Talk:Main Page

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We Need Translator(s) on the Team

Talk on the main page? A good enough place for this point. In my whole network is one admitted Arabic-speaker who was willing to help, and has, greatly, reading notes and signs and understanding what people are saying. He's been too busy to help lately, and there should be more than one around. AFAIK, among all three active members at the moment, we have no more than that.

Any ideas how to find preferably a couple of part-time volunteers to spread the load (or sometimes get two readings)? I feel like anyone would have more insights than me, with my level of social skills and out-getting. --Caustic Logic 21:06, 11 September 2012 (EST)

The Shut-Down

Yay, the site is back! Petri says it wasn't just on my end, and the lack of edits for about a day backs that up. Any details/lessons etc. on what happened, perhaps CE can fill us in. If it's mundane enough, then maybe not. Will get back to work here tonight. --Caustic Logic 09:57, 15 September 2012 (EST)

The whole service with all hosted wiki's was down for about 28 hours, most likely had nothing to do with us. I suspect hardware/connection problem on their side. There's a thread on the support forum but no explanation so far. Well, it's for free. :o) Lesson: I was able to puzzle the stuff together and get it running on my local machine, but without the pics you guys uploaded. Will download them all as they come. This wiki will survive the service if it has to. --CE 19:39, 15 September 2012 (EST)
Belated note: Excellent work, CE! Thanks! I've got all my own images saved here too, if that helps. Text, not so much. --Caustic Logic 23:20, 27 September 2012 (EST)

The Big Shut-Down

The whole site died, and now it's re-born here. Hallelujah! CE is stupendous! --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:21, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

I'm back! -- Petri Krohn (talk) 18:59, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

P.S. – I cannot see any edits in my contributions. Make one now to see log.

I make one now. An edit? I'll add this, and edit it, and then see if I can see what you mean. :) I can't yet see the "upload new file" link, and I have a lot of images to start uploading. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:21, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Found it. No promises how much uploading I'll do tonight. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10
35, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

There are still images missing in a couple of articles. Please take a look at this special page: Pages with broken file links Some seem to be fine, no idea why they're on the list, but some are not (Jihad Raslan, Sari Saoud, Daraya, etc) --CE (talk) 14:01, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

*wipes sweat off* ;o) --CE (talk) 03:58, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

M-dash turns into question mark!

Did something go wrong in the transfer? The m-dashes on may talk page have mutated into question marks. The last edit was 17 October 2012. Was it before or after the transfer? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 02:17, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

This wiki was created on Nov 1. Your user talk page was among those I forgot to back-up. We saved those from the Google cache and I restored them by sending them through crappy html->wiki parsers, remember? Seems like I didn't catch those question marks. --CE (talk) 02:35, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Missing images

A large number of images are still missing, some of them important, like this one: File:Thomson_witness_Houla.png. (Used in Houla:Alleged witnesses for a government/Shabiha attack.) -- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:26, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Server move

Hey folks, its seems they've finally finished the DB-Move. Now they are moving the images, and thumbnails are missing. Upload is still deactivated. Well, let's keep fingers crossed. Seems to be fast-loading. --CE (talk) 15:19, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Front page, Menu and "Other research"

As it is developing (you're on a roll, CL) I wonder how we manage which articles should go on the front page and the menu, and if we should delete them from the "other research" page or if that should contain all articles in a kind of sitemap. I don't consider it to be helpful to cluster the menu on the left with a huge number of articles (titles there should be short to not waste layout space anyway), so I suggest we keep that brief ... maybe even briefer than it is now. I could add an area for "developing" articles, maybe in a different color top right, to the front page. But that would imply that the other, older articles aren't developing anymore. As to when an article is front-page-worthy ... maybe a "nomination" by the lead author (or anyone) including short summary would be good, here ... of course you're free to add it yourself but if you do so, be careful with the layout I handicrafted ... that's a bit fragile. :o) Thoughts? --CE 21:04, 17 September 2012 (EST)

A site map is a good idea, but other research should be separate. Those shaved off should ideally be more listed and available after, somehow. I think a page for all pages would be in order soon, prominently linked up-front. As for the front page, I don't know. Four main ones, maybe six, ideally updated sometimes to reflect what's exciting (even if the subject is old)... --Caustic Logic 21:39, 17 September 2012 (EST)
Yes, a sitemap with everything more than a stub, and additionally a "suggested and rudimentary research" page as it is now. That's good. I'd like to have something on the front page, in addition to the main articles, which shows visitors that things are happening and makes them come back ... and maybe even contribute (seen that I renamed "community portal" to "How to contribute" and added some "warm words"?). Maybe a "new and developing" thingy ... will think about it. --CE 22:01, 17 September 2012 (EST)
Checking out the special pages, it occurs to me there's no need to make a special 'all pages' page at all. Couldn't the ready-made all-pages and/or popular pagesor whatever is useful be linked prominently up front? I'm also hashing over ideas to make the main page, and the main Houla massacre page, more attractive as destinations, prior to seeding the links wider. For the main page, maybe two boxes, one for prime massacres, explained in context their vying for top slot: (eg: Jisr Al Shughur, the early whatever, Houla, the big ugly oneand turning point, Tremseh, the failed eclipse, etc.) and one box for 'other,' top three or so. Plus featured article, maybe external links, etc. Some thoughts. --Caustic Logic 18:54, 22 October 2012 (EST)
That's a good idea, including special pages should be no problem. Home/popular/all as upper menu, the "other research" down on the main page? Keep thinking. :o) --CE 20:26, 22 October 2012 (EST)


Here's my opinion FWIW about the front page: I left after stopping by and looking for recent developments in Syria over the last year or so (independent of my log-in troubles). If I came to ACLOS today and wanted to read the collective wisdom on the convoy attack, I would conclude nothing had been written. Yes, I know there's the all pages thing, but I don't know how exactly you would label that page. I'm sure other people that come here are as dim as me, so you should take that into account. If nothing else, make a section labeled 'Hot' or 'Current' with the applicable page links and a disclaimer that it's a work in progress. The older 'feature' topics are interesting, but 99% of the people unfamiliar with the ACLOS layout coming here today to read up on the convoy attack should have no trouble at all navigating to that page. I'm thinking of independent journalists or bloggers that visit hundreds of sites looking for incident-level aggregation. This format is perfect for that, but after five seconds looking at this main page, I would conclude you had nothing and LEAVE. If I understand the intent of this, it should primarily provide a reference for well-known facts, followed by a reference of media-provided (but something less than proven factual) information, followed by commentary on media information, followed by informed opinion or speculation. This is all somewhere in everyone's great contributions, but it takes too much time to figure it out, much less discern the various levels of 'proof' we need to deal with.

A dumbed-down example might be a journalist (or casual blogger) trying to get up to speed on the convoy attack. This Wiki should serve them whether they are trying to be truly impartial and 100% factual (what is unquestionably fact) and what other journalists/bloggers have written and how we view those media sources (pro/anti-something, left/right, .gov spew or alt media suspicion). The lowest level is our (hopefully informed, educated) suspicions or opinions. Someone writing a pro-Assad or pro-Rebel piece should be able to come here and quickly and easily figure out what fits in each bucket and navigate through the ones they prefer. More inquisitive readers may prefer to see all the buckets, but with some guidance about what they're looking at. I hate to make this overly complicated, but that's what I think is sorely missing from the internet and what this Wiki has an opportunity to provide. It makes no difference if people don't chose to link to ALCOS, as long as they can rely on it for the big bucket of facts and some organization to support their focus (which doesn't necessarily have to mean 'bias'). I think it would be wonderful if people relied on this Wiki as the reference it could be. "Oh yeah, I remember the xxx issue was mentioned in the context of the Urum al-Kubra attack. It's on the ACLOS site" and then they should be able to find it quickly when they come here. I know that this is basically what we're trying to do here (for free, in our spare time), but it just feels like we're having an interesting, friendly discussion on the Talk page and not delivering value to anyone other than maybe voyeurs into our discussions. What I don't see is something so compelling as a reference that a journalist would find the information organized and useful AND be compelled to add something they found. What does everyone think - is that too ambitious? You all are doing a great job that requires a massive amount of time and effort. I'm just not getting the sense that an outsider would see this as anything more than an interesting blog with intelligent contributors. It should be a long-lived authoritative reference, but something that contains almost everything on the subject. There is nothing like that on the internet today. Plenty of news aggregators and blog aggregators, but nothing like those as well as a real-time encyclopedia and reference of opinions. Maybe I'm making this way too complicated, but this site should be way more important and authoritative than it seems to be now, especially since the resource of the alt press are so limited. --PavewayIV (talk) 05:42, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Have similar overall feeling, but unsure how that may happen, also taking time and real-life constraints. I myself read it from "recent changes" tab, or by searching from "all pages" tab for the relevant page when there is something new to add. Our pages likely won't come on top of google search, at least quickly enough after the event, unless we manage to say something extraordinary. Something with far larger everyday traffic (mass media, bellingcat, and than, maybe, something in Fort Russ/MoA/Saker category) will occupy first many pages in a search. Ourselves, will be difficult to find, unless somebody is familiar and appreciating to begin with, and knows where/how to look. How that can be changed/improved, in practice, unsure. This requires an inspiration and time to do. It's great that CL posts well written readable accounts once in a while. When/if this is picked up, people may see something. Also some of us use social media and there are some highlights. May be we can try to explain better how we work and how it can be found, on the front page. Maybe more entry points into our pages highlighted too, so more is seen if clicked, and one can click his/her way into it. Can't see that we have enough time to do something on the front page very often. Barely enough time for some brief comments on the issues. --Resup (talk) 09:21, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
It needs updated for sure. One note could say check recent changes or new pages. But it needs the incidents updated too. I may update it this weekend, with PavewayIV's valid points in mind. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:42, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for your thoughts, PavewayIV. This wiki was originally started as a research wiki, to compare the two narratives (with "the other one" opposing the NATO one not as readily available as today, back in 2012) of the Houla massacre and add what we can find out ourselves from video evidence etc. The idea was to write readable article pages and do the other stuff on the talk page. If you look at the result (Houla_massacre), that worked quite ok. With time and more topics flowing in, we just "forgot" to do write-ups of what we collect/research/conclude on the talk pages, with the exception of CL, who occasionally publishes write-ups on his blog (which leads to even important topics like Crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 lacking a reasonable front page). Reason is first of all lack of manpower, as Resup already said. This is still a very small team and to try to compete against wikipedia (which still exists and is fine for the "official" narrative and sometimes even some clue about what "the regime" says) is not reasonable. You are very welcome to actively contribute to everything you want here, though, and if you know some more people, bring them all. :o). And you're very correct that there must be something done about the Main Page. It looks like nothing has happened since 2014. Maybe a "in the news" box like on Wikipedia would be good, but we would have to feed it manually. --CE (talk) 12:37, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
OK, first improvement to Main Page: I've added a fat, prominent search field. Not that there isn't one on top right of every page, but as a little reminder that searching is a good way to navigate a wiki I'm sure it can't hurt. ;o) --CE (talk) 13:07, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
I see there's the possibility of embedding one pages content into another page. As an example I've embedded the Ukraine news page maintained so well by Resup into a 300x200 px container over at the Sandbox (because it includes the table of contents of the embedded page and I don't want to mess up this one (toc is suppressed in the sandbox)).
If we embed a "Ukraine raw news" page into the Ukraine News page, which contains only text without the images and headlines, we could reasonably embed it into the Main Page as well. We could do the same with a Syria news page which might be overdue anyway. --CE (talk) 04:17, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, I like that idea. Would that be OK for you, Resup? You'd have to write the news into something like Ukraine news/Current and keep in mind that it should look good in a small container (basically means no embedded videos, no images). On the plus side it would show up not only on the general Ukraine news page, but also on the Main Page (to be archived as usual, with the archive tables at the end of the embedded page in addition to the Ukraine news page). --CE (talk) 04:42, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
I see, more or less, how it's supposed to work. Will try, sometime. At the moment it's actually not clear what about Ukraine is front-page worthy (another attempted separation but really like every other day); while a lot of attention is to Syria. Maybe Syria on frontpage first, Ukraine to follow, once something outside routine occurs. We probably are overdue for some clean up, in MH17 for example lots of old and new stuff mixed together on lots of pages. --Resup (talk) 05:48, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
Very nice, that worked like I thought it would. The current Ukraine news will be embedded both at the spot where it has been and on the front page. We had no Syria news page before so this goes only to the front page now. So we have now current content on the front page, if we maintain it. Y'all, the new raw news pages are here for Ukraine and there for Syria. Please add good stuff if you come across it (not every fart of Kerry, though ;o)). I left the "featured article" thing at top, but that should be updated as well to show some post-2013 content.
Thoughts? --CE (talk) 12:25, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
Kind of doubt I'll be much help maintaining it. Never was real "newsy." But wow, that's really sweet. If we all anticipate being spotty with it, a note to buy us some slack w/the reader would help. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:08, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
Nah, there's no need to even have close to daily news, just when something worth reporting comes across that you can't read everywhere. Resup has kept it up over 1,5 years for Ukraine with more than enough content to achieve the wanted "I'm here again and hey, there's something new" effect. I think I alone could easily add enough to do the same for Syria, so I think it will work out fine. No pressure at all, just keep it in mind (and check the Main Page occasionally ;oP) --CE (talk) 14:25, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
Oh, and of course when you start a new page (or add important content to an existing one) you can promote it there as I did with Petri's Syria bases. --CE (talk) 14:27, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
These sections are great. It looks like someone is looking at the content here and maintaining it. People not familiar with the way this works are unlikely to check the Discussion page or mess around with the Change History. They'll focus on the Main page of each topic or related news. Even if you can't keep up the pace of news links, you at least want to lead them to the subject pages with a mention here. Especially if a new section was added or a sub-topic split off to a new/different page. In a comment section of a blog, everyone knows that they can just scroll to the end and see if anything new was added. There's too many here to keep track of though and they're not going to figure out the history or changes, so it's 'news' if there was a big change on any Main page that the casual visitor might want to check out, but it might be worth pointing to a heading on the discussion page if a lot of material has been discussed, but didn't make it to the main page yet. There should be plenty of ways visitors can get to the content. The 'news' boxes of external links are fantastic, but ACLOS Main and Discussion changes are 'news' as well for visitors. No need for overkill - the contributors already have a way to manage and track changes. Just something to make navigation for the casual visitor easy by clicking on links for content that was updated or significantly revised. Despite my endless stream-of-consciousness suggestions, I think what you've already done is fantastic. I like the whole idea of scrolling news items to emphasize this is a living project. Great job. --PavewayIV (talk) 08:30, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! --CE (talk) 10:15, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

I think the news are working absolutely stellar so far. :o) The "featured article" thing really doesn't deserve the prominent spot it has, though, without some serious works on improving it. As I personally don't feel inspired to fill in newer articles into the same mechanism, I wonder what else could go there or how it could be modified. --CE (talk) 22:10, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

The thing provides rotating content, meant to inspire people to come back here. Maybe some kind of blogroll, "friends of ACLOS", "if you like this you could like..." thing? "Syria Comment" -> "Prof. Landis is an expert on Syria some, including himself, say mostly because his wife is Alawite" ... ", "Rudaw" -> "Kurdish news portal from the Kingdom of Barzani" ... "Southfront" -> "Pro-Russian military analysis portal based in Crimea", etc? Maybe would be of use to our visitors and we'd get a link or two back. Idea just came to me. --CE (talk) 22:30, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
I can see the point but other guys may be more in a position to say. I guess it's more like : here is what's cool/viral somewhere snippet (maybe friends, maybe fiends, either/both, who knows, -and ourselves in the mix too if we manage something cool, ---a bit like Petri's twitter maybe) . Not quite like those are our friends (for myself, I'd be quite hesitant choosing those). Somewhat related, was reading about that "fake news" campaign, google/facebook/twitter, and wondering, do they really mean it? Because, they would have to eliminate everybody except ourselves in that occasion, with some storeyed players goners too. (No New York Times and other Clinton News Networks, BBC on notice, and TASS on probation). Maybe only self-employed humorists and unhinged extremists remaining --Resup (talk) 23:57, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
Something like the famous "retweets are not endorsements" would have to go with it, definitely... ;o) --CE (talk) 11:38, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
I think items like those on your recommended reading list may go there; or this recent Robert Parry on a ministry of truth as Google-bellingcat joint venture. My 'f(r)iend problem' is more on Russian origin sources; they actually follow different lines not necessarily too friendly, and actually intensely competing in Russia, and with a nuanced approach befriending or unfriending is a heavy task (and they work in a different format from us, if we talk FR/Saker).-- But also the version we have now highlights older work here so maybe it needs to stay and at least it's important what other guys, CL, think on suggested changes. (PS. Strangely, the google ministry of truth is highlighting FR translation of US pulling agents out of Kiev; it was identical form on several Russian sources quoting brief statement at a talk show by a controversial runaway Ukrainian ex-MP; I was not convinced that this is based in facts; yet google flashed it to me as highlighted FR item--now gone from limelight somehow) --Resup (talk) 07:51, 19 November 2016 (UTC)
Great Parry article. I could get behind recommending it. But there's the same problem as with "fake news" here: Who decides what is recommendable? I can do that on my user page, but not on the main page. Same problem with my idea of recommended sources. And maybe it isn't the best idea anyway to promote other people's content so prominently. So just update the existing thing? Hmm. No hurry, just exchanging ideas, and I won't do anything without CL's feedback (who is fine, btw, just taking a break). --CE (talk) 14:53, 19 November 2016 (UTC)

I was just greeted with the "September XX, the deadliest day" featured article and guessed it was about 2013, but after clicking I found it was 2012. I think this is counterproductive and therefore hid the featured article feature in the source code making it a comment. And moved the Syria map to the top of the right column. After an update of the content or a better idea, we can then give it back its prominent spot. --CE (talk) 15:50, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

Featured Article

Ok, I build in the randomly-chosen featured article (and removed the one Douma article). That's really nice, you can even give the items a weight which regulates how likely they are chosen, default of 1, but I didn't use that (only mentioned as reminder to myself). So far i've added four articles, I suggest we keep track on them here. The blurbs could certainly be better, feel free to sharpen them (should be around that length, though). Or add more articles here and/(or i'll do so) to the page. (three dots at the end get added automatically) --CE 00:06, 19 September 2012 (EST)

Featured Articles
Article Blurb
Khaled Abu Saleh As an activist prominently featured on Al Jazeera and other outlets and even invited to speak at a "Friends of Syria" meeting, Khaled Abu Saleh has been caught at a number of activities showing his less-than-truthful approach, faking repression, probably faking injuries, and maybe misrepresenting rebel crimes, some of them quite heinous.
Aleppo prisoner massacres When videos of around 20 executed soldiers in Aleppo emerged in early September, this made headlines in western media and was condemned by HRW. In early October the Al-Nusra Front took responsibility for the executions. There are indications, however, that the obvious rebel crime is even worse, and the soldiers were only part of a larger massacre involving just as many civilian men, as well as possible female medical staff.
Douma Hostage Massacre Douma, mid August, 2012: If you want to pose as the good guys and make videos in which you blame the government for the slit throats of your just massacred captives, make sure that no other videos showing them alive in your hands surface. This simple trick was too much for at least one camera-happy Syrian death squad in the Damascus suburbs.
Douma Massacre (early July) During the late days of June and the early days of July, 2012, heavy fighting between the Army and what they call "terrorists" took place in Douma town outside of Damascus. According to opposition activists, the army committed a massacre. As usual, the signs are a little more murky than that, and it's all bit ickier than usual.
September 26, the Deadliest Day According to opposition sources, September 26 was with 343 people killed the deadliest day of the conflict, kicking their overall death toll past 30,000 at the same time. The reported events range from a bold (but not very deadly) rebel bombing offensive in the heart of Damascus, through several reported small and murky government mass-killings, to a truly epic one, on par with Houla: 107 reportedly executed in the Damascus suburb Al-Dhiyabia, many of them women and children, some with their throats cut.
Houla Victims: Shumariyeh/Shomaliya A mysterious, alleged, Alawite family killed in the Houla massacre is actually two families from an Alawite village in Houla that… was apparently attacked, in some way, by Salafist Sunni rebel forces, at about the same time rebel forces overran numerous military checkpoints on May 25 and someone massacred numerous entire families.
Houla:Scene Using satellite images, videos, photos, and info sources, we try to document every possible nook and cranny of Taldou, across which the "Houla Massacre" occurred. The scene on the ground, moving north up Main Street in the days after the massacre, is very much at odds with the version of events presented by rebels and anti-government activists.
Houla:Alleged witnesses for a government/Shabiha attack As the outside world is supposed to understand, there is ONE rather clear witness pool to what happened in Taldou on May 25, besides the claims of the government denying their culpability. So let’s take a closer look at those witnesses, shall we?
Houla:Alleged witnesses for a rebel attack There’s a lot to be desired from the camp of witnesses supporting the "government version" of the Houla massacre, but not as much as you’ve been led to believe. Did you even know there was another set of witnesses ? They’re a little confusing and vague, and not properly followed-up on by any party. But they're coherent, fairly consistent, and supported by some independent clues of what happened.
Houla:Timeline There are two basic narratives for the May, 2012 "Houla Massacre," with at least two suggested timelines. What happens when you put the timelines side by side, we wondered? Some interesting patterns, for one thing.
Jisr Al-Shughour massacre Idlib province, June, 2011: Around 120 security personnel and an unknown number of civilians, especially postal workers, were killed, depending on the sources either for trying to defect to the rebel side, for marauding in the town as rebels in stolen uniforms filmed themselves doing, or for simply getting in the way of the rebel agenda. The episode marked a major development in the war, starting the first major flood of refugees and causing a dramatic spike in the bloodshed begun with the uprising three months earlier.

Assault on Ras Al-Ayn (permanent, not in rotation atm) Ras Al-Ayn, directly at the Turkish border in the north-east, early November 2012: The Kurdish dominated and mostly self-governed town gets assaulted by hundreds of Islamist fighters coming across the border from Turkey, under the eyes and with help of the Turkish military. After typical sectarian assaults on the civilian population, Kurdish militia takes up the fight against the foreigners. In the process of the following weeks, the town sees shelling by both the Syrian and the Turkish army, several defeats of the Islamists with retreat behind the Turkish border, and finally a fragile truce.
Deir Al-Asafir Playground Bombing Late November 2012, Damascus Countryside: A particularly heinous crime attributed to the Government goes through the media - cluster-bombing a playground with several young victims, a low even for Assad, the papers say. On close examination there is evidence of remnants of old soviet cluster munition, and there is evidence of dead children, but the pieces of the puzzle seem strangely unconnected.
Aqrab Massacre ( not in rotation atm)

With all the remarkable crimes going on, it takes something special to break through the numbness - what about Alawites killing Alawites for a change? Allegedly this is what happened in Aqrab, near Houla, in early December 2012. Some 125-200 or more men, women, and children, were herded together by Alawite "Shabiha" and blown up by them en masse. At least, that's what "activists" said, and it was the same exact ones who brought the Houla story to the world. And then the same reporter who was on the ground in Houla hearing their report comes back and takes a look - with surprising results, at least for some western media outlets. Sunni rebels took the town's Alawites hostage (about 500 of them), bargained some away to freedom (and some spoke to the media), and the rest ... no one knows. Ominously, the last we heard was the rebel story of "Shabiha" blowing them all up. We can see that's not true, and yet the people are just gone.

The Killing of Sari Saoud (permanent, not in rotation atm) An investigation into the death of a young boy killed in broad daylight by sniper fire in Homs. While videos made by anti-government fighters suggested that the murderer was an army sniper, detailed accounts by Sari's mother blame the fighters themselves, accuse them of taking her dead son away from her to make the videos, and suggest that there was no army presence in this part of Homs at that time.
Attack on Red Crescent convoy in Urm al-Kubra listed here now just to say it's on the main page and prominent
Daraya massacre During the army's attempts to re-conquer suburbs of Damascus in 2012, reports of massacres in the town of Daraya surfaced, with a huge number of dead going up to 600 civilians. Several scenes in videos of both anti-government and pro-government sources, with one said to show around 150 killed civilians alone, suggest that this was not a single event but the product of several days of struggle over the control of the town. Credible reports say many victims were hostages taken by rebels, killed when talks broke down and the offensive began. Opposition activists denied these claims, but their own claims repeatedly proved untrue.
Mariupol market shelling suggested, blurb needed
This is pretty sweet! Blurbs, not bad, but could be better. Later. --Caustic Logic 08:46, 19 September 2012 (EST)

I've added all those I was working on. Didn't really finish them except here, so hopefully good enough. Feel free to repair or tweak anything wrong. And, hey, is there a way to assign pictures to these so they're more eye-catching and the variety is enhanced? --Caustic Logic 14:05, 7 October 2012 (EST)

Nice, will take care of that later. At the moment it's just one textblock with a link, but images shouldn't be a big problem, will think about it on occasion. --CE 16:52, 7 October 2012 (EST)
Tweaked a bit and shortened here and there to not blow up the layout. Will implement in a minute. --CE 01:58, 8 October 2012 (EST)

Added Sari Saoud to this (storage table?) and suggest that and Aqrab both off the front page and into featured rotation instead. In fact I'll remove, but not sure how to update the rotation. --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:46, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

Was checking on "featured article" after CL edit; realized that typically older articles from the list were selected. So it it was intended to draw attention to Red Crescent convoy attack, something needs to be different--Resup (talk) 10:53, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

The list it rotates is more dated than this page was. It's all 2012, 2013. If we add convoy to the list, it can be weighted to show up more frequenttly. But as I just noted above, it's not in prominent permanent-for-now placement of the main page. A bit slow... --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:03, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
Some if not most of the Houla ones should go, I think, f.e. the Shumariya thing that turned out to be a dead end anyway IIRC. It should pick the articles truly randomly but indeed there seems to be a tendency to pick older articles more often. I don't feel like loading it often enough to make a reasonable statement about that, though. ;o) --CE (talk) 13:45, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

How to update the rotation

In around the middle of the Main Page code (because it is on top of the second column of the main table) is a block which starts with <choose> and ends with </choose>. In between are the options, which are of the form:

<option>[[exact link to the article page|description]]</option>

So in principle each option is just an internal link with a description. Please try to keep the descriptions roughly the length of the others, so that the design doesn't look too different on each visit. Not sure if it's useful to maintain the "storage table" here, but it can't hurt. --CE (talk) 11:04, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

Thanks much, CE. I did have a guess, seeing the code, but wasn't sure I knew. I'll be adding some, and others should feel free, noting the good tips above. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:04, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

Return of the random feature

As discussed elsewhere I deactivated the thing at some point years ago when no updates were coming and we incorporated the news frames and could use the space better. Early this year I had added a static feature link to the Venezuela coup attempt, but as it isn't hot anymore, I had thought already to remove it again at one point. But now I thought why not bring back the rotation and added three other current articles I think can use a bit more publicity: War on Dissent, the Yemen attacks on KSA and Oleg Smolenkov. This time I only used the title, or even a shortened title that fits one line, and no description. Feel free to add (if you're an admin, otherwise, as the front page is protected, please ask here and I'll do it) articles you think are important - it's in the source code around half way down, shortly after the second column starts (and I added a fat comment to where that is). --CE (talk) 13:05, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Multi-Subject Boxes?

I just tried this for Ukraine and like the result. Maybe the remaining articles could be re-packaged in a massacres box, a 'Turkish border/Kurdistan box, and whatever. Aqrab, Latakia, Adra, etc. massacres in a box for ones rebels probably did, as everyone knows (compared to the other, contested/false flag). It will make space, if we have things to use that for (including just breathing space). Thoughts on that? --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:03, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, looks good. We can still grow in length as site is lightweight enough (and it loads nicely recently, doesn't it), so space shouldn't be a real problem. But if it makes sense in structure, which it does for Ukraine, good idea. --CE (talk) 13:17, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

Nato attack starts in two weeks

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:04, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

And Kofi Annan says no way. One of these two men is an African, and had dead babies in Taldou shaken at a camera as Jihadists cursed his "peace" initiative. At least one of these two men heard directly from Syrians in Taldou who saw what happens when the rebels get a "level playing field" even for one afternoon in one town. I'm not convinced either way what's going to happen here. But if it came down to the Genral's advice vs. the African's, :( --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:25, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I think the BBC video is beyond disbelief. This is the head of the UN monitoring mission in Syria, Maj Gen Robert Mood calling for a no-fly-zone to "level the playing" for the rebels/terrorists to take over. The BBC could have used any other fucking talking head to make this criminal call for a criminal war of aggression, yet they chose him. If Gen Mood had any integrity he should have refused. Now, by openly showing his bias, he totally destroys any semblance of neutrality the UN team or UN investigations may have had up to now. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:36, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I can't see the video here, but clearly this is bad for the UN's reputation, which isn't that great to begin with. It looks like a UN team might go in to inspect three alleged CW incidents. If all goes smooth, they'll be out within a month or so. Maybe two weeks after that. I hear the Qataris, Saudis and Turks have doubled arms shipments, largely out of Jordan, with the US only there to make sure "militants" don't get them (??). Plan - big push on Damascus from two sides. --Caustic Logic (talk) 05:59, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
This is an absolute must-see video. Try some other system, Windows. Read this help page. Try if you can see the other Hardtalk clips. I see no reason why this BBC production would be blocked in the US – I see it in Finland.
CE: can you think of some way of making an audio recording. I am having difficulties with Linux. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 07:44, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I can get a new computer or OS, then I can get the right Flash player. (plausible now) Otherwise, I'm screwed. I can'tdo the Safari backdoor download, unless it can start playing and loading. Noone posted it on Youtube yet that I see. If you can play it, a couple options: if you have Safari, look up how to download (under "activity...) or use any audio recording program, run your line out (speakers/headphones) into the input, watch your levels (feedback) and record. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:07, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Here is a link to the video on BBC iPlayer. Unfortunately iPlayer is only available in the UK. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 10:01, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree that the video is quite remarkable, but he is talking for nobody but himself. He's not head of UNSMIS or any other UN body anymore and I doubt he even speaks for the Norwegian military despite the funny jacket he wears. And the BBC ... well, fuck them. The rhetoric coming out of the UK on this issue could hardly be more harsh than it is already. Quite surprised they didn't try to frame Putin for Berezovsky's (RIH) suicide. No time to try audio recordings right now - your summary was good. --CE (talk) 12:41, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

South Korea 1948

Here are some interesting photographs for reference and comparison.

Look at photos 21 and 22. Should we believe the LIFE image caption, that says that these are "civilians killed by communist rebels"? Or should we assume that these people were massacred by the forces loyal to the Rhee regime? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 05:12, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Well, didn't communist rebels in China's hinterland massacre lots of people during the Japanese occupation? Maybe not. The communist and commie-supported guerillas in south Vietnam? They were not blamed for My Lai, IIRC. But we all know Asians are not favorable to Communism when there's a stars-and-stripes option, unless you brutalize it on them. So when a rebellion against the capitalist government breaks out in S. Korea, the commie guerillas/Shabiha/African mercenaries will probably waste their chance massacring civilians who disagree with them. Well, it is possible, depending on the circumstances. But clearly with what we've learned, it's well worth wondering about, at least. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:18, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Navi Pillay

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 10:51, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

I love how the headline says "proof Assad is directly orchestrating" while the article/Pillay says "evidence implicates him by the actions of his subordinates ... He is very much the commander-in-chief and these are his forces. The evidence points to and implicates him in that way.". The good old "people won't read the article anyway so lets come up with a beefy headline" game. --CE (talk) 12:09, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Or that "actions of his subordinates" means presumed actions, based on things rebels said, and on sloppy and dangerous thinking like murders in a Sunni town = "targeting specific communities perceived as supporting the opposition." I be slapping her for that publicly in less than a day, Link forthcoming. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:29, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

General Discussion Discussion

Moved from Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack, August 21, 2013

Note to everyone: there are now slightly more members than ever here, and this conversation is moving quickly. This means a danger of conflicting edits, which can be a pain to recover from (no problem for me tonight, but I ran into it twice already). I suggest working from a text note pad program, ready to save your new text and re-submit a little quicker next time. Losing an hour's work becuase you took 54 minutes too long writing it is not cool. Better post this quick. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:04, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

On Wikimedia platform edit conflicts should not be a big problem, if you only edit single subsections at a time. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:07, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
I use Opera browser which remembers what happened so I simply make a mouse gesture to get back to my text should there be an edit conflict. Isn't there an additional field with your text on the "edit conflict" warning page anyway? Oh, and yes, edit only subsections but that's what we both did for Russia and France. :o) --CE (talk) 12:10, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, guys. It's probably just me that ever has a problem with that. But, hey... I'm way behind here. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:29, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

Email - Twitter - Facebook

There may be people that may want to contribute/comment to ACLOS without creating an account or editing pages. Has anyone considered a generic email account (gmail or some such) for this site? Is there one that I just missed? I mean a generic one where people are not directing their comments at any specific contributor but more at the topic itself. I don't mean something integrated in the pages themselves, but a stand-alone account. Maybe that's kind of defeating the intent of this Wiki to begin with if people don't want to contribute the standard way and alternatives are added/maintained. Thoughts?

There's the additional issue of who/how the account is managed which may be enough to discard the idea - which is fine, but I bring it up because someone is bound to ask eventually. I don't assume there is a single owner or administrator that has hours of spare time to manage an email/Twitter/Facebook account(s) in addition to contributing.

Twitter and to a much lesser extent Facebook: Again, there's the issues of overlapping/duplication of effort and administration/monitoring. They're just necessary evils for establishing a presence on the internet and do 'advertise' the site to people that would otherwise be unaware of it. I can't see much reason for anything but major changes/additions to be announced this way, but the replies/comments sections do give another opportunity for public feedback (good and bad). --PavewayIV (talk) 18:39, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

There's no presence directly for ACLOS in another form. And there have been issues with account creation, etc. that will keep people away. There is informal outside contact via members on social media, me and Petri and some others, bringing things back here, taking some to the CIWCL Facebook page. That's worked ok with some limits. Maybe an ACLOS account somewhere, but someone has to run it, which means duplicate accounts, etc. Which is ok, maybe? I'm hazy. --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:54, 23 July 2017 (UTC)


(Becoming a problem, if easy+needed may do my share on cleanups, in obvious cases, with the admin privileges) --Resup (talk) 21:04, 21 July 2017 (UTC)


Found this posted on US State Department website: Wikipedia in a Post-Fact World: Reliable Sources, Transparency, and Open Knowledge Katherine Maher, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation Washington, DC April 11, 2017 --Resup (talk) 08:40, 26 April 2017 (UTC)