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Wiki Loves Monuments snubs Scotland and Wales[edit]

Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM)'s international team has just responded to my request for Wales and Scotland be part of the international competition. Their response is negative - that they "use the UN(ESCO) membership as the basis from which we work".

WLM appologised for taking 10 months to answer my request, as you can see here. I have now come to the following conclusions, that:

  1. their decision to snub Scotland and Wales will be offensive to many editors, photographers within the WM movement, and contradicts everything Wikimedia stands for: inclusion, diversity, openness and free spirit.
  2. WLM's publicity wrongly states that this is a competition for 'countries': that is misleading! It is a competition for the chosen few, the selection made by UN(ESCO), not by open minded Wikimedians using sources as criteria.
  3. the international committee does not recognise the importance of what the sources say. 1,000s of neutral, solid, reliable, academic sources, over a period of over 1,200 years, clearly state that Scotland and Wales are indeed countries. WLM's decision to ignore these sources contravenes the most fundamental of all our principals that sources trump everything else in recording 'the sum of all human knowledge'. UN(ESCO)'s criteria is not based on sources; its membership is based on politics, usually - the countries which managed to take over smaller ones get the cake, and eat it.

I applaud WMF's recent change of focus from large, sovereign countries to the global south, but I also believe that there is a middle layer of countries such as Wales and Scotland which also need direct support and recognition from WMF, in addition to the support given through Chapters. The support I request here is not financial, it's about recognition and equal status.

I request that this snub by WLM be looked at thoroughly at the highest level. The English Wikipedia has accepted Scotland and Wales as countries / nations for years (see the Talk page: Wales is indeed a country), and other projects such as Wikidata and Commons need to follow suit. My second request is to WMF: to accept, once and for all, that yes - Wales and Scotland are nations. This would put an end to inconsistency across our projects, and the continual bickering and faux pas made by editors who do not understand the situation in the countries which make up the UK.

This I write as an individual, an editor, and these are my own personal views, not my employer's. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 07:01, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

This has nothing to do with the definition of country, it's just an organisational structure like another. The job of the international team is difficult enough with dozens of local contests to handle, without multiplying the avenues for any given geography to take part in the global contest.
Besides, there was a lot of discussion with many diverging views and no clear consensus to change the international WLM structure, so it's hard to blame the international team. I also can't find any argument on why it's impossible for Wales and Scotland to participate through WLM-UK. I only see a marketing point, that brands in Wales generally avoid including "UK"; but this is easily solved by advertising WLM without any "UK" specification (it's superfluous, since one can only participate through a single contest anyway). --Nemo 07:23, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
You therefore disagree with @Effeietsanders: when he says We use the UN(ESCO) membership as the basis from which we work. Interesting!
I don't blame the team, but I do think their outcome is a snub to both Wales and Scotland (and other countries).
On your last point, as I said in the 2017 Talk page:
Can you honestly imagine Gareth Bale and his team-mates winning the first round of the FIFA World Cup, and the second round, the quarter-finals and the semi-final, only to be told "You can't play in the final!" And what race-horse would start a race it knows it is not allowed to cross the winning line? Llywelyn2000 (talk) 07:47, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, any sport reference is completely lost on me, can you clarify your point? Is it about the chances to win a prize the international contest? --Nemo 07:58, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment Their organising committee have made a decision for how they wish to run their competition based on how they developed their criteria, and it is at a larger level of United Kingdom. For their competition, they should be able to make their rules, and it seems like they have considered your viewpoint, just not concurred with it. You have the opportunity to compete within the UK, and that it is not at a nationalist level, is what it is; it seems a little case of w:WP:IDONTLIKEIT.  — billinghurst sDrewth 08:30, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment @Llywelyn2000: I don't get your point either. The United Kingdom is a member of UNESCO and Scotland and Wales are two of the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom. You seem to be suggesting that the other two have some privilege that is lacking for Scotland and Wales? --ScottDavis (talk) 10:51, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
    Having seen some of the other conversations at WD, I believe that the desire is for this to be conducted at the level of Wales as a country, rather than at the level of United Kingdom as a country; without particular interest for the other constituent countries.  — billinghurst sDrewth 11:52, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

What a shame. I have already taken over 300 photos which I had intended to upload at the beginning of September & I have made arrangements to stay with family and friends in some towns which have large numbers of unphotographed listed buildings over the next 6 weeks. As I cannot contribute to any project that denies the existence of my country, and by extension belittles my existence, I will no longer be taking part in the project. AlwynapHuw (talk) 17:51, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

@AlwynapHuw: No one is denying that Wales exists: it's just a constituent of the UK which is a sovereign state. Just like how Alabama or Zanzibar aren't separate entities for the purposes of this contest but certainly do exist in a real sense. No one is being "snubbed" or "denied". We hope that you will choose to participate and share your media for the world's betterment.Justin (koavf)TCM 18:00, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Sorry Justin but insulting my nation is not "for the world's betterment". As far as historic monuments are concerned, they are not curated by the UK as a "sovereign nation" but are curated by four distinct national bodies: NI Department for Communities, English Heritage, Historic Scotland and Cadw; an organisational reality that should be recognised and respected AlwynapHuw (talk) 18:17, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
@AlwynapHuw: I sincerely wish that no one felt slighted but (and England? Northern Ireland?) alongside states, wouldn't that be a slap in the face to West Papuans and Blackfoots? They are certainly nations and no one is denying their unique history as a people; they are just not a sovereign nation-state (even if they could or should be or were in the past). —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:43, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
@Koavf: My request does not mention Irish, West Papuans or Blackfoots: it pertains to Wales and Scotland only. Please start another thread for any other countries, as their histories are completely different.
@Nemo bis: Re: any sport reference is completely lost on me, can you clarify your point? - Obviously, you haven't read my link to the previous conversation. See here. To clarify: the suggestion is that we take part separately as individual countries (Wales, England, Scotland...), but then, once these images have been judged by a 'UK' panel - only the best 10 images from the 'UK' are allowed to enter the finals, the international competition. That is a snub. We are allowed to start, but not to finish. Luxemburg can go on to the finals, but not Wales! We really need inclusive competitions which inspire more photographs, not slow down the ongoing momentum we have created in Wales today (as noted by Jimmy Wales in his speech at this year's Wikimania). Alwyn, above, has confirmed that this decision will do more harm than good. Let's all be inclusive, open and respectful of diversity, please. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 19:32, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
@Llywelyn2000: This is exactly the problem: you didn't mention anyone else. What you are proposing is an endless parade of Abkhaz to Zulu editors who can rightly claim, "I belong to a distinct nation". They aren't being snubbed—they just aren't represented by a nation state. Even the histories of Scotland and Wales are distinct—e.g. the latter has had no system of independent law for almost a millennium. So rather than have an interminable stream of editors who want their ethnic groups or regions to be uniquely highlighted, we are sticking to a list of sovereign states (which Scotland and Wales are not, just like Catalonia or Lower Saxony). —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:37, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
You have failed to answer any of the reasons I have given as to why Wales and Scotland should be allowed to participate in the international competition; only attempted distraction. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 19:46, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Llywelyn2000, the problem with such a proposal is that it doesn't explain how Scottish or Welsh photographers would be helped by such a double layer. If the point is to have a local jury which has some say on what photos are sent to the international jury, that's easily solved by discussing with the WLM-UK organisation. Or is the point just to have "Wales" listed alongside "England" in a list of WLM geographies while WLM actually continues being organised exactly in the same way (with a UK-wide jury and UK-wide lists)? --Nemo 19:49, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
@Llywelyn2000: Scotland and Wales are subnational entities; they are not states. Therefore, they do not have any independence in this competition from the United Kingdom (just like they don't politically in real life). This isn't hard to understand; you're just being intransigent about these pet projects of yours. —Justin (koavf)TCM 21:02, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Justin your disparaging comments such as Wales is "just" a constituent of the UK, imagine if we were to "elevate" Scotland and Wales, Scotland and Wales are "subnational" entities don't help your argument they just add insult to injury and ignore the political reality of monuments in the UK. Politically, in real life, Wales and Scotland do have some independence. Part of that independence is that Wales has a National (not regional) Assembly. Part of our National Assembly's remit is to govern and care for our national monuments. It is absolutely laughable that a project that aims to encourage people to take photographs of listed buildings ignores the structures of governance for the care of those buildings. UK law says that places such as Conwy Castle are Welsh National Monuments, but "Wiki Loves Monuments" knows better! Are you really unable to perceive how patronising and insulting such an attitude is? AlwynapHuw (talk) 05:11, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
@AlwynapHuw: Yes. There's nothing wrong with being a subnational entity--it's in no way a slight; it's just a reality. Wales has some autonomy that has been devolved to it by the central UK government. It is not independent. Just like Alaska in the United States or Bahia in Brazil. Wales' government exists solely because Parliament says so. If they say not so, it won't (cf. Northern Ireland). That is not true of the United Kingdom or Malawi or Bhutan; hence, they are not the same type of entity. We cannot police how ~200 states choose to register monuments and why would we? Instead, we have each independent state competing as a separate entity, so Oecusse isn't competing separate from Timor-Leste and everyone from Boquerón adds their photos alongside their fellow compatriots in Paraguay. Are you suggesting for this photo contest we should 1.) investigate the national standards for every state and determine how they categorize monuments (in which case, that would be functionally impossible and mammoth overhead for virtually no pay-off); 2.) that we create all manner of subnational contests for every distinct ethnic group, administrative subdivision, and natural landform; or 3.) that we make a special allowance only for Scotland and Wales? If it's the latter, please explain why the Scottish and Welsh peoples deserve some special treatment that Afro-Abkhazians don't deserve... —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:06, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
Exactly, Alwyn!
@Nemo bis: re double layer - That is not a problem; the images would be judge by a Welsh panel, the winning 10 goes would enter the international competition. Same with England, same with Scotland. No problem! This is no problem for other countries: all have 10 images going through. I feel I've repeated, repeated, repeated this over the last 10 months, and going nowhere. What's difficult to understand? Each country submits 10 images, Wales is a country and therefore should submit 10 images. End of.
@Koavf: / Justin - "subnational entities" - what?!!!! Citation needed! I have several times (see the main discussion [https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wiki_Loves_Monuments_2017_winners here) said that citation to neutral, academic, sources should be the deciding factor. All of them state that Wales is a country. Let me repeat what I have said, as its obvious that you have not read the discussion, here are some of the modern sources; should you wish I'll also list a list of 100 books which state that Wales is a country:
Arriva Trains Wales, Arriva Buses Wales, NHS Wales, the Government of Wales, the National Library of Wales, the National Museum of Wales, the 'Bank of Wales, BBC Cymru Wales, ITV Cymru Wales, a Wales national football team (NOT UK!), Stagecoach South Wales, Trade Centre Wales, Welsh Water...
And, as I say, please cite any reference to Wales being a 'sub-nation'!!! Facts, sources, please, not political waffle.
Re: (Scotland and Wales) do not have any independence in this competition from the United Kingdom - 'independence' is not a criteria: please read the interim decision for this year written by @Effeietsanders: in the above link. 'Independence' isn't mentioned. Having said that, I agree with Alwyn, as would everybody else who know anything about Wales, that yes we do have the independence to raise taxes, create our own laws etc, so please do your homework before making incorrect statements. And, yes, as far as monuments are concerned the English government (what is sometimes called 'the UK Government') is not responsible for our monuments! They come under the care of the Welsh Government. My 'pet project' as you call it is Wales - to open doors, inspire free and open knowledge on the Wikimedia projects in Wales, hence my request.
Justin: you are now stating that the elibility for WLM is to be a state? If so, please change all references to 'countries' -as there is one hell of a difference! As it stands, using ther word 'countries' is very misleading!
So far, not one bona fide argument has been offered which contests or disproves the above three statements which I listed in my opening gambit. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 06:21, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
@Llywelyn2000: To be in UNESCO, you must be a state and we use the UNESCO list. Therefore, you have to be a state. If you would like to lobby UNESCO to admit Scotland and Kashmir and Western Australia, you are free to do that but it won't happen and they aren't reading this talk page. Clearly, the problem is that the UK uses the word "country" in a peculiar way and you know this and are using it for a semantic game. Similarly, in the United States we have "states" which are not sovereign states like Japan or Panama but appealing to this linguistic quirk to lobby for Hawaiʻi to be considered separate from the rest of America is patently absurd. Wales is not a country in the conventional sense of the term: a sovereign state like Belgium or Jamaica. It is a "country" that makes up the sovereign state (i.e. country) of the United Kingdom. Of course, you know all of this and are just playing a game here. Scotland is a part of a larger sovereign entity--sure it has a government and can raise taxes; the same is true of Indianapolis. When my hometown is admitted to UNESCO, then we can talk. Why are you not also suggesting that England or Northern Ireland be considered separately for this contest as well? —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:35, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
@Llywelyn2000: has worked his socks off trying to persuade contributors to Wicipedia Cymraeg to contribute to this project. I have no interest in winning any prizes, but I was persuaded by Robin to take part in the project in order to increase Wales' profile on "Wiki Loves Monuments". It is clear that you and your supporters are opposed to Wales existing within the project, for British Nationalist political reasons, so I wont be contributing and I'm sure that others who were also persuaded by Robin wont be taking part either. You've won, but the project has lost. Good luck in finding Brit Nats who will be able to find and gain access to monuments in rural Wales on private lands. Its clear that my contribution is considered unworthy so I won't be contributing. And that is my final word on the matter, as I wont be contributing any more to this biased, insulting and anti-Welsh conversation either. For a project that is supposed to be collaborative it has a number of contributors who seem to be more interested in peeving other potential collaborators. What a sad state of affairs where people are basically told to p**s off from Wikimedia because they belong to the "wrong sort of country" (Mae'n Americanwr, sy'n enwog am greu tafferthion, ac yn gwybod dim am gyfansoddiad y DU, yn ôl pob tebyg)AlwynapHuw (talk) 06:37, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
@AlwynapHuw: "gyfansoddiad y DU"? Or the lack thereof... I made the position clear and asked you a direct question. You chose to not answer and willfully misconstrue it expressly in order to take offense. Pa mor drist ydych chi'n amddifadu'r byd o ddiwylliant am ddim oherwydd eich balchder anghywir. —Justin (koavf)TCM 07:37, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
I may have misunderstood, but I was commenting «take part separately [...] judged by a 'UK' panel». If that is your proposal, you can just agree with WLM-UK on how to organise the jury process. The proposal that Wales just sends 10 photos to the international competition on its own has been already thoroughly addressed; I only add that it is, for now, a solution in search of a problem, so I'd like to hear how it would help photographers from Wales. --Nemo 07:20, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
Let me explain my experience organizing WLM for Amical in previous years. It was focused on areas of interest of users from ca.wiki overlapping other WLM teams. From a Wikimedian POV, local teams can reach other participants and sponsors, and all eforts sum in common interest of the project. You can set local prizes and localized messages to encourage participants. But you need to discuss it with WLM-UK. We are Wikimedians and all teams have the same objective. You can discuss how to select the finalists, how to form the jury or whatever you consider relevant. At the end, this is not a question for the international team but an agreement between local teams involved. --Vriullop (talk) 08:53, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
Justin (koavf) - I understand what Wales is and what Wales isn't since I was 5 years old. Thanks for the lesson!
Nemo and Vriullop. As I've said already, I write here, not as an employee, but as an editor, an individual. I've been the Wikimedia UK Manager for Wales for around 5 years. It doesn't look like you (Nemo and Vriullop) have followed the discussion fully. Let me explain. Wikimedia UK is a Chapter and has organised the running of WLM within the UK on four occasions (2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017). Last year, the WLM international team did not allow the 10 winning photos from Wales (judged by our own panel) to go through to the international competition. I immediately requested to that this year Wales could do so. [Please read the discussions before replying (the 1st thread)]: Commons:Talk:Wiki Loves Monuments 2017 winners. It took 10 months for them to come to a decision. They refused. What I requested was for Wales to participate as a 'country', as it is a competitions for 'countries' (NOT UN(ESCO) / sovereign States). That means we would organise the judging panel, inspire editors / photographers and the 10 best photographs would go forward at the international level: just like Luxemburg, Germany, Liechtenstein, Malta... This also means that England and Scotland would do the same. It is my strong belief that more photographs would result and that an 'England' group would be formed to organise the events in England (or WMUK would continue to do so). There is a group in Scotland, the Gallic User Group which, I believe would organise within Scotland and we have a Wikimedia Community User Group in Wales to do so. Each of these nations would organise and submit their own top-10 directly to the final at the international panel. Wikimedia UK has always supported work in both Scotland and Wales, and I'm sure would continue to do so, should it be needed.
If there is a rule which states that only Chapters are allowed to organise, then that rule needs to change: it's offensive. @Effeietsanders: please publish the rules openly, and let us know if this is correct.
Vriullop - 'local' (your word) branding was done last year in Wales, giving the competition a Welsh flavour, and 'local' prizes were given (by Wikimedia UK) to each nation (my word), and the work was done in complete harmony. But when we discussed continuing into the next round, the final international round, we were refused (as were the Basque Country and Catalonia). This year, the 3 WMUK panel members from England will continue to judge the UK Competition, and this year Scotland and Wales have been asked to nominate one person to that panel.
Suggested criteria - Let me answer the above remarks where it has been pointed out that a number of ethnic groups would, as a result, also like to follow suit, and claim that they too are a 'country'. Instead of the present criteria (UN(ESCO) membership) I recommended the following:
1. Has there been a request from a group of editors / Wikimedians / Wikimedia User group in that territory to be included?
2. Does the territory have a long history of having been a country at any time?
3. Is there a corpus of neutral, academic, solid sources which calls them a 'country' or a 'nation'?
If "yes", then let them in! Be inclusive! Respect them the rich diversity that makes up Wikimedia! As far as Wales and Scotland is concerned, it's "yes!" to all three. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 18:12, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
I think your proposed criteria have nothing to do with our mission, which is to expand free knowledge. We are not in the business of deciding or promoting what is a "country" or not. Additionally, I still don't see any explanation of how this proposed system for WLM would help photographers in Wales or anyone. --Nemo 18:34, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
I think your proposed criteria (acceptence of UN(ESCO) definition) has nothing to do with our mission, which is to expand free knowledge. We are not in the business of deciding or promoting what is a "UN(ESCO)" member or not.
What criteria does UN(ESCO) use before accepting a country into it's membership? Did WLM discuss these, or just accept them point blank, with no discussion about diversity, sources and how to include Wikipedians rather than offend them? Of course we need to accept one criterium or the other - or a totally different criteria, but let us base these on sources, not ignorance.
Your second sentence: I have listed above, in bold formatting, a number of companies, institutions and bodies in Wales which used the word 'Wales' in their names, and have rebranded as being 'Welsh', 'Wales' and not 'UK'. Why do you think that is? Why on earth would they spend millions of pounds to show their pride in being Welsh and rooted in this land called Wales? Llywelyn2000 (talk) 19:29, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
There are many possible reasons for Wales, most of which will have nothing to do with Wikimedia's mission. So, given you seem to know, please just tell us what reason reflects Wikimedia's mission. (Also, hadn't you said that the "branding" part had already been solved last year?) --Nemo 19:42, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment some come here with their nationalist hats on, ready and ripe for a nationalist's argument. We are unable to resolve the arguments that happen in your countries. Expecting us to be the point of resolution, or to pick a side, is unfair and unreasonable. If we split, we can have the UK-nationalists here, we can have Brexit or anti-Brexit. These are tensions that exist within your countries and we not should be taking sides. A set of criteria was developed based on an international standard set; you put your position to the committee that drew up that criteria, and it seems they took ten months evaluating it and declining to adjust. Your countries are able to participate, and so are you. You can protest that by participating in it or not, that is your choice. Politicising that for an argumentative and extensive debate here is not polite, I invite you to develop an RFC and continue your discussion that way.  — billinghurst sDrewth 04:40, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
billinghurst - Re: We are unable to resolve the arguments that happen in your countries. What arguments? I have asked nothing of the sort! I have asked other things relevant to Wikimedia: alternative criteria based on sources, respect of diversity, minorities and openness. And why on earth bring in your nationalist agenda - Brexit - into Wikimedia matters?! Brexit was thrown into the sack by the English Government, not the Welsh Government! Please stick to matters relevant to this thread.
Re: we should not be taking of sides - you are taking sides! You are backing the status quo which is against diversity, minorities and free thinking, and doing nothing is taking sides. That is equally as 'nationalistic'. As for 'politeness' - I am absolutely gobsmacked! Where in any of my writing have I been impolite? Or is requesting a change in the criteria used in organising Wiki Loves Monuments an impolite thing to do? I am offended, please retract. argumentative and extensive debate - I have tried to gather information about the rules of WLM (still not received), stated my case, and others (such as yourself) have argued against it. I can't see how that is impolite. Are you against forums such as these, or only when you disagree with the user?
I thank you for the invitation to develop an RFC; what I'm doing here really here goes much further than that: into the crux of the Wikimedia Movement: to accept the unfair status quo or change it. It will be a level playing field when WMF give equal status to both Chapters and Community User Groups, to the minorities as well as the majorities, the haves and the have-nots.
Your countries are able to participate - no! We can not participate in the international competition! Please read Alwyn's comments above: he (and others) will not participate this year under 'Wales', only to be then gobbled up, at the last post, under the 'UK' banner. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 05:46, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
No, we are not taking sides: we just adopt the existing international infrastructure for cultural heritage. We don't say or imply anything about the jurisdiction of Wales and we don't disadvantage users from Wales in any way compared to the hypothetical alternative. --Nemo 07:15, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
@Llywelyn2000: England has no government. —Justin (koavf)TCM 07:55, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
  • comment I dont see a problem with having England/Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland as independent competitions as each regularly compete under that identity internationally any way. My only condition would be that they are independently run competitions and boundaries are well defined/known. Equally this argument could equally be about China/Hong Kong/Taiwan, WLM has been down the path of political boundaries before with other competitions the condition was that an entry is submitted/eligible in one competition only despite overlap in territorial claims. Overall when you consider that WMUK had 14,000 images the dividing of this or other similar sized competitions into recognised smaller sections isnt a big problem, I think it will draw even greater participation. Gnangarra (talk) 10:09, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

I'm sad that this is still continuing. I support using international standards to resolve disputes that might be messy if done ad hoc or by community argument. However, I have no problem if the committee also decided an alternative definition that divided S/E/W/NI. My main concern with smaller groups is that they will draw from an even more limited set of monuments, have to recruit their own judges (which sometimes are embarrassingly bad), and a small set of contributors. The per-country system is difficult when a country isn't really producing a large number of contributors and images. Last year there were 6823 images uploaded to WLM UK that were taken in Wales. 6283 images were taken by Llywelyn2000. I leave you to do the maths as to what percentage WLM Wales was just Llywelyn2000. -- Colin (talk) 12:35, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

One more point, Llywelyn2000 has tried to make this an issue regarding Scotland yet I can see no complaints from Scots. I'm a Scot. I shall be entering images from Scotland and England. Llywelyn2000 mentions some sporting events where Scotland competes, but there are many where athletes must compete under the UK banner, not least the Olympics. Wrt photo competitions, the following are at UK level:

  • Amateur Photographer of the Year
  • The British Photography Awards
  • Telegraph: The Big Picture
  • Guardian: Readers Travel
  • National Trust Photography Competition (England, Wales, Northern Ireland)
  • The Royal Society of Biology
  • British Wildlife Photography Awards
  • Take a View’s Landscape Photographer of the Year
  • British Journal of Photography: Portrait of Britain
  • etc, etc

Of course there are also Scottish photography competitions, and some of the above have regional awards below the UK one. The point is that photography being assessed at a UK level is not a weird aberration of WLM International, but the norm. -- Colin (talk) 15:28, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

  • @Nemo bis: - (15 August) Yes you are taking sides by adopting the UN(ESCO) criteria rather than the sources. This is in conflict with core Wikimedia policies. So far, in 12 months of suggesting an alternative criteria and looking into this, not one person has disputed or rejected the importance of sources in any way. Not one single reason has been given why the UN(ESCO) criteria has been adopted rather than the the alternative sources criteria.
  • @Gnangarra: (15 August) I agree. I also think that allowing Wales to participate at an international level 'will draw even greater participation'. Thanks!
  • {{Ping|Justin (16 August) - 'England has no government'. I think that what you imply here is that England couldn't become an entity on its own, couldn't organise WLM. I disagree with you; they are quite capable of doing so. Wales has never had a majority of MPs in the UK / British Government and neither has Scotland; everything is decided by English (ie from England) MPs. The UK Government IS the de fact government for England.
  • @Colin: (29 August) You are arguing against community discussion! This is totally against all Wikimedia policies and guidelines. I also find your remarks that we would be unable to 'recruit their own judges' and that in the past 'which sometimes are embarrassingly bad' - very offensive. Wales is quite capable of adjudicating their own photographs! You then argue that I have uploaded too many photographs; your reasoning here is way out, and has nothing to do with this discussion ie the 3 points at the opening of this thread. In the last few days, as you will have seen in the media, several of our editors have decided to boycott WLM.
  • @Colin: (30 August). Yes, you do have societies based in London which try to unify the UK into one homogeneous, synthetic grey mass. Most do it without thinking, on a historic basis. The ones which respect each nation imho are more successful. Big is not always right; small is beautiful. Not one of the societies in your list respect the cultural divesity of the UK by having websites in Welsh, Gallic, Irish, Scotts etc. Not a single one. This contrasts with Wikimedia policies of respecting cultural diversity. Scotland: I disagree with your point that 'photography being assessed at a UK level is not a weird aberration of WLM International'! 'Assessing the images is just one small part of WLM. Even if it is a minority (let's say 48%!) then we should respect their voice, allow them to participate in running their own challenges, programmes and competitions. This would be the inclusive way of doing things. By the way: have you asked the editors up in Scotland? No! I have. I know that there is a very strong feeling, but this isn't the place to ping for support. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 22:50, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
Conclusion

Not one person has disproved my opening points, that:

  1. this decision by WLM international team is 'offensive to many editors' (Point 1 above)
  2. this decision 'contradicts everything Wikimedia stands for: inclusion, diversity, openness and free spirit.' There hasn't been any counter-arguments stating that the UN(ESCO) criteria are in any way inclusive, respect diversity or open (Point 1 above).
  3. WLM's publicity is misleading!
  4. sources should be the deciding factor, the criteria (Point 2 and 3 above); this has not even been questioned, argued against or in any way rejected by anyone. It holds, and therefore, in my view, this should be taken further by WMF.

I requested that WMF recognises and gives country status to Wales (and Scotland) (as do all sources), and request WLM international team to accept that sources should trump the UN(ESCO) criteria if any other non-UN(ESCO) country makes a similar applications. Secondly, WMF should also strongly recommend to Wikimedia Commons and to the Wikidata community to accept that Wales and Scotland be treated as the countries they are.

The alternative is for WMF do disown WLM, as it's recent policy conflicts with WMF's own policies.

This I write as an individual, an editor, and these are my own personal views, not my employer's. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 22:50, 5 September 2018 (UTC)

I dont disagree with your first point as there has always been an issue within the Australian perspective on what is a monument and how that criteria makes a clear distinction between colonial and indigenous heritage monuments. On point 2 I disagree because theres no actual exclusion taking place and images from wales can participate. On points 3 & 4 woohoo welcome to a world where english words have multiple meanings in this case country though the response of WLM uses a UNESCO definition reads like a load of garbage. WLM International section doesnt organise country level otherwise all of those countries that are defined by UNESCO would have competitions. Country level, what ever the definition requires a local organising group not 4 competitions run by one group.
Australias solution this year is to accept/recognise/award equally both Indigenous and Colonial monuments, but only submit colonial monuments to the international section which is why I wont be organising any future WLMs or WLEs in Australia as we voted 50 years ago to stop defining Indigenous people as flora & fauna as in "Indigenous monuments can be entered in WLE". There is nothing stopping WMUK running multiple competitions (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Gibraltar, Falklands....) award prizes for each then select a UK 10 for the international section. The reality is that each step in the judging eliminates images the competition which has entries defined as 10/1000(10/700) or 10/6000 or 10/14000 will have a bias but in the end hopefully when fairly judged the best will still rise to the top, for all its failings that much is still basically happening. Gnangarra (talk) 01:24, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
Both Llywelyn2000 and Gnangarra seem beyond rationale discussion. I dislike that Gnangarra has introduced his own grievance into this discussion as much as, as a Scot, I dislike Llywelyn2000 claiming Scots are upset about WLM UK. In case anyone thinks Gnangarra's claim has any foundation, let me be clear that monuments created by indigenous or ancient peoples are very welcome at WLM, though each country has their own system of documenting which are important. Monuments are things created by humans that have permanence and remind us of those who created them and/or what they believed in and felt important. Things created by God, nature, geology, weather, etc, are not monuments. Some of those things may be spiritually or culturally important to certain people, but that doesn't make them monuments. It is quite simple, and even the Australian official classifications that WLM Australia use get this distinction right. WLM UK has prizes for each country and for the UK as a whole. I hope you guys change your minds about participating/promoting and get a bit of perspective. -- Colin (talk) 17:59, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

From reading the above discussions, the following are facts:

  1. There have been no reasons given why sources should not be used, rather than the UN criteria. A process needs to be established which allows applications from countries like Wales, and decided by strength and impartiality of sources only. WMF also needs to confirm that impartial sources should always trump politics, as mentioned above by Llywelyn2000.
  2. WLM continue to use the word 'countries', yet disallow Wales. This is false marketing and, yes, is certainly offensive. In order that we become an open, inclusive organisation, this does need changing. Allowing Wales to play at the international level is not offensive, the present ban is.

Lastly, the number of images this year from Wales was over 5,000 less than last year, as the result of our boycott. Sian EJ (talk) 09:34, 3 October 2018 (UTC)

Automatic new user welcomes[edit]

need to be killed with FIRE across Wikimedia projects. SUL causes spurious “account creations” on other wikis (for example due to editing Wikidata items), and then i receive a message that “someone left a message on my talk page” on some foreign Wikipedia such as Arabic or Bihari or French or Gujarati or Low German. Since in many cases i can't even read the script, i'm not able to tell whether these are actual welcomes or cases of vandalism (fortunately, Template:Delete means the same thing in every language across the known universe). At the very minimum, welcoming should be reduced to users who have actually edited (NOT including “edits” of interlanguage links generated by Wikidata that show up in the global edit count but not in local contributions). Nowak Kowalski (talk) 19:06, 5 September 2018 (UTC)

@Nowak Kowalski: this is generally a local implementation after a local decision, so would need to be stopped at a local level after getting a local consensus at the respective wikis.  — billinghurst sDrewth 11:08, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
phab:T21161 describes most of this and if implemented would likely avoid this issue. — xaosflux Talk 11:29, 3 October 2018 (UTC)

Confusing or spoofed usernames[edit]

A while ago I tried to create an account but the following warning (I've replaced the username with asterisks) showed:

The username "******" is not allowed to prevent confusing or spoofed usernames: Contains incompatible mixed scripts. Please choose another username.

I guess this is a measure to avoid people creating usernames very similar or visually exact to others existing by mixing scripts, for example, from Latin and Cyrillic where some letters look exactly the same while their coding is different. If this is the case, I think it's a great idea but I do not think it is a good idea to be indiscriminate. My user name looked more like սկալդροήప్రవాహము or скальд流量дवाहने (shorter and more elegant, though) which contain no visual trickery to impersonate anybody. I think the ban should just be limited to mixings of scripts which share identically- or closely-looking characters. After all, with further checking I've just found you allow numbers in the mix and, when using them, one gets more specific and sensible warnings such as:

The username "M4rk05" is too similar to the following usernames:

M4rko5
M4rkos
MARKOS
MaRkOs
MarKos

Please choose another username.

which I think it is probably good enough. The first system mentioned is just a pain when one has found just the perfect name (in their own opinion, of course). Thanks for your time. Regards. --37.11.123.82 22:33, 18 September 2018 (UTC)

I see. --37.11.123.195 08:47, 24 September 2018 (UTC)

Does your wiki want to be an early test wiki for the new partial block feature?[edit]

Hello all;

The Anti-Harassment Tools team is nearly ready to release the first feature set of partial blocks — the ability to block a user from ≤10 pages — on the beta environment then test.wikipedia by mid-October. Before partial blocks is widely deployed some early opt-in wikis will test the functionality, please let me know if your wiki would be interested in using the first version which gives you a great opportunity to decide the future of this feature!

In other news, due to technical complexity, multiple blocks (phab:T194697) is de-prioritize and remove it from this project. Our first focus will be to make sure page, namespace, and upload blocking work as expected and actually produce meaningful impact. The documentation for multi-blocks can still be seen here. And the archived talk page discussions about this can be found here. I'll share the changes to the designs when they are updated. SPoore (WMF) (talk) , Trust and Safety Specialist, Community health initiative (talk) 00:01, 25 September 2018 (UTC)

@SPoore (WMF): are namespace blocks already possible with this? Alexis Jazz (talk) 20:38, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
@Alexis Jazz: Namespace blocks will be in the first version. Our order of development for the first version is up to 10 pages, namespace, file upload by the end of Oct. 2018. And in November 2018, block a user from creating any new page, Special:Block and Special:Blocklist will be redesigned to accommodate showing more details needed for partial blocks. SPoore (WMF) (talk) , Trust and Safety Specialist, Community health initiative (talk) 20:59, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
Meta is always a testing ground. Ruslik (talk) 20:44, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
Good thought. SPoore (WMF) (talk) , Trust and Safety Specialist, Community health initiative (talk) 20:59, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
I don't think many use-cases for such partial blocks exist here on meta. I am not against enabling this feature here, but I fear not much feedback can be expected with regards to the new block possibilities. --Vogone (talk) 21:28, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
I agree.
I agree, Vogone. The main benefit would be exposing more people to the new Special:Block design and features. SPoore (WMF) , Trust and Safety Specialist, Community health initiative (talk) 14:56, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

Research about how to measure the effectiveness of blocks[edit]

The Community health initiative is starting a project to measure the effectiveness of blocks. The first step is to discuss with the wikimedia community ideas about how to do it. To that end, the Anti-Harassment Tools team and Morten Warncke-Wang has created a page with some initial ideas and a discussion space to talk about these and your ideas.

AHT is particularly interested to learn whether the new partial blocks feature is successful as a tool or instrument. Therefore, the first part of this research will mainly focused on the short term gains in the utility of partial blocks in order to understand whether it appears to be working and if there appears to be a need for changes. These measurements will provide us with insight quickly. Currently there is not much known about how sitewide blocks affect users. This makes a comparison of the effects of the new partial block feature to sitewide blocks difficult. To provide all of us with some insight, the Anti-Harassment Tools team would like to examine historical block data across wikimedia projects to establish a baseline.

However, our list of measurements that we propose has a lot of longer term ones, e.g. surveys. These are important and should be considered to be implemented later, because they can provide all of us with insight that is otherwise hidden.

Please join us to discuss these proposed measurements. For the Anti-Harassment Tools team and Morten Warncke-Wang. SPoore (WMF) , Trust and Safety Specialist, Community health initiative (talk) 14:56, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

Call for applications: 2019 OC[edit]

Hi everyone! It's coming close to time for annual appointments of community members to serve on the Ombudsman commission (OC). This commission works on all Wikimedia projects to investigate complaints about violations of the privacy policy, especially in use of CheckUser and Oversight tools, and to mediate between the complaining party and the individual whose work is being investigated. They may also assist the General Counsel, the Executive Director or the Board of Trustees in investigations of these issues. For more on their duties and roles, see Ombudsman commission.

This is a call for community members interested in volunteering for appointment to this commission. Volunteers serving in this role should be experienced Wikimedians, active on any project, who have previously used the CheckUser/Oversight tools OR who have the technical ability to understand these tools and the willingness to learn them. They are expected to be able to engage neutrally in investigating these concerns and to know when to recuse when other roles and relationships may cause conflict.

Commissioners are required to identify to the Wikimedia Foundation and must be willing to comply with the appropriate Wikimedia Foundation board policies (such as the access to non-public data policy and the privacy policy). This is a position that requires a high degree of discretion and trust.

If you are interested in serving on this commission, please write me an email at kbrown(at)wikimedia.org to detail your experience on the projects, your thoughts on the commission and what you hope to bring to the role. The commission consists of nine members; all applications are appreciated and will be carefully considered. The deadline for applications is end of day on 31 December, 2018.

Please feel free to pass this invitation along to any users who you think may be qualified and interested. Thank you! Kbrown (WMF) (talk) 15:19, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

Results from global Wikimedia survey 2018 are published[edit]

Hello! A few months ago the Wikimedia Foundation invited contributors to take a survey about your experiences on Wikipedia. The report is now published on Meta-Wiki! We asked contributors 170 questions across many different topics like diversity, harassment, paid editing, Wikimedia events and many others.

Read the report or watch the presentation, which is available only in English. Add your thoughts and comments to the report talk page. Feel free to share the report on Wikipedia/Wikimedia or on your favorite social media. Thanks! --EGalvez (WMF) 20:41, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

Reminder: No editing for up to an hour on 10 October[edit]

12:03, 4 October 2018 (UTC)

Creative Commons license differences[edit]

Who's responsible for Wikinews using a different Creative Commons license (2.5) than Wikipedia (3.0), the Foundation or the bureaucrats at Wikinews? I'm well aware that many Wikipedians consider Wikinews dead, but shouldn't it at least be tried to remove obstacles to content creation there? Who can decide on a license change? Gray62 (talk) 12:15, 5 October 2018 (UTC)