Talk:Virginia Beach shooting

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Requested move 31 May 2019[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: page moved. El_C 01:28, 1 June 2019 (UTC)


Virginia Beach municipal complex shootingVirginia Beach shooting – Page was moved by user Democratic Backsliding without discussion or consensus reached. There is no other notable "Virginia Beach shooting" and the current title is too detailed and long. Nice4What (talk · contribs) – (Don't forget to share a Thanks ) 23:25, 31 May 2019 (UTC)

  • Support Yes, clearly this title is too much. IWI (chat) 23:34, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Unnecessary disambiguation as it is. StudiesWorld (talk) 23:54, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per nomination. --Wow (talk) 23:56, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support How many other shootings in Virginia Beach have there been? There shouldn't be any confusion with just Virginia Beach shooting Thanks, EDG 543 (talk) 00:01, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - There is no need for disambiguation. - MrX 🖋 00:05, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - No need for disambiguation. No previous notable mass shootings have occurred in VB Compilergeek (talk) 00:24, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Full support - Current long title needs to be simplified to just "Virginia Beach shooting" since there hasn't been any other notable shootings in this community. Tinton5 (talk) 00:27, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment – I suggest this discussion comes to a speedy close and move. Nice4What (talk · contribs) – (Don't forget to share a Thanks ) 00:30, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I second. There shouldn't even be a discussion for this. Thanks, EDG 543 (talk) 00:58, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

RfC: Should the page include the victims names?[edit]

Should the page include the victims' names? El_C 02:14, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

Seeing as how there has been multiple users, create a back and forth about the inclusion of the victims names in the section and multiple points to start a discussion on the talk page, I've decided to start it. I for one believe it would be beneficial to include the names of the victims, as multiple other mass shooting incidents such as the University of North Carolina at Charlotte shooting and STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting. However, other pages such as Thousand Oaks shooting and Sutherland Springs church shooting focus on identifiable characteristics about the individuals such as age, occupation and gender. Even among the 2019 mass shooting incidents found through List of mass shootings in the United States the documentation of victims names varies.

Overall, I think humanizing the victims in some form even if its about how many years they worked for the state instead of their names would be beneficial to the page.

Leaky.Solar (talk) 03:18, 2 June 2019 (UTC)Leaky.Solar

Approximately 90% of similar articles contain victim names.[1] Not only is this humanizing but it is information. An article should contain an abundance of good-quality information. The material in question can be perused carefully or casually by a reader—but if it is absent it can't be seen at all. Bus stop (talk) 03:29, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Approximately 90% of similar articles contain victim names. - For editors unfamiliar with the history, effective counters to that argument, from multiple experienced editors, were made in the discussion now archived at Talk:Aurora, Illinois shooting/Archive 2#RfC: Victim names. Just look for "90%". And yet Bus stop keeps arguing the argument, hoping to sway editors unfamiliar with the history. Hey, it works for Trump. ―Mandruss  03:41, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Yes, Talk:Aurora, Illinois shooting/Archive 2#RfC: Victim names resulted in a decision to omit victim names, therefore that article would be among the 10% of similar articles that do not contain a victim list. Bus stop (talk) 03:59, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Let's be quite clear: the oft-"quoted" figure of 90% is a complete furphy, based on WP:OR, and has no credibility. WWGB (talk) 04:14, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
90% is only an approximation but based on what I consider exhaustive and exhausting original research. I couldn't find a New York Times article to support my findings. If you want to take the effort you can examine the documentation, incomplete though it may be, of my original research. Bus stop (talk) 04:38, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
It's an actual fact. Saying it's not just means you're choosing to be ignorant. Don't do that. —Locke Coletc 05:03, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
A fact? Ha, ha! It's nothing more than WP:OR and personal opinion. WWGB (talk) 05:26, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Yes, a fact. The opposite of what you're providing, which is an opinion. You can see my incomplete data here, I stopped researching it once it became clear that despite it being 90+%, you guys wanted to tilt at windmills anyways. —Locke Coletc 18:00, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
There wasn't really a good argument against that in the discussion there. Interested editors are welcome to go spelunking as Mandruss suggests, but it boils down to WP:IDONTLIKEIT. We have reputable, verifiable sources for the names of the victims, and they should be included. —Locke Coletc 05:03, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Per WP:ONUS and WP:NOTEVERYTHING, verifiable RS reporting alone is not enough. The names are completely meaningless to all but a very few readers. The criterion for inclusion of any information is whether it adds to a reader's understanding of the event; these names do not and cannot. If they are deemed relevant, genders and ages could be summarized in prose.
    Further, there are arguable privacy concerns. These victims are not "public figures" who chose to waive their privacy, they had absolutely no say in their selection. "Well it's available in the news anyway" has never been an accepted reason to include something in Wikipedia.
    For the multiple counters to arguments about precedent in other articles, including the vast majority in which the lists have received little or no discussion, search for "90%" at Talk:Aurora, Illinois shooting/Archive 2#RfC: Victim names. That argument has been duly defeated and needn't be re-defeated here. The 90% number largely represents the effective equivalent of democratic voting by editing, and it falls dramatically when you look at articles where the issue has received significant scrutiny in recent years. It falls so far that nobody can claim that it represents a community consensus for the lists. Attempts to reach a consensus in community venues such as the Village Pump have repeatedly failed, despite arguments about precedent, and there could be little clearer evidence of the absence of a community consensus for the lists. ―Mandruss  04:06, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • They are the central element of a massive crime. Listing their names is "not everything", and your continued misuse of WP:ONUS is getting to be obnoxious. There are no privacy concerns as these names have been listed in every major media outlet, oftentimes repeatedly. They were also listed at a lengthy press conference where additional details about each individual victim was given (details that I would agree are not encyclopedic). —Locke Coletc 05:03, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Privacy is a WP:BLP concern, not a concern for WP:BDP. Listing of names, occupation, and years of service to the city is not particularly contentious or questionable which is listed as an exception in WP:BLP for those who have recently died. Banana Republic (talk) 05:57, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The names of the non-notable deceased do not add to the reader's understanding of the attack. Whether a victim was named "Bob Smith" or "Fred Jones" is utterly irrelevant in the context of this article. WWGB (talk) 04:14, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • They personalize the subject matter in a way that simple numbers and impersonal information like age and gender do not. Their notability was established by virtue of their involvement in this event. —Locke Coletc 05:03, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support — Citing WP:NOTEVERYTHING is certainly not a strong reason to exclude information. Saying that "Whether a victim was named "Bob Smith" or "Fred Jones" is utterly irrelevant in the context of this article" is not true in this case. Because this was a workplace shooting, the victims had something in common. The employer lost 11 employees. It would certainly help to understand the context of this article if each name followed by the job title and years of service to the employer. Banana Republic (talk) 04:55, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
I agree that "job title and years of service" should be included. In addition to names, of course. Bus stop (talk) 05:02, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
This reference lists the employees job titles and years of service to the city. As I have already asserted, this is encyclopedic information. Banana Republic (talk) 05:25, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Many sources explore the identities of the victims. Invariably the names accompany the descriptive information. I don't think any policy is directing us to trim this back as drastically as some are suggesting. Excessive information should be avoided. We wouldn't want to turn this article into a sentimental document. But we are nowhere near that point. Sources tell us how long they were employed as well as their job titles. There is nothing sentimental about that limited information. Bus stop (talk) 05:41, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict)Support of course. There is absolutely no reason to exclude the names of the victims. My impression from multiple interactions with the usual suspects in these discussions is that there is an underlying agenda/POV being pushed here, as the custom prior to these recent discussions was to include victim lists (they are included in 90% of articles on mass shootings). —Locke Coletc 05:03, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: Not only do I agree that humanizing the incident is important, but if we're going to include the shooter's name, why wouldn't we include the victim's names? They're definitely notable enough to be past of a brief list at least, as their stories and lives have been recounted by multiple national media outlets (as the shooter's name and story often is). Setting aside how callous it is to have the shooter's name in the infobox and article and not include a single mention of the victim's names, it's simply inconsistent editorially. Ottoshade (talk) 05:14, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Certain information falls squarely within the scope of an article and omission of such information constitutes a contrivance. I haven't the foggiest idea what readers do with information and I don't care what readers do with information, at least not in this case. The names (and a limited amount of additional information) are pertinent to this article, and many prominent journalistic outlets document this information. At issue is not what makes Wikipedia look like a higher quality encyclopedia but rather the providing of an abundance of good quality information, essentially meaning information that is central to the topic of an article and well-sourced and certainly without any errors. The nature of Wikipedia is that it compiles information. Are there exceptions? Yes. But not in this instance. We are supposed to reflect sources. And many good quality sources are available expounding on the identities of the victims, including their names. Bus stop (talk) 05:25, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose We should not invade the privacy of people who were injured, nor of the families of those who were killed. Most of them won't want to be approached by the media or members of the public. They were ordinary people who were targeted at random; adding their names serves no purpose the readers. The people who need to know that their family members & friends were shot are already aware of that; for over 99.9% of people their identities mean nothing. Jim Michael (talk) 07:40, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Nobody has proposed to name those who were injured. Listing the names of the victims who died does not invade the privacy of their families.
The victims were not targeted at random. They were targeted because they worked for, or interacted with, the same employer. Banana Republic (talk) 19:20, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose the individuals are not encyclopedic and this isn't a memorial. The Rambling Man (talk) 07:43, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per Banana Republic, names and profession should be added for context. Nice4What (talk · contribs) – (Don't forget to share a Thanks ) 11:59, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Adding a list of names does not improve the readers' understanding of the topic at hand (i.e. the shooting itself). We should strive not to include content in articles if it doesn't improve the articles, because making an article longer without making it more informative makes it less helpful to the readers who have to read more text to get the same amount of useful information. This is the essence of WP:NOTEVERYTHING. TompaDompa (talk) 13:37, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
We include that the perpetrator "was an engineer". How is that pertinent to "the shooting itself"? Bus stop (talk) 13:58, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
I would say that the full quote (i.e. He worked as an engineer in the city's public utilities department, giving him a security pass to enter the building where the shooting took place.) could be argued to improve the readers' understanding of the shooting (though perhaps it's not necessary to detail his profession to accomplish that). If it were simply a mention of the perpetrator's profession, I'd agree that it doesn't improve the readers' understanding of the shooting. More importantly, this is not what's being discussed – you're engaging in blatant whataboutism. Don't change the subject. TompaDompa (talk) 16:52, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Why quibble over including information? I fail to see why there would be any cause for editorial debate over whether or not we should mention the "perpetrator's profession" yet you are saying "If it were simply a mention of the perpetrator's profession, I'd agree that it doesn't improve the readers' understanding of the shooting." Bus stop (talk) 17:27, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Seems to me that the shooter and the victims are similarly notable - they will all be remembered for the same event. I don't see a concern about invading the family's privacy, as the victims's names and photographs are on the front page of the Virginia papers.--Mojo Hand (talk) 14:22, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Names need to be added for further context. Auror Andrachome (talk) 20:50, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support (for the dead) Dead people are pertinent to any story that owes its existence to x number of people of dying. That's not to belittle the significance of the sheer number for its own unfortunate sake, but each and every unique person had to die to get to that number. And that's not to magnify their uniqueness, just to tell them apart (from each other and the living), using only the sort of basic public records their friends, families, neighbours, governments, employers, banks, stores, police and newspapers already knew and shared about them in boring daily life. I'm 100% against exposing their secrets, even if they do leak and even if they are dead. Wikipedia is not the phone company, and we should reserve subjective rumoured opinions for dead perps (to which I'm 70% opposed). Just the plain facts for this deathly dozen (if there were more than a hundred, I'd be opposed). InedibleHulk (talk) 02:49, June 3, 2019 (UTC)
Even if the victims were targeted because of who they worked for, they still weren't targeted as individuals. Including the names of those killed does violate the privacy of the victims' families, because it will assist in finding the victims' families. There's no advantage to including the names - it doesn't give any useful info, unless you want to find the victims' families (which you shouldn't be doing unless you knew them - & if you knew them you'll already know). Jim Michael (talk) 05:07, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
"There's no advantage to including the names - it doesn't give any useful info, unless you want to find the victims' families". We simply compile sources into articles, discarding what we don't want to use and using information we deem relevant. Our purpose is providing an abundance of accurate information. Sources are not in short supply documenting the lives of all of the deceased individuals. Why in this instance should we not reflect the contents of sources? Bus stop (talk) 10:56, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
Because it's not encyclopedic or relevant to include the names. The fact that some media organisations choose to include them doesn't mean that we should. Jim Michael (talk) 12:55, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
They died in a highly publicized mass shooting incident, their deaths are literally the event being covered in this article. That covers encyclopedic. They are relevant precisely because they were the victims in the event. There is also no expectation of privacy with regards to inclusion in an encyclopedia, otherwise every "privacy minded" dictator or despot could simply cry about their privacy being invaded to have content about them removed... not to rant further on it, but can we stop arguing this every time? It's literally tradition for articles of this type to include a victim list, to the tune of 90% or more. Why this is suddenly a problem after over a decade of standard practice is beyond me. —Locke Coletc 20:33, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
The mass shooting is the event, not the individual victims.
They're non-notable people - ordinary members of the public; that's nothing like choosing to be a prominent public figure.
Based on your reasoning that the victims' identities are important & should be stated, we should name all the victims of Air India Flight 182, the Lockerbie bombing, 9/11 & the 2008 Mumbai attacks. If not, why not? Jim Michael (talk) 02:53, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
Jim Michael—we don't include information when it is impractical to include information. Does that mean that we should not include information when it would be practical to do so? Thirteen individuals died in the event documented in this article. Sources obviously lavish more attention on each of thirteen deaths than they would on 130 deaths or 1,300 deaths. We follow sources. I'm going to refrain from trying to pinpoint a number of deaths that would be a cutoff point for our articles. But I think it is clear that a table or list enumerating and briefly commenting on thirteen identities would not be unwieldy in an article such as this. Bus stop (talk) 17:03, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
The event is not possible without having victims. I'm stunned I have to say that. Your last statement is a logical fallacy that I will not entertain beyond saying I would not object to including a listing where such a listing is verifiable from reliable sources and does not negatively impact the flow of the article itself. —Locke Coletc 05:39, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
It's not possible without victims, but they were ordinary people who were randomly targeted at the site (even if they were targeted because of who their employer was). That makes it very different from an attack against a group of notable politicians, for example.
Names usually aren't stated in incidents with a very high death toll, such as the Bologna massacre, the 2004 Madrid train bombings & 7/7. It seems that there's a bizarre, unspoken rule to include the victims' names - unless the death toll is above an unspecified number.
Adding the names does negatively impact the flow of the article - it's an intrusive list which takes up a disproportionate amount of space in a relatively short article.
What can the readers possibly gain from seeing a list of names of non-notable people whom they've never heard of? How can that be considered to be giving them relevant, useful knowledge? Jim Michael (talk) 06:46, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
Jim Michael—one person was killed by police after he killed 12 people. I think that is the subject of this article but correct me if I am wrong about that. Therefore I think a logical question is: why are the names of the decedents not relevant to this article? Bus stop (talk) 07:37, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
That is the subject of the article, but the individual victims aren't. The identities of those killed & injured is irrelevant to the police's decision to shoot the killer. The police would have shot him regardless of who the victims are/were. The victims' identities are relevant only to the people who personally knew them.
There are grieving families who don't want to be approached by the media or members of the public (those who want to talk to the media can easily do so); we shouldn't encourage that.
Hundreds/thousands of people have read the list of names in this article - how can it have been of use to any of them?
There is no policy/guideline which says that we should include the names. The fact that they're included on many articles about mass killings hasn't created a consensus to do so on all such articles. Jim Michael (talk) 11:13, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
Jim Michael—the content of articles are created by reliable sources. In essence the sources write our articles. You need not preoccupy yourself with whether or not the information under discussion benefits the reader. Do sources (of impeccable quality) tell us why each individual was where they were when they died? If so then our straightforward course of action is to incorporate that information into our article. The vast majority of sources document this information. Do any journalistic outlets omit this information? Why shouldn't we document this information? I think you've suggested privacy concerns. I don't get it. How are there privacy concerns when countless journalistic outlets provide the very same information that we are discussing? Bus stop (talk) 14:30, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
Stating the nationalities of the victims - which is done on many articles about aviation incidents & terrorist attacks - can be useful, but including names is intrusive to the victims' families & serves no useful purpose.
Whether or not the information is useful to the reader is very important - we're here to inform them, as well as keep the info factual & relevant. The names of the victims aren't relevant to anyone except the people who knew them.
Many thousands of people read our articles about recent mass killings, so we shouldn't violate the privacy of the families of those killed. The fact that many media outlets do so does not mean that we also should. Jim Michael (talk) 05:25, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
We don't have privacy concerns when we have sources reading "Who Were the 12 Victims in the Shooting in Virginia Beach?" Furthermore we are not tasked with anticipating the needs of readers. We are tasked with reflecting sources and including information that falls squarely within an article's scope. Bus stop (talk) 06:22, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
I disagree - we should have higher standards than the media.
We are tasked with providing high quality articles to our readers - giving them useful, relevant, well-sourced info.
I disagree with your assertion that the names of non-notable people who were killed are within the scope of articles about mass killings. Jim Michael (talk) 07:51, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
You are arguing that we provide a higher quality article by providing less information. I don't know how that is possible as our raison d'être is the providing of information. Bus stop (talk) 14:29, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm arguing that we should do so by omitting info which is insufficiently relevant and/or which violates the privacy or members of the public who wish their lives to remain private. Another issue is that we're not meant to memorialise victims. Jim Michael (talk) 06:34, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
How is omitting information beneficial for the reader? Bus stop (talk) 13:46, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
Because (in regard to the victims' names) it's insufficiently relevant & is of no use to the vast majority of them. Jim Michael (talk) 14:12, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
Is your reference to "the vast majority" a concession that a small minority of readers might find the information useful? Bus stop (talk) 14:57, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
A minuscule fraction of a percent of them - people who knew at least one victim, but are unaware of their death(s) until reading this article. That could happen in regard to people who were very peripheral to the the victims. It doesn't justify including the names, though. If any such people exist, they can find out the names elsewhere. Jim Michael (talk) 11:20, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
Even presuming those are the only people who would find this helpful, that insignificant speck of a dot is still certainly much larger than the sort of people who would find the relatives because of our list and harm them somehow. Even you must have drifted apart from at least two people who may someday care to learn your fate, yet don't remember you fondly enough to regularly Google your name. But can you remember a single complete stranger who showed up at your house, simply because you share a surname with a dead person mentioned on Wikipedia? Be honest (at least internally). Appealing to even a shred of decent humanity we vaguely or reluctantly know seems better than kowtowing to some devil we genuinely don't. And if any such devil does exist, she can find the list elsewhere, too, making exclusion on safety grounds just as unjustifiable. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:28, June 11, 2019 (UTC)
We live in an increasingly crazy world, and it's undeniable that many, many people want to be as anonymous as they possibly can. I'm one of them, and I give out my identity on a need-to-know basis. It matters not whether you think our caution is justified, and we have to prove nothing to you. We have a right to be unknown to the world, except where we are required to be identified to our governments, entities that we do business with, and so on. This extends to the identities of deceased relatives which could be used to identify us; regardless, I wish to remain unknown to the world even after my death, I don't care to have my name shown in a Wikipedia article into perpetuity, and my name does not become public property when I die. It seems unlikely in the extreme that my feelings in this regard are uncommon. This outweighs any theoretical public desire or need for information.
If you disagree, then by all means stick with your current !vote, but please understand that your viewpoint is not as self-evident as you seem to believe. In my opinion we should have agreed to disagree years ago. ―Mandruss  21:24, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
Aye, we live in a crazy world and have privacy rights. They died in a crazy world and lost those rights, along with all others. Your relatives won't inherit your rights when you die, and neither did theirs. If that's how the world worked, we could sue the shit out of graveyards for detaining our kin indefinitely without charge (or food). It wouldn't be long before their liability insurance made all manner of corpse disposal impractical, filling everyone's spare bedrooms way past capacity, ensuring the collapse of the bloodhound industry and letting people who unlawfully shelter the dead get away with it, too.
And I hate to burst your bubble, but if you die suspiciously in the currently normal world, a stranger will not only see you naked, but palpate parts so intimate you've never even dared explore them. Your name already is public property, being a public record, but your deepest secrets are fortunately safe from cold prying steel and brutally honest scales...for now. Cheers to life, and may we continue to agree it's the best thing in the whole wide world! InedibleHulk (talk) 18:35, June 12, 2019 (UTC)
Few if any people's names are randomly generated. If they are not randomly generated then they carry with them significances. Any reader can be interested in those significances. For instance a creative writer may wish to base a fictional piece on a composite of real incidents. The inclusion of victim names in our article could conceivably inform their creative mind about a fictional character that they would like to bring to life in written form or in a theatrical setting such as a movie or a play. But again I want to reiterate this information could be of interest to any reader. Most of us are not free from concerns with the ethnicity or country of origin of other people. This is sometimes conveyed by names, especially surnames. The bottom line is that there are clues in names. "Tyrone Powers" sounds black. He might not be. "Michelle Feinstein" sounds Jewish. She might not be. Shaughnessy, Riepe, Esposito, Ishihara. Names sometimes suggest to some people qualities that they associate with ethnicities or countries of origin. We simply supply information. We are not responsible for how information is used, even if it is used to stereotype people. Bus stop (talk) 23:03, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
It's not necessary for us to inform a tiny number of old acquaintances of the victims of their deaths, and in any case there are many mainstream media sites giving the names which fulfil that purpose. Many media articles about this (and other mass killings) have included a great deal of info which we don't include due to it being insufficiently relevant. All of us have known someone who died & whose death we're unaware of, due to them having been no longer in our lives when they died. It's irrelevant to our lives if we don't know that a former classmate, colleague, neighbour, family friend etc. whom we haven't seen for years has since died without us being aware, even if they were murdered. It's nothing to do with us.
Saying that strangers' names could be useful to inspire a person to write a fictional work based comes nowhere close to justifying their inclusion. Anyone who wants to write about something can think of names themselves or get them from other sources. Giving inspiration to writers isn't one of WP's goals.
The victims' ethnicities are irrelevant - there's no evidence that they were targeted because of their ethnicities. Jim Michael (talk) 08:38, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
You are flattering yourself. The reader should be understood to be smarter than us. Our role is simply to compile articles from reliable sources. It is not up to you to decide what to deliberately omit. Bus stop (talk) 14:22, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
It is not up to you to decide what to deliberately omit. I'm afraid it's up to all of us, including Jim Michael, to decide what to deliberately omit, per WP:ONUS — "Consensus may determine that certain information does not improve an article, and that it should be omitted or presented instead in a different article." — WP:NOTEVERYTHING — "Information should not be included in this encyclopedia solely because it is true or useful." — and probably one or two other policies (emphasis added). Take a look around at other article talk pages, and you'll see editors deciding what to deliberately omit every day.
It would be really super if you would cease making emphatic authoritative-sounding statements about Wikipedia editing that are contradictory to basic Wikipedia principles and policies. It's not a helpful use of discussion space, and, the more you do it, the more editors will begin to see you as a disruptive presence on article talk pages. ―Mandruss  15:53, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Mandruss—why would we omit information that virtually all reliable sources consider basic to this topic? When you say "I wish to remain unknown to the world even after my death" you are presenting a personal reason for wanting to truncate an article that is meant to serve a large number of readers. Why would we deprive all readers based on your personal sentiments on this question? Bus stop (talk) 16:46, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
You missed a key sentence, It seems unlikely in the extreme that my feelings in this regard are uncommon. My views of how people are likely to feel about the privacy of their identities are as legitimate in this discussion as your views about how people might have a need for victims' names. Why would we violate people's right to the privacy of their own names based on your personal sentiments on this question? Both arguments are speculative and unprovable, and we can accept both or eliminate both, your choice. ―Mandruss  17:03, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Our standard practice is to compile an article based on the vast majority of reliable sources. They all enumerate the identities of the victims. That always includes the names of the victims. We can exercise judgement on smaller details about the victims. But how does excluding the names comport with writing an article based on the content of most if not all sources? Your intention to omit this area of information is just a contrivance and it is based on personal inclinations. You are saying in the context of arguing against the inclusion of victim names that "I wish to remain unknown to the world even after my death." Your personal sentiments should not find expression in the articles you edit. And by the way it is not that I favor publicizing the names of the deceased. I simply favor following the precedent set by the vast majority of sources on this topic and in fact the sources that we already are using to support the material that is already in this article. Bus stop (talk) 17:46, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Circular again. Pass. ―Mandruss  18:04, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Mandruss—articles aren't for expressing oneself. You are being selective in a heavy-handed way. You say "I wish to remain unknown to the world even after my death". Articles should not be vehicles for you to express yourself. Articles should straightforwardly reflect sources. Bus stop (talk) 20:55, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
WP:NOTGETTINGIT again. Pass. ―Mandruss  21:00, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm not flattering anyone.
We should not make any judgements about the intelligence levels of our readers, which obviously vary from very low to very high. We certainly do & should decide what to omit - if we didn't, many of our articles would be ridiculously long - including a huge amount of insufficiently relevant info.
If the names of all the dead should be included in articles about mass shootings, why not include them on our articles about transportation disasters, fires, bombings etc. if the names have been stated in reliable sources? Are you in favour of doing that? If not, why not? What justification can there be for including them in articles about mass shootings, but not in articles about people being killed together by other methods? Jim Michael (talk) 13:00, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
I was going to mention the Schoharie limousine crash, whose victim's names and ages I supported for the same basic reasons. As dumb fucking luck would have it, Bus stop and Tony are already there, perpetuating the endless cycle of inconclusive madness. Hooray? InedibleHulk (talk) 14:41, June 13, 2019 (UTC)
"We should not make any judgements about the intelligence levels of our readers, which obviously vary from very low to very high." Jim Michael—I think our presumption should be that we are writing for intelligent readers because such an assumption may prevent us from succumbing to the urge to "spoon-feed" the reader. Our aim is not to "deliver information in as basic a manner as possible." Bus stop (talk) 16:15, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong Support: I strongly support the inclusion of the victim names within the article. I am referring to deceased victims, not injured victims. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:30, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support because there are a relatively small amount of victims (a list of victims would be inappropriate in September 11 attacks, for example) so it would be appropriate to include a list. Columbine High School massacre is a high quality article, and it includes a list of deaths. IWI (chat) 16:38, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - per @Ottoshade, Mojo Hand, and Auror Andrachome: -- starship.paint (talk) 07:24, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Per the Five Ws, a report or article cannot be considered complete unless it includes the “who” of the event. Here, we have an article because people were murdered in a shooting; their names should thus be included in the victims’ section to complete the “who.” As for WP:NOTMEMORIAL, the policy prohibits creating articles on non-notable individuals; it says nothing about verifiable content, written in an encyclopedic tone, that is included within articles. As for the privacy concerns, we’re not including anything that hasn’t already been reported on ad nauseum by the media. The identities of the victims are already a matter of public knowledge and a lot of media reports have included far more biographical information than we will include. As for WP:NOTEVERYTHING and WP:ONUS, the ability to exclude does not mandate exclusion. If an aspect of a notable subject has been heavily reported on, we should have a much stronger reason to exclude than the mere fact we have the right to do so. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 02:11, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
Saying who the victims were doesn't mean that we need to name them. We already name the target group in the ibox & state in the article that the victims were shot at random. Many workplace mass shootings are similar in that regard.
If you're reading an article (on WP or elsewhere) about an incident in which many people were killed, do you want to read a list of the names of the dead? If so, why? I certainly don't. If I were a friend or relative of one of those killed, I wouldn't want an intrusion on my grief. Jim Michael (talk) 09:04, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
"If you're reading an article (on WP or elsewhere) about an incident in which many people were killed, do you want to read a list of the names of the dead? If so, why? I certainly don't." I understand that you are not interested in reading this information. But is that a reason to omit it? Bus stop (talk) 14:15, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
The names are of no use to over 99% of readers & I think that very few people want to know the names of victims whom they've not previously heard of.
I'm not aware of anyone adding the names of those killed to any of our articles about bombings, building collapses, earthquakes, floods or bus crashes, so it's bizarre that many people insist they should be included on our articles about mass shootings. What makes mass shootings different in that regard? What is the reasoning behind wanting the names of the dead on articles about mass shootings, but not on articles about other types of events in which many people were killed? Jim Michael (talk) 14:08, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
The Humboldt Broncos bus crash, Omagh bombing and 2013 Philadelphia building collapse all ID the victims. These reflect the sources, which indicate many people (at least more than .1%) routinely and inherently want to know who died in a story about people dying. Same as wanting to know who killed them, and which politicians said things about it. Earthquakes and floods are more number-based and geographical in sources, less personal, so we follow them. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:52, June 16, 2019 (UTC)
Those are rare exceptions. The vast majority of our articles about such incidents don't include the names of the dead victims. Do you think all such articles of ours should include the names of those killed? I understand that if a there were an event in which many people were killed at, for example, the White House or Downing Street, millions of people would want to know who was killed & who was injured. That's a different matter, because very important people would likely have been victims. When the victims are ordinary members of the public, the names are of no significance or interest to the vast majority of people. It's important to know if a major politician has been killed. It's not even useful to know the names of ordinary people whom you've never heard of simply because they were killed in a mass shooting, bombing, coach crash, building collapse etc. Knowing about the killer is a different matter, because he's the centre of the event & chose to cause it. Understanding mass killers' motivations is an important part of criminology, sociology etc. Jim Michael (talk) 06:58, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
These are not rare or exceptional cases at all. And I've never heard of most politicians, even in Toronto or Ottawa. They have articles because they're exempt from GNG. Even if they are legit famous to a presumed vast majority, limiting our teaching to people, places and things 99% of students already know makes us 1% useful. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:48, June 17, 2019 (UTC)
The vast majority of our articles about bus crashes, bombings & building collapses in which many people were killed do not include the names of the dead.
Politicians are exempt from GNG? I thought that they had to be notable in order to have their own articles, just as actors, musicians, sportspeople, writers etc. need to.
There's a huge difference between including the names of victims who are notable enough to have their own WP articles (even if most people haven't heard of them) as opposed to including the names of ordinary people. People who are in the public eye are a different matter to those who never have been. It's relevant & significant to a large number of people if a notable politician, sportsperson, writer, actor etc. is killed. It's not relevant that particular ordinary people were killed, with the exception of the people who knew those people personally. Readers don't gain any useful info by knowing the names of those ordinary people who were killed. If many people were killed in an event, it's of interest to our readers if a famous actor were among the victims, as that's important info for them to know. It's not of interest to the vast majority of them to know the identity of the ordinary people who killed there. How can the readers of an article about a mass killing benefit from knowing that the victims include a plumber called Dave Smith, a secretary called Sue Jones, a labourer called Mike Brown, a cook called Jane Wilson etc.? Jim Michael (talk) 10:02, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
Politicians just need to do their job once, at least beyond municipalities, per WP:NPOL. Arguably unimportant people, just by their inherent routine replaceability every few years. These public servants (not to be confused with fictitious Joe the Plumbers) had reported staying power, municipally, only terminated by their respective individual deaths. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:53, June 18, 2019 (UTC)
A lot of entertainers are only famous for a small minority of their lives, but if they become notable enough for their own articles, they stay notable enough - even if they haven't been in the public eye or even in the entertainment industry for decades. Jim Michael (talk) 19:39, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
True enough. And there are hundreds of politician bios that exclusively feature their brief term length, without a single deed, memorable, important or otherwise. These people, though, devoted a specific portion of their lives to certain government functions and became famous posthumously. If it weren't for this article existing, they'd be articles, too. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:29, June 18, 2019 (UTC)
Jim Michael—are you in favor of an article that reflects sources? Why should we ignore for instance this source? There are many like it. We are discussing information that is on-topic and amply supported by sources. Aren't you arguing that we should write an abbreviated version of this article? Bus stop (talk) 13:06, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
Our articles about mass death events should be more selective of info than the media are with theirs. Many things included in media articles should not be here. Many media articles are long & include many things which we don't, because we're an encyclopedia. Likewise, the tone of many media reports is not appropriate for an encyclopedia. I'm not disputing that the names are reliably sourced & on-topic - but they're not relevant enough for an encyclopedia. I'm saying that this should apply to all events in which many people are killed & that exceptions should only be made in the cases of victims who are notable enough for their own articles. In addition, including their names could lead to more info about the victims being added: ages, places of residence, occupations/job titles, personal lives etc. Jim Michael (talk) 15:39, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
Two posts ago you wrote "Knowing about the killer is a different matter, because he's the centre of the event & chose to cause it. Understanding mass killers' motivations is an important part of criminology, sociology etc." No one has argued that the perpetrator's name should be omitted. I am in favor of including an abundance of well-sourced and on-topic information. I think this is the straightforward way of writing an encyclopedia article. I oppose the deliberate omission of well-sourced and on-topic information. Here is a source titled "What we know about the Virginia Beach victims". The source is detailing the identities of all of the deceased individuals. We don't have to include all available information but I think names, ages, job titles, and years employed at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center should be included. If this information were being derived from obscure sources I might agree with you but the sources are prominent and numerous. Bus stop (talk) 18:59, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
You want the ages, job titles & years employed of every victim killed included in the article, as well as their names?! Why? How can those details be of any use to our readers? Do you want such info included on our articles about bombings, bus crashes, building collapses etc.? Jim Michael (talk) 10:33, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
One article at a time, please. We are talking about this article. Why are you saying "Do you want such info included on our articles about bombings, bus crashes, building collapses etc.?" You are not even naming specific articles. And even if you were naming specific other articles I'm not all that inclined to begin discussing those articles here. Please start a discussion at the Village Pump if your concerns are project-wide. I'm an ignorant volunteer editor who simply wants to do justice to this article. As concerns this article you are not providing any reason for not adhering to sources. You may not think readers are interested. And I think readers are interested in knowing not only the names of the people killed but something about their background. Multiple good quality sources provide this information and for good reason—it is information that is integral to what transpired. Specific people were killed. They had names. They were individuals. They weren't generic human beings. You seem to be insisting that all of humanity is interchangeable. We are not going to include information on their DNA or a visual representation of their fingerprints. But we should provide some indication of who it was that was killed. You say "You want the ages, job titles & years employed of every victim killed included in the article, as well as their names?! Why?" Because these are the specifics applicable to the given incident indicated in the title of this article. Now let me ask you a question—why would you prefer to write a truncated article? Bus stop (talk) 12:10, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm talking about the inclusion/exclusion of names of dead victims in WP articles about mass death events in general. Having a discussion on each article's talk page would be ridiculous. There should be guideline in that regard applying to all such events.
I'm not saying that people are interchangeable - I'm saying that the names on non-notable victims shouldn't be included. We should provide a concise article which provides only the relevant, important points - not details of randomly killed ordinary people. Jim Michael (talk) 19:39, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
And copious minutiae about an ordinary dead person who the police would've killed even if he were Mike Brown, 18, of Portsmouth. Because you like that shit. Academically, of course. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:40, June 18, 2019 (UTC)
Do you mean Michael Brown of Ferguson? Bus stop (talk) 23:08, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
Jim Michael's labourer. Had to assume his town. But yeah, good point for detail. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:36, June 18, 2019 (UTC)
"I'm saying that the names on non-notable victims shouldn't be included." You are correct that these individuals were not notable before the shooting. But after the shooting notability does not even apply. We are not contemplating writing 12 freestanding articles. The 12 decedents are content within this article. Please see "Notability guidelines do not apply to content within an article". Bus stop (talk) 23:22, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:NOTMEMORIAL - I'm assuming based on my reading of the proposal that this would manifest itself as a list of victims. None of the victims themselves were notable until they were announced as victims. I have no problem with naming victims in prose based on their participation in the event, as long as the prose is not an alternative to a list form, and the prose is validly referenced - they just should not be memorialised. SportingFlyer T·C 19:09, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
To SportingFlyer and everyone else who cites WP:NOTMEMORIAL ... is it your premise that a list of victims is the same thing as a "memorial"? I think that that is obviously not the case. And, if that is indeed your premise, then I strongly disagree with that. Since a list of victims is not the same as a "memorial", the policy of WP:NOTMEMORIAL is totally irrelevant to this discussion. I don't believe that anyone here is proposing that we add memorials to the article; rather, that we add a list of names. There is a big difference. Which should go without saying. Or at least I would have assumed. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:46, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
Spirit of Eagle has excellent rebuttals to both the WP:NOTMEMORIAL and the WP:NOTEVERYTHING arguments. Banana Republic (talk) 22:56, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
Agreed. Spirit of Eagle offered a good argument. I think many editors misunderstand, misread, and misinterpret the WP:NOTMEMORIAL policy in discussions about including/excluding victim names in these types of articles. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:33, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Unless some notable proportion of the victims are at least somewhat notable by themselves, or are at least public individuals locally, that is, people might know the victims without having ever met them (sports team members, civic representatives, etc.), I can think of no way the reader is helped by a list of random names. I've seen no evidence that this particular shooting or its victims implies listing the names will have any demonstrable benefit to the reader. Without specific reason to list them, we must not do so. --A D Monroe III(talk) 16:29, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

  • Comment - Before we get too much farther in this, I'll cite WP:BLUDGEON and WP:SATISFY once again. Please resist the urge to respond to every opposing comment, and avoid circular discussion. Neither is constructive. ―Mandruss  05:07, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
    Thank you for bringing up your two favorite cherry picked essays. As per usual, the first one implies you don't like being given alternative views (you apparently feel bludgeoned by them), and the latter indicates that, as is standard operating procedure now, you will disappear once you've ran out of excuses to oppose. Thank you for being clear on this earlier in the conversation, I'll make sure to keep this in mind. —Locke Coletc 20:29, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment - The topic of this discussion is whether the article should include a list of all victims' names—not other possible ways to treat the victims in the article. Any chance of staying on topic and within scope? In my opinion the issue is complicated enough without expanding the scope, and other questions can and should be addressed separately. For my part, I have no strong objection to anything besides complete lists of names (in list format or any other format). ―Mandruss  05:54, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Mandruss—I think we can define the topic of this discussion by your 4 reverts in 24 hours: [2][3][4][5]. "the issue is complicated enough" What is complicated? Editors are trying their best to write an article and you are reverting them. I did not originally put a victim list in the article. I made no edits to that area of the article. Your very first revert within the victim section was to somebody else's work, not mine. But I obviously support the inclusion of considerably more information on victims than your reasoning allows. So I reverted you. And so on and so forth. Bus stop (talk) 06:40, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • UGH. That's my overwhelming initial reaction to all this. If we want to show the world how WP is doomed to fail, this RFC could be convincing evidence. Many here seem to have forgotten AGF by including personal viewpoint of other editors' history and their supposed motivations in this RFC. Editors on both sides of this issue a displaying an apparent goal to "win" over other editors rather than improve WP; indeed, their goal seems to win even at the cost of degrading WP. The article should be the sole focus of this discussion; if, somehow, some other editor is actually being disruptive to WP in other articles, that belongs on WP's drama boards, not here. AGF means acting as if you do not know what motivates other editors here (which, in fact, you almost certainly do not actually know, but can only guess at based on your own emotions, not actual evidence). And, BTW, if not harming WP isn't enough of a reason to stop embarrassing ourselves, assuming bad faith undermines your own argument to anyone that isn't already on "your side". Even if someone on the "other side" is acting poorly, responding in kind is not the answer. "If you argue with a dog, you end up barking." --A D Monroe III(talk) 15:20, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • "Humanize"?. I don't agree we need to "humanize" the victims by naming them. First, how do we know that including a list of random names does this? Do we think the reader will study each name and take a heartfelt pause to consider the person behind the name? I suspect readers are far more likely to skip over the list as "names blah blah blah" and go on to the next thing, which is almost certainly going to be way more important to the event. So, for all we know, having the list may dehumanize the victims. Second, even if it did "humanize" the victims, that's not WP's job. While I'm sure no one individually, either within WP editors or its readers, want to appear "weak" on their stance against mass shootings, WP does not need to demonstrate its moral outrage; indeed, it has none since its not a person, and we attempting to have it appear to have one is amateurish and non-encyclopedic. And for the same reasons, WP should not attempt to "honor" the victims in any way, which includes listing their names. There may be other reasons to list their names, but honoring the victims cannot be one of them. --A D Monroe III(talk) 16:32, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Other articles?. I don't believe what other articles do about listing names is relevant. Enforcing consistency among articles on different specific subjects is not automatically a good thing. The subject's differences may actually be significant for this issue. The length of the list, the culture of the victims, the context of the event, the form of the evidence, or other particulars may make listing the names either quite significant or actually harmful in one or more ways. This RFC is on this article, only. If WP is going to have an overall policy about this, that cannot be debated here. Why this article's readers will benefit from a list of names is all that is relevant. Are there any arguments stating this? --A D Monroe III(talk) 16:42, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
We don't put information in articles to benefit readers. We may assume that as a consequence of compiling information that is reliably sourced and in the scope of an article that we bring benefit to readers. But we need not present arguments stating how we think information might benefit a reader. We're not educators. We are compilers of information, generally from disparate sources on a given topic. Bus stop (talk) 18:57, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Wait, we don't put info in articles for the benefit of readers? We put it in... to benefit.. the info itself?... because... the info has needs... that we must answer to? Sorry, but citation needed; I haven't heard any info ever telling me what to do. --A D Monroe III(talk) 16:36, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Or, is this about Wikidata? I agree the list can go there, no problem, for the reasons given. --A D Monroe III(talk) 16:43, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Hi A D Monroe III—we compile disparate sources into articles on topics to be used any way readers see fit. You have asked "Why this article's readers will benefit from a list of names is all that is relevant. Are there any arguments stating this?" I don't know the readers and nor do you. Essentially the question you are asking is unknowable. Please bear in mind that the entire concept of "benefit" is almost undefinable. Something that is generally pretty definable is a topic, such as the topic of this article. Both sources and our article remain focussed on that topic. And we try to reflect sources. One can debate the degree to which our article is representative of all sources. But I don't think that is what you are doing. Correct me if I misunderstand you but it seems you want me to present an "argument" which will serve to explain the "benefit" of the information in question to the reader. I do not feel I am under an obligation to speculate on this. There are much more pressing needs. "Accuracy" is one of them. The information we provide must be "accurate". You say "I suspect readers are far more likely to skip over the list". This is quite normal among the reading public. Of course we "skip over" anything that is not of interest to us. In my opinion the aim is to provide an abundance of well-sourced information on a topic, and if a reader finds some of it extraneous to their interests and chooses to skim over it, I don't consider that a problem. Bus stop (talk) 18:01, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
It's completely astounding to me that any editor would ever state We don't put information in articles to benefit readers; WP exists only to serve its readers, and attempts to have it serve something else aren't allowed (WP:POV, WP:TRUTH, WP:COI, etc.). I'm going to assume this really means something like "we shouldn't go too far in catering to our readers".
To go too far catering to readers would mean running up against some other WP policy. I'd need the policy identified to discuss that.
I agree that information should be sourced, and we know this list is well-sourced. But, as we also know, having a source doesn't not automatically merit inclusion -- WP:DUE etc. Having sources is immaterial to this thread.
I agree some, if not most, readers will not read everything in any given article (we even create infoboxes to cater to that reader behavior). That in no way justifies putting any and all info in articles; we we did, the bulk of most articles would pointless verbiage. So, we must have qualifications for inclusion -- some minimum level of usefulness to the common reader. Any list of names, pretty much by its nature, cannot qualify. By themselves, people's names say nothing about them, not their character, their role, their job, their connection to the community, or anything else; to the reader, they are just random names, and if different random names were substituted, would change nothing. That's pretty much the definition of something that's not information.
Note that, by the way this RFC is worded, I am only talking about a list of names here, since no proposal is given for how else to include them. (The article's current prose doesn't support anything but a list, with perhaps the first victim's name given separately in some unspecified but likely awkward manner.) If the names appeared in prose as part of a larger narrative, such as with Columbine High School massacre, that would be a completely different issue. That unspecified substantial and carefully authored prose would either benefit from names or not, depending entirely on that (non-existent) prose. That prose and its potential to list names would require its own separate discussion with little or nothing to do with this RFC.
To be clear, I'm entirely open to hear arguments why this article, in its current state, will benefit from listing names. Saying "other articles are doing it" isn't such an argument, and in fact is pretty much the opposite. It implies "I don't have a reason for this article, but..."
This is, in fact, the entirety of the point I made in the OP of this thread. Saying that listing names is done in other articles is meaningless in this RFC. Really, everything else in this thread is off-topic. --A D Monroe III(talk) 16:47, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Sources show us what complete coverage of this topic looks like. You are arguing for a version of truncated coverage. Why should we deviate from that which is found in sources as it pertains to victim names? Bus stop (talk) 18:09, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
WP:INDISCRIMINATE and similar policy and guidelines, of course. Again, sourced does not mean it's notable and relevant.
Also, again, this is off-topic for this thread. --A D Monroe III(talk) 18:30, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
But we are discriminating, based on the info's prevalence, prominence, pertinence and precedence. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:59, June 18, 2019 (UTC)
A D Monroe III—you refer to "random names". I don't know what you mean by "random names"; we have not picked these names out of a telephone book. What do you mean by "random names"? Also we do not know that these individuals were not targeted. On what basis do you conclude that these names would constitute WP:INDISCRIMINATE information? Bus stop (talk) 19:34, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
The Shooting section of the article says that the killer shot the victims indiscriminately. Jim Michael (talk) 19:42, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
I stand corrected. CNN, the source in the article, writes "The shooter who opened fire indiscriminately in a Virginia Beach city building Friday afternoon, killing 12 people..." But in what sense are they random names? These are the actual names associated with the 12 individuals killed. You cannot characterize the names as random names. Bus stop (talk) 20:19, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Premature declaration of consensus[edit]

The list has been re-added here.

As of this moment, this discussion has been open for less than 50 hours, and the most recent comment occurred slightly over two hours ago. 9–5 is not a wide enough margin to declare a consensus to include highly controversial content after such a short time. We would generally do that only for discussions where the margin is so wide that the result is a foregone conclusion; this is not such a case. There is no good-faith reason to rush this to a resolution: if it were left open for another 10 days without a single additional comment, nobody's time would be wasted. Therefore I've removed the list for the time being.

Unless the trend shifts significantly, there will probably not be a wide enough margin for any involved editor to declare a consensus, meaning that an uninvolved closer will be needed. I believe that most editors will agree that that's the fairest way to resolve such a contentious issue. ―Mandruss  05:17, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

I'll be re-adding the listing, it's quite clear you're stonewalling on something that is frankly almost standard procedure for articles of this type. Nothing is being rushed, though I think it's a fairer characterization to say that you're rushing to exclude something that should be there. Further, the information itself is not in debate and is in no way contentious, so there's no disadvantage to having it in the article. If discussion continues and the opinion changes, this is a wiki, and it can easily be removed. For the time being, I believe it's appropriate to include it given the overwhelming support and the generally flimsy arguments against inclusion. —Locke Coletc 05:35, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
Please review WP:AGF and stop casting aspersions. That said, I'm prepared to let you have your way if I get no support for my reasoning. That's the reasonable, non-combative approach. ―Mandruss  05:38, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
Mandruss—why are you putting in the article the version that is supported by 5 editors as opposed to the version that is supported by 9 editors? Bus stop (talk) 05:47, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
For the reasons stated in my opening comment in this subsection. ―Mandruss  05:59, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
Locke Cole—the IP editor in essence has a disposable account. You will get blocked. They will not. Bus stop (talk) 06:09, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
But I'll say now that I will request an uninvolved close around mid-June unless the margin increases greatly. Good luck selling the claim that that's stonewalling. And, if the uninvolved closer assesses "no consensus", my willingness not to press the procedural point can't be allowed to convert a "no consensus to include" to a "no consensus to remove". That's happened once before and I let it go; I would be less likely to let it go again. ―Mandruss  06:11, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
The "procedural point" is that disputed content stays out until there is a consensus to include it—not until !voting is 9–5 after only 50 hours of discussion. Discussions about victims' names lists have often run for 30 days or more, often ‌as RfCs, and I'm not aware of any that have closed after 50 hours or anywhere close to that. We don't include and remove and include and remove depending on how the !voting is going today.
Consensus is not about numbers anyway, and it's entirely conceivable that a discussion could have 9 !votes that are collectively weaker than 5 other !votes (or that, at least, the margin in strength of argument is significantly narrower than the margin in numbers, to the point where you're in "no consensus" territory). One of those Supports didn't even give an argument, let alone a strong argument, and Wikipedia is not a democracy. It is not for involved editors to make such consensus assessments, for reasons that are intuitive to editors who put orderly process before their own positions on content. It's tautological that each involved editor believes their side has the stronger arguments; that's why they are on that side. An exception is allowed when the numerical margin is overwhelming, just for expediency, but 64% is not an overwhelming numerical margin. ―Mandruss  07:16, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
It may not seem like much as a numeral, but it virtually doubles the other side (moreso with the newer 75%). Twice as much, 100% stronger, a majority, whatever. And notwithstanding your correctness about people believing their own beliefs are true, the losing side has the objectively weaker arguments here. The supposed privacy invasion aspect is unsubstantiated by any reports of such a hypothetical consequence ever actually occuring, let alone being likely. Some say they can understand all they want to understand just fine without specific details, but any of us can and may feel the same about any well-sourced and harmless detail in any article (what does it matter that George Washington "occasionally requested cabinet opinions in writing"?) The "not a memorial" thing rings hollow, even in spirit, so long as we remember much more about the shooter, including details that could lead readers to his family and house (two things that vigilante mobs do historically target far more than the residences and relatives of victims).
On the other hand, your side can't deny the victims have received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, and are presumed to be suitable for a stand-alone article, per GNG. If this wasn't already a more suitable place to discuss them, per ONEEVENT, this content some don't care about could very well be its own page. And if this place is deemed unsuitable, for some reason or another, it wouldn't negate that standalone potential, just unduly make readers click over to a separate article to finish learning the literal and metaphorical meat of this story about thirteen people dying. Is that what you want for (a projected) two-thirds of our audience, Tony? Extra work and waste of time? InedibleHulk (talk) 01:25, June 7, 2019 (UTC)
So you're saying that the uninvolved closers who have closed a good number of these discussions as "no consensus" or "consensus to omit" were essentially incompetent to close this kind of discussion. The same arguments have been presented in all the discussions, so there is no other conclusion. If those closes were "objectively" wrong, why haven't you officially challenged a single one? If your arguments are "objectively" stronger, why have attempts to reach consensus in community venues consistently failed? Is it because the community is just not as smart as you are? I have serious problems with that sort of attitude.
I could counter what you have written with the same sort of intricate reasoning, if I wanted to. But consensus assessment can't be a continuation of the discussion itself, it just can't. No involved editor can ethically claim that opponents' arguments are "objectively weaker". They seem weaker to you because you disagree with them, and you disagree with them because they seem weaker to you. It is for an uninvolved closer to decide which arguments are stronger—not you, me, or any other involved editor. That's why we have uninvolved closers. This may well go your way, especially since the policy is so unclear, but that wouldn't disprove this point. Let the process work—at least, as well as a flawed process can work. ―Mandruss  06:04, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
I may spell your name a bit wrong now and then, but you're mischaracterizing me here. Might be my fault. To clarify, I'm only speaking to the strength and weakness of our sides, not at all about how well closers read consensus. If 25% of people in a discussion can't agree on something for any reason, "no consensus" seems a fair appraisal to me. Same way three-quarters of a chair is fundamentally "no chair". I don't recall a "consensus to omit", but I might challenge one if I remember it. Even then, I wouldn't knock anyone's competency.
Your side's arguments seems weaker to me because they're mostly based on presumptions and feelings instead of sources or policy, and I disagree because they seem weaker in that rather objective sense. I've absolutely no intention on deciding this for everyone like a proper closer does, I'm just doing my fair share of persuasion, as we all ethically should if we still care enough in...what is this now, Round 25? Part of me just wants you, as a captain, to jump ship eventually. There's no shame in changing your mind after repeatedly investing in the alternative future that rarely turns out like you thought it should. Don't think of it as "my way", think of it as the easiest way to get what you want. But only if you're sincere, of course. InedibleHulk (talk) 08:00, June 7, 2019 (UTC)
Beginning with San Bernardino in December 2015, and ending with Christchurch in March 2019, there have been about ten major mass killing events. Fifty percent of those list all deceased victims' names. Of the seven that received an uninvolved close, 43% list all deceased victims' names. I think ship-jumping would be premature for opponents of the lists, but thanks for the advice.
That accounting generously ignores one case of illegitimate inclusion: the article where disruptive list-supporting editors edit-warred the list into the article prior to the start of discussion, less disruptive list-opposing editors let them get away with it for the sake of peace and because there was no effective alternative (ANI is completely useless for that purpose), and the uninvolved close was "no consensus to remove".
I'll reiterate for about the fifth time that I would much prefer a guideline specifying a default for victims' names lists in mass killing articles, even if the default is include. Until that happens or the outcomes in recent years trend a lot more decisively toward inclusion, the ship will remain seaworthy and I'll stay on it. ―Mandruss  08:43, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
Mandruss—please try to engage in the discussion pertaining to "content". I refer to your post on my Talk page referring to "content" and "process". ("Don't confuse content with process.") You confine your "discussion" of "content" to your Oppose vote. That is essentially a "discussion" with yourself. You cite the guidance of WP:SATISFY seemingly as an explanation for why you do not engage in discussion on the core question pertaining to the pros and cons of victim names in this article. You are fond of telling us that the arguments are the same at every article on an incident involving deaths. That may or may not be true, but it is hardly an adequate reason for not engaging with your fellow editors in sustained dialogue at the article at hand. If you are too tired or too bored or too whatever to discuss the underlying question, then you might as well just concede that you have only the feeblest of arguments for omitting the names under discussion. There are much stronger reasons for including the names and you are refraining from refuting those reasons. You are typing volumes but your input pertains to "process", not to "content". Bus stop (talk) 13:31, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
As I've told you many times before, I avoid circular discussion. I've also explained why I do so. Your participation in particular is circular in spades, to the detriment of every discussion you've been involved in. Witness your latest comment, asking a question that has already been answered countless times and you well know it. Please stop trying to turn this into avoidance of constructive discussion, and stop demanding that people respond to you. If I choose not to talk to you, that's my choice and I don't have to give you reasons that you agree with. Got it? ―Mandruss  14:20, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
You are preternaturally focussed on "process". Bus stop (talk) 15:01, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

Unprotection and moving forward[edit]

I had made the suggestion at RfPP (then another admin has made the same suggestion independently), that while the RfC is being held, we stay on the status quo ante (no victim names). If and/or when there is consensus to include, then the long-term version will reflect that. The rational behind this having to do with the burden of demonstrating consensus to include resting on those wishing to make the change. So, let's do that. It's only for a short while (a few weeks), anyway. But we can't have the page protected throughout that entire time, so we have to have something stable until the RfC (which I just initiated) is closed. Naturally, anyone violating this will be subject to sanction. Basically, I'm unprotecting now with the instruction to not touch that area of the article until the RfC is closed. El_C 02:33, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

Excellent. How long does an RfC need to stay open? I am somewhat baffled by this process because I was under the impression that an RfC is for cases in which the dispute involves a small number of editors (typically only 2), and this is certainly not the case here. Banana Republic (talk) 03:18, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
No that's Third opinion. RfCs usually aim for as large exposure as possible. There is no required minimum or maximum duration; however, Legobot assumes an RfC has been forgotten and automatically ends it (removes the rfc template) 30 days after it begins (from: RfC#length). Because of that, some people tend to think it should last for 30 days, but in actuality, it can be less. A few weeks usually at a minimum. El_C 03:32, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
El_C, who would close the RfC and make the determination of what is the consensus? Banana Republic (talk) 16:05, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
But I've been on record of generally being against using victims' names in mass shootings — are you sure you want me to the one who closes? El_C 17:44, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
Usually an uninvolved closer is requested at WP:ANRFC. I see no reason why this one should be different. ―Mandruss  18:40, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
Yeah; sorry, I misread. Anyway, I feel I fall short, so I will not be closing this RfC. El_C 19:26, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
Precisely what I've been saying, and it shouldn't require admin intervention for this to happen. It's fairly intuitive. This is not the first article of this type where these same couple of actors have behaved in this manner, and I doubt your comments will make it the last, so you'll probably be hearing from me in a few months. ―Mandruss  05:24, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I think IPs with no edits outside of of this narrow question, such as this, this, and this, should be advised on the policy of sock puppetry. Their edit summaries suggest to me someone more than casually aware of our system. Bus stop (talk) 05:38, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
Those IPs haven't !voted, so they've just added to the article disruption that already existed and would have existed without them. No lasting harm. Someone more than casually aware of our system doesn't need to be advised on the policy of sock puppetry; they already know. ―Mandruss  06:35, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
Mandruss—in what sense is El C saying "Precisely what [you have] been saying"? You say "Precisely what I've been saying, and it shouldn't require admin intervention for this to happen. It's fairly intuitive." Bus stop (talk) 13:06, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
I strongly object to excluding the victims' names until consensus is reached. We've had a ton of RFCs on victim lists, and the community has consistenly refused to make either side the default option. Treating exclude as the default goes against community consensus and gives the exclude supporters an unwarranted advantage. RFCs aside, I could make just as strong of an argument that including the list is the status quo and that the list should stay up until there is consensus to remove. Spirit of Eagle (talk)
Objection noted. If you're able to get another admin to step in, they'd be free to operate the DS as they see fit. El_C 02:25, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
My apologies; I think I jumped the gun a bit and misinterpreted your comments. I have no objection towards excluding the victim’s list for the duration of the RFC. However, I do not believe that the absence of the list should be given any weight when gauging consensus; both sides should be treated as starting on equal footing and the decision should be based on which way consensus leans (even if it is slight or nominal). Spirit of Eagle (talk) 03:00, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
Because the list is being introduced, there needs to be consensus for inclusion for those changes to be retained. No consensus would mean that the changes will not be retained. El_C 18:01, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
The resulting state of an article after an RfC should always reflect the outcome of that RfC. Spirit of Eagle is correct when they say "However, I do not believe that the absence of the list should be given any weight when gauging consensus; both sides should be treated as starting on equal footing and the decision should be based on which way consensus leans (even if it is slight or nominal)." Bus stop (talk) 19:02, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
I doubt a version will be favoured because it is, or isn't, currently up. I'm sure the closer will weigh the discussion without letting that influence them. El_C 23:19, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
Do you beleive that a "no consensus" should favor the exclude side or do you beleive that that the current state of the victims section should have no influence on the outcome of the RFC? Your two statements appear to be at odds with each other. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 23:35, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm talking about evaluating the content of the arguments. But, indeed, no consensus is simply a lower threshold to meet, so it's not possible to not give the longerstanding text somewhat of an advantage. I'm not sure how that problematic can be solved. Perhaps the closer, whomever they may be, will offer enough of a counterweight in their evaluation to offset that. I can only speak to how I close RfCs, AfDs, RMs, etc. Perhaps I'm just a bit slow to not have figured out a way to resolve this contradiction, but I suspect it is inherent to the process itself. El_C 02:59, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
This ended up being excessive and that's on me. I'll use this field as soapbox, however, to briefly say that, in regards to proposal, both an agreement to the contrary or no agreement at all would yield a no consensus result, because that's the longstanding text default. El_C 05:59, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Addendum: Discussion continues at Wikipedia talk:Verifiability#WP:ONUS vs. WP:QUO. El_C 19:30, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
I think you meant to say the long-standing text. But which version would be the long-standing text? I believe that each time you've WP:PROTECTED the article you've done so with the victim names omitted. Those of us supporting inclusion have patiently not made a fuss and have been content to let the RfC run its course. But if there is a clock ticking away that which each tick favors the version omitting the victim names then that would be unfair. You are protecting the article not to lend weight to a conclusion but rather to avoid disruption, if I understand that correctly. Bus stop (talk) 03:32, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
That would be the status quo ante. One version precedes another, by definition of time being a continuum that goes from past to future. It doesn't matter how much time passes. It doesn't even necessarily matter which version is currently up. You need to get consensus for inclusion because you were introducing something to the article the other side objected to. Their version was already there before.El_C 03:44, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
You need to get consensus for inclusion or you need to get consensus for omission. Only consensus determines the state of an article. And again—your WP:PROTECTION has bearing on status quo ante because each time you have protected you have done so with victim names omitted. Bus stop (talk) 04:01, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't believe you can have both at the same time. You can either have consensus for inclusion or consensus for removal as the threshold. That's because no consensus also exists, as a lower threshold. The status quo ante is the version that was there before something else was introduced — that is not something that's subject to change by virtue of protection being applied or anything else in the universe. It is a tautology. El_C 04:12, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
The RfC is titled "Should the page include the victims' names" so of course it is seeking consensus to include. That is consistent with WP:ONUS. WWGB (talk) 04:18, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Right. But had the article's original author included a victims' list with their first edit, the question would then be: is there consensus to remove. Indeed, it's not that complicated. Maybe I'm not explaining it simply enough. El_C 04:25, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
"[H]ad the article's original author included a victims' list with their first edit" is not a concept we use at all in any dispute resolution process. Bus stop (talk) 04:30, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
You are wrong on the policy. WP:ONUS reads: "The onus to achieve consensus for inclusion is on those seeking to include disputed content." El_C 04:35, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
"You are wrong on the policy. WP:ONUS reads: 'The onus to achieve consensus for inclusion is on those seeking to include disputed content.'" You are misunderstanding WP:ONUS. There is a responsibility on those wishing to include content to gain consensus for that inclusion. There is an equal responsibility on those wishing to omit content to gain consensus for that omission. The upshot of WP:ONUS is that just because something is reliably sourced does not mean that it is allowable for inclusion in an article. That is the core significance of WP:ONUS. It is expressed in the way that you quote above. But the emphasis is not on the literal meaning that you are unreasonably focussed on. If you think the core meaning of WP:ONUS is the literal understanding of the isolated words that you quote above, then you should be able to tell me the wisdom for that approach. Why would the burden for attaining consensus be on those wishing to add content? Would there be any justification for that? Of course not. You need to compare WP:ONUS to WP:BURDEN, both of which are subsets of WP:VERIFY. Indeed at WP:BURDEN there is an additional burden on those wishing to add content. What is that additional burden? "The burden to demonstrate verifiability lies with the editor who adds or restores material, and it is satisfied by providing an inline citation to a reliable source that directly supports the contribution." These two sections of WP:VERIFY are totally different. One, WP:ONUS, involves editor-to-editor relations. Hence consensus is what matters. The other, WP:BURDEN, involves principles for writing adequately-sourced articles. There is a non-negotiable principle that all content must be supported or supportable by a source. WP:BURDEN articulates a true burden which falls on every editor wishing to add content. But the idea behind WP:ONUS only arises when editors disagree whether content should be included or not. Hence there is no special burden on either side in a disagreement. Each side in such a disagreement simply must attain consensus for their preferred version of the article. You must not literally read WP:ONUS as you do above. Bus stop (talk) 14:55, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) No consensus means the dispute hasn't been resolved. Neither version represents consensus. Dispute resolution processes must continue if a closer of this RfC says "no consensus". Status quo ante is irrelevant. Just as those of us supporting inclusion have been patient so too those supporting omission have to exercise patience. The article can't be in two states at the same time so one group of editors have to be patient while the dispute resolution process wends its way to a conclusion one way or the other. And then of course consensus can change... Bus stop (talk) 04:24, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
But is it no consensus for removal or no consensus for inclusion? That's the question I think you're missing. El_C 04:28, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
There is no such distinction. No consensus means not resolved. Hence we must be patient. We do not assume a version has a "right" to be there based on status quo ante or based on the first version of the article. These are irrelevant considerations. We resolve disagreements by consensus, whether that be attained after an RfC or a third opinion or any other dispute resolution process. Bus stop (talk) 04:36, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Well, after fifteen years on Wikipedia (being an admin for 14 of those), I am of the opinion that there is such a distinction. I'm not sure how you close a discussion as no consensus and what the concerete outcome of that may be — but I'm curious to find out! El_C 04:41, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
There is no distinction between "no consensus for removal" and "no consensus for inclusion". No consensus simply means no consensus. Bus stop (talk) 04:58, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
How many discussions have you closed as no consensus? El_C 05:01, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Any closing editor writing no consensus for inclusion or no consensus for omission is putting their thumb on the scale. I have never closed a discussion. Bus stop (talk) 05:03, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Well, when you do gain enough experience to close a discussion, you will find out that closing as no consensus results in an outcome that defaults to something. El_C 05:10, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
When you protect an article you protect it to a particular version. These are tentative, interim, decisions. They don't represent finalized versions. Bus stop (talk) 05:23, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
That is not in dispute. It also does not respond to what I am saying. El_C 05:35, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Interim versions are not finalized versions. Bus stop (talk) 05:39, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
True. And...? El_C 05:40, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
"No consensus" neither means "include" or "omit". It is an expression of indecision. Any version is a tentative version, liable to change when a conclusive resolution is reached, by whatever decision-making process used. Bus stop (talk) 05:53, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Consensus or lack thereof are, indeed, subject to change, after some time has passed. El_C 06:30, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Yes, consensus can change. Bus stop (talk) 06:39, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── This is a discussion about deleting material from an article. An editor has inserted material and some editors want to delete it, while others want to keep it. I think that just like no consensus for deleting an article defaults to keeping an article, a no consensus for deleting material from an article should default to keeping the material in the article. Banana Republic (talk) 05:06, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

Anyway, this is a contradiction which WP:ONUS tries to resolve. El_C 05:14, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
No, it does not. The import of WP:ONUS is that consensus determines whether material gets included in an article even if adequate sourcing is available in support of that material. Sorry but you are misunderstanding what WP:ONUS is all about. It uses the wording "The onus to achieve consensus for inclusion is on those seeking to include disputed content" but that can be taken too literally, which is what you are doing. It is expressing the point that even verified content can be omitted if consensus is to omit. It could just as well be stated as "the onus to achieve consensus for omission is on those seeking to include omit content". WP:ONUS is not like WP:BURDEN at which we find "The burden to demonstrate verifiability lies with the editor who adds or restores material". We are not concerned with who added or removed material at WP:ONUS. Bus stop (talk) 05:36, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm not reading it too literally, I am reading it as intended. El_C 05:38, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Sorry but you are misunderstanding WP:ONUS. No one ever intended to impose nonsense on us. Why would there be an added responsibility on those seeking to add content? Does that make any sense? Can you provide a logical explanation for such an arrangement? The language used is a positive expression instead of a negative expression. There is a point being made. And it is not the point that those wishing to add material face a greater responsibility to gain consensus. That would be nonsensical. We want to build articles. But we want to reflect consensus. Bus stop (talk) 05:46, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Again, when you gain enough experience to close a discussion as no consensus, you will find that this results in an outcome that defaults to something. Here is an example. Here is another example. Here is yet another example. El_C 05:49, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Those are not good examples to apply to this article. This dispute occurred very early in the article's creation, so there cannot be a "no change" consensus. It seems to me that in this case, if the dispute is closed as "no consensus", then the default should support inclusion, similar to the default of a no consensus in AfD debates. Banana Republic (talk) 06:07, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't think it really matters how early in the article the dispute arose. If you phrase the question to be: should x-material be included (i.e. consensus for inclusion), then no consensus would mean no consensus for inclusion. El_C 06:12, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Concerning the first example (I haven't looked at the second example) you closed that discussion in a way that endorsed a particular version of the article, writing "no consensus (no change by default)". The point is that you endorsed a particular version. In my opinion you should have articulated that the version resulting from your closing was only a tentative version. To my way of thinking "no consensus" is tantamount to "unresolved". Bus stop (talk) 06:09, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
It was unresolved — that lack of resolution resulted in an outcome of... something. El_C 06:16, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
See, we don't run RfCs over and over again until we get a resolution. The absence of a resolution may also be a lasting outcome. El_C 06:18, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Basically, those are mealy-mouthed closings. You are endorsing a version but you are not evaluating the strengths of the arguments. It is unlikely that in those three instances the strength of argument was equal on both sides. As Spirit of Eagle perceptively points out above, even if one side in an argument is slightly or nominally stronger than the other side, a closing of an RfC should articulate the relative strengths of the two arguments. You are not doing that. Your three closings which you mention above rely upon "status quo ante" when I think they should be evaluating real, substantive arguments. Bus stop (talk) 06:29, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
I did evaluate the strengths of the arguments. I did not close them on any other basis but that. You are not assuming good faith by implying otherwise. Those are but three out of ten RfCs I closed that week. In fact, one of the WP:ANRFC regulars has highly commended me ("grateful for your excellent work"). Not that I'm here to boast. Anyway, these are all here, for your viewing pleasure. El_C 06:39, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
In those three instances the strength of argument on both sides was exactly equal? You did not find one side's argument to be even slightly stronger than the other side's? Bus stop (talk) 06:46, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Indeed, I did not find, in those three instances, that the threshold of consensus was met. El_C 06:49, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't think an RfC should be "closed" as no consensus. That is not a "close" except in the rare instance that the strength of both arguments are exactly equal. I find that humanly impossible. One side generally produces much more hot air than the other side and that is often a telltale sign. Bus stop (talk) 06:59, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Consensus#No_consensus: "In discussions of proposals to add, modify or remove material in articles, a lack of consensus commonly results in retaining the version of the article as it was prior to the proposal or bold edit." El_C 07:10, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Which, in this case, means what? Do you see any "proposal or bold edit" in this case? Please identify for me the "proposal or bold edit" in this case. Bus stop (talk) 12:54, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Adding victims' list would be the proposal, obviously. But maybe they'll be consensus for it, so all of this would be a non-issue — I have no idea and at any rate it isn't up to me. El_C 15:11, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
But you are mistaken. There is no proposal for anything. There is a disagreement over content. And bear in mind that standard practice is to include victim names, as evidenced by the inclusion of victim names in 90% of similar articles. Isn't the "proposal" here to overturn longstanding practice? Bus stop (talk) 15:24, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
The RfC constitutes the proposal. El_C 15:48, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Really? The RfC constitutes the proposal? The RfC says "RfC: Should the page include the victims names?" Below that the RfC says "Should the page include the victims' names? El_C 02:14, 5 June 2019 (UTC)" To me, that looks like a question, not a proposal. But all of this is 110% absurd. We can entirely rip up the script and start from a clean slate. We know that editorial disputes are resolved by consensus at Wikipedia. A "close" of an RfC as "no consensus" should not be permitted except in the rarest of cases. If someone is stepping up to the plate to resolve an RfC they should be evaluating the strengths of the arguments for the two sides of the debate. If one side of the argument is even slightly stronger than the other side of the argument, they should close the debate in a way that rewards the stronger argument with the victory. This insipid silliness of "no-consensus" is a problem. It is the root of much of the problems addressed in this discussion. If someone does not see one side of a debate as having a stronger argument—they just should not "close" that RfC. It is as simple as that. A person has to evaluate a debate and on the basis of that evaluation a person has to determine which argument is strongest. As I said above, half in jest, a good indication of which side is strongest is which side produces the most hot-air. Take this debate, for instance. Are there "privacy concerns" associated with the inclusion of the victim names? That is a hot-air argument. Bus stop (talk) 18:20, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Proposals are often phrased as questions, since they're the quickest way to get an answer and implicitly tell the recipient their opinion matters. It takes a brave (or mean) man to tell a prospective bride "Wake up and get in the car, I'll explain on the way to Vegas". Basically the same cordial spirit here, just lesser ramifications. But yeah, "no consensus" is simply a draw/stalemate/anticlimax. No winner, no loser, everyone's equally unsatisfied. It's technically fair, but should also be warranted, not thrown around willy-nilly. I'll leave it to the closing admin to define "warranted" and "willy-nilly", of course.
But anyone can answer whether there are privacy concerns associated the inclusion of the victim's names, either by finding a shred of evidence for this or not finding it. The onus certainly isn't on you or I to disprove the existence of people determined enough to track down and badger grieving strangers, yet insane enough to be stopped cold by a lack of detail in the fourth result of a "virginia beach shooting victims" Googling (the fourth autocomplete suggestion for "virginia beach" and first for "virginia beach shooting", if that's any indication of what the masses want today). InedibleHulk (talk) 02:54, June 10, 2019 (UTC)
Any discussion about whether WP:ONUS does or does not mean what it says should take place at Wikipedia talk:Verifiability, the talk page for ONUS. If Bus stop is correct and all these experienced editors are wrong (see the history of this at other recent articles), the policy is in dire need of clarification. It is not constructive to keep arguing this at one article after another, and in fact has become disruptive to do so. Further, taking it to the right venue would yield the quickest and clearest resolution, which strains the assumption of good faith of those who refuse to do so. ―Mandruss  07:15, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
"taking it to the right venue" I have suggested that here. Bus stop (talk) 17:59, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Likewise, this is hardly the place to argue for a change to universally-accepted closing practice. ―Mandruss  07:40, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

Unverifiable quote[edit]

Please remove the quotation at the end of the Reactions section as it has no reliable source verifying it, and since the article has been fully protected (!!) most of us can't do anything about it. The Rambling Man (talk) 06:56, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

It took me mere seconds to find a source for it. El_C 07:04, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Well done you. The point was the no-one but the chosen few could actually add it. Give yourself a big pat on the back. The Rambling Man (talk) 07:13, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Pleasant, as always. El_C 07:14, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Helpful, as ever. Perhaps you could remove the ridiculous and completely unnecessary full protection now and let us all get on with our day jobs instead of having to make pathetic requests to fix issues with the article. The Rambling Man (talk) 07:15, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Your hyperbole notwithstanding, I'd rather wait until I know the edit warring has calmed. Feel free to appeal this short protection in any forum you see fit. El_C 07:20, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
As I'm certain you can see, the discussion has moved to the talk page and everyone's at 3RR anyway, full protection is being abused here as of now. The Rambling Man (talk) 07:28, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Fair enough. Let's see what happens next. El_C 07:39, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Thank you, The Rambling Man. The full protection was indeed a knee jerk reaction by the Administrator. I am glad they rethought their action. Banana Republic (talk) 14:41, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

It was not a knee jerk reaction, I take exception to that characterization. The edit warring approached (and later I found, even exceeded) 3RR, which is exactly what short protections are for. True, I was persuaded the edit war was no longer likely to resume, but that does not mean I lacked justification to apply it, in the first place. El_C 17:13, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
I think issuing warnings to the warring editors would have been a preferred path to fully protecting an article that is a current event. Since it's a current event, it needs to be continuously updated.
I'm glad you decided to un-protect the article, and that the warring parties are in discussion on this talk page. Banana Republic (talk) 18:51, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
These are established editors, they don't need warnings, they're already aware when they are edit warring. Anyway, Wikipedia is not news — I think you are exaggerating the encyclopedic significance of these updates. El_C 20:58, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
In the 14 hours since you unprotected the page, the article has grown in size by 70% (from 11.4 Kbytes to 19.4 Kbytes). Thank you for lifting the protection. Banana Republic (talk) 21:35, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

Well, that was short-lived. El_C 09:53, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

I support your re-protect. My preference would be enforcement of widely-accepted process ground rules (which should be firmed up in my opinion), but, if our system doesn't allow that, this is better than rewarding aggressiveness and failure to AGF. ―Mandruss  10:12, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
I would say that this 2nd protection of the article is a demonstration of poor judgement on the part of the administrator. Consensus has been reached -- 15 editors have voiced their opinion, with 10 supporting inclusion, and 5 opposing inclusion. The editors opposing inclusion were unable to cite policy on why the material should be excluded except to cite the non-policy WP:NOTEVERYTHING. Seems that the better approach is to warn the IPs who have been edit warring than to protect the article for another 48 hours. More information is still coming out about the event, so protecting the article is damaging. Banana Republic (talk) 17:24, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
Consensus, which I am not inclined to decide on here at this time, is not a vote. Reframe it as a proper RfC is you want it to be seen as having been conclusively decided, one way or the other. I will continue to curtail edit warring by applying protection. Feel free to appeal this in any forum you see fit. El_C 17:31, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
In hindsight, I should have just gone with my instincts — sorry about that! There will be no further full-protections, instead, I'm just going to be heavy-handed. In the end, it was a nudge from another admin that reaffirmed to me what had to be done. (Yes, I'm slow!) El_C 03:24, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

"Political commentary"[edit]

A bunch of stuff was removed here. It seems to me that this renders the section a milquetoast "everyone thought it was sad" or by implication "everyone thought it was sad, but there was nothing to be done", contrary to reliable sources which say that a number of prominent people called for action, albeit vague undefined action. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 15:01, 2 June 2019 (UTC).

I returned the content here. Thanks, AzureCitizen (talk) 15:24, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks @Rich Farmbrough and AzureCitizen:. Endorsing your views and actions. starship.paint (talk) 07:16, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

Firearms and suppressor used?[edit]

I read the caliber of firearms used but not the make ,model, manufacture. A suppressor was used & again no make,manufacture.

No pictures of firearms used which is odd seeing all other shooters weapons are out for pictures with-in hours of the crime.

No employee picture available just some old picture from high school LOL and a job posting picture.

I read he made purchases recently yet what is recently? His purchases in one article were from 2016.

The law, feds locals, media ect... posted he made firearms purchases, yet no firearm purchase registry is suppose to be kept by the FEDS. Does VA keep such a firearms registry?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_Virginia Not seeing one here

Hi capacity ,which is a term used loosely BY THE ANTIS AND MEDIA TO GET YOUR ATTENTION); magazines are being cited as used during the shooting. Yet again no mention of what hi-capacity is in this case. If and I don't know due to the lack of firearm details, the shooter was using a 45 acp pistol were talking a magazine capacity of 7, maybe if he has a double stack 10 to 13 cartridges.

The suppressor is tightly regulated. Paperwork, finger prints,application fees, and a good 8-12 month wait. No information of how he obtained the suppressor, which is really a shock! NOT

If you apply for a suppressor stamp you can track the paperwork movement on line with your registration number.

A person may ask why the paid press hasn't asked for real details. Yet we are bombarded with the same news article now all weekend.

No one knows anything about this guy, he's a gray man at work,home, Ex wife, high school friends and the National Guard didn't tell us much either.

Regards BPB FFL 30+ years Veteran ownedBlackpowderbill (talk) 16:48, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

If we have reliable sources for these items, we can include them, where relevant. For most people the technical details of the guns is not terribly important. The point about the suppressor, assuming it was sourced in Virginia, might be of interest, though you point out he had guns for some three years.
All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 18:34, 6 June 2019 (UTC).

Silencer legality[edit]

If you can find the supposed ordinance that bans silencers in Virginia Beach, please post it here. I don't think one exists and the AP that originally claimed so is wrong. Municode.com -- Terrorist96 (talk) 01:57, 14 June 2019 (UTC)