Talk:Muhammad al-Durrah incident

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Featured article Muhammad al-Durrah incident 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.
January 25, 2010 Featured article candidate Promoted
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Copy edit and update[edit]

This FA hasn't been maintained for a few years, so I've posted a copy-edited and updated version. There were lots of dead links, all fixed, I believe; a few dead links weren't in the Internet Archive, so I removed or re-sourced that material. I've tidied the citation style and moved the long refs into the text, instead of having separate sections: one section is easier to maintain.

I restored some text and sources that had gone missing, and moved the Schapira material out of its own sections and into the rest of the article, where appropriate, to reduce length and repetition. I also updated the text with latest developments, tidied the writing and removed some clutter, and reduced the FR section. And I added some free images and tidied the others. SarahSV (talk) 03:31, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

There is a big WP:FRINGE issue with the article.
The hypothesis that al-Durrah would not have been killed by a bullet shot from Israeli soldiers is given too much weight. That's of course difficult to evaluate how to give the due weight in cases such as this one but the lead points out too much time the 'doubt' thesis. Among most scholars are journalists, there is no doubt. Pluto2012 (talk) 18:52, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
That isn't a fringe position. The fringe position is that it was staged. The lead gives three sentences to that position (from "Other commentators" to "international investigation"), including one from al-Durrah and Enderlin. It has always been difficult to know how to handle it because it's covered by a lot of RS, and several RS support it, so we can't ignore it. But nothing in the article suggests that it has mainstream support. SarahSV (talk) 20:31, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hi Malik, I removed the alt text because at Wikimania a few years ago people who use screen readers complained about it. From then on we were asked to supply only brief text, one word or so, to stop the screen reader from reading out the file name. That's why I add "photograph" or "map" nowadays. SarahSV (talk) 03:37, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

(edit conflict) Thanks for refreshing the article, SarahSV. I just restored the alternative text for images in the article. The use of alt text is an on-again/off-again featured article criterion, plus alt text makes the images more accessible to users with text readers, so it's important that alt text be meaningful. "A man with black hair wearing blue jeans and a white t-shirt crouches behind a wall and a white concrete cylinder. With his right hand, he is grasping the arm of a young boy, also with black hair, who is crouching on the ground behind him. The boy is wearing blue jeans, brown sandals, and a blue and white top. His right hand is holding onto the man's t-shirt. He looks as though he is crying. Behind them, the wall is made up of concrete blocks. The man's head is slightly down, and he is looking to his left." is much more helpful than "photograph". — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 03:41, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Having never used a text reader, I can't say they're wrong. I only know what Wikipedia's guidelines say to do, and that is to include meaningful alt text. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 03:43, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
The FA criteria briefly required alt text, because one editor who liked it persuaded us to start using it. But there were lots of complaints from editors. Then someone from the Wikimedia Foundation told us that at Wikimania people using screenreaders had complained about it. They don't want to have to wade through those words, so they asked us to stop doing it. Given that we were doing it for them, but they were finding it a nuisance, the requirement was removed from the FA criteria in 2010. But it's apparently still good to add one word to stop the file names from being read out. SarahSV (talk) 03:55, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for filling in some of the details. Why am I not surprised that guidelines are being disseminated by WMF staff at Wikimedia instead of being discussed on the guidelines' talk pages? Feel free to undo my changes if you think that's appropriate. And if you think the guidance in WP:ALT is wrong, please change it. Thank you. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 05:14, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, Malik. I think I'll go in and remove it again at some point, because it means we have some with and others without alt text. WP:ALT isn't a guideline anymore, and looking at some recent FACs, they don't add it. In fact, I think I'll stop adding my one-word alt, because it seems that no one is doing that either. SarahSV (talk) 02:38, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @SlimVirgin:, I do insist. The idea that al-Dura would not have been killed by Israeli soldiers is fringe and given too much weight in the lead. This idea comes from Karsenty/shapira who claims it may not have been and then who claimed they had not and from the Israeli inquiry that claimed it cannot be determined. The article supports that thesis whereas nor Karsenty nor Shapira can be considered reliable or neutral. Other commentators give weight to the idea he was killed by Israeli soldiers. The lead today sounds like a conspiracy theory: nobody knows how al-Dura was killed and nobody knows who planned 9/11. That's not in compliance with WP:NPoV per WP:UNDUE. The title as well is not neutral. This was not an incident. A children died. Pluto2012 (talk) 06:58, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

That's not true. A majority of modern coverage of the event notes the controversy. There are genuine concerns. It is, due to the laws of physics, highly unlikely that the israelis from their position fired lethal shots.Contrary to your belief that a majority hold the simplistic view that the boy was killed by Israeli forces because a voiceover said it.... they don't.... hold it. That position is antiquated. The middle ground is that it was a tragic accident regardless of who fired the shots, and children should not suffer through armed conflicts for which both sides are at fault. Historians will recognize the power the image had in the Arab world and the world in general,like it says, it's a battle flag. Muhammad al-Dura is the Sunni's Ali al-Asghar ibn Husayn, the quintessential innocent victim. It is still used for this symbolism- An example of this is a brilliant cartoon [1] comparing al-Durrah to Syrian children.The fringe position is that the entire event was staged by the PA to help Arafat fuel the Intifada. --Monochrome_Monitor 13:07, 30 June 2016 (UTC)

@Pluto2012 and Monochrome Monitor: - It pretty clearly is WP:FRINGE, and that should be obvious solely from the nature of the claim itself. Everyone seems to agree that folks were being shot at. Everyone seems to agree that the kid ended up with bullets in him. It seems a little extraordinary to argue that someone other than the folks shooting at them were responsible for the shootings. Sorta similar to claiming that some of the Kent State Shooting victims were killed by someone other than the national guard. It would be a pretty extraordinary claim, that would probably need a pretty high level of evidence to be credible.
Unfortunately this page has a long history of WP:OWNERSHIP by folks who have probably partially lost their grip with reality on IP issues (or just issues in general). The only way we're going to get this de-fringified is if we got a lot of neutral eyes on it. Unfortunately, given the obscure nature of the topic, I think it would be difficult to get much decent input. Tragedy of these commons really...... Pages of this nature tend to attract fringiness.
re "A majority of modern coverage of the event notes the controversy." - Don't get the point here. A majority of modern coverage surrounding the JFK assassination note alternative theories. That doesn't mean they ain't fringe.... NickCT (talk) 16:02, 30 June 2016 (UTC)