Template talk:OutlawMotorcycleGroups

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If anyone can help me with setting this up it would be greatly appreciated. I have just spent 1 and half hours figuring out how to create a template. Editors please don't delete this as it is still a work in progress.

    • UPDATE** OK I think I covered all the relevant articles. Please advise if template doesn't adhere to quality standards and I will amend. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zeobria (talkcontribs) 12:55, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Why Jesse Ventura?[edit]

Yes, he was in a motorcycle club for 6 weeks. He said on a talk show "Once a Mongol, always a Mongol." Whatever that is supposed to mean.

That's it. Did Ventura influence the Mongols? No. Did he influence outlaw motorcycle groups? No. It's just fancruft, and this template is turning into a list of trivia. --Dbratland (talk) 15:36, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

RfC to replace Template:Infobox Criminal organization with Template:Infobox Organization for active motorcycle clubs[edit]

Should the Template:Infobox Criminal organization be replaced with Template:Infobox Organization on the outlaw motorcycle club articles (e.g. Pagans Motorcycle Club, Hells Angels, etc. See Category:Outlaw motorcycle clubs and Template:OutlawMotorcycleGroups) which are about living persons and currently active groups (i.e. not historical gangs like The Purple Gang) ?

  • The purpose of my proposal is to build consensus in favor of using a more neutral infobox for active groups whose members must be treated according to the standards of Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons. The problems I see are:
  1. The label "criminal organization" isn't given enough scrutiny or supported by verification and explanation. It's treated as a truth rather than something subject to debate and to change. Many of these clubs vigorously protest being called criminals, and they have some supporters, therefore Wikipedia should not take sides.
  2. Editors seem to feel the need to fill in every blank, even if verifiable support for allies, rivals, criminal activities, etc. is weak or nonexistent. If this data is verifiable, it can be described in the body of the article in a neutral way. If not, it is less likely to be added by rote if there isn't a field in the template asking for it.
  3. The tone of the entire article is determined by the label "criminal organization" and we end up with a whole category filled with very poor articles that are little more than litanies of lurid crime stories from newspapers. Major crimes are notable, but an encyclopedic article should be broader in scope.
There are other related issues, such as the use of questionable scandal-mongering media reports, too much original research and too much reliance on self-published blogs and forums, but I think a good start would be to make all the articles about living persons and their active clubs more neutral, by using a more neutral organization infobox template.
What I'd like to see is strong consensus for this change, so that there won't be a lot of edit wars on these articles. It's a fair amount of work to transfer the data from one template to another, and I don't want to have to repeat it. I also hope to see all the motorcycle articles use the same template consistently, rather than end up with a patchwork.--Dbratland (talk) 20:31, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
IMHO, to use the Criminal Organization template on a group that has many (or even just 1)law abiding members is a blatant WP:BLP violation and should never have been done in the first place. Please replace the template. Cheers. L0b0t (talk) 22:20, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Comment - if all the motorcycle groups are 'outlaw' clubs, would it be possible to have a template for 'Outlaw organizations' (or 'Outlaw motorcycle organizations'), if that is the clubs' self-description, thus removing them from current 'Criminal organizations' and avoiding the potential BLP issues involved, and still specifying them as a unique type of organization that differs from other non-outlaw motorcycle clubs? Mish (talk) 23:16, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia can't be a medium for these clubs to stage-manage their public image by dictating what name we should call them. There is too much infighting between these clubs as to the definitions of the words "motorcycle club", "riding club", "motorcycle association" and "outlaw motorcycle club". The demands of political correctness of that subculture will never met for all parties concerned. Wikipedia has its own rules, WP:COMMONNAME and Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Other specific conventions, and those rules are more than sufficient for deciding what to label them.
    We could still make a special "outlaw motorcycle club" template, but I can't think of any fields it would have that don't already exist in Template:Infobox organization, so there's not a pressing need.--Dbratland (talk) 00:59, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment In at least the two articles mentioned, the articles themselves do not argue for the change of infobox. I'm not sure how, when the article contains massive amounts of content that mostly only covers criminal activities, that the use of the infobox is being disputed. The main focus of the Hells Angels article is Criminal activities, comprising almost 60% of the article. The lead even identifies the club as a criminal organization. Pagans Motorcycle Club is about 40% dedicated to Criminal activities. This is a far greater issue than what infobox is being used, it's an issue of how the articles are written and focus they are taking. If you have issues with the infobox, then the articles need an overhaul. There is nothing whatsoever in either of these articles about any positive aspect of the organizations. Do they do nothing good? If so, why is that not covered? The tone of the article isn't governed by the infobox, the use of the infobox is governed by the slant of the articles. For Hells Angels, the template wasn't added until February 1, 2009. This was the article prior to the use of the infobox. I suggest that this go back to the projects concerned for consideration of the actual articles and tone they present. If the fundamental problem is with how the article(s) are balanced, then that needs to be addressed. If there is too much weight on criminal activities, then fill out the articles in a balanced way, spin off the criminal sections, etc. This isn't going to be addressed by changing infoboxes that, in at least two cases, are supported by the article. Wildhartlivie (talk) 23:22, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Obviously replacing the infobox is only a start, not a panacea. If it would help, I can post large numbers of diffs where various editors have clearly added a list of crimes thoughtlessly to the 'criminal activities' field, either with no citation, or with a citation that does not verify the list they pasted in there. It is merely filling in a form by rote and it's not enlightening to the reader.

    Since Wikipedia itself is not a reliable source, I'm not sure the fact that some these articles only cover criminality proves they are only criminals. It needs independent verification. Even if the FBI declares the whole club criminal, is that enough? If the FBI fails to win a RICO conviction, does that exonerate them? If a club wins a libel suit for being called criminal, does that exonerate them? Even if 50% of the members are convicted felons? The whole thing is a mess to sort out, and WP:BLP makes clear you need to absolutely right before putting up negative information about living persons. So let it be said in the body of the article, where it can be clear who is calling them criminals, and why they are saying it. The infobox makes it look like Wikipedia has the authority to decide once and for all.--Dbratland (talk) 00:59, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
It doesn't matter at all how many diffs you post, no one is challenging who put in what. However, how the articles have been allowed to develop has everything to do with what is being said about the club. Again, the problems are the entire articles and what is or is not in them. Hells Angels violates a number of policies and is completely non-neutral. Your present infobox issue is small potatoes in comparison with the overall problems the two articles I looked at have. Since these articles only focus on criminal activities, it doesn't much matter what infobox is present, the articles are still calling the clubs criminal organizations. And again, the lead of Hells Angels says it is a criminal organization. Clean up the articles, present actual positive information for balance and all of the other issues will fall into place. This is something that needs to be addressed on a widescale basis if the other articles are like this. Wildhartlivie (talk) 03:28, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree with you 100%. It's just that I have no experience with revising some 37 articles so thoroughly. For the last few weeks it has been all I and a few other in the Motorcycling Project could do to hold back the vandalism and biased editing, let alone improve the articles very much. Not that my own edits are above criticism or anything; I have my biases and I make mistakes. So for now I'm only proposing one small step. I didn't think it would be good to make an RfC that was too broad in scope, and instead tried to keep it within the bounds of one simple question. But if you know how to rally sufficient support to accomplish more, then lead on. I'm with you.--Dbratland (talk) 04:20, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment Speaking from a Canadian perspective, there are reliable sources calling Hell's Angels a criminal organization. This is a recent decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario which upheld that Hell's Angels met the definition of criminal organization in the Criminal Code of Canada. Given there is a reliable source, and given the focus of the article, I think the Criminal Organization Infobox should stay. If the article starts to get content that deals with aspects of the organization that are not criminal, then I think the regular Organization Infobox could be added in addition to what's already there. But I don't think it should be one or the other. The same logic applies to the other articles. Singularity42 (talk) 01:15, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Follow-up By same logic, what I meant was this: If (a) there is a reliable, impartial source that says the club is a criminal organization, and (b) a significant portion of the article is on the club's criminal aspect, the Criminal Organization Infobox should stay, possibly complemented by a second Infobox one if appropriate. Singularity42 (talk) 01:24, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
  • As a USian I have no idea what this Canadian court decision means unless a secondary source explains it to me in plain English. The same could be said of the governments of Iran or North Korea or China labeling a group as "terrorist" or "criminal". What are the criteria for a ruling like that? Who makes the ruling? What are their motives? All of this should be explained in prose rather than taken on faith with a simple infobox, as if every reader is expected to just know already how trustworthy Canadian courts are. Or looked at another way, the Canadian judgment speaks volumes, and doesn't need the infobox to give it legitimacy.--Dbratland (talk) 01:52, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Wow. I hope you didn't mean to directly compare the legal system in Canada to that of Iran, North Korea and China. And what the heck is "a USian"? Is that someone who lives in the USA but is too ashamed to call himself an American? And as far as plain English goes, I'm pretty sure that's what was used by the Canadian court. You might want to brush up. Garth of the Forest (talk) 07:05, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
I think there are three issues raised, which I'll answer in order. First - what is a reliable source that a specific motorcycle club is a criminal organization? Is a court ruling a reliable source? Obviously, no one is an expert in every field, and no one can say conclusively what a reliable source is in every subject (by way of example, I couldn't possibly tell you what a reliable source would be in the area of psychology since I have no knowledge about that subject). Instead, Wikipedia has to rely on policies like WP:RS, and when that fails, WP:RS/N. Interestingly enough, there is no policy on case law. Personally, I think a legal judgement in a jurisdiction that is known for impartiality (which Canadian courts are, and North Korea probably isn't) is a reliable source, but my personal opinion is far, far from a deciding factor, so that's why I have posted this for further follow up, which may help.
Second - is that specific court case helpful? Reading it over again, I realize it's written in legalese. Therefore, the trial decision is probably more helpful. It is, of course, very, very long - but that doesn't mean it isn't reliable. The analysis is done is plain English, and the conclusion at paragraph 1090 is pretty conclusive. :)
Third - if the case reliably states that, in Canada at least, Hells Angels meets the legal requirements of a criminal organization, should the Criminal Organization Infobox be used? I think that can be split into two parts. Part One - if the reliable source is limited to Canada, should the Infobox be used notwithstanding other issues? I don't know, and I leave that for more experienced editors. Part Two - notwithstanding the Canadian aspect, if there is a very reliable source that states Hells Angels are a criminal organization, should the Infobox be used? Yes, of course. Isn't that why the Infobox exists in the first place? Surely, if a very reliable source (which in this specific case remains to be seen) says conclusively X is Y, then surely the article about X should reflect that X is Y. I mean, at this point, we have met the requirements of WP:BLP. Singularity42 (talk) 04:02, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
This article may help as well as a possible secondary source. Singularity42 (talk) 04:20, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Comment 2 Okay, after thinking over the issue a bit more, and reading the comments at WP:RS/N, my first proposal doesn't help on the Infobox debate. The best you can do with the sources I provided is add something that says In 2005, a Canadian court found that Hells Angels met the Canadian statutory definition of a criminal organiazation. The decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal for Ontario in June 2009. I also think that makes sense given the type of sources they are and the surrounding circumstances. That being said, are there any reliable sources that allows Wikipedia to say as a fact Organization A is a criminal organization? I think looking at other precedents help. In Mara Salvatrucha, the article starts by saying Mara Salvatrucha... is a criminal gang that originated in Los Angeles and has spread to Central America, other parts of the United States, and Canada, and cites a news website that refers back to the FBI. In Crips, the introduction states The Crips are one of the largest and most violent associations of street gangs in the United States, and cites the US Department of Justice as the source. So it would seem that is the precedent for using the Criminal organization infobox. As to whether such sources exist for these clubs, I make no comment. I leave it for those editors more familiar with the subject matter. Singularity42 (talk) 14:55, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

  • Buy why? Why must Wikipedia decide who is a criminal organization? Why can't the article simply report factually what legal experts in Canada tell us about the rulings there? Especially since the Canadian definition of a criminal organization is not identical to the US. Or Australia, let alone the rest of the world. And why the need do fill in an "ethnic makeup" field for every gang? Not all of them are explicitly racist or diverse; some just exist and the race question isn't relevant. Yet we act like it is vital with this infobox, and it invites inflammatory and unresolvable debates. Same with allies and enemies: these "facts" change constantly, and you can find sources that show gangs cooperating one day, and fighting the next. Not to mention the fact that the Gypsy Jokers might be at war with the Hells Angels in California while working arm-in-arm in Australia.

    I think everything you've had to say is important and fascinating information, but dumbing it down to terse factoids in a box alongside founding date and headquarters location destroys the encyclopedic part and leaves only misinformation.--Dbratland (talk) 18:12, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, I guess this goes to an issue that is probably larger than this debate: generally, when should Template:Infobox Criminal organization be used? Obviously, if the title of the article specifically indicates it is a criminal organization, then there is no issue (i.e. the "so-and-so Mafia"). We all know the Crips are a criminal organization, but "we all know" isn't a source. So perhaps this may need to lead to a wider debate about when is it appropriate to use the Crim Org template, rather than just limiting the debate to motorcycle clubs. (Although Hells Angels may make a useful practical example of the issue.) My prediction of the answer to such a discussion would be: if there is no debate on the issue, the Infobox can be used; but if there is debate on the issue, it should left in the body of the WP article to say so-and-so have found that the group meets their definition of criminal organization and the group has denied being a criminal organization, etc., rather than using some conclusive Infobox. Singularity42 (talk) 18:59, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

I followed my own advice, and started a wider discussion at Template talk:Infobox Criminal organization#Proposal: Guidelines on Template Use. Singularity42 (talk) 19:55, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

That probably is not the place to open discussion. I've noted this in a way already. These templates are used by projects, the members of most of which don't monitor the template pages. I'd suggest opening an inquiry at the project pages. Wildhartlivie (talk) 01:24, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Aah, I was wondering about that. Well, the only Project I could think of was WP:Law, and I made sure to put a link to the discussion on their discussion page. Singularity42 (talk) 02:54, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
What about WP:CRIME? I'm not aware that other projects use the template. Wildhartlivie (talk) 03:16, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
This is why editing while tired is always a bad move... :) I've added a similar note to their discussion page as well. Thanks! Singularity42 (talk) 03:23, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

In Holland the Hells Angels are not banned completely. They are in fact suing for damages. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Schoolboy2009 (talkcontribs) 21:06, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

* Comment: Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs are well established by reliable sources to be criminal organizations. That the "clubs" themselves or their groupies disagree is not surprising, but does not change the facts. Keep the Criminal Organization Infoboxs. =//= Proxy User (talk) 00:28, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

*Keep it Criminal: Reliable sources note their criminal activities. Also, all editors should remember to keep personal bias out of the realm of universal truth. Hooper (talk) 23:30, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
There is no such thing as universal truth. However, from a Wikipedia perspective, there are the three fundamental principles to follow: WP:NPOV, WP:Verifiability, and WP:NOR Garth of the Forest (talk) 09:16, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

God's Squad[edit]

The article God's Squad makes no mention of outlaw motorcycle clubs. Rather than add it to this template, please go to the article God's Squad and add citations which support the claim that they are an outlaw motorcycle club. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 16:15, 20 November 2011 (UTC)