Dispatches: April Fools mainpage featured article

It's almost that time of year. In a tradition that dates back to medieval times, on April 1 we celebrate April Fools' Day. Some media outlets follow suit by printing hoax articles – probably the best known of which was the BBC's spaghetti tree hoax.

We are again approaching April Fools. In past years at Wikipedia, there has been quite a debate as to how to handle April Fools. Raul654 first proposed an April Fools' Day featured article in March 2005, stipulating that the article must first pass FAC like any other daily featured article; because a featured article must be factually accurate, this means no made up articles. No article was written and featured in time for April Fools' Day 2005; instead, the main page was filled with hoaxes: Bishonen's infamous European toilet paper holder article as the FA, and Britannica was taking over Wikimedia in the news. A number of complaints followed, such as on wikien-l where Mav and Danny complained that as a site with credibility issues, we were doing ourselves a disservice.

On April Fools 2006 we featured Spoo as an unusual article, and in 2007 we featured George Washington (inventor) – written primarily by Pharos. The latter appeared on the main page written as if it were a hoax; everything in the description, however, was entirely true. Because of the success, and the fact that we really did have many people confused, this is the path we are going to follow in future years, if we have articles that allow it.

Ideas for an article that could be brought to featured status in time for April 1, 2008 can be culled from unusual articles, which offers a potential list including Ima Hogg, Mozart's Leck mich im Arsch (translated as "Kiss my ass"; literally: "Lick me in the ass"), Casu marzu and Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116.

Did you know?

In 2006 and 2007, the main page Did you know? section ran hooks for pages that were odd enough to seem like April Fools' jokes, but were actually referenced articles. In order to select these gems, the usual requirement for new material was waived. Selected articles included:

Suggestions discussed for 2008 include snail racing, Halley's Comet, and Wiener sausages.

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    Main page DYK

    I hope this is suitable? DurovaCharge! 17:48, 28 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

    I've never been involved at DYK, but I'm sure others will tweak it if needed. Can you link to DYK somewhere? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:49, 28 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

    I have a couple ideas for DYKs (new articles):

    --The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 20:57, 23 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]

    Hmmmmmm.... this indigestible, sprawling article is actually very good starting material. I would love to do a fork of this article and give it a more humorous title, such as Apparition of deities in foodstuffs :-) --The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 21:04, 23 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]

    2009 April Fool's Day FA

    < Copied from User talk:SandyGeorgia, to save for next year>

    This article is awesome! Nishkid64 (Make articles, not wikidrama) 19:07, 24 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

    Nonsense, someone needs to get Vampire pumpkins and watermelons onto the main page... – iridescent 19:09, 24 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]
    (ec) So get on it now, and get it FAd in advance :-) I can assure you I won't have the energy next year to do what we did this year, and you'll have to deal with The Fat Man, who has his eye on that maggot cheese article. Next year, we should put out the April Fools' Dispatch early, and encourage multiple FA submissions so we have multiple choices to present to Raul. (Iridescent, are you trying to put Moni out of work in the Edit summary dep't?) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:12, 24 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]
    I'm just pleased to have an edit summary that isn't "Re: your comments on Huggle" or "Re: Your comments on Keeper's talk page" for once... – iridescent 19:20, 24 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]
    Anyone up for getting April Fool's Day featured? giggy (:O) 23:25, 24 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]
    This is my idea for April Fool's Day featured article. I was stunned it had an article. --Moni3 (talk) 20:15, 25 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]
    I like Hurricane Katrina (1981). It'll confuse the heck out of people when they hear Hurricane Katrina hit Cuba during the 1981 season. I don't know why I have this page on my watchlist, but this thread caught my eye. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 20:30, 25 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]
    I'll be working on Dancing mania over the summer (per Nishkid's suggestion). · AndonicO Engage. 22:22, 27 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]


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