User:Crazynas/verifiability rfc

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



  1. Support This is a compromise crafted over many months to resolve an ongoing, otherwise unresolvable debate that has gone on intensely for almost a year. It retains all of the intended meanings from the original AND reduces the unintended meanings and effects. I hope and request that folks from both sides of the debate....including those those advocating more or less it as such.North8000 (talk) 00:04, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Extended content
  1. This proposal deals with the largest, most discussed issue. It does not preclude tweaks in other areas can then be discussed later. North8000 (talk) 15:46, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    I'm guessing that 200,0000 words of reasons have been written during the current 11-month-continuous discussion supporting why some substantive change is needed. (here, and in two subpages). I'm sure that most folks did not want to repeat them all here. Also, this particular proposal is (and they see it as) a compromise rather than being specifically what they were arguing for. So while an argument for a compromise can might explicitly say that it is just because it is a compromise, it tacitly includes their pro-status quo or pro-change arguments which are partially reflected in the compromise. I'm sure others kept it short for the same reason.North8000 (talk) 13:08, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    IMHO Probably the three most common themes of the pro-change (pro-clarification) side in those ~200,000 words were: 1. The current version is often misinterpreted to say that the fact that something is sourced is categorically sufficient grounds for someone to force it's inclusion in an article. And the common mechanism of this forcing is to say that this policy can be used to prevent discussion of potential falsity of material when editors are deciding whether or not to include a particular piece of material. I say "categorically" sufficient grounds for someone to force it's inclusion because therein lies the misreading, because in certain situations (notably wp:npov balancing situations) such is sufficient to force inclusion. 2. The current unexplained state of the wording is often interpreted to say that Wikipedia absolutely does not care a bit about accuracy, and that such affects both its content and its reputation, and that such should be changed. 3. The vaguer theme exemplified by (I think) Jimbo's "we're not transcription monkeys". Roughly speaking, that that this policy should not be useable to prevent editors from exercising intelligence and discretion in the creation of articles (subject to/acknowledging the primacy of verifiability being a condition for inclusion) and that the current phrase (or current unexplained state of the phrase) tends or de-legitimize or work against that, including being interpreted as saying that such discretion is not allowed. In short, as long as the core criteria of wp:ver is met, editor discretion in other areas should not be categorically ruled out. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 01:02, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
    A summary of the unusual things that this RFC went through in a recent 2 day period is at So lets look at what has been done to this RFC in the last 2 days North8000 (talk) 12:23, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
  1. Support - This version addresses many of the problems presented though I agree with the information rather than material reword.--BruceGrubb (talk) 03:30, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  2. Support as a major step forward for this policy. This proposal will reduce the potential for inexperienced or tendentious editors to misinterpret or pretend to misinterpret what it says.—S Marshall T/C 07:35, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  3. Support Wifione Message 08:10, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  4. Support. I had no problems with the current version either, but this is a compromise I can accept. Additional changes (material vs information, threshold vs. fundamental requirement, ...) should be discussed afterwards (but, assuming that this rfC gets support, should stay away from the whole "truth" thing for a long time). Fram (talk) 08:30, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  5. Support the current wording is simply misinterpreted too often and this is an important step forward. Yoenit (talk) 08:37, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  6. Support Sir Armbrust Talk to me Contribs 10:23, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  7. Support part 2. I particularly like the part on "Assertions of untruth". The new sentences in part 1 read like a camel, but the intent can be understood. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 10:28, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  8. Support. I've sometimes found myself asserting that although WP:V prohibits us from adding unverifiable information, it does not compel us to add information that is verifiable but untrue. This codifies the need for editorial discretion in those instances. I also prefer "information" over "material". Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 11:44, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  9. Support Even though I understood what was meant by "verifiability not truth", it was clear just glancing at past discussions that editors were misreading and/or wikilawyering that counter to the policy's intent. Clarification is always a good thing. --MASEM (t) 12:49, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Extended content
  1. The problem is, people thought "not truth" = "false" when what we really meant was "neither true nor false." I know some people think we must make truth a criterion to improve the quality of articles, but the problem is this will lead to a conflict with NPOV. NPOV says we must include all significant views. What if a significant view is, we believe, false? I think that the cause for the low quality of many articles is many people confuse "V" for "cite sources." It is easy to "verify" a view by finding a source. The hard thing is to verify that the viw is significant. This is what I think we need to work on! Slrubenstein | Talk 19:47, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  1. Support. Not perfect, but it is a change in the right direction. Count Iblis (talk) 14:55, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  2. Support - The "verifiability not truth" mantra has always been the single most idiotic thing about Wikipedia. One of the PILLARS of Wikipedia should be VERACITY — and here we have a very explicit, up front, unambiguous declaration that PUBLISHED FALSEHOOD is perfectly fine. The threshold should be VERIFIABILITY and VERACITY. Period. Carrite (talk) 16:22, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Extended content
  1. The problem is, people thought "not truth" = "false" when what we really meant was "neither true nor false but something else." I know some people think we must make truth a criterion to improve the quality of articles, but the problem is this will lead to a conflict with NPOV. NPOV says we must include all significant views. What if a significant view is, we believe, false? I think that the cause for the low quality of many articles is many people confuse "V" for "cite sources." It is easy to "verify" a view by finding a source. The hard thing is to verify that the view is significant. This is what I think we need to work on! If we really took the time to make sure that we were accurately representing sources in context (which belongs with "cite sources") and that we are verifying that the views included are all of the significant views, the quality of many articles will increase tremendously. But bring in truth and NPOV goes out the window. People holding equally significant but contradictory views may think they are equally true and the other's false!Slrubenstein | Talk 19:52, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    If I may comment: Intended meaning: Verifiability rules as a requirement for inclusion. Truth or claimed truth is not a substitute. But potential inaccuracy of a statement should not be excluded as a consideration when editors are discussing possibly leaving something out. (Recognizing that in some particular situations, wp:npov trumps the discussion and dictates that it stay in.) Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 20:00, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    I admire your desire to support compromise. I would support Blueboar's proposal if it were modified. If you are using "accuracy" simply as a synonym for "truth" I fear we just disagree. If you mean that we must ensure that we are accurately representing the views we include, and that we are accurate in our claims that some views are significant and others fringe, I would agree with you, entirely (e.g., it is accurate to say that Darwin's theory of evolution is a significant view, and it is accurate to say that Darwin's view was that evolution occurred through natural selection). But if you mean that we must judge whether an established, significant view is or is not accurate (e.g. "is the theory of evolution by natural selection accurate" or "is the theory of relativity accurate"), then I think you are simply contradicting NPOV - and perhaps misrepresenting how science progresses. Slrubenstein | Talk 14:06, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  1. Support - A revision like this has been needed for a long time; this will end a whole lot of senseless talk page wikilawyering. --Ludwigs2 16:39, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    • P.s. I'm not thrilled about the parenthetical statement at the end - it doesn't seem to make any sense, and I'm not certain what it is intended for. That should be removed. --Ludwigs2 16:50, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  2. Support - Sounds reasonable. --Iantresman (talk) 16:58, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  3. Support seems like an improvement. -- Taku (talk) 17:44, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  4. Support - Mainly because of the inclusion of "While verifiability is a requirement for inclusion, it is not a guarantee of inclusion." in the lede, though I think the whole thing is beneficial. — TransporterMan (TALK) 18:32, 6 October 2011 (UTC) Clarification — In light of the extended discussion about truth that has developed here, I'd like to make it clear that my support is for the whole package, parts 1 and 2, not for any individual part and I would oppose any change which omits or softens — which the initial proposal does not in my opinion — "verifiability, not truth". — TransporterMan (TALK) 15:33, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  5. Support in principle What we have needs to be changed, and the three things that need to be made clear are the three things presented in the proposal; however, the proposed text is far too verbose—a little more work and we'll be there. Uniplex (talk) 19:24, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Extended content
  1. This addresses just the main topic of concern/debate. Other items can then be tweaked after that. North8000 (talk) 19:37, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    Yes, the verbosity was my main concern also, and that can be improved over time. First Light (talk) 19:43, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    Full support in light of comments. Uniplex (talk) 09:20, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  1. Support Although I agreed with the philosophy behind the original wording, its actual expression caused far too much difficulty. This proposal is an improvement. I shall not suggest any changes to the proposed wording and I suggest other "supporters" do not do either. Refinements can be made after any implementation is done. Thincat (talk) 21:01, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  2. Support per Blueboar. --JN466 22:25, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  3. Support While "verifiability, not truth" is a great slogan, it's confusing enough that more explanation is warranted. I appreciate the further explanation of truth wrt verifiability and, in the strange circumstance that someone in a dispute actually read policy, would help. Just lop off the parenthetical statement at the end of the first change. On a different note, I'm seriously annoyed that this was set up as a vote by the proposer. When did we leave behind that other great slogan, "Voting is Evil"? 2009?Danger (talk) 22:33, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Extended content
  1. I don't think that is fair. Blueboar is not so much that author as he is a de facto manager of a very long and comlicated process involving many people on some subpages. I think that the subpages were a serious exercise in good faith consensus building, and this poll should be seen more as a ratification or reality-check for the subpage process. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:11, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    Also, Blueboar just put it up as an RFC. Others added the format and structure for the feedback. Not that I disagree. North8000 (talk) 00:12, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
    Actually, Tryptofish is evil. I made the edit creating support and oppose sections, so please blame me, not Blueboar. And I think that it has proven to be a useful edit. Please note that there are hardly any "me too" type comments. Rather, editors are generally taking the time to explain their thinking. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:47, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
    I, for one, was glad that Blueboar was willing to do the primary work to create the RfC, and I appreciate his role in getting this going.  It was a decision of the working group to proceed with the RfC.  Unscintillating (talk) 21:24, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  1. Support. The existing language does more harm than good. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:54, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  2. Support As one of the party working on making the policy clearer and with less leeway for genuine misunderstanding or "creative misunderstanding", this is a very good start. We've spent a long, long (and at times tiring!) time working towards an improvement here, and finally come up with something which we all agreed could be put up for a "vote" by the wider community. This baby has been months in gestation - it's time for it to poke its head out into the world now. Pesky (talkstalk!) 02:47, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  3. Support. We are concerned about truth - it's just that that concern is secondary to our concern about verifiability. We first make sure our statements are backed by reliable sources, and then and only then consider whether they are true. But that doesn't mean we don't consider truth at all, which WP:V could be mistaken to mean right now. -- King of ♠ 03:10, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  4. support not truth helps those who defame wp, dont believe what you read in wp, anyone can edit it and it doesnt have to be true. a clear example of wp being more concerned with the process than the result. it reminds me of a romantic scene where the troops know the are marching into certain death and continue because it is their duty. i also think it is stupid  :) Darkstar1st (talk) 04:59, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Extended content
  1. People defame WP because most of its editors are too lazy to take the time to go to a library and read several books in order to represent the current research on a topic. This is what academics do, and the result is not claims about "truth" but actual well-informed research. "Truth" is a metaphysical concept that people throw around when the believe in something that they do not understand, or use as a shortcut that saves them the trouble of investigating the complexity of just about anything and everything actual scholars study. No reform of WP will be effective unless we distinguish between two very different kinds of critics of WP: POV-pushers who hate WP because it includes views they think are false - this is a matter of faith (even if we are talking about secular claims), and people who recognize quality research. Quality research does not depend on claiming that something is true; it does show that one has read the most recent and well-reviewed books published by academic presses, and peer-reviewed journal articles, and, just as important, explain the views found in these sources in context. I have read lots of WP articles where people cherry-pick quotes from academic sources to promote a view that many people believe is "true" but that distorts the scientific research. As long as this happens, university professors will rejct any student research based on WP. Slrubenstein | Talk 12:55, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  1. Support. The "verifiability, not truth" is catchy, but the literal interpretation is not entirely accurate. It tries to make "verifiability" and "truth" opposing concepts, when in actuality they are supportive of each other. We should never knowingly add false information to an article just because a "reliable source" is erroneous. (Indeed if the "reliable source" is erroneous on a certain statement, then the source isn't reliable on that statement, even if it is reliable otherwise.) Sjakkalle (Check!) 05:29, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Extended content
  1. Not quite. We must include all significant views, it is not for us to determine whether they are true or not (especially when "truth" is a word most scientists avoid and philosophers question). The most we can say is "it is true that this is a significant view," if this is what you mean about mutually supportive. But what we are verifying is that it really is a significant view, and that we are providing an accurate account of it. This is a far cry from saying that th view is true! Do you truly believe that we are supposed to verify which of the following interpretations if quantum mechanics: The Copenhagen interpretation; Many worlds; Consistent histories; Ensemble interpretation, or statistical interpretation; de Broglie–Bohm theory; Relational quantum mechanics; Transactional interpretation; Stochastic mechanics; Objective collapse theories; von Neumann/Wigner interpretation: consciousness causes the collapse; Many minds, is "true?" If one of them is true, the others must be false. Scientists acknowledge that they cannot all be correct. But you think our policy should be to report the true one? Slrubenstein | Talk 12:46, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
    Of course there are cases where there are genuinely competing views in high-quality sources about what the truth of a matter is. But that is addressed in WP:NPOV policy. It's not a matter for WP:V. --JN466 13:12, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
    I agree with you that this is covered in NPOV. But my position starts with NPOV as axiomatic and asks what then follows? My point is (1) V must be consistent with NPOV, and (2) given NPOV we have to ask ourselves, what is it that we are verifying? For me, if we accept (1) the answer to (2) cannot be "the truth." If we accept (1), then what we must verify is that "x is a significant view." It may be a view of the truth (as is often the case with religion, and never the case with science). Some people who are polling "support" are motivated by a perception (accurate in my experience) that most academics do not respect WP. They are also motivated by the belief that the cause of this perception is our use of "verifiably significant as opposed to fringe views" as our criterion for inclusion, rather than "true as opposed to false." I vehemently disagree with this.
    I am convinced that the credibility problem with WP is cased by the fact that very few of our editors take the time to do enough research - which often times must take place in a library - to distinguish between fringe and significant views, and to be able to provide an adequate context when presenting significant views. This is a skill that any PhD must have when writing a literature review, but one does not need a PhD to have this skill (and I have always opposed making one's academic credentials or lack of them relevant to editing WP). One does however need to make an effort, and in my experience a great many editors do not. And academics can see this. Moreover, I am convinced that making "truth" a criterion for inclusion will degrade the quality of the encyclopedia either by encouraging OR or by leading to overly-simplistic coverage of complex topics. We would be much better off if we took more time to provide guidance about what kinds of research are required to verify whether a view is significant or fringe, and to be able to provide sufficient context to understand why people in good faith might have competing views (e.g. why different US Supreme Court Justices hold different views on the constitutionality of abortion, gun control, or torture. Or why equally respected scientists have mutually exclusive interpretations of quantum mechanics. I am not criticizing these articles, just using them to illustrate my point) This, and not the absence of "truth" is in my experience why so many scholars are dismissive of WP. Slrubenstein | Talk 14:00, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
    The problem here is significant and fringe are not exclusive things. Regardless of how you define it the Jesus myth theory is significant but because the definitions for it are all over the map it is next to impossible to tell if the entire idea is fringe.--BruceGrubb (talk) 14:37, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
    I would rather say that Jesus Myth Theory is significant in one context and not in another - just as I would say that Creationism is significant in one context but not in another. As many scientists have pointed out (Gregory Bateson most notable) context is crucial. Bruce, I think you make a valid point. I just do not think that making truth, fact, or accuracy a criterion is the solution. I think that clearer criteria for significant and fringe views, criteria that make clear the importance of context, will not only address the specific problems people here are concerned with but would moreover improve the encyclopedia in many other ways. Slrubenstein | Talk 16:16, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
    Several of the examples Slrubenstein mentions are cases where the truth is controversial or unknown. In many cases the fallacy of a statement in a reliable source is fairly clear cut and objective. The latest one I ran into was Talk:2011 Norway attacks/Archive 2#Transportation where a "reliable source" erroneously said that the (hideous) Oslo bombing in July halted all public transportation. Would it have been right to propagate that statement? (In this case the issue was resolved by finding an even more reliable source, but even if not, I would support eliminating any sentences that are in clear and objective error.) Sjakkalle (Check!) 19:20, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
    True and in the case of the Jesus Myth Theory just what the idea even is is up for grabs. For example, take this definition from Bromley, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: E-J Page 1034: "This view states that the story of Jesus is a piece of mythology, possessing no more substantial claims to historical fact than the old Greek or Norse stories of gods and heroes,...". Even if you ignore the whole story of issue (George Washington and the Cherry Tree is a mythical story of George Washington but doesn't mean there wasn't a George Washington) you still have the huge range of Greek and Norse mythology. Hercules was regarded by Eusebius in Preparation of the Gospel as a flesh and blood person who was later deified and as late as 1919 it was stated "Osiris, Attis, Adonis were men. They died as men; they rose as gods." So Bromley's definition depends how well you know Greek and Norse mythology and is only regarding story of Jesus rather than the man himself--not very helpful.--BruceGrubb (talk) 03:34, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
  1. Support. The proposed wording is a welcome clarification on what to do with material that is verifiable but not necessarily true. I think that it is a lot clearer on the subtleties of this issue for someone who is reading the policy for the first time. — Mr. Stradivarius 08:35, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  2. Support. Useful clarification. Murray Langton (talk) 19:12, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  3. Support I have previously opposed any change on this guideline, which has served us well. But the proposed wording is simpler and clearer, and doesn't confront new users right up front with a basic rule which at first glance appears to be a logical contradiction-- or perhaps the nearest analogy might be a koan. Koans are very attractive as ways of expressing some deeper truth that is otherwise difficult to verbalize, but it's not necessary to have one here. The basic threshold is, after all, quite simply verifiability in the ordinary meaning of the word. If we can not find any information about a subject, even as a concept, we cannot write about it. Everything else is a subsequent step. We need not, for example, consider whether something would be notable if it existed, or whether a possibly insulting paragraph about an made-up person is a BLP violation. For content also: we cannot find some evidence for a quotation, we can not use it. If there's no source for a birth date, we can't give one. And so on, as the basis for WP:OR and much of WP:NOT , and many other fundamental policies and guidelines. DGG ( talk ) 04:06, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
Extended content
  1. But DGG this change doesn't suggest that if there is no source we can't give a birthdate - it suggests that a sourced birthdate can be removed if one editor says "I know that birthdate is incorrect because they guy used to be my neighbor".·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 12:17, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
    I do not think it can be read that way. --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:36, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
    Several editors voting support are clearly stating that that is the way they read it.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:45, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
    I don't think so.  Unscintillating (talk) 03:38, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
  1. Support The proposed wording is more precise and the additional section is accurate with regards to community consensus. ThemFromSpace 05:08, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
  2. Support per TransporterMan. I like how it reminds editors to get down-and-dirty in article-talkpages and discuss the verifiable sources - so they can form a consensus as to whether such-n-such is really appropriate/reliable.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 05:24, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
  3. Support While I appreciate the pithiness and power of the "verifiability, not truth" aphorism, it really doesn't belong in the beginning of the lead of this policy page, where the proper nuanced reading of it may be lost, and it is too easily open to misinterpretation. Insofar as the "not truth" part distracts from the intent of this policy page, it should be removed as described, and the addition providing context is also nice. --Jayron32 05:37, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
  4. Support. I think the link to the essay "verifiability, not truth", even the whole sentence including it, is unneeded; but this is still a better version. Congratulations to the many editors that discussed this (I've read once in a while over the months) and then brought it to a RfC. I am learning from you, thanks. - Nabla (talk) 08:49, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
  5. Support.Drift chambers (talk) 17:47, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
  6. Support. The current version is very confusing and is Wiki-jargon rather than real English. The proposed version is still far from perfect, but it is better. Neutron (talk) 16:39, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
    Can you explain what, specifically, you find confusing? Slrubenstein | Talk 18:53, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
  7. Support - a beneficial clarification. Off2riorob (talk) 16:53, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
  8. I support the proposal (1) as obviously desirable, and in line with other policies, WP:NPOV for instance. Not everything that is written about a topic deserves equal coverage in Wikipedia; some sources may deserve no coverage at all in a specific context. I have reservations that proposal (2) is adding anything of value, see my comments in the "neutral" section on this one. Have mörser, will travel (talk) 17:57, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
Extended content
  1. I do not understand how eliminating the "not truth" is in line with NPOV. Can you explain? Slrubenstein | Talk 18:53, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
    Um... the proposal does not eliminate the phrase "Verifiability, not truth"... it moves it, and explains it. Blueboar (talk) 19:03, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
    Given that there are only two choices to vote on here, I chose the lesser evil. My own favorite formulation would be:
    "A necessary [but not sufficient] condition for the inclusion of a piece of information in a Wikipedia article is verifiability—whether the information has been published by a reliable source. While verifiability is a requirement for inclusion, it does not guarantee inclusion. Truth is approximated in Wikipedia articles by following the neutral point of view, which requires that various bits of information from diverse sources be represented in proportion to their due weight."
    Aye, Have mörser, will travel (talk) 20:20, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
    I share the anxiety many people below express, about a major change in policy. But below, Have mörser, will travel suggests that a better slogan would be "NPOV, not truth." I like this. What's more, I think this is a very constructive point, and it is a shame it is burried as a comment to someone else's comment.
    I second "NPOV, not truth" as a very constructive point. I think it deals with a lot of issues that people have with our current "verifiability, not truth" slogan. Nageh (talk) 13:58, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
    That Blueboar's proposal has so much support tells me that there is a serious need to clarify our policies (and as I said before it also acknowledges the hard work Blueboar put into the proposal). But there is still considerable opposition and we are far from any consensus for such a change. Yet, some very positive things have come out of this discussion. One is Have mörser, will travel's suggestion that "NPOV, not truth" is the better formulation of the slogan. Elsewhere, Unscintillating suggests that it is our "Reliable Sources" policy that really needs work. I think that if any changes to V were made in conjunction with these other suggestions, it might be possible to move closer to a consensus. Slrubenstein | Talk 13:30, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
    In pretty much every case we have talked about here, it's really the formal reliability of a source that has produced the problem. When editors have judged that the actual reliability of a statement was too low to justify including it, there have been objections that the type of material being cited was intrinsically reliable, and that therefore the editor could not object to its inclusion. That's the problem with "not truth": it is being interpreted to mean that editors cannot exercise judgement, because judgement implies interpretation, and that this interpretation is ipso facto OR and thus forbidden, and that therefore the truth of a tatement isn't germane in any way even when it is obviously wrong. That's quite different from what I believe was originally intended: that you can't just add material you think is true; you also need a good, referenced source for it.
    we're getting captured by the obsession with keeping OR out of articles, but the side effect has become essentially a lot of campaigns to keep false or misleading information in articles. The issue is becoming exhausting because those of us who want to produce an accurate encyclopedia and fix these errors have to spend inordinate effort to make what ought to be trivial corrections. I think there is a way to fix this without giving away our ability to reject genuinely novel material. Mangoe (talk) 14:37, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
    The misleading information situation has a sort of a poster child in the Weston Price article. That article has many problems nearly all stemming on how Price's work is being used today rather than anything he himself did or wrote. So totally RS direct quote by Price from JAMA and a 1939 medical book division which would help address many of the POV issue of the article have been kept out under a misunderstanding of what OR even means.--BruceGrubb (talk) 16:16, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
    In addition to its relevance for ongoing, difficult discussions and curation, I think that the change is relevant and helpful even for casual but knowledgeable editors who are turned off by the idea that some wikipedian may remove a solidly sourced edit and replace it with a sourced but out-of-date or bogus replacement. While (hopefully) everyone in this discussion understands NPOV and the concommitant unattainability of "truth", it is quite off-putting for many to see a negation of truth in the lede. Mellsworthy (talk) 06:17, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  1. --Kmhkmh (talk) 20:22, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
  2. A reasonable way to deal with incorrect statements in otherwise reliable sources; reflects current practice. Calliopejen1 (talk) 22:31, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
  3. Support A useful and beneficial clarification. Edison (talk) 15:48, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
  4. Concur with the above. Stifle (talk) 14:48, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
  5. Support My comments on the proposal have appeared elsewhere on this page. To address the concerns of those opposed to the proposal: I believe that the current WP:V (toxic trio: Verifiability, not truth) (1) enables cheap shots to be made at the quality of Wikipedia's editors and processes, (2) confuses new users. It is necessary. I foresee nothing substantial changing in how we edit, resolve disputes, etc. as a consequence of this change. It does no harm. patsw (talk) 15:15, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
  6. Support There's nothing inherently wrong with losing punchiness for clarity on the subtler points. We shouldn't sacrifice meaning in order to get a slogan. SamBC(talk) 12:27, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  7. Support So long as verifiability does not guarantee inclusion, I agree with Blueboar's proposal. Malke 2010 (talk) 17:36, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
  8. Support - I've always thought that line could be misunderstood, but never had the time or inclination to do the research to craft a well-researched proposal. Kudos to the work put in by the proposer here. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:56, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
  9. Support - I've always struggled with this line, we can include falsehoods as long as there is a verifiable source is how I have read it. Carl Sixsmith (talk) 15:05, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
  10. Support - The proposed text is a clearer version of what the original text is trying to say. The original text may have some sentimental value, but the wording we use in policies needs to be worded for newcomers to WP ... and what they need is of clear, plain guidance. The proposal makes clear that which is only implied in the original. --Noleander (talk) 17:55, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
  11. Supportsgeureka tc 09:05, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
  12. Support - This new wording makes the policy easier to understand and refrains from making verifiability and truth seem like opposites. Chris (talk) 20:18, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
  13. Support. I have not been following this discussion recently, but this proposal seems good to me. I think "verifiability, not truth" should still have a prominent place, but I also think the notion of "truth" could be misinterpreted, since it means different things to different people. So I'm impressed with the compromise this proposal offers. Mlm42 (talk) 22:26, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
  14. Support "Verifiability not truth" is easily misunderstood. Moving it later in the policy helps to give it the necessary context to be understandable by a new user.--GrapedApe (talk) 14:30, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
  15. Support I think the current version is fine. But this version is clearer, and therefore better. LK (talk) 14:00, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
  16. Support This seems like a much better method of explaining to readers exactly how WP:V works. This is a nicely worded compromise on prior arguments. SilverserenC 00:23, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  17. Support The new wording preserves the original intent, but minimizes the possibility of misunderstanding. I appreciate the hard work that has gone into this. Sunray (talk) 01:07, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  18. Support I agree. Sole Soul (talk) 02:23, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  19. Support this is long overdue. USchick (talk) 02:37, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  20. Support - It's an improvement in most ways. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 03:19, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  21. Support Well argued. Dolphin (t) 04:01, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  22. Support, several times before this discussion occured I noted to myself that 'not truth' is flawed. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 04:10, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  23. Support [1]... getting closer. Specifically, I agree that getting the mantra out of the lead is correct. I don't think letting editors know that there is more to policy than this page is a bad thing, and the current conflict with undue weight as pointed out in the proposal all lean in favor of this change. I think this page addresses two classes of users, Garage Band X and The TruthTMer's. For Garage Band X with a listing in Podunk Daily, this proposal nullifies their ability to say see, put it on it's verifiable (the policy change nips a certain SPIA argument in the bud). For the The TruthTMer's I think that this version still does a fine, even better job, with the additional section on "untruth", explaining why Proposition Q can't be included even if it is 'true'. Cheers Crazynas t 05:52, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    RE: People that don't support this because moving it out of the lead is watering it down. Pointing to a specific section of the page, for specific editors that need that advice is no less powerful then having it in the lead, if someone won't read what being polemic is with links like that, they are demonstrating a willful ignorance of what's being pointed out to them, or they are not suitable for this kind of work. Editors that don't 'get it' when linked to the new section, won't 'get it' reading the lead as it currently stands. Crazynas t 21:41, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  24. Support Although not perfect, and significantly wordier than the current version, the proposed change is a step forward in that it more accurately reflects the actuality of how en.Wiki is edited: verifiabilty is the essential first step, but a positive relationship with reality (i.e. "truth") is important as well. Even sources that are reliable by Wikipedia standards can put forth statements of "fact" which do not accord with reality, and to include these without a caveat simply because they are verifiable does a disservice to our readers, and to our reputation (such as it is) for accuracy. Beyond My Ken (talk) 06:28, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  25. Support, extremely strongly. Evaluating if a source is a reliable source, even though it is technically original research, is and has always been acceptable, because, as we have no god list of reliable sources we must figure out if a source is reliable on our own on a case by case basis. Due to the poor semantics of the issue, sometimes this vital and accepted deliberation over if a source is reliable or not due to factual inaccuracies/bias/outdatedness will be disrupted by people claiming "Verifibility, not truth!". JORGENEVSKI 08:36, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  26. Support I support this proposal, although I don't see the change in policy as very large since the "verifiability not truth" notion will remain in the policy. One thing that caught my eye was this passage in the proposed new paragraph: "Often rewording to present the information as opinion rather than fact can resolve issues of verifiable but potentially untrue information" I think this is good, but we might go even a bit further in that sometimes reliable sources may be materially in conflict with each other, and in those situations we could explicitly identify that the issue is in dispute, which is important information to present to readers. So it can be OK to say there is a dispute/disagreement (even though no source explicitly says this), and then present the information in terms of a dispute (e.g. using attribution). There is a section in the policy already (lower down) that says "Where there is disagreement between sources, use in-text attribution" but this idea would go a tad further. --Dailycare (talk) 17:06, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  27. Support The "not truth" bit of the first sentence has long been problematic. It's a fact of life that many editors who read the policy for the first time (and that includes a lot of newbies) don't read much more than the first sentence. It's not atypical for a newbie to be scolded about his edits and asked to read WP:V. These editors come here, conclude that Wikipedia doesn't care about truth and leave. Pichpich (talk) 19:20, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  28. Support This is a small, commonsense step toward a smarter encyclopedia. "Verifiability not truth" is a simple-minded mantra mostly used to slap down other people's edits. No one thinks, "Hmm... This is probably wrong but I'm going to add it anyway because it's verifiable." Brmull (talk) 22:17, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  29. Support The present wording seems to give the impression that accuracy is not important. Ward20 (talk) 23:15, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  30. Support I like "Verifiability not truth" but prefer to have an explanatory preamble to ameliorate the cognitive dissonance it causes on first reading. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 23:45, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  31. Support. As I totally understand the birth of that slogan and actually support it. Reading it as : Wikipedia is not the place for genuine revelation; We'd rather wait tomorrow news [at the least] (reflecting NOR). I also think that it is time to counter the other side of the medal : If you know something relevant you ought to write about it (reflecting NPOV). And if the accident happened in front of your door, please don't ask a source in the name of verifiability knowing it's absolutely true. Iluvalar (talk) 05:34, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  32. Support. The proposed revision is, for me, simply a clearer way to express the existing sentiment. Ben MacDui 09:13, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  33. Support - seems preferable to the existing version. The words 'not truth' in the first sentence of the current version have always bugged me, and have confused many people over the years. Robofish (talk) 15:34, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  34. Support - This is an important albeit incremental step in more clearly explaining existing policy. First, although "verifiability not truth" is a useful slogan to remember, and a pedagogical tool to instruct the newbies that we can repeat only what we can verify, it is not strictly true in lay terms. A closer approximation might be "verifiability and truth", or "verify but be skeptical", as the new paragraph so aptly explains the nuanced approach to dealing with things that can in fact be cited to reliable sources but are nevertheless of dubious validity or encyclopedic value due to weight concerns, contradictory sources, irrelevance to the subject, being clearly erroneous, and various other matters of editorial discretion. Like "ignore all rules", TNV is an old-style Wikipedia Jimboism that is instructive precisely because it strikes the reader as ridiculous or untrue on the surface, in turn inviting us to consider how it is apt in a deeper sense. That's great for us as a community, and indeed the proposal doesn't mean we can't keep the slogan, write essays, create shortcuts, and so on. But as a simple policy lookup that should be accessible to editors old and new, the rewritten version comes closer to explaining how it actually works in straightforward language. - Wikidemon (talk) 19:28, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  35. Support Clearer exposition of community consensus. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 20:54, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  36. Support - Simply because something is in a supposedly reliable source doesn't mean that it's actually true - reliable sources have biases. Allens (talk) 21:00, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  37. Support per Brmull. Albacore (talk) 21:39, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  38. Support Yosef1987 (talk) 22:04, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  39. Support. While we strive to make our encyclopaedia as true as possible, it would be impossible without sources to vefify verify the information with. Shuipzv3 (talk) 23:45, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  40. Support. Truth... Not Truth... without the proper context, an appropriate level of reading comprehension and a source's proven consistency over time - is either really provable nowadays when it comes to verifying even the most well-established of sources? The new wording allows for such nuances to have a place if proven warranted. -- George Orwell III (talk) 23:48, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  41. Support - states the policy clearly enough and in a much less creepy way. Kansan (talk) 23:55, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  42. Support - I like the new phrasing. It's clearer and more positive. - Frankie1969 (talk) 00:39, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  43. Support as an improvement over the current phrasing and a reasonable clarification. CRGreathouse (t | c) 02:03, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  44. Support - Much clearer. noisy jinx huh? 03:38, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  45. Support as a major improvement in the clarity of the statements. Gwickwire (talk) 04:06, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  46. Support Just the phrase "not truth" alone rings alarm bells for me. Bejinhan talks 04:10, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  47. Support Editors that insert information without a source are relatively easy to deal with. It is the editors that use a source to justify a edit that violates undue or is not significant that are more difficult. Having this mentioned early in this policy can only help. AIRcorn (talk) 04:24, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  48. Support I believe this change should go forth. As it has been said above, uncited material is easily dealt with, and the proposed change covers all of my concerns with it. The proposed wording is very clear, and I particularly like "it is not a guarantee of inclusion" which is then expanded upon later in the policy. The older wording just made things a bit tangled, and material MUST be cited, because we oppose Original Research due to it being intrinsically unreliable and fickle. The proposed change is well written, and I agree. Jessemv (talk) 04:36, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  49. Support I can see no particular logic in the existing wording - it is philosophically questionable, and seems to have been arrived at on an ad hoc basis, rather than as a reasoned explanation of the fundamental tenets of Wikipedia. In practical terms, the change will make little difference, except in that it will emphasise the necessity of proper sourcing - which can only be beneficial. AndyTheGrump (talk) 06:07, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  50. Support I really hope this change goes through. Having the lede of this policy negate truth (or even "truth") is not helping anyone. Long-time users should know already that sourcing and reputability/depth of sourcing is what is needed to back up content, but (anecdotally--ie. unsourced except for this page) those who are just getting deeper into wikipedia can find it quite off-putting. For example, empiricists eschew belief in obtaining truth, but they label the quest for NPOV a search for truth. I think that truth is a contentious enough word that we should (as the current proposal does) embed the discussion of truth more carefully into the middle of the matter, rather than at the beginning where it is too easy to come away with the wrong idea. Mellsworthy (talk) 06:18, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  51. Support The concept of not truth shouldn't be in the lead, because it's misinterpreted by new editors. It also gives Wikipedia's critics ammunition that we decide on content by consensus, rather than truth - which they have a point much of the time, unfortunately. --Confession0791 talk 07:28, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  52. Support I especially think that the new paragraph about truth and untruth is desperately needed, and I hope that it is added whether or not the lead sentence is changed. Ravendrop 07:49, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
    Perhaps "untruth" could be an article/concept created, rather than a redirect. It is an actual word - but not on this wiki ;> Doc talk 07:58, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
    I second the motion, for clarity. --Confession0791 talk 08:39, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  53. Support - this is admirably clear, and reflects well on all who worked so hard. A big improvement, thankyou. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:18, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  54. Support - this is a good way of avoiding any perceived false dichotomy. StAnselm (talk) 08:57, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  55. Support' - very important. thank you. Soosim (talk) 09:57, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  56. Support. Never liked the old version. This is an improvement. Qwfp (talk) 10:39, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  57. Support - Actually this is exactly what I felt should be written instead of the current version of WP:Verify. It is needed as it has more clear "wordings" and is more comprehensive to new users (old users would definitely be happy with it!). If the first line sounds "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth..." - that might create confusion to others - doesn't WP need truth...?? - something like this... So better focus on verifiability first, then in a separate section clarify what is considered as truth according to WP:Truth. And yes, it is always advisable that "If the dubious information is supported by a reliable source, the problem should be discussed on the article talk page" - rather than removing it immediately. But I always recommend that before removing any unsourced information - the editor should search him/herself for whether there is any possibilities of existence of any source. -- Wikiglobaleditor (talk) 12:03, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  58. Support Better balanced. Aflis (talk) 12:39, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  59. Support Much clearer than the previous wording. Further improvements can be made... but that can be part of the normal editorial process. Yaris678 (talk) 12:48, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  60. Support The "verifiability, not truth" was added by User:SlimVirgin in 2005, without much discussion, and never enjoyed particularly strong consensus support. The change was reverted many times over the ensuing year or two and ultimately was left in place. This change restores balance. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 15:50, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  61. Support I believe this proposal splits up the requirement into better more easily digested chunks. The initial statement about verifiability has been chopped down to what it actually means without sticking in negatives. The statement about verifiability not truth has been put where it makes sense rather than as an in your face silliness. Dmcq (talk) 15:55, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  62. Support Our goal is truth. Our verifiability policy is one means to attempt to get to an objective truth, recognizing that it can be controversial. But that doesn't change the fact that our ultimate goal is to include true information. Gigs (talk) 16:55, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  63. Support Reasonable wording. "Not truth" is confusing and is open to misinterpretation. --Redtigerxyz Talk 16:59, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  64. Support - It's better explained what Verifibility, not truth actually means.--В и к и T 17:08, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  65. Support. Though I agree with the principle of WP:VNT, putting harsh (IMO) wording like not truth in one of the core pillars of WP might be harmful and give a bad impression to new editors. I think its best that new editors learn the principle of VNT as they go along, and not get a lot to swallow at once. We should be proud of VNT, but we have never "advertised" it like we have done WP:V, and I feel its best it remains that way, because it might ruin the image of WP itself. Lynch7 17:43, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  66. Support Absolutely remove "not truth" from the lead. Too easily misinterpreted as meaning that WP doesn't care whether our content is true or not, when we clearly do. Including the phrase later where it can be more carefully explained is a reasonable compromise. Awien (talk) 18:38, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  67. Support There is no single 'truth' only verifiable or unverifiable perceptions of truth. Marj (talk) 19:53, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  68. Support As a relatively inexperienced editor I find the proposed changes to be a helpful clarification. Meters (talk) 19:59, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  69. Support It's time for Wikipedia to stop pretending that truth doesn't matter. Truth is not the only thing that matters, but it does matter. Using this as a rhetorical aid even if it helps the encyclopedia in the short run will only hurt it in the long run. Those who think otherwise might be advised to step outside of the wiki-world for a time and consider how research and presentation of "information" or "knowledge" in the real world proceeds. (talk) 21:11, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  70. Support per Blueboar. This is one of the most important policies for Wikipedia and the policy should be clear to all. Haseo9999 (talk) 23:30, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  71. Support. In combination with the proposed new additional first section, the new lead wording gives a much more balanced — and newbee-friendly — view on the policy. DVdm (talk) 23:33, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  72. Support, this would be a definite step forward. —Cliftonianthe orangey bit 00:17, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  73. Support and how. One of the worst formulations in all of Wikipedia's policies, and one that has irked me for years. Truth is a basic presupposition of everything we do and have done; an encyclopedia is worthless without it. Chubbles (talk) 00:28, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  74. Strong support, without wanting to get into a philosophical ramble about the concept of truth, this whole recent drama was kicked off by a fundamental misunderstanding of this very sentence, and I'm still frightfully reminded of that editor who posted about something untrue from a vandalised BLP (can't remember which one) being reported in the press via WP "it's clearly not true, but now it's been published in several reliable sources, under Wikipedia rules it doesn't make any difference whether it's true or not". And you can't really argue with him when we have this ridiculous wording on a core policy. "Truth" is too vague a concept to throw around like this without elaborating. - filelakeshoe 00:45, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  75. Support this timely clarification of the wording. (talk) 00:53, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
    Folks, this is a one-off IP delivering their only edit. Is this seriously to be considered among the support votes? I would sincerely hope not. Doc talk 03:09, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  76. Support The obviously reasonable meaning should be that "just because something is true isn't enough — it needs to be verifiable". But the existing wording sounds far too much like the absurd claim that "if it's verifiable, we can say it regardless of whether or not it's true". Richwales (talk) 02:18, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  77. Strong Support Archolman User talk:Archolman 02:52, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  78. Support per Blueboar. A helpful, reasonable, and perhaps overdue clarification.--JayJasper (talk) 03:28, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  79. Strong Support Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 05:52, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  80. Support. I've opposed variations on this redaction before, because I consider the cognitive shock provided by "verifiability, not truth" to be valuable, but we can find other ways to accomplish that, and I accept that it facilitates people getting wrong ideas. It's time to let it go. —chaos5023 (talk) 07:11, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  81. Support Nothing is lost except the order in which information is presented. The reworded proposal reflects the way Wikipedia works more accurately. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:02, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  82. Support Sweet Pea 1981 (talk) 14:31, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  83. --Guerillero | My Talk 14:41, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  84. Support Truly, "not truth" has nothing to do in that opening paragraph. Vladimir (talk) 14:49, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  85. Support per Occam's Razor. New wording of lead presents policy more simply. New explanation of difference between verifiability and truth is a more proper. -Drdisque (talk) 15:15, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  86. Support The prominent position of the "verifiability not truth" "maxim" implies that verifiability somehow trumps the truth (and hence every other WP policy). Demoting and explaining the "maxim" in context therefore removes this (undesirable) implication without swaying the policy from its (desirable) intent. --DaveG12345 (talk) 16:34, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  87. Support The criteria should clearly be verifiability AND truth. The only problem with the truth part is that it is harder to check. The old wording gave the impression that people shouldn't bother with whether something was true or false. If it was published somewhere and hence verifiable then it passed the threshold. I once removed a clearly false statement, impeccably sourced to a drunken comedian. Dingo1729 (talk) 16:41, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  88. Support. Swarm X 18:01, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  89. Support The main point is verifiability and the 'not truth' part can be covered later with more explaination. -Fnlayson (talk) 19:43, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  90. Support, the wording should not imply that verifiability and truth are contrary to each other, but rather assert the threshold for inclusion. New wording does this much better — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pi (talkcontribs) 21:10, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  91. Support, while true, removing this from the lede subtracts one of the things most off-putting to some editors. Nothing changes other than the presentation of the idea, and I support that. Dayewalker (talk) 21:17, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  92. Support - I'd like to add to this debate the following example/case study: Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#Halt_and_Catch_Fire. - Richard Cavell (talk) 21:37, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  93. Support I have been feeling myself uncomfortable with the current wording for some time. It may give a false impression that truth and verifiability are incompatible, or even that truth is not welcomed in Wikipedia, while in fact both should go in an inseparable bond. Brandmeister t 21:45, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  94. Support. If we're going to say "verifiability, not truth", then we ought to explain what we mean by it, because I can see how the old version could confuse people.Beth 84 (talk) 22:21, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  95. Support. On the whole, a clear step forward. The relationship between verifiability and truth is clearer under the new language. Shanata (talk) 00:07, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  96. Support. Clarifies the intent of the policy, while retaining the language and making sure we don't misunderstand the policy. A good step forward. Yobol (talk) 00:21, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  97. Very Strong Support This clarification is long overdue. I would even hope for stronger wording. The goal should be the closest we can come to what reliable and verifiable statements of truth or apparent truth (or falsehood) have been made. Obotlig (talk) 04:21, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  98. Support. This change is a good step towards avoiding misinterpratetions of the current wording.Dallasparta (talkcontribs) 09:11, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  99. Support. Seems reasonable to expand the meaning into the new section. This is a fair proposal that handles both sides of the argument.  Leef5  TALK | CONTRIBS 12:19, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
    Support This clarifies, for the better, a bedrock policy. Wikipedia is a compendium of what's been published in reliable sources about a subject. If genuinely reliable sources are mixed, the page should not be about the truth of a matter, it should report what reliable sources say about the matter. If reliable sources all line up, the article probably is the truth. That's a happy by-product. But the goal here is to establish what reliable sources say, not whether they're correct. David in DC (talk) 12:38, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  100. Support. This is how Wikipedia already works. Arguments of the type, "yes, we all agree it's false, but we must claim it anyway because this formally reliable source says it, no reliable source contradicts it, and Wikipedia doesn't care about truth" can sometimes be heard, but usually lead to severe disruption and never win in the end. Hans Adler 12:43, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  101. Support. I support this change. Why would something be "not truth" just because it is verifiable ? The current wording is misleading and the change is a good one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jbchurchill (talkcontribs) 14:15, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  102. Support. I agree with concerns that the new wording is longer than it needs to be, but it does seem to improve the clarity of what the policy is actually trying to say, which is more important. Plus what Hans Adler said. Alzarian16 (talk) 14:57, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  103. Support. While I think that "verifiability, not truth" is a nice catchphrase in retrospect, it may well confuse new editors. For these people, the proposed change clarifies the policy. ylloh (talk) 17:15, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  104. Support. While I generally support being succinct, I find that "verifiability, not truth" can mean many things to many people. This proposal makes it very clear what it is supposed to mean, and that's the point. The Haz talk 18:25, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  105. Support. Not much to add really. Alansplodge (talk) 18:31, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  106. Support. The new phrasing is more positive and clear than the "not truth" statement. -Fall Of Darkness (talk) 18:44, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  107. Support, for improved clarity.--Miniapolis (talk) 20:13, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  108. Support, But for heaven's sake - if this minor change sparks this sort of conflagration, no wonder WP is struggling with new editors. Please consider what the core mission is, a Free Encyclopedia, an Encyclopedia contains verifiable, vetted information - the "truth" WP:Truth is far more elusive. Jettparmer (talk) 20:16, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  109. Support. I have had trouble with stupidity in the past.--Architeuthidae (Talk | Contributions) 22:07, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  110. Support. Although it makes it more complicated in the immediate context. This move puts some more emphasis on WP:RS which is the larger context. I don't like the absolutist statement "blogs are not a reliable source" or when it is similarly expressed about videos or whatever. The change makes this stuff somewhat more complicated, but I say nonetheless it is a good change. Sorry for the long rationale. DanielM (talk) 23:02, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  111. Support. The expansion of the lede dramatically improves the integration of the policy with other policies, as well as reducing confusion for new editors. There may be additional work on this policy in the future, but the proposed changes are a significant improvement. Tgeairn (talk) 23:29, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  112. Support. The notion that "Wikipedia doesn't care about truth" is an error based on a formalistic/legalistic approach. Of course, we want to say only things that are true. If there's significant doubt, we can still say that such and such sources say something, and the claim that they say them, is true. This does mean that not everything can be reduced to procedures, which I infer is what the objectors want to do. But you know, we just can't. There has to be room for contributors to discuss which sources make sense, and which ones are making dubious claims, and in that discussion there has to be some role for the expertise of the editors who know what they're talking about. --Trovatore (talk) 23:47, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  113. Support This clarification greatly improves Wikipedia's stance on what should be included in articles. Reywas92Talk 02:32, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  114. Support I was in two minds about this until I thought of a recent example of my own where I amended a person's year of birth based on a newspaper report, subsequently realising the newspaper had got its facts very wrong. I didn't go back and amend the WP article because I didn't have a neat proof of the correct YOB. In fact I should have done so and found something to support the correct date. The proposed change discussed here will emphasise that we Wikipedians are able to think for ourselves and interpret sources intelligently. Sionk (talk) 03:08, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  115. Support Someone made a comment that the first sentence of the current wording raises cognitive dissonance that prompts the editor to read further. I think that is a valid point. However, I'm very suspicious of catch phrases that try to make difficult concepts seem simple. I agree that an explanation for casual readers contrasting what the term "verifiability" means generally and on Wikipedia would be useful. As a new editor, I understood the policy better from reading the new wording than the old wording. I'd make the change.Carmaskid (talk) 04:51, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  116. Support I always had a problem with the line. I am surprised there is as much opposition as there is. Rabuve (talk) 06:47, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  117. Support. Truth would be nice, but verifiability is feasible. "not truth" can be misleading unless you take the trouble to think about it. Some people don't. Catchy is not always a good substitute for unambiguous. Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:58, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  118. Support - sensible.  Frank  |  talk  14:22, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  119. Support - For the lead, I think it's appropriate to phrase things in terms of what Wikipedia is. Make things clear. The nuances of contrast between verifiability and truth can be addresses more specifically further in. --EEMIV (talk) 14:25, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  120. Support We lose nothing by the change other than a catchy phrase which only sounds slightly fashionable. For most of the important topics not affected by the systemic bias, we get the truth right anyway. Zuggernaut (talk) 14:44, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  121. Support removing truth out of the mix seems rather appropriate. This approach also seems a nice simplification of the lead. I'm not sure how much this will result in any change in practice, but from a policy perspective it seems appropriate.--Labattblueboy (talk) 14:51, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  122. Support While I don't expect Wikipedia to achieve truth, I do think it is incumbent on its editors to seek it. We are not just a bunch of robots indiscriminately cataloging both the sense and the nonsense of the rest of the media. Gaohoyt (talk) 16:02, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  123. Support, one would think this is a no-brainer. However, I've been tripped up on this subject before. Phoenician Patriot (talk) 22:12, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  124. Support. The new version is no worse than the existing version, and I want to see the change rammed down the throats of the cabal that resists any improvements to this policy. Jc3s5h (talk) 22:56, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  125. Support have always hated the VNT phrase as it is to me antithetical to all we are doing here as an encyclopedia (i.e. trying to write as accurately as possible about the world around us with the sources we have access to. For all those below who tell me it means something else, the glaringly obvious ambiguity in how the 300-odd people here view it should be a huge red flag in how subjective it the phrase is, and hence is relegated to more of some glib jingo than a proper mature discussion on how we write an encyclopedia. Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:27, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  126. Support because I've seen the "not truth" part be used to argue that accuracy is subordinate to verifiability when I believe proper editorial discretion demands that the two are equals. Dualus (talk) 03:25, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  127. Support - "not truth" in the lede in fact impacts verifiability in an indirect manner -someone could assume that verifiability would not be true, when in most cases it would be close to the truth. There are other issues then - of whether truth itself is objective or relative, but that would be a digression towards making a moral statement. Shaad lko (talk) 04:51, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  128. Support - Prashant Serai (Talk) —Preceding undated comment added 08:47, 4 November 2011 (UTC).
  129. Support IMO better expressed what we are trying to say. I understand why we have the 'not truth' bit there and 'what is the truth' is something useful for editors to think about, but I think it's also something that can be confusing to editors so a better phrasing and explaination of what we mean is beneficial. I know some have suggested those who don't understand it shouldn't be editing but IMO this ignores the fact 1) They are. 2) People who don't understand it initially may come to understand it over time if we guide them there. Nil Einne (talk) 13:24, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  130. Support Thanks for doing this. This truth business has always been a little off-putting, so I want to echo statement #158. Mabuse (talk) 13:34, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  131. Support as a reasonable compromise and a well thought out approach to address a wide variety of concerns. --Kanovski (talk) 13:58, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  132. Support. RDBrown (talk) 14:19, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  133. Support. SeelTheMan (talk) 10:53, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  134. Support. A slogan may be useful but it is often misused and misunderstood. Polequant (talk) 16:22, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  135. Support Per Blue Boar and others. I was unsure of how to vote because I do not object to the current wording, but was leaning towards support because I the extra detailed explanation is good and because it was the product of compromise. Since then, however, I have moved squarely to support because of the arguments made by many of the opposers, believe it or not. Apparently, according to these individuals, the current wording is based upon a specific understanding of "truth." Truth, they claim, in this context doesn't mean accuracy or factuality but something much more rigid and absolute. Such "truths" they go on to claim, don't really exist and are not in line with modern scientific epistemologies. Well the problem is that most editors and outsiders do not understand truth in this absolutist manner in the first place. They do not think of "truth" as the thing against which we need to guard ourselves, but instead think of it as accuracy and factuality, things that we ought not be claiming we are against. I'd much rather make this decision based on that social reality than the convoluted philosophical arguments they put forth to justify the phrasing. Cheers.Griswaldo (talk) 22:43, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  136. Having been aware of the massive barney on this page, I came here expecting to see a debate about the core values of our project. Instead, this is really just all about the structure of the page, isn't it? In that respect, the proposed alternative is more accurate, nuanced and suitable. For experienced editors looking to point IPs and noobs to the VNT concept, we can just shortcut WP:VNT to the new section of the page that will say: "An editor's assertion that something is true is not enough for inclusion in Wikipedia. It does not matter how convinced you are that some bit of information is true; if the material is unverifiable, do not add it. In this context, Wikipedia requires "verifiability, not truth".--Mkativerata (talk) 23:11, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  137. Support AndrewN talk 23:25, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  138. SupportJames (TalkContribs) • 1:27pm 03:27, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
  139. Support. Verifiability not truth is the pillar of the content of Wikipedia. Any reiteration of the policy that restate this more explicitly is a good thing. 1exec1 (talk) 00:04, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  140. Support Weighed the background reasoning/ proposed text / support / oppose / questions sections. Based on my WP experiences, the proposed language resonates with me as helpful and practical on a day to day basis. 00:44, 6 November 2011 (UTC) (by FeatherPluma)
  141. Support Good idea, adequately executed. Though new editors will miss having the first impression that Wikipedia is devoted to the verifiably untrue. :-)John Z (talk) 04:53, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  142. Support This has turned into quite the discussion. I would like to point out that the Article Wizard makes the following statement in the box titled "Basics of editing":
    "It's highly recommended that you try editing a few existing articles before you create your first article. We care deeply that our articles are right, and incorrectly formatted and unreferenced articles are often deleted. Learning a bit of our house style first increases your chances of success."
    (emphasis added for clarity and not found in original text). wsoder (talk) 07:24, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  143. Support per Mangoe's observation at #50: "That's the problem with 'not truth': it is being interpreted to mean that editors cannot exercise judgement, because judgement implies interpretation, and that this interpretation is ipso facto OR and thus forbidden, and that therefore the truth of a tatement isn't germane in any way even when it is obviously wrong." I also think this is what Jimbo has been getting at -- we have a moral obligation to uphold truth and to resist indifference to it -- a point with which I also agree. FactStraight (talk) 08:24, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  144. Support - well worked out, covers all bases. --Scott Mac 13:57, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  145. Support Great resolution, the "not truth" part deserves its own section. MonsieurKovacs 11:08, 6 November 2011 (QYZT)
  146. Support. The phrase "not truth" is more likely to confuse than enlighten. Yes, "verifiability, not truth" is still Wiki-policy. But so is "verifiability, not whether it rhymes". Moreover, the vast majority of sane editors agree that truth really is the ultimate goal of human knowledge, and thus "not truth" is potentially confusing. — Lawrence King (talk) 18:27, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  147. Support Definitely clearer! Esuzu (talk) 18:40, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  148. Support. A great improvement. Concentrate on the verifiability in the lede. I understand and accept the rationale for the current wording, but have always thought it was philosophically problematic and potentially confusing. The later additional points are much clearer too. (RT) (talk) 20:05, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  149. Support. While the "verifiability not truth" argument does come in handy when mitigating the ill-effects of the pervasively irrational (e.g. [2]), the argument itself is ultimately not a good one and is only useful in the abstract. The reason the poster in the example given doesn't have a leg to stand on is that he is wrong. That is he also in violation of WP:V is just icing on the cake. (talk) 21:10, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  150. Support despite initial skepticism and personal attachment to the phrase "verifiability, not truth." (I quote it prominently on my user page.) As long as we're revising, I would have changed the verb "to check" to "to verify," reinforcing the word "verification." But I won't strain at that gnat. This is a well made compromise and I'm all for it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alarob (talkcontribs) 21:44, 6 November 2011‎ (UTC)
  151. Support. Consistent with the original intent of WP:V and an improvement over the current wording. CJCurrie (talk) 22:28, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  152. Support. Clarifies current wording. There's still a way to go, RE: Truth, though. Lou Sander (talk) 22:55, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  153. Very strong support I think that most content should be verifiable, but then, not everything that someone publishes, especially on the internet, is true. For example, if someone posts on the internet that Octopi live in trees (and someone has done that), that doesn't mean that they are telling the truth, but according to the current policy, someone could put that on Wikipedia, because it is, technically, verifiable. Also, some information, like "fish can swim" is so obvious that few people have probably even published it, so it might not be considered verifiable. pluma Ø 00:24, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
    That kind of example (a source that is obviously untrue) does not qualify as a WP:RS and therefore is a nonissue and strawman. But do some octupii inhabit trees (especialy, either submerged trees, or climbing out of the water in mangrove coastal forests)? Neither of us can say absolutely for certain, we are not qualified to determine truth. (Similarly in fact, such a thing as a tree kangaroo was only recently discovered! And we are frequently making surprising discoveries about octopii -- at the very least, you do know they will stealthily climb across the room to another fish tank and back right?) To determine whether to include the tree-octupus in WP, we must check whether the sources are obviously satirical versus scientifically reputable, check whether other sources dismiss or discredit the claim (surveying for sources on the controversy itself), and even if the mainstream consensus is that the tree octopus does not exist (and thus that we must not assert its existence) we still apply WP:DUE to assess whether to report on the existence of the claim of its existence. But at no point does the editorial process hinge on our own views about what is true, or (what is different) whether we claim the personal ability to verify its truth (not necessarilly "originally"); it hinges completely on what sources we can cite. Moreover, the fact that you made the comment you did, suggests to VnT fans that your support position is rooted in misunderstanding of the policy (i.e., that you personally exemplify the need for "not truth" to be emphasised more strongly -- and also for the policy wording to be kept fun and not made dull/dry/wordy/legalese/less-readable). Try watching an article like bible (or some of the theoretical physics topics), which constantly attracts editors who claim to be absolutely certain of their own peculiar truth (and hence, of which sources fall short of truth); VnT is absolutely key to constructive collaboration in such contexts of strong personal disagreement. Cesiumfrog (talk) 01:19, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
    However, if an average editor sees this for the first time, they will think that the implied definition is what is true and not the actual definition. So, its what it says, not what it means, that people read and accept as the truth. Since wikipedia is non-verbal, the whole concept should explained in the page. pluma Ø 02:45, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  154. Support. While I've never understood the present wording to be intrinsically misleading or problematic for new editors, the objections raised about this change seem a little overly cautious. It might not warrant such a long debate, but such being the case, nonetheless, it is flattering evidence for the editor community's passion and involvement. MichaelNetzer (talk) 00:37, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
    ...the objections raised about this change seem a little overly cautious. It might not warrant such a long debate,...
    Perhaps you might find the following to be both relevant and persuasive. From the top of this page (emphasis mine)...
    The policy associated with this talk page is one of Wikipedia's core content policies. These have wide acceptance within the community, and are relied upon every day to make editorial decisions and resolve disputes. Stability is therefore paramount. For that reason, please do not change the meaning or focus of this policy without clear consensus.
    JakeInJoisey (talk) 10:48, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  155. Support - the current wording sounds like Wikipedia is more concerned with what someone said than its truthfulness. That is, it sounds like we can put in anything that someone said, regardless of the truthfulness. This is sometimes used to make a wp:point. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 02:42, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Extended content
  1. Do you have examples of that problem? Cesiumfrog (talk) 08:51, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
    I do not have any examples at hand, but I have seen it used in arguments on talk pages, citing "verifiability, not truth" as a reason for putting something in. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 18:08, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
    There plenty of examples in Wikipedia talk:Verifiability/Archive 52, and even one on this page. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 17:11, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
    The clearest case I recall was on the 2011 Norway attacks where a user correctly challenged the veracity of closed roads and halted public transit. He was met with the following: "Can you provide a reference for this? At present we are citing refs which disagree with you. They could easily be wrong of course, but we are required to go with what the valid refs are saying until a better (or more timely) ref is found" (emphasis mine) Sjakkalle (Check!) 20:01, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
    So are you seriously saying the encyclopedia would be overall improved if the policy were to disregard all external checkable sources any time that one editor anonymously claims to have overriding personal authority/expertise on the topic?! Cesiumfrog (talk) 23:49, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
    Thay is a straw man. I have suggested no such thing. Nor does this policy proposal. Sjakkalle (Check!) 05:42, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
    Could you please clarify your position/suggestion? I was trying to ascertain the existence or severity of the problem motivating Bubba's support. In your example I think Manning's reply should be considered best practice (although I gather you disagree). If DES's claim to personal expertise is legitimate then DES should be trivially able to cite Norwegian sources to demonstrate those less authorative sources were mistaken on the issue; I don't think DES's say-so should alone trump the professional reporting (so I fail to understand why this example motivates the proposed change). Cesiumfrog (talk) 11:03, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
    Avoiding falsehoods is an important goal, and verifiability is an important tool we use to achieve that goal. If someone acknowledges that a source "could easily be wrong", a challenge to a statement by that source should be treated with respect and considered seriously and not brushed aside with "we are required to go with what the valid refs are saying". Indeed the challenge here is that the ref is not valid. No policy or guideline should ever require us to insert falsehoods. In this case I did eventually find a source stating the correct version of events, but it was not trivial to find it. Most newspapers don't bother spending much time on reporting that public transport ran normally. (Compared to the horrific events that took place at Utøya over the next few hours, the status of public transport really became an utterly insignificant aspect warranting almost no coverage anyway.) Sjakkalle (Check!) 20:52, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  1. Support - Suggested change is a more mature and nuanced explanation, the current is sensational and easily misunderstood. Green Cardamom (talk) 08:17, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  2. Support - It's about expressing the spirit of what's intended; the terribly literally-minded will still take it the wrong way, but eh. --moof (talk) 08:33, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  3. Support - Clarifies the wording. - Wanderer602 (talk) 08:54, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  4. Support - makes a clear policy even clearer. WegianWarrior (talk) 12:33, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  5. Support - Some clarity was needed here.  ⊂| Mr.choppers |⊃  (talk) 17:50, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  6. Support - It seems to me, the casual observer of Wikipedia, that the manner in which this policy is currently written is contradictory nearly to the point of paradox. Verify, the root word of verifiability was first used in English manuscripts that date from the early 14th century. The word was an import from the Old French word verifier itself derived from the Medieval Latin word verificare meaning "make true". That something can be "verified" and "not true" is a peculiarity of the Wikipedia-world that only serves to obfuscate rather than enlighten. Dispense with this jargon or, at the very least, don't over-emphasize it. (talk) 19:12, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  7. Support - Definitely support, it definitely clears the meaning. TRLIJC19 (talk) 22:21, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  8. Support - it understands the meaning Mohamed Aden Ighe (talk) 23:08, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  9. Support - Cleans up the meaning Fumitol|talk|cont 00:21, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  10. Support - although I wouldn't have any particular objection to keeping some form of "not truth", maybe with a link to WP:TRUTH, involved in some way. John Carter (talk) 01:11, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  11. Support - "Verify" means to ascertain whether something is true. The current wording is sophomoric. It's rather absurd - and insulting to us editors - to imply that Wikipedia doesn't care about truth. The problems about how to determine what is true, remain - but denying that goal doesn't help. Postpostmod (talk) 03:59, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  12. Support - A much needed step in the right direction. I still dislike the "initial rationale" "initial threshold" but regard it as less problematic than the language being replaced. Abbenm (talk) 07:50, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  13. Support - This clarification is much needed and will prevent editors retaining clear falsehoods on the spurious ground that the falsehood has been verified. (e.g. Where a dubious positive assertion is made and can be verified using a qualifying external source but the converse is unverifiable because suitable sources rarely gratuitously assert negatives.) PRL42 (talk) 17:47, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  14. Support - Sensible. Thank you to the drafters of this proposal. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 19:54, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  15. Support - I think this change makes sense. Rlendog (talk) 21:21, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  16. Support - The proposed clarification is a useful improvement.--eh bien mon prince (talk) 23:09, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  17. Support What does "not truth" mean anyway? CallawayRox (talk) 17:45, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  18. Support The current wording is obnoxiously pleased with itself, it's a little lexical trick that tips a wink at editors who already understand the policy. Wikipedia goals should be expressed as clearly as possible to be understood by as many people as possible and this sensible change enshrines the idea that clarity is the most important thing. Exok (talk) 19:01, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  19. Support Those opposing the proposal have mentioned that the new revisions would make the explanation of "truth"-as-a-bad-reason-for-inclusion longer, and that the shortened version is understood enough. I respectfully disagree. While there is a certain elegance in the original wording, that elegance falls short of being helpful for newer editors and could be improved in terms of its effectiveness of getting us all on the same page. I think this proposal is a step in the right direction. I, Jethrobot drop me a line (note: not a bot!) 21:10, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  20. Support The current wording suggests that Wikipedia editors should simply believe the assertions that are most reported, regardless of their actual truth value. I think of it more as: Wikipedia strives to be truthful, but since one cannot directly measure the truth of an assertion, verifiability is used as a way to approximate truth. Augurar (talk) 21:19, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  21. Support As a novice editor, and one with shrink-diagnosed 'probable' aspergers, OCD and ADD, I have found the 'verifiability, not truth' phrase very challenging, as the 'not truth' bit keeps popping into my head as meaning 'untruth', so I then have to go through the process of figuring out what on earth the phrase means all over again. I'll be glad to see the reference to 'not truth' moved into a second paragraph, to give it clear separation in my head from the primary aim 'verifiability', because that will give me the chance to get the next rule clear in my head, 'neutral point of view'.DadrianT,EsqMCIHT (talk) 00:58, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
  22. Support - The clarification is a good step towards having everybody understand the policy Zxcvasdfqwer888 (talk) 02:00, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  23. Support. I think it will clarify things for readers, in line with the spirit of our WP:LEAD guidelines, which ask us to be clear and accessible in describing things. Jesanj (talk) 03:28, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  24. Support I obviously understand the intended meaning, but taken out of context it does give the impression that we prefer to publish lies when possible.-- Obsidin Soul 08:35, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
    Yes, taken out of context it could give that impression. To some. Doc talk 08:47, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

As Compromise[edit]

  1. I obviously support this proposal... I was, after all, its primary author. The rational that is presented with the proposal explains most of my thinking on it. Not only is it a good (and, more importantly, a workable) compromise between the various positions... I think it actually improves the policy by making what I have always understood the intent of the current language clearer. Blueboar (talk) 23:41, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
  2. Support as a reasonable compromise and a well thought out approach to address a wide variety of concerns. --Nuujinn (talk) 00:03, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  3. Support  Balances many tradeoffs, not all of which I agree with, but overall a huge step forward.  Unscintillating (talk) 05:09, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  4. Support as a good compromise, with the hope that it can be tweaked over time (without giving preeminence back to the too often misused and misapplied 'Toxic Triad' that Boris mentions). First Light (talk) 15:27, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  5. Tepid support. I'm supporting because I think that the clearer explanation of "not truth" is a net plus. I also think that Blueboar deserves enthusiastic applause for devising such thoughtful wording for the sentence in which it appears, and for working productively with the diversity of editor opinions that went into the drafting. I am also taking to heart the suggestion that editors adopt a spirit of compromise. However, my support is only tepid, and I actually agree with a lot of the comments that I read in the oppose section. I see no good reason to move the discussion of truth out of the lead, and I worry that it has been buried in tl;dr. I also think that the proposal has been weighed down with additional changes that go beyond the central issue of truth. I believe this policy has long served Wikipedia very well in its present form, but that this proposal is, net, a very small improvement. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:27, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  6. Support the compromise. Not the most ideal solution in my view but better than the "not truth" abomination. violet/riga [talk] 23:31, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  7. Support When I read paragraph 1, I was ready to jump flaming away onto the oppose side. Luckily, I kept reading and thus avoided making an idiot of myself. I think the compromise of keeping the wording but moving it out of the lead is one that will help clarify the point for new readers, while still leaving the concept available to this of us to whom the old wording makes sense. Qwyrxian (talk) 23:43, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  8. Support Good compromise. Salvidrim (talk) 15:29, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  9. Weak support It's a clearer picture of what verifiability means relative to truth, but I must confess I appreciate the shock value of "verifiability, not truth." I would support more strongly if WP:VNT had a template more official than essay, which makes it easily dismissable as a minority view when that isn't really to be the case. Writ Keeper ⚇♔ (talk) 13:27, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  10. Weak support Per the well-argued #Rationale. In the greater scheme of things, I do not think a minor change of the specific wording of this policy matters all that much. —Ruud 15:25, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  11. Support in principle, however I believe that as a blanket statement, V not T gets the point across. "Not truth" is a problematic wording. However I'd rather change it to something like verifiability, not just truth which as a one-liner gets the point across without the risk of making it sound like truth and verifiability are in conflict. Nitro2k01 (talk) 23:44, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  12. Support Agreed, not all verifyable infomation is neccessarily true, and we are here not to promote paper and arguements but spread knowledge. Comprimise must be made though, please don't let this drag out for years.TheThiefOfEden (talk) 01:25, 1 November 2011 (UTC) 12.24 1/11/11 AEST
  13. Support. A good compromise that offers welcome clarification. Eusebeus (talk) 07:43, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  14. Support. A good compromise and in my opinion an improvement to the wording of this policy. The wording change helps make things clearer. Literaturegeek | T@1k? 00:29, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  15. Support, pretty much as summarised in the proposal. It's a great compromise. --ProfessorKilroy (talk) 00:55, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  16. Support. This seems like a reasonable compromise; "verifiability" on its own should be clear enough, and the question of dubious content is raised in the paragraph below. Good work. --dragfyre_ʞןɐʇc 19:04, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  17. Support. While the new language is not perfect, it is a substantial improvement from the existing language. Truth is inherently a crucial part of verifiability, but the existing formulation can give the false impression that the truth doesn't matter. John M Baker (talk) 22:07, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  18. Support- This is a must. I think that rules concerning the Editing of Wikipedia articles must be as straightforward as possible. The pervious wording was somewhat ambiguous and, in my opinion, did not place enough weight on Wikipedia's goal to provide readers with information backed by PUBLISHED TRUTH. Perhaps some encouragement should be made to use Talk Pages when a statement is disputed and seen by an editor an untrue, but that is another topic. This edit brings much needed clarification to the topic and is a rational compromise. z'Comandif l'Statentaru l'Zeklingtonum! (talk) 2:25, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Support, tweak[edit]

  1. Support - HOWEVER, I think the initial paragraph needs to remove the word 'material' and replace it with 'information' (or similar). The use of the word 'material' can lead a person to think that we only accept words that are verbatim from other sources, which is actually against policy, yet it is FAR too common in Wikipedia. I've been involved in too many debates where people argue that "no, the source said 'rough' not 'coarse'" and people spend endless hours debating whether changing a word constitutes original research. But during this RFC, we're supposed to be focused on the "truth" part of the intro, so I guess despite my misgivings, I'll say 'SUPPORT'. -- Avanu (talk) 03:06, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  2. Support, there is still much that I would change (including "material" to "information"), but this is undoubtedly an improvement.--Kotniski (talk) 07:09, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  3. Verifiability and truth should go hand-in-hand. In the rare cases that they do not, we should not be actively encouraging people to post untrue information. I therefore support most of the rewording. —WFC— 12:43, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    • However I oppose the bracketed bit as unnecessary. —WFC— 18:29, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  4. Qualified support The addition to the lede has the correct intent but is too wordy; it needs to be tightened up considerably. The additional section still fails to address the issue of simple factual error in sources, and, with WP:BURDEN, still encourages the creation of fake controversies by discouraging the rejection of manifest factual errors in otherwise "reliable" (that is, conforming the Wikip's formal standards) sources. Mangoe (talk) 20:05, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  5. Weak Support. The examples show that something about the current formulation of this policy is problematic. It's like the burden is always on those arguing for the removal of well-cited material to prove that it is irrelevant, unreliable, or otherwise inappropriate. However, it is not at all clear where this well-cited is holy attitude is coming from; in particular, I do not see how one can be so sure that "not truth" is to blame. Still, I largely agree with Tryptofish, this is a net plus, and my view is clearly closer to those wishing to remove "not truth" than to those who deny the problem altogether. Vesal (talk) 22:21, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  6. Support. This wording is better. I am amongst those who feel that a further improvement could be achieved by tweaking the first two words, "The initial...". Initial implies a chronological set of steps in editing Wikipedia which do not exist, and the use of "The" instead of "A" makes it sounds like it is even a strict one. During discussion of this draft many people clearly preferred something like "A fundamental threshold..." and I do not believe that consensus has been tested upon this point yet.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:58, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
  7. Support, but suggest a different formulation The problem with the lead is the first two words "The threshold". This implies that verifiability is the single threshold or at least the most important. A better statement would be "One requirement for inclusion of information in Wikipedia is verifiability. Other requirements are relevancy and due weight. " This would reduce the argument that every bit of trivia needs to be included, or that information published by mistaken or fringe sources needs to be included. "Verified" means "demonstrated to be true." It is contradictory to say "verifiability, not truth". If something is verifiable it is necessarily true. If a source makes a mistaken assertion such as Dewey Defeats Truman, we would not consider that verified, even though it could be sourced to contemporary newspapers. Jehochman Talk 22:59, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
  8. Partial support. In the (happy) absence of a wiki-judiciary to tell us what the words mean, it's up to us to occasionally rephrase policy to ensure that its clarity and relevance is maintained. I'll go along with the proposed change, though I think some rewording would be beneficial: I don't like "initial threshold", or the bit in brackets about specifics, for instance. In fact my preferred version would read something like:

    Information can only be included in Wikipedia if it is verifiable - that is, if it is possible to check that it has already been published by a reliable source. While this verifiability is a requirement for inclusion, it is not a guarantee of it because Wikipedia has other policies and guidelines that affect inclusion too.

    Actually I don't know why we don't discuss issues such as this by encouraging everyone to submit their own preferred wording. Very few people wouldn't want to make at least a few changes and it would provide a tangible indication of the direction the majority want to go. It would certainly put the spotlight on the "vocal and unreconciled folk" who are resistant to change.  —SMALLJIM  21:09, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  9. Support. While I strongly agree with removing the problematically confusing "not truth" slogan, I think the second paragraph of the proposed new truth/untruth section may prove problematic in other ways. I expect that if this change is approved that the language will need to continue to be tweaked in that section. olderwiser 14:31, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  10. I mostly support this proposal, it seems as though they have thought this policy through carefully but it still doesn't fully address the problem of when citations do not exist. Wikipedia still want editors to verify any information that is contentious which is not always possible. Shimmeryshad27 (talk) 18:32, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  11. Support Now, POV-pushing editors hunt for academic sources and para-academic "sources" supporting their erroneous views, whose deletion is hampered by Not Truth. As the ratio of incompetents/competents increases, people may stop referring to "The Sokal Hoax" and start referring to Wikipedia---unless "Not Truth" is reformed. The intelligent consensus of good-faith competent editors, based on higher quality/more reliable sources, should allow us to remove erroneous material from articles. (Gangs of incompetent or bad-faith editors trying to squash properly referenced information are rare, and should quickly be reformed or blocked, of course.) Concern about the wording of the paragraph, especially its last sentence, which will encourage the inclusion of more junk as attributed junk. Kiefer.Wolfowitz 00:03, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
    I echo your concern. But the proposal is a big improvement all the same. Passing the change would not prevent further discussions to refine the wording. --FormerIP (talk) 01:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  12. Support I've withheld opinion until now (except for my Perspective section post, below), reading everyone's comments, and percolating on it for awhile. However, I think the change is reasonable and needed, though I see it will cause some problems for certain areas like some of the scientific articles. It would seem that there is a need then for sub/co-policy that comes into play when those areas are challenged with V&T issues, and when the fringe theorists feel the wind in their sails. Sctechlaw (talk) 08:22, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  13. Partial Support. I support the changes to the lead. For the new section, I support all but the last two sentences. I think those need to be removed. Karanacs (talk) 13:00, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  14. Support as a "step in the right direction": the impact of the Verifiabilty, not truth is stark and liable to mislead. Perhaps it would be sufficient to say "Reliable Verification, rather than Truth" and basically retain the previous statement. So far as the suggested new section on assertions and truth and untruth is concerned, creep could be reduced by saying the following: "It does not matter how convinced you are that some bit of information is true; if the material is unverifiable, do not add it. If the dubious information is not supported by a source, it should be challenged; but the question of how to challenge (whether to tag the information as needing a citation or to remove it immediately) depends on the nature of the information (see: WP:Burden, below). Information supported by a reliable source should be discussed on the article talk page, in the light of policies like neutral point of view and due weight). Presenting the information as a claim rather than known fact can often resolve issues of verifiable but potentially untrue information.--Jpacobb (talk) 15:38, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  15. Support (qualified) The proposal seems well argued and appears to have been extensively discussed and on that basis I have no reason to oppose. I have been involved with editors—generally from an inclusionist angle—where the question of verifiability most often occurs. I have been in the position of preventing BITE on more than one occasion so any calrification of this policy is welcome. qualification—I am concerned with the wording of "Often rewording to present the information as opinion rather than fact can resolve issues of verifiable but potentially untrue information" where I believe should be reworded as "... the sources opinion ..." to prevent the policy being used to insert editors own opinions --Senra (Talk) 16:17, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  16. Support With caveats about what might constitute a "reliable source," I support this proposal. In cases of controversial and not objectively factual material, it seems to me that fair treatment becomes a higher criterion than reliable sources. What I want to avoid, and what I would like Wikipedia to avoid, is having articles espouse as "truth" something that appears to have a preponderance of evidence that in fact, consist of the largest number of people who shout the loudest. I think it is important that controversy over material be documented and annotated. Norm Reitzel (talk) 14:35, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  17. Support, but would like to see change from "verifiability, not truth" to "verifiability, not just truth", per Nitro2k01. Moogwrench (talk) 17:50, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  18. Support proposal 1, but #Oppose proposal 2. Verifiable means truthful (Merriam Webster Dictionary, Longman Dictionary of the English Language, Collins National Dictionary) so 'verifiability not truthfulness' is a linguistic absurdity and should not appear anywhere in the document. The goal of an encyclopedia article should be accuracy. Apuldram (talk) 22:25, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Doesn't go far enough[edit]

  1. Support Was tempted to oppose because it retains the Toxic Triad (albeit farther down the page). But it's a start, and in fact quite a good start. It addresses head-on the old "it's been printed in a newspaper so it's gotta go in" argument that we hear so often. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 12:56, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  2. Support. The statement, "verifiability, not truth" is a paradox according to the English language definition of the words verify and "not truth". Why this has been allowed to stay in this lead section for years on end is a question that needs to be answered. We need to say what we mean and mean what we say. Wikipedia needs to get in the habit of using words the way the rest of the world uses them, and to stop trying to redefine the language. Viriditas (talk) 02:09, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  3. Support - may as well get rid of it, my experience has been that I've rarely seen it actually invoked in those words, just because it sounds so creepy... Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 21:47, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  4. Support - verifiability is not opposed to truth, it is a way of approximating to it. I have never liked their use here as apparent antonyms. The new wording is far more defensible. Richard Keatinge (talk) 21:51, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  5. Support. "Not truth" adds nothing useful and, although I don't think it should, it is clear that it confuses even some experienced editors. Also, I agree that it does sound a bit creepy. --FormerIP (talk) 22:24, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  6. Support. I believe that anything verifiable is true. I also think the "not truth" expression sounds almost like something out of Orwell. Toccata quarta (talk) 23:28, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  7. Support – I would prefer no mention of "verifiability, not truth", which has an Orwellian ring, but this is a reasonable compromise. Occuli (talk) 17:01, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  8. Support, but why not do away with the sentence: In this context, Wikipedia requires "verifiability, not truth".? Isn't it now superfluous? Chrisemms (talk) 21:45, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  9. Support, "not truth" is confusing to readers, since "verifiability" means to seek the truth. --Funandtrvl (talk) 22:01, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  10. Support, I agree with the above comment. Doug (at Wiki) 23:01, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  11. Support I personally would prefer something even more restrictive than this alternative. Having worked in contentious areas and with unpopular movements ,I think the threshold needs to be much higher than the suggested improvement. However it is inherently a move in right direction. The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 22:12, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  12. Support Quite strongly. In fact, I would suggest (argue?) that the issue of "TRUE" (or not) not be raised or even, ideally, mentioned in the guidelines. "Verifiable" is an objective standard, referential and testable by third parties whenever a dispute over material arises (save, of course, when the dispute meta-tizes over how worthwhile some source/referrence may be). "True", however, is a subjective non-standard - the seed of a monster of disputation lying in wait to devour in endelss argument any discussion regarding any statement on any controversial subject. "True" sounds nice, sounds so sweetly absolute and final - but here, I have to go all Pontius Pilate on the matter. Let's wash our hands of the issue of "true", which lies without our human capacity to resolve, and, instead, commit to "verifiabile", which lies within. JTGILLICK (talk) 04:29, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
    • I agree 100% with you that "truth" is subjective, the source of endless argument, and frequently beyond our capacity to resolve — and for that very reason I must throw my support behind policy wording that makes it clear in the very first sentence that we do not consider "truth" as a threshold for inclusion of content. Xenophrenic (talk) 21:10, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  13. Support. "Verifiability, not truth" has always stuck in my craw. Obviously, we should seek "Verifiability AND truth" in the encyclopedia. --Pete Tillman (talk) 22:07, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  14. Support: As to purely concentrating on "verifiability, not truth", it is the most stupid twisting of words I've ever seen. I support a change of wording in that, to show that verifiability is the starting point only. It makes it sound as if Wikipedia does not care about truth, and I've seen too many eds. and admins. offer that very viepoint.Djathinkimacowboy (talk) 19:08, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  15. Support - The previous wording is OK, though the proposed one is more clear. AgadaUrbanit (talk) 23:38, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  16. Support - Still plenty of room for improvement, but it's a reasonable amendment which makes it just that little bit easier to rebut the (nonsensical, in my opinion) assertion that "Wikipedia doesn't care about truth, only verifiability" as if it were a policy. If that really were to become a policy of Wikipedia, I for one would have nothing further to do with it. David Wilson (talk · cont) 01:11, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  17. support the "not truth" thing is perhaps one of the most puketastic bits of wikipedia (though that's a hard fought title). A teeny step in the right direction. Bali ultimate (talk) 18:48, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  18. strong support have been trying to move in this direction fo a long time. see wikipedia:facts precede opinions Bensaccount (talk) 21:01, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  19. Support. "Not truth" is misleading. utcursch | talk 10:06, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  20. cautious Support. Great improvement but the phrase "verifiability, not truth" is still there and not one of my favorite pillars of wikipedia. Do we need that phrase at all? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Richiez (talkcontribs) 18:02, 3 November 2011
  21. Support, but don't stop I think that the new wording is an improvement, but I think there are still many problems that aren't addressed by the change, and hope that a Yes closure won't be thought of as "Ok, WP:V is perfect now". In particular, many people still get very confused about V, N and RS and the subtle distinctions between them (for instance, I've seen sources objected to as "not notable", and as for the arguments we get into around lists and comparison articles...). I realise that this is a difficult problem, but WP:V is apparently still misunderstood by many editors (even some rather experienced ones). There are also some issues with the policy itself (for instance, WP:SPS/WP:SELFPUB is broken) but those are of course out of scope for this RfC. PT 09:47, 9 November 2011 (UTC)



  1. Oppose per my statement above[3]. I am not wedded to having the slogan in the first sentence of the lead, but I don't like the proposed section on truth since it doesn't explain that wikipedia doesn't care about truth at all, only about significant and verifiable views. It is not the wikipedia editors job to evaluate whether claims published in otherwise reliable sources are true. That is the job of researchers and scientists who make science progress by critiquing the claims of other researchers - that is not what we do in wikipedia. If an editor finds that a claim in an otherwise reliable source conflicts with his view of reality then what she needs to do is publish a research article about the topic, not bring wikipedia in line with their own view of reality. Certain editors are already arguing here that certain kinds of OR is ok and that this policy should back that notion. In my view this argument is 100 times more damaging to wikipedia than the odd pov pusher citing WP:NOTTRUTH in order to include a fringe view. We would be turning wikipedia into a publisher of original thought. Here is the citation I go by in my relation to truth here on the encyclopedia[4] "Perhaps the easiest way to make your writing more encyclopedic is to write about what people believe, rather than what is so. If this strikes you as somehow subjectivist or collectivist or imperialist, then ask me about it, because I think that you are just mistaken. What people believe is a matter of objective fact, and we can present that quite easily from the neutral point of view." Jim Wales. I would support a proposal that makes it clear that verifiability is a necessary, but not sufficient criterion for inclusion of information in an article AND that the decision of including a piece of verifiable information has to be based on whether the view is significant, not whether it is objectively correct. I think this can be done by including a description of what is meant by the V not T slogan after the first sentence of the guideline. Such a phrase should both deter usages of the slogan to keep insignificant sourced views "because they are verifiable" and it should deter the usage of the slogan to remove verifiable information "because its not true". I.e. it should clearly establish the kind of reasoning that is acceptable when arguing for inclusion or exclusion of information based on "V not T". Basically I think that it is impossible to avoid that some users misuse the essay in one of the problematic ways, but it is possible to make it very easy for others to spot when it is being misused, by explicitly stating how not to use it (i.e. neither to support original research based on primary sources nor to justify inclusion of insignificant/erroneous but verifiable views)·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:33, 7 October 2011 (UTC) ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:26, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    I think this debate represents a big problem not only with wikipedia but with a lot of people these days as a results of our school system. The ratio seems to be about 2:1 of those who are capable of independent thought, and those who can only depend upon authority. Bensaccount (talk) 16:00, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
    Wikipedia does not just care about views, it cares about views of reliable sources. It privileges views of reliable sources over non-reliable sources because they better approximate the truth. Per WP:RS, it privileges sources "with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy," sources that involve "people engaged in checking facts" or that "have been vetted by the scholarly community," and it emphasizes verified information over gossip. To interpret these statements as not emphasizing truth is bizarre.
    Moreover determining the objective factuality of whether people have certain views (e.g. whether they've been accurately quoted) involves the same wrestle with factuality that comes with checking the truth of other things, such as events and facts. It would be very strange if we allowed this emphasis on truth for the purposes of establishing which views are held, but refrained from extending it to other things that can often be confirmed the same way.
    Both sides seem to agree that the policy should not lend support to subjective and flawed opinions of The Truth. It seems to me that what supporters of the V not T slogan really mean is "don't replace Wiki policies for truth-approximation with your personally preferred means of truth-approximation." Abbenm (talk) 21:49, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  2. Oppose. I highly commend Blueboar in particular for this well-reasoned proposal, but I feel that the current wording is fine and widely understood by the majority of editors: especially if they read beyond that sentence. I still think the only change that might help clarify the strength and meaning of that first phrase might be to put "truth" in quotes, but that was shot down. Doc talk 03:27, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  3. Opposes:.
    adding "initial". Verifiability is the starting point of inclusion - it is the threshold. After the starting point we have other process that material may encounter in order to remain on Wikipedia, but they are not thresholds, because the starting point of verifiability has been passed. "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability" is a simple, clear statement that loses effectiveness when qualified with the tautological "initial". Verifiability is basic. It is the essential and major inclusion criteria. It all starts from that point. We need to drum home that unverifiable material should not be added. People can quibble about the value of the material later - but let's let people know that inclusion or formatting or editing discussions shouldn't even take place without the threshold of verifiability being passed.
    We're looking at the possibility of more tweaks to follow - for example replacing "threshold" (which implies that once you've crossed it, you're in) with something like "A fundamental requirement" (which clearly leaves room for other requirements, but is absolutely ... well, fundamental. Bear with us - these extra things are on our agenda. Pesky (talkstalk!) 05:08, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
    adding "not a guarantee of inclusion" / "other policies and guidelines". The essence of this policy is that material must be attributable - discussions about how the material is handled, edited, formatted, questioned, etc, do not belong here and simply cloud the issue. It is inappropriate to try to cram the whole of Wikipedia into one policy. This policy page is about verifiability, not notability, which is a different page. Awareness that material may be subject to further scrutiny is covered by the elegant "threshold".
    removing "not truth". The phrase "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth" is simple, elegant, and powerful. As far as we are concerned, it doesn't matter that your local band exists, and that you are staring right at them: if there is no means to verify their existence, we don't have them on Wikipedia. While I agree that a section expanding on "truth" is worthwhile (and I support that section), removing "not truth" from the opening sentence removes a simple clarification, and removes a powerful phrase. We can change "truth" to "existence" or any other such synonym, if people are uncomfortable with the word "truth", but that distinction needs to be there, and it needs to be in the first sentence. We define things by what they are not as well as by what they are. We need to make clear that truth/existence by itself is not verifiability. SilkTork ✔Tea time 10:06, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    I believe that the new proposal "agrees" with and furthers all of the principles which you just described. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 10:12, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  4. Oppose per User:SilkTork. Roger (talk) 10:58, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    This proposal is trying to force this policy to do the job of WP:RS (and a bunch of other policies and guidelines). The supporters seem to be under the impression that this is the be all and end all of content policy. Roger (talk) 12:16, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  5. Oppose per Maunus: "I am not wedded to having the slogan in the first sentence of the lead, but I don't like the proposed section on truth since it doesn't explain that wikipedia doesn't care about truth at all, only about significant and verifiable views" Moreover I object to the wording of the first paragraph - what we are verifying is not that there is material documentation, we are verifying that it is a "significant view." Reliable sources (which are typically some kind of publication) are a means for documenting that it is a significant view, but what we are verifying is that it is a significant view. Note I appreciate the hard work Blueboar did and I think that these objections can be resolved with some relatively minor rewording of the text Blueboar wrote. If we can modify the text in lines with these objections - which I think affect just a few sentences - I would support it. Slrubenstein | Talk 11:49, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    Slrubenstein, you are confusing a Neutral Point of View (WP:NPOV, WP:DUE) with Verifiability. These are not the same thing. -- Avanu (talk) 14:55, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    No, they are not the same thing. But V derives from NPOV and they are linked, which by the way is true for NOR as well. I think you are confusing V with Cite Sources. These are not the same. I stand by what I wrote. It expresses the principal that has guided my editing since we first agreed on a V policy. Slrubenstein | Talk 17:00, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    First line of Encyclopedia: An encyclopedia (also spelled encyclopaedia or encyclopædia) is a type of reference work, a compendium holding a summary of information from either all branches of knowledge or a particular branch of knowledge.
    It's a sad state of affairs when apparently many editors seem to think that an encyclopedia is nothing more than a collection of opinions, biographies, views on historic events, politics and popular fiction.
    While I can understand the need for rules focussing on the areas where most problems arise, when "truth" becomes a dirty word for many editors, maybe some change is in order. I was going to comment on the absurdity of "verifiability, not truth" when applied to articles about mathematics, but I'll save that for another time. DS Belgium (talk) 01:51, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
    This is sophistry. First of all, the line you quote does not mention truth. No real scientist claims that they know the truth or teach the truth. Second, everyone knows that if they want to read a great encyclopedia written the conventional way, by actual experts on the topics, they would be better off reading Encyclopedia Britannica. When WP was created, the idea was clearly not to emulate EB but to try a whole new model. As a "wiki"pedia there is no requirement and thus no guarantee that the editors be experts. WP:NPOV was the framework that would not only enable editors with conflicting beliefs to work together, but the principle that would distinguish WP from other encyclopedias. And that principle is neutrality, not truth. NPOV demands that we include all significant points of view. period. Even if we think one view is false, we include it if it is significant. Even if one view says another view is false, we include the other view if it is significant. This is how we achieve neutrality. And if we keep our NPOV policy, then we cannot take it upon ourselves to verify that the view is the truth, and most of us are not qualified even to judge one view as better than another anyway. The only "truth" we can verify is that "it is true that someone holds this view." This is what we are verifying, not that a view is true, but that the view is significant and accurately represented. If you do not like this you should have sought a job at EB rather than volunteer here. And if you want to change this, then we have to get rid of NPOV too. We would have to change it from "neutral point of view" to "truth point of view." Slrubenstein | Talk 11:53, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
    Seems I was wrong, thinking you and the others were defending "Verifiability, not truth" because it was useful in keeping the wackos and fringe theories out and trying to make WP a trustworthy source. Looking at your user page, I realise you want the opposite, every opinion that is notable should be represented, because you believe in "great truths". And that's why you say "no real scientist" claims they know the truth or teach the truth, yet in the next sentence you acknowledge that "actual experts" would use such judgement to decide the content of an encyclopaedia! Since I don't think works of fiction and arts express some great truth, you see me as an idiot ("I think of those people who would answer "no" to my question whenever I read this passage from Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum: Idiot... How could you fail to kneel down before this altar of certitude?")who doesn't understand a thing ("If the person answers no, I know that they understand nothing."), so there's no use in talking to you any further. I just hope you stay away from science topics, especially maths, if you think formal proofs are based on opinions, and the truth or falsity of conjectures can never be determined. DS Belgium ٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶ 18:37, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
    I certainly am defending "Verifiability, not truth" in order to make WP a better source of knowledge. Moreover, one reason I think we should keep some kind of "not truth" formula is precisely because I think the real solution lies in clarifying and elaborating on what we mean by verifiability, the criteria for reliable sources (which must include other criterion besides publication or even publication in a respected venue) - better guidance concerning fringe views is precisely one of the ways I think we can do this. Yes, I do believe in "the truth." But for reasons that Jimbo and Larry laid out a long time ago, and that are still central to our NPOV policy, I do not believe that my own view of the truth should ever influence my editing. If you think that is the meaning of my user page. I will not discuss my user page here as it is not the appropriate venue but if you actually cared about what I think you can ask on my talk page. Suffice to make three key points: first, I never called you an idiot and that you feel a need to put words into my mouth says more about you than about me. Second, you clearly do not understand the quote from Eco — the capacity for so many WP editors to believe that they understand what a quote means when taken out of context is in my view one of the major problems with Wikipedia (eliminating "not truth" will not address this problem and I think it will actually make the problem worse). Third, I never said formal proofs are based on opinions, although I do know that they are based on axioms and I appreciate the implications of that fact. Would I ever argue against including in an article a statement like "Mathematicians agree that Euclidean geometry provides a proof for the Pythagorean theorum, or a proof that the sum of angles a, b, and c of a triangle is 180 degrees? No. But – and this is the key point – "verifiability, not truth" in no way can support removing such a statement from our article, and, indeed, our policies in their present form help us write great articles that include just such statements. So I do not think your comment is rational (and no, I am not calling you an idiot), and it certainly is not constructive. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:30, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
  6. Oppose – to me, the proposed version seems more cumbersome than the current version, and it seems like we're trying to make this more complicated than it should be. –MuZemike 14:41, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  7. Oppose per Slrubenstein, Maunus, MuZemike. Obfuscates rather than clarifies, and places undue prominence on whether sourcing exists, not what is verified by that sourcing, if you follow. I would support a modified version of the 1st paragraph second suggested edit, but strongly oppose the change to the nutshell verbiage opening paragraph, which has lasted for many years for excellent reasons - because it is clear and concise. I see no reason to change it so that it is neither clear nor concise. . KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 15:20, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    Question for KillerChihuahua... the proposal does not call for any changes to the nutshell... but perhaps you were referring to something else... could you clarify your comment? Blueboar (talk) 15:26, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    This is what happens when I'm editing in three windows while on the phone. Apologies, I have corrected my statement. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 15:32, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    Thanks... your views are much clearer now. Blueboar (talk) 15:36, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
    They would have made sense before, if I'd actually typed what I was thinking. Sometimes I have a brain=keyboard disconnect. Thanks for asking for clarifying so politely. :-/ KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 15:41, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  8. Oppose, and indeed absolutely, utterly oppose. Avoiding the statement that "Wikipedia is not about truth" will open the door to untold of headaches and debates on many, many pages. My real concern is that the Wikipedia community is by and large unaware of a scary phenomenon that is creeping up on us: "we may soon run short of editors who are generally familiar with the policies". In most systems, there are usually underlying processes that drive the system and Wikipedia is no exception. Some time ago I came across a paper based on a thesis by a student about Wikipedia and he had done some studies that made sense. As I recently searched again, I only found a summary of the thesis here, but his main argument, supported by various graphs was that as the number of Wikipages and Wikiusers increase, reality will catch up with us, and he predicted that there will be:
    an untenable trend towards progressive increase of the effort spent by the most active authors, as time passes by. This trend may eventually cause that these authors will reach their upper limit in the number of revisions they can perform each month, thus starting a decreasing trend in the number of monthly revisions, and an overall recession of the content creation and reviewing process in Wikipedia.
    So as more and more IPs require comments, the level of effort to support them may become a burden. If those IPs feel that "they know what truth is" and try to do good by setting the record straight in Wikipedia, the effort to explain things to them will be tremendous.
    It is essential that the millions of new IPs coming in be told upfront that what they consider to be "truth" will probably differ from what someone 3 blocks away from them considers "truth", let alone someone three continents away. It is essential that the idea that "your truth may be different from the next guy's concept of truth" be stated upfront to save us the effort of repeating t again and again to new IPs. I personally feel like a broken record player repeating it again and again.
    And I would go further and point out to the new readers/editors that in some fields "there is no truth". Period. A suitable case is monetary economics where truth is all but elusive. Nobel laureate A says X and Nobel laureate B says Y and usually X and Y are not equal: there really is no "concept of truth" in monetary economics, just ideas and references. And Wikipedia can not even begin to pretend there is truth therein. This must be explained to the new editors upfront.
    We must remind users upfront that Wikipedia is not about truth but verifiability, to save the explanation efforts again and again. That effort is really needed elsewhere: improving content.
    I would, however, also keep something like the 2nd paragraph to repeat the same.History2007 (talk) 17:27, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  9. Oppose does more harm than good. There is wikilawyering where people use sources to push known untruths. But a much more prevalent problem is editors bickering back and forth about what they know to be true, and never checking what a reliable authority would say on the matter. You're focusing on the small problem to the detriment of the bigger problem. You saw the dam leaking, so you decided to tear it out and replace it with a towel. If there's a problem with the occasional wikilawyer, put an explanation in the body of the policy. Don't obfuscate the intro to the policy which has worked well for years. Dzlife (talk) 17:38, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  10. Oppose Adds more verbiage contrary to WP:CREEP. The policy should be simplified, not bloated. Warden (talk) 18:18, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  11. The creepier our policies, the harder it is to edit. The proposed changes do not make it any easier for any inexperienced user to edit, and only add verbiage to be parsed by axe-grinders. No. -- Y not? 18:36, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  12. Oppose. The possible benefit of this particular addition is definitely outweighed by the negative effect of the instruction creep it introduces. Shorter is better. —Mark Dominus (talk) 21:26, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  13. Oppose the new section "Assertions of truth and untruth". Too much emphasis on the term truth that would be better referred to as majority or minority viewpoints. No need to open up a remote possibility it will be misinterpreted to squash multiply-sourced, minority viewpoints on the grounds that it is not true. WP:UNDUE already does a wonderful job with only one instance of the word truth. I am OK with proposal in the first part for changes to the opening paragraph. Willing to reconsider opposition if truth is removed or de-emphasized.—Bagumba (talk) 22:17, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  14. Oppose as unnecessary. The best proposal I've seen was to link "verifiability, not truth" to the essay that explained the topic quite adequately. Jclemens (talk) 23:57, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  15. Oppose. I concede that the "not truth" maxim can be taken the wrong way. So can anything if one does not want to take the point, but the point here is clear enough. My real objection is that the proposed new section is a CREEPy digression to wade through before getting to the nuts and bolts of sections on when a citation is required and what sources are reliable. To the extent that issues in the proposed new section need to be raised at all, they would belong in the "other principles" section at the end of the page. ~ Ningauble (talk) 11:21, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  16. Oppose I think the new wording is less clear and actually moves us in the wrong direction with this policy. This is not the place to say that we don't include everything in every article. And I really prefer the idea that just because you think it isn't the truth you still need to source it. I think the current wording does that better. Hobit (talk) 23:32, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  17. Oppose. The discussion below (at my previous neutral comment) makes it clear that this would be a major change in policy, wherein a statement could be challenged or removed not because it was inadequately sourced, and not because any reliable source contradicts it, but simply because an editor claims it to be "untrue". This is a complete reversal of the way our policy has worked for many years. I'm shocked that we would trust some Wikipedian's assertion of "truth" as a reason to censor or exclude sourced content, and more shocked that so many Wikipedians would approved of such a change. The Italian Wikipedia recently shut itself down rather than submit to a proposed law that would mandate removal of material based on an unsupported claim that a statement is detrimental to someone's image. But when it comes to the English Wikipedia, do we really want an unsupported claim of inaccuracy to be a reason for removal, as S Marshall clearly supports below? – Quadell (talk) 12:09, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
    I did not say that an unsupported claim of inaccuracy is a reason for removal, and that is not my view.—S Marshall T/C 12:14, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
    There's no change proposed to the policy, just the wording! Pesky (talkstalk!) 05:08, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
  18. Oppose I think you are right Quadel. I think the great danger to Wikipedia’ usefulness is unfaithfulness to reliable sources because we know the truth. This leads to two blights on the project unsourced statements in articles, and misrepresentation (and ignoring) of sources in articles. At least where an untrue statement is sourced, the reader has the tools to review reliability for themselves. Sourcing requires uncommon effort; anything that denigrates that effort should be rejected. “Verifiability, not truth” is a strong reminder that Wikipedians, for all their ego, still need humility. We are not tellers of truth; we are faithful recorders of what others "out there" have studied -- we merely claim to understand it enough, so that we have recorded their (those out there) truth faithfully.
    Verifiability is the ability to verify -- in the current policy, the ability to verify that a reliable source has said something. Truth is not the ability to verify, it has no ability in it - it's an assertion, an ipsa dixit. In the scheme of what editors are doing, it makes sense that we first require them to come to agreement that a reliable source has said something, and agree what that something is (no misrepresentation or mistake because, we know the truth). This is the humility required of us -- we must first take the source on its own terms, even when (especially when) we agree or disagree with it because we know the truth, because in most (all) cases we don't in fact know the truth, and we should in any case assume we and our readers do not, when first approaching the source. Moreover, in practice, and by the dictates of this policy, one editor cannot convince another editor that they have the truth (don't tell me the truth, that's irrelevant, convince me with reliable sources). Only then can editors proceed to agree on correct representation of the source, relevance to the topic, POV and other considerations for putting it in or leaving it out of an article. Unfortunately, the present proposal does not promote these values, it is increased license for editors to promote and propagate unfaithfulness (as if such license were needed) to reporting on reliable sources. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:56, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
    "We are not tellers of truth"; true, Wikipedia articles are tellers of WP:NPOV, which is a reasonable approximation most of the time, and probably the only practical one for a tertiary source. A more appropriate mantra would be «NPOV, not "truth"». Plenty of WP:V-verifiable information is consciously excluded from Wikipedia based on editorial judgement guided by WP:RS, WP:UNDUE, WP:BLP, etc. So, while the humble Wikipedians may not actually decide what is true, they often decide what is untrue, or perhaps more accurately, Wikipedians routinely decide what information is [probably] far from the truth. Have mörser, will travel (talk) 21:01, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
    "'We are not tellers of truth"; true'" Yes, right. As for the rest, you misstate Wikipedia policy; WP:V requires RS; and WP:NPOV is not to be read in isolation from WP:V -- "Verifiability is one of Wikipedia's core content policies, along with No original research and Neutral point of view. These policies jointly determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in articles — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alanscottwalker (talkcontribs)
    Which of my statements misstate Wikipedia policies? "jointly determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in articles" implies that verifiabilty alone may not be enough for inclusion. Which is what I said. Are you saying that excluding sources is not permitted by the WP:OR or by the WP:NPOV policy? I very much doubt that. Have mörser, will travel (talk) 23:49, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
    Where you fail to faithfully summarize policy is in suggesting that WP:NPOV operates without WP:V. WP:V also excludes things from being in articles. All the core policies both include and exclude. Wikpedia articles don't only "tell" WP:NPOV, they also tell WP:Verifiable (as well as, the other policies) Alanscottwalker (talk) 03:01, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
  19. Oppose. "traditional" working "verifiability, not truth" concisely says what is required. --Philcha (talk) 21:11, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
  20. Oppose. Current wording is pithy and iconic. The proposed wording is longer, less clear, and hides a significant policy change. Jayjg (talk) 03:19, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
    Curious what significant policy change you think the editors of this proposal are trying to hide in change? how do you believe this policy change will be misapplied? Crazynas t 21:39, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
    There's no change to the policy, just to the wording! Pesky (talkstalk!) 05:08, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
    Please do stop commenting on the "oppose" threads with identical messages, Pesky. It's... annoying in a very pesky way. Doc talk 07:24, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
  21. Oppose. We only trust experts to do research, we trust editors to summarize what the experts have published. By "we" I mean the editors, so we could safely assume that many editors can be trusted to understand the opinions of the experts. If an expert makes a mistake, how does it come that one has to rely upon original research instead of finding another expert who points out the mistake of the former expert? My understanding is that according to Popper scientists constantly work to reject (falsify) the work of other scientists. So it is very improbable that the bulk of experts who read scientific papers for a living cannot see a gross mistake and a Wikipedia editor is needed to cry "The king is naked!" Perhaps this is a bit too exaggerated, but I guess you see what I mean.

    An example: in string theory there is simply no fact yet discovered, so we cannot say that even a jot of string theory is proven true. As S. James Gates, Jr. said, "string theory is applied mathematics, it isn't physics yet." And we generally assume that physics is the most reliable of all empirical sciences. So there are clearly areas in physics wherein there lies not a single truth, but they are filled with opinions expressed by scientists. All such opinions could be deleted from Wikipedia "because they aren't true". This would mean proposing the whole string theory article for deletion. Obviously, these opinions aren't true, but this does not mean that they aren't informative. Above I have simply bracketed the idea that one cannot prove truth, but one can only prove falsity (according to Popper). The idea is that scientists have to prove the falsity of string theory, this is not the task of Wikipedia. Experts have to agree upon what counts as falsified in a discipline, and we render their views.

    By adopting the idea that truth matters, we open largely the doors for relativity theory denialists, see here. There is a whole society of fringe theorists who claim to have proven Einstein wrong, using plain mathematical calculations (often limited to the math one learned in high-school). The same way, all sociology articles could be deleted, since no sociological theory is consensually accepted as the true one by sociologists. And psychology consists of many competing schools of thought, so one could erase psychology articles, too, since there is no school consensually accepted as the true one. Tgeorgescu (talk) 20:55, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
  22. Oppose. I think it's better off the way it is; since it 'gets to the point', readers don't have to read the whole page just to find the core principle of the policy. WikiPuppies! (bark) 07:17, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
  23. Oppose. The sort of editor who needs to be sent to this page really needs the "not truth" to be in the first sentence and in bold. That's because the concept is so very counterintuitive. I know, because I was one of those editors. I was send here after one of my first IP edits and I really needed to be hit over the head with`verifiability, not truth. --Guy Macon (talk) 01:22, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
    Even though I am mildly supporting the proposal, I agree with that, a lot. Assuming the proposal is adopted, I think that it's very important that the new section be easily linked and easily seen. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:59, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  24. Oppose on the whole. I would, on balance, support adding something very like the new paragraph without removing not truth from the lead. Let's see how that looks and works for a few months and then see whewther we only need to say "V not T" once. (I say "very like" because, for example, some errors in reliable sources - such as the wrong year - can be so obvious that correcting them and adding a footnote will be sufficient, rather than cluttering the talk page. A good idea, but this is too hasty an implementation. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:20, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
    One sign that this proposal needs more editing before it is consensus is that we cannot agree (and this even applies to people with the same !vote) whether it changes policy or not. I accept that Blueboar does not intend to change; but is that what the proposal says? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:36, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  25. Oh, Lord, how I oppose this idea! The present lead is perfectly understandable, and much shorter, too. Thank you. Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 06:49, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
  26. Oppose It's not broke, don't fix it. This policy is already long enough without having to add more. If someone wants to type this up in a user essay, that's fine, but I don't think it's a good idea to change the policy. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 16:00, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
  27. Oppose I do not think the proposed change is an improvement. Eluchil404 (talk) 04:03, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
  28. Oppose Cannot really see why this is causing a fuss. There are plenty of statements that are true but not reliably sourced, and just because something appears in a reliable source does not mean that it has to be in Wikipedia if it fails other guidelines.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 14:20, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
    Your latter point is excellent, but I don't think that you realize that it is not being followed. I think that the proposal makes a small step towards your latter point being followed. North8000 (talk) 14:46, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  29. Oppose This has always been a badly expressed statement, mainly because there is not a genuine consensus about the policy. My view is that Wikipedia aims for accuracy by means of verifiability, in that statements which are challenged or are likely to be challenged need to point to evidence for their accuracy; in such circumstances the simple truth of a statement is not enough. Other think that nothing which is not cited is acceptable and (at the extreme end) most things which are can be. The proposed wording moves too far in the wrong direction for me and looks designed to merge this policy with RS.--Rumping (talk) 13:21, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
    The current form is shorter and easier to understand. Plot Spoiler (talk) 04:20, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
    Oppose. I like the idea of refactoring the sentence to deter disingenuity, but I don't like the wordiness (and) (so) (many) (clauses) (in) (brackets) of the above proposal. I would have it simply say "For inclusion in Wikipedia, all information must be verifiable." I don't think it needs to even go into how truth is also required, or how verifiability not truth is key; it just leads the policy into unecessary tangents and repeated clarifications. fish&karate 13:09, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
    I believe the proposed change is a step towards your main points, albeit with compromise type wording. North8000 (talk) 13:25, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
    That's fair to say. I think things are heading in the right direction, so I will strike my "Oppose" but still would like my point to stand that I believe this is an overcomplicated and brackety solution, albeit better than the current status quo. fish&karate 12:30, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  30. Oppose. "Verifiability, not truth" has kept Wikipedia safe for years. It makes clear that our articles must present an overview of the relevant literature, and that editors' opinions about the contents of that literature play no role apart from deciding whether the sources are reliable and appropriate. Making clear that "truth" (as seen by Wikipedians) is not the aim keeps fringe views out, and also protects significant-minority views from being overwhelmed by Wikipedians who disagree with them. The counter-intuitive nature of the phrase helps to underline this for new editors, and as many have said over the years, helps them finally to "get it." SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 22:29, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
    Also, "initial threshold" makes no sense, and is odd writing. Something is either a threshold or it isn't. The point of the threshold concept is that "verifiability, not truth" is the necessary condition, the minimum requirement, for entry into Wikipedia. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 23:25, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
    It's worth adding that several of the proposers of this have made it clear that removing "verifiability, not truth" is a first step ("baby step," as they put it) toward removing it entirely from the policy. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 21:28, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    I'm not sure what happened with this RfC. I just noticed that the RfC bot tags weren't added, so it's not clear where this was advertised so that everyone saw it. There was an agreement that it would be wiki-wide because it was a key change to a core content policy. I would suggest leaving it open longer than the 30 days to make sure people get a chance to comment. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 23:07, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
    The RfC tags were there, and it was properly listed, from the start of the RfC until a few hours ago, when the RfC was, at least temporarily, closed. Anyone who looked at the RfC-policy listing, or at CENT, could have easily found it. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:11, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
    Thank you. I see it now on the RfC policy page, but I can't see it on any other. Blueboar promised a wiki-wide RfC, and one with two sections, one of which would ask whether the current first sentence is fine as it is. Neither of those things happened. A little extra time for the RfC will help with the first. Not sure what can be done now about the second, if anything. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 23:20, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
  31. Not truth is far too important of a concept to leave out. It needs to be there as a clear succinct point.--Crossmr (talk) 23:31, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
  32. Oppose. Having read the changes and the proposed new section, i cannot help but find the new section more complex and unclear as the original statement. The current lead contains the - for me - most important aspect of the entire verifiability policy, being that all article's are based on verifiable sources rather then basing them on (claimed) truths. In one line it manages to inform the user that any content must be backed by reliable sources, that an encyclopedia is always based on and dependent on other sources an that while someone may be correct, it may still not be included. The new lead on the other hand would seem a tad unclear if i try to think as a new user. For me, it raised some questions: What guarantees inclusion if this "verifiability" doesn't guarantee it? What are these other "Policies" that are mentioned? What does "Specific material in a specific article" mean? Without knowing about the existenceWP:GNG policy, the content specific notability policies and some others i believe that people would only get confused over those references. I have similar issues with the new proposed section; it may be due to the nighttime at which i am reading this, but i feel like reading a typical law that references all over the place. Just have a look if i rewrite the section while replacing some of the words:

    "When party A(editor) commits crime A(Mistake) to Party B(Editor noticing mistake), Party B should file a report if Crime A is not supported by evidence A. Dependant on the the type of Crime A a report must be filed to place A(BLP Violation - remove) or B(Random statement - Tag), which is detailed in statement A (Linked burden section) below. If on the other hand Evidence A is present party B should should move to place C(Discuss it somewhere) to discuss the issue with Party A, stating why evidence A is not valid due to for example Law A (NPOV) and Law A.1 (Due Weight) among the other possible laws. In these cases altering crime A to conform to Law A and others is often enough to legalize crime A.

    The above states more or less the exact same thing as the porposed section, but the amount of references elsewhere and the amount of IF THEN ELSE statements make it quite a bad read, at least at this time of night. Besides, i cannot shake the feeling that the section seems to trail into other policy terrain trough the extensive explanations. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 23:40, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
  33. Strong oppose, "verifiability, not truth" is a perfect and longstanding way to clearly and succinctly get a key and extraordinarily important point across; as others have more eloquently pointed out above. Dreadstar 23:44, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
  34. Oppose Verifiability, not truth, is indeed the first threshold for inclusion of content and sources. At some level I think it's ok to say there's only one truth, but we see or understand only wee slices of it and these do shift, narrow and widen all the time. Hence many sources (even scholarly ones) are riddled with mistakes. Verifiability of the cited sources (that it's true they can be found and checked, not that they are "true") is the only means open to both readers and editors for handling these. Anyone who tries to game this and knowingly put "untrue" information into an article, whatever the sourcing, is editing in bad faith to begin with. I see no worries with this longstanding wording. Gwen Gale (talk) 00:04, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  35. Oppose The order of relevant information matters. Information presented first is more influential, not least because people are more likely to recall information presented first. I don't understand why someone would want to move the wonderful catchphrase Verifiability, not truth down in the policy. When I first read the policy, verifiability, not truth was the only thing that stuck in my mind. Plus, how many editors who don't understand WP:V right away will read further than the first paragraph? I know I did not when I started. --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 01:07, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  36. Oppose - What this proposal boils down to is "Too many editors are too obtuse to figure out what verifiability, not truth means so let's dumb it down". Leave it the way it is; if you can't understand it, then you shouldn't be here. Tarc (talk) 01:24, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    We are talking a lot about the newbie editor wanting to add stuff they know first-hand without citing a source, who needs to have the counterintuitive "verifiability not truth" hammered into them. Fair enough. That wording is still there in the proposed change, and is sufficient basis for keeping OR out. But we also have to be cognizant that over the years, an equally pernicious tradition has grown in Wikipedia that has editors quoting "verifiability not truth" – at newbies and others – to keep stuff in an article, even if it is plain rumour mongering, or contradicted by more reliable sources. It doesn't matter if it's garbage or true, you see? Newspapers in particular inevitably and regularly get biographically and encyclopedically relevant details wrong, given their tight deadlines, and their need to present a catchy story. There has to be an end to using "verifiability not truth" as a kill-all argument preventing further source-based research and debate. Saying that editors who use the phrase that way "shouldn't be here" fails to take into account that this is the encyclopedia that anyone can -- and does -- edit. --JN466 18:17, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    That is the function of WP:RS WP:UNDUE and WP:FRINGE. I have said it elwhere but it bears repeating here - This proposal is trying to force this policy to do the work of other already existing policies and guidelines. This policy is not the "be all and end all" of content policy. Roger (talk) 18:35, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    Frankly, throughout this nine-month discussion, it has been my impression that it is those wishing to keep the status quo who want to use WP:V to do the job of WP:NPOV/WP:DUE, by including a policy statement in it that enables them to prevent anything verifiable from ever being deleted. And I have multiple times pointed this out in exactly the terms you have just employed: that they are wanting to coöpt this policy to do the job of other content policies, and in a way that, frankly, contradicts them. This policy spells out minimum requirements for what may be included; it does not specify what must be included. Yet this is the use that "verifiability not truth" is most commonly put to: to argue that something must be included, just because it is verifiable, and that it simply does not matter whether it is true or not. "Verifiability not truth" was never intended to mean that, but that is how it has increasingly come to be used, and understood. Now, we do not include everything verifiable. We delete poorly sourced rumour and innuendo, tabloid coverage of the latest cure for cancer, or things that were demonstrably written in plain error, in full accordance with policies and guidelines like WP:BLP, WP:IRS, WP:MEDRS and others. Blueboar's proposed version does not make this policy do the job of the others; it refers readers to other policy considerations that may apply, and that is exactly as it should be. Regards, --JN466 19:07, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  37. Oppose. This proposal is a recipe for edit war. "Yes, I know four reliable sources say this is true, but I know it's false, so there." --GRuban (talk) 02:03, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    I don't see how "Yes, I know four reliable sources say this is true, but I know it's false, so there." can be consistent with the proposal, which says: "The initial threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability—whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source. While verifiability is a requirement for inclusion, it is not a guarantee of inclusion. Wikipedia has other policies and guidelines that affect inclusion (especially whether specific material is included in a specific article)." Count Iblis (talk) 02:11, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    Just as it says. "Even though four reliable sources say something is true, that's not a guarantee of inclusion, so my objection can keep it out if I fight hard enough." That's a terrible policy. We're here to be the sum of the world's knowledge. Not to be the sum of the world's knowledge except the parts we really really don't like. --GRuban (talk) 03:08, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    Merely saying that you know that something is false, is not going to keep material out of Wikipedia, that's not what this proposal is saying. Obviously you do need to make a convincing argument that while four sources are saying that something is true, we should still not include it in Wikipedia. And, we do need such a provision, otherwise a lot of nonsense that does regularly appear in reliable sources would have to be included in Wikipedia. Count Iblis (talk) 03:44, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    Yup, that's exactly what I'm saying. This proposal is a blank check to all the POV pushers. "If I can just make a convincing argument, I can keep this information out of Wikipedia." Trust me, they all think their arguments are convincing, and they will keep arguing until hell freezes over. Right now, we can at least say - sure, Dr. Plutonium, you sound convincing, but it's not good for you to convince us, you need to convince Science magazine or some other Wikipedia:Reliable source - and at least some of them do go away to try to do that. You're telling them they just need to stay and argue harder, right here, that if they can convince Wikipedia, that's enough, they don't need to convince anyone else. Terrible idea. --GRuban (talk) 13:28, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
    The "not truth" part would still be addressed in the "Assertions of truth and untruth" section. It just wouldn't be presented as a confusing slogan at the top of the page. Augurar (talk) 21:25, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  38. Oppose per Guy Macon, Gwen Gale, and Tarc's comments above. Compromise is often a good thing, but never when it dilutes or obfuscates. The truth vs. verifiability distinction has long formed a fundamental tenet of WP policy on content. It's extremely important, and it should be up front where new editors and potential editors will see it immediately. If it confuses them, they'll either read on or ask for clarification and learn something—or they won't bother. Those who don't bother are unlikely to be productive editors. Rivertorch (talk) 03:18, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  39. Oppose per Rivertorch. Many users directed to this page are those who, acting on good faith or not, intuitively edit to their versions of the truth. Not everyone habitually reads a page in its entirety from start to finish. As such, removing the crucial distinction between verifiability and truth from the lead may mean that those who most need to grasp the concept won't ever end up reading it. I do not oppose adding the proposed clarification about verifiability to the lead, but it should not replace the "not truth" text that is already present. Armadillopteryxtalk 04:00, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  40. Vehemently oppose. Per GRuban. "Verifiability, not truth" is the absolute crux of content evaluation, and is essential to editing. VanIsaacWScontribs 05:18, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    I couldn't disagree more. Your "absolute crux" means accepting every piece of spam and nonsense that got printed/published somewhere. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 10:07, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  41. Oppose - I like the existing phrase at the start; I think it sums up the essence in very few words - as such it's not comprehensive or perfect, but I think it's good. I can appreciate how some may misinterpret it, but I don't think the change is a net positive - some people can, and will, misinterpret anything. I think the additional paragraph has the potential to cause more confusion than elucidation.  Chzz  ►  08:44, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  42. Oppose - The proposed wording does nothing to clarify the issue. It merely makest harder from the reader to understand the concept. Hawkeye7 (talk) 11:48, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  43. Oppose per Slrubenstein, others above. Verbige creates more opportunities to game it. There's nothing broken that this change fixes. Tom Harrison Talk 12:21, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  44. Oppose Almost all the arguments in this section have merit, but Tarc's comments hit it on the head for me. Absconded Northerner (talk) 12:26, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  45. Oppose Makes extant policy dance on its head. (COI note: I wrote WP:KNOW dealing with the base issue.) Collect (talk) 12:28, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  46. Oppose Those advocating a change claimed the current wording (paraphrasing) seems to prohibit contributors casting doubt on verifiable references which assert something they know or believe to be untrue. It seems to me that challenging verifiable references would be a clear lapse from the other core policy that prohibits the publication of original research. Consider two notions that were, at the time, represented as ideas "everyone" knew to be true -- (1) the Earth is obviously flat; (2) it is not a sin for American plantation owners to use African people as slaves, because God made them subhuman.

    In 20 years, 50 years, our grandchildren will look back and scratch their heads at our crazy notions, because, count on it, our current notions of what is true, will turn out to include notions that later seem to be laughably obvious falsehoods.

    The effect of this major change in our wording, would be a major change in our policy -- a very bad change. We aren't experts. I don't want us, any of us, to be allowed to challenge published, verifiable WP:RS, unless they are doing so by neutrally presenting opposing ideas from other WP:RS.

    Consider continental drift -- when first advanced it was considered a kooky notion, and is now widely accepted. This proposed policy revision would allow wikipedia contributors, non-experts to insert their own challenges to ideas like this. Given that we are not experts, it is far better for us to stick strictly to previously published ideas. With an idea like continental drift we would be far better to include the proponents and opponents of ideas, and let time tell as to which are correct. Geo Swan (talk) 16:31, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

    I don't think the proposal prohibits contributors from casting doubt on verifiable information (an assertion of untruth)... What the proposal does is clarify that when you do cast doubt, you should support your challenge with a) contrasting verifiable information, and b) make reference to all the other policies that relate (NPOV, NOR etc.). Both of these are already SOP, but for the first time we are actually saying it in the policy. Blueboar (talk) 17:00, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  47. Oppose. I appreciate the well-intentioned revision efforts, and in practice I agree with much of Blueboar's formulation, but ultimately I feel that the current formulation is more appropriate, succinct, and workable as policy. --Arxiloxos (talk) 18:16, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  48. Oppose. It is far, far easier to point a new editor to a policy that makes it clear in the opening sentence, in 3 simple words, what the policy means. Verifiability not truth chimes. The proposal begins to bury the vital message. By all means tweak the sections but doubling the number of words in the opening para. is not helpful. Leaky Caldron 20:32, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  49. Oppose Not to wax too philosophically here, but what is "truth?" I ask the question rhetorically because truth is something that many people believe they hold, and that often times conflicts with what is verifiable. The practical application of the truth clause is that it can be used to explain to POV pushers that even if something is true to them, and they are convinced it's absolute fact, unless it's published in RS it's not relevant. I commonly use a reducto ad absurdum involving the color of the sky to demonstrate the importance of V over T. For example, I'll say something along the lines of "We all know the sky is blue, this is truth to us, but if every reliable source on the subject said that the sky was red, then that is what we will publish." Without the truth clause, it makes it a bit harder to explain to people a core value of WP. Also, just for the sake of the AN/I discussion, I didn't know about this RFC until I saw it there and that's why I'm here. nowONoformation Talk 22:25, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  50. Oppose: I see an argument up above arguing that the original intent—to discourage WP:OR from editors inserting unsourced material that they claim is true—to no longer be necessary. I strongly contest this point and have rarely seen a heated debate on a controversial topic that did not feature editors making arguments based off of truth instead of verifiability. I have often seen "verifiability, not truth" quoted to combat this, and believe it still serves its purpose well. Additionally the proposed wording seems to hack out the core of this message and replace it with a more convoluted, less straight forward message. The message already clearly confers to the reader that we take what a reliable source thinks to be true over what an editor thinks is true, and this new wording distracts from that.AerobicFox (talk) 22:31, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  51. Oppose The idea that people trying to add OR to articles is not much of a problem anymore is laughable. If someone is too dense to understand the difference between verifibility and what they believe they are too incompetent to edit here and rewriting policy to dumb it down to their level isn't going to fix that. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:44, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    We don't have to say what verifiability is not, we should stick to stating what it is. And if we want to emphasize that people should not write what they believe to be true, then it's this "belief" that is the real problem that we should emphasize that, not the "truth". If people know something to be true, and they are correct then obviously, they can point to reliable sources that prove this. If they can't, then it's just an assertion of a truth, the problem being that the assertion is then not verifiable. So, however you look at it, the problem is never "truth", it's always the unverifiable belief in a truth. Count Iblis (talk) 22:58, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    Disagree. The truth is the problem because people go around inserting truth into articles, without regard to anything else. And why shouldn't they? This is a wiki that anyone is invited to edit. Verifying is too much work, when you know the truth. Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:15, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    The proposal has no change with regard to the verifiability requirement. It just explains that "not truth" means verifiability rather than the other common wrong mis-interpretations. North8000 (talk) 23:23, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    But you said explicitly several times that removing "verifiability, not truth" from the lead was a "baby step" toward removing it from the policy entirely. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 23:36, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    I would strongly resist removing the wording "verifiability, not truth" from the policy, as it has provided an essential "Aha!" moment to hundreds of newbie editors, including myself. However, I do support this proposal, because it does an excellent job of explaining what "verifiability, not truth" means – i.e. that unsourceable statements and original research have no place in Wikipedia. At the same time it prevents a common misinterpretation and misuse of this phrase – i.e. that it does not matter whether what we write is true or not, that it does not matter whether a source is competently researched or not, that WP:DUE policy does not matter as long as something has previously been published in a reliable source, and that it does not matter whether we violate BLP policy or not, as long as an anonymous rumour included in Wikipedia has previously, verifiably, been published in a newspaper. Such misrepresentations of "verifiability, not truth" have become too common. They are in direct conflict with other key policies, and they are as harmful to this project as the original intent of "verifiability, not truth" is useful. The proposed change removes the ambiguity that opened the door to these misinterpretations. It makes as clear as ever what may be included in Wikipedia, and puts questions of what should be included in Wikipedia back into the purview of the core content policies that were written to deal with these issues, WP:NPOV and WP:BLP, as well as associated guidelines such as WP:IRS, WP:FRINGE, WP:MEDRS and others. Editors wishing to defend sourced material in an article against other editors wishing to delete it on the grounds of incorrectness will just have to get used to saying, "This is a significant view from a reputable source, and therefore it stays", rather than saying "This is verifiable and Wikipedia does not care whether it is true or not, so therefore it stays." --JN466 17:10, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
    There being no change to policy, there is no reason to change it, but most agree that the purpose of this policy is to stress the importance of verifiability, not truth, and the proposal does not support that. Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:50, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  52. Oppose — The current wording serves its purpose well in that it is very strong statement, condensed into one phrase; it is the most useful one there is to repel those who simply "know" stuff. It's those people whom this phrase is for, and in most cases those are the ones who need it clear, simple, and blunt. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 11:40, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  53. Oppose per Maunus and all others who see 'not truth' as vital to the project and essential to keep it to the fore. I also endorse Seb's comment immediately above. Dougweller (talk) 13:55, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  54. Oppose agree that "not truth" is a cornerstone of this project. Removing it would undermine what Wikipedia is all about -- a neutral reporter of what has been reliably published, not what its contributors believe or think is "true". This is what sets Wikipedia apart from the common internet blog or forum, and what made it a success. Crum375 (talk) 14:30, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
    Please note that the proposal is not about removing "verifiability not truth" from the policy, but about moving "verifiability not truth" to a separate paragraph, and explaining it there. --JN466 15:26, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
    Removing it from the prominent position it's in is demoting it; that phrase is critical to what Wikipedia is about, and should not be relegated to some footnote or lower section. Crum375 (talk) 10:29, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  55. Oppose. I think the current wording is more powerful, with the emphasis that Wikipedia is not seeking "the truth". I remember that made a major impression on me as a new Wikipedian. I don't see the concerns outlined as too major, as there is always the potential for conflict between policies. –CWenger (^@) 17:06, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  56. Oppose.The phrase "verifiable not truth" has enormous impact first because of its placement, it opens the policy, and second because it is highly succinct and memorable. Many newer editors especially, won't read much further than the first few lines, so it should be placed first in the policy. If we were advertising this policy as if it were for example, Corn Flakes, where would we put the phrase that summarizes everything we're getting in the box where it can be seen and understood immediately. Right away. Embedding the phrase in text further in the article will deaden its impact. At the same time I am very well aware of the gaming that has gone on using the phrase "verifiable not truth" with out the contextual word threshold, and as a way of giving permission to include anything just because it has a reliable source. I don't see that moving the key phrase later in the article and embedding it in a lot of text will improve the misue of the phrase. Obviously, as a first step the other policies cannot be ignored and we should be pushing harder in situations where supporting policies should come into play, in concert with this poilcy. I would also bold threshold so it can't be overlooked and will seem to carry the same weight as verifiable and truth. And while this hasn't been proposed in this RfC, I would add to the first proposed text, part of the second so it looks like the below:(olive (talk) 19:23, 30 October 2011 (UTC))

The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true. While verifiability is a requirement for inclusion, it is not a guarantee of inclusion. Wikipedia has other policies and guidelines that affect inclusion (especially whether specific material is included in a specific article).

  1. oppose per Maunus, Doc9871, Cwenger, and Quadell, among others. Verifiability not truth is the main thing that prevents the project from falling into a completely war. You believe that God exists? That's not. WP:V. You think that religion is a lie made by the powerful to keep the masses in check and that's the Truth? That's nice. We care about verifiability. You think that 9/11 was an inside job? You think that 9/11 conspiracy claims about the bombs were made by a shadowy branch of the government so no one would look for the real conspiracy? You think that cancer can be cured by homeopathy and acupuncture? You think that the Democrats or Republicans is the source of all evil in the world? Etc. Etc. Watering this down is not a good idea at all. JoshuaZ (talk) 19:28, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  2. Oppose per Doc9871 and others above. I think "verifiability not truth" is an important cornerstone of Wikipedia and is important enough to stay at the beginning of the policy for everyone to see. As JoshuaZ says above, watering this down is a bad idea. I'm open to add some elaboration about "truth" and "untruth" to some explanatory part of the rules but the main message that everyone reading this policy should see is "verifiability, not truth", not "mainly verifiability". Regards SoWhy 21:00, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  3. Oppose: the simple phrase "verifiability, not truth" is one of the handful of iconic phrases that define Wikipedia. The vast majority of editors, and virtually all readers, do not read the minutiae of our policies, nor should they have to. Simple phrases like "verifiability, not truth", "citation needed", "neutral point of view", "assume good faith", and so forth, are the memorable foundations that guide real editors in their real edits for the vast majority of the time. The 'soul' of our project is defined in those handful of words, not in the endless paragraphs of supporting text. Happymelon 21:32, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  4. Oppose. This proposal conflates two unrelated changes: (1) taking out the "not truth" part, and (2) adding wording clarifying that verifiability is a necessary but not sufficient condition for inclusion. I support the second change but not the first. We haven't yet escaped from our problems with editors who think that their beliefs are "the truth", especially on highly charged subjects such as religion and politics, and the language in this policy is important as a way to help control those problems. —David Eppstein (talk) 21:39, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
    In religion or politics one can usually find sources to state the version of the "truth" desired. So, "not truth" isn't really helping much with that, but NPOV is. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 19:33, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  5. Oppose. Changing the opening sentence dilutes the whole message. Every day one of us has to cope with someone saying "Never mind your sources, this is how it really is." We need to be able to point to that emphatic opening sentence in WP:V. Scolaire (talk) 22:08, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  6. I Oppose any suggestion that removes "not truth" from the lead. Such a removal undermines the foundations of an encyclopedia, that we document the world as neutrally as possible, that we don't include or own perspectives nevermind how true we think them to be. I'll acknowledge that "verifiability, not truth" is sometimes an over simplification; but that's its strength: it is simple enough so that even the most novice of editors will get it. Rami R 22:10, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  7. Oppose. The core phrase should stay, as it summarizes that part of the policy in a very short and distinctive way. If new editors really are confused about this phrase, a clarification as offered in the second paragraph could be useful. GermanJoe (talk) 22:15, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  8. Oppose - "Verifiability, not truth" is a phrase so important to this project that it justifies its current inclusion in the lead. So often have I found new editors getting the wrong end of the stick about content and writing articles based on "truth", with been unwilling to read through policies properly. I have found the "verifiability, not truth" phrase to be an important but simple way to get through the spirit of verifiability, neutrality, and the ban on original research in one go. CT Cooper · talk 22:26, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  9. Oppose the change to the lead but support the new section of explanation. The current lead gets straight to the point of the policy; replacing it with lawyer-talk will only confuse people. Also, I think the problem of people adding non-verified but true information is a lot more common than people adding non-true but verified information. MakeBelieveMonster (talk) 23:21, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  10. Oppose: In my opinion, the phrase "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth" is more easily comprehended and less complicated than "The initial threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability". I agree with SilkTork's comment that it is a powerful phrase and that "truth" or a similar synonym should be there to make that distinction, and with Maunus' rationale that it is important to establish that Wikipedia does not make any judgments or evaluations of what is true, which is why "not truth" is important. Jfgslo (talk) 23:39, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  11. Oppose. "Verifiability, not truth" has been the policy for over six years. It is an important principle which should be placed prominently in the policy. Many new editors do not understand the concept, and seek to add the "truth", regardless of what's verifiable.   Will Beback  talk  23:42, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
    If some statement about the World is not verifiable, how could the person making the statement possibly know that it is true (barring exceptional circumstances like the person being an eyewitness)? So, a solid claim for something being true about the World always implies verifiability from reliable sources. Count Iblis (talk) 00:12, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
    Yes, but that covers only part of the equation. Editors should only add material which is verifiable, but they don't need to also prove that it's true. This comes up when an editor protests that material must be excluded because the sources, no matter how reliable generally, are wrong in this case. They may even demand that editors prove the information is correct, above and beyond the already provided sources. It's even more of an issue on topics where some people believe there is only one truth, meaning every other view is untrue. The point is that we may add sufficiently verifiable material, regardless of whether it is true or not. We can report what high quality reliable sources say even if we also have contradictory information.
    That may sound shocking or cynical, but as a project we have no way of knowing what is true. Arguments over truth are difficult to resolve to everyone's satisfaction, and often become contentious. So this text says, right up front, that we do not include or exclude information on the basis of truth.   Will Beback  talk  07:05, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
    This is the wrong policy to say that. This policy says, in a nutshell, that "Other people have to be able to check that you didn't just make things up. This means that all quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation." It defines a minimum standard for inclusion. The policies governing exclusion of verifiably published information are WP:BLP and WP:NPOV. Allowing editors to use the potential ambiguity of "verifiability, not truth" as an end run around WP:BLP and WP:NPOV is not helpful, and sets core policies against each other. --JN466 19:48, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
    As Wikipedia editors, we have no way of determining truth. There's nothing in the existing language which conflicts with NPOV or BLP. NPOV says we should include all significant points of view, with weight according to their prominence in secondary sources, and without endorsing any view. BLP says that all assertions about living people should be well-sourced. No policy requires us to determine "truth", nor does any policy suggest how we could do that across millions of articles created by anonymous editors. Suggesting that editors seek to subvert other policies or good editing practices seems like a wholesale assumption of bad faith. There's no clear evidence that this policy, properly applied, has caused any problems.   Will Beback  talk  11:59, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  12. Oppose. Comments on the proposed rationale:
    • On the Background: The proposal incorrectly assumes that interpretation of "verifiability, not truth" depends on the context. It does not. In all scenarios, verifiability is the bar, while truth is not.
    • On the first Concern: This paragraph starts with a ridiculous sentence. It is totally inconceivable that from "verifiability, not truth" one can reasonably derive that verifiability guarantees inclusion. This becomes particularly ridiculous given that, as readily acknowledged in this paragraph, other policy and guidelines statements already invalidate such interpretation.
    • On the second Concern: The rationale presented in this paragraph conveys a complete lack of understanding of what truth is to Wikipedia—by itself, truth means nothing. Using verifiability as a standard nullifies the value of truth as an accompanying standard, and hence the phrase "verifiability, not truth". In this context, not discussing truth is the intent. Truth is discussed, as argued in the Counter Concern, only because it can reflect the conflict between ideas. This latter point is definitely not at the same fundamental level as verifiability.
    • On the third Concern: It is not introducing the concept of "truth" in the lede that is distracting and confusing, particularly for new editors. Using verifiability as a bar for determining worthiness of inclusion is /not/ a common phenomenon in a world where people primarily argue over truth. "Verifiability, not truth" is a differenting feature of Wikipedia. "Not truth" should be emphasized in the lede, instead of being diluted.
    A proposal purely based on unfounded concerns is worth nothing. Kxx (talk | contribs) 00:29, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  13. Oppose The "verifiability not truth" phrase needs to be in there and it needs to be prominent- near the start when people are still paying attention. It's succinct, it makes an important point and it makes new-ish editors like me stop and think. It certainly helped me when I started writing articles- knowing that it wasn't enough that something was "obvious" or "common knowledge" helped me avoid the pitfalls. Taking this phrase out could lead to a lot of sloppy editing.Tigerboy1966 (talk) 01:03, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  14. Oppose. The slogan (being "pithy and iconic") has become a rallying cornerstone of this community, and the fact that it sounds counterintuitive encourages people to think, read further, and understand the pillar and its necessity. The proposal diminshes the appeal and convolutes the readability in the policy. On its own, the word "verifiable" is ambiguous (in common language it is equivalent to "true" - hence it is so critical to distinguish those) and in practice it is also likely to change how the policy is interpreted, hampering the major issue of material that contributors think they can "personally verify" (i.e., unsourced "truth", original proofs and arguments, etc). "-not truth" is also a powerful tool for avoiding a great deal of disagreement on articles of any extremely controversial topic. The minor problem of incorrect sources is comparatively rare, and of course, should only be addressed by again finding further sources which assert that the others were incorrect (whereas downplaying "not truth" begins to open the door to trying to judge untruth by our own original expertise. I'll concede that cases can occur where all known sources are believed by most editors to be in common error - but these are likely resolveable with the first and fifth pillars).Cesiumfrog (talk) 01:55, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  15. Oppose. No evidence or statistics have been provided that show that the current wording causes problems for anyone but sophists and those who choose to feign ignorance of its meaning. I am not persuaded that a problem has been shown to exist. The proposer does not provide a list of editors or edits illustrating the problem. Therefore, I believe the problem is largely imaginary. That "verifiability, not truth" is a catchy phrase has been claimed to be a fault, when it is in fact a benefit. All attempts to rephrase or expound upon it are doomed, without focus on brevity and clarity of thought. The larding on of more words before it not the answer: first, the title of an article is usually not delayed by exposition, it is stated straight away, second, the explanation should flow naturally after it. This RfC is an unnecessary distraction from much more urgent matters here. In my 8000 edits I have encountered:
    • only one new editor who believed "verifiable, hence must be included", and they were educated about that by referral to WP:UNDUE and WP:NOT.
    • zero editors who believed "verifiable but untrue, and therefore not discussable"
    • most editors and even most non-Wikipedians seem to immediately "grok" the idea of "verifiability, not truth" as being comprehensible, memorable, and a useful benchmark for Wikipedia and encyclopedias in general. --Lexein (talk) 02:01, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  16. Oppose The proposal is more cumbersome and seems unnecessary. 'verifiable' is tacit in differentiating between what someone knows and what someone can prove. Everton Dasent (talk) 09:08, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  17. Oppose The first sentence needs to catch attention, hold attention, and have one strong, clear message that will remain. It may not be quite right at present, but the alternative is not better (20040302 (talk) 10:36, 31 October 2011 (UTC)) I'm not very good with all of the processes used at WP, but I think that there is some learning that can be done from this RfC., regardless of the outcome, especially regarding policy wording. (a) RfC that have two proposals, even if they are related, are going to cause a lot more deliberation. (b) It maybe useful to have a 4th type of vote Eg. "It needs changing, but not to what is being proposed". In other words, it's a good call, but it still needs revision. (c) WP:CON involves spirit, not numbers. IANA(WP)L but there's always got to be some fluidity regardless of the very stubborn but the stubborn may have a good point. (d) A change of policy wording is a change of policy (20040302 (talk) 10:58, 8 November 2011 (UTC))
  18. Oppose Whereas there are legitimate concerns for this proposal, I fail to see how it would solve the perceived problem. WP:UNDUE and WP:NPOV do regulate the inclusion concern, it may be more appropriate to amend these policies so to state clearly that some views (fringe theories, minority opinions amongst scholars) do not merit inclusion at all. I don't see how this would conflict with the "Verifiability not truth" concept since it is a general principle that comes with other policies in practice and not a guarantee of inclusion to whatever that has been published and I think it has always been applied that way, in most cases. The drawbacks of this proposal is that some knowledgeable editors can and might successfully argue against the inclusion of certain views on the grounds that it is wrong which they can demonstrate using their expertise and thus impose their opinion, this would be particularly the case in articles where only a handful of editors participate and where there isn't much scholarly material to begin with. When scholars do not agree, wikipedia cannot allow itself this kind of practice. I hope I did not misrepresent the proposal but that is my main concern with it, I've already seen cases where some editors cut out some verifiable material while using their knowledge to demonstrate how it is wrong, I think this change would only comfort this practice and get us into endless discussions about the details and merits of each view. Stuff can always be shown wrong if you get into the technicalities, so it is vital to keep the "Verifiability not truth" part, it is also a clear warning to readers on how to use Wikipedia properly i.e. even if it is cited to a rs it doesn't mean it is true. Tachfin (talk) 10:38, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  19. Oppose, but... I agree entirely with the view that the "Verifiability not truth" part of the existing policy is so important that this phrase should be at the very start of the article. So if the only choice is between the existing and revised versions, then I'm in favour of the existing version. On the other hand, the addition of "initial" is important; verifiability is clearly not the final threshold for inclusion. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:30, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  20. Oppose - 'verifiable, not truth' is a threshold. This is the verifiability policy, not the notability policy. It is not an 'OR clause', it is not a 'XOR clause', it is an 'AND clause' - things have to be verifiable ánd notable enough for inclusion. I believe that the 'not truth' part of the introduction is an essential part of WP:V, and that anyone who argues for all non-notable information 'but this should be included because it is verifiable' should be publicly trouted for Wikilawyering. --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:50, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  21. Oppose. V not T gets the point across quite simply. I've had to use it more than once when new editors were pushing unverifiable info that they "knew" was true. Taking out the "not truth" will make it harder to get the point across. --Coemgenus (talk) 12:55, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
    I can understand your point, but there is another phrase "... Verifiability is a requirement for inclusion, it is not a guarantee of inclusion" - there to balance it. -- Wikiglobaleditor (talk) 13:30, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  22. Oppose - Per Coemgenus, what I was going to write is fairly similar to what he said. The way it is now is simpler to get across to newbies. Sergecross73 msg me 13:34, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  23. Oppose, per Coemgenus and Sergecross73 above. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 13:39, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
    Comment It seems that a number of the editors above (Coemgenus etc.) are !voting on a different proposal; the actual proposal is not to delete "V not T", but to explain it. Uniplex (talk) 13:57, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
    Comment - No, we just feel the explanation is unnecessary, and only complicates it's message. (Or that's my take on it, I can't speak for the other ones...) Sergecross73 msg me 14:06, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  24. Oppose - If any change is warranted, it's elevation of "Not Truth", not subjugation. This will, invariably, strengthen the hand of exclusionists/censors at the expense of article breadth. I might be able to live with something akin to "Not incontrovertible truth" but the concept currently resides precisely where it belongs. (P.S. I had NO idea this was under consideration until the recent mention at the top of my watchlist.) JakeInJoisey (talk) 13:49, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
    Perhaps you should put this policy, and any others you care about, on your watch list... then you would know what is "under consideration" sooner. Just saying. Blueboar (talk) 13:56, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
    That's just being WP:POINTy - and it's uncalled for. It was your communication strategy that was ineffective. Leaky Caldron 14:23, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
    Leaky Caldron, please do not pour fuel on the fire. Blueboar made a good-faith effort to publicize it. Some people think it was not publicized widely enough, and they took measures to do so. We all make mistakes or overlook things, which is why WP has to be collaborative; we rely on others to fill in. So there is no point in blaming Blueboar for the original communication strategy. If you haven't followed the past few days' discussions this has become very acrimonious. JakeinJosey had a right to explain why he came to this vote several weeks after it was first announced, and that comment gives Blueboar a right to respond. Blueboar made a constructive suggestion and I do not think it was meant to be dismissive or disparaging. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:02, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  25. Oppose - Anything I say would be a repeat of what has already been said by someone else. Spidey104 14:16, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  26. Oppose - but with regret. (Switched from neutral) Kudos to all those (particularly Blueboar) for putting this proposal together. However I can't support it as I think the proposed section (==Assertions of truth and untruth==) is confusing - rather than clarifying the issue it complicates it (in my view needlessly). Furthermore on reading the long discussions here I feel strongly that keeping the 'not truth' phrase in line 1 is a good idea. Again while i sympathize with the motivations behind this suggestion I don't believe it is the right move--Cailil talk 14:28, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  27. Oppose. I could support the new paragraph, which reads well, but I don't want to drop the VNT wording from the lead. It's extremely valuable to have that front and centre, as others have noted. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 14:30, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  28. Oppose because already too easy to lob off WP:RS info for POV reasons. However, more specific language like this might be added to paragraph: Verifiability is not a guarantee of inclusion because other policies and guidelines like LIST THEM might affect how appropriate material is for the article." CarolMooreDC 17:09, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  29. Oppose. The original wording is brief and bluntly clear. Such bluntness is very helpful to the project. The proposed wording is not as clear. Binksternet (talk) 17:24, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  30. Oppose - seemed fine to me the way it was, and I definitely don't like the implication of WP:NOTE trying to WP:CREEP its way further into policy. BOZ (talk) 17:49, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  31. Oppose - I like the straight forward simplicity of the current wording. The new wording introduces ambiguity. Petter Bøckman (talk) 18:58, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  32. oppose - Just because something is verifiable does not mean that it is true. There are many cases where truth is In the eye of the beholder. Neither WP nor the editors are arbiters of truth. WP should just report what is, according to reliable sources. What is is not necessarily truth. SmittysmithIII (talk) 21:44, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  33. Oppose. I decided to check this out after getting the notice. Wow! Didn't realize this was such a deeply felt issue.

    So I read through it all with the intent of actually casting a vote, as I think we all should where such a core policy is concerned.

    The more I did, the more I saw a solution in search of a problem. There are some legitimate concerns, but the most frequent ones seemed to, as suggested above, rely on an assumption that this is the only editorial policy that can possibly govern content. To give some examples:

    • From Crazynas: "I think this page addresses two classes of users, Garage Band X and The Truth™er's. For Garage Band X with a listing in Podunk Daily, this proposal nullifies their ability to say see, put it on it's verifiable (the policy change nips a certain SPI argument in the bud)" I don't know how much experience with garage-band editors this reflects, but it's certainly not mine, because I would say it's unnecessary: WP:BAND would not support the inclusion of a band purely on the basis of one writeup in a local newspaper (and I believe we also used to cite regional notability not being sufficient grounds to have an article on, say, an otherwise unsigned band). I also don't see what SPI argument we're talking about ... just what does sockpuppetry have to do with this?

      As for The Truth™ers, if you really think they'd be deterred by just a slight policy tweak, or even if you think they'd be deterred at all, then I have some swampland in Florida to sell you.

    I meant SPA not SPI... struck out and changed, thank you for pointing that out. Regarding the first class of users, I feel that the change since this is the only policy likely to be read before a user hits save (since it's the only policy linked in the edit window), the wider the userbase this addresses the better. Saying it fails BAND is true, but if this ( a requirement for inclusion, it is not a guarantee...) stops one percent of users getting ready to write (and waste time writing) an article only to have someone (waste time), notifying them and AFDing or CSDing it, because the content creator read the current lead and said "well I have this newspaper article, I'm good to go" the change will have been a good thing. I'm not saying there isn't going to be willful ignorance of the policy, even in the best formulation, however if the purpose of our polices is to formulate best practices and to instruct others in building a better encyclopedia, then I think this will help.
    Regarding the second class of users (TruthTMer's) I guess I wasn't clear, but I feel that the new wording won't negatively impact them, although I don't see it as an particular improvement for them (see also my additional comment under my support about section linking). Crazynas t 22:35, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
    • From Short Brigade Harvester Boris: "It addresses head-on the old "it's been printed in a newspaper so it's gotta go in" argument that we hear so often". OK, it does, but, as I suggested with the more specific example above, there are other policies that can filter that sort of thing—is the newspaper reliable, is the fact relevant, is it in violation of BLP, etc. The only thing possibly sadder than an editor who thinks that "verifiability, not truth" trumps all is the editor who lets that editor get away with it.
    • From Pichpich:"It's not atypical for a newbie to be scolded about his edits and asked to read WP:V. These editors come here, conclude that Wikipedia doesn't care about truth and leave" Uh, it almost seems too ironic, but ... is this verifiable? Do you have something to support this? This is the sort of thing we put {{fact}} on in articles. As such, we should not be relying on it to make policy decisions.
    I do see one legitimate concern: that, as worded, the policy suggests we must keep inaccurate information in articles even when it is very obvious that the sources are wrong (we call them reliable sources, not infallible sources, after all. I have had personal experience with this in writing NRHP articles, where the nomination form may be several decades old and out of date, or just get things like the name or number of a road or the side of a house confused. In many cases other information in the article (like a contemporary photo) or linked to from it (like the GeoLinks) will be enough to support the correct information. I'm hardly suggesting something like this will work in every case, but I am suggesting that a global policy change is not yet needed. Perhaps we need a subpage on what to do when a reliable source is clearly wrong or out of date and yet no other source can be found. Daniel Case (talk) 21:53, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
    Please review WP:Inaccuracy.  Thanks, Unscintillating (talk) 00:55, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  34. Oppose VnT was an easy way of explaining what verifiability was. It also meant that Wikipedia-normal views did not simply come into being as verfiability means that a piece of information can still be included even if a large number of interested editors really dislike the piece of information. JASpencer (talk) 22:13, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
    Just want to be sure you are aware that the proposal does not remove VnT from the policy... The proposal includes it in the second part. If this does not change your opinion, no problem... it just sounds like you were misunderstanding what the proposal was saying. Blueboar (talk) 22:31, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  35. Oppose, this looks like rewording a policy to accomplish UNDUE POV via attribution, similar to what was seen years ago in the failed ATTRIBUTION debate.[redacted](note involvement there of SlimVirgin and SIRubenstein, ssample at User talk:SandyGeorgia/arch14#ATT working group). Often rewording to present the information as opinion rather than fact can resolve issues of verifiable but potentially untrue information. This view holds that if we attribute verifiably untrue information, even in the face of higher quality sources that reveal the information to be false, then we can still include the information-- hence accomplishing POV via attribution. [redacted]SlimVirgin had another approach to this several years ago, that was defeated. This (data not supported by higher quality sources that is likely false but is attributed to an advocate) is precisely what is occurring at an article principally authored by SlimVirgin, Female genital manipulation, with various sourced claims in the article attributed to an advocate against female circumcision that are not backed by any higher quality medical source, some that appear to be outlandish claims put forward by the advocate to further a POV. (I don't mean to say anyone should support female circumcision, but we can let the accurate medical facts speak for themselves and it really isn't necessary to include potentially false and sensationalized misinformation, and this opinion-- which is likely false-- doesn't belong in the article just because an advocate says it's so.) This looks to me like a backdoor approach to accomplish what the ATTRIBUTION debate of years ago could not, and it will allow us to POV articles as long as we attribute undue weight and false statements and opinions to the authors and advocates who make such claims, even when they are UNDUE, even when they accomplish POV, even when they are verifiably untrue. [redacted]See the FAC for Female genital manipulation, objections that it overattributed statements in order to include false data, and particularly the talk page at that FAC, and notice the attributed claim in the article that 10% of women who undergo female circumcision die from it. When asked for a medical source to back that claim, and when it was pointed out that no medical source appeared to support that data, SlimVirgin withdrew the FAC nomination rather than NPOV the article. This has happened before; see the discussions linked at Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/C68-FM-SV/Evidence#SG: Timeline showing FeloniousMonk and SlimVirgin actions. What is curious to me is that this attempt looks like a genuine attempt to make Wikipedia more reliable, but in fact, it can easily be manipulated to result in the opposite-- opinions which are false included because they are attributed.

    This is a new and clever presentation of the ATTRIBUTION page that was defeated several years ago, because it allows for UNDUE POV via ATTRIBUTION (that is, opinion that is potentially false). And, by placing the argument on the article talk page-- rather than at the Reliable Sources noticeboard-- the burden to get the false opinion out of the article is higher, because the article guardians predominate at the article talk page. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:01, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

    Sandy, I think you may have misunderstood. I oppose the proposed change. Not entirely for the same reasons you do, but for some of the same. I think the relationship between the current policy wording and NPOV works well, when both are applied carefully together, rather than reading them in isolation from other another. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 23:30, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
    Ugh, redacting my mistake, apologies forthcoming. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:40, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
    And now that I've fixed my mistake, I oppose the sentence about attributing opinions that may be false (it opens the door to POV via UNDUE), and switching the burden to article talk, but agree that "not truth" should go. So I guess that makes me a partial oppose, partial support. If the final "attribution" sentence can be cleaned up, I'll support. "Not truth" is a real problem, but the devil is in the details here, and we need to be very careful about what we add to the page when we get rid of that dinosaur. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:03, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
    Sandy, I believe you need to read the proposal and its rationale more carefully. Part of the reason for the proposed change is that the present wording is even more liable to be used to keep unreliable material in an article. I won't comment on the specific example you gave, but in general terms, if an editor like you says that a source making a scientific claim is unreliable and in conflict with the academic literature, they will often have the present lead sentence quoted at them: "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true". In other words, "You may have a PhD in this field, and know the peer-reviewed literature backwards, but we don't care what you think! The Daily Bugle printed this, and therefore it stays in. Because according to policy, Wikipedia doesn't care whether something is true. All we care about is that someone has written it before." It means that anyone daring to suggest that an article on a medical matter in some newspaper might be nonsense, and in conflict with the entire academic literature, is automatically accused of a policy violation for caring about "truth" rather than verifiability. The proposed change is a compromise that mitigates the problem you are concerned about, and tells the reader that other policies and guidelines may apply. So, please have another look at Blueboar's proposal and reconsider its underlying rationale. Cheers, --JN466 00:19, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
    But Jayen, that's only half right. The current policy does make clear that material is not added just because an editor who says he has a PhD believes it. But it does not say that just because the Daily Bugle publishes something, it must go in. The "threshold for inclusion is verifiability, not truth" means verifiability is a necessary condition (the minimum). But it's not a sufficient one. As Sandy says, there are other issues to consider: whether the source is the best and most appropriate, how we balance the sources per NPOV/UNDUE. V and NPOV always have to be read and applied together. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 00:31, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
    You're right, but I find that the wording "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true" is too often interpreted wrongly. People take "threshold" and "not whether editors think it is true" as an iron-clad guarantee that they get to include anything they can find in a nominally reliable source, and when they quote or link to that sentence, it sounds plausible and cuts discussion short. (I think that's the reason why Blueboar spoke of an "initial threshold", to make clear that verifiability isn't an iron-clad guarantee of permanent inclusion.) I would like to add that I don't agree with some of the support rationales, but I feel the proposal itself is as sound as it can be, for now at least. --JN466 00:44, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  36. Oppose. The proposal doesn't fix the problem. I would support replacing the existing with "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is reliable sourcing so that readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a dependable source". The verifiable v true debate is meaningless considering the number of thesauruses which indicate they virtually have equivalent meaning. Moriori (talk) 23:05, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
    I think that that the proposal takes a small step in the direction which yo advocate. North8000 (talk) 14:55, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  37. Oppose. Every so often, WP:OTRS gets complaints that Wikipedia is "distorting" the truth on this or the other, and the appropriate reply is that we represent "verifiability, not truth". I feel that our claim that we verify facts, but don't claim to present any one "truth" is a core value and should remain in focus. It's an essential reminder both for editors and readers. Asav | Talk 00:23, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
    I sincerely hope that is not how OTRS is handling complaints about errors in the encyclopedia. If it is handling them this way, then your oppose comment should influence hundreds of supports in order to change this flawed policy. Viriditas (talk) 01:03, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
    I obviously was't talking about factual errors, but about correspondents who claim the WP generally misrepresents the "truth". Assume good faith, even in discussions! Asav 13:00, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
    No that wasn't obvious at all. In fact what you wrote suggests the opposite. You wrote on this or the other implying specific instances not general criticisms. So AGF right back at you. What Vriditas understood is what I understood as well.Griswaldo (talk) 14:17, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  38. Oppose "Assertions of truth and untruth" is a mess, even if it wasn't, I'm not sure about the first half of the proposed change. Fifelfoo (talk) 00:47, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  39. Oppose Truth is entirely relative on this encyclopedia. Changing that in any way is insane. I don't want my views presented as 'fact', nor do I want those I oppose being presented as 'fiction'. This is an encyclopedia, not a debate club, as would inevitably arise from compromising a core principle. Toa Nidhiki05 01:44, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
    Hey there. Then you should love the proposed version since it states,
    "An editor's assertion that something is true is not enough for inclusion in Wikipedia. It does not matter how convinced you are that some bit of information is true; if the material is unverifiable, do not add it. In this context, Wikipedia requires "verifiability, not truth"."
    --Bob K31416 (talk) 02:25, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
    The argument against is twofold: (a) removing an iconic expression from the lead weakens the policy, like removing from the lead of NPOV that all articles must be neutral; and (b) it's a stated aim of the supporters to eventually remove it from the policy entirely. They say moving it out of the lead is just a first step. Those are the two concerns.

    Plus it's not clear what an "initial threshold" is, as opposed to a threshold, and the cognitive dissonance of the phrase "the threshold for inclusion is verifiability, not truth" helps new editors understand that they shouldn't add their own opinions to articles, or remove opinions they don't like. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 02:40, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

  40. Oppose. What we regard as true sometimes takes a backseat in Wikipedia. "Verifiability, not truth" is short and clear and emphasizes this. The low priority of truth, versus reliable secondary sources, should be front and centre as a core value and reminder to all editors. New editors, especially, benefit from this mantra. --Ds13 (talk) 03:05, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  41. Oppose - I don't see the need to cahnge anythign. The emphasis on Verifiability, not truth is an essential part of WP, and should not be watered down. - BilCat (talk) 08:18, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  42. Oppose. I find Silktork's argument on elegance persuasive. It is the grabline that encapsulates the policy. Further explanation should come later, we don't want the lede swamped with the small print. SpinningSpark 09:23, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  43. Oppose The most honest thing WP does is admit it is not able to arbitrate on what is, or is not "the truth". -- Zac Δ talk! 09:59, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  44. Oppose Primarily because removing "not truth" and the issues (arguments) that will bring, and because the new version seems to be more vague and open to interpretation. Dennis Brown (talk) 13:02, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  45. Oppose The first concern could be addressed by the simple change from "The threshold" to "A criteria" and the second concern can always be thrashed out on the discussion page if a need arises. - Shiftchange (talk) 14:21, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  46. Oppose I support the goals espoused, but do not think that the proposed change achieves them. Instead, it dilutes a pithy statement of policy by burying it under a subheading. Anoyatu (talk) 15:06, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  47. Oppose. The proposed change weakens a statement of principle that is core to the success of the project. Most importantly, it also dilutes a simple message that readers should understand. Thparkth (talk) 16:34, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  48. Oppose. I'm not exactly the most familiar with the policies, here, but that's sort of my point - the existing wording is clear and concise and I immediately knew what it meant, even taken out of context (I checked after), context which is already really... long and scary. The proposed revision, on the other hand, actually seems less clear to me, and just makes it even longer and scarier. Before reading through some of the arguments/comments/things, I wasn't even sure what the new thing was trying to say, and after, I'm inclined to agree with those saying that it's too much. Removing the 'truth' thing from the start removes a distinction that needs to be made, but while the meaning of it seems rather self-explanatory to me, perhaps it really isn't to a lot of folks... but in that case, why not link it to another page explaining; an essay or something like someone mentioned up there? Somewhere. *gestures vaguely* Safeguarding every interpretation of what's being said needn't (and shouldn't) all be on one page, either, and the more it winds up on one, the more likely new users and readers and other less serious folks are to simply be scared off by the thing and not read it at all. I should know. Although I've been scared off by single sentences before, but still. -— Isarra (talk) 16:38, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  49. Oppose The current wording is accurate and its conciseness is very useful. However, I won't lose sleep if this is changed as the proposed compromise is a decent one. ElKevbo (talk) 17:34, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  50. Oppose' — this removes clarity from the lead for no benefit. Matthew Brown (Morven) (T:C) 19:10, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  51. Weak oppose. While I agree that perhaps this oft-used saying needs clarification, I oppose the proposal of removing it from the lead. Maintaining a hard line on this standard provides an easy deterrent to those who would use unreliable sources and original research to advance fringe viewpoints which compromise the integrity of the project. Having dealt with such individuals in the past, I can say that being able to categorically say "verifiability, not truth" and have it backed by the intro to this policy carries a distinct weight, and I personally should like to be able to retain said weight. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 20:14, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  52. Oppose. The phrase has been there at least since I became active in 2003 and it's a good one. The concept of verifiability is often difficult for newcomers to understand. It takes a while for a newcomer to become acculturated enough to read policy pages in detail. "Verifiability, not truth" is a perfect introduction; it captures the essence of the policy succinctly, and it has a certain shock value that is helpful in getting people to understand that it's not an obvious thing. Dpbsmith (talk) 21:20, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  53. Oppose. The current wording conveys what needs to be conveyed to the sort of person most likely to be sent to the page. While the welcome templates and how-to documents point users to the core policies and guidelines, I think that most users learn the policies and guidelines through use—other editors point them towards them. I think the opening paragraph ought to be structured so that it conveys what most people will need to know once their are directed toward the policy. The reason "verifiability, not truth" was moved further and further toward the beginning is because most errors occur on the side of "I know it's true so I put it in." While there is the concern that someone might say "it may be false but it is verifiable," I have not run into that as frequently. I would say that the frequency and seriousness of the misunderstanding ought to determine the wording of the policy. I think this proposal has things backwards. The concerns that the compromise seeks to address should be dealt with further into the policy, while the phrasing "verifiability, not truth" should be retained up front where everyone can see it in big, bold letters. The phrase may sound paradoxical, but it should be a bit jarring. It is part of our attempt to break a misapprehension about how Wikipedia works that is widespread among new editors. It is not arcana that editors needs to learn only once they become more engaged in the project, but the core of the project. Moving the phrase further down into the policy is more likely to obscure the importance of the distinction between what you can verify and why you feel is true from the very editors who most need to be made aware of that distinction. RJC TalkContribs 22:15, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  54. Oppose I really don't see a problem with the existing text, it's clear, concise and to the point, which is what we need the opening paragraph to be. The proposed text seems ambiguous by comparison. It is hard to explain to newcomers who don't don't see why "I know it to be true" is not sufficient whereas the existing text rarely needs any further explanation. --AussieLegend (talk) 06:28, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  55. Oppose Though I have to admit I don't spend a lot of time mulling over policy and guidelines, I've always liked the bluntness of this one's current wording. As Indiana Jones said, if you want truth, the philosophy class is just down the hall... Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 14:30, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  56. Oppose. "Verifiability, not truth" is wikt:pithy and gets the point across clearly. The truth is that a substantial proportion of the people who are sent to read that page will never read past the lead; why in the world would we move the "nutshell" version of the point below the fold? The contrast of "verifiable" and "true" is the point here. The concerns cited in the rationale above strike me as somewhat post-hoc rationalizations. Squinting and saying "yeah, but someone COULD read the word to mean this other thing" as a rationalization for removing a meaningful word seems a bit silly; if people are concerned that readers might take "verifiability, not truth" to mean "we must include everything, ever," then it would make more sense to change the word "verifiable" to "reliably-sourced", or to add the proposed "while verifiability is a requirement for inclusion, it is not a guarantee of inclusion" comment to the lead. Removing "truth" from the lead would decrease, not increase, the policy's comprehensibility. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 15:32, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  57. Oppose. The current wording is succinct and clearly summarizes a core principle of Wikipedia. It allows me and others to clearly present to newbies and pov-pushers the consensus of the community that the editors of wikipedia are (in the context of Wikipedia editing) not the ones who should worry about the truth but about the verifiability and how to fairly represent all significant views. This has nothing to do with notability as it is covered elsewhere. I'm concerned that changing the policy in the proposed manner will lead towards unnecessary and complicated disputes. The interpretation of the general policies must be as concise as possible. There's no need to discuss the basic principles on every article talk page. --Eleassar my talk 17:39, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  58. Oppose. Take for example: "really did throw up all over himself in the debate". That is neither literally true nor pleasant, but it is verifiable, widely noted, and a good indication of where the lamestream flows on a certain issue. Therefore it needs to be included. Hcobb (talk) 19:34, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  59. Oppose: "verifiability, not truth" is a vital concept on Wikipedia and means exactly what it sounds like in a handy, concise way with no ifs, ands, or buts to dilute it. Wikipedia's rules need to be simple and to-the-point if we're to expect anyone to possibly follow them, particularly new editors, young editors, and editors for whom english is not a first language. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 23:01, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  60. Oppose VNF is an easy-to-understand way to introduce and summarize the main point of the policy. Of course it's not complete - that's what the rest of the page is for. It belongs in the lead sentence, bolded, because of tl;dr. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 03:36, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  61. Oppose If something is to be changed, I would make it "... not simply truth" or "... not just truth" and I endorse the phrase "reliable verifiability". Softtest123 (talk) 11:34, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
    Unfortunately, resolving this is not as simple as one would hope and might first think: there have been many months of discussion without revealing a simple fix that is broadly acceptable. The suggested change is deliberately a compromise, a best effort to get as many people on board as possible, with the view that conciseness, a smaller problem, can be worked on in due course. Uniplex (talk) 12:18, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  62. Oppose - the new wording complicates things and I think the original wording is clear enough. Inks.LWC (talk) 19:44, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  63. Oppose - The change seems too Obfuscated; too wordy; succinct and simple works as it is. The modifiers might still have to be re-worded and re-expressed to encompass the issue...Modernist (talk) 22:12, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  64. Oppose - Our policy of not getting involved in deciding what is and isn't true is extremely important. This proposal doesn't seem to change that policy, it just tries to de-emphasise it and make it harder to find. I don't see anything to be gained by that. --Tango (talk) 00:01, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  65. Oppose - While I agree with the removal of the unnecessary reference to truth, I oppose the addition of the phrase "it is not a guarantee of inclusion. Wikipedia has other policies and guidelines that affect inclusion (especially whether specific material is included in a specific article).". I have not seen clear rationale for why this sentence needs to be added, and I think it highlights the weakest and most open-to-manipulation of all wikipedia's policies - i.e. WP:N. Oncenawhile (talk) 00:06, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  66. Oppose The current statement is clear and strong in its assertion that an editor's job is supplying information supported by reliable, verifiable sources, not deciding what the "truth" is, even if that "truth" is a simple factual matter. There is simply no way of determining "truth" without doing OR and any change in wording that even slightly encourages editors to start making their own decisions about facts or opinions is problematic and I think that obfuscating the clear precept we have now will do exactly that. Some of the statements I have read in the Support section above only convince me that the policy that editors are not here to decide on the "truth" needs to be emphasized as strongly as possible since several presumably veteran editors don't seem to have absorbed that simple "truth". Cherryblossom1982 (talk) 00:53, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  67. Oppose One of the concerns listed for phrase "Verifiable, not truth" is that new editors can be confused. Well in my mind, this is one of the the big, hard lessons about Wikipedia, because life has taught us that the inverse works, truth, not verifiable (how many times did you have to verify your answers on tests, especially standardized ones?). It needs to stay in the lead, in bold. Birdman1011395 (talk) 01:17, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  68. Oppose The original is clear and succinct. I find the proposed new version actually kinda confusing as it refers to some vague "other policies and guidelines". I also think the new version conflicts with the core policy of a Neutral Point of View. If a fact is verifiable and conflicts with another fact, both should be presented with the proper weight to maintain a neutral point of view. This seems to be clouded to me by the phrase "not a guarantee of inclusion". dissolvetalk 02:31, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
    Facts conflict all the time. Editors can often (but not always) resolve the contradiction by evaluating the source(s) and checking for accuracy, currency and other criteria. If we have, let's say, two sources, one of which claims Pluto is a planet and another which does not, we will discover that the latter is more current than the other and eliminate the former. We would not, in this example, present both with proper weight. Viriditas (talk) 03:38, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
    There's actually a whole section on how Pluto was once a planet but has been re-classified. Both facts are presented, maintaining NPOV. An article about Pluto that only presented the "truth", the current classification, would be woefully lacking. Clouding the importance of a neutral point of view in the lead of the Verifiability policy is not a step forward for the project, IMHO. dissolvetalk 15:36, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
    I find it hard to believe that you took this example literally to mean that the notable topic of Pluto's reclassification should not be discussed. Clearly, that is not what I said nor what was meant. And how could the change to the wording of the lead section in this policy prevent such a notable topic from being discussed? The point that you either missed or ignored is that Pluto is no longer considered a planet, and it is false to continue to claim that it is a planet using older sources which have been superseded by newer ones (IAU definition of planet). You claim that it is a "fact" that Pluto is still considered a planet, however it is not considered a planet by the IAU, which is what matters. To conclude, our article on the Solar System was updated and changed to reflect the newer IAU definition in August 2006, which at this time currently reads, "Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake and Eris, are recognized to be large enough to have been rounded by their own gravity, and are thus termed dwarf planets." Please note, both POV are not represented. Viriditas (talk) 22:37, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  69. Oppose. I actually like the rest of the language, but I totally oppose the removal of "truth" from the first line. "Verifiability, not truth" is the battle cry in the fight against the very tiresome truth-bearing SPAs that always seem intent on enlightening us with our mistaken views on (article name here), whether we like it or not. Trusilver 04:12, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  70. Oppose. I hold strong views on many subjects, and i know that there are many untrue articles on Wikipedia currently. But the reason why they remain is exactly because the editors managed to bully everybody else into submission by saying that regardless of the research on the subject, their views are true, and researchers are pushing some agenda or what-not. While there should be a project for publishing original research articles, this project should not be Wikipedia. Beta M 05:14, 4 November 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Beta M (talkcontribs)
    The proposal doesn't weaken the protection against including "true but unverifiable" material. Not even slightly. What it does is clarify that we don't want "false but verifiable" material. --Trovatore (talk) 05:25, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  71. Oppose as reducing clarity, and using the most bureaucratic and WP:CREEPY of solutions to address a relatively minor problem. Could easily solve the same problem by saying "Verifiability, not just truth". This is an instance where the cure is far worse than the disease. Shooterwalker (talk) 06:12, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  72. Oppose Evaluating truth claims should never be the business of the editors. Untrue verifiable information can be included as well as true verifiable information depending on relevancy not truth/untruth evaluation because truth/untruth claims can never be evaluated or settled. Knowledge Examiner (talk) 11:36, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
    This, imho, warrants a Bingo! Thank you...and I'll add "dogmatics" to the list of those whose position will be strengthened by this suggested revision. JakeInJoisey (talk) 11:54, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
    Knowledge Examiner, editors evaluate sources which contain true and false claims every day. If I have two sources, one of which claims Pluto is a planet and another which says it is not, I can, as an editor, evaluate this source for currency and decide to make an editorial decision to include one source over another. And if I find three sources about a biographical subject, one of which is an interview with the subject who claims he was born on Jan 1, 1910, and a tabloid blurb which says he was born on Jan 2, 1922, and finally an obituary that says he was born on Jan 1, 1910, I can choose to exclude the date that doesn't fit as an error. And if you've ever written an article on Wikipedia, then you've dealt with true and false claims all the time. Verifiability is all about getting the most accurate information in the encyclopedia by doing good research and evaluating sources for accuracy, not repeating errors or false claims because we aren't interested in "truth". That's an incredibly misleading statement and it damages the reputation of Wikipedia. We have always been concerned with truth, in the sense that we rely on the best, most accurate sources to write our articles. Viriditas (talk) 21:39, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
    Viriditas, sources evaluation is different from truth evaluation. Sources evaluation rests on known policies like WP:RS and once you have recent reliable sources you cannot just exclude some sources because they are not true. Instead you apply policies like WP:WEIGHT and WP:VALID. You cannot just exclude information in reliable sources because you know that they are not true, because this is not objective as Wikipedia does not itself define a truth criteria. If you know that something is not true then you should find reliable sources stating this instead of judging it yourself. Knowledge Examiner (talk) 06:13, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
    On Wikipedia, source evaluation is truth evaluation. RS isn't a policy, it's a guideline, and one of the reasons we are having this discussion is because this policy (WP:V) is separate from RS, when in practice, it is conjoined at the hip. I've said this was the problem for years, but my name must be Cassandra because I'm always met with silence when I point to the problem. We exclude information in RS because other RS substantiate that exclusion, as I demonstrated above. I don't know how you could possibly misconstrue what I wrote to read that we exclude something because we "know" it's not true. I have never said that. Viriditas (talk) 10:55, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
    Actually if you opened WP:TRUTH, you will find that it is a humor page not redirecting to WP:RS :) If you mean by source evaluation truth evaluation, then it should be stated clearly as source reliablity instead of truth. The same misconception that we had in our discussion is likely to happen thousands of times on talk page - specially on highly disputed contents or religious contents - when readers read a statement like If the dubious information is supported by a reliable source! How can it be dubious if it is supported by reliable source? The answer is: when it contradicts a lot of other reliable sources, but this is not clear. We should clarify this by removing misleading words like untruth, dubious .. etc and state clearly what we mean by untruth and dubious. Statements like When the information in a reliable source is in conflict with information from other reliable sources is clearer than If the dubious information is supported by a reliable source. Also the expression verifiability, not truth should still be there on the first paragraph beside any changes that we may do to the first paragraph, as this statement in its place is stopping hell of dogmatism from invading Wikipedia. Knowledge Examiner (talk) 03:23, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  73. Oppose While the phrase's form might be abrupt to some, to me the original is an easy-to-remember summation of a complex concept. After all, look how many words all of us have written in our various posts about the three words "verifiability, not truth" on this page. --Shearonink (talk) 14:49, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  74. Oppose No change is required. The current statement already both confuses and devalues the notion of "truth". I have on more than one occasion encountered arguments that the inclusion of information from a source viewed by some - but not all - to be authoritative is somehow reflective of "true" information. There is a procedural presumption that the Wiki process will arrive at "truth" by the free inclusion and edit of information. This process does not often achieve its end. There are many sources which have traded on the perception of authoritativeness and have asserted information to be true when it is not otherwise verifiable. Wikipedia has larger issues to resolve than the mere attempt at a stylized word change in an opening statement.16:11, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  75. Oppose I've changed my position, after remembering a time I fought to retain data, from reliable sources, that was completely false. It was falsehood perpetrated by a P.R. guy and dutifully reported as fact, in reliable sources, by journalists relying on puffery in a bio written by the P.R. guy, who worked for the subject's employer.David in DC (talk) 16:48, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
    I don't understand why you've changed your position then, because the present policy wording, "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true." could be used to keep precisely such material in Wikipedia. --JN466 18:10, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
    The existing policy does support keeping the information. Bur keeping the information is dumb, where, as here, the reliable sources are demonstrably wrong, whether about the "fact" that a girl went to a particular school when, in fact, she did not, or about the "fact" that compositions have been nominated for Pulitzer prizes when in fact, they have not. So the existing policy DOES need changing. But the change that is the subject of this particular RfC doesn't improve the situation. After this train wreck (er, excuse me, this robust, diverse, wide-ranging conversation) is closed, perhaps a better proposal for change will be proposed. In the meantime, mammals who edit wikipedia will have to exercise editorial judgment, as good editors of any reputable publication do. David in DC (talk) 23:49, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
    From the discussion here, I don't think there is much chance for a 'better proposal' which will be stronger. As with others, I do feel the proposal improves the situation, in fact cases like yours are one of the reasons why I support it as I think did others. Personally I remember the specific case of Talk:International Trade Union Confederation#WCL was third largest? where I removed a sourced fact which from memory seem to have quite a few sources saying it was true (it was from AFP) but even the source's statement itself combined with a little OR suggested it was not. I believe there have been similar cases where sources supported something but OR or using primary sources suggested it was not, including in BLPs although I can't remember any specific examples (although there was one case where someone suggested uploading their passport to demonstrate something). Yes if you can be bothered often these can be resolved via discussion and a healthy application of IAR, undue weight, questioning over whether something is really an RS etc and BLP has the provisions of BLP to help, but IMO this change supports a move away from the idea only verifiability matters and is particularly useful for new editors. In the case I mentioned, as well as in the case you mentioned, I still or would have supported excluding the info, but if there was opposition I'm not sure I would have bothered to defend my view so I suspect the info would have been kept even though it was apparently untrue unless other people took it on. However I also think there is little chance for a change which further moves away from the importance of verifiability and gives a lot of emphasis to the truth as I believe you want simply because there is actually a good reason for the original wording which is that it helps defend against editors trying to push their pet POV or idea because it's 'the truth'. In fact I'm not sure I would support an even stronger emphasis myself. In other words, we do need a balance and IMO this proposal strikes a better balance then the existing wording and is probably the best you can hope for. Nil Einne (talk) 09:11, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
    In short, I think that the proposal takes a small step in the direction that you advocate. North8000 (talk) 14:59, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  76. Oppose Any change in policy suggests we can conclude something is untrue without having a published reason why it is untrue. So how do we know? One of the examples given on Jimbo's page was with a list of bizarre deaths, that someone couldn't possibly have exploded himself with hair peroxide no matter what some news reports said. How do you know? Maybe V not T can be abused, but T not V is a nightmare. All the career deletionists are lined up on Jimbo's page licking their chops, because it means that every time you add a sourced statement, they can refute it by saying "I don't think so, so there's no consensus to include it in the article" There's no refutation to that - all you can do is close the Wikipedia window and go out and do something useful. The only thing left to measure is how quickly they can deface three million articles of anything they don't like. Faster than you think, I bet. If you want a meaningful reform, then set up - either here or on Wikinews - a "Verified Interview with Biographic Subjects" system akin to OTRS, where 'trusted volunteers', as we put it, verify that a celebrity is who he says he is and says what you say he said, so that it is a reliable primary source suitable for referencing in an article. Wnt (talk) 20:17, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
    "T not V" is a serious mischaracterisation of the proposed edit, and I assure you that this is not part of an evil plot invented by career deletionists to help them stop you adding sourced statements to the encyclopaedia.—S Marshall T/C 23:46, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
    However, the fact that the proposed change can be read in this way (and is clearly read in this way by some of those commenting here), however wrong this reading is, does constitute an argument against the proposed change (but not an argument for the existing wording). Peter coxhead (talk) 09:43, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
    I really don't think very many readers will misunderstand this phrase as converting VNT into TNV, and I'm having quite some difficulty working out how Wnt would have thought that.—S Marshall T/C 09:59, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
    Don't spend too much time thinking about it. IMO, Wnt often plays the part of a contrarian, and it is difficult to tell if he is serious or not. I'm often reminded of Armond White. :) Viriditas (talk) 10:05, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
    The proposed edit says "If the dubious information is supported by a reliable source, the problem should be discussed on the article talk page". It doesn't say what happens in the meantime, but in the hands of the deletionists I think it is abundantly obvious that the "contested" material will be kept out of the article in the meanwhile - and they will never accept that discussion is over. Wnt (talk) 16:09, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
    Wnt, you know perfectly well that the burden of proof is on the editor adding content. Dubious/contested information should always be discussed on the talk page and there's no hurry to add it. Is there a reason you appear to be concerned about how fast dubious content gets added without discussion? What other editors will or will not accept depends upon how good your sources are and how well you can construct persuasive arguments. Viriditas (talk) 03:38, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  77. Oppose — I can support some of the wording changes and additions, but the whole package falls short of being a net improvement. We're proposing replacing a strong sentence that gives examples of what an inclusion threshold must be and must not be, with a weaker sentence that gives only a 'must be' example. It's as if we're proposing the removal of one of the two rails of a plastic Hot Wheels track, and expecting the car (the Wikipedia editor) to be better guided. The present "not whether editors think it is true" wording serves an invaluable purpose, and does so most effectively in the first sentence. Xenophrenic (talk) 21:10, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  78. Oppose, but there needs to be a pithy explanation, at the top, of why it is verifiability not truth. Maybe it should be something like, "The reason is that one editor's 'truth' can often be another editor's 'falsehood.' Therefore we need to verify what people put in articles, from reliable third party sources, not personal observations, family documents allegedly held by editors, or, in most instances, primary sources." ScottyBerg (talk) 23:05, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
    Err, but if one has to go at lengths to explain and qualify the statement...then it sorta defeats the purpose? Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:57, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  79. Oppose. A succinct and shocking way of getting the point across is needed; "verifiability, not truth" does the trick, because it draws a line between the two. "Verifiability? Of course it's verifiable, because it's true." Making it clear to would-be fringe theory pushers that the verifiability part has precedence is important. Don't describe everything in fluffy positive terms; setting two positive terms against one another is powerful for making the rule clear. SnowFire (talk) 23:34, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
    True, which is why the phrase is retained in the suggested wording. It is no less valid not being in the first few sentences. --Nuujinn (talk) 00:01, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
    It would be less emphasized, or why take it away from the first sentence? The intro is all most Wikipedia editors who bother to read the policies tend to read anyway. SnowFire (talk) 00:18, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
    Others have suggested that, and I can see the point, but I disagree. I think it is most likely that most editors' first exposure to the phrase is in a discussion on talk page. That was the way I first saw it, and then I came to the WP:V page to read more, and I think you pretty much have to be told or shown a policy to know that it exists in the first place. --Nuujinn (talk) 01:06, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
    No, "verifiability" means nothing and is certainly not a "shock" if you only pit it against truth! These two must complement each other, work together and the lead must reinforce that thought. Otherwise, as I said in my support of the point, it simply states that Wikipedia cares only about verifiability and not truth. Then who dictates what is "verifiable"? I have seen verifiable idiocies, with no one to moderate the truth contained in them - so they stay in the articles. No, this has to change! Djathinkimacowboy 03:08, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
    To clarify, I believe in the rewording of only "verifiability, not truth" because it is mainly that phrase which I find to be stupidly worded. It is not a question of complicating the form, but of clarifying it.
    What does it mean as presntly worded? That verifiability, no matter what, trumps truth. And that is clearly not what Wikipedia desires to say - the very next clause in this is clear and well expressed now when it says it means a reliable, verifiable published source. Why not just say that as an expression of Wikipedia's criteria of verifiability? Why say "...not truth"? It leaves a bad impression. Djathinkimacowboy 15:45, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
    (de-indent reply to Djathink) Yes, "verifiability trumps truth" is what Wikipedia desires to say (and what Nuujin claims will be kept in the proposed new policy anyway, but emphasized differently.). Every fringe theorist is convinced that they are the next Galileo or Einstein. For 1 in every hundred million of them, they are right. By saying "verifiability not truth" that shifts the discussion. Thus conversations with fringe theorists can then go: I don't care that you're "right." Maybe you are right! Sure, take it, you have the "truth." But it doesn't matter, because you need verifiability. Many fringe theorists can't offer that, and thus the policy serves is purpose. It also defends the "conventional" accounts; it doesn't matter that you think this is "untrue," because this verifiable reliable source says so. If we're wrong, blame it on them. SnowFire (talk) 00:28, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
    SnowFire, it doesn't sound like you've read this discussion. The whole "if we're wrong, blame it on them" approach is the reason we've got so many supports for this proposal. In other words, the community recognizes that this POV is flawed and needs to be corrected. Editors must use sources judiciously. If we're wrong, then we are wrong, not the sources. Viriditas (talk) 04:32, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
    Viriditas: It sounds like SnowFire has it exactly right. If we make this change, we risk handing over the project to the Truthers, Birthers, Deathers and every other Tin foil hatted fringe proponent. Do you really need to be reminded of how this proposal helps the Charlie Chaplin time traveler proponents who believe that reliable sources are wrong and that they know The Truth©? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 04:53, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
    I'm afraid we are looking at the same world quite differently. There is nothing in the proposal that changes the policy, so your concerns are completely unjustified. The point which you are avoiding is that SnowFire's attempt to place the responsibility on the sources rather than the editors who choose those sources and add them to Wikipedia, is precisely the problem. If we are wrong as Wikipedia editors, in our use of these sources, then we take full responsibility. We don't blame sources as SnowFire is doing. Jimbo has addressed this so there's no need for me to repeat it. Editors need to be conscious of their actions, and they need to be informed about their roles as editors. We don't just repeat what sources say without thinking like automatons. We do research, and we sift, weight, and compare what the sources say, and evaluate which ones are reliable and which are not, and construct an article that best represents the topic in the most accurate way possible, including representing the most significant viewpoints and attributing their POV in a balanced manner. We've had this conversation already, AQFK, and it's clear that we don't see the world in the same way. The world I inhabit, is a world where the editors are ultimately responsible for their edits. Viriditas (talk) 05:27, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
    Re "SnowFire's attempt to place the responsibility on the sources rather than the editors:" I do no such thing. And I entirely agree with your later points about editors being responsible for their material, and nobody thinks editors are automatons. *However* you are describing how to write a good article, which isn't exactly the same thing as Wikipedia:Verifiability. This policy doesn't forbid editor flame wars either - is that a problem? No, because other policies handle that. I see WP:V's job as being simple and pure: *here* is the bar for any content to be included on Wikipedia. It is a necessary but not sufficient requirement. If content cannot be verifiable, it gets kicked out, period. Now you're talking about sculpting which content to keep - presumably, on a topic with enough work, among various verifiable statements. As pointed out, not everything verifiable should be in articles, like Pluto being a planet. But that doesn't have anything to do with WP:V, this policy. Why do we need to blur what this policy does? Let it set the minimum standard to be considered at all. Let other policies, like WP:NPOV, forbid doing the Conservapedia Barack Obama article, which has plenty of citations but would not be considered a good article by Wikipedia standards. SnowFire (talk) 20:18, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
    - It's clear I ought to respond. I think the whole thing is written in a mediocre way as it stands. What Wikipedia wishes to say is, "Do not insert anything that is unsourced or lacking a verifiable, reliable source." Instead, we have these whack-a-doodle metaphysical discussions about who own the truth and what truth really is. All I have to say is it's stupid to keep it in the rules that Wikipedia does not care about the truth. Is that clear enough? Djathinkimacowboy 23:17, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  80. Oppose additional detail is not needed. All this new policy or rather update does is create a larger more confusing bureaucracy. Also it does not clearly state that it is an update to verifiable content in an article and not the merits of the article subject itself and its notability. I oppose any random verifiable but entirely practical or necessary content being added ad nauseum but this policy is not the way to go about it.Westernstag (talk) 06:41, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  81. Strong Oppose - the current form is short and clear. No need for a more obscure form. Adrian (talk) 14:18, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  82. Oppose The problems that do arise when new editors angrily cite "Not Truth" usually stems from experienced editors requesting that the new editor provide a source for the information. And then the new editor cannot, and gets angry, and lashes out at "Not Truth" instead of their inability to locate a source. As hard as editors try to not bite, some people will always fail to understand the reliable source and verifiability requirements of Wikipedia. Moving "verifiability, not truth" will not placate those who refuse to learn the policies and abide by them if they want to contribute. For those who do want to contribute, it does succintly explain how Wikipedia works. Also, the preceding words, The threshold for inclusion is... are typically ignored, which explain why the information needs to be verifiable to be included. Why should we change the reading of this policy if people aren't fully reading it? Angryapathy (talk) 17:43, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  83. Oppose - the current wording is concise and easy-to-remember and explain, which is a useful attribute of main policy. The new wording is unwieldy (and really bad writing as well) and is an unnecessary change that increases bureaucracy while obfuscating policy. Ale_Jrbtalk 18:27, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  84. Oppose Wikipedia is riddled with "verified" inaccuracies that come from external sources. There are even sites that cite Wikipedia itself as their source. Errors become compounded and the Truth is often lost and misrepresented. The word "verifiable" alone gives a false sense of security and lends authenticity where it may not be merited. Currently it is modified with "Not truth", which is indeed an important juxtaposition allowing readers and editors to reflect on the difference where perhaps they would not if the latter were removed from the original sentence. Keep it in. Veritycheck (talk) 21:29, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
    Like many other editors who have opposed this proposal, you've confused the policy on verifiability with the reliable source (RS) guideline. If we evaluate a source according to its accuracy, relevancy, currency and neutrality, and use it appropriately, inaccuracies outside and apart from attributed opinions, will be greatly minimized. "Not truth" is the opposite of verification. On the one hand, we want to confirm or deny that a source supports the content in an article. This implies that a RS has been used judiciously and without editorial bias. Your objection concerns how we use reliable sources, which has nothing to do with this proposal, but because how we verify content cannot be separated from how we use sources, the RS guideline should redirect to this policy to make it clear that it is a policy and an essay/guideline should be split out to suport any elaboration. This split between V and RS is at the root of a great deal of this misunderstanding. Viriditas (talk) 02:14, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
    I haven’t confused anything. Perhaps we have a different opinion. Until inaccuracies are eliminated from Wikipedia – which will surely never be the case, I will continue to support any statements that show and stress to both readers and editors alike that the vast collection of articles here does not unanimously represent the truth but merely what has been stated elsewhere. Furthermore, I suggest that your viewpoint is rather idealistic. It would address the situation with more weight if RS was not such an issue which it clearly is as is shown by the ubiquitous disputes regarding it that take place on Talk pages daily. First and foremost RS needs to be addressed. The fact that guidelines exist does in no way suggest that they are being fully practiced. Verifiability and the Truth are two different creatures at this point in time. It’s paramount that this reality is clear to all. Veritycheck (talk) 11:15, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  85. Oppose I haven't seen examples of major problems caused by the current wording, while the range of potential problems caused by the proposed change is unknown. I am particularly concerned for articles about pseudoscience and the paranormal, etc. where people already propose deleting articles because they interpret "verifiability" to mean the truth must be verifiable rather than the claims. I realize that wasn't the primary reason for the "not truth" wording, but the policy justifies the very existence of articles about notable but untrue subjects, so I'd like to see "not truth" remain prominent. Maghnus (talk) 00:49, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  86. Oppose Verifiability can not be compared with truth. The truth must be a priority especially the source is open to the public to correct and edit. I find it is inappropriate to make this comparison. Verifiability is the least that can be done in order to find the truth. It is either the truth or not truth. Verifiability is a part of the process but it can't justify myth and false claims. Shahrulazwad 03:41, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  87. Oppose. The whole "truth, not verifiability" bit needs to be right in the front so it's easy to point at when explaining why people can't include (whatever) in Wikipedia just because it's true. SchuminWeb (Talk) 03:18, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  88. Oppose Expressing a key concept in a less succinct way? Not a good idea. Nevard (talk) 03:41, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
    Comment The succinct phrase is not going away; you'll still be able to refer to it. It's simply being moved down the page a little to allow the concept of verifiability to be first introduced, and then compared with other things (including NPOV, not just truth/untruth). Uniplex (talk) 12:25, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  89. Oppose While the current version expresses an satisfactory aspiration, it does reflect the reality as it stands at he moment. The vast array of verifiable bunk on Wiki, especially on articles that attract controversy is astounding. The proposed change is really just an effort to paper over the cracks and would inaccurately reflect the current status quo.Fourisplenty (talk) 10:21, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
    I think that the proposal is a baby step in the direction that you advocate. North8000 (talk) 14:42, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  90. Oppose while I agree with much of the reasoning behind the proposal I don't think that on balance it represents an improvement on the existing version. "Verifiability, not truth" is one of the most important differences between Wikipedia and other information resources and new editors should be introduced to it quickly. The proposed new section is going to provide ammunition to fringe theorists and other advocates of unusual views. I'm sure that's not what the authors of the proposal intended but nevertheless I'm pretty sure that's what's going to happen. Hut 8.5 11:00, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
    No, you are in error about "fringe theorists". Since when does anybody's point of view stay in an article for very long? And if an editor is successfully inserting "fringe theories" (say, birtherism) that are "verifiable" (say, an accredited publication mentions it), well, didn't you just shoot yourself in the foot? Djathinkimacowboy 23:22, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
    The fact that the existence of a fringe theory most certainly does not mean it should be included in an article. To take your example of birtherism, our article on Barack Obama currently states that Obama is the President of the United States. Birthers don't agree with this because they think that Obama is constitutionally disqualified from holding the office of president. A birther reading this policy where the proposed change has been made would see a section allowing them to challenge this verifiable fact on the grounds that they think it's wrong. They could also cite the sentence which says that disputed statements can be reworded as expressions of opinion to resolve disputes in support of changing the lead sentence to something like "Barack Obama is, according to most of the mainstream media, the President of the United States". The reason why we don't do this (and why our article on Obama doesn't mention birtherism at all) is that it violates WP:UNDUE, but arguing against the birther on these grounds is a drawn out process, not least because the birther is likely to argue that birtherism isn't fringe at all. Our editorial processes are actually pretty lousy at dealing with fringe topics and we have plenty of articles on them which are hoplessly biased in favour of the fringe theory in question. Encouraging this trend is the last thing we need. Hut 8.5 23:39, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
    Hut 8.5's comment strikes me as a bit obtuse, sorry to say. With the present emphasis on "V not T", our birther now could simply argue that the lead should be changed because it is verifiable that by filing in court, Orly Taitz has managed to produce a Verifiable (not true) source that can be verifiably cited which contradicts the status quo of the article. (talk) 14:02, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
    No, because the policy says that verifiability is a threshold for inclusion, which doesn't imply that something can always be included just because it is verifiable. (Orly Taitz is not a remotely reliable source anyway.) Hut 8.5 14:38, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
    You seem to be contending that removing "V not T" will give ammunition to fringe theorists. However, I think it's pretty clear that industrious fringe theorists can use "V not T" to their advantage — arguing that because the threshhold is met that Wikipedia has some categorical imperative include the argument, that Taitz is reliable per this or that dubious account, that the truth-value that the consensus of sane editors think the statement has is irrelevant, etc. At best, it seems to me that you can make the argument in both directions. Some fringe theorists will use "V not T" as a bludgeon. Others will be vanquished by it. However, the bigger question is, does emphasizing "V not T" in the lead establish a research culture that values simply reporting what is written in this or that source rather than what is true. (talk) 19:53, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
  91. Oppose - that paragraph to be inserted is an absolute mess.  White Whirlwind  咨  20:01, 9 November 2011 (UTC)


  • Neutral (Switched to oppose, above.) I agree with some of this. I agree that verifiability is an "initial threshold for inclusion" (while sometimes verifiable information may not meet other thresholds). I agree that verification is not a guarantee for inclusion (though that fact is mentioned elsewhere, so I'm neutral about its inclusion here). My concern is that the proposed wording intends to de-emphasize the fact that truth is not an acceptable criterion for inclusion -- but it could effectively remove that criterion by basing it only on an essay that will no longer be accurate. See my question below. I might switch my comment to "support" if my concerns are adequately resolved, or to "oppose" if they are not. – Quadell (talk) 12:36, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
I can't speak for others, but as the primary author of the proposal, I can assure you that my intent isn't to "de-emphasize the fact that truth is not an acceptable criterion for inclusion" (I firmly agree that it is not), my intent is to address the opposite side of the coin: whether untruth is an acceptable criterion for exclusion.
These are two sides of the same coin... The "unverifiable truth" side of the coin has a black and white answer... if the material isn't verifiable, we shouldn't include it, no matter how true it may be. But there isn't a clear black and white answer to the "verifiable untruth" side of the coin... sometimes we should exclude verifiable material that is untrue, and sometimes we shouldn't. It's a case by case determination... and the determination is (in most cases) based primarily on policy concepts other than verifiability. The problem is that the current policy doesn't mention this. It only discusses one side of the coin. The point of the proposal is to address both. It may not do a perfect job of doing so, but at least we try to address it. Does this resolve your concerns? Blueboar (talk) 13:58, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
I apologize if I misrepresented your intentions. I want to be clear here... it sounds like you're saying that there are times that verifiable statements might still need to be deleted based on the claim that they are untrue, and that this wording change is designed to facilitate that. Am I correct in that? – Quadell (talk) 16:57, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that's clearly the case. An example that the working group came up with, in discussion, was the statement that "Pluto is a planet". That statement is verifiable and I can prove it by reference to otherwise-reliable sources, but it's also been false since 2006 when the definition of "planet" changed. The proposed wording allows for that kind of situation, and more controversial ones too.—S Marshall T/C 18:20, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't believe the truth of that statement matters, in terms of whether it should be included. It's a matter of the weight of the sources. Certainly statements should be challenged if more recent sources contradict it, if corrections are issued, etc., but not merely based on a claim of untruth. To make a simplistic example, if I claim "Cromulent widgets tend to be blue", and I provide a reliable source, and Joe Blow claims the statement is untrue (without providing contradictory sources), his claims are null here. The current wording makes this clear. The proposed wording, while having some advantages, seems to open the door to the possibility that Joe's claim of untruth has weight. If so, I can't support it. – Quadell (talk) 19:10, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Re Quadell's comment, "Joe Blow claims the statement is untrue (without providing contradictory sources), his claims are null here. The current wording makes this clear." - Not really. The current wording discusses what is necessary for inclusion, not what is sufficient for inclusion. In other words, the current wording doesn't say whether or not something can be excluded based on a claim like Joe Blow's. The present wording only says that something can't be included based only on a claim by Joe Blow that it is true. Both the current wording and the proposed wording are neutral on the issue of excluding material from a reliable source because someone claims it is not true. The current wording says nothing about it, and the proposal says it needs to be discussed on the article's talk page, with reference to other policies. --Bob K31416 (talk) 23:18, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
The proposed wording, on the other hand, does address this somewhat... it says to discuss the issue on the talk page with reference to other polices and guidelines. Yes, it is passing the buck to those other policies and guidelines, but at least it is more than is in the current version. Blueboar (talk) 01:02, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
Responding to Quadell, I submit that there are three flaws in what I believe is implied your "Joe Blow" statement. One is implying that Joe Blow could unilaterally remove the statement over objections based just on his claim of falsehood. Nothing new or old supports this. Second is is that a simple "I say it's false" unsupported claim of falsehood is a sort of straw-man rarity....inevitably such a claim includes something to support its veracity. The third is overlooking the more realistic option which is simply that Joe Blow's statement of falsehood is allowed to enter into the conversation (doubtless gauged based on what Joe includes to support his assertion) that the editors are having about potential exclusion of material. Currently a common mis-read is often used to completely exclude that from the conversation. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 11:43, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
It's up to you whether you can support it, but I want to say that I completely disagree with you. Jimbo expressed my view very well when he said: "We are not transcription monkeys, merely writing down what sources say. We want to only write true things in Wikipedia, and we want to verify them." My position is that wikipedians are educators, and there's something sinister about an educator who doesn't care about the truth. We absolutely can, do, and must, make judgments about what's true. Oh, sure, we can put it in terms like "weight of the sources" and try to judge which source is "most reliable", but in fact what we mean when we say that a source is "reliable" or "deserves weight" is that that source is "likely to be true". Thus we put a semantic layer in between article content and truth. But when our judgment about what to include depends on which source is the most likely to be accurate, then the difference between that and making judgments about "truth" is semantics and nothing but. And my position is that we should be intolerant of those who wish to introduce lies into encyclopaedia articles.—S Marshall T/C 19:36, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. When we say that a source is reliable and has weight we do not make a judgement about its presumed veracity, but about the degree to which it represents current consensus in the relevant field. I must say that I am surprised at Mr. Wales in my view rather naive understanding of what truth is. To make judgments about what is true is the job of specialist researchers - not wikipedian editors. It is implicit in the word "editor" that we make editorial decisions - of what to include and what not. But editors do not overrule professional researchers conclusions even if they disagree with them, they leave that to the scientific community. You are trying to give wikipedia a function of knowledge creation in addition to its role of knowledge transmission. That could be fine given that that is what a majority of wikipedians feel it should do, but it is not what I signed up for. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:05, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, where there's a controversy in any field, Wikipedia prefers the mainstream academic consensus. It's right that we do that. We present the mainstream academic consensus in the simple indicative ("Evolution has led to the diversification of all living organisms from a common ancestor...", quoted from Evolution) and the alternative views as reported speech ("Some advocates believe that major differences in the appearance and behavior of two organisms indicates (sic) lack of common ancestry", quoted from Baraminology). From my point of view, the reason to use reported speech is because the addition of "some advocates believe" turns what would be a false statement in the simple indicative ("The major differences... indicate lack of common ancestry") into a true one. And from my point of view, the reason to present the mainstream academic consensus in the simple indicative is because we default to believing that the mainstream academic consensus is the correct view. But if you take away the value judgments about "truth" from this process, then actually there's no reason to treat the mainstream academic consensus about evolution any differently from baraminology, so either both belong as reported speech, or else both belong in the simple indicative (presumably the latter, since if we don't care about truth, the simpler construction is to be preferred).

This is why I believe the what is truth? view is logically inconsistent and fails to document good practice as well as a truth-based view.—S Marshall T/C 20:31, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

The idea that "verifiability" does not include a brief review of whether something cited by a source is accurate or not, is and always has been an erroneous POV. Verifiability implies much more than confirming that a statement can be found in a reliable source. It also implies that such a statement can be evaluated based upon other, corresponding criteria, such as the authority of the author, the reliability of the publisher, and the relevancy and currency of the statement. In the Pluto example, such a statement fails the currency criteria. We can verify it, but it is no longer current, and this means, it is no longer accurate. This is very simple to understand, so I am unable to grasp its opposition. Viriditas (talk) 09:34, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────But it is quite easy to see how editors come to the conclusion that Verifiability is nothing more than confirming that a statement can be found in a reliable source. WP:SOURCES (ie What counts as a reliable source) covers the authority of the author and reliability of the publisher issues but makes no comment regarding accuracy.--BruceGrubb (talk) 07:31, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

  1. Abstain. (Moved from Oppose until final opinion is formed.) Verifiability, not truth may be a slap in the face when reading it the first time – it certainly was to me because it gave me the impression that the Wikipedia community does not care about the (objective) truth but only about verifiability. But you quickly start to understand the rationale behind this, and the meme becomes a powerful and appealing one. While I understand that not truth provides futile grounds for wikilawyering and a more clarifying version is therefore welcome, I am missing what our current meme delivers so clearly, that "truth" by itself is not an acceptable criterion for inclusion. I am willing to support a version that addresses the issue about truth in its lead paragraph, but not this one. Nageh (talk) 13:28, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
    I think there is a trade-off between the current wording and the proposal. The current slogan is powerful in that it makes newcomers immediately clear that "truth" by itself is not a criterion for inclusion. The proposed wording attempts to address the concern that editors purposefully add false information that is presented in a reliable source. The end result for both wordings is the same: whether to include some material is a matter of WP:RS, WP:NPOV and WP:DUE. Maybe it is the latter part that should be clarified. In the end, it seems all a question of which version is more likely to be misinterpreted. Nageh (talk) 17:01, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
  2. I don't really have an opinion on proposal (2) because the definition of verifiability found in this policy is rather confusing. "Verifiability in this context means anyone should be able to check that material in a Wikipedia article has been published by a reliable source." Is a piece publicly displayed in a museum something "published by a reliable source", for instance? What if it's on public display only for a limited time? Can we write in an article that a piece is found in said museum while the public display condition holds true, but we'd have to delete it thereafter? Also, a I think a policy should not link to an essay inline in its text. Perhaps Wikipedia:Verifiability, not truth should be linked only in the "See also" section. I think that simply adding WP:DUE as an example in the first sentence "(especially whether specific material is included in a specific article, e.g. due weight)." would be a less verbose way to mention a concern that is not central to this policy. Proposed addition is in bold here, but I don't suggest actually using bold in the policy text. Have mörser, will travel (talk) 18:17, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
    Generally, things made available to the "public" have been "published". The words are very closely related. You might find it helpful to read Wikipedia:Published. On the specific example, the answer is yes for most circumstances: signs or items that are displayed in a museum (or street corner) are published. The items on display are primary sources, so you have to be very careful how you use them. However, if the exhibit is closed later, then they are no longer accessible and thus ineligible (exactly like a book is no longer eligible if every known copy is later destroyed). WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:26, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
    As someone training in the museum profession I should point out that in general museum exhibits have source material for what information they provide so a museum exhibit is NOT going to be your only source for information. If the information is so obscure that the source the museum used cannot be found then you have to ask if it meets Wikipedia:Notability. For example I would love to have an article here on Doane R. Hoag's "Random Time Machine" articles that ran in several papers for nearly a decade starting in the 1970s but other than the paper it appeared in there is nothing on it and so because it fails Wikipedia:Notability we don't have an article on it and likely never will.--BruceGrubb (talk) 19:08, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
    Verifiability applies to far more than "shall we have an article entirely about this subject" (=notability). You could use a museum exhibit to support, say, a single sentence in an article about fossils or history if you wanted. It might not be the best possible source, but it's probably adequate, and you must WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT, even if better sources might exist. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:10, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
  3. Neutral. I agree with the sentiment of this change, but I don't think it will work. The verifiability, not truth mantra will continue, as it is effectively true. Mark Hurd (talk) 03:31, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
    The mantra is not true, it's verifiable... (sorry I couldn't resist). Crazynas t 21:12, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
    Mark, the purpose of the proposal was never to discontinue the mantra... but to explain it better, so that people understand what it means and use it appropriately (and not use it inappropriately). Blueboar (talk) 20:59, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
  4. Just a comment: I've had more than one person I know who is the subject of an article try and fail to correct basic facts (in once case, his own birrhdate) because some newspaper or such got it wrong in print, and be rebuffed because they hadn't published anywhere. The verifiability criterion in combination with an extreme interpretation of NOR can be a real problem. - Jmabel | Talk 21:52, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    Is it that real (big) a problem? And even if it was vast, what would you do about that. Would you think a rule that says, 'anyone with special knowledge can correct errors known only to them,' would work? What would you propose? Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:03, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    In that case, couldn't they use the instructions at Wikipedia:Contact us/Article problem/Factual error (from subject) and contact about the issues? Shearonink (talk) 22:30, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
    Neutral (with regret). (Switched to Oppose) Kudos to all those (particularly BlueBoar) for putting this proposal together. Unfortunately I can't support it as I think the proposed section (==Assertions of truth and untruth==) is actually confusing. Moreover I feel keeping the 'not truth' phrase in line 1 is a good idea. Again while i sympathize with teh suggestion I don't believe it is the right move--Cailil talk 20:32, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  5. Neutral - I appreciate the work that went into this, but the new proposed section ==Assertions of truth and untruth== in its attempt clarrify the proposed change to venerability, not truth only makes it worse. This is why we have WP:CREEP. If it were just the rephrasing of that one paragraph it would be enough, but with the added section it just muddies the water.Jinnai 21:35, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  6. Neutral only in so much as the solution clearly has not yet been found. Sure everything must be verifiable, however something can be verifiable yet be untrue, i.e. inaccurate. We are all human and we all make mistakes. Including reliable sources. Wikipedia should not require something that is untrue. If something is verifiable yet inherently false and wikipedia editors recognise that then there should be a discussion on the appropriateness of the inclusion of that information. Wikipedia editors are not robots. We can think for ourselves and make decisions. We should always question sources and information, verify it and strive for accurateness and truefulness. The idea that something that is verifiable is automatically suitable for inclusion is naive, since we should not be in the business of promoting false information. Never trust sources, even ones that meet the criteria in WP:RS. Strive for truthful knowledge, strive for perfection. Any policy that includes any idea that untruthful information is acceptable in wikipedia since it is supported by some "reliable sources" is a poorly formulated one. Cheers Polyamorph (talk) 21:44, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  7. Neutral. Is it worth considering retaining "verifiability, not truth" while otherwise modifying(expanding) the lede? -- Gyrofrog (talk) 03:47, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  8. Neutral. The section on Assertions of truth and untruth is too poorly written for me to agree with the proposal.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 17:03, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  9. Neutral. I agree with both Nageh and Polyamorph in that the current wording may be strange, but the proposed solution is not ideal either. Really, the current wording is fine, but the proposed wording is fine too. I agree with both, and therfore am neutral. Mathmitch7 (talk) 20:58, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  10. Neutral. While I am not against the idea of change here, I don't see from the proposal how the suggested change would be a change for the better. Perhaps it's better to deal with the wording and improve it before making the change. Cloudz679 (talk) 15:55, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  11. Neutral. The rewording of the first sentence is more in keeping with WP:RS, but I'd like to see verifiability, not truth restored. The proposed section, however, doesn't address what's problematic in that formulation, and that is the distinction between questions of truth (which aren't our business to decide) and questions of fact (which are). The relativism of truth claims that can never be universally definitive is already addressed by policies on neutrality, undue weight, fringe and so on. Questions of fact are those that can be answered, or could be answered if sufficient evidence existed. Question of truth: What caused the American Civil War? (range of interpretations in RS, some contradicting each other, to be represented in article). Question of fact: When did the American Civil War end? (answerable depending on how you define "end"). We already recognize that WP should not perpetuate an error in questions of fact even if it's "verifiable" in some sources (see for instance List of common misconceptions), nor allow editors to decide questions of truth—but the wording of WP:V should be improved to reflect this better. So I do support the effort. Cynwolfe (talk) 19:43, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  12. Neutral. The proposed phrase "initial threshold" is a tautology. Threshold means a "minimal requirement. So, "initial threshold"= "initial minimal requirement". I would support if it were removed. Ruslik_Zero 09:39, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  13. With every word added to a policy, we reduce the number of editors willing to read it. In light of that, I'm not convinced that the increased clarity of the currently proposed wording will pay off. (In case anyone replies to this, please, inform me about it.) Goodraise 21:23, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  14. Neutral. Neither proposal is satisfactory in my mind. There is a world of options to consider beyond the wording that is on the table. People have stated that adding words will steer readers away. I don't agree with this. Things that grab our attention and maintain our attention is what works, length is one factor not necessarily the overriding one. Neither proposal offers good guidance to settle dispute. They both claim the threshold (i.e., "the point at which a stimulus is of sufficient intensity to begin to produce an effect"[5]) is verifiability, but fail to give clear advise on what to do when you cross that threshold. The second option suggests that there are other guidelines and policies, but that just leads to more questions and endless debate. What do you do when you cross the threshold? I like to think that we are guided by our tenacious and collective pursuit of truth and reliability using the fundamental principles by which Wikipedia operates.Thompsma (talk) 22:31, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
    I would also like to see this start over again. Many have stepped in only recently into this debate that affects us all. I see this point has been raised below and I support that initiative. This is a global wikipedian issue, give time for people to join in and set the threshold before the question is asked. "A majority vote of X will mean that this will pass. The date will be set from..." The rules need to be set in advance so that everyone can agree with the results of the outcome.Thompsma (talk) 05:24, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
    I offer the following: "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability in the pursuit of truth and reliability using the fundamental principles by which Wikipedia operates. Verifiable means that readers can check if information in Wikipedia has been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true. A verified source does not automatically lead to inclusion of the material, because Wikipedia has other policies and guidelines that affect inclusion (especially whether specific material is included in a specific article)." - This gives the reader guidance on what to do once the threshold is crossed.Thompsma (talk) 23:46, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  15. Neutral but close to oppose. The current version needs to change, however, the current, as well as the proposed change, both do a disservice to the "truth". Verifiability and Truth are of equal importance in my mind. Both must be weighted equally in any Threshold. Both need further explanations for (esp.) the new editors. Adding additional links to essays (that several editors have mentioned above) would be acceptable, if the essay themselves are current. Can we start over with this process? I would hesitate to vote at this time on "Oppose" or "Support" if this discussion is now closing. GenQuest Whassup? 2:32 pm, Today (UTC−6)
  16. Neutral It is a particularly complex issue and any decision for amendment should not be taken lightly. While I understand the criticism for the existing wording of the verifiability guideline, I do not think the new definition is satisfactory. Instead I believe that the aims of Wikipedia would be much better served if "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true" was changed into "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not necessarily truth: in other words, whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, which the editors can trust and believe upon their honest judgment that it can be true".--Agnostosgnostos 22:54, 6 November 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Agnostosgnostos (talkcontribs)
  17. Neutral It's a fallacy to believe any wording will keep folks from misinterpreting it, but I appreciate the effort folks have put into this. I'll note the second sentence, all material added to articles must be attributable to a reliable, published source appropriate for the content in question, but in practice you do not need to attribute everything. needs work, as it is borderline self-contradictory as written. Gerardw (talk) 22:04, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  18. I must also be neutral on the proposal as stated, because of the disagreements over what is "reliable." I would like to see there be some other criteria - at least one along the lines of "more sources that agree with the material than those opposing". I guarantee you I can find all sorts of things in all sorts of sources that all sorts of people find reliable - & yet could also find the same number of cites/sources that contradict whatever it is that is being proposed (Yes, this is a general statement, this isn't & probably cannot, be true of everything - but I am making a point, rather than a specific example)FlaviaR (talk) 18:08, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  19. Neutral Neither wording seems obviously better. If you want something actually better, I'd suggest the word prerequisite rather than threshold:
A prerequisite for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability—whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source. No editor's assertion of the truth of a statement, however long, well or passionately argued, can substitute for this.
The indefinite article "A prerequisite" avoids the need for the distracting explanation that it's not the only prerequisite. I do like the new section addition. One tricky point that has arisen in the last is when the only good reference on a sparsely-documented subject asserts some fact X, and someone with first-hand knowledge of X (e.g. from the small town in question) says that the fact is well-known by the locals to be a fallacy. Sometimes, in the absence of remarkable fact X, the entire article fails the noteworthiness test, and the discussion goes away. Lather, rinse, repeat the next time someone discovers the challenged assertion. (talk) 11:39, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
To my mind this is a major problem with Wikipedia and one that caused me to cease defending it from those who say it's full of rubbish. (Not that I believe that it's full of rubbish but my experience in failing to get a false 'fact' removed seriously dented my faith in the procedures available). It was very similar to what you describe in that local knowledge was trumped by a single assertion in a foreign publication. The fact that the an admin decided that he wanted the assertion to remain and suggested that to get it removed it would be necessary to find some published source declaiming the reverse - highly unlikely as publications rarely make a point of listing every non fact about a subject - conspired to ensure the the nonsensical statement remained. PRL42 (talk) 12:10, 11 November 2011 (UTC)