WikiAlpha:Community portal

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Basic rules, please follow

  1. Make sure you capitalize names properly, use proper spacing, and use proper punctuation. Do not use ALL CAPS. Capitalize people's last names. Ali Khan should not be Ali khan or ALI KHAN.
  2. Do not create duplicate pages. For example, create only one page for Ali Khan, not two pages for Ali khan and ALI KHAN. This does not help with SEO and creates unnecessary workload for volunteer editors working to maintain WikiAlpha.
  3. Do not completely replace existing pages and templates with your own test content, whether they are Bangladeshi Instagram stars or Indian marketing companies. Experiment using your own user page or talk page.
  4. Do not blank pages that others have created without explaining why.
  5. Be respectful of server capacities. Do not make too many small edits to one page, or since they take up storage space and bandwidth when each unique historical version is saved. Do not upload too many large photos, and make sure they are your own work. This is because the bills are completely paid for by volunteers with no commercial interests, such as Richard.

Notability on WikiAlpha is not an issue, but please be neat and meticulous. Enjoy editing WikiAlpha.

WritingSnowman (talk) 16:23, 9 February 2022 (UTC)

User:WritingSnowman, you make several excellent points here. Thanks for taking the time to draft this section! Geo Swan (talk) 02:18, 27 September 2022 (UTC)

Attracting editors with non-commercial interests

As of now, it appears that the only users here on WikiAlpha who regularly create articles on non-commercial topics are User:Geo Swan, User:Mathewignash, and me.

Paid commercial topics are not a problem at all, since the founding principle of WikiAlpha is its universal inclusion policy. Many of the companies and entrepreneurs mentioned on here are quite interesting, but they would have been speedily deleted on Wikipedia. Curiously, more than half of them are Bangladeshi social media influencers.

However, to be more rounded, wiki encyclopedias should have both commercial and non-commercial interests to balance each other out, in order to maintain a certain level of diversity. Of course, the two are not mutually exclusive.

What can we do to attract more editors who tend to have non-commercial interests? WritingSnowman (talk) 05:49, 13 May 2021 (UTC)

WritingSnowman, I too would like to encourage more contributions of independent articles. No ideas as to how to do so come to mind. Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 22:21, 8 June 2021 (UTC)
And don't forget about me too! GnosticScribe (talk) 08:34, 26 November 2021 (UTC)
Thank you guys for all the hard work! I'm learning and look forward to helping! MCurtisMcCoy (talk)

WikiAlpha celebrates 10 years

Congratulations to WikiAlpha for successfully being online for 10 years! While Wikipedia celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, we are celebrating our 10th. In an online world where websites appear and disappear all within a few years, this is an impressive achievement. Kudos to Richard for consistently maintaining WikiAlpha, to Govind for helping it get started, MathewWignash and Geo Swan for continually and consistently updating and maintaining WikiAlpha, and all the editors on this wiki who have made us who we are today.

As a friendly, inclusive online space that radically departs from Wikipedia's environment, we will remain committed to being radically free, uncensored, and open. Keep on editing folks! WritingSnowman (talk) 16:33, 21 August 2021 (UTC)

P.S. WikiAlpha has recently had a lot of new articles on Bangladeshi entertainers. This trend started sometime in late 2019 or 2020. Wonder how this had happened! Sooner or later, we might have to rename ourselves WikiBangla. WritingSnowman (talk) 16:33, 21 August 2021 (UTC)
Alexa Site Info shows that nearly 50% of WikiAlpha's site traffic comes from Bangladesh, and just over 80% is from South Asia. WritingSnowman (talk) 20:47, 26 August 2021 (UTC)
@User:WritingSnowman that is because some people started writing articles in exchange for money as a marketing businees. They are running paid advertisements for this on Facebook for that. Ref: [Facebook Ad post Link]. WyseMan (talk) 11:55, 29 September 2021 (UTC)
That's OK as long as they don't mess up the site by doing things like copying and pasting into Template:Recent pages and doing things that would cause bandwidth problems, like copying and pasting unnecessarily large chunks of text. And oftentimes, their writing is semi-legible at best. WritingSnowman (talk) 19:30, 8 November 2021 (UTC)

What's up with the active users list?

The Active Users list has no members, and says it's a cached version of the page from six years ago. Any reason why? Metroplex (talk) 07:40, 5 December 2021 (UTC)

There seemed to have been a problem with the creation of new articles...

There was an outage of about 10-20 hours, about ten days ago. When the system came back up there was something wrong with putting the name of an article that did not yet exist into the search box. Normally, once you clicked search, one of your option would be to edit the file.

Okay, it is working again. Yah!

During the time it was out I see a couple of contributors got around this by editing articles I wrote: Zaky Mallah and Barbara Foss, then rewriting them into brand new articles, on new topics, discarding the content I had worked hard on. They then gave those articles new names, reflecting the new content. Geo Swan (talk) 00:13, 3 March 2022 (UTC)

It might be because WikiAlpha is getting a lot more traffic. Please see my message on your talk page. WritingSnowman (talk) 09:47, 3 March 2022 (UTC)

Recent outages

There was an outage, of approximately 20 hours, about a month ago. I don't know what caused it.

There was another outage, from March 10th to March 16th. I don't know what caused it, either.

Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 16:53, 16 March 2022 (UTC)

Exceeding bandwidth or server failures? Please ask Richard about it. That's why I had voiced my concerns about the long-term future of this wiki; do we have enough resources to maintain a rapidly growing project? WritingSnowman (talk) 18:55, 26 March 2022 (UTC)

Vandalism and disruptive editing from a particular user

Barkatofficial (talkcontribs) is consistently involved in disruptive editing. They're consistently blanking a biography page. I tried to create it under another name but they blanked that page too. Is there a policy on WikiAlpha to ban editors involved in this kind of edit warring/disruptive editing?

I would request to please look into this.


Which article? I am assuming Tyler King? Also, please sign your name with four tildes (~~~~). WritingSnowman (talk) 20:24, 13 May 2022 (UTC)

There has been a lot of recent vandalism

There has been a lot of recent vandalism. I wonder why? Geo Swan (talk) 01:38, 27 September 2022 (UTC)

As a wiki grows, it will inevitably have to deal with vandalism. I've seen the same thing happen on many other Miraheze and Fandom wikis. We definitely have to prepare the necessary tools and manpower to deal with this over the coming years. WritingSnowman (talk) 14:09, 2 October 2022 (UTC)
Agreed! --SilvaFoxx (talk) 20:06, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

Does the CSD copyright paragraph apply to articles ported from wikipedia, where the wikipedia contributors were not acknowledged...

I am {{ping}}ing User:Richard, User:Mathewignash and User:WritingSnowman, but others opinions are welcome too.

I used to rely on the Save Article button to take care of putting a list of wikipedia contributors on the talk pages of articles I ported. This feature doesn't work anymore, or, at least, it doesn't work, for me. So I manually copy that information when I port an article.

I am not a lawyer, but I think that, technically, it is a legal obligation on the person doing the copying, to acknowledge contributions made under GPL, Creative Commons, etc.

While working on cleaning up the recent vandal I have come across articles that had clearly been copied from the wikipedia, where no effort had been made to acknowledge the wikipedia contributors, and which were missing the {{wp-cca}} tag.

What, if anything, should we do about articles ported from the wikipedia, without proper attribution? Does CSD's paragraph on copyright violations apply to those articles?

I can see an argument being made that obligation to acknowledge the original wikipedia contributors lay on the person who ported the content, so I should "let sleeping dogs lie". Alternatively, it could be argued that recognition of missing acknowledgements should be seen as a serious concern, but not one requiring speedy deletion. Since the people who copied the material were newbies, who honestly didn't understand the licensing requirements, they should be given a longish grace period between when a note is left on their user talk page, and when the unacknowledged port is deleted. A month? Three months?

If I thought I could figure out why the bot that put the wikipedia contributors was no longer working, I'd volunteer to try to fix it. But, I don't know how to do that.

If the savearticlebot could be fixed, maybe it could be modified to work, retroactively? If it were handed the URLs of the wikipedia version of an article, and the wikialpha version, could it copy the revision history from the wikipedia - but stop at the date of creation of the wikialpha version?

Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 01:38, 27 September 2022 (UTC)

I would personally err on the side of caution and apply the CC license to CSD articles. WritingSnowman (talk) 14:05, 2 October 2022 (UTC)

10,000 articles!

WikiAlpha now has 10,000 articles. Congratulations! Thank you all for your contributions. WritingSnowman (talk) 14:07, 2 October 2022 (UTC)

Request for opinions on Template:Not authorized

I've noticed what seemed like a recent increase in vandalism. I've spent more time countering vandalism in the last month than I had in my entire time as an administrator here, in the years prior.

In doing so, I have realized that a lot of petty vandalism has slipped under the radar. So, I am going to try to pay more attention.

In the last few days I have started to block individuals for one month, after I see them blank a page they didn't start, or similar kind of vandalism - if they only did it once.

I've left a note on over half a dozen user talk pages telling individuals that they can get me to lift their one month block if they explain they understood what they did wrong.

I think this is common enough that the note could be in a template. My first draft is in Template:Not authorized. I am going to ping User:Mathewignash, User:Richard, User:WritingSnowman and User:SilvaFoxx for their opinions.

I took a mild crack at individuals who claim they are the greatest rapper in the history of rapping in Bangladesh. A surprising number of articles make this claim, or one just like it, and these seem to be among the most likely articles to be vandalized, and, sadly, some of the authors of these articles seem to be among the most likely to engage in vandalism. Should I drop that crack?

Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 00:56, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

I agree. As for all the "greatest rappers", just drop the crack. WritingSnowman (talk) 08:13, 15 November 2022 (UTC)

New templates

Above I asked for opinions on a new template I created, Template:Not authorized, looking for feedback on it.

I just created a second new template, Template:Bad WP port. I intended it to follow and supplement {{db-copyright}}, when the page in question is an improperly ported wikipedia article.

I won't start a new section if I start a third, fourth, etc, new template. Instead I will list them here, unless they are especially significant

Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 15:19, 4 November 2022 (UTC)

  • I added Template:Don't move articles to the Deleted namespace. Lots of new contributors have seen other new contributors move articles they want deleted to the Deleted namespace, and assume that is the way to request deletion. The template is an attempt to explain why that is wrong, and how they should use {{db-requested}} instead.
In general I request new contributors use the tag, rather than assuming deletion is what they want. Geo Swan (talk) 03:22, 8 November 2022 (UTC)

So, are unreferenced promotional articles allowed...

I was recently asked, on User talk:Geo Swan, which deletion tags were available for unreferenced promotional articles.

I think the consensus among long time contributors here is that unreferenced articles are allowed here, promotional articles are allowed here, so long as they do not constitute "spam", and that, therefore, unreferenced promotional articles are allowed.

I started to reply at User talk:Geo Swan, and decided instead to have my reply link here.

Wikialpha has more lenient inclusion rules than the wikipedia. You can find all the current deletion tags described in Wikialpha:CSD (ie criteria for speedy deletion...) Those tags are: {{Db-spam}}, {{Db-recreate}}, {{Db-requested}}, {{Db-depend}}, {{Db-copyright|Source}}, {{Db-language}}.
I will use my discretion, and delete unambiguous, blatant attack pages.
But, since promotional articles are not on that list, I think they are allowed. I put references on all the articles I write, nevertheless I think CSD implies unreferenced articles, indeed personal essays, are also allowed.
A year or two ago there was an article that triggered the concern of one good faith contributor, who thought, under scrutiny, that article looked like a hoax. Since it wasn't spam, ie, the same thing, over and over, and it wasn't an attack article, I said I thought it was permitted under CSD. To me it seemed more like an art experiment. And the creator later decided to call for its deletion.
While there is no mechanism for anyone to call for the deletion of articles that trigger their concern, I think we are definitely allowed to politely voice our concerns on the article's talk page.
What if we know something about the subject of an article that we think is unduly promotional, or even inaccurate? In general I would feel a lot happier if people who contribute material that contradicts what the first guy put, did so while citing good references.
There have been some instances where someone started an article, and a second person came along and changed the key (unreferenced) assertions the first person had put in the article, replacing them with something like "Joe Blow is a well-known liar...". Alternatively, we have seen people replace the body of an article with something like "Joe Blow is a simple illiterate goat herder...". Both approaches are ugly, and likely to waste my time, and the time of the good faith person who started the article, and I am prepared to block people for that kind of activity.
So far, I don't remember an instance of anyone modifying an article in a way that changed what it said, while citing good references.
Wikipedia has a policy called OWN. It states wikipedia contributors don't own their favourite pages, and shouldn't edit war to restore their favourite versions, even if they started the article. That doesn't mean a good faith contributor can't argue for restoring their favourite version. But, it does mean even the article creator can't keep arguing to restore their favourite version, if they try to make their case for it, and fail to convince most other respondents.
Wikialpha has no OWN policy. I am interested in other people's opinions on this. I kind of think that since Wikialpha:CSD allows unreferenced promotional articles, it implies a de-facto OWN for the article creator.
  1. I think if a second person, or multiple additional people, come along, and try to replace an article good faith written in good faith with an article about someone else with the same name, we should restore the first guy's version. If the second guy's version, about a namesake, seems to be written in good faith, he or she should have created an article under a disambiguated name.
  2. What if a second person edits an unreferenced article, and adds more unreferenced material, that contradicts what the first guy put?
  3. If a second person edits an unreferenced article, and adds material, that contradicts what the first guy put, but their material IS referenced, that would considerably complicate things. In theory the referenced material SHOULD take precedence over the unreferenced material. However, a determined vandal could make up bogus references, or could cite real articles which, under close examination, would turn out to be irrelevant.
The wikipedia has, or used to have, multiple volunteers who sat looking at new articles, or new material, and gave it a sanity check review. I recently started paying more attention to vandalism here, and I am shocked at how much vandalism has flown under the radar. I have found it very time consuming.
I don't think any of us long time contributors has the time to vet the new material being contributed here. I suspect that even if all us long time contributors agreed to devote two hours a week to vetting new material, we could not properly vet that new material. Vetting that new material would be much more time consuming if there were many contributors who actually used references.
These repeatedly vandalized articles may only be read by a small handful of people, like the subject of the article, and their immediate friends and enemies - which may mean they are not worth the effort of trying to fix. Geo Swan (talk) 02:37, 8 November 2022 (UTC)
I agree that WikiAlpha is not Wikipedia. I do not think it is appropriate at all to delete any of these articles unless it's obviously childish vandalism or libel. We're here to make good use of freely crowdsourced information, not to pick on notability and references like Wikipedia bureaucrats. WritingSnowman (talk) 22:07, 14 November 2022 (UTC)

Honouring wikipedia intellectual property rights

I don't know how many people are porting wikipedia articles here, without honouring wikipedia intellectual property rights.

I saw User:Avace Khan had ported Dare and Lovely, without attribution. I left them User talk:Avace Khan#A heads-up.

Then I noticed they had also ported Urdu. Wow. It is an old article, with 3,336 distinct contributors.

Is it a copyright violation to port it here, without listing all 3,336 contributors? Should it be deleted, for not honouring their contributions? Geo Swan (talk) 02:31, 20 November 2022 (UTC)

How often is wikialpha prowled by google's robots?

A google search for produced 29,000 hits today.

I am disappointed at how long it is taking for the articles I started to show up. I started an article on Daria Dugina, before the wikipedia covered her. But google only recently cached that article. For reasons that seem ill-advised to me the Wikipedia did not have a stand-alone article on Naomi Biden. She is not a person known for one event, and has received copious coverage. Yes, that coverage always mentions her grandfather, but large portions of those articles cover her, in her own right. I really hoped general readers would find the wikialpha article, since there was no wikipedia article. But google didn't search wikialpha to find it before her wedding today. Searches for her will dwindle following a big spike this week. Geo Swan (talk) 21:58, 28 November 2022 (UTC)