Wikimedia Forum/Archives/2013-08

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Update of the Wikikids proposal


We have been refining the Wikikids proposal for a new Wikimedia Foundation Sister Project, which include adopting existing ones in the same way as Wikivoyage, notably the nearly 15,000 articles wiki for children in french Vikidia.

Current step must be to fix the Wikikids#Project plan and potential schedule for the proposal, and within it, establishing the basic principles and rules for the wikis to open or adopt, and set up a requests for comment.

Native english speaker could especially check the subpages: Wikikids/Questions and answers and Wikikids/Relation to the Rights of the Child.

I believe in the rationales of this project, whose existing versions are much appreciated by the children themselves, as we can read from their feedback on the guestbook.

Your remarks, criticisms and support (#People interested) are welcomed ! Astirmays (talk) 09:02, 28 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One more sub-page: Wikikids/Basic principles. Thanks ! Astirmays (talk) 21:43, 30 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
...and some supplement to Wikikids/Questions and answers. I'd like to translate La documentation et Vikidia from french to english, how does the translation works here, if it's eligible for it ? I started it on Wikikids:Documentation and Vikidia. Astirmays (talk) 20:47, 2 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What do you think about "WikiTips"

I think it can be great idea. It's most common we look for tips on the net, like advice how to clean a spot, how to cook something etc. We can concentrate all those at one site, updated and criticized by everyone. What do you think?-- 14:00, 28 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See Wikihow. Rich Farmbrough 20:33 9 August 2013 (GMT).
Wikihow, a non-WMF project, specializes in such things. If you want to use a WMF wiki for some reason, Wikibooks is the right place. Wikibooks has recipes, textbooks, etc. PiRSquared17 (talk) 20:36, 9 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please help

See translatewiki:Thread:Support/Entrance

Hi. I've translated incorrectly -- on this we can not go to the site Online update will not soon somebody can ask to add synonyms in the manual? -- Дагиров Умар (talk) 08:42, 10 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia is run by an elite who control the mass of article writers

This message is to all who know more than me about the bureaucracy of Wikipedia. I get sometimes messages when I have tried to vote for stewards (whatever this is) and contribute in different contexts. But I think it is extremely difficult with all the technology, and the "first create this" and "link to here and there," before I even am entitled to vote. I wrote my first Wikipedia article in my mother tongue 10 years ago. I have made many thousands of edits in different languages, have created templates, uploaded photos and diagrams. But I understand nothing about the bureaucracy built around elections. 1) I do not know the tasks for the various levels of the bureaucracy. 2) I do not understand why some are elected, others appointed. 3) I cannot find a page with clear and comprehensive information about that. 4) I fail to get my vote counted, I fail to personally seek assignments or make me elective.

I am a lic. in political science, but I still don't understand the electoral system and bureaucracy of Wikipedia. I know it's not supposed to be a democracy, but for me, and sure certainly a lot of others who struggle with common article writing, it seems like a constantly increasing number of layers of strange names, positions and pedia-jargon are gradually added between regular users and a "ruling class" or "bureaucratic elite". The political system or philosophy that Wikipedia is most similar to is Fascism. I am not exaggerating. Compare the structure yourself, and you will come to the same conclusion. An elite over mass, and an elite which through a lot of instruments control what the masses is doing.

One example: A few years ago many thousands of users worked to make or contribute to lists of different kinds. When they had uploaded their entries they received angry messages that "we" have already discussed and decided that the "categories" should be used instead of "lists". And lists deleted, dozens of hours of work for many writers. It took me some weeks to find the page (in Swedish) where "we" had discussed this. And at that page, hided by moved to this and re-directed to that forum, six persons had "discussed" this matter. These six person were all administrators or had some other positions or special rights. They were also members of the international Wikipedia elite or "we", and had contributed to some 2-3 pages where "categories" were discussed in Anglosaxon. The Anglosaxon elite consisted of about forty people. What percentage the Anglosaxon "we" represent of all writers?-- 11:25, 11 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What is the Anglo-Saxon elite? As far as I know, they don't make many decisions about cross-wiki rules. PiRSquared17 (talk) 14:21, 11 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
fyi: if somebody has a problem so it schould be possible to discuss it here. But I do not accept headings like Wikifascism etc. As my revert was rereverted (ok, argued well), I striked now the word in the headding. -jkb- 14:58, 11 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Terms / MoU for India A2K project

There are some discussions on Talk:India_Access_To_Knowledge/Work_plan_April_2013_-_June_2014/Pilot_Project_–_Performing_Arts_in_India#Nature_of_Community_Involvement - and it seems like there are open questions on whether the community has any say in the functioning of this WMF funded project. It might be useful if the terms / MoU between the CIS-A2K-India project and WMF are publicly available so we know if the community really has the right to complain about things like lack of discussions / transparency etc. Thanks. Shyamal (talk) 03:09, 11 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Shyamal I see two aspects here. First, a more technical one, which is to understand what the MoU between WMF and CIS is saying on this matter. I have asked WMF if we can share the MoU with the community and expecting to get an answer soon. Second, general transparency levels of CISA2K in executing this programme. On this page I have already listed the measures we have taken in building transparency in the planning, executing and monitoring of the A2K programme including the budgets and spending. In addition to this during the recent CIS anniversary we had an open-week in May 2013 where anyone was welcome to come and engage with our work and examine all CIS' accounts including A2K programme funded by WMF. This was announced on all the Wikimedia India mailing lists. For instance see this on the Wikimedia India mailing list. Let me also commit here that we are open to any Wikimedia community member to come and examine the A2K accounts, with a reasonable notice period. This is in addition to disclosing A2K programme budget spending every six-months to the community. I am only stating these to reassure that CIS in general and A2K programme in particular deeply believes in transparency and open-debate, as these would be foundational necessities for developing the free and open knowledge movement in India--Visdaviva (talk) 00:50, 12 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks Visdaviva. I think there is a clear difference between the kind of involvement one will get with a clearly worded policy statement from WMF versus policy statements made downstream. As far as Indian organizations go, the tendency to use forms of "participation" that are low on Arnstein's ladder makes it harder to earn good faith. Shyamal (talk) 03:38, 14 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Shyamal it is a pertinent point! But fail to understand how "a clearly worded policy statement from WMF" would prevent the "tendency to use forms of "participation" that are low on Arnstein's ladder"? Not that I am against having a clear statement from WMF. In fact I have already written about this as stated above. But do not see that such a measure is an effective solution for the problem you raise. As per my understanding such a policy statement will be at rung 3 of the Arnstein's ladder. While one could wait for WMF to issue a statement, it would probably be more productive to figure this out with wider community partnership. Could be done here? --Visdaviva (talk) 12:14, 14 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not sure if you really meant rung 3, Visdaviva - that would be "Informing" (see) which is a level of tokenism that really is not sufficiently high enough by Wikipedian standards. Agree that we can discuss more about the community at the talk page mentioned. I really think the overhaul of the page structure is needed to avoid scattering. Even if all discussion is centralized to one page it would be great. Shyamal (talk) 08:45, 15 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I wanna to say some trust about wuuwiki

Thank you.--782Talk) 04:38, 18 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Privacy violation

Tracked in Phabricator:
bug 53008

The autoblock block message on en:WP (and very likely other projects) violates privacy of the blocked user, by revealing their account name to others using the same IP.

This could, for example, "out" a young persons sexuality to their family or school fellows, leak information endangering someone's job to their colleagues or conceivably enable RL stalking.

Rich Farmbrough 20:32 9 August 2013 (GMT).

The same problem applies to the "Cannot create account" message. Rich Farmbrough 21:19 9 August 2013 (GMT).
Hi. This is interesting. Some questions:
  1. How do you propose to fix this issue? Just give the autoblock number?
    Do you propose to fix this in MediaWiki core or for only Wikimedia projects?
  2. Have you brought up the issue anywhere else? If so, what was the consensus/general reaction?
PiRSquared17 (talk) 21:01, 9 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. A more general message should be given
    WMF (and/or en:wp admins) should fix the pages ( for example) to comply with WMF policy
    Whether we fix the default distro is another matter, but it seems to be what the mediawiki community would expect.
  2. This is the first time I have brought up the privacy issue, I have mentioned some other issues with the blocked user interface (overkill, rudeness, bad HCI) to various people in person. They seemed to agree. Rich Farmbrough 21:19 9 August 2013 (GMT).
Exactly which part of the WMF's privacy policy (or other policies) do you think this violates? PiRSquared17 (talk) 22:28, 9 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The policy is not terribly well worded - or rather it is worded well but sentenced badly, statements of policy are hard to extract. But the part "When a page is edited by a logged-in editor, the server confidentially stores related IP information for a limited period of time" is broken, because it is not confidential in this case. Rich Farmbrough 16:55 15 August 2013 (GMT).
I'm curious how someone might be outed to their family or school. You mean by the username that the user voluntarily chose? The other concerns seem similarly far-fetched. If two users are using the same IP address, what might the threat to either's job be? --MZMcBride (talk) 22:34, 9 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Or the userpage of that user. PiRSquared17 (talk) 22:57, 9 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK here are some scenarios.
  • A user, Joe Brown, publicly identifies as anorexic on WP, but not in school, with the user name of "JoeB99". He is blocked. Others from his school see the auto-block message and identify him by his year of birth, first name and initial (or by the fact that he edits extensively on Seattle punk bands, which is a known hobby of Joe Brown).
  • A young lady of a strict religious background, edits as "RitaSkeeta" mainly focussing on lesbian rights. Her parents see the block notice and investigate the articles edited, and turn her out of the house.
  • A professional chemist edits about the risks and consequences of environmental pollution, focussing on the Bhopal disaster. Her firm has a large contract with Union Carbide. A rival identifies his edits and informs senior management that she is "not a team player".
Rich Farmbrough 16:55 15 August 2013 (GMT).
If someone goes on the Internet, uses his or her year of birth, first name, last initial, declares that he or she is anorexic and gets blocked, I don't see an issue. If you tell the Internet, you can assume everyone knows.
For the other two cases, can you explain why these editors got blocked? Was RitaSkeeta vandalizing in addition to quietly editing about lesbians? What about the chemist? Was she a rampant page-blanker by day, but a good-faith activist by night?
Again, these scenarios seem implausible, to put it gently. In order to see an issue resolved, you must first demonstrate that an actual issue exists. You've not yet done so. --MZMcBride (talk) 01:38, 16 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are really missing the point. We have these policies to prevent bad things happening. We have seen RL stalking, RL outing, RL libel, RL death threats - extensive "doxing". The Internet is not always a nice place, nor is the "real world", users are not always sophisticated in protecting their identities, that does not mean we should provide further information to help "out" them.
As to the reason they are blocked, even if they are the most heinous vandal (and even if good-faith bad blocks, bad-faith bad blocks and erroneous blocks did not exist) that does not mean we should be putting their welfare at risk.
I suggest you read some of the unsavoury history of off-wiki Wikipedia conflict if you think these scenarios are unlikely. I know people in the UK that have been fired for making unfavourable comments about their employers on (friends only) Facebook pages - and we have relatively robust employment law. I know people who's managers have received "dirt" letters as a result of WP editing. And I have been involved in anti-bullying work in the education sector for a long time, and it can get pretty grim.
Rich Farmbrough 23:05 16 August 2013 (GMT).
Nobody denies that real-life stalking, libel, death threats, etc. occur. But it appears at this point that you're simply making an appeal to emotion. We're talking about a very narrow case here, as I understand it: when multiple users are using the exact same IP address and one of the users is blocked. The likelihood of this rare case directly leading to harassment, as you're suggesting, seems almost non-existent, or at least statistically insignificant. People will always find ways to harass others, both online and in meatspace. However, this has almost nothing to do with users sharing an IP address and one of them being blocked for it (both of which are unusual). That said, you're free to make your case in Bugzilla for a change to how MediaWiki behaves. --MZMcBride (talk) 23:50, 16 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I find your response very strange - you asked for examples now you complain about appeal to emotion. Breaking privacy policy is not "OK" just because it is rare, or the victims "may be naughty people". I am well aware that Bugzilla is a route, however this is a foundation matter, as it is foundation policy that is being broken here. Rich Farmbrough 20:13 18 August 2013 (GMT).
I asked for examples and I found your examples to be flawed and irrational. :-)
The Wikimedia Foundation employs a team of lawyers. They can be reached by e-mailing You should receive a response within two weeks.
It's certainly possible that this is a real issue, but nothing you've written here has demonstrated such to me. And given that autoblocks have behaved in this way for years and that nobody else seems to be complaining about this issue (and let's be honest here, Wikimedians are experts at, if nothing else, complaining), I doubt there's a real issue here. But the bug and/or an e-mail to the legal team should determine this more definitively. --MZMcBride (talk) 02:54, 19 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A username is very much public information, not private information, but from looking at this superficially while I'm jetlagged, it does seem that associating a username with an IP is a Bad Thing and perhaps unnecessary. If anyone wants to suggest a change I don't think it'd be controversial to revise the message in Mediawiki properly (via a patch, not local customization). Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 04:18, 10 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I agree that this may be a minor problem. The process would be something like this:
  1. Someone blocks "John".
  2. I, who use the same IP address, am unable to edit a page, seeing the error message 'Autoblocked because your IP address was recently used by "John". The reason given for John's block is: "vandalism".'
Conclusion: I know that John either lives at the same place as I do, works at the same place or goes to the same school. Knowing which people I have around me, I may be able to identify John and harm him. Usually, only checkusers can identify a user by IP address, but if a user is blocked with autoblock, then other people with the same IP address get some limited time to identify that the user used that IP address.
If you see autoblock notifications repeatedly, can you then use those notifications as evidence in a request for checkuser?
I think that it would be better if MediaWiki:Autoblocker doesn't mention the user name and block reason. Proposed improved wording: "Autoblocked because your IP address recently was used by a different user who has been blocked by an administrator." --Stefan2 (talk) 21:00, 17 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is sensible wording. Bug 53008 applies. Note also that MediaWiki:Autoblockedtext encourages the third party to post publicly the link between the IP and the user account. Rich Farmbrough 10:26 19 August 2013 (GMT).
Is it sensible wording? Let's say I'm user "John" who has been blocked. If my IP address is autoblocked and I try to edit, under Stefan2's proposed rewrite, wouldn't I be explicitly told that my "IP address recently was used by a different user who has been blocked ..."? This seems like it would create a pretty confusing user experience, though perhaps I'm mistaken. --MZMcBride (talk) 02:49, 19 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You could remove the word "different" and it would be better. Rich Farmbrough 10:26 19 August 2013 (GMT).


This isn't really a huge deal, but it would be handy if a couple of people could add 2010 Wikimedia Study of Controversial Content‎ to their watchlists. It appears to be a target by a guy who believes he invented the internet and a cure for cancer. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:06, 13 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You an do it yourself, anyone can watch that page. RFC watcher (talk)
She'd be hard pressed to become "a couple of people", though. That's the whole point of "crowd sourcing". :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 14:48, 19 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(Talk page comment deleted by WAID.) --Anthonyhcole (talk) 05:05, 13 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

on commons

It was noted the following - thought meta watchers might be interested if thbey havent seen it

cheers sats (talk) 08:43, 20 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

HTTPS for users with an account

Greetings. Starting on August 21 (tomorrow), all users with an account will be using HTTPS to access Wikimedia sites. HTTPS brings better security and improves your privacy. More information is available at m:HTTPS.

If HTTPS causes problems for you, tell us on bugzilla, on IRC (in the #wikimedia-operations channel) or on meta. If you can't use the other methods, you can also send an e-mail to

Greg Grossmeier (via the Global message delivery system). 19:25, 20 August 2013 (UTC) (wrong page? You can fix it.)Reply[reply]

m:Requests for comment/Global ban for Ottava Rima

Per the m:Global bans global policy, you are informed of the discussion above. Please comment there and feel free to appropriately distribute more widely in prominent community venues in order to «Inform the community on all wikis where the user has edited». Nemo 10:11, 24 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Need help with commonshelper2

Template:Side box

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I'm trying to import some images from the Afrikaans Wikipedia (such as this one), but CommonsHelper 1 or 2 don't seem to support this wiki. Commonshelper2 has a method to configure the tool to work with every wiki, so I tried to create a configuration page here but it still doesn't work. Can someone help me with this?--Underlying lk (talk) 20:56, 23 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Grant support

I tried reading WMF Support about grant support but I don't understand it at all. There is no active Talk Page and I tried to use the "Chat" feature but nothing happened, there was no chat window. Is there someplace where one can talk about WMF research where people will actually check in and see comments? Newjerseyliz (talk) 20:26, 19 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not sure which kind of grant you are after. If it's about individual grants, try the talk page on --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 10:31, 26 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion in Commons lacks international comments

I had an argument with an administrator in Commons and it came out that I had to start a discussion there. I did, but unfortunately he doesn't take part in the discussion. Even worse, hardly anyone outsite the British atmosphere takes part. I got:

This whole discussion suggests a WP:IDONTLIKEIT on the part of one user, and seems to smack of a suggestion that needs far more consideration than an on-going argument with one or two other editors here. It needs a much wider discussion, with considerable input by others, and not the few who are discussing here sats (talk) 08:08, 24 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So I came here. The problem itself is a difference in opinion about categorising naval vessels by their name as stated on the nameplate of the ship or by the way they are referred to in literature, newspapers and so on, for a number of commonwelth naval vessels. All other vessels are categorised by their name as on the nameplate or painted on the ship. In my view it is a matter of culture. I think one aspect of the matter is - ad hominem - that I categoried more than 100.000 images of ships I assume, and I found only the British, Australian and Canadian naval ships are categorised deviatingly.

I can live with leaving out all prefixes with (pennant or similar) numbers for naval vessels and - as suggested by Túrelio - put additional identifying information simply into the respective category description. For the ships with such a prefix it can be done by bot, I assume. That gives:
Summary for naval ships: Naming of categories is according the same system as for all other ships:

  1. no prefixes, unless they are part of the shipname according the nameplate;
  2. the shipname is followed in brackets by the year of first commissioning or of completion. If not found, any other determinating year like the year of launch;
  3. to make it easier for users, make a redirect if the ship is widely known under her prefix together with her shipname.

I don't know what the way of working is, I am a newby here. Is it here that the discussion goes on or is in in Commons? --Stunteltje (talk) 15:28, 24 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Stunteltje, I think that this discussion should be opened and/or continued at Commons even if it unfortunately started with a thread at COM:AN/U. Probably best at COM:CFD. I know how knowledgable you are in regard to naval vessels and Commons is fortunate to have your contributions. --AFBorchert (talk) 22:32, 28 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tracked in Phabricator:
bug 31335

Trying to log in to I get: uses an invalid security certificate.

The certificate is only valid for the following names:

* , , , * , , , * , * , , , * , * , , , * , * , , , * , * , , , * , * , , , * , * , , , * , * , , , * , * , , , * , * , , , * , * , , * , , *

(Error code: ssl_error_bad_cert_domain)
So far it has worked flawlessly and other projects (, still do. Does anybody have an idea what's going on? Kleuske (talk) 21:13, 28 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yeah, this is related to bugzilla:31335. --Krenair (talkcontribs) 21:55, 28 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks. That clarifies a lot. Kleuske (talk) 10:04, 29 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When to review the "Global bans" policy

See Talk:Global_bans#When_to_review_the_policy. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 13:26, 29 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikimedia Highlights from July 2013

Highlights from the Wikimedia Foundation Report and the Wikimedia engineering report for July 2013, with a selection of other important events from the Wikimedia movement
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