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

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Line 1,217: Line 1,217:
******* This article needs [[:w:en:Lead paragraph|a lead]] and make the letter [[:w:en:Template:Cquote|as a quote]]. It's enough. --sasha ([[User:Krassotkin|krassotkin]]) 22:46, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
******* This article needs [[:w:en:Lead paragraph|a lead]] and make the letter [[:w:en:Template:Cquote|as a quote]]. It's enough. --sasha ([[User:Krassotkin|krassotkin]]) 22:46, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
******** Done. -- [[User:Григор Гачев|Григор Гачев]] ([[User talk:Григор Гачев|talk]]) 13:33, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
******** Done. -- [[User:Григор Гачев|Григор Гачев]] ([[User talk:Григор Гачев|talk]]) 13:33, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
******** Really appreciate it, [[User:Krassotkin|Alexander]]! That was exactly the way I imagined it as a bare minimum to pass as “news”. Glad to see this issue solved (more or less).<br><span style="font-family:'Droid Sans', Calibri, Verdana, sans; color:silver;">—&nbsp;[[User:Iliev|Luchesar]]&nbsp;•&nbsp;<small>[[User talk:Iliev|T]]/[[Special:Contributions/Iliev|C]]</small></span> 15:43, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
****** #1: Please be attentive and objective. This is not translation of English Wikinews article. --sasha ([[User:Krassotkin|krassotkin]]) 22:20, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
****** #1: Please be attentive and objective. This is not translation of English Wikinews article. --sasha ([[User:Krassotkin|krassotkin]]) 22:20, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

Revision as of 15:44, 18 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)

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)

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 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.
— 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. -- 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)
B. T. W. why not talk also about English Wikinews? Here is the recent example of their staff "exhausting" new writers so once they come, later they never return. While BWN are blamed for "negligence" why not take a look to EWN with their "extreme-demands" that simply doesn't allow the project to gain more writers? This is also a problem to discuss at LangComs and TrustBoards, isn't it? I see a smallest number of EWN constant editors are discriminating new writers for years, while people like Asaf Bartov keep calling Wikinews "waste" and "distraction" and Jim Hayes calls it "failed", you may read here. --Ssr (talk) 10:50, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
Sergei, I'm all for openly discussing such issues and totally support any constructive ways to solve them, preferably by not crushing the volunteer spirit, as far as all circumstances are taken into account too, of course. This is why I'm also not sure whether here would be the best place for such discussions, as, again, the case with the Bulgarian Wikinews IMHO has too many specifics, both within the project itself, and regarding the regional landscape, that most likely are very different from the situation in any other of the Wikinews (or of the non-Bulgarian in general) projects. As for Asaf and Jim Hayes (sorry if that's the wrong user), I'm afraid I cannot comment on their opinions.
— Luchesar • T/C 11:11, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
English Wikinews "sole rulers" (yes am I allowed to call some Wikinews community "sole rulers" as long as Asaf Bartov calls Wikinews "waste"?) simply just don't allow people to talk at talk pages (I was only citing Jim Hayes). No criticism is allowed, users are forced to leave Wikinews—that opens the way to say "too little users are at the project" ("waste"). If Lang-com and Trust-and-safety-board are so concerned with problems of Bulgarian Wikinews, let them also concern about problems at English Wikinews maybe? --Ssr (talk) 13:57, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
Sergei, Trust and Safety (T&S) has mostly nothing to do with the fate of Wikimedia projects (well... you can read off-topic story about one incident affecting en-wiki community. I think you must have confused T&S with WMF Board of Trustees. BTW, if you have issues with English Wikinews, you may go to one of subforums of en:n:WN:Water cooler. I don't think the issues with en-WN rise to the level of needing attention from LangCom and Trustees, right? Also, don't you think they would say the same yet about Russian Wikinews? George Ho (talk) 17:59, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
I feel pity but I think I now feel no much distinctions between safety board, trustees board and whatever because the whole WMF acts worse and worse year by year. They take all donation money from different countries to USA and leave international volunteers without money and do not allow them to collect local money. "Fram incident" was a total shame and total fail. They care much about less important things and keep silent for years about things that look like needing immediate WMF action ("Framgate" showed—maybe it was better if they still made no action?). They establish "sister projects", attract volunteers and later call it a "complete waste". Even right here, at this page, I see them mostly continue keeping silence. I am contributing to English Wikinews since 2007 and I know that Water cooler won't help. What I am taking about these days, is the EWN text called n:Mikhail Gruznov: We do not understand what is happening on Wikipedia. This is very serious political case regarding Wikipedia that have wide coverage in media. This is very serious and big work that was done by Russian volunteer Wikinews writers. This is the big work of politically defending Wikipedia, big work of making the large and important interview and later big work of translation of it in English language to post it to English Wikinews to publish it in a regular way "interwiki" articles should be posted in a Wikimedia project. As I said at the talk page, unlike regular stories, this is almost entirely direct speech that do not need to be fact-checked because it is clearly attributed to 2 persons talking to each other. Only intro needs to be fact-checked. I am the editor who was publishing the Russian Wikinews source version. But EWN editors do not publish it because they make impossible demands. And this is not the sole incident, this is long-time strategy that I see for years. I stopped making my own EWN articles long time ago because of this. But I see as this continues with entries of other Russian authors that try to participate in EWN. There are 2-3 constant EWN admins who each time "review" such entries, make impossible demands step by step, make author "exhaust" with fulfil it, and author leaves forever. As result, those 2-3 users continue to "rule", and aside viewers see that the project is "very small". Yes it keeps being small, because no new users can actually participate in it, they are forced out. No community can grow to solve this. Looks like a clear target for WMF action to stop EWN admins from this policy and fix the WMF-established sister project, doesn't it? What does WMF? Calls Wikinews a waste, tries to kill Bulgarian Wikinews, forcefully ignores English ArbCom, that's what it does. EWN admins continue to suppress people. No "office action" is made against it. Russian Wikinews is a bit problematic, I agree. But their (our) problems are not so severe (may be discussed separately). Besides, I had an experience with Spanish Wikinews and have an impression that it resembles EWN (no one at WMF also cares). --Ssr (talk) 15:34, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
And yes, "T&S has mostly nothing to do with the fate of Wikimedia projects", but it definitely has something to do with cases when powered users systematically disrupt participation of regular users. I have recently filled in a big WMF survey about that. --Ssr (talk) 21:38, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
B. T. W. 2: From here: "Mistake 2: Ignore small communities completely because there are few active editors. While it’s unwise to try and exponentially scale small communities, it’s equally disheartening to forget they exist, because one day they might be a major force for sharing knowledge"; "Mistake 3: Ignore the Sister projects (particularly Commons, Wikisource, Wiktionary, and Wikidata). Wikimedia really is bigger than Wikipedia, and its communities on those projects have a lot to contribute in terms of global perspective as well as massive potential for growth"; "Mistake 4: Treat the ‘Global South’ like a monolith rather than 100 or so unique countries with their own culture, policies, politics, religion, mores, languages, needs, and resources. Whether you call it the developing world, or emerging communities, or global south, be clear in your mind that this is not a singular thing, and that there are as many variations between those communities, as there are similarities in their historical lack of resources and attention received"; "Mistake 5: Assume everyone has Western language, tools, timezone, money, freedom, or perspectives. Wikimedians will find you generous and decent if you go out of your way not to pigeonhole them all in the same square hole". --Ssr (talk) 16:56, 16 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)
krassotkin, thank you very much for you comments. I absolutely welcome different points of view. That being said, unfortunately, I cannot also fully agree with your conclusions. To me, the problems with the Bulgarian Wikinews have been quite clearly defined, lying much deeper than one or another particular problematic article or certain comment—and just to be completely clear: I speak about the lack of a healthy local community.
Also, the way I see it, the decision on the Bulgarian Wikinews in no way suggests a generic problem with the Wikinews projects. Or, rather, even if there are generic problems, they haven't been the reason to decide to close this particular project.
Finally, I've also added a (pretty long, sorry) comment on your news article. It still doesn't cover even a small fraction of the whole story, but may, hopefully, give your readers at least even more sources to get the complete picture.
Thanks again!
— Luchesar • T/C 01:41, 15 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)
As someone who has not participated in any of the conversations up to this point, I would only like to comment that full deletion and closure of a project, with effectively no chance of recreation, is a very drastic step. If there are individual users who are problematic, would it not make more sense to simply ban them from the project, then delete the inappropriate material? This sets a concerning precedent. I have looked through old requests for project deletion (not closure), of which there are very few, and even those were under very different circumstances, which do not apply to BG.WN (e.g. project never used, project already locked/closed, problematic language designation). So I find this to be a very harsh response, and one that may have a chilling effect for smaller wikis.
Best, Aŭdrea (talk) 02:54, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
Aŭdrea, I absolutely understand your concerns regarding the small wikis. Obviously, I can speak only for myself, but I think my opinion isn't likely to be too far away from that of LangCom and probably the Board (of course, there might be differing opinions even within each of these bodies). I don't think that the closing of the Bulgarian Wikinews would set a global precedent for all projects (small or otherwise), and certainly not one where projects would be closed blanketly. From the very beginning, and during the last year, I've heard many times (and actually been myself rather worried by it) the strong position of LangCom that hard-closing projects is, practically, 0% possible. I have no reasons to believe that LangCom has made changes to that position (though, again, that is just my personal guess). At the same time, also from the beginning, this specific case was deemed non-trivial, and one that would require much more careful consideration, given the deeper and more worrying problems.
I should also point out how the project was given not just the initial 2-3 months, but, in the end, close to a full year to get revived. And I think that this period might have become even longer (at some point I've all but forgotten about it myself even), had it not been for that unfortunate attempt to strong-arm a vote, where a conflict of interest was also involved. And here it is, indeed, very reasonable to ask “why not just deal with the problematic users and let the project continue”.
George Ho asked basically the same some time ago, and here's what I replied to him then. To summarize, the real problem aren't the three existing users (I really think they are well meaning at least in their, let's say, own way), but rather:
  • the specifics of writing news that put more burden/responsibility on the editors in general;
  • the really scarce resources of the Bulgarian wikicommunity (including our ability to attract new members; and here the project also, effectively, failed to attract even a single permanent contributor);
  • the very serious problems in the Bulgarian mediascape, including attempts to even subvert (or at least covertly use) Wikipedia for some smear campaigns, fake news, or propaganda (outside of that “recent events project” by Stanqo);
  • the community is especially worried about these attempts, as we're already spreading too thin even with handling the petty vandalism (hence why our PSS 9 bot had so boldly, and I'm again sorry about this, blocked even a couple of global sysops), and combating competent and well-orchestrated attacks requires much more resources than we could possibly hope to have, especially with newer technologies and strategies getting employed;
  • unlike the other small projects, like Wiktionary, Wikisource et al., Wikinews still presents an attractive target for such abuse, but defending it would be even more problematic, given, again, our small resources (it's also not reasonable to hope that the global sysops and rollbackers can handle it, as good Bulgarian language skills are often required).
Only the first of these points pertains to all Wikinews projects; the rest are very specific to our Bulgarian landscape and therefore, obviously, cannot be just applied as reasons to close other projects (and the first one alone wouldn't be quite enough IMHO). So, again, I don't think that any other project should get worried. Well, there are, in fact, probably one or two projects (not Wikinewses, by the way) that might get worried, known to be basically converted into bastions of highly biased content.
To conclude, I think that this decision has to be taken for what it is: an extraordinary measure for an equally extraordinary case that in no way sets a precedent, unless one thinks that it's okay for a very small group of people (namely, three) to use a project for their own intentions, disregarding criticism, and enforcing their own “rules” in conflict with the already established ones in the project (e.g. “the administrator” of the project who has never been voted and refused to run for election).
— Luchesar • T/C 04:02, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
Luchesar, thank you for the commentary. There is a lot to respond to here, but little time, so I will try to restrict myself to the points you listed:
Not just point 1, but also point 5 affects all Wikinews projects (and you might argue other projects like Wikivoyage, Wikiversity, that depend on refreshed content). I read through your conversation on ru.wikinews with user:Krassotkin and it seems you may have a bias in general about the validity of Wikinews and skepticism about its role in WMF. I hope that this does not colour your perception of this particular case.
Point 2 (re: scarce resources) apply not just to the Bulgarian community, but to any language Wikimedia community that is not part of the «top 20». I am part of a language minority with around 1-2 million speakers in the world, and what I am reading here does not make me feel comfortable to nurture small non-WP projects. What this tells me is that, if I am a lone contributor or part of only a small team, the Foundation may suddenly decide that, in the event of a vandalism or political problem, the project isn't active enough to their liking, and cross out my contributions to the project via a closure or deletion, rather than assisting.
Point 3: I cannot imagine that the Bulgarian media landscape is unique in this regard. Propaganda attempts in Wikimedia happen with regularity - including occasional paid-editing scandal on the beloved English Wikipedia. And media in a lot of places with smaller langauge communities suffer from the problem of extremism distortion.
Point 4: See Point 2 above. Also, assuming that this does represent some kind of new high-tech threat that WMF has not had to deal with in the past: in that case, there will be other projects where this will happen, sooner or later. Will we consider deleting/wiping those projects as well, instead of thinking of other solutions and trying to adapt to a changing landscape? Honestly, this attitude seems like capitulation, not at all in the spirit of «the sum of human knowledge».
So, taking all these points together, do they constitute, as you say, an «extraordinary case» requiring wholesale deletion? Each point taken separately does not seem extroardinary, but rather part of the normal trials and tribulations of working on small projects in small languages.
Best, Aŭdrea (talk) 13:08, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

Aŭdrea, I hear what you're saying and, in general, there's much reason in it.
Thing is, if we take the fly and the elephant, they are both animals and, like all animals—or all living organisms, for that matter—they have so many things in common. And, yet, the fly is no elephant and the elephant is no fly.
This is going to be really long, but please, do bear with me. And let's for now forget about the Bulgarian specifics, which, you say, can't be really that specific—it's possible, at the very least. Let's instead focus on your concern that if serious problems begin to plague some small project, the Foundation might decide to just shut it down—because, say, that's easier—instead of trying to help. This really does sound like something that deserves proper attention—I totally support you on that.
So let's see what has the Foundation (or, to be more precise, LangCom) done in reality regarding the case here:
  • from the very start, it was very clearly stated by LangCom's clerk, StevenJ81, that the Committee's policy is to avoid closing projects, especially hard-closing and/or deleting, as much as possible;
  • then, a discussion ensued, that lasted for little more than a month, during which also !votes were cast (by !votes I mean votes that shouldn't necessarily be taken as literal votes that are simply mathematically counted);
  • those !votes were almost exclusively supporting the hard-closing and deletion of the project, so, if LangCom had wished so, they could've closed and deleted the project at this very moment, basing their decision also on those !votes;
  • despite these rather clear results in support of the closing and deleting, LangCom decided to postpone the decision, and to give proper chance to an attempt to bring the project back to life—a chance that one of those now three editors in the project, Grigor, had indeed asked to be given;
  • LangCom initially gave 2-3 months for this revival attempt, and the said editor promised to bring Bulgarian journalists to the project and overall get the number of active quality editors to “at least a dozen”;
  • after 3 months had passed, there was basically very little progress made (none of those promised professional contributors ever arrived), so LangCom effectively allowed the project to continue with the revival attempt for an indefinite time;
  • I'm saying “effectively”, because the original plan was to have LangCom make a decision after those 2-3 months; in fact, there was even a specific deadline, 20 January, but no decision was made on it;
  • obviously, if LangCom had wished to insist on making such decision on that date, they had all reasons for it, and the !votes cast earlier could clearly support a decision to close and delete the project;
  • the next few months passed almost without any notable events, with the project, as the user stats clearly show, slowing dying again a slow death, with the activity gradually, but steadily decreasing toward zero;
  • then the RfD vote on those articles from the speshno.info website happened—and this is where the things went really downhill;
  • let me just remind that those articles were uploaded years ago by the same editor with the revival, Grigor, now claiming that this otherwise anonymous website was actually his own;
  • and let me also remind that he had been made (not elected!) a sysop several years earlier in violation of the project rules that very unambiguously require voting (of at least 7 days) from the community;
  • all was actually fine, until 9 votes were already cast in support of deletion, when Grigor, using his (questionable) position as a sysop, suddenly announced that he, “as the administrator of the project” changes the voting rules (that was, again, in the very middle of the vote), and in such a way (he required not merely contributions, but recent contributions!) that only his own vote and the one of his supporters would become valid;
  • again, apart from changing the votes single-handedly and in the middle of the vote, he was also in a clear conflict of interest in this voting, given that the proposal was to delete articles that he had uploaded from his own website;
  • as an elected sysop, I clearly stated that I would count myself the cast votes according to the original rules, i.e. that I oppose (and will not even respect) that announced mid-stream change;
  • Grigor then somewhat relented, but started threatening anyone, who would close the vote according to the original rules, that he would immediately “refer this” to the stewards here on Meta;
  • he further insisted that anyone who would make such move would effectively be violating rules of the Wikimedia Foundation;
  • finally, Grigor decided to seek independent opinion and asked StevenJ81 and George Ho (it was Grigor's own choice of people) to share theirs;
  • the opinions can be found here and here; I'm not going to present them here as I don't want to unintentionally misrepresent something;
  • Grigor was very dissatisfied with those opinions and refused to accept them, referring to some conflict between these opinions and certain “WMF policies”, as well as with his own view of his role as a sysop;
  • LangCom had still been only following the situation at this stage (let me remind that StevenJ81 gave his opinion, because he was asked for this by Grigor, and then being asked, because, in Grigor's own words, he was “an experienced editor, administrator and bureaucrat, who has helped about Bulgarian Wikinews before”, not because he was LangCom's clerk);
  • in fact, after these events (around 1 August), LangCom apparently gave another month for a possible local settlement of the case, opening a closing discussion only on 22 August;
  • meanwhile, the situation in the project continued to deteriorate, with one of the editors even posting as a proof why the project must be kept open that video with brutal far-right propaganda;
  • the closing discussion went for two and a half weeks, from 22 August till 9 September, during which time new opinions and !votes were gathered;
  • in the last week or so of this period, from what I know about LangCom's procedures, there must've been internal deliberations over the eventual LangCom's statement;
  • finally, LangCom announced that statement, after 325 days (or more than 10 months) of the revival attempt ongoing, with still only three very problematic contributors on board, and—perhaps most critically importantly—with clear indications that the project does not evolve any more in accordance with the WMF's principles and overall spirit;
  • let me also remind that unlike Grigor, who despite not being elected as the rules require, has enjoyed indefinite sysop right, my rights, even though I was duly elected, were only for one year;
  • meanwhile, Stanqo had publicly called for me to resign, and since the RfA rules require complete consensus, it was basically clear that my sysop rights would not be renewed, as a single “oppose” was enough to stop it;
  • this would've left the project entirely in the control of those three editors, given how they believe they can change the rules arbitrarily to secure only their votes being valid;
  • and, again, given that far-right video that Stanqo was so fascinated with, it was very clear what direction would take (not to mention the previous experience with Stanqo's “recent events” project).
And here we finally reach the question: what were the possible choices before LangCom, so that they could have further helped the project, even after these clearly and badly failed 10-11 months?
  • as some people say, they could've asked to have those people desysopped and/or banned; but LangCom is no ArbCom, as rightfully pointed by other colleagues, so they couldn't have done it themselves, clearly;
  • because those three editors have always insisted that only their opinion should be taken into account as they are “contributing”, that leaves—and only maybe—just me as someone who could've intervened;
  • “maybe”, because, according to Grigor's rules that he attempted to impose, even I—an elected sysop—wouldn't have the right to vote!
  • let me also remind you that I've already been labelled as “someone who only wants to destroy the project for no reason” and one who “does this on someone else's orders”; I think you understand why I was sceptical that beginning to block users and asking the stewards to desysop Grigor would've worked without becoming one very huge drama, that would make this already complex case even more complicated;
  • more drama sometimes works, but my personal judgement was that in this specific case it would've done more harm to the reason than good—and what I really want here to prevail is reason;
  • finally, let me remind again the practically all of the Bulgarian-language wikicommunity have expressed their concern (explicitly, implicitly, on- or off-wiki) that we simply do not have resources to curate this project, much less to actively develop it, seeing how we find it difficult to attract enough volunteers even for the immensely more popular Wikipedia.
So, what could've really LangCom done in this situation? They are not ArbCom, the Bulgarian wikicommunity isn't able to help and therefore prefers to have this project closed... Just leave the things as they were and hope for the best?
The long outline above IMHO demonstrates how LangCom had used whatever was in their disposal to help the project survive—mainly, of course, as is the typical WMF practice, giving enough time—almost a full year in this case—for the problems to be, hopefully, solved on a local level with the help of the wider (and, again typically, same-language, that is, Bulgarian) wikicommunity.
But what would've happened if LangCom had decided to ignore their concerns that the project cannot “continue to operate in line with WMF's principles”?
Every member of the Bulgarian wikicommunity will tell you what would've happened—as we're seeing clearly the same story as with that pitiful “Recent events project” of Stanqo (again, the most active of the three contributors now). The fact that it was deleted with an unanimous support, with some people even calling for Stanqo to be outright banned (the Bulgarian wikicommunity is, in general, very unwilling to ban people), probably speaks a lot on its own already.
There's an extreme sensitivity in the Bulgarian society on such topics—that is also clearly seen in the outrage in the Bulgarian community that continues to spread now even well outside of the wiki-projects. There are also already suggestions within the Bulgarian wikicommunity that we must come up with our own public statement, especially concerning the disrespectful mentoring attitude that some other communities openly and very inappropriately demonstrate against us.
How would such inevitable failure (because, yes, it had happened before in much the same way) help the Wikinews mission itself? Would more people start to believe that it can work? Or would it, instead, increase—probably even significantly—the number of people calling for those projects to be closed? If anything like this would happen, you could be absolutely certain that the Bulgarian community would instantly become a very vocal supporter of the calls to close all Wikinews projects.
So, and that's the point I'm trying to make, LangCom's decision might, in fact, support the Wikinews mission, not endanger it—by not allowing one dangerously failed and effectively unsalvageable project to taint the image of Wikinews in general.
Sorry that it got so awfully long, but it was inevitable if one wants to summarize all the events in that unbelievably long past year.
— Luchesar • T/C 12:52, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Thank you for your detailed retrospective. But I can break this gigantic text with one sentence: Bulgarian Wikinews is alive now and there are no mass violations. --sasha (krassotkin) 13:41, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
I'm afraid you've missed the second sentence. The elephant is a living animal, but that doesn't mean it can fly. And if it tries, it'll smash a lot of innocent bystanders.
— Luchesar • T/C 14:37, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

  • I must say that it's not especially wise of LangCom to inject such overloaded statements as "contributors are abusing advanced permissions" in a text that is supposed to be ratified by the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees. That turns the WMF board into a body to settle a dispute about deletions, which is not something we generally want to see. It would have been enough to say that there are claims of sysop flag abuse and that the community has not found a way out of them. Nemo 12:23, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
    • That's what I was trying to get at above - is LangCom a global ArbCom? --Rschen7754 12:36, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
      • LangCom is most assuredly not a global ArbCom. And I will accept the idea that my wording was perhaps too strong.
  1. LangCom normally does not see itself as having jurisdiction over closing of active projects at all. (Let's face it, there are several projects around the WMF world with similar content disputes happening on a regular basis. It's not LangCom's job to get involved in such things.) The problem in this particular and unique case is that the project was dormant, such that a request to close was at least reasonable, and LangCom would have jurisdiction over that. LangCom hoped that the project could be revived rather than closed. But the revival was hijacked, if you will, by a group of contributors who certainly appeared to be abusing process in order to mold the revival to their own preferences. So LangCom feels that the revival became tainted to the point that closure would be preferable.
  2. On the whole, LangCom strongly opposes closing projects. The last successful full closure was nearly five years ago. (To be sure: We've had a couple of "soft closures" of Wikinews projects recently. But a "soft closure" isn't really a closure at all; it's more a hiding of the main page to avoid the embarrassment of displaying a news project without any real current news on it.) The fact that LangCom has approved and recommended this project closure has to be understood as a drastic and extraordinary step. I'm not sure LangCom would have gone that far without the apparent process abuse that happened. But it happened, and there are consequences.
  3. Wikis are almost never actually deleted; rather, in "deletion" cases all url's are redirected to a single landing page, so that the rest of the project is invisible to the Internet. It may be that the project will be cleaned up, and that in the future either the locked content will become available or even that in the future the wiki could be unlocked. But that's not going to happen right away, and not with the current group of contributors.
  4. Finally, as I have pointed out elsewhere, content from Bulgarian Wikinews is still freely available under the ordinary Creative Commons licenses. If the Board approves the recommendation to close, an archive of the project can be made available. If people then wish to move the project elsewhere and to continue to expand it, they are welcome to do so. We'd even encourage that. However, that will not be done from WMF servers, and it will not be done under the name Wikinews. That's all. StevenJ81 (talk) 14:26, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
I think LangCom will need to decide if it's OK for Russian Wikinews to absorb Bulgarian Wikinews, per the offer below. I'm not sure what LangCom will think about that, though I'm pretty sure that the content that was covered in the RfD would need to be deleted. I will put that question to LangCom. StevenJ81 (talk) 14:57, 16 September 2019 (UTC)

Russian Wikinews Statement

Участники Русских Викиновостей выражают поддержку сообществу Болгарских Викиновостей!

Мы знаем, как непросто создавать Викиновости — самый сложный проект Викимедиа. Мы знаем, насколько тяжело противостоять негативному прессингу со стороны участников других проектов и сотрудников Фонда Викимедиа. Мы знаем, насколько трудно выигрывать конкурентную борьбу у остальных новостных изданий.

Мы с уважением и благодарностью склоняем голову перед вашим желанием, упорством и ежедневным трудом по созданию коллективного проекта гражданской журналистики на болгарском языке, опираясь на принципы и лучшие традиции Движения Викимедиа. Мы готовы вас в этом всячески поддержать.

Участники Русских Викиновостей понимают и признают претензии критиков Болгарских Викиновостей.

Однако будем помнить, что все описанные частные проблемы были присущи абсолютно всем проектам Викимедиа на разных этапах их развития. Большинство этих аргументов можно применить к сотням существующих вики-проектов прямо сейчас. Но десятки лет Движения Викимедиа доказали, что эти болезни роста проходят со временем и с ростом сообщества, если проекты поддерживать и развивать. Поэтому ни один из аргументов, и даже все они вместе взятые, не могут служить основанием для закрытия, а тем более — для удаления вики-проекта с существующим сообществом, которое добросовестно работает над его созданием и развитием.

Участники Русских Викиновостей напоминают.

Болгарские Викиновости созданы 6 февраля 2005 года. В настоящее время они находятся на 19 месте среди всех 34 разделов Викиновостей по числу статей в основном пространстве. По этому показателю раздел занимает 492 место среди всех 882 вики-проектов Викимедиа. В июле-августе 2019 года сообщество Болгарских Викиновостей активизировало работу и выпускало одну-две новости практически ежедневно. Это заметно выше, чем в большинстве разделов Викиновостей на других языках, включая англоязычные Викиновости, и выше даже многих Википедий. Участники обсуждения, включая сторонников удаления, признают, что нет никаких нареканий на созданные в этот период новости. В последние два года в Болгарских Викиновостях постоянно работают как минимум четыре активных редактора.

Участники Русских Викиновостей категорически возражают против рекомендаций Языкового комитета по закрытию, а тем более удалению Болгарских Викиновостей.

Мы считаем, что «Официальная рекомендация по закрытию для Совета попечителей»:

  • Игнорирует наличие в Болгарских Викиновостях работоспособного сообщества, которое способно писать новости с регулярностью, которая заведомо превышает сотни других проектов Викимедиа, включая многие разделы Википедии.
  • Не приводит конкретных доказательств систематических ошибок участников Болгарских Викиновостей и не содержит конкретных доказательств какого-то злоупотребления, даже разового, не говоря уже о системных отклонениях.
  • Содержит необоснованные обвинения участников Болгарских Викиновостей, хотя на поверку оказывается, что их логи блокировки в проекте пусты, а все обвинения основаны лишь на разных взглядах на концепцию новостного проекта и на частных разногласиях. Зачастую участники, которые не знакомы с работой новостного издания, приходят к обвинениям из-за того, что пытаются перенести в Викиновости тот опыт, который получен при создании энциклопедии и который абсолютно не применим к этой области.
  • Содержит манипулятивное обвинение сообщества Болгарских Викиновостей в ограничении права на голосование для неучастников проекта. Напомним, что практически все проекты Викимедиа действуют именно по этому принципу при проведении голосований, вводят ограничения по количеству правок именно в этом проекте для возможности голосовать на выборах администраторов или арбитров; такие же ограничения устанавливают стюарды, не принимая во внимания голоса участников с недостаточным опытом в работе конкретного проекта.
  • Содержит голословные, ничем не подкреплённые оскорбления и обвинения в адрес участников Болгарских Викиновостей («бездействие», «очевидная несостоятельность», «предвзятость» и так далее по всему тексту), причём такие обвинения противоречат приведённым выше объективным фактам и нарушают общие принципы «Предполагай добрые намерения» и «Не будь мудаком».
  • Содержит катастрофическую рекомендацию не только по закрытию, но и по удалению проекта, хотя все участники обсуждения сходятся на том, что подавляющее большинство статей в Болгарских Викиновостях не содержат ошибок и нареканий, а примеры «плохих новостей» так и не были приведены. Остаётся неясным, почему нельзя удалить сами «плохие новости», если они действительно существуют, и почему для этого необходимо уничтожать абсолютно весь вклад добросовестных участников.
  • Не содержит ничего, что могло бы послужить основанием для закрытия, а тем более — для удаления проекта.

Языковой комитет должен отозвать свои ошибочные рекомендации, окончательно закрыть обсуждение по удалению Болгарских Викиновостей без своей реакции, принести извинения участникам Болгарских Викиновостей и всему сообществу Викимедиа.

Участники Русских Викиновостей заявляют о готовности принимать участие в обсуждениях в Болгарских Викиновостях, а также, в случае необходимости и только по запросу сообщества, выступать независимыми арбитрами при обсуждении качества отдельных заметок в Болгарских Викиновостях. Это относится к новым публикациям и к историческим материалам. Это относится также к любым конфликтным ситуациям в проекте. Большинство из нас не знают болгарского языка, однако близость славянских культур, среди которых болгарская является одной из старейших, и современные технологии позволяют понимать обсуждения практически во всех деталях. Кроме того, болгары обычно знают несколько языков, включая русский, и всегда могут уточнить детали в случае непонимания.

Участники Русских Викиновостей заявляют, что вне зависимости от решения бюрократических структур Фонда Викимедиа готовы принять сообщество Болгарских Викиновостей на страницы своего сайта в рамках проекта Многоязычность, где сейчас развиваются восемь разделов Викиновостей на разных языках. В этом случае каждая статья получил качественное рецензирование силами наших редакторов (Русские Викиновости — полностью рецензируемое и премодерируемое издание, где новости публикуются только после проверки редакторами).

Участники Русских Викиновостей готовы принять и сохранить все качественные исторические заметки Болгарских Викиновостей в рамках проекта Архивные новости, где находятся новостные статьи, ранее опубликованные в других изданиях.

Единственным препятствием для этого может оказаться требование двуязычности — чтобы для каждой статьи был перевод на русский язык.

Поэтому участники Русских Викиновостей считают, что Фонд Викимедиа обязан предпринять все возможные усилия и пойти на все возможные компромиссы, чтобы предоставить болгарским гражданским журналистам возможность создавать свободные Викиновости на их родном языке, сохранить Болгарские Викиновости в рабочем состоянии, а также оказать этому проекту необходимою инфраструктурную и финансовую поддержку.

Участники Русских Викиновостей требуют от Правления Викимедиа незамедлительно вмешаться в ситуацию, разобраться в ней, прекратить угрозу в отношении Болгарских Викиновостей и публично заявить о своей позиции.

С уважением, от имени и по поручению участников Русских Викиновостей, Александр Красоткин. --sasha (krassotkin) 20:37, 15 September 2019 (UTC)


The Russian Wikinews users support Bulgarian Wikinews community!

We all know that Wikinews, the most complicated Wikimedia project, is difficult to create. We all know that it is really hard to resist any negative pressing from other projects' participants and Wikimedia Foundation staff. We all know how difficult struggle with any other news agencies is.

We respect and thank you for your wish, persistence and everyday work to create the common project of civilian journalism in the Bulgarian language, while following the principles and the best traditions of the Wikimedia movement. We are ready to support you in any way.

The Russian Wikinews users understand and accept claims of Bulgarian Wikinews critics.

However, one should not forget that all described private problems were absolutely typical for all of Wikimedia projects at the different stages of their development. Most of these reasons can be applied to hundreds of all current Wiki projects right now. But after decades of years Wikimedia movement proved that all these growing pains soon disappeared thanks to time and community growth, if properly supported and developed. So none of the reasons (even all together) can be the cause for closing or even deleting this Wiki project with the existing community, which is working honestly for its creation and development.

The Russian Wikinews users remind you:

The Bulgarian Wikinews project was created on February 6, 2005. At the current moment it is 19th among 34 Wikinews language versions in terms of quantity of articles. Its position in the list of all Wikimedia projects is 492nd of 882 projects. In July and August 2019, the Bulgarian Wikinews community activised its work, and one or two news articles were being published daily. The rate is higher than in many Wikinews sections (including the English Wikinews) and even some Wikipedia language sections. The discussion participants (even those who support deletion) confirm that there are no any accusations against the news articles begun during this timeline. At least four active editors have been working at the Bulgarian Wikinews for the last two years.

We, the Russian Wikinews participants, OPPOSE any Language Committee recommendations on closing or deleting the Bulgarian Wikinews project.

We suppose that "the Official recommendation for Board of Trustees on Closing the Bulgarian Wikinews":

  • ignores the fact that there is a workable community of Bulgarian Wikinews which can provide new materials regularly and even more often than at any other Wikimedia projects (including Wikipedia language versions);
  • has no particular proofs of Bulgarian Wikinews users' systematic errors (neither single nor multiple) or rule violations at all;
  • unreasonably accuses Bulgarian Wikinews users (despite empty block logs), while being based only on different views on the news project concept and private disagreements. Often these accusations are provided by people who have no idea of the internal structure of the media site and try to extrapolate and apply the encyclopedia article creation experience to Wikinews projects, which is unacceptable;
  • manipulatively accuses the Bulgarian Wikinews community of limiting the right of voting for non-participants. However, all Wikimedia projects follow this principle during voting arrangement and set limits (for example, for amount of edits in this project) in order to decide who has right to vote in Administrator or Arbitrator elections. The same limits during some tie-breaking situations are set by Stewards and do not include votes of participants who have no experience of the particular project creation.
  • contains insults and accusations, which are unfounded, unproven, contradictory to all facts mentioned above and directed against Bulgarian Wikinews users. Accusations of "inaction", "obvious insolvency", "bias" etc. break the principles of "assuming good faith" and "not being a jerk".
  • has the catastrophic recommendation of not only the closing, but the entire deletion of the project in spite of statements given by all discussion participants: most of Bulgarian Wikinews articles have no errors or admonition. The examples of "bad news" have not been mentioned, the reasons of non-deletion of this "bad news" (if it exists at all) were not mentioned either, despite the similar policy in all Wikimedia projects. Instead of this, the offer to delete all contribution of all goodwill users was given there.
  • has NO OBJECTIVE REASONS for closing or deleting projects.

The Language Committee must withdraw these wrong recommendations, close the discussion of Bulgarian Wikinews project without any doubts and send a formal apology to Bulgarian Wikinews users and the whole Wikimedia community.

The Russian Wikinews users are ready to take part in Bulgarian Wikinews discussions and (if necessary and if requested by the community) become the independent arbitrators for discussions on the quality of particular news articles in Bulgarian Wikinews. This is related to recent publications, any historic materials and any conflict situation inside of the project. Most of us do not know the Bulgarian language, however, the close proximity of Slavic cultures (Bulgarian is one of the oldest Slavic cultures) and modern technologies give us opportunities in details. Furthermore, most of the Bulgarians speak several languages, including Russian, and can always help us in case of misunderstanding some details.

The Russian Wikinews users must notice that, whether the decision of Wikimedia Foundation for keeping the project will be taken or not, we are ready to accept the Bulgarian Wikinews community at the pages of our site and integrate them into the Multilingualism Project, where more than 8 Wikinews sections in different languages are being developed. Therefore the articles will get the proper reviews by our editors (Russian Wikinews are 100% reviewed and premoderated site, where all news are published only after a checking process by editors).

The Russian Wikinews users are ready to accept and save all high-quality historical news of the Bulgarian Wikinews project and integrate them into our Archive, which houses historical news articles published in other issues.

There is only one but very difficult problem, the problem of bilingual articles. Every news article must have its version in Russian language.

Therefore we, the Russian Wikinews users ask that Wikimedia Foundation must do all possible efforts and accept all possible accommodations in order to give to Bulgarian civil journalists the opportunity to create Wikinews in their native language. In other words, the Bulgarian Wikinews must be saved in operative conditions and receive all necessary infrastructural and financial support.

The Russian Wikinews users demand that the Wikimedia Board immediately intervene, study all the details of situation, stop threatening the Bulgarian Wikinews and publicly give their official opinion on this conflict situation.

Best wishes,

For and on behalf of Russian Wikinews users, Alexander Krasotkin --sasha (krassotkin) 20:37, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

FYI: Doc James, Jimbo Wales, Katherine (WMF), NTymkiv (WMF) (antanana), Pundit, Raystorm, Schiste. --sasha (krassotkin) 20:42, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

Discussion after Russian Wikinews Statement

You're missing the fact, that the Bulgarian Wikimedia Community wants this project closed. This Russian intervention is not a surprise for me, having in mind that the top contributor in the Bulgarian Wikinews is well-known for his strong pro-Russian views. --StanProg (talk) 07:17, 16 September 2019 (UTC)

Correction - only 9 want closure and 4 editors want save Bulgarian Wikinews. Those who edit in the project want to save. Only 9 people want to impose their will on 10 million Bulgarians. Stanqo (talk) 08:01, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Stanqo: The link you have provided is for deletion of the highly unreliable news copied from Grigor's website. The votes for deletion of Bulgarian Wikinews are above at the votes section and only 1 voted against, offering an alternative solution with "temporary soft closure" which as we see did not worked. --StanProg (talk) 08:53, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Foreigners who do not understand Bulgarian can speak only in principle, because they cannot evaluate the articles essentially. Stanqo (talk) 09:25, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Stanqo: Are talking about the Russian intervention above? Regarding the articles, we already had a vote 9/4 from 100% Bulgarian native speakers which voted for deletion. --StanProg (talk) 09:30, 16 September 2019 (UTC)

Except that:
  • you miss also the votes cast here, on this page, to outright delete the project;
  • you miss the fact that some colleagues from the Bulgarian wikicommunity just don't bother to give their opinion here—but are otherwise pretty much critical, even as much as “welcoming” the otherwise very kind offer for help from our Russian colleagues with questions why people who are likely not even aware of the Bulgarian realities “so much aspire to school us”;
  • one of those four “wanting to save the project”, actually wrote “Unless a miracle happens, this project is unlikely to start developing, but I see no reason to waste time erasing what had been created”;
  • and of the other three:
  • you, the most active contributor, are infamous for your fake news project on the Bulgarian Wikipedia that in the end got deleted with 13 votes “for”, one requesting that we ban you, and only your own vote “against”; and also for being fascinated with people “who do science”, who call for “defending Bulgaria” with arms against Western Europe and the United States, as “they want to take our territories”, and condemning anyone “who doesn't want to fight” as “the saboteurs of Bulgaria”;
  • the second most active contributor dutifully covers the small protests against the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, at the expense of, say, the much larger protests against the corruption; and now a relative of her (husband, brother, I don't care) bombards my Facebook page with denialist propaganda how the information that I've published about the political repressions after the Communist coup d'état in 1944 “wasn't exactly true”;
  • lastly, we have the other administrator in the project, never elected despite the rules requiring it, who announced in the middle of the vote that he is changing the voting rules—so that only his own vote and that of the editor above suddenly became valid; and never mind that he was in a deep conflict of interest, as the AfD vote was, actually, on articles introduced by him; he also never accepted the offer to stand for election together with me.
All this doesn't sound very convincing, at least in my book.
— Luchesar • T/C 09:36, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Again you are manipulating - those who are against Wikipedia's Current Events Portal and deleting Wikinews vote only because they generally do not like the idea of news in Wikimedia projects. Stanqo (talk) 09:49, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Are you sure that it is not because they don't like the idea of untrue, biased, or misleading information in the Wikimedia projects?
— Luchesar • T/C 10:39, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  • StanProg: How many articles have you created on Bulgarian Wikinews? This is my answer. --sasha (krassotkin) 09:35, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
krassotkin: I haven't written articles on the Bulgarian Wikinews. Did you even read the discussion on the deletion proposal and the on-wiki talk pages related to problem before writing your article? Do you think that it's covering the NPOV? Do you think that it's objective? From what I see, it's covering only the first sentence of the article Propaganda. --StanProg (talk) 10:29, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I looked at your contribution to the Bulgarian Wikinews before answering the previous question. And I see only some cosmetic offers there. I don't see mass principle changes or remarks in articles. However, if you find a “bad article” you can delete it. That's all. This is our normal working practice. --sasha (krassotkin) 11:18, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand this. Are you trying to say that if he—or anyone else, for that matter—hasn't created any, then such people aren't capable of critical thinking and/or should not have a right to express an opinion?
— Luchesar • T/C 09:40, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  • The Bulgarian Wikinews community has never voted to close the project. --sasha (krassotkin) 09:43, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
+1 Stanqo (talk) 09:51, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
krassotkin: Voting is not mandatory. You may ask Stanqo and Grigor why they did not voted. The fact is that until the voting started, this project was dead for many years. Take a look at: User activity stats. --StanProg (talk) 10:29, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I constantly monitor Wikimedia projects statistics. I sometimes struggle with cross-project vandalism and see their edit history. Bulgarian Wikinews is a rather active project on their background. --sasha (krassotkin) 10:43, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
I am sorry that I have to disagree, but I don't see just three people—also completely unresponsive to external criticism—as “the Bulgarian Wikinews community”. This IMHO doesn't align well with the spirit of the WMF projects.
— Luchesar • T/C 10:31, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
krassotkin: There are only 3 contributors. An administrator which was never voted for such (rights given just to clean after his bot), and which enforces changing of rules after a voting process has started so only he and one invited by him contributor can vote on a topic in which he is in conflict of interest. A 2nd editor, which project "Recent Events" (basically news) was deleted few years ago from Wikipedia, due to a lot of issues with the content (NPOV, unreliable sources, copyright violation, pro-Russian propaganda, etc.). The 3rd editor which was personally invited to help revive the project by the administrator, but so far have not find any time to read at least the basic principles of Wikinews. It's absolutely normal in a 3 person Wikimedia project, Wikimedians from other project to be able to comment and vote. --StanProg (talk) 11:55, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  • This is completely abnormal and not accepted in Wikimedia projects. Three regular active users is a very good indicator. Most Wikimedia projects don't have such community. All Wikimedia projects are independent and autonomous. Otherwise, we cannot determine whose voice has more weight for the Bulgarian Wikinews - Bulgarian Wikipedia, similar in language, or Russian Wikinews, similar in theme. That is why we should not consider subjective opinions but facts only. --sasha (krassotkin) 12:44, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
krassotkin: This is absolutely normal and accepted in Wikimedia projects. Few months ago I voted for article deletion on the English Wikinews and my vote was not rejected - my vote was my first contribution to the project. The same contributor that few months ago accepted my vote, now does not accept it (when his personal interests, regarding his website were affected). How can you explain the fact, that my vote for an administrator was accepted, but my vote for deletion of article is not (by the same contributor)? How can you explain the fact, that according to Grigor (the first administrator), the Wikinews administrator Iliev is not eligible to vote on the same project? Do you have such precedent in Russian Wikinews? Three relatively active and controversial users is very bad indicator for the reliability of the project. So most of Wikimedia projects have less than 3 active editors, after 14 years of existence? I doubt that. Wikimedia projects are managed by the Wikimedia community. If someone wants independence and autonomy, they can create their own news website, following their own rules. They can even use content from Wikinews, which were offered to them as a solution. Yes, I agree that we should not consider subjective opinions, like the one expressed above in English & Russian, by people which are barely familiar with the problem, but facts, provided in the last year by contributors, which were part of the whole process and have contributed to it's proper solution. The recommendation of the LangCom is based on facts, not on subjective opinions. They closely followed the development during the last year. --StanProg (talk) 13:47, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  • You can ask them why they did it. I think they assumed good faith. The proposal to delete the project against the wishes of its contributors is clearly not the same. You are constantly talk about multiple violations in the Bulgarian Wikinews, but why are you hiding these mass concrete facts from us. I spent four days searching for "a large number" of "bad articles" on Bulgarian Wikinews and I found nothing. That's why i see here only unreasonable accusations that mislead the community and LangCom. --sasha (krassotkin) 14:22, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
I know why they did it. Because it's OK editor without contributions to the English wikinews be able to vote. I'm not hiding anything, on the contrary - I have listed all the articles at the voting page and we have all voted on this. Here they are: Новини от Спешно.Инфо. Please, take your time and let me know if you find any news with a verifiable source (excluding the Grigor's website speshno.info from which they were copied with a bot to Wikinews). Also, as an experienced Wikinews contributor, can you give us your opinion on the reliability of the mentioned website: speshno.info. Does it covers the Russian Wikinews policy on reliable sources of information? Can you also tell us what makes a news website, a reliable source for the Wikinews project? --StanProg (talk) 15:03, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
The only contact information that you can find there is for advertising (along with their prices and impressions): Тарифи за реклама в www.speshno.info --StanProg (talk) 15:11, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  • We saw this discussion and we commented on it in our statement. This is a typical wikipedians mistake. You apply the principles and rules of Wikipedia to Wikinews. But news agencies work differently. Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published sources. But the most coveted for news agency are original and exclusive reporting and research. Articles on Wikinews may not have any previously published sources as all news agencies do. That's why we don't check the source, but we check each article individually. And when I look at specific articles from your source, I do not find erroneous facts. --sasha (krassotkin) 15:32, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
In Bulgaria we have plenty of fake news websites, we don't need one more. We don't transfer principles and rules from Wikipedia, but from the English Wikinews, especially the official policy for citing source in which it's written: "You must cite your sources. Your sources must be verifiable." and the essay Pillars of writing. If in Russian Wikinews you "don't check the source", this is a problem of the Russian Wikinews. We don't want news without reliable sources, especially written by controversial users, or such that earn money from the traffic generated to their website via paid banners. Let's look at a sample news copied from Grigor's website: n:bg:Дневен борсов коментар (5 март 2010 г., 11:09 ч.) (there is a daily series of these news). Can you "check that article individually" for facts and let us know what do you think and how you come to your conclusion? --StanProg (talk) 16:43, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  • This article was published under a free license and legitimately transferred to Bulgarian Wikinews. This is a professionally and qualitatively written stock exchange report. The exchange officially publishes current and final information about quotes and deals. Then this data is stored forever. You can always request them from the exchange and brokers. Most of this information is also stored in online databases and you can review them at any time. For example, in the morning of March 5, 2010 EMKA traded at 3 leva per lot. On this day, a little more than 25 thousand shares were sold. As stated in the article. But the news is checked at the time of publication, and not ten years late. Then they remain unchanged. If you were checking this news at the time of publication, then you could see EMKA quotes directly on the exchange website. Moreover, at the end of the trading day, an exchange issues a report where you can check all these data on all securities on one page. This example shows well how you unreasonably slandered the Bulgarian Wikinews and their community, and also misled the LangCom. --sasha (krassotkin) 20:19, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Fake news could also be published under free license and they could be very professionally and qualitatively written. The articles in Wikinews must be verifiable. This is basic principle. This one is not. Fake news usually contain some true information, just like this article. Not a single sentence can be confirmed as a whole, just two numbers. Back in 2010 the only account that created all the 509 articles was a bot. Not a single contributor have create an article in the whole year. All the articles are copy/pasted from Grigor's website (which at that time did not declared that it was his website i.e. that he's in conflict of interest, and that he's monetizing it with the traffic from Wikinews). All information that I have provided regarding Grigor's website is based on facts and the Bulgarian community voted to be deleted. If you think that I can persuade one of the top Bulgarian Wikimedians and LangCom to believe in a lie, then you're either overestimating me, or underestimating them. In your comments, you're always avoiding the questions, the ones that do not follow your agenda. I will ask few of them and I hope to got an answer.
1. Is it normal in the Russian Wikinews an administrator to force a rules change for voting, after the voting have started, so only he, and a contributor that he knows that will support him could vote?
2. Is it normal in the Russian Wikinews an administrator of the project to not be eligible to vote?
3. Is it normal in a Wikinews project most of the news to be copied form the website of the administrator, an anonymous website, monetized, without contact information, without editorial team, without verifiable sources, without any indication for reliability and without declaring that conflict of interest for 10+ years?
The fact is that the project was already dead at September 2018, when it was initially proposed. Grigor failed to find a dozen active editors for a whole year, which he claimed is the minimum for a healthy project. In fact he recruited just 1 contributor. Total fail. Having in mind the controversial administrator and the other major contributors' image among the Bulgarian Wikimedia community, this project needs to be closed and deleted. Even if all articles are deleted, most of them are in speshno.info, and the other articles from January 2008 to December 2018 (11 years) are exactly 48, so it will not be such a big loss, even if they are not added to speshno.info as a new host. --StanProg (talk) 23:42, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  • All your questions don't matter for this case. Moreover I already wrote how news agencies work. The only important thing here is that the Bulgarian Wikinews do not contain a lot of "bad articles". This means they cannot be deleted. And the Bulgarian Wikinews have an active community producing quality content. We can look at the last two months. So they can’t be closed. At least for now. You probably don’t notice, but you walk in circles and drown us in flood. I'm sorry but stopping this thread of discussion. Let the LangCom correct its own mistakes, and let the Board decide. --sasha (krassotkin) 09:31, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Sasha, what about Grigor's admittance (diff) that he has been part of the team mainly contributing to speshno.info and that he inserted the CC-BY licensing soon after the licensing concerns were raised at bg.WN and meta? Also, what about one article (written by Grigor) that is possibly copied and translated from one BBC article and that I have concerns about at bg.WN? George Ho (talk) 23:54, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
    • I already read this before. We should be happy when we transferred one more site to a free license. This coincides with our mission. Now we have a clean licensing situation. What does it mean copied? I see rewriting. But it is very subjective. If you think that the article needs deeper rewriting, you can do it. --sasha (krassotkin) 00:58, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
  • ┌─────────────────────────────────┘
    More at #More possible copyvio. George Ho (talk) 02:08, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

Question from Gryllida

Sasha, has anyone asked the BG.WN sysops to delete fake news from their web site? I would volunteer, but I don't read the language. --Gryllida 22:36, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

  • I'm not aware of such requests. --sasha (krassotkin) 23:04, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

To clarify: I ask you to consider recruiting volunteers from BG.WP and any relevant affiliates to delete existing fake news and check new submissions. I think doing this would be in line with the Wikimedia Foundation policies on language inclusiveness and supporting growth of free content in foreign languages. (This has also been posted here, and I recommend this section as the correct place to discuss.). Regards, --Gryllida 22:44, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

  • My colleagues and I are ready to take part in this. But we would like to do this only when the community is looking for a third-party intermediary. We respect the independence and autonomy of the project and Bulgarian community. --sasha (krassotkin) 23:04, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

Also asked at bg.wp. Regards, --Gryllida 22:54, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

  • Thank you! --sasha (krassotkin) 23:04, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
Dear Colleagues,
I really appreciate your efforts to help the Bulgarian Wikinews survive and I'm grateful for the offered help.
At the same time, I'm worried that probably you might've not noticed some important events, which is completely understandable, given the now enormous, almost unfathomable amount of discussions, which had also evolved in quite a few different places. That being said, it had been, indeed, surprising (and, to be absolutely honest, irritating) to see your coverage of the deletion request procedure on runews completely leaving out the numerous concerns that large parts of the Bulgarian wikicommunity had expressed, instead presenting only the position of the just three members of that community, who have decided to develop this project, trying to save it from being closed.
I have no reasons whatsoever to think that this had been intentional—quite the opposite—but it nevertheless was a very unfortunate fact, which also explains why my notification on bgwiki's VP contained harsher statements like “spitting in the face of the Bulgarian wikicommunity”. By the way, I think it is also telling that nobody objected to this (the opposite, actually), and that your later—and really kind—offer for help wasn't exactly welcomed very heartily. I have all reasons to believe that the reaction would not have been such, had it not been for this—let me call it well intentioned, but not perfectly timed and not without flaws—interference in the Bulgarian-language projects. Even if driven by the noblest of motives, such actions serve no good to the otherwise amicable relationship, based on mutual respect, between the two language communities. Again, speaking at least for myself, I truly and deeply appreciate your desire to help. But, please, consider the possibility that it might haven't been presented in the best possible way.
By the way, as I mentioned that notification of mine, I'd like to also apologize for my words that “to me personally the Russian Wikinews are no longer a trustworthy source [of information]”. This was an unfair statement, as I obviously couldn't reasonably judge the whole of the Russian Wikinews by just one single piece (even if I found it seriously flawed), and was disrespectful to the Russian Wikinews community, which, I'm sure, is otherwise doing a commendable work. I express my apologies to all members of that community for these unfair words. That being said, I do not relent on my position that this particular news was disrespectful to the Bulgarian wikicommunity. I hope that you will also understand and respect this right of mine to express my personal opinion.
To conclude, I remain with my best, heartfelt personal feelings for the people in the Russian Wikinews, and I'm even very glad that this, otherwise unfortunate, event lead to some really enjoyable discussions that I had the privilege to have with my Russian colleagues. And I sincerely hope that when all this is over, the relations between the two language communities will also remain very warm and friendly, both on professional and also on a purely personal level.
Thank you,
— Luchesar • T/C 10:26, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
I should've probably added that I am a BG.WN administrator—in fact, the only currently active one elected in accordance with the project rules. The reasons for me to prefer to not escalate the situation had already been presented further above and in other places, so I'm not going to repeat them here. But I will remind the readers that, at the time, anyone willing to clear the contested content was threatened with the stewards: ‘if actions are taken in violation of [these “established WMF practices”], I will immediately refer the case directly to the stewards [on Meta]’. Again, these discussions have become so immense, that it's becoming nigh impossible to even read them, which is why I'm constantly providing those references to specific parts.
— Luchesar • T/C 11:04, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
You also have to apologize to the Bulgarian Wikinews community. Stanqo (talk) 13:15, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Apologize for what? For being threatened that “the Internet will remember your evil deeds” and being harassed by email and on Facebook?
— Luchesar • T/C 13:42, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Hi Luchesar. Thanks for your response. What are "numerous concerns that large parts of the Bulgarian wikicommunity had expressed"? I do not see them detailed, or linked, on this page. (I do not read Bulgarian.) Regards, --Gryllida 23:34, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
When I want to get seriously involved in some discussion, and not just give some “two cents”, the first thing I do is to read everything already written on the topic very thoroughly, sometimes even two (or more) times, just to make sure I've understood very well the case and everyone else's points of view. If there are parts in a language that I can't read, I use Google Translate—it ain't perfect, but nowadays usually does a decent job in helping to get at least an overall idea of the meaning. If something in the translated text doesn't make sense to me or simply doesn't sound right, I politely ask someone to help me with it, making the effort to take as little as possible of their time. Finally, if I want to object to something that someone else had stated somewhere, especially in a long discussion, I do my best to first carefully summarize my understanding of their point(s)—also to help the other person spot any possible misunderstandings, which, in the end, will save everyone's time and energy, including mine.
I believe that this is really the only way to bring some value to a discussion, but also—and not less importantly—it's showing common courtesy and respect to all other participants who have already invested their time and effort.
— Luchesar • T/C 07:58, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
Luchesar: I was hoping for such a large issue there is a volunteer who can provide an accurate translation or summary once. Would seem easier than everyone using broken and non-free Google Translate facilities. --Gryllida 07:28, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

Wait, as Bulgaria is also a part of European Union

Are there also having any statements from ca, cs, cy, da, de, el, es, et, fi, fr, ga, gl, hr, hu, it, lb, lt, lv, mt, nl, pl, pt, ro, sco, sk, sl, sv, tr? --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 03:50, 16 September 2019 (UTC)

:) Very good question, thank you! Really, how come some uninvolved non-Bulgarian users decided to express their strong opinions about Bulgarian Wikinews right after the LangCom proposal? I mean this discussion is going for years, why exactly now? And no new arguments, just "don't do it, it could become valuable!" I don't get it. --Петър Петров (talk) 13:13, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Right now, because the fate of the Bulgarian Wikinews is being decided right now. Stanqo (talk) 13:17, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Or, to be more precise regarding this specific proposal, right during the last 363 days. That being said, no time is late IMHO for reasonable objections, but the key word here is “reasonable”.
— Luchesar • T/C 13:50, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  • We started the discussion right after LangCom published unfounded and unprecedentedly harsh recommendations. --sasha (krassotkin) 13:32, 16 September 2019 (UTC)

More possible copyvio and some other non-copyvio samples

Also, what about one article citing one (currently inactive) speshno.info article as a source? If that's not enough to you, how many more articles not violating copyrights do you want to sample? George Ho (talk) 02:08, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

You may want to check more articles citing BBC as a source, like n:bg:Джеф Безос демонстрира концепция за лунен космически кораб, most likely copied and translated from "Jeff Bezos unveils Moon lander concept". George Ho (talk) 02:14, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

  • It seems we are falling into the trap of subjective perception. We perceive the same thing that is not objectively such.
    There may be several reasons for this. For example, proper names will look the same (Technology website The Hacker News). And our brain attaches great importance to this, perceiving standing nearby words as similar. A retelling of key facts will look similar (The sun rises in the east). But the facts are not protected by copyright. We quote direct speech and retell it as close to the original as possible (he said something). But citations are not protected by copyright. It is regulated by other laws. And so on. All this can cause a mistake.
    I conducted an objective experiment. I translated all these Bulgarian articles into English using a Google Translate and compared them to the source using the popular Wikipedia tool Earwig's Copyvio Detector.
    See the result below:
  1. n:ru:Участник:Krassotkin/Google and Mozilla are taking steps to prevent Internet usage from being monitored: BBC Source -> n:bg:Google и Mozilla вземат мерки, за да предотвратят следенето на употребата на Интернет (Google Translate) = Earwig's Copyvio Detector (8.3%).
  2. n:ru:Участник:Krassotkin/Scientists have discovered older versions of a painting by Leonardo da Vinci: BBC Souce -> n:bg:Google и Mozilla вземат мерки, за да предотвратят следенето на употребата на Интернет (Goggle Translate) = Earwig's Copyvio Detector (1.0%).
  3. n:ru:Участник:Krassotkin/India is demonstrating a spacecraft for its second lunar mission: BBC Source -> n:bg:Индия демонстрира космически апарат за втората си лунна мисия (Google Translate) = Earwig's Copyvio Detector (12.3%).
  4. n:ru:Участник:Krassotkin/Twitter, Facebook and Google remove accounts spreading misinformation about Hong Kong protests: BBC Source 1 -> n:bg:Twitter, Facebook и Google премахват акаунти, разпространяващи дезинформация относно протестите в Хонг Конг (Google Translate) = Earwig's Copyvio Detector (18.0% from BBC Source 1).
  5. n:ru:Участник:Krassotkin/Jeff Bezos demonstrates the concept of a lunar spacecraft: BBC Source -> n:bg:Джеф Безос демонстрира концепция за лунен космически кораб = Earwig's Copyvio Detector (1.0%).
Very interesting situation #4. The tool hints that one of the articles on the BBC coincides with the Twitter blog by 20%. But BBC closely monitors copyright compliance. This means that all of Bulgarian Wikinews articles from this list where the compliance is much lower also do not violate copyrights.
In any case, as I wrote above: this is definitely not a literal translation and the sufficient depth of rewriting is a very subjective question. But if we doubt it is better to further refine it.
What do you think about? --sasha (krassotkin) 09:15, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
I honestly doubt that Google Translation, no matter how popular and much it is relied on, is 100% accurate and reliable. The translation is auto-generated and may have accuracy issues, but it also allows any user to suggest alternative translations and provide other feedback. Also, Earwig's detector would fail to match from directly one language to another: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5. Moreover, you may want analyze and compare sources of the #3 situation (news article about Chandrayaan-2). In my view, Earwig's detector could not compare the sources in two different languages, so you had to use Google Translator and then copied the translations into ru.WN... well, just for testing, for more accuracy.
Despite my concerns, you still trust the main contributors of bg.WN, right? I mean, why do you still trust the three editors over the whole bg-wiki community who have had content concerns? I don't know much about the relationship between Bulgaria and Russia, and I'm unsure why Russia has been very interested in Bulgarian affairs.
As for the #4 situation, since we rely so much on Google Translator, I don't know what argument you are going to build after seeing comparison with BBC source #2 and Twitter blog. You can conclude your arguments by merely reading the percentages of likeliness, but I'm still confident that the BBC material has been infringed. George Ho (talk) 16:08, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
Almost forgot. The matter isn't about whether facts are copyrighted or not in a jurisdiction; the main concern is the expression of fact, and I mean expression. And the links from Earwig's tool that I provided are just directly comparing the Bulgarian-language counterparts. George Ho (talk) 16:22, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

I found dir.bg article having the same content as either speshno.info or bg.WN, both published on 18 March 2010. The time of publication in the former source was 15:33 local time (13:33 UTC), but the latter source was made at least 30 minutes prior, i.e. 13:02 UTC. I can't tell whether it's a backwardscopy or copyvio. Regardless of whichever came first, I used Google Translate (because I don't understand Bulgarian very much) and found the article content telling some outrageous story to be resembling either a tabloid, yellow journalism, or something. I don't think the article has verified whether the whole outrageous story is true or not. George Ho (talk) 05:18, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

  • I would delete this article. But we must ask the author. Perhaps there are some explanations. --sasha (krassotkin) 09:21, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
Pinging Grigor again. George Ho (talk) 16:11, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

I begin to believe that the article was promoting some TV program about one woman with outrageous story. If one citing speshno.info isn't enough, how about two more:

  • n:bg:ЗАЩО ОБИЧАМ ТОДОР ЖИВКОВ? (17 ноември 2011 г., 13:26 ч.) <----> nova.bg page (detector)
    I don't know whether one source came first before the other two. The former was created on 13:01 (UTC), 17 November 2011‎. The latter was published on 15:16 local time (13:16 UTC) the same day, i.e. fifteen minutes later. Nevertheless, the article itself promotes another TV program that probably favors some politician named Todor Zhivkov.
    • Maybe they are based on one press release? --sasha (krassotkin) 20:36, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
  • n:bg:САМОРОДЕН ТАЛАНТ ТЪРСИ СВОЯ ГЕЙ-ПАТРОН (4 юни 2010 г., 12:24 ч.) most likely copied from lifestyle.bg article (detector)
    The lifestyle.bg published the article on 16:52 local time (13:52 UTC), 3 June 2010, one day before the speshno.info or bg.WN did, i.e. 4 June 2010, 10:02 UTC.
    • Yes, this is also copyvio, we must delete these articles. --sasha (krassotkin) 20:17, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
      • How many more articles must you sample? George Ho (talk) 20:46, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
        • We must remove anything that violates copyright. But I take random article by link and there are no problems: 1 (d), 2 (d), 3 (d). --sasha (krassotkin) 21:42, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
          • About #2 article: n:bg:250 кандидат-ангела в конкурса за Ангели на AXN (14 ноември 2011 г., 14:42 ч.) <----> woman.bg (detector). Somehow, it was posted on both sites on the same date. However, bg.WN one was posted on 16:01 UTC, while the woman.bg one was posted on 19:48 local time (17:48 UTC). Still, it looks like a press release specifically for some beauty contest. George Ho (talk) 21:58, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
            • It also looks like a press release published by two sites without changes. -> so. --sasha (krassotkin) 22:15, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
          • #1 (n:bg:17ч, Разрушително земетресение в Порт-о-Пренс, Хайти) is a translation of the English Wikinews article. #3 (n:bg:Борба за 10 декара от Морската градина на Варна) looks like some protest piece fighting for one point of interest, some garden. I don't know why you're okay with the article's obvious POV headline. George Ho (talk) 22:13, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
            • It may be even worse, as this very article also links to the Open letter to the institutions published by Stanqo. Grigor has many times claimed (last time here) that he doesn't see anything wrong with it, that it looks like normal “news”, and that it adheres to good journalistic practices. I have noted to him 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 along the lines of “X published an open letter to the institutions, the text of which we provide here without changes”. But reprinting it verbatim with absolutely no commentary and in an article literally named “Open letter to...”—even if, as Grigor also points, there is someone's signature at the bottom that isn't Wikinews'—can be easily (mis)interpreted as at least an endorsement on behalf of Wikinews. To repeat what I've written earlier, “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.”
              George Ho, could I ask you to please also take a look at it when you have the time and give your opinion? I'll really appreciate it, thanks!
              — Luchesar • T/C 22:28, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
              • While I'm still looking into that article, I found that fandom.com have copied the bg.WN article. Also, two of the sources are no longer active probably. I was able to retrieve the article via its own search engine since the content either needs Adobe Flash or is blank(?). George Ho (talk) 00:59, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
                • That fandom.com article is also created by Stanqo (at least the username on Fandom is the same).
                  — Luchesar • T/C 15:37, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
              • Using the Translator, the article discusses w:Sea Garden (Varna), somehow opposes transferring public property to private owners, and includes info about living people, especially a city mayor. The open letter is some angry letter to a city government. Has non-Wikinews newspapers and other periodicals written open letters to others yet? I'm uncertain whether the info hasn't been verified yet as true. Still, the fact that the articles haven't been fact-checked for years has been irking the Bulgarian community. Would the Russian Wikinews accept and verify the said article and open letter about Sea Garden in Varna as truthful pieces? George Ho (talk) 03:53, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
                • Exactly. If our colleagues from the Russian Wikinews wish to take the existing content and the three contributors to continue developing it and writing news in Bulgarian on the Russian Wikinews, so much the better (as long, of course, as such project wouldn't claim to be _the_ Bulgarian Wikinews, as in “the Bulgarian-language version of Wikinews, endorsed by the Wikimedia Foundation”. It'll be their content, their contributors, their responsibility.
                  Thank you very much, George Ho!
                  — Luchesar • T/C 15:37, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
            • Alexander, I will be glad to hear your opinion too if you could possibly also take a look. Thank you!
              — Luchesar • T/C 22:40, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
              • This article needs a lead and make the letter as a quote. It's enough. --sasha (krassotkin) 22:46, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
                • Done. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 13:33, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
                • Really appreciate it, Alexander! That was exactly the way I imagined it as a bare minimum to pass as “news”. Glad to see this issue solved (more or less).
                  — Luchesar • T/C 15:43, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
            • #1: Please be attentive and objective. This is not translation of English Wikinews article. --sasha (krassotkin) 22:20, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

By telling that the articles were just promoting TV programs, I begin to think that most of speshno.info content, including ones deleted or no longer active, must have copied content from other sources, but I'm basing this on just three samples. If more samples are needed, I'd be glad to post them. George Ho (talk) 19:08, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

  • I think Grigor knows better about the origin of these articles. And when the attack on the project stops, we can calmly solve this problem. --sasha (krassotkin) 20:27, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
Most of the articles in speshno.info were based on press releases distributed by information agencies and/or other media, usually through mailing lists. We (the speshno.info team) usually wrote its articles from scratch, despite that we could simply post the press releases themselves unchanged (that is what they actually were distributed for). However, in some cases we might have posted the press release unchanged, either by mistake in the hurry (instead of the article we wrote), or if someone decided to skip the writing (there have been days where we couldn't handle everything and paid other people to do a part of the work). My guess is that other news sites did the same. This could create cases where two or more media who got the same press release published it unchanged. The article n:bg:Снежана Ангелова гледа детето на зверски убитата си дъщеря (18 март 2010 г., 14:02 ч.) appears to be one of these; its style very well matches what I remember from the press releases we received.
I believe that such an article should be legally OK for Wikinews, as the press releases we got did not have any licensing info attached, but the mode and the intent of their distribution would place them in the public domain. However, I would happily discuss any different opinion.
We also permitted some other sites to re-publish our news; in some cases even delayed making our news visible to the readers, to give advantage to the others. This could also create cases when news that is originally ours exists on several different other sites too.
Finally, I personally have caught at least two dozens of sites copying our news without a permission. (It is strange that I never caught a site copying them from Wikinews, despite that they had the same text etc.) There are probably thief sites that I missed. That could also create cases when news that are originally ours are found on other sites too.
BTW, as for the article n:bg:Google и Mozilla вземат мерки, за да предотвратят следенето на употребата на Интернет, I finally decided to solicit the opinion of a leading Bulgarian IP legal expert. It is posted on the talk page of the article, and in short says:
  • There is no copyright violation, because the articles are not identical to a sufficient degree.
  • Even a literal translation of this BBC article would not be a violation of the copyright law.
I will be glad to answer any additional questions. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 20:31, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
You don't believe that you have violated Terms of Use (en) (bg), do you? And you don't believe that you've infringed other people's intellectual properties, do you? How is the exact (or nearly exact) translation of the whole BBC article not an infringement of IP? George Ho (talk) 20:40, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
And do you not think that copying just the whole press release is an IP infringement? George Ho (talk) 20:46, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Григор Гачев: Press releases are also protected by copyright. All of them that are published unchanged must be deleted. How do you rate their number? --sasha (krassotkin) 22:09, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
Probably about several dozens total. I will start examining the articles and trying to determine which might be directly published press releases, and rewriting or deleting them. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 13:33, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
As I already explained, it is an expert on intellectual property law who believes that we haven't infringed BBC intellectual property, and that what you believe to be "exact (or nearly exact) translation of the whole BBC article" is actually not so. Here is a translation in English of this part of his statement:
An expert opinion by Emil A. Georgiev:
There is no identity, because:
  • the titles are not identical
  • the source has 320 words, while the article in Wikinews has only 158 words
  • close to a literal translation are two small paragraphs, quoting The Hacker News and Censored Planet - the rest of the Wikinews article is an abridged re-telling of the source.
There is also a verbose explanation why the copyright violation argument is not applicable, which I don't dare to translate, not being good with legal English. In short and simple words, it states that the article in (BG) Wikinews is acceptable there, because it does not infringe copyright.
I am also convinced that the article does not violate Wikimedia Foundation's Terms of Use, as these concern how someone else could use content from WMF, and not how one can use third-party content to create WMF content.
Finally, I believe that copying a whole press release that is being distributed by its creators with the purpose to be copied and published, whole or in part, is not an IP infringement. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 22:14, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Unfortunately, the last two sentences are wrong. --sasha (krassotkin) 22:27, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
Grigor, you must also realize that a translation can be subject to copyright: legalzoom, argotrans, quora, azcentral, others to search from. Georgiev is a politician and an attorney, but he is not a professor or an academic. How is he a reliable source/expert on copyright? George Ho (talk) 22:34, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
sasha (krassotkin), point taken - will keep that in mind. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 13:33, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
George Ho, as for Georgiev, he is considered one of the top few Bulgarian experts on copyright, regularly appears in media on this topic, etc - far more than eg. as a politician. I am aware of only one more established Bulgarian copyright law expert (who is also not a professor or an academic), who however to my best knowledge doesn't consult individuals.
That is why I trust his opinion that the Wikinews article cannot legally be considered a translation of the BBC article. For a start, his word counts - 320 for the one article, 158 for the other - are correct, and that difference is unrealistic for a translation between European languages, neither of which is agglutinative.
Still, the existence of concern about copyvios needs being addressed. I will create today a project in the Bulgarian-language Wikinews where everyone will be able to report possible copyvios, both for new articles and for old ones. These either will be rewritten to avoid any doubt for copyright violation, or will be deleted. I couldn't agree more than copyvios are unacceptable in Wikinews. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 13:33, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Update: The project is created. Please be welcome to report any possible copyright violations on it. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 14:14, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Actual link: n:bg:Уикиновини:Нарушения на авторско право. The above link is nonexistent. --George Ho (talk) 14:36, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

Ukrainian and Belorussian Wikinews

To inform: Ukrainian Wikinews are showing their awareness by publishing their version of the Russian-originated story: n:uk:Фонд Вікімедіа хоче видалити Болгарські Вікіновини, and at Russian story comments Belorussian Wikinews representative (project is in Incubator) also expresses support for Bulgarian project. --Ssr (talk) 19:16, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

The link shows an Ukrainian wikinews article informing about the fact that LangCom proposed deleting the bgnews wiki, that's all. Can you give the link to the Belorussian Wikinews article that you mentioned? --Петър Петров (talk) 08:13, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
I didn't say there was more in Ukrainian. And I did say that Belorussian showed support in Russian comments, no article yet. --Ssr (talk) 13:57, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

Note on copyright policy

This comment should not be taken as a "hidden message" on the ultimate outcome of this proposal in any direction. It is meant to address only exactly what it addresses.
I would just remind everyone on this topic that not only Bulgarian copyright law but also US copyright law must be satisfied. Even if the Bulgarian copyright expert cited above is correct about how Bulgarian copyright law applies, we will still need to make sure that US copyright law is not violated. One way or the other, at the conclusion of this proposal, we will probably need WMF Legal to look into this.

  • I will add: if in the future some or all Bulgarian content ends up on Russian Wikinews, then copyright law of Russia, Bulgaria and US will all have to be satisfied. StevenJ81 (talk) 15:19, 18 September 2019 (UTC)