Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard

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RT (TV Network)...neutral feedback desperately needed!

A full-scale edit war has been taking place on the RT network page for about a month, though there is a history of (suppressed) conflict over the neutrality of the lede that goes back quite a ways further. The issue at present is whether the lede is the proper place for charges of "propaganda" against this network to be lodged, and most particularly whether the claims that it has been "accused of disinformation" are substantiated and reliable, and likewise belong in the lede. Here is the paragraph in the lede that is the source of the dispute:

"RT has been accused of providing disinformation [9][10][11][12][13] and commentary favorable to Russian foreign policy.[14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22] News reporters,[23] former Russian officials,[9][24][25] and former RT reporters have called RT a propaganda outlet for the Russian government.[22][26][27][14][28] The network itself states that RT offers a Russian perspective on global events.[29]"

Recognizing that four of the five sources purporting to support the "disinformation" do no such thing, and the the fifth only reports that a single US State Department employee blogged something to this effect last April, I attempted several times to delete this part of the sentence, giving my full reasoning on the talk page. In each case, my edit was undone by one of the editors named below without any effort by any of them to show HOW these references relate to "disinformation" accusations. They certainly all relate to the perceived bias of the network by the authors involved, but "disinformation," which word is linked to its Wikipedia definition, involves the willful dissemination of information known to be false, and four of these "references" do not make allegations of this. The quantity of references does not supply the want of quality here.

Ymblanter, an editor with admin privileges (though not for this page in particular), once accused me of edit warring, and when I reminded him that my editorial attempts never crossed the WP threshold of 3 per day, posted an "incident" on the admin page, suggesting that I was "wikilawyering." In order to avoid further such abusive treatment, I took a different tack and inserted the following sentence before the last one in the paragraph, in order to create at least the appearance of some even-handedness:

" Others disagree; media analyst and author Edward S. Hermann argues that "to be at all credible to English-speaking audiences, RT has to lean over backwards to avoid straight out pro-Russian propaganda, but it welcomes Western experts like Stephen Cohen and Ray McGovern who barely make it to The New York Times or US television."[25}"

This was soon reverted by Volunteer Marek, the most aggressive of the disruptive editors, and not for the last time. I responded to his claim that the source was "non-notable" by linking it to the Wikipedia page of the author, Edward S Herman. Then, out of the blue, an editor not previously involved in this fracas, My very best wishes, reverts my constructive edit, claiming that the source of the interview with E. Herman is "fringe." These editors seem almost to be tag-teaming in this effort to preserve a very negative, one-sided tone in this lede, and with similarly lame reasoning given (if any). Then Iryna Harpy reverts the NPOV tag dutifully placed on the article page by another editor. And on and on...

The following editors were previously named in the mediation request because of their support for this tendentious editing: Volunteer Marek Sidelight12 Galassi Capitalismojo Ymblanter NE Ent

Not one of them would agree to participate in the mediation, save Ymblanter, who agreed only to be involved on the question of maintaining the allegation of "propaganda" in the lede (which he supports). Because these editors would not agree to the mediation, the request was rejected by the MC. It should be noted that two other editors, Spotter 1 and The Four Deuces, who are not among the disruptors, did agree to participate in the mediation.

I am personally feeling overwhelmed by the lack of any authoritative effort to negotiate neutrality in this lede. In my view, this entire page needs a makeover to include all the relevant criticism of RT in a "Controversy" section (this suggestion by another editor, but I have offered to implement it if consensus can be garnered), but response to this approach has been, predictably, negative from the above sources, who prefer to use the lede to advertise their shared disdain of RT.

The tendentiousness resulting from this editorial gangsterism is overwhelming all efforts to restore neutrality to this lede. Input from neutral observers is urgently requested! Kenfree (talk) 21:41, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

If you read between the lines, then what the above wall of text basically says is that this single purpose account, along with another one, Spotter1 (or whatever his current username is), has been edit warring against close to a dozen of different editors. Bottom line, there is no consensus for either the changes proposed by this user, no consensus to include the tag, *and* consensus that the present lede is fine.
Or let me put it another way. Kenfree complaints that The following editors were previously named in the mediation request because of their support for this tendentious editing:" and then goes on to list seven different editors, all but one long term, established and experienced editors. He failed to include a few more that have been "tendentiously editing" to support consensus. Volunteer Marek  22:33, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
Hopefully the quality of Marek's argument here, which reduces (as usual) to ad hominems, and does not address a single one of the issues raised, helps neutral observers appreciate what I've been dealing with on a regular basis. Though it's no doubt true that there are other editors who could be cited (in the past) for supporting this tendentious approach, there are also others (from the past) who could be cited who objected to it. My list includes those only that I encountered in my direct experience, in the timeframe stated. Kenfree (talk) 22:51, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
Pointing out that almost ten different editors disagree with you and your crusade, is not "ad hominem". It's just pointing out a relevant fact. Neither is criticism of your action an adhominem. Volunteer Marek  00:10, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
(Mis)characterizing me as a "single purpose account" is simply an attempt to shoot the messenger, to discredit me without addressing a single issue I've raised (except to declare that everything is just as you like it, which we already know), just as your insistence on entering your personal POV into the lede, about "disinformation" and the like, serves to discredit RT. Your latest post here uses the loaded term "crusade" -- rhetorical suasion again -- but not a word about the issues: can you, for instance, explain how the provided references support in any way the claim that RT has been accused of "disinformation?" And can you, for a change, answer the question without resort to further name-calling??? Kenfree (talk) 00:54, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Look, once something has been explained a dozen times, by almost a dozen different editors, and you and your buddy Spotter1 still refuse to get, it becomes a stupid waste of time repeating it once again. It's classic WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT combined with a good bit of edit warring and some forum shopping (hence, we're here now).
But ok. One. Last. Time.
You state above: "Recognizing that four of the five sources purporting to support the "disinformation" do no such thing"
This is nonsense.
The first source states: "Russia Today has been described by Konstantin Preobrazhensky (...) as “a part of the Russian industry of misinformation and manipulation” designed to mislead foreign audiences about Russian intentions. ". I guess the word "disinformation" is not exactly the same as "misinformation" which is how you apparently justify your above assertion. That's bad faith. Worse, it's being dishonest.
The second source... is titled "Disinformation: ‘Pravda’ May Be Gone, but Now There’s ‘Russia Today’". Well, it's true the word "disinformation" does not appear otherwise in the text. So, according to you this source does not support the notion of "disinformation".
The third source I guess is the one that you claim is only "reports that a single State Department employee blogged" this "disinformation" business. As it happens this "single State Department employee" is the former managing editor of Time Magazine. We're not talking about some janitor who empties the trashcans as you're trying to imply.
The fourth source says "But as the Ukraine crisis continues to unfold, (Putin's) particular brand of disinformation is coming into clear focus.". And then "Outlets like RT are “devoted to this effort to propagandize and to distort” the truth, (Kerry) said". And then "At his Friday press conference with German chancellor Angela Merkel, President Obama groused about Putin’s disinformation. ". And according to you this doesn't support the notion that it's "disinformation".
The fifth source is titled "How Russia Is Revolutionizing Information Warfare". It says " The new Russia doesn’t just deal in the petty disinformation, forgeries, lies, leaks, and cyber-sabotage usually associated with information warfare." RT TV is mentioned as part of this strategy. So this one maybe actually doesn't say it directly, but hey, it's the fifth source given, and it's also impossible to say that the source is being misrepresented.
Enough. Volunteer Marek  01:37, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Volunteer Marek Enough of your "he/she said experts" WP:ASSERT/WP:YESPOV. From "ABC, CNN, Aljazeera..." to "BBC" and "CCTV" are all candidates for a propaganda lede. When I confronted you and Ymblanter with just one page that collects many examples of disinformation, fabrications etc. primarily from "western" media organizations your reaction was deafening silence. Ymblanter cynically replied to me that I should "try" to put a propaganda part into the lede of a mentioned news organization. Just for maintaining the "opinipedia" structural coherence such claims should be put under the section "criticism". I know there was a consensus for that and this sums up the article (sadly it sums up the biased opinions and claims in the article) but it is still not a NPOV. I very much doubt this will satisfy your "inquisition" like approach (almost like a catholic priest who says there is no reliable bishop who is quotable on that - so argument must be false)(where are the facts?) to an opposing view no matter how well supported by evidence.Spotter 1 (talk) 20:12, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Please go to the RS noticeboard, get consensus there that CNN is a propaganda outlet, and then come back.--Ymblanter (talk) 20:43, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
My reasoning is multi dimensional. 1. An encyclopedia should not be a log for opinions regardless if deemed (by RSN) reliable or not. 2. To put in an assessment into the lede as if it was a fact and could be an appropriate summary of RT's operations is disingenuous at best. 3. If you have reliable claims put them into the right category like every other analogue article (f.e. CCTV). 4. There is a implicit accusations/answer script throughout the entire article. 5. Most important of all: At least from my perspective all information disseminating entities are TOOLS (I will not try to push a propaganda intro into every journo outlets' article; they are by definition). Therefore there is nothing further from the truth than telling me I'd like the RF's media. There are many points about the reporting that could be criticized - on a statement per statement basis. Again if something is true it has to be recognizable as such through evidence. Truth, as in accordance with fact or reality, should be the objective.Spotter 1 (talk) 23:21, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

Response to Marek's defenses (above) of the five current citations behind the claim of "disinformation: Marek, the word "disinformation" in this objectionable sentence in the lede, as you MUST know, is linked to the Wikipedia definition of "disinformation." Before I respond to your defenses, I think it important to review this with you, as you seem to have forgotten it. Here is the Wikipedia definition: "Disinformation is intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of untruth." [1] Please try to remember this throughout my responses. Presumably we can both agree on this definition for authority, since it is linked in the statement in the lede.

"The first source states: "Russia Today has been described by Konstantin Preobrazhensky (...) as “a part of the Russian industry of misinformation and manipulation” designed to mislead foreign audiences about Russian intentions. ". I guess the word "disinformation" is not exactly the same as "misinformation" which is how you apparently justify your above assertion. That's bad faith. Worse, it's being dishonest."

"Misinformation" and "disinformation" are not at all the same thing, but don't take my word for it. On that Wikipedia definition (of "disinformation") page, one of the very first statements is: "Not to be confused with Misinformation." Did you happen to notice that? Well, which of us is really showing "bad faith" then???

"The second source... is titled "Disinformation: ‘Pravda’ May Be Gone, but Now There’s ‘Russia Today’". Well, it's true the word "disinformation" does not appear otherwise in the text. So, according to you this source does not support the notion of "disinformation"."

That is correct, because no where in the article does its author make the slightest accusation that RT is practicing disinformation, or intentionally spreading information known to RT to be false as if it were true, so what difference does the title make? "Disinformation" is a rather "sexy" term, and people throw it around all the time (like you and certain other editors are wont to do) without understanding its actual meaning, but if these authors meant to accuse RT of disinfo, well, they had their whole article to do it and they failed completely. There is not one instance of "disinformation" even referred to.

"The third source I guess is the one that you claim is only "reports that a single State Department employee blogged" this "disinformation" business. As it happens this "single State Department employee" is the former managing editor of Time Magazine. We're not talking about some janitor who empties the trashcans as you're trying to imply."

LOL, nope, I implied nothing of the sort. I stated that a single employee blogged, and whether he was the former managing editor of Time or just the janitor, it is still only one employee, and that was my whole statement.

"The fourth source says "But as the Ukraine crisis continues to unfold, (Putin's) particular brand of disinformation is coming into clear focus.". And then "Outlets like RT are “devoted to this effort to propagandize and to distort” the truth, (Kerry) said". And then "At his Friday press conference with German chancellor Angela Merkel, President Obama groused about Putin’s disinformation. ". And according to you this doesn't support the notion that it's "disinformation"."

How could it? Is Vladimir Putin RT? No doubt you think so, but let's try this another way: say that a Russian official had accused Obama of disinformation, would you argue that therefore this represents an accusation that Voice of America is guilty of disinformation? This kind of puerile argumentation is really appalling...I'm amazed that you think any intelligent reader would buy it. The other quote you adduce does not specifically allege "disinformation" as defined by Wikipedia.

"The fifth source is titled "How Russia Is Revolutionizing Information Warfare". It says " The new Russia doesn’t just deal in the petty disinformation, forgeries, lies, leaks, and cyber-sabotage usually associated with information warfare." RT TV is mentioned as part of this strategy. So this one maybe actually doesn't say it directly, but hey, it's the fifth source given, and it's also impossible to say that the source is being misrepresented."

It not only doesn't say it directly, but like the other three sources above, it doesn't mention it AT ALL. So how can it be used as a citation allegation that RT has been "accused of disinformation?"

So, in sum, all of the citations together distill down to a single US State Department employee blogging, last April, that RT engages in "disinformation" (without providing any specific facts to back up the allegation, we should note). And for this reason the lede of this Wikipedia must make room for this spurious claim that RT is "accused of disinformation" (a very serious libel if untrue, by the way)? Kenfree (talk) 21:34, 1 November 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kenfree (talkcontribs) 21:28, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

Like I already said. When something has been pointed out a dozen times, and one, maybe two, editors insist on just NOT GETTING IT, it becomes a very stupid way to spend one's time repeating the same explanation over and over again. Quit wasting people's time. Volunteer Marek  22:40, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
NOT GETTING IT is misused by you in the way that you are deflecting any challenge with it. You get challenged and after you fail to make a convincing argument you pack out NOT GETTING IT. WP:IJUSTDONTLIKEIT/WP:OWNER seems to be your approach and you just cannot see WP:CCC/WP:TALKEDABOUTIT.Spotter 1 (talk) 00:05, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I'd just like to point out that people should not be removing POV tags when there are disputes under active discussion, as user:Volunteer Marek has done. This is clearly a hotly disputed issue by multiple users, and as such, removing the POV tag only serves to further fuel the warring and create additional tensions. We should be concerned with resolving the issue, not pretending it's resolved by superficial means. Please see Template:POV#When_to_remove. LokiiT (talk) 21:57, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Hey there, LokiiT, I see you're back again. Anyway, no, if there is no reason for a POV tag except some WP:IJUSTDONTLIKEIT then the tag doesn't get to stay, it gets removed. it's possible, as you are probably well aware, to generate "artificial controversy" about anything under the sun. And there's always one or two people who have some wacky ideas and who will be upset that Wikipedia articles don't provide "enough space" to their wacky ideas. Too bad. The criteria for whether a POV tag belongs or not is whether the article follows reliable sources. And as has been pointed out by about a dozen different editors, it does. Volunteer Marek  22:40, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
User:Volunteer Marek is conveniently ignoring WP:ASSERT,WP:CONTROVERSY,WP:OWNER and WP:NPOV!. WP:IJUSTDONTLIKEIT is ridiculous in light of the points made. There are at least the following issues with the article all of which can be found on the talk page (and article page): 1. An encyclopedia should not be a log for opinions regardless if deemed (by RSN) reliable or not. 2. To put in an assessment into the lede as if it was a fact and could be an appropriate summary of RT's operations is disingenuous at best. 3. If you have reliable claims put them into the right category like every other analogue article (f.e. CCTV). 4. There is a implicit accusations/answer script throughout the entire article. 5. Most important of all: At least from my perspective all information disseminating entities are TOOLS (I will not try to push a propaganda intro into every journo outlets' article; they are by definition). Therefore there is nothing further from the truth than telling me I'd like the RF's media. There are many points about the reporting that could be criticized - on a statement per statement basis. Again if something is true it has to be recognizable as such through evidence. Truth, as in accordance with fact or reality, should be the objective.Spotter 1 (talk) 23:39, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
I suggest that an RfC at talk is the proper way to resolve this. Capitalismojo (talk) 23:59, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
I'd suggest that only the RSN needs to be consulted in order to ascertain that, this year alone, RT has been a sinkhole for literally months of editor time and energy. I don't see the value in indulging two new editors who are engaging in tendentious editing practices. Whether Spotter 1 and Kenfree realise it or not (I'm going for the former as being most likely as they've been instructed at length about policy and guidelines, but choose not to WP:LISTEN), they have harassed and tried to wear down a number of editors on personal talk pages, the RT article talk page, and have generally acted as a WP:TAGTEAM in order to keep the POV issue falsely afloat with WP:WALLSOFTEXT. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:46, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
The above statement by Ms. Harpy (on whose exceptionally well chosen moniker I must sincerely compliment her) is a textbook example of rhetorical abuse. Fluency in WP lingo, in Ms. Harpy's hands, becomes a weaponized argot with which to assault editors who breach her idea of political correctness. She hurls her WP-esque code words asglittering generalities, precluding any need to provide particulars that might substantiate her wild accusations (and note the similarity here to the actual issue at stake on the RT Network page, as detailed above). Far be it for Ms. Harpy to lower herself to provide any references or documentations to support her daisy-chain of ad, she's got the jargon down pat, so listen up: she's the maestro...the master of WP discourse. Providing particulars, responding to actual CONTENT issues identified...that's real work...fitting only for the hoi polloi. Kenfree (talk) 04:22, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Before you continue with your critique of my techniques, I will refer you to my response to Spotter 1's same accusation on my talk page (where the both of you have spent an inordinate amount of time) -
Would you consider Der Spiegel an RS? How about this, this, Reporters Without Borders per this. Perhaps you consider The Independent to be corrupt, Western ideologues in their criticism here. Perhaps PRWatch is more to your taste here. Alternatively, here's a long and insightful look into RT by Oliver Bullough for the New Statesman. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 05:39, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

It does not surprise me in the slightest that you arrogate to yourself the right to determine someone else's appropriate amount of time to spend on the talk page in editorial discussion. Anyone with a modicum of understanding of Wikipedia's egalitarian philosophy would find your latest put down repugnant. The sources you cite may be reputable sources, as you claim, but what have they to do with the current discussion? Does any of them say anything in particular accusing RT of practicing "disinformation" (as defined by Wikipedia)? Then they are just so many red herrings. How about showing us, if you can, how the currently appended refs support the claim (in the lede no less) that RT is (credibly) accused of disinformation. Maybe you'll succeed where Marek has failed so miserably (see above). Kenfree (talk) 14:26, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

This is a train wreck. Spotter clearly doesn't understand or agree with the fact that Wikipedia articles can have opinions - if they are presented according to our guidelines and policies and are reliable sources. Spotter also says "Truth, as in accordance with fact or reality, should be the objective." That's an obvious oversimplication and not an objective of Wikipedia anyway. One person's 'truth' can be another person's lie in contexts like this. User:Kenfree, you complaina about ad hominem and happily make personal attacks against other editors. Your comment on libel comes close to being a violation of WP:NLT, perhaps you need to clear that up. I can't see this board being able to solve/stop the problems on the article. Dougweller (talk) 10:35, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
Agree, this looks more like a case of editor behaviour that should be discussed at WP:ANI. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 10:37, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
Spotter1 is clearly a sock. Editors in good standing do not forget their passwords after two days of editing, and they do not start their Wikipedia career with walls of text in highly controversial areas. Kenfree was not editing for two years before jumping on RT, though I give them a benefit of doubt and consider them as a pretty new editor in good standing.--Ymblanter (talk) 10:44, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
I took Kenfree to ANI recently, no result. Not really surprising, yesterday I had a lot of difficulties at ANI to get an (unrelated) quacking sock blocked.--Ymblanter (talk) 10:46, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
There you go again. That's an obvious oversimplication this says it all, lol. Not even a minimal standard is achievable. Go on defend your opinipedia that is degenerating into a political tool!.Spotter 1 (talk) 15:46, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

As an uninvolved editor, I see one glaring issue with the quoted lead WP:BOMBARD, please see WP:CITEBUNDLE to improve appearance of the lead. That being said, please see WP:LEAD, the first sentence is to define the scope of the article. The entire lead section is suppose to summarize the content of the article. As the lead section is suppose to summarize the rest of the article, one rule of thumb that I have heard thrown about is after the first sentence (or paragraph if necessary) defines the subject, there should be about one sentence per section of the body of the article. This helps provide a summary of the article to a reader who doesn't want to delve into the body. Therefore, if there, in regards to the question of content (not editor actions), is a section about RT being called a propaganda outlet, than it should be included somewhere in the lead section. It should be neutrally worded and well sourced. From a casual glance it appears to be well sourced in the lead, and if there is not a section about the statement, there appears to be sufficient reliable sources to create one.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 17:01, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

Your point about the evident "bombardment" and failure to bundle citations in this dreadful sentence is certainly constructive, however, you seem to have entirely missed the point about the difference between accusations of "being a propaganda outlet" (though this is a loaded term), for which there are several sources, and being accused of practicing "disinformation," for which there is only one source (out of the five appended) that even mentions such an accusation, and this by a US State Department employee who, after all, is paid to make such accusations (and who provides no proof) [please re-read my detailed critique of these sources in my "response to Marek's defenses" above]. And no, there is NOT a section on RT "disinformation," so please respond to the question raised in the first place, as to whether such a poorly sourced opinion therefore belongs in the lede (or anywhere else, without some neutral balancing, which was attempted by me and reverted as usual by the disruptive editors in question). Kenfree (talk) 04:13, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
"being accused of practicing "disinformation," for which there is only one source (out of the five appended)". Will. You. Please. Stop. Lying. I already pointed out in DETAIL how at least four of the five sources say directly that it practices "disinformation" ("misinformation" if you want to be pedantic), and the last one says it indirectly, right above. As in, earlier in this thread. And then in another half a dozen instances previously. This is a really really obnoxious way to waste other people's time. I do not appreciate it. Wikipedia does not appreciate it. It's dishonest. Stop. Quit it. Desist. Just repeating something over and over again does NOT make it true when there's obvious evidence laying right there on the table that it's false. Volunteer Marek  04:26, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
You either failed to read my detailed responses (above) debunking each of your bogus claims, or you are choosing to ignore them. In either case, your response is (characteristically) unconstructive. Neutral observers will hopefully take the time to see for themselves whether these sources have any relevance to the "accused of disinformation" allegation. Kenfree (talk) 05:38, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
For RightCowLeftCoast's edification, this POV pushing from Kenfree and Spotter 1 is why the article has escalated to suffering from WP:BOMBARD and the inability by other editors to move ahead and clean up the article in order for it to adhere to the fundamentals of a good article. If there weren't such a sinkhole of editor energy and time, there'd be energy and time to clear it up. They (and others recently attracted by current affairs) have created a catch 22 situation where it's virtually impossible to stay on top of vandalism and POV pushing on a multitude of articles surrounding the events in Ukraine alone. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 05:40, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
Ms.Harpy , ever true to her well-chosen moniker, delights in innuendo. The question here is about the content of the lede of this article, and whether it satisfies Wikipedia's NPOV requirement, and all she can do is issue more and more personal attacks on the editors who wish the question examined. For shame! Not one word from her on the subject at hand: exactly how do the currently appended citations verify the allegation that RT is accused of "disinformation?" Nor will we hear anything of relevance from her on this, because these citations are off the mark, as previously demonstrated. Kenfree (talk) 19:32, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
How is it "POV pushing" to want to remove accusations of disinformation and propaganda from the lead? It isn't neutral to add stuff like this in the lead just as it wouldn't be neutral to say something like "RT is a highly acclaimed and immensely popular source of information on Ukraine's politics." The users just want to remove opinionated stuff from the lead. Read "Media bias in the United States" and "CNN#Controversy", etc. Why doesn't the lead section of the CNN article say something like "This is common practice for CNN to report selectively, repetitively, and falsely in order to sway public opinion in favor of direct American aggression in the Middle East. CNN's journalistic ethics are systematically degraded." Similarly to other articles that don't say stuff like this in the lead and have special "Controversy" sections for this instead, the RT article must too. --Moscow Connection (talk) 16:05, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
There is sufficient reliable sources that mention the point of view that the subject of this discussion, RT, is viewed as a propaganda outlet for the Russian government. For instance there are these sources (out of many out there) here:
As I stated prior, if there is not content in the body of the article, the sentence in question in this discussion should not be there until a section of criticism about this is created per WP:LEAD; however, a neutrally worded criticism section that is well referenced (which as shown above is entirely possible) can easily be created, using references already in the article and the references I have provided, and the sentence in the lead in question retained.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 18:29, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
The Western media is not a reliable source during this practically new Cold War. Read the Russian press, it's much better and much more neutral.
the sentence in the lead in question retained — I don't get it. You are talking about neutrality and you want to keep the sentence saying "RT has been accused of providing disinformation" which is the apotheosis of how you should not write a neutral article. This sentence is so clearly an attack on the subject of the article. It's just so obvious that someone who wrote this hates RT and wants readers to hate it. Something like this is simply inacceptable in the lead. (By the way... I looked at the introduction of the article about "Mein Kampf", and it just states bare facts... Strange...) --Moscow Connection (talk) 20:26, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
well, the Western media are essentially the only reliable sources which we have. Russian TV which shows a border crossing between Belarus and Poland with a giant queue and commenting that these are Ukrainian refugees waiting to enter Russia is not. I do not see how it is negotiable.--Ymblanter (talk) 20:46, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
I have no idea about the particular incident (link?),
but it was probably just like when a British newspaper called The Times used a photo of an armed soldier in Kashmir to illustrate an article about the Ukrainian elections and the description said, "More than five million people could not vote as they were in territories held by pro-Russian separatists" [1]. And I can't see how it is not negotiable. You just stated your personal (and emotional) opinion. --Moscow Connection (talk) 04:57, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
"The Western media is not a reliable source during this practically new Cold War" - feel free to float that proposal at WP:RSN. Also, you seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of what "neutral" means. "Neutral" does NOT mean "no critical statements are allowed". "Neutral" means it accurately reflects reliable sources. Which does here. Western or not. Volunteer Marek  23:00, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

I've read through the sources so I could contribute to resolving this dispute, and I agree with VolunteerMarek. The sources say what he says they say. They do not say what the OP says they say. I have no prior involvement with the RT page, or with any of the editors in this dispute. So I hope I am sufficiently "neutral" to satisfy the objectors. Djcheburashka (talk) 22:52, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

LOL, you're about as "neutral" as a fox in a henhouse. Stating that A is right and B is wrong is not constructive. If the citations in question really do demonstrate that RT is accused of "disinformation" then you could, as Volunteer Marek has abjectly failed to do, show us WHERE in these citations this relevant information is to be found. But saying that it's there without any quotes from these sources only demonstrates your obvious partisanship. Kenfree (talk) 19:32, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

There are several sources that say RT gives false information. Perhaps there is objection to the word 'disinformation', since by precise definition, it can imply it is done deliberately, yet the sources do say misinformation, and other ways of saying pushes false information. It is harder to prove why something is done, while the sources appear to believe this.

As for the Department of State and John Kerry, we say, people have accused or people say This rather than, so and so is This (for neutrality, avoid Wikipedia's voice). This is documented by CSPAN, Business Insider, (two reliable third-party sources) along with the primary sources of Department of State and the blog. The reason for using the source of Business Insider was, because it was the latest that included the whole ordeal (from spoken word to the blog). There are a few other completely different sources that say it propagates false information. I propose dropping the word disinformation and replacing it with false information. Also, to leave RT shows commentary favorable to Russia and foreign policy in the lead, with the mention of propaganda. My concern was removing the statement of the mention of it propagates or publishes false information from a section lead or lead. - Sidelight12 Talk 00:19, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

The term "disinformation" does not just "imply" that false information is knowingly propagated as true, this what the term MEANS. Therefore, unless someone wishes to propose (and demonstrate) that this is what RT is doing, then the term is not only inaccurate but libelous. Mutatis mutandis, the same can be said for the term "spreads false information," where the implication that this is being done deliberately is unmistakable. Demonstrating intent is all-important when using terms like these to characterize actions. It is not a side issue. Kenfree (talk) 19:32, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
I won't argue on the term disinformation, so that word was removed. The claim about 'false information' is supported. Spreads doesn't necessarily imply deliberate, but this wording can be made softer. - Sidelight12 Talk 05:48, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

This dispute has been going on for 11 days. Does anyone but the OP disagree that there is a consensus now? Djcheburashka (talk) 04:23, 11 November 2014 (UTC

I disagree. Cause any allegations and accusations by political opponents shouldn't be in the lead and should be moved into a special section. Wikipedia is intended as a politically neutral website and what we see here is an attempt to use it for propaganda. --Moscow Connection (talk) 04:57, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
User:Djcheburashka|Djcheburashka demonstrates total ignorance of the term "consensus" by asking such a foolish question. How can there be consensus when there is open debate by several parties on both sides? Even if there was only one party disagreeing, there would still not be "consensus," only majority agreement. Please STOP ABUSING THIS TERM! Thanks! Kenfree (talk) 19:32, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
Since the vast majority of reliable sources agree that RT is a propaganda tool, it should be in the lede. You are free to think that all western sources are biased, and Russian TV is neutral, but this has to go through the reliable source noticeboard first.--Ymblanter (talk) 15:47, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
The vast majority of reliable sources do not say that RT is a propaganda tool. You have not demonstrated that. What can be demonstrated is that CERTAIN WESTERN sources characterize it thusly, but other sources, even Western sources, disagree. Of course, when I tried to list one of the latter in this controversial section in order to provide some balance, you and/or another editor who disagree with you deleted it. So for you, the only "reliable" sources are those who, like you, dismiss RT as a propaganda tool, whereas those who disagree are, ipso facto, unreliable. But that, Ymblanter, is not NPOV. That is your prejudice showing. Someone with administrative privileges should show more care to protect neutrality, and be less concerned with having a personal POV insinuated in the lede of this page. Kenfree (talk) 19:32, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
It is really unfortunately that you continue disruption even after it became clear that the majority disagree with you. Please drop the stick. We are wasting too much time for you, and you are risking getting blocked sooner that you could expect.--Ymblanter (talk) 21:06, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
Ah yes, I in other words, if I maintain and express my own opinion on this matter (which, please note, is taking place in a discussion I, and not you, initiated), you will impose punitive sanctions on me. That's clear enough. I see that this was done with another editor you reverted, so I suppose I am next on your hit list. Well, that's one way to deal with dissent, I suppose, but somehow I still get the impression that Wikipedia policy supports talking out differences, rather than (ab)using administrative privileges to enforce one's opinion, so I'll take my chances. Thanks all the same for your unambiguous warning. Kenfree (talk) 23:39, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
I think you're referring to this source, . I don't know if truth-out is reliable, but the rule of notability is for topics to get their own page (which is not), and it is especially helpful if the person mentioned has their own page (which he does). For this, the only issue is whether or not truth-out is reliable. If its reliable it can go in, but for a lead mention there needs to be more reliable refs backing that claim, and they are probably in the article. Then the specific claim summary goes into the lead. - Sidelight12 Talk 21:22, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that is the source, but as I've demonstrated, the claim that RT has been accused of disinformation only includes a single relevant source to this effect (despite adding four more which do NOT support the claim), so following from this rule of yours, since it only has one RELEVANT citation, it does not belong in the lead either, correct? The alternative is that a double standard of source requirements is being applied, which is my impression, and therefore the impetus for this notice here in the first place. Kenfree (talk) 23:39, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Earlier I had provided multiple published reliable sources that call RT a propaganda publisher, that is not to say that it is fact, but it is one verified POV. Per WP:NEU & WP:BALANCE, it should be included. As someone else wrote above, it should not be said that RT is a propaganda publisher of the Russian government, but that source X writes that... and source Y writes that ... this view is verified, and repeated enough that it should be given some weight in the article. Obviously it should be neutrally worded and well sourced, but it should not be excluded, as advocated by only two of a multitude of editors involved in this discussion.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 22:10, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

RT has certainly been described as providing Russian state propaganda, and by enough high quality sources that we must relay this information to the reader. Scholars at Sonoma State University wrote that "The Russian government funds the news network Russia Today (RT), which has been called the propaganda arm of Russia in the US."[2] This sort of wording agrees with the position expressed by RightCowLeftCoast. Binksternet (talk) 23:01, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

I've removed the claim about "lacking impartiality" from the lead, and inserted a claim that proponents disagree. I believe there are enough RS to support both claims, but the lacking impartiality claim wasn't really needed for the lead. Two sources about proponents who disagree now back that statement; I ask for people to add more appropriate sources to that rather than delete it. I moved the rest of your edit into the subsection of the article, the only worry is if truth-out is reliable, which I won't decide. Much of this is explained in the edit summary. The claim for false information is supported, since you believe it is not, what do you think those five references behind it say? I believe in truth, after that, I believe in NPOV, which luckily for my perspective, a lot of references support what I believe to be true. - Sidelight12 Talk 05:48, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Well you realize by now, I'm sure, that your good faith edits were all reverted by user:Volunteer Marek, right? In fact, when he reverted two more times, when I tried to restore your edits, I notifed the edit warring noticeboard about his behavior.[3] So all of your above efforts are for naught (needless to add, no action was taken against that disruptive editor). In answer to your question, four out of five of those currently appended citations only contextualize RT in the larger framework of the international "information war," declaring the RT is supportive of Russian positions. Such citations COULD be used to support the claim that RT "has been accused of providing commentary favorable to Russian foreign policy," to be sure, but that's a far cry from accusing it of disinformation (the deliberate broadcasting of information known to be false). Not one of those four articles makes any such allegation. The fifth, which does, only reports that a single US State Department employee blogged something to this effect (without providing any specifics) last April. Really, if an equivalent Russian Bureaucrat made a similar, nebulous charge against, say, CNN or NBC, would we expect to find that reported in the lede under THEIR Wikipedia entries? This is just an attempt to use the RT entry as anti-RT propaganda.. it has nothing to do with responsible editorial behavior. Kenfree (talk) 01:35, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
No, the sources actually say "disinformation". Quotes have been provided. Explanations have been given. You're not listening. Volunteer Marek  01:48, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm not listening because the sound of one hand clapping makes no noise. Want me to listen? Simple: FINALLY respond with actual QUOTES from any of these four sources that actually allege that RT practices "disinformation" (not "misinformation," "propaganda," etc., but DISINFORMATION, as defined by Wikipedia). Your abject failure to produce such quotes is the only sound I, or anyone else, can hear, Marek. Your silence is deafening! Kenfree (talk) 02:16, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
The quotes have already been provided above. See also WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT.  Volunteer Marek  03:02, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: "prominent" controversies should be summarized in articles' introductions per WP:LEAD. EllenCT (talk) 01:09, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

RT engages in disinformation

Here's a list of sources saying RT has published disinformation. Feel free to add more entries. Binksternet (talk) 03:26, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

They seem pretty much all opinion pieces, which are not reliable sources for facts. I could put together a similar list of opinion pieces saying that global warming is a hoax. Accuracy in Media has itself promoted conspiracy theories. Writers for The American Conservative, the National Review and The Washington Times, hardly good sources, consider the "liberal mainstream media" as anti-American propaganda too. The best summary of these sources is that right-wing sources in the U.S. do not like RT or Russians for that matter. TFD (talk) 06:32, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Comment: there used to be a Controversies and criticisms of RT-article, but it was redirected. Maybe it is an idea to bring it back to life?Jeff5102 (talk) 11:44, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

I think that "controversies" articles, or even separate "controversies" sections within one article, are an imperfect solution. They're better than nothing, but the ideal is to integrate the criticism so that our content as a whole is neutral, rather than being divided into pro and anti areas.
Right now we have a bigger mess to clean up: The RT (TV network) article itself isn't too bad, but we have a lot of other articles which cite RT and other Kremlin outlets as though they were reliable sources. bobrayner (talk) 00:30, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
I could put together a similar list of opinion pieces saying that global warming is a hoax - no, you couldn't. You could NOT compile a list of sources such as WSJ, State Department, Boston Globe, Atlantic, The Wire, The Guardian, Christian Science Monitor, BBC, Variety, Washington Times, Columbia Journalism Review, etc., which state "global warming is a hoax". You've basically just proved the opposite conclusion than the one you tried to prove.Volunteer Marek (talk) 00:38, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Safety of electronic cigarettes Environmental impact section

Here is a link to the section in question. link Here is a link to the Talk page, it ony has one discussion, and its on this section. Perfect Example of Bloat

This is a weight question. The whole section is sourced from a single journal article that raises questions for further study. There are no other known journal articles on this subject. It is in a medical section so it needs WP:MEDRS sources, this source is considered reliable as its in a peer reviewed journal. It is full of opinions, only one fact, that about some companies having a battery recycle program. There is no real dispute, its to early and no other studies have been done. There is no coverage of the article.

  • The question is, should this be included in the article at all?
  • If so should it be given a prominent place like its own section?
  • Should this be boiled down to a sentence or two and place in the article in a less prominent place?

Thanks AlbinoFerret 06:30, 23 November 2014 (UTC) Just commenting to stop automatic archiving. AlbinoFerret 21:05, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

Is there something wrong with this question, or a reason its been ignored? AlbinoFerret 19:35, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

Recently, there have been so many complaints concerning the electronic cigarette articles, that it is obvious that the topic area is plagued with POV pushers on both sides of the debates. Commenting here is sort of pointless... because a) those editors who are interested in neutrality issues are probably already aware that the article needs attention (and are already engaged at the article talk page)... and b) no matter what the rest of us say, there will be POV zealots on both sides who are not going to listen. Controvercial POV magnet topics like this need Admin supervision... and many (if not most) of the editors who watch this noticeboard and comment are not admins. Blueboar (talk) 20:12, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the answer. I can understand not wanting to get in the middle of a bad situation. Not answering the questions though may lead to more problems as it doesnt help understanding of the core concepts. I think a lot of the problems could be solved with a little more question asking and a little less instant action. AlbinoFerret 20:24, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

Looking at the review in question, this statement found in it raises new questions on the weight of its conclusions.


Environmental considerations due to e-cigarette manufacturing No studies specifically evaluated the environmental impacts of e-cigarette manufacturing

This should raise questions on weight as it shows its the only paper of its kind. AlbinoFerret 17:10, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Center for Governmental Studies

There's a discussion going on about the neutrality of Center for Governmental Studies. I think the article is promotional in tone and uses too many flowery adjectives. For example, "It created innovative political and media solutions," "Empower citizens and help them to become more engaged in their communities," and "supplying fresh analysis." These types of phrases read to me like text from a group's own page or press release. Thoughts appreciated. Thanks. Safehaven86 (talk) 21:36, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

The article is well-sourced and the subject is notable, but even so, I agree Safehaven86 that the tone is unnecessarily promotional. I'm sure there must be a way of keeping present sources and describing the center objectively without writing in such an effusive manner. Removing flowery descriptions won't do any injustice to the center's description and will certainly be more believable, from an encyclopedic perspective. Unfortunately, many articles on think tanks look like they're written by people too close to the organizations being described, and become advertisements, so CGS isn't alone in this. -Darouet (talk) 16:51, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the input, Darouet. I agree with you that the article is well-sourced and notable, but more to the point, so is the very language and information being raised here as "flowery" or "promotional". That same language can be found in critical independent sources, so while I agree some descriptions are of a positive tone, I disagree that they rise to the level of unduly promotional or effusive. That said, I would welcome your assistance in conveying the same factual information in a manner you would consider more objective. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 18:02, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Per Wikipedia policy, is there anything wrong with a quote containing the word "cult" in the lead?

Per Wikipedia policy, is there anything wrong with a quote containing the word "cult" in the lead? Please see what I am talking about HERE.VictoriaGraysonTalk 18:41, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

How many times have we discussed the use of the word 'cult' in this context? If the word is used by relevant reliable sources, and if it is made clear (as seems to be the case here) that this is an opinion, based on a legitimate analysis, there is no fundamental objection to using the word in an article - and accordingly, since the lede is supposed to summarise the article body, there is no fundamental objection to using the word in the lede either. Whether it is appropriate to do so in specific circumstances is a WP:WEIGHT issue only. Wikipedia does not have a 'list of words that cannot be used in the lede', and it would be entirely inappropriate to do so. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:55, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
We have an editor there who is misstating the outcome of the last round of this, or alternatively arguing that it's OK in the body but not the lead. Frankly, I agree this doesn't have to come back here again other than that another editor (with a COI problem, by the way) refuses to drop the stick. Montanabw(talk) 23:04, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

I agree with both AndyTheGrump and Montanabw. Montanabw is referring to @Prasangika37: by the way.VictoriaGraysonTalk 23:05, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Per Wikipedia policy, is there anything wrong with a quote containing the word "cult" in the lead? No. It is a word to be careful about, but if reliably sourced, to an expert in the field, properly attributed and representative of a significant portion of the third party views, it is fine. All four criteria appear to be fully met. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 23:16, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, RPOD. I hope that settles the matter. (I fear it won't, but hope springs eternal). Montanabw(talk) 00:43, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
@Elnon, HiLo48, Adjwilley, John Carter, The Four Deuces: Having one request and getting two opinions after having 5 people negate the point of view is a bit ridiculous... There isnt anything wrong with having it in the lead per say, but Dodin isn't an expoert in the field and there isn't a significant poriton of hte third party views. Please stop trying to go around a conclusion we already came to. @TheRedPenOfDoom: @AndyTheGrump: see the recent discussion here--> Prasangika37 (talk) 16:51, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
What do you mean Dodin isn't an expert in the field? Thats just false.VictoriaGraysonTalk 16:52, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
Dodin is a self-proclaimed 'tibetologist' (Who decides someone is a tibetologist anyway? What about that makes someone an expert when it is self-defined?) All he did was co-edit a book.. and is alleged to have lectured at single university. There is nothing about his credentials as a scholar >anywhere< online. He also was the director of the Tibet Information Network. Prasangika37 (talk) 17:01, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
I have done some research about Thierry Dodin. His bibliography in the field of Tibetan studies amounts to two items : in 2001, he co-edited with Heinz Räther Imagining Tibet. Perception, Projections and Fantasies (Wisdom Publications), a collection of essays in which he also co-authored the final chapter "The Myth of Tibet Through History" ; in 2008, he was one of the co-authors in Anne-Marie Blondeau, Katia Buffetrille and Wei Jing (eds.) Authenticating Tibet: Answers to China’s 100 Questions (University of California Press). On these two accounts he is called or calls himself a tibetologist but no indication is available as to his having a university diploma in Tibetan studies or language (apart from his having "taught in the past at the University of Bonn"). There is no page to his name in the English and the French Wikipedias. In 2012, he gave a talk on the "Gobalization of Tibetan Buddhism" at the Sakyamuni Dharma Centre in Malaysia, one the Dalai Lama's Buddhist centres there. In May 2014, the Central Tibetan Administration website published an interview of Thierry Dodin on "The Dorje Shugden Conflict", in which he is introduced as "the executive director of Tibet Information Network (TIN)" and "the founder and director of TibetInfoNet". In the light of these credentials, Dodin doesn't strike me as a neutral observer, hence his use of the word cult should not appear in a prominent position in the DS-related pages. --Elnon (talk) 10:24, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
The question here seems to be itself transparently biased, as it seems to take the response for granted. Of course there is nothing inherently wrong with using the word in the lead of some articles. The question is regarding the appropriateness of the word and the context. It seems to my eyes to be, unfortunately, a continuation of a tendency I regret to say I have seen for some time in the op to the effect of that individual seeming to more or less take their personal biases for granted as the ultimate answer and more or less unarguable. Seeming to perhaps misuse this venue to seek an answer which is so obviously already known, rather than dealing with the more substantial issues of whether such usage is appropriate in an individual case, could reasonably be seen as problematic editing perhaps deserving of some sort of review at a noticeboard. Rather than continue discussion at this thread, I think it would make sense if the relevant parties worked to get together a neutral question which directly addresses the content of the dispute in question, rather than the leading question with which this thread was started, and seek input through an RfC. John Carter (talk) 17:03, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
I like the idea of that John Carter. Thanks for the suggestion. Can we get some general support then Montanabw and VictoriaGrayson? I'll remove the point from the lead until we get a conclusion on an RFC. Prasangika37 (talk) 17:23, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
Thats fine.VictoriaGraysonTalk 17:28, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
This is the second trip to a drama board for this issue, and in the meantime, I have restored the removed material (it was clearly and cleanly sourced). What we have here, simply put, is a member of a cult trying to remove information from an article that says the organization is a cult. This is pretty much the same as for Scientology, just a much smaller group with less press coverage and fewer adherents. Prasangika37 has a serious COI problem that s/he does not disclose, appears to be affiliates with the Audrey37 sockmaster and I for one am sick and tired of this endless nonsense. I started out neutral on this issue, I am now quite frustrated that this issue is not clearly settled. The NKT has all the hallmarks of a cult and has been described as such by the mainstream Tibetan Buddhist community. But if the drama must be continued endlessly for another six months, then carry on... Montanabw(talk) 21:33, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
You should take it to WP:NPOVN. There is no question that the person in the interview called it a cult. That is the full extent of rs - is there an rs saying that the statement was made by the person who was interviewed. Well there is. Whether it should be included is a matter of weight. TFD (talk) 03:08, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

The Western Schism in boxes

There is no edit war yet, so let’s see if I can get some consensus on my opinion.


For those who do not know: the Western Schism beganin 1378, after the death of Pope Gregory XI. Urban VI was elected and took his residence in Rome. Dissatisfied cardinals chose Clement VII, took residence in Avignon: the city where the popes had their residence from 1309 to 1377. The popes got a somewhat equal support in the world. Thus, in the period from 1378 to 1417, there were rival claimants to the title of pope: one in Rome, one in Avignon, and, after the Council of Pisa (1409), one in Pisa. All the three lines got considerable support, but in the end, the schism was ended, and the Vatican rejected the Avignon and Pisan lines of popes as “antipopes.”

My edits

My idea was to make this visible in the succession-boxes . I tried to be neutral, and as such I added the Avignon pope in the succession box and infobox of Pope Gregory XI., without taking a stance on the ‘correct’ pope (see here . Thus, no pope was called an antipope, but rather Clement VII (Avignon claimant). This was in line with the other infoboxes of popes during the western schism. I still believe I did the right thing. It was neutral, so that Wikipedia doesn’t take sides in this centuries-old conflict. Furthermore, It was in line with the template, which doesn’t call any pope during the schism an antipope:

Reverts and discussion

However, this was reverted by User:GoodDay. When I took the issue to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Catholicism, he argued: “the Vatican excludes these anti-popes from the papal line. That's why they're called anti-popes.” (see here) Someone else proposed an RfC, and wanted to wait for the right moment for it. That was a good idea.

Further edits

Unfortunately, the next thing User:GoodDay. did, was editing the infoboxes of the other antipopes edit the info-boxes of (anti)-popes-articles so that they comply to his own opinion (like this one, this one and this one). In short: what he did was changing the neutral description for the popes (like '(Rome claimant)' and '(Avignon claimant)') into a “Pope” and “Antipope.” In this way, the articles now imply that the ones in Rome always were the ‘real’ popes, and the others were merely illegal, marginal pretenders(something like Lambert Simnel). Thus the Wikipedia-article now complies to the Vatican’s POV, instead of a neutral one. I protested against this. User:GoodDay responded with “If you can get a consensus for what your want, then those articles will be reverted.” Thus here I am. My question is: am I right when I believe that we should treat the popes during the Western Schism neutral? Or is it up to the Vatican for how we treat pope-related topics, just like George Lucas is the authority on the truth on the Star Wars-universe?

Best regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 09:28, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

Note the article names

Notice the article names of popes & anti-popes of that era, as a clue. Jeff5102 edit would be acceptable if we had (for example) Pope Gregory XII (Roman claiment) & Pope Benedict XIII (Avignon claiment), instead of Pope Gregory XII & Antipope Benedict XIII. You see, even the article titles reflect the Vatican's views. GoodDay (talk) 10:06, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

...and it was you who preferred it that way. See the discussion at Talk:Antipope Benedict XIII. I agree that the antipope as article name is good for clarity-reasons, but not for describing the whole picture. After all, other sources use the lenghy “of Avignon/Rome obedience” as describtion. See for example here , here and here.
And like the second source states: While generally recognizing the Roman line of Urban VI as the legitimate popes, the Catholic Encyclopedia refers to the Avignonese "residence of nine popes, Clement V .... Benedict XIII." Butler's says, "Because of their anomalous position this Clement VII and Benedict XIII are not referred to as antipopes but 'called popes in their obedience.'" Although I do not think the website will pass WP:RS, I do believe it is worth mentioning.
Regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 10:39, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
It's likely best to allow others to input, here. You & I have already made our positions quite clear. PS: It's strange that we're having somewhat the same disagreement, as was occuring back then (1378-1417) :) GoodDay (talk) 10:48, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
I agree with that, and your comment here below. PS. Twenty-five years ago, I was a kid that went on holiday to Avignon, which lead to my interest in the discussed topic. Many years later, this indirectly lead to a heavy dispute with someone in Canada. You have to agree that this digital world sometimes leads to bizarre situations. :) Best regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 11:08, 10 December 2014 (UTC)


I'll accept whatever the board members decide. GoodDay (talk) 10:57, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Wikipedia does not really care what the "official" terms of the Vatican might be... we would use the terms that are used by the majority of reliable sources (especially academic historians). So... the question is this: What terms are used by the historians? From my own reading, I know that many historians do use the term "Anti Pope" ... but whether a majority do so, I don't know (we would have to look at lots and lots of sources to determine if there is a pattern). Blueboar (talk) 13:31, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I find the first sentence here, "There is no edit war yet, so let’s see if I can get some consensus on my opinion," somewhat difficult, because it seems to be saying that what is being sought is more consensus on "my opinion" than consensus on the issue in question. Having said that, I know that there are at least a few independent reference works relating to the papacy in general as their primary topic and I would think that maybe the best way to resolve this is to consult them and see how they describe the individuals involved. If anyone with access to the databanks offered by the Wikipedia Library can check what terminology the reference sources offered there use most heavily or frequently for such individuals, that would probably be the best way to determine how we would describe them here. I would assume that the more specialized the reference source is to the particular field of the papacy or leadership of the Western Church or whatever you want to call it would be perhaps the best indicator of what article title would be preferred, but it would be reasonable to consult as many as possible for their titles of articles relating to the Avignon popes as individuals to determine what the academic consensus for the titles for such articles is. John Carter (talk) 00:17, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment from an uninvolved editor. I did some study in the past on church history. None of the books I have read called them anti-popes. I double checked the copies of A History of the Christian Church, by Lars P. Qualben (1942) and Sketches from the History of the Church by G.E. Hageman (1950) I think this is because it isnt coming from a catholic perspective which imho probably wishes this block of time never happened. At the time there were two popes, two councils of cardinals, etc. It took a council to boot them all out and install someone new. Labelling one of the two an anti pope, to me sounds like revisionist history coming from one source with a vested interest in making sure everything looks like its perfect, the catholic church. AlbinoFerret 17:32, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Clarification for those less familar with papal history. The Avignon Papacy and the Avignon claiments during the Western Schism, are two seperate different groups of individuals. The former being the popes who resided in Avignon, France. The latter being anti-popes residing in Avignon, France :) GoodDay (talk) 01:31, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

  • The term "Anti-pope" is at this point historical, and while it was originally meant to imply illegitimacy, today a historian won't read the term and assume that. Nevertheless there's no reason to write "Anti-pope" in these info boxes: that they were called as much can be described in the articles themselves. Generally I agree that "Rome / Avignon claimant" is better, more neutral in this case. -Darouet (talk) 23:35, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

In agreement

I've made numerious edits to the Western Schism era popes infoboxes & succession boxes, aswell as those of the antipopes of that era, which comform to Jeff5102's arguments. Having thought over & read over Jeff's side of the discusson, I've come to agree with him. Furthermore, I think that fact that the article titles remain Pope for the Roman claiments & Antipope for the Avignon/Pisan claiments, is a compromise in of itself. GoodDay (talk) 04:29, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

"Stealth invasion"

I made a note above about a dispute concerning the term "stealth invasion" in the lead of our article, 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine. The issue has been extensively discussed here. Unfortunately, above, only two people commented, both already involved in the dispute.

I know it's a pain to have to read about / comment on these very controversial subjects, but honestly I think it would help a lot if a number of experienced, uninvolved editors could comment on the neutrality of the term as used. The issue is whether the term should be used to describe reactions to the conflict, should be used in the lead, and/or should be used in the first sentence of the lead. -Darouet (talk) 17:59, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

As I'm involved in the discussion of content Darouet is asking for uninvolved editors to comment on, I've already expressed that it would be greatly appreciated if others would weigh in (per my comment in the previous attempt to get the ball rolling, but which has gone stale #Russian actions in Ukraine a "stealth invasion?". It's not an issue simply plaguing this article alone, but is equally applicable to the many articles dealing with high profile current affairs issues. Could we possibly induce other editors to spend a little time in thinking over the broader ramifications? Thank you. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 01:02, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Being a very slow reader, I find that ~3,000-word talk discussion daunting. I (and probably others more experienced than I) would benefit from some CliffNotes, or perhaps a precisely crafted RfC. At first glance it occurs to me that "stealth invasion" has enough RS to be included but inclusion in the first sentence seems undue. Sorry I can't be of more help. ‑‑Mandruss  01:15, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I do not think this issue (just two words) requires anyone's attention any more than has been already discussed on talk page of the article (link above). The page is fine, nothing was "plagued", and no, this expression was not used on other pages. Posting this matter two times during just a few days on this noticeboard was excessive in my opinion. My very best wishes (talk) 05:47, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Hi Mandruss, the issue really boils down to a choice between two proposed first sentences:
  1. "In late February 2014, Russia began to send unmarked troops and military equipment into Ukraine, following the February 2014 Ukrainian revolution and Euromaidan movement, including the contentious ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych."
  2. "In late February 2014, Russia began to send unmarked troops and military equipment into Ukraine in what has been termed a stealth invasion, following the February 2014 Ukrainian revolution and Euromaidan movement, including the contentious ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych."
I and some other have maintained that the term "stealth invasion," which appears a second time later in the lead, is non-neutral, unnecessary for an initial objective description, and belongs in a "reactions" section of the article body (maybe in the lead). Other editors - a majority editing the article - would rather keep the "stealth invasion" term in the first sentence of the article. -Darouet (talk) 06:50, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Sex offender and Adam Walsh Act

Hi, folks. I’m hoping to have some eyes at the Sex offender and Adam Walsh Act pages.

The basic issue is around false impressions of parity. The Adam Walsh Act is one of the laws passed in an effort to combat rates of repeat crimes among sex offenders. However, there is nearly unanimous evidence and opinion among researchers and professional societies that the law is ineffective and likely counter-productive. The RS’s presented demonstrating this view include:

  • Ackerman, A. R., Harris, A. J., Levenson, J. S., & Zgoba, K. (2011). Who are the people in your neighborhood? A descriptive analysis of individuals on public sex offender registries. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 34, 149–159.
  • Agudo, S. E. (2008). Irregular passion: The unconstitutionality and inefficacy of sex offender residency laws. Northwestern Law Review, 102, 307–341.
  • Berlin, F. S., Malin, M., & Dean, S. (1991). Effects of statutes requiring psychiatrists to report suspected sexual abuse of children. American Journal of Psychiatry, 148, 449–453.
  • California Sex Offender Management Task Force. (2007). Making California communities safer: Evidence-based strategies for effective sex offender management. Retrieved from California State Association of Counties website: California Communities Safer -Evidenced Based Strategies for Effective Sex Offender Management.pdf
  • Duwe, G., Donnay, W., & Tewksbury, R. (2008). Does residential proximity matter? A geographic analysis of sex offense recidivism. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 35, 484–504.
  • Fox, Kathryn J. (28 February 2012). "Incurable Sex Offenders, Lousy Judges & The Media: Moral Panic Sustenance in the Age of New Media". American Journal of Criminal Justice 38 (1): 160–181.
  • Freeman, N. J., & Sandler, J. C. (2009). The Adam Walsh Act: A False Sense of Security or an Effective Public Policy Initiative? Criminal Justice Policy Review, 21, 31–49.
  • Harris, A. J., Lobanov-Rostovsky, C., & Levenson, J. S. (2010). Widening the Net: The Effects of Transitioning to the Adam Walsh Act's Federally Mandated Sex Offender Classification System. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 37, 503–519.
  • Kansas Sex Offender Policy Board. (2007). January 8, 2007 report. Retrieved from
  • Koch, Wendy (26 February 2007). "Sex-offender residency laws get second look". USA Today.
  • Lancaster, Roger (20 February 2013). "Panic Leads to Bad Policy on Sex Offenders". The New York Times.
  • Langan, Patrick; Schmitt, Erica; Durose, Matthew (November 2003). "Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994". U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Levenson, J. S., & D'Amora, D. A. (2007). Social Policies Designed to Prevent Sexual Violence: The Emperor's New Clothes? Criminal Justice Policy Review, 18, 168–199.
  • Levenson, J. S., Brannon, Y. N., Fortney, T., & Baker, J. (2007). Public Perceptions About Sex Offenders and Community Protection Policies. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 7, doi:10.1111/j.1530-2415.2007.00119.x.
  • Levin, Sam (5 September 2013). "Missouri Sex Offenders: "Women Against Registry" Says Labels Unfairly Destroy Lives". Riverfront Times.
  • Maguire, Mary; Singer, Jennie Kaufman (4 December 2010). "A False Sense of Security: Moral Panic Driven Sex Offender Legislation". Critical Criminology 19 (4): 301–312.
  • Mansnerus, Laura (29 May 2005). "ON POLITICS; Stoking 'Moral Panic' Over Sex Offenders". The New York Times.
  • Mcalinden, Anne-Marie (1 May 2006). "Managing risk: From regulation to the reintegration of sexual offenders". Criminology and Criminal Justice 6 (2): 201.
  • Rogers, Laura (July 30, 2007). "Comments on Proposed Guidelines to Interpret and Implement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA)". Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers.
  • Spohn, Ryan (31 July 2013). "Nebraska Sex Offender Registry Study Final Report". University of Nebraska - Omaha. p. 51. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  • Tewksbury, R., & Jennings, W. G. (2010). Assessing the impact of sex offender registration and community notification on sex-offending trajectories. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 37, 570–582.
  • Walker, Bela (19 January 2011). "Essay: Deciphering Risk: Sex Offender Statutes and Moral Panic in a Risk Society". The University of Baltimore Law Review 40(2).
  • Wright, Richard G. (2014). Sex offender laws : failed policies, new directions (2nd ed.). Springer. p. 64.
  • Zandbergen, P. A., Levenson, J. S., & Hart, T. C. (2010). Residential proximity to schools and daycares: An empirical analysis of sex offense recidivism. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 37, 482–502.

I apologize for the length of that list, but I wanted to emphasize exactly how well established that view is among RS’s.

Normally, one would proportionately balance that view with RS’s claiming/showing the Adam Walsh Act has been effective, etc.; however, there do not exist such RS’s. The evaluations from experts and professional societies has been virtually unanimous. The editors who claim that positive evaluations of the Adam Walsh Act are getting ignored have been asked multiple times to provide RS’s that express that view, but no one has provided even one. Despite the lack of RS's expressing a positive evaluation, some editors are claiming undue weight (or advocacy) on the negative and reverting ALL text showing the negative evidence.

I believe the relevant NPOV policies are:
WP:YESPOV: Ensure that the reporting of different views on a subject adequately reflects the relative levels of support for those views, and that it does not give a false impression of parity (emphasis added)
WP:WEIGHT: Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources (emphasis added)
WP:WEIGHT (note #3): The relative prominence of each viewpoint among Wikipedia editors or the general public is not relevant and should not be considered.

The editors repeatedly reverting the RS’s showing the problems with the Adam Walsh Act are claiming UNDUE, but I believe they are confusing due weight with parity. The discussions are at a standstill and are beginning to devolve into personal attacks and accusations of people’s motivations. Some outside eyes with folks familiar with NPOV would be greatly appreciated.
— James Cantor (talk) 17:25, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Quickly looking at comments by ViperFace like this ("we offer", etc.), it seems they have a WP:COI in this subject area. This has nothing to do with WP:NPOV. I strongly recommend them to stop edit warring and drop the issue. If someone reported this to WP:AE in relation to "sexology" case, that would likely resulted in a topic ban.My very best wishes (talk) 15:39, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Could you expand on that? "We offer" were not ViperFace's words; he was quoting someone else (a professional association making a policy recommendation). Also, I would also cut some slack for non-native English speakers. What was it that struck you as there being a COI? It's also unclear to me how this is NOT an NPOV issue. The majority of the discussion has been about NPOV, YESPOV, and DUE (which are parts of NPOV). What am I misunderstanding?— James Cantor (talk) 16:09, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Even a newbie can see that Viperface is a single purpose account, has been promoting and advocating for unbalance in articles to promote and advocate his position, which only you apparently share.--MONGO 16:16, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Balance is achieved when the RS's such as those listed above receive proportionate DUE relative to RS's presenting any other views...and despite multiple requests, you have not presented any such RS's. One can type out the letters b-i-a-s as many times as one likes, but it still comes down to the RS's, and you have yet to present a single one. You are allowed not to like what the RS's say, but you may not suppress the overwhelming consensus of RS's. All you need to do to show me wrong is to present the RS's supporting you.— James Cantor (talk) 16:26, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
The article is about the Act. All it needs to say is what the act is, when it was passed, why and by whom. The rest, not that it isn't good or bad, is fluff. Therefore, balance is the key. The two week long POV pushing that you and your accolade Viperface, a single-purpose agenda driven editor, have been presenting is a desire to move the article away from the fundamentals into a long sappy this law sucks and needs to be changed platform to advocate your apologetics for deviant behavior. Had you offered to be reasonable then we might have found common ground, but your last post you stated the only thing you wanted to do to Viperface's atrocious edits was stated here and that version you wished to restore (which had been reverted by another) was this one which is a monumental POV push away from the version it was reverted back to and that was this version, the original text that was there before you two (or is it five with sock puppet and IP accounts all promoting the same thing POV). Apparently, the law has been under attack by those who are apologetic for deviants for some time. As stated in the Villanova Law Review here "when critics of SORNA’s sex offender registry and penalty provisions discuss the utility of these provisions, they often make arguments that fail to capture the true value and intended benefit of a seamless sex offender registry system. For example, one academic has questioned the impact of registries by citing a study of recidivism and suggesting that registries do not actually reduce recidivism. But such an argument ignores the fact that sex offender registries were not created as a palliative remedy to help sex offenders behave better. Rather, the push for sex offender registries and their improvement via SORNA was driven by an acknowledgement that sex offenders will often commit further sex crimes after their release."--MONGO 17:10, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
The above are merely half-truths, creating NPOV problems in suppressing the (great majority) portion of RS's, of which Mongo disapproves.
Despite Mongo's belief that articles about legislation must only be about the Act (rejecting all RS's discussing/evaluating the act), WP coverage of legislation frequently includes RS's that evaluate it: Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 has a results section, the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act has a concerns section, and on and on.
The Villanova article is entirely appropriate to include on the page; there has not been a single effort to remove it. (And there have been very many requests to provide more such RS's.) The Villanova article should receive all the attention it is due. In fact, it is exactly because articles such as the Villanova article indicate how much attention is going into evaluating the effectiveness of the Act that a WP page would be quite incomplete were it to ignore those the issues.
— James Cantor (talk) 14:03, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
All this bruhaha is over 5 rows of text vaguely covering critisim that has been presented and parties presenting it. I have allready explained why I'm currently SPA on AWA talk page. There is critique in articles covering other laws, I have been diciplined for my activist type of editing. The content was not the problem, the way I presented it was, and I stand corrected with respect to that. I really do not wish to see anyone handing down their oppinion without reading through the whole discussion we have had, that is doing the same mistake that My very best wishes did above --ViperFace (talk) 19:00, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
I did not like the following: (a) an obvious SPA account created to edit a highly controversial subject and promote specific POV; (b) the arguments here with reference to Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers that hardly deserved its own wikipedia page (there are no 3rd party sources in the page to justify notability of this organization), and (c) the lack of constructive discussion here - Mongo asks for specific statistics proving that the legislation was harmful (according to the sources above), but receives no answer. My very best wishes (talk) 22:53, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
To be honest, I am surprised to hear such a reaction. I have not previously known Best Wishes to make snap judgments or to look only at selective parts of evidence.
(a) ViperFace is not coming out of nowhere. He is providing a list of high quality RS's as long as one's arm; virtually no RS's exist on the opposing side; and, although I deserve no special treatment, I am well known to be one of the top experts on exactly this topic, and I am very happy to continue to indicate that the view he is expressing is (by far) the dominant view in the field. It is an error to assess the situation as if ViperFace is acting alone or out of line with RS's.
(b) It is not clear to me what this is referring to. I believe it was User:Mongo who had recommended what appears to be a POV fork, making the criticisms of the Adam Walsh Act it's own page. Moreover, ATSA is an internationally well-known professional society; googling it retrieves >33,000 hits; and it and its state chapters are frequently mentioned in very many notable news outlets. Other organizations expressing dissent include the ACLU and Human Rights Watch. Again, it is an error to evaluate mention of ATSA as if it were occurring in a vacuum.
(c) Mongo (and anyone else) can ask for whatever statistics they want, but assembling such statistics is OR (as was said in response to that request). What matters is the content of RS's, and the RS's (many of which I have listed above) overwhelmingly support the content (although not necessarily the specific language) of ViperFace's (and by extension, my) additions to the relevant page. Indeed, it is rather peculiar that, when the ACLU contests the ethics of a piece of legislation, a WP editor is expected to calculate the number of people negatively affected before the ACLU position to be reflected on WP. That the ACLU made such a statement at all is what is encyclopedic.
Although one can question anyone's motivations all one wants, it does not get to what matters on WP: What is the content of the RS's in the very long list above?
— James Cantor (talk) 00:49, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
I think the question by Mongo was reasonable. No one should assemble statistics himself. The statistics must be in the sources quoted above. If these sources do not include statistical data, this certainly undermines their credibility. As a practical matter, I would simply suggest for ViperFace to find a compromise with Mongo and answer his questions, and also edit something less controversial if they want to contribute. My very best wishes (talk) 03:11, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Best Wishes: I am still having trouble seeing exactly what you are trying to say. ViperFace never put/proposed to put such a statistic on the page, and none of the RS's need such a statistic in order to assert their many and varied arguments. How exactly does that make an RS (nevermind 30 of them) not suitable for a mainpage? I am not saying that Mongo's question is not reasonable. I am saying it is not relevant. Moreover, even if it were relevant to the citing of a statistic, how exactly does it somehow invalidate all the other RS's, which have nothing to do with the claim? — James Cantor (talk) 14:00, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
I did not tell anything about sources. I am only telling that overall editing pattern by ViperFace [4] and their arguments here create an impression of promotional editing by an SPA on behalf of an external advocacy organization, ATSA (whose own page looks promotional to me), as was already noted on their talk page [5]. Hence my suggestion above. If they continue edit warring, I think they can be easily blocked or topic banned.My very best wishes (talk) 17:14, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Acknowledged. Is there anything about the actual RS's or actual edits that appear problematic? That is, if the same edits came from me (and I would be happy to insert their contents, albeit with some rewording) or another editor other than ViperFace, is any content or policy problem apparent?— James Cantor (talk) 18:32, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
If the problem is my editing history as it seems, I will step back and let someone else e.g. James do the editing. That is propably wise anyway given that I'm not native english speaker. All I want is article to cover the criticism and parties presenting it. What comes to ATSA, Congress specifically requested ATSA's oppinion in prior to enactment of this law. ATSA gave them three responses, all with recomndations to drop the strictly offense based criteria and adopt risk based criteria instead. Why would the Congress be interrested of their oppinion if they would not give any weight to ATSA as an authorative professional organization on this field? My very best wishes seems to be overlooking the significant noteworthiness of ATSA.ViperFace (talk) 02:52, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Ron Reynolds (Texas politician)

    • I definitely see your concerns. I made quite a few changes to the article, including introducing a lot of new sources. What do you think? Champaign Supernova (talk) 04:40, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Vandalism of the wikipedia article Saffron Terror

The wikipedia article on Saffron terror is facing vandalism by people with hurt religious sentiments. This article is named under deletion for no reason at all. This sentimental bias is affecting the already existing neutrality of the wikipedia article. No such vandalism is observed in case of the article Islamic terrorism, there are many muslim countries and 1 billion muslims all over the world inspite of that the article on Islamic terrorism is unscathed by such vandalism, then why is it only Indian editors in particluar are perpetrating such vandalism on the article on Saffron terror, clearly, the Indian editors are biased and hurt about the article and its content.

This article is worth saving for the same reason as to why the article on Islamic terrorism should be worth saving. If the article on Saffron terror is deleted, then I request the article on Islamic terrorism to be deleted as well, because deletion of the article Saffron terror would make the whole English wikipedia article non-neutral and biased. These people tried playing the same game on the Hindi Wikipedia article on भगवा आतंकवाद (Saffron terror) but they failed there because the writer of the article cited the existence of such an article on the english wikipedia. Now by deleting the English Wikipedia article on Saffron terror, they can delete the similar article on the Hindi Wikipeidia.

Thinkmaths (talk) 05:29, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

@Thinkmaths: A good-faith nomination to AFD is not vandalism. The discussion has good points on either side and I recommend posting your rationale to Keep there, focusing on content. --NeilN talk to me 05:40, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

File talk:Samesex marriage in USA.svg#New version of map

Neutral point of view concerns at the New version of map section of this RfC. Prcc27 (talk) 07:21, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

WP:WEIGHT for prominent but widely criticized viewpoints.

I am a dispute resolution volunteer who is currently trying to resolve a content dispute at WP:DRN regarding Malysia Airlines Flight 17. There is a high probability that after DRN takes a shot at the content dispute Arbcom will be asked to address user conduct issues, but DRN only deals with article content.

At question is the proper application of WP:WEIGHT in the following situation:

We have a bunch of western sources -- including US intelligence agencies -- that say the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists using a Buk surface-to-air missile.

We have a bunch of Russian sources -- including the Russian Ministry of Defense -- that say the plane was shot down by Ukraine using either a surface to air missile or a fighter plane.

If I look at the evidence (keeping in mind that I can read English and not Russian) things appear to favor the western POV, but the Russian POV is really quite prominent and should not be treated like a view held by a tiny minority.

And, of course, it is likely that some or all of these government sources are either putting a spin on things or outright lying, and that many of the other sources are relying on the government sources.

Right now that Ukrainian SAM/fighter plane POV is buried halfway down the page with the words "According to the Russian military, in what the New York Magazine called "Russia's Conspiracy Theory"..." while evidence supporting the separatist/Buk POV dominate the lead.

I proposed that we move all claims of responsibility into sections using this basic structure:

  • Section with claims that the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists using a Buk surface-to-air missile.
  • Subsection with criticism of the above claims.
  • Section with claims that say the plane was shot down by Ukraine using either a surface to air missile or a fighter plane.
  • Subsection with criticism of the above claims.

I think each section should neutrally report what the sources say with no inserted editorializing.

So my basic question is whether my proposed structure satisfies WP:WEIGHT, whether the current structure satisfies WP:WEIGHT, or whether some structure that we haven't discussed is better than either.

Previous NPOV/NB discussion: Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard/Archive 47#Malaysian Airways Flight MH 17(sic).

It is likely that this thread will attract multiple involved editors, which I have no problem with, but I intend on paying attention to the established NPOV noticeboard regulars as being more likely to give me a good answer on how to properly apply WP:WEIGHT in this situation. --Guy Macon (talk) 11:06, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

I'm well aware of what's been going on in that article, although I've stayed away from it (being too busy with other equally problematic articles surrounding events in Ukraine over the last year+).
Personally, I think you're making the mistake of equating one POV + the other POV = NPOV.
Yes, there are a plethora of sources in Russian (and other languages representing nation-states allied with Russia) and English language sources which are not from the Anglophone world. The problem is that, in accommodating all of these sources and applying them to articles which are already borderline WP:RECENTISM and contravene WP:NOTNEWS, we don't get WP:WORLDVIEW but a hodgepodge which doesn't 'let the reader decide'. Instead, I feel that the structure you're suggesting doesn't satisfy WEIGHT but violates it.
The only way I've found useful for even beginning to ascertain what is DUE or UNDUE is by firstly assuming WP:BIASED for everything, applying WP:INTEXT attribution, and carefully parsing the details of the source. Much information has been gleaned from 'think tanks', then picked up by news sources for catch-cries, and these think tanks themselves are hardly impartial. The majority of so-called 'experts' are essentially self-professed. Ultimately, until there are peer-evaluated scholarly publications, all of these articles are a political circus of POV pushing and need to be cut down to the bare essentials rather than pander to 'according to Western sources' and 'according to Russian sources'.
Apologies for sounding like a negative Nellie, but I think you'll find that there are a lot of excellent editors here who have given up on trying to keep these articles in check because no individual can stay ahead of socks, IP hoppers, meatpuppets, SPA's and daily edit warring. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 04:32, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! Excellent analysis and good advice. If this cannot be solved at WP:DRN it won't be the first time that has been the result, but I am still going to give it my best effort. --Guy Macon (talk) 11:19, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
  • In cases like this, we need to give some weight to the Russian view (in other words we should not treat it as being fringe and simply ignore it)... but that does not mean we need to give it equal weight. It is appropriate to mention the Russian view briefly, but we should avoid the temptation to descend into a "claim and counter claim" presentation of "evidence and support" (even with attribution). Blueboar (talk) 14:36, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
There is an article on Media portrayal of the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine which should probably feature under the "see also" header of more of the articles surrounding the events. Again, the compulsion to present the Russian Federation's POV wouldn't feel as critically essential if the number of articles weren't overwhelming: rampant timelines literally following day by day, blow by blow accounts sourced from both the Ukrainian and Russian media, plus WP:UNDUE lists of weapons such as List of equipment of the United Armed Forces of Novorossiya. At this rate, Wikipedia is going to carry more 'encyclopaedic' information on this war than the entire Second World War.
There have been superhuman attempts at keeping the articles succinct (with inline attribution for all information), Blueboar, but every time this happens dozens of new contributors feel compelled expand the articles resulting in a tit for tat escalation sporting a "Well, if you're going to add that, I'm going to counter it with this" attitude. Articles have been split off due to their size so many times, then into further tangential articles and lists, that I'm still tracking new ones that don't meet even meet GNG. Between all of these, dependent on where a reader lands, they're going to come out with completely different POV impression according to where the article they started from links.
Well, good luck, Guy! I don't envy your position as you are dealing with some headstrong and intelligent editors. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:38, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Iryna's point-of-view, which is what I was trying to explain to Mr Macon at the DRN case. I've seen this happen before, and it simply doesn't work to say "Russian sources say X", "Western sources say Y". The result is that the "Wikipedia article says nothing". It results in giving WP:UNDUE weight to a variety of bunk that isn't given that much weight in reliable sources. "Criticism" sections themselves are a recipe for disaster. I recommend that Mr Macon read WP:STRUCTURE, which is part of our neutral point-of-view policy. The reality is simple. No one knows what the heck happened to this Malaysian aeroplane, at least no one who is speaking about it. All of this stuff is in the realm of the theoretical. Only the theories that are given weight in reliable sources should be given air in a Wikipedia article. Significant minority opinions can be given, but in so doing, one must be certain that one does not create a false balance between the minority and majority viewpoints. As Iryna says, we cannot have fifty competing narratives. If we do that, the result is, as I said earlier, a Wikipedia article that tells the reader fundamentally nothing.
I've tried to contain some of the endless recentism in this area, but I've given up at late. Lists of equipment, timelines, articles on essentially non-existent political parties (praise God, this was deleted twice). This is not just a Ukrainian crisis problem. It is all across Wikipedia. However, it is particularly egregious in the case of this article. We cannot accommodate every fact or every narrative. It is that simple. Cut must of it, leave bare bones. RGloucester 06:14, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Use of the word 'historical' and attempt to keep out any mention of 'legendary' in relation to Madoc at Cronica Walliae

This work by Humphrey Llwyd is thought to be the first written rendition of the supposed voyage to America by the legendary Prince Madoc. I have been trying to have the article either describe Madoc as legendary or say 'supposed' voyage, using sources discribing the Cronica Walliae including those already used by the article's creator, User:Doug Coldwell, but these are constantly removed on the basis that Llwyd himself did not describe Madoc as legendary (although another source wrote ""‘Cronica Walliae’ is that which tells of the discovery of the New World by Madog, claimed to be the son of Owain Gwynedd, the twelfth-century prince of Gwynedd. It is not intended here to dwell on the story nor on the remarkable validation it affords of Llwyd’s own judgement that it is a tale which in the retelling ‘the commen people do use in distance of place and leingth of tyme rather to augment than to dyminish’." which suggests Llywyd had his own doubts). I've brought this up at Talk:Cronica Walliae but to no avail. Also used in the article are phrases such as "A comparison to other historical events" which is a statement in Wikipedia's voice that the Madoc voyage was an historical event, and overuse of "records as historical events" - why 'as historical events'? Llywd is important, but he also believed the Welsh were Trojans, and this article is written to suggest that Madoc's voyage was an historical event. Dougweller (talk) 14:57, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

It does speak of "the Madoc discovery" and "this new land" as if they are assumed historical fact. The "Llwyd & Williams 2002" source is a printing of the primary source 1559 document. No wikipedia article should be overwhelmingly cited to a primary source like that. The other material used on Madoc seems to be an 1885 article. Our article can talk about and reference pre-modern beliefs and scholarship, but the writing has to reflect the general opinion of today's scholars, who treat this as folklore. __ E L A Q U E A T E 18:26, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

WOT Services

I responded to a request for WP:3O regarding Talk:WOT Services. Essentially, one editor wanted an "unbalanced" tag on the article and the other said there were no reliable sources for criticisms of WOT. There was one source that I thought might be usable, and we checked that out at RSN. There, Elaqueate said he did not think that source was usable, but added, "However, the article, WOT Services, looks like it has clear NPOV problems. The only (pseudo) negative material is the fact that they won a lawsuit against them. Everything else is borderline promotional. The reviews section is comprised entirely of a single sentence that reads The rating tool has received several reviews in the press. without mentioning anything the reviews said. This is probably unintentionally funny, as the article is covering a webservice fueled by customer reviews. This is probably an article that should be considered over at the NPOV board, but there's definitely something off." So I am bringing it here for comment. Scolaire (talk) 17:57, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

This page has been on my watchlist because of this issue, but as I am a new editor I have not been bold. Its history looks like a particular editor has been whitewashing the article for years. Every time any criticism is added, it is reverted. It is definitely due for additional editors to be involved. ScrapIronIV (talk) 18:31, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
I am this "particular editor" and I do not agree at all to naming my work on the article "whitewashing" or the result "borderline promotional", whatever that may mean. Please both be advised to read the report about my major cleanup of the article in December 2011 and take the effort to wade through history from there. My aim is not (and never has been) to just revert criticism, but to keep the article free from insufficiently sourced POV. I have said this several times before and I'll say it again: If you or anyone else can contribute to improve the article with relevant information in a NPOV manner and backed up with references that meet Wikipedia guidelines for WP:RS and WP:N, please be my guest! Thank you for your attention, WeatherFug (talk) 22:26, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

How to achieve neutrality

The Shooting of Michael Brown article is having issues with how to best represent WP:NPOV and WP:WEIGHT. The case has been widely and repeatedly commented on, with almost every aspect being deeply scrutinized and commented on.

Currently we have several sections (listed below) that are basically dumping grounds for every reliably sourced opinion that someone wants to include. Neutrality and weight are currently "achieved" because opinions that are more widely held are repeated multiple times by the various voices that have said that opinion.

There are multiple ongoing RFCs to address this, but the interpretation of the RFCs is itself contentious.

This has also boiled into ANI without much result Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#User:ChrisGualtieri.27s_behavior_at_Shooting_of_Michael_Brown

Surely this is a problem that has been solved. How do we represent these views appropriately without just being a giant WP:QUOTEFARM?

In wiki-voice, its easy to say "Fact A has been widely criticized as being X, and Y, but some defenders have said Z", but then you get into WP:WEASEL and WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV issues, and the argument that such wording is "equal WP:VALIDitiy and not appropriate WP:WEIGHT".

Some of that could be addressed by using footnotes similar to the "Sun" example in Wikipedia:Citing_sources#Bundling_citations, where we could potentially dump the entire quotefarm for those that want to see how we came to our statement - Does such a footnote adequately deal with weasel/attribution/OR issues?

Is there another solution other than waiting (potentially years?) for WP:RS/AC sources to come out? Gaijin42 (talk) 15:38, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

These quote farm sources are not reliable, authoritative, or valid because of a host of problems ranging from being patently false to misrepresentation. This source is subject to an RFC to include the material which was removed per WP:BLPREMOVE. As if reading the first two lines wasn't enough to be clear its inclusion was in violation of WP:NPOV, WP:V and WP:BLP. We should not legitimize extremist arguments which cannot stand up against even simple cross-examination. You know its not going to good when an opinion piece has an argument which concludes with "It had nothing whatsoever to do with the evidence and everything to do with the prosecutor’s unwillingness to try the case in court and his reluctance to incur the wrath of the law-enforcement community to which he is so incestuously tethered." Clearly, the source is under WP:IRS and specifically WP:QUESTIONABLE. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 16:28, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
It is your opinion that criticism of the Ferguson grand jury "cannot stand up against even simple cross-examination." However, other opinions (1) exist and (2) are an important aspect of the controversy over the Michael Brown matter. Many contradictory opinions are those of legal experts. I agree that any section incorporating reactions to the grand jury's decision not to indict should not be used as a vehicle for assembling every bit of criticism of McCulloch, but it would be inaccurate to pretend that such criticism doesn't exist and hasn't been widely reported. Dyrnych (talk) 18:57, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
This shows the failure of Wikipedia to handle articles about controversial current events. Whatever view one holds on what actually happened, it should be simple to outline the various views in a neutral way. The length of discussion is certain to stop most editors who do not have strong opinions from editing. TFD (talk) 04:51, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Oi vey, I agree in general, TFD. -Darouet (talk) 06:53, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Winter War

The lead section of the article is corrupted with undue weight by cherry picking information from doubtful sources. See the discussion. The discussion has led to nothing, and based on the comments and edit history of the opponent user, I have got serious doubts on his good faith. Therefore, I ask for your help. --Gwafton (talk) 22:19, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Have you contacted the editors at WP:MILHIST? They would probably be the best informed and most capable of dealing with any issues based on prior experience of similar articles and, possibly, similar situations. John Carter (talk) 22:37, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
I haven't, thank you for your advice. I dropped a note there. --Gwafton (talk) 23:30, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Electronic Cigarette - "circumvent smoke-free laws"

The article currently states that:"Although some people have a desire to quit smoking by using e-cigarettes, other common explanations for the use of these products are to circumvent smoke-free laws and to cut back on traditional cigarettes."

In the article there is also an image of a no smoking sign with the caption: "Common reasons people use the e-cigarette is a desire to quit smoking cigarettes, cut down on their smoking habit or to circumvent smoke-free laws."

The text in the article is sourced from here. This source says: "Although some cite a desire to quit smoking by using the e-cigarette, other common reasons for using the products are to circumvent smoke-free laws..."

However another source says: "Most users use them to either replace cigarettes in places where smoking is prohibited or discouraged..."

There is currently a discussion on the article's talk page regarding whether "circumvent" should be rewritten: Link. The intention of the original poster is to replace it with "other common explanations for the use of these products are to obey smoke-free laws and to cut back on traditional cigarettes". My personal feelings are that both "circumvent" and "obey" represent partial language. However I think that "circumvent" could easily be replaced with something neutral such as "permit usage in places where smoking is prohibited". "Circumvent" to me is judgemental because it implies that e-cigarette users have some sort of deviant or criminal intentions that go against the spirit of the law and the image in my opinion, is being used to attract attention to this.

So the question are:

  • Is the use of the phrases "circumvent smoke-free laws" a breach of NPOV in this context?
  • If it is then what should replace it?
  • Is the use of the image of a no-smoking sign appropriate in this context or does this breach NPOV as well?

Levelledout (talk) 15:15, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

I would agree circumvent carries some implication of finding a devious loophole. Comply with may be less emotive than obey, which sounds a bit, well, obedient. But what of course really wants to be said is comply with non-smoking rules while still being able to consume nicotine, which is the point being made.
I can't see that the image is POV - it's an obvious, straightforward visual representation of the concept of a smoke-free area. Barnabypage (talk) 15:39, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
I think the sign is being used to promote a POV. The page isnt about smoking. E-cigarettes dont create smoke. The image with the wording under it is a problem. Perhaps if the wording under it said "Smoking is restricted in some places" it wouldnt be a problem. It is trying to equate smoking and vaping which are two different things. As proof of that, laws against vaping have to be passed to prohibit vaping, if it was smoking those additional laws would not be necessary. AlbinoFerret 15:48, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
But the passage in question is about smoking. OTOH, the point maybe doesn't need a picture anyway.
(Plenty of jurisdictions have effectively taken the view that vaping is a form of smoking, by amending smoke-free laws to include it - but that's by the by.) Barnabypage (talk) 15:56, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
The whole point of my last comment was they had to be placed under those laws, it wasnt automatic. Thanks for that comment though, because after reading it, I wonder if this claim of avoiding smoke free laws isnt better on the Legal status page. Because at present its a controversy. Some places have placed them under smoke free laws, some havent. AlbinoFerret 16:48, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Yeah but...the point is they have amended smoke-free laws to include e-cigs, in a way that they wouldn't generally amend smoke-free laws to raise bus fares or make rules on barking dogs. So those jurisdictions do clearly consider it a kind of smoking (FWIW, I personally disagree - the characterisation of e-cigs as tobacco products is at best rather tenuous. But it would be disingenuous to pretend that there aren't lots of people in positions of influence who do take that POV.)
And yes, that clearly belongs in Legal Status - it's a complex and somewhat subtle area that simply can't be encapsulated in a phrase, especially when we remember there are countries other than the United States. :) But, taking up e-cigs in order to be able to consume nicotine and/or do something "a bit like smoking" in an area where smoking is prohibited is not really a legal status issue, it's a consumer appeal issue. So I would say that very much belongs with the other reasons for vaping. Barnabypage (talk) 19:20, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
The image as no place whatsoever in the article. No even a little bit, especially with the text that accompanies it.... Let's read it togheter shall we: Common reasons people use the e-cigarette is a desire to quit smoking cigarettes, cut down on their smoking habit or to circumvent smoke-free laws.
Now! Why would someone single out one claim being made out of a enumeration of reasons that peeps use to stop smoking and make a picture out of it. Why not use this image right here instead, after all 2 out of the 3 reasons given are about cutting down or stoping smoking, that would give more weight to this image than the other one? This is clearly POV pushing and the image along with the text must be removed immediately. TheNorlo (talk) 18:03, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Common reasons people use the e-cigarette is a desire to quit smoking cigarettes, cut down on their smoking habit or to circumvent smoke-free laws.[3]
I'd tend to agree with removing the image; it adds nothing to the article. As for the claim in the body of the article I'd prefer to use "comply with" rather than "obey", but "circumvent" is blatant POV and needs to go.--FergusM1970Let's play Freckles 19:10, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
How about "avoid" instead of circumvent? Its a related word and doesnt have the same negative impact. AlbinoFerret 19:29, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
It still sounds a bit judgemental and is not as neutral as something such as "to enable them to consume nicotine in a place where smoking is prohibited". But we need some uninvolved editors to comment on this, everybody so far that has commented is involved.Levelledout (talk) 19:41, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
It seems to be common on the notice boards, only medical editors get responses for the E-cig article. AlbinoFerret 04:42, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
  • It would not be a violation of WP:NPOV to use the same word the source cited used. So using "circumvent" does not introduce a WP:NPOV problem. However I understand that the use of the word gives a shading of meaning that isn't carried over into other sources. I'd be OK with wording that doesn't use either "comply" or "circumvent", like some of the proposals here. Zad68 14:44, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
What's wrong with "comply"? If you don't smoke you're complying with the no-smoking law.--FergusM1970Let's play Freckles 17:15, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
  • 'The use of "circumvent" (twice) in the article, misrepresents the source it is cited to. The two appearances in the WP article describe reasons people use e-cigs. In the cited review, the four uses of "circumvent" characterize claims found on e-cig retail websites, from a study analyzing e-cig marketing and advertising, not user response. In the article, "circumvent" is used to describe "common reasons people use" and "other common explanations for the use of" - nowhere in the source does it state that. Additionally, "circumvent" is not a common word, and has connotations of shadiness, using loopholes, premeditated rule-avoidance, and from the cited review context, it appears to have been chosen precisely for that reason.
>>From the sources lead paragraph (my emphasis): "By 2013, the major multinational tobacco companies had entered the e-cigarette market. E-cigarettes are marketed via television, the Internet, and print advertisements (that often feature celebrities)2 as healthier alternatives to tobacco smoking, as useful for quitting smoking and reducing cigarette consumption, and as a way to circumvent smoke-free laws by enabling users to “smoke anywhere.”
>>From the body text, "Grana and Ling3 reviewed 59 single-brand e-cigarette retail Web sites in 2012 and found that the most popular claims were that the products ... can be used to circumvent smoke-free policies"
>>To further clarify, the study on which the cited review bases its circumvention claims describes its purpose as: "To describe the main advertising claims made on branded e-cigarette retail websites."1
So, "circumvent" aside, there may not be any reliable source for saying a common use of e-cigs is smoking in smoking-prohibited places, or any of the other user reasons based on this source. --Tsavage (talk) 22:04, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Tsavage That is a great example of how a journal article can be used to introduce Original Research by misapplying how it is used in the source. The addition to the article may have been a good faith edit. But it appears to be a cherry picked word search to promote a POV solution in search of a problem. The article has had numerous claims like this added and its one thing I always look at on controversial claims. I suggest the current wording of the whole thing be removed unless a reliable source is found to back up the claim. AlbinoFerret 15:38, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

As previously explained, the text is well sourced. See "Although some cite a desire to quit smoking by using the e-cigarette, other common reasons for using the products are to circumvent smoke-free laws and to cut down on conventional cigarettes, which may reinforce dual use patterns and delay or deter quitting."[7] How many times must I explain this? There is also more details in the source about this. I and others on the talk page this explain the text is sourced. QuackGuru (talk) 05:01, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

As shown above you, its clearly a mistake in the journal article where it discusses one thing in the body and then twists it around in the end. This appears to be cherry picked without looking to see what the article really says. It cant be said to "review" something that was never presented in the body of the journal article. AlbinoFerret 05:21, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
QuackGuru: Your quote, the fourth and final instance of "circumvent" in the source, occurs in the Conclusions section. It is ambiguously worded, and if it is referring to user reasons, then it appears to be an unsourced claim. Presumably, conclusions are drawn from the body of the review (or am I wrong?), where "circumventing smoke-free laws" is from Grana/Ling's report on e-cig advertising claims. If encouraging the exclusive use of secondary sources is intended to add a layer of expert scrutiny to primary sources, then everything in the secondary itself should be sourced. What is the primary source for, "...other common reasons for using the products are to circumvent smoke-free laws..." if that refers to peoples' reasons, not advertising claims - I haven't been able to find it? I'm not saying this isn't a big reason, and if it is, hopefully reliable sources are available so the info can be included, but the process I'm participating in here is, as hard to believe as it sounds, about a single word..."circumvent". If the source that uses circumvent actually does not apply, what is this particular debate about? --Tsavage (talk) 06:10, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

I agree with Tsavage that the current wording misrepresents the source. I also think that particular source has a clear anti e-cig company POV and should be used more carefully. The second Gov.UK source's wording is preferable.SPACKlick (talk) 09:37, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Breitbart (website)

[8], [9] and [10] are at issue. The editor rejected the version which had been in place since 14 December, and has reverted and added non-RS material repeatedly to promote a POV, it appears.

===Misidentification of [[Loretta Lynch]] === :On November 8, 2014, posted an article by Warner Todd Huston which claimed [[Loretta Lynch]], President Barack Obama's nominee for attorney general, had represented [[Bill Clinton]] during the [[Whitewater scandal]]. The premise of this article was false, as the two Lynches are different people. Breitbart initially did not withdraw the story, but rather posted a correction at the bottom which noted that its premise was false. After this decision was widely criticized by media critics and mainstream journalists, the story was deleted from the website. ''[[PolitiFact]]'' rated the claim "Pants on Fire" and noted that the false claim had "already spread to other conspiracy, opinion and conservative news websites."<ref name=PolitiFact>[ Breitbart gets the wrong Loretta Lynch in Whitewater claim]. Sharockman, Aaron. ''[[PolitiFact]]'', 10 November 2014</ref><ref>{{cite web | url= | title=2 Amusing Corrections and a Confession on Common Mistakes | publisher=American Journalism Review | date=November 12, 2014 | author=Dustin Levy and Katie Takacs}}</ref><ref name=WaPoLynch>[ Breitbart News attacked the wrong Loretta Lynch ]. McDonald, Soraya Nadia. ''[[The Washington Post]]'', 10 November 2014</ref><ref name=NYTLynch>[ No Comment Necessary: The Wrong Loretta Lynch]. Rosenthal, Andrew. ''[[The New York Times]]'', 10 November 2014</ref><ref name=ColbertLynch>[ Tip/Wag - Breitbart]. ''[[The Colbert Report]]'', 11 November 2014</ref> [[Stephen Colbert]] mocked the article on ''[[The Colbert Report]]'', saying it demonstrated that Breitbart is comprised of "craven political hatchet men."<ref name=ColbertLynch/>

The question is to whether this, using such reliable sources as the "Colbert Report" to make specific claims that living persons are "craven hatchet men" is violative of WP:NPOV

The prior version was

===Confusion of two persons named "Loretta Lynch" === :On November 8, 2014, posted an article by Warner Todd Huston that said [[Loretta Lynch]], President Barack Obama's nominee for attorney general, had represented [[Bill Clinton]] during the [[Whitewater scandal]]. The site confused two persons with the same name. The site posted a correction.<ref>{{cite web | url= | title=2 Amusing Corrections and a Confession on Common Mistakes | publisher=American Journalism Review | date=November 12, 2014 | author=Dustin Levy and Katie Takacs}}</ref>

Personally, I think calling living persons "craven hatchet men" as a claim of fact in any way, the inference that Breitbart had to be forced to delete the article and did not make a correction, and that the misidentification was a deliberate political act seems to push NPOV past the breaking point. Thanks. Collect (talk) 20:43, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

The article itself was headlined Obama's attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch represented Clintons during Whitewater. The entire article was a lengthy hit-piece claiming the two people were the same, when they were not. This is not a mere minor mistake, this is the entire premise of the article being false. As the reliable sources — ranging from the American Journalism Review to The New York Times to PolitiFact note, the article's false claims were a flagrant failure of journalism. Describing it as merely "confusion" is what is not supported by the sources. The words of Stephen Colbert, a Peabody Award-winning satirist, speak for themselves — they're clearly marked as his opinion, not a claim of fact.
The reporting editor's claim that his version was some sort of long-standing consensus is false — in fact, their edits one week ago rejected a version which was in place since 9 November. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 20:48, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
And the fact that two people have the same name does not mean that the misidentification was "deliberate misidentification" done by "craven political hatchet men" (for which you cite an opinion piece in Salon as well as Colbert Report directly, as though either were RS for contentious claims about living persons) That you can claim "A "correction" which debunks and renders false the entire premise of the story is not a mere correction, it's an admission that you completely fucked up in every possible way." shows a clear intent to violate NPOV which is non-negotiable. And no matter how you slice it, Colbert Report is not a reliable source for any claims about living persons such as "craven political hatchet men" clearly referring to the writer of the initial article. Cheers. Collect (talk) 21:05, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
The description of the story as "fucked up" is not mine, it's the words of The Daily Caller, which politely used symbols for a couple letters: Stephen Colbert Salutes Breitbart For F&%ked Up Loretta Lynch Story. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 21:08, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
The problem is simple -- NPOV is an absolute requirement on Wikipedia. Your version does not comport with a "neutral point of view" it is "truth as you know the truth to be" to which end you even enlist an absolutely non-usable source (Colbert Report) which is a comedy program. Let's get back to the absolutely neutral, if dull, wording of this ginormous affair (noting the NYT and almost every single news source has confused two people with the same name in the past). Collect (talk) 21:27, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
If the Colbert bit is your only serious objection, I'll go ahead and withdraw it, and we can move on. The rest of the wording and sourcing stands as absolutely well-supported. There is nothing "non-neutral" about describing an entirely-false article as a "misidentification" and a "false premise." Or, in the words of PolitiFact, In this case, the Truth-O-Meter doesn’t have to work too hard to come up with a rating, but we think it’s important to address anyway because of how quickly false information spreads around the Internet.
You have also fabricated words I never wrote, because I have never used the word "deliberate" to describe the situation, nor has any such wording appeared in the article. It was just flagrantly negligent and a complete failure of fact-checking. You are the only person who has used that word anywhere. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 21:47, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
You have made your entire editing philosophy eminently clear. I find "''A "correction" which debunks and renders false the entire premise of the story is not a mere correction, it's an admission that you completely fucked up in every possible way." to be a quite strong claim which is not found in the secondary reliable fact sources - the people who denounce the article are possibly disinclined to give Breitbart any benefit of the doubt, while not noticing the corrections in the NYT. Thank you. Collect (talk) 22:23, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
And your entire editing philosophy — downplaying anything which paints Breitbart in a negative light or tends to suggest that it is not so much a source of journalism as a source of political hatchet-jobs — is also eminently clear. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 22:29, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
My philosophy is that we have policies and guidelines and we follow them, and we do not make edits based on "IHATEIT" ("Did I redact a link to a site that has a longstanding history of literally making shit up about people it doesn't like and intentionally editing videos to create fake scandals and hold people in a false light? You bet I did. There's a million and one reasons that we don't accept Breitbart-sourced claims, and it's helpfully right in our article about them." is a wonderful example of "IHATEIT so IMUSTADDANYTHINGBADICANFIND") Cheers -- and when you mention me on other article pages, I would like to find out from you, and not find you simply accusing me of every editorial sin you can append in a personal rant. Collect (talk) 22:38, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Describing your edits as having "weakened" the description of a notable journalistic failing is not an accusation, nor is it a personal rant. You seem to have a problem with the fact that Breitbart's long history of catastrophic journalistic failures and politically-motivated attacks has established its reputation, and that reputation is not positive. The non-exhaustive list in our article demonstrates the point neatly. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 22:46, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
I merely want to note that NorthBySouthBaranof opened a General Sanctions RfE against another editor for linking to a Breitbart article on the talk page for another article less than 24 hours before this. The dispute concerns possible WP:BLP violations by the editor he named and the reliability of Breitbart as a source. He began making changes to the Breitbart article afterwards with what appears to be an intent to paint it as less reliable. Weedwacker (talk) 22:47, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I wish editors (especially the more experienced ones) would bother to read the first bullet at the top of this page: "Before you post to this page, you should already have tried to resolve the dispute on the article's talk page. Include a link here to that discussion." As there was zero attempt to resolve this dispute on the article talk page I consider this discussion unnecessary and inflammatory. In any case, I disagree that the Colbert Report was being used as a reliable fact source; rather, it was being used with attribution as a notable statement of opinion. As for the BLP claim, I'm on the fence as I'm not completely clear on who Collect is saying is the aggrieved living person. Breitbart himself is dead, the Colbert reference mentioned no other individuals, and BLP generally does not apply to organizations. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 19:57, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
    • The aggrieved living person is the author of the article which is described as "false" - that person is, indeed, identifiable and living. A claim that something is deliberately false is, moreover, the type of "opinion" which is a "contentious claim about a living person". Calling a person "tall" is an opinion, calling them an "extremist neo-Nazi" however is a very contentious opinion - the line is clear here. And I would note that discussions were indeed held on the talk pages involved. Cheers. Collect (talk) 20:15, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Don't shoot your credibility in the foot. You opened the discussion on the article talk page and then opened this discussion 18 minutes later, before anyone had responded there. I'm sorry but that is not a good faith attempt to resolve the dispute. As for your BLP argument, that's why I'm on the fence. Our BLP policy doesn't specifically address whether it applies to individuals not directly mentioned, beyond saying, "This policy applies to any living person mentioned in a BLP..." Were the authors of the Lynch story "mentioned" in our article? Sort of, indirectly? --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 20:52, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
I would suggest article by Warner Todd Huston specifically names the living person who wrote the article in question. Otherwise what does "Walter Todd Huston" mean? By the way, the issue originated not at the Breitbart article but at Talk:Gamergate_controversy where I was mentioned without being told of the attack on me -- but at least two days of discussion before this section was opened. I commend you to read that full discussion before mistakenly implying that the discussion existed for only 18 minutes before this section was opened. Note that NBSB added the material to the Breitbart article after the Gamergate discussions started. Cheers. Collect (talk) 22:51, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
You're right about Huston. (I misread your description of the issue, my apologies.) I now agree this was a BLP violation. As for trying to resolve this on the article talk page, my "18 minutes" comment was definitely not a mistake. This thread is about Breitbart (website), not about Gamergate controversy. Hence there should have been a meaningful attempt to resolve the dispute at Talk:Breitbart (website). I for one would have provided my feedback there (ultimately supportive of your position) and I do not have Gamergate on my watchlist. (Thank goodness!) --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 20:12, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Please show the diff where I or anyone else have ever used the word deliberate, Collect. You can't do it, because we haven't. It has never been stated or alleged that it was deliberate. I request that you withdraw your accusation immediately. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 20:42, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
I think "hatchet men" implies deliberate action. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 22:14, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

RfC at Bitcoin, re: mentioning its use in online black markets

Bitcoin is an online payment system that, among other uses, facilitates illicit purchases of drugs, etc. at online black market sites. This activity well documented, and many major news outlets have discussed this. Apparently two editors now want to remove any mention of this from the lede of the article. I ave started a RfC on the subject.

I'm posting this to the NPOV noticeboard because these two editors have established a decidedly pro-bitcoin stance removing information that casts bitcoin in a negative light and disparaging editors who don't solely contribute bitcoin-boosting content.

WP:LEAD states that, "The lead should... summarize the most important points, including any prominent controversies." and that "The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic, according to reliable, published sources."

Just as an example of the type of coverage bitcoin gets from major news outlets on the issue of it being used in online black markets:

CNN has referred to bitcoin as a "shady online currency [that is] starting to gain legitimacy in certain parts of the world", and The Washington Post calls it "the currency of choice for seedy online activities". The Sacramento Bee says that "bitcoins are the currency of choice" in "underground networks where marketing in contraband is common". The BBC states, "bitcoin is often the virtual currency of choice" for "sites selling drugs". The London Evening Standard says, "it’s true that bitcoins are the currency of choice for ‘dark’ websites... through which users can buy drugs."

Talk:Bitcoin#RfC: Summarizing the "Criminal activities" section in the lede

Fleetham (talk) 23:07, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Fleetham misrepresents the current situation. The facts are:
  • there is an ongoing neutrality dispute at Talk:Bitcoin#Neutrality_dispute_on_the_contents_of_the_lead_section, which started on 9 December 2014
  • everybody interested in the dispute is welcome to take part
  • Fleetham did not inform any of the editors taking part in the dispute about starting the discussion here, which adds to the sum of inappropriate acts. Other such acts incorporate:
    • Fleetham is the only editor (purportedly) taking part in the neutrality dispute one-sidedly making edits to the disputed text in the article and marking his edits as "NPOV" while the dispute is going on
    • Fleetham repeatedly deleted comments made by other editors in the dispute
  • To the point of the dispute - there has always been a statement summarizing fears of bitcoin-related illicit activities. Such a summary statement is also proposed for the lead section in the future. What Fleetham tries to one-sidedly add to the lead section is (between other contents) the list of all illicit items that can be purchased with bitcoin. Such list is present in the "Criminal activities" section and the addition of the copy of this list to the article lead section looks nonneutral based on the fact that there is not (and is not planned) a balancing text listing legal purchases that can be made with bitcoin.
  • Fleetham also tries to achieve the state where only one place where customers can buy items with bitcoins is mentioned in the article lead. That is nonneutral and unacceptable. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 09:02, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
I see no possible sane argument for preventing the Bitcoin article from telling the reader about Bitcoin being used for black market trading. The only question is how best to do it. Of course the connection must be described in detail in the article body, and of course this connection should be briefly summarized in the lead section. Binksternet (talk) 00:32, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Looking at this from the point of view of an outsider who has little interest in the subject, I would say that the passage mentioned does come across a tad biased. I think the definition of what Bitcoin is and what it is used for needs to be separated, not blended into one. Something like "Bitcoin is a decentralised, peer-to-peer driven online payment system. Illicit contraband is often purchased online using Bitcoin." That would still get the point across without confusing concept and usage.Levelledout (talk) 02:25, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Fleetham's behavior has been problematic. I don't have a problem with mentioning criminal activities in the lead, but I do take issue with his heavy handed edit warring and extensive changes without consensus. And he tends to want to overemphasize the use of bitcoin for illegal purposes. TimidGuy (talk) 12:05, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

I see no problem emphasizing Bitcoins place as a currency in the black market, as long as it is written in the context of its nature. I think the lead should be more focused on the structure of such a financial technology and its primary uses, illicit activities could fall under that. I'm new to this discussion, but I do take offense to overemphasizing and over moderation of the issue. We are a group of actors no an actor. --Mathew105601 (talk) 14:27, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Does the article on the United States dollar discuss its use on the black market for the purchase of drugs and other illegal products? bd2412 T 17:05, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
One would assume not. That is however irrelevant. What matters is to what extent published reliable sources discuss the use of Bitcoin for such purposes - and the evidence is clear enough that they very frequently do. Wikipedia bases article content on published sources. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:22, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Hi Binksternet,Levelledout,Mathew105601 and AndyTheGrump, thank you much for your responses. I think you are exactly right.
I have been editing Bitcoin "for fun" (I almost cant say that any more) and am one of the 2 editors, that Fleetham anonymously labelled a "pro Bitcoin stance" and accused of removing any mention of bitcoin's illicit uses above.
Please check any of my contributions there, to see for yourself, whether this label or the accusation of removing any mention of bitcoin's illicit uses is fair. I look forward to seeing you at Bitcoin talk NPOV lede where the rubber hits the road, i.e the language has been and continues to be hashed out in exactly the way that you are mentioning. Don't be afraid! Level-headed editors are sorely needed! Again, thank you for supporting NPOV! --Wuerzele (talk) 16:47, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
I responded to a particular point made by bd2412. I an not interested in going through peoples' edits to see who did what. Such matters are of no relevance to article content. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:57, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks AndyTheGrump for clarifying the level of your involvement as solely opinionating on bd2412's opinion in the form of a rhetoric question on the opinions voiced here about what might actually happen at Bitcoin. I saw you opinionated at the last Bitcoin related ANI. It's good to know, that you think "going through peoples' edits to see who did what" is of "no relevance to article content". --Wuerzele (talk) 18:19, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

This is the wording mentioning criminal activities that is gaining consensus in the dispute:

U.S. law enforcement officials and financial regulators, who had emphasized the role of bitcoin in criminal activities prior, recognized at a November 2013 U.S. Senate hearing on virtual currencies that cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin can provide legitimate financial services to customers.

Ladislav Mecir (talk) 01:31, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure how Ladislav Mecir can arrive at the conclusion that any particular wording is 'gaining consensus', since the RfC proposes no specific text. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:33, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
I refer you to the information that there is an ongoing neutrality dispute, see above, or at the talk page, please. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 01:47, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
It is quite evident from the talk page discussions you refer to that there is no consensus over specific text - and the whole point of having an RfC is to get outside input. I suggest that you wait for such input, and refrain from further attempts to prejudge the outcome. AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:04, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
I thank you for your suggestion and will wait with suspense whether the outcome of the RfC will be "Yes" or "No". Take my apologies, please, if I caused any misunderstanding such as provoking a sentiment that any ongoing dispute shall be closed in any specific way in the future. That was completely unintended. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 02:43, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Slave Coast

There is understandable resentment expressed on the article Talk page about the neutrality, or lack of, in this article. At the moment, it reads as if slaves voluntarily left the Slave Coast in West Africa to engage in some travelling to whatever destination. This seems just wrong. I'm surprised Wiki has allowed this to be kept in place, as it seems to diminish the extreme suffering that slaves had to endure. The sentence involved is: "Slaves as well as free men used the exchange routes to travel to new places which aided in hybridizing European and African cultures." Did slaves really use the routes to travel to new places voluntarily? I suggest the sentence be changed to: "The involuntary transportation of slaves, as well as the voluntary travelling of free men, led to the hybridizing of European and African cultures." .Richard Nowell (talk) 10:12, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Seemingly sorted.Richard Nowell (talk) 10:24, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Black Guerrilla Family

DeeOlive has suggested in Talk:Black Guerrilla Family that "inmate organization" be used in place of "prison gang" to describe the Black Guerrilla Family. Professor Oliver appears to contribute infrequently so she may not be aware of this forum. I will leave it up to others as to whether they would like to contribute here or on the talk page. - Location (talk) 18:07, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

I replied. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:13, 23 December 2014 (UTC)