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Main Page error reports

To report an error in current or upcoming Main Page content, please add it to the appropriate section below.

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Errors in the summary of the featured article

Today's FA

"Because of hot and arid conditions in the area, the fire spread rapidly and forced the closure of Arizona State Route 89 and Interstate 10 and the evacuation of 100 people." The source clearly states it was Arizona State Route 83 that was closed, and I have corrected this sentence in the source article. Springeragh (talk) 00:13, 24 September 2022 (UTC)

  Done Sam Walton (talk) 13:16, 24 September 2022 (UTC)
  • Per MOS:CAPS, and its main article, Tannerite is a brand name; please capitalize it in the blurb on the front page. (Sawmill Fire article has been corrected.) Elizium23 (talk) 00:20, 24 September 2022 (UTC)
    This was raised on my talk page yesterday, as it happens. It was not an accident that I rendered "Tannerite" as "tannerite"; a lot of the sources I used to that too. No big deal to render it as "Tannerite", but I'd suggest that might be OR since we don't actually know if it was Tannerite tannerite in that target. Not that it ultimately matters, though, as I said. –♠Vamí_IV†♠ 00:26, 24 September 2022 (UTC)
  • "No buildings were destroyed by the fire, though the historic Empire Ranch was as little as 50 feet (15 m) from the flames at times." – seems a bit backwards as presumably the ranch held its position whilst the flames moved, and the current wording makes for a bit of an awkward read. I'd respectfully suggest that this is easier: "No buildings were destroyed by the fire, though the flames were as little as 50 feet (15 m) from the historic Empire Ranch at times." ... or similar. Best to all, DBaK (talk) 09:07, 24 September 2022 (UTC)
      Done  — Amakuru (talk) 16:13, 24 September 2022 (UTC)
  • The blurb states that it "began in ... the Coronado National Forest". But that is Federal land and it actually started on state-owned range land, specifically a "a privately run cattle ranch" on the Santa Rita Experimental Range. So, it was state-regulated not federal and range not forest.
And there's a big lacuna – why was it called the Sawmill Fire? Was there actually a sawmill or what? The article doesn't say so why was it passed as complete?
Andrew🐉(talk) 09:49, 24 September 2022 (UTC)
Excellent point. That was my instant first reaction to the title. -- Sca (talk) 12:41, 24 September 2022 (UTC)
It's not clear from the article, either. Can't find much online outside of this video, which definitely doesn't have a sawmill in it. Anarchyte (talk) 16:44, 24 September 2022 (UTC)

Tomorrow's FA

Day-after-tomorrow's FA

Errors with "In the news"

Errors in "Did you know ..."

Current DYK

Firstly, the granting of minor basilica status is done by means of a papal bull, which is an order coming directly from the Pope, so it is entirely correct to say "Pope Francis" rather than "The Vatican". (This source confirms it in relation to this specific church, if required.) Secondly, when reviewing this I interpreted it as the order being made on 7th July to take effect from 14th August; but on looking back now this seems not to be the case. I am happy with the revised hook, and can only apologise again for falling short in my normal standards of reviewing: however if I had been able to see my Watchlist and receive "pings" when on holiday and only having access to my mobile phone, I may have been able to resolve this earlier. Sorry again. Hassocks5489 (Floreat Hova!) 10:58, 24 September 2022 (UTC)
Attributing it to "The Vatican" which is a city-state would be inaccurate; it was from the authority of the Holy See which is the corresponding ecclesiastical body. The primary source includes a verbatim quote of the letter, which very clearly is signed by the Prefect (Arthur Roche) and Secretary of the CDWDS and not signed by Pope Francis; the letter also very clearly indicates that Roche and the CDWDS have bestowed the title by authority of faculties delegated to them by the Roman Pontiff, Francis.
I did search fruitlessly on and for a corresponding Papal Bull, but if any are promulgated for minor basilicae, they are not archived anywhere I can see. If @Hassocks5489 has a link to a bull signed by Francis I'd be glad to entertain the idea that he did so, but what we currently have is a letter he didn't sign.
So yes, in a roundabout way, it was Pope Francis who conferred the title, and this was all done with his knowledge and approval, but it was, AFAICT, a delegated act, and so we should perhaps be careful of attributing it directly to the stroke of his pen, and instead we can most accurately describe it as an act of the Holy See. Elizium23 (talk) 13:03, 24 September 2022 (UTC)
I'm really sorry, but I have to go out now and I will not be back for the rest of today, with no access to computers, so I am unable to provide any more assistance with this today. Hassocks5489 (Floreat Hova!) 13:11, 24 September 2022 (UTC)

Next DYK

Next-but-one DYK

Errors in "On this day"

Today's OTD

Tomorrow's OTD

Day-after-tomorrow's OTD

Errors in the summary of the featured list

Friday's FL

(September 30)

Monday's FL

(September 26)

Errors in the summary of the featured picture

Today's POTD

Tomorrow's POTD

General discussion

Suggest change of "In the news" to "Recent news"

My 2 pence, and I doubt you guys would change, but IMO "In the news" should instead be named "Recent news". "In the news" puts me -- and I suppose some other readers -- in the mind of breaking news. Which the section isn't, of course. But if a reader is expecting that, she might think we look rather slow and mediocre. For my part, that's the vibe I get.

If a daily paper or news website had an "In the news" section, one would expect it to usually report on things that happened yesterday or the day before. To my mind, "Recent news" seems to perhaps stretch the time period a bit? "Recent" rather than "In"... the meanings are very similar but the latter just seems to carry a slight bit more vibe of breaking news. IMO.

(It is true that for a non-daily publication, like say Time magazine, the reader would expect either "In the news" or "Recent news" to report on things that happened since the last issue. And Wikipedia is more like that, in that we're not well equipped or even supposed to cover yesterday's breaking news much. But I wonder of many readers really get that, like "Oh it's like a magazine", particularly as we're not, we publish articles every day.)

And I'm not seeing a downside to "Recent news" (or something like that). I don't think "Recent news" is going to confuse anyone or upset their expectations. IMO.

I mean yes the title has been "In the news" for a long time, but publications change things around all the time even if it's just to stay fresh. And this would be a little bit more than that, maybe. Yeah this suggestion is bikeshedding, but I mean the bike shed does need a new coat of paint now and then. Herostratus (talk) 21:12, 10 September 2022 (UTC)

Lugo! Therapyisgood (talk) 03:21, 11 September 2022 (UTC)
We've talked for a long time about whether "In the news" needs to be renamed. Personally, I don't think "Recent news" works either. As you have stated, there will often be times of lengthy inactivity on ITN (the Fernando Lugo incident) where stories don't get posted for weeks, and the oldest item on ITN has been hanging around for over a month. So ironically, "Recent news" would actually exacerbate the problem that you're talking about, as people would be expecting recency and timeliness but finding that it's not reflecting news stories that they might be seeing in their newspaper, newsfeed, w/e. The word "recent" is an explicit adjective that the current name does not have, and so the expectation would become that much more divorced from the reality of how ITN operates.
Granted, I don't think the current name works either. ITN isn't a news ticker. At one point in time it may have operated like one, but the criteria, subjective as they are, emphatically attempts to interject editorial discretion to impose a sort of hyper-notability standard on items that are posted (as opposed to, say, WP:TOP25, a system that is blind to significance except insomuch as an article gets lots of views for being significant). We shouldn't be using the word 'news' anywhere in the name. If I had my druthers, I'd volunteer for "Timely articles" as the new name for ITN. The focus would shift to posting encyclopedic articles that people might be looking for as a result of recent events, without an expectation of being a news ticker. 🌈WaltCip-(talk) 21:22, 10 September 2022 (UTC)
ITN is specifically not a news ticker, which this change would imply. We want to feature articles that happen to be in the news but also the quality of WP's work. We don't feature a bunch of stuff that routinely is headline news, as well as we do feature stories that fall below the fold but are of more global importance than the latest political nonsense or celebrity gossip. --Masem (t) 03:36, 11 September 2022 (UTC)
I think it's not just ITN. The top two headers on the main page are both pretty badly named, if the intention is to have the reader understand what they actually are. "In the news" is not a news ticker and "today's featured article" is not just a random article that somebody decided to put on the main page ("featured" has another meaning in WP-lingo). Maybe they should respectively be "From our best timely articles" and "From our best articles", based on WaltCip's proposal and what Masem has just pointed out. Double sharp (talk) 06:27, 11 September 2022 (UTC)
Yeah those are both good. It would take some heavy lifting to get anything changed tho. Herostratus (talk) 23:33, 11 September 2022 (UTC)
I feel like I'm repeating this point about once a year at this point, but the assertion that ITN is "specifically not a news ticker" is incorrect. It's a mantra often repeated in the subjective discussions that take place at ITN/C, but nowhere at WP:ITN does it say any such thing. In fact, all things being equal, we should be a news ticker because the "purpose of ITN", bullet point 1, is that we "help readers find and quickly access content they are likely to be searching for" as well as showcasing quality Wikipedia content. Many stories that we reject under the "not a news ticker" mantra amply satisfy both of these two requirements but that's just the way it is.  — Amakuru (talk) 15:25, 13 September 2022 (UTC)
  • What about "Articles about recent events". By de-emphasizing the "news" aspect, we can re-focus the discussions on the matter of article quality rather than if an recent event is "important" enough. I grow weary of people trying to be arbiters of culture by deciding, based on their own personal interest in what they would like to see on the main page, being the gatekeepers for what events are "important" enough to appear. It would be much better if we focused on using the section to highlight higher quality articles rather than acting as a way to tell the world what they should care about. --Jayron32 13:09, 13 September 2022 (UTC)
    I agree. And probably have done before. Bazza (talk) 14:07, 13 September 2022 (UTC)
    The theory of this section is that some sort of event that has occurred recently is getting publicity ("in the news") that may drive readers to us, and this section is things we think are likely going to be relevant to those readers. So being "recent" alone isn't really enough - it should appeal to a wide number of readers looking for something recent as well. — xaosflux Talk 14:21, 13 September 2022 (UTC)
    I understood the purpose of the section was to highlight articles which have been recently updated as a result of events happening (which are likely to be covered elsewhere in news media). Bazza (talk) 19:31, 13 September 2022 (UTC)

I think you'd be had pressed to specify a mission for ITN that we are currently satisfying. Take for example RDs, which only pass the two criteria (in the news and updated) by the most generous, technical reading. GreatCaesarsGhost 14:51, 14 September 2022 (UTC)

  • Oppose – "In the News" says it all. "Recently" can be taken to imply irrelevant old news, and anyway most news events are perforce recent. The proposed change is quite unnecessary and IMO ill-advised. – Sca (talk) 12:48, 15 September 2022 (UTC)
  • Maybe "Topics in the News" or "Articles about Topics in the News"... ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 14:38, 15 September 2022 (UTC)
    Sorry, but this user finds "topics" and "articles" redundant. News is always about topics/events (except for news features or opinion pieces), and – outside digital or broadcast news – is nearly always delivered in articles. -- Sca (talk) 19:20, 15 September 2022 (UTC)
    My idea with that suggestion is to try to add just one or a few words to clarify for readers that ITN is not a news ticker - but that it is a section highlighting encyclopedia articles which have received recent updates due to events they have heard about on the news. However, "Articles recently updated due to events that are in the news" seems overly wordy. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 21:24, 15 September 2022 (UTC)
  • Just scrap it entirely. --User:Khajidha (talk) (contributions) 19:26, 15 September 2022 (UTC)
    Why? 🌈WaltCip-(talk) 17:22, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
    The selection and placement of blurbs generally makes us look bad because our idiosyncratic processes lead to questionable results. Levivich (talk) 19:11, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
    That. The discussion above about whether it is or is not a news ticker (or should be) also seems to mean that its very purpose isn't well thought out and codified. How can we do something well if we don't even know what it is we are doing? Hell, the whole Main Page could use a ground up redesign. Forget "should we have TFA/ITN/etc?" or "how should we arrange the existing sections?", we need to go back to the basic question of "What do we want the Main Page to do?" --User:Khajidha (talk) (contributions) 19:35, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
    Noted. I've been working on and off on an essay about what works with ITN, and more importantly, what doesn't work. So having this input is useful for me; I find that ITN seems to really lack a central direction or mission that most of its participants can agree upon, much less its readers. Of course, what you're talking about is a fundamental reshaping of the Main Page, so the essay is likely useless to you. 🌈WaltCip-(talk) 20:22, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
    How can we do something well if we don't even know what it is we are doing? I don't know how but it's called "Wikipedia".   Levivich (talk) 20:29, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
  • ITN's problem isn't the title. Its problem is that we're an encyclopedia and so WP:NOTNEWS is our policy. News stories, by their nature, tend to be half-baked, uncertain and unreliable and so are not a good fit for our mission. Here's a fresh example.
The latest development at ITN is to post a picture (right). This is to illustrate the item 2022 Swedish general election. This tends to suggest that this person has won the election but they didn't – their party came third. Coalition talks are still taking place and there's no outcome yet. The person has been posted as the "likely PM" but this seems to be guesswork contrary to WP:CRYSTAL. This determination doesn't seem to be based on consensus discussion at WP:ITN/C where the relevant discussion is effectively closed as it has scrolled off the page for being over a week old. And there's no source because this is the main page and so, remarkably, seems free from the usual requirements of WP:V.
I suppose that this has been done unilaterally because of frustration that ITN was running the same picture of the Ted Lasso actor day after day. That was stale because the Emmys also took place over a week ago and so it was certainly time for a change. But ITN is so dysfunctional that a change didn't happen organically and so something had to be done.
So, ITN just doesn't work and should be put out of its misery. The natural replacement would be the featured picture section which would balance the featured article nicely. The main page would then have a lead picture for which some proper preparation and peer review had been done.
Andrew🐉(talk) 06:55, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
I've nominated ITN for deprecation/removal before and it was almost totally shot down as out-of-hand. You and others who seem so aggrieved at ITN's existence are welcome to try to do the same thing. 🌈WaltCip-(talk) 12:27, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
I notice that that the Japanese language wikipedia has done as suggested above – replacing ITN with the featured picture. Other languages have tried other sensible improvements such as listing obituaries (RD) in a separate section with short descriptions. Change is possible. Andrew🐉(talk) 08:42, 21 September 2022 (UTC)


The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

So, it's my proposal that if this is passing by the 16th, that we run this as POTD on the 19th, the date of Queen Elizabeth's funeral, pushing Mabel Vernon to next year (which is a more round-number anniversary for her, her 130th birthday). This would be using WP:Ignore all rules, but I don't think a particularly egregious version of it, just a little premature. And, of course, if it's not passing by the 16th (17th at the latest), then we just do nothing. This image, I think, has some major benefits, especially as the planned Today's Featured Article is Elizabeth II, so we want an image that conveys something else about her.

As for alternatives to this proposal, I'm not seeing anything that would work out very well:

First alternative: Find an image in the queue that would work instead. There isn't anything that relevant I don't think there's any point trying to force an image with a weak connection up on POTD for the occasion. Best we have is probably Windsor Castle, and, yes, there's a connection to her, but it doesn't feel right to go that distant.

Second alternative: There is a very old FP of her, 2007s File:Elizabeth II greets NASA GSFC employees, May 8, 2007 edit.jpg - however:

  • While TFA does do repeats, POTD only allows new versions of an image to mainpage. Putting up an image early is more in the spirit of this than just doing an IAR repeat.
  • It's not used in her article, just in the sort of tertiary articles that don't get their images edited as much and so maintain older images (stuff like List of Niuean monarchs, List of female fellows of the Royal Society, List of things named after Elizabeth II) and things where she's not the main focus 2014 Scottish independence referendum, Australia–New Zealand relations, Canadian federalism
  • It's not so good of an image that it deserves a second run. It's a low-resolution snapshot with obvious chromatic aberration and JPEG artefacting on her face. I'd honestly rather not have the whole feature picture process look bad right at the moment when there will be a lot more interest in it.
  • Most importantly, though, as I said, the planned featured article for that day is Elizabeth II. What would we use as a caption for a generic image like that? Better to have an image that at least lets us say something else.

Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 17:22, 11 September 2022 (UTC)

I whole-heartedly support this idea of having this image on the 19th. It's a lot better then just another basic headshot. Sea Cow (talk) 18:10, 11 September 2022 (UTC)
Just noting that POTD has occasionally done repeats, when appropriate, e.g. space photos around the time of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 – although this is more of a WP:IAR exception than an officially sanctioned rule. I'm in support of using this new image instead of reusing an old one, though. Women in World War II would be a good choice of article for the blurb. We don't have to write it to be primarily about the Queen; merely having her in the image would I think be a good way of marking the date connection, especially if her article is already scheduled to appear in TFA on the same day. — RAVENPVFF · talk · 18:20, 11 September 2022 (UTC)
I support this initiative and suggest that a blurb be drafted now, i.e. prior to the photo having passed. Whilst that's doing things in the wrong order, it gives more time to get the blurb right. Schwede66 18:46, 11 September 2022 (UTC)
Template:POTD/2022-09-19. Not feeling so great just now, so I might not start the actual thing until tomorrow. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 20:01, 11 September 2022 (UTC)
Agreed, and I'm not against IAR repeats, but... y'know, all the other things I said about that image. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 18:48, 11 September 2022 (UTC)

@Sea Cow, Ravenpuff, and Schwede66: Sorry this took so long, but the image is passing (by a long ways) and Template:POTD/2022-09-19 is set up now. I found it a little awkward to gracefully link to Women in World War II#United Kingdom, see what you think. Text is from there, although I did pick and choose to get a better, wider summary. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 16:03, 14 September 2022 (UTC)

Thanks for drafting that. Looks good. I can’t think of a more elegant way to create that link. Schwede66 08:43, 15 September 2022 (UTC)
The blurb looks a bit overlong to me... It's nice to get the major points across, but people will be put off by a big wall of text. Cheers  — Amakuru (talk) 08:17, 16 September 2022 (UTC)
I've taken the liberty to condense the blurb substantially – it shouldn't differ much from typical POTD blurbs. One thing I have added is more context to the photograph and a longer description of Princess Elizabeth's participation in the war, since she's the reason why we're featuring this image on this day at all. — RAVENPVFF · talk · 16:33, 17 September 2022 (UTC)
Well, it's the 19th and everything's looking pretty good. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 01:17, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Extreme bias on the main page

Today is the funeral of Elisabeth II of the UK, an event noted in the section "In the news" under the "Ongoing". At the same time the feature article is the one about this deceased person and ALL the items in the "Did you know ..." section are related to the funeral event, only one not being about the deceased person but about the coffin carriage that will be employed in the funeral. This is extreme bias towards the funeral event. I cannot help but wonder what other kind of event would genererate such exposure in the Main Page. This is a dark day for Wikipedia. Nxavar (talk) 08:30, 19 September 2022 (UTC)

  • You should be ashamed of yourself Ian Wolf/Dunn; show some respect and remove those "crown jewels" images from your User page. Charlesjsharp (talk) 18:19, 21 September 2022 (UTC)
Probably the death of a US President in office would lead to a similar coverage amount on the Main Page. Personally I do not see this as a major issue. Dreamy Jazz talk to me | my contributions 10:45, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
Most of these sections give preference to entries that would coincide with particular events or anniversaries. They naturally occasionally line up for this reason, although what events do end up with a line up and to what extent is indeed going to be a reflection of general systematic bias. CMD (talk) 11:30, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
As TFA coordinator charged with scheduling September, I initiated discussions both at WT:TFA and Talk:Elizabeth II. There was unanimous support for running the article.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:00, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
@Wehwalt: I think changing the TFA in this particular way had the potential to give the appearance of Western bias (see WP:WORLDWIDE). As such, I don't think either of those talk pages were a wide enough venue to propose the change, and indeed, only a dozen or so people attended said discussion. Certainly I think one of the WP:VP subsections would have gotten a wider attendance and tipped you off to the likelihood that this present discussion here would occur. Axem Titanium (talk) 18:23, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
To me, having her article as today’s featured article makes sense & wouldn’t be bad by itself. Having the entire DYK section devoted to her funeral is what’s problematic & looks biased to me. Blaylockjam10 (talk) 20:12, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
  • And they say colonialism is dead... We need to do better at dealing with our systematic biases, we will be rightly seen as overly anglo-centric (not to mention the inherent apologism/whitewashing of not mentioning the imperial atrocities that happened during her rule, if they want to call us racist I would not be able to defend the project in good faith). Horse Eye's Back (talk)
  • The most important person of our age. She was a living link in international politics all the way back to the Second World War. Seems only right to pay tribute to her in our way. Not a major issue at all. The C of E God Save the King! (talk) 14:09, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
"The most important person of our age" surely not a statement supported by WP:RS... There is not a single source saying that QEII is the most important person of the last 1,000 years (an age) or even the last 100 years, thats not even true within the UK let alone the world. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 14:11, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
I'm starting to think you're not looking at this from a neutral point of view, C of E.   --RockstoneSend me a message! 23:50, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
  • Avast! An' there be only one line about gentlemen o' fortune on the page today maties! — xaosflux Talk 14:16, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
  • I think it's a beautiful main page presentation, and thanks and congratulations to all those who designed it. Please remember, this is English Wikipedia. A fitting and altogther proper historical tribute. Randy Kryn (talk) 14:19, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
    • "English" as the language spoken by or understood by billions of people, not "English" as "from England". Sad to see Enwiki joining in the massive media hyperbole for an event of very limited actual importance. Fram (talk) 14:24, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
      • Of course "English" Wikipedia refers to the language, but there is an overlap to the nation of origin. Nothing wrong in honoring such an individual in the same way other events, such as the Apollo 11 Moon mission, have been remembered and memorialized on the main page. Randy Kryn (talk) 14:28, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
        • The vast majority of English speakers have no relationship to the Queen. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 14:34, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
        Unless, of course, the UK isn't even in the top 5 countries by number of English speakers. AryKun (talk) 14:40, 19 SepteUTC)
          • Viewing ratings for the Queen's funeral will accent the connection between nations, languages, and her presence in worldwide societal heritage (and justify Wikipedia's presentation). Randy Kryn (talk) 14:44, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
            • Are TV rating now a standard for determining what gets on the main page? If thats the case expect many many more features about NFL Sunday Night Football, NFL Thursday Night Football, NFL Monday Night Football, and NFL Thursday Night Football. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:18, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
              • Hint: we're talking global here. Black Kite (talk) 17:22, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
                • Youre legit in my top 5 of Wikipedia editors/admins of all time, but do you really think that worldwide TV audience is how we should be determining content on the main page? nableezy - 18:26, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
                  • Of course not, but I was pointing out the fact that comparing a weekly US football program to a one-off event shown all over the globe was probably not particularly logical. Black Kite (talk) 18:37, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
                • I know, hence my response playing on those being extremely highly rated programs (among the highest anywhere) with a geographically limited audience to critique Randy Kryn's choice of ratings rather than eyeballs along with the overarching point. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 18:33, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
          The death of such a figure after such a long time in the public eye is not a common event. Whenever such an event occurs, and Wikipedia has articles about the event or people involved that editors have put effort into updating and maintaining, we should showcase those articles. That's the purpose of the main page. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 15:13, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
As a thought process, should be expected the same when Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping dies? Equally important in terms of number if people they ruled over and far more influence on world politics? I know the Queen was beloved by many, but had little direct rule in the day to day of governance, and was more comparable to some First Ladies like Ladybird Johnson. Masem (t) 15:32, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
I also noticed this. While it's an important event, it already saw its light on the day of her death. Quite annoying to see this, as I like random "Did you know" facts, not biased ones ALL relating towards Queen Elisabeth II. I use Wikipedia every day, and this is the most annoyed I've been in a long time.
The picture of the day was nice, that's it. Looks like Britain even colonized the "Did you know" section. Smotoe (talk) 17:15, 19 September 2022 (UTC)

I jokingly said that the main page back on 8 September showed strong geobias, but I see others have run with it as a serious charge. "The vast majority of English speakers have no relationship to the Queen." I think that's the point of an encyclopedia: to educate readers about something unfamiliar. "We will be rightly seen as overly anglo-centric..." Well, it's natural for English Wikipedia, just as Chinese Wikipedia is Sino-centric &c. A counterbalance is to create and improve other content, not to suppress articles related to the English speaking world. ("...Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping..." Morbid as it seems, prep work in anticipation of the death of notable figures can be done at any time.) "I think it's a beautiful main page presentation, and thanks and congratulations to all those who designed it." I agree. It's excessive ("ongoing"?), but that excess is outdone by the results of the hard work that the editors and TFA admins put in. Thanks to all. —  AjaxSmack  15:36, 19 September 2022 (UTC)

"just as Chinese Wikipedia is Sino-centric" its not really the same thing is it though? The vast majority of Mandarin speakers live in China. The vast majority of English speakers do not live in England (or the wider UK for that matter). Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:52, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
  • Bias? More or less, sure. For comparison, Here's what the main page looked like when Nelson Mandela died (and on the day of his funeral). Here's when George Bush Sr. died and relevant funeral days. So yeah, probably some bias.
    That said, I have a hard time getting too upset over this particular exercise of bias. Even if we discount any meaningful impact she's had on the world or in the UK, she's one of the most famous people in the world, serves as a figurehead for many countries, and has been in that role for 70 years. Speaking as someone who is profoundly unaffected by the queen or her passing and hasn't really paid much attention to the news, it's not hard to appreciate that she did in fact mean something to an awful lot of English speakers, and that her tenure means we don't have many parallels to go by. It's an extreme case. We're also not talking about changing the Main Page to be permanently about the queen -- it's one day. Hell, we give one day to the nonsense of April Fools, even though large parts of the world have no idea what that is. If someone wants to create a rule that if someone is a monarch/head of state for more than 50 years in a majority English speaking country (or even any major country), then we're willing to schedule a bunch of DYKs/TFA/POTD together, that doesn't seem all that crazy. So is it radically disproportionate to how we'd treat basically anyone else, and an indication of some form of bias? Sure. Does it play into the absurd levels of formality, ritual, and excess associated with the monarchy? Maybe. Is it also an extremely unusual case with parallels that are hard to draw? Also yes. Want to make sure it doesn't happen again? Volunteer on the main page-related processes, or raise hell the next time a long-reigning major monarch/head of state dies and it's relegated to ITN. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 15:43, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
    I would say the best way to counter systematic bias is to improve other articles. The Elizabeth II article was able to run on TFA because it has been an FA for years, for example. The Nelson Mandela article became a FA only years after his death. CMD (talk) 15:55, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
    Just on a quick note it does appear that for much of the time between the page attaining FA and being TFA it would have been de-FA'd if anyone had felt like reviewing it. It fell out of conformity soon after the FA designation. Not sure how that speaks to a *lack* of systematic (or systemic) bias. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:58, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
    It being an FA in the first place likely relates to systematic bias. It varying in quality post FA designation is more the general bias towards promotion as opposed to relegation. (WP:URFA/2020 remains a very slow burn.) CMD (talk) 16:02, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
    I think what happened here is that TFA, POTD and DYK independently chose to feature E2, and the lack of coordination has produced perhaps too much material related to the funeral at a time. Usually this lack of coordination is fine. Maybe it will lead to a very Catholic Main Page when the Pope dies. Maybe we will get a space themed day the next time humans land on the Moon. In either case, it would indicate that people care and have written quality content. Which is our usual bias. —Kusma (talk) 16:04, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
    We've done space before. Now that is a page with a lot of similar images. CMD (talk) 16:15, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
    Space is the common heritage of humanity and is thereby more universal than the Queen. TartarTorte 16:47, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
To expand on my thoughts, it is literally the same picture of three different Americans, so even with space being the common heritage, it is America centric. I wouldn't necessarily endorse that appearing on the home page either. TartarTorte 16:49, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
Not to mention that you have to look really hard to see that the three Americans are different people... Arguably that bias is on another level and has to do with the American astronaut program prioritizing certain immutable racial and sexual characteristics over aptitude or ability rather than any bias held by editors but it bears mentioning. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 17:01, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
The six Moon missions half a century ago are not American-centric, they are a series of humanity's greatest explorations. The last in the set-of-six is Apollo 17 coming up in mid-December, and I hope that it can receive the Queen Elizabeth treatment to educate readers about the last time people worked on and roved the Moon. Randy Kryn (talk) 18:52, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
I largely agree, but what it misses is that *nothing* should receive the "Queen Elizabeth treatment" and Queen Elizabeth only received it in error. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 18:58, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
  • Quite apart from any considerations of bias, the article is in dreadful shape. I like it when TFA is used to showcase our best work. Not a fan-written embarrassment such as this. John (talk) 16:57, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
  • Despite being a Brit I am absolutely no monarchist, but I don't really see that article as "a fan written embarrassment". Black Kite (talk) 17:09, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
  • Agree with Black Kite that "fan-written embarrassment" is hyperbolic. While the current article isn't up to FA standards it isn't all that bad, FA is a very very high standard after all. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 17:13, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
  • It's not great, but it's actually not too bad compared to some of the dreadful FAs that have graced our main page in the last few years. Black Kite (talk) 17:20, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
  • It's not as bad as some, I agree. But this is hardly an endorsement of how our Main Page looked today. I think I stand by my comment: strongly worded perhaps, but not hyperbolic. See Talk:Elizabeth II#Article quality for a more detailed rationale. John (talk) 00:09, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
  • Okay, so the main page was biased. Calling it a "dark day for Wikipedia" is just about the most hyperbolic statement ever. Even so, what's the solution? Do we need to form a governing committee that encompasses ITN, DYK, TFA, OTD, etc, to ensure that they don't run items at the same time that would create the appearance of systemic bias? If the goal is coordination, to me that seems like the only real option.--🌈WaltCip-(talk) 17:10, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
    That was not the most hyperbolic statement ever, or even in this thread.   QE being the most important person of our age isn't even the most hyperbolic, because elsewhere there are comparisons between her death and the time human beings first stepped on the moon. Apparently it's one of the most important events in all of human history!     But I guess it makes sense, because remember, this is English Wikipedia.       Best thread I've read in a long time. Levivich (talk) 18:39, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
    I'm lol too reading your comment (and I have probably the same habit of writing lol only when I actually am). Randy Kryn (talk) 18:44, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
  • The Queen and the other members of her royal family have been dominating the chart of readership views in recent days and so this what our global readership wants. The more usual fare of oddball topics like Cedar Hill Yard attracts comparatively little interest from anyone. Andrew🐉(talk) 18:41, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
If our job was to "give the people what they want" we would just close the project up and replace it with a redirect to TikTok... Horse Eye's Back (talk) 18:44, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
Sections like TFA and DYK naturally pay attention to what works with our readership. For example, see What got reader interest. That highlights the success of an FA which was run for a 911 anniversary. Thematic scheduling like that is commonplace and achieving high readership numbers is considered a good thing. Andrew🐉(talk) 19:31, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
  • Oof, I just noticed that the DYK section is also full of Lizzy 2 trivia. I feel like this is a bridge too far. NPOV is still one of our core policies and WP:WORLDVIEW (an essay) is a good articulation of how NPOV can be miscarried by our biases. I'm sure the dozen or so editors who chimed in at Wikipedia talk:Today's featured article#Elizabeth II had the best of intentions but, like many local consensuses on Wikipedia, it was driven by a small group of motivated editors who may be blind to their own biases. The discussion was advertised at Talk:Elizabeth_II#Running_this_article_as_Today's_Featured_Article, which, as you might expect, drew in editors who were already eager to agree with the proposal. In the strictest sense, this might be viewed as biased canvassing since it's targeting a 'partisan' audience (to contrast, imagine if the discussion were advertised at the talk page for Ireland or Scotland, which would have been similarly partisan in the opposite direction). It's a bit late at this point, but I would like it if this kind of "out-of-process" TFA discussion that intersects with world events be put up on a wider forum such as WP:Village pump. I doubt the well-intentioned editors at the above linked discussions anticipated the negative reaction here, which might have been revealed ahead of time if it had been vetted by a wider forum. Axem Titanium (talk) 18:45, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
    Running Elizabeth II was not out of process. It was a second appearance and by RFC within my discretion as a TFA coordinator. It did not actually require discussion of any sort. Wehwalt (talk) 19:21, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
    Fair enough, it's not "out of process", as far as current processes and job descriptions are concerned. But this case is clearly contentious and the community would do to decide if your discretion as TFA coordinator extends to "contentious" topics. Or alternatively does the TFA coordinator have the discretion to pick candidates that respond to current events which haven't already been proposed by others? To echo User:WaltCip above, I think it's the appearance of coordination of a "theme day" across TFA/DYK/ITN that makes this feel beyond the pale. Individually, everyone had the best of intentions, including yourself. But taken together, it reveals the bias that three independent sections all felt possessed to publish on the same topic (DYK probably needed the most effort and legwork to deliver their section, tbh, whereas Lizzy 2 was already FA and just needed to be rerun), which is of limited interest to much of the world and a source of anger and terror to another large segment of the populace.
  • I don't agree with the sentiments made by the section author, but all these Elizabeth-centric articles appearing here do seem a bit affected. -- Veggies (talk) 19:13, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
  • I think this is all a bit much. It's one thing for Elizabeth II to be today's featured article & for her funeral to be in ITN ongoing, that's fine enough. But every last DYK entry being about her? And Elizabeth II is also today's featured picture? She's being honored in every box of the main page except On this day, presumably because no one's yet found a Liz-related piece of trivia to add to it yet. This goes too far. DYK and today's featured picture should be changed to something a little less Elizabeth-centric.  Vanilla  Wizard 💙 21:07, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
  • Only a few hours left in the Full Elizabeth, so changing it at the end seems an idea whose time has not come but gone. Randy Kryn (talk) 21:50, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
  • The problem will resolve itself soon enough, but at least changing it at the last second before it expires would still be the right thing to do and set a precedent that no person or event should get "the Elizabeth II treatment." Let's hope that we never again dedicate the entire main page to one person.  Vanilla  Wizard 💙 22:15, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
If diffs like this [1] are any indication, I don't think the people in charge at DYK have much patience for the notion that the Elizabeth treatment went too far. This seems like a breakdown in individual processes that all culminated to create one perfect storm. 🌈WaltCip-(talk) 22:36, 19 September 2022 (UTC)

Arbitrary break

It's a bio about a monarch (the most recognisable worldwide), so the odds are, it would have a pro-monarchist PoV. Note, I am a republican, who wishes his country (Canada) would become a republic. So, if I can roll with how Liz II's bio page was presented, so should others. PS - We'll wait until King Charles III gives his 2022 Christmas Speech, before adding another British monarch onto the Main Page ;) GoodDay (talk) 00:23, 20 September 2022 (UTC)

  • Shall we take this to another venue? E.g. WP:VPP? It seems like a lot of people here feel like something went wrong with the Main Page process across TFA, TFP, DYK, and ITN to produce the result from yesterday. Now that it's off the Main Page, I don't want to see this discussion die simply because it's been mooted temporarily. I don't have a concrete proposal at the moment, but I would like us to develop more guidance for how Main Page "theme days" are picked and implemented, since that seems to be the source of a lot of the frustration. Axem Titanium (talk) 01:42, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
    As long as it dies simply, any cause and scene is fine by me. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:11, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
    There is nothing further to be discussed. IMHO the above arguments effectively amount to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS. Although the royal funeral has pretty much zero practical consequences for anyone in the world outside the immediate family, the actual coverage and interest in reliable sources has verifiably been very large, across the world. The TFA, DYK and POTD projects took that on board and through consensus, decided to run a special-occasion day for it as a result of its coverage level, similar to the 50th anniversary of the moon landings. Anyway, the bottom line is that if objectors want to have influence over the projects that set main page content and participate in the discussions that lead to these kinds of decisions then they should join said projects and contribute their opinions. Attempting to legislate from the outside some nebulous wider guideline about what should and shouldn't be run as a special occasion, to tie the hands of the people who do run those projects, would be putting the cart before the horse.  — Amakuru (talk) 09:23, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
    The people who run those projects answer to the community, when we say jump they say "how high" or they find themselves another project to run... Also if "IMHO the above arguments effectively amount to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS" then you either have WP:COMPETENCE issues which can't be addressed here or you need to give them another read. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:34, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
    Amakuru, I don't think it's reasonable to suggest that if an editor wants to express an opinion on a themed main page, they need to follow the discussions at TFA, DYK, and POTD year-round just in case at some point a discussion of a themed main page day might come up. (In fact, what you're suggesting is cabal'ing or walled garden-ing; you're differentiating between in-groups [TFA/DYK/POTD regulars] and out-groups [everyone else] and saying only the in-group should get to make the decision.) It's a lot more reasonable to say that if the editors at TFA/DYK/POTD want to have a themed main page, they should post a notice at the Village Pump and seek outside input from "uninvolved" editors. To put it in wikilegalese, main page theme decisions should be made by global consensus, not local consensus. Levivich (talk) 15:39, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
    @Levivich and Horse Eye's Back: Well, the thing is, the discussion for POTD happened here, one section up, and mentioned the TFA (I wasn't aware of the DYK until the main page happened.) To my knowledge, no objections got raised until the day of. If posting on Talk:Main Page isn't good enough, then how would VP - which by my rough judgement gets half the page views be better? Are the Talk:Main Page group more involved? Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 22:30, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
    A VP post would have alerted more editors. Levivich (talk) 22:37, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
    I shall link there in future, then. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 22:54, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
    (edit conflict) It might seem like a lot of people, but it isn't really. Count. It's also likely that an equal number or greater think everything was great for the occasion (people in general prefer to criticise than praise), or really couldn't care less one way or the other. Having said that, if people think the process of publishing the main page (as a whole entity, which is what readers see, rather than a set of individual and uncoordinated components) is broken (which I agree it is: you wouldn't construct a newspaper front page like this), then a replacement of that process by something fit for purpose would be a job well done. Bazza (talk) 09:25, 20 September 2022 (UTC) (with apologies for too many asides)
    I don't think our usual mechanisms are up to the task of constructing something like a decent newspaper front page every day. And I'd rather have a less than perfect Main Page (from a reader facing perspective) than implement the things I think we'd need to change that. But maybe I'm wrong. —Kusma (talk) 10:25, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
    Wiki ist keine Zeitung. -- Sca (talk) 12:23, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
    Just for everyone's information, yesterday's TFA got more than 1.7 million views, got more than double the views of any previous TFA. over the past 18 years we've been in business. While the TFA scheduling probably didn't have much effect on the number of views, that was also likely true of the previous record holder, Franz Kafka, which rode a google doodle. Wehwalt (talk) 13:22, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
    And to add a similar perspective from the DYK side, I ran a comparison between the right entries yesterday and a similar set chosen at random from Monday 27 June 2022 (when hooks were also up for a full day rather than half a day). I can look at it in more detail later, but the combined total of page views for all DYKs yesterday was 126,740, all of which received a significant spike, compared with 40,370 for 27 June. The lowest entry was the Queen's Road East song with 2,653 views, compared with a low of 1,531 from 27 June. So from that limited data there's definite evidence that yesterday's DYK set was a hit with readers, enjoying a significant page view boost over an equivalent set of hooks that wasn't QE2 themed. Cheers  — Amakuru (talk) 14:28, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
    No that's bad logic; or rather, a bad experiment because you're not using the right control group. Yesterday was QE's funeral, so we would expect a bump in anything and everything QE-related regardless of whether it was on the main page or not. The only way to know if the DYK grouping led to a bump is to compare it with what those articles would have received in page views had they not been in DYK on the day of the funeral, which of course is impossible to test. Themed main pages will always get more page views than non-themed main pages not because of the theme but because of the theme matches the day that the theme is celebrating: i.e., we're putting out the theme on a day that people are naturally interested in the topic. But it's not clear that the main page is what's driving the interest (as opposed to just riding along on the wave).
    In other words: we could run the Apollo 11 main page theme tomorrow and it won't get as many hits as it did on the anniversary of the moon landing. We could run a QE-themed day next week and I bet those pages wouldn't receive a bump at all.
    That said, I like themed main pages and I think we should do it every day. Levivich (talk) 14:38, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
    I can't say I'd love to see themed pages every day; this necessarily reduces the number of topics that readers are linked to by the main page. I think a diverse main page maximizes the likelihood of each reader being able to find at least some interesting new topic with a quality wiki page where they can learn more about it. Coordinating each section of the main page around a central theme might make the main page into very a useful portal for certain readers with a strong interest in whatever that theme is, but it'd be less useful for everyone else.  Vanilla  Wizard 💙 14:56, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
    While I think they're cool, I don't think they should be every day. When one opens Wikipedia, the first then they'll see will be seeing the main page. You'd have to make sure you do not have the theme to be offensive to others. While with whatever the theme is there will be offended people, certain themes will have more offended.
    My thought on Queen Elisabeth II's theme was this. Think of the following:
    The ones that don't care at all for the Queen.
    People who live in countries that don't have a good history with Britain.
    All of this should've been thought about so this discussion wouldn't happen. And for future themed main pages, similar should be thought. Smotoe (talk) 14:57, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
    I'd say in response to both that it all depends on what you mean by "theme". A narrow theme, like QE, certainly is susceptible to the problems raised above. But a broad theme, like "Nature" or "Film", etc., could still have a very diverse set of articles. We could run the same themes multiple times a year and still have new articles to present each time. Levivich (talk) 15:06, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
    What I mean by theme was referring towards QEII, yes, what I was saying is to think about how many could get offended or mad that "insert person/ thing here" is being featured on Wikipedia throughout the entire main page. Failing to do so would cause this again, where there is a belief of a bias in place, as with Wikipedia the goal is to not have a bias and have open non biased accurate information for all to see, which is why I like the main page without a theme, as it shows all sorts of different subjects to read about, rather than all about [Insert thing here]. Smotoe (talk) 17:12, 20 September 2022 (UTC)

This idea that the people who do run these projects have carte blanche to ignore the entire community is disrespectful and insulting. Wikipedia does not belong to you, the main page is not your fiefdom. Amakuru, I think you are for the most part an excellent admin. But do you really deem your position to be the absolute final word on this or any other matter on Wikipedia? And when exactly did page views determine anything here? It was popular is your reason? Are we going to do a Kim Kardashian main page for her bday? I bet that will get a metric shit ton more views than the other rich white lady of little consequence we featured yesterday. nableezy - 14:44, 20 September 2022 (UTC)

Well thanks I guess, but obviously I'm not trying to claim an authority I don't have to dictate what the community does or doesn't do. I was just giving my opinion about what I think should happen, and my opinion (based on a very simple analysis) on whether or not readers lapped up the themed content of the day. If you want to propose a new guideline for special occasions at VPP then have at it, although personally I would Oppose because I think we've done the right thing by our readers here. My point about participating in the projects is simply that I and others engaged in the discussions at TFA and DYK in good faith, and we came to the conclusion by consensus that we'd run special sets on that day. Most decisions on WP don't have a deadline and if someone who missed a discussion wants to reopen it then that's fine, but special occasion sets are by their nature date-specific, and I don't think it's fair for uninvolved editors to complain on the day about a decision made in the run up to that date. Cheers  — Amakuru (talk) 14:59, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
Do you think that is in keeping with NPOV to have a fawning set of DYK's, a FA blurb that barely mentions any criticism, a featured picture, on one subject? How is having our main page be a tribute to somebody that for much of the world was a symbol of colonialism and the plundering of native treasures ok? I would have complained in the week prior had I thought it would make a difference. But the people who do run these projects have given no indication that they see anything wrong with Wikipedia taking part in such an orgy of adulation and praise for some old lady who doesnt mean a thing to and didnt do a thing for nearly everybody on the planet. And as far as outsiders, Ive tried. ITN posted an ongoing coverage after three (!) support votes, and despite there never having been a consensus for its inclusion as "ongoing news", people kept it up on the basis of it isnt yet midnight in the furthest reaches of the British Empire nableezy - 15:28, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
I don't think it's fair for uninvolved editors to complain on the day about a decision made in the run up to that date. On what day are we supposed to complain? Keep in mind the rest of us had no idea this was happening until it happened. Levivich (talk) 15:30, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
When are you supposed to criticize a bad decision other than when you became aware of it? Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:40, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
  • To help understand just how special the Queen was, see WP:POPULAR. There's a list of the Top 100 pages there covering the 15 years from 2007 to 2022. After special cases are discounted, she ranks #3 on the list with 171 million views. That list covered the period up to May of this year. But note that, since she died, she's added another 25 million views. On the day of the funeral, there were 1.7 million views but that's just 1% of the previous total and the main page contribution to that will have just been a drop in the ocean. Andrew🐉(talk) 15:36, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
  • So by that thinking, Donald Trump is more "special" than Elizabeth (and by the way, she was your queen, not the Queen), and when his battery runs out we should have literally all of Wikipedia dedicated in his honor. nableezy - 15:42, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
  • Thats a very good point, under Andrew's logic we are obligated to give Donald Trump not just the "full Elizabeth" but the "full Elizabeth Plus" treatment Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:53, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
  • The Donald is not my problem but note that his article would not currently qualify for TFA or DYK as it's only graded B-class and is not a GA. Obama is next at #4 but his star seems to be waning as his article is a FFA and now just B-class too. The Queen hit the sweet spot of fame and quality. Andrew🐉(talk) 16:06, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
  • Apart from the fact that really the article should also be a FFA going by the many problems with it. See Talk:Elizabeth II#Article quality. John (talk) 16:09, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
  • So it isnt just popularity? Its a bunch of other ad hoc reasons strung together to justify the idea that the main page of Wikipedia, one of the most widely viewed webpages on the planet, should be a tribute to somebody who nobody can actually name 5 things she accomplished (and no, being alive when somebody else did something isnt an accomplishment), in direct contravention to our foundational principles and policies? nableezy - 16:10, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
  • Its already been established that the Queen's article wasn't FA quality when it hit the main page, it just hadn't been recently re-evaluated. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 16:11, 20 September 2022 (UTC)

Comment why are we quoting page views and clicks anyway? Wikipedia is not a commercial enterprise nor a media outlet. Otherwise we might as well post celebrity gossip, Premier League transfers and updates on the latest adult film releases. That would get us way more views! Furthermore there would be an almighty uproar for any other political figure to get this treatment, especially this controversial, and rightly so. Abcmaxx (talk) 17:27, 20 September 2022 (UTC)

  • Wikipedia is certainly a media outlet and one of the more successful. A variety of other media commented on the speed with which Wikipedia responded to the Queen's death. For example, see NPR: Inside Wikipedia's race to cover the queen's death. Lots of editors reacted within seconds to the news. The editors who are only now reacting, weeks later, weren't even in the race. Andrew🐉(talk) 18:38, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
  • This is a discussion about the Queen Elizabeth II's funeral which occurred on September 19 not her death which occurred on September 8. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 18:43, 20 September 2022 (UTC)

Comment Several editors and administrators have given their thoughts on to what degree page views and clicks should matter, so I might as well comment on that. I do think it's good to consider what pages readers are most interested in, but I also think there's a flaw in the metrics-based argument being used by proponents of the QE-themed main page. I do think having some Elizabeth II related information on the main page served readers well. But it certainly doesn't serve all readers well. Heightened interest in Elizabeth II justified some information about her, but it didn't justify making all information about her. Unless metrics suggest that an overwhelming majority of readers are exclusively interested in her life, death, funeral, and legacy, there has to be some balance on the main page. It suggests a very strong geographic bias towards the UK, an implied pro-monarchy POV, and a lack of consideration for those who are interested in other topics or those who would be outright offended by how the front page of the encyclopedia looked, to the point where it could damage our credibility in the eyes of certain readers. Obviously this isn't really that big of a deal, I'm not trying to be hyperbolic here. But I think we should take a step back and recognize that there's no chance we'd ever give any other monarch in any other country the same treatment, even if their reign was similarly impressive. That's not me guessing, we don't need to wait for another monarch to nearly break Louis XIV's world record to test this; King Bhumibol Adulyadej reigned almost exactly as long as the Queen, and at the time of his death in 2016 his reign was actually longer than hers, but I don't think there was any rush to turn the wiki into an obituary honoring his majestic graciousness. His death was blurbed at ITN, as it should have been, but that's about it. Not a mention of him or his country that month at DYK. Clearly Elizabeth's death hit closer to home for English Wikipedia editors, but we can't pretend that this isn't because of our own biases that make us view her death as exponentially more important than anyone else's. TL;DR: it's okay to consider what readers are interested in, but there's a line somewhere, and we crossed it because of our biases.  Vanilla  Wizard 💙 18:53, 20 September 2022 (UTC)

One of the main points to TFA is to get the skilled work of our talented editors widely circulated. See for example this discussion. I can't speak for any other project but I'm sure part of the idea is to show off articles and get them seen by the public. Wehwalt (talk) 19:18, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
I don't understand that argument, if the idea is to show off articles and get them seen by the public then why would you put up what people are going to go to anyway? Queen Elizabeth II is not an example of an under-viewed article which it serves the public to see more of. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:57, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
@Vanilla Wizard: None of the people currently in charge of main page sections were in 2016, however, given File:King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1969.jpg is the lead image on his article, then, unless research found something better, it wouldn't be possible to go beyond TFA (and maybe DYK) with him. As I noted below, there's four components needed for this to happen. Did he meet them? At the least, Availability seems to fail, and Advance Warning may well have as well (if there wasn't enough time between death and funeral). Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 19:53, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
For clarity, I don't actually wish that he got "the Elizabeth II treatment." My position is that what we saw on the 19th was a mistake that we should learn from. I was a bit facetious with wording like "his majestic graciousness." But I do think it's a fair example of how geographic bias led to a situation where one 70-year-reigning-monarch's death is nothing more than another notable news story, while another 70-year-reigning-monarch's death was seen as earth-shattering news.  Vanilla  Wizard 💙 20:23, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
@Vanilla Wizard: It's really hard to see what lesson to learn, though. Much of this was co-ordinated outside of knowledge of what other groups were doing, there weren't objections raised beforehand, and any sort of main page theme (outside of holidays) is a once-every-couple-years event at best, and I think the only comparable event to this one was that, for one US presidential election (I think around 2012?), there was a pairing of both candidates for a double TFA or something to that effect. It's hard to learn any lesson if there's little chance of seeing anything comparable happen again. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 20:37, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
Adam, it was 2008. Wehwalt (talk) 20:42, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
Ah, thank you. That's probably in the "Early Wikipedia Weirdness" era. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 20:48, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
@Adam Cuerden: The Apollo 11 50th is the most recent comparable example I'm aware of, although DYK by itself does a few every now and then. CMD (talk) 22:37, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
The Main Page changes every day, and covers a lot of topics which may or may not interest various readers. However, that doesn't mean each day has to fit into a specific formula. The Main Page exists to showcase editor work and to engage readers, and the various Main Page processes have provisions to try and match content to specific days if possible as it helps with those goals. A themed day is a natural outcome of such goals, and does not seem like a bad way to serve readers. It would have been great for readers to have the opportunity to learn more about Bhumibol Adulyadej, or any particular topic that is relevant and timely to a day they may be browsing (although DYK does have restrictions about politics near elections). We don't manage this for many topics, which as noted is likely due to our systematic biases, but clamping down on topics where there is editor interest is not a great solution. There is in fact specific effort put into ameliorating known long-term systematic biases issues, such as a small pool of FA topics and geographic biases within DYK and ITN. If some editors wanted to coordinate content covering an event or topic which falls outside of the areas that get the most attention on en.wp, I'm reasonably sure they would be received positively. CMD (talk) 22:37, 20 September 2022 (UTC)


I can tell you how this came about from my perspective. While I do agree you have every right to complain, realise that, well, the complaints about this are literally one section down from the discussion that led to it happening (Talk:Main_Page#Wikipedia:Featured_picture_candidates/File:Hrh_Princess_Elizabeth_in_the_Auxiliary_Territorial_Service,_April_1945_TR2832.jpg - feel free to update that link if that section archives) - and that's been true for this entire discussion. Note that the discussion about putting that image in as POTD mentions in its opening paragraph that the TFA was Elizabeth II.

This came about, on the POTD side, because it was suggested on my talk page that a photo of Windsor Castle be put up for the date of the funeral - which was a rather major event in the UK. This didn't seem quite relevant enough to be worth upsetting the apple cart, as it were, so I suggested an alternative, and if you scroll up (or check the archived link if it's finally been archived), you'll see it was unanimously approved, with no dissent until after it was on the Main Page.

I can't remember exactly when I discovered Queen Elizabeth II was planned for TFA - Sometime during the discussion on my talk page, I think - but can say I felt that ruled out most options. If we had Queen Elizabeth II as TFA, and a generic picture of the Queen as POTD.... what is the POTD blurb, exactly?

As for how normal this is: We do try to cover holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, and death anniversaries as it is: Christmas tends to have a Christmas-related image, Hallowe'en something scary, pictures of people and events get slotted in to anniversaries where possible. So it's not unusual to cover something that... well, was probably one of the biggest surprise shutdowns of the country I've ever seen. Seriously, I actually had trouble getting food yesterday, because the supermarkets shut.

However, there were things around it that made it possible. Let's say that an American President (former or current) died today. We couldn't do anything about it. The two weeks between her death and a major bank holiday State Funeral was the only reason it was possible in this case. Were the State Funeral less of an event, or we had less warning, there'd be no way to move forwards. So I suppose there was more opportunity to do something here than there usually is. The equivalent would be, I guess, prepping featured pictures for an election, and either running the candidates on the day of the election - switching order of them randomly in order to not show bias - or planning something for the day after the election where the Featured picture related to the winner would appear (and the other FP would get shoved off to a future date.)

Blurbs: The only suggestion made in the discussion about having the queen in POTD was to focus the article on Women in World War II#United Kingdom. Which I did, though it shifted back towards the queen a bit in editing after I finished. We could probably have gone Auxiliary Territorial Service as well.

On the suggestion it should have been symbolically pulled: I get that people don't watch this page so much, but there was no opposition whatsoever until the day it actually ran, which is, well, too late to do very much. Let's say we did swap another image in just before the end of the day. That image has now either missed most of its day on the main page, or gets two appearances. The symbolic action isn't without negative effect.

In the end, I'm not sure what we can learn from this: The circumstances that allowed it to happen in the first place are unusual. I apologise to those who felt unheard, but, you know, as I said, you're having this discussion right below one that, in its opening paragraph says, "This image, I think, has some major benefits, especially as the planned Today's Featured Article is Elizabeth II, so we want an image that conveys something else about her." I think the best thing to do is to just... bookmark Talk:Main Page, because I, at least, will bring anything potentially controversial here. But remember this isn't some giant bureaucracy. Wikipedia doesn't pay us to run this, this is all done by volunteers. We're doing our best.

That said, I've made it very clear from the start that rushing an image to the Main Page before the close of voting at WP:FPC could only be justified using Ignore All Rules. Any criticism about that part of the process I will take freely, and if we'd rather nothing like that happens again, that's perfectly fine with me. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 16:51, 20 September 2022 (UTC)

Obviously the best time to object would have been before it went live, but as others have pointed out, that would require vigilant watching of this and other Main Page talk pages at all times on the hunt for objections which is not a reasonable solution. Yes, the POTD discussion is directly above this one, but few if any of the objecters knew that there was something to object to in the first place until it already happened. The more actionable solution is to put processes in place to catch potential problems before they go live on the front page, not expect people to watch this page like a hawk yearround. Axem Titanium (talk) 18:38, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
But what kind of process could be done? Talk:Main Page had thousands of views in the leadup to this and no-one objected. How on earth are we meant to catch problems we don't know are problems? Before I took over POTD, we were only a week ahead of things because no-one else was interested in doing it, so it's pretty clear that there isn't enough volunteers for any more oversight than what we have. And if people can't watch the Main Page talk pages, and can't watch anything else, it won't make a lick of difference anyway. We can't force people to look at plans. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 18:43, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
If you're going to care what is on the main page, there's no substitute for participation in the processes that select what's on the main page. There is no way we can guarantee not to offend some. Wehwalt (talk) 18:54, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
I'm afraid I can only agree. I'm sorry for any offense caused, but if the requirement is that people get warned without actually paying any attention to any page where the discussions happen, there's no way forwards. Especially when co-ordinated main pages, outside of holidays, happen maybe once every few years, and, in this case, I don't think it even really was co-ordinated: I, for one, had no idea DYK was doing anything. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 18:58, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
And I discovered that TFP was doing something when Adam posted, and had no idea about any other project (although I was not terribly surprised). Wehwalt (talk) 19:05, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
And the discussion on my talk page had reached the point of presenting the idea before TFA switched, when I check the dates. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 19:24, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
Then perhaps I'll suggest a different angle. Maybe it's not reasonable for the relatively smaller group of volunteers at TFA/POTD/DYK/ITN to anticipate every objection, which I can agree with. Instead, objections raised at Talk:Main Page should be taken in good faith and responded to swiftly (i.e. within the day). The first post in this discussion was raised at 08:30 UTC, which is morning UK time and probably the earliest most people could have reasonably saw the Main Page and had the mental energy to formulate a cogent argument about it. In between the posts in agreement with that objection, I saw a lot of closing of ranks among Main Page "regulars" who relied on process ("it's too late to change") and consensus established within their respective subgroups of highly engaged editors. This necessarily entailed dismissing arguments made by the objecters who, by structural barrier, were not aware of and could not have known to participate in those prior discussions.
So I suggest the solution from the opposite direction. Objections in this section made in good faith should not be dismissed out of hand simply by pointing to lack of objection earlier. We should have processes in place for swift remediation of issues, rather than falling back on the argument that "it's only a day". And more broadly, we should just be more sensitive to issues of systemic bias and blind spots in considering what counts as a reasonable objection. QE2 is a sensitive subject in many parts of the world that live or lived under imperial occupation. Simply treating those concerns as valid instead of impugning them as contrarian can go a long way. Axem Titanium (talk) 20:39, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
On the one hand, yes, concerns should be dealt with. On the other hand, knee-jerk reactions cause chaos.
There's a procedure to follow - the sections at the TOP of the page - but it wasn't. There also wasn't much attempt to get wider perspective to my knowledge - a VP, ANI, and the like report might have allowed a voting to start that would hold weight. Expecting a big snarl of arguments to be judged within 16 hours is a bit too optimistic. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 21:19, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
Not all editors are familiar with all the procedures, and that's particularly true of infrequent editors who might only be motivated to say something on a talk page when something's wrong. This is a structural barrier of the kind I mentioned above. The correct response would be to aid said editor in opening a VP/ANI thread to get the wider consensus needed (even if you disagree with the criticism!) instead of a knee-jerk defensive dismissal of the criticism. The experienced editors here already have the advantage of being able to quote policy acronyms 'til the cows come home. You don't need to WP:BITE them on top of that. Axem Titanium (talk) 21:37, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
I wasn't even here for most of it. I checked in in the morning, and then discovered commentary late that evening. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 21:55, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
(ec) I'm not accusing you in particular (I linked to generic you above). I'm saying that Talk:Main Page, of all pages, is more likely to attract comment from inexperienced editors and we should not expect them to follow every procedure correctly if at all, nor should their concerns be dismissed for not following procedure. They may have valid criticisms but not the right "Wikipedia vocabulary" to articulate them. Axem Titanium (talk) 22:10, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
An interesting thought, and a fine reminder that we all need to be welcoming to everyone. I think that as a practical matter, if a matter has sufficient validity to be upheld by consensus at the VP or AN/I, it would find some support from experienced editors here, who could carry the newbie's point to the proper venue and be a better advocate for them than someone who does not agree, as indeed, the objections of yesterday found support from more than one experienced editor. I would be hesitant to conclude the existing channels are inadequate until they have been tried and found so. Wehwalt (talk) 22:09, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
Strong agree with these suggestions, especially Objections in this section made in good faith should not be dismissed out of hand simply by pointing to lack of objection earlier. We should have processes in place for swift remediation of issues. Far too many comments in this discussion have been some version of "you don't get to care now if you didn't object (at each of the main page projects) before it went live." Most of us "outside editors" do actually participate in these processes, but hardly any of us participate in all of them. I may frequent ITN, but I don't know the first thing about what goes on at DYK. Wearing all four hats simultaneously (TFA+POTD+DYK+ITN) is not a reasonable prerequisite for criticizing the main page.  Vanilla  Wizard 💙 21:25, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
That's all very well, but in this case, a discussion of the POTD, which mentioned the TFA, was on this page. We can't do anything about the past, but, moving forwards, bookmarking Talk:Main Page is going to give you access to discussions, including the one that would have told everyone in as many words what was going on, and given them a chance to act. The
I've said repeatedly, you get to care, but some of the criticism acts like there was no attempt to gain consensus, or that the discussion was hidden. The point isn't that there wasn't a lack of objection beforehand, it's that there was nothing but support in any of the several places it was brought up (for POTD, that would be here, and at WP:FPC).
Basically, a lot of the criticism is kind of at odds with the very page it's being made on. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 22:18, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
I'll concur with that. As I explained, I needed no one's leave to run Elizabeth II as TFA but instead started two discussions and also talked about it with my fellow coordinators. If it missed people who might have contributed important perspectives to this, it was not for lack of trying. Wehwalt (talk) 22:24, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
I don't think people are finding fault for lack of trying, but rather with the notion that the prior consensuses are final and unable to be reconsidered. Inexperienced/infrequent editors had plenty of time and opportunity to participate in those prior discussions... if they knew where to look. We've established that there's no feasible way to inform them of those discussions ahead of time but there's plenty of room for improvement in the way they were responded to here. If you have to repeatedly refer back to an older consensus to more and more people, that's evidence that consensus has changed. We're asking for more understanding and responsiveness when objections are raised, not an overhaul of the process that led to this point. Axem Titanium (talk) 22:40, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
I think new objections are a matter to be weighed, alongside what people have already said, the needs of the community, and the need for stability of the main page. There are no perfect answers and I think we just play each one as it comes along. Beyond that I cannot say, but it's pretty clear by now that I'm willing to discuss what has been done and what needs to be done. Thanks. Wehwalt (talk) 22:56, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
I saw the picture of Princess Elizabeth (right) on the day it was posted and thought it was an excellent choice, showing her not as an old lady or in her regalia but in a different setting and uniform. It thus added good variety to the coverage while being a high quality picture too. I liked the next day's Lunch atop a Skyscraper too -- a famous picture that bears repeating. Thanks to Adam for his interesting and steadfast efforts. Andrew🐉(talk) 08:53, 21 September 2022 (UTC)

Well, let not your hearts be troubled anymore. Today's main page has literally almost no English people or events featured (but plenty of Americans, Australians and Canadians).  AjaxSmack  22:50, 20 September 2022 (UTC)

Not trying to disagree just for the sake of it, but the Battle of Newbury is in OTD. Also, the Royal Navy's raid on Kronstadt is in DYK. TartarTorte 22:59, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
Thanks; I missed Newbury and counted Kronstadt as Russia (albeit with a British "bias" due to the perpetrators). Oh, well. Back to the arguing. AjaxSmack  00:17, 21 September 2022 (UTC)
Sorry for the unnecessary pedantry on my end. Cheers! TartarTorte 00:35, 21 September 2022 (UTC)

Most people realise that POTD is just a bit of fun, it's not related to Wikipedia, the linked article is often total garbage, and often the blurb needs work as it's derived from the trash articles and hence not really what an encyclopedia should be about in the first instance. The Rambling Man (Keep wearing the mask...) 23:04, 20 September 2022 (UTC)

For future coordination

For the record, for anything like this to be possible, we need:

  1. Advance Warning: This is why anniversaries get more coverage. I'd say this was literally as fast as something like this could ever happen in, and some of the emergent problems reflect that.
  2. Differentiation: While uncoordinated processes might accidentally lead to repetition, I don't think that's ever happened. For me to consider a POTD on a subject connected to the TFA, the blurb for POTD cannot be a mere repeat of TFA, so there has to be some other angle.
  3. Availability: Images and articles of sufficient quality or able to be brought to that quality in the timeframe available. If Elizabeth II wasn't an VS already, or if voting had gone against the FPC, this wouldn't have happed. nd
  4. Desire: If no-one goes to bat to get the process started, it doesn't happen. Indeed, had any objections been raised before they appeared on the Main Page, given the required speed, it would probably have stopped.

That's the minimum for it it could be done, not whether it should. I mainly bring this up given the other suggestions for themed main pages. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 17:37, 20 September 2022 (UTC)

Nah, the sections of the main page don't co-ordinate, never have, never will. We won't get advance warning of the deaths of 70-year-serving monarchs, so availability is purely on an ad hoc basis. While we'd love DYK and OTD and TFA, TFL, POTD etc to co-ordinate, they don't, they are different processes with very different characteristics. As for "desire", then if you wish to propose an RFC to make the main page more coherent, please go ahead and do so, but otherwise, it's just more blather, more hand-wringing, more complaining, none of which is of any benefit to Wikipedia. The Rambling Man (Keep wearing the mask...) 22:30, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
I don't think it could be, generally speaking. It's very much down to what's available. We've had a successful Apollo 11 anniversary one a while back, and I don't think that having the occasional one, but the point of this is to explain why it doesn't usually happen, and what would be needed for it to happen in future. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 22:34, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
There's no real issue here. I'm not clear, after tha kilobytes of text, what the problem is. We have occasional memorable dates and bits and pieces of Wikipedia try to commemorate it. Next. The Rambling Man (Keep wearing the mask...) 22:41, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
PS Adam Cuerden, please try to be more succinct. Your arguments get lost in walls of text. WP:TLDR. The Rambling Man (Keep wearing the mask...)
Per TRM, and besides, who would do this "coordinating" on the encyclopedia "anyone can edit" and no one is in charge of any one process, much less all of them combined.
Other than that, my views on this unproductive handwringing are here; what DYK did here is what should be dealt with. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:37, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
Well, the point is more that if a one-off event was going to happen, that's what's needed for it. I don't think that, say, a one-off special main page for, say, the national day of Malta or the like would be bad; obviously, though, it's never going to be a regular thing. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.1% of all FPs 22:56, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
i.e. nothing. Cheers Adam. The Rambling Man (Keep wearing the mask...) 22:58, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
I don't know what happened on the day, but Adam Cuerden followed a proper process to suggest changing POTD and involved many of those who provide POTD. There seems to be a lot of nonsense posted above. Why do people criticize someone who was doing his best. Sniping from the sidelines doesn't help. Charlesjsharp (talk) 18:59, 21 September 2022 (UTC)
Because WT:MP is a highly visible page, and here we are no stranger to lengthy, extensive complaints about contents of the Main Page. The Gropecunt Lane controversy comes to mind, or the inclusion of Michele Merkin as the POTD. Everybody argues for a while, and eventually the item drops off the MP and nothing further is done about it. I note there have been no discussions taken up with the individual processes (DYK, ITN, etc.), nor anything proposed at the Village Pump to suggest some sort of coordination to prevent systemic bias. 🌈WaltCip-(talk) 13:18, 22 September 2022 (UTC)

The "Did you know?" section should be sacred

Maybe it is due to the fact that I was born in the previous century but when I started "eponymously" editing Wikipedia 15 years ago this idea was already cemented in my head: An "encyclopaedia" means learning about a great variety of subjects that are completely disconnected with each other. This was probably reinforced by the fact that, in printed encyclopaedias, the articles are listed alphabetically, so you are exposed to the above principle each and every time you look up something.

The "Did you know?" section must be a statement of identity as an encyclopeadia for Wikipedia. Certainly, Wikipedia is more than just an encyclopeadia but everything else is supposed to run second and in support of it. It would appear as common sense, as an unwritten rule, but apparently it needs to be articulated as Wikipedia rule: The "Did you know?" section must have the kind of variety that you find when you browse articles alphabetically. Nxavar (talk) 07:06, 22 September 2022 (UTC)

Could you please bring your concerns to WT:DYK? Elizabeth has long left the Main Page so this conversation is not especially relevant anymore. At this point if you have concerns about the individual processes, you should be taking it up with those people who run them. 🌈WaltCip-(talk) 12:18, 22 September 2022 (UTC)
Moved to WT:DYK. Nxavar (talk) 13:33, 22 September 2022 (UTC)