Template talk:Mafia

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Serious flaws[edit]

This template has serious flaws and should first be discussed before putting it up. I will give detailed comments later, but please refrain from inserting it. - Mafia Expert (talk) 01:59, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Frankly, allthough I do appreciate the effort, I have some serious reservations on how this template is set up. To be honest, I seriously consider to have it deleted. I am sorry to say so – probably some considerable time and energy is put into this constructing it – but it is simply not up to standards.

Let me first explain that my reservations do not only concern the template, but have to do with the quality of Mafia related articles. The first question you have to ask yourself if you want to make a template is: do the articles I am linking to have sufficient quality? That is the first problem. Most are poorly written, do not have sufficient reliable references (if they have them at all), and are significantly biased in the sense that they represent a US point of view on the issue. The one who made this template is not to blame for this, but that is the reality, unfortunately.

I will go into all the mistakes in detail later, but for a start:

The Mafia: You listed the 'Ndrangheta, Camorra, the Cosican Mafia under this heading. These organisations are not the Mafia: the Mafia, or rather Cosa Nostra, is a specifically Sicilian organisation, that migrated to the US as well. The ‘Ndrangheta, Camorra, the Cosican Mafia are NOT the Mafia. Furthermore, why is the Chicago Outfit in the first box, and is there a separate one for the Five Families of New York? If you list the Chicago Outfit here, why not other sub-groups? If you have a separate box for the Five Families of New York, why is their nothing about the Mafia in Sicily? The Sicilian Mafia Commission for instance. That is now under Other. The supreme level of organisation of the Mafia on Sicily and you list that under Other?

There are a lot of other serious mistakes, but I will go into them later. However, please refrain from putting this template on articles before it is properly discussed. - Mafia Expert (talk) 02:20, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

You have very valid concerns. I probably didn't give this enough thought when creating it, and it has grown larger than what I was first thinking.
First I'll address one point you made about the linked articles not being very good quality. That's probably the only point I would disagree with you on. Here's my reasoning, if you think it's flawed, please do refute it. Some of the articles might not be the best quality, but I don't see the problem with linking to them in the template: (1) If the articles are acceptable for inclusion in Wikipedia, in their imperfect state, then they are acceptable for inclusion in this navigational template. If they are not acceptable, then they should be deleted. (2) Including the poor articles in the template will help people find them, and those same people have the opportunity to improve the articles.
Your other concerns about poor organization and straying from a strict "mafia" topic in the template are quite understandable. As you pointed out, some of the linked articles are in some way related to the mafia, but are not about the mafia per se. Perhaps these should be removed, or we could also refactor the whole thing and call it "Template:Organized crime topics". That would allow including other organized crime organizations other than, but similar to the Mafia. Or we could decide to limit this strictly to the mafia, and work on paring down and organizing the template. Which would you recommend?
 LinguistAtLargeMsg  06:03, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Proposed changes[edit]

I'll go ahead and propose some changes. First would be limiting this template strictly to the (Sicilian) Mafia. The following is a proposed structure-- what do you think?  LinguistAtLargeMsg  07:34, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

That looks a lot better, but I am still not really happy. For instance I don't particularly like the header "Dominant families". There are not all necessary dominant. Maybe it is better to link to Sicilian Mafia clans and maybe add Sicilian Mafiosi. The code section was not that bad, but I would delete Duel and Social banditry. I would also add a section on the Antimafia and , why not History of the Sicilian Mafia. I am sorry not to elaborate more, but I have litle time at the moment. - Mafia Expert (talk) 23:01, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Ok, I have updated the proposed template above.
1. "dominant families" has been changed to "Commission member families" for the American Mafia. For the US families, these are the families mentioned on the Commission page as the member families. For the Sicilian Commission, it's a lot more complicated, so I have taken your suggestion and only linked to Sicilian Mafia clans and maybe add Sicilian Mafiosi
2. I re-introduced the "codes" section.
3. Added the Anti-mafia and history links as well.
What's your take on this now? (Thanks for all your input by the way)  LinguistAtLargeMsg  18:30, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Much better, we could probably refine it a bit more, but I think this fine to use. I made some changes. The Antimafia is an Italian phenomenon, so I moved it up. - Mafia Expert (talk) 14:27, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Philly and Detroit are out[edit]

Jerry Capeci The complete idiot's guide to the Mafia (pg. 31-46) wrote that Philly (lost seat 1980) and Detroit (lost seat 1977) --Vic49 (talk) 23:35, 6 February 2011 (UTC)


I think this template is in need of some reworking. Consider that there is another template with similar information for the American mob (Template:American Mafia). Also, there are a few articles which deserve to be included in a Mafia-related template so as to make them more accessible, e.g.

List of Italian American mobsters
List of American mobsters by organization
List of mobsters by city
List of crime bosses

The current template has some good information but it is a bit cluttered, and, as mentioned, superfluous in some respects to the American Mafia-one. A good idea would be to maybe add links to the lists of individual mobsters to the American Mafia-template, and any other information, so that the template can be used in all articles that are connected to the American Mafia (maybe change its heading from Italian American Mafia crime families to just Italian American Mafia so to include associates and so forth). This would make it much easier to survey the area. Then this template could be used for broader Mafia-related topics and include articles related to all nationalities (cf. List of Mafia crime families), albeit with the Sicilian and American ones isolated since they are the most prominent. What do you think? Shoplifter (talk) 09:38, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Since we have template on the American Mafia it might be better to separate the templates and have a similar one for the Sicilian Mafia only with a link to the American one. Or maybe Italian Mafia type organizations including the 'Ndrangheta and Camorra. Including articles related to all nationalities is a bad idea, because these organisations have nothing to do with the Mafia. Rather deepen the templates than have general templates with dubious connections. - DonCalo (talk) 18:44, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Good suggestions - a template for Italian organizations crosslinked to an American Mafia-template (and vice versa) seems like a fine solution for the purposes of clarity and navigation. These templates could include all important articles on each subject, and could then be added to all related articles. Ideally, the reader should be able to survey the history of an entire family or era, starting in any article (e.g., I open the article on Antonio Caponigro and from the bottom template I can quickly find information about the Philly family and its members). I take it you're well versed in this field, do you have any ideas as to what should be included in each template? I guess the Italian one out of necessity will look somewhat different. Shoplifter (talk) 19:40, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

I think it would be a good idea to separate the Sicilian Mafia sections of this template into its own Template (like the American Mafia Template). This Mafia Template should include the "Chain of Command" and "Codes" sections, the List of Mafia crime families (a list of Italian Mafia crime family around the world), a link to the American Mafia Template and a link to the Sicilian Mafia Template. The information about the Sicilian Mafia Commission, antimafia should be in the Sicilian Mafia template and the information about the American Mafia crime families should also be removed. --Vic49 (talk) 16:34, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree with your suggestions, and I also agree that the articles you mentioned on my talk should be merged. This area is in need of both consolidation and structure.
If I have understood you both correctly, what we want is basically three different templates: 1) American Mafia 2) Italian organizations and/or Sicilian Mafia 3) Mafia. The third is an overarching panel with links to common articles for the two. I'm thinking that the latter will be a fairly small template that can be used in the central articles of the subject area (e.g. those in the template itself). The design of the one we already have in this article seems suitable for that purpose. The other two might be more inclusive and extensive, akin to the current Template:American Mafia, with links to all notable and substantial articles (families/crews/events/lists of individuals, perhaps even bios of major figures). These templates could then be placed in all related articles in the manner I have suggested above (a bottom template would probably be the best choice for this). In that way, any Mafia-related article (whether American or Italian mob) will give overview to the reader and be a starting point for further exploration of the topic. What do you think about this?
From your suggestions I'm thinking that the Mafia-template will include the following:
  • Chain of Command. Should Italian or English terms be used, or both? Since this template will be for both the Italian and American mafia, it would be good if it included non-regional articles explaining what a Commission and an Associate is.
  • Codes. The Glossary could possibly be included here as well, although it's mainly related to the American mob and is in some respects redundant to the Codes section.
  • List of Mafia families
  • Links to the head articles on the American Mafia and the Siclian Mafia/Italian organizations
Is there anything else we might have overlooked?
As suggested by DonCalo - should the Italian template be only Sicilian, or include all Italian organizations? Spontaneously, I think the latter would be preferable for the purpose of overview, but I might be wrong (I don't know much about the Italian mob or its presence on Wikipedia). I guess this depends on whether the Siclian and American Mafia is regarded as having an intimate kinship with Italian organized crime in general. (I don't have the expertise to answer this.) It strikes me that if we do choose to make a template for all Italian organizations, then the "List of Mafia families" would have to be both renamed and reorganized to be inclusive of non-Mafia Italian organized crime.
I will start looking at merging the articles you have suggested, Vic. Shoplifter (talk) 08:26, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
I think we should not have three but only two different templates: (1) Sicilian Mafia; (2) American Mafia. Not Mafia as such (we already have a disambiguation page on this). Both the templates should have distinct "chain of command" (they tend to be different, for instance 'Don' is not Sicilian; it should be 'capo famiglia') codes and glossary. Maybe it it is better to have separate templates for other Italian criminal orgainzations (Camorra and 'Ndrangheta) but they should somehow refer to each other. What do you think? - DonCalo (talk) 17:27, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree there should be two templates (1) American Mafia (2) Sicilian Mafia. DonCalo makes a good point that American and Sicilian Mafia's have different "chains of command". This template should be cover material only about the Sicilian Mafia from (1) Clans (2) Commissions (3) AntiMafia (4) Chains of command (5) Wars (6) trials (7) A link to List of Mafia crime families the American Mafia template and Organized crime in Italy --Vic49 (talk) 18:21, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Proposed change/new look[edit]

I changed the template so its only related to Sicilian Mafia. --Vic49 (talk) 19:45, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

This looks very good - nice job! I've made a few minor alterations. Just trying to tighten things up a bit. The good thing about a bottom template is that it can be added to large number of articles with ease using Wikipedia:AutoWikiBrowser. Shoplifter (talk) 06:39, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm also trying out some changes to the American Mafia template. What do you think about this revision:

I guess my idea is to get as much valuable information in the template as readability allows. Do you still think we should merge List of Italian American Mafia crime families and List of American mobsters by organization? The Codes and Glossary should probably be inserted somewhere in the Italian American Mafia template as well.

Just finished a new design; more radical but probably my favorite one so far. What do you think? Shoplifter (talk) 16:21, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and implemented the new Sicilian template, hope that's okay. Shoplifter (talk) 09:58, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Adding template[edit]

I've now finished adding the template to some 100+ Sicilian Mafia-related articles using AWB. Please help by removing any accidental double-adds, erroneous adds (e.g., accidental adds to Camorra-related articles or other Italian organizations) and by adding the template to any new or related articles you come across. Shoplifter (talk) 12:57, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Well done, great work. - DonCalo (talk) 19:20, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
Both templates look good. I still think that List of Italian American Mafia crime families and List of American mobsters by organization should be merged together.--Vic49 (talk) 18:33, 25 July 2011 (UTC)