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

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(Added signature to temporary closure notice.)
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{{notice|Page is protected while I prepare an update. I expect the protection to be lifted not later than 19:00 UTC today. It will probably be sooner, but in case I am delayed, I don't wish to promise it sooner than that. [[User:StevenJ81|StevenJ81]] ([[User talk:StevenJ81|talk]]) 13:42, 23 September 2019 (UTC)}}
 
 
{{Closing project proposal
 
{{Closing project proposal
 
| notice = [[:n:bg:Уикиновини:Разговори#Изтриване на Уикиновини на български]], [[:w:bg:Уикипедия:Разговори#Намаляваща активност в българските Уикиновини]]
 
| notice = [[:n:bg:Уикиновини:Разговори#Изтриване на Уикиновини на български]], [[:w:bg:Уикипедия:Разговори#Намаляваща активност в българските Уикиновини]]
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| content = best deleted; if transferred to [[Wikimedia Incubator]] per default policy, care needs to be taken to at least remove the false news stories
 
| content = best deleted; if transferred to [[Wikimedia Incubator]] per default policy, care needs to be taken to at least remove the false news stories
 
| chapters = [[Talk:Wikimedians of Bulgaria#Изтриване на Уикиновини на български]]
 
| chapters = [[Talk:Wikimedians of Bulgaria#Изтриване на Уикиновини на български]]
| status = board
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| status = accepted
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| comment = See [[#Project closed]] below. Closure is immediate. After some cleanup, we will (i) see about giving Russian Wikinews access to remaining content if it wants, as well as (ii) move toward the effective deletion of the project. Speaking for LangCom, I will say we are sad to do this, but we think it is the right thing to do. [[User:StevenJ81|StevenJ81]] ([[User talk:StevenJ81|talk]]) 19:04, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
 
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::: Kind regards,<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> 13:04, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
 
::: Kind regards,<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> 13:04, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
 
{{discussion bottom}}
 
{{discussion bottom}}
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==Project closed==
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LangCom's statement above largely speaks for itself. We will add just a couple of notes to that:
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# Grigor's belief, backed up by Krassotkin, that a project can categorically exclude anyone on the outside from participating in discussions and !votes is simply not true, particularly when the number of contributors in the project is tiny, as was the case here. In such cases, potentially interested parties can—even should—be invited to contribute, as they were here. (The reason this is allowed is to encourage those potentially interested parties to start working on the currently-tiny project.)
  +
# It is almost never permitted to change the rules for discussion and !voting in the middle. In this case, the outside interested parties had been invited, so their participation was legitimate. On the very rare occasions that the rules can be changed in the middle, that change is ''always'' to ''broaden'' participation, not ''narrow'' participation.
  +
#:Taking the two points above, the real truth is that if the people favoring keeping the project open had simply honored the RfD and allowed those pages to be deleted, there is a good chance we wouldn't be talking about a closure now.
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# The threats to call in the stewards, as well as the personal attacks on people favoring closure, did not help the people favoring keeping the project open win their case. (Note that the people favoring closure did ''not'' personally attack the ones favoring keeping the project open.)
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# The prohibition against a future Bulgarian Wikinews is not "forever". But at this point, LangCom's [[:en:WP:AGF|assumption of good faith]] toward the current team is (at best) strained. And neither LangCom nor the sysops at Incubator see themselves as competent to make sure we don't see a repeat of these problems right away. So for the time being, that's going to remain.
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# '''The issues around this project are specific to this project. Normally, LangCom does not get involved in content disputes nor in process disputes, nor does it want to. Nobody should assume that this is part of any larger issues around Wikinews projects ... or projects in Bulgarian ... or anything else. And nobody should assume they can make precedential "case law" out of this decision: this decision is limited to this wiki only.''' [[User:StevenJ81|StevenJ81]] ([[User talk:StevenJ81|talk]]) 18:59, 23 September 2019 (UTC)

Revision as of 19:05, 23 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 accepted and the proposed actions should be taken.

  • Explanation by the closing Langcom member: See #Project closed below. Closure is immediate. After some cleanup, we will (i) see about giving Russian Wikinews access to remaining content if it wants, as well as (ii) move toward the effective deletion of the project. Speaking for LangCom, I will say we are sad to do this, but we think it is the right thing to do. StevenJ81 (talk) 19:04, 23 September 2019 (UTC)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Initial discussion (September–October 2018)

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

Comments

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

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

(flush left, but continuing the topic)

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

StevenJ81, here is how I see the things:

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

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

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

Votes

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

Alternative proposal

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

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

References

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

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

Subsequent comments

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

19 December 2018

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

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

2 January 2019

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

26 January 2019

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

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

4 February 2019

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

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

31 May 2019

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

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

21 July 2019

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

28 July 2019

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

31 July 2019

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

Some key background facts:

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

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

  • Earlier here, he wrote “A lot of people in BG Wikipedia - including you [Luchesar] - know very well that at least two of these [editors] (me and Stanqo) are around [in bgnews] and active.” (emphases are mine).
  • Although he seemed to somewhat downplay Stanqo's role in the RfC discussion (see also my reply that follows), on bgnews he actually openly defended Stanqo, writing:

As for Stanqo - I'm not following what he does in Wikipedia, [but] here [in Wikinews] he has [indeed] had some not-that-good contributions years ago. For the last half a year, however, I carefully follow his contributions here, and they are completely okay. I haven't noticed a single hate piece, nor an attempt to get involved in political matters. At least during this time he is presenting himself as a conscientious and valuable editor. What will [his contributions] be in the future I don't know, just like I don't know about anybody else - but for the time being I have no reasons to think bad about him.

  • Later, after a few comments by Stanqo and me, focusing on whether the WMF's projects may or may not be used for advocacy and propaganda and to what extent the editors are free to express personal positions in the articles themselves, Grigor added:

I would like to point out that I appreciate the qualities of Stanqo as a Wikinews editor for his contributions to Wikinews. If I had to evaluate his qualities as a Wikipedia editor, I would appreciate them for his contributions to Wikipedia. I think this would be the right approach for anyone who wants to give a real and valid evaluation to an editor, Luchesar. What will be his contributions to Wikinews for the future I have no way of knowing, and I suppose you [don't know] too. What they were in the distant past - [well,] in the distant past we were all soiling the diapers and dripping snot.

Even in this particular case, let me draw your attention - publishing open letters is a standard news practice. In Wikipedia it undoubtedly has no place, but in Wikinews it could be admissible, subject to standard journalistic rules.

  • I reminded Grigor that we weren't talking about “the time when we all soiled our diapers”, but about a clear case of bad faith editing a mere 3 months ago. I also noted that while publishing open letters may indeed be “standard news practice”, it should at least be accompanied by a proper commentary, at the very least in the lines of “X published an open letter to the institutions, the text of which we provide here without changes”. I couple of comments later, Grigor basically repeated his point:

If you allow me [to share] a personal opinion, here at Wikinews Stanqo has had some not-that-good contributions, but also many good ones. I think it is fair for a man to be judged not only for his mistakes, but also for his good contributions. (My position is limited to Wikinews - I have not followed his contributions on Wikipedia and have no opinion about them.)

  • As this was beginning to look like a case of argumentum ad infinitum (by the way, I noticed the very same behaviour in this subthread too), I made a concise recap of my points. And—since by that time I had also finished working on the user activity stats—I noted how unreasonable seemed Grigor's claim that he had been “carefully following” Stanqo's contributions “for the last half a year”, when, in fact, during that period (and before July 19th, when he showed up to support Grigor in the voting), Stanqo had exactly two edits—from July 11. His previous edit was on 15 November 2018, and the one before that—on October 18. And both of these edits from July 11 were on that “open letter to the institutions”.
  • Actually, all Stanqo's contributions after his attempt to carry on with his fake news project on Wikinews in late 2016—and before July 19—are just six in total, of which half on the “letter”. When I presented these numbers to Grigor, commenting that not only this couldn't be taken as a serious proof for someone being “a conscientious and valuable editor”, but also probably indicating that Grigor hadn't even looked at Stanqo's contributions, Grigor replied:

I repeat: I did not follow what Stanqo wrote on Wikipedia, so I do not judge his presentation there, I am not competent. I only discuss his presentation here. Also, I do not judge him only by his old contributions - people change over time, so I emphasize the new ones. Yes, there are not many [contributions] - that's often the case with small projects like Wikinews, [as] you must know from your experience. But the way they are, in my opinion they are not in violation of the principles and practices of the Wikimedia Foundation and/or of Wikinews in particular. Correct me if I am wrong.

  • Feeling already frustrated, I just commented that “closing one's eyes to the facts, regardless of the reasons, never leads to anything good”. Finally—and what in the end prompted me to share this—in reply Grigor wrote:

Let's say it directly. Can you point out a contribution by Stanqo here for the last year, which is fake news, manipulation or otherwise unacceptable? I don't see one, but maybe I missed it. Please refute me - point out specific unacceptable contributions!

  • In the light of everything presented above, IMHO this is, at the very least, an attempt to shift the burden of proof. And it isn't the only such case: in the other subthread that I mentioned, as well as in other places, Grigor has written numerous times that his news site, speshno.info, could be deemed an unreliable source only if someone managed to prove that there was—as he put it down in this example—a “significant percentage of bad news” on the site:

Be honest - do you have any objections to the objectivity, truthfulness and so on of the information [that came] from speshno.info? Can you point out a significant percentage of bad news from there? If yes, I will agree with you that the site is not a credible source.

  • If you are unaware of the speshno.info case, there's a brief summary on the voting rules RfC. TL;DR: The largest content on bgnews today are the ~1200 articles that Grigor uploaded from this site in 2009–2013. The site is banned on bgwiki, because the articles have no authors and the site lists no contact information. In addition, speshno.info presents as its two “partner sites” (and has always presented these, contrary to Grigor's own claims) two ones implicated in spreading disinformation and propaganda.
  • On his part, Grigor claims that he is actually the person behind the site, and while “To what extent and where will I disclose this [fact about being behind the site] is my personal choice, [as] I have some considerations for it, etc.”, the community, he writes in the same diff, must accept the website as reliable, because “So yes, I can totally say - [the person] behind [this] website is me and [thus, behind it also is] my reputation [as an editor] here, good or bad.”
⁎ * ⁎

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

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

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

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

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

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

13 August 2019

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

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

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

15 August 2019

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

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


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


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


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


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

Closure discussion (22 August 2019)

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

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


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


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


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


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


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

Formal closure recommendation to the Board

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discussion after LangCom's statement

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

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

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

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

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

The statement «[н]икаких нареканий на созданные в этот период новости обнаружить не удалось», “we could not find any complaints about the news created during this period” clearly (and inexplicably) ignores the complaints made by the global Bulgarian wikicommunity—which, let me remind this, was in the end even denied the right to participate in votings on the project—a precedent amongst all Bulgarian-language projects. While I fully respect the work of our colleagues in the Russian Wikinews, at least in my personal view the decision to cover this story in such a biased way can only be regretted. It is even more troubling, given how exactly these very days Bulgaria is amidst a huge media scandal, where turning even more news sources into propaganda machines is being attempted. Last, but not least, defending editors (those mentioned to have done the active “infrastructure work”) who have been promoting clearly far-right views is, again, in my view, perhaps not exactly the best of possible judgement calls. That all being said, of course everyone is entitled to their opinion and, in any case, I thought it was only right to bring this also to the attention of the Bulgarian wikicommunity.
— Luchesar • T/C 10:11, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Luchesar: Thank you. In my opinion, here are too many emotion and very few facts. I have not explored the entire history of Bulgarian Wikinews, but I have watched selectively the last two months, when the community decided to revive the project. I did not find anything you say. It look like good developing project. Could you please give us links to propaganda articles in Bulgarian Wikinews have been written over the past two months. --sasha (krassotkin) 11:41, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
krassotkin, I totally respect and appreciate your opinion, but I'm afraid that it is exactly the facts that you may be missing. I'm sorry that I have to say this, but you are, essentially, repeating the arguments of Grigor's defense of Stanqo.
Just like there, you also ask to have clear “propaganda articles” pointed to, but then only in the last two months, ignoring the long history of highly controversial edits of the same editor. And you ask only for articles, again ignoring comments and appeals in discussions by the same editor that show his clearly biased (to put it mildly) views. And you ask only about Wikinews, ignoring the problematic contributions to Wikipedia. And, finally, you seem to ignore the other problematic pieces, like that “open letter to the institutions”, or the attack on the Bulgarian News Agency (which were also not from the last two months, true), or the promotion of that unknown youtuber—granted, none of this has been propaganda (at least not ideological or political).
Please see also what I've written here: given how this project is subjected to some serious scrutiny, few would be so careless as to publish blatant propaganda or fake news at this very moment. I was even surprised how Stanqo did slip out about that rubbish far-right video, with whose creators (“people who do science”, in his words) he seems to be so fascinated (let me note as well that he's now the absolutely most active editor). But it also isn't the first time I notice such behaviour.
Because—and just to be also clear that these are not just some paranoidal, completely unfounded, suspicions—Stanqo's “Recent events project” on bgwiki started exactly like this: quite a benign news stream, if not exactly of very high quality. It was only years later that we realized what, in fact, it was and decided to finally close it. But it was years, literally. This is why I feel that asking to point to clear “propaganda” in the “last two months” is neither fair, nor really helpful.
Most importantly, however, regarding what you see as a “good developing project”: to me, really, the core issue have never been the problematic articles per se, but rather the lack of a healthy local community. It was exactly the atmosphere in the project—with the wider community being denied the right to have a say, together with the complete dismissal of the reasonable critical points being raised—that made me most worried and, ultimately, convinced me that there's no real hope for “revival”.
And one final note: I'll be very grateful if you could be so kind to point your news article to this discussion here, and not to the Bulgarian Wikipedia. The reason that I have notified the community there is simply because the vast majority of the Bulgarian wikicommunity (if not practically everyone) spends most of their time there. Please, do not get the Bulgarian Wikipedia as a project involved into this. I'm afraid this could unintentionally serve the unfair and, I'd say, completely unfounded rhetoric of the “evil Bulgarian wikipedians”, who “just want to destroy the Bulgarian Wikinews for no reason”. I trust that you'll respect this request of mine and the Bulgarian wikicommunity in general. Thank you.
— Luchesar • T/C 13:01, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done on pointing the discussion from RWN. I would also like to point people to this English language Facebook discussion. --Ssr (talk) 14:34, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Really appreciate it, Ssr. Thank you very much!
— Luchesar • T/C 14:53, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
FYI that this is now reported on eo.wn as well, along with a translation of the LangCom statement. wikinews:eo:La Vikimedia Fondaĵo volas forigi la bulgarajn Vikinovaĵojn Sincerely, Aŭdrea (talk) 20:59, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Thank you. A brief note about the big red notice that seems to draw everyone's attention. The decision to post it was my personal one, as an active—and I'll emphasize it—duly elected by the community sysop on the project (non-sysops wouldn't be able to edit MediaWiki:Sitenotice anyway). Initially, the notice was much more discrete. But then I noticed an increasing influx of editing IPs (though I strongly suspect that there's actually just one or maybe two real editors behind them, given the specific network ranges), and so decided to make it, incrementally, as the procedure was nearing the final stage, more attention-grabbing so that any possible new contributors are clearly notified of the possible closure and deletion of the project. It would've been unfair, I think, to have people contributing, only to find a week or two later that the project has been closed and their contributions seemingly gone (they would always be available at least in the dumps, but not many people would be even aware of this). If anyone thinks this was a bad call on my part, please let me know—I'm always open to hearing critical remarks on my work, as that's often the only way to improve on it.
— Luchesar • T/C 22:10, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Aŭdrea, could I, please, also ask you to add a link to the discussions here (i.e. to this page)? I think that for everyone reading the news, it would be very helpful to get the complete background (and, possibly, even share their own opinion). I'm sorry if the link is actually there and I just haven't noticed it (I'm afraid my eyes nowadays are not as good as they were years ago). Thank you!
— Luchesar • T/C 22:16, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
The requested link has been added, along with a little extra context - thank you. I would also like to note that EO.WN did not include the disputed sentence quoted above (that was in the RU.WN version) as this wasn't verifiable. Aŭdrea (talk) 22:51, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
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.
Cheers,
— 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)

Translation:

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)

Dear Svetlana, I understood very well what you were asking for. But the problem here is that somebody really would need to volunteer their scarce—just like with anyone of us here, I'm sure—time for things that at least IMHO are not only of secondary importance, but actually distract from the key issue in this project, namely the failure to build a healthy and diverse community of editors that would've allowed the project to continue evolving in the spirit and principles of WMF.
Not to mention that some (not exhaustive) summaries of such issues have actually already been made in English, e.g. here, and that the lack of resources in the Bulgarian-language community has also been clearly expressed as one of the very arguments in support of this proposal.
Ignoring this fundamental issue (I'm not referring to you specifically—I actually express again my gratitude and appreciation for your kind offer to help—but speaking in general), by constantly pointing to “no current violations” (not to mention that quite a few such violations, both in terms of copyvios and possible inappropriate POV, have actually been identified even on this very page) and to the possibility of “just fixing them”, shifts the discussion IMHO in an unhelpful direction.
As I gave above the example with the elephant, even if one attaches wings to it, it's very unlikely that it would be able to fly. And believing that an elephant can magically turn overnight into a realistically flying animal, say, a member of the family Gryllidae (wink ;)), is, IMHO, wishful thinking. Further, when practically all other members of the Elephantidae family (the analogy is with the Bulgarian-language community) think that the elephant is unable to fly, having, say, the Ursidae family (I think everyone will get the analogy, and I emphasize here also the very friendly wink) insist that the Elephantidae are wrong, and that the latter even have malevolent intentions, and that they even need to apologize to the said elephant, is turning what was mostly an expert, policy-based discussion into a politically charged one (because, as much as one may be well meaning and sincere in their offers for help, they must also remain mindful of the other people's feelings and try to be tactful).
Believe it or not, it wasn't Luchesar—as, sadly, it has been suggested on RU.WN—who had “actively incited feelings of animosity” in the Bulgarian wikicommunity. If anything, I believe to have kept a very polite, respectful, and (sincerely!) friendly tone, where other colleagues would've preferred to be (and have been) much more direct. Truth be told, the other day I was frequently distracted from my work by upset people on Facebook asking me “what the heck is this?!” If anyone feels it's easier to blame it all on Luchesar—so be it. But this, I'm afraid, won't help much to understand the underlying­ and—I dare say—serious issue, which could easily erupt in even stronger reactions (even if Luchesar would somehow just disappear).
Just to be completely clear: having questions “has anyone asked the BG.WN sysops to delete fake news” get answers “I'm not aware of such requests” in the light of the RfC, conveniently linked from the notice box in the very beginning of the page, being mostly about these very issues, is at best unmindful, and at worst—arrogant. Asking then the Bulgarian Wikipedia editors to respect their own civility code of conduct in their own project, especially given how I personally was labelled “a skillful manipulator” on RU.WN (and I never even mentioned it in my reply), is, even at best, arrogant. I believe I have an intelligent and reasonable person before me, so I'm sure you'll understand then how even unintentionally implying that someone is obliged to volunteer is not very tactful (sorry if I've missed it, but I didn't see anything to hint a request, like “please”, “could you possibly”, “I'll appreciate”; there was just “where are those those concerns, I don't see them, I do not read Bulgarian”).
To conclude, I felt that I need to give those explanations after being accused, again on RU.WN (same diff) of being rude to you. I do apologize to you for anything, which I may have said that sounded disrespectful. I have not meant to offend you, and, again, I do much appreciate your offer for help. Yet I can't help but also notice how I'm seeing lots of demands for apologies and not a single even hint of “feeling sorry” for what that declaration might have meant for the Bulgarian wikicommunity.
And really lastly, let me also be completely clear on one thing. Just as I've said on RU.WN, I don't divide my friends or acquaintances based on their nationality. If I do draw some lines, it's based on their personality.
Sincerely,
— Luchesar • T/C 10:25, 19 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)

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)

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 copyrights, do you? How is the exact (or nearly exact) translation of the whole BBC article not an infringement of IP copyright? George Ho (talk) 20:40, 17 September 2019 (UTC); amended, 07:37, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
And do you not think that copying just the whole press release is an IP copyright infringement? George Ho (talk) 20:46, 17 September 2019 (UTC); amended, 07:37, 19 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)
My mistake. Thanks! -- Григор Гачев (talk) 20:12, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Does Georgiev have (enough) experience with the US copyright law, though?
— Luchesar • T/C 15:55, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Grigor, do you think US copyright law applies to Bulgarian Wikinews? To Russians: do you think that the US copyright law applies Russian Wikinews? George Ho (talk) 18:54, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
@George Ho: US copyright law applies to all projects. See, inter alia, United States non-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term. StevenJ81 (talk) 19:54, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
I know that. I was asking to specifically Grigor and ru.WN community. George Ho (talk) 19:57, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Luchesar, I believe that Georgiev's experience with the US copyright law is irrelevant to our case. What is relevant to it is whether his conclusion is correct - and this can be shown without any legal considerations. We all agree (I hope) that if the article in bgwikinews is not a translation of the one in BBC.com, it cannot be a copyvio of the one in BBC.com. And the impossibility of the translation assumption is obvious from comparing the word, sentence or paragraph counts for both articles.
George Ho, any WMF project can be accessed from any jurisdiction in existence. In theory this could mean that every copyright law in existence applies to every WMF project, at least with regards to the project users within the law's jurisdiction. However, working with this assumption would either make the WMF projects meaningless, or would make maintaining them close to impossible.
The copyright laws of the market democracies however are harmonized enough to not have significant differences. That includes the US and the Bulgarian copyright laws. If you can show that the US and the Bulgarian copyright law differ significantly about the matter evaluated by Georgiev, this would make worth considering that difference, and thus would make your question relevant. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 20:12, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Yet Georgiev's experience with the US copyright law is relevant, at least because one of his arguments was based specifically on the Bulgarian copyright law.
As for any WMF project can be accessed from any jurisdiction in existence, you seem to forget that the WMF projects are hosted in the US, and that makes the US jurisdiction pretty much universal across all projects, notwithstanding the fact that other language-/territory-/etc. jurisdictions may also be applicable. So, no, you cannot simply ignore the US law and if you really think you can, you're making a pretty serious mistake.
As for the “market democracies” harmonization, this could probably be (more or less) true within, say, the EU, but between the EU and the US?... Seriously, Grigor, do you even know what you're talking about?

It is worth to remember that copyright laws in the US and those of the EU countries represent two different copyright traditions – the common law monistic system and the civil law dualistic system, therefore are full of differences in interpretation and execution of copyright protection.

Let's not talk about such glaring difference as fair use—let's talk about public domain.
And let's talk about it, because just these days I noticed (and notified the Foundation as soon as possible) one rather worrying discrepancy between the copyright messages in the Bulgarian Wikinews, which has existed since January 2006:
  • n:bg:MediaWiki:Edittools, which defines the notice below the main textarea when editing, that is, when contributing content, has been saying:

Моля, обърнете внимание на това, че всички приноси към Уикиновини се публикуват при условията на лиценза Creative Commons Attribution 2.5.


Please note that all contributions to Wikinews are published under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.

  • n:bg:MediaWiki:Copyright, which defines the license notice shown under all pages when _viewing_ these pages, has been saying:

Съдържанието на Уикиновини е обществено достояние. За подробности вижте Условия за ползване.


The content of Wikinews is released in the public domain. See the Terms of Use for details.

On top of that, the link to the said Terms of Use has been broken, I don't know for how long (likely since the Translations system got introduced). Thankfully, the second message is correctly states CC-BY 2.5 when English is used as the interface language, but it's reasonable to expect that not too few people have been viewing the Bulgarian Wikinews in Bulgarian—where the discrepancy does exist.
In the EU alone this may not be a problem, due to how “public domain” is treated (or at least this is the opinion of some colleagues of mine who are better versed in these topics). But what about the US? Legal will have some work, it seems.
I hope you do understand that these issues are not some trivial problem, and they certainly must not be underestimated, as they can potentially expose the Foundation to unnecessary legal risks.
— Luchesar • T/C 21:38, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Lots of words about common principles, but not a single proof that the Bulgarian and the US copyright law differ about this specific situation - and that is what is only relevant. (I could also write about the Berne convention and its harmonizing effect on the different copyright laws. However, that is irrelevant to this case too, and would also just waste the time of those who read it.)
As for your constant personal attacks and harassment, they speak little about me, but a lot about you, and thus illustrate very well an important aspect of the situation. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 17:38, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
As for the potential discrepancies that should best be removed, I would gladly take the counsel of Legal, or any editor who doesn't constantly show bad intentions towards the Bulgarian Wikinews. I dare to guess that all editors there will second that. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 17:41, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
If you want the difference so badly, here's the FAQ page about Bulgarian copyright law, including number five. (Weird that a computer user in Bulgaria infringes copyright by watching a movie via unauthorized streaming site.) The US law treats translations like "derivative works" of originals. George Ho (talk) 21:47, 19 September 2019 (UTC); edited, 21:51, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Details about legislature of Bulgarian copyright law, part of EU copyright law. George Ho (talk) 22:09, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
To my best knowledge, the Bulgarian copyright law treats translations in exactly the same way. So, no difference with the US copyright law about it. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 22:30, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
I'm afraid this may be, indeed, an oversimplification of one really complex problem. As noted in this study (PDF in English), prepared for the European Commission, examining the copyright issues specifically in the domain of translations (granted, it's from 2014, so may be somewhat outdated, especially in the light of the very recent EU copyright reform), and, in particular, the specifics in some of the member states like Belgium, France, Germany, and (uh, well... :)) the United Kingdom:

Indeed, international treaties provide for minimum standards only. Member countries of such treaties may therefore provide for additional protection. Also, treaties do not cover some important issues such as ownership and transfer of rights. Similarly, at European Union level, in spite of the existence of several instruments which aim at harmonising copyright protection, there currently is no common and fully harmonised protection. Copyright laws remain territorial in each Member State.

Thus, as noted earlier too, even already within the EU the level of harmonization may be a matter of debate—and obviously much more so when making comparisons to the US law. These complexities seem to suggest that even if one is a highly skilled expert, erring on the side of caution in copyright matters may be the most prudent approach, as having to waste WMF's resources to prove one's point in courts may be a less than optimal outcome.
Nevertheless, I'm not going to argue with you any more on these topics, as it doesn't seem productive (I'm not a legal expert, anyway) and you also seem to be pretty convinced in your own views. I respect the latter.
— Luchesar • T/C 09:36, 21 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)
I get the feeling (please correct me if I am wrong) that this particular topic is actually even more complex - and that it is a huge can of worms.
The only reason to believe that the Bulgarian copyright law is applicable to the Bulgarian Wikinews is that an user who reads them, or writes in them, will most likely be within Bulgarian jurisdiction. (I tend to believe that this is a valid reason.) However, s/he can be in any jurisdiction in existence. Does this mean that the Bulgarian Wikinews should satisfy every legislation in existence anywhere? (That would include eg. the Saudi Arabian one, the Iranian one, the Chinese one, the North Korean one etc.) Furthermore, is the same valid about every WMF project?
My idea for solving this problem would be to define a separation of responsibilities in relation to the content:
  • WMF is responsible for the creation of the content, and since its servers are on US territory, has to comply with the US copyright law only. Complying to these laws is WMF responsibility, and its users or editors cannot be held responsible for this.
  • An user that uses this content, and/or participates in its creation, will be doing it from the legislation s/he currently is present in, and would have to comply with this legislation's copyright law only. Complying with that law is his responsibility, and WMF cannot be held responsible for this. (Thus, WMF neither can nor needs to require compliance of its content with any copyright law other than the US one. Hence, to your question, it will have no requirement for any content from the Bulgarian Wikinews to comply with any copyright law other than the US one, regardless of the project it is included in.)
If an user creates content that is legally OK within the legislation s/he is currently present in, but is not legally OK within the US legislation, WMF has to either remove or block the creation of this content, or to rework it to make it compatible with the US laws. This is WMF's responsibility before the law in its jurisdiction, so WMF must have the right to enforce that rule on the content it hosts.
However, I am not an expert on copyright law - please consider this as a strictly personal opinion. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 21:17, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Sorry to butt in, but am I reading this correctly? You seem to think that it's WMF's task to monitor your contributions for compliance with the copyright law (okay, specifically with the US copyright law)? Have you actually ever read the Terms of Use, specifically the part Refraining from Certain Activities, and more specifically you may not engage in (...) Infringing copyrights, trademarks, patents, or other proprietary rights under applicable law. Applicable law means, yes, all the applicable law, not just the one of the territory where you physically reside at the moment when the contribution is made. By the way, I'm also not an expert, but these are some pretty basic things IMHO.
— Luchesar • T/C 21:48, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
No, you aren't reading this correctly.
WMF can enforce the law it is legally bound to in any way it chooses, provided that it doesn't contradict the legislation in its jurisdiction. Requiring the editors to comply with certain rules, eg. establishing terms of use, is one of the many possible ways. WMF can choose a way to enforce compliance, but is not limited to a specific way, or to only one way. -- Григор Гачев (talk) 17:23, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Moving the content to the Russian Wikinews doesn't magically make it subject to additional jurisdictions. People could use courts in Russia or Bulgaria for their copyright claims just like before. As for "the law of countries where the project content is predominantly accessed (if any)", that's a relevant consideration for an EDP: wmf:Resolution:Licensing policy. I don't think anyone is trying to use an EDP to host text, the discussion seems to be how much paraphrasing is enough. We happen to have Wikilegal/Close Paraphrasing on the topic. Nemo 07:38, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Well, yes and no. People can use courts for claims just like before, and paraphrasing isn't the same as an EDP. Still, the presumption remains that the governing, applicable copyright law includes (a) the US in all cases, (b) country(ies) representing 80%+ of the views on the wiki, and probably (c) for any individual item, its country of origin. As things stand now, (b) and (c) are generally both Bulgaria. If content moved to Russian Wikinews, (c) would generally still be Bulgaria (for this content), but (b) would be Russia. That might not change things much as a practical matter, but it still needs to be considered. StevenJ81 (talk) 15:10, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Please, we don't need you to start making up rules such as "country(ies) representing 80%+ of the views". Just stop here. Nemo 11:12, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Seems that the subpage primarily uses Wikipedia as an example but doesn't mention Wikinews anywhere. George Ho (talk) 08:04, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

Bulgarian Wikinews homepage has a new look

  • Bulgarian Wikinews homepage has a new look similar to the English version. There are no reports yet, but in the future this will happen. Stanqo (talk) 14:41, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Question Question: The one-week window for the Board to respond to LangCom's recommendation is three days past. Was there any movement? What are the next steps right now? It would seem unfair to keep the project in a state of uncertainty for too much longer. Amike, Aŭdrea (talk) 23:31, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
    • We will have final word by Monday. StevenJ81 (talk) 04:39, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
      • @StevenJ81: Are you awaiting a specific positive or negative response from them, or will you proceed on Monday and assume that no response = no objection? --Rschen7754 05:26, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
The latter. The policy would allow us to do that right now, but we want to give the Board every chance to respond before we undertake a project closing. StevenJ81 (talk) 10:48, 20 September 2019 (UTC)

Collapsed content on mobile site

@StevenJ81: I'm using the "mobile view". The collapsed content is not visible, i.e. I don't see the discussion that you collapsed. Is there a way to fix the issue? --George Ho (talk) 03:55, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

George Ho, I think it should be fixed now (using {{collapse-mobile}}). Please see if it works also for you. StevenJ81, don't hesitate to make any changes (e.g. to the headlines) as you see fit.
— Luchesar • T/C 08:24, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
Works in both desktop and mobile site. --George Ho (talk) 10:50, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

Wikimedia Foundation Mission

Yesterday I requested Katherine a comment for Russian Wikinews about climate strike banner on Wikimedia Foundation site. When I was preparing questions, I re-read the Wikimedia Foundation Mission. This mission has been widely discussed and has a strong consensus. It says:

The Foundation will make and keep useful information from its projects available on the internet free of charge, in perpetuity.

Following this, the LangCom, the Board and the Wikimedia Foundation do not have the authority to delete the entire project with all useful information. Anything that does not meet the Mission should not be applied. You must hold the same wide discussion with Wikimedia community in order to get the right to delete projects and all its useful content. And you must get the approval of specific policies for such removal.

Another fact is that now Bulgarian Wikinews has active community that produces quality content. No one denies this, all confirm it above. You have no reason to close the project. --sasha (krassotkin) 08:56, 23 September 2019 (UTC)

Except that over 76% of the edits in the last week come from the very same guy with the fake news project in Wikipedia, fascinated with outrageous far-right propaganda. The last thing the Foundation's mission needs is another badly failed project.
— Luchesar • T/C 09:35, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Now we are discussing Bulgarian Wikinews and materials published there. There is nothing that you are talking about. And any of your previous personal conflicts do not matter. Let me also remind that you are a sysop of the Bulgarian Wikinews. You have never blocked this "same guy" on the Bulgarian Wikinews. We also discussed above that most of your claims have no basis or are corrected by cosmetic changes. If you have a claim to a specific article you should discuss this on the project pages. For example we have thousands of simultaneously open deletion request on the Russian Wikipedia and the Commons. This is our normal workflow. As we can see it, the community is willing to respond to these suggestions. If necessary, I am ready to become an independent intermediary. As you can see above I am absolutely neutral in this matter. You can invite other independent wikimedians who understand how the news agency works. But neither the LangCom, nor the Board, nor the Foundation have anything to do with this. --sasha (krassotkin) 10:57, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
As noted earlier, the fundamental issue with this project IMHO is the failure to build a healthy and diverse community of editors. Ignoring this and insisting instead on simply fixing existing content issues is a fallacious suggestion. I've also already noted how it's very clear that my sysop privileges in the project will not be extended after November 11, seeing how that “same guy” (by the way, he never demonstrated even tiniest regret, demanding instead apologies) already called for me to retire.
90% of the content in hrwiki is likely completely fine. And fixing the remaining 10% is just a matter one simply “should discuss (...) on the project pages”. Except that one cannot. Just like in the Bulgarian Wikinews.
Also, please consider if you are in a proper position to comment my motives to not block somebody as a sysop. We have our policies in the Bulgarian-language projects, one of them being that we block people as restrainedly as possible. Let me also remind that I clearly stated in my sysop application that I will not interfere with the “revival attempt”—and you certainly understand how blocking that “same guy” could've easily been presented as such. Again, he is the most active editor in the project—and by far.
And although I really would like to keep “political” matters as much as possible out of this discussion, I can't also help but to notice how this is the second time that you allow yourself to make comments on how the Bulgarian sysops do their work. While this in general is very welcome and one of the ways to prevent individual projects from straying into dictatorships, as, unfortunately, there are examples, there are also limits to this. I'm pretty sure you understand this, so, please, do respect it.
Finally, concerning possible “useful information”, it's always available from dumps.wikimedia.org. Don't know if there's a relevant policy, but probably you could indeed host it on your Wikinews project, provided, of course, that you take the full responsibility for it, including possible copyright violations, incorrect, misleading, biased, and propagandist information, etc. As far as the Bulgarian wiki-community is concerned (can't speak about the general public), what you do in your project is, in general, your business.
— Luchesar • T/C 12:09, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
  • We can walk in circles endlessly repeating the same arguments for the hundredth time but someone should stop first. I am ready not to go further and wait for the decision of the Board. Thank you! --sasha (krassotkin) 12:37, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
Appreciate it, thank you too.
— Luchesar • T/C 13:06, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
Luchesar, I would also like to respond to a comment you made a while ago in response to my suggestion to selectively ban and delete. As I understand, you (and LangCom's) sentiment is that that would make LangCom into an arbiter and would be highly controversial to intervene as regards individual editors or individual content. All I can say in response is that exercising the «salted nuclear option» on a project (deletion, impossibility of ever recreating it) seems even more controversial. I know this particular issue is more complicated, but this at its core, this is perhaps the fundamental disagreement I have.
I would also like to suggest that, regardless of what we might try to say now, this closure will likely be used as a precedent, in one way or another. I can only reiterate my hypothesis that bg.WN is not going to be an isolated case in a few years, as the internet media landscape continues to change. Amike, Aŭdrea (talk) 11:54, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
Aŭdrea, I understand what you're saying and, again, I very much also understand your concerns. So, let me try to summarize my take on these issues in a much more concise manner:
  • When the proposal was made, the project was dead (this is clearly seen in the user activity stats) and containing some junk, which Grigor also admitted (“I had simply forgotten about Wikinews, missing the buildup of bad and fake news”).
  • The expressed concerns, in short, were: (a) this particular (i.e. Bulgarian-language) project has been a failure, and (b) the Bulgarian-language community is unable to take proper care of it.
  • Then, however, there was a request from Grigor to attempt to revive the project, so LangCom, naturally, honored it, giving it initially 3 months, but later almost a full year.
  • LangCom had clearly stated that their decision on the initial request to close the project would depend on the level success of that revival attempt.
  • In the end, LangCom has obviously decided that the revival attempt had failed to convince that the project may be saved.
The latter is very important IMHO, in light of the concerns that other people also expressed about LangCom acting as some sort of Supreme ArbCom. This has not been an otherwise active project, where LangCom would intervene out of nowhere. The problems that arose in the project were not part of some general, ordinary project activity. They were directly connected with and even derived from the revival attempt. And LangCom does have authority to decide on such “revival attempts”, after all.
To put it another way, this wouldn't have happened if we were talking about some project with regular enough, even if small activity, where LangCom, almost certainly, wouldn't even consider a closure proposal—the Closing projects policy is very clear on even [complete] Inactivity in itself [being] no valid reason [to propose closing a wiki]. Obviously, I can't speak on LangCom's behalf, and it may be best to once again ask them for clarification, though it's probably already stated clearly enough.
Finally, I'm really afraid that the continued attempts by some people to deemphasize or outright ignore the specific problems with this project, may be misguided and may in the end backfire (they already have backfired in some ways) and even harm the Wikinews projects in general. To paraphrase what I wrote earlier, the last thing the Wikinews mission needs is some poster child of the potential problems with such projects. Again, this had already happened, with the same people.
Kind regards,
— Luchesar • T/C 13:04, 23 September 2019 (UTC)

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

Project closed

LangCom's statement above largely speaks for itself. We will add just a couple of notes to that:

  1. Grigor's belief, backed up by Krassotkin, that a project can categorically exclude anyone on the outside from participating in discussions and !votes is simply not true, particularly when the number of contributors in the project is tiny, as was the case here. In such cases, potentially interested parties can—even should—be invited to contribute, as they were here. (The reason this is allowed is to encourage those potentially interested parties to start working on the currently-tiny project.)
  2. It is almost never permitted to change the rules for discussion and !voting in the middle. In this case, the outside interested parties had been invited, so their participation was legitimate. On the very rare occasions that the rules can be changed in the middle, that change is always to broaden participation, not narrow participation.
    Taking the two points above, the real truth is that if the people favoring keeping the project open had simply honored the RfD and allowed those pages to be deleted, there is a good chance we wouldn't be talking about a closure now.
  3. The threats to call in the stewards, as well as the personal attacks on people favoring closure, did not help the people favoring keeping the project open win their case. (Note that the people favoring closure did not personally attack the ones favoring keeping the project open.)
  4. The prohibition against a future Bulgarian Wikinews is not "forever". But at this point, LangCom's assumption of good faith toward the current team is (at best) strained. And neither LangCom nor the sysops at Incubator see themselves as competent to make sure we don't see a repeat of these problems right away. So for the time being, that's going to remain.
  5. The issues around this project are specific to this project. Normally, LangCom does not get involved in content disputes nor in process disputes, nor does it want to. Nobody should assume that this is part of any larger issues around Wikinews projects ... or projects in Bulgarian ... or anything else. And nobody should assume they can make precedential "case law" out of this decision: this decision is limited to this wiki only. StevenJ81 (talk) 18:59, 23 September 2019 (UTC)