Wikinews:Water cooler/miscellaneous/Archive/16

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Collaborative Media Network (aka Wikinews Foundation V2)[edit]

I proposed the creation of a Wikinews Foundation several months ago. The problem I was attempting to fix is Wikinews’ need for the ability to properly handle press credentials. Press credentials let reporters get into events and allows people (including the government) to quickly identify the person as a reporter. The Wikimedia Foundation can not safely issue press credentials and community issued credentials are problematic. A separate organization however could. The organization has been retitled to the Collaborative Media Network. The mission of the organization has been expanded to include providing similar services to other like news organizations. The Collaborative Media Network however for all practical purposes is focused on Wikinews and sister projects. See this page for more information about why we need CMN.

I have been working for a while on the details needed to make this happen. The bylaws and most of the other initial paperwork is now done. We now need to select a board and get the paperwork actually filed. Board members are technically appointed, but I would like the community to have a hand in selecting them. I was thinking that we should probably start accepting candidates for the board in the next few days and discuss election methods and the like.

We have a couple options in how we can do the elections. The first decision we need to make is how we wish to operate the election. The simplest is probably just to do a vote on wiki. This would mean though that all votes would be public, is a secret ballet worthwhile? The next issue is how we wish to operate the handling of candidates and nominations and platforms. Shall we just let it be anything goes or do we want to set rules?

The other option is we just forget temporarily about the whole idea of having an elected board. We can ask interested people to submit their qualifications and just pick a few people. The plus to this is it can be done quick, the downside though is that we lose the benefit of the community's say in it.

Maybe we should do an IRC meeting to discuss this all.

Any thoughts? :)--Cspurrier - (talk) 21:07, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

I see this being a long thread so I would also suggest an IRC meeting. That way anyone from WMF can watch or attend and the conversation can be done better with all of us able to communicate right away.
For now though I think the board should be elected...of 50/50. I think this being a Wikinews thing, Wikinewsies should be most involved in this process. I think maybe we should have a nominations page then a voting page...like the board elections only less fancy. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 21:13, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
A few quick questions... Is this ? What other organisations apart from Wikinews will it serve? What is the legal status of the CMN organisation? Adambro - (talk) 21:34, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
It is not yet recognized by the WMF. I wanted to have it complete before it is presented to them. At the moment just Wikinews. I have not really tried to get others interested yet, as we do not yet have much yet put together. Organizations will be carefully selected to ensure that they are not incompatible with us. CMN at the moment has no legal status. The paperwork is already to go other then getting the signatures of the incorporaters (our first board). It will be a South Carolina nonprofit cooperation. We will try for federal nonprofit status as soon as feasible. --Cspurrier - (talk) 21:51, 26 March 2008 (UTC)#
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. It is clear that for any credentials to have any significance, there has to be a respected organisation behind them. How will the reputation of CMN to be build up to ensure accreditation is of value to users? Even if legally distinct from the WMF, is there any scope for the organisation to be supported by the Foundation?
I've recently being concerned that Wikinews accreditation has lost some of its value by seeing users who don't contribute here granted accreditation. What procedures will be in place to prevent CMN accreditation from being devalued in such ways? Adambro - (talk) 22:08, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
You raise several interesting questions. I have delayed answering them in part so I could come up with the answers they deserve :). Building a reputation will be tricky and take time. In the short term just the fact that we are an actual registered organization (as soon as we file the paper work) will help us differentiate us from the random blogger. Much of our reputation will have to be built from the works of our accredited reporters. I believe that developing a strong code of ethics should be a very high priority for us. I believe that this code and our reporter’s obeying of this code is the best way to build a reputation as journalists (an of course actually writing :) ).
I hope/intend to maintain as close of relationship with WMF as is possible with out putting them at risk. CMN is designed primarily to fulfill a need that several WMF projects have, our separation in my opinion should be only that which is required to keep us legally distinct. --Cspurrier - (talk) 17:41, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
  • We will be having an IRC meeting on Thursday, April 3 at 21:00UTC (5pm EDT) @ #collabmedianet irc.freenode.com If you are interested in The Collaborative Media Network proposal please attend. I know this is probably a poor time for many, but we need to have a meeting ASAP, and this was the only time that worked for the key CMN people. There will be meetings in the near future at better times/days.--Cspurrier - (talk) 17:46, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

IRC Meeting log[edit]

Please click here for a complete log of the IRC meeting. --Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) (Note I have no link with the organization anonymous) 15:10, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikinews in book by presidential candidate[edit]

Not as impressive as it sounds, but still cool. Ruth Bryant White (who, if elected, would be both the first woman president and first black president of the USA) has written a book about her campaign and the campaign struggles faced by third party and independent candidates. Her campaign manager just sent me a message about the publication, called None Of the Above: The 2008 Presidential Candidates Americans Were Forced To Choose From and the Ones They Never Knew About. I'll post more when it's published. -- Zanimum - (talk) 20:25, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia Review Discussion[edit]

Hey everyone. I just wanted to alert you that I discussed some of the criticism of my work in Israel on the Wikipedia Review, and I addressed my feelings about some of the more general criticism of Wikinews. If you are interested in the discussion, it's under whether there is an Israeli cabal on Wikipedia (and I entered to clear up some misinformation that had been poking around on the WR for a little while). If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me or leave a question on my talk page. --David Shankbone - (talk) 00:31, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Oh, no, you have posted on WR! You shall be forever tainted with the evil of Wikipedia criticism! Seriously, though, having had a read of that, David, I would say that you were probably a bit long-winded in places, but generally the way you've responded there has been a plus for Wikinews' image. The biggest problem I have with WR is that 9 times out of 10 when I look at a random thread it seems to be someone griping because they didn't read the rules and had an article deleted or got blocked because of it, but the 10th thread is usually an actual problem with Wikipedia or Wikimedia that needs addressing if it hopes to have any chance of keeping up a decent public image. I'm not saying that this thread started in the first category (although there certainly would have been a risk of it going that way), but I think your involvement has pulled it firmly into the second. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 05:26, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Me, long-winded? The biggest problem I have with WR is what Chris mentions, and why I proposed Wikinews try to do what they do, better and more NPOV, without the personal attacks. A long-standing problem on WR is that they complain about the inaccuracy of Wikipedia/Wikimedia, with wholly inaccurate criticism (for instance, I was an Enron trader simply because I mention I worked there and I should be embarrassed to mention this temp job; there are naked photos of me all over Wikipedia, et. al.) It's difficult to be taken seriously claiming Wikipedia can't get it's facts right when you yourself don't take care to...get your facts right. It is, however, important anything that wields influence has a watchdog, or influence gets abused by someone, somewhere. --David Shankbone - (talk) 11:39, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Even if Wikinews takes on some of what WikipediaReview does, we could not fulfill the role of watchdog, as we are another project of the same foundation. That's like making VOA the Fourth Estate for the US. Whether WR achieves that or not, is another discussion altogether. --SVTCobra 00:41, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Hi Cobra. I disagree - I think whether we became Wikipedia's watchdog or not would only be determined on whether we were successful in covering them well or not. Wiki is very different, since "anyone" can do it; theoretically, the entire cast from WR could come over here and begin writing NPOV Wikipedia stories, if they wanted to do so. The Foundation doesn't have the authority to step in and say, "No more covering WP issues." Or Wikimedia issues. I think we talk ourselves out of a lot of good ideas that we never attempt to see if they would work well or not. We are very hesitant to experiment on this project. --David Shankbone - (talk) 02:39, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Rubenstein Public Relations[edit]

I have had contact with this PR firm, one of the most influential and largest in the United States, since I worked with them at the Tribeca Film Festival last year (and will again this year). Like any good PR firm, they would like to work with Wikipedia. They realize they should not edit nor change articles to suit their clients interests, but they would like to know what they can do to contribute to Wikipedia. For instance, my work with them at TFF creates for us a lot of GFDL images of celebrities. They would like to forge a closer relationship with the Wikipedia community, and I have gone to a few lunches to discuss with them some ideas. A collaboration with PR agencies can create a wealth of opportunities for Wikipedians in the English-speaking world (such as attending film festivals), put us closer in touch with their clients' perspectives (which would help with getting quotes), interviews and improve the projects as a whole. For instance, remember our BBC collaboration? What if we did that with Time Magazine, a Rubenstein client? If anyone is interested in discussing the possibilities we might be able to have working with them, or have suggestions of things we would like, please leave it on my talk page. Dave --David Shankbone - (talk) 17:16, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Sounds interesting. Certainly your Tribeca photos are great and if they demonstrate what can be achieved by this type of collaboration then it should be something to look into more. Of course there are the COI concerns but the job of any PR firm is not simply to promote their clients, it is to ensure that material about them is accurate. It is here where our paths cross and where their assistance can be mutually beneficial. Adambro - (talk) 17:07, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
You really ought to confer with the WMF, specifically Kul and Jay, before proceeding further with that.Swatjester - (talk) 23:19, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
There isn't really a "plan" or anything outlined. We've just been meeting to discuss how we can work together to create content that passes all of our guidelines and policies. Such as my Tribeca Film Festival work. You have to remember: we fly blind on Wikinews. We don't subscribe to a wire service, we don't have contacts that give us leads, and we don't typically get invited to do things that most people in the press get invited to do. --David Shankbone - (talk) 14:39, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Maybe so, but I would like this discussed on Wikinews. This is after all something for Wikinews? Or is Wikipedia Review right in this is more for WMF than Wikinews. My point is, a conversation like this and the ideas etc need to be discussed here, with Wikinewsies if its for WN. Not on some Wikipedia bashing site. I am not liking the fact i see more discussion about it there than here. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 20:44, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Your point is valid, Jason, but your issue shouldn't be with me. Nobody here *is* discussing it. Defending it where it's being questioned would only be a problem if I was ignoring, but I log in here several times a day, and as you can see, I am the last one who wrote anything back on April 9. I am not going to have a conversation with myself. And regarding the Wikimedia question, everything I do is Wikimedia. Just like the appropriate place to put my photography and audio is Commons, and to transcribe my interviews is on Wikinews, I look for opportunities that can be of benefit to multiple projects. That's never been a secret, not since I was first up for accreditation, and it's clear on my User pages. Is this news? You'll remember, I first worked with Rubenstein when I was not a Wikinewsie, at the 2007 TFF. --David Shankbone - (talk) 03:59, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
No issue with you. just would like to be kept up to date in places I read as opposed to something that I just found out about a few days ago. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 04:13, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
There is no "Up to date" - nothing has happened with it, literally. WR talks as if it knows what the deal is, and right now, there is no deal... I was coming *here* (and WP, Commons) to discuss ideas, saying that I wanted to see if people had any. Like I said originally, the Tribeca Film Festival is a template. I work with them during that. Everyone works with them during that. Getty, WireImages, New York Times, the public, the celebrities. They manage the Festival, especially the red carpet - television, print, web...we all deal with Rubenstein. Now, most major news organizations have long-standing relationships with the PR firms that run things like...film festivals, or press conferences after your client makes racist remarks. Have you ever wondered how the press knows to show up for J.K. Rowling talking on the steps of the court in Manhattan, like she did yesterday? PR agencies. I apologize; I guess I didn't think I needed to explain this here because you all knew how the game works, especially with celebrity stuff. On the Wikipedia Review I get criticized if I eat lunch with a person they don't think I should have lunch with. Some of them will criticize anything; supposedly I am also helping a former gay porn star turned homophobic commentator with ban evasion on Wikipedia! If only life was so interesting.... --David Shankbone - (talk) 04:22, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, its a good idea. I like it. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 04:38, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, that's just it: I don't know what the idea is. I wish we could set up some kind of wire. Scoop is just not working well as a wire; I already feel overwhelmed by the in box. But I don't know what else we have. I don't know how Rubenstein would alert us, what they would alert us for, etc. These are relationships most news agencies have, that I am not sure how they work, and in particular, how they would work for us - from the basic mechanics up to the events. --David Shankbone - (talk) 04:55, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

New paragraph: Why not an RSS of a sort? I don't know how to do those things unforunately. They can also use scoop as well. We definitely should think of something. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 04:58, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

I dunno, either. This is where I thought Sandy could help. I literally don't know how the whole press machine works, and I am too embarrassed to ask my contact questions that make me look like a high school kid trying to get on the party list. Everything operates differently, too. Like the international work I was setting up--they are run by different kinds of agencies, etc. It's all such a learning process. I have a good friend who does travel segments for Fox News; I'm going to get him to explain it to me more in depth. Maybe I'll do an IRC chat about whatever I learn, if it's even interesting. --David Shankbone - (talk) 05:08, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
I would certainly appreciate some "insider knowledge" to improve our rate of returns when we contact people for comment and interviews. My last couple of mails trying to chase up the Cronkite interview have gone unanswered and my attempts to get comment from the EU commission on the copyright extension issue have fallen on deaf ears. The offices of two commissioners responded saying they could not comment outside discussion and I should refer to Commissioner McCreevy. His office hasn't even said "no comment". For the same issue I attempted to get input from the music industry. Sir Paul McCartney's company did not respond, when I phoned EMI I got bounced around until I hit a voicemail box - and didn't get called back. I attempted to get in touch with Sir Cliff Richard as well, again no response.
My latest "nothing but static" non-response has been the Vatican. I wasn't trying for an interview with the Pope (perhaps later ;-) ), but for collaboration with the WMF to expand the Latin Wikisource. --Brian McNeil / talk 07:24, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikinews Article Stats Update[edit]

Shankbone interviewed[edit]

The tables were turned this time as David Shankbone became the interviewed. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 18:41, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikinews article hits front page of Digg.com while undergoing Deletion request[edit]

The article Church of Scientology warns Wikileaks over documents hit the front page of Digg.com at 07:39 UTC (currently still at the front page with 543 Diggs) while in the midst of an ongoing deletion request at Wikinews:Deletion requests. Is this a first for Wikinews? Has an article from Wikinews ever hit the front page of Digg.com before, let alone while also undergoing a deletion request? Can anyone say Streisand effect? Cirt - (talk) 08:53, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

To my knowledge, the only 2 Wikinews articles to make it to the front page was the first Anonymous article and the Benoit article. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 09:01, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Has an article from Wikinews ever made it to the front page of Digg.com before while also undergoing a Deletion request discussion - or is this a first for that? Cirt - (talk) 09:04, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
No that has never, to my knowledge ever happened...and what surprises me more, it keeps going up...588 diggs, and beating Bush war crimes at 477. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 09:05, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
If we can confirm that this is the first time that a Wikinews article hit the front page of Digg.com while also undergoing a Deletion request, then that is a very interesting first for Wikinews. Cirt - (talk) 09:11, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't think the fact that it was undergoing a deletion request makes it any more interesting or notable. Internet people are going to read this stuff whether it's real news or not (especially on Digg, where you can post your opinion on the issue without actually reading the article in question). Streisand effect doesn't really apply here. ~Planoneck~ 11:25, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Wikileaks and the Streisand Effect - that explains it pretty well, though I'm sure there are other sources that go into it also. Cirt - (talk) 11:30, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Wikinews articles that made front page of Digg.com
  1. "Chris Benoit mystery editor confesses: claims "terrible coincidence"" — Wikinews, June 29, 2007 - Digg.com link
  2. ""Anonymous" releases statements outlining "War on Scientology"" — Wikinews, January 23, 2008 - Digg.com link
  3. "Church of Scientology warns Wikileaks over documents" — Wikinews, April 7, 2008 - Digg.com link - also believed to be the first time that a Wikinews article made the front page of Digg.com, while also undergoing a Deletion request discussion. Cirt - (talk) 10:38, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Length of time that candidate discussions sit at WN:FAC[edit]

I think the issue is that most people focus on the main namespace and peripheral issues get neglected (See David's above comments in the Tribeca discussion). --Brian McNeil / talk 07:27, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually Brian (talk · contribs) went ahead and archived the old stuff at WN:FAC so I think we are okay there for now - Thanks Brian! Cirt - (talk) 07:34, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

CNN video, Front Page - "Wikipedia Wars"[edit]

After watching this piece, I had an idea - how about Wikinews takes a detailed look at the changes made the the Wikipedia articles w:Barack Obama, w:Hillary Clinton, w:John McCain - and does an OR analysis write-up of them, sort of similar to the investigation that went on for the article Wikinews investigates Wikipedia usage by U.S. Senate staff members, but this may involve registered editors as well as IP address. Wikinews could also try to get in contact with the Wikipedia editor, Dan Rosenthal , who was interviewed on-camera for the CNN piece. Cirt - (talk) 11:23, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
I can likely dig up Dan's email address (if Outlook will cooperate). He's one of my fellow communication committee members. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:10, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikimedia Foundation blog post mentions Wikinews[edit]

In discussing the article Wikinews interviews team behind the 2,000th featured Wikipedia article:

"Wikinews has a fascinating interview with Beasley-Murray and two participating students."

Cirt - (talk) 08:54, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikinews in Consultation with David Kaufman - May 11[edit]

Renowned journalist David Kaufman, International Travel Editor for American Express magazines and Fox News television contributor, has agreed to consult with Wikinews on an IRC chat. I may try to start a series of discussions with well-known journalists where the Wikinews community can ask a reporter anything. Anything. From basics ("How long should a letter be to a prospective interviewee?") to the complex ("What do I do when an interviewee becomes hostile?"). The subjects can range from interviews to journalistic ethics to what is and is not a proper source. This is the time to ask basic questions. If this IRC chat is productive or something the community finds useful, I will try to arrange future interviews with renowned mainstream media journalists and professors. Please let me know thoughts, and also what time on May 11 would be 1. convenient for Mr. Kaufman, who is based in New York City; and 2. convenient for as many Wikinewsies as possible who want to participate. --David Shankbone - (talk) 14:37, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

And just FYI: I need a head count for who will attend. If I don't hear anything, I won't ask Mr. Kaufman to schedule his time. --David Shankbone - (talk) 15:52, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
May 11 is a Sunday, so yes, I think I can log in and participate no matter what time of day this gets scheduled for. Question, is this expected to be an interview or a seminar for (prospective/citizen/amateur) journalists? --SVTCobra 23:47, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
I can attend as well as long as its on a Saturday or Sunday or any weekday AFTER 4pm Eastern time. And yes...what will this essentially be? Can you be more specific? DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 23:53, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I see this more as a seminar for Wikinewsies to ask mainstream media reporter questions about the craft of journalism. I have questions, so I would imagined other people do, also. I see it as an opportunity to learn from people whose paying careers are writing and journalism. It's a chance to get insight on how we operate, our policies...etc. I don't see making the IRC chat transcript public, so it's a chance to ask questions you think are dumb, insignificant, or complex. But if there is little interest, I don't want David Kaufman to bother. He's pretty busy. --David Shankbone - (talk) 02:08, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to attend this, and as it's a Sunday it may be possible for me, but it may be hard enough finding a time suitable for both American and European/British editors without having to consider UTC+10 as well. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 02:16, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I think 4:00 New York City time (which would be 9:00 pm London time) might work? Like I said, I don't want to print a transcript of the conversation on Wiki. I want it to be an opportunity to learn and to ask questions about the craft of journalism. David, a graduate of NYU's journalism school, has written for The New York Times, Details magazine, Monocle, Wallpaper* (he wrote the Wallpaper city guide to Tel Aviv), et. al. This is a pretty great brain to pick, and he is a friend of mine and understands no question is too dumb or insignificant, even if the question is, "Can I use my Wikinews work to get a job as a journalist?" --David Shankbone - (talk) 15:41, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
That time should work for me. Good idea asking him, if this goes well maybe Sue has someone as well that would be willing to do another session like this from another perspective.--Cspurrier - (talk) 21:44, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I will be ablr to attend the IRC meeting if it is at a reasonable time in the UK. (Not 4am, for example) --A101 - (talk) 16:04, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
9pm London = 7am Canberra on Monday, which would actually work for me (if I don't sleep in, then I can log on before I go to work). Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 06:17, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Is there any news on this? Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 08:42, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
  • This needs to be postponed. I didn't realize that this Sunday, May 11, is Mother's Day - Kaufman will be with his Mom. Next weekend is my Nephew's First Communion, so I will not be a good weekend for me to coordinate. Postponed until further notice. --David Shankbone - (talk) 22:58, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikinews on Alexa[edit]

File:Alexa wkinews.png

Because of wikinews' vastly increasing readership, I believe we should take a look at what we are doing rather then working on a day by day basis. Symode09 - (talk) 16:29, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

They aren't very accurate, and they've recently changed how they get statistics. I also don't see an upward trend. (more of a downward based on they're website and Wikinews:Awareness statistics. Bawolff 21:27, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
In reality, we have no real accurate way to get these numbers. Even those statistices are mostly off site generated. And alexa only works if you have their toolbar installed. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 21:30, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Alexa comparisons are "relative" vs. "absolute" since the same browsing restrictions apply to every website. From that perspective, the Alexa rankings and trends for Wikinews are accurate. 128.210.58.222 16:22, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

OJR is looking for us[edit]

[1]. –Doldrums(talk) 21:59, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

LOL...indeed...we should contact them. Would benefit Wikinews greatly IMHO. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 22:05, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Not for this report in particular, though. I quote: 'we are not looking to examine so-called "citizen journalism" efforts'. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 13:52, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
hmmm... missed that bit :( –Doldrums(talk) 19:51, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Featured article copyedit drive?[edit]

Hi I'm new here and thought one of the best ways to figure out what this project was trying to accomplish would be to take a look at some featured content. The first couple I've looked at have had some small, but obvious, problems with the writing: tenses, capitalization, incoherence, etc. Maybe we could all take a quick look through the featured articles to catch any remaining problems like this. Sancho 13:57, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Some examples would be nice. Perhaps in the form of {{editprotected}} use on article talk pages. I'd be happy to review proposed changes, but these are generally archived articles and a lot of caution has to be exercised. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:16, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I've tagged the couple of changes I suggested already with that template and they were fixed pretty quickly. You can check my contributions to see what I had suggested. They were really just copyedits to bring the content within the syntax of the English language, nothing serious done to the content or anything like that. I'm simply suggesting that maybe a few eyes to go through the twenty featured articles on this project would catch some more of these types of errors so that we're actually showing off great writing. I could easily do this myself, but at least one other person would make sure nothing is missed. Sancho 16:41, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Major WMF announcement: board restructuring[edit]

See http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_of_Trustees/Restructure_Announcement -- This just in, from a post by Raul654 (talk) at w:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Suggestions. Thought this would be of interest - both for potential article(s) on this change, and on the impact it would have to Wikinews. Cirt - (talk) 20:16, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Ugh...what a mess. I see several problems straight off the bat with this:
  • Jimmy gets an extended seat despite his promises to step down this year.
  • Nice they have chapter seats, but too little representation and those should be voted in also.
  • So much for board elections this year and next year basically as although the seats have been extended, less are voted in. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 20:29, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

I have just created Wikimedia board of trustees announces restructure on this restructure. --A101 - (talk) 05:34, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Official Election Notice[edit]

The 2008 Board election committee announces the 2008 election process. Wikimedians will have the opportunity to elect one candidate from the Wikimedia community to serve as a representative on the Board of Trustees. The successful candidate will serve a one-year term, ending in July 2009.

Candidates may nominate themselves for election between May 8 and May 22, and the voting will occur between 1 June and 21 June. For more information on the voting and candidate requirements, see <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Board_elections/2008>.

The voting system to be used in this election has not yet been confirmed, however voting will be by secret ballot, and confidentiality will be strictly maintained.

Votes will again be cast and counted on a server owned by an independent, neutral third party, Software in the Public Interest (SPI). SPI will hold cryptographic keys and be responsible for tallying the votes and providing final vote counts to the Election Committee. SPI provided excellent help during the 2007 elections.

Further information can be found at <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Board_elections/2008/en>. Questions may be directed to the Election Committee at <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Board_elections/2008/en>. If you are interested in translating official election pages into your own language, please see <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Board_elections/2008/Translation>.

For the election committee,
Kwan Ting Chan

Why even bother with an election this year...or any at all? It seems to me that the board wants to pick and choose their members and want them to be "experts." So really is there any point at all in having an election anytime soon? DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 18:51, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
The election this year will be for one of the 3 elected position, for one year term. All 3 of the elected position will then be put up for election next year for a 2 years term. Under the proposed restructuring, there will in addition be 4 directly appointed specific expertise seats, and 2 seats selected by Chapters with method to be determined themselves. There will also be one rolling 1 year term seat reserved for Jimmy Wales for as long as the Board renew it, or until Jimbo decides to step down himself. KTC - (talk) 00:56, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
One: jimmy promised to step down already, but now that he has a permanent seat, I would doubt that to happen, but prove me wrong. Two: There is one seat up for this election. And that's Florence's. If anything she has been the one board member to accomplish anything. Three: This still leave the unanswered question of: Why are we having an election this year? Four: What of Jimmy's seat in the unlikely event he does step down? From what I hear, it gets abolished. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 02:40, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
One: I cannot comment on that as I do not know anything about that. I guess you can ask him on his talk page or on foundation-l. Three: Because the seat that Florence was elected to be on is due to end this year. Four: As far as it has been stated, yes it get abolished. KTC - (talk) 15:05, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I've asked Jimmy Wikipedia:User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#Board_restructure. A101 - (talk) 16:10, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
link not working? links back to here. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 17:20, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I've fixed the link. KTC - (talk) 17:42, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Petition[edit]

Someone set up a petition to protest the board restructure. You can see it here --A101 - (talk) 16:17, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Suggestion[edit]

I think Wikinews should have something like zh:2008年4月30日香港報紙頭條 (translation) on the english Wikinews. Any thoughts? --A101 - (talk) 16:37, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

It seems a bit unworkable. Google news will always have us beat with that and we would not be offering anything more, --Cspurrier - (talk) 20:39, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Good Point Anonymous101 :) 15:20, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia porn[edit]

I have too much of a COI in this issue to write a story, but the Christian News Wire has been pumping it hard: The story that appears to have birthed it all:

And the follow-ups:

--David Shankbone (talk) 16:52, 12 May 2008 (UTC)


We did start this story at Wikinews:Story preparation/Child pornography scandal erupts on Wikipedia; FBI to investigate. It has since been deleted Anonymous101 :) 17:25, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Cary was the one who spoke to the reporter at WND, and characterised her as coming across as a hysterical Middle American conservative mom (paraphrase).
  • The Foundation is blissfully unaware of any FBI involvement.
  • Content had been drawn from Valleywag which made allegations against Erik Moeller.
  • The portrayal of these allegations in the Wikinews article could be considered actionable libel. Both against the Foundation, and against the main contributor DragonFire1024.
  • I deleted the article after a highly concerned late-night phone call from Mike Godwin.
  • I have mailed parts of the deleted article to David to see where the problems lie.
  • This is not a OFFICE action - we don't have WN:OFFICE. Office actions have been severely curtailed since Mike Godwin came on board.
  • A factually accurate title would be Child porn allegations levelled at Wikipedia; source claims FBI will investigate.
It has been suggested on the ComCom list that a discussion be started on the foundation-l mailing list about exactly how open Wikinews can be. I disagree, so I have not started this. With the concern expressed by WMF staff, and by DF about losing two articles, I have attempted to start up a discussion on getting the missing bits of policy and guidelines. There will be positive side-effects to this.
First on the list is "<whoever> versus WMF". This was where DF lost the article on the current case. That is as much my fault as his. I saw a couple other sources report on it and thought that was reasonable criteria for its publication. Apparently anything like that where the WMF is involved in legal action has to be looked over and a legal thumbs-up given.
Second on my list is what do we get out of this? Sue Gardner has taken an interest in this, so we should be able to draw on her experience with CBC.ca. This might also give us a little bargaining power on getting WMF staff and board members to talk to us. Possibly the "embargoed" wiki?
Third, please get involved. Help us to turn to people and say, "we've upped our standards, up yours!". :P --Brian McNeil / talk 22:20, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Without commenting on these specific articles, I am not sure that I understand fully why we must not cover stories that involve legal matters for other projects or even the foundation itself. Other news-outlets certainly cover such stories involving their own parent/sister companies. Examples include ABC News/Disney and NBC News/General Electric. Is Mike Godwin being overzealous? --SVTCobra 22:57, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Very good comment by SVTCobra (talk · contribs), was thinking of giving a very similar type of comment. I also echo this question. Cirt (talk) 23:05, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
If Mike Godwin has made a statement, "all reference to these allegations has been removed from WMF servers", that includes Wikinews. I don't know the answers to these questions, and I'm sufficiently keep to get answers that I also emailed the head of BBC World News. No response :S; dare I say "yet"? --Brian McNeil / talk 00:24, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Maybe he shouldn't make such statements. Smile.png I read what Sue had to say about her experiences at CBC. Perhaps, she could get Mike to lighten up. --SVTCobra 00:29, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
My beef: this was an office action. Period. I had sources to back up every single thing I said in that article, and still do. I stand by what I said and made no allegations. I simply quoted sources, like we always do, among edits and other items. I am not happy about this as this was clearly done before anyone could make an edit to satisfy the ones complaining. I don't like the fact that I wasn't given a chance. This wasn't "run by anyone" or the legal department, it was zapped. Yes I agree with Sue's mail. Yes they are good ideas and things we need...but look what it took. I believe and still do, that I performed an investigative report. Original reporting. Anything I wrote was never published and could have been changed. I just would have liked a little more of an opportunity to write what we are supposed to be here doing`, news. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 00:57, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm quite troubled by this series of events, as I'm only coming to it now. There are some issues here. I think it dangerous to enter into a formal complicit "embargo" situation with relation to WMF matters without more discussion. Perhaps a "town hall" on this matter would be useful? -- Fuzheado (talk) 05:21, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Signpost coverage[edit]

Note that the Wikipedia Signpost has an article about the pornography stories: Explicit sexual content draws fire. A modified version might be appropriate for Wikinews.--ragesoss (talk) 03:54, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia Review and Danny talking about WN[edit]

Here are some links that talk about Wikinews and the Foundation pulling articles:

All the News that's Fit to Censor which I posted to digg because he has excellent points all around and I am inclined to agree with him.

Wikipedia Review also picked this up, but they posted the WaterCooler: Did Godwin censor Wikinews?, Curious "I can understand pulling the Erik Moller stuff for libel concerns. This is a weird mix of events. It makes sense from a legal protection standpoint to pull it, but there is also the Child Porn story angle. Why nuke the whole story, and not just the Moller aspect?" DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 01:46, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Danny's blog post takes comments by Mike and Sue out of context imo (although he does have some good points. I'm not exactly happy about this whole situation). Is the fact wikipediareview is talking about us a good thing. From my understanding they are somewhat psychotic (not sure if that is the right word). Bawolff 02:41, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I see it as this...the bugzilla report for our Wiki was denied because "This needs to go through the committees first. Closed." What committees? So essentially Sue can just had us one? Doubtful. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 03:59, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

BREAKING NEWS: Encyclopedia Dramatica Exposes WR and Daniel Brandt for Spying[edit]

PHOTOS ON THE WIKIPEDIA REVIEW ARTICLE AT ENCYLOPEDIA DRAMATICA Guys - someone sent me a link to encyclopedia dramatica...somebody there uploaded images showing that the Wikipedia Review is spying on their members. This is big news. They tracked Newyorkbrad - there's a photo of Daniel Brandt and Somey talking about his IP address, with Somey saying that if it gets out it will hurt their credibility. Big surprise! This just off the heels of the discovery that the fieryangel is composer Paul Wehage, who turned against Wikipedia because he was trying to spam. --Breaking News at ED (talk) 02:52, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Oh it is for real, sorry I'm a dumbass ... why don't you provide the links so my dumb ass can look at them. --SVTCobra 03:04, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Because, you dumbass, you can't link to encyclopediadramatica on Wikimedia projects. Duh! I tried! Go to the Wikipedia Review article at ED and check it out - how many reporters need their hand held like this?!?! You guys are such a joke. --Breaking News at ED (talk) 03:13, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I have seen www.encyclopediadramatica.com/Wikipedia_Review and that is just great stuff. --SVTCobra 03:21, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
You're a fucking idiot. Seriously. This isn't a joke, there are screen shots of Daniel Brandt and Somey posting about his IP, and about other people's IP addresses. And here you are, sitting on it, like a jackass. Figures. --Breaking News at ED (talk) 03:23, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
This is not the right place for this and I don't see any such scoop. Further, I had to block you. --SVTCobra 03:49, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

The user is referring to the ED page about The Wikipedia Review. And quite frankly I don't see just yet how newsworthy this is, or if there is even enough reliable material to go on, at all. So for the time being this isn't really much to work with, IMO. Cirt (talk) 05:21, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Deleted Wikinews aritlces appearing on Wikileaks[edit]

See [2] and [3]. Two deleted copies of Wikinews articles have appeared on Wikileaks. Anonymous101 :) 15:58, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

An interesting development. If these have been supplied to Wikileaks after they were deleted by an administrator then this would be a very serious abuse of admin rights and anyone found doing so would quickly find themselves listed on WN:A to have their rights removed. Although I'm open to suggestions as to how this might have happened, I think this is something that we should be investigating. Adambro (talk) 16:33, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
According to the Wikileaks page they were both submitted yesterday. Anonymous101 :) 16:41, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
Google cache retains copies of those pages I think ([4]). Martinp23 (talk) 16:48, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
Good point. Anonymous101 :) 16:50, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
I note that the version from the Google Cache and that on WL differ. Could an administrator look at the deleted revisions and confirm whether the version from Google is identical to the final revision. The first paragraph of the version of WL ends "obtained the offending texts and edits" whereas the Google verson ends "obtained the offending texts". There are presumably more differences. Was "and edits" added after Google cached the page at 6 May 2008 23:07:54 GMT, therefore meaning that the WL version wasn't taken from Google? I appreciate this is all a bit complex but if we could establish what version WL has then it could be useful in determining how they obtained it. Of course there could be information to be gathered from looking at the other article as well. Adambro (talk) 16:57, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
The article obtained through undeletion is identical to that on Wikileaks. It has several differences from the Google cached version. Anonymous101 :) 17:14, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
Okay Anon, thanks for looking into this. If the final revision is identical to that on WL, could you say for how long it that was from the last edit to the deletion of the article to help determine how feasible it might have been for someone to have saved it before it got deleted? There is of course the other article. What is the situation with that one? Is the final revision identical and again how long was it available before deletion. Presuming both were only available for a short time, I'm afraid it must make it more likely that this was leaked by an administrator here because I think the chance of someone saving the exact final revision before they were deleted of both articles must be slim. I'll hopefully not be burnt at the stake for suggesting these articles could have been leaked by an admin here but I'd suggest that it is important that we investigate this carefully. We wouldn't really be in a position to publish articles highlighting where other organisations have failed to keep information confidential if we can't keep our own house in order. Adambro (talk) 17:29, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
2 hours 44 minutes betwwen last reviosion and deletion Anonymous101 :) 17:36, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
In a (now deleted) userspace page I just checked that the two revisions are exactly identical. They are Anonymous101 :) 17:40, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

The other article is also identical to the version obtained through undeletion. It was available for six minutes like that before deletion Anonymous101 :) 17:45, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Interesting. My suggestion that this could be an "inside job" remains since the evidence indicates that this is a real possibility. However, I suspect that we're not going to be able to find out who it was if this was the case. Therefore I'd simply reiterate the advice, don't trust anybody, but I'd still hope that we could track down how WL got hold of this. Adambro (talk) 17:50, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't think we'll track down how Wikileaks got hold of it as Wikileaks aren't going to tell us and that is basically the only way we could find out. Anonymous101 :)�~

Abuse of admin rights?[edit]

Sure... it's a bit abuseful... but look at Wikitruth... you got sympathetic administrators from WP doing it all the time. Yes, Jimbo calls the site a "hoax," but these were very obviously real articles at one time. --TUFKAAP (talk) 17:03, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't see how there is any abuse here. I don't think there is any promises to not use the admin tools to transwiki. If it's worth wikileaks hosting then fine let them have it. Virtually all the stuff that gets deleted here would not be worth their time to host. Only real effect this has is : foundation might have less incentive to have some story pulled. But even that doesn't matter since tehy don't really care if we run a story airing their dirty laundry, en users don't get their news about the foundation from us. Nyarlathotep (talk) 16:06, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikileaks press release[edit]

This Wikileakss press release was forwarder to Wikinews-l by Markie (talk · contribs) :

Wikileaks has revealed that the Wikimedia Foundation Board (which legally controls Wikipedia.org and Wikinews.org) has killed off a Wikinews report into the Barabara Bauer vs. Wikimedia Foundation case.

Wikinews.org is a collaborative general news site that often produces quality original reportage and is meant to be editorially independent from the WMF.

The WMF board also suppressed, prior to publication, a Wikinews investigation into child and other pornography on Wikipedia, which was subsequently and independently covered by Valley Wag and other media outlets this week.

The US Communications Deceny Act (CDA) section 230 grants providers of internet services (such as the Wikipedia and Wikinews) immunity from legal action related to their user generated content provided they do not exercise pre-publication control.

In deleting articles articles unfavourable to the WMF prior to publication, Wikileaks states that the WMF control of Wikinews not only appears to lack journalistic integrity but that "The Wikimedia Foundation may have set a dangerous precedent that could see it lose its CDA section 230 immunity."

The EFF and Sheppard Mullin are using CDA section 230 as the primary defense of the WMF in the Barbara Bauer defamation case.

WikiLeaks is an international union of organizations and individuals and is unrelated to the WMF.


Anonymous101 :) 16:51, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

this was also forwarded to foundation-l/troll-l which has lots of replies (some of them are even vaguely interesting/related :-p). --MarkTalk to me 20:19, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Jimbo's Admin[edit]

Discussion moved from WN:AAA

Well Jimbo has decided he wants he adminship back. I have also respectfully disagreed with his request. It was a clear consensus and had been going on for over 10 days now. So I think that it should be voted upon again, if at all. Administrator rights, when have gone through a community process like this, cannot be demanded back. 21 edits since 2004, and no administrator edits...that's a long time. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 04:15, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Considering the consensus was rather clear to remove all rights, and also considering the brouhaha Wikinews has been in with the office, I don't see a revote getting above no consensus anyway. A revote could happen but it would really waste a lot of people's time. TheCustomOfLife (talk) 04:20, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Agree with DragonFire1024 (talk · contribs) and with TheCustomOfLife (talk · contribs), and I commented at WN:A. Cirt (talk) 04:33, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
If Jimbo really does intend to be here more often, then once he has shown he knows his way round here (I'm sure he'll somehow manage to work it out without any real difficulty anyway) he can stand for adminship again and likely get it back. Until then, he must first prove he needs it, same as anyone else. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 06:44, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
  • It's a mop and bucket, not a merit badge. --Brian McNeil / talk 07:47, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
No problem he/you can be back for a vote, i am not at ease with the "Inactive Policy". Under psychological point of view, we "killed our father"(metaphoricaly speaking). Now, it's done, go along. He is/you are a special guy for us, poor mortal, but remember his/your piss is not champagne (sorry for the bad word), and i know champagne, don't I? Jacques Divol (talk) 14:29, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I am not sure he undertands Wikinews policy if he asks for readminship after clear consensus for removal of rights. Once he starts to eedit reguarly for a few months I will suppot his readminship (if he follows policy) Anonymous101 :) 14:57, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

link=Wikinews:Water cooler/miscellaneous/Archive/16

You're probably qualified for admin if:

  1. You've done at least two month's work on Wikinews.
  2. You are trusted by the community.
link=Wikinews:Water cooler/miscellaneous/Archive/16

Qualifies on two, but not one. --Brian McNeil / talk 15:26, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, I have to applaud Jimbo for petitioning the community rather than just Stewarding his right back. I have personally nothing against Jimmy, and I don't believe that WN:IP is officially policy yet. I think that, in Jimmy's case, we should reduce the adminship qualification to perhaps one month. I'll be on mIRC later tonight - perhaps we can pull Jimmy in? Thunderhead 19:05, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
If Jimbo wants admin rights then he's going to have to explain to the community why he feels it is appropriate. I've yet to see such an explanation beyond he's apparently going to become more active here which is hardly sufficient. It is obvious that Jimbo has a unique position within the WMF community and I would be delighted to see him contribute more here and gain admin rights but on the basis of his contributions rather than his position. Adambro (talk) 19:18, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
No. We don't make deals for anybody else, he has to do the two full months of editing just like everybody else. Not scattered edits across a year or two, either. Like actual dedicated editing. TheCustomOfLife (talk) 20:21, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
If Jimbo wants adminship he can give it to himself. He has the technical power as well a legitimate claim to adminship. However, if he wants adminship given to him through the normal process (bureaucrat giving it), then he needs to go through the normal process to get it with a RFA. --Cspurrier (talk) 20:36, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I am a board member of the Wikimedia Foundation, and as such I have an automatic right to sysophood so that I can look at deleted revisions, check on this and that, and take admin actions where necessary or helpful. This does not need to go through the normal RfA process, and my admin bit should not have been removed through any community process. As you may have seen, it has been misinterpreted by a gossip blog as me being "kicked off" of Wikinews. This is preposterous. I am making the choice for the moment not to use my Steward/Founder bit to readmin myself, because I am hopeful that it will be restored promptly without having to bother with all that. All board members have an automatic right and need for admin bit anywhere they want it, in order to properly exercise our duties.
The removal was in error in the first place, and a bureaucrat can fix it.
It is actually ironic that some editors who are concerned about possible "censorship" at Wikinews would support removal of admin rights from someone so likely to help make sure that does not happen.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:27, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

See this comment by Anthere (talk · contribs):

Actually, I do think you should not consider board members above the policies and guidelines. Anthere - (talk) 16:37, 11 May 2008 (UTC)


That comment was made during the de-adminship discussion for Jimbo Wales (talk · contribs). See Diff. Cirt (talk) 21:48, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Actually, Board members are entitled to rights if and when they need it (at the instant), which is why they are given steward rights upon request. You have been desysopped at other wikis per inactivity as well, and you were even notified of the request for de-adminship on your enwiki talk page. When asked, the Chair of the Board agreed with the sentiment that the board should not be treated any different than anyone else, saying "I do think you should not consider board members above the policies and guidelines. Anthere - (talk) 16:37, 11 May 2008 (UTC)" (diff). So respectfully i disagree with the above. --MarkTalk to me 21:49, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
FYI - Jimbo Wales (talk · contribs) went through a de-adminship process at Wikibooks, see User rights log and Diff at Wikibooks:Requests for permissions. Cirt (talk) 21:57, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Jimmy, the removal was not a mistake - looking at this, Drini (a neutral party) saw no legitimate policy reason to not remove your rights. According to Wikinews policy, we desysop administrators who are not active - this applies to all editors, including members of the Board. There is no "automatic right to sysophood" that you have as the founder of Wikipedia and the WMF. We completley respect you; there's no doubt about that. You've done great things for the Free Content world, but this is a completley seperate matter. We have not kicked you off Wikinews. We would love to have you as an active member of the community. But please follow our guidelines for adminship. You have an account here, and you are indeed subject to the guidelines of the project, just as Wikinews is subject to the policies of the WMF. If you can find any Wikimedia Foundation policy that says that you do indeed have an automatic right to sysophood, please post it. Thunderhead 22:02, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Thunderhead, WN:IP is not yet policy. So it was not automatic, but otherwise the de-sysop was according to policy and practices. --SVTCobra 22:16, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
A bureaucrat and likewise a steward's job is to act according to the consensus of the community. The consensus appears to be to remove adminship. It would be inappropriate for a bureaucrat or a steward to ignore that. If the board wishes for board membership to equal adminship, a statement to that effect should be issued by the board. If Jimbo believes that the community should be ignored in this case and no board statement is necessary, then he should use his steward tools and promote himself, asking others to ignore established policy and consensus is inappropriate. I personally have no objection to Jimbo having adminship. I am rather surprised the community voted to remove it. The classic justification why Jimbo should have adminship is because the community wanted him to have it. Since that is no longer the case a new justification is needed.--Cspurrier (talk) 22:08, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Above, Mark says board members are given steward rights upon request. Can somebody point me to something that indicates this? I haven't heard it before, although I could see it making sense. But of the current board, only Anthere and Jimbo are stewards (although as a sysadmin, I believe Domas can do pretty much the same stuff). --Michael Snow (talk) 23:47, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

well maybe its not written policy, but as i see it on the steward confirmation page: "(exempt from reconfirmation: ... Jimbo Wales ... ) and also this shows that he was appointed. but meh, i may be wrong, but they have the power to get any rights they want technically. --MarkTalk to me 09:45, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
The rest of the exempt group is a bunch of developers, not board members. I note that despite being a board member, Anthere went through reconfirmation. So historically, it looks to me like this has been based on Jimbo as a special case, not in a board member capacity. --Michael Snow (talk) 16:24, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Anthere was made a steward separate from her position on the board. Board members do not have any need for admin rights on any and every project they choose to. Majorly (talk) 13:06, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Temporary Reinstatement[edit]

Is anyone opposed to reinstatement of Jimmy's admin rights until we can reach a final decision? Jimmy mentioned a reason that he would need to have admin rights on Wikinews to investigate a deleted article; it would look much better to the blog world if we gave them back, at least temporarily. Thoughts? Thunderhead 23:34, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

What's the problem with asking an administrator to investigate the deleted article? If he wants temporary access to facilitate his duty as board member/"founder", he can +sysop himself temporarily using his steward rights. Cbrown1023 talk 23:48, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
After seeing the results of the de-adminship discussion, and all of the comments in the above thread - I also echo Cbrown1023 (talk · contribs)'s question - why can't someone who is already an administrator through community consensus on this project provide the information and/or investigate? And also FWIW - there was already a discussion about an investigation conducted by Anonymous101 (talk · contribs), at Wikinews:Water_cooler/miscellaneous#Deleted_Wikinews_aritlces_appearing_on_Wikileaks. Cirt (talk) 23:51, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
From what I read, Jimmy can reinstate himself instantly if anything makes it urgent enough. So I don't think we need to rush a "temp reinstatement". --SVTCobra 23:59, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
If he wants temp admin he can come here. Post a message or talk to Craig. I see no need to do it when its not needed. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 00:30, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
In the discussion in IRC it was suggested that a notification of temp sysopping through steward rights here would cause no problems with the community. Do we need to develop a policy on when those with steward rights can use them? --Brian McNeil / talk 08:13, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I think that developing such a policy would certainly be a good idea, as it seems that from above comments there is some ambiguity as to when this would or would not be appropriate with the community. Cirt (talk) 08:16, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Would it not be easier now Jimmy has explained that just because he doesn't have a great number of recent contributions doesn't mean he isn't using his admin rights in the interests of our project for us simply grant him admin rights again rather than allowing this to be taken out of our hands. Having discussed this issue with Jimmy, I don't think we should be making it any harder than necessary for him to get involved. I think the phrase Cutting off the nose to spite the face is very relevant here. We don't need to make it awkward for Jimmy so let's not. I don't think we should be putting him in a position where to assist with the project he has to go against the community consensus to remove his rights. I also don't see why it is our interests to make it difficult for him to help us. Adambro (talk) 08:47, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

<unindent> As a Bureaucrat I would not grant someone sysop without community consensus. However, I feel those with steward rights are slightly different and should be able to temporarily sysop themselves when it is genuinely required. Emphasis on the temporarily. As I understand it, all board members have this privilege, and for Section 230 - as well as Wikinews' image of impartiality - I feel it is good if the use of the rights is kept to a minimum.

One of the most encouraging aspects of the discussion is that it has remained that, a discussion. Nobody has overruled the community's decision. The cited requirement Jimmy has for admin access is to review the two controversial deleted articles for further discussion internally within WMF. This could trivially be achieved by an admin pasting the deleted articles into a couple of emails to Jimmy. This would achieve the current requirement and allow time for a more considered and - hopefully - less pressured discussion. Perhaps we do need WN:STEWARD with guidelines for the Wikinews project. I for one would be delighted to see steward actions noted on this page as an additional form of transparency. Yes, that even includes retrieving deleted articles. To my knowledge only the developers could establish use of that aspect of holding sysop. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:10, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

This discussion could be rendered moot for the time being if someone from the WMF Board who wishes to see the deleted revision(s) of a particular article or articles would simply ask an admin about it. For transparency we could then note which revisions were shown to which non-admin here. Cirt (talk) 09:13, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I can't see the need for a WN:STEWARD. Stewards act in accordance with community consensus unless in exceptional circumstances, they can and should do so. Whilst this remains a discussion a big problem remains. As I've noted the current situation leaves Jimmy in an awkward position; to help the community he'd have to go against the de-adminship and give himself admin rights. Creating an additional layer of complexity requiring him ask for admins to provide him with deletion revisions is unnecessary and could impact on his ability to investigate issues with a minimum amount of fuss. I fail to see any problems with giving him admin rights. Anything he does is going to be immediately known, User:Jimbo Wales appearing in recent changes is always going to catch people's eye and so be subject to a great deal of scrutiny. Whilst I don't think it would be right to ask a 'crat to give him admin rights at this point in time without community consensus, it would be nice to think that nominating him for adminship through the usual process would meet with little opposition. Adambro (talk) 09:34, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
so why not go for it? -> WN:A --MarkTalk to me 09:48, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Since this discussion is already ongoing here the idea is to get a feel for how likely such a request would have of being successful and understanding what some of the concerns might be before nominating Jimbo at WN:A. Adambro (talk) 09:53, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Well it seems at the present time that the consensus of the community on this project would not support going that route. Cirt (talk) 10:07, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
What's your current position on this issue then Cirt? Adambro (talk) 10:12, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
My current position is to default to the most recent consensus as laid out by the community on this project at the de-adminship discussion closed by Markie (talk · contribs) after 9 days. Cirt (talk) 10:17, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
As pointed out above, the notion that all board members have steward privileges seems to be a myth. --Michael Snow (talk) 16:28, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

I've said that I think the removal of sysop privileges from inactive users is absurd. However, if you're going to take them from everyone, no exception should be made for Jimbo, or any other board member. He can make himself a sysop if necessary (as he has to do on other wikis), and he can ask other sysops for access. Ral315 (talk) 06:13, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Florence has suggested a solution; that a "seeall" privilege be created. This covers Jimmy's concerns that he cannot review deleted material and strengthens the argument that the WMF is hands-off and not exercising editorial control. There is a sufficiently active community here that staff and board do not need to engage in any other activities that require sysop. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:25, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Clarification. I did not suggest the idea. Someone else did in a private email and I commented on the idea. I am not fully sure it is a good idea. Let me say I am neutral. However, I am most explicitely of the opinion that board members should not have default adminiship/oversight bits where they wish so. The responsibility and role of a board member is to provide oversight on the Foundation, not on the projects. Anthere (talk) 12:23, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Sounds like a brilliant idea. How long will this take to be implemented and what is the current plan regarding who this will be granted to? What happens in the meantime? Has a satisfactory arrangement to provide deleted revisions to Jimbo been established or is he still experiencing difficulties? Thanks for keeping us up to date with this Brian. Adambro (talk) 09:16, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
The idea has really just been floated as a suggestion on ComCom. There will likely be some further debate before it gets turned into a bug request. Who files that may have an influence on how quickly it is done, but without being a MediaWiki developer I can only guess at the time required to implement. I don't think it is going to be a tricky request to fulfil; I would expect testing and security validation to take longer than the actual coding.
As to who has it, my take would be all board members and likely most (probably all) staff. I can see possible other uses where you perhaps have an ArbCom member who is not a sysop - but I think that would be rather a rare exception. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:37, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and before I forget... I cut out the content of the two deleted emails and sent it on to Jimmy. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:36, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Interesting, so this brings forward perhaps the biggest reason to leave people as admins : reading deleted version. It's pretty useful for various people, even people who are not deleting pages. I don't see any real need for a technical solution, unless the foundation wants that too, just take reading deleted pages into account like any other admin power. Nyarlathotep (talk) 10:47, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

I see no sense in giving Jimbo his sysops back, he is a steward,and if he wants he can temp sysop himself here when needed and plus he also lost his sysop/crat rights on enwikibooks to due to lack of inactivity and as much as he hates it, its policy to de-admin inactive editors and it has to be done no matter who he is...--Cometstyles 11:37, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm afraid I'd disagree. Not granting Jimbo sysops rights leaves him in an awkward position. In order to assist the project in a way which would require him to have admin rights would require him to go against the de-adminship request. Whilst I certainly haven't always held this opinion, I now consider it slightly misguided to apply any inactivity policy to Jimbo. Clearly he is still active elsewhere, can be a significant help to any project, and simply because he doesn't have a list of recent contributions doesn't mean he hasn't made use of the rights. I still think it is a good idea to remove admin rights from inactive users in general though and this is where I'd disagree with Jimbo. Adambro (talk) 11:57, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not very active here lately, so feel free to ignore me, but in general, I think adminship should be given to people who can be trusted not to do anything bad. Time and edit requirements are fine for new, unknown users, since you have to base that trust on something, but they don't necessarily make sense when applied to people we know. So, IMHO, the question shouldn't be if Jimbo is very active here, but rather whether the community is satisfied that he will not abuse the buttons. Zocky (talk) 12:21, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

As we stand now, Jimbo Wales (talk · contribs) wanted to look at 2 deleted articles, and Brianmc (talk · contribs) emailed them to him. Regardless of a discussion of some sort of "seeall" tool which appears to still be in the planning stages, we should still take into account the consensus expressed by the community from the closed de-adminship discussion. In addition, the willingness by Brianmc to help out and provide the deleted articles, as would probably most any admin if asked, shows there isn't really a need for the tools on a permanent basis, and that other admins are quite happy to oblige requests for actions when needed. Cirt (talk) 20:20, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

If all he wanted to do was see the articles, just Google Wikinews in Google News and there you go. Look this was all done in a community consensus of 1 oppose and 9 support. If he wants his administrator rights back, then fine, but only like everyone else. There is no need to make another policy or get a board resolution etc etc...we have stewards to give people admin and such when and if needed. So I think if he that badly wants his rights back, then he should be treated just the same as any other contributer. He was aware of this process and decided to comment after the fact and in an area clearly marked as a closed discussion. Since the consensus is still clear, I don't think it would be wise to make this an issue of power. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 20:29, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Consensus changes, just as I thought that he didn't need admin rights and therefore shouldn't have them, others might, and I'd hope they have, changed their position on this too. The current situation is far from ideal. For Jimbo to have to mess around asking admins to send him copies of deleted articles he wants to examine seems rather unnecessary. He can be trusted with admin rights and has explained why it would be useful for him to have them and so this resistance to reinstating his rights seems rather pointless. It is in the interests of the project to have Jimbo's assistance and so we shouldn't be putting up barriers for him to do so. I hope the "seeall" right is implemented but in the meantime I'd be delighted to see Jimbo given admin rights here through the regular process in order to facilitate him to work with us here. Any such nomination would receive my full support. We simply cannot treat Jimbo has just another user and this is something I'd failed to recognise. Adambro (talk) 20:45, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Adambro I am glad that you would be happy if Jimbo Wales (talk · contribs) were to be given admin rights through the regular process, because to assess community consensus as was done previously that would be the best way to go. As stated above, I tend to agree with the comment made earlier by Anthere (talk · contribs). Cirt (talk) 20:52, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
I'd suggest Anthere's comments were probably made in relation to the (proposed) inactivity policy. I do not think that her comments were intended to justify preventing Jimbo from gaining admin rights through a RfA where a "normal" user might not be successful in doing so despite Jimbo's clear ability to benefit the project. Adambro (talk) 21:04, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Agreed on applicability of Anthere's comments, disagree that any particular user should be treated any differently than any other in the RfA process. Cirt (talk) 21:09, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
To be honest there isn't really any necessity to treat Jimbo any differently in an RfA. Like anyone else we'll assess the contributions he's made, the reason why he requires adminship, and his experience. Adambro (talk) 21:19, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Cirt (talk) 21:29, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break number one[edit]

Adambro, under the criteria you propose an RfA would either fail or be no consensus. Look up; review the discussion. Wikinewsies don't want anybody treated any differently and jwales has not got enough edits to prove he knows the differences between here and Wikipedia. I would not dare question that he's technically competent to edit, but we have our project foibles and specific templates that only concentrated contributions will bring you to know and love (or loathe).

The "seeall" issue is being discussed on foundation-l and, despite an early "WTF not sysop him" comment, most people see this as a good idea. People have highlighted that ru.wp has ArbCom members who are not sysops and at least one person has supported the position that this helps maintain the appearance of no editorial control and staff/board working in a reactive role. (i.e. If someone shows us something illegal we'll do something, but not go looking for it).

The immediate need is past. Let's move this forward to something that benefits all projects/languages. There is some good can come out of the strife here on Wikinews and if you look up the discussion on troll-l foundation-l you'll see that. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:30, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Yakety, yakety, yak. To everyone: we've established consensus and made it crystal clear that Jimmy is free to give himself admin rights on his own as he wishes. That's it. No further discussion needed. Enough already. Pilotguy roger that 00:35, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
And if he does, without prior knowledge or consensus, I am sure that he is prepared for the possible consequences. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 01:37, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Which are what exactly? Adambro (talk) 05:22, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Assuming DragonFire1024 isn't making veiled threats (Jason, you do know your comment sounds like a threat?) I'd say the consequence most concerning would be further negative press and jepordising Section 230 immunity. --Brian McNeil / talk 05:49, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
That is not what I thought DragonFire1024 (talk · contribs) was referring to, but rather that it would be a great disappointment to those that volunteer their time for Wikinews if someone from the Wikimedia Foundation were to go against the consensus of the community on this project. Cirt (talk) 08:09, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
It would be a great disappointment if someone with a great deal of experience was prevented unnecessarily from assisting with the project especially considering that Jimbo has had admin rights for a significant period of time and no problems have occurred. If we've had no problems in the past then there's nothing to suggest we'll have any in the future. Not recognising these points leaves Jimbo in an awkward position where, as Brian notes, there will likely be more nonsense articles written about this if Jimbo ever reinstates his rights for whatever reason, portraying this as some terrible disrespect to the community just as the de-adminship was made out to be a snub of Jimbo by the Wikinews community. However people feel about Jimbo or the Foundation in general, using this as an opportunity to give both a kicking isn't in the interests of the project just as the nonsense articles written about it aren't. Simply reinstating his rights is the best solution or at least not causing a fuss if he chooses to reinstate the rights himself. Adambro (talk) 08:54, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Totally agree with "using this as an opportunity to give both a kicking isn't in the interests of the project", however disagree that going against the consensus of the community from the de-adminship discussion is in the best interests of this project. Cirt (talk) 09:55, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Adambro, you seem to be one of the lone voices (if not the lone voice) in giving Jimmy his rights back. However, you were the one who brought him for de-adminship in the first place. Why the shift in thought? What's changed? TheCustomOfLife (talk) 10:37, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
No threating...just simple. This (Doingwhat you want) is not how things work around here. The decision was made. This is not a vote or an RfA. If the consensus changed, then re nominate him. The process was carried out correctly and the decision was made. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 10:41, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
The de-adminship nomination was based upon the incorrect assumption that because of the lack of contribs that must mean that Jimbo wasn't making use of the admin rights and per the other nominations should therefore have these rights removed. However, Jimbo has pointed out the error in this assumption, expressed that the rights would be useful in assisting the project, and I'd suggest that it was incorrect of us to try to treat Jimbo as just another user when clearly this isn't the case. The discussion about the nomination was relatively limited and as such it would be reasonable to say that perhaps all the issues weren't considered. It would have probably been appropriate rather than simply to leave a notification on Jimbo's WP talk page to have actually actively sought a response from him to the nomination or even better I should have talked to him first.
I had perhaps optimistically thought that having had the opportunity to discuss and consider this more that other users would change their position on this issue but clearly this isn't going to happen and at this current time the re-nomination of Jimbo for adminship that I'd so like to make seems pointless so I shan't waste more of the community's time with this discussion. Adambro (talk) 11:11, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

<unindent>

In the time between Jimmy being de-sysopped and us getting to this point in time, there are two key things have happened. First, I have emailed the deleted articles he wished to see to him. This clears up the pressing need that may have caused him to come across in a less flattering light when asking for the privileges back. Second, a proposal - that has apparently been kicking about since before Florence brought it to my attention - has been dusted off and suggested as a long-term solution. This being the "see everything, but nothing else" privilege (Equivalent of VMS' READALL). Basically granting the board and senior staff the right to see any deleted material - possibly even down to what has been oversighted.

This second item has, with little dissent, met with approval on troll-l foundation-l. It has been highlighted that such a new privilege would be useful in places like ru.wp where not all ArbCom members are sysops; that other wiki projects have ArbComs where "mere mortal" users sit on the committee, and that my belief that use of such as this strengthens the credibility of claims not to exercise editorial control over the projects is supported by a number of people. This aspect of the ongoing discussion here, and on troll-l foundation-l is productive and may lead to minor tweaks to WMF policies and other options for various projects. There is some good has come out of this.

Gone are the days when jwales and the one or two other trustees and staff could wield godlike powers from on-high. I do not believe the decision to include jwales in the list of mass RfDA's was inappropriate, so I certainly wouldn't support overturning it on the basis of "passive" use of admin powers. As I highlighted on troll-l foundation-l, a basis for good system management is you have fine-grained access controls and do not needlessly grant privileges that will not be used. This is an aspect of risk and security management. The less accounts you have with an ability to cause damage the better. This should be commonsense.

From there we go to the tone of some of the comments in this discussion (And I'm giving you a serious stare here Jason)... There is a saying, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all"; I know people here can do better at keeping civil and not making veiled threats. Where people have been called on their comments they need to go back, try and put themselves in someone else's shoes, and make sure they don't put their Hallux and its four brothers in their mouth again. Turning some spilt milk into Milk flood threatens village is not the way to go. We have in progress a process to design spill-proof milk containers; let's leave it at that. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:33, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia usage again[edit]

Another thread on potential useage on Wikipedia. This time, more prominance on ITN on the Main Page. See Wikipedia talk:In the news 2.0. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 21:34, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

I spent ten minutes writing a comment at what I thought was an appropriate point. Then I read down the page. :( --Brian McNeil / talk 22:17, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Google News[edit]

Is Wikinews indexed by Google News? --Ssr (talk) 07:32, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

For the short answer, no. For the long answer: Our blog Wikinews Reports is. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 07:42, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Not to mention a number of other sites that use our stories (as is their right, by the CC license), and get indexed on Google. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 13:12, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Cool AWB add-on[edit]

A plugin has been developed for AWB which allows uploading data from a CSV (spreadsheet) file... Ganeshbot/CSVLoader. This was first talked about last year and I stuck my two cents into the discussion saying it would be neat to use on Wikinews to update country categories or portals.

Any interest? --Brian McNeil / talk 08:07, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Globe and Mail: The Wiki business plan[edit]

Some interesting ramifications. Anyone know of more sources regarding these new hire(s) by the Wikimedia Foundation? I find it very interesting that according to The Globe and Mail there is a focus at WMF on "fielding calls from an endless line of tech giants, startups and private equity players". Would be interesting to find more sources and more information about this. Cirt (talk) 09:37, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
OTRS regularly has tickets with people wanting to place ads or influence content. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:51, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Collaborative Media Network - Status update[edit]

We are still working on getting CMN legally established. It will be registered as a South Carolina non-member nonprofit. We are currently working on finalizing the bylaws and we should be done fairly soon. The preliminarily board is as follows:

  • Craig Spurrier – President
  • Ilya Haykinson –Vice President
  • Jason Safoutin – Secretary
  • Paul Williams – Treasurer

I would like to stress that this is just temporary board. Once we are fully established and it is feasible to do so, we will have the community elect the board. Let me know if you have any questions. --Cspurrier (talk) 16:20, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Where are the previous discussions on this? --SVTCobra 23:26, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, one of them is currently the top topic on this page. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 00:24, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
The archives of the water cooler, wikinews-l, and foundation-l have the rest. If you have any questions let me know.--Cspurrier (talk) 16:12, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Board Election[edit]

As most of you probably already know, the Wikimedia board election has now started. To vote you must

  • not be blocked; (although one of the candidates, Gregory Kohs W:user:Thekohser, is indefinitely blocked) and
  • not be a bot; and
  • have made at least 600 edits before 01 March 2008 on that wiki (edits on several wikis cannot be combined); and
  • have made at least 50 edits between 01 January and 29 May 2008 on that wiki.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Anonymous101 (talkcontribs) 17:20, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

When trying to vote I discovered, to my utter horror, that I haven't made 50 edits in the last 5 months. Which makes me feel pretty bad, actually, since I'm on Wikinews very frequently — but mainly reading. *sigh* -- IlyaHaykinson (talk) 10:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)


Looks like Wikinews has the highest turnout (as a percentage of the project's users) (See the election graph) Anonymous101 :) 07:05, 8 June 2008 (UTC) And Wikinews (wikinews not en.wikinews) has more voters than any non wikipedia project. en.wikinews has the best for non wikipedia, monolingual wikis. Anonymous101 :) 13:53, 8 June 2008 (UTC)