User:Gadget850/FAQ/YYYY-MM-DD dates

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The use of YYYY-MM-DD dates in references is the result of an historical accident. Citation templates originally wikilinked the date field so that readers would see the date styled according to their user preferences; YYYY-MM-DD was the preferred style for the template fields. As early as December 2006, discussion started on removing the links from dates.[1] In September 2008, discussion noted that the multitude of unregistered readers were seeing the YYYY-MM-DD style dates, and consensus was to remove the linking and update the date styles.[2] Citation templates were updated to remove date linking in September and October 2008, leaving all dates to show in YYYY-MM-DD format. There was a lot of discussion, but no consensus.[3] Some templates were updated to force the dates style to MDY, but this was reverted.[4] There was much discussion on fixing citation template dates to match the article style, but ultimately nothing was done.[5]

In January 2009, a request for arbitration was opened involving editors who were delinking dates.[6] A proposal in September 2009 to remove YYYY-MM-DD dates failed.[7] Discussion in March 2012 resulted in no consensus.[8]