Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons

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James Rosemond - A question of libel[edit]

A number of editors have raised the question as to which version of the these two versions are libelous

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=James_Rosemond&diff=prev&oldid=591977987

I thought it best to litigate it here, on the BLP board, as editors have been accused of libel for participating in the older version that documents most completely the history of James Rosemond aka Jimmy Henchman that was created over a the two years since his conviction. I'd appreciate it if people would decide here. I don't wish to be confronted on my talk page as I've observed with other folks. I'd welcome the opinion of respected lawyers on the site with Mensa memberships. Peace and love, Nothingknewunderthesun (talk) 06:05, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Where have 'a number of editors' discussed this, and who are the editors? I can see nothing on Talk:James Rosemond to indicate any such discussion as having taken place. As for 'litigating' anything here, this is not a court of law, we are not lawyers, and avoiding libel is not the only objective of this notice board - we have to ensure compliance with Wikipedia policies and guidelines, which go beyond simple compliance with libel laws. Furthermore, the purpose of discussions over such matters isn't to look into old versions of articles, but to ensure that current content is appropriate - nobody is going to 'approve' one past version over another. If you have a specific question regarding a particular issue concerning the Rosemond article, feel free to raise it at WP:BLPN (not here - this talk page is for discussions regarding proposed changes to BLP policy) - but you will have to explain what the issue is, rather than making vague claims about 'libel' and expecting us to figure out what the problem is. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:10, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
This is the talk page about the policy regarding living people. For specific interpretations and applications, please start a discussion on the article talk page or the living persons notice board. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 16:04, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
This is a sock of Scholarlyarticles. I will be opening a SPI. --NeilN talk to me 16:13, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Using BLPs to further disputes[edit]

Our section on this referred only to off-wiki disputes, though clearly it covered on-wiki disputes too, so I've edited the section to make that clear (diff):

Previous:

Wikipedia articles concerning living persons may include material—where relevant, properly weighted, and reliably sourced—concerning controversies or disputes in which the article subject has been involved. However, Wikipedia is not a forum provided for parties to off-wiki disputes to engage in or continue their hostilities. Experience has shown that misusing Wikipedia to perpetuate legal, political, social, literary, scholarly, or other feuds and disputes is harmful to the subjects of biographical articles, to other parties in the dispute, and to Wikipedia itself. Therefore, an editor who is involved in a significant off-wiki controversy or dispute with another individual, or who is an avowed rival of that individual, should not edit that person's biography or other material about that person, given the possible conflict of interest. More generally, editors who have a strongly negative view regarding the subject of an article, just like editors with a strongly positive view of the subject, should be especially careful to edit that article neutrally if they choose to edit it at all.

Current:

Biographies of living people should not be used by parties to on- or off-wiki disputes to continue their hostilities. Experience has shown that misusing Wikipedia biographies to perpetuate legal, political, social, literary, scholarly, or other disputes is harmful to the subjects of biographical articles, to the other parties to the dispute, and to Wikipedia itself.

Therefore, an editor who is involved in an on- or off-wiki dispute with another individual, or who is an avowed rival of that individual, should not edit that person's biography or other material about that person, given the potential conflict of interest.

More generally, editors who have a strongly negative or positive view of the subject of an article should be especially careful to edit that article neutrally, if they choose to edit it at all.

SlimVirgin (talk) 14:30, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Elaqueate has reverted, referring to a drastic cut. [1] I can't see any drastic cutting in my edit. I tightened the writing slightly, but otherwise left it pretty much as it was, except for the addition of on-wiki disputes. SlimVirgin (talk) 15:34, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Elaqueate, I see you reverted but added "(whether on- or off-wiki)," which is better than it was, but it has left the section not making as much sense (including the heading). Also, it could use some tightening. SlimVirgin (talk) 15:42, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
I think the proposed edit removed some nuance. I don't see how removing the initial part about how Wikipedia covers controversies is useful, it seems to balance the section and keeps it from being a "Thou shall not do wrong" section. The same for this bit: More generally, editors who have a strongly negative view regarding the subject of an article, just like editors with a strongly positive view of the subject, should be especially careful to edit that article neutrally if they choose to edit it at all. Editors may have a conflict of interest in the article being edited due to various reasons. Some definitions are given below: That seems like balanced and useful advice. Removing these sentences (and the NY Times bit in the refs) is more than cosmetic tightening. The section head could be changed, but it should maintain a description of the topic, as per the other section heads, not a "Thou shall not...". __ E L A Q U E A T E 16:11, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
And Wikipedia articles concerning living persons is much more clearly about all Wikipedia articles that contain living people, while Biographies of living people should not be used... sounds much narrower, and could be mis-interpreted as only talking about biography articles specifically. I think it's better to emphasize the true scope here, as it is in the longstanding version. __ E L A Q U E A T E 16:20, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Notice of discussion that needs input[edit]

There is a discussion at RSN that could use more comments: lukeisback and sexherald dot com. (Re porn sources; stalled after a few comments.) Lightbreather (talk) 15:32, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Article subject requesting anonymity[edit]

Regarding CGP Grey: The article's subject (close enough; granted the article is technically about the channel) has requested that his name not be included. An editor recently added it back, which I reverted, and was re-reverted. I don't want to get into an edit war, but there is no clear language in WP:BLP that allows for a minor subject to request (and be granted) anonymity on their article, though the consensus on that article's talk page seems to align with the subject's wishes. Suggestions? --Fru1tbat (talk) 19:14, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Update: another editor has also reverted the addition, but I'd still appreciate some clarification on the issue. I was not able to find a guideline or policy that was completely unambiguous. --Fru1tbat (talk) 19:16, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
For clarity, by "minor subject" do you mean someone under 18, or someone not notable, or someone not the main subject of the article...? Nikkimaria (talk) 19:18, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh, sorry - the policy language is "person who is relatively unknown". --Fru1tbat (talk) 19:25, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
This is probably a better question for BLP/N. It doesn't seem that he is claiming any particular harm, just a desire to be anonymous (a strange request from somebody who names a website after himself, and whose name and picture are readily available on google). I'm not sure that a desire by a notable person to control his public persona fits into the cognizable harm BLP is supposed to avoid, but indeed, if he is on the boundaries of notability, his own desires can tip the scale, and adding his name does not measurably improve the article. - Wikidemon (talk) 19:31, 18 September 2014 (UTC)