Talk:2019 Dayton shooting

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Include or exclude victim names[edit]

Should the article include a list of dead victims' names? El_C 23:44, 4 August 2019 (UTC)

  • Include – This issue arises every time that we have mass casualties: whether or not to list victim names. The consensus was that each article be decided on a case-by-case basis. There is no "blanket" conclusion that names are included or excluded. I believe that victim names should be included in this article. They are a pertinent part of the story / event. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:49, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude as the OP of this Talk section; while probably clear from my comments, adding for convenient !vote assessment. General Ization Talk 20:03, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude - Per WP:ONUS and WP:NOTEVERYTHING, verifiable RS reporting alone is not enough. The names are completely meaningless to all but a very few readers. The criterion for inclusion of any information is whether it adds to a reader's understanding of the event; these names do not and cannot. If they are deemed relevant, genders, ages, and/or ethnicities could be summarized in prose.
    Further, there are arguable privacy concerns. These victims are not "public figures" who chose to waive their privacy, they had absolutely no say in their selection. "Well it's available in the news anyway" has never been an accepted reason to include something in Wikipedia.
    For the multiple excellent counters to arguments about precedent in other articles, including the vast majority in which the lists have received little or no discussion, search for "90%" at Talk:Aurora, Illinois shooting/Archive 2#RfC: Victim names. The 90% number largely represents the effective equivalent of democratic voting by editing, and it falls dramatically when you look at articles where the issue has received significant scrutiny in recent years.[1] It falls so far that nobody can claim that it represents a community consensus for the lists. Attempts to reach a consensus in community venues such as the Village Pump have repeatedly failed, despite arguments about precedent, and there could be little clearer evidence of the absence of a community consensus for the lists. ―Mandruss  20:13, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
    @Mandruss: That's all semantics. Similarly, there is absence of consensus against the lists. No? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:21, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
    There is certainly more than for the lists, per what I said above. But I don't argue that we should exclude for that reason, I only include that to rebut the 90% argument. ―Mandruss  20:24, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Include Obvious "who" of the story entirely based on people dying. The dead have no privacy to waive, and if names and ages bothered relatives, you wouldn't see personalized gravestones in public cemeteries, nor obituaries in local papers. Every mainstream outlet always names them after police do, why be stubborn? InedibleHulk (talk) 20:21, August 4, 2019 (UTC)
    Excellent points! I agree. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:24, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
    Because we are an encyclopedia, not a mainstream (or minor) news outlet. General Ization Talk 20:35, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
    WP:RS is clear about sharing their views. Very first sentence. Short read. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:43, August 4, 2019 (UTC)
    Yeah but, sharing the names isn't sharing a "view", it's sharing a detail. Levivich 22:21, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude in the least, a list of names is not important to the coverage at the moment. Open to revisiting in some time. Kingsif (talk) 20:30, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
Consensus can always change, but we should be !voting with an eye to the consensus we will use for the next several weeks, if not months. General Ization Talk 20:33, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
Further comments in discussion. Kingsif (talk) 23:16, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Include per InedibleHulk. It is an important part of this event. Davey2116 (talk) 20:45, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Include per InedibleHulk and per WP:RS: Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published sources, making sure that all majority and significant minority views that have appeared in those sources are covered. (emphasis original) If the RSs are including this information, we should as well. -- Scott Burley (talk) 21:16, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Include. 2001:569:7859:2300:AD9E:A985:A78C:791C (talk) 21:49, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
2001:569:7859:2300:AD9E:A985:A78C:791C (talk) has made few or no other edits outside this topic. WWGB (talk) 00:59, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Include of course, just like we do with every other article similarly situated. Over 90% of articles on Wikipedia about topics such as this include a victim list that names the victims. Please see User:Locke Cole/Mass shooting victim statistics. —Locke Coletc 22:13, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
    just like we do with every other article similarly situated. - I guess I'll go ahead and consume some discussion space shooting that down, just in case there are editors new enough to the issue to buy it. 2017 Las Vegas shooting - no list. Thousand Oaks shooting - no list. Aurora, Illinois shooting - no list. Christchurch mosque shootings - no list. Virginia Beach shooting - no list. I could go on, but that's enough to debunk a blatantly false "every other article" claim. ―Mandruss  22:21, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
    That's some nice cherry picking, you and I should go to a local orchard sometime so you can give me some pointers. —Locke Coletc 22:37, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
    You're right. I "cherry picked" to debunk your frankly reckless "every other article" claim. As I said. As I also said, I don't claim a precedent as an argument to exclude, I only dispute your claims to one as an argument to include. I've addressed your "over 90%" bit above and editors can judge for themselves whose reasoning has the most merit. ―Mandruss  22:42, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
    Considering there have been 250 mass shooting incidents in the United States this year alone, and there are 231 pages contained in Category:Mass shootings in the United States (not counting those in subcats), but your "statistics" page mentions only 71 articles, one can't help but wonder whether you're not already a pro. General Ization Talk 22:48, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
    As I've said elsewhere, I stopped working on it once the arguments turned from "other articles don't do this" to "other recent articles don't do this"... And as to cherry picking, you'll note I went alphabetical. So no, I'm certainly no pro. Also, please stop moving your comment out of order. —Locke Coletc 23:16, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
    So please stop citing your "statistics" page as evidence of anything other than the treatment of certain articles concerning mass shooting events with pagenames that begin with A through F. I have not moved any comments. General Ization Talk 23:23, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
Worse still, all those listed took place in the US. Mass killing events (whether shootings or not) are far less likely to include victims' names when they took place in other countries. Jim Michael (talk) 08:26, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Toronto van attack, Worsley Hotel fire, Charlie Hebdo shooting... InedibleHulk (talk) 04:29, August 14, 2019 (UTC)
Which are massively outnumbered by the number of mass killings outside the US which don't include the names of the victims. Try finding WP articles about bombings in Pakistan or Lebanon which list all those killed. Jim Michael (talk) 15:48, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
Jim Michael—can you provide any examples of "WP articles about bombings in Pakistan or Lebanon" for which sources are providing information on victims comparable to the information on victims provided by good quality sources in relation to the "2019 Dayton shooting"? If information is not available then obviously we can't add it to articles. I think we follow sources concerning the prominence given to information in sources. Shouldn't we follow suit if the overwhelming number of sources covering the "2019 Dayton shooting" provide information on victims, including their names? Bus stop (talk) 16:31, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Include per IndelibleHulk and per User:Locke Cole/Mass shooting victim statistics. TravisTheBlackDragon (talk) 22:27, 4 August 2019 (UTC)TravisTheBlackDragon
  • Exclude. The names of people none of us had heard of before the shooting do not add anything to the readers' understanding of the topic, which is the shooting itself. Lists of victims further impede the readability of the article and detract from the visual appeal by taking up a large amount of visual space. I do not find the arguments for inclusion particularly persuasive; they tend to boil down to either (1) we usually include the names or (2) the names are reported by WP:Reliable sources. The first I consider irrelevant, because I think this is an instance where quality is more important than consistency. The second seems to me to be rooted in a misunderstanding of how Wikipedia is supposed to work; the fact that some piece of information can be found in reliable sources does not in and of itself constitute a reason to add it to Wikipedia, let alone any specific article (see WP:NOTEVERYTHING: Information should not be included in this encyclopedia solely because it is true or useful., and WP:VNOTSUFF: While information must be verifiable to be included in an article, this does not mean that all verifiable information must be included in an article.), or to put it another way: verifiability is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for being included. I think everyone understands this intuitively—the weather is mentioned in WP:Reliable sources every day, but I don't believe anybody thinks that that means that we should add each day's weather to Wikipedia—but some people fail to apply this in some instances.
    In the absence of good reasons to include the information, we should refrain from including it. The existence of reasons to exclude the information gives further weight to the case for not including the information.

    Describing the demographic characteristics of the victims as a group is of course a completely different story. TompaDompa (talk) 22:35, 4 August 2019 (UTC)

    @TompaDompa: - The names of people none of us had heard of before the shooting do not add anything - shall we remove the shooter's name too then? Have you heard of the shooter before the shooting? starship.paint (talk) 08:20, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
    I suspect that this was meant as a "gotcha", but the fact that this argument also applies to the shooter is in fact a feature, not a bug. I don't believe anything of value would be lost by not naming the shooter at this point. I made an edit to this effect before this discussion even started. TompaDompa (talk) 09:01, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Include The individuals who died are just as important as the so-called perpetrator, who has not been tried in court (and in this case, never will be.) No one would suggest that we should write, "Lee Harvey Oswald shot some guy riding in a car in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963." Why do other victims deserve less?Michael E Nolan (talk) 22:49, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
So you think that finding your name, or that of a family member, written in an encyclopedia as a victim of a mass shooting equates to "importance"? Do you think victims and their families would find it impressive to be so listed, or would they prefer to maintain their privacy? (The Oswald argument is so unsound I won't even address it.) General Ization Talk 22:55, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm not seeing how family members are relevant to a decision to cover a topic. Did we consult the family of the late George Washington before writing his article or covering his manner of death? —Locke Coletc 23:09, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
And that one's even more unsound than the Oswald argument. General Ization Talk 23:24, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
Lots of inclusionist arguments seem that way to exclusionists. Probably why they became exclusionists in the first place. We're not crazy hysterical zealots, though, and part of me thinks you family privacy types aren't either, just strange, upset and misunderstood. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:54, August 5, 2019 (UTC)
You're approaching a line, IH, with your ad hominem labels. Mind it, please. General Ization Talk 01:14, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
Meant it kindly, but OK. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:53, August 5, 2019 (UTC)
  • Include per User:Locke Cole/Mass shooting victim statistics. Nice4What (talk · contribs) – (Don't forget to share a Thanks ) 23:40, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude. The deceased were not notable in life, inclusion of their names adds nothing to the readers' understanding. Age/race/gender is sufficient to convey the scope of the shooting. BTW, the statistics above are contrived, referring to a small subset of the alphabet, and only one type of attack in one country. WWGB (talk) 00:53, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude the names, but include information about the victims. The names of the victims do not add any useful information to the reader. Descriptions of the victims, however, would. How many children, how many old people, their races, occupations, these sorts of details tell the reader what was lost–the damage that was done–in El Paso, Texas on August 3, 2019. A list of names is empty trivia factoids; instead, tell the reader the important information. Per WP:SUMMARY. Levivich 01:31, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude. I don't think putting the names of the people who died on this is necessary. Wikipedia is not a place to put memorial pages, and furthermore, the names of the victims should be kept private for respect to their famillies. The names are irrelevant in my opinion. TerraGaming (talk) 02:04, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude per Mandruss, Levivich, TerraGaming. --ColumbiaXY (talk) 04:57, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude: a list of names which mean nothing to over 99% of readers would not be a useful, worthwhile addition to this quite short article. Claims that 90%/the large majority of articles include the victims' names are based on our articles about mass shootings in the US only. There's no valid reason to include names on events within those limits when in the large majority of cases we don't for mass killing events of other types & in other countries. Jim Michael (talk) 05:37, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude per Mandruss, Levivich, and others. The default should be exclusion, unless a convincing argument that satisfies WP:ONUS is met. So far, the arguments in favor of inclusion fall short, focusing on the behavior in other articles as well as the general feeling they're important without stating why. Adding the names of random victims doesn't change or enhance a reader's understanding of the event, and if I'm missing the reason why the names are relevant, well it's simply because that reason hasn't yet been brought to the table. Furthermore, the presence of names in secondary, academic sources hold greater weight than their presence in breaking news stories. I have yet to see academic sources being cited in past discussions in support of inclusion, so the precedent in that respect is lacking as well. That is an important aspect to take into consideration, because if it can be established how academic sources refer back to events like this months or years later, it would help us make better decisions about name inclusion earlier on. --GoneIn60 (talk) 07:17, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Include - the dead are important subjects of this event, obviously, they were the most affected by the event. They should be given top billing along with the perpetrator. We have 9 dead victims, 9 names will not take up a lot of space. I'd like to see more detail (prose) beyond names, as long as the names, and the other details, are covered in reliable sources. starship.paint (talk) 08:25, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Include - Per IndelibleHulk's points and WP:CENSOR, we do not deliberately remove relevant information from Wikipedia just because it may be objectionable or offensive for certain editors. In addition, the vast majority of news articles mentioning these attacks do mention the names of the victims, thus removing their anonymity. Reliable sources dictate what content we include here, not opinions of individual editors, and if the victims wanted to remain strictly anonymous, none of them would get a name on a gravestone for instance. Scott Shelby (talk) 14:53, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Include Shooter's sister is among the victims and her name is already given in the article. BobNesh (talk) 03:49, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Include. It is stupid to even have to ask whether this information warrants inclusion. Include the victim names. The name of the article is "2019 Dayton shooting". In such an article the names of those killed constitute indispensable information. There is no question about whether the victim names should be included or not, unless there is a question about whether we should have an article on "2019 Dayton shooting" or not. There is no policy saying we should not include the victim names. There are only the sensibilities of some editors—and they should not prevent Wikipedia from fulfilling its purpose. What is that purpose, you might ask? It is to compile information from disparate sources on a defined topic. There are questions about whether to include material of borderline importance. But such questions do not apply to essential information. Just as it would be unthinkable to write this article with other basic pieces of information missing, so too should it be unthinkable to write this article without including the names of those killed. This is true of all essential information. Policies that have the purpose of weeding out information of borderline significance have nothing to do with whether names of decedents should be included. These discussions take the cake in the silliness department.

    Would anybody doubt that the presence of victim lists impart a qualitative improvement to articles such as Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Virginia Tech shooting, Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, and 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting? Bus stop (talk) 04:18, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Questioned Bus Stop about this opinion in the Discussion section below. --GoneIn60 (talk) 06:17, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Include relative and sourceable information about the shooting, and does not go against any Wikipedia policy, which has been explained before. WikiVirusC(talk) 13:00, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude - not normally in coverage so low WEIGHT, and random shooting where exactly who was not important. Cheers — Preceding unsigned comment added by Markbassett (talkcontribs) 01:35, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
    I've yet to read an article on the topic that didn't name or mention the victims, so... and similarly, it was just some random guy shooting people up, so I guess we can just omit the perps name as well, amirite? —Locke Coletc 07:59, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Here are 3, each from a different country, which don't name any of the victims: - - Jim Michael (talk) 16:42, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
User:Locke Cole - I just did a bing and zero lists for three in a row (usatoday, cbs, foxnews) - they name the shooter, name people being interviewed, but not a list of dead/wounded. If a person had no active role or unusual part in the sequence of events, then there seems no narrative use for the name. Fitting in an unused list of names just isn’t seeming like good journalistic practice, so seems not usual practice and would not be good WP encyclopedic usage or DUE inclusion. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 01:19, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
--Further comments moved to Discussion section below.
  • Include. The names of the victims must always be included unless there are some sort of special and unusual circumstances that require exclusion. The victims names and their stories are extensively covered by multiple RS sources covering this event, and they represent a significant aspect of the story. Excluding the names would be a highly artificial and ideological decision defying both common decency and common sense and violating WP:WEIGHT. None of the sources are suppressing the names and neither should we. Nsk92 (talk) 01:41, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Disagree that WEIGHT applies. That policy discusses balancing the inclusion of biased content, which comes in the form of viewpoints and criticisms. Names are not a viewpoint or criticism, nor are they biased. NPOV doesn't apply. --GoneIn60 (talk) 02:07, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Of course WEIGHT applies: invariably these articles become very one sided with so much information on the perpetrator that the victims are almost an afterthought. Not only do we name the perp, but we are even now bolding them (which seems utterly ridiculous, even though I understand the MOS-reasoning (so redirects from the perm name make sense)), and going over their motive and sometimes even their weapons in detail that I would say is akin to closeups in porn. Of absolutely no encyclopedic use, but yet every article does it. I think naming the victims is the absolute least we can do to tip the balance towards equal coverage (and names are just a small token gesture IMO, but an important one I think). —Locke Coletc 07:59, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
--Further comments moved to Discussion section below.
  • Exclude listing non-notable people, that is anybody that has not or would not qualify for a stand-alone article. MilborneOne (talk) 13:47, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
    Notability was established by their widespread coverage in the media. Notability is not temporary. —Locke Coletc 18:18, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude Names of victims should be included only if somehow relevant for understanding the subject.--valereee (talk) 18:53, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
    An article about a shooting where the event is the subject somehow seems incomplete if we ignore the victims... —Locke Coletc 18:18, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude: Unless otherwise notable, persons killed should not be named, etc., in the article. However, it is possible that some exceptions apply: if, say, the dead is a close family member (witihin a degree or two of separation), as here — I think we can certainly include the name of the sister without listing everyone killed. By and large, I feel that we can certainly link to a source that lists the dead (for example, a news article listing the names, occupations, etc., of the dead), either as an external link (along the proper guidelines, of course) or as a reference; but, otherwise, we shouldn't include names. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 18:43, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude I do not see these sort of lists as an improvement. They should be avoided unless there is a compelling reason to include. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 19:39, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude Per WP:NOTMEMORIAL - remember also, with regard to the murdered sibling that WP:BLP still applies to the recently deceased. Simonm223 (talk) 15:52, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
  • WP:MEMORIAL tells us not to initiate articles on otherwise non-notable people for the purpose of memorializing them. The 10 deaths, including that of the alleged perpetrator, are content within this article. "Notability guidelines do not apply to content within an article". (WP:NNC) Bus stop (talk) 16:17, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Include Based on the common listing of victims in notable acts of violence, it only logically follows to do so in this instance. Aside from precedent, the fact the shooter's name is listed (in bold, even) and smattered across the article, yet the victims are not, only in-effect rewards the shooter with notoriety and infamy, which is often the point of many of these shooters. To elevate the shooter in ways the victims are not is to not only violate Wikipedian neutrality but in-effect declare their recently-ended lives as worth less than the purpetrator. Gwenhope (talk) 16:45, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude. Indiscriminately including victims does not improve the article and goes against the principle of WP:NOTINDISCRIMINATE and WP:NOTMEMORIAL. Also note that contrary to the mistaken arguments above, WP:NOT, including WP:NOTMEMORIAL, do indeed apply to all article content; trying to insert a list of victims into an article is trying to make them subjects of the article, which WP:NOTMEMORIAL clearly forbids. --Aquillion (talk) 16:34, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
Independent sources explain how we discriminate, though. Only dead victims who have been publicly identified by police. I assure you, as a man who tries inserting lists of publicly identified dead victims into tragedy articles, I'm only and always trying to make these lists the main subjects of the Victims sections. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:53, August 22, 2019 (UTC)


Starship.paint, so if I understand you correctly, you're stating that space should determine when to include or not to include? That's interesting, considering that policy focuses on a disputed content's relevance to the subject. Is there a policy or guideline that governs "space" as a factor when considering inclusion? --GoneIn60 (talk) 08:49, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

@GoneIn60: - I was thinking of the 9/11 attacks where nearly 3,000 died, in that case, I wouldn't think it to be practical to include the nearly 3,000 names, that would be a lot of WEIGHT in the article. Personally I would say 100 words worth of names is what I would limit it to, that would usually be 50 deaths or lower. starship.paint (talk) 09:16, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
I understand the thought process, but I was curious to know if this idea stems from policy. Doesn't sound like it does. If the names are relevant enough for inclusion, then they should be included regardless of the amount of space taken up in an article. In fact, the only guideline concerning space that I'm aware of is WP:AS, which describes breaking up an article into sections or splitting off into separate articles/lists as needed. It does not mention "space" as a reason to exclude content. --GoneIn60 (talk) 09:24, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
@GoneIn60: - WP:WEIGHT: quantity of text (like 'space') is a factor. We have 9 deaths, that should be around 20 to 30 words worth of names, that's little WEIGHT when looking at the whole article, and doesn't require too many reliable sources to establish coverage that satisfies WEIGHT. starship.paint (talk) 09:33, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
I don't believe that to be an valid application of the policy. The premise behind WEIGHT is to avoid situations where minority viewpoints are unfairly being represented in comparison to the coverage of majority viewpoints. I'm not sure how a list of victim names, which is factual evidence, would be considered a "viewpoint" in this context with opposing viewpoints. Even if it could be argued that it was, you would simply split lengthy lists off into another article or list to avoid the issue. --GoneIn60 (talk) 09:44, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

One of the arguments to include is that the victims are the centre of a mass shooting. However, it's the killer and his actions which are the centre of it. The victims are merely unlucky to be there at that time, whereas the killer chooses to do it. Jim Michael (talk) 15:36, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

Good point Kingsif (talk) 23:13, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
Not really. Our sources provide ample coverage of the victims, and what @Jim Michael: is doing is engaging in WP:OR. —Locke Coletc 04:45, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Just because something's in a source doesn't mean it should be included. If a source gave a detailed description of how to walk to the shooting site from their reporter's office, would we include it? It's encyclopedic, factual, on-topic, and in some way relevant to the news coverage. But like hell if it's going to be in a good WP article. Kingsif (talk) 12:08, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm not seeing the connection between directions to a location, and the literal topic of the article, the shooting, the perp and the victims. —Locke Coletc 16:37, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

I'm just returning to this discussion for a small comment (I still say exclude, btw): I've been working on the Bærum mosque shooting article; in it, the name of the victim is mentioned, but not the shooter. The shooter's can't be included because the police haven't released it, but I have chosen to include the victim. Why? He overpowered and restrained the shooter all by himself before he could do more than break a door. He played a significant role in the event, story, and coverage.

Put that same principle of playing a significant role in the event, story, and coverage onto this article: which of the people did that here? The shooter, the shooter's sibling. Nobody else.

I don't think victim lists should be standard, and I don't see how they're encyclopedically relevant in terms of the notability in this case, and for historical/social/cultural context accuracy only categories are really needed. I'm not hardline on excluding, as clear with other current events articles I've worked on, and have a soft spot for achieving completeness, but I also think people being so passionately for including a memorial of people they don't know (without consulting family, you know) is weird.

Seriously, Beyond completeness, what's the value of adding it? And can this 100% complete value be mitigated by factors like the bringing of perhaps unwanted attention at a hard time for families, potential POV claims if a visibly long list or accompanying ages might draw excessive sympathy (sympahty likely deserved, but that's not WP's aim and is something we should try to avoid THINK OF THE CHILDREN!), or a perceived morbidity from general readers. Kingsif (talk) 23:11, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

WP:NOTCENSORED covers the familial issues, and besides, the genie is out of the bottle there as the victims have been reported widely (which is yet another reason why the glaring omission here is so troubling). —Locke Coletc 04:45, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Just because the media covers it does not mean it is within WP's perview: we are not a newspaper. I guess the POV and morbid considerations are deemed valid, then? Thanks. As for family, I think more of the consideration like what I said in the first discussion some ways above: this is clearly controversial, and may attract edit wars adding and removing the list just to match their ideology of whether it should be included or not, regardless of the actual names and the fact it's a list that should get some respect. That's just a bad situation—that could never happen in a news article—waiting to happen. Even if you were to convince that the list has some value, either the page would need constant protection or I'd still say don't include based on the probably edit wars. If there's going to be a disrespectful ideological fight, better no include even if valuable. Kingsif (talk) 12:08, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Per our neutral point of view policy (WP:NPOV) it seems like it is. We can't have such detailed coverage of the perpetrator, their motives and other details, but then selectively choose to leave out details on the victims. That's literally the textbook example of not being neutral. Also, 90% of articles of mass shootings already contain a list like this, and they don't require protection, so that's not really a valid argument... —Locke Coletc 15:41, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
That phrases it almost like a fight for perspectives: the victims didn't actively participate, so it's not one-sided at all. Related to the shooting, they had no motive or background making them more prone to be randomly shot. So many of these arguments to include a list are using false equivalences. We also have WP:NOTMEMORIAL, if you're spamming the page with policy.
That said, I feel there needs to be a specific policy guideline, because even this year articles I've worked on have ranged from every other editor wanting to fiercly include a list at Suzano school shooting (reflecting the news media of the region and WP in Spanish and Portuguese, where sometimes the news and WP articles are literally only a list of names, which I hope you agree is not the tendency here), all the way to every other editor not even wanting to include a mention that a Prime Minister's grandson (MP's cousin, etc.) was killed and thinking a list of ethnicities of victims was excessive detail at 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings (a very hardline stance on the more recent tendency for current events and specifically terrorist attack pages to be well reviewed and maintained). Somewhere in the middle of these approaches is probably ideal, I think you'll agree, we just fall on slightly different sides of the centre line in this instance.
I've been through this, as explained, a few times, so I feel my opinion is well-informed and no amount of explanation will likely change it. Media treatment of victims might change it, though, if they suggest there's any notability to the victims' names more than getting a list. e.g. So many people are named in media, like a professor in a certain field being named everywhere right after a big event in said field - but if all those articles included a list of 100 professors at the bottom as being related to the event, the WP article wouldn't just copy it over without explanation. Kingsif (talk) 16:14, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
the victims didn't actively participate, I mean, besides you know... dying. WP:NOTMEMORIAL is referring to articles about dead individuals, that is emphatically not what is being proposed here. As to our sources, I know for the El Paso shooting (which is currently also debating this exact same thing) many media outlets had detailed biographies of the victims (not just names, but detailed content about their lives). I'm not suggesting we go that far in our articles, but omitting the names "just because" rings like selective editing and POV pushing. —Locke Coletc 16:37, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
You've actually just hit on a major bugbear of mine with regard to how Wikipedia handles non-notable people. See I've often argued against the inclusion of details about the lives of non-notable BLPs, quite broadly construed, on the basis that generally what's used to bring coverage of non-notable private individuals into Wikipedia are media causes célèbres. Basically I'm saying that as we are building an encyclopedia rather than a news portal, we should not be basing decisions on which private individuals we address on the response of a consolidated corporate media landscape that churns out content to make money. Now while I'm often deeply inclusionist of things like D&D books, video games, and niche magazines, I'm very exclusionist when it comes to BLP details. But I also feel that this perspective is necessary for the project, which is, on any given day, drowning in WP:CRUFT about non-notable people who got caught up in a news event. Now in this case, I am very sympathetic to the families of the deceased; but I also don't feel that this is a circumstance where the principles of extending maximum possible privacy to non-notable people should be bent. Ultimately that requirement, that we treat non-notable BLPs with respectful privacy, is central to my opposition of this list. Simonm223 (talk) 16:45, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
WP:BLP does not apply here, please see WP:BDP. Nothing being discussed here is in any way controversial (unless you're saying the names being reported are not their real names), which is the only reason given for excluding content about dead people. —Locke Coletc 17:31, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
WP:BDP says Generally, this policy does not apply to material concerning people who are confirmed dead by reliable sources. The only exception would be for people who have recently died, in which case the policy can extend for an indeterminate period beyond the date of death—six months, one year, two years at the outside. Such extensions would apply particularly to contentious or questionable material about the dead that has implications for their living relatives and friends, such as in the case of a possible suicide or a particularly gruesome crime. These people have recently died, and thus WP:BLP (of which WP:BDP is a part) applies. These extensions do not apply solely to contentious/questionable material, but particularly to such material. Methinks WP:AVOIDVICTIM (When writing about a person noteworthy only for one or two events, including every detail can lead to problems—even when the material is well sourced. When in doubt, biographies should be pared back to a version that is completely sourced, neutral, and on-topic. This is of particular importance when dealing with living individuals whose notability stems largely or entirely from being victims of another's actions.) and WP:BLPNAME (Caution should be applied when identifying individuals who are discussed primarily in terms of a single event. When the name of a private individual has not been widely disseminated or has been intentionally concealed, such as in certain court cases or occupations, it is often preferable to omit it, especially when doing so does not result in a significant loss of context. When deciding whether to include a name, its publication in secondary sources other than news media, such as scholarly journals or the work of recognized experts, should be afforded greater weight than the brief appearance of names in news stories.) are relevant here. TompaDompa (talk) 23:11, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Not sure how you quoted WP:BDP and missed it, but Such extensions would apply particularly to contentious or questionable material about the dead that has implications for their living relatives and friends. There is nothing contentious or questionable about their names... WP:BLP does not apply. —Locke Coletc 06:15, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
The key word is "particularly". Particularly doesn't mean exclusively. Particularly means especially. TompaDompa (talk) 07:03, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict)It's not omitting the names "just because", I've given plenty of reasons. You want to include them "just because" without providing any reasons that suggest they belong. In response to your new comment above, as well as following this line: the article is not about the victims. It is about the shooting. People got shot. Some of them were young, some were old, some women, children. Some were... irrelevant to the actions of the shooter, i.e. the shooting. It was indiscriminate, not targeted, except maybe the sibling. Unless the victims were otherwise notable, being the unfortunate ones in someone else's mission to invoke terror and harm as many random people as possible doesn't justify names. Wikipedia specifically does not have an aim to be sympathetic, which is the underlying essence of NOTMEMORIAL (notable because of death isn't necessarily notable). Kingsif (talk) 16:53, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Kingsif—the "underlying essence" of WP:MEMORIAL is that we should not create articles on otherwise non-notable people for the purpose of memorializing them. Bus stop (talk) 17:03, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
You want to include them "just because" without providing any reasons that suggest they belong. They are covered in numerous reliable sources, sometimes in crazy amounts of detail. Without their participation in this event, the event would not be what it is, so WP:NPOV compels us to include both sides of this. Nobody said anything about sympathy as being a reason, and again, WP:NOTMEMORIAL is discussing creating articles for victims which nobody has suggested. Nobody wants Victims of 2019 Dayton shooting to be a blue link, and nobody has proposed that. —Locke Coletc 17:31, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Thank god, because that's the only article where including all their names would really be needed :)
So many things are covered in RS in detail, but if all the RS's gave a lot of text to the history of Dayton, we'd still not include it. "Without their participation"... well, they didn't participate, that's... BUT the attack would still be an attack, either a failed one or with different victims, regardless, so the point is moot. It could have been anyone, don't give meaning regards relevance to something (i.e. list of names) where none exists. Kingsif (talk) 17:41, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Our sources give the relevance by the continued coverage. WP:NPOV is clear on this, either coverage of the perpetrator must be trimmed back significantly, our more information about the victims must be provided. —Locke Coletc 06:15, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm interested in what you think the definition of neutral is, because saying that the two sides needing equal coverage are identities on different sides of an entirely one-sided relationship (the victims played no part, had no views, made no choice in regards to the event. It happened to them, NOT with them) is bizarre. NPOV requires that if RS's start giving justifications for the shooter, we must include them. NPOV requires that we not leave out public reactions in favor and against. NPOV does not say "if you describe the history of a bad guy who chose to do something, you have to include details about the completely random uninvolved people he did it to" - his background may and likely is relevant in why he chose to do something. Besides being at a bar, nothing about the victims is relevant in why he chose to shoot them. Unless it comes to light that he targeted them, at which point their name and the reason is obviously going to be included. NPOV is a completely wrong argument to be using, seriously. And as I pointed out above, including a list of names could actually introduce POV, as a list can appear visibly long and get sympathy from readers, which it would seem WP is trying to get from them, and there is no opposing list of 'unaffected people' or people the victims harmed (i.e. this wasn't a fight, where NPOV would apply) to balance that weight. Kingsif (talk) 13:20, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
You refer to the "two sides needing equal coverage". I don't think anyone argued that the two sides needed equal coverage. There are legitimate concerns that apply especially to an alleged perpetrator. Motive is one such concern and possible associations with other individuals and groups would be another such concern. We should provide evenhanded as opposed to one-sided treatment. A multitude of good quality sources provide names and our aim is to reflect sources. Bus stop (talk) 14:54, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
Isn't it that the information we choose to include must reflect sources, not that WP must parrot everything sources publish? Or am I mistaken? WP:VNOTSUFF. Kingsif (talk) 15:08, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
That something is reported in WP:Reliable sources is not in and of itself a reason to include it, see WP:VNOTSUFF. I'm unsure what you mean by WP:NPOV compels us to include both sides of this – what are the two sides, and how does neutrality mandate the specific inclusion of their names? TompaDompa (talk) 23:11, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
WP:NPOV is why we should include it, which trumps WP:VNOTSUFF. We emphatically must have neutrality in articles, especially such as this, where we present only a sentence or two about victims, but paragraphs about the perpetrator, which is very much a WP:WEIGHT issue. That our sources also happen to be very reliable, and many sources provide similar coverage, simply reinforces the point that it is our content that is the outlier with regards to neutrality. The two sides are the perpetrator and the victims. Our sources have gone in to significant detail on the victims (beyond the names being suggested here) however our article remains imbalanced towards the perpetrator. —Locke Coletc 06:15, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
I guess I don't see how adding names would improve neutrality. I agree that we write way too much about the perpetrator, but that would be a reason to trim that information, not add information about the victims (and even if we want to add information about the victims, I don't see why the names would be the information to add). I don't think the perpetrator and victims should should be treated as "equal partners" (for lack of a better term) in this, seeing as there is as far as I know no indication that the victims (besides maybe the sibling) were targeted specifically (unlike e.g. assassinations and patricides). I am wary about giving this WP:FALSEBALANCE. TompaDompa (talk) 07:24, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

It's fascinating to me that {{Infobox civilian attack}} has a "victims" parameter which appears to mirror the use of the "perpetrator" parameter. It's almost like victims were intended to be listed in articles... —Locke Coletc 04:45, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

It sounds like you're suggesting that all the victims' names should be in the ibox. I regard that parameter, in the context of a mass killing, to be for the type of victim, eg. colleagues, train passengers, shoppers, students etc. Jim Michael (talk) 08:27, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
That seems odd, the perpetrator parameter is specifically for the name, but the opposite parameter is for something vague? —Locke Coletc 15:41, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, I wouldn't even include the name of a really notable victim in that infobox parameter. Really? You really thought that? Kingsif (talk) 12:08, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
I mean, yes.. why would I not? There are separate and distinct injuries and fatalities parameters, so what on Earth would a victims (which also respects the singlular, and provides a victim option) parameter be used for if not to name the victims? —Locke Coletc 15:41, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
I just noticed this. I wouldn't include it, perhaps it's me, because having "Victim: NAME LASTNAME" in the infobox to me seems like it's saying they were targeted, that someone decided they would be the victim. Sure, sometimes you'll get a targeted attack on one group or famous person, where I would probably add it, but otherwise it's ascribing a narrative that may not be true. There's other factors, like with a big attack it can't hold all the names, and even if there's only 5 'victims', it will take up a good amount of space and visibly appear to give more weight to the victims than other facts in the infobox. Kingsif (talk) 21:53, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Why would {{Infobox civilian attack}} contain fields for perpetrator and victims unless there was an expectation that the perpetrator and the victims would be named in the body of the article? Bus stop (talk) 22:45, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Because infobox params try to cover many eventualities. Even on a basic level, infobox person features a birth name field when it's not an expectation for that to appear anywhere in a biography. It may do, but we use common name and sometime legal name in bio bodies, so a different birth name (as opposed to the simple name field) is an exception, but it's right there at the top of the most common infobox. Kingsif (talk) 23:41, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
If there was a specific targeted person, then they should be named in that field, for example Assassination of Rafic Hariri. Jim Michael (talk) 08:30, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
"If there was a specific targeted person, then they should be named in that field". From where are you deriving that? And why would it even matter whether someone was "targeted" or not? You are putting the cart before the horse. We don't make up narratives and then present facts to support our understanding of our created narratives. Our job is to reflect sources. Are sources only selectively telling us the names of those who were "targeted"? Not at all. Bus stop (talk) 08:50, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
You think there's not a significant difference between a murder which targets a specific person, as opposed to a mass killing of people at a particular location in which victims are killed at random?! Jim Michael (talk) 15:35, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
Not as it relates to whether the person has a public and distinct name and age combo when disgraced former Hancock High freshman Freddie Fedelfawk, 32, kills them in the Walgreens on 23rd Avenue at 11:47 p.m. after Googling Walgreens locations and what three law enforcement sources speaking to ABC on condition of anonymity describe as "turtle power erotica", he doesn't. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:20, August 22, 2019 (UTC)
Locke Cole I just went to the template, if you keep going down it explains the usage: "victims – i.e. hostages, etc. (use victim in case of a single person)". It's to add a number of people who are "victims" but not killed or physically injured. Kingsif (talk) 03:28, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

Question for Bus stop regarding !vote[edit]

Bus stop: In your opinion then, should the September 11 attacks article include all 2,996 victim names? If not, then is there an artificial, numerical limit you're imposing on what you'd consider "indispensable"? --GoneIn60 (talk) 06:17, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

It's puzzling that many people want to include the victims' names in some articles, but there are many others for which no-one wants to include them. Is it about the death toll, the type of attack, or which country they take place in? Jim Michael (talk) 10:05, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
It's all completely random, arbitrary, and capricious. It all boils down to which particular editors "pipe in" during a specific discussion thread. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 12:43, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
Jim Michael—you say "It's puzzling that many people want to include the victims' names in some articles, but there are many others for which no-one wants to include them." Material gets added when people take initiative to add it. Bus stop (talk) 13:32, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
They're much less likely to do so if the method of killing isn't a gun &/or the mass killing takes place outside the US. There shouldn't be a different policy/guideline/consensus on including names of victims based on method &/or country of occurrence. Jim Michael (talk) 08:26, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps the reliable sources are more likely to mention names in some instances? Then we are simply following the sources. We don't need a blanket policy for all countries and all sorts of killings. starship.paint (talk) 09:50, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
And verifiability doesn't guarantee inclusion – not every detail found in sources has to be included on Wikipedia. Good thing too considering different sources from various countries have different takes on what's important. --GoneIn60 (talk) 23:36, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
GoneIn60: 10 deaths were incurred in the subject of this article, not the 2,996 that were incurred in September 11 attacks. Let us stay on topic. Wikipedia is not primarily about indulging one's creative writing instincts. If you are going to write an article about the 2019 Dayton shooting you should face that task squarely. Omission constitutes fictionalizing. The question isn't "what good purpose would inclusion of the names serve?" (I'm not quoting anybody; I'm paraphrasing a basic argument. For instance you want me to tell you why we should include the names. You pose such questions in your vote above.) That is not the question. You do not choose to write an article and then choose what to leave out. Certainly there is material of borderline significance that can require such decisions. But the names of the victims are not of borderline significance. You are engaging in creative writing. Wikipedia is not an exercise in art, or religion, or fictional writing. We take our cue from journalists and other writers who ideally tackle a subject straightforwardly. Bogus arguments should not deter us from that task. One such bogus argument is the argument that there might be privacy concerns. We are not invading the privacy of anyone—living or deceased—by documenting an incident that is well-documented in sources. Prominent sources already release (publish) this information. There is no conceivable harm that we can do by doing what we do best—compile material from disparate sources into one accurate and thorough article. We should not be indulging the interests of a handful of editors that want to turn this project into an entity for personal expression. Such editors might consider taking up painting or creative writing or sculpture or performance art if they wish to give free rein to their creative side. Bus stop (talk) 13:02, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
Looks like a lot of thought went into that reply, and I can be somewhat appreciative of that even if it has little to do with why I asked the question. I was genuinely interested in knowing if a limit or a threshold could be reached where a names list would go from being "indispensable" to dispensable, and if so, how that threshold would be determined. For the sake of better understanding your argument, the additional clarification would be helpful. If, for example, you believe that the inclusion of these minor details is never dispensable, then I would actually appreciate your position more realizing its consistency. Teetering between indispensible and dispensable depending on the situation, however, would be rather uninspiring.
Regarding some of your other points... I didn't weigh in on privacy concerns, but I do find the statement, "Omission constitutes fictionalizing", somewhat puzzling. It flies in the face of WP:INDISCRIMINATE and WP:VNOTSUFF, upon which omission of material is based on all the time. You should also know from these policies that the threshold for inclusion is higher than the threshold for exclusion, so when material is challenged, the onus to achieve consensus falls on the shoulders of those who support inclusion. It's fine if you don't feel obligated to, but it's precisely why "no consensus" results in exclusion. --GoneIn60 (talk) 20:51, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Continued discussion from above regarding !vote from Nsk92[edit]

Yes, the selection of which facts are included in an article can be a form of editorial bias, and therefore could be covered to some extent under NPOV. However, typically "bias" comes in the form of opinions and viewpoints, which are the aspects typically subject to NPOV (as explained at WP:ASSERT). They are at the heart of why that policy exists. But let's look at the editorial bias angle... When I think of facts about the victims (e.g. number, age range, sex, etc.), the names are more like a detail surrounding them. Dropping the names doesn't seem like we're dropping facts, and even if you argue a technicality there, how much "balance" is really being lost by their exclusion? IMO, not one bit, because the other facts we have included are the most meaningful. If we had the names listed and I read "John Smith", but then later someone corrected it to "John Hancock", would that change my perception or understanding of the event? Of course not. But if you changed the number of victims, the sex, or even the age range, well then that would have a different impact. Whether you call the names facts or details, they are still very minor in nature for an encyclopedia, and you know this by measuring their impact. --GoneIn60 (talk) 09:28, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
GoneIn60—omitting names that are essential ingredients in sources on a topic we are writing about is at cross-purposes with what this project is about. We take prominently presented information from disparate sources and assemble it into articles. The source material determines the form an article takes. If victim names are not prominently found in the best quality sources we do not include victim names in our article. Bus stop (talk) 10:20, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I'll quote WP:NPOV here as it explains it more clearly than I ever will:
"Achieving what the Wikipedia community understands as neutrality means carefully and critically analyzing a variety of reliable sources and then attempting to convey to the reader the information contained in them fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without editorial bias. Wikipedia aims to describe disputes, but not engage in them. Editors, while naturally having their own points of view, should strive in good faith to provide complete information, and not to promote one particular point of view over another. As such, the neutral point of view does not mean exclusion of certain points of view, but including all verifiable points of view which have sufficient due weight."
I was tempted to emphasize some words, but I'll simply add that it calls out information must be presented "fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without editorial bias", and that it never means "[excluding] certain points of view, but including all verifiable points of view". Further, from the very top of WP:NPOV:
"This policy is non-negotiable, and the principles upon which it is based cannot be superseded by other policies or guidelines, nor by editor consensus."
Which makes me feel like these RFC's that @El C: have been insisting on are rather pointless. Local consensus here, nor other policies, can override our neutral point of view requirements. —Locke Coletc 13:08, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, that last quoted sentence, if actually applied in practice, would mean that any editor could raise the NPOV flag for any reason that makes sense to them, no matter how ridiculous, even if in bad faith, and then discussion would have to immediately come to a screeching halt and that editor's viewpoint implemented in the article. Thankfully, it is not applied in practice, and NPOV is not a trump card. Consensus decides the merit of NPOV claims, like most any other policy claims. ―Mandruss  13:24, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Because, of course, you wouldn't want that to be the case, ergo, you say it's not. And yet, there it is. If you'd like that changed, WT:NPOV is awaiting you. These articles cannot continue to be tilted at the perpetrator and their motive/method at the expense of those they killed. It is simply untenable to continue. —Locke Coletc 13:27, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Oh, there's no need to take my word for it. Try bypassing this process with an NPOV edit summary and a quote of that sentence, and see what happens. ―Mandruss  13:31, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Litigiousness is the last bastion of those who do not have a cogent argument. Bus stop (talk) 14:58, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Here's the problem, Locke. The names aren't a "point of view". Need a definition? A point of view is defined as:

"a position or perspective from which something is considered or evaluated"

The names are an indisputable fact (or detail). No one is at odds with their validity. They do not qualify as a "position" or "perspective", so I'm not sure why you are focusing on viewpoints in your argument. I would also like to hear your thoughts on my "John Hancock" example above. I've demonstrated how a name is irrelevant in this context, and you (along with others) have yet to explain why you believe the opposite is true. You say they're relevant, but we need substance to understand the reasoning behind the claim. --GoneIn60 (talk) 21:04, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
@GoneIn60: I don't see how our sources "considering" and "evaluating" the information around this event, and then choosing to report that information, doesn't constitute a "point of view". By omitting the names, we're violating WP:NPOV and engaging in original research because now our article has tipped the balance of coverage significantly towards the perpetrator (which is, again, not just wrong because we're writing an encyclopedia, but also morally wrong as we're now rewarding the shooter by putting their name in lights for all to see but hiding the victims from our reader). They are "relevant" because our sources say they are. That is all that is necessary for their inclusion. Moving the goalposts because you have a personal objection (which is all that's left since the policy based objections are moot) is unacceptable. —Locke Coletc 18:31, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
It's dishonest to claim goalposts are moving here. From the beginning, the problem has always been that the opposition believes the names are insignificant. Sources publish insignificant details all the time, and just because they do, it doesn't mean we need to. Encyclopedias serve a different purpose than breaking news publications, and we are explicitly told this at WP:NOTNEWS. If that wasn't the case, then we wouldn't have WP:VNOTSUFF, an important component of a core policy that you are neglecting. If it wasn't for this piece, then yes, everything that gets published would be on Wikipedia. I don't know about you, but I'm actually glad that's not the case. --GoneIn60 (talk) 20:37, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
WP:NPOV is clear on this, and WP:VNOTSUFF is irrelevant in that situation as neutrality is not something editors get to decide. As to WP:NOTNEWS, let's go down the bullet list from that page: 1) Nobody is doing original reporting here. 2) This is definitely not a news report. 3) "our coverage of that individual should be limited to the article about that event, in proportion to their importance to the overall topic", which is precisely what we're trying to do here. 4) Nobody is trying to write a diary, though I'd argue there is far too much emphasis on what the perpetrator has done, so if anything, 4 reads as a reason to curtail our information on that... Our article as it stands is the outlier showing a significant emphasis on the perpetrator with little mention of the victims. Do you have another reason for excluding the victim names? —Locke Coletc 21:27, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
The big, gaping hole in this analysis is that the victims are mentioned in the article, and details about them. There's an entire section dedicated to this in accordance with bullet point #3. The only detail not mentioned are the names, and whether you like it or not, minor details are absolutely subject to VNOTSUFF. In order to qualify as a violation of NPOV, by the way, you need to show why name exclusion would cause an imbalance. I tried to help you in that direction by providing the "John Smith/John Hancock" example above as a starting point, but I guess you've made the decision to ignore that part of the discussion. --GoneIn60 (talk) 22:06, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
GoneIn60—if we are writing an article about this incident we should be doing so evenhandedly, not one-sidedly. This is not only an article about a perpetrator and the act they committed. This is an article also about victims that were killed. It is suggested that only ages and genders be used to represent victims. That is un-encyclopedic. Victims have names just as perpetrators have names. Bus stop (talk) 22:31, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
Before rudely interjecting with a strawman argument, you may want to actually read 2019 Dayton shooting#Victims. There are other victim details in the article. --GoneIn60 (talk) 23:05, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
I missed the John Smith/Hancock question, I apologize for that. My answer is another question though: how does this impact the name of the perpetrator then? And how do you view naming the perp (or perps, where the situation exists) but excluding the name of the victim? The big gaping hole isn't: the big gaping hole is the missing names, which our sources mention repeatedly, but our article has conspicuously (one might even say painfully) left absent. —Locke Coletc 22:43, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
If we had another RfC on removing the perp's name, I would not defend its inclusion. While I believe the perp and details surrounding the perp play a different significance in the overall event, I would have roughly the same opinion with their name as I do with victim names. In the big picture, they are minor details that have nearly zero impact on perception and understanding of the article's subject. --GoneIn60 (talk) 23:05, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for being consistent. Given the choice between having only the perps name and having no names, I would also choose no names. —Locke Coletc 04:50, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
invariably these articles become very one sided with so much information on the perpetrator that the victims are almost an afterthought. Not only do we name the perp, but we are even now bolding them (which seems utterly ridiculous, even though I understand the MOS-reasoning (so redirects from the perm name make sense)), and going over their motive and sometimes even their weapons in detail that I would say is akin to closeups in porn. Of absolutely no encyclopedic use, but yet every article does it. – I agree. We include way too much detail about the perpetrator. Where I don't agree is in your assertion that naming the victims is the absolute least we can do to tip the balance towards equal coverage – the names of the victims also lack encyclopedic value. One does not fix excessive detail in one area by adding more detail in another – one removes the excessive detail. As tautological as it may sound, making an article worse does not make it better. TompaDompa (talk) 16:36, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
TompaDompa—from where do you derive that "the names of the victims...lack encyclopedic value"? Bus stop (talk) 17:02, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
See my !vote above. They add nothing to the readers' understanding of the subject. TompaDompa (talk) 18:05, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
"[R]eaders' understanding of the subject" is no less opaque than "lack[s] encyclopedic value". Bus stop (talk) 18:59, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps you can explain what it is you think the names add? I don't see how the names of the victims are any more informative to the readers than their shoe sizes, their favourite colours, their handedness, their number of siblings, or their annual incomes would be. TompaDompa (talk) 19:33, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
"Perhaps you can explain what it is you think the names add?" That is not a question that I should field. Wikipedia editors compile articles from material that is prominently found in the best quality sources. To know why sources include victim names would probably require emailing the sources, but I have no interest in doing so because it is entirely clear to me that the names of the victims fall squarely within the scope of the article. But I do not make that determination. I defer to sources to make that determination. We should tamper as little as possible with the presentation provided to us by reliable sources. There has to be a good reason to omit well-supported and widely-reported information. Sources determine the form a Wikipedia article takes. If victim names are not prominently found in the best quality sources we should not include victim names. Bus stop (talk) 21:41, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
There has to be a good reason to omit well-supported and widely-reported information. No, that's not how it works. That is in fact the opposite of how it works. Omitting information is the default, requiring no reason whatsoever. We need reasons to include information. This is the very essence of WP:NOT. Wikipedia does not aim to include all information found elsewhere. Sources do not determine the form a Wikipedia article takes, but rather editors do (based on the sources). Being contained in WP:Reliable sources is the minimum requirement for being included in in article, not a free pass to be. WP:Verifiability is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for inclusion. TompaDompa (talk) 22:04, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
You say "We need reasons to include information." The reason is provided by ample representation in the best quality sources. Can you please tell me why we should depart from the precedent set by reliable sources? Bus stop (talk) 22:27, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
"That is not a question that I should field."
This approach is exactly why the support for inclusion isn't more unanimous. When material is challenged, WP:VNOTSUFF tells you that material present in sources may not be enough on its own to justify inclusion. As a supporter, you are expected to provide that justification. You don't have to, of course, hoping that someone else will, but inaction here leaves that policy on the table staring you right in the face.
"...the best quality sources"
Newspapers for the most part, including news reports, are notches below scholarly, academic sources. While reliable, I wouldn't be touting "best quality", especially in the context of determining significance. --GoneIn60 (talk) 22:29, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
You're really missing my point, which is that ample representation in the best quality sources does not in and of itself constitute a reason for inclusion. I suggest you (re-)familiarize yourself with our policy WP:What Wikipedia is not, from which I'll quote the following: merely being true, or even verifiable, does not automatically make something suitable for inclusion in the encyclopedia. You need to provide a reason that the inclusion of the information would improve the article, otherwise we'll just go around in circles arguing

"It's reported in the sources."
"That's not a reason to include it here."
"Yes, it is."
"No, it isn't."

in perpetuity. TompaDompa (talk) 23:03, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
@TompaDompa: The concept of circular debate, and its costs, have been explained to this editor numerous times, on numerous article talk pages, over a span of multiple years, by multiple experienced editors including me. And yet he continues to debate circularly. I doubt one more explanation by one more experienced editor is likely to suddenly get through to him. This is a form of talk page disruption in my opinion. ―Mandruss  17:49, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
This debate was settled long ago. "It's reported in the sources" is not a reason to include, and that's why we have WP:NOTINDISCRIMINATE and WP:SUMMARY. Wikipedia editors decide by consensus which details are significant enough to include in an article, and which to omit. This is the process we are engaging here right on this page, right now. Levivich 17:45, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

I was not aware until now that my 'Include' comment has been the subject of an extended discussion. So let me reiterate my point and expand on it a bit. In terms of policy, I see the decision to exclude the names as artificial and ideologically driven, and violating WP:WEIGHT. The stories of the victims, and their names, are being widely reported by essentially all the sources covering the shooting. The names are basic factual aspect of the story. As such, per the WP:WEIGHT requirement, the presumption should be that the names should be included unless there is a strong reason to exclude them. The only explanation I have seen above for why the names should be excluded is that the names are a trivial and insignificant aspect of the story. But that's just false. Many readers are specifically interested in the names, and I am one of those readers. When I read a news-story or a WP article about this kind of an event, I always try to find out more about the people who were killed or wounded. I do that because I don't want to think about them as some kind of nameless pieces of statistics. They were live human beings, with stories to tell, whose lives were tragically ended. I always try to find local coverage with more detailed stories about the victims, their families, their background, etc. I do that by performing specific searches for the names, and not just right after the shootings but in various cases years later. E.g. just a few days ago I looked up the updated stories about Abigail Kopf, one of the girls severely wounded in the 2016 Kalamazoo shootings. I am quite sure that I am not so strange and unique in this respect, and that a significant percentage of other readers do the same. For tese readers the names of the victims are neither trivial nor insignificant. Including them in the WP article has substantial content value. So, speaking as a WP reader rather than as editor, I find including the names useful and relevant. I think the participants of this discussion shold remember that we are not just some sort of bureaucratic robots here, but human beings, and the same is true for the WP readers. Nsk92 (talk) 23:09, 11 August 2019 (UTC) 

I can't argue with that sentiment at a high level; some readers are genuinely interested in the names, and the victims deserve memorials of varying degrees. That role is served perfectly by sources that break the news, as well as other venues outside of Wikipedia. Where we appear to disagree, is whether or not an encyclopedia should be engaging in that as well. I don't believe it should, and I don't think it's inhumane to refrain from that activity as long as we're consistent across similar articles. Unlike a lot of resources covering these shootings, we actually have inline citations for our readers. For those who could be in the minority (since there is no way of knowing the numbers here) and are truly seeking that information, they are only one click away. The ideological angle here is less black and white between right and wrong. There are a lot of varying opinions as to how far an encyclopedia should go. But thank you for chiming in with this. It's the only real response out of a page full of them that actually attempts to explain why the names are significant. --GoneIn60 (talk) 23:48, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
I do not accept the argument that interested readers should have to look up the names in the sources cited. The same argument can be made about any other bit of factual info, such as the type of the gun being used or the shooter's educational background, or the number of victims. Saying that including the names is just providing memorials for them misses my point. Memorials are mostly just for the benefit of the families and friends of the deceased. Including the names has a much broader content value, because a significant portion of the readers (who are unrelated to the victims) are specifically interested in the names of the victims and benefit from having them included. In addition, including the names humanizes the story and makes it look less like a recitation of numbers and impersonal events, where victims become just faceless and nameless pieces of data. That benefits all the readers, whether or not they are specifically interested in the names to start with. That's why, among other considerations, this content is encyclopedic. Nsk92 (talk) 01:41, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Fair enough. We disagree on the significance from an encyclopedic point of view, but valid points to take into consideration. --GoneIn60 (talk) 06:03, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
I know of no widely-accepted principle that to humanize is to be encyclopedic. In my experience the more common sentiment is that the encyclopedia should be dispassionate, and we see that sentiment manifest in policies like WP:NOTMEMORIAL, where it would certainly humanize the encyclopedia to have memorial articles about non-notable individuals.
a significant portion of the readers (who are unrelated to the victims) are specifically interested in the names of the victims and benefit from having them included. Strongly disagree. ―Mandruss  15:16, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
Mandruss—we don't know the motivations of sources. Whether or not sources are engaging in humanization is unknowable to us. Our job in article-writing is to be reflective of sources. And WP:MEMORIAL is talking about article-creation—it is not talking about the content found within articles. WP:MEMORIAL says don't create articles to memorialize deceased but non-notable people. That is all WP:MEMORIAL is saying. The names that we are discussing are content within this article and we are told by WP:NNC that "Notability guidelines do not apply to content within an article." Bus stop (talk) 16:01, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
Your comment shows your failure to hear mine. Again. ―Mandruss  16:09, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
I think I understand what you're saying, Mandruss. You say above "If they are deemed relevant, genders, ages, and/or ethnicities could be summarized in prose." In my opinion the problem with that is it reduces people to statistics. That is not what sources do. Our overriding concern should be reflecting sources. Bus stop (talk) 16:59, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
I long ago lost count of the times that argument has been made and responded to, here and in many previous articles. Repetitive and circular, and I've also lost count of the times I've complained about your being repetitive and circular in discussions. ―Mandruss  17:04, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
@Bus stop: And this is another example of bludgeoning the discussion. It's time to dial it back. --GoneIn60 (talk) 20:07, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

Important (procedural) question about this discussion and !vote[edit]

Let's say that this discussion and !vote ends in "no consensus". (Which actually seems very likely.) What does that mean? That the names are included or excluded? If I recall correctly, a "no consensus" results means that the article stays as is, status quo, with no changes allowed. However, this discussion was brought before the list of names was ever released by reliable sources, etc. And before names were added to the article. In other words, it was "pre-emptive". (In other words, perhaps it was brought prematurely?) If that's the case, then victim names will never be allowed to be added, if a pre-emptive discussion is opened. (That is, if a discussion ensues before reliable sources publish victim lists and, therefore, before victim lists even get added to the article. Controversially or not.) If the end result of a "no consensus" discussion maintains the article at status quo, that seems like an unfair procedure. And a contravention to the "consensus" paradigm. Thoughts? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 17:34, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

There are three basic outcomes to any discussion: consensus for, consensus against, or no consensus. Per WP:ONUS, "The onus to achieve consensus for inclusion is on those seeking to include disputed content.". Only "consensus for" results in the disputed content's inclusion, because consensus must be achieved to satisfy that policy. Omission is the default. --GoneIn60 (talk) 18:28, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
What's the onus to achieve consensus for exclusion? No onus at all? Seems fair. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:45, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
You have started identical threads here and at the El Paso article, thereby splitting the discussion. Per WP:MULTI, please don't do that. The other one has more comments so I suggest that someone collapse this one. ―Mandruss  19:11, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
 Done. El_C 20:16, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

Continued discussion from above regarding !vote from Markbassett[edit]

"I just did a bing and zero lists for three in a row (usatoday, cbs, foxnews) - they name the shooter, name people being interviewed, but not a list of dead/wounded" That could be because this RfC was started prematurely. The RfC was initiated on the same day that the event took place. The event took place 4 days ago. I agree with the sentiments expressed by Locke Cole when they say "Which makes me feel like these RFC's that @El C: have been insisting on are rather pointless." These RfCs are being initiated prematurely. Yes, this question commonly crops up. But no, we should not artificially be creating drama before the facts are in and before anyone has edited the article to add the names of victims. Do we know if good-quality sources will support this material? If the material is not supported by good quality sources I would argue to omit the material. Bus stop (talk) 03:15, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
You are free to move for an abort when the discussion is started, provided you don't do so disruptively (when I have moved to abort a discussion it has been a single comment). If your motion gains enough traction, the discussion will be aborted; if not, it won't. But there is no way to prevent the discussions from being started, short of a consensus at the Village Pump that you would never get. ―Mandruss  10:32, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
This RfC is comparable to using a Flight simulator. What are we accomplishing? Do you endorse this RfC? This RfC was initiated on the same day that the incident took place. (Nobody had yet added victim names.) This is a complete break from past practice relating to the subject of victim names. (Correct me if I am wrong about that.) In the past, RfCs have been initiated after material on victim's names was added to the article. With this new development, RfCs are being initiated before material on victim's names was added to the article. Bus stop (talk) 13:52, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
What are we accomplishing? We are determining the presence or absence of a consensus to include the names of all dead. I thought that was obvious. Do you endorse this RfC? Yes, unless all supporters of inclusion are prepared to drop their support, which doesn't seem very likely. (Nobody had yet added victim names.) Not so. 18:15 UTC comes before 18:27 UTC by 12 minutes if I'm not mistaken. But so what if such a discussion were started early? Clearly the early participants would assume that there would be adequate reliable sourcing for the names, since all high-profile mass killings in recent history have had adequate reliable sourcing for the names. How many high-profile mass killings in recent history can you cite that haven't had adequate reliable sourcing for the names? None, I wager. Thus you are making a big fuss about nothing, some imagined theoretical problem that doesn't actually exist. My suggestion and request would be to drop it. ―Mandruss  14:42, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
"But so what if such a discussion were started early?" Because the dust has not settled yet. Sources need to be evaluated. Were sources evaluated in "12 minutes"? It takes time for sources to produce their work, not to mention for police to do their work. And it takes time for editors to digest what has just taken place. We should be weighing in with knowledge of the specific incident. Starting the RfC on the day that the incident takes place encourages rote responses. In the absence of specific details, editors are only bringing preconceptions to the discussions. This methodology is boring and counterproductive, causing entrenched positions to become more entrenched. This methodology fosters the antithesis of discussion. Bus stop (talk) 15:09, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
First it was nobody had yet added the names, now it's not enough time had passed since somebody added the names. Move goalposts much? I reject your novel and idiosyncratic argument and I'm done helping you waste discussion space on it. ―Mandruss  15:26, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
I was not aware of any prior Talk page discussion and I am still not aware of any Talk page discussion preceding the initiation of the RfC. It is problematic to immediately initiate an RfC. I think there is a WP:BATTLEGROUND mentality in starting an RfC on whether victim names should be included on the very day that the incident has taken place. The incident took place on August 4 and the RfC on victim names was initiated on August 4. Bus stop (talk) 15:54, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
See Template:Editnotices/Page/2019 Dayton shooting. As pointed out to you at the El Paso shooting's talk page, notices like this are the result of an Arbitrary Committee decision, in which preempting edit warring and battleground behavior was its intention. The "List of victim names" section above addresses this, as well as links where you can find more details. You should also keep in mind that moving the goal posts like you did above and ignoring evidence that counters your view drowns out productive discussion and is akin to bludgeoning the process. --GoneIn60 (talk) 16:44, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps you should look just above the RfC. The RfC was originally a subordinate heading of that section (and I believe it should have remained so, if for no other reason than to ensure that it and the RfC will be handled by the archiver as a unit), but it was promoted to its own section by another editor after it was started (probably when it was announced on WP:Requests for comment/Politics, government, and law and WP:Requests for comment/Society, sports, and culture). Fair disclosure: I started the discussion; I did not start the RfC (though I support its having been started). General Ization Talk 16:48, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
And no, by the way: the discussion here was not started prior to the names of the Dayton victims being released. I started the discussion immediately after the first attempt to add the names to this article, which was after they started to appear in published sources. You may look in the page histories to confirm this for yourself. General Ization Talk 16:57, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

Shooter's sibling's gender[edit]

According to this article, the shooter's sibling was a trans man named Jordan. link I realize this is a sensitive situation for a variety of reasons and I am not an expert on Wikipedia policy by any means but I felt I couldn't not speak up. I feel the article should be changed to reflect the victim's correct identity. 2600:8801:1C00:138D:BDB1:8069:7214:4D5E (talk) 10:08, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

Understood. I handled the edit. Aguyuno (talk) 10:39, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
@Aguyuno: And I reverted it. Any edit that has the effect of changing someone's gender identity (alive or dead) must be sourced to multiple reliable sources ( isn't an RS) and preferably should be based on statements directly and verifiably attributed to the subject of the claims. Also, on a protected article, don't make edits on behalf of an IP or other editor not eligible to make the edit themselves (much less a SPA) without seriously scrutinizing the basis for the requested edit. I have already reverted this dubious content once before (and will do it again if based solely on this source). General Ization Talk 12:46, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
@General Ization: - based on statements directly and verifiably attributed to the subject of the claims - seeing as the subject is dead, we're not getting any statements now, and it doesn't seem likely that they would have prepared statements in advance... starship.paint (talk) 13:51, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Exactly right, and why the content is unlikely to be added here even if it happens to be true. See the essay Verifiability, not truth. General Ization Talk 13:54, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
@General Ization: - based on statements directly and verifiably attributed to the subject of the claims Right, right, so the subject's tumblr doesn't count? Their instagram account? Their friends?
Also why does splinternews not count? I've seen quoted, you really gonna sit here and argue that's more reliable? What about buzzfeed? Aguyuno (talk) 14:14, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
See WP:UNRELIABLE. As this episode should clearly indicate, the source "does not have the reputation for fact-checking and accuracy that WP:RS requires". General Ization Talk 14:20, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Oh I'd LOVE to hear how it is you think this "episode" proves the author of the article did no fact checking. Please do tell. Aguyuno (talk) 14:22, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
We're done here. This article is not about splinternews, and I'm not going to debate its qualities or lack of same. General Ization [[User talk:General Ization|
lol Aguyuno (talk) 14:27, 8 August 2019 (UTC) Talk ]] 14:24, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
In the mean time, please refer to this rather detailed biographical sketch of Megan Betts, which makes no mention of any of the claims made by splinternews. General Ization Talk 13:54, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
...It was written before the splinter article, so yes oddly enough it doesn't make reference to an article not yet written. Aguyuno (talk) 14:15, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
It was written after extensive interviews with Betts' friends and colleagues. I wasn't suggesting that the Washington Post would reference splinternews, I was explaining that they found nothing that would tend to substantiate the claims that splinternews has subsequently made. General Ization Talk 14:23, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
did you actually read the splinternews article or? cause it pretty clearly states he was closeted about it in meatspace. Aguyuno (talk) 14:25, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Actually reinforces the point. If the sibling (who is not the subject of this article, and who was heretofore a low profile individual) had been open about a gender identity different than what we currently relate (and multiple reliable sources reported same), this would not be an issue. General Ization Talk 15:28, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

Considering that it seems Splinter broke the story, reliable sources will most likely be reporting on this soon enough. We can update the article once it's verified. Nice4What (talk · contribs) – (Don't forget to share a Thanks ) 14:41, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

Some new sources found. I'd say the Human Rights Campaign is generally reliable (article here). Other new reports come from LGBTQ Nation, Advocate, and Democracy Now. I'd support editing the article to reflect Jordan's gender identity. Nice4What (talk · contribs) – (Don't forget to share a Thanks ) 14:55, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Incorporated into article. Nice4What (talk · contribs) – (Don't forget to share a Thanks ) 15:40, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I've updated the link to Sororicide with the text 'killed his sister' to Fratricide with the text 'killed his brother' to reflect this. Amekyras (talk) 16:58, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

It appears that the sibling was not a "closeted" trans man: (...) Police and media have identified Cofer by his birth name and gender, widely reporting that he was the “sister” of Betts. But friends of Cofer say he identified as male and used he/him pronouns, with Cofer using Twitter and Instagram accounts under his chosen name up until days before his death. Splinter notes that on Tumblr, Cofer described himself as a “trans boy with a loving heart and way too much work to do.” (...) Dncali (talk) 18:48, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

@Dncali: Splinter reports that "Cofer was out as a trans man to only a handful of people", and that his brother and parents were not aware that he was transgender. Another friend also stated that Cofer was still closeted throughout all of high school (but they weren't sure if they had come out since then.) Nice4What (talk · contribs) – (Don't forget to share a Thanks ) 20:41, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
@Nice4What: Closeted or not, can we stop with the "sibling" nonsense? We know what Jordan identified as now, going gender neutral is just insulting. Aguyuno (talk) 21:12, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
@Aguyuno: Hey, don't take it as being insulting. As more reliable reporting was coming in, it made sense to switch to a neutral language as it wasn't certain. (Again, the gunman wasn't even aware of his brother's transition.) I'll however update the article now. Already edited by another user. Nice4What (talk · contribs) – (Don't forget to share a Thanks ) 21:14, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
@Nice4What: Fair enough. Sorry. It just really came off as rude since before the other guy was insisting we can't change it without sure proof, then we had sure proof and it's like "ok but let's not -assume-" lol. But I get you. Aguyuno (talk) 21:20, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

I am not satisfied that any of these sources are Reliable Sources, and I think we should go back to "sister" which is what the authorities are saying. Even those sources that are reporting it (New York Post, another unreliable source) are saying she was not "out" as a man except to a very few people. Not even her own family. We need strong sourcing for this kind of information, and this is just one step away from rumor. -- MelanieN (talk) 23:38, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

I have restored "sister" and "she" - the police and other authorities are a much better source than anything cited here, and all the mainstream press is still treating her as his sister. -- MelanieN (talk) 23:43, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
BTW Here is a statement from the parents, talking about how they need to "mourn the loss of their son and daughter". You all planning to contradict them? -- MelanieN (talk) 00:10, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
I would be 100% ready to contradict the parents as the sources listed above state that Jordan wasn't open to his parents. I understand the wait for more reliable sources, but maybe we should use gender neutral pronouns at the time. I see no issue with the term "sister" being used, as some people will still refer to their parent as "mom / dad" even after they transitioned and Jordan's family still saw him as such. Nice4What (talk · contribs) – (Don't forget to share a Thanks ) 00:39, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Number one, you actually didn't put in gender-neutral pronouns; you restored all of the unreliably-sourced information identifying her as a man named Jordan. Number two, when talking about living/recently deceased people, we absolutely do "wait for more reliable sources" before putting in something this controversial. I am restoring "sister" and I request you not to revert to the unproven transgender allegations unless/until we get some confirmation. -- MelanieN (talk) 00:47, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
And no, I'm sorry, an offhand mention by an out-of-town TV station is not confirmation. -- MelanieN (talk) 00:51, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
It's very frustrating to see that Jordan's social media accounts are publicly accessible yet you refuse to compromise by having gender neutral language. See dead-naming. Yes, I did revert your entire edit but that was because you removed the note by the five men / four women count. Nice4What (talk · contribs) – (Don't forget to share a Thanks ) 00:56, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
And I removed it again. I repeat: this is a matter of Wikipedia policy, per WP:BLP, that what we say about a living or recently deceased person must have MULTIPLE, RELIABLE sourcing. It's possible that the stories about being a mostly-closeted transgender person are true. But the sources, including the sources currently being cited in the article about that person, say "sister". The parents say "daughter". We need something authoritative, and widely reported, to change that. Not rumors, not social media accounts. For now: this is controversial, it's been challenged several times by several people, and it must not be restored to the article without adequate sourcing. -- MelanieN (talk) 01:04, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
@MelanieN: I think you need to recuse yourself from this matter. You're clearly advocating your own personal beliefs and gaming the system to support your beliefs. These are widely used sources cited all over Wikipedia. Citing reliable sources does not help you because these are reliable sources. You don't simply get to declare they're invalid because you're personally prejudiced against trans people without saying why and how. This information is well-sourced by extremely notable outlets, you have nothing to stand on. I'll have to report this incident to dispute resolution if you do not stop edit warring with people over your entirely personal views.Emma (talk) 01:31, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
I've warned Mjr162006 that they're close to personal attack territory. There is no edit war where MelanieN is concerned, and I remind everyone that BLP applies - ironclad refferencing from multiple authoritative sources is required. Acroterion (talk) 03:01, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Mjr162006—Don't say "you're personally prejudiced against trans people" because you don't know that. Bus stop (talk) 03:05, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
There is ironclad referencing from mutltiple sources. You and the otehrs have not provided any evidence as to why these multitude of sources are not valid here despite being widely cited throughout Wikipedia beyond a "just because." And I'll point out that BLP is completely irrelevant because the individual in question is deceased, as extremely clearly stated in this section here. And even if it did, it does not support your argument as, stated repeatedly, these sources are not invalid and are used all over and there are many such sources backing this up. In particularly, very clearly outlined policies here contradict your claims and strongly suggest that legal names not be used at all and require you to be gender neutral if the subject's gender identity is in question.
@Bus stop:. It was an observation. MelanieN was ignoring policies that clearly contradicted what she was doing, despite them being pointed out. I was entirely unaware pointing out rule violations could be seen as constituting a personal attack. I would suggest you Wikipedia:Assume good faith. I will retract the part I said that you quoted and apologize for the misunderstanding, but I do maintain that established Wikipedia policies are being ignored and I'll refrain from speculating as to why that is. Hopefully my replacement for that text meets your approval.
@Acroterion:. Your argument against me is entirely incorrect as per Wikipedia:Edit warring. This indisputably falls under the description in the first section. The bullet point Reverting to enforce certain overriding policies is not considered edit warring. does not apply because those involved are refusing to give a justification for how these sources do not match the reliable sources requirements in this specific case when they are accepted in countless other, less controversial cases. You cannot simply cite a policy to get what you want, which is extremely clearly described in Wikipedia:Gaming the system.
Since people are unwilling to cooperate in this matter and are instead only ignoring each other's arguments, I'm filing a dispute resolution notice for this incident. I've mentioned the following users in this incident besides myself: @General Ization:, @Nice4What:, @MelanieN:, and @Acroterion:. I'll directly notify ASAP. --Emma (talk) 04:14, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── User:Mjr162006: No, I will not recuse myself, because this is about Wikipedia policy: WP:BLP which says that information about living or recently deceased people has to be sourced to multiple reliable sources. You claim These are widely used sources cited all over Wikipedia. and There is ironclad referencing from mutltiple sources and This information is well-sourced by extremely notable outlets and on and on. Really? Let’s look at those sources. The sources that have been proposed so far are: (1) Splinter, which cites two anonymous friends - one who claims to be “his closest friend” but knew him only through Tumblr, and one who knew him in school and said he was “queer but still in the closet”. There are links to accounts on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram under the Cofer name. That is the sum total of their evidence: two anonymous self-proclaimed friends, and three social media accounts. 2) Human Rights Campaign, citing the Splinter News story. 3) a local NPR station in Austin, Texas, which mentions the allegation in passing, with no indication what the are basing it in. 4) Nice4What offered reports in LGBTQ Nation, Advocate, and Democracy Now. All of them are based solely on the Splinter article.

Nothing additional was found in a Google search.[2] There has been no independent reporting or confirmation. As for Splinter News, we describe it as a “news and opinion website …launched in July 2017”. I have never before seen it cited on Wikipedia. The bottom line is, this report is ENTIRELY based on an article in a little-known news and opinion website, which in turn was based on reports from two anonymous friends, one of whom may have known the subject only online, and three social media accounts in the name Jordan Cofer. In the 48 hours since that report was published, no other publication has independently confirmed or expanded on what Splinter said. It’s Splinter’s word only. That is nowhere near enough support to put something like this in the article. Meanwhile all mainstream sources, and even the parents, continue to refer to the subject as the shooter’s sister Megan Betts.

I will also add that I just now got back from dinner and found your first note to me, which I am now responding to. It is, to say the least, inaccurate for you to claim that people are unwilling to cooperate in this matter and are instead only ignoring each other's arguments and those involved are refusing to give a justification for how these sources do not match the reliable sources requirements, just 2 1/2 hours after your first and only post on the subject. -- MelanieN (talk) 05:18, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

I agree with those urging caution. We don't need to rush this. We need to give mainstream sources a chance to verify the claim independently (if that ever happens). BLP and Consensus trump in this situation, and it is somewhat peculiar that a dispute was filed at WP:DRN by an editor who didn't spend more than one post discussing the issue. Looking at their edit history, this is the only activity in more than 5 years, and the account has less than 500 total edits. --GoneIn60 (talk) 05:43, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
This dispute has been going on for nearly two days, not two hours. Please do not try to misrepresent the situation to undermine those who do not agree with you. I'm trying to resolve this issue amicably. Claiming I wasted people's time for filing a dispute resolution? Um, no I'm sorry. People not agreeing on a page's content is precisely what those are for. And I see no signs of anyone agreeing anytime soon. You're continuing to stand by your position despite proof that you're in the wrong being presented to you by multiple people. And those on the other side are not convinced by your evasive arguments as to why you think this information should be ignored, and are not going to back down just because you don't agree with their position. That's the definition of an unresolved dispute by anyone's book.
I have read and re-read Wikipedia:Reliable sources over and over and I cannot for the life of me find anything whatsoever that backs up your claim that they're not reliable besides your simple say-so (which to me does not constitute definitive proof) I would like an actual explanation why you think this source is invalid, not merely summarily state that it is. I'll quote the Manual of Style entry pertaining to this issue so that everyone else can see exactly what the policy on this matter says you're supposed to do:
In the case of transgender and non-binary people, birth names should be included in the lead sentence only when the person was notable under that name. (...)If a person is named in an article in which they are not the subject, they should be referred to by the name they were using at the time of the mention rather than a name they may have used before or after the mention. You are obligated to use it under Wikipedia's own rules. --Emma (talk) 05:52, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Anonymous sources from the Internet and school days are sketchy. Next to named relatives and police, they lose. Doesn't matter what the debate is about. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:22, August 10, 2019 (UTC)
@Emma: First, it may benefit you to know that there is a difference between guidelines and policies. Both types are important, but there is a general hierarchy you should be aware of (see WP:POLICIES). Are you that familiar with WP:Verifiability (WP:V)? It's a core policy, and within it are two important statements that apply in this situation:
WP:VNOTSUFF – "Verifiability does not guarantee inclusion...Consensus may determine that certain information does not improve an article, and that it should be omitted"
WP:EXTRAORDINARY – "Any exceptional claim requires multiple high-quality sources"
Now, I'm not saying you don't have a reason to believe the sources here are reliable and meet the requirements of WP:V, but because this is a serious claim that's in the process of being challenged, more prudence is needed to assess the sources and determine adequate consensus that's in favor of inclusion. It could very well be that we only refer to Connor's sibling as Connor's sibling and be done with it. There's really no reason to delve deeper than that, unless the gender identity detail becomes relevant to the shooter's motive. This is first and foremost an article about the event, so only pertinent details about the event should be in here. Don't let this debate rattle your patience and get you heated. There are legitimate concerns here that require patience and thorough discussion. Let's focus on the substance and less on other editors' motives. --GoneIn60 (talk) 06:41, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
That's what I'm saying though. There's absolutely no reason not to go for the middle ground you just mentioned. It's the perfect solution for what to do until things are further resolved. Police are undoubtably going to invisigate those matters and issue a formal statement. We'll have undeniable sources then. Until such time, there is no reason not to be neutral in the article. I will freely admit that there is unquestionably Advocacy going on on both sides of this issue. One side wants to explicitly state one gender identity, and other side the identity cited in these sources. There is no justifiable reason to not have a gender-neutral, no first name description of the shooter's sibling in the meantime until we get a more official report backed up with a legitimate investigation. --Emma (talk) 07:06, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
I appreciate your communication and clarification. Thanks. "Hopefully my replacement for that text meets your approval." Indeed, it meets my approval. Bus stop (talk) 07:20, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
As I was searching for additional sources, I came across one from BuzzFeed:
BuzzFeed is more mainstream than the others, and what's interesting is that this article was published three days before the Splinter source. It actually identifies the two friends by name and states they spoke directly with BuzzFeed News. Worth taking into consideration. We now have two sources that claim to have directly spoken to these individuals, although the lack of confirmation in other mainstream sources is still a concern. --GoneIn60 (talk) 07:44, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
After looking into this further, it appears that BuzzFeed actually updated their story several days later, and the update was after Splinter's report:
Although the two authors were discussing it on Twitter, it does appear that BuzzFeed News obtained its own on-the-record statements, separate from Splinter's. --GoneIn60 (talk) 08:04, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Good to have more apparently real people say it, but they reaffirm how he was a she around town, with friends and family. So we still have reason to doubt which identity Cofer/Betts was using "at the time of the mention". I don't have a guess, just saying. InedibleHulk (talk) 08:48, August 10, 2019 (UTC)
But we know that he was closeted and only out to a few friends - thus, his parents are going to use a different name. I agree with the current consensus to use a gender-neutral reference, but the parents aren't going to be reliable in this instance. Amekyras (talk) 10:49, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Ah, OK, good! We now have Buzzfeed, a Reliable Source quoting two named friends, saying that the subject was actually functioning at college as a trans man named Jordan Cofer. Good sleuthing, User:GoneIn60; that article still doesn’t turn up in my Google searching. We also know, via a ton of sources, that they still identified as a female named Megan Betts around their family, friends and coworkers. And Megan Betts is how they have been identified by authorities. Given this kind of ambivalent situation, trans-but-not-all-the-time, I agree with the change made by User:Amekyras to gender-neutral language. And I suggest we not make a bigger point of it than that in the article, unless it gets a lot more investigation and press. We may eventually get some kind of official resolution to the situation, or we may just have to leave it ambivalent like that. -- MelanieN (talk) 11:37, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
If we had an official statement from their college, would you count that as a resolution? Regarding 'trans-but-not-all-the-time', this actually appears to be a somewhat common situation with trans and other LGBTQ+ people. They may have felt more comfortable revealing things like this around their friends, and college would have allowed them to live the life they preferred rather than having to be cautious around parents. I'd suggest that once the media cycle has moved on and there's nothing new coming out, unless we don't have anything challenging the assertion of their friends that the subject identified himself as Jordan Cofer, that the article be updated to reflect that. Amekyras (talk) 11:53, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Neutrality is fine. InedibleHulk (talk) 11:57, August 10, 2019 (UTC)
I'll second that. Probably the best solution unless something changes. By the way, if it becomes an issue with drive-bys changing back to "sister", we may need to add a note reference next to the first occurrence. --GoneIn60 (talk) 12:17, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Is this for real? <Personal attack redacted> There are four different webpages (more, actually, but I'll stick with four) now all reporting the same thing, including buzzfeed, and the best y'all can do is "gender neutral"? Buzzfeed's literal second paragraph is "Jordan Séan Cofer Smith (Jordan Cofer for short), 22, was the younger brother of the gunman." On top of that, Cofer's instagram and various other social media are -easily- searchable (and linked to in the splinternews article y'all keep railing about), how is that not enough? If Oscar Wilde, a gay man, didn't tell his parents and they thought he was straight would you be using this kind of twisted logic there, too? (talk) 14:56, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Stop the personal attacks now. Acroterion (talk) 15:02, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
@Acroterion: You're right, and I'm sorry. I'm getting mad frustrated but, yeah, that's my problem, not theirs. Aguyuno (talk) 15:05, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

Arbitrary break[edit]

IMO "sibling" would be best for now, pending discussion. Zaathras (talk) 15:33, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
I think what makes me tend to "sibling" is the fact that Wikipedia voice would say that "the shooter killed his brother"; for all the shooter knew, he was killing his sister. The shooter didn't think he was going to a bar with his brother, so unless this is rephrased and explained it would be misleading - the shooter didn't know, so whenever we refer to Cofer with respect to the shooter, "sibling" may be better (e.g. "The shooter went to the bar with his sibling"). But I strongly agree that we refer to him as Jordan Cofer and use male descriptors and pronouns in other contexts (e.g. "Cofer was the brother of the shooter, he was a 22-year-old closeted trans man"). Kingsif (talk) 15:39, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
ETA: I would similarly support the article be categorized as both sororicide and fratricide, or simply siblicide, but not just soror- OR fratr-. Kingsif (talk) 15:42, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
That's my thinking too, Kingsif. At the time of the shooting - in other words at the time that is relevant to this article - they were Megan Betts. As far as anyone on the scene or afterward knew, this was the shooter's sister. That's how they were dressed, that's the name they answered to, that's who the gunman and everyone thought they were. And "sister" is what all of the coverage said for days, and virtually all of it still says. Our job is to follow Reliable Sources. If we see a lot mainstream reporting change to "brother", or if the authorities change the name on the list of casualties, then we should follow suit. But for now, ambiguity of language is a good reflection of the ambiguous situation. -- MelanieN (talk) 16:06, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Do we have a source saying that he wasn't out as trans to his brother? Sorry, I just haven't seen anything saying that, but it's probably me being forgetful. Amekyras (talk) 16:38, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
All the sources say he was not out to his family. Presumably that would include his brother but of course we will never know that. We can't ask either of them. :-( -- MelanieN (talk) 17:10, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Amekyras, The New York Post article specifically says he was not out to his brother, but unfortunately that's the most reliable source so far, and it's not a source we'd ever accept for controversial information. For those of you who are new here, here's a page where you can check whether Wikipedia considers a source reliable or not: Reliable sources/Perennial_sources. When a source that shows a green background reports this information, we can report it. --valereee (talk) 17:41, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Valereee Buzzfeed News is greenlisted, which is another source ([3]). Perhaps this wasn't picked up on because editors have been referring to the article as 'Buzzfeed', but it's on the separate and affirmed-reliable Buzzfeed News. Kingsif (talk) 17:59, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Kingsif, that's one; looks like that was updated with that information in the last 24 hours. For an article about someone recently deceased, we want to see at least one more. If Buzzfeed News is now reporting it, there's a good chance another reliable source will report it soon. --valereee (talk) 18:06, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
What difference does it make?? Seriously. What if Jordan was out to Connor but he only saw him as his sister anyway? Would that also override Jordan's feelingss? What if Connor was experiencing hallucinations and fervently believed Jordan was an alien? Would we be writing "Jordan, his alleged alien brother"?
I genuinely don't understand what difference "Well, Connor didn't know, sooooo" makes. And I'm sorry, but "Jordan dressed like a woman" is patently absurd, because if he had been wearing jeans and a white undershirt it's not like you'd accept that as proof of his male status (nor should you). Maybe I'm missing something, I accept that possibility, but it seems off. Aguyuno (talk) 20:14, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Aguyuno, that's actually kind of a separate debate. We report on what RS are reporting -- that's the question of whether it's been reported in reliable sources or not -- and that's the minimum standard for inclusion of controversial information. Then a separate question is whether that information is also noteworthy; again at least a few RS reporting on something tells us it may be worth noting in the article, but it then can become a debate among editors as to whether something is worth including or not. If many many RS are reporting a detail, we'd definitely consider it noteworthy because they are considering it noteworthy. If only one RS is commenting on it, or only two, or even only three if (in a case like this one where there's significant coverage in many reliable sources) we might say that RS aren't treating it as noteworthy. --valereee (talk) 17:14, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
It's not about beliefs to me so much as usage. If he'd been at a more progressive bar with new friends who knew him as Jordan when they became famous, he and they would probably use the masculine ID. But back in white-bread Dayton, she by all accounts chose to be plain old Megan, perhaps sadly but still willingly and really. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:44, August 11, 2019 (UTC)
If we must retcon a dead person's final gender decision to please survivors, I'd go with not offending the many who knew someone as someone for decades over appeasing the few who knew the secret side for just months or online. When I die, it won't be as InedibleHulk, even though you would swear I am (and I am). But if I become infamous for Wikipedia reasons, it won't be as Eleanor Eastwood (or whatever my community calls me). InedibleHulk (talk) 22:00, August 11, 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────── Your username is not the same thing as a real name, and I don't quite understand what argument you are trying to make here? This isn't retconning, it's being provided new informaton and realising a mistake was made. Like my earlier example stated, if someone famous enough to warrant a wiki article had died and we had incontrovertible proof they were gay, despite their family perhaps not knowing, we would absolutely include that. No? Aguyuno (talk) 08:33, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

There's not a dual identity with gay people, at least not this concretely. Those who didn't know Rock Hudson screwed dudes still knew he was a dude named Rock Hudson as surely as his dudes did, so it's easy to call him "him" and "Rock Hudson" in pretty much any situation. But being a dude named Jordan around a few people and a chick named Megan around the rest requires switching things up, something like adopting an online persona, stage name or spy ID when appropriate. If she chose to be her killer's sister the night she became famous, learning she was an obscure brother at any earlier unrelated time and place doesn't make her final choice a mistake, anymore than it would the other way around. InedibleHulk (talk) 14:07, August 13, 2019 (UTC)
And if you had evidence that a dead person was heterosexual, you would absolutely include that? Why? WWGB (talk) 10:10, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Here is our guideline, from Wikipedia:WikiProject LGBT studies/Guidelines: A living person may be categorized and identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) only if they themselves publicly identify as such, e.g., Billie Joe Armstrong.. (The term "living person" also applies to recently deceased people.) The reason this case is ambiguous is that the subject publicly identified differently in different situations - as a trans man at college while continuing to function as female at home. That's why we are currently taking neither position but sticking to gender-neutral language. BTW the article is being changed so much by new users - sometimes to brother and "he", sometimes to sister and "she" - that I have place it under temporary protection. -- MelanieN (talk) 18:55, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
There's nothing that disallows us from using gender neutral pronouns and nouns in this case. I mean, Wikipedia has basically normalized default "they" as a pronoun anyway so really, since there is a dispute about what gender a non-notable BLP protected recently deceased person identified as, let's just call them his sibling and leave it at that until such time as their gender becomes encyclopedically relevant. Simonm223 (talk) 18:58, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Agree that at a bare minimum we should at least use gender-neutral terms if we're not going to use male ones. They're normalized enough that using them isn't really likely to out anyone in the article text. EDIT: Mentioning it here to make sure more people see it. Does this Teen Vogue article change anyone's mind? I think Teen Vogue is a sufficient WP:RS for this and am willing to take this one to WP:RSN if anyone disagrees (we just had a discussion about Teen Vogue there that found it generally reliable, but I'll grant that some people might be more cautious with something this sensitive.) --Aquillion (talk) 01:00, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
  • It's a complicated question. (Even Splinternews says Stories like Cofer’s, featuring a young trans person who was a victim of a devastating and high-profile crime but who appears to have only shared his trans status with a small circle of people, are delicate. People can debate about whether the fact of his gender identity is newsworthy. What is clear, though, is that his friends are free to remember him as they knew him.) The general answer is that if someone alive or recently dead is closeted and gay, we require significant coverage before we'll cover that in the article text, since potentially outing them raises WP:BLP concerns - if they were still closeted, there may be friends, relatives, and so on who they didn't want to know that they were LBGT, so we need the sourcing to reach the point where we can say "all, right, it's already out, so we're not really harming them by publishing this" (or, conversely, "all right, the coverage is so overwhelming that we can't ignore this even if it potentially harms them", although the two are really the same threshold anyway.) The key part isn't "incontrovertible proof" (which is sufficient under MOS:GENDERID if they have a clear public identification) but "this is already so widely-covered that we're not outing them by covering it ourselves", which is the threshold for when they might have wanted to keep it private and, therefore, outing them has a potentially negative impact from their perspective. Maybe he intended to come out to everyone eventually, but that's not really our call, so it's important that Wikipedia not be the one breaking news about someone's identity that they may have wanted to keep secret. As far as the current sourcing goes... I'd say Buzzfeed News is close, but I'd want a second high-profile source before I'd feel comfortable potentially outing them. I also suspect that such sourcing will appear eventually, so we should keep our eyes out for it. EDIT: Actually, after doing some research myself I think we have sufficient sourcing for inclusion. See my list below. --Aquillion (talk) 01:00, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

Formal notice[edit]

Editors are expected to maintain appropriate talkpage decorum. Personal attacks stemming from good-faith disagreement are not acceptable. Editors are reminded that the biographies of living persons policy applies here and that its stringent sourcing requirements apply to the recently deceased. Acroterion (talk) 15:08, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

I've mentioned this thread at WP:ANI so we can have a few more uninvolved eyes. I have not mentioned individual editors, nor do I think I need to. Acroterion (talk) 15:18, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Cannot find that mention-were you logged in?TeeVeeed (talk) 00:13, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
Here you go. Sakkura (talk) 00:26, 11 August 2019 (UTC)


Let's collect the sources covering this in one place so we can judge if / when we've passed the threshold where it's no longer outing him. I'm only listing sources I feel are helpful - that means WP:RSes, but in this particular case I feel it also covers weaker sources that are indisputably high profile. For example, the fact that this is covered in the New York Post is relevant even though it doesn't pass WP:RS for a WP:BLP (the higher standard from BLP applies to the recently-deceased), since it's a high-profile publication and having it covered there reduces any risk of harm from us covering it here, provided we can verify it from an actual WP:RS.

  • Buzzfeed News This passes WP:RS and is sufficient for WP:V.
  • Teen Vogue. Passes WP:RS and WP:V as far as I can tell. Extensive and in-depth coverage Nobody above mentioned this one, probably because it was published after a lot of the existing discussion; I feel this one is crucial.
  • KUT 90.5, Austin's NPR station. Just a passing mention.
  •, although just in an aside In addition to Megan Betts (Betts’ sibling identified as a transgender man named Jordan Cofer but was only out to a few people, according to Splinter)
  • Metro Weekly See Metro Weekly It's an LBGT-focused periodical, but much more established than Splinter News, so I think it qualifies as WP:RS for this.
  • Out Magazine See Out (magazine). Similar to Metro Weekly in every respect, so see what I said there.
  • Splinter News. Probably not an WP:RS for WP:BLPs, but it's extensively cited by other sources, so it is worth mentioning / attributing via those secondary sources if we mention anything.
  • New York Post. Not an WP:RS for BLPs, but given their massive circulation I feel they reduce the worry about outing, provided we have the RSes above to establish WP:V / WP:DUE.
  • Other sources mentioned above, which are neither WP:RSes for a WP:BLP nor high-profile, but included for completeness: [4][5][6][7]

Also the Washington Examiner covered it, but I'm not even going to link them because screw those guys. Seriously, though, I feel that Buzzfeed News, Teen Vogue, KUT, and Heavy are more than enough, especially combined with the broad coverage in tabloids - Heavy is more equivocal than the others, but it does mention it, which implies we ought to, too; the other three are all clearly WP:RSes, and while KUT only mentions it in passing they also go solely with male pronouns + name. The Teen Vogue article in particular pushes me over the edge; it's a reputable source that has a lot of good political / current events coverage recently, and it goes into depth on it, so I feel that it coupled with Buzzfeed News is the second WP:RS required for something like this. --Aquillion (talk) 01:36, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

I'd like to question the KUT one. "Austin's NPR station"... so it's public radio for one station for one city in one country that also only gave a passing mention. You might be the only one who heard that. Now, if NPR itself had covered it. Kingsif (talk) 01:57, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Unless I'm missing something, only Buzzfeed and Splinter have independently verified the claim. The rest are attributing the claim to one of both of these sources (or in Out's case, it's referencing Teen Vogue, which in turn reference's Splinter). As additional reliable sources pick up on the report and mention it, the claim's credibility ticks up a notch (or at least it's prominence in reliable sources increases), but the ones that make a significant difference are the sources adding independent verification. These are the ones I think we need more of. --GoneIn60 (talk) 02:46, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
IMO Buzzfeed is the only reliable source we have; it confirms, through its own independent reporting, that the subject identified as a trans man while in college. More to the point, in the days since those reports came out, NO other reliable or mainstream source has mentioned the report, much less converted to saying "brother". Here is CNN, just today, saying "sister".[8] Here is USA Today, also from today: "sister".[9] We are allowing the Buzzfeed article just enough credibility that we are hedging on the gender question. That's as far as we can go. Based on what reliable sources are doing, we absolutely cannot say "trans man" or "he" in the article. -- MelanieN (talk) 03:28, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
When I said "NO" other sources are reporting this, I was mistaken. The Teen Vogue article did some of its own independent reporting. Also, Huffington Post used the male name and said "brother" in its list of victims.[10] This is more evidence that we should not definitively say "sister", but nowhere near enough for us to convert to "brother" in contradiction to the majority of the coverage. -- MelanieN (talk) 03:36, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
As a reminder, the article currently does not mention that they were trans at all; I feel we need to settle that before anything else. I think Buzzfeed News and Teen Vogue together are obviously sufficient that we have to mention it now - two fairly large articles in high-profile mainstream publications, plus Metro Weekly and Out, is sufficient to require at least a sentence or two. We currently devote much larger parts of the article to things that have much more limited coverage. Now, if you disagree, is your objection that you don't think that Buzzfeed and Teen Vogue pass WP:RS for this statement, do you think that it's a WP:DUE issue, or both? These discussions are getting a bit circular (and I'm honestly a bit shocked that Teen Vogue didn't settle the issue), so it would probably be best to open something on WP:RSN, WP:BLPN, or WP:NPOVN about whether this aspect should be mentioned. (And only that; the pronoun issue is more complex, but I think the "does it deserve a sentence or two" issue is basically settled by this source. An aspect of a story that gets two massive articles devoted to it in high-profile reliable sources obviously deserves a sentence or two of coverage at the bare minimum.) --Aquillion (talk) 04:19, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Teen Vogue interviews his friends directly and does its own extensive research. Even putting aside the fact that Teen Vogue directly interviewed his friends, my own feeling is always that that objection about independent reporting - common when something is first covered in marginal sources and then picked up by reliable ones - isn't relevant; it does not matter at all how Teen Vogue came to its conclusions, and it is entirely outside the scope of our discussions to argue about that aspect. If they consider Splinter to be sufficient, then we're bound to follow their conclusions. Our role is to report what reliable sources say, not to second-guess their reporting or to perform our own original research in an effort to refute their chain of logic. Our coverage of reliable sources hinges on their overall reputation, not on our individual assessment of how well they source specific stories; that reputation allows a WP:RS to take something we couldn't cite, and, by staking that reputation on it, transmute it into something we can or even must. Without that basic trust in the reputation of an WP:RS somewhere along the line, we couldn't cite anything at all. But, as I said, either way Teen Vogue did some excellent research - read it again. --Aquillion (talk) 04:19, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
  • You're really into Teen Vogue, huh? So, here's my opinion so you can stop bumping it without response: Teen Vogue can probably be RS for some things. I wouldn't say for this. Why? Well, though you say it's high profile and mainstream, it really isn't. It's targeted at American teen girls. The world shockingly lacks those. But that also means it directs its reporting at what that very specific audience wants to read. It's been given some credibility recently for its coverage of political issues... because teen girls are no longer exclusively into fashion, they're now becoming activists, too. So obviously the publication has a bias to covering social issues like, hmm, a high-profile possibly-trans-man being shot but that nearly nobody else is talking about? So I wouldn't say the coverage in Teen Vogue adds anything to the case. They forgo considerations of whether they should and if it's truly notable because it's marketing gold with their demo. Buzzfeed News, sure, has a lot of young liberals, but it stemmed from internet memes and gets viewed by a lot of conservative folk and wider age ranges, its readers are mostly adult men, so it doesn't have the same bias in choosing to report this, which is why it's the only RS I can see for it. (ETA: disputing your point about rep with a "well, Teen Vogue shouldn't fall into the generally/always reliable category". There are few publications that I'd trust on every topic. The BBC. I think that's it. Not even The Guardian makes it up there. Just the BBC, because its reach and rep is so legendary it holds itself to account.) Kingsif (talk) 05:03, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Aquillion, if you are focusing on meeting the minimum requirements for inclusion, then perhaps you need to adjust your focus a bit. Most of us agree there's enough coverage now (and a few days ago even) that warrants us changing "sister" to "sibling". Consensus was established for that in an effort to avoid editing conflict and violations of MOS:GENDERID. The problem with delving deeper into gender identification is two-fold. First, it attracts conflict, since there's still a significant number of reliable sources that haven't acknowledged the investigative reporting and are still publishing a conflicting account. Second, it doesn't directly aid in the understanding of the event. Sibling tells us all we need to know for now, unless it is later revealed that gender identification played a role in the event itself. We don't want to stray too far off topic, at least at this juncture. Also keep in mind that establishing verifiability is a minimum requirement, not the only requirement. Minor details and/or details that aren't significant to the article topic don't always make it in. --GoneIn60 (talk) 05:42, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
I have some experience in journalism, so I evaluate any report by looking at where they got their information. I summarize this as “who says so and how do they know?” A report that is simply echoing what some other report said adds nothing to the weight of information out there, and that dismisses most of the sources offered here. But I find at least two of them to be reliable and convincing. The Splinter News article interviewed two anonymous, self-proclaimed friends so I didn’t give it much credence. But the Buzzfeed article quoted two named friends so I found it to be credible. Teen Vogue added to this with an additional source and some independent reporting. So I think we can take it as established that in college he functioned as a trans man. But that doesn’t settle the issue. Our policy requires that we don’t call someone gay or trans unless “they themselves publicly identify as such”. His trans identity was public in some situations but secret in others, so he does not meet that criterion. Leaving it vague is exactly what we should do. The other argument for leaving it at “sibling”: this article is not about them. They are an unfortunate victim, one of ten. To make a big issue about their gender is UNDUE and disruptive, irrelevant to the shooting which is the subject of this article, and violates the privacy they are entitled to even in death. -- MelanieN (talk) 07:10, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
We should sidestep the question. "They" is perfectly serviceable. Any degree of secrecy should suggest to us that this is information about which we should not be "informational". They are a sibling. It is simple enough. Bus stop (talk) 11:20, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
  • We don't have to call him trans in the article voice; we can use in-line attributions to say that eg. his friends said that he was trans, which is what the Teen Vogue and Buzzfeed News sources support. But at this point the coverage of this aspect of the story has two large articles in high-profile reliable sources discussing it, so we can't ignore it entirely. I don't think it's defensible to argue that one sentence is WP:UNDUE when two WP:RSes have devoted entire articles to the topic. Just for comparison, we have an entire paragraph on the obituary cited to one New York Post article and a primary source; a paragraph about officers dealing with stress cited solely to the journal-news; half a paragraph devoted to responses from Uruguay and Venezuela, cited to just one source, and so on. WP:DUE is about giving things weight appropriate to the relative coverage in reliable sources (which means it's judged against other things already in the article) - what about these two articles makes you feel it would be WP:UNDUE to devote a single sentence to covering them? --Aquillion (talk) 00:25, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
The previous responses already explain how the gender issue is irrelevant to the article's topic. I'm not sure what more you need. It's not a WEIGHT issue, since the viewpoint you're referring to has nothing to do with the shooting. It's a separate topic altogether, much like other extraneous details about each victim that have received coverage in reliable sources – family left behind, schools they attended, life accomplishments, etc. We aren't including those either, nor should we. If there are other items in the article that you feel are irrelevant and should be removed for consistency, then let's have a separate discussion about those, but let's not point to other potential issues as a reason to justify another.
This is likely my last post in this thread unless something new is introduced. --GoneIn60 (talk) 04:38, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
I think "self-identification" is the key factor here. Indications are that people in his life, such as his parents, were unaware of the sexuality that we are considering for inclusion in the article. I think Wikipedia should not present information on sexuality unless the person has "self-identified". I think any degree of closetedness should suggest to us that we should not be presenting information on sexuality. Bus stop (talk) 11:43, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

Note about discretionary sanctions[edit]

This article is now covered by discretionary sanctions relating to gun control (added earlier), living and recently deceased persons, and gender disputes. Doug Weller talk 17:45, 10 August 2019 (UTC)


I have reverted this edit again as it is not what the source says and is WP:SYNTH. Praxidicae (talk) 14:57, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

In what sense is it synth? The article says "In addition, a Twitter account that appears to belong to Betts retweeted extreme left-wing and anti-police posts, as well as tweets supporting Antifa, or anti-fascist, protesters."--Nowa (talk) 19:33, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
First it says "appears to belong" and while I've no reason to doubt that, the source does not say that he was a "left-wing extremist". Praxidicae (talk) 19:45, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
Good points. Thank you.--Nowa (talk) 19:59, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Victims shot by police[edit]

I saw in the article that 2 of the 17 injured were shot by police. I went to outside sources to see for myself, and many of the articles I found said that 2 of the deceased victims were shot by police while already dying from gunshots from the shooter. The articles main subject was how the gunman had drugs in his system, but also mentioned the police shots, plus it has been stated that the gunman shot 26 people. (9 plus 15 is 24) With that being said, i think the info box/victims section should reflect those changes since the previous info was just from twitter. YatesTucker00090 (talk) 22:53, 17 August 2019 (UTC)

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "those changes", but the infobox and lead casualties now reflect their attached citations. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:14, August 20, 2019 (UTC)