Wikipedia talk:In the news

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Upcoming Scottish Independence Referendum[edit]

Hello ITNers,

In a few weeks Scotland is voting to become independent of the UK. Are there any opinions on when we can start putting The Scottish Independence Referendum article into ITN? The referendum itself takes place on the 18th of September, and it would be good to give people a chance to read about it beforehand so they're more informed when they come to vote. It goes into a lot of detail on the issues involved, and I don't know if many readers would realise that it might have its own Wikipedia article.

Sorry if I should have put this straight into candidates; I'm new to this process.

EdSaperia (talk) 16:22, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

While this is almost certainly going to be posted no matter what (similar to what would've happened to the 1990s Quebec referendum), had we posted an independence, or at most a national-level referendum that failed? –HTD 17:06, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
We posted Twenty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2008 (Ireland), which failed. Modest Genius talk 17:40, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, that's Ireland. And all 6 million peeps in there, so yeah... –HTD 18:03, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Scotland has a population of about 5.3 million. I'm not sure I see your point. Modest Genius talk 22:26, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
EdSaperia's proposal is novel since it seems to be advocating posting news before it happens, but for laudable educative reasons. Has this any precedent here? Martinevans123 (talk) 17:18, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I would oppose it. This isn't what Wikipedia is for, specifically, by promoting the resolution before it's voted upon. I imagine it wouldn't be posted if the referendum fails, but who knows. – Muboshgu (talk) 17:27, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure it's "promoting" either side. Isn't it just aiming to educate about the event? Why should the result affect whether it's posted or not? Martinevans123 (talk) 17:31, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
It would promote participation in the vote. And even if worded neutrally, readers might interpret it as implied support for Scottish independence (because Wikipedia took the extraordinary step of mentioning the referendum on the main page beforehand).
ITN's purpose is to link to encyclopedia articles containing coverage of notable events that took place recently (or are taking place currently), not to educate readers on upcoming events. —David Levy 18:01, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your clear response. "Democracy"? ... is that one of those odd fringe theories that we can't be seen to be endorsing? Or is it that we should never be seen to disparage the undecided, uninspired or disenfranchised? Martinevans123 (talk) 18:38, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I think you know by now that ITN is not a vessel to get people "interested" in something that may happen in the future, it's designed to report on factual events that have occurred. Of course, if you'd like to change that to take into account possible future events, then that's cool too, but you'd need to make a proposal to do so I think. Or else all ITN/C proposals of this nature (like the Bardabunga volcano one I posted a few days back) will never get the traction that it appears some want. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:52, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I think one could fairly argue that this is an on-going event with the actual ballot result as its climax. The complex issues it has thrown up, the policies of the competing campaigns and the television debates by the leaders, etc., have all added to the impact. Martinevans123 (talk) 07:45, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Sure, it could be argued that that's the case. But I don't suppose for a moment that it'd get any traction at ITN/C. But you know what, there's only one way to find out for sure..... The Rambling Man (talk) 07:52, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
I think that the referendum's hypothetical failure might warrant an ITN item, depending on the resultant article update. I agree that it isn't our place to promote voting by running an item beforehand. —David Levy 18:01, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) We have always resisted posting events before they actually happen. Even things like the US presidential election have to wait until results are announced before they go up; olympics have to wait for the opening ceremony etc. I think we should post this regardless of which way the result goes, but we need to have it in the article first. Otherwise we're giving readers a load of build up without any conclusion, and I don't think there's any justification in posting it twice (once before and one after the result is announced). Modest Genius talk 17:35, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Also, anyone who has a vote is well aware that it's coming, and can easily find the article if they want to know more. It's not ITN's job to educate voters. Modest Genius talk 17:37, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I am ok with placing this in 'on-going'. Simply because we have "always" done something a certain way is not a good enough reason for us to do something does not optimally serve our readership. In my opinion, many readers will benefit form the convenience of clicking on a ready link on Wikipedia's main page to the Scottish referendum. Colipon+(Talk) 17:40, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
That argument could be made for virtually any news story. There are always "many readers" who will benefit from convenient links; why should this story get one and not others? I could see Ongoing loaded down with upcoming elections, which is not its intended function. Wikipedia is not a news ticker for important or future events. The referendum is not 'ongoing'; the campaign is, which is a very different thing. The referendum has not occurred yet and shouldn't be posted until it does. 331dot (talk) 17:54, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Exactly. If we added this to the ongoing section, then we would need to do so for every upcoming election. If each was up for two weeks, there would be a continual stream of dozens at any one time, which would be totally unwieldy. Modest Genius talk 10:08, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Okay, interesting discussion, it seems there isn't clear consensus here. I wasn't suggesting putting it up weeks before; how about a compromise of posting it the day before? Result is generally in quickly, and then it can be updated to "Scotland resolves to (leave/remain part of the UK) in a referendum." It just seems a real shame for people who want to find out more about this topic not to know that the article exists - I was really surprised at how detailed and useful it was, and it is our mission to educate. EdSaperia (talk) 11:27, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I would oppose posting even the day before; ITN is for educating people about events that have occurred, not that will occur. Wikipedia in general is for education(which is why there are good articles on the referendum) but that doesn't mean every important event should get a link on the Main Page. I get where you are coming from- but there are other considerations. 331dot (talk) 11:30, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
That would require us to ignore the "Ongoing" line's agreed-upon purpose. —David Levy 18:01, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Curious, where can I find where this is agreed? EdSaperia (talk) 11:27, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia talk:In the news/Archive 46#Proposal: ITN "Current news" lineDavid Levy 01:48, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, the "give people a chance to read about it beforehand so they're more informed when they come to vote" rationale could be applied to any public ballot. —David Levy 18:01, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
That's true, but isn't necessarily a reason not to do it. Obviously you'd have to consider which upcoming ballots you considered significant enough to merit inclusion, just like you have to make judgements on any other current event. EdSaperia (talk) 11:31, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
We needn't make such a consideration, given that the concept (educating readers in anticipation of upcoming events) is inconsistent with the section's intended purpose.
Of course, we could revise/expand ITN's format accordingly, but I oppose that idea. Systemic bias is one of the worst problems at ITN. I doubt that we'll ever solve it, but we can at least try to avoid exasperating it. Inviting editors to speculate on the significance of future voting (i.e. to lobby for the inclusion of items about ballots that seem important in their spheres and get into disruptive arguments with those who attribute their positions – rightly or wrongly – to nationalistic bias) seems like a surefire way to make matters worse. —David Levy 01:48, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

It's simple, we post it when the results come in, assuming a decent article is there to support it. Nothing more. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:02, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

I agree with TRM. After the result. "As a result of a referendum, Scotland *will/will not* leave the UK and become an independent country" or whatever. Pedro :  Chat  18:19, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Advertising a referndum for purposes of general education on a site like wikipedia in the ITN section does not seem like a very good idea. Generally/Always we post things after they happen, not beforehand. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Valiant Patriot (talkcontribs) 09:22, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Can you go into more detail as to why don't you think this is a good idea? EdSaperia (talk) 11:31, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Sure thing. As I understand it we post news after it has occured, in line with our various 'crystal ball' policies, should it prove significant enough to warrant posting at the time. As the referendum has not actually happened yet, I'd suggest posting it now would be plain silly. The OP makes a novel argument for 'public education' but that seems terribly Scotland-Centric in nature. Did we post the Sudan split referendum before it happened for the same reasons? Valiant Patriot (talk) 00:31, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

It would certainly be possible to create a blurb discussing present rather than future events ("British politicians press their appeals to voters in the run-up to the Scottish independence referendum") but I agree that we probably shouldn't. Newyorkbrad (talk) 02:15, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

IMHO, posting anything before the vote takes place could be in violation of the spirit of WP:NPOV. We certainly should post the result as soon as possible after the results are announced, but until then, we keep quiet. Before anyone asks, I don't have a vote in the referendum. Mjroots (talk) 20:57, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Putting this up early would not set a good precedent for ITN/C; this opens up for other pre-event minutiae (and blow-by-blow posting of planning or primary elections wouldn't be good for the section. SpencerT♦C 05:11, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

What is going on presently that is interesting is that the banks and some other companies have started putting their foot down and showing who's boss, threatening to move everything out of Scotland over the vote. Wnt (talk) 15:09, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
So? Do we post speculative news all of a sudden? I'm not clear here. All elections and referenda have consequences. Why is this to be treated any differently? The Rambling Man (talk) 19:20, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Threats are threats. Sure, if - before the election - companies do indeed move out of Scotland, I would consider an item regarding the mass exodus (and link to the upcoming referendum in the blurb), but that would have to be on a case-by-case basis and not just a threat. SpencerT♦C 22:16, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

I can see the argument for highlighting certain things like this on the main page, but I don't think In the news is the right vehicle for it - at least as ITN is currently constituted. If there are certain future events that are of global significance (and anything that isn't doesn't belong on the main page) that we want to highlight our coverage of then we should designate a specific part of the main page for that - perhaps a "What's going on in the world" section. Thryduulf (talk) 12:09, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Okay, different idea: how about on the day of the vote, we have a blurb like "Scotland holds a referendum on whether to leave the United Kingdom"? That's certainly not speculative, and I'd be content with it as an outcome. EdSaperia (talk) 01:19, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

While I appreciate your willingness to compromise, you keep suggesting scaled-back variants of essentially the same problematic idea.
We simply don't post the type of item that you advocate (and there's no consensus to change that). If some sort of extraordinary complication – such as deadly rioting at the polls – were to occur, we might post an item about that. But we don't post an item simply to state that a vote (even a very important one) is being held. By no means do I seek to downplay the Scottish independence referendum's historical significance, but in the context of ITN, there's no unique circumstance warranting a special exception. —David Levy 02:18, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

How the heck did you people decide Oscar Pistorius is news?[edit]

Normally ITN voters seem intransigent in opposition to stories I think are interesting, but this time... I mean, my reaction to this would be who the hell is Oscar Pistorius?, except I'm ashamed to say I actually looked it up months ago. Sure, if I could I surely would, stand on the rock where Moses done stood, and say no dumbass, you don't shoot through a door, bad things happen that way. But alas, he is not the first or the hundredth person to run afoul of that particular commandment, so why him? I also thought there was actually some rule against having negative hooks about BLPs on the front page, but now I can't find this in the ITN or DYK guidelines - did someone change them?

I mean, by comparison, we have stories about commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol starting up in the U.S.,[2] the Curiosity rover finally reaches Mount Sharp,[3] a school shooter with three life sentences without parole escapes and the school is put back on "lock-down" after authorities put him in a minimum-security prison;[4] (authorities explain their decision as "That will be something we'll have to sit down and look at."[5]) British prison suicides go up 64% and murders double in a year,[6] 100,000 people are driven from their homes with 450 known dead so far by flooding in Kashmir[7] ... and I don't feel like it's even worth my time trying to propose any of them at your forum because you'll only shoot them down.

I just don't feel like this process is picking news that is newsworthy. Wnt (talk) 15:06, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Has anyone yet told you to not improve articles, and then nominate them, for ITN for the above subjects? I'm certainly not going to stop you from doing so. --Jayron32 16:19, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
And, how much coverage has those news items gotten? 331dot (talk) 22:04, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I more have a problem that this was passed within 6hr of first nomination (and apparently before the verdict was put down) with one significant oppose vote. I could see if there's 10 full supports in that time, that's probably fine, but this specifically felt rushed. (Note that I'm not saying it's not ITN worthy, just that in the past when topics have steamrolled through , we've argued caution to close down). --MASEM (t) 15:11, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That school shooter escaping story will be shot down. I'm sure of it. –HTD 15:27, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Already re-arrested, so no story. The Rambling Man (talk) 15:30, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't see how the re-arrest affects the newsworthiness. Things like this are the reason why, I'm ashamed to say, capital punishment continues in the U.S., and this will indeed be cited in those debates for many years into the future. (I'll note that while this event is inconvenient for my anti-DP point of view, I think the most effective response is to recognize it happened, take proper umbrage to ensure safer custody of the most heinous criminals - rather than political prisoners and drug offenders - and thereby prevent a lethal incident before it torpedoes the cause) Wnt (talk) 15:43, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
There is a project related to minor news items that you could get involved in if you really want a news ticker of minor news items to appear on a Wiki's main page (I think it's Wikinews, not sure if it's still functioning). Of course, you could always nominate other articles, improve them, promote their newsworthiness (most of those you've noted above really are not just niche, but super-niche and wouldn't warrant more than a passing glance in an article update, but hey). The Rambling Man (talk) 18:34, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The regulars here got excited about Oscar, and will have a million reasons why everything is beautiful. We've really hit the tabloid trash level. HiLo48 (talk) 16:16, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
And the other regulars got all feisty and upset and did nothing but whinge about everything that didn't go their way. We've really hit the apathetic trash level. Of course, the fact that the Pistorius case was covered by such tabloid trash as the BBC, The New York Times, Le Monde, Sydney Morning Herald etc will be of no consolation to those claiming this to be some kind of science experiment where only their stories are valid and of interest. Wake up. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:34, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
To be fair to the point made, we are not a news ticker - just because a story is covered by many many international newspapers for high reputation doesn't automatically make it a topic we should have in ITN. For example, by this metric, we should have a article on the mess with Ray Rice (10,000+ articles in the news including international cover), but we're talking a story that is only big because the person at the center is a celebrity; I would take the same is true here for Pistorious. (Please note, I am not recommending nor plan on recommending the posting of the Rice story, just providing a contrasting example) I'm not saying this may not have been an ITN story, but doing that decision on a non- ITN/R, non-obvious case in under 6 hrs where there was at least one significant oppose is not how this process should work; we should be using the same type of thinking that WP:SNOW recommends for other discussion cases. We're in no rush to post these, so if there's doubt, we should wait. --MASEM (t) 18:41, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Wow, if Ray Rice made the front page of the New York Times, La Monde, The Times, and the Sydney Morning Herald, you're right, we're in trouble. Did it? The Rambling Man (talk) 19:02, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Doesn't matter if its front page or not, especially in the days of online media, where all stories, to a publication, are otherwise equal. Nor should we use that as a clear sign that it must be posted to ITN. Note that I'm not contesting the Pistorious story as an invalid ITN, I'm contesting the speed at which is was promoted on the claim that it was news all over. That's not how ITN should be working. Post-posting, it's clear that it likely would have been - as said, the trial has been the subject of major interest in papers for a long time, so its result was a major one, so I have no doubt that it would have been ITN posted anyway. But there was no time given to debate that. --MASEM (t) 19:13, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
So just for clarification, your counter-argument example was fallacious as it isn't actually headline news anywhere but in the US? Of course, claiming all online publication to be of equal significance is incorrect. Your previous response majored on the subject itself, and concluded with a "let's slow down"-style comment. I've been asking for "slowing down" for some time, but yet we have others who would ask us to be a news ticker and therefore slowing down is not an option. You can't please all the people.... but sometimes it seems that you can't please most of the people most of the time around here, and most of those people do nothing about it other than moan. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:19, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, specifically in the Rice case, there has been no trial or anything else like that - yes he's ousted from the NFL, etc. etc. but we're not a point that we'd post his story going back to our past notion that for criminal issues we usually wait for the verdict to be determined before posting. So Rice shouldn't even be a consideration now, but his stories is being covered as heavily as Pistorious' story (which, needless to say, is at the right point we'd normally post). I'm not considering US vs rest of world here; both stories have international coverage. I have no issue with the Pistorious as a story being posted, only the process that wasn't followed.
My point is the time, which we need to strive harder to not be rash to post, because the more we rush to post without at least a reasonable period of discussion ( 6 hrs far too little, 12 to 24 hr would be more appropriate) when there were some opposition, the more we become a ticker. We all need to strive to keep that and maintain our stance that ITN is not a news ticker. If people want to make it that way, that's a new discussion to be opened to suggest that change, but consensus still says we aren't a ticker. --MASEM (t) 19:25, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, we need to be considered but as I said, your comparison of Rice to Pistorius wasn't valid. Also, we have had several recent examples of items posted within a few hours, but that's what admins are charged to do, assess consensus. Given the current turnover and interest at ITN, six or seven supports is generally a green light. If you want to instigate a time-based gate review, please suggest one. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:29, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
If it were 6-7 all in support, then yes, per the concepts of WP:SNOW posting makes. But there was a significant oppose, and again, per the concepts of SNOW, that should slow down the posting action. --MASEM (t) 19:56, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
So I guess if you believe what you're saying you'll either ask for it to be removed or ask for the posting to be desysopped? Otherwise what is the point of this discussion? The Rambling Man (talk) 20:09, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Even some of the regulars recognise that this place isn't working well at present. At a time when we should be posting far more serious material, we post this trash. It's simply not significant. It has no impact on anybody outside that courtroom apart from titillation. HiLo48 (talk) 21:55, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
For all your systemic bias complaints, I should think you would want to post a story from South Africa, especially one posted in large text at the top of news websites around the world (even in Le Monde). How many stories from South Africa get that much attention? If you don't like what the media covers, speak to them, not us. 331dot (talk) 22:00, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Here in Australia this week, big news each day has been which basketball club Kanye West has chosen to visit in each city he and the missus have been in. If we had an ITN in Australia page, would that have been posted? The Pistorius case is just as important. HiLo48 (talk) 22:11, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Unless he was convicted of causing a homicide along the way, no I don't think so. If that's on the front page of Australian newspapers and websites in large print, I probably would write some letters to the media if I lived there. I'm not sure how looking at basketball clubs equates with a worldwide notable athlete being convicted of a serious crime. 331dot (talk) 22:16, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
He's a "worldwide notable athlete" because of voyeurism ("Ooooh, look at the the funny man with no legs running with springs on.") The interest in this murder case (of which there are thousands every year) is also voyeurism. ("Ooooh, look, the funny man with no legs shot his girlfriend.") We should be above such nonsense. HiLo48 (talk) 22:28, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
What you call "nonsense" and "voyeurism" is called news by reputable news outlets around the world. It isn't our fault there is interest in this murder case, nor is it our fault that it went global. There are "thousands" of worldwide notable athletes committing homicides? 331dot (talk) 22:56, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
He's a "worldwide notable athlete" because of voyeurism. (Didn't I just say that?) We don't report everything that the media covers. We should choose wisely. This wasn't a wise choice. HiLo48 (talk) 23:28, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
You're certainly entitled to your opinion, which you failed to express on the nomination. If a top level story reported in reputable news outlets(not tabloids) from South Africa to France to Australia to India to the US isn't "wise" enough in terms of posting it then very few stories would be- and we should rename "In the news" to "News events deemed important by us". If all these outlets were wrong to cover it, then there is a massive problem with worldwide media- which reports what it thinks people want to know about(so then the problem is with us, the consumers of news). Further, your systemic bias drum is remarkably silent here. 331dot (talk) 00:08, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
HiLo and several others here confuse the meanings of "important" with "important to me". It's a common problem. --Jayron32 00:11, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
You are ignoring my comment re voyeurism. An Australian Olympian was recently convicted of murdering her baby. Didn't make ITN. Difference? She has legs. We are fuelling a sick obsession of the media and the public (and probably several editors here). I just feel even sadder for ITN. HiLo48 (talk) 04:03, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Did the item get nominated? Does it have an article, or a section of an article that you could have nominated? Or are you just complaining about the fact you didn't do anything? The Rambling Man (talk) 08:42, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
No point nominating it. It's just another murder, and she has legs. No scope for sickos to stare. HiLo48 (talk) 08:52, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't recall seeing a story about an Australian Olympian receiving the same amount of news coverage as this. You might want to speak to the worldwide media about that- but like it or not, the fact that Pistorius made the Olympics as a disabled person (something not done before AFAIK) makes him more notable than an able bodied person. You call that "voyeurism", I disagree. 331dot (talk) 09:05, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
(ec) Then why are you still here complaining about everything if you're not going to do anything? I think you're wasting a lot of your own time when you could be helping out at Wikinews for instance. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:07, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The systemic bias makes nominating items I'm interested in pointless. HiLo48 (talk) 10:40, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
So why are you wasting your time here? I'm not having a go, I'm just genuinely interested why you would continually bang on about the same old thing without actually doing anything about it, by your own self-admission. The Rambling Man (talk) 12:19, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Masem: Re: "this was passed within 6hr of first nomination (and apparently before the verdict was put down)", note that a) the judge had already indicated the previous day what the formal verdict would be, and b) the formal verdict was added to the article at 08:46 UTC whereas the ITN blurb was posted around 12:51 UTC. I was the first person to support the blurb, and only after I heard the judge deliver the formal verdict. HelenOnline 11:11, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Okay, wasn't aware of that, though the timing of the actual event relative to us wasn't a major point of concern, it's still nom-to-post timing of 6hr w/o 100% snow consensus that bothers me. --MASEM (t) 15:22, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
If anything that Australian babby murderer story should have been nominated for ITN because she was a woman (because women murderers as well as women mathemeticians are poorly represented in encyclopedias). We should also adhere to the sensationalism that is given to missing white women headliners in American news. This Pistorious story, I feel, is being treated the same way. It is only popular on respected news outlets because it revolves around a good-looking white male, who also happens to have cheating legs. This is definitely an inspiring, historical, life-changing story. -- (talk) 17:10, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

News Ticker[edit]

As I now understand it, the main argument in support of posting Pistorius' conviction is simply that it is in the news "from South Africa to France to Australia to India to the US" as 331dot says. If this be the case, is ITN nothing more than a news ticker mirroring news headlines, irrespective of their actual newsworthiness or encyclopedic value? Surely we should aim for news stories of actual note, rather than a mindless copying of the commercial media. Wikipedia is an encycolpedia, after all, and ITN must further that goal, which I'm afraid posting the news headlines in this manner does not. Valiant Patriot (talk) 05:17, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

We post the stories that have sufficient updates and have consensus. Simple. The former is a given, the latter, well that's up to nominators etc to convince people why particular stories should be supported. Do you have a counterproposal which would perhaps favour more niche nominations? The Rambling Man (talk) 08:41, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
My only proposal is that we view somewhat more cynically and objectively whether a news item is an actual 'news item' of encyclopedic value. This is an encyclopedia, after all, and I don't think the current system serves our encyclopedic goal as well as it could. A stronger emphasis on ITN items of real note, perhaps? The whole Oscar Pistorious story is the tale of how a celebrity killed his girlfriend under disputed circumstances. Wikipedia here elevates it to a news item of global importance, and I think that is wrong, although I have no concrete proposal for reform. Valiant Patriot (talk) 10:38, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I disagree with you - the fact that there is a wikipedia article about this is precisely the reason why it can be posted - a consensus of editors have decided that this encyclopedia should have an article about this topic and ITN shouldn't second-guess notability. If it's in the encyclopedia, then it's entirely fair to post it on the main page. Your post is ultimately only your personal opinion of the merits of the story, several people agree, several don't. The only solution, from anyone, is to update and nominate more articles that fit their own view of what ITN should post. CaptRik (talk) 11:02, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, that's right. If you want to change the whole way ITN works (i.e. by consensus) then please propose a viable model. The Rambling Man (talk) 12:19, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually, we should be considering the notability of the event under the context of NEVENT. We do this all the time for minor accidents and disasters that people think are appropriate of articles but later proven wrong and the articles deleted. --MASEM (t) 21:47, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

(edit conflict) ITN only posts stories that have either their own article, have significant coverage in one or more existing articles, or cause updates to a significant number of existing articles. This is the encyclopaedic filter. In the section above someone mentions Kanye West visiting basketball clubs was significant news in Australia, but as this is not deemed worthy of inclusion in his article or, that I can find, the articles about the basketball clubs then it will not be posted at ITN even if nominated (which it hasn't been). In the case of Pistorius, the trial has been deemed notable enough for its own article and so ITN regards it as encyclopaedic. If you want to disagree with that you need to either nominate the article for deletion on those grounds (and get consensus for that view) or propose (and get consensus for) a separate process whereby ITN determines whether a story is encyclopaedic or not. Your other choice of course is to contribute to Wikipedia:In the news/Candidates and oppose nominations you think are unencyclopaedic and nominate stories you think should appear. Thryduulf (talk) 08:45, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I've tried the latter. It's pointless. HiLo48 (talk) 10:38, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Why are you still here then? The Rambling Man (talk) 12:19, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Once upon a time, HiLo's complaints had a time and place. They have of late, however, ascended beyond rational complaints and into the realm of academic absurdity.--WaltCip (talk) 14:16, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Nothing has changed since that "time and place". Occasional navel gazing occurs, but no actual improvements to the processes to make this place work better. Those who think all is beautiful are still the hard core here. The numbers of great postings diminishes. HiLo48 (talk) 21:33, 13 September 2014 (UTC) HiLo48 (talk) 21:33, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Yep, the hyperbole continues. Why not find another hobby? The Rambling Man (talk) 21:41, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I have many. But I really would like to see this place become better. Clearly you don't. HiLo48 (talk) 22:58, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
What is 'better' is a matter of opinion- and for wanting to see this place become better, you participate very little. If it was me I would either participate and work to make the place better or I would go elsewhere. I wouldn't continually post criticism without participating or formally proposing my suggestions for 'improvements'. 331dot (talk) 23:04, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Your insistence that I participate more highlights the problem. My availability to spend time here fluctuates wildly. At some particularly busy times of my life I have nominated items that others agreed were worthwhile, but for which still others deemed that the articles were unsatisfactory. They said that I should fix them, because I did the nominating. As I said, I was very busy off Wikipedia. Suggesting that ITN should miss out on an item that several editors deem worthwhile because one editor is busy at the time is an idiotic and unfriendly approach. Blaming the nominator achieves nothing at all (apart from annoying the crap out of him). I happen to come from one of the parts of the world that's on the wrong side of our systemic bias. If I participate again, it will probably all happen again. Why should I bother? HiLo48 (talk) 23:23, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
It's "unfriendly" to ask that adequate articles be posted to the Main Page, and to ask that people work to generate support for their own nominations? It's "idiotic" to want decent pages posted? So to be more friendly and less idiotic we should post inadequate articles or have an affirmative action program? Yes, I do think nominators bear some level of responsibility to advocate for and work on the articles they nominate. While you (or any person) cannot be here 24/7 as we are all 'busy', I don't think you are the only Australian on Wikipedia.(in fact I know you aren't)
Why should you bother? How badly do you want things to change? Change doesn't happen in a vacuum or without efforts. Perhaps that is wrong in this situation, but that's the way it is. You want changes badly enough to make criticism, but not enough to make proposals(either for actual 'improvements' or just nominations). If the systemic bias was turned around to favor Australia, and you were listening to me acting like you are now, would you do what I asked if I was otherwise uninvolved? 331dot (talk) 00:35, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I have made suggestions for improvement. They were rejected, generally by people saying it's all too hard and the problems were really all my fault anyway. Definitely not the fault of the tiny cabal that controls what gets posted. That's conservatism at its finest. Why should I bother any more? HiLo48 (talk) 00:41, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Nonsense. The posting admins assess consensus. Are you suggesting admins have wilfully acted against consensus? That's a serious charge and needs diffs or retraction. The Rambling Man (talk) 05:52, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
This really is a serious case of denial. And trying to blame those seeking change. Of course there's consensus. Among a tiny rump of addicted, agreeable editors who don't want any rocking of a sinking boat. HiLo48 (talk) 06:12, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I must agree that such a claim needs evidence. Please show the diffs related to one change you proposed that obtained consensus (which is not a vote) but was not implemented. If you can't or don't wish to, I agree with TRM below. 331dot (talk) 08:20, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Been there. Done that. Was ignored several times. No point doing it again. HiLo48 (talk) 18:09, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Be nice if you'd move on to something else then, rather than whinging about something you're prepared to do nothing about! G'day! The Rambling Man (talk) 18:19, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Nice original research but since you think it's a lost cause and just whine about it, there's little more to discuss! G'day! The Rambling Man (talk) 06:26, 14 September 2014 (UTC)


I am not challenging the Pistorius story as an ITN post but I am concerned that the process was way too fast (as noted above, but splitting here for separate discussion). It's not so much it was six hours between nom and posting, but the fact there was one major oppose that should have stalled the posting. ITN ought to operate under the concept of SNOW closures for AFDs - if the replies are unanimous after 6 hrs, then posting then is certainly an option, but the solitary oppose should have keep the discussion going before posting. There was no harm in waiting another 6 hrs before posting the story, given that we aren't a news ticker and thus don't have to be up to date. I'd rather see all ITN/C be given 12 hrs at minimum at which point a SNOW close for posting or closing could be made (or other continue debate), as the way we operate on WP as a whole we don't need to be up-to-minute. There are some things that would be exceptional to this timing like natural disasters of large scale, or something akin to the Boston MArathon Bombing, that once there's clear consensus to post (with article updates) the post should go up quickly, but every other type of news story we can pause long enough to give more editors a voice to speak up.

Of course, unless we are happy with people being able to challenge an ITN posted story after the point it is posted, but this seems like the nonideal situation. --MASEM (t) 06:26, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't think anyone adding Strongest Possible to their Opposse vs someone simply saying Oppose makes any difference, especially when their rationale ("absolutely nothing newsworthy", "no actual encyclopedic value") was invalid. It is easy to see that the story was extremely newsworthy and encyclopedic, regardless of their personal opinion. I wouldn't have taken it too seriously either. HelenOnline 06:37, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
And on what basis was my objection 'invalid'? I wasn't aware we had criteria for ITN outside of no country specific arguments. An argument of no encylopedic value certainly had more merit than some of the unexplained 'Supports' that were used to boost Pistorious to the front page. Please explain? Valiant Patriot (talk) 06:40, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I would have thought that would be obvious, and has already been explained to you: "absolutely nothing newsworthy" = FALSE according to major newspapers worldwide, "no actual encyclopedic value" = FALSE or the WP article about the trial wouldn't have survived this far. If we are not going to take into account the value of the arguments, we are opening the door to anybody stalling a discussion for their own personal reasons or out of spite because they didn't get their way in another discussion. There are plenty of people who would have preferred Pistorius not to be on the main page for the wrong reasons (by that I mean being convicted for a crime). HelenOnline 06:53, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
It is newsworthy because it was covered in the news, it has encyclopedic value because it is on wikipedia. Well, theres some circular reasoning if I've ever seen it. Valiant Patriot (talk) 07:13, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that one Wikipedian gets to decide what's newsworthy (versus actual newspapers)? Or that the Wikipedia community overall does not get to decide what is encyclopedic? If not, what are you suggesting? HelenOnline 07:34, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm suggesting we only post articles with real enyclopedic value or nesworthiness. Floyd Mayweather's latest scuffle or Oscar Pistorious's conviction, which will almost certainly be appealed, have no lasting impact on the world or any actual merit. Wikipedia is perfectly well equipped to decide whats newsworthy, we've already discounted opinions of certain newspapers as 'tabloid trash', I don't see why we can't extend that logic further. Valiant Patriot (talk) 09:17, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
We are not talking about tabloid newspapers here. TNYT, BBC, CNN, etc, are not tabloids by any stretch of the imagination. HelenOnline 10:57, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I think he's on the main page because he has no legs. HiLo48 (talk) 06:57, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I think you've made it abundantly clear what you think, several times. Time to move on. The Rambling Man (talk) 07:10, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I'd hate there to be any doubt. HiLo48 (talk) 07:17, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
No worries, we're all clear on your message. The Rambling Man (talk) 07:21, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Whether it was a strong oppose or just an oppose, it was a valid opinion against posting, likely one that would be outweighed in consensus but not one to disregard in the first 6hr to post that fast. --MASEM (t) 18:55, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Sure, we posted Mandela's death (and a few others !!!!) quite quickly, this could have waited, but nevertheless posting admins judge consensus. I and others have asked for a minimum time frame (e.g. 12 hours, 24 hours) to allow all corners of the globe to be able to contribute, that was shot to death (pardon the pun) rather rapidly. So, as per my new section below, if there are proposals to change the way items are nominated or selected for the main page, please go ahead and discuss. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:00, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Again, that's why I bring up SNOW, the same concept would be used here - I don't think anyone opposed Mandela's blurb so posting it in a few hours would be completely reasonable. --MASEM (t) 19:37, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Did anyone object to Pistorious in the same kind of time frame? The Rambling Man (talk) 19:57, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, Valiant's oppose, coming an hour + change after the nom. --MASEM (t) 20:04, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Ah, the new editor. Yes, fair enough, one oppose. Do you therefore advocate a minimum time before posting? What is your proposal? The Rambling Man (talk) 20:33, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Ideally, we should wait a minimum of 12 hr for any nomination before someone should consider (that should cover all parts of the world to give reasonable input); but keeping in mind that SNOW can allow a nom with several, unanimous supports earlier than that using common sense on events that have very broad importance. Mandela's passing, yes, here's a point where SNOW should be used. Or say there was a massive earthquake that in a few hours hundreds were confirmed dead, then yes, this would also be one that could work under SNOW. The Pistorious ruling, on the other hand, should have had the full minimum 12 hr suggested simply because the impact of that ruling has little impact on the world, though it is one that was an ITN story. (Note that these are all assuming article quality is there and updates made) --MASEM (t) 21:39, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Practical advice[edit]

If people have strong objections to the posting of items that are worldwide news, please, instead of just bursting into tears at the frustration of it all, suggest a different way of nominating and/or discussing and/or posting items. Right now, anything can be posted, we wait for the community to achieve a consensus and, assuming the item in question has a sufficient update it gets posted. Please, instead of all the hypotheticals, and claims of bias or otherwise, make practical suggestions to change the status quo. Of course, if the answer runs along the lines of "tried this, didn't work", then please don't bother as it's not actually going to help, quite the opposite (as adequately demonstrated numerously elsewhere). Thanks to those who have something active and positive to contribute... The Rambling Man (talk) 18:25, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Changing the status quo works thus: When people notice that some parts of the world, or some types of stories, are underrepresented, they improve articles from those areas, and nominate them. Unfortunately, tearing down the good work of others requires less effort than doing work on one's own. But the solution to the problem of "we don't like the stories getting promoted" is to work on and nominate stories you DO like. --Jayron32 19:14, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh, so being from a remote island and nominating something that may of interest but not actually doing anything to improve it at all and then moaning about it for months won't cut it? That's surely systemic bias? The Rambling Man (talk) 19:18, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I think User:Masem's suggestion above is a good one. To spell it out with slightly more formality:
  • Nominations must be open for 12 hours before posting to allow time for a broad consensus to develop.
  • As an exception to the above, in the spirit of WP:SNOW, where there is strong support for a nomination and no opposition, and an uninvolved admin assesses that there can be no reasonable objection to the posting, that admin may post the item earlier than 12 hours from nomination.
  • Admins are advised to exercise extreme caution in applying the exception to the rule; per WP:SNOW, if someone objects to the nomination after posting, that's a fair indication that you got it wrong and should have waited for consensus to develop.
What actual harm could such a policy do? GoldenRing (talk) 02:35, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Such proposals have been proposed and rejected before. It's overly bureaucratic for one thing. Calidum Talk To Me 02:42, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't buy that as an objection. In what way is it overly bureaucratic? It is as bureaucratic as it needs to be and specifically includes an exception for cases where the bureaucracy is not needed. GoldenRing (talk) 03:23, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Calidum is right about one thing. Such proposals have been proposed and rejected before. Happens every time. HiLo48 (talk) 04:32, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Time to change that record!! The Rambling Man (talk) 06:17, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Could one of you please point me towards a previous proposal that failed? I'm curious to see the details of the debate. GoldenRing (talk) 06:29, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Here's one. Can't see many contributions from our systemically biased against edit team though... The Rambling Man (talk) 06:39, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Which item should be illustrated[edit]

At WP:ITNC there was a question about why the picture of the oldest abstract art was replaced with a picture of Oscar Pistorius. In this case one user explicitly asked for the picture to be changed, and another user implicitly supported that by cropping the picture as the first user requested, several hours after the initial request I updated the picture.

I don't know if there are any guidelines about pictures on ITN anywhere, but my feeling is that the picture should illustrate the most recent blurb that can be suitably illustrated unless there is a good reason otherwise (e.g. one of the other items is abut the image, such as a specific photograph). Thryduulf (talk) 08:30, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

I think it should be up to an administrator's discretion on what to do with the picture, balancing the time the current picture has been up, against positioning a new picture against the top stories. Ultimately the story itself has gone through review. CaptRik (talk) 11:04, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Why even bother with ITN/C if its 'administrators discretion' what to put on the mainpage? The picture should go to the most recent post that has a decent picture to post, no discretion required. Valiant Patriot (talk) 11:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I only said that about the picture. ITN/C is primarily, more than anything else, about which stories to post. CaptRik (talk) 11:09, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Allegedly Wikipedia functions on the basis of consensus, where was the consensus formed to post a picture of Oscar Pistorious to the front page of Wikipedia? The current picture system seems rather arbitrary. Valiant Patriot (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 11:14, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
There was a consensus to post the news story about Oscar Pistorius on the front page. As there are free images of Oscar Pistorius available, it is implicit that anybody supporting putting the news story on the front page not explicitly objecting to putting a picture of him with it was happy with it. If you want there to be an explicit consensus process for images that is separate from the story then you need to propose one. Thryduulf (talk) 11:59, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Per the practice that has existed for as many years as I can remember, we update the picture to match the topmost article with a usable, free picture. The topmost article with a currently usable, free picture is the Oscar Pistorius story. If the very next article posted has a usable picture, we'll change it then. If that one does not, we'll just wait for the next article to have a usable picture. This has been an uncontroversial practice since forever, old users hiding behind new accounts who raise random objections notwithstanding. --Jayron32 01:18, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

"Long lasting impact" and an "event of worldwide significance"[edit]

You know people are adamantly opposed once these outrageous demands crop up. Can somebody do a refresher for me on what ITN's "newsworthiness" standards are? –HTD 20:19, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

We judge consensus. How would you do it? The Rambling Man (talk) 20:32, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
ITN doesn't have standards on what "newsworthiness" is? Like DYK's 5x expansion? –HTD 20:37, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
No, we judge consensus. You know this. Gauging if an article has been expanded 5x is a matter of maths, judging if something is "newsworthy" takes discussion and a consensus. Obviously. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:39, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Ah, discretion. The standard goes so low if people (the regulars) like it, and goes astronomically high if the people don't like it. –HTD 20:43, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm confused, are you a new user or have you edited Wikipedia for a while? Are you having some kind of odd epiphany? We judge consensus, much like most of the rest of the Wikipedia. Now, can you add something constructive to this discussion or shall we call it a day? The Rambling Man (talk) 20:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I know we base on consensus. What I'm saying is that our consensus should have something to stand on, aside from whims of the few people who dare to comment. It's like having an AFD where people say "It's notable because I say so", then similar like-minded "regulars" show up and that becomes the consensus. –HTD 21:08, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
If you think it's so broken, you know where WP:RFA is. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:13, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Wait adminship? How does that help? Were you going to point me to somewhere else? –HTD 21:16, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
No, that's exactly what I meant. That way you could "judge consensus" and get heaps of boring piss poor backlash from whinging do-nothings, who order you to improve the place by doing nothing about it. Good luck! The Rambling Man (talk) 21:19, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I would've expected the usual "go form an RFC" or something from you. –HTD 21:21, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
And I expect nothing more than this usual endless and pointless dirge from you! Do something or do nothing. But stop banging on and trying to get the last word. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:23, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
HTD - your comments are only permitted here if the regulars like them. HiLo48 (talk) 21:06, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Wait, we aren't "regulars" now? #teehee –HTD 21:08, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
"only permitted here"? Time to draw a line under this pathetic chatter. Do something about it or do something else. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:13, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It's a bit like voting. In the UK, we have the vote for matters great and small. People have given their lives that we may have this right. Yet there are many who don't vote, but complain about things thay could have affected had they voted. I tell them this - "you didn't vote, so you've got no right to complain". Pretty much the same can be applied to WP:ITN/C. If you can't be bothered to participate, don't come here complaining. Mjroots (talk) 21:27, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

I voted many times. I voted hard and long. I won't give up. HiLo48 (talk) 21:59, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I would suggest looking at the matter from the point of view of general reader 100 years after the event. People are still interested in Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden; they'll be interested in the Pistorius affair, given the couple's profile and the nature of the crime. Worldwide interest vs Lasting Impact is a false dichotomy. One might as well contrast worldwide interest and lasting impact. I'd go bym had this happened in 1800, would it have been in an expanded edition of the 1913 Britannica? μηδείς (talk) 22:15, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
If interest does last 100 years, it will be because he has no legs. HiLo48 (talk) 22:42, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
That (if a problem) would be a problem with global society, not with ITN. Next time you should post that in the nomination. 331dot (talk) 22:56, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
  • As a (relative) newcomer to ITN/C i've always wondered exactly how to assess proposed stories. The best information I did find it written in the template itself:
In the news mentions and links to entries of timely interest—that is, encyclopedia articles that have been updated to reflect an important current event—rather than conventional news items.
Still fairly broad and open to interpretation but I believe timely interest is meant to be aimed at the majority of main page readers and I do strongly believe we do a pretty good job of that. The term important has no criteria which obviously is where the majority of arguments come from, but for me at least it does help. CaptRik (talk) 11:52, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
You'd notice that "Long lasting impact" and an "event of worldwide significance" aren't there but people frequently cite those out of the blue to jack up the criteria to prevent potential blurbs that they don't like from being posted. Likewise, for their pet stories, they set the standards laughingly low such as "an important person in a subdivision of just over 1.8 million people" solely because they could do so, and get away with it every time. –HTD 12:30, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
In fact, current event in the phrasing above is precisely the opposite of "long lasting impact". CaptRik (talk) 13:51, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Whinge board[edit]

Here, I'll set up a little section for the whiners who just pop up and complain, make unsubstantiated claims, go off hyperbolically to claim the end of Wikipedia is nigh, cry "bias to left, bias to right...." etc etc, to enable them to get it all off their "chests". That way we can hopefully find some closure and move on. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:15, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Well, I have a complaint. There is only one bad-news story in ITN on the front page right now. One out of six. Why do we only post good news to ITN? Can't we find some bad news to report? GoldenRing (talk) 02:40, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm sure your normal program will resume shortly...! The Rambling Man (talk) 06:56, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh, and I suppose you expect me to improve articles about bad-new stories and nominate them and all? GoldenRing (talk) 09:30, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Proposal: Allowing consensus to form[edit]

I propose modifying WP:ITN/A#ITN/C, replacing the existing text with the following:

Make sure the item has consensus for posting at WP:ITN/C. This is the only place where prospective ITN items are discussed. Consensus there is not as hard and fast as it is at AfD or RfA, so admins are advised to use their best judgment. Editors at ITN/C declare their support or opposition and an administrator is required to assess whether a consensus exists to post the item on the basis of reasonable arguments made in favour of posting.

Administrators should allow a broad consensus to develop before posting items. Because of the nature of the project, the process of consensus-forming on ITN can look different to other areas of Wikipedia. On one hand, because ITN items are, by their nature, In The News, they can attract a rush of editors either supporting or opposing them. This can appear to be a strong, even unanimous, consensus, when in reality it is a variety of false consensus (though not one involving wrong-doing) and a few more hours will allow greater breadth of comment and a more nuanced consensus to emerge. On the other hand, editors are often directly connected with or affected by the events nominated, sometimes severely, and there can be a clamour for fast posting. In these cases, it is easy to sympathise with those affected but administrators should keep some perspective; the situation will not be made worse by a few hours of delay posting to the main page.

To help alleviate these problems, as a rule, items should remain open for at least twelve hours before posting to allow time for consensus to develop. The only exceptions should be where an item is WP:ITN/R and article quality is uncontroversial, or, in the spirit of WP:SNOW, where there is strong support and no opposition, and an uninvolved administrator assesses that there can be no reasonable objection to the posting, that administrator may post the item earlier than 12 hours from nomination. Administrators are advised to exercise extreme caution in applying this exception; per WP:SNOW, if someone objects to the nomination after posting, that's a fair indication that you got it wrong and should have waited for consensus to develop.


There is a slow but steady stream of items which are posted very quickly to ITN, often within an hour of being nominated, on the back of four or five support !votes which later prove to be controversial, sometimes bitterly so. This change is meant to slow these items down slightly and allow a broader consensus to develop in these cases.

ITN is subject to frequent allegations of systemic bias, particularly where an item relating to one part of the world is speedily posted at a time of day that favours editors from that part of the world. This change is intended to remove the appearance of systemic bias in such postings and, to the extent that there is any substance to the allegations, counter the bias.

As shown below, these incidents occur around once per month. The disruption caused by the ensuing arguments is out of all proportion to the scale of the problem. This change is intended to nip such arguments in the bud and so reduce the disruption caused.

In the vast majority of cases, the change will have no effect. At the time of writing, there are two nominations less than twelve hours old, both approximately eleven hours old and unlikely to be posted before they reach twelve hours. Since the beginning of July, 75 items have been posted. Of these, 18 were posted within 12 hours of nomination. Three of these 18 were ITN/R. Six were major stories that I would expect could be posted under the WP:SNOW exception and indeed proved uncontroversial (Moscow Metro Derailmen (21 dead)t; MH17; Operation Protective Edge; TransAsia Flight 222; Ebola Outbreak (ongoing); 2014 Ludian Earthquake). Three were posted between 11 and 12 hours from nomination, one only missing the 12-hour-mark by 3 minutes.

That leaves six items that would be impacted by this change by more than minutes. Three of these were RD nominations that were very controversial after posting, indicating that a more mature consensus should have been allowed to develop before posting. That leaves three items over two and a half months as 'collateral damage' to this change: two uncontroversial RD nominations and the verdict in the Oscar Pistorius case. These items would still have been posted under this change, just a few hours later.

Statistical note: There are various quibbles to be had with this counting. Several items are counted twice, or even three times, where ongoing items have been posted as blurbs, sometimes repeatedly, and then added to the ongoing line. The times are based on when the posting admin left a comment on the item stating it had been posted, not the actual time of posting. In one case the admin did not sign such comment and in this case I have used the most recent comment before posting as the time of posting (this item was open for over 2.5 days). In another case there was no comment at all saying the item had been posted; I have left this item out (this was the FIFA World Cup nomination for ongoing). A third case had no signature on the nomination and I have also left this item out.

Mean time to posting is 1.52 days (1 day 12:31); median time to posting is 1.006 days; sample standard deviation is 1.53 days.

GoldenRing (talk) 13:39, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

This is not instruction creep[edit]

I note that several editors below have raised issues of instruction creep. I would encourage them to go and read the existing instructions at WP:ITN/A. This change does not add any new instruction, it only modifies and clarifies an existing one. This is the text that I am proposing replacing:

Make sure the item has consensus for posting at WP:ITN/C. This is the only place where prospective ITN items are discussed. Consensus there is not as hard and fast as it is at AfD or RfA, so admins are advised to use their best judgment. Editors at ITN/C declare their support or opposition and, after a few hours, it's usually fairly clear if enough people express reasonable arguments in favour of posting. If the consensus is not entirely clear, consider letting the nomination run for more time, especially if the nomination is less than 24 hours old. Once a consensus for posting is reached, please do not archive the discussion. Instead, note that you have posted the item by annotating the section header with "[Posted]" and commenting "Posted." with your signature at the bottom of the discussion.

So administrators are already advised to let the nomination run for more time where consensus is not 'entirely clear'. This change modifies this in three ways which I think are beneficial:

  • It shortens the time admins are supposed to let contentious nominations run, from the existing 24 hours to 12 hours.
  • It clarifies and strengthens the phrase 'entirely clear' by linking it to the standard of WP:SNOW.
  • It explicitly states the reasons for the time delay.

GoldenRing (talk) 02:19, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Are you under the impression that simply because instructions currently exist, replacing them with others can't possibly constitute instruction creep?
This is about the text's substance, not its quantity. Indeed, the the current version advises administrators to approach contentious nominations (especially recent ones) with caution. You seek to replace their "best judgment" with an arbitrary duration (during which any consensus – no matter how strong – can essentially be nullified by a single user with an axe to grind). —David Levy 04:45, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the proposal would allow a single user to override consensus - for a few hours for one to two items per month. Is that such a price to pay to be able to say to those who complain, "You had your chance to comment"? Is it such a price to pay to be confident that a broad consensus has formed?
The text's substance is a like-for-like replacement. With different terms, of course (or what would be the point?), but it is not introducing a new type of instruction. GoldenRing (talk) 05:47, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the proposal would allow a single user to override consensus - for a few hours for one to two items per month.
Firstly, I find that patently unacceptable on its face, particularly given the lack of discernible benefit. (As discussed below, I [among others] believe that your proposed setup would introduce bureaucracy without solving the problems that it's intended to address.)
Secondly, it's likely that some editors would routinely oppose certain types of item as quickly as possible, specifically to ensure that they never get posted within the first twelve hours. It's true that most of these items wouldn't have been posted that soon anyway, but what about the impact on morale (which you aspire to improve)? When someone swoops in to lock out an item for twelve hours, this surely will stifle discussion. With the item temporarily out of the running, why bother writing/updating the article and engaging in constructive discourse? Editors who otherwise would have tried to fast-track the ITN posting (succeeding only occasionally, but nonetheless accelerating the improvement process) will no longer have that incentive. "I might as well wait for someone else to do it in the next twelve hours," some will think. Users might even become so frustrated and disheartened that they simply quit ITN altogether.
You've observed that ITN/C doesn't always have a level playing field, and you believe that the solution is to lock everyone out of the stadium.
The text's substance is a like-for-like replacement. With different terms, of course (or what would be the point?),
For the reasons discussed, it would fundamentally alter ITN/C's operation (and not for the better, in my view). Multiple editors have explained why we regard it as instruction creep, which you've attempted to refute by noting that the process already has instructions and representing elements that are loosely defined on purpose as sloppy oversights in need of greater rigidity.
but it is not introducing a new type of instruction.
It's replacing human judgement with arbitrary restrictions that inexplicably hand each of the site's editors the power to unilaterally override consensus for twelve hours, no matter how obviously counterproductive this is. —David Levy 07:56, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Twelve hours really isn't very long. HiLo48 (talk) 08:18, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
My opposition isn't based on a premise to the contrary. —David Levy 20:37, 16 September 2014 (UTC)


  • Support as proposer. GoldenRing (talk) 13:39, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Comments. First impressions: Items that have been improperly posted quickly have been removed before; there is nothing stopping this from occurring. Discussions are not necessarily closed just because the item is posted. How does one know a valid "rush of editors" from an invalid one? (the opposite also could occur; a rush of editors to oppose a nomination.) I am also confused because this seems intended to allow for more discussion to avoid quick posting but at the same time allows for quick posting, so I'm not seeing what this proposal accomplishes. I commend the creator of this discussion for an honest proposal, but I'm not seeing how this isn't instruction creep. 331dot (talk) 14:04, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
That they can be removed is not the point. We are supposed to post on the basis of an existing consensus and there is a feeling among some editors that some items are rushed to posting before consensus has formed. Such a feeling is almost self-proving and this proposal is meant to stop it. GoldenRing (talk) 02:27, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't doubt that it's "meant to" have such an effect. When editors express disagreement with your assertion that it will, simply restating your intentions is not particularly helpful.

You: A problem exists. Here's how we can solve it. [proposal]
Others: We disagree that such an approach will solve the problem. [explanation]
You: But don't you see? There's a problem, and this is meant to fix it!

We know that. —David Levy 04:45, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, I've yet to actually see the 'explanation' bit you gloss over there. It sometimes seems that I could equally caricature the discussion this way:

You: That won't help.
Me: Why won't it help?
You: We told you; it won't help.

So far no-one has articulated in this discussion why this proposal would not help with the perceived problem. The opposition so far falls into these categories:
  • Instruction creep / unnecessary bureaucracy. Whether or not this actually represents instruction creep, just saying that it does does not explain why it won't help the problem.
  • Worries about one editor overriding admin discretion for twelve hours. This is a worry about the proposal creating a different problem, not an explanation of why the proposal won't help solve the problem it's meant to solve.
  • Mistakes can be undone. This is of course true, but a bit beside the point; once you get to the point of undoing a mistake, the wailing and gnashing of teeth has already started.
So perhaps you would provide the explanation of why this proposal won't help solve the problem it's meant to solve? I hope I'm not heading into WP:ICANTHEARYOU territory; I've just re-read all the opposes (and quite a bit of the commentary) and think the above is a fair summary of it; Stephen has come closes to actually addressing the question, but his response still boils down to, 'It won't help'. GoldenRing (talk) 07:04, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
It's interesting that you mentioned WP:ICANTHEARYOU, as I thought of it when I began reading your reply. But I sense that you aren't purposely ignoring others' arguments, so I'll try again.
The addition of "instruction creep / unnecessary bureaucracy" is the only effective change. Unless and until a veto arises (the aforementioned "different problem" that the proposal creates), ITN/C would function exactly as it does now. "There's no official minimum discussion duration, but here's some advice." and "There's an official minimum discussion duration, but exceptions can be made." are essentially the same. Only when we append "...unless one person expresses opposition" to the latter does it actually alter the process (and even then, it still doesn't prevent an argument about the item being posted prematurely, though it does greatly increase the likelihood of controversy regarding the opposite).
We aren't "just saying that this actually represents instruction creep". We've explained that it does because it replaces intentionally loose guidance and administrators' "best judgment" with strict rules that override common sense and enable the exploitation of a bureaucratic technicality. You needn't agree with us, but you should be able to see that the explanations exist.
Additionally, you surely realize that concerns regarding new problems are equally relevant. —David Levy 19:31, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
I would further note that in some of the recent cases the arguments have not been in the context of the nomination and started outside ITNC by at least some who are perpetually unsatisfied with ITN and/or refuse to participate in ITNC discussion. 331dot (talk) 14:12, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I rarely cite Wikipedia:Avoid instruction creep, but I agree with 331dot that it's relevant in this instance. Effectively, the only difference between the current setup and the one proposed is that the latter would enable any editor to unilaterally delay an item's posting, irrespective of his/her rationale. Systemic bias is a problem, but allowing an individual's bias to temporarily override consensus isn't a solution. —David Levy 18:05, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
There is no instruction creep here; see above. GoldenRing (talk) 02:27, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
See my reply. —David Levy 04:45, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment No opinion either way on the proposal right now as I don't dislike what's currently done, however would a simpler solution be to force any nomination about a living, or recently-deceased person, run for a minimum of 12/18/24 hours? Simplifies a policy change, and applies to the clear cut cases identified above. CaptRik (talk) 18:27, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I would oppose a hard time limit as each article should be judged and posted on its own merits and not based on an arbitrary time duration. As I said above, there is nothing stopping an improperly posted item from being removed, or a posted item whose consensus changes. It has been done before, and will be again. 331dot (talk) 18:32, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
This is not an attempt to change outcomes (I don't think this proposal would change any of the 75 outcomes I surveyed above); it is about allowing consensus to form before action and taking some of the heat out of the arguments that develop. GoldenRing (talk) 02:27, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
It's about complicating the consensus process with arbitrary numerical countdowns and lopsided technicalities. —David Levy 04:45, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Simpler but, I think, more controversial. GoldenRing (talk) 02:27, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:NOTBURO. I see no harm to the encyclopedia if a quality, well written article is visible on the main page. --Jayron32 18:27, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
There is no extra bureaucracy; see above. GoldenRing (talk) 02:27, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Suspending reliance on administrators' "best judgment" (however flawed it might sometimes be) in favor of an arbitrary countdown clock constitutes the establishment of a great deal more bureaucracy. —David Levy 04:45, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Support in concept, not sure if we need super exact wording. Advice that discussions should stay active for at least 12 hrs before determining consensus, barring any reasonable SNOW type closings or postings. --MASEM (t) 18:30, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm wondering, how is that different than what occurs now? 331dot (talk) 18:35, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
It's not happening now. The above story would have not passed the SNOW allowance due to a significant oppose (even if a new editor, etc. etc.) so should have waited ~12hr. --MASEM (t) 18:50, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
IMO in the case of Pistorius "Not newsworthy" is not a significant oppose when it clearly was newsworthy, appearing in reputable news outlets around the world. As it was no one else ended up opposing the posting (one neutral but no opposes) so it seems like it was posted properly. We don't need a policy to force the removal of a posting just due to an arbitrary time duration(which from what I see most concede will stop very few stories anyway). It also will not result in fewer arguments as people will then argue over what is a "significant" oppose. 331dot (talk) 19:01, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Strongly disagree that "not newsworthy" is not actionable. Keeping in mind I saw no problem with that ITN being posted at the end of the day, only the process, there are concerns that celebrities (including athletes) in legal trouble automatically draw media attention that is not always newsworthy. It is something to at least think about, and a few more hours would have helped. (I also will note that unless the posting was of a contentious issue, there is typically no discussion after the posting has been made, as it is seen practically as an irreversible process). --MASEM (t) 00:03, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose as unnecessary instruction-creep. If something is closed too early, it can be reopened; if something is posted too early, it can be pulled. Arbitrary time-limits are not the way forward. BencherliteTalk 18:41, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
There is no instruction creep; see above. There is already an arbitrary time limit, which I'm proposing shortening; the problem is the mushy wording on when the limit applies. GoldenRing (talk) 02:27, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
What you call "mushy wording" actually is a rule of thumb. It's purposely loose because administrators' "best judgment" serves us better in this situation than strict enforcement of a minimum discussion duration would.
When an admin's "best judgment" turns out to be misguided, that certainly is a real problem in need of attention, but not one that can be solved by declaring that all admins' best judgment is no longer to be trusted until an arbitrary clock has wound down. —David Levy 04:45, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Support There is never a need to rush. Allowing longer for a decision has never caused a bad one. Saying stuffups are OK because we can fix them sounds like the worst kind of "everything is beautiful" argument. Why not avoid them? There is never a need to rush. HiLo48 (talk) 21:00, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
There may or may not be a need to rush, but there is a need to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy and unnecessary writing down of instructions and artificially stretching out the process. It doesn't avoid stuffups or arguments, it just shifts them. In close calls, people will still argue over the level of support for posting. 331dot (talk) 21:11, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
And there's the typically open, welcoming response to serious suggestions for improvement here. Sad. HiLo48 (talk) 23:55, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Opposition to a potential change ≠ hostility toward those proposing it. If only support were acceptable, what sort of "discussion" would this be? —David Levy 00:23, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I'm sorry, HiLo, we should just accept suggestions for the sake of doing so, regardless of the merits. Being "welcoming" does not mean implementing every proposal made. I commended the writer of this proposal for his serious efforts above. 331dot (talk) 07:05, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Exactly. I agree with HiLo48 that problematic rushing sometimes occurs at ITN/C, but establishing an arbitrary minimum discussion period isn't a good solution, particularly when it includes a circumvention mechanism that effectively negates the entire change unless someone decides to invoke a veto (thereby instantly and unconditionally postponing the implementation of any consensus to post with the first twelve hours – no matter how strong – with no compelling rationale or second-party assent required). It's fairly safe to say that HiLo48 would utilize this newly established power frequently. —David Levy 00:23, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
There's a simple solution to that. Make everything wait twelve hours. There is never a need to rush. HiLo48 (talk) 00:36, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I strongly oppose premature ITN postings (and have for quite some time). In 2006, I wrote that "if Martians were to invade our planet, this wouldn't warrant an entry in ITN unless and until a pertinent article had been written or updated accordingly."
Posting an ITN item before completing twelve hours of discussion isn't necessarily "rushing". If an event obviously is suitable for inclusion in ITN and the relevant article has been written/updated appropriately, there's no need to bureaucratically run down an arbitrary clock. —David Levy 01:03, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
And that would be a big problem for what reason? How is a few hours delay in the name of consensus and harmony a negative? GoldenRing (talk) 02:27, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
And that would be a big problem for what reason?
You don't see why allowing a user to unilaterally block the implementation of a clear consensus for numerous hours would be problematic? You're okay with a hypothetical scenario in which a world leader is assassinated, an impeccable Wikipedia article about the event is written, twenty users agree on posting an ITN item after two hours of discussion, and a single user overrules them (thereby forcing a ten-hour delay) on the basis that "Wikipedia is too [x country]-centric"?
How is a few hours delay in the name of consensus and harmony a negative?
Obviously, I disagree with your conclusion. Your intentions notwithstanding, you've proposed replacing the straightforward gauging of consensus with a system in which administrators' hands are tied by arbitrary numerical countdowns and unilateral invocations. If you want to do something "in the name of consensus", how about allowing us to continue abiding by it (and addressing whatever actual mistakes are made) instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater? —David Levy 04:45, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose wait 12 hours, except when there's an exception, isn't going to work. Unanimous support can be vetoed by one pointed oppose, and there will still be the usual complaints that things were posted too early, or not quickly enough, or while one country was still in bed. Stephen 01:22, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I don't want to rehash every argument made, but this is overly bureaucratic and (despite the OP's protests) definitely instruction creep. Stephen directly above sums up my thoughts nicely. Calidum Talk To Me 03:08, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose It would enable anyone to stall a discussion for personal reasons or out of spite if they didn't get their way in another discussion. I also disagree with having to wait 12 hours, ITN is about news after all which becomes stale quickly. Today's news wraps tomorrow's fish. HelenOnline 08:36, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Our "news" items typically stay on display for a week. How embarrassing that they become so stale. HiLo48 (talk) 08:46, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
This is not Wikinews. You might prefer it there! The Rambling Man (talk) 08:49, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
No, YOU would prefer me there. HiLo48 (talk) 08:53, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
@The Rambling Man: was it really necessary to bite my head off? Do you think your tone helps? HelenOnline 08:59, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I think he was biting HiLo's head, not yours. --Bongwarrior (talk) 09:27, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Quite. I cannot recall ever addressing you directly, HelenOnline. And if that's "biting someone's head off", your perspective is quite, quite different from mine. HiLo48, I don't care where you edit. I don't see vast swaths of improvement coming from you in any case, so you just keep up the "I really care" message while not actually doing anything but saying "I really care". The Rambling Man (talk) 10:20, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
One of the handful of good Admins here recommended to me an excellent practice I sometimes forget. It's to avoid using the word "you" in my posts. I shall try to stick to that here from now on. HiLo48 (talk) 12:08, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Some other advice: if one is not part of the solution, one is part of the problem. That's particularly pertinent when it appears that leaving the fixes to just about everyone else seems to be a preferred approach by some, as they sit back and whinge about it endlessly. The Rambling Man (talk) 16:59, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh well, I have made a lot of suggestions over the years, pretty much all of them rejected. I shall keep trying though. HiLo48 (talk) 18:12, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Trying indeed. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:26, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment So far, opposition to this proposal has fallen into these categories:
  • Instruction Creep / Unnecessary bureaucracy. As described above, I don't think this proposal adds significantly to bureaucracy; it is rebalancing the existing language, changing time-lines and strengthening existing restrictions, not introducing something completely new. Even if you do see it introducing new bureaucracy, you need to ask whether it is worth having to calm down the debates on ITN and short-circuit the frequent accusations of geographical bias.
  • Veto. There is a concern that this would allow a single user to effectively veto a proposal for a few hours by making plausible-sounding opposition. The situation has been posited that a world leader is assassinated but the news doesn't make ITN for hours because someone holds it up through accusations of systemic bias. My response to this is n-fold:
  1. I doubt it would actually happen in practice. Of the six items of major world news that were posted before 12 hours had passed (listed in the proposal), there was not one single opposition to posting, either before or after posting. For the three items posted between 11 and 12 hours from nomination (1RD, Action Comics #1 and Franklin's lost expedition), there was only one opposition, which was an article quality issue that was resolved before posting (this was on the Action Comics nomination). We simply don't have editors going around making pointy oppose !votes about major news stories.
  2. It would be irrelevant in the vast majority of cases, since over 3/4 of items wait more than twelve hours from nomination to posting (average three times that long).
  3. An editor who consistently did this would quickly be accused, rightly, of disruptive, pointy editing; that can be dealt with in the usual ways.
  4. Again, even if you think this really will happen on every item, you need to ask whether a few hours (mean 6 hour 11 minutes) delay on items going to the front page is a price worth paying for consensus and harmony.
  • It won't help No-one has yet explained why it won't help.
If someone can explain convincingly why the proposal won't help, then I'll be very happy to abandon it; as discussed elsewhere above, I haven't seen this explanation yet. The other two items are a matter of balance between bureaucracy and consensus. I would note that twelve hours would be considered extremely short for consensus to form in other parts of wikipedia; other areas require that contentious discussions remain open for seven days before requesting uninvolved admin closure. That's obviously not feasible for ITN's timelines, but, against that background, is a minimum of twelve hours really so bad? However, that balance is something that needs to be decided by community consensus, and if that's the way it goes then that's the way it goes. GoldenRing (talk) 07:04, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
As Stephen writes above, I don't think this will prevent debates or lead to more consensus and harmony; it will just shift them to other subject matter. Consensus could still change after this artificial and arbitrary 12 hours and the item would be dealt with as it is now- it would be removed once consensus changed. Why have one set of rules for less than 12 hours and another for more than 12? 331dot (talk) 17:25, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
As described above, I don't think this proposal adds significantly to bureaucracy; it is rebalancing the existing language, changing time-lines and strengthening existing restrictions, not introducing something completely new.
Again, what you describe as "strengthening existing restrictions" entails replacing a rule of thumb (which administrators are advised to consider when using their "best judgment") with a firm restriction to which administrators must adhere, no matter little sense it makes in a given situation. This doesn't merely "add significantly to bureaucracy"; it creates bureaucracy where none exists currently.
Even if you do see it introducing new bureaucracy, you need to ask whether it is worth having to calm down the debates on ITN and short-circuit the frequent accusations of geographical bias.
...unless we disagree that your proposal's implementation would have such effects. We've explained why we do (and why we believe that additional problems – including new bickering – would arise).
There is a concern that this would allow a single user to effectively veto a proposal for a few hours by making plausible-sounding opposition.
You've acknowledged that it would.
The situation has been posited that a world leader is assassinated but the news doesn't make ITN for hours because someone holds it up through accusations of systemic bias.
That was a hypothetical example (one of many situations that could arise).
I doubt it would actually happen in practice. Of the six items of major world news that were posted before 12 hours had passed (listed in the proposal), there was not one single opposition to posting, either before or after posting.
Again, you're failing to consider how the change in question would affect editors' behavior. The current setup doesn't allow them to unilaterally override a clear consensus via a single "oppose" comment. You've proposed one that hands them this power, and you assume that they'll continue to behave as do now instead of utilizing it.
We simply don't have editors going around making pointy oppose !votes about major news stories.
They have no good reason to. You propose that we give them one.
It would be irrelevant in the vast majority of cases, since over 3/4 of items wait more than twelve hours from nomination to posting (average three times that long).
Again, the possibility of a fast-tracked posting encourages rapid article creation/updates. Even if an item ends up being posted more than twelve hours after its nomination, the encyclopedia (and the ITN section) benefited from the improvements that occurred during that period. Your proposal is intended to enhance morale at ITN/C, but you've failed to consider the effects of conveying to editors that no matter how much effort they expend, they have no chance of getting the item posted until a unilateral veto has expired. "There's no point in trying," some will decide. "I have better things to do, so I'll just leave this for tomorrow or let someone else do the work."
An editor who consistently did this would quickly be accused, rightly, of disruptive, pointy editing; that can be dealt with in the usual ways.
And then we can have arguments about whether people's opposition is valid, with parties attempting to raise genuine concerns mistaken for point-makers and dragged into the controversy. (This already occurs from time to time, even without a veto provision in place.)
Again, even if you think this really will happen on every item, you need to ask whether a few hours (mean 6 hour 11 minutes) delay on items going to the front page is a price worth paying for consensus and harmony.
You need to stop begging the question.
No-one has yet explained why it won't help. If someone can explain convincingly why the proposal won't help, then I'll be very happy to abandon it; as discussed elsewhere above, I haven't seen this explanation yet.
See my other reply with this timestamp.
The other two items are a matter of balance between bureaucracy and consensus. I would note that twelve hours would be considered extremely short for consensus to form in other parts of wikipedia; other areas require that contentious discussions remain open for seven days before requesting uninvolved admin closure.
Other areas deal with matters of greater complexity and less time-sensitivity, with the processes in place to contest/revisit the decisions operating on similar schedules.
In response to statements that ITN items posted prematurely can simply be pulled, you noted that undoing a mistake doesn't negate the drama that arose in the interim. This is true, and we certainly should seek to prevent such errors from occurring (but not in the manner that you propose, in my view). However, this misses the point that a mistake made at ITN/C isn't comparable to one made via the other processes to which you refer. Consensus is gauged relatively rapidly, with the understanding that these determinations can be reversed even more rapidly. For the most part, this arrangement works well. —David Levy 19:31, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for responding in good faith. I think it's important to understand that I don't think this proposal would make ITN the beautiful place it should be, only that it will improve the situation; it's a trade-off between evils, and it seems that there is no consensus to make the change (and pretty close to a consensus against it, if there isn't one outright). We disagree about where that balance should lie and I don't think there's much point hashing that point out further.
Perhaps the (perceived) problem is that admins don't follow the existing advice. Let's be completely blunt: The three items over the eleven weeks that I surveyed that this proposal was meant to address are all the deaths of American entertainers (Lauren Bacall, Robbie Williams and James Garner). In each case, it seemed that a few editors piled in quickly with support for posting and an admin posted it with what some/many thought unseemly haste. After the event, those responsible for posting effectively say, "What? What? There was strong support! How could that possibly have been controversial???" After the nth time this happens, it gets pretty hard to believe that they really thought the posting would be uncontroversial in the long run, no matter how hard you WP:AGF.
The arguments that such 'mistakes' can always be fixed is not always true. If an item is left open until a broad range of comment is received, a neutral admin would likely have assessed 'no consensus to post'. Once the item is posted early, admins often want to see 'consensus to pull', not just an overall 'no consensus to post'.
Why is there such unseemly haste to post the deaths of American entertainers? As discussed above, the vast majority of items go much longer than 12 hours before posting, yet American entertainers somehow usually end up posted within a few hours. In the case of James Garner in particular, allowing a little longer would have completely avoided a long and nasty argument; the nomination was not controversial on notability but on article quality. If the posting admin had allowed a bit longer for those who regularly care about article quality to comment or -- heaven forfend! -- bothered to check the article themselves to see if it met quality standards, and then waited while the problems were sorted out, the whole episode with the wailing and the gnashing of the teeth would have been avoided. And why would it be a disaster for a death notice to be delayed a few hours?
I've delivered at least one WP:TROUT to an admin making such a posting, and to one who's spoken in support of this proposal, too; it was unceremoniously removed from their talk page without comment.
That's as bluntly as I can state the problem. I've suggested a measure to help with it, but it seems the community doesn't like it. Can you suggest something that would help? GoldenRing (talk) 00:29, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
  • The suggestion is well warranted. However, the "one-man veto" is overrated. What's going is editors of like-minded persuasion vetoing a potential blurb that they don't like. Now, the discussion gets to be longer than the article per se, then either some admin posts it thjen gets to be promptly chased away, or it gets stale and the vetoing like-minded editors were successful in keeping off an "unnewsworthy" article of ITN. Now, would the 12-hour time limit work? Let's say if you filibuster long enough, you could eventually find someone else to filibuster for you, then have a very long discussion. In the end, it'll be the judgment call of an admin to post it, or wimp out and ignore it. We'd just make it easier for an article to get stale. –HTD 19:52, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes, discussion being prolonged until an item goes stale can be a problem, but I think it's a different problem to the one I was trying to think about in this proposal. GoldenRing (talk) 00:29, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose A solution in search of a problem. 95% of the time this isn't an issue, and the whole process is flexible enough to allow for items to be pulled. Even when items are on the template the discussion is not closed. Although I am an admin who posts items to the template and probably have a bias, I think for the most part the admins to a suitable enough job judging consensus. (And sometimes when a driveby admin unfamiliar with ITN posts an unsuitable item, those are removed pretty quickly). SpencerT♦C 08:28, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
The obvious response to "We can always pull things when we stuff up" is "We shouldn't stuff up in the first place". One of the uglier things to be seen on the ITNC page is the arguments leading to items being pulled. And what do we think regular readers of the Main page think when items just come and go as editors at ITNC fight over them? It's a really bad look. HiLo48 (talk) 22:20, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose My problem was the Richard Kiel nomination wasn't only not posted after 6 hours over bed time for North America with a mere four votes. My problem was that the nomination was arcived after that period. If there are ten votes against, and two votes for, we don't need to jump the gun with an archival/closure of the nomination. It's like crushing the Pope's skull with a silver hammer just to make sure. We certainly don't need a rule to insure deaths like those of Bacall, Williams, or Rivers aren't posted until they've been buried. μηδείς (talk) 01:12, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Remove 2014 Asian Games opening ceremony and all regional games from ITNR[edit]

moved to ITNR Talk Page μηδείς (talk) 16:52, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

  • Remove Any new world records accomplished in this type of games should be listed on its own merits, but the mere fact that some calendar date (!) has passed is a pointless reason to feature such regional games as if they had long lasting, world-wide encyclopedic importance. μηδείς (talk) 01:01, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Remove It's bothered me for a long time that all these games are sports events, but we post the non-sporting, theatrical event at the start (and sometimes the finish). Medeis is right. It's the major sporting achievements that are potentially news, not the ceremonies, which are highly predictable in many ways - by calendar and content. HiLo48 (talk) 01:08, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Remove. We might want to move this discussion to ITNR talk page but I do agree that these regional events shouldn't be ITNR; if something notable happens there, a nomination can be made. These regional events don't get the attention of the Olympics. 331dot (talk) 09:09, 20 September 2014 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.