User talk:Bilby

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Hello Bilby, and welcome to Wikiversity! If you need help, feel free to visit my talk page, or contact us and ask questions. After you leave a comment on a talk page, remember to sign and date; it helps everyone follow the threads of the discussion. The signature icon Button sig.png in the edit window makes it simple. To get started, you may

And don't forget to explore Wikiversity with the links to your left. Be bold to contribute and to experiment with the sandbox or your userpage, and see you around Wikiversity! If you're a twitter user, please follow --Ottava Rima (talk) 14:08, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Thankyou. :) - Bilby 14:21, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Your reversion of my close.[edit source]

[1]. Involvement in a discussion on Wikiversity does not delegitimate the close if there is no objection to the closing result. Are you disagreeing with the close, do you believe that the discussion needs more time, or are you just making a formal objection based on the fact that I commented in the discussion? I'm not involved in the topic itself. Thanks. --Abd 03:09, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

At a certain level of involvement, it seems very unwise to close - a passing comment of keep or delete may not remove the idea that the editor can be impartial, but multiple posts on the topic in line with a particular perspective is somewhat more problematic. When the decision isn't clear, as in this case, it seems even more valuable for an impartial third party to make the decision. I don't know if it needs more time, but it seems to me that as this isn't an urgent case, allowing more time either for more discussion or a uninvolved close seems sensible. - Bilby 03:14, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
The problem has been a shortage of people willing to close these discussions. If my close is not controversial, my feeling is that it should be allowed to stand. We may see that everyone who even watches RfD might have commented. If there is no continuing comment, I've found, mostly a close gets the issue off the decks, so to speak. If someone wants to renominate, it could stimulate new discussion, but for a page to sit under a deletion threat for long time can repress contributions. I learned on Wikipedia, the hard way, that Article Rescue Squadron could be a waste of time.
When I make an "involved close," it means that I've expressed an opinion on the issue. I've asked that such a close may be reverted by any registered user, but not the nominator. That's not been respected, and we have a nominator, who is not highly experienced with Wikiversity, who seems to want to keep deletion discussions open for as long as ... it's not clear! ... he cited one discussion that's been open for about nine months. You know, on Wikipedia, deletion discussions are closed after so many days, and if there is no consensus, that's the close (i.e., it defaults to keep). There is a reason for that. If deletion requests pile up, people stop paying attention to them.
I am *not* involved with the article, but I noted that quite a bit of the argument in the RfD was about the editor who started it, and about issues that don't lead to a deletion reason relevant to Wikiversity. That's why I commented so much. I still believe that I read the consensus. If you agree with that, then why not close it yourself? If if you disagree, the same? --Abd 05:26, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
I suspect that no consensus is fairly close - I was reading it as a narrow delete until SB Johnny's comments. However, it is close enough that I'd rather hold out to have a custodian close - I think WP's attitude, that clear closes can be called by anyone uninvolved, but ones that require more consideration should be closed by an admin, makes a degree of sense. :)
To be honest, in this case I don't see a problem with letting it stand a little longer, as the worst case scenario is that material that isn't within scope stays for longer than necessary. What worries me more is that "Inexplicable physics articles" hasn't been closed, given that it has been there a lot longer, has clearer consensus, and potentially contains copyright violations. There is a degree of urgency there that isn't (yet) necessary for the Bible translation. but I guess there we have to wait on a custodian's decision. - Bilby 08:01, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

File:Hw2 12 11.jpg & File:Hw2 12 21.jpg[edit source]

Thanks for tagging these. I wonder if we should instead contact the instructor of the course instead? The students may or may not return to see the message. In any case, I agree that it's less of an issue because it's code. There's a reasonable assumption that the uploader is the original author (artist?), but it's still entirely possible that it's the instructor's code, or passed on from another student etc. Draicone (talk) 16:33, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Hi Draicone! Currently I'm working my way through all of the files that don't have licenses using a process that I'm hoping fits within Wikiversity's model. Those two images were part of the first round, when I tagged unlicensed images that weren't being used in the project. So I guess it would make sense to contact the instructor as well, and I'm really happy to do so, but as the images aren't being used anywhere on Wikiversity I saw them as a fairly light-weight problem. I'm not tagging anything for speedy if it is used somewhere, as I'd rather not see any of the resources lessened when we might have been able to fix the problem another way. :)
I'd love any feedback from you on this. So if you don't mind a longer explanation, the next step is to contact the people who uploaded any images that are only used in userspace and let them know that there is a concern, but not to nominate the files for deletion. I hadn't intended to contact instructors as well, as these images are almost exclusively photos of the uploaders, but I'm really happy to do so if you think that would be a step worth taking. If they haven't been licensed or I haven't heard back after a month has passed, the next step is to tag them for speedy and explain to the users again what is happening, offering to help if I can.
The other set of problem images are those which are unlicensed and in mainspace. I plan to correct the license where I can, then (if I can't fix it) contact then instructors, the uploaders, and leave a message on the talk pages for a month, before then taking them to a deletion discussion if there are any problems.
Is this ok? If not, I'm happy to change what I'm doing, contact more people, or drop the idea. I think, though, that we'll have to tackle this due to WMF policy, but given that we're well behind the schedule the WMF set, I don't see a problem with taking longer to get it done in the best manner for the project. :) - Bilby 22:55, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Templates[edit source]

Bilby!! Thank you so much for your work on Template:Essay review. I posted a message for help on Colloquium before class, came out of class to find you had done it all for me! I can't say enough how appreciative I am for this, and sincerely hope you make it to RCC12 next year and I'll buy you a drink. Big thanks, you can watch the template in action on pages listed here over the coming weeks: and I will post a thankyou note for your work on the BPS2012 course website: Leighblackall 04:11, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Hi! I'm glad I coud help. :) - Bilby 01:54, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Hi Bilby, great work with Leighblackall, do you think you could have a look at a similar thing on wikibooks? We are stuck with making customisations - --Ben Rattray 01:28, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
No problems at all - just let me know what you want done, or where I can find that, and I'll take care of it asap. :) - Bilby 04:23, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Cheers Bilby. It's the template on the link above, which we have also been trying to make work at On the template page we have made notes about what we are trying to do... mainly display numerical numbers instead of images, and be able to score using numerical numbers. Also, the marking criteria box doesn't seem to be displaying all our fields, it doesn't include "recommendations", can't find the typo if that's it. --Ben Rattray 06:02, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
No hassles then - I hsoudl be able to have a shot at it tonight. - Bilby 06:08, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks[edit source]

[2]. I knew to do that but simply did not have time. Thanks for turning the redlink into a working link. --Abd 16:01, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

No problem. When I get the chance, I'll see if I can add some documentation to the page, as I think that might be helpful. - Bilby 01:53, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Your edit to a user page[edit source]

Please don't remove an image link from a user page, even if is a redlink.[3] It was certainly acceptable to deletion-tag that file, but this is probably a case of user error in describing the licensing, and that should be investigated before the file is deleted. I find there to be an unaddressed issue with regard to user pages. If a user has an image of themselves, but they wish to license it for use on Wikiversity, not for general usage, should the user be able to place it on their user page. The WMF fair use and our present WV:EDP imply that this could not be done, but the purpose of that policy actually does not relate to the personal user page, where a personal photo does serve an educational purpose, introducing the user to our collaborative learning community. This will be one of the issues to be discussed in our review of the EDP.

I removed the tag and replaced it with a Slow deletion category, to ensure that this doesn't fall through the cracks. There is, as I'm sure you know, no emergency about these licensing issues (unless there is clear harm to a copyright owner).

I have notified the user. --Abd 17:00, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Revert warring[edit source]

Uh, Bilby, you reverted me without discussion. This is harmful to our relationship with the user, and is revert warring. Stop it, please. What is on the page is not the file, but a link to the file. If there were an emergency, it would be the file that would be deleted, not the link on the page. If there is a copyright problem, it is not with that link. Users can have as many redlinks on their user page as they wish, you have no right to remove them. I request that you revert your removal of the link. Thanks. --Abd 17:08, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid you seem to be mistaken. It is the file, not a link, that is on her user page. Clearly there is nothing wrong with linking to non-free files from userspace. - Bilby 17:12, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Bilby, that's weird. You contradicted yourself. Indeed, there is nothing wrong with linking to any file on the wiki, in user space, even if the file has been deleted. The policy you are relying upon refers to uploads and what is kept in File space (and also to text in user space, if there is textual copyvio, which does not apply here). What is on the user page is text including a link to the file.
For reference: [4] your removal and your revert. Notice that what you removed and reverted was a link to an image, not an image. The image is in filespace: File:Jibby.jpg. You seem to think that the policy prevents display of the image, but removing the link does not prevent display of the image, and display exists unless the file is deleted. --Abd 18:01, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Umm, actually Abd, you're mistaken about this. Fair-use images can only be displayed on pages for which there is a fair-use rationale for them. They cannot be transcluded anywhere. The "display" of the image anywhere apart from on the page where fair use is claimed, and on the file page if and only if there is at least one non-free educational usage. Otherwise, the file should be deleted and all transclusions should be removed. --Simone 18:07, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Assume good faith here. Bilby's edit summary justified his reversion of you, and he's quite willing to discuss the issue with you. One revert is not "revert warring". --Simone 18:10, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
It is, Simone. Revert warring is the repeated assertion of a state that the user himself or herself established. Thus a single revert of a change made by a user is not revert warring, it's restoring the status quo. But a reversion of that, without negotiation, is revert warring. Revert warring can be justified, but the interest protected should be crucial. If I'd reverted, myself, that would have been revert warring. There is no issue around assumption of good faith or failure to assume it. Bilby's revert was improper, and was based on a complete misunderstanding. There is no policy violation involved in that page. If there is a policy violation, it is with the file itself, not with a link to the file.
Yes, fair use rationale was missing. There are two issues here: if this is a "fair use" image, in our meaning of fair use, not what the user thought it meant, then a rationale is required for each usage, and that was missing. However, odds are at this point that it's not actually a fair use image, that the user has the rights. She might not. We need to know. So we've asked.
But you do have a point. If an image is under fair use, with a specific page rationale, what if it's used somewhere else? Without a rationale. Indeed, in that case, there could be grounds for removal. Or for requiring a rationale!
In my view, our primary goal here should be assisting the user. Deleting the file is not assisting the user. Requiring proper licensing can be thought of as pure enforcement, deleting what does not have proper licensing. But we can also think of it as assisting users to provide proper licensing, and only when they ignore or refuse this, then we apologize and delete. I'll say this again: there is no emergency in this. Period. If there is copyright violation here, it is a violation on the part of the user, not the WMF. (And I could be held liable if there were a real problem, but the chances of that are so slim that I'd be better off worrying about a meteor strike.).
Abd, I've already gone through with you why it violates our policy on fair use images. I have nothing more to say with you about this. You simply don't seem to realize the importance of dealing with copyright issues. Simone 18:28, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Just to clarify: it is against policy to use a fair use image in userspace. And the user added the fair use tag when uploading the image, thus there is no reason to assume that this is not what she wanted. My best guess is that she was unaware that only free-use images are acceptable in userspace. She might wish to relicense the file, or upload a separate one. But at the moment the file can't be used. - Bilby 18:32, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
And unlicensed/unused fair use files should be deleted at sight. Simone 18:35, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

This is not about tagging the file, it is about revert warring over a removal of a link from a user page by someone not the user. I've restored the link, because "unused" should not be a deletion reason here. We allow files to remain while under discussion, if they are used. Do not revert war over this, Bilby. --Abd 18:01, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

I have left a message on your talk page. This behaviour is unbecoming of a custodian - you are providing misleading edit summaries, misleading the user, and reverting to include an image that is against policy. - Bilby 18:03, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
I responded there. Since Simone reverted me, I have now edited the page to display a link to the file, not the file itself, to eliminate your cause for removal, but still leave the page linked to the file if someone, interested in the RFD, looks at "what links here. I still assert this position: links to the file should not be removed and then the file deleted on the argument that it is not used. Users should have the opportunity to correct licensing problems or otherwise contest such deletions, our standard practice is seven days minimum. --Abd 21:27, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
I have no problem with a link to the file. Had you added this at the outset, as you stated you were doing, there wouldn't have been a problem. That should be fine. - Bilby 21:30, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Ditto. --Simone 22:24, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Now my ditto. Had you inserted a colon in the filename after my objection to total removal, I'd not have made that second revert. What is there is a link in either case, what changes is only display. --Abd 23:28, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

File:Fe1.s11.team1.hw1.fig1.jpg[edit source]

Hi ! You tagged this image as "NowCommons", but I can't find any version of this file on Commons. Would you be able to point me to it ? Thanks. --Simone 11:35, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, I seem to have stuffed that up. The Commons file is commons:File:Elastic_bar_hw_1.jpg. I've updated the page that uses it here to point to the commons version. I'll be a tad more careful with these now. :) - Bilby 11:41, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
No problem: the work you're doing is great. I just can't delete the file here unless I know where it is on Commons ! --Simone 11:45, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I've fixed the ones with the bad links, and I promise not to rely on tools so much for this. :) - Bilby 11:51, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
If you're looking for images with copyright issues, none of the images at Special:UncategorizedImages have proper licenses. --Simone 13:22, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
They're on my list. :) My plan at the moment is to finish auditing the non-free images situation, with occasional slight diversions. I'm up to 'P', so I'm getting close there. Then I'll focus on files without copyright tags. It seems they're a bit trickier here, although I would have expected them to be easier to handle. - Bilby 13:29, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
There's a "slow deletion" process - through Category:Files needing copyright information and the associated template. There's a huge sysop backlog there, however, and you'll notice I've still got hundreds of files to review. Some of the files without tags can be appropriately licensed due to explicit permission for fair use or the files being clearly public domain, but probably around 70 or 80% need to be deleted. --Simone 14:40, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I'll move back to that next, in that case. I'd like to finish the fair-use audit, mostly because I want to know the extent of the problem - my real question is how wide the grey area is. But with that almost done, I can focus on this bigger problem again. I'd like to help, although I feel that I'm dropping a lot of work on you to handle the deletions. :) - Bilby 14:57, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I can edit while I'm at work, so don't worry about my time =). Going through the fair-use files is great, and I'd finish that before anything else. You should consider requesting custodianship at some point in the future - you're a very competent editor, and we've only just got enough active sysops at the moment for routine maintenance.
It might be a good idea to make your images with problems list a Wikiversity project page - it could possibly encourage more users to get involved with our little cleanup drive here. --Simone 20:21, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I'll move the image list across once I've categorised it. What I'm looking for is an idea of the types of problems, so once I categorise it we can know where the focus should be. So I'll do that next, and then there will be more room to discuss how the EDP should be applied to the less blatant problems, and it would be of more use to share the data. In regard to custodianship, I'll think about that, and thanks for the nice words - it would be nice to be able to fix some problems without making work for others, but what I'm really looking forward to is working on content again. :) - Bilby 06:19, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Well, lacking a license is a problem in itself. With the fair use files, we have fair use files with no clear educational purpose, such as File:Book-of-eli2.jpg, File:AWFschool.png, files which are potentially replaceable, such as File:Footmimic.jpg, File:Magic mirror.jpg, copyrighted images of users used only in their userspace (File:Pearawiie.jpg), fair use files only used in educational material in userspace File:Navya1.jpg (I suggest moving the project into mainspace to deal with this issue?)., fair use files which are good fair use but have inadequate rationales File:EbaraBallard.JPG. Apart from the replaceable files, which I think should be all deleted, most of these cases need some discussion, and it would be good to start a process in Wikiversity space to deal with them once we've got through all the uncontroversial ones. Simone 08:59, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

New template[edit source]

I've created Template:No description for files without filled in description boxes. It would be great if you added it to files you reviewed with this particular issue. --Simone 10:50, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Shall do. Thanks! - Bilby 10:54, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
In a similar vein, Template:Bad Fairuse may also be pretty useful. Just remember to substitute it, not transclude it. --Simone 11:02, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Btw, if you have an opinion on my request for custodianship, feel free to voice it. Simone 11:47, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
I intend to,. but it is a tad involved. :) - Bilby 11:48, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Thank you[edit source]

[5], ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 13:12, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

No problem. Once again, my apologies for making the mistake in the first place. - Bilby 13:13, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
Why? it lead to a general improvement for the future [6], so it was a good edit by you, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 13:16, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
I prefer discovering problems before I cause them. :) But yes, I think DarkLama's addition is great. - Bilby 13:19, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
If you learn from the mistakes you can discover problems next time. If you share what you've learned from the mistakes, you can possibly help other people to discover problems before causing them too. -- darklama  13:40, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
True, but as I used to argue when teaching some of my students, there is a near infinite number of ways of getting something wrong, and comparatively few ways of getting it right. We have a tendency to discover entirely new and more novel ways of stuffing up. :) I do strongly believe in acknowledging it when I do, though, because there is always something to be learned. - Bilby 13:43, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
Also forget to mention, if you share what you've learned from the mistakes, you can also help people to understand ways to solve problems. If there are resources you were learning from to help you understand best practices at Wikiversity, you could help to improve them by sharing what you've learned. -- darklama  13:50, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
I plan to, although on the whole I'm finding that there are a lack of resources to learn from, which I guess is a finding in itself. - Bilby 13:52, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Your image work[edit source]

Bilby, I don't have much time right now, but I'm suggesting that you, as to the issue of non-free images, that you proceed with categorization of images according to licensing problems. The more uniform each category you define, the easier it will be to obtain a community consensus on deletion. What's important here is to build structure and procedure that avoids the Scylla and Charybdis of offending and placing undue burden on users, or allowing issues to fall through the cracks. Let's work to avoid both of those. While you could put speedy deletion tags on pages, that's a crude category. If more highly specified categories are used, we can much more easily handle the issues with plenty of notice and with consensus. Actual deletions are quick when the issues are clearly identified and agreed upon.

Consider yourself welcome to invite me to delete an entire category. Assuming you have done your work well, I would do one of two things: delete every file in it, or suggest you RfD the category (or do that myself), there is precedent for that. As long as users are properly notified, as they should be for speedy deletions as well, it should not be a problem. --Abd 04:06, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

I have to admit that current consensus seems to be to get this handled as much as possible now. Naturally, the aim will be to continue to avoid placing undue burden on others, and I'm happy to change any practises based on community input. I don't think categories will help much, though - they will tend to place an additional level of bureaucracy, and will tend to remove the ability to treat each image in its own right, leading to the risk of automatic deletions that I'd like to see avoided. Of course, if that's the direction the community wants to head in, I'll be happy to go that way. - Bilby 04:50, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
Oops. I missed that you had referred to both offending and placing an undue burden on others - I have no wish to offend anyone, either, so I do everything I can to avoid that as well. :) - Bilby 05:37, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

I'm glad you commented[edit source]

Thanks (I'm just on phone, just wanted to say that for now). Will reply soon, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 13:02, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

I was not sure what TAM meant, so did not reply for that part. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 14:11, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
Technology Acceptance Model - short version is that a new technology (or process, or whatever) is accepted through a combination of perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. If it is easy, but not very useful, it may be accepted, or if it is is useful, but not very easy, it might get taken up, and if it is both you have a winner. But have neither and you're stuffed.
In relation to the discussion, if you want to capture some of what you raise, the workload may increase, so it won't necessarily be seen as easy to use. So either that has to be changed, or it needs to be seen as very useful. I prefer the former, but most often seem to retreat to the latter. - Bilby 14:24, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
I see, if it is perceived as (additional) "work" the easiest form in my view is: having just a blog. Must not be formal, can also be in form of 1-2 sentence entries. Also the view may be different than the mentors on things. As long as it shows the mindset. Because even if I have a different view on things, I can still act in the role of a custodian.
I'll formulate that better... ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 14:33, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
I think the issue with TAM isn;t that you have to make the process easier, but you may have the option of making it to be perceived as more useful. There was a project I was overseeing a few years back where we could;t make the process easy. But we could distribute it to people who had vested interests in the outcome, as they saw aspects as being useful. We combined that with modifying the workflow so that the tasks became a part of their standard process, and therefore seemed no harder than what they did before.
This is just thinking off the top of my head, so don't put too much weight on it. But if you can make the process seem valuable in and of itself, to the person doing it, you don't need to make it easier. It doesn't even need to be genuinely useful - just appear to be so. :) - Bilby 14:48, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
Any comments are appreciated, since they help me. Thanks :-) Keep on pouring your thoughts also to other editors please. ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 15:05, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

Please can you clarify something[edit source]

What, precisely, is your objection to my editing on WV? I have never been banned or blocked here, and so far as I am aware nobody has ever suggested I should be, until now. Are there any of my edits here that give you cause for concern?--Poetlister 17:06, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm afraid that I've never looked into you case, although I'm generally aware of it, so I don't have an opinion at this time on the appropriateness of the global ban. My interest is only in policy as regards global bans once enacted, and there seems to be a lack of clarity on this. - Bilby 20:53, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Actual practice has been clear: global bans are not enforced, except sometimes through locks. What a lock does is to set a default for an account: unusable. But local wikis may defeat this. This is quite the same as with other global tools: global blocks may be locally bypassed, local wikis may bypass the global spam blacklist. It's done all the time. However, a global lock has no local exception list, and that's been considered a bug, albeit with very low attention to it, since the intention of global locks was to prevent easy vandalism and spamming through SUL. It was never intended as a mechanism to be used to globally ban regular users.
I see you have raised the issue at meta. The problem with this is that it's asking the wrong people. The answers you will get at meta will depend on who even notices the discussion, unless there is canvassing (which is a reasonable possibility, based on who is editing that page). Meta is not watched by the vast majority of WMF users. The intention is as a coordinating wiki, definitely meta was not designed to be a WMF government, with sovereign power over individual wikis. So it's like asking other people if they should control us. You may find some people quite ready to do that! I've seen some tendency for meta to attract these kinds of users. I've seen, for example, Wikipedia reliable sourcing policy used to justify a blacklisting of a web site, on the claim that it was useless and thus even some small hint of improper usage would justify blacklisting, since it would be harmless, there being "no legitimate use," even though this was, in fact, a misinterpretation and overgeneralization of Wikipedia policy, and the blacklistings I'm talking about caused massive damage in the form of frustrated users, until they were finally lifted. --Abd 23:53, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Fair enough. I'll pass the message directly on to the WMF, as I assume they would be the right people to ask. The question is not "should Wikiversity override a global ban" but "can Wikiversity override a global ban". The former is a question for Wikiversity, while the latter is a question for the WMF. - Bilby 23:56, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree that it's a question that the WMF could rule on, but I'll say this much: if they don't want Wikiversity to be run by Wikiversitans, they are welcome to run it themselves, and they have the legal right to insist on this, but not to require us to supply the free labor. I think they are aware of the problem, and I rather doubt that the WMF will be issuing a ruling on this, unless it's to confirm what has been the status quo for a very long time: local autonomy, with meta not being in charge of the local wikis. When a local wiki can't run itself, they shut it down. But we can run our own wiki, it's doing fine, and other wikis are not being damaged by activity here. --Abd 03:18, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Whether or not other wikis are being damaged by activity here is a matter of perspective. I'm not convinced they are, but it is something that could be argued. However, in terms of general direction: I'm aware that the WMF appear to be viewing their role as more than just providing hosting services, and thus they see that they have a role to play in shepherding and developing the wider Wikimedia movement. How that relates to local wikis is unclear, but it is impacting other areas of the community. Equally, the new Terms of Use are changing the autonomy of local Wikis, in that local wikis and the community still retain editorial control, but there are more defined limits covering behaviour as well as content. I don't know if that should impact the current discussion, but it looks like the WMF is not so inclined to be hands-off in the future, or are at least allowing for the possibility of more direct involvement in certain kinds of problems. - Bilby 04:46, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
The WMF obviously has an interest in encouraging and supporting the communities. I'll note, though, that the members of the Board who have participated in discussions have explicitly stated that they are not representing the Board, and one specifically said he'd be recusing on the issue if it comes up. I've read the proposed TOS, and, remarkably, Poetlister was not in violation of those terms. As to damage of other wikis by activities here, sure, you can assert perspective, but you have not asserted what you see that might be different. The only credible claim I've seen is a speculation that Poetlister might send emails from his account here. But this is the kicker, Bilby. The global lock does not prevent sending of email. Indeed, part of the insanity here is that this is a user whose prime offense was the creation and use of many socks in the past. All the "enforcement action" cannot prevent that unless Poetlister voluntarily complies. He's been complying, as far as we know. No undisclosed socks have come to the surface since Longfellow, and, as you might know, Longfellow was indeed disclosed, only privately to 'crats and checkusers. This man has been pursued, hounded, for what he did years ago. But because those pursuing and hounding are "upstanding members of the community," even arbitrators, it's tolerated.
It's being claimed that this community has a duty to enforce the global ban. From precedent, that's clearly false, this "duty" has been made up. The arguments were made in 2010, repeatedly, and rejected by a number of WMF wikis, and there was no blowback, unless this affair is blowback. The only difference with the "ban" of Thekohser and this one is that the former was a "defacto ban," where there was no formal process undertaken, there was merely a refusal by any steward to unlock. It was asserted as a ban, blocks were justified on that basis, etc. And where the communities considered it, they mostly rejected it. Further, the acts involved in declaring the ban (here, on Wikiversity) led to the loss of Founder tools by Jimbo, as a result of a massive RfC at meta. When that was started, it was over the Wikiversity actions, but when Jimbo also asserted authority on Commons, what was running about 2:1 against the proposal to remove, became about 4:1 in favor, with over 500 voting. That discussion shows something. If you look at the initial voting, you'll see the meta regulars voting. But among those in favor were some long-term, highly respected users. What might be called the "claque" was opposed, and so it looked like that RfC might be ignored. My standing joke about this was, "You can take away my academic freedom, so what? But don't touch my porn." The point, though, is that the real communities are very much in favor of local autonomy, it's important to them, but they mostly ignore what's happening at meta because it normally does not affect them. This is, now, an attempt by users who concentrate and watch meta -- or who are canvassed by those who do -- to assert their control over the individual wikis. They are not engaged in building this community, and many of them detest it, I've been watching this for almost two years now.
This is highly dangerous and disruptive. It could badly damage the relationship between the WMF and the editorial communities. WMF wikis depend heavily on local communities, users who develop a community spirit and who work together for a focused goal, that of the individual wiki. People dislike being dominated by others, most people, anyway.
The principle that users banned elsewhere could come here and work on educational resources has well served this community, and there have only been problems with what might be called "wiki studies," which can, if care is not exercised, degenerate into creating attack pages to continue disputes that belong elsewhere, not here. One of the reasons I supported Thekohser's being able to edit here, and was willing to tolerate Moulton for a time, was that they were heavily concerned with what they considered ethical violations elsewhere (and they were at least partially correct). I hoped they would participate in creating ethical standards for research here. That did not materialize, because Moulton simply continued vendettas and it was necessary to return to a ban for him, effectively. Thekohser did not create disruption here, and did a little good work, but didn't do any heavy lifting. People are different, situations are different. Poetlister came here to do work on educational resources, that's clear. There is not a snowball's chance in hell that he'd be given advanced privileges here any time in the near future. This is openly him. Longfellow would have been made an admin on Wikisource, but the deal under which he was operating there required disclosure of his identity within a certain time, he would not have been given advanced privileges (i.e., 'crat or checkuser). What has been demonstrated is that when Poetlister is free to work, he does good work. The situation here had become ideal: he was known, so he could not repeat former problems, but he was protected from harassment. That was considered intolerable by some, hence the ban proposal at meta, based on absolutely no current risk.
Bilby, you are one of the few critics of my work who appears to be here to build educational resources. I welcome that. Please understand that I have not only the welfare of Wikiversity at heart, but also the welfare of the whole WMF family, including Wikipedia. Wikiversity channels energy that would be disruptive on Wikipedia into useful content here, and I could show many examples. I'm one, by the way. I'm basically too busy here to bother with Wikipedia. Poetlister active here, building resources (he's a statistician, I think, and is also seriously interested in Bible translation, a work in which I have some interest myself, though I'm a Muslim) is Poetlister not making trouble elsewhere, and being "exposed," where, should a steward care to check, his IP is visible, making it easier to detect any clandestine activity elsewhere, should that be taking place. I agree that there is risk from Poetlister, for what someone has done once, they might do again. But societies don't keep "criminals" in jail just because they might re-offend. Rather, they maintain records, they watch, when they are functional. They provide channels for positive activities. Indeed, healthy societies actually support criminals in positive activities. Continuing punishment beyond the necessities of immediate protection backfires. It forces the criminals into continued criminal activity, because that's about all that's left for them. I've worked with real criminals, I was a chaplain at San Quentin State Prison. Given the opportunity, these are good people, most of them. There are, certainly, psychopaths, but they are pretty rare, and only the stupid ones get caught. The others become "upstanding members of the community" and wreak havoc in ways not so easily detected and stopped. They may get elected to high office. Think "Adolf Hitler." Very popular. If you want to notice them, notice what they demand of others, what they promote and advocate, they hate what is human, they condemn others.
Poetlister was not a criminal, but he did violate community norms, especially unstated ones, and some that were stated, such as socking. I've studied his history, and the alleged (and substantiated) claims. In the ban discussion, it's clear, there were many users who were simply holding stereotyped views of what Poetlister had done, and it's become sound-bite quality: "identity theft," for example. That's a criminal offense, and Poetlister did not commit it. I have not psychoanalyzed Poetlister, and we should avoid that, but to me, he's a human being, and human beings are different (as well as similar in certain ways). The issue for me is always, how can we cooperate? When people are rejected and cast out, unless you can actually eliminate them, which obviously brings problems of its own, they remain and become increasingly disruptive. It doesn't work. Give them positive avenues, where they can be recognized and appreciated, they will act positively. We've shown that again and again on Wikiversity, but if the "global ban" trend continues, that's over, I'm sure of it. It will be a loss, and not just a loss for us. A loss for Wikipedia as well. --Abd 14:23, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Just a couple of quick points in relation to the above:
  • The new Terms of Use specifically forbid harassment, intentionally adding false content, impersonating another person, and infringing copyright - all issues of which I believe Poetlister has been accused. But whether or not you feel his actions could (or should) be encompassed by these, the section I was mostly referring to was "Management of Websites", which enshrines the draft Global Ban policy. As Poetlister was banned under a process that would meet that policy, this section will give the WMF cause to step in and block any new accounts.
  • The difference between the WMF's actions now and the previous events is that they have deliberately distanced themselves from the global ban decision. The WMF stepping in to block users has caused issues in the past, but the WMF acting to support community decisions will be a different situation, and will be much more justifiable.
Otherwise, there may be a case to be made for redirecting energies. But I suspect that the argument will be for making that case during a global ban discussion. - Bilby 15:45, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, Bilby. You raise points leading to possible clarifications. Yes, Poetlister has been accused of things.
  • harassment. Not established by evidence. What can be shown, in fact, is that Poetlister was harassed, even to the extent of the harassment being illegal, extortion. Nothing recent remotely resembles harassment by him. I know of WP users whose entire career has been harassment, it's practically all they do, yet they are still tolerated, because they harass people who are disliked by the core.
  • intentionally adding false content is a charge that could be levied against many. Poetlister is not known as an edit warrior, and the charges were not related to intentionally adding false content, per se, unless a user's description of himself/herself is considered content. WMF wikis allow anonymity and pseudonyms, but a pseudonym is a "false name." I've seen many many examples of reputable and established users who added content, if we want to extend outside of mainspace, that was demonstrably false, to the extent of being willfully negligent. In fact, that's happened today on Wikiversity. So if this charge applies to Poetlister, it would apply to many core users. Instead, it's a wiki and we allow mistakes.
  • impersonating another person. That's identity theft. Poetlister never did that. It does seem that some of his enemies may have done it, some of what he's been alleged to do, in off-wiki email, may well not have been him, and I saw edits on Wikiversity that were very likely impersonators (pretending to be an old sock of his).
  • infringing copyright. That was claimed. It's not clear there was actual infringement. He used a photo that he did not own, probably. Once. Years ago. The evidence for all this is buried under deletion. The TOS does allow for mistakes to be made, as does copyright law. This reason for ban would be for repeated infringement. That wasn't true for him at all.
  • Sure. The WMF can decide to enforce a "community decision," but the problem here is that normally the community that makes a decision on a wiki is the community that also creates, edits, and maintains the wiki involved, and that is also responsible for enforcing its own decisions, though it may ask for assistance. In this case, it is one community telling another community what it can and cannot do, and, as it's being interpreted, what this other community must do. It's an important issue, all right. On that we can all agree. --Abd 17:08, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Abd, what do you hope to accomplish with this discussion? What outcome do you hope to achieve? -- darklama  17:27, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Consensus based on full and open discussion. Bilby has no obligation to answer me, may remove this discussion without harm, etc. What I'm seeing is that old stereotypes about Poetlister are being repeated as if they were facts. People remember these quick summaries: "identity theft," and what Poetlister actually did is similar enough (it was pretending to be a woman, using a photo, but the real identity of the woman was never claimed by him, so it wasn't "identity theft," and to claim that it was, is libel) that people remember it, which then causes the charge to loom larger than life. The crucial issue though, isn't about Poetlister. It's about the right of a meta "consensus" to control Wikiversity, overriding even a local consensus, not to mention the ordinary decisions of Wikiversity administrators. If we look back to 2010, I can guarantee that the same thing would happen over again, only a "ban discussion" at meta would precede it, and it would have been trivial for Jimbo to get a closure there of "ban." Sentiment was running there 2:1 against removing his Founder tools over that incident, until he also did something similar at Commons. And I'm pretty sure that if the Poetlister thing goes through, other "disruptive users" -- including me -- would be next, and the local Wikiversity community would be unable to do anything about it -- except eat it or walk. If the entire active community here piled in there, it would simply attract more Wikipedians, and the result would be the same. So I have a critical interest here, Darklama. Do you understand? --Abd 20:03, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Consensus for what? How does discussion with Bibly here help to address the issues you have with the rights of Meta "consensus"? What responsibilities do you consider Bibly to have for the global ban policy at Meta? How do you think Bibly can address the issues you have with the rights of Meta "consensus"? I think you may be unfairly burdening Bibly with issues that should be addressed by the Wikiversity and Meta communities, and not by one person. -- darklama  14:32, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Darklama, what's your reason for intervening here? Is there something objectionable about my discussing this with Bilby? If he's burdened, he can simply stop responding, or ask me to stop posting. He can remove this discussion in toto if he likes, I'd not object at all. He has no obligation to discuss anything, as far as I'm concerned. Do you have any reason to believe that he's "burdened"? Consensus is built, ordinarily, by one discussion at a time, among those consenting to the discussions. It's far better if that precedes group discussion, in fact. If Bilby dislikes this, he can ask me to stop, and, in fact, I request that. It would never be held against him by me. What I've seen is that he's been willing to discuss, and he seems to be open-minded.
In addition, Bilby is important to Wikversity, because he's here to build educational resources, unlike some others who have tossed in their opinions. He is part of the community I serve. I want to know how and what he thinks, whether I agree with it or not. --Abd 16:04, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
I have been following the discussion since it started. I think what you want from the discussion, and what you intend for Bilby's role to be in the discussion have not clearly presented themselves after a fews days of discussion. I prefer to ask questions and not assume what a person's intentions are. I've joined the conversation now in the hope that some questions that have puzzled me may get answered. I think people usually ask questions when they want to know how and what someone is thinking. You haven't asked Bilby any questions, or have I simply overlooked them? -- darklama  17:58, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Good point, Darklama. I haven't asked questions, but certain questions are implied. I don't have time right now, but I'll review this. Because Bilby is not a custodian here, I don't consider him obligated to "answer questions," except that I think that Poetlister's question was legitimate and deserved some response, which was given, i.e., that Bilby is only concerned about global bans, and is not claiming that Poetlister violated any policy here, which does seem to be almost universally accepted, can we take that as a given?
That does lead me to one question. If Poetlister has not violated any policy here, is there some policy that should be established to prevent some different kind of harm? Is there harm to other wikis if Poetlister edits here? If so, what? Can we examine that in detail? Should we establish a policy that one of our users should stop editing if banned by a discussion on another wiki, with a community different than our community participating? --Abd 19:32, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks[edit source]

[7]. Great supportive request. Good work. --Abd 03:12, 7 November 2011 (UTC)