Wikipedia:Baby and bathwater

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"WP:BABY" redirects here. For the logical fallacy upon which this policy is based (aka Throw out the baby with the bath water), see Hasty generalization.

At Wikipedia, baby and bathwater refers to edits which remove additional information beyond the scope of a valid deletion made during the edit, as well as to rationales at discussion pages that extend a reason beyond its scope of validity. Types of baby/bathwater content and discussion include:

  • Wikipedia:Reliable sources (RS): For a source that is unreliable regarding a particular topic, an editor deletes all content that is based on the source—including information for which the source is reliable.
Example: In a European court case, The Destruction of Dresden author was determined to have misrepresented World War II casualty numbers that were difficult to historically quantify because of the number of refugees in the city. Deleting Wikipedia content based on the book's details about other topics, such as allied bombing operations (numbers of sortie aircraft, etc.) which were substantially researched by the author, is a form of "baby and bathwater" editing.
  • Wikipedia:Revert instead of edit: An editor determines a portion of another contributor's edit needs to be deleted, but removes the entire contribution instead of just the portion that needs to be deleted.
Example: "YOUR EDIT DID NOT IDENTIFY THE SOURCE FOR THE CITATION TAG '{{r|AAF}},' SO I REVERTED THE ENTIRE EDIT--EVEN THE CONTENT BASED ON SEVERAL OTHER SOURCES WITH COMPLETE CITATIONS."
  • Wikipedia:Discussion relevance: An editor's discussion argues that because a source is unreliable in one area, it should never be considered "reliable."
Newspapers: Newspapers are not "uniformly reliable"—using the non-Wikipedia sense of "reliable"—over all topics. Entertainment, religious and political topics, for example, often are accused of having either reportorial biases or editorial biases, depending on the source and writer.
  • Wikipedia:Biographies of Living People (BLP): An editor sees that a source does not meet Wikipedia's far higher standard on sources[clarification needed] for living people than applies for other topics, and deletes content that is not about a living person and that is based on the source.
Policy: "Contentious material about living persons (or in some cases, recently deceased) that is unsourced or poorly sourced – whether the material is negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable – should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion." (Italics added.)
  • Wikipedia:Point of View (POV): Content from one editor is determined to have a portion that has a non-neutral POV, but the editor's entire contribution(s) to the page, included non-POV info with credible citations, is/are deleted under the auspices of the POV.
  • Wikipedia:Available sources: An editor determines content has a citation to a source work that is out of print, not available to the public for review, and/or no longer existent; and because that content isn't verifiable, deletes a contributor's entire edit—including content from other cited sources.

Each questionable claim should be examined on its merits, and no source otherwise found to meet WP:RS should be "thrown out" without examining the claim closely and responsibly. If, and only if, the claim is clearly unsupportable by independent sources, should it be simply removed on the basis that the source is "not reliable enough." We ought make sure the baby is not in the bathwater.

See also[edit]