Talk:Southern Poverty Law Center/Archive 9

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Archive 8 Archive 9 Archive 10

When was it decided?

Please point out where consensus was supposedly reached that Charity Navigator was not a RS and should be removed, as claimed in this edit [1]? Niteshift36 (talk) 19:16, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

There wasn't consensus about that. Most of the arguments against them as a RS was by a single editor a couple of years ago. PrBeacon admonishes Badmintonhist against not editing without consensus and then goes ahead and makes several changes without consensus. Drrll (talk) 20:00, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
That's not true at all. See first thread above with links to archived discussions. Two recent objections are not enough to override previous consensus. -PrBeacon (talk) 23:04, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
Would you mind just giving m that actual link instead of describing where it is? Thanks. Niteshift36 (talk) 23:30, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't see any need for someone to have to re-post a link for you, especially given that you decided to ignore the place where he is discussing this issue a few paragraphs above. Get off your ass and stop demanding other editors do your work for you. //Blaxthos ( t / c ) 23:33, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Blax, in your normal haste to be a dick towards me, you apparently missed that what you linked to is about the AIP. Charity Navigator, which is what I asked about, is NOT the AIP. Both the AIP and Charity Navigator were removed. I don't see the discussion about Charity Navigator. So, in the future, try to at least know what the subject is before acting like a dick. Niteshift36 (talk) 23:42, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
  • In fact, the 2 year old discussion you link to actually makes the pitch the Charity Navigator is the more reliable of the two. Did you even bother to read it? Apparently not. Niteshift36 (talk) 23:45, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
PrBeacon, even if you take the position that AIP is not a reliable source, the fact is that multiple reliable sources report on the AIP's rating of the SPLC and literally hundreds and hundreds of reliable sources report either positively or neutrally about the AIP compared to the handful that report critically on the AIP. What's important in WP is what reliable sources say. Drrll (talk) 18:07, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Please don't bring AIP into this. I am narrowly asking about Charity Navigator, which was removed with the excuse that there was some consensus. I want to see that discussion. I see AIP being discussed elsewhere, but I don't see any sort of consensus about Charity Navigator and I want evidence. Niteshift36 (talk) 18:14, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I believe there was some consensus to briefly mention(but not without opposition) Charity Navigator, but that AIP should definitely not be in the article at all. I don't want to search through all of the discussions, but I'm sure they should be easy enough to find. Dave Dial (talk) 19:54, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I never saw the reliability of Charity Navigator even opposed, let alone a consensus deciding it was not reliable, regardless of Blax's incorrect (and rude) assertion.Niteshift36 (talk) 20:26, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Stop being uncivil or you will be reported Niteshift. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 01:05, 14 March 2011 (UTC).

  • Report away sunshine. It's clear that Blax jumped into attack mode, was uncivil and I responded in the manner I was addressed. Nothing to fear, especially from an IP vandal. Niteshift36 (talk) 01:11, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

AIP Rating

As I said above, even taking the position that the American Institute of Philanthropy is not a reliable source, it is clear that multiple reliable sources report on the AIP's rating of the SPLC (such as this reference that PrBeacon and Dave ignored). Literally hundreds and hundreds of sources report positively or neutrally about the AIP, as opposed to what appears to be a handful that report critically on the AIP. Sorry, but Wikipedia depends upon what reliable sources say, not the feelings of individual editors about an organization. Drrll (talk) 16:00, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

The link says the AIP rate the SPLC because they have "more than five times their annual operating budget". Do you have any secondary sources that discuss this. Is that how organizations are normally rated? I guess the U.S. government gets A double plus. TFD (talk) 18:06, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
The rate organizations on several criteria, but fail an organization if the have excessive reserves in the view of the AIP. A 1995 Christian Science Monitor explains this somewhat:
The AIP bases its evaluation on the percentage spent on charitable programs; the cost to raise $ 100; and how long a charity with large reserves of available assets could continue to operate at current levels without any additional fund-raising. In AIP's view, a reserve of less than three years is reasonable. AIP automatically assigns a failing grade to a group with more than three years of available assets. (Father Flanagan's Boys' Home, in Boys Town, Neb., which has reserves of 5.8 years, is suing AIP for giving the group an F.)
If we include the AIP rating we should also include the fact that the SPLC gets an F for what the AIP considers excessive reserves. Drrll (talk) 20:16, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
(I was invited here.) Reliability is not transitive....if AIP doesn't meet our requirements for a reliable source, we shouldn't include their statements in the article as fact. On the other hand, if it's a notable rating service, we might include the statement "AIP rates SPLC an 'F', if we can do so without hinting that we agree with the rating. This differs from the situation because of which I was invited, in which an unreliable source provided so-called "facts" about other organizations. In that case, we shouldn't include those facts, even with "unreliable source reports ....", unless there is some evidence that the fact is vetted. Unfortunately, we cannot include AIP's justification, unless the facts behind that justification are properly researched by the reliable source quoting the rating.
This argument is only based on the facts about the sources presented here. I haven't checked whether the sources quoting AIP's rating also report the facts behind it. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 06:57, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree that we should say that the AIP rates the SPLC with an 'F' grade and give the reliably-sourced explanation of how the AIP gave the SPLC an 'F' grade. Drrll (talk) 17:22, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I still favor leaving the AIP info out. It's strange how you folks want to emphasize the "F" while ignoring the fact that the AIP, in its December 2010 report, rates the SPLC "B-" with respect to "% Spent on Program Services" and "Cost to Raise $100".
As far as how the AIP determines the F grade for large reserves, it states, "AIP strongly believes that your dollars are most urgently needed by charities that do not have large reserves of available assets." Whether or not giving to charity is a strict zero sum game is debatable. However this opinion by AIP is hardly relevant to this particular article. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 18:06, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm in favor of including the other AIP rating grades if we include the "F" grade, but I don't know if we can find secondary reliable sources that report the other grades. Drrll (talk) 19:12, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Which is perhaps the biggest reason why it should not be included at all. It's unacceptable to include that rating(from a non-reliable source) without an explanation, and there are no analysis from reliable sources. Dave Dial (talk) 19:20, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Did you see the Christian Science Monitor article excerpt above? It describes how an "F" grade is given by the AIP. Drrll (talk) 19:30, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
It's a matter of weight. How much weight do you give to a 16 year old Christian Science Monitor article that happens to mention the rating given by an organization that, on its own, is not considered a reliable source? There is already way too much weight being given in this section to these type of fringe opinions. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 19:43, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
There are more recent sources that describe the AIP giving an 'F' grade to organizations for what it considers excessive reserves, including the 2007 source I referenced at the top of this section that specifically mentions their overall rating of the SPLC. The fact is, we use assessments of non-reliable sources all the time in WP articles (assessments by organizations and individuals), including BLPs, which have higher sourcing standards, when those assessments are provided in reliable sources. Do you know of reliable sources that give the 'B-' sectional grades for the SPLC? Drrll (talk) 23:54, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Relevance of last paragraph in "Finances" section?

Would someone explain the relevance of the current last paragraph of the "Finances" section to that particular topic? I don't really see it. Badmintonhist (talk) 16:52, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

The second sentence of that paragraph relates to fundraising by the SPLC. A lot of the rest of the paragraph could be trimmed down. Drrll (talk) 17:26, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
The material was moved from another section by BeCritical. As the section now stands, it contains the sentence, "In 1998, columnist Alexander Cockburn, from The Nation, wrote that SPLC had done little with its funds and used unjustified fear as a tactic to extract money." The much more reliable material by Dobratz and McVeigh provide proper balance for Cockburn's fringe accusation in that it demonstrates that the SPLC does in fact do more than "use fear" in order to "extract money". A better solution would be to eliminate Cockburn and move the other material back to the "Tracking of Hate Groups" section. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 17:59, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Fringe according to who? There seem to be a lot of pro-splc trolls on this page. I may have to invite others to get a more neutral consensus. (talk) 20:21, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

  • In fairness, I think you should modify that a little. Being for, against or neutral in regards to the SPLC isn't what makes one a troll. If someone weren't paying attention or being overly sensitive, they might get the idea that you think simply being "pro-SPLC" is what you think constitutes being a troll. Niteshift36 (talk) 23:07, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Fringe based on the fact that you folks have to rely on a single sentence from a 1998 opinion piece to make your case. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 20:29, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
While not claiming to speak for "us folks," there's a lot more that's critical of the SPLC in the Finances section than simply the quote from Cockburn (a critic to the left of the SPLC, by the way, not the right). Moreover, a savvy reading of the Dobratz material will reveal that authors do not contradict Cockburn at all. The thrust of Cockburn's criticism is that the SPLC exaggerates the dangers posed by extreme right-wing fringe groups in order to bring in cash from donors which the organization, in Cockburn's view, makes poor use of. While using much blander language than the controversialist Cockburn and not criticizing the the SPLC's budgetary priorities, Dobratz and Shanks-Meile strongly suggest that the SPLC tailors its appeals to a public which is "likely to contribute to groups that they perceive are struggling against some major threat to America." More specifically, they state that "we have noted differences between the way events have been reported [by the ADL and the SPLC] and what we saw at rallies. For instance, events were sometimes portrayed in [the SPLC's] Klanwatch Intelligence Reports as more militant and dangerous with higher turnouts than we observed." Badmintonhist (talk) 00:03, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Immigration "debate" section

I removed this section, all five sentences, because not only is it highly POV the entire section is devoted to criticism about a single group being hate labelled, it's not about SPLC's immigration platform if they even have one. Is immigration a significant issue to the SPLC? There was no suggestion in the text about it. Jnast1 (talk) 00:28, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

We just went through a similar debate concerning another hate group and no consensus to add it to the article was reached. There are now, I believe, over a thousand designated hate groups and there is no reason to give undue weight to a few. The material you deleted was further flawed since it relied on a non-reliable source. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 03:12, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Consensus does not prefer a particular version such as the status quo. Miradre (talk) 08:49, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Editing policy clearly refers to an “existing consensus” (“Boldness should not mean trying to impose edits against existing consensus”).
Wikipedia:Consensus says, “Any edit that is not disputed or reverted by another editor can be assumed to have consensus. Should that edit later be revised by another editor without dispute, it can be assumed that a new consensus has been reached.” The existing language meets the criteria for an existing consensus -- your repeated efforts to insert unagreed on language does not.
The SPLC is a recognized reliable source -- FAIR is not. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 12:26, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
There is no existing consensus for your own preferred version. Lots of editors disagree with you above. See also Wikipedia:Don't revert due to "no consensus".Miradre (talk) 12:33, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
There is no consensus to change the status quo. As far as the essay (which is neither a guideline or policy) you reference, I have fully explained (as have others) my objections. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 12:40, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
There is no consensus to keep the status quo. The status quo is not a favored version in the policies. Again, lots of editors disagree with you above.Miradre (talk) 12:44, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Sure there is -- reread the links I provided. More importantly, there is no consensus to add your version, is there? The old consensus holds until a new one is developed. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 14:02, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

The FBI and the SLPC

The article gives the impression that the FBI endorses SLPC's self-published list of hate groups. That is incorrect, SLPC is only listed as as "resource" on the web page regarding hate crimes. That statement should be moved elsewhere in order to avoid this misleading impression.Miradre (talk) 09:18, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

BBB Wise Giving Alliance

BBB Wise Giving Alliance states that "Despite written BBB Wise Giving Alliance requests in the past year, this organization has declined to be evaluated in relation to the Alliance’s Standards for Charity Accountability. While participation in the Alliance’s charity review efforts is voluntary, the Alliance believes that failure to participate may demonstrate a lack of commitment to transparency."[2]

Obviously the views of charity rankings organization on a charity is relevant. This criticisms is thus relevant.Miradre (talk) 13:09, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Not true. As I've said before "may demonstrate" equally implies "may not demonstrate". This speculation adds nothing factual to the article and adding it would give a non-event undue weight. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 13:54, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Here is more from the report "Without the requested information, the Alliance cannot determine if this charity adheres to the Standards for Charity Accountability. A charity's willing disclosure of information beyond that typically included in its financial statements and government filings is, in the Alliance's view, an expression of openness that strengthens public trust in the charitable sector." This view is particular relevant due to the earlier claims of dubious financial activities.Miradre (talk) 13:56, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
So the BBB has a problem. It still doesn't offer any relevant factual information about the SPLC, does it? Your attempt to link a general policy statement to other sources is simply SYNTHESIS. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 14:00, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
That the SPLC refuses to be transparent in regards to its charity activities is a fact.Miradre (talk) 14:04, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
The word "may" clearly negates any effort by you to pass it off as a fact. In fact, the SPLC complies with all legal disclosure requirements, doesn't it? Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 14:06, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
There is no "may" in second quote. Which also explains why going beyond the legal minimum is desirable.Miradre (talk) 14:14, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
The second quote is not part of the evaluation of the SPLC -- it simply states a general belief of the BBB and it is synthesis to apply it to the SPLC. When they get around to discussing the SPLC, they use the word "may". Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 11:18, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

The subsection has all sorts of quotes, presumably from SPLC materials, that are not properly sourced. Moreover, the whole thing is written pretty much like a treacly promo for SPLC educational programs. I'd like to hear what other editors think before making changes. Badmintonhist (talk) 14:03, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

NPOV lead

WP:NPOV also applies to the lead. As well as Wikipedia:Manual of Style (lead_section) Please explain the deletion of sourced criticisms. From your edit summary [3] you seem to refer to a lack of consensus. Consensus does not prefer a particular version such as the status quo. Please explain why the lead should not follow NPOV? Miradre (talk) 18:57, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

It appears to be an issue of undue weight. The sources you cited don't say The SPLC has been criticized; rather, they criticize the SPLC. To include what is, essentially, a couple of people's opinion as a major point in the lead is the POV issue here - not to exclude it. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 19:52, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Criticism which almost won the Pulitzer Prize. Certainly a major controversy regarding the SPLC which should therefore be mentioned.Miradre (talk) 19:56, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
It is a matter of weight as to the significance of a 17 year old newspaper series and a couple of opinion pieces that largely rely on the old article. This was discussed recently and there was no consensus to add this material to the article lead. If you review the history of these article discussion pages you will see that there is a great diversity of opinion but, by and large, people have respected the necessity for making changes only when consensus has been reached. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 20:52, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
There is certainly no consensus above to not include this. Your description is misleading. The criticism was repeated just last year.[4]Miradre (talk) 20:58, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
As well as other controversies: [5] Having no criticism and only praise violates NPOV.Miradre (talk) 21:02, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Your link is simply a 2010 article by Silverstein that quotes Silverstein's 10 year old article which was itself based on the Advertiser articles. Nothing new other than a single sentence listing the SPLC's current reserves. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 21:14, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
PS The weaknesses of the criticisms is discussed in the subsection above (1.1 Weaknesses of the finances section). We need to clean up the main body of the article at the same time that we address the identical issue in the lead. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 21:21, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
To state there is nothing new is false. Silverstein states: "The SPLC operates on the same basis today. Oh, except its treasury is now up to $175 million or so, bigger than the GNP of some of the world’s smaller nations." You made no comment on the criticism against SLPC by the Center for Immigration Studies.Miradre (talk) 21:29, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Silverstein has done no new investigation, has he? All he is doing is drawing a conclusion from the size of the reserves. Sources such as the Center for Immigration Studies have been discussed over and over again. The CIS is not a reliable source for providing analysis of the SPLC. You really should look over the archives of his discussion page before repeating arguments and sources that have never received consensus for including. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 21:45, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
The question is not if the accusations are Wikipedia:Truth. Wikipedia does not decide that. There has been several notable controversies involving SPLC. As such they should be mentioned in the lead as per NPOV. Currently it is an one-sided hagiography having only praise.Miradre (talk) 21:53, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
  • comment Per WP:LEAD the lead should be a summary of the main points in the article. The criticism is covered in several different sections and I think it is very reasonable to include it in the lead. The question should be one of how to formulate it and how much space to devote to it. I think a compromise could be to devote slightly less than the proposed paragraph. ·Maunus·ƛ· 22:24, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment The SPLC has been criticized, especially by those in the groups who have been labelled hate groups, but they have also received a lot of praise. A NPOV section in the lead would include relevant opinions from the most credible and reliable sources with due weight to varying opinions. Not a hatchet job but not a cheerleading section either. Jnast1 (talk) 22:29, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
It should be noted that neither Silverstein or the Center for Immigration Studies have been labelled hate groups or racists. Here are some more criticism regarding the SPLC. "The SPLC had moved away from its early work in such poverty law fields as death-penalty cases, employment rights, and voting rights because Dees had learned that he could take in more money by exaggerating the size and menace of the Klan.""Black attorneys who had worked at the center complained of systematic discrimination against them at the center" "Donors to the SPLC often had no idea of its vast wealth and were duped into thinking that it was tottering on the brink of financial disaster.""In 2009, liberal journalist Alexander Cockburn called Dees the “arch-salesman of hate-mongering.”"[6]Miradre (talk) 22:59, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
You're quoting from the CIS -- nothing in WP:RELIABLE SOURCES justify calling the CIS a reliable source. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 23:04, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
What makes SPLC's self-published reports more reliable? Miradre (talk) 23:06, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Since the FBI and scholars consider it a reliable source for law enforcement cooperation and scientific research. See the archives for links. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 23:38, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Furthermore, they are just repeating accusations by made by others, not making up some themselves.Miradre (talk) 23:06, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Center for Immigration Studies is frequently called racist.[7][8][9]. Indeed CIS started as a programme of FAIR which is funded by the Pioneer fund which is labelled as a racist hate group by SPLC.·Maunus·ƛ· 23:08, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
The first source is dubious and lacks any support for stating so (except SPLC), the second source does not refer to the CIS, the third refers to SPLC's self-published report.Miradre (talk) 23:19, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Furthermore, I repeat, CIS is not inventing accusations against the SLPC, they are citing criticisms made by others.Miradre (talk) 23:22, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, CIS is making a criticism against an organization that has criticized them.·Maunus·ƛ· 23:38, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes. Unlike SPLC they rely on citing criticisms from others instead of self-published accusations.Miradre (talk) 23:40, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
The point remains to look at what reliably sourced and credible comments about the organization have been made and then summarize them all, not just the positive and not just the negative. From the news reports I've read they are are a well-respected group and their work is often cited. That's my opinion though, we should see what all the best sources state. Jnast1 (talk) 23:41, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Beside the sources I have cited, and the sources they cite, here is another. A 2010 Charity review: "Despite written BBB Wise Giving Alliance requests in the past year, this organization has declined to be evaluated in relation to the Alliance’s Standards for Charity Accountability. While participation in the Alliance’s charity review efforts is voluntary, the Alliance believes that failure to participate may demonstrate a lack of commitment to transparency. Without the requested information, the Alliance cannot determine if this charity adheres to the Standards for Charity Accountability. A charity's willing disclosure of information beyond that typically included in its financial statements and government filings is, in the Alliance's view, an expression of openness that strengthens public trust in the charitable sector."[10] Miradre (talk) 23:47, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
The key words are "voluntary" and "may". "May" gives equal validity to "may not" -- we don't need to give UNDUE WEIGHT to speculation. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 23:52, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
The main point that should be dispositive is that between the Finances section and the Academic assessments subsection there is already more than enough well-sourced criticism of the SPLC for at least a brief mention of this criticism in the lead. Badmintonhist (talk) 00:03, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Not true. You've got a 17 year old newspaper series and a few comments by political sources that made no efforts to research the matter themselves. Possibly enough weight to be in the article but certainly not enough to include in the lead. Why go through all this again -- has Miradre added anything to the debate that hasn't been chewed over before? Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 00:11, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
No, it's quite true indeed. Uniformly poor or mediocre financial ratings from the only organizations that actually do such ratings. A clear mention of its proneness to exaggerate hate group threats by academic sources. Scathing criticism of the organization as a cash-cow by well-known left-leaning pundits. A Pulitzer-nominated series and nothing to indicate that the SPLC as changed its basic approach since the series was written. No, there's plenty there North Shoreman, for all but the most shillish of editors. Badmintonhist (talk) 00:26, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

That is simply false:

  • Charity review: [11]
  • Another Charity review giving a F ranking: [12] (Not online)
  • Center for Immigration Reform in a 2007 report also citing many criticisms made by other: [13]
  • Several criticisms by Silverstein, latest one in 2010: [14][15]][16]
  • This is in addition to the older (1994) criticisms that almost won a Pulitzer Prize. Why should it be excluded if even older law cases are cited as praise?Miradre (talk) 00:20, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
    • So there are no reliable sources that praise the work or the group? That seems odd. Jnast1 (talk) 00:24, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
You need a third party source that provides an opinion on this. Otherwise you are conducting original research. TFD (talk) 00:26, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Since when is a third party source needed for newspapers? Why is SPLC's self-published reports reliable but not criticisms against them? Miradre (talk) 00:34, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Both the SPLC and newspapers are reliable sources. Criticisms may be presented provided they are notable. Notability is established through recognition in reliable sources, e.g., newspapers. TFD (talk) 00:39, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't get it. Why is anyone suggesting that reliable criticisms aren't already in the article? Of course, both well-sourced praise for the organization as well as well-sourced negative criticism could and should be briefly presented in the lead. Badmintonhist (talk) 00:48, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
What is this "well-sourced negative criticism"? TFD (talk) 00:50, 21 April 2011 (UTC):
At least SPLC's attempt to kill the immigration debate by ad hominem attacks is notable due to all the newspapers that cited it. See: [17] As is obviously the newspaper series that almost won the Pulitzer Prize. Not sure why the catastrophic Charity rankings should be excluded in favor of the hagiographic unsourced material that is currently in the lead.Miradre (talk) 00:56, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
As I said before it's the material found in the Academic assessments subsection and the Finances section (at the end of the article). Anything else I can help you with, Four Deuces? Badmintonhist (talk) 01:01, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Here is more critical material by FAIR: [18][19][20]. Self-published, but so was SPLC's report that attacked fair. See no reason why Wikipedia's page on the Federation for American Immigration Reform should have criticism by SPLC while this page excludes criticism by FAIR.Miradre (talk) 17:08, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

The reason why the SPLC research on FAIR is relevant on the FAIR article is because the SPLC is recognized as a reliable source. FAIR, on the other hand, is not recognized as a reliable source. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 22:49, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

'NPOV does not mean hide reliable documented criticism. It means that the article should be balanced and accurate. Last week, I saw where someone placed a SPLC accusation leveled against distinguished scholar (Clyde N. Wilson) at the top of the page, as if SPLC "neo-Confederate label was both relevant and the defining characteristic of the man's career. The very same editors (e.g., Tom [NorthShoreman and Will Beback] that initially defended that edit complain when a similar treatment is given to criticism of the SPLC. I just read a Tom [NorthShoreman] quote today reverting and challenging the Center for Immigration Studies as "an unreliable source." If he is correct, why is the SPLC deemed a reliable source? What is the difference? I submit to you that Tom NorthShoreman is being duplicitous--to protect his biased POV. I am getting sick and tired of the double standard. (talk) 01:18, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Huh? Where have I complained about additions to this article?   Will Beback  talk  01:35, 21 April 2011 (UTC)


To repeat, we have worked on this page for a good little while by operating and RESPECTING consensus. Miradre and the IP seem to prefer edit warring to discussion. They need to stop it. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 22:49, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

There is no consensus for a specific version. Material was added after discussion stopped. Do you have more to say to the above?Miradre (talk) 22:51, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Sure there is. There is a consensus for the existing version of the lead. Start back at archive 2 and the section "Compromise Solution". This produced a consensus version and every significant change has been discussed and approved by consensus since then.
My position on the current debate is clear. The "Finances" section needs to be balanced and as the article currently stands adding material such as yours to the lead would give undue weight to old and thinly supported views. Sources such as FAIR and CIS are not reliable sources and have no business being discussed here. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 23:32, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
There is certainly no consensus in the above discussion for your version with many editors disagreeing with you. Whatever may have been stated in archive 2 out 8 is not relevant for the current debate. FAIR and CIS are not more unreliable than SPLC's self-published reports. The lead is currently a hagiography that violates NPOV by only presenting praise and ignores the serious controversies the Fund has been involved in. Furthermore, why did you remove the critical material regarding its transparency as a charity from a charity ranking organization?.Miradre (talk) 23:39, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
There is no consensus to change the status quo. You have the burden of creating a new consensus.
I explained the problem with the BBB. It is mere speculation, as opposed to facts, as to why the SPLC may have chosen not to provide information. You want to give undue weight to a non-event.
Your opinion on the SPLC as a reliable source is irrelevant. It is widely accepted by both news organizations, government and academics. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 00:03, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Consensus does not prefer a particular version. Numerous editors disagree with your own preferred version above. Not disclosing information to charity ranking organizations is usually seen as serious for a charity. It obviously reduces trust. The views of charity ranking organizations should not be excluded. What governmental and academic sources see the SLPC as reliable? Miradre (talk) 08:48, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
The views of charity ranking organizations might be notable if reliable sources note they are a big deal. If only Wikipedia is doing that then we are certainly giving undue prominence to these ideas. After searching a bit I only found passing mention of this subject with one article listing SPLC among dozens of groups that got a "F"; Are you going to be waging this battle on each of those groups' articles as well? Jnast1 (talk) 00:40, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
None of us are obligated to change what is going on it other articles. Ken Silverstein mentions the SPLC's poor charity ratings in at least one of his Harper's Magazine articles. Badmintonhist (talk) 00:56, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
OK, that's a mention ten years ago then? I think picking just the words out of context is discouraged. For instance the finances section omits that SPLC doesn't solicit or accept government funds. I would think the section would discuss how enormously accomplished they are at raising funds to ensure their work continues but the section implies the SPLC is duping people out of money they don't need to cover escalating mailing costs. Obviously things changed from the early 1970s. Summarizing the source would give us "The Center was one of the first social action organizations to recognize the importance of saving for the future." (other groups have followed their lead) and "As the nation's diversity increases in the coming years, so will the challenges to promote tolerance and acceptance. [SPLC] has restricted the principal and income from the endowment to cover the costs of future programs and operations. [Those who donate support] daily work [and] the struggle for tolerance and justice — for as long as it is needed." In any case it's very lopsided. I don't know of any non-profit group that wouldn't love to be in their financial position where their work which earns them regular death threats is financially secure for years to come. Many non-profits underpay everyone, struggle and fold or are merged. Jnast1 (talk) 01:20, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
I would certainly have no problem with a reliably-sourced mention that the SPLC doesn't solicit or accept government funds. Has anyone been blocking such a mention? As for the "mailing and printing costs" quote, that is their rationale for large endowment set-asides which they presented in a June 2003 article, not a June 1974 article. Since you had earlier used a somewhat out-of-place but noble sounding quote to describe the SPLC's rationale for creating a large endowment, I replaced it with the more prosaic rationale that they actually used in their article. The real point, however, is that we should be using SPLC boilerplate only sparingly and judiciously in this article. Though it's acceptable to use primary sources for non-controversial factual material, Wikipedia articles, in the main, are supposed to be based on reliable secondary sources. Obviously (I think) SPLC statements about their intentions, like any other organization's statements about its own intentions, tend to be self-serving. Badmintonhist (talk) 04:06, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
A statement from the SPLC that they don't accept government funds is all that is needed. As for the endowment reasons, that 2003 newsletter report was the rationale for starting the endowment in the 1970s. The underlying spirit which was explicitly stated was The SPLC restricts the principal and income from the endowment to cover future programs and operations to support the struggle for tolerance and justice — for as long as it is needed Implying that their reasoning remains lodged in their 1970s vision is very biased. The direct marketing of social activist groups, and charities in general, was an industry in its infancy. The world has literally changed since. Jnast1 (talk) 06:43, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Since the fact that the SPLC doesn't take government funds is uncontested then a cited statement from them would be fine. There are a couple of significant problems with your "The SPLC restricts the principal and income from the endowment to cover future programs and operations to support the struggle for tolerance and justice - for as long as it is needed" formulation. One is synthesis. The SPLC didn't actually say this, even if they should have, they said something else. You are cobbling together two separate quotes; cobbling them together very skillfully I might add, but still cobbling them together. Thus you can't really pass this off as a direct quote from the SPLC (something that should be done sparingly anyway, even if done properly). If not used as a quote, however, but rather as a Wikipedia editor's own summation, then the problem is even worse. The Wikipedia editor would essentially be shilling for the SPLC by taking the SPLC's word for it as to the purpose of the endowment and then casting this purpose in highly sympathetic and thus biased language. Do we really know what the endowment will be used for? Would we take the word of some group that we were not politically sympathetic with? Would we cast its purposes in the most elegant and sympathetic language available? Again, as I basically stated above, we are not supposed to be acting as press agents for the SPLC. Badmintonhist (talk) 16:41, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Knock it off, I never said use this direct quote, I said The underlying spirit is .... Whereas your alleging their underlying intent was to cover mailing costs which amounts to fraud so many years later. I hope you can see the difference. Jnast1 (talk) 08:55, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
I'll grant that I've spent too long harping on the direct "quote" aspect of what you are trying to add to the article. The main issue is that when flattering rhetoric such as " . . . to support the struggle for tolerance and justice - for as long as it is needed" is used, an editor should make certain that this is presented to the reader as the way the SPLC sees its mission, not as the way Wikipedia sees its mission. In the case at hand, since even the SPLC doesn't quite say this about the purpose of the endowment(even though it might have), why use those words at all? Badmintonhist (talk) 15:57, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
P.S. Quoting the second paragraph of the SPLC source that both of used:
But the Center has long been convinced that the day will come when nonprofit groups will no longer be able to rely on support through the mail because of rising postage and printing costs. That's why, in 1974, the Center began setting aside a certain amount each year to build an endowment. At press time, the endowment stood at $111 million.
This was written in 2003. Notice, "the Center has long been convinced that the day will come" which denotes an ongoing concern and continuing worry about postage and printing costs, not simply a concern that existed in 1974 but which has since been superannuated by other concerns. Badmintonhist (talk) 19:03, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Good writing versus bad

Apparently IP editor has a problem distinguishing good writing from bad writing. Beginning an article section by saying "starting in 1974, the SPLC set aside money for its endowment . . ." and then one sentence later saying "starting in 1974 the SPLC utilized fundraising efforts to build up its endowment . . ." is basically redundant and poor writing. This is what my edits were intended to correct. Badmintonhist (talk) 03:21, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

It would be helpful if (talk · contribs · WHOIS) were to join the discussion here and to identify the specific "reliable source material" that s/he is restoring. Otherwise s/he should let the edit of Badmintonhist stand. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 14:52, 24 April 2011 (UTC)


I have again reverted an effort to add finances to the lead. All things considered, it was a better effort than most. However the first thing needed is a rework of the main section on finances. I have explained the problem before (see archive 8 for details at Talk:Southern Poverty Law Center/Archive 8#Weaknesses of the finances section). In particular this language has no place in an encyclopedia article:

In 1998, columnist Alexander Cockburn, from The Nation, wrote that SPLC had done little with its funds and used unjustified fear as a tactic to extract money.[109] Similarly in 2000, Harper's Magazine published an article by Ken Silverstein critical of the SPLC, noting the poor ratings from charity ranking organizations and stating that it spent twice as much money on fundraising as it did on legal services.[110] In 2007 Silverstein wrote a follow-up saying that the SPLC had only been more successful in fundraising since the year 2000 and that its endowment had grown exponentially, but the imbalance between monies spent on legal services and fundraising was still present.[111]

Eliminate this, which does nothing but reiterate the charges from the Advertiser, and the entire section becomes much more objective without doing anything to the message that the critics want to communicate. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 12:03, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

PS I have also come across this source [21]. It provides a very favorable description of SPLC fundraising and should perhaps be added to the mix if the objectionable material is allowed to stand. It says, for example:

“Clearly donors are very important to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Here is an organisation that shows its care in what it sends, that it doesn’t treat its donors as anything less than intelligent and discriminatory individuals who can make appropriate, rational choices, and who don’t need to be constantly ‘sold’ the cause. The Center clearly believes in what it is doing and it obviously expects the same commitment and enthusiasm from its supporters. It isn’t disappointed”

Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 12:08, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

I would think that an editor as friendly to the SPLC as you are, North Shoreman, should be somewhat hesitant about adding an obscure, obviously-made-for-the-fundraising-industry, British monograph as a source for our article. The quote that you cite, when one considers the context, probably tends to reinforce the criticism of folks like Silverstein. That said, here's what I suggest. The last three sentences of the first paragraph of the finances section should be summarized in a single sentence; something like:
Commentators Alexander Cockburn writing in The Nation and Ken Silverstein writing in Harper's Magazine have been highly critical of the SPLC's fundraising appeals and finances. [sources]
I think my previous addition to the lead, pretty well done if I say so myself, should be restored. Badmintonhist (talk) 18:34, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. If anything about the SPLC's finances are mentioned in the lead, it should be that they have been very successful at fundraising, don't collect money from judgements or governmental funds, and don't charge clients any fees. As well as the limited criticism of them has been researched by editors it still does not seem to be notable compared to anything else they do. Jnast1 (talk) 06:37, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
If you take a look at the last edit to the lead which the North Shoreman reverted, Jnast1, you will see that it includes the facts that the SPLC does not collect money from court judgments or take governmental funds. The fact that it is successful at fundraising is implied by the statement that it has been criticized for "perceived hyperbolic fundraising appeals" (which it certainly has been) and "high levels of monetary reserves" (which it certainly has been). An unwillingness to take any of the bitter with the sweet tells me that certain editors want this article to be an out and out puff piece. That isn't our task. We don't work for the SPLC. Badmintonhist (talk) 14:26, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree with the sentiment that some editors may have an agenda, but it is hardly with anyone creating a puff piece. In my view it is the sensationalistic approach to mud-slinging whereby scandalizing information is dutifully researched and wedged in to an WP:Undue (POV) level then a touch of "balance" taped on to represent balance. You're missing the point I think. What have all the reliable sources stated about their fundraising, and endowment, not just their vocal critics (who we also should not be shilling for). The groups that have been labelled hate groups earning the SPLC an excessive amount of allegations are also not in charge here, even though they arguably have the most to gain by loading the article with inaccuracies and lopsided writing. From what I've seen the vast majority written about the SPLC has little to nothing to do with their finances and the little that does notes they do not profit from winning cases. If anything is included in the article introduction it would be that. Likewise the entire finances section covering just the scandalous parts is also bias. Jnast1 (talk) 08:55, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
The critics of the SPLC's fundraising and finances that have been presented in the Finances section have this in common: NONE OF THEM ARE RIGHT-WING. NONE. And none of them are hate group targets of the SPLC. They range from apolitical (charity rating organizations) to moderate (The Montgomery Advertiser) to liberal (Ken Silverstein at Harper's Magazine) to LEFT-WING (Alexander Cockburn at The Nation). If you have an equivalent range of sources unconnected to the SPLC that defend the SPLC's fundraising and finances (or even if you don't) then, by all means, feel free to submit them. I hope that you can do better than the North Shoreman's latest effort, and the North Shoreman, keep in mind, has been working on this article for years. Badmintonhist (talk) 18:01, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
So are you suggesting that a source can only be considered credible if it meets the completely arbitrary and subjective measure of not being considered 'right wing' by yourself? If this is the case then you must be conceding that SPLC is a left wing or strongly anti-right wing organisation. Unless you can provide reliable sources that show SPLC specifically targets so called right wing causes then there is no logical grounds for only allowing what you consider to be left wing sources.Kpgc10 (talk) 23:38, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I would hope none are right wing as that would likely mean they were not reliable. Sources should be as reliable as possible especially with exceptional claims.There are numerous sources that discuss how extremely successful at fundraising they are, most that I have looked at are rather matter-of-0fact than praiseworthy. Jnast1 (talk) 22:10, 28 April 2011 (UTC)`

  • What? Because a site is right-wing they aren't reliable?Niteshift36 (talk) 02:36, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

FAIR as "reliable source" ???

It is my personal experience that FAIR is a hategroup. I do not rely on SPLC's opinion. I didn't need anyone's permission to make the observation for myself. All you have to do to figure this out for yourself is listen to them rant on in public meetings. ~~Ann Tattersall~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:33, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Mr. Soros contributions to the SPLC should be mentioned

Some time ago I've been told by user:North Shoreman that all changes to the finance section were critical and were “subject to discussion on the article's discussion page", on that occasion I had suggested to add a mention of the important contributions made by Mr.George Soros to the SPLC. Without his support the SPLC wouldn't be able to achieve its goals empowering people. Please consider adding that information, I had provided serious sources but you could find them easily on institutional documents and websites. Hiphopmast3r (talk) 15:52, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Why is the neutrality disputed?

The lead for the article is well sourced, and not biased in any way that I can tell. The banner needs to be removed. This is a common tactic used by people in an attempt to discredit information that's in an article. Just because a few haters don't want to admit that they are haters, doesn't mean that they aren't. The KKK doesn't claim to "hate" people either. StarDust787 (talk) 00:04, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Since there has been no recent conversation concerning the neutrality of the article, I will remove the tag. Tags should not be left in place if the reasons are not clear on the talk page, because it leaves editors no way ot resolving the POV dispute. If any editor wishes to restore the tag, they should first explain the reasons so that any POV issues can be resolved. TFD (talk) 02:31, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree. The POV tag no longer serves a constructive purpose. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 15:21, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

The CIS report

Has been mentioned in by other media like here: [22] This criticism and controversy should be mentioned.Miradre (talk) 13:14, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Irrelevant. The second source you cite is not a reliable source. More importantly, this is also a matter of undue weight. Hate groups and the defenders of hate groups often attack the SPLC. Why give undue weight to this single claim when over a thousand such hate groups have been identified? Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 13:57, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
North Shoreman, you seem to be a little bit biased in your assesment of this source. Why does SPLC have an authority to cricitise 'hate groups' and be taken as credible but sites like American Conservative don't have such right? Furthermore why can the opinions of SPLC be dumped on the pages of academic organisations like Ludwig von Mises Institute and be taken as anything but opinion?Kpgc10 (talk) 23:31, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Why is not the The American Conservative a reliable source for things like notability? If there are numerous "hate-groups", as claimed by SPLC, which are critical, then we should include more critical views, if such views are notable. Do you have other notable sources criticizing the SPLC?Miradre (talk) 14:02, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Notability is based on reliable sources -- there is no lower threshold for sources in determining notability. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 14:08, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
That is not exactly true. A thing may be notable just because it appears in numerous sources. Regardless, why would The American Conservative be an unreliable source? Or the CIS report itself? Miradre (talk) 14:12, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
WP:NOTABILITY refers ONLY to whether a topic merits its own article. What we are discussing is governed by WP:UNDUE. This states, "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."
The American Conservative is not a news site but is a venue for political commentary from a conservative viewpoint. WP:NOTRELIABLE states, "Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for checking the facts, or lacking meaningful editorial oversight. Such sources include websites and publications expressing views that are widely acknowledged as extremist, or promotional, or which rely heavily on rumor and personal opinion." Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 11:28, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Then why are SPLC opeds and smear pieces pasted on the pages of dozens of libertarian groups, politicians and anti globalist so called patriot groups like John Birch Society? I think you ought to drop the bias for the sake of this site.Kpgc10 (talk) 23:31, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

The American Conservative has both news and commentary as do almost magazine style websites/journals. They still adhere to journalistic principles of verification. The SPLC has a distinct political project as well. Northshoreman you are very biased in your position and are eager for an uncritical puff piece for the SPLC. How about dropping your bias for the sake of balance.thesis, antithesis, synthesis 02:14, 13 June 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Altheian (talkcontribs)

Editorials are generally not notable. You would need to show that this specific editorial had received widespread notice in mainstream news media or in academic writing. TFD (talk) 11:30, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Addition of general subsection on criticism

This entry would appear to be very unbalanced in favour of the SPLC, which clearly has a left agenda. I suggest a seperate section called criticism where it's contentious finanical dealings and criticism of its political position, including those of American Conservative can be covered in brief. This would offer a more balanced appraisal of the organisation. As it stands it is essentially a puff piece.Altheian -thesis, antithesis, synthesis (talk) 02:52, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Let's try for a little realism here; if consensus can't be established to add critical content within the normal flow of the article, what are the survival chances of a separate criticism section, which is strongly discouraged by Wikipedia guidelines? If there is reliably sourced criticism of some facet of their operation, the correct place for it is in the/a section on that facet, not a separate criticism section. Fat&Happy (talk) 03:33, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
With this edit [23] by an editor that could hardly be characterized as pro-SPLC two long standing issues were resolved -- finances were added to the article lead and the extreme language in the finances section was tempered. This compromise has endured for about six weeks (which is a long time for this article) and should not be reversed without discussion. I reverted Altheian's addition which changed the balance. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 13:28, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

You are profoundly partisan NS. This article is heavily skewed in favour of the SPLC and I will revert it. Seeing that credible journalists from the left, centre and right view the SPLC have been explicitly critical of the SPLC it is worth a considerable mention seeing that 95% of the article reads like a PR release.Altheian -thesis, antithesis, synthesis (talk) 14:33, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

More personal attacks. How about trying to actually persuade people rather than repeating the tactics you used as an IP that led to repeated intervention by administrators -- see [24] for example. You need to make a persuasive case as to why it is appropriate to add the inflammatory quote to the otherwise balanced Finances section. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 11:19, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
A lot of extremist organizations accuse anyone who investigates the far right of having an agenda. But law enforcement has long relied on groups like SPLC. TFD (talk) 00:36, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
The SPLC accuses anyone who doesn't agree with them of being a Nazi or Far-Right. Do you ever think they might have an agenda?Altheian -thesis, antithesis, synthesis (talk) 06:28, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
If much of the article reads like a PR release it's probably because that's what much of the article was as we discovered about six months ago when an editor revealed that great chunks of it were taken almost verbatim from SPLC publications. The article has been improved somewhat since then but a lot of it still has a puff-piece aura. However, the Finances section is definitely not one of those puff piece sections and is not the place that I would start. Badmintonhist (talk) 01:17, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
What would be your first alteration in restoring balance to this PR release?Altheian -thesis, antithesis, synthesis (talk) 06:25, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I'd say the History section which has probably evolved (but not too far) from from a flat-out promotional account by the SPLC. Notice how regularly it mentions the death threats made against Dees. The Teaching tolerance section has a kind of Hallmark Cards quality in its writing. The fact that some fairly prominent and fairly "mainstream" organizations have objected to the "hate group" classification that the SPLC has put them in should probably be at least mentioned somewhere in the article. Also, the main gripe that a number of political liberals have with the SPLC, that it raises and retains vast amounts of money in order to gain comparative peanuts for its clients by going after easy (and typically dirt poor) legal targets, is nowhere really conveyed in the article. Badmintonhist (talk) 23:36, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Their agenda is to identify and describe extremist groups, which is why law enforcement, the media and academics rely on their research. TFD (talk) 02:28, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Inclusion of a Subsection of Controversy Over Definition of 'Hate' Group

The SPLC's definition of 'hate' group has become so expansive that anyone who adopts a conservative position on homosexuality is somehow a hater. Silverstein, Cockburn and conservative commentators and journalists have covered the issue to an extent where it is significant.Altheian -thesis, antithesis, synthesis (talk) 15:02, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps you're conflating the terms "hate group" and "hate crime." Any organization which so clearly exhibits intolerance of and/or antipathy towards a group of people based upon their sexual orientation, is in fact a hate group. (talk) 23:59, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
So-intolerance, moral disquiet and dislike now equals hate - and your telling me that is not contreversialAltheian -thesis, antithesis, synthesis (talk) 06:23, 14 June 2011 (UTC).
You would need a reliable source documenting the controversy, not just a few articles. Alexander Cockburn and Ken Silverstein are interesting but controversial writers, but WP would not suffer from not having their opinions added to every subject about which they have written. TFD (talk) 00:19, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
So Harper's magazine is not a reliable source. You are going to need to do better than that.Altheian -thesis, antithesis, synthesis (talk) 06:23, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Not the issue. You need to make the case for why the PRESENT MENTION of the Harper's source is not adequate to maintain balance in the Finances section. The type of inflammatory language you want to add was, as I explained above, removed some time ago by another editor. You need to respect the value of Wikipedia:Consensus -- something that most editors of this article, regardless of their opinions of the SPLC, have shown recently. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 11:36, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
The issue is one of balance and neutrality. I notice there is a quote defending the organisation, yet no critical quote. The whole tone of this article is that of an uncritical unbalanced PR release. This article is not even clost to neutral.Altheian -thesis, antithesis, synthesis (talk) 22:40, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Not liking a specific group for a (at least partially) biological trait is the definition of "hate group". I'm not sure why this is so hard to understand. Just because someone doesn't want to be called a "hater" doesn't mean that they suddenly aren't one. Get over it. If you want to be a hater, at least be man/woman enough to just admit it. StarDust787 (talk) 04:53, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

To be reasonably defined as a hater I would suggest hating them would be the only valid criteria would be that you hate. Is that so hard to understand. If someone doesn't approve of gay lifestylyes that doesn't meant that they hate them. Nor does someone concerned about illegal immigrants neccesarily hate illegal aliens. Hate is used in a vague blanket fashion to discredit groups that are not far left by the SPLC. It's contreversial and has been described as such by reputed journalists and commentators. This article with the excpetion of the finances section is a puff piece and not worthy of WP.Altheian -thesis, antithesis, synthesis (talk) 06:23, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
The SPLC doesn't name all anti-gay groups as hate groups. You're attacking a strawman. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 06:26, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for that. P.S. @Athenian Using the term "lifestyle" shows that you don't belong on this article. If you can't get your own biases out of the way, then please feel free to move on to something else. Scientifically and psychologically, being homosexual has been shown to be at least partly biological. So yes, hating someone for being gay is being a hater. Hiding behind a religious belief to justify it doesn't change anything. StarDust787 (talk) 21:44, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Again if someone doesn't approve of homosexual activity it doesn't mean they hate gays. Hence not hate groups. I am not interested in the reasons for homosexuality. Irrelevant to the topic. Rather that groups that do not support homosexuality do not neccesarily hate gays. Can you understand this simple fact.

The Family Research Council (Mitt Romney has appeared at their events = mainstream)amongst others have been labelled hate groups because they advocate for the traditional family. Please engage in research to support your arguements.You are as yet at to the respond to the fact that 'critica'l doesn't neccesarily equal hate. Please do so and minimize unskilled personal attacks, or is it you that doesn't belong here? Altheian -thesis, antithesis, synthesis (talk) 22:29, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Extremist groups object to being called hate groups. But before we give any weight to that POV, we need to show that informed sources have raised criticism. TFD (talk) 02:23, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
  • If it were that simple....... Unfortunately, not a lot of the groups on their list actually do object. But most of the groups aren't mainstream groups that simply express a position that a certain minority disapproves of. Niteshift36 (talk) 02:29, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
TFC Provide evidence that the Family Research Council is an extremist group. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Altheian (talkcontribs) 03:46, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
This essay for example puts them in the tradition of extremism. And extremism expert Laird Wilcox mentions Dobson in his book for saying that human fetuses are served as a delicacy in Chinese restaurants. TFD (talk) 03:11, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

NPOV dispute

This article as not neutral as there is a suppression of meaningful criticism. This being the case the article reads like a puff piece and there is little coverage of the contentious claims nor a willingness to consider the considerable criticisms in reputubale publications. It reads like a SPLC press release and looking at the references a good portion of it is.

This article needs a section on the dubious claims of hate in certain instances.

This article also needs to more fully consider criticism of the journalists and commentators to be considerded neutral and balanced.Altheian -thesis, antithesis, synthesis (talk) 22:58, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Extremist groups object to being called hate groups. But before we give any weight to that POV, we need to show that informed sources have raised criticism. TFD (talk) 02:22, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
You need to prove that Extremist groups object to being called hate groups with informed sources before I consider it valid.Altheian - thesis, antithesis, synthesis (talk) 03:44, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Demonstrate that conservative church groups are hate groups with references.Altheian - thesis, antithesis, synthesis (talk) 03:44, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
User:Altheian, I have reverted your apparent attempt to tag the article for neutrality concerns. Templates you may be looking for are thataway (and they don't have extra-large type). It's apparent that your arguments here aren't gaining traction. The best thing to do, if you want to continue to pursue this, is to open a request for comment, which will bring more editors here to take a look. Rivertorch (talk) 03:52, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
The article is about the SPLC. It's not the responsibility of anybody here to prove their designations are accurate, only that the assertion they have made them is accurate. In fact, arguing the accuracy of their position is a violation of talk page guidelines (as are personal attacks on other editors, by either side). As has been stated, you need to come up with assertions by/in reliable sources that their designations are inaccurate, unfair, biased, or whatever. Given the contentious nature of the subject, discussing additions here before inserting them is probably advisable. And some sort of RfC may not be a bad idea either. Fat&Happy (talk)
You don't need to prove that extremist groups are hate groups. This article is about the SPLC and what they do. If they are wrong or right, it doesn't matter. This isn't a debate about hate groups; it's only about SPLC. StarDust787 (talk) 16:51, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
And about SPLC making designations that support their own agendas or causes. Niteshift36 (talk) 17:53, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Extended content
Thanks for following me to a different talk page to argue. Don't worry, it doesn't look like you have something against me or anything. Don't stalk me, please. As I said, the article is about SPLC. It's not about what a "hate group" is or if the groups fit the definition. If you want to argue about that then go to the hate group page. StarDust787 (talk) 06:19, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Following you? Um, conceited much? Check the edit history junior. I have edits on this page and the other one the pre-date your account even existing. But that's for the laugh. Hearing people say stupid things does that. Niteshift36 (talk) 16:14, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
"That's for the laugh?" And "you *heard* me"? I thought I was "saying" stupid things. I love how you keep bringing up that my account is fairly new, but on your userpage, you have a box that says "This user believes that a user's edit count does not necessarily reflect on the value of their contributions to Wikipedia." So, which is it? If you're going to attack me, then at least be consistent. I'm sorry you're so partisan. StarDust787 (talk) 02:13, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Now you want to play the semantics game about "hear" and "see"? That is proffo positive that you have nothing substantial left to contribute. Niteshift36 (talk) 01:48, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
niteshft contributes nothing but lame trolling. you're better off ignoring him, like most do. (talk) 01:39, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
  • And yet you clearly disprove your own claim by proving you weren't ignoring me. What a buffoon Niteshift36 (talk) 01:48, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
A contention that can be included in a proportion consistent with its assertion in reliable sources. Fat&Happy (talk) 18:01, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

If you wish to add criticism of how the SPLC labels extremist groups then you require rs. TFD (talk) 18:22, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
  • It's a fools errand to take on that task because there are certain editors here that will edit war that every step of the way. However, since the FRC isn't currently mentioned in the article, it really doesn't matter.

On a separate matter: The whole inclusion of the 2010 NPR interview about "heated rheoric" looks like UNDUE. It gives the appearence of an excuse to put certain names in the article, coupled with the term hate crime. Niteshift36 (talk) 19:21, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree the paragraph where Potok brings in individuals he disagrees with politically for blame for hate crimes is WP:UNDUE. Drrll (talk) 19:31, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
The paragraph in question originally read:
On April 2, 2010, Mark Potok of the SPLC expressed concern that hot rhetoric and disinformation is causing a dangerous increase in paranoia and confrontation within the political landscape. There is the concern that overheated speech of pundits and politicians is inflaming hate groups that may pose a viable threat. Potok specifically singled out Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, Congressman Steve King, and commentators Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs as failing their moral responsibility for what Potok describes as "inflammatory effects of their rhetoric on hate group violence."
I had suggested that the paragraph could be restored (and possibly expanded) w/o the last sentence that contained the names. I had also proposed (and propose again) that the entire preceding paragraph concerning the exchange between Berlet and Horowitz be removed -- since we're talking about WP:UNDUE, what significance is there to an eight year old debate that is peripheral to the main work of the SPLC? Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 23:19, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I'd have no objection if those names were removed. That would remove the transparent attempt to link those names with hate crimes. Niteshift36 (talk) 00:28, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Does that include eliminating the Berlet-Horowitz paragraph also? Same logic applies. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 00:41, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
If memory serves me correctly, much of that paragraph, while all attributed to Potok, was actually words used by others in the linked story. I don't mind it being expanded if it's properly sourced to SPLC representatives and I agree that the last sentence should go. I don't have a problem removing the Berlet/Horowitz paragraph--or at least significantly trimming it down. Drrll (talk) 02:32, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Can anyone offer a concise explanation why the notable criticism of Jerry Kammer is not even mentioned? Factchecker atyourservice (talk) 13:31, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Ideological characterization

Many editors over the years have tried to add "progressive," "liberal," "left-wing," etc. in characterizing the SPLC in the lead sentence. Most of the attempts were unsourced. I'm not convinced yet that we need to say definitively that the SPLC is "liberal", but I do believe we need to indicate somewhere, preferably somewhere in the lead, that is characterized that way. Newsweek, The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, The Guardian, and The Dallas Morning News--not conservative sources--have all characterized the SPLC as "liberal." The Observer and The Mirror have actually described the SPLC as "left-wing." Drrll (talk) 13:01, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Some additional sources that characterize the SPLC as "liberal": ABA Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, Slate, The Denver Post, Omaha World Herald, the Associated Press, the Richmond Times Dispatch, the York Dispatch, the San Antonio Express-News, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,, the New York Observer, Gannett News Service, the El Paso Times, the Business Insider, the Chicago Tribune, and NPR. Drrll (talk) 17:28, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Smells like a dead horse. Conservative activists have focused their attention on this wiki page ever since the SPLC took on gay-bashers like the FRC. (talk) 23:36, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Funny how MSNBC, HuffPo, MMfA and other openly liberal sources seem to be acceptable for articles about conservative topics, but vice versa isn't allowed. Niteshift36 (talk) 23:47, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Media usage of the term is mostly evidence of carelessness and indolence. That is interesting and notable but is not the subject of this article. The meaning of "liberal" varies from place to place (please see Liberalism by country). So, if the term is mentioned, that must be explained. Again, that is not the article topic. If there were a conservative American civil rights organization, "liberal" may help to distinguish the SPLC from that organization. As far as I know, no such organization exists. Civil rights advocacy enjoys broad non-partisan support. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 04:52, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
We need an informed source in order to describe a group as liberal, conservative, etc. Also, while more liberal media are considered rs than conservative media, that is because more liberal media meet the objective standards of rs. But note that conservative newspapers and Fox News are considered rs. TFD (talk) 05:53, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
  • A number of left leaning sources, ranging from the NY Times to MSNBC to NPR have called SPLC "liberal". Do you honestly want to argue that those sources have a conservative bias? Niteshift36 (talk) 07:16, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
  • "more liberal media are considered rs than conservative media, that is because more liberal media meet the objective standards of rs" No, it's not because they are more objective, it's because there are more of them in the first place. Niteshift36 (talk) 07:18, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
With Google, we can find sources to fit our own personal descriptions, but must retain standards. I can find sources to describe most "conservative" political individuals and organizations as "far right" (e.g., "Tea Party"+"far right"),[25] yet have consistently argued against using that label except in cases where there was a consensus in academic writing for that description. TFD (talk) 15:27, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Try paying attention here. Even liberal sources commonly call SPLC liberal. The characterization is not only from conservative ones. So your arguement isn't very strong. Besides. what charaterizations get made on other articles is something to be discussed on the talk pages of those articles. Niteshift36 (talk) 17:42, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Can you provide a source that says "liberal sources commonly call the SPLC liberal"? You need reliable sources not just your original research on the matter. TFD (talk) 04:34, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
  • It's not my OR on the matter. Drrll listed a slew of sources that used that characterization. Some of those are quite left leaning. Regardless, they aren't conservative/right leaning, so your gripe is empty. Unless you want to actually try to argue that the NYT or MSNBC are right/conservative sources? Niteshift36 (talk) 05:38, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Using google you can find any description you want. Certainly I would have no problem finding sources calling conservative organizations "far right". But this is an encylopedia, not a blog and standards apply. Find an a source that makes the same conclusion that you do. Remember that we do not string together multiple weak sources to support what we want to include, but should find one good source. Could you explain btw what it is about the SPLC that makes them liberal? Or do we categorize any organization that investigates hate groups as liberal? TFD (talk) 12:31, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Again, I don't care what you can find about other organizations. Have that discussion on the talk page of those articles. You want me to explain why they are liberal? Wouldn't that be OR? More importantly, I don't have to explain why the reliable sources called them liberal. I simply document what they said. Lastly, the fact that numerous reliable sources call them liberal is sufficient. This is just a very poor attempt at wiki-lawyering on your part. Niteshift36 (talk) 14:26, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
While there are certainly anecdotal passing references to the SPLC in reliable sources as liberal, the vast majority of them DO NOT do this. This is why whenever this discussion comes up someone presents an opinion piece from the Washington Post from years ago while ignoring all the other times when the Post refers to the SPLC w/o such a reference. The article lead should not give undue weight to these isolated references.
As far as the body of the article, if there are reliable sources that attribute a political leaning to the SPLC that actually provides context (i.e. :The SPLC is a liberal political organization because of the following ...) then perhaps we might want to include it. A simple passing reference to liberal w/o context tells us nothing. In fact, the vast number of positions taken by the SPLC are not liberal but squarely in the mainstream. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 14:42, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Again, it is extremely poor scholarship to determine in ones mind how an organization should be categorized and then look for sources. I am not asking you to engage in original research by asking you to explain what makes the SPLC liberal, because that should be available in reliable sources. The SPLC is however not a "liberal" or "conservative" organization. There only role is to investigate hate groups, extemists, etc. TFD (talk) 14:45, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Dude, you can gripe about the order of events all you want. The fact is that the characterization is made by numerous reliable sources. Period. That is the only real issue we need to address. Since you are going to share what is really little more than your opinion, I will give you mine. They ARE liberal. I am on their mailing list and have been for years. I get their publications and have attended classes that they put on. They are a very good resource and have good intentions. That doesn't mean they can't be liberal. Niteshift36 (talk) 16:03, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
If you want to say that SPLC is commonly characterized in the press as liberal, then you need a source for that rather than conducting your own research. In order to label them as liberal however, you need an informed source. Remember that articles are supposed to informative not opinionated. Interesting that you want the article to say that SPLC is liberal, yet you have no idea why it should be called that. BTW, don't call me dude. TFD (talk) 16:15, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm not saying they are commonly called it in the article. I said it here. I know EXACTLY why I call them liberal, but my opinion on why isn't relevent here. The fact that the sources do is the only relevent thing. You are talking in circles dude. Niteshift36 (talk) 20:19, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────More tempest in a teapot within a tempest in a teapot. I don't actually care too much whether or not we "officially" designate the SPLC as "liberal." It would be obvious to any slightly savvy reader scanning the article who is not already familiar with the organization that it is. Reliable sources, by the way, rarely say something like "academic sources generally agree that this organization is conservative/liberal." They simply use the adjective in question, and they generally use it only once in a given article so it is quite easy to conclude that most of the time when a particular organization is referenced it is not described as either liberal or conservative.

As for why the SPLC would be considered liberal (and liberal here actually would be a better designation than "progressive") let's not feign naivete. Folks who worry about team names like Cleveland Indians and the Washington Redskins and who want to replace Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day with "Someone Special Day" are, pretty much by definition, LIBERALS. Badmintonhist (talk) 17:17, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

(edit conflict) Weighing in here to concur with TFD and Tom. Whatever you or anyone else believe to be true about the SPLC, Wikipedia is all about verifiability. If someone is questioning an adjective applied to an article subject, then reliable sourcing with relevant context must be found or the adjective omitted. (Fwiw, I would tend to characterize the SPLC as liberal, if I were compelled to use such vague-to-the-point-of-meaningless terms, but I wouldn't put it in a WP article. And you can call me dude, if you really want to.) Rivertorch (talk) 17:26, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Concur with TFT, Tom, and Rivertorch. Injecting subjective opinion into a Wikipedia article is as inappropriate now as it was the last dozen times they've tried it. Time to move along... //Blaxthos ( t / c ) 19:16, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Of course you agree Blax. I just wish your standards weren't one way. Rivertorch, none of this is about our opinions. When a significant number of reliable sources, sources that are non-partisan, have characterized them as "liberal", it stops being meaningless. Niteshift36 (talk) 20:19, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Badmontonhist, the same issues have come up with other articles and we have been able to find appropriate sources. For example, this book, published a university press, explains the "labels applied by scholars" to various right-wing groups. Incidentally, the Conservative Party of Canada government just changed the title of the minister of the Department of Indian Affairs to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. TFD (talk) 00:26, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
We're getting off topic here but my guess is that most liberals wouldn't like "Cleveland Aboriginals" or "Washington Native Americans" either. The naming concerns posed by those team names are rather different from the Canadian government's concern about the name of the ministry in question. Badmintonhist (talk) 02:37, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

All the sources I provided referred to straight news sources, not opinion pieces. And they are mostly from left-leaning sources, including several top-tier sources, like the NYT, Newsweek, NPR, and The Washington Post. There are some more academic sources that also describe the SPLC as liberal: the ABA Journal, the textbook Visions for change: crime and justice in the twenty-first century, and the Archives of Sexual Behavior. The odds are pretty slim of getting a source that actually describes overall how the SPLC is characterized, or even a source that describes how the SPLC is liberal. But there is no denying that many top sources describe the SPLC as "liberal" in news sources. Drrll (talk) 17:13, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

No, you've only given source names, not specific source references. And anyway, a collection of singular references is not enough. Is there a source that says 'most' or even 'many' reliable sources describe the SPLC as liberal? So far, claiming such amounts to no more than the original research (synthesis) others have mentioned above. (talk) 21:45, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Ahhh. . . is there ANY political entity in Wikipedia about which some reliable source says "most (many) reliable sources describe it as liberal/conservative"? Propounding impossible standards met by virtually no subjects in Wikipedia is a nice way of keeping out unwanted copy. Badmintonhist (talk) 22:22, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
The SPLC is not a political entity. It is dedicated "to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society", not to promoting a specific ideology. TFD (talk) 22:50, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it's inaccurate to label the SPLC as a liberal organization, but we should be careful to put that label in context of ideology rather than partisanship. Their aim is to promote justice, not party. --Dystopos (talk) 00:00, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Their "aim" is not being questioned. I have no doubt their intentions are pure. A person who supports capital punishment and one who supports rehabilitation can both have the "aim" of a safer society, but they have very different beliefs on what that entails. Their goal of justice doesn't preclude them from being liberal. And it's not wikipedia editors saying it, the reliable sources are. Niteshift36 (talk) 00:13, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
The SPLC may not technically be a political entity, but a quick perusal of their Hatewatch blog, for one, shows them to often be an awfully political "non-political entitity." One that frequently goes after mainstream conservatives, while rarely, if ever, criticizing mainstream liberals. Are academic sources such as the ABA Journal and the Archives of Sexual Behavior, that describe the SPLC as "liberal" adequate in your view? Drrll (talk) 01:00, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
They do not target mainstream conservatives, only extremists. While there are left-wing extremists in the U.S., they are tiny and do not target minorities. Nonetheless they do target right-wing groups that you probably consider left-wing, such as the New Black Panthers. BTW when you mention sources could you please state what they say and provide links as well. TFD (talk) 04:14, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
They may target primarily extremists in their hate group listings, but they otherwise do go after mainstream conservatives. This posting on their Hatewatch blog, for example, attacks Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, hardly extremists, as hatemongers. Other posts attack various conservative members of the U. S. House and Senate. The 3 academic sources I mentioned use the word "liberal" when describing the SPLC, but don't discuss the matter in detail. I have pulled up the sources at another location, so I can't provide the links now, but I can later today if you want them. I doubt there are many sources that actually discuss the ideology of the SPLC in detail. You seem more adept at finding academic sources. Have you run across such sources that delve into their ideology in detail? Drrll (talk) 12:51, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Perhaps they single out Ingraham and Hannity for their hatemongering rather than their position on the political spectrum. Just a thought. --Dystopos (talk) 23:11, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
A more likely explanation is that anything that strays from the doctrinaire left-wing views of the SPLC surely must be considered hate-mongering. Drrll (talk) 00:52, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
In recent years, that's certainly been their growing modus operandi.Scaleshombre (talk) 02:18, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
You need sources to back up your theories. Opposition to racial discrimination and hate is not "left-wing". TFD (talk) 04:59, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Consider the book International Trotskyism, Published by Duke University Press. It explains what Trotskyism is and then in a section about the United States, it identifies Trotskyist institutions in the U.S.[26] I would have no problem using this as a source. Now find something similar for liberalism and see what if anything it says about the SPLC. Maybe extremist is not the best term. They do target nativism, which mainstream conservatism, e.g., Bush and McCain, never promoted. TFD (talk) 14:13, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Mainstream conservatism eg McCain? I think you are using Republican and conservative as interchangable terms. Many conservatives don't consider McCain to be very conservative. Regardless, a smattering of left-wing groups/causes on the list indicates some honesty in their listing, not an indication of their political leanings. Niteshift36 (talk) 15:24, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
It shows how confusing these terms are. Neither McCain nor Ingram/Hannity are conservatives, although those terms are commonly used. TFD (talk) 03:58, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Hannity and Ingraham aren't conservative? Where did you come up with that dude? Niteshift36 (talk) 14:47, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Exactly how are Ingraham and Hannity not conservatives? How would you classify them? The SPLC certainly sees them as targets. BTW, although the SPLC doesn't directly do so themselves, an interview subject in a friendly Intelligence Report interview accuses George Will of playing the race card in his criticism of welfare. Drrll (talk) 12:34, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Mainstream politics in the United States is considered to be liberal, as explained in this source among countless others. This is part of a semantic confusion where left-liberals are simply called liberals, while right liberals are called conservatives. Don't call me dude. TFD (talk) 02:56, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
"Countless others"? And you know that because you've read them? I'll be honest dude, I don't believe you did, which means I believe you are bluffing. But of course, we should just ignore the fact that people like Hannity and Ingraham self-identify as conservatives and that conservatives generally accept them as conservatives because you read a book from a foreign author that few others have read that said otherwise. Or did you even read it? I'll play your game dude: Show me the reliable sources that say Hannity and Ingraham are not conservatives. Niteshift36 (talk) 03:05, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
The point is that the terms "liberal" and "conservative" (I encourage you to read these articles, which provide sources for what these terms mean) are used differently in the U.S. than in the rest of the world. As Bernard Crick explained in The strange quest for American conservatism (1955), "It is more than a mere matter of the different American usage of the word 'conservative': the American democratic-liberal in not having a conservative tradition to attack, so as to explain the contradictions in his own world, is forced to invent one. What is now interesting is that this tactic has been persued so successfully that those who were attacked as conservatives are now wearing the false appellation openly and proudly". TFD (talk) 12:51, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Okay, folks, I think we're getting way off track here. I believe the topic is whether or not Wikipedia should designate the SPLC as politically liberal, not Hannity or Ingraham as politically conservative; and I assume that would mean politically liberal in the sense that the word is commonly used today (and in this encyclopedia), not in the 19th century sense. Badmintonhist (talk) 05:33, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Yes and plenty of reliable sources say they are liberal. But this dude can't seem to keep that straight. Niteshift36 (talk) 06:10, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Proposed text

The SPLC is characterized in many news stories as "liberal."

There is no obvious fit for this, but the lead or the 'History' section would seem to be the best fit. Drrll (talk) 12:21, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Could you provide a source that says, the "SPLC is characterized in many news stories as "liberal". If no rs has made this conclusion, then neither should we. TFD (talk) 20:34, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Dude, the sources say it. We can list 15 sources or use some common sense and show a couple of them. There is no requirement that everything written in an article be a direct quote. Niteshift36 (talk) 20:36, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
No, you need a source that describes the conclusion that you have reached. While I value your research skills, we need to show that someone else has come to the same conclusions that you have. TFD (talk) 20:58, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
You asked for a quote. Notice the "" marks around what you asked for. Those indicate that you want something to say exactly that. Niteshift36 (talk) 21:07, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I too thought that we could cite several (say 5) RS that describe the SPLC that way. Otherwise, do you have a suggestion for a change in the wording? I thought about just "the SPLC is characterized in news stories as "liberal,"" but that might imply that all news stories describe it as "liberal." Drrll (talk) 21:37, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Hello Drrll. Since you are proposing to place this description somewhere other than the lead (where the objection of undue weight might more readily be raised), why not tell the reader in-line one or two of the sources? Say, "the New York Times, among other news sources has described the SPLC as a a politically liberal organization." Badmintonhist (talk) 22:27, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
PS: And Niteshift, much as I admire your enthusiasm, let's not bait our colleague by referring to him as "Dude" after he has voiced his objection to it. Badmintonhist (talk) 22:33, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  • He objects to everything. I object to his circular reasoning and absurd insistance that we can't use common sense. He hasn't stopped though. And "dude" is more acceptable than the word that goes through my head when I type "dude".Niteshift36 (talk) 23:19, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Hi there Badmintonhist. Are you headed out later tonight to belt a few karaoke tunes?
I think that's a good solution--it still indicates that multiple news sources characterize the SPLC that way, without wading into the tricky definition of "many." And better yet, it lets the reader know that it's not just some obscure or conservative news source that uses that description. We have a lot of examples to choose from. I think that mentioning The New York Times, as probably the most prestigious news organization, is an obvious choice. I would also mention either The Washington Post, as the preeminent political newspaper, or NPR, which seems rather ideologically sympathetic to the SPLC. I have web-accessible links to applicable stories for all 3 of those sources. As far as location, I think it fits better in the lead, but like you said, it may raise WP:UNDUE concerns, as well as WP:LEAD concerns about summarizing the article body. Drrll (talk) 23:11, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
You indicated that you were going to produce the sources you are alluding to but have not yet done so. With respect to the NYT, are you claiming that they always, sometimes, or once associated the term liberal with the SPLC. What is the context -- you seem to acknowledge that your sources have no context, meaning that we have little actual info of relevance to pass onto the readers. It seems that you have only enough info for, at most, one sentence -- how can you possibly justify that as qualifying for the article lede.
In fact, the vast number of reliable sources when referring to the SPLC DO NOT couple it with the term liberal. Why should we follow the exception rather than the rule?
The context that we do have is that reliable sources covering virtually all local and national media outlets routinely refer to the SPLC and its reports while rarely if ever implying any political leanings. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 23:36, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
The same would be true of any number of organizations which are rightly labeled (ONCE during the article for each) as either conservative or liberal or progressive in Wikipedia. The Family Research Council, for example isn't "routinely" labeled as "conservative" each time a reliable news source refers to it in a story but that doesn't mean that it would be wrong to note that it has been described that way by certain reliable sources.
To answer Drrll's crucial query, I'm probably not going to sing karaoke tonight, though I may change my mind. Lately I've been doing more singing at senior centers and assisted living facilities in part because it PAYS (however modestly). Also I enjoy the adulation of octo and nona genarians. Badmintonhist (talk) 00:01, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Bad example. The FRC is very much a political organization -- unlike the SPLC, it is structured to provide funds for political races and endorses political candidates. Context can be found in the news articles on why the FRC is considered both conservative and a hate group -- no such context has been produced linking the SPLC and political liberalism. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 00:21, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
  • The majority of sources don't refer to the SPLC as "non-profit" either, but we don't object to the ones that do. And we aren't talking about an isolated instance of them being called liberal, nor are the sources only partisan ones. In fact, several of the sources are quite liberal themselves. Niteshift36 (talk) 00:24, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Irrelevant. "Non profit" refers to its tax status and is strictly a factual matter -- the IRS has accepted the application for this status or it hasn't. I keep hearing you folks talk about these sources they have but nobody seems to want to share them or their context. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 00:36, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
  • It's only irrelevant because you don't like it. Niteshift36 (talk) 01:33, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Depends on how you look at it, NSM. In one way it's rather a good example of my point because it illustrates that even an overtly political organization such as the FRC is frequently NOT explicitly described as CONSERVATIVE in reliable news sources. My basic point was that politically liberal organizations aren't always described as liberal and politically conservative organizations aren't always described as conservative in reliable sources. That doesn't mean that Wikipedia is obliged to ignore the numerous occasions when they are. Considering that the SPLC doesn't directly involve itself in elective politics yet still gets labeled "liberal" by the NYT and WAPO is rather telling, I would say. Badmintonhist (talk) 00:40, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

I would think there would have to be less than a preponderance, but a significant number of reliable sources that describe the SPLC in that manner in order to include the suggested text. As for the example by Niteshift36, let's not be silly. There is a difference between describing a fact(non-profit) and a subjective label(liberal). Dave Dial (talk) 01:10, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Hey Dave, how about if you don't call my response "silly" and I will refrain from commenting on how silly it is to wikilink my user name in your response? (And spare me the wikilawyering about how you didn't directly call it silly. We all know what you meant.) There is a difference, but while you focus on the wrong part, you miss the glaringly obvious: Numerous, non-partisan, reliable sources HAVE characterized them that way. This weasling about an exact number or percentage is simply smoke and mirrors. Niteshift36 (talk) 01:33, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Nahh, I think I'll call 'em as I see 'em. You seem to want to turn Talk pages into battlegrounds, judging from your numerous disruptive posts that seem to want to personally confront other editors. That's not a good way to work with other editors. Dave Dial (talk) 01:45, 9 July 2011 (UTC)


It appears that in the instances that actually address the political ideology of the SPLC, reliable sources, the NYT included, refer to the SPLC as "liberal." The above NYT, WaPo, and NPR stories describe them as liberal in the context of other ideological groups or issues. Yes, one sentence seems enough unless other sources surface that discuss the issue in detail. I thinks it fits better in the lead, but I'm not convinced it belongs there yet. Incidentally, as Badmintonhist pointed out, it is in the lead of many politically conservative organizations--in fact it is often given as the defining characteristic of those organizations, being the first word in the lead sentence after "X is a…" in Wikipedia's voice and often unsourced). If it does belong in the lead, it doesn't belong there in the first sentence or in Wikipedia's voice. Again, the proposed sentence addresses the political ideology of the SPLC and in the cases where reliable sources do so, they identify it as liberal. Actually, the FRC as an organization does not endorse candidates or raise funds for them. The separate FRC PAC does that. The news stories that describe the FRC usually do not address the PAC organization. I don't see your point in the distinction in news stories providing context as to why the ideology applies in the case of the FRC, but not in the case of the SPLC. Please provide sources that make that distinction clear with the FRC. Drrll (talk) 01:42, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Three links are nice but they cover a period of over 14 years. One of the other sources w/o a link went back, I think, to 1989. I would like to see the other links and check them for dates and context. The three that you did provide links for tell me nothing relevant to the article, especially considering that the SPLC is daily quoted by the media. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 02:37, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oh, so now reliable sources have expiration dates? And really? They are quoted "daily"? Niteshift36 (talk) 02:39, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Unless you can show that the SPLC has changed considerably since those stories, the dates don't matter. Of course they're relevant. In the context of political issues they describe the political ideology of the SPLC. I'll provide more links or quotes when you provide links that show the supposed difference in contextual explanations on why the FRC is conservative. Drrll (talk) 02:58, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
You folks are the ones making the argument that there is widespread labeling of the SPLC as liberal by reliable sources. As someone who has proposed to add language to the article, you bear the burden of providing the sources that support that language. Your claim that the three sources you provided "describe the political ideology of the SPLC" is true ONLY if we so lower the standards for sourcing that we accept one word labels, with no efforts to clarify or justify the use of that word or explain the implications of the labeling, as adequate.
If the intent of the authors was to introduce liberalism as a bias, then they needed to say so -- they didn't. What is more likely is that they stated nothing more than what can almost be considered a truism -- namely that civil rights organizations originating from the American civil rights movement almost always work from the left. In either event, the authors did not provide enough information to determine whether their terminology is relevant to this article.
Since your stated intent is apparently to "describe the political ideology of the SPLC", then you need reliable sources who have written articles whose intent was to "describe the political ideology of the SPLC". All you've produced is mere asides that you want to give undue weight and claim that they present actual analysis.
Frequency does matter. Why should we follow a labeling that is rarely ever used by reliable sources?
As far as the FRC, it is self-identifying as conservative and you know it. The whole basis of the FRC's attacks on the SPLC is based on their claims that they are merely conservatives, not hate groups. To quote Mr. Perkins, "The Left's smear campaigns of conservatives is also being driven by the clear evidence that the American public is losing patience with their radical policy agenda as seen in the recent election and in the fact that every state, currently more than thirty, that has had the opportunity to defend the natural definition of marriage has done so." Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 11:06, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
  • The discussion about lbelling them as liberal is in another section. This section is about the Carol Swain addition. Niteshift36 (talk) 15:04, 9 July 2011 (UTC) [text concerning labeling the SPLC as liberal was subsequently moved from "Carol Swain" section]Badmintonhist (talk) 21:55, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Tom, Newsweek, USA Today, and The Chicago Tribune. You said that sources detail how the FRC is conservative, unlike the case for the SPLC, but you have yet to produce any sources doing that.
Exactly what WP policy standard must we lower to utilize "one word labels" of top-tier sources? We are not actually labeling the SPLC as liberal; we are merely stating that a number of news sources, including several top ones, do that. You would have a point about frequency if you could find sources that label the SPLC differently when their political ideology is identified. Should we avoid giving the political ideology of the SPLC used by many sources just because the SPLC doesn't self-identify as liberal or left-wing? Drrll (talk) 00:44, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Your response shows the problem. You claim that the articles identify the SPLC's "political ideology". In fact, the word "liberal" can have many meanings of which political ideology is only one. How about socially liberal, classical liberal, economic liberal, cultural liberal, all of the above, or some of the above. What meaning did all of your sources intend?
And further, as I said above, what is the implication of being occasionally called liberal? The SPLC as a Section 501(c)(3) exempt organization is prohibited from engaging in partisan political activity. Since it is prohibited by law from engaging in anything but non-partisan activities, how is an AMBIGUOUS label relevant to the ACTUAL activities and policies of the SPLC? If there is a bias based on ideology reflected by the projects that the SPLC undertakes, none of the articles you've produced make that suggestion. Similarly, if the SPLC is engaging in partisan activity that violates its 501(c)(3) status, the articles are also silent on this.
Throwing out the word "liberal" with no context makes implications that may or may not have been intended by the sources. WP:NEWSORG states very clearly, "Whether a specific news story is reliable for a specific fact or statement in a Wikipedia article will be assessed on a case by case basis." The case here is that several sources use the term liberal in a vague manner that communicates little or no information about the SPLC. WP:SOURCES states, "Sources should directly support the material presented in an article and should be appropriate to the claims made. The appropriateness of any source depends on the context." In this case we have no context at all as to what the author's intended when they used the word "liberal".
In order to describe the SPLC's "politcal ideology", you need an article ABOUT its political ideology. The attacks on the SPLC from non-reliable sources frequently use the term "liberal" in a pejorative manner. By throwing in the ambiguous use by reliable sources with no context, there is the danger that readers will associate this with the pejorative uses.
Wikipedia:Ambiguous words may be only an essay, but it does contain arguments that are relevant to this case. Immediately if your language were added it would be appropriate to add this tag [ambiguous] from Template:Ambiguous. Both the essay and the very existence of the tag make it clear -- ambiguity is bad.
I did find the following from [27] which does provide some context. Without claiming that the SPLC was liberal, it does describe many of the causes pursued by the SPLC as liberal:
Early on, the SPLC staff took on what had become abandoned liberal causes in the Deep South. They successfully argued cases enabling new civil-rights legislation to be implemented, challenging segregation of the YMCA (Smith v. YMCA, 1969), the state police (Paradise v. Allen, 1972), and unfairly drawn electoral districts (Nixon v. Brewer, 1972), as well as the practice of eugenics (Relf v. Weinberger, 1973). Advocacy on behalf of women in the workplace and welfare recipients also resulted in landmark decisions. During this time, the organization also focused on the racially unbalanced death-row populations in U.S. prisons. SPLC provided legal representation in individual cases of poor black defendants who had not had the benefit of adequate counsel in their original trials. SPLC lawyers argued successfully before the U.S. Supreme Court that Alabama's laws regarding the death penalty were unconstitutional and won the freedom of 11 inmates in 1980.
A paraphrase of this paragraph would get the "L" word into the article IN A PROPER CONTEXT and would fit in quite nicely as part of the first paragraph in the "History" section of the article. For all we know, this may be EXACTLY the context that all of your sources intended. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 20:46, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Interesting proposition, though I'm not sure we should be paraphrasing whole paragraphs, especially from relatively obscure sources (though it would be better, I suppose, than pretty much copying paragraph after paragraph from SPLC narratives as was done earlier in the history of this article). There is still plenty of left over puffery in the article that I rather hesitate to add more. Badmintonhist (talk) 23:15, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

I think it is important to include the characterization, we have too many RSs not to. - Haymaker (talk) 05:50, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Carol Swain

An editor wants to add a claim by this person that the SPLC is a hate group.

If memory serves me correctly, Swain was proposed before as a reliable source by a now banned editor and was never accepted by consensus. She has her own personal issues with the SPLC (she has been accused of being an apologist for white supremacists despite her race) and in the article quoted from she is defending Lou Dobbs for his identification by the SPLC as a "birther."

We can either include the entire context of Swain, Dobbs, and the SPLC or none of it. the recent POV attempt to add part of the story follows a familiar pattern -- the attempt to include criticisms from targets of the SPLC despite the fact that the targets are nowhere included in the article. This pattern attempts to treat atypical cases as if they represent the entirety of the SPLC's programs.

People wanting to add this type of repeatedly rejected material need to make their case on this discussion page. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 01:06, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Tom, aren't you usually one of those who supports "fringe opinion" when it makes a conservative look bad? Isn't your standard usually just that it was a reliable source in those cases? Niteshift36 (talk) 01:35, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Typical. You provide personal attacks (which you can't back up -- produce the diffs where I've ever offered a fringe opinion) rather than the requested proof for the alleged "numerous" sources you claim exist. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 01:47, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I ASKED a question. Two actually. I didn't make an attack. Why would I provide diffs? I ASKED a question. How about if you stop fabricating attacks when they didn't happen? Further, this is a completely different topic from the one above. I've made no mention about any other sources regarding this topic. I'd suggest you try paying closer attention. That way you'll keep the topic straight, recognize the difference between questions and attacks and generally look less foolish. Niteshift36 (talk) 02:07, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Tell the truth. You asked a Loaded question and any reasonable person can tell that. And you still avoid providing your alleged 15 sources. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 02:18, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
  • It is a question, not an attack. And the discussion of other sources is in another section. Not this one. I've been assuming that you are intelligent enough to differentiate between the two discussions. Was I wrong in that assumption? Are you incapable of keep the two separate? Niteshift36 (talk) 02:37, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
I've provided links to three of those sources above. There's a long list of other sources (about 20 other) at the beginning of the 'Ideological characterization' section. Drrll (talk) 02:24, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
As I've always maintained, if it's good enough for the Huffington Post it's good enough for Wikipedia. Seriously, wouldn't it be better to go beyond the mere Dobbs, Swain, SPLC tiff and include a more comprehensive treatment of the rather conspicuously missing story in this article . . . the back and forth between the SPLC and a number of its more recent targets such as FAIR, FRC, Lou Dobbs, and Glenn Beck? Badmintonhist (talk) 01:44, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
The Swain article provides the perfect example of why this approach won't work. You can agree or disagree with the specifics provided by the SPLC that Swain finds objectionable, but the SPLC provides details (times, sources, dates, quotes) while all Swain provides is attacks unsupported by anything other than her opinion. This is typical of the attacks on the SPLC. If someone finds an article by a reliable source that chronicles this "back and forth" then we can add it to the article. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 02:00, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Badmintonhist makes an excellent suggestion. The article would benefit immensely from a more comprehensive treatment of the SPLC's recent (and apparently growing) involvement in sniping of a blatantly partisan nature.--Scaleshombre (talk) 02:09, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
You consider the SPLC's criticism of Lou Dobbs' "birther" positions as "blatantly partisan?" Did you follow the links in the Swain article to see what nonsense she was defending? Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 02:14, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

SPLC accused of being "hate group"

As others have noted, the article reads like a press release. There's no doubt that the SPLC has done plenty of admirable work. But in recent years its activities have become increasingly partisan; I added a pertinent quote to restore some balance. The author, Carol Swain, is a prominent (though controversial) academic, an advisor to the National Endowment for the Humanities, an expert on civil rights and race relations. After Badmintonhist noted that my initial add was too long and might violate undue weight, I shortened it. I appreciate the approach he took, giving me a chance to fix it instead of deleting it outright.

Here's the revised passage, which was subsequently removed by a pair of editors:

In recent years, the SPLC has been accused of "mission creep". Political analyst Carol Swain writes: "Mission creep occurs when an organization strays beyond its original purpose and engages in actions antithetical to its goals. Rather than monitoring hate groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center has become one. ... The unrelenting attacks on [Lou] Dobbs and others are shameless. The once venerable organization wages war against conservative individuals, principles, and organizations.

I think the part about the SPLC being a hate group is over the top. But I thought our role wasn't to prove RS' assertions, only to factually relate them. I think the quote should be restored and would appreciate your feedback. Thank you.--Scaleshombre (talk) 01:39, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Fringe theories is the relevant guideline. This says, in part,
Wikipedia summarizes significant opinions, with representation in proportion to their prominence. A Wikipedia article about a fringe theory should not make it appear more notable than it is. Claims must be based upon independent reliable sources. An idea that is not broadly supported by scholarship in its field must not be given undue weight in an article about a mainstream idea,[1] and reliable sources must be cited that affirm the relationship of the marginal idea to the mainstream idea in a serious and substantial manner.
Labeling the SPLC falls so far out of the mainstream that it constitutes a fringe opinion. Unless, of course, you can find reliable sources that agree with her. Your admission that her opinion is "over the top" pretty much makes the case that additional sources, other than brief opinion pieces, are needed to justify inclusion.
Furthermore, your decision to include her criticism without ANY explanation of the SPLC position she was criticizing is a NPOV violation. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 02:08, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
WP:Fringe is basically intended to deal with scientific issues, not subjective opinions about organizations such as the SPLC. Moreover, there are substantial numbers of well known commentators and intellectuals besides Swain (on both the left and the right) who have bitterly criticized the SPLC; ex: Stephen Bright, Alexander Cockburn, Ken Silverstein, David Horowitz. Badmintonhist (talk) 14:36, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Then find a source where these people have written for peer-reviewed journals and the academic press and we can determine how their opinions have been received. TFD (talk) 15:17, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Not necessary to find "peer reviewed" journals. We're not doing research for a scholarly publication here. RS is the only standard that needs to be applied.Scaleshombre (talk) 16:07, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
No, it is weight. I can use the website of Stormfront or the American Nazi Party or any of the other groups identified by SPLC as reliable sources for their opinions about SPLC. But in order to include them, we must determine the degree of acceptance they have, which we can find in academic writing. TFD (talk) 16:17, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Again, we're talking about a respected academic/intellectual/public servant being quoted from an article in HuffPo.--Scaleshombre (talk) 16:34, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Then find where she has written on this topic for peer-reviewed journals and the academic press and we can determine how her opinions have been received. Otherwise they have no greater validity than that of any other opinion posted to the web. TFD (talk) 16:50, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Swain is a number of public intellectuals who both write for serious publications and push partisan views. When they write for blogs, their views are no more significant than yours or mine. Find an article that she has written about the SPLC for an academic journal and we can determine the degree of acceptance her views have received. TFD (talk) 02:17, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Have you read our own article, TFD? Horowitz, Cockburn and Silverstein are already in it. Let's knock off the disingenuous pretense. The SPLC is not some pristine academic institution, or scholarly society. Have you read its "reports" which are essentially vigorous polemics? Badmintonhist (talk) 16:44, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Horowitz is in the article because there is a reference to a criticism of him by the SPLC. In those cases, which relates to BLP policy, it is acceptable to provide a response. We do the same thing in the article about Arthur Kemp of the British National Party. ("On his personal website Kemp dismissed the SPLC's report as "total rubbish....") If the article reports negative comments about Swain by the SPLC, then it would be correct to report her response.
So then, responses to SPLC criticism of Representatives Michele Bachman and Steve King as well as Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs found in this article would also be in order. Badmintonhist (talk) 17:28, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Provided it was a direct reply and proportionate, as in the Kemp article. TFD (talk) 17:42, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

It seems weird to me that we're discussing this seriously, because I read it as nothing more than a rhetorical flourish. If Swain were asked if she considers the SPLC a hate group, I doubt her answer would be yes. The SPLC doesn't label any groups as hate groups no matter how virulent their rhetoric against liberals, a fact of which Swain is surely aware. It's a turn of phrase in a journalistic article, not a scholarly opinion. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 18:26, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

"The SPLC doesn't label any groups as hate groups..." Ros, when was the last time you looked at the SPLC website? Try here: Active US Hate Groups. Did I misunderstand your comment? --Kenatipo speak! 23:29, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, you did. Perhaps it could have been phrased as "the SPLC doesn't label any group as a hate group for attacking liberals, no matter how virulent their rhetoric." Groups are labeled because of their attacks on (eg.) blacks or Jews, but not liberals. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 01:14, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

"::The SPLC calls groups "hate groups" when they promote hatred against minorities, not when they criticize liberals. TFD (talk) 02:09, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

I see what you mean, Ros. --Kenatipo speak! 05:24, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

All legitimate criticism of the SPLC and their operations have been repeatedly supressed by Tom North Shoreman and his Wiki confederates. It is, as if, the Southern Poverty Law Center monitors this site and blocks any unfavorable criticism of the SPLC. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:28, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Please see WP:CABAL and WP:TALK. "Two or more people who agree with you constitute a consensus. Two or more people who disagree with you constitute a cabal." "Talk pages are for improving the encyclopedia, not for expressing personal opinions on a subject or an editor." --Walter Siegmund (talk) 09:55, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes there does seem to be quite a bit of undue bias by some in favor of the SPLC. There also seems to be suppression of alternative views by some. Suppressing ideas and view points long enough and often enough do not necessarily make them go away. Sf46 (talk) 12:51, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Stop Islamization of America is listed as a "hate group" because it allegedly advocates hate of Muslim immigrants. As a matter of fact SPLC does not have any evidence to prove it. Pioneer Fund and Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) were also listed as "hate groups" without a reason. There should be Criticism paragraph at the end of this article.Quinacrine (talk) 06:05, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
WP:RS? --Walter Siegmund (talk) 17:30, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
It's quite believable, but, as Walter Siegmund points out, we need a reliable source. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:50, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Criticisms of Funding

The American Institute of Philanthropy has rated the SPLC with an "F" in the December 2010 issue of its Charity Rating Guide & Watchdog report for having over 7 years of cash reserves. Roscelese has removed this addition, citing "consensus." However, I see no traces of consensus related to this issue, nor reason to strike the findings of an organization that exists solely to comment on the financial management of charities. It seems like a relevant fact to me. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Arimanes (talkcontribs) 12:17, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

It looks like AIP has been discussed extensively on this page.[28]   Will Beback  talk  12:23, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Ah. How did you find that? I'm just figuring out how to navigate all of this. Should I comment there or here? The criticisms of the AIP rely on a study commissioned by nonprofit consultants, whose reasons or sponsors in writing this article are unknown.[29] The AIP is frequently cited by reputable organizations, such as the Huffington Post, New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.

If someone wants to include info on why they think the grade is wrong, that's fair, but excluding it entirely is biased.Arimanes  talk  13:34, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Have you read the previous discussions on this topic, which Will Beback has linked above? KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 14:27, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Note: I've changed your "ref" notes, which do not work on a talkpage which does not have a references section, to bulleted urls, so other editors can see what you are linking without going to the edit screen. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 14:30, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I have read them and responded above. I hadn't located them before and appreciate him sourcing them. I'm afraid I don't understand your reasons for the links on incivility. Thanks for correcting the references if they shouldn't appear that way in talk pages.Arimanes  talk  14:51, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
I think you're talking about the link to the essay in my sig file - the one linked in my signature via the word "advice"? If not, let me know. If yes, then we can discuss why I added that link to my signature on my talk page. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 15:13, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I thought you were singling me out for advice. I assumed I had breached some etiquette (There's a good chance I inadvertently have!). Thanks. Arimanes  talk  16:00, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Not at all! I'm glad you said something, and I'm sorry for any confusion! This is the first time anyone's ever thought the essay I link in my sig was directed at them. If it happens again, I may remove it. I don't want people to think I'm cautioning them when they're being perfectly civil. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 16:05, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
You are correct that the AIP is frequently cited by reliable sources and therefore need to provide one of these sources that mentions the SPLC. But if no sources mention this grading, then it lacks notability. TFD (talk) 14:46, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
I sourced the AIP directly. We require an indirect source? A sourcing of the source? Arimanes  talk  14:51, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
The AIP is a primary source. and generally we should use secondary sources (or indirect sources if you prefer to call them). Even if you want to use it, you need to show that their grading of SPLC has received notice in the literature about SPLC. TFD (talk) 15:08, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. Attributions to the SPLC in Wikipedia pages do not often adhere to this standard: See and and and Also, this article itself quotes Charity Navigator as a primary source: The assertion refers directly to Charity Navigator in one case and in another is mediated by the SPLC themselves, which seems partial. Silverstein, quoted in this article, comments on the AIP ratings in the story cited. Isn't it important to point out that 10 years later, this rating is unchanged? Arimanes  talk  15:32, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
We cannot use failure to follow policy in other articles as justification to lower standards on other articles. If as you say this information is "important", then we should find a reliable secondary source that mentions it. Importance is established by the degree of coverage something receives. If something receives no coverage then it is unimportant. TFD (talk) 15:56, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
May I then remove the reference in this article to Charity Navigator? It is sourced firsthand from Charity Navigator and promoted by the SPLC. The standards ought to be uniform.Arimanes  talk  16:03, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
It would be reliable source for basic financial information, but then it merely repeats what is already sourced to the SPLC. It should not in any case have attribution to Charity Navigator in the text of the article if it is merely reporting factual information. TFD (talk) 17:34, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
How do you determine what is factual other than by your sources? The source of the fact is Charity Navigator, who is treated as a primary source, which is then touted as proof of financial prudence by the SPLC itself, the object of this supposedly unbiased Wikipedia entry. Either you admit reputable charity watchdogs as sources, or you do not.Arimanes  talk  17:46, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

(outdent) I've not read the previous discussions in detail, but it appears to me that the previous discussions regarded whether AIP meets Wikipedia's reliable sourcing criteria, and the consensus was that it does not. Are you arguing that Charity Navigator is also not a reliable source? KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 18:13, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Charity Navigator can be seen as a reliable secondary source for charities and also as a primary source for its own ratings. The problem with reporting the rating is that since no one else has written about it, there is no reason why we should. TFD (talk) 18:27, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
So your objection is UNDUE rather than RS? KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 18:38, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm arguing that the AIP is a reliable source. As stated above, the criticisms leveled against them were made by a trio of paid Mckinsey consultants. They are still regularly invoked in the press, as the links above show. I was then told by TFD that an AIP source alone was not sufficient, that Wikipedia required secondary sources for statements of fact, which were otherwise deemed to be lacking "notability." Just because some commentators disagree with the AIP methodology doesn't mean they've been discredited. A great many nonprofits who have been poorly rated would obviously love to pay some consultants from Mckinsey to debunk their findings. Also, the SPLC declined to provide the BBB with documentation that would allow them to rate its operations as a charity. Given the studies by Cockburn, Silverman, et al, I think it's reasonable to provide viewpoints other than Charity Navigator's about the financial ship at the SPLC. The Harpers article by Silverman sourced on this Wikipedia page itself refers to the 2000 AIP rating of "F" received by the SPLC. Ten years later, the rating stands. This page depicts the problems in the SPLC's financial management as problems of the past, but they are not. If anything, they are getting shadier as offshore investments are moved into the Caymans to hide the extent of their true holdings. The SPLC has enormous media pull. Morris Dees is regularly cited as a primary source in stories at the NYT, Washington Post, and other media outlets without countervailing balance. SPLC statements about its own operations and other organizations are taken as irrefutable truths by fiat. Wikipedia exacerbates the problem by uncritically repeating SPLC criticisms as if the SPLC were some kind of special inviolate authority throughout its pages. It's a terrible kind of groupthink and one that Wikipedia should be careful to avoid perpetuating. As many other commentators have pointed out, this page feels like a press release for the SPLC. I think the AIP provides balance. I also think Laird Wilcox provides balance. A polarizing organization like the SPLC needs a balanced treatment, which includes the criticisms of its detractors.Arimanes  talk  18:44, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't believe AIP should be held to a different standard than Charity Navigator. Just because no other mainstream outlet has written about it doesn't make it irrelevant. It updates facts that are directly sourced in the article: Ken Silverman's Harper piece that references the 2000 AIP rating. We could quote the AIP rating from 2000 in the article, but given that there is data out there that's 10 years more current, that seems silly.Arimanes  talk  18:49, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
We don't hold different sources to different standards; we hold them to the same standard. This includes weighting; an article from the New York Times, for example, would be considered appropriate for a source for an article but the Weekly World News would not. The National Enquirer was formerly regarded strictly as a non-RS, but I believe it has gained some small credibility lately. These are newspapers and are only meant as examples; I hope I have explained and not confused you. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 18:57, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
But Morris Dees has written articles for the NYT! To wait for the NYT or the Washington Post, who regularly cite him as an authority and even invite him to write articles himself, to publish unflattering details about Dees or the SPLC seems unlikely. Hence the reasons for considering non-mainstream publications that will provide balance. If opponents of the SPLC, such as Vdare or The Social Contract, deem this information important enough for publication (and they do), that ought to give it some weight. It doesn't mean that I'm suggesting that reporting of facts by either institution ought to constitute settled fact, but that it should count as general public interest or "notability." Personally, the fact that they're a charity watchdog group and have concerns about an organization already shown to have unconventional finances for a charity should establish notability in and of itself. These are voices of dissent opposed by an 800-lb media gorilla. There's a selective reinforcement bias going on here. Oddly enough, Fox News reports on the unreliability of the AIP, because they read it on Wikipedia. If being a critic of the SPLC makes you unreliable, you'll get a very one-sided page.Arimanes  talk  19:15, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Another word for "non-mainstream" is "fringe". We do not include fringe views on Wikipedia, except in articles about those fringe views. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 19:23, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't use the word "fringe." I'd say "prominent opposition." Silverman references the AIP rating at, which is currently referenced on this page. If this publication passes muster for notability, so should the AIP (although I recommend it in its most up to date form) rating to which it refers.Arimanes  talk  19:15, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
American Patrol is not an RS either; where is it used as a ref??? thanks! KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 19:41, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
The refenced article is, which is at The version I posted is in HTML and more legible.Arimanes  talk  19:46, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Which explains why I couldn't find it. The source is Harper's Magazine, a highly reliable source, and a prominent one which has won many awards. The link you offered was to a non-notable site which seems to be a combination blog and link collection; the articles linked might be notable/acceptable, but the original publisher is the correct link to use. American Patrol Report redirects to Glenn Spencer, the site owner. In other words, it isn't even notable enough to have its own article; it cannot compare to Harpers. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 19:53, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
It's an HTML duplication of the same article at Harpers that's not behind a paywall. Perhaps I truncated the link, and you didn't get that?Arimanes  talk  19:57, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
If media coverage of the SPLC is biased then you should complain to the media. We cannot second-guess reliable sources. See WP:WEIGHT. TFD (talk) 19:13, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Previous controversy on the talk pages referred to the Stanford Social Review criticisms of AIP. But the same source also leveled criticisms against Charity Navigator: Different rules for validity should not be selectively applied. They should either both be permitted or prohibited.Arimanes  talk  21:00, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Neutrality tag

Stale. Over four months old. Discussion in previous section appears to be unresolved. It sure seems like some editors just want to keep the label at the top of the page like a 'badge of shame' as I've seen it called in other discussion threads. What's the next step? -Anon98 (talk) 23:37, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

SPLC Not Credible. "Hate Group" Label a Tool of Hyper-Partisan Ideologues

It is completely absurd that no substantial criticism is allowed to exist in this article. SPLC is not viewed as some well-respected, objective think tank or anti-hate-group organization. The left wants them to be viewed that way, but deep down even they (at least those of them who ever leave the echo chamber even for a short while) know it's just a partisan attack group.

SPLC is a hyper-partisan and incredibly biased political group that misuses the term "hate group", not an intellectually honest "civil rights organization". The "hate group" label is what they use to raise funds and smear and intimidate political opponents. They give leftist groups a free pass. Their only aim is to denigrate conservative groups, with the exception of Muslim groups that may be deemed conservative since, being an intellectually bankrupt leftist organization, SPLC is ridiculously politically correct and thus can't be seen "attacking Muslims" (though I'm sure they'd make an exception for one that they can label as being less Muslim and more "conservative" in the American political sense). It treats the Family Research Council the same way as the KKK, yet it ignores the Islamic Circle of North America.

A reporter recently got them to admit much of this. When questioned about why they wouldn't track leftist groups, such as certain actually hateful and violent group linked to Occupy Wall Street that planned to blow up a bridge and bomb the Republican convention, they dodged the question again and again, but finally admitted this: "We're not really set up to cover the extreme Left." He went on to say they "only ever cover left-wing groups when they have a right-wing component". [30]

"To call the Family Research Council a hate group is unacceptable. It’s inaccurate. It’s using the phrase in an ideological way." - Stephen Schwartz, executive director for the Center for Islamic Pluralism [31]

NO ONE should take SPLC's lists seriously. Any actual hate group on there can and will be listed by other, actually reputable organizations. The Southern Poverty Law Center is a joke. It's just too bad that we've got so many jokers dutifully suppressing the truth here on Wikipedia.

SPLC is "not set up to cover the extreme Left"; they're set up to cover for the extreme Left. -- Glynth (talk) 22:38, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Your concern is noted. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 23:09, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

civil rights and miranda rights violation

Is this the page that I would state my case on or do you have another area that I must go to so I may explain my case and what happened to us? Please send me a text message to let me know so I don;t type all of this in the wrong area.

Thank You,

(Gaily59 (talk) 20:05, 10 August 2012 (UTC))

I'm not entirely sure what you're asking, but I think I can state with reasonable confidence that this page, and probably Wikipedia in general, is not the venue for it. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 20:36, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. Just to clarify: this page is for discussing changes to the article, Southern Poverty Law Center—nothing more, nothing less. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia; its content is based on information that's verifiable through reliable secondary sources, not personal testimony or anecdote. Please see WP:NOR. Rivertorch (talk) 22:06, 10 August 2012 (UTC)


I have added a neutrality tag. It seems very strange that there is no criticism section. We have a few statements of criticism under finances, but nothing for other activities. Over at Talk:Family Research Council there has been a discussion over SPLC's action in adding groups to its list of hate groups - that particular incident may not belong on this page, but for the article to be neutral, it needs to cover criticism and/or perceptions of the SPLC. StAnselm (talk) 00:48, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

E.g. "the civil rights organization is receiving flak from critics on the right who say an overbroad definition of “hate” vilifies innocent people and stifles vigorous debate about issues critical to America's future" here. StAnselm (talk) 00:58, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:CRITICISM#Controversy_articles_and_sections; and please name specific criticism you feel should be in the article which is not. KillerChihuahua?!? 01:01, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
The above quote, I suppose, could go in the "Hate group listings" section. StAnselm (talk) 01:07, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Have you any other concerns? Any criticism you feel is notable which is not included in the article? KillerChihuahua?!? 16:09, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Criticism sections are usually a bad idea - criticism should be put into the relevant sections, for example criticism of the use of the term "hate group" is included in the section about hate groups. Since there is little or no criticism of the SPLC in mainstream sources, we would not expect to have much criticism in the article. TFD (talk) 16:22, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree that we don't necessarily need a separate criticism section but where'd you get the idea that there is "little or no criticism of the SPLC in mainstream sources." You should know better from past discussions; and a fair amount of that criticism has come from moderate and left-leaning sources: The Montgomery Advertiser, the Better Business Bureau, Harper's Magazine, the Nation, Harvard Professor and anti-poverty activist Stephen Bright. Badmintonhist (talk) 16:37, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Just read that the Southern Poverty Law Center was critized by VDARE with which it seems to be in a kind of feud. This may be a starting point for the criticism section, see
Badmintonhist, you need to provide sources. Gun Powder Ma has shown that a white nationalist hate group, lead by Peter Brimelow, has criticized the SPLC and that is typical of the types of sources of criticism I have seen. TFD (talk) 17:57, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
That is not appropriate content for this article. Every hate group protests their designation, and that belongs in their articles not here. KillerChihuahua?!? 18:03, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree entirely. Not many readers will think that the groups the SPLC call hate groups welcome the designation, there's no reason have a statement from them in this article, it belongs in their articles. Dougweller (talk) 18:21, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) True. It's pretty much a given that organizations with racist, homophobic, and other unsavory components will have critical things to say about the SPLC. One-off instances of criticism in mainstream publications don't rate a mention, either, in and of themselves. If there is a pattern of specific criticism that is documented in multiple reliable non-primary sources, then that's something else again—but that would need to be well documented and then preferably integrated into the current structure of the article rather than given its own stand-alone section. Rivertorch (talk) 18:23, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Agree... just throwing a grenade over the wall ("there should be more criticism") is not actionable and isn't really aimed at improving the article. I find that that approach is more grounded in a personal ideology rather than an helpful improvement (and yes, I note the irony in the "neutrality" label for exactly the opposite circumstance). //Blaxthos ( t / c ) 18:24, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Criticism of the SPLC from mainstream and left-leaning sources is already suggested in the Finances section. As I remember, certain editors succeeded in removing its poor charity ratings and lack of cooperation with the Better Business Bureau from that section, but at least a reader of the article gets the idea that its financial policies have been rather controversial. My main point was that FD's commment that there has been "little or no criticism of SPLC from mainstream sources" is simply wrong. That being said, a brief sampling of negative comments about the SPLC made by well known critics such as The Montgomery Advertiser, Ken Silverstein, Stephen Bright, (the late) Alexander Coburn, and others is probably in order. Badmintonhist (talk) 19:31, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

You find more criticism in the Journal of Religious & Theological Information:

The Center, and particularly its co-founder and legal strategist Morris Dees, are not without criticism. The major points of controversy are summarized including critique of their fundraising strategies and selection of issues

and also with Kevin Lamb: The Surreptitious Extremism of the Southern Poverty Law Center, p.253f.:

Underscoring their surveillance and monitoring activities, the SPLC vigorously promotes a society with unenforceable border controls, in essence, a nation with an undefined nationality and unlimited diversity; a nation which no longer distinguishes alien from citizen. The SPLC’s website features their quarterly Intelligence Report on “hate groups” — what it characterizes as the “racialist, patriotic, and anti-Semitic” fringe of the far right — and tracks various “hate crimes” from coast to coast. A “hate crime” by SPLC standards could be any ethnic slur that was uttered during a bar fight, or a college prank that some intoxicated undergraduates committed during a frat party, or the latest “noose”-displaying incident. In seeking to criminalize “hate speech” and shore up valuable connections with local, state, and federal agencies, the SPLC regularly conducts seminars and workshops on the “terrorist threat” of domestic “hate groups.” It briefs law enforcement agencies on a regular basis.

These are strong criticism from, as it seems non-partisan sources, concerning the centers' political alignment and financing, and it took me only ten seconds to find them. I therefore support the neutrality template, the article needs balancing. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 20:04, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

JRTI perhaps; a piece published in the Social Contract Press, an SPLC-listed hate group, certainly not. Again, most of these groups are going to complain about their designation, but we need reliable secondary sources in order to include it in another article. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 20:06, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Adding those sources gives them undue weight -- how often is the Social Contract Press routinely cited by mainstream media, in government proceedings, or in academic press? SPLC publications are routinely cited as expert by the media, in court cases, and academic papers. Any criticism must be sufficiently weighty to merit inclusion; a fringe hate group publication crying foul for being called out as a hate group by the hate group experts is as light as a feather. //Blaxthos ( t / c ) 20:12, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Correct. Rivertorch (talk) 21:33, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

I've just come back online (I live in Australia) and see that my hand grenade has gone off. Yes, I believe "there should be more criticism" is a bit vague, and possibly POVish in its own way. But there had been a couple more neutrality sections on this page without the issue really being addressed, and another editor raised the point in the long discussion at Talk:Family Research Council‎. I guess I wanted this to be discussed here properly - if the consensus is for no criticism section (and it is only an essay that's been linked to on this point), then that's fine. Anyway, I found another source - The Jewish Press argues here that the SPLC has moved from being "an icon for Jewish values of racial tolerance and equality" to being anti-Jewish, and quotes David Horowitz saying "The SPLC is the most prominent and active leftwing smear site in America." StAnselm (talk) 21:55, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

You mean the David Horowitz whose article says "Chip Berlet, writing for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), identified Horowitz's Center for the Study of Popular Culture as one of 17 "right-wing foundations and think tanks support[ing] efforts to make bigoted and discredited ideas respectable." " More sour grapes from those called out by the SPLC, sorry, not a neutral source. KillerChihuahua?!? 22:42, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
What about newspaper article? StAnselm (talk) 22:46, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
What about what newspaper article? KillerChihuahua?!? 23:23, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
If every criticism is excluded on the basis of coming from a "hate group" which is portrayed as merely retaliating, I am beginning to wonder on what Wikipedia guideline these exclusions are based. Where do they say that Wikipedia needs to adopt the designations of Southern Poverty Law Center as its own? Where do they say that organisations or people which return criticisms are no subjects worthy of coverage? Perhaps we should raise the lack of criticism at the neutrality board to bring on board more uninvolved users. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 23:48, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I agree - I think criticism from SPLC targets can legitimately be included in the article, and if "neutrality" rules out conservative opinion, then we have succumbed to a hopeless systemic bias. StAnselm (talk) 00:03, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
This newspaper article that I linked to above. StAnselm (talk) 00:03, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────St. Anselm -- I'm not sure your idea of dropping a "hand grenade" on this particular article was a good idea. To start, I have removed your addition to the article pending the resolution of this discussion. If you had checked the discussion page archives, you would have realized that the material you added had been the topic of a long and heated discussion -- the result being that there was NO CONSENSUS for adding the criticism generated by the FRC advertisement that the Christian Science Monitor article references. The particular issue was a hot item for a few weeks, but quickly disappeared. Among the reasons for not including the material was that it gave undue weight to the opinion of one group among over a thousand targeted groups.

Gun Powder Ma -- You ask "on what Wikipedia guideline" are the opinions of the designated hate groups excluded. The main answer can be found at Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources. By no stretch of the imagination can a group such as the FRC or the League of the South be considered a reliable source on the operations of a Watch Group such as the SPLC. Simply because the SPLC is recognized by both academics and news organizations as a reliable source about hate groups, does not mean that the hate groups therefore are reliable sources about the SPLC. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 00:51, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

There is no credible rationale here for excluding notable criticism - that is to say, widely reported in mainstream media - from any notable person or group, regardless of status as a listed hate group. The standard is notability, period, and there is no exception for ad hominem disqualification. Belchfire-TALK 01:05, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Your opinion. However this is the issue that is under discussion and it appears at this point yours is the minority opinion. Before you start adding material that I just deleted back, you should respect Wikipedia:Consensus and make your arguments here. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 01:23, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
The "hand grenade" phrase was not my own, and it was certainly not intended to be this. Obviously, though, the neutrality issue is not going away, and the tag needs to remain. I see now there was a very long discussion. Be that as it may, I wonder if we can get consensus now, at least on the CSM reference. I would argue that the FRC listing has received far an away the most coverage of all the listed groups, and the discussion at Talk:Family Research Council‎ has indicated that the conservative criticism of SPLC for this action is ongoing. Finally, I strongly disagree that criticism that originates with these groups in appropriate for inclusion - if it is reported in independent reliable sources, then it should be included - it is not undue weight to say that dozens of prominent politicians think that the SPLC got it wrong. StAnselm (talk) 01:11, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
By all means, see if you can obtain consensus. A far as the FRC and the politicians, the Monitor article is a little weak on details. For instance it claims that Boehner et al paid for the advertisement and, if you review the archive links, you will find that this is not true. You will also find that what the politicians signed off on in a reprinted petition does not go as far as the FRC does in its attacks on the SPLC. And as a matter of weight, you have the SPLC being criticized on ONE listing from over a 1000 on the hate list. The FRC is not even mentioned in the article. If you include the FRC criticism, then you need to include the details of why the SPLC decided they were a hate group in the first place. Why make this article about a single organization when the FRC article is a more appropriate place. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 01:23, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Are we reading the same article? "Tension erupted recently between the SPLC and a slew of Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota (who tops the SPLC's “militia enablers list”), who protested the SPLC’s listing of the conservative Family Research Council as a hate group." And it's not just one in a thousand here, the point of the article was that the number of listed hate groups has topped 1000, which raises questions about the broadness of the definition. StAnselm (talk) 01:31, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it's the same article. Please tell me which other hate groups are referenced in the article other than the FRC and the League of the South (2 out of 1000 -- my error). While the supporters of these organizations might make overly broad generalizations, neither these critics or the article's author provide any factual basis to this. Absent actual facts, this article is an opinion piece about the opinions of the FRC and the League of the South. Correct me if I'm wrong -- what other examples of overly broad classifications are cited? The article does say:
While the SPLC's investigations and studies are used by some law enforcement agencies concerned about domestic terrorism, its overall work, its critics on the right say, has taken on an overtly political dimension by giving ideological cover for attacks primarily on white conservatives and by turning the word “patriot” into a euphemism.
The problem is that nowhere in the article is there any factual support for such a broad claim or even an indication that the article editor agrees with it.
You noted earlier, "I would argue that the FRC listing has received far an away the most coverage of all the listed groups, and the discussion at Talk:Family Research Council‎ has indicated that the conservative criticism of SPLC for this action is ongoing". In fact, what you will actually find is a flurry of activity generated by a paid advertisement (when the CSM article was written) and a flurry now because of the shooting. The FRC created an artificial situation with its advertisement and is now taking advantage of a shooting for publicity -- wikipedia shouldn't be enlisted in its mission. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 01:57, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm quite astounded by this approach. On the one hand, you call the article an opinion piece, on the other hand you note that the article's writer refuses to say whether he agrees with the critics. You said "nowhere in the article is there any factual support for such a broad claim" - does it need factual support? The claim is, of course, that this is what the critics say. Are you doubting that this is what the critics say? It sounds like you just don't like what is said in the article, but that's not the point. It is, after all, a reliable source. StAnselm (talk) 06:22, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
OK, so the argument here is that once a group is put on the hate list, its criticism of SPLC is excluded, even when the criticism is widely published in national media? That argument fails our core policies, not to mention basic common sense. Belchfire-TALK 01:36, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
No. The argument is that groups with no credentials that suggest they qualify as a reliable source (as defined by wikipedia) are not a proper source for any article other than an article about themselves. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 02:05, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Nonsense. Belchfire-TALK 02:07, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Not "nonsesne"; policy. KillerChihuahua?!? 05:22, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with my sources, and I'm pretty sure you know that. Why don't you tell us the real reason for reverting 4 other editors? Belchfire-TALK 05:35, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
The shooting controversy will not doubt die down soon, but the FRC's recent criticism has been published in all the mainstream news sources. StAnselm (talk) 01:40, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
A few days of notability do not justify the material being added to this article. Just as the earlier publicity had a short life span, so will this. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 02:05, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
If the standard of notability here is "a few days", I could easily reduce this article to a stub. What's your next argument? Belchfire-TALK 02:09, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

The Edit War is On

It appears that some folks aren't content with discussing and reaching consensus. Despite the ongoing discussion, users LuckyWikipedian and Carolmooredc have decided to bypass the discussions and simply add contested material. Not much point in further discussion until someone restores the status quo to the point where the NPOV tag was added. I did so once, but don't intend to keep it up. It looks like the side with the best use of reverts w/o violating 3RR "wins". Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 02:50, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

When you come up with a better reason not to add notable, relevant, reliably sourced material, you will probably discover that editors are more willing to listen. So far, I've seen no such reasons in this discussion. Indeed, what I've have seen so far seems to amount to "we don't like it". Your last argument, that "groups with no credentials that suggest they qualify as a reliable source" is a reason to exclude notable content, fails on its face. Likewise the argument that groups labeled as a hate group by their political opponents are auto-magically disqualified from having a voice. Indeed, political organizations that have been labeled hate groups are uniquely qualified to talk about what's wrong with the SPLC's methods, and since their criticisms have found a voice in national media in connection with a notable event, those criticisms deserve a voice here, in the interest of NPOV. Belchfire-TALK 03:05, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
If you're sincere about reaching an actual consensus, then restore the previous version of the article. Otherwise, discussion really isn't worth much. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 03:09, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't see a clear consensus either way. I see roughly an even split - between editors on one side, who say they are against a criticism section on general principles (even though I know full well they have an entirely different view when it comes to other articles), and editors who think that criticism generated from a notable event is worth including. Moreover, our BRD policy pretty much negates any notion that pre-clearance from other editors is needed before adding content. (Take note: "discuss" is the final stage in that cycle, not the first.) Belchfire-TALK 03:23, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Note that the policy is "BRD", not "BRBD". It does not require consensus to add content; it does require discussion and consensus before re-adding content which has been challenged. Fat&Happy (talk) 03:41, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but unfortunately it's a policy, not an essay an essay, not a policy. (An essay that has wide acceptance, but an essay nonetheless.) While we're at it, maybe we can find some quotes from aggrieved KKK members and swastika-brandishing neo-Nazis whining about being targeted by the SPLC. But no . . . that would be beyond the pale. We'll let the "respectable" hate groups hide behind their surface civility and give them free bandwidth to bitch and moan about those who call them on their dirty deeds. Okay, whatever. Rant over. Those who choose to bypass consensus are, in fact, violating policy. I'm not going to fire a single shot in this edit war, but I will cheerfully ask for full protection if the back and forth edits continue. Rivertorch (talk) 05:53, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't know if this is the best place to comment but here goes. The "criticism" section is pretty sloppy. That it is so bias makes me not believe any of it yet there must be some notable criticism of the group besides that they are master fundraisers. I don't know what should stay or go but I suggest anyone trying to make the point that there is criticism would do well to only include those critics who are reputable and published in good sources. Of course the groups labelled hate groups mostly despise the SPLC, this is not surprising. But show me some well thought out criticism and maybe don't segregate it in one pointedly biased section. OK, off my soapbox of sanity! Cluetrain WooWOO! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cluetrainwoowoo (talkcontribs) 05:57, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

WP:BOLD is a policy. Can you point me towards a policy that says I need permission to add content? I get that some editors aren't going to dig it, but if I'm adding well-sourced, relevant, notable, encyclopedic content, I'm not doing a single thing wrong. OTOH, falsely accusing other editors of tendentiously adding poorly sourced content as a rationale for reverting [32], does violate policy. A number of them, in fact. And I've yet to approach the apparent ownership issues that I'm seeing on this Talk page. Belchfire-TALK 06:04, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

In any case, I'm not sure we can revert to the previous consensus position when the record shows that there was, in fact, no consensus regarding a criticism section. StAnselm (talk) 06:17, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Belchfire, you seem to be swinging around a large chip on your shoulder in opposition to anyone who doesn't agree with you. I'm no fan of SPLC but your tactics are making all the critics look nonsensical. The content you're adding is poorly presented making it pretty worthless. Maybe if you played nice with others you'd see notable criticism actually presented in a way that didn't discredit your efforts. I might not agree with the political stances of everyone else here but you seem to be the bull(y) in the china shop daring anyone to question you. Just maybe they have a point that better writing would make your case more meaningful. Cluetrain Woowoo! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cluetrainwoowoo (talkcontribs) 06:18, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

StAnselm, I think it's pretty safe to say that there is now, in fact, a consensus in favor of having a Criticism section. There isn't any serious question about that. Belchfire-TALK 06:25, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Unless those of us who have indicated there shouldn't a criticism section somehow aren't to be taken seriousy, there is indeed serious question about that. In fact, I see no indication of consensus for such a section. Rivertorch (talk) 06:36, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I'll address your earlier comment a little more fully, Rivertorch. The opposition to having criticism based merely on a listed organization's complaints is probably valid. I've been careful to avoid anything along those lines. Carol M. Swain's criticism deserves to be taken seriously, on account of her creds. FRC's criticism deserves to be taken seriously, because of its notability. Attempting to revert those things because they were supposedly "poorly sourced" is simply spurious. Any consensus that was categorically against a Criticism section prior to yesterday is no longer built on solid ground, because the weather has changed. I'm not against consensus-building at all, and I am quite willing to listen to reason, but those in opposition need to come up with actual valid objections if they expect to be taken seriously. Belchfire-TALK 06:51, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
The problem with a criticism section in -any- article is that it begs for poor quality writing. Instead -notable- criticism should be woven into the prose like when the groups' finances are discussed, so are the notable criticisms that their reserves are excessive to some, and others find their fundraising operations over-the-top. In this way you don't beat the point that a bunch of negative things have been said, you show how the organization operates and how some of the aspects of what they are have been criticized. It's a matter of good writing and reporting. That article also shouldn't be addled with a section of positive proclamation statements either. See Wikipedia:Criticism. Cluetrainwoowoo (talk) 09:23, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
A point well-made, Cluetrain. WP:STRUCTURE is also relevant. Alfietucker (talk) 10:15, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Cluetrain's argument is simply invalid. Purportedly poor writing is simply not a rationale to exclude content, ever. Furthermore, not only is WP:CRITICISM just an essay, but it doesn't argue against a Criticism section in any meaningful way - it mostly talks about how to build one. Conversely, see WP:PERFECTION and WP:PRESERVE, which are policies. WP:STRUCTURE is policy, but IMO doesn't really work in this instance and IMO isn't the way to include the content currently being warred against by those trying to keep relevant encyclopedic content out of this article. The real issue we have here is WP:OOA. Belchfire-TALK 16:10, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This doesn't seem very persuasive, since the issue here is whether we need to give criticism its own section. Basically, no, we don't, and it would be a bad idea to do so. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 16:21, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

@Belchfire: I'm not sure whether you understood the point Cluetrain was making, but it seems you didn't check what WP:CRITICISM has to say about creating a Criticism subsection, significantly titled Avoid sections and articles focusing on "criticisms" or "controversies". Hence why I suggested also referring to the policy WP:STRUCTURE, the main paragraph of which outlines the potential pitfalls of making such a separate Criticism section, and finishes with the recommendation "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." Alfietucker (talk) 20:56, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Drive-by comment

There are many absurd arguments used by those opposed to criticism of the organisation appearing in the article, including:

  • If the critic is on the "hate list",
    1. The criticism is to be expected, and hence not notable.
    2. The criticism is not notable because it's from a hate group.
    1. 1 has some small merit, although it would need to be determined whether the criticsm came before or after the critic was on the hate list. (Yes, I am implying that SPLC would call a group a "hate group" because the group criticised SPLC.) It's still notable if reported in the press.
    2. 2 premuses the SPLC is "expert", and that we are permitted (in Wikipedia's voice) to say that an organization is a "hate group" because SPLC says it is. Even if SPLC is expert, we still could not use their opinion in a BLP context, which would apply in many of the cases.
  • Only a few organizations protest their listing; or only a few organizations have their protests reported in the press.
    Both false. For each type of protests, only a few organizations make that type of protest, but it would be at least "several" organizations whose protests have been noted in the press, in sufficient directness and detail that the protests, themselves, would meet WP:GNG. (This does not require the protesting organisation to be "reliable", as long as the protest is reported in WP:RS.) The related claim that only "several" of the 1000+ organisations which have been declared "hate groups" by SPLC have protested also should have little weight.

The argument that there should not be a criticism section may hold up, but many more of the individual criticisms should be in the article. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 13:42, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't know of any hate groups that cheerfully admit to being hate groups, so I'm sure we could find any number of them insisting that they're merely pro-family, pro-American or pro-white. I don't see how this is notable, though. Consider how Ku Klux Klan prominently mentions its hate group status but offers no rebuttal, criticism or controversy. And, yes, SPLC is considered an expert by the FBI. In short, I don't find your drive-by analysis to be valid. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 15:08, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
So now, you're stalking me., and have not given any counter-arguments. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:20, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I had this page watchlisted before you made your comments; it relates to the whole CfA/FRC thing that you know I'm active on. Given this, your accusation is a bit weird and definitely a violation of WP:AGF.
I'm not sure what you think a counter-argument should look like. I would like to imagine that my statements constituted such a thing. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 15:26, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
You need to establish that an opinion is notable before it should be included, per WP:WEIGHT. Law enforcement, government, the media and academics do not invite members of hate groups to explain the SPLC. TFD (talk) 15:32, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
(to Still-24-45-42-125)You have a vivid imagination. I've had the page watchlisted for some time, also, and the talk page (at least) is presently showing all of the arguments I've commented on. In context, they look more absurd than I've portrayed them.
(to TFD) True, to some extent. That an opinion is noted by reliable sources, though, is what makes it "notable". The media does not invite members of "hate groups" to explain the SPLC (although someone should be invited to explain them); it reports on comments made by "hate groups" about the SPLC. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:35, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
You repeatedly talk about "notability" and even provided this link. The problem is that notability is not a factor to be considered in the CONTENT of the article. If you had read the very next section under the one you linked (WP:NNC), you would have read the following:
The criteria applied to article content are not the same as those applied to article creation. The notability guidelines do not apply to article or list content (with the exception that some lists restrict inclusion to notable items or people). Content coverage within a given article or list is governed by the principle of due weight and other content policies
The issue is the WEIGHT that should be given to the opinions of a group, the FRC, that has no established reputation as a reliable source on the subject of Watch Dog groups. By your logic, since many reliable sources mention the beliefs of Holocaust Deniers, their opinions should be given prominent play in any wikipedia articles relating to the Holocaust. Certainly Holocaust Deniers "deserve" their own article (and have received one) because of their notability, but this does not mean that their opinion is worth citing elsewhere. The FRC also has its own article and that is the place for its opinions. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 16:24, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
North Shoreman makes a valid point and helpfully points us to a policy that argues forcefully for inclusion of the FRC criticism: "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." This seems to state pretty clearly that a single paragraph of information about what FRC said following a major news event is certainly not out of order. Belchfire-TALK 16:36, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I'll bite. I'm repeating the section you quoted with added emphasis that I'll discuss: "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." The question is whether the FRC's opinion is "significant". The material you added directly related the SPLC and violence.
The obvious first question is whether any source, reliable or otherwise, prior to a few days ago ever made that connection. Based on everything that I have seen, the answer is no. The next question is does any reliable source hold that opinion today? Again, the answer is no -- reporting something is not the same as agreeing to something. A third question is a factual one -- is there any actual evidence that the shooter was actually motivated by the SPLC? I haven't seen it.
This leads us to the issue of Recentism -- not a policy or guideline but certainly an article that must be considered in determining the SIGNIFICANCE of the FRC claims. In the history of the discussion of hate groups (15 or 20 years), do the news articles that covered the sensational events give the FRC's opinion lasting significance? In analyzing the news reports and understanding how the press covers such acts of violence, they are going to report ANYTHING that comes out of the mouth of affected parties, including Tony Perkins. This doesn't mean that after a few news cycles the issue will disappear from reliable sources and retreat to right wing blogs and FRC publicity statements. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 18:21, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Your first observation is simply wrong: FRC's listing was highly controversial, and the controversy received significant press coverage at the time, back in 2010. Given the 2 year time frame, claims of recentism are defeated outright. What's your next argument? Belchfire-TALK 18:36, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
The interest in the FRC was generated by a paid advertisement -- the coverage was largely of the advertisement. The interest of reliable sources (as opposed to right wing blogs and FRC publicity) very quickly died. The material you added recently was entirely about a link between the SPLC and violence -- a totally new charge lacking SIGNIFICANCE -- a topic you totally failed to address. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 18:44, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Now you're simply grasping at straws. There are paid advertisements, placed by various interest groups, in major newspapers by every single day, and most don't get any press coverage at all. This one did, and that makes it significant and notable. The link between SPLC and violence was similarly established by the RSs that covered the story. No coverage, no significance. What's your next argument? Belchfire-TALK 18:50, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Hey, don't give the North Shoreman too much credit here. His analogy invites us to think of the FRC as Holocaust Deniers and the SPLC as the Keepers of Truth. Our article is not about a concrete historical reality and whether folks who deny that it happened should get a say in it. It's about an organization that makes its living by getting people worry about "hate groups," and the question here is whether adequately sourced news and controversy about its "hate group" designations should get some play in our article. Badmintonhist (talk) 17:13, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
"Concrete historical reality"? Please. The FRC's claim that the shooter was motivated by the SPLC is not supported by anything factual. There is no evidence that I've seen that indicates why he did what he did -- we can reasonably assume that he had something against gay bashers in general and Chick-Fil-A in particular, but we have no evidence at all that he was driven by SPLC writngs. There are quite a few LGBT blogs out there, as well as documented cases of violence against gay people (not to mention the mainstream coverage of Chick-Fil-A) -- there is nothing "real" about blaming the SPLC. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 18:30, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Uhhr . . . I assume that you can read (??). Then reread what I said. The "historical reality" I referred to is clearly the Holocaust. My point was that keeping Holocaust deniers out of the article on the Holocaust is NOT analogous to keeping adequately sourced criticisms of the SPLC's "hate group" designations out of the article on the SPLC. Savvy? Badmintonhist (talk) 18:42, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Is this argument an attempt at humor? Why does the SPLC have a hate group list in the first place? You can pretend to ignore the obvious boomerang, but that won't make it go away. Nobody, not even FRC is saying SPLC is directly responsible (indeed, Tony Perkins was careful to point out that the shooter is responsible for his own actions). What's being said is that SPLC created the climate that encouraged the man's resorting to violence. You know, the way a hate group does. If don't find the significance of this self-evident, I am clearly wasting my time trying to reason with you. Belchfire-TALK 18:43, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Yes, and it's Perkins' claim that is so obviously nonsensical. We should report it -- let him hang himself with his own idiocy -- but there's not a lick of evidence that the SPLC is responsible for a hate group being hated. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 19:29, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

On the contrary, it's nonsensical to assert that SPLC calling groups "hate groups" is not likely to incite violence against them, whether or not it's SPLC's intent. (I don't think anyone said that SPLC is necessarily reponsible for (what they call) "hate groups" being hated, although that is their intent.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 20:50, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
That's like saying that, if not for the SPLC calling the KKK a hate group, nobody would hate them for being bigots. StillStanding (24/7) (talk) 20:58, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I didn't say that, exactly. However, as for my second comment on SPLC's intent in publishing the "hate group" list; if it's not their intent that the groups on the list be hated, then what could the intent possibly be? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 21:12, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
The likely alternative intent is that SPLC is making a public listing of organizations which spread hatred against certain sections of a community, whether for being black or LGBT. FRC, for instance, was listed by SPLC for this (among other published statements): “[h]omosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.” If it was not FRC's intent that this description of homosexuals should result in LGBT members of the community being hated, then what could the intent possibly be? Alfietucker (talk) 21:28, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I can't disagree with Alfie. The way I would have put it is that, by designating them as a hate group, the general public would be alerted as to their nature and would react appropriately by shunning those who support it. Consider the CfA/FRC fiasco for evidence. StillStanding (24/7) (talk) 21:34, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Furthermore, in a note about the difference between notability and weight; if a dispute between two organizations would meet WP:GNG, it should be mentioned in articles (or subarticles of) both organizations. That goes without saying, even if the mention were merely a "See also". — Arthur Rubin (talk) 20:55, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
If it goes without saying... StillStanding (24/7) (talk) 20:58, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
It wouldn't need to be said if it weren't being denied. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 21:10, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I think their motives are more geared toward creating brisk company business than toward inciting violence. Had the SPLC not created new villains after the Klan and similar groups had become moribund (and they were already pretty moribund by the time that Dees began suing them) the SPLC coffers would not currently register at between $200,000,000 and 300,000,000.Badmintonhist (talk) 21:25, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Wow. Just wow. It has nothing to do with the existence of hate groups. It's all an evil liberal conspiracy, right? There is nothing civil I can say further about this. StillStanding (24/7) (talk) 21:34, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I didn't say word one about a liberal conspiracy. On the contrary, the SPLC is really just one "liberal"'s special creation: Morris Dees. There are a number of genuine liberals and lefties who have attacked it over the years, some very bitterly, as a project for Dees's greater glorification and wealth. Read Alexander Cockburn, Ken Silverman, and Stephen Bright on Mr. Dees. And I am not merely blowing "forum smoke" here. The basic criticism of the SPLC's finances is not just boring green eyeshade stuff, it has to do with the very soul of the organization. Badmintonhist (talk) 22:00, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Why do you consider the opinions of these "lefties" to deserve weight in the article? If their opinions are that important do you plan to add them to articles on conservative subjects? Why not? It seems to me you are just looking for sources of criticism and these are the best you could find, rather than looking at mainstream sources about the SPLC and reflecting what they say. TFD (talk) 04:43, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Apparently, consensus exists that these "liberals and lefties" deserve (at least some) weight in the article because they are already in the article and have been for quite some time. I suggested including a specific quotation from Silverstein (whom I incorrectly called "Silverman" above) or Bright or the late Alexander Cockburn to better demonstrate the nature of their critique of Dees's outfit. Such quotes were in the article at one time but were removed. As for including their opinions on "conservative subjects," from what I've observed in Wikipedia, articles on prominent and controversial conservative subjects already contain a generous amount of criticism from the left. One of the things that makes their criticism of the SPLC interesting is that they are probably just the kinds of people that the SPLC would like to have had on its side. As for your suggestion that the sources I've mentioned are not mainstream, Silverstein writes regularly for Harper's, Bright has taught at Harvard and Yale and a host of other universities while heading his own civil rights organization, and Cockburn wrote regularly for theThe Nation. We also know, of course, that the SPLC has been criticized by its major area newspaper the Montgomery Advertiser, and has received low ratings at times from various business and non-profit monitoring agencies. Let readers to decide whether or not such critics are collectively "mainstrem." Badmintonhist (talk) 16:36, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
WP:WEIGHT requires that we present significant views proportionately, not that we balance views of left and right wing writers. Even if we did, we would need to use opinions representative of the left and right, rather than cherry pick opinions by people who happen to be left or right. The way to determine the weight of various views is to look at sources that explain the weight. AFAIK the criticisms listed have not been reported anywhere and are therefore not significant. I hold the same standard to conservative articles as well. BTW you and a few other editors seem to confuse the terms liberal and left-wing. Cockburn comes out of the Stalinist tradition, which is anti-liberal. From a Stalinist point of view, groups such as the SPLC are system supportive, and therefore no different from the establishment. Cockburn of course criticizes them for working with the FBI, the enforcement agency of the capitalist state. A good Communist of course would never collaborate with the ruling class. But why would we include criticism of the SPLC that faults them for not being left-wing? TFD (talk) 17:55, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
We're rather getting into "forum" territory here but at least its interesting. I don't see any evidence that Cockburn considered himself a Stalinist, or that he believed that he came out of the "Stalinist tradition". His Wiki bio certainly doesn't say this (admittedly The Nation was once pro-Stalin but that was many, many years ago). More importantly and pertinently, the basic complaints of Cockburn, Silverstein, and Bright against the SPLC are pretty much identical. They all believe that it exaggerates extremist (usually right-wing) dangers to the republic in order raise vast amounts of funds with which it provides handsome salaries for a few, HOARDS MUCH, and pursues largely showy but shallow political ends with the rest.Badmintonhist (talk) 18:29, 18 August 2012 (UTC) PS: The middle parts of that critique are quite like what non-ideological critics of the SPLC such as the Montgomery Advertiser and the charity raters have also said.Badmintonhist (talk) 18:37, 18 August 2012 (UTC) Oh! And BTW I didn't confuse the terms liberal and left-wing. That's why I didn't just say "liberals," I said "liberals and lefties."

(out) Cockburn says that the KKK is a "depleted troupe.... [T]here isn’t a public school in any county in the USA that doesn’t represent a menace to blacks a thousand times more potent than that offered by the KKK...." The real hate groups in America are "big banks", ICE, the criminal justice system and anti-union employers.[33] If we report Cockburn's views, then we should present them in their entirety. And you still have to explain why we include Cockburn's opinions in an article about SPLC, but not in articles about his usual targets. BTW I can find only opinion pieces about Cockburn and his political odyssey. But the letter from Howard Fast and Cockburn seems to show that he showed some sympathy to Brezhnev.[34] Mind you all that matters is whether his opinions on the SPLC are significant. TFD (talk) 21:13, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Ahhh . . . Since when do report on anyone's views, even the subject of an article's views, "entirely"? Moreover, none of our haggling here about Cockburn means anything because we don't need a quote from Cockburn. A quote from the more mainstream Silverstein or Bright or a number of others would do just fine. So Long. Badmintonhist (talk) 21:47, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
It seems important that Cockburn, and I imagine the other critics including yourself, who "have been sharply critical of the SPLC's fundraising appeals and finances", are critical of the entire mission. Otherwise we are quoting them out of context. Again, can you find a secondary source that explains Cockburn'sn criticisms? TFD (talk) 22:01, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Once again, So long. 22:08, 18 August 2012 (UTC)