Talk:Jacy Reese Anthis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Social scientist" or "researcher"[edit]

There have now been multiple edits to the lede of the article regarding these two terms and their applicability to Reese. He has been referred to as both (See Google News searches). In my opinion, "social scientist" is just a more specific version of the latter, and thus is a better descriptor of Reese's work. He is unambiguously someone who does scientific research into social issues. I do not believe this is WP:PEACOCK (per @AlasdairEdits:) because it is not a promotional term any more than calling someone who does chemistry a chemist is promotional or calling someone who does journalism a journalist.

I am open to including the term in the body, per AlasdairEdits, and will add it in if that is the overall preferred course of action. (talk) 15:58, 8 April 2019 (UTC)

After looking up some definitions for social scientist (just type it into Google), I agree with the user above, and given the radio silence, have reverted that edit, though if anyone disagrees, I am happy to discuss here. Bodole (talk) 13:05, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Birth name, previous names, and education[edit]

I made two small edits to this page on 23rd of March: I added Jacy's origional name, 'Anthis', to the lead, and completed his educational background - he did his undergraduate at Brown University. I thought this was pretty standard information to include, and in accordance with policies like MOS:MULTINAMES:

"In some cases, subjects have had their full names changed at some point after birth. In these cases the birth name should be given in the lead as well."

However, these edits were removed by Utsill, citing "BLP, VER and NOTNEWS". I'm not sure how these are relevant.

Looking at WP:BLPPRIVACY, which seems to be the most relevant part of BLP, it advises caution about including dates of birth, addresses and so on, but does not say that someone's name or education should be removed. Elsewhere in BLP it suggests omitting the names of non-notable people peripherally involved in an event, but that does not apply if they are notable enough to get their own page! Indeed, looking at other biographical pages, including birth names and educations seems very common.

I found the reference to VER slightly confusing. It's true that I didn't add a source for his going to Brown, because that isn't how I've seen other userboxes work, but it's relatively easy to find one - for example here. But what makes this very strange is that Utsill was the one to add The University of Texas at Austin to the userbox here, without supplying a citation.

Finally, I also don't understand the reference to NOTNEWS, as neither Reese's original name, nor his alma mater, are news. Both have standard background information, and to the extent they refer to events, it is to events (birth and matriculation) that happened years ago.

I don't want an edit war, so will leave it a few days, but as far as I can see both items are uncontroversial information that should be included. MoonStarDolphin (talk) 02:09, 26 March 2019 (UTC)

My two cents.. The issue here seems to be citations, there don't appear to be any RS that say the subject's birth name is Anthis or that he attended Brown University. The Brown Daily Herald citation refers to a Jacy, which granted is a very uncommon name, but it is not verifiable that it refers to the subject of this Wikipedia article. It is also a student news publication, not a Reliable Source unfortunately. He appears to have graduated from University of Texas at Austin LinkedIn and does not mention any education at Brown University. BLP suggests a strict requirement for verifiable information, and there have been other issues on this page of including tabloid speculation, hence NOTNEWS and OR concerns. But I would argue that if you can find an RS, you can add this information. (talk) 22:20, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
Hi, what's your basis for claiming that The Brown Daily is not a reliable source? Student newspapers are cited routinely on Wikipedia. See e.g. the Google results for The Daily Princetonian. Pablo Stafforini (talk) 16:13, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
Hello, I did not say that student newspapers cannot be cited on WP, only that they are not Reliable Sources, meaning that they for example could not establish the notability of a potential WP entry or be the basis for a contestable claim about a BLP because of the policy of, I quote, "Be very firm about the use of high-quality sources". My understanding is that this is common sense across the WP landscape but I am not certain and I know of no explicit WP policy statement regarding whether student newspapers are RS. Nonetheless the point is moot because the student newspaper article does not actually justify the material claims in this particular case. (talk) 23:30, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I may be missing some of the relevant context here, but I frankly don't see why the claims in question are considered contestable. Is anyone here actually denying that Jacy attended Brown university or that his last name, prior to the name change, is 'Anthis'? (Incidentally, I am certain that at least the latter is true: Jacy used to post on Facebook and many other blogs as 'Jacy Anthis' until about 4 years ago, and he published a few documents, including one on the effectiveness of confrontational tactics in the animal advocacy movement, under that name.) Pablo Stafforini (talk) 23:48, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
Count me as one who contests both of those assertions. This is Wikipedia and therefore we need to rely on publicly available, verifiable information, especially in a BLP article. Your personal experience is unfortunately not in that category. (talk) 15:44, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
It's not personal experience; there is plenty of publicly available information that you can find if you are just willing to make the effort. I pointed to some in my previous post, but if you really insist that I do all the work for you, here are two archived versions of the ACE post announcing the publication of Jacy's article: one credits 'Jacy Anthis', and the other one credits 'Jacy Reese'. Concerning Brown, in your reply you quote from the BLP article that one should "be very firm about the use of high-quality sources", but you never justify your assertion that student newspapers aren't high-quality sources. In fact, student newspapers are routinely cited as sources for claims concerning a person's education. I must say I find this entire discussion rather bizarre: I've been editing Wikipedia for over 10 years but never before has someone contested factual claims that are so demonstrably and uncontroversially true. Pablo Stafforini (talk) 23:10, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
It seems that you are trying very hard to stretch WP policy to try to get these claims included, which is unfortunate. I worry that this has something to do with your personal involvement in the topic - you work at the Centre for Effective Altruism. Regardless, the web pages you cite do not validate the claims at hand, even if we take the leap to ignore the nature of the sources (blogs and student publications which do not constitute verifiable, reliable sources for dubious claims in a BLP, even if they are citations for some other types of claims on WP - I already discussed this above). The evidence is still circumstantial at best. The author name of a blog post changing from Anthis to Reese coul not possibly back up the claim that Anthis is the author's birth name. On WP, a citation for birth name is always a reliable source like the NYT with some explicit statement of the fact such as "Bob Johnson, who was born Bob Smith" most commonly in the instances of transgender individuals. until we have such evidence available, then using the evidence we do have in the the manner you put forth would constitute at best WP:OR or WP:SYNTH and at worst WP:LIBEL given the sensitive nature of a WP:BLP article and the uncertainty as to its validity. Perhaps this quote from SYNTH will make the problem with your archived web pages clear, "Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources." I hope you will consider your personal involvement in this issue and follow established WP policy. (talk) 23:56, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
I was traveling and took a break from Wikipedia. No, I don't work for the Centre for Effective Altruism and have no hidden agenda or conflicts of interest. Please assume good faith and refrain from engaging in speculation about my motives. Pablo Stafforini (talk) 12:11, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
I believe this issue can be partially resolved by changing Education in the infobox to Alma mater, which is common in BIO articles and specifies that it is the graduating institution, whereas Eduation could be interpreted as including non-graduating institutions of higher learning. (talk) 15:47, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
His 2015 talk at Effective Altruism Global San Francisco uses his birth name: I've added this to the page as a source. Jeff (talk) 11:15, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
The topic is discussed at length above. A different name on one video does not make that name a birth name, and this is particularly important given that this is a WP:BLP. "Biographies of living persons ("BLPs") must be written conservatively and with regard for the subject's privacy. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a tabloid: it is not Wikipedia's job to be sensationalist, or to be the primary vehicle for the spread of titillating claims about people's lives; the possibility of harm to living subjects must always be considered when exercising editorial judgment. This policy applies to any living person mentioned in a BLP, whether or not that person is the subject of the article, and to material about living persons in other articles and on other pages, including talk pages. The burden of evidence rests with the editor who adds or restores the material." Bodole (talk) 23:15, 25 October 2019 (UTC)

-- I feel very concerned about (1) this existence of this whole Wikipedia page, and (2) the fact that Jacy's original name and school keep getting removed from it. I am not very tech savvy so please apologize if I'm doing this wrong. I am a member of the public who recently stumbled upon this Wikipedia page. I was startled to see that Jacy had a Wikipedia page at all. Usually Wikipedia pages are for people who are famous, and Jacy is not. But I was even more startled to see that neither Jacy's original name nor his original school appeared on the Wikipedia page about him. That's pretty strange. To me, it seemed like the Wikipedia page was a puff piece designed either to promote Jacy's career, to drown out information about Jacy's past which might otherwise appear when anyone tries to research Jacy online, or both. (I know that the main recommendation given to anyone who wants to stop negative information from appearing about them on Google is to fill up Google with positive or neutral information. But Wikipedia shouldn't be in the business of helping anyone drown anything out. Wikipedia should be used to convey useful information.) So I attempted to add in the noncontroversial, accurate information that was weirdly missing from this page (that is, Jacy's original name and where he went to school.) The reasons that are being given for rejecting these changes don't make sense to me. I understand that Jacy may prefer to reinvent himself and may feel that information about his original name or school will lead people to find other statements about his past that he doesn't want them to find. And I understand that Wikipedia isn't a place for discussing scandalous claims. But it's also not Wikipedia's job to help someone erase their past. I am extremely concerned that my recent changes were reverted by a user called Bodole, who seems to dedicate a great deal of his time to editing the Jacy Reese Wikipedia page, and other Wikipedia pages related to Jacy (the Sentience Media page and the End of Factory Farming page). I don't think Wikipedia should be used to promote a person. And I definitely don't think Wikipedia should be used to affirmatively hide information. Simply NOT having this Wikipedia page exist at all would make it easier for people to get the full picture than having this page exist in its current form. I'm very new to Wikipedia and don't know what do about this or how to properly convey this issue to the right people. I'm just hoping someone smarter than me will take pity on me and explain what we are supposed to do about a situation like this. Lockedinthebox (talk) 07:32, 14 January 2020 (UTC) Lockedinthebox

I feel that a different standard is being used for information that Jacy wants public than is being used for information he doesn't want public. For instance, his old name keeps getting removed without a great reason. But the name of his partner, Kelly, is listed in the information box on the right without a citation at all. His birth date and the pronunciation for his name which have been added also lack any citations. In fact, the entire first two sentences, "Jacy Reese (/ˈdʒeɪsiː ˈriːs/); born December 16, 1992) is a writer, researcher, and co-founder of Sentience Institute. He previously worked as a Senior Fellow at Sentience Politics, and before that at Animal Charity Evaluators as chair of the board of directors and then as a full-time researcher," lacks any citation. I had added Jacy's birth name, with six citations to avoid any claim of the sources being insufficient. And nonetheless, it was removed. My specific citations weren't addressed, but rather, I was given a general reference to the explanation in the talk pages. I don't think that the birth name or reference to Brown university are being removed in good faith. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lockedinthebox (talkcontribs) 08:12, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Hey Lockedinthebox, thank you for making a comment on the Talk page. It is best to discuss things here when two users disagree, rather than reverting edits on the page back-and-forth. You might be interested in the WP:BRD for an explanation of this cycle: one person makes an edit, then most of the time it is unchallenged, but if it is, the other person should revert it, then the discussion should move to a talk page. This is particularly important on pages about human beings, see WP:BLP, where there is a strict standard for added in information because of the sensitivity of discussing real human beings with real human lives. I will try to go through each of your points and respond. As follows.
  • "I was startled to see that Jacy had a Wikipedia page at all. Usually Wikipedia pages are for people who are famous, and Jacy is not."
Wikipedia has specific standards for who should get pages. The standards are laid out at WP:Notability, with more specific criteria for people laid out at WP:BIO. You can read that page for all the details, but the main idea is, "People are presumed notable if they have received significant coverage in multiple published secondary sources that are reliable, intellectually independent of each other, and independent of the subject." I think you will agree that Jacy Reese meets this standard.
  • "To me, it seemed like the Wikipedia page was a puff piece designed either to promote Jacy's career, to drown out information about Jacy's past which might otherwise appear when anyone tries to research Jacy online, or both."
I am not sure how to respond to this other than to say simply that Wikipedia pages are made based on notability criteria. Whether that is good or bad for the person in question is irrelevant. So if you want to get this page removed, it will have to be on grounds of notability, not on the effects (or lack of effects) on Reese's career.
  • "I am extremely concerned that my recent changes were reverted by a user called Bodole, who seems to dedicate a great deal of his time to editing the Jacy Reese Wikipedia page, and other Wikipedia pages related to Jacy (the Sentience Media page and the End of Factory Farming page)."
This has come up before. The short story is that I started editing Wikipedia to contribute to topics I know about, and then got focused on this particular topic for a variety of reasons, and now think it's one place I can help a lot. It's common for users to focus on a few pages they know well, because editing takes time, especially on a challenging topic, and I don't have that much time to spend editing.
  • "I'm just hoping someone smarter than me will take pity on me and explain what we are supposed to do about a situation like this."
I am doing my best to explain. If you don't believe I am editing in good faith, then perhaps you will find some use in the links and quotes of WP policy that I provide. There is also a Teahouse WP:TH where new editors can ask questions. You might find someone you like better in there.
  • "For instance, his old name keeps getting removed without a great reason. But the name of his partner, Kelly, is listed in the information box on the right without a citation at all. His birth date and the pronunciation for his name which have been added also lack any citations. In fact, the entire first two sentences, "Jacy Reese (/ˈdʒeɪsiː ˈriːs/); born December 16, 1992) is a writer, researcher, and co-founder of Sentience Institute. He previously worked as a Senior Fellow at Sentience Politics, and before that at Animal Charity Evaluators as chair of the board of directors and then as a full-time researcher," lacks any citation."
There are maybe three things going on here. First, Wikipedia takes work, and a lot of information that is uncited or less cited than it could be in the future is added at first, then ideally the world of users comes together to fill in the blanks and make a high quality page. Second, citations are important when people contest information on the page. You contest the pronounciation of his name, so I added a citation for it. That is a healthy type of back-and-forth, though it would be nicer if you did it via a [citation needed] tag rather than deleting the information immediately. However, if you think content in a BLP is libelous, injurious, vandalism, or otherwise meriting an immediate deletion, that can be okay. Third, the beginning of a WP article (the MOS:LEDE) has special rules regarding citations. The relevant sentence is, "Because the lead will usually repeat information that is in the body, editors should balance the desire to avoid redundant citations in the lead with the desire to aid readers in locating sources for challengeable material." This doesn't mean there should never be citations, but there are usually fewer.
  • "I had added Jacy's birth name, with six citations to avoid any claim of the sources being insufficient. And nonetheless, it was removed. My specific citations weren't addressed, but rather, I was given a general reference to the explanation in the talk pages."
This talk page discusses the reason these citations are insufficient. Having went by another name (as indicated, though not necessarily proven, by those webpages) does not make that name a birth name. For all we know, Jacy Reese was born "Linda Johnson", then went by "Bob Michael", then "Jacy Anthis", then "Elfo Santa", then "Jacy Reese". This means a citation of a person that describes them with a different name is not sufficient evidence that it was their birth name. I should also add here, that if you disagree with any of the WP policy articles, you are welcome to discuss them. I myself have not ventured into that complex territory, but I know policy evolves over time and there is room for improvement.
  • "I don't think that the birth name or reference to Brown university are being removed in good faith."
I'm again sorry you feel that way. I cannot convince you of my good faith, but regardless of your intentions or my own, the page still needs to be written and edited according to WP policy, particularly BLP and WP:VAND. Bodole (talk) 12:59, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
-( This isn’t logical. I used the term “previously known as” instead of “birth name” in my most recent edit, and it was still removed. There IS solid evidence of what Jacy was previously known as. I gave six citations. No one has explained anywhere on here why none of the six were sufficient. Lockedinthebox (talk) 18:30, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
(I indented your comment slightly because it was intended as a reply to my comment. This is standard WP practice to make sure discussions are easily readable) I think "previously known as" is less egregious than "born" in the lede though again it is still not clear and does not warrant inclusion in a BLP article, particularly in the lede. The online evidence indicates that the subject's full name is probably "Jacy Reese Anthis" (see this accounting document for a lecture of his and this college honors list), in which case it is not a "previously known as," it is either going by his first name (if his first name is "Jacy Reese"), going by first and middle name (if his middle name is "Reese") or first and half his last name (if "Reese Anthis" is a double-barreled name). You might find informative the policies on WP:OR and WP:Synthesis. Wikipedia is not the place to comb through accounting documents and speculate about a birth name, previous name, or any other biographical information. It is not the place to synthesize website histories in an effort to deduce someone's personal history. It is a place to summarize and cite reliable sources such as how newspapers have referred to him or how he has referred to himself, which seems to exclusively or near exclusively be Jacy Reese. Again this is even stricter in the case of the WP:BLP which "requires a high degree of sensitivity." Bodole (talk) 22:05, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Lockedinthebox please do not continue adding this content to the page. I have explained why it is not in accord with WP policy. To quote again "We must get the article right. Be very firm about the use of high-quality sources. All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be supported by an inline citation to a reliable, published source." You are citing sources that show the names "Jacy Anthis" and Jacy Reese Anthis" but firstly that does not make it a previous name. They could just be different shortenings of Jacy Reese's full name. Secondly this is WP:OR and WP:Synthesis. Wikipedia is not the place to sort through web histories, university documents and accounting documents to deduce some information. I am uncertain how I can explain this in any clearer terms. A challenged claim in a BLP needs a reliable, published source that directly states the fact with no synthesis required. If the New York Times writes, "Jacy Reese, whose full name is Jacy Reese Anthis....", then we can add that onto the page assuming there is no disagreement among such reliable sources. But absent a reliable, published source for this statement we cannot add it onto the page.
You asked elsewhere why I am repeatedly deleting this information from the page. As this is clearly illustrated I am repeatedly deleting it because you and others are repeatedly adding it. I have explained my views on why this is the case, and unless I see WP policy refuting such arguments then I will continue to hold these views and edit accordingly. If you take issue with the WP policies I am citing then the place to make the case for your position is on the relevant policy talk pages or WP forums. Bodole (talk) 20:31, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
First, I didn't go digging--I put in a source that you shared with me in this very Talk page. (See above.) You're now saying it's not good enough even though you're the one who found and shared it? What about it isn't good enough? You have used sources from your own website,, on the Jacy Reece wikipedia page, and you have also added unsourced information to the Jacy Reese page. So how come that was good enough, but for the topic of the name Anthis, you're now saying only The New York Times would be good enough? I'm pretty sure Wikipedia's BLP policy doesn't require the source be the New York Times. I'm pretty sure sources like the Brown newspaper are sufficient. But you keep removing citations to that newspaper.. Second, are you now saying that your name is still legally Jacy Anthis (or Jacy Reese Anthis) and it has actually never been changed formally to Jacy Reese? In that case, the whole page should be titled Jacy Anthis, and Jacy Reese should be mentioned just as a nickname. I feel very frustrated because your goal seems to be keeping your previous (or maybe you're now saying, current?) name a secret--rather than to genuinely improve this article. If you disagree with the way that various users have been referring to the "Anthis" name (as a birth name, a previous name, etc.), please just write it the way you want it written. For example, if you contend that your current name is Jacy Anthis and that Jacy Reese is only a nickname, say that in the article. Or if you contend that your name has always been, and still is, Jacy Reese Anthis, but that you've sometimes gone by Jacy Reese or Jacy Anthis, say so. I can't see any reason that it's in the benefit of truth for you to simply repeatedly remove information, without correcting or clarifying it. We have a Brown University newspaper with your picture, and your name written as Jacy Anthis. That's a sufficiently reliable source for Wikipedia purposes. So I don't know legally what your name is. But I know that you have gone by the name Jacy Anthis in the public, at some point in the past, to the point where a newspaper reported that as your name. And you know that too. I feel very frustrated by all the efforts you're taking to remove truthful information from the internet. I know you are just trying to protect your reputation. I know you are scared. I care about my reputation too. I feel for you. But I also feel for the rest of us, and I want the truth to be freely available. And Wikipedia isn't supposed to be a personal website for reputation improving.Lockedinthebox (talk) 17:33, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
I do not appreciate your repeated insinuations that I am Jacy. I would ask you to please desist in any personal accusations or attacks. I am reporting these comments per WP:HARASS. Please keep in consideration that this is harassment, per WP's definition, "whether such information is accurate or not." I am not Jacy Reese and I have already stated I have no agenda on editing these pages. My responses to your substantive points are as follows:
  • "You have used sources from ..., on the Jacy Reece wikipedia page"
Sources from the subject of a BLP are considered reliable in reference to that person. If a page says "Taylor Swift said the ball was red" I can simply cite Taylor Swift saying "The ball was red." We do not need to have the NYT or another newspaper saying "Taylor Swift said the ball was red." You can read this in multiple WP policies. To quote one at WP:BLP "Never use self-published sources—including but not limited to books, zines, websites, blogs, and tweets—as sources of material about a living person, unless written or published by the subject of the article."
Regarding this and other topics on this page you are welcome to ask other WP editors. We always follow consensus so you do not have to trust my opinion. Take a look at the policy pages, ask whomever you like and hopefully we will come to agree.
  • "I'm pretty sure Wikipedia's BLP policy doesn't require the source be the New York Times. I'm pretty sure sources like the Brown newspaper are sufficient."
There is debate on the reliability of student newspapers, so that is not the best example we have available. I agree with you that it does not have to be the NYT. You could also cite another major newspaper, a peer-reviewed article or other reliable source. There is a huge mass of discussion on this topic as well as a noticeboard if you are uncertain whether any given source is reliable or not: WP:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard.
  • "But you keep removing citations to that newspaper.."
I am skeptical of the reliability of student newspapers in general but even if I were not, there is the issue that this source does not back the claim you are making. It does not state "Jacy Reese's birth name is Jacy Anthis" or "Jacy Reese's previous name is Jacy Anthis" or anything else meriting the edit you are suggesting. This is what I am saying when I reference WP:Synthesis. You cannot take a claim from even a reliable source and synthesize it into a claim in a WP article. You must state the immediate information directly as such.
  • "Second, are you now saying that [the subject] name is still legally Jacy Anthis (or Jacy Reese Anthis) and it has actually never been changed formally to Jacy Reese?"
I do not know what the subject's legal name is or was. This is not stated in reliable, published sources and therefore it is not a valid citation for a challenged claim in a BLP article.
  • "I feel very frustrated because your goal seems to be keeping [the subject] previous (or maybe you're now saying, current?) name a secret--rather than to genuinely improve this article."
I am sorry you are frustrated. I obviously am too. But I find it is much better on WP to try not to guess at the agenda or psychology of an editor, and rather to focus on WP policy and making the arguments as such. That is what matters for what this article should look like. If you have an issue with the way I am editing in general, you can always report (as you already have) to the relevant noticeboards.
  • "So I don't know legally what [the subject] name is."
This is exactly the point I am trying to make. There is a high standard for WP content, particularly in a BLP. We have a variety of sources you and I have both brought into the discussion, but none of these meet WP's standards for saying what the legal or birth name of the subject is.
  • "I feel for [the subject]. But I also feel for the rest of us, and I want the truth to be freely available. And Wikipedia isn't supposed to be a personal website for reputation improving."
I understand your point of view on this matter, but we have to follow WP policy. I have tried to explain my point of view based in policy. I might be wrong in that point of view, but to convince me or other editors you will probably need to also provide a policy-based argument, and currently it does not seem to me that there is one as such. Bodole (talk) 19:55, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
It is not appropriate to just remove a discussion from the talk page or claim it is resolved. You need to adequately answer the concerns at before making an edit like this AlasdairEdits (talk) 17:30, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
User:AlasdairEdits It is resolved. What is your concern? The concerns were shared and responded to in due course. There was no determination of a conflict of interest, and that discussion has not been added to since January 15. This is a huge discussion clogging the Talk page and should be archived. Bodole (talk) 18:49, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
It isn't appropriate to remove talk page discussions. Please see WP:Talk as a WP:SPA you should probably step away from this one article and from edits like this if you want to avoid an accusation of WP:COI. Discussions are not resolved because you just avoid editing for a few months and then go straight back to problematic behaviour AlasdairEdits (talk) 19:01, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
Archiving or removing Talk page discussions is appropriate at times. There is a long list of such instances in the page you link. I am not the one exhibiting problematic behavior here. I have based my edits in Wikipedia policy regarding the numerous inappropriate edits to this and related pages. Discussions are resolved when the concerns have been addressed and the topics are no longer relevant to the Talk page where those discussions are located. Bodole (talk) 21:34, 1 May 2020 (UTC)


@AlasdairEdits:: You deleted the bibliography (save the book entry) of this article. You say, "Per WP:EL it is not Wikipedia's purpose to include a lengthy or comprehensive list of external links related to each topic. To the extent these are relevant they should be cited where appropriate in the article."

However, EL does not make any statement of this, as far as I can tell. Moreover, on the pages of other writers, for example, Michael Pollan, there are analogous bibliographies. Is there more you can cite in favor of your position? Otherwise I am inclined that we should keep the bibliography in the article. Thank you for considering. (talk) 22:25, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

Its almost a direct quote from the lede of WP:EL I suggest you take a bit more time to familiarise yourself with wikipedia policies and read it again. AlasdairEdits (talk) 21:21, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
I do not appreciate the condescension. I have read EL and there is no statement in the lede, in ELLIST, or otherwise that proves your position on this article is the correct one. A writer's body of work is highly relevant to an encyclopedic entry on their self. Why else would bibliographies be so common on WP? To be more specific, how do you justify the exclusion of a bibliography on this page without rejecting bibliographies or discographies on analogous writer pages? Currently it seems to me that the most justifiable and common sense position is one of inclusion because of 2 reasons. First, this is a bibliography, not an ELLIST and second, bibliographies are widely accepted inclusions on Writer pages. (talk) 23:28, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
If you need another section of the MOS that says the same thing: "The content of a list is governed by the principle of due weight and other content policies... the entries must have the same importance to the subject as would be required for the entry to be included in the text of the article according to Wikipedia policies and guidelines (including WP:Trivia sections)". The vast majority of the blog posts and podcasts appearances previously linked here clearly don't meet this bar - this is why the essays section of the Michael Pollen article has 15 entries despite being a prolific author of thousands of essays over the years. I've had a look over the list again and dug out the most promising ones.AlasdairEdits (talk) 10:18, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
OK. Yes I agree that the same criteria of importance to the subject should be applied to bibliography items as to the body of the article. I added a couple that also seem important. If that is okay with you, then this seems like a satisfactory compromise given our viewpoints on this particular topic. Thank you. (talk) 15:58, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
I think the page could use some more bibliography entries if possible. Bodole (talk) 15:51, 1 May 2020 (UTC)

List of articles[edit]

I agree that a list of magazine articles, and links to each of those articles, appears promotional towards to subject. I don't think it belongs, and this is a good precedent. 78.26 (spin me / revolutions) 18:16, 20 May 2020 (UTC)

What is promotional about it? The subject is a writer and much of their professional work is made up of magazine and newspaper articles. This is standard on WP:BLP pages. See Michael Pollan as an example. You are suggesting a broad change in Wikipedia practices on these articles. Bodole (talk) 18:20, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
Bodole, 78.26 and I have quite a lot of experience editing such articles, but thank you for the link to the Pollan article; I'll have a look. Drmies (talk) 18:26, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
You can see many more if you click some random entries in lists such as List of 21st-century writers. I am open to counterexamples or arguments that Wikipedia practices should change but it seems straightforward to me that this is common across many BLP pages. Bodole (talk) 18:32, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
I checked ten of these, completely at random, so I'll admit this may not be statistically credible, but only one of them had a list of articles. That example is Padgett Powell, and like this Anthis article I think they should be removed, unless it can be demonstrated that these are the *best* of an authors work, and we have reliable sources to back the assertion up. I think it would be fair to mention that his opinion pieces have been published in The Guardian and National Review, since these are widely read (I'm tired and am not sure the best way to accomplish this.) 78.26 (spin me / revolutions) 19:42, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
If you just look at the A's in that list, 7 have shortform work listed. Only including books is an unfair standard. Many writers only write in shortform and many shortform works are as significant or more significant than the longform works. Here is the list. Keep in mind that many writers listed on Wikipedia only write books or only have stub articles.
Bodole (talk) 20:38, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
Regarding the format of the bibliography, I would add that MOS:LISTSOFWORKS includes {cite} formatting as an option. Bodole (talk) 22:42, 20 May 2020 (UTC)

COI/promotional editing[edit]

The most recent "main" author of this article, User:Bodole, is edit warring right now over a list of articles the subject published; I removed that list because (pace the editor's contention) this is not common practice: we list books, but we are not here to produce link dumps for resume-style lists of publications. The author saw fit to warn me for edit warring.

The article itself is way too fluffy anyway; it used to be a lot worse, thanks in part to edits like this one by the creator, Utsill, and this one, by Reckston. A quick look at the references show a plethora of primary links and references to non-notable outfits, including websites like "Plant Based News", "VegNews", "One Green Planet", etc. This article needs a strong overhaul; many of these websites were used to cite some poll that no reliable source seems to have picked up on.

The talk page, and the edit history, indicate that a number of editors have tried to bring some order to this madness, and I thank 78.26, Melcous, Kbog, and especially AlasdairEdits for their efforts. I have not yet looked at the COIN discussion that involved a few of the editors and took place a few months ago. Drmies (talk) 18:25, 20 May 2020 (UTC)

I am not edit warring. You made an edit and per the WP:BRD cycle I reverted it because I disagreed and invited you to start a discussion on the Talk page here. You then reverted my revert, thereby edit warring, and I reverted again. Another editor reverted so I have not done so again, but I encourage other users to discuss on this page to establish consensus. Lists of articles are common practice. Peruse for example List of 21st-century writers and you will see many examples. Articles are a common way to represent a writer's work since it is what they do professionally. As for "Plant Based News" etc, those are not being used to establish notability. They are used as citations for the content of the article as is standard on Wikipedia. If you disagree with these practices then your issues are not with this article they are with norms on Wikipedia as a whole. Bodole (talk) 18:30, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
Frankly, Bodole, you're at 2 reverts, and Drmies is at one. Neither of you is at WP:3RR, discussion is taking place at the talk page, as it should. I do recommend to you Drmies' opinion. He's a Very Experienced Editor, and has long been shown the community's trust via his status as an administrator. I have not agreed with Drmies in every instance, but I've generally become a better editor because of him and those like him. Your potential COI is another issue, I've taken a brief look at your edit history.... 78.26 (spin me / revolutions) 19:49, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
My reverts were consistent with the WP:BRD cycle. I see no issue with that. Edit warring "occurs when editors who disagree about the content of a page repeatedly override each other's contributions." This is what Drmies did. I appreciate his opinion but frankly I am tired of the inconsistent and unfair editing being done here.
Regarding the potential COI I have repeatedly stated I have none. I have defended this page against unfair treatment in the past and because this has sucked up so much time it is a large part of my editing history. This does not mean I have a COI so it does not seem to me that a COI tag is appropriate. If there are NPOV issues with the page I am happy to help resolved them, but that is separate from a potential COI issue. Bodole (talk) 20:32, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
It's not just your editing on this page, it is adding references to Anthis and his work on many other articles and talk pages. Oh, and we have millions of pages and millions of editors. We try, but purely consistent editing is not possible, see WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. That's a good reason we do things by consensus at the talk page of each article (and if necessary, WP:AFD, etc.) 78.26 (spin me / revolutions) 20:45, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
How does that justify a COI tag? Many editors like myself who have overall much less time to edit than superusers such as yourself and Drmies will end up specializing in one topic or, when there is so much activity and conflict, a handful of pages like I do. That does not merit a COI tag. This has already been brought up on the COI noticeboard. A COI tag does not seem justified to me given these circumstances and evidence.
I agree about the breadth of Wikipedia and the impossibility of pure consistency. That does not however justify the unfair edits made on this page that I have had to defend against. Bodole (talk) 20:53, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean with "unfair edits". What I do know is that the article is bloated with content that does not pertain, referenced by websites that do not count as reliable secondary sources. I've started trimming it to bring it into line with established policies and guidelines. I'm wondering also if it wouldn't be a better solution to redirect this article to Sentience Politics, or the other way around--that article, according to User:JesseClifton, was created for pay. Drmies (talk) 21:16, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
Cutting this content is inappropriate. Please discuss before continuing to make these changes. A redirect does not seem appropriate to me. For example there are RS's discussing each topic separately. However I am happy to discuss that and consider the merits of the proposal. Bodole (talk) 21:28, 20 May 2020 (UTC)

Date of birth[edit]

Hi Bodole, where does that source says his date of birth is December 16, 1992? SarahSV (talk) 00:14, 21 May 2020 (UTC)

Hi SarahSV. I'm trying to take an indefinite break from Wikipedia, particularly from this Talk page, but if you search on that page for "jacy" you will find it. It is a newsletter from Politico that lists out birthdays for that day (December 16). His birthday including year is also listed on social media pages such as Facebook. His age is also mentioned in this recent NYT article. Bodole (talk) 00:30, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
Hi, I saw the day and month but the year is missing. I can't see it on Facebook either. SarahSV (talk) 00:34, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
Alright, it seems you have to be logged into Facebook to see that specific page but the NYT article saying he is 27 tells you that the year is 1992. I am not sure if that counts as WP:OR. You could also just leave the month+day or just the year. Bodole (talk) 00:44, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
I've gone with the year, sourced to the NYT. SarahSV (talk) 01:04, 21 May 2020 (UTC)


What kind of non-primary source might be needed? The university would be a primary source; his CV is a primary source. Both can be regarded as authoritative. A newspaper would be a secondary source but would have copied it from him. I'm not clear why anything else would be needed. SarahSV (talk) 03:09, 21 May 2020 (UTC)

I don't understand. The majority of newspapers are reliable secondary sources, and one reason they are reliable is that we trust them to check their facts. Where they get them from in the first place is not our concern. Also, while a university listing and a personal CV may both be primary sources, one is more reliable than the other. People lie on their CVs all the time. Beyond My Ken (talk) 04:08, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
We routinely use people's CVs as sources for their degrees. It's unlikely that someone in 2020 would fabricate a qualification from a known university just five years earlier. Newspapers wouldn't check unless there was reason to think there was an issue, and there isn't any reason to suppose that here. SarahSV (talk) 04:30, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
That we "routinely" do it doesn't make it policy-compliant. Beyond My Ken (talk) 05:13, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
Furthermore, this isn't a CV listed on a university faculty website, for instance, where we could at least hope that someone might get around to fact-checking it in sue course, or that the university would have checked credentials in the hiring process, this is a CV posted on the man's own personal website, an WP:SPS,in other words, where there's absolutely no expectation of fact-checking or error correction. Certainly the Sentience Institute -- which he founded -- isn't going to be responsible for any reasonable due diligence, and one wouldn't expect the organizations he worked for to do that either, they're more interested in getting someone to do the work then they are in checking college records. Basically, the only data we have to go on his Anthis' own word about what he studied and what degrees he received, and that's really not enough Beyond My Ken (talk) 05:36, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
The applicable policy is WP:BLPSELFPUB. The material complies with points 2–5. The question is whether you believe it fails point 1 ("not unduly self-serving"). SarahSV (talk) 06:08, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
Since the thing that gets me is not having attentded UTA or receiving a Bachelors, but is the claim to have studied neuroscience and economics as an undergrad, it does seem to me to be possibly self-serving. I'd really like to get a truly reliable acknowledgement of that. Beyond My Ken (talk) 12:06, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
The university offers a Bachelor of Science and Arts with a major in neuroscience. See here. His CV says he studied economics as his minor. SarahSV (talk) 16:45, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
Great. Now, did he get a degree in Neuroscience? Beyond My Ken (talk) 17:55, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
I'm struggling to see how it's the topics that are unduly self-serving. Anyway, the best thing is for you to find an independent secondary source. Or perhaps it's mentioned in some university newspaper. I'm unwatching now. SarahSV (talk) 18:31, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
I sensed that you weren't getting my drift. It's potentially self-serving because neuroscience and economics are both very difficult subjects, and the combination of them sort of says "Hey, look at me, I'm a real smart guy." For all I know, he is a real smart guy, and breezed through a neuroscience major and an economics minor with a 4.0 average -- I knew people like that when I was at M.I.T. -- but unless it's verified in some way by an independent secondary source, I'm having trouble with it. Beyond My Ken (talk) 19:42, 21 May 2020 (UTC)