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Copying content from that other site

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Swept in from the pub

Please have a look at the very first edit in the edit history of Seda (Sichuan) - what exactly does our policy say on this issue? Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:00, 13 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

Wikivoyage and Wikitravel says, in part:
"While content can be legally copied from Wikitravel to Wikivoyage if attribution is provided in accordance with the CC-BY-SA license, such copying is generally discouraged due to the history of litigation between the two sites and due to the fact that having the same content on both sites can penalize Wikivoyage in search rankings (see search engine optimization for more information). Instead of copying text, consider contributing original content written in your own words.
"Legally, content from Wikitravel can be used on Wikivoyage as long as the conditions of relevant copyright licenses are complied with. Internet Brands has confirmed that the content of Wikitravel is under a CC BY-SA license. However, as Internet Brands and the WMF have engaged in litigation, please discuss before moving content from Wikitravel to Wikivoyage. If you do move anything, be very careful to comply fully with the license terms regarding attribution."
Ground Zero (talk) 21:14, 13 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I would vote against copying content from WT. So I guess I would be in favor of deleting that page, or at least all the content on it. --ButteBag (talk) 21:31, 13 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Also copying pages that are "officially closed for foreign travelers" would not seem to be at a high priority level. (for me) --ButteBag (talk) 21:34, 13 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I am as some may have guessed opposed to copying stuff from that other site and your point as to the value to the traveler of an article for a "closed city" being limited is well made, but the question does arise whether the best course of action is outright deletion, deletion of the copied text (which would likely leave an empty skeleton at least for some time) or something else. I frankly think we should reduce the amount of content that coincides with other places, no matter which other considerations are made. And I am not sure whether this copying currently complies with CC BY-SA. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:09, 13 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
There is nothing precluding the copying of WT content as long as it has attribution, so its not like we get to vote on it. What you can do is rewrite the content so that we avoid any SOE penalties.
Also destinations that are difficult to get to are covered, including North Korea for example. Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:11, 13 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I think the current policy can be interpreted in a way as to require at the very least no strong votes against copying from that other site or even a need for consensus in its favor. And North Korea may be an unusual travel destination, but unless you are a journalist (or otherwise unwanted by the North Korean authorities) going there on a "glory to our dear leader" tour seems actually about as easy as booking a cruise. Of course you'll have to dance their little dance, so to speak, but that's not the same as the Cold War era "this city is so secret no foreigners are allowed in" that apparently still exists in some places. I'm not arguing this is not a place on which we could in theory have an article, I am saying it is not worth us copying content from that other site and thereby validating their propaganda of us being a cheap knockoff and whatnot. I also don't like inviting potential IB trolls putting copied content all over our sites and us having to sift through it and/or make SEO edits just to combat this. We know IB has sent trolls our way in the past, I see no reasons they might not do so with different tactics in the future. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:21, 13 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I've been saying over and over again that this site needs a specific, black-and-white policy against any text copied verbatim from WT. I don't know how many examples need to pile up before it becomes clear that this is a significant ongoing phenomenon and a problematic one. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:26, 13 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
RE: Hobbitschuster If North Korea is not to your liking then look at Diego Garcia. Again all earth bound destinations are valid, even if you have a tough time getting there.
I'd also prefer no WT content to be copied over, but frankly I don't see that we have a firm basis to reject such contributions. Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:29, 13 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
For what it is worth, I have copyedited the article so that it is no longer exactly the same, just mostly the same, and, I think, easier to read. Please be careful about accusations. User:Andree.sk is not an "IB troll", but someone who has been contributing to Wikivoyage since 16 Oct 2016. It appears that s/he also contributes to the other site, and often makes the same edits in both places (although it does not seem like s/he wrote the original Seda article in 2015). For my part, I use Wikivoyage as much for "fantasy travel" (reading about places it is unrealistic to think I will ever visit, as much as for trip planning. See also our Space and Moon articles. Ground Zero (talk)
Also, some of the content for the original article appears to have been copied from our good friends at Wikipedia, whose article pre-dates that of the other travel site, so litigious persons could have a problem raising this. Ground Zero (talk) 03:38, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I did not accuse anybody of being an IB troll. I just wanted to point out why allowing copying may be dangerous. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:03, 13 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

My concern is that the discussion of IB trolls is being raised in the context of a single copying event undertaken by Andree.sk, so s/he may well infer that this is an attack on her/him, which I am glad you say it isn't. I see from User talk:Andree.sk that @Ikan Kekek: has been trying to coach Andree.sk on how to contribute to Wikivoyage, so I think it would be useful to hear from Ikan about dealing with Andree.sk. Let's discuss IB trolls as a matter separate from the Seda article then as I think we agree that the two are distinct issues. Ground Zero (talk) 23:10, 13 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I almost feel like at holy inquisition :-) The simple motivation was there was no page for this (dare I say - hugely interesting) place for *long*, and I didn't want to start from zero page (I knew nothing about it, wasn't there (yet)). Since all of your content is based on WT, I'd say it doesn't matter whether it's based on an article from 2005 or 2016. Some whole countries were 1:1 copy of WT for 5 years, so what does it matter if someone copies one article by hand? PS: I probably would've been working on this one in the following days, in my tempo - but thank you to all who contributed already. My comment on the policy (if it's worth anything) is below. Andree.sk (talk) 07:05, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Hey, sorry you're feeling like that. Folks, yes, I've communicated with Andree.sk and found him a constructive and diligent user, definitely not a troll. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:19, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

Then let's make policy crystal clear

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As I see it there is currently a widespread agreement that copying from WT is undesirable but not an agreement on whether it is currently subject to any preconditions besides those stipulated in CC BY-SA. So as I see it there are two alternatives to leaving policy as is:

  1. Ban all copying of any content from WT and make repeat offenses grounds for banning
  2. Allow copying only after a clear consensus in favor of such copying has been achieved.

I think the former is the better alternative, but some might not be comfortable with such a clear policy. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:53, 13 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

Please bear in mind that we operate as part of the w:Wikimedia_Foundation , and although the community has the right to define policies relevant to us (such as Wikipedia no longer allowing the Daily Mail to be used as a reference) I am pretty uncomfortable banning creative commons content just because it comes from a site we don't like. Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:44, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Do we have to allow any origin of copied content just because it is issued under a license that allows copying? There are probably a whole bunch of sources now passed into the public domain that WP does not want to see copied on its pages (even though they may not have issued a specific ban against them). I know not nearly as much as I'd like to about the implications of our license and our being part of Wikimedia, but I don't think they'd be too unwilling to allow us to ban copying any content from a site that has been in pretty hostile litigation with the Wikimedia Foundation as well as individuals associated with WV. If and when our community achieves a consensus to do so, that is. I think there is if not a policy at least a somewhat common practice to remove copied content on sight from existing articles, but this obviously doesn't apply in this specific example. Hobbitschuster (talk) 01:18, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Here is the Wikimedia mission statement :
.
.The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.
.
and the values of Freedom:
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.An essential part of the Wikimedia Foundation's mission is encouraging the development of free-content educational resources that may be created, used, and reused by the entire human community. We believe that this mission requires thriving open formats and open standards on the web to allow the creation of content not subject to restrictions on creation, use, and reuse.
.
As far as I can tell your proposal runs directly counter to the principles of Wikimedia. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:49, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Vague, high-minded platitudes about free content and open sourcing are well and good, but let's not be naïve. This isn't merely a "site we don't like". As Hobbitschuster said above, the case of WT presents a pretty weighty extenuating circumstance - not only did they engage in hostile litigation, but even after they lost in court they continued to troll, disrupt, and otherwise attempt to undermine the integrity of Wikivoyage, using a number of tactics of which this is one. I think Hobbit's Option #1 is not only allowable, but the only reasonable course of action. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:14, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I'll disagree then. The principles are not vague at all, and encourage us to be open rather than insular which is precisely the direction suggested here. I also don't believe the creation of Seda_(Sichuan) was an attempt to undermine WV, and do not regard that as a 'naïve' position.
Seriously, IB didn't behave well at all during the fork and have since made some attempts to undermine us, but draconian suggestions such as this will only harm us long term (which would please IB no doubt) Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:33, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I would not consider a policy of banning copying from one specific site "draconian", I also don't find anything in that mission statement that says "oh and by the way, we love copying stuff". I think it is fair to say the page in question was created in good faith, but making it impossible to undo this type of damage even if done with harmful or doubtful intent is really not a good way forward. I also do not see how prohibiting copying from this specific site will harm us in the long run. I think the google penalty (which we can argue back and forth about, but which will only get more entrenched if we start copying stuff from that IB site) is one of our biggest long term challenges as is the general development of wikis overall. There is also the added point that hardly anyone edits that other site anyway, so there is not much stuff they can even theoretically claim to be better than we are anyway. And given that there censoring of our name makes it impossible for us to be copied there with proper attribution, they might use copied content (which they themselves might put here) as some weird sort of recruitment or propaganda tool. I was actually almost convinced that IB has forgotten all about that site they acquired way back when (and which has surely caused them more headache than anything), but us being wishy washy in our "we don't like when you copy, but we are all for it" policy is a downright invitation for anybody wishing to disrupt us getting funny ideas. I also thought that copying content was in the past at the very least grounds for being looked at and told about our relationship with that site. Oftentimes such edits were (partially) reverted as well. Hobbitschuster (talk) 03:58, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Draconian does mean "excessively harsh and severe", which would be a good way to describe the reaction to this non-threat to WV. Once you have banned a site such as WT with no reasonable justification then you are making it easier to ban other sources on a whim in future as well. Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:03, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I think this is just stupid, sorry. Licensing aside, I'd say the page won't propagate itself on google. I started on WT exactly because it's almost impossible to discover WV, if you don't already know you are looking for it. Perhaps wikimedia should rather invest in some advertisment on pages like tripadvisor - so that you get some links. I reckon that will help SEO much more than the copying of text harms it.
About the "ban copied stuff" policy. Do as you want, but you will probably only discourage people who want to help. Sure, there may be trolls etc. You can probably get rid of such cases by some "soft ban" - like if the thing is copied 1:1 and not touched for let's say 1 month, get rid of it - or prune it to very basics. Andree.sk (talk) 07:05, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
No-one here wants simply duplication from that or any other site, but I have to agree. A full-out ban does seem to be excessive and might well scare off well-intending new editors coming from that other site. It's perfectly natural when you've been working there to think it's helpful to copy content here, being unaware of the SEO issues and the history. I also feel we're engaging again in a long and for many frustrating discussion to tackle a relatively small problem. How many copied pages are really being introduced per year? It's a handful at most. Why can't we simply treat this like we treat all other verbatim copying? It's discouraged, for WT text even more so than for other sites due to SEO reasons, new editors who copy text get an explanation on why it is unwanted and why it is important to write original content. If anyone purposely continues to copy a lot of text despite the explanation and without engaging in a constructive dialogue, we can take appropriate action based on that, since working within consensus is what we do. @Andree.sk, welcome to this little community :-) I'm sorry this feels like an inquisition to you. I hope you understand where all these frustrations are coming from. Looking forward to more (but now original! ;-)) contributions by you. JuliasTravels (talk) 07:29, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I second the last part of what Julias said. Andree.sk, you wandered into a bit of a minefield here, but it seems obvious to me that you meant well. We're happy to have you here, and please know that any frustration you may be reading in others' comments here isn't directed at you personally. In fact, you can take heart in that your edits served as a catalyst in making some real headway in solving a larger issue that's been simmering for a long time. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:17, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

At the risk of sounding... Pendantic? Naive? How does ttcf apply here? I've thought about this a lot, actually and haven't come to a conclusion. Can someone shed some light on this from his perspective? What would help the traveler the most here? —Justin (koavf)TCM 07:53, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

We can't help the traveller if the traveller can't even find us due to SEO issues. K7L (talk) 14:04, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
This is not a response to whatever seemed to have started this discussion (I haven't looked into it), just a general response. I don't see it as harmful to state contributors should use their own words and not copy-and-paste from other sources. That sounds incredibly reasonable and non-controversial to me. A user who is informed of such a policy should easily be able to adjust, and a user who refuses would be working against the project. I don't see how "original writing" goes against the Wikimedia Foundation's mission statement, either. Wikipedia doesn't allow copy-and-paste edits, either. On that site they need attribution and rarely do they simply copy everything as a quote. They, too, summarize. Here, we don't provide any attribution, so we should certainly try to maintain original writing. I don't see where the contention is, but perhaps I'm missing something by not being aware of the catalyst for this discussion. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:01, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
@ChubbyWimbus: "Wikipedia doesn't allow copy-and-paste edits" That's not true at all. Tens of thousands of articles have been generated from census data and the CIA World Factbook as well as incorporating material directly from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica and the Catholic Encyclopedia. Some of our sister projects virtually are copy and pasting like Wikidata, Wikispecies, Wikiquote, and Wikisource, plus Wiktionary relies heavily on quotations for citation. That may not be an argument for copying and pasting here but it's certainly not true that Wikipedia disallows copying and pasting, nor do any of our other projects. —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:37, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
The w:user:rambot is the worst malicious robot vandal in the history of Wikipedia, spamming thousands of pages with (now-outdated) US Census data. It was shut down at the end of 2004 with extreme prejudice. If it were to return, it would be shot on sight - or maybe shot on site. I'd be very hesitant to use it as a w:WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS precedent as its operation would not be tolerated on Wikipedia today. The 2012 mass dump of all WT content here will also not be repeated.K7L (talk) 19:44, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I'd add to this. You can't help traveller if you prefer empty article over copy (seriously pruned) from WT even in case of most important topics of countries, like Salar de Uyuni of Bolivia. Or does anyone here seriously think that when the first thing about Bolivia is not covered here, the traveller will take this page seriously? Esp. if WT has it in depth... If he turns around, he won't link from discussion forums, blogs, other guides to here - and you get zero SEO points. With copied stuff, the SEO penalty is likely very small these days. I think you'd be better off adding new content, than reinventing wheel... Again, looking at Bolivia - your/our time would be much better spent organizing the country in some traveler-friendly appearance (adding maps, high-level region overview), than discussing if some few kilobytes of copied text in one sub-sub-sub-sub-page will (or not) harm. Andree.sk (talk) 21:50, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

Once again @Andre.sk: it was by no means my intention to single you out or presume anything but the best intentions, but even I as someone who has not been here for as long as some others have found the problems created by IB and all that comes with it extremely frustrating. IB literally tried to shut down this website before it even came to be and is even now censoring any mention of it. And they have in the past sent trolls our way (thankfully often blatantly obvious ones), so this issue naturally is an emotional one to many here. If - as seems to be the case - there is agreement that there is little to no to be copied from that other site to begin with, I don't see why being a bit clearer about us not wanting that could do harm. And while I agree with User:ChubbyWimbus in that WP does not usually have copy pasted content, they do sometimes have articles or large parts of articles based on old encyclopedias that since have passed into the public domain (Meyers Konversationslexikon is a favorite on de-WP) - which is a source of text we certainly won't need or use not now or ever. As for the sources of our information; ideally locals or people who have been to the place are our main source for our articles. For updating stuff that has become outdated our dead weblink tool has proven invaluable. I sometimes add listings to articles that are devoid of them in a certain category by going to the tourism website, see the hotels and restaurants there and then see their own websites. This is of course not as good as actually going there, but it beats having no listings whatsoever in an article and I have found that the more content an article has, the more edits it attracts. Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:18, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

The general (but serious) discouragement of copying is not the issue. However, additional policy explicitly "banning" any copying from WT specifically is likely to provoke deletions on sight and firm talk, which would scare away good editors who were just unaware. We'd be throwing out the kid with the bathwater. It's much better to kindly inform them, help with rewriting such an article when possible and hopefully draw them in. We have tools to stop malicious editors or IB trolls when they want to continue unwanted edits despite that information - the same way we would handle verbatim copying from other sites, as we always have. Besides all that, singling out WT as a "forbidden" source would make us as petty as they have been, and I don't care to give them any such special attention. JuliasTravels (talk) 15:34, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
JuliasTravels, "likely to provoke deletions on sight and firm talk, which would scare away good editors" is wild speculation. Though all of us more experienced editors slip up from time to time, as a general rule we scrupulously assume good faith when it comes to new users making honest mistakes. None of that would necessarily change if we made prohibition of content copied from WT an explicit policy - and if it did, the problem wouldn't lie with the policy, but with newbie-biting, which itself is against policy.
Secondly, by way of addressing ChubbyWimbus' and Justin's comments upthread: I have no problem with WV content coped from Wikipedia or other CC-licensed sources with proper attribution, and even given our history with WT, I might be inclined to bury the hatchet with them on the issue of shared content if not for the censoring of any mention of WV at WT that Hobbitschuster mentioned. As far as I'm concerned, as long as it remains impossible to copy WV content to WT with proper attribution, I don't feel any compunction about the idea of forbidding the reverse. It seems to me that all this talk about the spirit of fairness and open content is, in this particular case with WT, being employed for the benefit of an illusion of fairness that belies a scenario whose end result is in many ways manifestly less fair than that of a prohibition on copying. Fairness and openness are two-way streets.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:29, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

I believe that the decision to keep or delete something should be based on the quality of this content, and whether it is appropriate for a travel guide. It would be silly to disallow good content, because the eventual goal is to have all good and freely licensed travel-related information in one place. I also think that the amount of good content copied from other sites is normally so small that it should not be visible and should not require any discussion. When it is, it probably means that "some other" travel wikis still are still doing better than this one. --Alexander (talk) 16:33, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

Surprised this is still a discussion. Yes, no-one likes WT, but proposing banning valid attributed CC content from any source is a bad idea. If the content is both legal and useful then there are better ways to improve WV than proposing draconian (yes, correct definition) measures. Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:03, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Many of the instances of "copying" from WT are actually users copying what they inputted to WT into WV. Surely we're not going to make that a capital crime, right? Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:55, 15 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
"Capital crime", "scaring away good editors" - I fail to understand wherefore the leap from "new policy" to "heavy-handed consequences for those who defy the policy". There is an extremely circumscribed range of behaviors for which a user can incur a permaban on the spot - real-world threats, vandalism-only accounts, and a very few others - and if we institute a prohibition on copying from WT like we should, I don't foresee violators of that policy as falling into the permaban category, at least for first-time offenders. I would see no problem with one or more gentle reminders, followed by the usual escalating user-blocks scheme for those who still don't get the message.
To answer the question here: you are correct, copying one's own content from WT to WV would not suffice for an exception to the rule. The reason why is extremely straightforward for those who can avoid getting hung up on the letter of the law. Something I also fail to understand is the stubborn refusal to differentiate between our relationship with WT vs. our relationship with Wikipedia or whatever other site that uses CC-licensed material with whom we don't have a uniquely adversarial history. Of course we value the free exchange of information in the Creative Commons spirit, but can you people really not see how this is a special circumstance that warrants being looked at differently? Do you honestly think any good-faith user who innocently copies text he wrote at WT to this site would disagree if s/he were given a brief primer on the history of the WT-WV relationship? Come to think of it, if you asked such a user what the advantage is to anyone of having the exact same information available on two different sites, don't you think s/he would come to understand why we feel the way we do about it?
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:52, 15 February 2017 (UTC)Reply


Just to try to help you guys with the discussion, perhaps you need some table pro/against (the numbers are just arbitrary) - the above goes in circles currently... Feel free to delete it if it's useless, or adjust values. I'll see myself out :-) Andree.sk (talk) 07:00, 15 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

Pro WT content points (1 ... 10) Against -points (-10 ... -1)
CC-BY-SA content normally accepted 5
WT lawsuits/trolling a possibility (depending on how often it happens and how hard it is to detect compared to a generic vandalism) -3
overhead with detecting WT-specific content -1
problems with checking whether WT content is not "stolen" in the first place (but that's with any copied content) -1
more relevant/complete content for the visitors, than empty pages/stubs - also "something" is a better base for editing than "nothing" 8
Big part of WV is WT-sourced since 20xx with minimal changes anyhow.Also WT content gets updated more than WV in some areas. 5
SEO problems (mightn't be too big) -4
Easier to start a page if the editor doesn't know it, than to gather the info from scratch. 3
banning copying might scare away new contributors 3
@Andree.sk, that table would be relevant if we'd be discussing whether or not copied content is wanted. We're not. It's long established and broadly supported policy to discourage all verbatim copying - for a range of reasons. It's a different discussion. The question here was if we need to change current policy on how to handle copying. Regardless of opinions, I think it's abundantly clear that there is currently no consensus to do so. It also doesn't seem like we're likely to change each other's mind. Therefore, I'll refrain from further commenting :-) JuliasTravels (talk) 11:41, 15 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Agreed, it seems both sides are not moving and repeating the same points won't help.
I would however suggest another path, which is to leave policy well alone and create a new category template that identifies articles that have been extensively copied (including from our favorite WT source) and request a rewrite. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:31, 15 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I think that would be a useful template. I'd be willing to help with rewrites. Ground Zero (talk) 12:04, 17 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
For new cases, fine. I'm not sure it would be a great idea to put such a template on all our pages with WT material though... that's probably still 90% of articles, no? JuliasTravels (talk) 13:04, 17 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
The frequency of WT material on pre-fork articles must be far higher than 90%! I was thinking more identifying articles that have a high 'similarity quotient' to their WT correspondence article. i.e. articles that have exactly the same introduction over many paragraphs. Other aspects such as listings would not count towards how similar the two articles were. Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:26, 17 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
There seem to be some disagreements over whether edits to remove copied content are desirable. I think the template should be designed in such a way that it can be applied to single sections as well. Sometimes a whole "get in" section is essentially the same it has been since 2011 or even earlier. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:42, 17 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I think everyone is on the same page with regards to copied content being undesirable, with just the question of how to respond to it being in contention. We could add a template on a section basis rather than for the whole article. It would make sense. Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:12, 18 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
A fork of of this discussion has been moved to Talk:Salar de Uyuni.

Revived discussion in 2022

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The lack of absolute clarity on our standard practice of disallowing copying from Wikitravel, deleting articles that consist of that and blocking users who persistently engage in it has led to this unfortunate debate in the pub. Can we please state that copying from Wikitravel is prohibited and not debate this in the future? Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:58, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

Agreed that there should be something definitive, or else there will continue to be users who (understandably) want to post content from Wikitravel here. Since ttcf, I think the opposite is true: make it clear that this behavior is acceptable and there is not a guideline or policy disallowing it, but explain the reasons why it's generally not best practice (the linked conversation notes SEO, which is not in the traveller's best interest). —Justin (koavf)TCM 14:14, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Would the following look like "absolute clarity"?
  • It is legal to copy articles, in whole and in part, from Wikitravel, so long as attribution is provided and the license is complied with. If the terms of the license are not complied with, the page is subject to speedy deletion.
  • However, the community at the English Wikivoyage no longer chooses to permit contributors to copy articles from Wikitravel. Articles created here after 31 December 2022 that are entirely or primarily copied from Wikitravel are subject to speedy deletion.
@Ikan Kekek, is that sufficient, or do you want to propose banning the copying of sections/paragraphs/listing descriptions as well? This doesn't seem to be discussed very often, so I don't know if we need to go beyond deleting whole pages (including whole pages with superficial tweaks so that it's not a perfect match). WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:59, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I appreciate your proposed language, which is an improvement. I think we should prohibit any substantial amount of new content to be copied from Wikitravel. That would include a paragraph with several sentences. It might include a single sentence if there is any distinctive language or phrasing in it. Where we draw the line and how we define that is worth more consideration. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:29, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
"Distinctive language or phrasing" sounds like it would have (at least) substantial overlap with copyrightable content. That is, you could probably copy over a listing like this one without requiring any attribution of its source:
but for a listing like this one:
  • 2 El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park, 123 East Canon Perdido, Santa Barbara, +1 805 965-0093. 10:30AM–4:30PM daily. El Presidio de Santa Barbara boasts of having the second-oldest extant adobe building in California, a house for one of the guards, and several other adobe buildings from later eras. The Presidio was a Spanish military outpost founded in 1782, and the park provides information about the indigenous Chumash people, the early Spanish and Mexican military and government officials, and the later European-American, Chinese and Japanese immigrants. The location, in downtown Santa Barbara, means that this park is within an easy walking distance of many hotels, restaurants, and the Amtrak train station. Consider visiting the Chumash Painted Cave State Historical Park outside of town afterwards (road to Chumash Painted Cave not safe for trailers or large vehicles, limited parking, steep hiking required). Presidio of Santa Barbara on Wikipedia
you could copy the name/address/phone number bits, but you would have to omit the |content= description, as it's copyrightable, and therefore would require attribution (in this particular case, to me/my sandbox here ;-) ).
I don't have a handle on how strong the copyright skills are among the reviewers and admins. If we wrote a rule that says "No copying anything copyrightable from Wikitravel", would that be an instantly recognizable threshold, or would that be a rather opaque standard? WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:03, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
(edit conflict) I partially support the following wording. I wholly agree with the first point, it's the second point that I'll get to.
To the second point, let's discuss what "primarily copied" means. I don't have a solid opinion on this, so I'll decide when we get more opinions. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 04:32, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
WhatamIdoing, I think that could be a somewhat opaque standard for some Wikivoyagers; however, your example clarifies things to the extent that I would want to give the two examples on the page, and I think that would make things clear enough to work with. I'll be interested to read SHB2000's thoughts. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:03, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
@SHB2000, my intention with "primarily" was to prevent someone from thinking that the (suggested) ban on copying wouldn't apply if they change a couple of words on a page. If this is a problem to the point that the community chooses to ban it, then you don't really want someone to say that the ban applies only to pages that are 100% copied from Wikitravel, but not to pages that are only 99% copied from Wikitravel and 1% newly created by a local editor. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:18, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
That makes sense; in that case, I support your wording.
@Ikan Kekek: also agree that it's somewhat opaque for some users. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 06:38, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I support WhatamIdoing's proposed wording and the inclusion of her examples to illustrate the point. In an ideal word, I'd favour a form of Koavf's suggestion (it's allowed but we discourage it for a whole host of reasons), but bad-faith actors would use that to justify doing as they please no matter how unreasonable and "you can't stop me because it's not policy". So yes, we need to make it policy.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:43, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Is there still enough new content added that copying anything even makes sense? I think copying a listing mostly would just mean readding a listing that was deleted over here because the venue has closed. I think that risk should be mentioned among the main reasons not to copy content. And if you check the place, then adding details from your research instead of from WT shouldn't be too difficult. If there still are users contributing to both sites, then the considerations are different (no copyright issues, fresh content), but I am not sure we should encourage that either. –LPfi (talk) 13:26, 12 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
We definitely don't want to encourage greater similarity between the two sites. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:11, 13 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I agree with LPfi. Copying from an obsolete site is a bad idea. Contributors should look for more recent source so that out of date information is not added to Wikivoyage. Ground Zero (talk) 04:58, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Do we have a consensus to support WhatamIdoing's proposed language and examples, or should we go for an absolute ban on copying anything from Wikitravel? Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:13, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I'd support an absolute ban. I don't think there is anything of value for us there. I'd go with WhatamIdoing's proposed language if there isn't enough support for an absolute ban. Ground Zero (talk) 19:10, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I think the proposed wording (if I found the right version) is unnecessarily convoluted, and I haven't been convinced there is much use copying anything. I think adding the same info to both sites isn't covered by "copying", but I don't think we need to cover that issue in this discussion; adding the same opening hours and phone numbers at both sites shouldn't be an issue worth another heated argument. Thus, I support a ban on copying content from there. –LPfi (talk) 20:19, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I'm happy to help draft wording for whatever option(s) someone would like to consider. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:05, 17 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
If there's a consensus to ban copying from Wikitravel, that's easy: We just state that while Wikitravel's Creative Commons license legally permits copying to Wikivoyage, we have made a decision to prohibit any such copying as a matter of policy. I'm wondering if we should have a vote on which language we prefer. I think it's simplest to go with a complete ban, so I tend to agree with Ground Zero and LPfi's points above but would also be happy with your previous proposed language if it's more acceptable to a consensus. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:25, 17 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I think we should have a vote on which actual practice to prefer, rather than which language to prefer. The key point is whether importing (in compliance with licensing, etc.) is acceptable for whole pages, for partial pages, for single paragraphs/descriptions, or not at all. If you can give me a description of reality you (all) want, then we can work out the wording. What we don't want is to enshrine some wording, and then discover that different people had different ideas of what we really intended (especially if someone might think that the written rule was overstating things for the sake of newcomers, but didn't really apply equally to everyone). WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:13, 18 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think that:

  • Copying whole pages, partial pages or paragraphs/descriptions should not be allowed. There are copyright issues that we don't want to have with IB, and educating users every time copying happens is too much effort, as is researching history to find out who copied what. I tend to trust those saying there are SEO issues too, but I have no expertise on that.
  • Taking inspiration from WT, or checking where there is something to add or amend is hard to police and doesn't have legal implications, so I think it should be allowed. The limit would be not to accept copyrightable content, erring on side of caution and recommending not directly copying anything.
  • Writing simultaneously on WT and WV seems to be something some want to do. I would recommend against that, but wouldn't forbid it without hearing the affected users.

LPfi (talk) 13:21, 18 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

If you look at recent changes on WT, you will see that no-one is contributing travel content anymore. The recent changes are account creation and blocking, vandalism, and spam. I do not think we need to write policy to accommodate people writing on both sites — it isn't happening. Ground Zero (talk) 14:31, 18 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
In the section immediately below, we were discussing the question, "Does no one edit on WT any longer?", over 5½ years ago. Let's not create a complicated policy to accommodate a desire to copy text written before the pandemic. Ground Zero (talk) 20:00, 3 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
As I said, my vote is to ban any copying, period. I think that's simplest for everyone to understand. My second choice is to accept the copying of basic information in listings, if it's accurate and current, but nothing else. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:07, 18 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Link to Wikitravel's recent changes log for reference: https://wikitravel.org/en/Special:RecentChanges?hidebots=1&limit=50&days=7&enhanced=1&urlversion=2. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 23:06, 3 January 2023 (UTC)Reply

Votes

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User:Ground Zero, User:ThunderingTyphoons!, I and if I understand correctly, User:LPfi are in favor of a ban on copying from Wikitravel. User:Koafv is opposed to any limits on copying from Wikitravel, favoring only a recommendation not to do so most of the time. User:SHB2000 favors WhatamIdoing's language against adding copyrightable text from Wikitravel, and User:WhatamIdoing is fine with either policy. That looks like 4 for a ban, 1 against, 1 for a restrictive policy that is not quite a ban and 1 OK with either policy. I think that's a consensus for a ban, but let's leave the thread open for more discussion until at least January 2, 2023 in case people would like to comment more before any new wording is added to the page - understanding, of course, that no decision is ever final on a Wiki and further discussion after the policy is changed is fine and to be expected. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:33, 30 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

FWIW, I'm happy with a full ban and am fine with either policy. To be frank, I'm really happy with anything but the status quo which currently does not restrict copying text from the museum piece. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 00:38, 30 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Maybe a reminder/summary should be posted to Wikivoyage:Travellers' pub before any changes are made. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:31, 3 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
Not enough time was allowed for the voting period.
I am opposed to an outright ban, but agree with SHB2000's position. Mrkstvns (talk) 01:17, 7 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
What in the World do you mean by "enough time"? It's clear there's a consensus for a ban, based on discussion. And note that SHB2000 is happy with a full ban, as he stated immediately above. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:16, 7 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
WhatamIdoing, do you want to post a new announcement in the Pub, or can we act? I'll await your decision. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:22, 7 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
I concur with a ban. /Yvwv (talk) 05:44, 9 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
I've posted a note there. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:48, 9 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
I prefer WhatamIdoing's words, but am not opposed to a complete ban. I have just checked on WT: somebody that I occasionally meet when travelling is still contributing there, but only made 6 edits in the whole of 2022. In practise we should not revert edits by business owners who update there listings on both sites with the same words, but I doubt that will be spotted unless there is a tool to automatically check edits against WT. AlasdairW (talk) 22:18, 9 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
I support banning copying content from WT. If you want to add your work to both sites (god knows why), that doesn't seem like copying to me so no issue there. It's more simple to just say "banned", rather than have a grey area in this instance. ButteBag (talk) 18:01, 11 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
I agree. Those who advocated copying in the beginning of the discussion have not defended their position by telling what valuable content there is. We should perhaps mention the similar updates (by business owners and some of our regulars) and recommend to use different wording in those cases – otherwise some overzealous editor might react badly at that kind of edits. Business hours, phone numbers and addresses are pure facts, and whether they are copied between the two sites, both copied from the business' site or just written in the standard way is hard to tell in most cases; that kind of content is no issue. –LPfi (talk) 18:56, 11 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
Support banning, because copying is simply bad practice. If you want to create a working draft then post updated content that's fine, that's not copying. I derive content from multiple sources, that's how the internet works, and originally those included WT. I no longer bother with that one, though if there are parts of the world where it's good gen, that would be helpful to know. But whatever the source, it has to be processed through your brain and be edited not just C^V^ 'd, even if there's no copyright issue. And what's been described is wholesale brainfree copying which deserves wholesale removal and user sanction, so admin need a policy to back corrective actions. Grahamsands (talk) 21:39, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply

Wording

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It looks like there is a clear consensus in favor of a ban on copying text from Wikitravel to Wikivoyage. I was going to plunge forward and change the language, but just to be doubly sure: Does anyone have any objection to substituting this new text:


May I copy content between Wikivoyage and Wikitravel?

[edit]

No. Legally, content from Wikitravel can be used on Wikivoyage, as long as the conditions of the relevant copyright licenses are complied with. Internet Brands has confirmed that the content of Wikitravel is under a CC BY-SA license. However, as Internet Brands and the WMF have engaged in litigation, and due to the fact that having the same content on both sites can penalize Wikivoyage in search rankings (see search engine optimization for more information), we have made a decision to prohibit any such copying as a matter of policy. Instead of copying text, please contribute original content written in your own words.

Furthermore, moving content from Wikivoyage to Wikitravel is not currently possible, as any mention of Wikivoyage is banned on that site, precluding correct attribution.


In place of this preexisting text(?):

Can I copy content between Wikivoyage and Wikitravel?

[edit]

While content can be legally copied from Wikitravel to Wikivoyage if attribution is provided in accordance with the CC-BY-SA license, such copying is generally discouraged due to the history of litigation between the two sites and due to the fact that having the same content on both sites can penalize Wikivoyage in search rankings (see search engine optimization for more information). Instead of copying text, consider contributing original content written in your own words.

Legally, content from Wikitravel can be used on Wikivoyage as long as the conditions of relevant copyright licenses are complied with. Internet Brands has confirmed that the content of Wikitravel is under a CC BY-SA license. However, as Internet Brands and the WMF have engaged in litigation, please discuss before moving content from Wikitravel to Wikivoyage. If you do move anything, be very careful to comply fully with the license terms regarding attribution.

Moving content from Wikivoyage to Wikitravel is not currently possible as any mention of Wikivoyage is banned on that site, precluding correct attribution.

Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:06, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply

Looks good. I agree that a simple ban is better than a wishy-washy "maybe" policy. Mrkstvns (talk) 17:24, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
I have changed the question from "Can I?" to "May I?". This prevents it from saying "Can I? No. Legally, you can", which will confuse someone.
As purely optional, potential tweaks, I think the "Furthermore," in the second paragraph is superfluous but harmless. I might suggest that the first full sentence be slightly expanded from "can be used on Wikivoyage, as long as…" to "can be used on Wikivoyage or any other site, as long as…", as there is nothing special about Wikivoyage in this regard.
More importantly, the "please discuss" should probably have a link to a suitable page for that discussion (the pub?). It's very awkward for people to be told that it's important to have a discussion, but not be told where that discussion should happen. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:30, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
I'm good with "may" and fine with your other suggestion. However, the "please discuss" language is in the current phrasing and not the proposed replacement, so it's not relevant. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:58, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
I would make this deletion: "Furthermore, moving content from Wikivoyage to Wikitravel is not currently possible, as any mention of Wikivoyage is banned on that site, precluding correct attribution." "Currently" implies an expected or imminent change, which is unlikely. I doubt IB is putting any effort into WT policies anymore. Ground Zero (talk) 19:44, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
I support banning any copying between Wikitravel and Wikivoyage. We decided to fork the project on the basis that the two sites would go in different directions, in order for Wikivoyage's content to become completely different from that of Wikitravel in the long run. Banning content copying between the sites improves Search Engine Optimization and aligns with the fundamental goal of our project: to create our own website with its own content quality standards. Having a clear ban on the copying of content would make this point clearer to new users of the site. --Comment by Selfie City (talk) (contributions) 20:16, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
The "Furthermore" line could be removed entirely. What they allow or don't do allow is really not our problem. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:15, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
No problem removing that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:42, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
Done. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:21, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply


[edit]
Swept in from the pub

This is a bit of a tertiary concern but just a heads-up that I am no longer an admin on the English Wikitravel because I have an active account here. I only mention it because I was the only person who had advanced user access levels there and sometimes users would request things like deletions or exports or somesuch. This doesn't affect our day-to-day but I figured it's worth giving notice. —Justin (koavf)TCM 00:30, 30 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Am I correct in inferring from the title of this section that Wikitravel now has a formal policy against their sysops also being sysops here? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:46, 30 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
@AndreCarrotflower: "At this time, only Wikitravel members without active Wikivoyage accounts are permitted as administrators." I'm not and have never been an admin here. —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:55, 30 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Tangentially why are some users still active there? Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:06, 30 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Their server gets slower and slower. As a competitor, they are no longer a concern. /Yvwv (talk) 13:20, 30 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Some of our users? ttcf: everyone should have good information, so I've mostly ensured that when restaurants close in Indianapolis, I delete them from Wikitravel and I have also deleted several hundred spam pages. As for why non-Wikivoyage users edit there, it's just first in search results or has some mild name recognition (neither of these sites is particularly well known). —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:45, 30 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
It's worth adding that earlier this month the vindictive tyrant of Wikitravel changed into meaningless names Ryan's, Ikan's, Andre's, and a few other accounts of people whom he believes were the driving force behind the migration (I am proud to be on the list). I am still wondering whether it is merely a revenge, silly and desperate, or a part of some deliberate action. --Alexander (talk) 14:59, 30 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
A clumsy attempt to flush you down the memory hole.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:51, 30 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
I that legal. I wonder, if WMF would decide I am persona non grata, could they delete my user page and attribute my edits to a random user name? I thought the BY in the licence required fair attribution, and attributing a random string doesn't seem very fair. –LPfi (talk) 15:58, 30 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
The -BY clause says that you must give "appropriate credit" including the "name of the creator". Since persons identified themselves as [x] and not [y], I think you could actually have an argument. Small potatoes, of course, but still. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:57, 30 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
I've threatened legal action for less. Powers (talk) 18:30, 3 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
Changing usernames of "deplorables" is beyond petty, and definitely wouldn't hold up as proper attribution. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:59, 7 September 2020 (UTC)Reply

Whatever our grumblings about WMF we sometimes have (such as their decision to rename the whole shebang against overwhelming community consensus) they are far less malicious and bothersome than IB... Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:00, 7 September 2020 (UTC) The non-answers given by IB to the entirely polite and reasonable questions speak volumes. What I am wondering is: Why now? Did they think we wouldn't notice? Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:31, 11 October 2020 (UTC)Reply

[edit]

I noticed Peterfitzgerald left a link at the other site to /general/User:Peterfitzgerald. Should we make those links work? –LPfi (talk) 16:52, 30 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Yes but what is the link you just made...? —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:46, 30 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
Probably a link to Wikivoyage before the transfer to WMF. Seems we did not take care of that type of URLs. Should it go to Meta? But creating user pages for others could be controversial. –LPfi (talk) 18:54, 30 August 2020 (UTC)Reply
I just checked & I'm no longer an admin there. Pashley (talk) 13:21, 7 September 2020 (UTC)Reply

Alexa is retired. Do we need a substitute?

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The Alexa ranking is retired. Do we need a substitute to compare our performance to Wikitravel? /Yvwv (talk) 19:07, 10 May 2022 (UTC)Reply

Are there any respectable alternatives? If not, perhaps the site ranking isn't necessary? --Comment by Selfie City (talk) (contributions) 20:36, 10 May 2022 (UTC)Reply
I'd definitely say it is necessary. If The Other Site's SEO rankings are low, then it means that we need to do a lot of changes to distinguish us from The Other Site. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 06:15, 11 May 2022 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for this interesting tidbit. I had no idea Alexa is gone. I guess it is time to head over to the mother-board (enwp) to find out what happened. Cheers, Ottawahitech (talk) 13:19, 13 May 2022 (UTC)Reply
It's "necessary" only if it's possible. But it's not really necessary. And we could also choose to "hide" it in plain sight by putting the figures on this talk page. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:53, 13 May 2022 (UTC)Reply

Importing an article from Wikitravel

[edit]
Swept in from the pub

I noticed that Wikitravel has a very nice article about Cusuco National Park, which Wikivoyage doesn't have at all. According to Wikivoyage:Wikivoyage and Wikitravel, I should "discuss before moving content from Wikitravel to Wikivoyage". Would anyone object if I copied this article over to Wikivoyage? What is the correct way to do that? Thanks! Nosferattus (talk) 19:39, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

I think it's fine. The licensing is not an issue. The only reason why others wouldn't want that imported is because of inter-wiki conflict, but not some kind of legal issue or something. As for how, the best way is to have it actually imported by exporting the page as XML and uploading it here, but standard users can't do that. You can provide attribution in the edit summary and talk page to ensure that CC licensing requirements are met. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:01, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
You are incorrect, Justin. We don't want articles copied and pasted from anywhere, and least of all Wikitravel, because Google penalizes sites for lack of originality. Nosferattus, I really appreciate your desire to help out. If it's not too much trouble, please get the information from somewhere else and summarize/paraphrase it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:27, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
@Ikan Kekek: Which guideline or policy says that? Since ttcf, it's better to have this content than to not have it. —Justin (koavf)TCM 00:46, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
The link at the top of the thread: "Instead of copying text, consider contributing original content written in your own words." In practice, we pretty much do not allow copying from Wikitravel and tend to delete it whenever we see it, but the implications are very clear at the link that we discourage it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:11, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Wouldn't that mean that most (or at least a large percentage) of Wikivoyage articles should be deleted since they were copied from Wikitravel? I have no interest in creating an original Cusuco National Park article as I'm not a Wikivoyage editor, but I was sad there was no article here to link to from the English Wikipedia article (which is where I edit). But it's more worrying that Wikivoyage seems to have no consensus on whether or not importing articles from Wikitravel is a good idea or not. Haven't y'all had about 10 years to sort this out? Nosferattus (talk) 03:27, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
@Nosferattus, at Wikivoyage:Wikivoyage and Wikitravel#Can I copy content between Wikivoyage and Wikitravel? it says "copying is generally discouraged" (italics in the original). Did you find this unclear? WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:08, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Nosferattus, no, it doesn't mean that. Articles that were part of the fork are one thing - and many of them have been greatly edited. New articles copied from Wikitravel are another. And the fact that you got an out-of-order answer to begin with does not mean that there is no consensus on this issue at Wikivoyage. If you have no interest in writing any articles here, OK, so be it, but in that case, let's not spend time arguing about it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:13, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
@Ikan Kekek:, As I'm sure you know, that page is neither a guideline or a policy. Again, one of our guiding policies is ttcf. Is it better for travellers that we have no content here on this topic or perfectly fine content from Wikitravel? —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:00, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
It's better to have no content than an article newly copied and pasted from Wikitravel. I guess we have to debate this further at Wikivoyage talk:Wikivoyage and Wikitravel? You are to my knowledge the only long-term user who disagrees with our standard practice. Leaning on legalisms instead of understanding the situation is unfortunate and does not put you in a good light, in my opinion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:54, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Let's debate policy at Wikivoyage talk:Wikivoyage and Wikitravel#Revived discussion in 2022. I will also post this to Requests for comment. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:58, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I don't really like your repeated implications that there's something sinister about my editing. I'm just applying ttcf and I fail to see how travellers are helped by having no content. —Justin (koavf)TCM 14:12, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Good luck with y'all's dick-waiving contest. I'm outta here! Nosferattus (talk) 15:16, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Not sinister; wrongheaded. You're a long-time valuable user, so I'm quite surprised at this being a debate at this late date. Goodbye, Nosferattus. Please come back if you ever want to add original content to this site. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:11, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
@Nosferattus: Please remain civil; demonstrate further incivility and the door will be swiftly shown to you. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 03:15, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Long-term user here. Koavf is right. HTH. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:08, 28 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Without prejudice to the above comments by Ikan Kekek and Justin, my instant answer is no, and no matter what reason you give, the answer will always be no. Many users have done their best to try and differentiate the content between the two sites, therefore improving this site's SEO. Justin, are you seriously saying we should be heading backwards, essentially undoing all the hard work that's been done over the past 10 years? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 03:14, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I am not saying that, nor did I say that. What I wrote was that since ttcf, us having a good (assuming it's good: I have no idea) article on a place is better than having nothing on a place. Since ttcf is one of our guiding principles, that is the first thing I think of when I try to answer a question about how this site should work. How is the traveller better off for not having this content here? —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:56, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I've started an article for Cusuco National Park without using anything from the defunct wiki travel site. Additional contributions would be welcome. Ground Zero (talk) 05:47, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

It really hasn't been fun to re-debate how to deal with edits by a block-evader banned for bigotry, and it's not fun to have to re-debate the relationship of this site and Wikitravel. I'm wondering what the next fundamental thing is that someone is going to claim we have to backslide on on the basis that travelers would somehow benefit from the self-destruction of this site. Look, Justin, I'm sorry about how aggressive my reaction has been and how extreme my remarks sound, but they demanded a strong response, lest our prospective new user got the wrong idea, and I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say I will be an admin and even a regular editor on any site only as long as it's fun. Please think clearly about why we forked and what IB tried to do to us and see if you can reconsider. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:07, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I started editing Wikitravel four years before you joined and I remember how that all went down and I also remember Internet Brands removing my admin rights there when all I ever did was delete spam. I have no nostalgia for any of that. I just keep on asking (and others keeping on evading) how this puts the traveler first. If the community here wants to change the guidelines or policies to be an actual guideline or policy, so be it. If not, then you can't expect anyone to be upset or confused or bothered when someone wants to enforce rules that don't exist or show fundamental ignorance of the rules that do exist. Being in conversations with admins who literally don't know that ttcf is a policy or who just refuse to even acknowledge its existence and basic importance is frustrating for me, for sure. That said, thanks for apologizing. I want this to be fun, too. —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:32, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
All of us know that ttcf is a policy, but though it's the overall watchword of everything, it doesn't override several basic policies. Do you remember WFrank, for example? This site has to function in a way that perpetuates it, or it's to no-one's advantage. (Parenthetically, I was on Wikitravel as several IP addresses for several years before I registered. I'm not sure this is my earliest IP.) Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:40, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
The WT article really wasn't useful. I looked at it this morning to see if I could pick up anything worth adding. I didn't. We know that anything on that site was written many years ago. For a place like this park, it would be a mistake to believe that what WT that anybody the information is still valid. Copying over out-of-date information does not benefit the traveller, and it is quite clear that Nosferattus was looking for a quick copy-and-paste, and was not interested in verifying any of the information. Further, I think that we can generalize that most or all WT text is now out-of-date and should not be copied. Ground Zero (talk) 14:22, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I think I'm hearing two stories, both of which sound reasonable to me:
  • The traveller comes first, and that means we need to have as much good content as possible, even if that means travellers are less likely to end up at this site in the first place. Not caring about SEO issues = putting the traveller first.
  • The traveller comes first, and that means we need to get the travellers to this site, instead of to other sites. Caring about SEO issues = putting the traveller first.
Do those sound like (sort of) fair descriptions of your views? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:04, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Yes, with two additional points: We shouldn't help sites or individuals who tried to destroy or damage us, and we shouldn't get into the kinds of basic disputes that could have the effect of sending some long-time and valuable content providers and admins to the exits. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:49, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I think overall we could classify this as a short- vs long-term perspective. The traveller is best served today by having good content, and in the future by being able to find good content produced by a positive, productive community. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:08, 12 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Exactly. The community needs to be healthy, and it can't be if we allow sabotage to occur. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:13, 13 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Who is committing sabotage? —Justin (koavf)TCM 00:23, 13 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
AFAIK, nobody is committing sabotage at the moment. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:19, 13 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Allowing people to copy and paste wholesale from Wikitravel or allowing users banned for bigotry to edit is sabotage, in my opinion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:36, 14 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
That is not sabotage. —Justin (koavf)TCM 16:43, 14 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
You don't seem to understand how many and what kind of users would head for the exits if such policies were adopted. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:36, 14 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
There may well be users who leave the site in that case. I'm just saying that nothing proposed in this thread is sabotage. No one proposing to import freely-licensed material (of quality) to fill in gaps in our travel coverage is trying to "deliberately destroy or damage something in order to prevent it from being successful". —Justin (koavf)TCM 17:46, 14 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Well, importing content from the other site affects our search engine optimisation rank, so yes, I too would agree that it's an indirect way of damaging something to prevent it from having a higher ranking. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 23:28, 14 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
That may well be true, but 1.) it's not obvious that it causes more damage than it helps and 2.) it's not sabotage. —Justin (koavf)TCM 23:59, 14 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
having a higher ranking = more successful, IMO. Agree with Ikan Kekek that this is sabotage. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 00:02, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
"Deliberately destroy or damage something in order to prevent it from being successful". Not sabotage. —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:15, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
But when you copy something from Wikitravel, you know that it will affect the site's SEO. That's not an accident. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 04:47, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Not everyone knows or cares about SEO, nor does everyone think that purported SEO impacts are more important than the value added by importing the article. Therefore, not sabotage. —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:39, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
You know. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:18, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
What? Why did you post this? —Justin (koavf)TCM 07:16, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Huh? Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:25, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
What is your point? —Justin (koavf)TCM 07:38, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I'm not Ikan to answer this, but I believe Ikan's (and my) point is that copying content from Wikitravel is deliberately harming this site, and therefore sabotage. Period. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 07:56, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Nosferattus was not asking, "Hey, can I deliberately harm this site?" If you think that constitutes "sabotage", then you should probably propose that we not discourage that behavior, but prohibit it. Who just generally frowns upon sabotage? —Justin (koavf)TCM 08:26, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I don't know what you think you're arguing about. Over and out, and you can continue making more remarks if you want to, but most of this discussion would not have taken place if you hadn't told this user to go ahead. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:57, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Also, copying content is also deliberately harming this site because we're adding out-of-date content as if it were up-to-date; deliberately adding obsolete content is also deliberately harming the site, and therefore sabotage. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 10:05, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

This discussion has derailed. Nobody wants to hurt the site (that I can see anyway). Deliberately doing something in good faith shouldn't be called "sabotage", even when the consequences are bad. We have come to the conclusion that copying stuff from the other site does more harm than good, and even having the discussion makes more harm than any content from there is worth – even from the traveller's perspective, at least in the medium and long run.

They don't have a strong community any more and much of the content is outdated. If a passer-by user copies something, at a minimum it needs to be checked, which might take as much time as doing similar original research oneself. Regulars could update both sites simultaneously, but we want a clear line – we cannot expect our new patrollers to know who is supposed to be trusted on doing that unless we put an effort in educating and discussing that. When finding new similarities between articles, history has to be analysed to find there was no copyright violations. All this for limited value.

LPfi (talk) 13:54, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

In an ideal world, people would do a bit of research and think about what they say before they say it. There are numerous fallacies in the previous string and a lot of hurtful comments made towards people who didn't deserve criticism. I know that it's some kind of sacred "truth" here that content must be unique and never, ever duplicate wikitravel, yet that seems to be based on a decades old discussion among a few uninformed users that's somehow become a mantra. Do some research on what Google search engines *REALLY* look for and you'll find that uniqueness is typically not even mentioned at all. The single most important aspect is backlinks (notably from quality, authoritative sites). Working on getting a few good backlinks will do FAR more to improve wikivoyage's search performance than deleting duplicate content. In fact, the duplicate content is far MORE likely to improve wikivoyage's search performance because it addresses content gaps (which do detract from a site's search engine score). From a purely SEO perspective, the user who commented that copying over a topic to fill a gap would be a service to the traveller was spot-on correct....but he unknowingly was also pointing out a problem that will constantly give wikivoyage low search engine scores if unaddressed --- content gaps.
I hope nobody takes this as personally, but I have a few thoughts to help the site boost its search engine performance:
1. Stop the nonsensical ban against copying wikitravel content.
2. Work on identifying content gaps and filling them (the expeditions are a good way to do this, but don't seem to be very active lately)
3. Work on freshness. There are a lot of topics that haven't been updated in years. Are hotels/restaurants still in business? Are rates current? Stale info works against search engine ratings (except for content that is considered "evergreen") Mrkstvns (talk) 21:39, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

I hope nobody takes this as personally, but I have a few thoughts to help the site boost its search engine performance:
1. Stop the nonsensical ban against copying wikitravel content.

How contradictory! SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 01:22, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Copying content from a site that is way out of date is entirely nonsensical. Ground Zero (talk) 04:52, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Much of the content of travel articles is "evergreen" --- it doesn't really go out of date.
It's also a mistake to think that nothing on wikitravel has been updated in the past 10 years. There are still users who update content there. Mrkstvns (talk) 16:19, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
You also think somehow that decreasing the originality of this site would improve its search engine performance, when our previous experience (among other things) shows that the reverse is true. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:03, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I suppose "the previous string" cited above is my post. I am sorry if it hurt feelings, but I don't see how (but I suppose I should be told on my talk page, not here). The main problems I see are two: we don't want legal problems with WT, so copying should be attributed correctly, and as much content over there is outdated, it needs to be checked by our patrollers. Few pass-by editors know how to attribute or even that attribution is required – and we don't want to give WT those backlinks. They declared war and I have heard nothing about them giving us reason to build a friendly relation. My primary concern is how copying affects patroller workload (including workload for those who find copied text a long time after it was copied). Working on filling gaps and keeping things updated is good, but we don't need WT for that. –LPfi (talk) 18:14, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
@Mrkstvns: With the caveat that search engine optimization (SEO) is more art than science, the statement that "duplicate content is far MORE likely to improve wikivoyage's search performance" is not accurate per my understanding (I work in e-commerce where SEO is a critical consideration, although it is not my primary responsibility). Google and other search engines go to great lengths not to show duplicate results when performing searches, so when they think pages are substantially similar they suppress the one that the algorithm decides is a duplicate, effectively meaning it will never be shown in search results. There are many examples at Wikivoyage of pages that were suppressed until they had been substantially rewritten - see Wikivoyage talk:Search Expedition#How to tell if Google is filtering us as duplicate content for a longer discussion, and https://backlinko.com/hub/seo/duplicate-content for a technical explanation, but having unique content is very important for ensuring that search engines do not suppress pages from search results. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:02, 17 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
The main concern is the hit to SEO than adding potentially out-of-date information (many articles on WT, especially on certain countries where we're weak in, are in fact more up to date than WV and written in a more engaging way). Another emerging SEO problem is the large amount of information being imported from Wikipedia with minimal paraphrasing. The edits may correctly attribute the information coming from Wikipedia for copyright purposes, but the copyvio/duplicate detection websites on some of those articles identify up to 70% of the information as being identical to Wikipedia, which is very problematic. I doubt those articles would rank high for SEO purposes. It's taken so much time and effort to diverge from one website and now it has to be done again. The tone of an encyclopedia is also different to a travel guide and the information being copied over often feels awkward or out of place when added here. Gizza (roam) 05:36, 20 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

The claim "importing content from the other site affects our search engine optimisation rank" appears to be made with no supporting evidence. Citation or link, please. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:08, 28 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

@Pigsonthewing: Did you read Ryan's comment above? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 20:36, 28 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

Copying from other sites

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Swept in from the pub

Please see Wikivoyage talk:Wikivoyage and Wikitravel#Revived discussion in 2022. We have (probably) achieved an agreement that content should no longer by copied to Wikivoyage. Whether you agree or disagree, we would like to know your view, or at least a quick note to say that you're aware of the decision being made. Thanks. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:48, 9 January 2023 (UTC)Reply

Crucial term above is "no longer copied" - that thread is about present-day copying, and giving admin a mandate to remove as briskly as it's copied. But if that policy is adopted, we should consider our stance on historic material, as the great fork was one big copy. IMO wholesale deletion would be damaging. Maybe a warning sticker similar to the "Translate" box: "This page is utter bilge, as it is identical to another page created before the 1861-65 Civil War. If you can help update it please do so." Grahamsands (talk) 09:43, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply
Is there any sensible point in time that could act as divisor, except the time the change is made to the policy? I don't think so, and having some arbitrary limit is just confusing. If you find material copied from there, just update it, improve wording, add anything significant you notice is missing, and be done. People have been using tools to find identical or more or less identical pages, and that work could continue, but I don't think we should concentrate our efforts on that material. Pages not updated since 2014 should be checked regardless of where they were written, the emphasis put on major destinations (these often have walls of text that require an effort to check, rather than a quick glance). –LPfi (talk) 11:00, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply

FYI: heads up on Wikitravel policy

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Swept in from the pub

Sorry if this is just totally irrelevant, but I figured I would close the loop on this issue long-term. As some of you know, I was the only active editor here and at Wikitravel for a little while and at the latter, I was promoted to admin across most of their language editions because they had been overrun with spam and I deleted thousands of spam pages and blocked hundreds of users, particularly in smaller minority languages. After a while and with no prior warning, these admin rights were removed and the extent to which I could act as any kind of informal liaison was gone. (At the time, I was told that it was because I was active here and I was obviously not motivated to pick sides, particularly if it was picking Wikitravel.) A few days ago, a serial WMF vandal started attacking Wikitravel and since ttcf, I started reverting him and I asked to have my admin rights restored so I could delete, block, etc. I've just been told that only Internet Brands employees or contractors can be admins. There is a 0% chance of that happening for me, so all that is to say that it looks like they have made it even more hostile to having WMF users be productive editors there and it seems like the relationship (as such there ever was one) has unilaterally deteriorated. I mention all this only because I've gotten some very occasional requests here for content there or clarifying issues, etc. and I really can't help in that respect any more as the decision-making process is completely opaque and all advanced user rights are associated with the corporate ownership explicitly. Bon voyage, I suppose. —Justin (koavf)TCM 00:34, 13 June 2023 (UTC)Reply

That's interesting to know, and there's no need for an apology. I guess Internet Brands have finally covered the grave they'd dug for themselves. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 00:38, 13 June 2023 (UTC)Reply
Looks like it. See this message posted by one of the existing admins (his English is pretty ropey, but I think you can make out that he's agreeing with you): https://wikitravel.org/wiki/en/index.php?title=Wikitravel%3ATravellers%27_pub&type=revision&diff=2752878&oldid=2752739. Sad. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:24, 15 June 2023 (UTC)Reply
Well, who knows how long it'll be before those admins also move over to Wikivoyage? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 21:41, 15 June 2023 (UTC)Reply
I was a WT admin before the move & occasionally deleted spam or commented on things there for a while after. Then they removed my admin privileges & since then I only drop in about twice a year to see if anything interesting is going on. The site has looked moribund to me for several years now. Pashley (talk) 15:11, 13 June 2023 (UTC)Reply
@Pashley: Asking this more out of curiosity, but what was the reason for your removal of sysop privileges on WT (I presume it's IB being IB)? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 06:54, 14 June 2023 (UTC)Reply
At some point, long after the fork but several years ago, IB decided that no-one who was an admin on WV (or just was active on WV?) could have admin privileges there. I think there were several people demoted & there was a bit of discussion somewhere here. Pashley (talk) 00:03, 29 June 2023 (UTC)Reply

Update on website traffic

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I've updated the SimilarWeb traffic figures. As of 22 Mqy 2024, Wikivoyage's global rank is #22,202, with a category rank of #284. Wikitravel's global rank is #71,966, with a category rank of #781. Total visits per month figures are 3M for Wikivoyage and 0.9M for Wikitravel. See https://www.similarweb.com/website/wikivoyage.org/vs/wikitravel.org/#ranking for a live-updated version of these statistics. At this point, I think we can say Wikivoyage has clearly won the traffic contest. The Anome (talk) 08:20, 22 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

@The Anome: That looks great! It's safe to say the walking corpse is now a crawling corpse. --SHB2000 (t | c | m) 10:48, 22 May 2024 (UTC)Reply