Talk:Manhattan Municipal Building

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I work in this building :) I just wanted to someone to address why does the inscription in the front of the building say "New Amsterdam"? Is it to make the Dutch feel good that they colonized New York before the British defeated them, and renamed it to New York? (talk) 01:01, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

In pop culture section[edit]

Re the in pop culture section - we need some sources for these. Right now there's none, even for the claims for which there might be some source (e.g., Seinfeld one re: Elaine's workplace). Neutralitytalk 18:10, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Beyond My Ken - since you've reverted again: can you point to a policy that says that pop-culture sections are self-referencing? I have never heard that before. Neutralitytalk 18:50, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Pop cult entries source themselves, in exactly the same way that "Plot" sections in film or book articles do, as long as they are straight-forward presentations which involve no interpretation or analysis, in which case there needs to be a cite. I am not adverse to discussing any specifics about any of the items here, but you will not find consensus anywhere for the wholesale removal of popcult sections, so please do not delete them in toto again. Thanks. BMK (talk) 18:57, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Does any policy support that idea? Wikipedia:Verifiability seems to say the opposite: All material in Wikipedia mainspace, including everything in articles, lists and captions, must be verifiable ... Base articles on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. Neutralitytalk 19:02, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
In fact, Wikipedia:"In popular culture" content (not a policy, but an interesting essay), says: If a cultural reference is genuinely significant it should be possible to find a reliable secondary source that supports that judgment. Quoting a respected expert attesting to the importance of a subject as a cultural influence is encouraged. Absence of these secondary sources should be seen as a sign of limited significance, not an invitation to draw inference from primary sources.. Neutralitytalk 19:04, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Essay, not policy. That plots and non-interpretative popcult entries are self-sourcing is absolutely standard stuff.
Is there something specific in the content that you want to discuss? I'm open to that. BMK (talk) 19:07, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
If it's "standard stuff" there must be some policy that indicates that it's exempt from the sourcing requirement, surely? Neutralitytalk 19:08, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
You're not going to find any policy that allows you to delete popcult sections en masse, so this discussion is going to go nowhere. If you'd like to discuss the content itself, I'm more than happy to do so. BMK (talk) 19:10, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
It's not "exempt" from sourcing requirements, it's self-sourcing, just as every plot section in every film article and most book articles are. Again, this discussion is going to go nowhere, you're paddling upstream against a tidal wave. Discuss actual content, please, and I'm happy to respond -- and maybe even agree that specific items should be removed! BMK (talk) 19:11, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Nobody is proposing en masse deletion. The question of sourcing relates to the content itself - that's what verifiability means, no? My concern is straightforward: If there's no references, the editor or reader has no idea whether the content is made up. I have no idea if, for example, Elaine from Seinfeld really did work at the Municipal Building, or if "Gotham City Hall" is based upon the Municipal Building (doubtful, since Gotham isn't based wholly on NY, I don't think). The point is that readers shouldn't have to watch the series/work to find out.
Also, as a side note - there's really no reason to be so sharp in tone. Neutralitytalk 19:16, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
My apologies for that. I suppose having come up against this issues many, many times before, and with editors significantly less reasonable than you, has caused me to go on the defensive too quickly.
As for your substantive objection, there is no requirement that the reader be able to confirm the information at the snap of a finger. Many of the best sources for some subjects are only available in specialized research libraries, yet they are, by definition, verifiable sources. The same is true of a popcult item. It may be inconvenient to seek out a particular episode of a particular TV series (although much less so today with the wide variety of sources available), but it's no less inconvenient than finding that research library which holds a book cited. Convenience to the factchecker is not a factor that's considered in determining verifiability. BMK (talk) 19:23, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Incidentally, both "Gotham" (Batman) and "Metropolis" (Superman) are indeed based on NYC, although, of course, the tone and style of the two "cities" has diverged significantly over the years. BMK (talk) 19:28, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
On the first thing - No problem. We have all done it.
On the substantive point - do you have a link to some conversation on the issue in the past? I'd like to read it. (If there hasn't been a discussion, or there's been only small-scale discussions, I am inclined to start an RfC because, as you note, this issue could tend to crop up repeatedly, and it bears on some important/core concepts).
My concern is not really based on the convenience to the factchecker. Rather, it's based on the very strong preference for secondary or tertiary, rather than primary sources, as reflected in Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources. (This in turn, I think derives from a desire to avoid even the appearance of original research). This is because "interpretative" vs "non-interpretative" material is a very, very tricky line that I am extremely, extremely wary of. For example, the Batman thing exemplifies the problem. Sure, maybe a building in Gotham is based upon the Manhattan Municipal building - but the movie itself doesn't say this; it requires some outside knowledge extrinsic to the work itself to figure that out - hence the necessity for a source in such a situation. Neutralitytalk 19:34, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Actually, concerning the building, I agree with you that it is exactly the kind of thing which requires a citation, because it's not self-sourcing, the way the content of books, movies and TV shows is. It needs someone to say "Hey, I based this fake building on that real building", or, at the very least, a third party saying "This building in the filmn is quite obviously based on that real building." It's a good example of what is not self-sourcing, and I will go and tag it now. BMK (talk) 19:44, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

As a compromise proposal - and to avoid an RfC, which is time-consuming, I have gone through each entry individually and made edits, keeping in mind the trivia guidelines (which notes that "in popular culture" sections are "frequently just lists of appearances and mentions, many of them unencyclopedically trivial...")
Ghostbusters – added source, expanded slightly. This is significant.
Crocodile Dundee, added source, expanded slightly. This is significant.
The Jerky Boys: The Movie – deleted: no evidence to support claim; even if true, it’s trivia
The Professional – added source with photos, modified caption so it focuses on the building and not trivia.
Batman Forever – removed, as discussed above – original research, synthesis, etc., probably wrong; IMDb does not list the Municipal Bldg as a filming location (it does list Surrogate’s Court)
Seinfeld – removed. No evidence to support claim and even if true, it is so insignificant as to be trivia. At least three articles collecting NYC locations on Seinfeld never mention the Municipal Building here, here, here. The “Elaine” article on the Seinfeld Wikia never mentions it.
Damages – removed as trivia. IMDb says that the building appears in the title sequence along with other buildings, including Grand Central, NY County Courthouse, and the U.S. Custom House. No evidence that any action actually took place at the Municipal Building in the show.
Video games – removed as not supported and, even if true, trivial. The Grand Theft Auto thing refers to “Liberty City” (not NY – it may be based upon it but this is original research/synthesis). “Crysis 2” features the Manhattan landscape but there’s no indicating that the Municipal Building itself appears, and if it does whether it is particularly significant.
I hope this is amenable to you so we can move on. This all seems pretty clear-cut to me. Neutralitytalk 22:14, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Please don;t do that again. You already know that there is a standing objection to blanket removal, so your judgment alone is not going to be sufficient here. If we -- and any other editors who wish to join in -- come to a consensus on this talk page, then fine, but you are not going to be able to do this unilaterally, I'm afraid. I'll get back to this later, right now I'm too annoyed at this high-handed tactic to discuss each item civily. BMK (talk) 22:54, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Editing an article with a compromise proposal - and additional sources - is a "high-handed tactic"? You're kidding, surely? This is how articles are made, through being bold and give and take. I put in a lot of work - due to your objections - finding and reading various sources, evaluating each entry, and coming up with some improved text.
Thoroughout this conversation, you haven't cited a single policy. I asked for a link to past discussion that you've alluded to, and you haven't provided one. When I've cited to the guidance in Wikipedia:Trivia section, you haven't responded. The bottom line is WP:BURDEN: the editor who adds challenged material has to provide a source supporting its inclusion. This you haven't done. To get outside input, I've started an RfC, at Wikipedia_talk:Verifiability.
Do you have any substantive comments on my entry-by-entry breakdown, above? Neutralitytalk 23:08, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
I note that in your haste to restore the (in some cases factually dubious) entries, you added a duplicate entry for The Professional (which, as I had explained, I left in). Neutralitytalk 00:42, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Citation needed...[edit]

Beyond My Ken, I've readded the citation needed tags:

  • OK, I agree with your reasoning, sort of -- or, rather, don't disagree enough to pursue the matter. BMK (talk) 07:56, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
  • BTW that discussion, in which I took part, has not been closed, so there's no consensus at this point. BMK (talk) 07:58, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

Result of RfC: secondary source is required[edit]

The RFC on verifiability items in popular culture sections has been closed. The conclusion was: "The consensus is very clear that a secondary source is required in almost all cases. A tertiary source is even better, if available. In the rare case that a primary source is judged to be sufficient, it should be properly cited. The source(s) cited should not only establish the verifiability of the pop culture reference, but also its significance." --Aervanath (talk) 09:32, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. I will remove the unsourced/primary-sourced pop culture refs, per the RfC result. Neutralitytalk 19:41, 25 October 2015 (UTC)