User talk:Chris troutman

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SMcCandlish's On the Radar

Radar Mac.png  On the Radar:  An Occasional Newsletter on Wikipedia's Challenges

— "Comments?" links go to OtR's own talk page, not those of the original news-item sources.
According to WashPo, WMF has tapped a South African nonprofit executive and lawyer to be its new executive director. While I've been saying for a decade that WMF has to stop hiring software- and online-services-industry people to run an NGO, and hire NGO people, this one – Maryana Iskander – is rather cagey and bureaucratic, or comes off that way in the interview.
  • First up is a belief that the WMF Universal Code of Conduct (drafted in supposed consulation with all WMF editorial communities but largely ignoring all their feedback) is the key to diversifying Wikipedia's editorial pool. (And as always in mainstream media, "Wikipedia" means The entire UCC is basically a restatement of some key WP (and Commons, and Wiktionary) policies plus some WMF "vision" hand-waving. It's questionably reasonable to expect a largely redundant document, which was created for projects that lack sufficient policy development, and which has and will continue to have little impact on en.Wikipedia, to cause a sea change in who volunteers to edit here. That takes real-world outreach on a major scale. One would think a nonprofit CEO would already get that.
  • Next up, Iskander makes rather unclear reference to section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This content-liability shield has been much in the US news lately, as a target of the Republican Party in its feud with "big tech", especially social media sites deplatforming far-right writers for anti-democracy propaganda and misinformation about the public health crisis. Iskander is correct that WMF isn't in a danger position in this, but the article strongly implies that Iskander and WMF are keenly interested and involved. Even when prompted, Iskander does not meaningfully elaborate, and just offers an education-is-important dodge. So, we need more actual information on what WMF is doing with regard to efforts to revise section 230.
  • Moving on, Iskander says something alarming: "Wikipedia has seen a huge amount of increased traffic around covid-19, [so has] worked on a very productive partnership with the World Health Organization to provide additional credibility to that work." That's hard to distinguish from a statement that WHO has editorial plants who WP:OWN the relevant articles. But it's cause for concern whatever the truth is. WMF should not be "partnering" with any external body to influence the encyclopedia's content (especially not one that has taken as many credibility hits as the WHO).
  • There's something potentially interesting in here, though devils could reside in the details: "a lot of the basic access issues might technically look different [between SA and US], but how people understand what information is available to them – how they access it – those issues exist everywhere". What is this going to mean on a practical level? Is MOS:ACCESS going to be better-enforced? Is Simple English Wikipedia going to be reintegrated into the main site as alternative articles? Is the mobile version of the site going to stop dropping features? Is WP:GLAM going to turn into a bigger effort? There are a hundred ways (sensible and otherwise) this statement could be made to affect policy, funding, and the end "product" (though one suspects nothing important will change for the better unless the internal culture of WMF's organizational leadership also changes in a major way, such as by diversifying the board of directors, toward more academics and nonprofit people instead of tech-industry rich people).
In short, I have hopes that Iskander's NGO background will make for a better exec. dir. fit than that last two we've had, but right out of the gate she's saying strange, too-vague, and even troubling things. And nothing in the interview actually suggests anything like a fix for WP's editorial diversity problem, which the headline suggested was going to be the focus.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  15:48, 15 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"It is possible to detect eerie echoes of the confessional state of yore", and today's far left is recycling techniques from fun times like the Inquisition." I've been saying this for years, and the article is a good summary of how "left-wing" and "leftist" do not always align with "liberal". It's an observation too few mainstream writers have been willing to make, but the truth of it explains a great deal of disruptive PoV-pushing on Wikipedia. Illiberal left-wing activism is often harder to detect, and harder for the average editor to publicly resist, than far-right extremism, which we tend to recognize then delete on sight.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  18:51, 10 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
An Information Research survey shows that people's editing motivation is often "their desire to change the views of society", and also that they view Wikipedia as a "social media site". This isn't news to us, and the material doesn't have a huge statistical sample, but I would bet real money that it will be re-confirmed by later studies. This has systemic bias, neutrality, and conflict of interest implications (also not news). What we don't really think much about it is what this means for Wikipedia long-term, as everyone with an agenda becomes more aware that they can try to sneakily leverage Wikipedia articles to boost their side of any story, especially after the Trump 2016 US presidential campaign proved that powerful results can pulled off by organized manipulation of "social media" sites (whether WP really is one or not is irrelevant if the public thinks it is).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  23:28, 1 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The 2017 Community Wishlist Survey has closed; the results are here, and as disappointing as in previous years. This process is fundamentally flawed, for numerous reasons:
  • Only the top-ten proposals will get any resources devoted to them, no matter how many there are, or how urgent or important they are.
  • It's a straight-vote, canvassing-allowed, no-rationale-needed, short-term "popularity contest" – normal Wikimedian consensus-building is thwarted.
  • This setup encourages people to vote for the 10 things they want most, then vote against every other proposal even if they agree with it. Proposals cannot build support over time.
  • There's no "leveling of the playing field" between categories. Important proposals of narrower interest (e.g. to admins, or to technical people) never pass, only the lowest-common-denominator ones do – and the most-canvassed ones.
  • Too few Wikimedians even know the survey exists or when it is open, which greatly compounds the skew caused by focused canvassing – the intentional spikes actually determine the outcome.
I've drafted some suggestions for making it work better.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  18:08, 19 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you leave a new message on this page, I will reply on this page unless you ask me to reply elsewhere.

Today's Events

March 23, 2023

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Adminship Anniversary
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10! 💎[edit]

Happy Wiki Birthday![edit]

Brachy08 (Never Gonna Give You Up, Never Gonna Let You Down) 00:52, 2 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Invitation to join the Ten Year Society[edit]

Ten Year Society.svg

Dear Chris troutman,

I'd like to extend a cordial invitation to you to join the Ten Year Society, an informal group for editors who've been participating in the Wikipedia project for ten years or more. ​

Best regards, ~ ToBeFree (talk) 18:46, 2 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A barnstar for you![edit]

Tireless Contributor Barnstar Hires.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
As promised 😊 ~ ToBeFree (talk) 18:46, 2 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@ToBeFree: Thanks so much for all this! I had entirely forgotten about our exchange months ago and I was pretty sure I wouldn't have gotten the Ten Year invite but you were true to your word. This made my day and helps me feel better about this project as my interest has really dropped off. Rest assured that you did your bit for editor retention today. Chris Troutman (talk) 02:39, 3 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
😊 ~ ToBeFree (talk) 06:55, 3 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

WikiCup 2023 March newsletter[edit]

So ends the first round of the 2023 WikiCup. Everyone with a positive score moved on to Round 2, with 54 contestants qualifying. The top scorers in Round 1 were:

  • Unlimitedlead with 1205 points, a WikiCup newcomer, led the field with two featured articles on historical figures and several featured article candidate reviews.
  • New York (state) Epicgenius was in second place with 789 points; a seasoned WikiCup competitor he specialises in buildings and locations in New York.
  • Germany FrB.TG was in third place with 625 points, garnered from a featured article on a filmmaker which qualified for an impressive number of bonus points.
  • United States TheJoebro64, another WikiCup newcomer, came next with 600 points gained from two featured articles on video games.
  • Byzantine Empire Iazyges was in fifth place with 532 points, from two featured articles on classical history.

The top sixteen contestants at the end of Round 1 had all scored over 300 points; these included Berkelland LunaEatsTuna, Thebiguglyalien, Sammi Brie, New England Trainsandotherthings, England Lee Vilenski, Indonesia Juxlos, Unexpectedlydian, Washington (state) SounderBruce, Wales Kosack, BennyOnTheLoose and Chicago PCN02WPS. It was a high-scoring start to the competition.

These contestants, like all the others, now have to start again from scratch. The first round finished on February 26. Remember that any content promoted after that date but before the start of Round 2 can be claimed in Round 2. Some contestants made claims before the new submissions pages were set up, and they will need to resubmit them. Invitations for collaborative writing efforts or any other discussion of potentially interesting work is always welcome on the WikiCup talk page. Remember, if two or more WikiCup competitors have done significant work on an article, all can claim points. If you are concerned that your nomination—whether it is at good article candidates, a featured process, or anywhere else—will not receive the necessary reviews, please list it on Wikipedia:WikiCup/Reviews Needed.

If you want to help out with the WikiCup, please do your bit to keep down the review backlogs! Questions are welcome on Wikipedia talk:WikiCup, and the judges are reachable on their talk pages or by email. Good luck! If you wish to start or stop receiving this newsletter, please feel free to add or remove yourself from Wikipedia:WikiCup/Newsletter/Send. Sturmvogel 66 and Cwmhiraeth. MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 19:36, 2 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hi @Chris troutman, I have created this, which incorporates the text from your UBX; I hope that's alright with you.

I thought it might be funny, copying for the CopyVio topicon. 1AmNobody24 (talk) 12:56, 16 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@1AmNobody24: That's fine. The image is not mine as it is not copyright although you could thank Xander89 for uploading it originally. Chris Troutman (talk) 02:15, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]