Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)

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Flagging overwriting of articles

At present, edits that replace most of the content of a page with new content of less than about 1,000 bytes are flagged in two ways: a tag that reads "Replaced" and is named mw-replace, and an automatic edit summary drawn from MediaWiki:Autosumm-replace reading "Replaced content with '.....'". The automatic edit summary only appears when the editor did not enter an edit summary themselves.

I would like to suggest that edits should also be flagged when the new content is more than 1,000 bytes. This is often the sign of conflict-of-interest work. An article about a person or an organization is found by that same person or organization, or someone affiliated to them. They decide to improve the page, as they would see it. They start from scratch, rather than build on the information that others have provided previously. They have no interest in learning to edit properly, as they are focused purely on the one page. Typically, out go references, categories, wikilinks, section headings; in come puffery, copyvios and in-text links. But along with this may come additional and updated factual information which, if we have an article on the topic at all, should be included; so blanket reversion is not necessarily called for, and each case needs to be considered on its merits and editors advised about COI. Recent cases in point are [1], [2], [3], and [4].

This overwriting is to all intents creation of a new article. But because there was a page there already, the new content doesn't go through new page patrol/review, and unlike a totally new article it can be done by an IP or brand-new account. Therefore I think these cases should be flagged for attention. I don't know whether this requires a software change. Or could the page be put in again for new page review, same as when a redirect is converted to an article? Also unsure if this is a proposal, a technical matter or an idea, so starting here: Noyster (talk), 17:37, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

Support The idea is good. A separate tag might be useful so we could easily distinguish though. Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 21:45, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
Support without hesitation. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:54, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Support. --Pipetricker (talk) 10:32, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Support Add and tag in the NPP feed. Galobtter (pingó mió) 10:36, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Support Appears very useful. Two other similar cases which should probably (if not already) be flagged for NPP: transforming an article into a redirect (if it is already handled, will this script need to not tag in case of redirect conversion)? The other is transforming a redirect into an article. These are of course other discussions, but related and important. —PaleoNeonate – 11:21, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
@PaleoNeonate, I am pretty sure both are already things that lead to the article or redirect getting flagged as 'unreviewed'. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 10:18, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Support Seems like a great way to flag potentially problematic edits. They need to be flagged appropriately though so that editors know what they are looking at. It might add quite a bit of workload to NPP, though I can always go and invite more editors. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 10:16, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Insertcleverphrasehere, the actual workload of NPP has been the subject of sedrious, in-depth scientific research and analysis. The workload of the New Page Patrollers, with whom we are concerned here, has diminished significantly since the roll out of ACTRIAL - and that's why I fail to undestand why although we are getting there, despite the high number of reviewers it's taking so long. Or is it a question of herding cats? Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:36, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support we need to tackle UPE and this seems like a good idea. jcc (tea and biscuits) 11:40, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. I’m not sure, but I think with will help with the problem I have seen at NPP and RM where it is discovered that a very old redirect is overwritten by a new article, on a different topic. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 13:58, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

My thanks to all supporters. The NPR part of the proposal has been added as No. 61 here. Would anyone with Phabricator access care to submit the tagging and auto-edit summary proposals there?: Noyster (talk), 11:09, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

Announcement: results of Bridges Across Cultures

We are pleased to announce the results of our multilingual wiki-collaboration contest, Bridges across Cultures, which has taken place among languages from both Latin America and the Middle East & North Africa in October/November 2017.

ِThe contest was organized by multiple Wikimedia affiliates, including Argentina, Brazil and Chile (Latin America) and Iran, Levant, and Turkey (MENA), with the aim of exchanging cultural experiences and values between the two regions; as the contestants from either Latin America or MENA were asked to write and expand Wikipedia articles related to the rich and unique culture of the other region. In total, 832 articles were created or improved as part of this contest: 427 articles about Latin American culture were expanded in Arabic, Persian and Turkish Wikipedia, while 415 articles about MENA culture were done in Spanish and Portuguese Wikipedia. 64 different participants submitted at least one article to the contest.

As for the results, six prizes are designated for the best performing contestants (with three being dedicated for the best participants from either Latin America or MENA). The prizes will be awarded for the following users who achieved the highest points:

Latin America

  1. Rosarinagazo, Spanish Wikipedia (143 articles, 1210 points).
  2. Tuga1143, Portuguese Wikipedia (117 articles, 1150 points).
  3. MarisaLR, Spanish Wikipedia, (97 articles, 850 points).

Middle East & North Africa

  1. محک, Persian Wikipedia (97 pages, 890 points).
  2. Abdou7878, Arabic Wikipedia (80 pages, 810 points).
  3. Mohammed alzaidy, Arabic Wikipedia (88 pages, 760 points).

Hopefully, we intend to continue and further extend this successful experience in 2018 and in the following years. If you are interested in including your language project in future versions, please get in touch with the contest’s organizers.

--Abbad (talk) 09:17, 13 January 2018 (UTC).

Why are unregistered readers allowed to edit?

This is a curiosity on my part: What is the advantage of letting editing be open to readers who are not registered? It seems to me that a lot of the troublesome editing, vandalism, etc. comes from editors identified only by one of those long numbers punctuated by dots. Registering would seem to make editors more responsible for their editing. Is that minimal commitment too much to ask? Kotabatubara (talk) 05:22, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Some advantages are described at Wikipedia:Perennial_proposals#Prohibit_anonymous_users_from_editing. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 05:28, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Kindle location instead of page numbers

Is there any guidance on Kindle locations (as opposed to page numbers) when citing a reference? At present I just put the Kindle location in where I would put an ordinary page number (example[1]) - that way I can at least sort this out if it needs changing.
ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 21:10, 14 January 2018 (UTC)


  • E-books cause some problems because the location may vary depending on the device... location also depends on the font size chosen (and there are other factors which effect location). A more accurate citation would be to give chapter/section and paragraph (which will be the same no matter what device is used, or what font size is chosen, etc). Blueboar (talk) 13:04, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
My understanding was that Kindle locations are approximately based on word count ( the rule of thumb of 23 words to one Kindle location unit) - so that should be reliable for any device. The problem with some authors, and my example of James Hunter is one, is that they write very long chapters that have no or few identifiable breaks within them.
A suggestion might be to have the maximum Kindle location for the book shown as well as the location of the reference. That way one can calculate the percentage through the book that the ref is, and then apply that to the page numbers. So that would mean saying (as in my example above) "Kindle location 5111 of 9196". So that would indicate 56% through the paper version of the book. I suspect this would be a lot more useful than just a chapter number. Counting paragraphs would, I suggest, be error prone with lengthy chapters and equally tedious for anyone checking the reference.
ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 13:45, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Even word counts can be problematic and subject to different software counting in different ways. And enshrining the word "kindle" is a really bad idea. We might as well use the label "Commodore C64 Word count". I would suggest "starting at character X out of X characters" with the count given by Vim, Emacs or wc (Unix) being preferred if by some unlikely chance different software gives us different counts. This can be easily made into a tool that can be used without leaving Wikipedia. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:47, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
I am not sure that I follow your apparent dislike of Kindle. It is simply a commercially available method of reading a book (digital text plus either dedicated reader or software.) We use other digital sources on commercial platforms (Google Books, British Newspaper Archive, etc.) The only purpose of a page number or a Kindle location is to allow the reader to check what the reference actually says. This is either the Wikipedia editor function of monitoring the quality of an article, or a general reader wanting to know more than the article says. It is simply a way of finding the text. So, surely the intent has to be to find the easiest and most efficient way of doing that. If the Kindle Location were to be disguised as a character count (this would be a lot of work for the citing editor - not sure even if it is possible), then this would be irritating to another person with the same source on Kindle, as they would have to back-calculate the location. (It would be neutral for the paper-book reader.)
I suspect we need some input from someone who knows how definitive Kindle Locations actually are - they seem to be totally repeatable to me.
ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 23:08, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Note: per WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT if you read the book using a kindle you should say that... however, if you read it on some other type of e-reader (say a nook or a fire) you should note THAT. Which e-reader was used makes a difference, and so needs to be part of the citation. Blueboar (talk) 23:48, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT says "....on an e-reader (except to the extent that this affects page numbering)". So someone has noticed the page numbering problem, but we don't appear to have a good solution. (perhaps there is no "good solution")
ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 10:06, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
Re: "I am not sure that I follow your apparent dislike of Kindle. It is simply a commercially available method of reading a book", would it be acceptable for me to start citing sources using the page numbers from a Telcon Zorba?[5] Because that's about how useful those Kindle page numbers will be 20 years after they stop making Kindles. --Guy Macon (talk) 11:14, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
If YOU read it using a Zorba, yes. That’s what you should say on the citation. Blueboar (talk) 11:38, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
It would only make a difference if there were an edition specially for that platform. I think we'd only want to know which edition is being read and who published it and when. I suppose if there are no other standard indication of location specific to that edition, then you might also want to note location specific to that platform. olderwiser 12:44, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────(1) I've asked Amazon to explain how one might discover the (paper book) page number from a Kindle location and am awaiting an answer.
(2) I've tested my suggestion of calculating the percentage through the book from the Kindle locations and applying to the total pages in a paper book. It does not work if there are references at the end of each chapter in the paper book (so, many academic sources). (It fails because Kindle put all the refs at the end of the book text, but most paper books have them at the end of each chapter.)
(3) The suggestion (above) to quote chapter and (if available) section seems to be as good as we get for a solution.
(4) I think the suggestion that Kindle may be obsolete in 20 years, though likely to be accurate, is irrelevant as it presumes that Wikipedia, book technology, computers etc. will all still exist in the same way as presently - surely it will all change!
So, pending any further guidance or information, I will (a) include the Kindle location (to assist those with the book on Kindle) and (b) include chapter and section (where available).
ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 23:39, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

ThoughtIdRetired, beyond just citing the entire chapter and hoping that this is a sufficient pointer for most readers, one of the usual "solutions" is to provide a quotation that could be searched for by other people with access to digital copies. Another approach, which works for some books, is to see whether you can search a paper copy (e.g., via Google Books) to find the same section, and copy the page numbers and ISBN from the paper version. (Note that with some books, such as textbooks with multiple editions, you have to be very careful to make sure that it's actually the same book/still contains the content that you're referencing.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:44, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
I had wondered about using the quotation field - but the precise solution had not occurred to me. I have just tested it, with good results. I found some relatively distinctive text ("essential to reach the Baltic coast") in a Kindle book (Munro, Ronald Lyell. Above the Battle: An Air Observation Post Pilot at War (Kindle Locations 2603-2604). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.) and searched for that in the same book on Google books. I note that if the quote is outside the normal "free sample" offered on Google Books, you still get to see it - certainly enough for a page number. Second test with a different book only gave a fragment, but with a page number.
There does seem to be an automatic reduction of what you see in Google Books if you repeat a search - so this could be a slow process to page number any quantity of references.
My only concern is that this is moderately obscure knowledge (as demonstrated by the time it took for the suggestion to arrive on this page), so would not be readily available to an average encyclopaedia user. It would, however, rescue the original editor and others if the precise location of a reference became a matter of dispute.
ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 21:22, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
On further experimentation- actually putting the ref in an article, I now find that the text can become horribly cluttered. For example this ref[2](Kindle loc 2374) does not really work: it gives priority to the Kindle location over the page number and the quote could be irritating with the way it pops up whether it is needed or not.
I think the ref would have to appear as [2]:155 and a Kindle user (including the original editor) would have to search for the quote text. It doesn't feel like a complete solution.
ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 23:57, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Hunter, James (2005). Scottish Exodus: Travels Among a Worldwide Clan (2007 (Kindle) ed.). Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. Kindle location 5111. ISBN 9781845968472. 
  2. ^ a b Munro, Ronald Lyell (2016). Above the Battle: An Air Observation Post Pilot at War (Kindle ed.). Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books Ltd. ISBN 978 1 47387 275 2. 

Can I copy references from merged content?

I am helping to bring an article to GA status. I am also exploring whether other references exist that can help this effort. I was looking through the redirects to this article. I noticed that one redirect occurred from an article that was previously a stub. This stub had numerous references to support its content. When the redirect was done, the references were left behind and not merged into the article that it was 'merged' into. My question is: Can I insert these references into the main article without actually seeing or reading the sources themselves? It's a shame that some editors went to the trouble of referencing a topic and then the references don't get moved with the redirect. I am looking for opinions. Thank you very much. Best Regards, Barbara (WVS)    10:16, 15 January 2018 (UTC)

My Question would be: WHY were the sources not included in the merger? ... there are lots of possible reasons (for example: it could be that the omitted sources didn’t actually support the material... or it could be that the omitted sources were replaced by better sources). So... yeah, I think you should read the omitted sources before “restoring” them. Blueboar (talk) 11:49, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
How about moving them over and adding {{Verify source}}? 86.17.222.157 (talk) 16:13, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Having {{Verify source}} tags on the article will not help bring it to GA status. If you want to use the source, you should verify that the source actually is reliable and supports the content. ~ GB fan 12:12, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
That depends on whether you attach any importance to achieving GA status quickly. The presence of the source and the {{Verify source}} template might spur someone with access to the source to check it out, but it's likely to be some time before that happens. 86.17.222.157 (talk) 14:55, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

NYT link in Template:Find sources

Why is NYT linked? The newspaper has been perceived as a left wing media. To maintain Wikipedia's neutrality, editors should consider listing a right wing media like New York Post or Breitbart as well.--The Master (talk) 14:41, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

Most Wikipedia articles don't care what Americans consider left or right wing media. I picked the first entry at Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Find sources and searched on "Anatolia". NYT gives 2425 results, New York Post gives 39, Breitbart gives 51. I also tried "Astrology": NYT 2486, New York Post 140, Breitbart 32. I didn't read the results but NYT seems far better to find sources. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:43, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Detecting and researching B.S. contributions

From time-to-time I run across text in articles that at first glance seems reasonable, but with just a moment's thought it becomes apparent the text is just B.S. - something someone randomly wrote to "monkey wrench" the system. Some examples: Hurricane_(drink), Bernard_Baruch, Ciguatera, Unilateral_hearing_loss; there are other examples. Presumably you all are aware of these things. I am wondering if there are not some tools to detect, identify, etc. and better determine who is making these entries. They often survive for quite some time (being well-written B.S. - these are not good faith edits), so determining the original instigator can be difficult to determine, should I post a warning on their talk page (I'd rather not), etc. The times I am able to find the original edit for these things, the edit is most often by an anonymous IP address with perhaps just a few other such asinine entries. Anyways, the issue has been on my mind; there may be nothing for it but continued vigilance by editors; we might try to raise awareness of the issue. Bdushaw (talk) 00:09, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Wikivoyage Edit-a-thon 2018

Nuvola cake 5.svg

A special edit-a-thon will be held at the English Wikivoyage through February 2018 to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Wikivoyage. The main goal of this edit-a-thon is to encourage new editors to share travel information at Wikivoyage. Anyone interested in contributing, whether by updating outdated information or by adding listings of prominent sites/businesses such as a prominent museums, restaurants or hotels, is more than welcome to participate in the edit-a-thon.

The edit-a-thon is going to be held at several other editions of Wikivoyage including the German, French, Spanish, Italian, Ukrainian, Russian, Portuguese, Hindi, Hebrew and the Chinese editions of Wikivoyage. In addition, the use of a central notice banner has been requested to promote the edit-a-thon. ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 13:52, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Anyone who's interested, please see voy:Wikivoyage:Welcome, Wikipedians, find your favorite town, and add information about your favorite restaurants, hotels, or other places to go. This is really a lot of fun in a happy community. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:49, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia 20th anniversary

Wikipedia went 'live' 15 January 2001: at what point should preparations begin for its 20th anniversary?

What could they consist of - apart from various components of 'the history of Wikipedia' (the first articles etc) and, given the timeframe, a grand tidying up of old tags etc? Jackiespeel (talk) 17:56, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

COI template

I've seen several instances recently, of people using {{COI}}, contrary to the clear and explicit instructions in its documentation, as a "badge of shame", applying the tag and then either not starting a discussion on the talk page of the article; or only posting vague comment which does not identify explicitly what is the issue. Worse, this often happens on contemporary biographies, when it is without doubt a BLP violation. What can we do, to prevent improper use of that template? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 01:03, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

  • When paid editors write an article they often write text that only contains positive statements or simple take text submitted by the person paying for the article in question and add it.
  • This is not a neutral or independent article but an unbalanced all positive one. Sorry but claims that tagging the article with COI is a BLP violation is laughable. That Andy's has removed the tag 4 times in the last few hours is a bigger concern.
  • Should people be able to buy an article from an editor who makes proper disclosure? We currently allow this yes, but the AfC process is to be used and in this case it was not.
  • Second when one buys an article it does not mean that one than gets an article "free" of any clean up tags or concerns raised by non paid editors. Or should than hire someone to have those tags removed.
  • The COI text says "If the article/ edit also has problems with neutrality, however, then use of the tag is likely appropriate." Neutrality is a problem in this case. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:44, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
    • Rather than selectively quoting a small part of the template's documentation, and describing inane generalities, how about you address this issue - affecting not one but many articles - I raised? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 08:40, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
  • What happened here is that Andy's commercial-paid-editor wikifriend asked for his help removing tags. A typical paid editor task for clients Very Concerned that Their Image On Wikipedia Be As They Want It (and that page has been hammered by paid editors in the past). What did Andy do? Rushed over to the article with a bullshit Wikilawering argument, without doing the work himself to ensure that the article was actually NPOV and didn't omit things - and even violated 4RR in his urgency to help his wikifriend. Not about providing readers with fair warnings of paid advertisements. Not doing the work to ensure the article is actually OK. Shitty behavior to help a paid editor feel good about their hijacked Wikipedia page. Not a single good thing in any of it. Accept gee his wikifriend and the wikifriend's client are maybe happy. Jytdog (talk) 03:11, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
    • "What happened here" is that I raised a valid point about the misuse of a template in "several instances". You then responded with a baseless personal attack, falsely ascribing to me motives for which you offer no evidence, and a threat on my talk page. And yet utterly ignoring the point I raised. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 08:40, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

For the sake of clarity, here is the key part of the {{COI}} temaplte's documentation (highlighting in original):

Do not use this tag simply to mark an article which you believe or even know with certainty was created or edited by someone with a conflict of interest if the editor with the conflict has already made a declaration about this on his/ her userpage, the article talk page, or in a COI edit summary, as this disclosure makes use of the tag redundant. If the article/ edit also has problems with neutrality, however, then use of the tag is likely appropriate.
Like the other neutrality-related tags, if you place this tag, you should promptly start a discussion on the article's talk page to explain what is non-neutral about the article. If you do not start this discussion, then any editor is justified in removing the tag without warning.

So, again: What can we do, to prevent improper use of the template? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:32, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

Yes, COI is a neutrality tag, rather than a disclaimer-about-the-contributors'-identity tag. No, it's not supposed to be used if there's no identifiable POV problem. Yes, just like every single other neutrality tag, if you have identified a problem with the article's contents, then you are expected to write down, on the talk page, what the problem is/what changes would solve the problem.
Neutrality is one of those "comment on the content, not the contributor" issues. If you want that tag to stick on an article, then you need an actual content problem (not merely "someone was paid, so statistically speaking, there's likely to be something promotional in here", although that is in my experience a true statement) and you have to actually spend a minute or two writing down what the content problem is. It does not seem like an insurmountable barrier.
BTW, the specific problem reminds me of some of the trans* related disputes from years ago, when one or two of our trans* editors tagged a few articles as being POV on the grounds that they disagreed with the article content. The reason I'm reminded of this old incident is that I believe that the same tag was used to complain about someone else correcting an erroneously over-inflated university degree. (It just amazes me when someone screams about COI and the main purpose of the edit is to make the person or company look "worse".) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:08, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
The issue is that the article presents only positive facts about the individual in question (with the less than rosy stuff left out), so yes their is a neutrality issue. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:51, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
To repeat what I said above: "how about you address this issue - affecting not one but many articles - I raised?". Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:18, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
Which other articles are you wishing addressed?
It appears a paid editor, who is now blocked, did some editing of the COI template to support their position.[6] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:34, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
You're edit warring ([7],[8]) to remove from the template documentation long-standing wording (the first half of the extract I quote above) which cautions against the kind of use for which you were taken to task just hours ago, and over which you are currently involved in a dispute elsewhere. You thus have a CoI. You really should know better. And still you don't address the issue I raised above. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:54, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
And by "long standing" Andy means added by a paid editor in Aug of 2017.
And by "edit warring" Andy appears to mean he has reverted without bothering to join the conversation on the talk page.
And when I asked what further cases Andy wanted me to address, instead of providing an answer he claims I did not address the issue... Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:11, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
No, by edit warring, I mean WP:Edit warring - after your edit was reverted, you reverted back again. You need to stop inventing new "rules". As for your question about "other articles", I haven't asked you to address any articles. I suggested you might address the issue in my OP, which you have - your editing warring over the template's documentation notwithstanding - yet to do. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 23:48, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
This is actually a really stupid, and typical, argument about tags. Like many of the men who make Wikipedia toxic, instead of simply doing the work that the tag is meant to address, Andy chose to storm in and Tear Down That Tag and then make wikilawyering, useless drama, wagging his Ego around. Not good for the encyclopdia or anything, really. When the protection comes off I am going to work over the article from the sources available, so it will have under gone significant independent review and editing. Then even the advert tag can come off.
Andy wants to argue aggressively, well let him do so. We have work to do.
In the meantime I have made a proposal at the template talk page, here, to address the problem. Jytdog (talk) 02:00, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

Special:CreateAccount

Why don't we have any kind of summary of our username policy on Special:CreateAccount? If we took right side of the page content and replaced it with a summary of our username policy - something like

OshwahNewCreateAccountPageProposal.png

this? It would lower the number of new accounts created with usernames that violate policy. What are your thoughts? Oh, and please excuse the typo, spelling, and formatting in advance - the way I designed this had a really bad text editor :-) ~Oshwah~(talk) (contribs) 04:37, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

I would be in favour of this. Not sure how effective this would be in curbing the "Username implies article" mindset, but it should help. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 04:42, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Really like the idea, kinda surprised we haven't had it before, but I wonder if we can convey it in a more pithy manner. Here's my proposal. Drewmutt (^ᴥ^) talk 04:51, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
I really like your idea @Oshwah: it really does make sense. I know that for sure the WP:UAA has been getting backlogged quite a bit so it might help cut some of that out. --Clarkcj12 (talk) 05:36, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
We could and should make better use of this space on the sign-up page, our first opportunity to get any message across to a newly registered editor. Drewmutt's concise message about username choice is far preferable, but not only that – it would leave space to communicate something else very basic and very necessary: what Wikipedia is for and what it isn't for. We could take up a suggestion from the late JohnCD:

Wikipedia is a project to build an encyclopedia. If you would like to help with that, you are very welcome.
Wikipedia is not a place for you to tell the world about yourself, your company, your band or anything you are closely associated with. If that is what you are here for, this is not the site for you.

: Noyster (talk), 18:51, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
Are we sure that people will read the policy if you put it in the login screen? The impression I have is that such warnings are usually skipped over. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 18:53, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
Prob not, but it was my motivation for condensing it. Drewmutt (^ᴥ^) talk 22:44, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
There's actually a prominent link to it there; it's just appallingly mislabeled as "(help me choose)". —Cryptic 22:22, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
"(help me choose)" is the default message from MediaWiki:Wikimedia-createacct-helpusername. I suggest we change it to "(Username policy)". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:CreateAccount?uselang=qqx shows that the content to the right or bottom (depending on window size) of Special:CreateAccount is built from a series of messages and automatically inserted images. I'm not sure we can replace it with a custom text in a good way without a MediaWiki change. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:31, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
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