Talk:Star Wars Kid

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Why Not Named[edit]

Why is he not named and why are there no references to any of the things he said to the media? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:27, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

This has been debated at great length, multiple times. There is a slim majority of editors that believe that the most important policy regarding the mention of the kid's name is WP:Biographies of Living Persons. In particular, this policy states, "...This is of particularly profound importance when dealing with individuals whose notability stems largely from their being victims of another's actions. Wikipedia editors must not act, intentionally or otherwise, in a way that amounts to participating in or prolonging the victimization." AzureFury (talk | contribs) 04:42, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
I was wondering the same thing. I could understand not providing libelous information or things that are not conducive to a biography. However, seeing as how it is valid, if not pertinent, information to a biography, and seeing as this is a biography, it would seem that it should be required information (I find it strange that a biography anywhere would not actually have the name of the person it is of.) Wikipedia, nor it's editors, should censor information simply because someone doesn't like it (if I recall, there is a Wikipedia policy that states that Wikipedia is not censored.) Almost every Wikipedia biography of a current political figure has a criticism section that could be considered by some to be controversial and damaging to the person. As do many others of athletes, actors, commentators, pundits, entertainers, other memes, etc. Aside from all of this, being that the kid's family filed a lawsuit in court, it is all public information and therefor Wikipedia would only be relaying information (which is all it really does anyway.) I'm sorry if I am only repeating statements made previously, but it seems pretty cut and dry to me. It's rather silly to not put a very important piece of information in an article simply because it might hurt someones feelings. Especially since the videos are out there reguardless of whether or not we know his name. I mean, is the idea of Wiki readers knowing his name going to really be that much more of a problem to him? (talk) 23:40, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
You are repeating things that have been said before. I will repeat the responses. You say that because his name is so available, it won't be a bigger problem for him. On the other hand, because his name is so available, it is no problem for people who want to know it to find it. Take a look at WP:CENSOR, "Content that is judged to violate Wikipedia's biographies of living persons policy, or that violates other Wikipedia policies (especially neutral point of view) or the laws of the U.S. state of Florida where Wikipedia's servers are hosted, will also be removed." Including his name is a clear violation of WP:BLP. Just because it is factual does not necessarily mean it is worthy of inclusion in the article. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. You mention another argument, specifically "because X article does it, so must this article." We have a page for exactly that, WP:WAX. Every article is unique, and policies are guidelines. Take a look at WP:COMMON and WP:IGNORE. We must use common sense. Most editors do not see that anything is gained by including his name except our claim to lack of censorship, but do see that we would be assisting in his victimization. More editors believe the latter is more important, and that is why his name is absent. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 02:07, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
I understand all of what you are saying and it would seem that a majority of the arguments seem zero sum. All but the censorship part, which seems in favor of including his name. WP:BLP Does make a mention of when not to use names, but the cases in which it mentions (as far as I can tell) are only those related to the person the article is about, not the main subject themselves. I also understand that little can be gained by adding his name, but can not that argument be used on virtually half the information on this site? I mean, how many people use wiki to find gobs of useless information and trivia? Also, my point about comparing other articles was not simply "well, that article did it, so why not this on?" It was more like; Every article on a war gives the dates of that war, every article of a political figure gives his alliance, every article on a plant gives its genus and species, every comic book character's article gives the name of the company that owns its rights, etc. Every biography article on here (at least of the hundreds of them I have read) gives the birth name of the articles subject. Now, I understand special circumstances, but in response to your last point, I ask a question; How does wikipedia displaying his name attribute to his victimization? Forgive me if I seem hardheaded and argumentative, it is not my intent. I truly do wish to know and understand the processes on wikipedia and this seems like a fine line issue and a good place for me to start to understand the intricacies.
Ok, let me respond with equivalent rhetoric. I've read and understood your arguments, but they are mostly zero sum. Therefore, I will respond to the weakest of points. Since this article is covered by the BLP policy, we can't include any information we so choose. And saying WP:WAX in a different way does not mean you are not using WP:WAX. Read the policies I've quoted for you. WP:BLP is clear that the name should say out. WP:CENSOR specifically states that it has a lower priority than WP:BLP. You're making the same argument as every other ethicless media outlet that assisted in his original victimization, "since other people have done it, there is no harm if we do it to." You are correct that this is a fine line issue. I've said that the majority of editors favor exclusion of his name. It was a slim majority, but a consistent majority nonetheless. There are Wikipedians who agree with you, that his name should be included. But considering this has been debated several times, and inclusion has been rejected several times, I think we should leave it at that, rather than call for another RFC. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 07:39, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
But is this article even a biography? It seems to me it is just an article about an internet phenomenon/meme. From that perspective, his name is pretty much irrelevant. This is not an article about the kid, it's about the video. If you add his name, then WP:BLP issues arise. zzymyn (talk) 11:19, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
If you check the top of this page, you will see that it is labeled as a biography. Regardless of that, the identity of any person involved in a situation or event is not just relevant, but pertinent as far as collecting information on that event. Especially when considering that this is an encyclopedia and that it's primary objective is to give as much basic and relevant information as possible regardless of weather or not it is important as far as every day facts. This article is not about "the video." This is an article about a video, the ensuing videos based on the original video, its mention in multiple medias, the person involved, the court case that followed, and pretty much all other information revolving around the person that the article is based on. (talk) 01:10, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
So, I check back in after a while, and I see that the same "WTF?" question is getting asked. I'm still going to ask it too. Almost every source used to write this article uses the name. We don't second guess reliable sources, we mirror them. They, all with their professional legal and ethics departments, have almost every one determined that use of the name is ethical and legal. When you're writing about someone, and you can verify the name, you use it. That's a basic part of anything about a person. There are very few exceptions to that, and simple embarrassment is not one of them.
All that being the case, the sheer number of times that even anonymous editors have come and asked this question, many clearly in good faith, should tell us that we're not doing this right. When you say a "slim majority" favors exclusion, have you counted all the anonymous editors who have bothered to stop by the talk page to say "Hey, this doesn't seem right"? It's unusual for that to happen, and for every time that happens there are probably dozens to hundreds of people who wonder but don't want or know how to say anything about it. The name is not a secret, and it's certainly not unverifiable. BLP prohibits the violation of privacy, true, but the name at this point is by no means private.
I've edited anonymously for a while, and was considering coming back, but to see the same old falsehoods get trotted out here is rather discouraging. In reality, editor after editor (including but not limited to anon readers) have come here to ask "What's the deal with this?", and believed it wrong, while the same few support exclusion and claim they're the "majority" or that BLP supports them. I strongly doubt at this point, if we counted all of those who have supported vs. all against, that those against are anywhere near a majority. And they shouldn't be, because they're incorrect. BLP provides for exclusion of privacy violations or unverifiable information. The name is neither one, it is public knowledge (for better or worse), and it is certainly verifiable through plenty of highly credible sources. Seraphimblade Talk to me 12:32, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
A debate about anons supporting and opposing inclusion is impossible as we have know way of knowing how many people read the article, acknowledged the absence of the name and did not add to the discussion page. Optional feedback always has a negative bias. I see that you really don't respect my opinion since you're already referring to it as "falsehoods" so put up an RFC if you wish and we can vote down inclusion a fourth time. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 16:08, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
You also do not seem to respect our opinion as you referred to what I said as rhetorical arguments, when in reality, I was simply trying to understand the process and was having trouble seeing how your arguments were the optimum outcome of following Wikipedia guidelines. Although I am not an article editor, I do try to contribute to discussions on talk pages. And on this one, it would seem that there has been an abundance of reasons, good ones at that, to include the name. You, the lone voice opposing inclusion in this thread thus far, only seem to come up with one shaky reason; Wikipedia would be one more website among thousands to reveal his name and this could possibly (somehow) further attribute to his victimization. That just doesn't seem like a good enough reason to combat all the other reasons, like the fact that this is an encyclopedia. Also, one more point that I'm not sure has been made in the past; He used school equipment for every single aspect of the vid. School camera, school film, school golf ball retriever, etc. And in the end, all he did was look kinda silly for swinging the thing around. Big deal. All the victimization came from his peers. I would venture to guess that the press revealing his name added nominal amounts of ridicule in comparison what he had already faced. I think that most kids had to deal with some sort of bullying in school, but if some guy from Illinois knows their name, does it really make it any worse? And if so, then we should remove the entire article under the same grounds since it is so easy to find his name anyway. (talk) 04:20, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm probably wasting my time responding to a "no, you are" level comment, but there's a few things I feel I should point out. This is the definition of rhetoric: "the art of making persuasive speeches; oratory." Not sure how you came to be offended by that, I guess you were looking for a way to establish that I had been equally condescending. This is the second time you've tried to undermine my argument simply by saying that it is weak. You think I am the lone voice of opposition, yet had you been watching the history of either the talk page or the article itself, you will see multiple established editors preserving the absence of his name. Really, I am the most generous, spending my time to explain to you why we've maintained the article this way. Let me sum up my arguments for you one time. If you want to take the pure policy approach, then trivially the name should be excluded, per WP:BLP and WP:CENSOR. If you want to take a common sense approach, the name should still be excluded on the grounds that "everyone has done it" is not a refutation of immorality. I will say no more. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 05:49, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

There is simply no reason not to include his name. WP:CENSOR could cover this, but it's essentially a case of ignoring the facts over a pointless fear of hurt feelings. Wikipedia should include the facts if they're relevant, and the idea that somehow identifying someone who's name is public knowledge is against policy is ludicrous. The biggest problem with the article now is the unsourced, not the sourced. Friginator (talk) 19:13, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm replacing the phrase "the student" with his real name. Censoring his name is ridiculous, especially when it's from his own biography page. I'm surprised that no one has changed it since it was added last year, but it's frankly one of the dumbest editorial decisions I've seen on Wikipedia. Friginator (talk) 22:03, 21 December 2009 (UTC) (and modified per BLP by Slp1)

See WP:BLP. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 23:06, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Ok, so please forgive me for being a latecomer to the party, but I still have some questions about this issue. I have read and re-read the archives, so hopefully I haven't missed much, but I fail to see an actual WP:CONSENSUS. There are obviously two conflicting policies here: WP:BLP1E for exclusion and WP:NOTCENSORED for inclusion (and as mentioned in the FAQ, this seems to indicate that BLP takes precedence). Per BLP1E, there is no biographical article - only this one about the event. What I fail to see is how including his name would rise to the level of actual WP:HARM (which was rejected as being official BLP policy for being too strict). I also note that "Presumption in favor of privacy" quoted in answer A1 in the FAQ is referring to "including every detail", which unless I'm missing something doesn't include a person's name. I have also seen input from Jimbo and various editors indicating that BLP1E wins out here but I didn't see any firm reasoning as to why, I only saw WP:POLLING (I apologize if I missed any substantive discussion as the topic keeps getting rehashed with different editors and slightly different wording). Any input as to these issues would be greatly appreciated from someone who has been hanging around here longer. VernoWhitney (talk) 21:40, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

The kid sued to keep his name private. Obviously he thinks it was harmful to release it. In including his name we would be assisting in the prolonging of his victimization, which WP:BLP1E specifically forbids. Anyway, in our most recent rehashing of this debate, there was a solid majority, something like 12 to 5 IIR. An issue like this will never be unanimous. Anyway, WP:NOTVOTE is a nice policy, in theory, but with this many editors involved, it inevitably comes down to voting, as all big issues do. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 22:14, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Thank you very much for your reply. Now I just feel the urge to tweak WP:BLP1E so that it's clear that it applies to any PII, and not just "including every detail". VernoWhitney (talk) 14:56, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
Also, I just counted the !votes from the RFC section below and it's even more in favor of omitting the name than you recall: 11 for exclusion and 3 for inclusion. VernoWhitney (talk) 15:05, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

I'm out[edit]

Really, this type of thing is the reason I ended up leaving. When did we start "voting" on what sources do or don't say? When did any talk page discussion become a vote, or a shoutdown? When did the opinion of anonymous editors stop mattering, because they can't strictly be counted? Can we say the number for inclusion can't be accurately counted, since they face derision as "immoral" if they dare to disagree, and many, seeing such a discussion, will quietly move along even if they do disagree with those engaging in such name-calling and incivility? You have every right to disagree, but you don't have any right to be rude and condescending, or to call those who disagree with you "immoral" as though such is a foregone conclusion. You like to quote policies that I don't even believe are relevant (BLP protects against private or poorly sourced information being placed into an article, the information here is public and available from highly reliable sources), but civility and refraining from attacking others personally applies to every discussion, every time. And we most certainly can quantify a rough number of anons who have identified the exclusion of the name as problematic. Take a look through the archives. How many articles have that level of anonymous editor participation on the talk page? I imagine you could find me some, I doubt you could find me many. And most of them come here puzzled to ask the same question-"Where's the name?", and receive a response that's patronizing and dismissive at best and rude more often than not. Of course, those editors wouldn't see or participate in an RFC, more likely than not. But of course we could canvass a "vote", much like GeorgeWilliamHerbert did last time around. But that's not why you'd want to do it that way and ignore what's already transpired, is it? Seraphimblade Talk to me 03:52, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Q. Where's the name? A. In the first source. If we wanted to fully censor the name, we would take down citations to sources that mention the name. But as it stands, anyone who wants to see the name of Star Wars Kid can look at the first 100 words of the first source that the article cites. The sources are doing a good job of keeping the name up; Wikipedia need not duplicate that effort ;-) --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 14:32, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Then why would we bother to write Wikipedia at all? Icewedge (talk) 06:50, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Exactly. BLP doesn't remotely apply here because its been repeatedly reported by many reliable news sources. Even if the actions were taken by someone else, trying to hide his name does nothing and amounts to censorship. If no one was reporting his name and some fringe site found it, it might be a BLP issue, but that isn't the case here.--Crossmr (talk) 08:40, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

I really hate to drag this up again, but it may be possible that <real name redacted> could become famous enough on his own that it warrants his own biography. There has been significant (even mainstream) news hits for him in June, 2010. See <real name redacted>&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=pWa&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=iv&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbo=u&tbs=nws:1&source=og&sa=N&tab=wn. Apparently he's the president of the Patrimoine Trois-Rivières[1], and this has beens covered in the Globe and Mail and Le Nouvelliste[2], and [Radio Canada][3], along with the usual suspects of nerd and geek new sites. While not notable enough for this own bio yet, it's possible it could happen in the short term as either a politician or even academic. Either way should it happen would we be censoring his real life biography of the Star Wars kid material? Would there be two different articles about this one person? Right now this article as it stands makes no sense - he name is widely associated with the meme - as this is the age where the information is a click away I don't really see how Wikipedia is protecting this guy from the incident if it's newsworthy enough to be picked up by national newspaper with a weekly readership of 935 000 eight years after the event. I doubt I'm going to change anyone's minds on this, but from my viewpoint, censoring his name out of the article, even though a thousand reliable sources could probably confirm it doesn't make sense. --Yankees76 Talk 22:41, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Patrimoine Trois-Rivières, the article was created at the same time as creating an article for the kid, and then it got deleted for lack of notability (basically, not fullfilling WP:CORP). By the logic of Wikipedia, the kid had now become the president of a non-notable organization, so his own article was deleted in turn. --Enric Naval (talk) 23:47, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
Yep, I saw that - my post is more pre-emptive. Obviously <real name redacted> is treading down the path of possibly becoming a public figure - and while the company is he president of may be non-notable now, that could always change and it may be a stepping stone for him to run for public office, which could bring up the issue of whether or not his Star Wars kid notoriety should no longer be censored from both this article or his own. --Yankees76 Talk 13:43, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

This is the sort of reason I despair of Wiipedia. Too many editors all with their own little power and ego trips insisting that they are right (and I don't mean you, Seraphimblade). It's obvious that someone here feels they own this area and will do whatever (s)he can to keep his/her view dominant. Good luck Wikipedia - it's no wonder universities tell their students not to get information here (and certainly *never* to cite a page here!) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:03, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Going here yet starting lame arguments in neutrality, ruining all zeal again. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:48, 9 January 2013 (UTC)


A dispute has been reopened that has been repeated again and again in the past. Editors are introducing the Star Wars kid's real name into the article citing WP:CENSOR. On the other side, editors are removing his name citing WP:BLP as he was victimized and the policy states, "This is of profound importance when dealing with individuals whose notability stems largely from their being victims of another's actions. Wikipedia editors must not act, intentionally or otherwise, in a way that amounts to participating in or prolonging the victimization." Should the SWK's real name be included in the article or does this assist in his victimization? AzureFury (talk | contribs) 23:31, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

So you're saying that because this person has been victimized at some point, we can't say his name, even though this is a biographical article about him? Friginator (talk) 23:33, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
The individual is not notable, the event is. We aren't writing the story of his life. We are writing about the internet meme. So no, it is not necessary to include his name. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 23:34, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree; if one were to ask that person their view, there's little doubt that they would strongly request their name be omitted. This isn't a case of whitewashing a BLP, it's a case where the person's notoriety is a direct result of unlawful activity against him by others. He's sued, and had settlement payments from, the perpetrators - so clearly there was a case for damages. Let's not compound the suffering of the victim? Little grape (talk) 00:24, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

I concur with the established consensus that this article should remain without his real name. This is not his biography. It is a discussion of a brief, unfortunate episode in a person's life, that is not improved one whit by the name of the individual involved. WP:CENSOR does not trump our moral and ethical responsibility to a living young man whose foolish decision (to trust friends), resulted in serious consequences to his life and reputation. I'll also note that the decision to omit the name has been externally and approvingly reviewed in The Times by Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard and Oxford University Internet law prof. --Slp1 (talk) 00:37, 22 December 2009 (UTC) [4]--Slp1 (talk) 00:37, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Agree. If this were a biographical article, it would be at the persons name, and it would contain information about him. This is an article about the viral video. WP:BLP1E applies. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 02:11, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Strongly agree that his name should be omitted per WP:BLP1E. J04n(talk page) 02:14, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Omit name, obviously. Steve Smith (talk) 02:32, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

We've had this discussion repeatedly. It would be helpful to avoid going around this question again unless there is something that would indicate a possibility for a different outcome. Until there is a major change in the BLP policy, its clear that we cover the event here, not the person. Who this person is matters very little to an encyclopedic discussion of the meme. Shell babelfish 02:44, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Is there a way to prevent auto-archiving so I don't have to keep explaining the justification to new editors, as in the section above? AzureFury (talk | contribs) 04:41, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Well, not everyone agrees, and not everyone who disagrees is a "new user". The fact that the question keeps getting asked indicates a potential problem in and of itself. Effectively all of the sources use the name, indicating that they considered it important to the discussion. By failing to follow that lead, we are in essence engaging in POV—relying on our own opinion of what we should or should not include, rather than looking to the majority of reliable sources for the answer. Seraphimblade Talk to me 05:05, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Any time we form a consensus and exercise editorial control, we are expressing an opinion. When we decide which policy applies, we are expressing an opinion. To include the name would be an expression that WP:CENSOR trumps WP:BLP, which it specifically states it does not. Wikipedia is its own animal. It has its own policies. Wikipedia does not cave to the peer pressure of other media outlets. We follow our policies that are established and agreed upon by our editors. If other sources wish to engage in unethical activities, that is their decision. That does not mean we should blindly follow them. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 05:16, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
The issue here isn't even really not being censored, though that is an important consideration. The most important consideration is neutrality. The way to resolve neutrality issues is simple—ask "What do the sources say?" What is ethical and what is not is often a subjective consideration. One would assume that professional journalists are well versed in journalistic ethics. A vast majority of these professionals came to the conclusion that including the name falls within ethical bounds. Imagine a different situation—an editor comes along and says it is "unethical" for us to state that a certain medical treatment is effective, as he believes it is not. Others share that belief. Yet, the vast majority of the scientific literature on the subject states that it indeed is. It would be POV for us to follow that opinion, even if it is widespread. We could certainly report that there is controversy, provided that it is sourced well, but to actually exclude the findings of effectiveness from the article based on such opinions would absolutely be POV. The situation here is no different. We've got a reliable source saying the situation is controversial. We can use that source. But to follow that source, to the exclusion of dozens of others, is POV. Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:41, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Your argument is a Red herring. This issue here is WP:BLP. Again you are suggesting "because they do it, we must do it, to do otherwise is POV." That's not how policies work. Other websites do not always act ethically and do not observe the same policies as we do. Your comparision is completely inaccurate. For one, your example is not a WP:BLP issue. For two, in your example we would be deliberately contradicting the sources. We aren't here. We are omitting information, not changing it. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 09:07, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
The other example would be the same—we would simply be omitting the well-sourced effectiveness information, not changing it (and in that case, someone could theoretically die if we were on the wrong side). As to omission, that can cause POV just as much as commission can. For a simple example, imagine we included only the pro-choice or pro-life viewpoints in the abortion article. I think you'd find people to consider that POV relatively quickly. For a BLP issue, presume that we included only the information in the Richard Jewell article about him being suspected of the bombing, while omitting that he was subsequently found to be totally innocent. Again, that omission would cause the article to be POV and inaccurate. The omission here is similar—we are allowing our opinion of what dozens of perfectly reliable sources should or should not have done affect what we include or omit from the article. That is the very definition of allowing our POV to color an article, rather than relying on sources. Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:54, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Could you clarify what POV on the meme you believe is served by omitting the name? I'm at a loss to understand how this omission promotes any particular viewpoint. I see this more as a choice of descriptors; one does not need to name a BLPs sexual orientation, high school teachers or pant size to adequately discuss the encyclopedic information about the subject. We cover the meme in extended detail; the name of the person appearing in the original video is of very minimal weight in the grand scheme of things - they are neither famous nor known for anything outside of this meme. Using their name does nothing to enhance our understanding of the meme. Shell babelfish 18:05, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
The article sounds exceptionally awkward without it—continually trying to find anonymous reference terms, rather than a simple name, makes it obvious we're bending over backward to do something here. After seeing how widely the name is available, it becomes clearly that that "something" is to deliberately suppress it. When we have a name, we use a name. Further, readers of the article might absolutely want to do further research on the person rather than the meme. To do that, they'd have to know their name. As to what viewpoint is being pushed, it's being expressed right here in this RFC—"The name shouldn't have been used". The fact remains that it was, overwhelmingly, used by dozens of sources, so if someone does want to use it in the article, there shouldn't be any objection. It's well sourced, totally verifiable, relevant information that's already available to the public. Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:27, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
"The name shouldn't have been used." is not a POV on the article topic, its an editing POV - very different animals. If wording is the concern, {{sofixit}}. If readers wish to have more information, they have the references and external links just like any other article. Nothing about the person's name is important to understanding the video and the meme that grew from it. Shell babelfish 18:40, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
I would be happy to fix it, and could do so easily. But the way to do that isn't available, even though it's sourced and verifiable. I would absolutely disagree that the name is not important to understanding the topic—it's the name of the central figure. And, yes, readers can always follow a reference to get more information, but that's not any kind of justification for excluding material from that reference. The ideal situation is that there's never a bit of information in an article that a reader could not find by consulting an article's references. That doesn't mean we may as well remove all the article text and simply leave a reference list. As to POV, when "editing POV" starts excluding sourced material, it starts contributing to article POV, intentionally or not. As the article stands, it is quite clearly pushing a viewpoint, and that's been so clear to readers that many of them have come here to comment on it. Seraphimblade Talk to me 19:05, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Okay, let me try explaining my point from a different direction. Short of "we want to know the kids name" what encyclopedic purpose does that bit of information serve? Is the video or meme or the reaction to either changed by knowing the person's name? Shell babelfish 19:26, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
His name means nothing in that he is not known for anything else. If Tom Cruise did it his name would be included but in this case the only notability is the video, not the person. J04n(talk page) 21:39, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, let me try mine from a different direction too, and reverse the question. What good does it do to exclude the name? There's no privacy issue here—the information is clearly publicly available, whether you or I think it should've been made so or not. We're not proposing to say something unverifiable or controversial, so the main part of BLP certainly doesn't apply. I agree what happened to this guy was terrible, and the real best result would be that his schoolmates didn't pull their stunt and we never had this article to talk about at all. But that's just not the case, and I don't see how failing to include the name, resulting in an awkward sounding, hard to read, clearly slanted article (which most certainly does impede understanding) in any way helps that. There is also still the question of further research, which an interested reader might want to do. Excluding the name would either impede them in that (which runs counter to our core goal), as a lot of the material on the subject is searchable by the name, or they would quickly discover what it is, in which case we accomplished nothing. Seraphimblade Talk to me 04:35, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
If you mean what 'good' from a moral or ethical standpoint it's easy - mentioning his name may prolong the effects of what you already agree was 'terrible' for him. QED. With respect, I think you're not bringing any new points with your multiple responses - perhaps you might put yourself in his shoes for one moment, and then ask yourself whether your determination to include what most agree is a non-essential detail has the potential to cause yet more hurt and upset to the victim here? Little grape (talk) 07:40, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

(indent reset) I was actually referring to "good" in terms of actual, realistic effect, not speculative. What's done is done, in this scenario. I do not imagine that the subject here loses sleep over whether or not his name is included in another source or not, and see nothing to the contrary. I certainly hope that he's just put that part of his life behind him and moved on with it. Regardless, we cannot stuff this genie back in the bottle many years after the fact. Trying to do so may be done with the most noble of intentions, but it's a rather quixotic undertaking, and cannot succeed. The real service we can do is write a good article on what happened, complete with all relevant information, in the hopes that it serves as a cautionary tale to someone else who would do the same. Seraphimblade Talk to me 07:52, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Your argument becomes even weaker if you're now going to rely upon your hopes and wishes that the subject has 'moved on'. It is clear that the person had psychiatric problems as a result of this episode, and that any reasonable person might deduce that such problems might be perpetuated and compounded by the dogged determination to print the victim's name. Your 'genie in the bottle' analogy again ignores the points that have been made to you above; just because another publication prints his name doesn't mean WP has to, particularly as WP is more likely to be first port of call for anyone searching for information on the video. As for your hope that the article serves as a cautionary tale - how is the inclusion of his name going to further that 'hope'? Finally, you doidn't answer the question I posed, which in my opinion is the nub: 'perhaps you might put yourself in his shoes for one moment, and then ask yourself whether your determination to include what most agree is a non-essential detail has the potential to cause yet more hurt and upset to the victim here?' Little grape (talk) 08:58, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't believe it has any potential to do that. It was already made public many years ago. Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:34, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

We are currently the top google result for the young man's real name. This "amounts to participating in or prolonging the victimization." We can't control what any of these other sources do, but that doesn't mean that we have to participate in activities which the community has found are unacceptable. (Speculation on the victim's metal state and whether or not he has 'moved on' is irrelevant and not helping the BLP issues, either, incidentally.) There really is no argument here. Per WP:BLP, we must not include the victim's name. -- Vary | (Talk) 18:51, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

I concur with others who have stated that this article pertains specifically to the Internet meme, and thus the biographical information is relevant but not mandatory. As the individual's identity is not relevant for any reason other than the meme, knowing his name does not confer any additional understanding of the topic. And, as per WP:BLP "The possibility of harm to living subjects must be considered when exercising editorial judgment." This indicates to me that it is better to err on the side of caution, especially when the data being consider do not contribute significantly to the information content of the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:33, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

I believe this article does not fall into WP:BLP, and therefore there is no need for a name. Just give the kid a break already. > RUL3R>trolling>vandalism 21:16, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm responding to the RfC. While this is an article about a viral video and not a person, WP:BLP applies to all biographical information regardless of the article. Given that this person is only notable for one event, his name should be omitted. If this question keeps popping up over and over again, I suggest that you add a FAQ to the talk page. It won't stop people from asking about this, but at least you'll have something to point people to. If you need an example for a FAQ, see our talk page for Barack Obama. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:10, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree with "A Quest For Knowledge" above. We obviously shouldn't be including the name of this private individual associated with a meme that has caused him measurable damage, but writing up a FAQ will help to break the news to the many people who keep coming here wanting to put it in. --TS 05:04, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
He's notable for two events, both the video and the lawsuit that happened after. His name is widely reported and trying to keep it out of this article is little more than censorship hiding behind BLP. BLP doesn't apply to well sourced info.--Crossmr (talk) 08:42, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
The lawsuit is only notable because the meme is notable. Thus we should only include information about the lawsuit as it applies to the meme. And WP:BLP applies to all material, regardless of how well it is sourced. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 12:59, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
The statement that "BLP doesn't apply to well sourced info" is simply false. The biographies of living persons policy applies to every single statement about a living person on any part of Wikipedia, whether sourced or not. --TS 13:40, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Except the argument being made is weak. The claim is that the privacy of names section covers his name but it does not. The examples given are about family members of notable people, or something like that. That is not the case here. He is quite notable in that his name is reported in hundreds of reliable sources in connection with this video over a period of several years. If you want to claim that the lawsuit is part of the same event, which happened much later, you could make the same claim about any famous person. Any actor only gets the parts and coverage because of the great job they did the first time around that made them famous. This isn't even remotely a case for privacy of names. If we were talking about his siblings names or parents names, there might be a point.--Crossmr (talk) 04:07, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
BLP is the policy being cited, not the Privacy of Names section mentioned above. I think you'll see some other, very relevant material when reading the policy in its entirety. e.g.
  • "Biographies of living persons must be written conservatively, with regard for the subject's privacy..... The possibility of harm to living subjects must be considered when exercising editorial judgment";
  • "Presumption of Privacy- Wikipedia articles about living people can affect their subjects' lives. Editors who deal with these articles have a responsibility to consider the legal and ethical implications of their actions when doing so.... When writing about a person notable only for one or two events, including every detail can lead to problems, even when the material is well-sourced....This is of profound importance when dealing with individuals whose notability stems largely from their being victims of another's actions. Wikipedia editors must not act, intentionally or otherwise, in a way that amounts to participating in or prolonging the victimization."
There's more too, which you find yourself. --Slp1 (talk) 04:28, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
And I don't see how either of those are relevant. The same argument could be made for any article and we shouldn't include anyone's name who is alive. In more recent years, he's reported simply by name and then it is mentioned that he is famous for the video. And privacy of name was being cited in the FAQ when I wrote that, so before you tell me it isn't, [5] check the faq. The legal and ethical implications are quite clear here. Finding his name is trivial. There was no legal judgment that said his name shouldn't be printed in connection with this incident. With finding his name being so trivial, omitting it from the article does nothing to protect his privacy.--Crossmr (talk) 21:40, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for clearing up where you got the "privacy of names" reference. There are actually relatively few people mentioned here on WP whose notability stems from their victimization by others. (There are a few, however, where very similar decisions have been made.) So no, the specific issues here about identification don't follow for all BLP articles as you describe. And note again, this is not a biography; the article is not about him and contains nothing about his life (childhood/schooling etc). The issue is not whether finding his name is trivial (we can't do anything about what other people do) but whether it is ethical and right to include it here. In fact, put "star wars kid" into Google as I did here and you might be surprised to know that only one of the top ten links names him in full. Two mention his first name alone. Why should the WP article (at the top of the list, of course) insist on outing him and perpetuating the victimization, when so many others websites are wisely discreet and allow him some privacy? Yes, people can find out if they want, even quite easily. But there is absolutely no good reason for broadcasting it ourselves, and plenty of ethical, moral and humanitarian reasons why we wouldn't. --Slp1 (talk) 22:56, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
The change shows that those supporting its omission aren't even clear on why it is being omitted. You haven't demonstrated how including his name which is trivial to find and is apparently in one of the sources cited in the article, would continue any victimization. Do you have some evidence that someone used information from the article to harass him? Or that the information used here is substantially greater or easier to find than information elsewhere that could be used to victimize him? Wikipedia should include it because they are an encyclopedia. It is all well and good to claim those things as a reason, but unless you can show how including it would actually further those, you're not really making much of an argument here. Wikipedia is about notable information, and even years later his full name is still being reported in reliable sources, it is a notable part of what happened here. In terms of how many websites are discreet and afford him some "privacy", google tells that "Star wars kid" + first name is 6000 hits (give or take) and "star wards kid" + full name is 4600 hits. The vast majority have reported his full name. So can you tell me why it is that wikipedia is omitting information that so many websites choose to include and how it does anything to actually benefit his situation? More specifically a google news search reveals "star wars kid" + first name is 280 and "star wars kid" + full name is 228. Only a small amount choose not to print his full name. In fact his full name goes back a full 7 years, it has been appearing in reliable sources since 2002.--Crossmr (talk) 01:18, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

I've deleted the RFC. I think we've formed a solid consensus. Arguments for inclusion of the name seem to either be attempts misdirection, ignore arguments for ommission, or outright contradict policy. Hopefully the FAQ on the top of the page and the non-archiving of this discussion will be enough to prevent this dispute from being re-opened in the future. Thanks to everyone who participated. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 09:06, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

AzureFury, kindly do not characterize my arguments (or those of others) in a patronizing or dismissive manner. You've every right to disagree, but you've no right to do that. Seraphimblade Talk to me 09:23, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
And now that I've noticed, I'd like the RFC to run for the full term. Most of who's showed up already are the "usual suspects" here, let's let some other people look at it. Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:08, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Seraphim, what do you think is going to change? There is a solid majority of editors here that have opposed inclusion of the name. This RFC has been open for a week. We've run every argument to its conclusion, and even gone through some extra arguments for good measure. No progress is being made towards inclusion. Further, this is (at least) the second RFC you've been involved in on this page. You know how this is going to play out. Are you hoping that enough anons ignorant of wiki policy will respond to this RFC to change the proportion of the vote? Perhaps you can find editors who are willing to ignore policy too. Let's stop wasting everyone's time eh? WP:Let it go. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 18:25, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I think we may get some additional views on the matter (someone else just came in favoring inclusion as well, as you might note.) There's always the possibility that consensus can change, and you're not just definitively correct here. I also oppose the addition of any "FAQ" that doesn't include the counterarguments as well, as it may seem to be a "Shut up, we'll never change this", even if that's not its intent. It may very well be that it doesn't get done this time around either, but if there's one thing I've learned around here, it's that what needs to happen eventually does. It just takes time. If you're as right as you think you are, what harm could be done by letting it run long enough to get some genuinely new eyes on the situation? This is a repeat performance for most of us here, not just myself. Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:35, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
An FAQ prevents us from having to go through these same arguments again. Policy is clear on the matter. Until policy changes, consensus on this page will not change. I did note the other editors who came in favoring inclusion, that's who I was referring to when I said, "...editors who are willing to ignore policy..." AzureFury (talk | contribs) 18:39, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I would also support continuing the RFC. I don't think it is the greatest idea for the initiator to declare it closed, procedure-wise. However, I'll point out that actually, based on an analysis of the page statistics[6], fully 50% of the contributors to this RFC (or more if you count me) are new editors to this topic. So, not this hasn't been "a repeat performance for most of us". --Slp1 (talk) 18:46, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I thought that 12 against inclusion and 3 for inclusion was enough to interpolate the results of a continued RFC. It seems to me that discussion has pretty much broken down and we're just tallying up more votes. If someone feels strongly that more needs to be said here, feel free to repost the RFC. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 18:52, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Amazingly enough, adopting an "I'm right, you're wrong, we're done" mentality tends to lead to a discussion breakdown. You believe, as may others here do, that existing policy precludes use of the name. I believe, as many others also have, that it does not. When we disagree, we talk, we don't just say "Well you're wrong, so I'll declare the discussion over and slap a header on the page to discourage people from ever discussing it again." I'd also say it's difficult at best to interpret numbers from a conversation with the use of such attitudes, as it often discourages those on the opposing side from participating in it at all due to the high likelihood of being subjected to the same treatment. That's why we don't consider things to be votes. You've every right to disagree, as do I. You do not have the right to be snide, dismissive, or adopt a "high horse" position, as all of those are uncivil, and more importantly, all inevitably lead to a poor quality discussion that doesn't resolve anything. Seraphimblade Talk to me 19:01, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not happy to be classed as 'one of the usual suspects' by you. Perhaps you could explain exactly what you mean by such comments, and who exactly you are referring to - a list of these people would be useful, rather than a snide general attack? It is somewhat ironic that you then go on to accuse editors of being 'snide, dismissive, or on some sort of high horse' in what appears to be a snide, dismissive, high-horsish kinda way. Have you considered you might actually be on your own 'high horse'? Ya know, pot/kettle/black and all that? It is more than disappointing that many of your recent contributions to this discussion have appeared to contain a personal element, and that you have failed to bring any *new* points during your many and varied contributions. Debate the issues, not the people. Little grape (talk) 20:06, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree, I'm noticing the same things being said over and over again, within this discussion and compared with the previous RFC. Further, when we start talking about completely unrelated policies like WP:NPOV, I don't think this is a constructive use of anyone's time. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 01:22, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Erm, I'm including myself in the list of "the usual suspects" as it were, so it'd be rather silly for me to mean that as an attack—presume it says "those who have participated here before", that's all I really meant. And I don't see NPOV as unrelated at all. One of the core parts of NPOV is that we write from the viewpoint of sources, and do not substitute ours for theirs—and that when a dispute comes up over what should or should not be included, we settle that by, first and foremost, consulting the sources and following their lead. You may see that not to apply, but I see it as the core issue. If it weren't, I wouldn't be particularly worried about this. As to "debate the issue, not the people", I would like nothing better, but in order to do that, we'd need points to be addressed rather than dismissed. Shell was doing that above, and that I appreciate, but I think explaining why you think it's acceptable to use our own rather than a source viewpoint here would be more constructive than simply saying NPOV is irrelevant. NPOV is always relevant and always required, so if you can explain to me how it's neutral to substitute our own judgment for that of dozens of reliable sources, you'd have me convinced. As for me, if I have offended someone, please do call me on it—all that does is degrade the discussion, and I'm imperfect myself. I'm here to have a discussion, not attack anyone. My question here is "Is it neutral to present the article this way?" That's a yes or no question, but it's never an irrelevant question, as every article is required to be strictly NPOV. If you think the answer is yes, I'm interested to know why. I think the answer is no, and I've explained why. Seraphimblade Talk to me 04:59, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
We are neutrally adhering to policy. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 06:27, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I disagree, you're omitting information that is contained in hundreds of reliable sources because of your personal opinion that it might possibly be detrimental to the subject, yet I've seen zero evidence provided to back that up, and the policy part that it is linked to isn't particularly strong. The rest of my point is above--Crossmr (talk) 06:54, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
What exactly would be required for a policy based argument to be strong? WP:BLP specifically mentions this situation. It doesn't get any stronger than that. Are you looking for the SWK to be listed in examples of application of that policy? I think we have enough policy makers here that that could be arranged. You think calling an argument weak is convincing anyone? You're trying to include material in violation of policy because of your personal opinion that it won't be detrimental to the subject. Oh wow! Sure is easy to phrase anyone's editorial judgement in the form of an opinion! We're all breaching WP:NPOV all the time! Guess we'll just have to shut down Wikipedia since we have no editors without opinions. This is a waste of time. I think editors arguing for inclusion are just trying to WP:WIN. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 12:30, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, we have editors with opinions on everything. That's precisely the reason we have WP:NPOV, so that we don't wind up with editorials rather than articles. (I guarantee you we have plenty of editors who think the abortion article should say "Abortion is murder", and plenty of others who would have it say "Abortion is a woman's right." The article is written as it is due to NPOV, where we report on the various sides rather than taking one.) To the way I see it, this article is an implicit editorial—we're saying "All those reliable sources were (wrong|unethical|what have you) to include the name." When there's a dispute over neutrality, the first question should be "How do the sources do it?" Here, the overwhelming majority viewpoint of reliable sources is to include the name in articles about the phenomenon. I think, then, that to not include the name is a fringe viewpoint (one source did advocate it, listed above, but that's clearly the minority position in the matter), and for us to follow that gives that position undue weight. That every bit implicates NPOV. As I see it, the correct way to do this would be to use the above source to state that there has been criticism of the use of the name, but to follow the lead of the overwhelming majority of sources and do so ourselves. Seraphimblade Talk to me 12:49, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
No one has demonstrated that including his name would further any victimization. You've claimed it, as have others, but you've failed to provide any evidence that would show that it would in fact have such an effect. Given the ease and wide reporting of his name, including his name in the article wouldn't remotely make it any easier, nor sufficiently hinder anyone to warrant its omission. So no, part of the policy doesn't apply here, what applies here are the reliable sources and the fact that his full name has been reported in them for 7 full years. It is all well and good to claim these things but if you can't provide evidence to support how it would actually apply to this situation, claiming them doesn't amount to a hill of beans.--Crossmr (talk) 15:03, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break[edit]

I don't think 'opinion' is needed here, as the rules seem fairly clear, the evidence is at hand, and the facts are clear if one looks. There is of course plenty of known evidence regarding this incident, the aftermath, and the person's feelings and mental condition. It is a fact that he successfully sued the people who took his private film and put it on the internet. It is a fact that he had to change school to one that offered counselling, it is a fact that he is on record as having declined numerous interview requests (I could not find a single interview with him anywhere this decade), and it is a fact that he and his family have stated that the incident and subsequent notoriety caused him psychological problems. I think it's fair to say that *every* editor here has agreed that he was traumatised at the time. Where I think we differ is that some editors feel that he (and forgive me for paraphrasing) 'must have got over it by now', therefore 'no damage will be caused by publishing his name'.
There is unfortunately no evidence whatsoever to support this view; I have looked for interviews with him that might say "yes it was horrible, but now I can laugh at it" or somesuch statement, but there's nothing. It is reasonable to suppose that journalists continue to seek interviews, even after ten years, and that there must be a good reason why no such interviews exist. We must conclude that either he cannot be found (perhaps has changed his name) or has refused all such interview requests. This lack of publicity rather indicates to me that he is *still* upset about the matter, and shuns all publicity. That was his position back in 2006 when he won the settlement, and we have no basis that I know of to suppose he has changed his mind in the interim. We should therefore take his last stated position as being his current position, rather than guess and hope that he's in some way changed his mind.
Ignoring, for a moment, what WP's rules are on this issue, for me the question is (again) 'does adding his name have the potential to cause yet more hurt and upset to the victim here?'. It was disappointing to read some of the responses to that question - if we can all agree the answer to the question is "maybe", then we might then agree that (for now) the name should stay out. I say 'for now', because if the person decides to come out and do lots of interviews, TV shows etc etc then I would agree he has probably got to the point of accepting his position and there would be little risk of further damage by including his name.
As for POV, well Seraph states early on that this was (and again I paraphrase) 'what made him leave WP', so clearly there's some emotion there which may be unhelpful in assessing the facts. And if you're going to downgrade the input of anyone in your group of 'usual suspects' then I imagine that by your self-stated rules you would grade my opinion much higher because I've never taken any interest in this issue before?
In conclusion; I don't think I'd change my view unless there was good evidence that the person had indeed 'got over it', or some new evidence came to light, so it's fairly pointless us making the same points to each other over and over...... Little grape (talk) 16:14, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I appreciate you taking the time to lay out your position clearly and thoughtfully. I think knowing some of the "why"s is helpful to the discussion. The reason I did leave last time is because I effectively saw a group of editors who should know better supporting what still seems to me to be a naked POV push, and for no reason. I do not agree the answer to "Will it do more harm?" is "maybe", I believe the answer is no. The information is already public, and the damage is already done. It's like asking "Will pushing the detonator down a second time cause more explosions?" The answer to that question is "no", not "maybe". If what happened does still upset him, us including or not including the name won't change that. If he's moved on, us including or not including the name won't change that either. If he's changed his name, us including or not including the old name will make no difference, and we'd certainly not include the new one even if we knew it. If he hasn't, it's already publicly available, so including it or not including it makes no difference. In none of those scenarios do our actions change the outcome, so I see the answer as a clear "No, that's not possible in any actual scenario I can conceive of" to "Could this do further harm?" I would like to know under what hypothetical scenario our actions would have the potential of further harm—it's been asserted over and over here that it's true, but I do not see under what circumstance our action makes a bit of difference. Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:30, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Two last points from me, as this discussion seems very circular to me too, and I don't mind if someone else gets the last word. NPOV policy requires us to present varying views/opinions published by reliable sources, fairly and proportionately. The question is here not how to summarize various views/opinions (and certainly not the "harm/no harm" views of editors mentioned above), but the inclusion or exclusion of an (undisputed) fact. Seraphimblade's NPOV argument appears predicated on naked original research and supposition about how he may or may not have moved on, and original research about journalistic practice, in which we would need to deduce the appropriate practice from newspapers, books etc. If accepted (which I don't believe it should), this would only leads into another can of OR worms; since we should presumably reflect current views of the subject, at what time point do we start measuring this? How often do we update our assessment of current practice? ....and in fact, if we use recent books and journals (generally considered higher quality reliable sources that should be our focus per WP:RS) the trend is strongly against mentioning his name (11-3 of relevant book refs); (18-6 of journals)[7]<real name redacted>%22+%22star+wars+kid%22+&as_publication=-googlebooks&btnG=Search&as_sdt=2000&as_ylo=2008&as_vis=0<real name redacted>%22+%22star+wars+kid%22+&as_publication=-googlebooks&btnG=Search&as_sdt=2000&as_ylo=2008&as_vis=0
Crossmr suggests that we need to prove that including his name would further the victimization. Frankly, I think it is obvious enough to hardly need saying. But as it happens, and as mentioned above in my first post, the one reliable source we have that specifically addresses this issue supports the view that the decision not to include his name here is an ethical and moral one as preventing ongoing harm. [8]. Zittrain's view is also reported on, approvingly, in this Forbes article. Can you cite anything other than your own opinions, to support your notion that no harm is being done by naming him?
As with most things, things can change. As Little Grape points out, if in the future, the SWK writes a book about his experiences, gives interviews etc under his real name, my opinion will change. For the moment, however, I think that the both WP:BLP and WP:CONSENSUS policies clearly and strongly support the ongoing exclusion of his name. Discuss on as you wish, but in my case at least, please don't assume that a lack of a response means consent--Slp1 (talk) 19:01, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes I can. The fact that his name is not under a publication ban, its in one of the sources linked from the article and is trivial to find. If the name was under a publication ban, difficult to find, or extracted through original research it doesn't belong. But that isn't the case here. The case is quite simply that his name has been in the news for 7 years and continues to be printed today. If anyone wanted to victimize him further they wouldn't need nor benefit from wikipedia's help. Quite simply put, including his name would do nothing to further any victimization, as I already pointed out. It would not make it any easier to find his name, nor does its omission do anything to hinder anyone who wants to find it. Unless you can demonstrate that inclusion of the name makes it easier to find, or omitting it makes it harder to find (and no, the claim that -1 websites out of the thousands that already report it does that won't cut it) it isn't covered by this policy. There isn't even a maybe there. His full name and star wards kid (with quotes) shows up on almost 3000 websites according to google. Its inclusion on wikipedia would have zero impact on anybody's ability to find that out. The fact that he regrets airing the film doesn't mean that his name being included on this article would further victimization. That is the point here. If zittrain wants to come here and argue the case in regards to our policy he's welcome to , but even though he supports the decision not to print it, that article doesn't do anything to demonstrate how the omission on wikipedia actually helps him. Can you actually cite anything that would demonstrate how including his name would actually further victimization or do you have only your personal opinion?--Crossmr (talk) 01:24, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
That argument sounds a lot like "other stuff exists". What other sources do or do not do editorially really doesn't have any bearing on what we've decided to do here. Its quite possible that other media outlets don't have the same standards for living people that Wikipedia does. As a whole, Wikipedia editors decided that people notable for one event should be covered in context of that event. One question that I don't feel has been sufficiently answered is what encyclopedic value does the name add to the article? Does it lend context to the video or surrounding meme? Does it tell us more about the video or give us any information (other than itself) that we wouldn't have known otherwise?

As for the questions about harm, I assume everyone's read the harassment and lawsuit section and the sources given there? It seems fairly conclusive to me that real harm was done; the fact that he didn't go after every media outlet and instead went after the initial source doesn't convince me that repeating his name in connection with the incident doesn't have the potential to be harmful. Either way though, we're speculating and I'm fairly certain that the community (and the Foundation) has repeatedly indicated that we should err on the side of caution. Shell babelfish 05:39, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Its a widely reported fact associated with this incident. You could pick apart tons of facts, sentences and things from many articles and ask how they benefit. Otherstuffexists is an AfD argument, I don't think we're having an AfD discussion here. the Threshold for inclusion of an article is different than that on individual pieces of information in the article. In terms of context yes, since he is constantly mentioned by name the association of his name with this incident is in fact important to provide context. Were his name reported sparsely or for a short time, it would provide no context. But the fact that his name is still reported in full 7 years later demonstrates that it is in linked with this incident. With that in mind and the fact that no one has been able to demonstrate how exactly its inclusion here would victimize him further, I can't see how its omission is inline with policy.--Crossmr (talk) 06:22, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Little Grape, would appreciate it if you didn't mischaracterize my opinion. I don't know if he's moved on or not, my opinion is that it does not matter if he has or not, because we can't do harm in any scenario anyway. I said once that I hope he has, and that's been made into a straw man argument as if that's in any way germane to the point I'm making. My argument is that not once has anyone stated "Alright, here are some hypothetical circumstances where us excluding the name would actually help, and us including it would actually hurt." I included why I believe that, whether or not he's moved on, whether or not it still bothers him, whether or not he's changed its name, our inclusion or exclusion of the name can't do any actual good or harm, because what's done is already done and what's public is already public. No one's yet addressed that argument, or provided any hypothetical situation where we can make any actual, realistic difference in this situation. Does anyone have such a circumstance in mind? I would presume someone must, since there are such strong assertions of harm, but since I must be missing why there is any real difference in any given scenario based on what we do, I'd sure like to hear it myself. Seraphimblade Talk to me 05:15, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Certainly we can't put the cat back in the box; Wikipedia is never the place to "right wrongs", but, this is different than our responsibility not to perpetuate something we can clearly understand was harmful to the subject. The community doesn't cover individuals in detail when they are notable for a single event. There are other cases of minors who were famous as a hacker or other media worthy event where the subject's real name is not mentioned in the Wikipedia article regardless of whether or not it can be found elsewhere. I may have missed things over the past couple of days, but was there ever an answer to why the name was so important to include? Other than the name itself, what would we learn by it? Shell babelfish 05:39, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I think Crossmr's mention of context is a very important consideration. Some other considerations would be the creation of a redirect from the name to the event article (which is pretty standard for "event" articles where we don't have a full bio on the subject), and that "who" is one of the Five Ws that should be answered in order for any type of report or article to be considered complete. That's pretty clear in the way that the article reads very awkwardly from its exclusion, and an awkward, incomplete article impedes a reader's understanding. Maximizing understanding of what we write about is and should be our core mission. I'm not suggesting we write a full bio here—we don't have anywhere near enough for that, and that's what one event does and should preclude. But since the likelihood of further harm being actually done is extremely remote, I don't think the standard should be that the name would be earth shattering to merit inclusion. It would be helpful and useful to readers in understanding the situation and performing additional research if desired, and the redirect would be useful in terms of finding the correct article. Without that, the reader may be stuck using Google and finding resources of considerably lower quality than a neutral encyclopedia article, or would find this article and then we've protected exactly nothing anyway. I think minimizing harm should be a consideration, but in this case, it seems that we're trying to shut the barn door after the horse has not only bolted but made its way across most of the world. Seraphimblade Talk to me 07:46, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Article full protected for a week[edit]

Due to the edit warring, I am fully protecting the article for one week.

I am not going to take any BLP violation or WP:3RR or WP:EDITWAR related enforcement actions at this time. I would like to request that, when the full protect ends, nobody launch into a new round of fighting over it. THAT, will lead to blocks.

The RFC above is fine. Edit warring over BLP issues, especially long settled ones, is not OK. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 00:56, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Protection template[edit]

{{editprotected}} Please replace the protetion template {{pp-semi-indef|small=yes|expiry=May 06, 2009}} with something like {{Pp-protected|small=yes}}. Thank you, Debresser (talk) 13:08, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

 Done Not really a big deal though, is it? :) ≈ Chamal talk 03:04, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
No, but it helps keeping Category:Wikipedia pages with incorrect protection templates empty. So thank you. And you learned to be more carefull next time. Also a gain. Debresser (talk) 16:27, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Draft FAQ[edit]

As a result of a suggestion by User:A Quest For Knowledge in the RFC above, I've written a draft FAQ which is transcluded to the top of this talk page. For the page itself, see Talk:Star Wars Kid/FAQ. --TS 05:26, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

His name comes up in search engines, why nothing can be done[edit]

Because the name is literally all over the internet approximately 29,000 times, tied to the phrase Star Wars Kid. There is absolutely nothing that can be done to stop it coming up on this article in searches because of Wikipedia's own SEO, unless you exclude this article from SEA with no indexing or robots.txt. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:17, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Please feel free to nominate the article for deletion (which would be futile, I have no doubt). Incidentally what is "SEA"? I presume you do not mean "sea", an expanse of salty water? I can just about guess that, by SEO, you mean "Search engine optimization", but please bear in mind that this is still the English encyclopedia, not the encyclopedia for spouting random bits of alphabet. --TS 22:31, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, you are pointlessly rude and belligerent, no? It was a typo of SEO. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:20, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry if it sounds rude, but my complaint isn't pointless. It's that if you use English instead of odd bits of alphabet cobbled together it's more likely that you will be understood. --TS 14:24, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
LOL. (That means that I am "laughing out loud".) JBsupreme (talk) 19:50, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
It was rude and pointless. Not only that, but you refused to accept it. Well done. Arrogance at its best. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:14, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
The question, 'what does "SEA" stand for', was not intended rhetorically. The meaning of the head posting of this section, therefore, remains opaque, which probably explains why it has degenerated into a general moan about the rudeness of people who don't understand it. --TS 11:32, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

If we won't name him[edit]

We should remove all the links to external sites that name him. Otherwise, it's shallow hypocrisy to simply exclude his name. We're doing it half-assed, if we're going to do it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:23, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

See FAQ Q2. Yes, all compromise lays one open to the charge of hypocrisy. This is why people over the age of 15 can seldom make a credible charge of hypocrisy. Accommodating conflicting principles to arrive at an acceptable end result is very much what we do here. --TS 14:27, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Is it even possible for you to answer a question without a backhanded insult? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:31, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I agree that the reference to adolescence was rude. --TS 14:36, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

proposed change[edit]

I propose changing

" It was taped it over a portion of a basketball game..."


" It was taped over a portion of a basketball game..."

for grammar reasons. Any objections? RJFJR (talk) 14:37, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Straightforward. I've taken the liberty of adding an {{editprotected}} tag so an administrator may see the proposal and perform this uncontroversial edit. --TS 14:52, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I've taken care of this uncontroversial edit. Thank you, RJFJR.--Slp1 (talk) 15:38, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Notable for one event?[edit]

If this person is truly only notable for one event, WP:BLP1E, then why isn't this article DELETED? JBsupreme (talk) 19:14, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Because it's not, strictly speaking, a biographical article. When a person is notable for one event, we're to create an article on the event, or in this case, the meme. -- Vary | (Talk) 19:17, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I really could care less if this article was deleted. That said, however, I do think it is kind of silly the arguments being made above regarding the inclusion/exclusion of his real name. On both sides. JBsupreme (talk) 19:20, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree that this should be deleted, though on slightly different reasoning. The decision on which internet memes are given their own pages and which are not seems to be totally arbitrary. Why does this kid's meme get a page while Afro Ninja and Elizabeth Lambert do not? Basically, it is because the people who care enough to fight articles deletion processes tend to be relatively likeminded people who make decisions on what they believe is cool/notable rather than what is objectively notable. That being said, this should simply be an entry on the List of Internet phenomena and Viral video pages, as should all internet/YouTube video memes, because virtually all memes are NOT notable to people outside the socioeconomic/cultural sphere that Wikipedia's user-administrators are part of (a sphere that represents only a fraction of the English-speaking population of the world). Niremetal (talk) 00:38, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
I've seen this video on the mainstream news. Never saw Afro Ninja on the news. I haven't even heard of Elizabeth Lambert. Though it's hard to prove, I believe the SWK is much more significant and well known. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 02:06, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Isn't the existence of this article victimizing the person, just like listing his name? The mentions of the Star Wars Kid are, for the most part, one-off jokes in a show where the direction of the show is not relevant to the reference. Due to the fact that the person in question is a private individual, and the fact that the article is still about the person - Star Wars Kid is a nickname for the person, it is not an event. The fact that it only covers him as the Star Wars Kid means nothing. - The New Age Retro Hippie used Ruler! Now, he can figure out the length of things easily. 22:58, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
The kid did not direct the popularization of the meme. Thus the kid is distinct from the meme and we can distinguish between them when we write the article. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 04:48, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
The article still greatly lacks any real assertion that this is anything more than "everyday meme". - The New Age Retro Hippie used Ruler! Now, he can figure out the length of things easily. 08:05, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
The number of mainstream sources that cover this meme establish notability, and that it is not "everday." AzureFury (talk | contribs) 08:48, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
I've seen several memes deemed to not be notable that have more mainstream sources than this. - The New Age Retro Hippie used Ruler! Now, he can figure out the length of things easily. 10:17, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
This is the most popular internet meme of all time. You seriously don't think it is notable?19:22, 6 April 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
Not by the rules that we have set up for Internet memes, no. The tone of the title clearly shows that it's talking about the person - the name of the video, Star Wars Kid, is referring to the person. Meaning, this article is about the man known as "Star Wars Kid" on the Internet, not the video of the person. It consistently describes the person in the video and how he has had to deal with it. Under current rules of BLP, the article certainly fails. Being a really, really funny video does not mean it's important. - The New Age Retro Hippie used Ruler! Now, he can figure out the length of things easily. 20:57, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Continued media presence[edit]

For what it's worth — and possibly not a whole lot — SWK is briefly mentioned in today's Globe and Mail (12 January 2010) in the article, "California's gay-marriage showdown begins" by Siri Agrell. Agrell asks, "Could a court case go viral, a la Star Wars Kid [...]?" Considering this is a newspaper of record written for a general audience (and not a tech/Internet blog), it strikes me as remarkable longevity for a meme which peaked in popularity some seven years ago. Albrecht (talk) 17:26, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

'In Popular Culture' section[edit]

This got removed, but it's essential to show how it's a *real* meme via illustration of where it's made it into popular culture. Refs are available, they just need putting in. Oh, wait. Little grape (talk) 20:23, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

I think your point is certainly arguable. But we'd need proper sourcing, and not just this "I watched TV once and I saw this program and I think it was about the subject of this article" stuff. The section had been tagged for months, so if somebody was going to find secondary sources identifying these popular culture items as related to this meme, they'd had plenty of time in which to do it. --TS 20:30, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Not difficult to find the sources; have put a couple in for now. Little grape (talk) 20:38, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Editing appears to be disabled on the main article - I just want to add another Popular Culture reference. Weird Al - White & Nerdy music video ( time 1:23. Weird Al reproduces a few frames of the Star Wars Kid video. Pedorro (talk) 20:24, 12 January 2011 (UTC)


WolframAlpha lists him as a "memeticist", probably not worthy of inclusion into the article though. --Rajah (talk) 06:02, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Indefinitely semiprotected[edit]

As we are being hit again, and again, .... and again, .... by drive-by IP editors adding the name, I have indefinitely semiprotected the article. The BLP concerns raised are significant, per talk page discussions, etc.

Autoconfirmed editors are welcome to continue editing, of course.

IP editors may make change suggestions here on the talk page. Please do review the discussions about the real name inclusions in the talk page history, though. Thanks. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 01:13, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps you should look at why editors are doing this. The-person-who-wikipedia-won't-name has "made headlines again, this time for his appointment as the new president of the Patrimoine Trois-Rivières conservation society in Quebec."[9]. Of course, using wikithink, we know not to mention this pertinent fact, because there's no article about the person, only what the person did, and of course the person becoming independently famous is no reason for them to have a Wikipedia article. (talk) 14:35, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
What the hell is the "Patrimoine Trois-Rivières conservation society in Quebec"? Why is becoming president of this non-notable organization notable? AzureFury (talk | contribs) 15:19, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps you should look up wikipedia and find out? It's the main conservation society of the city of Trois-Rivières. What makes you think it's non-notable? (talk) 15:41, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Gee kid, maybe you should take a look at URL in your browser. The first two letters are "en" meaning you're on English Wikipedia. Searching for "Patrimoine Trois-Rivières" produces no results here. Can you find any other presidents of that particular society on Wikipedia? Having an article in one language but not in another usually implies that a topic is right on the edge of notability, in which case an smaller subtopic would not be notable. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 17:17, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
And sometimes it merely implies that the interest in and sources supporting an article are primarily in a certain language. Sources in French are perfectly acceptable to support notability for an English article, they're just harder to access by the userbase. VernoWhitney (talk) 17:47, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Right, and it is exactly that disinterest that implies where it stands regarding notability. The smaller the group interested, the less notable. French Wikipedia is much smaller than English Wikipedia. I'm not saying the organization is not at all notable. I'm saying it's not very notable. And per WP:Overcategorization its president's notability is not established. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 19:25, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I disagree, but that's fine since the real question is about He Who Shall Not Be Named, and I do agree that he still fails WP:GNG regardless of the conservation society's notability. VernoWhitney (talk) 19:32, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
With which part do you disagree? I thought that was a pretty standard interpretation of policy. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 21:32, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
First off, don't be jerks. Calling people kids on the Internet is really, really dumb. And I think that when he said he disagrees, he was speaking of the notability of the society. - The New Age Retro Hippie used Ruler! Now, he can figure out the length of things easily. 23:47, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Kid is more offensive than jerk? That's news to me. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 02:10, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, the golden rule is that if you don't want to be called a jerk, don't act like one. You don't have an expectation that you should be allowed to take offense to anything if you make an obviously insulting statement. - The New Age Retro Hippie used Ruler! Now, he can figure out the length of things easily. 03:01, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps you should read the insultingly condescending remark immediately before mine, kid. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 03:05, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Condescending? After you vulgarly asked what something was, implying that before even knowing what it was you assumed a lack in notability, he suggested you use Wikipedia. You've definitely been the most condescending person here, and made the original condescending comment in the first place. - The New Age Retro Hippie used Ruler! Now, he can figure out the length of things easily. 03:16, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Lol, see the comment preceding that one. Perhaps you should read the entire discussion before jumping in and adding your two ignorant cents. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 03:36, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, see, having read every line and noticing that none of the posts were condescending besides yours, I think I'm pretty well-educated. I think you ought to settle down and stop being offended over being offensive. - The New Age Retro Hippie used Ruler! Now, he can figure out the length of things easily. 03:59, 19 May 2010 (UTC)


────────────────────────────────────── FYI, [[<real name redacted>|He Who Shall Not Be Named]]'s article has been given content instead of just the redirect to here, so those who have considered the subject in detail may want to provide input over thataway too. VernoWhitney (talk) 02:44, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Crap. This is circular. The only reason that he and the organisation have received any coverage in reliable sources is because of his previous notieriety. If he hadn't been the SWK, neither his appointment nor the organisation itself would have been noticed - a small local conservation society just doesn't cut it - neither have independent notability, it's all inherited. AFD both. Exxolon (talk) 17:27, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I'll tentatively disagree about the conservation society given the apparently well-sourced 30 KB article at fr:Patrimoine de Trois-Rivières, but I agree about the circular inherited notability problem with the other one. On the other hand the editor who made the change may have a point that it's no longer a WP:BLP1E issue because fame begets fame begets notability (just look at Paris Hilton), which is why I posted here for more input from those who have a better grasp on the situation. VernoWhitney (talk) 18:09, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Actually the article on French wikipedia is about a different topic, the historical heritage of the region of Trois-Rivières (Patrimoine de Trois-Rivières), not the society (Patrimoine Trois-Rivières). The society (using its old name "Société de conservation et d'animation du patrimoine de Trois-Rivières") is one of 14 other historical societies listed, not one of which appears to have its own article. --Slp1 (talk) 18:34, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Aha, hooray for a translator. In that case, out with both of them pending a response to Exxolon's question to Georgewilliamherbert. VernoWhitney (talk) 19:03, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

So what now is stopping us adding the name?[edit]

The topic "Star Wars Kid" is notable, no question. And no question when he was a "kid" (under 18), BLP would prevent us giving his name under questionable sources.

But now we have confirmed sources, with this person now at "young 20s" ([10]) that has positively affirmed the person's identity in a reliable source ([11]) and in a manner that is non-negative (the issue being that in the announcement of this person being named president of a non-notable organization, there was a clear link to being the SWK at the time too). I've also noted, as of yesterday, started a page again for the person. So this person should be mentioned here (notability doesn't limit content) now that the BLP issue has passed - he's not a minor and in fact had the connection made in the announcement. --MASEM (t) 19:46, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

A couple of corrections: BLP applies to all people, not just minors. And he made no connection to his past when he was presented, in a local Quebec newspaper "Le Nouvelliste (Quebec)," as the new president of the area's conservation society. In fact, the paper says that he politely refused to talk about it when his past was alluded to at the press conference, saying that he preferred to draw a veil over the past and to focus the present and the future. --Slp1 (talk) 20:06, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
The issue was never the reliability of the sources. The issue is and always has been WP:BLP1E. The only question now is whether or not his notability is established outside of the meme, and I still do not believe it is. Is this organization any more notable than a college whose school presidents and deans are not worthy of articles? AzureFury (talk | contribs) 21:47, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
BLP1E shouldn't be applying. First, I agree that he's non-notable because of the reported position today. But, the meme is notable, and as extension of a meme, inclusion of who it was and where they are today is seems likely completely reasonable inclusion barring all other issues. In this case the primary issue is BLP directly (not BLP1E), particularly when as a minor. While people had made the connection back then, it made sense that we, like most other reputable news outlets, chose not to under the issue of defamation (particularly for a minor) for BLP. But, the question becomes: now with the name well established in search engines through reliable sources (eg it is not some underground group revealing difficult-to-find info) and that that person is now an adult and the "harm" that can befall him is significantly negligible now (again, stating his name doesn't change what's out there, and he's not likely facing the same ridicule he had as a teenage), it make no sense not to include the person's name, and how he's established himself as part of the content on the meme of the 'Star Wars Kid'; it is a curiosity, not a stigma. And yes I've read the FAQs above and agree - 5 years ago - that they made sense, but not today. --MASEM (t) 23:14, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
You seem to be saying that BLP1E shouldn't apply not because it doesn't apply now, but because it should not have applied in the first place. I believe that that position has been rather firmly and consistently opposed.
There was never any question as to the factual accuracy of the name, and whether reliable sources could be found. Any idiot with Google access could have established that at any time. Our initial human dignity ruling, followed by the official BLP1E policy, were the justifications to not include material which we all agreed was correct and verifiable.
Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 23:33, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
No, that's not what I mean. I agree that then and now, the person who is the SWK has no notability; the notability is of the meme itself. As part of the meme, however, I would expect the identity of the person involved to be included to make this article comprehensive, unless it was a serious BLP issue. Then, it was; today, it's decidedly less so because of him being an adult and the court issues long since settled. I don't question the rationale for exclusion then, but do wonder if we're being overly cautious here now. --MASEM (t) 23:43, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
The court issues have long been settled. This was never the reason for exclusion. Nothing has changed. His name stays out. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 02:17, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Patrimoine Trois-Rivières[edit]

Comments at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Patrimoine Trois-Rivières would be appreciated. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 02:14, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm going to restore <redacted due to BLP> to its status as a redirect once the above AFD is closed as delete. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 19:31, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
 Done AzureFury (talk | contribs) 05:18, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

The names of the folks who spread this[edit]

While it's certainly verifiable, I don't see that including the names of the people who spread the video around adds much to the article, and there are obvious BLP concerns for doing so, since the article does not exactly portray them in a flattering light. Accordingly, I've deleted them; please do not re-insert them unless a consensus to do so develops. Steve Smith (talk) 00:45, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

That's reasonable - I'm pretty sure they were minors at the time as an additional incentive to keep their names out. Exxolon (talk) 10:06, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't see why their names should not be added. They were part of a newsworthy event and their participation in the chain of events is verifiable. They were minors and their parents were named in the lawsuit, however there was not a publication ban on the details of the lawsuit (the Statement of Claim identifies all the parties involved, and contains lengthy Internet chat details). Also because it was a civil case, their identities, to the best of my understanding, are not protected by the Canadian Youth Criminal Justice Act. Honestly I don't have time to really dig into this with any precedences on Wikipedia, but I think that further discussion is warranted. --Yankees76 Talk 13:58, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
The archies of this page are full of further discussion and honestly, we're all getting real tired of it. On Wikipedia, WP:BLP trumps all, as a violation of that policy could potentially get us sued. As a result, WP:BLP1E is the commanding policy on this page. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 16:41, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
The archives talk more about ethics than any specific BLP violation and lawsuit threat, which at this point would have to be extremely low considering how widely covered this story was and still is. The BLP argument is expected, as it's the main scare tactic used by editors to exclude material in biographies. "We'll get sued!!" For what? Reproducing a name that national newspapers and court documents have already covered and printed? The kid did an interview where he asked for an Ipod for Pete's sake. Has there been any contact or quotes in the press where he asks that his name in connection with this video be censored? And if we add the name and he wants us to remove it, he can contact our OTRS system - at least then we'd know for sure that the subject of the article has an issue with us putting his name in it.
The ethics argument barely makes sense either. For years Wikipedia pointed out that JD Salinger lived in Cornish, New Hampshire, when it was abundantly clear he wanted his privacy and did not want to be bothered at his home (his publisher refused to give his address or contact info) But we didn't censor that. In fact his article had links to websites that discussed details on how exactly how to find his house. Did we overlook ethics because Salinger was a rich old man? If Salinger didn't want to be harassed, why did we print the town where he lived? Because hundreds of other sources printed it. We simply printed truthful material that was backed by a large number of reliable sources. Salinger lived in Cornish, and if people wanted to trespass and harass him, that was not for us to encourage or discourage. Google or any other search engine could provide any of the information that might have been censored from Wikipedia. My point is, it's not up to us to decide what is ethical and what isn't - this is an encyclopedia - the "sum of all human knowledge". Provided we don't print gossip, give the article any undue weight, or make up facts, why should we omit any material that is attributed to a reliable, published source? The kids name is <real name redacted>. Did I make that up? No. Is it in big bold letters at the top of the article and mention 50 times throughout? No. Are there published and reliable sources where anyone can verify this fact? Yes, there is. Probably numbering in the hundreds if not more. WP:BLP says we need to avoid victimizing individuals whose notability stems largely or entirely from being victims of another's actions. Are we participating in or prolonging the victimization by printing his name? That's really the only thing we need to come to a consensus on. If we are and it's the primary reason for censoring his name, we should delete the article entirely or remove all references to this being an act that caused the person embarrassment in the first place and the lawsuit that followed. Or we could simply merge that material into the Cyber-bullying article. Just like pole vaulter Allison Stokke, who like SWK achieved massive and unwanted internet fame, and was the subject of national newspaper coverage, doesn't have an article, neither is Star Wars Kid notable enough for a stand alone article as a meme. If we're not (he's a grown man, a law student and public figure now), we should present his identity objectively and quit ignoring the elephant in the room.
You guys may be growing tired of defending the exclusion of his name, but let's face it - this will probably never go away and appears to be about as popular a debate as the diacritic debate in English Wikipedia (and we're about as close to a real consensus). I wasn't even interested in this article until I noticed that the identity of the meme was missing right away. I would bet that we've exposed his name to more people by deliberately excluding it.
Wikipedia doesn't operate in a vacuum and ultimately the citations we use not only have the video creators/defendants names and high school, but the name of the meme himself, which makes our "ethical" censorship of his name in this article look incomplete, which is just going to continue to prompt discussion by new editors to the article, and further stimulate debate. Yes, I know these are arguments that have all been presented before, but to someone with a fresh look at this situation, the exclusion of his name and the names of the other individuals from the article is very bizarre and overly conservative. That's my rant, as I'd bet the farm no consensus will ever be reached on this, so I don't expect rebuttals or replies as it's all been covered. But you never know, maybe I brought up a point someone missed. Thanks for reading. --Yankees76 Talk 20:17, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm not going to debate this with you. I am not the only editor watching this page to make sure that the consensus that has been tested at least 5 times regarding the kid's name is enforced. About a week ago an WP:AFD regarding the kid's name closed and got two articles deleted. The consensus has not shifted in the years since the meme came out. I don't think there's anything left but mush for you to hit in this horse's carcass. Let's let it rest, hmm? AzureFury (talk | contribs) 21:36, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
I agreed with the AFDs, two articles for this guy can't exist as neither is notable enough for a standalone article without the other, and the society for which he is the president is not notable at all. Unless <real name redacted>'s biography uses extensive Cyberbullying sources/case studies (if they even exist). I've said all I want on it - again, thanks for reading - it's boring I'm sure, as you've probably heard it ad nauseam. It was a new article I stumbled onto and like many others took up the mantle for one side or the other. Hopefully this kid will do something that will make him notable enought to be in here for something other than a stolen video. In the meantime, maybe I'll get Stokke's article done or some other internet personality. --Yankees76 Talk 21:42, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Note - I've removed all mentions of his real name from this talkpage. BLP applies to all pages on the site. Exxolon (talk) 15:53, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

If I recall, Google no longer crawls talk pages. Same probably goes for other search engines. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 17:19, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
Not about Google - it's to avoid, even tangentially, tying his real life identity to the meme. Exxolon (talk) 19:25, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
Well gee, you better go delete those two AFD discussions we just had too then :p *rolls eyes* AzureFury (talk | contribs) 21:23, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
And the sources that are used to create the article too...--Yankees76 Talk 21:29, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
I've actually edited at least some of the discussions to omit the real name, it can still be found in the history if required. The sources argument is addressed in the FAQ. Exxolon (talk) 21:35, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
If it's found in the history what's the point in going so far as to remove them from links used in the discussion above? This sort of over zealousness is beyond description - I mean really, removing his first name from the URL of a link? And the FAQ says nothing - a compromise between WP:V and WP:BLP. We want our cake and we want to eat it too. We want our article without his real name, but because the only thing that makes this guy notable is his real name and the effect his fame had on him (hence the news coverage), we'll allow it in sources used to create the article. --Yankees76 Talk 22:13, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
The whole point is the guy isn't notable, the meme is. In order to document the notability of the meme by necessity we have to rely on references that may give his real name, however that doesn't give us justification to do the same. My actions might seem over-zealous to you but WP:BLP is a "brightline" policy - it must be enforced rigorously. Until the consensus is that using his name is not a BLP violation, we must do everything practically possible to avoid tying his real life identity to the meme he inadvertently created, even to the point of cutting his real name out of links and closed discussions. Exxolon (talk) 10:36, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
I would argue that neither the guy nor the meme is notable on it's own. The meme has an article because the guy had his video stolen and uploaded and viewed millions of times, which in itself is not notable - however his parents sued those who did it, which made it notable. If the guy had not sued his classmates and made the meme a high profile instance of cyber bullying, Star Wars Kid would be another Afro Ninja or Heineken Looter Guy - as internet phenomena without real people attached to them often do not appear in reliable sources for articles to be created for them in the first place (there is nothing particularly notable about a video of a kid swinging a golf ball retriever like a light saber that would cause any press coverage otherwise). The notability of Star Wars Kid is intricately tied in with the guy and the effect the meme had on him - without which there would be no reason to create an article on the meme (which is why every single reliable source used to create this article mentions his real name). This is why I brought up the issue higher up on the talk page - what happens when the "guy" becomes notable - if he runs for political office or since he's in law school does a high profile case? Are we going to ignore the meme? Will both articles exist at the same time or do we merge them? Or will we finally come to our senses and realize that adding his name to this article or tying SWK in with his own bio is probably no longer prolonging the victimization of the "guy" more than it already has? (yes, I thought the dead horse could use a few more whacks for good measure). --Yankees76 Talk 13:06, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
If he becomes independently notable for reasons outside the meme I imagine the issue will be revisited and a new consensus will emerge. For the time being we're going to show compassion, "do no harm" and leave his name out - this guy has suffered enough - he ended up in a psychiatric hospital and we're not operating in some kind of intellectual ivory tower - our actions can have real consequences for people in the real world - we have to conduct ourselves accordingly. Exxolon (talk) 14:12, 1 July 2010 (UTC)


Add CYBERSTALKING/CYBERBULLYING IN SEE ALSO PLEASE —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:13, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

    • Just a side note (I have no idea how to edit these things really) But he guest stars in Tony Hawk Underground 2. On the Boston stage there are two buildings the skater can get into. one has him in a chair (click feel the power and he goes off) the other a guy with a goat...(don't know, don't care to) - Hope that helps, delete if it does not. _D. Fleshman Anderson, SC, USA — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:48, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Star Wars kid now curating a military exhibition[edit]

The kid is now grown up and curating a military exhibition on the botched U.S. invasion of Quebec: (it's in French).CobaltBlueTony™ talk 15:09, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

This raises a curious dichotomy. If this article is a biography (i.e. BLP), then it should include the above detail, otherwise it is not a biography, i.e. an article about a person, but rather an article about a phenomenon. (Oh, the curious logical twists and leaps editors go through to find justification for whatever they want to do or be done, at the exclusion of all other twists and leaps!) - User:KeithTyler 01:43, 14 November 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Nominate for deletion: This article sucks without pictures[edit]

Seriously, what's the point in even mentioning it if nobody can see even a still frame from the video? This is 2013, we ought to be able to at least spare room for an animated GIF or something. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zaphraud (talkcontribs)

Please see our non-free content policy. We don't just put in non-free images just because. --MASEM (t) 04:53, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Name issue revisited: He's out there connecting himself to the incident as an adult[edit]

While I understood the consensus of protecting a minor, this has finally crossed over to Star Wars Kid talking about his life as the meme and the results and using it for public relations to talk about online bullying, etc. Just see the following examples, one of which was published this week in Maclean's, a major Canadian magazine.

Is there any compelling argument for keeping his name out of the article anymore when he's no longer hiding as he was several years ago? --Bobak (talk) 14:31, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

I agree that he's clearly making the connection himself and both 2013 reports are reliable, so BLP issues about the name connection are no longer an issue. Assuming this is eventually added, I would make it clear that he avoiding the connection for years and only recently has come out to affirm he is the SWK but using that as motivation speech topics. --MASEM (t) 16:46, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
I'd agree with that the 2013 mentions are reliable, but not the 2011 probably. He is now publicly making the connection as a adult, and that makes a major difference. Though I realize nobody is suggesting this, I'll just preemptively say that I would disagree with any suggestion of renaming the article. The article is still about the meme so the mention of his real name does not need to be made prominently and I agree with Masem that the anti-bullying context of the disclosure needs to be made clear.Slp1 (talk) 17:18, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, this article is the meme, not the person. No renaming or merging should be done, since before today, the person made himself notable for other reasons to have a separate article. --MASEM (t) 17:32, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, renaming would definitely be overkill. However—and I say this as a strong WP:AVOIDVICTIM advocate—if he's willing to acknowledge it now, I see no reason to not state his name in the article. He's booked on Tosh.0 soon, which is about as clear as you can get in terms of willingly putting yourself in the public sphere. — PinkAmpers&(Je vous invite à me parler) 07:04, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
As per this discussion, I will incorporate the name, Ghyslain Raza, into the article. Hamsterlopithecus (talk) 21:24, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Wow, if Andy Dufresne keeps writing the state, I wonder what other meme identities will be revealed.

We should unprotect this page[edit]

Now that the article explicitly names the protagonist, Ghyslain Raza, there is no reason to semi-protect it. Hamsterlopithecus (talk) 18:35, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

We'll still need to watch out for other BLP aspects, since this would qualify, but that's a reasonable suggestion (same rationale as to getting the Raza redirect restored). --MASEM (t) 18:41, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
I have unprotected the article. This is pretty old news, and I don't anticipate many future problems. --Bongwarrior (talk) 06:36, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Dates not adding up[edit]

He is categorized as a "1988 birth", but the article says the clip was made in 2002 when he was 15. He could not possibly have been born in 1988 to be 15 in 2002. Business Insider affirms he was 15 in 2002, but I couldn't find a birth year in there. Zeke, the Mad Horrorist (Speak quickly) (Follow my trail) 23:39, 27 February 2016 (UTC)