Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive AL

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What to do when terminology differs from one country to another[edit]

I am working on a group of topics in which the terminology varies dramatically from one country to another. The biggest and most controversial example is the definition of the term "Learning Disability" as used in the US as compared to the UK.

In the US, the term is used to mean a specific difficulty with learning that is unexpected given the cognitive ability of the affected person, for example, a specific difficulty in learning to read where the person's overall cognitive ability is intact and in the normal range. In contrast, in the UK the term is used to refer to severe cognitive deficits (the old term for this in the US is "mental retardation").

Clearly, this could cause confusion in readers, and could even be terribly offensive to some people coming to the article for information.

Are there guidelines somewhere regarding what do do when the term relevant to a topic varies dramatically in different English-speaking countries?

Thanks in advance for any help,

smoran 19:19, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

In that case, follow the procedure in Wikipedia:Disambiguation. Jesse Viviano 19:45, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Writing Articles[edit]

I would like to write some articles em but I am not too good with writing. I haerd that there are people on here who you can pay to write articles for you. Where can I find them? Gatorphat 17:20, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Here. Quadzilla99 17:27, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Template for articles translated by non-English speakers[edit]

Hi, is there a template can be used for articles translated from other languages to English by someone who is not a native English speaker? Some zh.wp user is worried about the quality of articles translated by non-English speakers and might use that template to ask for quality improvements like grammar correction or reorganize the article. Thanks. --H.T. Chien (Discuss|Contributions) 16:03, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

If there is no such template existed, what do you think to have a template like This article or section is been translated by someone who is not a native English speaker, you may help to improve it.?--H.T. Chien (Discuss|Contributions) 16:08, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

WP:TC#Translations and pronunciations has a couple of useful templates. x42bn6 Talk 20:11, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
It would appear that {{Template:RoughTranslation|language}} is the one you are looking for. It is the fourth listed per the link provided by User:X42bn6. LessHeard vanU 20:23, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
That's exactly what we are looking for, thanks. ;) --H.T. Chien (Discuss|Contributions) 09:12, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Proposed clarification to No Legal Threats[edit]

Your input is requested here: Wikipedia_talk:No_legal_threats#Passive_but_intimidating_legal_FYIs. This is a proposed clarification, to indicate that WP:LEGAL is a bright line policy, but that "passive threats" can be uncivil. Thanks, Kla'quot 05:36, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Fair USe Image's[edit]

I vaugley remember their being a policy about Fair Use images couldn't be above a certain resolution. Could anyone direct me towards a page or policy that confirms or denies this? The Placebo Effect 01:14, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

No exact value is given, but WP:FU and WP:FUC basically say "only use what is needed". If a non-free image is being used to show someone swinging a golf club, we only need enough res to be able to see that (and possibly other things that might be important, such as who is swinging the club, but not what brand name is on the golf club, etc). -- Ned Scott 01:25, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

trivia[edit]

B"H

Concerning Trivia-sections in articles. Trivia-sections are preceded by the following announcement: Content in this section should be integrated into other appropriate areas of the article or removed, and the trivia section removed.

I happen to disagree with this, and my argument is as follows.

Frequently the information in the trivial-section is very interesting to the casual reader. Although information from the trivial-section might appear elsewhere in the article, the existence of a trivia-section is actually an asset to any article.

For your consideration, sincerely, Dovid de Bresser, Kemerovo , Russia . —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 80.89.159.36 (talk) 05:35, 25 April 2007 (UTC).

I agree when the trivia is organized in a way that makes sense and renamed to sections not called trivia. So when you read it, it is truly coherently interesting and informative and hopefully well-sourced as well. –Pomte 08:20, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I hear your argument, but I feel that good articles shouldn't need a Trivia section. We are an encyclopedia, and where Trivia listings include facts with references (in which case, they should be in the main article); where as in most Trvia sections, exist a combination "bucket" of singular comments and gossip, most of which are unreferenced or requiring citations. I here your reasoning on it being as easy/quick to read, to which perhaps there is a debate around an article based "did you know" section, could be a route to follow. Rgds, - Trident13 10:18, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
When I first started reading Wikipedia I loved trivia sections, now that I'm a more serious reader I detest them. I guess it just depends what you think Wikipedia is–a cool place to find out random gossip and factoids or a serious encyclopedia. Quadzilla99 10:53, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
When a trivia section is a laundry list, it's inappropriate. When it's just a handful of items each a sentence or two long, and not strongly related to any particular section of the article as it stands, then I say there's nothing wrong with it. The policy that trivia sections should be abolished goes too far. In my opinion, obviously. 207.176.159.90 22:53, 26 April 2007 (UTC)


Is this new thing I'm seeing? I've never seen this "trivia" tag until today. I can find nothing in WP policy that says there should be no trivia. See WP:N, specifically: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WP:N#Notability_guidelines_do_not_directly_limit_article_content -- "These guidelines do not specifically regulate the content of articles, which is governed by other Wikipedia's guidelines, such as those on the reliability of sources and trivia."

One reason I use WP is because you can't get the trivia in normal encyclopedias. The trivia sections in the articles are great, and one could argue that we should have a tag for articles that don't yet have trivia: "This article has no 'trivia' section. You can help by adding a trivia section." I hope there is NOT a new effort to remove trivia; or, to move trivia up into the main article sections, as it will be impossible to go specifically looking for trivia without the pain of reading the ENTIRE articles.

And if a reader doesn't like the trivia sections, they can simply ignore them. They serve a purpose, providing information. This is the WP goal. Gekritzl 20:08, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Digit grouping[edit]

The article Gumpert Apollo lists a price as "198.000 EUR," which can be inferred to mean one hundred and ninety-eight thousand euros, while other approximations of currency conversions use a comma to seperate the thousands from the hundreds. For consistancy, I changed the dot to a comma. The manual of style is somewhat vague on the usage of a dot in place of a comma. Because the use of a dot is accepted in much of the world, should some clarification be made as to its usage in the English Wikipedia? This usage is uncommon in English, so if it is considered acceptable usage, should it be replaced by a space, which is international standard? J Are you green? 21:48, 18 April 2007 (UTC)


"Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)" specifies "Large numbers may be divided up by commas every three places" and "A period (".") must be used as the decimal separator". I don't see this as somewhat vague. (1,079,252,848.8 km/h) is the usage in North America and the Commonwealth, and this is an English encyclopedia, not German or French. Chris the speller 22:31, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

marginal journalism[edit]

An editor is trying to distort the D. James Kennedy article by using unreliable sources. None of these people in the sources have qualifications to speak authoritatively on religious issues, yet by including them in the article who give credence to their outlandish claims that Dobson is a "leader" in the "Dominionist movement." I have checked sources, ranging from the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, to various religious, sociological and political journals and magazines carried by major academic databases such as Academic Source Premier and UMI/Proquest. I cannot find any other sources who make this outlandish claims except for these small group of journalists (and an activist website Theocracy Watch, which is even more unreliable as source). If this inclusion can be carried as NPOV, then I am not sure what can be excluded from Wikipedia at all. Please advice. --LC 19:12, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Initially, looks more like a edit-skirmish between yourself and a series of opposing view editors. The sources added by the anons would seem to pass WP:RS - you can't exclude a source because the writer doesn't have the right qualifications. Perhaps a question of balance yes, and disturbing that they removed you NPOV tag, so I have reapplied it and started a discussion on the talk page. Will keep a watch on the article. Rgds, - Trident13

As I said at Wikipedia talk:Neutral point of view#marginal journalism where LC posted exactly te same spurious complaint:

You could try going a step further... and say "According to source Z, X has been described as being Y<cite>" Blueboar 17:19, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Request for comments[edit]

Please comment on my suggested additions to Wikipedia:List guideline about what lists should not be created, here. Thanks in advance hujiTALK 10:39, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Sacrificing your own sysop bit to desysop one other administrator[edit]

I originally posted this at Bugzilla as Bug 9710, but it was rejected as asking for consensus on a Wiki.

By popular demand, I am posting a request to allow administrators to sacrifice their sysop bit in order to take away one other administrator's sysop bit. There are many reasons for this. First, a few administrators, like Wonderfool a.k.a. Dangherous on Wiktionary and Robdurbar on Wikipedia, become vandals and must be taken down ASAP. Second, some public terminals are zombies with keyloggers on them. Administrators who uses such terminals could get their accounts compromised by a vandal. Third, the steep price of losing one's sysop status will keep most administrators from abusing this. Fourth, by pointing the business end of this ability at oneself, it makes an easy way to resign without asking for a steward's help, which might have prevented Robdurbar from needing to go on a vandalism spree. Fifth, someone suggested that this would be a way for wheel warriors to stop wheel wars by themselves.

If this ability is implemented, a log for this type of action must be implemented. It cannot be a standard log, because stewards must be able to process and mark incidents in the log. When the ability is used, a new case is generated. These cases must be differentiated from other cases. The possible statuses (which should only be changed by stewards for reasons below) should be New, Assigned to a steward (which should indicate the steward's name), Forwarded to ArbCom (which would apply only to wikis with Arbitration Committees), and Closed. If the case is a resignation, it should automatically be entered as Closed instead of New in the sacrifice log.

Whenever this ability is used, a log entry must be generated for a steward to look at. The reason that only a steward should process this is that stewards are trusted enough to make final decisions on who should stay desysoped. If it is a resignation, no action needs to be taken. If it is an obvious case like the Robdurbar or Wonderfool cases, the steward can simply repromote the hero who stopped the rogue administrator. If it is a wheel war, the steward will have to investigate the case if it is on a small wiki and decide what to do. If it is on a wiki with an ArbCom, the case should be forwarded to the ArbCom for investigation. After the appropriate actions have been taken (e.g. the ArbCom closes the case or the steward who takes the case makes a decision), the steward needs to mark the incident as closed in the log. If it is decided that later on that bureaucrats should be able to desysop others, then the ability of handling sacrifice log entries should also be granted to them as well.

Of course, attempts to take away a steward's sysop bit should fail and result in no action whatsoever besides an error page explaining that stewards are immune to this, because stewards are required to be able to promote and demote other users.

Jesse Viviano 16:46, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like an exciting solution to a not-so-huge problem. I think it's creative, but I'm not sure how functional it would be on en.wikipedia.org. I'm concerned it would turn disagreements into a sort of "torpedo-warfare". I'd prefer something simple like making it so a block of an admin sticks and actually prevents them from adminning, unblocking themselves, etc. - CHAIRBOY () 16:51, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Not allowing administrators to take administrative actions while blocked is a recipe for disaster on smaller wikis. If a smaller wiki has a dispute between its only two sysops, the wiki could be hijacked if the original owner of the wiki was blocked in this manner. Wiktionary would have been permanently hijacked by Dangherous (who was a Wondefool sockpuppet) if administrators were not able to unblock themselves, because Danghrerous was able to block all other administrators. A developer wouold have had to take much more time to fix the mess. On wikis without developers (e.g. most wikis not owned by Wikia or the Wikimedia Foundation), this would have forced a reformat and reinstall to recover the wiki. Riana unblocked herself during the Robdurbar incident by having a strong enough rationale that WP:IAR trumped the don't unblock yourself rule, so self-unblocking, while usually bad, must be kept to stop wiki hijackers. Any solution implemented must be able to stop rogue administrators and wheel warriors while not allowing any possibility for wiki hijacking. Jesse Viviano 17:12, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I think, to stop this kind of problem, the tool should be made as an extension, disabled by default, and only enabled manually by a developer on larger wikis. Tra (Talk) 18:49, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
The "reformat and reinstall" comment is weird, and seems to be based on a misunderstanding how MediaWiki works (or too much time spent administering Windows computers). MediaWiki is just a bunch of PHP scripts, not an operating system. The computer as a whole is unaffected by who's an admin and who isn't; adminship is just a bit set in a MySQL database. So you don't need to "reformat" after a rogue admin, as long as MediaWiki doesn't have security holes so egregious that an admin could compromise not just the Wiki's content but the computer it's running on; and you don't need to "reinstall" to fix problems with admin bits as long as someone running the server knows MySQL. (This person could be called a "developer".) Wikimedia and Wikia do not control all MediaWikis, they just write the software. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 06:40, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I suggested before that maybe we could make effective blocking of an admin with the agreement of three other admins, and that this capacity be limited for safety reasons to at most three admins being effectively blocked at a time.--Pharos 16:58, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I would think the easiest solution would be if sysops couldn't unblock themselves, of course should a sysops go on a rampage, they could wind up blocking everyone who tried to stop them, sysops included--VectorPotentialTalk 17:01, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, which is why I suggested a quota of three admins to administer an effective block to an admin, to prevent just such a rampage. The idea of no more than three blocks at a time would be to limit the remote possibility of more than one admin on a rampage.--Pharos 17:04, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I like the "3v1" method of blocking an admin, coupled with the inability for an admin to unblock themselves. EVula // talk // // 17:15, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
It's an extreme solution to a rare problem. It would work for the Robdurbar case, where an admin wants to damage the Wikipedia as a whole, yes, but I would bet it would be used more often for the unfortunately more standard wheel warring, where admins just have strong disagreements about a few articles or users, and can sometimes be "talked down off the ledge" before being desysopped. If we have this available, too many wheel wars will escalate to this. So let's keep this on the back burner and only implement if admin insanity becomes more common. --AnonEMouse (squeak) 17:19, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

As I commented on Jesse Viviano's page, this is an excellent idea that cuts down on abuse and encourages resolution of serious admin disputes through discussion and mediation. I do not feel implementation will lead to "torpedo warfare" as from what experience I have it seems more that imminent threat of removal of privileges can pursuade hot-headed conflicting editors to calm down and reassess their actions in a fashion somewhat like that of the Nash equilibrium or Mutually Assured Destruction. It benefits neither editor for them both to be blocked, especially with the prospect of investigation and possible severe reprimand in the case of abuse. The occasions when this mechanism would come into play would be inherently serious and command attention. ŞůṜīΣĻ¹98¹Speak 17:51, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

One potential problem with this idea is that it would mean that two bureaucrats, or a 'crat and an admin, working in tandem could desysop everyone else (one to shoot down admins, and the other to repeatedly resysop them). I know that this is incredibly unlikely, but the fact that it would be possible would be something to think about. --ais523 18:09, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
That's assuming that a bureaucrat would get their bureaucrat status removed as well as admin status when they use such a tool. If bureaucrat status is unaffected, the problem would be even worse because a rogue bureaucrat could just use this tool to de-sysop loads of admins then re-promote themselves in between. You would also need to consider what happens when someone uses this tool against a bureaucrat. If bureaucrat status was unaffected, they could just re-sysop themselves, making it useless but giving admins the ability to remove a bureaucrat could perhaps be abused.
You would only need one bureaucrat, no matter what. The crat just has to: (1) create account (2) sysop account. Then you have 2 accounts, and the crat could just resysop the admin account whenever needed. Obviously admins shouldn't be able to remove Bcrat's status, since by default crats hold the desysoping ability anyway. Prodego talk 00:31, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
As for the log, I think just a standard log would be necessary, and perhaps a page on meta could be made for handling review by stewards, arbcom etc. Tra (Talk) 18:49, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Possibly, we could modify the suggestion so that aside from resignations, anyone who loses their sysop bit using this ability cannot be promoted by anyone other than a steward. Jesse Viviano 18:51, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Off topic: This discussion reminds me a lot of DEFCON (computer game). Mutual assured destruction here we come! --  Netsnipe  ►  19:04, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Bringing the good old days of IRC wars to wikis! What a fun idea. Of course, at some point, someone is going to bring in bots (apprpriately named chanserv and nickserv? Hmmm, no, Articleserv and Adminserv perhaps?) to fix the issues and allow people to actually edit again? :-) And then you'd have a whole new level of hierarchy and bureaucracy. Fascinating. --Kim Bruning 19:07, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

As a non-Admin, I have to say that actually - 17mins of proven destructive activity seems a pretty reasonable period in which to spot, assess and stop a rogue admin. Most rogue editors spend 17days+ building up a destructive record, and need four warnings before being blocked. The lessons seem to be that (1) Admins shouldn't be able to unblock themselves, and (2) perhaps a three on one rule seems a better solution to the nuke-on-nuke situation being proposed. But really, when you think about it - how much less than 17mins could we get this procedure, without having a clear track record of destruction to prove an admin as a vandal? An admin has a proven track record and a trusted position within the community - this proposal to me proposes that admins are a dodgey bunch who could turn vandal at any moment. Plus, what happens in the more likely human error level of one poor key stroke, which if read by a singular self-choice-destruct admin could kill your whole account and reputation here? To me, this seems an extreme proposal for a limited volume/low risk activity. Rgds, - Trident13 23:57, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

As an admin on other projects (not here), I'd just like to point out that this conversation is completely insane. If an admin turns into a vandal, you get in touch with a steward and have their tools (at least temporarily) removed. It's bad enough already that being an "admin" has the political connotations on this project that it does... please don't provide tools for "purging". An admin is supposed to be just another user who's trustworthy enough to have access to a few buttons we don't let people have the first day they show up. If a person is no longer trusted, the process of removing access to the buttons should be open to all. --SB_Johnny|talk|books 00:20, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

(EC) This seems like a solution in search of a problem. If an admin has obviously either lost it or had their account compromised, and is going around blocking people for no reason, deleting the main page, etc., you find a steward, they perform an emergency desysop, problem solved. If that type of incident were happening all the time, I could see a need for this, but not just based on a couple of occurrences. Similarly with disabling admins from unblocking themselves-you unblock yourself in a case like Riana did, where the block was obviously without cause, no one in their right mind is going to say you did wrong. You unblock yourself after getting blocked for 3RR, you're very shortly getting desysopped. Again, it's a rare problem and is already adequately handled. Seraphimblade Talk to me 00:32, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Sounds fun, but completely unneeded, it is a potentially dangerous solution to a not so big problem. Prodego talk 00:28, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
  • An easy way in which this can be abused: make an alternative account. Do some useful uncontroversial work for two months, making sure you pass all the irrelevant criteria. Nominate self for adminship. Congratulations, now you have two admin accounts. Use one to deop the person you disagree with on all those articles on that controversial topic. Lather, rinse, repeat. It's a cute idea but not practical. >Radiant< 07:58, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Are we talking about Bureaucrats going wild too, as well? If a Bureaucrat goes wild, it suggests RfB wasn't stringent enough or the community is at fault for developing the consensus to put them there. I don't feel there is a need to overcomplicate things - there are always Stewards around (hopefully). x42bn6 Talk 14:19, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Bizarre. Double edge attack will lead to more problems. Imagine a war between democrat admins and republican admins. We should be encouraging discussion not the contrary. Admins should be avoiding wheel wars willingly. -- Cat chi? 20:58, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

This is why I chose a steep price (losing one's sysop bit) in order to encourage other solutions to be sought. If the wheel war goes out of hand, this will help put a stop to it by destroying both wheel warriors' ability to use their sysop tools. The ArbCom will then probably keep both sysops from getting their sysop bits back because using this ability inappropriately during a wheel war means that both former sysops probably were too hot-headed to be administrators in the first place. Jesse Viviano 22:50, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
The logic is fine but I do not see the potential usage of this. If someone needs to loose their sysop, arbcom can take care of this rather easily. It is not like admins need to get desysoped every day. -- Cat chi? 22:56, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
This would make a good plot device for a science fiction story.
It is far in the future, and of course Wikipedia is still around, but PHP and MySQL are arcane lore than nobody understands anymore. Brion 45, the last of the developers, realizes that without his unique knowledge there will one day be no way to create more stewards. To allow the encyclopedia to preserve itself, he sets up a way for admins to take matters into their own hands by nobly sacrificing their admin bits. He then expires, in an event later referred to as Code Freeze Omega (Wikipedia's trillionth article). Bureaucrats and stewards become the targets of political assassinations, while holographic post-mortem recordings of Jimbo Wales appear occasionally to dispense advice, but even he could not foresee the insidious network of Citizendium loyalist double agents that emerges among the admins...
It would not, however, make a very good Wikipedia policy, or MediaWiki feature, since none of that story is real. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 07:06, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Articles on Acts of Infamy[edit]

I get the feeling this is going to be extremely controversial, but I think it's important to discuss. I'm not very neutral (since I'm a student at Virginia Tech and lost more than one close friend), so I won't suggest many specific ideas--just describe the problem.

Freedom of information is important, but at some point it may become a violation of integrity. For example, the shooter at Virginia Tech sent a video to NBC of himself as he wanted to be seen. By airing this video, NBC gave him the voice he wanted even as he took away the voices of thirty-two other individuals.

The worst part is that this voice is what will inspire (and in fact already has inspired) others to follow in his footsteps. He desired infamy, and he got it. Others will see that and try to get the same thing for themselves. This is pretty well-documented, I think (I don't remember names, but I think it's reasonably accepted by criminal psychologists).

My very general proposal is that Wikipedians take steps to take away the voices of those who commit acts of infamy. While it is absolutely necessary to document their lives--ideally to prevent it from happening in the future--it is not necessary to show their videos and pictures in order to understand them better. If videos and such things must be kept, put them on a separate page on psychology of killers. Don't attach them to the killer him/herself.

Additionally, if the shooter gets his or her own Wikipedia page, give each of the victims a page (rather than a redirect).

A quick clarification: such a policy would not apply to, say, Hitler, because although Hitler was responsible for many acts of infamy, the acts themselves were committed by others at his behest. In the case of the shooter at Virginia Tech, the danger is not of history repeating itself in the group sense, but rather in the individual sense.

In other words, studying Hitler tells people how to prevent/avoid acts of genocide. People are collectively capable of preventing those crimes. However, a shooting is not an act that involves any collective political momentum, and is very hard to prevent with any amount of study (except psychological).

Please, discuss. I may elect to stay out of the discussion, except to clarify individual points. --aciel 22:15, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

I would like to note that Wikipedia is not censored. Just because you may not want someone to have an article because of evil deeds does not mean that the person in question should not have an article. Captain panda 01:36, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm right there with you, and not proposing censorship--merely VERY careful presentation of all of the facts. --aciel 03:40, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
There are two sides to a policy debate to my mind. The first is the proposal and debate around it; and the second is how to implement that consensus into something which an editor can comply with when creating or editting an article. Our primary purpose here is to document fact, in an open environment - the counter debate to your proposal could be: "we want everything in the open so that such people can be more easily spotted in the future, and the authorities/police do their job." You may not agree with that, but it is a valid stance - but the balance between the two positions in such sensitive ares is better debated on the articles talk page than in policy: and we don't censor input. In trying to implement such a proposal, how could we do this? Ban videos of murderes (the video is now public domain), ban media input (how could we create sources)? I can see there is a sensitivity around timing (same rules couldn't be applied to something fifty years old? Nah, there are some old horrors out there as well), but again I don't see how policy could be defined as to what is right/wrong in every situation. For an example of a debate on a sensitive issue, see the one on killing/murder above - almost there, but that's on only one word. I like the idea and have like many others I am sure a great deal of sympathy for you and your freinds at VirginiaTech as you come to terms with what happened. But, I can't see how clear policy could be created which would cover all situations and meet our primary objectives. With Best Regards, --Trident13 10:50, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
As far as videos and pictures go... I would say that the video diatribe put out by the VT killer should not be used... not because of censorship, but becuase it should be considered a primary source... the use of which is discouraged under our rules. It is important to any article about an infamous event or person that we discuss (in a neutral tone) why the event happened and the person did what they did... and that may require quoting their statements... but we should be using reliable secondary sources to do so. The VT killer's stated motives were discussed by numerous magazines and newspapers... we should cite and quote those, and not quote him directly. Blueboar 15:32, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Contributor's name in image title: self-promotion?[edit]


Is there a policy on image-naming conventions that would settle whether it's permissible to include the name of the author and contributor of an image in the image's filename? The author/contributor in question is also a Wikipedia editor who uses his real name as his userid, and includes this name in the image's filename, so that the filename for a picture of a Corvette, for example, would be Corvette_by_[User's]_[Name].jpg .

I AGF, but also wonder if the purpose might not be self-promotion: a Google search on the editor's real name returns hits for the image files on Wikipedia precisely because the author has included his name in the image's filename. I note that in several articles the editor has without explanation substituted his own work for perfectly adequate images. Doing so has not appreciably improved the articles, but it has, of course, replaced the file with one bearing the editor's name and increased his visibility on the web.

In fact, on other websites the user advertises his work as a photographer by inviting people to view his work at Wikipedia -- and to visit his Wikipedia userpage, which raises the possibility that the userpage itself may be being used for self-promotion, contrary to WP:NOT#USER.

I have hunted around without much success for relevant policies, and while I suspect WP:NOT#SOAP is probably applicable, I'm wondering if there are other more precisely on point. Is there a policy on claiming authorship that might be applicable? --Rrburke(talk) 13:33, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

I think it is more of a case of proper attribution then self promotion. Especially in this time of copyright paranoia, it is particularly important to know exactly where an image comes from. If a Wikipedian takes an image, I don't see any problem with them making proper attribution in the file title. Now if they were a professional photographer including their phone# and hourly rate in the image file-that would cross into the self promotion line.AgneCheese/Wine 15:49, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
Not to mention, if the filename would otherwise be fairly generic (Corvette isn't too bad an example), I believe many users attach their username or some other unique identifier so that there's no issues over replacing an existing image, or to avoid a WP/Meta conflict where both images might be necessary for some purpose. Confusing Manifestation 01:58, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
In fact, IIRC, an image creator may if s/he choses, relase an image under a license that requires a specific form of attribution. In any case, we are required to attribute the iamge to its source or creator. Unless the creator is including filenames that link to a business or soemthing of that sort, I don't see a problem with this. DES (talk) 20:11, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Ok everybody -- what is Refactoring talk pages -- Essay? Guideline? Cleanup method[edit]

This one has been burning for quite a while here, what is WP:RTP? WP:EP#Editing_and_refactoring_talk_pages infers that it's a guideline, WP:TPG#User_talk_pages doesn't say much, there is no template on the page and I'm wondering if this can be interpreted as policy at all. (I've seen this used to 'refactor out' (delete) users comments on another talk page so I'm wondering what people think about this.) MrMacMan Talk 14:14, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Proposed security policy[edit]

See Wikipedia:Security

Please edit and discuss. See the talk page for background to this proposal. --Tony Sidaway 15:26, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

If you don't mind me tailing along, here is another proposal for a guideline on Wikipedia:Personal security practices that I was working on independently of these incidents, mainly out of the discussion on this thread at Wikipedia_talk:No_personal_attacks#Part_two. Any comments or concerns would be appreciated. Thanks,—ACADEMY LEADER FOCUS! 00:27, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Personal attacks[edit]

Where do you report someone for repeated personal attacks? Aaron Bowen 04:08, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Typically you give them 4 warnings, {{subst:uw-npa1}}, {{subst:uw-npa2}}, {{subst:uw-npa3}}, and {{subst:uw-npa4}}. After that, WP:ANI is probably the best place to go. —Remember the dot (talk) 04:18, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks he's been given at leat 6-7. Aaron Bowen 05:06, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Reference question[edit]

When you reference an online article that has 8-9 pages is there a way to indicate what page you're referencing in particular? I'm using this article[1] to add some to The Sopranos and series creator Dacid Chase. Should I even make each ref independent and link to that portion of the interview? Aaron Bowen 22:52, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Is there somewhere else I should ask this? Aaron Bowen 23:46, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Not to worry, this is fine. I don't see such capability at Wikipedia:Citation templates for {{Cite web}}, but of course, one doesn't have to use such a template. I don't think it's necessary. --Phoenix (talk) 00:20, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
So you're saying I should just link to the article and let the reader find the right page, and that this is common practice? Aaron Bowen 00:36, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
The Vanity Fair link which you provided mentions "currentPage=1", which appears to be a link to a specific page. Just supply that URL to refer to that specific page. If by "page" you're referring to having to scroll the screen, each screenful is not generally considered a page. You could mention a page in the template by using a similar page argument as similar templates, although it won't be displayed, just so the page number is recorded someplace (and future conversions might make it visible). Or just use the template for the rest of the citation and add "page 3" as text after the template. If someone thinks the citation needs to be fixed they can do so. Thanks for trying to be precise. (SEWilco 05:55, 6 May 2007 (UTC))
Okay I don't use templates, but I'll get around to adding the page number to the refs, thanks. Aaron Bowen 06:50, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

NPOV - Murder vs killing[edit]

There seems to be a bizarre NPOV inconsistency being raised over articles relating to people killed in Ireland. There are (1) victims of IRA / PIRA such as 86 year old Sir Norman Stronge, 8th Baronet and James Stronge; (2) victims of Loyalists such as Pat Finucane (solicitor), (3) “victims” of the British army such as Kieran Fleming; and (4) suicides such as Bobby Sands. There is a vocal and persistent lobby which is pro Irish Republican, many of whom belong to Wikipedia:WikiProject_Irish_Republicanism, which argues (I think) that a death is a killing until somebody is found guilty of murder even when that killing is generally defined and established as murder by law and in the international press. That lobby argues that the phrase “member of the IRA” should read “member (Volunteer) in the IRA” although this is not the consensus reached to date – the consensus was “member” on the first mention and volunteer on a subsequent occasion. They also argue that Northern Ireland should not be depicted with any flag even though the other constituent countries of UK enjoy flags; a different perspective is that the last flag used by the province should be depicted for consistency. Passions run high on both sides of the argument, many leaning heavily on WP:POV and WP:IDONTLIKEIT. In any event, a discussion would be helpful as to when the word “murder” is appropriate, with a view to achieving some sort of consistency. - Kittybrewster (talk) 16:01, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Now if you believe any of that, you'll believe that the moon is made of cheese!--Vintagekits 16:09, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
  • What Kittybrewster has said is true, but if we could keep the discussion to an attempt to formulate a policy on the murder/killing issue. The victims of the Virginia Tech killings were murdered, although the murderer can't be found guilty as he's dead! Would those who disagree Sir Norman was murdered agree with me?--Counter-revolutionary 17:27, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
  • All we need is Mr. Lauder and we will have the set of monarchists who have been invloved in !vote rigging, ALWAYS vote in "lock step" as one admin put it and vote in a "ILIKEIT" or "IDONTLIKEIT" manner. Pretty much everything your mate Kitty stated is incorrect and the rest make no sense so I cant make out if its correct or not.--Vintagekits 17:46, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
  • This is nothing but a distortion of the facts. The assassination of Stronge was described as "killing" after a lengthy and protracted discussion, including the insertion of this reactions section which states which media outlets called it murder. Nothing similar exists on the Pat Finucane article as I have pointed out on the talk page, so changing "murder" to "killing" without including a similar section while claiming something like "the Stronge page says killing" is not the same at all. With regard to "victims" of the British Army perhaps you should mention Séamus McElwaine, unlawfully killed by members of the SAS 5 minutes after he was wounded and captured, or countless others who were found to be unlawfully killed in courts of law? One Night In Hackney303 17:58, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment as an American, I'm pretty impartial to the IRA/UK issue so here is my thought. Murder is a fully charge and POV loaded word and should be avoid if it can be. However if the independent third party reliable sources (in this case international newspaper that are not Irish or British) overwhelming use the word to describe the event then that is what should be used in the article. AgneCheese/Wine 18:21, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Words to avoid should address this (and will as soon as I finish here) - "murder" should be avoided unless a conviction has been rendered, or a coroner/other official has used the word. In rare cases, media consensus could override this, but I am leery of that slippery slope. This came up with Rigoberto Alpizar last year. -- nae'blis 18:24, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Comment as an American - Minor point, but some American citizens were happy to fund various organisations in NI, even when those organisations were declared illegal terrorist groups. —comment added by DanBeale(t/c) 13:34, April 24, 2007
One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter! Are all Americans in Iraq terrorists?--Vintagekits 18:47, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Bringing this up in response to Agne's comment is damn near a personal attack. Please clarify, rephrase, or redact your statement, as it seems orthogonal to the discussion at hand. -- nae'blis 18:39, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Agne said "as an American, I'm pretty impartial to the IRA/UK issue" - I pointed out that it's a non-sequitur. Lots of Americans were funding paramilitary groups -on both sides- in NI. I have no idea how you think that's a personal attack. Dan Beale 17:41, 25 April 2007 (UTC)


The above points were broadly the same as mine with regards to the Finucane debate. A man was convicted of his murder, and as I pointed out on the talk page therefore it would be a simple matter to provide a plethora of independent sources that also used the term. Nobody chose to dispute this, otherwise I would have happily provided them. One Night In Hackney303 18:38, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Just because the murderer isn't caught it does not mean a murder didn't take place! That's absurd! --Counter-revolutionary 18:47, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
That is surely true. Rigoberto Alpizar seems similar to Seán Savage, in that both were killed by authorised government approved people - and therefore the term murder is inappropriate for them. I have no difficulty in perceiving the killing of the Strongs father and son as murder in that it was unlawful, intentional killing. - Kittybrewster (talk) 19:04, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
In that case I'm not sure if you understand NPOV that well. We go by what sources say, not personal opinion. One Night In Hackney303 19:12, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Reliable sources - yes of course. Also natural use of language. In the case of Sir Norman Stronge, 8th Baronet there has been rejection by the likes of Vintagekits of the word murder in the lead section, notwithstanding the fact that reliable sources say:
The killing was called murder by multiple media sources including The Daily Telegraph, The Scotsman, The New York Times and Time magazine and also by the Rev. Ian Paisley in the House of Commons and by Lord Cooke of Islandreagh in the House of Lords.[1]
Sir Norman was described at the time of his death by Social Democratic and Labour Party politician Austin Currie as having been "even at 86 years of age... still incomparably more of a man than the cowardly dregs of humanity who ended his life in this barbaric way."<:ref>In the Shadow of the GunmenTime Magazine<:/ref>
Tim Pat Coogan stated in The Green Book: I, "Sir Norman Stronge and his son were shot and their home burned because sectarian assassinations were claiming the lives of Catholics" <:ref>"The Green Book: I" from 'The IRA' by Tim Pat Coogan (1993)<:/ref>. The IRA were quoted in The Times: "This deliberate attack on the symbols of hated unionism was a direct reprisal for a whole series of loyalist assassinations and murder attacks on nationalist peoples and nationalist activities." <:ref>Christopher Thomas, "Ex-Speaker killed by IRA as reprisal", The Times, 23 January, 1981.<:/ref> (The statement did not claim any direct connection between the Stronges and the alleged loyalist killings.)
- Kittybrewster (talk) 20:04, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
The politically motivated killing of a rampant bigot during the middle of a war when Catholic civilians were being murdered in their 100's is not murder in my book.--Vintagekits 20:40, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
  • And what book's that? I wager no one cares about your book, we care about ref. sources. If you make any more allegations against the Stronges I shall report you. --Counter-revolutionary 20:48, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Thats your whole problem, you dont care what editors who disagree with you say - hence you POV editing. Stronge was killed because of his bad dress sense it was because he front a bigoted rabble akin to the KKK.--Vintagekits 20:58, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
  • To me POV is saying, as you did, The politically motivated killing of a rampant bigot during the middle of a war when Catholic civilians were being murdered in their 100's is not murder in my book. It is NOT POV for me to say we care about ref. sources. You defamatory comments also show your PoV.--Counter-revolutionary 21:02, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Was Stronge or was Stronge not a Sovereign Grand Master of the Royal Black Institution and a member of the Orange Order?--Vintagekits 21:06, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, and where his murderers not members of the IRA (a proscribed organisation - within the UK, which, in case you forgot, includes Northern Ireland), who took no regret in murdering an 86 year old man with high-velocity weapons and then bombing his home? --Counter-revolutionary 21:11, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
The motivation of certain people is becoming more and more apparent. One Night In Hackney303 21:14, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, my motivation is to express FACT. You'd do well to remember what the facts are. --Counter-revolutionary 21:17, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm assuming that's why you changed the word "murdered" to "killed" on Pat Finucane then, given he was an unarmed man shot 14 times in his own home in front of his family? One Night In Hackney303 21:33, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
I made it clear on the Talk page that I did that to provoke this discussion. I consider that murder too. --Counter-revolutionary 21:36, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
So you deliberately breached WP:POINT and expect admin to ignore that?--Vintagekits 22:53, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes obviously. Is membership of the Orange Order justification for unlawful murder of an 86 year old? What “book” does that come from? It sounds POV to me. - Kittybrewster (talk) 21:37, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
This is veering swiftly into a discussion of a single article, which should be done at that article's talk page. Issues of general concern regarding inconsistent use of the word "murder" are policy matters, the use of the word in a single article is a content matter. Please stay on topic, and civil. -- nae'blis 21:40, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Does alleged "political motivation" cause murder to become a killing? - Kittybrewster (talk) 22:06, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
To lend my two cents: a rectangle is always a square; a square is not always a rectangle. Or... murder is always killing; killing is not always murder. I say that "kill" be used to remain intentionally vague, then devote a section to those supportive of the killing whom term it whatever term that side deems fit to end a person's life; and also the counter-argument which terms it murder. --Bossi (talk ;; contribs) 22:17, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Generally, I'd say we should use "murder" in the following cases:

  • Someone has been convicted of the murder.
  • A police official or coroner has ruled the death a murder.

In other cases, neutral terms such as "death" or "killing" probably are better-suited. Seraphimblade Talk to me 22:19, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Both of those are clearly WP:RS. But so are reputable sources such as "Time". Does that justify using the word in the lead section? - Kittybrewster (talk) 22:30, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
If Time has reported the death as a murder, we could probably reasonably presume that they use similar standards. Unless their classification of the death as a murder is disputed by other reliable sources, yes, that would likely work. Seraphimblade Talk to me 22:45, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
The different is that the republican movement were fighting against a state oppressor - the republican movement did not convict British army soliders for killing there members but it was the case when it was vice versa - there is lies the imbalance.--Vintagekits 22:57, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm not even going to begin to get into the fairness or rightness of the situation, this is not the forum in which to discuss that. While writing articles, however, we use information verifiable through reliable sources, not what we think. Seraphimblade Talk to me 23:00, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

My view is that "killed" should be used in place of "murdered" or "assasinated" in all articles related to the Troubles. Inserting/removing these type of words into articles is fairly clear POV pushing on both sides. To quote WP:NPOV, views should be represented without bias and let the facts speak for themselves. Stu ’Bout ye! 08:29, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

I suppose my view is that WP:RS takes priority over WP:NPOV. - Kittybrewster (talk) 09:09, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Seraphimblade was bang on the money earlier, when he said murder should only be used if:
  • Someone has been convicted of the murder.
  • A police official or coroner has ruled the death a murder.
That makes it clear cut and narrowly defined, and doesn't allow editors any leeway to add terms based on the opinion of a mere journalist. It's quite possible to still have a reactions section as in the Stronge article. One Night In Hackney303 09:16, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I take your point, but still feel it is better to have a blanket decision that "killed" be used across the board. At the minute the Louis Mountbatten article states he was killed, despite Thomas McMahon being convicted of murder. It is the same for several other articles in Category:People killed by the Provisional IRA. These inconsistancies will creep in if we don't have a blanket decision. Stu ’Bout ye! 09:33, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I've no objections to that, just that my endorsing of it might be seen as an attempt to remove murder from a lot of articles. I'm happy with "murder" under narrowly defined circumstances, or I'm happy if it's not used at all except in say a reactions section, but I'm not happy at it being used based on the opinion of a journalist. One Night In Hackney303 09:37, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I read "In general, a topic should use the most reliable sources available to its editors." I am not sure that coronors' verdicts are invariably available to editors. Natural use of language suggests that Mountbatton was [unlawfully] murdered rather than [sanitised / POV] killed. But he is a good example of edit warring resulting in POV. Why should the WP:RS not prevail as suggested by ONIH and Seraphimblade? Incidentally, I am generally finding this debate constructive and focused which is credit to all. - Kittybrewster (talk) 09:47, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Acutally I find that offensive, Mountbatton was a leading military and statesman figure who was killed during a time of war - if an enemy juristrication finds a man "guilty" of "murdering" him then it is not a neutral use of the term murder, I would strongly oppose any use of the word murder when it relates to this type of situation. --Vintagekits 09:51, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
To be fair, the only edit warring I see on Mountbatten is in the last 10 minutes by two editors who are involved in this discussion, I'd ideally expect them to concentrate on this and see if any consensus can be reached rather than go off half-cocked. The problem with allowing "murder" based on the opinion of a journalist is the vast number of possible sources that could be used, all an editor needs to do is find one journalist who was outraged enough to use the term murder, which isn't difficult especially considering some of the right wing tabloids in the UK. That's why I think it's better off being narrowly defined. On second thoughts, I'm unsure about coroners, for the simple reason that to the best of my knowledge they don't actually return verdicts of murder, unlawful killing is the norm. One Night In Hackney303 09:55, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree, articles shouldnt be changed until this is ironed out. I find it absurd that an Irish republican can be labelled a murderer by the British Government for engaging in an act of war - it goes against everything in WP:NPOV - now if the judgement was from a European court or other neutral body that it should be considered but where Irish republicans are concern the British government and it judicial system are not neutral - just ask the Guilford Four or Birmingham Six.--Vintagekits 10:00, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break 1[edit]

  • Comment/thought: I think its good to have this debate, but couldn't we use legal precedence in defining policy? Any one who meets an end quicker than they should have at the hands of another/s is killed. Only when a court has established who did that and under what circumstances could they be defined as murdered, as there is a convicted murderer/s. I think some may be confusing police terminology, where they may declare a murder hunt, but that's police terminology/policy and not legal outcome of any resulting case which will take full precedent. The ony problem of adopting this fully would be cases of manslaughter, where the killing is unplanned, as opposed to murder where there was both motivation and an amount of planning/fore thought. In applying this proposal to the specific cases of the incidents of Northern Ireland, we could dismiss as POV in articles focusing on singular incidents/people any intentions of either side until a court/coroner had ruled which way the specific/wiki-articled incident was classified? The main/top level articles in addressing the parties involved could claim policies and intentions with suitable references; but that specific articles which relate to killings are not classified as anything else except killings until the appropriate court authority had ruled. Rgds, - Trident13 10:11, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough points made, however, British courts are not neutral - additionally we went through these arguments when Stu nominated the "Northern Irish murderers" category for deletion - Stu, have you a link to that discussion?--Vintagekits 10:17, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Can't find it, this is a related one. VK, I think it would be best if you left your views on people/incidents to yourself. They're not really relevant to these discussion or an encyclopedia in general. I'm referring to comments like "bigoted rabble akin to the KKK". Also, if someone is convicted of murder then they're convicted of murder. You could call into question any court in the world, but your views that it is illegitimate aren't relevant. Stu ’Bout ye! 10:51, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree Stu, its just when the usual moarchist editors come on and start labelling the republican side "terrorists" and "murderers" then I feel it necessary that there are two sides to every story, its kind of childish name calling I agree and thanks for the coment Stu - noted.--Vintagekits 11:03, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I absolutely agree that nobody should be labelled a murderer without having been found guilty by a court of law. This discussion is about the articles on the victims or subjects of that which the law (and/or public opinion) determines to be murder. I don’t think a reputable source such as ”Time”, “The New York Herald”, “Hansard” or “The Times” would use the word “murder” inadvisedy. They are accepted by this community as WP:RS. If another RS thinks it is not murder, that fact can obviously be included in the article. I am not engaging with VK on his generalising “monarchist” comments etc; better to let him consider the moon is cheese. In the case of Lord Mountbatten I see that even the organisation responsible for the murder (INLA vs PIRA) is contested which seems to me strange. You would think there would be general acceptance as to that fact (whatever it is). - Kittybrewster (talk) 11:26, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Again, you're confusing "facts" with the opinions of journalists. One Night In Hackney303 11:29, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
No. I am assuming journalists words in reliable sources are checked and approved by a responsible editor. That is the process which distinguishes Time from "whatever". As you say, we rely on sources rather than opinion. - Kittybrewster (talk) 11:39, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Trying to pick up the positive points of this debate, and using legal precedent as a way of defining wiki policy, each of the cases highlighted in this debate are still currently termed unlawful killings by a coroner, and are all open murder cases. The reason the journalists feel legally safe to use the term murder is that the police have already termed it a murder hunt - although its not a murder until a court has ruled it so. I don't see why we couldn't use legal precedence, and still quote journalists claiming a "murder" under WP:RS? If we were to implement this as policy, we would need to expand the article on unlawful killing, and I think add two categories - one on Unlawful killing (which articles could move from once the court had ruled), and one on open murder cases (again, moved from once court had ruled). Rgds, - Trident13 11:44, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. - Kittybrewster (talk) 11:50, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
  • VK, why accept the ruling of the British Courts (who you say aren't neutral) regarding Pat Finucane but not regarding Lord Mountbatten. Is it because you only agree with what suits you?--Counter-revolutionary 11:31, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Where have I commented on Pat Finucane? I think you need a wee lie down for yerself cos yer gettin a bit confused!--Vintagekits 11:44, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Also, murder isn't the correct term for the death of a political figure anyway, the term is assassination. One Night In Hackney303 13:05, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
There is no legal term I can find for assassin at present under UK or USA law. Its a dictionary word used to describe a murder of a prominent figure for mainly political or sometimes financial gain. There is legal definition around the word Terrorist, and most countries have legal definitions of being a terrorsit or committing an act of terrorism. In the UK we have a law on contract murder, which may or may not involve exchange of monies/goods - but that's a charge on the contracting party, not the murderer. People who commit such acts defined journalistically as assassination would still be tried legally for murder - in some political cases, there my be an additional case of treason. Rgds, - Trident13 13:30, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
WP:NPOV says to let the facts speak for themselves. The fact is that, for example, Stronge was killed. If the manner of his death is made clear, it's then up to the reader to make their own mind up. One Night In Hackney303 14:09, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
It is a fact that the Stronges and Mountbatten died, were unlawfully killed, were assassinated and were murdered. What is the problem with the word ”murdered” when it is reliably sourced? - Kittybrewster (talk) 15:21, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
No, it's a fact they were killed. Anything else is POV. One Night In Hackney303 15:38, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
The killings were unlawful. - Kittybrewster (talk) 16:14, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
That depends on yer perspective.--Vintagekits 16:15, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
No. They were against the law. - Kittybrewster (talk) 16:17, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Unlawful killing does not equal murder though. One Night In Hackney303 16:18, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I think ONIH is acknowledging the killings are unlawful. Which is step 1. Step 2 is to define the sub-branch of unlawful killing. - Kittybrewster (talk) 17:34, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I have a law degree, and I think I'm right in saying Kitty does too, and unlawful killing is murder. This is not a case of manslaughter! --Counter-revolutionary 16:29, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
  • No, an unlawful killing verdict from a coroner does not automatically mean murder. One Night In Hackney303 16:31, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, I think law schools everywhere would want you to inform them what it does mean! --Counter-revolutionary 16:33, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
With pleasure! Unlawful killing does not mean murder, simple fact. One Night In Hackney303 16:34, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Sir Norman Stronge did not die as the result of dangerous driving!!! --Counter-revolutionary 16:37, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
  • And now, can we please get back to a policy debate? I suggested using legal precedence as a basis for definition of wiki policy. I made a suggestion on expanding the unlawful killing article, and adding two new categories - Unlawful killing; open murder cases. I realise that when applied to certain situations such as Northern Ireland, the emotion and perspective of what is/is not fact can become difficult to debate let agree on. But we are trying to agree a clear policy. I am sure if, using an analogy, Ian Paisley can shake hands Gerry Adams, and look to the future; we can agree a better policy for the definition of terms around the difficult subject of premature death at the hands of another human being - whatever the reasons for that. Rgds, - Trident13 17:22, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
That sounds good to me. - Kittybrewster (talk) 17:34, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
OK, I have a question or two. If someone is described as being killed and it is made expressly clear how they died, do the facts speak for themselves? Does the changing of killed to murdered really matter? One Night In Hackney303 17:47, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
It clearly does. If it did not, then people would not be so keen to delete the word "murdered" and replace it with "killed". Both perspectives seem to think that "killed" somehow sanitises or lessens the act. I have two questions. Do you think it matters and if so why? Do you agree the killings of the Stronges and Mountbatten were unlawful? - Kittybrewster (talk) 18:20, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
You didn't answer my first question, perhaps you would be so kind as to do so. Killed is a more neutral word, and so is better per WP:NPOV. My own personal opinion on the deaths of two people in a lengthy conflict is not relevant, and you also seem to be forgetting that there's another side of the coin. The lead to Séamus McElwaine currently says killed, despite the inquest returning a verdict of unlawful killing. Do you consider the shooting of an man five minutes after he had been wounded and captured to be murder? How about Bloody Sunday? Do you consider the killing of unarmed civil rights protesters to be murder? Those are purely rhetorical questions as I really don't want to get involved in a debate about the rights and wrongs of any particular incident. Killed is a more neutral word, and providing the circumstances in which a person was killed are provided the reader is able to make their own mind up. One Night In Hackney303 18:56, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Killed is an easier word to use, and seems to be better for AGF and CIVIL, as well as NPOV. Perhaps "murdered" could be kept for articles about convicted murders; "John Doe murdered " etc? Dan Beale 22:12, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I broadly agree, except I'd prefer something like "John Doe was convicted of murdering". One Night In Hackney303 22:14, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, clearly the emotions expressed here in this debate, let alone anywhere else show the terms do matter. But, here's a thought following up on your "is there a difference" question/thought. If there is presently no legal conviction of a murderer, then perhaps in opening para's we should say killing or unlawful killing, depending on the current legal/coroner cases. After that in the main article, we could allow the term murder to be used IF we have either a police murder hunt under way with a reference OR three independent journalistic references complying with WP:RS. In reading some of the articles debated here, the facts in the Sir Norman Stronge, 8th Baronet article punch through personally and I conclude it was a murder; while the Pat Finucane (solicitor) case is written as a murder article from the opening, while the facts alone would punch through as a clear murder case - but the words presently used in the article don't allow any other thoughts or conclusion, except murder. Rgds, - Trident13
Very helpful. And yes, I would say Séamus McElwaine should be changed to "unlawfully killed" based on what ONIH says. And FWIW if the statements made in the Bloody Sunday article are true then IMHO that too was unlawful killing. - Kittybrewster (talk) 20:26, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm a bit lost here, are you proposing using "unlawfully killed" instead of "murdered"? Aren't almost all killings unlawful to begin with, so it's a bit of an unnecessary qualifier surely? One Night In Hackney303 21:07, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
The Stronges and Mountbatten and Finucane were surely murdered. They were unlawfully killed by non-government approved people. The Bloody Sunday victims were wrongfully killed by government soldiers; that is certainly wrong but might be lawful. - Kittybrewster (talk) 21:12, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Again, I'd rather not get involved in discussions about individual examples. What are you proposing policy/guideline wise? One Night In Hackney303 21:24, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I rather agree. Trident13 seemed to be coming up with something constructive. - Kittybrewster (talk) 21:44, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
For clarity (1) we use legal precedence as the defining policy (2) Until a person is convicted of a murder, the article on the killing is referred to in it's intro section as a killing or unlawful killing, depending on present legal status (3) in the sub sections (which normally firstly give background on the victim, and then a portrait of the incident of killing), we use the term killing or unlawful killing UNLESS there is an ongoing and referenced police investigation under the heading Murder Hunt OR there are three journalistic references which comply with WP:RS (4) we expand the article Unlawful Killing (5) we create two new categories called Unlawful Killing and Open Murder cases, and (6) the opening para uses precedence murder once someone is convicted of the crime of murder. That's the present proposal. We could go a little further and add a category Appealed Murder Cases for those which are being disputed. Hope that clarifies the proposal. Rgds, Trident13
For further clarity I disagree. No British court has the right to label Irish republicans as murderers. If an Iranian government stated that Bush is a murderer should we state that in his article. This issue is similiar to the terrorist issue - to state someone is a terrorist is purely POV just as is murderer in these circumstances. It should be stated as killed or death not murderer.--Vintagekits 22:02, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
We are talking about the victims - not the alleged perpetrators. If Joe Soap is convicted of murder then that is a different issue. If Joe Soap is unlawfully killed in a premeditated manner then the motives of the killer are a matter for the text of the murderee's and the murderer's article. But, e.g., Mountbatten was undoubtedly murdered and there is no reason not to say so. There is sufficient WP:RS supporting that statement. - Kittybrewster (talk) 22:23, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Dandruff wasnt "undoubtedly murdered" he was killed. I am sure you could find WP:RS sources to say he was murdered but he wasnt he was killed, I am sure you could find WP:RS sources to say it was terrorist that killed him but we wouldnt use that terminology in this respect also.--Vintagekits 22:36, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Ok, lets test the proposal. (1) legal precedence - if person A walks into country B and kills person C, and is then convicted of murder, then the law which presides is the law of the country in which the crime is committed. I can see that creating some opportunities which I may also disagree with, but it is clear policy and legally correct. Now, you correctly mention mention GW Bush and Iraq as a test: I would add a wiki exemption to legal precedence - we define the murderer as the person who is in the presence and commits the murder, not someone sat a few thousand miles away who defines a political policy or initiates a contract killing. Most of these political cases may journalistically mention murder, but if they are tried in these cases the charges are normally (if ever brought) waging war against country X, and not murder. Rgds, - Trident13
How about this - a US solider is Iraq shoots and an insurgant in Iraq - is he a murderer?--Vintagekits 22:47, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Some error in the construction of that sentence. But the US soldiers in Iraq are acting with the consent of the present government and has the authority to kill insurgents, subject to various restraints. Thomas McMahon was convicted of murdering Louis Mountbatten in the Republic of Ireland and was imprisoned there. Undoubted murder. You don't like it. - Kittybrewster (talk) 22:58, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Dandruff was Admiral of the Fleet of the British Navy and the IRA was at war with the British military machine - therefore he was killed during the war - thankfully!--Vintagekits 23:03, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Test the proposal again - potentially yes, BUT legal precedence would be Iraqi law (killing occured in Iraq), then American and overall UN Human Rights. The insurgent was killed, but if no court brings a case and convicts the soldier of murder then no, it was not murder. The opportunity may be that someone can find three (for example only) Iranian journalists who write that it was murder, but there are also in these cases other journalists who would write that it was an insurgent killing, and WP:POV would take care of the balance between the two sets of sources. We have had cases of British soldiers convicted under British Military law of crimes in Iraq, so the proposal would seem to work. Rgds, - Trident13
VK. McMahon also murdered The Dowager Baroness Brabourne, Mountbatten's elder daughter's mother-in-law (aged 83), the Hon. Nicholas Knatchbull, his elder daughter's fourth son (aged 14), Paul Maxwell, a 15 year old Protestant youth from County Fermanagh who was working as a crew member. - Kittybrewster (talk) 23:11, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Not really, Mountsplatten killed them himself - Gardai in Sligo told him on a number of occasions not to sail the boat but his arrogance was obviously something he could not control as he swaned around his fornerly occupied territory and he ignored these warnings and put their lives at risk - infact he is a disgrace for doing it - sickens me that someone would use their own family like that. --Vintagekits 23:16, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Rubbish. - Kittybrewster (talk) 23:18, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Will you two please stop bickering - you sound like an old married couple! - Trident13
"Rubbish" - great comeback! Whats rubbish about it?--Vintagekits 23:23, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Interesting approach people take. I wonder how VK would describe the murder of two Australians in the Netherlands by IRA operatives? --Michael Johnson 00:39, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Where they the targets Michael? I suppose you dont think the Irish people should be aloud to stand up for themselves and fight back against a state that has oppressed them for near 800 years. But just ignore that as it doesnt suit tabloid headlines to get past the sensational.--Vintagekits 09:09, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
The Irish can do what they like in Ireland. But even if we allow the IRA the status of combatants in a war, the attack was an act of war against two neutral countres, the Netherlands and Austraia, and a war crime as it involved the cold-blooded killing of two unarmed civilians. If we don't allow the IRA the status of a combatant, it was simple murder. --Michael Johnson 09:29, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Its a bit more complex then your tabloid statements make out Michael as well you know - Civilians were not the target and as for the IRA being in the Netherlands - if the Netherlands allows British Army barracks to be posted in the Netherlands then are likely to be attacked. Why dont you provide a link so that other can really know what happened that day then we can get back to the topic.--Vintagekits 09:35, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
You mean the IRA shot up a car carrying two cleancut young men with British plates because they thought they might be British servicemen? To me that just shows, at a minimum a careless disregard for human life. So it is ok to shoot up any car you want, anywhere in the world, on the suspicion it might be the "enemy"? And had there been sufficent evidence, I'm sure the participants would have been convicted of murder. As for the IRA, their carelessness probably did them a lot of harm. In Australia they went from being s respectable cause in political circles to anathama. --Michael Johnson 09:44, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Michael, in a lot of ways you right - it was a terribly botched operation and altough I can speak for others I can say that I am very sorry if an innocent civilians die - but I am sure you will agree that 1. no army can stand by ever operation they carry out and 2. I do not support every operation that they carried out no matter what the motivation.--Vintagekits 09:56, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
  • If this degenerates into another political discussion around the pro's/con's of any particular "conflict" past or present, then it suggests that we should close this debate as inconclusive. I thought we were here to discuss policy, and write an encyclopedia, not debate the particular points of view that any of us happens to personally feel about, or gode others about particular cases from the past. Yes, we may use particular articles to discuss how applying proposed policy may affect certain articles, but its just to discuss how the proposed policy could be implemented. Please post your thoughts about whether we should close this discussion as inconclusive below this post, or agree just to discuss policy from this point forwards. Rgds, - Trident13 09:37, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Henry Kissinger once said, "a people who have been persecuted for 2000 years must be doing something wrong." Clearly the Irish are not getting it right either.
However the topic is killing -v- murder, let us recall that the the former is easily defined, and the latter term a specific legal term for which a number of things must be true;
  • The act must be premeditated and intentional
  • The act must be unlawful
  • The person committing the act must be of sound mind
  • Someone needs to die within a set period of time as a result
  • A body is not required
Its not an issue of NPOV the difference is simply a legal one. --Gibnews 09:46, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Agreed. This is not about WP:POV or WP:POINT. Murder is the correct term. Motivation is irrelevant and unproven. And the IRA and their apologists do not represent the Irish people or nation. - Kittybrewster (talk) 10:06, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Agreed - the POV of the British Government as to who is a murderer and who isnt shouldnt count. --Vintagekits 10:09, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I think there is a danger this discussion will get sidetracked into a debate over the merits of physical force Irish republicanism, when what we are really about is writing an encyclopaedia. I think it better to keep to descriptive terms and to avoid suggestions of pejorative implications (even if the sentiments are ones which the vast majority would agree). "Killing" is appropriately descriptive. "Murder" is descriptive if the context is a legal one. "Manslaughter" should be avoided except in a strict legal context. "Assassination" should be restricted to cases where the person or organisation responsible explicitly claims a political motive. Of course, quotations should be kept accurate. Sam Blacketer 10:14, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I am happy with assassination in the case of prominent figures like Mountbatten, the Stronges and Thatcher. Murder is the correct term for Finucane. - Kittybrewster (talk) 10:19, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Thatcher was assassinated? Oh no! Yes, I agree on those. Finucane looks like more a case of revenge. Sam Blacketer 10:46, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Could be. But let us keep motivation out of it. - Kittybrewster (talk) 10:59, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Do we have consensus? - Kittybrewster (talk) 22:59, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
What exactly do you think the consensus is? Also we're having a discussion to avoid edit wars, so that isn't exactly in good faith. One Night In Hackney303 23:02, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
She was murdered by McMahon. That is not the same as she died. - Kittybrewster (talk) 23:33, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Again, we're not here to discuss individual articles. We're trying to find a uniform approach that applies to all articles. One Night In Hackney303 23:38, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break 2[edit]

  • Apparently there's a bloody discussion going on here. Why was Finucane murdered but, according to her article, Lady Brabourne not? Convictions were gained in both situations and both were civilians. --Counter-revolutionary 23:17, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Actually one was a Volunteer not a civilian. Who is the murderer just like who is a terrorist is POV.--Vintagekits 23:19, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
If Pat was a IRA member he was, by your logic, killed in a war - not murdered!--Counter-revolutionary 23:21, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
  • The articles aren't the same at present, because rather than have edit wars and/or discussions across a variety of articles, we're having a centralised discussion about what terms should be used. So how about until the discussion has come to a conclusion people concentrate on it, and leave the articles be? One Night In Hackney303 23:22, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Righto, If Pat was a IRA member he was, by your logic, killed in a war - not murdered!--Counter-revolutionary 23:21, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Therefore anyone he killed wasn't murdered either. One Night In Hackney303 23:26, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Not if they were civilians directly targetted. Besides a war didn't exist. If it did, we would all agree it was the British who won,and if they did, those men would be charged with war crimes! It's a slippery slope of hypothesis! --Counter-revolutionary 23:28, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Getting back to the discussion anyway.... One Night In Hackney303 23:33, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Heading away from Belfast for a second, how would "murder/killing" be applied to the victims of the Munich massacre? Or to the perpetrators of said atrocity who met their ends at the hands of the Mossad? ŞůṜīΣĻ¹98¹Speak 23:43, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Not really sure, but Mossad are hardly law abiding citizens. I'm still entirely unconvinced that there's a case for including murder unless a conviction has been gained. It doesn't add anything to the articles, it's simply adding a loaded and POV term, and could even be original research on occasions. Per policy WP:NPOV we should let the facts speak for themselves, say who killed them and how, and let the reader make their own mind up. One Night In Hackney303 06:44, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you, murder has much more negative connotations than killing. Barring that its definition varies too much from worldview to worldview, it adds nothing meaningful factually to a discussion. If the circumstances of the killing are clearly written about, people will be able to make this decision themselves. If it so happens that someone doesn't agree with the use of the word murder in a particular article, they will probably edit it out mentally, but the use of loaded language in supposedly NPOV articles reflects badly on the community. If you are going to use the term at all, I think it needs to be framed by whose(goverment or other group probably) view it is. Something like "Convicted of murder in the United States" or "Considered by the UN to be guilty of murder"; that way people can make their own decisions about the efficacy and legal standing of the claim. Under these circumstances I wouldn't even mind having a religous definition of murder used, so long as the argument is not original research.--Shadowdrak 15:55, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Very well put. I agree, the default should be "killed". Otherwise murder should only be used when a conviction was made. And it should state who they were convicted by. eg the Louis Mountbatten article could read - "He was killed by the Provisional IRA, who planted a bomb in his boat at Mullaghmore, County Sligo in the Republic of Ireland. Thomas McMahon was subsequently convicted of his murder in the Irish High Court. Stu ’Bout ye! 16:08, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

That's completely in line with what I said earlier, regarding "x was convicted of murder". as Gibnews and Kittybrewster both agree that murder should not be used unless a conviction is gained, we seem to have reached a conclusion? One Night In Hackney303 18:03, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
...does that mean it should always be used when a conviction was gained? I think so. --Counter-revolutionary 18:20, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Easy tiger, let's just wait for a conclusion before rushing off and amending articles. One Night In Hackney303 18:22, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Death is a state of being (or lack there of), killing is an action resulting in death, and murder is crime based on an opinion of the intent or state of mind of the killer. Even if the opinion comes from a judge or jury it is still a point of view. Why should an encyclopedia be judgmental? It seems that we should report that: (a) the person is dead, (b) the act of killing was allegedly committed by X, and (c) that Y was convicted of murder by jury. To say that Y killed X should be qualified by suspected or alleged unless there was a confession. To say that Y was convicted of murdering X is a fact, to say that Y murdered X is opinion. --Kevin Murray 18:42, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
I think we have reached conclusion (at last!) Just to answer Kevin Murray's point, we write artciles based on fact, which is not necessarily the truth. Fact is referencable - where as POV is not, or uses selected references to "factualise" its point. Yes, a certain person may be innocent, but if they have been convicted of a crime by a court (which again, we may not agree with the structure or process of), but it is a referencable fact. As I said above in this discussion, I may not like this on certain occaions, but it is a procedure which we can use to construct and edit articles. Rgds, - Trident13 20:30, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree that reporting a "murder conviction" is a fact, but stating that someone was "murdered" is expressing a point of view. --Kevin Murray 23:04, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
We generally don't write articles on Murderers, only their victims. See the debate above and the last proposal I made, which states unless there is conviction of a named murderer or three independent WP:RS sources, then murder can't be used in an article - only killing. Are you suggesting an ammendemnt to this proposal? If so, speak up soon because we seem about to close this debate. Rgds, - Trident13
Actually when it comes to the IRA the converse is generally true except for high profile people, we have articles about the killers but not the victims, assuming the killers are notable enough obviously. Also I'll just re-state the consensus as I see it, to make sure everyone else is in agreement. The death of someone will always be referred to using killed/killing/etc, and if someone was convicted of their murder an additional sentence something along the lines of "x was convicted of murder" will be added. Is that correct? One Night In Hackney303 15:40, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I would go along with both of the above as long is it is clearly specicified exactly who he was convicted by i.e. under which juristiction and what type of court, this is very importmant in terms of NI issues. --Vintagekits 15:47, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm OK with a "conviction only" rule on the use of murder. Also just as a check, we are also OK with unlawful killing with suitable coroners verdict? Rgds, - Trident13 15:49, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Almost all (if not all) the killings we're discussing are unlawful by definition though, so it seeems an unnecessary qualifier to me? One Night In Hackney303 15:52, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I can see what you are saying, but if we are sticking with legal precedence then normally the coroners inquest is opened and suspeneded pre the murder trial. Hence the dead person would be killed, while the alleged purpetrator would be "alleged that he killed." If we take (without precedence) the UK deaths of soldiers in Iraq and specifically Matty Hull, then the coroner's verdict is an unlawful killing - as would be the same where there was due suspicion but no conviction of a killer. OK? Rgds, - Trident13 16:07, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Matty Hull seems a good example - I'm happy enough with the addition of a similar sentence to any articles where a coroner's verdict has been returned, so instead of "x was convicted of murder" we'd use something like "the corner returned a verdict of unlawful killing". One Night In Hackney303 16:12, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Matty Hull was unlawfully killed. Thre are no sources saying he as murdered. Nor was it fratricide. - Kittybrewster (talk) 16:58, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Where is anyone saying anything different? One Night In Hackney303 17:00, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment Reading all of the discussion above, I was struck by one overlooked critereon in this discussion: isn't it the job of a coroner to determine cause of death? I feel that if it can be shown that a coroner made this determination in a case, then the person can be said to have been "murdered". Even better if it can be shown that a police investigation was made -- irrespecive of the outcome of that investigation. Otherwise, the terms "killed" or "died under mysterious circumstances" should be used.
I'm also going to head off a few objections here: (1) Yes, a soldier can be tried & punished for murder -- even if the victim is a combatant; beyond that, I'll leave the specifics to an expert in Military Law to explain the finer details. (2) Yes, sometimes the official process to determine cause of death can be perverted; in those cases, I think it's fair to add either an opposing view or details that suggest a contrary interpretation, e.g., "The coroner determined that X had died due to 'accidental causes' while imprisoned, although Amnesty International claims that X had been beaten to death." Or: "The jury ruled that X had been killed in self-defense, although a description of the corpse by an eye-witness shows that X had been shot at least twice in the back."
And lastly, (3) In the case of remains recovered by archeologists, I think it's fair to call it murder if a qualified physcial anthropolgist says it was murder. However from what I've read, any professional will qualify that statement, e.g.: "it appears that this person had been murdered". -- llywrch 18:18, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
In the UK, coroners only determine if someone was unlawfully killed, or another verdict. They make no decision as to whether the act was actually murder. One Night In Hackney303 18:24, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
No but they could make it ver clear in the obiter. --Counter-revolutionary 18:28, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Actually they couldn't, unless they are in possession of information about whether the perpetrator was of sound mind at the time of the killing. One Night In Hackney303 18:31, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree with One Night In Hackney - legally they can't, but they can in commentary make it clear who they feel is the purpetrator/where further investigation should be focused. But, the legal situation would still be an unauthorised killing, which is the term we would use in the article. Rgds, --Trident13 10:56, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
An "unauthorised killing"? As opposed to ... should I ask? -- llywrch 04:23, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Presumably as opposed to something like an armed policeman shooting a murderous civilian or lawful combatants killing each other in a war. Someone can kill another human being but to determine the intent of the perpetrator is not something a coroner can ever legally do. I would say "unlawful" rather than "unauthorised" as the latter carries rather different connotations. ŞůṜīΣĻ¹98¹Speak 23:55, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break 3[edit]

  • Question Particularly in the case of events such as this, where there is a clear POV dispute about the killing, what exactly is the problem with using neutral language except when quoting the different perspectives? e.g. "BrownHairedGirl was shot dead in her home on 32nd March 2007 by two masked intruders who also burnt down her house. The killing was described by Kermit the Frog as a "dastardly act of murder", but defended by Shrek as 'the assassination of a brutal politician'. The Rockall Times, The Onion and Viz magazine all characterised the killing as murder, as did most other newspaper editorials, but Alice, the leader of the Blonde Party, said 'this was not murder, it it was an act of public security. Thank goodness these brave people have rid our society of that odious woman'. The Rockall coroners court returned a verdict of 'unlawful killing', but nobody has been charged in relation to her death." All major points of view reported, without wikipedia choosing making its own judgment on which side is/was right. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 22:13, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
That looks fine. I am however greatly saddened to hear of your murder assassination state-licensed act of public defence incapacitation! ŞůṜīΣĻ¹98¹Speak 00:01, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Template:ChemicalSources - Self-reference[edit]

The template {{ChemicalSources}}, which I came across today, is a tricky case of being a self-reference that does serve a certain purpose, and I'm not sure what should be done with it. If the template does go, it needs to be noted that it's transcluded in over 3000 articles on chemical substances, which sounds like bot work to me. Unfortunately, I think it's meant to pass the name of the substance to the Wikipedia:Chemical sources page to become a parameter in the searches, presumably in a fashion similar to Special:Book sources, but I have no idea how that's supposed to happen, and at the moment it looks like it doesn't. Can someone please explain this to me? Confusing Manifestation 23:50, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

The template was originally created for that function, but it now is merely used for the self-reference as you describe (I still do believe that this template keeps spam out of the external links sections of the chemical substances in question and avoids bias towards certain external links; the page linked to is a sort of internal linkfarm). I have been working on getting a page similar to the Special:Book sources to work (the programming is there, but nothing is being done with the request). But in the meantime a new box for chemical substances has been created ({{chembox new}}), and the template is indeed becoming obsolete. I have already for some time a cleanup of chemical substances planned, and I could take the template with it. Hope this explains. --Dirk Beetstra T C 00:02, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
That's quite helpful, thank you. Perhaps a small note should be made on the ChemicalSources talk page, since there were a couple of other people who seemed as confused as me. Confusing Manifestation 02:39, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Clarification on whether particular sources are reliable or not is needed[edit]

"Whether a history article published in a general, but respected newspaper can be reliable if it is written by a journalist with no established record of writing on historical topics?" The editors involved with Przyszowice massacre article are unable to agree (for weeks) on that issue. See also this disussion on WP:RS talk. Commons are very much appreciated, so that hopefully a clear majority of voices supporting one or another side can put an end to this dispute (and tag revert warring in article itself).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  18:29, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

I won't wade into the whole thing, but of course a major newspaper can be a reliable source. On the other hand, it would not carry as much weight for me as a peer reviewed journal, since the editors of a newspaper are likely to review for factual accuracy and style while the reviewers of a peer reviewed journal will be applying subject matter expertise to the review. I would think our best work would use newspapers mainly for factual citations as to what occurred or where, and not for analysis. A Musing 18:37, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Could you copy your comment to Talk:Przyszowice massacre? Most participants of this discussion don't follow the threads in places like this.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  03:45, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Featured Picture Delisting criteria debate[edit]

There is currently a discussion between different schools of thought on Delisting Featured Pictures. Central to the debate is the "burden of proof" for a delisting - whether to require a photo to justify being an FP, or conversely, justify being delisted. Please comment at: Wikipedia talk:Featured picture candidates#Criteria For Delisting.

Witty Lama 00:12, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Creating a list at the exact moment a vote to delete a category is taking place[edit]

An interesting and important debate is taking place at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of Jewish United States Supreme Court justices about the correctness of creating a list for information in a category that is facing a CfD, at the exact time that the category is facing its own CfD. Are there any precedants for this, and does it run counter to procedures, similar to the rule of not emptying a category while a vote is taking place (when by creating the list, one is in effect doing the reverse of emptying the category by preserving the category -- or vice versa)? Is it correct? Should it be permitted? Are there clear policy guidelines and what should (if anything) be done about it in terms of clarifying what the correct action should be? Thank you. IZAK 18:01, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't see anything wrong with creating any article based on the timing of any particular CfD discussion. If there is something wrong with the article other than the timing of the CfD, the article can stand (or fall) after its own, unrelated AfD process. -- JHunterJ 18:19, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
But if it were a list with the exact information contained in the category, would it not be going around and in effect pre-empting the results of its mirror category, by doing an "end-run" (and "preserving" the information in the category) before that category's CfD was closed? IZAK 18:46, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Categories and lists have some similarities but in the end are different (edit histories, for instance). A CfD isn't about getting rid of the information in a category, it's about getting rid of the category itself. IMO. -- JHunterJ 18:55, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Well what's a category without it's information? Zero obviously. So it cannot be that when talknig of a category one can divorce it of its contents. IZAK 18:58, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
An empty category is not zero, but semantics aside, right. But it's not an "IfD". I still do not see the problem with going through both a CfD and an AfD, if both the category and the article are to be deleted. -- JHunterJ 19:09, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't see it as a significant problem. Certainly, in some cases, the list/category issue can be a problem, as there have been poorly made categories converted into lists (and vice versa) which should be avoided, but it is not so disruptive that it is truly a problem. Especially since there are times where a list/category conversion can fix a problem. I would honestly concentrate on the specific issue, and not on any kind of procedure that needs to be followed. If a category is a bad idea, and a list is a bad idea, they can be deleted. If a list is a good idea, and a category a bad one, delete one, keep the other. Mister.Manticore 19:19, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
As the creator of the list in question, I'm afraid that IZAK appears to misunderstand several things.
  • There are important differences between a list and a category: see Wikipedia:Categories, lists, and series boxes "Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and each is appropriate in different circumstances."
  • Many CfD discussions agree on the deletion of a category precisely because the info is available in some other way. IZAK's assumption that a CFD decision to delete a category necessarily means a decision to delete the information is seriously mistaken: there are plenty of CfDs where a category which deemed not to be a defining attribute or otherwise useful for navigation is deleted precisely because the info is available elsewhere, and the category is therefore un-needed category clutter. Some lists make bad categories, and vice-versa.
  • At the CFD debate in question, I explicitly said that I had created the list. IZAK is the only editor to object, and several explicitly supported the existence of the list.
  • Far from being akin to emptying a category, this is pretty much the opposite of emptying a category. Once a category is emptied it is a pain-in-the-neck to retrieve the data, which is why emptying it is deprecated before a CfD decision, because editors then can't see what was in a category. Similarly, once a category is deleted, it is very hard work to create a list from it: if the list is created in advance of deletion, the option still exists to delete it.
I created the list in good faith, to preserve information which I thought that some editors would not want deleted, and which would be lost if the category was deleted. As I have explained to IZAK at great length, this was done openly and in good faith ... but not only has IZAK declined my requests to withdraw his suggestion that I tried to subvert CFD, he has been decidedly uncivil to other editors at the AfD.
It may be that I have made a mistake, though I am not persuaded so far and no-one else has so far agreed with IZAK ... but if I have, I think it's a great pity that the response was to assume that I acted in bad faith.
The final thing that puzzles me about all of this is that I and others have repeatedly asked IZAK to explain why he thinks that the list should be deleted other than on procedural grounds. So far, he has declined, preferring to post long lists of essays and wikiprojects. Nobody at AfD so far agrees that the list as inappropriately created, but if the content of the list is so clearly inappropriate, what's the difficulty in producing a short explanation of why it made a bad list?
BTW, I remain neutral on whether the list should be deleted. My only concern here is that I created it in good faith, and I hope that if it is to be deleted, it will be deleted on grounds of its contents rather than a mistaken accusation of "sleight of hand". --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 19:25, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

BrownHairedGirl: Allow me to repeat myself. I am well aware of the differences between categories and lists and how they function and the subject of categories versus lists. I created Category:Jews and Judaism about three years ago and I have done extensive work with all levels of categories and with lists. So that is not the discussion at hand. My concern in Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of Jewish United States Supreme Court justices is very simple that it is highly problematic to create a list that mirrors the contents for a category at the exact moment that there is a CfD vote for the elimination of that category and its contents. Just as it goes against procedure for any editor to empty a category during a CfD vote, to do the reverse, of "preserving" the contents of that category via the creation of a list is also out of line. (If, as you say, there is a concern about information being lost, then there are other ways of saving it on Wikipedia, like so: User:BrownHairedGirl/List of Jewish United States Supreme Court justices, but not by jumping to create a list for it before the debate has been concluded and closed.) That is the core of the objection, and ultimately the request for clarification, that I request here at the Village pump. Thank you, IZAK 20:10, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Here's the thing, I don't see it as highly problematic. Potentially, maybe a cause for concern, but in terms of problems, a minor one at best. Mister.Manticore 21:28, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
IZAK, I have explained to why this is pretty much the opposite of emptying a category, but you appear to have chosen not to read that explanation :( And if you were aware if the difference betwen categories and lists, I doubt that we would be having this discussion.
There was no subterfuge: this was done openly, with the sole intention that the data not disappear from wikipedia when the category was emptied, unless there was a specific decision to delete it (which can still be made). Nobody else finds this problematic in this instance.
I am still bemused that you apparently would find it acceptable to create the list after the CfD is closed, but an outrageous violation of procedure to that I created it while discussion was underway and advertised its creation to participants in the CfD. That really is a back-to-front way of looking at things. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 21:49, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
comment it is very hard to follow the same discussion in multiple places at the same time. DGG 05:51, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
  • I think the difference is whether a CFD debate says that the information is bogus, or that the information is not practical as a category. In the former case, making a list would be an end run. In the latter case, it would be a good solution. Incidentally this situation would appear to be the latter. >Radiant< 09:41, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
  • The other situation is interesting as well. Has anyone seen categories being created while an AfD is in progress on a list? Carcharoth 10:30, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Bot approvals policy[edit]

A change in the way bots are approved has been proposed at Wikipedia talk:Bot policy#BAG reform proposal. According to the new proposal, bots are approved by the community rather than the BAG (bot approvals group). Tizio 17:14, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

The Community sanction noticeboard has been nominated for deletion[edit]

For those who follow such matters, see Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Community sanction noticeboard.

...This board is no longer used to discuss pressing issues for the community but rather a brand new version of Wikipedia:Quickpolls... (Ryulong)

... There is no way to truly know if a user is community banned without ratifying it - this is the ideal place for it... (Ryanpostlethwaite).

The significance of the WP:CSN was that it allowed some discussion of long-term problematic editors without the full Arbcom process. As you see from the above, opinions differ as to whether it was useful. EdJohnston 13:18, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

In advance of the above MfD's resolution, and over objections, the text about the Community sanction noticeboard has already been deleted from WP:BAN#Community ban. See discussion at WT:BAN. -- BenTALK/HIST 14:04, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Procedural proof-readers needed for Featured Article development instructions[edit]

This is more procedural than policy-related, but since it may affect how many Wikipedians prepare articles for featured article status, I thought you might be interested...

Dweller, a student and coach at the Virtual classroom, has written for the VC a lesson on developing articles to featured article status. To get it ready to be posted at the VC, it needs to be proofread and copy-edited. Please help us polish the lesson and make it as good as it can be. Thank you.  The Transhumanist    03:26, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm already getting some great comments there, thanks. Please keep them coming. --Dweller 11:21, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

I beg your indulgence for a moment[edit]

Not about a particular policy, but about policy, process and rules on Wikipedia in general. I'd like your thoughts on the following two links: [2] [3]. The first is an important essay by Clay Shirky, the second is my take on it. Feel free to go to the second and tell me how full of it I am - David Gerard 23:05, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

I loved your first link. I have incorporated it (the link) and some of my own commentary on it into the userspace essay linked in my sig. Take a look (read the epilogue). ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 16:20, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Categories on WP for images on the Commons[edit]

Hi all, I would really appreciate if others could sound off about whether they feel the creation of Wikipedia image description pages for media on the Commons is acceptable or not. Part of the current criteria reads: If there is any information not relevant to any other project on the image description page (like {{FeaturedPicture}}), the image description page must be undeleted after the file deletion.

My understanding was that that implied IDPs not containing such templates would have already been deleted. A user is arguing that categorisation also requires undeletion, which means that the vast majority of media on the Commons, if not all 1.4 million, could have IDPs recreated on Wikipedia (like so [4][5][6]). The views of editors experienced with this type of issue would be welcome here. TewfikTalk 03:35, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Proposed soft deletion policy[edit]

I have proposed a simple policy that would allow any non-administrator to pseudo-delete articles on AfD in a reversible fashion. Please review Wikipedia:Soft deletion and comment on the talk page. Thanks, --Eloquence* 22:02, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

What constitutes "consensus" on the Manual of Style?[edit]

Way back in July 2005, a guideline was inserted into Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers) on a 20-6-2 vote (the latter 2 arguing "No more stupid votes"). This was apparently done without consulting the editors of articles which would be affected by this change. As a result, discussions have flared up several times since then, with Manual of Style regulars generally favoring the status quo, and editors of the articles in question generally opposing the guideline. Recent discussion clearly shows that the guideline has no consensus at this point in time. I have stated on the talk page that I will remove it on the grounds of lack of consensus, and have been told in return that I can't do that, that a lack of consensus always defaults to the status quo. This seems wrong to me. A tiny handful of editors can make "consensus" on one corner of Wikipedia, and then enforce it everywhere and demand that others form a consensus against them before it stops? I do not believe the Manual of Style was ever intended for such purposes. Which interpretation of consensus policy is correct? Do MoS guidelines need consensus to remove, or is the lack of any consensus for keeping them enough to deprecate them? *** Crotalus *** 21:08, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Regardles of anything else, the MoS is not supposed to be enforcable against consensus on a particular article as I understand it. It says "The guidelines here are just that: guidelines are not inflexible rules; one way is often as good as another, but if everyone does it the same way, Wikipedia will be easier to read, write and edit.". In general I do feel that a guideline version having obtained consensus (as this one apparently did back in 2005) a change should normally require consensus, but in an extreme case where there clearly is no consensus one way or another, a change to remove the guideline altogether might be warented, but i would hope for a broad-based discussion, not limited to MOS regulars, to establsih exactly what, if any, consensus now exists on this issue.DES (talk) 21:25, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
It's worth noting that the only reason this issue ever made it into the MOS in the first place (I was one of the persons who helped put it there) is precisely because leaving it to individual articles to decide wasn't working at all. The exact same debate with the same arguments would pop up quite often, each time requiring a lengthy fight to re-establish the same principles. In this case, the MOS guideline exists largely to centralize discussion on this matter. It's also a matter of consistency within Wikipedia. Is it a good thing for one article to use notation like "64K" to mean 210 bytes and another to use "64 KB", another to use "64 kB", and yet another to use "64 KiB" to refer to the same quantity, all because of the collective preference of the authors of those respective pages? I don't think so, but you may disagree. Regardless, perhaps you can see why we wanted to centralize this to a place like the MOS.
I will also note that this sort of thing happens frequently as regards the MOS... Just look at the WP:MOSTM talk page to see how controversial enforcement of the "MOS consensus" on odd name capitalization/punctuation has been. That situation is a good analog to the binary prefixes issue; an editor will find an article like "the pillows" (capitalization intentional), fix it to use "The Pillows" per consensus on the MOSTM page (and correct English grammar), and a minor debate will arise on the MOSTM talk page. Since the regulars to that page endorse the current guideline, the article sticks to the letter of the guideline. The only real difference between the MOSTM issue and the binary prefixes MOSNUM issue is that the latter has finally gained critical mass due to a couple of editors who are willing to go through the weeks of debate required to give a change momentum. (upon further reflection, it's interesting that some of the arguments against using the binary prefixes could equally well be applied to the MOSTM capitalization/punctuation guidelines). -- mattb 21:46, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
This is an extreme case. The style states that if one contributor wants to use the optional style all of the other contributors must comply. There is one enthusiastic user that is making this optional style change in hundreds of articles. When the regular article editors complain they are directed to the WP:MOSNUM talk page. There they are told this style has the "consensus" and must be followed. The complainants out-number the "consensus" folks by a factor of 4 or more. -- SWTPC6800 01:11, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Consensus is people agreeing to do stuff. If there are people in the field doing one thing, and there are some letters elsewhere saying another thing, then the consensus is with the people and the doing, not so much with the letters and the saying. :-) --Kim Bruning 02:37, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

The problem is that people aren't agreeing to do stuff. What has resulted is edit warring. One particular user claims justification under the Manual of Style to go around reverting changes, regardless of what the experienced editors on a particular article think. That guideline clearly lacks consensus. *** Crotalus *** 03:00, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
I think I said that. They can just revert the dude back, and if he's really fanatic, he'll just fall afoul of the edit-warring guidelines, (despite the Manual Of Style guideline suggesting elsewise ;) )
Either that, or just alter the text of the guideline. Go on, this is a wiki! be BOLD! :-) --Kim Bruning 03:04, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh, if only such a rosy vision worked. This isn't an issue of article editors clashing with politicians who do no actual editing, but of editors clashing with other editors. As I stated above, this guideline came to be because the issue kept coming up in the course of editing several articles on different topics, not because a couple of us sat down one day and decided to try and make up a rule just for kicks and giggles.
I think the phrase "experienced editors on a particular article" is a rather loaded one. Nobody owns an article, and said "experienced editors" should be willing to talk through this conflict of opinion rather than getting miffed that some new person has changed "their" article to something they disagree with and insisting that consensus must be formed to follow the guidelines on the MOS. If the MOS has no teeth whatsoever, why the heck should we even bother with it? What if someone just doesn't like adding a space between a numerical quantity and a unit ("10m" as opposed to "10 m"). If we can just dispose of the MOS whenever we feel our way is better, what's to prevent me from finding some little nondescript articles that nobody takes an interest in and tailor them to exactly my preferred style of formatting? Sure the MOS should be applied flexibly, but I don't think that it's okay to just ignore it whenever an editor simply disagrees with it. We have fairly strict rules for the formatting of FAs, so at least some folks think that consistency is important. That's not to say the MOS can't and shouldn't change (and this guideline is in the long and arduous process of change), but the issue at hand is whether the current MOS text should be viewed as a consensus. I strongly believe it should. -- mattb 04:16, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
"This isn't an issue of article editors clashing with politicians who do no actual editing, but of editors clashing with other editors." I disagree. As far as I can tell, Sarenne has done no editing to computing articles (at least computing articles of the 8-bit era) except for changing styles. *** Crotalus *** 06:19, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
And I also disagree with your claim that "current MOS text should be viewed as a consensus". The alleged consensus was formed in 2005 on a 20-6 vote. That's 77%, which is consensus, but just barely. Since then, well over 14 people have complained that the guideline is stupid, makes no sense, violates WP:RS and WP:NEO, and so forth. Why do the opinions of those 20 people count more than the opinions of the numerous others who have commented afterwards, just because those people formalized it in a poll (which we're not supposed to do, anyway)? *** Crotalus *** 06:22, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Without naming names, Sarenne isn't the only user involved in this with very few edits outside this prefix war. If you want to get all editcounty on this issue, the coin has two sides, but let's not go down that road. This is bigger than Sarenne since there are several editors who support the principle behind what he is doing.
Once more, if you're interested in numbers, you ought to note that most of the people involved in the current binary prefix debate were not involved in that vote you refer to. I'm not marginalizing any of the new contributors' opinions, but merely asking to continue centralized discussions rather than asking that the decision be farmed out to each article. -- mattb 06:35, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
User:Sarenne is just doing bot like edits on of hundreds of articles at a rate of 15 to 20 per hour. He has not demonstrated any expertise on these articles. The changes are just KB to KiB and such. You wonder why the "experienced editors on a particular article" get upset. This is not a conflict between editors, it is between editors and a gadfly doing WP:Point -- SWTPC6800 05:37, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
There's that ownership rearing its head again. Who says that he has to "demonstrate expertise" on an article to edit it? Who says that your expertise is greater than his? Who cares? There are tons of editors who make stylistic changes over a multitude of articles to conform with the MOS, you just disagree with this particular guideline and Sarenne is feeling the heat because he's applying it aggressively. It is unfortunate that this action has moved the cheese of several editors. However, Sarenne's actions have all been in good faith and are not in clear violation of any guideline, so I think it's rather unfair for you to accuse him of making a disruptive point. There are plenty of editors who agree with the principle behind the changes he's made (myself included), so let's not scapegoat the guy. -- mattb 05:38, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm not claiming ownership of any articles. But article editing should work on a consensus-based process. If someone is making controversial edits and they keep getting reverted (especially if they are not a regular contributor to the article in question), they should discuss them on the article Talk page, rather than arguing that a policy has already been decided and they don't need to discuss the issue. *** Crotalus *** 06:19, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree. There's almost nothing you can do on Wikipedia that you "don't need to discuss". Civility requires that if somebody asks you to stop and discuss, you indulge them respectfully, and take their opinion into account when deciding what "consensus" is. (Unless you're removing copyvios or reverting blatant vandalism or harassment, but that's clearly not going on here.) What's written in a guideline is just... something someone wrote down, and often fails to reflect consensus. There's no substitute for mindfulness. -GTBacchus(talk) 06:29, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
So it is productive to re-hash the exact same arguments over and over? There's no merit in centralizing debate? -- mattb 06:35, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Um, no. That's not at all what I meant. Perhaps I was unclear. It's profitable (I'd say necessary) to keep one's eyes and ears open, and to be alert to people's reactions. If you find that you're "enforcing" a consensus against frequent opposition, then it's probably time to revisit that consensus. That means precisely what you say: centralizing discussion, and helping to bring those who object to the guideline together with those who support it, at the guideline talk page, to figure out whether consensus has changed.

It seems like more work perhaps, but it's actually less work than dealing with the static generated by being stubborn. -GTBacchus(talk) 06:40, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree, and for this reason I can't condone all of Sarenne's methods. All I am arguing for is centralized debate and respect of prior consensus until it is changed, that is all. What I see essentially being proposed is license to ignore the result of a lengthy prior discussion simply because a user doesn't think it represents consensus. Is it for one person to decide that a consensus never existed on a matter? The implications of that disturb me. -- mattb 06:44, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree about the centralized discussion. While there's a discussion that needs to be had, it's a bad idea to be making edits in either direction until that discussion happens. I'm not so much concerned with "respect for prior consensus" as with refraining from making controversial edits without discussing. That's disruptive, no matter who does it. I suggest a freeze on changing these prefixes until there's some agreement; no agreement means everyone should leave them alone, as we do with BC/BCE and "color"/"colour".

As for it being "for one person to decide that a consensus never existed", I don't get the impression we're dealing with just one person - am I wrong? If someone is disagreeing with the guideline, then whoever is "enforcing" the guideline should at least stop for long enough to point them to the appropriate talk page, and they'll either see that there really is broad agreement, or we'll all see that there isn't. I don't see what the hurry is to get the guideline enforced without pausing to talk about it. Communication is work, and it's worth it. -GTBacchus(talk) 06:53, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

There are multiple users on both sides of the discussion (see WT:MOSNUM). As for the actual revert warring, the only person who has really been aggressive at forcing the disputed prefixes into articles is Sarenne, although this position does have a few other backers on the MOS talk page. These insertions have been variously removed by myself, Fnagaton, SWTPC6800, and Mahjongg. *** Crotalus *** 08:27, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
I'd just like to add that the whole issue of how enforcable the MOS should be is a very important one, but unfortunately it's one of those very difficult questions for Wikipedia that can lead to a perpetual debate and no clear answer (sadly). Oh well, there's the pitfall of direct democracy for you. (please resist the temptation to inform me of the NOT page... I've been around here way too long to subscribe to that rosy idyllic vision of what Wikipedia is and is not) -- mattb 05:55, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
I think that "agressively" is a good way to avoid applying style guidelines. It often generates more heat and disruption than it's worth. A better way to apply a guideline would be mindfully and with an openness to dialogue with other editors about why a particular style has consensus anyway. One always has to "apply" consensus keeping in mind that it might change out from under you; you have to keep tabs on how people react to a "consensus" that may be illusory, out-of-date, or who knows what. -GTBacchus(talk) 06:02, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
It's my opinion that this particular alleged consensus is way out of date. The advocates of the status quo point to a poll taken way back in June 2005 that supported the guideline by a 20-6 vote. As soon as it actually began to be applied, complaints started pouring in. Whether or not there ever was a genuine consensus for this guideline across Wikipedia (I think there was not; most editors never read MoS pages), there clearly isn't now. *** Crotalus *** 06:14, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
(Before edit conflict): This is of course, totally true, and is why I don't personally go around changing a multitude of articles to conform with the MOS, only the ones I regularly work on. Still, I strongly feel that the MOS should be respected as consensus, otherwise there's very little point in keeping the useless mass of rhetoric around. Honestly, who cares what style we gently and cautiously suggest might possibly be a potentially good idea to use? In my own opinion, a style guide shouldn't be optional for something that we so boldly call an encyclopedia. Certainly the style guide should reflect the best practices, and therefore should always be subject to change, but accepting that we can just ignore it whenever we please renders it worthless. The question of whether the style guide needs ammending should be centralized, not a decision made on a per-page basis. These are merely my thoughts, take them for what they're worth or call me crazy for deeply believing in internal consistency.
(After edit conflict): The issues haven't changed since 2005, just the people exposed to them. This could very well mean that a new consensus needs to be formed, and that's totally fine. What I don't believe is fine is asking for license to ignore that consensus because we haven't yet clarified what the current one is. In any case, I fear that this huge binary prefixes debate is going to just bleed over into this page if we keep this up. When it comes right down to it, this is an issue of some editors asking to ignore a guideline because they don't think it represents consensus, and other editors asking for it to be respected because they do think it represents consensus. In between we get a ton of rhetoric and a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle finger waving and claims that the other party is "clearly wrong". Myself, I'm feeling rather ill at having written dozens of pages of text over a few little 'i's and would love to see this bloody thing converge to a conclusion, but I think people are happier debating than compromising. At this point I'm thinking that a binding decision is more useful than continuing to chase this elusive, mystical, and perhaps illusionary dream called "compromise". Too much time has been wasted on such minutia. -- mattb 06:35, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Ok, so some editors want to ignore a guideline, and others want to enforce it. Until these people discuss and arrive at a conclusion they should all stop making these edits until the conversation happens. It's not about making a decision between "respecting previous consensus" versus ignoring it. It's about everybody stop editing until the conversation happens. Leave the articles as they are, whether that's right or wrong, and talk about it at MoS. It's that simple. Don't edit war, no matter how right you are. -GTBacchus(talk) 13:18, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
The style he is changing is optional. His disruptive behavior depends on support of a handful of Manual of Style editors who claim the changes are mandatory. This is the only style guideline were a single user can force an optional style on all other editors. -- SWTPC6800 06:00, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
You know a style that is not "optional" ? As the MoS is currently written, all styles are optional.

These are not rigid laws: they are principles that many editors have found to work well in most circumstances, but which should be applied with flexibility. In this vein, editors should strive to have their articles follow these guidelines. While quality of writing may be more important than presentation and formatting, these elements also have their place in clear and unbiased delivery of information. One of the joys of wiki editing is that Wikipedia does not demand perfection. Wikipedia does not require writers to follow all or any of these rules, but their efforts will be more appreciated when they are guided by them.

The way I see the MoS is that they are recommandations. Writers are not required to follow these rules but if a single contributor change an article to fit the MoS, this change should (must) be accepted (except if there's a real strong reason not to do so). That's the only way Wikipedia will be consistent which is, I think, an important thing for an encyclopedia. Sarenne 10:49, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
You are the only person who feels strongly enough about this issue to go through articles changing it against the consensus on those articles. Stop it now. Your edits will continue to be reverted and all you will do is waste everyone else's time. *** Crotalus *** 11:02, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
There no "consensus" on all of those articles. You reverting all my edits is not a "consensus". Sarenne 11:16, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
I am not the only user who has reverted your edits. When you're in an edit war with four other people, time to step back and reflect whether you are out of touch with current consensus. *** Crotalus *** 11:19, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
I won't "step back" only because 4, 5 or 10 contributors don't want to wait for a new consensus and are trying to revert all my edits to make a point, against the current guideline. If you think that there's a new consensus about a new guideline then talk about it there : WT:MOSNUM. Sarenne 11:32, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
We have been discussing it, and keep repeatedly running into brick walls of bureaucracy. What you don't understand is that the MoS guideline only has any force if it represents consensus. As of this time, it doesn't. What you are doing is simply disruptive edit warring. *** Crotalus *** 11:38, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Sarenne, hi. I agree that you shouldn't "step back" because 5 contributors don't want to wait for a new consensus. I'd step back because it's the right thing to do. Once a dispute arises, the only correct action is to stop editing and talk to the people. If the consensus really is as you say, then it won't take long to convince people of that, and if not, then we should find that out quickly. Reverting without discussion is never right; because it's never civil. Think about that. -GTBacchus(talk) 16:57, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't have to think about that, I know that. You (and apparently all of you) think it is the right thing to do, I think the right thing to do is to prevent users from reverting again and again edits that follows a guideline until the guideline is changed. I tried the discussion, again and again (and again (and again))... If you stop editing when there is a dispute about "binary prefixes" then you'll never edit and the guideline is useless. That's why the "encyclopedia" is inconsistent : guidelines are worthless, they have no teeth. Sarenne 17:15, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Being consistent about binary prefixes is not more important than refraining from edit warring. If you want to "prevent users from reverting again and again", then you need to stop reverting; otherwise you're edit warring to stop an edit war, which is always wrong. It's like bombing for peace, or screwing for virginity.

The guideline you're trying to "enforce" must not have a very strong consensus behind it, or you wouldn't be running into so much opposition. Your job, and the job of those opposing you, is to stop editing, talk on the guideline talk page, and determine what the consensus is now. It doesn't matter what it was two years ago; it matters what it is now. Since it's now in dispute, your editing to "enforce" it is inappropriate.

It's this simple: Once you know there's a conflict, stop and talk. We're not in a hurry, but we are under an obligation to be excellent to each other always. That means listening, and trying to respond to current consensus as you detect it. Consensus is not detected by reading a guideline, but by listening to editors. If there's no consensus, then editing binary prefixes in either direction is inappropriate, just like we don't edit "BC" vs "BCE" or "color" vs "colour". -GTBacchus(talk) 19:30, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

I totaly disagree with all that you've just said ;). Being consistent about binary prefixes (or an other style) is more important than refraining from edit warring. If you stop whenever there's a conflict about a guideline, you make Wikipedia inconsistent (and sometimes unstable), that's exactly what happened with "BC" vs "BCE" or "color" vs "colour", except that with the current "guideline" about binary prefixes we'll have both ambiguity and inconsistency (and maybe instability). It's weak rules that cause edit wars. What you've said may be the right thing to do for a content dispute (about the meaning) but not for the style, which should be centralized and always binding. For the style, we need strong rules, not "guidelines" that you can suspend whenever there's a dispute, which makes them totally worthless. You are too afraid of binding rules. Of course, these rules can change but until they are changed (with a consensus), a user who follows the guideline should never be blocked, even if he's edit warring. I'm done listening and discussing about this guideline. Four month are enough. All have been said. I know that no one will agree with me but that's what I think :) Sarenne 21:25, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
(de-indenting) Better than simply disagreeing with you, I can explain to you why you're wrong. :) The "BC" vs "BCE" issue is one with which I'm pretty familiar, having worked on it in the past. Wikipedia is currently (to a first approximation, but a good one) consistent within each article, inconsistent across articles, and stable that way. Thus, Wikipedia reflects a real-world lack of consistency, and remains faithful to WP:NPOV by refraining from taking a side on the issue. We just leave the date formats alone once they're consistent within an article, unless there's a compelling reason to use one or another in that particular article. It's stable because people know not to mess with it, and that works.

As for consistency being more important than not edit warring, that makes no sense - allow me to explain why. We work towards consensus because this is a wiki. It's inherent in the software that we can't just go around enforcing our ideas against significant disagreement. Anyone can edit, and if you go against a lot of people, they'll edit it back anyway. Since you can't control them, you have to discuss. It's not a rule so much as a law of nature: if you don't swim, you're gonna sink. The name of the game here is consensus, and we have no choice about that.

It's not about "fear" of binding rules, it's about how we work together as human beings and get something done. If you think Wikipedia needs more binding rules, then I think you can find other online encyclopedias that work that way. They're not nearly as successful as Wikipedia, which is why I think the "No binding rules" philosophy is actually pretty effective. Edit wars are caused by edit warriors, and they're always wrong.

Edit warring is bad because it makes article histories and "recent changes" less useful, it distracts editors from getting productive work done, and it encourages others to edit war, over style, content, and everything else, leading to a Wikipedia that's bogged down in back-and-forth, "is not!"/"is too!" arguments. The only civilized solution, the only solution that works on a wiki, is for everyone to work for consensus. Yes, that means stopping and talking. Yes, that makes things take longer. No, we're not in a hurry. No, it doens't make guidelines "worthless"; it makes them more responsive to the community and better indicators of consensus. Yes, we all learn more and respect each other more in the process. -GTBacchus(talk) 00:40, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

You're IMO describing an utopia. We have binding rules and we don't suspend them if in a talk page it seems there's a lack of consensus about it. After an edit we don't "stop and talk" every time we disagree (maybe you think we should).

Policies and guidelines should reflect the consensus, then we should always assume than they reflect consensus until they are actually changed. We should "stop and talk" only if it doesn't concern a guideline or a policy. We don't "stop and talk" when dealing with vandalism. We shouldn't "stop and talk" when dealing with style, we should talk... and stop only if there's a new strong consensus or if there's no guideline. IMHO that's a pragmatic application of the "consensus spirit". Sarenne 10:46, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Hmm. You'd be surprised how often things work just the way I've described. You'd be surprised just how non-binding our guidelines are. Stick around, and keep your eyes and ears open, and you'll find out a lot. Policies and guidelines should reflect the consensus, true, but when there's some indication that consensus may be changing (as there is in this case), how are you going to know the consensus has changed until that conversation happens? You'd be surprised how much time it doesn't waste.
Your opinion about pragmatic application of the consensus spirit is not borne out by experience, in my view. Of course we don't stop and talk when dealing with vandalism; that's entirely different. However, when good-faith contributors disagree, that's what talk pages are for. We are not in a hurry. It is certainly less than respectful to continue in an action that you know a group of people disagree with, without engaging them in some kind of discourse.
The truth of the matter is that taking the time to be certain of continuing consensus makes one's edits much more sticky, obviates the perceived "need" for edit warring, contributes to a more civil and collegial environment, and most to the point, works. If you don't believe me, try it. I've "won" plenty of disputes, always by refusing to edit war, and pursuing other strategies instead. They're very effective, those other strategies. -GTBacchus(talk) 18:29, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
An afterthought... the edit-warring, enforcement strategy that you want to pursue... it leads here, to long conversations at the Village pump. Not very pragmatic after all, is it? -GTBacchus(talk) 18:32, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
I've been bold and changed WP:MOSNUM#Binary prefixes to reflect what I believe is the current (lack of) consensus. Basically, I copied some of the wording from the "National varieties of English" section of WP:MOS, and suggested that articles should stay with established usage (similar to "Stay with established spelling") and follow whatever prefixes were used by the first contributor (similar to "Follow the dialect of the first contributor"). There is clearly no consensus to mandate binary prefixes, regardless of the outcome of a 2005 vote. Likewise, I doubt there is consensus to get rid of the neologisms entirely. Therefore, all that can be done is to make a guideline that attempts to stem further edit wars of the sort that have been fought over the past several days. *** Crotalus *** 11:18, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
And I see that Sarenne already reverted it. Very well, I won't edit war on the MOS page; but I maintain that there is no consensus whatsoever for the current alleged guideline, and that Sarenne's repeated edit wars in the face of opposition from numerous other editors is highly disruptive to the encyclopedia. *** Crotalus *** 11:30, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
You don't change guidelines just because someone is using them as justification for an edit war. That's what WP:3RR is for. Take it up with the person being disruptive. — Omegatron 21:52, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

The whole point of a Manual of Style is to suggest a uniform style for the entire project. It doesn't "enforce" anything.

Consensus can always change, and "consensus to change a guideline" or "consensus to demote a guideline" is a bogus idea. Policies and guidelines don't become "stuck" after a small number of people have agreed on them. As soon as editors stop agreeing on something, it is no longer binding. — Omegatron 14:51, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Absolutely. Being written down in a guideline doesn't make something set in stone. The guideline reflects what we're thinking, and often lags behind. It certainly holds no authority unless it's supported by continuing consensus. -GTBacchus(talk) 19:34, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. This "sticky consensus" concept is absurd, and getting out of hand. When there's no longer agreement for something, there's no longer agreement for something. Simple as that. — Omegatron 21:52, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
This is not absurd at all. It's always easier to remove something with an apparent consensus than to build something with a consensus. For example, the readers or editors who don't "like" binary prefixes will naturally go to WT:MOSNUM to discuss the guideline whereas the readers who "like" them have no reason to go there. That's why we should always have a consensus to suspend/remove/change a guideline but not to keep it. Sarenne 22:07, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Message to GTBacchus, there are alot more then just five of us as a matter of fact we (user who think MB is more exceptable then MiB) greatly outnumber the ones like Sarenne.--  Planetary Chaos  Talk to me  17:50, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

You have no idea how many people are one side or another (or another or another). You only know about the few vocal ones on the MOSNUM talk page. How many of the people who participated in the original 2005 discussion are contributing to the current discussion? Why do you think that is?
Even if you did know exact numbers, Wikipedia is not a democracy, and a +1 majority doesn't completely invalidate the minority's opinion. Everyone's positions must be taken in to account. — Omegatron 21:52, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
I wasn't trying to claim that there are only five or only fifty of you. My only point was, even if it's only five people opposing, you stop and talk to them, because Wikipedia fails when we start deciding that discussion is somehow unnecessary. -GTBacchus(talk) 19:34, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

SI prefixes[edit]

Isn't there some page in the WP:MOS somewhere that indicates we shouldn't have separate pages on e.g. centigram, microgram, nanogram etc? >Radiant< 12:34, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

I've read WP:MOSNUM and they say "Stick with conventional usages", which means use the prefixes that are most commonly used for the unit. Although I feel milligram and microgram are commonly used, I think those articles can fit in the article about magnitude prefixes, since all those prefixes apply to many SI units.--Kylohk 15:16, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Requirements for sourcing?[edit]

Is there a policy on articles which are really unsourcable, but "everyone knows" already. Here is an example to show what I am talking about.

I have run Evil laugh through AfD and it came through with no consensus. It had also been nominated for deletion as the page Mwahahahaha in a prior AfD but it was decided to keep and rename to evil laugh. I could not see where anyone could provide a citation specific to why it needed to be kept other than it is a common cliche or that it is a "Well-known concept" and the only external links are to a .wav file on a webcomic and to a site for "a proposal for an evil-laugh-activated hand dryer". In addition to this, the Evil lair article seems to meet the same walls, but I have not bothered with the AfD for it since evil laugh seems to bring out some protectiveness.

Evil genius is another article with so many unsourced or unsourcable items, I don't know what could be done with it. My understanding is that, when someone adds something to Wikipedia, if they cannot source it, it should not be added. I could add an article today with tons of made up data that sounds somewhat reliable, but leave it unsourced. Unless we enforce adding sources for content additions, we really are creating a Wikiality or consensus reality. I can't see how requiring sources lessens the quality of Wikipedia. Slavlin 18:27, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Your question is based upon a false premise. If you actually read the AFD discussion, you'll see that I cited several sources that deal with the subject of evil laughs and evil laughter. Your mission Jim, should you choose to accept it, is to perform some collaborative editing, building upon the work of other editors, and add appropriate citations to the actual article.

    The problem here is not that the articles are unsourcable. Clearly, there are sources for the one that you nominated for deletion. The problem here is that you are employing deletion as if it were the only tool in the toolbox. Deletion is not the only tool in the toolbox. Per our Wikipedia:Deletion policy, before nominating an article for deletion as unverifiable it is incumbent upon you, the nominator, to look for sources. I strongly recommend that you look for sources for evil genius (Hint: Don't stop until you hit Descartes.) and attempt to fix the article working from sources. Deletion is not the tool that gets you, a Wikipedia editor, actually writing a good sourced encyclopaedia article. Actually looking for sources yourself and then hitting the "edit" button and writing is what does that. Uncle G 10:45, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

    • Uncle G- I disagree with you completely here. I know that deletion is not the editor's only tool, but I do not think that the original creator and future editors should get out of their responsability for sourcing the article. Also, for all the sources you listed, which I can't really see how they constitute reliable sources anyway, you did not add any of them to the page. Instead you just listed them on the deletion discussion. With evil genius, I would love to see what you can quote from Descartes to support the description of an evil genius in that article.

      What I am trying to get at here is that the onus should be on the shoulders of people wanting to add information to Wikipedia, not on people wanting to remove it. It would be different if people were revising it or trying to upgrade the article. I think that getting rid of unsourced opinions, original research and some of the various pieces of fluff that exist in Wikipedia would make it much better. As it gets larger, I think cleaning out the attic will likely have more of a quality impact than writing a page. In the case of Evil Laugh and Evil Genius, it seems the only things that anyone is ever willing to do is throw a "Keep it" on an AfD. I have tried to improve them some. For example, I removed the HUGE example list from evil genius.

      Simply put, I want to improve Wikipedia, or else I would not ask the questions. I could just ignore it and just not look at the pages, but I feel that not holding people to some level of sourcing is ultimately harmful to the project. Slavlin 18:11, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

      • WP requirements for articles include; verifiable. Note, not verified but verifiable. WP is a community and does not require the originators to provide sources for articles, if the article has a good source then it will likely be found. Eventually. LessHeard vanU 21:51, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
        • The other thing to keep in mind is that some of these articles are pretty old, when the requirements for citations and references were less zealously enforced. Rather than saying, "This article is not up to current standards, let's get rid of it," the goal should be trying to get it up to current standards. howcheng {chat} 02:08, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
          • LessHeard vanU, please look at that little link for verifiable under your edit box. Link it and see where it says "Burden of Proof" Let me quote from there for a sec.

            The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. Material that is challenged or likely to be challenged needs a reliable source, which should be cited in the article. Quotations should also be attributed. If an article topic has no reliable, third-party sources, Wikipedia should not have an article on it.

            From this official policy, it is NOT the responsibility of the nominator of an AfD to look for sources. Looking at the "in a nutshell portion, you can see that The obligation to provide a reliable source lies with the editors wishing to include the material, not with those seeking to remove it. Comments? (BTW- Sorry if this comes off a bit snippy, but I get the same thing in corporate meetings all the time at work.) Slavlin 07:18, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
            • There's burden of proof, and then there's just argument from laziness. "I couldn't be bothered to find any sources, so sourcing must not be possible." is not an argument for deletion in itself. Now, people shouldn't be creating articles without sources, but just because an article isn't up to standards at the moment doesn't mean you can't just clean it up and rewrite it yourself. Find some sources, as Uncle G did, work from them, borrow anything useful from the old article, and replace it with a decent one. Invoking AfD for valid topics is just laziness. Now, I'm a supporter of prodding new articles with zero sources to light a fire under their creators to source them, but AfD is a very inefficient way to add sources to old articles compared to searching yourself. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 08:40, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
            • yes the "burden of sourcing" is on those who create the article/add content to it. as per night gyr, its nice if you help improve a poor, unsourced article, but there is no obligation on you to do so. 86.31.103.208 12:29, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
              • Invoking AfD for "valid" articles is NOT laziness. First, it is a pain in the butt to do an AfD in the first place. Secondly, an article that is created with no sources listed lowers the quality of Wikipedia. An unsourced article is not a valid article. The who reason for the "Burden of Proof" section appears, to me, to be something to prevent the very argument you are making, that the nominator should fix it rather than ask that it be deleted. If no one cares enough about the article to source it, why SHOULD it be kept? Slavlin 01:07, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
    • "I do not think that the original creator and future editors should get out of their responsability for sourcing the article." — You are a future editor of the article, and trying to get out of your responsibility, to look for sources where none are cited in order to support a claim that something is unverifiable, is exactly what you are arguing for here. Once again: Per our Wikipedia:Deletion policy, before nominating an article for deletion as unverifiable it is incumbent upon you, the nominator, to look for sources. Unverifiability doesn't mean an absence of citations. It means an absence of sources, which requires looking for sources if the article doesn't cite any, to ensure that the article cannot be fixed by ordinary editors using ordinary editing tools. Deletion isn't the answer for articles that ordinary editors can fix using ordinary editing tools. Ordinary editors actually using those tools is. Those editors not using those tools, but instead arguing "the burden of fixing the article is the other fellow's", doesn't get the article fixed. Uncle G 16:57, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Slavlin, the section you quoted says "If an article topic has no reliable, third-party sources, Wikipedia should not have an article on it" not "If an article topic cites no reliable, third-party sources ..." I agree with the other editors here that while citation of sources is the ultimate goal, lack of citations should not call for deletion of the article when it is likely that reliable sources exist. -- DS1953 talk 17:42, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
  • DS1953, the verifiable policy does say that the burden of citing and sourcing falls on the person wanting to keep it. However, looking at Deletion policy vs. Verification policy, there is a conflict that I see and I have posted a comment about it on the Deletion policy page. See Wikipedia talk:Deletion policy#Conflict between Deletion policy and Verifiability policy for details, but I think that resolving the conflict between the 2 would be definately worth the time.
  • Note Uncle G has done a LOT of work resolving the concerns that I have had with the Evil Genius page. Look at this comparison [[7]] and see the work. I went ahead and awarded Uncle G The Resilient Barnstar for his work in improving that. If this kind of improvement is the outcome of me being a pain in the behind, I am willing to take one for the team on that. :) Slavlin 19:32, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Additional note: I have been marking several of the category:Clichés articles as unreferenced (rather than mark as AfD or PROD) and came on this excellent example of an article. Thinking outside the box is one that I would not have expected to actually be able to source, yet it is incredibly well sourced, in my opinion. If an article is created like this for some of the other things that "everyone knows" then Wikipedia will get better and better. From the talk page, it was the AfD that prompted the revamp and rewrite of the page, so that does appear to have a value to it. Now if we can just get one for "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey". Slavlin 20:03, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Well, one way of proving those laughters is to record a video of that game at the particular moment into a file, upload it on YouTube or something, and then use the cite video template. That should be attributable. Or you can use a reference and mention the game, its level and console and so on so people with a copy can verify the facts.--Kylohk 15:20, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Scope of Help namespace[edit]

There is currently a move discussion occurring at Wikipedia talk:Handling trivia#Move to Help:Handling trivia? concerning what types of pages should be in the Wikipedia namespace and what should rather be in the Help namespace. Please assist in clarifying the issue. Dekimasuよ! 06:01, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Question[edit]

I wasn't sure if this was the right place to ask (so feel free to move this if needed). Is there any Wikipedia policies on listing prices in articles? In my opinion, Wikipedia is slowly turning into a price guide (with some video game articles at least). Wii Points (which cost money) are used to download games, as of now the cost of games hasn't changed, but that doesn't mean it's encyclopedic value to articles. So due to the constant price, people assume it's encyclopedic, "interesting" and "helpful" to the articles. But it's simply just making it a price guide. If people want to find out the prices: they can look elsewhere. If there is no clear policy violation for prices, wouldn't this be violating the I like it policy? See Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Video_games#Wii_Points:_to_list_or_to_not_list.3F for a current discussion on the price issue. Also on that talk page: there is a retail price discussion, which is relevant to this as well. RobJ1981 04:18, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Generally, prices are not encyclopedic and should not be included. The burden of proof lies with someone to state why the price is relevant. As an example, the price of a New York City subway ride, currently $2 USD, might be relevant, but the price of a Big Mac at McDonald's is probably not relevant. 69.201.182.76 20:07, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
Unless it is on the Big Mac index article.  ;) x42bn6 Talk 20:41, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
For the most part, prices are unencyclopedic. For video games, prices should be easily accessible from one of the external links. For policy, there are some WP:NOT clauses that may apply. It probably would not be considered advertising, but it could fall under not a directory or Internet guides, though neither specifically mention prices. I'm also curious as to whay everything surrounding this seems to have been done in "poll form" A regular discussion is much more preferable. Mr.Z-mantalk¢ 21:02, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Flags[edit]

Is it acceptable to double flag something? If somebody were born in Los Angelese, California, could I put a United States flag and a Californian flag? N734LQ 01:15, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

For many reasons, probably not. Look at articles for similar somebodys, such as those in the same sport or occupation. (SEWilco 04:21, 3 May 2007 (UTC))
See WP:Flagcruft for some editors opinions on this matter... :~) LessHeard vanU 21:43, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Image Copyright[edit]

I recently uploaded an image that was, under the copright conditions of the owner, allowed to be displayed for non-commercial use. This image was deleted straight away by Wikipedia. The use of this image on Wikipedia was allowed by the copyright owner. The relevant acknowledgement was attached to the the image (as required by the copyright owner). Why was it deleted? Why if W/P does not allow the uploading of images that are for non-commercial use is there even a tag for it in the first place? Signed puzzled and annoyed. Ozdaren 16:00, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia doesn't allow non-commercial-only images because they restrict too heavily how the content can be re-used, e.g. a Wikipedia mirror would have problems if they chose to make money from ads by the content at the same time as having a non-commercial image on the page. The reason why there's a tag for it is so that when people do attempt to upload non-commercial-only images, they choose that tag instead of lying and choosing something else. This makes it easier to find and delete the images. Tra (Talk) 16:25, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Template:Visible_Human[edit]

Noticed the usage of some images from this project, were mislabeled as PD-user. VHD data, though part of the NLM, cannot be assumed to be PD, as it is under a specific type of license, which has some particular terms and requirements.

A template is necessary to handle these, and Ive done my best to sort of summarize the NLM terms. It may be that these are in the PD and can be challenged legally, but it seems that its reasonable enough to comply with the license by simple use of a template, and we can expand our usage of these images, and move them to the Commons. -Stevertigo 20:08, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Shouldn't it be PD-usgov? {{pd-usgov}} is the applicable template. You mention in your proposed template that as a us gov work it's pd. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 20:39, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Don't think so. The terms of the license are not entirely free, in ways which makes it distinct from PD-USGov. A special template is required, at least due to their insistence on attribution to the VHD project. That said t would seem that this is exactly the kind of project the NLM has in mind for using its materials. I think a some lawyer consultation is necessary. -Stevertigo 23:52, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Makes a difference whether these images were created by US Government employees under the scope of their employment. See

Works produced by civilian and military employees of the United States federal government in the scope of their employment are public domain by statute. However, not every work republished by the U.S. government falls into this category. The U.S. government can own copyrights that are assigned to it by others -- for example, works created by contractors.

from WIkipedia:Copyright. Perhaps someone could go into the web site that these images came from to see if the original source of the photographs is documented at all. EdJohnston 14:46, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Personal attacks[edit]

Where do you report someone for repeated personal attacks? Aaron Bowen 04:08, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Typically you give them 4 warnings, {{subst:uw-npa1}}, {{subst:uw-npa2}}, {{subst:uw-npa3}}, and {{subst:uw-npa4}}. After that, WP:ANI is probably the best place to go. —Remember the dot (talk) 04:18, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks he's been given at leat 6-7. Aaron Bowen 05:06, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Scrap the ethnic groups infobox[edit]

The pervasiveness of certain types of infobox have been bothering me for some time now, particularly the ethnic groups infobox. My concerns are outlined at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Ethnic_groups#Scrap the infobox. Discussion seems to have stalled, so any fresh input would be welcome.--Nydas(Talk) 20:49, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Better use of the categories[edit]

Can we make more interesting use of the way articles are categorised on Wikipedia?

I was wondering if there might be a way to 'query' Wikipedia (as if it were a database) to determine quickly which particular categories contained the most articles. This could be a neat way of allocating effort so that editors spend more time creating and developing articles on whole topics which are under-represented.

For example, which occupations [8] have the fewest articles? Which cultural movements [9] need more work? An interesting variant would be to ask about the cross-over points between categories. The answer might be interesting in itself (not just as a tool to better editing) e.g. how many sportspeople [10] have been businesspeople [11]?

These examples are off the top of my head and I'm sure there are much better ones. To a certain extent the answers would represent the degree to which articles have been categorised. But taken with a pinch of salt they could be very interesting. 87.74.23.135 19:29, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Serial Comma[edit]

I feel like this should be common knowledge - I've probably just forgotten - but does WP have a policy on the serial comma - or is just 'use whatever was there first'?danielfolsom 14:36, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

If it's anywhere, it'd be in the manual of style. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 14:45, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
see Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Serial_commas. "If the presence of the final serial comma does not affect ambiguity of the sentence (as in most cases), there is no Wikipedia consensus on whether it should be used." DES (talk) 14:51, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Prices in articles - discussion at WP:NOT[edit]

Please see Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not#Not a sales catalogue or price guide, and contribute to any discussion there if you have an opinion. Thanks. Carcharoth 12:14, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Reference question[edit]

When you reference an online article that has 8-9 pages is there a way to indicate what page you're referencing in particular? I'm using this article[12] to add some to The Sopranos and series creator Dacid Chase. Should I even make each ref independent and link to that portion of the interview? Aaron Bowen 22:52, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Is there somewhere else I should ask this? Aaron Bowen 23:46, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Not to worry, this is fine. I don't see such capability at Wikipedia:Citation templates for {{Cite web}}, but of course, one doesn't have to use such a template. I don't think it's necessary. --Phoenix (talk) 00:20, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
So you're saying I should just link to the article and let the reader find the right page, and that this is common practice? Aaron Bowen 00:36, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
The Vanity Fair link which you provided mentions "currentPage=1", which appears to be a link to a specific page. Just supply that URL to refer to that specific page. If by "page" you're referring to having to scroll the screen, each screenful is not generally considered a page. You could mention a page in the template by using a similar page argument as similar templates, although it won't be displayed, just so the page number is recorded someplace (and future conversions might make it visible). Or just use the template for the rest of the citation and add "page 3" as text after the template. If someone thinks the citation needs to be fixed they can do so. Thanks for trying to be precise. (SEWilco 05:55, 6 May 2007 (UTC))
Okay I don't use templates, but I'll get around to adding the page number to the refs, thanks. Aaron Bowen 06:50, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Highlighting References[edit]

While following a chain of references, I came across an article which, aside from a few minor errors, contained terms which are otherwise included in the Wikipedia but were not highlighted. Although they were used as if everyone knew their meanings, the very brief in-text definitions merely differentiated them from each other.

From this I (a newbie here) conclude that articles are posted without being reviewed by someone (or an automated process) for cross-references to other articles. Certainly, this should be done with each article, although highlighting need only be used for the first occurrence of each term.

Chessnut 17:27, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

What do you mean by "highlighting"? You are correct though that articles are posted without being reviewed, though there is a handful of editors who attempt to check new articles. EVula // talk // // 17:34, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Yep, that's the conclusion. If you come across an article lacking wikilinks (highlights), you can flag them as such by editing the page and putting {{wikify}} at the top. Preferably as {{wikify|date=May 2007}} (or whatever the current month/year is). -- JHunterJ 17:34, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
but remember to avoid overlinking (see WP:LINK): if a word/phrase is already linked once in the article, it doesnt need to be linked again later on. 86.31.103.208 12:25, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Protocols for Administrators[edit]

  • Does the community believe administrators, when settling disputes, should do their best to gather comment from all parties, prior to making their own comment (or any decision)? 15:18, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Does the community believe administrators, in any circumstance, should refrain from making comments regarding motivations, especially colloquial and disrespectful ones? 15:18, 30 April 2007 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alastair Haines (talkcontribs)

Do you perhaps have a background from which you are asking these obviously leading questions? >Radiant< 10:38, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Is this in relation to the debate on teh article about Patriarchy? Rgds, --Trident13 10:53, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, to the first question, though it's so trivial that my question is sincerely about a bigger, more serious issue.
No, to the second question, Patriarchy has been stable for months.
From the lack of answers to the questions, I take it that there are no protocols for admin, and that no-one is concerned about that. Interesting. Alastair Haines 15:20, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Is the disambiguation suffix necessary?[edit]

There is only one thing called Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue, but the article is at Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue (New York City Subway). I've looked for guidance from the naming conventions but have found nothing concrete. --NE2 19:54, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm not aware of a clear guideline that says "only use this when necessary" either. If other New York Subway station articles do not use it, then maybe you could move it back to the redirect. Have you asked at the related New York wiki-projects listed on the talk page? I assume that whoever made the original redirect probably had a good reason. Adrian M. H. 20:47, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
This has been an argument at the relevant project. --NE2 21:08, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, as someone who is not in a position to be familiar with the NY subway, I suppose I could appreciate the at-a-glance clarification that it would provide if I stumbled across this or a similar article. But since that is not the primary intention of this type of naming convention, I would have to say that it is quite redundant. As you point out, there is no potential for misunderstanding. Adrian M. H. 22:37, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

WP:DAB says: "When a reader enters this term and pushes "Go", what article would they most likely be expecting to view as a result? When there is no risk of confusion, do not disambiguate". Also namingconventions imply to use the most recognizable and correct name. We had similar discussions about this on titles of television episodes. The conclusion was; don't disambiguate when not required, but disambiguated redirects are allowed to simplify coding the lists and creating scripts. However in this case... the subway station is most likely itself NAMED after Stillwell Avenue for instance, which could be cause for confusion. So it's a bit of a gray area I think. Something like Heroes (TV series) for instance primarily uses dab, because Heroes is also the plural form of Hero, which could be cause for confusion. --TheDJ (talkcontribsWikiProject Television) 22:42, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Wikiprojects that produce many articles generally want to stick to a single naming convention across all articles, rather than have some titles disambiguated and some not. It makes to-do lists simpler, for starters. The project to produce election results in the U.K. parliament uses "(UK Parliament constituency)" for the parliamentary constituency articles, for example. The simple answer to the conflict between that and editors who want to eliminate disambiguators is "Redirects are cheap.". Have the article at one title and a redirect at the other. Uncle G 09:45, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Renaming articles due to name change[edit]

What is the policy on renaming an article due to the name change of the article's subject. For example the article on the rap group Sişu & Puya is La Familia, although the group has changed it's name to Sişu & Puya. Another example is the article WoW Glider, which has been renamed to simply Glider. In both articles the name change is acknowledged, but the article is not renamed. To me it would make sense to rename the articles and make the old article redirect to the new one but, I wanted to see what Wikipedia's policy on it was. Were the name changes of these two articles overlooked or are the titles of articles not supposed to be updated? --Credema 00:44, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

  1. ^ *Time (in partnership with CNN), 2 February, 1981 [13]
    • The New York Times, 30 January, 1981 (13th article: "Murders bring fear to Protestants on Ulster border")[14]
    • Commons Hansard, Rev. Ian Paisley, 1992-06-10 [15]
    • The Spectator, 13 December, 1997 [16]
    • Lords Hansard, Lord Cooke of Islandreagh, 22 March, 2000 [17]
    • The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), January 19, 2001 [18]
    • The Daily Telegraph, 22 November, 2001 [19]
    • The Scotsman, 10 April, 2006 [20]