Wikipedia talk:NPOV dispute

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This is a page for discussing NPOV disputes and use of the NPOV tag in general.

Article-specific NPOV discussions should take place on the article's Talk page only. In other words, please don't post claims of neutrality violation, questions about whether an article is neutral, or ask about how to deal with a specific NPOV dispute here.

  • Please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~). To add a comment, click "Edit this page" above. To start a new section (a new discussion topic), place it at the bottom of the page and add this first: ==A Descriptive Header== . You can click the "+" tab at the top of the page to do that automatically.

Talk page guidelines: Please respect etiquette and assume good faith. Also be nice and remain civil.

Cryptic NPOV Disputes[edit]

Recently I've come across a couple of pages which link to Wikipedia:NPOV dispute, but which don't have any discussion of what the disputed points are; the most recent one is Six-Day War. An anonymous user simple added the NPOV dispute statement without editing the article in any other way or leaving any note on the talk page. How are we supposed to NPOV a page if the party who disagrees doesn't give any indication as to what the problem is? I think that there should be a note on Wikipedia:NPOV dispute which tells people who add a link to that page that they need to also add a note concerning the article's NPOV problems on the talk page if it's not already obvious from the talk page (I guess I can add that). Second, what can be done about the article itself? If no one explains the article's NPOV problems (I added a note on the talk page), can we just delete the note about the NPOV dispute? -- AdamRaizen 02:16, 2003 Aug 10 (UTC)

IMHO that's really not what NPOV dispute labels are for. They indicate that a discussion is ongoing, and hence that the article contents is disputed and volatile. I don't think you should even bother challenging it and waiting for a response -- if the person who added the warning didn't explain why, after a reasonable amount of time, just remove it. You should probably check the talk page history to make sure it hasn't been maliciously blanked. -- Tim Starling
You might also want to skim-read the page to see if there's anything obviously biased that should be fixed. Martin 10:11, 11 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I am requesting an independent review of the following article Millosh Gjergj Nikolla. I wrote the original version, and I believe that someone is slanting it towards a Serb nationalistic POV. I am Albanian and therefore my views may not be objective enough. I don't want to keep reverting the article and/or go into an edit war. If this is the wrong place to post this, then let me know the correct place. Thanks Dori 13:25, 12 Aug 2003 (UTC)

The same person may also be doing this to the following article History of Albania Dori 13:33, 12 Aug 2003 (UTC)

How is a page de-NPOV'd?[edit]

moved from the Wikipedia:Village pump

I did some work on a page that I would hope is more neutral than it was, but it is still on the NPOV list: fluoride. Since I know one can't simply delete the NPOV disclaimer at the top by rule, and I don't know of a page that says 'Check this page because work was done on it', how is said designation retired from a page that (I hope) doesn't need it anymore? Thanks... Skybunny 01:38, 26 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I'm not aware of any official policy, so I imagine everyone has their own opinion. My personal policy is that you don't delete the other side's warning. Say if the article was too anti-fluoride so the pro-fluoride people put a warning on. Then if you changed the tone so that it was more pro-fluoride, under my policy you'd be allowed, as a member of the pro-fluoride camp, to delete the warning. Then if the anti-fluoride camp felt you made the article too pro-fluoride, they could put their own NPOV warning, which you wouldn't be allowed to delete. If one camp disappears, and are thus unavailable to remove their own warning, it would lapse after a while. -- Tim Starling 01:50, 26 Sep 2003 (UTC)
If you genuinely feel it is NPOV then I would say remove the notice but mention it on the talk page. That way if anyone is interested they can re-add it if they don't agree. Angela (who can't write anything in the edit summary box and is too tired to make a proper bug report). Angela 02:10, Sep 26, 2003 (UTC)
Will do. I removed the notice before Marshman saw the page, but I'll point this out in talk. Thanks! Skybunny 02:19, 26 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Looks to my like it is approaching the "poster child" of accomodation. I did not see any NPOV or POV warnings? Both sides have opportunities to submit data from valid studies and the article nicely dances around coming to a single conclusion, as it should. Skybunny and other should continue to watch these page to root out truely POV (opinion) stuff. - Marshman 02:13, 26 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Ending a neutrality dispute[edit]

Newbie question, but what's the best way to go about determining whether there is enough consensus to end a neutrality dispute?

Many pages are dominated by a biased and knowledgeable fanatic so consensus won't happen. Every point is repeatedly contested and the opposition runs out of energy with the bias remaining. Moreso if there are vested interests like links or references to the fanatic's own or sponsored website. There should be a firm NPOV defense policy about this type of attack but there isn't. As such wikipedia remains seriously flawed. (talk) 20:47, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm thinking in particular of Argument from Ignorance, where the dispute was over the examples used. I think that I've put things into a state which deals with the objections raised in the talk page.

Should I be posting directly to the user talk pages of everyone involved, or is it sufficient just to leave a comment on the talk page for the article and remove the NPOV marker if nobody has objected after a few days? Or is there some kind of defined process for this that I've missed?

-- Onebyone 20:13, 28 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be general guidelines for this situation. I think a reasonable thing to do would be to remove the notice and leave a note on the Talk page saying something along the lines of, "If anyone disagrees, put the notice back." This question is also discussed above -- Cyan 21:21, 28 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Regarding the question of referring to a person of Middle Eastern descent as Caucasian (a.k.a. 'white'), I suggest you chek the U.S. Census bureau. EEOC regulation clearly state that peoples of Middle Eastern and North African descent are considered Caucasian.

What if "one party",arguess with "second party" the facts are misinterepted, maybe saying its "against the law". Could one of the party's just change the "Facts"? We only" stigmatize" because we see by using visual stimuli. Just an "opinion" Fact, right? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:05, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Removing NPOV dispute notices[edit]

I believe that the current version of the 12th Street Riot article, which is currently linked to the NPOV dispute page seems okay.

How do I go about suggesting that an article currently under NPOV dispute be removed from that list/have the notices removed? I've noted my opinion on the article's talk page with a summary to that effect, so it's in recent changes, and, obviously, here.

Is there a different mechanism for asking people to take a look and comment/vote on removing articles from the NPOV dispute list that I haven't found yet? If there isn't, should there be? I'm thinking of something similar to the brilliant prose candidates page. Thalia/Karen 03:56, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)

I don't think there is a policy. I would make sure that you really believe the article is in NPOV. Then, what you can do is: first leave a note in the talk page saying that you believe the NPOV notice is no longer needed, wait a while and then remove it. If someone believes otherwise they will come and put it back in. Dori | Talk 18:08, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)

Okay, thanks, Dori. Any thoughts on whether it would be useful to have a page listing candidates for removal from NPOV dispute status? If there were such a thing, would you (or anyone else who's reading this) use it? I'm willing to put one together; I just don't want to do it if no one else thinks it would be worthwhile. Thalia/Karen 21:18, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)

Karen, I don't know if it would be useful to have such a page. I am more likely to put an NPOV notice than to remove one. Perhaps you could just list such topics at Wikipedia:List of controversial issues. Dori | Talk 23:15, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)

When you believe the neutrality of an article is no longer disputed, remove the dispute notice. See also wikipedia talk:NPOV dispute, IIRC. Martin 23:52, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Martin, thanks for the link; it was helpful. What you said certainly makes sense. But I wasn't involved in the dispute, so I wasn't sure. I know when I think something's neutral, but not when others do. I thought perhaps a single page listing similar articles might provide a) a consensus-building route out of NPOV disputes/editing wars and b) an easy way to speed cleanup of pages that were worked on after disputes, and then forgotten about. There's enough to do without chasing after pages that really don't still need attention. Still, as I said, I doubt I'll put one together if no one else thinks it'd be useful. Thalia/Karen 20:32, Dec 19, 2003 (UTC)

Hi. I think the page has become to "meta". A user who clicks on the "dispute" link in "The neutrality of this article is disputed." is not shown an explanation of NPOV and such, but an explanation (and now discussion!) about how to add a similar message to other articles. This kind of meta stuff should be put elsewhere - at least at the bottom of the article. I'll wait a couple of days for comments, and then rework the article. GayCom 02:18, 5 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Good idea. I like starting these kinda articles with "Hi! You've probably come here from an article suffering from a NPOV dispute, that is..." Martin 18:21, 5 Feb 2004 (UTC)

NPOV vs. facts[edit]

When is it an NPOV dispute, and when is it really just someone doesn't know their facts?

For example, there was recently a debate on the Talk:Astronomy page over the source of the craters on the Moon. Mainstream scientists (astronomers) agree they're caused by impacts of meteors, however there are other theories put forth by minority groups. (One of these conflicting theories involves some form of plasma or electrical discharge.) These groups are considered fringe and non-scientific and WRONG by the scientists and science educators. The holders of the alternate beliefs consider the mainstream scientists and educators to be propagating unproven myths that are WRONG. cattalioyyujky

On the Astronomy page this dispute was solved by removing all references to the source of the craters, satisfying the alternate belief holder, at which point the argument died out. Was this the proper way of handling the debate? If not, what would have been more appropriate? --zandperl 04:43, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)

IMO the best answer is citations, and thus also Verifiability. IMO NPOV is found when all verifiable POV's are expressed. I don't think its helpful to make unverified generalizations like "most housewives prefer borax" or "most scientists disblieve in weird blasts of plasma creating craters on the moon" when we don't have the applicable surveys to back such statements up. On the other hand, when there are two citations presented, and one is from "XYZ well known scientific journal", and the other is from "ABC random wacko alternative web page" I do think its acceptable to point of the credentials of the former, as well as those of the latter ;). And of course original research is not allowed. In summary, citations and Verifiability are the way to go, and since Wiki is not paper, we have plenty of room for every verifiable POV/interpretation of the data. I would personally love to see a fair accounting of every verifiable fringe interpretation availabe in every article (maybe there would even be enough info to justify its own section?), whats most important is the ability for the reader to learn more, to have access to as much NPOV information as possible. NPOV does not mean a lack of diversity of thought. Sam Spade 07:06, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)

[P0M:] The beginning of the article on Paraphilia has been rewritten by Sam Space to provide a strongly POV assessment of the whole topic. I see that the neutrality of the article has been disputed by adding a header message to that effect, but it is not listed on the page of disputed articles and I can see no way to edit that page. P0M 03:43, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Specific examples would be helpful, which is to say, too many generalities in many articals ie I had scarsely a clue what plasma astromomy was about until someone mentioned that plasma might make craters on the moon. Plasma making craters is not a mainstream opinion, nor is the harm done by floride in our drinking water mainstream. Wickipedia should identify that which is not mainstream, but remember much of what is now mainstream was called puedoscience a few decades ago, so we should be slow to debunk or delete that which is not mainstream. Neil

Does this notice apply to project pages?[edit]

The project page in question is Wikipedia:Wikiproject:Alternative Medicine/Standards of Quality.

This project is not visible to the public, therefore there is nothing to protect the public from.

I am also of the opinion, that if you are not a participant you do not have the authority to edit a project page. I think the placement of this notice is being used by a bunch of editors to harass both me and the project. -- John Gohde 16:18, 18 May 2004 (UTC)

John is claiming all alternative medicine articles as part of his wikiproject. He is writing guidelines that are over and above normal editting guidelines. He intends to use these guidelines to try and bully people to get his own way on all the AM articles.. We have been adding a NPOV header at the top of the page to let other poeple know that this is not policy, and we don't all agree to his rules. theresa knott 16:27, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
Since when is providing SQGs that will allow editors to objectively talk about what is wrong with the latest edit without resorting to personal attacks, a form of bullying people? You are even unable to reply to a neutral question, without resorting to personal attacks and harassment.
And, please Theresa (as in pleading) don't forget about the voting in the Irismeister matter about you refraining from making personal attacks or harrassing me (4.2 Decree A. & B.) in response to my above comments. -- John Gohde 18:20, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
Refactoring out personal attacks should not include removing the sense of what was said. It is fair at least to say that Theresa claims that John is using the guidleines to impose his own view on others who disagree with it. --ALargeElk 16:40, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
Regardless of the details of the issue, it's inaccurate to say that "This project is not visible to the public". It's visible to anyone who cares to look at it. If someone sees an article on alternative medicine and has doubts about its neutrality, they may well dive into the talk pages to see if it's controversial, and would likely be reassured if they find that it has been written to extensive "Standards of Quality". But if those standards are in themselves biased (note - I'm not saying they are, they actually look pretty good on the whole), then it's a false reassurance. My feeling is that the NPOV notice probably has to stay until the issues are resolved. --ALargeElk 16:37, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
I placed a {{msg:NPOV} on the page (a personal style guide written by Mr-Natural-Health) after MNH started deleting parts of Alternative medicine on the grounds that they didn't measure up to it [1]. There is an NPOV warning at the bottom of Wikipedia:Avoid peacock terms, for instance. If I am wrong on this point and NPOV warnings are deemed in fact appropriate for style guides, I will certainly apologise to MNH for my error - David Gerard 17:03, May 18, 2004 (UTC)
And this is the crux of the matter. John intends to use these "guides" as a way of enforcing his POV. He can deny it all he likes, but he has already done it.The is no doubt in my my mind that he intends to continue. Personally I think the a NPOV message is far too mild and feel that a proper warning along the lines of "This is not an official policy, this is the personal opinion of John Gohde, you are not required to take anything on this page seriously" in bold red lettering at the top is what's required. But I'll settle for the npov heading. theresa knott 19:23, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
Guidelines - style guides - are all well and good. I'm a big fan of style guides myself. But that does sum up my problem with it too: this is a personal style guide being used as if it were hard Wikipedia policy, which it isn't.
MNH is right in that msg:NPOV is probably not the right thing for the article. How about:
The suggestions in this style guide have been based in Wikipedia style guides and consensus policies as far as is possible. However, they are strictly advisory and do not themselves constitute hard Wikipedia policy.
- with whatever linkage would be appropriate. I have posted this to the talk page of the style guide in question as a compromise suggestion to MNH. - David Gerard 21:00, May 18, 2004 (UTC)
The clear assumption behind all these notices is that both talk and project pages are not visible to the public. -- John Gohde 17:43, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
They are however visible to editors. I am not prepared to let you delete stuff from AM and use this "guide" as some kind of authority.
[remove personal attack]. The notice is removed with justification per long established NPOV guidelines. [remove personal attack] -- John Gohde 22:35, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
I've restored my modified version - David Gerard 23:02, May 18, 2004 (UTC)

New Boilerplate[edit]

The new boilerplate should be implemented!!!! 05:02, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Hell yeah. I saw that thing and was like "YES! It doesn't say 'article'! Much much better!" and immediately attempted to use it, quickly learning the hard way that it doesn't really exist. If I can figure out how to create it, I just might. Dunno if I'm allowed to. Hope I am.Moleculor 04:04, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Template:NPOV listing and "walking away"[edit]

I'm more than a bit puzzled by the behaviour, to tag an article with Template:NPOV and then "walk away", don't work on NPOVing the article. Or even more strange, claiming "X is perfectly untrue" in the discussion, but don't removing "X" from the article, even when no objections are seen. Should I remove "X" then, even if I know zilch about the question? --Pjacobi 11:33, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)


It reminds me of the positivism battles in ealier days. There is nothing such as neutral. Neutral here means according to a governing opinion. It is very sad that this takes place and we see criticism wiped out of the Wikipedia. That is really sad, the romantic period is over. Wikipedia besomes conservative.

This page most definitely should not be deleted at this time. If and when valid questions about fraud and/or other election irregularities have been satisfactorily answered by recounts etc. which should happen within a month or two, regardless, perhaps the page can be reduced down to a couple paragraphs. If it is deleted before then, however, simple because Bush voters are uncomfortable with discussing the fact that the election may have been stolen, tough! The American people demand due process in legal proceedings. Let due process run its course and let facts cap the controversies, not partisan contributors who are trying to silence legitimate opposition questions by invoking NPOV.

How can I dispute the neutrality of an article?[edit]

I am asking this as I found some articles that are at least very biased! (Greetings by Hektor)

Add {{POV}} to the top of the page and open a section in the talk page called say "Neutrality dispute" or similar, then give your reasons why it isn't neutral and discuss it. However, this won't work if the page is dominated by a biased and knowledgeable fanatic as consensus won't happen. You will likely run out of energy before the fanatic. Moreso if there are vested interests like links or references to the fanatic's own or sponsored website. There should be a firm NPOV defense policy about this type of attack but there isn't. As such wikipedia remains seriously flawed. (talk) 20:58, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Policy for removing dispute tags[edit]

I think a policy or semi-policy or guideline (something) needs to be decided upon for removal of NPOV tags and other dispute tags. On AIDS conspiracy theories recently over the summer there's be a been a dispute about the title and, subsequently, a dispute over the tag on the article.

How's this for something to start from:

An {{NPOV}} (or other dispution tag) remains so long as at least one party, in good faith, disputes the POV (or other dispution). Removal of the tag can take place by a non-disputing party if the disputing party is Missing In Action for a reasonable amount of time (at least a couple weeks).

Comments welcome. Cburnett 01:43, July 26, 2005 (UTC)

I think this is a good idea, I second it. zen master T 11:32, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
Text already in the guidelines says:
  • Everyone can agree that marking an article as having an NPOV dispute is a temporary measure, and should be followed up by actual contributions to the article in order to put it in such a state that people agree that it is neutral.
I think that there has to be a provision for sunsetting an NPOV discussion that is not active, even if the disputing editor is still active. -Willmcw 20:01, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
If the "majority" is reverting changes and the discussion is obviously still "active" (numerous other people agree there is a dispute) then I don't see how, logically, your construed "sunset" provision can possibly apply to AIDS conspiracy theories? The point is to actually work towards true 100% consensus, not shut out the minority (if there exists an in good faith neutrality dispute). Wikipedia NPOV policy requires that if there is an in good faith dispute, both/multiple methods of presentation/description of the subject should be used rather that exclude anything. zen master T 20:06, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
That doesn't address my point. If there are no ongoing discussions then dispute tags should come down. That doesn't shut down the minority. The minority gets a full chanec to be heard. But if the discussion has ended then the dispute isn't active. -Willmcw 07:13, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
If edits are being reverted by the majority doesn't that prove the dispute is active? If the majority chooses not to debate and instead waits for your invented time limit to expire that also doesn't count as the dispute not being active, you actually have to be debating in good faith, not simply wait. If new editors are comming upon the dispute and agreeing there is no consensus and stating there is a dispute that proves the dispute is active. Also, disputes can be reactivated even if going inactive (if it was just one editor [me] you might have a point but there are half a dozen other editors). I think the current notices at the top of AIDS conspiracy theories are a perfect compromise, they explain the dispute in sufficient detail (and it is pretty obvious there is no "consensus" that "conspiracy theory" is ok). zen master T 11:26, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
Are you looking for a general policy, or just one to apply to AIDS conspiracy theories? Perhaps I misunderstood your purpose. -Willmcw 16:48, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
General. zen master T 16:55, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

NPOV summary with tag[edit]

It seems that for certain situations, merely having an NPOV tag is insufficient. There are times when it is key to understand not merely that there IS a dispute, but the nature of the dispute. This is particularly crucial when the dispute is to the manner of presentation of the information, not just the information itself. Can I get consensus on a policy that allows a brief summary of the dispute to go with the tag at the top of the disputed page? --Dante Alighieri | Talk 18:08, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

Is there a policy at the moment that disallows editing of the NPOV template? I hope there is, because some users use it as an excuse to continue argument through the article. For example see this edit: [2]. I reverted it twice over the space of an hour or so. It's not going to be possible to do an NPOV summary of the dispute, so we should simply disallow any modification whatsoever of the template, or of any code that purports to look like the template. I'm going to revert to the original tag again on the aforementioned article (Race and Intelligence). Aaron McDaid (talk - contribs) 23:59, 30 January 2006 (UTC)


Is there any reason why the {{POV-section}} template isn't shown on this page? After all, it links to this page as well. --Ciaran H 18:17, September 8, 2005 (UTC)

None that I can see, now we need to see someone add it well. Thane Eichenauer 07:56, 14 September 2005 (UTC)(what a waste of time!!!!)
Added well or added badly, it's been added. Regards, Ben Aveling 03:05, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Naming Conventions and POV[edit]

What is the policy regarding POV titles... What is more important NPOV or common names. If there is a historical event with a name used by one of the participants in the conflict, isn't that considered POV? If there are alternate titles, which are already used in other encyclopedias and are NPOV, but perhaps not the most common, wouldn't it make sense to use that one instead? - Spaceriqui 21:24, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Overuse of template[edit]

Has anyone else noticed this template being used when inappropriate? I am speaking specifically of people who place the template on articles because their proposed edits (usually highly POV, as in Abortion; or completely unsupported by any references, as in Bigfoot) are unable to gain consensus or support. I have seen this on a number of articles which I have on my watchlist precisely because they are vandal magnets and troll magnets, and it may be that my perception is skewed, but it looks like this template is being used to violate WP:Point more often. Would it be in order to add some kind of section on when not to place the template on the NPOV dispute page? KillerChihuahua?!? 12:18, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Correcting typo in POV-check template[edit]

I tried for the first time to add this template to a page (Philip Owen), and the text exemplar in this article (POV check) didn't work. I found that 'POV-check' does, so I've changed it in this article.--Anchoress 07:39, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Something went awry[edit]

Since last tme I'we seen this page, the text became hopelessly vague. The majur focus has been lost: only POV previously published in reputable source is valid for raising doubts in NPOV. A random user cannot just come and say "this is bullshit" and slap a "NPOV" tag: we will have all trolls swarmed here. Meanwile the current policy is full of such vague wording as "only that someone ...", "other people would want to disagree", etc. I am not good at English language. Other people more capable in legalese please review the text to close doors for frivolous NPOV trolling. mikka (t) 01:24, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Mandatory NPOV tag explanation[edit]

I suggest that policy require anyone placing an NPOV dispute tag to, upon request, state the objection specifically enough that it can be intelligently discussed.

See this mind-numbing discussion between about 10 established editors and an anon for a current example. I have encountered this same sort of obstinance before, and the current phrasing of the guideline leaves a very tiny bit of ambiguity (enough for a troll to cling to).

In short, if you're not willing to explain the bias, you cannot insist on keeping the NPOV dispute tag. Trivially, if you won't even explain the objection, then it's not a dispute -- everyone might actually agree with you. Derex 00:36, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

I absolutely agree. In fact, I'm really surprised that it isn't already a rule. There's nothing more useless than an NPOV tag with no explanation.--Anchoress 02:28, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Did you actually read the discussion Derex referred to above? 03:38, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes I did.--Anchoress 06:51, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
As I explained there, when an article violates NPOV, tagging the article is useful because it serves to alert readers that the neutrality of the article is disputed, and that any bias evident in the article is not endorsed by Wikipedia as a whole. The absence of the tag in such circumstance is a disservice to readers and is very damaging to the reputation of Wikipedia. And because the presence of an NPOV warning on a truly neutral article is far less harmful than the absence of one on a biased article, the presumption should be in favor of leaving the tag in place when there is any doubt. All of this is true regardless of whether the tag is helpful to editors in correcting the NPOV problems. So the the tag is not completely useless, even if the explanation is not immediately available or is initially considered by some other editors not specific enough to be immediately responded to. Do you see my point? 18:15, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Sometimes people tag articles because they find the facts inconvenient. If anyone truly disputes neutrality, it should be a very simple matter to explain why. That way, truly disputed articles are properly tagged, frivolously disputed articles are not tagged, and editors receive the feedback they need to write a good neutral article. Requiring a substantive explanation, upon request, is a win-win-win. Derex 18:22, 19 April 2006 (UTC), I see your point, but disagree with it respectfully.
You are hanging your hat on a perception of one part of Wikipedia policy and guidelines, while seeming to ignore many others. You want to banner the article because you think it violates WP:NPOV. You won't say why, or propose a change, and you assert that the banner alone is the most important point -- so people aren't misled into thinking that no one in the universe disagrees with the article. I, however (and clearly others) think that action is close to or an actual violation of WP:Point. The clear solution is to 1) edit the article to fix the problem or 2) gain consensus that there is a POV problem, in other words, find at least a few other editors to agree that the tag belongs. Otherwise, it appears you are vandalizing the article. If you don't see that others are taking it that way, try harder to consider their reasoning. You must assume good faith. I assume your good faith, but nevertheless misunderstanding, of consensus and communication regarding POV disputes. (I am not involved in that article at all.) -- DavidH 18:33, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
DavidH, I appreciate your response. The problem with trying to fix the problem (with editing or trying to achive consensus that there is a POV problem) before the tag goes in is that even with cooperative editors this can take some time, and with obstructive ones it can take forever. In the meantime, the article is being presented to the world without any indication that its NPOV has been questioned. I'm happy to explain the problems once the tag is in. But I don't want to be delayed in putting the tag in by doing so. Would you mind looking at the introduction to the article and telling me if you see the NPOV problem? 21:41, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

It is important that the context of the discussion referred to by Derex above be made clear. I did not insert the NPOV tag without indicating a reason for my concern. The discussion originated with my complaint that the NPOV tag previously in place had been removed without due diligence to ensure that the article was NPOV. The lack of NPOV was obvious from a quick look at the first part of the article or the last part of its discussion page, but no one was willing to do that. When I eventually did try to insert the NPOV tag, it was repeatedly removed, even though I had indicated at least one specific area of immediate concern and was trying to work constructively to address it. I was then subjected to a 24-hour block as a sanction for violating 3RR, based on a complaint that misrepresented these facts. 18:57, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

See this hair-pulling discussion for an example of the likely result of this proposal. 19:28, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Too many articles with NPOV tag[edit]

It seems lately that every second article I read, especially articles on major political or religious subjects has been slapped with a POV tag. Why is this? I think NPOV is too limiting in some cases, Adolf Hitler, say. NPOV suggests that we should say nothing specifically negative about him, but how can you not when he did what he did? Ditto Stalin, Saddam Hussein and so forth.

The POV tag should only be used in cases of extreme bias for or against the subject (eg claiming someone as 'the greatest footballer of all time' without any qualifiers), and the majority of articles with the POV tag on are nowhere near this. To me it seems that people just slap the POV tag on whatever their political or religious leaning when they find someone's added anything that might be even remotely construed as 'negative', even if that 'negative' addition is general consensus and used in paper encyclopedias. At the rate things are going, every article will have an NPOV tag by 2010, even if twenty billion more articles have been written by then and Wikipedia is downloaded into a chip in our brains. --Stevefarrell 21:29, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

NPOV does not require that nothing specifically negative can be said. To the contrary, NPOV means that all views must be fairly represented. So negative views must be included, or else it's not NPOV. I'm not saying that the NPOV tag isn't abused in some cases. But I think that's because many people don't understand NPOV. A good test, as you suggest, is whether the article would be acceptable in a published encyclopedia. 00:30, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Sorry to pick nits user 71, but I don't think it's strictly accurate to say 'all views must be fairly represented'. The neutral point of view states, in part:
The neutral point of view is a means of dealing with conflicting views. The policy requires that, where there are or have been conflicting views, these are fairly presented, but not asserted. All significant points of view are presented, not just the most popular one. It is not asserted that the most popular view or some sort of intermediate view among the different views is the correct one. Readers are left to form their own opinions.
Emphasis mine. --Anchoress 03:42, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Groovy. But, I'm sure most would agree, if they browse the site enough, especially if they like to read about political and religious subjects, that there's too many articles that say 'The POV is disputed' for really tenuous reasons. I would say that about 90% of articles listed as POV disputes shouldn't be so listed at all. Anyway, if they're that bothered, why not just edit the article to reword what they view as POV? --Stevefarrell 10:30, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Anchoress, you point is well taken. Stevenfarrell, the problem often arises when partisan editors obstruct editing that tries to fairly present a POV they disagree with. 03:32, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
There is an underlying assumption generating this discussion, which, when examined, reveals how utterly ridiculous this "tempest in a teapot" really is. Unquestionably, "Leon" was an accomplished thinker, inventor, artist, and dyslexic genius. He was, however, obviously not very well informed when it came to history. His artistry reflects his cultural context, not a historical context. Leon's "Last Supper," upon which all this nonsense/fiction is based, is historically incorrect in every aspect. The architecture of the meeting place, the table, the table cloth, the chairs/benches, the dress of the participants, the European/Caucasian ethnicity of most of the participants, the dress of the participants, the seating of the participants, the table-ware, the "food - biscuits/rolls" on the table, ALL are historically erroneous and inaccurate, reflecting what "Leon" experienced in his daily interactions, in HIS culture. Why, then, would anyone assume that such a historical fabrication, however well-meaning, could/would serve as the basis for any "fact" upon which to build a new "theory?" It sells books and movies and excites those who have no other basis for their perceptions than the imaginings of a "paper-back" fiction writer and a Japanese motion picture company, who are profiting tremendously from this silliness, but it hardly serves as a source of "fact" for anything else. William T.
(1st of 3 paragraphs) The introduction should indicate how common these things are, not to say count them dynamically. The category page begins with a notice that there is "a backlog of over 2,900 articles as of 18 July 2006, and is currently increasing by approximately 125 per week," emphasis mine. Maybe say here that there are thousands at any time, increasing by hundreds per week. That may be reassuring to content editors (good) and discouraging but honest to meta-editors (good) who read this article.
The list down at What links here? is too long to use or even to count. At first I read it as an alphabetical list and thought that I was skimming all the A to F disputes on the first screen, whose arrangement is quasi-alphabetical. The same rough indication of numbers atop the list will preempt any such misconception if the first screen happens to begin with several As, then several Bs. (Now I guess I am skimming what remains of some eldest batch. How are they ordered?)
Too many disputes, yes, but not one controversial issue in Science outside Biology/Health! --P64 20:58, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Proposal to add language to deter edit-wars over the NPOV tag[edit]

I recently was involved in a dispute on a page where some editors were edit-warring over whether or not to put the NPOV dispute tag on the page. There was a block of users who felt the page violated NPOV and a block who felt the article complied with NPOV. That war is now over, but I've since bumped into other people who've also experienced edit-wars over the NPOV dispute tag.

It seems to me that these edit wars come from a misunderstanding about what the NPOV tag means-- i.e. some editors think NPOV dispute tag means the article DOES violate NPOV, when in reality, it just means there's a dispute. It also seems to me that if two groups of users are edit-warring over the NPOV dispute tag-- that is probably good evidence that the tag SHOULD be on the page. In other words, we should clarify what the tag means, and sort of "raise the burden of proof" for someone wishing to take the tag down-- such that merely believing the page IS NPOV is not a good enough justification for taking the tag down.

What would people think about adding some text such as the following:

The NPOV dispute tag does not mean that an article actually violates NPOV. It simply means that there is an ongoing dispute about whether the article complies with a neutral point of view or not. In any NPOV dispute, there will be some people who think the article complies with NPOV, and some people who disagree. In general, you should not remove the NPOV dispute tag merely because you personally feel the article complies with NPOV. Rather, the tag probably should be removed only when there is a consensus among the editors that the NPOV disputes have indeed been resolved.

Just a suggestion-- it just seems to me we should add something to help stop people feeling the need to edit war over the NPOV tag, so long as we don't upset any important balances in doing so. --Alecmconroy 16:00, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Should I tag?[edit]

I'm new to Wiki and have recently been involved in an edit war between myself and someone else who's opinion on the matter are very strong. It has to do with the politics of calling the United States an alleged "war crimnial". the article is a list of historical war crimes and I understand the need to include alleged crimes in many sections (such as where a certain Nazi general was seen performning the crime and neer prosected) but we're talking about the difference between a government who wanted to take over and rule another country (Nazi's) vs a country who wanted to remove the possibillity of an attack and then leave. Currently we are using a GreenPeace citation and several failed court cases to demonstrate that the US commited a crime but my whole thing is that are the accusations of an activist group and court denials verifibillity enough for a wiki article? The dispute went back and forth with little resolution. I'm not happy with the POV of the article as it stands and tomorrow I expect it to go back even farther into POVland. It should be noted that there is allready an article set up for the discussion of the topic outside of the list thread. My question though.. should I tag the section? --DjSamwise 22:24, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

DjSamwise, first off-- usually you can ask for help on a content-dispute by going to Wikipedia:Third opinion or doing a Wikipedia:Requests for comment. This isn't a good place to advertise a content dispute because normally no one reads here.
In general, I have a liberal viewpoint about the NPOV dispute tag. If there is an on-going NPOV dispute, i.e. there isn't a Wikipedia:Consensus that the article conforms to NPOV-- then in my eyes the NPOV Dispute tag belongs on the page. I tend to think we can be very free about of which articles we add the NPOV dispute tag to. It never hurts to warn our readers to remember that Wikipedia is written by everyone, that its authors may have biases, and that we should all read it with our critical thinking turned on. I don't think having the NPOV dispute tag on the page somehow means no one will read it-- it just serves as a reminder that the page may or or may not be neutral-- so the reader shouldn't just blindly accept its point of view. --Alecmconroy 06:32, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

How can neutrality be achieved[edit]

I think it's inevitably hard, on a page entitled "Criticisms of Wal Mart", to appear neutral. The point of "Criticisms" is that you only list the bad things, and point out the other side of the coin if one is available. As long as everything is FACTUALLY correct, a page entitled Criticism will naturally list points of view that are critical of Wal Mart. --Christopher 21:10, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

(Comment posted on main page. moved here by Alecmconroy 04:34, 28 June 2006 (UTC))

Prosed merging in of Wikipedia:POV pushing[edit]

Wikipedia:POV pushing has "proposed merge" tag with a discuss link pointing here. There has been some discussion on Wikipedia talk:POV pushing.

I think most of its text should be merged into a section here and Wikipedia:POV pushing reduced to a definition and see also this page. -- 00:45, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

As the original author of the Wikipedia:POV pushing essay, I would like to see community endorsement of it as a 'guideline' or better yet, a 'policy'. In particular, I want to see clarification of "what POV pushing is not":
  • POV pushing is not "adding information that advances a point of view"
  • POV pushing is not "pointing out that an aspect of a topic is controversial"
Before we do the merge, I recommend we decide whether the page should be promoted to a Wikipedia:guideline or a Wikipedia:policy. --Uncle Ed 14:10, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
I note with distress that my original essay has been userfied - against my will. I wanted it to stay in main space, but agreed to userfication as the only viable alternative to having it deleted.
It now lives at User:Ed Poor/POV pushing. Am I the only one who opposes POV pushing? And must I forever labor under the indignity of having been branded a POV pusher by the ArbCom, simply because I wanted to see some balance in the three most biased articles of all? --Uncle Ed (talk) 00:52, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Group of POV pushers[edit]

What if a group of POV pushers insists 'their version' is the Wikipedia:Consensus version and refuse to allow any changes to the article, however minor, without consent of their group?

What if they even revert the placement of a {{POV-section}} tag? --Uncle Ed 18:45, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just ban them? — Omegatron 19:06, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, there are groups of Wikipedians ('cliques'?) that disagree with (or wilfully disregard) tag policy on articles related to the Theory of Evolution and the Global warming theory:

  • Dispute tags are an important way for people to show that there are problems with the article. Do not remove them unless you are sure that all stated reasons for the dispute are settled. As a general rule, do not remove other people's dispute tags twice during a 24 hour period.

Their strategy is to insist that their point of view is the undisputed truth. One tactic is to remove any evidence that published sources outside of Wikipedia have an alternate point of view. Any attempt to incorporate an alternate idea or view is met with instant reversion, typically with an edit comment like 'rv POV'. This clearly violates NPOV policy:

  • Wikipedia's neutral point-of-view (NPOV) policy contemplates inclusion of all significant points of view regarding any subject on which there is division of opinion.
  • It is inappropriate to remove blocks of well-referenced information which is germane to the subject from articles on the grounds that the information advances a point of view.

Perhaps a survey or RFA is in order, to address the anti-NPOV actions of these cliques. --Uncle Ed 13:14, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Removing AfD tags is considered vandalism. Maybe removing POV tags should be, too?
The policies are supposed to protect us from asymmetrical POV pushing; where one group has more free time or a legion of adherents who can spend time and energy biasing articles and the rest of us simply don't have the resources to "defend" the NPOV. But the policies don't do enough. I don't know what we need to change to fix this, but I've been having similar problems. — Omegatron 13:40, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Ed's just the person to answer that, since he's removed AfD tags from his own articles before. And Ed has a history of misusing dispute tags in contrived content disputes, violating WP:POINT, and is now simply trying to drum up support. "policies are supposed to protect us from asymmetrical POV pushing" Exactly, but that sword cuts both ways. Dispute tags were never intended to be a tool for furthering bad faith POV pushers. FeloniousMonk 15:13, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
This comment violates AGF and is an example of argument ad hominem. Please make your point about what I said, not "who I am". --Uncle Ed 15:46, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
FM's comments seem accurate, relevant and necessary considering Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Ed_Poor_2#Findings_of_fact and your recent attempts to alter the very policies you ran afoul of: [3]. 21:39, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm a newbie at editing, but a long-time Wikipedia user. The various articles on Mormonism seem to be posted directly from the LDS website, and are constantly edited to keep anything they don't like (like citations from sermons by Joseph Smith on subjects they'd rather not discuss, with links) out of the articles. Is Wikipedia just another part of their missionary efforts? The articles on Mormonism and Mormonism and Christianity are almost pure propaganda. They are not the least bit neutral. How are such concerns addressed? Thanks! RossweisseSTLRossweisseSTL (talk) 03:17, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

NPOV dispute tags, when to use and delete[edit]

Two years ago, someone observed here, "I have been accused of bending NPOV, and it has been suggested here that it be discussed here." It wasn't discussed here, fortunately. This would not be the place.

Still there is too much happening in this discussion. More than two years ago, someone else observed above, Hi. I think the page has become to "meta". A user who clicks on the "dispute" link in "The neutrality of this article is disputed." is not shown an explanation of NPOV and such, but an explanation (and now discussion!) about how to add a similar message to other articles. This kind of meta stuff should be put elsewhere - at least at the bottom of the article. I'll wait a couple of days for comments, and then rework the article. GayCom 02:18, 5 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Good point. I'm sure that improved the article. The discussion is still a mess. Shouldn't the discussion be "meta": about NPOV tags and (how to resolve) difficult matters concerning when/where to put them and delete tham? Much of it is but there is too much junk. --P64 21:43, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

I already said this before but I shall say it again. I am disputing the neutrality of the part of the article if Americans Knew which is under the title Israel advocates make false claims for if Americans knew site.-Dendoi Decmeber 9, 2006 12:37 AM

I support the article because the article is correct and fair. The article is a evidence of freedom. anti-cnn is a evidence of freedom. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Unfaircnn (talkcontribs) 10:05, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Why was this info removed???[edit]

This as one time was under POV Pushing:

It is often necessary to examine a topic from more than one perspective. This is especially so with controversial topics — such as politics, morality, and religion. But many people come to Wikipedia unaware of NPOV or simply do not wish to abide by it, and hence they routinely and deliberately engage in POV pushing.

The reason they do this is probably that they believe that a neutral presentation of the views they advocate will look bad in comparison to opposing views. And the best way to win an argument is to prevent the other side from getting any time to make its argument. Failing that, the goal may just be to make the other side look bad (ad hominem) or to distort that side's views.

Why was it removed? It is very good.

CyberAnth 03:31, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I see now that POV Pushing was merged into this article. I disagree. It was butchered into this article. This needs to be addressed. CyberAnth 09:20, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
Gosh, that sounds like something I would say. I wonder if I am the original author of that deleted passage. So much of what I say at Wikipedia about objectivity and neutrality is disregarded. There's even been some activity to turn it all around and brand me a POV pusher, for having the effrontery to suggest that an article which exalts a mainstream view ought not to marginalize a minority view. (I recall receiving an email from Jimbo telling me that this practice is contrary to his NPOV policy.) --Uncle Ed 22:08, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, yes I thought I remembered writing that essay: Wikipedia:POV pushing. Someone turned it into a redirect without finishing the merge. --Uncle Ed 22:12, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Two types of POV pushing[edit]

Cut from text but then restored:

The term actually applies just as well to the promotion of majority views in an attempt to marginalize or censor minority views. It is against Wikipedia policy to remove well-referenced material, if one's only grounds for doing so is that "the material advances a point of view". [1]

Please don't delete useful information or instructions. If you think this is incorrect, please say so and say why. I've been here for 5 1/2 years and I think I know the rules by now. By the way, I am the original author of Wikipedia:POV pushing, in which I recommend against the practice. --Uncle Ed 13:56, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

I think this has the potential to be misleading. Per WP:Undue weight, while notable minority views must be presented, they must be presented in proportion to their acceptance by the mainstream. So a minority view should receive less coverage, and less prominently than the majority view. Some would interpret the text above as grounds for giving undue weight to the minority view, since reducing weight could be characterized as marginalizing or censoring. And while "the material advances a point of view" may not be a valid reason to remove text, it is valid to remove text if it violates undue weight or otherwise misrepresents the level of acceptance of a minority view, or if it is information about a minority view to small to be notable. Wikipedia doesn't have an obligation to keep all text which is sourced, does it? --Minderbinder 14:09, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Jimbo and I have always been clear about this, I don't see any "potential" here.

Who's saying that a minority view shouldn't "be presented in proportion to their acceptance by the mainstream"? Who at Wikipedia has ever said that undue weight should be given to a minority view?

Let's put this in perspective, starting with an easy example. Suppose the US electorate are split over whether Gore or Bush is the best presidential candidate. During the campaign, should US newspapers give 90% of their coverage to the view that Bush is the better candidate? This would be inappropriate in any paper which claimed to be objective, because it would be giving undue weight (90% coverage) to a view which has only 50% credence.

Swinging to the opposite extreme, let's take a well-rounded view <grin> of Flat earth. It has 200 adherents, and there are 6 billion people who disagree. An article on the shape of the earth should not even mention this view, because 200 ÷ 6,000,000,000 is a tiny minority.

It only starts getting hard in the middle. What percent of historians give any credence to the Holocaust vs. Holocaust denial? Hmm, it depends on the country or region of the historian I guess. In the Islamic sphere, ideas like holocaust denial and the authenticity of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion are given much credence. How much room should views like these get in the English Language Wikipedia, which is largely non-Islamic?

My favorite example is Global warming denial, i.e., the view that the Anthropogenic global warming theory is not well-established enough to be considered "science". What percent of scientists believe this? Or what percent of US voters? Or Wikipedia readers? Or editors?

All I'm saying is that excluding any mention of the idea, as a slum-dunk no-brainer application of undue weight policy, is a tricky area. We need some sort of basis, like maybe polls, to determine how much weight a view carries. --Uncle Ed 16:24, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

I understand what you're saying, but I don't think that particular chunk of text gets that across as clearly as it could. We should omit (some would call that "censor") views that are tiny and non-notable, but this text only mentions half of the situation, the conditions under which we shouldn't delete content. A flat-earther could claim that removal of their view from Earth is marginalization and censorship, and that as long as their views are well-referenced, removal of them is a violation of WP policy.
As for the question of who is advocating giving undue weight to a minority view, I'll give you an example: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Martinphi. Here's a situation where NPOV (and WP:FRINGE) are being wikilawyered by a handful of editors who are insisting on writing articles on fringe topics from the point of view of fringe sources (meaning giving fringe theories (in this case "paranormal") more weight than conventional explanations), as well as defining "scientific consensus" as the consensus of a few fringe researchers. Situations like this make me very cautious about new wording that has the potential to be taken out of context or misinterpreted (whether intentionally or inadvertently). Maybe I'm being overly paranoid, but right now I'm seeing firsthand how difficult it is to deal with editors who insist on either ignoring or wikilawyering NPOV. --Minderbinder 16:56, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Strikes me as policy creep and potentially misleading, and opens a door for promotors of minority POVs to do an end run around the undue weight clause of WP:NPOV through wikilawyering this angle. 17:21, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Flat earth is a pretty good example of an article which is about a minority view but features the majority view right up front, as well as pertinent concepts from mainstream science. Flat-earthers might argue that - since there is no formal statement from an academy of science condemning the flat earth theory - the subject should be presented as inconclusive, e.g. "Flat Earth is a term that describes the flat nature of our planet. The Flat Earth theory is controversial. Some skeptics say there is no evidence that the earth is flat". Flat-earthers might go further and argue that science has not refuted the specific research of Johnson and Rowbowtham. As you can see, there are all kinds of ways for fringe proponents to attempt an end-run around NPOV. -- LuckyLouie 19:04, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree that this is potentially misleading, it needs to be rethought. FeloniousMonk 04:12, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Removing POV tags when nothing posted to talk page[edit]

How long a period is appropriate to wait after a POV tag is added to an article but the tagger never posts anything to the talk page before removing the tag? Vancleef 09:31, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

If the subject is clear to you and the article looks NPOV, I would remove it immediately since the editor did not take the time to use the template properly. Otherwise, later editors might also think 'maybe there is a good reason for it, I should leave it' as well. Or if you really want to be nice, you could add a 'is this biased?' comment to the talk page and wait a while before removing it. Antonrojo 13:29, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

The Gold Seal Campaign[edit]

For the sake of Wikipedia and controversial articles...

Gold Seal Campaign:

What do you think of this? The administrators of Wikipedia establish a Gold Seal campaign for certain articles. This “Gold Seal” will indicate for a given article it’s factuality and lack of vandalism. Basically it will show..

1-This page is properly cited.

2-This page has been verified.

This will be an important step for Wikipedia. It means students, high school included will be able to cite Wikipedia in their work. As of now many schools do not allow students to this.

As for editing an article, It will still be allowed yet a person can easily revert to the Gold Sealed, verified page on Wikipedia. This will be an amazing step for Wikipedia, though difficult, it will allow readers to know for sure what they are reading is true. It will surely improve Wikipedia’s image in the public sphere. Of course someone will have to organize this, but in then it will be sufficient use of labour. — mattawa

Who are you "mattawa" and why are you not needing to log in?

As far as this "Gold Seal" program, it might work for subjects such as the imported products of Peru or the definition of wind chill factor but there is no way on earth that it can work for a contentious subject and I would say that "White Privilege" is about as contentious as it gets. QuintBy (talk) 08:24, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

"last resort"[edit]

I don't agree that a tag should only be added as a last resort. Some articles have extensive problems that cannot be fixed in a few minutes of an edit. Other articles are controversial, and without a tag, people won't focus on the NPOV problems in the article. Other articles have ownership problems, and an editor can't hope to fix an NPOV problem without hours and hours of effort and dispute resolution; I'm on a page now where a persistent full-time editor has announced that I have an hour to propose a fix to a problem or he'll delete the tag, citing the last resort language. There are hundreds of pages with NPOV problems, and only a few of them are tagged. Casual editors who identify problems but don't have the time to fix them are contributing to Wikipedia when they identify problems for others to fix. I've written an essay on the subject: Wikipedia:Tagging pages for problems, which I'd love to hear others' input on, and would like to incorporate into this page. At a minimum, the "last resort" language should be clarified. THF 02:59, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Just for the record, I'm the "persistent full-time editor". I am not an author of the page but do monitor it and rewrite/delete additions that are POV due to the highly controversial nature, currently, of David Vitter. I requested on Talk:David Vitter that the editor please make the effort to be specific on what his POV concerns were so that discussion could be started on how to resolve his concerns. With a little prodding (after trying to quote from his Wikipedia:Tagging pages for problems for authority and being told he didn't have time to improve the article) THF went from "clearly POV" to specific concerns about the lack of detail in the biography -- a concern I share. Discussion was forthcoming and progress was made if not final resolution. I support the "last resort" provision to discourage drive-by tagging and encourage discussion of article improvement. ∴ Therefore | talk 06:01, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Identification of problems in articles is an important task in the creation of a reliable encyclopedia. "Tags" are often used to indicate problems. Some people object to tagging instead of fixing, but tags do have their place.

The encyclopedia is way too large for anyone to read the whole thing, and there is a lot of value in tagging particular articles for particular problems. Tagging makes it easier for people who have expertise or interest in a particular area to hone in on things they can work on, it warns readers about rough patches (so they don't think a disputed passage is authoritative), and it encourages more passers-by to pitch in. Sure, it's better if people fix the problems they find, but complex problems can take a long time to untangle, and not everyone has the information immediately at hand to do the job right. An editor who places a tag has no obligation other than to justify the inclusion of the tag on the talk page if the tag is challenged.

Criticisms (as expressed through article tags) and incremental editing are an important part of writing a collaborative encyclopedia, and should be welcomed rather than discouraged. Wikipedia values contributions from everyone, whether or not they have contributed before, and even whether or not they are experts. Even novices and non-experts can help improve presentation without changing the underlying information. It is important to listen to even casual readers who find an article to be biased or confusing or unconvincing. They might not have the expertise to fix those problems, but the fact that they report these symptoms means that the encyclopedia could probably be doing a better job.

The problem with Wikipedia is that there are too many pages that should be tagged that are untagged. WP:NPOVD requires editors to babysit those pages; for example, even though Therefore above acknowledges NPOV problems on the David Vitter page (and it took repeating policy to him for several hours to get him to acknowledge a problem), he continues to remove the tag, despite the clear command of this page as it currently stands not to do so. The policy should be less hostile to casual editors who don't have the time to babysit pages, but who can draw attention to problems in the encyclopedia for editors with more time. There are literally thousands of pages with POV problems in Wikipedia, and only a small fraction are tagged. THF 12:37, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

My sense is that a POV tag should be added only as a last resort. I think of it this way: The POV tag should be there to notify readers that there is a dispute about whether the article is neutral. A dispute does not exist merely because someone coming across the article believes the article is not neutral. A dispute exists, literally, only when two or more editors are actually disagreeing about the neutrality of the article -- in other words, a dispute exists only where a disagreement is actually documented on the talk page for the article.
Even where a dispute is documented, I argue that the NPOV tag should not necessarily be used unless the dispute has been continuing for a reasonably long period of time without resolution -- at least a few days, maybe.
I argue that rule against drive-by tagging is a good one. I also argue that POV tags should be used as a last resort. A rule that allows anyone simply to add a tag because that person believes the article is not neutral encourages a lazy approach.
I am however, ready to be persuaded otherwise! Yours, Famspear 02:57, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
I also find the NPOV tag is often used in "drive by tagging". I found it very odd reading this guide that we do not promote discussion before adding a NPOV tag (perhaps I missed it). While not meant to bias an article and suggesting no bias by adding it, the fact is that it does add the perception that the content is bias regardless of whether such is true. The tags can also create a lot of wikistress - I've almost quit wikipedia in the past over the stress of NPOV banners. The NPOV tag should be a later step in the process. I don't want to say last-step as there is further dispute resolution that could be followed after tagging, but perhaps the last step before seeking external assistance (somewhere between steps 4 & 6 of dispute resolution). We should suggest discussion on the talk before adding a tag. The discussion should state what the editors believes is in violation with the NPOV policy, otherwise, the tag can be quickly removed if other editors do not see the NPOV dispute. We should also suggest other templates that may address the content that have less impact on the perception of the article, such as sentence tags {{fact}}, {{or}}, or {{dubious}}. Then suggest section or header tags, and then if the entire article is POV, then a article tag. IMO, any section or article NPOV tag should already have some discussion before it is placed. Morphh (talk) 17:05, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Biased page fanatics. NPOV policy needed[edit]

Many pages are dominated by a biased and knowledgeable fanatic so consensus won't happen in NPOV disputes. The bias may be hard to spot and the fanatic repeatedly contests every point until others run out of energy and the bias remains. Moreso if there are vested interests like links or references to the fanatic's own or related website. There should be a firm NPOV defense policy about this type of attack but there isn't. As such wikipedia remains seriously flawed with readers not knowing if any page they are reading is biased or not. Such a policy could recommend the involvement of tough administrators. Alternatively, all pages need to be judged as unbiased and an "approved" seal applied at regular intervals. Quality control is needed. (talk) 21:28, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Consensus needed[edit]

Restoring dispute tags[edit]

Regarding this edit, I'd like to invite comment. The objection in the edit summary makes sense; I need to phrase it better. The point I was getting at is this: editors who fail to make their point, and basically have a large consensus against their edits, sometimes resort to tagging a page indefinitely as a means of expressing that they disagree with the consensus. I think that's an abuse of the tag, but as written the page suggests that one should never remove an NPOV tag. There comes a time when a dispute has been talked to death and a consensus emerges, and continuing to beat the dead horse beyond that point by reinserting dispute tags is to be discouraged. Thoughts? MastCell Talk 21:14, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I pretty much agree with MastCell here. On a couple occasions I have run into editors that who seem to think that simply because they believe an article is unbiased, it is their right to apply a POV tag, even if all the points they've brought up on the corresponding talk page have been dealt with, or consensus is against them. I think for this how-to guide to be most useful, it needs some discussion of appropriate vs inappropriate/abusive use of tags, especially if the guide is also going to say that "if you find yourself having an ongoing dispute about whether a dispute exists, there's a good chance one does, and you should therefore leave the NPOV tag up until there is a consensus that it should be removed." Yilloslime (t) 21:55, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree with both of you as to the issue of tagging, but I disagree that as written the page suggests one should never remove an NPOV tag. The text clearly reads: until there is a consensus that it should be removed, which addresses the case you refer to in my opinion. Consensus doesn't mean everyone agrees, and in a larger group of editors you can still have a consensus to remove the tag with, say, one editor steadfastly disagreeing. I have seen the opposite situation from that you describe happen more often, where POV-tags applied in good faith, and sparking discussion among multiple editors with varying points of view about how to edit, are seen as "defacing" the article by one or two editors who contribute little to the discussion and only repeatedly remove any tags. The way I see it, the presence of the tag doesn't mean the article is unbalanced, it means that there is a dispute regarding balance. Removing the tag indicates that this dispute is resolved, either through consensus or dispute resolution. (As a counterpoint for the page's discussion of drive-by tagging, perhaps there should also be talk of drive-by untagging, which also seems common.) For disclosure, I tend to believe it is much easier for a majority view to overwhelm a minority view, in terms of balance, than vice-versa, and I think tagging does two things: it often encourages editors less passionate about the topic to join the discussion, making for a more neutral outcome, and it warns the reader that editors involved with the article dispute its neutrality (which I admit is good or bad depending on whether the article really is unbalanced or balanced, respectively). An article with constant disputes should thus probably remain tagged -- otherwise we are providing an article that seems to be regarded as neutral by a consensus of editors, when in reality it is not.
Perhaps the addition could be something as simple as: However, repeatedly adding the tag is not to be used as a means of bypassing consensus. (?) Blackworm (talk) 22:29, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I mostly agree with everything said above, and would endorse the addition of the proposed text. But I still think that some explicit discussion of legitimate vs abusive tagging would be useful, ideally with a few hypothetical examples of each. Yilloslime (t) 22:47, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I think we're all pretty much on the same page. I think Blackworm's suggested addition is fine, though I might amend it to "... not to be used as a means of bypassing consensus or dispute resolution." MastCell Talk 00:09, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
I like that better, and decided to be bold and put that in. I agree with Yilloslime that some more detailed discussion about when/when not to tag would be useful. Blackworm (talk) 02:03, 19 April 2008 (UTC)


I would like to promote this page from essay to guideline, as it has been a de facto guideline since I started editing in 2004. The reason I'd like to do this is that the NPOV tag is increasingly being added to articles, and left there in the long-term, by people who make no effort to raise specific issues: what they mean by tagging it is that they simply don't like it. Being able to refer to a specific guideline that prohibits that would be helpful. Any thoughts? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 10:47, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Clever and wise. Ceedjee (talk) 17:19, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
As no one has objected, and as this really does seem to be a guideline already, I'm going to add the tag. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 05:49, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't think this should be a guideline, at least the part about tags being a last resort and drive-by tagging being strongly discouraged. I think there should be more discussion before this is promoted to guideline - I would strongly oppose it given its current text. Calliopejen1 (talk) 17:19, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Why does WP:DRIVEBY redirect here?[edit]

This article is about NPOV disputes. It doesn't even discuss the issue of "drive-by tagging" which has pretty much nothing to do with NPOV anyway. Drive by tagging is when you go tag an article with no explanation on the talk page and go on. The reason it is looked down upon by some editors and called what it is is that when people do it, they don't necessarily contribute to the article and it is not always clear what necessitated the tag in the first place. Sometimes people think it is done in bad faith, but really it's usually at worst slovenliness. Then again, sometimes putting a tag on an article is all you can do (although explaining the thing in talk would help everyone else a lot and give a place to discuss the tag to gain consensus on when it can be removed). If we're going to direct DRIVEBY here, it should at least be discussed, though. I don't think it is a good place to discuss it because it will just rightly get taken out as not pertaining to the article at hand. Rifter0x0000 (talk) 18:08, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

POV-tag documentation not in compliance with actual policy?[edit]

With regard to the {{POV}} tag, its documentation page, Template:POV, has the following advise:

4.  All editors involved in the article agree to remove it.

To my knowledge, there is nothing—ever—on Wikipedia where a consensus to remove isn’t sufficient. The above advise says that a consensus isn’t sufficient; that all involved editors (which includes the editor who placed the tag in the first place) have to agree to remove it.

Note also that the {{POV}} tag itself has the governing criteria for removal imbedded in it. As you can see here…

…has this link:

until the dispute is resolved

…which takes the editor to a specific section of this policy page: Wikipedia:NPOVD#What is an NPOV dispute?

The governing text there, which reflects proper procedure on Wikipedia for removing a POV tag includes this:

and you should therefore leave the NPOV tag up until there is a consensus that it should be removed.

Accordingly, the advise on the {{POV}} documentation page is 1) contrary to long-standing Wikipedia policy regarding a consensus being sufficient accomplish things, 2) is also contrary to the links imbedded right in the tag, and 3) serves to invite editwarring by tendentious editors who tagbomb articles after suffering a consensus that is against their wishes and see improper advise on the documentation page.

There are too many instances of editors using the {{POV}} tag as a weapon in filibustering on the mistaken belief that the tag can stay—notwithstanding a consensus that the issue has been resolved and there is a consensus to remove the tag—because the documentation page (incorrectly) states that the editor who places it there must first receive satisfaction.

In short, someone needs to go back to the documentation page and either entirely blank the advise governing when to remove the tag, or there merely needs to be a link to this page—just as the tag itself does. Greg L (talk) 00:46, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree. It was this edit on 7 December 2010 which introduced the "When to remove" section, and the suggestion that all editors need to agree before it can be removed is very unhelpful. There are plenty of POV pushers who use tags like this as a weapon—if I can't have my edit I'm going to put this ugly tag in the article. While I agree with the text in WP:NPOV dispute#What is an NPOV dispute?, there should be a clarification to cover situations like this recent case where an editor wanted undue material in an article, and insisted on an NPOV tag when a large consensus overruled their edit. As the essay says, if people are arguing there probably is an NPOV dispute so the tag is warranted—however, that conclusion does not apply to a case where only one or two editors are arguing against several others when no NPOV issue has previously been raised. By the way, it is WP:NPOV which is the policy; this page is an essay. Johnuniq (talk) 02:03, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
  • What keyed me to the fact that there was a big mistake causing untold grief across Wikipedia was this discussion at Talk:Aafia Siddiqui. A clear four-to-one consensus existed where the majority had a consistent position well grounded in Wikipedia policy. The losing editor, turned around and tag-bombed the article. They then established a new consensus that the tag was just using new tools to editwar over the same issue and should be removed. However, the “losing” editor successfully disrupted the article by insisting that the tag would have to stay until he eventually got his way. He pointed straight at the template documentation and how all editors must agree before it can be removed. That notion is contrary to the very fiber of how Wikipedia works. There should be no attempt on the documentation page to summarize complex, nuanced Wikipedia policy defining the circumstances under which a tag can be removed; that is for this policy page, which the tag itself properly points to. Greg L (talk) 04:28, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree too, Greg. This sort of thing is wildly out of hand. There are similar problems at WP:MOS, where tags are imposed and retained by tiny minorities who want their own opinion represented on the page no matter what. The persistence of the tag, as a blight on the section or on the whole page, is enough for them. It appears to be a substitute for rational discussion, or for the hard work of building consensus. This needs to be fixed, and soon. NoeticaTea? 02:39, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Contentious matters at Wikipedia--and NPOV tags are always contentious-- usually go by consensus, not agreement; agreement implies unanimity. and decisions are only unanimous in the relatively rare cases of compromise, or the more common cases where one side drives off the other. DGG ( talk ) 03:20, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
As DGG says, consensus is the key word, not complete agreement. And that is what the tag says "dispute resolved", because "resolved" means "consensus". So the tag is ok. Debresser (talk) 06:48, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Everyone here knows that: the tag is fine, but the documentation needs to be fixed because it says that all editors must agree before the tag is removed (see "this edit" in my above comment for diff that added that text). Johnuniq (talk) 11:19, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done And updated the documentation a little in the process. Debresser (talk) 14:56, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Thank you, Debresser. If an editor was well grounded in Wikipedia policy and had a good grasp of boolean logic, they’d grasp concepts such as…
3. The problems in the article have been resolved.
4. All editors involved in the article agree to remove it.
…and integrate that information by calmly taking a good twenty minutes to follow the tag’s link here to Wikipedia:NPOV dispute. Then they’d come away, ready to intelligently and thoughtfully articulate their thoughts in a public forum so as to sway the opinion of others so as to establish consensus in a tough collaborative writing environment. But since Wikipedia is the encyclopedia anyone can edit, it gets its share of those who know nothing more than they want their way and will seize upon anything to further their ends. Greg L (talk) 15:45, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Yeah. Smile. Debresser (talk) 16:17, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

What is the appropriate forum for a large-scale, multi-article NPOV problem?[edit]

I believe there is a global NPOV problem in Wikipedia, at least in relation to its articles about the United States.

To demonstrate this will take large-scale, cross-article approach. It could be demonstrated, for example, by looking at the articles of recent US Presidents and vice-Presidents.

What is the appropriate forum for that? William Jockusch (talk) 01:01, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Long Neutral Point of View Dispute for Occupy Wall Street[edit]

Occupy Wall Street (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) As I registered on Wikipedia, I took into account to look into the view history as well as read through the Article's talk page. I have found numerous edits that were articulate and very well researched but they have gotten reverted very quickly without a proper summary. The folks who seem to be reverting people's contributions to help this Article, Occupy Wall Street, seem to be acting like as if they essentially "own" the article or think they're above everybody else to the extent; they, themselves, don't have to comply with the official Wikipedian Guidelines on the matters of providing proper documentation or summaries when one is reverting another's work. I have seen constant reverts from these people, who are about three people, that seem to be "backseat modding" by banning a certain user or certain types of users from contributing new information for the Article. I find this troubling and very imitating as a new contributor and though I too, have been reverted I feel like my voice isn't getting heard after I tried to gain consensus for showcasing my contributions on the Article's talk page. The Article's talk page is not being used for its primary use as Wikipedian Guidelines suggest; as I read through it, it seems to be a haven for those elite contributors to downplay any new contributions or ideas for the Article. They often use "essays" for their justification in their reverts and the like but don't they know that "essays" aren't by any means Wikipedian Guidelines, they're clearly a joke. In the eyes of these contributors, they think its the official Wikipedian Guidelines; thus, it holds, to them, high regard than the official Wikipedian Guidelines. This is even more disturbing. I am afraid to say that this Article may be under attack from point of view activists; I read the Article's external links and it is promoting Occupy Wall Street by linking practically links to Occupy Wall Street itself, and other Occupy Wall Street ventures. Is this acceptable? As I recall, this is in pure violation of the NPOV Wikipedian Guideline as well as the content presented in the "information box" and in the overview. I hope that there is some action to be taken place about this Article, and if this article deserves deletion as well as other Occupy Articles which seem to be violating the rules and flooding the site with irrelevant pictures as if this is Flickr. So be it. Publis the Second (talk) 11:49, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

WOW, you registered today, cool ! I like :) Penyulap 13:14, 1 Jun 2012 (UTC)
Links to the subject organization itself are appropriate. Without more, including some details on the editors you feel are owning the article, there is not much to be done other than investigating the matter from scratch. I'll take a look at the talk page. Meanwhile, if you can, name some names. User:Fred Bauder Talk 19:13, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/CentristFiasco/Archive#01_June_2012 User:Fred Bauder Talk 19:18, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

"How to initiate an NPOV debate"[edit]

"If you come across an article whose content does not seem to be consistent with Wikipedia's NPOV policy, use one of the tags below to mark the article's main page."

One WHAT tags below?


---Dagme (talk) 18:20, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Brenton G. Hayden Possible NPOV Dispute[edit]

This article seems to violate the NPOV. It is very one-sided and reads like something of an advertisement. It also refers to the subject's alma maters as Harvard and MIT, when in reality he merely attended business seminars there and was never in a degree program.

Consensus of other editors?[edit]

"The NPOV-dispute tag is not a consolation prize for editors whose position has been rejected by a consensus of other editors,"

This just means outvoted, and the word consensus here is somewhat misleading. The first 'editors' may refer to 1000 editors, the second to 1001 editors.

When does a majority become a consensus. Can we put a percentage figure on it? Sceptic1954 (talk) 13:07, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Add section on removing tag[edit]

The project page here has a section on "Adding a tag to a page." It should also have a section on "Removing a tag from a page" summarizing and linking to appropriate guidelines on when to remove the tag. ProtectorServant (talk) 12:56, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ It is inappropriate to remove blocks of well-referenced information which is germane to the subject from articles on the grounds that the information advances a point of view. Wikipedia's NPOV policy contemplates inclusion of all significant points of view. [5]