Wikinews:Water cooler/policy/Archive/5

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This page is a good example.

The page is built of separate sub-pages.

The separate sub-pages (sections) are graphically illustrated at the top of the page with boxes, there are five: Policy, Technical, Proposals, Assistance, Miscellaneous.

For someone to add something that doesn't fit into one of these five categories, we have several scenarios:

  1. The person makes a new subpage, adds the new subpage to the Water cooler page, adds a block to the graphic illustration, adds their content to the new subpage. This is a lot of work, so probably the person does not bother, and they fall through to
  2. The person adds a new subpage and puts their content in it, and adds the subpage to the Water cooler page, but does not add the graphic section. This is a pity, but understandable, and perhaps someone later will add the graphic etc. More likely they will do something else though when they encounter the new section, and the person who wanted to add the new information has still got a lot of work to do to get this much done, so probably they fall through to
  3. The person adds a new section on the Water cooler page, ignoring the subpage system, and adds their content. This is good, really, its the first step towards making this page useful (see the conclusion of my discourse below), but really, most people will be intimidated by the unfamiliar sub-page format of this page, and wonder if they are doing the right thing. So they fall through to
  4. They add it to an inappropriate section. This makes it hard for readers to notice it, and it gets lost. The person has wasted their time, and noone likes to waste time, especially on a volunteer wite such as this, so perhaps they fall through to
  5. The person makes no change. This is the most likely choice for people wanting to add info that doesn't fit one of the sections.

The page is an illustration of what is happening to the entire wiki. Assumptions become entrenched. Design decisions such as those described above reinforce the lack of change and evolution of the site. The site as a whole becomes beholden to a specific set of assumptions, and the users have trouble changing it.

This leads to a perception that the current state is ideal, and therefore is to be defended. This further entrenches the problem state. Users who encounter this system feel powerless to change it. And if we do, what we create may itself become entrenched.

Users of a wiki in particular probably dislike entrenched states. This is one property we expect to find less of on a wiki. So to find that even a wiki is not immune to statis is repugnant, and disuades potential new users from becoming involved.

Please new users, do not let this dissuade you! We need you!

Existing users, when working on the wiki, please keep as a primary consideration whether your change raises or lowers the 'barrier to entry' for new users. The idea here, the very first principal before even the NPOV aim, is to have an open system. Without an open system, we have no ability to aim for NPOV.

This wiki needs to become a lot friendlier and more supportive of new users in a lot of ways. I would like to try to fix it, and I need your support. Perhaps we should start a discussion page somewhere on this issue (friendliness, openness, and embracing new users), or is there one already? - Simeon 09:54, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

I personally have never been a fan of the Water Cooler subsectioning, neither here on Wikinews nor on Wikipedia's Village Pump. I think a regularly refactored single page could serve the same purpose. However, it requires volunteers to do the refactoring, e.g. move discussions to relevant pages fairly quickly. Are you willing to do that work?
While we have to avoid useless rules, we also should strive to uphold certain standards of quality. This, too, is one of the strengths of the wiki: collaboration for better results. "Citizen journalism" sites are a dime a dozen these days, what already makes Wikinews different is that our articles follow certain community standards on style and content. It is important to maintain this balance. We can easily gain hundreds of writers by accepting anything on Wikinews:Submit a story and making that link very prominent. Do we want this? Or do we want people who can write news articles that meet certain criteria? I'm a big believer in building critical mass, but not at the cost of quality and integrity.--Eloquence 18:42, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
I am the person who implemented the subsectioning. Here was my reasoning at the time, which I still believe:
  • The discussions were chaotic. At the time there were upwards of 80 discussion topics, there was no attempt to sort them so requests for help were lost in with flame wars, policy discussions, requested articles, etc.
  • The watercooler was not active, probably because of the above, though just as likely because the traffic had crashed during the holidays and the new traffic after the holidays was mostly people unfamiliar with Wikimedia communities - and they did not understand the community attitude of "jump in where you have something to say".
  • Having a menu at the top works.
    The subpages are mostly invisible to users; edit tags lead directly to the appropriate sections and pages. For users more familiar with the workings of Mediawiki, they can figure it out. Evidence of this is that they system has been updated since creation on a couple of occasions.
  • Implementing the discussions is easier. When refactoring the policy discussions, I directly update the policies in question. When refactoring the other sections likewise; updating Wikinews:Great ideas or whatever the community has decided on. I do not know if others are doing this when they archive, however. Having looked through the previous archives when setting this one up, community discussions were rarely implemented. They were archived and forgotten once the discussion was over.

- / 21:56, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

  • I can add the experience of a below average computer(and wiki) user. I have always had trouble figuring out how to put in an edit at the water cooler; e.g. for a policy item. There are 4 edit buttons I could click on

1, at the top of the water cooler page(that one is obviously the wrong spot once you get in there) 2 at the top of the policy page 3 where it says "post" under policy 4 the edit button next to the subtopic.Also I don't know whether it makes any difference to go into Policy in the "sections" box or the "table of contents" box. Also, often the edit doesn't seem to show up right away,I never really know if it made it in.I wouldn't mind a "tutorial on water cooler navigating" link on the water cooler page if we keep this format.

To me, I just need the "table of contents" listing to go from; I find the big "sections" box confusing and the "I want to.." stuff should be in "help" maybe? Also, at the top of the page it says; "The water cooler is not the place to make lasting comments," but doesn't say where that place is,if anywhere.

But I have learned that sometimes the better long term design is not the one designed for novices; so, I don't really know enough technical stuff to really have a valuable opinion on this issue; just wanted to share my experience with the water cooler.

Re; citizen journalism sites and rules; once again speaking from a low direct knowledge/experience base; I believe in duplicating successful business models and in following the business leader(if one has a good leader) and hopefully avoid the pitfalls the leader falls into..learn from their mistakes. The wikipedia model seems to me to be successful with a bit of time behind it; so it seems to me that wikinews should adhere to that model in terms of process, progression avenues, quality control, entrenchment avoidance and rule making/breaking/adjusting procedures as much as possible as long as the leader is growing/behaving in a healthy manner...being behind, we have a good view of what's happening ahead(to wikipedia). (I know absolutely nothing about wikipedia other than it seems to be working; and I could be wrong about that; but most of the rest of you will know how its doing. ). Paulrevere2005 11:30, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

  • I like having the seperate sections, when I was on dial up loaiding the whole page would take 5+ min but with the sections I could just load the section with topics I was interested in. --Cspurrier 14:10, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

Enthusiastic deletion[edit]

  • Why is the deletion discussion/vote period so short now? Three days seems a little hasty. It basically means if someone takes a weekend they could come back and find an article they were working on gone. I've seen two articles disappear in the night in the last couple of weeks, both which I worked on, and which I wanted to help to fix.
  • Wikinews:Policies and guidelines/Deletion guidelines currently state that 'rough' concensus should be reached on articles to be deleted. This seems a little hasty to me as well. Since deletion is a 'last resort' I think that everyone should agree to delete. What use is there in deleting something that someone wants? In the two recent examples, people were actively working on the articles. We already have speedy deletion policy to take care of vandalism. This should be enough.

Here is how the policy was last time I read it. I don't see anything wrong with this. Any objections to me amending the policy back to this?

After a period of seven days, an admin looks at a listed page or file and determines whether consensus for deletion has been reached. If it has, the page is deleted. The period of seven days starts at the submission of the deletion request on this page.

Last resort means last resort.

Please use deletion only as a last resort. Before requesting deletion of an article, consider: Is there any way the article could be fixed, instead of deleted. Are you personally really sure the article is a candidate for deletion at all, or are you over-reacting with what seems to you at the time an easy and quick solution? Wikinews:Policies and guidelines/Deletion guidelines

If an article is constantly being deleted and re-created, this should be seen as evidence for the need for an article. Wikinews:Policies and guidelines/Deletion guidelines

If I recall correctly, PaulRevere2005 was in fact banned for recreating an article. This is directly contrary to the spirit of the guidelines as quoted above.

Wikinews is an open publishing forum, and an open and even-handed approach should be valued as the greatest asset we have to offer. Deletion is a particularly heavy-handed approach, which if used widely will gain Wikinews a reputation not only for heavy-handed admins, but also for hypocrisy. Wikinews:Policies and guidelines/Deletion guidelines

- Simeon 11:26, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

This is a good place to discuss the above; it might also have been a good place to discuss the many changes to policy which were done today. In fact, there is a general policy against substantive changes to written policy without community approval - one of the many we 'inherit' from Wikipedia - but there's no point in arguing about what has been done.
I don't know why the deletion time period is so short - 3 days for aggreagation articles and 7 days for articles with original reporting - but I suspect it is based on the news cycle being rather more brief than an encyclopedia. Articles should be edited for only two weeks according to the archive conventions; and news gets old fast so an article which cannot be displayed during its Dr for an entire week is going to be pretty old at the end of it.
I agree with the last resort entirely.
An article which is constantly being recreated by a single user is evidence of vandalism, or a serious misunderstanding of the will of the community, or of the way the software works. Again, Wikinews is not an encyclopedia.
(Paulrevere2005 has a history of recreating articles repeatedly, had been warned he would be blocked if he continued the behavior[1]. When he recreated the article he was not banned, but when that article was tagged as NPOV, he chose to move back to the article which had survived the Dr, reverted it to the disputed condition without the dispute tags, and began editing it from that point. At that point he was banned.)

- / 21:32, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

  • I still don't think there was any dispute flag anywhere at the time I was banned; they seemed to come after. I do know I was just trying to deal with correcting a title from pontiff to Pontiff and ended up with 2 articles. I was not trying to circumvent any flags if there were any; which would've been a kind of stupid thing to try to do anyway,I think,since another flag would just be coming in to the new article.

To me the more important example of this kind of problem is contained in the dispute between Amgine and TalkHard [[2]] The last 4 paragraphs in TalkHard's rebuttal are important not just in relation to whether or not they are true; they are even more important,I think, because TalkHard FEELS that way ("abuse of power"& "elitist attitude" in reference to some of our administrators); and the entire discourse between TalkHard and 2 of our administators is a bit embarassing to the site,imo.

To me,it seems as if this person,TalkHard, could've been a tremendous asset here(Just read the succinct and lucid comments he made and his obvious experience with collaborative projects )and I doubt we'll see him again.

The way TalkHard's article was handled by our admins should be looked at critically as to how we can improve article management procedures in the future. Paulrevere2005 12:22, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

  • The 3/7 days timing was decided after a long and detailed discussion by many members of the community. Check the archives for this page. Dan100 (Talk) 09:48, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Undercover Journalism[edit]

A 17 year old high school newspaper editor marched into an army recruiting station with an audio recorder and pulled off a "sting operation" which resulted in a big news story.

[[3]] [[4]] [[5]]

I am wondering where the prohibition against "professional" journalists doing undercover journalism came from and is it an appropriate taboo for 2005. Justice people will manufacture any kind of "sting" or as they say "ruse" to gather evidence, as long as the evidence is real, so why are journalists handcuffed? Is it an absolute ? Can we as wikis "ignore the rules" in that respect? Paulrevere2005 13:18, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Hi Paulrevere2005,
My understanding is that the consensus among professional journalists is that undercover operations are acceptable only when the information sought cannot be acquired any other way, and the public has a vital interest in that information. In their code of ethics, the Society of Professional Journalists puts it like this: Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story.
"Justice people," I believe, are required to avoid what is called entrapment, meaning that they cannot induce a suspect to commit a crime, but they can provide a suspect with an opportunity to commit a crime.
Though I haven't heard the kid's tape in its entirety, provided that he doesn't bait the recruiters into committing a crime, I have no problem with it. If he baits them, even though he's not a law enforcement officer, I would find that unethical.
Myself, I think we at Wikinews should practice more non-undercover journalism before we get into the undercover stuff. Pingswept 15:23, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Fair use images on Wikinews[edit]

Erik has brought up re-enabling fair use images to the foundation.

Here's a brief explanation of how the current proposed policy would be implemented:

  • a 'white list' of fair use images would be allowed on Wikinews
    • Logos and trademarks
    • Publicity photos, such as those provided in press kits for use in the news.
    • Screen shots
  • other images would continue to be hosted at commons, for the benefit of all Wikimedia Foundation projects
  • other content which doesn't fall into these categories would not be allowed. Basically, if it won't fit on commons, and doesn't fall into the above, it probably shouldn't be on Wikinews. There is one small option for breaking news images which under a partially free license, such as CC-by-nc or similar, but which the photographer might be willing to re-license. In such cases the image may be hosted temporarily on Wikinews until the license is clarified, or a substitute image is located.

So far board member Anthere has examined the policy and said it appears to meet the board's previous concerns.

This is a big step toward meeting Wikinews's Beta conditions, along with the site licensure. - / 03:29, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

Fair use is enabled!!

English Wikinews now has the ability to upload images which fall into categories included in the Fair use guidelines. These are:

  • Press kit/publicity photos - images put forth to be used by the press, especially of public figures.
  • Trademarks and logos - which are designed to be recognizable.
  • Screenshots - of websites or software which are illustrative and newsworthy.
  • Transitionally free images - that is, images or graphics which are being relicensed or are probably free may be stored temporarily until the license has been clarified as free and the image moved to commons.

Many thanks to everyone who put forth their ideas and efforts to get this through, especially User:Eloquence! - / 06:39, 19 May 2005 (UTC)


Can someone please explain the purpose of this category? Is there a minimum time before an article should be added to this category? Should the main author of an article add it to the category, or should they wait for someone else to review it? - Borofkin 08:03, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

  • I agree the usefulness of this category is questionable. It is not necessary, and almost gives a "completed" lable to the stories which may discourage further editing/improvement. Let's smoke it. Paulrevere2005 12:32, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I disagree. The category stems from way back when during the first review process, but it still has a lot of other uses. Specifically, it provides a list of stories that we consider to be "wikinews standard" (if they are or not is another story), that can be used by other agencies. This is particulary important if we want to try to get on google news, for instance. 14:01, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
    • The above was me. Lyellin 22:34, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

I think this was vaguely connected with a possible replacement for the manual RSS feed run by me, but I believe it didn't work. As far as I know, it serves no purpose. Dan100 (Talk) 11:08, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

      • I believe they were set up so we can generate a DPL on the front page, but DPL's still don't work perfect, and so only the category was used, and the DPL's on the main page put on hold. -- Redge (Talk) 11:16, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
        • Regards DPL: all I see bad with DPL is a caching problem: it gets cached, so it doesn't update. either the server admins or the programmers can fix this just by putting something like a "don't cache" flag on pages w/dpl, or just the main page and article workspace. In any case, it makes articles ready for DPL and RSS feeds, and it's good for record-keeping: it lets us know where the articles are when they become old - so noone has to say "hey, did we ever publish this story?" Kevin Baastalk 16:56, 2005 Jun 1 (UTC)

Front page headlines[edit]

I'm sorry if you've been over this before, I can't find anything in the archives. I'm bothered that many headlines don't make it clear where the stories are 'set'. This isn't important for all stories, especially those where it's something like a scientific discovery which has world importance (and 'World's largest geyser erupts is a good headline because it makes the importance clear but still attracts curiosity), but in some stories it is confusing. I have been bugged by 'Preakness won by Afleet Alex, Kentucky Derby Winner Third' for a few days now: I think it's really baffling: I put a note on its discussion page but there was no response. An exciting thing about Wikinews is that you can go to the frontpage and see stories from all over the world but I think there's a neutrality issue with mentioning the country for a story that's in, say, Chile, but no reference for one that's in America. It suggests that Wikinews thinks * everyone * knows where Kentucky is. I've been looking at different stories and I think it would be difficult to come up with a standard solution but I do think it should be part of the policy that headlines make themselves as clear as possible to a world audience. Where it becomes a bit tricky is that once articles go off into their country category, it looks a bit silly if they all go on about their country as once there it's obvious. What about '- country' becoming an optional tag to headlines? Or 'Country:'? It could then be automatically taken off when it's not being displayed on the front page.

Still a newbie, ClareWhite 11:15, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

  • Articles should always indicate their geography in the headline. If they don't, you can change the headline by using the 'move' tab at the top of the page, but if you do that you must update the today's stories page (you'll find links in thw Workspace). Dan100 (Talk) 11:11, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
    • Thanks, I'll do some enforcing then! (this can probably come off here if it's already policy)
    • Not true. It is not the case that articles should always indicate their geography. Indeed, in a lot of cases adding it would be downright silly. Pope John Paul II dies has no need for geography, for example. British Liberal Democrat Patsy Calton, 56, dies of cancer only needs the word "British" to qualify "Liberal Democrat", as such political party names are the same across many countries. UK Prime Minister sets 2005 General Election date only needs "UK" to qualify "Prime Minister" and "2005" to qualify "General Electon", because there is more than one prime minister in the world, and more than one general election in the U.K.. Readers who want to see headlines of only those articles that are local to them should be encouraged to use the region portals. Stuffing the entire geographic classification of every news article into its title is not the answer. This is what regional categories are for. Uncle G 14:00, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • The eventual solution, of course, will be when Wikinews has enough daily story traffic that people are using the portal pages for their regions, such as Category:California, rather than solely the Main Page. Then the headline issue becomes merely one of article name disambiguation in the event of conflicts between (say) two Torrential rains flood Christchurch stories. Uncle G 14:00, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • Furthermore: Adding a "Country:" prefix is bad from a MediaWiki point of view. Avoid such pseudo-namespaces. "Country-" is simply ugly. And having "California" in the title of every news article in Category:California does look very silly. If you want to disambiguate, use the mechanisms that MediaWiki already has. At the very least, where conflicts actually occur entitle your articles Torrential rains flood Christchurch (New Zealand) and Torrential rains flood Christchurch (United Kingdom) so that the pipe trick can be used. And treat the headline issue as a title disambiguation issue. If there's only one New Delhi in the world, then there's no need to also include the word "India" in the titles of articles about New Delhi. Uncle G 14:00, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Useful discussion, thanks. ClareWhite 13:58, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Developing Stories (how long?)[edit]

There is no official policy for how long stories stay under developing stories, so there are two ideas I would like to propose, and we'll see what the community thinks of them.

So please sign your name under the 1 you support please, I want to see what the community thinks.--Ryan524 16:47, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • Stories started within the last 3 days, i.e. today being June 2: June 2, June 1, and May 31 would all be on the developing stories list.
  • Stories with a major edit within the last 3 days, not just any edit, major ones, so spelling, categories, all of that wouldn't count.
    1. I support this one.--Ryan524 16:47, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
    2. What he said. <points up>. NGerda 17:00, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)
      Yes, but if a story really looks like it might continue it could stay? Eg the Zimbabwe one now will probably keep developing. ClareWhite 08:58, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • We need a policy that's not listed above.
  • No policy is needed for this.
    1. Any policy would be too simplistic. Cases vary wildly. Sometimes a story is ready to go straight to the day's headlines. Sometimes a story has to sit in developing stories for over a week. Humans must judge on a case-by-case basis. What I, personally, have been doing is not listing any article, that I've begun, directly on the day's headlines, as a matter of course, but instead listing all new articles on developing stories, allowing another editor to judge whether a story has developed enough to be moved to the headlines. You might opine that I'm implying a none-of-the-above policy of "Never move your own articles to the headlines.". But I think that that is too simplistic, too. There are (rare) cases where doing that may indeed be appropriate. Uncle G 13:08, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Press releases pretending to be news?[edit]

Has anyone else checked out this article? Center offers web-based test for reading difficulties. This article is someone's press release promoting their website that is only pretending to be a news article. Even after rewrites, it is still just a bunch of promotional material.

The person who wrote it does not even have an account on this site, and are just identified by an IP address, They have not written anything here except this article, which as originally written was probably just copied and pasted from some other promotional materials of their site.

The article was identified as a press release earlier by Cspurrier, yet somehow it still managed to make it through the publishing process. I think this highlights a vulnerability of the Wikinews process, so I wanted to bring it up for discussion. How should we handle such self-promotional material? Should it be permanently flagged as "press release" or "advertisement" and kept? Or should it simply marked for deletion?

This is an ethical question which troubles mainstream journalism nowadays, since they do not do a good job of separating press releases, advertisements, or VNRs from actual news in many cases. But Wikinews is particularly vulnerable since these people can just dump their advertisements anonymously into the mix of our articles, like a "wolf in sheep's clothing".

So, how should we address this issue? Ideas, anyone? DouglasGreen 18:14, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I pushed this story because I'm not scared of the 'press release' bogeyman. Why would anyone want to filter news? -Edbrown05 18:22, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I often use Press releases as the basis for my stories - I actually have a bookmark folder with links to the press rooms of Intel, Apple, Ryanair, Coca-Cola, Dell and others. I will see if there are any interesting recent press releases and then do a google news search to see how the rest of the media world has interpeted it; then I will cull the more interesting facts from all the news articles and the original press release and publish. → CGorman (Talk) 21:44, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Press releases can be OK as a starting point, but they are not news themselves. Also one has to be aware of the emphasis they will put on events, e.g. one focusing on one limited aspect in the framing of the story. Mr. Jones 09:31, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
While I don't think press releases should go in as news (they are one source and clearly not neutral), there is value in having people send press releases here for reporters to follow up. They could be followed up in original reporting ways like phone calls (with evidence cited), not just if other news outlets cover them. Maybe they could be diverted by a dedicated mechanism for receiving them - press releases could stay on a page for say two days and then would come off: it would be up to the reporter to keep and file it within the story if they follow it up. It would be nice to have PRs able to do this by email, somehow, as it would raise WN's profile to be able to go on press contact lists and it would also show that we have a clear system and that trying to 'trick' us isn't acceptable. 'Submit a press release' could go next to 'submit a story' on the front page ClareWhite 13:55, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Press releases will make everything unique and exciting as "competitor produces product like brand X" isn't terribly newsworthy. We have to "filter" news as there is too much of it. Secretlondon 16:31, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I actually ran across this discussion because I first saw the article in question (via the Random page link) and thought, "Hmm, this looks like an advertisement masquerading as news." I went looking for policies dealing with self-promotion and ended up here. IMO, the article is just an ad and nothing more. - dcljr 22:35, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

WikiNews Network, Audio Wikinews[edit]

I'm concerned about both of these. They both have pages here on Wikinews, yet they appear to have 'staff' with assigned roles, and I see no way to edit scripts. People are welcome to reprocess our material any way they like on other websites, but if they want to provide a service from here, it has to be as open as anything else on the wiki. So I want to see editorial control opened up to everyone, and scripts getting community approval before use. Dan100 (Talk) 12:34, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The scripts are totally and completely editable, on the Audio Wikinews site, if you scroll down to "Scripts", you find that you can edit both the scripts and the script templates. For example, here is yesterday's script. In the past, I have asked for review of the scripts I write by requesting in IRC when I'm done, but so far no one has edited a single Audio Wikinews script. They are, of course, open and wiki. On the subject of WikiNews Network, the complete site and, most importantly, schedule are in wiki, and we invite anyone to modify and edit the pages. Furthermore, Ryan and I would greatly encourage all Wikinewsies to sign up for a show on the schedule, as right now Ryan and I are the only ones who have signed up. NGerda 16:01, Jun 11, 2005 (UTC)
All I see is a transcript from yesterday. IRC isn't part of Wikinews.Dan100 (Talk) 17:25, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Audio Wikinews is only produced on weekdays; the current script is the only one that's important, if the program is already recorded, why edit it; and the former scripts are available, just look next to all of the reports on the table at the top of the Audio Wikinews page and click on "Transcript". IRC is how many of us debate and get things done; it is much more efficient than talk pages in some instances (such as the Breaking News one). NGerda 17:29, Jun 11, 2005 (UTC)
I've changed the word "Staff" to "Members" on the WNN page and added a link to the scripts. My main concern is with any content or services being hosted on other people's servers which Wikimedia has no control over. This goes for the print edition as well. Nick, are you using any special software for this? I think it would be best to move this to Wikimedia's servers if at all possible.
As for ads, that's an absolute taboo for a Wikimedia project. Mentioning Wikimedia itself is OK, of course. But the content should be advertising-free, or it absolutely cannot be officially part of Wikimedia.--Eloquence 03:43, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Ryan mentioned to me that if ads weren't possible (he didn't think they were), they would be strictly Wikimedia announcements. It is currently being hosted off of Ryan's personal SHOUTcast server. I connect and broadcast to him using Nicecast. I think you'll need to talk to him about any technical issues of moving the server. Also, I hope you like my bunny person :>) NGerda 03:48, Jun 12, 2005 (UTC)
WTH, i never said that to you, by ads i meant wikimedia annoucements, just so they get out, and to kinda breakup the show abit.--Ryan524 06:46, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
OK, will talk to Ryan about it. We should really try to minimize external hosting, it becomes a maintenance nightmare in the long run. I'm not sure what makes :>) a bunny person, wouldn't it have to be more like this: =:o) (long ears, stubby nose)?--Eloquence
I am definatly not opposed to using Wikimedias bandwidth rather than my own, lol, though i would prefer ssh access to the directory shoutcast resides in so i can maintain the config file, mainly the password to boadcast and the password to the web-based asmin control. Also the ssh account would need to be able to start and stop shoutcast, since shoutcast needs to be restarted for new config changes to take effect.--Ryan524 05:32, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean as far as the message on my talk page? But it seems moving it over to a wikimedia server might be more of a nightmare, for me atleast, i prefer to stick with what i know, and i don't know what the heck Icecast is.--Ryan524 06:46, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
If Intel can call their lab worker icon a bunny person, I can call that thing a bunny person, too.  :) Just kidding! NGerda 03:59, Jun 12, 2005 (UTC)

I'm a newbie here, but a long-time Wikipedian. Is there anything like an NPOV policy here? --Ed Poor, aka Uncle Ed

Yes policies such a NPOV exist on WNN.--Ryan524 17:41, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
see Wikinews:Neutral_point_of_view --Cspurrier 17:43, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Speedy Deletion Policy Addition[edit]

I was surprised to learn that an article being a duplicate is not grounds for speedy deletion, i think it should be, what do you all think?--Ryan524 09:14, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

A complete duplication -- same content -- of course should be speedied. If the content and sources are different, a Merge would be a better option. --Chiacomo 18:17, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
What about if their is diffrent content and sources but the content of one really isn't all that useful?--Ryan524 18:19, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Someone made an effort to contribute something -- if there is information that can be salvaged, it should be. What's the policy on a merge here -- does it include a redirect? --Chiacomo 18:21, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree fully with Chiacomo. → CGorman (Talk) 18:49, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
As Chiacomo said a complete duplication is deletable, as are recreateion of deleted stories that lost on VFD. I think this is good enough Wikinews is not harmed by having a duplicate story on for a few days, however using speedy deletion for anything but vandalism and nonsense can be harmful to Wikinews. --Cspurrier 20:02, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
We had a spate of several duplicates in April or thereabouts. Often the second articles was as good or better than the original. Often merging wasn't possible as the content was the same; they were just written definitely. I believe we ended up letting both versions stand with a note at the top warning there were duplicates (ie the event hadn't happened twice).
Bottom line - no, duplicates aren't CSDs. If we can't merge them, they both stand, with a warning to readers. Dan100 (Talk) 12:04, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

What is propaganda?[edit]

I have a doubt about the definition of propaganda. If I write a story about "University is offering Spanish course on July", should we considere this article a propaganda? Should this article be published? -- carlosar

Not propoganda. Mind you, unless it's an unusual step or has ramifications beyond the uni, is it worth a story? Could be taken for advertising! Dan100 (Talk) 21:08, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Licensing of articles[edit]

Where is the policy of articles needing to be Public Domain discussed? Is there any problem with copying text from wikipedia articles? I think there is a strong case for a Creative Commons style variation of licensing based on the source material. I understand that this can be incorporated into newsfeeds. Mr. Jones 09:34, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • I think we're going to stick to PD because we're here to free the news not get credit etc. As far as using WP articles is concerned, copy them but credit Wikipedia (link back). I think that's technically breaking WP's GFDL, but Wikimedia would have to sue itself to enforce it, which is unlikely :-) Dan100 (Talk) 16:32, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • We can not use Wikipedia text, it is violating the GFDL and Wikinews policy to do so. The iportant thing to rember is Wikimedia does not own the content of Wikipedia, the contributors who wrote the content own it.They can sue Wikimedia for copy right infringement. Additional remember when every you edit a page you agree that it is released into the public domain. See the last discussion on this topic here Cspurrier 16:41, 9 Jun 2005
    • OK, so it is illegal. But until Wikimedia vs Wikimedia is brought (or the Wikimedia board intervene - I won't tell if you don't!)... ;-) Dan100 (Talk) 17:23, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
      • The important thing to remember is it is not Wikimedia vs Wikimedia it can be Wikipedia contributors vs Wikimedia. --Cspurrier 17:29, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
        • well it is also wikipedia contributors v wikitravel. They have been putting Wikipedia stuff on thier site (which is run by a bunch of very active wikimedians but is not part of wikimedia and is under CC-BY-SA) for ages with the boards knowledge (and i would also say non-public aproval). Basicly the moment someone asks us to take something down, we do so with out question. Till then, i dont see it as a big issue. But really, most wikinews articles shouldnt be containing too much of wikipedia, because after all we are a news organisation not an encylopedia. ~The bellman | Smile 08:41, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
          • There are very constrained circumstances (related to dual licencing) under which text submitted to a GFDL project can be legally submitted to a CC-BY-SA project by its original author. They do not permit a transwiki system. The transwiki system that an editor created for copying text from Wikipedia to Wikitravel was recently deleted, for legal reasons. Uncle G June 27, 2005 14:39 (UTC)
  • Why would you need to copy Wikipedia text? If it's a news item over there, treat it like any other news source: link to it, summarize it, quote from it even, but don't just copy it verbatim. (Actually, any news item at Wikipedia should have links to original sources, so link/summarize/etc. those instead.) If you mean a non-news article, just link to it. If you mean content that should be moved from Wikipedia, well, I haven't been around here long enough to know the policies about that. - dcljr 22:42, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
    • Because when you are putting some background information into an article (on, for example, the Rwandan genocide), it's much easier to cut and paste than it is to summarise/paraphrase. I believe that the ability to cut-and-paste from Wikipedia would greatly improve the quality and professionalism of our articles. - Borofkin 00:44, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
      • To do so would be illegal, I don't thinking breaking copyright laws will improve professionalism at all! :P -- Joolz 11:32, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
        • I realise that. I was presenting an argument in support of moving to GFDL, or some license that allows us to cut-paste from Wikipedia. - Borofkin 27 June 2005 03:57 (UTC)
          • Whilst switching to a free copyright licence would be convenient, and something that I for one would probably support, it would cause logistical problems for those who syndicate our content, and in practical terms rule out any chance of commercial news services re-using our content. Uncle G June 27, 2005 14:39 (UTC)
    • The policies are not set by Wikinews. They are set by the source projects. Putting GFDL content into the public domain by copying it to Wikinews violates copyright. Technically, all of the policies, templates, and help pages that have been copied from Meta and from Wikipedia to Wikinews are copyright violations. (We might be able to forestall any problems with this by changing our copyright policy so that everything in the "Wikinews:" and "Help:" namespaces, and their respective talk namespaces, is GFDL, even if our main namespace articles are not.) Uncle G June 27, 2005 14:39 (UTC)

Banning AutisticPsycho[edit]


I am from Aspies for Freedom, An Autistic Civil rights group. AutisticPscho is a young man with AUTISM. It is commonly described as Asperger's Syndrome in clinical terms. He lives with it. He does not merely interact with those that have it. So it is bit funny to see someone whose experience with it in a limited way understands what is more appropiate than someone who has it. But still I would commend anyone who works with autistic children and cares about how they talked about and perceived. We have similiar aims. But here, it seems to be overly harsh given this person is a young man with autism.

Please feel free to come to our site and or chat room. thank you for listening

Joe Mele

I am incredibly sorry, one of our administrators acted without thinking. AutisticPscho has made no vandalous edits, and seems very enthusiastic about writing on Wikinews. I would love to see him come back now that he's unblocked, and if you have any other problems, do not hesitate to leave a message on my talk page. Thank you for letting us know right away, and happy editing! NGerda 15:26, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)

I acted with a lot of thought, actually. I have taught autistic children, talked with their parents, and worked with adults with Asperger's. Let me put it simply - I find this user name offensive. I've aksed around in "real life" too - everyone is disgusted. Try and imagine how the parent of an autistic child would feel upon checking the page history of a story AP has edited.

Why doesn't AP simply change his name to something less offensive if he feels hte need to highlight his condition at all? Or just use his WP name, Saint-Paddy? Dan100 (Talk) 08:19, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I honestly thought this had been resolved. I understood that AP would be editing under another name. "AutisticPsycho" name could be (and is) unduly upsetting or offensive to some. It would be a show of good faith for:
a) admins to stop blocking AP
b) AP to choose another username
He can then redirect his AP user page to whatever the new name is. --Chiacomo (talk) 14:18, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Note: The only admin to block AutisticPscho is Dan100.

I find this user name mildly offensive, maybe not enough to block him, but enough to ask that he changes his username. More then any thing else I am bothered by NGerda unbaning with out talking about it here first. Dan100 found it offensive and banned him, this is enough to at least talk about it with other users before unblocking him. --Cspurrier 19:22, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

OK, I am sorry for unbanning him without checking in with what everyone else thought, but I believed that he should have a chance to explain things himself, and he has made some great edits, and is not a vandal. What I am bothered about is Dan100 banning him without checking with the community. Clearly there is some opposition to AutisticPsycho being banned. NGerda 20:23, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)

Wikinews:No original conclusions[edit]

I have some fundamental problems with this concept, and strongly dispute it as a "core policy". It is not, in fact, a Wikinews policy at all.

Under such a "policy" it would be impossible to make any original reporting statement, or to draw even blatantly obvious conclusions unless they were previously published elsewhere. Wikinews specifically gained the ability to make reasoned original conclusions during the discussions on meta.

Furthermore, this does not address an existing issue or problem. When there have been occasions where unsupported conclusions were made in the past which were controversial, those conclusions were edited to an accepted form or were removed from the article during its development period. Therefore there is no existing need for this as a policy. - / 23:57, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I knew you'd pick up on this :-). When there have been occasions where unsupported conclusions were made in the past which were controversial, those conclusions were edited to an accepted form or were removed from the article during its development period. Therefore there is no existing need for this as a policy - all this is is writing that down (or at least attempting to), so people can read it before getting edited for doing it. More a record of what the community does, than an attempt to force a policy onto it.
I had a stab at excepting OR from it; if you can do better, change it! Dan100 (Talk) 10:29, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
<laughing> At least I'm consistent, neh?
I will have to consider how to write this up, but I really do not see how it could be written in a manner which would not eliminate OR at this moment. Since there has not been an issue which required a codified "policy" in the past, nor is there one at this moment, I would strongly discourage any attempt to create a policy which would restrict writing in the future. Basically, the system isn't broke. Articles which include inappropriate or insupportable conclusions have them edited out, while articles which have reasonable conclusions retain them intact. JMHO, of course. - / 21:04, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
That's really just what I was trying to write down - policy obviously has to reflect community thinking, but we could do with writing it down somewhere so people can become aware of it before they find their stories getting the crap edited out of them! It could also be useful to refer people to. I agree the system isn't broken - this wasn't an attempt at 'fixing' - but I think it would be useful to have this sorted before the day we might need it :-). Dan100 (Talk) 09:14, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
What is the difference between the intent of this and a no-writer-opinions NPOV policy? It seems this policy is redundant when compared to NPOV. Other than that - reportorial conclusions are an essential part of reporting. Most descriptive words and phrases require original conclusion judgement by the writer. (Was that announcement by the government official eagerly awaited or not?) I say we scrap this policy as too vague or too redundant to be of constructive use. Worse, a strict interpretation of it may remove any sense of flair, style or insight from WN stories - and make them less fun to write - or to read. [And my last final of this term is over in 12 hours....] -- Davodd | Talk 09:29, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It's basically the same as No Original Research on Wikipedia (which it is based upon). I don't recall the npov saying anything about personal opinion, although if it did I've probably forgotten (lol, I'm the person who brought it over from Wikipedia and re-wrote it for us). But that only goes to show why a seperate policy page is needed - we could with being able to refer to a seperate focused policy page, rather than referring people to the npov and hoping they pick the relevant bits out :-) Dan100 (Talk) 09:14, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • * reports by Wikinews reporters (based on first-hand experiences or on interviews and research) ... Wikinews allows original research ... these and numerous other comments from the original discussions of Wikinews on meta strongly point that Wikinews very specifically is meant to make original conclusions. Wikinews is not Wikipedia, and is supposed to draw conclusions from the research done for original reporting. - / 04:22, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
    • "original research" has a specific definition in the world of Wikipedia, which has little to do with research per se, and a lot to do the difference between tertiary source and primary source material. "original research" is not the same as "research done by a journalist directly instead of by others". In Wikipedia terms, which is the context being used at the Meta discussion, the statement that "Wikinews allows original research" means that whilst Wikipedia cannot be a primary source, Wikinews can be. Wikinews can include primary source material (a journalist's first-hand observed account of a building on fire, for example) whereas Wikipedia cannot. But including primary source material is not the same as Wikinews being given an opinion (which the NPOV policy disallows). Nor is it the same as providing unsourced material (even original reporting cites sources: the journalist writing the report is cited as the source). Uncle G June 27, 2005 16:35 (UTC)

Generally, I concur with Davodd, but I would like to express my arguments. For example, in the article Elections held in Bulgaria I wrote "It is expected that the National Movement for Simeon II will attempt to form a coalition with one of the lower placed parties in order to outnumber the Leftists." I used a real weasel phrase ("it is expected..." as opposed to "I think", so in a way it is a original conclusion, but it's a conclusion that I share with many journalists and analysts. Now, I can see people saying: this is POV and factually incorrect, perhaps they don't intend to form a coalition, but this conclusion is also verifiable. If one reads enough on Bulgarian politics and if one knows a tiny little bit of how parliamentary democracies work - this conclusion is rather safe, and it will most likely turn out to be true (they will for sure try - will they make it? I don't really know). Of course, I could've also written: "Bulgaria will probably fall into a economic crisis as a result of these elections" - that would not be verifiable, but would rather mean that I am expressing my opinion on Leftists' program.

My point is: we can still distinguish safe conclusions from POV conclusions. I.e. a conclusion does not really have to express a POV. So - scrap the policy, and possibly add another section to our NPOV policy which would deal with "original" conclusions. --Dcabrilo 12:14, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It's worth noting that Wikipedia's No Original Research policy, which Dan100 says this is based upon, is primarily founded upon Wikipedia's requirement for verifiability, not upon the requirement for a neutral point of view. Wikinews is, compared to Wikipedia, already laudably strict on the matter of citing sources. (On a couple of occasions I've replaced a citation of another news service on Wikipedia with a citation of the Wikinews coverage of the same event simply because the Wikinews news coverage had a far broader range of cited sources, including references to actual primary source material, than the other news service did.) For news summaries and news briefs, No Original Conclusions is already covered by our policy of strictly citing sources for everything, and is entirely superfluous, as anything that was an "original conclusion" in a news summary or news brief would, by definition, be unsourced. That leaves No Original Conclusions as only being relevant to news reports ("original reporting"). Even there, it appears largely redundant with respect to our Wikinews:original reporting guide and NPOV policy. If, as above, No Original Conclusions is to be excluded from applying to news reports, it would seem to have no applicability to anything at all. Uncle G June 27, 2005 16:35 (UTC)

Points taken. Fcuk it, then! :-) Dan100 (Talk) 28 June 2005 17:19 (UTC)

CSD addition[edit]

I'd like to add, at least temporarily, a guideline allowing the speedying of orphaned articles over (say) a month old. I note we have quite a few, which quite often get thrown up in searches. These have no links to them as (up until at least) they had to be listed on a day page to have been 'published', so I guess these oldies never made the grade.

Amgine and more recently Cspurrier have been listing these on Dr where they always get the boot. Seeing as there's a whole bunch of them, it would be easier just to speedy them. Objections? Dan100 (Talk) 28 June 2005 17:09 (UTC)

I am opposed to this, since each orphaned page needs to be checked, some of the stories are ones that were published but fell off the page for some reason and should be readded, adding it to DR takes only a few seconds and prevents many problems.--Cspurrier 28 June 2005 17:36 (UTC)
What if we checked "What links here" first? Dan100 (Talk) 29 June 2005 09:25 (UTC)
There may be a problem with that... see my bug report regarding an error I discovered using orphaned and whatlinkshere. - / 29 June 2005 09:30 (UTC)
Sorry, but I also disagree. Old orphaned articles aren't hurting anything if they sit around a bit longer. It gives everyone a last chance to contribute to them. - McCart42 (talk) 00:56, July 15, 2005 (UTC)

Article flag templates[edit]

I propose that we change the current stop sign on Article flags to a more toned-down caution cone. NGerda June 28, 2005 20:40 (UTC)

I would ask for what reasons you have, what icon you are using, and what would the new tag look like? Do we need this?Lyellin 28 June 2005 20:44 (UTC)
Users have had hostile responses to the current icon, a stop sign Stop hand.png. This discourages users from editing articles, so I propose that we use a caution symbol Warning icon.png with accents on what the template is put there for. Examples:

Current flag

Stop! This article is in dispute. It is alleged to contain incorrect or misleading information.

Proposed flag

Caution This article is in dispute. It is alleged to contain incorrect or misleading information.

-- NGerda June 29, 2005 10:28 (UTC)

The primary reason I see is that the stop sign is too strong; the tags should not stop editors from improving an article, but warn them that there is a dispute with the current article which will prevent it from being published.
This argument has come up several times, most recently at in May (Thanks for the link CSpurrier!)
The icon NGerda has used, which is excellent for the purpose, is: Caution
I think this is a good idea, which should be implemented. - / 28 June 2005 20:54 (UTC)

I like the highlighting, and prefer the warning triangle to the stop sign. Dan100 (Talk) 29 June 2005 09:27 (UTC)

support. Looks much better. Kevin Baastalk June 29, 2005 10:57 (UTC)

support. Yes it does ClareWhite 30 June 2005 08:46 (UTC)
support. Only question I have- does highlighting, in addition to the italics, make it seem harsh again? That was my first impression on reading through the highlighted text... any other views? Lyellin 30 June 2005 13:36 (UTC)
support. It is less harsh than a stop sign and should be used sparingly. An agree with Lyellin that the text need no bold type.-Edbrown05 30 June 2005 22:53 (UTC)
I feel that highlighting simply clarifies what the article actually is being cited for. The effect it will probably have is for users to fix what is wrong instead of being turned off of editing by the flag. NGerda June 30, 2005 19:59 (UTC)
support changing this template... very reasonable and friendly looking --Chiacomo (talk) 1 July 2005 02:43 (UTC)

I see many support votes. Does anyone object to me implementing this system? NGerda June 30, 2005 23:49 (UTC)

No, no objections from me. I like boldling the text to - makes it immediately apparent what the problem is. Amgine was completely out-of-order in reverting you in the first place though, and I'd like that noted. Dan100 (Talk) 1 July 2005 08:27 (UTC)
Thanks. On multiple levels. :) NGerda July 1, 2005 08:46 (UTC)

The changes have been implemented, thanks to community support. -- NGerda July 4, 2005 08:13 (UTC)

Linking to previous Wikinews stories[edit]

Wikinews has two stories on the downing of the Chinook helicopter. I'll simply copy and paste what I posted to Dan100 on the subject here:

I kind of like the way the older Wikinews story: US helicopter with 17 on board believed to have been shot down in Afghanistan is linked to by the newer story: Bodies found at crash site of US helicopter in Afghanistan. It gets rid of the need to use the Related news section. I don't think it highlights the fact that Wikinews does have a previous story on the subject... so I will add the Related news section. -Edbrown05 30 June 2005 22:31 (UTC)
Trouble is, a reader may be fooled into clicking the story twice to see the same article. Once by clicking in the text, and a second time by clicking in the Related news section. I believe this a policy issue so the treatment is uniform? -Edbrown05 30 June 2005 22:40 (UTC)

I think we should treat how we link to previous stories in a way that is consistent. -Edbrown05 30 June 2005 22:49 (UTC)

I don't think there's any policy on this, or at least I'm not aware of any. I prefer linking from the article text - it's just more natural, more net-standard. Dan100 (Talk) 1 July 2005 08:20 (UTC)

Actually I don't think they'd go to the same story twice, because if they clicked the first link they'd probably see the title, so they'd not bother clicking the 'Related story' bit as they'd see it's the same story. So I don't think it's a problem to do both. Dan100 (Talk) 1 July 2005 08:21 (UTC)
Yeah, but I don't know how many headlines I find forgetable. Thinking I kind of like the emphasis on a previous Wikinews story with Related news. -Edbrown05 1 July 2005 08:29 (UTC) And I don't really think it's a problem to do both. It's a plus to emphasize the earlier story. -Edbrown05 1 July 2005 08:34 (UTC)
The 'plus' is the Related news section -Edbrown05 1 July 2005 08:40 (UTC)


Perhaps we both should go and read w:Wikipedia:Staying cool when the editing gets hot - and take it to heart. Dan100 (Talk) 1 July 2005 14:27 (UTC)

Dan... this is NOT where this needs to be handled. At all. It either needs to become an RFC, at which point I think a BUNCH of comments could be made, making it much less "Clear" than what you have above, or you need to do this conversation on Amgine's talk page. This is not a matter of policy. Lyellin 1 July 2005 15:34 (UTC)
I agree with Lyellin. You guys have obvious differences of opinion, but the way you tend to resolve them is very immature. I think both of you need to back off when one or the other is reverting left and right — you can try to talk these issues through on IRC, or the talk pages, but give it a day or so if an edit war is looking. Dan, I think that you might want to hop onto IRC from time to time: it's much easier to talk this through there, if talk pages are too slow. And Amgine, you should give other people the benefit of the doubt and let even wild experiments run for a few days: it might just be that things that weren't built by consensus-driven processes are still good ideas and become accepted as such. -- IlyaHaykinson 1 July 2005 16:56 (UTC)
  • I endorse mediation. It worked for Amgine and I as we've had no problems since. I personally prefer if all this kind of stuff is out in the open on Wikinews rather than IRC, simply so more of the Wikinewsies will be more likely to see everything that's going on.I remember well Dan100's reference to the site's "growing pains" which I think summarizes all of our interpersonal friction. As the Bible says "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17 Paulrevere2005 1 July 2005 18:11 (UTC)

First, I'd like to thank Dan100 for taking a risk and outlining what has been happening. A discussion on the Policy page is in my mind appropriate, as the result of this conversation should be a modification of policy, if the consensus is to do so. Let's discuss this as intellectuals; "conversations" on IRC can very quickly turn into wars with words. I think the cause of all of this is Amgine being eager to get back editing at Wikinews and not assessing the situation clearly enough to make drastic changes to what we've been working hard on for the past month. -- NGerda July 1, 2005 21:55 (UTC)