User talk:Pi zero

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Never forget that if you don't hit a newspaper reader between the eyes with your first sentence, there is no need of writing a second one.
Arthur Brisbane

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Thx for deleting spam[edit]

I was surprised to learn that I had had a User page on Wininews, and you had deleted it. Upon investigation, I found that you had concluded that it was spam. The page was created from IP address was That's in Kiev, according to I suppose any user page that is not create by a user logged in is likely spam -- especially if it's created from Kiev? Thanks, DavidMCEddy (talk) 21:47, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

@DavidMCEddy: Yes, I see it was an ad, in French, for some sort of medicine to treat erectile dysfunction. --Pi zero (talk) 21:57, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. I'd be interested in your reactions to my Submission for Wikimania2017: Submissions/Building Wikinews into the premier news site worldwide DavidMCEddy (talk) 23:13, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
@DavidMCEddy: I see you wandering, unaware (I suspect), into a minefield — an explosively controversial issue that has wound about Wikinews for all the years I've been here (and presumably years before I arrived). I will try to write up a description of the history from my perspective (if I can find the time; I really will try); I think perhaps I'll put that on your user talk page, rather than here. --Pi zero (talk) 12:06, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
(Or maybe I'll put it here after all; it seems it shouldn't be separated from the start of the conversation, so if I do decide to put it on your talk page I'd need to bring the above remarks with it.) --Pi zero (talk) 13:01, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
The world needs something, I think. The minefield you mentioned may be why Jimmy Wales decided to launch WikiTribune as a project completely separate from the Wikimedia foundation. The description I've seen so far of WikiTribune seems far too restricted to address the need I see -- and what I think should be possible. However, it may be easier to launch a completely separate project than grow either Wikinews or WikiTribune to meet that need.  ???
In any event, we need a free and open discussion of this someplace, and I think that a "Birds of a Feather" session at Wikimania 2017 should be a good place for a face-to-face encounter on this.
If you'd like to edit my draft submission for Wikimania 2017, you can do so at Submissions/Building Wikinews into the premier news site worldwide
Thanks, DavidMCEddy (talk) 15:12, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
@DavidMCEddy: I have no particular reason to think Jimmy Wales has a clue about the minefield. I have never seen him show any deep understanding of news, nor of Wikinews particularly. He certainly didn't come here to discuss the Wikitribune concept, which I suspect is a step backward from Wikinews in some important ways as he failed to take advantage of available in-house wisdom. I'm not crazy enough to think Wikinews is perfect, and I also don't envision some sort of citizen-journalism monoculture — I'm happy to find room in the world for a variety of different thing being tried. That is not to say he isn't stepping in the middle of... at this point, the "minefield" metaphor no longer works, I'm thinking of something more like stepping squarely into the middle of a large cow pat. I've heard his plan for wikitribune is making belated use of something described to him ten years ago by a proponent of an alternative vision for Wikinews — though I've also heard some pretty pessimistic predictions from that party about wikitribune; so it seems that folks with different philosophies for Wikinews share a dim view of wikitribune.

Alas, I don't think there's any way I could be there. I don't have a passport; at the time of 9/11 I had already let it lapse, and once 9/11 happened I resented the police state GWB was creating and wasn't at all enthusiastic about dealing with it to renew my passport. So my heart isn't really into trying to renew my passport now; and I'm not at all sure it could happen before August anyway. Plus, I see the new Code of Conduct that the WMF is forcing on the community, and feel about it much way I do about GWB's police state; that makes it less likely I would ever attend a Wikimania now even if they held another one in my back yard (the greater Boston area is within commuting distance for me). --Pi zero (talk) 15:50, 30 April 2017 (UTC)

@Pi zero: In my judgment, corruption grows to consume the available money. And "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants," according to former Justice Brandeis.
Research cited in my proposal for a "Birds of a Feather" session on this at Wikimania 2017 indicates that politicians tend to be most responsive when the service area of a leading news source matches the politicians' jurisdiction.
I think there is an opportunity to build such a web platform that could develop the following that Google and Wikipedia have today.
I think Wikinews could be that platform if we could get the organizational politics aligned.
I'd be pleased to have your reactions to my Wikimania session proposal and the material I've posted under v:Category:Freedom and abundance, especially v:Winning the War on Terror -- even if you do not attend.
'I could also use your help in getting input from other key people in Wikinews. Moreover, if the conference room has a reasonable Internet connection, we could open that session to virtual attendees.' I have a small Webex subscription for up to 8 participants. With that, I should be able to allow you to attend virtually without leaving your home.
I share your concern about GWB's police state. This conference will be in Montreal. I'm not sure, but you may not need a passport to go there from Boston -- though you would need, e.g., a MA driver's license.
DavidMCEddy (talk) 00:38, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

Shared Public StarBucks IP[edit]

Hey, Heads up just wanted to say > is a shared IP address - Starbucks / Dufferin and Steeles.

Regards, iDM

I do not see what is the problem with that.
acagastya 20:27, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
Possible Troll and impersonating Wikipedia editors. (user:Oshwah) specially. Just giving you heads up that its a public IP.
Possible. But not necessarily. Couple of years ago, a shared IP wrote 20+ articles, writing one OR as well. Not all IPs are vandals.
acagastya 20:59, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

Category for "Supreme Court of India and "Indian Supreme Court hearings"[edit]

I think there are enough articles to populate those categories. So, shall we add this in the to-do list?
acagastya 10:08, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Pi zero cited on the Spanish-language Wikinews "Water cooler"[edit]

@Pi zero: I recently mentioned your comments about Serbian Wikinews and Voice of America in the Spanish-language Wikinews: I found some comments to the effect that some of their contributors were lifting articles straight from VoA. I paraphrased your comments, suggesting they may want to be careful about doing that. DavidMCEddy (talk) 21:36, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

@DavidMCEddy: Interesting. (Btw, it looks like you've got a typo there; you had [[Usarior:Pi zero]], which is a redlink, rather than [[Usario:Pi zero]].) --Pi zero (talk) 22:01, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
@Pi zero: Excuse me: It was "Usuario:Pi zero", which is a page for you on that Wiki, which you've never created. I just changed it to [[:en:User:Pi zero|Usuarior:Pi zero]], so it comes to your en.wikinews page.
@DavidMCEddy: Heh. We both made typos. You had an extra "r", and above I missed a "u"; the word we were both trying for is "Usuario". It's perfectly reasonable to link to my English Wikinews page; I did create my user page there, about four years ago, but it's a soft redirect to my English Wikinews page. es:Usuario:Pi zero. --Pi zero (talk) 00:16, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

Translated quote[edit]

By "breaking", do you mean the template is not working properly for some languages or it breaks the link with translated quote template?
acagastya 08:21, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

I mean, the template did not do what it was supposed to do do. There are two differences between the templates: the parameters are in a different order, and the {{translated quote}} template adds quotation marks that the {{translation note}} template does not. --Pi zero (talk) 10:41, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
I know the order is different, and I tackled that problem. For double quotes, you could have tweaked the template.
acagastya 17:42, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
I could have. I admit, I was in a hurry, and the easiest way to fix the problem was simply to restore the older version. That said, I still don't really understand why you want the two coded independently. Defining {{translated quote}} in terms of {{translation note}} seems like the simplest solution to me. What am I missing? --Pi zero (talk) 17:50, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
For languages like Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Hebrew, the direction should be rtl. the simplest way to add it was to remove the dependency of the other template. (the language name was not showing when I tried)
acagastya 18:13, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
@Acagastya: You mean, process the additional parameter locally rather than pass it through to the other template? (If that's it, there's another way to do that...) --Pi zero (talk) 18:20, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
@Acagastya: I tried something different with the template. Does it solve the problem you were observing? --Pi zero (talk) 18:41, 23 May 2017 (UTC)


  1. Special:Nuke/Melvin_cookson
  2. Special:Nuke/
  3. Special:Nuke/Nandy priscilaa
  4. Special:Nuke/Andhi_aayie

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Acagastya (talkcontribs) 09:01, 1 June 2017

Undo of the Sri Lanka article[edit]

I am really sorry for that edit. I wanted to see what were the issues I wanted to highlight in the review comments, and by mistake, I "saved" that revision. (I didn't check that revision, thankfully!) I should be careful. I am sorry.
acagastya 08:53, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

Templates like {{Future problem}} and {{DFS problem}}[edit]

Remember when I used italics in the KELT-9b article so that I do not forget to distance from source (link), or this sentence "May will meet with Queen Elizabeth II..." which should be in accordance with WN:Future. I was wondering if we should have templates like {{Future problem}} and {{DFS problem}}? I was about to create subpage in my userspace, but then I thought to ask you so that other reviewers can understand the colour code as well.


Distance from source/foo bar 2000 WN:Future/lorem ipsum sit dolor amet
acagastya 05:26, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

As I think I've mentioned, I do that stuff in a separate buffer, where I use WN:BB. In addition to not ever wanting to risk accidentally publishing something with temporary stuff still in it , color coding is an eccentric choice by individuals. I don't even use the same colors to mean the same things every time; and then, some people are color blind which totally changes what colors would work for them and also what colors they might prefer. --Pi zero (talk) 12:27, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

FIFA Confederation Cup[edit]

June 17 - July 2. Sixteen matches. Ten days. What do you think? Just like the last year's Euro 16 (but with less number of matches)?
acagastya 06:06, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

I will be leaving for Mysore tomorrow, but I will be writing about French Open.
acagastya 06:07, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

No problems[edit]

No problems about the revert. Thanks for the information. Sagecandor (talk) 19:23, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

@Sagecandor: Sister links are okay to add later, and that one is a good thought, much appreciated. (There's no automatic Category: prefix for commons links, so I added that.) --Pi zero (talk) 19:29, 12 June 2017 (UTC)


Don´t forget to review The Petya computer virus attacks companies around the world, I know there are very few reviewers here but it´ll be a pity that this news would not be published. Regards!! Esteban (talk) 18:11, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

@Ezarate: I will do my best. Please understand, though, I got about 90 minutes of sleep last night; I'm not in very good shape atm. --Pi zero (talk) 18:22, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I know, this wiki needs more reviewers, thanks for your work Esteban (talk) 18:24, 28 June 2017 (UTC)


I would like to nominate you for this year's ArbCom.
acagastya 07:31, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

I am willing to accept nomination. --Pi zero (talk) 14:14, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

Federer wins eighth Wimbledon title[edit]

The broadcast report for the article (36' 25' 40') was posted on #wikinews-en channel. I can't wikilink, sorry. Match Stats might need JS enabled.
acagastya 18:22, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

Wrong title[edit]

Today I saw the news titled Astronomers discover smallest known star. I think this is the wrong title, as you can read about w:White dwarfs: "The nearest known white dwarf is Sirius B, at 8.6 light years." And about Sirius B: "This mass is packed into a volume roughly equal to the Earth's." But the source here says below the first picture: "The newly discovered tiny star, in orange, is slightly larger than Saturn,..." So it is much larger than Earth and larger than Sirius B ! Fmrauch (talk) 00:36, 17 July 2017 (UTC)

@Numbermaniac: Thoughts? (It will likely be a while before I can apply myself to this question.) --Pi zero (talk) 01:02, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
White Dwarf is formed when a star is out of fuel. A remnant of a star — that reminds me of the heap paradox. A star is a cell which converts hydrogen into helium. White dwarf is just a phase and it can not undergo nuclear fusion. According to NASA star is just a ball of gas which emits light and heat but in this article we are dealing with those heavenly bodies which can convert hydrogen to helium.
acagastya 07:18, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
Looks like acagastya's answered it for me. White dwarfs can't convert hydrogen to helium - so they don't quite fit under the definition of stars used in this sense. (On a side note, I'm not sure why I wasn't notified for that mention...) -- numbermaniac 11:36, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
@Numbermaniac: must be because there was a typo while pinging you.
acagastya 11:46, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
That's probably it, yeah. Apparently correcting the typo somehow didn't meet the software's criteria for pinging. --Pi zero (talk) 11:54, 17 July 2017 (UTC)


Due to my traumatic experiences of your repeated vandalism and harassment to my Wikinews account, I have no interest in contributing to Wikinews now or any time in the future. I have placed redirects on my old Wikimedia Wikinews accounts to go to user talk:Nicole Sharp. I beg of you to please just leave them as they are, and let the matter be. Soft redirects and duplicate talkpages for old useraccounts show up in search-engine results, leading to confusing and conflicting results. The only account with any content at all should be user:Nicole Sharp. If you feel it is necessary, then please just delete the old userpages and their talkpages instead of soft-redirecting them, so that there is no duplicate content being indexed. Barring any further vandalism to my unused old userpages, this here is my last edit to Wikinews. If you need to message me, please contact me through meta:user talk:Nicole Sharp. (talk) 06:03, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

Note: The above block evasion describes a stance and large-scale action typical of what they were blocked for in the first place. I've left it in place as a record of their misbehavior. I'm not inclined to apply a very long block to the IP unless it proves necessary, as collateral damage seems possible with an IP (at least in principle) and the blocked user's harassment of the project has extended over years so that applying a block longer than the time-scale of abuse is impractical. --Pi zero (talk) 11:49, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

Publisher withdraws book about Nelson Mandela's final days after family complaint[edit]


Thank you for your comments and review of the above article. I have noted the comments and will work on improvements for future articles. First one in over a year so a little rusty.

Thanks again, Chandlerjoeyross (talk) 23:02, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

Everyone's favorite news[edit]

I've posted a modest revision of my ideas for Everyone's favorite news to Wikiversity. I tried to respond to your concerns in the notes if not otherwise, but I suspect that you may consider the said responses inadequate. I'd be happy to entertain further comments, suggestions for revisions, etc.

I'm especially interested in developing a methodology for collecting and analyzing data on audience and various indices of editorial policies that might be different in different language versions of Wikinews and how we can use that to better understand and improve Wikinews.

If I may, I wish to ask more about two of your comments:

  • You wrote, "AGF absolutely does not belong on a news site." I'm not sure what you mean by this: I agree that material should not be published as news without rigorous documentation of sources. To me, AGF does not mean accepting someone's claims without documentation. It means responding professionally and respectfully to others. AGF does not prevent me from privately believing that another editor is likely a criminal scumbag, either stupid or paid to distort reality or disrupt the honest work of others. Rather, it pushes me to stay focused on the task at hand and the Wikimania rules -- and my responses should be civil and courteous but firm in insisting that the documentation the other editor(s) provided so far are not sufficiently credible to support the language they used. That's what "assuming good faith" means to me. Formalities dictated by the AGF policy say nothing about what I really believe, and that doesn't matter, anyway: What matters is responding in a way that minimizes the chances of a flame war and maximizes the chances of positive, constructive work. Does that make sense?
  • You wrote that ”Blogs have no value journalistically": I have several thoughts in suggesting "Wikiblogs" -- and I'm open to other names:
First, I want to keep as many people as possible in the Wikimedia system, where they can be engaged constructively rather than lose them to a Balkanized space where they will ventilate to like-minded people, amplifying the level of misunderstanding that drives conflict. We will not retain the true believers, ideologues, and paid shills: They'd rather be victimized than question their own beliefs. We may be able to help those people indirectly if we can retain some of their family, friends and neighbors, who are more willing to listen to contrary views and can later provide counterpoints to some of the worst xenophobic comments. This is part of the justification behind Wikiblogs and Wikisocial: Reduce the exploitation and Balkanization of the international body politic by offering a space for more constructive exchange of ideas and concerns.
Second, people who contribute to Wikiblogs and Wikisocial will learn more about what it means to write from a neutral point of view, citing credible sources, and treating others with respect (even when they seem not to deserve it) -- what I call AGF, as I just noted above. If they do that, they are more likely later to contribute something useful to Wikinews -- and more likely to moderate rather than amplify conflict in what they do away from the Wikimedia system.
Third, the more people we can retain within the Wikimedia system, the more they are likely to read Wikinews, Wikipedia, etc., and promote them to others. This could help moderate conflict and improve the quality of understanding and the prospects for conflict resolution and broadly shared economic growth.

What do you think? Thanks, DavidMCEddy (talk) 08:28, 3 August 2017 (UTC)

@DavidMCEddy: I have been meaning, each day for the past several days, to buckle down and write a semi-essay to you about my understanding of what Wikinews is. Each day I get up determined to get a huge amount done, including this, and go to bed frustrated. Today, I mean to get a huge amount done and buckle down and write it.

I used to have a short-list of three flaws of AGF (I honesty forget whether I've rattled off this list for you).

  1. If AGF is taken at its word, it instructs people to assume something. One naturally takes it that way, because its mnemonic form explicitly references such an instruction, even if in theory one has read words that say something a bit different. Telling would-be information-providers that they should assume something is a terrible idea!
  2. After I'd been around for a year or two I discovered WP:ZEN, which says (and I appreciated the style of the page, reminiscent of Discordianism and hacker koans), "You should always assume good faith, even when you don't." That was my first explicitly alert to the fact AGF doesn't mean what it says. Although I recognized at the time that it was true, it was another year or so before I felt comfortable that I truly understood it. But I've now had many additional years to think about this, and one of the things I think is: showing would-be information providers, by example, that they should say something different from what they mean is a terrible idea!
  3. When AGF is treated as an enforceable principle of conduct, over time a class of bad-faith users learn to use it as a weapon: first defensive, fending off attacks by requiring others to AGF, then offensive, getting their victims into trouble when they succeed in provoking them. Creating a horribly toxic social atmosphere.
I spent a very long time meditating on AGF during-and-after the nasty events on Wikinews in 2010; the above short-list was one eventual outcome; another was a conclusion that what happened here was due to two problems — powder-keg tension between fundamentally opposed factions on Wikinews, and lack of an explicit alternative principle to serve the social function vacated by the absence AGF. We have since articulated the alternative that was, afaics, always implicit behind the rejection of AGF on Wikinews: never assume.

I'm mentioning all this AGF stuff now because it really seems mostly separately from the points I wanted to make in that semi-essay about what Wikinews is. One thing I do imagine including in the semi-essay is some discussion of neutrality. It's quite important to realize that as a procedural matter, neutrality on Wikinews is profoundly different from neutrality on Wikipedia: there isn't a wikimedian notion of neutrality, it really means something different at en.wn than at en.wp, and this creates an extra front in the culture clash between the two projects. --Pi zero (talk)

Thanks for this. I agree that we should not use misleading language, and AGF is misleading, as you say.
And I like Wikinews:Never assume, as a stronger version of w:Wikipedia:Citing sources.
Still, I think that the need to treat others with respect should be stated clearly and not buried almost as an afterthought in a discussion of "Wikinews:Never assume".
Also, regarding neutrality: Is it fair to say that en.wn applies a stronger concept of the term en.wp? DavidMCEddy (talk) 12:42, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
@DavidMCEddy: I'm leery of etiquette guidelines, generally. I don't necessarily reject all such, but after watching the way they have gone horribly awry on en.wp, I am very cautious.

Weirdly, our neutrality principles on Wikinews are different from Wikipedia's, neither stronger nor weaker. It is, I think, quite possible for a Featured Article on either en.wn or en.wp to fail the other project's criteria for neutrality. What's going on there is something very deep; a careful study of the two approaches to neutrality would, I think, reveal that each project is using an approach that cannot work for the other project. --Pi zero (talk) 13:13, 3 August 2017 (UTC)

Prince Philip makes last solo public engagement[edit]

Hi Pi zero, Thank you for your for reviewing the above mentioned article. Appreciate it. I have taken notes of the comments for future articles. Thanks again.CASSIOPEIA (talk) 22:23, 5 August 2017 (UTC)


No need to be so patient with the pirates. --Zhuyifei1999 (talk) 06:10, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

@Zhuyifei1999: Although I am aware that, on occasion, I have gotten into trouble because I was too patient, and it does create a certain amount of extra work for me (which is itself a kind of getting-into-trouble), I am inclined to treat patience and grace as important in dealing with all newcomers. I don't ever want en.wn to become the sort of unfriendly place for newcomers that I see en.wp has become. Patience with newcomers is very difficult and I don't always achieve it as well as I would aspire to; but, over the years, I count among my successes several people who have gone on to become highly successful Wikinewsies. As it says on our WN:Never assume page (analogous to Assume Good Faith on many other projects), "Treat people as well as circumstances allow, even when (as will sometimes, sadly, happen) it becomes necessary to escort them to the exit." --Pi zero (talk) 13:32, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

Things to do in Denver[edit]

Hi Pi. Thanks a lot for keeping an eye on my talk page as well as non-newsworthy item, Favonian. Would you consider semi-protecting the former and create-protecting the latter? I'm not a regular at Wikinews and my username is an unlikely (if only because of its length) name for a news item. Incidentally, the perennial pest has is immortalized on w:User:Bri/Denver LTA. Best regards, Favonian (talk) 16:45, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

I've semi-protected both page names against creation. Seems a reasonable request under the circumstances, although in generic cases I tend to leave common vandalism page names un-create-protected, on the theory that it's easier to connect troublemakers over time if they're allowed to identify themself by recreating the same page over and over. --Pi zero (talk) 17:29, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
Ah yes, the old honey pot. Thanks a bundle! Over at my natural habitat, the range is enjoying a lengthy furlough. Just saying, in case he decides to diversify his portfolio of targets. Favonian (talk) 17:42, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

What Wikinews is[edit]

@DavidMCEddy: I'm putting this in a separate section, hoping to make things easier to keep sorted.

You've been coming across very enthusiastic about — if I've rightly caught the spirit of what you've been saying — a vision of Wikinews serving the need for local coummunity news coverage across the globe. I'm familiar with, and in agreement with, the idea that uncensored neutral-and-accurate community news coverage is vitally important to a democratic society, at any scale from a village to a continent-spanning nation (and beyond, to the global community). And enthusiasm is great to see. However, all that said, there is also another side to my feelings about your proposals. I believe we have achieved something here on en.wn that is unique in the world, and of truly immense import, that needs to be protected, nurtured, and grown into something that might just be part of the cure for some really major problems with the world as it is evolving in the internet age. These visions, yours and mine, can be brought to harmonious coexistence, I think — but if your vision were pursued in a way that interfered with mine, I would oppose it with my last breath, exactly because of what I see in my vision. So it's really, really important, from where I'm sitting, to try to explain my vision to you, so that we can then look for ways to harmonize, and your enthusiasm and mine can aid each other instead of fighting each other.

Okay, enough of the prefatory remarks.

Wikinews, as I understand it, is at the intersection of two major forms of information providing: journalism, and wikis. It's taken me years on en.wn to reach my current understanding of these two forms; practitioners of each of the two forms often have very limited (if not outright wrong) understanding of the other form (to say nothing of practitioners who don't understand their own form :-). The goals of each of these two forms are often seen, by practitioners of either form, as incompatible, so that the intersection of the two forms would be empty; hence I see tremendous significance, and tremendous potential, in the place en.wn is occupying within that intersection. I'll try to explain aspects of this situation one-at-a-time.

  • Journalism. A few years ago I recall watching a panel discussion on some university-run satellite TV feed (some university in the western part of the US, I think; could have been Arizona, Utah, Oregon...) in which they'd brought together three particularly noted young up-and-coming journalists to talk about the future of journalism. So-called "millennials", I think, though I don't recall whether the organizers used that term. And they all said more-or-less the same thing: there's vast amounts of information out there, the challenge is rapidly matching up information with the reliability of the journalist. I would add (not remembering exactly how it was said in the panel discussion, of course), the deserved reputation of the journalist. A journalist's reputation needs to be based on their proven dedication to reporting objective reality, not on, say, their dedication to bolstering some political position (although some people consider the idea of reporting objective reality to be a political position; "reality has a well-known liberal bias", as Stephen Colbert put it). The point of the exercise is not getting unvetted information out the door quickly, but matching it up with the journalist's deserved reputation for dedication to getting the story right — and then, given that one is matching up information with deserved reputation, doing so as promptly as one can. I recall a piece not long ago (not sure if it was on public television, or some cable news channel) with recollections of how Walter Cronkite handled real-time coverage of events on the day JFK was shot; should they report some particular point that they had only one source for, and in the specific case Cronkite's decision was that they would attribute it, reporting that it had been asserted by so-and-so.
  • Wikis. Wikinews and Wikipedia are about as different as it is possible for two wikimedian sisters to be. Over time I admit I've gotten quite weary of anti-Wikinews rhetoric based ultimately on conflating wiki-ness with close adherence to Wikipedian principles; and, seeking to make sense of it all, I've (frankly) rethought the notion of wiki-ness from the ground up, based on my understanding of volunteers' perspective (rather than, say, assertions by Jimmy Wales or the Foundation).

    The essential principle of the wikimedian wikis is, I submit, that The People — the general citizenry of the internet, anyway — should have a voice in information providing, specifically in providing reality-based information. I remember what the internet was like in the mid-to-late 1990s, from the start of the World Wide Web; at first, there was a wide mix of web sites, some of which were really cool — but as time went on it became clear that the coolest sites tended to disappear after at most four years (because they were university student pages that went away when the students graduated), and even as the internet became more and more mainstream, its content was more and more controlled by special interests — corporations, governments, religious organizations. It was really looking as if internet content in the future would be of just two kinds — propaganda, and paywalled — and knowledge was going to become a privilege of the rich. Then Wikipedia came along, and has (so far) prevented that particular sort of dystopia from happening — but Wikipedia has its own new sorts of problems.

    (All of this, btw, can be seen in the context of the entire history of human civilization. It took thousands of years for the ideosphere to evolve a memetic ecosystem that would bring about high technology and, ultimately, the internet; but the recent, especially successful part of that evolution is based on the dynamics of memetic replication in the human ideosphere of the print age — and the internet apparently changes the dynamics of memetic replication, more radically than the printing press did, destabilizing the whole memetic ecosystem. So that, along with all our other global problems in the world today, we're also struggling to make human society work in the internet medium — with far more similarities to historical human societies than some of the internet generation want to admit, but also subtly profound differences that are hard to recognize, let alone come to grips with.)

    Wikipedia aspires to be a traditional encyclopedia, and that in itself creates big problems with neutrality (a topic of surpassing complexity/subtlety). Wikipedia tries to treat everyone as equal, and that creates big problems with trust/reputation (recall how central deserved reputation is to the whole concept of journalism). And both of these things contribute to a big problem with the reader's attitude toward sourcing.

    The basic procedure for developing content on Wikipedia is, create an article and let anyone on the whole Internet edit it. Apply unbounded time, and let the community thrash out how to evolve the article. That's it; the whole thing. One procedure, meant to do everything. The theory is that eventually, given an unbounded number of people editing the article over an unbounded period of time, the quality of the article will statistically rise to some fairly high level, though always with a bit of fluctation. Neutrality is a matter of unbounded squabbling over which things to mention and how much weight to give to them, which tends (btw) to create an unfortunate perception that it's not possible for one person to be neutral (which naturally raises the question, why bother trying). Even Wikipedia isn't really able to treat everyone equally — admins are more trusted, and many users get booted out as vandals or other varieties of undesirables — but its efforts to approximate that sort of radical egalitarianism translate into basically not trusting anyone much. Even admins, who are handed a big pile of privs, are mostly enabled to do things that can be readily undone. You'd have to go somewhere above the level of admin to find someone on Wikipedia afforded trust with anything like the flavor of the review priv on en.wn.

    As for sourcing. A traditional encyclopedia summarizes. Looking at the print Britannica I grew up with, every article bears initials identifying its author, so each article invokes the reputation of its particular author (if a sophisticated reader knows to look them up), and the whole encyclopedia invokes the reputation of its editorial board who selected the authors of its articles (just as a newspaper ultimately invokes the reputation of its management, which is why it was such a big deal a few years ago when NYT found they had hired a reporter who had faked a whole bunch of interviews). But mostly we would just look up stuff in our Britannica and not think much about the particular person who wrote it, just the reputation of Britannica. What about Wikipedia? Because it's a summary, it can be difficult or impossible to point to one thing to justify some of what is said; indeed, what's behind the text you look at may be several years of arguing back and forth on the article's talk page. What the article may provide is footnotes — which, realistically, most readers will not consult. I do consult those footnotes, rather often, and very often find either that there is no footnote near what I really want to check on, or that the nearby footnote is documenting some other fact than the one I'm interested in, or that it may in fact be intended to address that fact but I'm unable to find the supposedly-documented claim in that source. Sometimes, of course, the cited source isn't even available on-line. And what all this adds up to is that Wikipedia accustoms readers to mostly not asking where the information comes from. From time to time on the wikimedia-l mailing list I see people crowing proudly that someone has said something about how much they trust Wikipedia, and I think, you shouldn't be proud of that; it represents a failure of Wikipedia. Encouraging people to not think about where information came from is unhealthy for the individual reader, and unhealthy for society as a whole.

  • Wikinews. A news article is (when written) about something that just happened. (A vital part of Wikinews's mission is also to provide a permanent un-paywalled archive of its articles, but that's an archive of the state in which they were published when the news was fresh.) It follows that anything that depends on unbounded time will utterly fail. And unbounded time is Wikipedia's one formula for everything. So the Wikipedian way of doing things fails across the board. Everything about Wikinews is tuned, in large or small ways, to allow it to deliver the journalistic matching of information with deserved reputation, and do it within a news timeframe — which requires, on one hand, tuning the whole social structure of the project for treating users as individual people with individual accumulated reputations, for good or ill (WN:Never assume mentions accumulated reputation, just as you've remarked it mentions politeness; I don't know that I could fully describe everything about en.wn that plays up reputation, though, it's just too pervasive); and on the other hand, tuning all the specific policies applying to articles so that the production of a news article doesn't require any adversarial techniques. For example, the whole concept of neutrality on Wikipedia is determined adversarially, whereas on Wikinews neutrality has to be something that any individual Wikinewsie can do quickly and reliably, even on a subject they have strong opinions about (if they're unable to achieve Wikinews neutrality, they are expected to disqualify themselves, and of course there's the review procedure to guarantee a second, independent experienced Wikinewsie thoroughly reviews each article before publication, which will hopefully catch any lapses of judgement before they get out the door). Wikinews review works best when the reporter and reviewer are both highly experienced Wikinewsies, both trying to make the article live up to the project's highest standards, the reviewer catching most (or, just conceivably, all) of the flaws in the reporter's submission. And as for thinking about where information came from — besides our review process, which allows us to have a reputation to care about — we're really quite in-your-face about it, constantly reminding the reader to think about where information came from, by explicitly specifying attribution: the difference between "the fire started in a third-floor apartment" and "fire officials said the fire started in a third-floor apartment" is not just that Wikinews is still right even if the fire is later discovered to have started somewhere else, but also that the reader is reminded to think about where the third-floor-apartment claim comes from.

Wikipedians are often too emotionally committed to the Wikiepdian way of doing things to admit that a wiki can do these things, since a Wikipedia-style wiki clearly can't. Journalists are often deeply skeptical, or outright dismissive, of anything called "citizen journalism". And here sits en.wn, doing what wikis aren't supposed to be able to do (or, bringing journalism to the wiki realm where it isn't supposed to be able to go). --Pi zero (talk) 01:55, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

I think this goes somewhere........[edit]

Pi zero (7), Willian S. Saturn (6), Brian (5), RockerballAustralia (5), ShakataGaNai (5), Mikemoral (5) the count on ArbComm (one person only got 4 votes), should I put an 'announcement' somewhere?? --Bddpaux (talk) 19:09, 11 August 2017 (UTC)

Gryllida has confirmed the results too, on xyr user talk. I'm honestly too far gone tonight to work out where to go from here; it's possible that citable confirmation from both election committee members will suffice. I should check what we did last year... --Pi zero (talk) 02:06, 14 August 2017 (UTC)

Not that I'll cry if I can't.......[edit]

.....but as an Admin, can I block vandals??--Bddpaux (talk) 19:10, 11 August 2017 (UTC)

@Bddpaux: If I recall correctly, yes you can. (talk) 19:41, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
@Bddpaux: Yes. Wikinews has what I have often characterized as the most sane blocking policy in the wikimedia sisterhood. The first two sentences say that sometimes it's necessary to impose blocks, that admins should use their good judgement about when and for how long to block, and that everything else on the policy page (about six screens worth, on my laptop) is just advice. --Pi zero (talk) 20:22, 11 August 2017 (UTC)

Editprotected queue[edit]

The Template:Editprotected queue is getting pretty deep (with items going back to 2015). Is there any chance you could work on it? You are the volunteer (listed at Template:Editprotected/Volunteers) with what I found to be the most recent activity (based on talk page responses). I was trying to fix things from Category:Pages using invalid self-closed HTML tags. Thank you. (talk) 15:04, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

Iirc there was a glut on that queue that took place around that time, and clearly it became a problem. Perhaps I can whittle at it a bit later today; first priority when possible, of course, is the review queue (that being the nature of news). --Pi zero (talk) 15:16, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
It sounds like WN needs an administrator that is not focused on reviews (thus allowing others to do reviews unimpeded). Thanks (talk) 15:21, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
WN needs to grow, period. I'm not just focused on reviews, and processing editprotected requests is arguably pretty similar to review anyway; but the reviews are almost always the most urgent thing. In the long term I'm also the user who's developing the tools meant to make all these tasks easier (essay). --Pi zero (talk) 15:28, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
You seem to have some interesting ideas. It seems like it would take a while to study up on the things you are undertaking. (talk) 16:18, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
BTW, I know you didn't remove the protection on Template:Past events but all of the rest of Category:Pages using invalid self-closed HTML tags are also protected and look like old news items from the 2007 Rugby World Cup. I would fix the markup issues if I could. It seems like a pain to create Template:Editprotected requests for each (especially since that likely will not be looked at unless someone specifically asks via another channel). This also goes for other corrections to published and archived articles (e.g., changes needed to fix magic links which are going away, etc.). Is there a better way than making piles of edit protected requests? Thank you. (talk) 18:13, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

Deletion of Discovery Communication wins bid to buy Scripps Networks[edit]

I just edited it to add an image (File:Discovery Scripps Networks Interactive.JPG) to this article, Discovery Communication wins bid to buy Scripps Networks, just with in an hour and half. I found additional sourced for information to expand the article, which when editing turned up that the article was deleted. Less than an hour and half is NOT two days for/per WN:ABANDON. Also, the these deals given anti-trust approval are not automatic a done deal and the story still is open. Approval is not expected until early 2018 in this case. If you don't understand this don't touch business acquisition articles. --Spshu (talk) 18:12, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

@Spshu: If I misjudged the state of the article, I certainly apologize. We get a very great deal of advertising/spam, and the addition of a non-free logo sort of image to an article about something that happened over two weeks ago looked pretty suspicious. I'll restore it when I finish writing this note. Keep in mind, you would need a new focal event to refresh the article; expanding it would not (by itself) help to make it publishable. --Pi zero (talk) 19:02, 15 August 2017 (UTC)


Please revert this: Special:Diff/4332942. Thank you. (talk) 06:30, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

Got it, and several other examples of de facto vandalism by the same bot at the same time. Good catch; thanks. --Pi zero (talk) 06:36, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

White House IP poster[edit]

I do not want to dismiss your or anyone's real concerns about "White House" or the American voice on Wikinews, but I think the IP is just trying to start a fight. I could have bought that a legitimate poster 1) misunderstood "it's no insult" OR 2) called @Gryllida:'s suggestions ridiculous OR 3) repeatedly declined to offer a title draft when asked but not all three. Like I said, I really don't mind if anyone changes the headline to a better one, better in ANY way for any reason. You two want to continue the discussion somewhere else? Darkfrog24 (talk) 19:10, 20 August 2017 (UTC)

@Darkfrog24: No, I don't. I spectacularly don't have time, and only intended to offer a couple of related factual observations of possible interest/use. I agree there could be identity questions; I expect there are very many people on the same IP, potentially of wildly varying intent. --Pi zero (talk) 19:23, 20 August 2017 (UTC)
Seriously? Looking at the way I have been editing, it should be easy to guess who I am. Why should I suggest the title? When would you learn? I would say that you are starting a fight when you deflected the whole point of "sounding unnatural while explaining a fact" as Gryllida's comment being ridiculous. I did not mean it, nor did I say it. It was you, who did that. Your ignorance to acknowledge the fact that the headline is not clear what it is about, and lack of interest to improve, though you have written so many articles, makes me worry. It could be a different thing that you really don't know how to reword the lede so most of the audience can understand, but it were to be, you would have mentioned that, did you? (talk) 01:30, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
The only aggressor in this discussion has been an anonymous IP. If you do not intend to troll, rethink your behavior. (Same if you do.) --Pi zero (talk) 02:02, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
How about rethinking for headline? Given they have written 50+ articles, is it my responsibility to fix it. If my article had to be renamed after it was published, I would excersise caution whenever I had to write a headline. For the part, you can do better than that, it is more of a disappointment and frustration rather than a troll. (talk) 02:11, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
You're saying you did not intend to troll. When one is feeling frustrated, it is quite possible to come across trollishly without intending to; phrasing things well can be remarkably tricky. I agree that Darkfrog24 should work on the international-audience aspect, but I think that message might have been successfully conveyed more amicably. --Pi zero (talk) 02:24, 21 August 2017 (UTC)

if you agree, then say so. The incidents where Darkfrog24 has shown signs of ignorance to improve on their weak points is increasing. Though everyone's learning curve is different, but after writing 50 articles, one expects editors to follow the pillars. (That reminds me how you had responded when Darkfrog24 used the word terrorists in headline. What about that?) (talk) 02:34, 21 August 2017 (UTC)

I've made no secret of my belief that Darkfrog24 needs to reach a deeper level of grokking Wikinews principles before they'll be ready for the review bit, and I've been concerned for some time that they may have stagnated (perhaps through not perceiving the further goal). There's a discussion with them on these themes I've been meaning to get back to, that I'd postponed to concentrate on review. (And my first non-review priority is the bug fix for AlvaroMolina; how priorities do pile up.) --Pi zero (talk) 03:08, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
Not you or me, but Darkfrog24 has to think about that, and learn from the observation and experience. (talk) 03:26, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
That's true enough. It's also true, though, that how receptive one is to learning from an experience depends on how one thinks about the subject when coming to it, which can be discussed. --Pi zero (talk) 11:13, 21 August 2017 (UTC)

Re-review New South Wales police extradict 'self-healer' Hongchi Xiao from London over death of six-year-old boy at conference[edit]

I made some changes. PokestarFan (talk) 21:35, 20 August 2017 (UTC)

@PokestarFan: The date on a published article is the date of publication. Also, if you wish to submit a change to a published article, like for example fixing a typo, just making the edit brings it to the attention of reviewers who will examine it to determine whether or not to publish the change. --Pi zero (talk) 21:42, 20 August 2017 (UTC)