Talk:Petition to Jimbo

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I started an alternate petition. I hope nobody minds. If they do I will move it to a separate page. -Nard the Bard 22:21, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

  • And deleted it. It detracted from everything else. -Nard the Bard 04:31, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Counter signers section[edit]

If there is no immediate opposition, I'm going to move Ottava's statement back to the primary page. I think it makes the message stronger to demonstrate that this isn't just a one sided statement. --Gmaxwell 16:50, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Personally I agree with Gm --Herby talk thyme 16:52, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I also think it should be on the primary page. --Eusebius 17:00, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
It is now done. --Gmaxwell 17:01, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Some questions on JzG's comment[edit]

JzG, can you point us to any effort that you're aware of to address this issue within commons? Have you ever made such a request? Does your home project have a policy which you feel resolves this issue? How do you believe the deletion of a great many images which were in use furthers the elimination of possibly inappropriate images which were not in use? How did the deletion of illustrations and historic works of art help stem the tide of self-porn and images from flickr?

Your thoughts would be appreciated. --Gmaxwell 18:24, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

  • I do not think a "great many" in-use images were deleted. Jimbo deleted fewer than 100 images, of which the vast majority remain deleted. A few were undeleted with Jimbo's agreement that he had made errors. A few are contentious and in my view not educational at all, they appear prurient and gratuitous. A few seem to be unwilling to allow Jimbo the benefit of the doubt for a relatively small number of naive errors, and using this as a way of pushing back against something which a lot of people seem to think is justified. JzG 18:45, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
    • I'm confused by your statement. Jimmy wheel warred over works of art from the 1800s which were used in articles. Do you dispute this statement of fact? --Gmaxwell 19:00, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, but we don't want Jimbo head's on a pike. We wants that he stops doing action that qualify to power abuse.
If this means to remove his founder flag, then this should be done. Any other suggestion that would work would be deeply appreciated.
Of course, I wish we could do like Jimbo did it: First remove his 'founder' flag , secondly call for discussion to ultimately deny it.
Sorry, but what ever the intents were, power abuses should be sanctionned.
esby 18:53, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

What did he do?[edit]

I edit on en.wikipedia and saw this on Jimbo's talk page. There are several statements about him being dictatorial or nazi or the like, but it isn't at all clear what has happened or where. Can someone take 2 minutes to explain what the problem is please? Or point me somewhere that makes it apparent? Anthonyhcole 18:39, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

See explaination here. --Slfi 18:56, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The recent activity is not about wikiversity but about Jimbo recent actions on Commons:
He basically decided that some images (sexual / pornographic / erotic) were not suitable on Commons, since Commons might be consulted by Children, so he decided to modify a policy proposal himself and starts deleting images not suiting his taste. Basically, he bypassed any form of consensus and refused any discussion pretending that images shoud be deleted first then discussion should be done. He also tried to tell us some tale on irc about a peruvian girl that might be shocked in the future when she'll get her OLPC and will see something 'shocking' on a wikipedia article. He also invoked a law, which specifically concerns document producted after 1991 and managed to deleted content dating from the 19th century... Besides Commons already have a no porno / no penis policy. What are we going to do next? delete images of war because they might be hurting people mind? Sorry, but the whole story is just too big to let it pass. esby 19:05, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't even know where to start:
  • Announcing a "no porn" plan he concocted and calling it a "Policy"-- turns out neither the board nor the community had authorized him to do any such thing.
  • Edit warring against consensus on the policy page
  • Vandalizing useful images from hundreds of articles in a way that makes them VERY difficult to repair.
  • Ignoring the overwhelming feedback that his actions are inappropriate.
  • Generally being a dick. Telling people that the images will be deleted and if we have a problem with it, we can ask him to have a discussion about it on June 1.
That's not how Wikipedia rolls, and Jimbo's role as GodKing is about to be revoked because of it. --Alecmconroy 19:01, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

That's it? Occasionally overlords do this stuff. Must be very frustrating for you, though. Has he started asserting his droit de seigneur yet? Anthonyhcole 21:14, 8 May 2010 (UTC) I should clarify. This pornography on Wikimedia thing had the potential to snowball into something awful for the project. I'm glad there is someone who can take immediate action to (pardon the mixed metaphor) snuff out spot fires, without having to wait for consensus. As far as I can see, he uses his superpowers sparingly and with the best of intentions. The question of succession is the one that should be exercising you. Anthonyhcole 21:34, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Succession? I think you are clearly mistaken here. I don't believe the wikipedias and the wikimedia projects need someone able to create more conflict than already needed. If tomorrow Jimbo dies in a car accident, what will you do? End your life and stop the wikipedia servers? The more I think about it, the more I strongly believe that the english wikipedia needs to grow and cut those ties linked to the past, children needs to leave the parent nest one day. I actually don't care much about porn/sexual content/erotic images being deleted, now I do care when I see people leaving the project because this is done wrongly. I assume that the people who signed here and on the other meta pages are thinking the same way. As a common admin, I am awaiting for a policy to apply coming from the foundation, not from a statement and self-enforcement coming from Jimbo. As long this statement is not here, I won't take part in any way of this burning crusade, sorry. esby 22:37, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

about Jayen466 comment[edit]

I think you are mistaken. The petition is not about porno images or BSDM being deleted or staying on Commons (nor it is about the english wikiversity being shutdown). It's about Jimbo way of doing things here. By the way, the facts there are many images categorized in a category is a non argument: There are many images of cats, there are many images of cars, that does not mean we need to delete some of these. I'd honestly be for deleting low quality images, what ever are their nature (sensible or not sensible content), supposed replacements are existing of course. This is just a different problem. esby 23:42, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to echo Esby's comment above. There is little (no?) opposition from people who have the considered the subject to having, for example, many human penis images. If you take the time to consider it, you'll realize that for the purpose of completely illustrating the subject there needs to be many: Normal, circumcised, flaccid, erect, different angles, without jewlery, and with many distinct kinds of jewellery, affected by each of the various major diseases (which the Wikipedias have articles on). Some believe that you must multiply the prior set (which may amount to some fifty images are so) by a multitude of races, though perhaps we don't need separate race versions of every kind.
In any case, for the encyclopedic purposes we clearly need a bunch. Now, we try to be good curators so we put them all in a category and when you visit this category you are greeted by a wall of penises and it seems unreasonable on first impression to have so many. Now, we have some 300 penis images, and they don't exactly cover the above spectrum of uses well, which is why there is currently a prohibition against adding more unless they meet some specific unmet need. ... but in now way does that suggest that we don't need many.
It's important to keep in mind that commons is also intended to be an independent educational resource: You've read the wikipedia article on a car... seen the few pictures its show you, now you want to consult a picture book to get a better idea of how the car looks from all angles. Or see many examples of a disease or... This is where commons comes in.
So the gallery gives the wrong impression to someone who drops into it without coming in via an article, and we have people who see things like that and complain that commons is a great big porn site. There are cases where we really do have many more than we need, but far fewer cases than you might suspect from first impression. I don't know how to fix this. --Gmaxwell 03:27, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Does anyone have an honest insight as to why Jimbo burned out?[edit]

Datei:en:Jimmy Wales photo of en:Ann Coulter crop.jpg

After all this time, do we even know what caused Jimbo to go all rogue-founder on us?

  • Why was this so urgent? There was no new policy, Fox News doesn't run the foundation. Why was Jimbo so scared of them?
  • Why did Jimbo, after so many years of admirable service, find himself unable to function on this issue?
  • Why did Jimbo intentionally delete notable art despite multiple warnings that he was deleting valuable content? He had to know the images weren't porn. Was he trying to disrupt the projects in order to make some sort of point? And if so, what kind of point was he trying to make, and for who was he making it? Fox News? The Board?

In the end, I don't guess it really matters why he did what he did. All the same, everyone is so baffled by his behavior, it merits discussion, and there has been a lot of discussion trying to understand Jimbo's recent actions.

I've seen a lot of theories as to why Jimbo couldn't handle this issue, but none are particularly believable:

  • Some say Jimbo was motivated by his personal prudishness. But Jimmy himself has a history in the erotica industry, so that's seems unlikely.
  • Some say Jimbo was acting for his own financial gain-- that he tried was trying to get porn off Wikipedia so that his competing company can host the porn instead, and Jimbo could make money off it there. But I really sincerely doubt this one. Wikipedia doesn't have nearly enough porn to be a competitive force when compared to the rest of the porn-filled internet.
  • Some say that Jimbo was just terrified of being disparaged by Fox News. That hypothesis says that Jimbo would do anything to shift a story to make himself look better, even at the expense of the project. But again-- Jimbo always struck me as more courageous than that. Furthermore, some sources have claimed that Jimbo made up his mind to do this all before the Fox News investigation even began.
  • Some claim this is part of an ongoing feud between Jimbo and his alleged former co-founder Larry Sanger. This theory holds that somehow Jimbo hates Larry so much, it's completely clouded his judgment. But Larry Sanger been rabble-rousing for a long time, and Jimbo's never gone nuts before.
  • I've heard that the board refused to approve Jimbo's new policy, and as a result, harsh words were exchanged. When the board refused to order his new policy, Jimbo was so angry about the treatment of 'his' project that he started a purge to spite them. But none of the board members have made statements to corroborate that theory.
  • When I personally first saw Jimbo's actions, I sincerely believed it would just turn out that Jimbo's account had been hijacked by a hacker who was posing as Jimbo-- but at this point, that hope seems unfounded.

I don't find any of these particularly convincing, but SOMETHING caused Jimmy to burn out. Given all chaos, I think the more insight the community can get into this event, the better.

The community has just experienced the most 'traumatic' experience in the Wikipedia history. If Jimbo resigns his affiliations with Wikimedia, then it maybe it doesn't matter why he did it.

But as long as he is still listed as founder and board member, the commmunity has a need to understand why Jimbo short-circuited, so we can take steps to prevent it from happening again.

So if anyone has actual facts as to why this incident was so explosive, please share.

--Alecmconroy 05:01, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

note: I'm NOT asking why Jimbo believed his proposal might be a good idea-- I can imagine him , sincerely believing it was a good idea. What I'm baffled about is why he became unable to function when the rest of us rejected his proposal.
Additionally, I should state on principle I strongly disapprove of this sort of "motivation speculation"-- I make it a personal rule to try to avoid that, but this is a clear case for me to "ignore-all-personal-rules". When someone has as much personal power as Jimbo used to have, it needs to be explored so as to prevent this from ever happening again. --Alecmconroy 05:01, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't believe I have seen evidence that he has "burned out", FWIW. These actions are typical of his somewhat recent behaviour on English Wikipedia, but they are considered appropriate there based on the history and the almost total lack of effective governance without him. Other projects have done better in these regards. --Gmaxwell 06:32, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

By chance I met Jimbo yesterday at the London meetup and had time to discuss the issue with him. He was confident the issue would blow over in a few days. He said it was a 'reaction to' but not a 'response' to the coverage by Fox News and concern that a website widely used in schools and by young people would be tainted by the accusations. There is also the concern that the donors contacted by Fox would withdraw funds. It all seemed quite reasonable to me. Note the BBC is now covering this [1] and that is quite different from Fox News. Three cheers for common sense. Peter Damian 17:33, 10 May 2010 (UTC)


Jimbo seems to have given back the controversial privileges attached to his founder flag. See Requests for comment/Remove Founder flag for details. --Eusebius 06:12, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

failure to present the cause of this petition[edit]

Although I am always in favour of introducing and extending democratic procedures, I can not sign this petition, because it does not point out clearly what the point of controversy is. This is addressed only to users who already know what is going on, e.g. by continouusly following discussions on Meta; it is not properly accessible to others. As I have the impression that the topic is one of considerable impact, I find it all the more disturbing that the proponents of this petition undertook very little effort to present their cause in a thorough and comprehensible manner. While they demand democratic procedures, and may be right to do so, their own procedures leave much to be desired. -- Seelefant 08:16, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

This petition started out simply as a simple request to J. Wales to be reasonable and respect the local communities. The events leading to this are: out of process deletion, desysop and wheel warring on english wikiversity - see talk:wikiversity/Problems; and out of process deletion and wheel warring on commons on contents related to sex or the human body. some may also add the out of process banning on english wikisource of user:thekohser who has a little bit of history with j. wales.Hillgentleman 09:47, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

I've made a related comment at Wikimedia_Forum#Petition_to_Jimbo. Anrie 09:02, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

To be honest, and without any knowledge about the specific issue in question, I am concerned about the sanctification of rules and procedures on Wikipedia, and the importance attached to community autonomy. First of all, Wikipedia, most particularly the English one, has become awfully bureaucratic and unwelcoming. Secondly, there are rules, procedures and ArbCom rulings that eventually rely on the admins to interpret and enforce them. The admins are not judges, they are not selected as judges and they are subject to restrictions and limitations like judges. Last but not least, Wikipedia used to have a fundamental rule saying "ignore all rules". That means that rules and regulations are merely tools. An admin today would prefer having a bad unreliable version of an article providing that the procedures are kept. He would block helpful users or reject better versions if he thought a rule had been violated. This is not the spirit of Wikipedia. Dror_K 12:36, 16 May 2010 (UTC)