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Could use some assistance from any editors who know the Bow and Bethnal Green areas of London well enough to clean up any damage from an unhelpful sockpuppeteer at Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/Hopeful2014/Archive, who was blocked this week. For at least a year this person has been moving articles back and forth between different areas of London (changing categories and opening sentences), using different accounts and without any discussion or edit summaries. From the number of times they've changed their mind and moved something back (sometimes months later) it looks like they weren't sure themselves if any of the edits were correct.
Globe Town, London could also use a pass from a local expert to see if anything stands out as wrong. The article was written entirely by the sockpuppet user, and (although lack of edit summaries makes this hard to check) may contain content which has been moved, perhaps incorrectly, from other local articles.
This includes articles about railway and DLR stations in the area. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 05:51, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
They're ignoring the block and continuing to make the same back-and-forth edits with sockpuppet IP addresses (eg. User:18.104.22.168) so any advice on how inaccurate these edits are, or how best to tackle them, would be appreciated. --Lord Belbury (talk) 14:10, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
As an IP they're now relocating tube and DLR stations, as well as other buildings to be in "Aldgate, Tower Hamlets" rather than Whitechapel, City of London or Shadwell. From the history on Aldgate East tube station the same sockpuppeteer has ditheringly relocated it from Spitalfields to Whitechapel to Aldgate to Spitalfields to Whitechapel to Aldgate, in the past year. I don't know this area of London very well: is this harmless zooming in and out, or a problem? --Lord Belbury (talk) 08:27, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm now seeing this user's articles (The Quarterdeck) being deleted on the grounds of "created by a banned or blocked user". If the deleted articles were created by copying and moving long-standing paragraphs from other articles without mentioning this in edit summaries (as Aldgate, Tower Hamlets seems to have been), this means that valid London content from other contributors is being lost from Wikipedia. Can I get some support for or advice against either (finding and) endorsing the user's created articles so they don't get deleted as sockpuppetry, or restoring the content to where it was and deleting the articles? --Lord Belbury (talk) 16:58, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Can I endorse Lord Belbury's plea for advice/comment/discussion on what to do about this sockpuppeteer. Under their various usernames and IP addresses they have made well over 6000 edits, mainly to East London related topics (and continue to do so, currently as 22.214.171.124). I suspect they are acting in good faith, and some edits have been valid; but a high proportion have not (being either pointless – e.g. repeated cycles of nitpicking and self-reversion over whether particular locations lie in particular districts or not – poorly written, or positively inaccurate). Combined with an unwillingness/inability to leave edit summaries, cite sources, or otherwise follow editorial good practice, their contributions overall have undoubtedly been more disruptive than constructive. As Lord Belbury says, the creation of several new articles by moving blocks of text from existing articles without explanation creates further significant problems, including the risk of losing valid encyclopedic content. What can we do to stop this, and to repair the damage? A blanket rollback would be excessive, but surely there is some protocol we could be following? Is there some other forum where we should be discussing this? GrindtXX (talk) 14:01, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm very happy to help out here as best I can, as I have become quite familiar with the local area and terminology, however I'm not really sure where to start; this editor has been VERY prolific. Is there a more experienced editor who might have a suggested course of action? Would creating a list of all the affected pages as a starting point be useful? I think ideally this would be done in the context of a wider clean-up and harmonization of East London articles, replacing words like "district" with "ward" and clarifying the distinction between officially designated areas (like Bethnal Green which is a ward in Tower Hamlets) and informally named areas (like Old Ford and Fish Island, which are the common names for areas in the Bow East Ward and are only loosely defined in various other local planning and development documents). Also a lot of the history sections should essentially be the same across a lot of these places (like Roman Road, Old Ford, Bow and Fish Island, which are all in the same couple of square miles) so ideally this would be somewhat harmonized as well. Does that all sound reasonable? TheSLEEVEmonkey (talk) 17:07, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
I have started a list of the affected pages on my sandbox (sorry, not sure where else to do it really): User:TheSLEEVEmonkey/sandbox I'll start patrolling these pages. It is mind boggling the number of edits these accounts have been able to make.
To understand the edits, it appears that the editor has a very strong and very specific idea of how to classify East London, however this does not actually agree to external sources in the majority of cases. They also seem to have a strong desire to promote East London. As a result, the disruptive edits tend to be mostly one of three things:
Changing the intro section or the categories of areas and locations to "move" them to a classification which they feel is better (for example describing Brick Lane as not in Shoreditch but rather in Spitalfields)
Cutting and moving whole paragraphs across articles based on where they think that subject falls within their own categorization system
Adding local trivia and promotion of local business
The specific area of interest is East London, and their editing seems to focus on Tower Hamlets and the Docklands
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Various issues around neighbourhood articles seem to be cropping up with editors changing en masse London to Greater London or giving former counties as if they were current. This appears to have been going on some time with conversations scattered over talk pages. I'm creating a talk section here to direct any discussion to. MRSC (talk) 08:11, 26 November 2019 (UTC)
Changing 'London' to 'Greater London'
I think many articles of towns and districts within the ceremonial county of Greater London should have the place in its lead section changed from London to Greater London. Towns in outer Greater London, and outside the London postal district (e.g. Uxbridge or Sutton) are outlying towns with their own identities (i.e. outside London post town) and are better suited to have Greater London. For example, we could change Ilford from the current:
This kind of naming is also a more favourable (and neutral!) approach to articles like Romford where many residents consider the town to be strictly in Essex and not "London". Nor is it false - these places are after all in Greater London, just as much as for example Wigan is in Greater Manchester.
It is also encyclopaedic: we see this in the lead of articles like Wigan, which reads Wigan is a town in Greater Manchester, England, on the River Douglas, 10 miles (16 km) south-west of Bolton..., or Stockport which reads Stockport is a large town in Greater Manchester, England, 7 miles (11 km) south-east of Manchester city centre. Ilford and Romford are the same case as Wigan and Stockport: they are in a borough, in a county called Greater London/Manchester, and are X miles away from central London/Manchester.
MetrolandNW, you should not have made those sweeping changes across so many London articles. It was not an improveent and contravened established consensus and guidelines. It may have been well intended but the changes were close to being disruptive edits. Using London to refer to the Ceremonial county of Greater London is well established consensus based practice. The indirect root cause of the issue you raise is here, specifically, In respect of England, Scotland and Wales, a fundamental part of this guide is to reaffirm the long established position that we do not take the view that the historic/ancient/traditional counties still exist with the former boundaries.Roger 8 Roger (talk) 18:21, 28 November 2019 (UTC)
The situation in London/Greater London is not analogous to Manchester/Greater Manchester. MRSC (talk) 10:38, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
But "London" as shorthand for the Greater London area is universally accepted, so I don't see what the issue is. The article on London deals with all boroughs inside the Greater London area, so linking them to that points readers to the right article regarding the particular suburb's position in relation to London. In addition, in most articles Greater London as a separate article is mentioned in the second sentence. The only thing that happens by removing the link to London and replacing it with only links to Greater London is it reinforces the bias that anything outside zone 3 isn't really London, as if we are still living in 1965. --Michail (blah) 11:02, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
While I'm prepared to accept there might be exceptions for clearly distinct settlements (e.g. Hazelwood, London) these should be discussed separately, the default should be London, especially for anywhere within the contiguous urban area such as Ilford, Uxbridge and Walthamstow. What counties places were in prior to the creation of Greater London is almost never going to be relevant in the first sentence and often not in the first paragraph. Thryduulf (talk) 12:21, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
I agree that the default should be London. By default it already refers to the entirety of the Greater London area. --Michail (blah) 13:46, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
Four months is a long time in Wikipedia, so I overlooked an earlier attempt by MetrolandNW, , to change the lead of GL articles. I mention it here only to put this discussion in context. By 'contiguous urban area',Thryduulf, I assume you do not mean this, or do you, seeing as you think an exception could be made for Hazelwood? How do you think, Michail, we can support the statement that "London" as shorthand for the Greater London area is universally accepted, if anyone challenges it, as Metroland and Thryduulf already have? When you say, MRSC, that we should avoid saying that a place is, or was, part of the traditional county of..., or, within the historic county of..., how do you see us incorporating that with the guidelines, , that tell us the lead should normally cover Historic county (if in England or Wales and if different from current county), and a brief paragraph about historical roots / founding. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 21:36, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
I mean that part of the Greater London Built-up Areathat is (a) a single contiguous urban area, and (b) within the City of London or a London Borough. MRSC says (and I agree) that we should avoid saying a place is part of or within a historic, traditional or former, etc. county. Saying that a place was part of or within one of those formerly extant areas may be appropriate to mention, but usually not in the lead section. Thryduulf (talk) 21:52, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
Also I have not challenged the statement that ""London" as shorthand for the Greater London area is universally accepted", I agree that is the case. My point is that the word "London" has multiple meanings and for settlements within Greater London that are not part of the contiguous urban area it might be preferable to use "Greater London" instead of "London" if it is desirable to make clear it is not part of that contiguous urban area. It is never incorrect to describe a place within Greater London as being in "London". Thryduulf (talk) 22:01, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for that explanation. My understanding of the guidelines is that it does not matter whether 'is' or 'was' is correct, but rather what it says in the quotation above. In that case, the lead for all articles about places in GL should mention the HC the place was in because by now being in the county of GL they are by definition in a different county, ie not in the historic county. This would seem odd to me because we would then have to mention in the lead that, say, Kensington, was in Middlesex, something that would far better being mentioned in the history section. But then we have places like Hazelwood where it would be equally odd to say it is in London, as we sit sipping our late summer pint looking out over the leafy meadows of Kent. I am still a bit confused about how your definition of London would work in practice. You use as your guide to an exception whether a place is built up or not. There are many other possible ways to differentiate and whether a place is rural or urban in nature is surely a matter of personal opinion? I think what we currently have is better than allowing editors to decide on a case by case basis how much a given place has been Londonised. I agree that London has many meanings. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 23:54, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
We can keep consistency by having Greater London, as in towns of Greater Manchester. --MetrolandNW (talk) 22:36, 29 December 2019 (UTC)
It seems there is not well enough consensus for adding historic counties to the lead so I am taking that out of my suggestion. But I am still hoping for consensus on having "Greater London" for distant suburbs with their own post towns. --MetrolandNW (talk) 22:36, 29 December 2019 (UTC)
Someone from City Literary Institute seems keen to update the article, as I've had to softblock two accounts for their names and revert pasted content. In July, an account called User:CityLitComms removed the "Accolades and criticism" section, pasted in text about fellows (presumably from their website), and made a few other updates: . I reverted and softblocked the account in accordance with WP:COI, WP:COPYVIO, and WP:USERNAME. Now, another account called User:City Lit made extensive edits including pasting in promotional text about fellows. I have again reverted and softblocked. There might be helpful content in the reverted material and if anyone has contacts at City Lit it might be useful to give them some advice. Fences&Windows 07:51, 28 November 2019 (UTC)