User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )/Skeptic
Editors are skeptical of new information added to articles, so the best effort should be made to persuade them that the information is legitimate, and make that vetting process as easy as possible. For example:
- Here a skeptical editor reverts corrected information in an article to dates of birth and death. If the references were clearer, it would be easier for the skeptical editor to see which information was correct. The dates that were deleted by the skeptic were the correct dates that fixed a typo. A direct quote may have prevented this correct information from deletion.
- Here again the skeptical editor reverts changes in an article of a correct school attended by the subject (the subject switched schools, so attended both) and labels it vandalism. More easy to read references, with the quoted text may persuade the editor that the information is indeed correct and not vandalism.
- Here a skeptical editor removes the subject years of birth and death, maiden name, and place of death. Again, to persuade the skeptical editor, easy to vet, fully quoted citations should be used to persuade them that the information is real and not vandalism. A good editor should always be skeptical, and that why the best references are complete, and easy to verify.
- Here the skeptical editor removed information on the subject's job, husband's name, and where they were buried.
- Here a skeptical editor removes the names of the subject's children and other information involving their role in a Senate subcommittee. He then deletes the same information once again during and active Arcom here. Again, if the references were clearer, and the quote function used to it's fullest, perhaps the skeptical editor would be persuaded that the information comes from a reliable source. If the original editor had supplied better information, I am sure the deleter would have been less skeptical of the information and it would have remained. The quote function makes for a complete reference, and takes less effort to verify the facts. I only blame myself for the deletions for not providing more complete information, all new information should be treated with skepticism, and I applaud skeptical editors.
- Here a skeptical editor removes the names of two people involved in the Army-McCarthy Hearings that were mentioned in their obituaries in the New York Times. Again the burden is on me, the person adding the information, to persuade the skeptic that the information is factual and verifiable. Although I thought they were well referenced, I should have been even more clear in the sources and quotes so that the information could stay in the article. I should never overburden the fact checker, it should be as easy as possible to confirm with clickable links, and quoted information. As the skeptical fact checker points out, the burden is on the person adding the fact to the article, to show that is comes from a reliable source.
- As RAN knows, I am the "skeptical editor" in all of the above cases. As RAN knows, in two of these I RVed technical changes made without comment by an anon editor. As RAN knows, in the other cases I was reverting for reasons that had nothing to do with skepticism. As RAN knows, in no case did "clarity of references" have anything to do with anything. RAN is playing games with the Arbitration Committee here. RedSpruce (talk) 15:58, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
- If any editor, including myself, is reverting correct information and restoring back to an error, and the reason is not "clarity of references", then the remaining choices for deleting are: lack of research, or the editor is displaying article ownership. Anon should never be assumed to be incorrect, there is no need for kneejerk deletions of material you didn't add to an article. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 02:03, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
- Here RedSpruce explains why he deletes what I add to articles: "I would agree that the use of quotes in footnotes, in any single article, is a minor, even trivial issue. As I noted in my first statement regarding this case, what makes Richard Arthur Norton's behavior non-trivial is that he is repeating this "minor dis-improvement" (as I called it) over literally thousands of articles. I wanted to convince him that this was wrong, and since he has at times been profoundly, insistently resistant to engaging in discussion, the only way to force a discussion was through edit warring (my emphasis added). If you look at this as a dispute over one or a few articles, I'd agree that this particular instance of edit-warring over a stylistic issue was lame. I looked at it as an effort to stop the dis-improvement of thousands of articles. It was with those thousands of articles in mind that I initiated this ArbCom case." RedSpruce admits he is disrupting Wikipedia to make a point, and he is continuing to delete my changes to articles, even while the Arbcom is ongoing here
Deletions during Arbcom
- Here Redspruce deletes the quotes from the references during the Arbcom hearing.
- Here Redspruce removes the note that Time magazine used a variant spelling of the subjects name in the obituary. This leaves the next person to read the Time obituary to redo the research to find out which of the two is correct. It is not a trivial task. When two reliable sources of information conflict, don't throw one away and pray the other is correct. Show the reader, and the serious researcher why one is correct and the other is wrong. When I pointed this out during Arbcom, he inserted his own reference, but left mine deleted. This is further evidence of showing detrimental ownership, and kneejerk deletion of material he doesn't add to an article. The spelling he added is not correct at all, however my cut and paste from time magazine was correct.
- Here again Redspruce removes facts not added to article by himself on May 01, reverted by AlanSohn and again the same deletions here back to his version on May 08. Again during an active Arbcom on this very subject. He does it again on June 02, reverted by AlanSohn and once again on the same day here, again reverted by AlanSohn; again here on June 06 reverted by me; June 15 reverted by BioPhys; and again here on June 19 and it is reverted by me.
- Here he again changes the caption to image for the fourth time, despite consensus on the talk page, and despite efforts to appease him with multiple rounds of changes to the wording.
Redspruce adds incorrect information to articles, and resists changes
Incorrect information sits in articles while he endlessly reverts changes by people trying to reference the articles. Redspruce tends to revert to incorrect information because he didn't add it:
- In the Annie Lee Moss article the RedSpruce caption for the photo said she was testifying before Joseph McCarthy, even though the article says that he left the room when she started to testify. See here
- In the article on Elizabeth Bentley, RedSpruce stated that "her death passed with relatively little notice." Read here. A search in Google news found her obituary in the New York Times, Time magazine, and the Washington Post, and others.