Wikinews:Water cooler/policy/Archive/11

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Revision as of 13:20, 1 July 2005 by Dan100 (talk | contribs) (→‎Amgine: abuse of Rollback)
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Policies and guidelines and the Style guide contain or link to most of the current en.Wikinews policies and guidelines, however most policy is suggested, and based on the accepted practices of the day on Wikinews, often these might not yet be written down. This section of the Water cooler focuses on discussions regarding policy issues. You may wish to check the archives to see if a subject has been raised previously.

Licensing of articles

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


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

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. - Amgine/talk 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. - Amgine/talk 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. - Amgine/talk 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

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. - Amgine/talk 29 June 2005 09:30 (UTC)

Article flag templates

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. - Amgine/talk 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)

Linking to previous Wikinews stories

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)


This isn't a RfC or some such, I simply wish to highlight the recent bullying and poor behaviour of this 'editor'.

  • Reverting the edits of two users with no good reason, and no attempt to compromise or even communicate with the editors.
  • Again, indulging in a revert war with two other editors. In no case did he offer an explanation as to why he was reverting.
  • Unilaterally reverting the good-faith edits of NGerda, even though he himself supported the changes, which had also been previously discussed and agreed to here on the cooler. When asked, Amgine told me he was teaching NGerda a lesson.
  • Amgine as been objecting and reverting against the new Developing story system even though it's used by:
  1. Me
  2. NGerda
  3. Eloquence
  4. McCart42
  5. Dcabrilo
  6. Stevertigo
  7. SBlive
  8. Chiacomo
  9. ClareWhite
  10. KevinBaas
  11. Ilya

Objecting are:

  1. Amgine
  • Oh and we can't forget this; the lamest block-war ever. Sure, Simeon was in the wrong, but tit-for-tat blocking for an hour is pretty dumb.

In doing this I wish no more than to highlight how destructive, how much of a drag on the project, Amgine is. I'm not asking for dicussion or replies or justifications. He seems to act as if he's the 'chief', or as if he has some kind of veto.

It would be quite nice if Amgine put as much effort into writing articles as he does into bullying other editors. We'd have a lot more articles - the entire point of Wikinews, don't forget. Dan100 (Talk) 1 July 2005 12:52 (UTC)

I also want to highlight how Amgine has been abusing his admin privileges by using Rollback on other editors. I asked about this on the Wikipedia mailing list, and Angela replied. She also pointed me here, where Brion (a MediaWiki developer) explains the intentions of Rollback.
As you can see, Amgine is well out of line here. Dan100 (Talk) 1 July 2005 13:20 (UTC)