Template talk:Who

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WikiProject Inline Templates
This template is within the scope of WikiProject Inline Templates, a collaborative effort to improve and manage Wikipedia's inline footnote, cleanup and dispute templates. If you would like to participate, you can visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks.
Some discussion of this template may take place at the project's talk page, rather than here.
 

"Name a specific person" Template needed[edit]

Resolved: Moot; wrong template – use {{nonspecific}} instead.

[This discussion is copied from its original source to provide historical background] --SteveMcCluskey 13:45, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

I've seen many historical articles with statements like "Democritus found fault with the philosophers around him..." without giving examples of those unnamed philosophers. I'd like a simple in line template analagous to [citation needed] or [original research?] to go after such a vague description of unnamed actors. At present the Template name who seems to be vacant; it should expand to something like "insert specific name"

Its application would extend beyond historical articles to descriptions of current events, political and religious movements, etc.

I don't know how to go about this, but I suspect a reader of this page does. --SteveMcCluskey 01:20, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I've put a draft of a template on my sandbox. I'd appreciate any comments on the idea. --SteveMcCluskey 21:40, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm generally against the proliferation of these kinds of templates, but as far as they go, it's good. I'd rather see all these things remain on talk pages whenever possible.--ragesoss 00:44, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Heh, I really wanted something like this the other day at liger, but I just ended up ranting on the talk page. — Laura Scudder 17:46, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
  • None of the who-style templates are actually used for the purpose mentioned here; that is what {{nonspecific}} is for. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 20:36, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Label text[edit]

Resolved: Edit uncontested for 6 months.

The current wording displayed is 'name a specific person/group'. To suddenly make an imperative statement to the reader in the middle of the paragraph doesn't make a lot of sense. This is a message to editors, not for readers. The template:fact template displays 'citation required'. This is more helpful. It alerts the reader that the current text may not be verifiable. I think something similar would be appropriate to this tag. In the absence of any better idea, I go so far as to say exactly the same 'citation required' text would be appropriate. That way, the reader would be tipped off, but the appropriate 'weasel word' category would be added to the article. Something like 'specific citation required' might also work - Crosbiesmith 19:52, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Or how about a simple ' unattributed '? This would flag unattributed opinions to editors and readers alike. And it's short. - Crosbiesmith 20:53, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I've been bold. I've changed the text to attribution needed, in keeping with citation needed'. - Crosbiesmith 08:14, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Cat[edit]

Resolved: Self-resolving FYI.

I've changed the cat to be cromulent with the documentation. 213.48.182.7

Too harsh?[edit]

Resolved: Moot – wrong venue for concerns raised about the term "weasel words".

I think this template serves a good purpose -- but doesn't serve it as effectively as it could because it's both overly specific and too harsh.

We should be able to use this template to send a polite message that attributions should be specific rather than generalized -- as both a reminder to those who already know it, and to newer editors who may in good faith believe that Wikipedia will benefit from a high-level summation of what opinions are out there on a particular issue.

This template, however, points to "Avoid weasel words". "Weasel words" is a phrase we want to be very, very careful about bandying around, because it makes strong implications of bad faith -- it implies that someone has deliberately phrased things vaguely with an intent to deceive. If an editor trying to figure out why this tag was placed next to text they added looks at the template itself, this impression will only be reinforced: "This tag is for placement after descriptions of a group of persons ... when there are no specific examples of identifiable individuals from that group that could be used to verify the statements or beliefs attributed to the group." (emphasis added) Could one read this as simply meaning "no specific examples have yet been provided?" Certainly, but one could also read it as "no specific examples could be provided and this is something the adder of the text tried to cover up with weasel words."

Consider a new editor, for instance, who adds the sentence "Many believed Rubin Carter to be innocent of the murders he was charged with." If you said to that editor "Well, who believed that?" he could easily answer you: "Bob Dylan, for one, who wrote the famous protest song 'Hurricane' about the supposed miscarriages of justice in the Carter case." If you use this tag in its current form, however, then this new editor adds a statement that is completely true, only lacking in specifics, and is BITTen for it (so it would surely be perceived) with an implied accusation that he is using "weasel words".

I feel certain that we can modify this tag so that it presents clear guidance on what needs to be improved without presenting the same implications/accusations of bad faith. -- Antaeus Feldspar 17:28, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Please actually read WP:WEASEL. There is no implication or presumption or bad faith. It is actually a very helpful document on writing and logic that addresses a set of related problems that many inexperienced writers are susceptible to. This template is just fine the way it is. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 05:13, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but yes there is an implication of bad faith. The fact that the implication is produced by the connotations of the existing phrase "weasel words" rather than anything denoted at WP:WEASEL is irrelevant. -- Antaeus Feldspar 21:44, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
If you have a problem with the name or wording of a Wikipedia policy or guideline page, take it up on the talk page of that policy or guideline, or at the Village pump if you think the problem is big enough that it needs to be raised there. Complaining about it on the talk pages of random, peripherally-connected templates isn't going to get you anywhere. This template is specifically intended to refer to that policypage, and the template and its regular editors probably do not care what that policy is called or what wording it evolves to have over time. It simply happens to be the policy about unattributed "some people say..." nonsense in articles, which is what this template flags as needing cleanup. There is no alternative policy that addresses this issue that this template could draw from instead, ergo this template isn't going to stop referring to that policypage. This is not the venue for the grievance you have. PS: I do not actually agree with your insistence that the very phrase "weasel words" implies bad faith. It is after all about the wording, not about the editor; words by themselves do not have good or bad faith, only the intentions of the editor who wrote them do. But that's really not of any relevance at all to this template, which doesn't even say "these are weasel words" in the first place; it says "attribution needed". — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 21:56, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikiproject Inline templates proposed[edit]

Resolved: Project is now active, at WP:WPILT.

Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Inline templates. I've been meaning to do this for a while. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 16:31, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

"Attribution needed" has become ambiguous[edit]

With the recent (although controversial) consolidation of W:NOR, WP:V, and WP:RS into Wikipedia:Attribution, the displayed inline note attribution needed has become somewhat misleading. It could be read as synonymous with citation needed. I suggest replacing it with name specific person(s), which condenses an earlier version. --SteveMcCluskey 14:42, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

A more general text would be give specific example(s). --SteveMcCluskey 14:48, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
That doesn't quite get to it. The underlying guideline this relates to is WP:WEASEL, which isn't about specificity so much as it is about failure to cite sources at all; WP:WEASEL is an application of WP:V. Overgeneralizing from insufficiently specific sources strikes me as more of a WP:NOR matter. WP:ATT is no longer policy and may never well be. I'd say leave this template as-is unless ATT becomes policy (for real this time), and then revisit the matter. As for the former proposal, not all sources of statements are persons (e.g. corporations, government agencies, etc.) Attribution works well here (far better than it does at WP:ATT, frankly.) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 17:59, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
This would pretty much be a reversion to the previous wording. As I say above 'To suddenly make an imperative statement to the reader in the middle of the paragraph doesn't make a lot of sense. This is a message to editors, not for readers.' I think this still stands. - Crosbiesmith 20:33, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
I was rather neutral on this issue when you first raise it, but now concur (as to whether they should be imperative; I disagree that they are only for editors - part of their purpose, as with larger dispute/cleanup templates, is to warn the reader of potential reliability problems - but that said they should be pointing out issues, not giving commands.) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 23:56, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
If the sentiment remains that it needs to change, go with Crosbiesmith's version from a while back, "unattributed". Short and gets the point across without giving commands. I think it should have stayed at "unattributed". I've never liked the "attribution needed" language since it says the same thing in two words instead of one. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:13, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
"unattributed" is vague; it seems to call for a citation of an attributed source, when the template was intended to ask for the name of a specific example. How about Example needed or less favorably Specifics needed. Grammatically these are parallel to citation needed, but are clear about what is being asked for. SteveMcCluskey 19:51, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
As to the purpose of this template, to quote the template instructions:
This tag is for placement after descriptions of a group of persons, such as "serious scholars / scientists / researchers," "historians / philosophers / scientists," "some / many people," and the like.
Use it when no specific examples of identifiable individuals from that group are named who could be used to verify the statements or beliefs attributed to the group.
Its more about examples than about sources; it only touches WP:V secondarily. --SteveMcCluskey 20:02, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
Strongly disagree. Unsourced alleged examples will simply cause this tag to be replaced by {{fact}}. This template is all about sourcing the claim to specific claimants. Thus Category:Citation and verifiability maintenance templates, not Category:Cleanup templates. Thus the template's link to WP:WEASEL: "Weasel words are words or phrases that seemingly support statements without attributing opinions to verifiable sources, lending them the force of authority without letting the reader decide whether the source of the opinion is reliable." Note that it doesn't read "...that seemingly support statements without providing the name of who said it or examples of the kinds of people saying it." :-) I don't find anything about the template's documentation that conflicts with the WP:V-based intent of it; note "verify the statements". The dox certainly could be improved however, to make it clear that just naming someone/some entity/some group without providing a reliable source isn't going to cut it.
"Example needed" would be a completely different sort of template (and probably a good one; maybe bring it up at WP:WPILT. There are many articles that state something (sourcedly) but in a way that will be (or on a subtopic that will be, by its nature) incomprehensible to the average reader without one or more illustrative examples (see Pleonasm for an example of an article that would be useless to most readers without at least some of the examples in it, though a few of them could certainly be pared out).
"Specifics needed" is already covered by {{vague}}, {{clarifyme}} and {{nonspecific}} (for various contexts/needs).
SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 16:49, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Your description of articles that state something without specific examples is precisely the reason I first proposed this template. Since it's drifted in another direction, I'll just use (and recommend) the new {{Who?}} template, which meets my original needs. --SteveMcCluskey 20:29, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I repeat: That issue is already covered by {{vague}}, {{clarifyme}} and {{nonspecific}} (for various contexts/needs); {{who?}} has been proposed for merger back into {{who}}. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 20:44, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
There are plenty of "[citation needed]" tags in articles, so the meaning of "[attribution needed]" in contrast to "[citation needed]" should be clear even to people who relate this to Wikipedia:Attribution. -- Ddxc (talk) 16:56, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Merge[edit]

It is proposed that {{who?}} and {{Views needing attribution}} be merged into {{who}}, with the following details:

  1. The overall format of {{who}} will be used, as it uses the standardized {{fix}} meta-template
  2. The wording will be "[who?]", as "attribution" has become a highly ambiguous term in Wikipedia, due to WP:ATT and the rancorous debates surrounding it
  3. The policy page it will link to is WP:WEASEL, as is currently the case with both
  4. The category it will put articles in is {{who?}}'s Category:Articles with weasel words (which should be CfD'd to Category:Wikipedia articles with weasel words for consistency, but that's another matter), rather than {{who}}'s rather off-target Category:Wikipedia articles needing factual verification
  5. It will have an explanatory mouse-over popup tooltip, like {{fact}} and most other inline cleanup templates, explaining the issue in a concise sentence (without wikilinks, which don't work in tooltips).
  6. {{Views needing attribution}} will also be merged into {{who}}, without importing any of its features or language, which are either already the same or are conflicting; salient points from the documentation of all three templates will form the documentation of the merged template.
  7. {{fact}} will have documentation transcluded via {{template doc}}, at Template:Fact/doc, with standard stuff like {{template doc page transcluded}}, etc.

See also WT:WPILT#Weasel words for discussion of related mergers.

  • Support (as nominator) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 18:15, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Support Just to let you know when I created this template I wasn't really aware of the {{who}} template - I merely wanted something that could be put next to phrases like "Critics[Who?] point out ...". I have kept the template around due to my own personal satisfaction with the wording, to me phrases like "attribution needed" are a bit to long for an inline citation, and the wording isn't exactly simple or motivational. However, now that I've actually thought about it - I kind think that we say [Such as?] - as I believe that would give more clarity. Thoughts? --danielfolsom 23:30, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment: It's a bigger question than that, as "such as?" doesn't work in every context in which weasel wording may be found (though it does in many of them), and there's an open question in the minds at WP:WPILT and among commentators on the talk pages of many in-scope templates, about whether these templates should even give instructions, make demands, or other wise "speak" directly to the reader ("fix sources", "huh?", etc.) or only give dispassionate observations ("disputed", "needs verification", etc.) I believe that question will remain open for some time. In the interim, I'd like to get as many of the redundant templates merged as possible so that we have fewer templates to contemplate cleaning up and constistentizing. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:15, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
    • Ok proposal withdrawn, I'm also obviously fine with Who? - as I did make it Who? - and it does also work so it's not a problem supporting that.--danielfolsom 14:25, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. I like the idea. [who?] is less obtrusive than "[attribution required]" and perfectly clear. But this proposal seems to be dead. Han-Kwang (t) 07:44, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I would support this only if the "attribution needed" wording is kept, or if Template:T:by who, Template:T:who says, and Template:T:whosays are split off into a second template for use in cases where "who?" does not make grammatical sense (i.e. passive voice constructions like "it is said that"). "Attribution needed" has the advantage that it's obviously requesting an edit and doesn't read as an editorial aside. Just redirecting is fine IMO. — Gwalla | Talk 22:53, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Support, but keep "[attribution needed]", since if you have “Complicated sentence.[attribution needed]”, substituting "who?" for "attribution needed" might make it unclear what "who" refers to. (The template is used too often to check manually.) I'm fine with redirecting {{who?}} to {{who}}, thereby changing "[who?]" to "[attribution needed]". -- Ddxc (talk) 16:49, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I've now merged the two templates according to the 7 points above (many of them were already done by other editors), but keeping the "attribution needed" wording instead of "who?", and using a different category.
    1. Changed {{who}} category from Category:Wikipedia articles needing factual verification to Category:Articles with specifically-marked weasel-worded phrases.
    2. Changed {{who?}} to redirect to {{who}}. -- Ddxc (talk) 10:49, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
  • This redirect had been reverted because point #2 had not been carried out as agreed. I have changed the text per #2 and redone the redirect.--BirgitteSB 14:58, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Narrowing down to specific sources is untruthful and misleading[edit]

Which has more impact? (1) "Bob Dylan believed that Rubin Carter was innocent" (oh, well, Bob Dylan is just one person, and I don't care what he thinks) or (2) "Many believed that Rubin Carter was innocent" (oh, it was a widespread belief.. I see.)?

Certainly, where possible, it would be wonderful to be able to cite a source in such a way that we can say, "According to X source, many people believe..." But those kinds of sources are not always available, particularly to the vast majority of us who are simply using whatever we have at hand, and do not have the access, nor the time, to always find the most or the best sources. To remove the "many people" entirely in exchange for a single attributed source changes the meaning of the sentence dramatically, and in the end is just no good.

I appreciate the purpose and aim of this template, to help cut down on false allegations, but all told, when a statement such as "most scholars" or "many scholars" is true, it has more impact, is more meaningful, is more helpful, than citing only one or two sources. Consider how many outsiders, how many crazies there are, and the implications of taking a single source as true. Consider "most scholars (uncited, unsourced) believe that roughly six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust" as compared to "Noam Chomsky (cited to X, Y, and Z) believes that the Holocaust never happened." The second example cites a prominent scholar, and implies in doing so that a considerable portion of reputable scholarship supports this notion - but it's still a false statement, and fails to represent that Chomsky is an outsider, a minority opinion.

I think this sort of extra-strong attention away from so-called weasel words is a serious problem on Wikipedia, pushing us too far away from truth and into the realm of "no matter how false or misleading it is, as long as it's cited, it's okay". I realize that whoever's reading this is likely to say, "and who are you, LordAmeth, that I should take you seriously?" ... Well, I guess that outside of my admin status, my MilHist Asst Coordinator position, my long (4+ years) activity and thousands of edits, I'm nobody, just as everyone else on Wikipedia is essentially nobody with no real authority. But please do take me on good faith, and take a moment to consider what I've had to say. Thank you. LordAmeth (talk) 08:56, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

  • I agree in principle, and I don't think this is really a problem. Or rather, I think that the template itself addresses the problem of access and time (flag it and let someone who does have access and time to the actual editing). As for the issue of overspecificity, I think this can be adequately addresses by adding example 3) "Many people, notably including Bob Dylan [insert citation or attrib template here], believed that Rubin Carter was innocent." Or 4) Many people [citation to person 1][citation to person 2] believed...." Personally, I don't think this template necessarily implies "get rid of weasel words" so much as "identify the weasels, so we can make our own judgements as to their weaseliness." --Geoff Capp (talk) 21:06, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
  • The thing is, we can't say "most scholars believe" without providing actual survey data. But we don't need to anyway, because quality is more important than quantity. It's better to explain the explicit views of a handful of scholars, than the vague views of a multitude. Superm401 - Talk 08:14, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

By Who? Says Who?[edit]

Why don't these templates use whom instead of who? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.242.168.125 (talk) 20:11, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

That would only be grammatically correct in the less-common passive application:
Scholarswho? say this.
This is said by scholars.whom?
--Xiaphias (talk) 03:13, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Protection needed[edit]

This template is used in many articles and should at least be semi-protected to avoid mass vandalization. This could also be a tempting target to a vandal who looks to create a lot of trouble.

--Jacob Myers (Flame me!) 02:29, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Czech version[edit]

Could someone add an interwiki link to [[cs:Šablona:Kdo?]]? Nazgul02 (talk) 23:07, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

I second this request. Pretty pretty please? Thank you. --Poko (talk) 10:30, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Unification[edit]

We can unify {{who}}, {{says who}}, {{by whom}}, and {{which?}} by generalizing

|text=who?

to

|text={{{1|who}}}?

This also makes it possible to vary the text in the obvious cases[which ones?] where alternative texts are more appropriate, simply by using something like {{who|which ones}}.  --Lambiam 14:32, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

  1. That is what "{{Fix}}" is.
  2. People are discussing at Template talk:Citation needed using parameter 1 as a scoping paramter, with a "subtle" indicator so that {{Who|Some say}} would show a little like Some saywho? - with more subtle underlining. While that might be less useful for the present case, it would be as shame to ad to the confusion. Rich Farmbrough, 14:42, 19 October 2010 (UTC).
  1. {{Fix}} does not fix a category, unlike {{who}} and friends, which put the article in Category:All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases.
  2. Conflict is easily avoided by using, e.g.,
     |text={{{q|who}}}?
     requiring instead something like {{who|q=which ones}}.  --Lambiam 00:29, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Categories[edit]

The categories have been renamed to remove the surplus "-" (per the speedy rename notice placed on them all) . I took the opportunity to remove the "All" category at the same time - Fram has reverted saying "these are useful" (a note would have been nice) - so all the empty cats are being re-created (without the rename notice!), and will need to be deleted again. Who finds the "all" category useful and what for? Personally I find it clutters the hidden category list and makes my work a lot harder, to no benefit. Rich Farmbrough, 14:48, 19 October 2010 (UTC).

Why would I have needed to drop you a note? You removed the same kind of cat from Template:BLP unsourced without any discussion and without dropping me a note, even though I created that template and the cat. If you expect people to treat you nice, a first step would be to set the example and do things you expect from others. In this case, this had the unfortunate effect of recreating the renamed cats, as I didn't notice the tiny difference between the old and the nex cats, and no indication of that change could be found on this talk page. But this was done in a revert of 15 similar cat removals you did on other major templates without any discussion, where my reverts had no side effects. Fram (talk) 18:22, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
As for "who finds these useful", that cat has more than 5000 pageviews a month[1], compared to the less than 300 for the other general cat[2]. Fram (talk) 19:35, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
You excluded the dated categories which were viewed 14915 times in September. Rich Farmbrough, 23:12, 19 October 2010 (UTC).
I didn't exclude them, I compared the two more general ones. Which one do you actually mean? All the pageviews of all the dated cats together? Anyway, that that ones or these ones have a lot of pageviews as well isn't really that relevant, what is relevant is that you want to remove (depopulate) a cat which has at least a considerable amount of pageviews and thus seems to have a use for a lot of people or tasks. Fram (talk) 06:38, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Editprotected request involving this template[edit]

This message is to inform people monitoring this talk page that there is an "editprotected" request involving this and several other templates at Template talk:! cymru.lass (hit me up)(background check) 20:08, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Edit protected[edit]

{{Edit protected}} The target page at the link, Wikipedia:Avoid Weasel Words, has been moved to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (words to watch)#Unsupported attributions. Can somebody please fix this template? – Muboshgu (talk) 00:52, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Since a user clicking on [who?] will seamlessly land on the very place you want to replace the link with because a redirect is in place, there does not seem to be anything that this would fix (note WP:NOTBROKEN).--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 22:39, 1 June 2011 (UTC)