Template talk:Criticism section

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


If we don't want the merge arrows and color, that's fine, but I think the wording at least was better.

  • A "controversy" section usually stems from a well-defined event involving the subject, unlike a "criticism" section which is usually ongoing negative commentary by others. These situations should not be treated as one and the same. I fear that doing that would jumble articles out of chronological order and make them more difficult to read.
  • "An editor" sounds elitist at worst and redundant at best. This is Wikipedia, where, unlike Citizendium anybody reading the page be "an editor" of it. Using that terminology on a cleanup tag lends it a false sense of validity.
  • The "words to avoid" section link was just plain confusing. The stated goal is a more neutral article. The target of the link should clearly reflect that.
  • In many cases, the simplest and most effective remedy would be to rename the section heading in the article to something less polemic, as per "words to avoid".

CharlotteWebb 16:48, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Criticism and Controversy sections are usually bad for exactly the same reasons. This template is meant for both. A section that is primarily about a certain controversial event should be named after that event, not named after the "controversy" it provoked. See [1], [2]
  • "An editor" clarifies who tagged the page. Without it, what will newcomers think?
  • The "words to avoid" page section is specifically about presentation issues and unbalanced article structures, which is what this template is for. Following the link to WP:NPOV is unhelpful; it provides no information about this situation. Linking to both is fine, but I don't know how to fit it in with your shortened wording.
  • Agreed. — Omegatron 17:07, 20 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Looking at the diffs of your edits, it appears you agree that the appropriate solution for a "==Controversy==" section is to give the heading a more objective title, rather than dispersing it into other sections as this template suggests! Why should the same instructions be given for both situations? Clearly one size does not fit all.
  • I don't see why that needs clarifying at all, because any attempt at clarifying sounds a little bit condescending, like "this tag was placed here by somebody whose opinions matter", rather than the Easter Bunny or the Gideons, especially when "editor" has different (often more esteemed) connotations outside Wikipedia. It really shouldn't matter who placed the tag, only that "the suggestion has been made, take it for what it's worth".
  • NPOV is an end. "Avoiding" certain words is a means. The end is always more important, and there are always multiple ways to achieve the same goal. I mean, look at this again:
    "...to achieve a [[Wikipedia:Words to avoid#Article structure|more neutral presentation]]"
    Hopefully nobody would write an article with:
    "...to achieve good [[Electric toothbrush#Effectiveness|dental hygiene]]."
    because that would just be silly, not to mention possible POV issues in itself (no mention of flossing). If you want to find some way to work that link into the template, that's fine, but this is not a good way of doing it.

CharlotteWebb 18:01, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

The change from "An editor.." to "It has been suggested.." seems fine, since other common tags use the passive voice, though I don't see what was elitist with the original version. Excluding "Controversy" sections is a mistake, however, since they are susceptible to the same abuses as "Criticism" sections, namely lumping all the negatives in one place. For example, the Al Sharpton article lumps all of his controversies at the end, which is silly, since he is by calling always in the midst of controversy. A better structure for that article would be to incorporate the controversial episodes chronologically into the discussion of his career in civil rights activism. So the remedy for "Controversy" sections, in some cases at least, is the same as that prescribed by this template. I also think there is a benefit in referring to both WP:NPOV and WP:WTA#Article structure, since the latter is an accepted Wikipedia guideline and provides a more explicit reference to "Criticism" or "Controversy" sections. Djcastel 03:00, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't know about the current wording, often criticism sections can actually make articles worse, by that I mean more negative. Usually they provide a dumping ground for all kinds of junk. Aaron Bowen 05:59, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Usually, yes. And when the section itself is a good structure, it's often better to give the section a better name, like when the "controversy" section deals with only one particular event. It's better to leave it in one section, but make the section about the event itself instead of the "controversy" the event generated. — Omegatron 20:56, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

NPOV discussion on addition[edit]

There is a discussion at NPOV about Criticism and controversy sections. It has lead to a draft discussion of a article structure addition. Please have a look. Morphh (talk) 18:46, 28 May 2007 (UTC)


The way I had written it basically says "it's been suggested that this change will improve the article's neutrality". Contrast that with "this article has a problem and it this is the way to fix it". If you would apply the latter phrase to an article, then obviously you're so sure about it that you could fix it yourself, whereas I'd assume this template ought to be used in cases where the "right solution" to an article's POV problems is not so crystal clear. Especially if this is going to be expanded to include "controversy" surrounding a specific incident involving the subject (rather than ongoing commentary by "critics"). It would make little sense to intersperse this material into other sections and lose all semblance of chronological order. Simply changing the title of the section would probably fix that issue most of the time. Or there could be better solution for a specific given article, one that we don't have a template for because nobody's thought of it yet. — CharlotteWebb 19:26, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

then obviously you're so sure about it that you could fix it yourself

These templates are often used when you see something that needs fixing, but don't have time to fix it, or you know it needs reorganizing, but aren't involved enough in the topic to reorganize it well, etc. — Omegatron 20:58, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Coherence vs NPOV[edit]

What about changing the template so that it talks about criticism sections being bad for article flow rather than it being bad for NPOV? I value NPOV, but a coherent article is more likely (on average) to be NPOV than an article that flows badly, and it's easier to agree on coherence than on NPOV. Andjam 15:27, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Go for it. I'm not sure what wording you intend but I can assume it would make more sense than the current. — CharlotteWebb 12:38, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
While you could add the aspect of coherence, I would not remove the aspect of NPOV as it applies to Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view#Article_structure. In fact I would probably relink the neutral presentation to the NPOV and the coherence to Wikipedia:Words_to_avoid#Article_structure. Morphh (talk) 13:06, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Again, I advocate the principle of least astonishment when piping links. Don't do it in such a way that the relationship between the link targets to the message text is non-obvious or resembles spoon-feeding. Don't link to what you think is useful related reading, link to what matches the main message. If these ideas don't match, it would be better to rewrite the message than to turn it into an easter egg hunt. Create a separate MoS page if needed. — CharlotteWebb 14:31, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Hi guys![edit]

I have a little problem. Hundreds of articles have Controversy sections. I do agree that this tag is needed, when it comes to have too much controversy sections, which illustrates the person in a bad light, like in Tom Cruise's case, who has 7 sub-sections (!). However, I strongly disagree with a complete removal of such sections. It's not the same as Trivia sections, which are unencyclopedic. And when there are controversy sections, it doesn't necessarily mean that the person is depicted in a less neutral way.

And let's take Tom Cruise one more time. How can THE WHOLE section (of 7 subs) be merged wholly into the article? It's almost impossible. And if it is removed, the article will miss information. That's why I added "some of" to the template.-- 23:03, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Disagree with the template[edit]

Since this template underwent an AfD (see top of the page), it is obviously controversial. The doc to the template seems to be presented in a one-sided manner, as well. I broadened Jimbo's quote to include his full statement, that criticism sections are sometimes necessary. I think they are often necessary, and flow fine. When there is a wholesale criticism about a movement or a person, that should go in a criticism section. Plus, it's a major boon to readers to allow them to quickly find criticism of, say, a politician, or an alternative (or conventional) medical therapy. ImpIn | (t - c) 03:46, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

If a template survives an AfD, it does not mean that is controversial. It is up to editors to decide if to segregate negative POVs to a section named "Criticism" or not. In most cases, it is best to not top make such segregations, for reasons of WP:UNDUE, flow of text, and for a better NPOV presentation of a subject. As for Jimbo's full statement, please add it if you wish, as it does not detract from its meaning. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:32, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Also note that this template is also based in good practices described in WP:WORDS and Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view#Article_structure, not just Jimbo's comment. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:34, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
I have removed the prescriptive text from the template doc, as this is not a policy page. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:37, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Section versus article[edit]

In this reversion, the editor as asserted that the "concept is that the WHOLE article mey be pov". If the point is that a criticism section imbalanced the article, then I don't see the purpose in having a specialized secton-level template when the {{NPOV}} and/or {{unbalanced}} templates should be listed for the entire article. //Blaxthos ( t / c ) 04:28, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes, the original point made by Jimbo, is that if you have a criticism section, the whole article is unbalanced because you are marginalizing/demoting criticism to one section only. The template is specialized to highlight the content that should be included in the other sections. - Sum (talk) 11:31, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. The intended purpose of this template is to have the sections in question merged with the rest of the article. It is not simply a cleanup tag for a section. The reason this is distinct from {{NPOV}} and the like is that sections such as this are obvious red flags which do not demand discussion, unlike an untargeted assertion of undue weight et cetera. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 02:21, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Would you also agree that there are some places in which a controversy section is necessary? It seems like the assumption here is that they are always going to cause imbalance; I don't believe that was Jimbo's intent (though I'd have to go back and read his quote to be sure). //Blaxthos ( t / c ) 13:54, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Personally I'm for giving the most visibility to criticism, since it's often the most interesting part of an article. I'm in favor of having a "criticism overview" section, that gives an overview/summary of the criticism already included in the other sections. Much like the lead section is the overview/summary of the whole article. So in my opinion the problem is not if we have a criticism section, but if some criticism point is present ONLY in the criticism section.--Sum (talk) 21:39, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
That's something I've never considered before; it sounds like a pretty good idea. But what about subjects that are basically defined by their controversy and the criticism that surrounds them? I've seen a lot of knee-jerk reactions to wipe away all criticism sections with the rationale "integrate it into the text"... think about subjects like Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Fox News Channel. All of those subjects have massive amounts of controversy, and in at least one case the WP:UNDUE argument was used to basically cull almost all notable criticism -- leaving an article that doesn't give an accurate encyclopedic treatment of the subject. There are some circumstances where the quantity and gravity of C/C is so great that it just can't be logically squeezed into other sections of the article. //Blaxthos ( t / c ) 22:41, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
I have never seen an article improved by segregating its criticism. I have seen countless articles where the opposite is true. The Beck / O'Reilly / Fox articles would all be better with integrated criticism. Integration is not a matter of excising critical material - it's a matter of writing brilliant prose which covers controversial subjects in a neutral manner. And it is for that reason that this is a style tag and not a content tag. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 17:29, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
While I agree that in many cases, it is a good idea to integrate criticism; however, in practice, much of the time the criticism is not integrated so much as "integrated," which is to say slapped into a section where it's not a good fit. For instance, at the Bill O'Reilly article, the section on the lawsuit against him for sexual harassment is covered in the "personal life" section. However, the person who sued him was an employee, so this episode encompasses his personal life, professional life, and also comes to bear on his political positions insofar as there have been charges of hypocrisy. Putting that particular episode into some sort of "controversies" section, or into its own section, is precisely the opposite of integrating it, but it would be the best way to present the content. Croctotheface (talk) 19:05, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, my point went largely unaddressed. To re-iteate: What about subjects that have massive amounts of criticism to which the controversies are in integral part of their notability? We can't and shouldn't take the stance that all criticism must always be shoe-horned into "other sections", especially when subjects are primarily known for their controversy. //Blaxthos ( t / c ) 20:17, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
It is perfectly possible to write sections which consist almost entirely of critical material without losing neutrality. For an example right off the top of my head (which isn't even a particularly well-written article and still needs lots of work, but is at least heading in the right direction) have a look at Jack Thompson (activist), a former litigant known almost entirely for a string of controversies.
What's happening with O'Reilly is that people have it in their heads that O'Reilly's hypocrisy is something that has to be treated as a subject in itself. That is inherently POV. You get a lot of this on WP: people who insist on taking this angle on Al Gore's environmental work, or Michael Moore's filmmaking for examples at the other end of the political spectrum. It should be avoided as it never seems to work in the end. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 09:31, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't see any evidence of that whatsoever. (Though I did make a passing reference to hypocrisy, so maybe you're directing this at me?) The issue is that sometimes it makes the most sense to group criticisms together or controversies together. Sometimes they have much more in common with each other than with some other element of the person's life. We need to disabuse ourselves of the mistaken notion that "integrating" criticism is not good by definition. Croctotheface (talk) 14:54, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I wasn't specifically directing the "hypocrisy" comment at anyone: it just happens to be a common theme that I've noticed in csections. I don't see that you've actually refuted any of the points I've made. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 00:18, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
What points? All I saw was a general declaration that "people" who are involved with "what's happening with O'Reilly" are POV pushers. I then responded to that. You then responded by passive-aggressively saying that you weren't talking about me. Then you said I didn't respond to your points, even as I responded to your response to my response. Let me also say that you never responded to MY point that there isn't one correct place to put content like the lawsuit that touches on multiple elements of the biography. Sometimes it makes more sense to group controversies and criticisms together because they're out of place elsewhere. The mere act of PUTTING them elsewhere is not good by itself. Croctotheface (talk) 05:09, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I wasn't calling anyone a "POV pusher" - I was pointing out that regarding "hypocrisy" as a subject in itself is something that I've found across a wide range of BLPs here and that it is an inherently POV concept. "Integration" is not just splitting sections up and moving their individual components elsewhere; it often requires a complete re-examination of how a given issue is approached. "Hypocrisy" is a very good example of this: if one approaches a given aspect of someone's life from the angle of "what hypocrisy has been shown here" then it is easy to find that disparate parts of someone's life and career share this angle. Avoiding this is necessary to present a subject neutrally. This is often not easy and we have quite a few high-profile articles which need work in this regard. I'd rather not discuss specific articles because whether or not this tag is appropriate for a given section is for individual article talk pages. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 09:11, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

(removing indents) Are you saying that I approach articles asking the "hypocrisy" question? If you are, then I'd like to see some evidence before you make accusations like that. If you're not, then please stop bringing it up. I raised a specific situation, yes, but it's illustrative of the point I'm raising. You argued that grouping criticism/controversies has never been the best way to go. I raised a case where, in my view, it clearly is the way to go. If you're not going to respond to that particular issue, then at least respond to the general concept it raises. And if you won't respond to that, then at least stop with the "I don't see that you've refuted any of the points I've raised" nonsense. Croctotheface (talk) 14:47, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Don't take this the wrong way, but I wouldn't know you from Adam. That you brought it up is irrelevant: I'd probably have brought it up myself in the course of this discussion, because as I said it's a common pattern across BLPs regardless of where they lie on the political spectrum. As for the O'Reilly lawsuit, I don't see why it couldn't be in a section entitled "lawsuit" if it's notable enough; there is no reason it has to be shoehorned into a "personal life" section. If that's the point you were making then I do not disagree. Whether something is a "controversy" section or not is more about how it's written than how it's placed; rewriting is often a better solution than reordering, but it's often also much harder. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 17:56, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Wow, didn't notice this reply until just now. I think that a lot of editors believe that anything that actually casts any kind of attention on criticism means that the criticism is not sufficiently "integrated," and as such would object to having something controversial in a section unto itself. So if we are on the same page on that, then I think for many or most cases, there exist solutions that would be acceptable to us both. However, the notion that any section that focuses on criticisms or controversy is bad writing by definition, which you do seem to ascribe to, is just wrong. Sometimes it plain makes the most sense to do it that way. Croctotheface (talk) 02:31, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
I disagree with that last point, but I can only point you to previous examples (like Jack Thompson (activist)) as instances of articles where almost all of the content is on "controversy" without falling foul of the problem described by this template. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 12:58, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
I know that this is a months old discussion at this point, but I just saw this now--do you seriously believe that there is never any circumstance where it could ever possibly make sense to have a section that is focused on criticism or controversy? The Jimmy Wales statement that inspired the whole "integrating criticism" fetish didn't go that far; in fact, he explicitly said that criticism sections make sense sometimes. Croctotheface (talk) 09:27, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Criticism is often the interesting and socially relevant part of an article[edit]

I have been seeing this template more and more lately and I think it is a mistake. A lot of times, I am only interested in the criticism/controversy part of an article. It is often the interesting and socially relevant part. Many articles are simply too long to try and find this information. Having this section is efficient and saves the reader's time.

If I see an article with no criticism/controversy section it usually tells me that it has been deleted by an interested party. I suppose this is the downside: it makes it easier to delete. This is especially true with companies and PR firms (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/technology/19wikipedia.html). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:22, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

I think the criticism section should be present but only be a summary/overview of the criticism already present in the rest of the article. If the current structure of the articles doesn't fit to hold some important criticism points, that the current article structure may be limited/biased and need to be changed/expanded.--Sum (talk) 11:50, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Proposal: rewrite the template message to follow Template:Lead too short, and say that This article's criticism overview section may not adequately summarize its contents. --Sum (talk) 12:00, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

No. Criticism sections are only "interesting" when someone wants to read only negative material on a subject. That's not how our articles should be written. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 10:51, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
That sounds like crap based on ignorance. Culture itself is always a development of criticism. Who thinks that should start studying on fields like Critical theory.--Sum (talk) 13:20, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Are you confusing "critique" and "criticism"? Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 09:37, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Criticism section in articles about theories[edit]

I agree that there shouldn't be criticism sections in biographical or historical articles, but not in articles about philosophical or psychological or similar theories, because in these instances criticism of a theory is usually notable itself. For example let's take utilitarianism. This ethical theory (as well as all ethical theories) has been openly criticized in many many ways, not in anyway connected to each other. Impossible to integrate to other sections. It's a common practice to describe a theory and then to write about how it was criticized and defended (arguments for and against). What's wrong with that? Maybe we could write somewhere, that these cases are exceptions?--Tired time (talk) 19:31, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

They aren't exceptions. If worded properly, an article on a theory should not be laid out like "X said all these things, but Y disagreed". It should be possible to examine the theory's key points without having to draw a line between positive and negative. Much of the material segregated into the csection on utilitarianism could easily be split out without much change, for example. As-is, the presence of a criticism section is evidently encouraging editors to dump negative material into it. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 13:51, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

This template should be deleted or reworded[edit]

This {{csection}} tag suggests distributing criticisms throughout the article ('integrating' them) instead of grouping them together. I disagree that this approach should be used to create a WP:NPOV in general, and suggest either deleting or rewording this template.

In a controversy that is highly polarized, such as where some people believe the statements made by an official source and some believe in statements by vocal objectors, it makes better sense to group the objections together in their own section. That makes it easier to understand the objections as a group with common motivations (such as: 'the government is not telling us the whole truth', or 'the article is nothing but pseudoscience'). Mixing the objections with the 'official' or 'mainstream' material would not make the article have a more NPOV but would instead make it more difficult to read and understand. David Spector 21:27, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

I've only rarely seen examples where splitting criticism leads to be a better article. Most of the time it's the result of lazy editing and encourages people to treat the criticism section as a dumping ground for whatever negative points they can find or express. In particular, I assume that you raised this due to my tagging of High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, where the criticism section served precisely that purpose. The mistake here is assuming that the only way to fix the problem is to randomly disperse criticism throughout the article, whereas sometimes it's as straightforward as reworking the criticism section to cover some specific aspect of the subject which attracts criticism or controversy. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 12:55, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

That article is a good example. I've studied many websites with objections to HAARP. All of the objections, without exception, are based either on misunderstandings of science or of the project, or on distrust of the U.S. government (which may be deserved or not, depending on your POV). Furthermore, not one of the sites with criticisms is reliable, authoritative, or even secondary. They are mostly primary, and are all WP:OR.

Putting all the objections into one section gets them out of the way of the article, which focuses on a factual description of HAARP, as provided by the government. Putting all the objections into one section makes it clear what they all have in common (as I described above).

Yes, there are many articles that benefit from scattering objections throughout the article. But when an article is about a very polarized issue, this is not the case. Then a separate Criticisms section is best. Unfortunately, I disagree with Mr. Wales and a few others on this point, but I'm prepared to continue the discussion for a bit more. I will do anything to help WP become better, and it is clear that we are far from consensus here.

If we can come up with guidelines for when to use a Criticisms section and when not to, we could edit this template and be done with it. I believe that would be better than deleting the template, because there are situations where a separate section is helpful (as in this example) and others where a separate situation is bad (as in PETA, where there are specific criticisms of various PETA policies, rather than a unified opposing POV). David Spector 20:56, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Ah, but again that's a suboptimal way of looking at the problem. With the HAARP article we are under absolutely no obligation to treat the nutjob conspiracy theories as "criticism" or "controversy" in themselves - the point is that secondary sources have remarked that HAARP is a magnet for conspiracy theories. This is simply a statement of fact, and can be assessed neutrally by examining on;y the secondary sources. The old csection has therefore been neutralised without having to integrate it. This is the correct way to tackle criticism of this sort. Simply "getting them out of the way of the article", as you put it, is lazy and does not lead to high-quality, balanced articles. As for the assertion that we are "far from consensus here", maybe you and I are far from consensus, but the wider community decided the issue quite some time ago. That's why this template exists and is regularly deployed. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 11:55, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

In general, we have no right to characterize objections or criticisms (or even conspiracy theories) as having been created by "nutjobs". That is a highly pejorative term, suitable only for ad hominem attacks. As you know, such attacks are not on firm ground.

Today's criticism may be tomorrow's orthodoxy. We know from history that even the U.S. government (in the land of free speech) delays revealing complete knowledge of its actions, particularly when 'national security' is involved. This fact makes even far-out theories possible.

WP pretends that many secondary sources are authoritative. However, the truth is that the best of sources make mistakes sometime. Therefore, no secondary sources can be trusted completely. Also, for almost all topics, there will be one or more primary sources that are more complete and trustworthy than any secondary source. For example, newspaper reporters typically take balanced statements of scientific researchers, introduce errors, omissions, and exaggerations, and then publish the resulting mess. Unfortunately, we have no way of evaluating sources, whether primary or secondary, so it is rarely in the interest of completeness to exclude material.

An ordinary encyclopedia contains only facts verified by many experts. Such an encyclopedia contains mostly quaint, outdated information within just a few years. An innovated encyclopedia like WP should contain more depth, including opposing viewpoints. Integrating such criticisms throughout an article is appropriate when these viewpoints should be given equal weight, such as in PETA.

However, in the case of many articles, such as HAARP, this is not the case. This is why it is better, for these kinds of articles, to group the opposing viewpoints in their own section. It gives them less credibility, which is appropriate because at this point in time they are indeed less credible.

Since we could find out, for example, that HAARP has caused a shift in the earth's inclination which in turn has triggered earthquakes, keeping the opposing points of view might turn out to be useful in the long run. WP should discard only when no rationale or justification can be found for a particular statement. There is nothing wrong with having a 'loyal opposition'. Sometimes, and not so rarely, that's just the ticket for making breakthrough discoveries. David Spector 18:19, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Wait a second here--I think that the obsession with "integrating criticism" has about as many problems as having sections devoted to criticism, but how can you simultaneously say that "we have no way of evaluating sources" and that certain criticisms are "indeed less credible"? Croctotheface (talk) 19:14, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
As I pointed out above, "integrating criticism" does not necessarily mean splitting it up sentence-by-sentence and dotting it around the article. It refers to not having the article structured such that negative material is essentially cordoned off from the rest of the article to the detriment of the article flow. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 09:40, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, my issue is that one of the main arguments against having dedicated sections for criticism is that they encourage bad writing because people treat them as a dumping ground for negative material. However, forcing the criticism to be "integrated" can also encourage bad writing because editors then do exactly what you say they shouldn't: split it up sentence by sentence and dot it around the article, or something like that. I'm not operating under any misunderstanding about what is supposed to happen; I'm operating with a full understanding of what actually happens. Croctotheface (talk) 18:46, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure how the template could be reworded to address that. That said, this is a matter of interpreting the template, rather than questioning its basic validity as David Spector has. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 12:57, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't follow you at all. You criticise newspapers for "he said she said" reporting which treats all input as valid and simply prints it sorted into positive and negative points, but you're doing so while advocating that Wikipedia allow exactly this format in articles. Do you disagree that the reworking of the negative material on HAARP has improved the quality of the article? Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 09:40, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
I think we should vote, since obviously there are proponents for both sides--Tired time (talk) 15:52, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Arguments are not settled by voting on Wikipedia. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 12:57, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Unimportant arguments, such as this one, are not settled by voting. Who gets the banhammer, and other stuff that really matters, is always settled by voting. Pcap ping 06:53, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Only RfA, RfB and ArbCom are settled by voting. For some editors, those are the most important parts of the project. For most editors they are largely irrelevant. It is certainly the case that articlespace is in general more important than the backroom power struggles. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 09:29, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

I fail to see the issue with Criticism[edit]

Honestly, I like having the criticism section, because it separates it from the article where it can be it's own self-contained unit, where it can be explained in proper and fair detail, rather that trying to smashing it into a section that is already, long. (Most of the time.) Frankly I say keep criticism sections, and get rid of this: "Remove Criticism, rewrite into article" Header. (Please contact me if you disagree.)--The Navigators (talk)-May British Rail Rest in Peace. 02:30, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

This is already discussed in the previous section. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward: not at work) - talk 11:00, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Rewording after TfD[edit]

Thank you Sjakkalle for beginning the rewording as suggested in the TfD. As someone who favored deletion, I think the new template satisfies many of the concerns raised in the TfD. It could still use some improvement, although I'm not sure at the moment exactly what the best improvements would be. In the meantime, I have changed "is compromising" to "may be compromising" because the previous template used the word "may". I think it's important to keep that uncertainty, since one of the main concerns raised in the TfD was that the template would be applied to Criticism sections that were within policy. That danger still exists, so the template should always encourage further discussion rather than immediate editing. YardsGreen (talk) 10:42, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

I favored deletion as well, but I am very satisfied with the new wording. I think it could be a little more concise with something like "A concern has been raised that this article's neutral point of view may be compromised by its Criticism section. Possible resolutions include integrating the Criticism section into the article as a whole or rewriting the section's contents. Please see the discussion on the talk page." Nonetheless, the rewrite definitely addressed my chief concerns. --Jtalledo (talk) 15:52, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
There was no need at all for a reword. The TfD, which it should be pointed out happened during a holiday period, attracted plenty of heat but little light (in the form of comments which didn't address that which this page's discussion did). IMO the edits to the template do nothing but bulk up the text, and the change from a style to a content tag is inappropriate (the point of this tag is to flag content which needs rephrasing: cruft should simply be deleted). As there is evidently no consensus for deletion, I'm not inclined to give either of the above comments (from that minority position, supported by no good argument) any weight at all, and in future I will likely revert the changes to this template unless a more productive argument is given in their favour. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward: not at work) - talk 05:27, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I disagree that the TFD generated more heat than light, in fact this was one of the tidiest deletion discussions I have seen of its size, and I felt that the people who participated, on both sides, had put some thought into their opinions. My reading of the TFD was that there were only a few people who wanted to keep the template as is, and they had a reasonably good argument in that criticism sections are not forbidden by an any policy. Many of the "keep" votes were "keep and modify", and one called for outright deletion if the template were not modified. The concern that the template only suggested removal of the criticism section was the primary concern, and recognized deeply into the "keep" camp, and a wording which mentions other options (e.g. rewriting) will necessarily be more verbose. The reason I turned it from a "general cleanup" template to a "NPOV" template, was that all the cited uses of the template were to indicate a NPOV concern. Sjakkalle (Check!) 07:57, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
But the consensus was the opposite; camps on both sides argued that such sections are not inherently POV, but merely poor style (and liable to attract cruft and personal opinion like a magnet). A minority disagreed, but their arguments for turning this into a niche variant of {{NPOV-section}} were nonexistent. Those who argued both a) that the template was not inherently a dispute tag and b) argued that it serves a useful cleanup function have been using it for this purpose for years, and there are currently nearly 300 deployments: turning it into a dispute tag has essentially broken the template from this perspective, as dispute tags are essentially debate markers and are supposed to draw people to talk rather than getting them to fix things directly. As for "not being forbidden in any policy", this is the kind of weaksauce argument people dig out when they have nothing left to fall back on, and is simply false in this case: as pointed out in the TfD, WP:STRUCTURE is part of a policy page and specifically caters to the issue this tag addresses. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward: not at work) - talk 18:54, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Responding to a few points. (For people following this discussion "the TFD" refers to the January 1 TFD)
  1. I have no sympathy with the complaint that the TFD took place during a holiday period, because the TFD actually ran for two weeks (having started on December 24, before being relisted on January 1), with the latter part of the debate taking place well after New Year's. There was plenty of time and opportunity to contribute to the discussion.
  2. The call for some sort of modification of the template was not a minority view, about half of the keep voters wanted a variation of "keep but modify" (or "per"-ed a person who asked for keep but modify), while the delete voters obviously wanted the "modification" of deleting the template outright. I estimate the TFD produced an approximately 2:1 majority against the original wording of the template.
  3. I am unsure why you think "not forbidden by policy" is a weak argument. Maintenance tags which indicate a concern need to point a to a problem which requires fixing, and if there is no problem to fix, there should be no maintenance tag. In this case, the very valid concern made by both keep and delete voters was that the template suggested that criticism sections need to fixed per se, and that is not always the case. WP:STRUCTURE is indeed a section of the NPOV policy, but the text does not prohibit criticism sections, it prohibits unbalanced and non-neutral articles, a problem which may arise from criticism sections. The wording in the first paragraph: "Although specific article structures are not, as a rule, prohibited, care must be taken to ensure that the overall presentation is broadly neutral." cannot be construed as an absolute ban on criticism sections, although it calls for care to be taken. Sjakkalle (Check!) 09:25, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
You can't just count up the "keep but modify" results and declare that to be a consensus. There was agreement from parties on both sides that this is not a dispute template: we already have existing templates which cover that problem. I haven't seen any response to the question of why altering this to be little more than a slightly more specialised {{NPOV-section}} helps the project. The loudest complaints regarding the template were from the likes of Croczilla who has opposed the template in principle for years. Furthermore, there's still no proper response to the argument that this has broken the existing uses of the template, which do not use it as a dispute tag. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward: not at work) - talk 18:49, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
The edits I made as a template were made in my capacity as a regular editor and subject to merciless editing as anything else. (Although with two editors supporting the changes I made, I believe wider discussion from other parties, possibly an RFC, might be in order if you want to make major changes.) I didn't just "count up" the keep but modify votes, I evaluated their arguments based on their references to current policy on criticism sections and found them well founded. These concerns were raised on both sides of the debate, although the requested solution differed between the "keep" and "delete" sides. Also, many those arguing for straight "keep" without modifications seemed to believe (erroneously) that current policy absolutely forbids criticism sections, with Magog's comment: "criticism sections are among the top anathema of content on this encyclopedia, if not #1 itself" being a particularly exaggerated interpretation of what the policy actually says. Regarding the alteration from being a "cleanup" to "NPOV" template, the difference is replacing a picture of a broom with a picture of scales. The reason I made that change is that the template (both the old and modified template) links to the WP:NPOV policy and so indicates a concern over the article's neutrality. In contrast, the generic {{cleanup}} template links to the Manual of Style. Sjakkalle (Check!) 15:43, 2 February 2011 (UTC)