Proposals for closing projects/Archive/Inupiaq Wikipedia

The result of the following proposal for closing a WMF project is to KEEP the project. Please, do not modify this page.

Closure of Inupiaq WikipediaEdit


According to the history, this prospective Wikipedia edition in the Inupiaq language has been around since 06/03/2002, 10:31, i.e. for almost four years. ik:Special:Allpages lists eight articles, none which contains even a single full sentence. All that you find there, is images of Artic animals plus what I assume to be their Inupiaq names. Since they lack any written content, I guess that these "articles" have not even been created by a speaker of Inupiaq.

Since this project appears to be completely orphaned, it is occasionally misused by spammers. (I have only just removed a hidden spam DIV from the main page)

I propose that this project be closed due to its complete inactivity. --Johannes Rohr 11:45, 8 May 2006 (UTC)


  1. I can see the reason behind this. Apparently, guidelines for new language domain creations were more lax in the early days...? Either we, unless we get ourselves ten active speakers of those Inuit languages fast, I see no reason not to close this. It can always be reopened once there's sufficient interest. —Nightstallion (?) 13:02, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support, seems a bit pointless to have a Wikipedia with all of eight articles. Stifle 18:59, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
    Support unless we find someone to add content. --Kernigh 20:52, 15 May 2006 (UTC) (Someone told me about w:ik:Iqsrabutilik [1]. --Kernigh 04:10, 16 June 2006 (UTC))
  3. Support closure. Close it until at least one native speaker volunteers to work on it. --Pmsyyz 05:33, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
  4. Close it. As per nomination. If someone wants to have it opened back up, they can come to meta. However, I don't see why it should be open, if it has practically nothing on it. --LBMixPro 21:19, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
    Are you aware that opening a Wikipedia is not an instantaneous process? -- Zanimum 15:51, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
    Support 4 years...not even one complete article... 01:37, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
    And you are whom? Anonymous votes are near to useless on a wiki. -- Zanimum 19:48, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
  5. Support—This is a prime example of why the creation policy was tightened down. Austin 13:15, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
  6. Support. The article on Wikipedia is vandalism. The rest of the pages are links to commons. There's no one in charge of the store. Titoxd 08:09, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  7. Support per above comments. Angr 20:16, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
  8. Support no native speaker contributors. - FrancisTyers 15:39, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
  1. vote invalid, as reasoning flawed. There was no native language contributors when some others voted, there is now. -- Zanimum 18:57, 26 June 2006 (UTC)


  1. Close it, and there's only more work to be done if anyone ever wanted to work on it. While it's received vandalism, like so many other small Wikipedias, does it do any harm to leave it as a vacant lot? -- Zanimum 16:03, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
  2. I like it being available in the event that it does pick up contributors. I don't really see the harm in its existence. Sarge Baldy 17:05, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
  3. Oppose. Only a few months ago you could have described the Greenlandic Wikipedia the same way, but now the interface is completely translated, and it's just waiting for articles. The same could easily happen with this one. It's better to have something there instead of native speakers having to request a new Wikipedia (which most of the time will not happen, as they probably won't be aware that that's possible). Jon Harald Søby 08:56, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
    1. If one is to believe the figure of 3.500 speakers of Inupiaq, (cf. infobox at en:Inupiaq language) Greenlandic has at least ten times more speakers than Inupiaq. 87% of Greenlands 56.000 Inhabitants are considered indigenous Greenlanders. I understand, most of them do actually speak the language. Plus it is an official language, there are Greenlandic media, web sites etc. Well, if some speakers would actually start working on their own free encyclopedia, noone would object. However, the likelihood is pretty marginal. --Johannes Rohr 09:18, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  4. Oppose I don't see the logic behind closing a wiki down because there aren't much content, less content means less usage and much less server load, these wikis being of a language with a small native online population, means that it is exactly these wikis that need the most help. It is not for you to say what the Inupiaq can marginally or cannot marginally do. That is up to the native speakers themselves. This is defeating the purpose of bringing Wikipedia to third world countries, according to this logic most wikis sponsored by Wikimedia should be closed down. Most of the people in the world do not have internet connection, much less know about Wikipedia, even the English wikis started with 1 article at sometime in the past, the Chinese wikipedia went on for 2 years without a single Chinese article, and yet it is the most spoken language in the world. The problem is not the Inupiaq speakers coming to contribute on Wikipedia, rather it is not bringing Wikipedia to the Inupiaq speakers (through promotion on forums or the like). An encyclopedia encompasses all human knowledge, it matters not how small or pathetic the contribution (as long as it isn't vandalism), is a part of that overall human knowledge. What would closing down the wiki accomplish, simply to free up 10 articles' worth of harddisk at the expense of a whole (marginalised) language?? The bottom 20 or so wikis combined probably doesn't even equal the server load caused by all the edit-warring on the single en:United States article itself. Thanks for the consideration! --Shibo77 09:25, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
    1. I do understand your point very well. I even agree with most of what you say. The only point is: It doesn't work. Well, there is another one: You talk about "helping" the Inupiaq community. Shouldn't we first ask wether there is any demand at all for the kind of help that you offer? I have some years of working experience with indigenous peoples. One of the fundamental lessons I had to learn more than once is: Don't try to "help", unless you have a clear mandate by those concerned. Let the people decide for themselves, let them develop and bring up their own proposals. You may try to assist, but you must not impose! (How the heck to you know that what the Inupiaq speaker community needs is a Wikipedia? What kind of help is this?) Don't start a project like e.g. the Inupiaq Wikipedia, unless those concerned express their wish for such a project to be started. Offering unrequested help can be very counterproductive. At best it is useless. (More so when absolutely no one cares the whole thing degrades into no more than a playground for vandals and spammers) Lastly: If someone would seriously consider helping indigenous language communities to develop their own encyclopedias, this would need far more than just a language subdomain. It would require lots of capacity building plus technical support. What Wikipedia currently offers (an empty Wiki at * is far from appropriate for this purpose. --Johannes Rohr 15:44, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
      1. I don't understand this. What is the reasoning behind closing a wiki down? Our goal is to write out the sum of all human knowledge and grant it to all human. Wikimedia is heavy on linguistic reprensentation and the NPOV policy, however I find procedures on meta about oepning and closing of wikis incredibly un-NPOV. The decision to help doesn't stem from the supporting voters on this page, rather it was strated when the first wikipedia started in English. How do you know the English speakers themselves needed a Wikipedia? Well, the founders(Jimbo, et al.) didn't, they like all e-venturers, took a gamble when they started the wikipedia project. Now look at the success it has become of that uncertain gamble? The most we can do as non-natives, is to deliever technical assistance to setting up a wiki of their own tongue. Setting up a wiki isn't easy. Most people do not know about Bugzilla, which has to be written in English in order for most of the developpers to understand. Most people do not know about meta-wiki, much less the page "Requests for new wikis", which also has to be (mostly) written in English. These four simple obstacles is already placing a heavy toll on speakers of marginalised languages to set up a new wiki of their own tongue. Most people of the third world do not use English or a language of the top 50 wikipedias. Even if they did have fluency in a language of the top 50 wikipedias, it probably meant that they were the much better-offs of the third world. People of marginalised languages with Internet connection and able to find wikipedia are mostly the better-off ones of that community, and heavily influenced by another major language community. For example, those with internet connections in the marginalised Yi community would most probably speak fluent Chinese, a language of a wikipedia in the top 50. A native of the Choctaw community with internet connection would most probably speak fluent English. If there isn't a wiki setup for their own respective languages in Yi and Choctaw, why would they themselves take the acton to start one? Even then, how would they know how to start one? They wouldn't know about the IRC channels, they wouldn't know about Bugzilla, nor meta-wiki. Another point, most people who come to wikipedia first regard this place as a normal website, rather than a wiki, because a wiki is a new concept. They do not know about "Being bold" (enough to go asking how to setup a new wiki). Most new users simply start editing on the English wikipedia as anons doing things as fixing spelling mistakes. For I myself, I started in much the same way, when I first found out about Wikipedia, I thought that it was just another English website, and later-on I've discovered the interwiki links to the left, and sometimes I would even find one in my own tongue, Chinese. I would then click on it, and I would arrive at a wikipedia of my own tongue. However if that wasn't there, I would probably not have become a contributor on the Chinese wikipedia, but rather a contributor to the English wikipedia instead. I can not imagine myself asking to create a new wikipedia in Chinese, and even if I did, that would mean I have to have enough fluency in English to do so. Setting up a wiki in a marginalised language is the most we as non-native can do. You ask what help this is? This is the help we provide. As soon as the wiki is setup, the following obstacles are overcome: the whole process of having fluency in a major language possibly English, the need to search for Bugzilla, Meta-Wiki's "Request for new wikis" page, the need to wait for votes and debates and the time to actually open the wiki for editing... Furthermore, how do I know that what the communities of these marginalised peoples is a wikipedia? To put it simply, I don't know, not even a native can speak for the whole community, it is simply a gamble, just as when Jimbo et al. first started the wiki in English, they didn't know that it would become a success, they didn't know that it was what the English-language community needed. They probably thought that it was what the English-language community needed, they probably thought that it would become a success, and hoped it so, but no one can predict the future, can they? When they started the wikipedias in the foreign languages German, Chinese, Esperanto and so forth, they didn't know that is what the community wanted. How many native-speakers of Esperanto are there, I would think very few, however look at the Esperanto wikipedia today. As I've said in my last post, the Chinese wikipedia went on two years without a single article, according to this logic, the Chinese wikipedia should have been closed, but look at its growth today. Wikis grow, that is the natural way of wikis. These smaller wikis with little or no content are still a part of a larger community of NPOV knowledge seekers dedicating their free-time for positive contributions (ie, Wikimedia). There are many non-natives/contributors of larger wikipedias who routinely go onto smaller wikipedias to check for vandalism and changes. The wikis themselves might not be much at all, and the "point" seems that they are useless. But they are not separate entities unto themselves, rather they are all under the umbrella of this bigger (human) community of Wikimedia. A page in Akan, no matter how pathetic, one page, one sentence, one word, one image, or even no real content and a simple interwiki link, is more knowledge than nothing. People on Wiktionary can use that interwiki link to add a translation to-from a language, this interwiki link with the title of the page could be easily searched off Google or other major search engines, which provides a gateway for non-natives and natives alike to discover that there exists an Akan Wikipedia and to the Wikimedia projects themselves. If you want to experiment, type some rare material on your userpage, and check for that rare keyword on Google in a few days' time, it will most probably be at the top of the list of results. This shows how simply because the bigger wikipedias such as the English and German versions have become such big success, smaller ones such as the Akan, Choctaw or Yi wikipedias do get precedence with the search engines, even though when we consider them as separate wikis, they seem useless. Lastly, what is the point of closing down a wiki? There is extremely little server load, if there are vandalism, it will be done to mostly pages without much real content (an analogy would be to spray paint a wall, when there is no wall). Vandals like to be seen, that is why they like to target un-protected pages on the larger wikipedias with high page-views. Even when they target the smaller wikipedias, what is the real harm done? 10 pages with only images? A sentence in Akan written over? An interwiki link broken? In any case, shutting a wiki down because of vandalism seems to me like giving into terrorists' demands. In concluding, I would say the smaller wikis with little pathetic, or no real content can be easily maintained and controlled by contributors (natives and non-natives alike), with much less time and energy than maintaining and controlling a larger wikipedia with real content and real danger of vandalism. These wikis are not much on the server load, and yet take up a huge precedence on the Internet as whole simply because they are a part of Wikimedia. It not only simplifies and removes obstacles for when the real native contributors might show up, it is also giving them a welcoming sign. It shows that the Wikipedia projects are truly sincere about multilingualism, there exists a wiki in your own mothertongue with potentials to become as good/full as the English and German wikipedias, and you yourself can make that a reality! Wikipedia and Wikimedia are becoming more and more known around the world, this means that there will be bigger and bigger chances that one of the new contributors will have knowledge of a marginalised language, such as Akan, Choctaw or Yi. Keeping these wikis up, is giving them the potential to strive for the top with their own wiki of a marginalised language, not only that it adds lots of rare materials that could be searched on the Internet (possibly never before written in that marginalised language on the Internet), almost as if sharing a representation on the Internet. All this could be done with very little server load and very little maintenance. I can think of many more reasons why these wikis should not be closed. What help is having a wiki open for editing under the "" domain? Yes, it is hardly any help at all, but it is more help that we as non-natives can offer than not having even a wiki setup ready for editing. Thanks for reading and considering my incredibly long post! --Shibo77 10:15, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
  5. Oppose the closure of any Wiki with even a hint of potential. Ardric47 02:46, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
    1. So could you elaborate on what you mean by "hint of potential"--Johannes Rohr 07:53, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
      1. Here, the potential is admittedly small, but I was referring to the fact that there is actual content on this Wikipedia (as opposed to some others, e.g. Kanuri), namely ik:Iqsrabutilik. That prose was added earlier this week even: "potential." Ardric47 22:47, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
        1. Oh, wow! This is a first timer! Content! [2] Probably a result of the closure proposal and Zanimums effort to save it.--Johannes Rohr 08:09, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
          1. I'm unsure if I can take credit for this first timer. I've had nil reply from the offices of the governors and congressmen for Alaska that I emailed, asking to know which department took care, of native issues; the State website is rather confusing in this matter. I doubt the closure page can take credit either, as it has such a low Google PageRank, that you can't find it, unless you're looking for it. Honestly? I think this was simply by co-incidence, that some Inupiak-speaker happened to stumble across it. If we've finally got a "stumbler", then imagine the response that might just happen when I contact the cultural groups that I've identified. -- Zanimum 15:09, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
  6. Node ue 05:29, 13 June 2006 (UTC) Why should we close wikis? we have pretty much unlimited space. we should keep them around for the time when someone decides to contribute
  7. Strong oppose a lot of wikis have been almoust inactive for a long time, but've taken-off recently. Those are Afrikaans, Basque, Chavash, Kazakh and more other. We cannot be shure, that someone, who would like to work on Inypiak wikipedia will not appear tomorrow. And vandalism isn't that problem, since as fare as this wiki has almoust no content, it gets almoust no visitors. Kneiphof 19:18, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
  8. Oppose. Wikipedia can gather some remains of this language and culture. --Millosh 15:02, 2 July 2006 (UTC)


So, which other way is there to prevent regular vandalism on those dead wikis? Locking them? If there is no content, there is nothing to be locked. Furthermore, a wiki without admin is certainly not a good thing. E.g. the "Zergeisterung" vandal (cf. w:Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Zergeisterung) has spread his spam allover countless wikis (more than 500 google hits on *[3]). While it is relatively easy to ensure deletion of this crap on wikis which are actively maintained, I have no idea what to do in order to get it removed from ik. I even created a {{Delete}} template on that wiki, but still, there is no sysop to actually push the delete button. This is why I made the closure proposal.--Johannes Rohr 20:24, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

When there is vandalism, ask a steward, post messages here:Vandalism_reports/Multilingual_speedy_deletions/Meta:Requests_for_help_from_a_sysop_or_bureaucrat, or better to go onto the IRC channel irc://ةedia and request help there. --Shibo77 10:31, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I've requested adminship on this project. Requests_for_permissions#Inupiaq_Wikipedia -- Zanimum 14:34, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Turns out I was granted permission on 28 May 2006 by Villy. Is this enough to keep it open? -- Zanimum 15:49, 31 May 2006 (UTC)