User talk:Philippe (WMF)

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My time at the WMF ends today, 9/15/2015. If you need to reach me for a non-work purpose, you can contact me at User talk:Philippe. For work related issues, please see Maggie. I've enjoyed my time here. All best, PB Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 22:51, 15 September 2015 (UTC)


m:Special:Contributions/PL-KMN m:Special:Contributions/Chputh m:Special:Contributions/PK-LMN What's this, is it ever reversible? Chputch (talk) 20:44, 11 December 2016 (UTC)

Starting anew

Archiving happened again. :-) Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 00:01, 3 January 2015 (UTC)


I saw your unveiled reference to our fraternity on ANI. Please be more circumspect. In other news, I have been trying to read The Illuminatus! Trilogy (an Ent favorite, I believe), but gave up some 30 or 40 pages in. Perhaps I'm too far away from San Francisco to really, you know, dig it. Happy days, Drmies (talk) 17:27, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Clearly, I forgot the first rule of the Illuminati. I'll try to be better. You keep slugging away at the trilogy though! Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 00:13, 7 December 2014 (UTC)


Cornflower blue Yogo sapphire.jpg

word cloud
Thank you, Philippe, for serving WMF, giving galaxies of barnstars, for fighting vandalism and nonsense ("We could really use your help to create new content, but ..."), for reminding us of the colourful word cloud and for clear words of reaching out, - repeating: you are an awesome Wikipedian (4 March 2010)!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:55, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Colliding Tori Fusion Reactor - (CTFR)

Could you restore and instantly re-delete Colliding Tori Fusion Reactor - (CTFR) please? With my normal admin rights, I see no deletion log entry at all (as if it just vanished into deletionland by itself), and there's no way to know that it was a WP:OFFICE-related issue; I discovered it only because it's linked at WP:OFFICE. Had I wandered to it from somewhere else, e.g. a link in a page history, I would have been thoroughly confused; you could prevent this kind of confusion with a simple re-deletion summary such as "Per WP:OFFICE" or "Office action". Nyttend (talk) 20:01, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I can't do that. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 17:31, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
Would creating a page with dummy content (e.g. "a") then deleting it be a better solution? MER-C 11:50, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
As far as I care, yes. I just want the page to have a WP:OFFICE deletion rationale that's added by someone from WMF staff, so that the situation's clear. Nyttend (talk) 02:06, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

Best wishes

Hi Philippe. Just slipping in here to quietly wish you all the best for 2015 and that the year will treat you personally better. Thanks for all you do. Regards, Chris (Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 16:25, 1 January 2015 (UTC)).

Chris, thank you for the well wishes. I hope that you have a wonderful New Year, and extend my best wishes to you and yours. :) Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 17:32, 1 January 2015 (UTC)


Is there any reason this would be a problem? Thanks. Go Phightins! 00:14, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

Nope, seems perfectly reasonable to me. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 01:15, 9 January 2015 (UTC)


Sunandclouds.svg Sunshine!
Hello Philippe (WMF)! Pine has given you a bit of sunshine to brighten your day! Sunshine promotes WikiLove and hopefully it has made your day better. Spread the sunshine by adding {{subst:User:Meaghan/Sunshine}} to someone else's talk page, whether it be someone you have had disagreements with in the past or a good friend. In addition, you can spread the sunshine to anyone who visits your userpage and/or talk page by adding {{User:Meaghan/Sunshine icon}}. Happy editing! Pine 21:23, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

WikiProject Articles for creation/Participants

Hello Philippe, is there any particular reason why your WMF account is listed on Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation/Participants? Thanks, Harej (talk) 02:22, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Not that I'm aware of. :-) Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 03:37, 19 January 2015 (UTC)


Hello, Philippe (WMF). Please check your email; you've got mail!
It may take a few minutes from the time the email is sent for it to show up in your inbox. You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{You've got mail}} or {{ygm}} template.
--Pine 02:08, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Off-wiki harassment, on-wiki threats

Hi, Philippe. Several users are being harassed on and off wiki and threatened with further off-wiki harassment by a user I have now indeffed, AnnalesSchool (talk · contribs). See their talkpage, especially the stuff I've removed. Last night they posted through an IP (which I have also blocked, but what's the use) on my page, making even stronger threats ("I have decided to expose and name (with links) these miscreants on the ComandoSupremo site", "Also more blogs may start to appear denouncing such editors and articles until you admin guys start to realize what's really going on"). Also promising ongoing Wikipedia disruption together with his "supporters": "The problems of sockpuppery, vandalism, having to protect pages, and a whole raft of other problems will continue." Is there anything WMF can do? This guy runs a site, compare for instance this page. There, he doesn't yet name the users who have disobliged him, but that's what he plans to do next (and me, no doubt, but I don't care), per the latest on my page. Not sure if he's got access to any of their real names or details. I wouldn't suggest trying to get ComandoSupremo site shut down just for being abusive, as such, but when it's being used to re-inforce on-wiki threats and chilling effects, it's gone a bit far. See also this ANI thread. I won't leave their plans for revving up the harassment and disruption (until admins see it their way) up on my page any longer, but you can see it in the history. Regards, Bishonen | talk 08:04, 16 May 2015 (UTC).

Offer of help

OK, Philippe, you offered to help... (See, I do have a sense of humor!) Would you have a look at the talk page for CSI: Cyber, discussion "McNicol leaving". It started with a reliability discussion of sources reporting rumors he's leaving, but it's deteriorated (to put it mildly) into a squabbling match among three editors who don't have a year's experience among them. They don't understand WP:RS or WP:VERIFY, two of them are basing their edits on a gossip site reporting rumors, and they are now at the level of nursing grudges and throwing personal insults at one another. I've absented myself from the mess, since reasonable discussion isn't possible, but I think they need a firm hand to get them back on track, and perhaps to hat some of the uglier stuff. --Drmargi (talk) 21:34, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Question about site CSS

Hi for 3,5 years we have now had this in the site CSS. Do you remember what that was for and if it can be removed perhaps ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 16:28, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Yep, it was for the March 2011 update on the strategy project. It can come out, and I'm doing so. Thanks! Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 18:42, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Hello again...

My God it's been a long time since I've been in touch with you, mostly before all my problems started. I just thought I'd direct you to this since I'm allowed to edit again. It doesn't do much, but it does clear a lot of the past out of my head. If you want to get in touch, feel free. What does the Fish say? | Woof! 13:54, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Excellent. It's so good to have you back, my friend. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 18:45, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

SOPA-like issue

Since you were involved in Wikipedia:SOPA from the WMF perspective, I wonder if the foundation is aware of commons: and Wikipedia:Freedom of Panorama 2015 issues? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 01:56, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

I am. Romaine called my attention to it last week. There's a group working to figure out what our response could/should be, but I know that significant effort is going into this, both at the WMF, at the movement affiliates, and in Brussels. As I hear more, if it's not publicly posted, I'll do my best to make it so. Thank you for checking. I share your concern. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 07:17, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Category:Wikimedia Foundation staff

WMF and harassment

Hi Philippe, we're kind of going round in circles at Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Lightbreather/Proposed_decision with regard to the (potential) role of the WMF in matters relating to harassment. I'm sure you are aware of the specifics of the case but the discussion is in large part really about the meta issue - for example, see Mr Potto's section.

I know that it is a tricky subject but it might help if the WMF did at least say something, somewhere about the wider issues. Obviously, it would be inappropriate to talk about the actual case. - Sitush (talk) 11:53, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, I'm writing now. I'll get something up. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 17:43, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
Sorry about the revert. I misclicked while trying to thank you for it! Thryduulf (talk) 18:52, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, thanks very much, Philippe. I'm sorry to have burdened you like this. - Sitush (talk) 19:15, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
It's absolutely not a burden. Communicating out is a major part of our job, and regrettably it's not always the part that the WMF (or me, personally) get right. I appreciated hte pointer. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 20:52, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

@Doug Weller: @Roger Davies: @Thryduulf: Just continuing the discussion from Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Lightbreather/Proposed_decision#Huldra.27s_section:

  • 1: semi-protect all articles under the Israel/Palestine: my impression is that when this has been discussed in the past, then those of us who actually edit in the area supports it (from "both sides of the divide"), as we are all sick to the bone of dealing with vandalism. Those who do not support it (the majority....) are those who do not have to deal with it; that is; the rest, "the encyclopaedia anyone can edit"-people.
  • 2: user-names: Banning bad-name account after they are made is not enough: they should not have been able to make those accounts in the first place. There should be an absolute ban on making a new username which includes, say "Zero0000", or "Nishidani" or "Nableezy", "Pluto2012" or "Huldra". If we want to make an alternative account, (say, I want User:Huldra_while_travelling), we should be directed to a steward, who would be given the right to circumvent the ban. (And yes; I can see Thryduulf´s point: we cannot always know how it will effect other languages...but I would rather ban many names too many, than one too little. (Incidentally, the name of this account, which edited the article on the then Norwegian PM, means something *extremely offensive* in Norwegian; please suppress it.)
  • 3: protected SUL-accounts: yes, I know each project is “independent”, but with SUL-account this has become a real problem. Though English Wikipedia is my "home" base, there are 4 languages (each with its own Wikipedia) that I speak better than English: I would like to edit those, but dread the abuse I would receive there if G discovered it.
  • 4: email: this is something we have asked for years, and that WMF has not done anything about it, is one of the reasons why I have become utterly disillusioned with WMF. Presently we have 3 options: A: Enable email from other users B: Send me copies of emails I send to other users C: Email me when a page or file on my watchlist is changed. I cannot have A enabled, as I get hundreds of death/rape threats from Grawp. Instead, when I need to email another user (like here), I PM them, giving them my email-address, so then they can contact me off wiki. "White-listing" users is one possibility which should be looked into, or, my preference: we should be able to determine that we only received email from those editors who had a certain number of legitimate edits, say 100, or 500. (These days Grawp-accounts virtually never reaches those number of edits before they are banned.)
  • Finally: it is well-known which University the "Runtshit"-vandal is associated with (it is on the Runtshit-page); has the WMF tried to contact the University in question to get help to stop the abuse? The abuse has come from University IPs, and during local office hours; it should be in their interest to put a stop to it. Huldra (talk) 21:36, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
A couple of quick replies. Re usernames, yes banning them after the fact is not ideal but it's better than nothing. A certain level of check exists for username similarity (e.g. I couldn't register user:Hu1dra or user:Нuldra (the first letter is Cyrillic) for example), but this is designed for spoofing prevention (see also Wikipedia:Doppelgänger accounts) not harassment prevention - at least at present. While your idea works for usernames that are distinctive, it would not scale well - for example user:Chris would prevent user:Chris McKenna being registered unnecessarily. It should be possible to have harassment prevention checks but (a) they will not be perfect, and (b) the algorithms will need careful thought and discussion. I suspect that's best discussed on meta (as it will have to affect all wikis) and then raised as a Phabricator task.
Regarding the university vandal, I have no idea what the WMF has or has not done regarding that vandal (they're not one I've had any personal encounters with) but while you would think and hope that it would be in the university's interest to put a stop to it many institutions/employers sadly either don't understand or don't care about such things. I don't really know how US universities work, but at some British universities the students union can be quite influential - if that's the case at this university has anyone tried reaching out them? Thryduulf (talk) 22:51, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree that the naming question, (and probably the SUL-protection, too) should be best raised at meta, as they concerns all projects. And no harassment prevention checks would be perfect, but it would be better than none. It so happen that those targeted by G. mostly have rather distinct user-names. (We know we edit in a mine-field, so few of us would use our own names). There are also other vandals that use the same "modus operandi", but they target mostly vandal-fighters.
I`ll @RolandR:, as he is the person who is being stalked by Runtshit. Runtshit operates mostly out of University of Haifa (=Israel) and sometimes out of Central European University (=Hungary), according to the page on him. I have no idea as to how universities in Hungary or Israel would react, or if their students have any power. But if Runtshit is employed by one (or both) Universities, then it really cannot be in these Universities interest that he spend their resources and office-time on being Wikipedia´s most prolific vandal. My question to WMF is: have you tried contacting these Universities? Huldra (talk) 23:34, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I think many people are aware of who is behind the Runtshit harassment. BLP precludes me from naming names, but there is certainly an academic based at both of these universities, who has a long and documented record of internet stalking and harassment of people (particularly Jews) who do not share his far-right Zionist views. I would have thought that Wikipedia could threaten to name the person and the universities if steps are not taken to restrain him. RolandR (talk) 23:57, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
In the interests of not damaging any potential actions against a user, the WMF does not comment on investigations that we've undertaken, generally speaking. We've definitely looked into the Runtshit situation. Generally speaking, when we think about enforcement mechanisms, there are four main ways to create change: technical, social, legal, and law enforcement. Technically speaking, this situation is not going to be easily solvable without a huge amount of collateral damage and massive range blocks - and even then, it's trivial to get past them, for a determined vandal. Eliminating technical enforcement possibilities means that we're left with social, legal, and law enforcement as the remaining means for creating change. Social efforts (community blocks, reaching out to Universities, censures, etc) have been tried here and were largely ineffective. I'm not free to comment on the remaining two options (in legal areas, I am frequently subject to confidentiality requirements, and stating publicly that someone has been referred to law enforcement (or not) is problematic for a number of reasons, including possibly opening the WMF or myself up to defamation claims, and potentially falling afoul of local or global policies, such as BLP). I can tell you that we do not, in any way, consider this situation to be "closed", and continue to be engaged, even if such engagement is not highly visible to the community on-wiki. I'm very aware of the behavior that Roland and others have had to deal with here, and hope that they know that I, personally, and the WMF are committed to creating a space that's free of such anti-social (vile, and horrible!) behavior, and regret that anyone is subjected to it on-wiki. That's not behavior that I agree with, condone, or want to have in any area where serious work is done (or, indeed in any area where there's NOT serious work being done). People can effectively disagree without resorting to the despicable tactics employed by Runtshit, and I see absolutely no defensible moral position in employing those tactics. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 00:26, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
Side note: Huldra, thank you for reporting that username. Philippe passed it on to the oversight team and we've suppressed it. In the future if stuff like this comes up, you can drop a note to us directly here; our response time is usually pretty fast. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 00:52, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
Side note: Fluffernutter, thank you for suppressing it, editing in the I/P area I´m wading neck-deep in muck every day, so I sort of forgot it. Google translate works pretty well on that user name, though I, (as a native speaker) would have used the c-word, rather than the p-word. And in my part of the world: that is even more offensive than in the US.
Anyway, you might have deleted the history, too. Please just take my word on it; the former PM of Norway, present Secretary General of NATO, was never known as the "leader of the Sex,porn,fucking hard anal magazin", Cheers, Huldra (talk) 03:03, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
It appears that has now been done too. :) Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 07:37, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
Sorry about that, I wandered off to bed and forgot to clean up after my cleaning up. Thanks, rest-of-the-OS-team, for picking up behind me :)A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 12:59, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
Sigh, nope: it is still in the history, that he was known as the "leader of the Sex,porn,fucking hard anal magazin", ---Huldra (talk) 15:00, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
We're totally knocking it out of the park today *headdesk*. Thanks for double-checking, Huldra; I think I've finished the nuking now. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 15:47, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, it is gone now, Huldra (talk) 16:45, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Philippe, a letter from the Foundation to the president of the university would probably have an effect. I once wrote to the university's abuse team when that person had edited logged out. They said there was a glitch in the logs during the time the edit was made, so they couldn't trace it, and although that sounded like an odd coincidence they did seem helpful and said they were willing to help stop it. They said their logs were normally available for 14 days. Sarah (talk) 01:03, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Philippe: Thanks for the above, but what about concrete issues such as email abuse? I have seen general discussions on the issue, and they evaporate as people start raising objections like what if a professor makes a new account and needs to send ten emails to each of a hundred students who are doing great work, therefore the email system has to be wide open. The WMF needs to take charge and fix the problem with some serious resourcing. The hypothetical professor will have to ask an admin for a new user right, one that allows emailing (but which is still subject to rate limiting). New accounts who attempt to send an email should see a special message telling them that email is only available after a qualifying period and number of edits, except that they can take certain steps to request email access if needed. If more people were affected by email abuse, people would riot until it was fixed—only the WMF can do what is obviously needed, namely impose a technical solution. In addition to the handful of editors targeted by email bombs, the community would benefit because many of us don't like contributing towards a project which does not take care of its members. Johnuniq (talk) 09:48, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
I raised email throttling/restrictions on the Functionaries list this morning, before I saw the post above. It's time to do this. Doug Weller (talk) 10:53, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
I was very involved in the discussions when this was last raised. It then went from 200/day for everyone to, i think 5/day for new users and 20/day for confirmed people. See settings. Further throttling is obviously needed. At this point, whitelisting should probably also be considered so you only get email from people you have pre-approved. This is useful for younger users and it also gets round the theoretical professor communicating with their class issue, (though I don't understand why they can't just use ordinary email).  Roger Davies talk 11:04, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
Changing the throttle settings is fairly trivial - it's a config change. I'd suggest opening a ticket in Phabricator for it. @Jalexander-WMF: can probably help with this, if needed. Whitelisting is new work, I believe, but a phabricator ticket would be a good place to start there, too. I will raise internally as well, of course. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 11:17, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
No, please don't drop it into phab where it becomes a dev responsibility, and just one more wouldn't it be nice blue-sky request. Some policy decisions are required, backed by WMF allocation of serious developer effort. Obviously dev input regarding what would work is essential, but deciding what to do should not be the job of the contributors who happen to find a phab ticket. Tweaking the existing throttle options is unlikely to be enough, although it is something that could be done quickly. I don't recall the details, but I have seen plausible scenarios where new users need to send a few emails, but LTA abusers can create ten accounts and send a hundred emails in a few minutes—the only thing that will stop that is the special message I mentioned above whereby a new user has no email access unless granted a special right by public request. Johnuniq (talk) 11:41, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
A phab ticket is a good start, but it would be helpful if some WMF attention was directed to making sure that the developer resources are available to do something about this quickly. Whitelisting sounds good in theory (and I maintain that a lot of the conflict issues would evaporate if we could somehow integrate an "ignore" button like other websites have), but users can already turn email off and if you know a person enough that you're willing to accept email from them, you're probably at the point where regular email is an option. Lankiveil (speak to me) 11:54, 18 July 2015 (UTC).
Johnuniq is right. This is something that absolutely should not be "[discussed on Meta and then] raised as a Phabricator task", because this is by now a well-understood synonym for "We don't really see any pressing need to do anything about this and nothing will happen". Commit, and give a date by when it will be done. Andreas JN466 13:00, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
Agree with the above. Though user-names and SUL-issues should probably be discussed at meta (as they concerns Wikipedias in all languages), I don´t see why the email-issue has to. I could not have emailed another user (like here), *if* that other user had also been a target by Gr. And there is absolutely no legitimate reason why any editor should send hundreds of emails to another editor during just a few minutes, but that is what Gr. does. And Wikipedia gives him the opportunity to do so. After wading through and deleting hundreds of death & rape threats in your inbox, any user would turn the "A: Enable email from other users"-function off.
What you need is a system that ensure: A: any completely new editor cannot send emails to other users; B: no user can send tens or hundreds of emails to *the same* address in any one day.
All in all, the discussion here, both for the victim of the Runtshit-vandal and for victims of the Grawp-vandal is pretty depressing. The way I read it: WMF cannot, or will not, do anything meaningful to stop the harassment. Not that that is very surprising to me. I might not agree with what Lightbreather did, but I 100% understand were she is coming from. obviously did not. Lightbreather did the unthinkable: helped name the man harassing her, when Wikipedia did nothing to stop him. Wikipedia does nothing to stop the harasser of RolandR, or myself. We *know* the identities of the harassers, but if we did the same as Lightbreather, we would be "toast", too. Do you understand how I am absolutely fuming with anger, as I write this? Huldra (talk) 16:45, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
What would also be helpful is if we could stop certain people from pinging us, rather than having to turn off notifications completely. I've been wondering how often Lightbreather was pinged by the men who were pursuing her. With email, it would be ideal if we had several options: accept emails from everyone; accept from editors with (say) over 500 edits; accept only from editors we pre-approve. Sarah (talk) 17:33, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
@Huldra: I do understand how you are fuming anger. The problem is that I'm fuming with frustration at the repeated accusations that arbcom didn't understand. Lightbreather was subject to two off-wiki harassers, we know who one of them is (TKoP) and they were banned - the strongest action we can take. We do not know who the other harasser is. We know who it is alleged to be, but a majority of arbitrators and functionaries are not convinced there is enough evidence to say for certain it is them and at least some who think it probably is not them. There is a very strong policy regarding outing on wiki because of the damage caused when accusations are incorrect. Lightbreather was not banned because she was the victim of harassment - she was banned because she failed to abide by multiple policies over a long period of time, despite being offered many chances to become a productive editor. Nobody gets a free pass to harm or hinder the encyclopaedia just because they are the victim of harassment. Yes, more can be done about on-wiki harassment but that has to come from the community as a whole not just arbcom - we are not a police force and cannot act as one. As for the WMF, just because a person's identity is known does not mean that effective action can always be taken - technical measures are not foolproof and the legal system is not always effective. Thryduulf (talk) 02:27, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Thryduulf, from July 2014, which is when I began watching the Lightbreather situation, there was no significant period in which she was free of the hounding. When others began noticing it, a couple of those responsible switched to apparently being helpful to her instead, but the point for them was to maintain the engagement even though she had asked that it stop. LB tried to explain that unwanted help was contact too. The ArbCom case was so topsy-turvy that her efforts to get help regarding the second person you referred to above were used as evidence against her.
These boundary violations and dominance displays would have been red flags to a community trained in how to spot harassment. The problem on Wikipedia is that the community doesn't know how to recognize and stop it early on. The rest of the world has left us behind in terms of developing definitions and policies. The question is what can we do about it, and is the Foundation willing to help? I'm pinging Djembayz because she has written very eloquently about these issues. Djembayz, don't feel you have to comment; I just want to make sure you're aware of the discussion. Sarah (talk) 03:21, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the Foundation is willing to help. As I said above, I've got staff at Wikimania trying to discover what the role for us in helping is. We're convening discussions. We'll continue to invest in this, and when we figure out the best ways to help, we'll evaluate doing those as well. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 03:38, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, Philippe, that's good to hear. I would like to see the Foundation employ a harassment expert, someone with a proven track record elsewhere, who could point out how to identify it and nip it in the bud.
So much time is wasted arguing about what it is. It's almost always left to the person at the centre of it to explain, and by then they're drowning in it and not at all coherent. Editors radically underestimate the emotional effect harassment has on the target. The latter's increasingly poor behaviour is used as evidence that there is no harassment, and that the problem was the target all along. It's a form of gaslighting. We need someone authoritative who can say: "this is what's happening; this is what we call it; here's how to handle it." Sarah (talk) 03:49, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Agree with this completely: "Editors radically underestimate the emotional effect harassment has on the target"; and not only editors, but members too, it seems. And I have seen speech tolerated here, which would never have been tolerated in a work-place (at least not in my part of the world). Just an example: I was stunned that the person making this comment (on Jimbo Wales´s talk-page, no less) was not blocked for it. He was blocked later, for unrelated offences (including harassing Jimbo Wales, I believe). And that brings me to another point; WMF, or WMF-people have openly discussed possible actions against certain banned users, including legal action, and contacting employer. The thing is: I have only seen WMF do these things agains banned editors who for some reason have stepped on WMF´s toes, figuratively speaking. Never have I seen such actions against those who threaten/harass us "common users." Coincidence? Hardly.
About one of my other point; this is how the history looks on my meta-talk-page at the moment (I have asked them to wipe it and semi-protect it.) Huldra (talk) 11:56, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Just because you don't see the WMF taking action does not necessarily mean that no action has been taken, and as they (for very good reasons) do not give details of what actions they do take you (and I) will never be able to tell the difference between "no action taken", "action is in progress" and "action was taken but it didn't work". As for Jimbo's talk page, everyone (who isn't blocked or banned) has a wide latitude for how they wish their talk page to be run and Jimbo desires that his talk page be a place that allows a very wide range of (relevant) free expression. There are limits (and that probably crossed them) and the community is (slowly) getting better at agreeing what they are and enforcing them, so your point would be better made with examples from more recently than nearly 3½ years ago. Thryduulf (talk) 12:53, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
I stopped watching Jimbo´s take-page about that time.....and notice that the remark was not to Jimbo, but to a grown up woman. I find it extremely offensive, and an ugly example of intimidation. And of course I do not know everything WMF has done against Runtshit or Grawp, but I absolutely know what effect it has had, and that is: exactly zero. Huldra (talk) 13:14, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
@Thryduulf: when you have received a letter (not an email) threatening you of death (by poisoning) you will be in a situation of making comments about what WMF did or did not even less that WMF's inaction is -from the point of view of the victim- responsible of that situation by not taking action when it was possible to take some.
Huldra points out right: "I have only seen WMF do these things agains banned editors who for some reason have stepped on WMF´s toes, figuratively speaking. Never have I seen such actions against those who threaten/harass us "common users." Coincidence? Hardly."
Dare to be paid to edit wikipedia, dare to threathen to sue a sysop, dare to write something blaming WMF on wikipedia and you will have [big] problems. But don't hesitate to attack or defame or wp:out an editor on a blog: WMF will not move the little finger. And if stating that you are antisemite on wikipedia has as consequence that you are targetted by mad people, that's your mess, not WMF's.
Pluto2012 (talk) 14:38, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Thryduulf, you wrote above to Huldra: "your point would be better made with examples from more recently than nearly 3½ years ago."

I can give you an example from last month. I had been taking part in the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Lightbreather/Proposed decision, until an IP posted a sexual insult about me elsewhere, then left a comment on that page. I stopped posting there because of it. The sexual comment was oversighted, but his post to that page (he had made only two edits) was allowed to stand. You knew about the oversighted remark, because LB challenged you over not removing his post. Even though the Arbs had been hatting other comments, including from women who were making good points, his post was deemed valuable for some reason. GorillaWarfare removed it five days later. You either didn't notice that I had left the discussion because of it or didn't mind.

Women are silenced on Wikipedia in ways that lots of editors don't see. Sometimes it's because of overtly sexual comments, mostly because of aggression or weirdness. Most of it goes unchallenged, because women usually don't speak about it, and lots of men don't see it or don't realize how damaging it is. Sarah (talk) 15:25, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

Innate lack of interest in people different from oneself, people one can't identify with. The male reasoning goes, "This has never happened to me. Therefore it can't be a problem." End of thought. Attention moves to something else.
The silence in response to your comment is arguably a symptom of the malaise. If no one else says it, I'll say it: that IP's comment should have been deleted promptly from the PD talk page, given their behaviour towards you, and by a male arbitrator, not the only female arbitrator.
This is where the unconscious double standard becomes glaring. Crappy behaviour from males is tolerated to the n-th degree, while someone like Lightbreather is subjected to all the humiliation a website can muster, and then shown the door.
Time and again, men will say in discussions here that gender doesn't matter, that Wikipedians are genderless beings, and that making any special allowances for women would "divide" the community, destroying a paradisiac state of innocence. It's just blindness, congenital lack of empathy. The community is already divided – women are regularly reminded of their gender in unpleasant ways, while men are not: they have numbers on their side.
I am not even saying that men are innately worse than women. Much of it is just thoughtlessness. Imagine a website numerically dominated by women for example (many websites are), with women behaving in ways that make the few men who turn up uncomfortable (including ganging up on them). I could imagine women on such a website thinking, "Why should we change to accommodate men? We like it like this. It's cosy." Andreas JN466 15:24, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

Sorry for late answer. I hope this will not break the threading. You wrote: "Social efforts (community blocks, reaching out to [organisation], censures, etc) have been tried here and were largely ineffective." →‎ Wait. Are you claiming that currently, all IP address of the organisation where this guy operate (as employee, subcontractor, trainee or whatewer) are blocked (including from registered users) for 1 or 2 years from editing english-language Wikipedia, and nobody care in this organisation? Visite fortuitement prolongée (talk) 19:40, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

No, I'm claiming nothing of the type. I couldn't begin to tell you whether all IPs have been blocked - the WMF doesn't block IPs, though we provide the tools that do. So I don't track that sort of thing. I do know that in the past, community members have stated that they contacted the institution without a great deal of success. Unfortunately, I can't disclose what actions the WMF has taken here, because we don't comment on cases such as this one, to avoid disruption to any potential investigations. You also write "and nobody cares in this organization?" I'm not sure which organization you refer to there... if you refer to the WMF, of course we care. That's why I'm still here, discussing this, and have detailed multiple staff members to work on issues similar. If you mean the educational institution, I couldn't begin to speculate. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 21:25, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for you answer. Is it possible that you could inform us what steps (if any) WMF have taken against University of Haifa (=Israel) or Central European University (=Hungary), wrt to the Runtshitl vandal? And what steps, (if any) you have taken against the CSU Long Beach wrt the JarlaxleArtemis vandal? By reports, Runtshit is employed by the two first Universities, while JarlaxleArtemis is a student at that last. And from what Sarah/SlimVirgin says: she gets a response from the University ............while the WMF does not? I find this difficult to understand. And excuse me if I sound a bit grumpy; I have been spending much of my wiki-day running around meta, telling (thankfully very sympathetic Stewards) which user-pages they need to protect/ rev-del. My point 3: protected SUL-accounts; again? Huldra (talk) 23:54, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Hi Huldra. I know it's very frustrating.... but I refer you to my note of 00:26, 18 July 2015, above. As a matter of policy, the Wikimedia Foundation does not comment upon potential, ongoing, or past investigations, in order to protect the rights and safety of all involved and to avoid prejudicing those investigations. In the comment that I reference above (00:26, 18 July 2015), I lay out the most that I'm free to say about those. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 00:00, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Ok, thank you. But of those 4 items I started out with; at least 3 could be fixed by WMF (2: protecting user-names, 3: protected SUL-accounts, 4: email) Could you please give me a date for when that is fixed? (We have already been waiting for years for the WMF to do something about #4) (And I suspect WMF could do something about #1, too, if it really wanted; it is not as if WMF has slavishly followed community consensus always).
I realise that there are many, many who are harassed worse that me; typically those who fight vandals (and who I am extremely grateful to.) The thing is; I did not come to Wikipedia to fight vandals; I came here to write the history on places in Israel/Palestine. And if you look at my contributions, that is what I mainly do, and I so enjoy doing. But typically, yesterday, I planned to write about the Crusader-history of Sepphoris, from 2 great sources I had sniffed out. I never got to do that. I had to spend my time instead on meta, on a problem which would not have existed *if* you had global semi-protect of Sul-accounts in place. So now there is "only" 845 other Wikimedia project where Grawp can vandalise my user-page......Sigh. Please, give me a Month, or a Year, by which this will be fixed. Or tell me straight that it will never be fixed. Huldra (talk) 20:43, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

Chelsea 2015-16 Season Page


There hasn't been any updates on the Chelsea season page since it was locked to admins only. Since it seems consensus was reached on what to display, could you unlock it for users to make changes?

Blocking tools

You wrote here that "our blocking tools suck... we had far more advanced tooling [at AOL] than we do currently as part of MediaWiki".

I'm curious -- what kind of tools did you have back then? Do Phabricator tickets exist for these? Obviously there are some things that are straight out of the question for various reasons, e.g. using Flash local storage to store a cookie handed out by a block. Speaking of which, Evercookie (minus Flash, Java and Silverlight) and phab:T5233 may be useful against these kinds of users. MER-C 13:56, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Many of the tools that we used then would be wildly inappropriate for use in a community like ours - they'd be considered massive breaches of our privacy standards. Evercookie is interesting....
Frankly, I'm in a WP:BEANS situation wrt blocking tools. Not really sure that we want to have that discussion on my talk page, because I suspect there are those who would love the opportunity to try out some breaching experiments again. But I don't mean to say that the creation of new blocking tools is going to be easy: it's not. It's a complex problem, and it's going to need some very creative thinking. Ideas like the implementation that you mention (Evercookie lite....) could be a useful tool to have. I'd love to see any other ideas that people might have for tools that could be useful here. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 15:21, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Any chance of getting phab:T5233 moved up the TODO list? I've raised the above ticket with the Community Tech team but I don't know how long it'll be before the code is deployed. Another thing we might try is throttling account creation and email sending by cookie as well as IP address (not sure if this is worth opening a ticket or not). MER-C 13:53, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
That's a rather nifty approach to things. I see that you've got my boss already commenting on the phabricator ticket, so I'll huddle with him and see if we can't come up with some ideas for how to get some attention to that task. I would think that we should have one of our security guys look at it too - I'll ping him. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 14:04, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I've created phab:T106930 for account creation and email throttling by cookie. Digging through Phabricator, I found phab:T7672 which was WONTFIXed at some point when we still used Bugzilla. This should be resurrected and moved up the TODO list as well. Things need to be seen to be done as well as done behind the scenes -- even if additional technical measures prove ineffective -- and the above thread gives the impression that they aren't. MER-C 03:57, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

There is an interesting post about encouraging vandalism (copied here). The essence of the idea is to totally DENY significant vandals by hiding areas like WP:LTA and never mentioning them in public. Some very large political changes would be needed (probably too hard to achieve), but I'm mentioning it here as significant development would be required, and I'm pretty sure that "total deny" would be the best tool. Johnuniq (talk) 11:51, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Blocking a device ID rather than an IP seems really sensible to me. This way the sock-master can't just get fresh IP addresses, but would have to actually find another device. Being forced to drive to the library to find un-blocked computers would put much more of a deterring effect than just having to download a piece of software to randomize their IP. When I mentioned this a while back, editors felt like it was a privacy issue, "big brother" and all that, but it's easy to imagine practical ways to block a device ID, without anyone having actual access to the data. CorporateM (Talk) 14:44, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
Except one can spoof device IDs as well, and one particular device randomizes them (not going into details). That said, it's an extra layer of defence, and we can add this to the autoblocker as well if MediaWiki collects this data. MER-C 09:10, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
Yah, some people will always find a way, but all we can do is make it as difficult as possible to raise the threshold of determination an editor needs to beat the system. There's also been some research showing that linguistic analytics can accurately predict the likelihood that two accounts are socks based on their language patterns[1] IMO, an analytics system that spits out a percent chance that accounts are related would probably be much more fair and accurate than us mere humans. There's other things that can be done too, like automatically identifying when multiple accounts from the same device ID edits the same article, within a short time frame. But that gets into server load in addition to privacy. Most any way we seek to improve sock detection will involve minor trade-offs in privacy, but I think a lot can be done without abolishing anonymous editing. CorporateM (Talk) 14:36, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Another thing I thought of -- short term throttling. In addition to sending a maximum of 20 emails per day, you should also not be able to send more than one in any given minute. (A more annoying version of this is targeted performance degradation, but the former can be done with what we have today.) MER-C 02:57, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

Lois Lee

The template you're looking for is {{pp-office}}. I'd rather not place it myself. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 02:19, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Yup, I know... thanks :0) Gotta deal with one other thing though.... And I'm going to refer it to another staffer to wrap up :) Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 02:26, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Japanese law, fair use, and en.Wikt

Hi! Over on Wiktionary, a user has questioned if Japanese laws / judicial precedents against fair-use quotations of copyrighted materials impede en.Wiktionary from quoting snippets of copyrighted Japanese works. (En.Wikt quotes snippets of works in various languages to prove that words are actually used.) I wondered if you or a(nother) WMF legal-team person wanted to weigh in. The thread is: wikt:Wiktionary:Information_desk/2015/August#The_citation_of_.E3.81.B5.E3.81.84.E3.82.93.E3.81.8D. -sche (talk) 20:22, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

Hiya. I've let the legal team know of your question, and pointed them here. :) Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 06:09, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Nomination for deletion of Template:OFFICE talk

Ambox warning blue.svgTemplate:OFFICE talk has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for discussion page. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:15, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

Terms of Use

If possible, I was hoping someone from WMF would verify its position here. The question at-hand is whether I can just disclose that I have a conflict of interest, or if additional details are needed when privacy could be a concern. CorporateM (Talk) 02:17, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi, the Terms of Use are pretty clear on this one. You need to disclose your "employer, client, and affiliation." If those three things are different (say you are employed by PR company X, your client is person Y, and you are affiliated with company Z) you would need to disclose all three. I know that's not the answer you're hoping to hear, but the amount of disclosure was discussed when the amendment was being considered and the result lead to Terms of Use that favor greater disclosure to allow other editors to have as much information as possible to evaluate possible sources of bias. Jrogers (WMF) (talk) 17:46, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
@Jrogers (WMF): Understood. Are we allowed to have separate accounts for paid/volunteer work without any disclosure that the two accounts are related, so that I can contribute anonymously in my volunteer role? I have been in situations where there was a threat of doxing or legal threats and my anonymity is what protected me. I will not contribute to Wikipedia at all if I can not do so anonymously. Someone mentioned there was a way to make a private disclosure that two accounts are related without outing yourself. CorporateM (Talk) 18:03, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
CorporateM, that's a local policy issue. Please see Wikipedia:Sock puppetry and especially WP:SOCK#LEGIT and subsequent section. If you feel this second account is permitted but want feedback, you may want to take it up with one of the groups mentioned. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 18:09, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Just a note that, given that CorporateM has historically made good efforts to comply with our conflict of interest policies, I don't mind him having an alternative account. However, I would encourage him to proactively disclose the alternative account to a checkuser or the Arbitration Committee, per Wikipedia:Sock puppetry#Alternative account notification. Pinging Arbitrator LFaraone to make sure that Arbcom is aware of this discussion in case LFaraone individually or Arbcom as a group wish to comment. --Pine 08:12, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

FWIW, the WMF FAQ seems to show a person giving only the name of the company - andnot "affiliation" (btw - what is meant by "affiliation" here?) Thanks. Collect (talk) 12:41, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

I reviewed WP:SOCK#LEGIT and especially the "Privacy" bullet. While some of my editing would qualify under "professional circle", it doesn't seem like my situation would qualify generally speaking. CorporateM (Talk) 15:14, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

It seems to me you would be able to have an account that made the ToU disclosure and another for your personal editing. It is also worth noting that there is a large gap between LEGIT and ILLEGIT, though no benefit to you is apparent. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 02:22, 20 August 2015 (UTC).

@Jrogers (WMF):, just wanted to point out I fixed a broken, but crucial, link in your comment above. I don't like messing with other people's comments, but the importance of this one seemed to override that point of etiquette -- hope you don't object. -Pete (talk) 01:52, 4 September 2015 (UTC)


Hi, I sent you an email yesterday, and wondered if you have had time to read it? Huldra (talk) 09:20, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

  • I too have been waiting for an email from Philippe, so I wonder if he is out of the office. Pinging Mdennis (WMF). --Pine 05:43, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
    • Philippe; best of wishes with regarding to your health, Regards, Huldra (talk) 20:09, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
      • Me, too. I wasn't aware of the health issues but that says a lot about you given the numerous emails between us relating to a WP issue last year. You were good to me and I thank you for it. - Sitush (talk) 00:20, 1 September 2015 (UTC)


NB - this was sent to the community via wikimedia-l, at

Dear friends,

Six years is a long time. Over the last six years, I've been privileged to be a part of so many things with you. And I'm proud of what we've done together. For the last six years, I've been a part of things that will excite me until the day that I die - the things that, together, we did in service of that phrase - "the sum of human knowledge" - were magical. I'll never forget them, and I've been honored to be a part of this movement.

But it's time for me to move on.

As many of you know, for the last couple of years, I've struggled with my health. I've come to the unpleasant realization that for my own good, I need to step back and focus on healing, and then look around for new and exciting opportunities.

When Sue left, she said that her decision process included looking around and taking stock of the people and the condition of the Foundation, and asking herself "Is it safe? If I leave, is it safe?" and when she knew it was, she began to consider the idea.

I've been doing the same, obviously focused on projects and programs that are important to me. And I look around and I know that with the contributors that we have - brilliant, dedicated, passionate people.... and the staff that we have - dynamic, talented, devoted, and fearless.... it's safe. So it's time for me to move on, and to leave it to them.

As a housekeeping note: I've agreed with Luis that I'll be available until 9/15, though I'll be out on medical leave, so may be slow to answer questions. If I owe you something, please remind me so that we can get it properly assigned out.

You can all reach out to me at any time... [email protected] and any time I see you will be a celebration.

With my deepest affection,

Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 07:05, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

  • I'm shocked and deeply saddened by this news. Rest assured you will be missed. My hopes for a speedy and full recovery, and please keep editing Wikipedia, and let us know how you are doing. Best wishes always, Jusdafax 07:53, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Terribly sorry to hear about the health issues, and wish you a rapid recovery. Your work here is appreciated. -Gerard / NE Ent 00:02, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Thank you for all your work, for all your understanding, for all your help. Keep in touch. Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:15, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I am greatly saddened by this news, but I do realise that there comes a time when everyone must move on. I would like to thank you for all the help and support you provided to some of the major projects I have worked on - you have no idea how important your occasional encouragement meant to me. Proud moments were when I was able to briefly say 'Hi!' when our paths crossed in the corridors of various Wikimanias. Thank you Phillipe, and all the best for your health and future endeavours. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:42, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry to see you go, but take care of your health first. Thanks for all your help in the past. --Rschen7754 22:37, 6 September 2015 (UTC)

Invitation to subscribe to the edit filter mailing list

Hi, as a user in the edit filter manager user group we wanted to let you know about the new wikipedia-en-editfilters mailing list. As part of our recent efforts to improve the use of edit filters on the English Wikipedia it has been established as a venue for internal discussion by edit filter managers regarding private filters (those only viewable by administrators and edit filter managers) and also as a means by which non-admins can ask questions about hidden filters that wouldn't be appropriate to discuss on-wiki. As an edit filter manager we encourage you to subscribe; the more users we have in the mailing list the more useful it will be to the community. If you subscribe we will send a short email to you through Wikipedia to confirm your subscription, but let us know if you'd prefer another method of verification. I'd also like to take the opportunity to invite you to contribute to the proposed guideline for edit filter use at WP:Edit filter/Draft and the associated talk page. Thank you! Sam Walton (talk) and MusikAnimal talk 18:22, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open!

You appear to be eligible to vote in the current Arbitration Committee election. The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to enact binding solutions for disputes between editors, primarily related to serious behavioural issues that the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the ability to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail. If you wish to participate, you are welcome to review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. For the Election committee, MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 14:10, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Possible removal of AWB access due to inactivity

Hello! There is currently a request for approval of a bot to manage the AutoWikiBrowser CheckPage by removing inactive users, among other tasks. You are being contacted because you may qualify as an inactive user of AWB. First, if you have any input on the proposed bot task, please feel free to comment at the BRFA. Should the bot task be approved, your access to AWB may be uncontroversially removed if you do not resume editing within a week's time. This is purely for routine maintenance of the CheckPage, and is not indicative of wrongdoing on your part. You will be able regain access at any time by simply requesting it at WP:PERM/AWB. Thank you! MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 23:36, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Nomination for deletion of Template:OFFICE talk

Ambox warning blue.svgTemplate:OFFICE talk has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for discussion page. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 01:57, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

Invitation to New AI-Labelling Campaign for Newcomer Sessions

Hello, I'm reaching out to you because I saw that you signed up as a labelling volunteer at Wikipedia:Labels/Edit quality. I'm starting a new project that builds on Edit quality, to predict Newcomer quality. That is, to predict the damagingness and goodfaithness of "sessions" (multiple related edits) of users within 1 day of their registration. With this AI trained, we could help automatically distinguish betewen productive and unproductive new users. If you wouldn't mind taking a look at this new labelling campaign and label a few sessions I would be very grateful. In addition if you have any feedback or discover any bugs in the process I would appreciate that too. You can find the project page at Wikipedia:Labels/Newcomer_session_quality or go directly to and look for the campaign titled "Newcomer Session quality (2018)". Thanks so much!

Maximilianklein (talk) 20:18, 29 October 2018 (UTC)