Talk:Michael Jackson

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Featured articleMichael Jackson is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on June 25, 2010.
In the news Article milestones
January 27, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
January 31, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
February 1, 2006Peer reviewReviewed
March 8, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
September 18, 2006Good article nomineeNot listed
November 23, 2006Good article nomineeListed
May 11, 2007Good article reassessmentKept
January 18, 2008Peer reviewReviewed
January 24, 2008Featured article candidateNot promoted
April 18, 2008Peer reviewReviewed
April 25, 2008Featured article candidateNot promoted
July 3, 2008Peer reviewReviewed
July 28, 2008Featured article candidatePromoted
April 23, 2009Peer reviewReviewed
In the news News items involving this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "In the news" column on April 22, 2004, and June 25, 2009.
Current status: Featured article

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Michael's middle name is Joe. It's misleading to say it's Joseph.[edit]

His birth/legal name had always been Joe. It's been on his FBI file. I know he has written "Joseph" a few times but that doesn't mean it's his birth name. Joe has been used more than Joseph throughout his life and in documents that demand a legal name. His marriage certificate with Lisa Marie Presley is riddled with errors so it's not reliable, therefore its legality is in question, too.

Wikipedia shouldn't mislead people or produce falsehoods. Please change this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Partytemple (talkcontribs)

Can you provide links to prove this? SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 22:07, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
FBI files used Michael Joe Jackson:
It also states his true name was Michael Joe Jackson on page 47 of the files.
2004 Indictment used Michael Joe Jackson:
Autopsy report used Michael Joseph Jackson:
1994 Deposition; Michael referred to himself as Michael Joseph Jackson.
Further citations and explanations of name usage and laws on this blog:
It appears he used Joe and Joseph interchangeably, but his true name has Joe as his middle name. He probably used Joseph because it was derived from his father's name which is Joseph, but also uses Joe.
Here is a video disputing Michael and Lisa Marie's marriage's legality:
The title sounds like a click-bait conspiracy video, but the actual content came from an investigative report.
The marriage certificate in question (ignore the forum comments if you'd like but the image of the marriage certificate appears to be real):
Priscilla Presley and Katherine Jackson are spelled incorrectly. The location of the ceremony is questionable.
Also, Michael's article uses Taraborrelli's book a lot. I find Taraborrelli's research of his subjects scant, as if he would pick up tid-bits of statements from relatively reliable sources and then put in his own uncorroborated material for parts he can't complete with what he found, or fictionalize his subjects into caricatures. In other words, his biographies could be filled with his own fluff.
For example, he wrote a story about Michael and Madonna's date in which he claimed Michael told him that Madonna took Michael's sunglasses off and threw it out of the car they were in. Madonna inadvertently disputed this story by stating in her VMAs tribute to Michael in 2009 ( that Michael willingly tossed his glasses.
I think Taraborrelli's materials require cross-examination, if possible. Michael Jackson was an extremely private person who had a retinue of bodyguards, PR people, and managers, many of whom would be willing to protect his image even unto their deaths. It may be impossible to know Michael's private life to its full extent, so I would refrain from using Taraborrelli's books especially when they're replete with personal details. Court documents and FBI investigations, on the other hand, are much more reliable since perjury, or lying to the Fed's, is a felony. Partytemple (talk) 21:58, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
That's quite some digging! As for spelling errors on the marriage certificate (presuming that's the real thing), I could be wrong, but my guess is that the document not being in English had something to do with it. I would however like to get input from other users before changing things because "Michael Joe Jackson" has for quite some time been listed as an alternate name while "Michael Joseph Jackson" has been accepted as the main identity. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 02:53, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
Seems like it is Joe. since that name is being used in all legal situation. But then again the death certificate say it's Joseph. If we change to "Michael Joe Jackson". I think we should mention Joseph to, somewhere. Since that is what he called himself and etc. Awardmaniac (talk) 17:28, 20 February 2019 (UTC)

Infobox caption[edit]

The caption should give the date but not re-state his name. It's obvious it's a picture of Michael Jackson, because his name is directly above the photograph, and also the title of the article, and he's the only person in the picture. Who else would it be? Nobody would be confused by this. For readers who do not get pictures, they don't need a description of a picture they don't see. "Michael Jackson performing in 2006" does not assist the reader in any way. The reader would see "Michael Jackson [image not shown] (in 2006)" instead of "Michael Jackson [image not shown] Michael Jackson performing in 2006". I'd be ok with "Performing in 2006" as a compromise, but that is also bloody obvious from the fact that it's a picture of him singing into a microphone. WP:YOUDONTSAY, and this should be the rule for all captions everywhere on the project. Levivich 23:54, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

How would you feel about including a specific event/place if known? For the current pic (File:Michael Jackson in 1988.jpg), there could be something on the Wiener Stadion in Austria within its caption. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 00:33, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
I would feel great about that. Location and date are both information that would be useful to the reader. Even the name of the tour if that were known. Levivich 00:36, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
@SNUGGUMS: IMO, a good caption for that picture would be something that gives useful (non-obvious) information to the reader, like this: At Weiner Stadion in Vienna, June 2, 1988, during the second leg of the Bad World Tour. Levivich 00:44, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
The leg part is a bit much, and its file source doesn't specify a tour (though I personally wouldn't be surprised if it was from that one). I'm still fine with including stadium and location. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 00:59, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
I like "At Weiner Stadion in Vienna, June 2, 1988, during the Bad World Tour". Is that good or is it to long? Awardmaniac (talk) 01:02, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
Too long; we're better off just using a tour name (if it can be found for certain) or just a location. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 01:05, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
Bad World Tour lists the June 2, 1988 show in Vienna. At the time it was called the Praterstadion and I guess now it's the Ernst-Happel-Stadion aka Weiner Stadion. I'm good with any combination of city/venue/date/tour. Levivich 01:08, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
Maybe just "At Weiner Stadion in Vienna, June 2, 1988" Awardmaniac (talk) 01:09, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
I've gone with "At the Weiner Stadion in Vienna, Austria on June 2, 1988" here. Let's not presume everyone who understands the English language automatically knows where Vienna is. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 01:11, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
Good. I like it. Awardmaniac (talk) 01:13, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Thanks! Levivich 01:14, 19 February 2019 (UTC)


Any thoughts? --MarchOrDie (talk) 22:57, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

No. what about it? Awardmaniac (talk) 00:16, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Seriously? How will this article cover it? --MarchOrDie (talk) 07:33, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
It already has its own article: Leaving Neverland. If it gets enough coverage to become super-notable it might be worth mentioning briefly in the main Michael Jackson article, but right now it isn't. Popcornduff (talk) 07:38, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Because it is negative? --MarchOrDie (talk) 08:22, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
No. Because MJ is a huge topic, the article on him is already huge, and this single documentary hasn't yet established enough attention to be mentioned here. See WP:UNDUE. If it gets more attention and coverage after it's released next month that might change. Popcornduff (talk) 08:25, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
It has already been covered in this article and in Leaving Neverland. Awardmaniac (talk) 11:10, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Yes indeed. Do we need to have a verbatim quote rubbishing it? --MarchOrDie (talk) 11:19, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Its a respond from the family, both sides should and are being used. Awardmaniac (talk) 11:20, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
A "respond"? This isn't how Wikipedia articles are written. It certainly isn't how Featured Articles are written. --MarchOrDie (talk) 11:22, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
I meant, it shows both sides. As bth sides should and is being written about. That is how Wikipedia works. Awardmaniac (talk) 11:25, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
@MarchOrDie: I stand corrected. I didn't realise the article already mentions the documentary. I agree that the current inclusion isn't right - there's too much emphasis on the family reaction. I'm not convinced the doc is even notable enough to be mentioned here at all, as I said earlier.
@Awardmaniac: The job of Wikipedia is not always, necessarily, to report both sides. See WP:FALSEBALANCE. Popcornduff (talk) 12:45, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
There is literally just one quote, nothing more. Also I do agree that the film is not notable enough to be mentioned. There are hundreds of movies and docs about him, that gets released every few months, non get even mentioned. So we can remove it from this article. Awardmaniac (talk) 16:28, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
There is no need for any quote here. In my opinion there is a need to mention the documentary. --MarchOrDie (talk) 16:53, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
I removed it, since we all seem to agree. Awardmaniac (talk) 17:17, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • No, I don't agree to that. As I just said. MarchOrDie (talk) 18:34, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
You just said "there is a need to mention the documentary" and popcornfuff said the doc is not notable enough to be mentioned. No? Awardmaniac (talk) 19:34, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Yes exactly. I think there is a need to mention the documentary. So I do not agree to its removal. --MarchOrDie (talk) 20:27, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Ok. I accidentally read a as no. lol. Still at this moment two people say, there is no need and one say there is a need. You are welcome to argue your point. But I think we can not and should not mention every single film made about him in this page, this is not IMDB. "Leaving Neverland" is not mentioned, the same reason "Michael Jackson: Life of an Icon" is not mentioned. Its not relevant. Awardmaniac (talk) 21:00, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
LOL indeed. Twice. Consensus is not a voting process. Coverage in significant quality sources. Guardian, NME, Esquire, Variety, etc etc. And that's before it has even screened. I think this line you are taking will be very hard to justify. --MarchOrDie (talk) 21:27, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Well those coverage is significant for the Leaving Neverland article. Many other stuff that is about him has also received significant coverage. Does not mean they are fit for the main page about the subject. Awardmaniac (talk) 22:00, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
@MarchOrDie: I think it will depend on how much, if at all, the documentary affects Jackson's legacy. As Awardmaniac says, there have been a trillion documentaries about Michael Jackson over the years, and while some (including Leaving Neverland) are notable enough to have their own Wikipedia articles, not all are notable enough to add to the main Michael Jackson article, especially considering its length.
Right now the film is being discussed because it was screened at Sundance so the reviews are out there. My inclination is to wait for the documentary to receive the major release (next month, right?) and see how important it ends up being to the article subject in terms of the big picture.
That said, I don't feel strongly about this. I would not oppose summarising the documentary in a single sentence if others felt it were necessary. Popcornduff (talk) 08:03, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
That's perfectly reasonable. The length of the article is another problem that can be dealt with separately; see section below. The article is not currently of Featured Article quality, and a lot of the problem is fluff that has been added since the subject's death. --MarchOrDie (talk) 08:34, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
I see no consensus for this removal. There should at least be a "See also" link in the section pointing to that page. Jackson documentaries that are notable enough for their own articles should be linked from this main article in some way, just like we link other subarticles in some way.
I also see no valid rationale for stating that the article "is not currently of Featured Article quality." Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 08:52, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

Updated "Associated acts"[edit]

I think we should discuss what artist deserves to be named in that list. Like, Michael only did one song with Lionel Richie. Does he really deserve a spot? Awardmaniac (talk) 00:22, 20 February 2019 (UTC)

No, he doesn't. The list isn't for one-off collaborations. Off the top of my head I'd say only the Jacksons should be in that list. Popcornduff (talk) 03:11, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
I would leave Quincy Jones and Teddy Riley as well, though I hesitate to call a producer an "act". Eman235/talk 04:31, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
I did consider that, but as both Riley and Jones served as producers with MJ, I'm not sure they served in capacity as "acts" either. Popcornduff (talk) 04:36, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Given Michael's multiple collaborations with his sister Janet, I'd say she qualifies along with Jackson 5. Definitely not supposed to be a list of one-song-only collaborations. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 04:40, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Michael has a couple of songs with Paul, stevie and diana ross. I think they qualify. right? Awardmaniac (talk) 11:12, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Nope. Would need to be an act he worked with pretty extensively or regularly, like he did with the Jacksons, or an act that he's particularly notable for working with. MJ isn't most noted because of his work with Stevie Wonder. Popcornduff (talk) 12:47, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
So. Only the Jacksons?. Is everyone on board with this? Awardmaniac (talk) 17:20, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Just Janet and Jackson 5. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 20:13, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Some other names have done multiple collaborations with Michael. Have they not? I dont understand how Janet is any different other then being his sister. Is it because they have worked together for a longer period of time? Awardmaniac (talk) 20:20, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Pretty much. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 22:27, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
That's valid, I guess. Since the work together has been for many many years, unlike the other ones. What does popcornduff think? Awardmaniac (talk) 22:32, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Despite having done extensive work on MJ-related articles I'm not the biggest MJ fan. I know he did a duet with Janet on Scream. What else? I did a quick google but it didn't produce anything obvious. Popcornduff (talk) 07:53, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

Needs review[edit]

I was just reading the 2008 discussion to make this a FA. Standards were lower in those days and/or the article has deteriorated. I think it now needs to be reviewed. My preference would be to do that here. Any thoughts? --MarchOrDie (talk) 11:23, 20 February 2019 (UTC)

The article looks fine. Well written and well sourced. And it seems to follow all the standards by the looks of it. Awardmaniac (talk) 11:27, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Well, thanks for your opinion. Any thoughts on the question I asked? --MarchOrDie (talk) 11:39, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
You can review it if you want. I have no problem with that. Im all for any kind of improvement if necessary. Awardmaniac (talk) 17:22, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
I'm talking about WP:FAR. It'd be better to discuss here first I think. --MarchOrDie (talk) 21:28, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Sure. You can do that if you want. I dont think that is needed at the moment. But that is just me. Let see what other people think. Awardmaniac (talk) 22:03, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
No indeed, it is not up to you. If we can't talk out the problems with the article here, we will have to involve others. --MarchOrDie (talk) 22:17, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Totally agree. I just gave my opinion. That's it. Please don't be hostile or anything. We are all here to help. Thank you. Awardmaniac (talk) 22:22, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
MarchOrDie, a number of experienced editors have kept this article in good shape. The edit history shows this. The article has expanded over the years, but it has also been trimmed and tweaked over the years where needed. I don't see that it isn't FA anymore or needs to be demoted. If you could make a valid case for why it's not of FA quality anymore, I'd be inclined to agree. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 08:52, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
Well, seems like we have some overdetails and images in this article. --Chrishonduras (talk) 22:44, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

Here's a sample of some problems that I see on reading the article:


I also notice that he dies twice (three times including the lead). Like I say, standards have risen and the quality of the article has fallen away since the version that was promoted. There's a lot that needs to be improved in the article for it to meet FA standards. --MarchOrDie (talk) 09:57, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

Some good copyediting points there. Would you be interested in doing a ce sweep of the article or does that inspire dread? Popcornduff (talk) 10:01, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
MarchOrDie, you are talking about minor issues that are easily and quickly fixed. You have not pointed to one major issue. You ask "why" use "but." Why not? It seems to me that the editor used "but" because the investigation did not lead to a trial. If you want to add "and" in place of "but," do so. You stated that you "notice that he dies twice (three times including the lead)." Huh? The lead states "Jackson died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication, after suffering from cardiac arrest." It also mentions that the Coroner "ruled his death a homicide." And it states "Jackson's death triggered a global outpouring of grief, and a live broadcast of his public memorial service was viewed around the world." Are we not supposed to use the word death again in the lead after initially noting he died? I'm not sure what you mean about dying twice, with regard to the lead or elsewhere in the article. As for cites in the lead, WP:LEADCITE is clear that it's a case-by-case matter. So I don't see why you think having cites in the lead of this article doesn't conform to WP:LEADCITE. WP:FAR, in the "Nominating an article" part of the text, states, "Before nomination, raise issues at talk page of the article. Attempt to directly resolve issues with the existing community of article editors, and to informally improve the article." Well, that is what we are doing. You are free to copyedit, obviously. Popcornduff is always copyediting the article. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 11:16, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
I think the article needs more than a "copyedit", it is so bad.
  • What and where is the "Weiner Stadion"?
  • About half of the Aftermath section needs to go.
  • Overall, the article reads like it was written by fans, and that's not a good read. --MarchOrDie (talk) 10:03, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
Still nothing substantial pointing to a need to delist the article. About half of the Aftermath section needs to go? Why? The article reads like it was written by fans? I'm not seeing it. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 16:38, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
I think you need to look at more celebrity WP:GA and WP:FA articles, ranging from musician articles to actor articles, to get a sense of what is acceptable. And especially the ones that reached WP:GA and WP:FA relatively recently. I state this because comparing this article to the various WP:GA and WP:FA celebrity articles I see any day, including ones that have reached WP:GA and WP:FA relatively recently, I cannot at all see what you mean by "it is so bad." Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 16:45, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
So you consider the Aftermath section currently meets standards? Other articles need not concern us here. MarchOrDie (talk) 17:05, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
That parts of an article need improvement does not automatically equate to "this article needs to be delisted." "FA" does not automatically equate to "perfect." More from me below. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 19:12, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Here's another beauty: It was reported that Jackson had offered to buy the bones of Joseph Merrick (the "Elephant Man") and, although untrue, Jackson did not deny the story. So, Jackson was untrue? A lot of this is poorly written, it suffers from too positive a tone; for example, there are 13 instances of the word "successful". I know Jackson was a very successful entertainer, but 13 is too many. Here's the worst instance: HIStory was promoted with the successful HIStory World Tour, beginning on September 7, 1996, and ending on October 15, 1997. Jackson performed 82 concerts in five continents, 35 countries and 58 cities to over 4.5 million fans, and grossed a total of $165 million, becoming Jackson's most successful tour in terms of audience figures. (my emphasis); the article is riddled with stuff like this. The prose is not, in my considered opinion, "engaging and of a professional standard". --MarchOrDie (talk) 02:19, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I've reworked that tour bit here. Something to keep in mind is that multiple instances of "successful" are part of a distinction, namely "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time" Guinness World Record, and one of them is contained within a citation title. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 03:27, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I reduced the count by 9, which I think is another step forwards.--MarchOrDie (talk) 15:48, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm well aware of that and well done for changing that one word. Here's another cracker; this is from the first of the two times he dies: Less than three weeks before the first show was due to begin in London, with all concerts sold out, Jackson died after suffering cardiac arrest. Some time before his death, it was reported that he was starting a clothing line with Christian Audigier. Textbook non sequitur. And I see we still have the "Weiner Stadion". On the plus side, we also have an article improvement tag. That's good, because this article could do with some improvements. --MarchOrDie (talk) 09:35, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
  • It is best remembered for Jackson's solo performance of "Billie Jean", which earned Jackson his first Emmy nomination. Why say the name twice? --MarchOrDie (talk) 09:56, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
  • His subsequent rhinoplasty was not a complete success; he complained of breathing difficulties that would affect his career. "Would"? Meaning he was worried that it might? Or meaning that it did? It's almost every sentence. --MarchOrDie (talk) 10:10, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
And as I've already suggested to you before, copyedit the article. Beyond sentences that can do with better wording, which is something that also applies to a number of articles that recently reached FA standard, and beyond material that should be trimmed, you have yet to make a strong case that we should delist this article. A case to review it? Yes. That is happening now. Like WP:FAR notes, an official review is not necessarily needed to improve an article. I've also noted above that WP:FAR is partly about attempting to fix matters before trying to delist an article. The goal isn't even to delist the article. The goal is improvement. Consistently pointing out wording issues, or issues you consider to be wording issues, on this talk page instead of fixing the matters yourself prolongs the improvement process. Expecting us to make changes per things you've identified as problems isn't the best route to take unless it's clear that we (or at least one of us) are following your lead. I don't mean any offense by this, but some of the things you've identified seem like nitpicking to me. For example, I did not get "So, Jackson was untrue?" from the text you pointed to above. You keep talking about FA standards, but I don't see that you have brought articles to FA status. If you brought one more articles to FA status, pointing to one or more of them as indicators of your experience and examples of good prose might be helpful. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 19:12, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
I don't particularly want to have it delisted, but I do want it to be greatly improved. I hope we can agree on the need for this from the examples I have given, and the editors who have agreed with me. I wasn't aware we had to prove our credentials like this to have our opinions taken seriously, but since you ask, I was co-nom on Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Little Moreton Hall/archive1 and had a fair bit of input on Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Maus/archive2. Both articles were considerably better written than this one. I hope we can work together to sort out the problems under discussion. --MarchOrDie (talk) 21:31, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
@MarchOrDie: I agree with the points you raise here about the prose problems. (BTW, I think Flyer is missing the problem with the "Jackson was untrue" part.) I've personally removed hundreds of words from the article over the years, but it still needs more work. I don't even think the biography part is the worst part.
That said - having written and reviewed a few FAs, and being dismayed at the quality of prose, I've stopped caring about FA. Without wanting to lecture, I do feel a bit of WP:SOFIXIT coming here. You've taken the time to identify several prose problems - so fix them! Popcornduff (talk) 07:29, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
Yes, that's fair comment and you're not the first to suggest it. I think there will be quite major cuts from the post-death stuff (and elsewhere) and I don't want to go to a lot of work then for it to be reverted using the article's FA status as a reason. --MarchOrDie (talk) 08:33, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
"This article passed FA, therefore no change can be an improvement" is the thing that takes me from neutral to furious in the fastest time on Wikipedia. Just go for it. Popcornduff (talk) 08:39, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
MarchOrDie, regarding credentials, there have been editors going on about what is good or featured article material with no experience on what is good or featured article material. The comments are often based on their personal preference rather than on what is an acceptable GA or FA article. Sometimes they simply want the article delisted because they don't like that the article is GA or FA. Yes, they may sometimes have a valid case about the prose needing work or that something should be cut, but anyone who has seen or actually been involved in an FA discussion knows that it's not uncommon for editors to disagree on what is better prose or on what should be included or excluded. All I was stating is that I don't see anything that screams "Shouldn't be an FA article anymore" when I look at the article. That things need improvement doesn't automatically mean "Shouldn't be an FA article" to me. I see that you have been copyediting and making some cuts. That's a start toward improvement. If you remove something that you think an editor is likely to object to, it's likely best that you address the matter on the talk page first.
Popcornduff, LOL. I understand what you mean regarding the "This article passed FA, therefore no change can be an improvement" argument. Obviously, besides some articles being able to be improved even after passing FA, some FA articles do lose their FA quality. And, as made clear by MarchOrDie, the FA standards might have changed since the article passed FA. But I also understand WP:STEWARDSHIP. Its section about featured article states, "While Featured articles [...] are open for editing like any other, they have gone through a community review process as Featured article candidates, where they are checked for high-quality sources, a thorough survey of the relevant literature, and compliance with the Featured Article criteria. Editors are asked to take particular care when editing a Featured article; it is considerate to discuss significant changes of text or images on the talk page first." And WP:CAREFUL advises similarly. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 07:57, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

The Aftermath section is a problem. It needs trimming, and probably also needs to be split into smaller sections, unless we're going to consider everything that happens for the rest of time to be the "aftermath" of Jackson's death. Popcornduff (talk) 05:41, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

I agree on both counts. Articles tend to look like this when they have been written by fans. We don't need every single thing about him recorded. The article is more powerful and more readable if we can be discriminating and use editorial judgement about what, in the big scheme of things, he will be remembered for. I've started to whittle away at it over the last two days (thanks to the three other editors who contributed to that diff). He only dies once now, and some of the worst ambiguity, repetition and fanspeak has been toned down. The data tables were out of place; it'd be nice if there was some place on Wikipedia to keep them, but this article wasn't it. There's more of course, but I thought I'd pause and give others a chance to chip in. --MarchOrDie (talk) 23:18, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
You made a lot of good changes to the article. Regarding this, though, I'd avoid "denied" per WP:Claim. And like I noted before, there was no need at all to remove the references out of the lead; in this case, it's a personal preference matter. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 17:40, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
Thanks! I changed it; I couldn't live with "adamant" on an encyclopedia article. Regarding cites in the lead, you're right that it's a matter of choice; but two points. First, I always see dozens of superscripts in the lead as a terrible sign of a "controversial" article which is under constant dispute. A stable article can show this by just citing things in the body. Second, in sifting through the lead, I found quite a few things that weren't mentioned anywhere else. Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section tells us "Apart from basic facts, significant information should not appear in the lead if it is not covered in the remainder of the article." Whether we need all these factoids is another question, of course, but they shouldn't be in the lead and nowhere else. --MarchOrDie (talk) 19:28, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
I understand what you mean about citations in the lead indicating that the topic is controversial, but I don't often get that impression when I see citations in the lead unless I know it's a controversial topic. Yes, Jackson is a controversial topic in part, but he's no longer alive and the child sexual abuses cases are well-known. So, other than the occasional editor who might wonder if something in the lead is cited lower in the article or the newbie who thinks that something in the lead isn't cited at all because they don't see a reference for it there, I don't much mind that you moved the references out of the lead. But again, WP:CITELEAD does note when sources should be in the lead. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 20:30, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
I put hidden text in for the newbie. Speaking for referencing, don't you think a lot of it is over-referenced? I can't see how we would need more than two references for most things. On the other hand, I think we should be very careful with primary sources. --MarchOrDie (talk) 00:29, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
Also, I think it's untenable to have the note on the controversy about his actual sales only appear in the lead. --MarchOrDie (talk) 00:31, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
If it's fine either way to have citations in the lead, I say remove them. Why include something we don't need?
MarchOrDie, your work on this article has been stellar. Keep up the good work. By the way, you know that, strictly speaking, a factoid is a false statement presented as fact, right? I assume when you say "factoid" here you mean in the newer sense of "trivia" but just checking... I don't mean to be pedantic, just trying to figure out what your stance on this info is. Popcornduff (talk) 02:42, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
Thank you Popcornduff for the recognition and for your help in trimming and honing the article. Speaking as a pedant myself, I love that you zoom in on my use of language like that. I mean it in the second sense, but of course, in most cases truth is subjective and consensual, so the two meanings are probably two ends of a continuum rather than separate concepts.
Here's another reference-related issue. At present we have:

Jackson explored genres including pop, soul, rhythm and blues, funk, rock, disco, post-disco, dance-pop and new jack swing.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

I think on an important peer-reviewed high-traffic article like this those references should be bundled so there is one superscript in the running text (neater) but also, importantly, they should be attributed in the bundled reference. So we know who said "pop", who said "soul", and so on. I don't regard this as controversial and I would have done it myself, but I don't know how. Does anybody here know how to do that? --MarchOrDie (talk) 15:04, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
I imagine Template:Refn would be involved, but I can't for the life of me figure it out. --MarchOrDie (talk) 15:56, 2 March 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── MarchOrDie, yes, I saw the hidden note. Some newbies might comment before attempting to edit the article, though. And readers who are not editors won't see the hidden note. But it's not a big deal that you moved the references out of the lead. As for this, why did you remove the Paul McCartney material? Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 03:26, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

As for WP:BUNDLING, yes, I know how to do it. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 03:26, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

Can you show me? Or direct me to an intelligible instruction set? As for Macca, you're referring to According to Paul McCartney, he contacted Yoko Ono about making a joint purchase by splitting the cost at £10 million each, but Ono thought they could buy it for £5 million each. and An attorney for McCartney assured Branca that McCartney was not interested in bidding. McCartney felt it was too expensive, but several other companies and investors were interested in bidding. I thought, and still do think, that this is an excessive degree of detail on an article about Michael Jackson. The article suffers from over-comprehensiveness, which is one of three reasons it is so long (although I think it's better than it was a week ago). The others are over-referencing and (although I've tried to tone it down somewhat) a slight air of having been written by fans, for whom every word and action of Jackson needs to be recorded. It doesn't, and what person C thought person D thought about a business deal doesn't belong either. In my opinion. --MarchOrDie (talk) 11:13, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
Regarding bundling, do you mean what I did with this reference (reference 164) at the Star Wars: The Last Jedi article? If so, this edit shows how I did it. As for McCartney, that material seems relevant because McCartney felt the need to comment on that. If it wasn't important that he clarified, why did he? That stated, we can leave that to the Sony/ATV Music Publishing article. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 03:11, 5 March 2019 (UTC)

I agree that this article doesn't meet the current criteria for FA status, that it appears to be a largely fan-written article, and that it should lose its FA status for now. The main reasons are that the FA criteria are stricter now, and that Jackson's entire legacy is "under radical re-examination" as one editor put it and as discussed by an enourmous amount of reliable sources[7]. That means the article is necessarily quite out of date and in need of significant improvements and updates to reflect how RS view Jackson now – much in the same way as Jimmy Savile, Harvey Weinstein and other comparable figures who had their legacies and reputations fundamentally changed. The assessment a decade ago is simply of little relevance for how Jackson is viewed today. The decade-old FA status is also used as an argument against updating the article, so it's counterproductive to cling to it. It would be better for the quality of this article to go through the FA process again after the necessary improvements, than to cling to a decade-old status reflecting both lower FA standards and an entirely different situation as far as the assessment of Jackson is concerned. --Tataral (talk) 03:37, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

Of course you would agree. You are making all of this fuss because you want the Leaving Neverland documentary to be prominent in the article. And if not that, you want it to prominently show in the article by giving it its own section. Your "it appears to be a largely fan-written article" claim is a POV claim that has no merit. And from what I can see, you have no experience with writing FA articles, or watching them be built. And, yes, that experience matters if one is going to go on about what is or isn't an FA article unless the article is clearly a B or C level article. It cannot be helped that Jackson had a lot of successes and we call those successes per WP:Reliable sources, and give the successes their WP:Due weight. The child sexual abuse content has its WP:Due weight in the article. The article is not "quite out of date" because of the documentary. You are viewing this matter from a WP:Recentism point of view. And as for comparing this to Jimmy Savile, I've addressed you on that. And now you bring up Harvey Weinstein? Not the same either. More below. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 19:59, 9 March 2019 (UTC)


Are you sure it can't be salvaged now even with MarchOrDie's changes? We should opt to improve the article before going to FAR. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 03:55, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
My general feeling is that it isn't desirable for this article to be a featured article right now with all the debate on and reassessment of Jackson going on – it was given that status under very different conditions when Jackson was viewed very differently. It will probably take some time before we have a clearer view of Jackson's legacy. For example, Jackson defenders are increasingly compared to 9/11 truthers[8], while a new broad consensus on Jackson is emerging among most RS, and it will take some time before the dust settles. It would be better for this article to lose its FA status so that we can work on it with a view to renominate it in a year or so, based on current FA standards and the current assessment of Jackson among RS. There are many other problems with the article, such as the chapter structure that is currently under discussion. --Tataral (talk) 04:49, 9 March 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference allmusic was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference Bio2 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference AMOFW was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ Heyliger, M. "A State-of-the-Art Pop Album: Thriller by Michael". Archived from the original on December 4, 2008. Not many artists could pull off such a variety of styles (funk, post-disco, rock, easy listening, ballads)...
  5. ^ "Michael Jackson Turns 30!". Jet. Vol. 74 no. 35. August 29, 1988. p. 58. ISSN 0021-5996.
  6. ^ Palmer, Robert (1995). Rock & Roll: An Unruly History. Harmony Books. p. 285. ISBN 978-0-517-70050-1.
Stability is a definite issue, yes, but I wouldn't say it should be demoted now simply for that or section structure. It's best to list specific issues here for people to work upon. You could also WP:Be bold and make some improvements yourself (as long as they aren't too contentious). As Flyer22 Reborn noted above, one of the WP:Featured article review instructions is to list issues on the talk page and try to get them resolved before formally starting up any FAR page. MarchOrDie outlined specific problems with prose which have since been mostly (if not entirely) addressed. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 05:21, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
I've already tried the bold approach, only to see several days worth of my and other editors' work reverted in an indiscriminate manner by a certain editor who used the excuse that that the article holds this FA status. The fact that the FA status is used to prevent/impede/complicate updates and to argue that the article should stay more or less frozen the way it was "years ago", is another reason why I don't think the article should retain a decade-old FA status under these radically changed conditions and in a situation where some significant changes are necessary. --Tataral (talk) 06:07, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
Article status definitely isn't a free pass to prevent changes/updates. If your bold edits got reverted, then it's now best to outline here ways to improve it and point out specific issues. I'm sure they'll at least generate some discussion on what to do/not do as a result. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 06:11, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
It's clear that Tataral doesn't have any solid reasons for wanting the article demoted. For example, he states, "My general feeling is that it isn't desirable for this article to be a featured article right now with all the debate on and reassessment of Jackson going on." We don't delist articles based on any sort of rationale as that. He also states, "It would be better for this article to lose its FA status so that we can work on it with a view to renominate it in a year or so, based on current FA standards and the current assessment of Jackson among RS." Huh? Tataral goes on about Awardmaniac's POV without recognizing his own. In addition to relocating the child sexual abuse material to its own section, which is now being discussed on this talk page, Tataral's bold edits consisted of adding child sexual abuse material to the lead, which others have rejected because it's already covered in the lead and because of WP:Recentism.
SNUGGUMS is an experienced GA and FA reviewer. SNUGGUMS is a solid voice to listen to on this matter. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 19:59, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
That is simply not true. This is the section on Leaving Neverland and its impact before your blanket revert of three days' work by several editors, a section I was working on at the time. It's not an undue or very long section, but I have added a couple of sentences on the impact of Leaving Neverland. And this is the version of the same section that you edit-warred to replace it with, thus preventing any further edits by myself to that section. The only coverage of Leaving Neverland after your removal of the material in the former section is "The documentary Leaving Neverland (2019) covers Jackson's alleged sexual abuse of Robson and Safechuck.[322] The Jackson family issued a statement condemning the film." The illustration of Neverland Ranch has been replaced with an illustration of "Fan Tributes at Jackson's tomb on the first anniversary of his death." These are your edits, that you made more than once, as anyone can see from the article history. Because of your behaviour that included blanket reverts of several days worth of multiple editors' edits (for the specific reason that "this is still a WP:Featured article"), I found it impossible to continue working on that section or any other part of the article until these issues under debate have been resolved here on the talk page (right now I'm waiting for the result of the RfC on the chapter structure until work on the Leaving Neverland section can be resumed). I can hardly be blamed for not making more bold edits. In general, it hasn't been possible to make any meaningful updates or improvements. --Tataral (talk) 23:07, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
It is true. What argument have you made for delisting the article that is actually based on delisting criteria? As for the rest of your arguments, we already went over this below. I'm not going over all of it again with you. You could have easily re-added the Leaving Neverland material I removed. My focus was on your hasty restructuring of the article. Nowhere did I state that I objected to what you added. And I reverted you twice for reasons I made clear below. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 12:46, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
I could hardly have "easily re-added the Leaving Neverland material" after you had edit-warred repeatedly to remove it. I did also explain to you, clearly, that it was ok for you to revert the new chapter structure if you felt more discussion was needed on that (the chapter structure edit was clearly indicated through an edit summary), but that a blanket revert of all other edits during the past three days was not ok, and that I particularly objected to your removal of the material from the part of the article that covered Leaving Neverland. If you didn't intend to remove that material, after doing so repeatedly and after I had explained that to you clearly, it would be your responsibility to reinstate it at that point. If I had reinstated it at that point that would have been edit-warring on my part, something I don't engage in. In general, you are responsible for all changes you make to the article, which is one of the reasons that blanket reverts are almost always a very bad idea unless you are prepared to take responsibility for every comma you change. --Tataral (talk) 21:54, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
You want the last word that bad, huh? More faulty claims. More talking about a revert that was well-justified despite your claims to the contrary. You insisted that your restructuring of the article was fine and dandy. It was hardly about the other content that got reverted. And I was clear that I objected to the lead changes as well and why I objected. And it's clear that others object to the lead changes too. I'm not going to keep arguing the same thing with you over and over again. You state that you don't engage in WP:Edit warring, and yet you reverted me. Clearly, you think that just reverting me once wasn't WP:Edit warring when there was just the two of us. This is where WP:Gaming the system comes in. It takes two to edit war. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:38, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
It wasn't justified at all, and that you're apparently saying here that you weren't even aware of which edits you were making nor prepared to correct them after being made aware of them only serves to illustrate that. You claim it was all about the chapter structure after I have repeatedly told you that I didn't object to you reverting the chapter structure changes, only to the indiscriminate blanket reverts of three days of edits by multiple editors, and especially the coverage of Leaving Neverland in the body of the article. It's also quite telling that you received practically no support and that the RfC resulted in near-unanimous consensus on the new chapter structure. No, reverting you a single time a week ago when you repeatedly reverted three days of work of multiple editors (edits you now seem to admit that you hadn't reviewed carefully) isn't edit-warring. You could easily have stopped reverting after your first initial revert was rejected by others, and continued the discussion on the talk page. That would have been far more constructive, and it would probably have been easy to agree on reverting just the chapter structure and/or lead changes for the time being, until these issues could be resolved through more informal discussion and/or an RfC. --Tataral (talk) 00:18, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
You keep stating the same thing over and over again, and you are wrong. I'm not repeating myself yet again. No, I'm not "apparently saying here that [I wasn't] even aware of which edits [I was] making nor prepared to correct them after being made aware of them." No, I haven't "admit[ted] that [I] hadn't reviewed carefully." There you go again acting like I'm in such the minority. Clearly, the minority is not that small. Multiple editors object to mentioning Leaving Neverland in the lead and to your restructuring of the article. You speaking of it being telling that I "practically [had] no support" (notice your use of "practically") is a vice versa matter. No one else jumped up to revert me. Only you. And we can see from the lead discussions and now the RfC where other oppose votes have formed that the content added to the lead should not have been in the lead without consensus and that the structure of the article should never have been changed without giving time for more people to weigh in. And as for edit warring, admins will tell you that it takes two to edit war. And do stop acting like I reverted you multiple times; I reverted you twice, and I don't regret it. Hopefully, if I disappear for two days or close to two days again, I don't come back to the RfC having been abruptly closed by yet another involved editor. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 02:12, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
You keep going on and on about the restructuring and lead changes after I've said nearly half a dozen times that there was no objection to reverting those changes at that time. The initial restructuring was correct and based on discussion, but reverting it would have been totally fine at the time if that had been what you actually did. In closing I'm just going to quote the humorous page that you linked to: If your opponent attempts to seize the last word for themselves, be careful to point out the folly of this strategy, perhaps citing this project page. With that in mind, this discussion has reached its end as far as I'm concerned. --Tataral (talk) 02:36, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Lead addition was not the best course of action. The restructuring was not correct. Maybe we both want the last word. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 02:45, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Primary sources?[edit]

I see a few things cited to things on the Smoking Gun website. Opinion is divided on whether this constitutes a primary or a secondary source for Wikipedia's purposes. A fair summary is "use with care". What makes this a high-quality source for a Featured article? If there is material there that can be better sourced, maybe we should keep it. But we are drowning in material and the article might be better for removal of some of the dubiously sourced stuff. Thoughts? --MarchOrDie (talk) 23:35, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

When I was hacking my way through the (once godawful, now hopefully slightly less so) Trial of Michael Jackson article, I threw out any reference to the Smoking Gun. It looks dubious to me and there seems to be uncertainty about exactly how great a source it is. We should do better. Popcornduff (talk) 02:54, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
I've removed them. --MarchOrDie (talk) 07:20, 28 February 2019 (UTC)

Bloat and fancruft[edit]

Here is the version that got promoted. There are already problems with overinclusiveness and fanspeak in that version, but you can see just how much worse the article became as it doubled in size again in the 10 years after the subject's death. Fans hold it as a matter of faith that everything the great man did or said should be recorded. Apart from anything that may reflect poorly on the great man's "legacy", in which case we need to have a long verbatim quote from his lawyers or family members saying how unfair it is. Until an hour ago the talk page had an FAQ forbidding anybody from trying to cut the article down in size, yet that is what it desperately needs. After the work and study of the problem I have put in, I can say that both factors are at work; the FA standards have risen (the version I posted would not pass nowadays) and the article has also become much worse. I almost feel like we need to start from scratch; it might be easier to build a new article than to trim this monster down. What do others think? --MarchOrDie (talk) 13:19, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

I think that's crazy talk. The article is not the wreck you say it is, and I consider myself to have higher standards than most, even when it comes to FAs.
Nonetheless, starting again might well improve the article, because starting things again often does. In which case: good luck! Popcornduff (talk) 14:14, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
Well, as you well know, improving the article is not mainly a matter of diligent research or good writing and copyediting (though both are required) but of teamwork. Its current state has been arrived at by years of dedicated work from Jackson fans. To achieve a decent article we will need to patiently achieve consensus for every major change. Look at the struggles we are having further down to restructure the article and to include proportionate coverage of his numerous sex abuse scandals. Luck isn't a factor here, and no one editor can achieve very much. We need to work together to improve this thing. --MarchOrDie (talk) 14:35, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
Unlike Flyer22, I have no qualms about a slash-and-burn approach to rewriting articles, and I'm not precious about FA. If you continue to go to town on this article I will support that. If you want to take a particular section or even the whole article and rewrite it from scratch I'll support that too, though I think that's less necessary. Either way, I'll be lurking in the background to delete unnecessary words. Popcornduff (talk) 14:39, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with everything MarchOrDie says here. I think it would be much better for this article to lose its FA status, then go through some solid work aimed at trimming it down, reducing fancruft, updating it, and restructuring it in a more appropriate way, and then go through a new FA procedure based on current standards and the current assessment of Jackson. --Tataral (talk) 17:39, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
MarchOrDie continues to blow things out of proportion when it comes to this article's content. Some of the complaints are valid; others are pure opinion that don't align with even witnessing an FA review today. For example, MarchOrDie has an issue with "success." Jackson's enormous success, and that many sources use the term success to describe matters relating to his career, cannot be helped. "Success" shouldn't be overused, but it's not a dirty word, and it's not surprising that it would be used a lot in an article on Jackson. And, like I stated here (followup note here), there is no valid reason to replace "he credited his father's strict discipline with playing a large role in his success" with the less specific "he credited his father's strict discipline with playing a large role in his career." So I reverted that. And if a reliable source states that a song of his was the most successful of all-time, we should state that. Not make the song seem like any other song. Simply giving the number for the sales doesn't tell readers that the song was the most successful of all-time. With this edit, we can see MarchOrDie complaining about the word hardships being used. MarchOrDie replaced "Its content focuses on the hardships and public struggles Jackson went through prior to its production." with "Its content focuses on Jackson's emotional traumas." Like I stated, hardships is a valid term that reliable sources use. And we probably shouldn't call a matter a trauma unless the source does, even if emotional trauma is seen as the same thing as hardships by some people. "Public struggles" is also more specific than "emotional trauma."
MarchOrDie stated, "Until an hour ago the talk page had an FAQ forbidding anybody from trying to cut the article down in size, yet that is what it desperately needs." Not if it means cutting valid material that should be in the article. Per WP:Preserve, "Fix problems if you can, flag or remove them if you can't. Preserve appropriate content. As long as any facts or ideas would belong in an encyclopedia, they should be retained in Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia." Including commentary on the success of Jackson's songs, albums, or legacy that happens to be positive is not fancruft. If there are any negative things to state on those matters, then include it with WP:Due weight. We do this in all Wikipedia biography articles. Reception material is important. If anything is excessive, we cut it. WP:Fancruft (an essay, mind you) doesn't suggest cutting reception material simply because a lot of it is positive.
MarchOrDie stated, "Its current state has been arrived at by years of dedicated work from Jackson fans. To achieve a decent article we will need to patiently achieve consensus for every major change. Look at the struggles we are having further down to restructure the article and to include proportionate coverage of his numerous sex abuse scandals." Sigh. I am not a Jackson fan. I would state more about why I am not, but Wikipedia is not a forum and I think the implication as to why I am not a Jackson fan is clear from what I stated on my talk page...and from my reputation on child sexual abuse and pedophilia issues here at Wikipedia, including having to deal with pro-child sexual abuse and pro-pedophilie editors. And it's dismissive of you to state that your fellow editors who oppose restructuring this article all because of a documentary, which, yes, should not have a lot of space in this article (but rather just enough space per WP:Due weight), are all Jackson fans. A WP:Recentism argument is a valid argument in this case. Noting that the child sexual abuse content is right there in the article for everyone to see, with headings identifying the topics, is a valid argument. And you do not know if every editor who has spent years watching and editing this article is a Jackson fan. You don't know if most editors were/are. I certainly am not. You don't know if most editors who popped in to edit the article are Jackson fans. And let me be very clear: Jackson haters editing this article are not any better if they can't keep their POV in check. I try to be objective on the articles I edit at this site.
Above we have SNUGGUMS, an editor experienced with reviewing GAs and FAs, stating, "I wouldn't say it should be demoted now." I don't think Moxy, another editor experienced with what are FA-quality articles, would agree that the article should be demoted at this point in time either. And as for Tataral, well, I responded to Tataral above. Tataral's arguments are pure POV, not based on anything solid. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 19:59, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
I don't see any "Jackson haters" here at all. However, I see many editors who argue that the article should include balanced coverage of Jackson and his legacy, both his music and sexual abuse controversies. --Tataral (talk) 22:53, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
With the way you argue, it is hard to tell that "there aren't 'Jackson haters' here at all." And certainly those passionate in their belief that Jackson committed child sexual abuse dislike Jackson. Those who are aware of how I feel about child sexual abusers and believing child sexual abuse victims know or have an inkling of how I feel about Jackson, but most at this site also know that I am usually able to keep my POV in check on the articles that I edit. And as for balance, WP:Due weight does not like false balance. We do not yet know what Jackson's legacy will be regarding the child sexual abuse matters, which is why a number of editors have spoken of WP:Recentism. A reviewer included in the Leaving Neverland article states that the documentary presents "a devastating case against Michael Jackson" that "may forever change the legacy of the pop icon." May is the keyword. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 12:46, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
As the editor who added that quote I can tell you that "may" is not the "keyword". As for his legacy, the whole point is that his legacy is under "radical re-examination" as one of the editors that you frequently invoke in your comments put it. The debate on his legacy is highly notable in itself, due to the massive commentary and coverage it has received in reliable sources. That we can't know for sure exactly how people will view him in 20 or 50 years is not the point. It is beyond doubt that the 2019 controversy will be notable in the history of Jackson's legacy. We also have numerous sources that phrase it without words like "may" and that state unequivocally that the documentary has serious consequences for his legacy. --Tataral (talk) 01:37, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
What does you adding the quote have to do with anything? The quote states "may forever change the legacy of the pop icon." Not "has forever changed the legacy of the pop icon." A Quest For Knowledge tried to explain this (meaning this type of thing) to you in the #Inclusion of Leaving Neverland (with resulting controversy) in lead section no avail. "That we can't know for sure exactly how people will view him in 20 or 50 years is not the point." is exactly the point when it comes to WP:Recentism and WP:Due weight. And when it comes to WP:CRYSTALBALL. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 02:12, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
"Hardships" and "struggles" are definitely not the right tone to take in the context of a billionaire pop star who slept with little boys and then received a media and legal backlash when some of them complained he had molested them. We don't extend this sympathetic language to the alleged victims. More NPOV language is required. And apart from POV, the continual repetition of "success" is jarring in an encyclopedia article. This is the language of fancruft, and it needs to be written more dispassionately. Rather than say dozens of Jackson's ventures were "successful", we should mention what they did that is considered a success. In most cases this means they sold well or received an award or favorable reviews. If the article's historical FA status is holding back improvements to the article it should be removed. It currently fails on stability, neutrality and length. As I said a while ago, it'd be better to talk out the problems here, but if that isn't possible it will have to be removed. --MarchOrDie (talk) 09:24, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
Not using "hardships" or "struggles" is all your opinion, an opinion that doesn't align with the many WP:Good and WP:Featured articles, old and new, at this site. There is nothing at WP:Words to watch, a page I'm active at, arguing against those words. I can see avoiding "hardships." But avoiding "struggles"? No. As for your statement that it's "not the right tone to take in the context of a billionaire pop star who slept with little boys and then received a media and legal backlash when some of them complained he had molested them," who other than you states that the piece in question is about the child sexual abuse allegations or solely about them? And how is you referring to the matter as "emotional traumas" any better and not lending sympathy to Jackson? "Success" is not "the language of fancruft" at all. It's language we use in numerous WP:GA and WP:FA articles about singers, songs, shows, films, etc. I stand by what I stated about "success" above. On a side note: "Slept with little boys" made me cringe. I realize that you might mean "slept with" literally, but, given it's euphemism for "had sex with," it made me cringe because I don't view adults being sexual with little children as "sleeping with them/having sex with them"; I view it as child sexual abuse.
This article became a featured article on July 28, 2008. You speak of the standards for FA having changed. But we can see that the Elvis Presley article, which was written in a similar style to this one, became a featured article on February 23, 2010 (just two years later), and, when it had its review last year, editors didn't state that it needed delisting because it was written by fans or had been years since it was elevated to FA status. They (except for Casliber, who didn't really give an opinion on the article's status) -- Xover, Laser_brain, Ritchie333, SandyGeorgia, Pstoller, SNUGGUMS, DannyMusicEditor, DrKay, and AGK -- saw it as needing some tweaking and likely cuts, but none of them stated that it didn't still meet WP:FA status. And they knew that a number of the editors likely being fans did not mean that the article lacks in quality. Being a fan doesn't mean that one doesn't know how to write a quality article. People on Wikipedia usually work on things they are interested in, whether they are fans or not. The way that the Jackson and Presley articles are written are the standard styles for articles of this type. If you are going to pick this article apart in the way you have done, I don't see what would keep you from doing the same to the Presley article if you were at all interested in it. No doubt you would have made the same or similar arguments for delisting it if Presley had previous child sexual abuse allegations in addition to a documentary alleging child sexual abuse on his part. The FA listing isn't holding the article back in any way. And as for "failing on stability," the stability aspect of FA does not mean that the article should not continue to be edited or have successive edits. It means it should not be "subject to ongoing edit wars and its content does not change significantly from day to day, except in response to the featured article process." The article has mainly been changing from day to day because you have recently been editing the article and some editors have edited to revert, tweak, or add on to your changes. It is not like more and more Leaving Neverland content should be added to this article. It has its own article. The size aspect is debatable, just like it is with the Presley article. I again refer to WP:Preserve. Then again, the editors who weighed in on the Presley review might feel differently about this article. Either way, I'm about ready to take this article off my watchlist. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 12:46, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree with you on reflection that "emotional trauma" was almost as bad as what we had before. I removed it quite a while back, and I think the article is the better for its removal. You've referred many, many times to WP:PRESERVE. Part of what you were arguing to preserve was having the subject die twice in the chronology. I agree with Popcornduff that the article is the better for the work I and others have done in the past couple of weeks to tighten it and refine the structure. Why not join us? There is work to be done here, and I have a feeling that we are not far from agreement on the actual content issues. --MarchOrDie (talk) 22:04, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
I haven't "referred many, many times to WP:PRESERVE." You stated "Part of what you were arguing to preserve was having the subject die twice in the chronology." Incorrect. WP:PRESERVE does not mean preserving content that shouldn't be preserved. I already quoted part of the policy to you. I have nothing else to state on this matter. And Wugapodes's comments in the RfC below are brilliant. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 02:12, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Yes you have, and it's a shame you aren't aware of it. You'll get the respect you earn from me and arguing using WP:ALPHABETSOUP, quoting policies you clearly don't understand, repeating the same arguments over and over, writing a thousand words where ten would do, arguing about things when you clearly haven't even read the content you claim to be WP:PRESERVING; none of these evoke any respect at all from me. Some of us are trying to improve the article; if you choose not to join us, that's a choice only you can make. Shame though. Having gotten this far, I am determined to help bring this article to a modern FA level. As part of this I will ignore disruption and irrelevance going forward, unless another trip to AN/I becomes necessary. Let's hope not. --MarchOrDie (talk) 09:13, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
No, I haven't. Do point me to all of the times I have mentioned WP:Preserve on this talk page. Go ahead. I am looking at all of the talk page right now, waiting for you to actually prove your case on that. There are not many mentions any sense of the word. I don't need respect from you. Nor do I want it. But since we are on the topic of respect, you'd have a chance of getting respect from me if you weren't making up WP:FA standards and what are good writing standards and using that to attack other editors or edit the article in biased and trivial ways. Nothing about your "emotional trauma" edit screams "GOOD WRITING" or "FA LEVEL," which you at least admitted. Policies I don't understand? Not according to the many cases I have been a part of concerning these policies on this site. Not to mention that I am involved in watching and helping craft a number of this site's guidelines and policies. I'm not the one erroneously citing WP:Canvassing violations at WP:ANI and it resulting in no one but me (the one you accused of WP:Canvassing) paying it any mind. You edit and argue like an utter WP:Newbie. Then again, you have only been around since 2012 while I have been around since 2007. Repeating the same arguments over and over, you state? Pot meet kettle. And as for "writing a thousand words where ten would do," not all of your arguments have been brief either, and you make so many nonsensical statements that they require thorough rebuttals. Arguing about things I clearly haven't even read the content I claim to be WP:PRESERVING? This is a pure lack of comprehension on your part. I've been at this article for years, and am aware of what is in this article. Nowhere did I state that anything should be preserved that souldn't be preserved. When I speak of WP:Preserve, I am speaking of matters such as this case, where I preserved the material and built up the article appropriately. I mentioned WP:Preserve because are you are like the hack and slash editors who think or act like cutting material automatically makes the article better; these editors lack the foresight to see that they may be cutting things they should not cut. You've already shown that you sometimes cut in a trivial manner. That is something that I don't do. As for "modern FA level," you have not not shown what "modern FA level" is because you are speaking out of your ass. Disruption? Like I stated to one of your cohorts below, "You and your cohorts need to stop trying to get me topic-banned or otherwise restricted from editing this article. It's not going to happen. I am not the problem at this article that I barely edit or this talk page." Your previous trip to WP:ANI with respect to me didn't receive much fanfare, now did it? Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:51, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
I count 15 "preserve"s from you at the moment. You're welcome. Now let's get on with improving the article, which is what this page is for. Cheers. --MarchOrDie (talk) 22:57, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Diffs? And do make clear if the mentions are only in this section, which would make sense considering that I first brought up WP:Preserve with my "19:59, 9 March 2019 (UTC)" above post, and we have now argued about my mention of WP:Preserve, which would naturally result in me mentioning WP:Preserve more. Common sense. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:09, 12 March 2019‎ (UTC)
  • The article is currently at 13,048 words, 79,340 characters. 218,278 bytes. There are 459 unique references. I think there is still scope for some slimming down. There are certainly loads of daughter articles we can dump stuff into. --MarchOrDie (talk) 10:36, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Brought here by mention. Flyer22 Reborn is really hitting the nail on the head for this one. dannymusiceditor oops 15:28, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Can you clarify which of the many points Flyer22 Reborn has made that you agree with, and why? --MarchOrDie (talk) 21:50, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I just don't think there's much to argue about here. The article has been drastically improved recently - does anyone disagree about that? If not, what's the worry? Popcornduff (talk) 15:41, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

Now at Words: 12,923, Unique references 461. Inching forwards. --MarchOrDie (talk) 00:38, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

1994 « out of court settlement »[edit]

In the introduction, regarding the first accusation of sexual abuse, it is said that “the case led to an investigation but was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount in 1994”. Then in the dedicated section, it is said that “On January 1, 1994, Jackson settled with the Chandlers out of court for $22 million”. This statement doesn't seem to be sourced (I haven't checked the sources provided for the following sentences of that paragraph). So where does this information come from, and how reliable is it ?--Abolibibelot (talk) 17:43, 20 February 2019 (UTC)

I changed to "an undisclosed amount" for now, since the source makes no mention of 22 million. Awardmaniac (talk) 22:07, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
I don't know if I'm allowed to change it but I heard the amount was $25 million, with $18 million alone to the accuser. I can source it but I fear they may just revert it. I think "undisclosed" is good for now but whatever it was, it was definitely in the $20-25 million range. BrothaTimothy (talk · contribs) 02:32, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
I think if we can get a decent source for the amount, we should use it. --MarchOrDie (talk) 11:33, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
Easily found, duly added. --MarchOrDie (talk) 13:53, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

Spoken Wikipedia audio file available[edit]

I have created an audio reading of this article and uploaded it to the Commons, but am unable to edit the article to add it to the External Links. Could someone do that for me? (FYI it's my first time doing this.) Thanks. —TeragR disc./con. 09:16, 22 February 2019 (UTC)

 Done --Walk Like an Egyptian (talk) 00:23, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

Jermaine Jackson "plan b"[edit]

It should be noted that it was unknowingly by Michael that Jermaine had apparently planned this. ( Awardmaniac (talk) 14:26, 2 March 2019 (UTC)

Why? --MarchOrDie (talk) 15:36, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
It seems of doubtful relevance. ——SerialNumber54129 15:45, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
Because it is different if someone knows or dont know. It should be added or all of it should be deleted. Awardmaniac (talk) 05:21, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
Who says it is important? Do we have a decent reference that says it makes a difference to the story? --MarchOrDie (talk) 11:14, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
This is called misinformation. The source says one thing. But wikipedia says another. Awardmaniac (talk) 12:51, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

Can Someone Edit this Part[edit]

At the end of the 3rd paragraph under the section "1993–1994: First child sexual abuse allegations and first marriage" there is this sentence:

"Feldman denied that anybody's silence had been bought."

However, there is no mention of anyone named "Feldman" anywhere in the preceding paragraph, or in the entire article for that matter. According to the citation after that sentence, it seems that the "Feldman" in question is "Larry R. Feldman", the lawyer for Jordan Chandler, who is talked about in the paragraph. That needs to be clarified. I don't yet have 500 edits, so can someone who does please edit this? Thanks Bzzzing (talk) 19:54, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

Well spotted. I'd actually favour taking this out; it's the sort of thing that a highly paid defence lawyer would say, and it would be more surprising if he hadn't said that. In my opinion it actually works against the article having that in. --MarchOrDie (talk) 20:47, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

Top level section on allegations of and charges for sexual abuse/crimes?[edit]

I note that there is no top level section discussing the various allegations and charges made against Jackson of sexual abuse/crimes during his lifetime and after. Instead, this information is scattered through the article. In contrast, to take two examples, both the articles on Harvey Weinstein and Jimmy Savile have top level sections on this subject. I am not pushing for this to happen, just raising the matter and would be interested in seeing pro/con arguments for a re-structuring of the article to group most of the relevant information in such a top level section. Oska (talk) 01:37, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

I agree that it is unfortunate that this material is scattered around the article in a rather arbitrary manner. One editor (the one currently discussed on Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Awardmaniac_again) even removed the heading of the section discussing the most recent allegations so that the material was virtually impossible to find, because it was buried at the end of a section discussing Jackson's will and a statue(!) with a very vague heading. One top-level section section on the abuse controversies would seem like a much better solution.
For example James Safechuck had been named as a victim by Chandler and various witnesses already back in 1993, so chronologically it's unfortunate to discuss his case in a top-level section mainly on Jackson's death, will etc. just because he himself came forward in 2019. --Tataral (talk) 01:57, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
I think there's perhaps enough material about the allegations to warrant its own section - but at the same time, we can't leave them out of the chronological biography, because they're major events. If we can pull this off without too much duplicating it could be a good move. Popcornduff (talk) 02:07, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
I don't think there's enough material it's not as in depth or as consistently brought as much as for example R. Kelly to deserve it's own section. This has to be handled carefully because these are allegations that do go against court hearings, the FBI investigation, and past interviews with both accusers stating as adults that nothing happened.Mcelite (talk) 02:28, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
To add some context on why I opened this section/discussion: I am approaching this from a user's point of view, not as an editor. I have no personal interest in editing this particular article as I have little interest in Michael Jackson (his music or career). However I did read an article about the new documentary Leaving Neverland and afterward looked up Jackson's wiki article to get more context on the allegations made in the documentary and detail on any further abuse allegations over his lifetime. As a user I then found I had to trawl through the article to find this information - it wasn't gathered in one place. (And to be honest, that was too much work and I gave up). So for me, the article failed as an encylopedic reference in providing a subset of information on a subject in an accessible way. I don't think I would be alone in looking up the article for this particular use. Oska (talk) 11:52, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
That's all reasonable.
Another solution might be to have an article dedicated to summarising all the sexual abuse allegations against Jackson. I don't know if this is a good idea. I suggested this recently, but I think the notion filled Flyer22 Reborn with dread. Popcornduff (talk) 13:49, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
Regardless of whether we have an article summarizing all the abuse allegations (we already have more specific articles like 1993 child sexual abuse accusations against Michael Jackson), the abuse allegations would need to be covered (summarized) in this article, and I agree that one top-level section would be the best solution, because it makes the material easier to find and also because it's not a good solution chronologically to scatter the material around based on when the allegations became (most) widely known (many of the allegations in Leaving Neverland had been around since 1993, and are closely linked to the other allegations from that period). --Tataral (talk) 15:08, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
If a section is decided I guess that would be more functional as an encyclopedic page, but it will have to be watched closely. We must maker sure this stays in neutral standpoint.Mcelite (talk) 17:15, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

It seems that there is general support for moving the material on the abuse allegations to a separate top-level section, so I will go ahead and implement that solution. --Tataral (talk) 18:58, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

Per what I stated in the #Extensive changes to the article section below, I reverted. Like I noted there, "The article, like other musician articles on Wikipedia, are set up with the album or song titles in the headings, after all. And this setup is another reason I reverted. For musician articles, we usually stay away from having controversy sections and instead keep the material aligned with the career aspects that coincided with the controversy. The Wikipedia:Criticism essay focuses on why having such a section is often not the best route." I'm not big on the idea of the article being set up this way. And it's clear that Mcelite isn't either. That stated, I understand the points that Oska and Tataral have made. We might need a WP:RfC on this. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:20, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
The idea that we can't have a section on sexual abuse because he's a musician seems rather odd, and also characteristic of an in-universe perspective (within the field of music), as opposed to a broader societal perspective. The structure used in many musician biographies isn't necessarily something we need to follow slavishly, in part because most musicians aren't also widely known for sexual abuse allegations. To many people today Jackson is just as well known for the sexual abuse allegations; I estimated that 80% of the current readers come here because of that. A separate section on the abuse allegations is the exact same solution as the one used in Jimmy Savile's article. There comes a point when the material/controversy becomes so extensive that it needs a separate section in order to remain accessible to readers; this isn't some footnote in his life. --Tataral (talk) 02:18, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
I did not state "can't." And I fail to see how it is a WP:In-universe perspective since it doesn't violate that guideline at all. All I stated is that this chronological and "coincides with" approach is the approach we use for most of our musician articles. The featured Mariah Carey article is another example. And I noted that WP:Criticism addresses issues with having a standalone controvesy section. And Mcelite also noted issues with having standalone controversy section. And as for "widely known for sexual abuse allegations," Jackson is also widely known for his music. I'm not a Jackson fan, though. And, like many others, I am likely to first think of him in terms of the child sexual abuse allegations. As for you "estimat[ing] that 80% of the current readers come here because of [the child sexual abuse allegations]," we obviously can't go by your estimations. And it hasn't always been the case that that's why most readers are coming to this article. I agree that most are coming to the article lately because of the child sexual abuse allegations, mainly due to the Leaving Neverland documentary, but we can see editors citing WP:Recentism in the "Inclusion of Leaving Neverland (with resulting controversy) in lead" section below. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 06:16, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
3 point response to Flyer22 Reborn:
1. I think Michael Jackson is better understood as an entertainer rather than as just a musician. He built his fame and large fan base on the basis of his performances (often as I understand it of songs not written by him), his dancing and his video clips. Entertainers have (necessarily) large public profiles and any controversy in their lives attracts a lot of attention, rightly or wrongly.
2. In terms of "rightly or wrongly" it is true that some controversy should not attract undue weight in an encylopedic article. I remember there being some controversy about whether Jackson had plastic surgery and skin lightening and the extent of it/reasons for it. That's really mostly his own business and I don't think it's something that would deserve its own section or really much coverage in his wiki article. However, allegations and charges made against him of sexual abuse are another matter entirely. Yes, they can be controversial but they are also matters of genuine public interest. This is why we have visitors' galleries in courtrooms, court reporters, etc. This is also why we have mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse (in my own country of Australia anyway). So I think the reference to the page Wikipedia:Criticism misses the point in that this aspect of Jackson's life has received much interest (including official interest) and that interest is mostly valid. Yes, there are cases of people being smeared unjustly over allegations of abuse but that is why we try to maintain neutrality and reliance on good sources. (Mcelite's point)
3. Finally, I think the restructuring of the article benefits this article's two main audiences. One, the audience I described myself being part of, that of those who come to the article not to read about his entertainment career but specifically to read about the sexual abuse allegations/charges. But I think the restructuring also benefits those who mostly want to read about his entertainment career and aren't really interested in the abuse allegations (or discount them). They can just skip over that section. So in other words, the restructuring helps people better access the information they want in this article rather than having to read about abuse allegations when you're really mostly only interested in his entertainment career or vice versa, having to read about his career when you're really only interested in the alleged abuse. (Of course, there's also people interested in both). Oska (talk) 03:12, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Addendum: I think the restructuring will also help editors better maintain the article too and help them improve its quality. I think it would be hard for an editor to keep across the abuse topic when it was so scattered through the article. Oska (talk) 03:23, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
I was going to suggest making the allegation a subsection in a personal life section, but just realized this one isn't structured that way. I believe the section should be pushed down after his artistry and legacy section. That way the allegations are not a major distraction in my opinion, but more importantly it certainly helps the article remain neutral. Once the protection is lifted this section will have to be watched like a hawk to maintain it's neutrality. Pushing the section down beneath the artistry section and legacy section may also help us especially because he was found not guilty with the allegations.Mcelite (talk) 03:29, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
I'd agree with the abuse section appearing below the artistry section. It does seem a little odd for it to be the second section in the article as presently configured. Probably deserves to be before the death/memorial service section though as the allegations predate his death. Oska (talk) 03:36, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Oska, I meant "entertainer" in the same sense as "musician." WP:MUSICIAN does not distinguish, and our Musician Wikipedia article states, "A musician is a person who plays a musical instrument or is musically talented.[1] Anyone who composes, conducts, or performs music is referred to as a musician.[2] Whether the person is more so an an entertainer or not, we usually go with the aforementioned structure that I mentioned for these types of articles. As for Wikipedia:Criticism, in its "Approaches to presenting criticism" section, it does state "This approach is generally discouraged, but it is sometimes used for politics, religion and philosophy topics to avoid confusion that may result if negative viewpoints were interwoven with the description of the primary viewpoint." And its "Controversy" subsection notes that "For a specific controversy regarding the topic, when such topic takes a prominent place in the reliable sources on the topic." And in its "Criticism" subsection, it states, "A section dedicated to negative material is sometimes appropriate, if the sources treat the negative material as an organic whole, and if readers would be better served by seeing all the negative material in one location." So it gets your point.
I understand your point about including the section separately from the career stuff, and I'm not strongly opposed to doing that. I'm just not 100% sold on it. And there's also an argument for consistency -- so that editors don't look at this article or one like it and think that we usually include a controversy section in musician articles or that it's necessarily the best route.
I think we need to discuss this more, as is clear by the additional thoughts from you and Mcelite, and see if we can all agree on a setup. Or if we need to start an RfC on it. Moxy, any thoughts? Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 06:16, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
On a side note: I prefer not to be pinged to this talk page since it's on my watchlist. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 06:34, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

Regarding Flyer22 Reborn's argument on consistency, I have looked up articles on other entertainers who have had allegations or charges for sexual abuse made against them to see how their articles were structured. In the list below I have classified them as living or deceased and whether it went as far as allegations or charges or convictions. These are people who came to mind for me; I don't think I have cherry picked these examples but anyone is welcome to provide other examples.

  • Jimmy Savile (deceased, allegations). Top level section : "Allegations of sexual abuse"
  • R. Kelly (living, allegations). Top level section : "Sex scandals and allegations"
  • Kevin Spacey (living, allegations). Top level section : "Sexual misconduct allegations"
  • Harvey Weinstein (living, charges). Top level section : "Allegations of and charges for sexual crimes"
  • Roman Polanski (living, charges). Top level section : "Legal history"
  • Rolf Harris (living, convicted). Top level section : "Arrest and trial"
  • Bill Cosby (living, convicted). Top level section : "Sexual assault conviction"

I'm seeing a clear consistent pattern of grouping this subject matter in a top level section. So this article lacking a top level section appears to be the inconsistent one. Again, if people can think of other examples I would welcome them being referenced. Oska (talk) 07:17, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

Most of those articles aren't musician articles. I spoke of consistency of musician articles, particularly articles about singers. We treat our actor articles differently, but we are cautious of creating a controversy section even for those. This article has had the child sexual abuse content the way it is for yeas with no problem. The only reason there is even a suggestion to create a section grouping all of the child sexual abuse material together now is because of the Leaving Neverland material. But we can see that editors have wondered just how much space it should get in this article. And Popcornduff stated, "I think there's perhaps enough material about the allegations to warrant its own section - but at the same time, we can't leave them out of the chronological biography, because they're major events. If we can pull this off without too much duplicating it could be a good move." Right after that, Mcelite stated, "I don't think there's enough material it's not as in depth or as consistently brought as much as for example R. Kelly to deserve it's own section. This has to be handled carefully because these are allegations that do go against court hearings, the FBI investigation, and past interviews with both accusers stating as adults that nothing happened."
I definitely now think we need an RfC on this. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 08:04, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
@ Flyer22 Reborn. Sorry, but frankly I find this whole 'musician' angle a canard. Firstly, I think entertainer is a better description of Jackson (short argument why given above) and secondly, even if you go with the musician categorisation I fail to see why musicians should be treated differently. Oska (talk) 08:11, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
I answered your musician vs. entertainer argument above, with the inclusion of sources from the Musician article. As for why these articles are formatted differently, that's a discussion for the broader community. But at this point in time they are. It is the case that these articles are usually set up with the album or song titles in the headings, the album or song material in those sections and any controversies that coincided with those moments in those sections. With actor articles, the setup might be to have the television show or film in the heading. Either way, even for actor articles, the controversy material often goes in one of those sections instead of having its own section. I recognize that you are stating that cases like Jackson's case are different. But notice that none of the articles you pointed to are WP:Good or WP:Featured articles. And that conviction cases are different. There's also the fact that this article already identifies the child sexual abuse content with headings. We haven't gotten any complaints about that material being hard to locate. You've made a complaint, but it's about the 'Leaving Neverland content being difficult to locate, although I think some readers will naturally know to check the "Aftermath" section for that material. And adding a subsection heading for the material would make it easy to find. Above, you stated that you are "not pushing for this to happen, just raising the matter and would be interested in seeing pro/con arguments for a re-structuring of the article to group most of the relevant information in such a top level section." Well, now you are pushing for it. And I've suggested an RfC. If no one else is willing to start it, I will. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 08:39, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Regardless of opinion of whether or not Michael is considered a musician or an entertainer the amount of popularity of the sex abuse allegations makes it notable forcing us to have to mention it. Overall, I believe the sex allegations section should be moved beneath the aforementioned sections that way we are helping keep the article as a whole neutral, and decreasing the distraction of the allegations so readers capture more of why he is notable. Like I said earlier after protection is lifted we might see quite a circus for the next month until things calm down on both ends. I say can we move to a vote to at least move the section itself and then focus on the content as a whole to maintain it's neutrality.Mcelite (talk) 19:15, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
And the child sexual abuse stuff is already mentioned, with clear headings that identify it. It is only the documentary that currently isn't identified by a subheading, which is easily fixed. Also pinging Synthwave.94 for their thoughts; Synthwave.94, see the RfC on this below if you weigh in. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 12:24, 8 March 2019 (UTC)



  1. ^ "Musician". Oxford Dictionary.
  2. ^ "Musician". MacMillan Dictionary.
  • Yes Looking at everyone's comments I am voting yes to moving the sex allegations below his artistry and legacy sections to help maintain the article's neutrality overall.Mcelite (talk) 05:23, 10 March 2019 (UTC)

Topic ban for Awardmaniac[edit]

Awardmaniac is now under a topic ban for articles related to Michael Jackson, broadly construed. This ban was placed after Special:Diff/886454322 and so that edit is not considered to violate the topic ban. I make no statement as to the appropriateness of the contents of the edit, only that the edit itself does not violate the topic ban. Note that the ban extends to this discussion page, too, so please be extra careful about personal attacks here, against an editor who would not be able to respond. --Yamla (talk) 11:13, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

After being informed of his topic ban, Awardmaniac immediately continued making Michael Jackson-related (article and talk page) edits, mainly related to the sexual abuse allegations (an issue that hardcore Jackson fans have particular difficulty with when it comes to neutral and encyclopedic editing): [9], [10], [11]. --Tataral (talk) 18:21, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
Oh I just say the topic ban now? Awardmaniac (talk) 18:22, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
I have followed up. Awardmaniac will not edit the article any further and will not edit this talk page any further. Any further violations of their topic ban or 1RR restriction will result in immediate sanction. --Yamla (talk) 19:29, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

Inclusion of Leaving Neverland (with resulting controversy) in lead[edit]

Readership of this article has increased fivefold during the last few days. Around 80% of all readers of this article currently come here because of Leaving Neverland. The coverage of Leaving Neverland around the world has been enormous; we have to go back a decade, to Jackson's death, to find a comparable level of coverage of Jackson in any capacity. It has also resulted in a significant backlash against Jackson and there are reports from many countries of his music being removed from radio stations. Countless commentators in RS have said this changes Jackson's legacy fundamentally. In other words, Leaving Neverland is a pivotal event in the history of Michael Jackson and his legacy, comparable to the revelations about Jimmy Savile after his death that also altered his legacy (despite the lack of a conviction).

In the world of popular culture, Leaving Neverland is without doubt the most discussed story not only this year, but at least since Harvey Weinstein. In fact it's easily one of the most discussed stories this year in any field.

The lead currently includes fairly trivial material about Jackson's earnings in 2016 and the conviction and brief incarceration of a doctor for involuntary manslaughter. Yet, Leaving Neverland is not mentioned in the lead.

I propose that Leaving Neverland (which I understand as the film and the resulting backlash against Jackson) is mentioned in the lead, and that we remove his 2016 earnings. --Tataral (talk) 19:54, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

While I'm fine with mentioning Leaving Neverland in the lead along with its impact, I oppose removing earnings because that was a record amount tracked. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 20:12, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
Ok, that's fine with me, I don't consider the inclusion of the 2016 earnings as a very big issue in itself, as long as Leaving Neverland is also included.
In terms of wording, how about "The 2019 documentary Leaving Neverland about Jackson's alleged sexual abuse resulted in a backlash against Jackson, and many radio stations removed his music." --Tataral (talk) 20:30, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
Oppose in lede. Perhaps in lede of Cultural impact of Michael Jackson. SITH (talk) 22:17, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
There is no article called Cultural impact of Michael Jackson. That is a redirect to this article. The article appears to have been a pet project of the just topic-banned User:Awardmaniac. --Tataral (talk) 22:37, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support including this significant information in the lead; after all, it's a summary of the article and the article mentions it. --MarchOrDie (talk) 23:48, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
Looking at the fourth paragraph, how would the Leaving Neverland material fit in? I don't see that it should come before that fourth paragraph or be its own paragraph. Per WP:Lead, we typically don't exceed four paragraphs. Perhaps propose here on the talk page how the text will fit with the fourth paragraph? Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:35, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:RECENTISM, should not be included in the lead until after the long-term notability of the documentary has been evaluated. Ilovetopaint (talk) 02:11, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree withIlovetopaint especially because of WP:RECENTISM.Mcelite (talk) 03:32, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Question: Given that the recent documentary relates to events from decades ago, has attracted enormous attention, and has already led to some fairly major reevaluation of Jackson's reputation, is RECENTISM really much of an argument? --MarchOrDie (talk) 08:31, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support this is not recentism, this relates to events occurring decades ago and the documentary is an important development receiving significant and long-lasting coverage in numerous reliable sources.Polyamorph (talk) 10:08, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. This is clearly a major issue, a major change in how Jackson is seen, and discussion in the lede would be appropriate and helpful. deisenbe (talk) 10:11, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support There is precedent for the inclusion of such allegations in top level sections, regardless of whether you believe documentary or not these are serious allegations and ones that have dogged his entire career. The documentary has aired, the allegations are out there and its now a part of history. So from a historical standpoint it should be in the lead. EL Foz87 (talk) 14:11, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:RECENTISM. Jackson's career spanned 30+ years. The only reason why we're even talking about this is because of a recent event. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 16:16, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
    • The source (the documentary) is recent, but the events took place over a long period. So I'm not sure how recentism comes into it. --MarchOrDie (talk) 17:33, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
      • Recentism doesn't apply so much to the events, but the recent press coverage. We wouldn't even be having this discussion if it wasn't for the film. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:21, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
The whole point of WP:RECENT is that "it is appropriate to be aware of balance and historical perspective," not that Wikipedia shouldn't cover developments simply because they are "recent," regardless of their merits (for example: hours after Trump's election as President, major changes would be appropriate). The key question is whether the 2019 backlash against Jackson is significant in the overall assessment of Jackson and his legacy. We have countless sources (just one random example: "Michael Jackson's legacy was changed by 'Leaving Neverland.' It's a long overdue reckoning for every fan.") that directly address that question and consider this year's developments to be of pivotal importance in the assessment of Jackson. In addition, this year's developments relating to Jackson have received more coverage in RS than any other issue relating to Jackson since his death a decade ago, and the lead already includes almost trivial details e.g. on the exact nature of the punishment of his doctor. It's also relevant that the sexual abuse issue has received extensive coverage over several decades and clearly had a significant impact on his life in the 1990s and 2000s, so the material isn't really that recent. --Tataral (talk) 22:17, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
The point of WP:RECENTISM is to avoid exactly what this proposal is trying to do. Yes, there's a huge flurry of news at the moment, but we have no way of predicting whether this will be important in the long term. This is an encyclopedia, not a newspaper. If it's so important, why not wait a year or two and then decide? We have no WP:DEADLINEs. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 16:14, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. WP:Recent doesn't suggest we ignore recent events, but that we deal with them appropriately. This is a significant event, and we have an article on it: Leaving Neverland. As it stands , this article is not dealing with Leaving Neverland appropriately, and it's starting to feel like we are whitewashing the article. Wikipedia is not censored, and we seek to provide a neutral balance in our all our articles, which means at times dealing with the negative, especially if it appears sensationalised in the media. What people are looking for is the non-sensational, neutral and factual account. So, we give a brief summary of the main points in the main body of this article, linking people to the fuller details in Leaving Neverland, and - as per WP:Lead - we briefly mention it in the lead, at the same time linking there also to Leaving Neverland. SilkTork (talk) 23:11, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Nobody is suggested that we ignore recent events. It is covered in the article. The question is whether it belongs in the lede, and it's way too early to tell whether this is significant enough to warrant inclusion in the lede. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 16:17, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
I only say this because it's 15 years old and was released during Jackson's lifetime. Yet no one had talked about it in this talk page since it aired. There was as much media frenzy then as there is now. Ilovetopaint (talk) 02:44, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment it doesn't really matter whether it happens now or soon, but it's clear there's a change in inertia about the feelings around Jackson. Probably best to play the long game and wait, keep the documentary matters to a subpage with a clear indication on the main article, perhaps with a single sentence in the lead. In due course it will change, of course, to something very different. I'm sad that we won't be hearing Thriller much longer on our radio stations. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:56, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

Extensive changes to the article[edit]

Ilovetopaint, Tataral and Awardmaniac, at the end of the day, this is still a WP:Featured article. I'm not stating that changes should not be made to it, but per WP:CAREFUL and WP:STEWARDSHIP, extensive changes, especially of a controversial nature, should be discussed first. Can we try to work toward WP:Consensus when it comes to article setup and what to include or not to include? I reverted the extensive changes for a number of reasons. First, I saw editors removing content with WP:IDON'TLIKEIT rationales or similar. For example, here, Awardmaniac removed material stating that it "does not belong here but in the article itself. along with the interview." And here we see Tataral reverting Awardmaniac for POV reasons. Here, we have Ilovetopaint trimming the lead while pointing to MOS:INTRO, but, arguably, a bit of the material should remain. The article, like other musician articles on Wikipedia, are set up with the album or song titles in the headings, after all. And this setup is another reason I reverted. For musician articles, we usually stay away from having controversy sections and instead keep the material aligned with the career aspects that coincided with the controversy. The Wikipedia:Criticism essay focuses on why having such a section is often not the best route. Yeah, it's an essay, but it has solid points. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:01, 7 March 2019 (UTC) Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:04, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

Per above, I see that Awardmaniac is topic-banned. That makes things easier. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:14, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

  • "A bit of that material should remain ..." What material exactly? The only information I removed from the lead was two specific Grammy awards and the singles mentioned (10). It's enough to simply mention the albums they originate from. Is it really necessary to include half of the Bad track listing in the lead? Ilovetopaint (talk) 01:16, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Well, why remove the Grammy awards? As for the songs, the lead is focused on the more notable ones. Some of the songs more notable than the others (as made clear lower in the article). Regarding what you cut, we should discuss which songs make the most sense to mention in the lead, given the article's content. As for this, I agree that the big quote doesn't improve the article. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:26, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
(re: Grammy) It's unclear why those particular awards matter. The lead already states that he has more awards than any other pop entertainer in history, so mentioning specifics with titles like "Legend" seem like a bit of a resumé jerkoff. (re: singles) The most notable came from Thriller and Bad, but the thing that made Jackson special was the fact that those albums were like hits collections, so listing every hit that came off them is kinda redundant. Can you imagine if The Beatles lead went through all the best-known tracks from Sgt. Pepper's, Abbey Road, Revolver ...? Ilovetopaint (talk) 02:03, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting that we list every one, but mentioning a few with respect to the article's content seems like something we should do. Are you okay with mentioning a few? If so, which ones do you think we should mention? Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 06:16, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Probably just the "Black and White" video and maybe the Thriller songs. Ilovetopaint (talk) 05:00, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
Do not make blanket reverts to a several days old version of an article after several editors have worked on the article for days, reflecting current consensus here. That is both disruptive and disrespectful to other Wikipedia editors, and quite frankly unacceptable behaviour. The edits you are referring to have been discussed on this talk page and reflect the current consensus, e.g. on moving sexual abuse allegations to a single section. Your edits appear to be an attempt to remove almost entirely any mention of Leaving Neverland. If you have an issue with any particular edits, take part in the debate here on the talk page instead (e.g. in the debate on the structure of the abuse section above). --Tataral (talk) 01:54, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Tataral, it's better to not talk to me like I am some vandal or a newbie. It's also best that you don't demand that I don't revert for more discussion. You and I also define "several days old" differently. But, anyway, WP:Consensus-wise, how about you not make extensive changes to a featured article without waiting at least two or three days for all involved editors to weigh in? An editor proposed your changes on March 6th (Wikipedia time). I showed up to contest the changes hours later on March 6th. It's a standard WP:Bold, revert, discuss matter, despite the intermediate edits that got caught up in my revert. As made clear above, I was also focused on lead changes, not just changes to article structure. I pointed to guidelines and the way that articles like this are formatted for my reasons for reverting to the WP:Status quo version. WP:Consensus is policy. Notice that it states, "Decision making and reaching consensus involve an effort to incorporate all editors' legitimate concerns, while respecting Wikipedia's policies and guidelines." Emphasis on the bolded "all." It does not state "some." You were quick to implement the proposed article format even though others, like myself and Moxy, hadn't yet weighed in. You speak of being disruptive and disrespectful, and yet Popcornduff pinged me above with regard to the discussion about rearranging the article. Popcornduff was more respectful than you were on this matter. Just because I hadn't yet weighed doesn't mean that my view should be discounted or ignored. Some of us are not on this site 24/7. As for your claim that "[my] edits appear to be an attempt to remove almost entirely any mention of Leaving Neverland," do not mistake me for Awardmaniac or some Jackson apologist. I clearly am not. There is nothing disruptive and disrespectful about reverting to the status quo version of an article for more discussion, especially in the case of a featured article. Discussion on restructuring the article is still being had above. There is no deadline; there is no valid reason to rush a different structure. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 06:16, 7 March 2019 (UTC) Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 06:34, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Making a blanket revert to a several days old version of an article after several editors have worked in a consensus-oriented manner for several days just because you erroneously believe yourself to have a personal veto over any edit to the article is not acceptable editing, and not in the spirit of Wikipedia:Consensus. Such blanket reverts are also generally disruptive. If you had just disagreed with e.g. the restructuring of the abuse material and called for more discussion on that, that would have been fine and unproblematic, but you instead chose to indiscriminately discard several days' work by several editors while insisting that even other, unrelated and/or small edits made during the past week need your personal permission. That is not what consensus means, at least not on this project.
I also had no reason to ping you, in a discussion started by another editor, because I had never heard of you and I didn't know that you considered yourself to WP:OWN the article. Based on the discussion at the time, I had no reason to expect any significant opposition to the restructuring that was proposed by another editor.
Whether you consider yourself to be fundamentally different from Awardmaniac or not, the fact remains that you are making the exact same edits as Awardmaniac, hours after he was topic-banned, reducing coverage of Leaving Neverland and its impact to a single almost meaningless sentence buried at the end of a section otherwise devoted to Jackson's will and a statue in his honour (conspicuously omitting the fact that the statue was removed in response to Leaving Neverland[12]), with a section title that makes the material impossible to find, and (quite inappropriately given the context) an illustration of "Fan Tributes at Jackson's tomb" --Tataral (talk) 06:36, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Nowhere did I state or imply that "unrelated and/or small edits made during the past week need [my] personal permission." Nowhere have I insisted that any edit needs my personal permission. I've insisted that substantive changes were hastily made without consideration for opinons from other editors (including me) who would have likely objected to the changes. You may not like it, but there are certain rules to follow with regard to featured articles. That you are claiming WP:OWN after I pointed to WP:CAREFUL and WP:STEWARDSHIP is ridiculous. WP:CAREFUL states, "Also, changes to articles on complex, controversial subjects with long histories or active sanctions, or to Featured Articles and Good Articles, should be done with extra care. In many cases, the text as you find it has come into being after long and arduous negotiations between Wikipedians of diverse backgrounds and points of view. A careless edit to such an article might stir up a latent conflict, and other users who are involved in the page may become defensive. If you would like to make a significant edit—not just a simple copyedit—to an article on a controversial subject, it is a useful idea to first read the article in its entirety and skim the comments on the talk page. On controversial articles, the safest course is to be cautious and find consensus before making changes, but there are situations when bold edits can safely be made to contentious articles. Always use your very best editorial judgment in these cases and be sure to read the talk page." WP:STEWARDSHIP, a section of WP:OWN states, "Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that 'anyone can edit, but not all edits bring improvement. In many cases, a core group of editors will have worked to build the article up to its present state, and will revert edits that they find detrimental in order, they believe, to preserve the quality of the encyclopedia. Such reversion does not indicate an 'ownership' problem, if it is supported by an edit summary referring to Wikipedia policies and guidelines, previous reviews and discussions, or specific grammar or prose problems introduced by the edit. Where disagreement persists after such a reversion, the editor proposing the change should first take the matter to the talk page, without personal comments or accusations of ownership. In this way, the specifics of any change can be discussed with the editors who are familiar with the article, who are likewise expected to discuss the content civilly. This is in keeping with the BRD cycle, which stands for bold, revert, discuss. Though not an official policy or guideline, it is a dependable method for dispute resolution."
My revert was not a violation of any policy or guideline. My years of watching and occasionally editing this article show that this is not a matter of me owning the article. When an editor suggested a review above, I listened and engaged that editor. That editor took the time to listen and reply. That editor didn't hastily make changes. And I didn't revert that editor's changes. You speak of WP:Consensus, but your quick implementation of the structure didn't consider the WP:CAREFUL guideline or the WP:STEWARDSHIP policy. You alone decided that there was consensus and then went off and stuck the structure in, after a little discussion and little bit of time had passed. You speak of WP:Consensus, and yet here I am objecting. If you had waited even a reasonable amount of time, this dispute between us wouldn't exist. This is the exact thing that WP:CAREFUL and WP:STEWARDSHIP speaks of. We can see that Moxy is a long-time contributor to this article. Your rush to add the new structure completely disregard any comment Moxy might have made on the matter. It certainly disregarded mine. Like me, Moxy is not on this site 24-7 either. And WP:Silent consensus is not always a valid consensus to go with. I have no issue with more on Leaving Neverland being added to the article, or if you want to add a subheading for the material in that section. What I objected to was the article structure, and I've noted why. As for not knowing who I was and therefore not pinging me, it was enough that Popcornduff mentioned/pinged me. Why else would I be mentioned with regard to the article's content if I was not involved? Why assume that the editors who weighed in are the only editors who watch and/or edit article? In fact, most of the editors currently in that discussion are editors who don't regularly edit the article. And many editors, including me, check an article's edit history to get a sense of how many active editors of an article there are. I definitely do this when wanting to gauge consensus. If I see an active editor who has not weighed in, I am likely to ping that editor.
You comparing me to Awardmaniac is ludicrous, per the very discussion on my talk page I pointed to and the fact that reverting to the 5:46, 4 March 2019‎ version of the article is not at all the exact same edits as Awardmaniac. The article was like that before you showed up to it. And the setup (minus the Leaving Neverland content) has been the way it is for years with no issue. The only reason editors are now discussing having the child sexual abuse content be its own section is due to the aforementioned documentary. Popcornduff and other editors can attest to the fact that I don't edit like Awardmaniac. Talk:Michael Jackson/Archive 32#Cultural impact of Michael Jackson shows that I don't edit like Awardmaniac. But, hey, if you think I'm just like Awardmaniac, then feel free to report me at WP:ANI or to Yamla and see what happens. To save you the trip, though, I'll go ahead and note that I won't be getting topic-banned from this article. It would be best if you stop treating me like the enemy and instead continue the format discussion. I'm still waiting for Moxy to weigh in. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 07:39, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
This is not a question of whether the new chapter structure should be implemented. It was implemented based on discussion on this talk page with no significant opposition, and I've already pointed out that it would have been ok for you to revert that particular edit if you had explained yourself on this page page and said this particular change needed more discussion. This, however, is not what you did. You made a blanket, indiscriminate revert to a several days old version of the article. The main effect of your edit was downplaying coverage of the sexual abuse issue and almost erasing coverage of Leaving Neverland (including making the material virtually impossible to find in the article) and updates made during the past week that reflected significant developments relating to Jackson. Those edits weren't "extensive edits" or anything of the kind, but normal, mostly small edits that added a couple of sentences to the article. That you show up late is frankly not anyone else's problem. This is not an article just on some musician of interest only to a select audience of fans, but on an individual who is the focus of intense media attention and ongoing developments right now. Readership of the article has increased fivefold as a result of that. In such articles changes are likely to happen faster. It's unacceptable for the article not to cover Leaving Neverland and its impact, the reason why 80% of the current readers look up the article, in an appropriate manner. As another editor argued above, "this article is not dealing with Leaving Neverland appropriately, and it's starting to feel like we are whitewashing the article." The version of the section that covers Leaving Neverland that you are insisting on is both inappropriate and even offensive in its treatment of the issue for the reasons I mentioned above. That is my main objection (not the chapter structure), in addition to the fact that indiscriminate blanket reverts to days-old versions are very bad form in general.
You keep insisting that the article is a "featured article;" that status was awarded before the recent developments and by editors mostly concerned with his music (many of them avowed fans), and the article is arguably now out of date based on how RS cover Jackson; if Jimmy Savile had been a featured article before his death, that wouldn't have been a reason not to cover the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal in an appropriate manner. The recents edits aimed at updating and improving the article to reflect recent developments and coverage of Jackson in RS were clearly the first step as listed in Wikipedia:Featured article review, but given the opposition by yourself to any changes to the article the article might be a candidate for a more formal review. The article isn't very well written or structured either (as discussed by several editors), so it's clearly in need of improvement. --Tataral (talk) 23:25, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
You argue that "It was implemented based on discussion on this talk page with no significant opposition." I've already been over this; I'm not repeating myself on that. I think you were in the wrong to implement those changes so quickly. You think I was wrong to make that revert (both times). Enough stated on that. There is no "downplaying coverage of the sexual abuse issue." It's there. There's you and some others thinking that the Leaving Neverland content needs to be prominent. Others disagree with you and those editors. You keep talking about current readers. And that is exactly what editors mean when they point you and others to WP:Recentism.
You argued that I "keep insisting that the article is a 'featured article;' that status was awarded before the recent developments and by editors mostly concerned with his music (many of them avowed fans), and the article is arguably now out of date based on how RS cover Jackson." You have no idea if it was mainly fans that elevated the article to FA status. I'm no Jackson fan, but I watch and occasionally edit this article. The article is still featured. Recent developments with regard to the topic and other editors coming along to edit the article does not negate what the WP:STEWARDSHIP policy states. In fact, it makes what it states that more important. You keep bringing up Jimmy Savile. With Saville, there is a "joint report by the NSPCC and Metropolitan Police, Giving Victims a Voice, [that states] that 450 people had made complaints against Savile, with the period of alleged abuse stretching from 1955 to 2009 and the ages of the complainants at the time of the assaults ranging from 8 to 47." There are other matters documenting his abuse as well. With Jackson, we have the FBI investigation not deeming him a child sexual abuser (although one can argue that the investigation failed victims), and we have an acquittal, and a documentary. That's a significant difference. As for your argument that "given the opposition by [myself] to any changes to the article the article might be a candidate for a more formal review." Wrong. I've clearly noted that MarchOrDie didn't point to any big reasons for why the article should go under an official review or needs delisting. MarchOrDie pointed to easily fixable issues, and easily fixable issues should be fixed before taking an article through a possible delisting review. And I commended MarchOrDie for tweaking and cutting parts of the article. As for the article not being very well-written or structured, that is your opinion and everyone knows that you are making that claim because you want the Leaving Neverland content to be prominent. Several editors have not stated the article is not well-written. That was MarchOrDie stating that. Several editors have been talking about the structure because some, like you, want the Leaving Neverland content to be more prominent. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 12:24, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
Ok i am here...will review whats going on...little disappointed to see click bait used as of late...but will see what we can cleanup.--Moxy (talk) 12:32, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

Thank you Flyer for some lead restoration. It simply is incomplete to not mention any singles at all, and I especially object to removing the 5 US #1's from Bad as that was the first album to have that many songs top the country's chart. While I'm not sure if I'd treat sexual abuse allegations the same as a general controversy/criticism section, though, being a musician isn't by itself a good reason to avoid lumping them all into one section. A better basis is whether it would create undue negative weight. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 13:03, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

No problem. And I am looking at everything from a WP:Due weight perspective as well. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 12:35, 8 March 2019 (UTC)

Request for comments on restructuring the article[edit]

Should the article be restructured to group information about allegations of and charges for sexual abuse under one top level section? It is currently scattered through the article. Oska (talk) 09:11, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

Please be aware of the existing discussion above under heading "Top level section on allegations of and charges for sexual abuse/crimes?" Oska (talk) 09:15, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

Note: This RfC was re-opened. See the #RFC reopened section below for further detail. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 17:20, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

  • Support new top level section for these allegations, consistent with other biographies of famous people who have had allegations made (some proven some not yet) against them.Polyamorph (talk) 10:13, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Seems reasonable to detail all the allegations in one place, as it's one of the main things he is known for. The challenge will be how to avoid making the article too long and repetitive. --MarchOrDie (talk) 10:28, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • No that would be the opposite of what we should do and may cause the article to loos its FA status if we don't follow WP:STRUCTURE. (English Wikipedia policy.).."Folding debates into the narrative" is what we are looking for.--Moxy (talk) 12:39, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Even if brief there has to be a section on them. There have also been allegations which are lesser kown. See Category:Michael Jackson sexual abuse allegations. deisenbe (talk)
  • Comment we have to ask ourselves whether this would be undue negative weight. I'm not sure what to say there at the moment. Maybe the answer will come to me later with some further thought. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 13:13, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support If someone's willing to do, go for it. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:19, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. The material is currently arbitrarily scattered around, partially under headings that don't mention the issue at all, and thus nearly inaccessible to most readers, who almost never read the article from start to finish. For example, Leaving Neverland and its impact are mentioned under the heading "Aftermath" which otherwise covers Jackson's will and a statue (without mentioning that it was removed in response to Leaving Neverland), complete with a particularly offensive (given the context) illustration of "Fan Tributes at Jackson's tomb on the first anniversary of his death". The abuse allegations are also linked to each other both chronologically and otherwise (for example Safechuck was identified as a victim by several witnesses already back in 1993), so chronologically it would be much better to cover them in the same top-level section than to cover some of the allegations in a section on his marriage to Lisa Marie Presley and some of them in a section on "Fan Tributes"(!) after his death. The abuse controversy has become so extensive that it needs its own section in order to remain accessible to readers; it's simply too unwieldy to be scattered around in other sections on "Fan Tributes"(!). 80% of the current readers come here specifically looking for material on the sexual abuse controversy, and most of them probably leave mostly empty-handed due to the article's confusing treatment of this issue where the material is notoriously hard to find. One well-structured section is also the same solution as the one found in Jimmy Savile, Harvey Weinstein and all other comparable articles where the subject is also widely known for sexual abuse allegations. In general this article is very badly structured and in dire need of improvement, and partially comes across as fancruft for some of the reasons mentioned above. --Tataral (talk) 19:22, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Best we follow WP:STRUCTURE . "material is currently scattered around" meaning they are in the historical order as is preferred. Section making for one topic is the exact opposite of what we should be doing WP:STRUCTURE. Hopefully the closer will see policy bases arguments over "look what the other article has" . To pass FA review years ago we had to incorporate the sex scandal. -- Moxy (talk) 19:46, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Yes, we need to follow WP:STRUCTURE and thus do something with the current structure. This article can't be frozen the way it was "years ago" without taking into account recent developments. In fact it would be beneficial for the quality of this article to lose its FA status and go through the process again. Much has changed since last time, and more editors are also likely to take an interest in the article. Do you believe that the article's current treatment of Leaving Neverland and its impact (complete with its illustration of "Fan Tributes" and a heading that makes the material impossible to find) is appropriate? --Tataral (talk) 19:49, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Yes the article should be updated in the time line section that is already there.. Adding a section for it is simply undue...especially when the sources are made up of media crap. As per WP:STRUCTURE "Segregation of text or other content into different regions or subsections, based solely on the apparent POV of the content itself, may result in an unencyclopedic structure" of our oldest policies. So far we have "I like it" and " look at the other article" votes vs the oldtimer pointing to a policy as to why don't do this....and how our FA articles are structured.--Moxy (talk) 19:59, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Ah, I see. We have thousands of very high-quality reliable sources discussing the new documentary on Jackson and its implications, and there is near-universal agreement among reliable sources that this is an important issue with profound implications for the assessment of Jackson, but you regard it as simply "media crap." I hope the closer will base her or his decision on Wikipedia policy such as WP:RS rather than fandom-based comments about RS being "media crap." The comment also hightlights why this article needs improvement and probably should lose its FA status until it is improved. Also, for the record, you haven't pointed to any "policy as to why don't do this" (only your dubious personal interpretation of a policy), and you being an "oldtimer" is not a valid argument (I've been a Wikipedian for a decade too, but that is not something I believe is a strong argument in a content discussion). --Tataral (talk) 20:03, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Ok perhaps I am not being clear ...or the RfC is not clear. What I see being asked it to pull out all the controversy stuff from the article and make a new section with it and title that section in a non neutral manner....or make a section based on click bait media for a new controversy. So what our policy say is that stuff of this nature should not be cherry picked out of the article and a section made form it. It should be in the normal pros of the article. I have no problem using the media crap till we have real source that cover this in depth. I do have a problem making a new controversy section based on click bait media .....lets just add the stuff to the article. --Moxy (talk) 20:28, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
It's not a question of pulling "all the controversy stuff", only the material specifically about sexual abuse, clearly a separate topic, in order to present it in a coherent and accessible manner, as also discussed above. I do not understand the comment about "click bait media"; that is quite frankly a very offensive comment if you are referring to the discussion centered on Leaving Neverland. --Tataral (talk) 20:30, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Highlighting material specifically about sexual abuse 'allegations is a clear violation of WP:WEIGHT "Undue weight can be given in several ways, including but not limited to depth of detail, quantity of text, prominence of placement, juxtaposition of statements and imagery."----Moxy (talk) 20:36, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
No, it's not. It's your proposal to bury it that is a clear violation of WP:WEIGHT. And just for the record: This is the kind of sources that you describe as "click bait media"; I think anyone can see that your description of those sources is without any merit whatsoever. Quite a number of very high-quality RS now also focus on the reaction online by Jackson superfans (including their "shouting down news outlets") as a phenomenon that is itself worthy of coverage in this saga, and that we in time will probably add to this article. --Tataral (talk) 20:39, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
What I am saying is we should not have a section that "highlights allegations" based on daily coverage of a an ongoing topic. Just add it to the timeline. Pls try and address the policies being shown...forget the sources (not in the policies being discussed)....we all agree they are good enough for inclusion...I just think is a bad idea to bases a section on daily coverage media......I am sure all understand the difference between journalism and reporting. WP:BALASP "An article should not give undue weight to minor aspects of its subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight proportional to its treatment in the body of reliable, published material on the subject. For example, discussion of isolated events, criticisms, or news reports about a subject may be verifiable and impartial, but still disproportionate to their overall significance to the article topic. This is a concern especially in relation to recent events that may be in the news."--Moxy (talk) 20:55, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
The sexual abuse issue is not a "minor aspect" of Jackson, as demonstrated by the fact that is has received more coverage in RS than any other aspect of Michael Jackson during the past decade. Sexual abuse is not a "minor aspect" of Jimmy Savile either. --Tataral (talk) 20:57, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
OK this is not productive....I quote policy and you give a POV. What policy do you belive merits inclusion of a sex allegation section? --Moxy (talk) 21:19, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
You haven't quoted a policy in a way that advances your argument. It appears that there is near-unanimous support here for the proposed chapter restructuring. We'll leave it at that. --Tataral (talk) 21:40, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
I concur with Tataral, the sexual abuse allegations are a major aspect of Jackson, this is fact not POV, backed up by extensive long-lasting coverage. Per WP:BALASP, the allegations must be covered extensively otherwise this article will be whitewashing the facts.Polyamorph (talk) 09:10, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. The abuse allegations are not being given due weight and are not coherently presented. Fences&Windows 20:21, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. I was surprised by the fact that, until two days ago, there was no mention in the lede as regards recent events in relation to the sexual abuse allegations. Yes, the past trials were mentioned, but now we have a new huge wave of negative news about Jackson, which were either underanalyzed or scattered around. Wether the editors of the article like it or not, Michael Jackson has at the time become more infamous due to the sexual abuse allegations than famous because of his music. Music stations around the world stop playing his songs, and almost all the (contunuous) media reports about him have to do with the sexual scandal. Therefore, it is inconceivable for me to argue that the current status of the article is satisfactory. Due weight should be given to the sexual abuse allegations with (a) an extensive and coherent paragraph in the lede, and (b) a seperate section focused on the matter, which, ideally, should be the synopsis of a separate coheherent and comprehensive thematic article.Yannismarou (talk) 08:59, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Obvious work as it reframes the whole existance of Jackson, it is now the defining feature of his life. scope_creepTalk 11:13, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The material is not scattered throughout the article. That is a non-neutral statement by the RfC. Like I argued above, this article, like other musician articles on Wikipedia, are set up with the album or song titles in the headings. For musician articles, we stay away from having controversy sections and instead keep the material aligned with the career aspects that coincided with the controversy. We also often do this for other types of biography articles. The Wikipedia:Criticism essay focuses on why having such a section is often not the best route. The article has been set up this way for years with no problem. The article already identifies the child sexual abuse content with headings. Before Leaving Neverland became the focus, we never got any complaints about the child sexual abuse material being hard to locate. The only reason there is a complaint now is because the Leaving Neverland content is currently in the Aftermath section, where many readers will use common sense to suspect that the content is there anyway. And a heading for the content can be easily added to it without restructuring this article so that all of the child sexual abuse material is in one section that will be constantly targeted and risks growing out of control. It is not like a lot about the Leaving Neverland documentary needs to be in this article. It has its own article. So, per WP:Summary style, all it needs is a paragraph, which it currently has. All of this restructuring talk is because of the Leaving Neverland documentary that doesn't even need much space in this article. Definitely a case of WP:Recentism to ask that we move this article away from a structure that has worked for it for years just to highlight Leaving Neverland. And as for those sex offender articles, most of those men were convicted. And there is a difference between WP:Featured articles and articles that are not WP:Featured and aren't even WP:Good articles. On a side note: I'll alert related WikiProjects and the WP:BLP and WP:STRUCTURE talk pages to this RfC. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 12:24, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
> On a side note: I'll alert related WikiProjects and the WP:BLP and WP:STRUCTURE talk pages to this RfC.
Why BLP? This is not a biography of a living person. Oska (talk) 14:19, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
@Oska:, even a non-BLP article can have implications for people still alive like (in this case) the victims. @Flyer22 Reborn:, there are many different structures permissible, and in fact WP:STRUCTURE makes this explicit. As you're aware, it's largely a matter of balance. The chronology approach works for some articles, and others demand a different approach. This one currently has a mix of (mainly) chronology (though as I highlighted and fixed a while ago, there used to be two sections on his death in the chronology), and some non-chrono sections. This has, as you point out, worked for a good while here. As the nature of our understanding of Jackson's life evolves, the article structure has to evolve too though. I wasn't totally happy with @Tataral:'s good-faith attempt to reorganize the article, as I felt the child abuse section was awkwardly placed. However, I do think our understanding has evolved, and while the recent documentary has catalyzed this, it isn't recentism to point out that Jackson may now be known primarily as a child abuser rather than as an artist. However unpalatable this may be to his fans, that seems to be the way perception is shifting. I think it's more a question of how we reorganize the article to reflect this, rather than whether we do it. Appeals to policy and MoS pages, or to the article's (slightly stale) FA status, or to longstanding consensus, or worse recentism, should be set aside. Instead we need someone skilled in these things to look with fresh eyes at the coverage of Jackson over (say) the last five years and measure how the perception of Jackson has changed. Because that, rather than the feelings of editors one way or the other, is how we decide NPOV here. --MarchOrDie (talk) 15:17, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
Oh, and Flyer22 Reborn, you are factually mistaken in stating ...Leaving Neverland documentary needs to be in this article ... has its own article. So, per WP:Summary style, all it needs is a paragraph, which it currently has. It currently has three sentences, or one half of a paragraph. I'm not especially arguing it should get more or less than that, but let's be accurate on where we are right now. --MarchOrDie (talk) 15:51, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
Oska, I alerted WP:BLP per what MarchOrDie stated. MarchOrDie, I don't agree that we should give the child sexual abuse content its own section to highlight Leaving Neverland. And three sentences is a paragraph, just like single-sentence paragraphs exist and are discouraged on Wikipedia. More can obviously be added on Leaving Neverland. As for "Jackson may now be known primarily as a child abuser rather than as an artist," we need WP:Reliable sources for that. We can't go on assumptions, and especially not solely because of the impact of this documentary. Like I've stated before, there is no deadline. We can wait and see how this develops; that is part of what is meant by WP:Recentism. And we don't define what is neutral via our own POV. We go by what the WP:NPOV policy states. I have no idea what you mean by "someone skilled in these things." Moxy, for example, is skilled with our polices and guidelines; Moxy has contributed to enough of them. And Moxy has experience with featured articles. SNUGGUMS is skilled with what it takes to write a good or featured article. As for death mentions, what "two sections on his death" are you referring to as having been in the article? In the review section, I know you stated that the article twice stated that he died. You mentioned nothing about redundant sections.
No need to ping me since this article is on my watchlist. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:07, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
This is the relevant diff. Jackson used to die twice in the chronological section of this Featured Article. Once just before a sold out tour: Less than three weeks before the first show was due to begin in London, with all concerts sold out, Jackson died after suffering cardiac arrest, with the truly delicious Some time before his death, it was reported that he was starting a clothing line with Christian Audigier. Cause and effect, presumably? Then we had a few sentences on posthumous releases, then he died again in a standalone section on his death, starting On June 25, 2009, Jackson stopped breathing while attempting to sleep under the care of Conrad Murray, his personal physician. It's less than two weeks ago. Don't you remember? --MarchOrDie (talk) 01:05, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
    • The material is scattered throughout the article as observed by many editors, and that is an objective fact and a neutral statement. Several editors have told you that this whole "musician" argument is nonsense. He isn't exempt from adequate coverage of sexual abuse (for which he is just as well known) just because he happens to also be a musician. Sexual abuse is not subordinate to his songs and his music. And the fact that this largely fan-written article has been a certain way "for years" isn't a reason not to update it now that Jackson is assessed very differently by the overwhelming majority of reliable sources – just like the fact that Jimmy Savile's article had been a certain way "for years" (when it was written by people who only knew him as a DJ) wouldn't have been a reason to ignore the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal. --Tataral (talk) 20:52, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
No, it isn't. The material is in the relevant sections. And (with the exception of the Leaving Neverland material) has been for years with no issue. Many editors haven't stated that it's scattered. Neither have "several editors [told me] that this whole 'musician' argument is nonsense." This is because nowhere have I argued that Jackson is "exempt from adequate coverage of sexual abuse (for which he is just as well known) just because he happens to also be a musician." The child sexual abuse content is already in this article. Why are you acting like the Leaving Neverland material needs a lot of space in this article? As for the rest, I've addressed you on all of that. You calling this a "largely fan-written article" is a weak argument. I suggest you take the time to look at those similar articles you argued with Moxy about. They are written just like this one, and not because the editors are fans. If you have a problem with this style, I suggest you take it up with the broader community. But, really, you just want the child sexual abuse material to be as prominent as the material about Jackson's successes, at the expense of WP:Due. You've brought up Savile yet again, despite the fact that I've stated that there is a "joint report by the NSPCC and Metropolitan Police, Giving Victims a Voice, [that states] that 450 people had made complaints against Savile, with the period of alleged abuse stretching from 1955 to 2009 and the ages of the complainants at the time of the assaults ranging from 8 to 47." There are other matters documenting his abuse as well. With Jackson, we have the FBI investigation not deeming him a child sexual abuser (although one can argue that the investigation failed victims), and we have an acquittal, and a documentary. To repeat, that is a significant difference. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:07, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
I've already demonstrated exactly how much space I believe Leaving Neverland and its impact need in the article, namely a brief section on the renewed allegations, Leaving Neverland and its impact, a section that you deleted in favour of a section with the nonsensical title "Aftermath" (so that nobody will ever find the material) dealing with Jackson's will, a statue in his honour (conspicuously omitting that it was removed in response to Leaving Neverland) and complete with a very tasteless (given the context) illustration of "Fan Tributes at Jackson's tomb," and with no coverage whatsoever of the 2019 backlash against Jackson. There is no reason for you to pretend that I've ever advocated that Leaving Neverland should dominate the article in an undue manner. The article includes enormous amounts of material on his musical accomplishments and enormous amounts of praise, and there has been no proposal to remove that from anyone here as far as I can tell. You, on the other hand, are the editor who have made multiple edits that have more or less removed any meaningful mention of Leaving Neverland from the article, and multiple editors here on this talk page feel the article is being whitewashed and sexual abuse downplayed. --Tataral (talk) 00:43, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
You don't know what you are talking about. And you keep misrepresenting matters, such as your statement that "multiple editors here on this talk page feel the article is being whitewashed." Best that I don't even talk to you further. Per what I stated below in this section about your accusation toward me, you should be careful with that. Your reconstructing argument is weak; I've already noted that giving "Leaving Neverland" a subheading solves the issue of readers not being able to easily locate the material, although many will no doubt have the good sense to check the Aftermath section for that material anyway. I've noted that I have no issue with more on the documentary being added to the article. I have no issue with some 2019 coverage of the backlash against Jackson because of the documentary being added to the article. But none of that is enough for you...for obvious reasons. You stated, "The article includes enormous amounts of material on his musical accomplishments and enormous amounts of praise, and there has been no proposal to remove that from anyone here as far as I can tell." The #Needs review section, where you weighed in with silly demotion rationales, shows differently. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 19:59, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
I've not "weighed in with silly demotion rationales" anywhere. However it is correct that I weighed in in that debate after I wrote the comment you are referring to, and after changing my opinion on that based on comments by other editors in that debate and after looking more closely at parts of the article identified as problematic. --Tataral (talk) 23:51, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
You've indeed weighed in with silly demotion rationales. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 12:46, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment The way the bio is currently structured, with the "1993-1994" and "2002-2005", did anything else happen to him during those years? (Obviously the marriage to Presley) It is odd that 5ish years of his life are titled under the allegations which had seemingly zero direct impact on his career at that point. That tells me that these are ripe to be moved to their own section regarding his personal life (as we normally separate career and personal life unless those are too intertwined to do so). As this is definitely no longer a BLP, grouping information related to the various child sexual abuse pieces to a latter section seems fully appropriate. --Masem (t) 15:19, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment I observe that Flyer22 Reborn has now mentioned this RfC in the following places:
  • Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons
  • Wikipedia talk:Neutral point of view
  • Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Biography
  • Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Actors and Filmmakers
  • Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Musicians
  • Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Rock music
  • Wikipedia talk:WikiProject African diaspora
  • Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Janet Jackson
  • Wikipedia talk:WikiProject United States
  • Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Film
I note that Flyer22 Reborn didn't see fit to include in this fairly long list any place that deals with sexual abuse. Also, given Janet Jackson's prominent defence of her brother Michael, the mention of it on that project page could be perceived as wandering somewhat in the direction of canvassing. Oska (talk) 22:41, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
Note whatever, but look at the WikiProjects this article is tagged with. I notified the most relevant ones. There was no need to contact Wikipedia:WikiProject California, for example. But feel free to contact them. And I decided not to post at the ones that are noted as semi-active. This article is not tagged with WP:SEX. And WP:SEX is barely active. I should know, since I am the main editor of sexual topic articles on Wikipedia. And per WP:Canvassing, there was no canvassing violation by me contacting the pages I contacted. Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Janet Jackson is related. Yes, it should be contacted. Not that it's very active anyway. If you think that there is some Wikipedia page about sexuality that can be contacted to help out with this dispute, go contact it. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:18, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
I would hope that you understand the difference between sex/sexuality (all that you talked about in your reply above) and sexual abuse. It would be bizarre to post this to any sexuality page. Oska (talk) 23:32, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
Ummmm, yeah, I have a clue on what sexual abuse is. "WP:SEX" is short for "WikiProject Sexology and sexuality." It covers all human sexuality topics, including human sexual behavior such as child sexual abuse and statutory rape, and mental disorders like pedophilia, which is why Wikipedia:WikiProject Pedophilia Article Watch, which was recently suggested for a merge, is a subset of WP:SEX. Also read up on what sexology is. To repeat, if you think that there is some Wikipedia page about sexuality that can be contacted to help out with this dispute, go contact it. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 00:15, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
My thinking is that it is best to draw attention to the RfC in more general ways, to better ensure neutrality of participants, rather than scattering it around more narrowly selected talk and project pages. Listing it under rfc:bio seemed eminently neutral to me. I perhaps should have listed it under rfc:soc as well. Oska (talk) 00:39, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
Also, I note that people have raised concerns over how you publicise rfcs before. See User_talk:Flyer22_Reborn#Your_RfC_notices. --Oska (talk) 00:45, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
No. Contacting relevant WikiProjects is just as valid. I often do this for RfCs, especially if I started the RfC. If it's an RfC on a medical topic, contacting WP:Med is valid. They have more knowledge on medical topics. That laypeople, with their often uniformed views on medical issues, might feel that it's biased that WP:Med was contacted doesn't matter; it's not a solid reason to not contact WP:Med. That you are claiming that neutrality is better attained by not contacting people who may have more experience on biography matters and similar is ludicrous. Wikipedia:Requests for comment#Publicizing an RfC states, "After you create an RfC, it will be noticed by editors that watch the talk page, by editors that watch the RfC lists, and by some editors subscribed to the Feedback Request Service (FRS), who will be automatically notified by Legobot. However, there may not be enough editors to get sufficient input. To get more input, you may publicize the RfC by posting a notice at one or more of the following locations: One of the Village Pump forums, such as those for policy issues, proposals, or miscellaneous, noticeboards such as point-of-view noticeboard, reliable source noticeboard, or original research noticeboard, talk pages of relevant WikiProjects, talk pages of closely related articles or policies." As for that discussion on my talk page, that was because I was notifying a number of unrelated WikiProjects to draw them to policy or guideline matters. The ones I notified above are all related/all present at the top of this talk page and were contacted about an article. And not everyone agreed with those two editors about how I publicized RfCs, which indeed brought in a lot more people in. One in that very section clearly disagreed with those two editors. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 19:59, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree that this looks like unacceptable canvassing, particularly given the odd selection of venues of practically no relevance to the discussion we are having here on sexual abuse. It looks more like an attempt to mobilize ardent Jackson fans (what on earth has Janet Jackson got to do with this discussion?), as we also see elsewhere on the Internet right now. --Tataral (talk) 00:56, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
If you do not stop your nonsense, I will report you at WP:ANI. To repeat, I am not a Jackson fan. I would state more about why I am not, but Wikipedia is not a forum and I think the implication as to why I am not a Jackson fan is clear from what I stated on my talk page...and from my reputation on child sexual abuse and pedophilia issues here at Wikipedia, including having to deal with pro-child sexual abuse and pro-pedophile editors. A number of editors would laugh you right out of ANI for even implying that I am a child sexual abuser apologist. And, yes, that is clearly what you have done. Again, Wikipedia:Requests for comment#Publicizing an RfC states, "After you create an RfC, it will be noticed by editors that watch the talk page, by editors that watch the RfC lists, and by some editors subscribed to the Feedback Request Service (FRS), who will be automatically notified by Legobot. However, there may not be enough editors to get sufficient input. To get more input, you may publicize the RfC by posting a notice at one or more of the following locations: One of the Village Pump forums, such as those for policy issues, proposals, or miscellaneous, noticeboards such as point-of-view noticeboard, reliable source noticeboard, or original research noticeboard, talk pages of relevant WikiProjects, talk pages of closely related articles or policies." WP:Canvassing, which you clearly have not read, states, "An editor who may wish to draw a wider range of informed, but uninvolved, editors to a discussion can place a message at any of the following: The talk page or noticeboard of one or more WikiProjects or other Wikipedia collaborations which may have interest in the topic under discussion. A central location (such as the Village pump or other relevant noticeboards) for discussions that have a wider impact such as policy or guideline discussions. The talk page of one or more directly related articles. On the talk pages of a user mentioned in the discussion (particularly if the discussion concerns complaints about user behavior). On the user talk pages of concerned editors. Examples include: Editors who have made substantial edits to the topic or article. Editors who have participated in previous discussions on the same topic (or closely related topics). Editors known for expertise in the field. Editors who have asked to be kept informed."
I am not so blinded by POV that I am not going to contact Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Janet Jackson. You stated "the odd selection of venues of practically no relevance to the discussion we are having here on sexual abuse." The discussion has to do with article formatting. The discussion is not about child sexual abuse. It just so happens that the content you want to relocate is about child sexual abuse. The WikiProjects I contacted are all related to the topic of Jackson and those members have experience building articles. Covering the child sexual abuse aspect relates to some of our guidelines and policies, such as WP:BLP and WP:NPOV. The child sexual abuse content affected his career. There is no WikiProject for child sexual abuse, except for WP:SEX and WP:PAW. Again, WP:SEX is barely active. And WP:PAW is completely inactive. I've resigned to the fact that you are simply talking from passionate POV the vast majority of the time you weigh in on anything on this talk page. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 19:59, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
Instead of making verbose and threatening comments that noone will take seriously, you should focus on how you can contribute to this project in a more collaborative manner than unilaterally discarding three days' work of multiple editors. That you accuse others of POV is laughable considering your own edits on this talk page and article over the past week. I don't really care that much about Jackson, but I recognise that he was a very innovative and important musician, in addition to being known for sexual abuse and other aspects of his lifestyle, and my main focus is that the article should include WP:DUE treatment of both these legacies. It seems that discussion with you is fruitless, but considering that you are clearly in the minority it probably won't matter much in the end. --Tataral (talk) 22:42, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
Many editors take what I state seriously, and they certainly take my reports of personal attacks, other incivility, or harassment seriously. Instead of making silly claims, how about you actually take the time to learn what a featured article is? It's clear that all you are interested in regarding editing this article is to add false balance to it with regard to the child sexual abuse allegations. You speak of how other editors have voted in this RfC, which consists of a non-neutral statement in its original format, but we can see in the #Inclusion of Leaving Neverland (with resulting controversy) in lead and #Sexual abuse should be mentioned briefly in the first paragraph of the lead section discussons below that editors understand what I mean. You can accuse me of POV all you want to, but the aforementioned statement on my talk page about Jackson articles and their fans shows that I don't think the way you have characterized me as thinking. Edits like this one (followup note here), where I reverted Awardmaniac, also show that. It's not like I made that statement on my talk page for the hell of it. I barely edit this article. And as many know, I'm not fond of editors who can't keep their POV in check when editing articles. My reason for reverting that hasty implementation by you was explained well on this talk page. You are the one who made a big deal about it and accused me of being like Awardmaniac for reverting to the WP:Status quo version of the article before the flurry of edits. I didn't edit like Awardmaniac at all. From what I've seen, you are just as POV as Awardmaniac, except on the opposite end of the spectrum. And your sex controversy comparisons that don't compare well and your arguments for delisting the article prove that. The article already included WP:DUE treatment of the child sexual abuse cases. It did not need to be relocated to its own section for that. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 12:46, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment. I have held off voting this far because I wanted to review any arguments made against this proposal. My review of the arguments made is below, ranked by quality of argument as I saw them.
Even though they have written in great volume here I still have trouble perceiving any coherent argument from Flyer22 Reborn. Their approach seems to be to throw as many quotes as possible from policy guidelines against the wall and hope something sticks. At one point in the original discussion Flyer22 was arguing that we should maintain consistency of structure across articles. I then compiled a list of 7 other individuals who have received a similar level of public interest in the matter of possible sexual abuse. All 7 had a top level section detailing the history of the allegations made against them. Flyer22 rejected my point that the Jackson article was the only inconsistent one by claiming he should be treated in some special way as a musician (2 out of my 7 examples were musicians). So I found their argumentation incoherent and, after giving it some initial attention, discounted it as worthy of regard.
Moxy was called on to enter the discussion by Flyer22. They are the only other person to !vote no. Their first argument was we shouldn't risk the featured article status by making changes. I can't find value in this argument when wikipedia operates as a dynamic encyclopedia. Their other argument was about structure and that we should 'fold debate into the narrative'. But we are not dealing with any debate here. We should not be debating the question of Jackson's guilt or innocence in an encyclopedia article. We should only be detailing the serious allegations made against him, how various parties have responded to the allegations and how the story of those allegations has developed. Seeing as this story of various sets of allegations now has a history of more than 25 years it makes much more sense to me to collate that information into one section to improve the reader's ability to follow the many twists and turns the story has taken. So I think such a move would only improve the structure of the article.
Two editors sounded notes of caution but did not !vote. Mcelite has not participated in this RfC but did participate in the original discussion that led to it. Snuggums left a comment in the RfC but has not !voted. Both raised questions of undue weight and Mcelite gave a thoughtful response on how to order the restructuring if it did go ahead. On the question of undue weight my response is that the other side of the coin is not giving a subject due weight. Others who have !voted yes in this RfC have made the same point - that an aspect of Jackson's life that has spanned more than 25 years was not getting due weight in the article. I note their caution but I also think such caution is less warranted when the subject of this article is no longer living. And of the 7 comparable people I listed, 6 are alive but still have top level sections about sexual abuse allegations in their articles.
There have been a good number of people !voting in support and their arguments for doing so have been in line with my initial reasons for proposing the top level section. So my !vote is
  • Support Oska (talk) 23:28, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

I have closed this RfC as participation had tapered off from new editors. I have not included a closing statement in the archive but will make my own comment here. The !tally was 9 in support and 2 opposing. My feeling is that the restructure should now go ahead. I won't participate in the restructure - that was never my intention and I have no interest in editing this article. I raised the question of creating a top level section because, as a user, I found the article failed me in not presenting the information about the history of allegations of sexual abuse by Michael Jackson in one place and structured to be easy to assimilate. I think there would be many other readers who are finding the same thing and, due to the attention this article is currently experiencing, I think the creation of such a top level section should be expedited.

Thank you to everyone who participated. Oska (talk) 00:27, 10 March 2019 (UTC)

And I have had trouble parcing your arguments as well, from needing a dedicated section for the child sexual abuse content because the Leaving Neverland content was "lost" in the article...when all one had to do was add a heading for the Leaving Neverland content, to your arguments about contacting WikiProjects. You stated, "At one point in the original discussion Flyer22 was arguing that we should maintain consistency of structure across articles. I then compiled a list of 7 other individuals who have received a similar level of public interest in the matter of possible sexual abuse. All 7 had a top level section detailing the history of the allegations made against them. Flyer22 rejected my point that the Jackson article was the only inconsistent one by claiming he should be treated in some special way as a musician (2 out of my 7 examples were musicians). So I found their argumentation incoherent and, after giving it some initial attention, discounted it as worthy of regard." Complete misrepresentation of my arguments in the #Top level section on allegations of and charges for sexual abuse/crimes? discussion. My argument was that we should remain consistent for musician articles and FA articles, like we generally do. Just like we usually remain consistent for the style we use for actor articles. I stated, "And there's also an argument for consistency -- so that editors don't look at this article or one like it and think that we usually include a controversy section in musician articles or that it's necessarily the best route." You then tried to define "musician" more narrowly than it's defined. And your list of articles mostly does not consist of musician articles. And none of them are featured or even WP:GA. I also made a valid case with regard to controversy or criticism sections. You argued, "Moxy was called on to enter the discussion by Flyer22. They are the only other person to !vote no. Their first argument was we shouldn't risk the featured article status by making changes. I can't find value in this argument when wikipedia operates as a dynamic encyclopedia." You don't have to find value in the argument. The WP:STEWARDSHIP policy does. I don't find your characterization of Moxy's argument as entirely accurate.
See below. Your close of this RfC, especially given your arguments with me, was completely inappropriate. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 12:46, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Current publicity for a film does not negate the responsibility of Wikipedia to use "due weight only" for contentious material. Nor should Wikipedia weigh in on guilt or innocence except as settled in a court of law as films are not "evidence" in themselves. Where a court has ruled, Wikipedia should assign significant weight to the court "findings of fact." By the way, a closer is basically forbidden to have taken a part in an RfC - the closer must be a fully-disinterested third party. Collect (talk) 13:20, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
I don't think it is case of the court deciding if the evidence in for guilt or innocence, as the man is dead. What will happen now is journalistic and police investigation. Looking at the jimmy savile case here in the UK, there was lots of suspicion before he died, just like the jackson case, and it took a TV programme to focus peoples minds and kick of an investigation. Like the saville case, there was argument whether to show the programme, and the parallels continue from there. Within a year in the saville case there was 400 lines of police investigation and have no doubt a similar investigation is underway in the states right now. Every single aspect of jacksons life will be examined in minute detail in the context of pedophilia. In this case in point, no waiting for supposed court decisions. (lowercase names intentional) scope_creepTalk 16:05, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Actually - deceased people can not be charged with crimes, and thus there is no possible criminal investigation going on. US Law holds on this. Yes - Charles II ordered the drawing and quartering of Cromwell's body - but that is not a precedent one can rationally use. My opinion on this stands. Collect (talk) 20:10, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
So, if I understand you correctly, you would contend that the article on Jimmy Savile should not mention any of the allegations of abuse against him, as they were not tested in a court of law? Hmmm. Not sure that's a viable stance. --MarchOrDie (talk) 20:50, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose The way the information was presented on March 9th is better. The article previously placed the allegations into chronological context and allowed readers to understand these allegations as they unfolded over two decades and the effect they had on Jackson's life and broader culture. with the current changes these allegations are remarkably absent from his "Life and Career" section even though these were incredibly important developments in his life and career. For example, the 1993 allegations section describe the allegations as the trigger for of his addiction to painkillers which ultimately led to his overdose death, but which is described in the 1993 life section as if the addiction just suddenly appeared: " As child molestation accusations against Jackson became public, he became dependent on Presley for emotional support; she was concerned about his faltering health and addiction to drugs." Compare this to the far more causative statement in the allegations section: "Jackson began taking painkillers, Valium, Xanax and Ativan to cope with the stress of the allegations. By late 1993, he was addicted to the drugs." Similarly, despite allegations of sexual abuse and posthumous investigations and cultural reckoning, nothing is mentioned in the "Legacy" section about the posthumous cultural impact of these events, such as Leaving Neverland but instead only lists his awards and positive aspects of his legacy. With the current changes, rather than reading as a balanced piece, the article reads like a whitewashed biography of Jackson's positive achievements with negative publicity relegated to a hit piece in the middle. These events occurred in a particular chronology separated by over two decades of developments in his life and contemporary culture and should be presented as such, not as a disjointed lists of positives and negative aspects of the person. If this came up at WP:FAC I would not support it for failure to satisfy criterion 1d and WP:STRUCTURE: "Segregation of text or other content into different regions or subsections, based solely on the apparent POV of the content itself, may result in an unencyclopedic structure, such as a back-and-forth dialogue between proponents and opponents. It may also create an apparent hierarchy of fact where details in the main passage appear 'true' and 'undisputed', whereas other, segregated material is deemed 'controversial', and therefore more likely to be false. Try to achieve a more neutral text by folding debates into the narrative, rather than isolating them into sections that ignore or fight against each other." I am not watching this page so ping me if you need me Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 20:04, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
@Wugapodes: Two questions to you in response:
1. How then do you feel about the structure of the following articles: Jimmy Savile, R. Kelly, Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski, Rolf Harris and Bill Cosby? All 7 articles have top level sections covering allegations of sexual abuse with only the last two going beyond allegations and/or charges to actual convictions. (I looked at these examples in some greater detail in the original discussion above). Do you then propose removing the top level section in all of those articles (or at least the first 5) as I think you would have to to retain consistency with the argument you have made here.
2. What do you say to the reader (not editor) who comes to the Michael Jackson article to be better informed on the 25+ years story of sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson and who isn't particularly interested in Jackson's career but is forced to wade through a very long history of it in order to try to assimilate all the details of the allegations story which is itself quite complex and involved? Do you think an article without the proposed top section is still serving those readers well? And do you appreciate that a very good proportion of readers (and currently a large majority) come to the article for that specific use-case? Oska (talk) 21:50, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
None of that addressed any of my points. This is a featured article; none of those are featured articles, and the first one in your lists has had a {{neutrality}} tag on it for 9 months. If you want to know how I feel then I'd suggest looking at that bright orange banner at the top of Jimmy Savile which links to the same policy I linked to above. I would also suggest responding to my actual points instead of making up strawmen arguments I didn't make. I am against a general policy on this. As can be seen from my arguments related specifically to this article, I speak with specificity to this article and not other stuff. I would like you to provide citations for your claims about readers before I ignore the second pillar of the encyclopedia. Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 23:36, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
@Wugapodes: I don't have to address your points. They remain there for everyone to consider. I was asking questions in response to your stated position of opposition. I also can't see where I created any strawmen (an accusation people often reach for without considering properly whether it really applies).
I will take your answer to my first question as being that you only want to talk specifically about this article (while noting your reservations about the Savile article). I can't see where you've answered my second question, although of course, you're not obliged to. But that second question is, to my mind, the crucial one. Oska (talk) 23:52, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
I would like you to provide citations for your claims about readers before I ignore the second pillar of the encyclopedia Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 23:56, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
@Wugapodes: We're not writing wikipedia here in the talk pages. I don't need to provide citations for my views or my assertions. I think it's very clear that many people come to this article to better understand the fuss around the sexual abuse allegations and why some radio stations are now choosing to no longer play his music. Click on the pageviews template at the top of this page to open the chart and you will see that article views have soared from 20,000 to 200,000. Do you think that suddenly all those extra people are coming here to bone up on Jackson's entertainment career?
I think what a lot of people (particularly fans) are missing is that no matter how famous Jackson was as a pop music entertainer, a great many people around the world still paid little attention to him. People who have little interest in music, or interested in music but not pop music, or even interested in pop music but not Jackson's type of pop music. But a lot of people who previously were uninterested in his entertainment career will now want to know more about him because he's a high profile (deceased) celebrity who is receiving very widespread attention for renewed abuse allegations. People who are concerned about social questions of child abuse are now wanting to be filled in on the story and its long history, want to know where the child protection agencies were when Jackson was openly sleeping with children, etc, etc. I think we fail those people when we force them to trawl through a long entertainment career section for this information rather than presenting it clearly in its own section. Oska (talk) 01:18, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
But you can see why I find your point uncompelling, yes? You're asking me to ignore what I believe to be a fundamental violation of one of our core policies because of what you imagine readers want without any proof other than your intuitions regarding page view trends. You're suggesting restructuring an article to accommodate an uptick in readership that's barely lasted a week and may be showing signs of flagging; this is a classic example of recentism. The page Health and appearance of Michael Jackson has also received this same uptick in views, as has Death of Michael Jackson. Even Thriller (Michael Jackson album) has seen the same uptick, so in fact, yes, I do think a large number of readers have come here to learn more than just allegations of his sexual abuse. If people are coming here only for allegations of sexual abuse and are not reading the rest of the article then the uptick should only coincide with articles about sexual abuse allegations. But clearly people are reading other parts of the article and are actually following links in other sections. In such a case putting these allegations into chronological context would better serve readers already looking through the biography because it gives them a summary they get on no other page. This is of a secondary concern to me, primarily I do not believe your hand-waving about the imagined goals of our readers should take precedence over WP:NPOV. Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 05:14, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
@Wugapodes: Thank you for your reply. I do not see the argument on how the restructure compromises the article's neutral point of view. Of course we only detail the allegations and their history in a neutral manner in the new section. The only question that I think applies with the restructure is one of due or undue weight. My judgement is that I think the allegations deserve due weight in having their own section and I think that that best suits the needs of the article's readers in making that information easily accessible and more easy for them to assimilate what is a complex story in its own right. This is an editorial judgement call. We had others making the same judgement in this RfC in supporting the restructure and interestingly one who was on the fence about it (I hope I am representing Snuggums' position properly). Oska (talk) 05:52, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean by "do not see the argument". If you're simply confused about where it is, WP:STRUCTURE is a specific clause in WP:NPOV and my original comment is in regards to how the organization of content whitewashes some aspects of his life by segregating negative coverage to a single section in just the way WP:STRUCTURE warns against. If you weren't confused but just don't agree, c'est la vie. Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 06:09, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
@Wugapodes: It's my opinion that that section on structure is poorly written and not particularly coherent, particularly the second paragraph. It is not my nature to constantly run to policy guidelines documents for support and I think relying on them too much rather than making your own case results in lots of instances of mediocre 'wikilawyering' (not directing that charge at you here). I can only repeat that I don't see that the proposed restructure for this article jeopardises the article's neutrality. I would actually tend towards the opposite position - that the previous structure leant too much in the direction of being a fan-based article and with the sexual abuse allegations too buried in the (very long) text. Oska (talk) 06:32, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
You're aware that they were linked from the table of contents and were actually higher up on the page than they are currently? If that's "buried in the (very long) text" you've literally just buried them more. Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 22:53, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
@Wugapodes: I guess it depends on how you read an article and on how you scan a table of contents. My own personal experience was that jumping around in the text made the material hard to assimilate, coming as a new reader to the article and as someone who has not previously followed the Jackson story. Oska (talk) 23:31, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

() @Wugapodes: Can I say that I have found the discussion with you here very useful. There is certainly a link between how an article is structured and neutrality and it is always worth keeping in mind. What my discussion here with you has clarified for me is that I think the previous structure had neutrality problems and the new structure improves neutrality. The previous structure presented Jackson almost solely in his entertainer role. I think the new structure better presents the whole person (including the allegations) while still giving more due weight to the entertainer role. Now you probably disagree and that's fine. This is a judgement call for the whole editorial team to make and discussion is good and healthy. Oska (talk) 23:35, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Wugapodes, regarding Oska's first question, see my above statements on that if you haven't already. The Jackson child sexual abuse matter isn't close to the same as those cases. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:38, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Oh, I see you did fine, including by making the point I made about those other articles not being featured articles. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 00:00, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Due weight is already given to the child abuse topic. It does seem like the recent documentary is prompting WP:RECENTISM. To be clear, I'm not arguing the sexual abuse issues aren't a major part of Jackson's bio. I'm arguing that the guy is such a notable person to begin with, that a even major story about him (like the one covered by the recent documentary) still should only occupy a small portion of his page. NickCT (talk) 13:50, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

A proposal for implementation of this proposal[edit]

Those interested in what this proposal might look like in practice might want to have a look at the previous implementation based on the previous discussion of this issue here: [13] Note that the section is work in progress at that point. Based on other discussion on this talk page, it is also proposed to move the section "Artistry" so that the chapter structure (tentatively) becomes:

  1. Life and career
    1. 1958–1975: Early life and the Jackson 5
    2. 1975–1981: Move to Epic and Off the Wall
    3. 1982–1983: Thriller and Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever
    4. 1984–1985: Pepsi, "We Are the World", and business career
    5. 1986–1987: Changing appearance, tabloids, and films
    6. 1987–1990: Bad, autobiography, and Neverland
    7. 1991–1993: Dangerous, Heal the World Foundation, and Super Bowl XXVII
    8. Marriage to Lisa Marie Presley (might need a new chapter title)
    9. 1995–1997: HIStory, second marriage, and fatherhood
    10. 1997–2002: Label dispute and Invincible
    11. 2006–2009: Closure of Neverland, final years, and This Is It
  2. Artistry
    1. Influences
    2. Musicianship
    3. Themes and genres
    4. Vocal style
    5. Music videos and choreography
  3. Allegations of child sexual abuse
    1. First allegations
    2. Second allegations and 2005 trial
    3. Renewed allegations and Leaving Neverland
  4. Death, memorial service, and aftermath
  5. Etc.

--Tataral (talk) 22:53, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

  • Good effort, and well done for being WP:BOLD, but I thought this structure wasn't quite right. Can I counter-propose, with thanks to Masem:
  1. Early life
  2. Career
  3. Personal life
    1. One of the subsections would be on the alleged child sex abuse
    2. Death the second last subsection, and includes burial, memorial etc
    3. Posthumous
  4. Artistry

etc. --MarchOrDie (talk) 17:13, 8 March 2019 (UTC)

Well, the above proposal is for one top-level section on child sexual abuse, so a sub section (such as 3.1) of personal life wouldn't really be an implementation of that proposal. --Tataral (talk) 20:49, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
That's true. I prefer my scheme. Could you live with it as a compromise? --MarchOrDie (talk) 21:02, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
I think it would be an improvement to have the sexual abuse material moved to one section, but I also think it's best to concentrate here on solutions that are compatible with the specific proposal under this RfC in order to get any results at all (otherwise we would have to start the debate from scratch, since we are now !voting specifically on a top-level section). I also feel a top-level section is the best solution, partially because the sexual abuse issue is so extensive that it would need at least three sub sections of its own, maybe even a fourth section on the broader cultural impact of the issue now that radio stations around the world are dropping his music, statues removed and so on. Perhaps we could revisit this issue in the context of a broader debate on the entire chapter structure of the article once we have one coherent top-level section on sexual abuse. --Tataral (talk) 21:06, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree with the points made above by Tataral. But also, I think a Personal Life section really only suits a biography of a living person (and can work well in that context). Michael Jackson is dead and no longer has any personal life (not meaning to sound cruel, just a statement of fact). Oska (talk) 23:05, 8 March 2019 (UTC)

In light of the result of the RfC, are there any other views on how it should be implemented? So far the proposal by myself above is the only proposal that is compatible with the proposal in the RfC. --Tataral (talk) 00:39, 10 March 2019 (UTC)

I suggest implementing your proposed structure, but putting death, memorial and aftermath at the end of the life and career section, to finish the chronology. I thought it looked awkward mixing chronological and thematic sections. His death was the end of his career, so put it there. --MarchOrDie (talk) 09:32, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree that makes sense. --Tataral (talk) 18:13, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Suggestion Can I suggest that, assuming we are going to keep the new structure (and I do take seriously Wugapodes' points against it above), we should include a brief mention in the three places in the chronology of the sex abuse scandals? Having just done many hours of work dedicated in part to reducing redundancy and repetitions in the chronology (the dying twice being a glaring example), we could spare the space for three short mentions of this major area of his life in a section called Life and career? It was a significant part of his life and a major impact on his career, especially latterly. There would be an internal link in each case to the main subsection we now have. --MarchOrDie (talk) 22:14, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
    • I think this is a solid compromise proposal, though ideally there'd be some coverage in the "Legacy" section as well which is currently devoid of things such as Leaving Neverland. I would not be opposed to this. Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 22:21, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
      • Good point. I think we should consider an approach that fuses thematic with chronological elements for the benefit of the reader, while keeping repetition to an absolute minimum. --MarchOrDie (talk) 22:28, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
I haven't taken part in the restructure but I'd always assumed that this would be part of it - brief references left in the chronology at relevant points and, as Wugapodes says, in any other place where relevant such as Legacy. Oska (talk) 23:00, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree, brief mentions in the chronology above and possibly other relevant sections are fine. The difference between that and the top-level section will be that the top-level section provides detailed, in-depth coverage of the sexual abuse issue in its own right, and not seen from the perspective of and subordinate to some other topic (his career), while the brief mentions above will mention the material more briefly and in the specific context of how sexual abuse allegations affected the events covered in the chronology section (his career and so on), and thus provide a bridge between the material in that section and the material in the abuse section. --Tataral (talk) 05:38, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
I've done the first three. I am sure my summaries aren't perfect. I would welcome competent scrutiny and adjustment. We still probably need to add something to the Legacy section, but that's a bigger job. --MarchOrDie (talk) 17:33, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • If the closer closes this RfC as "no consensus" for the new structure, the article should default back to the long-standing structure. That is standard practice. And it doesn't mean that all of the changes since then should be reverted. It doesn't mean that wording changes that improved the child sexual material should be reverted. It only means that the previous structure should be re-added in place of the current structure. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 21:35, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
And the current outline is poor. It is not good flow whatsoever to have the child sexual abuse content come after the "Artistry" section and before the "Legacy and influence" and "Honors and awards" sections. It's placed right in between content that is supposed to flow together. Right now, we have the reader learning about his artistry, then the article jumps to child sexual abuse material (most of which should be in the sections about his life and career), and then the article goes to legacy and influence, and honors and awards material. A mess. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:37, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
Good stuff. Did you have anything to say about what we were talking about? --MarchOrDie (talk) 22:54, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
Hmm. Since my above post is about the current structure in a section about the current structure, it's clear that I'm on-topic. I don't have to respond to your latest comments. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:41, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
Looking at this this and this, I just see it as an unnecessary and redundant approach. It also speaks to the very reason that we had that content in the "Life and career" section to begin with. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 07:48, 17 March 2019 (UTC)


I assume the RfC was closed in accordance with WP:RFCCLOSE #1? It seems fairly evident to me that we now have Wikipedia:Consensus for a coherent top-level section on the child sexual abuse allegations. --Tataral (talk) 00:18, 10 March 2019 (UTC)

Hi Tataral, I think we were editing at the same time and while I was writing a remark under the closed RfC saying why I had closed it and my own observations after the closure. That remark is now visible. Oska (talk) 00:32, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
For neutrality purposes, Oska, we should have an uninvolved user close that RFC. See WP:Closing discussions for more. You were involved by not only starting that discussion, but also expressing support for the proposed changes. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 00:38, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
I had expected the RfC to be closed in that manner too, but it seems Oska had a right to close it in accordance with WP:RFCCLOSE and there is no doubt that the community's response had become obvious. --Tataral (talk) 00:40, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
@SNUGGUMS, I considered that option (requesting a closure by an uninvolved editor) but didn't see it as necessary. You're welcome to reopen the RfC and follow that process if you like. I think it would only be further delaying what appears to be a near consensus resolution to move on with the restructure. Oska (talk) 00:47, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
It indeed is almost unanimous. To be fair, I doubt anyone else would've closed with any other resolution. At least you weren't just blindly closing it. That would've been worse. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 00:53, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
UPDATE: Just noticed how that page says that it isn't so bad for involved users to close during uncontentious circumstances (key distinction). When Flyer22 Reborn and Moxy were the only ones to voice oppositions, I'm not sure anyone would call it particularly contentious. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 00:59, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
As mentioned before there no rush.....we will clean up the article after alk kerfuffle has passed over. We can fix the weight issues later.--Moxy (talk) 14:25, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
After glancing through the article following its rearrangement for sexual abuse allegations, there's one major problem I find: it jumps right from a 1997–2002 section to one covering 2006–2009. If not the trial, then what are we supposed to use in between these two periods? SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 19:14, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
Masem made a similar point a few days ago. What did he do, other than be tried for child abuse, in these years? --MarchOrDie (talk) 19:19, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
The first thing that came to mind was the release of his Number Ones compilation in 2003, so I've changed 1997–2002 into 1997–2003 (forgive the typo). 2004 and 2005 will require more digging. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 19:24, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree that it might be necessary to adjust the "Life and career" section following the removal of child sexual abuse from that section (such changes are strictly speaking outside the scope of the RfC, so any editor can go ahead and be bold in that regard). --Tataral (talk) 19:35, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
There is no reason that the current 1997-2003 section cannot be from 1997-2005. Just because you have nothing else to document in 2004 and 2005 outside the accusations that have been moved, the fact that 2006 represents a significant career change means its fine to leave the 2004/2005 years "empty" but listed in headers for continuity purposes. The article appears to be structured by finding key events in his career that help split his career into significant sections, so it doesn't mean every year in those sections need events. --Masem (t) 19:59, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
Yes, it tends to be split by major events. While I've thought about having 1997–2005, it seems incomplete to have nothing for 2004 or 2005 there when the only known major content (sex abuse allegations and subsequent trial) were moved per the above RFC. Still better than a gap between years until 2006, though, so I'll go ahead and change 2003 into 2005 for now. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 20:10, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
I see no reason why the allegations can't be mentioned in the context of his career here. It only needs a sentence to acknowledge that his career stopped due to these events. Something preventing the advancement of your career is stil notbable under a career section. AIRcorn (talk) 07:58, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

Appreciation. I see that the proposed top level section has now been created and worked on. Thanks to Tataral, MarchOrDie and SNUGGUMS for working on that (hope I didn't miss anyone). I think it parses well and, as I've said before, I think this separation of the subject matter better suits both people who come to the article to read about Jackson's entertainment career and people who come only to read about the abuse allegations.

I think it's a credit to all involved editors that we have avoided an edit war over this change and I think the RfC worked well in helping develop consensus on the change. Thanks to Flyer22 for their suggestion on using that process. Tataral putting up the proposed framwework for the restructure here and requesting feedback before implementation was also a very good idea.

Although I haven't participated in any of the other discussions that are proceeding on changes to the article, from what I've seen there is good debate going on without too much drama creeping in. I think that's a real credit to the wikipedia community, especially when emotions are currently running quite high in other online forums over the subject of this article. Oska (talk) 04:20, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

Oska, I've reopened the RfC and added an argument/updated tag for it. You were completely involved in this RfC and RfCs "taper off" all the time, including early on. They remain open for 30 days for a reason. Wikipedia:Requests for comment#Ending RfCs mentions "contentious." Yes, only two editors thus far had opposed, but the RfC had barely been open for any good length of time and "contentious" is defined as "tending to argument or strife; quarrelsome." Clearly, the topic of Jackson and child sexual abuse is contentious or we wouldn't have this RfC or sections like #Sexual abuse should be mentioned briefly in the first paragraph of the lead section on the talk page. Furthermore, your arguments with me in this RfC and ending on your words about me and my arguments made your close even more inappropriate. I won't revert the implementation of the restructuring, but I do think that the RfC should play out properly. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 12:46, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
I've restored Oska's original neutral wording as it was far clearer and you shouldn't change a question one people have started answering it. Flyer22 Reborn, if you want to post another opinion you are free to do so, but you risk misrepresenting people if you change the question and leave the original answers in place. --MarchOrDie (talk) 16:33, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Reverted. I don't risk anything. I addressed exactly what the issues are and presented both sides neutrally and accurately. It's how the RfC should have been from the beginning, as is clear by Collect's vote. You keep making arguments not based on any guideline or policy. As Collect can make clear to you, it's not uncommon for an RfC to be extended with a fresh statement from someone who has relisted it. It makes not a bit of sense for me to start another RfC on the matter entirely separate from this one. It's not like I didn't explain that the RfC was previously closed inappropriately. In addition to how poorly worded the initial one was, it should never have been closed by Oska. And closing it so soon was also dubious. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 16:41, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Er, no. I supported the question when it read one thing. By changing the question but leaving my support in place, you misrepresent my opinion. You absolutely can't do that. --MarchOrDie (talk) 16:47, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Er, no. Presenting both sides clearly is not misrepresenting your opinion in the least. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 17:20, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Every other editor was able to participate in the RfC in a constructive and civil manner without edit-warring over the RfC itself, so please don't do that, that's totally unacceptable. And, no, you are not allowed to change the wording of an RfC, especially an RfC that has essentially concluded after about a dozen editors have already participated. A new chapter structure was implemented based on discussion on this talk page, but you objected and reverted three days work of multiple editors. Now we've had an RfC that resulted in a very clear consensus and almost unanimous agreement on the new structure, so it seems to me that WP:STICK attempts aren't constructive or helpful. --Tataral (talk) 20:13, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Your comment that "Every other editor was able to participate in the RfC" is false, as is clear by the additional votes. Again, RfCs remain open for a month for a reason. Just like before, you rushed to implement the proposed change. This time you had help from the closer who should not have closed. This is not a WP:STICK matter whatsoever, as is clear by what the additional oppose votes have stated. As for the rest, I know what I am doing when it comes to RfCs. You do not. And I don't know why you are bringing up that "revert" mater again. Did I revert after the faulty RfC closing? No. And now the RfC is continuing as it should. WP:Consensus is clear that head counting is not how consensus is usually formed on Wikipedia. At least it's not usually supposed to be formed that way. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 20:25, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
No, it's clear that you don't, and RfC's don't need to remain open for a full month (WP:RFCCLOSE). And no, I didn't rush to implement anything at all, I implemented the consensus expressed on this talk page after the RfC had been correctly closed (I didn't expect or call for it to be closed early) and there was nothing more to discuss than implementation (the specific implementation had been discussed separately for days as well and didn't prove to be a contentious issue). And yes, it's correct that head counting is not how consensus is formed, and the additional comment after the RfC was closed seems to be based on the fact that he hasn't been convicted, which is not a valid rationale at all in a debate on the chapter structure (or the inclusion of Leaving Neverland and its impact), so that comment wouldn't have changed anything. As far as I'm concerned the RfC has been closed, the proposal has been implemented after receiving near-unanimous support and the matter is now closed, and I don't envision that attempts to reopen the RfC by pretty much the sole editor who has consistently opposed the new chapter structure will change that. --Tataral (talk) 20:32, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
It is clear. If we did an RfC right now on whether or not Oska should have made that close, the vast majority of editors would state that Oska should not have done so. No one stated that RfCs need to remain open for a month. I stated that there is a reason they are opened for that long. Oska closing that RfC and closing it so soon was inappropriate. Plain and simple. As for that "and the additional comment after the RfC was closed seems to be based on the fact that he hasn't been convicted, which is not a valid rationale at all in a debate on the chapter structure," it is when keeping WP:Due weight in mind. WP:Due weight is clear that it refers to placement of text among other tings. And I'm not sure if you are referring to something I stated or something Collect stated. But I've argued beyond "he wasn't convicted". And Wugapodes laid out the issues very well. You stated "by pretty much the sole editor who has consistently opposed the new chapter structure." LOL. "Pretty much the sole editor" because of a partially biased original RfC wording that is inadequate in giving editors the informed information they need to properly assess the issue, and "pretty much the sole editor" because the RfC was left open for a short time. We see now that others beside Moxy agree with me. The current RfC wording there at the top might still do damage, though. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:38, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

RFC reopened[edit]

This RfC was previously opened for only a few days. It has been reopened for more opinions and a proper close. One view is that the article should be structured so that it has a dedicated section for the child sexual abuse allegations against Jackson. As seen at Talk:Michael Jackson#Top level section on allegations of and charges for sexual abuse/crimes?, this was in the light of the Leaving Neverland documentary. It was felt that the Leaving Neverland material was buried in the article in this version, where it was located in the Aftermath section. It was felt that having the Leaving Neverland material covered with the other child sexual abuse material makes the material more accessible to readers. The other view is that, as noted at WP:Criticism, controversy or criticism sections can lend undue weight to a matter or draw too much negative attention to a section and therefore result in more POV editing. It was felt that, like WP:Criticism states, "The article should be divided into sections based on topics, timeline, or theme – not viewpoint. Negative criticism should be interwoven throughout the topical or thematic sections." This style is reflected in a number of WP:Featured biographies. And it was suggested that adding a heading to the Leaving Neverland material would resolve the issue of editors not easily finding the Leaving Neverland content, and that restructuring the article for the Leaving Neverland content is or may be WP:Recentism.

Thoughts? Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 13:15, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

Note: I'm not asking for thoughts on having re-opened the RfC. The above post was originally a part of the reopening of the RfC, but it was moved down. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 17:58, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

Now that exprecianced FA editors have chimed in ..and again with policy based arguments are we going to cleanup all this? Wondering if the project page would be best to comeup with a draft.--16:05, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

Quote boxes[edit]

I see a bit of back-and-forth on the presence of the two quote boxes. We have one that starts: "Why not just tell people I'm an alien from Mars? Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. ..." Then we have the later one that's been removed and restored, that starts: ""The attention and fortune showered on an individual celebrity is often times immensely disproportionate to his or her achievements.... " Now, without declaring a position for or against either one, why are they there? Jackson said a lot of things during his life. Why those particular quotes? And "its part of big speech, one of the famous quote he addressed on humanity" probably won't be sufficient to keep it. --MarchOrDie (talk) 17:43, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

Drop per MOS:Quote.--Moxy (talk) 19:50, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Drop them both? I'd be fine with that. Anybody else? --MarchOrDie (talk) 20:10, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Get rid of them both. They're just needless filler. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 20:23, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, I've removed them. --MarchOrDie (talk) 22:55, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

I support the first quote but not the second. Ilovetopaint (talk) 04:59, 8 March 2019 (UTC)

Why? --MarchOrDie (talk) 07:07, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
I think the first quote is OK too. The wild media reports about Jackson's behaviour (before all the sexual abuse allegations even) are a notable part of the subject and his response to it is relevant. Popcornduff (talk) 07:16, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
It isn't about whether it is "OK". It's about whether we need it. Did other sources highlight this quote as being a significant one? Or is it just some Wikipedia editor's choice? --MarchOrDie (talk) 07:23, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
We make editorial decisions about what to put in articles. Do we need it? It's not as essential as other elements - for example, we need to cover Michael Jackson's death - but I feel the article is improved for it and it illuminates the subject. Popcornduff (talk) 07:41, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
Fine with the removals. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 12:24, 8 March 2019 (UTC)

Sexual abuse should be mentioned briefly in the first paragraph of the lead section[edit]

The first paragraph of the lead section is an overall summary of the entire article. Until a day ago the paragraph looked like this:

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century and one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Jackson's contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life—including allegations of child sexual abuse—made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

Now sexual abuse has been removed. Based on the coverage of Jackson in reliable sources, the sexual abuse allegations are clearly important enough to be mentioned in that sentence, together with his contributions to fashion and so on. The sexual abuse allegations are also mentioned in a similar manner in the lead section of Jimmy Savile. --Tataral (talk) 23:12, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

That isn't ok. This needs to be restored. It is one of the main things he is known for. --MarchOrDie (talk) 23:49, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Not really. Allegations of child sexual abuse are not what made him a global figure. Plus, mention of the child sexual abuse material is included lower in the lead. If we are to include mention of child sexual abuse in the first paragraph, it should be added differently. And the Jimmy Savile article is not a featured article. And to repeat on the Jimmy Savile matter... With Saville, there is a "joint report by the NSPCC and Metropolitan Police, Giving Victims a Voice, [that states] that 450 people had made complaints against Savile, with the period of alleged abuse stretching from 1955 to 2009 and the ages of the complainants at the time of the assaults ranging from 8 to 47." There are other matters documenting his abuse as well. With Jackson, we have the FBI investigation not deeming him a child sexual abuser (although one can argue that the investigation failed victims), and we have an acquittal, and a documentary. That's a significant difference. Moved the child sexual abuse part in the first paragraph. Yeah, it likely needs tweaking. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 12:24, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
I broadly agree with Flyer22 Reborn. This smacks of WP:RECENTISM, and we have no way of knowing whether the current furore will be reflected in the long-term view taken of Jackson. The allegations are quite correctly mentioned further down in the lede - but they should not be mentioned in the opening paragraph at all. (That is, I disagree with this edit - they should be removed, not merely moved.) They have nothing to do with his notability. Ghmyrtle (talk) 12:49, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
They have nothing to do with his notability. Really? "Nothing"? Are you suggesting all mention of his various child abuse allegations be removed? --MarchOrDie (talk) 15:40, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
They have nothing to do with the reasons he became notable. And, no, I'm not suggesting at all that the allegations be removed from the article - and I'm not even necessarily opposed to mentioning them in the lede section. But at this stage I don't support mentioning them in the very first paragraph. - see MOS:OPENPARABIO. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:30, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
Yes, but that isn't the point. The subject probably first passed our standard for notability in about 1968 as the lead singer in The Jackson 5 when they charted for the first time. Nobody is suggesting he was abusing children at that time. But as I have said in the RfC, the nature of a subject's notability can change. I see nothing in OPENPARABIO that would preclude reflecting in the first paragraph that one of the things he is known for is the many allegations of criminal activities with children that were made during and after his life. This old revision of the Jimmy Savile article contains no mention of the allegations against him, because they were not yet in the public domain. The article now, quite properly, covers the allegations in some depth. Indeed, these are probably now his main reason for notability. Things can change, and acknowledging that isn't recentism. Unless you're surmising that all the reappraisal of his reputation is going to be rolled back? In such a case, we could adjust the article again I suppose. Pixels are cheap. The Savile article isn't Featured, but a FA should be more compliant with NPOV coverage, not less. --MarchOrDie (talk) 16:48, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
"... these are probably now his main reason for notability..." [citation needed] Considering that Jackson's notability as a performer has been evident for the last 50 years or so, and the current allegations have been widely publicised for, at most, one-hundredth of that time (that is, no more than the last few months), it would be undue weight - and, yes, "recentist" - to mention them in the opening paragraph. That may change over time, but hasn't changed to that extent yet. Ghmyrtle (talk) 17:06, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
In your opinion. Yes I got that you think that. But as you were saying regarding Savile's reputation, [citation needed]. It's not what you or I think, it's what the sources say. What do they say? --MarchOrDie (talk) 17:15, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
I didn't make any comment about Savile. We should be using the best and most reliable sources, which tend not to include recent media coverage. Ghmyrtle (talk) 17:26, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
You may have misunderstood what I said then, as the text I wrote and you quoted and expressed doubt about, was about Savile. You may wish to reread my post and yours, and adjust your response. So, what degree of weight do the best and most reliable sources give to the sex abuse allegations? Is it zero, or is it a larger number? If it's the latter, policy dictates that our article as a whole, and the lead and within that the opening paragraph should adopt similar weighting. I do not think it is zero, do you? --MarchOrDie (talk) 17:31, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
My mistake re Savile - now struck. So, even if - hypothetically - some aspect of a person's notability amounts to even a small part - more than zero - of their overall notability, you think it should be mentioned in the opening paragraph? "Policy dictates" nothing of the sort. Ghmyrtle (talk) 17:48, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for that. Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources. As in the body of the article itself, the emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic, according to reliable, published sources. --MarchOrDie (talk) 18:17, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I know. Thanks. Incidentally, the Savile comparison with Jackson doesn't really work. Jackson was far more notable, globally, than Savile ever was, and the number of his reported crimes / transgressions was far less. So, the balance should not be the same. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:28, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
Absolutely. But the balance should be assessed fairly, and perhaps reassessed in light of ongoing events. My own judgment is that it should be slightly greater than it is. As A Quest For Knowledge says above, in a way there is no hurry. But the longer this article appears to understate the significance of the allegations to Jackson's reputation, the longer it will be until this article truly meets FA standards. Right now it fails on several grounds, and nobody wants to see it delisted. --MarchOrDie (talk) 19:45, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree that the allegations should be given greater weight in the article as a whole. But, at present, that doesn't justify a sentence in the very first paragraph. And it's really no big deal if the article is "delisted" - that is what would be expected at a time when his whole reputation is under radical re-examination. The very wide range of opinions makes achieving a long-term and balanced view through consensus very unlikely. That will change, eventually. Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:03, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
Completely disagree with including the sexual allegations like that because that has nothing to do with his notability. That is not what made renown in any respects all of is notability came from his music, his dancing, and film. That's like saying hey Elvis married his wife when she was 14 that's a fact, but even though in that time it was looked down on it's not mentioned in his opening paragraphs. In Michael's case these are allegations and I think including allegations in that paragraph threatens it's neutrality as a whole.Mcelite (talk) 19:57, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
It's good to have your opinion, but unfortunately this isn't an opinion-based discussion. We use editorial judgment to distill the best sources out there into a tertiary source. Our policies dictate that we follow the weight the best sources give. I'm afraid that's not up for grabs. We're talking about what weight to give it. Right now it has very little. --MarchOrDie (talk) 20:07, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I was the one who originally added "including allegations of child sexual abuse" and I'm not certain that this was a good addition. I think that "publicized personal life" is too vague and that, instead of centering on any specific allegation, the opening paragraph should instead acknowledge that Jackson had a very strange lifestyle that sparked many allegations, some of which were proven false or manufactured by tabloids. Ilovetopaint (talk) 22:40, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
Despite this section and the #Inclusion of Leaving Neverland (with resulting controversy) in lead section above, Tataral re-added the material to the lead, claiming that it "received more support than opposition. The continuing coverage since then has also probably made the inclusion of the third phase here less contentious (especially given the detailed treatment of the first and second phases of allegations), so I'm trying the slightly bold approach here." StraussInTheHouse, User:Ilovetopaint, Mcelite and Ghmyrtle all opposed the addition to the lead. And I questioned the addition. And that is not an insignificant number compared to the number who supported. Per WP:Consensus, WP:Consensus is not "the result of a vote." We might need an RfC on this as well. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 12:46, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
This is (yet another) inaccurate statement (at best) or blatant falsehood (at worst) from User:Flyer22 Reborn, but quite frankly what we've come to expect from him here. This section is concerned with the sentence "including allegations of child sexual abuse" in the first paragraph. It has nothing at all to do with (a completely different sentence at the end of) the fourth paragraph, which is discussed elsewhere on this talk page (the fourth paragraph has included detailed coverage of sexual abuse for years). I've not reinstated anything discussed in this section. If you object to an edit that is utterly unrelated to this section, I suggest that you bring it up in the relevant section instead of trying to conflate it with something else and make it seem like I've "re-added" something I haven't "re-added" at all. I don't see any clear agreement on adding sexual abuse to the summary in the first paragraph at this point, which is why I haven't reinstated it, only brought it up for debate here when I saw that it was removed. --Tataral (talk) 22:23, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Inaccurate? Eh. We have two sections where editors have objected to engaging in recentism and/or undue by adding "including allegations of child sexual abuse" in the first paragraph and mentioning Leaving Neverland in the lead, respectively. Editors in the #Inclusion of Leaving Neverland (with resulting controversy) in lead section above clearly objected, and yet you added the material anyway, as though there was a lot more support for your view and that consensus had been formed. Stop basing consensus on a headcount.
And I'm a her, not a he, by the way. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:38, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
I've not based consensus on a headcount, rather the contrary, but I'm not going to continue a discussion on an issue that has its own section on this talk page here in this completely unrelated section. I've simply addressed your false claim that I "re-added" the material discussed in this section which I haven't "re-added" at all. --Tataral (talk) 00:06, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Given what you stated in your edit summary, I can't agree that you did not add that piece based on headcount. If you want to argue that your "received more support than opposition" statement is not about you perceiving consensus, it is still you going by a headcount. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 02:12, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
The opening paragraph is missing something.. It's easy to notice. "his publicized personal life" is indeed vague. I don't know how to word it, but it shouldn't just be ignored there.. Cornerstonepicker (talk) 00:42, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
It's impossible to discern the future, but I think it's clear enough that the child sexual abuse allegations against Jackson will have a lasting impact on his legacy that I don't find WP:Recentism persuasive, and I think it would be appropriate to include them in the first paragraph. One other way to highlight what User:Ilovetopaint was talking about would be to add the word "unusual" (or "strange" or "unorthodox") before "lifestyle". - Sdkb (talk) 15:23, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

Let me be clear: When we're talking about briefly mentioning sexual abuse in general terms with just three words here, we're not talking just about the 2019 controversy, but the whole thing spanning a quarter of a century including the 1990s controversy, his criminal trial and so on, that led him to leave Neverland, "flee the country" and practically end his career for the last decade of his life. Clearly the sexual abuse issue was a major one already in his lifetime, even if we leave the devastating blow to his reputation in 2019 out of the equation. I find it impossible to see how this has anything to do with recentism at all.

The first paragraph has become even more detailed than it was before, so it seems quite puzzling that it doesn't mention sexual abuse. It even includes "charitable fundraising", as if that is more important than sexual abuse. --Tataral (talk) 20:32, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

I agree. He was not principally notable for his (very considerable) charity gifts and benefits. I've removed that and added "unorthodox" for his lifestyle. Hey, did you know he had the Michael Jackson International Institute for Research On Child Abuse named for him? I wonder if it is still operating.... --MarchOrDie (talk) 21:38, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

What degree of weight should the article give to the sex abuse allegations?[edit]

In a way this belongs in at least two of the discussions above. In a way it's a shame that essentially the same argument is distributed across the page. Never mind. In full knowledge that looking at Ghits is a very crude metric, Michael Jackson sex abuse is getting me 109,000,000, and Michel Jackson singer 433,000,000. That's about 25% which seems a fair starting point. Looking in Google books, we get 9,130 vs 808,000, or about 1%. I am sure that there are others here who can make a more sophisticated estimate of the coverage. I don't think anyone can claim it is zero. At the moment, for reference (and again I know that word count is a very crude metric) the percentages are Lead para 0%, lead as a whole 8.5%, article as a whole 1.7%. (My estimates, and they may be pretty crude. Somebody with more time and better tools should make a better one.) --MarchOrDie (talk) 17:55, 8 March 2019 (UTC)

  • The main book source for the article is Taraborrelli, J. Randy (2009). Michael Jackson: The Magic, The Madness, The Whole Story, 1958–2009. Grand Central Publishing, 2009. ISBN 978-0-446-56474-8. with 68 (!) references. I don't own the book, but looking in preview on Amazon, the index contains 34 instances of "Martin Bashir" (not all of which will relate to these allegations of course), 37 of "Evan Chandler", and 42 of "Jordie Chandler". It's safe to say that a proportion of these refer to the matter we are discussing. Again, even a book that appeared ten years ago seems to have substantial coverage of this. Obviously it would be ideal if somebody with a copy of the book could provide a more accurate estimate. But it isn't zero. --MarchOrDie (talk) 18:14, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Almost a week on, I am disappointed by the lack of response here. We have seen that, unsurprisingly, there are many varied opinions on this, some passionately held. Yet it appears that mine is a lone voice looking to survey the sources in a way that our policy demands. --MarchOrDie (talk) 22:31, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
    • I think part of the problem is this isn't under the RfC header so a lot of people don't notice it. You may want to refactor and add it as a third level header under the main RfC because I only just noticed this section. Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 22:39, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
      • You're probably right. I'm not inclined to do that for now I think. But what this article desperately needs is input from people who are expert at finding good sources and evenhandedly summarizing them accurately and dispassionately. --MarchOrDie (talk) 23:21, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Google results are only estimates, not hard numbers. When I click on the "808,000" link, for example, Google (Books) only tells me there are "about 188,000 results" for michael jackson singer. If I search for michael jackson abuse, Google tells me there are "about 101,000 results" in Google Books. It's difficult to use Google search results (numbers) in this manner, so they need to be taken with many grains of salt. My feeling, though, is that 25% is a good starting point for the discussion, and that it wouldn't be reasonable to exceed about 25% in this article, but that there is little danger of approaching anything near that percentage. Currently 6.3 % of the body of the article is devoted to sexual abuse (excluding the references). If we take into account the possible need for a fourth sub section (e.g. on the broader cultural impact of the sexual abuse allegations), the sexual abuse section still would barely approach 10% of the article. This shows that we have some room for expansion, especially in the coverage of the third phase of the abuse allegations. However, due to concerns relating to recentism we will probably have to wait for some time before we expand that coverage much beyond its current length. In other words, this is room for that section to grow in the coming couple of years. --Tataral (talk) 00:07, 14 March 2019 (UTC)


Normally this article has some 20,000 daily readers. Now the article has nearly 200,000 daily readers. In other words readership has increased almost tenfold over the last few weeks and days and the vast majority of the readers clearly come here looking specifically for material about sexual abuse. --Tataral (talk) 01:17, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

And "pageviews" is not a valid criterion for any material in any article at all. Collect (talk) 23:04, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

Time to update the FAQ?[edit]

The FAQ for this Featured Article is substantially the same as it was 10 years ago. Why is that? Why, for example, are we enjoined to add new pictures of someone who died ten years ago? But only if they are free? Why are we told that this long article cannot be shortened, when it is much longer than it was ten years ago? It's just embarrassing to think that thousands of readers are seeing this out-of-date advice. --MarchOrDie (talk) 03:01, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

Updating that would be fine. Its most recent major change was when I added another question and its accompanying answer two years ago. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 03:20, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
I've taken out the two most ridiculous ones. --MarchOrDie (talk) 12:16, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
Full support. Obviously we can't have a ban on shortening the article. --Tataral (talk) 17:43, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

RfC: Should the lead refer to the five chart-topping Bad singles by name?[edit]

Should "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "Bad", "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Man in the Mirror", and "Dirty Diana" be removed from the lead, or is it enough to simply state that the Bad album had a record-breaking five number-one singles? Ilovetopaint (talk) 23:41, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

I should rephrase that, for the purposes of your argument, they are only notable in the context of Bad, which is already covered in the lead. Michael Jackson had 13 number-one singles in total. If they're so notable for being number-one hits, then shouldn't we also be naming the other 8? Ilovetopaint (talk) 00:16, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
I would be fine with also naming those. As for your "only notable in the context of Bad" assertion, my previous comments debunk that. It's not like being part of the album was the key factor in their chart success. If one mentions that somebody had a record with songs from an album, then people will expect a subsequent elaboration on that, which is another reason why these should be listed by name. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 00:28, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
If an artist has had an extraordinary number of smash hits it's absurd to suggest that we have to name every single one of them. Especially when the lead is already exceeding 3000 characters and 600 words. It's not something we do for Elvis Presley, The Beatles, or Led Zeppelin. Ilovetopaint (talk) 00:39, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
13 isn't "an extraordinary number" when there are "smash hits" that don't go all the way to #1 (that term can be used for anything that reaches the top 5 or perhaps even top 10). Listing all tracks that top a chart isn't entirely out of the question unlike, say, all of his top 5s or all of his top 10s would be. I'm not outright saying we should list every single smash hit, only that when something is part of a big record, people will want an elaboration on said record. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 00:45, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
My point is that, as a self-contained work, the global cachet of a song like "Dirty Diana" is nowhere near that of "Strawberry Fields Forever", "Be My Baby"", "Satisfaction", or even Jackson's own "Thriller". The presumption is that, if we're naming names, then the reader is supposed to feel like they're going to learn more extraordinary things about these singles if they click their articles. They won't (sans "Bad"). They're notable in the context of Bad, which is notable in the context of Michael Jackson, but the songs themselves are not notable in the context of Michael Jackson. We know this because being one of the five number-ones from Bad is the only thing that the main MJ article says about them. And so we run into a bit of WP:UNDUE. Ilovetopaint (talk) 03:49, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
They won't "learn more extraordinary things" by clicking them!? Saying that and the other songs aside from its title track "are not notable in the context of Michael Jackson" is ridiculous! One would also see other various high charting positions, especially for "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", along with a Record of the Year Grammy nomination for "Man in the Mirror". While "Dirty Diana" might not have had as much worldwide chart success as the other four mentioned, its US placement is by no means the only important thing you'd find there. Whether we should include chart positions from other nations is debatable. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 04:16, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Suggestion This might work better as a note. It isn't the worst instance in the article of pointless lists, but if it was removed it would be an incremental improvement. A note might satisfy both sides. --MarchOrDie (talk) 12:58, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm guessing you mean using the "efn" template for a note, though fail to see how removing a record's elaboration in any way improves things when simply saying it had an unprecedented five US number ones is vague and doesn't tell readers as much. They'd think "what songs helped reach that achievement?" or something along those lines. Giving five names most certainly wouldn't be out of the question. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 13:59, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Keep in lead per SNUGGUMS, who has ample experience in what it means to write a good article on this site. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 13:19, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Remove, though I don't feel strongly. I agree with Ilovetopaint's argument about undue weight. The world record is more important here than the singles themselves. Popcornduff (talk) 14:08, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment I was BOLD and implemented my suggestion to move this detail into a footnote. Does anybody strenuously disagree with this? Or could we live with it as a compromise? --MarchOrDie (talk) 20:45, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • While I would prefer having them shown more clearly and it's nonsense to call such a listing undue weight or excessive detail, your footnote compromise is much better than not mentioning these in the lead at all and is something I could live with. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 21:42, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

Check source?[edit]

His deep dissatisfaction with his appearance, his nightmares and chronic sleep problems, his tendency to remain hyper-compliant, especially with his father, and to remain childlike in adulthood are consistent with the effects of the maltreatment he endured as a child.[1]


  1. ^ Schechter, Daniel; Willheim, Erica (2009). "The Effects of Violent Experience and Maltreatment on Infants and Young Children". In Zeanah, Charles H. Handbook of Infant Mental Health (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford Press. pp. 197–214.

Does anyone have this source? Does it discuss these symptoms in relation to Michael Jackson? If not, I fear this sentence (eminently true though it no doubt is) is synthesis and cannot remain in the article. --MarchOrDie (talk) 22:21, 10 March 2019 (UTC)

I've removed it pending clarification. --MarchOrDie (talk) 09:26, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

Corey Feldman update needed[edit]

Somebody with relevant access needs to update the section referring to Corey Feldman, to reflect the fact he has "dramatically pull[ed] back his support for embattled friend Michael Jackson in light of "horrendous" child sexual abuse allegations... [and] can "no longer" speak in support of Jackson", in the aftermath of the 'Leaving Neverland' documentary. Source is the TV interview held with Feldman on HLN, link: (talk) 16:53, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

I don't think any of this stuff belongs, even those who have not changed their stories. Even a highly active child abuser presumably doesn't molest every child they meet. So a bunch of people saying "Well, he didn't molest me!" doesn't really make much difference to the story, in my view. --MarchOrDie (talk) 20:44, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
If there's no objection to removing this, I'm going to remove it. --MarchOrDie (talk) 19:10, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
I've removed it. --MarchOrDie (talk) 09:54, 14 March 2019 (UTC)


Cristabel0, we do not abbreviate the United States as U.S. if there are other abbreviations like UK in the same article, see WP:NOTUSA. --MarchOrDie (talk) 07:15, 12 March 2019 (UTC)


MagicatthemovieS, the latest round of sex abuse allegations were renewed allegations about behavior from the past. They were made in the 2010s but do not relate to the 2010s. I feel it is potentially misleading to refer to them as 2010s allegations. What is your issue with renewed? --MarchOrDie (talk) 07:18, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Potential perception of canvassing by editor Flyer22 Reborn on this page[edit]

This page is for discussing improvements to the Wikipedia article on Michael Jackson. There are other places you can discuss other things. --MarchOrDie (talk) 22:26, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion 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.

There have been a number of debates going on on this page as well as some RfCs and Flyer22 has been heavily involved in many (all?) of them. During these discussions Flyer22 has been mentioning (so they are notified) a number of other editors who were not previously involved in the debate underway. I am not accusing Flyer22 of doing this to canvas people with opinions similar to her own but such a perception is possible and it is almost as important to avoid a perception of canvassing as actually doing it.

One example from this page:

> Moxy, any thoughts?


> You were quick to implement the proposed article format even though others, like myself and Moxy, hadn't yet weighed in.

and again later (this time without an explicit mention)

> I'm still waiting for Moxy to weigh in.

Moxy did then show up and their first comment was

> Ok i am here...will review whats going on

And 7 minutes after that comment they then participated in the RfC on the restructure, taking a position similar to Flyer22's.

Please note I am not accusing Moxy of any wrong doing. Just highlighting how they were brought into the discussion by Flyer22 and what flowed from that.

Another example:

> They (except for Casliber, who didn't really give an opinion on the article's status) -- Xover, Laser_brain, Ritchie333, SandyGeorgia, Pstoller, SNUGGUMS, DannyMusicEditor, DrKay, and AGK -- saw it as needing some tweaking and likely cuts, but none of them stated that it didn't still meet WP:FA status.

All the names above were mentioned by Flyer22 except SNUGGUMS who was already participating on the page. We then had DannyMusicEditor showing up who said:

> Brought here by mention. Flyer22 Reborn is really hitting the nail on the head for this one.

Oska (talk) 10:36, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

I don't see it as canvassing as it isn't like she was urging anybody to say they agree with her. An attempt to canvass would be more like asking people "come support/oppose ______". SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 12:15, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
What you describe would be blatant canvassing. What I am describing is the possible perception of canvassing of people with similar opinions. 2 out of 2 of the people who came onto this talk page after she name-mentioned them took positions similar to or supportive of hers. (Again, that is not to criticise either of those two people). Oska (talk) 12:37, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

I was not "canvassed" at all and charging other editors with being "canvassed" is about the worst concept available on any talk page. If you feel you have evidence of "canvassing" post it on a proper noticeboard - not here. Collect (talk) 13:48, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

I agree that this is not the proper forum for discussing allegations of canvassing (or the potential perception). A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 16:45, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
@Collect: I repeatedly stressed that there was absolutely no blame being put on anyone who was name-mentioned by Flyer22 and who later showed up (of whom you were not one). Oska (talk) 20:02, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
I really shouldn't even respond to this thread. Do you not understand the WP:Canvassing guideline? First, you tried to get me on a canvassing violation above in the RfC, where I thoroughly rebutted your nonsense. Then, you and one of your cohorts tried to get me on canvassing at WP:ANI, where I rebutted the nonsense again. Now you try again? To repeat: WP:Canvassing states, "An editor who may wish to draw a wider range of informed, but uninvolved, editors to a discussion can place a message at any of the following: The talk page or noticeboard of one or more WikiProjects or other Wikipedia collaborations which may have interest in the topic under discussion. A central location (such as the Village pump or other relevant noticeboards) for discussions that have a wider impact such as policy or guideline discussions. The talk page of one or more directly related articles. On the talk pages of a user mentioned in the discussion (particularly if the discussion concerns complaints about user behavior). On the user talk pages of concerned editors. Examples include: Editors who have made substantial edits to the topic or article. Editors who have participated in previous discussions on the same topic (or closely related topics). Editors known for expertise in the field. Editors who have asked to be kept informed."
Clearly, pinging Moxy, who has been involved in this article for years, was fine. Oops, I just pinged Moxy again. Oh my goodness. I also pinged ‎Synthwave.94, another regular contributor to this article. But Synthwave.94 did not weigh in. The editors I pinged from the Elvis Presley FA review (WP:FAR) were pinged because I was talking about that review and I felt like pinging them. They are experienced editors when it comes to matters such as these. Some or most, such as SNUGGUMS, are essentially experts on creating GAs and FAs; so they pass the "expert" aspect of what WP:Canvassing allows. Out of those editors (with the exception of SNUGGUMS, who was already involved with this article), DannyMusicEditor is the only one who has weighed in thus far. I noted that "the editors who weighed in on the Presley review might feel differently about this article." I had no idea that DannyMusicEditor was going to state "Flyer22 Reborn is really hitting the nail on the head for this one." I have no relation to DannyMusicEditor outside of this. He is not a Wikipedia friend of mine. None of the editors I mentioned/pinged are, although Moxy, SNUGGUMS, Ritchie333, SandyGeorgia and I have interacted positively on matters and I have the same mutual respect for them as they have for me. And as has been discussed at the WP:Canvassing talk page, editors are reluctant to list pinging as a form of canvassing. No doubt in part because of nonsense like this.
You and your cohorts need to stop trying to get me topic-banned or otherwise restricted from editing this article. It's not going to happen. I am not the problem at this article that I barely edit or this talk page. And, no, I haven't been involved in all of the current discussions on this talk page, which are subject to much WP:Recentism. You also need to read WP:TALK. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:02, 12 March 2019 (UTC) Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:10, 12 March 2019 (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.

Outstanding issues[edit]

Well, the article is coming along. I've just reread it and it is much less bad than it was. It still needs:

  • To be a little shorter. Most of it is now material that does belong on an encyclopedia, but not all of it belongs on this article.
  • To check for proper attribution in references. At the moment the article employs a scatter-gun approach, blasting the reader with literally hundreds of references in the hope that they assume everything is as it should be. I need more competent and neutral editors to go through the article, and check that material is correctly and fairly referenced. I've found a few instances where material has not been honestly summarized, and many where it has been lazily quoted. Primary references should be cut to a minimum. Strings of references in the same sentence need to be bundled, not just for neatness and ease of reading, but for proper adherence to verifiability. In a multi-referenced sentence, the reader needs to be able to know which statements are sourced to which references. At the moment we don't have that.
  • We need to sort out how we deal with the sex abuse allegations. We know this already and we are dealing with it. It will also evolve over time. We need to be open to that.
  • Continuing vigilance for fan-fiction in the article. It looks breathless and comprehensive. We need to be dispassionate and neutral, follow the sources, and use summary style.
  • Prose still isn't anything like as good as it should be; we need good writers with an ear for language who can make it into a competent piece of writing. A lot of it is currently just a chronological account of events, like an edited version of the subject's diary.
  • To try and keep our tempers. This is clearly an emotive subject for some editors. The article should be improved here in the first instance. We can hold FAR in reserve but we should at least try to save it here first. I think we can do it. --MarchOrDie (talk) 22:50, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Glad you feel the article has improved. As for cutting down material, that'll take some more examination to determine what should or shouldn't be kept. I also think we can maintain enough quality to not need a formal FAR. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 23:22, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Cultural depictions of Jackson[edit]

Due to his fame and the coverage of his personal life, Jackson was "a global figure in popular culture" as the lead notes. The article currently includes detailed coverage of his own professional and personal life, and his own work, but it seems to me that it possibly should have a section or sub section on "cultural depictions of Jackson", corresponding to the (fairly extensive) Category:Cultural depictions of Michael Jackson. Perhaps as a sub section of "Legacy and influence" or as a separate top-level section immediately below "Legacy and influence." --Tataral (talk) 23:25, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Problem with sourcing?[edit]

Why is Taraborrelli, J. Randy (2009). Michael Jackson: The Magic, The Madness, The Whole Story, 1958–2009. Grand Central Publishing, 2009. ISBN 978-0-446-56474-8. used so much in the sourcing of this article? I am unable to find many positive reviews of his work, and he comes across as gossipy and partial in the reviews I can find. Aren't there any better (i.e. more academic and less fan-like) book sources to base such an important article on? --MarchOrDie (talk) 22:58, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

No suggestions for alternative sources, I'm afraid, but I'm suspicious of the book too. I haven't read it but the article uses it a lot and I'm not sure how respected or reliable it is. Popcornduff (talk) 09:32, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
Taraborrelli is very unreliable. I would even say he's not much better than the average gossip columnist. Most of his sources are anonymous; personal details are uncorroborated and conflict with other verifiable sources. I suggest we tag his citations or remove them altogether. Partytemple (talk) 01:48, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Inclusion of Aaron Carter[edit]

Someone named Aaron Carter, whom I've never heard of, has been added to the sentence that discussed the fact that five boys who knew Jackson very well, intimately and for long periods when they were very young (preteen and younger) have accused him of sexual abuse.

Safechuck and Robson were part of Jackson's entourage for years: they lived with him, travelled with him, dressed like him, slept with him and were literally "married" to him, and were practically like family members as the documentary discusses too. They occupied pretty much the same place in Jackson's life as Blanket and Paris and so on in later years, and Jackson treated them like his "mini-me's". They met Jackson when they were five and nine years old, and Jackson spent years grooming them and their families. Macaulay Culkin is also well known for spending much of his childhood at Neverland and his article has an entire section devoted to "Friendship with Michael Jackson." In fact, his "friendship with Michael Jackson" is the only thing Culkin is known for after his film career ended in 1994.

This Aaron Carter figure on the other hand doesn't seem to have any comparable relation to Jackson. His article doesn't once mention Jackson. The interview he gave seems mostly to be about baselessly attacking Safechuck and Robson, whom he doesn't know, and based on pure conjecture, and he actually says that he only met Jackson when he was 15 years old, nearly an adult and at a time that Jackson was already engulfed by scandal relating to sexual abuse allegations and could hardly be expected or afford to abuse some random 15-year old, and many years after Safechuck, Robson and even Culkin "left Neverland."

As the documentary and numerous sources discuss, Jackson is accused of molesting pre-teen and younger boys, and of losing interest once they reached puberty. That someone who was never part of Jackson's close entourage and who only knew him (barely) when he was much older and outside the age group Jackson has been accused of preying on says he wasn't molested is of no value at all in a section that discusses allegations of molestation of preteen and younger boys who were part of Jackson's close circle, and only serves to mislead.

Quite frankly, the interview by Carter seems to be a publicity stunt merely to raise his public profile. --Tataral (talk) 08:15, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Your first four paragraphs make a good argument, well expressed. But your last paragraph is speculation and opinion. I'd suggest removing/retracting it. I see that it was a later edit anyway. Oska (talk) 08:37, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
I don't see much point in removing it. It is indeed a personal observation/comment and not really part of the argument. --Tataral (talk) 08:42, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
> It is indeed a personal observation/comment
And thus doesn't belong here, especially when it is an attack on someone associated with the subject of the article. Not to be too dramatic but it's potentially libelous. Oska (talk) 08:49, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
I can assure you that an assessment like that (he accuses Safechuck and Robson of "lying"; I comment that I view his comments as mainly a publicity stunt) wouldn't be regarded as libelous in any western country. --Tataral (talk) 08:55, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
You shouldn't even be straying in that direction. I'm not much of a fan of quoting policy guidelines but you've pushed me to go and find this one: WP:LIBEL. Quote: "It is the responsibility of all contributors to ensure that the material posted on Wikipedia is not defamatory." Oska (talk) 09:08, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
I've not posted any defamatory material anywhere. A (mildly) critical assessment of someone's public opinion or of a source has nothing at all to do with "libel" as that term is used in legal contexts and on WP:LIBEL. I'm not American, but in the US this would be a classic case of an assessment/expression of opinion protected by the First Amendment. You or anyone else are free to disagree with it, but this is really a distraction as I never claimed that my removal of the material was based on that brief comment (it was based on the preceding 96 % of my comment). In light of the distraction it caused I probably wouldn't have made it now – as a rather unimportant final, short comment – but I'm not willing to remove it based on a claim that it's libel when it's clearly not and when it's followed by a long discussion specifically on that sentence. --Tataral (talk) 09:10, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • We cannot entertain the idea of making a list of boys, pre-pubescent or otherwise, who Jackson did not abuse. Presumably it would be a very long list. Let's stick to the ones who allege he did. Following the section above, I have now removed this material. --MarchOrDie (talk) 09:56, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Yes, I agree that's a better solution. --Tataral (talk) 09:59, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Other accusers not mentioned?[edit]

Where is the mention of Jason Francia, son of former Jackson maid Blanca Francia, who alleged molestation and received a cash settlement?

What about Terry George, who alleged as far back as 1979 that Jackson called him on the phone while masturbating?

What about Michael Jacobs-Hagen, who says that while nothing explicitly sexual happened he slept in bed with Jackson, he was fondled by Jackson, and saw Jackson naked and masturbating? And who has a copy of one of the same "art books" that was seized from Jackson's home personally inscribed by Jackson?

What about Star Arvizo, Gavin's brother, whose fingerprints were found on Jackson's pornography and who claims Jackson was naked in front of him?

You can't just boil it down to the four accusers that got the most media attention (Jordan Chandler, Gavin Arvizo, Wade Robson, and James Shewcheck). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:283:4302:4C2E:28AA:69F8:AD7:C238 (talk) 20:45, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

I've got mixed feelings about this. On the one hand there is a consensus that we need to expand the coverage of the allegations, and these are good sources. On the other hand, I wouldn't want this to become a long list of every person who has ever told a newspaper that the subject did something. See the section above pleading for better sources; we currently have many hundreds of sources of very varied quality, and there are doubts over the quality of the main book source we use. Eventually someone will write a decent quality book about Jackson (or have they already?). In the meantime we have to muddle along somehow with what we have. Any other thoughts? --MarchOrDie (talk) 11:48, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
For every accusation made against Jackson, there's trial evidence to disprove it.
The fingerprints case is disproved after jurors realized Tom Sneddon mishandled evidence by giving the porno magazine to Arvizo's bare hands. Arvizo was supposed to have gloves on. Here's a journalist explaining what happened in court:
As for an authoritative book on Jackson, it may never exist sadly, not one with vivid intimate details. Like many other celebrities, Jackson had a deliberate, conscientious control over his image. (Such as his "marriage" to Lisa Marie Presley. I think it was a PR stunt.) He just happened to be one of the most famous pop stars in the world, lived a private life and had private relationships. This got people wondering and some conjured wild mythologies about him. —Partytemple (talk) 02:18, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Stray factoids that keep coming back[edit]

I see we have an editor who wishes to PRESERVE When Jackson and McCartney were unable to make a joint purchase, McCartney did not want to be the sole owner of the Beatles' songs, and did not pursue an offer on his own.. While it isn't as bad as having Jackson die multiple times, I'm having difficulty seeing this as essential in a summary article about Jackson's life, let alone one that claims to be Featured. Somebody explain it to me please. --MarchOrDie (talk) 21:54, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

And also Jackson stated he had had only two rhinoplasties and no other facial surgery, but mentioned having had a dimple created in his chin. This is fan fiction; only a fan cares about the subject's detailed descriptions of what plastic surgery he did and didn't have, rhinoplasty by rhinoplasty. What respectable source writes like this? "Only two". Psh. --MarchOrDie (talk) 22:33, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

I am really concerned here.....the opinions of the experienced editors is being ignored.... and in the middle of multiple debates the article is changing astronomically. Not sure what we can do here to get back on the right track.--Moxy (talk) 22:39, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree with your suggestion in edit summary that demotion might be best for now. A concerted root-and-branch rewrite producing a new version with better sourcing and less fan fiction that will truly represent our best work as an FA is supposed to do. That would be worth working for, wouldn't it? --MarchOrDie (talk) 22:49, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
We also have may new media links added about topics that are covered in real publications already found in the article. Some of our publications not being used are more comprehensive.... and of course contain their own sources for even more info.--Moxy (talk) 22:56, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── MarchOrDie, as seen here and here, you twice removed the McCartney bit. I reverted you on the McCartney material here and here (followup note here). I did so because you are removing context. Exactly why do you think the fact that McCartney did not want to be the sole owner of the Beatles' songs, and did not pursue an offer on his own, does not relate to what Jackson did/Jackson's ownership?

As for the plastic surgery material, I think you need to familiarize yourself with what fan fiction is. It's not this. And if only fans cared about descriptions of Jackson's plastic surgery, so much of the material regarding Jackson would not be about his changing physical appearance (including his facial surgeries). We would not have the Health and appearance of Michael Jackson article, which indicates just how much society, not just fans, have shown interest in descriptions of Jackson's plastic surgeries. His changing physical appearance is a significant aspect of his life and the topic of Michael Jackson. Obviously. It's why we have a section titled "1986–1987: Changing appearance, tabloids, and films." Per WP:Summary style, we are supposed summarize what can be found in the Health and appearance of Michael Jackson. It makes no sense to only mention Jackson's changing skin color, and not also mention that his nose and chin changed. That is common sense. It is not like we have extensive body parts to mention. Mentioning his rhinoplasties and the dimple created in his chin is not some extensively detailed description. What respectable source writes like this? Any respectable source reporting on every notable aspect of Jackson's life. Just about all of Jackson's biographies address his changing physical appearance. And the "only two" part is his claim, which, like I mentioned, should probably be countered with what plastic surgeon experts state. Jackson states that he only had two nose jobs because plastic surgeon experts state state that he had more than two. But then again, we have the Health and appearance of Michael Jackson article for further detail.

Moxy, when you sate that "the opinions of the experienced editors is being ignored," are you referring to my and your opinions being ignored for starters? After all, our opinions on the recent changes to this article's have been in sync. And we can see that other experienced editors have come along in the RfC and expressed what we expressed. And with this edit, you stated, " good to see experienced editors here at the RfC...clearly this is going in the wrong direction as per many policies." Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:11, 14 March 2019 (UTC) Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:21, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Good stuff. Do you have anything to say about what we were talking about? Common sense is often a cloak for an opinion without any merit. I'm afraid you'll have to give actual reasons, as stating that it is "common sense" won't do it. And this is an encyclopedia, not social media where you try to get "likes". Try to say what you think and why, briefly, rather than handwaving appeals to authority, if you can. --MarchOrDie (talk) 23:18, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
Stick to what I stated, attitude editor. You brought up two aspects that you call factoids, and one that you ridiculously refer to as fan fiction. I addressed them. So I am on-topic. You are going off-topic with your typical personal attack garbage. WP:Summary style is clear. Your opinion that we should not adequately summarize the plastic surgery matter does not compute. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:21, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
And speaking of likes, you are clearly editing this article with WP:DON'TLIKEIT rationales. Do stop wasting my time with nonsense. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:25, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
Oh, and see WP:Common sense as well. We can do an RfC every time if you like, and you will see others dispute your faulty rationales. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:27, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
It's a red link. Says it all. Anybody got anything useful to say? --MarchOrDie (talk) 23:30, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
Good sense is of all things in the world the most equally distributed, for everybody thinks he is so well supplied with it that even those most difficult to please in all other matters never desire more of it than they already possess.

— René Descartes[10]

When advancing a position or justifying an action, base your argument on existing agreements, community foundation issues, and the interests of the encyclopedia, not your own common sense. Exhorting another editor to "just use common sense" is likely to be taken as insulting, for good reasons.

--MarchOrDie (talk) 23:33, 14 March 2019 9 (UTC)

Good sense is following the WP:Summary style guideline. On your second complaint in this section, I've supported my position with a guideline and common sense, while your above post is nothing but WP:DON'TLIKEIT and attacks. You haven't given any solid reason for why we should only mention Jackson's changing skin color and not the fact that his face also changed. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:41, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree with your first point, that we need to follow summary style. You might take a look at Graham's triangle, and try to raise the level of your arguments without creating straw men like we should only mention Jackson's changing skin color and not the fact that his face also changed. I don't think that, and haven't argued for that. I think we differ in our understanding of what a summary is, perhaps. Try to come up with an argument for why we need to keep the wording you restored, or come up with a compromise form of words that is better. We certainly need to lose the "only". And if you see personal attacks in anything I write, you know where my talk page is. I don't see any from me. I do take offense at being called "attitude editor", and I do take offense at being referred to [your] "common sense". Please don't do that, and please do make logical arguments and good-faith attempts at compromise. --MarchOrDie (talk) 23:53, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
I created no straw-man. You made a nonsensical claim about excluding the McCartney material and for not including the fact that Jackson's face had also changed. You argued that you are not stating "we should only mention Jackson's changing skin color and not the fact that his face also changed." But with your edit, all that was there is mention that his skin color had changed. We should also mention that his face changed. But stating "his face changed" is vague. Giving a few examples is not vague, and giving a few examples per summary style is enough. As for "only", I already suggested that it should probably be countered with what plastic surgeon experts state. There is nothing wrong with noting that while Jackson claimed minimal whatever surgery, plastic surgeon experts state otherwise. Of course, I'm not stating that we should use that exact wording. As for personal attacks, neither of us have been angels in this regard when it comes to responding to each other. To me, stating, "This is fan fiction; only a fan cares about the subject's detailed descriptions of what plastic surgery he did and didn't have, rhinoplasty by rhinoplasty. What respectable source writes like this? 'Only two'. Psh." is worse than stating "It makes no sense to only mention Jackson's changing skin color, and not also mention that his nose and chin changed. That is common sense." As I noted before, I'm not a Jackson fan, and an editor being a fan of a subject does not mean that the editor can't write a good or great article on that subject or that what they wrote is automatically non-neutral. The vast majority of people on Wikipedia write things they are interested in and/or are fans of. Someone who dislikes Jackson is not a better editor for the topic than a fan is. Everyone needs to watch their POVs. You keep disparaging editors' work as fancruft, "fan work," or whatever, as though it's a valid argument...when it is often just your opinion. There is nothing that is "fan material" about the McCartney bit. SNUGGUMS's reason for wanting to retain the McCartney bit is why I want to retain it. This is why I asked you: "Exactly why do you think the fact that McCartney did not want to be the sole owner of the Beatles' songs, and did not pursue an offer on his own, does not relate to what Jackson did/Jackson's ownership?" Editors on Wikipedia state "common sense" quite a lot, and, as noted, we even have a WP:Common sense page. Personal attacks? There are personal attacks from you with regard to me toward the end of the #Bloat and fancruft section above (your "09:13, 12 March 2019 (UTC)" post). If you don't view those as personal attacks, you need to read WP:Personal attacks. Like it notes, "Insulting or disparaging an editor is a personal attack regardless of the manner in which it is done. When in doubt, comment on the article's content without referring to its contributor at all." If you come at me with an attitude, as you did with your initial post in this section, you should not be surprised to be called out on it or to receive an attitude from me in return. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 03:15, 15 March 2019 (UTC) Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 03:36, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
The so-called "common sense" isn't very common given how much individual peoples' perceptions and senses can vary, so that term is basically meaningless as an argument/rationale. Saying "use common sense" incorrectly presumes that the general public shares your senses and thought processes, even if they agree with your stances on something. What we should do instead is discuss reasons why the above text is or isn't important enough to keep in this article. Personally, I would include the McCartney bit as the blurb about Beatles music ownership otherwise looks incomplete. Not exactly as sure what to say about the rhinoplasties when there's already lots of detail on other aspects of Jackson's physical appearance (such as his skin color). Neither are fan fiction by any means, which would refer to completely fictional stories written by fans (and probably posted on another site). SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 23:57, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
SNUGGUMS, by "common sense," I mean the common sense editing that should come with every editor's edits here. This is partly why the Wikipedia:Competence is required supplement page exists. Yes, common sense can be subjective, but it also often isn't. We agree on the McCartney bit. As for rhinoplasties, MarchOrDie's edit made it so that only Jackson skin color changing was mentioned. If we are to have a section that is partly about Jackson's changing appearance, we should note more than just skin color having changed. His nose and entire face being different have also had substantial discussion. And a bit of that should be in the section as well. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 03:15, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
See the page WP:Common sense is not common for additional insight on why the term "common sense" isn't a good basis to use for things and isn't as common as one might think. Worth a read. Anyway, Jackson's nose and face changing gaining lots of attention is a fair reason to include rhinoplasties. Thank you for bringing that up. The question now is how we phrase this detail in the article. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 04:19, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
I've seen that page, but I don't agree with it. Well, I mostly don't agree with it. Editors usually have common sense, and they usually should have common sense when editing here. While common sense can be subjective, it very often isn't. Otherwise, this encyclopedia wouldn't work. Again, WP:Competence is often cited and used as a reason for blocking editors for valid reasons. And WP:Common sense has good advice. Anyway, as is clear, my argument wasn't based on what should be common sense. Not solely anyway. It was based on what should be mentioned per WP:Due and WP:Summary style (although I didn't state "WP:Due" by name). Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 07:48, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
You're right about the terminology. Wikipedia has a good essay about fancruft, and maybe this is a better term to use. Anyway, you know I am happy to haggle about wording in the article, but we really cannot have "Jackson stated he had had only two rhinoplasties" in the article. --MarchOrDie (talk) 00:02, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Fancruft is a more appropriate term for sure. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 00:08, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Hagiography is another possibility. I recognize there is no way to call out bad prose and bad content without potentially offending those who wrote it, or who think they are protecting something good. That's natural. But saying things like the two highlighted passages are terrible, isn't a personal attack. They are terrible. I was rather hoping in making my 282 edits, summarizing, removing duplication, over-writing, over-referencing and trivial fan factoids, that others would refine my imperfect writing. That's always a better possibility than reverting. Reverting is horrible, much worse than a personal attack, real or imaginary, and collectively we should be able to do better than that. I am sure we can. --MarchOrDie (talk) 00:20, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
What is bad prose or bad content is not always fact. Editors differ on that, including when bringing articles to FA level. I've watched enough FA discussions to know that. No one argued that stating "passages are terrible" is a personal attack. Per above, my issue is with the way you have addressed things at times. As for your view that "reverting is horrible," I cannot agree with that at all. This is for the same reasons I and others have discussed at Wikipedia talk:BOLD, revert, discuss cycle (check the archives). I am not a fan of the Wikipedia:Revert only when necessary essay. And as seen at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 120#RfC: elevation of Wikipedia:BOLD, revert, discuss cycle to guideline status, editors, including myself, felt that elevating WP:BRD to a guideline page would essentially be enforcing WP:1RR. Reverting on Wikipedia is essential. And those that can't handle being reverted should rethink editing here. We only have WP:1RR or WP:0RR on certain pages. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 03:15, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
And the vast majority of your edits to this article have been retained. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 03:45, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── I should think so too. One problem with "Jackson stated he had had only two rhinoplasties and no other facial surgery, but mentioned having had a dimple created in his chin." is that is is sourced to Jackson's own book, so it is primary material. It might be marginally interesting if there was a good source for an analysis of what he claimed he had done, what people who knew him said, and what the press said. We are slightly struggling for good sourcing on this article, but I don't think this is the sort of thing we accept primary sourcing on. Especially for a myth-maker like Jackson, it doesn't make sense just to report his claim like this. --MarchOrDie (talk) 23:33, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

And especially when it is all covered in great detail at Health and appearance of Michael Jackson. A brief summary is all we need here, not a blow-by-blow. --MarchOrDie (talk) 01:17, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

I've supported not just going by Jackson's word that he only had two nose jobs. It's obvious that he did not just have two. I've supported a summary of his facial changes. More below. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 07:48, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

Jackson's cosmetic surgery: how do we deal with it?[edit]

All right, I've tagged this as primary sourced material. Slight further thoughts; on the one hand, I know it's an important part of Jackson's story that he had skin bleaching, nose jobs, and other plastic surgery. I also know that he denied various aspects of the work others who watched him could see he had had done. I also know that he was famous as a mythmaker, someone who enjoyed playing games with the press, as the article mentions. Finally I think it's pretty natural for someone to be reticent about their medical matters, even when they are cosmetic. Maybe especially in Jackson's case, as an African American gradually changing appearance to become more "white" looking. I think the scatter-gun approach used does not do the matter justice; rather than a full account of his rhinoplasties, how many he said he had, how many the press reckon he had, how many Taraborelli said he had, and doing this for every aspect of it, we should have probably a single well-sourced sentence describing the sort of things he had done, and his own reticence about it. I think it is more dignified and encyclopedic to do it that way. I'm pleased to see that there is only one other claim referenced to his own book. --MarchOrDie (talk) 00:23, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
All we need to state is something similar to what is currently stated in the lead of the Health and appearance of Michael Jackson article, which is that his skin color and facial features, such as his nose, changed and this prompted discussion that he bleached his skin and had extensive plastic surgery. I don't see a scatter approach in the "1986–1987: Changing appearance, tabloids, and films" section. That section begins with a focus on his skin. And per, WP:Summary style, I think we should retain that whole paragraph. I don't see that anything needs to be cut from it. The second paragraph focuses on the plastic surgery and his weight (although it also mentions his dermatologist and a nurse he had -- the mother of two of his children). I agree that more should be there. If you propose content here, we can see what we agree on. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 07:48, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

Identifying a dollar figure attached to the 2013 lawsuit[edit]

The first line of the "Renewed allegations and Leaving Neverland" section read (until my recent edit):

In 2013, choreographer Wade Robson and James Safechuck filed a $1.5 billion-dollar [e.m.] civil lawsuit claiming Jackson had sexually abused them as children.[1]

Now, that's a lot. It's also conspicuously absent from contemporary reports and non-tabloid articles.[2][3]

Our own source, mentioning the figure in a bullet point, is a contributor which Wikipedia generally does not consider usable as sources,[4] so let's see if there's a better one anywhere. The one was published on January 29[5] – a search limited to things before this date finds, among other unusable stuff, a blog in defence of Jackson which investigates "why we should believe that Wade Robson is demanding the sum of $1.62 billion for the alleged abuse from MJ if this news is reported by almost no one, was published in some tabloid and is not mentioned in the court documents available to us." The $1.5 billion figure is likely a rounding of this number.[6] The blog post is mostly off-topic but despite characterising Robson as a "greedy liar" and a tool in the "project" to "grab all the money the Michael Jackson Estate has," ultimately concludes "You don’t have to believe it" but "if Robson’s sum were untrue at least some lawyers would have spoken up and disclaimed it," suggesting it may have been "a draft" leaked by Robson's lawyers (for some reason) to a site called Radar Online and/or the Daily Mail. They provide some links,[7] all published on August 5, 2014, including the Daily Mail one.[8] It turns out that's as far back as it goes. For anyone in doubt, the Daily Mail is the lowest of the low when it comes to reliability. My money says they made it up.

In conclusion, given that none of the legal cases made it very far, I doubt that there ever was a requested amount made known to the public. If anyone has one that doesn't come from a tabloid, I'd be interested to know about it. ─ ReconditeRodent « talk · contribs » 04:38, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

Good work. --MarchOrDie (talk) 07:10, 15 March 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Vogel, Joe (January 29, 2019). "What You Should Know About the New Michael Jackson Documentary". Forbes. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  2. ^ "APNewsBreak: Michael Jackson sex abuse lawsuit dismissed". Associated Press. 20 December 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Wade Robson Asks Court to Add Negligence Claims to Graphic Michael Jackson Abuse Lawsuit". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  4. ^ They are treated them as "opinion pieces or self-published sources" due to "minimal editorial oversight".
  5. ^ Wayback confirms it had the number from at least the day after.
  6. ^ Or theoretically a confusion with coincidentally similar figures from other Jackson lawsuits:
  7. ^ [1] and [2]
  8. ^ "Australian choreographer alleges he was molested by Michael Jackson". Mail Online. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2019.


In trying to look through the references to cull out the most dubious ones, it became apparent to me that it's difficult to do this because the sources aren't even organized properly. Book sources and web sources should be separated, if at all, properly. At the moment it's a mish-mash. If I was to look at fixing this, I'd prefer to move to Harvard referencing. But it really can't remain like it is. It's a mess. --MarchOrDie (talk) 00:54, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

In looking at this, I have uncovered a couple more poor references. --MarchOrDie (talk) 23:41, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Specific question: what makes *Epps, Henry. Great African-American Women in America history Vol I. ISBN 978-1-30016-233-9., a self-published book, a good source for BLP material? --MarchOrDie (talk) 00:24, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Not sure what to say about this source specifically, but should note that being self-published doesn't automatically mean poor quality. However, the use of such material should be limited to non-contentious claims per WP:SELFPUB where there's no reasonable doubt of authenticity. BLP also doesn't apply here when Jackson has been dead for three months shy of a decade. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 00:33, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
The source is being used to support a contentious claim about his mother who is I think still alive. Hence the question. MarchOrDie (talk) 00:37, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
In that case, we should opt for something else if available. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 00:40, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree. I have removed it pending a better source. MarchOrDie (talk) 00:57, 18 March 2019 (UTC)