Wikipedia talk:April Fools' Main Page

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Use this page for general discussions about the next April Fool's Day - but please use the sub-pages (below) for discussions and suggestions relating to the specific parts of the page.

Areas of work needed to complete the front page are:

Ground rules for this activity along with a list or participants may be found on this talk page.

The Ground Rules[edit]

April Fool's Main Page 2011 (which may be referred to as AFMP 2011) provides idea development space for the proposed presentation of the Main Page on April Fool's Day 2011. The proposed components of the Main Page may be presented on April 1, 2011, and if deemed a success, may be a guideline for presenting the Main Page on future April Fool's Days.

The Main Page was altered by numerous administrators on April Fool's Day in 2005 with various pranks. See Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page/2005 to see an approximation of it at the end of the day. Contributors decided to make a coordinated effort for April Fool's Day starting in 2006. For these previous year's results, see the discussions at the navigation box on the right. Static results can been viewed at Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page/2006, Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page/2007, Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page/2008 (1), Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page/2008 (2) and Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page/2009: 1, 2, 3, 4, but realize that the main page was changed numerous times each year. These results and discussions are now considered a guideline for presenting the Main Page on April Fool's Day 2010. Although less important to the direction of AFMP 2010 than the results of previous AFMP results, April Fools' Day may help provide some direction as well.

Changes limited to truthful changes: The Main Page should be kept to the same high standard as for other days, but with a special caveat: that the Main Page be composed of facts and articles that are true, but either unusual or manipulated in a way as to sound unbelievable. While readers may sometimes come to Wikipedia expecting some joke article for April Fool's, the proposal is to make the Main Page so unusual or unbelievable that the reader will conclude that the Main Page is presenting jokes as fact, but the joke is actually on the reader: everything on the Main Page is as close to 100% factual as we may make it.

Truthful whimsy is OK: Traditionally, April Fool's Day (1 April) is a day of fun and practical jokes in some cultures. While it is fine to follow in the spirit of good fun when editing Wikipedia, we must not forget that Wikipedia is above all an encyclopedia that people will read for information. At the same time, Wikipedia should not be so formal and humorless that it cannot show some whimsy in how it presents itself to its readers.

Scope of project: Wikipedia is divided into hundreds of departments, six of which are classified as Main Page departments. The Main Page departments include (i) Did you know (dept.), (ii) In the news (dept.), (iii) Picture of the day (dept.), (iv) Selected anniversaries (dept.), (v) Today's featured article (dept.), and (vi) Main Page design discussions/Main Page Redesign Project (closed). The first five departments control the changeable sections on the main page (e.g., "content") and the sixth department controls the fixed design surrounding the changeable sections (e.g., "design"). April Fool's Main Page 2010 is limited to working with the first five departments to coordinate the content appearing on the main page from 00:00 to 23:59 (UTC) on April 1, 2010.

Coordinators and Members[edit]

Main page administrator coordinators: April Fool's Main Page 2010 project affects all five changeable sections on the main page. To have an April Fool's content appear on the main page on April 1st, some of the department rules for these changeable main page sections may need to be bent. Thus, the project may need the approval and agreed upon cooperation from the appropriate main page department. Mostly, this may involve deciding which main page rules could be bent in their respective section and in fact bending those rules, reviewing proposed main page content to ensure it meets that sections main page requirements, and ensuring that this content made its way to the main page on April 1st. The following is a list of administrators who have agreed to serve as AFMP 2009 main page department coordinators:

"We" is us: In this proposal "we" may refer to any group of Wikipedians interested in editing articles for April Fool's Day. If you have more than a passing interest in this effort, please post your user id below (and if you participated in AFMP 2006, AFMP 2007 or AFMP 2008, please note that as well):

  1. Found5dollar, Worked on Museum of Bad Art, the DYKs, and TFP last year and again this year. Love helping with the jokes and behind the scenes.

Featured Article[edit]

Today's Featured Picture[edit]

Seriously: What are the arguments for doing this? Should we really?[edit]

Wikipedia has a problem of not being taken seriously. Wikpedia has a problem with being accused of containing serious inaccuracies about living persons, hence WP:BLP. One of the major problems of Wikipedia is combating vandalism. Another, perhaps more serious problem is the combating of WP:POV in all forms, one of which is the deliberate filtering of facts and ambiguous wording to convey a less-than-truthful meaning without actually lying. This very technique seems to have been the one mainly used at the main page on April Fools Day 2009. In my opinion it is a Very Bad Thing to, for one day, embrace one of the worst problems of Wikipedia and pretend it is acceptable. It is not. Misrepresentation of facts, for fun or for more sinister reasons, can not be acceptable on Wikipedia, regardless of the date. Also, WP:BLP is apparently a very serious issue. It has basically forced us to accept the first step towards WP:Flagged revisions, a step in a very dangerous direction for a site dedicated to openness and the possibility for everyone to edit. Surely, insinuating that the Irish PM was naked in the streets because of the financial crisis must be a violation of the intentions and spirit of BLP, even if technically acceptable since it isn't inaccurate, and if read carefully, it doesn't actually say that. But it looks as if it does. None of this is in the spirit of an encyclopaedia. Especially not one with a credibility problem. I propose that on 1 April, 2010, the number of half-truths, insinuations and deliberate misrepresentations of the truth should be seriously reduced or not present at all. If we absolutely must have April Fools jokes/pranks present, they should not be in the form of lies or things that may be interpreted as such, but rather in the spirit e.g. of the George_Washington_(inventor) featured article. Bring on the counter arguments! /Coffeeshivers (talk) 16:28, 2 April 2009 (UTC)[reply]

My question was removed without a word of comment after a few hours. I have no intention of being disruptive, but since User:Rapidshare did not provide any explanation, I am choosing to reinstate my suggestion at least this once. I sincerely hope that this is not representative of the way that questions like this are treated. The "get a sense of humor"-comments given as answers to others aren't exactly encouraging. If this is not the place to discuss this issue of Wikipedia's April Fools policy, please let me know where! /Coffeeshivers (talk) 16:47, 3 April 2009 (UTC)[reply]

This article has just been promoted. I, for one, will be extremely disappointed if it does not appear on the main page as the featured article for 1 April 2010. —David Levy 15:42, 27 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Please explain why it should be used. Where's the irony or funniness? Why is a street of prostitution named grope cunt funny? The street is named after its heavy usage. Royalbroil 11:54, 28 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
The idea of naming a street in this manner is regarded as extremely unusual by today's standards. Readers unfamiliar with the historical context (which I suspect is the vast majority) would likely perceive the blurb as far-fetched enough to have been fabricated as an April Fools' Day prank. And of course, that's the idea; we present serious content in a manner that comes across as a joke. (So the joke is that it's true.) —David Levy 18:40, 28 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Okay, I do see some potential now. Would you propose a blurb for the main page so that we can evaluate the funniness? Royalbroil 02:42, 29 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Proposing a blurb is a bit premature, since we don't even know if Raul would even run it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:43, 29 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Unlikely, given the unofficial stance against porn stars' FAs and the like on the main page. I was going to mention this closer to the time, but as suggestions have started to come in, I'll leave British Rail flying saucer for the project's consideration. Seems to me to be the sort of thing that iridescent could be cajoled into working on... Steve TC 15:28, 29 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I've addressed Mark's Jenna Jameson stance here and here, and I've seriously considered pressing the issue. If Mark publicly states that he will not allow Gropecunt Lane on the main page, I will attempt to organize an effort within the community to override this decision.
However, I don't want to put words in Mark's mouth, so I've asked him directly. —David Levy 16:46, 29 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with Royalbroil and would also like to see the proposed main page blurb for this. I like the article but am having trouble imagining the blurb - to me the whole point is to make a blurb which is a series of statements that seem like they have to be fake, but each turns out to be true. I am just not sure what that would be here. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 03:56, 30 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
In my opinion, it would be nice to occasionally deviate from content that seems patently absurd to something that seems just plausible enough to come across as an actual attempt to perpetrate a hoax. Past blurbs have screamed "We're pulling your leg with silly, untrue material" and that's fine. But presenting a relatively believable blurb (derived in the normal fashion from the article's lead and supporting text) about streets named "Gropecunt Lane" because of the prostitution contained therein would actually lead people to suspect that Wikipedia was attempting to fool them. This, I think, would be an interesting change of pace. —David Levy 15:24, 30 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that a change of pace would be interesting, which is why I asked for a proposed hook. Raul and/or consensus does need to be okay with running the article before we do anything. Royalbroil 17:46, 30 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Of course. I'll compile a blurb, but it should be regarded as a very rough example (because this isn't an area in which I'm experienced) and won't contain the sort of seemingly ludicrous claims and double meanings that have appeared in the past.
I might not get to this until tomorrow, as I'm leaving soon and will be away until then. —David Levy 18:26, 30 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]

(out) I have some reservations about this. First off I think it is way too early to decide the 2010 April Fools Main Page article (since the date is 10 months away, at current promotion rates there will be about 300 more FAs to chose from then). For example WP:TFAR only allows articles to be nominated in the month before their proposed appearance. Second, I think this discussion is probably playing to a pretty limited audience and wonder if it should be discussed in a larger venue (perhaps WP:TFAR). Third, I think there are at least three words in English that most people would object to seeing as part of the title of the Featured Article on the Main Page, so I am not sure this or 1987 (What the Fuck Is Going On?) or Fuck the Millennium will ever be on the Main Page (and watch out if anyone gets Shitzu or Shitake mushroom to FA ;-) ). That said, I like this article very much and look forward to seeing a draft blurb. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 03:19, 31 May 2009 (UTC) PS I must confess I also have an April Fools TFA in mind, but the article is not more than a stub currently. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 03:26, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]

1. To be clear, this isn't a formal proposal or attempt to select 1 April's featured article now or in the near future. It's just a rough idea in need of feedback to determine whether it's even worth bringing to the greater community for consideration.
2. As I hope you agree, the idea of barring an article from the main page because some people find its name/nature objectionable runs counter to Wikipedia's standards. I don't doubt that some people would complain, at which point we should explain that we're proud of the encyclopedic manner in which we handle controversial subjects (something that we encourage by treating such articles no differently than we treat any others).
Mark has not yet commented on this particular article, but it should be noted that his decision to exclude the Jenna Jameson article from consideration stems not from a personal belief that its content is inappropriate, but from his desire to avoid being inconvenienced by the large volume of complaints that he believes would arise. I don't regard this as a valid rationale, and I believe that we alienate valuable contributors by telling them that their efforts will never be considered for our highest form of recognition (thereby reducing the likelihood that articles on "objectionable" topics will reach this level of quality). —David Levy 23:37, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Okay, here's an example blurb (subject to improvement, of course):

Magpie Lane in Oxford, formerly known as Gropecunt Lane

Gropecunt Lane was a street name found in English towns and cities from about 1230 to 1561, believed to be a reference to the prostitution centred on those areas. "Gropecunt" appears to have been derived as a compound of the words "grope" (referring to sexual touching) and "cunt" (referring to the female external genital organs). Variations include Gropecunte, Gropecountelane, Gropecontelane, Groppecountelane, and Gropekuntelane. London had several streets named Gropecunt Lane, including one in the parishes of St. Pancras and St. Mary Colchirche, between Bordhawelane (bordello) and Puppekirty Lane (poke skirt). The name was also used in other medieval towns across England. A street called Grope Countelane existed in Shrewsbury as recently as 1561, connecting the town's two principal marketplaces. At some date unrecorded, the street was renamed Grope Lane, a name that it has since retained. In Thomas Phillips' History and Antiquities of Shrewsbury (1799), the author is explicit in his understanding of the origin of the name as "... [a place of] scandalous lewdness and venery", but Archdeacon Hugh Owen's Some account of the ancient and present state of Shrewsbury (1808) describes it as "called Grope, or the Dark Lane". As a result of these differing accounts, some local tour guides attribute the name to "feeling one's way along a dark and narrow thoroughfare".

David Levy 23:37, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for the blurb - I did not watch this page and it took me a while to find my way back here. This seems fine to me. I would support this being on the Main Page as WP:TFA. I am not as sure about this as an April Fools TFA - I kind of like the string of ridiculous but true claims. In any case, it might be seen as slightly less objectionable if the sentence with the word "cunt" were phrased something like "Gropecunt" appears to have been derived as a compound of the words referring to sexual touching and to the female external genital organs. Your mileage may vary, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 19:58, 2 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
We got the OK from Raul. –Juliancolton | Talk 05:12, 3 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
If you want an April Fool's day TFA, consider Mary Tofts, which I'm working toward FA. Giving birth to rabbits is slightly unbelieveable, but several people in the article believed it :) Parrot of Doom (talk) 07:50, 6 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]
As it happens, in the states, National Get To Know An Independent Real Estate Broker Day " celebrated on the third Tuesday in February each year." :) Gwen Gale (talk) 08:40, 6 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Main Page on Wheels[edit]

I propose that be known as the Main Page on Wheels in order to pay homage to the great Willy. (talk) 03:42, 25 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

That's a joke, right? Art LaPella (talk) 04:23, 25 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Most definitely not. Willy was great. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:38, 27 November 2009 (UTC) In addition: oh wow, my IP range was really different then. (talk) 07:42, 29 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, that would be very interesting. VeryPunny 21:10, 1116512 July 400 BC (no date change) —Preceding undated comment added 01:44, 1 February 2010 (UTC).[reply]

I suggest that we also use Duodecimal as the base for numbers and the like along with renaming it Main Page on Wheels. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:40, 7 February 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Not gonna happen...see my response (below) to the "AFD" question. SteveBaker (talk) 14:20, 7 February 2011 (UTC)[reply]


How about proposing an WP:AFD of the main page on April‍ Fools' Day? It could be written in such a way that would suggest we're proposing "deleting" the English Wikipedia and starting over. It would be furthermore amusing that "AFD" not only stands for "Articles For Deletion" but also "April Fools' Day",... ;-)

Plus, the comments posted on the "AFD" to delete Wikipedia would certainly be amusing to look at,... WTF? (talk) 16:55, 19 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]

There is a strong minority that can't stand the April Fool's Day happenings on Wikipedia. They have agree to a compromise by allow slanted but truthful things to happen here. I'm sure this is way too far away to be agreeable to them. Royalbroil 01:29, 20 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Requesting deletion of the Main Page will almost certainly be done, as it has become something of a tradition. It will be immediately reversed, for the reasons that Royal gives above. I did take AfD to MfD one year, and then requested deletion of the MfD page that was discussing it... so what we really need are some new harmless pranks to pull! Physchim62 (talk) 02:41, 21 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]
In my opinion I think to ensure that we keep to what Wikipedia is, the main page should be funny yet true and not the main page for deletion, such as the Flying saucer bit in the DYK section. As for the holidays section, I recommend adding one real holiday like independence day of Orissa. --Marianian(talk) 21:01, 22 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]
The whole point here is that we are smart enough to get silly things onto the front page on April 1st without breaking any of the standard rules for the front page. That makes it funny for the general public AND funny for Wikipedians who will appreciate the cleverness of it all. It also avoids most of the problems with the small fraction of Wikipedians who have a stick up their ass and don't want anything 'special' to happen at all. It is only by sticking rigorously to the rules that we can make this happen. Lots of people suggest other "funny" things that could be done by breaking the rules - but that's simply not gonna happen.
If we ever ran out of crazy things that happened for real out there in the real world, it would be a sad day for humanity. Meanwhile let's revel in the simple fact that a village in Ecuador voted a brand of foot powder to run as the Mayor of their town (See: Picoazá).
SteveBaker (talk) 21:53, 28 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Great job[edit]

Great job on the 2010 April Fool's Main Page. Thanks to all. Remember (talk) 12:58, 1 April 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Indeed. Very well done. ÷seresin 17:13, 1 April 2010 (UTC)[reply]


We should put this talk page as Featured Articles at 2011. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:58, 19 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

My Idea[edit]

Not sure if this is a Main Page piece, and if not, maybe you know a better place for me to post this. Based on a comment of another editor back in 2010 sometime, post-AFDay 2010, I'd like to set up a Wikipedia Policy for the day for "Requests for Jimboship". My first thought was to give TenPoundHammer an entry there having gone through seven RfAs and not becoming an administrator even after all that, and I haven't decided on any specific writing yet (other than the fact that they are here as often as Jimbo himself - or more - and deserve to be recognized as founders or something like that), so I am completely open to ideas on proceeding with this initial idea. CycloneGU (talk) 07:51, 23 February 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Please check our Ground Rules. We have a super-strict mandate for what goes onto the front page on April 1. We don't, under any circumstances, put up anything that's fake or made up. All of our front page material is real, truthful fact (although it's carefully cherry-picked to seem entirely fake!) Almost all the rules for what goes onto the front page are obeyed to the letter on April 1st. People are being "fooled" only because they fool themselves into assuming that we made it all up because we have such a wierd mix of the seemingly untrue and the downright strange.
Consider it a celebration of how weird and surprising the totally-encyclopedic, verifiable, referenced and notable truth can sometimes be! What you are proposing falls well outside of our remit. You might find someplace else to put this - but I can pretty much guarantee it won't end up on the front page - in a very real sense, it would spoil the joke. SteveBaker (talk) 17:56, 23 February 2011 (UTC)[reply]
What makes my suggestion any different than Requests for signatureship? I'm sure it wasn't on the Main Page, either, but where is the best place to go to start a joke like this? I don't want to be seen as doing something destructive, I just want to participate in the jokes for the day. (And yes, requests for deletion being subsequently speedied would be welcome.) CycloneGU (talk) 20:14, 23 February 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Well, "Request for signatureship" was never on the front page - I don't know where it was promoted on April 1. That page is a sub-page of his user account - you can certainly put your piece in a sub-page of your account. The issue is how people got to hear about it on that day. Maybe you should go to the author's talk page and ask him/her. SteveBaker (talk) 14:34, 9 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

A bit less radical this time?[edit]

Hi, I am not quite sure about this, but considering the tragedies in Japan and New Zealand I feel it may be inappropriate to do an April Fools' main page. I would be inclined to suggest postponing the projectfor this year as a mark of respect, but if any editors feel it must go on then I feel it should be at a smaller scale this year. Thanks. --Marianian(talk) 18:09, 13 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I'm inclined to agree.
And regardless, the idea has gotten out of hand in recent years. Somehow, we shifted from featuring strange-but-true content to dressing up relatively ordinary content with intentionally outlandish (and rather unencyclopedic) blurbs.
If we do anything special at all this year, the humor should be derived from the articles themselves, not from misleading descriptions thereof. Otherwise, we aren't showing off the encyclopedia's fun side; we're simply posting irrelevant nonsense. —David Levy 18:46, 13 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I have some degree of sympathy for the view that we should re-evaluate the kinds of things we do for April 1st (and I've been vocal about dumping some of the lamer kinds of things we do) - but that's an entirely separate matter from shutting down the page for the sake of the victims of earthquakes and it's a very bad idea to conflate the two. SteveBaker (talk) 19:22, 13 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Agreed. My point is that we should curtail the outright nonsense, regardless of any external factors.
In particular, I wasn't at all fond of the silly In the news items (which completely replaced the normal ones for the day). Tying into Marianian's point, it's true that this might be regarded as distasteful under the circumstances. But I believe that it was ill-advised anyway. We formerly excluded that section from the festivities, which was a sensible approach. Let's revert to that format. —David Levy 20:56, 13 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
"In the news" is very tough to effectively April-Fool-ize. We have to find things within a very short window that fit the criteria we lay down. Leaving it out of the humor-mongering seems reasonable for that reason. Personally, I think that "In the news" is a bad idea on any day of the year. We're not a newspaper - and encouraging people to rush to write articles on current events is dangerous and inappropriate for an encyclopedia. Again though, I wouldn't exclude April 1st "events" from that page on the grounds of sympathy for the victims of whatever disasters happened in the month preceding April 1st. Also, I'm reluctant to make a change this year. We need more time to think though what the right policies should be, get consensus, etc. SteveBaker (talk) 16:56, 14 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I object to the sort of outright lies (e.g. a clock malfunction described as people being "sent back in time") and contrivances (e.g. "If you are reading this, the latest record-breaking experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider have not yet caused the end of the world as we know it.") posted last year, irrespective of the current mood.
Additionally, we always agreed that we wouldn't lower our usual content standards, but three of the five ITN items used on 1 April 2010 pertained to minor events that never would have qualified under our normal criteria. The section literally was shut down and replaced with a parody version for a day. —David Levy 18:57, 14 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Agreed. SteveBaker (talk) 12:17, 17 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I strongly disagree with the original poster.
Disasters happen all the time - if we shut down and went into mourning every time something like this happened there would no joy left in our lives.
100,000 people die in traffic accidents every month, 20,000 of them are children. Are they somehow worth less because they died alone instead of in one gigantic event? The Afghan war alone causes 200 innocent civilians to die every month - the total monthly deathtoll in wars, terrorist events and violence of other kinds dwarfs these two earthquakes.
Look back to this time last year: The Haiti earthquake in Jan 2010 killed 350,000 people - it didn't stop our April 1st front page. Can we forget that 350,000 people died two months ago but not that 1,500 people died a two weeks before? What about the Chilean earthquake on Feb 27th 2010 (500+ died - then 50 children died in a mudslide while sheltering from it). Did we think to hold the front page for the Sanglong Avalanche in February 2010? Were the 300+ people who died in that one somehow less worth remembering? What about the 100+ who died in the landslide in the Bududa District of Uganda last March? The 35 who were trampled to death at a temple in India this time last year? Dozens died in an Earthquake in Turkey the following day, 150 coal miners drowned in China...
Where do we stop? Honestly, if you draw the line and say that if more than 1,500 people die in disasters in the the month preceding April 1st then we should cancel it...then I very much doubt that we'd ever celebrate it ever again.
So no. Absolutely not. I have all the sympathy in the world for the relatives of the victims in Japan and New Zealand - but the remaining 6.4 billion people in the world will move on with their lives and the 40 million of them who will read our front page on April 1st will greatly appreciate a much needed bit of humor in their otherwise tiresome lives.
SteveBaker (talk) 19:20, 13 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
As per my suggestion, I would accept a scaled-down AFMP this year if many agree. If the situation gets worse then we would have to be careful with "In The News" in respect of Japan-related items. --Marianian(talk) 19:31, 13 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
As noted above, I believe that it was a bad idea to begin including the In the news section in the festivities (irrespective of external events at any particular time). —David Levy 20:56, 13 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
As I explained, there are absolutely no grounds, ethical, political, logical or anything else for using the Japan earthquake as a reason for scaling anything back. Yeah, it's a sad thing - but "shit happens". Look back through the last 5 or 6 years of Wikipedia front pages in the weeks leading up to April 1st and you'll see that in absolutely every one of them you can find a disaster of some kind that killed a bunch of people. The fact is that bad things happen all around the world all the time. Scarcely a month goes by without there being some major catastrophy somewhere that rises to the level of the Japanese earthquake. I simply refuse to be miserable all of the time because of's a ridiculous position to take.
So take a step back and consider that rationally, your choices are to accept that April 1st is as good a day as any to "cut loose" and make the world a happier place - or to become one of the many humorless stick-up-butt folks who inhabit Wikipedia who would like to remove all forms of fun from the website on every day...period. (Oddly, these are largely the same people who put up the banner ad up-top here asking why we're experiencing a steep decline in editorship.)
But saying that this catastropy rates an AFMP stoppage and some other one doesn't is an indefensible position. Last year, the Haiti disaster was every bit as "front and center" in the news as Japan is now - the death toll was 100 to 200 times higher. Where were you then? In March 2009, 2,000 Tamils were murdered in Sri Lanka, a Meningitis outbreak in Niger killed 900 children, a fishing vessel carrying refugees to Europe sank with 350 people aboard. Why no protest about the 2009 April Fool? March 2008 was pretty quiet, only about 1000 people were killed in various terrorist attacks, wars or acts of political suppression around the world, a mere 120 died in plane crashes, 200 were killed in the battle of Basra. Does that leave enough room for celebration? How about March 2007? 115 pilgrims were killed by a suicide bomber, I count 300 people who died in "a newsworthy manner" on a single day in various landslides, military actions against civilians, a truck crash and a fire in a retirement this sufficiently few or sufficienlty 'spread out' to warrant an April Fool on Wikipedia?
There is no acceptable threshold. If you made this a precedent then people are going to find reasons to render the world humorless on every day of every year.
Discussion of whether the format we choose for AFMP could be more generally appropriate is entirely orthogonal to this issue. SteveBaker (talk) 16:56, 14 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I see no reason to change what has been planned for the past year. I remember before it was organized. If you dislike the current format then you would really hate what happened. Some admins made changes to the main page one year. The current format is a compromise. Royalbroil 23:59, 14 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Indeed, but part of the compromise was that In the news was excluded from the April foolery (because it simply isn't possible to apply humor without radically altering the section's inclusion criteria and resultant format).
We somehow ended up deviating from that in 2009 and 2010, and I don't know why. A key element of this endeavor always has been the intent to inject humor in a manner upholding the sections' usual content standards. Let's pay better attention to that commitment this year. —David Levy 00:23, 15 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I don't recall seeing this discussion, please provide a link. I have never been involved with "In the News." I didn't know that it had ever been part of the April Fool's Day tomfoolery in the past. Checking the archives, "In the News" had also been changed in 2007. I don't trust my archiving work on the 2006 main page for that section so more research is in order to establish what happened that year. There was no "In the News" section in 2005. So on April Fool's Day, the "In the News" section had been changed during three of the past four years (regular content was used in 2008). Royalbroil 01:03, 15 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
The In the news items appearing in both the 2006 and 2007 archives weren't actually used on the main page; a normal assortment of items appeared in 2006 and 2007. I don't have time to read the archived discussions, but we decided against it.
The same is true of 2005 (when the section did exist) as well.
I don't know what led to the change in 2009 (as I've been uninvolved in the planning since then), but it contradicts the endeavor's spirit. —David Levy 02:26, 15 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I'm sympathetic to leaving ITN out of the April 1st effort - mainly because it's so hard to find enough funny and genuine news items for that day - and the slow rate that older items are dropped out of ITN means that we do have to break the rules in order to make it work. But if something newsworthy and ridiculous DOES happen on that day - I don't see a reason not to stick it in there. SteveBaker (talk) 12:15, 17 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Provided that it meets our normal criteria, I agree. I only object to the various compromises that were made (the inclusion of minor events, the use of wildly deceptive wording, and the removal of items that legitimately belonged). I certainly don't advocate that we exclude a newsworthy and ridiculous item that otherwise would have qualified. —David Levy 17:42, 17 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I would strongly oppose any kind of April's fool on the main page, including ITN. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia striving for reliability and accuracy. For readers who want humour, there are about 100 million funny web pages available on the Internet. Nanobear (talk) 09:06, 1 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I strongly disagree. Firstly, our standards of reliability and accuracy are NOT reduced on April 1st. We follow essentially the same rules that we do on any other day. The whole POINT of what we do for April 1st is that unlike the other 99,999,999 web sites, we simply pass on information that is reliable and accurate in a manner that leads people to think that it is not so. When those readers click on what seems to be an April Fool, they discover an article that is written to our full standards of notability and is as well referenced as would be the case on any other day of the year. Our readership go and read articles that they would never have considered before - it broadens their minds and makes our site a more friendly, relaxed place. This is a good thing.
Wikipedia is suffering from a lack of "new blood" - we need new editors to join the project. The kind of stick-up-buttism that you're proposing is exactly the kind of thing that dissuades new editors from joining us. If editing Wikipedia isn't fun - why would anyone do it? Some people's notion of fun entails actual humor.
It goes further than that. Take an article like Picoazá. It was a really tiny stub with two lines of text and one reference in December 2009. In order to make it into a DYK entry, I researched the town - I managed to get in email contact with a former resident and someone who runs an aid agency that supports the town - and the result of that was new and valuable information that I was able to solidly reference. The article was expanded to something much more useful and now has a dozen references. More than that, one of the redlinks in the article was spotted in the days just before April 1st and turned into another useful article: Manteño civilization that would not otherwise have existed. Numerous other articles linked from Picoaza were also improved in the days following April 1st as people read about the weird mayoral election there in the DYK - then followed links to read about Marshall Howard Saville and Portoviejo - both of which were improved following April 1st. A small, but proud town in Ecuador used to have just one stupid fact stated about it - and now has a respectable and well-referenced article with a second article about the archeology of the civilization that founded the town. That absolutely could not have happened without the April 1st 'event' - and it is far from being atypical of the work we do here. SteveBaker (talk) 12:27, 3 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]

April Fools FA[edit]

See Wikipedia_talk:Today's_featured_article/requests#April_Fools_FA

More child-friendly version[edit]

In order to make Wikipedia more child-freindly, Wikipedia has chosen to adapt the look and feel to better suit that particular audience. (It wouldn't harm to take this article to featured status as well...) Edokter (talk) — 15:09, 24 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Nice try...please see "The Ground Rules" at the top of this page. SteveBaker (talk) 17:39, 24 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
How is this untruthfull or unfactual? Edokter (talk) — 21:44, 24 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
The last section about "Scope" is the relevant one. I'll quote it for you:
"Scope of project: Wikipedia is divided into hundreds of departments, six of which are classified as Main Page departments. The Main Page departments include (i) Did you know (dept.), (ii) In the news (dept.), (iii) Picture of the day (dept.), (iv) Selected anniversaries (dept.), (v) Today's featured article (dept.), and (vi) Main Page design discussions/Main Page Redesign Project (closed). The first five departments control the changeable sections on the main page (e.g., "content") and the sixth department controls the fixed design surrounding the changeable sections (e.g., "design"). April Fool's Main Page 2010 is limited to working with the first five departments to coordinate the content appearing on the main page from 00:00 to 23:59 (UTC) on April 1, 2010."
(Actually - that was 2010 - but the same rules apply this year.) Anyway - we're limited to changing "content" - we cannot change "design" - hence no font change would be allowed. Sorry. SteveBaker (talk) 23:46, 24 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Reliability of Wikipedia[edit]

Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Wikipedia's Plans for April Fool issue (permanent link here).
Wavelength (talk) 19:36, 29 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Obscene articles on the Main Page[edit]

Ok, I appreciate the humor on today's main page, but I think that the obscene references on the page are unecessary. There are many other types of humor, and a lot of kids use wikipedia, so I suggest that next year's april fool's day main page should be kept clean for the minors. I am a violinisttalk to me here! 11:39, 1 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Rightly or wrongly, Wikipedia:NOTCENSORED#Wikipedia_is_not_censored applies to the front page. Not everyone agrees with that policy...but it is what it is. SteveBaker (talk) 19:01, 1 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
SteveBaker is correct that non-censorship protects (most) objectionable articles on Wikipedia.
However, prudence and decency do inform the selection of articles for the main page. Please see NOTCENSORED and the Main Page , which is a thoughtful essay (but not policy yet). A DYK nomination, "... that Sexy Cora was hospitalized after performing 70 fellatios, short of her aim of 200 in one day?" was blocked because the community felt that (imho) such ghoulish pornographic material was inappropropriate for the main page.
Common sense and propriety guide a number of norms, for example, about the amount of USA-centered content on the main page, but such norms do not seem to be contentious.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 09:22, 2 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
In the United States, the old-fashioned name Fanny has a significantly different slang meaning than its meaning in England. I wasn't aware of this or else I would have opposed running an article about fanny scratching. Royalbroil 12:17, 2 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Another issue here is that this article simply did not show up in our discussions (See: Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page/Featured Article/Archive 2011) - it just popped up on the front page without even so much as a single mention of it anywhere in the April Fool's pages - and as far as I can tell, without discussion anyplace else either. I'm British - I would have noticed and explained the issue with the language - but the opportunity never presented itself until it was too late. Part of the problem was that we left it too late to get a good article up to the required standard. Pigeon photographer would have worked just fine - but it just didn't get there in time. However, without a policy to limit what goes on the front page - and an incredibly arbitrary way that articles are chosen (one guy just picks something) - there is no mechanism to prevent things like this from happening again.
We need to do better for 2011. Unlike the DYK articles, there is no set time-limit for FA's to appear on the front page. We can get an article like Pigeon photographer up to the required standard sometime over the next month or two and request that it NOT appear on the front page until April 1st 2012 - and then our work is complete. SteveBaker (talk) 11:51, 3 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
It was discussed by the FAC people off on the side and they added a link below one of your comments (now archived at Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page/Featured Article/Archive 2011) to Wikipedia:FAC#April_1st which doesn't work any more. Royalbroil 12:08, 3 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Oh - you mean the one that says "Apparently too late now anway"? Yeah, very useful in promoting debate about the subject. Mmm'K, thnx.
So if there is a problem - take it up with the "FAC people off on the side". They absolutely should have discussed this in an appropriate on the Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page/Featured Article page. The blame lies squarely at their feet. SteveBaker (talk) 12:34, 3 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
It was discussed at Wikipedia_talk:Today's_featured_article/requests (April Fools FA thread), which is the appropriate discussion forum for all future-scheduled main page featured articles. Raul654 (talk) 15:20, 3 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
As an Hiberno English speaker I had no objection to the chosen article, However, while Raul is correct that the April 1st FA Fanny scratching was indeed discussed at Wikipedia talk:Today's featured article/requests, the first mention that might be considered was on March 25 which gave other editors little chance to get anything else to FA in the remaining days. Surely the dedicated 2011 April Fool FA page, now archived, would have been a better place to determine what would be considered for "Today's FA"? Or at least a link could have been provided. The dedicated page for 2012 is now open at Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page/Featured Article where ideas can be shared and maybe the "FAC people off on the side" should converse there so that those who are making attempts, well ahead of time, to get something done, were apparently sidelined without any indication of the topic being dealt with elsewhere. Perhaps there should be a permanent link from Today's FA requests page to remind editors of the dedicated April Fool FA page. ww2censor (talk) 16:54, 3 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Or at least a link could have been provided. - A like was provided on this very page. Raul654 (talk) 02:44, 4 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]

@Raul: that is not what I was suggesting though the link you pointed out was still only made on March 16, still not a lot of time to bring any potential articles to FA, if they were good candidates, but no post in this regard was made on the dedicated April Fool FA page where at the top it states: Please use this page for discussions surrounding the creation of a Featured Article for April Fool's day 2012 (was dated 2011). In the event the link on the main April Fool talk page is not really very useful for those using the dedicated FA page, especially if they are not watching the main page, and if discussions and decisions are being made elsewhere without them knowing. Anyway, it's over now so for 2012, let's try to get on the same page! Cheers ww2censor (talk) 04:12, 4 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Main Page discussion affecting April Fools Day Tradition[edit]

There is a discussion on the Main Page relative to the April Fools Day tradition that would affect this page---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 00:52, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]

AF - On This Day[edit]

I'm not sure what's happening with the rest of the April Fools preparations, but someone might want to check out this page. A few days ago I came up with a couple of ideas after a bit of research at April 1. With only a couple of days until showtime, lets get those creative juices flowing! :D--Coin945 (talk) 06:35, 28 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Early start for 2013?[edit]

Just a proposal that nobody will like probably:

Delete (blank) the entire main page with an official looking page notice saying "We're sorry, the page you are trying to reach has been deleted. Please click here (linked) for the last good revision" which would take users to the actual main page (a subpage) for April 1 only. Ideas? gwickwiretalkedits 23:30, 29 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]

So... no I don't like that idea. The usual 'everything is true, just phrased in a misleading way' is much more amusing and looks better to readers too. Modest Genius talk 22:56, 30 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Eh, makes sense to me. I was just putting this idea out there, as inevitably someone probably is thinking of it. gwickwiretalkedits 22:58, 30 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]


Hey, can someone add this template to the top of the 2013 main page?

Special Announcement

Due to generous donations by several large corporations, Wikipedia can now afford to pay editors. All editors with over 1000 edits are eligible to apply. For details on how to register for the payroll,

The red "Click Here" Link could be replaced with


Happy April Fools Day!

When Clicked on

Idea Shamelessly plagiarized from the 2006 April Fools Day

What does everyone think? §haun 9∞76 19:16, 2 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

The ground rules require that "the Main Page be composed of facts and articles that are true, but either unusual or manipulated in a way as to sound unbelievable". How would this be in any sense 'true'? Modest Genius talk 21:24, 2 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Good point... §haun 9∞76 19:29, 6 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

2013 TFA[edit]

Not sure how many people watch this page, but some discussion is already underway at Wikipedia talk:Today's featured article/requests#Icelandic Phallological Museum on April Fools' Day? about the TFA choice for 2013, since an article that had been nominated in the ordinary course of events (Icelandic Phallological Museum) was thought by Raul654 to be a potential April Fools TFA. All views on that, and other possibilities, welcome. (Other messages left at Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page/Featured Article, Talk:Main Page and WT:FAC.) BencherliteTalk 20:32, 14 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

An idea[edit]

I know there wouldn't be any way to include this as an April Fool's Day joke, but still. At Tesco, when there is a Buy 1 Get 1 Free offer, the self-service checkout machines print the slightly offensive "BOGOF" on the receipt, instead of "B1G1F". George8211 conversations 15:10, 17 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]

BOGOF is the universally used acronym for this type of offer. They're not having any kind of joke with you. (talk) 16:11, 17 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]

2015 suggestion[edit]

Rather early - but see the IP's suggestion currently on the Main Page: seemingly all entries referring to different articles using the same name. Jackiespeel (talk) 12:46, 6 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

... and my suggestion about Wikipedia Bingo: a list of 10-12 articles, possibly on a theme which have to be developed: winning involves developing all articles significantly and/or getting one to FA status. Jackiespeel (talk) 10:03, 10 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

TFA on April 1[edit]

Fyi, there are two (in my opinion, equally stalled) discussions at WP:TFAR and the subpage here. --Dweller (talk) 13:41, 16 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

  • The discussion this year has been at WP:TFAR, specifically the Invisible rail section. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 13:57, 16 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    Thanks. See the words I wrote immediately above yours. --Dweller (talk) 15:25, 16 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    Sorry, distracted. The discussion's not all that stalled, though if you want to weigh in you should feel free. The current delegates appear to have reached a consensus to not include "gag" blurbs anymore. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 15:45, 16 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    It's fine. Been there. I just think it's a shame there's so little participation in the discussion. In previous years, we've had load of community participation. Maybe I'm just an old-timer wearing my rose-tinted retrospective spectacles. --Dweller (talk) 16:23, 16 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

@Dweller:, TPSers: I've nominated Wikipedia:Today's featured article/requests/Toledo War, which is pretty unusual IMHO (but doesn't need a gag blurb, to use Crisco's wording). Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:45, 30 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Scientific discoveries[edit]

A proposal here could prompt some ideas. The discussion and the article itself make a number of suggestions: Amazing Breakthrough Day: April 1st - Less Wrong.

--Chriswaterguy talk 10:32, 29 April 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Where can I see[edit]

April Fool's Day main page from this year? The template box on this page only goes up to 2014. --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 10:04, 3 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

My idea[edit]

Replace every image on the main page with a gnome. Ezpz. A Dolphin (squeek?) 16:21, 7 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]

If we wanted to do this, we would have to get consensus for the gnome being the featured image as well as for the other images, so it would be hard to do. (talk) 14:44, 20 March 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Requested move 21 June 2022[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: moved as requested; no objections in one week. Citations in running text and on subpages have not been updated, so please assist with that if it's necessary. Dekimasuよ! 06:14, 28 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Wikipedia:April Fool's Main PageWikipedia:April Fools' Main Page – Most April Fools-related pages on Wikipedia uses Fools' (s before apostrophe), such as April Fools' Day and Wikipedia:April Fools/April Fools' Day 2022. Therefore, Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page and its subpages should also adopt the s-before-apostrophe format for unity's sake. Thank you. NotReallySoroka (talk) 06:03, 21 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

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

Or a whale. This would be really funny to do on April Fools' this year. We should discuss which one to use. (talk) 18:34, 7 March 2023 (UTC)[reply]

For the did you know section, how about this[edit]

It starts off okay, but it becomes this nonsensical and hilarious mess as it goes on:

"German cuisine is a type of cuisine found mainly in Germany. This cuisine consists of dishes like Brötchen, a type of bread roll that might've copied the croissant. Can't forget beer heavier than you (which I'm thoroughly impressed about, considering your size) and some Jägerschnitzel (which is probably less goopy than your brain). Then we have sausages, but I don't need to talk about that, since you don't have one."

Oh, and "sasuage" links to "" and "Brötchen" redirects to forgery. And "you" takes you to overweight. TheCoolAadith (talk) 14:10, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]