User:Itayb/Extremist sources

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

Extremist sources[edit]

Organizations and individuals that are widely acknowledged as extremist, whether of a political, religious or anti-religious, racist, or other nature, should be used only as sources about themselves and their activities in articles about themselves, and even then with caution.

WP:RS#Extremist sources

National Vanguard and Adelaide Institute; +David Duke & Ernst Zündel[edit]

Are those neo-nazi/holocaust deniers quotable? After the discussion here last July [1] I had the understanding that they were only notable if quoted by reliable sources, (e.g.David Duke's "views would be regarded as noteworthy if reliable sources quoted them, in which case the publication, not Duke, is our source".)

However, there has been/is an editwar over at Naeim Giladi about wheather to include references to National Vanguard and Adelaide Institute sites (and they are, IMO, possibly less important/well known/noteable than David Duke). Some editors argue that WP:RS does not apply here. Does anybody here have any advice about this? Regards, Huldra 08:28, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

There is nothing wrong with quoting either of these sources if it is appropriate within the context of an article, say if it was about Vanguard or a member of Vanguard or an event in which Vanguard participated. I would suggst that Vanguard is not a RS but I'm not familiar enough with the Adelaide Institute to really say one way or the other. For example you could say that Vanguard has claimed/said "Blah blah blah" but you could not put forth "blah blah blah" as in an in text fact and then source Vanguard. See the difference? NeoFreak 15:26, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Thank you very much for your reply. However, I´m not sure it address my specific issue. I raised the question last July here: [2], and then I got the reply "David Duke's views would be regarded as noteworthy if reliable sources quoted them, in which case the publication, not Duke, is our source." This sounds sensible to me. However, take a look at Israel Shahak and Use by Neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers. Now, no " reliable source" (say; E.U. Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia, Anti-Defamation League, Stephen Roth Institute, American Jewish Committee, Southern Poverty Law Center, Political Research Associates,) have found it important enough to note the "praise" by these "widely acknowledged extremist views". Still, some editors now insist that we refer directly to them. Basically, I see it as both Poisoning the well and a violation against WP:RS. And possibly a violation against WP:NPOV#Undue_weight and, (for Naeim Giladi), a violation of WP:BLP. And it is most certainly not in accordance with what I was told last July here:[3], Regards, Huldra 18:06, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

WP:RS#National Vanguard and Adelaide Institute; +David Duke & Ernst Zündel


The exceptions would be extremist sources, whose main purpose is apparently to deceive not inform. But be prepared to vigorously defend such a position, as we'd be more inclined, imho, to side on inclusion.

User:Wjhonson WP:RS 17:39, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

The issue is not whether the site is "fringe" but rather whether it is "extremist". A fringe site might be "People who Sew Buttons on Aspirin Bottles", but other than being perhaps a bit eccentric, there's nothing apparently harmful, obnoxious or insulting there. Y

User:Wjhonson WP:RS 18:14, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

One final comment... extremist groups are notorious for either misquoting things, or quoting things out of context to support their view... it is always a good idea to check what they say against the original.

User:BlueBoar WP:RS 19:56, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

First off... WP:RS is not policy (much as many would like it to be). It is a Guideline, which is designed to give advice not lay down rules. We can amplify such advice on this talk page, but you should not interpret our advice as dogmatic policy.

User:BlueBoar WP:RS 16:38, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Extremist websites[edit]

Regarding the following websites;,, and, in the reliable sources article, it says the following about extremist websites:

"Widely acknowledged extremist organizations or individuals, whether of a political, religious, racist, or other character, should be used only as primary sources; that is, they should only be used in articles about those organizations or individuals and their activities. Even then they should be used with caution."

Since it says they should be used only in articles about the person and their activities, can they be consitered reliable for articles about critics perspectives on Islam?--Sefringle 23:10, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

These may be used in that case, but with caution, if only to present these orgs POV, citations are properly attributed to them, and never used as assertions of fact. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 00:44, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Are the opinions of these organizations relevant to pages that are not about the websites themselves, considering the extremism that is obvious in their opinions? BhaiSaab talk 22:58, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
The reader should know where a potentially controversial source is coming from on the political spectrum when a source is presented: liberal, conservative, Communist, Fascist, etc., in my opinion. Let the reader make up his or her mind over who is right and who is wrong in a controversy.

--FidesetRatio 05:48, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

I dispute that,, and are extremist. They are partisan, yeah, but they are no more extremist than, say, something calling for Sharia law. — Rickyrab | Talk 19:40, 9 December 2006 (UTC)


Why Arguments, Accusations, Etc. of Partisan and Extremist Websites Should Be Discussed In Wikipedia Articles Not Directly concerning those Sites if Necessary[edit]

Partisan and extremist sites may not be reliable sources; however, they are important as providers of points of view that help to complete the picture of what people think about notable phenomena. Therefore, biased sites such as are important in discussing topics such as anti-Semitism, seeing as it is, essentially, a site of anti-Semites. Likewise, sites such as may have valuable arguments in favor of Amtrak, even though not all of those arguments might be true or accurate or researched. It is in judging the merits of those arguments that reliable sources would come in handy, and of course there may be the case that non-reliable sources are the ONLY providers of some information, in which case one should look for as many points of view as possible to try to flesh out what people CLAIM they know (and it should be reported thusly). In conclusion, the arguments of non-reliable sources are potentially useful even though they aren't reliable. — Rickyrab | Talk 18:03, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

I can see it now. "Scientists generally hold that the earth is not a flat plane, yet there are certain partisan groups that, while not reliable, provide useful information in evaluating this often-controversial question." BYT 18:59, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
I could agree that should not be quoted in non-Jewish view of Judaism or Criticism of Judaism, but maybe in Extremist criticism of Judaism. --Striver 19:01, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
"Often-controversial" is a weasel-word in the above context, and besides, it would be simple enough to say that "Scientists generally hold that the earth is spherical, although some partisans disagree. The Earth has been shown to be round by various means." could be quoted in anti-Semitism articles as examples of anti-Semitism, and in pointing out biases some people hold against Jews. It's my impression that anti-Semites are out to criticize Jews, generally speaking, rather than the religion of Judaism itself. — Rickyrab | Talk 19:23, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is an "scientific" "encyclopedia" like other encyclopedias. Like all other encyclopedias, It should only uses reliable sources. -- 03:12, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Obviously, common sense should be used to evaluate sources. I don't think the word change is necessary as arguing is an activity. Arrow740 10:39, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
If we had common sense, our policies could be very short. If the fringe theory or extremist position is important enough to merit a section in a longer article, then it would be wooden to say, "That's a section, not an article, so we can't cite the group's own literature to describe its own position." The real question is whether the fringe theory deserves enough space to properly handle primary source material. In an article on Earth science, flat-earth theorists probably merit at most a sentence and a link to the main article. In contrast, the tax-protester theory of non-ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution has wide popular influence, so a section is devoted to it (and its refutation) even though no respectable legal scholar believes a word of it. In which articles does Stormfront merit that much coverage? That's the real question. Robert A.West (Talk) 12:25, 10 December 2006 (UTC)


What is the threshold for "extremism"?[edit]

I see that:

Widely acknowledged extremist organizations or individuals [...]

has been changed to:

Extremist organizations and individuals, [...] ([4])

Imho, this is a step backwards, and an invitation to POV namecalling. It could lead to a situation that if you don't like someone's sources you'd be entitled to call them "extremist". Enough of this happens already at Wikipedia as it is. Please define the threshold for "extremism" in the context of Wikipedia's sources... The "widely acknowledged" at least made it clear that it's not about what you think "extremist" from your POV, but that you'd need to be able to demonstrate with external sources how widely acknowledged such extremism is supposed to be. --Francis Schonken 11:27, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

This is a very difficult area and depends much on being knowledgeable about the area in question. Obviously this opens the door to disputes. I would, for example, trust User:Cberlet's opinion regarding right wing sites, but be somewhat suspicious of his viewpoints on left wing sites, trusting my own judgement more than his. But opinions differ, for example, this characterization was vigorously objected to by the owner of the site and it was generally agreed among the arbitrators that the characterization was too broad. Editorial judgement is the key, an obviously unsatisfactory answer. The editors in particular areas need to compare notes and come to the best decision they can. To a certain extent arguments tend to be circular in this area and are based on content. Plainly false content being the basis for characterization of the source as unreliable. Fred Bauder 22:57, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Nice, but a bit woolly comment. Also, I'm not so certain the area is as difficult as you describe it. Did you actually address my question? I mean I don't see an answer to the question
  1. whether the WP:RS guideline would need to say that "extremist" is a reason for rejection of a source (without any further qualification of the term "extremist", just slam your fellow-wikipedians on the head with it, only try to be the most "authoritative" slammer, so that all other editors are informed that the other editor is associated with extremists - whatever happened with Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/FAQ#Writing for the "enemy"?)?
  2. or, whether the WP:RS guideline would need to keep (at least) "Widely acknowledged extremist", which depends on repute of the source you want to use, according to sources external to Wikipedia?
  3. or, (maybe even better) whether WP:RS should contain something of a description of what we understand by "extremist sources" in the context of that guideline?
Re. your link to Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/RPJ#Use of unreliable sources by RPJ: this also doesn't say anything about "extremist" sources as in Wikipedia:Reliable sources#Extremist sources. The section of the RPJ case you link to qualifies sources as unreliable for reason of being "propagandistic", which imho is perfectly covered by Wikipedia:Reliable sources#Partisan and religious sources (which is a different section as the section on "extremist" sources). So I don't know exactly what you tried to clarify.
User Cberlet is sometimes very close to Wikipedia:Conflict of interest (at least at Neofascism and religion I think he was a bit too close there), but I don't see at all why you cite this editor in an attempt to clarify something about "extremist" sources, as in the WP:RS section we're talking about here? --Francis Schonken 00:03, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Ok, let us consider the Ku Klux Klan. Not a good source for the article "Jews in the United States", but perhaps a good source for Klan insignia. Fred Bauder 03:06, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, does still not give me a clue what you want to say w.r.t. the question. Seems like we're talking next to each other. For me it's OK if you don't want to say anything about this particluar issue of what should be in the guideline and what shouldn't, but wouldn't it be better then to start another section about the topic you want to talk about? --Francis Schonken 12:58, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
It is true that I don't want to name names for hypothetical problems. Fred Bauder 14:06, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
You named names (Cberlet, RPJ case, Ku Klux Klan). I must say I was a bit disturbed that at least some of these were used in a hypothetical setting, e.g. "I would, for example, trust User:Cberlet's opinion regarding right wing sites, but be somewhat suspicious of his viewpoints on left wing sites [...]", seems hypothetical to me (even compared to the ArbCom case Cberlet was involved in this seems like an hypothetical extrapolation to me). But more importantly it seemed to me a remark unrelated to the text and content of the WP:RS guideline. As you know, this talk page is for discussing what we put in the guideline (and what we don't put in it). I propose that we re-add "widely acknowledged" in front of the "extremist" epithet in the guideline, for starters, and then maybe think about whether there would be a better way to narrow down how the "extremist" epithet should be understood in the context of this guideline, for a better avoidance of useless dispute.
If your idea is that it would be better to suppress the Wikipedia:Reliable sources#Extremist sources entirely (because of too hypothetical?) it might be better to make that clear (it isn't now), so that it can be discussed, but then preferably without naming names (although a few good examples may be useful). --Francis Schonken 14:43, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Editors can debate who qualifies an "extremist" or they can debate what constitutes "widely acknowledged." I agree with you that the insertion of the qualifier "widely-acknowledged" makes it more difficult for a source to be ruled out for extremism. Is that what is best for sourcing Wikipedia articles? I don't know, I have no objection to reinserting "widely-acknowledged." DanielM 00:07, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I never implied "that the insertion of the qualifier "widely-acknowledged" makes it more difficult for a source to be ruled out for extremism." I even seriously doubt whether that is true. Not qualifying "extremist" would imho lead more easily to the kind of useless discussions that make it impossible to rule out sources for extremism, while there is no common ground for what can be called extremist and what can't, so people keep talking next to each other, and the source can't be ruled out. --Francis Schonken 12:58, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
You said removing those words leads to a "situation that if you don't like someone's sources you'd be entitled to call them "extremist"" which implies that it would be easier to reject them under the guideline, doesn't it? Ergo the insertion of "widely-acknowledged" makes it more difficult to reject them, at least that was how I read you. DanielM 11:37, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
No, again, I didn't say that, nor was it implied in what I said. I warned against frivolous accusations (which I see as a real problem, happening too often in Wikipedia). "Frivolous accusations" lead, in my opinion - at least that's what I see happening -, to turmoil and useless discussion without issue, not to a clean-and-easy system for ruling out contentious sources. --Francis Schonken 12:44, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
It's a direct quote from your comments above at 1127 on 27 Dec. 2006. DanielM 13:33, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
No, you used original research in the interpretation of my quote ("ergo" implies you made a deduction). The deduction is incorrect, and sees things that aren't in the quote.
And BTW, gives me the creeps to think that you might use sources for encyclopedia content applying the same technique: using sources for contentions that aren't in those sources. I don't say you do that, but it gives me the creeps to think that you wouldn't have noticed if you ever did. --Francis Schonken 13:46, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
People can read the above and decide whether I improperly "deduced" you. What you're referring to now is my response of why I read you the way I did, which amiably included the words "doesn't it?" and "at least that was how I read you." Let's stay away from personal attacks "gives me the creeps to think that you.." and so forth. DanielM
The expression "[...] situation that if you don't like someone's sources you'd be entitled to call them "extremist"" does not imply that it would be easier to reject them under the guideline. Only that it would be easier to start a discussion about it. Your wrong. Apologies please. --Francis Schonken 14:25, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
My advice would be: it is a word to be avoided, since it is vague, emotional, and prone to abuse. There is almost always a better word. If an organization uses violent, say it is violent, if an organization advocates imposition of particular morality, then say so. As someone who is, from time to time, paid to be a polemicist, it is the kind of word designed to shock people. The shock utility of a word is almost inversely proportionate to its suitability for NPOV. Of course, if a group calls itself extremist, then by all means. If group X calls group Y extremist, and group X's opinion matters, then say "X has labelled Y as extremist." Stirling Newberry 15:13, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Don't see how this could lead to a useful guideline description. If someone asks, are extremist sources acceptable for Wikipedia?, we'd have to answer, Wikipedia guidance officially doesn't recognise the word "extremist" (or some other "denialist" answer).
Then if the person asks do you accept information of websites that advocate illegal violence?, then the answer would be something in the vein of It's unfeasable for Wikipedia guidance to list all separate types of sources and how to handle them, that would lead us to too much detail, so, no, there is no guidance about it.
Sorry, Wikipedia's guidelines & policies have been able to give *general* descriptions about how to handle situations & issues. Don't see why that wouldn't work here. I'd tend to think that the qualification "extremist" can be useful in the context of the WP:RS guideline, but not when used as a vague epithet. --Francis Schonken 12:44, 30 December 2006 (UTC)



Isn't this just one huge argumentum ad hominem? A group can be considered "extremist" by the mainstream and yet be COMPLETELY correct - 50 years ago agitators against Female Genital Mutilation would have been considered "extremists", but they were (and still are) absolutely correct. I don't see how wikipedia considers argumentum ad hominem a valid objection to a citation. Lordkazan 20:09, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

  • You're confusing different meanings of correct. The meaning you propose--morally correct--is generally not the business of Wikipedia. The use of "extremist" here is construed narrowly, and is generally applied to groups, such as Stormfront, that have demonstrated wanton disregard for any norms of intellectual honesty in debate, and whose claims are little more than manufactured bullshit. Perhaps it can be removed, and replaced with "groups known to be dishonest". At any rate, sources known to have biases should be used with caution--they may be "correct" in some instances, but many of them are unlikely to publish results other than that which suits their agenda. --EngineerScotty 20:14, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes i think "groups known to be dishonest" would be a MUCH better terminology - because in some of the articles I edit the term "extremist" gets thrown out about any minority group that disagrees with the practice Lordkazan 20:15, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
You might advance the above on Wikipedia talk:Attribution--an active policy proposal to replace WP:RS. --EngineerScotty 20:19, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

In my opinion there are groups not generally seen as extremist that are dishonest and then there are extreme groups that aren't particularly dishonest, for example extremists that believe their own preposterous message. Switching out occurrences of "extremists" for "groups known to be dishonest" in Wikipedia guidelines and policies is not going to be a good or workable change IMO. Also I think that "known to be dishonest" is weasel phrasing. Known by whom? We can't stop that people disagree what an extremist is, that is something that no-one can stop. Even if you built an exhaustive list, it would be torn apart and rewritten by others who disagree with you (and really the same thing would happen with "groups known to be dishonest.") However the term "extremist" is still useful, though imprecise, because in fact there is often agreement among editors of a given article on who is an extremist. DanielM 10:12, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

If the term "extremist" is so vague and debatable then does it make sense to use it in policy? When writing about e.g. religions, I am not aware of any person, scholar that does not have biases. I do not have a solution for all of this. Andries 11:20, 14 October 2006 (UTC)


When to quote widely acknowledged extremist views[edit]

I need some "outside" views on this. Firstly: I had some questions about this back in July (see [5].) As far as I understand, extremist views about anybody/anything (but themselves) should not be quoted except when they have in turn been quoted by a reliable source. Now, in the Allegations_of_Israeli_apartheid, extremist like David Duke and Jew Watch are quoted directly in the Introduction to the term, and in fact given as much weight as people like John Dugard ( Special Rapporteur for the United Nations) and archbishop Desmond Tutu. Is this correct? Any "outsider" opinion about this will be appreciated. Regards, Huldra 10:58, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

You need an "outside" view? Outside of what? When guidelines are set for reliable sources, I think what is meant is that the source may be used as support for text in a Wikipedia article asserted as factual. Failing to meet the guideline as a source is not a prohibition on an entity being quoted at all. In other words, an editor may quote a white supremacist as saying "whites are smarter" but of course may not use the white supremacist's statement as a source for an assertion, at the entry for Caucasians or whatever, that whites are actually smarter (which would be a bigoted, unsupportable, dumb assertion). It's not like you're referencing a cardiac surgeon about an aorta incision, it's more like you're, I don't know, quoting Sean Connery that he thinks it's okay to smack one's wife [6]. The fact that he says this does not mean it's okay, and your quoting him does not suggest that you think it's okay, and I don't think it would be seen as validating wife beating in the Wikipedia article about domestic abuse. DanielM 13:40, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
I think you mixing two seperate issues here... First is whether you can use a quote by the extremist - ie, can you quote an extremist view in an article that is not specificly about that extremist? My view is that you can, although you need to take care that it is writen in a NPOV way, and you need to make it clear that this is the view of an extremist and not fact (I will leave out the question of whether you should quote such extremists, as that is a third issue that is not within the scope of WP:RS.)
The second question is how to cite it... that is where WP:RS comes in. You must use reliable sources to do this. Extremist websites (such as Jew Watch) are usually not considered reliable - for one thing they probably include all sorts of statements that are not part of the quote, and they often take quotes out of context so they fit their extremist POV. Similarly, you should avoid personal websites as they may not have checked to be sure that the quote is accurate. However, quotes from newspapers and other reliable sources are fine. Blueboar 14:16, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
First; thank you both very much for you reply. If you follow my link above, you will see there was some discussion about this in July. To DanielM: by "outside" view I meant views by people not heavily involved in the article I mentioned. To use your example; would it be ok in an article about domestic abuse to have as many quotes from people who thinks it's okay to smack one's wife, as from people who think it isn´t? Or lets take perhaps a more relevant example, say, in an article about abortion, or UFOs; would it be ok if half of the supporters quoted were "notable sources" (like Nobel Prize Winners, or high-level UN representatives), and the other half of the supporters quoted were "lunatic fringe" sources, (Holocoust deniers or whatever)?
To Blueboar: that is exactly what I mean: what if no RS have quoted them on the issue? Is it or isn´t it OR to quote them directly? Taking note of the fact that this is about the use of an expression, where the expression itself is hugely contested. Regards, Huldra 15:04, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
A quote is never OR. Not... ever. OR is the *creation* of new information. "New" being the critical word here. Wjhonson 15:43, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
The example you raise, like I think Blueboar says, is a matter of quoting a extreme person, not a matter of using the person as a "reference" or "source" in the sense of a reference or source that is covered by WP:RS. So in my opinion you're barking up the wrong tree to try to find your answer here. I do understand that an article shouldn't sample a bunch of extremist quotes side by side with subject matter expert quotes or quotes from respected figures, at least not in a manner that appears to legitimize the extremists. I'm not sure, but I think that would be an NPOV violation, that undue weight is being provided to the extremists, in fact WP:NPOV says "articles that compare views need not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views, and may not include tiny-minority views at all." You'd have to figure out how to apply that to the specific situation at your article. In my opinion however the quote of an extremist more tends to invalidate the view expressed than to affirm it, as long as the extremist is well identified. It depends on the specifics. Good luck! DanielM 15:52, 30 September 2006 (UTC)


Aryan Nations, Hamas, and Socialist Worker Party as "Partisans"?[edit]

I objected to the UK SWP getting lumped in with white supremacists as "extremist," at the time the UK SWP website was promoting worker pensions, hardly an extremist position. They were removed but someone stuck them back in in the last few months, now as part of the "partisan websites" mini-section. Now the problem is more multifaceted, Aryan Nations and are not political parties as far as I know, and this applies even if they have some group of five losers writing up flyers in their basements and claiming to be one. Hamas is a political party with a wing that conducts suicide bombings. Is it proper to lump UK SWP in with this motley crew? I don't think so. Another problem in my view is that the mini-section is really conflating "extremist" with "partisan." If you want to have a section on partisan sourcess, then sure put UK SWP in there along with the French leftist parties but also the UK's Labour and Conservative parties and the American Republicans and Democrats, and Greens worldwide and so on really. And then you can break off the extremist sources like white power groups and Al Qaeda and so forth somewhere else. DanielM 14:20, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

The way you have stated your post, it sounds like you are saying that the text which contains the phrase which you titled this subsection with might or might not be a fair description and a good communication, but instead, your objection is to the use of a term "UK SWP" in a context next to some other terms which are more extermist in view ? Terryeo 17:10, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Didn't mean to be unclear. Objection #1: it is improper to class the Socialist Worker's Party with Aryan Nations and Hamas and so forth, because it is not as extremist. Objection #2: it is improper to combine extremist organizations with partisan organizations in the context of describing what is or is not a reliable source, because many partisan groups are not extreme. No, I did not mean to suggest that the heading above is a fair description or good communication. DanielM 19:08, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you, makes sense, now. Terryeo 19:40, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

I noticed this as well, and I think its part of a much wider problem I've began to identify on wikipedia. There is a great deal of US bias here. Whilst Americans consider the SWP an extremist organisation, they still have some degree of popularity in the UK and were major players in the anti-war movement prior to the invasion of Iraq. Damburger 15:28, 14 August 2006 (UTC)



I think that "convenience links" are legitimate and reasonable. A link to an online copy of an article is a convenient version of a reference to a printed article which may be difficult to find. The location of the copy does not provide the reliability - the original source does. Except in cases of the linked site that are extremist or clearly untrustworthy, I think that convenience links should be allowed.

User:Will Beback WP:RS 21:26, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

in the interests of tightness and simplicity[edit]

  • However, that a source has strong views is not necessarily a reason not to use it, although editors should avoid using political groups with widely acknowledged extremist views, like or Al-Qaeda.

could be replaced by

  • Strong views need not disqualify a source, but editors should avoid citing extreme political groups, like Stormfront or Al-Qaeda.

Precis 08:37, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. SlimVirgin (talk) 13:39, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree, though I'd like it to read "though where possible editors should avoid..." I see no reason to discourage direct references to primary material issued publicly by such groups which can be taken as authoritative on their published opinion. For instance, one might say "on 19 May, 2008, the British Nasty Party announced that it planned to sponsor Mr Bimmler as its candidate in the General Election, contesting the Prime Minister's parliamentary seat", and it would not only be perfectly in order, but desirable, to cite a press release issued by the Nasty Party, always assuming that the significance of the announcement passed all other criteria of balance and neutral point of view for the article in question.
Caution is sometimes necessary, however. Sometimes, for instance, political parties have schisms, with two or more factions each claiming to represent the true party. In the UK, political parties are relatively informal affairs compared to some countries, so it's quite possible for two different entities to continue to duke it out for some time. The classic case was when the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Liberal Party held a joint conference and unified as the Liberal Democratic Party. Some dissenting Social Democrats continued to fight by-elections and council elections under the SDP name (Social Democratic Party (UK, 1988), Social Democratic Party (UK, 1990)) --Tony Sidaway 14:17, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
I would suggest we eliminate the nameing of "Stormfront or Al-Qaeda" whatsoever. Saying that Al-Qaeda is an "extreme political group" seems like POV. I'm sure the members of it, don't necessary feel its true. They feel that they are the "hand of God" perhaps, so an entirely righteous group. Whether a source is extreme or not, should be a matter debated on the discussion for that particular article, and not legislated here.Wjhonson 14:59, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
As to the use of direct quotation from primary sources, I agree that quotations about a person, or group *by* that person or group should be able to be linked to the primary source material. Wjhonson 14:59, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

The suggestions above are tenable, but I'd like to make counterarguments anyway.

  • One meaning of the word "avoid" already takes into account "where possible". For example, when the doctor tells you to avoid sugar and salt, she means "avoid sugar and salt where possible". Avoidance is not as strong as proscription.
  • I don't think weasel phrases WP:AWW like "widely thought of as extreme" are necessary with Al Qaeda or Stormfront. Yes, the members of these groups think they are righteous, but even they undoubtedly realize they are far from mainstream. WP should not have to avoid all judgments. We can say the earth is rounded, the Flat Earth Society notwithstanding. Precis 21:14, 21 July 2006 (UTC) P.S. WP discourages extremist sources, and some extremists might think we shouldn't legislate here what kind of sources to avoid. I think we can be bold and take the POV that extremist sources should be avoided, and even give examples like Al Qaeda and Stormfront, which by any dictionary definition qualify as "extremist". Precis 23:43, 21 July 2006 (UTC)


When to quote "fringe" opinion.[edit]

I would like some input about quoting "fringe" opinions. The policy now states that such opinions "may be used as primary sources only i.e. as sources about themselves and their own activities, although editors should proceed with caution. Extremist groups should not be used as secondary sources."

As fringe/extremist opinion is mentioned:, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, the Aryan Nations, British Socialist Workers Party.

  • Firstly; the way I understand the policy this means that if, say or Hamas, voice a very positive opinion about "A", or a very negative opinion about "B" then this should not be mentioned in the articles about A or B, (but it could be mentioned in the articles about or Hamas) Am I correct in my understanding here?
  • Secondly: What it generally considered to be fringe/extremist opinion? In addition to the above, what about the following: Radio Islam, "Bible Believers", Jew Watch, CODOH, "Historical Review Press", David Duke, and LaRouche Movement/ Lyndon LaRouche?
  • Thirdly; can we understand the policy to mean that we can remove any reference to the actions/opinions of these fringe/extremist people/groups, if they appear in any article on WP (except in the article about themselves)?

Regards, Huldra 21:19, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

They could be removed if they are being used as the original sources. But if they are quoted by a reliable source in direct relation to the topic at hand, then they may of course be used by us. For example, if the Washington Post were to quote Stormfront's views on the current crisis in the Middle East, then we could use that in our article about the crisis, using the Post as our source, not Stormfront. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:29, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
To clarify: the question is whether a reliable source has seen fit to quote Extremist Source A. If it has, then we can too, citing the reliable source. But if it's only a Wikipedia editor who has decided to refer to the views of Extremist Source A, then it's original research. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:31, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Here is some input, but it might not be quite what you need. Opinions need to be published to be used in Wikipedia. If a newspaper reports that (any group)'s opinion is (any opinion here), then that newspaper can be quoted but the name of the newspaper and date and article's name should be included to reference what that newspaper said. Whether "fringe" opinion or "mainstream" opinion, both must first be published. Terryeo 21:44, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Here is a real-life example (to the extent that Wikipedia can be called real life). Several newspapers have ascribed antisemitic remarks to Pete McCloskey, based on a transcript of McCloskey's 2000 speech to IHR (Institute for Historical Review). There is evidence to show, however, that the transcript, published by IHR, is inaccurate. The controversy is briefly discussed on the page Pete McCloskey. The IHR transcript is cited there. Now, if you'll permit weasel words, IHR is widely regarded as a fringe group. But since the IHR citation is there to explicate the controversy rather than to advance IHR's point of view, I think the citation is permissible. But I can understand the point of view of those who say it is prejudicial to link to the transcript at all. Precis 21:59, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

WP:RS doesn't use the word "fringe" once. "fringe" and "extremist" are not synonyms. E.g. nazism is "extremist" (always was), it wasn't "fringe" 70 years ago in Germany.

"Fringe opinion" is rather synonym with "tiny minority view". In this sense fringe opinions are dealt with in WP:NPOV#Undue weight:

If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it doesn't belong in Wikipedia (except perhaps in some ancillary article) regardless of whether it's true or not; and regardless of whether you can prove it or not.

On the other hand, "extremist opinions" that are not "fringe" are reported upon in Wikipedia. Only, for example, we don't see a neo-nazist website as the most reliable source on nazism. There are enough reliable sources outside such "extremist" website that can be used as a source for a wikipedia article on nazism. --Francis Schonken 22:15, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Thank you all for your replies. I still would like some more "clear cut" rules, but I don´t know if that is available? Francis Schonken is quite right in saying that WP:RS doesn't use the word "fringe", instead it use the words "widely acknowledged extremist views", which is probably much better. I think the groups/people I mentioned above all come under that description? I note that if you look at e.g. LaRouche_Movement#Current_villains, and then look at the articles about the differnt people ("the villains"), then none of these articles have included any critisism by LaRouche_Movement (even if they have included critisism by many others). (And I´m not suggesting that it should be included). What I´m conserned about is different standards. Take the example of David Duke: is his opinions more reliable/noteworthy, than say, Lyndon LaRouche? I would have said no, but still, I see Duke´s opinions quoted in other articles as beeing "noteworthy". Is he? (An example: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy) Regards, Huldra 23:13, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Duke's views would be regarded as noteworthy if reliable sources quoted them, in which case the publication, not Duke, is our source. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:25, 24 July 2006 (UTC)


UK Socialist Worker Party a Good Example of "extremist?"[edit]

The Reliable Sources article identifies the UK SWP as an "extremist source" right next to the white power Is this appropriate? The SWP campaigns against war and is anti-racist. The headline at their website now is in support of gov't pensions. Extremist? I'm not ruling out that I missed something about them. Can anyone else comment about UK SWP and whether the example should be changed? DanielM 00:18, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

I have changed this example. I would argue that the UK Socialist Worker Party is not widely considered as holding "extremist" views. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 03:11, 11 May 2006 (UTC)


I love this[edit]

"Widely acknowledged extremist political or religious websites — for example, those belonging to Stormfront, Hamas, or the Socialist Workers Party — should never be used as sources for Wikipedia, except as primary sources i.e. in articles discussing the opinions of that organization or the opinions of a larger like-minded group, but even then should be used with great caution, and should not be relied upon as a sole source."

But the other sides in the disputes these people have, equally partisan, are good sources. I think it would have been far better to be clear that no partisan website is likely to be a good source, whether it's Stormfront's or the ADL's, Hamas' or the Israeli government's, the Socialist Workers Party's or the Confederation of British Industry's.

I know I'm one of the few people here who is even concerned that, far from presenting information in a fair, neutral way, Wikipedia simply entrenches a set of biases with this kind of policy but someone has to say it. This and other policies are written in a way that prevents the encyclopaedia's being neutral (including, hilariously enough, the NPOV policy, which is rather a roadmap to a particular bias than a means to create neutral articles).Grace Note 06:39, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

The implication of what you're saying is that we shouldn't use the British government as a source of information on the IRA. So if the British govt has on an official website that X number of people are believed to have been killed by the IRA since the troubles began, we should ignore that, and quote the Guardian instead, which will have used the govt website as its source? SlimVirgin (talk) 12:12, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
There is the staunch university professor in his ivory tower who's use of the internet is "non-encyclopedic", perhaps. But many points of view such as The British Government, Religions, "save the whales", etc. have presented their POV for us. While I agree that the policy of NPOV does not address in enough specificity the vastly different world of online resources, compared to traditional resources, enough to fulfill every possible example, its meat of an encyclopedic, neutral, readable, understandable point of view is, I think, enough as a broad, general policy. Terryeo 23:51, 22 April 2006 (UTC)