[Wikipedia-l] Re: toki pona

Mark Williamson node.ue at gmail.com
Thu Sep 23 07:08:14 UTC 2004

> If you're objecting to articles, yes. What you do is replace the
> copyrighted text with a copyvio notice.

Yes. I suspected that the text of each and every single one of the
articles I replaced was copyvio (with the exception of a couple I did
by mistake which had no content at all).
> The problem here, as I hope you've figured out, is that you weren't
> accusing specific articles of being copyvio. You were accusing a whole
> project of being a copyvio.

No, I wasn't. I wasn't "accusing" anything of being anything.

Regardless of that, there were quite a few pages (mostly talk pages)
that I left up.

> Thus the specific article replacement
> served only to make a mess that was hard to clean up. Pretty much this
> falls under "don't disrupt Wikipedia to prove a point." You picked a
> disruptive and difficult to deal with way of expressing your concern of
> copyvio that made a lot of work for people, was rude to people, and was
> rightly read by people as a slap in the face to an entire Wikipedia.


I did it out of concern and with nothing but the best intentions. I
would hardly call it "disrupting wikipedia" as if you look at RC on
tokipona: there have been no revisions since Angela rv'd my edits and
an edit or two I made a few hours after that. Nobody even noticed what
I had done for nearly 24 hours after I stopped doing it, and over 24
hours after I started doing it; before I started there hadn't been any
new articles for quite some time anyways and most non-new-article
edits were very minor, and even they were few and far between (compare
this to other Wikipedias with similar or even smaller contributor
pools such as kw:, lb:, etc which have at times grown enourmously in
the course of a week or less; although to be fair there are wikipedias
with similar or [possibly?] larger contributor pools that grow at the
same [or lower?] speed as tokipona:)

Nobody came to me about the notices - had they discussed them with me
and I realised that was not the way to deal with the issue, I would've
taken them down myself.

The intention was not to be rude to people. If I wanted to be rude to
people, I would've done it on en:, and it would've probably been a lot
worse than a couple of hundred copyvio notices.

As to whether or not I support the existance of a Toki Pona wikipedia:

Independent of all other concerns, yes. It's a conlang - I still
support it. I also support Wikipedias in other conlangs; but given
recent decisions on policy regarding wikipedias in such languages it
seems very unfair. That doesn't mean I think Toki Pona should be

If you really care about whether or not I support conlang Wikipedias, get this:

After a long heated discussion on the length and purpose of en:'s
Template:Wikipedialang, Raul654 - the sysop who banned me for a short
period of time for ths very incident - was the one who removed
tokipona:, a Wikipedia with more than the required 100 articles, from
the template citing "no original research". In none of my edits did I
remove the link to the Toki Pona wikipedia, and any other links I
removed (such as tlh:, jbo:, etc) were only in the interest of a
peaceful resolution of the argument over the template (I was for
keeping it long, like it used to be). Of course one could argue that
by not adding it back, I was thus explicitly declaring my contempt for
tokipona:. But I have learned from the past that edit wars are
generally not nearly as important as they seem in the beginning and I
recognised that for the best solution to the problem both Raul and I
would have to make concessions, which is of course very true in real
life as well (If you think I need to learn life lessons, look at all
the heads of state in the world today who do not seem to recognise
that in a conflict major concessions are required from both sides,
regardless of who is "right").

That's nothing against Raul, many people clearly don't like tokipona:,
but I would generally not count myself among their ranks. FWIW, I
truly cannot consider myself entirely for conlang Wikipedias, because
I do think that perhaps the best solution for these Wikipedias today
is to search for a home more accepting of them, which would obviously
not be reached by abrupt content removal and such would not prove a
point in that direction either.

> You could have posted to the mailing list, to Meta, asked in IRC, or
> even, since I know you've had a conversation with Sonja on IRC, asked
> her specifically, since you knew she was involved in the project. You
> did none of these things. Instead, you caused trouble.

1. Sonja is not on IRC all the time. When she is, she's not always
active in #wikipedia. The same is true for all non-bots.
2. As I noted before, I was under the mistaken impression that as far
as copyvios go, policy said to act first and ask questions later to
protect the interests of Wikipedia (as I have said before, IANAL, and
apparently even in cases of blatant infringement there is plenty of
time to take such things down, especially if legal action hasn't been
3. As I said before, her comments on IRC were indicative of her not
being too involved in the Toki Pona wikipedia.
4. I *had* asked her a day or so before, and she responded that she
was basically worn out from all the attention she gets over Toki Pona
and thus did not want to talk about it - that was the answer I got
from her. The Toki Pona website otoh has the very ambiguous "(c) toki
pona blah blah blah blah blah blah" which can obviously be taken to
mean that Toki Pona itself is copyrighted. It has of course been noted
that copyrighted material can be released, but as I said before in a
cursory google search I found no implicit or explicit release on the
part of Sonja.
5. "Instead, you caused trouble" implies that my actions were in bad
faith, which I continue to assert they were most certainly *not*.

> As I said, I hope you understand this point. Because, quite honestly,
> if you don't, that's even more troubling than your removal of a whole
> Wikipedia.

What's troubling to me is that people have told me over and over how
bad I am for doing that, that I shouldn'tve done it, that it was
wrong, etc etc etc ad nauseam. I fail to see how one single person can
believe that if they repeat to me basically the same things said
before, many of them seemingly in contradiction to and without
refutation or explicit dissent towards things I have already said.

While the volume of mail from the ML alone about this is annoying in
and of itself, it certainly doesn't help that I have had been
reprimanded similarly by just about everybody in #wikipedia whether it
was gently or harshly, often more than once; I have also had (minor)
issues in other chatrooms and on Wikipedia itself.

What I'm saying here is not that it's unreasonable for people to
respond to an action they find objectionable, but rather that if it's
been said already, you don't need to say it again because I heard it
the first time and quite frankly if this never stops I will probably
end up turning into a bad user (If you think I'm a bad user now, you
wouldn't want to imagine me in that situation). If you want to turn
this into a quickpoll/lynchmob, then fine, but if you're going to turn
it into a tell-him-exactly-what-he-did-wrong-in-2-or-more-paragraphs
fest, please leave me out as I've already heard it all.


More information about the Wikipedia-l mailing list