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The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss proposed policies and guidelines and changes to existing policies and guidelines.

Please see this FAQ page for a list of frequently rejected or ignored proposals. Discussions are automatically archived after remaining inactive for two weeks.

Should good articles be nominated for deletion?

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Historical background of the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine

--Knight Skywalker (talk) 14:06, 5 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

My answer was to the implicit question "should deletion be prohibited for GA's?". In practice, deletion of a GA would rarely be a suitable action. North8000 (talk) 20:22, 20 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with that, and, in an ideal world, no article that should be deleted would get anywhere near being a GA. Unfortunately this is not an ideal world, so "rarely" is not the same as "never", Phil Bridger (talk) 21:01, 20 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Wikipedia usernames and article content

When both the username and real name of a Wikipedia editor are widely reported by reliable sources, to what extent should Wikipedia blanketly prohibit articles in the mainspace from stating that such a person edits under that account name (except when that person has voluntarily posted their own real name, or links to information containing their real name, on Wikipedia)? — Mhawk10 (talk) 21:10, 15 March 2022 (UTC) (updated: 02:26, 16 March 2022 (UTC))[reply]

Discussion: Wikipedia usernames and article content

Regarding reversion of banned edits

I just reverted an edit that removed legitimate content. Why was that legitimate content removed? Because it was added by a sockpuppet. You can find it in my most recent contributions. Had I not reverted that edit, users may never know the UAE's stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is not the first time this has happened. I can understand if a sockpuppet made a vandal edit, but an edit should not be reverted just on the basis that the user was banned. The same goes for WP:G5, which indicates that any page that is created by a blocked/banned user in violation of a block or ban should be deleted, which leads to the potential deletion of legitimate content. User quarrels should not be carried over into the main namespace. Any legitimate edit or page should not be reverted or deleted on the basis of who made the page. I am not encouraging ban evasion. I am simply saying that more specifically, users should focus on the content of the edit or page rather than the user who made it. Removing legitimate content is detrimental to Wikipedia's mission to provide the sum of all human knowledge, regardless of whose knowledge it is. The policy should be changed so to remove things saying that banned users should have their edits reverted or pages deleted. Only if the edit would be reverted or the page would be deleted anyway due to other criteria. So we get rid of WP:G5 and WP:BANREVERT. Blubabluba9990 (talk) (contribs−) 16:25, 26 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I tend to think that sock edits can and probably ought to be reverted to prevent their gaining by their actions. If the revert is on a hot topic, then someone like yourself will notice and can restore it if thought desirable (as well as taking responsibility for it at the same time). Selfstudier (talk) 16:29, 26 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It depends on the edit. If the edit is clearly helpful then it should remain. In a nutshell, it boils down to focusing on the content of the edit or page rather than the user who created it. Blubabluba9990 (talk) (contribs) 16:32, 26 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Different banned editors behave in different ways. Some of them lie, and make a large number of edits. Editors who revert edits by banned editors should feel free to regard the edits as lies, and revert them, unless it is stunningly obvious that the edits are helpful, correct, that any sources cited actually exist, are reliable, and support the added information. Jc3s5h (talk) 17:07, 26 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
"prevent their gaining by their actions"
And this sort of shallow and pointless vindictiveness by all the people who think like you is just as harmful to Wikipedia as any number of vandals we have on the site. At least the latter are almost always reverted by bots. SilverserenC 17:48, 26 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • The problem there of course, is that (outside the realm of typo fixing or copyediting) editors may have a different view on what defines a "good" edit. In the end, if you see an edit that has been removed and you believe that it is genuinely positive, there is no problem with you taking responsibility for it yourself and restoring it. Though I would suggest not doing this with anything remotely contentious, and it's always good to leave an edit summary explaining what you are doing. Black Kite (talk) 20:28, 26 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    Re-fixing typos and obvious errors (like things that get flagged as errors in the error cats) is a waste of time. The banned-edit reverter should look at the nature of the edit to determine if it is genuinely negative or otherwise contentious. MB 20:53, 26 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • We could have further language along the lines that, while considerations of expediency might make individual attention to every edit at times difficult, editors have a general responsibility for ensuring that their own reverts are not often of good edits. In any case, this is a situation where IAR may be applicable. — Charles Stewart (talk) 15:27, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Yup… annoying… but that’s all it is - an annoyance. Blueboar (talk) 20:30, 26 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • If no one catches it, then it is more than an annoyance. Typos and grammatical errors and the like make the encyclopedia look bad to readers. We should not be self-sabotaging our professionalism. BD2412 T 21:05, 26 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Well, how about protecting the community of readers from bad content? Twenty-plus years into the project, any proper statistical sample of articles may indicate the sorry state of affairs (and I am not referring to proofing errors and related edits). Shouldn't administration be subservient to good content, not the other way around? What has a greater impact on Wikipedia's reputation? The untold number of below-par articles, or the actions of relatively few bad actors? I think these questions should be considered. (talk) 00:21, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Sure, but allowing a "small number of bad actors" to edit won't magically fix our millions of terrible articles. If the ban decision was correct, allowing their edits to stand is not likely to be an overall improvement. —Kusma (talk) 00:30, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Yeah, that sort of reversion is just a blatant piece of blanking vandalism. If I didn't AGF, I would think that the sockpuppet investigation edit summary claim was just a cover for an edit attempting to make that sort of major change. SilverserenC 23:48, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Remember, we are more or less instructed that - but you've changed the text of IAR. It's "if a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it." If "readers first" were a suicide pact, we'd never be able to ban people who harass, dox, stalk, attack, etc. other editors. Wikipedia isn't just an encyclopedia -- it's an encyclopedia project continuously edited by a community of volunteers. It also doesn't take much of a leap to conclude that it is not in the readers' best interest to allow toxic, abusive, or just plain disruptive editors to keep editing. Or rather, it's a short-sighted sort of reader-first priority. What happens to the readers of all the articles that other people would've worked on if they hadn't been busy fixing problems created by the banned user, chilled from participating by intimidating behavior, endlessly fighting the same battles against POV pushing, etc.? On a volunteer, community-written and maintained encyclopedia, what's good for the long-term health of the community is good for the readers. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 03:48, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • It also doesn't take much of a leap to conclude that it is not in the readers' best interest to allow toxic, abusive, or just plain disruptive editors to keep editing. Correction, it's not in reader's best interests to let them edit disruptively. It is very definitely not in readers' best interests to disrupt Wikipedia by reverting edits that improve the encyclopaedia.
  • Once again nobody is asking for copyvios, POV pushing, etc. to be retained, we're saying that only the copyvios, POV pushing and other edits that are actually harmful are reverted. Thryduulf (talk) 10:05, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • It often takes a massive amount of time and effort to discover copyvio's, POV pushing, subtle vandalism, ... often enough to get someone fnally blocked. It often takes considerable effort to find the socks and get them blocked as well. And then you ask us to spend the same effort again to make sure that every edit that those socks made is also a copyvio, subtle vandalism, ... And somehow, it is in the readers interest to let those edits from known problematic editors remain in the mainspace because some may be beneficial, and whoever removes them wholesale, with the possibility to reinstate beneficial ones afterwards, is disruptive? Staggering. What you are actually arguing is that we should never block or ban anyone, as it will have no consequences at all, they can just start editing again with a new account and their edits will not be treated any different from those of non-blocked editors. You are giving free reign to the abusers, putting a considerable extra burden on people trying to keep such editors out, and in general you are ancouraging the sockers and discouraging the people trying to fight such issues. I don't think you fully appreciate the time it may take to e.g. find copyvio translations, which no automated tool reports, and which you don't see by just popping some sentences in Google search. You are advocating that when such an editor returns and is found, we should again prove, page by page, edit by edit, that their contributions all have the same issues. Who will ever do this, and why were they then blocked in the fuirst place if in reality that block doesn't help us one bit. A completely unrealistic and destructive approach under the guise of "thnk about the readers" who are actually done a huge disservice by this approach. Fram (talk) 10:21, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    However, it seems that most of what you describe is related to the ease of sock creation/operation and of other forms of editing under assumed identities. I wouldn't pin the inherent weaknesses of an open platform on those who advocate a bit more discretion in the reverting of edits. (talk) 20:35, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Correction, it's not in reader's best interests to let them edit disruptively. Completely disagree that we should allow banned editors -- people who we've decided either cannot contribute constructively or cause too many problems to continue whatever constructive edits they do make -- to continue receiving the benefit of the doubt as far as their contributions as long as they just keep making new sockpuppets. Toss out the exceptions to WP:CLEANSTART, too, while we're at it, because we're willing to take your edits under every new account you make. Again, if someone contributes constructively, that may be cause to revisit whether we got it wrong when they were banned, but it's not reason to just ignore the fact that they were banned (the user, all the user's edits, under any account). — Rhododendrites talk \\ 13:56, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Are you talking about this, where G5 was accidentally applied, and the deleting admin apologized and restored it the day after you filed a request for undeletion? — Rhododendrites talk \\ 16:27, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    Yeah, that's the one. Like I say, a lot of what makes me sad about that and the aftermath was my own fault.  Tewdar  16:34, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • The cynicism/skepticism you're describing is a bigger issue than what we're talking about here. It's true insofar as unregistered or newly registered users are more likely to be accused of being a sock whenever they reinstate an edit (or, really, do much of anything that requires nontrivial knowledge of how Wikipedia works). That people throw around sock accusations without sufficient evidence or have a bad attitude towards new/IP editors is a problem, but it's not specific to the topic at hand. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 17:04, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Also, blocks/bans are not meant as a form of punishment but rather to prevent disruption. If a user starts making good edits they may be allowed to appeal to their talk page if they feel remorseful about past actions. If the edit would be reverted normally (i.e. as spam or vandalism) then it should be reverted. But good edits or pages should NEVER be reverted or deleted, regardless of who made the edit. This has long been a pet peeve of mine. 2600:6C65:627F:FA3D:F588:8D5F:537C:2F52 (talk) 20:01, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

That was me I forgot to log in. Blubabluba9990 (talk) (contribs) 20:03, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • The problem is that many such edits require extensive research to determine if they are even good. Users may violate copyright, may misrepresent source material, may create hoaxes, may be a continuous edit-warrior where neither version is objectively better, etc. Asking editors to carefully comb through every edit, spend hours digging through source material, etc. for banned editors is not a reasonable requirement. If someone is banned, it means we can't trust them to edit Wikipedia anymore. If someone else wants to come along and add the same content, or create the same article, by all means do so. But that doesn't mean that we should waste any more time on a banned editor's work than we have to. --Jayron32 16:18, 6 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Why aren't the Five Pillars a policy?

The Five Pillars are a long-established part of Wikipedia. They are listed prominently at Wikipedia:List of policies and guidelines and are frequently referenced by members of the community. As described in the talk page FAQ, they are a statement of Wikipedia's fundamental principles. We recently had an in-depth discussion and RfC around the wording of the first pillar which demonstrated its importance and relevance to the community.

Given all that, is there any reason why an RfC hasn't been held to formally make the Five Pillars a Wikipedia policy? It would give the 5P the formal heft that they seem to have gained informally. I see that this has been discussed occasionally on the talk page (here, for example), but not for quite a while, so I thought it would be worthwhile to ask. Ganesha811 (talk) 16:10, 2 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

From a corporate speak - the 5P set our the internal mission/goals (that is, how we want to build articles that meet the larger outward Foundation mission), implemented through key corporate policies (here being NOT, V, NOR, NPOV, BLP, and a few others) with support of other P&G. So itself it is not a policy but what all policies and guidelines should be written in mind with. --Masem (t) 16:36, 2 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
(edit conflict) Just my opinion, but when things - especially major policies like the verifiability policy and a few others - get made policy they tend to be enforced fairly literally. The 5P are principles, not statutes. (Yes, nothing here is a statute but there are some policies and parts of policies which are enforced in accordance with the words of the policy far more than others. And those are the ones that are most important to the encyclopedia.) Making the 5P a policy would put emphasis on their exact words rather than their meaning and because they weren't written with that kind of interpretation in mind, it would result in outcomes unintended by the legions of editors who have worked on the 5P. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 16:48, 2 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you both for your answers. I appreciate the perspectives, especially the point about precise wording. Ganesha811 (talk) 20:02, 4 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Further to what Masem and TransporterMan said, we probably need such a category, and a few more (superconsensused-only) pages in it defining objectives which policies and guidelines are supposed to implement. North8000 (talk) 12:29, 13 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Results from the Universal Code of Conduct Enforcement guidelines ratification vote published

You can find this message translated into additional languages on Meta-wiki.

The Trust and Safety Policy team published the results of the Universal Code of Conduct Enforcement guidelines ratification vote. The vote ended 21 March 2022. See the results and read more on Meta-wiki.

Hello, this is a follow up to the thread above. I'm also cross-posting the message originally posted to wikimedia-l and m:Talk:Universal Code of Conduct/Enforcement guidelines#Results from the Universal Code of Conduct Enforcement guidelines ratification vote that outlines the next step in the process: ("The Board will review input given during the vote, and examine whether there are aspects of the Guidelines that need further refinement.")

There is an upcoming Board Community Affairs Committee meeting 21 April 2022 at 10:00 UTC. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 01:29, 6 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

You can find this message translated into additional languages on Meta-wiki.

Hello all,

We would like to thank the over 2,300 Wikimedians who participated in the recently concluded community vote on the Enforcement Guidelines for the Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC). At this time, the volunteer scrutinizing group has completed the review of the accuracy of the vote and the final results are available on Meta-wiki. A quick summary can be found below:

What this outcome means is that there is enough support for the Board to review the document. It does not mean that the Enforcement Guidelines are automatically complete.

From here, the project team will collate and summarize the comments provided in the voting process, and publish them on Meta-wiki. The Enforcement Guidelines will be submitted to the Board of Trustees for their consideration. The Board will review input given during the vote, and examine whether there are aspects of the Guidelines that need further refinement. If so, these comments, and the input provided through Meta-wiki and other community conversations, will provide a good starting point for revising the Guidelines to meet the needs expressed by communities in the voter's responses.

In the event the Board moves forward with ratification, the UCoC project team will begin supporting specific proposals in the Guidelines. Some of these proposals include working with community members to form the U4C Building Committee, starting consultations on training, and supporting conversations on improving our reporting systems. There is still a lot to be done, but we will be able to move into the next phase of this work.

Many people took part in making sure the policy and the enforcement guidelines work for our communities. We will continue to collaboratively work on the details of the strong proposals outlined in the Guidelines as presented by the Wikimedians who engaged with the project in different ways over the last year.

Once again, we thank everyone who participated in the ratification of the Enforcement Guidelines.

For more information regarding the results, please refer to the Results page.


Stella Ng on behalf of the UCoC Project Team

Senior Manager, Trust and Safety Policy

User:SNg (WMF) 00:42, 6 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

For convenience, I have cross-posted a message from the senior manager of T&S Policy above that outlines next steps in the project. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 01:29, 6 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I've placed a message below that outlines next steps in the process "to reconvene the drafting committee and to undertake another community engagement to refine the enforcement guidelines based on the community feedback received from the recently concluded vote." Xeno (WMF) (talk) 00:22, 20 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Next steps: Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) and UCoC Enforcement Guidelines

The Community Affairs Committee of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees would like to thank everyone who participated in the recently concluded community vote on the Enforcement Guidelines for the Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC).

The volunteer scrutinizing group has completed the review of the accuracy of the vote and has reported the total number of votes received as 2,283. Out of the 2,283 votes received, a total of 1,338 (58.6%) community members voted for the enforcement guidelines, and a total of 945 (41.4%) community members voted against it. In addition, 658 participants left comments with 77% of the comments written in English.

We recognize and appreciate the passion and commitment that community members have demonstrated in creating a safe and welcoming culture that stops hostile and toxic behavior, supports people targeted by such behavior, and encourages good faith people to be productive on the Wikimedia projects.

Even at this incomplete stage, this is evident in the comments received. While the Enforcement Guidelines did reach a threshold of support necessary for the Board to review, we encouraged voters, regardless of which way they were voting, to provide feedback on the elements of the enforcement guidelines that they felt needed to be changed or fixed, as well as why, in case it seemed advisable to launch a further round of edits that would address community concerns.

Foundation staff who have been reviewing comments have advised us of some of the emerging themes, and as a result we have decided as Community Affairs Committee to ask the Foundation to reconvene the drafting committee and to undertake another community engagement to refine the enforcement guidelines based on the community feedback received from the recently concluded vote.

For clarity, this feedback has been clustered into 4 sections as follows:

  1. To identify the type, purpose, and applicability of the training;
  2. To simplify the language for easier translation and comprehension by non-experts;
  3. To explore the concept of affirmation, including its pros and cons;
  4. To review the conflicting roles of privacy/victim protection and right to be heard.

Other issues may emerge during conversations, and particularly as the draft Enforcement Guidelines evolve, but we see these as the primary areas of concern for voters and are asking staff to facilitate review of these issues. After further engagement, the Foundation should re-run the community vote to evaluate the revamped Enforcement Outline to see if the new document is then ready for its official ratification.

Further, we are aware of the concerns with the note 3.1 in the Universal Code of Conduct Policy. We are directing the Foundation to facilitate a review of this language to ensure that the Policy meets its intended purposes of supporting a safe and inclusive community, without waiting for the planned review of the entire Policy at the end of year.

Again, we thank all who participated, thinking about these critical and difficult challenges and contributing to better approaches across the movement to working together well.



Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight (she/her)
Acting Chair, Community Affairs Committee
Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

As a reminder, there is an upcoming Board Community Affairs Committee meeting 21 April 2022 at 10:00 UTC: the first in a series of conversations about the Foundation 2022-2023 Annual Plan draft. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 00:22, 20 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

RfC: Add a question mark to Dubious Template


Should we change ((Dubious)) to say [dubious? – discuss] rather than [dubious – discuss] like [original research?].


((Dubious)) is meant to be discussed rather than fully stated.

Comments for / against

If you truly intend to conduct an RfC, I'd recommend reading WP:RFC, as this is malformed. Also, an RfC generally shouldn't be conducted if the matter hasn't already been discussed to some degree. Is there an existing conversation? Lastly, I suppose I'm just curious as to why this isn't posted at the Talk page for the template. DonIago (talk) 02:07, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Here’s the Original discussion. 2603:7080:DA3C:7A33:F4FF:3B44:570:60A8 (talk) 02:19, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That's not a discussion, that's a request to update the template before a discussion has even occurred. As to whether discussion should now occur here or there, I'm not sure I have a strong opinion, though if the discussion occurs here then there should be a notification there. DonIago (talk) 02:47, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Added discussion. 2603:7080:DA3C:7A33:F4FF:3B44:570:60A8 (talk) 03:05, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks; that looks good. DonIago (talk) 03:07, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
How is it malformed? 2603:7080:DA3C:7A33:F4FF:3B44:570:60A8 (talk) 03:45, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
A couple objections. Firstly, the rationale seems incorrect. When someone places this template, they are not asking whether the content is dubious, but rather they are in fact making the observation that the content is dubious and that effort should be spent investigating whether the cited source is accurate. Secondly, even if we accept the rationale as correct, this seems like an incredibly trivial issue. It's not clear to me what substantive confusion is caused by the absence of a question mark that would necessitate a full-fledged RfC to alleviate. See also WP:SLOP and WP:BIKESHED. Mz7 (talk) 05:26, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Ok, added more reasoning. 2603:7080:DA3C:7A33:F4FF:3B44:570:60A8 (talk) 05:35, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
If it’s not subjective then why does it say “[dubious — discuss]” rather than just “[dubious]”? 2603:7080:DA3C:7A33:F4FF:3B44:570:60A8 (talk) 11:44, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
There's already an implied question mark: "discuss" = "?". The editor asks for others to discuss whether her/his assessment is correct. (talk) 12:45, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Adding a question mark improves clarity though. 2603:7080:DA3C:7A33:F4FF:3B44:570:60A8 (talk) 12:50, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Then why does ((Original research inline)) it? 2603:7080:DA3C:7A33:F4FF:3B44:570:60A8 (talk) 12:53, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Well, you can always start an RfC to replace [original research?] with [original research - discuss] since the question mark implies an invitation for comment. (talk) 13:14, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

By :2603:7080:DA3C:7A33:F4FF:3B44:570:60A8 (talk) 23:38, 8 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Jimmy Wales and banning users

In the early days of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales played a big role when it comes to banning users. Nowadays, he doesn't get involved in these decisions. I made this edit to the banning policy to indicate that and my edit was reverted and was hoping to get community consensus on whether this edit is justified. Also, in this discussion, I would also like the community to decide whether Wales should still have the authority to ban users despite not doing it anymore. I think if I made this proposal early in Wikipedia's history, it would likely fail, but times are different and I do think it has a reasonable chance of succeeding. Interstellarity (talk) 21:00, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

As suggested here you should get consensus first before making any changes to policy. As to the question whether Jimbo should have the authority to ban users, I think that's up to him to decide since he does own Wikipedia, even though most (if not everything) in terms of policy is left to the community anyway. Since this is a proposal regarding Jimbo Wales, you probably should notify him on his talk page (if you haven't already). —Mythdon (talkcontribs) 21:06, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Jimmy Wales does not 'own Wikipedia'. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:42, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Just notified him now. I came here to get a consensus on changing policy since this page is monitored more than the talk page. That was the point of bringing it here for discussion. Interstellarity (talk) 23:01, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Jimbo is the only thing we can trust at that top tier (WMF). While this is a not-directly-related issue, I'm against any actions to reduce his authority. North8000 (talk) 23:07, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Why should we be compelled to rely on 'trust' in relation to the governance of Wikipedia? AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:11, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Isn't it all about trust? WP:ADMIN at the very top says Administrators are volunteers trusted with access to certain tools. The community puts trust in Special:RandomInCategory/Wikipedia administrators, much the same way that the person you replied to states that he trust Jimbo. Happy Editing--IAmChaos 05:13, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
He's worth a million of anyone's money. Hardly the aforesaid volunteer. And if any of us had a conflict-of-interest as big as his, we'd have been down the road years ago. SN54129 16:36, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

He still has the ability to ban users? I thought those sorts of actions (and admin actions in general) were removed from him back when the community decided to remove his founder flag and other privileges after he massively went against the community and tried to enact whole category deletions on his own. Why is banning something he's still allowed to do? SilverserenC 23:14, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Silver seren you are conflating changes made about Jimbo's access on "all WMF projects" with things here on the English Wikipedia. — xaosflux Talk 23:18, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I presumed changes made on "all WMF projects" included English Wikipedia as well, yes. Since English Wikipedia is a WMF project. SilverserenC 23:24, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Silver seren he had global permissions, and also local permissions - the global permissions were removed but it had no impact on local permissions. Local projects are mostly free to decide who has what type of access to their own project. — xaosflux Talk 00:57, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Back in August of 2009, he "decided to simply give up the use of the block tool permanently" after it was discussed by the community/ArbCom. Since then, he did use the block tool again after he'd said he was done with the block tool. Jimbo himself had said he "can't use the block tool normally, because people over-interpret it.".—Mythdon (talkcontribs) 23:28, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

A weird provision in written policy that, in practice, has long departed the realm of actual policy. Should be no room for any non-elected individual, irrelevant of who it is, to hold perpetual power to act by fiat. Good luck getting the policy page to reflect that practice, though. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 23:26, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, he should keep whatever influence and control options he has. Per North8000 and others. Jimbo's superpowers and Wikipediacentric focus serve to protect the site from Foundation overreach (the foundation was created to fund and support Wikipedia, not to "run" it) and should not only be maintained but would be nice if he'd use them more often. Randy Kryn (talk) 23:49, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

You were presumably around (since you've been here since 2007) during all the incidents where Jimbo went against the Wikipedia community and consensus on subjects. He lost most of his powers for a reason, because he abused them based on his own opinion of what was right and not what the community's stance was. So I vehemently disagree with you and North8000. SilverserenC 23:59, 11 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
If the site needs 'protection' from the WMF, shouldn't those who create the content do the protection themselves? Why should we have to rely on someone who's position in this regard seems to come down to having been here first (or among the first...) AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:02, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Giving admin authority to the people who create the content? That's crazy talk. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 01:13, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think this is an interesting discussion but misses an important nuance. If some terrible series of events were to happen such that the community would feel need of "protection" from the WMF, then I think you will definitely want me on your side. We have always resisted strongly the model followed by virtually every other community site (message boards like reddit, social networks like Facebook and Twitter, etc.)in which a dispute between the company and the community has a pretty clear result, the typical result that we would expect from the feudal model. Imagine a news story which ends up pitched as "glorious WMF wins battle over obnoxious troll community" - that's in no way possible at the present time (the WMF is actually good!) but I think about the next 20 years and how that might not be impossible. I see for myself a role in always reminding the board and the WMF that the community is the ultimate source of authority and in being prepared - as a person with a big public voice - to continue talking about that to the world - to protect the community.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:43, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I know. Next thing you know, we'll be asking for double helpings of gruel... AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:20, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
No, I was around but not in the back rooms until 2015, when Dicklyon downcased something and drew me in. So in terms of knowing conflict history with Wales, I'm not aware of it. But arguably, his Wikipedia founder superpowers may be needed again at some point to counter a foundation overreach decision, so it seems to me a reasonable use of an unusual and maybe unique decision-making wikiform. If the need arises I'm glad he's available. As for banning users, seems fine even if he never uses it, and admins would reverse an incorrect ban immediately, so seems no harm in Wales having the ability to ban (although sounds like he doesn't want it). Randy Kryn (talk) 03:12, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Jimbo deserves to have all the rights he currently does. If nothing else, just so the Foundation isn't the end-all-be-all. casualdejekyll 03:38, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
To the extent that there are concerns about WMF overreach - concerns which I think are often overblown but well worth considering as a theoretical matter - it is not clear to me how me taking what would undoubtably be a very controversial step to personally ban a user would help with that. It is my position that the community predates the Foundation and is "sovereign" in the sense that the WMF does not rule over the community and ought to be very circumscribed in their "moderation" role - to deal with cases that are difficult or impossible for the community to deal with, and to offer support to make sure that community control is facilitated and supported. This is pretty much the position of the WMF too, I believe, but I don't speak for the WMF in this matter.
There is also the matter of a potentially rogue ArbCom, which has never been an issue and is unlikely to be an issue, but here, too, I think that there is a constitutional question that I think very important. Our traditional understanding has been that given sufficient community uproar (undefined) that new elections for ArbCom should be called. That role has traditionally been mine and the way I have always thought about it is that if there were a community !vote showing a majority support for new elections, I would call for new elections, and it is difficult to see how ArbCom or the WMF could or would refuse that. That would be an extraordinary circumstance to be sure - and if the community would prefer to put staff at the WMF in charge of that, or to create a new consensus policy that a majority vote for snap elections would be enough - that's a different way forward both of which I see currently as solving a problem that doesn't really exist.
In order to prevent any further controversy on the immediate question, though, I have personally removed the line in question from the policy and assert affirmatively that I do not have the right to ban users unilaterally.
I'd like to note, separately and for the record, that I dispute Silverseren's misreading of several points of Wikipedia history. I made edits myself to my own Founder flag rights as a matter of personal judgment, just as today I am making this change.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:35, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Jimbo Wales Thank you for doing that. WormTT(talk) 10:22, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Any policy can change, even policies that say how polices change. If we did have a rouge arbcom and there was a strong community consensus of that I don't see what would stop a community revolt - that is I don't think the stewards or WMF would step in and reverse say blocking/community-banning all of the arbcom members and declaring arbcom defunct. Basically, if we were at the point where such community consensus existed - we wouldn't really need Jimbo's blessing. So where could the Jimbo "reserve powers" still be useful now?: If there was only a weak support that something was wrong with arbcom, and Jimbo declared arbcom defective, that could raise the community support for new elections. — xaosflux Talk 11:04, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

A structural reason to be concerned about WMF overreach is that it is designed so that WMF can easily go rogue and / or insultate itself from input or guidance by the community. Imagine a place where the ruling "body" can re-write the constitution with a mere majority vote by themselves and that it already been re-written that a good portion of the group is appointed by themselves, and that they set the rules and procedures for joining their group. North8000 (talk) 12:34, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

This section, titled "Jimmy Wales and banning users", has the narrow scope of Jimmy Wales's unilateral banning powers. Its scope is not yet another general discussion on WMF authority. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 12:54, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Being an existential threat, it probably needs it's own big separate discussion, but it was brought up by many as relating to the narrower question at hand. North8000 (talk) 12:59, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I don't think it makes sense for Wales to not have banning powers, but have the power to review ban appeals. I would like the community input as well as input from Wales regarding whether he has the authority to reverse bans. Nowadays, he doesn't play much of a role regarding when users want to appeal bans. I was wondering if he would be willing to give up his authority to reverse bans. Interstellarity (talk) 16:30, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

This is all kind of counting entities on a pin, as the WMF holds the ultimate rule of the server (whoever owns the server makes the rules). If the project ever reaches a point where the WMF overrules the judgement of the community on banning a user, either the WMF board will have to be persuaded to override WMF management, or the community will have to fork. Having a single board member overrule WMF management isn't a sustainable position for the project. isaacl (talk) 20:35, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I see no issue with being able to reverse bans but not impose them. There's lots of parallels in IRL legal systems where appeal courts have the ability to overturn (in various ways) sanctions imposed of lower courts, but not impose those same sanctions themselves. The classic example (from a US-centric viewpoint) would be the President of the United States having the power to pardon people convicted of federal crimes, but no authority at all to convict anybody in the first place.
I'm not arguing either way that Jimmy needs to have that power or not. Just that there's nothing fundamentally incongruous about having one ability without the other. -- RoySmith (talk) 20:38, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think it makes even less sense to try to forcibly give Jimbo back a power he just voluntarily removed from himself. I personally am under the view that all of this was a solution looking for a problem - as mentioned prior, Jimbo hasn't banned anyone since TimidGuy a decade ago. While there was no good reason to remove it, now that it's been removed, I think there's also no good reason to add it back. casualdejekyll 21:38, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
He's already spoken for himself and can speak for himself. He can even decide to change his mind later, but either way, this discussion seems to be more hypothetical and based on hypothetical situations than anything. Not much else can possibly come out of this discussion now that Jimbo has already spoken (notwithstanding how the community at large feels about it). —Mythdon (talkcontribs) 21:52, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with RoySmith that there's nothing fundamentally incongruous about having the ability to reverse bans without having the ability to impose bans. In light of that, I'm inclined to leave everything as it currently is—no need for further change. To be clear, our policies only allow Jimbo to unilaterally overrule bans (and other decisions) placed by the Arbitration Committee. Based on the text at WP:BAN#Appeal to Jimbo Wales, it seems unlikely that Jimbo has unilateral authority to overrule other kinds of bans, such as those placed by community consensus or by the WMF. This setup has the effect of limiting this aspect of Jimbo's authority solely to being an ArbCom safety valve of sorts: the last resort against a "rogue ArbCom", as he describes above. The hope is that this safety valve will never have to be used.
On a matter of principle, I do think it is important that there be some kind of check on the Arbitration Committee to prevent it from asserting theoretically absolute authority over the English Wikipedia. Under the current policy, this check is Jimbo Wales. Back in 2015, there was a similar discussion about removing this check on ArbCom here: Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee/Archive 18#RfC: Ability of Jimbo Wales to amend or grant appeals to ArbCom remedies. There was a general feeling in that discussion that if we want to remove Jimbo's ability to review ArbCom decisions, we should first think of another person or group that would replace him in that role. I can't really think of a good candidate, though. WMF Trust and Safety, perhaps? Or perhaps another kind of elected panel whose sole responsibility is to review ArbCom's decisions? Should such a hypothetical panel limit themselves to only procedural questions (e.g. "Do our policies allow ArbCom to take a certain action?"), or should such a hypothetical panel also be able to consider issues "on the merits" (e.g. "Should ArbCom have taken a certain action?")? But I digress. Let's just keep Jimbo as the safety valve for now. Mz7 (talk) 05:03, 13 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Mz7 while not really appropriate to deal with individual actions (like a single user ban) - the community can deal with a "rogue ArbCom" by abolishing arbcom. — xaosflux Talk 10:30, 13 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
If an arbitration committee truly went rogue, the community would, in the short term, ignore their rulings, and in the intermediate term, amend the arbitration policy to hold a special election. Arbitrators have no special powers to force the community to follow its decisions; they rely on the good will of editors to comply. isaacl (talk) 15:12, 13 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Ahh, you and Xaosflux make great points. WP:ARBPOL#Ratification and amendment does allow the community to make amendments to the arbitration policy by submitting a petition signed by at least one hundred editors in good standing. If there is ever a wildly unpopular ArbCom decision, the community could use this provision as a bit of a nuclear option to reform or abolish ArbCom. In that sense, I suppose it's true that ArbCom could never assert "theoretically absolute authority" even if we remove the Jimbo appeal avenue. The community has this as an alternative safety valve. I suppose the question then turns to whether we want a separate review body for "individual actions", as Xaosflux says, as a replacement for Jimbo. Mz7 (talk) 01:09, 14 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Only citing from one source

On many articles (Example: Baywood, New York) The only source cited is the US Census bureau. Is this correct with Wikipedia Policy, or should I fix it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Commander0034 (talkcontribs) 16:04, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

That depends. What do you mean by "fix it"? VernoWhitney (talk) 16:39, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Notice of RfC

This message provides notice that I have started an RfC at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (broadcasting)#2022 revision proposal on a proposed rewrite/update to the text of Wikipedia:Naming conventions (broadcasting). Your comments are welcome. Sammi Brie (she/her • tc) 03:53, 13 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

RfC on the addition of a stand-alone page creation criteria to the geography notability guideline

Should WP:NGEO have its own criteria on the creation of stand-alone pages? A. C. SantacruzPlease ping me! 11:04, 13 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Clarification:The criteria should be discussed at a follow-up RfC if this one passes, this proposal is just about whether it would be beneficial for NGEO to have such a set of criteria at all.A. C. SantacruzPlease ping me! 16:37, 13 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]



Look You the vote and discussion section Mass merging of unnamed identical references and naming of those references. ✍️ Dušan Kreheľ (talk) 12:47, 16 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

In 2022 do you need an RfC to make substantive changes to policies/guidelines?

Our policy on policy changes suggests that formal RfCs are not necessary even for substantive changes to policy. But is that actually true? There is currently an RfC to change the crat activity level to match the recently passed one for admins. Everyone pretty much agrees, and even agreed before the rfc went live, that this was uncontroversial. Yet there was still a feeling that it needed to be an RfC lest a change cause controversy. Several editors (myself included) have noted that it's not always how we did this. So is our policy on changing policies (a phrase that strikes me as so Wikipedian) still what has community consensus or should we be holding an RfC to reword/remove it? Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:41, 20 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I say we just boldly change it. Mostly for the entertaining rip in the timespace continuum that paradox would cause. --Floquenbeam (talk) 16:48, 20 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think RFC's are a great way to discuss major changes to policy and/or how Wikipedia works, as it centralizes discussion and calls attention from the community as a whole and anyone that may be interested in participating. To give an example, there was an RFC about whether administrators should be able to unblock themselves, it was a highly controversial change that wouldn't have worked out any other way without the formal process of an RFC. There was also an RFC about whether to protect user pages by default and an RFC about whether "fuck off" should result in sanctions, both of which also had to go through an RFC. There's also currently a discussion above, where one user made what they thought was an uncontroversial change to the banning policy, just to get reverted and to have to start a discussion here anyway. RFC's seem to be the way we're going for just about any policy change and it's better to be safe and start an RFC unnecessarily, than to "be bold" and make a significant change (or any kind of change) to policy just to get reverted and it result in confrontations (and end up having to start a discussion anyway). WP:TALKFIRST doesn't seem to apply so much anymore, from what I've seen, it seems to have already become community practice that any changes (substantial or not) are to be ran by an RFC. —Mythdon (talkcontribs) 17:54, 20 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Role accounts

At Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Role_account I reported a role account because I knew they weren't allowed and didn't know what the protocol was. Much to my surprise, it seems that there is not a strong consensus there for the outright prohibition on this sort of account. A few concerns were raised:

Some additional problems have been noted with the status quo:

Now, this rule also affects WP:SHAREDACCOUNT and WP:ISU, so any change to our understanding of WP:ROLE would need to be reflected there as well.

Is it time to have this conversation?

jps (talk) 19:15, 20 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Excellent points about using plural self-referential pronouns/adjectives and bots (add them to my above bulleted list)! Eliminating the rule against shared/role accounts would help clarify both of those matters immensely. jps (talk) 20:32, 20 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The other issue is that in Wikipedia everything behavior related presumes and requires individual responsibility for what an account does. There is a saying the for within a group "if everybody is responsible. nobody is responsible." North8000 (talk) 23:32, 20 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

As a narrow example, the entire term "sockpuppet" and all policies and procedures associated with it have no meaning if there is no presumed association between an individual and an account. So if an account does bad stuff and gets blocked, and somebody behind it starts a new role account, they are 100% legal because no person has been blocked. North8000 (talk) 01:03, 21 April 2022 (UTC) (talk) 01:02, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I don't think that's true. If an account gets blocked, then anyone and everyone behind it is blocked. It is not true that "no person has been blocked"; they have all been blocked. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:07, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Currently, English Wikipedia's guidance on role accounts permits approved exceptions to provide a point of contact through email. I can see how it may be potentially useful to allow approved exceptions for organizations that allow a slightly broader set of communication methods. For example, an account could be an official point of contact that edits specific non-article pages. I'm not clear that there is an advantage to Wikipedia in allowing general editing and discussion through a role account versus individual accounts. Individual identity is a big part of how members of an online community build up mental profiles of each member. Having one account change personalities constantly would make this harder. (For the moment, I'm leaving aside the question of an account shared by life partners/best friends/some other closed group of close persons.) isaacl (talk) 02:40, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I think that it is possible that if you knew the account was shared, you would just adjust your theory of mind for the account. I know people are worried that shared accounts would somehow end up wielding undue influence or be given undue deference, but that just isn't really the culture here. Right now, the rule is that we play wack-a-mole with role accounts with pretty strong hammers. I can understand the idea that we might want to encourage people to start individual accounts just as we encourage people to have only one account. But we do permit people to have more than one account and admit there are legitimate reasons to do so and don't require inordinate hoops to jump through to set such a thing up. I presume the same sort of thing could be done for shared and role accounts. jps (talk) 02:53, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think there's a worry about undue influence. I think there's a loss of continuity by having an open-ended set of editors sharing an account, each of which may or may not return or know any past history for the account. This places a burden on the community in managing its interactions with the role account, constantly establishing what context the current user has, and erodes its ability to expect any commitments to be upheld. Serial users, as WhatamIdoing mentioned, would be easier to manage, but I don't see what counterbalancing advantage the community would gain that would warrant trading off having a new individual account, with properly reset privileges and stats. isaacl (talk) 03:17, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
My experience in other online communities that have shared accounts makes me think that this likely wouldn't be an issue. I just don't assume that a shared account has the same continuity as one that is not shared. It's fine. Since Wikipedia discussions tend to be biased towards having a lot of repetition anyway, it may actually be easier here than on Facebook, Twitter, or in one of the many Slack channels where I've experienced this. jps (talk) 03:48, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I find that being able to recall my experiences with a given Wikipedia editor, their discussions, knowledge, interests, and conversational approach help me communicate more effectively and efficiently. I think this benefits both parties, and thus the community as a whole. Given the complex editing ecosystem, I'm loathe to surrender such an important factor, without any significant compensating benefit. isaacl (talk) 04:25, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
No respectable online community with moderation allows account sharing. None. TheNewMinistry (talk) 17:51, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Twitter does. Perhaps you think they are not respectable. jps (talk) 18:25, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
A correct assumption casualdejekyll 18:35, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Twitter is for-profit. Wikipedia is a nonprofit. Your proposal is nakedly acquiescing that profiteering should be allowed on Wikipedia, and now your cited example as the model for restructuring is a for-profit entity. Yikes. TheNewMinistry (talk) 19:02, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Could you please tell us what online communities with moderation you are talking about, TheNewMinistry, because I can't off the top of my head think of any major ones (respectable or not) that don't allow role accounts? Phil Bridger (talk) 19:00, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Question: is it proposed that 'role accounts' be permitted for all organisations, and if so how is 'organisation' going to be defined? AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:34, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Right now "role account" is defined in Wikipedia policy just to disallow such accounts. If we remove the restriction, there would be no more automatic assumption/exhortation that such accounts are to be blocked on sight and no real need to define "organization". jps (talk) 11:38, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Evidently, the proposal is to permit 'role accounts' without actually defining what constitutes one. Can't see that going well... AndyTheGrump (talk) 12:57, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

WP:ROLE, m:Role account. Levivich 15:45, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

We should continue to disallow shared accounts by default. By default: one person needs to agree to the terms of service, one person would be the subject of blocks/bans/other sanctions, one person has authorship of the text they upload. It is a matter of accountability, but also of communication. One of the reasons those in the education program make sure people they work with don't allow students to use group accounts (other than them being against the rules) is because it makes for a communication nightmare -- which student did Wikipedian X speak with? What happens when four separate people ask the same question from the same account? There's only one email attached to the account, so unless that email owner is particularly diligent, how do the others know when there's a notification? There are times when a shared account would be useful, but any mainspace edits they make should be the exception, and we should have a clear process in place for them to go through (including agreements that anyone who uses the account now or in the future goes through some part of the process). If we don't have the capacity for establishing and maintaining such a process, we should continue to err on the side of blocking them all. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 13:47, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

So if hypothetically the Boy Scouts of America were to ask for a role account, and verify that it was them via email, they'd be permitted to give members of their organisation (over a million, from the age of five years upwards) access to the account to edit Wikipedia on behalf of their organisation? AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:43, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think that being a member of an organization automatically makes that member a spokesperson. A role account works on behalf of a group, it is not merely a group ("shared account"). Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 16:26, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Exactly. The Boy Scouts wouldn't give all their million members access to the Boy Scouts' role account, because that role account would speak on behalf of the organization and would be creating works that are attributed to the organization, and the Boy Scouts would be responsible for anything the role account did. Maybe it's worth linking again: WP:ROLE, m:Role account. Levivich 16:36, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
So a role account is only for people contributing 'on behalf of an organisation', as 'spokespersons'? I'd have thought it was going to involve a lot of work verifying that people requesting 'role accounts' only intended to use them for such purposes. Or is the proposal to approve accounts on request, and sort out the inevitable mess afterwards if accounts aren't being used as we'd like? As it stands, the few 'role accounts' permitted anywhere on Wikimedia projects seem to have been set up for very specific purposes, mostly under strict conditions. If the proposal is to broaden this out, we really need to think through the consequences... AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:51, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Welcome to this discussion, where we are thinking through the consequences. :-) But it's consequences for role accounts, not shared accounts. Having clarified that, let me clarify something else: you keep repeatedly mentioning "the proposal". No one has made a proposal. There is no proposal. This is a discussion about whether to make a change to the status quo or not. The purpose here is to think through the consequences of making a change to role accounts, whether to permit them, under what circumstances, what problems might arise and how do we deal with them, etc.
As to "verifying that people requesting 'role accounts' only intended to use them for such purposes", the answer is "same as we do for individual accounts". How do we verify that someone is using an account for intended purposes and not for other purposes, like promotion, spam, harassment, etc.? We read contribs. We have reporting mechanisms. We have blocking, banning, and locking sanctions.
As to "approve accounts on request, and sort out the inevitable mess afterwards if accounts aren't being used as we'd like", that is actually how we operate currently. Anyone who wants an account can just make one, and we sort out the inevitable mess afterwards.
Verification of role accounts can also be done the same way as we verify accounts now (OTRS email).
I think if we allowed role accounts, the "inevitable mess" would be lower than what we have now. As someone pointed out in this discussion (or the one at AN, I forget), right now, if a person who works for Acme, Inc.'s PR department creates "User:Acme Inc. PR", they'll be blocked until they change their username to an individual one, and then they'll be told to disclose in their individual account that they're a paid editor working for Acme Inc.'s PR department (which we do not verify!). That, to me, does not seem to have any benefit, and several drawbacks. I'd rather have one User:Acme Inc. PR than multiple individual accounts for each PR staff member. It's way easier to trace contribs history with one account. Much more accountability, much less overhead. This is part and parcel of the general rule that disclosed paid editors are better than undisclosed paid editors, to which I would add that a role account by the paying customer is better than a disclosed paid editing account, because it provides more transparency, accountability, and oversight.
I appreciate your input and am interested in hearing your thoughts on this, and I don't mean to be giving you a hard time. But please appreciate that those of us who think this is a good idea are not stupid, we're not ignorant, we're not foolishly rushing ahead with any proposals without thinking them through first, etc. There are good reasons for this. There may be good reasons against it, but there are good reasons for it. This isn't some ill-thought-out proposal; it's not a proposal at all. And, again, it's already being done in dewiki. Levivich 17:04, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Ok then, if this isn't a proposal, I'll leave commenting until someone makes one - a properly-defined one. I really don't see the merit of having an abstract conversation about how we deal with 'Acme Inc. PR' through an undefined change in policy that could have repercussions well beyond that particular case that we aren't going to discuss because this isn't a proposal. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:16, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think that there may need to be some thought put into how these different kinds of accounts happen. There are both shared accounts and there are role accounts. I think it might be possible to allow for shared accounts and not role accounts. I guess, in principle, you could also allow for role accounts and not shared accounts, but that seems like it would be a real mess. The arguments against shared accounts seem to be one largely of a culture that has valued the "one person=one account" rule which, if we are going to be honest, isn't always followed even now. The arguments against role accounts seem to be ones largely of a culture which has been concerned about paid editing and corporations trying to control content. Again, if we are being honest, such things are happening now. Just because such things are happening now does not mean that we need to suddenly allow either kind of account, but it seems to me that there is a level of flexibility that is associated with the current enforcement practices with regards to both role and shared accounts. Normally policies and guidelines are supposed to reflect the actual way things get done on Wikipedia. Right now, I perceive some tension there. The account that I identified (whether you think it is a role account or just a shared account we can put aside for now), is still allowed to edit. I think that indicates that there may be an understanding for what is permissible at Wikipedia beyond what our WP:ROLE and WP:SHAREDACCOUNT documentation says right now. That's at the level I'm interested in having the conversation, in any case. jps (talk) 11:56, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The mixed list formatting makes it unclear who's responding to whom here, but @Levivich: I used "shared account" because while the heading says "role accounts," the case that led to this section isn't actually a role account. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 16:40, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Advanced permissions

Personally I don't have a problem with role accounts or shared accounts. I do rather have a problem with any form of shared account that has advanced permissions given on a basis of trust, because I think the trust is vested in the person behind the keyboard. So no advanced permissions should be given to shared accounts, and if it becomes clear that an account with advanced permissions is being used by others, that should be grounds for a sysop to revoke those permissions summarily (i.e. on the sysop's own authority, bypassing discussion or consensus).—S Marshall T/C 05:18, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

By this, I presume you meant he permissions associated with administration. I imagine you are referring to Administrator, CheckUser, Oversight, and Bureaucrat. Or are there also other permissions you think would be problematic for shared/role accounts too? jps (talk) 11:49, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Not just those. I think that the autopatrolled permission (the one that effectively hides you from New Page Patrol) would have value to PR agencies, and they might well be willing to purchase the password to an account that has them. And the Page Mover permission could be problematic in the hands of a vandal.—S Marshall T/C 13:18, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Both of those permissions need to be applied for, of course. In general, I think I agree that granting those permissions should not usually be done. Of course, there are already role accounts which have advanced permissions (e.g. WP:OFFICE). A general rule of thumb seems to make sense to say that shared accounts or role accounts shouldn't be given those permissions without a very good justification and, perhaps, community consensus. jps (talk) 13:27, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Sure, but what I also want to ens ure is that sysops are authorized to revoke those permissions if it becomes clear that the account's not exclusively in the hands of the person who requested them.—S Marshall T/C 14:16, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I feel like that authorization should already exist. If someone sees an account behaving as though it was compromised, emergency removal of permissions would happen whether role or shared or not, right? jps (talk) 14:31, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
They would now, because we currently define an account as "compromised" if it's shared. As I understand it we're dealing with a proposal that would change that definition of "compromised".—S Marshall T/C 14:34, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
As I think someone clarified to AndyTheGrump above, at this point we are not "dealing with a proposal" The OP and firs few people commenting were treating this as a discussion about whether we should have a discussion about changing the current policy. Such a discussion could lead to a proposal, but I don't think we're at the proposal stage yet. I do think at this point we've moved on from having a discussion about having a discussion to actually having a discussion, but I still don't think anyone has proposed anything concrete. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 14:49, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Maybe when someone does, they can include something about advanced permissions.  :)—S Marshall T/C 15:19, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
As I understand it we're dealing with a proposal that would change that definition of "compromised". Agreed. I think we should focus more on unauthorized access rather than multiple individual access. Of course, evidence of misbehavior could also be considered prima facie evidence that permissions should be removed regardless of whether the account is actually "compromised". jps (talk) 17:38, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
FWIW I can't imagine a situation where a role account would need or use any permission beyond EC. A role account isn't supposed to be doing "general" editing, but only a specific task/function/role/purpose/what-have-you. So User:Acme, Inc. should only be editing articles about Acme, Inc., not patrolling for vandalism, creating new articles about athletes, or moving pages. Not even voting in RFCs. It's a role account, it's supposed to stick to its role. As for shared, non-role accounts, I'd have similar hesitations about advanced perms, but then I also don't really see a reason why shared, non-role accounts would be a good idea to allow. Levivich 16:12, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I can imagine a situation where a role or shared account might want to be a WP:RESEARCHER. jps (talk) 17:38, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I am going to echo what others have said regarding accountability and shared accounts. S Marshall made the point I was going to make regarding how this would potentially affects our understanding of compromised accounts, so I will add some thoughts on that. By the very nature of how MediaWiki handles accounts, there isn't a method for sharing an account without multiple people sharing the account's password. That makes the account weaker from a security perspective for a variety of reasons. This is not the case for bots because bot operators can utilize bot passwords (among other things) to access the account without granting every operator full access.
Additionally, since multiple people are going to be accessing the same account anyways, it's going to be more difficult on our end to respond to the bad actor in the event of a compromise. –MJLTalk 06:51, 23 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Of course, if a role account is limited to one person at a time, then most of my above points are moot (since once a new person gains access to the account to replace the old, they should just immediately change the password to prevent unauthorized access from the previous account holder). –MJLTalk 06:56, 23 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Proposed amendment to WP:NPOV

I propose that we add to WP:NPOV:

Evidence and arguments for viewpoints should be clearly articulated in proportion to due weight. Viewpoints should not be subtly undermined by only reporting that certain people or groups hold a viewpoint without clearly explaining the reasoning that they provide in order to create a false impression that due weight has been given to the viewpoint.

Or, alternatively,

When measuring the weight an article gives to viewpoints and comparing it to due weight suggested by reliable sources, the weight that an article gives to a viewpoint should be measured mostly by the amount and detail of the arguments and evidence that are provided in favour of the viewpoint, and not the amount of coverage allocated to attributing the viewpoint to individuals or groups.

I believe this is important because, in many articles, you can see a certain viewpoint being represented only in terms of "X states that he agrees with Y" or "Z denies that this has occurred". This makes it look like these viewpoints are being represented in proportion to due weight, but, in reality, they are only being put there to be discredited by the coverage being given to other viewpoints, which usually does name the actual evidence and arguments. This is not true NPOV. Ipnsaepl28 (talk) 17:08, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Ipnsaepl28, I think I need more information here. What are you trying to accomplish? What problem needs to be solved (and that can't be solved the same way)?
My current best-guess is that the problem you've found sounds something like "Alice says the Earth is round, but Bob denies this". This would give too much weight to the Flat Earthers. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:44, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Without going into details, I think a lot of this type of rebuttal aspects would be better satisfied by codifying RECENTISM into NPOV better. We should be far less focused on opinion given to a topic in the short term (which is the type that seems to want to draw this rebuttal aspects), and wait for events to settle to then use RSes to determine the majority viewpoints well after the fact. --Masem (t) 23:00, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I have some sympathies for your support of the Wikipedia:Recentism essay. OTOH, our most popular articles are frequently about breaking news. Readers really want that from us, even though it isn't possible to write a full, complete, traditional encyclopedia article about any event that is still in progress. It's all well and good for an editor to say that in principle there should be no articles about the Covid pandemic until the pandemic is over and the scholars have written multiple books about it, but that's not going to happen. Realistically, we can't even stop people from writing about things that haven't even happened yet (e.g., Wikipedia:Notability (films)#Future films, incomplete films, and undistributed films, Wikipedia:Notability (events)#Future events – both of which allow articles to be created in advance of a film being released or a major event taking place, so long as you have sources indicating that it is "almost certain" to happen.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:26, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
We can cover breaking news from the objective stance, its when we rush to include the talking-heads commentary - where NPOV comes into play - that is where the problems happen. We shouldn't be trying to assess sides of current events, even if it is clear if there is a side. And when there is such a clear case for one (eg as in the case of the current Russia Ukraine war where nearly all of the world is united against Russia on that), we still should try to avoid getting far too deep into the opinions around that and focus more on the objective reasons why the global opinion is this way. That's still covering breaking news, just not in the emphatic way that mainstream news gets into. --Masem (t) 16:44, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The example re:flat earth is inapplicable. The earth being round is a fact, and any article that includes the blown flat-earth hypothesis and does not mention it as such is biased. The OP seems to be about weight between viewpoints, not between a fact and a non-fact. (talk) 00:38, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
My proposal would not give additional airtime to flat-earthers or other WP:FRINGE viewpoints. As I stated in my proposal, Evidence and arguments for viewpoints should be clearly articulated in proportion to due weight.
The issue I'm trying to respond to is this: let's say that the prominence of viewpoint A and viewpoint B in reliable sources is such that each deserves equal weight in coverage. In other words, neither is a fringe viewpoint. In the status quo, you can make it look like you've given 50:50 weight while actually being biased in favour of A by describing specific arguments and lines of reasoning people have raised in support of A, while listing inane statements like "X, Y, and Z have said that they support B", "X says that A is harmful", "Y denies that an argument raised in favour of A is true" for viewpoint B. This way, the article is, in effect, supporting A. Ipnsaepl28 (talk) 14:48, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Giving equal weight to two or more POVs does not preclude that one or more of them may be true fringe viewpoints (as opposed to fringe viewpoints that are so-named by opponents of those viewpoints). But your overall point has merit, and it does reflect a real situation. However, one could say that the current wording on due weight is sufficient, just at times not applied correctly. I wonder if wading further into explanations may turn out to be counterproductive. The proposed language may seem very confusing (which would require even further explanation), and the formulation may be cherry-picked in endless arguments/wikilawyering. (talk) 15:04, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Wikipedia's approach is to work from concrete examples, rather than abstract theory, so it would be useful to have some examples of how this proposal would change some actual articles. Phil Bridger (talk) 16:38, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I'm with Phil Bridger here. The OP obviously has a specific event or events that led them down this path to need to change policy, there has to be some example articles where the change in policy would be necessary to fix. Can we get some of those so we know what we're dealing with? For example, I could read the OP wanting us to restrict reporting on what political positions that say, a public servant has taken in the course of their career. That seems actually relevant to know that "X, Y, and Z have said that they support B" where X, Y, and Z are politicians, and B is a bill before the legislature they wanted to pass. I don't think that is what they mean, but without concrete examples, I don't know what we're trying to fix. --Jayron32 16:49, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Ipnsaepl28 edited Libs of TikTok right before posting here, --Ahecht (TALK
) 06:10, 23 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The connection, if any, is unclear to me. (talk) 19:14, 24 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]