Wikinews:Water cooler/policy/Archive/16

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Usage of Cc-by-nd[edit]

This template is used here for photojournalism. However, -nd works are not free (even if they are easier to reuse as images than GFDL-licensed works). This template was created back in February and was objected to quite strongly by Eloquence then, who quoted mailing list posts related to this, but it survived through general apathy. (Relevant discussion is at Wikinews talk:Image use policy and Template talk:Cc-by-nd-2.5). This template is used for ~120 images, all of which would be more useful, for other language WN articles for example, under a cc-by-sa license on Commons. I think the template {{Cc-by-nd-2.5}} should be deprecated to prevent further non-free uploads under it (removing it from MediaWiki:Licenses) and the uploaders of works uploaded under this license should be contacted to try and get them to freely relicense the work. I don't think the template itself should be deleted just yet, but I think it should be removed eventually; along with works that the uploaders refuse to freely license.--Nilfanion 16:27, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree, if there is no objection I will remove it (or try so, since I haven't edited MediaWiki yet).--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 14:52, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree 100%. I think that there should be the opotion to upload with that license, (Otherwise makes the part on GoL images make no sense), but it should not be ecouraged (sp?). Bawolff :-)(-: 07:11, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Removed.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 18:06, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Comments on current affairs[edit]

Many news media even those being considered as unbiased has got some sociopolitical journalism. They got publicists who comment current affairs and express their opinion. I think Wikinews should also have a column with wikicommentators' articles signed with their name and with disclaimer that everything written there is a author's personal point of view.

As far as I know, such articles are not allowed on Wikinews at the moment. Why? Fafek2 (talk page) 21:59, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

We do have such a page. See: Wikinews talk:Commentary pages on news events. FellowWikiNews (W) 22:07, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Wikinews may be reluctant to introduce comments because its built-in transparency would record for all the world to see responces that could, and probably would, run the full gamut from brilliant to mundane to outright ugly and hurtful.
There is also involved in this the introduction of an interactive dynamic, that in its worst case scenario, could mean comment pages would descend into a chat forum which is something that Wikinews is not about. Personally, I am not too fearful of that happening because comments can be monitored for their relevance to the news story associated with it. -Edbrown05 22:57, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I remember very well, how a couple years ago, it was very hard to press the 'save' button. A comment would be an easier 'save' button for a user to hit. I'm fairly certain the community would welcome comments and new users who express an interest in news. -Edbrown05 23:17, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I think he is refering to editorials. We allow that in user space, if you are a well known user and they don't offend anyone, but we don't advertise them. user:Bawolff
Comments could and would be a work-around to the freeze on editorial content here. The community cannot support an editorial page because agreeing on the content is problematic. Answer, delegate relegate. -Edbrown05 23:45, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Us-centrism, lack of coverage, etc[edit]

I know this is one of the main problems of Wikinews, Wikianything, the whole internet - that is 'US-centrism'. On the main page currently almost every other story is US-based or related. And some are outright blatant such as "Western New York prepares for ice storm" and "Car and Train collide in Buffalo". Shouldn't the main page of Wikinews be about world news with a section dedicated to US news? I know the argument for this happening is that most contributors are from the US and most westerners (including me) are interested in stories from the US (hollywood celebrities etc.) but you could atleast try to even out this disparity. IMHO currently this is worst then BBC 'World' News (and thats saying something).

Sincerely, Ransu, Finland

Ok, I can see that this is not a unique problem - at main page news for Oceania you have 60 stories listen - ALL of which concern or relate to either Australia or New Zealand - most countries belonging to 'Oceania' have no current news on them - or no news at all ever in fact.

Yes that is a problem, but are general policy is you write if your intreasted. therefor we have a crap load of Australi, New Zealand, and US stories (Actually us is quite new to that club). Our weak point is Africa. Most countries now have at least one artricle about them. Anyways in short the main page is all news, if theres only USA stories written that day, its all going to be USA, if there's only Australia stories its going to be Australa. If we have a well balanced day, the main page will be balanced. We currently don't have enough stories to pick and choose what's on the main page. the portals are the same. Portal:Oceania is all stories from oceania, with no attempt made to balance them out. (if you want about some specific place, you can always go to its portal, e.g. Portal:Finland). same for topics: Portal:Science and technology has just the most recent articles for that subject, its not balanced to include some computing stuff, some space, etc. Bawolff :-)(-: 04:42, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
P.S. you may be intreasted in reading previous conversations on this subject on pages like wikinews:Article distribution and Wikinews:Country of the Week (no longer maintained project that tried to deal with this problem. note they are old, so they arn't up to date). Bawolff :-)(-: 04:56, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi Ransu ! I'm French we are then both European to be sad about the fact that there are far more wikinews entries about New Zealand in January 2007 than about our two countries combined.

The main problem when writing on wikis in another language is not about translating the words : if one is wrong, the wiki community will soon replace it... No ! it is to express one's ideas... when unsuccessful nobody is able to read in your mind and it finished in the deletion vote process such as Wikinews:Deletion_requests#January_15

The only post here about France in January is an anecdotic one on automobiles torched in France for New Years and I was naive to pretend myself to make the right choice covering at least one event from the previous week about my own native country

  • the Convention nominating which candidate will be the official rightist Conservative to take the place of w:Jacques Chirac in the 2007 presidential election.
  • Wikipedia chairman speaking on the main French TV network
"Wikipédia, l'encyclopédie gratuite des internautes" — TF1, last week

press releases on Wikinews:Proposed deletion[edit]

I think it should be made policy to list press releases automatically for three days on proposed deletion, instead of adding them manually (see {{Press Release}}). Furthermore PROD should be made policy.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 23:28, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Vote for Proposed deletion as an official policy[edit]

  1. Support.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 23:28, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
  2. Support. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:18, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  • neutral - who cares if its an official policy, We've been deleting stuff under it ever since MessedRocker declared it. I don't see the need for it to be an official policy. Bawolff :-)(-: 22:19, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  1. Oppose per Bawolff Brian | (Talk) | New Zealand Portal 22:30, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  2. Oppose per Bawolff: No need for policy Thunderhead - (talk) Congrajulations to Kat! 21:08, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
  3. Oppose. Policy does not become policy through voting but through acceptance. This policy has been used unopposed for months, to all intents and purposes it is policy. --+Deprifry+ 22:18, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Add Press Releases to Proposed Deletion[edit]

  1. Support.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 23:28, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
  2. Support. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:19, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  3. three days, assuming no one is editing it or trying to neutralfy it it fine. Bawolff :-)(-: 22:20, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  4. Yep I agree Brian | (Talk) | New Zealand Portal 22:30, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  5. like Bawolff says. — Doldrums(talk) 05:20, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

April fool's stuff[edit]

Its coming...

The Wikipedia April fool's project wanted a point person for coordinating Wikinews' effort for that day & i've volunteered. Wikinews needs to decide what it wants to do on the big day, and some prior discussion and consensus-building would help ward off the kind of thing we've sometimes seen in prior years.  — Doldrums(talk) 03:44, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

What do you suggest? I liked the incredible stories-idea.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 20:04, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
see also a whole bunch of emails on wikinews-l starting with http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikinews-l/2007-January/000607.html (theres about 20 there). Bawolff 21:24, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
true but incredible stories are the "safest" option, in that we stay well within policies. finding one which happened sufficiently recently in the past to be news is the difficult part. culling some wacky news off a big wire service isn't enough, in my opinion - people see that kind of stuff everyday.  — Doldrums(talk) 05:40, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
It would be very hard to do in my opinon. (It would be very cool though). Maybe just one featured article. Bawolff 07:10, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
yeah, one such lead article is good enough. i don't see us filling the days stories with such stuff, (unless the ETs decide to help us out). if we can get such an original story, that wld be awesome.  — Doldrums(talk)

Well, I created a little something already, User:Thunderhead/aprilfirst is one that I drafted. Thunderhead (unlogged) talk

but that was already used for last year. Bawolff 04:51, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
But last year's article said something was gonna happen by April 1, 2007. It'd be a suppliment. --71.80.53.227 08:55, 1 February 2007 (UTC) Thunderhead unlogged
If this happened recently, an interview with this person would be cool. Bawolff 04:51, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Hmm. I will try to think up an interesting story... FellowWikiNews (W) (sign here!) 23:25, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Does anyone know how to get a hold of Russian court documents? Elsewise, no contact info comes up in preliminary searches. -- Zanimum 16:08, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
It has to be this good IMHO. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:40, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I love that video. Bawolff 20:43, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Clearly the main page should be moved into the alleged project namespace or alleged portal name space, as the Main namespace is for the alleged articles !!! (that was a bad attempt at a joke, if you didn't get it). `Bawolff 00:59, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
LOl. Yes, your joke was funny. FellowWikiNews (W) (sign here!) 22:28, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Aha! I've got it! On Template:Start an article, we'll change it to search for articles instead of taking you to the "Create an article" screen. Since there are so many people with "Start an Article" boxes on thier userspace, it won't disrupt the flow of Wikinews!  Thunderhead  ►  15:46, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

User photo's[edit]

We have tons of them. most of them are not licensed freely, if at all (some of them even claim they are fair use which is a total load of ...). I personally think that they shouldn't be on wikinews whatsoever, so I propose:

Note I havn't asked anyone in commons yet, so they might not like this. in which case, I geuss we'd just stick with status-quo, but I think it'd be better at commons. Bawolff 04:08, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

I can imagine that most people just want to use them and keep them copyrighted... couldn't it be some kind of exception, like the logos?--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 19:28, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Well I geuss we could, but I think thats going a bit to much away from the main goals of wikinews. we don't want to become an image host. Bawolff 20:13, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
One could argue that user pages are useful to the project and that community atmosphere adds to the goals of the project... however I'm just playing the Devil's Advocate here because I for one never felt the need to put a picture of myself on my userpage... maybe we should hear from people like Munchkinguy and Paul Robinson.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 00:17, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm sure someone who has a user picture will see this soon, there's lots out there (Chiacomo, TUFKAAP also have images I know, as well as quite a few other people). this also went out on the mailing list. Bawolff 04:55, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Its okay at commons [1] Bawolff 04:59, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't see any reason why our policies should differ from wikipedia's, but more importantly I don't see why any policy is needed since image spam happens rarely. Image host concerns can easily be handled as follows: Say User:Bob uploads tons of photos of his vacation. if User:Bob doesn't contribute, just speedy delete the images as spam. If User:Bob does contrbute, and he doesn't want to take them down, nominate his images for deletion at WN:DR. WN:DR should remain the final word on deletion debates. Nyarlathotep 02:55, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Why do I always get lost on liscensing issues... who gives a crap unless there is money involved. -Edbrown05 10:02, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
This fear mongering, Wikinews is gonna be sued, Wikimedia is gonna be sued... for what? Somebody or some news organization sticking their face up in public? -Edbrown05 10:17, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Well its not wikinews is going to be sued (as if a personal photo of a user appears here, the user probably wants it here), its just that they technically sort of all fall under speedy delete at this moment in time (not that its being enforced though). Instead of developing a policy as to what's appropriate for personal uploads, why not just let people use a site that already has a policy in place. Bawolff 00:57, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I 100,000,000,000,000% agree with the photos going on Commons. FellowWikiNews (W) (sign here!) 22:49, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

I still disagree with moving photos to commons. Yes, maybe experenced users should move their photos, just like experenced users should register their names on all wikimedia sites in any langauge they speak (matters much more). But you shouldn't harass the n00bs. And harassing experenced users will induce recent ex-n00bs to harass the n00bs. Nyarlathotep 23:08, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Most user photos cannot be uploaded to the Commons because the majority of them are taken by someone else. That means that the user does not own the copyright and can't put it under a free license. --Munchkinguy 15:07, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm fairly certain that the subject of the photo, not the taker of the photo (only for photo's where the person is not famous and its not a public crowd), its the subjects copyright. Bawolff 22:30, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Recommendation to Delete Downsizing Title Policy[edit]

I think WikiNews should be moreprofessional and discourage downsizing, and make the policy to up size titles. I know about the old poll. Maybe I will start another. Discuss. Club2007 00:46, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

My belief on the matter, is that they're both equally as good, as long as we just stick to one, and keep it. We have 20,325 articles downstyle, and well we could change them, its just easier to keep it the same. Also quite a lot of other news sites use Downstyle, and if anyone really really hates it, they can add
h1.firstHeading {text-transform: Capitalize;}
to their special:mypage/monobook.css (note, that will capitilize small words like a to for and etc, as well).You need to be logged in for this to work. Bawolff 00:53, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
IMO, using upstyle headlines looks ugly. The code that Bawolff showed totally fixes the problem. If you don't like downstyle use the code, if you do, don't use the code. FellowWikiNews (W) (sign here!) 22:56, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I rarely see it in other languages then English, so it looks really ugly to most foreign readers.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 23:10, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Template:Press Release[edit]

have made some large changes to this template, tightening text slightly, emphasising the neutrality issue more than copyright issue. pls review and revert if need be.  — Doldrums(talk) 15:26, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree with the changes. Bawolff 21:31, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
No problem with the changes. FellowWikiNews (W) (sign here!) 22:27, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

have issued correction[edit]

to Putin, Gorbachov question charging of teacher with software piracy. have also changed the title and body text to correct the errors in this 2-day old article. pls review. thanks are due to an unregistered user who first brought it to our notice.  — Doldrums(talk) 16:09, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

and one more. no policy issues in this one though. — Doldrums(talk) 12:43, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

discussion pages cannot be altered[edit]

any post to a discussion should not be subject to revision, nor deletion.

That's unlikely to happen. Bawolff 22:03, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Considering admins and honest users will sometimes need to use the <strike> tag to strike unhonest votes from socks. --Thunderhead - (talk) 22:05, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

why strike a comment, and who is to say what is "unhonest", and why is this "unlikely to happen"?

I proablly wasn't very clear, sorry. Its unlikely to happen, as we are sort of against actually commenting on stories. Discussion pages are for discussing the creation and writing of an article. Well we get very mad at people who modify other peoples comments, we generally don't take any technical methods to stop them (besides blocking them). The striking dishonest votes part is if we're having a vote on something, and someone decides to make a great number of new accounts to skew the vote (has happened on WN:A) we strike out the votes that are not legitament users (we have a couple methods of determining this). P.S., please end your posts with four tidles (~~~~). Thanks, and happy editing. Bawolff 02:44, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Ok. So, what happens if someone types in an offensive word that may hurt some people? I Believe offensive comments should be removed regardless of "discussion pages cannot be altered". FellowWikiNews (W) (sign here!) 21:29, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Before I was refering to talk namespace. For opinion stuff, I believe same rules as editorials in userspace apply. If someone gets mad about it, into the garbage bin it goes. Bawolff 00:10, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Sources[edit]

I’ve noticed some stories such as Al-Qaeda threaten to kill Prince Harrythat all the sources are relying on the same information. I feel that this adds credibility to what is in fact a single source. Also I feel that it should be noted that certain published newspapers lack the credibility that we should strive towards so I’m not sure if we should use them as an only source without adding a comment about their reliability. I apologise if this is duplication but I have also brought up this topic on the relevant discussion page --Xbehave 14:42, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Your right. The same source reprinted by ten different people is still a single source. Bawolff 02:29, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
In a case like this (Al Qaeda) it will always boil down to single source. It will be a website posting or a phone call to a journalist. Al Qaeda won't be hosting conference calls or holding press conferences. That said, I think there is a good arguement to be made that such info can be disregarded in its entirety. --SVTCobra 00:37, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I think he meant secondary sources. (People reporting on said event). If you have the actually website posting the claim, that's all you need imho. Bawolff 02:16, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
In a case like this, if you have the Al-quaeda website that claims they're going to kill Prince Harry then you're doing Original Reporting (And likely can read Arabic).
In other cases, you need to watch for things like two different newspaper sites quoting selected bits from the same AP or Reuters report. That's technically a single source too. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:13, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

oversight role[edit]

a discussion on giving more Wikinews users Oversight ability is underway at the admin alert page.  — Doldrums(talk) 14:28, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

confirmation of oversight and checkuser permissions for more users is underway. have your say about it.  — Doldrums(talk) 07:36, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

logo images in headers on portals[edit]

What is the policy (copyright legalness) for creating header images with a logo superimposed on it. (ala Image:Scottish Portal Banner.jpg) I think it should be okay as we already allow logos by themselves on portals (like portal:Google), and its really just a logo over top another image. Bawolff 02:36, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Should sports stories appear on the main headline list?[edit]

My feeling is a strong "no". By their very nature, sports results strike me as entertainment, not "news". Seeing the healing list half-full of such stories doesn't seem right to me; perhaps we should, like traditional news sources, have a separate sports section. Thoughts? --81.170.16.193 04:19, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Currently we don't have many stories on a single day, so it might well be that since we recently had some new sports writers, the news can be dominated by sport. Just like it can be dominated by news from New Zealand, if our reporters writing about NZ are very active and the rest is not. It's just a matter of time; hopefully one day WikiNews will be big enough to secure enough stories each day, and once we cover both the most relevant international stories and other stories, we can sort these stories to appear on the main page or not. But for now, everything is treated equally.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 16:26, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Inactive accredited reporters, part II[edit]

This previous discussion didn't really finalise into a new policy either... So I propose to add the following to the accreditation policy (we should then probably ask the Board or something to approve, no?):

That accredited users who become inactive (no edits) for longer then 6 months be removed from the accreditation page moved to an inactive reporters list.

--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 16:21, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Votes[edit]

I would say 6mo, if you edit after that you can be added back on. Seems already long to me.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 15:17, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
  • sure for inactive list. Bawolff 22:57, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree  Thunderhead  ►  23:06, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree, rather them removed entirely than to an "inactive" list though. Do we want to highlight that we give people accreditation only for them to leave? Dan100 (Talk) 20:55, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Agreed - incidentally, how do you separate accredited reporters from normal reports? Thor Malmjursson 15:56, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
We have a procedure for accrediting users who have built trust within the community. The process results in you getting a press pass from wikinews which - if used wisely - can get you special access at events. --Brian McNeil / talk 16:33, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Agreed, but perhaps if and when they return, they can fast track re-accreditation? -- Zanimum 16:20, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree. An inactive list isn't the only thing we should do, we should have a template to go on the user page that highlights the reporter is no longer active on the project. --Brian McNeil / talk 16:33, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

  • I don't know if their is general consensus to have the accreditation set for a limited amount of time, for example to repeat the accreditation request every year. We do have some control over the process since serious misconduct can result in removal of accreditation.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 16:21, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
  • not clear if "removed from the accreditation page" means inactive badge-wearers get shoved off to an "inactive" list or get badges torn off. the former's ok. i'm not convinced we shld do the latter - suspect that such a move would need to be looked at, if not approved, by the powers above. also, at the time the policy was created, it appears accreditation was meant to be permanent. i think those listed shld be informed about this discussion before any major changes. so my suggestion would be to separate out the inactive ones into a new list below the active one. –Doldrums(talk) 12:58, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I personally support a reconfirm process for thoose who are inactive. MrM left the site. I feel that thoose who leave the site shouldn't be accredited. However Mindspillage is fairly inactive, but is very active in wikimedia, and I still feel that she should remain accredited. if after say a year of not being active or so, we have a reconfirm. if >50% say yes then they keep there accreditation. if less, they lose it. Bawolff 23:00, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Accredited reporters - part 3!!!!!!![edit]

I don't think that someone should recieve accredidation if they are not going to an event that needs varification. As Doldrums said on Wikinews_talk:Credential_verification#Accreditation: "note that it is possible to do original reporting even without accreditation". Perhaps we should change our policy to reflect this also. FellowWikiNews (W) (sign here!) 22:28, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps so, but I don't know if the Board would agree to such a change.  Thunderhead  ►  22:33, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
/aside... In this section the signatures occupy more space than the comments, I believe that is frowned upon. So I'll waffle and change the balance ☺
Our accreditation is based on honesty and trust, the basis for the ongoing discussion is people who we do not know - therefor cannot ascertain the honesty or trustworthiness of - asking for accreditation. Our trust in fellow contributors that we do accredit is not based in their "cold" contributions to the wiki, as those from commons would ask us to judge them. It is based on our interactions with them on this site with the goal of producing news.
I'd rather not restrict our requirements for accreditation too much. I'd rather see commons implement an accredited photographer status. What prerequisites they apply would be up to them, but it would be a highly coveted status. If you got Commons photographer accreditation and Wikinews accreditation then you'd be able to say you were "An independent photojournalist publishing through the Wikimedia foundation". --Brian McNeil / talk 23:00, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
  • No. I was just saying that since not every event needs varification we should only give accreditation to users that are going to an event that needs varification. FellowWikiNews (W) (sign here!) 23:50, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Normally a third sequel is release after the 2nd one, so please also engage in the above discussion.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 10:42, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Wikinews has 5 avenues of usership: an anonymous IP, a registered user, and accredited user, and administrator, and an arbitor. Thank goodness it is daylight so I can go to sleep. -Edbrown05 11:04, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I disagree that accreditation should have a prerequisite that you be attending an event that requires it. All the IT events I've attended ask for a company/organisation name which frequently goes on the badge you're issued with. Even where a press pass or accreditation is not required I do not believe you should be able to fill in Wikinews for the organisation unless you've gone through the accreditation process. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:23, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

How to propose a policy change?[edit]

I would like to ask how I would propose a change in policy on Wikinews. There is currently a deletion request in on the Single source template because of the fact that it is being misused and according to the nominator, "It is not mandated by a policy."

I would like to propose a policy change concerning the use of sources and application of such templates so that we have proper rules and understanding of how templates such as this are applied to working articles. How do I do this, and more to the point, where in the name of $Deity do I start??? Thor Malmjursson 15:53, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, for this one you probably start on WN:DR, the deletion requests page. It was an edit of mine that prompted nomination of the template for deletion. The article did not have a breaking template on it, so I don't think I was in the wrong.
Personally I think there should be less exceptions for single-sourced stuff because the mainstream media might decide to run a test case for copyright violation. I believe the template is instrumental in ensuring we have a "best effort" to avoid that happening. Dan100's suggestion that I should've gone looking for a second source to tack onto the article isn't enough, and our contributors need to know that. The story would still be based on the first source, the only purpose the second would serve is to verify the facts. While that's good for Wikinews, our articles have to be a synthesis from multiple sources. --Brian McNeil / talk 16:47, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. The template is very useful in many ways. At least two or more sources should also be added to an article. I also think we should have a new policy proposing not to use two sources with exactly the same story. Disscussion: Wikinews:Water_cooler#Sources. FellowWikiNews (W) (sign here!) 21:22, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
I thought it used to be in the style guide that we had to have <= 2 sources. Anyways, I'm all for adding a line for that into WN:SG#Citing_your_references and Wikinews:Cite sources. to that extant. Bawolff

Comments section[edit]

I'm not sure our article comments is working well, I think we'd be better off mirroring the BBC's style for their Have Your Say section. I think we should request a new namespace, User Comments:, and have a link to it in the navigation section and a User Comments:Main_Page that people update with photos and quotes from articles and invite user comments. Then we need to develop a robust policy for what gets deleted from comment pages.

Take a look at the BBC's HYS, particularly the comments on the detention of the UK sailors and marines. Most recommended comments are to turn Iran into a glass-coated parking lot. If we can get that sort of feedback then we'd be doing okay. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:22, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

That sounds tempting. The current concept is dead. -- Zanimum 19:41, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Still no reviews?[edit]

I presume there's still no reviews allowed on Wikinews? I established contact with Buena Vista (Disney) in regards to red carpets, and now they're offering up DVD screeners.

What if I kept the articles mainly informational, and quoted myself, myself being a former Family Entertainment critic for Suite101? I could also quote critics with opposing reviews. -- Zanimum 17:54, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

All I can suggest is you tell them that reviews may be problematic on our site, due to editorial guidelines, and try one or two to see how you can work within policy. --Brian McNeil / talk 17:58, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Minimum length of articles and breaking news[edit]

Is there a minimum length on published articles? I couldn't find in guidelines anywhere other than it should be more than just a link (When you create an article there are some tips including "Don't post articles containing only a link to a story on an external news site and no story text. Such pages are quickly deleted." BTW I can't find these tips anywhere else on the site...).

I think for breaking news that it is more important to get an article published on Wikinews and then come back and improve it (or for others to improve) than wait until an article is perfect before publishing. Reason: I want to see wider and faster news coverage on Wikinews :-)

(see discussion on recent article I wrote Talk:US_Supreme_Court_rules_against_EPA_on_global_warming for background)

Comments? Michael614 03:43, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

a rough rule of thumb is that a full article has 3 paragraphs. one way to publish short briefs that u are not planning to expand further is in Wikinews Shorts. if there is significant breaking news whose article is likely to be expanded, do go ahead and publish a short (but useful!) summary as breaking news. –Doldrums(talk) 06:44, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. Is there any objection to adding this guideline about length plus the tips you see when you create an article to the style guide at Wikinews:Style_guide#Basic_news_writing? - Michael614 12:15, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Go ahead, but keep your additions brief. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:33, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Added to Wikinews:Style_guide#Article_length Michael614 01:05, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

CC-BY 3[edit]

Creative Commons has released version 3.0 of the CC-BY license.  Thunderhead  ►  21:14, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Finally! Can we make any article created after a week from now or whatever 3.0? -- Zanimum 15:38, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Do you know what's involved? Can we relicense everything or do we have to label old content as under a different license? --Brian McNeil / talk 15:40, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't know. The license says that we can make anything after we implimented it under CC-BY 3, or we can just relicense everything after September 25, 2005 to CC-BY 3.0. Do we have to run this by the Foundation first?  Thunderhead  ►  19:08, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Sadly, we did not add a "and later versions"-clause to MediaWiki:Copyrightwarning so migrating won't be trivial. Short of getting consent from everyone who edited Wikinews since September '05, I don't think relicensing our content is possible. As for new content, I'm not sure switching is worth the trouble since the changes don't seem to affect us all that much. --+Deprifry+ 14:40, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
We already had a discussion about this on the mailing list[2]. The gist of it, was that it was not wroth the effort. Bawolff 20:18, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
CC-by-3.0 has, for example, not even been approved on Commons.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 16:55, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Who said anything about migrating? Leave the stuff before X as cc-sa-2.5, and make everything published on X+1 cc-sa-3.0, once Commons gives the license thumbs up. -- Zanimum 19:39, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Archiving non-published articles[edit]

I recently placed the articles Snow falls in New Mexico and Series of earthquakes hit Taiwan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Indonesia on WN:DR and the result was keep. Both stories were unpublished and as such I thought they were worthy for deletion.

It was always my understanding that only published articles which were archived. Is this correct or am I mistaken? - Cartman02au (Talk)(AU Portal) 11:26, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, only published articles should be archived. These should probably have been listed as abandoned, rather than put on DR. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:32, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I forgot all about my old friend abandoned, OMG I've been away far too long - Cartman02au (Talk)(AU Portal) 11:46, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

public speeches and NPOV[edit]

can people weigh in on this (see also this). –Doldrums(talk) 13:42, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

I have put an NPOV tag on the first, the second is too old - well written, but Doldrum's comments on the talk are fair.
The BBC has the policy of balancing their reporting to give parties a proportional amount of coverage over - say - an election campaign. This is monitored carefully to maintain the BBC impartiality. We however have an obligation to balance our coverage within a single story, per NPOV. The Sarkozy article is presenting his political rhetoric against the opposition, it reads like a rock concert review making the performer out to be amazing. The US Defense Secretary story is also very one-sided. It uncritically presents what he said to a receptive audience - just like the Sarkozy article. Journalists are supposed to be suspicious, dig a little deeper, and not report without looking at the spin critically. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:31, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Personally, I'm not a Sarko fan, and I just wrote what he said, but I think his speech did everything but making him look better.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 16:13, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Fair use images[edit]

I wonder if someone can help me with the policy on fair use images. I have only used images from the Commons so far, but I am interested in using some photos from a Canadian government website. These photos can be found here: Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Photos of trapped ships. They are offered up to the media for use, and have been used by many outlets in their stories. The photos are great and I would like to add one or two to this story: "Sealing ships trapped in ice off coast of Newfoundland" — Wikinews, April 20, 2007. Would this be allowed? Jcart1534 02:52, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

I am no expert, but if Canadian gov't stuff is like US, then it is PD. I'd upload it to Commons and not here, though. You can then direct link the image. --SVTCobra 03:08, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
the material on the website does not appear to be in the public domain[3]. it's free for use, with attribution, for non-commercial purposes. but since Wikinews content is free for commercial use also, this is not enough. instead, u can upload it as Fair use media under the publicity claim. –Doldrums(talk) 04:53, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
It's technically copyright Queen Elizabeth II, "Crown copyright". While you should tag it far use, also note that it's crown material in the summary. -- Zanimum 16:05, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikinews:Deleted article notice[edit]

pls review Wikinews:Admin_action_alerts#Channel Seven loses control of audio. –Doldrums(talk) 09:20, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

We would still remove the copyvios from the site, no? What about copyvio titles? Could you explain a bit more what you want to discuss here?--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 12:38, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I, personally, like the deleted article notice better than the correction template for copyvio articles. The correction template is only for articles that wrongly stated something. The deleted article notice is for copyvio articles to redirect to. FellowWikiNewsie 22:35, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I tend to agree with that.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 23:19, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I expect other media to issue retractions when they published something they shouldn't have. Shouldn't we do the same? In this case, an explanation that it was an unfortunate incident of copy-vio and that we promise to be more diligent in the future. There might even need to more specifics, like how it happened and who was disciplined. --SVTCobra 00:07, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
copyvio is the only scenario i can think of where we'll delete an article. where we've got a story badly wrong and need to retract, we'll maintain a copy of the story, publish a fresh correction article, and place a prominent notice on the original story noting the retraction. we've done this once (that i can remember) - "Piano Man" is not British actor, search down to three leads. where the story is mostly right, but some details are incorrect, we just add a correction to the original story, as in Swedish nuclear reactors shut down over safety concerns.
the plan for copyvios that get published is to delete the article, so the infringing text is not available in history either. recreate the page with a note that the previously published article has been deleted. we can note the reason and/or issue an apology. i'm not fixed on the current wording, feel free to make changes. using a template (similar to {{correction}}) gives us the flexibility to tailor the wording to suit individual cases. and the template can always link to the talk page, where lots of details can be placed, if necessary.
i personally think copyvio titles are not a big problem, especially short, factual titles. and there's always the option of renaming post-publication if we have good reasons to believe there's going to be a problem with one.
this is a good time to think about whether we shld formalize guidelines for corrections and what those guidelines ought to be. –Doldrums(talk) 03:28, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'm always pro what others might call instruction creep (Smiley.png), so I think that might be a good idea to streamline a process. I think everyone agrees that we should delete copyvios and issue correction for the rest, that's already standard practice.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 07:49, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Credits on images[edit]

Apparently the Wikipedia Image use policy says "All photo credit should be in a summary on the image description page."... I'd like Wikinews to mention explicitly on our image use policy that it should be given on the image itself.

I propose this after I begged a Flickr photographer to give up his pictures for Protests in Turkey over Presidential candidate, which he did, under a cc-by-sa-2.0 licence, glad to have is name on Wikipedia. I hope he likes the Wikinews article too. I notice that image credits on the article page has become standard practice here on Wikinews and I think it should.

You might say that it is un-wiki: no it's not, since it doesn't violate the definition of free cultural works. Moreover it's a powerful motivator for people to give up right on their work. Thirdly, it's only fair, since hiding it away on some image description page nobody reads doesn't make it very likely that reusers will in turn attribute the image. And finally, if another news source were to use it, we'd want them to do it too, since they don't have image pages. It's standard practice in newspapers and textbooks alike and I think we should explicitly make it our standard.

--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 07:46, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

I would agree with this. I think it was Brianmc who pointed it out on an image I used, and I have tried to credit photos ever since (where names are available). I think it is good policy. Jcart1534 11:20, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
I concur, sensible proposal. --+Deprifry+ 11:43, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree...unless the photo is Public Domain like NASA or something...DragonFire1024 11:47, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
I think we should credit photos wherever possible, even ones that have been released into the public domain. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:06, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't see why we should give credits when attribution is not required. For example, I would never add a credit to the Ubuntu screenshot in Dell to offer Ubuntu Linux on some computers. I mean, do I need to add my own name to the screenshot I uploaded for Microsoft Silverlight released into first test phase? Let's leave credits for when they are needed, such as cc-by-X licences and such, or maybe when Public Domain institutions request a credit out of courtesy, but no more than that.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 15:48, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree...if its not required, then we should not have to bother with it. Credit is given where its deserved, or required. DragonFire1024 15:50, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Hi as an active contributor on en.wiki and commons (where vast majority of these free images are acutely located). Elsewhere on wikimedia projects credit is never give on the instances of image uses. All credit is available at arms length of the image. Clicking the image in question not only provides credit information but also meta data even including stuff like shutter speeds.
Legally speaking I do not believe it is necessary to credit the author of every instance of usage - of course just like practicaly everything with free licenses this was never challenged at a court. However for the sake of "being nice" such credit can be given (but should NEVER be required).
I would also recommend against linking to the authors website/wikipedia userpage/flickr page and etc directly, instead link to the image description page which would link to the source. There are many reasons for this. Linking to the authors personal page on every instance of image usage may fall under personal promotion and even spamming. This kind of linkage for instance would affect google ratings.
I also feel that if you (plural) are going to require credit to every single image usage, you should also give credit to every single edit since both GFDL and CC would require it. GFDL and CC-by-sa are basically very similar when it comes to requiring credit.
-- Cat chi? 16:43, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

more resolutions[edit]

Foundation:Resolution:Access to nonpublic data will affect stewards, users with checkuser and oversight rights, OTRS volunteers, and all developers with access to any electronic records which contains nonpublic information (such as the IP addresses of readers or contributors). 60 day clock started ticking 11 April 2007. –Doldrums(talk) 18:15, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Nice that we here from the Foundation a lot, they're clearly working... I think it looks like a good policy.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 07:43, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Sources[edit]

user:Uncle G added two extra sources to Abby Cadabby debuts at Sesame Place today as a walkaround character. While these sources help prove the information in the article is true, (a.) these weren't sources that I used, I only used the press release and mailing list, and (b.) these articles themselves are only just parroting the press release as well.

Should we add false sources to articles? I can see doing this if someone wrote an article with no sources listed, and we want to salvage the article, but that's not the case. I've seen this done multiple other times, by multiple other editors. -- Zanimum 16:28, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

only those sources used in writing the article shld be listed. one possible reason to add other sources is if editors think there is a real need to corroborate the information (eg. OR from an anon or new editor). –Doldrums(talk) 16:34, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

deleting published articles[edit]

eg. Georgia Aquarium beluga whale euthanized. see [4].

published articles shld not be "disappeared" by deleting. if there are flaws in the article, they shld be fixed using a correction notice or a new article. Wikinews is supposed to maintain an archive of its articles.

if people are concerned that "low-quality" articles such as one-liners are getting published, then the time to catch them and delete is ideally before they are published or on the day they are published, not months later.

incidentally, deletion requests need to be archived when the articles are deleted or kept. –Doldrums(talk) 10:32, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

One line sentences are not articles, let alone news. May as well be the headline two times. I agree normally, but in the case of the 3...no. That's ridiculous. DragonFire1024 10:37, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
i agree with you that this shld never have been published. but once it has been published for several days, we have no choice but to keep it. i suspect this is why Steven, who archived it, did so too. keep in mind that once articles are published, they will be linked to rom outside Wikinews. When readers follow such links down here, they get no notice that the (deleted) article existed or what it said. that is unacceptable for an archive, especially for an online news source like ours.
the time to enforce standards is prior to or just following publication, not months later. and the way to enforce standards is to correct or, if required, publish a new article. deleting old articles is not the way to do this. –Doldrums(talk) 11:39, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree in cases of long and more dynamic articles. but these are not articles. They are barely sentences. Anyone who linked to any of those outside of wikinews has issues becuase they can clearly see that they do not provide details to any event whatsoever. DragonFire1024 11:04, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

rumours[edit]

What to do with rumours? Even though most may be untrue, or hard to check, there might be something there. So how can we follow up on rumours in a news worthy way? Could there be like a question page, where you can ask who knows about such and such? Who can write or link me to information about such and such?

Quite recently I was in Dresden, where I heard from an African Refugee, that The Ethiopian army had bombed a neighbourhood in Somalia, creating a firestorm simular to the one in Dreden during the WW II. The refugee spoke convincingly about many deaths, that have not made the international news, because it was not favourable for the West, that supports the Ethiopian Army's presence in Somalia. On this link we find news from Reuters on the fighting: http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=87&art_id=nw20070425090227353C252475 This link offers already much more Somalian victims, still between the lines of the news: http://newsfeedresearcher.com/data/articles_w16/idw2007.04.20.08.02.40.html#hdng0 and on http://newsfeedresearcher.com/data/articles_w18/idw2007.05.02.14.23.57.html#hdng2 the number of civilian victims is growing into the hundreds. So there may not have been an firestorm (as far as I found out), but the Ethiopian army is not just restoring order in a peaceful way.

So also the question is, how the small news that tips the big news could get more attention? Right before the US attack on Iraq in a Dutch news paper (Volkskrant) a small report said that both the CIA and the FBI could find no clue whatsoever about connections between Saddam Hoessein and Al Qaida. In a much bigger report in the same paper, with pictures, Bush claimed in a press conference there was a connection. When Bush attacked the smaller news that both CIA and FBI had found no such evidence disappeared from the news and from the reasoning of many (European) politicians. It stayed under water until the critism against the invasion began to grow and seek ways to counter the reasoning of the Bush policy. If the Wiki news site wants to be of interest, they should seek ways to help those who’s news is underrepresented. One more edition telling the same things, based upon similar resources, seems to me, less important or interesting. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Floridee (talkcontribs) 23:54, 12 May 2007

Abusive usage of WIKINEWS[edit]

Hi there, I'm writing about comercial entities using Wikinews as a promotional media for their products/services. Today was the second time that I noticed an article concerning "Sesame Place" on the main page. There is nothing newsworthy about either "article", of course. This is probably only the beginning of the "run" on Wikinews. I am not involved with any Wiki project, not do I have to time to be, but I would find it terribly sad if businesses abused these collective efforts and, doing so, dilluted their quality. Best of luck to all of you who participate in this endeavour, hope to join you one day! Djaighan 125.225.4.215 17:29, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Hi,
Thanks for your concern. It seems to me that it's actually quite difficult to promote something here on Wikinews, given the low numbers of promotional articles that get published and the high amounts of frustration it is known to cause in those who try (not always justified). The article you refer to is of course very local, but until we get more stories, every article is listed on the main page, even if it is only important to a specific or local group. The article was written by an established Wikinewsie who has no affiliation with Sesame Place, but is rather a big fan of Sesame street and covers news related to it.
--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 17:36, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Re-writing news is OK?[edit]

At the bottom of some news stories like USG to Cut 500 Jobs Due to Housing Slump, it is stated,"© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed."

However, at Wikinews we always re-write and publish news stories. Is it legal? Would I be able to start a news Web-site tomorrow, call it Best News wherein I just re-write other news stories?--Blivit 21:37, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

  • 1. Wikinews is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 license. 2. This means we cannot copy content from Wikipedia because they do not use the same license. (Wikipedia can copy our content though for some reason). 3. We do not copy stories from other news orginizations as it's a copyright violation, and only if we ask permission (we never copy their work anyways). 4. If an editor wants to copy a story from another news source, the source must be a compatibly licensed source (meaning, it needs to have a Creative Commons license) or a public domain resource and you must ask the website for permission before you post it here. 5. As I said before, you must ask the website for permission to copy their work here and if it's okay if their work can be re-written in any way. 6. Basicly, Wikinews re-reports news that AP or someone else reported. Also see Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals#Either it is original reporting... or forget it. Hope this addresses your concerns :) If this is not what you were asking please read mine and Bawolff's comment below. FellowWikiNewsie 23:27, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't think that is what blivit is asking. IANAL but I was under the impression that you can't copyright a fact, only its presentation (Including the writing of a work, but not the facts its based on), therefor you can rewrite a story in the sense you can take facts from something else and write a story based on those facts, but again IANAL. (p.s. there was a discussion about this on the mailing list, don't remember outcome) Bawolff 00:04, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Notice: IANAL stands for: I am not a laywer. Sean Heron 10:13, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
So if I use Reuters, or AP in this case, as my source I can take some facts from their story and put it into mine by writing it in my own words. You can't copy content from them and change one word, etc. FellowWikiNewsie 00:10, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Thats not what I mean. You can't take phrases (the presentation of facts) but you can take the underlying facts (I think anyways). You can't copy: My cat ate a fish, but you can mention something a long the lines of, Spot, a 3 year old cat, ate a trout yesterday afternoon. (the information is from the previous sentence, but its not a copy of the sentence) The facts are the same, but how you present it is different. (again IANAL so don't take anything I say to heart) Bawolff 01:01, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, that is what I was trying to say in my comment above. FellowWikiNewsie 18:17, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
I think the idea is that you read multiple sources, and get to know a story intimately. Then, you write about it, like you would write on Wikipedia about a subject you are familiar with. Finally, you list sources for others to check the information.
The AP-notice is indeed very restrictive and I tend to avoid their sources. Actually I feel somewhat releaved that I don't live in the US, I think I'm less likely to get sued. I don't think it's 100% legal what we are doing here. So you have to know your limits: that's why stories that are too close to the original ones, shouldn't be published. We need this phase to grow into a credible news source. But of course we can easily do original reporting, write from press releases, etc. I think we should push to publish stories on the basis of like 5 different sources (from different news agencies), I think it violates copyright less that way.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 19:50, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Editing images ok?[edit]

Hi,

Recently I used Photoshop to cut away the background and enhance the brightness on the image of the Controversial medical center demolished in Buffalo, New York.

Before...
...After.

As you can see the cloud background totally disappears in favour of the building. User:Sean Heron said on the talk page of the article:

Hmmm I´m quite critical of using a edited image like that... I respect the work you´ve put into it, but I´d ask you to put back the original image. Enlarging a part of the photo is OK in my opinion, but cutting away the background for better contrast ? Its no problem in this case of course, but the question is where do you draw the line ? Our wish is, after all to show reality as best possible. (If I remember correctly most bigger news outlets also have quite strict regulations on using pictures, regarding retouching them, perhaps this should be brought up in Wikinews:Water cooler/policy ) ?

I personally think that the image before was barely visible before I edited it. Besides the image description page links to the original version. Also, if you check Wikinews:CommonsTicker you'll see that on Commons images get enhanced and changed all the time. I personally don't think these kinda edits are any problem, but before trying to improve other images as well I'd like some views of others on this. I think we should just deal with this on a case-by-case basis. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 08:56, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

The lightening of the image needed done, but the sky should not have been taken out. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:44, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I could have retouched only the foreground and leave the clouds be, but I think that would really be distorting reality! Now I just selected a different level for the entire image: this is what your camera does automatically for you, but just not always in the right way.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 16:26, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
The after picture in my opinion is much better. It's not like you added a palm tree for better composition or something, The old picture you could barely see the subject, of what is otherwise an amazing picture because of the shadow. However I believe all such pictures should be labeled (via something like commons:template:retouched which I just added to the image desc. page) Bawolff 22:21, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Ah, I didn´t realize you only brightened up the whole image. To me it looked like you cut away the clouds. In that case I think its OK as well, but it might make sense to have a guidline regarding what goes, and what doesn´t for editing images. Sean Heron 08:25, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
How about: we should be strict about it, and if you don't agree, do something about it? --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 08:55, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
something along these lines?
  1. should be a genuine need for the alteration
  2. shouldn't alter anything of substance to the news event.
  3. alteration should be noted and described.
  4. unaltered image should be available to readers.
Doldrums(talk) 09:15, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. By "alteration should be noted and described" you mean on the talk page? --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 09:56, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
pretty much. probably a better option is the image description page. –Doldrums(talk) 11:22, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
That sounds good to me as well. I thinka note and description on the talk page would be good (not that many people click on the image). Sean Heron 08:26, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Most professional photographers will retouch or make adjustments like this. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:02, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I had no problem with it and would have done it myself if I was not in such a hurry to get it online und published :) I personally think its 110% better :) DragonFire1024 07:36, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Please forgive my intrusion, but the original picture certainly looks very much better to my eyes. The edited picture lacks clarity and realism. Perhaps your monitors aren't calibrated very well. A simple crop and lighten doesn't cause the image damage evident here.--Tonyo 09:24, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Really bad lack of transparency[edit]

When the monkeying I did with with Portals gets rehashed without any history relating to that, then fuck you Wikinews. You abandoned your perogative. -Edbrown05 04:28, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm gone, that's how gets with pseudo transparency? -Edbrown05 04:40, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Fix your ways or you have an enemy for life. -24.125.54.105 10:50, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Oversight, never heard of it, come out of the closet and be a man or girl. WTF you doing? -24.125.54.105 11:17, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Why are you talking to yourself Ed? Adambro 11:19, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Asking, and am really expecting an answer. _24.125.54.105 11:23, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
The answer won't be be forthcoming. My cruft and your dross doesn't warrant an answer. See how they are? I do. -24.125.54.105 11:32, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
  • This doesn't make any sense. How can people on the wiki address and issue when the issue isn't clearly explained? Not everyone follows recent changes religiously. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:42, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree with the previous post - I'm sorry - I don't understand the original issue --Crenra 02:04, 10 August 2007 (UTC)]
  • The fact that the posts are largely grammatically incoherent and engaged in some kind of dialogue with themselves makes me wonder if the OP might have some need of attention from a mental health professional...

Wikinews:Inactive Policy[edit]

I think the principal of this policy is a good idea and I'd like to see further discussion on it towards getting something implemented. I think this is a real problem; over half of our admins are not active, as are two bureaucrats. I've added a third option for this policy and would welcome comments about the proposal. Adambro 13:22, 13 August 2007 (UTC)


Use the existing system of RfDA. Any one who was ever really iffy as an admin will get nixed. Just try it on PVJ59. See what happens. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
It's not supposed to be a big deal to be an admin, removing them makes it seem like it matters. And most just aren't the sort of people who'll ever caused any trouble. Inactive reporters may have contact information issues favoring removal, no idea. Inactive bureaucrats are likely to be given a pass anyway. Nyarlathotep 17:23, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't see NPOV mentioned here:[edit]

at topix.net, and yet look here and type in topix.net and compare. The focus at Wikinews remains too much on the 'world' and not enough on the 'local', when original reporting comes from local interests. If that vicious cycle is to be broken, then something relating to the policy of NPOV and style guide needs to give (even neatness), because it is killing stories. Loosen up!

Also notice topix.net press release page: [5]. They are driving for grass roots reporting on which to hang their advertising shingles upon. Is Wikinews driving for grass roots reporting? How does one do that here if every attempt at it is shot down by a bar the community has raised is too high?
WN:NPOV is imposed by the Foundation, so we're really stuck with it. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:47, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
RSS subscription is down again. Into the 9800 range from 12000 a month or two ago [6]
From a standpoint of news being local, let wikinews relax its standards and let people relate their stories. Holding ppl to more than that is being exclusive. The fact that Wikinews has no expression for local reports is the site's own problem, not the reporter's.
Look at what Uncyclopedia is doing, and they go head-to-head and toe-to-toe with Wikinews in recognition without even trying. The answer to why they do they do that is because they are receptive. Here you want sources, excuse me while I regurgitate somebody else's news. Here you want notes for an original report, where in absence of that, excuse us while your report it is relegated to the not so Main Page stuff, published into its appropriate portal or category page where your fellow news geeks can work on it or forget it as stupendously stupid, or whatever. Pressing the the delete buton is uncool, move it to where it belongs.
Keep it published in the corner from where it sprang from. Keep it published and keep it off the main page, got a npov or style guide problem with that?
I'd like to point out that when we have local stories, people complain that "they don't care what's happening in w:Kalamazoo." And then, when we cover international ("world") stories, we're criticized for not being local enough. Here's an idea: Write and edit articles that you find interested and fit within your view of things. That way, people like you (who are clearly in the majority!) will be satisfied. irid:t 04:20, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you Ironiridis, there's no policy about what kind of news is publishable here as long it folows NPOV. Write and edit articles that you find interested. Wikinews does not follow an easy path, but it's more valuable than to mimic regular press, in fact, the time is with us. Jacques Divol 20:03, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Shocking restrictions and heavy-handedness[edit]

I've just come from Wikipedia (2 years there). I understand things are different, but talk about shunting the newcomers away. Over at Wikipedia, we have an award called the The Abusive Admin Award. I think admins like this one and the fact that one vandalistic act results an an instantaneous block, and also the fact that only administrators can edit policy, needs serious addressing. As Jimbo himself would say, "becoming a sysop is no big deal" and 'Sysops should never develop into a separate community'. The ideal of the wiki is that anyone can edit. But here, newbies are shunned and excluded. For a start, make policies editable by anyone. --Ben say hello! 11:26, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

An edit like yours was not just vandalistic it was offensive as well. Therefore breaking two off the site rules/policies. Therefore i support the block by Thunderhead and stand by his decision. I also personally felt that for you to get unblocked you were lucky as i would not have. With regards to the policies they are protected to prevent users changing them as they like as any changes must be with community consensus. When and if this is acheived then the page and policy can be changed. --MarkTalk to me 11:34, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Most policies are editable by anyone who has earned "autoconfirm" status. This means that if your account has been registered for over 4 days, you can edit those pages. This is to prevent vandalism from random IPs on official policies. Secondly, as honored as I am to recieve an award, I dislike the fact that I am being refered to as an "abusive admin". Your edit, as Markie said, was completley offensive, and it was vandalism. If you went to CNN and saw "A mysterious gigantic penis swung into a helicopter and 14 US soldiers were left dead after their helicopter crashed in Iraq." in the top of thier page, would you not be surprised, offended, and angry at CNN for doing that? I know that I would. We, like Wikipedia have a Sandbox for test edits to be made in. You were welcome to use that page instead of a live, published article, and you would not have been blocked. I also unblocked you based on good faith. After I unblocked you, going to a public forum and saying that I am an abusive administrator is not what I would have expected. If you have a dispute with me, contact me on IRC or on my talk page. I am deeply offended by your comments here. Thunderhead - (talk) 12:33, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
I support Thunderhead on this, you cannot refer to us as an abusive community or hostile community when you have come along and interfered with the running of the site and, consequently, been blocked. Just like any other Wiki community we take some concern over what appears on our main page. We are a lot more open about edits to that material than many other wikis, so you can expect a harsh response when you abuse the trust we extend. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:40, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
I support also Thunderhead, this kind of vandalism must be fight without doubt and cut off. You must understand that more and more off site use wikinews rss channel, this kinf off teenage humor cannot be writen here. Jacques Divol 13:10, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
After two years as a user of Wikipedia, one would assume you know the basics of vandalism and why not to do it. TheFearow 05:31, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

I would like to propose that we start blocking for smaller periods of time. As offensive as the edit was, blocking indefinitely is a bit harsh. I am constantly surprised by the amount of tolerance that is displayed on Wikipedia: there, serious vandalism warrants a warning, repeated vandalism warrants a stronger warning, and continued vandalism (i.e. third warning) results in a very short ban (lasting hours). While Wikipedia does have more admins than we do, they also have significantly higher usage and more of a problem to deal with. I would love to see Wikinews be more lenient, don't block on first offense, block lightly on second or third offense, and reserve infinite blocks for repeat offenders (i.e. people who come back from blocks to vandalize again). This way perhaps we can turn some of the light vandals into infrequent positive contributors. -- IlyaHaykinson 17:23, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I try to set an example of what I believe is appropriate. My block of this user was 15 minutes; enough to make the user get bored and go away. Sometimes a block doesn't need to last days. irid:t 17:55, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Our policy on Sockpuppets[edit]

I'm interested to know what the community's thoughts are on sockpuppet accounts. It's recently been shown that User:Edbrown05 has created at least two sockpuppet accounts: User:Krump and User:Ditsy. Ditsy participated in WN:DR regarding an article that User:Edbrown05 had worked on, creating a false sense of objectivity. User:24.125.54.105 has also been linked to User:Edbrown05; this "anonymous" user called User:Thunderhead a "wikimedia fag". All of the accounts have participated in discussions related to site management, totaling at 4 personas.

Typically this would be harmless, but careful examination of each account reveals at least one scary edit.

Should some punitive action occur as a result of this type of activity? Thoughts? Just FYI, this isn't a vote, so please don't approve oppose support ban, etc. Thanks. irid:t 05:25, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

What proof is there that these are EdBrown sockpuppets? Also, last time we dealt with sockpuppetry from a non-vandal, we were pretty intolerant. MessedRocker (talk) 05:28, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Ah, sorry, I totally spaced. Check WN:CU. Bleah. Too tired. irid:t 05:29, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree with the one week block by NZGabriel, this behaviour is unacceptable. It's not that I'm worried about the "scary edit", but the sockpuppetry is something we really don't need.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 09:20, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
i think a disp. resol. involving Edbrown, if he's willing, is called for. if he's not willing to resolve whatever issues he has with Wikinews/newsies in a reasonable way, there's no reason to tolerate his incivility/point/disruption any longer. –Doldrums(talk) 09:31, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
  • To further get people away from using sockpuppets or thinking about it, harsh penalities need to be applied to show we are serious. --Nzgabriel | Talk 09:34, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
keep in mind that if people want to switch accounts, particularly give up accounts which identify them in favour of screennames, that's perfectly acceptable. what is not acceptable is misusing socks (double voting, 3RR gaming ect). in this case, what is not acceptable is the incivility and POINTing that these socks are engaging in. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Doldrums (talkcontribs) 15:29, 4 September 2007
Oversight games the system by not being collaborative, therefore it has no place on a wiki. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 71.197.8.9 (talkcontribs) 13:01, 5 September 2007
Only when it's abused - we should set up a committee, preferably with the board choosing the group, and none of the existing oversights in it, to check all oversighted revisions to check for abuse. Then we can finally prove its not being abused. TheFearow 23:36, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
"Stewards". –Doldrums(talk) 09:20, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
I mean people who are not otherwise involved in one of those official roles. And someone who can view all the old revisions etc and revert any inappropriate ones. TheFearow 21:17, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Just as a note, User:71.197.8.9 has also been identified (tentatively) as Edbrown05. This makes the list:
Any others known? irid:t 21:27, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Just for the record, Oversight is not the same as CheckUser, and this is being repeatedly confused. Oversight is the ability to delete selective revisions from a page history; CheckUser is the ability to see what IP addresses a username has used, and what other user names have used those IP addresses. I, personally, have both privs and have never used Oversight. I have only used CheckUser on myself to test the tool, but should anyone want me to cross-check these results listed above, please ask. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:33, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Brian, not to make trouble here, but you did use CheckUser here. irid:t 21:41, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
He said he had never used oversight. Oversight != checkuser, which everyone confuses. TheFearow 21:44, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
"I have only used CheckUser on myself to test the tool" irid:t 21:46, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Quite correct, I forgot about that one - but it was a negative and I saved no results. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:49, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Ahh, my misunderstanding. TheFearow 21:52, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Just to try and close this discussion, anyone who has CheckUser or Oversight can be reviewed by another user with the same privilege. For checkuser you'll get a suitably vague explanation that someone is same block on an ISP's network or something like that. For Oversight you'll get told someone regretted posting personal information (eg phone number) and wanted it erased. Both can influence block decisions, but CU and Oversight users can review each other. The correct process if you have concerns is to bring it up with the ArbCom and ask for as much information as can be released within the bounds of the Foundation privacy policy. --Brian McNeil / talk 18:39, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
I believe they are saying all oversights are corrupt, so it would need to be checked by a non-oversight/steward/etc. I dont agree, and I dont really see an easy way to solve it. TheFearow | userpage | contribs 21:17, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

wikimedias software policy[edit]

I just happened to notice that wikimedia is in the process of passing a policy on software use. Although that is mostly something solely for the server side and wouldn't affect us whatsoever, there is a small possibility it might impact the video project (however it is unclear (in the ten seconds i took reading it) if it would even apply to video wikinews). Just thought i'd mention it here so that if it did, it wouldn't be a repeat of the image situation. Bawolff 04:38, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Link says there is nothing there. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 04:41, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
fixed. Bawolff 04:48, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Listing sources cited in chronological order.[edit]

Wikinews:Cite sources says that "It doesn't matter what order your references appear in" while the archiving policy says that "Sources should be sorted newest -> oldest". A proposal has been made to add to the citing sources and the style guideline that sources should be sorted newest to oldest in general since this is the common practice anyways. This is currently being discussed at Wikinews talk:Cite sources where there are currently no objections to the proposal. If someone does object or has other relevant comments please note it there or here. JoshuaZ 00:16, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

No objection. It would be helpful to have it mentioned in the Style Guide. Will save time during archiving. Jcart1534 02:29, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Support I agree with making this policy. --SVTCobra 02:47, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
If adopted, I also think it should be mentioned at WN:SG. --SVTCobra 02:51, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Template:Support/th Thunderhead - (talk - email - contributions) 00:04, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Support I wrote the archiving guidelines, sorting new->old gives the freshest coverage on the story at the top. I've probably applied this policy to about 3,000 articles whilst doing archiving. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:49, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Talk page comments[edit]

We are getting more readers and more talk page comments; that's great. But I'm concerned that we are allowing everyday trolling comments to go unchecked, and are even encouraging them. Recently SVTCobra reverted my removal of an anonymous IP calling me an idiot because I chose wording I thought people would be more familiar with over another. Cobra also left and responded to an illegal "Kill Bush" comment on a talk page that was about Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients. On the Webcomics article, we have a title that states "Deletionists are idiots and assholes". Civility and legality concerns aside, if we are to be taken seriously we should consider that these sorts of comments degrade our website and the discussion forums, not to mention they bring down the discussion to an undesirable level that serious people wanting to actively discuss would find not worth their time. I personally don't care to engage in Talk pages discussions where, to discuss with the serious people the issue we write about, I have to also bear the "you're an asshole" or "you're an idiot" remarks. "Anything goes" isn't what we should be aiming for on here, but civilized discussion on the topics. It's fine if people get combative with their comments, but there is no quality to 'idiot' and 'asshole' statements, and there is no need for them. So what is the problem here? Are these sorts of comments okay, or does Wikinews:Etiquette not mean much? --David Shankbone 17:13, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Many blogs are taken seriously even if their comments sections are not. In the case of the attack on your that's a personal attack and should be removed in general. I considered removing some of the more uncivil remarks on the webcomics discussion page but decided that not much benefit would come from it in this particular case. It also seemed a bit hard to not allow a statement on the comments page that is almost word for word identical to a quote in the article itself. As long as comments are civil to other editors I think we're going to need to be happy with that. JoshuaZ 18:23, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
The point is there is a pattern of permissiveness, and in a couple of the cases I outlined, of encouragement that should be addressed. Considering you and Cobra have both outlined concerns with my lack of familiarity with our guidelines and policies, I'm pointing one out now that apparently isn't known or is not being followed. --David Shankbone 18:42, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

If you compare what we got on the Webcomics opinions page with your average blog that gets slashdotted we got off lightly. Personal attacks can be deleted on sight as long as they are obvious cases of such. However, the role of regular contributors (as I see it) on the opinions pages is to say why certain things are not welcome. If you actually go through the comments on the Webcomics article you know which are the worthless comments after the title and first sentence. The rest were pretty civil (albeit blunt) and there was a good debate on the raised issue.

If we want to do something I have a proposal... Comments with obvious profanity are struck and followed with a template saying it is unacceptable. By struck I mean like this. The following template can invite the poster to rewrite in more civilised language prior to the comment being deleted. This is a way for the wikinews community to say what sort of content we do and don't want without being seen as outright censors. --Brian McNeil / talk 19:16, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Do we have a clear guideline on what constitutes profanity? For example is "damn" acceptable? I'd rather have a general civility policy enforced than go into the very gray area of what constitutes profanity (this may just be my upbringing coming into play. The rule in my family was you could swear as much as you wanted to as long as it wasn't at someone). JoshuaZ 19:21, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

I think striking out is fine, but we need to start to do it. But what should be removed without question are things that are illegal, such as has been mentioned already. It's astounding such comments are responded to; and if anyone is under the impression that intelligence services don't monitor key words like that, they are mistaken. My point is: we need to follow and enforce our etiquette guidelines, and for those of us who are frequent contributors--especially admins--allowing and defending these degrading or illegal statements should be beneath them. --David Shankbone 19:26, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Back when the Commentary namespace was being discussed, I brought up that it would require a level of policing that we weren't prepared to handle. (I searched for this discussion, but couldn't find it as I don't recall the forum in which it took place.) The conclusion of that discussion was that the Commentary would fall outside of normal policy and be a free-for-all to allow for lively debate, that hopefully would attract more readers to Wikinews, but that also would not need to be policed. We have enough trouble keeping up with vandalism to the articles themselves. The Template:Commentary says try to avoid swearing, offensive or inflammatory comments. Try thought-provoking, insightful, or controversial. It does not say that it is not allowed, however. I think the suggesting of striking first and deleting later, will be far too labor intensive. It is a two-step process and those commenting can easily outnumber us. I don't even look at the Commentary on the Webcomics article because it is far to voluminous already. If we are saying that we will now begin to police the commentary, then we need to do it consistently and can't let some comments slide and others not. See this comment for an example of a personal attack that went unchecked. Two edits later, this comment was seconded by another anonymous user. The commentary namespace has the potential for becoming a huge headache. If Wikinews grows in popularity we will see an increasing amount of trolls and flame-baiters. Yahoo!News used to have message boards for discussion of news stories, but on 12/16/06 they removed them (they initially said they'd come back in a different form, but they seem to permanently gone). The reason, although left unstated, for this was the predominance of flaming often in inflammatory racist terms. In a worst case scenario, we could see the same happen here. --SVTCobra 23:42, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Its a very hard line to draw. Perhaps something like a moderation system would be good (self-policing). but that has all the problems inherent in such a system, and would be a major undertaking technically (At the very least such a system is way beyond my technical abilities). Bawolff 23:59, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
This can be mainly handled if we add a note that even in commentary space personal attacks on other users are not tolerated. Remove the offending posts if necessary and leave a warning. Second attack leads to a block. This won't solve all problems by any means but it will solve some of them. The real headache I imagine would be if someone adds content that is libelous to the commentary space and it goes unnoticed for a while. But for now, simply no personal attacks and a general civility rule might suffice?
Incidentally, the Webcomics talk page has some incivility and personal attacks (surprisingly many directed at me) but by and large that conversation was civil. The size seemed to be more due to a many people saying the same thing or nearly the same thing without having noticed that someone had already started a section a bit above them with the same point. I suspect anytime we get slashdotted or anything similar the comments pages will likely get unwieldly. JoshuaZ 00:02, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

As far as the two specific incidents that David Shankbone brought up that involve me I would like to comment on those seperately, as I will do below:

  1. The first one is an anonymous user suggesting that some intrepretation of a dictionary (or something) made David "look like an idiot." While I didn't read the entire discussion, I reverted the deletion of this person's argument because while inappropriate, WN:E is a guideline and not policy. Also, the anonymous user's argument was not a traditional form of 'ad hominem' argument "you are an idiot, therefore you are wrong", but rather "you are wrong and that makes you look like an idiot" (again I don't know who was actually right or wrong of even if either could be conclusively right). I just felt that David was perhaps being too sensitive, but when he insisted and removed it again, I let it stand. This whole thing was on a collaboration page and not a commentary page, so I was probably in the wrong and it doesn't really pertain to this policy discussion.
  2. The other incident, is the comment in a commentary which called for the immediate assasination of the US president. Making such statements are, as David pointed out, illegal for US citizens (and probably anyone on US soil). However, I felt it was not my place to censor the commentary space. So instead, I cited the law that makes such statements illegal in a counter-comment (while I secretly hoped that the Secret Service would knock on his/her door). If that was fostering a culture of unacceptable permissiveness and if it was my duty as admin to delete the comment instead, I need clearer guidance in the form of a policy on what to allow in the commentary name space. On my User talk:SVTCobra#Talk page comments, David said that "most news organizations would remove something that." I would tend to agree that they would, but they also have strict "terms of use" policies that are spelled out somewhere on their sites. Again, if we are not going to allow unrestricted free speech, then we need a policy.

--SVTCobra 00:22, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

the current policy is we remove anything we decide is inapropriate or don't like. (Thats what it says in the template I think). 00:25, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
anything we don't like? I don't think there'd be much left of the commentaries if we all deleted what we don't like. --SVTCobra 00:45, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't see why Cobra or anyone else sees this civility as such a problem. Vandalism is going to happen on any wiki and I don't think ours is all that severe. The page move policy is the main thing we need to effect because it's a prominent problem. But on Wikipedia itself not all vandalism is caught and dealt with right away, or at all, and that includes personal attacks. But what you are doing, Cobra, is encouraging them by 1. reverting me when I try to enforce some modicum of etiquette on my own talk pages; and 2. by leaving up and responding to illegal sentiments for which we are now a host. Currently Wikimedia servers are hosting an illegal statement and providing it a forum, and an admin saw it, left it up, and responded to it. Cobra, I will leave you to do what you wish with it, but you allow a non-minor issue to go unaddressed. People who write articles can perfectly handle monitoring the talk pages. We aren't a bubbling cauldron of activity. Regardless, personal attacks don't serve any use for a "lively debate" they only serve to anger people, and I can guarantee you that will only draw more trolls to this site, especially when they see they can get away on a semi-serious site with enflaming people who really would like to talk about the issues in some civilized manner without being referred to as "assholes" and "idiots." And since I have personally been getting influential people to read our site, it bothers me that you support this "anything goes" attitude. These are serious issues--your leaving illegal statements up and reverting back in a personal attack--yet you voted against me for a few minor infractions. --David Shankbone 00:40, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
What I am trying to say is that we need a clear-cut policy. I said I was probably wrong in the 'ad hominem' statement on a collaboration page. I will now say that I was wrong and you had the right to remove the statement, regardless of whether I thought you were being "thin-skinned," it was not my place to say or do anything about it. On the other issue, I do not know that it is my place to remove the illegal statement. I am pretty sure the Foundation has isolated itself from responsibility and that individuals are responsible for what they post. Where does it say that I have to remove it? But we need a policy. I am all for civility, but that is such an abstract concept. People around the world have vastly different concepts of what that means. Again, we need a policy. As far as my vote on your WN:RFA, the issues I brought up had root in specific policies that are pretty clear. But please, if you want to debate that, do that there and not here. There is no reason to commingle this. --SVTCobra 01:11, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't really feel the need to discuss it with you, it's just amusing that you expect others to be perfect when you yourself show a lack of knowledge about what you should and should not be doing; and yes, illegal statements should be the first thing to be removed. That's all I have to say about it. And no, we don't need a policy, we need a guideline, and we have one: Wikinews:Etiquette. --David Shankbone 01:15, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

David, re-read the tone of your comment. Re-read the tone of Cobra's. I'm not sure what 1:15UT is in your time-zone, maybe you were late-night/early-morning post-edit-binge tired and emotional. But you cannot think it is civil. "I don't really feel the need to discuss it with you", "you yourself show a lack of knowledge...", and of course the shouty-hysterical "we don't need a policy". I may just be a lonely little lurker, but even though you didn't use a single naughty word, I found your responses to Cobra vitriolic and bordering on offensive. So I should delete it, yes? -- 203.57.68.20 13:53, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

The problem is that the commentary namespace is explicitly outside of other policy. It doesn't follow policy, like WN:NPOV, so I don't see how it should automatically follow guidelines, like WN:E. If policy doesn't apply to the Commentaries, how could guidelines? Are they not at least one rung lower? Perhaps illegal statements should be the first to be removed, but where does it say that any should be removed? --SVTCobra 01:36, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
In law books, Cobra. How do we know we can't use photos from competitor news sites? Simply because it's policy? So we now need to write a policy that it's illegal to call for the assasination of the President and we adopt a policy thusly that those statements be removed? It's just common sense. We can't be hosting illegal activity. We also don't need a policy saying drug hook-ups can't be made on our talk pages before we remove them. And if you think Wikimedia is isolated from hosting illegal content, you are wrong. Just like they aren't isolated from libel allegations. --David Shankbone 01:44, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
How do we know we can't use photos from competitor news sites? For quite some times these were used all over the internet, especially on Wikipedia. It wasn't until they changed the image use policy that it was observed, regardless of how much it was in violation of existing copyright laws. Law books you say. If someone handed me a piece of paper that said "kill Bush now!" would I have to burn it immediately so that no one else saw it? If I handed it to my friend and said "this kind of stuff is illegal," would I be liable to be prosecuted and sent to jail? I do not know the answer to these questions, but I would hope the answer is "no." And yes, the Foundation is most likely safe from libel, see [7]. That story is old but I haven't found newer ones that contradict it. --SVTCobra 02:53, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Just a side note, we've never been allowed to use competing news sources photos ever in the history of this site. That is because it is illegal to use your competitors phtos (wikipedia can use news sites photos in some circumstance, because they're not in direct competition with news sources. They can't randomly use Britannica's photos though). That has nothing to do with wikimedia's image use policy, thats they way its been ever since local uploads became enabled (I assume due to legal reasons). Bawolff 23:17, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm thinking about the various issues now and will try to have a draft for a Comments Space Policy (needs a better name) up sometime tomorrow. Hopefully a concrete suggestion will clarify things somewhat. JoshuaZ 01:25, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I lied somewhat. I have a draft now: See User:JoshuaZ/Comment Space Policy (Draft) and User:JoshuaZ/Commenttemplatenew. JoshuaZ 02:02, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Also, to be clear I'm not a lawyer, so someone who knows more about this than I do may want to look over the section about legal issues and make sure I got that right. JoshuaZ 02:18, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
I've moved the template draft and the policy draft into Wikinews space. Please feel free to edit them, make suggestions or criticisms. They can be found at Wikinews:Comment Space and Template:CommentnewJoshuaZ 23:46, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Advertising concerns vs news[edit]

Shankbone raised concerns with User:BrockF5 and his recent article Microsoft Taiwan will bring on high-definition audio-visual Market in Taiwan after Xbox360 will support HDMI interface and most egregious Taiwan's "Doritos Coolpedia" website announces top "Internet Quote". Shankbone is likely referring to (as I see as well) the increasing number of articles by this user which are clearly not news but endorsement of products, advertising, marketing-related, etc. Perhaps the User thinks they are indeed newsworthy for the English crowd, certainly, entertainment and electronics articles (that of C|Net and Wired) are highly regarded as sufficiently notable news, but the User does not write in a proper manner to ensure they don't come off as mere endorsement (ie hasn't been introducing criticisms or other perspectives). It's a bit of lost in translation and cultural attitudes thats at play here I'm sure Brock is indeed accredited (as his user page claims) but what the hell kind of coverage of Taiwan is that? Is that country really self-absorbed in Xbox and video games? .:*:*:DAVUMAYA:*:*:. 00:37, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm in agreement here, but I don't know what should be done about it. The problem is 1. the level of English is not being monitored yet the stories are being published and not marked as ready; 2. Are these really the stories we want? Most of Brock's stuff I haven't read because there is no interest level whatsoever on my part, but the main problem I have is that they barely make sense yet we are publishing them with no editing assistance (yet we will engage in lengthy debates over stories like whether Webcomics is news, even though that's perhaps the most popular story we have ever written). --David Shankbone 01:02, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Also, I didn't raise an issue about the X-Box article, but about the flower market article and main about it not making sense. --David Shankbone 01:18, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
These articles by User:BrockF5 are almost always WN:OR. It does seem that he attends these events and often provides photographic evidence of doing so. I don't know if he does so in the course of his real-life job, but they are almost always corporately sponsored events, which leads to the names of companies in the titles. His command of the English language is less than perfect. His work almost always yields a publishable article after working with other editors. On this day, whether by "Oh it's BrockF5, it's probably OK" or the sheer lack of regular users during these hours, I don't know, but there is some clean-up to be done. It is hard to say if this is direct advertising. For contrast, or an example of other abuse (depending on you view) see PlayStation 3 will be used to help cure cancer and Alzheimer's. However, is this a policy issue? --SVTCobra 01:59, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not 100% sure this is an appropriate place to discuss this (but then again where is). Basically, IMHO although some of the articles are a bit biased to a corporation (perhaps due to translation, which is understandable), I don't think he is purposely (or is at all) trying to spam us. Bawolff 02:15, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
I would agree. I think Brock is well-intentioned and we are not always there at the right time to edit his articles properly. Perhaps a simple request for him to mark the articles as "ready" and not to publish them right away would do? Jcart1534 02:42, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Uh........ upon discussion with Brock, I have discovered that vigilante reporting of "sensitive" issues (basically everything we take for granted) in his country may result in imprisonment or death. So uh.. yeah. .:*:*:DAVUMAYA:*:*:. 01:44, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand, he's from Taiwan right? The first few sources I can find about Taiwan and citizen journalism don't mention anything about it. See for example [8]. JoshuaZ 01:55, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
  • BrockF5 is indeed accredited, he went through the process so he had credentials to get into these sort of events in Taiwan. As far as I can work out he'll cover one company one time, and likely a competitor the next week. I certainly agree he should be marking articles as {{ready}} instead of publishing, but we do have to make allowances for non-native speakers and be open to their contributions. A lot of the time I suspect his articles wouldn't get fixed if he didn't publish, so perhaps when people fix things up they explain on the talk so his English improves. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:47, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I personally never suspected that this user deliberately spammed us, for example he covered a lot of sports events where there was no obvious commercial influence. Once you get into a press conference from one company you're likely to get into others. I think if we copy-edit his stories to make more sense and to contain less references to commercial entities (eg in article titles) I'm sure these original reports can be useful. Since most of these articles are actually written in Korean first and then translated by the author for our site, someone who speaks both languages would be really helpful. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 22:29, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't have an issue with the bent of his reporting, but I am disappointed he only seems to report on what appear to be happenings at a convention center hall. That said, I find the Doritos Coopedia story dubious; the others can be interesting. My main issue at this point is that he should be putting his story as "ready". His English is quite good; however, it needs to be relatively perfect for publishing and we can help him there. He's one of the few reporters we have who does a great deal of original reporting, and should be encouraged, but also coached. --David Shankbone 22:34, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

A question about public domain news sources[edit]

The past two days we had a dearth of content and I didn't have the time to create content the way I usually do, so in order for us to have some stories about major world events, I took advantage of Wikinews:Public domain news sources and used VOA News to form the basis for a few stories. The stories I refer to are:

I started with the VOA story and added sources and then added content from those and updated events, since things had transpired since VOA wrote they stories. I used the {{BasedOn}} template to make sure it was transparent what I was doing. I also made sure that VOA wasn't reporting from AP or other wires and was using their own reporters, as per their legal disclaimer (see the Copyright section near the end). However, Jurock just pointed out to me that VOA says "we ask that you not abridge or edit any VOA material which you may use."

Now, I still feel quite confident that I made perfectly valid use of public domain material. I didn't abridge their stories but I did edit them for current numbers and facts, and I did edit as far as adding things that weren't in the original (though I made sure it didn't look like it came from VOA). What I am asking for, is some reassurance from other Wikinewsies that, even though VOA "asks" for no edits, this is not a legal issue and that my use of VOA material was proper as it is public domain. I don't think there's problem, do any of you? --SVTCobra 23:55, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Thing is, their copyright page states both they release their content into de the public domain, but at the same time it doesn't (for what I know) allow derivative works – that is, you can't release something into the public domain but at the same time restrict it (because it wouldn't be public domain). Anyway, thing is that a work of the United States Government is under the public domain under § 105 of the United States Code. So, basicly, there is nothing wrong in our using of the news (for the time being). Seems as though we'll have to send an email or something to clear up things. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jurock (talkcontribs) Julián (reply) 22:43, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
[edit conflict]I belive (IANAL) that this is not a legal don't copy us or we'll sue you out of existance but instead a Please don't modify our content because we asked nicely. This is because there copyright policy page says they're public domain, and they are an agency/division/crown corperation(?) of the US federal government and can't copyright things (I think. again IANAL. Perhaps we should ask a commoner, as they deal with this stuff a lot (or failing that isn't there some secret wiki lawyer mailing list somewhere?). Bawolff 00:13, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
P.S. Assuming that it is PD, we have to decide as a community wether we should honour there request not to touch there stories. Bawolff 00:13, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
P.P.S on a side note. this reminds me, for those not subscribed to wikinews-l: http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikinews-l/2007-November/000938.html Bawolff 00:13, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, if we honor their request, then I don't think we can base articles on them anymore. It would be too anti-wiki not to edit at all. --SVTCobra 15:24, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I think they just don't really understand what PD means exactly: anyways, you guys pay for this with your tax money so just assume it's proper PD. It is nice of us to mention VOA in the article anyway.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 17:46, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. I think they understand, they just really don't like it. (Although my tax money only pays for the cbc, that is an argument we could use, its a moral question that will take time to figure out) If we did honour there request we'd have to stop borrowingthere articles (but old ones would be okay). Bawolff 01:42, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Non-free fair-use rationale proposal[edit]

I added this Template:Non-free use rationale which I stole/adapted from Wikipedia's w:Template:Non-free use rationale.

I propose that we begin using this to give a rationale/EDP for our use of non-free images. (I think logos can be excluded as Template:Logo seems to explain enough, but it can be used on those as well.)

To see an example of this template in action, please see Image:Venus Express.jpg where I have applied the template.

I also suggest that we somehow add this template as recommend its usage on Special:Upload, so that the uploader will be encouraged to justify the media immediately.

What do other people think? --SVTCobra 17:36, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Anything which encourages people to comply with policy and include a fair use rationale is a good thing. Providing users ensure that the information they fill in really does constitute a valid fair use rationale then I welcome the inclusion of this template on Special:Upload. One thing I would suggest though is that this is just another valid way of including a rationale, we should still allow writing it in prose and shouldn't favour a template over this other method nor should we go through fair use images and change them to use this template. I'm afraid we've got to treat logos like any copyrighted material and provide a rationale for its use in an article, the template doesn't do this. Adambro 17:59, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree. This is a smart template. It ACTUALLY explains how to make a fair use rationale and what it means to people who don't know. And it teaches people how to use images correctly. FellowWiki Newsie 00:04, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
Can't we have a blanket fair use rationale for all logos in {{logo}}? (They're all going to be the same). Bawolff 03:05, 12 December 2007 (UTC)