.[2] I've never considered this realistic, but it was indeed fair to give that effort a chance and see what could be achieved in practice. So far, 7 months later, the progress seems 1 additional contributor and, for the last 30 days, 5 new articles (or about 1 article a week).
The articles are actually six, but one of them seems a sarcastic—and probably not too fair—attack on the Bulgarian News Agency. The quality of the other articles also leaves a lot to be desired, and I can't help but notice that 24th of May, the Day of the Bulgarian education and culture, one of the most cherished Bulgarian holidays, has not been covered at all (in fact, for the last 9 days there has been no activity whatsoever on the project).
So, for me, unfortunately, everything goes mostly as I expected; in some ways—looking again at that pitiful attack on the Bulgarian News Agency—even worse. And since I mentioned it twice: the main point against BNA apparently had been that they were providing their full news feed only to paid subscribers, and that to subscribe it was required to contact them, with no information on the prices available on the site.
Quite honestly, I couldn't see what was the problem: even with Associated Press it is basically the same, not to mention that for some products the prices are actually there, in the “Products” section of the site. All this makes it even more regrettable to see the Wikinews article mocking BNA's site for having “outdated” years in the copyright footer and “not using the proper dash” in their texts. Is this the example of “high-quality journalism” that Wikinews wishes to be?
In short, my view that the project is a constant liability for the Wikimedia community in terms of cost-benefit-risk analysis hasn't changed at all. I still believe that the best decision is to hard-close it.
— Luchesar • T/C 09:42, 31 May 2019 (UTC)

21 July 2019

FWIW, Requests for comment/Voting in bg.wikinews by non-contributors.
— Luchesar • T/C 22:20, 21 July 2019 (UTC)

28 July 2019

Here are some user activity statistics to help in assessing the project's progress so far (or a lack thereof). The statistics probably speak best for themselves, especially in terms of dynamics.
— Luchesar • T/C 15:03, 28 July 2019 (UTC)

31 July 2019

I'd like to draw the attention to one part of a discussion on the Bulgarian Wikinews, which IMHO demonstrates very well what causes so much concern about this project's future.

Some key background facts:

  • The general topic of the discussion is the proposal to delete the ~1200 articles copied to bgnews from speshno.info. Some details (in English) are also available in this RfC on the voting procedures.
  • The specific part I'm referring to is a subthread, focused on the contributions of the editor Stanqo.
  • Stanqo, as mentioned several times above, created a news project on the Bulgarian Wikipedia several years ago that mimicked Wikinews and even used the latter's logo.
  • Hidden in the huge stream of otherwise benign news were many manipulative pieces, some clearly propagandist (“Putin stops the CIA from removing Erdogan”), others more subtle (a very biased coverage of the 2016 US presidential race), and finally, a third part, carefully tampered versions of otherwise genuine news, which required focused and time-consuming effort to expose (see the example with the article from Der Tagesspiegel in the initial #Comments here).
  • In November 2016 the community decided to delete the project after a vote of 13:2. Mind you, of those two votes “against”, one was Stanqo's own, and the other editor thought it was best to ban Stanqo, but keep the project itself. Also, while the absolute numbers may seem small, this may have been the single most active voting in our WP:AFD, where very rarely more than 4–6 votes are cast.
  • The user activity statistics clearly show how Stanqo then tried to move his project to Wikinews, though apparently later he lost interest. I can only speculate on his motives, but he was known for being keenly interested in the visitor statistics of the projects, and, indeed, one of his main arguments to have this news project on Wikipedia and not Wikinews, was exactly that on Wikinews it would have been much less visible.
  • He seemed to keep low-profile on Wikipedia ever since, probably fearing a ban, but I had another encounter with him just 3 months ago. It was again a cleverly manipulated translation of an otherwise genuine information—this time a statement by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on the arrest of Julian Assange—that completely distorted its message in a very specific direction. He was so stubborn in his insistence to get this (and another, also misleading) information into the article that in the end I had to use a block to stop him.
  • I haven't examined his contributions to Wikinews in detail, but one thing clearly stands out: an “Open letter to the institutions”, published literally under this name and without any commentary, as if Wikinews at least endorses it. Personally, in this case, I may even sympathise with the cause, but it isn't even remotely related to WMF's mission, and Stanqo has neither asked the community for approval, nor even notified it. Needless to say, such actions risk ruining the respect that the projects command for their neutrality.
⁎ * ⁎

Back to the discussion in question, I was extremely worried by Grigor's view of Stanqo's participation in the Bulgarian Wikinews:

  • Earlier here, he wrote “A lot of people in BG Wikipedia - including you [Luchesar] - know very well that at least two of these [editors] (me and Stanqo) are around [in bgnews] and active.” (emphases are mine).
  • Although he seemed to somewhat downplay Stanqo's role in the RfC discussion (see also my reply that follows), on bgnews he actually openly defended Stanqo, writing:
As for Stanqo - I'm not following what he does in Wikipedia, [but] here [in Wikinews] he has [indeed] had some not-that-good contributions years ago. For the last half a year, however, I carefully follow his contributions here, and they are completely okay. I haven't noticed a single hate piece, nor an attempt to get involved in political matters. At least during this time he is presenting himself as a conscientious and valuable editor. What will [his contributions] be in the future I don't know, just like I don't know about anybody else - but for the time being I have no reasons to think bad about him.
  • Later, after a few comments by Stanqo and me, focusing on whether the WMF's projects may or may not be used for advocacy and propaganda and to what extent the editors are free to express personal positions in the articles themselves, Grigor added:
I would like to point out that I appreciate the qualities of Stanqo as a Wikinews editor for his contributions to Wikinews. If I had to evaluate his qualities as a Wikipedia editor, I would appreciate them for his contributions to Wikipedia. I think this would be the right approach for anyone who wants to give a real and valid evaluation to an editor, Luchesar. What will be his contributions to Wikinews for the future I have no way of knowing, and I suppose you [don't know] too. What they were in the distant past - [well,] in the distant past we were all soiling the diapers and dripping snot.

Even in this particular case, let me draw your attention - publishing open letters is a standard news practice. In Wikipedia it undoubtedly has no place, but in Wikinews it could be admissible, subject to standard journalistic rules.
  • I reminded Grigor that we weren't talking about “the time when we all soiled our diapers”, but about a clear case of bad faith editing a mere 3 months ago. I also noted that while publishing open letters may indeed be “standard news practice”, it should at least be accompanied by a proper commentary, at the very least in the lines of “X published an open letter to the institutions, the text of which we provide here without changes”. I couple of comments later, Grigor basically repeated his point:
If you allow me [to share] a personal opinion, here at Wikinews Stanqo has had some not-that-good contributions, but also many good ones. I think it is fair for a man to be judged not only for his mistakes, but also for his good contributions. (My position is limited to Wikinews - I have not followed his contributions on Wikipedia and have no opinion about them.)
  • As this was beginning to look like a case of argumentum ad infinitum (by the way, I noticed the very same behaviour in this subthread too), I made a concise recap of my points. And—since by that time I had also finished working on the user activity stats—I noted how unreasonable seemed Grigor's claim that he had been “carefully following” Stanqo's contributions “for the last half a year”, when, in fact, during that period (and before July 19th, when he showed up to support Grigor in the voting), Stanqo had exactly two edits—from July 11. His previous edit was on 15 November 2018, and the one before that—on October 18. And both of these edits from July 11 were on that “open letter to the institutions”.
  • Actually, all Stanqo's contributions after his attempt to carry on with his fake news project on Wikinews in late 2016—and before July 19—are just six in total, of which half on the “letter”. When I presented these numbers to Grigor, commenting that not only this couldn't be taken as a serious proof for someone being “a conscientious and valuable editor”, but also probably indicating that Grigor hadn't even looked at Stanqo's contributions, Grigor replied:
I repeat: I did not follow what Stanqo wrote on Wikipedia, so I do not judge his presentation there, I am not competent. I only discuss his presentation here. Also, I do not judge him only by his old contributions - people change over time, so I emphasize the new ones. Yes, there are not many [contributions] - that's often the case with small projects like Wikinews, [as] you must know from your experience. But the way they are, in my opinion they are not in violation of the principles and practices of the Wikimedia Foundation and/or of Wikinews in particular. Correct me if I am wrong.
  • Feeling already frustrated, I just commented that “closing one's eyes to the facts, regardless of the reasons, never leads to anything good”. Finally—and what in the end prompted me to share this—in reply Grigor wrote:
Let's say it directly. Can you point out a contribution by Stanqo here for the last year, which is fake news, manipulation or otherwise unacceptable? I don't see one, but maybe I missed it. Please refute me - point out specific unacceptable contributions!
  • In the light of everything presented above, IMHO this is, at the very least, an attempt to shift the burden of proof. And it isn't the only such case: in the other subthread that I mentioned, as well as in other places, Grigor has written numerous times that his news site, speshno.info, could be deemed an unreliable source only if someone managed to prove that there was—as he put it down in this example—a “significant percentage of bad news” on the site:
Be honest - do you have any objections to the objectivity, truthfulness and so on of the information [that came] from speshno.info? Can you point out a significant percentage of bad news from there? If yes, I will agree with you that the site is not a credible source.
  • If you are unaware of the speshno.info case, there's a brief summary on the voting rules RfC. TL;DR: The largest content on bgnews today are the ~1200 articles that Grigor uploaded from this site in 2009–2013. The site is banned on bgwiki, because the articles have no authors and the site lists no contact information. In addition, speshno.info presents as its two “partner sites” (and has always presented these, contrary to Grigor's own claims) two ones implicated in spreading disinformation and propaganda.
  • On his part, Grigor claims that he is actually the person behind the site, and while “To what extent and where will I disclose this [fact about being behind the site] is my personal choice, [as] I have some considerations for it, etc.”, the community, he writes in the same diff, must accept the website as reliable, because “So yes, I can totally say - [the person] behind [this] website is me and [thus, behind it also is] my reputation [as an editor] here, good or bad.”
⁎ * ⁎

To me, if taken in isolation, Grigor's claims aren't completely void of reason. WP:AGF, one of the fundamental behavioural guidelines here, teaches us to assume that people who work on the projects are trying to help them—not hurt them. And even if they had, indeed, done wrong in the past, they could still change for the better and become valuable contributors. It also goes without saying that someone's reputation in the projects shouldn't be dismissed light-handedly.

But AGF's “in a nutshell” also starts with “unless there is clear evidence to the contrary”, and in Stanqo's case, in my eyes, there is way more than enough such clear evidence. And about the reputation—as I've summed it up here—“the reputation as an editor in the projects cannot automatically be extended to mean a reputation as a journalist”. That even if we ignore the specifics about what exactly is that reputation and what is the particular news source in question.

And all this is just a small part of the complete picture. More important was perhaps Grigor's attempt to change the voting rules in the middle of the vote on the articles from speshno.info—a change that would've eliminated all votes, apart from his own and that of another editor who supported him. As it failed, it was followed by repeated threats with the stewards against anybody who would close the vote “against” Grigor and Stanqo's idea of “established WMF practices”, presenting such act as “unacceptable for a Wikimedia Foundation project”, and stating (in the same diff) “[I am] confident that [WMF's] staff would also support this view”. Fair enough, Grigor hasn't claimed that the Foundation will support him, but it still, at least, raises ethical questions.

Last but definitely not least, the user activity stats seem to say a lot about the actual progress of the effort to “revive” the project, undertaken by Grigor more than 9 months ago. Apart from the rather small absolute numbers—a far cry from Grigor's own bar of “over a dozen [quality contributors] - I see this as a minimum for a healthy project”—the editing dynamics seem to show strong correlation with the discussions about the project's problems. Once those discussions run out of steam, the editing activity all but ceases too, only to be followed by another spike once someone raises the issues again. Most telling to me is the hectic activity prompted by the vote on speshno.info in July, after months of dormancy. And it was still, essentially, produced by a mere 2 editors, one of whom was Stanqo.

I'll rather leave to the readers to draw any further conclusions. But I'll be happy to hear opinions as well, as sometimes I begin to question myself: is it only me who sees all this as something quite wrong and alarming.
— Luchesar • T/C 14:51, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

Yes, that's almost just your opinion --Stanqo (talk) 20:01, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
Luchesar It's not just you. I voted for deletion, and since then I'm getting more and more proof that this project must be deleted. Grigor wanted an year, to get 12 active contributors, to have healthy project, almost 11 months have passed, and he got 1 half-active one. This project is dead and full of unreliable news from Grigor's website, which already did a lot of damage to the image of the community. It looks like we can't handle a simple situation of unreliable news posted in conflict of interest from an administrator, which was not even voted for such, and his permissions given 10 years ago, because he may need to clean after his bot. --StanProg (talk) 11:28, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

13 August 2019

So, Stanqo has just tried to tamper with the user activity stats. In the meantime, people who ask for some basic rules to be followed in Wikinews, are now even verbally abused (see the comment by 78.83.104.96 in “I'm looking for a recommendation for regional sports news” and also the thread in general). And we also have Wikinews used as a personal noticeboard for a certain vlogger, who caused a lot of controversy by seriously breaking the rules of one of the National parks in Bulgaria. Later article even went as far as to damn those who had criticized the vlogger as “viciously attacking (...) an enterprising young man”. The same article also took care to announce that the vlogger was seeking donations to pay his fine (never mind that he actually made some good money from all that publicity itself), stopping just shy of providing a direct link, but helpfully finishing with “the vlogger's channel on YouTube is XXXXXX”.

This project, IMHO, is really crossing already too many boundaries (take at least a look at Requests for comment/Voting in bg.wikinews by non-contributors to get some broader idea of the situation).
— Luchesar • T/C 14:20, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

I returned the edit to which the statistics are displayed, because in the next editorials you did not see anything. --Stanqo (talk) 07:32, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
Not sure if I understand correctly, but if you didn't like the collapsing, you could've simply removed the mw-autocollapse divs—no need to also remove a bunch of data and important formatting. Or even just suggest this here or on the talk page, no?
— Luchesar • T/C 08:02, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
I didn't realize there was a collapse, so I returned where it was visible. --Stanqo (talk) 16:30, 17 August 2019 (UTC)

15 August 2019

After the owner of speshno.info and an administrator in the Bulgarian Wikinews Grigor, refused to accept the voting on deletion of the news copied from his website and linking to it, a news that do not have a single verifiable source, claiming that for some of the news he was present on the event and the others were sent by email to him as a press releases, he decided to request a comment on meta. He asked two editors, selected personally by him. One of the answers was "Delete the pages.", and the other "However, after reading Steven's above opinions, I begin to concur the suggestion that the pages copied from or into speshno.info be deleted ASAP. " Now we have a new claims from him: "The situation is completely different now, and I didn't notice any of the editors here to invite you. The difference is like sleeping in an empty house after being invited by the only person who lives in it, and pushing to sleep in the same house when it is no longer empty and the residents do not want you (and you to invite other people to sleep there with you). Do you think that once you were invited, you already have the right to invite yourself when you want and to invite others, and that the hosts have no right to refuse you? I wouldn't think so." Obviously, to vote in the Bulgarian Wikinews you need a personal invitation from Grigor or Zelenkroki, because these were the only two contributors, that on the day when I initiated a voting were covering his requirements - 10 contributions in the main namespace in the last year, which by the way he invented & wanted to enforce 2 days after the voting started. It seems that Bulgarian Wikinews has turned into closed "Grigor & Friend(s)" project. Such behaviour is far from acceptable for an administrator, despite the fact that his sysop rights were given by the local bureaucrat (2 November 2009) just to clean after his bot, when Grigor was basically the only contributor there. Now, he's abusing this and is trying to proclaim himself as "owner of the house". That's just not acceptable. The project undermines the credibility of the entire Bulgarian wikimedian community. This project must be closed for good. --StanProg (talk) 17:38, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

After reading above and then Iliev's reply to my suggestion as an alternative, I think the original discussion needs to be reopened as soon as possible. That way, I can vote on the fate of this project. Seems that both of the editors are running out of patience with this project. George Ho (talk) 22:01, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Iliev and friends are also just a dozen people, but claim a monopole on all Wikimedia projects. Hardly right. --Stanqo (talk) 16:38, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
 Iliev and friends are also just a dozen people, but claim a monopole on all Wikimedia projects. Hardly right. 
You know, I never wanted to point to this, as I consider it more “a responsibility”, “a privilege to serve” if you like, and not something “to be proud of". But here it would answer you in the best possible way: pure facts. Nothing more, nothing less.
So, here we go:
Granted, it is entirely possible that I have a really large army of cronies. I'll let everyone judge this by themselves.
Cheers,
— Luchesar • T/C 17:52, 17 August 2019 (UTC)


Where do you get that desire to control all Wikimedia projects? Don't you suppose you are chasing a lot of people? --Stanqo (talk) 20:20, 17 August 2019 (UTC)


It's hardly “all Wikimedia projects”, Stanqo. And you seem to make the not-so-uncommon mistake to see the sysop (or even 'crat) rights as some sort of “royal sceptre”. Not only the sysops are bound by rules, which they must obey, and are subject to community control, but the core idea itself is that the administrators are servants to the community and its protectors—not its “masters”, as you and, apparently, Grigor, seem to think.
As for “chasing [off] people”, yes, that's part of the job: chasing off vandals and—what you, I'm sure, dislike—those who spread disinformation. I'm sorry, it really isn't personal. But you must also realize that your “truthshave no place here.
— Luchesar • T/C 01:22, 18 August 2019 (UTC)


These are not my truths but the facts:
1. You have deleted the box of the Current Events Portal from the Home Page to put the Macedonia Portal in its place. The Current Events Portal has been developing for six years as a link between Wikipedia and Wikinews.
2. Why did you not put the box on the Home page, for example, of the Mizia Portal or the Thrace Portal, and exactly the Macedonia portal you are a member of?
3. The rest of Wikipedia does not appear on the Macedonian Portal Permanent Home Page, but is the Current Events Portal, but you have deleted it and put in its place the Macedonia Portal.
4. As there was neither a Current Events Portal nor a Wikinews project in Macedonian Wikipedia, it follows that in Wikipedia's Bulgarian projects these were unnecessary projects and had to be eliminated.
5. If you do not do these biased things, prove by removing the box on the Macedonia Portal homepage and relinquishing administrative rights. --Stanqo (talk) 08:17, 18 August 2019 (UTC)


Let me remind you that your “Current Events Portal” was deleted after an AfD vote of 13:2—possibly the most active AfD discussion ever on the Bulgarian projects—where the opposing votes were:
  • yours;
  • one editor who preferred to keep the project, and instead just have you banned from Wikipedia.
The rest, I'm afraid, I don't even quite understand. Or do you mean “What's new” on bgwiki's Main page that commemorates the 20,000th article in “Wikiproject Macedonia” and the first “wikitown”, Botevgrad?
Finally, instead of asking me to prove anything to you by “relinquishing [my] admin rights”, wouldn't it be better if you simply asked the community to revoke those rights? After all, they were granted by that very community and the community always has the right to take them back if it deems they were misused or abused. You can propose that on the RfA page. Here's one example, and here, albeit on Wiktionary, the voting was exactly on my rights to be revoked.
If you'd still find it difficult, please let me know and I'll prepare the proposal for you. This isn't sarcasm, I consider it part of the job, but I will, of course, still appreciate if you'd at least write the motives yourself.
— Luchesar • T/C 11:15, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
This is the whole 6 year project "Current events". 7000 events described over 6 years, of which 6 support me as manipulative. --Stanqo (talk) 15:18, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

Closure discussion (22 August 2019)

LangCom is leaning toward closing this project, with the question remaining as to whether to delete it outright or simply locking it. Discussion around that question is welcome, but remember that all comments and !votes are advisory; LangCom (in conjunction with the Board) has sole authority to make the final decision. StevenJ81 (talk) 15:08, 22 August 2019 (UTC)

Thank you very much, StevenJ81!
As far as my opinion counts, I'm perfectly fine with either hard-closing/Locking or deleting the project. There's a single original news, a coverage of the 2014 CEE meeting, but we could move it to bgwiki or Meta if necessary. As I wrote here, I fear that there are serious challenges before such projects in general—which need equally serious forethought and careful (and realistic!) planning. Some language communities, I know, might fare better in this. But, as much as I regret saying it, for bgnews I can't see hope for the foreseeable future: there are too many problems to solve (I speak even about Bulgaria's problems in general), and too few people both capable and willing to do the job. So, it's better to carefully choose where those scarce resources are invested. That's why to me either solution is fine. I don't know, probably Wikinews in general needs a new approach to make it more viable and robust in the realities of today, which are different, compared to those in the early 2000's. But that's, of course, out of the scope of this discussion.
— Luchesar • T/C 18:26, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
  • I, too, (begin to) think that the project should be closed right away. Then all articles using "speshno.info" as a source must be deleted ASAP. As for the rest of the content, uncertain... But I don't mind the project being locked away and untouched (i.e. extremely restricted). George Ho (talk) 20:35, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Sadly, the stream of misinformation in bgnews continues. The latest news from today, A Russian humanoid robot was launched into space on August 22, 2019, in the text presents this robot, likely due to just negligence (but still), as “the first [ever] life-size humanoid robot” launched into space. Not only this isn't correct at all—the Robonaut dates from the 2000's and the early 2010's—but even the cited source clearly and unambiguously describes it in its own text as the first such Russian robot.
In light of the numerous other problematic pieces that came from the revival attempt, I'm inclined—unless there are reasonable objections—to delete all such news. Here's what else I think is best cleaned if the project is just locked (i.e. not outright deleted):
The remaining a little over 100 articles were discussed on bgwiki last year (there's a list there as well). Given how some lack sources and the rest merely repeat their sources, I feel that nothing is going to be lost if they are deleted, but I'd be fine with whatever the community decides on them. The only exception is that coverage of the 2014 CEE meeting, which I already mentioned, and which may be best moved to Meta (I guess, and I'd also translate it to English) or to bgwiki.
— Luchesar • T/C 12:32, 24 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove all, i.e. delete. Reason: Old news is not like old encyclopedia articles. Taking what Luchesar wrote, if the questionable content is outright deleted and only ~100 news articles from 2014 remain, I doubt their value (as a locked project) even more. The only reason I can see for keeping is it can serve as evidence as why the project was closed. However I don't see that as a reason enough, so delete. (My opinion.) --Петър Петров (talk) 15:29, 24 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep all articles. There is a procedure to discuss and vote on the removal of a separate article. All serious language projects have Wikinews, only Macedonians are not interested in news - why imitate them? I consider it a national betrayal to delete the project. No other multilingual project breaks the old news --Stanqo (talk) 08:15, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove all, non of those pages are made by themselves, they are simply copyvios. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 10:28, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Старите новини - не са новини. --Rumensz (talk) 18:03, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
“Old news is no news” is what Rumensz has written (to save some time with Google translate). — Luchesar • T/C 22:20, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
For many people, old news is a valuable source of information. --Stanqo (talk) 12:38, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Provided that they are not merely repeating other sources or even infringing their copyright, and—even more importantly—that they are unbiased and factually correct. This isn't the case with bgnews.
— Luchesar • T/C 12:46, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
No one throws the baby with the dirty water unless he wants to get rid of the baby. --Stanqo (talk) 13:31, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Assuming there is a baby there, and not some monster, even if at first sight looking harmless.
— Luchesar • T/C 13:57, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Everyone sees things in their own unique way, so there are no common truths. For example, why the "bad" Trump wins when the media expects is Clinton. The American people had a different perspective from that of the media. Deeds matter much more than even the most beautiful words --Stanqo (talk) 16:34, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Yup, “no common truths” in the world of yours. Precisely why this project must be burned to the ground with everything inside it.
— Luchesar • T/C 17:11, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
The Middle Ages are gone - we already know that everything is changing, including knowledge. Especially living knowledge is devoid of dogmas and rules. --Stanqo (talk) 19:22, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Speaking of truths, I got a bit tired of being slandered - the copyvio claim is very much not the first attempt. So I resorted to soliciting an opinion from a leading Bulgarian legal expert on intellectual property and copyright. His well-argumented opinion is that there is no copyright violation.
Looks like Stanqo was not completely right. This is not throwing away the baby with the dirty water - turns out, there is no dirty water. How is called throwing out the baby only? "... this project must be burned to the ground with everything inside it"?
Well, if one craves to be remembered, that is a way too. Herostrates and Nero were. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 21:17, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
Regarding the possible copyvio, I see your expert opining that there isn't such, because: 1) the title differs, 2) the bulgarian text is ~50% smaller, 3) only two sentences (out of six) are “very close to literal translation”, 4) the Bulgarian copyright law does not allow copyrighting news. I'm no lawyer, and this isn't a court, anyway, but in cases like this, I prefer to err on the side of protecting the Foundation from unnecessary legal trouble. And if we need lawyers' opinions, it means there's at least place for concern (anyone can decide on their own if it's reasonable enough by looking at the comparison table). In any case, to me the only legal opinion that would matter, is of WMF's own legal team, because, again, the Foundation is the one that risks being sued (also because the US copyright laws may be more relevant than the respective Bulgarian ones). But I do understand how you may have felt personally offended since it was your work that has been, effectively, criticized, even if nobody here mentioned your name. I'm sorry if it, nevertheless, sounded personal. As for Stanqo “putting it even too mildly”, please see my comment below.
— Luchesar • T/C 07:21, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove All. Don't like the idea of Wikipedia with news. If someone needs more place for same information, let it be out of Wikipedia. News are so sensitive and fakeable that we should have some time for things to be checked before writing them down, and if something is important it will has its place in a Wikipedia article. -- Xunonotyk (talk) 11:39, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Knowledge is conditional and also subject to change over time - but is that not a reason not to write on Wikipedia too? By this logic we can also close Wikipedia. --Stanqo (talk) 12:33, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Knowledge could be wrong, that's why we have many contributors in Wikipedia to verify it. In the news section there is only 1 opinion, 1 author, 1 source. Writing news in Wikipedia is like selling post cards in the middle of NYSE – wrong time, wrong place. -- Xunonotyk (talk) 18:24, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Not true - It is advisable to include all existing viewpoints in Wikinews. --Stanqo (talk) 19:28, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Being well aware that this is not a voting procedure, and that I will repeat my last year comment: Bulgarian Wikinews has always been a dead horse, and the right thing to do is finally dismount–and bury–it. In addition: in the capacity of a news outlet it has never been able to attract the attention of professional journalists (even after the conscious attempts in this direction that were claimed to have been made), and I am afraid that this is not just a local phenomenon, but an error by design, all the more a predictable one. In the capacity of a WMF supported / Wikipedia related project it has never been able to accumulate large enough crowd of local wiki volunteers to shift their focus from Wikipedia (and the other more vibrant local sister project as Wikisource, Wikiquote) and start maintaining it in a way that a proper news outlet requires and deserves to be maintained. The efforts invested in BG Wikinews over the years have always looked to me an attempt to satisfy one's ego at all costs, rather than approach the reading audience with responsibility and respect to journalistic ethics and the fundamental rules of this profession. I am worried that keeping the project, even as an infrastructure, will keep attracting wrong people who misunderstand (in the best case), or directly misuse the resources and reputation of such a Wikipedia-related website. Spiritia 06:10, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
     I am worried that keeping the project, even as an infrastructure, will keep attracting wrong people who misunderstand (in the best case), or directly misuse the resources and reputation of such a Wikipedia-related website. 
    This. — Luchesar • T/C 08:20, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
Wikinews is in the moment of developing citizen journalism. A gathering place for all the different points of view. That's what we want - to gather "all the knowledge of the world." In contrast to most projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikinews allows original work under the form of original reporting and interviews. "Wikinews is not Wikipedia or any other project; it is a unique and distinct project with its own policies and processes." --Stanqo (talk) 08:33, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
Agree with Spiritia unreservedly. To Stanqo - you are free to make your own website, wish you luck--Ket (talk) 09:31, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
Let's leave the door of Bulgarian citizen journalism open - new generations are growing with new energy. Wikinews does not interfere with or compete in any way with Wikipedia. --Stanqo (talk) 09:43, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
 Let's leave the door for biased journalism and propaganda in the WMF projects open 
Fixed that for you. — Luchesar • T/C 10:27, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
To open the doors of knowledge wide - without dogmas and restrictions. There are no fire, but the information continues to be banned and destroyed. --Stanqo (talk) 12:05, 28 August 2019 (UTC)


Spiritia, please say again about the more vibrant Wikisource and Wikiquote?
Mainspace(s) contributions for the last month:
  • BG Wikisource: 15
  • BG Wikiqoute: 31
  • BG Wikinews: 170 (over 10 times these in Wikisource, over 5 times these of Wikiquote, over 3 times them combined)
Yes, Wikinews was inactive for a very long time, and that is my fault to a big degree. Now however it picks up pace. Could it be that it is time to change your opinion about it?
Also, if you sincerely believe that attacking from Wikipedia and closing a project against the desire of its editors will attract them to Wikipedia instead, maybe it will make more sense to close Wikisource or Wikiquote? (I would be against it: I feel no desire to confirm Konstantin Jireček's saying of what he least understands about the Bulgarians.)
Yes, Wikinews never attracted professional journalists. But is this a reason to close a WMF project? The Bulgarian Wikipedia also never attracted professional encyclopaedia writers. To my best knowledge, even most of the English Wikipedia editors aren't professionals at it. While trying to recruit editors for Wikipedia, I have heard this - including the part 'this project is an error by design' - more than once as an argument to get rid of it instead. I remember quoting it to you, and you appeared to not approve of it, to say the least. So, maybe it is not a mortal sin for Wikinews too?
As for the efforts that looked to you "an attempt to satisfy one's ego at all costs", I have heard that about Wikipedia too, also far too many times. And we have talked about these too, and to my best memory, you didn't agreed with them, to put it mildly. So, could you please be specific and say whose exactly ego the Wikinews efforts looked to you an attempt to satisfy? I believe that this might be a starting point for overcoming the prejudices and misunderstandings about BG Wikinews. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 21:17, 28 August 2019 (UTC)


Yet Wikinews “picks up pace” in large part due to Stanqo's activity. “For the last month”, as you give example, Stanqo has 145 contributions against 123 of all other editors, including you, who also support keeping the project open. And none of these “active contributors” seem even concerned about the troubling views he's expressing or his very problematic past. The only criticism for him from you about that video he posted was about the source of the video being “not very reliable”. “Not very reliable”, when we speak about a video that praises war criminals, instills chauvinism, and labels anyone who “doesn't want to fight [against our enemies from Western Europe and the US]” as “the saboteurs [of] Bulgaria” in a typical fascist/nazi/far-right rhetoric. Obviously our views on this matter differ tremendously—to me that was enough to warn Stanqo, given his now long history of abuse, that the next time he posts something like this, or any other false information, to Wikipedia, he will get an immediate indef block there.
I'm sorry, but to me this “picking up pace” is therefore a very worrying sign, rather than a good one. And when drawing parallels to the Bulgarian Wikipedia, let's not forget that there are tens of very active editors there and hundreds of reasonably active. This makes it a healthy community, even if still on the small side. In bgwikinews we have, what, three “active contributors”? Who, on top of that, see themselves as “the hosts” of the project. If anything, this isn't how the WMF projects work.
— Luchesar • T/C 07:21, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
Oh, and I'm also sorry for bringing this up again, but I think it must be, seeing how you address Spiritia. You do remember, don't you, how you were comfortably handed sysop rights—not voted, just “appointed”—only because it was Spiritia who personally vouched before Cary to grant bureaucrat rights to Bobby (which the stewards otherwise refused doing), so that you, Grigor, would be able to “develop the project”? And what did you do with those rights, in the end? Abused them (or attempted to abuse them, in any case) so that only you and your buddies would have the right to vote—not even Spiritia, not even Bobby. I'm really trying hard to keep this non-personal, but, yes, the personal integrity—or, rather, the lack thereof—is also one of the fundamental problems in this project.
— Luchesar • T/C 12:03, 29 August 2019 (UTC)


Luchesar, not even a word about my arguments above?... As for yours:
You are constantly screaming about Stanqo's participation in bgwikinews, and having issues with me saying that currently he behaves there as a responsible and valuable editor. However, why don't you bring his many bad edits as proofs? Frankly, because he doesn't do bad edits more than any typical editor, at least for the last few months. All you wave around is a news about an open letter, published by him, that quotes the letter. Is publishing open letters unheard of in reputable media?... Yes, he has some unorthodox views which I too believe should have no place in Wikinews. However, the difference between your approach to the two projects is striking. In Wikipedia, you welcome his good edits, and only threaten him with a block if he posts crazy stuff. In Wikinews, you demand closing the entire project because he has (good) edits there, and potentially could insert bad ones. Am I the only one who sees a less than balanced or realistic approach there? Would it be reasonable to demand closing bgwiki too because of Stanqo? If not, why should it be reasonable for bgwikinews?
Yes, the editors in a project are those who are effectively the hosts of it. That is exactly how the WMF projects work - this is the only way for a community to feel responsible for its project and to defend it from spammers, fake news writers and other attackers. That is, for example, what you practice in bgwiki when you threaten an editor, eg. Stanqo, with a block if he posts bad stuff. Why do you have problems with editors in other projects feeling the same?
I addressed Spiritia with facts. You try to make the case that since she was involved with me having sysop rights, I should never correct her when she is wrong. (Yes, she is wrong - unless you want to argue with the statistics made by WMF.) That position of yours is an excellent example how WMF projects don't work. Yes, I am thankful to her for stepping up for me, and believe that this position of hers is a honest mistake - but dare to politely point out this mistake.
And you are blaming me for wanting for the project exactly the same voting mode as that in bgwiki. Can Bobby vote in bgwiki? No, he can't. Right?... But I bring this position of yours not to show its hypocrisy. There is a reason to want a substantial contribution to a project for those who would vote or create votes in it. Every viable free project, of WMF or not, has an equivalent rule, as a mandatory element of the meritocracy that is the basic of the very idea of the free projects. As our situation clearly shows, it is vital for protecting a project from malicious attacks. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 20:46, 31 August 2019 (UTC)


 You are constantly screaming about Stanqo's participation (...) why don't you bring his many bad edits as proofs 
Do you even read the discussions, Grigor? How many times more should I point to this, this, and this?
 he doesn't do bad edits more than any typical editor 
He absolutely does. There's a reason why he still isn't autopatrolled—10 years later. Don't think there has ever been another such editor.
 Yes, he has some unorthodox views 
“Unorthodox views”, indeed...
  • “The soldiers of Arkan were natural born killers, natural born soldiers, who were scaring the Americans to death”
  • “Bulgaria is sabotaged by foreign security services”
  • “Bulgarian emigrants to Western Europe are taken as hostages”
  • “The way you kill those people in Western Europe is by spreading diseases or staging martial law, mass riots
  • “The Western European countries and the US want to take our territories”
  • “All those who are not prepared to fight them, who don't want to fight, are the saboteurs of Bulgaria.”
I'm sorry that I have to say it, but labeling such crap as “unorthodox views” is typical apologist rhetoric.
 In Wikipedia, you welcome his good edits 
No, he has been tolerated. After everything here, though, it's obvious that we've been way too lenient and—truth be told—too busy to pay proper attention. Well, no more. Same about you, by the way.
 you demand closing the entire project because he has (good) edits there (...) Would it be reasonable to demand closing bgwiki too because of Stanqo? 
Grigor, are you really not seeing the difference or do you think you're talking to people so stupid, they can't see the difference themselves? Stanqo has 104 edits in bgwiki for 2019, out of 452K total. That's 0.02%! In bgwikinews, and only in August, he has 185 edits out of ~340 “revival attempt” human (i.e. non-bot) edits. That's 54%. And of the only two other serious contributors, one—you—stands by him, while the other seems to not care at all.
This is why I absolutely think that this project must be closed and deleted—for good.
 the editors in a project are (...) the hosts of it (...) That is, for example, what you practice in bgwiki when you threaten an editor, eg. Stanqo, with a block if he posts bad stuff 
Except that nobody on bgwiki has (so far) deprived Stanqo of his right to vote—despite even his bad edits. But what did you do in bgwikinews, Grigor? “As the administrator of the Bulgarian Wikinews”—never mind not even being voted by the community—you proclaimed in the middle of a voting process that the already cast votes were “invalid”. Did those people have “bad edits”? No. Your problem with them was that they deemed your contributions unacceptable.
So you just tried to stop them. Abusing administrative privileges that were handed to you as a token of trust—circumventing the existing RfA rules, which require the sysops to be elected.
Do you not really see the very, very serious moral issue here?
 And you are blaming me for wanting for the project exactly the same voting mode as that in bgwiki. Can Bobby vote in bgwiki? No, he can't. Right? 
What is the point of throwing in such totally absurd claims? You do know—or do you not—that Bobby is a bureaucrat in bgwiki. So, yes, he absolutely can vote there. And he can vote in all other Bulgarian-language projects too.
Except, that is, for bgwikinews. Because in bgwikinews only people invited personally by Grigor or Stanqo are allowed to vote.
 That is exactly how the WMF projects work (...) it is vital for protecting a project from malicious attacks 
Yes, “malicious attacks” from Wikipedia editors who “simply want this project to be destroyed, or at least to destroy whatever can be destroyed”. And LangCom staff who give “incompatible with the meaning of [your] duties advice”.
Well, I think very soon you and your buddies—with the “unorthodox views”—will learn a bit or two about “how the WMF projects actually work”.
— Luchesar • T/C 23:27, 31 August 2019 (UTC)


  • Remove Remove all or do a massive cleanup before closing. That was my opinion at September last year and since then the project is going from bad to worse. Out of the 1680 news the 1239 news are already voted to be deleted, there are pages marked for quick delete, pages without any source, pages from questionable sources (like the official newspaper of the Bulgarian party Attack). After this cleanup there will be up to 100-200 articles which could cover the basic policy. I'm not sure if they are worth keeping. Grigor had almost an year, to revive the project, finding at least a dozen active contributors, but he failed in that. After the voting for removing the news from his website, there is some increased activity, but the active contributors remained just 3, one of them with questionable reputation and the other one highly unexperienced. The Bulgarian Wikinews became more or less a personal project of Grigor and he tends to treat it as such. Having in mind the small Bulgarian community, the project is unlikely to be reopened, so deletion is probably better solution. --StanProg (talk) 08:01, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Notice why we cannot stop the destruction of the Amazonia - the legitimate authority thinks everything is in order. --Stanqo (talk) 08:33, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
Congratulations, StanProg!
Освен, че сте очаквал един-единствен участник да разчиства, при това, именно статии, които са имали източник със свободен лиценз, точно подходящ за изискванията на Уикимедия, Вие сте разчитал от небето да паднат журналисти с опит в укитехнологиите. Не се съмнявам, че Вие никога не сте бил крайно неумел участник. Но някои започват от нулата.
Congratulations from the other one highly unexperienced. --89.106.101.235 09:45, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
Resorting to petty anonymous ad hominem only proves further why this project must be closed for good—and the sooner, the better.
— Luchesar • T/C 18:00, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support closure but delete inappropriate articles. Vlad5250 (talk) 11:46, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep the project alive - it finally wakes up now, after a lot of efforts. All contributors to the project want it preserved. All who want it closed are non-contributors and outsiders to it. Would a reasonable person close eg. the English Wikipedia if that is requested by several millions of detractors who never contributed to it, against the desire of its editors? The scale here is different, but the principle is the same.
The discussion about the closing very well demonstrates the actual motive of the proposal - closing a project against the desire of its editors, with invented arguments that don't stand scrutiny. (Obviously the actual motive behind the initiative to close the project stands no chance for approval.) It makes a long and unpleasant, but very educating read, and would make a textbook example of how a volunteer project can be attacked by outsiders and defended by its participants, and how that can be handled or mis-handled by the decision makers.
Such a closing will create a precedent both for destroying WMF projects against the desire of their participants, and for satisfying proposals that directly contradict the mission of WMF. Sooner or later, this practice will inevitably attract the attention of the media and the people, and will shift the attitude towards WMF and its projects in a predictable direction. When that happens, even reversing all these decisions and parting with the people who promoted and supported them might not be enough to restore the image of WMF. So, such a closing also bears risks that a prudent and responsible person would best avoid.
The alternative - leaving the project to continue and recover further - bears no risks or negative consequences in the real world. It creates no problems to anyone, except to people bent on destroying other people's work.
For all these reasons, refusing to close the project is the only choice that makes sense. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 14:05, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
Grigor, the LangCom and the Board have concluded to close the project. Your comments are just advisory, like any other comments, like mine. In other words, they have made up their minds about the troublesome project, and there's nothing you can do for them to reconsider the closure. Also, your argument, "Such a closing will create a precedent both for destroying WMF projects against the desire of their participants, and for satisfying proposals that directly contradict the mission of WMF," is a (fallacious) slippery slope. At least you can go to either English Wikinews or other venues either within (like Incubator) or outside (like off-wiki active establishments) the Wiki circle. Why not those alternatives to saving the project from closure? George Ho (talk) 05:39, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
If several people individually destroy the work of others, it will actually destroy the principle of the project of collective knowledge sharing. It will become the dictatorship of these few people. --Stanqo (talk) 09:20, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
A bit odd to hear this from one of the three people who change rules in the midst of a vote to make only their own votes valid—against numerous others... Don't you think?
— Luchesar • T/C 10:46, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
!!! George Ho - Iliev's profile???!!! - --Stanqo (talk) 09:32, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
And what exactly are you trying to suggest here?
— Luchesar • T/C 10:19, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Stanqo, please reconsider your claim. How would I understand and type Bulgarian language, like you and Iliev? Without substantial, convincing evidence, your claim is baseless. George Ho (talk) 11:11, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Clean up then lock. That's my preferred solution just because I think that the project makes an interesting case study for Wikinews as a concept in smaller communities. Obviously, it doesn't need stuff that is hosted elsewhere; but the actual original contributions from the site should be saved if they aren't obvious vandalism, unsourced works, copyright violations, or misinformation. Either way, StanProg articulates a position I find myself in agreement with to some extent. –MJLTalk 22:02, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

Formal closure recommendation to the Board

The proposal to close Bulgarian Wikinews was originally submitted in September 2018. At that time, the proposal was similar to other recent Wikinews closure requests, based mainly on inactivity and the apparent staleness of the project. Accordingly, LangCom gave interested parties time to recruit new contributors.

That said, the proposal was a deletion request, not merely a closure request, because of some pre-existing controversial, biased, and propaganda content. Over the last several months, a very small number of new contributors have become more involved. They support the point of view expressed in those pages, and/or seem to be ignoring the lack of journalistic integrity and rigor involved. To be sure, the number of people in question is small, and the amount of content created is small. In LangCom's view, the amount of new content being created would be marginal to justify trying to keep the project open, even if there were no other problems involved.

Adding to the problem now, the contributors are abusing advanced permissions and ignoring community requests to delete that questionable content (much of which is also of questionable currency) through changing !voting rules in mid-stream. We make particular note that the Wikinews sysop who initially requested the content deletion had invited wider participation in the discussion and voting, and objected to the change in rules. Yet, he declined to start a wheel war over it. (The explanation given for ignoring/changing the !vote is that the "community members" supporting the deletion are not properly members of the Bulgarian Wikinews community and therefore did not have a right to comment. Both the proposing sysop and LangCom felt that because of the very small size of the current community at Bulgarian Wikinews, a broader community was properly invited to participate in the discussion.)

LangCom has been watching this evolve for close to a year, and is no longer convinced that this project can continue to operate in line with WMF's principles. We also do not believe there is sufficient content of value in the wiki to leave it available even while locked. Further, the sysops on Incubator have told us they do not feel they can properly monitor a new Wikinews test on Incubator (because of a lack of language skills).

Accordingly, LangCom hereby proposes to the WMF Board that Bulgarian Wikinews be closed and (effectively) deleted, and that it should not be permitted to restart on Incubator. Consistent with the Closing Projects Policy, if the Board does not object to this proposal within seven days, the proposal is effectively ratified by the Board, and LangCom will proceed with the closure.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of LangCom: StevenJ81 (talk) 19:03, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

Discussion after LangCom's statement

  • Language projects should be developed, not destroyed, because discrimination and repression of cultures are taking place. In this way, Wikimedia becomes an institutional of certain forces, not a place of shared knowledge. --Stanqo (talk) 05:54, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
So, one of you accuses the Foundation of “becoming an institutional [sic] of certain forces” (being more specific about those “forces” might help to better understand your point, by the way), while the other one—as if nothing is happening—publishes a “redesigned” project Main page (never mind also many elements being broken), which boldly states “We are a group of volunteers whose mission is to present reliable, impartial and relevant news. (...) Wikinews stories are written from a neutral perspective to ensure fair and equitable reporting.” Do you, guys, indeed not realize that if virtually everyone outside of your tiny group of three people tells you that something isn't quite right, then it probably, just maybe, isn't? Or, at least may deserve to be considered more seriously. Or are you, in fact, so arrogant that you think you can simply bludgeon the whole community—and even the Foundation itself, in light also of Grigor's comments above—into yielding to your group?
— Luchesar • T/C 13:06, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
Anyone can contribute to the project. Why do several people want to destroy Bulgarian-language Wikinews? --Stanqo (talk) 15:08, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
Stanqo, I don't know why you want the Board to use its resources to preserve the already-problematic project. Also, can you explain how the project improves the Bulgarian community? The project has been plagued with bias, poor quality content, sourcing issues, low participation, etc. Also, why not try alternatives, like blogging, English Wikinews, Wikitribune, or crowdfunded journalism? --George Ho (talk) 16:06, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
Don't you understand Bulgarian? How do you even know what it is to give an opinion? --Stanqo (talk) 19:17, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
Stanqo, I very kindly ask you to reconsider carefully what you write and how you write it. I absolutely understand that the language barrier may be the reason for some awkward statements that you make, but I also cannot ignore the fact that you've never demonstrated any—at least recognizable—effort to mend those mistakes, not to mention making an apology. And I hope you very well know that attacking people, especially attacking them on such grounds as “but you don't understand Bulgarian, so you cannot have an opinion!”, is not the right way to discuss things. And this even ignoring the possibility that you're being sarcastic, having in mind your rather strange suggestions above of some possible connection between George Ho's account and mine—that you never cared to explain further, anyway.
— Luchesar • T/C 21:03, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
I would never allow myself to close other language projects. I defend the right of existence of Bulgarian projects. Every culture and language has its own right to express itself. --Stanqo (talk) 13:48, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Stanqo, I fully respect your right to defend and fight for your ideals and goals. But my point was rather about your own respect for the other people's views—and for them as human beings in general. Don't you think it may perhaps be appropriate for you to apologize for—or at least to explain, so that no misunderstanding remains—some earlier words of yours.
— Luchesar • T/C 14:49, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
I respect the views of all people, but I do not want to erase my hard work and the right to share information. I don't rub the information that other people share. We are heirs to an ancient Thracian culture and many people do not understand us. --Stanqo (talk) 15:00, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Thank you, Stanqo. One thing that probably hasn't been given enough attention so far—mostly because it would've been too early to discuss it—is that even if or when the project is closed and its contents perhaps deleted, you, Grigor, and Zelenkroki will be allowed to take the content and continue working on it and expanding it on another website, wiki or not (it's free knowledge, after all). It will just not be part of WMF's projects, including the Incubator (and, obviously, you also won't be allowed to use the name “Wikinews” and the respective visual elements, trademarked by the Foundation). But nobody is going to simply wipe out your—and other people's, for that matter—“hard work” (even if I have my own strong disagreements with views expressed in this “hard work”, I don't question the efforts that have been invested in it). And I think that was exactly one of the points that George Ho was making.
— Luchesar • T/C 15:19, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
The above comment was made before the addition about the “heirs to an ancient Thracian culture”. The latter is, generally speaking, true, but I'd like to point out, and even emphasize, that nobody here—either from within WMF, or from the global wikicommunity—is trying to belittle, disparage, or generally demonstrate disrespect for our Bulgarian culture or heritage. In the end, the proposal itself was submitted by a Bulgarian (yours truly) and most people who shared opinions were also Bulgarians. As for the “not understanding” part, to be really honest, I think it has nothing to do with any ancestry, Thracian or otherwise, but rather with the very views that you and your colleagues seem to share.
— Luchesar • T/C 15:34, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
The shared knowledge stored by the Wikimedia Foundation is the result of the work of millions of editors. The Foundation's policy has not yet become a permanent dogma, such as the work of the medieval Inquisition. Stanqo (talk) 15:38, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

┌─────────────────────────────┘
Stanqo, do you realize that what has already been decided (the Board still can intervene, anyway) wasn't a product of some blindly followed ”policy”, but the result of long deliberations with many people involved. Some of those people have even earned the right to have a (stronger) say on such matters—with their own “hard work” (seeing how you demand respect for yours). Drawing those parallels, then, to the “Medieval Inquisition” is at best tactless, and at worst—openly rude.

Don't you really think that you must change your attitude? And in case you are wondering why am I asking these questions—I'd very much like to finally draw a conclusion for myself if your participation in the projects (at least in the Bulgarian ones) still deserves to be tolerated. Free knowledge, or freedom in general, doesn't mean that one is entitled to do or say anything they want—and certainly not things that interfere with the freedom of other people. I hope I'm making myself very clear on this.
— Luchesar • T/C 16:08, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

I distinguish rather than resemble modern knowledge of medieval dogmas - you are again trying to manipulate and distort the statements of your opponents. I say that the present time is of living knowledge, not of medieval dogmas. Stanqo (talk) 16:32, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
I'm sorry if I misunderstood you, Stanqo. But then what was the intended meaning of “The Foundation's policy has not yet become a permanent dogma, such as the work of the medieval Inquisition.” My (probably incorrect) interpretation was that it “still could” become such—somehow. Like, “if the Foundation closes the project, it would, in fact, become to resemble the Inquisition, which was suppressing those with a prophetic insight”. Or did you want to say something different, indeed?
— Luchesar • T/C 17:38, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
No living knowledge built by millions of people can be embedded in a limited set of rules. They will always need to be changed and refined. Stanqo (talk) 21:02, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Can't say I'm really buying this explanation, but whatever. Again, please be very mindful of what you say to other people and how you say it; and do not only say that you respect their views, but also show that respect. Thanks.
— Luchesar • T/C 23:43, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
  • @StevenJ81: that it should not be permitted to restart on Incubator forever? Or just for a set period of time? It might be helpful to clarify under what conditions the project would be allowed to restart, since I doubt that LangCom means to say that a Bulgarian Wikinews can never exist again, ever. I also am unsure as to what is meant by he declined to start a wheel war over it and think this needs more clarity. There are a few rare times and places to wheel war (example: w:WP:FRAM) but the way this official statement from LangCom is phrased, it seems to reflect negatively on this one admin for not wheel warring, and this official statement from LangCom could be misconstrued to encourage wheel warring in all similar scenarios. I am also not sure that it is the purview of LangCom to make a statement on wheel warring at all, or on the use of advanced permissions in general. --Rschen7754 18:40, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
  • @Rschen7754: Odd that you took it that way; LangCom was paying a compliment that said sysop refused to wheel-war.
  • LangCom means to say that there is an indefinite prohibition of a new Bulgarian Wikinews. We do foresee the possibility of lifting the prohibition in the future. ("Ever" is an awfully long time, after all.) But for the time being, we are not prepared to define the conditions required for a new Bulgarian Wikinews.
  • Understand that the purpose of the statement is to fulfill the requirement in CPP that a statement be made to the Board. If the Board wishes LangCom to establish conditions under which a new Bulgarian Wikinews project could be started, we will do so. StevenJ81 (talk) 19:16, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
@Stanqo: It is not anybody's intention to "erase [your] hard work and the right to share information". This wiki will be archived, and you can take the archive elsewhere, provided that the place you take it has a licensing policy consistent with that of the Bulgarian Wikinews. There are plenty of places that run wiki farms that you can use. You will not be allowed to run the project within Wikimedia, and you will not be allowed to call it "Wikinews". That's all. StevenJ81 (talk) 19:20, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Why should we Bulgarians to not have the right to publish in Wikinews in Bulgarian language? Stanqo (talk) 20:03, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Publishing at Wikimedia is not a "right". It is a privilege granted by the Wikimedia Foundation. The Foundation grants that privilege pretty freely. But when you abuse the privilege, you lose it. Very simply, that's what happened. StevenJ81 (talk) 21:00, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Can you give specific examples of abuse in my edits? Stanqo (talk) 21:06, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Stanqo, please do not test my patience. In my book, much less is enough for an indef block than your far right garbage. Obviously, I cannot block you here (and it wouldn't be right for me to do it, anyway, even if I were a sysop on Meta), but I'm tempted to not even wait till your next “lost in translation” contribution to indef block you on all Bulgarian-language projects. And if somebody really needs more of it, this, this, and this is a good start, but I can continue.
— Luchesar • T/C 23:30, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
This is your own subjective opinion. I'm not happy with you either. Just because you can block doesn't mean you're right. Stanqo (talk) 23:44, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
You are right about this, except for one thing. I haven't been just “granted” those permissions to block users: they've been entrusted to me by the community—on several occasions—and I very much owe that community answers for each and every usage of those advanced rights. And if the community decides that I'm using them wrongfully, it will take them from me, and there would be nothing I could (thankfully) do about it. In other words, what I really do—or am trying to do, at least—is upholding and protecting the values of that very community. I'm sorry if those values don't exactly align, at least as I see it, with your own ones. But, as already noted several times, there are plenty of places all over the internet (and the real world) where people like you will be very welcome. And let me also again emphasise that there's really and absolutely nothing personal in this. You may, indeed, be a fantastic person and human being, but what brings us here together, in the projects, is mainly the common values that we share. And it's always best to be in the company of people with whom you have shared values (not necessarily always shared views, mind you), anyway.
— Luchesar • T/C 00:11, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
Have you ever thought you could be seriously wrong. Administration does not guarantee you infallibility. More than 1000 years ago Cyril and Methodius defended the right of Bulgarians to their own writing. Now you want to deny 10 million Bulgarians the right to use Wikinews in their own language. Stanqo (talk) 07:10, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
Stanqo, do you think you have been putting nationalism and/or patriotism above content quality of the project? George Ho (talk) 08:38, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
No way. But the richness of languages must not be limited and destroyed, for we will lose much from the culture of human civilization. Stanqo (talk) 09:19, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
Stanqo, while it isn't directly related to your comments here, you might nevertheless be glad to hear that I asked the stewards to revoke my sysop privileges on bgwiki and the bgwiki community to possibly re-elect me. And, by the way, despite the numerous claims to the contrary, both you and your colleagues from Wikinews actually do have the right to vote in Wikipedia, including in this vote—if you wish so, and, obviously, any way you like too.
— Luchesar • T/C 11:23, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
I have been eligible to vote on Wikipedia for at least 10 years. I have always been for the developing Bulgarian-language projects at Wikimedia. Stanqo (talk) 11:30, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

Rschen7754, I don't know how much my own humble take on the case—being the sysop in question—would help to get the complete picture, but in any case and for what it's worth, here it is:
  • I could've easily escalated the situation, and I'm even fairly certain that I would've gotten the upper hand in it, if only because the other sysop had been appointed in violation of the project's—and, effectively, also of the stewards'—rules, not to mention his attempt to abuse these (already questionable) advanced permissions. Speaking of which, if anyone thinks that it is OK to use the sysop position to enforce, single-handedly, a change in the voting rules in a project, amidst a vote, and in a situation where that change would invalidate all already cast votes that just happen to be in support of a deletion of contributions of that same sysop, and where the change would suddenly make only the sysop's and one of his buddies' votes valid—I will be very willing to discuss this matter, as I absolutely cannot accept such view—especially being myself a sysop in some WMF projects as well. I'm totally sure you haven't implied anything like this, but I'm afraid there are people who might interpret it differently.
  • In any case, I didn't take the road of escalation because:
    • as I explained here, I preferred to give more chances for a consensus to be built—because this is, in general, the spirit of our projects (it doesn't always work, but that's another story);
    • true, the discussions weren't exactly in the best “consensus seeking” spirit, but as a sysop I usually prefer to have all alternative courses of action exhausted, before switching to nukes;
    • to add to the above, my goal has always been to have the problem solved—not necessarily to “nuke” the project, despite some assumptions; if, despite my scepticism, the project would've been able to grow a healthy community—so much the better;
    • most importantly, perhaps, I never really considered this specific problem to be at the core of the project issues, anyway; starting a wheel war over it would've been, IMHO, an unfortunate distraction from what I do see as the real, underlying, problems.
  • I'd like to emphasize that I can, obviously, speak about this specific case only. I cannot—and do not—imply that what I see as important and valid in this case, would be important and valid in all other cases. Yet, in this specific case, I must say, I've been, overall, totally content with LangCom's, and specifically with StevenJ81's, handling of it. As a matter of fact, as we're speaking of a case that has been going for almost a year, and which has been, at least to me, extremely exhausting—both mentally and emotionally—at times, I must also admit that it was this very sensible handling of the case that kept my faith in the projects. Being under some out-of-wiki pressure recently, the thought of leaving them, after so many years, was lurking in the back of my mind.
  • Concerning a possible restart of the Bulgarian Wikinews, obviously this is in the competence of LangCom and the Foundation, so I can only share my personal opinion, from my relevant experience in bgwiki (e.g. I've been the one compiling the untrustworthy sources filter). I have no doubt that the sysops in Incubator are doing fantastic work. But, the truth is, even I wouldn't like to be in their place, having to deal with, say, a project like this. And this was before the advent of the AI-driven “deep” fakes and the general advances in the propaganda strategies. And I speak Bulgarian (sometimes, even nuances in the meaning of certain words may be important), and know a thing or two about the Bulgarian mediascape and the modus operandi of the local propagandists. I'm not saying that the Bulgarian Wikinews should never ever be allowed to restart. But I'm trying to make the point that such decision may need a very careful consideration, probably with some assistance from either the Bulgarian wikicommunity, or trustworthy media experts who know the Bulgarian (or at least regional) specifics. And, again, I speak only about the case of the Bulgarian Wikinews. Any other project may—and most likely will—have different specifics that entail different solutions.
These really are just my two cents, but, again, I hope they might still be at least somewhat helpful.
— Luchesar • T/C 23:13, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

The statement «[н]икаких нареканий на созданные в этот период новости обнаружить не удалось», “we could not find any complaints about the news created during this period” clearly (and inexplicably) ignores the complaints made by the global Bulgarian wikicommunity—which, let me remind this, was in the end even denied the right to participate in votings on the project—a precedent amongst all Bulgarian-language projects. While I fully respect the work of our colleagues in the Russian Wikinews, at least in my personal view the decision to cover this story in such a biased way can only be regretted. It is even more troubling, given how exactly these very days Bulgaria is amidst a huge media scandal, where turning even more news sources into propaganda machines is being attempted. Last, but not least, defending editors (those mentioned to have done the active “infrastructure work”) who have been promoting clearly far-right views is, again, in my view, perhaps not exactly the best of possible judgement calls. That all being said, of course everyone is entitled to their opinion and, in any case, I thought it was only right to bring this also to the attention of the Bulgarian wikicommunity.
— Luchesar • T/C 10:11, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Luchesar: Thank you. In my opinion, here are too many emotion and very few facts. I have not explored the entire history of Bulgarian Wikinews, but I have watched selectively the last two months, when the community decided to revive the project. I did not find anything you say. It look like good developing project. Could you please give us links to propaganda articles in Bulgarian Wikinews have been written over the past two months. --sasha (krassotkin) 11:41, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
krassotkin, I totally respect and appreciate your opinion, but I'm afraid that it is exactly the facts that you may be missing. I'm sorry that I have to say this, but you are, essentially, repeating the arguments of Grigor's defense of Stanqo.
Just like there, you also ask to have clear “propaganda articles” pointed to, but then only in the last two months, ignoring the long history of highly controversial edits of the same editor. And you ask only for articles, again ignoring comments and appeals in discussions by the same editor that show his clearly biased (to put it mildly) views. And you ask only about Wikinews, ignoring the problematic contributions to Wikipedia. And, finally, you seem to ignore the other problematic pieces, like that “open letter to the institutions”, or the attack on the Bulgarian News Agency (which were also not from the last two months, true), or the promotion of that unknown youtuber—granted, none of this has been propaganda (at least not ideological or political).
Please see also what I've written here: given how this project is subjected to some serious scrutiny, few would be so careless as to publish blatant propaganda or fake news at this very moment. I was even surprised how Stanqo did slip out about that rubbish far-right video, with whose creators (“people who do science”, in his words) he seems to be so fascinated (let me note as well that he's now the absolutely most active editor). But it also isn't the first time I notice such behaviour.
Because—and just to be also clear that these are not just some paranoidal, completely unfounded, suspicions—Stanqo's “Recent events project” on bgwiki started exactly like this: quite a benign news stream, if not exactly of very high quality. It was only years later that we realized what, in fact, it was and decided to finally close it. But it was years, literally. This is why I feel that asking to point to clear “propaganda” in the “last two months” is neither fair, nor really helpful.
Most importantly, however, regarding what you see as a “good developing project”: to me, really, the core issue have never been the problematic articles per se, but rather the lack of a healthy local community. It was exactly the atmosphere in the project—with the wider community being denied the right to have a say, together with the complete dismissal of the reasonable critical points being raised—that made me most worried and, ultimately, convinced me that there's no real hope for “revival”.
And one final note: I'll be very grateful if you could be so kind to point your news article to this discussion here, and not to the Bulgarian Wikipedia. The reason that I have notified the community there is simply because the vast majority of the Bulgarian wikicommunity (if not practically everyone) spends most of their time there. Please, do not get the Bulgarian Wikipedia as a project involved into this. I'm afraid this could unintentionally serve the unfair and, I'd say, completely unfounded rhetoric of the “evil Bulgarian wikipedians”, who “just want to destroy the Bulgarian Wikinews for no reason”. I trust that you'll respect this request of mine and the Bulgarian wikicommunity in general. Thank you.
— Luchesar • T/C 13:01, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done on pointing the discussion from RWN. I would also like to point people to this English language Facebook discussion. --Ssr (talk) 14:34, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Really appreciate it, Ssr. Thank you very much!
— Luchesar • T/C 14:53, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
FYI that this is now reported on eo.wn as well, along with a translation of the LangCom statement. wikinews:eo:La Vikimedia Fondaĵo volas forigi la bulgarajn Vikinovaĵojn Sincerely, Aŭdrea (talk) 20:59, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Thank you. A brief note about the big red notice that seems to draw everyone's attention. The decision to post it was my personal one, as an active—and I'll emphasize it—duly elected by the community sysop on the project (non-sysops wouldn't be able to edit MediaWiki:Sitenotice anyway). Initially, the notice was much more discrete. But then I noticed an increasing influx of editing IPs (though I strongly suspect that there's actually just one or maybe two real editors behind them, given the specific network ranges), and so decided to make it, incrementally, as the procedure was nearing the final stage, more attention-grabbing so that any possible new contributors are clearly notified of the possible closure and deletion of the project. It would've been unfair, I think, to have people contributing, only to find a week or two later that the project has been closed and their contributions seemingly gone (they would always be available at least in the dumps, but not many people would be even aware of this). If anyone thinks this was a bad call on my part, please let me know—I'm always open to hearing critical remarks on my work, as that's often the only way to improve on it.
— Luchesar • T/C 22:10, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Aŭdrea, could I, please, also ask you to add a link to the discussions here (i.e. to this page)? I think that for everyone reading the news, it would be very helpful to get the complete background (and, possibly, even share their own opinion). I'm sorry if the link is actually there and I just haven't noticed it (I'm afraid my eyes nowadays are not as good as they were years ago). Thank you!
— Luchesar • T/C 22:16, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
The requested link has been added, along with a little extra context - thank you. I would also like to note that EO.WN did not include the disputed sentence quoted above (that was in the RU.WN version) as this wasn't verifiable. Aŭdrea (talk) 22:51, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I have explored most of your links directly and to sufficient depth, and this is what I want to say. This is a most usual cross-project conflict, nothing more. Bulgarian community is not unique. I have seen these many times. This happens in Russian and in English projects, not to mention smaller ones. Such conflicts regular arise not only between encyclopedists and journalists. Wikipedians regularly swear and complain about Commons and Wikidata. There is only one difference. Large projects can stand up for themselves.
    The main reason is that different projects are based on completely different principles. For example, the principle of neutrality does not apply in Commons, Wikisource, Wikiversity, and Wikivoyage. This is usually shocking for wikipedians. Or the original reporting and original research are the most coveted content on Wikinews, Wikivoyage and Wikiversity.
    That's why you perceive usual Wikimedia thing like something provocative. For example, we usually prohibit inexperienced users from voting on a particular project. Stewards regularly rule out such voices of "strangers" in small projects. All our projects have rules for admission to the election of administrators and arbitrators. We require experience in a specific, not some Wikimedia project. What is unusual for you here?
    I can but don't want analyze all of your arguments in detail. There are many words in many discussions on many pages, and now it is too late. I have to repeat myself: there are a lot of emotions, manipulations, and almost no concrete facts. There are so many of you in this discussion that it looks like a persecution. I only regret that you fell into this trap.
    I also regret that the LangCom was unable to deal with this problem. There is no evidence in "Formal closure recommendation". I also don't see any evidence of systemic violations in the Bulgarian Wikinews in the discussion. There are only words of one of the parties and just a few ridiculous mistakes for the entire duration of the project. But "he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone".
    We must not close a live developing project with active users and the lack of concrete evidence of systemic disorders. Moreover, we haven't to delete Bulgarian Wikinews.
    I hope the Board will be able to prevent an erroneous decision.
    I have only one request: do no harm.
    In any case, the Russian Wikinews community will try to publish a joint statement soon. --sasha (krassotkin) 23:23, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I tried to read most of the discussions before sharing my opinion. I have been following the various Bulgarian-language "wiki-news" projects for a very long time because I joined the WMF projects in the now rather distant November of 2005. These projects have never worked with sufficient quality, they have always caused only problems when active. And particularly Wikinews has also been inactive most of the time. This is effectively a single-person project, a person who tries to be a journalist, but is not. News is written by journalists. The choice of which news to present to the readers is made by the editor-in-chief (usually the best journalist among his or her colleagues). And these Bulgarian projects have always been rather amateurish to say the least. I salute Stanqo for his enthusiasm and hard work (especially in the "Recent Events Project" on BG-Wikipedia, later basically continued on Wikinews), but IMHO it is pointless, and often even harmful work. Closing the project will not hurt anyone, it will simply remove a parasitic channel called "news". The "deletion" of this channel and of everything written - sorry, not written, but quoted from poorly selected "sources", will simply be "cleaning the Augean stables". My personal opinion, which I have expressed in discussions with other editors of the Bulgarian-language community, is that the Bulgarian Wikinews project (mind you, I don't give suggestions about other languages) can only reasonably exist if it publishes ONLY news related ONLY to WMF, Wikipedia and the sister projects.--Uroboros (talk) 15:31, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I've always struggled to keep this as little personal as possible, because the problem—and I'll repeat this again—has never been in specific articles or people (not Grigor, not even Stanqo), but in the underlying principles, and perhaps even values involved in the project. I've also always strived to be courteous and assuming good faith (granted, very recently I've been finding the latter increasingly difficult), sticking mainly to the facts, always supporting my claims with relevant links and/or diffs (perhaps at times excessively so), and allowing myself assumptions only with what I was seeing as strong evidence behind them (i.e. expecting Stanqo to continue with his problematic edits in the light of his past edits and present comments, despite indeed, not having identified specific “propaganda” in the very last of his main space contributions).
Obviously, how much I've been successful in this is another matter, but I hope that I have at least never allowed myself to degrade the discussion into rude personal attacks. On numerous occasions I've actually openly stated that I consider Grigor (and even Stanqo) to be, in fact, well meaning (like here or at the end here), even if probably not choosing the best possible approach or, in case of Stanqo, just following his personal biases (which, too, many of us also have).
Unfortunately—and I'm sorry for putting forward this somewhat side issue, but the burden now becomes too much even for me—I rarely see even some basic human respect coming from the opposite direction. I've given many times examples of how the rest of the Bulgarian wikicommunity has been presented and I've noted how the attitude towards me has been shifting. What I have never announced so far in public is that I've received emails some time ago, in which I have been, effectively, pressed to “admit to having no real reasons to ask for the project to be closed”, as well as to “reveal on whose [secret] orders I'm doing all this”. And now, just a short time after I again noted how I don't consider Grigor “evil” at all, in Wikinews comes this from him:

Luchesar, I again challenge you to show examples of this abuse. The news article about an open letter that you try to pass as "involving Wikinews politically" is just a news, even if not made professionally. The donation of news I managed to secure several years ago is also not abuse, it can be easily seen from these... You can't. There is no such thing. You are simply lying, with the hope that a lie repeated a thousand times will become truth. It won't - and what you did will go from now on with you.

It is obvious that you intended not to improve, but to destroy the project from the start - otherwise you would delete what you considered offending, as an administrator should, wouldn't you?... The real cause behind that intention will come out some day too. You might try then to excuse with "just doing someone else's requests" - but did they requested you to invest so much eagerness, malice and lies in it?

You might hope that it all will be obscured and forgotten after the project is deleted, but Internet remembers...

Dear Colleagues, I repeat once more my request, from both earlier here, the RfC that I've been referring to numerous times, and the discussion that I initiated on FB's Wikipedia Weekly, which Sergei was very kind to link to above: I will be very grateful for any independent opinions on these issues, although, admittedly, now reading the whole lot of discussions would probably require even days. What I also had already done was to ask the stewards to have my sysop privileges on the Bulgarian Wikipedia—entrusted to me by the Bulgarian wikicommunity seven and a half years ago—revoked, and to ask, at the same time, the community to vote again on them (even though the sysops on bgwiki are elected, effectively, for life). Just let me make it clear that I haven't done this because I think that I had, in fact, done something wrong, but rather as “a reality check”, to make sure that my personal values haven't really strayed too far from those of the community in general.
Thank you,
— Luchesar • T/C 18:49, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
By the way—because the discussions are really long—why I hadn't done on Wikinews what “an administrator should [do]” has lastly been explained here.
— Luchesar • T/C 18:56, 14 September 2019 (UTC)