[Wikimedia-l] UTC in politics, editors threaten, or how rev history made the news

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[Wikimedia-l] UTC in politics, editors threaten, or how rev history made the news

Yuri Astrakhan-2
A few days ago, a well known Russian politician Boris Nemtsov was
assassinated <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Boris_Nemtsov> near
the Kremlin. This murder had a huge political resonance, and conspiracy
theories flourished. Yet, one of the theories was due to Wikipedia's
representation of time - anonymous users see change history in UTC. This
confusion was so big, that several major publications, including Moskovkij
Komsomolets <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moskovskij_Komsomolets>,
published articles
<http://www.mk.ru/politics/2015/02/28/vikipediya-zaranee-otchitalas-ob-ubiystve-nemcova-zapis-poyavilas-v-2140.html>
(in
Russian) claiming that the wiki page proclaimed him dead before the
assassination. The MK article was later updated with the explanation, but
the damage has been done: a number of threats were made against the editors.

In light of the above, I feel we need to
  #1 Show a clear message at the top of all history-related pages for
anonymous users that the time is in UTC until #2
  #2 JavaScript should fix time on the fly for all users

Suggestions welcome.

Thanks!
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] UTC in politics, editors threaten, or how rev history made the news

Oliver Keyes-5
Well, not all users have JavaScript. But, on the core of the proposal:

What threats? What users? How many, how serious? Have they been
reported to Legal and Community Advocacy? These are the questions we
tend to ask about this sort of issue. "Do we need to insert technical
features to prevent it?" tends to come after a series of occurrences,
and I'm only aware of two in the last six years or so. We shouldn't
let one-offs dictate our UI direction and bandwidth load.

But if we're going to implement something, why not just..have timezone
be an element of the timestamps on history pages? It's UTC unless the
user explicitly changes it, and if they explicitly change it that's
known in the database (and already referenced to decide how to convert
the UTC timestamp when the page is displayed). It's a perfectly
sensible UI change that makes sense independent of this problem.

On Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 8:37 AM, Yuri Astrakhan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> A few days ago, a well known Russian politician Boris Nemtsov was
> assassinated <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Boris_Nemtsov> near
> the Kremlin. This murder had a huge political resonance, and conspiracy
> theories flourished. Yet, one of the theories was due to Wikipedia's
> representation of time - anonymous users see change history in UTC. This
> confusion was so big, that several major publications, including Moskovkij
> Komsomolets <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moskovskij_Komsomolets>,
> published articles
> <http://www.mk.ru/politics/2015/02/28/vikipediya-zaranee-otchitalas-ob-ubiystve-nemcova-zapis-poyavilas-v-2140.html>
> (in
> Russian) claiming that the wiki page proclaimed him dead before the
> assassination. The MK article was later updated with the explanation, but
> the damage has been done: a number of threats were made against the editors.
>
> In light of the above, I feel we need to
>   #1 Show a clear message at the top of all history-related pages for
> anonymous users that the time is in UTC until #2
>   #2 JavaScript should fix time on the fly for all users
>
> Suggestions welcome.
>
> Thanks!
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] UTC in politics, editors threaten, or how rev history made the news

Habib M'henni
In reply to this post by Yuri Astrakhan-2
Hello,

FYI we had the same issue two years ago in Tunisia when a Tunisian
politician was shot and an IP made the edit in UTC. See our response in
(in French)
http://www.wikimedia.tn/nouvelle-polemique-sur-wikipedia-en-tunisie/

Finally the Radio station who relayed this "scoop" wrote an apologize text.

Habib,
from Wikimedia TN User Group
Le 02/03/2015 14:37, Yuri Astrakhan a écrit :

> A few days ago, a well known Russian politician Boris Nemtsov was
> assassinated <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Boris_Nemtsov> near
> the Kremlin. This murder had a huge political resonance, and conspiracy
> theories flourished. Yet, one of the theories was due to Wikipedia's
> representation of time - anonymous users see change history in UTC. This
> confusion was so big, that several major publications, including Moskovkij
> Komsomolets <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moskovskij_Komsomolets>,
> published articles
> <http://www.mk.ru/politics/2015/02/28/vikipediya-zaranee-otchitalas-ob-ubiystve-nemcova-zapis-poyavilas-v-2140.html>
> (in
> Russian) claiming that the wiki page proclaimed him dead before the
> assassination. The MK article was later updated with the explanation, but
> the damage has been done: a number of threats were made against the editors.
>
> In light of the above, I feel we need to
>    #1 Show a clear message at the top of all history-related pages for
> anonymous users that the time is in UTC until #2
>    #2 JavaScript should fix time on the fly for all users
>
> Suggestions welcome.
>
> Thanks!
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

--
.....................................................
     Habib M'henni
     Technologue, ingénieur civil à l'Iset de Nabeul
     Membre fondateur de CLibre et Wikimedia TN User Group
     http://about.me/habibmhenni
     http://habibmhenni.tn
     Téléphone : +216 52232190
     [Thund.linux]


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] UTC in politics, editors threaten, or how rev history made the news

Yuri Astrakhan-2
In reply to this post by Oliver Keyes-5
Threats:  This page
<http://novorus.info/news/analytics/34163-vikipediya-soobschila-ob-ubiystve-nemcova-za-2-chasa-do-samogo-ubiystva.html>
(in Russian, very non-credible "source" of information, but has enough
following to make it to MK.ru), discuss a well known wikipedian Dmitry
Rozhkov.  I saw these kinds of comments (in ru):

В любом случае данная страница появилась ОЧЕНЬ быстро! Только на ее
написание ушел бы час. Поэтому автора надо "брать" и выворачивать наизнанку!
(Translation: "in any case, this page appeared VERY quickly! It would have
taken at least an hour to write. That's why we should "grab" the author and
turn him inside out")

From MK.ru:
"Источник "МК" в сфере IT-индустрии уверяет, что время правок дается по
московскому времени. "Можешь сейчас сам правку сделать и убедиться", -
аргументировал собеседник."
(Translation: The source in MK in IT industry confirms that the revision
time is given according to Moscow. "You can make a change yourself and see
for yourself" said the expert).

The problem is that this one case caused enough confusion that RU wiki
admins are looking for a way to state this at the top of the page. Showing
a short message at the top "all time is in UTC" seems to be easy and
obvious enough, and I am surprised it has not been done yet.  Phabricator
task:  https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T91255


Re implementation in the long term:  The current HTML shows
<a href="..." title="..." class="mw-changeslist-date">23:52, 18 February
2015‎</a>  (localized, UTC)

Instead, we could show

<a href="..." title="..." class="mw-changeslist-date"><time
datetime="2015-02-18 23:52">23:52, 18 February 2015‎ UTC</time></a>, and
let JS (if present) change it to the proper timezone.



On Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 4:49 PM, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Well, not all users have JavaScript. But, on the core of the proposal:
>
> What threats? What users? How many, how serious? Have they been
> reported to Legal and Community Advocacy? These are the questions we
> tend to ask about this sort of issue. "Do we need to insert technical
> features to prevent it?" tends to come after a series of occurrences,
> and I'm only aware of two in the last six years or so. We shouldn't
> let one-offs dictate our UI direction and bandwidth load.
>
> But if we're going to implement something, why not just..have timezone
> be an element of the timestamps on history pages? It's UTC unless the
> user explicitly changes it, and if they explicitly change it that's
> known in the database (and already referenced to decide how to convert
> the UTC timestamp when the page is displayed). It's a perfectly
> sensible UI change that makes sense independent of this problem.
>
> On Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 8:37 AM, Yuri Astrakhan <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > A few days ago, a well known Russian politician Boris Nemtsov was
> > assassinated <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Boris_Nemtsov>
> near
> > the Kremlin. This murder had a huge political resonance, and conspiracy
> > theories flourished. Yet, one of the theories was due to Wikipedia's
> > representation of time - anonymous users see change history in UTC. This
> > confusion was so big, that several major publications, including
> Moskovkij
> > Komsomolets <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moskovskij_Komsomolets>,
> > published articles
> > <
> http://www.mk.ru/politics/2015/02/28/vikipediya-zaranee-otchitalas-ob-ubiystve-nemcova-zapis-poyavilas-v-2140.html
> >
> > (in
> > Russian) claiming that the wiki page proclaimed him dead before the
> > assassination. The MK article was later updated with the explanation, but
> > the damage has been done: a number of threats were made against the
> editors.
> >
> > In light of the above, I feel we need to
> >   #1 Show a clear message at the top of all history-related pages for
> > anonymous users that the time is in UTC until #2
> >   #2 JavaScript should fix time on the fly for all users
> >
> > Suggestions welcome.
> >
> > Thanks!
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] UTC in politics, editors threaten, or how rev history made the news

Liam Wyatt
In reply to this post by Oliver Keyes-5
Speaking of changes to the timestamps and UTC...
Whatever happened to this change that was announced in 2012?
http://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/07/06/wikipedia-revision-history-experiment/
Something like this now happens on the Mobile view, but I thought this
experiment (as described in the WMF blog) looked quite successful and
promising.

-Liam

wittylama.com
Peace, love & metadata
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] UTC in politics, editors threaten, or how rev history made the news

Andrew Gray-3
In reply to this post by Oliver Keyes-5
On 2 March 2015 at 13:49, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> But if we're going to implement something, why not just..have timezone
> be an element of the timestamps on history pages? It's UTC unless the
> user explicitly changes it, and if they explicitly change it that's
> known in the database (and already referenced to decide how to convert
> the UTC timestamp when the page is displayed). It's a perfectly
> sensible UI change that makes sense independent of this problem.

This sounds like a good idea - in some ways, it's more robust than a
notice at the top of the page. It's very easy for someone to not
notice a general message, especially if they're looking at more than
the first two entries in the history.

If we want to be clever, we could always get JS trickery to display
something like "xx.xx UTC ($localtimezone +5.00)" rather than just
"xx.xx UTC".

Andrew.

--
- Andrew Gray
  [hidden email]

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] UTC in politics, editors threaten, or how rev history made the news

Andrew Gray-3
In reply to this post by Oliver Keyes-5
On 2 March 2015 at 13:49, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> But if we're going to implement something, why not just..have timezone
> be an element of the timestamps on history pages? It's UTC unless the
> user explicitly changes it, and if they explicitly change it that's
> known in the database (and already referenced to decide how to convert
> the UTC timestamp when the page is displayed). It's a perfectly
> sensible UI change that makes sense independent of this problem.

This sounds like a good idea - in some ways, it's more robust than a
notice at the top of the page. It's very easy for someone to not
notice a general message, especially if they're looking at more than
the first two entries in the history.

If we want to be clever, we could always get JS trickery to display
something like "xx.xx UTC ($localtimezone +5.00)" rather than just
"xx.xx UTC".

Related point: if we adapt the way history timestamps are displayed,
eg by adding 'UTC', we should be consistent and apply the same
approach to the "old revisions" view of a page, and the "This page was
last modified on..." footer. Signatures have (UTC) by default, so
that's solved, at least.

Andrew.

--
- Andrew Gray
  [hidden email]

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] UTC in politics, editors threaten, or how rev history made the news

Oliver Keyes-5
This idea, I like it! And I think Yuri just volunteered to write the patches :P

On Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 1:28 PM, Andrew Gray <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 2 March 2015 at 13:49, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> But if we're going to implement something, why not just..have timezone
>> be an element of the timestamps on history pages? It's UTC unless the
>> user explicitly changes it, and if they explicitly change it that's
>> known in the database (and already referenced to decide how to convert
>> the UTC timestamp when the page is displayed). It's a perfectly
>> sensible UI change that makes sense independent of this problem.
>
> This sounds like a good idea - in some ways, it's more robust than a
> notice at the top of the page. It's very easy for someone to not
> notice a general message, especially if they're looking at more than
> the first two entries in the history.
>
> If we want to be clever, we could always get JS trickery to display
> something like "xx.xx UTC ($localtimezone +5.00)" rather than just
> "xx.xx UTC".
>
> Related point: if we adapt the way history timestamps are displayed,
> eg by adding 'UTC', we should be consistent and apply the same
> approach to the "old revisions" view of a page, and the "This page was
> last modified on..." footer. Signatures have (UTC) by default, so
> that's solved, at least.
>
> Andrew.
>
> --
> - Andrew Gray
>   [hidden email]
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] UTC in politics, editors threaten, or how rev history made the news

Gheorghe Zugravu
In reply to this post by Habib M'henni
Hi,
a big thank you to Yuri for flagging this case of manipulation of public
opinion.

Reading through the links provided - i can say WP edit time was mostly
discussed among ”pro-state” media. One journalist even went as far as
insinuating  that assassination was planned in the ”west” and that WP
was used to provide for media coverage (sic!)

I think that RU:WP should ask for apologies from the newspapers.

regards,
/gheorghe

On 03/02/2015 03:55 PM, Habib M'henni wrote:

> Hello,
>
> FYI we had the same issue two years ago in Tunisia when a Tunisian
> politician was shot and an IP made the edit in UTC. See our response
> in (in French)
> http://www.wikimedia.tn/nouvelle-polemique-sur-wikipedia-en-tunisie/
>
> Finally the Radio station who relayed this "scoop" wrote an apologize
> text.
>
> Habib,
> from Wikimedia TN User Group
> Le 02/03/2015 14:37, Yuri Astrakhan a écrit :

--
Zugravu Gheorghe
mob: +373 68289364
twitter: @zugravugheorghe
www.zugravu.eu


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