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(False Accusations on Barcelona talk page)
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: Yes, David, everything looks fine now! If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask. Warm regards, [[User:IBAlex|IBAlex]] ([[User talk:IBAlex|talk]]) 16:14, 18 September 2013 (EDT)
: Yes, David, everything looks fine now! If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask. Warm regards, [[User:IBAlex|IBAlex]] ([[User talk:IBAlex|talk]]) 16:14, 18 September 2013 (EDT)
== Spam ==
Hi Alex,
Trying to get back involved again :) I used to be a fairly regular patroller and flagger of spam (was nearly nominated for the Admin team) but then changes in work meant I had less time to pop on. About to have a big change in work/life soon though so hoping to have some more time to get back on here. [[User:Nrms|Nrms]] ([[User talk:Nrms|talk]]) 05:25, 19 September 2013 (EDT)

Revision as of 09:29, 19 September 2013

Here are archived discussions on my Talk Page.

Fixed image widths

I was a little concerned about this edit of yours

It's great to add some pretty pictures but I think you need to remember that all our casual readers have their page width reduced by the adverts that appear on the right and many may have slow connections or narrow screens.

That's partly why we have these policies: and and this advice: Wikitravel:How_to_add_an_image#Sizing

What do you think are the chances of this proposal being implemented: Wikitravel:Travellers'_pub#Default_image_sizes_in_Thumbnails?

I've only changed the specification of the lead image, but you may want to consider removing the fixed width of 400px from the other images in our Singapore article after you have read the references above - especially as Singapore currently has star status, meaning it should comply with all our current policies!. --118dot93dot73dot30 15:10, 1 March 2013 (EST)

IT is looking at Wikitravel:Travellers'_pub#Default_image_sizes_in_Thumbnails proposal. personally, i think it's a great idea. Thanks! IBAlex 15:13, 1 March 2013 (EST)
Thanks for the quick response and I will keep my fingers crossed that this is quickly implemented. --118dot93dot73dot30 15:17, 1 March 2013 (EST)


The spam filter does not allow me to create a template to facilitate the display of panorama style images on small screen widths. Here is the code which needs to replace the current truncated code:

<includeonly> <div class="thumbinner"><div class="overflowbugx">[[File:{{{1}}}|{{{2}}}|alt={{{alt|}}}|{{#switch:{{{3}}} |thumb |thumbnail |frame |border={{{1}}} |#default={{{3|}}}}}]]</div>{{ #if: {{{3|}}}|<div class="thumbcaption">{{Magnify icon|link=File:{{{1}}} }}<!-- -->{{{3}}}</div>|}} </div></div></includeonly> <noinclude> This template is intended to add a panorama type image with a slider, caption and an "enlarge" widget </noinclude>

Thanks for your anticipated assistance. --118dot93dot73dot30 20:55, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Hi! Thanks! I tried to create this template but didn't manage to do that. I copy and pasted the code to Template:Panorama, is that what you were asking for? Thanks again! IBAlex 21:02, 5 March 2013 (EST)
I've had to revert your edit because it was not formatted properly. The problem is that the spam filter does not even allow me to show you the correct code here. Perhaps you can check the filter and see the code that I am trying to add?
I need to add style="overflzw:autz;"> just after the current part (that I managed to add) that says: <div class="overflowbugx" where the two occurrences of the letter "z" for Zulu expressed in code format are replaced by the letter "o" for Oscar. --118dot93dot73dot30 22:24, 5 March 2013 (EST)
That's the filter that prevents from using "Wikiv****e"....sorry :) IBAlex 20:15, 6 March 2013 (EST)
I don't think so. (That one's "Salem's Lot", I think). Why should the spam filter object to "overflow" and "auto" separated by a colon in a line of code? --118dot93dot73dot30 21:40, 6 March 2013 (EST)
If this helps in any way, here is what I see when I examine your edit at the Abuse Filter Log. IBAlex 13:23, 7 March 2013 (EST)
Yes, that was an earlier attempt of mine that had some unnecessary explanatory commentary that was not really needed. In that case, the spam filter did the job it was designed to do. However, in that instance it highlighted the 'spam" that offended against the rule. However I still can not use the offending phrase "(censored) overflow:auto" because it offends against the rule:

-> 'style( )*\=( )*(\"|')?overflow( )*\:( )*auto'

Can you find this edit to your user page in the log? --118dot93dot73dot30 16:39, 7 March 2013 (EST)

I see right now that the problem was not with the Abuse filter but with the [Wikitravel:Local spam blacklist|Spam Filter]. I removed the 'style( )*\=( )*(\"|')?overflow( )*\:( )*auto' phrase and this let me add the code to the Template:Panorama. I did this in good faith and now I am only wondering why this phrase was on the black list before. I would hate to do something that will harm WT.
Please let me know if with this template we can already put panoramic pictures in the articles. Thanks! IBAlex 18:32, 7 March 2013 (EST)

We made it, Alex! You can see the (working) result of the new {{panorama}} template here: User:118dot93dot73dot30/Test & here; I'm particularly gratified to see that the width of the displayed panorama box reduces its width automagically (at least with my XP and Linux Firefox browsers) if the window or tab width is decreased. Try it!

That overflow phrase can be powerful, so, if you are unable to assign any special editing privileges to me, it might be wiser to restore the local spam filter to what it was now we've got it working. It will be difficult and tedious for me to introduce new templates here if I keep running into this sort of problem, though... --118dot93dot73dot30 19:04, 7 March 2013 (EST)

Congratulations! Very good job! I'm happy that we can have panoramic images now on WT! IBAlex 21:47, 7 March 2013 (EST)
I restored the blacklisted phrase, thank you for suggestion! Which other templates are you thinking of creating?
I'll just create them if and when I find them useful. For example, I just got rather fed up using a lot of repetitive HTML when I have been trying to modify and clarify tdf a bit so I've just created Template:ol for colouring the good exemplars Template:Ol. Since your spam filters are so ferocious and restrictive it will not be possible to create anything really complicated or useful - unless you want to create a special category of users trusted not to spam you... --118dot93dot73dot30 22:06, 8 March 2013 (EST)
The filters are much needed here on WT as they help us fight spam and vandalism. Feel free to reach out to me anytime you have problems with them. I am here to help. As for now we are not thinking about creating any additional special category.
We highly appreciate your contributions here, thank you!
Congratulations! Very good job! I'm happy that we can have panoramic images now on WT! IBAlex 21:47, 7 March 2013 (EST)
I restored the blacklisted phrase, thank you for suggestion! Which other templates are you thinking of creating?
I'll just create them if and when I find them useful. For example, I just got rather fed up using a lot of repetitive HTML when I have been trying to modify and clarify tdf a bit so I've just created Template:ol for colouring the good exemplars Template:Ol. Since your spam filters are so ferocious and restrictive it will not be possible to create anything really complicated or useful - unless you want to create a special category of users trusted not to spam you... --118dot93dot73dot30 22:06, 8 March 2013 (EST)
The filters are much needed here on WT as they help us fight spam and vandalism. Feel free to reach out to me anytime you have problems with them. I am here to help. As for now we are not thinking about creating any additional special category.
We highly appreciate your contributions here, thank you!

I'm afraid your filters are making it impossible for me to do any useful work here.

Check the filter logs for my recent edits that were forbidden please.

Just now I wanted to test a new article title display format to avoid the problem of having a very thin lead paragraph squeezed between an infobox and a table of contents but was stopped again.

Please replace display:THWARTED with display:nOVEMBER(no space between the 4 letters and don't use the capitalised parts of the NATO spelling alphabet)oSCAR(no space between the 4 letters and don't use the capitalised parts of the NATO spelling alphabet)nOVEMBER(no space between the 4 letters and don't use the capitalised parts of the NATO spelling alphabet)eCHO, wherever it occurs below, and then substitute the proper code for the current first line at South Island/Title Template, please:

{{DISPLAYTITLE:<span style="display:THWARTED">{{FULLPAGENAME}}</span>}} --118dot93dot73dot30 18:45, 11 March 2013 (EDT)

Please would you favour me with a reply to the above request? --118dot93dot73dot30 19:11, 13 March 2013 (EDT)

I'm getting a little frustrated that my efforts to drastically improve the look and feel of our articles are getting thwarted by the lack of a reply - it's been a week now. --118dot93dot73dot30 15:16, 17 March 2013 (EDT)


hi, would it be allpwable for me to create a bot that could HTML scrape and so update opening times, prices, etc. to keep the site up to date?-- 14:46, 29 May 2013 (EDT), thanks for the message! Can you please elaborate more on this idea? What would the bot be doing exactly? Thanks :) IBAlex (talk) 14:50, 29 May 2013 (EDT)

ja: spambot filters does not work well

Hi, this is Shoestring of ja: (sorry for not to respond you so often).

It seems that your spam filter on ja: does not work at all recently, and we can't those new spammers, as you can see the recent change list of ja:.

Would you help us again?--Shoestring (talk) 16:38, 10 July 2013 (EDT)

Hello Shoestring! Thank you for your message! Of course, I would gladly help you. I just need to know the phrases and words that I should set up the filters for? What is the pattern that the spammers on JA Wikitravel use? What works for EN Wikitravel might not work for JA Wikitravel. You can send me a list for all the phrases that the spammers use via email [email protected] Just to let you know, the abuse filters on JA WT stopped 38 spammers in the last month.
Also, I just wanted to follow-up with the bugs that you reported a while ago to us. Everything works fine now? Please let me know. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 18:09, 10 July 2013 (EDT)
Hi Alex, thank you for your response. Would you please filter the keywords I listed here ?
Please tell me when you completed filtering. Then I will delete those words from my list and add new words accordingly. Thank you for your help.
Speaking of the bugs, we still have some malfunctions such as displaying index, some templates (especially when we log in).--Shoestring (talk) 04:43, 16 July 2013 (EDT)
Thank you, Shoestring! I will be adding them in the next couple of days and will let you know once I'm done. Regarding the bugs, when you say malfunctions with index do you mean the first point you are making here? Which templates you are experiencing problems with? I would need to know the details so that I can report it to Tech. Thank you a lot! Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 20:51, 16 July 2013 (EDT)
Shoestring, I have just set up the filters for the phrases you gave me. If there is anything else, please let me know. Also, could you please get back to me soon to tell me if there is less spam on JA WT. i would like to know if the filers worked. Thanks! IBAlex (talk) 15:17, 24 July 2013 (EDT)

Hi, Alex. Thank you very much. With your help, spam attacks seem to be declined dramatically for these couple of days. On the other hand, recently we got several types of advertisement-like spam pages (such as real estate, health-promoting, personal loan, entertainments etc. So I tried to pick up the related key words on my spam bot key words list, every time when those pages were made. So would you please add those words on your black lists when you have times?

Speaking of bugs on ja:, yes, those I mentioned before does not normalized so far. Is there any problem not just your programs but the types of browsers (for your information, I use I.E. regularly)? --Shoestring (talk) 21:52, 27 July 2013 (EDT)

Excuse me, I noticed the fact that some of the information on my preference tugs had been back to its default status, along with your program update. And since the preference tugs were malfunctioned, I didn’t notice how to fix them. So, the index and "Months template" problems are solved.--Shoestring (talk) 05:45, 28 July 2013 (EDT)
I'm happy to hear that there is less spam on JA WT now. I will be looking at the filters on Japanese Wikitravel and will get back to you.
Regarding the bugs, should I understand that everything is fine now? Thanks! IBAlex (talk) 19:15, 29 July 2013 (EDT)

Intermediate level between outline and usable for countries

Hi again.

Continuing the issues about Jordan. I do believe that a status between "outline" and "usable" should exist for countries, for, with the requirements of the usable, almost all countries have remained to the "outline" status.

This is not fair, for it places the same status in common tourist destinations (Greece, France, Germany and most of Europe etc which have lots of places to be completed so if 99 cities are complete and 1 isn't they are marked as outline) while also awards that status to destinations like Chad for which there will almost never be an upgrade to "usable". Or, the "usable" status is given to places with 1 or 2 towns just because there is nothing to write more.

I do believe that the status must be awarded while taking into consideration the country's tourist status, or we could create such a tourist status. Status could also combine country safety or accessibility, for example it's almost impossible to have a complete "Get in" for London, for there are thousand ways to get in and constantly changing, whereas having even one reliable "Get in" for Equatorial Guinea would be enough for the section to be considered complete. WindowsNT (talk) 06:25, 4 August 2013 (EDT)

Thank you WindowsNT for carrying on with the discussion! I agree with you- let's discuss in more depth the [Wikitravel:Article status| article status]]. Instead of creating a new status I would suggest to redefine the current ones that we have. It stays that In general, useable articles are not really complete articles, however. They may not offer many options for where to eat and sleep. They may not contain much information about nightlife or shopping, for example. Or they may be lacking much helpful information about the destination in general, or nearby destinations. This prevents them from being considered true "guide" articles. Therefore, maybe we should upgrade all the countries that are classified as "outlines" into "usable" articles? That is just a suggestions. I would encourage you to start a discussion about it on the Travellers' Pub and see what other users in the community think. Together we should come to some conclusions. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 14:40, 5 August 2013 (EDT)

Images from Flickr

Hello, i see there is a possibility to upload the pictures from Flickr to Wikitravel Shared, how to do that "technically" also is clear, just some aspects of the whole procedure are not clear to me: can i upload the picture (with "some rights reserved", CC-BY-2.0) similarly like from Wikimedia Commons, or should i click "request to license" first on Flickr page, then wait for reply and so on? I'm not a member of Flickr and generally didn't deal with it before. --Local (talk) 06:25, 21 August 2013 (EDT)

Very good question! You can upload to WT Shared only those pictures from Flickr that have Creative Commons license and the content can be used commercially. Therefore, in search results on Flickr, please check "Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content" AND " Find content to use commercially" and then click Search. Then, as you know, please use our standard Upload page on Shared and insert the Flickr wikimarkup for the "Summary" section, i.e. {Flickr|title=|description=|photographer=|photographer_location=|photographer_url=|flickr_url=|taken=}}{{Location|}}. I hope that it is more clear now. Let me know if you have any questions. Cheers! IBAlex (talk) 13:28, 21 August 2013 (EDT)
Thanks, i thought that i have to check "Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon" ...:) , so i assume i don't need "request to license"? Some pages have this button, some doesn't (i have searched correctly). I uploaded 2 photos for "testing" - this and this, if something wrong you can delete them, or i will edit if it will be necessary. If everything OK i plan to upload some 10 (+/-) photos from Flickr. --Local (talk) 16:10, 21 August 2013 (EDT)
Local, if you plan to modify the picture before uploading it to Wikitravel Shared, then you should check Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon in your search results as well. If you are not planning to change it, then no need to check that box.
Both pictures you upload are fine. You attributed them correctly. Thank you! Looks like our Wikitravel Vilnius article is going to look really nice! Cheers! IBAlex (talk) 19:25, 21 August 2013 (EDT)

Thank you!

Thanks for the kind words! Happy to help! Awiseman (talk) 19:34, 29 August 2013 (EDT)

Removing info on Kolyma highway

Hi Alex, I'm KCharles, I wrote a lot of the original material on the Kolyma highway. Thanks for adding some more info - did you go there recently? I was wondering why you removed some info as well, like locations of local airports. I'm reasonably keen to leave the warnings I wrote in - part of the reason the fatality rate for foreigners is only a few percent is that unprepared dreamers are kept away! Kcharles (talk) 20:26, 4 September 2013 (EDT)

Hi KCharles! Nice to meet such an experienced Traveler! First of all, thank you for creating Kolyma highway article and for all your contributions so far! Good job! I edited the article based on the email I recently received from one of our Wikitravelers. He asked us to update the article as some of the information was bot accurate anymore according to him. Here is what he wrote: This entry is seriously outdated, although probably correct when written – the decade of the gangs is long over, gold mines are actively opening (so stores are open selling basic food in a number of widely-spaced places), police are in evidence in larger towns and the government is upgrading the highway and bridges on a grand scale along the entire Yakutsk to Magadan stretch...etc. I basically summarized all what he wrote in my edits. The user drove the highway from Yakutsk to Magadan a few weeks ago and that's why I considered his insights valuable. KCharles, if you think something should be added/ edited/ deleted, please Plunge forward! We would be happy to see your additions!
Unfortunately, I don't know the Kolyma highway. Would be great to do it one day, I'm just not sure if I'm brave enough:) I have tried, however, couchsurfing (I saw your intro on the user page) and I had great experience!
KCharles, we are looking forward to seeing your edits here! Share with us your travel experience. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 18:09, 5 September 2013 (EDT)


Hi, thank you for helping with the Can Tho article. As you can see in the history, I wrote most of the article and feel a bit bad that you accuse me of touting. I also helped to get rid of spamming on a number of Vietnam related articles. Your critic now is that I use first pronouns and that is why you revert to an older incorrect version and get rid of sights of interest - a Pagoda - I added? Why don't you help to improve the text? Please reply on my talk page. Mario Behling (talk) 21:31, 9 September 2013 (EDT)

Thank you Mario Behling for your prompt reply! Please have a look at my response.
We appreciate your help with reverting spam however we have certain guidance on Wikitravel, one of them saying not to use first person pronouns. See my message for more details. Thanks! IBAlex (talk) 13:54, 10 September 2013 (EDT)

False Accusations on Barcelona talk page

Hi Alex, I hope summer is treating you well! A new user going by the name of Filby33 who has admitted to "trying to include [their] business as an option for travellers on this page but with no luck" has just made some pretty egregious false accusations about me being the owner of one of the Walking Tour listings, on the Barcelona talk page. I suspect this is the same user who has been spamming their walking tour on the Barcelona page under several now-blocked usernames including Barcelona and Blanca. I'm not sure what the protocol is for these kind of personal attacks and false accusations on WikiTravel, but I don't want to get involved with this user as they are clearly upset that all of their attempts to tout their business on WikiTravel have failed and they have chosen to take it out on me as a result simply because I was involved with the discussions about that section. I'm not even the one who started the discussions on Walking Tours and Bike Tours, I simply responded to the topics you had created and participated in them to the best of my abilities, and those discussions were open to all participants. I also didn't request to be put in charge of the Walking Tours (and Bike Tours) section, that's something you asked me to keep an eye on and which I was happy to do. So I'm not sure why this user is going after me. I think every single one of my edits and contributions to the Barcelona page (all of which are open for anyone to see) speak for themselves and I don't want a known and blocked spammer tarnishing my reputation or my contributions here. I don't like being put in this uncomfortable position where my reputation is put into question, so for the record, I want to state here unequivocally that I am not in any way, shape, or form affiliated with any walking tour (or any kind of tour or business listed anywhere on WT for that matter), nor do I have any other account on WT, and all my additions, edits, and recommendations on WikiTravel are my own personal opinions based on my own experiences as described. As you will recall, I've made a very significant and varied number of contributions to the entire Barcelona page that directly lead to it becoming the May Destination of the Month on WT, yet you don't see this user mentioning any of that in their diatribe against me. So I'm not sure why this user has a personal issue against me other than the fact that I was one of several users who did not allow them to spam their commercial listing, but I stand by every single one of my recommendations, edits, and discussions on WikiTravel, the Barcelona page, and the Walking Tours and Bike Tours section, all of which have been scrutinized by you and the community. Also, please note that when this user added their accusation to the Barcelona talk page, they removed almost the entire discussion you and I had regarding Bike tours, so you may wish to revert their edit to recover that entire discussion we had (although I wouldn't be surprised if this user also ends up accusing me of owning one of the Bike tour companies for having been involved in that discussion as well!). Could you please look into this serious matter and resolve it as soon as possible? I look forward to hearing from you and thanks in advance for your help! Cheers! P.S. I haven't forgotten about your request to add some pics from here, I've just been away on summer holidays! ;) BarcelonaExpert (talk) 16:37, 13 September 2013 (EDT)

BarcelonaExpert and Filby33, thank you for you messages. We can discuss the topic here. BarcelonaExpert, I am sorry for the accusations that you must have read on the Bacelona Talk page. I looked at your contributions and I truly appreciate all the edits you added, among others information about the city, tourist information offices and transportation. Those are the kind of edits we would like to see on Wikitravel. Information that benefits the traveler.
Filby33, please know that BarcelonaExpert helped us a lot with defining which tours we should leave. From the whole discussion with BarcelonaExpert I concluded that Joseph is not working for any tour company and is not trying to promote his business. I believed that his insights are true and have Wikitravel's best in mind. However, I would like you to know that your opinion matters here as well, even though you are not as much of a "trusted user" as BarcelonaExpert is. Having said that I am sure that BarcelonaExpert would have no objections if we remove Orange Donut Tours from Barcelona page. Tours and business offers are least valuable info that we would like present in our guides so I have no reservations doing it.
I hope that this would cool down the situation a bit. All the best to both of you! IBAlex (talk) 19:11, 13 September 2013 (EDT)
Alex, thank you for clarifying that you have concluded I do not work for any tour company and that I’m not trying to promote a business here. I don't object to you undoing any of my edits that you genuinely feel do not add value to travellers. In fact, as you know, with all the discussions we've had in the Talk page of the Barcelona page, I've always given you the final decision and let you take the edit action you felt was correct since you have a lot more experience than I have.
Having said all of that, I do strongly object to you undoing any of my edits solely because a "new" user, blocked spammer, and admitted business owner made false accusations about me. How can you on the one hand conclude I am "not working for any tour company" and am "not trying to promote [my] business" (thus agreeing with me that Filby33's accusations against me are false, which they are completely), and yet at the same time comply with this user’s implicit demands and completely undo my contribution that this user is referencing which you and the community had agreed was valid (together with the inclusion of Runner Bean Tours and 360 Running Tours)? In the discussions regarding the Walking Tours, you literally stated to me, "I agree with every word you wrote here! All the tour listings we have on Barcelona page now were carefully chosen.", and now this new user shows up with these accusations which you agree are false, and yet you suddenly completely change your mind and no longer believe one of my contributions benefits travellers? All because of the words of a completely new user? Is that all it takes now to have any of my contributions undone? Unfortunately, your actions are contradicting your words, and that now puts me in an even more uncomfortable situation of having to explain my past contributions since this user without a shred of credibility has obviously influenced you against one of my contributions. I am completely baffled -- after all the work we’ve done together -- how you could take any action as a result of the words of a completely new user, blocked spammer, and admitted business owner regarding the contributions (that you agreed with!) of a person who has improved the Barcelona page as much as I have for the past half year.
I also strongly object to you re-adding those false accusations against me to the Barcelona talk page, thus allowing my reputation here to continue to be tarnished, and inviting a person you now believe to be spreading false accusations about me to continue to “discuss” this matter here, as if they have any shred of credibility after everything they have done.
So, since I now feel forced to explain my past contributions, allow me to be absolutely clear for the record: Filby33’s is (falsely) accusing me of being a “she” and of being the owner of Orange Donut tour. I added that listing on 7 March 2013 as part of a very large edit that also saw my inclusion of the 'Cavalcada de Reis' festival. So am I now going to also be accused of running that festival by the organizers of a competing festival, and will that edit also be undone? This was not my 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or even 6th edit, it was my 7th edit as I was new to WikiTravel and was adding as much valuable information as I could the day I joined, excited with the prospects of contributing valuable information to an international guide about my beautiful city for visitors from all over the world to read. I added this Orange Donut tour because I had personally taken the tour and personally found it valuable, for the reasons I later stated here, where I specifically mentioned
"With regards to the Walking Tours, although I am a native of Barcelona, I was curious enough about these "tours" to go on a few of them (they're free after all) to see if they really do add any value to this beautiful city of mine or are just a "tourist trap" with superficial information you can get from any guide book. To my surprise, the Walking Tours I took that were listed in this article were quite substantive, specialized, detailed, and professional, and I actually learned quite a bit that I did not know about before. So I would imagine that if I -- as a native -- learned quite a bit on these tours, it would be incredibly difficult for a tourist or visitor to "fulfil the substance of the tour on their own". The main reason for this, I feel, is due to the specialization of the tours (at least the ones I took). These weren't generic tours about Barcelona in general, these were highly-focused tours about specific areas / history of Barcelona. For example, I took Runner Bean Tour's tour specifically about Gaudí's architecture, and although almost every Barcelona native knows the basics about Gaudí, I learned quite a bit of historical context surrounding his architecture and motivations as we visited each of his major accomplishments around the city. I also took Orange Donut Tour's tour of the historic Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, and felt like I was taking a fun history class and was pleasantly surprised to learn about legends tied to some of Barcelona's oldest buildings that I had never heard of before even though I've walked past them literally hundreds of times (to be sure the tour wasn't making this up, I actually researched the legends after the tour and they were all true). If I had never heard of those legends and historical anecdotes after decades of living in Barcelona and learning its history in school, then I don't see how a visitor would be able to do or learn that on their own from just walking around the Gothic Quarter as they would get lost before they even had a chance to consider what they were looking at, let alone legends, anecdotes, and historical events that aren't written anywhere on the streets or in any guide book I have seen. Last but not least, I also took the Picasso tour offered by Discover Walks, and was also surprised at the level of specific details and historical context regarding Picasso and his roots in the city that I never knew about before despite Picasso's status as a world-renowned and famous 20th century artist. So as you can imagine, the sheer amount of specific details these tours offer would fill pages and pages of information if it were all to be listed on WikiTravel, so I think they certainly supplement this article quite well (as they should if they are to be listed). In other words, these aren't generic sight-seeing tours, they actually add value beyond what any guide book or map can provide, and I've even recommended them to some of my local friends here as a fun way to learn things they've never known about the city they've been living in for so many years."
I had taken the tours before I joined WikiTravel as an editor. It was during the time that I took the Runner Bean Tours and the Discover Walks tours -- which I had learned about on WikiTravel (again, before becoming an editor) -- that I also learned about and took the Orange Donut walking tour. When I became an editor on the Barcelona page, I already knew Runner Bean Tours and Discover Walks were listed there as that's where I had learned about them, but the Orange Donut tour was not, so I simply added it since I had found it valuable like I did both the Discover Walks and Runner Bean Tours.
In that same discussion we had about Walking Tours that you had initiated, I came up with 4 specific criteria (on top of the WikiTravel criteria) to determine which Tours to keep and which to remove:
So, based on my experience, I would be even more strict than the WikiTravel criteria and the "litmus test" I would recommend to help determine which tours to keep and which to remove are the ones that not only meet the WikiTravel criteria you linked to, but that also meet all of the following additional criteria:
1) They offer a tour specializing in a specific area of Barcelona, not a general tour that just takes you around the city for some generic sight-seeing.
2) They are independent and not a European-wide organization, so you know they are run by locals and specialize only in Barcelona.
3) They actually have a listing with positive reviews on TripAdvisor to ensure they are established and not a fly-by-night tour.
4) They focus only on providing tours, with no other side-businesses, so you know the tours aren't just being used to upsell other services.
The only tours that happened to meet that very strict criteria were 3: Runner Bean Tours, 360 Running Barcelona, and the Orange Donut tour in question. So am I now going to also be accused of owning Runner Bean Tours and 360 Running Barcelona as well for recommending that they stay listed due to meeting the criteria above, and will they also be removed?
Moreover, I used that same criteria upon your request to figure out which Bike tours to keep, and I recommended 6: "Biking in Barcelona", "Bornbike Rental & Tours", "Budget Bikes", "Deviant Bikes", "e-bikerent", and "Terra Diversions". Am I now going to also be accused of owning and running all 6 of those Bike tour companies, and will they all be removed as well?
Furthermore, on the SAME DAY I added the Orange Donut tour to the article, I also:
1) added Pompeu Fabra University to the "Learn" section, so am I now going to also be accused of working for Pompeu Fabra University (to attract international students) by some Professor at a competing University not listed on WikiTravel, and will that edit also be undone?
2) added the Telefèric de Montjuïc Cable Car to the "Exotic transport" section, so am I now going to also be accused of working for that Cable Car company by the disgruntled owners of the competing Funicular de Montjuic, and will that edit also be undone?
3) added the 'Cavalcada de Reis' festival to the "Festivals and events" section, so am I now going to also be accused of working for that festival by the organizers of a competing festival, and will that edit also be undone?
4) added a link to the homepage of the Port of Barcelona to the "By sea" section, so am I now going to also be accused of working for the Port by the owners of the competing Barcelona El Prat airport, and will that edit also be undone?
5) added 7 Tourist Offices in the "Visitor information" section, so am I now going to also be accused of working for the Tourist Office (to promote my city) by some official of the Tourist Office in Madrid, and will that edit also be undone?
Do you see where I'm going with this and why your knee-jerk and unilateral actions have me so concerned? Does this mean that next time a known and blocked spammer and admitted business owner accuses me of having nefarious intentions with any of my edits, you're going to immediately undo them as well, no-questions-asked like you did this one? In choosing to side with an anonymous and blocked spammer, you have diminished my standing and undid my contributions for the wrong reasons, thus undermining my credibility with the community. That’s what I find so troubling and upsetting, particularly after all the hard work I've put into the article. Had you told me you had analyzed any of my contributions and personally found them not to be helpful for the traveller and then undid my edits, I would have been perfectly fine with it and completely respected your decision. But to do it simply because an angry blocked spammer and business owner made false accusations about me is unacceptable to me because it means any of my edits can be held hostage by anyone at any time for any false reasons they invent and you will just go right ahead and immediately undo my contributions without asking any questions. Therefore, what's the point of me contributing to WikiTravel anymore if that’s all it takes to have any of my contributions undone?
Furthermore, the fact that you would actually give a platform here and invite a blocked spammer to continue to make these false accusations about me without any evidence other than a single edit half a year ago that I made when I was new to WT and was adding A LOT of information across-the-board, and an edit which I subsequently explained the reasoning for openly in the article talk page and which you agreed with, is just completely unacceptable to me. I can't imagine anyone in my position being OK with what just happened. For all I know, this user Filby33 has a personal quarrel with the owner of this Orange Donut tour and is using my name in vain to enact revenge on the actual business owner by getting their tour delisted from WT, at the expense of my reputation and credibility on the site, which you invited them to continue expressing.
So, in conclusion, I personally couldn't care less if you add, remove, edit, shame, or even scorn the Orange Donut tour or any of my many, many other additions to the Barcelone page. Just do it for the right reasons, not because an anonymous spammer on the internet made up a convoluted conspiracy theory without any real evidence whatsoever just because they're upset that they couldn't spam their business on WikiTravel. In other words, please don't take action against any of my edits because you feel the need to "cool down" a disgruntled business owner and blocked spammer, do it because you genuinely feel my contributions do not add value to the traveller. In this case, however, I find it very difficult to believe that you've suddenly changed your mind 180 degrees from previously agreeing with this contribution to no longer finding it valuable to travellers, and I can only fathom that you are undoing a contribution of mine solely to appease a blocked spammer who has never contributed anything to WikiTravel other than obvious attempts to tout their own business. How in the world is that supposed to make me feel like a valued member of this community?
To be further clear beyond any shadow of a doubt, my problem isn't with the subject of your removal (e.g. the Orange Donut tour), but with the reasons for your removal of one of my contributions. As far as I'm concerned, it could have been any of my contributions, such as the addition of the Pompeu Fabra University I added on the same day, which if you would have suddenly removed it without consulting me or the community solely because a known Professor from a competing University was accusing me here of running that University, I would have reacted in this exact same way. I would imagine anyone else in my position would have as well. Imagine if I did that to you! So how am I supposed to continue contributing here when you have such little regard for my contributions that you are willing to undo any of them just like that?
Alex, you once told me my contributions to the Barcelona article were one of the main reasons it had won Destination of the Month in May of this year and that you were "so happy to have [me] here". Well, you've just undone all of that by allowing a “new” user, blocked spammer, and admitted business owner to influence and manipulate you in this way and then give them a platform here to continue to make false and libelous statements about me and ruin a reputation I have worked very hard to grow and maintain with this great community. To say I am deeply disappointed is a huge understatement.
How in the world am I supposed to continue to contribute to WikiTravel with this newfound fear of not knowing which past, present, or future edit of mine will be held hostage by a disgruntled business owner who is unhappy that they are unable to spam their site on WikiTravel? This is a very sad day for me and my involvement in WikiTravel. -Josep. BarcelonaExpert (talk) 23:08, 13 September 2013 (EDT)
Josep, thank you for voicing your feelings here. I'm sorry to hear that such a trivial case made you so upset. Please know that your contributions to Barcelona page are very much appreciated and nobody is going to remove them. Nowhere in this conversation have I accused you of being a tour owner. I'm also not "siding with the spammer" but simply listening to everybody in this community. This is normal that issues like that arise when you work in online communities that aim to reach a consensus. That's why choosing to remove the Donut Tour listing from the Barcelona page was simply the best solution here.
Instead of getting upset, I suggest letting it go and cooling off. I'm going to repeat it again- you made great contributions to Barcelona page and that was the reason I chose Barcelona as May DOM. Thank you!
Since there is no need to hold grudges, I strongly encourage you to keep on contributing to Barcelona page. All in all, you're the Expert.
Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 20:13, 18 September 2013 (EDT)

Kamalbe Spanish School Edits

Hi Alex,

Sorry about the touting didn't really know what I could and couldn't put on. When you undid the edits though you reverted the link to the listing of our school back to a broken link. I just want to fix that link. It's this one:

Kamalbe Spanish school and cultural learning centre [23] (Broken & Incorrect Link) tel(502)54888 317

We have erased the link from the second listing and put it with the first description of our school. I hope this is okay. Thanks!


Yes, David, everything looks fine now! If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 16:14, 18 September 2013 (EDT)


Hi Alex, Trying to get back involved again :) I used to be a fairly regular patroller and flagger of spam (was nearly nominated for the Admin team) but then changes in work meant I had less time to pop on. About to have a big change in work/life soon though so hoping to have some more time to get back on here. Nrms (talk) 05:25, 19 September 2013 (EDT)