User:Ed Poor/POV pushing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

POV pushing refers to the act (or attempt or intent) to evade, circumvent, and undermine Wikipedia's neutrality policy (Wikipedia:NPOV) by creating and editing articles so that they disproportionately show one point of view.

POV pushing should not be permitted on any Wikimedia server. The purpose of the Wikipedia project is to create an unbiased and comprehensive encyclopedia which makes the world's knowledge freely available to all people.

It is often necessary to examine a topic from more than one perspective. This is especially so with controversial topics — such as politics, morality, and religion. But many people come to Wikipedia unaware of NPOV or simply do not wish to abide by it, and hence they routinely and deliberately engage in POV pushing.

The reason they do this is probably that they believe that a neutral presentation of the views they advocate will look bad in comparison to opposing views. And the best way to win an argument is to prevent the other side from getting any time to make its argument. Failing that, the goal may just be to make the other side look bad (ad hominem) or to distort that side's views.

Ironically, this is often done with the excuse that it's required by Wikipedia:Undue Weight. However, what WP:NPOV actually says is that all viewpoints should be described fairly. If a viewpoint opposed to the majority is tiny, we should report how tiny it is. Some viewpoints are held by only 10%, 1%, or even a fraction of a percent of the experts who study a certain field of knowledge.

Thus, adding information to an article which "advances a point of view" does not violate our neutrality principle, provided we make sure to tell our readers how few people (or experts) give it credit. We can even have an article more than half the size of a regular article (see flat earth), describing a view which runs counter to the scientific mainstream. All we have to do to preserve such content is to avoid making any claim that the viewpoints the article describes are "as valid" as the mainstream.

The key is to remain neutral when describe minority viewpoints. Tell why the minority believe the way they do, but do not imply that they are right or that their numbers are larger than they actually are.


See also[edit]