Citation needed

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The display effect of the Citation needed template in English Wikipedia

"Citation needed" is a term used by editors of Wikipedia. It is also the name of a Wikipedia template, added into articles to request citations. "Citation needed" is a characteristic of the policy of verifiability in Wikipedia; it has also become a general internet meme.[1]

Usage in Wikipedia[edit]

By Wikipedia policy, editors should add citations for content, to ensure accuracy and neutrality, and to avoid original research.[2] In 2006, Chris Sherlock, a Wikipedia editor with the username Ta bu shi da yu, created the "citation needed" template, to be added to statements without a citation that needed verification.[3][4] The template is used frequently—As of 28 July 2018, over 300,000 articles in the English Wikipedia are marked with the template.

Usage outside Wikipedia[edit]

An xkcd comic featuring a protester with a "[citation needed]" placard.

In 2007, xkcd published a comic called "Wikipedian Protester". In the comic, a group of people are listening to a politician's speech, and a protester raises a placard with "[citation needed]" written on it.[5] It is the first known use of the terms outside Wikipedia.[1] This also spawned a meme on the explain xkcd wiki of placing a citation needed tag after obvious statements.[5]

In 2008, Matt Mechtley created stickers with "[citation needed]", encouraging people to stick them on advertisements.[6] These kind of graffiti has been called "wikiffiti".[7][8] Quickly becoming a meme "[citation needed]" appeared not only on billboards, but also some internet kuso pictures. For example, someone doctored a photograph of George W. Bush's Mission Accomplished speech to place a "[citation needed]" label under the "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" banner.[9]

Words written on the placards of protesters:
"Wikipedia is a valid source"
"[citation needed]"

In 2010, American television hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert led the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington, D.C.. Some "protesters" held placards with "[citation needed]".[10]

In 2011, German defence minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg was facing accusations that he plagiarized his doctoral thesis. Protesters with "[citation needed]" placards called attention to the many contexts in his thesis where his sources were not labeled.[11]

In 2014, a British entertainer Tom Scott released a web series with the technical difficulties, called Citation Needed.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b knowyourmeme contributors. "[citation needed]". Know Your Meme. Archived from the original on 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2018-07-27. 
  2. ^ 栗岡 幹英 (2010-03-01). "インターネットは言論の公共圏たりうるか:ブログとウィキペディアの内容分析". 奈良女子大学社会学論集 (in Japanese). 奈良女子大学社会学研究会 (17): 133–151. ISSN 1340-4032. 
  3. ^ Chris Sherlock. "User Chris Sherlock". Stack Overflow. Archived from the original on 2018-05-10. Retrieved 2018-07-27. 
  4. ^ Wikipedia contributors (2005-06-15). "Template:Citation needed". Wikipedia. Retrieved 2018-07-27. 
  5. ^ a b Explainxkcd contributors. "285: Wikipedian Protester - explain xkcd". www.explainxkcd.com. Archived from the original on 2017-10-10. Retrieved 2018-07-27. 
  6. ^ Joshua Glenn (2008-01-02). "[citation needed]". Boston.com. Archived from the original on 2018-07-27. Retrieved 2018-07-27. 
  7. ^ "Wikiffiti -- stickers that read [citation needed] / Boing Boing". boingboing.net. Archived from the original on 2017-01-14. Retrieved 2018-07-27. 
  8. ^ Urban Dictionary contributors. "Urban Dictionary: wikiffiti". Urban Dictionary. Archived from the original on 2016-04-09. Retrieved 2018-07-27. 
  9. ^ "[Image - 40120] | [citation needed]". Know Your Meme. Archived from the original on 2016-03-26. Retrieved 2018-07-27. 
  10. ^ TED JOHNSON (2010-11-01). "Satirical rally calls for sanity and/or fear". Variety. Archived from the original on 2010-11-04. Retrieved 2018-07-27. 
  11. ^ Natalia Dannenberg. "Academics attack German minister in plagiarism row | DW | 26.02.2011". DW.COM. Archived from the original on 2018-07-27. Retrieved 2018-07-27. 
  12. ^ "The Big Lobster and Drive-through Booze: Citation Needed 1x01".