Talk:Murder of Sophie Lancaster/Archive 1

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A worse-case scenario of the problem sub-cultures face against anti-social youthes?

I certainly think so. This would not have happened if it wasnt for the unprovoked hate these youthes (or dare i say, chavs) have for other cultures or personalities. Im afraid things like this happen all too often in the UK. Alright, not to the severity of Sophie's case, but alternative cultures face this kind of physical and verbal abuse everyday from these youthes, and something needs to be done about it. Goodbye Sophie. CJDunne89 14:24, 6 September 2007 (UTC)


As mentioned by someone else in the history according to the guidelines Wikipedia cannot link directly to a site via External links which requires registration. I have mentioned the existence of the Facebook group in the article so it can be found easily via search function by those who need to do so. As a result I removed the following from external links.

Facebook Group - She was murdered because of how she looked! Wednesday 29th August 2007

--Machenphile 11:42, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Why was the link to the myspace memorial page her mother set up removed? I think that it was in rather poor taste to do something like that. Kindly put it back. -Nunya Oct. 2, 2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.72.84.29 (talk) 17:32, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

It wasn't removed. The change I made was fixing the link, so you can click on it (see the "[1]"), where as before you couldn't. Mdwh 22:59, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Notability?

I am pretty sure this article does meet notability guidelines. It has already assumed a major significance in the goth/alternative scene with a number of concerts and club nights dedicated to her plus significant media coverage.

There seems to be an agenda at work here. Brian Deneke has also been listed as not notable as well at the same time. That case is ten years old and still arouses indignation amongst punks and he has numerous songs dedicated to him. I agree if Deneke is not notable then neither is Sophie. If the concerns of the Punk and goth scene are insignificant of themselves why are punk and goth worthy of any article in Wikipedia? Why are there Wikipedia entries for even fairly minor bands if these subcultures are insignificant ? I will return with more points and data later. --Machenphile (talk) 22:44, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

You seem to be confusing WP:NOTABLE with "notable", "important", "meaningful" or something else. Your arguments boil down to: "major significance in the goth/alternative scene", "significant media coverage", "still arouses indignation amongst punks", "has numerous songs dedicated to him", "concerns of the Punk and goth scene are (seen as) insignificant", "these subcultures are (seen as) insignificant".
Whether or not a crime "still arouses indignation" is wholly immaterial to this discussion. There are thousands of brutal attacks that are not WP:NOTABLE, regardless of how much indignation they raise however long after the fact.
By challenging the notability of the subject of the article, I did not intend in any way to callenge that:
  • the attack was brutal
  • it upset and upsets a number of people
  • members of a subculture find it significant
  • those subcultures are significant.
I am saying that WP:NOTABILITY is not temporary. "A short burst of present news coverage about a topic does not necessarily constitute objective evidence of long-term notability."WP:NOTABLE#Notability_is_not_temporary Take a careful look at the sources listed. By early November, they were not about her, they were not about the crime, they were about efforts of others to memorialize her. Any content in the later sources about her or the crime was given as background for the memorial efforts.
Deaths are tragedies. Murders moreso. Brutal murders even moreso. Brutal murders of young people moreso still. That does not make them enduringly WP:NOTABLE.
It is possible that her death will be forever remembered as a significant event, sort of a Stonewall Riots for goths. Wikipedia is not, however, a crystal ball.
Mdbrownmsw (talk) 22:05, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I feel this easily meets notability - if multiple mainstream media coverage isn't enough, then much of Wikipedia will have to be culled. WP:NOTABLE#Notability_is_not_temporary does not require that the event be remembered "forever" - that is an unfair burden, and again one which most articles about people, organisations and events would fail. That point refers to WP:NOT#IINFO, which states "Routine news coverage and matters lacking encyclopedic substance, such as announcements, sports, gossip, and tabloid journalism, are not sufficient basis for an article." The intent to me seems to avoid an article for every temporary gossip item, which someone's murder does not fall under.
Also, I do not see why the later articles about the memorial efforts do not count as notability here. That might suggest it would be better for the article to be Murder of Sophie Lancaster instead (since it's that which is specifically notable). Mdwh (talk) 22:40, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
"if multiple mainstream media coverage isn't enough, then much of Wikipedia will have to be culled."
Actually, "multiple mainstream media coverage" is not enough:
"Someone or something that has been in the news for a brief period is not necessarily a suitable subject for an article in their own right." WP:NOT#IINFO, #5.
"A short burst of present news coverage about a topic does not necessarily constitute objective evidence of long-term notability." WP:NOTABLE#Notability_is_not_temporary
Then there's the question of what those sources are. We have a whole lot of myspaces and blogs that really should go. Looking at all of the non-blog/myspace sources from 1 November 2007 to now we have:
  • "Sophie's memory to live on" A local paper article about a fundraiser/football match held by that local paper.
  • "‘I can bury my Sophie at last’" A local paper gives details of her planned funeral.
  • "Sophie's final goodbye" A posting to a local newspaper's blogish site.
  • "Sophie’s birthday is not forgotten" A posting to a local newspaper's blogish site.
  • "Petition against violence gains 1,500 signatures" A posting to a local newspaper's blogish site.
  • An online petition signed by about 2,000 people (including someone named "Hair ain't a subculture. Law does protect even look-at-me/o-don't-look-at-me eyeliner luvvies".) More popular petitions there have people demanding the government overturn a non-existant decision (240,000 signatures[1]) or correct a non-existant injustice (70,000 signatures [2]). It is currently narrowly outpacing "request that the football league remove the 15-point deduction from Leeds United AFC"[3]
"WP:NOTABLE#Notability_is_not_temporary does not require that the event be remembered 'forever'..."
I'm not saying it does. However, WP:NOT#NEWS notes that brief appearances in the news (as in this case) do not demonstrate notability.
"The intent to me seems to avoid an article for every temporary gossip item"
That is certainly the intent of that specific piece of that item cited to support one specific piece of WP:NOTABLE#Notability_is_not_temporary. The rest of it, however, is to avoid an article for everyone or everything that is in the news for a brief period of time.
"I do not see why the later articles about the memorial efforts do not count as notability here."
Christopher Street Day is not about Stonewall riots which is not about Dave Vanronk.
Mdbrownmsw (talk) 16:53, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
The BBC and The Guardian are not blogish local newspapers. I don't think anyone was suggesting the petition was demonstating notability.
As I say, I'm happy for the article to be Murder of Sophie Lancaster, as it's the murder that was notable, not her life as a whole. Mdwh (talk) 00:11, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
At the moment the murder of Sophie Lancaster page redirects here. It can be easily moved if needed.

In the UK many people are murdered each year but the average victim is not remembered in various national and international events well beyond their locality. I may be biased as the author of this article but it seems to be this crime has moved beyond being a mere local tragedy. At the moment there are a large number of links from external web pages to this page. It is at the top of google search rank. Basically this article provides an overview on the crime not available anywhere else on the web. Further more the hate crime petition it is connected to which has been signed by a number of MPs/MEPs and looks to be a significant event in terms of goth/alternative politics and the crime has already sparked the formation of a goth self defence action group. This is not covered in the article because as yet they are not documented in reliable sources. The death of Sophie Lancaster has been widely perceived as a graphic demonstration of the prejudice against goths noted in Goth subculture and thus this article provides a useful resource as part of Wikipedia's coverage of goth and alternative subcultures. As I said before if minor goth bands with a limited following are worth a wikipedia article then the murder of Sophie Lancaster is equally notable.

Looking at various murder victims listed on Wikipedia there are some whose claims to notability are just as "slim" as those for Sophie or Brian Deneke by your critera. How about Arthur Warren or Guin Richie Phillips say? Or how about the Gary Nelson murders?

Can anyone explain how those articles are more notable than this one?

--Machenphile (talk) 15:18, 7 December 2007 (UTC)


"In the UK many people are murdered each year but the average victim is not remembered in various national and international events well beyond their locality."
Checking the current list of sources for this article, I find:
Rossendale Free Press 14 times
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 6 times
Lancashire Telegraph 4 times
Whitby Gazette 2 timed
Youtube 2 times
and one each for BBC News, Daily Mail, Downing Street, Halifax Evening Courier, Manchester Evening News, Myspace, The Birmingham Post, The Guardian
The national and international media are not reporting national and international events.
"...a large number of links from external web pages to this page. It is at the top of google search rank."
Moot points.
"Basically this article provides an overview on the crime not available anywhere else on the web."
Moot.
"the hate crime petition...has been signed by a number of MPs/MEPs"
...which would not establish notability for the event if we knew who signed it, which we don't. That online pettition is not a reliable source. If you would like, we can easily have it signed by C. S. Lewis, George W. Bush, Charlemagne or anyone else you'd like.
"and looks to be a significant event in terms of goth/alternative politics"
WP:CBALL
"sparked the formation of a goth self defence action group. This is not covered in the article because as yet they are not documented in reliable sources."
...and therefore, for the purposes of this discussion are moot.
"thus this article provides a useful resource"
WP:USEFUL
"As I said before if minor goth bands with a limited following are worth a wikipedia article then the murder of Sophie Lancaster is equally notable."
WP:WAX If you have problems with other articles, go to those articles and discuss them there. The existance and/or content of another article is not a precedent for any other article.
"Can anyone explain how those articles are more notable than this one?"
It doesn't matter if anyone can or not.
Mdbrownmsw (talk) 17:32, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
It may not have got international coverage, but the media you list is quite extensive. Whilst your criticisms against his points may be correct, all that matters is that it has 2 non-trivial mentions by notable and reliable independent sources. Mdwh (talk) 03:05, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
  • KEEP IT. Notability only requires 2 non trivial mentions by independent media. The mainstream media in the UK is INDEPENDENT from Sophie Lancaster. Talking about how she was murdered is NOT trivial and publishing her photograph is not trivial. The police in UK have published public statements about the murder of sophie lancaster as well. This easily passes notability requirements which are NOT onerous. collectively these satisfy the requirements. TheDarknessVisible (talk) 23:21, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Multiple mainstream media coverage is not enough. "Someone or something that has been in the news for a brief period is not necessarily a suitable subject for an article in their own right." WP:NOT#IINFO, #5. WP:NOTABILITY is not temporary. "A short burst of present news coverage about a topic does not necessarily constitute objective evidence of long-term notability." WP:NOTABLE#Notability_is_not_temporary Look at the sources currently listed. First, keep in mind that the YouTubes, MySpaces and blogs are all moot. The remainder are about current events and the vast majority are local. A violent assault generates local press; not at all notable. Alleged perps arrested for the assault, generating local press; not at all notable. Victim of assault dies, generating local press; not at all notable. Charges upgraded to murder, generating local press. Alleged perps appear in court, generating local press and brief national story; not at all notable. High school football team takes on local newspaper's staff in fundraiser to install memorial bench in local park; not at all notable. Everyone here to tell me how wrong I am might want to spend a little time upgrading the article. If there is anything to suggest notability that is not temporary and local (a.k.a. "WP:NOTABILITY") it isn't in the article, suggesting a near certain prod/AfD within 6 months. At the moment, Brian Deneke would almost certainly survive an AfD, though certainly there would be notes of the need for improvement. This article is a bit shakier. At present, I would expect enough supporters to show up to drown out any concerns. Six months from now, though, all bets are off unless there is meaningful strengthening of the article. Some attention to webbing the article in would be helpful. At the moment, there's: an odd ref in Goth subculture that suggests the case was a common hate crime of little note; a brief mention in Bacup; and a sentance in Whitby Gothic Weekend. What about Hate crime, Subculture#Subcultures' relationships with mainstream culture, the POV at the end of paragraph 3 of Gothic rock#Third_generation_.28c._1995_to_the_present.29, heck maybe Allophilia, Allport's Scale, etc. if you can support them. The more this article ties in with the rest of wikipedia, the less likely it is to be trimmed off. I am no longer going to respond to anything that simply says that all of the local, current press coverage is enough. It isn't. I'd be more than happy to give my opinion about whether any additions have helped. Otherwise, I'll just check back every now and then. I expect I'll see either improvment or a prod/AfD within 6 months. Mdsummermsw (talk) 16:14, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Again, the BBC and Guardian are not local press coverage. We have mainstream national media coverage spanning over 4 months now, which I do not feel comes under "a short burst". One of those articles was today.
What level of notability do you think is required for an event where someone is killed by others? Mdwh (talk) 20:30, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Again, those were current events stories -- about recent events. WP:NOTABILITY is not temporary. - Mdsummermsw (talk) 21:31, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

RE: Notability

The notability skeptics here are being obtuse and attempting to apply the rules like robots, which IIRC is breaking one of the rules. The notability guidelines say that notability only has to be demonstrated at a specific point in time to justify permanent inclusion.

"If a subject has met the general notability guideline, there is no need to show continual coverage or interest in the topic"

This story itself is headline news in the UK right now, and has been before. Note: not commentary or reaction, but the actual story itself. Besides, while a lot of the coverage does contain commentary and reaction, this is the nature of the modern media, and the notability of literally anything could be challenged on these grounds.

So how does a high ratio of commentary to coverage diminish notability? Its absurd to suggest that if people are talking about the significance of something then it doesn't matter, it's "just people talking".. this is a serious debate in reaction to a serious event, not idle gossip. A sincere engagement with the issue reveals that obviously a large and well known Western youth subculture finds this woman's murder symbolic of their own perceived "plight". Let us not judge them. Would anyone argue that Rodney King should be deleted, just because most of the coverage of his death surrounded the LA Riots or race? I seriously doubt it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.105.200.97 (talk) 16:22, 27 March 2008 (UTC)