Template talk:Controversial

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Is this table just a bit too po-faced in its approach? --Kwekubo 21:59, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

huh? po-faced?? —Noldoaran (Talk) 00:42, Feb 25, 2004 (UTC)

avoid redirect[edit]

Someone please replace the link controversial with controversial to avoid the redirect. -- pne 11:29, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

line break[edit]

The line break between the sentences should be restored, IMHO. --Shallot 16:25, 31 Jul 2004 (UTC)

colors, phrasing[edit]

Couple suggestions, the grey is too dark (#ccc) for black text, and might be tough to read on small monitors and for people with weak eyes. I'd suggest changing it to (#ddd) or (#eee). Also I think the first sentence would read better as "This is a controversial topic, and may be disputed" siroχo 08:01, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)

I made the color less dark (#ddd), but I don't know about the language and aren't a native speaker. --Joy [shallot]

grey background[edit]

Why the Grey Background? Why not the standard Wikipedia Text Box?

-- Andrew Morritt 01:24, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)


"This is a controversial topic parts of which may be in dispute", please? FT2 02:18, Nov 10, 2004 (UTC)

I think we need a message like Template:Dubious for this purpose. This template is primarily used for topics that are pretty much completely controversial... --Joy [shallot] 11:50, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Comment - There are 3 ways a "controversial" tag can help clarify a controversial article:
1. "Controversial subject with consensus of treatment, please read talk page before making major changes"
2. "Controversial subject, some aspects of which may be in dispute, please read talk page..."
3. "Controversial subject, may be in dispute overall, please read talk page..."
"Controversial" itself isn't a problem. Normally even in a controversial topic a variety of factual information will be undisputed, and this tag misrepresents that all or none may be. If the article is so controversial and disputed that substantially all information in it is in dispute, then {{controversial}} is probably not the appropriate tag, and the correct tag is more likely {{disputed}} or {{NPOV}}
I think these 3 cases are fundamentally different, and whatever tags are used there should be a separate and clearly worded template for each.

FT2 16:05, Nov 10, 2004 (UTC)

Suggested wording change[edit]

I'd like to suggest the word "substantial" be replaced by the word "substantive." To me, "substantial" has to do with the amount of change. Someone could say, "I only changed a sentence," even though he might have changed it 180 degrees. "Substantive" refers to the meaning of something, and I think that is more the purpose of the tag. Maurreen 18:22, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)


other templates, disputed, npov, etc, include a category in the template, to make finding them easy. It'd be nice to be able to find controversial subjects this way. SchmuckyTheCat 20:12, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Suggested redesign[edit]

This is a controversial topic, which may be disputed.
Please read the talk page discussion below before making substantial changes to the article.

Please fix this grammar error[edit]

The line that says this: (This message should only be placed on talk pages.)

Should be reworded to say this: (This message should be placed on talk pages only.)

What it's trying to say is on no other pages except talk pages, but what it says is it should only be placed (not pasted or embedded, for example). It's incorrect and somewhat confusing.

Whoever has the power to unprotect this page, please fix it. Thanks. DavidH 23:04, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

That's not a grammar error but a question of how you say it. Compare:
  • This message should only be placed on talk pages. Not on article pages, image description pages, project pages, etc.
  • This message should only be placed on talk pages. Not under talk pages, next to talk pages, behind talk pages, etc.
  • This message should only be placed on talk pages. Not pasted, embedded, etc.
The intended meaning is pretty obvious, since the alternatives don't make a whole lot of sense. --MarkSweep 02:10, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
Where did you learn grammar, at the University of Crap? (Kiddding!) But I don't accept the grammar advice, "it's all in how you say it." Do you think everyone reads web pages to themselves out loud?
Here's an obvious example of how placement changes the meaning (from The Careful Writer by Theodore Bernstein, The Free Press: New York. 1998, based on a sentence that appears in G. & C. Merriam's Word Study):
Only I hit him in the eye yesterday.
I only hit him in the eye yesterday.
I hit only him in the eye yesterday.
I hit him in only the eye yesterday.
I hit him in the eye only yesterday.
Especially for an emphatic instruction on a template, we might as well be as precise as possible. Either way is better than the current wording:
This message should be placed on talk pages only.
This message should be placed only on talk pages.
Thanks for listening, I mean reading. DavidH 03:00, July 22, 2005 (UTC)

Matching Talkheader[edit]

Propose changing to match Template:Talkheader.

Note: this currently only works for article talk pages; the article link breaks elsewhere (eg user talk, template talk). By way of example, "Controversial" below should go to Template:Controversial in this instance, but it actually goes to the article controversial. This is a problem to do with {{PAGENAME}}. Rd232 22:42, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

This is the Talk page for discussing changes to the Controversial article, which is a controversial topic, and may be disputed.

Please read this talk page and discuss substantial changes here before making them.

Please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~). Place comments that start a new topic at the bottom of the page and give them a ==A Descriptive Header==. If you're new to Wikipedia, please see Welcome to Wikipedia and frequently asked questions.
Talk page guidelines
Please respect Wikiquette, assume good faith and be nice.

Only on talk pages?[edit]

What is the sense of having this template in the talk page? Persumably the editor must already be on the talk page when he is reading this template. Borisblue 01:43, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

I have no idea why whoever wrote "put it on the talk page" did so. My reasoning would be that it's only an interesting template to editors and not readers. SchmuckyTheCat 04:35, 11 September 2005 (UTC)
I disagree - that is very useful to a reader: it will help them understand that the article may be more likely than others to have cruft in them. This is a decent warning to give the reader about controversial topics considering the open nature of Wikipedia. I'm going to be bold in updating pages. Triddle 20:46, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
This is metadata; metadata belongs on the talk page, NOT in the article. That's why it said that in teh first place. Raul654 20:53, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Placing it on the talk page is unhelpful. Someone looking at or editing the page should know BEFOREHAND that there is an issue. Yes, ideally everyone should check the talk page before thinking about editing something... but not everyone does. There should be some notice on the main page. Epthorn 19:42, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Stronger language?..[edit]

The text currently reads "This is a controversial topic, which may be disputed. Please read this talk page discussion before making substantial changes." I'm pretty sure the spirit of what the template's trying to say though is that people should discuss major changes before just going ahead and making them. So if someone were to read the talk page from top to bottom and then go ahead and delete a paragraph from an article and and add seven of their own in its place (before discussing any of those changes in the talk page) - that would technically be following what the template says, but I think we'd all agree that it would go against what the template really means. Perhaps a better wording would be something like "This is a controversial topic, which may be disputed. Please read this talk page and discuss substantial changes here before making them."

Blackcats 08:40, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Removing paren'd bit?[edit]

I suggest that the part at the bottom in parentheses (this message should only be placed on talk pages, please) should be removed, because it's already got a {{check talk}} tag. →bjornthegreat t|c 01:42, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Done. I was just thinking about making a template like {{check talk}}, didn't realise we already had it! the wub "?!" 16:51, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

standard-talk style[edit]

I was bold and I've done some cleanup so now this message box is the same size and the other "standard-talk" message boxes. Hopefully there are no objections to this as I do not see any other discussion of this issue. // Laughing Man 19:19, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

NPOV dispute page inclusion[edit]

I think this tag should not be included on Category:NPOV_disputes. The tag states that there MAY be POV in the article and determining whether that is the case makes NPOV cleanup more difficult.

Since the tag can be kept on a Talk page indefinately, this will lead to clutter in the category, which is intended to list articles that need specific POV cleanup. Antonrojo 10:43, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

that vs. which[edit]

As currently written, the template reads, "This is a controversial topic, which may be under dispute." Does that mean that this topic is being disputed (that is, argued over), or does it mean that the fact that it is controversial is under dispute? To me, it currently sounds like the latter, when it ought to sound like the former. To that end, I'd propose rewording it to read, "This is a controversial topic that may be under dispute." Make sense? Cheers! Esrever (klaT) 23:17, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

No objections, so I changed it. Esrever (klaT) 17:19, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Some thoughts[edit]

Instead of saying "This is a controversial topic", it should say "This Wikipedia article has been the subject of controversy within the Wikipedia community", which is more accurate - right? Right now, it's making it out that the topic of which the Wikipedia article about is disputed is controversial in the real world, which is not necessarily true in all cases.--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 16:51, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Comment field[edit]

I think an optional comment field would be useful— this could be a short summary of the issues involved. Discussions about controversial issues may eventually be archived and not apparent to a new editor. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 09:54, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Done in sandbox; see test cases. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 12:03, 11 March 2008 (UTC)


Any objections to moving the documentation to a subpage using {{documentation}}? --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 20:12, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Done. Editors may may make tests in the sandbox and gain consensus for changes. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 13:18, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

What to do when consensus fails[edit]

Per Consensus, in the presence of bad faith, we have consensus. QuackGuru 23:30, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Per WP:CONSENSUS, Consensus can only work among reasonable editors who make a good faith effort to work together in a civil manner. It would be appreciated if a good faith editor would review my edits and improve the edits or suggest ways to improve it or we can start over again. QuackGuru 23:52, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

I initionally added something about consensus and dispute resolution. I recommend we add something about assuming good faith too. Good faith is part of consensus and has always been a good policy. QuackGuru 23:57, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

I oppose this edit. Reasons: (1) Editwarring. (2) Please get consensus on the talk page before editing this template, which is diplayed in over 1500 article talk pages. (3) The edit uses the word "improvements" without acknowledging that different editors have different opinions as to what is an improvement. (4) The edit could be interpreted as implying that one policy takes precedence over another. That would require a much broader community discussion. Coppertwig (talk) 00:45, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
The quoted policy says that good faith is necessary for there to be consensus, it does not, however, say that good faith alone is sufficient in and of itself for there to be consensus. For one thing, for consensus to be determined, there has to be a discussion and that really hasn't happened yet. Ed Fitzgerald t / c 01:49, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
The policy does not support the claim that one disagreeing individual may be declared by another argument participant to be acting in bad faith, and therefore outside the definition of consensus.
QuackGuru - that policy is a violation of WP:POINT and disruptive. Please stop asserting such as policy and acting in that manner. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 02:45, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
An editor accused me of vandalism not once but twice.[1][2] The editor saw my edit at Sarah Palin, looked through my cotributions and reverted my edits at this template. That editor was never even told to stop the bad faith accusations. When an editor acts in bad faith that editor should be reverted in that particular situation. Is this bad faith when that editor is aware another editor falsey accused me of vandalism. The editor claim he does not see any bad fairh. How did Coppertwig find this template. My talk page is on his watchlist. Did he follow me here too.
Here is another suggestion that is straight to the point: If WP:CONSENSUS does not resolve a content dispute WP:DR is another option. QuackGuru 19:00, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
That sounds like a reasonable (and less controversial) addition. I would add something about BRD and editwarring. See below. -- Fyslee (talk) 20:25, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed addition[edit]

Continuing from above:

-- Fyslee (talk) 19:39, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

The BOLD, revert, discuss (BRD) cycle does not always work on every article when there are editors who are only trying to block obvious improvements. On some articles, editors have a thousands excuses to block improvments. Something simple may work: Try resolving disagreements through discussion, consensus-building, and ultimately dispute resolution. QuackGuru (talk) 19:53, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
That is exactly my point. BRD doesn't work well in controversial situations. You usually use bold, solo editing, even on hot articles where it leads to long edit wars and great disruption. We need to avoid that. -- Fyslee (talk) 20:30, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Proposed addition (keep it simple)

Try resolving disagreements through discussion, consensus-building, and ultimately dispute resolution. QuackGuru (talk) 20:34, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

That sounds good for now. It's an improvement. You don't like the BRD part. We can deal with that separately. -- Fyslee (talk) 20:42, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
BRD is rarely used and won't work on some articles when there are pro-quackery editors blocking improvements for no logical reason. BRD could be used to block improvements. QuackGuru (talk) 20:48, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
It sounds like we agree. I just wish you would practice it. No more bold, solo edits on controversial articles when the edit is potentially controversial. If it happens and gets reverted, don't reinstall it. That would be edit warring. -- Fyslee (talk) 23:07, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Seek consensus first?[edit]

This edit was made without gaining consensus. QuackGuru (talk) 06:36, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Obviously a legitimate consensus, not a consensus (or lack of same) gained by stonewalling pushers of fringe POV, like we've been experiencing at the chiropractic article. The basic concept of editing by consensus is still legitimate and should be encouraged. That's what that edit was all about. -- Fyslee (talk) 19:24, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Seeking consensus first is not the way things actually work on Wikipedia. Discussing edits first on the talk page and improving on the proposal is the best that editors can hope for. Bold, solo editing is done on controversial topics all the time. Trying to gain broad consensus and waiting a week is too slow and not what a wiki is about. For example, I made a change to a sentence in mainspace at Joe the Plumber without discussion (Wurzelbacher is currently promoting his new book.). My change was further improved and the sentence remains in mainspace. If I proposed it on the talk page first it may have delayed the improvements or not improved at all. Discussing edits first is optional for most articles, including controversial articles. QuackGuru (talk) 19:38, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
I think we're talking "past each other." I'm not referring to ordinary edits, or first edits in a new situation, I'm talking about edits known to be controversial in an already hot situation. Your method has sometimes produced good results, but has more often led to protracted edit wars and disruption, and we need to avoid that. That's what this template is about - trying to avoid creating a hotter environment. This isn't about "normal" editing on "normal" subjects. As proposed above, BRD still applies as a first approach in a new situation. Discussion and dispute resolution are preferable to adding fuel to an already hot situation by solo, bold editing and edit warring (your preferred method). Keep in mind where we are discussing this. This isn't about general editing policies, but about a template designed to lower tensions in an already hot environment. It should provide suggestions for alternative ways of dealing with the situation. The template recognizes that the subject is already hot and encourages editors to act differently than they would in other situations on other articles, where BRD is standard practice. -- Fyslee (talk) 20:03, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Editors should not be forced to gain permission to edit an article. QuackGuru (talk) 20:00, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
They are not "forced" to do anything. The template encourages them to do so. You apparently (by your deletion, rather than discussion) think consensus is a bad idea. Not a surprise. -- Fyslee (talk) 20:05, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
You never got consensus for your edit. Without discussion, you went on your own and edited the template. This edit was made without gaining consensus. I reverted the change. Editors are not obligated to gain consensus first before editing a controversial article. QuackGuru (talk) 20:11, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
I used BRD for what I thought was a new and uncontroversial edit. You have reverted it and I'm not going to edit war over it. We are now discussing whether to reinstate it, add something different, or leave it as is. -- Fyslee (talk) 20:21, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
(ecX2) I support Fyslee's edit, which added "and seek consensus". At the Circumcision article, which has the controversial template, we often revert new material and encourage editors to discuss until there's consensus before making changes. The meaning of discuss before making changes more-or-less already means discuss and seek consensus. True consensus is not always possible, but it says "seek consensus", not "must have consensus". Fast changes on controversial articles are not a good idea: they often mean non-NPOV material being displayed for a while, giving Wikipedia a bad reputation and not serving readers well.
Discussion and seeking consensus before editing frequently happens at controversial articles, and is to be encouraged, in my opinion. A few editors going against that is not a reason not to recognize and encourage the general trend. Coppertwig(talk) 20:14, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Re editing this template without discussing first: This talk page doesn't have the controversial template on it, so perhaps the procedures for controversial articles don't apply here. Perhaps Fyslee thought the edit was neither substantial, nor likely to be controversial, anyway. WP:BRD can be used here, I think; although this template is displayed on a large number of talk pages, so I encourage editors to be careful in editing it. Coppertwig(talk) 20:18, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

We should not rewrite the rules. There is no part of policy that says seek consensus before editing an article. QuackGuru (talk) 20:23, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

We are not proposing any policy change at all. Please don't create straw man diversions here, one of your favorite ploys in your endless discussions. We are obviously talking about already hot situations at controversial articles where the normal method of editing doesn't work very well. Either add the word "consensus" to your vocabulary, or go elsewhere and play. -- Fyslee (talk) 20:27, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
We should not rewrite the rules. There is no part of policy that says seek consensus before editing an article. Please show me what part of policy says to get permission or seek consensus before editing. QuackGuru (talk) 20:34, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Now you're being dense, another favorite ploy of yours. Read what I wrote and respond to it. Your way of repeating your own previous comment as if no new comments have intervened solves nothing. -- Fyslee (talk) 20:37, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
We should stick to policy and not try to create new policies. It should be noted that it has not been shown by any editor that seeking consensus before editing is part of any policy. QuackGuru (talk) 20:48, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether you need counseling or a shrink! What part of my replies do you fail to understand? You have now repeated your same tactic of replying without any evidence you have read or understood the intervening comments. Repeating yourself and your straw man diversion is not helping. The existing policies are unchanged, and no changes have been proposed. Just read about consensus and try to understand it. Then come back without using any straw man diversions. Show you have learned something about collaboration. -- Fyslee (talk) 23:13, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
I simply ask for what part of policy reflects the edit. I don't think any policy on Wikipedia says we are required to seek consensus first before editing. QuackGuru (talk) 00:21, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Sigh... Nobody has implied that any policy says any such thing. We are dealing with a situation where an article discussion has become hot and we are encouraging editors to be careful to avoid causing more problems. Collaboration with editors who hold opposing POV is the name of the game. Seeking consensus is the name of the game. WP:Writing for the enemy is the name of the game. Bulldozing the truth into an article is not the way to do it. Use sugar rather than vinegar. -- Fyslee (talk) 01:07, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
When no policy says such a thing then there is no reason to add something to a template that is irrelevant to policy. Instead, we can add something that reflects policy. Adding opposing POVs does not equal NPOV. For example, we don't add chiropractic POV from references about the effectiveness of chiropractic from chiropractic websites. MEDRS and RS do not allow opposing POV references. We stick to the most reliable references and write in a neutral way. See WP:NPOV, WP:WEIGHT and WP:FRINGE. QuackGuru (talk) 02:05, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
If you have actually read what I have written (I see no evidence that you have done so yet), then I'll just AGF and come up with a likely explanation for your strange persistence in following such a weird train of thought. Maybe your seeming denseness isn't a psychiatric issue at all, but maybe a language issue. Apparently English isn't your mother tongue, in which case you are excused.....to a version of Wikipedia where your language rules. This is hopeless. Trying to communicate with you is even less fun and productive than talking to a slug. That's the most charitable explanation I can come up with right now. Your reaction will help me determine if you really can understand English. If you get offended, then your previous comments must really be an incredible case of denseness. Selective understanding/misunderstanding just won't cut it. So far misunderstanding or failure to understand explains most of your replies, in which case another version of Wikipedia is awaiting you. Since this whole thread is based on a straw man and isn't productive in the least, I'm bowing out and will let you talk to yourself. -- Fyslee (talk) 07:06, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
This is amusing. You say seek consensus first but you did not seek consensus for your edit first. But bold has always been part of Wikipedia. We don't need to add consensus twice to this template. There is another proposal in another thread. What is the problem with reverting. If I don't revert it teaches the pro-quackery crowd that reverting works as a way to block improvements. When I revert it teaches the pro-quackey editor it won't work. Hitting the undo button has worked for me thus far. The goal is to improve the article and not wait months to gain permission to edit the article. QuackGuru (talk) 07:18, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Fyslee is talking about two different situations: (1) a change the editor did not think would be controversial, on a template that does not display the controversial template on its talk page; and (2) a change the editor expects will be controversial, on a article that has the controversial template on its talk page. The behaviour to be encouraged in these two different situations is different. Coppertwig (talk) 17:26, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
WP:BOLD is also a policy on Wikipedia. As a side note: you did not seek consensus first at the Jimmy Wales article. You ignored mny comments on your talk page and on the article's talk page. QuackGuru (talk) 19:50, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Where did Coppertwig seek consensus first to make this edit. QuackGuru (talk) 19:52, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Cats this template belongs in[edit]

I'd be inclined to move the accompanying template from Category:Article talk header templates to Category:Non-subject-matter-related article-talk header templates, since it is not specific to any area of subject-matter. It appears, however, to inherit the former Cat from another template. Others may want to consider this matter.
--Jerzyt 16:39, 20 May 2009 (UTC)