User talk:Doc James

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IRC office hour for Wikimedia Foundation copyright strategy[edit]

Hi there - thank you for your participation in the copyright strategy discussion so far! In addition to contributing on-wiki, you may be interested in an upcoming IRC office hour the Wikimedia Foundation legal team is holding to discuss the copyright strategy. It will be on September 15 at 14:00 UTC. More information is available on Meta-Wiki. Thanks! Joe Sutherland (WMF) 00:48, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

WikiFactMine project[edit]

Greetings from petermr and the WikiFactMine grant/project. We have just had our initial project meeting with Marti Johnson and she suggested that you and us can work closely together. This would be great - this message is just saying hi, and waiting on Marti to join things up.Petermr (talk) 18:25, 10 November 2016 (UTC)

User:Petermr From what I understand you will be mostly developing software for Wikidata correct? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:40, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
Doc James Yes, that's a large part of it. To increase the amount of useful items in Wikidata and also to promote the value Petermr (talk) 21:14, 10 November 2016 (UTC).
So you are building a system which automatically finds sources for claims already within Wikidata? Or are you building a system that finds claims that could potentially go in Wikidata? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:24, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
I think the first would seem to be more valuable, but - if there is a demand by users - we could trawl for potential claims. Petermr (talk) 21:28, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
Okay. For medical claims one needs to make sure to use high quality references. Low quality references can be used to say nearly anything. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:39, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. We wouldn't want to completely automate the ingestion of papers supporting claims. It's more likely that we can create high quality lists that can be presented to experienced editors. I'll be talking with Daniel Mietchen (Q20895785) next week at NIH who is working on the Zika corpus project. I think this is a good archetype for collecting facts.
We are looking mainly for high quality secondary sources rather than high quality primary sources as references for En WP. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:15, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
Fully understood. If you have Open Access sources/reviews that you regularly use we'd be happy to explore those. We'll probably concentrate more on bioscience Petermr (talk) 09:45, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

On the top of all talk pages for disease articles we link to a link to all "Free review articles" on a topic. However not all of those review articles are deemed high enough quality to be a Wikipedia reference. Typically we do not use journals with an impact factor of zero and journal articles which are copied and pasted from Wikipedia (which is happening amazingly often now). Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:54, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

I fixed that graph[edit]

An attempt to correct this prior revision in light of this updated data.

If you like it please share at e.g. Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Process/Briefing. Thanks again. James Salsman (talk) 06:06, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

What was wrong with the prior version? Are you saying that everyone will have access to the internet by 2030? I am doubtful. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:01, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
The data wasn't in the cited sources, and was very low. Not everyone, but almost everyone; at least the level of mobile phone penetration today. James Salsman (talk) 00:02, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
I am not seeing the link you provided as supporting the new graphic. It just shows developing world generally and not by country. It is also only to 2020. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:04, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Do you think the old version was supposed to be for 2020 instead of 2030 given the full-world projections? We could quibble about whether most countries will be closer to 90 or 95%, but I would rather work on what you told me to work on. James Salsman (talk) 21:34, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Inspire Campaign survey on outreach to outside knowledge networks[edit]

Inspire Campaign Knowledge Networks Logo.png

Thanks for your participation during the Inspire Campaign focused on outreach to outside knowledge networks from February 2017. I'm interested in hearing your experience during the campaign, so if you're able, I invite you to complete this brief survey to describe how you contributed to the campaign and how you felt about participating. I want to improve how campaigns are run, so let me know if there's something that could be done better for next time.

Please feel free to let me know on my talk page if you have any questions about the campaign or the survey. Thanks! I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 18:34, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

(Opt-out instructions)

Survey link error fixed[edit]

Hi there, there was a error with the Inspire survey link that caused the survey to be shown as expired, but has now been fixed. The link in the above message should now bring you to the survey. Apologies, I JethroBT (WMF) 19:20, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

Thx[edit]

I am very glad that you are a candidate for the Board election.--Mautpreller (talk) 08:52, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Thank you User:Mautpreller for your vote of confidence :-) While the WMF is in a much much better place than when I was on the board in 2015 there is still work to do. I believe that it is important that we have strong and active editors among their number. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:20, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Thank you.[edit]

Hi James,

Thanks for starting a draft here. Regards. Wikicology (talk) 20:19, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

Whose Knowledge?: [April 2017][edit]

Whose KnowledgeWhose Knowledge? logo 01.png News
April 2017 • Volume 1 • Issue 2
Activities and Events:
Dalit History Month Events; Wikimania 2017 submissions
Resources:
Resources lists
Wikimedia Movement:
Wikimedia Strategy: Knowledge is Global
Home font awesome.svg About Whose Knowledge?
If this message is not on your home wiki's talk page, update your subscription.

We hope you enjoy this issue of the Whose Knowledge? News. Please reach out to us if you have any ideas or suggestions! -- Saileshpat using MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 18:47, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

2017 Board Elections candidate interviews[edit]

Dear candidate,

Thank you for running for the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees in this year's community elections. I am contacting you on behalf of the community podcasts Wikipedia Weekly and Source Code Berlin. We are sure you recognize the importance of transparency and a fully-informed community when it comes to these elections. To that end, we would like to conduct short audio interviews (under 30 minutes) with each of the candidates for publication in podcast form prior to the conclusion of the election. If you agree, we will contact you via email to coordinate the time and date of these interviews. Please let me know if you have any questions. Gamaliel (talk) 16:41, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

User:Gamaliel Sure sounds good :-) And thank you for taking this on. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:44, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for agreeing to our proposed candidate interviews, but we have decided that we will not be conducting them this year. We feel that Sunday's video interview has accomplished the goal of providing the community with exposure to the candidates and we are currently exploring ways that our potential election coverage can supplement and not duplicate that exposure. Gamaliel (talk) 18:45, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
User:Gamaliel many thanks for following up :-) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:46, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

RfC[edit]

Could you review my en Wikipedia account. I respect your opinions on Socks and your experience with the project as well as your contributions. I would like feedback on my actions by users interested in socks and who I respect. If it is too much trouble that is fine. Please revert if you feel I am bothersome. I am mostly trying to logically understand the current policy stance for Sock (I am not even allowed to talk about or to them?). I would like you to also not participate in any admin actions on my account or related to my ban, partly due to this notice but also because of our previous interactions. I am purely looking for convincing feedback so that I can improve and contribute more effectively to the project. Thank you for your time, Endercase (talk) 08:25, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

User:Endercase happy to take a look :-)
You were blocked for 72 hours. Appears the issue revolves around "warning templates on talk pages is "discussion""
Appears the issues are these[1][2].
Which sock are you concerned about? The one above I image? What specific aspect of policy are you interested in? Yes one can discuss with socks some but not really appropriate in great detail as one does not want to encourage those who are being disruptive by using socks. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:31, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Given how hard it is to truly identify a Sock if they are knowledgeable. I'm honestly not sure what all accounts they have edited under, all I can really say for sure is that their accounts are far more numerous than the ones that have been found by the check users, based on DUCK and my interpretation of identifying features of SOCKs. The check users have identified the account you imaged as the "main head" of the user (sock) that set this off. The user their has claimed they have been editing Wikipedia since 2004 under numerous accounts cite: they sent me this link <publicly on a talkpage>. Primarily I was attempting to open discourse with a SOCK to get a full understanding of consensus (from all sides of the issue). It appears as if some check_users don't think their are any appropriate uses for SOCKs and Wikipedia:Sock puppetry#Legitimate has been removed. I was told that any defence or even knowingly interacting with a SOCK is considered Disruptive (they consider all interactions encouragement). I personally don't think that persistent socks need any encouragement; if the user had been editing from 2004 to now it isn't like they were going to stop anyway. You saw some of my first attempts at communicating with COI socks at the page we first encountered each other. I think the use of excuse of calling another users a sock to avoid policy discussions is ridiculous, much the same as cutting IP editors out of policy discussions. One of the issues I have is the apparent battlefield ideology some check users have with socks, I understand how it came about given doxing and aggressive behavior by some Socks. But treating all Socks like they are the enemy encamped and should not even be Civilly communicated with is very disturbing to me. I also have some issues with Bbb23's behavior, as I have logged in the UTRS and in the diffs you cited, and along some of the same lines as their recent AN/I by Flamous7. Hopefully this begins to explain my stance. Endercase (talk) 21:55, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
I try hard to be civils with socks and happy to be called upon it if I am not.
We do need methods to limit some people's access to edit Wikipedia. Not all are here to build an independent high quality encyclopedia unfortunately.
With respect to changing policies around the us of socks that should occur on the respective policy page rather than on the socks talk page/ Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:01, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
I appear to have been T-banned from talking about socks on en.Wikipedia, at the very least a good number of admin may attempt to indef-ban me if I continue to attempt to enforce policy to protect the rights of socks, COI or other "sub-human" (or as I say "untouchable") users. Several have explicitly said this on various talk pages. Endercase (talk) 23:15, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
To be clear I do support banning users who are beyond being brought to consensus and "harm" the encyclopedia. But in my view many users are blocked as disruptive purely for arguing their stance logically and not just rolling over under the face of apparent authority. I find this very contrary to the founding principles of Wikipedia, vocally disagreeing with "authority" should never be considered disruptive in and of itself IMO. No POV should be considered disruptive just because it is different IMO. Particularly when the user has expressed that they are willing to change their POV given logical arguments. When a user refuses to engage in discussion or cite sources when asked and continues to push POV (not trying to engage in discussion), I do find that truly disruptive and harmful. Endercase (talk) 23:27, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
The expectation though is that people will generally restrict themselves to one account (with rare exceptions allowed) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:32, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
There is no exception to civil nor to consensus building IMO. If a user wishes to to engage in policy related discussion while being civil on a talkpage they should never be banned from doing so IMO (though they maybe labeled a likely sock, canvassed or COI in discussion if appropriate). The misuse of policy to silence dissent and circumvent discussion is one one the main reasons for the chilling of editing on Wikipedia IMO. This type of behavior is compleatly contrary to the founding principles of Wikipedia IMO. I personally think all users that attempt to push POV in that manner should be banned as harmful. I was deemed disruptive because I called an Admin out on their blatant violation of policy and because I suggested that socks should still be allowed to participate in consensus. The use of template to inform a user that they violated policy and provide a location for future discussion about that violation is not harmful to the encyclopedia IMO. I have never seen another user banned for a single use of a template (without edit warring) and/or for attempting to discuss policy with a sock. I believe they engaged in battlefield behavior because of my apparent defence (or humanization) of a sock and because of my willingness to express my POV on policy and to engage in discussion to defend that POV. The suggested T-Ban for me such that I can no longer talk about socks on en.Wikipedia honestly disgusts me as it is clearly IMO an attempt to suppress logical discussion it is very difficult to AGF in this case. This appears to be a concession or a barter for sides in a war and not based in what actually hurts the encyclopedia or for what is best to further consensus. Please explain how their behavior in my case (particularly the removal of my rights to edit my talk page) helped the encyclopedia in terms of harms, as harms are the foundation of all policy, so that I can understand and be a productive editor in the future. Endercase (talk) 01:14, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
But what would than prevent 50 socks from the same person from confusing consensus? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:04, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
I have several very good answers to that, that are already in place in policy. If you would like I can give them. However, at this point I shall answer your question with a question: How to do you know they already haven't? Duck and check users can only stop unskilled socks (duck stops the technically skilled but not the socially skilled). It wouldn't be too difficult for a technically skilled nation state or even a wealthy individual to field an army of admin IMO. Automated edits are relatively easy to do these days, particularly grammar, spelling, and unreliable source changes. Slightly more complex are vandalism fixes. But, even some of those are still very automatable and would directly lead to adminship in time (if nominated and defended at RfA). Even with COI editors it would be possible to input a "final copy" of an article into a basic AI that distributes specific editing tasks to multiple socks and even fakes disagreements and talk page discussions. They would just have to stick to a loose script like one of those choose your adventure novels (maybe even learn from other talk pages). Have you seen some chatbots these days? I'm just saying we certainly don't catch the most damaging socks, we only catch the ones that don't really know what they are doing. This doesn't even touch on meatpuppets. Endercase (talk) 05:07, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
It is definitely an area that needs more study. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:11, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
I think one method to help deal with that would be to mark accounts that are participating in a discussion with other users that they frequently interact with, particularly when those users appear to agree. This could automatically start building evidence per DUCK or Meatpuppet (a good Sock is indistinguishable from a meatpuppet or even a sympathetic editor). Masking identifying features and even arguing with or threatening other socks (of the same user) is not difficult to do and effectively hides the nature of the sock.
As far as simi-automated accounts used to increase credibility; I'm not really sure what to do here but to devalue the metric of edit counts. This would cause a number of issues in the current social hierarchy of Wikipedia so I'm not sure that is a wise course of action. Another method would be to start valuing the thanking metric; maybe only the first time A account (extended confirmed) thanks B account should it count (otherwise socks can easily exploit this system too). Another way would be to add a human edit option next to the thank button thus turning Wikipedia into a giant Turing test (this is also abusable). I would like to stay away from a centrally verified user system, as we can see the PR mess that turned into for Twitter. We could also add a "Slashdot style" moderation system for comments...but, that would be a significant change. Endercase (talk) 15:17, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

I'm not entirely sure they actually want to catch all the socks. If there were a button they could push that would magically stop all unauthorized socking, I'm not sure they would push it. The way we know that is that they say stuff like this; and I think I've seen some other comments by admins along those same lines, saying that sometimes they recognize a banned user but take no action unless he starts causing problems. There are, on the other hand, other admins who will always block a banned user at every opportunity, I guess because they believe in the rule of law, or trust those who make decisions on such matters, or whatever.

My major beef at this point is that there's increasingly a lack of transparency. But even if there were transparency, I think there's one policy in particular that's blatantly and purposefully discriminatory and needs to be repealed. And yeah, Endercase, sometimes socks are members of "a class of people historically discriminated against".

Now, Wikimedia is a private organization, so they have the right to discriminate, ... or do they? When you think about it, the same people who say, "This is private property, and we can decide what goes on here," would probably vote against allowing another property owner to put up a "WHITES ONLY" sign. These are not libertarians, after all, but leftists we're talking about, for the most part.

I have to ponder that. I mean, I could just go away. But then what? Edit Kings Wiki, I guess. Maybe more sockmasters should leave and go to other wikis. It's a tempting idea!

The only downside is that nobody notices or cares about any of that work. But maybe it's like quitting Facebook -- after you've been away from it for awhile, you stop thinking of it so much, and eventually you discover a big world outside of it, full of possibilities. Or even just sitting around and doing nothing might be superior. Waddup, Ender (talk) 07:44, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

Uncontrolled spending increases[edit]

(I am asking this question of all board candidates.)

In my essay at User:Guy Macon/Wikipedia has Cancer I make several proposals.

Whether of not you agree with the essay as a whole, would you be willing to propose and/or support any of the following?

  • Make spending largely transparent, publish a detailed account of what money is being spent on and answer any reasonable questions asking for more details. There is no need for you to remind us that some things cannot be published because of legal or privacy issues. I am asking whether we should be as open and transparent as possible, not asking the board to do something stupid or illegal.
  • Limit spending increases to no more than inflation plus some percentage (adjusted for any increases in page views). Are you willing to support any limit at all on spending growth, and if so roughly how much? 10%? 20%? 30%?
  • Build up our endowment and structure the endowment so that the WMF cannot legally dip into the principal when times get bad. There is no need to answer with something to the effect that either you or the WMF have good intentions. I am specifically asking whether you support making the endowment principle legally untouchable, allowing the WMF to only spend the endowment interest.

If we do these things now, in a few short years we could be in a position to do everything we are doing now, while living off of the endowment interest, and would have no need for further fundraising. Or we could keep fundraising, using the donations to do many new and useful things, knowing that whatever we do there is a guaranteed income stream from the endowment that will be large enough to keep the servers running indefinitely. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:40, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

  1. Yes spending should / must be largely transparent. Generally we should be transparent by default with secrecy occurring only with good justification.
  2. Yes I support limits on increased growth. When I was last on the board I supported the leveling off of spending. I have stated here that we need a hard upper limit of 15% over which a movement wide consensus would be required.[3] (ie the foundation would need to convince the movement that a greater increase is justified. With respect to tieing it to pageviews, many ways of viewing Wikipedia such as via mirrors and offline are uncountable yet very important (especially in situations were governments block our websites). I think that generally when all is going well growth should be around 5%. We need to be careful about overly aggressive fundraising messages.
  3. Yes I support not allowing the principle to be touched. Good intentions are not always enough and people change over time. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:06, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
In case anyone cares what I think, I strongly support your candidacy, and the above straight answers gave me even more reason to do so. I hope that the "Doc James for WMF Board" sign on my lawn helps... :) --Guy Macon (talk) 14:55, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Guy. While I doubt I will be able to fix all problems at the WMF I hope I further improve matters. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:07, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Opinion on candidates requested[edit]

Doc James, amongst the candidates standing in the present elections (other than yourself), who would you like to see elected, and who which you be disappointed to see elected, and would you briefly explain why? Thanks, EdChem (talk) 02:59, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

User:EdChem Yuri has an excellent technical understanding and strong background within the movement. I have enjoyed working with him in the past and would like to do so again in the future. He understands the importance of building tools to help editors created great content for our readers.
Dariusz and I share in common many positions on issues. He has not pushed as hard as sometimes things needed to be pushed but I believe he is an overall positive on the board.
I do not know Maria well. She however was on the board when Superprotect came into being and did not actively speak out against it despite significant movement concerns.
I do not know the rest of them well enough make a statement. In my opinion active editing of our projects is key. Best Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:40, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks... am I correct in thinking Dariusz opposed your removal from the board? EdChem (talk) 04:54, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
That is correct. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:55, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Board of Trustees election - question about French language[edit]

Hi James, I was looking at your presentation for the Board of Trustees. First of all, thank you for being a candidate. I have a question for you. You wrote that you speak French on your presentation page, but you have almost no contribution to Wikimedia projects in French. Why ? Tobovs (talk) 11:52, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

While I can speak some French my ability to write in French is nearly non-existent. French Wikipedia is also fairly well developed. As such my abilities in French are not sufficient to make further improvements. I am by the way on the board of Wikimedia Canada were our board meetings occur in both French and English :-) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:05, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
User:Tobovs PS By the way I was involved some in the development of the offline WP medical app in French[4]. It is the third most used version after English and Arabic Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:51, 14 May 2017 (UTC)