A few days ago I noted the problem that many articles which could be written for a wide audience, are written in too technical or complicated terms. I think someone mentioned the article on "Basalt" was a good example of an article which a general reader should be able to understand, but which is currently written in too complicated language for the average reader to understand.
I've created a page, called Readers First, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Readers_First . The idea is to outline to editors what the problem is and to give suggestions as to how to eliminate it. The aim being that, where those supporting the idea come across an article written in a way that can't be generally understood, Readers First is noted on the talk page, together with suggestions for improvement. I suppose I see it as a "train the editors" tool to try to make Wikipedia a better information resource for all. Of course, some, maybe most, will ignore it - but if we're to improve a lot of articles wholesale, we need to get buy-in from the major editors of those articles, rather than plough through Wikipedia slowly improving articles one by one.
I'd welcome constructive comments on the Readers First talk page.
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This follows some discussion in a recent thread Timwi started about
adminship. Deletion policies -- specifically the visibility of and
accountability for deletion of articles and images -- are extremely
slanted towards admins, and towards hiding their actions. This is
clearly not an intended effect; but it likely results from the fact
the the people discussing and implementing admin interfaces are all
logged in as administrators while testing them.
Even as an administrator, whe I go to a deleted page, or try to track
down a deleted image, it is hard to identify who deleted a given page,
and what reason was given -- the list of deleted revisions is not
coordinated with the deletion log. For images it is worse:
I don't know of a way to see the file history for a deleted image, and
not just for its page. [[Wikipedia:Images and media for deletion]]
doesn't use subpages; has no effective archive; and its history is too
busy to allow effective browsing back more than a few weeks. Recent
comments from IFD: "(Thanks for notifying the creator; I forgot
Here's an image which was supposedly "in commons", and clearly marked
PD by its uploader, but was orphaned. It doesn't seem to be in
commons after all. And the uploader wasn't notified... although he
hasn't edited in the past week, so probably wouldn't have seen the
message in time to respond, anyway. It's a shame to see work erased
in this fashion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Jane_austen.jpghttp://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Images_and_media_for_de…
I hope that we can a) fix image-deletion policy, so that we are NOT
deleting useful content, and on a more fundamental level, b) make
image deletion temporary*, not permanent, with a special "permanently
delete" option that is used far more rarely.
* It would be fine if there were a slow, off-wiki way to extract an
old deleted image revision; say an on-wiki way for anyone to see a
list of all revisions of a deleted image, and a separate fileserver
where anyone? admins? could go to request a specific deleted revision.
Then there could be a page for deleted-image requests...
I'm becoming rather worried at the lack of consensus building on
requests for adminship and other pages, with oppose votes basically
saying "oppose, don't even think about asking why, no is no", and in
some cases support votes being challenged and no response (however this
is much rarer).
This is incredibly damaging in my opinion as Wikipedia operates on
consensus, and refusing to discuss not only shows a lack of regard for
other people's opinions but gives an arrogant, superior attitude.
I must say that I think that everyone who does not respond to a (good
faith) questioning comment asking them why should have their
vote/opinion on the matter disregarded. If they are not willing to say
why they believe what they do then they should not be considered
contributing to the discussion. Wikipedia is rightfully not a democracy
where you can vote for whatever reason you like. Any position someone
takes must be able to be challenged.
I would like to see any bureaucrats making a judgement on a close RfA to
disregard anybody's vote, either in support or oppose, who have not
responded to a challenge for their reasoning.
Hi. My user name is Lapsed Pacifist, and my IP is 220.127.116.11. I'm sorry to say I've been here before, the last time things were resolved amicably. I've been blocked for 3 days by Jtdirl, and I believe this administrator is in breach of Wikipedia policy as outlined on Wikipedia:Blocking policy, specifically: "blocks should not be used...against user accounts that make a mixture of disruptive and useful edits" and "users should not block those with whom they are currently engaged in conflict." I don't agree that my edits are disruptive, but even if this administrator does, my contentious entries are easily outnumbered by hundreds of others, and this administrator and I are currently disagreeing on different matters.
The first three of the six points of the recommended procedure on the Wikipedia:Controversial blocks article read:
1. Check the facts with care.
2. Reread appropriate parts of Wikipedia:Blocking policy.
3. If possible, contact other administrators informally to be sure there are others who agree with your reasoning. The administrators' noticeboard, IRC and email are effective tools for this.
I will go through Jtdirl's entries on my talk page and comment in parentheses where I feel it is appropriate.
Your behaviour on Wikipedia has gone beyond the bounds of what can be tolerated. You are engaging in widespread reverts to insert blatently POV language [this is a reference to the use of the terms "Northern Ireland" and "six counties" and there was a long debate on Talk:Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution of Ireland about this] into articles. But for the fact that you were once a credible editor here you would have been blocked long before now for your behaviur, but you have used up all the previous goodwill that existed towards you in your recent behaviour. Please stop. If you continue, you will be subject to a long block for this behaviour. This is your final warning. Please heed it.
FearÉIREANN\(caint) 21:55, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Because you have continued, despite repeated warnings, to wage edit wars [this would be difficult on my own] and reverts to push your political agenda [I strongly dispute this last comment], and because as soon as you came back from your last block you started back on your old behaviour on many of the same pages, you have now been blocked for 3 days. If when you come back you continue to behave as you have been doing you may face a far lengthier block. FearÉIREANN\(caint) 02:57, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
[There now follows a list of 34 edits, all whole or partial reverts. 16 are mine. The first 10 mostly concern a dispute on whether election results in Northern Ireland should be included in a paragraph attempting to construe the political aspirations of Northern Ireland's population, and the prominence of a survey on the region's future. The rest are about the nomenclature of the region.]
Just some of the evidence of constant reverting of articles
(cur) (last) 03:33, 28 July 2005 Lapsed Pacifist (rv blanking; 59 out of 108 is slight)
(cur) (last) 17:35, 27 July 2005 JW1805 (rvt. Once again, 59% is not a "slight" majority)
(cur) (last) 10:53, 27 July 2005 Lapsed Pacifist (rv blanking)
(cur) (last) 00:02, 27 July 2005 JW1805 (rvt attempt to obscure poll results)
(cur) (last) 23:36, 26 July 2005 Lapsed Pacifist (Revert edits by Timrollpickering to last version by Lapsed Pacifist)
(cur) (last) 14:14, 26 July 2005 Timrollpickering m (Reverted edits by Lapsed Pacifist to last version by Timrollpickering)
(cur) (last) 10:25, 26 July 2005 Lapsed Pacifist (rv; That's why it's mentioned. Why the other changes?)
(cur) (last) 13:58, 25 July 2005 Timrollpickering (Revert on poll - the question is more clear cut than an election - see talk page; wikify links)
(cur) (last) 07:18, 25 July 2005 Lapsed Pacifist (Make a better case, Jonto)
(cur) (last) 00:58, 25 July 2005 Jonto (Revert to version by JW1805. I disagree - I have outlined the reasons for polls on the talk page - Please discuss there first Zoney.)
(cur) (last) 22:39, 27 July 2005 Djegan m (revert vandalism)
(cur) (last) 22:32, 27 July 2005 Lapsed Pacifist (rv)
(cur) (last) 10:00, 27 July 2005 Djegan m (revert)
(cur) (last) 06:59, 27 July 2005 Lapsed Pacifist (rv; please write accurate edit summaries)
(cur) (last) 22:30, 26 July 2005 Djegan m (revert sectanism and vandalism of LP)
(cur) (last) 22:28, 26 July 2005 Lapsed Pacifist (rv NPOV)
(cur) (last) 10:15, 26 July 2005 Demiurge m (rv POV term "six counties")
(cur) (last) 08:22, 26 July 2005 Lapsed Pacifist (rv NPOV)
(cur) (last) 09:53, 25 July 2005 Demiurge m (rv POV term "six counties")
(cur) (last) 06:59, 25 July 2005 Lapsed Pacifist (rv needlessly simplistic edit)
(cur) (last) 21:48, 24 July 2005 JW1805 m (rvt (corrected needlessly complex sentence structure))
(cur) (last) 21:39, 24 July 2005 Lapsed Pacifist (rv needlessly simplistic edit)
(cur) (last) 15:37, 24 July 2005 JW1805 m (corrected needlessly complex sentence structure)
(cur) (last) 15:34, 24 July 2005 Lapsed Pacifist (rv; Restore context)
(cur) (last) 04:57, 24 July 2005 JW1805 m (simplify sentence)
(cur) (last) 04:08, 24 July 2005 Lapsed Pacifist (rv NPOV)
(cur) (last) 00:00, 23 July 2005 Demiurge m (rv POV)
(cur) (last) 23:48, 22 July 2005 Lapsed Pacifist (Revert edits by Djegan to last version by JavaJive)
(cur) (last) 20:27, 22 July 2005 Djegan (revert sectanism and vandalism)
(cur) (last) 20:20, 22 July 2005 JavaJive m (wikify date)
(cur) (last) 19:06, 22 July 2005 Demiurge m (rv POV)
(cur) (last) 17:37, 22 July 2005 Lapsed Pacifist (rv)
(cur) (last) 10:14, 22 July 2005 Demiurge m (rv POV)
(cur) (last) 05:18, 22 July 2005 Lapsed Pacifist (rv)
In addition you have been adding in factual errors all over the place [I also strongly dispute this, and only the following inaccurate example is given]. It is hard to believe that calling the Irish state the Irish Free State years after you know very well it ceased to have that name, and was only called that by fringe republicans, is anything other than deliberate POV vandalism [I believe this is a reference to an edit summary on the Éamon de Valera article, when I reverted a change made by this user. The block came one minute after I did this. This is 2005, and the state is now known as th Republic of Ireland, but the edit concerned events in 1926, when that was the state's official name.], as is using Sinn Féin language [an obtuse reference to the naming debate] about the name of Northern Ireland when you know very well that Wikipedia cannot use that name for the northern state as it is POV. FearÉIREANN\(caint) 02:57, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Lapsed_Pacifist"
The block, if it had to come, should have come from another administrator. This is my third block, my second by this user. On neither occasion did Jtdirl consult with other administrators before the blocks, unless it was by email. As well as wrongly accusing me of factual errors, this user has failed to check the facts e.g. the Free State comment. I believe this editor is in breach of parts of the blocking policy. I believe, from the comments made on my talk page, that this administrator has allowed emotion to overrule responsibility. I have not attempted to contact this user by email, partly because I do not expect a fair hearing there, partly because I would rather the block and the events surrounding it receive a wider audience, which is not available to me on any talk page at the moment. Sorry about the length of the mail, I am sure you have better things to do.
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For the record since he is an english wikipedian, I blocked Irate for
one week on meta. Those unhappy with that decision may of course cancel
it and unblock him. Reason given for the block : uncooperative behavior
with his fellow wikipedians.