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Genocides in history[edit]

This is an exchange from as section called: Talk:Genocides in history#RfC: Inclusion criteria:

  • Oppose. The inclusion criteria states that you cannot classify something as genocide unless the source defined the act as genocide, but the term "genocide" wasn't even used until 1944 (see [1]). Are we going to eliminate every source that was written before that date? GregJackP Boomer! 03:40, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
    @GregJackP The UN convention on genocide (CPPCG) explicitly states in its preamble "Recognizing that at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity". Since 1948, academics and other reliable sources retrospectively categorise historical events as genocide for example see the Whitaker Report (United Nations) published in 1982 that "The Nazi aberration has unfortunately not been the only case of genocide in the twentieth century. Among other examples which can be cited as qualifying are the German massacre of Hereros in 1904, the Ottoman massacre of Armenians in 1915–1916, the Ukrainian pogrom of Jews in 1919, the Tutsi massacre of Hutu in Burundi in 1965 and 1972, the Paraguayan massacre of Ache Indians prior to 1974, the Khmer Rouge massacre in Kampuchea between 1975 and 1978, and the contemporary [1985] Iranian killings of Baha'is.". Besides if no reliable sources has stated that an event was a genocide to include one in this article would be a breach of WP:SYN (OR). Please reconsider you opposition. -- PBS (talk) 17:06, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
    @PBS:. Nope, this makes it way too easy for the genocide deniers to eliminate examples of genocide, and it is not a violation of WP:SYN or WP:OR. See WP:SYNNOT. In addition, you did not address the basic question, of whether pre-1944 sources are now worthless for genocide articles. GregJackP Boomer! 17:31, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
    Pre 1944 articles are useful for stating facts about an event, but they can not be used to establish if there was a genocide, for that you need post 1944 opinion to state it was a genocide. If not how does one assert that it was a genocide, without SYN? This is just as true for post 1944 events as those that pre-date the coining of the word genocide. -- PBS (talk) 17:43, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
  • "Pre 1944 articles are useful for stating facts about an event, but they can not be used to establish if there was a genocide, for that you need post 1944 opinion to state it was a genocide." No, you don't. Again, see WP:SYNNOT, especially WP:SYNNOT#SYNTH is not obvious II. If you have a source defining genocide by stating the elements, you can state those elements, cite to the post-1944 source, then cite to the individual facts in pre-1944 sources proving each of the elements. "Given the two sources, the conclusion is obvious. So a typical reader can use the sources to check the accuracy of the comparison." It's not WP:OR, therefore it is not SYNTH. All this does is provide support for genocide deniers, and I'm not going to support a proposal that is slanted towards a denialist POV. GregJackP Boomer! 23:28, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
  • There are many different definitions of genocide and even experts on the subject do not agree in many instance on what constitutes genocide, see for example what the ECHR has to say about how opinion among legal scholars over the interpretation of the CPPCG between early German court judgements and the later ICTY judgements (Bosnian Genocide#European Court of Human Rights). There is no single source single stating the elements of genocide, and even if there was Wikipeda editors are not qualified legal or academic scholar who can authoritatively make such an analysis. To do so is OR. You write "Nope, this makes it way too easy for the genocide deniers to eliminate examples of genocide". I have no idea what you mean by that. What is a genocide denier? A genocide denier is someone who denies that a genocide took place when the majority of expert sources have concluded that one took place. A genocide denier is not a Wikipedia editor who requests that another editor--who has alleged that a series of events are a genocide because that editor thinks it fits a pattern of one of the many definitions of genocide--produces reliable sources that state that those events were a genocide. -- PBS (talk) 00:19, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Sorry, but you're wrong on the OR and SYNTH, as well as the ability of WP editors (many of whom are qualified to make a legal or academic analysis without going into OR). There is no point in continuing the discussion, I'm not going to change my position, at least as long as the current criteria is part of the package. GregJackP Boomer! 00:39, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Others thoughts on the points raised in this exchange would be appreciated. To summarise:

  • I do not think that an event can be called a genocide unless reliable secondary sources have described it as one. For a Wikidepa editors to compare a series of events with a definition of genocide and draw the conclusion that those events were a genocide is a WP:SYN.
  • From my understanding of what GregJackP has written above (and I invite him to explain if I have got it wrong), if an bird walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and so meets the requirements of a definition of a duck taken from a reliable source, then Wikipeida editors can describe the bird as a duck even though no reliable sources has been found that states it is a duck, because it is not a SYN to do so.

-- PBS (talk) 18:04, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

  • That is an over-simplification and inappropriate application of WP:SYNTH. First, if it is not WP:OR, it is not SYNTH, period. See WP:SYNNOT (yes, I know that is an essay). Second, if I'm talking about a 1956 Ford Thunderbird, I don't have to have the source say that it is a car for me to say it is a car in the article. See WP:OBVIOUS. If you have an established definition of genocide, supported by reliable sources, it is not OR to look at a discrete set of facts that match that definition and say that it is genocide, any more than it is OR to say that a source that describes a murder but does not use that term can have that action identified as an unlawful killing, a homicide, or murder. See what Jimbo said here. It's not appropriate to limit Wikipedia sources on genocide to those published after 1944, when the word was first used. GregJackP Boomer! 21:49, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Agree with GregJackP - We have Duck blocks, we refer to people we're certain are socks as duck socks, so yes, the reasoning is sound, further, when we look back in history itself, we see examples of this, i.e: In colonial times when a person died of a certain lung disease, it was called "Consumption", when we look back at that same period of time, we don't call that disease "Consumption", we call it "Tuberculosis" because that is what it's properly called. It meets the symptoms, and therefore recieves the label. PBS is right KoshVorlon Rassekali ternii i mlechnye puti 17:16, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
@KoshVorlon: - could you please clarify? You state that you agree with PBS, but the text you wrote seems to agree with my position. My understanding of PBS's position is that unless the source actually states the disease is tuberculosis, we have to call it consumption because that is what the source called it. I'm claiming that it is not OR nor Synth to call it TB, because that is what it actually is, it is apparent from the description of the symptoms, and that's what it should be called. Regards, GregJackP Boomer! 14:56, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
GregJackP Woops! my mistake, yes, you're correct, I agree with your position. KoshVorlon Rassekali ternii i mlechnye puti 17:30, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
If someone describes symptoms of an illness carried by a person today, then just because a Wikipedia editor thinks those symptoms indicate that the person has TB one can not add to an article that the person has TB unless there is a reliable secondary source that say they have it. That is true today and it is true for the diagnosis of people in the past. In the case of consumption there are plenty of sources that sate that consumption is an old name for TB, but that is very different from an Wikiepdia editor looking at the symptoms of an illness and labelling it TB. In the latter case the usual way to deal with such text is either to find a modern secondary source that states the person had TB, or if one can not be found use an older sources that says the person had consumption and then another source to note that the modern term for consumption is TB. It is not up to Wikipedia editors to make diagnostics like this. While the duck test can be used in Wikipedia namespace it can not be used on article pages to draw conclusions which are not present in reliable secondary sources.-- PBS (talk) 20:03, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── "If you have an established definition of genocide, supported by reliable sources, it is not OR to look at a discrete set of facts that match that definition and say that it is genocide" Actually, it is. It is a violation of NOR precisely because there are some conflicting definitions of genocide, because the facts are not (cannot be) known in sufficient detail to editors (to use the UN definition, just how many people must die to cause the death "in part" of a group? Is one enough? How about ten?), and most especially because non-politically motivated experts sometimes come to opposite conclusions on the question of whether or not a particular event crosses the threshold for genocide or is more appropriately classified as mass murder. This problem is so well known that this problem is all over the popular press (example). You need a source for a claim that an event constituted genocide, no matter how obvious it seem to you personally.

Deciding whether the mass murder of people based on their socioeconomic status, e.g., nobles during Revolutionary France, constitutes "genocide" is far more difficult and far more fraught than saying consumption is universally acknowledged to be an exact synonym for a disease that we now call tuberculosis. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:18, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

That's ridiculous and not covered by OR. If I have an established definition of a car, supported by reliable sources, it is not OR to look at a discrete set of facts that match that definition and say that it is a car. If I have an established definition of a duck, supported by reliable sources, it is not OR to look at a discrete set of facts that match that definition and say that it is a duck. If I have an established definition of a TB, supported by reliable sources, it is not OR to look at a discrete set of facts that match that definition and say that it is a TB. What your argument does is provide ammunition for genocide deniers, who will go back to sources from before 1944 and say, "see, no statement that it is genocide." GregJackP Boomer! 05:23, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Of course it is OR to look at "discrete set of facts that match that definition" and conclude that the facts match the definition. This is covered in the NOR policy in the second sentence in the lead:
  • "This includes any analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to reach or imply a conclusion not stated by the sources."
In the section on primary sources it states
  • "Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation.... Do not analyze, synthesize, interpret, or evaluate material found in a primary source yourself; instead, refer to reliable secondary sources that do so."
As the section in NOR linked to by WP:STICKTOSOURCE says
  • "If you discover something new, Wikipedia is not the place to announce such a discovery."
-- PBS (talk) 10:58, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Look, you obviously have ignored the part on WP:SYNNOT and every other wikilink that I've put up. You have still not addressed why I can't discuss a duck as a duck or a car as a car when it is not explicitly stated in the source. If a source calls a bird a Mallard, I can call it a duck. If a source calls a motor vehicle a '56 Chevy, I can call it a car. I can show you the policies and the statements by Jimbo about using commonsense and WP:OBVIOUS, but I can't change a bureaucratic mindset that is apparent here. GregJackP Boomer! 16:07, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

The two Hampton L. Carsons[edit]

Is this OR? I would like to say that Hampton L. Carson (lawyer) (1852–1929) is the grandfather of Hampton L. Carson (biologist) (1914–2004). (In both cases, the middle name is "Lawrence".) According to Joseph Carson obituary, the Joseph Carson in question is 100% definitely the son of the lawyer. The 1953 obituary goes on to mention Joseph's son Hampton L. is a professor in St. Louis, it also names Joseph's wife's maiden name was Edith Guest Bruen. The biologist has a Who's Who entry naming his parents, Joseph and Edith Bruen Carson. Choor monster (talk) 15:10, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

RfC on consensus statement of relative safety of currently marketed GM food[edit]

See here Posting here since issues of WP:SYN have been raised. Jytdog (talk) 01:17, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Quoting OR websites[edit]

In wikipedia article MH17 material is quoted from a website

1) I'm pretty sure the material on that website counts as OR

2) Assuming I am right on (1), surely OR material from it cannot be presented on wikipedia with the defence that 'Quoting other refs on a subject is not original research. The ban on OR means that we don't publish OR here on Wikipedia, but we quote it from other sources'

If I am wrong on (2) surely that is a back-door for people to publish OR on their own websites and then link it into an article as not OR, i.e. "quote it [OR] from other sources"?

Sorry I can't work how to use the notify template, the user involver is Ahunt I'd be grateful if someone notifies him.

You have a fundamental misunderstanding of no original research policy. Please read it again. It's perfectly fine for external sources to do "OR". In fact that's what they're supposed to do. It's Wikipedia editors who should not engage in OR.
As to 2) that's where WP:RS policy on reliable sources comes in. If I publish something on my website and it gets covered in secondary reliable sources, then yeah it could be used (assuming it doesn't violate some other policy). If it doesn't, it can't.Volunteer Marek (talk) 18:21, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
thanks I see the problem is the website with the OR is not that it is OR but that it is not RS and have removed it again Dbdb (talk) 23:15, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
It is reliable. Your edit literally deleted references to the Washington Post, Deutsche Welle, Forbes. Stickee (talk) 23:32, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Using a sequence of photos to draw a conclusion[edit]

This question is related to a discussion about images for Going commando at Talk:Going commando#Image again. My question, which I don't think is clearly spelled out in the NOR policy and guidelines, is how far editors can go in drawing conclusion based on a series of photos. Can we say that the model in File:Pierced blonde in studio 07.jpg is not wearing underwear because she isn't wearing any one minute later in File:Pierced blonde in studio 05.jpg (NSFW)? We don't know what costume changes too place in the one minute that passed between photos, so can we make assumptions? Do we even know if photo timestamps are accurate? How far, in general, can editors go in interpreting the meaning of a sequence of photos to reach conclusions that are beyond what you could see from looking at only one of the images in isolation?

And can we only look at File:Pierced blonde in studio 07.jpg and say, "well, she'd look different (IMHO) if she had underwear on"?

What I see is sources that mostly say that under normal circumstances (outside of exhibitionism or upskirt hijinks) others don't have any idea whether or not a person is wearing underwear, and in cases where others do find out it's because some social norm or expectation has been violated. Which raises the question of whether or not you can illustrate a topic which is not normally visible. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 21:43, 2 June 2015 (UTC)