Talk:United Bates of America

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RfC: How best to communicate that all 19 kids were born one at a time[edit]

Should the article text state that all 19 Bates children were born as singletons, or should it be left to readers to study the table of birthdates to figure this out for themselves?

Background[edit]

All 19 Bates kids were born as singletons; there were no multiple births (in contrast to the Duggar clan of 19 Kids and Counting and many other large families). The article had a sentence that said as much from August 2012 until April 7th, when User:BBB76 first removed it. Since then, BBB76 and I have been engaging in an absurd edit-warring game of removing and adding this information.

I am of the opinion that this is a reliably sourced factoid that deserves to be documented in the text of the article. In the latest version of the text that I edited (before being reverted by BBB76), the text that precedes the table of children's birthdates read: "The nineteen Bates children include nine boys and ten girls, all born as singletons. In order from oldest to youngest, they are:"

BBB76 has been editing out the statement about singleton births, so the text reads: "The nineteen Bates children include nine boys and ten girls. In order from oldest to youngest, they are:"

BBB76 apparently feels that there is something inappropriate about mentioning this in text, that the word "singleton" is not understood by regular people, and that the list (now formatted as a table) of the 19 children's names and birthdates is fully adequate to show that there were no multiple births. This user's viewpoint has been indicated by edit summaries such as:

  • "That prose isn't needed. If any of the Bates children were born as multiples, I would have merged their birthdates, same as the Duggar children."
  • "Under the "Children" section for the Duggars, there isn't a mention of multiples or "singletons", it's mentioned in the summary they have two sets of twins."
  • "I don't like to state the obvious. As in "singletons"'. A person has to read the information either way, let them read the birth chart I created, which is much easier to read then before."
  • "No "singletons". A person can go down and read the table, that I put in place, which makes it easier to read the birth dates. I do not feel the need to state the obvious for others."
  • "Singletons is not needed. You seem to feel the need to state the obvious and I can't figure out why."
  • "There aren't any merged birthdates, like the Duggars."

The first time that I restored the content, I assumed good faith and left an edit summary that said "restoring prose that was deleted in the enthusiasm over the creation of a table." After learning that the removal was very deliberate, my perspective has been stated in edit summaries such as:

  • "Restoring the text that presents the point, made by independent sources, that these were 19 singleton births. This is not "obvious"."
  • "Please stop deleting content. Your ignorance of a word doesn't make the content inappropriate, and the presence of your table doesn't necessitate removing info that could be found in table."
  • "Let's write this for the general reader who relies on words for information, and does not compare the Bates table with the Duggar table on an hourly basis."

User:Drmies also restored the content once with an edit summary that said "this is a helpful word for those who don't wish to look down the table to ponder the dates". --Orlady (talk) 19:37, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

  • And I remain of that opinion; thank you Orlady. This birth date stuff is silly--one word here covers an important (well...) factoid. "Oh, 19? How many were multiples?" "None." Or--"Oh, 19? How many were multiples?" "Here's their birth dates: you figure it out." BBB should be trouted for perpetuating this ridiculous war on "singleton". Drmies (talk) 19:49, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
    • Ha, now I see why Orlady started it. I reverted. Maybe Orlady is being too kind with an RfC and this should have gone to EWN or something. If I hadn't been a proponent of "singleton" myself I would have blocked them for disruption. Drmies (talk) 19:54, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Include, but avoid word singleton - Yes, the fact that there are no twins/triplets is significant; but the word "singleton" is very obscure and most readers won't understand it (sounds like a bridge card game term to me). I suggest wording something like "none of the births were multiple births" or "all of the children were born singly" ... or anything with plainer terms. --Noleander (talk) 20:57, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Hello, I have been invited via RfC. Singleton is such an obscure word and I am not sure the average reader will understand what it means. So leave it out. -- MisterShiney 10:29, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Include. I, too, was summoned by rfcbot. We can link the word to wiktionary, as I agree that it's an uncommon word. The meaning should be quite obvious from context, but it never hurts to be explicit. I would also support the use of a synonym. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 00:49, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Include but avoid the word singleton - I looked for a synonym but had no luck finding one. But the fact of all single births is important and there must be another more well known word to make the point.Coaster92 (talk) 04:55, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Include but avoid the word singleton I'm also concerned that the word "singleton" is too rare to be used. Wouldn't it be possible to say something like "none of which were the rsult of multiple births"? Even that is less that perfect, but in context, it more likely to be understood.--S Philbrick(Talk) 13:09, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Sphilbrick: This discussion ended in May 2013. As a result of the discussion, the article now says: "The nineteen Bates children are nine boys and ten girls, all of whom were born singly (there have been no multiple births)." (However, that language has been repeatedly removed by the user who insists that this information can be easily discerned from the table.) --Orlady (talk) 01:24, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Even a family's blog[edit]

Fails WP:RS per WP:SPS. All content coming from blogs was removed but in one case, I added a CN tag. Who they supported for President and that some of the family helped in a political campaign was also removed. It's trivia....William 00:58, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

The family's blog is on an official website that appears to somehow be related to the show. That website has been cited at various by fans who enthusiastically reported various family details about the family. IMO, inclusion of a detail in the family's blog does not make that detail a notable piece of information, but I believe it should be accepted as a reliable source for certain types of information about the family. From time to time the blog has been a useful resource to head off edit wars over topics like one of the birthdates or whether one of the daughters is really named "Michael." --Orlady (talk) 01:24, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Support for presidential candidate[edit]

I see some back and forth on the inclusion of the support of a Presidential candidate. I see two potential issues.

  1. Is the information reliably sourced?
  2. Is the information encyclopedic?

On the second issue, we do not routinely include such information in articles. I confess I have never of this family or show, so can only comment abstractly. Has the support been publicly recognized by the candidate? Is the support an integral part of the show's themes? I don't see either asserted, and I cannot state unequivocally that my questions form the only test, but I'd like to see some evidence that the fact is worth mentioning.

On the reliable source, this may need further investigation. It is not quite true that blogs are never acceptable as sources. They certainly are when the article is about the blog, but that doesn't apply here. However, there is also an exception:

Several newspapers, magazines, and other news organizations host columns on their web sites that they call blogs. These may be acceptable sources if the writers are professionals, but use them with caution because the blog may not be subject to the news organization's normal fact-checking process.

The one used, ABC News Blogs, is written by Juju Chang, but I do not immediately see how to determine the answer to the cautionary note: is this subject to the news organization's normal fact-checking process.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Sphilbrick (talkcontribs) 11 April 2011

SP, I'm very aware of the difference between a self published blog and a mainstream media one and why the rule about blogs doesn't apply to the latter. I sports blogged for Newsweek a long time ago and have a personal blog. As an independent blogger, I was the first ever to be credentialed by the LPGA Tour to cover one of their events. The LPGA put together a blogger credentialing process partly as a result of my blogging two of their tournaments. Bottom line- Mainstream media blogs aren't covered by WP:SPS and can be used as a source. Blogs like Outside the Beltway, ROK Drop, Wizbang, Bullwinkle, Hooah Wife, Florida Cracker, can't in almost all instances though I know bloggers at all of those.
My background out of the way now, my issue with this part of the article wasn't the source, but that's trivial. First of all, this article is supposed to be about the show.(If the endorsement was mentioned on the show, that could be different. This article according to Orlady, started out as about the Bates and morphed into one about the show.) Second, celebrities not to mention politicians, endorse all the time, and its common practice not to list or mention who endorses a politician or vice versa in articles in most cases. It's trivia, even if its reported in the mainstream media. Even more trivial was the part in the article about the siblings helping in a political campaign. That I removed too and it was sourced. A separate article on the Bates family, which I'm pretty sure they are notable enough for, would be the place for that maybe....William 00:42, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
As long as we're talking background, I will explain that this family lives in my local area. I was aware of them for some time before they had a TV show. I've never seen the show, and have no intention of ever seeing it, but I've encountered a few of the family members during their political campaign activity, and everyone in this area has been repeatedly treated to images of the family (all 21 of them, in matching long skirts and old-fashioned men's clothing) singing hymns and patriotic forms in front of the county courthouse. Just a few nights ago, our home answering machine recorded a robocall in which Ricky Skaggs invited us to a campaign event for Zach Bates' current political campaign.
Yes, I started the article as Bates family (this is recorded in the article history, it's not merely an allegation I have made). I started it when their first TV special was announced, because I expected that fans would want an article, and I figured I'd "beat the rush" by creating a short factual stub based on citations to actual sources (I've seen a serious dearth of sources in articles about TV shows). That Juju Chang ABC News blog was the only source I cited in the initial article. The article isn't at the level of a peer-reviewed paper in a medical journal, but the subject matter isn't of the same importance and complexity as medical research, and its by a staff writer for a major media organization who apparently researched the contents (she is pictured with the family), so I figure it's a solid source. Three months later (and at least 100 edits later, mostly involving addition and removal of unsourced information about the children's middle names and birthdates), it was moved to its current title by User:M42380, although at that time the article was still actually solely about the Bates family. I think it would be rather ridiculous to have separate articles about the TV show and the family; a single article can deal with both the TV show and the family. Since the family has been -- and continues to be -- featured on the TV show about the Duggar family and has some sort of celebrity status here in East Tennessee, the scope of the article is not necessarily limited to episodes of the TV show about them.
I recall that the involvement of the Bates family with the Santorum campaign was widely reported in this area -- and that they were identified as regional coordinators for his campaign, but that was probably in local news sources that aren't archived online. The campaign activity is, however, one of the topics in that Juju Chang piece, as well as the Knoxville daily paper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, a Daily Beast article about the Duggars, the Daily Mail, and several posts in the family's blog. It appears to me that their support for Santorum is a salient piece of information about this family. Similarly, when Zach Bates was elected to Anderson County commission, a large part of the story was that his siblings had campaigned for him. He got 721 votes in a district election in which two candidates were elected and voters could vote for two people, so there weren't a lot of voters. In a small district, it's easy to see how his siblings' campaign efforts were a major factor in his getting elected -- not a bit of minor trivia. (But that was back in 2012, before his reality TV fame, which presumably helped him get Ricky Skaggs to record a robocall.) --Orlady (talk) 03:41, 12 April 2014 (UTC)