Talk:Adam Smith Foundation

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This article reads like an ad for this organization. --Rjm656s 14:59, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Request for Comment[edit]

This article does not seem to be neutral and the NPOV tag is being removed, I do not know how to clean it up. --Rjm656s 05:26, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I think Pairadox's edit, while not perfect, offers a good jumping off point. Is there any reason these keep getting reverted? --Rjm656s 22:05, 10 September 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rjm656s (talkcontribs)

I'm not sure more discussion is needed, it seems a consensus has been reached, there is just one abusive editor who keeps reverting back to the advert. I'd put in an RFC on that editor but I don't know how and the page that explains has not made the process clear to me. Besides Jabajabajaba43 , these other users helped write the advertisement and have mostly not worked on any other topics : Moboy101 , Reagankennedy, Knightfortruth22 and Harrisjmn. - - Dlabtot 20:58, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, I take that back. It had looked like a consensus had been reached, but that no longer seems to be the case. Dlabtot 01:49, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

complete re-write[edit]

Yes that was an advertisement and I decided to be bold. I think I've left in all the verifiable, notable facts in a NPOV manner. Dlabtot 03:05, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

I Believe that you all are simply trying to be biased yourselves and are over liberalizing in an attempt to be "unbiased".Jabajabajaba43 22:21, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Try writing a version that isn't just a vehicle for the Foundation's platform. Pairadox 02:03, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Jabajabajaba43, I posted a warning regarding the WP:3RR to your talk page and I'll mention it here. We're glad to have your contributions, but you must remember that Wikipedia is about consensus. At this point, it seems fairly settled consensus that your article, as written, was designed for the promotion of a group that you may have an association to. I suggest further reading at: Wikipedia is not a soapbox, neutral point of view and conflict of interest. I am going to post this message to your user talk page as well. Into The Fray T/C 02:11, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
I came in response to the RFC. It looked to me that there was a stalemated edit war between a self-promotional advertisement, and a stub article, so I did another re-write in which I attempted to chart a middle course where the foundation's views are presented factually without all the propaganda. --Marvin Diode 14:36, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
It is not the role of Wikipedia to "present the Foundation's views". This is a Wikipedia article ABOUT the Adam Smith Foundation. If you can find WP:reliable sources to cite in support of a particular POV towards the Foundation, by all means include them in the article, as per WP:NPOV. Dlabtot 19:25, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
BTW, the Foundation's website is NOT a reliable source, as is explicitly stated in the WP:reliable source policy. So I must question the insertion into the article of statements such as: "It is a conservative educational and advocacy organization which promotes laissez-faire economic policies, in the tradition of Adam Smith." what is the source of this? Dlabtot 20:14, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
To the contrary, Wikipedia:Verifiability states that "Material from self-published and questionable sources may be used as sources in articles about themselves, so long as" it is relevant to their notability and is not making claims about third parties. It is reasonable to use primary sources in the description of the organization's mission. Arkalochori 23:00, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
In what way is any of this 'relevant to their notability'? Please explain.
Additionally it would be helpful to look at the whole policy, rather than a tiny part of it:
Material from self-published and questionable sources may be used as sources in articles about themselves, so long as:
* it is relevant to their notability;
* it is not contentious;
* it is not unduly self-serving;
* it does not involve claims about third parties;
* it does not involve claims about events not directly related to the subject;
* there is no reasonable doubt as to who wrote it;
* the article is not based primarily on such sources.
The advertising text you have reverted to is both contentious and unduly self-serving, and the article in its current form is based primarily on the Foundation's website. Dlabtot 23:30, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
What I did was very simple. I removed all material that struck me as either irrelevant to their notability, contentious, unduly self-serving, or involving claims about third parties or events not directly related to the subject. That meant the elimination of over half the article. As far as I know, the remainder is undisputed, and if the ASF is indeed notable enough to warrant an article in Wikipedia, the parts that I left ought to be appropriate under WP:SELFPUB. I am certain that my version can be improved, but I hoped to break the article out of the revert war cul-de-sac it was in. --Marvin Diode 00:36, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
I invite other editors to improve on my version, but I think it would be appropriate to remove the advert tag. I am no fan of Laissez-Faire and I don't think my version promotes the ASF. --Marvin Diode 00:45, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Well let me explain how I approached my rewrite. Instead of starting with the existing advertisement written by a series of single purpose accounts, I started from scratch and wrote an article that was actually based on WP:Reliable sources. Your assertion that 'the remainder is undisputed' made in the context of this dispute, refutes itself. No the remainder is not undisputed. Your version is based almost entirely on their website and I don't see how the ad copy here is relevant to their notability, it is plainly contentious or it wouldn't be so at variance with the reliably sourced info that you removed, and it certainly is unduly self-serving, which is why numerous editors on this talk page and in the edit history have objected to it. All of this shows explicit violation of WP:SELFPUB. But that's just my opinion. Would you care to state in what way the material based on the Foundation's website is relevant to their notability? And I'm curious as to why you thought the reliably sourced information that the foundation was founded by a group of Missouri Republican Party activists should be deleted from the article. As well as the foundation's status as a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization - why do you think that should not be in the article?Dlabtot 01:06, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
My re-write was done quickly, and could be improved. I don't think it is particularly interesting that the ASF was founded by Republicans -- I would automatically assume that to be the case -- and the source is a blog. But, I certainly would have no objection to your adding it to the article. Likewise the tax status. As far as their website is concerned, I consider that to be a reasonable source, under WP:SELFPUB, for a catalogue of policies they advocate. I hope you noticed, however, that I removed all the rhetoric and left only a factual list of policies. --Marvin Diode 14:35, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
I want to keep this simple in hopes that we can actually engage in a dialogue, so I'll do this one point at a time this time. As per WP:SELFPUB, I ASK AGAIN: in what way is the promotional material from their website "relevant to their notability?" Dlabtot 17:33, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
It was Arkolochori who made that assertion, so I'll let him answer it. I'm not entirely sure what it means. As far as whether the ASF is notable enough to warrant a Wikipedia article, I have no opinion on that. Maybe there is a case for deletion. I was just responding to a RFC and trying to help resolve what appeared to be a deadlocked dispute. --Marvin Diode 20:41, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, that's the lynchpin of the idea that their website is an appropriate source. If you don't agree that their website is relevant to their notability, how do you justify using it as the primary source for this article? Dlabtot 21:11, 24 September 2007 (UTC)


I am the anon who removed the advert tag... sorry about that, I forgot to log in. Anyway, I have attempted to edit the text to make it less like an ad. It is not perfect, but I think it may be time for the tag to come off. Rjm656s 19:48, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

The reason the advert tag was put in place was because this article in this form is primarily based on the Foundation's own website, in explicit violation of WP:SELFPUB. I've been asking on this page how this is justified, but I've yet to receive a response. Dlabtot 20:34, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

RFC comment[edit]

I saw the RFC. Is there still an issue here? Eiler7 18:36, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, if you read this discussion page, you will see that the issue is the same as it was originally. The article is primarily based on self-serving material from the Foundation's own website in violation of WP:SELFPUB. I've asked why this material meets the criteria listed in WP:SELFPUB that would justify it's inclusion, but I have not received any response. Without an ongoing discussion, I don't see how any consensus has been reached. I've made changes to the article; the article was reverted to pretty much the form it was in in the first place, and when I asked why, the conversation ended. I'm pretty new to wikipedia and I still don't quite how this consensus process works. But I'm pretty sure there has to be some discussion of the issue involved. This is definitely a notable organization, imho, and there are plenty of secondary sources that deal primarily with the subject of the Adam Smith Foundation to base the article upon entirely, or at least primarily. Dlabtot 00:07, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
The consensus process functions in a fairly simple fashion. One person makes a change. If it is accepted, the article is not modifed by others. If not, the change is reverted. If the person who initially made the change still thinks the change is important, discussion can procede on the talk page.
To get the ball rolling again, I would suggest you post a diff representing the changes you would like to make and ask if anyone would object to you making them. I will try to comment (if you like).
After that, If you come up with a version that no one has voiced an objection to, I would suggest you go ahead and make the changes, including text like "making changes - see talk page for discussion".
If the changes are rolled back and the person refuses to discuss on the talk page, then it gets more complicated. An admin may need to warn the person to engage constructively in discussion. Eiler7 21:41, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
I did go ahead and make some changes. Dlabtot 21:55, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

.St. Louis Post-Dispatch Political Fix[edit]

I've placed a notice on the Reliable Sources noticeboard. Dlabtot (talk) 16:27, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

It is a conservative organization, according to the sources.[edit]

I don't have time to deal with this right now, but we have to write the article based on what the sources say. According to the sources, it is a conservative organization. (As well as in reality, lol.) More later. Dlabtot (talk) 22:15, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

To elaborate, if there were some dispute as to whether it was a conservative organization, we would report that. There is no such dispute. If the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch were a questionable source, we'd have to specifically attribute their reporting. Likewise if Jo Mannies were some random blogger. But that is not the case. Dlabtot (talk) 02:15, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Please do not make false edit summary. If a source mentions a label as part of a description, that's (probably) OK; but to go around looking for labels that sources have used in order to insert them into articles without explanation or context is a highly unconstructive thing to do, I think. Wikipedia has a policy on this, See WP:LABEL. --Defender of torch (Defender of torch) 02:46, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
No one has engaged in the bad faith behavior that you describe, so your accusation is irrelevant to the conversation, as well a major breach of policy. Do you have any on-topic comments to make? You could start by actually responding to my comment above. Dlabtot (talk) 02:50, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I've read WP:LABEL and it doesn't say anything to support your position. I think it is time for dispute resolution. I'm asking for a third opinion. Dlabtot (talk) 02:55, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

It is not "sources" as you claim, it is a single source which is a blog entry. Per Wikipedia:Attribution, "the most reliable sources are books and journals published by universities; mainstream newspapers; and university level textbooks, magazines and journals that are published by known publishing houses". The source you used does not belong to most reliable source. A poor source should not be used without attribution in the lead sentence, the label used in the blog is the opinion of a columnist, it should be used as opinion, not as fact. Do you have any real argument to refute my claim that your edit violates WP:LABEL? --Defender of torch (talk) 03:04, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

You are welcome to find and add more sources to the article. Instead what you did when you got here was delete one. : No need for me to repeat things I've already said, but of course, I disagree with your characterization of the source. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch certainly does qualify as a high-level reliable source -- didn't we just go through this at the reliable sources noticeboard? You've already repeatedly accused me of bad faith - which makes me disinclined to engage in a pointless argument with you. I think it is clear that the two of us are not going to come to agreement here, so I've asked for a third opinion. Dlabtot (talk) 03:12, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Why you don't answer to my question? You are repeating your argument "find and add more sources to the article". The question is about the source used in the article. St. Louis Post-Dispatch is certainly RS, but the blog of St. Louis Post-Dispatch is a poor source. Let others decide about it. PS I never accused of bad faith, I just said what is going on in the article. --Defender of torch (talk) 03:25, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
to go around looking for labels that sources have used in order to insert them into articles - that certainly would be bad faith editing for someone to do that. Please stop making this entirely baseless accusation. Dlabtot (talk) 03:59, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Points of dispute:

  1. The source used to support the claim that Adam Smith Foundation is conservative is a blog entry by Jo Mannies in the blog of St. Louis Post-Dispatch. There is no doubt St. Louis Post-Dispatch is a reliable source, but it is the blog of St. Louis Post-Dispatch used in the article. It provides little or no editorial oversight. The label used in this blog entry is the personal opinion of the blogger, thus if used in the article, it should be used as an opinion, not as a fact.
  2. Per Wikipedia:Attribution, "the most reliable sources are books and journals published by universities; mainstream newspapers; and university level textbooks, magazines and journals that are published by known publishing houses". Since the source is not among the best reliable source, it should be attributed.
  3. Per Wikipedia:Words_to_avoid#Words_that_label, labels like the one used, should be attributed to reliable sources, "replace the label with information; or use a more neutral term". This would be a lot more relevant if we were discussing a substantive analysis. But the whole point I'm making is that we're discussing an uninformative label. And there is policy which at least discourages such labelling, Wikipedia:Words_to_avoid#Words_that_label.
  4. Use of a self-published source (I believe this falls under such category) in the lead sentence to support the political orientation of an organization is a poor editing practice. I think such a self-published opinion piece (the material may not be subject to any form of fact-checking, legal scrutiny, or peer review) if used, should be used in the body of the article as opinion, not as a fact in the lead sentence to support a questionable labelling. --Defender of torch (talk) 03:25, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Searchtool-80%.png Response to third opinion request:
Hi. I'm no expert on this organization, have never edited this article, and am just here to help.—Work permit (talk) 04:34, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

User:Defender of torch makes a good point, that the source is a blog, which does not undergo editorial review and so is a weak source. From reading the entry, it looks like Jo Mannies just reworded and quoted a press release from the foundation. So normally it should, at least, be attributed. I disagree that conservative is a word to avoid like terrorist. As a side note, American Enterprise Institute is labeled as such. I would normally say we should find a more reliable source for the label. Unfortunately there is no reliable source that does so. In fact, there doesn't appear to be a truly reliable source that says anything about this organization. Since the blog entry agrees with the foundations stated principles I'd support calling this advocacy group "conservative", with attribution. I would not support using the term fiscal conservative, since neither the blog nor the website supports it. Alternatively, we could just put this article up for wp:afd. --Work permit (talk) 04:34, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Hi Work permit, thanks for your comment. We know in case of widespread recognition, we should not use any reference. We don't need a reference for the claim that water is colorless. American Enterprise Institute is widely recognized as a conservative think tank, but the case of AEE and Adam Smith Foundation were not the same. Anyway, I did not notice the foundations stated principles. Thanks for providing the link. I am now ok with the label conservative since the organization itself self-identifies as conservative. PS, do you think this article meets the criteria of WP:ORG? It is an obscure group, and I never heard its name before I discovered it in wikipedia. --Defender of torch (talk) 05:04, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
It's hard to say, since I don't have access to many of the sources cited in the article. From the sources I do have access to, I'd say not. There doesn't appear to be significant coverage of the organization itself. I couldn't (Find sources: "Adam Smith Foundation" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference) on my own. The only notable coverage is that they ran ads against the Missouri Plan. I'd argue you could fold the information in this page a sentance or two in the Missouri Plan article --Work permit (talk) 14:30, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Work permit, "is a blog, which does not undergo editorial review" is not an accurate characterization. Could you please comment on this discussion? Dlabtot (talk) 05:15, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Mainstream newspapers have a process of editorial oversight that includes fact-checking. One or more individuals other than the writer review the article to ensure that events occurred as reported, quotes are accurate, etc. That's my impression of why mainstream newspapers are considered reliable. My impression is that a reporters blog does not undergo editorial review. Am I mistaken? Does an editor review Jo Mannies blog entries before or after she enters them?--Work permit (talk) 14:30, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, you're mistaken.
The guideline at Wikipedia:Identifying_reliable_sources states: Some newspapers host interactive columns that they call blogs, and these may be acceptable as sources so long as the writers are professional journalists or are professionals in the field on which they write and the blog is subject to the newspaper's full editorial control.
The biography of the author of this particular blog states: Jo Mannies is a political columnist and blogger for the Post-Dispatch, where she had been the chief political writer until she stepped down as a full-time staffer in November 2008.
The blog in question appears on the Website of the Post-Dispatch. Dlabtot (talk) 15:58, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I think you misunderstood my statement. My impression is that her newspaper articles have more editorial oversight then her blog entries. And in general mainstream newspaper articles have more oversight then blog entries by their reporters. Is that not the case?--Work permit (talk) 19:54, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

I'm ok saying they're conservative without attribution. If we were labeling them a terrorist organization, I think we'd want stronger references.--Work permit (talk) 15:29, 26 February 2010 (UTC)


How long has redirected to Did the ASF forget to pay the bill? :P MutantPlatypus (talk) 11:14, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

fixed--Work permit (talk) 20:23, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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