User talk:Pi zero/Archive 15

Active discussions

Please do not edit the contents of this page. It is for historical reference only.


Speaking of sockpuppetry, do we not have anybody with checkuser privileges? What do we do if we need to check for sockpuppets? Go to Meta? Cheers, --SVTCobra 16:34, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

Iirc, Tom Morris had CU here but it was revoked due to inactivity. (The Foundation goes out of its way to avoid doing things that would help us, but they're quite diligent about taking stuff away from us.) We have a page for requesting CU, of course; who monitors it and might respond to a request, atm, idk. --Pi zero (talk) 17:34, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I saw that. And the person who agreed with the nomination to revoke, cited a policy that each project must have at least two checkusers. So zero is closer to two, than one??? I didn't follow that logic. IMHO, that policy should have been a reason to let him keep his rights. It's not like he's not available if we need him, there just hasn't been a need for that tool, I guess. Instead, they should have asked us to nominate a second person. Cheers, --SVTCobra 17:42, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: This is what the Foundation does, routinely. There have to be two CUs, and as soon as they find an excuse to remove the second-to-last, they remove the last one as well. It happened to us on English Wikibooks back in 2010, but fortunately that's a larger project and, with someone volunteering for the nomination, we were able to turn around quite quickly and get a new second CU; on the timeline chart for en.wb CU, Arignola's tenure has this narrow gap of nine days where they didn't have CU. (I've resisted compressing the chart any more horizontally because that gap would disappear, in the rendering.) --Pi zero (talk) 17:55, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I just read more about how it went down. They removed User:Brian for inactivity, and then Tom for being last one standing. Unlike, 2016 where they gave Brian a chance to respond before removing, they just removed it. The cruel irony is, Brian edited later that same day. And not because of the checkuser thing, but because of the ArbCom election. Since they both seem to be reachable, should we re-nominate them both? Or do you want it? Is there any sense in trying to reach User:Cspurrier, he hasn't been active on any project since 2016? I have no interest in being a checkuser because I think one has to sign an NDA. --SVTCobra 18:07, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
Should we try to get some checkusers or is it not worth the effort? Cheers, --SVTCobra 16:07, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: Having checkusers is a desirable thing for a project, for its independence, and Wikinews does care about its independence. At the same time, it is admittedly not easy for a project of our current size to get the requisite number of votes. On the third hand, my distant memory is that, last I had occasion to study such things, there was no specific time limit on how long such a vote could remain open, which was quite important in enabling smaller projects to achieve the requisite count. If we want to undertake it, perhaps it would be worth inquiring (of a Steward, I suppose) whether it would actually be necessary to get a fresh vote for Tom Morris, whose bit was not removed for inactivity, or would it be sufficient to get a fresh vote for Brian; after all, if the answer were that only Brian needed a fresh vote, that would simplify the process.

I note, btw, that Brian received a notice at Wikipedia on the first of the year that they were on the verge of losing their admin bit due to inactivity, to which they promptly responded with assurance that they were still around. --Pi zero (talk) 17:33, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

I have posed the question over at Meta. Cheers, --SVTCobra 18:40, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Oh, and I do think votes can stay open for as long as needed. The only reference to time, that I saw, was a minimum of two weeks. --SVTCobra 18:42, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
BTW, Tom Morris will be reinstated if we elect another Checkuser. Should we contact user:Brian? Who else could we nominate? user:Mikemoral, user:Amgine, user:IlyaHaykinson, user:Brian McNeil? Cheers, --SVTCobra 15:29, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: (Serves me right for not checking my Meta watchlist more often, I guess.) Well, mikemoral is more active these days than Brian; it wouldn't be unreasonable to inquire. I'm unsure whether there would be any ideological awkwardness for Amgine or possibly IlyaHayinson. Brian MacNeil has been pretty inactive for a while now. (I'm not sure where to find information about who has been a CU here in the past; somewhere on Meta?) --Pi zero (talk) 15:47, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
Do you want to send out some feelers? If we get someone willing, we can probably use sitenotice to encourage people to vote. --SVTCobra 15:57, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
{{Refuse}} - Amgine | t 23:36, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
I was pinged a while ago, but haven't had the chance to write a note. I don't think I'm around quite often enough to be effective in that role. Though poking through Meta, it seems Meta wants either 0 or >2 CUs per wiki, and it asks for a vote of at least 25-30 users. I guess the reasoning is that it prevents unchecked abuse. —mikemoral (talk) 08:40, 17 January 2018 (UTC)


Hi, Pi zero. Back in the day, Wikinews traditionally resisted the creation of too many categories. I always agreed with that. It is encyclopedic and burdensome. Therefore, I disagree with the efforts here Categories to be created and populated and here Category:Categories to be populated. I do not think Wikinews needs categories for every football (soccer) club under the sun. I do not think we need categories for small cities, historic ruins, or places of worship. I haven't commented, because I am a persona non grata when it comes to certain people, and don't want to ruffle any more feathers than I already have. Cheers, --SVTCobra 01:14, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: I had an insight, a while back, about the importance of local wikilinks.

When I arrived here and started deeply considering what aspects of the project were not working as they ought, one of the things I noticed was that despite our policy that wikilinks in articles should use local targets whenever available, almost all wikilinks were to Wikipedia. Checking each link for a local target was generally impractical, when one was busy with the more important aspects of article writing, unless one was quite certain that there would be a local target (which mostly meant, countries and US states, which one could be absolutely certain would always be there to link to); and categorizing articles was also hit-or-miss as one would similarly not know what imaginable categories would actually exist. Creating new categories mostly just made the whole thing even harder to maintain. And the more I thought about that, the more I realized that it was preventing Wikinews from feeling like a real project. The larger the proportion of wikilinks from Wikinews articles went to Wikipedia, the more Wikinews felt like a trivial adjunct to Wikipedia. With a real project, such as Wikipedia, Wiktionary, etc., most or all of the wikilinks in the primary content text are links to other pages on the project, and one can spend about as long as one wants browsing the project, wandering from article to article by clicking wikilinks, without ever leaving that project. Wikibooks, for instance, strongly discourages non-Wikibooks links in the primary text of a book. (In fact, Wikibooks really prefers that wikilinks in the primary text of a book should be mainly internal to the book, which is a tip-off that each book is in some sense its own microproject, with Wikibooks as a whole being a sort of confederation of thousands of microprojects that have banded together to share a common administrative infrastructure; but I digress.) So I planned out, proposed, and implemented {{w}}, which both automatically uses available local targets and automatically flags out which categories one should consider adding to each article. And a year or two (could it have been three?) ago, BRS, who does a lot of category work on our archives, remarked that {{w}} had profoundly changed the dynamics of categories on the project (though I'm sure BRS said it in a better and more BRS-like way than that). --Pi zero (talk) 02:41, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

OK, I can certainly say that I have wandered around Wikipedia clicking link after link, with a "what's that?" inquisitive mind and then hours later wondering "how did I wind up here?" But my feeling is, if one is perusing news about football (for example) does one want to read older match reports of random matches (we are light-years away from having complete season match reports for any team) or does one want to read about the history of that team in an encyclopedic format (like, did they win championships before, etc.). It is an interesting insight, nonetheless, and if one day the archives were so dense with news, it would be wonderful. But the truth is, we had an above average day and published two articles. I reviewed and published the SoCal mudslides story. In 10 or so days it will be archived and protected. But people can come back and say "add this category" because Wikinews now has two articles that mention the mayor of Santa Barbara? (just an example) ... Now you mention {{w}} flags categories to add. I must admit, I have not seen that in action, perhaps because they were already added, I don't know. Cheers. --SVTCobra 03:15, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
BTW, you seem to know BRS in a whole different way than I did. I just remember BRS as the person who wrote articles about plane crashes. Do you two have common history on Wikibooks? Cheers, --SVTCobra 03:27, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: Atm we ask for at least three published articles that would belong in a category before we create it (with rare exceptions). Although, we have discussed proactively creating some entire classes of categories despite not having enough articles for them, if we can work out how to send each associated local link to something more useful than an empty category (on which I've an idea or two); for example, we might want to have categories for all the states of India, even though we don't have three articles about every one of them.

Regarding {{w}} flagging things out, there's a gadget and several categories.

In Special:Preferences, under the gadgets tab, section User interface gadgets, the fifth from the bottom is "Underline in green categorizable {{w}} links"; if you select that gadget, then look at any recent article, each {{w}} link to a local target will be heavily underlined in green. The idea is that you can easily find the local links provided by {{w}}, consider adding the target categories, and after making your decision about whether to categorize them, replace that {{w}} call with a hard local link. (There are some that can't be eliminated: the {{source}} template uses {{w}} to link the publishers, and specifies nocat so that those wikilinks don't categorize the article, but the green underlining gadget still flags out the local wikilinks.)

The most important of the categories involved is Category:Pages with categorizable local links, which contains every page that contains at least one local wikilink through {{w}}. It's not a problem that there are a huge number of them (though not nearly as huge as the number of articles that haven't yet been converted to use {{w}}, because the size of Category:Pages with categorizable local links isn't a liability, it's an asset: every one of those local links through {{w}} would be a problem anyway (without {{w}} it would be incorrectly non-local), and the category means we have a convenient way to find those problems where they are patiently waiting to be manually processed. Looking at any of those individual articles, one finds the localizing links themselves by means of the gadget.

If someone wants to see encyclopedic information about any of those football (soccer) teams, or indeed if they want to see information about the team on any other sister project, those sister links are provided on our category page unless it's one of the dwindling number of our categories that has not yet been converted to use {{topic cat}}. I want to provide a local browsing experience and allow the reader to branch off from it to another project if and when they consciously choose.

(I'm not sure what to say about BRS.) --Pi zero (talk) 04:10, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: Here's a thought re BRS: yes he's done a lot of plane crashes; but some very cool science OR also comes to mind. One of the OR articles I'm proudest to have helped see to publication (setting aside William Saturn's politics articles) is 'Fascinating' and 'provocative' research examines genetic elements of bipolar, schizophrenia. --Pi zero (talk) 04:29, 11 January 2018 (UTC)


Hi Pi zero. Why did you delete the comment of and block them. They wrote in all-caps, but it was hardly gibberish. Isn't that what the opinions tab is for? --SVTCobra 14:27, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: I thought deeply about that, and left some thoughts at WN:AAA#Information warfare in troll space. --Pi zero (talk) 14:32, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

Original reporting

Hi! I forgot to take my notebook when I was at the stadium, and I remembered few PAS Giannina players as I support AEK Athens. Gmentis (talk) 12:51, 15 January 2018 (UTC)

@Gmentis: That's quite unfortunate. WN:OR is cool, and we've a long tradition of OR coverage of sports events, but we do need well-kept documentation. --Pi zero (talk) 22:28, 15 January 2018 (UTC)


Good morning. I want to clear some of the backlog. Would you agree we should not change the infobox in archived articles, even if the infobox is deprecated? I am inclined to reject those requests. Cheers, --SVTCobra 13:23, 15 January 2018 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: Although we don't go crazy changing them around, we have occasionally changed infoboxes on archived articles, even years later. The theory would be that an infobox is a peripheral, not part of the article itself. I don't recall what was requested, and thus don't know the context of the case (which I would probably take my cue from in making a recommendation, or decision). --Pi zero (talk) 16:13, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
The article in question is this 2006 article: Tennis player Rafael Nadal crowned "King of Clay". The infobox isn't even deprecated (as I suggested above), it's just not one anybody uses anymore. It seems like an unnecessary amount of digging around in the archives. --SVTCobra 17:51, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: It's not a particularly helpful infobox for the reader currently. I think I would be inclined to accept that request; the replacement infobox seems more useful for readers. --Pi zero (talk) 18:04, 15 January 2018 (UTC)


I can still see media from photo essay on Facebook — which causes problems with its Terms, and grants special sub-licensing rights I did not agree with, contact the page admin and ask them to delete it.
•–• 20:13, 15 January 2018 (UTC)

Don't remember if I have asked this before

but why Obituary is not redirected to Category:Obituaries?
•–• 10:35, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

@Acagastya: presumably nobody created the redirect. I'll do that now. --Pi zero (talk) 13:05, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
Can't be sure of that. You never know if it was not created for a good reason.
•–• 13:27, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
@Acagastya: True. Perhaps a bit of archaeology can help. The redirect Obituaries was created when a page with that name was moved to portal space in December 2005. Judging by that and another spot-checked case (Sports), I conjecture portal space may have been introduced around that time. So the Obituaries redirect was explicitly because the portal used to be at that location in mainspace. The concept of multiple mainspace redirects for a non-mainspace target may have evolved later, and presumably the introduction of modern {{w}} in January 2011 significantly strengthened the incentive for mainspace redirects. --Pi zero (talk) 14:03, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

And what about Bangalore => Category:Bengaluru and Munich !=> München?
•–• 14:15, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Afaics, Category:Bengaluru is the name it was created under, and we never had one called Category:Bangalore. This seems consistent with modern English-language news practice, so far as I've noticed. I don't recall ever hearing "München" in English-language news, though. So I believe that "Bengaluru" and "Munich" are both consistent with following common English usage. --Pi zero (talk) 14:33, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
Maybe because you read about "Bengaluru" from local sources.
•–• 15:45, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
@Acagastya: Hard to say. I'm more aware of these things than the average USian, I suppose. Someone I know took a business trip to India a few years ago and said the city names were reverting to traditional forms so fast, he'd visit a city, come back a week later and it'd have a different name.

Fwiw, I'm looking at my dead-tree AP Stylebook (from 2015) and it lists Mumbai ("India's largest city, formerly known as Bombay"), and Munich. (I don't see a mention of Bengaluru or Bangalore, though.) That guide does advise, under foreign names, "For foreign place names, use the primary spelling in Webster's New World College Dictionary. If it has no entry, follow the National Geographic Atlas of the World." I generally try to be relaxed about it, and pick a geographical category name that I perceive to be the generally agreed-upon English name for the place. --Pi zero (talk) 16:21, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

local sources => Indian sources, or in some rare cases, BBC, but then, the local reporter, perhaps being an Indian, or using Google Maps to see the spelling, would choose the spelling. Still, those local sources are written for the local audience, and they need to please their audience [did you know the ongoing issue of removing Hindi from Bengaluru metro, because it was state govt. project, and some argued, Kannada is not used for Delhi metro stations.] Choice of spelling does matter to local media. Besides, for Indian news articles, I generally use news orgs from Southern India. Confusing as hell.
•–• 16:36, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
Spelling varies between articles, not just for place names but for common nouns too, depending on what the reporter chose to do (thinking about it, an important reason for going with the variety of English the reporter chose is that we need to not have squabbles over superficial stuff; there's just not time, unlike Wikipedia where if the contributors want to spend six months arguing about how to punctuate some sentence, more power to them). I primarily had in mind how we spell the names of geographical categories, where we have to choose one. Which should be a relatively painless thing, since the category name isn't what one sees in the body of an article. If you're thinking of which name we use for something in the article, well, if there's an especially common confusion possible it may be desirable to mention. (Sometimes it's hard to make the call, like whether or not one ought to mention in an article about Myanmar the name "Burma", which has political ramifications.) --Pi zero (talk) 16:51, 17 January 2018 (UTC)


Pending revision. (talk) 23:45, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

And the documentation as well. (talk) 23:54, 19 January 2018 (UTC)


If I had a dollar for every time I typed "Justing", I would be a rich man. :/ —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:46, 22 January 2018 (UTC)


Are you in the mood (and have time) to write an article? Or would you prefer to review one? It seems particularly slow around here. Cheers, --SVTCobra 21:21, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: Well, I don't think I would have time to write one atm. In recent years I've rarely had any luck trying to review later in the evening than about midnight UTC (7pm here on the US east coast). Whether I would have time to write anything in the next few days, I have no idea. --Pi zero (talk) 21:27, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
OK. Nothing is really grabbing my interest at this time. I read some stuff that could serve as an interesting follow-up to the Pope article, but it might be seen as overkill to have two so close to each other. Don't want to get accused of POV-pushing. --SVTCobra 21:36, 22 January 2018 (UTC)


{{votings}} is moved to sitenotice? (Agmine told they had blocked it); besides, it is sort of redundant -- I need to see if it is accessible when not logged in.
•–• 04:01, 25 January 2018 (UTC)

@Acagastya: The ordinary sitenotice selects from five possible messages, one of which is {{votings}}. --Pi zero (talk) 04:16, 25 January 2018 (UTC)

OR for Madahayi river dispute/Karnataka bandh

I have prepared the notes, and taken some photos -- do you want to have an OR? [Just to let you know, I would call it "a flop" in Mysore]
•–• 08:49, 25 January 2018 (UTC)

@Acagastya: How "a flop"? --Pi zero (talk) 13:07, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
no real support in Mysore, and other southern cities, and also, Mangalore. Almost as if not therir river, not their problem.
•–• 17:52, 25 January 2018 (UTC)


I have reviewed all the articles that I am eligible to review. --SVTCobra 19:31, 26 January 2018 (UTC)

Isn't that the difference between {{quick review}} and {{breaking review}}. I don't see what you refer to in WN:REVIEW or elsewhere. --SVTCobra 03:17, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure there is a functional difference between the two templates, despite their different appearance.

Figuring out where things are said can be extraordinarily difficult (keeping in mind, some really important things aren't clearly spelled out anywhere; in this case I've a memory it is said somewhere, I just don't know where). --Pi zero (talk) 03:36, 27 January 2018 (UTC)

I searched the water cooler and other places it might hide, but came up empty. Therefore, I must go by what the template says: "To reviewers: Please prioritize this article higher on your review list, as it is news that needs to get published quickly or will become stale quickly." Cheers, --SVTCobra 05:09, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
Getting stale quickly means doing so in less than the usual timeframe. Rather than, coming near the end of the usual timeframe. --Pi zero (talk) 12:40, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
That's certainly one way to interpret those words, but I would argue both apply here. I am sure you have noticed that there's already a follow-up article. --SVTCobra 13:02, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
I'm interested in community intention and in practicality. Clearly spending a lot of time on this would be counter-productive, but as food for thought, a hypothetical scenario. We've a dozen articles on the queue (or four dozen, or more; we need to be planning to scale up), which, let us suppose, is significantly more than our available reviewers are going to be able to handle, and about a third of them are close to losing freshness due to simple review delays. A reviewer, considering what to do first, could choose to do the oldest on the queue first, but that choice won't increase the number of articles published and will increase the average age of those published; so it might be reasonable for them to choose to review the youngest first, instead, producing about the same number of publications and decreasing their average age when published. But even if they don't go for youngest-first, if a third of the articles get marked for quick review, and an article comes along with a claim to quick review due to its content, reviewers won't know that because it'll be lost in a pile of articles marked as high priority. --Pi zero (talk) 13:28, 27 January 2018 (UTC)

In your hypothetical scenario, if the aim is to maximize number of articles, the surest way to go is to review oldest first. That does, inherently, lower the average freshness, but only if one assumes some are lost to staleness. Without knowing the rates of submissions and the capacity for reviews, this dilemma cannot be solved without ascribing a value to freshness versus quantity. Perhaps we can have that discussion again when it becomes relevant in the scaled-up Wikinews.

I was surprised at how anathema {{quick review}} was to you. I don't know why we shouldn't use this functionality when the queue is short. I was not trying to bring it to your attention. I know you are aware of nearly every edit here. I was doing it in hopes that a passing-by reviewer (like Green Giant or mikemoral) might see it in red on WN:RC and perhaps take a look at it. I was not trying to use it to point a finger at you and say "Why are you ignoring my article!" I hope you understand that.

P.S. That Wikipedian that was here (Nth) actually linked our unpublished Kabul bombing article on the Wikipedia page for same. I removed it, of course, but I wish they would do that with our published articles. I have been doing that extensively since I've been back, and with reasonable success. Most of those sister links are still alive on Wikipedia. No idea if it is actually driving any traffic. Cheers, --SVTCobra 23:33, 27 January 2018 (UTC)


Hi Pi zero, I am doing some janitorial work today. I am not feeling at my journalistic best, but I did try to clean up the Kabul bombing story after I saw there were some further edits to it. I'm sorry that AZOperator went ahead and submitted that Hamilton HS article for review. I was hoping to guide the story to a state where it would actually be reviewable. Hope you didn't waste too much time on it. I've removed some {{prepared}} tags from really old user space articles. Hope you agree it was appropriate. I also want to give you a heads-up that I am planning to submit some non-free images for deletion. Don't fret, they are not used in mainspace articles. Cheers, --SVTCobra 21:22, 28 January 2018 (UTC)


I suspected the Hamilton article wasn't really ready yet, and tried to provide constructive criticism without wearing myself out on stuff you were probably already aware of problems with.

If an article is marked in preparation, it's probably best to leave it that way. I've not looked at the particular cases; but an article in userspace that's in preparation seems to me a profoundly different creature than one that's just archived there. (For one thing, a prepared article is subject to both prodding and speedy deletion criteria.) --Pi zero (talk) 21:36, 28 January 2018 (UTC)

Well, one was about 30 years after Thatcher and we are now nearing 40 years. Trust me, these were really old. I'm fine with leaving them in user space, but it is unhelpful for them to show up in the newsroom because of {{prepared}}. Cheers, --SVTCobra 21:48, 28 January 2018 (UTC)

Football clubs

So I was dealing with Category:Wigan Athletic F.C. when I realised we have added the categories of football leagues to clubs. However, it is possible a club would be relegated. Like for example -- Aston Villa. We do not have its category at the moment but we have enough articles for a category. So should we change football leagues to the countries they represent? Another thing to note -- there are some clubs like AS Monaco (from Monaco) who plays in the French league. Thoughts?
acagastya PING ME! 11:26, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

In the case of AS Monaco, one might argue it would appropriate to add it to both categories Monaco and France.

As I recall, we had discussed the possibility of categorizing an individual player under all the teams they have played for, so that when they move to a new team, the old team category stays and the new one gets added; we might do the same thing when a team moves to a different league, keeping the old league category and adding the new. --Pi zero (talk) 12:49, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

We hardly cover news from lower division leagues. Besides these are two different things. That was "players played for club X". For leagues, it can be misleading.
acagastya PING ME! 13:08, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
@Acagastya: Perhaps, then, we'd be better off not categorizing teams per league? --Pi zero (talk) 16:29, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Well, whatever we do, let's make sure that if one day, we plan to revert to bringing back the leagues, when we can manage those things more efficiently, that does not become too difficult to handle.
•–• 17:15, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
also, could you tell me, how do you finish a fill this category task? I think I can help minimise admin’s time required for it.
•–• 20:06, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

Bizarre spam attack

Have you noticed how much spam is related to gardening/home farming/planting etc.? Is it normal to come in topical waves? Cheers, --SVTCobra 23:59, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: Sometimes; at a guess, one or more clients pay someone to deliver hits on their site(s), which they go about by spreading spam here amongst whatever other measures, and if the clientele is topic-coherent, the resulting spam is too.

A phenomenon I find bemusing is boilerplate user pages of roughly the form 'my name is <something>, I live in <someplace>, I'm interested in <list of things>, check out my blog site: <link to obviously commercial site>' — where the name given is completely at odds with the name of the account. --Pi zero (talk) 00:18, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

Yeah, they must be bots. And these very long articles with just tiny links somewhere in the middle of the text. I tried googling blocks of the text to see if they were farming (no pun intended) the text from somewhere, but didn't come up with anything. The Internet is a very, very strange place indeed. --SVTCobra 00:45, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: I'm looking at all the spam you're nixing, plus some that I'm nixing, and I'm wondering if this much was happening all along and I just didn't notice or if it's especially bad atm. --Pi zero (talk) 01:43, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
The last few days have been pretty heavy, but looking at the deletion log, there were some heavy days in December, too. The nice thing about those was that a single user would create a bunch of spam articles and the mass deletion tool and a single block made it easier to clean up. Now, they seem to be one piece of spam per user, but many users. --SVTCobra 02:27, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: ...and the gardening trend continues. --Pi zero (talk) 04:42, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
Wow! The fake tech support numbers have been exceedingly heavy the last couple of days. I looked at the deletion log. There are literally hundreds of them. --SVTCobra 21:23, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: When I got up this morning (after only four hours of sleep) I'd guess there were around a hundred of them for me to delete. The "thanks" system only works for edits, I've noticed there's no way to thank someone for deleting something; but, your help is appreciated. :-)  --Pi zero (talk) 21:31, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
No need to thank me. BTW, there is very low correlation between Category:Admin and Wikinews:Administrators. Do we need to sort that out? Cheers, --SVTCobra 21:41, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

It does not seem to be slowing down. What resources do we have as far as checkuser and getting an IP range ban? It is obviously all connected and from the same source. --SVTCobra 23:42, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

Well, I thought "gardening" was weird, but somehow "elevator repair" is the new trend. Who is the target for these spammers? It's mind-boggling. --SVTCobra 00:15, 18 March 2018 (UTC)


[real short term plan is that I sleep, wake up at 4:30PM your time, and write about the referendum against anti-abortion law] but the discussion is about the relatively long term goals -- that is: CC @SVTCobra, Green Giant, Koavf, Darkfrog24, Yngvadottir: (I guess every active editor who are able to get their articles published with ease are pinged) on a normal day, Pi zero can easily manage two successful articles, and I am not sure about Green Giant or SVTCobra's speed or daily commitment, but I guess at least four articles can be published a day with ease. Now, that was the case of three reviewers. (four, if I am able to get the reviewer bits back after the procedure) Speaking of SVTCobra, Green Giant (in terms of authors), koavf and me (I am planning to write at least one article each day.) [and Darkfrog24 and Yngvadottir] who are active regularly -- I think our aim is to write at least four articles in one day so the reviewers can review it. Yes, this is a lot to ask, I wanted to ask for five, but considering the real life, let's divide the work so that we can have maximum output without exhausting. Now for that, it is really important if we discuss when are we online. Anyone has problem with that? (Now, why am I asking this -- simple answer is for the better output for the project, but I also intend to bring hi.wikinews out of incubator, and bring some editors or their articles from Hindi to English -- and I got this idea after seeing the output in recent days and to create print edition again) So shall we have a structured plan?
•–• 14:48, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

Um. I'm really happy that we're getting more articles now: I note that SVTCobra and DeWikischim both in the past week wrote up stories that I had been thinking of doing. And I see the stress on the reviewers of the greater volume. I have thought that it might make sense to have some planning of what stories we should cover, using the existing newsroom perhaps, but have set that aside as unrealistic given that we are all volunteers, and also that we all have varying interests and probably also are aware of stories that others may not even know about. And the first part of that is my response to this proposal: I'm afraid I can't be relied upon to be around and able to work on en.wikinews at any particular times. Even when I was an admin on en.wikipedia, I was not one who could be relied upon to always be available when I was online. And my schedule is very peculiar even without the fact I'm often working on something else. So thanks for the implied confidence, but I don't fit well into structured planning. Yngvadottir (talk) 16:36, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
It has always been a basic difficulty of en.wn that volunteers don't have a predictable schedule. The fewer folks there are here, the more severe the immediate consequences; if there are more people here, there's some statistical averaging out. The averaging out requires greater project efficiency, both because greater project efficiency is needed to support significant growth, to achieve the averaging, and because averaging is only helpful if what things average out to is viable. For project efficiency, it's been clear to me for years that we have to make review much less hard on reviewers, and greatly reduce the lump-sum time investment for a full review. It's not about allowing a reviewer to get more reviews done in the same amount of time; for a volunteer to clear their schedule for a big consecutive block of time to review is much harder than clearing their schedule for a smaller consecutive block of time, so I'm hoping a great reduction in the size of the lump-sum can significantly increase availability of qualified reviewers to do any review at all. One can puzzle over the challenge of coordinating volunteer reviewer time to volunteer reporter submissions — keeping in mind that the usual volunteer model is someone dropping in to do random amounts of stuff whenever works for them rather than doing large blocks of stuff whenever someone else decides to submit an article, and also keeping in mind that writing is generally more fun than reviewing — but so far I'm still shooting for a lump-sum-investment savings of a factor of two or three. --Pi zero (talk) 17:34, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
While, yes. I have been active lately, it is not something I can commit to being in the future. The reason is, I am between jobs. Should I find gainful employment, I might essentially "disappear" again for stretches of time. And even before that happens, there will be days when I am away for job interviews, etc. Cheers, --SVTCobra 17:46, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for tagging me and I like that you have a plan. Essentially, with a more flexible job, I'm able to commit more time to Wikimedia but (and this may offend sensitive ears) I am also committed to a number of activities across several wikis. I will definitely try to review a little more but can't guarantee it. Green Giant (talk) 18:34, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Jeez! Sorry I missed this. I've been dealing with an off-Wiki matter that's been cutting into my 'pedia/Newsie time. Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:38, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

Why did you block me?

I was asking a legit question. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by DisuseKid (talkcontribs) 03:17, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

@DisuseKid: The question could be considered marginally okay under some circumstances. Sequence of events as I saw it:
  • You created a page "DisuseKid revealed to be Wikipedian God". Blatantly not a serious news article; of course it's speedy-deletion-bait. I speedily deleted it.
  • You created a page "Category talk:Developing" where you asked 'Where is this article about DisuseKid?'. Well, that's not an appropriate place to enquire, and it seemed you were just horsing around; so I speedily deleted that. You recreated it, with the additional question 'Why'd you delete this', and the third time you said 'Don't you dare delete this again, or I will report you to the Wikipedian God.'. It seemed to me you were horsing around and knew what you were doing, so I applied a short preventative block.
If you wish to contribute positively to Wikinews, there is a compact overview of what we do here at Wikinews:Pillars of writing, and after reading that I would recommend our tutorial on writing a first article at Wikinews:Writing an article. --Pi zero (talk) 12:45, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
But DisuseKid is the Wikipedian God. DisuseKid (talk) 18:02, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
On Wikipedia they'd say "citation needed". Here we might say "not verified". But the point is moot anyway, because Wikinews is not Wikipedia. --Pi zero (talk) 18:13, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

Don't commit apostasy. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by DisuseKid (talkcontribs) 05:36, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

HEIL DISUSEKID!—The preceding unsigned comment was added by DisuseKid (talkcontribs)

This user is clearly w:WP:NOTHERE for writing news articles. Isn't that reason good enough to block this Al-Masih ad-Dajjal?
•–• 08:21, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
Definitely not. See w:Category:Wikipedia sockpuppets of DisuseKid for examples of this users "contributions". Green Giant (talk) 11:58, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
Wonder what "definitely not" was for. Not here; or not a good reason to block. (talk) 12:01, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
There is precedent for folks who got in trouble elsewhere and became useful contributors on en.wn. They have settled down, following the initial 36-hour (iirc) block, to a good-natured conversation here. --Pi zero (talk) 12:14, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
As in definitely not here, but we should also definitely give them a chance to improve their interactions with us. Green Giant (talk) 13:22, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
Okay, with their latest action, I blocked them. --Pi zero (talk) 04:21, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

Abuse Filter

Hi. I don't know if you are aware, but I've modified the abusefilter 25 in order to stop this spam. It's working well so far, so I wonder if you could let the abuse filter block accounts? Matiia (talk) 20:27, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

@Matiia: Thanks! I can see from the log it's doing things. Although, since you tweaked it I've had to block-and-nuke another eight [nineteen] spambot accounts (and counting) [plus one someone else got]. I don't think any automatic filter will ever really cope, as the problem is quite similar to solving a captcha. Two thoughts:
  • I'm alarmed by the idea of any automated device being empowered to block. And, would we even know it had happened? I've never added "check abuse filters" to my list of things I do regularly; the additional cognitive burden seems like the straw that would break the camel's back.
  • I don't know how one would even do that.
--Pi zero (talk) 21:43, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
If an account is blocked by abusefilter, it'd be logged at Special:Log/block as well as shown on Special:RecentChanges.
There's a 'Block the user and/or IP address from editing' checkbox on Special:AbuseFIlter/25. if you click it and then click save filter, filter'd start blocking accounts/IPs hitting it.
But well, checking list of admin accounts, User:Abuse filter isn't shown, despite abusefilters showing the option of blocking accounts, so unless a ticket on phab is open, abusefilter couldn't block accounts, anyway. Matiia (talk) 18:08, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

Open WN:DR

Hi Pi. Just wanted to call your attention to the fact, we have an open WN:DR (my nomination) which has not received a single vote or comment in three weeks. They are only supposed to last seven days (I think). Cheers, --SVTCobra 01:31, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

Free images

While adding photos to topic cat, please make sure the image used is free/qualifies for fair use. The photo for Mysore's category was taken from Flickr and was not under CC license.
•–• 17:44, 25 February 2018 (UTC)

@Acagastya: The history on Commons indicates you are mistaken. User Martin H. certified in December 2009 that at the time of upload to Commons the photographer was distributing the image under a compatible license, and subsequently the photographer began to distribute it under a more restrictive license (much more restrictive, I see). A later change of license has no effect on the legal status of the Commons image. --Pi zero (talk) 18:26, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
I see you chose to answer two different things together. Well, should not everything be verified? There must be a proof that the image was actually released under a free license ( might help) One can claim that for any Flickr image, otherwise.
•–• 19:04, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
We are not talking about a certification by some miscellaneous Commons user. This is why I carefully noted who had certified it. Martin H. is a Commons admin, and had been so for two years at the time they certified the previous image license. The license on that Commons image is solid; if you don't like the image, fine, but there's no copyright problem with it. --Pi zero (talk) 19:35, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
If the author files a complain that their image was wrongfully used, how would Commons prove that it was indeed available under CC license?
•–• 16:08, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
The author was told (I had noticed this, early in this discussion) on the image comments about eight years ago that the image was being used on the Wikipedia main page. And that is right about the time they (according to the Commons admin) changed the license; one plausible possibility is that their change in license was because they had discovered that one or more of their images had been uploaded, and they realized there was nothing they could do about it. And if they tried to object now, their objection would probably be dismissed on Commons because they have that testimony by an elevated-trust individual that the license changed and had previously been compatible. Much the same way that the accuracy of information in the Wikinews archives may depend on the past testimony of users who, at the time, had been granted elevated trust by the Wikinews community.

(There was a case on Commons, that I was involved with a while back, in which an image was proposed for deletion that is used very prominently on Wikijunior — it is the cover photo for the book Wikijunior:Solar System. This was originally a NASA image, and all NASA's stuff is public domain, but NASA took down the image (likely because somebody mistakenly believed the image implied Pluto is a planet). And there was no certification, by anyone of elevated trust, that the image really was originally provided by NASA without restrictive copyright. If nobody had bothered to do anything, the image would have been pointlessly deleted, screwing over Wikibooks in the process. I went out and found another place on the web where a published document of some sort effectively provided the missing certification; and because of that, the image was not deleted. Thinking about that afterwards, I reckon that most likely, even if that other document I found on the internet later becomes unavailable, the image on Commons should be safe, exactly because we now have on the record, from the rejected RFD, that a Commons admin saw the certification.) --Pi zero (talk) 16:41, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

That possibility would be ruled out by the court. Is there a solid evidence? Then only one can keep it. Interestingly, there was a similar case with AlvaroMolina’s signature. The globe they were using in their sign was taken down (or perhaps the license notice was removed. But that was not sufficient reason to restore the deleted image from Commons.
•–• 02:23, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

Good morning. When you blocked and mass deleted this IP, you forgot to notice that things had been added to existing pages as well. Cheers, --SVTCobra 13:12, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

From the logs it seems I did miss them, yes. Another use for dialog (I see that in everything, these days). --Pi zero (talk) 14:31, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

Technical problems

Just to note, I was off the grid for most of the past 24 hours, due to a power outage and collateral damage to my laptop (looks like I may have lost everything). It's likely my attention will be split, trying to deal with the aftermath, for some time. --Pi zero (talk) 09:39, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

We almost sent out a search-and-rescue team when you hadn't posted a single edit in 12 hours. We'll to pick up the slack while you get sorted. Cheers, --SVTCobra 09:44, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
Sorry to hear that and hope you’re safe and sound. Did you have any backups? Green Giant (talk) 10:06, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
Not recent ones; a great deal of regular maintenance I should be doing has slipped lately (including regular maintenance to our backup generator, which greatly increased the impact of the event; we once got through a week-long power outage without much slowing to my Wikinews activity thanks to that generator, but it's not much good if it won't start). The data may be recoverable; it's even possible the laptop may be recoverable, in principle, but what I can manage remains to be seen. --Pi zero (talk) 10:11, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
Well, if it’s any comfort, I think it’s quite normal to fall behind with maintenance. We spent five days last week trapped by snow brought the Beast from the East! I hope it all works out for you. Green Giant (talk) 14:39, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

Real name policy?

Hi! I'm going to be at two conventions this weekend doing OR, Toronto Comicon and Furnal Equinox, the latter being a furry convention. I'm hoping to speak with some folks about their furry fandom, but I'm guessing that it'll be hard to find people both saying interesting things and being open to me using their full human name. Even the guests of honour are "Patto", "Fox Amoore", and Rick Griffin (which could be real, but is conveniently a species.) Are phrases like "Nicnak, an artist in the show's Dealer's Den, said..." okay? -- Zanimum (talk) 13:19, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

@Zanimum: Seems reasonable to me. As you describe it. In practice, presumably, one wants to point out that names are pseudonymous, but how much or little is needed on that front is not clear to me thinking in the abstract. --Pi zero (talk) 18:25, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Maria Contreras-Sweet Group buys The Weinstein Company assets, saves it from bankruptcy

Hi. Could you accept the revision where I renamed this article? It didn't get highlighted in yellow on WN:RC which is probably why it slipped by. It was a simple typo fix "bankrupcy" => "bankruptcy". Cheers, --SVTCobra 15:45, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: Done. Imho that's minor enough to self-sight, though I've no objection if for whatever reason you want the added weight-of-approval afforded on such an edit by being sighted by someone else. --Pi zero (talk) 16:00, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
If it was in the text of the article, I probably would have done so. With a page-move so many days after publication, I felt more comfortable if it was looked over, with the redirect-protection, etc. Thanks, --SVTCobra 18:43, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
Speaking of outstanding revision-reviews, Template:Abandoned/msg has a couple that are over 10 days old. I don't feel comfortable sighting it myself, since it involves some wiki-code and automatic category population (I think). Cheers,
Hate to bug you again, but these changes need to be sighted or reverted. Cheers, --SVTCobra 00:51, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

Close one

One hour and thirtyfour minutes past the 24-hour window. --SVTCobra 00:47, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: We've tended to be pretty strict about the 24 hours. As I recall, when the community agreed on the 24-hour figure there was nobody who wanted more than 24 hours and some people wanted an even shorter fuse than that. In this case, at first I was tempted to just let it slip by, but then I admitted I didn't think the proposed change made a difference to the problem with the passage, and further tinkering would be needed and not within reviewer's purview in processing the submitted edit, so I decided the deadline really needed to be held to. --Pi zero (talk) 00:59, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
I am just as happy. First, I get accused of being a Putin supporter, then an anti-Russia propagandist. --SVTCobra 01:10, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
Maybe that means I did hit the elusive NPOV with nobody happy. LOL. --SVTCobra 01:12, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
It does have a certain symmetry, although it would certainly be nice if one could satisfy everyone. --Pi zero (talk) 01:14, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
Not in our lifetime, sadly. And especially not in these days, it seems. --SVTCobra 01:17, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

Do we have a speedy rule for ...

... enormous rambling articles that are millions of characters long and possibly the work of someone suffering from schizophrenic paranoid delusions? Assassination threats against Barack Obama in South Korea and Assassination threats against Mark Lippert. Cheers, --SVTCobra 14:15, 23 March 2018 (UTC)

[talk page watcher] The user's talk page on Commons shows that they uploaded text on the same topic there in multiple languages. What I read as the focus of what they posted here was the plight of the student accused of making the threats or participating in them. Perhaps that makes it easier to understand why they are posting this material here on a news wiki. Yngvadottir (talk) 17:49, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
[Another talkpage stalker] If it was only posted on WN, it would be understandable, but they also posted the same(ish) text or documents on three other wikis. That is just disruptive behaviour because they’re not making a useful contribution. Green Giant (talk) 21:30, 23 March 2018 (UTC)

Advice sought

Should I review United States: Teenage girl dies after being shot at Maryland school by classmate, former boyfriend as is, or is it too late? Alternatively, I do have a bit of news I can refocus it on. What do you think? --SVTCobra 21:17, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

P.S. Sorry about forgetting to move-protect the Toys"R"Us article (not that it would have stopped this particular vandalism) but I should have remembered. --SVTCobra 21:19, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: I'm concerned that that article presents things as fact that need to be attributed for neutrality. Which makes it a tricky review; a reviewer at this point would need to inject attribution wherever needed, while of course doing so in the least "involving" way they could manage. Regarding freshness, I take it the event took place on Thursday, which would mean the third day is Sunday; and there are less than two and a half hours of Sunday remaining, on Wikinews (which keeps UTC). --Pi zero (talk) 21:38, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
That was the primary reason I failed the article on my first review. I think major improvements have been made in attribution. (and that UTC clock bugs me a bit ... people misunderstood last time I brought it up, but eventually I'll make my feelings clear). However, if you have looked at it and think I will find it unreviewable, I'd rather use my time to rewrite and refocus. Cheers, --SVTCobra 21:44, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
Regarding the end-of-third-day cutoff, acagastya had asked me some rather pointed questions about how I practice that, and when I finally found some time to explain my position properly... acagastya as I recall kind of swung toward avoiding the third day altogether (a stricter position than I generally take). I would try to explain myself, but, today I'm trying to drive myself to cut down the review queue, so it seems an infelicitous moment. --Pi zero (talk) 21:56, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
I shouldn't have mentioned it here or now, but stupidly put it in parenthesis. Anyway, I don't want to touch the Bill Cosby story because I see there is a shit-storm on the collaboration page. The bridge one is getting really stale and I think the remaining one is my own. So I am going ahead with the Maryland shooting. Cheers, --SVTCobra 22:09, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

Well, we were briefly down to 2 in the queue, but now it is 4 again, but I think I might take my Count Dankula article into story prep as he has yet to be sentenced. If I must say it myself, I think I did a good job on the Great Mills article. Cheers, --SVTCobra 02:31, 26 March 2018 (UTC)

Your thoughts ...

Pi zero, your thoughts would be appreciated on these two Water cooler items: HotCat and Block messages. I am inclined to let Gryllida go ahead and make the changes, but we all know you are the glue that keeps Wikinews together. Cheers, --SVTCobra 23:56, 27 March 2018 (UTC)

K-pop band 100%'s lead singer Seo Minwoo dies

Did you need to add that weird Japanese site as a source for his age? As far as I can tell, both The Guardian and The Korea Herald have him as 33. The Korea Times mistake in calling him 32 is easily explained by his birthday being within a month of his death. Cheers, --SVTCobra 22:13, 28 March 2018 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: My reasoning was, indeed, that once you know when his birthday is, the one source that says he was 32 is much easier to believe was a simple error. But I didn't see his birthday in the cited sources, hence the added source to establish that. --Pi zero (talk) 22:48, 28 March 2018 (UTC)

New category for FSB

As you probably noticed, I created Category:Federal Security Service for the FSB. I've only added it to two articles, so far. But as I look at the articles, I almost think Category:FSB would look better. I went with the full name because you said if Wikinews could easily do it over Category:FBI would be Category:Federal Bureau of Investigation. So, while there are a bunch more articles to add, I wonder what you think of FSB versus Federal Security Service as the category name. Should I proceed with the full name? --SVTCobra 19:40, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: I'd stick with the full name, yes. --Pi zero (talk) 20:14, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
If we ever have three articles around which to start a category for the First Somali Bank, we can simply change FSB from a redirect to a disambiguation page. :-)  --Pi zero (talk) 20:17, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
Okie dokie {thumbs up} --SVTCobra 20:23, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
Sorry to bother you again, but you have said that local links are preferred over {{w}} if we positively know we have a local link, yes? As in [[Russia]] is better than {{w|Russia}}? I ask because I am poking around in the archives for FSB. --SVTCobra 20:31, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: I saw you'd done that peripheral task while adding the new cat to an article. Looked fine. :-)  --Pi zero (talk) 20:41, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
One thing I didn't do was address the missing images. What do you do when you encounter them? Cheers, --SVTCobra 23:29, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
Supposing it's an ordinary image embedding (rather than something fancy like gallery, which is more challenging), replace the enclosing double square-brackets with a call to {{missing image}}. That is, [[...]] becomes {{missing image|...}}. The template is designed to figure out what to do with the various parameters to the file/image markup. Oh, the image needs to be thumb (maybe frame also works?) in order for the caption to show up, so the reader can see the informational stuff added by {{missing image}}. --Pi zero (talk) 23:37, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

Point of decorum and order

I really don't want to review articles until my WN:FRRFP has been resolved. The review queue is, for better or worse, empty now, but we have all seen how quickly it can overflow. Would it be unseemly to ask recent contributors to vote? I want it to be resolved quickly, but I don't want be accused of "asking my friends" to vote for me. Part of me is feeling "well, if I lose reviewer status, I won't have the pressure of looking at other people's articles" ... but that would be sad, because I do care about Wikinews as a project and I do want it to have quality articles. You might say, I was grandstanding, and perhaps rightly so, but I take words like "you are unfit" a lot more serious than "fuck you". Perhaps, the CABAL has some thoughts on it. LOL.   Cheers, --SVTCobra 00:48, 1 April 2018 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: Hm. There is a robust principle on en.wn, dating so I gather from the very earliest times of the project, that less experienced contributors' stances are given less weight in policy-related matters. My impression is that was meant amongst other things to prevent roving bands of Wikipedians from perverting Wikinews policy by ballot-stuffing. In this case I would think the opinions of currently active reviewers would be particularly of interest; who has been around lately? Looking through recent changes for the past month, I see us two, Acagastya, Gryllida, and Green Giant, who would presumably be the first individuals to seek feedback from.

Ah, the cabal. Btw, there is no cabal. --Pi zero (talk) 01:15, 1 April 2018 (UTC)

Thank you for the ping. I'm not going to inquire as to who suggested SVTCobra is unfit to be a reviewer, but frankly this is an absurd suggestion. If we trust someone to be an administrator, then we should trust them to be a reviewer. In every other wiki I’ve been involved with it is an accepted convention that admins are automatically included in non-admin user groups e.g. every Commons admin is also a license reviewer. However, it seems here we have an unseemly proposal that a long-term admin is not to be trusted and I, for one, reject such absurdities. Green Giant (talk) 01:41, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
Well, in fairness, we have from time to time had admins here who were not reviewers. Reviewer being a technical task that requires more than just being trusted, whereas an admin is trusted but doesn't necessarily have what it takes to review. --Pi zero (talk) 02:00, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
I’ve sort of addressed this below but I disagree with admins not having it automatically. For example, on Commons we have license reviewers who have a separate approval process from all the other user groups. All the admins have the review tools but they don’t have to use them and indeed many don’t. I just don’t see why WN reviewer tools shouldn’t also be part of admin tools by default. Green Giant (talk) 09:17, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Well, I don't like seniority as a measure. It doesn't speak for quality, and that's what I want to be judged on. I already mentioned the WN:FRRFP to Acagastya of course. And don't worry, I do not have friends on Wikipedia. That is a vast on open place and quite cold. The way you mentioned people, they will be pinged for this chat. Who else should be considered a valid vote? Darkfrog24? Yngvadottir? AZOperator? Tom Morris is not inactive. Zanimum might remember me from the old days. RockerballAustralia was just here. Anyway. I just hope people vote quickly. *Now back to the game* Cheers,--SVTCobra 02:09, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
Well, I have my opinions about which non-reviewers I would trust more to have good judgement on this, but people who either have the reviewer bit, or used to and lost it only for inactivity, are more likely to have good judgement on it without requiring an additional judgement about them (since the community has already, at some point, judged them knowledgeable about reviewership, amongst other things). (And yes, I deliberately pinged those folks.) --Pi zero (talk) 02:29, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
Good. And I think Rocker still hates me (and might even more now) so I wasn't bringing him up as a friend. Thanks, Pi. --SVTCobra 02:48, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: If we feel we haven't got enough opinions from this round of folks, my likely next round of people to contact would be several other current or former reviewers who have been around reasonably modernly; that list would include Rockerball. --Pi zero (talk) 03:07, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
I welcome it all. Thanks. --SVTCobra 03:38, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
I suppose our present delay is waiting for the accuser to have their say on the RFP page, not because there is too few people participating in the discussion. At this point attracting attention of additional people would probably not be efficient use of their time. --Gryllida (talk) 05:55, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
Green Giant, unlike most of the Wikimedia projects, neither are admin given all the privileges nor are they capable of receiving it, just because they are administrators. An admin has a very different role to play as compared to reviewer’s work and I feel a reviewer’s presence is more important than an admin because an admin can defend enwn, they cannot get news published, and most of the folks forget Wikinews is not only wiki but a news source. It took me more than a year to realise that, and that too when I would regularly write articles. An editor learns a lot after becoming a reviewer, and it would be shocking if they did not. Both the privileges are non disjoint sets and one is not the subset of the another.
•–• 06:36, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
Hmm... You are entitled to your opinion but WN is not as different as you suggest, nor should it be. What is called "reviewing" here is called pending changes elsewhere, and publishing is also done using the draft namespace on other wikis. More importantly it is absolutely a question of trust. The whole point of an admin is not just to defend the wiki but also to have access to a wider range of tools that are not available by default. It should of course be possible to be a reviewer without being an admin but it is absurd to have an admin without reviewer tools. Whether or not an admin chooses to use such tools is a different issue but as it stands, I still don’t see a valid argument for SVTCobra to lose reviewer access. Until such an argument is provided by someone, I’m not going to change my stance. Green Giant (talk) 08:57, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
Not all admins want to or qualify to be reviewers, but groundless accusations that destabilize the project are a quite different matter. I'd rather they ceased. --Gryllida (talk) 09:11, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
Green Giant; I believe you know just a small part of the story, and I don’t think you are qualified person to speak everything about pending changes. Unlike other Wikis, Wikinews is a news site. Just because “wiki” is in the name, most, including you, I believe forget that a news site has certain ethics to follow. On Commons one can have non free media until someone deletes it, and sometimes the overly qualified people can’t take a side. And so is the case with every other project where the solution is to delete something that should not be there. You have changed the point of discussion completely, but for the record, I did not ask SVTCobra to run for it again. That is their personal decision. Coming back to project discussion; a review is not just approving a revision, it is much more than that. On other projects you don’t have journalistic ethics binding you for sighting an edit. And just saying it is flagged revision is not sufficient. Any reviewer would tell you that. You saying this, I am not surprised. It takes experience and time to realise that. Especially is someone has been using same tools on different project under different guidelines. And if I could ask for revoting for anyone’s rights, (honesty I would not want my peers whom I have learnt for to be in the re-election) I would do for all inactive editors holding rights which they don’t use.
•–• 11:04, 1 April 2018 (UTC)

I'd say pending changes on Wikipedia is profoundly different from review here, in its conceptual foundations. Wikinews is an interesting creature, sitting at the intersection of wikis and journalism; we get people from both sides — wikis and journalism — who misunderstand us. That's partly because they're missing the other side of the equation, and thus also missing the motivation for the features that fuse the two halves; and the misunderstanding tends to involve both over- and underestimating similarities between Wikinews and the half of the equation they're familiar with. Quite a complex situation. --Pi zero (talk) 14:23, 1 April 2018 (UTC)

Fact-checking is part of reviewer’s work, Green Giant; but it is not the only work they do. There is a difference between what rights Commons admin can exercise and what English Wikinews admin can exercise. It is something so obvious that any reviewer would know why their role is crucial. (talk) 16:28, 2 April 2018 (UTC)


Hi. I noticed you said there's no colon in UTC. This is news to me. HH:MM:SS seems to be the prevailing formatting of time including UTC. See here for my references: and worldtimeserver. If you are talking about expressing offsets, you may be on to something. I have seen UTC+0200, for example. Cheers, --SVTCobra 14:39, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: See Wikinews:Style Guide#Time. --Pi zero (talk) 15:23, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
Hmm. I took the time to track down where this originated and found this Special:Diff/150198 as the first occurence. It was reinforced by this Special:Diff/150213. Both edits are from the same IP address. It has stayed in the style guide ever since. In later revisions when people tinkered with the time section, I have seen them refer to it as w:military time but that is distinct from w:UTC. I think we should consider updating the style guide to include the colon. Cheers, --SVTCobra 16:45, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: In my first reply, I considered adding some remarks about what I know about the motive, but it was all messy enough that I decided to give the style guide an opportunity to prove sufficient. Since it hasn't, further remarks. This was something I learned from folks I consider Wikinews oldtimers; I remember... okay, I think I remember, it was quite a few years ago by now... having it explained in detail to me, so it all made sense and I was satisfied that it was sound. As often with such things, what I've retained over time is the conclusion and the memory of having been satisfied by its justification when I was familiar with the reasoning behind it, while the reasoning itself isn't readily retreivable. (I also once took a college upper-level class on quantum mechanics, and I vividly remember to this day what it felt like to thoroughly understand the math of quantum mechanics, even though I lost my direct hold on that understanding long ago.) As I recall, a few years ago this came up again, so I poked around and... I think... found an explanation of it somewhere or other on the wiki, was again satisfied that it's solid, and let the matter drop again. (Where? Could be about anywhere, including even edit summaries, which do not show up in any sort of string search.) We have enforced that point consistently for many years, having started with somebody(-ies?) who felt very strongly about it, and the value of consistent style in itself seems to me to favor maintaining the tradition. I am, as I've said, inclined to believe the original reasoning behind it was in fact quite sound, and off hand I can't picture myself supporting a change to that stylistic practice without compelling evidence that the original reasoning was not sound after all. (You may note, I'm being very wary of absolutes, here; but convincing me to support a change on this is a pretty high bar to clear, with the attendant implication that if you do clear the bar, you know you've made a good case.) --Pi zero (talk) 19:40, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
Can we compromise without too much difficulty and include both notation styles as valid? It would reduce edits in my opinion. Saying 2230 or 22:30 UTC should be equivalent for any rational mind that understands time. Cheers, --SVTCobra 05:01, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
Consistent style is consistent style. I see no reason to compromise our existing consistent style by... compromising. (Why had I never thought about those two meanings of the word, before?) --Pi zero (talk) 11:50, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
We allow the use of 12 hour or 24 hour format at the author's discretion, why so rigid with UTC? P.S. I don't think those are two different meanings of "compromise".--SVTCobra 13:10, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
It's a standard reference frame; makes sense to treat it in a standard way.

Well, let's see. First I'll try freehand definitions: to compromise, to apply give-and-take in pursuit of a mutually acceptable solution in which everyone gets some approximation of what they want; to compromise, to degrade the integrity of. Okay, now taking a look at Wiktionary (and keeping in mind that different definitions of a word tend to bleed into each other): to adjust and settle by mutual concessions; to cause impairment, to breach (a security system). Close enough. They are related to each other, but one emphasizes finding a mutually acceptable settlement, while the other emphasizes the disruption of some status quo. --Pi zero (talk) 17:15, 20 April 2018 (UTC)


When other IPs insert spam links in main space, they are allowed to do it, but when I want to add one link to the userpage, I get this: "This action has been automatically identified as harmful, and therefore disallowed." (talk) 04:32, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

Delhi NCT

I cannot believe you renamed that category at the insistence of one person. Neither English Wikipedia Delhi nor Hindi Wikipedia दिल्ली concur with this nomenclature. --SVTCobra 18:10, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: Well, in truth I didn't rename the category at the "insistence" of one person. Perhaps you interpreted xyr remarks as more demanding than I did. It was a suggestion, it sounded quite reasonable to me, I agreed with it, and tbh it seemed harmless to me as well. We do, after all, have a long history of being more precise than Wikipedia in our nomenclature. I'm sorry if I've upset you. Can you live with the new name? If we can just find something everybody can live we, we can lay the matter to rest and thus eliminate a distraction from news production. --Pi zero (talk) 18:28, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
I feel it is nonsense busywork that keeps us from reporting the NEWS. At least you didn't also create Delhi NCR. --SVTCobra 18:40, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
Wikinews does not have to follow what Wikipedia does. And Wikipedia has a very poor way of naming articles which have the same name. Well, regarding nomenclature, w:Delhi NCT redirects to Delhi. (talk) 19:31, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
Yea, you should have just created a redirect and saved everyone a bunch of time. --SVTCobra 23:37, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
Do not join the discussion from the next time, simple! (talk) 01:11, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

for the record, we were having a discussion about this before joined. Neither did I make the Venn diagram for you. (talk) 01:21, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

For the record, I did not join any discussion. I started one. You are so unbelievably arrogant. --SVTCobra 01:26, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
@Acagastya, SVTCobra: Both of you, stop it. You're behaving like surly children fighting in a playground. It's possible to have an intelligent, extensive, wide-ranging, complex discussion of categorization issues without anyone ever making it personal as I see both of you doing. --Pi zero (talk) 01:43, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Me and pizero were discussing it three hours before you “started” the “discussion”. (talk) 02:25, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Enough. --Pi zero (talk) 02:30, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

WN:SG our style guide

Wikinews talk:Style guide the talk page is getting VERY lonG. What is the best way to archive it? I want to open a new topic. Cheers, --SVTCobra 22:15, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: I've been meaning to look into that. Iirc something up at the top of the page seems to suggest some things have been archived, or at least removed, in the past, so I've been thinking we ought to find out what was done before. --Pi zero (talk) 22:21, 25 April 2018 (UTC)


What could these Portal users be all about? Hmm. --SVTCobra 17:30, 27 April 2018 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: I've been thinking those looked fishy. Can we disallow them under the "misleading or confusing" clause of WN:U? --Pi zero (talk) 17:38, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
IDK. --SVTCobra 17:47, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
Three of the "Portal" accounts have popped up as upload abusers in the last day or so. --SVTCobra 15:07, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

Open WN:DR + other votes

Any chance of closing some of the open votes? Cheers, --SVTCobra 14:31, 30 April 2018 (UTC)

Just to e clear, I am shying away from doing reviews until my WN:FRRFP is closed. I think I did one fail, but it was like a automatic because it was single source. --SVTCobra 00:48, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
I know you are the ultimate curator, but have I been keeping you awake at night? Did you review each of my edits? I say so because of Special:Diff/4402999. I find it amusing, but maybe a little sad too. --SVTCobra 05:07, 1 May 2018 (UTC) [keyoard]
I try. To err is human (though, as has been pointed out, to really screw things up you need a computer). --Pi zero (talk) 11:29, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
There are things that keep me awake at nights, such as my worries for Wikinews, and my —related— worries for the future of the human race. You haven't been especially vexatious to me. --Pi zero (talk) 11:32, 1 May 2018 (UTC)


Just to let folks know. Tomorrow local time (Saturday, May 5), I'll be doing my civic duty by participating in Annual Town Meeting (I'm in central Massachusetts). I expect to be out of internet contact from early in the morning until sometime in the afternoon — again, local time. It's likely I'll get home, rather exhausted, just a few hours before midnight UTC. --Pi zero (talk) 03:31, 5 May 2018 (UTC)

We'll try to keep the project from going down the tubes in your absence. Bring a cooler full of refreshments to mark the day and pass the time with less stress. Cheers, --SVTCobra 11:25, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
Well, that's done. For better and worse. We adopted zoning bylaws on the sale and growing of marijuana, and we voted to replace the town's elementary school at a total price tag (supposedly most of it eventually gets reimbursed by the state) that's just mind-boggling.

I've wondered about writing up such meetings as OR. Not necessarily submitting them, but at least writing them up, for practice. For submission, I'd want to have some close discussions with veteran Wikinewsies about COI (because I wouldn't care to refrain from voting at town meeting). --Pi zero (talk) 00:23, 6 May 2018 (UTC)

Wow. Every attendee gets to vote? Or are you on the city/town council? I wouldn't mind evaluating your write-ups for NPOV, but I'd probably need some points of reference. Do they get coverage on hyper-local sites like Patch Media? Good luck with the MJ. Did the state decriminalize or do you have to worry about them and the Feds? Cheers, --SVTCobra 00:46, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
Massachusetts decriminalized it. And we have an open town meeting (that's what I linked to, above), where, yes, every citizen of the town has the right to vote at town meeting. The vote for the new school needed a 2/3 majority, and the vote count was (according to my notes) 767 to 282 in favor. We have no quorum (or maybe it's one or two people; for practical purposes it's no quorum), which my father explained to me, long ago, is why we don't have the attendance problems some towns do; some towns have had to call the fire department over to make their quorum, but if you know that choosing not to come to town meeting will mean that someone else will make the decisions, even if there are only a handful of people there, that's a good reason for you to attend. --Pi zero (talk) 00:58, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I did click the link, but didn't read all the way into the voting. It's closer to the old Greek Democracy, yet probably unworkable for larger societies. The Internet was supposed to solve that, but we've seen already how that will undoubtedly go wrong. --SVTCobra 01:22, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
Town Meeting is the legislature of the town, while the Board of Selectmen (hm, I wonder what the current practical nomenclature is, and whether it's been officially changed...) is the town's executive. As I say, the quorum is important in how it works, though alas that principle isn't widely understood, so there are some people here trying to impose a quorum. The largest-scale example of this sort of thing I've heard of was in Qaddafi's Libya, where he had, iirc, all local communities holding town meetings, the decisions of which supposedly flowed upward. I remember something on PBS about democracy some years back (honestly can't remember what it was called), where in exploring why democracy has trouble taking root in Africa, the host interviewed Qaddafi, who said something about different people having different responsibilities in the state, and the host asked Qaddafi if he was the person responsible for thinking and Qaddafi said, yes. But the host also suggested that by imposing this massive town-meeting system, sham though it might be, Qaddafi might actually be planting the idea of democracy there in a way that could ultimately take root more effectively than in most parts of Africa (though of course there have been a lot of dramatic changes in Libya since then that the host didn't remotely anticipate). --Pi zero (talk) 12:48, 6 May 2018 (UTC)


I have gone through all of the Protected edit requests and substantially reduced the list. The remaining ones are changes I feel uncomfortable making, or outright disagree with (such as adding or changing infoboxes on old articles; issuing corrections on really old articles; and questionable style changes). Perhaps you have some time now that our review queue is cleared. Cheers, --SVTCobra 18:31, 7 May 2018 (UTC)

I'll see if I can slip some in. I'm struggling mightily to restore my momentum on developing the semi-automation we desperately need, while several other things are happening off-Wikinews that I also need to pour time into. It seems worthwhile to allocate a fraction of my efforts to protected edit requests. --Pi zero (talk) 18:51, 7 May 2018 (UTC)

Rescuing dead urls

Are you starting a project to rescue dead urls in sources? If so, that is going to be the single most massive and time-consuming project ever. The {{w}} project will look like a stroll in the park. --SVTCobra 16:11, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: I'm not systematically seeking to do so, no. However, when I need to examine the sources of an article for curational purposes, and that leads me to dig up an archive of a broken source url, I figure to save that information on the article page so the effort of finding the archive doesn't just get thrown away. --Pi zero (talk) 16:16, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

Sinebot or similar

Why is it we don't seem to have a Sinebot or similar bot to sign comments? --SVTCobra 14:25, 10 May 2018 (UTC)

Such bots have come and gone, over the years. At some point, I admit, I stopped worrying about it, except to add {{unsigned2}} when I notice it's needed; I'm not, after all, fond of bots, on principle. Eventually I hope dialog-based assistance may be able to help cut down on incidence of such problems; but of course I hope that about most things on-wiki :-). --Pi zero (talk) 14:34, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
Let's start work on an Artificially Intelligent bot that can write synthesis articles without violating copyright. --SVTCobra 14:37, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
which would leave no motivation for writing articles on Wikinews. (talk) 14:45, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
Exactly. And the AI would probably refuse to publish the articles we wrote, anyway. But don't worry, the AI will make sure you get all the important news like obeying the robot overlords. --SVTCobra 15:00, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
Hmm. [1]. --Pi zero (talk) 15:03, 10 May 2018 (UTC)


Sorry for creating this. --Faop8 (talk) 14:00, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

@Faop8: Not a tragedy; it'll be taken care of, in the natural course of things on Wikinews. We have a standard process that (after a few days) cleans up attempted articles that didn't work out. --Pi zero (talk) 14:04, 13 May 2018 (UTC)


Just to alert you to Special:AbuseLog/8732. Green Giant (talk) 02:23, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

Probably the same entity as this and may be related to something else that also happened around the same time. But I wouldn't worry about it. --SVTCobra 05:56, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
Actually, I don’t understand the reason behind the block. The username policy says nothing about it. Though we have a never assume policy (it can be used as don’t assume the only notorious use of the symbol for inspiration behind the username), the block notice should answer “why” it is unacceptable. I don’t see a reason mentioned on the user talk either. (talk) 08:15, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
That's why there's a link to the policy. And, yes, it is covered by the policy. --SVTCobra 09:53, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
point out exactly what is problematic here. (talk) 10:05, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
The account with 11 swastikas was created by the same person who created User:MAKENEWSGREATAGAIN and User:NWAexposer. Unfortunately, although the swastika is an ancient symbol for luck, it is more recently also associated with Nazi symbolism. Combine this unacceptable anti-Semitic edit with the swastikas and it is clear they only intended one meaning for that username. Green Giant (talk) 10:08, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
As if you don't know, Is this really another hill you want to make a stand on? --SVTCobra 10:11, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
Location also matters, since the offensive sense of the swastika is especially likely atm from the "red states" of the US. The IP caught by the abuse filter at the start of this thread has reported location in central Ohio. --Pi zero (talk) 10:19, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
I don't think location is particularly important. Internet edgelords can come from anywhere. As they troll, they choose the most offensive things for shock value, more than representing a view they actually hold. --SVTCobra 10:36, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
Not in itself decisive, certainly; but perhaps relevant in accumulating contextual support for offensive intent. The profile I see emerging is consistent with someone with a rather crude modus operandi (I'm put in mind of Rex Tillerson's leaked comment about Donald Trump). --Pi zero (talk) 10:45, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

when you say the same person was behind the IP vandalising the project, (well, how did you reach that conclusion?) then why is the block notice echoing nothing about it? (talk) 13:40, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

I had a notification that NWAexposer edited my userpage (as well as others). All three accounts logged in to WN within 25 minutes of each other. I considered this to be disruptive with a potential to spill over to other wikis, so I carried out a checkuser at loginwiki to see if there was a link between the three accounts, which was confirmed. They were actually registered within four minutes of each other from the same IP together with two other accounts which were disruptive on WQ, using the same operating system and browser. I regularly check the abuse and block logs here and elsewhere, primarily for spambots, but in this instance I saw the above IP (in the same range) had made two attempts to replace Pi zero's userpage with swastikas. My conclusion is that it is the same person or persons. In the past, accounts with swastikas in the name have been locked for "offensive/abusive usernames" e.g. this one. Green Giant (talk) 14:32, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
Then that needs to be mentioned in the block note for historical record, not just "Unacceptable username". BTW, I did not know you had CU permission. Well, someone with Swastik should not be blocked just by itself because of preconceived notions. (talk) 14:54, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
Yes, the CU is only at loginwiki, and comes with stewardship. I can also do CU on some smaller wikis on request. I agree that preconceived notions are dangerous but in this case it is clear the account was not intended for constructive editing. Green Giant (talk) 14:58, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
what happened in this cause should have been documented. It is not because of swastik in the name but actions — incomplete information could be misleading for those who learn from observing. (talk) 15:40, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
If you mean create a User Page with a block notice to "document" the incident, I disagree. That would give the troll nothing but satisfaction. A username consisting of nothing more than swastikas is globally considered offensive on Wiki projects. Whether it is one swastika or a bunch strung together, no such account has been allowed to stand. So much so, that no record is left of them. You can check for yourself here: Special:CentralAuth. Type in as many or as few swastikas as you like and see if you find any accounts. Green Giant can perhaps elaborate, but I believe that when such accounts come up on the Steward message board, the user names are suppressed and hidden. I have seen "hidden names" there, but I don't know what they were since I am not a Steward. One could make a case for hiding it on our own block log and deletion log. --SVTCobra 15:59, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
I’m not sure how much documentation is necessary in cases like this, nor can I see a clear location to do it. Some (but not all) lock/unlock requests to stewards are made at m:SRG. Perhaps something similar might work here e.g. a noticeboard. Would WN:AAA be suitable? I think there’s also a danger of creating more administrative work than needed. As for SVTCobra's comment, the hide-name function is used in the listing at SRG, where the username is offensive or abusive. You can still read the name by opening the page for editing though. A somewhat different tool is used by stewards to globally hide a username, particularly if there are offensive edits by the user. It doesn’t hide the edits themselves which would need an oversighter if necessary. Green Giant (talk) 16:27, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

I do not consider any number of swastik offensive. I can not say unless I know the reason to choose it, and the message it is trying to convey. I decline to treat it as offensive just because a bunch of “bad people” used it. Getting offended by swastik without knowing the reason behind it is ignorance. I am not pointing out any single person. (talk) 17:16, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

Offense is taken, not given. So, good for you to not be offended. But the meaning (or perceived meaning) of symbols, as well as words, can change over time and history. We shouldn't ignore ancient history, but neither should we ignore more recent history, lest we fail to recognize that things always change and always will. It is arguably a mistake that the swastika was made so taboo by force of law, but it was, and it only served to make it a favorite among trolls and hate mongers. It is, however, part and parcel with the world we live in today. The degree of severity of the stigma varies greatly, of course, from place to place but there are entire countries where it is illegal to display the swastika. Many more, depending on use, it constitutes a hate crime. The swastika is not unique in suffering this fate, though it is by far the most known symbol. Less known, is the fact that the sowilō is similarly illegal in some places. The celtic cross has been banned in places. --SVTCobra 17:49, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
I see swastik multiple times a day, and it is prominent in various cultures, even now -- people draw swastik in rangoli every single day. Just because one of the uses was infamous, that does not nullify everything else, so for the username policy, it should be better than, "oh, some bunch of 'bad people' used it so it is prohibited" -- the intention needs to be disclosed; and if someone finds swastik "inappropriate", they should educate themselves about the other cultures. (talk) 18:08, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
I am fully aware it adorns many temples; it can even be found in tiles in old buildings here. I know it has a different meaning and people use it with good intentions. The swastika was never black-listed for use in usernames, even though it was proposed many times, for this very reason. I take this to mean that people are free to use it as a single character as part of an overall username. But to construct a username entirely from swastikas has not been permitted. Also, to construct a username entirely from repeating characters (any character) is also something that gets routinely disallowed. Ever since SUL was final, it is beyond just Wikinews. It will not matter if we re-write Wikinews username policy. Swastika-only usernames will be globally locked. At the same time, I would not be inclined to re-write any policy, here or at Meta, to allow such usernames, merely based on your personal life experiences. Do not take this as an insult, but you may be too young, too inexperienced in the world, to fully grasp the gravity of this matter. --SVTCobra 19:04, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
This May, keep your "may"s to you yourself. Like any government, democratic or not, the organisations are run by people with agendas. And it is not the first time most of them want to act ignorant. (talk) 19:11, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
Right. You keep on marching through life with that attitude. I'm sure it's going to get you far. --SVTCobra 19:16, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
When I started writing a comment here, the discussion was still fairly reasonable. During the time I've been writing, the discussion has started turning sour. I'll still say pretty much what I was going to. I admit to some disappointment, though. And I'll thank everyone not to turn my user talk into a war zone.
  • The symbol in question is in current positive use in some cultures. I hope we're all clear on that. It's not some ancient history.
  • In this particular case there was demonstrated vandalistic intent. There was also demonstrated antisemitic expression, which I prefer not to give special status to, when I can avoid it, since trolls love getting special attention.
  • Some policy reasons for blocking need further explanation, especially if there are any additional restrictions on the block, such as "Prevent account creation" or "Automatically block the last IP address used by this user, and any subsequent IP addresses they try to edit from". It was pointed out to me some years ago (by BRS) that this is especially true of WN:ROLE; but it is also often true of WN:U. If an account name is unacceptable, generally, the user should choose another, and they can't do that if the account cannot create other accounts and the IP is temporarily blocked too. If we don't want to let them just choose another account name, the reason for blocking should give some indication of why. And in this case (as in a great many cases), just the name itself does not provide that.
--Pi zero (talk) 19:35, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
Pi, everyone has explicitly acknowledged 'current positive use in some cultures'. I will never assume good faith from a username that is a long string of swastikas, with or without vandalism. But in this case we were in the midst of a vandalism attack. And the best way to halt those is to use the severest version of the blocks and get a grip on the situation. The account creation and IP restrictions could have been lifted should it have turned out to be unrelated, but it was not. And why are we talking about this like it is a local issue? That name was never going to stand as an SUL.
But why the lecture on role-accounts? Because of User:Jimbo WaIes article guy? I guess I prevented account creation because it looked unmistakably like a part of the Cruizer/"Jimbo Wales is peed on" campaign. The lack of a block notice was an honest oversight. The user could still have appealed. I usually handle role issues like User:EMOTION! --SVTCobra 20:50, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
I don't object to the actions taken. I'm not even overly upset about details of it to do with justification, 'cause it's not like I haven't slipped a little when in a hurry to cut short ongoing vandalism. I did want to acknowledge that assumptions should not be made about the symbol in general (reminder: nobody here should ever assume good faith, generically; the key is not generally assuming bad faith, either). Regarding reasons for blockage, well, I've found it an interesting insight that WN:U is another policy that, like WN:ROLE, doesn't fully explain a block when it involves additional restrictions, so I decided to try to articulate that. --Pi zero (talk) 21:09, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
The mind-boggling bit is that three of us were on IRC discussing the attack when I made the block. I presume we all saw it happen, more-or-less in real time. But now, days later when Green Giant points out something in the AbuseLog, it suddenly becomes the Battle for Hamburger Hill. I tried to give a nuanced explanation of how the symbol has taken on a life of its own but to no avail. --SVTCobra 21:26, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
My nuanced comments haven't been working very well either. --Pi zero (talk) 21:33, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

first of all, I cannot see the abuse log or the IP of that account; secondly, I just asked for better block log info so that those learning from admin’s action do not misinterpret it, and the final point is about MSM and their actions leading to misleading information about eastern cultures. (talk) 21:56, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

not to take up your time but check this wiki like news wiki wikitribune is cool. --Tribuneman2018 (talk) 22:05, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

We've been aware of wikitribune since it was first announced; naturally, since it's generally agreed to be a blatant attempt to undermine Wikinews (though not really threatening to Wikinews since it was notably undertaken without even trying to tap into our local expertise on what does and doesn't work). It's been discussed here from time to time; generally, folks here haven't had a high opinion of it. --Pi zero (talk) 22:10, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

Help -- email

I used wikinewsie for contacting Commonwealth and they replied -- however their response came to my private email, instead of -- why so? And what if I want to reply to them? However, in an earlier scenario, when someone emailed me on -- I received it on

Also, why do I get a failure message whenever I message scoop? Did you receive the mail I had forwarded to scoop?
•–• 10:08, 23 May 2018 (UTC)


Hi Pi. I noticed our role account policy really doesn't speak to the matter of having a role, but rather just the issue of shared access. Shouldn't we expand it a little, perhaps using some of the ideas from meta:Role account to account for usernames that imply an office, position, or task. Cheers, --SVTCobra 13:56, 23 May 2018 (UTC)

"Punching bag"

Among all the other comments on the Abrams article, you said that one of my actions made you feel used[2]. I invite you to tell me which action that was so that I may make any adjustments that I conclude to be appropriate and necessary. If you don't feel like saying, simply don't ping or reply. Darkfrog24 (talk) 23:25, 26 May 2018 (UTC)

@Darkfrog24: This has become quite a complicated situation. Possibly I can untangle it a bit.

In your 'punching bag' remark you accused me of emotional blackmail. I was insulted — would not describe it as feeling "used", but I did find it insulting to suggest what I perceived as a petty motivation. It's not uncommon, when I'm really ticked off, for the volume of my on-wiki remarks to drop off precipitously, as I spend ballooning amounts of time making false starts and harshly filtering what I want to say. Not uncommonly, all that comes out after epic writing sessions is short, downright cryptic remarks. In this case, though, the problem of what to say in response was made even more baffling by the fact that your remark about emotional blackmail was also precipitating an insight into, tentatively, perhaps how your thinking ran on this matter.

Once in graduate school I experienced a spectacular example where all the students in a math class had the "math thing" but the professor did not. It was, actually, a useful class for me, looking back, providing some perspective on the shape of the overall landscape of that particular part of the Platonic realm of mathematics. Which is interesting, because the professor, lacking the cognitive ability that makes the abstract shape of mathematics visible, was literally unable to see the landscape that I appreciated learning about from the class. It was actually invisible to them, and a side insight from taking the class was learning something of what the subject looked like to the professor, once one subtracted from it that whole marvelous landscape that was the primary point of the class for most of us (I think; certainly for me). Here I think we have a similar situation. Some of what's going on with Wikinews, you're just not seeing. For whatever reason; it may not even matter why, for practical purposes. But, just as with that professor, a key question in understanding your perspective is, if part of the landscape I'm seeing is simply not there when you look at the same thing, what do you see when you look there? And in this case, it appears you're ascribing emotion-related motives to me. Perhaps that sounds like a small insight, but my intuition is telling me it may be quite important; quite useful, if I can quite figure out what to do with it. --Pi zero (talk) 17:06, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

I've never heard the expression "the math thing" before, but [post removed; didn't realize the ping was from days ago, and we've already talked some out on my talk page and you did what I interpreted as walking away] Darkfrog24 (talk) 19:28, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
Admittedly, on some of our various conversations I have not yet even read your most recent responses. Discussions with you are often exercises in frustration and extreme time sinks on a project whose entire infrastructure is designed to (among other things) avoid time sinks. The Wikipedian habit of long, verbose back-and-forth discussions is (though I suppose I fall into the habit easily with you; all that history between us, after all) historically frowned upon at Wikinews. In this case, the sheer number of these conversations, and the impracticality of pursuing all of them — and the fact that they often each have different tones from each other — can also make it awkward to try to address any one of them as one is never quite sure what developments on another of them might skew the perception of remarks made on another.

I had chosen to share the curious case of that math class in the hope — mistaken hope, I think — that it could be useful. Math is something that, in my experience, some people have the knack for, some don't, and people aren't thought any less of if they happen not to have the knack for it. I suppose I was hoping to invoke that sort of tolerance for differences in cognitive skills. However, the whole thing comes out as a weird sort of meta-demonstration of something, because I attempted to appeal to a form of reasoning that isn't your preferred mode of reasoning, which makes the entire appeal a rather predictable source of further unsuccessful communication. --Pi zero (talk) 21:21, 31 May 2018 (UTC)

Small note

Just in case you hadn't seen it yet. Abuselog. Green Giant (talk) 13:10, 28 May 2018 (UTC)

Interesting. --Pi zero (talk) 13:59, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
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