Wikimedia Forum/Archives/2012-01

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Archive This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.

Importing wiktionary definitions

For a project I need to import wiktionary definitions for english to databse and make sense out of the meaning, like which word is related to which and so on.

I downloaded the definitions from

The syntax used in the description field is not extremely hard to understand, but there are a lot of variations. Hence I need a documentation regarding it so I do not miss out on anything while importing.

Is there any documentation as to how wiktionary makes sense out of the data in the definition file? I tried googling but was unlucky.

It's possible that somebody will come along who is able to answer you, but if not, you might want to ask at en:Wkt:Wiktionary:Grease_pit or en:Wikt:Wiktionary:Information desk. I hope that they are able to help you. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) 19:25, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

made donation. still seeing begging messages.

Despite being desperately poor, I made a donation. When exactly may I expect to stop seeing these annoying pleas? Please?

Oh come on now. Yes, it used to be a plea, but now it is just a nice "thank you" banner. Don't you see the difference :-) Don't you believe that Wikimedia foundation has the right to thank the readers who made the donations :-)--Mbz1 23:28, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

administrators' noticeboard

Hi there, Excuse me for posting this message here but I cannot find administrators' noticeboard of Meta. Could anyone please provide a link to there? This is urgent. Thanks Americophile 15:59, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Please go to Meta:Requests for help from a sysop or bureaucrat for contacting an Administrator. ObsidianCommandtalk 19:10, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Really Thanks. I will never forget your help. Regards Americophile 20:00, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

reuse by for profits

as I understand the license, a for profit can re use wikipedia material. this may not matter to some people, but for me, this is un acceptable; I will be da**ed if my hard work is going to make money for somone else. I have made contributions to a number of articles, particularly those that pertain to my professional expertise in molecular biology (the problem of having , again and again, to edit out mistakes (the equivalent of 2+2=5) is another problem, but if the intelligent design people can deal with it, so can I.

The catch is that a for-profit will be legally required to release its product under the same Creative Commons license. In other words anybody will be able to reuse the said product. So, a for-profit can make some money, but probably not so much. Ruslik 18:30, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
I came here after seeing a bunch of "books" available for purchase in Google Book Search crediting Wikimedia as the author, but listing "eM Publications" as the publisher. I suppose such reuse of content is within the license, but the so-called eBooks are just the print view of (say) a WikiBooks page stitched into eBook form. (At least, the few samples I examined were so.)
I guess I'm wondering if such use is legal, and if anything can be done about it. It really makes Google Books and, kind of, Wikimedia look bad. I got a bad feeling looking at the listings.
Just my curiosity compelling me to dig out my seldom-used Meta account. Tuvok[T@lk/en.wp] 10:06, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
There are several publishers who do this sort of thing. Sometimes I think they would try to sell you the air that is free for everyone to breathe. There is no law against selling something that is available for free. The cynicism of these peddlers is no reflection on us. ~ Ningauble 13:42, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

No automated welcome message for new comers on Wikipedia!


Can anyone explain to me why sites such as wikipedia don't have an automated welcome message to welcome new users? I undertsand that most editors receive such messages from other editors but why not other's who never receive some welcome message this includes me even though I was aware of wikipedia for several years but have just registered on the 31st December and have received no such message. How long is the process to receive the so called welcome message, on meta I've received one straight away but not on wikipedia. ObsidianCommandtalk 11:00, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Not every wiki uses to welcome its users. Meta does, does, commons too... Usually there is a reason because of which the wiki doesn't welcome new users: there is no welcome bot on the wiki, therefore sometimes users who welcome may not welcome some users, because, you know, humans have real life. :) Some wiki decided also to deny welcomer bots like en:Wikipedia:Bots/Frequently_denied_bots#Welcome_bot. In this case, the community thinks a bot welcoming new users is much less personal than being welcomed by a real user. :)--Nickanc 20:23, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Incubator has a welcome bot as well. I got a nice Talk Page one month ago before ever being there with my SUL account. Great! Talking about Incubator:

Wiki Stamps

The object is to provide a mechanism for paying very small amounts for certain web services. To take the example of Wikipedia where the content is provided free and the user is not charged. However there are hosting costs for the hardware, administration etc. According to the October 2011 report the total expenses for September 2011 were $5.4M and the number of page requests were 15.8 billion, giving a cost of roughly 3000 pages/$.

Currently this is raised by charitable giving by what must be a tiny fraction of the users. The alternative of using advertising is thankfully not contemplated.

We need a mechanism for charging a very small sum to download a page.

Everyone has to pay somehow for access to the internet via an ISP (which might be a telephone operator) and will have an existing financial arrangement, so it makes sense to use them as the financial intermediary rather than invoke a new third party.

For each page downloaded an instantaneous contract would take place between the user, the page supplier and the ISP. The ISP adds the page charge to the suppliers account together with all the charges arising from downloads by all its other clients from this supplier and makes periodical payments when the amount owed becomes significant. The ISP would add the charge to the fees it is already charging clients. For most clients this will be a trivial amount and the ISP might offer several thousand page downloads as one more service it is supplying.

The mechanism of making the contract might be:

  • A new HTML token is agreed upon which contains the the identity of the page supplier and the charge.
  • When the user downloads a page containing this token, the download is paused.
  • The user's browser displays a button displaying the amount charged. The user clicks on this button and thereby agrees to the charge and sends an electronic stamp to the supplier whereupon the download is continued.
  • Stamps are issued to the user by their ISP in the form of a single packets of data containing the identity of the ISP and some encryption/key data.
  • Both the page supplier and the user send modified copies of the stamp back to the ISP with the transaction data encrypted/stamped in such a way that:
    • the ISP knows that the request came from a stamp that it originally issued
    • the supplier knows that the user who requested the page is a client of the ISP.
    • both agree on the page charge
    • a malicious forth party cannot read or modify the details of the contract nor create a false one.

Getting agreement, designing and getting widespread adoption of this mechanism will be a major undertaking and it would be a considerable time before it was ubiquitous. In the interim users that have the properly equipped browser and ISP would be pay via the above mechanism and get the requested page, while users not so equipped would get still get the page but preceded by an advert or, in the case Wikipedia, a request for a donation.

For wikipedia and many other sites the content is provided free by volunteers and the page charge for the physical cost of delivery. Once the mechanism is established it could be used to pay for content on sites where it comes from paid authors.

An example is online newspapers and books. The charges would be at a higher level than for free content, say at the rate of 60 sections/$ for a section that takes about a minute to read, i.e., $1 per hour of reading. John-Greenwood 12:45, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

The experience of paywalls is that most people are deterred by them. Also I would question your assumption that everyone pays their ISP for access, where I live I'm pretty sure the libraries don't charge for Internet access and I know one of my local housing Associations has a bank of free to surf PCs in their reception available for any of their tenants to use. But I see several major problems with this approach, some are practical, some ethical.
  1. All "our" data is available under an open license, so if we announced that we were about to introduce a paywall anyone could take a copy of it and either launch a slightly cheaper offer or offer a read only copy free to their subscribers.
  2. We have no difficulty raising money, each of our fundraisers ends earlier than the last because it hits a rising target in less time than it took us the year before; But we are short of editors and charging people per page read is the wrong way to treat potential editors, especially those who've downloaded hundreds of thousands of pages. OK we could exempt those who've proven themselves, but it would make it much more difficult to recruit editors.
  3. Our mission is make the knowledge of humanity available to the whole of humanity, and that includes people who can't afford to pay and may not even have access to money. Levying a flat charge per page view would require what some consider to be trivial amounts per page, assuming we turned 1% of our current readers into subscribers we would still have 4 million subscribers, $5 a year, 10 cents a week from each of them and we'd have as much money combined with greatly reduced hardware requirements. But for much of the world $5 is actually quite a bit of cash.
  4. We are short of editors despite offering them the opportunity to edit one of the most popular sites on the Internet. If we put up a Paywall we wouldn't just lose most of our audience, we would also lose our editors to other sites that stepped into the breach and offered a free to use free to edit encyclopaedia.. WereSpielChequers 00:13, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Like paper stamps used on paper envelopes, the Wiki Stamp is a payment for storage and transmission. A paper stamp does not give the postal service any rights or even contact over the contents of the envelope and the Wiki Stamp would not change the status of the data.
I fully support your "mission is make the knowledge of humanity available to the whole of humanity" and take your point that many poor users would be unable to make payments. This is not a problem if using a stamp can remain optional. A page downloaded without a stamp would have just the same content but with a banner, maybe just with a reminder that a stamp has not been used. Non-poor users have the option of using a stamp and removing a minimal annoyance by paying, for them, an even more minimal amount of money.
I take your point that nothing should be allowed that puts off editors. but I am sure that some system can be devised whereby as soon as a user does an edit they are automatically relieved from needing stamps for a period.
Paywalls require the user to enter into a contract with a specific data supplier. This scheme is differs in that:
  • The user does not have to do anything to be able use stamps.
  • The amounts involved can be much smaller than would be economic under a paywall regime.
  • Any supplier could use the same stamps.
I am glad learn that you are able to raise funds easily, but you are only one part of a movement for making the knowledge of humanity available. There must be many smaller and less well organised people offering free data that struggle to pay for hardware costs.
John-Greenwood 11:50, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Hi John, It isn't just the amount that is a deterrent it is also the process of payment, as soon as you ask people to pay it will deter some, especially if they haven't yet registered for that micropayment scheme or bought any stamps through it. Maybe things would be different if the stamp system was ubiquitous, but at present I don't believe it is. Getting such a scheme off the ground is not a small task, especially if it has to provide global operators such as Wikimedia. We've seen this year the effect on our fundraising now that we can accept payments in several more currencies than we could last year. So I'd be surprised if this sort of scheme were to take off, and even if it did and it worked for others it couldn't work for us because the products we build are freely licensed. Being freely licensed means that you or anyone else is welcome to mirror a copy of Wikipedia, With the costs of running that copy funded if you wish by stamps instead of appeals from Jimbo.WereSpielChequers 01:27, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

not listed IRC channels

See Talk:IRC/Channels#not_listed_channels.--Nickanc 12:47, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

February deployment (test deploy now)

We (Wikimedia Engineering) are planning to deploy Mediawiki 1.19 next month. To avoid post deployment troubles we had during previous deployment we are setting up a test site.

We are going to clone subset of some pages and configuration of several production wikis there to give everyone a chance to test software before it is deployed to production. The test site should be fully operational on 09-January-2012. For now you can, of course, create an account there to test various scripts or even import pages. For larger XML imports please ask petan or hexmode in #wikimedia-labs (webchat link).

In case you found any issue please use this page to report it. In case you have any questions or suggestions let us know! — MarkAHershberger(talk) 21:10, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the information. —Marco Aurelio (Nihil Prius Fide) 04:07, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Requests for new languages/Wikisource Belarusian 2

Please note on the request. The administrator simply do not go there, and meanwhile he hangs nearly a year. In the Belarusian-section Wikisource for more than 1200 pages. How much can we expect to get your own domain name? I do not want to point fingers, but there are working sections, where less than 200 pages.--Хомелка 17:48, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

You should contact the Language Committee. Ruslik 18:30, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you so much, I will do it--Хомелка 19:42, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Why I will not donate this year

Wikipedia used to be something you could be proud of. What did we do in 2011 that we didn't do in 2007? Nada. Worse. Vandals have taken over the henhouse. I won't mention names, because they'd just block me for exposing them, but there are users who go around bragging about how many legal images they delete and hoping to delete 420K more.

And this is what we were paying you for? Rudeness, Thuggery, and more money every year for an ever-worsening product?

I've been a wikimaniac for a long time. this is the first christmas I won't be giving anything and I hate it. But you can only treat people so disrespectfully in one year. Please put your house in order. --Nobody who will be missed.

Hi Sorry you don't feel that way. I'm tempted to point out that even on the English Wikipedia despite all our deletionists we still have a growing article count, and on the measures of quality that I know the average quality is still rising. But more pertinently the things that trouble you - rudeness and incorrect deletions are things that the Foundation has been researching and has acknowledged as problems. That doesn't mean we have solutions yet and I won't be trite and say that money is needed to solve them because money only enables you to implement solutions that you've identified. But money would help, and I hope next year you are willing to donate. WereSpielChequers 17:39, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Deletionists cause many people to stop donating money to Wikipedia. But worst of all are smug, speedy deletionists who can't have a give-and-take discussion, and who seem to get off on how many deletions they (and usually some team/clique) make, and how fast they make them. They don't want to be bothered with notifying people either. For some recent discussion and info:
- en:Wikipedia talk:Categories for discussion#Add requirement that category creators be notified
- en:Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive730#Non-admin close creating new category naming guideline - ignore the not so uncommon closer comment that insults people's motivations. It may take some reading to understand that discussion. But notice that other people soon joined in discussing their problems related to deletions, especially speedy deletions. Requiring notification, increasing participation, getting rid of speedy deletions, and banning non-admin closes would go a long way towards stopping the abuse, the mistakes, the destruction of work, and the lack of accountability. A wikiproject for lessening rudeness by admins and deletionists would help. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:23, 7 December 2011 (UTC)


Phase Portrait Unstable Proper Node.svgRude or speedy deletions of articles and categories drive away editors and donations.

Here are some userboxes. It is too much to expect some deletionists and category workers to give a damn. Also, there is very little arbitration. One way things may change over time is community support via userbox and other education. --Timeshifter (talk) 23:22, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Another one:

Phase Portrait Unstable Proper Node.svg Unresolved content disputes combined with abusive admins and policies drive away editors and donations. See also.

See: User:Timeshifter/Userboxes --Timeshifter (talk) 13:45, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

How to delete an account here


I would like to know how to delete an account here. It was created inadvertently.

Thank you.

b4real —The preceding unsigned comment was added by b4Real (talk)

I'm afraid you can't. You can ask to have the account indefinitely blocked if you wish, or you can have it renamed but deletion isn't possible QU TalkQu 21:16, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Announcing Wikipedia 1.19 beta

Wikimedia Foundation is getting ready to push out 1.19 to all the WMF-hosted wikis. As we finish wrapping up our code review, you can test the new version right now on For more information, please read the release notes or the start of the final announcement.

The following are the areas that you will probably be most interested in:

  • Faster loading of javascript files makes dependency tracking more important.
  • New common*.css files usable by skins instead of having to copy piles of generic styles from MonoBook or Vector's css.
  • The default user signature now contains a talk link in addition to the user link.
  • Searching blocked usernames in block log is now clearer.
  • Better timezone recognition in user preferences.
  • Improved diff readability for colorblind people.
  • The interwiki links table can now be accessed also when the interwiki cache is used (used in the API and the Interwiki extension).
  • More gender support (for instance in logs and user lists).
  • Language converter improved, e.g. it now works depending on the page content language.
  • Time and number-formatting magic words also now depend on the page content language.
  • Bidirectional support further improved after 1.18.

Report any problems on the labs beta wiki and we'll work to address them before they software is released to the production wikis.

Note that this cluster does have SUL but it is not integrated with SUL in production, so you'll need to create another account. You should avoid using the same password as you use here. — Global message delivery 16:22, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Wiki donation

You should add CVC code from back side of bank card to donation web form.

Begging for donatioon

I don't use Wiki P for any serious research and, as such, would never give you money.

You allow domination by US intelligence (??) agencies as well as the Catholic Church who use your site for propaganda. You might even venture to say "The devil is in the deatail".

Change your site name to Wiki Goebbels and at least you are being open about it instead of this pretence and begging. Ask the Catholics and CIA for money buddy, it's really their site.

Even topics such as depression are constantly misused for propaganda and spreading of misinformation. You may think you are well intended and maybe you are but the truth is your site is full of lies and cannot be trusted.

It's the oldest story in the book really. Winners rewrite history as they want it shown. You know that and you not only allow it, you encourage it.

What a dumb idea to use on the internet where every liar, miscreant, devious govt and religion can say what they want and keep changing it back to their misinformed rubbish.

Go do something useful as this is not it.

how to solve this problems?

running the scf calculation for Si..../run_example: line 126: /home/rooti/espresso-4.3.2/bin/pw.x: is a directory

Error condition encountered during test: exit status = 126 Aborting


hi when i run examples in espresso . this message appeare. how can i resolve this problem?

running the scf calculation for Si..../run_example: line 126: /home/rooti/espresso-4.3.2/bin/pw.x: is a directory Error condition encountered during test: exit status = 126 Aborting

Incubator down?

Database error A database query syntax error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software. The last attempted database query was: (SQL query hidden) from within function "LinksUpdate::incrTableUpdate". Database returned error "1205: Lock wait timeout exceeded; try restarting transaction (".

a few minutes later

Sorry! This site is experiencing technical difficulties.

Try waiting a few minutes and reloading.

(Cannot contact the database server: Unknown error (

You can try searching via Google in the meantime. Note that their indexes of our content may be out of date.

Wikimedia Incubator WWW

Improving movement-wide communication: a proposal for whips

Discussion at Talk:Finance meeting 2012/Program

The issue with the password is regarding the testwiki but not here, right? —Marco Aurelio (Nihil Prius Fide) 18:33, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, the announcement on the password is about the testwiki. There are concerns that errors / bugs in testing might expose password details, hence keeping it out of SUL QU TalkQu 12:54, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Support for the SOPA Blackout Protest from an Average, Small Contributor

I just wished to let the Wikimedia Foundation know that, as an American man who contributes annually, and consults the Wikipedia almost daily, I applaud you, and am deeply grateful to you, for deciding to "black out" on the 18th, in protest of growing encroachments by government on the internet. I hope that this "fast day" will have an impact on people and awaken them to the danger of allowing government to throttle the free atmosphere of "cyberspace" which has done so much to revolutionize life on this planet in such a short time.

Robert S. Kissel Hamden, Connecticut

A black flag

The historic event has come which is a precursor of The movement. Concentrate all known, we have to prove that a news can't be suppressed.

Translation tools workshop: pick your preferred time to participate

I'm planning to give a Translation tools workshop in about two weeks. If you want to learn more about the special pages Special:PageTranslation, Special:Translate, Special:LanguageStats, Special:Translations and Special:MessageGroupStats, go to Translation tools workshop and read up! Thanks. --Siebrand 23:05, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

FYI: the workshop will be held on 2011-01-28 20:00 UTC. For other time zones, see: --Siebrand 23:42, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your work on SOPA!

I just made a small donation to Wikipedia - not loaded, but it is the first time I've made a donation.

THANKS for your work on SOPA.

I think you done at the very least managed to get the media to cover the issue.

Keep it up!

Yours, Dora Smith

Thanks Dora, that's much appreciated, both the donation and the Thanks. WereSpielChequers 14:30, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Italian translation of Sue's statement

Hi, I've translated the statement into Italian here, please upload it to the foundation's wiki or call for someone who can. Thank you :-) --g 22:55, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Simple English Wikipedia

We are seven hours away from the SOPA "protest" on English Wikipedia. However, the black banners are being displayed on both English Wikipedia and Simple English Wikipedia. (I have checked other projects, and they do not seem to have this problem.) Could someone please re-check the banner code to make sure that the "protest" is not accidentally implemented on unintended projects? You might want to read this. Many thanks! 23:38, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

We are now less than one hour from the blackout, and there are still more votes against a "protest" at Simple English Wikipedia than in favor of a protest. Please assure us that WMF is not taking down the project by mistake or as a result of programming error. Thanks, 04:38, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Sorry nobody answered you sooner. I'm afraid that the WMF does not necessarily follow this project, which like Simple is run by volunteers. If you need quicker attention from staff, you may be able to get it by reaching out to answers(_AT_) Currently, I handle emails there. :) If I do not know the answer, I may be able to find out or to direct you to the inbox of a staff member who can help you directly. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) 17:14, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Blackout good, squinting bad

Any chance of displaying the en.wikipedia blackout notice in a somewhat larger font? Rivertorch 05:43, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

I thought the same! Rd232 09:04, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Seems to be all fixed now. Rivertorch 17:00, 18 January 2012 (UTC)


CENSORING THE INTERNET TO PROTEST CENSORING THE INTERNET IS LIKE KILLING A DOG TO PROTEST ANIMAL CRUELTY. I have shit to do, and I have donated to Wikipedia. I will make sure not to do that again.

I posted the above comment and it has been deleted each time, so clearly, Wikipedia/media is 100% cool with censorship.

I think your analogy is wrong. This is not "hurting animals", it is taking away all pets from all animal lovers for a day so they might realise how different their life would be without their pets. It brings home what the world might be like if what is being proposed comes to pass. Nothing is being censored, rather the English Wikipedia is demonstrating to the world what might happen if SOPA is allowed to proceed in its current form. QU TalkQu 08:39, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Maybe if you didn't feel the need to SHOUT AT US it wouldn't have been removed. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 11:15, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

What, EXACTLY, is in threat of censorship?

Are we talking porn, hate sites, the like - or swearing, general opinions and such? Because No censorship is almost as bad as too much. I am all for the censorship of the first mentioned things. Most Americans take the freedoms we have for granted. If you think you're being oppressed, you are sorely delusional. Besides, the more freedom Americans have received, the more crime, immorality and just general indecency is acceptable - it's disgusting and makes me ashamed to be from this country. I agree with freedom of speech - to a point. I do NOT believe people should be allowed to have hate rallies, like the KKK marching and minority police officers having to protect them! It's sad and wrong. I don't have children BECAUSE I don't want them growing up in a country where there is sex/nudity and drugs everywhere and everyone is okay with it. I don't mean the existence of these things - I mean ads, commercials, daytime TV, music, clothing - it's EVERYWHERE- out in public It isn't a matter of "if you don't like it, don't look" - you'd have to be blind to avoid these things. Americans whine about freedom, yet so many want to take away others' freedom. Hell, you have things like the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Talk about censorship - these jerks are hating on religious people. How about uh...just not having a religion? But NO, that's not good enough, they have to flap their gums to put down others' beliefs instead. People think it's weird these days when a person doesn't drink or do drugs. Immorality has become the norm. There's a reason (or several) while some other countries hate us, you know.

Why not put your time and effort toward a REAL CAUSE???

Sincerely, -a multiracial, gay, liberal, devout Buddhist who doesn't appreciate not being able to use a website she donated to just because they have some agenda that I don't agree with 100% and yet they are taking away my right to use the damn site. Way to go, guys.

This is exactly my concern. There are a lot of hard working volunteers who have built a non-political resource here to serve people of all political beliefs. Yet, 1% of the total editor corps hijacked this work to support a particular political agenda through a ill-formed 72-hour "RFC" publicite. The "blackout" protest should never have happened. The "threat to Wikipedia's existence" was bogus.
The threat is real enough, and self-defense is hardly a "political agenda". As far as "hijacking" goes, it's called consensus and it worked exactly as it was supposed to. (N.B.: Signatures are easy, and rants may be taken more seriously when they're signed: use four tildes (~~~~) to sign.) Rivertorch 16:58, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Given that both the House, Senate and White House have said that the DNS provisions are dead, and the Senate bill is limited to websites which have been found by a Federal Judge to be an "internet site dedicated to infringing activities" I think Wikipedia has very little to fear from the current legislative proposals. Both Nancy Pelosi and Eric Canter have said that the bill will not come to the House floor until the various industry segments agree on new text. So, the time has come for the industry to negotiate an approach which focuses on copyright infringers without burdening legitimate websites. Wikipedia is not endangered by taking a more targeted approach.

Non-editable SOPA pages on en.Wikipedia

I support the blackout on en.Wikipedia as part of the efforts against the pernicious SOPA and PIPA legislative measures; however, I think it is a mistake to make the relevant pages regarding SOPA to be non-editable by Wikipedia editors. For example, on the Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative it currently says that "you may": "display a userbox on your userpage with the {{SOPA}} template." This is patent nonsense at the present moment due to the fact that en.Wikipedia user pages are currently "blacked out", that is, inaccessible to editing. I would normally correct such a misstatement, however the edit option has been disabled (at least for the lowly editors). I strongly urge that any future black outs not disenfranchise the en.Wikipedia editors so egregiously: let us retain the ability to edit "our" user pages as well as publicly posted messages regarding the black out/protest. Blacking out encyclopedic content in each and every article makes an important point against this proposed legislation; and, again, I completely support the black out/protest against SOPA/PIPA: but, this does not mean that the hardworking volunteer editors should completely lose their voices and it is wrong that only official announcements be allowed to be promulgated at this time, without opportunity for modification by auto-confirmed editors. A total blackout would be different, but in what way is it possible to support the choice to execute such a poorly chosen selective blackout? Dcattell 08:55, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Since it's currently under the blackout, that means logically no one can check anyone's en.wp user page or the anti-SOPA user category. Please be patient and you can add the userbox at anytime after the blackout is lifted. -- Sameboat (talk) 09:07, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
... or you can add &banner=no to the URL :) SPQRobin (talk) 16:31, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Or turn off javascript to read SOPA initiative. Allen4names 16:33, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
According to Wikipedia:SOPA initiative "If you have questions for the Wikimedia Foundation, you can post them here—staff will monitor this page. However, this is not a Wikimedia Foundation page: it's a community page, and the Wikimedia Foundation is playing a support role here." This page has not been blacked out, but it is also false that the "community", as opposed to the Foundation, can post to this page. In fact, the ability to post to this page through the edit function has been disabled. The "community", despite the false claims made upon this page, cannot post questions here for the Wikimedia Foundation. I think one main lesson to be learned from this black out is that turning en.Wikipedia even temporarily into a one way street where only the official bulletins and pronouncements from the Wikimedia Foundation can be posted but nothing from the "community" can be is not a good thing, or fair to the alleged process. A more complete quote from the Wikipedia:SOPA initiative page is:
"The Wikimedia Foundation is going to support whatever action the community decides to take. The community has asked the Wikimedia Foundation to keep it informed as events unfold: to that end, the Wikimedia Foundation will use this page as a central place to post information. If you have questions for the Wikimedia Foundation, you can post them here—staff will monitor this page. However, this is not a Wikimedia Foundation page: it's a community page, and the Wikimedia Foundation is playing a support role here."
Again, this may have been and even still be the intent of this page, but it is obviously the case that this is no longer at the present time a community page: the Wikimedia Foundation may be monitoring this page, however it is not now a community page (other than as a historical archive). "Supporting role"? No this is full control of an alleged community page by the Foundation. Shutting out the community seems to be a mistake, but one that cannot even be pointed out through the process alleged on the en Wikipedia:SOPA page. I think that there is a crucial lesson that needs to be heeded here. Dcattell 18:32, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Except that you're quoting without context. The quote was in reference to making the decision on whehter or not to do the black out in the first place, not in reference to what would happen during the blackout. As a side note, I believe the way the blackout was implemented was by changing who has the userright that allows editing - this means that the removal is an all-or-nothing thing; a whitelist isn't an option. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 02:24, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
I thought I was quoting in the context of the blackout! Part of my point is that a total blacklist would have seemed more fair and consistent in this context. However my main point concerns the lack of fora for community input in the context of this actual scenario; or more, raising the question of what happens in potential future contexts. Dcattell 06:34, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

SOPA blackout

Ridiculous. We're not here to promote our noble cause. Hurricanefan25 13:15, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

I think this is the page you were attempting to link. It's an essay whose relation to the SOPA blackout is unclear. But if survival is a noble cause, I'm happy to sign on to it. Rivertorch 17:05, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Why does work at chug on during the blackout?

I can see the need for Sue Gardner and the like to update certain SOPA-related pages and whatnot, but

Why does Wifione feel the need to A7 some run-of-the-mill non-notable articles right now? Tarc 18:04, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

I'll say this; the lack of traffic there now makes it a bit easier to deal with a couple of things that have fallen by the wayside. We have to do it really quickly, but there isn't the same amount of pressure to move on to the next thing; I just restored something that I've been meaning to for months now, but kept forgetting about because the Orange Bar of Doom popped up every time I was thinking about it. Maybe not what you want to hear, but that's the pragmatic reality. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:18, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
I should add; all the regular admins can do is revdel at this point. Must have changed something. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:40, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, it seems funny that some are allowed to edit routinely through the black out, but the rest of us nada. MathewTownsend 23:14, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Actually, the only people who can edit are stewards and staff, and you'll notice that they are limiting their edits to blackout-related content (at least when I checked last). Even as an en.wikipedia admin, I can't edit, since that userright was locked down for the blackout. The activity Tarc was referring to was the use of administrative tools, some of which weren't locked. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 02:09, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Why more banners on Simple English Wikipedia?

Given that there was not a consensus to join the protest, I am very surprized to see SOPA banners appear on Simple English Wikipedia thanking us for participating in the blackout. We didn't black out. Neither the banner nor the jump page are written in Simple English. Could you please fix this? Thanks! 05:23, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Current SOPA banner jump page

At present the SOPA banner takes the reader here. This page claims, "Big media companies may seek to cut off funding sources for their foreign competitors, even if copyright isn't being infringed." There is no factual basis for this claim. It should be removed. Unfortunately, it is the foundation for the claim that Wikipedia's existence is threatened by SOPA and PIPA. The facts are that a Federal judge would have to rule on a Big media company lawsuit and would have to find infringement before the PIPA provisions are triggered. Since Wikipedia is not a website devoted to infringing copyrights, the current proposals do not threaten Wikipedia existence. This is all scare tactics that undermine Wikipedia's credibilty.

There is a basis for the statement. As soon as a claim is issued, the owner of the web site will need to defend it, even if it is spurious. This could lead to enormous legal costs that the web site owner cannot afford in effect forcing them to "comply" with the request because they can't afford to defend it. It is in any case merely your supposition that Wikipedia would not be viewed as a "website devoted to infringing copyrights". How exactly is "devoted" defined in the law? How will judges interpret it? If an investigate found 10,000 copyright images and 20,000 pieces of copyright text on Wikipedia would that make it "devoted" to infringement? Until a suit is issued we don't know, and when it is issued the costs will escalate rapidly. That may make Wikipedia have to change its approach from "anyone can edit anonymously" to protect itself from litigation and that, in effect, is the end of the Wikipedia project. QU TalkQu 17:33, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
There is a serious flaw in QU's logic, which is also the same flaw in the jump page. Today, if a copyright holder or the Justice Department sues a website, the website will have legal expenses. SOPA does not change that fact. Wikipedia has survived for 11 years with that possibility, so that possibility is not a threat to Wikipedia's existence. There are remedies against spurious lawsuits and umbrella insurance is available to handle the financial risks to websites like Wikipedia. There is no evidence that "big media companies" are going after anyone other than piracy websites. This propaganda is very misleading because the jump page uses vague phrases like "foreign competitors." Does "foreign competitors" mean companies that make competing movies or does it mean piracy websites? PIPA has a very precise definition of "website devoted to infringing copyrights". If Wikipedia is taking technically feasible steps to limit infringement it is outside that definition. Again, please correct the jump page.
Your claim of logic is flawed.
  • " Wikipedia has survived for 11 years with that possibility, so that possibility is not a threat to Wikipedia's existence". That is not a progression of logic, merely a supposition. If you haven't had a road accident in 11 years you aren't safe from one now.
  • "There is no evidence that "big media companies" are going after anyone other than piracy websites." There is equally no evidence to the contrary. In fact there is no evidence either way because the law is not in effect and therefore you cannot logically infer the conclusions you make later.
  • "umbrella insurance is available to handle the financial risks to websites like Wikipedia" the premiums for which will be paid by whom? How much are they? Will they increase given the new laws? Again you don't know. Therefore the question of the viability of Wikipedia has not been settled.
You make this claim that the page is inaccurate and should be corrected, but you haven't actually presented any evidence or facts to demonstrate it is inaccurate. Rather you are trying to claim your beliefs are more valid than those of the Wikipedia community and the WMF. As such it is just an opinion that the majority seem to disagree with QU TalkQu 23:21, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Policy on private correspondence

In we are discussing if private correspondence may or not be published by the recipient in wikipedia. Some have pointed out that this may be a global policy or custom. Is it? If it is, what exactly would be rationale? I mean, can the recipient report on the contents of the letter (but not include it)? Can he cite exerts from the letter?

Thanks for the help, Chico 23:00, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Course of action for editor POV pushing across multiple projects.

There is an IP editor, (contribs), who has been pushing a pro-Shia point of view across multiple projects over the last 2.5 months by adding uncited information in the form of pro-Shia/pro-Islam-washing the belief systems of various people groups (see w:Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard#User who seems to have an anti-Christian (or pro-Islamic) agenda) and has entirely ignored reqeusts to discuss (even going so far as to likely be the one removing a section on a noticeboard talking about the issue[1]). What is the procedure for this type of thing? Magog the Ogre 22:29, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

block IP on sight, infinity. Seb az86556 13:38, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Right, but I don't have admin access to all the different wikis. Magog the Ogre 20:57, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Steward requests/Global is probably what you want, after reading Global blocks and deciding if it is warranted. :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) 16:52, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Campus Ambassadors

Where can I discreetly enquire to verify a user's self-identification as a "Campus Ambassador"? Knowing whether the designation was officially conferred could influence the approach I would take for providing assistance to a user who appears to be unfamiliar with some mechanics of MediaWiki markup or with some core policies. ~ Ningauble 00:00, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

You would start with determining under which program this person is an Ambassador. There are lists of Campus Ambassadors: en:Wikipedia:Canada_Education_Program/Campus_Ambassadors, en:Wikipedia:India Education Program, en:Wikipedia:United_States_Education_Program/Campus_Ambassadors, pt:Wikipédia:Wikimedia_Brasil_Educação/Embaixador_de_Campo, en:Wikipedia:Ambassadors/Current ambassadors. If they aren't on one of those lists, it may not prove that they aren't an ambassador, but of course if they are that will eliminate all questions. :) If they aren't there and you want to check further, if you send me an email at liaison(_AT_), I may be able to assist you. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) 16:49, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, verified. (I find the role of ambassadors who are themselves neophytes a bit perplexing, but I appreciate the challenge of trying to bootstrap an academic contributor base.) ~ Ningauble 19:54, 30 January 2012 (UTC)