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The Signpost


FYI: MediaWiki_talk:Watchlist-messages#February_Signpost_notice was declined after no response. Not sure if that was a special edition or if SP is going to have a new publication schedule? While we have a "standing" approval for WLN's for SP - it is under the ~monthly schedule right now. — xaosflux Talk 15:58, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Xaosflux The Signpost is currently back on a (roughly) fortnightly schedule. Andreas JN466 18:28, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jayen466, @JPxG: Hmm, that's a lot of watchlist notices, especially since they are usually up for a week, having one up for almost 50% of the time seems a bit excessive to me. (No comment at all on how often SP want's to publish). Are the WLN's still wanted? — xaosflux Talk 19:12, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Up to JPxG of course, but I agree that having the Signpost WLN up 50% of the time seems like overkill. Face-smile.svg Maybe shortening it to three days is the way to go. Andreas JN466 19:16, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Xaosflux: Sorry, I got the ping, but my electricity/internet have been a little intermittent lately 😰 I agree that having a watchlist notice up 50% of the time defeats the purpose... it both spams up watchlists and likely makes it less effective at getting people to click on it. If the previous interval was a week-long notice for each month, perhaps we can just split the difference on that? So that if there's 2 issues a month, each would have WLN 3.5 days (or three, or one is four and one is three, or whatever, who cares). jp×g 22:30, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We could, but that has the reverse problem, people may miss the notice completely (not every editor is on every day). I'm not sure what the best answer for the community is on this - was hoping to avoid getting a large discussion open - it could be that everyone is fine with it. The more frequent the call to action for the same thing is put out (In this case "read the signpost") the more people will start ignoring it in general. Do you have any idea how many people are getting to SP via WLN today? — xaosflux Talk 01:16, 2 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would think if people aren't on Wikipedia for three or four days then they can probably also miss that one Signpost issue.
It's a bit like buses ... if there are more buses per hour, then it's not such a big deal if you miss one. Andreas JN466 15:55, 2 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe have one notice up for a week at the start of the month, with the publication date for the mid-month issue also shown? isaacl (talk) 01:32, 2 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps alternating weeks to have it would work? E.g. odd-numbered months would have it for the start of the month (for one week), with a note of the mid-month issue publication date, and vice-versa. EpicPupper (talk) 05:19, 2 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Still not sure what the "best" answer on this is :/ Just pushed the recent issue to WLN. — xaosflux Talk 15:11, 14 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

email announcements of new issues[edit]

how is the text of the email announcement generated?

seems odd that nearly 8 years after we ditched HTTP (unencrypted connections) for WMF wikis there's URLs being shared with http protocol. and also odd that the link text and link target have different protocols.

--Jeremyb (talk) 03:10, 16 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The manual publication steps are at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Resources#Manual off-wiki tasks. The error seems to be embedded in some rather complex templates, specifically one that looks like
{{Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/{{Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Issue|1}}|7}}
I suppose the automatic publishing script inherits the same problem. Maybe someone with more esoteric template knowledge can go farther than this. ☆ Bri (talk) 04:23, 16 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Looked a little harder, the problem is probably at Wikipedia:Signpost/Template:Cover-item where there is a hardcoded http: at the switch target for format 7 (the same magic 7 format code used in the snippet above, unsurprisingly). Is anyone else available to confirm before I go changing things? ☆ Bri (talk) 04:32, 16 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I believe that Jonesey has fixed this. I do not see any issue so far, which I think means this is resolved. jp×g 20:02, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

RfC: Should Signpost Articles on Open ArbCom Cases be NPOV?[edit]

Please comment on whether Signpost articles on open ArbCom cases should be NPOV, or whether one-sided opinion pieces are fine? The general question is sparked from the controversy around this Signpost article, much of which can be seen at its talk page. In particular, see the WP:ANI thread here, which was opened on the basis that the article "prejudges an active Arbitration case", suggested that the review prior to publication was "the most ever for any Signpost piece" and was left up roughly on the basis that "it is one editor's opinion. Not the voice of the SignPost".

So in an attempt to avoid similar chaos next time this happens, please provide your view on whether Signpost articles on open ArbCom cases should be written in an NPOV manner, or whether a one-sided opinion piece is fine. Ideally without commenting on the specifics of this one current ArbCom case.

Onceinawhile (talk) 15:16, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • From Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/About The Signpost does not specifically maintain a commitment to neutrality in the same way that Wikipedia articles do, but the magazine is nonetheless known, and aims to serve, as a balanced and impartial news source. So no, one-sided opinion pieces are not at all fine. Anyone is (within reasonable limits as established elsewhere) entitled to express an opinion regarding upcoming ArbCom cases. Handing the Signpost megaphone to one individual is however entirely incompatible with 'balance' and 'impartiality'. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:24, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I took a look at the history of the “About” statement quoted above. It was added here in May 2018 by Zarasophos as part of an overhaul of the Signpost information pages discussed in this talk thread. Onceinawhile (talk) 22:13, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I saw but did not participate in all the hoopla on this and my own feeling, based only on general principles, was that Signpost shouldn't have involved itself at all because of the open Arbcom case. Selfstudier (talk) 23:40, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Signpost should be neutral, and avoid appearing to be wikilawyering. ArbCom cases are difficult for all involved, including the Arbitration Committee. Pick any case you've participated in, or just scanned through. Tempers flare, accusations are made, and it can evolve into something vindictive after the case is closed. We elected the ArbCom committee to handle that difficult process. Signpost should not be a venue for one or more individuals to go around ArcCom and plead the case. — Maile (talk) 00:29, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I think we might get a bad decision on the back of this case, which was rather extreme and rather poorly handled. I think we should condemn the situation we saw here, but requiring the Signpost to toe the party line on Arbcom seems like it could be a problem in future.
Also, @Volunteer Marek: and @Piotrus: should absolutely get a right-of-reply before any such standards are put in place. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.2% of all FPs. Currently celebrating his 600th FP! 15:41, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I was unaware of this article and its controversy, but I fully agree with AndyTheGrump. From the point at which a case has been requested to the point at which it has concluded, i.e. the request has been declined, an accepted case has been closed or the complaint resolved by motion (with or without a case being opened), the Signpost must do its best to maintain impartiality regarding that case. There are no shortage of venues where involved editors can vent their opinions, The Signpost is not one of them. Thryduulf (talk) 11:53, 19 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I also believe strongly that, when commenting on such matters, Signpost must be neutral. When I first read the article in question I assumed it would have been intended to be neutral, given the sensitive nature of the topic. When I realized it was a one-sided POV piece I felt my trust in Signpost disappear. Onceinawhile (talk) 19:04, 22 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Perhaps it will help to consider another, simpler example of the Signpost entering into commenting on an open Arbcom case. I happen to know about one because the Signpost reporting about the Arbcom case against me in 2013 was part of a long and excruciating personal experience in my own Wikipedia life. I am now looking at Signpost reporting at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2013-01-14/Arbitration report. With perspective of 10 years(!), I will try to comment a bit now.
    • The comments from back then, which I think are perhaps the most relevant now, are in sequence in this diff:
"It is not particularly appealing to have the signpost judge (even a part of) an ArbCom case before it has even been heard. It is also questionable whether it should report some of the more hyperbolic statements cited by parties, third hand. Two layers of selection bias is quite enough. Rich Farmbrough, 23:35, 16 January 2013 (UTC).
I have to agree with this comment - I don't know anything about the case myself here, but reporting it like this (with quotes from the people bringing the case and none from Doncram himself) seems like a bad idea. The Signpost should probably restrict itself to saying 'a new ArbCom case has been opened', and allow those who want to know more to click the link and read it, rather than producing a summary vulnerable to partisan bias. Robofish (talk) 00:25, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I am in agreement with the two above. The article left me with a bad taste in my mouth. With regards, Iselilja (talk) 00:44, 17 January 2013"
  • I recall experiencing the Signpost coverage as awful, as something like betrayal, in that the Signpost should have been objective and NPOV-like, or it should should have been sticking up for the underdog and victim in the case, which was me. You don't have to accept that exactly, but it was specifically unfair and awful in ways that I could now argue better, starting with its subjective naming as being a case about me (which I disputed back then but, if space allowed, could argue better now)....which several Arbcom members naively argued would not affect their views, ignorantly and incorrectly disregarding selection bias that would affect who would and did come to give their opinions in the case). Another way it was unfair was that it put me on trial without representation (there is not a Wikipedia-recognized right for such, but as a matter of human decency there should be)...I knew all along during the slow-motion Arbcom experience that I was not coming across great. I was totally unprepared and basically unable to participate constructively in my own defense... I knew that I needed representation...I decided back then that I was totally willing to pay $10,000 for legal/PR representation (a huge amount for me, but what I was willing to budget given how personally significant/intrusive the Arbcom case was going to be, and how important to myself I perceived my participation in Wikipedia to have been), but there was no way to secure any such. About the Signpost coverage, I perceive(d) there was newsworthiness, some reason for Signpost to observe this was going on, but the Signpost plunged wrong in taking up one side, unfairly. I did appreciate those comments which I quote. I may add a bit more, but reconsidering this is painful even now. --Doncram (talk,contribs) 22:26, 22 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • A week later there was Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2013-01-21/Arbitration report, to which I responded. With 10 years of perspective, right now I actually view the Signpost report as likely being somewhat interesting and relevant to potential readers, and fairly objective/balanced. My responses there which objected to the coverage, though, seem to me to be also valid back then and relevant now, including how I started "I don't think this coverage is professional or useful. Probably no coverage is what I would prefer, for any ongoing mediation or arbitration case." In my response I mentioned having seen the previous "clearing" (which was discussion about the drafted, not-yet-live Signpost article) and perceiving that my comments in that were essentially ignored. Looking at that "clearing" now, I am pretty shocked. I feel now like I had not been personally notified (but this bot notification had informed me "On behalf of The Signpost's editorial team" and falsely promised that Signpost would be providing coverage "in a non-partisan manner" and that my concerns, if any, "will be read by a member of the editorial team." (I say that was false because there was in fact no response by the editorial team to concerns I stated...maybe the Signpost should not let a bot make promises for it.) Because of that notification and/or because I might have recent contributions by the principal opponents to me in the Arbcom case, I arrived and saw the drafted Signpost article. I see that the two principal opponents to me in the Arbcom had been busy tailoring the Signpost coverage for their advantage and had achieved what they wanted, with two responses from the Signpost writer(s), and they thanked the writer(s) for having adopted their suggestions. What I said then can be seen in this diff. I asked: "Is this a live article? I was notified of this article-in-progress. When does the article go live? I haven't yet posted much in the case." I specifically objected to one thing "The Ellen-of-roads quote is presented as a condemnation, when phrasing before and after the quoted text is left out that changes the meaning significantly. It is misleading as presented." There was no response, except for one person chiding me (I don't know if they were Signpost staff or not) with "Please take this to the arbitration page, this isn't the place for this discussion. (X! · talk)  · @953  ·  21:53, 14 January 2013 (UTC) And then the "clearing" was blanked to make way for discussion of the published Signpost piece. Looking at this now, I am pretty horrified about the Signpost's unfair treatment. I am re-experiencing it as pretty awful betrayal. (I will now notify the four editors I have just quoted). Again, you don't have to agree with me that I was entirely a victim in the Arbcom case (but the upshot of it was that one of the two principal opponents was desyssoped and banned from interaction with me, and both basically lost interest in editing in the NRHP area once they did not have me to harrass. I returned to the NRHP area a few years later and have contributed mightily, while they disappeared.). But it looks to me that I was absolutely a victim in the Signpost coverage, and I dunno which emotion to go with right now... sadness, disappointment, outrage...shame (about the Signpost's role, given that I feel I have supported and generally identify with the Signpost, and/or that I have not myself done more in the 10 years since to take action within/about the Signpost's coverage of arbcom affairs). --Doncram (talk,contribs) 23:22, 22 March 2023 (UTC) --00:08, 23 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I see now that I did receive one "official" response from the Signpost. In my responding to Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2013-01-21/Arbitration report, I stated that the Signpost had garbled its coverage of one issue, and that "I didn't comment within this article's "clearing"; I feel my comments in the last Signpost's similar clearing didn't have useful effect" and that in my opinion "The Signpost coverage should not be open to editing by arbitration participants, including me. The Signpost coverage should not take a stance either way." The official response, which was from the editor who wrote all the arbitration coverage during that perioed, in its entirety was: "Please do not treat your personal opinion as fact. James (T • C) • 9:50pm • 10:50, 27 January 2013 (UTC)" Which is infuriating to me as I read it now. --Doncram (talk,contribs) 00:49, 23 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No. The Signpost's editorial policy should be left to the Signpost's editorial team. This should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the editorial choices the team made here; I would have to dig into the situation more to be able to judge those. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 16:51, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No. What the OP links to as a "Signpost article" is not a news article. Signpost writes news articles about arbitration proceedings in its regular arbcom notes section. Those should be written neutrally in a straight news style. However, the piece linked in the OP isn't a news article or even in the arbcom notes section. It's a review. Reviews are not neutral, nor should they be. It's not a review of an arbcom case, it's a review of a paper. That the paper is also the subject of an arbcom case is not the Signpost's problem, or the reviewers problem. Of course reviews should give the opinion of the reviewer. That's the whole point of a review. Nobody did anything wrong by publishing a review even if some editors disagree with the review. The week prior, Signpost published another opinion piece about the same paper, that was also not neutral, and that's fine too. Ultimately, I'd like to see the Signpost draw clearer lines between news and opinion in its reporting, but the research review section is clearly opinion. And NPOV applies to mainspace articles, not to the Signpost. Levivich (talk) 17:49, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Note that this editor is a party to the ArbCom case in question, and wrote 12 comments under the Signpost article in question in directional support of its particular POV. The prior "In the media" piece, was descriptive and did not provide any views in wikivoice. Perhaps Levivich could consider whether he would have reacted differently had the only Signpost reviewer's opinion been strongly opposed to his POV, like in the example given by Doncram above from many years ago. Onceinawhile (talk) 06:14, 25 March 2023 (UTC) Also pinging @Ajpolino and Schierbecker: since this probably should have been disclosed. Onceinawhile (talk) 06:14, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    My God, 12?! I would have reacted the same. Levivich (talk) 06:28, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No, per Levivich. Also I trust our arbitrators can manage to focus on active cases without being unduly influenced by articles in the Signpost. That is, after all, why we pay them the big bucks. Ajpolino (talk) 21:47, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment: This would have been a better RfC if the question had been phrased as "must" rather than "should". Already we have at least one answer that says "should" without "must" and creating a coherent policy from the responses will be difficult. ☆ Bri (talk) 22:36, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No, per Levivich. Schierbecker (talk) 02:48, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Two problems with this RfC: First, and least importantly, NPOV is about representing sources neutrally, not refusing to take a side. Second, that Signpost review doesn't take a side on an arbcom case. It's a review of a paper and the response to it. It does take a side as to some things that happened on-wiki which were covered in that paper, but not about an arbcom case. That an arbcom case also emerged from that paper doesn't mean the paper becomes off limits for the Signpost. Should the Signpost take sides on editorial disputes covered in papers? Perhaps in exceptional cases only? But that's not what this RfC is asking, so what I think about it doesn't matter. I agree that the Signpost shouldn't take sides in an ongoing arbcom case, but again, that's not what happened. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 04:46, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No. NPOV applies to mainspace articles, not The Signpost. It does not attempt to maintain NPOV: for instance, it is biased against things that put Wikipedia's existence in jeopardy and celebrates its successes. A mainspace article about Wikipedia shouldn't present Wikipedia's existence as good or bad. The Signpost can run however its editorial board decide (subject to core policies/guidelines that do apply, like BLP), and the community can choose to emphasise or de-emphasise its prominence in internal pages (such as the watchlist notices) according to consensus. — Bilorv (talk) 16:31, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No. I personally did not think it was a wise idea to publish the piece, but we should avoid instruction WP:CREEP or inflating the potential harm/damage from a (arguably) poorly written/pov piece in a non-mainspace article. Let Signpost maintain its editorial independence and accept the feedback that has been eloquently expressed. I know the Signpost editors are open to publishing rebuttal pieces as well as reflecting on how not to make ARBCOM more stressfull than it already is. ~ 🦝 Shushugah (he/him • talk) 16:39, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment: The issue is not an Arbcom case or an NPOV concern. The issue is that this was a venue to cast WP:ASPERSIONS against specific editors in a way that:
    • Granted an elevated platform to cast aspersions with a wider audience compared to a talk page
    • Exempted those involved from conduct policies, which apparently don't apply to the Signpost for some reason
    • Created plausible deniability as those involved can just fall back on "it's a review piece" despite the clear targeting of specific editors
This is made especially clear by the objections raised prior to publication. This is evidence that the Signpost needs reform in regard to how it interacts with policies, and I think that the editors that wrote and published this should be given a formal warning for inappropriately casting aspersions and attempting to WP:GAME the system. If we make this about an Arbcom case, then we're not addressing the issue. Thebiguglyalien (talk) 17:33, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
An WP:ASPERSION is an unevidenced accusation. An accusation with evidence that isn't convincing is not an aspersion. A review that reviews someone else's evidenced accusation is not an aspersion, regardless of whether it agrees or disagrees with the accusation. Levivich (talk) 17:40, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If it suits you, you can replace "aspersions" with "personal attacks". The problem is the way that it was done. Thebiguglyalien (talk) 17:52, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please quote one line in that Signpost review that constitutes a personal attack. Keep in mind that WP:NPA#WHATIS says "Accusations about personal behavior that lack evidence". Accusations about personal behavior that have evidence are not personal attacks. Levivich (talk) 18:05, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I feel like you're nitpicking terms rather than addressing the point I'm trying to make. If an editor wants to make a case about a conduct issue, then they're expected to do so in a certain way. As it says at WP:ASPERSION: If accusations must be made, they should be raised, with evidence, on the user-talk page of the editor they concern or in the appropriate forums. The Signpost is neither of those. I don't care if they have video evidence of editor misconduct; the Signpost is not an appropriate place to repeat such accusations. In addition to circumventing WP:ASPERSION and WP:DR, it creates an immediate power imbalance. Thebiguglyalien (talk) 19:09, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is no accusation made by the author of the Signpost review article. (If I'm wrong, quote what you're talking about.) A reviewer reviewing an accusation made by someone else is not a personal attack, or harassment, or anything like that, not even close. Not by the letter of our policies, and not in their spirit, either. Someone writes in a journal criticizing Wikipedia, and a reviewer reviews that journal paper, the reviewer is not thereby also criticizing Wikipedia. Even if the journal article has a PA (which it doesn't, it has a criticism, which is not the same as a PA), the reviewer is not committing a PA by talking about it. It's a review of a paper. That's not an "end run" around our policies. It's nonsensical to think this way. It would prevent us from reviewing papers about Wikipedia if those papers are critical of Wikipedia or Wikipedia editors. Levivich (talk) 19:14, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No. NPOV is about pages in article space, which the SignPost is not. The linked article is a review of a scholarly paper on Wikipedia, which in the abstract, is a reasonable thing for the Signpost to cover, and which will intrinsically be at least somewhat subjective. I see that the linked article includes links and summaries of the responses to the paper which is probably the bare minimum required not to run afoul of WP:BLP. That being said, I think the summary of their responses is sub-par, not even mentioning IceWhiz, which was central to both of their replies. However, that's an editorial issue, not a NPOV issue. ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 19:28, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The Signpost is essentially a WikiProject, which is to say it's a group of editors sharing a common interest collaborating together to support Wikipedia, usually through some initiatives. Most WikiProjects are focused on articles related to a specific area. Some groups of editors implement processes. Some groups of editors try to fill gaps in processes. Editors collaborating on the Signpost are interested in one method of building community ties: delivering news items and commentary on a regular basis. Whether or not the community chooses to read the results is up to each user. I don't think the community is well-served by singling out one type of external item upon which the Signpost shouldn't comment. If the community feels there is a problem with the quality of commentary, I think it should first seek to remove the Signpost notices from the watchlist, as Bilorv suggests. The Signpost is only influential amongst those who are interested in letting it influence them, which is the same as for any editor who writes commentary, be it on a talk page, a Wikipedia-space page, a user-space page, or elsewhere. isaacl (talk) 21:56, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No The Signpost is journalism. Sometimes journalism exposes unpleasant realities. Sometimes journalism is done poorly. The Signpost is internal journalism, sure, but who are we to demand editorial compliance with some vague party line? From an Arb's perspective, it would in fact be bad to stifle the free exchange of ideas and information around a case. Further, if the Signposters wants to criticize ArbCom, that is their irrefutable right, and I fear any sort of rule like this would be used to clamp down on dissent. TLDR: press freedom good. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 23:38, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A question on policy[edit]

I can't find any obvious links to policy and/or guidelines under which Signpost operates. Given the comments above, it might well be concluded that such policy/guidelines need amendment, but doing so would clearly require locating them in the first place. Or does Signpost exist in some policy-free zone where it's actions aren't constrained by anything specific at all, and merely acts the way it does because up to now, nobody has suggested that it needs constraining? AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:51, 22 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@AndyTheGrump see WP:NOTPART for non mainspace policies. ~ 🦝 Shushugah (he/him • talk) 16:41, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm aware of that. I was more interested in specifics concerning the Signpost. Is there no policy or guideline anywhere that even explains the terms under which it operates? If there aren't, I'd have to suggest that there should be. As it stands, it appears to be under the control of a self-appointed editorial team, who exercise control of content. Something that we wouldn't tolerate in any other Wikipedia context that immediately comes to mind. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:49, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia:Project namespace. Levivich (talk) 18:55, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And where exactly is it laid down that the Signpost editorial team have exclusive control of a subset of the 'Wikipedia:' namespace? AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:01, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is not so laid down, and in the past the community has forced the Signpost to unpublish certain articles by WP:MFD. It is rare, but it has happened. Certain? Signpost Wikipedia editors around such times have discussed taking their ball elsewhere, but as you can see.... Editors working on the Signpost are also expected to observe our behavioral guidelines and policies.
But those qualities make it no different from the average WikiProject. Izno (talk) 19:06, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The problem with that though is that 'behavioural guidelines and policies' don't seem to mandate a subgroup of contributors having exclusive control of a megaphone. Which is essentially what we see here. Guidelines and policies are built round consensus, not self-appointed editorial teams. In as much as the community hands over control to individuals, it does so in a regulated manner, after consultation (e.g. with the appointment of admins). That hasn't happened here. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:22, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You might want to have a word with the FAC coordinators, GA coordinators, etc. Levivich (talk) 19:23, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Possibly I might, if I cared about such things. But meanwhile I'm more concerned with finding out the terms under which a self-appointed editorial team claims exclusive control of a specific particularly prominent [1] page in the 'Wikipedia:' namespace. If (hypothetically) another group of contributors were to decide to appoint themselves as editors instead, would there be any recourse for the existing team to oppose them? As far as I can see, there appears to be nothing that could determine who the 'real editors' were without inventing new policy on the fly. Quite likely an acceptable situation when User:Michael Snow decided back in 2005 that he'd appoint himself editor, but Wikipedia has moved on a great deal since than, and it seems to me that something as important as the Signpost (I assume you see it as important, given the number of posts you've made above) needs formal regulation. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:47, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The problem with that though is that 'behavioural guidelines and policies' don't seem to mandate a subgroup of contributors having exclusive control of a megaphone. Like any other WikiProject existing today (because we have ancient precedent on the point), the Signpost accepts any contributors, and I expect that if someone wanted to join the project, they could. I also understand the Signpost, like most of what we do here, works under some basic WP:Consensus model, at least in deciding who is editor-in-chief if nothing else. So, no, they do not have exclusive control of a megaphone.
The megaphone they otherwise do possess remains one that you, or anyone else, can participate in deciding what is said. Though, unless you (general) believe the issues to be so systemic as to need the same actions as that ancient precedent did, you must do so in good faith. For the most part, the rarity with which the community has pushed back on actions taken by those writing the Signpost indicates to me that it is not in such a systemic breach of our basic policies and guidelines and so any necessary regulation can indeed come in the form of the rare RFC or MFD, such as this one. Regarding the specific use of the word megaphone, I think you greatly overestimate the reach of the Signpost and who they claim to be writing these articles on behalf of (as was previously discussed with you at the recent AN(I?) discussion that led to this RFC). I know the writers like to think they're making a change in the wider world, but republication elsewhere is the rare event, so it's almost entirely and only wiki editors who get and care about what the Signpost has to say.
If (hypothetically) another group of contributors were to decide to appoint themselves as editors instead, would there be any recourse for the existing team to oppose them? As far as I can see, there appears to be nothing that could determine who the 'real editors' were without inventing new policy on the fly. I find this line of argument hypothetical, as you admit, and thus not worth discussing. Should it happen, we can have a discussion then. I expect it would be a quick and sordid affair for those who were intending to disrupt the normal operations of the editors who work on the Signpost (you are welcome to be The One to bring balance to the Force the Matrix to the Signpost, of course).
You separately seem to imply that there should no longer be some editor-in-chief. I suspect it would go a way to making your case if you were to suggest what might replace such a thing in the context of the Signpost rather than leaving the point half-baked.
Besides all that, maybe you weren't looking for it, but I'd welcome a basic WP:Wikipedia Signpost/Editorial policy. You are welcome to attempt to influence the group to produce such a page, but I return to good faith above. Show that you are interested in helping write the Signpost and then you might accrue the social capital to see something like that for yourself (imposition from outside is largely uncalled for, as I note above), if they do not produce one on their own before then. Izno (talk) 20:17, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The problem is though that when it came to contributors "participat[ing] in deciding what is said" in regards to recent controversial content, the majority of those participating appear to have been ignored. As for a WP:Wikipedia Signpost/Editorial policy, I'd make it short and sweet: a smallish editorial board elected for fixed terms by the community, with a mandate to adhere to the spirit of WP:NPOV, and specific instructions to avoid giving excessive weight to any content bearing on the alleged negative behaviour of named contributors currently under discussion by ArbCom, at ANI, or the like. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:32, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fair chance for rebuttal[edit]

I concur with not limiting the Signpost's ability to write about cases as they see fit, subject to BLP. However, I do believe that editors the Signpost writes about deserve a chance to fairly respond and be included at the same level (that is, signpost articles, not comments) as the original writers. Currently, the Signpost deadlines are fairly close to publication. I would suggest changing articles with substantive comments about another editor to work to an earlier deadline (perhaps, 3 days?), to allow fair comparison. The reasoning for this is primarily that the Signpost is one of the few cases where one editor will have a bully pulpit with a substantively different medium to anyone responding to them. Hopefully this could mitigate the issues we've seen without eliminating the ability to write about aspects that matter to many. Nosebagbear (talk) 12:35, 26 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Double message delivery[edit]

I received the notification for the latest signpost twice. Is there a reason for this? Aaron Liu (talk) 13:22, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We should track it down, but this doesn't seem to be a pervasive problem. I didn't see a single other double-post in a dozen user talk pages that I spot checked. ☆ Bri (talk) 16:06, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I take what I said back, there are more than a few multiple transmissions, even one sent thrice to User talk:Newyorkadam. Others receiving two copies include User talk:Zarasophos, User talk:23emr, User talk:Slywriter. No idea why. ☆ Bri (talk) 16:16, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It may have consistently happened for everyone registered as User:Account as opposed to User talk:Account at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Subscribe? ☆ Bri (talk) 16:19, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Aaron Liu: I asked at Village Pump: Technical and was told this is a Massmessage bug, T93049. Apparently it's happened randomly since 2015. Can I recommend trying this: unsubscribe and re-subscribe as User talk:Aaron Liu ... it might mitigate. Or it might not. ☆ Bri (talk) 17:25, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have noticed a possible cause here. At User talk:AshokChakra two Signposts were delivered (one and two). Both of them were sent from the global message delivery list. The first one has this editnote at the bottom: Message sent by User:[email protected] using the list at The second one has this editnote at the top: Message sent by User:[email protected] using the list at Not sure what could cause this. It may be restricted to global massmessage subscribers.
More at Wikipedia_talk:Wikipedia_Signpost/Technical#Technical_issues. jp×g 20:05, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Signpost author trying to unpublish their own article[edit]

In response to an edit war over accessibility and my resulting messages, FormalDude has decided to try to move his own article to userspace. I have no special authority with the Signpost but this isn't exactly the done thing, is it? Graham87 07:01, 22 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If the Signpost is uncomfortable redirecting its readers to a userspace article, I am fine with the redirect being deleted. For multiple reasons though, I do not wish to have this piece hosted on the Signpost. ––FormalDude (talk) 07:05, 22 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is not worth wasting the time of the few people who actually make the Signpost run, so I've moved it back. ––FormalDude (talk) 07:59, 22 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If the formatting is causing issues with screenreaders, there needs to be an exceptional reason to keep it that way. Most of the accessibility issues on ENWP are made in ignorance due to the preference of the editor not taking into account how accessbility tools parse their content and are happily corrected when it is pointed out. On the few occasions when the editor-author chooses not to make the changes to make it more accessible, it is perfectly fine to make those changes yourself, unless (as previously said) there is an exceptional reason not to. Signpost does not get any ownership free pass here. The only reason this page is on my watchlist is because of a previous accessibility issue around ownership. "Its my ball and I am taking it home" didnt get a lot of traction there either. Only in death does duty end (talk) 15:39, 22 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]