Wikimedia Forum/Archives/2012-07

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A crusader against private VPN?

Hello, I post this here since I don't know where it would belong otherwise. Apologizes if that isn't the correct place. I know the policy about public proxies and I understand it. But I use a private VPN service at VPN Customers and a fr.wikipedia sysop has decided suddenly to go on his own crusade against VPN, banning all individual IP manually. Is this really a new policy in wikipedia or did he take this action on his own? -CobraSA —The preceding unsigned comment was added by CobraSA (talk) 2012-03-30T08:44:57

Open proxy IP addresses tend to be a source of heartburn for admins, as they tend to have a higher amount of troll activity associated with them (vandalizing pages, putting up silly stuff, or even subtle changes of content with deliberate errors in hopes that it will go unnoticed). As a result, blocking these kind of IP addresses helps to cut down the work that project admins need to perform. That well qualified users acting in good faith are sometimes blocked as a result is unfortunate too.
This isn't really a new policy either, and has been for good or ill a long standing practice among many administrators... either inadvertently (because they knee jerk block every IP address that has troll activity) and in some cases deliberately if they've noticed a pattern with a particular IP address range.
If you are referring to a particular project like fr.wikipedia, I'd suggest taking the issue up with that particular project's community. It looks like the particular actions you are concerned about involve a specific administrator. One of the reasons why administration privileges are very carefully handed out to any user is precisely this kind of authority you are complaining about, where if done improperly can do more harm than good. The fr.wikipedia community is very active and can govern this kind of activity very well without involving stewards or pulling in outsiders to take care of this issue... unless you feel that for some reason the community at fr.wikipedia is not even letting you raise the issue in the first place. --Roberth (talk) 14:56, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
This isn't really my area, but last I heard, "open proxy" and "virtual private network" were not the same thing. OPs are unsecured, "anybody can use it" addresses. VPNs are about encrypting the traffic between two known points. Is there some particular reason that you believe VPNs should be treated like OPs? WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:34, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Autobiography and privacy

I an an editor at sr wiki, and I need some input on these two policies and practices regarding them on other language Wikipedias, because I am sure that sr wikipedia doesn't understand these policies at all. I am going to tell you what happened, but I wont mention any names, because I don't want you to be influenced by the names (because some of the persons involved are active editors on other Wikipedias). Nevertheless, if it is impossible to get the answer without it, I will give the names. Now, this is what happened:

A User:X writes an article on Person X, i.e., article about himself. I have to mention that it is a completely unimportant person -- he is very young, and have just started his career in a theatre. His biography is referenced, but the references are for example, a theatre program in which it can be seen that he assisted to some director in some plays etc. No independent third-party sources on his work are mentioned, because there aren't any. I think it is fair to say that this person really lacks encyclopedic notability. Then User:X asks the change of his Username, and becomes User:Y. Looking for some completely other things, I discovered the change of the name in Changeusername log. I put the article to voting for deletion, although some admins told that they would have deleted it anyway because it was clear example of an article for speedy deletion. Anyway, somehow, he obtained necessary votes (canvassing at voting in sr wikipedia is another big problem, but it is not the main topic here) and the article stayed. I said, okay, but the reader should be warned that this is an autobiography (besides, English Wikipedia, and not only English, have this template to do something similar), and I labeled the article as such. Then, User:X, now User:Y (because he changed his username, but in reality, it is the same person), started to remove the label. I put it back, he removed it again which developed in a very nasty dispute (in which I was blocked for 24 hours for warring, and he wasn't blocked because he was helped by another user, therefore they didn't break 3RR and I was alone and lost count so I did) in which I was asked by other users to prove that User:X is Person X. I gave all the proofs (divs and explanations), and I dared the User:Y to deny he is a Person X, and said if he denied it, I would apologise and remove the label and stop any further discussion. He then admitted he was Person X and that he really wrote the article on himself, but then started to ask from me to stop mentioning his real name in relation to his new account (which is NOT a new account, but only RENAMED) because he had right to ANONIMITY and protection of his personal data! I refused to fulfil his wish, because I really cannot understand how someone can have an article on himself on Wikipedia, written by himself, and ask for protection of personal data! The result is my block for 3 months.

The blocking administrator told me that "This is too short", and that in English Wikipedia, I would have been blocked for at least 6 months, which I honestly, don't believe, because first I know that he is not enough present on en wiki to know this for sure, and I know the rules very well, because I myself translated tons of them, from English to Serbian, for our Wikipedia, and I insisted to vote them and to apply them. I even started a Project for Translation and Writing of the rules, and this is what I was working on lately.

Nevertheless, I was cited this rule, but although I really tried to find connection between this rule and this issue, I really cannot. I see that this rule applies to normal users, i.e. to users who put some personal info on their userpages or open an account with their real name, then change their minds and change the username and remove their personal info from thir userpages, NOT to editors who wrote the article on themselves (which is, BTW, strongly discouraged, as far as I remember).

Opinions of other admins at sr wikipedia are different. Some think that I deserved block, some don't. But all agree that the block is too long. I don't want my block to be reduced, nor I expect or ask any further action or intervention from Meta to sr wiki (besides, I know this is not possible) because I already decided not to continue on sr wikipedia nor in sr Wikimedia (I resigned today), so as far as I am concerned, they can block me forever if they want. The only thing I REALLY need to know (and this is why I write here, according to the advice of one ex&retired admin from en wiki) and UNDERSTAND is why I was blocked, to know if it was really true that in all Wikipedias the process is the same: a person writes their completely unnotable autobiography, then changes their username in order to avoid his user account to be connected with the article he had written, and then when he is discovered and caught, demands protection of personal data (and have real right to it), even though the autobiographic article with much more personal data, remains on Wikipedia.

I would appreciate very much the comments from colleagues from all Wikipedias but Serbian, because I already know (obviously) their opinion and practice. All comments are welcome, but especially comments from editors of English Wikipedia and other big Wikipedias, because it is more likely that they already had such cases, and therefore, experience in resolving them. So, please, advice me, tell me your experiences, help me to understand, and colleagues from sr wiki, restrain from posting here. Thank you. Maduixa (talk) 21:54, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

sr.wikipedia can create any rules they want about this situation. If the sr.wp community says that User:X may write an autobiography and then change his username to hide his involvement, then those are the rules on sr.wp and you must live with them. sr.wp is not required to follow the same rules as the English Wikipedia. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:03, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
If such rules existed, I would obey them. But they do not exist. Almost all rules are translated from English. So, almost all rules that govern English Wikipedia, govern sr wikipedia. I thought this was clear from my text. --Maduixa (talk) 04:50, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

OK. Thanks to everyone. I thought that this was a serious project, but now I see it is just another internet joke. Have a nice day. --Maduixa (talk) 08:13, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

Maduixa, if there are no rules against it (and there is no reason why there should be), then you have no argument. There are no restrictions, and a user can write an article about themselves. The article should be treated as any other article, and the user as any other user. What is NOT allowed, regardless of the existence of local rules, is to reveal the identity of another user, because that is an invasion of privacy. So, you are wrong (SERIOUSLY wrong) and they are right. Guido den Broeder (talk) 11:38, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

I am not sure if you are pulling my leg or what??? Ther IS a rule that you cannot write an article about yourself, which says that if you do, you don't have any right to privacy. It is a general rule of Wikipedija itself, no matter of the language project! And his identity was NOT revealed by ME, but by himself, when he wrote that article. I just repeated what he already did. BTW, not long time ago, another user revealed not only mu NAME, but my address and my telephone number without my consent. And what did they do? They blocked him for lousy 7 days! And I get a block of 3 months for saying the name of the user who already said it by himself writing the article on himself, and breaking evry possible rule that exists not only in local project, but in general! Maybe you should see this. Maybe I don't manage to explain myself, and maybe I really do not umderstand how on Earth I can reveal something that is already revealed. It was not ME who wrote that article putting his name to public knowledge. I must admit, the more time passess, the more I realize that Wikipedia is a some kind of Twilight Zone. Or Hunger Games, maybe. 1984. All users are equal. But some users are more equal than the others. Well, I think I'll pass this. I have better things to do. Good luck, because you'll need it. I am just sorry these five years I literally wasted on this joke. Maduixa (talk) 15:27, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
If you were refering to him by his real name, I'd agree that you should not and -after perhaps some warnings- a block could be appropiate. But if as stated here, it was just in the page discussion, I see that as relevant for the deletion request, and I don't think his claim is appropiate (given that he doesn't like you show his connection, that seems like a random claim to hide that). Was the rename log hidden? Had he took the extra steps to oversight it, perhaps it could be taken into account. It is relevant the discussion at Stewards/Confirm/2012/Magister_Mathematicae where it was mentioned that Magister Mathematicae had revealed the real name of an user (the one she had before being renamed). There was disagreement between the parties, but consensus in meta seems to have been that given that it wasn't an oversighted log, it wasn't a "privacy violation". The cases are obviously different, and you can't take a previous experience as a hard rule, but I find really hard to get convinced that mentioning a complete match between the old username of the main editor and the page title in a deletion request deserves a 3 months block. Platonides (talk) 16:08, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Wikidata logo voting

Wikidata, the new Wikimedia project currently being developed by Wikimedia Germany, needs a logo and the vote is currently happening here on meta. You can find out all the details in this blog entry. You can vote until Thursday July 12th 23:59 UTC. It'd be great if many of you would take part and decide on a nice logo for Wikidata.

Allow autoconfirmed users to move files on Wikimedia wikis by default

Hi. I've proposed allowing autoconfirmed users to move files on Wikimedia wikis by default at bugzilla:38186. The bug's description explains the background. If anyone knows of a good reason to continue restricting autoconfirmed users from moving files (i.e., a good reason to not resolve this bug), please let me know below! --MZMcBride (talk) 07:35, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

There are lots of rejected requests at Commons:COM:RFR#Filemover and at en:WP:RFP/F. Given that so many users have this right declined, I'd say that people think that it is better to restrict this permission. Also, if anyone is able to move files, then there is a risk that Commons:FR#Which files should not be renamed? and en:WP:FMV#What files should not be renamed? might end up being largely ignored. On Commons, the idea is that people should avoid moving files unless absolutely necessary to avoid causing trouble to reusers.
I suggest that you also mention this discussion at various Commons village pumps and at en:WP:FNN. --Stefan2 (talk) 08:08, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
This change would not affect those wikis, as they've essentially already opted out of giving the "movefile" right to autoconfirmed users. This about the default scenario (where there is no "filemover" group). --MZMcBride (talk) 08:15, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

Oh Canada...

After the overwhelming vote against ACTA in the European Parliament you might have thought that attempts to limit our freedom of movement in all WikiMedia projects were a thing of the past. Think again. This time it is Canada that is helping the European Commission to bring back the same ideas through the backdoor of CETA a trade agreement between EU and Canada.

See: Jcwf (talk) 23:59, 11 July 2012 (UTC) GeoHack

Hello. Since a few days, has completely changed its syntax for URLs. I don't know how to proceed to change, in order that it sends back to fr:Modèle:GeoTemplate (and all GeoTemplates that use geoportail links to display the French IGN maps) a new variable {gpscale} whose value is 3.16906E-9 * {scale}. Can anybody make it or who to contact ? Regards, Jack ma (talk) 08:35, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

I reported that to Platonides (talk) 16:22, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Requested move at commons

Please see Commons:File talk:Alma mater at Columbia Unviersity IMG 0917.JPG. I do not know what to do next. Thanks in advance. 00:38, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. For future cases, you can use the template {{rename}} for requests to move files on Commons. Let me know if you have any questions. Kind regards, Mathonius (talk) 00:43, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Help decide about more than $10 million of Wikimedia donations in the coming year

Wikimedia Foundation RGB logo with text.svg

(Apologies if this message isn't in your language. Please consider translating it)


As many of you are aware, the Wikimedia Board of Trustees recently initiated important changes in the way that money is being distributed within the Wikimedia movement. As part of this, a new community-led "Funds Dissemination Committee" (FDC) is currently being set up. Already in 2012-13, its recommendations will guide the decisions about the distribution of over 10 million US dollars among the Foundation, chapters and other eligible entities.

Now, seven capable, knowledgeable and trustworthy community members are sought to volunteer on the initial Funds Dissemination Committee. It is expected to take up its work in September. In addition, a community member is sought to be the Ombudsperson for the FDC process. If you are interested in joining the committee, read the call for volunteers. Nominations are planned to close on August 15.

--Anasuya Sengupta, Director of Global Learning and Grantmaking, Wikimedia Foundation 20:15, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Distributed via Global message delivery. (Wrong page? Fix here.)

eugen bleuler

In the Dutch entry on the Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler it is said he coined the term 'autism'. This may be true, one hears this a lot; it is certain to him this was an element of the 'schizophrenia', a term he certainly coined. The meaning which is given in the entry to 'autism' accrrdong to Bleuler is something like (I translate from Dutch) "disturbed emotional relationship with others". This is incorrect. In "Das autistisch-undisziplinierte Denken in der Medizin und seinen Überwindung" from 1919 he means with 'autism' a turning away from reality, a refusal to take in the empirical reality. I won't be more precise or elabirate. Just hope someone picks this up. In psychatric cicles it is pretty common knowledge that Bleuler meant something quite different with the term than it means nowadways. Autism, by the way, was discovered by Leo Kanner in 1944 five years after Eugen Bleuler died.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Drflips (talk)

  • I moved the comment to the Dutch Wikipedia talk page--Ymblanter (talk) 12:24, 20 July 2012 (UTC)


Must all Wikimedia projects adhere to a strict NPOV policy akin to the one on the English Wikipedia? LtPowers (talk) 13:25, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

NPOV. Surely all Wikipedias, with some flexibility in practice; and also most other Wikimedia projects, with some amending so that it makes sense. --Nemo 14:04, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
The list at NPOV names "Wikiversity, Wikispecies, Wikimedia Commons, the many "backstage" projects, or here at Meta" as projects that don't follow NPOV. It's kind of a silly concept for some of them (what exactly does NPOV mean for software writing?) and completely inappropriate for others (Strategy's supposed to promote and encourage the projects, which is as non-NPOV a purpose as it gets). WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:50, 24 July 2012 (UTC)



I did a proposal for the Ratiopol project to be adopted by the Wikimedia Fundation. It's about politics, if you are here interested, you can go here. Feel free to contact me. Regards, Bretwa (talk) 19:40, 24 July 2012 (UTC) Proposed as a WMF Sister Project

As part of the new project process, a guideline for proposing new WMF sister projects, an open call for comments and questions is open on the following proposal: is an 'open video' wiki platform built around meetings of public interest; it's an exciting project in need of attention from the broader wiki community.  Comments, questions, and new participants are most welcome in order to build the best proposal possible – thanks!

Sincerely, GChriss (talk) 16:37, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Wikimedia Highlights from June 2012

Highlights from the Wikimedia Foundation Report and the Wikimedia engineering report for June 2012, with a selection of other important events from the Wikimedia movement
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About · Subscribe/unsubscribe · Distributed via Global message delivery, 21:31, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Equipment exchange

I recently had an interest in donating my old camera to a contributor who will use it to produce free content. This motivated me to set up a new forum, commons:Commons:Equipment exchange, to facilitate requesting, donating, selling (at reduced cost), and bartering of items for free content production, including camera equipment, computer equipment, art supplies, and software. If you have any items you'd like to contribute, please add them, or just watchlist it if you're hoping to get access to some good equipment in the future. Thanks! Dcoetzee 23:52, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Wikimedia Foundation's 2012-13 Annual Plan

Tilman writes:

The Wikimedia Foundation's 2012-13 Annual Plan has just been published, accompanied by a Q&A (2012-2013 Annual Plan Questions and Answers)

Comments and suggestions are welcome; some were begun in a wikimedia-l mailing list thread this week. SJ talk  06:13, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

This from Talk:Wikimedia_budget#2012-13, where everyone's invited to contribute to the discussion. --Nemo 07:21, 29 July 2012 (UTC)