Talk:Internet

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Former featured article candidateInternet is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
In the newsOn this day...Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive Article milestones
DateProcessResult
September 12, 2001Featured article candidateNot promoted
June 2, 2008Peer reviewNot reviewed
September 5, 2009Peer reviewReviewed
In the news A news item involving this article was featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "In the news" column on January 23, 2009.
On this day... A fact from this article was featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on January 1, 2005.
Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive This article was on the Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive for the week of May 16, 2007.
Current status: Former featured article candidate

important info missing in history section on resistance to the Internet[edit]

https://www.internethalloffame.org//blog/2015/11/12/untold-internet-internet-osi-standards-wars --Espoo (talk) 15:15, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

You have a legitimate point. Unfortunately, the OSI v. Internet battle is of interest only to historians of technology. The few people with the knowledge, ability, and interest to draft an intelligent, properly sourced treatment of that issue are too busy working on their Ph.Ds. I have the knowledge and ability but not the interest. I have over a dozen more interesting topics to work on that have been backed up on average for five years, like product liability. --Coolcaesar (talk) 19:38, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
There is now an article covering the Internet-OSI Standards War at Protocol Wars. Whizz40 (talk) 13:13, 19 May 2020 (UTC)

Capitalization of the word Internet[edit]

– Related discussion: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Capitalization of Internet. ItsPugle (please use {{reply|ItsPugle}}) 11:17, 25 August 2020 (UTC)

It seems this article has inadvertently taken a bias in a very heated debate. I'm requesting the beginning of the article be edited to reflect this. "The Internet (portmanteau of interconnected network) or internet [citation to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalization_of_Internet] is the global..."

 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.184.55.7 (talk) 14:32, 6 July 2019 (UTC) 

According to Capitalization of Internet and its source, The Chicago Manual of Style has removed the capitalisation of the word internet. This contradicts this article, which has a source from an earlier date (a few years prior.) It also seems that there are more entities which do not capitalise the word rather than do, so this is worth considering in whether this article should be changed to use it as a regular noun.

Daveoh (talk) 19:24, 19 May 2020 (UTC)

For reasons cited in Capitalization of Internet, there is a strong community of users who differentiate between the capitalized "Internet" (the one, global, public network of networks) and a lowercase "internet" (an interconnected set of networks, that could be public or private) in the same way that we capitalize "Earth" for the one planet we live on but use "earth" for the dirt we dig up. Granted, for the other reasons cited in that article, major style guides have moved to use the lowercase version. A suggestion might be that this article start with text such as "The Internet (or internet) is the global.." with a link on "internet" over to the Capitalization of Internet article for people who want to learn more. - Dyork (talk) 22:18, 19 May 2020 (UTC)
Dyork, I think we should lowercase internet per WP:MOSCAPS, which says only words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in a substantial majority of independent, reliable sources are capitalized in Wikipedia. Numerous (possibly most?) mainstream reliable sources now lowercase "internet", even when referring to the global network (which is what people mean by "internet" in 99.9999% of cases). Popcornfud (talk) 16:47, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
@Popcornfud: I'm sorry, but I'm gonna disagree here, for a few reasons. I agree with Dyork (above) that there is a difference in what we in my field (networking) commonly call "the public Internet" (proper noun), and what many of us support in businesses and other organizations, "a private internet" (common noun). So, no, I don't think it should be lowercased.
Since we also know that 74.35% of statistics are made up on the spot ;-), I really need to see a good source for your claim that "99.9999% of cases" use lowercase. I wanted to check it at googlefight.com, but the site seems to be case-insensitive. Rats! — UncleBubba T @ C ) 00:01, 25 August 2020 (UTC)
UncleBubba, that difference is not respected by a majority sources in capitalisation, so I don't think we should either, as per the WP:MOSCAPS guideline.
I did indeed make up my 99.whatever percentage on the spot. What I meant was the word internet overwhelmingly refers to the concept of a global network and not, for example, a private closed network. I would have thought that goes without saying; if you took a random sampling of thousands of contemporary mainstream sources that use the word I wager you'd struggle to find one that meant it in any other sense.
On rereading, I think there's been a misunderstanding. I said that people overwhelmingly mean "internet" to refer to the global network, not that they overwhelmingly lowercase it. There are still plenty of mainstream reliable sources that uppercase it - but not a substantial majority, which is why I think we should lowercase it per the policy. Popcornfud (talk) 00:20, 25 August 2020 (UTC)

I have a very strong preference for lowercasing as per as per MOS:CAPS. Regardless of the technicalities (which the average reader would not know nor care about), there's a general trend to reduce the capitalisation in reliable sources anyways: New York Times, The Verge, Associated Press (the AP's guide is as authoritative as you get). To quote The Verge perfectly, "with the AP now defecting in this fever-pitched grammatical battle, there will likely only be a few holdouts left carrying the banner of 'the Internet.'" - let's not be one of those holdouts, especially when existing policy is to use the capitalisation as determined by the majority of reliable sources. ItsPugle (please use {{reply|ItsPugle}}) 06:36, 25 August 2020 (UTC)

Also see: Chicago Style and Monash University - both use lowercase internet in all circumstances. ItsPugle (please use {{reply|ItsPugle}}) 11:05, 25 August 2020 (UTC)
@ItsPugle: I understand your point, but I personally have a very strong preference for uppercasing the word "Internet" as I mentioned earlier in this section. Just as we uppercase "Earth" when writing about the planet, but lowercase "earth" when writing about dirt, I believe we should uppercase "Internet" when talking about the global, public Internet. I think this has heightened importance as we enter into a phase when some countries are looking to carve out their own national "internet" (and some countries such as China have already done so). We could be heading toward a "splinternet" where there are multiple different "internets", that are then connected to the remaining global public "Internet". For that reason, as well as what I wrote above, I would prefer keeping it capitalized. - Dyork (talk) 00:32, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
@Dyork: Again, I think it's just unnecessary technicality that a normal reader wouldn't care about. Reliable sources follow style guides like the AP (pretty much every reputable media organisation), Chicago or Monash, so therefore we do. And with your analogy about Earth vs earth, everyone in the west learns about the difference in upper primary (grade 4-ish) astronomy, whereas the history of the internet and wireless communication is a non-foundational niche. Anyways, regionally limited internets becoming prominent enough in the real world to influence Wikipedia's MOS is a tad crystal ball-ish. ItsPugle (please ping on reply) 06:04, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
Dyork, I understand your logic here. It's perhaps similar to the difference between the White House and white houses, or (in the UK) the Queen and queens.
However, I don't think it really applies in this case, for reasons ItsPugle gave. Unlike Earth/earth, the difference in capitalising is not consistently reflected in sources, so fails MOS:CAPS. Additionally, unlike Earth/earth/, which is a widely understood distinction, I believe that very few people and sources are referring to anything other than a global internet when they say "internet". I also agree with ItsPugle that your speculation about the future state of global networks isn't really the stuff we should base our style on. Popcornfud (talk) 11:33, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
@ItsPugle: and @Popcornfud: - Sigh... your logic also makes great sense from a publishing point of view, both in what you write here and also in greater detail below. Maybe I need to do a search for more RSs that capitalize Internet ;-) , although I suspect that unfortunately for me those numbers are dwindling. - Dyork (talk) 02:19, 27 August 2020 (UTC)
Since it seems to be le style du jour, I'll say I have a very strong preference for uppercasing proper nouns, and lowercasing common ones, because saying "the Internet" tells the reader that we're talking about the global network, and not something else. While discussing some edits somewhere along the line, a long-time editor whom I respect said "Wikipedia doesn't lead; it follows", and I've remembered that because it makes a lot of sense. Perhaps the time will come wherein we decide to treat every "internet" as a common noun, but I don't think it's today. — UncleBubba T @ C ) 11:54, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
"Wikipedia doesn't lead; it follows": Well, if we want Wikipedia to follow common use, the answer is lowercase internet. It's what most major style guides do now, as discussed above. Wikipedia is an exception at this point. Popcornfud (talk) 12:07, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
common use[citation required]
All kidding aside, I do not believe "common use" applies, and when someone uses adjectives like "common", "most", or "majority", the first thing many people do is ask for proof. (Counting "The Verge", above, isn't correct; being a leading-edge tech site, they've always lowercased "internet". The linked article is reporting on the change in the AP Style Guide.) The tide may be turning, but I do not see evidence of "an overwhelming majority", nor do I see the proper noun/common noun distinction Dyork made as valueless. What about Dyork's suggestion? Doing that would start the process, and would make this feel more like a collaborative effort. — UncleBubba T @ C ) 15:37, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
The Verge's article literally says right after the first paragraph, Many newspapers and websites — including this one — base their style guides on the AP. The Verge has never capitalized internet, however. (As per our internal style guide: "internet, definitely not Internet."). Surely as the leading-edge tech site you've explained The Verge to be, that's a perfect point of evidence that internet should be lowercase. They directly say how the AP's guides are foundational and that most websites use them, and that The Verge themselves use lowercase i. ItsPugle (please ping on reply) 01:57, 27 August 2020 (UTC)

OK, to get the process started (and trying not do anything rash while we're discussing it), I've implemented Dyork's suggestion in the mainspace article. I believe it is non-controversial; if I erred in that assessment, I apologize. — UncleBubba T @ C ) 15:48, 26 August 2020 (UTC)

OK, I think there are a few points here. Let's separate out which ones we mean when we’re talking about "overwhelming majorities" and so on.
  • 1: WP:MOSCAPS says: Only words and phrases that are ‘’consistently capitalized in a substantial majority of independent, reliable sources’’ are capitalized in Wikipedia. It’s clear that this is not the case with internet. ItsPugle compiled some examples of RSs that don’t capitalise internet, but in the interests of comprehensiveness, here they are again: New York Times, The Verge, Associated Press. "Internet", uppercase, clearly fails the MOSCAPS test, so we'd need a very good reason to make an exception here.
  • 2: To what extent does the distinction between internet (single, global) and internets (plural, separate) matter here? I think this distinction is very rarely recognised in common use, and that most people use the word "internet" only in the global sense. Of course it’s hard to prove this, but I think you'd have a harder time proving the opposite, and frankly I think anyone who really believes the opposite is not being honest with themselves. I work in tech and, no lie, I cannot recall a single time I have ever heard someone use "internet" to mean anything other than the big one we're connected to right now.
Nonetheless, here's a citation from Wired, 2015: "Most people (other than techies) are not aware of any internets other than the Internet—that distinction is no longer relevant in ordinary usage."And here's one from the New York Times, 2016: "The term internet (short for internetwork) described any linked network of computers, so the capital 'I' served to distinguish the global network from other internets — a pointless distinction now, since 'internet' is rarely used anymore in the generic sense."
  • 3: Even if there is a distinction between internet and internets, why should that matter if RSs don’t consistently reflect that in their capitalisation? We're back at WP:MOSCAPS. We write uppercase Earth and lowercase earth because that's overwhelmingly what sources do. That is not the case with internet. To quote that wise editor again, "Wikipedia doesn't lead; it follows."
For what it’s worth, I think that discussing the concepts of internet global vs internets separate, and that some sources prefer to capitalise based on this distinction, would be totally appropriate content for the internet article - we have the sources for it. It's just not what we should do ourselves. Popcornfud (talk) 17:12, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
Preach. We can absolutely have stuff like The internet, sometimes capitalised as the Internet, is the.... Internet § Terminology also already exists, although in rather desperate need of an update with current style guides and common use. It could also be worth joining forces with some other editors looking at possibly merging Capitalization of Internet into this article (per the ongoing deletion discussion). ItsPugle (please ping on reply) 01:57, 27 August 2020 (UTC)
I agree with this point on including some text in this article (regardless of the capitalization outcome), as the word "Internet" was capitalized for 40+ years, from its first usage in 1974 until the AP and Chicago MOS changed their style guides in 2016. And, as noted in Capitalization of Internet, there are technical organizations that continue to capitalize Internet, and will continue to do so regardless of any common style guides (such as the IETF, that creates standards for the Internet). - Dyork (talk) 02:31, 27 August 2020 (UTC)
I've WP:BOLDly rewritten the Terminology section, which I think it was out of date. It now incorporates the numerous reliable sources describing the move to lowercase in recent years. It now feels a bit strange to have a Wikipedia article explain that major publications no longer capitalise internet... but which still capitalises it in that very sentence. Nonetheless I've left it for now as per WP:STATUSQUO.
Let's see if that rewrite (thank you!) creates any issues, and if not, I don't see any reason why we can't start using lowercase internet in the article. ItsPugle (please ping on reply) 02:43, 30 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Lowercase is the only choice consistent with WP's style guidance, since outside sources are mixed on this. Dicklyon (talk) 03:43, 30 August 2020 (UTC)

OK, it's been a few days. I'm giving everyone one last chance to protest... after which I'm gonna change to lowercase. Any thoughts? Objections? Popcornfud (talk) 16:50, 1 September 2020 (UTC)

  • Uppercase. Changing to lower case ? NO. I strongly object. The IETF and many technical sources have used used proper noun format for decades and usually still do. Even recent non-technical books have. kbrose (talk) 16:57, 1 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Leave it as-is No. Please don't. A good suggestion was made and implemented. Wait a while. I know this may be stuck in your craw right now, but "it's been a few days" != "consensus", which is the way things are supposed to work here. The MOS sections you're quoting are not as clear cut as you're representing them to be, and then we get back to that ol' pesky proper noun vs. common noun business... And if you change it, someone is going to change it back, and I don't think we need to go there. — UncleBubba T @ C ) 18:21, 1 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase / do not change - I'm still in the "leave it uppercase" camp for all the reasons I've cited previously on this talk page related to the proper noun form (i.e. "Earth" vs "earth", "Moon" vs "moon"). When we talk about the global, public Internet I still believe it should be capitalized versus an internetworked set of networks ("internet"). - Dyork (talk) 01:23, 2 September 2020 (UTC)

I think it's time for an RFC, in that case. I can see this attracting a fair amount of attention. Popcornfud (talk) 19:02, 1 September 2020 (UTC)

Yes, I could see this particular one getting some passionate attention. :-) - Dyork (talk) 01:23, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Leave it as-is There's still a useful differentiation betw. lower and upper case Internet/internet and the distinction (still) matters. Jessamyn (talk) 00:37, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
Jessamyn, you might want to move this comment to the RfC below instead. Popcornfud (talk) 09:38, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. Jessamyn (talk) 15:36, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase Since it is most commonly used as a proper noun, with many people calling it "the Internet", it should be uppercase. Only few proper nouns are capitalized, such as "eBay", however even Wikipedia states it should be capitalized if it's at the beginning of a sentence (forget the exact article name, sorry). — Preceding unsigned comment added by JMVR1 (talkcontribs) 02:13, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

Request for comment: should "internet" be capitalized as a proper noun?[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
No clear consensus was reached to change the capitalization. 12 people want to change to lowercase ("internet"), 19 people wish to retain the current uppercase ("Internet"), and one person was neutral in his/her opinion. Thanks to everyone who took time to participate! — UncleBubba T @ C ) 01:49, 21 November 2020 (UTC)

Should we keep capitalizing the word "internet" as a proper noun (Internet) in running prose? Popcornfud (talk) 17:26, 6 September 2020 (UTC)

Pinging another previously involved editor, kbrose, as previous ping didn't work. Popcornfud (talk) 09:40, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

Pinging another editor involved in previous discussion: Daveoh. Popcornfud (talk) 22:18, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

@Popcornfud: - it might also make sense to ping some of the editors who were involved in the discussion about the potential deletion (AfD) of the Capitalization of the Internet page, such as @AleatoryPonderings:, @Alvestrand:, @Station1:, @SD0001:, @Dicklyon:, and @Tercer:. Perhaps some of them may want to weigh in on this RfC - Dyork (talk) 00:58, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Lowercase. Reason #1: WP:MOSCAPS says: Only words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in a substantial majority of independent, reliable sources are capitalized in Wikipedia. This has not been the case with "internet" for several years. Sources: New York Times, the Verge, Associated Press.
Reason #2: The distinction between the global internet and smaller internets is now rarely recognised. Sources: WiredNew York Times. We write Earth and earth because this distinction is present in the majority of sources; this isn't the case with Internet and internet. Popcornfud (talk) 17:26, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
  • The problem, of course, is that this is just a guideline, and your interpretation of it here conflicts with a policy. The lower-casing of the Internet as the internet is primarily a news-journalism style quirk, and WP:NOT#NEWS policy is very clear: "Wikipedia is not written in news style." I.e., where news style conflicts with more precise writing, MOS:CAPS basically is forbidden to include it as part of the frequency analysis. Second, no, we do not write "earth" and "Earth" in different contexts because the majority of sources draw the distinction (it simply is not true that they do; "earth" predominates). We write "Earth" in a specifically astronomical context because the distinction is important in that context. This is the exact same kind of case. The average journalist and news reader has no idea what "an internet" is (and is certainly in no position to lecture on the matter; NYT simply isn't a reliable source on computer jargon, especially when its reason for attempting to turn pundit on this is to defend a change in its own internal house style). But Wikipedia does know what an internet is and that it is not synonymous with the Internet, which is a proper name whether newswriters understand that or not. They are different topics, so this is not a style matter, it's a factual matter. By way of direct comparison, Internet Protocol (in reference to the primary protocol that the Internet, most internets, and most local-area networks operate on) is also a proper name, while "an Internet protocol", in reference to any protocol used by the Internet, such as UDP, is not a proper-noun phrase (proper name), but is not the same subject. Whether you or news publications you like understand the difference is irrelevant; the difference objectively exists. Whether you'd like to take the lower-case style that belongs on one topic and apply it to the other or vice versa is irrelevant; it remains, and remains only, a demonstrable error. PS: Wired is not a reliable source on style matters, either. Their own attempt at a style guide (Wired Style: Principles of English Usage in the Digital Age – self-serving promotionalism of their own in-house writing style, just as with NYT's widely ignored The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage) was excoriated by professional writers and reviewers (even after revision), sold very poorly even when it was recent, and the project was abandoned over 20 years ago (1999).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  14:09, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Lowercase – since sources and guides are about equally split on this, the guidance of MOS:CAPS to avoid unnecessary capitalization should be followed. The cap-I Internet is a great thing, but as the internet it's no less great. Dicklyon (talk) 19:35, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Lowercase as per the discussion above above. Despite how technical evidence such as W3C RfCs etc capitalise internet (which themselves are user-generated content and therefore not reliable), we're an encyclopedia for the everyday. Anyways, I actually think that the majority of reliable sources would instead use lowercase as per The New York Times' style guide, The Associated Press', The Verge's, Chicago Style, and Monash. ItsPugle (please ping on reply) 23:09, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
    And don't forget the Guardian, BBC, the Telegraph and Reuters! In fact I've yet to find an online news source with a publicly accessible style guide that uses uppercase, and I've been looking. Popcornfud (talk) 23:19, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Lowercase: Usage has changed. Wikipedia should follow. It's surprisingly hard to define exactly what a proper noun is around the edges, so we follow other sources and most sources are now using lowercase. SchreiberBike | ⌨  23:29, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase (do not change) - I'm still in the "leave it uppercase" camp for all the reasons I've cited previously on this talk page related to the proper noun form (i.e. "Earth" vs "earth", "Moon" vs "moon"). When we talk about the global, public Internet I still believe it should be capitalized versus an internetworked set of networks ("internet"). (See also long discussion on Talk:Capitalization_of_Internet.) - Dyork (talk) 00:33, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Leave it as-is There's still a useful differentiation betw. lower and upper case Internet/internet and the distinction (still) matters. Jessamyn (talk) 00:37, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase (for proper-noun use) – As I've stated before, I believe there is value in differentiating the proper-noun Internet. Immediately before the MOS:CAPS excerpt cited above is the phrase "In English, capitalization is primarily needed for proper names...". The article linked in that MOS sentence says:

    A proper noun is a noun that identifies a single entity and is used to refer to that entity, such as London, Jupiter, Sarah, or Microsoft, as distinguished from a common noun, which is a noun that refers to a class of entities (city, planet, person, corporation) and may be used when referring to instances of a specific class (a city, another planet, these persons, our corporation).

    In the same way that "World Wide Web" ("commonly known as the Web", per the article) is used to refer to the global hypertext-based information system, "the Internet" refers to a single global entity, and I believe it should be capitalized, since it is being used as a proper noun. I would also point out that Wikipedia's aversion to capitalization, while a perfectly valid stylistic choice, is not shared universally. The sources cited above are accurate, but I don't see nearly enough evidence that they constitute "a majority" of reliable sources. This particular question is a tough one to answer, too, since what's really needed is some case-sensitive statistics, and search engines are, by and large, annoyingly case-insensitive. — UncleBubba T @ C ) 20:09, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
    UncleBubba, might I suggest you look at the guidelines again? You write: I don't see nearly enough evidence that they constitute "a majority" of reliable sources, but MOS:CAPS requires that a majority of sources do capitalize the word for us to follow suit, not that a majority of sources don't. In other words, unless a substantial majority of sources capitalize internet, we shouldn't either. Popcornfud (talk) 20:14, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
    UncleBubba I've struggled with the definition of a proper noun and I think internet fits into the same category as ground, atmosphere or environment. Following our definition "A proper noun is a noun that identifies a single entity and is used to refer to that entity", it seems like those things could be proper nouns, but obviously we never capitalize them. SchreiberBike | ⌨  20:24, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
    I'm sorry, but I disagree. Proper nouns have a pretty specific definition. You can bury Cousin Joe in the cold, hard earth, but the Earth orbits the Sun. — UncleBubba T @ C ) 22:47, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
    The point is that "internet" was once a proper noun and now isn't, as evidenced by sources above. Telephone and Television were both also once proper nouns and capped accordingly... and now ain't. Popcornfud (talk) 20:28, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
    As evidenced by the sources above, the sources above no longer treat it as such, but they are, by far, not the only ones. The term "proper noun" has a specific definition, and by the fact that there can be many internets (I help maintain one), but only one "global Internet" attests to that fact. And I've looked at the guidelines again, and they say the same thing they said when I looked at them the first time. ;-) But seriously, this is a request for comments, and I've commented. — UncleBubba T @ C ) 22:47, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Lowercase - Per the OP, there is an increasing tendency for it to be lowercased as evidenced in the style guides etc cited. There is also evidence of this n-gram also showing this trend (noting that n-gram searches do not distinguish usage in prose from headings and captions etc and consequently give an inflated result for capitalisation). A proper noun referes to a single entity but not necessarily a unique entity (there are many "Will Smith"s), as opposed to a class of entities and a common noun may also refer to specific instance through the definite article. The distinction has more nuance than the simplistic arguments being made that capitalisation of a common noun ipso facto makes it a proper noun (and that it is capitalised because it refers to something specific but also takes the definite article). The MOS resolves this by looking to the sources and the evidence indicates that "internet" no longer meets the threshold of being consistently capitalised. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 23:28, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase - per Uncle Bubba but also Vint Cerf: The editors at AP fail to understand history and technology,” Cerf told Politico on Wednesday (June 1). His beef is that there has always been a line between the public internet and a private internet that has no connection to the outside world, although it shares the same TCP/IP protocols. This, he warns, is simply daft. “By lowercasing you create confusion between the two and that’s a mistake,” he wrote.[1]. The Internet is the global network, the capital I distinguishes it from other networks of more limited reach. Wwwhatsup (talk) 06:28, 8 September 2020 (UTC)
    A distinction that is now so far out of common use almost no one knows about it. Popcornfud (talk) 08:46, 8 September 2020 (UTC)
@Popcornfud: Hey, this is a Request for Comments. That means that a question is posed and interested users comment on it. It is not very WP:CIVIL for you to argue with nearly every one with which you don't agree (e.g. "now so far out of common use almost no one knows about it", "might I suggest you look at the guidelines again"). Please don't do that. People's opinions are valid, even if they differ from yours. — UncleBubba T @ C ) 23:01, 8 September 2020 (UTC)
Vint is a friend of mine and I respect his opinion and his experience. On the other hand, he's not a Wikipedian and is not expected to interpret how MOS:CAPS applies to this situation. We don't need to assess the extent to which caps distinguish different uses of the term; rather, we need to assess the extent to which sources treat this as a proper noun when referring to the global capped Internet. They mostly don't, and it's not our job to lead in that direction. Dicklyon (talk) 03:58, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Neutral - To search for lower vs. upper case, consider Google's n-gram viewer. Of course, it has its issues: it only covers books; it is a few years behind; one would need to do some footwork to omit sentence-initial uses. Still, it could be informative. Kdammers (talk) 09:49, 8 September 2020 (UTC)
I have done the n-gram search already (see above). Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 23:19, 8 September 2020 (UTC)
PS: The Quarts article of 2016 quoted above in defence of upper case is even more interesting. It gives the data collected by the Oxford dictionary and basically reviews the matter of capitalising "internet" and as at 2016, it was close to 50:50. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 23:36, 8 September 2020 (UTC)
Just as a comment with Google Ngrams, it might not be that useful since it doesn't give context. We don't know which internet sources are talking about. ItsPugle (please ping on reply) 11:35, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase - per User:UncleBubba and User:Wwwhatsup. --Coolcaesar (talk) 11:51, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Lowercase. People used to capitalize "telephone" and "phonograph" when they were new. Internet is no different, and given how many style guides now support de-capitalizing it, I don't see why we shouldn't. JOEBRO64 13:09, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
That is either a flat lie or convenient ignorance. None of the telecommunication literature of the first 100 years of telephone technology use a proper noun for the telephone, only in advertising specific telephone models are the names properly capitalized. And I don't think that is all that different for the audio and radio industry. kbrose (talk) 21:04, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
  • lowercase. As discussed at Capitalization of Internet, the main style guides switched from upper to lower a few years ago. We should follow (and move articles to conform to the change, as needed). UnitedStatesian (talk) 06:30, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase - per Vint Cerf. Alvestrand (talk) 08:33, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase - not only has it been the standard for decades, but for a good reason. The industry still uses the common noun internet in many technical discussion of internetworking technology. So does Wikipedia. Many articles rely on the distinction between an internet and the Internet. In articles, such as internet protocol suite it is distinguished that the technology discussed refers to any internet, not just the Internet, and the internet layer is the layer that facilitates internetworking. It is not called that because it forms just the Internet. Now, I prefer that those terms should be used as proper nouns as well, because they are the proper names for what they stand for, and should always be capitalized to avoid confusion, but the lower-case-zealots of WP have managed to wipe that out against better-knowledgeable technical editors, and we had to revert many of these mistakes for protocol names. This should not not also be extended to the Internet, because many articles depend on or benefit from the distinction. Surely, it may not make much difference for the masses reading a newspaper, but technical literature such as an encyclopedia should be more accurate, just like WP still capitalizes Moon for the satellite of Earth. What general language style guides prefer is simply irrelevant here. Notable book publishers, such as Simon and Schuster and Random House, on the NYT Best Sellers List still have capitalized Internet, as recently as in the last few months, even weeks. kbrose (talk) 21:04, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
Please be a bit more civil when talking about other editors, and be careful not to assume ownership of an article because of your technical abilities. Also, Wikipedia is for the everyday, not for technical audiences (I'd be somewhat concerned if a backend engineer was using WP to find out what the internet is). Also, the Random House style guide (as part of Bloomsbury) has used lowercase internet since 2016. ItsPugle (please ping on reply) 00:44, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
  • lowercase this is the correct form because although there used to be multiple Internets, now these are very rare and called by other names. The internet is no longer a proper name, and should therefore be lowercase. --Investigatory (talk) 10:59, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Lowercase “Internet” and “internet” are now synonymous. There is no longer a need to differentiate between the two. Networking professionals now use many different terms to describe interconnected computer networks of various scales such as local-area and wide-area networks; I personally haven’t read or heard anyone refer to “an internet” in well over a decade. CThomas3 (talk) 17:54, 26 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase when commonly used as a proper noun. There are uses for the lowercase instance, but they are specialized. Elizium23 (talk) 22:03, 27 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase It's a proper noun... ~ HAL333 03:09, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase per UncleBubba et al - Proper noun. No different to World Wide Web. –Davey2010Talk 20:15, 5 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Upper case, obviously. The fact that various news publishers do not understand this is a proper name is irrelevant. WP knows better, and is not written in news style as a matter of clear formal policy. Lower-case "internet" is a word, but it is a different word. "An internet" is synonymous with "a wide-area network" (i.e., any network-of-networks, using any protocols). The Internet is the singular global WAN operating over TCP/IP and related protocols. We've had this discussion many, many, many times before and the answer never changes, because reality has not changed. PS: If you do a Google Scholar search on "the Internet", you find that capitalized usage dominates (even in journals that are not about computer science or telecommunications). Journals use a register of English much, much closer to encyclopedic writing than news writing. PPS: Lower-casing this also has implications for other topics, e.g. Internet of Things, which is also taken to be a proper name, but which would then need to be rendered "internet of things", despite that not even being the majority using in newswriting. It's more important for WP to follow consistent naming principles (that's why WP:AT is a policy not a guideline or essay) than to ape any particular offline publisher or set of publishers (e.g. American newspapers, which are not even internally consistent, giving "internet" then "Internet of Things" despite the latter being a subset of the former).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  13:50, 26 October 2020 (UTC); expanded 16:03, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    SMcCandlish, I am surprised that you have bigged up the WP:NICKNAMETHE policy at the discussion on wrestling names and yet disregard WP:MOSCAPS here. We can't have a policy that says only to uppercase terms that are "consistently capitalized in a substantial majority of independent, reliable sources" and then ignore it when we simply disagree with those sources.
    And this is the Associated Press we're talking about, not some bunch of halfwits who don't know what computers are. The sources cited above show that AP et al understand the logic behind the capitalisation and the historic distinction between types of internet. Language usage changes, and this is a well documented example of it. Popcornfud (talk) 13:59, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    I don't know what "bigged up" means. Anyway, see my more detailed post above. The problem here is that LC fans are engaging in two fallacies simultaneously: they do not understand that this involves a policy, which by definition has more weight than a guideline (and I note that you incorrectly refer to MOS:NICKNAMETHE as a "policy" when it is a guideline). That policy, WP:NOT#NEWS, forces us to discount news-style writing when it conflicts with more precise English. That is, the MoS analysis of what the vast majority of sources are doing with regard to capitalization of something can only take into account sources that are actually permissible for that analysis. (Similarly, we also ignore blogs and forums, because they are not valid sources at all, while here a news style guide simply isn't reliable as a style source when it comes to how to write in a completely different register of English). Second, they are confusing two different topics (the Internet, and an internet), trying to say that a style good for one is good for the other. It's not much different from saying that Chicago Bears should be moved to "Chicago bears" because "bear" is usually lower-case. Next, no one said AP Stylebook was written by "halfwits". It's simply a news-style guide for news-style writing, and has nothing to tell us whatsoever about encyclopedic writing, especially about technical topics where precision matters in an encyclopedia, but generally does not in newswriting, the central goal of which is expediency (both in production and consumption), not precision, clarity, or accuracy.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  14:19, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    "Big up" just means "vouch for" or "speak up for", etc. :-) Popcornfud (talk) 14:32, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    Ah so! I'm apparently deficient in my absorption of Jamaicanisms.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  15:56, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase This is not a deeply technical article about the workings of the technology (the most is the IP transport layer section and even then that's very lightweight relative to the details). Thus this should be considered an article for a general purpose audience, and to that end, we should judge the styling based on mainstream sources over academic ones, which here appears to use capital I Internet. The terminology section should explain the lowercase form. On a more technical article such as discussing the details of IPv4, then that's where a lowercase version may be more appropriate. --Masem (t) 14:45, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    I'm a bit confused by this. The sources above show that material written for a general (non-academic) audiences tend to use lowercase, not uppercase. Have you got this the right way round? Popcornfud (talk) 14:54, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    Its basically the argument kbrose puts. There are multiple "internets" that any of the technical details like IPv4 would be appropriate to discussion using lower-case terminology, but this article is framed around "the" capital-I Internet, the one that most of the public and media talk about all the time. Now, whether media style guides conflict on that, that is a fair question but I feel that most still favor the capitalized version, and this also works in favor to distinguish the global instance of one internet, compared to the general principle of any internet. --Masem (t) 16:43, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Lowercase. As Dicklyon aptly pointed out above, style guides are split on this, so we should default to lowercase per MOS:CAPS. Most of the opposition to the move seems to be based upon original research. You can't call it a proper noun, for example, when a vast majority of independent, reliable sources do not. Also, because one user has been canvassing with non-neutral messages explicitly mentioning WP:NOTNEWS [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] I should point out that NOTNEWS does not actually say anything about using journalistic style guides to shape our decisions. News organizations are in fact reliable sources per WP:RS. -- Calidum 15:10, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    My notices are studiously neutral. This "canvassing" complaint is about the same as: 'I want to move HIV/AIDS to "HIV/Aids" because lots of journalists like to write it as "Aids" and pretend it's not an acronym; some of them even specify this spelling in their style guides. However, I don't want my preference in this regard or my "follow news style" rationale for it to be examined by anyone with a medical, scientific, or linguistic background. So if you neutrally notify WPP Medicine, WPP AIDS, WPP Microbiology, WPP Viruses, WPP English Language, or MoS talk, I'm going to accuse you of canvassing.' 👎  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:45, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    What do you think about people who pretend laser is not an acronym? You're placing too much value on specialist perspectives for what is a completely everyday word. Popcornfud (talk) 23:08, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    As the primary author of WP:Specialized-style fallacy, I beg to differ. There are contexts in which specialized terminology or orthography matters and is appropriate, namely when it does not conflict with the expectations of the average reader and thereby confuse them, when it is not near-impenetrable jargon, and when it is a more precise and accurate usage. This is one of the reasons we have so many medical and other scientific targets at precise terminology that isn't what's most common in newspaper (e.g. influenza and myocardial infarction instead of "flu" and "heart attack"). The most obvious case, of course, is about 90% of what's in MOS:NUM. It adheres closely to various international standards for unit symbols, date formats, spacing of measures from units, etc., etc. Very little of it bears any resemblance to the random mishmash of styles advocated by various journalistic style guides. Anyway, there are no competent readers of English who are not familiar with the fact that "the Internet" is often capitalized. There is no confusion potential in that. But there is confusion potential in lower-casing it and failing to distinguish between the Internet as a singular proper name, and internets as common noun. As for laser, scuba, radar, and similar terms, they have been re-assimilated into English as words; most people do not even realize they are (or originated as) acronyms. So they are not comparable cases. When every single dictionary of English gives them in those lower-case spellings, and few ever mention forms like LASER other than as obsolete or in etymology, then the lower-case forms are a norm, and no one is pretending or advocating anything. But I challenge you to find any reputable dictionary that does not give both "Internet" and "internet" as valid forms for the Internet. While you're looking for one, how much would you like to wager that you'll find some some of the larger ones drawing the distinction, and giving internet as a count noun referring to internetworks/WANs generally?  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:30, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
    I'm a little concerned about the canvassing too. Editors of articles about computing are more likely to be sensitive about the distinction between types of internet. The point is that the distinction is now so rarely recognised as to be unimportant, at least when writing for a general audience. Popcornfud (talk) 15:20, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    These are all pockets of editors who are apt to be concerned about this topic and the outcome of this, and who are likely to have an informed opinion. The notices were neutral. So, see the definition of WP:CANVASSING, and note also that notifying relevant wikiprojects of RfCs is standard operating procedure. I also notified WPP Linguistics, WPP English (who may have input on the proper-vs.-common-noun question, and other usage matters), and two relevant MoS pages (one topically pertinent, and one apt to be affected by the outcome, since many of its line items do not follow "norms" from news style guides). As for NOTNEWS "does not actually say anything about using journalistic style guides": It cannot be clearer that WP is not written in news style. Obviously the source of news style is news style guides. No one and nothing is forbidding you from considering such style guides in helping formulate a decision, but the fact that this policy exists and says what it does is central to this discussion, and is a fact that many participants here have clearly been in the dark about. (That's not a fault of theirs, of course; WP is awash in policies and guidelines, and no one can memorize all of them. But in this specific discussion, that specific policy matters.)  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  15:53, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase for reasons already stated. If this makes readers wonder why we distinguish between the Internet and an internet, we are advancing our mission to inform and educate. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 16:53, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase Google n-grams was mentioned above, and it clearly shows <Internet> as about 80% more common than <internet> as of 2019. <internet> is in fact becoming more common over time, but we have no way of knowing whether the trend will continue, and WP does not predict the future. If and when <internet> becomes more common, we can switch. This is different from the case of <the web> vs. <the Web>, where lowercase became more common in 2013. compare Internet:internet, the Internet:the internet, the Web:the web. --Macrakis (talk) 21:13, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    Though that's another case to examine, along most of the same lines as raised here, because the Web is a proper name for a singular system, while web in lower-case (and web- as an LC combining form, as in website and webserver) refers more generically to technologies that are also used for intranets, including ones totally firewalled from the Web and the Internet. As with Internet/internet, the Web/web split is a distinction that both can be observed in careful and topically educated writing, and which has been written about by off-site sources. If sources that rely on AP Stylebook and other news style guides could be eliminated from n-grams, it is not clear that the web would in fact be more common (though just web would be). The adjective web (e.g. "web browser") is almost always lower-case, and has been since the late 1990s. There's very little that can have that adjective that cannot apply to http, HTML, etc. on intranets as well as on the Web. An arguable exception is "Web hosting company/provider", and you'll find that capitalized more often than "webserver" or "web browser", because plenty of people understand the difference.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:48, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase Just as we distinguish between the moons of Saturn and the Moon that revolves around the Earth, and between (hypothetical) multiple parallel universes and the Universe, we should distinguish between multiple internets and the Internet. Dondervogel 2 (talk) 21:49, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase when doing formal training in this topic we were taught to use the Internet as upper case. But use as an adjective, eg internet protocol can be lower case. Use with lower case i is rare, and would be talking about a private network. This would be where academic and formal use by experts is "I". But ignorant people (probably including journalists) use "i". Graeme Bartlett (talk) 07:55, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase - Editors of technical articles here don't seem have trouble distinguishing the Internet from a private internet or internet-related thingy. ~Kvng (talk) 12:46, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Uppercase per MOS:CAPS and WP:PROPERNAME, when used as a proper noun. I believe (per discussion above) that "substantial majority" of reliable sources use capitalisation. (Summoned by bot) Politrukki (talk) 14:19, 8 November 2020 (UTC)

At what point do we conclude this RfC? This RfC has now been open for over two months. By my count, the number of editors who have clearly expressed an opinion above are:

  • 10 to change to using *lowercase* "internet"
  • 19 to continue current practice of using *uppercase* "Internet"
  • 1 neutral

That would suggest to me to continue the current practice of capitalizing "Internet" in text.

Are we ready to conclude this RfC? - Dyork (talk) 20:34, 12 November 2020 (UTC)

There's clearly no consensus to move to lowercase any time soon, so closing the RfC looks sane to me. Looks like Wikipedia will remain the last major online resource to use uppercase, to our embarrassment. Popcornfud (talk) 20:47, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Lowercase per NYT and the other RSes listed above, and the clear ngrams trend [11]. Lev¡vich 06:01, 16 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Lowercase, per Levivich, OP and others. I think that using uppercase is swimming against the tide. Laterthanyouthink (talk) 05:06, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Semi-protected edit request on 28 August 2019[edit]

It should say "In fact, you are using the internet right now." CarelessCrasher (talk) 17:45, 28 August 2019 (UTC)

 Not done: See MOS:NOTE and MOS:YOU. ‑‑ElHef (Meep?) 17:56, 28 August 2019 (UTC)

why — Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.81.239.86 (talk) 09:11, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

Using second-person pronouns ("you") isn't encyclopaedic language, and would be an issue if someone was to publish a printout of this article. ItsPugle (please use {{reply|ItsPugle}} when replying) 04:24, 26 August 2020 (UTC)

"Enterprise networks" listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]

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An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect Enterprise networks. Please participate in the redirect discussion if you wish to do so. signed, Rosguill talk 20:02, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

wikification[edit]

"The Internet is a global network that comprises many voluntarily interconnected autonomous networks" put in "autonomous networks" link to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_system_(Internet) . In the beginning "(portmanteau of interconnected network)" put https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Border_Gateway_Protocol to the word interconnected and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_system_(Internet) to "network" 2A00:1370:812C:5D73:4493:5501:BB24:D2E6 (talk) 23:05, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

"Intternnett" listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]

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A discussion is taking place to address the redirect Intternnett. The discussion will occur at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2020 May 1#Intternnett until a consensus is reached, and readers of this page are welcome to contribute to the discussion. TheAwesomeHwyh 02:22, 1 May 2020 (UTC)

"Net culture" listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]

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A discussion is taking place to address the redirect Net culture. The discussion will occur at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2020 May 6#Net culture until a consensus is reached, and readers of this page are welcome to contribute to the discussion. TheAwesomeHwyh 15:21, 6 May 2020 (UTC)

"Net cultures" listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]

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A discussion is taking place to address the redirect Net cultures. The discussion will occur at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2020 May 6#Net cultures until a consensus is reached, and readers of this page are welcome to contribute to the discussion. TheAwesomeHwyh 15:21, 6 May 2020 (UTC)

Cybercrime section[edit]

Do you support the creation of a section or subsection on cybercrime? User:Wikipedianuhai

@Wikipedianuhai: - Interesting idea. What exactly would you see in such a subsection? I think the challenge with calling a section "Cybercrime" is that it is an enormous area - and what constitutes a "crime" varies widely depending upon the country and jurisdiction. What would you suggest would be in this section? - Dyork (talk) 15:55, 10 May 2020 (UTC)
@Dyork: - Readers may be interested in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime's interpretation of cybercrime. It would be useful to state that these transnational crimes, including cybersex trafficking, have surged with the proliferation of internet users and mobile phones with internet access in the twenty-first century. - User:Wikipedianuhai
@Wikipedianuhai: I don't think we need an entire section about cybercrime, but it could be worth including in the Internet § See also section? ItsPugle (please ping on reply) 02:42, 30 August 2020 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 May 2020[edit]

In the "History" section, after: Early international collaborations for the ARPANET were rare. Connections were made in 1973 to the Norwegian Seismic Array (NORSAR) via a satellite station in Tanum, Sweden, and to Peter Kirstein's research group at University College London which provided a gateway to British academic networks.[23][24] add: In addition at least one connection to a commercial computer services bureau (SIA Ltd, who operated a CDC 6600 supercomputer in London, England) was made so that the company could market its services overseas.

NOTE to Wikipedia editor: I can guarantee the accuracy of this addition I was the guy who wrote the assembler code to do it! HarrisMan99 (talk) 15:03, 13 May 2020 (UTC)

Not done. Please provide a reliable source that supports this addition. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 15:56, 13 May 2020 (UTC)

Addition to Further reading[edit]

the following good book on the history of the Internet and the story of the scientists behind its creation should be added to "Further reading": Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon, Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1996, ISBN 0-684-87216-1

Semi-protected edit request on 23 May 2020[edit]

I'd like to remove these sentences:

"VoIP has also become increasingly popular for gaming applications, as a form of communication between players. Popular VoIP clients for gaming include Ventrilo and Teamspeak. Modern video game consoles also offer VoIP chat features." BthompsonHV 19:09, 23 May 2020 (UTC)
@BthompsonHV: - Why do you want to remove these sentences? They seem to make sense to me, as they help explain more about communication. (They are, however, unsourced.) - Dyork (talk) 00:57, 24 May 2020 (UTC)
@Dyork: The sentences don't fit with the context of the rest of the paragraph. It just adds unnecessary clutter and doesn't add any clarity for the reader. VoIP isn't used only in gaming. It's used very broadly now, so that statement is pretty irrelevant these days with the likes of Zoom, Discord, Google Voice etc.
@BthompsonHV: - Thanks for the explanation, and in looking at the paragraph more, I do see what you mean. - Dyork (talk) 02:05, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
The entire section has been cleanup up a bit. Kbrose (talk) 01:53, 24 May 2020 (UTC)
@Kbrose: - Thanks for cleaning that up. Looks better now! - Dyork (talk) 02:05, 25 May 2020 (UTC)

Capitalisation[edit]

I can understand why the saga above was eventually closed, but it seems to me to be yet another example of US-centric decision-making. Pretty much all of the rest of the world doesn't capitalise, and everyone understands what it means, and why the World Wide Web is different and a proper noun. In my professional life, WAN was always used in preference to "an internet", from at least 10 years ago and probably 15. And having just googled my way through a variety of sources, I still think it's the wrong decision to capitalise. I suggest raising it again in 2021, taking steps to ensure that enough non-US-based editors participate in the discussion. Laterthanyouthink (talk) 04:31, 21 November 2020 (UTC)

Laterthanyouthink, perhaps you are saying then that this should not be a monolithic single style, but rather a WP:ENGVAR issue, where in American English we capitalize most times, but in e.g. British English or Indian English we would not. Elizium23 (talk) 04:49, 21 November 2020 (UTC)
Hmmm, that's a thought, Elizium23 - but that would have to be discussed and consensus reached, either way. Laterthanyouthink (talk) 04:57, 21 November 2020 (UTC)

Missing citations[edit]

WildStar has added a {{RefImprove}} tag to the top of the article justified by 5 open inline {{Citation needed}} notes in the article. I personally don't think the issues are serious enough to merit double-tagging but if there is consensus that they are, we need to also consider demoting the article to C-class. ~Kvng (talk) 18:53, 1 December 2020 (UTC)

Kvng - I found a reference for one of the citations needed (although I'm now trying to find a better one). I don't have cycles today, but I will try another day to see if I can find some for the others. - Dyork (talk) 01:39, 2 December 2020 (UTC)
I agree that the tag is not in any way appropriate for an article that has well over a hundred refs. GliderMaven (talk) 01:51, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
Agree the tag is unwarranted. As per Wikipedia:Responsible tagging#Additional references needed tag (refimprove):

The talk page ought to give some kind of idea as to what additional references would be helpful. For example, "It would be nice to use references from journals other than the Petorian Journal of Medicine." If you have the time, you should also flag with citation needed tags one or two statements not supported by the references already in the article.

No major unresolved issues have been tagged in the article or raised on Talk regarding inaccurate or controversial claims in the article. Whizz40 (talk) 07:25, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
Here is your major unresolved issue: this article contains dozens or possibly hundreds of uncited claims. The fact that only five of them have been tagged inline with CN tags doesn't change that.
The Governance, Infrastructure, ISP, Applications and services, and Social impact sections have numerous paragraphs that are completely uncited. I'm talking thousands of words here that are missing citations. It's very bad. Popcornfud (talk) 13:30, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
Then tag those sections; and ONLY those sections!!! GliderMaven (talk) 21:08, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
If you want to remove the top tag and individually put tags on all the problem sections missing citations I don't oppose that. Popcornfud (talk) 21:20, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
It feels more C-class. The overwhelming majority of the numerous classifications are C class. I dropped the business ratings to C class, and the wiki software has now deemed it C-class. I am opposed to C-class articles with over a hundred and fifty refs having a top note. GliderMaven (talk) 21:07, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
The problem is the *quantity* of missing references, not the *ratio*.
You could have an article with 300 references but 50 uncited claims and it would not make the number of uncited claims less problematic or less deserving of attention. It would also not make the statement "This article needs additional citations for verification" any less true.
The tag should stay until these citations are provided or the uncited claims are removed. That's what the tag is supposed to be for. Popcornfud (talk) 21:19, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
That's ridiculous. Are we supposed to add top tags to virtually all C-class articles, because that's by far the most common defect??? Who died and made you think you are in charge of the article anyway? GliderMaven (talk) 03:29, 5 December 2020 (UTC)
Which argument are you making here exactly? Are you pointing out that WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS? Are you accusing me of WP:OWNing this article? Or are you, as you suggested your edit summary when posting that reply, arguing that the tags are counter-effective generally (in which case your argument isn't with me but with whether we use tags at all)? Popcornfud (talk) 04:16, 5 December 2020 (UTC)

The article can certainly be improved by adding more inline references, we all seem to agree on that. As mentioned above, some sections are already well-referenced, while others are not; the latter is clearly the focus of this discussion. As discussed by GilderMaven and Popcornfund above, there seems to be consensus to tag the problem sections rather than the top of the article. There is not consensus for a tag at the top of the article given much of the article is well-referenced and it is a C-class article. Let's remove the tag from the top of the article, tag the relevant sections and sentences, and add inline sources to the article. Whizz40 (talk) 19:23, 6 December 2020 (UTC)

I'm fine with that solution, just so long as the numerous uncited claims remain tagged one way or another. Popcornfud (talk) 12:52, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
Popcornfud, it's a bit of a crazy position that says all article defects should be tagged. The goal is to fix defects and it is not clear that detailed tagging contributes to that goal. Have some faith that editors are able to identify defects. It is potentially disruptive and confrontational to splatter an article with obvious tags. ~Kvng (talk) 15:11, 10 December 2020 (UTC)
It's not about "faith in editors". Tags aren't simply there to indicate to editors where stuff is missing. They're also there for readers - to show them when they need to use caution when reading an article. This is a classic use case for these tags and I don't think it's disruptive to vouch for their use. Popcornfud (talk) 16:26, 10 December 2020 (UTC)
Popcornfud, can you point us to some policy or essay describing this "classic use case". It makes some sense but it's new to me. ~Kvng (talk) 20:32, 10 December 2020 (UTC)
I think I was confusing there. By "this is a classic use case" I mean this article is a classic use case for citation needed tags - it has dozens and dozens of uncited claims, entire sections that are not cited, etc. Hence my bafflement over why people want to remove it. The article is far less hindered by the tags than it is its glaring lack of citations. Popcornfud (talk) 20:50, 10 December 2020 (UTC)
Also, to add, there are so many missing citations in this article I think it's better to just have the big "missing citations" tag at the top rather than tag everything in the article. I am not necessarily saying "all article defects should be tagged", only saying that if people would rather that than remove the top tag, well, that sounds like the hard way to do it to me but sure... Popcornfud (talk) 20:52, 10 December 2020 (UTC)
Popcornfud, I think retreating to C-class was a good move based on the description in this discussion of referencing issues. I will have to look at the issues myself to assess whether I think a tag at the top of the article is warranted - that look will have to wait a few days. It sounds now like you never actually supported adding a bunch of tags to the body of the article and therefore don't want to pursue a case that this would benefit readers. ~Kvng (talk) 21:01, 10 December 2020 (UTC)
I'm a bit confused by this. "It sounds now like you never actually supported adding a bunch of tags to the body of the article"? No, I said (three times) that if someone wants to do that instead of removing the big tag at the top then I won't oppose it. I said this in response to another editor telling me "Then tag those sections; and ONLY those sections!!!" But imo the big tag we have right now is a better catch-all solution. Popcornfud (talk) 21:34, 10 December 2020 (UTC)
I've had a chance to review Popcornfud's complaints about citations. Internet § Governance is a WP:SUMMARY of Internet governance. The Internet § Service tiers subsection in Internet § Infrastructure is uncited but I don't see a WP:V problem here because the section links to some well-developed articles that contain the missing citations. The refs are available if you follow some links and look around. This is an ongoing disagreement I have with Popcornfud. I don't see an urgency to copy refs from linked articles to support a summary in the article it is linked from. I do see some need for improvement in Internet § Social impact that I would expect to be flagged if someone were to take this to WP:GA. I think it is in an acceptable condition for a C or maybe even B-class article. ~Kvng (talk) 17:46, 11 December 2020 (UTC)
Do summaries of other articles not still require citations? "The refs are available if you follow some links and look around" doesn't sound good enough to me. We cite claims in articles. Popcornfud (talk) 18:00, 11 December 2020 (UTC)
OK, I just spent some time making a good-faith attempt to try to copy the citations Knvg says (I think? am I interpreting this correctly?) are in the internet governance article to the Internet § Governance section. I thought I would try to set an example instead of just complaining about missing citations. I failed.
Many (all?) of the claims in the Internet § Governance section are basically copied from the internet government article. That’s a promising start, because if basically the same claims are made in both articles, the process of copying and pasting references should be straightforward. But - heavy sigh - those claims are not cited in the internet governance article either. It might be possible to find references for those in ‘’other’’ parts of the article - for example, there are sentences that mention the IETF which have references - but that requires editorial work to figure out if those references also cover the same information.
Let’s try the other example by verifying the very first claim made in this section: "Internet service providers (ISPs) establish the worldwide connectivity between individual networks at various levels of scope." How can I, as a reader, verify this? Let’s try going to the internet service providers page. I'm looking for the same claim (ideally identical), with a reference. The best I can find, after scanning it for a few minutes (are we asking readers to do more than that?), is this sentence: “An ISP typically serves as the access point or the gateway that provides a user, access to everything available on the Internet.” Is that the same claim? Eh... kind of? Maybe not. How does the "various levels of scope" come into it?
This clearly isn’t workable for a reader who is attempting to verify a claim on Wikipedia. Popcornfud (talk) 17:49, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
Popcornfud, Thanks for looking into this in detail. Clearly, there is work to be done. We've demoted the article to C-class. Is there anything else you think needs to be done before improvements are made? ~Kvng (talk) 19:25, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
The only thing to do is to make improvements... by which I mean someone needs to get citin'. Popcornfud (talk) 20:47, 13 December 2020 (UTC)