The Signpost

Emily Gould, subject of Emily Gould
Sheila Heti, subject of Sheila Heti
File:Chris kraus.jpg
Chris Kraus, subject of Chris Kraus
File:Kyocera VP-210 CP+ 2011 (Jimmy Wales).jpg
Jimmy Wales, subject of an interview
Justin Knapp, subject of a profile
Congressman Steve King, subject of vandalism
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  • Photographers can release their pictures even if they've been published elsewhere. Well, not if the publishing contract was for something like "all rights" or "exclusive rights". Then it's up to the owner of the rights. Subjects can also send a selfie. Not just a poor phone selfie; a good one if they make one. Of course they must release all rights, or anyway those rights that would make the picture salable if retained. Jim.henderson (talk) 00:24, 24 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • I had to smile at the comment "the 33-year-old Wikipedian is more active on the site than literally anyone else — including members of the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation’s paid staff." As usual, outsiders -- and especially the press, including such high-end outlets as the Washington Post -- have no idea how this place works. It's probably to Wikipedia's benefit to keep it that way. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 01:19, 24 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • If a notable person wants the world – including Wikipedia – to use a high-quality photograph of them, what is preventing them from releasing just one small photo with a free license? Really, would that kill them commercially? Or is it that they don't know how to do it? A PR rep could put the photo on the subject's official website with an appropriate license, alert us with a note on the article talk page, and an editor would go pick up the photo. Wdchk (talk) 02:23, 24 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • What we need is a simple, straight forward, plain English world-wide applicable explanation of what "releasing a photo on a free licence" really means in terms of people's images. Can that photo be used by others to assume endorsement? Can it be used on clothing or bags or posters or other commercial activities? Can it be put into someone else's book? If that can be explained, then we could approach sporting teams, publicists, non-US governments (who's work isn't automatically on a public domain basis) to donate photos, and everyone knows what that really means. Does such a guide exist already? The-Pope (talk) 03:25, 24 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    • You bring up useful examples of real-world questions that would need to be addressed concerning re-use of images of identifiable people; these questions serve as a reminder that not only the copyright needs to be considered, but also the personality rights of the subject, i.e. the person(s) shown may have rights that legally restrict certain re-uses unless those depicted consent to such uses. Your suggested "simple, straight forward, plain English world-wide applicable explanation" on the face of it sounds like a good idea – although in reality it might not be so simple. I say this because it seems that such an explanation would need to be a combination of a summary of the license (e.g. CC BY-SA 4.0) together with COM:PEOPLE – with all its wrinkles, including country-specific provisions. Wdchk (talk) 04:41, 26 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Or they could just upload it themselves (after getting an account). The problem definitely is that they don't know how to do it. We do need to educate their agents. I like Jim's idea of having them send in selfies. Maybe we could have a special "Send a selfie" day for anybody who has an article. Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:45, 24 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    • I'm not sure I would encourage people to upload photos of themselves (or of others where they have a COI). It might be confusing if we effectively say, "OK to upload your own photo and create a file description, but we don't want you to edit your own article." (WP:AUTO) Wdchk (talk) 04:50, 26 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • I appreciate the novelists' frustration with Wikipedia but it is not unique to Wikipedia. Every time I've had personal knowledge of an issue, then read an article in the newspaper about it, I've found problems. Any summary of a person's life is going to have distortions and misunderstandings or at least legitimate differences of opinion. How hard is it to change an article about yourself in Encyclopædia Britannica or the New York Times? What is amazing about Wikipedia is that if these people make an effort, we are willing to listen.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  04:03, 25 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
i actually got Dorothea_Lasky to send in a selfie. but in general, the publishing industry has not drunk the wiki license kool-aid. they prefer pay to play, and the quality argument is cogent; there less than 5 quality author's photographers on commons, and shankbone has retired. Duckduckstop (talk) 15:48, 25 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • SchreiberBike, neither Encyclopædia Britannica nor the New York Times will allow any troll or crank to write their material, with no personal accountability, publishing it immediately to the world with no checking whatsoever. That is arguably "unique to Wikipedia". Further, if one does complain to them, it's very rare that will result anyone there trying to spite the aggrieved party in retaliation (granted, it's conceivable - but again, the most unprofessional member of the entire organization is not on equal footing with the most professional one). It is not that there are no good people in Wikipedia and no bad people elsewhere. Rather, Wikipedia gives extraordinary power to the unaccountable, then relies on everyone to keep them in check (including the injured party). That is not justified by any argument along the lines that good and bad exist everywhere. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 11:21, 26 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Emily Gould

OMG I just love her comments and can sooooo sympathize! Of course I have spoken with many subjects of Wikipedia articles who have asked me to brush up theirs and out of curiosity I always take a look, but more often than not I feel just as helpless as she does in many cases, despite all of my experience as an editor. When it comes to BLP's I just feel lost. I often leave the keyboard with an unsatisfied feeling of "this is the best I can do, and it's still really lousy". I wish there was a genius website where I could post similar views but from the "experienced Wikipedia editor" side of things. Of course she is quite correct about the criticism-career ratio, and I often create articles on the fly because I watched something on TV (though not "Larry King Live"). My moment of caring about those on-the-fly articles is disproportionate to the articles I created from one of my lists of my main hobby, which is 17th-century art, so I will pretty much ignore those on my watchlist (unless I have personally interacted with the subject, in which case I feel a mild sense of responsibility, but not much more than that). I despair again and again behind my computer screen when I see that my photograph taken with a nervous hand of some notable person or place or artwork is really just not up to snuff. I will go ahead and upload it anyway under the motto "a terrible photo is better than none" but I am always plotting ways to get a better one. Thanks for posting these perspectives, because it shows how dismally unsatisfactory our current set of tools for editors really is. If I had wrote the Emily Gould page and read that feedback just now, of course I would respond. The problem is that I never receive any feedback except from bots or other Wikipedians. As for Sheila Heti's comments about nationality and amplification of minor quotes, I can only concur that those are both very valid arguments that everyone suffers from on Wikipedia, both alive and dead. All I can say is that she's right, but it's thanks to our deeply nationalistic system that many articles get created and watched. It's the artists who (Heaven forbid!) travel to foreign countries or start speaking and writing in foreign languages that are doomed to oblivion entirely. Jane (talk) 07:18, 24 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]

This was the edit that did it, Jane: made eight years ago, by a red-linked account named Xsk8luv69 that only ever edited three articles, two of which were women's biographies to which the editor added unflattering content from TV interviews. (The third article was for a chain of frozen yogurt stores; again the editor added derogatory information.) Previously, the Gould article looked fairly bland and short, but factual. It looks much like something that might have been added by Gould herself, or a friend or colleague. But one negative person was enough to blight that BLP for 8 years (and the material is still there today). It's why Wikipedia makes such a good revenge platform, because no matter how ridiculously lopsided a biography may be, someone will always resist deletion, claiming "it's sourced material". See Wikipedia:Anonymous dirt accretion method of biography writing. Andreas JN466 09:00, 25 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Interesting! It's time we had a Wikipedia article about revenge editing, because it happens so often. Speaking with subjects of BLP's I have noticed it is information like what you just uncovered which helps the person the most. Often they don't really care about Wikipedia at all and are worried it's something their ex did or some disgruntled employee. When I show them the information I found it often comes as a huge relief, because they know better than I do where the edit is coming from and that answers their biggest concerns (usually). I guess tru revenge editing is something that can only live in the margins of Wikipedia where most people never go. Articles with lots of eyes on them tend to catch that stuff as it happens and it won't last for years and years like this. Jane (talk) 10:01, 25 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Working for free

I am delighted to see this topic covered so well, in such a large mainstream publication.

The Knowledge Graph panel is part of Google's strategy to keep users on Google's own, ad-rich pages, and to increase ad clicks. It is a factor in the vast increase in revenue Google has been able to achieve: Google announced $17.7bn in revenue for the 2nd quarter of this year, averaging close to $200 million a day. (Bing follows the same strategy with its Satori panel.)

Now, if – for the sake of argument – 1/365th of Google's ad revenue were due to its being able to show Wikimedia content that keeps users on Google pages a little longer, and trains them to look at the right hand side of the page where the ads are, then Google might each year want to pay one day's revenue towards the Wikimedia community. Just out of the kindness of their hearts, right? As a thank you.

To date there have been about 2.5 billion edits to Wikimedia sites, of which probably around 2 billion to the various Wikipedias.

So, for a very, very rough calculation – if, once a year, Google donated one day's revenue to the Wikimedia community, how much would that be per edit? About 10 cents. I have made about 55,000 edits to Wikipedias, so that would translate to about $5,500 for me, annually. Yay!!

But hang on ... maybe I've totally overestimated the advertising value of the Knowledge Graph panel, or the contribution of Wikipedia, Commons and Wikidata to its content. Let's assume I have overestimated it by a factor of ten. That would still mean that I should get about $5,500, once every ten years. As luck would have it, I will have been on Wikipedia for that long in the not too distant future. Yay!!!!

Again, this is what Wikipedians would get if Google set aside the advertising revenue of *one day per decade* to say thank you to Wikipedians. We haven't even mentioned Facebook and Bing (which has a nifty timeline in its Satori panel, copying Wikipedia sentences that mention years). Andreas JN466 13:29, 24 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]

@Tomayac: how much is Google willing to reward Wikipedians? EllenCT (talk) 13:59, 24 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Steve King

The original article was very skewed and lacked a world view. King is american. No other country would recognize his historey He is not German or Irish or any other European citizen. It's clear from the sources that the issue being discussed is politicians that have national roots but not language. Two fluent spanish speakers were highlighted. The sources make it clear that the language connection is significant. King may have descendants from Spain or Germany but neither country nor any citizens would consider him German or spanish. He's American and that is obviouse to 1st generation, Spanish speaking immigrants. That point was made in the reliable sources when they cited two, non-hispaniv but fluent speakers. --DHeyward (talk) 08:03, 25 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]

I genuinely don't understand your point. Obviously King is American, as is Julian Castro. Nothing I wrote says they were not. Gamaliel (talk) 14:18, 25 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Your source doesn't emphasize the ethnic differences as you did, it emphasizes the language and connections. Your source [1] discussing Castro lacking fluency in Spanish doesn't make the point that many Latino's don't speak Spanish (as you synth'd into the article), rather it makes the point that fluent Spanish speakers may connect better than non-Spanish speakers. Ted Cruz and Castro were prominent non-Spanish speaking Latino's while Tim Kane and Jeb Bush were noted as fluent in Spanish. Castro was specifically compared with Kane as potential Clinton running mates. Your description of "bizarre" and your repetition of the vandalism is disappointing, and not neutral. You would not, for example, have repeated the vandalism that occurred on Brianna Wu's page regarding speculation about her past. My copyedit took nothing away from your point about King but it was balanced and reflected what the sources said. The ethnicity of King misses the point entirely as only in America would he be described as "German" or "Irish." Certainly he wouldn't be considered "German" or "Irish" in either of those countries, he would be considered "American." Castro identifies as Latino which was what made the tweet offensive but the speculation the sources made was about how well he connects to a large segment of new Latino voters that speak Spanish and consider Spanish fluency to be culturally significant. Compare your version next to mine and ask yourself which is more neutral. Instead of Castro, imagine it was tweet about George Zimmerman's Latino identity by, say Charles Schumer and then Schumer had his page vandalized. Written differently? Compare your version to mine and ask which is more neutral and accurate (and not a BLP violation). I don't think it's even close and I find your version to be both mocking and derisive in an unnecessary manner. That's blog material, not WP material --DHeyward (talk) 16:08, 25 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
You appear to be confused about the definition of "vandalism" as it applies to Wikipedia. WP:NOTVAND may be helpful. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 17:29, 25 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
The Signpost is a journalistic outlet, so my piece was a synthesis and analysis of numerous sources I consulted, including a number of other news pieces and tweets responding to King. I saw no need to link to all of them except the ones directly related to Wikipedia or the ones that I judged particularly relevant. This is typically how I approach longer ITM stories. "Bizarre" is an accurate characterization of the tweet, consistent with the reaction of most people to it. It is perfectly reasonable for a journalist to make an observation like that. With both King and Castro, I identified them not as Irish or Mexican or whatever, but of Irish or Mexican descent. This is obviously not the same as calling them something other than American. Speculation about the motives behind King's tweet is just that, speculation, and delving even further into speculation about Castro's possible vice-presidential bid or comparing him to Tim Kaine is too far away from what my story was actually about, King's tweet and how the reactions to it affected Wikipedia. Repeating the vandalism should be avoided when may be seen as particularly offensive or potentially damaging, as in the case of irresponsible speculation regarding Brianna Wu. There's nothing offensive or damaging about being called Hispanic, unless you think BLP extends to how a few hypothetical racist Iowa voters might potentially react to King's ethnicity. Gamaliel (talk) 17:46, 25 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Short Brigade Harvester Boris you appear to be misinformed about the substance of the Steve King article which is about the vandalism to his page. Please read both Gamaliel's and my version and they both call the edits "vandalism." That is not disputed. Repeating the substance of the vandalism is not needed in the Signpost article, however. "Steve King's article was vandalized." is sufficient. "Steve King's article was vandalized by repeatedly inserting..." is not. To highlight the problem, I use a figure Gamaliel is more sympathetic with: Brianna Wu. "Brianna Wu's page was vandalized." vs. "Brianna Wu's page was vandalized by repeatedly inserting...." Do you really want to say the act to those pages isn't vandalism? Do you really want to defend repeating the vandalism? Even the substitution of the picture - is it okay to detail it for King and Wu when pictures were substituted and what pictures they used? This is not encyclopedia Dramatica and signpost doesn't have a license to violate basoc WP principles of BLP, BEANS, etc. --DHeyward (talk) 18:18, 25 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
@Gamaliel: it was your source that speculated about Spanish fluency and you are misrepresenting the context of that source. The context wasn't whether American Latino's spoke Spanish, it was about whether connecting with Latino voters was hindered by Spanish fluency. The speculation by your source was that the tweet was related to whether Castro connected with Latino voters. Portraying that source as supporting a simplistic view that King associated being Latino was connected to speaking Spanish is a misrepresentation of that source which made no such claim. They did say that two non-Latino candidates (Kane and Bush) might connect better than two Latino candidates (Cruz and Castro). That source did not support your thesis that King was making a claim that being Latino hinged on Spanish fluency (and your synthed bit about Spanish fluency in the Latino cmmunity). Rather that source supported speculation that speaking Spanish was more beneficial to attracting Latino voters than simply being Latino. That was what they speculated, yet you attributed an entirely different narrative and improperly attributed it to that source. Again, read my version side by side with yours and ask yourself which is more neutral. As for your claim of offensiveness, there is nothing offensive with a number of labels and we use them all the time. Are you going to argue that saying a statement like "Caitlyn Jenner is a transgender woman" is offensive because of some transphobic Iowa voters? We don't make value judgements for BLP violations. We simply say "false and unsourced." Had vandals inserted that Castro was not Latino based on King's tweets, we would revert that as well based on BLP. Not being Latino is also not offensive, but we don't allow inclusion/exclusion without sources. The reason King's tweet was offensive was because he excluded Castro from the Latino community, not because he included himself in it. But I think you'd agree that not being Latino is not negative, yet that tweet was offensive because of the exclusion it implied. --DHeyward (talk) 18:18, 25 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I am not misrepresenting any source because the words and analysis are mine, not the source's. I've pulled certain information from certain sources, but because I did not write my story in exactly the same way as a single one of many sources that I used for that story does not amount to a misrepresentation of one particular source. Speaking of misrepresentation, readers should know the context of why you keep brining up the transgender issue, because some time ago I redacted talk page comments of yours regarding inappropriate speculation discussion that a particular BLP was transgender. It's time to WP:DROPTHESTICK. Gamaliel (talk) 20:16, 25 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I have no knowledge of you redacting any comments of mine regarding any speculation as I have never speculated. I know you have redacted comments and I have done the same. I use the transgender analogy only because you seem to understand it but are lacking the ability to extend that critical thinking beyond that particular box. As I said, the offense of this tweet was implying Castro was not Latino, not that King was. The sources speculate the reason for making the tweet was based on whether or not Castro connected to Latino voters due to his lack of Spanish language and that other Spanish-speaking non-Latino's may be more appealing. Your implication that King tied being Latino to speaking Spanish, though, is a mischaracterization of sources and arguably a BLP violation. King's tweet may be offensive to Castro by implying he is not Latino but the sources did not interpret the tweet in this way and certainly not the broad way you did. --DHeyward (talk) 02:21, 26 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I have substituted the word "discussion" for "speculation". I disagree with your assessment of the tweet and the articles about the tweet, and discussing the matter in a slightly different way from the way you interpret one particular news article about the tweet is hardly a "mischaracterization" or a BLP violation. I believe I have written about the tweet and its context fully and fairly in a manner appropriate to the journalistic mission of the Signpost. Gamaliel (talk) 03:14, 26 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Quoting Jimbo

Is this accurate? Shouldn't it be "so on"?

"'I'll just make up a fake ID and pretend to be someone' and so one ..."— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 20:41, 27 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]


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