Wikipedia talk:Recentism

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Should sports articles be updated to reflect scores while the game/match is in-progress?[edit]

The Football Project seems to think it shouldn't but believe it's difficult, if not impossible, to patrol. Is there a consensus on this? --Walter Görlitz (talk) 04:23, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

There is a reason why the Football Project believes it is difficult. As I have basically mentioned here and elsewhere, this issue has been happening to most sports articles around Wikipedia for the past few years: Many infrequent users and IPs will want to update the articles and the scores in real time – despite the pleading and reverts by regular users and the sports Wikiprojects. Unless the page is protected (Remember, a page depicting an ongoing current event alone is not a valid reason for page protection), you may find, depending on the article in question, primarily just irregular users and IPs frequently updating the articles as they happen. And if the event is very high profile, there might be hundreds of edits at a given time, and any attempt by a patroller to revert it back to its "pre-game" state will be met with edit conflicts. Or if the patroller is in fact successful in reverting the page, another IP or irregular user will merely again update the page seconds later. Because such typical sporting events only lasts a few hours, some of the regular users just instead give up and end up tagging the articles with {{current sport}}, follow the guidelines on WP:EDC#Prevention, and try not to edit the page too much until the games are over. Zzyzx11 (talk) 06:29, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps my wording of "give up" in my previous comment is not quite accurate regarding the regular users. More realistically, a game in progress is basically treated as an ongoing current event, and therefore WP:RECENT#Suggestions for dealing with recentism applies: "After 'recentist' articles have calmed down and the number of edits per day has dropped to a minimum" (i.e. after the games end), that is when the rewrites and cleanup by the regular users begins. Zzyzx11 (talk) 06:49, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I have been successful in reminding a few article's editors not to treat articles as scoreboards. This includes 2010–11 UEFA Champions League knockout phase and 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs but I believe a clearly worded policy would go a long way in avoiding conflict over this. Is there any hope of such a policy? --Walter Görlitz (talk) 17:12, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Not really, because it isn't really a problem. And as mentioned the vast majority of the edits of this nature are by editors who are not regular editors. So creating a policy and then undoing IP editors etc that are adding them is just compounding the issue. Sporting events are usually over in a matter of hours. An edit getting up an ongoing score isn't really harming anything considering in a very short time it will be posted anyways. -DJSasso (talk) 17:52, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
It's not usually anonymous editors doing the additions though. The harm is that Wikipedia isn't a scoreboard. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 05:15, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I still don't see the harm in having up to date statistics? How is that a harm? If anything its a benefit. Would I update them as they are going on, no. But I wouldn't remove them either. That is just being silly. -DJSasso (talk) 11:19, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Other comments? --Walter Görlitz (talk) 03:38, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Recentism misuse?[edit]

It frequently occurs that this essay is linked when someone wishes to promote an historical topic as primary over a more recent topic. See, for example, Talk:Anne Hathaway (actress)#Requested move redux. I could be wrong, but it seems that such things were not what the essay was intended to address. Thoughts? Powers T 00:12, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Recentism in music articles redux[edit]

Dug out from the archives:

Recentism in music the reason why The Arcade Fire has a better-referenced article than Traffic.--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 12:26, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

2012 update - Foster the People (which didn't exist when the above text was written) has a better-referenced article than Traffic. I still haven't found the correct response, but I do know that it contains the words "for fuck's sake."RadioKAOS (talk) 03:03, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Wait, why are we implying that Traffic's article isn't an example of recentism? I'm sure there were lots of string quartets in the Classical period that don't get articles. (talk) 23:35, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Regarding academic opinions[edit]

Maybe somewhat controversial religion and history articles are most subject to this sort of question, but I have recently seen cases of recent sources being considered perhaps both too lightly and too heavily. One example is Josephus on Jesus, in which there seems to be a disagreement about how much weight to give the opinions of Origen. In other articles, there seems to me to have been perhaps too much emphasis placed on modern theories, many of which might not have received particularly much attention in the academic world. If this page could perhaps devise some sort of guidelines regarding such matters, it might help in such contested areas. John Carter (talk) 20:12, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Different form of recentism.[edit]

Given the history of the world, there are many different things that have happened and no one person can know about it all, and things are forgotten. Following "hard drives are cheap" ~User:Jimbo Wales we don't have to delete old articles that are further in the past than they are currently, and can cover national historical topics without running out of money on wikipedia. I noticed on Great American Streetcar Scandal there was a lot of confusion on the article and people had put in modern unsourced references instead of primary sources, thereby ruining a good article putting doubt into a historical event. Imagine if this happened with a bunch of neo-nazis on the Holocaust! I propose here that Recentism add a new type where historical articles that are immediately added for deletion need to be put on hold for a week to gather more information, a day is usually not enough because there is a lot to go through. Stidmatt (talk) 17:20, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

What's the opposite of recentism?[edit]

What do you call it when you rely too much on classic books and not enough on recent formats of information, causing a bias towards old information? Chrisrus (talk) 13:57, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Oldism ??? MPS (talk) 19:29, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

Tributes for someone who recently died[edit]

A notable person dies and a bunch of tributes will go up online and psychical exhibits will be created. Wait until something permanent at a notable location goes up? Edkollin (talk) 17:15, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

On this note: my primary interest has been biography articles of notable Alaskans. I haven't quite figured this out, but I'm guessing that a lot of activity on Wikipedia in this regard is motivated by the listing of recent deaths because it's linked to the main page. The recent death of Cheryll Heinze, or perhaps more appropriately the circumstances surrounding her death, resulted in this very minor one-term state representative suddenly being plastered all over Wikipedia as if she really was that important a person.
All you have there at present is an article which serves no useful purpose other than to identify a notable (and in a relative sense, really not all that notable) person. In the process, the editors responsible for this managed to ignore that reliable sources have stated that she had a peripheral connection to the Alaska political corruption probe. They've also manage to ignore reliably sourced information which establishes that her husband is far more notable than she was, and that she was the first cousin of both David Boren and Hoyt Axton, also far more notable. This makes her a member of the Boren political family. This has also been ignored in favor of mentioning Janna Ryan, presumably because Ryan's connection to the family has recently surfaced through media scrutiny of her husband. In comparison, Heinze's ties to that family were mentioned during her campaigns, which occurred in 2002 and 2004.
Contrast this with a near-legendary figure in recent Alaskan history such as James Martin Fitzgerald. When Fitzgerald died, there was no mad rush to acknowledge this to such an extent. On the contrary, mention of his death in his article was met with a {{cn}}, despite the fact that Google returned scores of references to his death in the days following.RadioKAOS (talk) 19:11, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Temporary sections: a recentist fudge or service to the reader.[edit]

In the case of information that is of current interest, but is known to be relatively unimportant in the long term, can it be reasonable to add prose with the specific intention of deleting it a few months down the line?

The example that prompts the enquiry: A cyclist has recently died in training, the team that he was part of has an article with very little historical prose. An article on his death has been posted, but looks disproportionate within the state of the article: it has been said that it seems unduly harsh to simply remove him from the squad list. The current suggestion is to have a couple of sentences on his death below the current squad template, and to remove that when substantial changes are made to the squad (and his contract would have ended) at the end of the year. I can see the attraction of that solution, but I believe that it is counter to the thrust of WP:Recent. (Discussion here if you are interested in the specific case

But I'm really more interested in the general principle of intentionally temporary prose than the minutiae of this case. Ideas and responses? Kevin McE (talk) 12:48, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Intersting dilemma! A roster itself is a feature of sports teams that changes a lot, but wikipedia includes the roster because it is currently some valuable information about the team. Here's a thought though: There are a lot of interesting reasons that someone might leave the team; why would somone's death get special listing, but a catastrophic injury or trade to a rival team not get mention? One idea is to have a section of the article (or separate article altogether) that lists all current and former members of the team. You could have sections by year and insert a parenthetical about the mid-season death. As for your larger question, the main example of "temporary" aspects of articles that comes to mind is in the annual Atlantic hurricane season articles. At this very moment, Hurricane Nadine is howling over the Azores. In another week or two, the 2012 Atlantic hurricane seasonsection on "Current storm information" will be unnecessary and probably deleted. I am ok with the idea that a non-notable person on a roster who recently died can get some sort of footnote or parenthetical, but I would also say the same should be done for other former players who left the team roster for other reasons. Does this help? Peace, MPS (talk) 14:02, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Why is this only an essay?[edit]

Shouldn't this be taken to RfC and made into a guideline? In ictu oculi (talk) 17:28, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

Feel free to take it to RFC, but I might oppose it unless it is modified so there is a very, very strong emphasis on the WP:10YT section, and that comprehensive rewrites should only happen after such articles have calmed down. In my experience, a significant number of recentism edits come from anonymous and newbie editors who want to update Wikipedia in real time. Therefore when news spikes happen, I feel that it is far more important that established users follow WP:3RR and WP:BITE than facing an uphill battle trying to cleanup and revert large increases of good faith edits. Zzyzx11 (talk) 01:31, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
  • As I see it, this would be a very bad policy or guideline. The strength of Wikipedia is that it is more comprehensive and dynamic than any printed encyclopedia. Its true strength is in capturing notable events (even news spikes) as they happen. The only part of this essay I agree with is that articles written about current events should alway be under reevaluation by editors for the purpose of placing its content in historical context, which includes issues of balance. I am One of Many (talk) 18:04, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

What constitutes history?[edit]

Is there any guidance to help determine how soon a particular development should be added to a History section? I point to Sony Pictures Entertainment as a case example. Late last year, the Sony Pictures computer network was compromised. This garnered plenty of media attention. The news was immediately added to the history section. Myself and one other editor considered this to be hasty. My preference was to create a separate section to describe the incident and subsequent ramifications, and when the dust settles, the situation can be reappraised. This made sense to me because (a) the perpetrators have threatened to release fresh information (b) an investigation is ongoing (c) Sony face a possible lawsuit concerning the matter (d) our main article Sony Pictures Entertainment hack continues to be edited frequently with new detail. So my question is, what constitutes history? In one sense, every word uttered is history once it escapes your lips. I am happy to be corrected. — TPX 19:21, 29 January 2015 (UTC)