Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)

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 Policy Technical Proposals Idea lab Miscellaneous 
The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss proposed policies and guidelines and changes to existing policies and guidelines.
If you want to propose something new that is not a policy or guideline, use Village pump (proposals).
If you have a question about how to apply an existing policy or guideline, try one of the many Wikipedia:Noticeboards.
This is not the place to resolve disputes over how a policy should be implemented. Please see Wikipedia:Dispute resolution for how to proceed in such cases.

Please see this FAQ page for a list of frequently rejected or ignored proposals.

« Older discussions, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144

Contents

Do "sister cities" belong in top-level articles about cities?[edit]

It seems like a huge number of articles about cities end with a list of sister cities, and I'm feeling skeptical about the practice. For some (Chandler, Arizona) we have more or less incidental links, and there is very little to say. For others (Chicago) we have extensive sections with dozens of little flag icons, but is this material as important to include there as, say, Maxwell Street (mentioned only in the name of a food), or Boystown, which gets one line? (indeed, following that latter link it appears even Boystown, Chicago redirects in a way that tends to minimize the demographic implications and cultural attractions associated with the term)

Now I want to be clear - such material is often cited, almost certainly true, and therefore should have a place in Wikipedia. However, that place should be somewhere that it is relevant, and the question I want to raise is whether it is relevant to a city as a whole. This is much the same question as comes up with "international reactions" to mass shootings and other popular culture events. My initial feeling is that the connection here is weaker, because with a mass shooting you have one massacre and one set of international reactions; but with a city you have a vast number of ongoing events, and only a handful of nominal events about sisterhood. We do have articles like List of sister cities in Europe, which to me seem like the place where these things belong.

Opinions? Wnt (talk) 21:42, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

I assume you're suggesting that we (1) create and build List of sister cities in Africa, List of sister cities in Asia, List of sister cities in Australia, List of sister cities in North America, and List of sister cities in South America (are there any sister cities in Antarctica?), (2) replace the content at Chicago#Sister cities with {{Main|List of sister cities in North America#Chicago}}, and (3) repeat 2 for every other sistered city on the planet. Is that correct?
Have you considered the magnitude of such a project? Would it be worth the massive amount of editor time required? Or would it be just reorganizing information with insufficient cost-benefit justification? I think the WP:WIP pile is already far too large, and I'm leaning toward the latter. My opinion might change if (1) there were a consensus that it would significantly improve the encyclopedia, AND (2) one or more editors would commit to getting the job done within, say, two months. ―Mandruss  22:50, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
We have List of twin towns and sister cities in North America, List of sister cities in the United States, and Category:Lists of sister cities in the United States with many state lists, but nothing for Chicago or Illinois (except the odd List of sister cities of Springfield, Illinois which is shorter than Springfield, Illinois#Sister cities). PrimeHunter (talk) 23:34, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
Then at a minimum we would have to agree on conversion from the existing uncoordinated hodgepodge to some coherent and consistent structure, so as to at least give the appearance that this project's left hand knows what its right hand is doing. And still within a reasonable time frame. ―Mandruss  23:41, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
Wnt's question implies a false dilemma. You can have Chicago's sister cities in the article, and also have more information about Maxwell Street and Boystown. The most relevant article to list sister cities of Chicago is in the article about Chicago. Jack N. Stock (talk) 00:04, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment I'll refrain from excessive editorializing on "sister cities", but suffice it to say that I think the concept is stupid and a waste of space to discuss here in the exhaustive detail that is present. However, as there is no shortage of space here, I can't make a good argument to remove them. power~enwiki (π, ν) 00:04, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
  • I tend to agree it's non-encyclopedic information; this stuff actually changes all the time, and is primarily for the entertainment and [something, I'm not sure what the word is] of residents, and for tourism promotion. It doesn't actually tell us anything informative about the cities. Festooning these lists with flag icons, even if we keep the lists, is against MOS:ICONS.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  19:47, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
I believe that sister-cities is WP:TRIVIA (though I assume some are interesting enough to warrant proper inclusion). That they are trivia is easily established by seeing that such lists are almost always just that: a list of cities with nothing else to say about it. (In that regard, Chicago's piece is better than most). Wnt's point may technically be a "false dilemma" because size is no restriction, but burdening the article with trivial crap is hardly a plus for the encyclopedia. Maintaining a list of deep-dish pizzerias in Chicago would be just as verifiable and more useful than the list of sister cities (and, frankly, do more to tell you about the place). Matt Deres (talk) 21:12, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
Just on Chicago alone in the last month, you have international political meetings, medical initiatives and agreements, connecting with sister cities. So yes, they can tell about a city in the world, and no, it's not trivial. Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:38, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
And yet for some reason you haven't added that stuff to the article - why not? My guess is that it's because many, many, many significant things happen in Chicago all the time and the stuff you listed was, in the long run, not that big a deal. So the mayor of Birmingham visited - so what? So did the mayor of San Juan and London - are those visits less worthy of inclusion because San Juan and London aren't sister cities? Matt Deres (talk) 22:23, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
Your question is bizarre. You don't add everything to an article section, the article already covers it. Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:28, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
My purpose was to point out that the actions ascribed to sister-city status are no less trivial than the notion of sister-cities themselves. You don't want to add those links to the article (rightly) because even though they may technically be notable in the WP sense, they have no business in an article about the city as a whole. So it is with the list itself. It's just meaningless political glad-handing. Matt Deres (talk) 04:07, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
So, your purpose is to restate your evidence free feelings by making bizarre questions with bizarre assumptions, thus when faced with evidence all you can do is re-state your evidence free feelings. We will have to disagree. Cities are body politics. But when you write about crime in a city, you do not put everything in that section, and when you write about city architecture, you don't put everything in that section, and when you write about city food you don't put everything in that section. And when you write about cross-cultural, cross-international, international organizations and agreements of cities, it does not mean you do not cover it. Just because you don't like the city's choice of politics, or their chioce cross-cultural relationships, or their international economics is no reason. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:16, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
Even if you take a city article with type of section, which sure can be improved, of which you have expressed your stronger dislike, Mineral Point, Wisconsin. In reading the rest of the article, you know exactly why it was important for that city to have a sister city agreement with a city in Cornwall, why you see multiple Cornish flags and signs about their Cornish sister city in that small town in the middle of America, and it's not because it's not important to them. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:13, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I'll add my name to those who feel that sister cities are cringe-worthy and should be removed altogether except in cases where the relationship is significant to history. Zerotalk 11:52, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment: Frequently it is relevant to the city as a whole. There's usually some reason why two cities are paired. For example:

Those are the kind of things that get cities paired. Interestingly, that means you can learn something about one city by looking at its sisters. — Mr. Guye (talk) (contribs)  03:24, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

@Mr. Guye: This is a fair point. However, the article for Minneapolis just presents a list of 12 sister cities, of which one in Somalia is actually pretty recent. It says elsewhere in the text that Minneapolis has a large Somali community. Such a place might be a fair spot to mention in passing that Minneapolis has a sister city on this basis, linking perhaps to a sister cities sub-article that lists all the sister cities of cities in the U.S. or something. I don't think the section as it is is really so useful. Wnt (talk) 23:38, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

Not a democracy?[edit]

As a direct result of 17 years under the current model, content policy and guideline have become so complex, watered down, and self-contradictory as to be all but useless in governing content. For most disputed content, equally convincing policy arguments can be made for and against, and routinely are. Supporters make policy arguments A and X, opposers make policy arguments B and Y, and the closer (if any) is not allowed to decide which side has the weightier arguments because that would be a supervote. The only requirement, even when it's enforced, is that we make some kind of cogent connection to some policy, which is fairly easy for any editor well-versed in policy. Even if all participants are acting in good faith, which is rare, this leaves content arguments heavily dependent on editorial discretion and judgment, which are extremely susceptible to natural human bias. Looked at with stark clarity and objectivity, consensus comes down to the POVs of the editors present, and Wikipedia editing has become the democracy that it claims not to be.

For this reason, I sit out a majority of the content discussions that I see in the AP2 area. I have strong feelings in that area, and I'm not comfortable being (much) a part of what I see as a fundamentally broken system. I participate when I feel that policy clearly points us in one direction, and that's rare.

I'm posting this because I think it's a worthwhile discussion and not inappropriate for this page—even if there is no viable solution—and in the hope that I can be persuaded that my thinking is flawed. This is very different from the recurring "Wikipedia has a [liberal or conservative] bias" discussion, one of which was recently closed after 56 hours as a waste of time. Perhaps it can be received as something other than pointless heresy worthy of a speedy close. That said, I know these things usually degenerate into pointless bickering, and it would need to be closed at that time.

Comments? ―Mandruss  18:24, 24 June 2018 (UTC)

I would say that a lot of issues would be eliminated related to AP2 and many other ongoing controversial areas if we kept WP:NOT#NEWS and recentism in mind, in addition to how much information there is in a 24/7 news cycle and how much this has to be included in our encyclopedic articles. Facts can be updated when they come down the road, but opinions and analysis should be held off or very carefully discussed before addition. Too much of what I see at ANI/AE is because editors want to rush to add in non-facts (even if they are detailed analysis from well-established experts) that are critical of the topic, because it is human nature to focus on the negative, and editors challenging that. We don't need to be that up-to-date if it causes these behavioral conflicts. --Masem (t) 21:45, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
AP2? Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 22:11, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
Post-1932 American politics, most commonly present-day American politics. Refers to ArbCom remedies in that area. ―Mandruss  22:14, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
WP:ARBAP2 PackMecEng (talk) 22:17, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
I very much agree with Masem’s comment on this. We have a serious problem with not enforcing recentism and NOTNEWS. And it does tend to manifest in the form of giving UNDUE coverage to negative analysis and opinion regarding current events. Blueboar (talk) 22:44, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
I didn't intend for this to be a discussion about AP2 specifically, and I see similar problems in other areas. If it's more useful to narrow scope, so be it, but I suspect narrowing to AP2 will quickly devolve into a Wikipedia-bias discussion like the recently-closed one. ―Mandruss  23:12, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
Can you give us some examples from non-politics articles? Blueboar (talk) 00:58, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
I could, and I understand the benefit of illustration, but then we would tunnel-vision on those examples and miss the larger picture. The point is that we have one set of PAGs for everything; if the problem I have described exists at all, it exists for all topic areas. ―Mandruss  01:27, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
OK... Unfortunately, I can not comment on (or address) your concerns without a clearer understanding of what those concerns actually are... and to gain that clearer understanding, I would need some examples. So I guess I am done. Blueboar (talk) 01:50, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
That's fine. Ultimately, what I've said rings true with other editors based on their experience, or it doesn't. ―Mandruss  01:58, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
Keeping in mind my comment about 24/7 news cycles and their impact on lack of NOT#NEWS/recentism considerations, the next biggest area that this behavior manifests itself is any persons or groups involved in the current culture war over identity politics (which, unless they are a politician or directly connected to one, are not covered by AP2), which this often comes down to those called out as alt-right or far-right. This is not to say that we should whitewash away any valid criticism of these people, but their articles tend to be extremely slanted to paint them in as negative a light as possible, adding in any sourced opinion that make them seem worse, and attempts that I've seen to at least achieve a reasonable mid-point are refuted because "we have to follow UNDUE". I've argued elsewhere that UNDUE really needs aspects of recentism thrown in; UNDUE is great when looking at coverage of a topic 5 to 20 years after its left the spotlight to judge what the sources are, but fails in the immediate present in light of 24/7 news cycles. --Masem (t) 13:29, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
I think this highlights a problem with UNDUE. A plethora of low quality, though still reliable, sources can, and do force us to have highly biased and partisan articles. This could be mitigated if source quality could be weighted, but the way UNDUE is written now it's just a numbers game. --Kyohyi (talk) 13:49, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps the next step then would be to propose modifications to WP:UNDUE with an RfC? I imagine we could get broad support for this if done properly. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 15:06, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
It's not usually "low-quality" sources, though. It's mid-to-upper tier sources where these opinions/analysis are coming from (mid tier being things like the Daily Beast or Vox, at a mid-tier, up to things like the Washington Post and New York Times). And while writers for some of the upper tier works should be respected as experts or key people in certain fields, doesn't meant we need to include their immediate opinion if we've already layered on a lot of negative information already.
I've argued both on the lack of recentism concerns in UNDUE, as well as the fact that editors review UNDUE weighting of sources limiting themselves only those sources we have deemed RS, while we really should be looking at the broader pictures, and then decide what material from RSes may make sense to include. It is very short-sighted of editors to only look at a subset of sources and in the here-and-now to say that this is how a subject should be covered, when we really should been considering a much higher level, broader view (in both sourcing and time) to make sounder judgments of what to cover. That immediate action that some editors want to use is what fuels the endless debates and combative nature in AP2 and other topic areas. --Masem (t) 15:33, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree with you on tiering. To me, upper tier is reserved for academic sources with good peer review. Mid-tier are academic style journals that pose new ideas, but not necessarily extensively peer reviewed. Also mid-tier are high quality publications that fall in NEWSORG. Finally, Editorial commentary, analysis, and opinion pieces in NEWSORG type publications are low tier or even should not be considered reliable at all. --Kyohyi (talk) 15:54, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
That's fair, but when I see debates on this articles, there's usually very little consideration of academic sources, and newspapers like NYTimes and others are held as high-tier sources for these. Given that good academic sourcing takes time to develop, we do have to consider how newspapers and other similar sources are used in the "short term" to develop these articles. --Masem (t) 16:05, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
I agree entirely with what you've posted here, Masem. The implications result in articles that are far too focused on history of the subjects post-2000s (where online news articles are more frequently found) and provide what is essentially trivia rather than a comprehensive overview of the topic. Killiondude (talk) 01:00, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Our main problem is a new generation of editors that thinks everything is bias and use clickbait news spam as sources.....even seen people fight to keep one paragraph headline spam from Buzz feed. We need to update our policies about clickbait and news spam. No longer an academic environment and we need to make things more clear for the Next Generation.... like the difference between news reporting vs journalism....just look at the play by play daily news coverage at Scott Pruitt#Controversies .--Moxy (talk) 01:13, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
On the matter of Wikipedia becoming more democratic, or otherwise functioning as a de facto democracy, is that even a bad thing? More fundamentally, Mandruss, was there ever a worthwhile alternative? Regarding the concern that "consensus comes down to the POVs of the editors present", was that ever not the case? Sure, Wikipedia policy proclaims otherwise, but that is just another mute referral to scripture whose antiquites have become rather quaint. Given you consider this to be a "fundamentally broken system", what can replace it? Alternatively, why replace it? What objections do you have to the conditions you described?
I am genuinely interested in your thoughts on these matters and since nobody has asked those broader questions yet, I might as well. Hopefully, they are not too far beyond your intended scope. —Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 22:51, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
@Nøkkenbuer: is that even a bad thing? Yes it is, unless Wikipedia content is to reflect the POV of the side who can mobilize the most editors. I think that's a bad idea.
I've been around for only 5 years, so I don't know whether things were ever any different. I do know the following two things. 1. If policy were less complex, watered down, and self-contradictory, it would tend to point everybody toward the same answer. It would be harder to misinterpret policy, and it would be harder to deliberately misuse it. The inherently biased editorial judgment would play a far smaller role. 2. Policy wasn't born that way, it took 17 years under the current model to get here. I postulate that that is an inevitable result of the way we have developed PAGs. Too many cooks in the kitchen, with no requirement for any particular cooking talent or experience. A different model would be needed, one in which policy is decided and written by a smaller group of individuals who have very extensive experience and policy knowledge, and who have an instinctive understanding of the problem and are prepared to say no, the policy doesn't really need that new wrinkle. The wide-open egalitarian self-governance model is a novel and interesting idea, but it's novel because civilization long ago figured out that it doesn't work. All societies need "wise men" (and wise women) in some form.
I reiterate what I said in the OP, "even if there is no viable solution". While there may be a theoretical solution, it is unlikely to be viable because the change would be too dramatic. It would require WMF to take action without asking for our permission, and that is unlikely in the extreme. I simply feel it's important to recognize and understand the problem for what it is—a problem with the system, not the people using it. ―Mandruss  04:53, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Bullet list of key misinterpretations of current sourcing policy[edit]

Some related points badly need to be reinforced, perhaps in multiple places (though in much more compact wording – I'm trying to explain the issues, not wordsmith them into rule rewrites):

Original draft:
  • What a writer/organization is an expert in actually matters. A lawyer is not a linguist, and punditry from one about English-language dialects is not reliably sourced just because it got published (especially if perpetuation of incorrect beliefs about dialectal matters is what drives his book sales). The central principles behind WP:MEDRS really apply to all topics. It doesn't matter if an author is a world-class expert on quantum mechanics, if what they're writing about is a professional digression into human psychology or the history of Cyprus. We're suicidally over-focused on publisher reputability [based mostly on pre-Internet reputation] instead of author reputability, in an era when publishers are buying each other, selling off divisions (without changing the names) to whoever has the most money, getting entirely bought out by international infotainment conglomerates, and also going more and more toward where the money is into nonsense populist works full out outlandish claims. Being from a major publisher is not proof that a source is reliable, it's just an indicating that it is more likely to be reliable than self-published blogging or e-books because at least one professional editor acted as a filter.
    • Journalism news reporting about or touching on technical topics cannot be used as a reliable source for technical claims. Journalism (in either sense) simplifies both concepts and wording in such topics. Nor is it reliable for statistics; journalists get statistics from somewhere else (the reliable sources for them) and then often misinterpret and misrepresent the data.
  • Blogs and advice/review/op-ed columns are primary sources and most of them are not high-quality primary sources. When they have not been written by notable individuals or those acting as official spokespersons of notable organizations, either with their own sources cited or at least a very clear indication where the information is ultimately coming from, they're just noise.
    • Even when editorial materials have been written by such ostensibly reputable parties, they are viewpoint not fact. Many columnists are wrong about many things, and the entire point of an op-ed (opinion editorial) is to press an opinion or view, just like a press release.
    • Even MEDRS has an error in it in this regard which I've been trying to fix for several years in the face of WP:STONEWALL behavior: "Ideal sources for biomedical information include ... position statements from national or international expert bodies". Position statements are press releases (though often citing their own sources for background facts, as do high-end op-eds), and the guideline even used to say "press releases" there. That term was removed to sweep under the rug the fact that MEDRS is saying, e.g., the British Medical Association or FDA organizational stance on e-cigarettes is "ideal" secondary sourcing when it is actually highly politicized primary material.
    • When usable at all (per WP:UNDUE), opinion material must be attributed inline and often should be directly quoted. We don't repeat what they say in Wikipedia's own voice. Reviews (in the book, film, etc. sense; I don't mean academic literature reviews) are by nature subjective; a work cannot be said by WP to be derivative, thrilling, etc. based on them; we can just quote/paraphrase reviewers in a due and balanced manner. (However, in-depth reviews can sometimes be secondary RS for particular facts, when they are based on research and are stating a simple objective claim, e.g. that so-and-so scene was filmed in Botswana. An FDA statement can likewise be a secondary source for factual not stance material when its own sources for the claim are clear.)
  • News reporting and journalism proper are not the same (though the profession of journalism covers both). But neither are guaranteed reliable secondary sources. Plenty of investigative journalism is primary, especially where it hides sources and comes to a conclusion reached by the writer as if that individual had the fact-finding and deductive powers of a huge agency. Some careful news reporting is secondary (based on interviewing multiple experts, agencies, etc., not on repeating what eyewitnesses said), when it's not regurgitation and conclusion-leaping; even then it has to be treated more and more like primary sourcing the closer it is to the events it's reporting on, and the further those events recede in time.
    • Learn this, know it, live it: Publication in a major newspaper, news site, academic journal, non-fiction TV show, etc. doesn't magically make it secondary. Secondary is a quality of the writing and the editorial process that led to publication, not of the publishing company or publication itself. Various publications that focus on secondary material also include lots of primary material. "It was in a newspaper so it must be secondary" is nonsense, a misunderstanding of the concept. (Do you think the advertisements in the newspaper are secondary sources? What about the "situation wanted" classifieds?)
    • Headlines and similar news blurbs ("kickers" and "deks" – see News style) are not sources; they're metadata and advertising: summaries and attention-getting teasers that not only are not the actual substance of the piece but often misrepresent it, either as to material facts or as to balance.
  • Not all tertiary sources are created equal. Reputable encyclopedias and dictionaries, both general and field-specific, are reasonable sources (at least temporarily) for basic and uncontroversial information, as long as we understand that more in-depth and current secondary sourcing trumps them. Coffee table books are not in the same class and verge on categorically unreliable. Being a compilation of previously-published claims doesn't automagically make a work reliable.
    • Dictionaries are generally not reliable except for what a term means in everyday casual speech and writing (which is usually not what we're writing about except in an article about a slang expression). They cannot be used to trump more in-depth sources. If we have an article about a term, the most notable and encyclopedic information is how the term is used in one or more professional fields; we should note the broadened everyday-banter definition in passing only, and focus otherwise entirely on what RS in the field(s) say about the term and the concept(s) it describes. A dictionary's definition that doesn't including that meaning cannot be used to suppress it. Similarly, if a dictionary (a highly tertiary source) gives a concise definition of how the term is used in a specific field, this cannot be used to constrain the scope or content relating to that field either; we should use the same sorts of secondary sources to provide encyclopedic coverage that the dictionary writers used [we hope] to arrive at their over-simplified topical dicdef (which may also be decades out of date); we should do a better job of it.
  • And that's just touching on some basic sourcing issues. Community understanding of WP:NOR seems to be an an all-time low. That policy needs to be rewritten with greatly enhanced clarity, both as to what various classes of sources are for what kind of info in what contexts, and as to what does and doesn't constitute original research at all. At this point, I now regret having opposed the merger plan of WP:NOR, WP:V, and WP:RS into a single attribution policy, back in the 2000s. While it would have produced a very long policy, at least it would've been in one place, and interpretational issues could actually be managed and resolved.
    • Every day I see farcical antics at both extremes of NOR misinterpretation. On one day, it's someone taking multiple sources about event X that suggest correlations with entity Y and perhaps outcome Z, none of them in agreement about exactly what happened, and turning this into a WP statement that Z is a result of Y doing X. The next day, it's someone denying that we're able (instructed, in fact) to use multiple sources that are in agreement to summarize the RS consensus in our own words, just because they didn't all use exactly the same phrasing.
    • This stuff is intensely disruptive, in a far worse way than chest-beating contests on talk pages, since it results in skewed edits in the articles, and thus direct misinformation or misleadingly cagey and incomplete information being sent to our readers.
  • WP:DE and related provisions (WP:NPA, WP:NOT#FORUM / WP:NOT#BATTLEGROUND, etc.) need to be enforced more swiftly and with less drama, especially when discretionary sanctions already apply to a topic.
    • The way to do this is to issue short-term topic bans and blocks with less hesitation, either on the part of DS-using admins or by the community at WP:ANI. If someone's being an asshat, remove them from the topic area and let the rest of us get back to work. If the sanctions are short-term, they will either a) have the desired effect and shift the editor's behavior, or b) demonstrate the editor has some kind of WP:CIR / WP:NOTHERE problem if they keep doing it again and again despite escalating sanctions each time.
    • Our current process typically involves a too-lengthy litigation and too-high standards of proof because the typical sanction imposed is too long and dramatic. Stop making it about a one-year sanction, and instead about a two-day sanction with the next one being a week, then a month, then three. Analogy: Our criminal justice system would be unworkable if every traffic ticket could lead to a life sentence. It would be hard to secure a conviction and no one would be willing to do their time but exhaust every avenue of appeal.

If a lot of this was resolved through better-written policies, then it wouldn't matter so much if screaming obsessives on either side showed up to rant about Trump. If they tried to use sources incorrectly we'd just revert them, and if they unreverted, someone else would revert them again because we'd all be on the same page about sourcing.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  12:33, 29 June 2018 (UTC); collapsed in favor of new version, 04:47, 30 June 2018 (UTC)


User:SMcCandlish......make this into an essay !!! I would link the essay.--Moxy (talk) 00:42, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
Really comprehensive and well thought out wall of text. I agree with pretty much all of this. Now if only we could get some of those changes pushed into actual policy... — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 02:11, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
Working on essay-izing.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  02:15, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
 Done, at WP:FMSP, with some revision and substantial reformatting, plus some additional points. Pings: Moxy, AfroThundr3007730.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  04:47, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

Unblock people using VPNs from editing[edit]

I have a serious concern about blocking people from editing who are using VPNs – as, for example, this has totally silenced anyone in Turkey.

I know this is a complex issue and I'm not suggesting this decision was taken lightly – however surely one resolution would be to simply ‘grade’ edits and if they are done via a VPN they are flagged for more urgent attention.

For what it’s worth, I live in Australia and use a VPN constantly, as all ISPs are now legally allowed to track every site I visit, so I use one as a matter of privacy – and I’m sure I’m not alone.

I’m writing to ask advice about the best next step as I feel this is a very serious issue affecting freedom of speech and I’m not sure how to proceed.

At the very least I'm convinced a blanket ban on VPNs and TORs in principal sets a dangerous precedent and there must be some technical compromise that doesn't effectively silence those in places where Wikipedia is blocked.

I’m on the Editorial Board for the WikiJournal Science and keen to discuss this further - forgive me if this was not the correct place/tone to post here - it's my first time getting involved in this forum.

Jack Nunn 05:23, 26 June 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jacknunn (talkcontribs)

Per Wikipedia:Blocking policy#Common blocks imposed, it says this:

A hard IP address block (account creation blocked, prevent logged-in users from editing from this IP address) disables all editing and account creation from behind the blocked the IP address, whether or not from logged in users (except accounts that are IP-block exempt - these users can edit while behind the blocked IP, but cannot create accounts). This is typically used when the level of vandalism or disruption via creation of "throwaway" accounts is such that all editing from the IP address is to be prevented except after individual checking of requests. Open proxies are hard-blocked on detection, and Tor IP addresses are automatically blocked by the Tor block extension.

VPNs are considered to be like open proxies. — MRD2014 Talk 12:52, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
Hi Jacknunn. How do you propose we stop people from using VPNs/proxies to easily evade blocks? --NeilN talk to me 12:53, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

@Jacknunn: There's no blanket ban on VPN that would be impossible to know all the IPs there are 100s if not 1000s of VPN services who are constantly changing IPs. Try others that are less well known, smaller, more expensive etc.. get away from the crowd greater chance the IPs will be clean. -- GreenC 13:39, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

I have to second GreenC's point: I edited via VPN all the time when I was in China while logged in to this IP block exempt account. Really the only thing that needs to be done is provide a process for folks in Turkey (or countries with similar problems with editing) to apply for an IP block exempt account from the get-go. We have other mechanisms to block such accounts. This doesn't help IP editors, but registering puts one more step between an unsafe editor and a malicious government anyway. Ian.thomson (talk) 15:29, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
In my experience, applying for an IP block exemption is not easy, nor are you very likely to meet with success, despite legitimate uses for one. I don't think a majority of IP users, or newly registered users will have much of a chance with that process, unless we change policy to cover those cases. I still think a soft block would be a better option, since that increases accountability and makes for easier management of the incoming edits from newly registered users. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 15:35, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Many users will not look for lesser-used services, or even have the technical competence to know how to, past the basic guides one finds with a simple search. This is a legitimate issue that affects potential editors in countries with more restricted policies than what a majority of users here currently enjoy. Wikipedia strives to be the "encyclopedia that anyone can edit" but imposing restrictions that can cut off an entire region or demographic due to their (legitimate) use of a VPN or proxy is akin to throwing the baby out with the bath water. I know we need to cut down the vandalism, but a lot of our automated (and semi-automated) anti-vandalism tools have come a long way since this blocking policy was created. As mentioned above, the edits could even be flagged automatically for review, like we currently do for other potentially damaging edits. Are we sure that the continued blocking of all of these anonymizing solutions is really necessary? I would very much like to see statistics on number of vandalism edits previously encountered from anonymized users (and any other related data that may be relevant), so that we can properly assess the potential impact of this issue.
I know we need to cut down the vandalism, but a lot of our automated (and semi-automated) anti-vandalism tools have come a long way since this blocking policy was created. As mentioned above, the edits could even be flagged automatically for review, like we currently do for other potentially damaging edits. Are we sure that the continued blocking of all of these anonymizing solutions is really necessary? I would very much like to see statistics on number of vandalism edits previously encountered from anonymized users (and any other related data that may be relevant), so that we can properly assess the potential impact of this issue. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 15:33, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
Of course it is necessary to slow down long-term abusers and general trolls. The automated anti-vandal tools are great but they don't work for long-term abusers, trolls and socks. Allowing anyone to edit is one side of the balance. The other side is providing support for those who do build the encyclopedia by not allowing waves of disruption. Johnuniq (talk) 23:08, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
I agree. The primary reasons for VPN blocks is long term abuse, not casual vandalism. — BillHPike (talk, contribs) 03:39, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Evidence-based policy?[edit]

I just saw this tweet from WikiResearch which I think is relevant and challenges some of the assumptions underlying the VPN policy. Thoughts?

'"most vandalisms [on Wikipedia] were reverted within five minutes" on average' https://web.archive.org/web/20180710063433/https://twitter.com/WikiResearch/status/1016555362575474688

Jack Nunn 06:36, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

Experienced editors are not concerned about poop vandals or others who make nonsense edits because they are easily handled. The corrosive force that drives away good editors is the wave of POV pushers who arrive with brand new accounts to repeat the same arguments that were settled last week and the week before. Open proxies provide haven for such troublemakers. Please ask at WP:HELPDESK about fixing your signature so it complies with WP:SIG. Johnuniq (talk) 11:02, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

VPN blocking discussion summary[edit]

Thank you everyone for your input on this so far - it's an important issue and I appreciate the enlightened discussion. For me I would summarise the issue as a matter of one of balance. If the balance at any point tips and means any one person is silenced from sharing, say, a human rights abuse or environmental catastrophe - then the balance has failed. At the moment, I feel the balance is failing. As mentioned, I don't have the expertise to suggest anything more than vague sketches of ideas. As others have suggested, some kind of flagging/rating/grading system could exist. Maybe a subject for a hackathon - which could redress the balance in a week. It will always be a game of cat and mouse but at the moment it feels like we've let the cat give up. Or are we the mouse? ha ha. Anyway - I had this helpful response from a Wikipedia email address (edited to remove identifying information as I didn't ask if I could share it):

'"We appreciate your email, and I have to say we are very sympathetic to your concerns XXXX we strongly advocate for anonymity and security measures for users wherever possible.

'Our policy against open proxies exists out of sheer necessity. It's unfortunate and we regret it, but the sheer quantity of abuse we receive through these sources is too large to handle. It's not that 'grading' Italic textwouldn't work theoretically, it's that we can barely keep vandalism and long-term abuse off our platform as it is, and we would not be able to do so without the blocks that are currently in-place.

'We do not have a blanket policy against closed proxies, and we evaluate these on a case-by-case basis.

'Experienced editors caught behind a block are encouraged to apply for an IP block exemption, and newer editors are encouraged to spend a few weeks polishing a proposed article to include as part of their application. Italic 'My understanding is we are reasonable with granting these, provided we can establish a level of trust."''

This was a helpful response but I have to agree with other comments above (AfroThundr3007730) - 99% of casual editors (like me) would have no idea how to get around a block, and frankly, shouldn't need to. The whole point of Wikipedia is it's 'quick' and easy to edit - say, in an emergency. I live in Australia and have to turn my VPN off for every edit - that's annoying enough - but it raises enormous alarm bells and I think something needs to change.

Sidetopic - but even this method of having a discussion about something this important feels like something built in the 1980s! Look to Loomio for discussion/decision platforms.

Thank you again for this discussion. Jack Nunn 12:37, 27 June 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jacknunn (talkcontribs)

  • Sorry, you don’t qualify for local IPBE on the English Wikipedia. Any discussions about loosening IPBE all have assumed the loosening would apply to users with significantly more experience on-wiki than you have. Editors who have less than 500 edits are extremely unlikely to be granted it without significant experience on other Wikimedia projects. TonyBallioni (talk) 03:50, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • If the balance at any point tips and means any one person is silenced from sharing, say, a human rights abuse or environmental catastrophe - then the balance has failed. Wikipedia is WP:NOTNEWS and should not contain original reporting. If the abuses or catastrophes are not published in reliable sources, they shouldn't be on Wikipedia. If they are in reliable sources, anyone anywhere in the world can add it to the appropriate article. --Ahecht (TALK
    PAGE
    ) 05:23, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Guidelines regarding birth names of trans individuals[edit]

The guidelines regarding birth names of trans individuals were introduced here, justified with reference to this discussion regarding how to refer to trans individuals who were previously known by another name. It is currently:

In the case of transgender and non-binary people, birth names should be included in the lead sentence only when the person was notable under that name.

However, the aforementioned discussion regards those who were notable under a prior name; I can find no discussion regarding individuals who were not notable under their birth name. It appears the assumption that birth names should not be included was made by a single editor - without debate - in the aforementioned discussion. (This discussion was related to discussions here and here.)

This assumption-turned-guideline was justified via links to GLAAD and NPR. However, those links do not support the premise. The NPR link states, "We respect their wishes if they change their names," i.e., that people will be referred to by their chosen names, with nothing about censoring birth names. Similarly, the GLAAD link states, "They should be afforded the same respect for their chosen name as anyone else who uses a name other than their birth name (e.g., celebrities)." But that's not what we're doing here; the guideline explicitly rejects this in having cis celebrities treated differently. See, for example, Elton John or Portia de Rossi, both of whom have their given names in the lead sentence, while the page for Laverne Cox - the example given here - includes no reference to birth name, not even under "early life." (In fact, that goes well beyond what is proscribed even here.) WP:HARM is mentioned with reference to the aforementioned links, but those links cite no specific harm in revealing a trans individual's birth name, only general harm in refusing to use the individual's chosen name.

In summary, there was no discussion in making the guideline - only related topics - and it was made based on sources that don't support the de facto change. Indeed, the guideline is more extreme than that of the advocacy organization cited! Wikipedia is not censored, so, just as GLAAD advises, Wikipedia should have a single standard regarding birth name regardless of trans/cis status. That would entail removing the specific instruction for trans individuals, possibly reconsidering the one for all individuals in light of this change. Calbaer (talk) 02:24, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

It's a guideline so won't be consistently applied. Guidelines represent a weak form of consensus on how things are generally done. They aren't rules or policies or even instructions - only a guideline. This guideline represents how it's typically done for multiple names. There might be a reason to include it, in which case go ahead, leave a talk page post explaining why. By default it's probably best to leave it out per WP:LEAD: "the most important points". -- GreenC 03:00, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
It makes sense to have the same standard for trans people as for anyone else who changes their name. Just at a glance at a number of articles, it seems that biographies about authors, actors, musicians, politicians etc generally include their birth name in the first line or paragraph regardless of whether that subject ever did anything notable under that name. This makes sense from the perspective of providing information to the reader while still respecting the subject's choice in how they are addressed by using their chosen name as the article title, and throughout the article to refer to them. That GLAAD piece seems to agree with this. I don't know if it's always necessary to include a person's birth name in the lead—perhaps in some cases it'd be better to place it in the body of the article under personal history, or just to leave it out entirely—but it definitely shouldn't be forbidden in the MOS, and that line should be removed from the guideline. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 03:04, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Well looking more closely at MOS:MULTINAMES I see your point, transgender are not only singled out but treated exactly opposite as every other case, why? -- GreenC 04:19, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
  • I don't see how one can have a complete article about someone if they were once known by another name and gender and ummm, we can't mention that. That does strike me as the sort of thing one would mention right away in any reputable biography. This is starting to veer into silliness. -Ad Orientem (talk) 03:56, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
    • The problem is that it often becomes a matter of sourcing. If we have to turn to forum posts or the like that claim Jane Smith was originally born as John Smith but had done nothing notable under that name, there's no reason to mention that. And this is a view I generally see taken by mainstream media as well. It's why we should be guiding by what sourcing does exist, and make sure it is the expected high-quality sources that justifies inclusion of their previous background. --Masem (t) 04:11, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
    • The OP is about MOS:MULTINAMES ie. placement of name in lead vs. body -- GreenC 04:19, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Notability before a name change has never been our guideline for the inclusion of a birth name. I agree that we should not treat this any different than any other name change - if reliable sources cover their birth name and circumstances significantly, then we do too. Singling out one group is the antithesis of equal treatment. A gender change is a major event in the life of someone, and if sources document it, we don't shy away from covering it. Maybe someday sources will stop caring about and stop covering this, and when that happens, then we may never know who was born one way or another and so would not need this exception in that case either. Let's remove it. -- Netoholic @ 07:11, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
As long as it can be reliably sourced, this should be fine, but we need to stress that is equivalent for all people, and stress that "reliably" is very important here. We can't use things like court documents, we definitely can't use things like forum posts or the type of information that the seedier side of the Internet can drag up. If there are a lot of good RS articles about the person that are very detailed, and only a small-town newspaper happens to mention their former name, there's probably a reason not to include it. This logic applies across the board. --Masem (t) 13:21, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
In principle, I agree with you that reliability should be stressed, but I also know that, in practice, sometimes editors consider it like a sport to dig through some pretty obscure references to fill in the early-life biographic details. -- Netoholic @ 14:52, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
If you have to go through obscure though reliable sources (particularly if they aren't as current as where their notability lies) we probably shouldn't be adding it, particularly if the individual makes no mention or even actively seeks to not have attention draw to that. BLP does come down to "do no harm", and that should be taken into effect. Especially for trans-persons, this can lead to off-site harassment and other problems. --Masem (t) 15:45, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Contesting a close three years after the fact is not going to lead to a productive discussion. The view that we should always include birth names was represented by several editors, but did not gain consensus. A substantial change to the guideline should be brought as a fresh RFC.--Trystan (talk) 13:56, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

This is an encyclopedia. We include all sorts of information that the subject may not wish to promote, but that doesn't make it less encyclopedic. Natureium (talk) 13:58, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

  • Despite claims here, the change of name for a trans person is different than the typical change of name. Most changes of name are not a denial of an identity; Hillary Clinton is not claiming not to be Hillary Rodham. Stan Lee had his name legally changed not to deny having been Stanley Lieber, but to better associate himself with the work he did under his popular pseudonym. The trans renaming is not utterly sui generis (the shedding of a "slave name" has some similar effect), but it is far from the default. And the birth name gets wielded by folks looking to do psychological harm to the individual in purposeful deadnaming. So, as with various other personal details, we should avoid it unless we can show it being relevant.... such as in the case where they were notable under their prior name. --Nat Gertler (talk) 14:33, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Sure. Which explains the no lead sentence guideline (which probably actually means in practice not in the lead). The guide does not say don't put it in the article, where it makes sense. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:42, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Even the separate guideline for the lead sentence - as well as omitting it all together - is a different standard of relevance for cis individuals than for trans individuals. Portia de Rossi's birth name is not any more relevant to her article than Laverne Cox's. As for the assertion of harm, two points: One is that citations such as the GLAAD guideline state that the harm is in insisting on only using the birth name, not in mentioning it at all, or even in mentioning it initially to get it out of the way. More extreme assertions have just been editor opinion, unsupported by evidence or even outside opinion. Two is, as stated in WP:CENSOR, "Wikipedia may contain content that some readers consider objectionable or offensive‍—‌even exceedingly so. Attempting to ensure that articles and images will be acceptable to all readers, or will adhere to general social or religious norms, is incompatible with the purposes of an encyclopedia." I understand that this is offensive to those editors who take a position more extreme than that of mainstream advocacy organizations such as GLAAD. However, it is not the job of Wikipedia to avoid such offense by censoring - or even moving - relevant information. Calbaer (talk) 14:49, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Not all personal details are "relevant", even if we know them. We typically will not list a person's street address, say, or their weight (with the exception there being where it's clearly relevant, as with a boxer.) If a person was famous under some prior name, sure, then it's relevant. But giving information that does not give real further insight into the individual and can be weaponized against them? That would seem to fall under things that we would more likely avoid. --Nat Gertler (talk) 15:25, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
That's because not all information is encyclopedic, but a name is. Sir Joseph (talk) 15:34, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
In addition, claims of harm or weaponization are made without either logical argument or external support. The example, Laverne Cox, is openly trans and identified as such in the second sentence of the article, so it's not like this is a big secret. Those who want to use a gendered identifier already have pronouns (he/she) and honorifics (Mr./Ms.) at their disposal, and need not use either birth or subsequent first names. No one has yet offered any reasoning behind the alleged harm of using the same guidelines we use for everyone else covered here.
And, once again, censorship is going beyond even the guideline, which says nothing about excluding the name all together, but has been nonetheless cited as a justification in doing so. Calbaer (talk) 19:28, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
This is a special case of Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons#Presumption in favor of privacy. We are presuming that the prior-to-transition name is something the subject wants to keep private, so are leaving it out unless it is widely documented. The presumption is not always true, so if you can find evidence the subject has no objection to the prior name being published, we can publish it. For example, Daniel Mallory Ortberg has no objections - and, of course, had a widely publicized prior name. But in general, the presumption that the subject does not want to be associated with their prior name is true. --GRuban (talk) 20:03, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
That article is failing badly as an encyclopedic article. It took me reading until the last paragraph of the page to find any information about the basic fact of the subject's gender, and even now, I'm not sure what the answer is. Natureium (talk) 20:07, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
The "claims of harm or weaponization" are indeed true — refusing to use a trans person's preferred name, but instead continuing to refer to them by their deadnamed birth name instead, is quite verifiably documentable in reliable sources as one of the most common tactics for denying the legitimacy of transgender identities that exists at all (right up there with refusing to use the trans person's correct pronouns.) So our principles of privacy and "do no harm" do apply to transgender people's pre-transition names: there needs to be a much higher burden of importance on the information (such as preexisting notability under that name prior to transition) before it's appropriate to include it in Wikipedia, and "people might want to know" is not enough in and of itself. (People might want to know if a transgender woman still has her penis or not, too, but that doesn't mean they have a right to know.) As for Laverne Cox, one of the issues with her is that no reliable sources exist for her birth name at all — so we don't even need to debate whether it's important information for her article to include or not, as no valid sources even exist by which we could ever add it to her article in the first place. I've certainly seen unreliable sources make unverified claims about what her birth name was — but her birth name has never been published in any source that would ever be an acceptable one for the purposes of getting the information included in a Wikipedia article. Bearcat (talk) 20:41, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Listing their birth name in an encyclopedic article is in no way the same as refusing to use their preferred name. No one is trying to argue that the title of the page should be their birth name or that it shouldn't include their preferred name. The argument is that it is encyclopedic to include the person's birth name, and as of yet, no one has provided a valid reason not to. Natureium (talk) 21:21, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Understanding that trans-people may come under harassment and ridicule if their transition is widely known (it's an unfortunate part of the current Internet culture), if by including a birth name we can clearly tell there was a gender transition, even if we don't call it out, that's going to cause those individuals harm. --Masem (t) 22:03, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
The distinction between "listing their birth name in an encylopedia article" and "refusing to use their preferred name" is not as clearcut as you seem to think it is. Keep in mind, for instance, that people cannot insist on using a trans person's dead name instead of their current name if they don't know what the dead name is — which is precisely why any person or organization, media or otherwise, that wants to be seen as being in any way respectful of trans issues has an inviolable responsibility not to participate in being a vector of the dead name's dissemination. Bearcat (talk) 23:37, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
The OP has presented what I think is quite a good source for this topic (the GLAAD transgender media reference guide) that explicitly states that media should afford transgender people the same courtesy they do other people who've changed their names. Many transgender people are able to obtain a legal name change from a court. However, some transgender people cannot afford a legal name change or are not yet old enough to legally change their name. They should be afforded the same respect for their chosen name as anyone else who uses a name other than their birth name (e.g., celebrities). I think that's a pretty good starting place for a guideline on this topic. While I absolutely agree that insisting on referring to someone by their birth name can be inconsiderate or downright cruel, that's not what we're talking about here. The proposal is simply to remove the guideline that forbids mention of a person's birth name in the lead of an article on them. Obviously it makes no sense to include a person birth name if there aren't good sources backing it up—we should use the same standards that we do for any information in a BLP. But the specific requirement that the person have done something notable under their birth name is much different than the guidelines we use for any other person who changed their name. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 21:25, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

It seems to me better to take a step back from the views Natureium and Red Rock Canyon have expressed. Why would it be encyclopaedic to include the birth name for individuals who were not notable under that name? In such cases, there is an entirely reasonable presumption that these trans people would not wish to be deadnamed and would not wish their birth names circulated. What version of encyclopaedicity would outweigh this? Formal consistency or OTHERSTUFFEXISTS is not a good candidate IMO. Newimpartial (talk)

I would request that we avoid using the term "deadnaming," as it is an emotionally charged term, and - even more than that - an imprecise one. Sources seem divided on whether it means calling someone by their birth name (arguably the most popular definition) or mentioning their birth name in any context. Using it to refer to the latter in this discussion is imprecise; if you wish to state the effect of either the former or the latter, state it rather than relying on an imprecise neologism which clouds the argument with imprecision and/or emotion.
Similarly, I would request those claiming that reliable source exist for their arguments to cite these reliable sources rather than just stating that they exist.
If no reliable source exists for a person's name - cis or trans - than we won't use unreliable sources. Similarly, if we decide that it's not encyclopedic to include a trans person's birth name, the same should be true of a cis person's. WP:RS can still be used to remove unreliable information, but the need for a separate guideline still seems to be both unnecessary and unsubstantiated. Calbaer (talk) 21:55, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
The harm done by deadnaming (in the broader not the more restrictive sense) is discussed e.g. here <https://splinternews.com/what-deadnaming-means-and-why-you-shouldn-t-do-it-to-1793848137> and here <https://www.healthline.com/health/transgender/deadnaming>, among a very wide range of sources. This is certainly not a SOURCESEXIST situation, and I am beginning to sense the civil POV pushing that is so often found on trans topics. The argument that Trans and Cis birthnames should be treated identically completely ignores the dangers and aggressions that are part of everyday life for most trans people and seems willfully blind to actual social reality. Newimpartial (talk) 22:11, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm not proposing that we go out of our way to dig up people's birth names. The normal policies of RS and weight and BLP make that determination. I'm talking about a single line in MOS:MULTINAMES that says that a trans person's birth name should not be in the lead unless they did something notable under that name. If you think that the use of someone's birth name is so inherently harmful that we should never even mention it, then you should probably try to get policy in place that forbids that. All I'm saying is that once editors decide to include a person's birth name in their article, they should also be permitted to decide where in the article to include it. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 22:52, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Asking for a reliable source when someone claims one exists is not being "willfully blind." In fact, Newimpartial's sources run contrary to Newimpartial's argument. "Deadnaming occurs when someone, intentionally or not, refers to a person who’s transgender by the name they used before they transitioned" (emphasis added). That is the definition of deadnaming that does not apply here, the use of it to refer to the person rather than to provide information about them. Newimpartial's other source defines it as "the term used in the trans community for calling a trans person by our assigned name at birth." These sources reveal that, as I said, it is an inappropriate term for what is being discussed here.
I am not advocating for calling or referring to trans people by their birth name any more than I would say that it was proper to refer to Elton John as "Mr. Dwight." Newimpartial claims that to even make such comparisons is to ignore the differences, but my point is that those most invested in the well-being of trans individuals take a similar stance. It is Wikipedia that is being out of step if we treat trans people differently; advocacy groups - in spite of the alluded-to differences in circumstances - appear to want them treated just like anyone else.
I will also note that, of the two sources, only one makes a glancing mention that "many trans people would prefer to not have their dead name used at all," but it does not assert any harm from doing so. In addition, both refer to news reporting, which is slightly different from what is referred to here. For example, few media reports include the birth name of celebrities not using those names. Encyclopedias, however, generally do. Nonetheless, even ignoring all this, the sources not support a guideline that omits any reference to the name entirely; they just advise avoiding using the name to refer to the person in question. Calbaer (talk) 23:25, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Q.v. my previous comments on "willful blindness" and "civil POV pushing". First, a point on the "advocacy groups" - they certainly are not arguing that the birth names of Trans individuals should be treated the same way as the birth names of Cis indicuduals in every respect. Rather, they are arguing that, like Cis individuals, they should generally be referred to by their chosen name as a gesture of respect. They are certainly not arguing that deadnaming a Trans person is equivalent to using the birth name of a Cis person, or that the personal consequences of both are likely to be the same. Calbaer has nearly sidestepped the discussion of the consequences of deadnaming in the two sources I cited in favor of a kind of WIKILAWYERING, whereas this was the main point I was documenting through the citations. Finally, Calbaer is making an absurd distinction in maintaining that a reference to the subject by their birth name in the lede, for someone who was not notable under the birth name, is different from "referring to" them and could ever be DUE. As far as I am concerned, the provision under discussion here is simply a specification of UNDUE and should be uncontroversial; reliably sourced birth names can still appear in the body of the article per UNCENSORED. Newimpartial (talk) 23:36, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
The portion of the Healthline reference that I quoted makes that distinction between referring to someone by their given name and using that given name at all, so I'm fairly certainly it's not "absurd." It's not "wikilawyering" to point out that sources you've presented as defending your viewpoint fail to support it. Calbaer (talk) 23:43, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
And I would request that we don't get into dictating what terms trans people are or aren't allowed to use to describe their own uniquely trans-specific issues. It's kind of like how straight people don't get to take the definition of homophobia away from gay and lesbian people — non-trans people don't get to define the terms of debate around a trans-related issue either. LGBT people get to name our experiences as we see and experience them — you're free to decide that you don't care if somebody's basic dignity is being affected by the issue, but you're not free to dictate that LGBT folks aren't even allowed to describe the issue in words whose definitions belong to LGBT folks in the first place. Bearcat (talk) 23:56, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
The guidance from the New York Times Manual of Style and Usage is: "Cite a person's transgender status only when it is pertinent and its pertinence is clear to the reader. Unless a former name is newsworthy or pertinent, use the name and pronouns preferred by the transgender person." In general, good advice, and generally aligned with our current guideline, allowing for the differences between a newspaper and an encyclopedia. If a trans person's birth name is one under which they attained notability, it will be mentioned in the lead. If not, it will generally be mentioned in the body of the article in a section on their early life, where it is pertinent.
Because names are usually gendered, giving a trans person's birth name very often conveys that the person is trans. Including a non-notable birth name in the lead sentence conveys that the first and most important thing we need convey about the person is that they are trans, which is entirely undue (and much more problematic than conveying that the most important thing about Elton John is that he was born Reginald Dwight, which is merely inexplicable.)--Trystan (talk) 02:22, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
  • There's a WikiProject LGBT Studies-specific standard at WP:TRANSNAME, and a related standard at WP:GENDERID. If we have to have the discussion again, deadnaming is an invasion of privacy. To put things bluntly, there is no public right to know whether someone's genitals at birth match their current public identity. Maybe putting it that way will convey some of the gravity of this issue to people who are unfamiliar with the impact. (For what it's worth, here's an inconclusive discussion of the issue regarding a particular trans performer.)--Carwil (talk) 05:19, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
@Carwil: Your "an inconclusive discussion" link is broken. Feel free to just remove this comment when you fix it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  19:44, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
That's nice, but wikiprojects can't overrule community consensus. A majority of things in biographies would probably be considered an invasion of privacy. We only cite reliable sources, and there are no wiki-spies outside people's homes trying to note private information that isn't already published. Natureium (talk) 13:48, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
There's a more subtle question of even if a piece of data is published by multiple RSes, is it appropriate for us to include it? Again, I refer to the case of the Star Wars Kid where, until the person actually stated his identity, we opted to not include his name, despite being published in a few mainstream, reliable press sources. We are not bound to publish every bit of factual information about a person, and should use care in cases where there is potential harm to privacy and/or their well-being. --Masem (t) 13:57, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
The fact that we can have articles on (presumably) cis people who do not have their birth name given indicates to me that an explicit guideline just for trans people is not necessary and in fact may not be sufficient. In any case, most articles on trans people I've seen do mention their status, most in obvious places like the first paragraph and/or the categories.
Regarding the more general issue of giving birth name in the first sentence, that guideline makes sense for an encyclopedia; it does not mean that it's the "most important thing" about, say, Elton John. Encyclopedias are generally not written in inverted pyramid style. (It makes more sense for John - who had an album entitled Reg Strikes Back - than for de Rossi, but a consistent guideline makes more sense than an article-by-article judgment of the importance of birth name.) Calbaer (talk) 22:52, 28 June 2018 (UTC)

* Comment there should be an award for the purest, most unadulterated WP:IDHT. Newimpartial (talk) 23:16, 28 June 2018 (UTC)

I find it interesting that your links generally contain the opposite points from those you've intended to make, whether it be the definition of "deadnaming" or the following, from WP:IDHT: "Do not confuse 'hearing' with 'agreeing with'." Please stop accusing other editors of bad faith, not getting the point, and wikilawyering just because they don't come around to your way of thinking. As WP:IDHT also states, "Believing that you have a valid point does not confer upon you the right to act as though your point must be accepted by the community." My original point is that there was never community consensus for this to begin with, because it was never put up for open discussion. That discussion is long overdue, and insults are not productive additions to it. Calbaer (talk) 18:14, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
Your non-recognition of the ironies of your own posts is consistently amusing. For example, you wrote "No one has yet offered any reasoning behind the alleged harm of using the same guidelines we use for everyone else covered here." When at least three of us offered sources and/or arguments for harm, you simply continue as if no evidence had been offered, and instead shift goalposts or wikilawyer the wording of the sources (what does "refer" mean) without recognizing or acknowledging that your main point had actualy been addressed. Your preferred approach, of looking for a phrase or passage in a source that acknowledges a boundary or a contrary view, and presenting that out of context as if it refutes your opponent's argument, is very difficult to square with AGF AFAICT.
It's not that you deserve an IDHT award because you haven't come around to the consensus view. You deserve an IDHT award because you show no sign of reading with comprehension the posts that disagree with yours. E.g., I understand that you see no good reason why the birth names of Trans folks should be treated differently from the birth names of Cis folks. I, along with the widely-participared consensus in the discussion that gave us MOS:GENDERID, see good reasons why they should be treated differently. You don't have to agree with the majority, but as long as you don't recognize or understand our arguments, well, that's IDHT. Newimpartial (talk) 19:57, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
I don't really see what MOS:GENDERID has to do with this discussion. As far as I can tell, nobody here is advocating changing that policy (ie we all agree transgender people should be referred to by their pronoun and name of choice). But in any case, regardless of my own personal opinions, it seems obvious that a policy that has stood for 3 years, like that in MOS:MULTINAMES, has presumptive consensus, and shouldn't be changed without a new consensus. Given the disagreement in this thread, I think the only way to do that would be to introduce an RFC. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 22:56, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
Is there are policy of presumptive consensus where an unchallenged unilateral guideline change is considered consensus, or is that just what you figure is the case? I'm not challenging anything you're saying, especially what you're saying about an RfC; I'm just curious whether the comment about consensus is a statement of policy or opinion. Calbaer (talk) 23:21, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
It's my interpretation of WP:EDITCONSENSUS. If, after you had started this thread, the vast majority of responses were supportive of your position, then maybe we could've assumed that the consensus in favor of that original change was weak (but maybe not, it's been unchallenged for 3 years after all). However, there's been substantial support for keeping the policy as-is, indicating that any change would be controversial. I'm not sure if there's any policy that explicitly defines this kind of consensus, but I think in this case only the explicit consensus of a formal procedure would suffice for supporting a change. In general, the person proposing to change the long-standing text is the one who has the burden to demonstrate consensus for their changes. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 23:47, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
It's not that I don't recognize your arguments. It's just that they're unsupported by the evidence that you give, and, in fact, countered by some of that evidence. If I understand your accusations of "wikilawyering" as anything other than insults, you mean to say that you feel that the spirit of the articles you share would support your position, even if their content does not. That not everyone agrees with such (re)interpretations is no doubt frustrating, but your strategy here brings to mind an old saying, "When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the rules are on your side, pound the rules. When neither is on your side, pound the table." If you have a relevant counterpoint to make, it would be far more constructive to make it rather venting your frustration through ad hominem attacks. Calbaer (talk) 23:21, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
Dude, I am not the one here pounding the table. I challenge anyone to read the two citations I have above, about deadnaming, and come away with any conclusion other than that "these sources maintain that deadnaming is harmful". Yet the only reaction to these articles that you have shared with us is to quibble over whether referring to the subject of a WP article by their birth name in the lede section constitutes deadnaming. No recognition or critical awareness that your question, "what harm does the use of birth names do", is answered in these among many other RS. No acknowledgement that the connection between giving the name in the lede and actual harm to Trans people was spelled out repeatedly in this discussion. Just continuous wikilawyering based on the presumed universal encyclopaedicity of birth names and constantly moving goalposts around what terms such as "refer" and "deadnaming" mean. The fact is, there is exactly one person in this discussion who has denied the import of these sources or the relevance of the harm done to Trans people on the appropriate content of the lede of articles about them. Those are facts, not insults, BTW. Newimpartial (talk) 04:06, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment. As someone wise once said, Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. We routinely exercise editorial judgment, choosing not to include information for various reasons. ISNOT, which dates to 2001 and has carried policy weight since 2005, says: Information should not be included in this encyclopedia solely because it is true or useful. A Wikipedia article should not be a complete exposition of all possible details, but a summary of accepted knowledge regarding its subject. Verifiable and sourced statements should be treated with appropriate weight and also merely being true, or even verifiable, does not automatically make something suitable for inclusion in the encyclopedia. Per BLP, when writing about a person noteworthy only for one or two events, including every detail can lead to problems—even when the material is well sourced and when the name of a private individual has not been widely disseminated or has been intentionally concealed, such as in certain court cases or occupations, it is often preferable to omit it, especially when doing so does not result in a significant loss of context. (That last bit was more about non-notable people, but the spirit, if not the letter, should apply.) The claim offered above that publishing a trans person's former name is somehow equivalent to publishing a pseudonymous entertainer's birth name is frankly absurd. The guideline is fine, and no coherent, let alone compelling, argument has been offered for changing it. RivertorchFIREWATER 03:39, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
This might not be convincing to you, but it is to me: they're not called BLPs for nothing. It has "biography" in the name for a reason. No halfway decent biography of a public figure would leave out their birth name. Every biography I've read has to some degree discussed the circumstances of the subject's birth. Obviously we're not writing entire books on people, but I think for the people who do have fairly large articles about them, it might make sense to include basic information such as their birth name. The policy you quote above applies to people who aren't majorly notable, who have small articles written about them. And that's for good reason. The same arguments about how noting someone's birth name could harm them also apply to discussions about how noting an actress's birth date could harm her career. And yet we generally consider year of birth worth including in any BLP of considerable length (so long as it's published in reliable sources, of course). I'm not saying every article needs the subject's birth name, just that it should be up to editors working on that article to decide whether to include it and where to include it. This specific guideline is an unnecessary restriction, since existing policy already discusses privacy for BLPs. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 07:55, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
The thing is, RRC, current policy and practice does allow reliably sourced birth names of Trans individuals to be included in articles, and even in the lede if the subject was notable under the former name. Contra Calbaer, this is actually a fairly moderate position that maintains UNCENSORED while avoiding the worst harm that can result from deadnaming in articles (i.e. encouraging deadnaming off-wiki by essentially trolling readers with the birth name in the lede). I hope you might recognize that leaving the issue to local consensus is likely to produce more conflict on BLP pages, rather than less, which should not be a goal. Newimpartial (talk) 13:29, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

A ping would have been appreciated, @Calbaer: EvergreenFir (talk) 08:02, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

As Drmies noted in the close so many years ago, GLAAD does indeed recommend against dead naming ( see now [1]). Not sure why this horse has been exhumed. Rivertorch pointed out many of the issues here: BLPPRIVACY, HARM, ISNOT, etc. As was discussed to death last time, this is not parallel to married names or stage names. There is a deeper, and more harmful, history to how trans people's names are presented. EvergreenFir (talk) 08:16, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

The GLAAD literature multiply cited says that the way publications treat celebrity birth names is the way they should treat birth names of trans individuals. It is bizarre this literature is cited as justification for the guideline by the same people calling the comparison made therein "absurd." I understand that perception is important and it's not a perfect parallel. I never said it was "the same." But when a leading trans rights group - the one cited for this issue - states that they should be treated similarly - even though they aren't identical - I'd say that's fairly compelling evidence that a separate guideline is overkill.
If your viewpoint is that a trans person's birth name should be mentioned - as a fact, mind you, not a reference - then the guideline goes too far. If your viewpoint is that a trans person's birth name shouldn't be in the article, then merely saying that it shouldn't be in beginning doesn't go far enough (although, again, I see this viewpoint as one not reflected in even the trans rights literature). I suppose this is what leads one editor to call the status quo "moderate," but really it makes the status quo nonsensical.
The mention of BLP leads to two questions: If we already have a policy covering details such as omitting birth names, isn't the additional guideline unnecessary? And, since editors keep citing the HARM essay, under what conditions is it harmful to include someone's birth name in the lead paragraph but not harmful to include it further down in the same article? Again, the guideline as it currently stands does not appear to do anything useful, which is why I'm questioning it. Calbaer (talk) 16:14, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
Well, Calbaer, if your goal in beginning this discussion were to push WP policy in the direction of favoring HARM over UNCENSORED, I would say you were well on your way to achieving that goal.
As far as the advocacy literature is concerned, these sources are arguing that just as journalists and others would use the new name for a Cis subject, so too they should use the new name for a Trans subject. None of these sources are arguing that just as one might include the birth name of an encyclopedic subject in the lede for a Cis person, so too one should do so for a Trans person, and it is blatant False Parallelism to infer that they do, a claim you have repeatedly made in this discussion.
Finally, if you can't see the difference in impact between including the reliably sourced birth name of a Trans person "below the fold" in the body of a WP article vs. trolling less-interested readers with it in the lead sentence, then your acuity about internet communication is much less than I believe it to actually be. Newimpartial (talk) 16:36, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
Since you keep addressing it, here's what GLAAD actually says:

Disclosing birth names. When a transgender person's birth name is used in a story, the implication is almost always that this is the person's "real name." But in fact, a transgender person's chosen name is their real name, whether or not they are able to obtain a court-ordered name change. Many people use names they have chosen for themselves, and the media does not mention their birth name when writing about them, (e.g., Lady Gaga, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg). Transgender people should be accorded the same respect. When writing about a transgender person's chosen name, do not say "she wants to be called," "she calls herself," "she goes by Susan," or other phrases that cast doubt on a transgender person's identity. Do not reveal a transgender person's birth name without explicit permission from them. If the person is not able to answer questions about their birth name, err on the side of caution and do not reveal it.

EvergreenFir (talk) 06:11, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

  • So, as I read this discussion, we have a 'rule' that we advise not, under defined circumstances, including the name in the first sentence. Most discussants seem ok with that rule for various reasons. It's also important to note, as it has been noted several times, that the 'rule' is not about the rest of the article, so at present, changing that 'rule' has failed to gain traction, here. What more is there to discuss that will bring light, instead of heat? Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:47, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
Agreed. Using uncommon names in the lede sentence isn't right, but going beyond that limited case to any suppression of known information in the article as a whole would not possibly be acceptable. For example, you can say in the text that Adolf Hitler would have been Schicklgruber if he had not been legitimized by his non-biological father, but saying "Adolf Hitler, also known as Adolf Schicklgruber..." in the first sentence would give readers an entirely erroneous idea that this was a name people know and use often. As far as "deadnaming" is concerned? A person is free to make any assertions he/she/they want about their gender, and if those catch on in the reliable sources, Wikipedia is bound to copy them; but Wikipedia does not suppress information simply to indulge someone's fantasy that he/she/they never had a birth sex. I mean, if we were to give up on telling readers there was ever a Bradley Manning, should we give up saying that she was ever on a boy's sports team? Should we then go a step further, make up a lie and say she was actually on the girl's team, maybe some fake awards and statistics to go with it? No. We hold the line at including what we know is true, because it's the only sane place to draw a line. But putting it in the lede can sometimes give an untruthful impression. Wnt (talk) 21:40, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
The sad thing is that MOS:GENDERID encourages that we avoid specifying the team was a boy's team, which in combination with its encouragement to avoid ever mentioning the way the person publicly presented at the time leaves readers to assume the team was for girls or was co-ed. Specifically, it says Avoid confusing constructions (Jane Doe fathered a child) by rewriting (e.g., Jane Doe became a parent).

Unfortunately all discussions about this sort of thing get bogged down by those pushing for extreme "progressive" positions on the issue (to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS). Anomie 21:23, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Oh my. What will those pesky progressives do next? Maybe we could build some kind of a cyber wall and deport them to some Third World wiki. Fact: no one arguing against the proposal in this thread has said a damn thing that even implies using Wikipedia articles to right wrongs. @Wnt: While you're entitled to hold any opinion you like about transgender people, making derisive comments about them in a VP discussion is unproductive at best, and potentially quite disruptive. That bit about fantasies and birth sex was gratuitous, uninformed, and frankly beneath you. I hope you'll consider striking it. Perhaps either you or Anomie would care to address what's actually at issue here by answering this question: is there generally a sound encyclopedic reason for publishing the birth name of a trans person who was not notable before changing that name? RivertorchFIREWATER 04:16, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
If that's your argument, why do we publish anything that happened before a person was a public figure. Articles usually include when/where someone was born, who the subject's parents are, alma mater, etc. This almost always is written about something that happened before the subject was notable. Very few people are notable from birth. Natureium (talk) 15:51, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Such information speaks to a formative aspect about the person's life; their former name does not. For instance, being born and raised in rural Manitoba, then moving to Montreal and studying classics at McGill is quite different from being born and raised in San Diego and working at Taco Bell there while working as an apprentice mortician; in either case, it tells us something meaningful about the person's life. Being named George or Theodore or Christopher as opposed to Paul or Adam or Benjamin? That tells us nothing meaningful at all. RivertorchFIREWATER 19:34, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Waaat? You're telling me there's nothing "formative" about a trans person being trans? This is getting into absurdity. I mean, the reality is that pre-transsexual lives are often very formative and meaningful. A lot of folks admired Bradley Manning as a gay soldier striking back against an oppressive national military administration. Now you're saying get out the eraser, that never happened, or at least, don't talk about it, because it doesn't fit with the image she is currently seeking to cultivate? It's always like that -- transsexuals don't spring from Jove's forehead in full armor; transsexuals are made. And we of Wikipedia look into any detail we can get our hands on. You don't have to take it personally, but you should recognize we are not interested in coming here to discard information that is available to the scholar. Wnt (talk) 00:03, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Huh? You don't appear to have understood Rivertorch's comment, or the guideline under discussion, which doesn't prevent (or have anything to do with) nothing that a person is trans. It's only the WP:TRIVIA that someone was non-notably named John as opposed to James as a baby which isn't encyclopedic. -sche (talk) 01:21, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
That's correct. I said nothing at all about our not mentioning a trans person being trans. I'm more than a little confused by Wnt's reply, though, because I also said nothing about "transsexuals". My understanding is that transgender status is indeed innate—or at least determined very early in life. If that is so, then I can't help thinking that your comments here, Wnt, are needlessly inflammatory and may come across as quite contemptuous of any trans readers who happen onto this discussion. In my experience it's quite possible to hold various beliefs that are at odds with prevailing opinion or scientific findings and still be respectful, but I won't try to impose my values on you. I will say that I am not taking anything "personally"; I'm not transgender and am not active in transgender rights advocacy off-wiki, but I do often feel the need to call out cruelty and injustice when I see it applied toward any minority group. This is not the first time that a Wikipedia discussion on a transgender-related topic has veered into something that seems, from my perspective, ugly and mean-spirited. I hope it's the last time. RivertorchFIREWATER 03:41, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
The difference between wikt:transsexual and wikt:transgender is subtle at best, and I may have confused things by using the wrong term and idea, but it may be at the core of the argument here. If a kid from a young age actually identifies with a certain sex and uses a name to reflect that, then the "deadname" may be rather trivial since there may be no point to giving it except to give it. (I mean, if the child actually did play on the opposite-from-birth-sex sports team) However, when an adult becomes transsexual - i.e. stops signing "Bradley" and starts signing "Chelsea" - then knowing both names is vital to the article. Generally speaking, a biography should have an early life section - based on sources. If the sources describe the early life of someone who had another name and gender at that time, then that early life should be covered with that information. Indeed, you can say that even the person's early life, though it was not "notable" then, has become notable by virtue of association with the late life, which would be an argument even for using it in the lede. I don't want to support using it there every time since it could be misleading, but we should not apologize for causing "distress" by having complete, accurate biographies. Ultimately, the "distress" surely does not originate from those who track freely published media about birth sex, but from those who would somehow harass transgender people using some snippet of information they found on the internet, which they could find many places, and which in any case they surely don't need to have in order to do something obnoxious. Wnt (talk) 15:05, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Well, that's an argument that routinely gets knocked down in discussions over BLP (and I've sometimes been on the side of inclusion—it really depends on what the snippet is and the type of other sites where it can be found). We do routinely revert edits that add personal information to articles even when such information has been extensively reported by reliable sources when we deem that the benefits of including it are outweighed by the harm it likely would cause. Potential harm aside, we also routinely omit information that we deem trivial or irrelevant. It's all about exercising editorial judgment, and we're talking about a best practice, something with guideline status that can be ignored if there's ever a good reason. But the Manning example isn't a useful one because no one is arguing that we shouldn't mention both names; before she came out and changed her name, she definitely was notable as Bradley. What's at issue here are those we would not have considered notable before they changed their name. Omitting their birth names is best practice because that information has no bearing on their notability and may well cause harm. RivertorchFIREWATER 16:25, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
@Rivertorch: Why do we typically include the birth name in the lead of any biography? Personally I don't have an opinion on that question. What strikes me as off is having one practice for most biographies and an opposite practice for one special group, and even more so when the rhetoric used to push the special practice leans heavily towards advocacy. Why not push for removing birth names from the leads of all biographies instead of a special exemption for one group, if you think there's no encyclopedic reason for it? Anomie 01:57, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
@Anomie: The word "special" strikes me as rather loaded in this context (e.g., "special rights"). If one sees the question as being fraught with great significance in terms of politics or social change, then perhaps you have a point. I tend to think of it more in terms of trying to be kind to people we're writing articles about. There's one group of people—who happen to be a despised minority—who have good reason to want not to be known by their former names. If some other group (e.g., authors with pen names, actors with stage names, people who changed their names upon marrying) also had a good reason for wanting the same, I expect we should try to accommodate them. But they don't, so we don't. To answer your second question, I think that one reason is that the birth names of many, perhaps most, notable people are readily available from various sources. That's in stark contrast to the birth names of notable trans people: except for those people who were notable before changing their name, reputable sources generally don't publish them. Those sources that do publish them do so for one of three reasons: (1) because they're ignorant that the practice of deadnaming is distressing, (2) because they intend to cause such distress, (3) because they're reckless and don't really care whether they cause distress or not. We appear to be contemplating adding a fourth reason, perhaps unique to our project: (4) because we think that trivial factoids are so critical to the comprehensiveness of our encyclopedia that we're willing to risk causing distress. I find that troubling. I certainly am not here to advocate for anything in particular, except perhaps clearly written articles, but I will come to the defense of a minority group if I think something that Wikipedia is doing may unnecessarily cause them harm. I don't check my humanity hat at the door when I log in here. If that constitutes advocacy, I guess I'm guilty as charged. RivertorchFIREWATER 05:54, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Rivertorch. And it is not as if Wikipedia is somehow ahead of the curve on this. Many major media outlets follow similar guidelines, if not more restrictive ones. EvergreenFir (talk) 06:14, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
There is an ideological apocalypse going on in the world between the ilk of Milton and Jefferson and the builders of the Great Firewall of China. The question is, can ordinary people be allowed to read, track, remember, and process the news and other publicly available data they encounter, and use it to think for themselves, or do they need guards to defend them from any possible information about anything getting to anyone who doesn't have a valid occupational reason, as evaluated by the government, to have it? And we have been seeing this battle lost in the right to be forgotten, the present EU effort to force censorware on news aggregators, the systematic keelhauling of hundreds of celebrities for some one stupid comment they once made, and many other situations. Now we have a choice between saying "collecting information is wrong, writing articles is wrong", or saying "harassing is wrong, discriminating is wrong". Which is it? Wnt (talk) 15:18, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
I have no idea what you're even taking about let alone asking me. How are China and the EU germane to this discuss about deadnames? EvergreenFir (talk) 19:50, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Many authors with pen names and actors with stage names did have good reason to want not to be known by their former names, usually due to descrimination against their ethnicity, or, in the case of authors, women who wanted to write about subjects seen as "unladylike". The name that a notable person went by for decades, even if at their core they believed it to be inappropriate, is hardly a "trivial factoid". --Ahecht (TALK
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Birth names - not sure what we are discussing[edit]

There are two distinct issues here:

  1. Mentioning a birth name in the lead sentence of an article.
  2. Mentioning a birth name somewhere else in an article.

I am not sure which of these is being discussed in this thread. Could someone please clarify? Blueboar (talk) 13:09, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

The guideline I'm questioning only regards the lead sentence. If others want to argue the second, I consider that muddying the waters, though I do believe people use the guideline to justify excluding the birth name elsewhere as well, even though it clearly only regards the lead sentence. I feel that a more appropriate guideline would just leave this out all together or broaden it to not be about gender specifically, e.g., "An exception is a case where it wouldn't be appropriate to reveal birth name within the article."
Regarding the second, I'll note that part of MOS:MULTINAMES is de facto pro-deadnaming in both definitions of the word (mentioning the name and referring to someone by the name). "If a person is named in an article in which they are not the subject, they should be referred to by the name they were using at the time of the mention rather than a name they may have used before or after the mention." I'd think that a good compromise would be to allow mention of the birth name in the lead but specify that it should be avoided Calbaer (talk) 14:58, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
In light of this, for the lede sentence, I think that we should that name, save for two specific situations:
  1. If that person was notable under the original name (That is, as a test, remove all the parts of a person's bio that are related to the transition or post-transition, and ask if there's clear standalone notability. If so, the lede should have that name. Aka this is the Caitlyn Jenner case)
  2. If failing the first, the original name is clearly and obviously used in routine coverage in reliable sources about the person. I can't name any trans individuals that fit this immediately, but this would be how we handle a person like Stan Lee. Key is the "clearly and obviously" part; you can't just point to one source and say that justifies the name. You need to show that when there are reasonable indepth biographical material written about the person in multiple sources, they make mention of the birth name.
Standards for the body can be a bit less relaxed, but the lede should be more objective and stricter. --Masem (t) 16:11, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Masem here (pleasantly surprisingly). The lead is for only the most pertinent summary information. The non notable birth name of any individual where the use of that birth name is contentious doesn't belong in the lead.
That said, we also don't include the birth name of transgender people in some cases. For example, Jazz Jennings. BLPPRIVACY, HARM, TRIVIA, etc. all come into play, especially in my opinion when discussing the biographies of transgender minors or people who came out as transgender while a minor. EvergreenFir (talk) 06:10, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
While I'm all for consistency, I think it would be a step backwards to censor or bury the birth name of, say, Portia de Rossi, whose birth name I've never seen outside of Wikipedia. Where appropriate, we have birth information in the first paragraph. A lot of people complain that their age is now not only available but the first thing that shows up in an article. It likely does real harm to the career of actors and actresses who face age discrimination. ("Harm" has been mentioned a lot here without mentioning what that harm means; that's what it could mean in the case of birth date.) But we still have that information there because we're an encyclopedia, and that's appropriate. If inclusion of information violated actual policies, e.g., BLP, that would be another matter, but then the information wouldn't be in the article at all. A guideline which rejects the information from the lead sentence specifically seems an unnecessary addition by a editor trying to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS and get ahead of the way that even advocacy groups recommend such material be covered.
(When I say that "harm" is mentioned here a lot without any meaning attached, I mean precisely that. Do people mean the real harm that could come from the name of a pseudonymous person - e.g., Jazz Jennings - being revealed to make it easier for those who might want to harm them? Obviously then, we'd leave that information off the article all together, per WP:BLPPRIVACY. However, it seems as though some are talking about the "harm" in making obvious via name in the first sentence what's already obvious via the use of the word "trans" in the first paragraph - that the subject's assigned gender and identity differ. Calling that "harm" seems wrong; like the use of "deadnaming" for stating birth name - as opposed to using it to refer to a person - it seems like this is using deceptive and loaded word for emotional impact in order to avoid the actual details of what's under discussion here.) Calbaer (talk) 15:19, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
The harm that has been mentioned here is called deadnaming, and earlier in this discussion are links to pages that describe the phenomenon. Did you miss that or are you just being dismissive of it? If it is a "loaded word", who loaded it—the people who are simply asking others not to use their birth names (a reasonable request, surely!) or those who insist on using them anyway because the existence of openly transgender people doesn't mesh well with their worldview? To answer your question, yes, in some cases there might be the potential of physical harm attached to the use of deadnaming; transgender people are at grave risk for violence even in the jurisdictions where they have civil rights, and I certainly can imagine a scenario where an incident that begins with taunts about a birth name goes south in a hurry and someone winds up getting hurt. But physical assaults only one kind of harm. Bullying is a huge problem that the Internet has made much worse, and the transgender population is particularly at risk. Anyway, be it murder or suicide, shall we wait for the first death of a subject needlessly deadnamed in a Wikipedia article? I think it would be better to pursue a course that wouldn't contribute to such a death, but maybe that's just me. RivertorchFIREWATER 16:57, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
RE: "asking others not to use their birth names (a reasonable request, surely!)"... actually no. It isn't always a reasonable request. A LOT depends on the specific situation, but there are certainly times when asking us to ignore a previous name is actually an unreasonable request. Certainly we should never "out" a previous name. And, sure, in many cases the existence of a previous name is essentially nothing but biographical trivia (and in such cases we can certainly accommodate a request to not mention it). But... there are plenty of situation where mentioning a previous name rises above the level of trivia. We take our cue on this by reviewing the reliable independent sources. If they (in the aggregate) think it important to use a person's previous name when discussing some aspect of of that person's life, then we should follow that. If they ignore the previous name, so should we. Blueboar (talk) 17:39, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Again, we're talking about a guideline here. If there's good reason at a given article, we can ignore it, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have the guideline or that it isn't best practice in most cases. RivertorchFIREWATER 04:42, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
And only to add: we should stress this should be high quality independent RS. While we don't restrict TMZ for example, if a birth name is only being regurgitated by TMZ, celebrity rags, and tabloids, and not by the more quality publications , that's a reason to avoid inclusion. --Masem (t) 17:56, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
@Rivertorch: A problem with the term "deadnaming" is that it seems to have two very different definitions that are conflated in discussions like this: (1) To call a person by the old name in preference to the new name, particularly as a way to reject their self-identification, and (2) to ever mention, even in passing as historical background, that the old name existed. The conflation allows activists to claim that the second sense leads to all the harm of the first sense. Anomie 21:48, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
I agree with you that conflating the two definitions isn't helpful, but the difference seems to be based on intent, which can be difficult to determine. And might not deadnaming by the second definition enable it by the first definition? In either case, the effect could be harmful. RivertorchFIREWATER 04:51, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Intent is unnecessary to see the difference here. One is calling someone by a name, The other is stating the fact that the person had, at a certain point in time, been known by the name. For example, to take this out of the current context, let's say I wrote: "While in Indonesia, President Obama was known as 'Barry Soetoro' to his many friends," that's a statement of fact (assuming it is reliably sourced). I'm clearly using "Obama" to refer to him. However, if I say, "In Indonesia, Barry Soetoro made many friends," then I'm "deadnaming" him, in the sense of using a name he long since stopped using. (I've seen political critics use it the latter way to imply that his African and African-American identities were not reflective of his upbringing, in which his guardians were either white Americans or native Indonesians, so this can be contentious and insulting even in the case of cis individuals.) While I suppose there might be an artificial case that doesn't neatly fall into one of those two categories, but saying "born X" is clearly the former. And this form of "deadnaming" is the recommendation of the current guideline for those who achieved notability under their prior name. So "deadnaming" does indeed seem like an unhelpful way to refer to it. Calbaer (talk) 00:35, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Does Copyright Violation extend to sandboxes?[edit]

This may be a tricky copyright question that I would prefer to discuss here at VPP rather than at a drama board. An experienced and productive editor, User:btphelps, had several old drafts that consisted of material that had been copied from copyrighted sources, in their user space. They had been sitting in user space as copyvio for between one and four years. A reviewer, User:Shadowowl, moved the drafts from user space to draft space. Somehow the drafts were tagged for AFC review. (Since the drafts have been deleted, I no longer have their history, and I assume that Shadowowl tagged/submitted them.) I reviewed the first one, Draft:Charley Smith (Cowboy), and thought that it read like it had been copied, and found using Earwig’s copyvio detector that it had been copied from two sources, and tagged it for G12. At this point I read an exchange between Btphelps and Shadowowl, in which Btphelps said that the pages should not have been moved out of their “private sandbox” because they would almost certainly then be deleted for copyright violation, and that they were still works in progress. I found that the second one, User:Btphelps/51st Engineer Combat Battalion, was also copyright violation. These pages and a third page have now been deleted as copyright violation.

Okay, here is the issue. Btphelps says that they are not aware of a policy that prohibits works in progress from containing copyrighted material while they are still in progress (whether for one day or one year or more), and that they think that copyright enforcement applies to submitted or published articles. On reading the copyright policies twice, I don’t see any limitation that says that copyright policy only applies in some parts of Wikipedia and not everywhere. Btphelps says that we should have assumed good faith. I agree that good faith is a good policy, but I am asking whether copyright is absolute and overrides good faith.

My own reading of the policies is that we have had a good-faith error by a productive good-faith editor. I don’t know why Shadowowl moved the drafts, although it likely had to do with recent concerns about stale drafts in user space and in draft space, and these drafts did seem to have been abandoned.

Comments? Robert McClenon (talk) 00:45, 28 June 2018 (UTC)

Any edit on Wikipedia in any namespace must abide by the copyright rules. Killiondude (talk) 00:52, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me that anything on Wikipedia which is visible to the public at large is subject to copyright law. I don't think the law would care about our internal page classifications. Zerotalk 00:55, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
Yes it does, unequivocally. Text everywhere must abide by the copyright policy. If you want a link, see Wikipedia:Copying_text_from_other_sources#Can_I_copy_text_into_a_user_page_or_talk_page_in_order_to_work_on_it? ~ Amory (utc) 00:56, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
User:Amorymeltzer - That answers that. So the editor made a good-faith error, and shouldn't do it again. Robert McClenon (talk) 01:42, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
Yes, copyright policy (and copyright law) applies to user- and talk- namespaces. That said, context matters; it might be acceptable to copy a few paragraphs from an outside source onto a talk page for discussion and article development purposes, but not appropriate to drop the same block of text into the body of an article.
In this instance the draft text was just a straight dump of the external site(s). That's not kosher, under pretty much any circumstance, in any namespace. It's also a really bad habit for any sort of writing. Copying an external text and then trying to tweak the wording until it looks 'different enough' is a really easy route to inadvertent copyright infringement and plagiarism. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:28, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
  • I agree that we don’t want copyvios in any space... but it is the second part of this ... where shadowowl took the material from another editor’s user space and moved it to draft space (without asking)... that compounded the problem. Very bad practice that we should discourage. Blueboar (talk) 18:53, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes.. You are not allowed to host copyvios in userspace or draftspace. This has never been in question. A copy is a copy.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  19:41, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, but... there can be confusion between actual copyright violation, a legal issue, and plagiarism, which is a matter of academic integrity. To be considered a true copyright violation, the page has to have a lot of text from some other source, not just a snippet. The context of the work (i.e. a draft being rewritten rather than a competing online publication) would also matter and so on; I'm not sure if there really is a dividing line or just a weigh-off of the lawyers' wallets. There are a lot of things that editors can and have been keelhauled for here though which is just plagiarism -- like using seven sentences word for word, in one case I remember. That kind of plagiarism is not reputable for Wikipedia, but it's also not illegal; hence it should be tolerated when it is in a user draft being worked on. That said... while we should tolerate it, it's never actually a good idea. If you make a habit of copying and pasting paragraphs to the edit page to look at while you work on your own text, eventually something embarrassing is going to happen. Best not to do it in the first place. Wnt (talk) 21:29, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

I have been a professional writer for much longer than there has been a Wikipedia. (In fact, I recently learned that I am a source for a few articles.) In pre-computer days, I would often go to a library to do research. Sometimes I would photocopy pages from a book to refer to when I returned to my typewriter. Admittedly this is violating copyright, but it is essentially "no harm, no foul". The information was always put into my own words (or into quotation marks), with full credit given to the source. How is copying-and-pasting reference material into a draft article any different, knowing that the information will eventually be re-worded and given proper credit?    → Michael J    22:14, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

  • Any copyrighted material (even if being used under fair-use) can only exist in article space - the relevant policy here is WP:NFCC#9. Black Kite (talk) 22:22, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
    • A point: NFC does not cover text-based copyrighted material. Only for separate media that has to be stored under the File: area. Text-based content falls under the limitations of fair use that would be allowed via CC-BY-SA/GFDL, which we generally do not allow a lot of, and definitely required attribution. --Masem (t) 15:00, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
  • The *reason* for this is because even if the copied material is re-written, it still exists and is viewable in the revision history. Which qualifies as 'published'. If it only exists for a short time, or is only a small amount of material, it can be rev-del back to the point where its not a copyright violation. If its extensive and there from the start, it needs to be nuked. Only in death does duty end (talk) 22:26, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Because there is a massive difference between "your paper notes at home which no one ever sees" and "your electronic notes on a top-10 website that can be searched for and linked to." Chance for real financial harm to the copyright owner. ~ Amory (utc) 01:05, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
  • It doesn't even have to be copyright "material". Just providing a link to material that may be in breach of copyright at, say, YouTube, is seen as "encouraging others to infringe copyright", and can get you an indefinite block, can't it? Martinevans123 (talk) 15:07, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
    • Should not be linked (WP:COPYVIOEL), but no explicit word on blocking policy. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 15:15, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
      • It would be a behavioral problem to review should one continue to insert such links into articles, barring obvious cases (eg linking to Pirate Bay with the intent to point to the copyvios there). Someone inserting a YT link thinking it might help discussion or improvement should only be warned, not lambasted. --Masem (t) 15:30, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
        • Whether such a "behavioural problem" is treated better with re-education or punishment, the salient point being that no particular space, including user talk page chat, can be considered a "safe place" for such links. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:02, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

Should WP:TWL be allowed to acknowledge the services they have partnership with in our articles?[edit]

This is a follow up to User_talk:CitationCleanerBot#Via. According to Nikkimaria (talk · contribs) and Vanamonde93 (talk · contribs), they put citations like

by the reasoning "It wasn't used to advertise the service; it was used to acknowledge the access provided by Project Muse to certain Wikipedia users." This is apparently to comply with partnership requirements where they have gained personal access to pay-for-access databases (in this case Project MUSE) through The Wikipedia Library, where in return they need to mention in our articles that they had made use of Project MUSE.

Should the practice be allowed to continue? Or under which condition should |via= be used? Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 15:32, 28 June 2018 (UTC)

TWL discussion[edit]

Disallow: This is something that is a textbook WP:SPAM/WP:PROMO situation. Citations exist to verify our material, not advertise pay-for-access academic services. While we have links that often point to paywalled ressources, such as DOIs in our article, those are vendor-neutral identifiers are there to help identify the citation. WP:SAYWHERE is clear about this:

The advice to "say where you read it" does not mean that you have to give credit to any search engines, websites, libraries, library catalogs, archives, subscription services, bibliographies, or other sources that led you to Smith's book. If you have read a book or article yourself, that's all you have to cite. You do not have to specify how you obtained and read it. [emphasis mine]

The following

  • Esmonde, Margaret P. (1981). "The Good Witch of the West". Children's Literature. 9 (1): 185–190. doi:10.1353/chl.0.0112. 

fully complies with WP:SAYWHERE, and links to Project MUSE resources in a way that does not unduly promote a commercial service. Further, using the URL to further link to the paywalled Project MUSE is fully redundant with the DOI, and discourages editors from finding non-paywalled versions of the paper.

Things like

are ridiculous.

This is a horrendous practice, and one that needs to end now. If Project MUSE wants attribution in some way, that can be done in edit summaries, or via the talk page. Not in the main bodies of our articles. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 15:32, 28 June 2018 (UTC)

  • Comment to be clear, I have been formatting citations in that manner because I understand that that is what TWL requires. I see the concern about being promotional, but as we routinely link to sites that are inherently promotional (official websites, twitter accounts, paywall protected newspapers, newspapers that don't have paywalls because the use ad revenue which eventually comes from consumers, etc) I'm not overly worked up about this. All I would like is to continue to be able to use these resources to provide more reliable and detailed information, which is what this should be about. If the community compels TWL to remove this requirement, I'm not remotely bothered. Vanamonde (talk) 15:45, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
  • TWL Comment Just to clarify, using the |via= parameter is not a requirement of citing resources obtained through The Wikipedia Library, and the citations found on the old signup pages (e.g. Wikipedia:Project MUSE) are only a suggestion for a fully formatted citation. I can absolutely see how the text there makes it seem like more of a requirement, however, and I’ll rewrite that section to make it clearer, in addition to the note that is already present.
As far as I’m aware, the parameter was initially added to these citation examples simply because it was present in the citation templates and has uses in cases where the URL doesn’t point to the location the source was found. It’s also useful because it saves you mousing over or clicking a URL to know where the citation is from. Ultimately though, the discussion about whether the parameter is useful is unrelated to TWL.
We’re not concerned whether this parameter is kept in the suggested citation style or not, and are happy to change it based on the outcome of this discussion. Given that the parameter isn’t a requirement of using TWL, however, I’d suggest reframing the discussion around whether use of the ‘via’ parameter is desired in any context. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. Samwalton9 (WMF) (talk) 16:56, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
Well, I'm very glad to hear this is not a requirement. However, Wikipedia:The_Wikipedia_Library/Publishers specifically mentions, in the "Exposure and promotion", "Publisher credit using the |via= parameter of our citation templates". Maybe this is the source of confusion? Or possibly pages like Wikipedia:Credo/Citations and other similar pages? If this isn't a requirement, those pages should be updated to de-promotionalize those services. Nikkimaria (talk · contribs) and Vanamonde93 (talk · contribs), what led you to believe that using |via= to 'credit' Project MUSE was required/encouraged? Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 19:15, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
@Headbomb and Xover: The instructions in question are the ones found at Wikipedia:Project MUSE, which say, among other things, that editors should "provide original citation information in addition to linking to Project MUSE resources" and "Cite resources in line with the citation examples provided below or with the examples provided by Project MUSE" (the example in question uses the |via= parameter. The version of the instructions that existed when I received access was even more definitive about this. Vanamonde (talk) 03:44, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment @Headbomb: If you're going to be opening a policy RFC, please at least try to frame it neutrally. The above is closer to a diatribe and I would really rather strongly implore you to retract it and try again once your apparent indignation has had time to recede a bit.
    Second, The TWL partnerships do not "require" much of anything. The TWL effort suggests that per WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT you use |via= etc. in a specific way for sources from that particular archive or service when appropriate. So when you access a journal article through a third party service—rather than on paper in your local library or directly from the publisher—you specify that you're citing the copy provided there rather than an original. The TWL example citations have been formed based on SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT and are intended to be used in accordance with SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT, including their mostly being optional and when it is not appropriate to include such |via= parameters.
    By all means lets discuss the finer points of how we should apply SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT to the TWL resources, but please don't let your knee-jerk reaction based on limited (and obviously skewed) information turn that discussion into a pointless drama fest that will achieve nothing but tarnish the coordinators and other volunteers working very hard to improve the encyclopedia. Please. --Xover (talk) 17:01, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
The RFC is framed neutrality. My !vote expresses my opinion. Nothing wrong with that. You're welcomed to make a support case if you have one. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 18:10, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, see, the problem is you've set up a strawman (just about zero of the assertions and underlying assumptions in the current RFC framing are true) and now you're asking me to argue against it.
I have no objection what so ever to discussing how TWL should recommend that citations to sources that happened to be accessed through a TWL partner's donated access be done. Nor to discussing how SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT applies to cases like these (of which some, but not all, sources made available through donated partner services are examples, but in no way unique in that regard). Nor to discussing the purpose in general, or finer points of application of, the |via= parameter. I might even have some opinions on some of these issues (then again, probably not enough to argue about them). You want to do any of those things, have at it. Heck, if for some reason you need my help with any of those, I'd be happy to step up.
But we can't have any of those discussions, at least not productively, in an RFC framed in an inflamatory way (That is, "in a way that is likely to have the effect of inflaming", not "in a way intended to inflame") and based on incorrect information. So, again, please—please!—reconsider: either by reframing the current RFC, or by withdrawing and trying again when you're less outraged by what is incorrect information! --Xover (talk) 19:22, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Allow when it adds something. E.g., we routinely use |via=Google Books for books that Google is providing snippet views of and other "digitally digested" content, because we are not looking at the literal book itself and cannot, e.g., be 100% that the book's original text, pagination, etc. were preserved correctly by Google's OCR and other munging. We don't need to use it for old-book scans that Google hosts, because they are exact photographic facsimilies (often including the library cards :-). It's useful to say that you got a journal article via a particular journals database, because you are not literally reading the actual journal, but a PDF prepared from submitted content not a scan, or an HTML text-and-images relayout, or something like that (sometimes it's even a pre-print copy which may be pre-peer-review, too – same goes for arXiv), not a photographic facsimile.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  19:40, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
Yeah that's fine, I'm not arguing for a blanket ban on |via=. I'm only talking about cases where there's no URL given, when things are redundant with links that are already provided by identifiers, or that the reproduction hosted by Database X is a faithful reproduction. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 19:49, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Edit the template. The "via" parameter is plainly dangerous, because it advertises random third parties. I don't get the argument that it isn't as bad if you're talking about Google Books, either. But, we also have a duty to the readers to help them access the material. So we should change the template as follows:
  • All "via" links should display the same text -- "access notes". This avoids any appearance of spam, and can be a neat, regular format. The "access notes" would be a link, of course, and could be set off with a cute/recognizable box using inline CSS: access notes or some such. And the links, naturally, go to different places depending on the via=parameter.
  • All "via" links link to pages in Wikipedia space, e.g. WP:Access help/Project MUSE. The template can even be designed for reverse compatibility to process the links it receives to add the WP:Access help/ part so the existing via link texts go new places, but new links should name a WP: space page directly (and thus not be altered). The reason for this is that Wikipedia articles are "WP:NOT#HOWTO", whereas what access help should be is absolutely, completely, one hundred percent HOWTO. That's an unacceptable philosophical incompatibility. We want to tell readers any and all options to get access when via= gives a particular mechanism, but are interested there in nothing else about it.
  • Our WP pages should then each explain their particular "via" mechanisms for the readers, including whether they can become editors and apply for access, or pay for it, or try to get lucky with an inconsistent server (I'm thinking Google Books) using any legally acceptable trick like using a VPN or TOR. (Actually I don't know if this works ... obviously the composition of these pages will be the topic of some specialized expertise and debate)
Wnt (talk) 21:12, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
That forgets one thing: WP:TWL is an editor resource, not a reader resource. The way to help readers access things it to find free-to-read resources. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 22:17, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
@Headbomb: No, I didn't forget that. If we have a Wikipedia-space page on MUSE we can tell readers they don't easily get access via this route. But we can also point out that they can ask editors about it. And of course, any Wikipedia reader can become an editor -- it's never to be ruled out -- so TWL is at least nominally an access mechanism. I am actually not sure how TWL plays with WP:WRE -- are there TWL editors listed under the latter, or can you request copies of specific resources via that means? The distinction between "interlibrary loan" and "piracy" is utterly mythical and of paramount legal importance. Wnt (talk) 23:07, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • TWL Followup Just a note that I've reworded the old signup page template to make it clearer that there's no required citation style or parameter usage, and also reworded or removed explicit mentions of the via parameter elsewhere. Samwalton9 (WMF) (talk) 09:44, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Allow - I liken it to a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license—it serves to benefit the project. Atsme📞📧 16:29, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I think that the "via" information is most useful when you consider it as a 'warning' about the URL, similar to a PDF icon after an external link. To that end, I think it would be better if the citation looked more like this: "The Good Witch of the West (via Project MUSE)" (etc.). WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:00, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Ditto WhatamIdoing. It's just more context for the citation. I have a weak disinclination to support reformatting the link to say "access notes" since requiring a separate click defeats the point of having that handy context (they can just click the link itself and see where it takes them, after all). If it were a requirement that it be formatted a particular way, that would be one thing, but it sounds like it's not, so it's just using the template as it's intended. I'll add that I also don't have a problem with TWL encouraging people to use it. This seems along the lines of "remember to include the title of the publication when you cite it". If reminding people to use the procedures/templates they should/could be using anyway indirectly helps more people get access, that seems like a win. It's when it becomes mandatory that it's a little more uncomfortable. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 05:36, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Disallow all paywalled links and |via= notices, except when they add something for the reader (e.g. Google Books preview) AND when that wouldn't be already linked through DOI/PMID etc. We're not an affiliate site. There's already an annoying amount of paywalled links (e.g. Highbeam) to newspaper articles that are readily available for free from the newspaper website or archive.org. BTW I was less than impressed the Project MUSE's crappy primary-sourced, unreadable Wikipedia page. What do they offer that we should bend the rules for? I'd rather do this for arXiv, the awareness of which the readers at large could actually benefit from. DaßWölf 00:35, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Gender-neutral language[edit]

Although I support GNL, it looks (to a greater extent than ever before) that many Wikipedians prefer generic male language should be kept. Look at the GNL section of the WP:MOS. It appears that there are now more Wikipedians than ever (according to a current discussion in the middle of the talk page) who appear to support a rule that's closer to the following:

Either gender-neutral language or gender-specific language is acceptable, the preferred term depends on what is most commonly used in practice; please do not change from the version used in the first nonstub version of an article without consensus.

Any thoughts on the best words are?? The "Use gender-neutral language when..." rule appears to be something most Wikipedians disagree with now. Georgia guy (talk) 14:57, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Georgia guy: Where is that quote from? It's not from MOS:GNL, the relevant guideline. — MShabazz Talk/Stalk 21:06, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
It's from the WP:MOS. Please scroll that page to the GNL section. Georgia guy (talk) 21:10, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
No it isn't. — MShabazz Talk/Stalk 21:18, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

For the record, the MOS says:

Use gender-neutral language where this can be done with clarity and precision. For example, avoid the generic he. This does not apply to direct quotations or the titles of works (The Ascent of Man), which should not be altered, or to wording about one-gender contexts, such as an all-female school (When any student breaks that rule, she loses privileges).
It would be most useful to clarify what we mean by "gender-neutral". In today's dispute, an editor mass-changed the word "mankind" in about 170 articles because one of its two definitions is not gender-neutral. (Actually there was no indication they even consulted a dictionary; apparently they simply saw the word "man" and felt that automatically made the word non-GNL.) In such cases, the existence of one non-GNL sense should not preclude Wikipedia's use of the other(s). If a word is ambiguous in the context, it should be changed, but that's an issue of clear language that has nothing to do with GNL. ―Mandruss  16:22, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
Reminds me of the person running around a few months ago with things like Talk:Misuse of statistics#Requested move 20 April 2018 and Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 114#Rename "View history". Anomie 21:42, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • As an editor, I actually see no reason whatsoever to use "mankind" (except if it is in a quote), see, [2] [3] but it may be different for different words. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:35, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • While I do think we should encourage editors to use gender neutral language (where appropriate)... I don’t want a situation where editors are going around disrupting the project to “enforce” it. Encourage, don’t mandate. Blueboar (talk) 17:28, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I strongly agree with Blueboar. I try to use gender-neutral language, and I think our policies and guidelines should encourage it, but I don't think it's a good idea to seek instances of non-neutral language to fix. To me, it reeks a little too much of WP:RGW. — MShabazz Talk/Stalk 18:15, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • The problem is the phrase "what is most commonly used in practice" - how is that to be determined? Google hits can be a start but they, all too often, are affected by variables that skew the "in practice" idea. I have seen plenty of discussions where each side was convinced that their version was the commonly used one. It should also be noted that many of the "gender specific v gender neutral" terms are as in flux at this time as they ever have been. Thus we have the question of when is the tipping point reached where the 'pedia should shift from one to the other. As I read the proposed phrasing I don't see it solving anything in the current situation. MarnetteD|Talk 18:26, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
    To see what's going on, please go to the Wikipedia talk:Manual of style, specifically the section that's currently #8 (its number may change as earlier sections are archived.) Georgia guy (talk) 18:33, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
    I've seen that discussion. It is about one specific term. This proposal is about gender neutral language in general and addresses none of the concerns I've raised. MarnetteD|Talk 18:38, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
    And I want to know people's opinions on when GNL should not apply besides trivial situations like direct quotations. Georgia guy (talk) 18:40, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
    I suggest: history articles when all the people under consideration were known to be men. Rjensen (talk) 19:24, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
    Although GNL is a goal, as has been said we are not here WP:RGW and should still follow common usage rather than use wikipedia as a vehicle for change. This doesnt mean we should not have guidance to educate, but the world moves slowly and it is not our job to force the use of GNL. MilborneOne (talk) 19:25, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
    Force? For goodness sake? No one forced Oxford to refer to 'mankind' not neutral in the cite I included above[4]. Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:43, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • We should use inclusive language in our articles, except for quotes and official titles, as appropriate. --Enos733 (talk) 19:47, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Of course we should use gender-neutral language. I don't see anyone arguing against that. The problem is that some people think that "mankind" isn't gender neutral, when it's been clearly defined as such. Natureium (talk) 19:56, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
    Some people? No, unless what you mean is RS are people. Here's Oxford: [5]. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:43, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
    What is your point? You have cited one source yes, but it doesn't weigh any more than another dictionary or related WP:RS would. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 21:48, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
    The source from Merriam-Webster that makes no mention of a neutral alternative. [6]. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 21:53, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
    What is your point? It's already been established that Webster notes the gender issue in its 'mankind', entry. Webster noted gender in it's 'mankind' entry because it exists, unlike in other words it notes. Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:17, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
    In the case of "mankind", all of the reputable style guides recommend against its use for reasons of gender, and have moved to this position over a 30 year period. I don't know any native speakers who use "mankind" without making a POINT by doing so; certainly none under the age of 50. This is a case where the language has already moved on. Newimpartial (talk) 13:49, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
  • As the whole "mankind" argument demonstrates, gender neutral language is already more common, at least in the style of contemporary written English that Wikipedia is composed in. Editors might benefit from using a more nuanced approach rather than changing article en-masse, but contra MilborneOne preserving gendered language seems Wikipedia is attempting to "stand athwart of history yelling 'stop'", which isn't the mission. Nblund talk 20:50, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
    • Just to point out that I dont have a problem with NGL when appropriate but rather see education rather then forcing the issue like the mass change of mankind against common and seemingly correct usage. MilborneOne (talk) 21:12, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I am in favor of just keeping this to LGBT related articles. If the article is about a guy who self identifies as a guy then we use him/his/he, this should be done per WP:RGW. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 21:44, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • A question: outside of use in direct quotes, how often is a WPian going to use "mankind/humankind" , and in a context where it can't be replaced with "humanity" or the like? I easily see issues whether we chose mankind or humankind, but switching off to a synonymous word that has no such gender implications at all seems better... --Masem (t) 15:11, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Well, that's weird. So Neil Armstrong has now been retroactively given credit for claiming the Moon for men only? Who the hell interprets 'mankind' as excluding women? sigh. It's this kind of crap that got Trump elected... Wnt (talk) 15:24, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
  • What is missing from our MOS guidance is a nod to WP:RGW... it is fine (and even beneficial) to change individual instances of gender specific language (to gender neutral language)... but making indescriminant mass changes is considered disruptive. Go slowly, and take it one article at a time. Don’t make a crusade of it. Blueboar (talk) 16:31, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
    If we add something about that, it should also cite Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Magioladitis 2#High-speed_editing, which is a generally enforceable ArbCom sanction, as someone pointed out recently at ANI, about the "U.S." → "US" AWB spree: "Where editors have made a number of similar edits in a short time space and other editors have raised concerns about those edits, the editor is to stop making the edits and engage in discussion.". I would support doing so, but it should be in a footnote for the most part, off the MoS lead's bits about editwarring over style.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  21:22, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
  • We already have support for gender-neutral languag at MOS:GNL. The current dispute is about the linguistically ignorant idea that "mankind" means "dudes only", a view not supported by any dictionary or by linguistic history, or by actual usage in reliable sources or in our own pages. In rare instances it has been used that way when paired with "womankind" in the same construction, but this is a poetic artifice and isn't going to be found in encyclopedic prose. A handful of usage dictionaries concede that some people think of "mankind" as gender non-neutral (unaware that the word dates with its generic meaning to before "man" by itself picked up a meaning [sometimes] of "male adult human", though loss of a prefix we now see only in "werewolf" and "weregild").

    The idea that "mankind" is sexist is a legitimate reader-perception issue, but it's a minor, niche one.[citation needed] (Most of our readers seem educated and experienced enough with the language to not go on a misguided language-policing spree about it, as do most of our editors.) Ergo, we should not have a rule against the word, but it's marginally preferable to change it in many cases to "humanity", "people", "peoples", "the world population", "the human species", "modern humans", or some other construction that fits the social, historical, cultural, statistical, human-geographical, evolutionary, or physical-anthropology context in question. We do not need an AWB rampage to politically-correct every instance of "mankind", especially since the word is emphatically not wrong, just not everyone's favorite. Nor do we need an AWB blitz to revert to "mankind"; the entire basis of MOS:RETAIN is if that any given usage is permissible under MoS, leave it alone. Mass revert-warring is just as WP:POINTy (and just as much a grounds for sanction) as doing a mass undiscussed change. They're both futzing with thousands of pages for reasons not sanctions by any policy or guideline.
     — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  21:10, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

Just a brief correction to the above: it is not "a handful of usage dictionaries" that mitigate against "mankind", it is basically all authorities over the last 30 years that have moved in this direction. When all recent, reliable sources agree about something, I wouldn't call that finding "niche". Still, no rampaging is mandated.
I would also like to point out the fallacy that has frequently been repeated in these discussions, that because "man" and "mankind" have a gender-neutral etymology that therefore they don't have ( or shouldn't be considered to have) gendered connotations. Bollocks. The inclusion or exclusion of women from "mankind" was part of the broader question of gender organization of early modern society, and I dare say that "mankind" was a good deal more ambiguous and possibly gendered in its meaning in 1800 than in 1500. Which then makes sense of the proliferation of more clearly neutral alternatives, which began not in the feminist cultural revolution of the 1960s and 70s but rather back in the 17th century. Newimpartial (talk) 11:09, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Same thing I said at the "mankind" discussion: mankind is indeed gender-neutral, but dated—its use has declined steadily since the 18th century and has been significantly less common than "humanity" since the 1970s. Its removal should not be mandated, but neither should it be granted WP:RETAIN-like protection, as replacing it with "humanity" or another clearly neutral equivalent causes no concrete problems (only ideological ones). Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 23:07, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I agree with the Gobbler. ;-) As I wrote in the MOS discussion, there is no reason for Wikipedia to move in the opposite direction of every major style guide; news organization guides; and our own manual of style. ... I take that back. There is one reason: To make a political statement.   - Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) 05:16, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
I propose that the "Manual of Style" be renamed as "Perdaughterual of Style." Jack N. Stock (talk) 05:29, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Thankfully "troll" is gender neutral. EvergreenFir (talk) 06:27, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Proposed MoS footnote to discourage mass changes[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see WT:Manual of Style#Proposed footnote to discourage mass changes
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  21:51, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

Article that explains the etymology of mankind and its controversy[edit]

The Gizmodo article "Think twice before using 'mankind' to mean 'all humanity,' say scholars" explains very well where the word came from and why its use is controversial. (Thanks to user:Clean Copy for the link.) Thinker78 (talk) 04:07, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

That article is rather remarkable. They say that (a) "mankind" is from Old English "mann" that could refer to either sex and could be specified to "waeponmann" or "wifmann" if one sex is desired, (b) the combination generally could refer to both sexes, (c) for the past two centuries it has pretty much always been taken to refer to both sexes, hence (d) one should "think twice" before using it and prefer "humanity". Seldom have I seen the conclusion so not follow from the premise. Wnt (talk) 09:31, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
So, you agree, 'man is man' and 'woman is a kind of man'? Or would you prefer, 'women is a subset of man'? - Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:46, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Basically, there are 50% chances "mankind" had chauvinistic origins, so although in the general definition "mankind" can be considered gender-neutral, the origins of the world might not have been gender-neutral. To avoid the centuries-old possible use of a man-centric worldview, as is very well possible, and more important, to avoid the looks of gender-bias (MANkind), it is preferred the use of other words to denote all humans, like humanity, which sounds less gender-oriented, or people, who doesn't have the controversial etymological "man" in it. In Spanish there is a similar issue because often it is said "los hombres" (men) or "el hombre" (man) to refer to all humans, so it brings to question the claim that the use of "man" originated purely as designation of more than one gender, as Spanish society has been historically very chauvinistic. Thinker78 (talk) 18:32, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Yah, but that's huMANity, not huWOMANity, so obviously....... ;) Wnt (talk) 00:44, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
What a lame, reactionary attempt at humour. 'Human' ≠ 'man', anymore than 'woman' just because all of 'man' happens to be in 'human' and only part of 'woman' is. The use of "humanity" does not carry with it the same perceived gender implications as "mankind"--not for most speakers anyway--and your little quip, based in awkward, half-thought-out folk etymology / morphemics as a justification for "analytical/rational" resistance to the emerging norm comes off as, frankly, chauvinistically antagonistic to the larger trend towards gender neutral language. Snow let's rap 23:02, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Lame? The derogatory term comparing to one with physical impairments? Killiondude (talk) 00:44, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
I've never known the word to be considered derogatory. It's either a clinical term for actual lameness, or it's an idiomatic usage implying an unimpressive effort. I would not be surprised to learn that some communities have decided it is "ableist", but despite having seen a lot or prejudicial language of every sort over the course of my life, I've never heard that word used to derogatorily insult or cast aspersion on a disabled person. The usage, as far as I can tell, is almost always metaphorical, not literal. But rest assured, if it gained enough cultural currency as something directed offensively at others, I would quickly reconsider my own use of the term. I would probably even consider doing so if it had no such literal offensive usage but simply came to be regarded as highly insensitive. Because at some point, even if you disagree with the logic under which a term has been branded as insensitive, and find the objections to be puzzling, you still have to recognize that, at that point, the word has become so charged by social context that your usage runs the risk of imparting additional subtext which you never intended. As far as I can tell though, most people still consider "lame" to be a synonym for "sad, underwhelming" and I'm quite happy to use it in that fashion to describe that "joke". Snow let's rap 03:06, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
More to the point, the Gizmodo article isn't a reliable source but is clickbait junk written by a web content churner with no apparent (much less demonstrated) reputable background in English linguistics, and who is clearly confused in trying (quite poorly) to provide a basis for a language-change activism viewpoint. I've said elsewhere that the fact that some people misinterpret "mankind" as sexist is reason enough to avoid its usage; we don't need to make up, or go along with made up, fake reasons.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:28, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
@SMcCandlish: I agree with your conclusions, although personally, as someone who does have a background in linguistics, I would put it slightly differently: most people engage in a kind of subjective folk etymology when they are parsing the a word based on morphemes which they recognize within it; this is an ordinary, useful, and unavoidable feature of cognitive semantics and it is a part of how words evolve in "actual meaning". Most people haven't the first clue about the history of their language, let alone the province of particular words, so engaging in pedantic discussions about word roots and comparative syntax is a massive exercise in missing the forest for the trees (and often conducted by people clearly not trained in the relevant fields who simply wish to try to preserve their preferred interpretation of the meaning of the word and its social consequences, for whatever psychological reasons, typically blundering from one nonsensical linguistic argument to another; actual linguists tend to be rather unbothered by change, given they understand that it is an unavoidable part of the natural phenomena they study).
As a basic tautological matter, a word means what it is received to mean by living speakers, and if a given term is perceived as offensive (or perhaps it is better in this instance to say "inclined to cause irritation in half of us English speakers living on planet Earth today") then that is the reality, and it's pointless to say "well no one felt that way about it when I was young, where I lived!" (which, btw, is almost certainly false; if you (generic/hypothetical 'you', not talking to SMcCandlish here) think women haven't been intuitively reflecting on being discluded by the term for a long, long time, you are probably a man one who hasn't stopped to think for very long about all of the ways language has traditionally put men forward as the default representatives of our species--of which there are many that I assure you do not go unnoticed by women). Snow let's rap 22:44, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Which is a long way of saying, as I did, that we have reason enough to avoid "mankind" without fake reasons to do so. I have a linguistics minor myself, and understand all of this; I've been trying to keep the discussion from being mired in it, because it's basically immaterial. Even your "a word means what people take it to mean" point doesn't really have much bearing on this, because the word isn't ever taken to mean "men as a class, exclusive of women", except in a rare poetical construct contrasting "womankind" with "mankind"; dictionaries continue to provide the broad definition as the sole or primary one, and RS continue to use it this way. While there's a language-change movement to stamp out use of "mankind", it has not been successful in doing so, or in changing the definition, only in helping a little to shift perception of the appropriateness of the word, a shift that (as you observe) has long been underway without their input. That's what WP cares about, the effect on readers; that is the reason the word should be discouraged here, not for any of these academical and (viz. the Gizmodo article) pseudo-academical ones. WP is making a mistake when it uses wording that causes the reader to mentally rebel, to stop absorbing our material, and to start questioning the project's motives or neutrality. This requires no etymology, and no philosophical or interdisciplinary arguments, just common sense.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  23:06, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't disagree, except for the caveat that the linguistic discussion invariably become part and parcel of the debate whether we'd like it or not, because the utilitarian argument you lay out above eventually always gets met by someone saying "Well, that's just how you perceive it (in your hand-wringing, overly-emotional way), but here's what it really means, because of [X, Y, and Z non-sequitor folk linguistic arguments]" As if a word's semantic effect were in some way a consistent, concrete thing that could be empirically verified by such slap-dash methodology and that such anacrhonisms should prevail over how people actually use and perceive the word in contemporary parlance.
People have been staking out ideological turf surrounding words in that way since forever, and the average Wikipedian is not any more (or in any event, not significantly more) well-versed in the relevant linguistic, semiotic, or empirical analysis such that we cannot expect the same here; indeed, our editors on average are probably closer to the class of people who (for those who have an ideological imperative do so) know just enough about linguistics to feel comfortable constructing a personal theory, but not enough to do so without producing nonsense as a result. I know I see something in that vein virtually every time we have to debate a controversial use of a term that isn't just patently offensive. And incidentally, it comes both ways along the cultural divide surrounding inclusive language; I've had quite the challenge more than once trying to convince editors who wanted to word an article using some obscure/personal gender pronoun (that a subject of a BLP has chosen for themselves) that such an approach is not advisable, using a variation of your "it's about the reader" argument from above. Snow let's rap 00:29, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

Discussion notice: Auto-deliver the required DS "awareness" notices[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see: WP:Village pump (proposals)#Bot to deliver Template:Ds/alert
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  18:03, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

I support this. Jenhawk777 (talk) 19:04, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
@Jenhawk777: This isn't the discussion, it's a pointer to the discussion.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:29, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
I went and read the discussion before coming back here and posting this. Jenhawk777 (talk) 21:20, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
The place to support, oppose or comment on a discussion is at the discussion, not at the notice. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:00, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

RfC: Ease switching of citations between citation templates or no citation templates[edit]

Please see Wikipedia talk:Citing sources#RfC: Remove the bullet point that starts "adding citation templates..." Jc3s5h (talk) 14:48, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

RfC: Revisiting the perennial US/U.S. debate[edit]

Should MOS:US (WP:Manual of Style#US and U.S.):

  1. Retain its current wording (after some reverting), arrived at several years ago, and stable until October 2017, and stable since then?
  2. Use the newest (recently reverted) version, implemented in a lengthy October 2017 consensus discussion?
  3. Revert to its even earlier wording, which was stable though the early 2010s, despite frequent debate?
  4. Say something substantively different from any of these?

00:51, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

The central matter is whether "US" or "U.S." is the dominant spelling in current (not historical) North American English, across all style guides and reliable sources (i.e., not limited to a particular genre or field). The previous discussion involved detailed source review to answer this question. The current version, based in MOS:COMMONALITY without citing it, relies on "US" being demonstrably dominant; so does the (reverted) newest version, explicit about COMMONALITY; while the MOS:ENGVAR idea suggested in the old version depends on the opposite (ENGVAR only applies to a consistently dominant usage in a country).

The issue raised, for editing, is this: the current version gradually favors "US" over time, and the newest version does so more explicitly, while the old version would keep "U.S." indefinitely in most articles that use it.

Current version (dates to mid-2010s):
US and U.S.

In American and Canadian English, as elsewhere, US has become the dominant abbreviation for United States. However, U.S. (with periods [full points] and without a space) remains common in North American publications, especially in news journalism. At least one major American style guide, The Chicago Manual of Style (since 2010), now deprecates "U.S." and recommends "US". Because use of periods for abbreviations and acronyms should be consistent within any given article, use US in an article with other country abbreviations, and especially avoid constructions like the U.S., UK, and USSR. In longer abbreviations (three letters or more) that incorporate the country's initials (USN, USAF), do not use periods. When the United States is mentioned with one or more other countries in the same sentence, U.S. or US may be too informal, especially at the first mention or as a noun instead of an adjective (France and the United States, not France and the U.S.). Do not use the spaced U. S. or the archaic U.S. of A., except when quoting. Do not use U.S.A. or USA except in a quotation, as part of a proper name (Team USA), or in certain technical/formal uses (e.g., the ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 codes and FIFA country codes).

Newest version (2017):
US and U.S.

US is a commonly used abbreviation for United States, although U.S. – with periods and without a space – remains common in North American publications, including in news journalism. Multiple American style guides, including The Chicago Manual of Style (since 2010), now deprecate "U.S." and recommend "US".

For commonality reasons, use US by default when abbreviating, but retain U.S. in American or Canadian English articles in which it is already established, unless there is a good reason to change it. Because use of periods for abbreviations and acronyms should be consistent within any given article, use US in an article with other country abbreviations, and especially avoid constructions like the U.S. and the UK. In longer abbreviations that incorporate the country's initials (USN, USAF), never use periods. When the United States is mentioned with one or more other countries in the same sentence, US (or U.S.) may be too informal, especially at the first mention or as a noun instead of an adjective (France and the United States, not France and the US). Do not use the spaced U. S. or the archaic U.S. of A., except when quoting. Do not use U.S.A. or USA except in a quotation, as part of a proper name (Team USA), or in certain technical and formal uses (e.g., the ISO 3166-1 alpha-3, FIFA, and IOC country codes).

Early version (early 2010s):
US and U.S.

In American and Canadian English, U.S. (with periods [full stops] and without a space) is the dominant abbreviation for United States, though at least one major American style guide, The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.), now deprecates U.S. and prefers US (without periods). US is more common in most other national forms of English. Use of periods for abbreviations and acronyms should be consistent within any given article and congruent with the variety of English used by that article. In longer abbreviations (three letters or more) that incorporate the country's initials (USN, USAF), do not use periods. When the United States is mentioned with one or more other countries in the same sentence, U.S. or US may be too informal, especially at the first mention or as a noun instead of an adjective (France and the United States, not France and the U.S.). Do not use the spaced U. S. or the archaic U.S. of A., except when quoting. Do not use U.S.A. or USA except in a quotation, as part of a proper name (Team USA), or in certain technical/formal uses (e.g., the ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 codes and FIFA country codes).

Please avoid empty WP:ILIKEIT / WP:IKNOWIT comments, as well as wikipolitical arguments about why we have/shouldn't have a style guide, whether a wikiproject should/shouldn't "own" articles in its scope, etc. Please stay on-topic.

This is a procedural RfC suggested by someone else, though dispute since the 2017 change has been minimal. A footnote about inconsistent journalistic usage was elided from the current-version and newest-version copies above, for brevity.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:51, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

No preference version
US and U.S.

US and U.S. are commonly-used abbreviations for United States. U.S. – with periods and without a space – remains common in North American publications, including all works of the United States government and in news media, while US is more often used elsewhere.

  • When used as a noun in article prose, prefer United States (avoiding either abbreviation) for better formal writing style. This also avoids mixed-use constructions like the U.S. and the UK in favor of the United States and the United Kingdom, and provides an opportunity for commonality.
  • As an adjective in article prose, either US or U.S. may be used, but don't mix dotted and undotted within the same article. Generally speaking, U.S./U.K. is appropriate for American or Canadian English national variations, and US/UK for others. Prevalence in reliable sources can also be used to determine which to use. Use of either style should be retained in existing articles that they have been established.[a]

US should always be used in tables where other ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 two-letter country codes are in use. Longer abbreviations that incorporate the country's initials (USN, USAF) never use periods, but partial constructions like U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force may. Do not use the spaced U. S. or the archaic U.S. of A., except when quoting. Do not use U.S.A. or USA except in a quotation, as part of a proper name (Team USA), or in certain technical and formal uses (e.g., the ISO 3166-1 alpha-3, FIFA, and IOC country codes).

Well if this RFC is actually going forward limited to only handling of US/U.S., here is the version I suggest, which does not prescriptively prohibit either style, but gives guidance to avoid the abbreviation for commonality. It recognizes that both dotted and undotted are commonly-used and acceptable, and that neither is a default nor forbidden. This will prevent edit warring and also prevent editors from being sanctioned for following a style they've know their whole lives. I intend to present an expanded form of this sometime in the future to cover other geographical acronyms (like Canadian English frequent use of dotted geographical acronyms like P.E.I., B.C., etc.). -- Netoholic @ 04:56, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ This section has changed in the past and may change in the future, mass-changes to articles should be avoided.

Comments on US/U.S.[edit]

  • I rarely see the spelling here in the United States as "US", it is usually USA or U.S. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 00:54, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    This is not a vote. Do you have some reliable sources on frequency, or the recommendations of modern style guides to cite?  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:07, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Use the newest wording (i.e., revert to the status quo ante of the last consensus discussion), with current wording as second choice. They are based on overwhelming evidence that "U.S." has not been dominant in North American English for quite some time. Of those publishers who do use it, they are not even consistent with each other (e.g. some newspapers insist on it in headlines but use "US" in running prose, some do exactly the opposite, some use one everywhere, some the other). There is no WP:ENGVAR case that can be made, and the wording in the old version is just patently false. While MoS is not an article, it's grotesque for us to put disproved nonsense in it to advance nationalistic editwarring over a punctuation mark. The newest wording is more practical and will result in less disputation; the current reverted-to wording produces some conflict; the old one was a battleground generator.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:13, 6 July 2018 (UTC); revised: 08:53, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I Object to how this RFC was opened. The question is not simply "US vs U.S." but about handling dotted acronyms in certain regional variants of English (per WP:ENGVAR). For example, the preeminent Canadian English style guide The Canadian Style uses dots for all geographical acronyms, such as P.E.I. and B.C.. This RFC was opened with the intent of presenting this question in a limited way and the format of the RFC was not agreed to ahead of time. Calling this "revisiting" a "perennial" discussion in the title of this header betrays the opener's total lack of impartiality on this matter and poisons the question (see WP:RFCBEFORE and WP:RFCST). SMcCandlish's also framing how he wants responses to be made (referencing ILIKEIT) and is already WP:BADGERING here. I'd like to see this RFC speedy closed until we can get a neutral presentation of the actual changes being suggested. -- Netoholic @ 03:27, 6 July 2018 (UTC) I'd like to point out that the opener has taken the opportunity to lay out much of his main arguments within the lead section of this RFC itself. This is just not how to hold a neutral RFC. -- Netoholic @ 04:11, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    A long thread of responses to this objection has been refactored into the extended discussion section.
  • Gut feeling (no RSs, punctuation is ignored by google and ngram), that excessive/unnecessay dot use is decreasing. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:14, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    • Google Books ngram Viewer - up to 2000: I did just now take a look at this in the Google Books ngram view. In that tool, "US" and "U.S." are aggregated to "U.S.", so cannot distinguish using the out-of-the-box functionality. Link to the ngram query. This analysis does show "U.S./US" > "United States" >> "USA" > "United States of America". Seems "U.S./US" overtook "United States" a bit after 1980, before which "United States" prevailed over all other forms. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 16:44, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
      • 1950 to 2008 - changed the analysis window to 1950–2008 and found the order of use unchanged between 2000 and 2008. I tried to take it to 2018, but 2018 was auto-replaced with 2008; appears this is as recent as things go. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 16:49, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Whatever the balance of sources, it is clear that modern usage within American material varies to the extent that neither formulation can now be considered integral to American Engvar. As additional sources I would add that the CNN International website uses 'US', as did all the Olympic bid documents from the LA28 committee (I would be interested to know whether CNN's domestic website uses the same, i.e. it's now its house style, or not, i.e. they use unpunctuated style for an international audience?). I'm with SMcC in seeing a trend in this direction for acronyms generally (punctuated style for longer ones like UNESCO died years ago). Outside America (possibly excluding Canada as mentioned above), unpunctuated appears much more common. On the basis of Commonality, ease of reading, and consistency with other acronyms, I would support the current wording. As an aside, I always wondered why USA is deprecated in WP when it is widely used elsewhere; for example I saw it recently in a document submitted to the UN by the US government? MapReader (talk) 07:05, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    @MapReader: You may be interested to know that the US site (heh) uses "U.S." in the site headings, but article headlines still use "US". — AfroThundr ([[User:|u]] · t · c) 14:33, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    The headlines and the bodycopy at cnn.com use "US"; it's their menu system that uses "U.S." Deets below.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:08, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
  • My take: the entire question is not worth the amount of time and angst we spend on it. I don’t think it matters whether we abbreviate with dots or not, as long as we are consistent within a given article. If the article is consistent... don’t change it. If not... first person to make it consistent “wins”. Blueboar (talk) 11:55, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
  • It seems to me (from my personal observations of usage on the 'net) that a majority of people in the United States use the "US" form, while "U.S." remains the canonical form in government and legal contexts. Internationally, "US" is unquestionably the dominant form. Perhaps we should stick with the current (after reversion) text, or use the newest version with a note that articles regarding government or legal topics are still allowed to use the older form. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 14:40, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    That last bit wouldn't be necessary. We don't need the spelling variance except in citations (legal citations take highly specific forms, varying by jurisdiction), because citation style is governed by WP:CITEVAR; that is, a citation can diverge from MoS style in such nit-picks if the citation format requires it. The fact that "U.S. Department of Justice", following Government Printing Office Style Manual style, is what the DoJ itself uses doesn't require anyone else to do so; thus: [7], etc. And WP in particular really doesn't care about "officialness", per WP:OFFICIALNAME.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:10, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    My personal favourite WP:OFFICIALNAME is the 1958 U.S.-UK Mutual Defence Agreement, in which they diplomatically used two types of English in the official abbreviated name. Unfortunately, our MOS:ACRO does not permits this form. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 19:41, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
    If it really were the official title of the document, then it would be permitted, under MOS:TITLES. But it clearly is not the title; it's a Wikipedia-invented WP:NPOVTITLE, a made-up descriptive phrase.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  03:38, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
    It's not a Wikipedia invention; it's the WP:COMMONNAME. eg [8][9][10] Hawkeye7 (discuss) 04:32, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
  • To a large extent, I agree with what Blueboar said: this is a trivial issue. I'm inclined to say that the evidence does point to using US rather than U.S. as a preferred form, and treating the stable form of an existing page, so long as it is consistent, similarly to the way that we treat WP:ENGVAR. Consistency within a page seems most important to me. As for the three wording options above, I find the newest version, with its opaque reference to "commonality", to sound like it was written by a committee, whereas the current/recent version seems to me to be better written and not significantly different unless one counts angels on heads of pins. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:11, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    It's definitely a trivial issue, but when people revert-war between three versions and demand an RfC, it's probably time to have an RfC. :-)  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:10, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    Meh... When editors revert war over trivial things like this, the solution is to strongly chastise ALL those involved for disrupting the project. It always takes two to revert-war. If BOTH are suspended for a day or two, the message will be clear... don't revert-war over trivial things like dots. Blueboar (talk) 20:46, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    Strange as it may sound (or maybe not), I think the genesis of the most recent dispute over this point comes out of the disputes over US (U.S.?) politics, with the attendant battleground-ing. FYI, there is even a request at the admin requests for closure to have this discussion speedily closed. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:35, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    Use the current version. I see that other editors are using bold font summaries. Therefore I'll spell out that I think the newest version is badly written so I prefer to use the current version. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:04, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Use the newest wording: this is clear and consistent. --K.e.coffman (talk) 02:34, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Use the newest wording: I think this version is the clearest -- Whats new?(talk) 04:17, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Use the newest wording — If you step back and look at it, MOS:ABBR specifies initialisms should not be rendered with periods. Of all the initialisms that are sometimes rendered with them in various srouces, what is it about U-dot-S-dot that justifies it having been codified as an exception? It can't be WP:ENGVAR because it's not a case of vocabulary, spelling, date formatting or grammar... which are the four listed areas ENGVAR covers. Whether to use periods for initialisms is a matter of style and that's just not covered under ENGVAR. All the arguments that we should follow sources and represent/allow the diverse usage in the "real world" are irrelevant because we don't follow an overarching "use whatever style you want as long as it's consistent" mandate, or else there would be no MOS. We regularly switch out curly quotes for straight ones (MOS:CURLY), hyphens for dashes (MOS:DASH), single quotes for double quotes (MOS:SINGLE), and change whether periods go inside or outside quotation marks (MOS:LQ). We've observed that outside the United States, there is a clear preference overall for initialisms without periods. We've observed that in two countries (the United States and Canada), there is mixed usage, with many arguing that the trend is towards dropping periods. So unless ENGVAR's reach is much more broad than it reads, the entire notion there should be any exception for this one specific initialism seems pretty odd. If US gets an exception, why not PEI, BC, NATO, etc. etc.? No doubt there are people in the UK who prefer it be written "U.K." (and sources that render it that way) but there isn't an entire section in MOS devoted to carving out "U.K." as a sacrosanct rendering meriting an exception. Really the discussion should include the notion of tossing enshrining any exceptions for one initialism out completely, but since that's not on the table, the newest wording—which strikes a balance between resisting wholesale removal of "U.S." and making it clear that new material should adopt the MOS:ABBR guideline as a default—moves towards a clearer state of affairs that doesn't privilege the rendering of one term over any others. —Joeyconnick (talk) 07:10, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Use the newest wording, which is quite clear and explicitly includes language against edit-warring to change it back and forth. CapitalSasha ~ talk 17:31, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Stick with the current version, Use neutral wording, but like Netoholic, I object to how this RfC has been handled, and think it should be struck as not neutrally worded or opened. The "newest wording" is unacceptable as it implicitly disallows use of "U.S." in any new article going forward. --IJBall (contribstalk)
  • I agree with others who have expressed that this is more trouble than it is worth. MOS wars in the past included the incredibly important difference between a hyphen and a dash, also known as the battle of tiny horizontal lines. Today it’s another issue that doesn’t really effect the overall quality of Wikipedia for the reader. (remember the reader? the person we’re all doing this for, not for ourselves to push our preferred rules of The Way Things Ought To Be?) and agree with Blueboar that consistency within individual articles is enough of a standard and also that anyone who edit wars over this in mainspace or MOS gets a swift kick out the door. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:01, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
    Sure. The reason this is being RfCed at VPPOL is because of editwarring over the wording. The triviality of the subject should not lead to such drama, so we should just put it to bed and move on.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  03:44, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Use the newest wording Per Beeblebrox. I am haunted by MOS:DASH, in which the MOS broke links all over the place, forced the development of special editing tools, and remains a pain that just won't go away. My other fear is that the adoption of this RfC will be touted in the media as another instance of Wikipedia's anti-US bias. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 19:41, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Use neutral wording: if strong advice is not being offered as to which style a writer should adopt, it should be left at his own discretion--ie, there should not be thought-swaying either way by the MoS. We have failed to reach a consensus as to whether or not 'U.S.' should be depreciated (or we had the last time I was involved), deciding that it should be an individual decision. But, under no circumstances should 'U.K.' be accepted, or encouraged in any way: it is not a common style in the UK itself, and the American style guides seem to be moving away from it (even if my iPhone obsessively adds the points). I completely agree with the current 'do not mix ...' guidance, which seems to have caused reasonably few problems that I have encountered, and offers some clear direction to copyeditors as to how to deal with "style mixing". Sb2001 23:55, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
  • It doesn't matter whether we use the dots or not. Just block people who edit war over it. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 00:11, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I don't think an external issue really matters here; after all, it's not something major to the reader so long as they can comprehend the article. In short, I agree with Hawkeye7 et alii, who note that consistency within articles means more than some lines of text in the Manual of Style. (Because, ultimately, that a reader gets the information they want is our end goal, right?) That being said, I do not believe that consensus regarding the implicit or explicit deprecation of any one style vis-à-vis another can be found, and, really, the MOS issues are a bit arcane, to say the least. Anyway, to stop rambling on, I agree wholly with Sb2001: use the neutral, no preference wording. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 02:18, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
  • The magnitude of the debate about this is excessive compared to the magnitude of the underlying dispute. Seriously guys, it doesn't matter that much, and we should stop arguing about this and go build an encyclopedia. Support whatever option puts this most firmly to bed permanently. Tazerdadog (talk) 03:26, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Use the newest wording: Mainly because it is the consensus from a lengthy and reasonably recent discussion (I'm taking SmC's word for this), but also because it is unambiguous. Current version arbitrates nothing except in articles that have other country abbreviations. I don't actually like the newest wording because 1) it makes the preferred style depend upon the history of the article, which defies the purpose of a manual of style; and 2) it introduces unnecessary ENGVAR - there's clearly a common version acceptable everywhere. But I can accept consensus is against me. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 16:25, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

Extended discussion of US/U.S.[edit]

  • Here's a copy-paste of my sourcing run from the last round of this discussion, for those who don't want to go look in that thread:
RS citations, with direct quotes (and analysis by SMcCandlish):
Sourcing

I'll get this started, using the stack of style guides closest to my desk (leaves out some stuff like Scientific Style and Format):

  • "10.4", "10.33". The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.). University of Chicago. 2010. pp. 489–490, 500:. 10.4: Periods with abbreviations. ... Use no periods with abbreviations that appear in full capitals, whether two letters or more, and even if lowercase letters appear within the abbreviation: VP, CEO, MA, MD, PhD, UK, US, NY, IL .... 10.33: "US" versus United States. In running text, spell out United States as a noun; reserve US for the adjective form only (in which position the abbreviation is generally preferred). See also 10.4. US dollars, US involvement in China, but China's involvement in the United States.  It has a side rule to use "U.S." in publications that use "traditional" US state abbreviations like "Ill." and "Calif.", but WP is not one of these, and CMoS recommends against the practice anyway. This edition's material on this is a reversal from the 15th ed. which still favored "U.S." Notably, MoS began when CMoS 15th was current, and has seen extensive revision over time to match the 16th (as it has also been being updated to match post-2010 editions of New Hart's Rules / Oxford Style Manual and Fowler's, etc., as the rest of the world does.
  • "10.31", "10.32". The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.). University of Chicago. 2017. pp. 573–574, 585–586:. 10.4: Periods with abbreviations. ... Ues no periods with abbreviations that include two or more capital letters, even if the abbreviation also includes lowercase letters: VP, CEO, MA, MD, PhD, UK, US, NY, IL. [Also has the previous edition's rule to prefer "U.S." with "Ill." abbreviations.] 10.31: Abbreviating country names. Names of countries are usually spelled out in text but may be abbreviated in tabular matter, lists, and the like. [Recommendation to consult dictionaries for abbreviations rather than making up new ones.] ... Certain initialisms, on the other hand, may be appropriate in regular text, especially after the full form has been established .... 10.32: "US" versus "United States." Where necessary, initialisms for country names can be used in running text according to the guidelines set forth [in previous sections about overuse of abbreviations, etc.] Note that, as a matter of editorial tradition, this manual has long advised spelling out United States as a noun, reserving US for the adjective form only (where it is preferred) and for tabular matter and the like. In a departure, Chicago now permits the use of US as a noun, subject to editorial discretion and provided the meaning is clear from context. US dollars, US involvement in China, China's involvement in the United States or China's involvement in the US.  Brand new edition; hasn't had much real-world impact yet. CMoS has clearly softened on its stance about nouns.
  • Burchfield, R. W., ed. (2004). "acronym". Fowler's Modern English Usage (Revised 3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 17–18.  Gives no explicit rule, but uses "US", "UK", "USSR" style throughout, and says of things like "U.N.E.S.C.O." that this is an intermediary stage in adoption of an acronym. This material is a bit dated; we don't actually do it that way any longer; a newly introduced acronym will appear as SNRKL not "S.N.R.K.L." in most publications. Burchfield also favors the confusing practice of writing some true acronyms as if words and capitalizing their first letter even if they're not proper names, e.g. "Aids" for AIDS; this practice seems not to have caught on except among some British/Commonwealth news publishers, and I think one or another of the stylistically weirder American publications (New Yorker, maybe? New York Times, but not consistently).]
  • Butterfield, Jeremy, ed. (2015). "acronym". Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 16.  Uses essentially the same wording as Burchfield's edition.
  • "1.6: Abbreviations". MLA Handbook (8th ed.). Modern Language Association. 2016. p. 95. Use neither periods after letters nor spaces between letters for abbrevaitions made up predominantly of capital letters: BC, DVD, NJ, PhD, US.  Has no noun/adjective rules but urges (on the same page cited here) reserving abbreviations for tabular data, citations, and other compressed material.
  • "8.3: Geographic Names". MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Writing (3rd ed.). Modern Language Association. 2008. pp. 264, 269. [S]pell out in the text the names of countries, with a few exceptions (e.g. USSR). In documentation, however, abbreviate the names of states, provinces , countries, and continents. [List of abbreviations begins] ... US, USA: United States, United States of America  Does not include "U.S.", nor a noun/adjective rule.
  • "7: Shortened forms". Style Manual of Authors, Editors and Printers (5th ed.). Australian Government Publishing Service. 1994. pp. 107, 116–117. 7.5 Abbreviations that consist of more than one capital letter or of capital letters only are written without full stops: ACT, RSPCA, PhD, GPO, IBRD, USA. ... 7.7: Acronyms ... Acronyms are written without full stops. 7.67: The names of countries, except for the former Soviet Union, which is usually designated USSR, should be spelt out in general text. For example: The United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have agreed ... not The UK, the USA, Australia, NZ and Japan have agreed .... For text, this rule should be waived only in heavily statistical or greatly condensed scientific work. 7.68: In text that uses many shortened forms, the standard abbreviations for name of countries may be used adjectivally: UK tariffs have ...; In her study of NZ foreign policy ..... 7.69: Standard abbreviations for names of countries are used in tables, figures, notes, references and bibliographies, where space considerations are important: UK, USA, Statistics Act 1975 (NZ), s 37.  There may be a newer edition out now; last time I looked it was still in production, but that was a few years ago.
  • Hull, Christine A.; Huckin, Thomas N. (2008). The New Century Handbook (4th ed.). Longman / Pearson Education. pp. 810, 872. 48d: Avoid common misuses of periods. ... Do not use periods with acronyms and other all uppercase abbreviations. [Emphasis in original.] The recent trend is not to use periods with common abbreviations for states, countries, organizations, computer programs, famous eople, and other entities: CA, NOW, MIT ... USA, MS-DOS, JFK ... HTML, AAA .... 56e: Avoid most other abbreviations in formal writing. Place names, including the names of states, countries, provinces, continents, and other locations, should not be abbreviated except in addresses and occasionally when usd as adjectives (for example, in US government).  Uses dot-free acronyms throughout, except for latinisms (e.g., p.m., i.e.). Specifically illustrates
  • Waddingham, Anne, ed. (2014). "10.2.4. All-capital abbreviations". New Hart's Rules (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 174. Acronyms and initialisms of more than one capital letter take no full points in British and technical usage and are closed up: TUC, MA, EU .... In some US styles certain initialisms may have full points (US/U.S.).  There isn't an adjective/noun usage distinction maintained in New Hart's.
  • Ritter, R. M., ed. (2005). "10.2.4. All-capital abbreviations". New Hart's Rules (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 170–171. Acronyms and initialisms of more than one capital letter take no full points in British and technical usage and are closed up: TUC, MA, EU .... US English uses points in such contexts: U.S., L.A.P.D., R.E.M.  This was wrong even when it was published; the two leading US style guides (CMoS for academic writing, and Associated Press Stylebook for journalism) were already condemning this, and dominant usage of "LAPD" is provable in seconds [11] by an N-gram constrained to US English and the decade leading up to publication of Ritter's book. Ritter's comment appears to be material left over from the 1980s Hart's Rules, when it might have been closer to accurate. "REM" in the sleep sense has been absolutely dominant without periods for decades [12], and in the case of the band name, it's a proper name (also from the '80s) styled however the band likes (the band consistently used the dots, but the press did not [13]).
  • Garner, Bryan A. (2016). "U.S.; U.S.A". Garner's Modern English Usage (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. As shortened forms for United States, these terms retain their periods, despite the modern trend to drop the periods in most initialisms. ... U.S. is best reserved for use as an adjective <U.S. foreign policy> although its use as a noun in headlines is common. In abbreviations incorporating U.S., the periods are typically dropped <USPS>, <USAF>, <USNA>.  Garner seems (at first; see next entry) the primary hold-out in the style-guide world for "U.S.", and does not even acknowledge the usage shift, or that non-US usage might differ. This is weird because the current edition is taking pains to be more descriptive (even extensively using N-gram data) with hundreds of entries updated with usage-shift info; this entry was not updated. Whether this represents Garner not getting around to it or studiously avoiding it is anyone's guess. Despite being published by Oxford, this is a thoroughly American work, and Garner is not a linguist but a lawyer, steeped in legal writing (he's the editor or author of various works on legal writing); it's a register that in the US always uses U.S. except in longer acronyms like USAF. See next entry, however.
  • Garner, Bryan A. (2016). The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation. Chicago University Press. p. 388. 537. Use a period to indicate an abbreviated name or title. (The salutary trend, though, is to omit periods with acronyms and initialisms—hence BBC ...)  I looked at every page the index said had anything to do with abbreviations, acronyms, initialisms, the period, proper names, and proper nouns. There's nothing about "U.S.", nor did I see it used in the prose while skimming, and he uses "UNESCO"-style throughout. This may be evidence that the entry in GMEU, above, simply didn't get updated since the last edition, or it may reflect editorial changes made by someone at the respective publishers; no way to really know.
  • Williams, Malcolm (1997). Bucens, Vitalijs, ed. The Canadian Style: A Guide to Writing and Editing (Revised and Expanded ed.). Public Works and Government Services Canada Translation Bureau / Dundurn Press. pp. 20, 25, 30, 55. 103: Periods. In recent years there has been a trend toward omission of periods in abbreviations. This is particularly true of scientific and technical writing, but the practice has been spreading in general writing as well. a) Do not use periods with the following: [Emphasis in original.] ... abbreviations or acronyms consisting exclusively of upper-case letters or ending in an upper-case letter (except those for personal names, legal references and most place names), e.g.: NAFTA, PhD, YWCA, UN, GST, MiG, CTV. (b) Use periods with geographical abbreviations, e.g. B.C., P.E.I., but not for the two-character symbols recommended by Canada Post . This appears to be self-contradictory, since the CP two-letter symbol for British Columbia is in fact BC. This seems to imply using U.K., U.S., etc., but US is used on p. 30, then U.S.A. on p. 55. So, I give up on what they really want. Regardless, it doesn't actually appear to reflect typical, current Canadian style (it is 20 years old); I lived there in 2005–2006, and did not regularly encounter "U.K." and "U.S.A."
  • "Chapter 4. Abbreviations". Editing Canadian English (2nd ed.). Editors' Association of Canada. 2000. pp. 51–52. Geographical designations: ... 4.19. Abbreviations for names of countries can be used in special circumstances (tables, charts, lists). In text copy, names are usually spelled out.  ECE provides no rule against using dots, and illustrates US/U.S. and UK/U.K., even USSR/U.S.S.R.. However, in the preceding sections on acronyms (§4.8) and initialisms (§4.9) it uniformly illustrates all of them without dots, a clear preference. It has no noun/adjective rule.
  • Hacker, Diana (2006). "38a. The period". The Bedford Handbook (7th ed.). Bedford / St. Martin's. p. 423. In abbreviations: ... A period is not used with US Postal Service abbreviates for states .... Current usage is to omit the period in abbreviations of organization names, academic degrees, and designations for eras.  So, doesn't state a country rule, but illustrates use of US.
  • AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th ed.). American Medical Association / Oxford University Press. 2007. pp. 334, 451. 'When not to use a period: ... [D]o not use periods with honorifics (courtesy titles), scientific terms, and abbreviations .... JAMA, NIH ... 14.5: Cities, States, Counties, Territories, Possessions; Provinces; Countries. At first mention the name of a state ... or country should be spelled out when it follows the name of a city. [Elided long note that JAMA doesn't do it with "United States" after US places only because its readership is largely American.] ... Names of cities ... and countries should be spelled out in full when they stand alone. ... Abbreviations such as US and UK may be used as modifiers (ie, only when they directly precede the word they modify) but should be expanded in all other contexts. The authors surveyed representative samples of urban populations in the United States and United Kingdom according to US and UK census data.  Uses "US" throughout. [Aside: This passage is, incidentally, proof of use of ie for i.e. in a US style guide; along with frequent use of i.e. in British publications that aren't newspapers, that kills the bogus ENGVAR argument for ie that we were seeing here about a month ago.]
  • "4. Abbreviations". MHRA Style Guide (Third [corrected] ed.). Modern Humanities Research Association. 2015 [2013]. p. 31. 4.4: Use of full stop ... Full stops are omitted in capitalized abbreviations or acronyms for: ... (b) Countries, institutions, societies, and organizations (none of them italicized): UK, USA, BL, BM, UNAM ....  [Aside: This publication is proof of use of Oxford spelling ("the Oxfrod -ize") in British publications besides those of Oxford University Press. It also calls for Latinisms to retain dots when abbreviated: i.e., e.g., and so on]
  • Style Guide for Business and Technical Communication (5th ed.). Franklin Covey. 2012.  Self-inconsistent and confusing. The chapter on abbreviations gives all acronyms and initialisms in RAM and GNP style, but in an abbreviation list wants to not only use U.S. but to use U.S.A. to mean United States of America versus USA to mean United States Army; that's a "diff-caps" approach that is far too assumptive of the reader being in lock-step with the writer's intent for us to use it here.
  • American style guides dating to the 1990s and earlier are more apt to use (and sometimes have a rule in favor of) U.S., e.g. the ACS Style Guide from that era.
  • In academic American style guides this appears to be rare now; the only semi-recent one I can find so far in favor of U.S. is Publication Manual of the APA (5th ed.). American Psychological Association. 2001. . It otherwise uses UMI-style acronyms/initialisms throughout (it gives U.S. as a special exception). It also has the adjective rule for it. No idea what the more recent edition says; the 6th dates to 2009, and I have one around somewhere.
  • US legal style guides use U.S. consistently, because this is the style required by most of the courts that have issued style requirements for legal filings, and is also the preference of the US Government Printing Office's manual, which means that regulatory agencies (which whom lawyers often have to communicate) also use it.
  • I found one 2005 work, The Cooper Hill Stylebook, 2nd ed., still advocating dots in all acronyms and initialisms.
  • Strauss, J.; et al. (2014). The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation (11th ed.). , doesn't appear to address the matter, though it seems to give acronyms and initialisms throughout in no-dots, all-caps, no-spaces style.
  • The AMA Handbook of Business Writing'. American Marketing Association. 2010. , appears to be agnostic on dots with initialisms and acronyms, and doesn't address country names in particular.
  • American journalistic style is all over the place, and contradictory. (British/Commonwealth is not; it's all "US" or "USA".) Many news publishers (especially those who employ all-caps headlines) use U.S. in headlines but not in running text; others use U.S. all the time; others don't use it at all, including most non-North American news publishers.
    • "U.S.". Associated Press Stylebook (2015 ed.).  (arranged alphabetically by entry, which is more specific than page numbering; 2015 is the most recent edition I have) strangely recommends to use U.S. in body copy but US in headlines (probably because it recommends against all-caps headlines but for maximal headline compression).
    • The Wall Street Journal Essential Guide to Business Style and Usage. 2002. , says to always use U.S. and never give United States, except "in quotes or for special effect". That's obviously not an encyclopedic writing style.
    • The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage (5th ed.). 2015.  (arranged alphabetically by entry, which is more specific than page numbering), which says "U.S. for United States, but only in headlines, summaries, tables and charts, and when unavoidable in picture captions." Seems like AP Stylebook, right? But then it insists on URL but U.S.A.I.D., U.S.S.R., V.A.; then VC and VCR; but a surprise dodge to Unicef and Unesco, yet U.N.; and finally has a total meltdown: "U.N.AIDS (no spaces) for the United Nations program on H.I.V. and AIDS." Wow. There's just no rhyme or reason to this at all. Pretty much no one else in the world would contemplate writing "U.N.AIDS", much less "H.I.V. and AIDS", or "U.N." then "Unesco".
    • "Reuters Handbook of Journalism". Reuters. 2017. abbreviations. Retrieved 8 October 2017. Generally, omit full stops or periods in acronyms unless the result would spell an unrelated word. Most abbreviations of more than two letters do not take periods. But use periods in most two-letter abbreviations: U.S., U.N. (Exceptions include: EU, UK).  That's an idiosyncratic house style.
    • "BBC News Style Guide". 2017. Grammar, spelling and punctuation section. Retrieved 8 October 2017. . Uses "US President James Tucker" [a hypothetical example, obviously]; advises "UN, Nato, IRA, BBC"; this is consistent with typical British press usage ("US" not "U.S.", but treat pronounceable "word acronyms" in Aids and Unesco style), which can be verified with online style guides from The Guardian, The Economist, London Times, etc.; I'm not going to include them all individually.
  • News search: Just doing a Google News search clearly demonstrates a preference for "US" even in American publications, though (as noted above) particulars vary all over the place, with "U.S." sometimes used in main text but not headlines, or vice versa, or not at all, or in both.
  • Google Ngrams can't be used for this to check out book usage, unfortunately, as they processed "U.S." and "US" as synonymous and merged them.
  • I recall from previous digging that some business-English guides other than that of the Am. Mktg. Assn. also favor "U.S." Marketing ones, which are otherwise similar on many points, tend not to, because they deal with a lot of fancy logo typography, and know that dots in abbreviations in signage and ads impair quick reading when they're superfluous.
  • Sabin, William A. (2005). "When to Use Abbreviations". Gregg Reference Manual (10th ed.). McGraw-Hill. p. 146.  Has no explicit rules that are relevant here. Illustrates and consistently uses no-dots upper case for most acronyms and initialisms: IBM, ZIP, AIDS, CT or CAT scan, URL, CST and EDT, NAACP, SEC. Makes conventionalized exceptions for a few things: Ph.D., laser, a.m./p.m., A.D./B.C.; wants dots after Co., Inc., Ltd. However, does use "U.S." in several examples (at least some of them quoted material).
  • Faigley, Lester (2012). "50b. Acronyms". The Penguin Handbook (4th ed.). Boston: Longman / Pearson. pp. 680–682. Punctuation of abbreviations and acronyms: The trend now is away from using periods with many abbreviations. In formal writing you can still use periods, with certain exceptions. Do not use periods with: 1. Acronyms and initial-letter abbreviations: AFL-CIO, AMA, HMO, NAFTA, NFL, OPEC. 2. Two-letter mailing abbreviations: AZ (Arizona) .... 3. Compass points: NE (northeast) .... 4.) Technical abbreviations: kph (kilometers per hour), SS (sum of squares), SD (standard deviation).  Entire section illustrates all acronyms and initialisms in AIDS, NASA, etc. style (except for assimilated-as-words acronyms like laser, and Latinisms like i.e.). Doesn't make an exception for US, or address it directly.
  • Faigley, Lester (2015). "47b. Acronyms". The Brief Penguin Handbook (5th ed.). Boston: Longman / Pearson. pp. 519–521.  Exact same text on this material as in the larger previous edition.

This is just a start, though it took several hours and I'd rather not do more unless really necessary.

Conclusion so far:
"US" is dominant in English generally. "U.S." is still present aplenty in North American writing, but its usage is wildly inconsistent in American news publishing (even opposite from publication to publication as to whether it's used in headlines vs. body copy), now eschewed in academic publishing (what MoS is almost entirely based on), though found consistently in US legal writing. There's no recent style guide evidence that the dot-bearing spelling is preferred in Canada (the stuff that favors it is also from the '90s); the 2000 Canadian source doesn't favor "U.S." The rule to abbreviate adjectival but not noun use is common but not universal, and may be eroding (CMoS thinks so); however, various guides that do not have this rule instead do not want country names abbreviated at all except in tables, citations, etc. Some just do not really care, though. [Side observation: All these sources in favor of acronyms and initialisms in the form UN and FBI are also in favor of no dots in PhD and other degrees and titles. A semi-recent RfC on that closed without consensus as I recall, because no one did the style-guide research. If it comes up again, the sources in the above list can be used to ensure a closure with consensus for dropping the extraneous dots.]
 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  01:54, 8 October 2017 (UTC); updated 08:41, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:29, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

I've changed the hatting note to reflect that this is no simple list of sources and quotes, but also includes SMcCandlish's analysis and viewpoints. -- Netoholic @ 05:48, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Sure. I don't see what the point is, when if you actually read the material this is obvious; but whatever you like.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:07, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Thread in response to Netoholic's objection relocated here to keep the comment section un-mired.

  • I understand it as a special case--a proposal that regardless of any general rule about initialism, that in US contexts we should use U.S. (Personal preferences vary--10 years ago I would have written U.S. as a matter of course, but now my own writing tends to have UK style for this. I think that in fact may not just be personal, but reflect a general trend in the United States to use the simplified UK version of initialisms. I think it's rational to discuss special cases for the most widely used instances. I'm not expressing an opinion of the actual merits; just that I do notthink the proposal disruptive or biased or even inappropriate. DGG ( talk ) 04:50, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    This is not, though, an issue just of handling of US/U.S., no matter how many times SMcCandlish tries to frame it as such. Yes, there is probably an everyday use trend toward dropping dots, but we're concerned about formal writing style - not what shortcuts people use in the age of smart phones and instant messaging. No one (I think) is advocating that we switch to using dots - only that dotted acronyms for geographic locations be considered acceptable use and not dismissed out-of-hand because others use a different style within their WP:ENGVAR. -- Netoholic @ 05:55, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    Anyone can open an RfC about anything they want, and the one I've presented is factual and balanced. Asking someone for evidence isn't "badgering", it's standard operating procedure. Your issues were not even clearly articulated, but mostly just circular argument and days of throwing shade at an October 6–17, 2017, detailed consensus discussion simply because it didn't give you the answer you like. My concerns are clearer: either the 2017 consensus holds, or there's something wrong with it, so let's settle it. This is perennial; editors been arguing about it the entire time MoS has existed. The 2017 discussion happened and concluded as it did because there is now sufficient RS evidence to be certain. We cannot keep re-litigating this until the end of time. I included an "other" option for you and anyone else with an alternative idea (people tend to object to binary choices). It's perfectly normal to remind people to stay on topic and avoid the arguments to avoid if they are commonly presented at a particular type of RfC and tend to trainwreck them.

    Moving on: there is no ongoing dispute about "UK" vs. "U.K.", etc. This has been covered by MOS:ABBR for over a decade without strife or contention. There's a very stable site-wide consensus to present acronyms/initialisms in "UK, HIV/AIDS, USAF, and UNICEF" format, not "U.K., H.I.V./A.I.D.S., U.S.A.F. [even the USAF doesn't!], and U.N.I.C.E.F." format (nor in daft journalese like "Aids and Unicef"). There is no open question about this, only about "U.S.", because some Americans doggedly insist on this mid-20th-centuryism despite proof that it's no longer dominant usage even in American publishing. And just because the "P.E.I." style exists at all doesn't mean it should be used here instead of "PEI". It is not an ENGVAR matter, since there is no nationwide consistent norm to use that style anywhere in the anglosphere any longer. — SMcCandlishan American ¢ 😼  06:48, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

    "there is no nationwide consistent norm" - If this is the case, then we of course must allow either method to be used. Only if undotted WAS a national norm could we even begin to discuss limiting our MOS in accordance. For articles that are written in American or Canadian English varieties, both methods are common and acceptable. That is enough to say that we should not (and in practicality, can not) enforce one over the other. And please stop attacking people who use this method by saying they "doggedly insist" - you're being exclusionary of writing styles which are common in English varities other than your own. This is not in the spirit of WP:ENGVAR. It is perhaps a mistake to frame ENGVAR as "national varieties" when regional differences exist within nations... but if you're going to focus on "national norms", then we must give high weight to the style guides produce by national bodies such as The Canadian Style (in use by the Canadian government) and the works of the United States government such as the GPO Style Manual (and guides by National Archives, USA.gov, Office of Energy, EPA, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Congress, Supreme Court). Don't guides used by national governments adhere to (or define) national norms? -- Netoholic @ 07:26, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    MoS says nothing like that whatsoever. ENGVAR applies when there is a consistent national norm, e.g. colour/color, tyre/tire. Otherwise, a general MoS provision doesn't have an ENGVAR exception. MOS:ABBR is a general provision, to which you're seeking "special exceptions" and now you're insisting on it with the basis that they're not consistenly used in sources. This just doesn't track, sorry.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  09:03, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    Don't guides used by national governments adhere to (or define) national norms? -- Netoholic @ 09:32, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    No. I originally responded to this with a run-down of what style guides have any real impact on broad usage and on Wikipedia. I've since refactored that to Wikipedia:Identifying and using style guides. Government style guides determine bureacratese/governmentese/militarese (regulatory language); they also tend to affect legal style a little (a field with its own manuals), and business writing to an extent (which also draws heavily on journalism/marketing style, of course). And that's about it. I've never in my life heard of a English class recommending the GPO Style Manual, for example. It's a quirky style, full of excessive capitalization and a hatred of hyphens, commas, and much other punctuation.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:44, 6 July 2018 (UTC); revised: 22:57, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
The "neutral" proposal does include 'Generally speaking, U.S./U.K. is appropriate for American or Canadian English national variations', which I may suggest is advocating that 'U.K.' is acceptable. I do not see 'U.S.' as being the same as 'U.N.I.C.E.F.'--one is an acronym; the other an initialism. My personal preference is for the so-called "journalese" 'Unicef', but I recognize that there is little chance of that viewpoint being adopted. Having just come back from a six-month break, I had rather hoped that the argument would have moved away from combining these two issues. There is compelling evidence for 'US' rather than 'U.S.' If editors choose not to take notice of it, we must offer them a clear choice, rather than trying to prompt them into selecting one style over the other. Sb2001 00:06, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
I'm not certain what you mean. If they're offered a choice, then they'll have to select one style over the other. I think you're indicating that MoS should recommend something specific rather than present a choice for such selection.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  03:32, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
Not at all: I am stating that it is unreasonable to offer a choice and present one side as being more "logical" than the other. Ie, neutral wording should be used in order that it does not appear that decision making is being swayed. Of course they have to make the choice; that does not mean that we have the right to influence it when no decisive conclusion has been drawn on the "US v U.S." issue. Sb2001 15:19, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
Where's that coming from, though? No one's made a logic argument. There's a practicality one, and a how-well-does-it-reflect-reality one, but those aren't arguments about the intrinsic logic of either style. Punctuation is pretty arbitrary, and it shifts over time. That is, after all, why this debate even exists; the usage has shifted over about the last 30 years.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:33, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps 'logical' was the wrong word ... I'm not talking about which is the "better" one--if it were up to me, I would discourage people from using 'U.S.' The fact of the matter is that we are dealing with a completely unresolved debate, and one which I doubt will be resolved in the foreseeable future. If the MoS does not favour one style, it should not be presenting one-sided wording alongside it. That is the only point I am actually making here: if, amongst ourselves, we are unable to decide, we must actually leave it at the discretion of the individual. Sb2001 00:42, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
It does favor one style; see MOS:ABBR. We were making a single, lone exception for a while for "U.S." on the assumption that it was dominant in current American writing, but this turns out not to be true for some time now. It's not a "completely unresolved debate"; the sourcing is firmly in favor of "US", and so has MoS been for several years (both the current and new wording) until someone decided to try to rewrite it to suit their preferences, against the last rather comprehensive consensus discussion on the matter. We're not unable to decide amongst ourselves; the response so far has overwhelmingly been in favor of either the new or current wording, not the early 2010s wording.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  09:00, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

Update: The Chicago Manual of Style 17th ed. (2017) wasn't included in the original source run (I didn't have it yet at the time). Despite Netoholic's strange claims to the contrary [14][15], it's almost word-for-word identical to the advice in the 16th ed., never even mentioning "U.S." except in the context of old-style envelope addresses using traditional state abbreviations ("Mass., U.S.", "Calif., U.S."). Here's the full relevant text:

The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed. (2017), University of Chicago Press, ISBN: 9780226287058

10.4 Periods with abbreviations.
...
3. Use no periods with abbreviations that include two or more capital letters, even if the abbreviation also includes lowercase latters: VP, CEO, MA, MD, PhD, U, US, NY, IL.
4. In publications using traditional state abbreviations, use periods to abbreviate United States and its states and territories: U.S., N.Y., Ill. Note, however, that Chicago recommends using the two-letter postal codes (and therefore US) wherever abbreviations are used....
...
10.28 Abbreviations for Canadian provinces and territories. ... may be abbreviated in bibliographies and the like—using the two-letter postal abbreviations, which have the advantage of applying to both the English and French forms. AB [=] Alberta; ... PE [=] Prince Edward Island ....
...
10.31 Abbreviating country names. ... Certain initialisms, on the other hand [i.e., in lieu of spelled-out names], may be appropriate in regular text, especially after the full form has been established.... UAE (United Arab Emirates), US, UK, GDR ....
...
10.32 "US" versus "United States." ... Note that, as a matter of editorial tradition, this manual has long advised spelling out United States as a noun, reserving US for the adjective form only (where it is preferred) and for tabular matter and the like. In a departure [i.e., from the 16th ed.], Chicago now permits the use of US as a noun, subject to editorial discretion and provided the meaning is clear from context. US dollars; US involvement in China; China's involvement in the United States or China's involvement in the US.

I skipped 10.27 (US states and territories) because it gives the same advice (two-letter postal codes, no dots) as 10.4 and 10.28. This is the same advice as in the 16th ed. (2010), aside from a few copyediting tweaks, and the new "In a departure" note, quoted above.

 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  09:00, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

"except in the context of old-style envelope addresses" - THAT is the very meat of this issue. We're NOT talking about data tables that might use either a list of state/province postal codes or that use ISO two- or three-letter country codes. The question at hand is handling of abbreviations in running article prose, for example when an article mentions "actions of the U.S. Navy", "information regarding P.E.I. officials", "historical sites in Vancouver, B.C.", or "U.S. Interstate 787 which terminates in Albany, N.Y.". This is exactly why this RFC needs to be called off and re-thought... the scope doesn't seem to be clear to its opener. You seem to be trying to argue that should be using postal codes in these scenarios. -- Netoholic @ 09:29, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
We already have a whole guideline page on this, MOS:ABBR, and it's clear on this: WP gives acronyms without the dots. It does not matter that a style with dots is attested; it isn't the style we use. You wanted an RfC about MOS:US, after briefly revert-warring [16][17] (after objections [18]) to change it without discussion – and accusing others of having done so when there was actually a large consensus discussion about it before you arrived. Now that there's an RfC, you've switched gears and want to change our entire treatment of acronyms? No. That is not this discussion. You can go start a new RfC on that, because it's a radical change to how WP has been written for about 17 years now. That belongs at WP:VPPRO, being a major proposal, not a minor P&G clarification.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  09:45, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Is it clear on this? "WP gives acronyms without the dots" seems inaccurate because I see several places where U.S. is used in the examples: "New York is in the U.S.", "U.S. Central Intelligence Agency" and "U.S. government", "Great Northern Railway (U.S.)". #Miscellanea and #Abbreviations widely used include several acronyms with dots (lower-case ones and compass directions). As an aside, why does this page give advice to "please create redirects that contain (US) and (U.S.)" but not the same advice for (UK) and (U.K.) or any other geographic abbreviation? I have never heard of anyone actually doing that in either case, but its just weird how one is singled out. -- Netoholic @ 10:30, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Because "U.S." is a permissible exception (depending on context) by long consensus. That doesn't mean "U.K." or "P.E.I." are. There is no wording contemplated in this RfC or in any of the editwarred-over versions at MOS:US that make "U.S." never permissible. But nor do any of them make U.S.S.R. or H.I.V./A.I.D.S. permissible; "U.S." is a one-shot variance and only because of constant bickering about that one initialism. What changed (in order) was that "U.S." stopped being mandatory in US English articles something like a decade ago (but was to be left alone if already used), then stopped being mandatory to never change in a US English article that already used it (i.e., it became desirable to normalize "US" to match "UK", etc., if present) a couple of years ago, finally to "US" being actively favored for MOS:COMMONALITY reasons. It strikes me that the RfC isn't even covering that version; I should probably add it for completeness since it was the most recent. I was so used to the version I listed as "current" that I didn't even notice.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:54, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
"permissible exception" ... "only because of constant bickering about that one initialism". Wow. To frame this in that way. Wow.-- Netoholic @ 12:05, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Clearly demonstrable; just read the past discussions [19]. You'll find a marked lack of drama and demands for, say, "U.K." or "N.A.T.O." or "M.S.-D.O.S." Only for "U.S.", and perpetually strident, grounded in a mixture of traditionalism-based emotion and claims that it's the dominant style in US writing, a notion that's been conclusively disproved.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  03:54, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
Derp. I actually did have the 17th ed. in the original source dump, but mislabeled it 16th. Sorry for the duplicate cite, folks.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  11:42, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
  • @MapReader: Yes, CNN.com (accessed from a US IP address) consistently uses "US" both in headlines and in running prose. As for "USA", I'm not really sure why MoS is against that TLA. It predates my arrival on the scene in 2005, I think. Arguments I recall are: 1) it's redundant, since US is shorter; 2) it's not normal US English except in particular circumstances (i.e., it's largely an exonym imposed on the US, like referring to all of the Netherlands as Holland, or trying to tell de.wikipedia.org to rename their München article to Munich. 3) it's ambiguous, because it's the standard acronym of the United States Army (though for most purposes the ambiguity runs the other direction; WP shouldn't refer to the US Army as "USA" except in a reference in its' own main article's lead as a MOS:BOLDSYN). There were probably others.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  11:37, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    @AfroThundr3007730: CNN's not even long-term consistent on "use U.S. in headlines", and appears to have abandoned it cmopletely without revising old articles. "U.S." appears to have been their traditional style several years ago. All the new material appears to use "US" throughout, headlines and all. Every recent (like this week) article with the abbreviation in a headline uses "US" so far as I can see: [20], [21], [22], [23], etc. I'm reaching these via an American IP address, and have "Set edition preference: US" (at page bottom). However, cnn.com uses "U.S." in its menu system [24]. This seems to be a conflict between their editorial department and the IT/e-content people running the website (who may really be some company of contractors).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:05, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
  • So what is clear is that is not clear cut...... so best to leave this up to editor discretion at each article.--Moxy (talk) 11:56, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    @Moxy: I don't follow your reasoning. We know for a fact that some people do acronyms in "ABC" form, and others use "A.B.C." form. MoS settled on ABC form, to match the majority of style guides and other real-world usage. A single exception was carved out, "U.S.", on the basis that it was a dominant, special, usage in the United States. Source research 16 or so years later disproves the rationale for the exception; it's no longer dominant, and US style guides are turning directly against it. So, why – for that acronym alone – would losing "special" status amount to "do what you like, article by article" rather than "do what MOS:ABBR says" like all other initialisms? Especially after multiple consensus discussions conclude in favor of "US"?  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  12:15, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    Not sure how realistic it is to suggest that 'USA' is an imposed exonym, given its regular chanting by US sports fans at pretty much any international sporting event? MapReader (talk) 15:33, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
    Sure. It's not my argument, just one I've encountered in various forms. The reasoning basically seems to be along these lines: "Most Americans and American publishers don't use that; it's an old-fashioned thing that we retain in a few stock phrases and some special circumstances, but it's not general usage. Non-Americans using it is like Americans insisting that Thailand still be called Siam." I'm not sure I buy it either, but the viewpoint exists. PS: The sports codes are set by the sport governing bodies like IOC and FIFA. They're also abbreviated noun phrases (USA for the entire country name with "of America"). This might be an argument to use "USA" in such a grammatical circumstance: "China's relations with the USA" versus "US interference in China's markets". But style guides mostly suggest using a non-acronym: "China's relations with the United States", and a US/USA rule would be fiddly and widely ignored.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:18, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
  • @Blueboar and Tryptofish: US-politics-related shenanigans for this last round of squabbling may be behind it, ultimately, in that this seems to have been sparked by an AWB spree to force "US" widely (I haven't tried to track down the rationale, if any, provided for that). But the RfC demander's concerns are way broader, and seem to actually be grounded in a Canadian demand to use "P.E.I." for Prince Edward Island (though that's not the .ca postal code for it, and we don't normally abbreviate such things except in tables anyway).

    History-wise (and without getting into dramaboard-style diffs), what I see is a bold change (mine) led to a long consensus discussion last year. The resulting version (refined from bold one) was stable after that. No one seemed to care. An editor, irked by a mass change to "enforce" that version (which should have been taken to ANI as a WP:MEATBOT matter) showed up and boldly started rewriting it radically without discussion; someone reverted that; rewriter then tit-for-tat reverted to an older version closer to their preferences. Only one editor appears to have edit-warred and short of 3RR, just 2, to get rid of the newest of these three drafts, after someone already objected to their removal the first time. Only then did discussion ensue, but with the revising bold editor complaining about how bold the previous version was (even though it was really the product of a consensus discussion), and wanting an RfC. But then that discussion turned circular with extraneous stuff that's basically a challenge to the existence of MOS:ABBR. I opened the RfC on the narrower question, since we generally don't nuke entire guideline pages.

    The one who wanted the RfC is upset that their particular (basically off-topic) issues aren't addressed by the RfC but I don't think they can be. The way to try to get rid of WP having a preference for "UNESCO on HIV/AIDS in the UK" style, to permit "U.N.E.S.C.O. on H.I.V./A.I.D.S. in the U.K.", is to have a separate RfC about a major change to MOS:ABBR. And such an RfC would fly about as far as a lead dirigible.
     — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  23:53, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

    • Again, my take on all of this is that arguing and edit warring about dots is disruptive... and I think we agree on that. However, I think we disagree on the solution. Your solution seems to be: let’s iron this out and make a rule. My take is that trying to make a rule is what has CAUSED most of the disruption. My feeling is that if some editors want to write “U.S.” or “P.E.I.” (or even U.N.E.S.C.O.) ... let them. As long as they are consistent WITHIN any given article, most readers won’t even blink. Trying to formulate a site wide rule on this has ended created MORE disruption than being flexible would cause. So, my solution is: Don’t have a firm rule... say that both forms are allowed. Intentionally devolve the choice to the article level. And if editors edit war ... call them to the carpet for EDIT WARRING, not for violating the style rules. Blueboar (talk) 12:36, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
      I am pretty sure a lot of editors would blink if some started spelling out acronyms like UNESCO and UNICEF with lots of dots! MapReader (talk) 14:01, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
      Or even U.K., U.A.E., and U.S.S.R., for those who like to draw a distinction between word acronyms and initialisms.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  04:06, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
    • The U.N.E.S.C.O. and H.I.V. thing is a strawman/red herring used to throw silliness into the mix, to discredit the opposition. No one is suggesting going to that here. The area of concern is not about organizations or other initialisms but with regards to geographical names only, which are dotted often because you are mixing multi-word name acronyms with single-word name shortenings like listing Canadian provinces P.E.I., Sask., Man., B.C., and such. -- Netoholic @ 16:43, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
      That doesn't make any sense. "Prince Edward Island" and "British Columbia" are multi-word, exactly like the expansions of UNESCO and HIV. If you don't like the UNESCO example because it's a "word acronym" pronounced as a word instead of a series of letter, try HIV, as well as FBI, CIA, GDR, USSR, and a million others. It simply is not contemporary style to write these with dots in them. "U.S." has lingered longer in that form, but it's not the dominant style even the US today; we have no reason to make a "magically special" exception for it. There is no away around this. I don't need to "discredit" you; your traditionalism-based argument simply doesn't stand up. The fact that you can find a couple of style guides that still permit this use is irrelevant; they don't recommend it, and even if they did, they'd still be a minority. "U.S." in North American English simply doesn't rise to the level of national style as, say, colour versus color in British English. No amount of wishing that it were an ENGVAR matter will make it one. If WP had been around in 1983, you would have had an actual case to make. Times change and languages change with them.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  04:04, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
  • @Hawkeye7: What media reports touting WP's supposed anti-US bias? How can that possibly square with WP being massively dominated by US editors, and the principal complaint about our coverage being that it's heavily US-centric (and Western-centric, and male-centric, and liberal/progressive-centric)? And how could using a consistent "US and UK" spelling be "anti-US bias" when major American publishers and style guides also use "US"?  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  03:50, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
    Last time round it was over our acceptance of non-US spellings. WP is not dominated by US editors; WMF is. During the Paralympic Games we gathered a lot of statistics on who was editing and where, and while six of the top ten articles by edits were the country-at-the-Paralympics articles, the US did not figure, demonstrating that US editors were actually a minority. I thought I was agreeing with you on this one. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 04:14, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Retain guideline ... but also provide correct information. (1) "US has become the dominant abbreviation for United States." "Dominant"? This is an opinion without substantiation. (2) What's attributed to The Chicago Manual of Style should be revised. The CMS does not deprecate ""U.S." and recommends "US"." What CMS actually says is:

Chicago style is USA (without periods), but we also accept both US and U.S. Other authoritative style manuals and dictionaries vary in their recommendations.

If a style manual is going to be referenced in WP:MOS, it should be referenced correctly. Neutral wording is best when the subject is not conclusive. Pyxis Solitary 09:51, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
No page or section cited. Where are you getting this from? The wording you're giving simply doesn't appear. I've quoted in complete relevant text with section numbers (which are consistent between print and electronic editions) of all the applicable material from CMoS 17, and will do so again below. You appear to actually be quoting staff blog material from ChicagoManualOfStyle.org, specifically copy-pasting from this page; the cross-references it provides (§§ 10.4 and 10.33) do not say what that post says they do, and I've quoted what they actually say verbatim, below. I.e., the website material is contradicting the actual book; the post appears to have been unrevised from the 15th edition (since the 16th says what the 17th does, except, as noted below, in one spot). Their forum even indicates complaints that the book doesn't address "USA/U.S.A." (see second entry here).

Here's what the book actually says:

10.4 Periods with abbreviations.
...
3. Use no periods with abbreviations that include two or more capital letters, even if the abbreviation also includes lowercase latters: VP, CEO, MA, MD, PhD, U, US, NY, IL.
4. In publications using traditional state abbreviations, use periods to abbreviate United States and its states and territories: U.S., N.Y., Ill. Note, however, that Chicago recommends using the two-letter postal codes (and therefore US) wherever abbreviations are used....
...
10.27 Abbreviations for US states and territories. In running text, the names of states, territories, and possessions of the United States should always be spelled out when standing alone and preferably (except for DC) when following the name of a city.... In bibliographies, tabular matter, lists, and mailing addresses, they are usually abbreviated. In all such contexts, Chicago prefers the two-letter postal codes to the convention abbreviations. Note that if traditional bbreviations must be used, some terms may not be subject to abbreviation. [... A table is follows illustrating the difference, with examples like NE versus Neb. or Nebr., and showing not to abbreviate short ones like Ohio in the latter style, only in the postal code style, OH.]...
10.28 Abbreviations for Canadian provinces and territories. ... may be abbreviated in bibliographies and the like—using the two-letter postal abbreviations, which have the advantage of applying to both the English and French forms. AB [=] Alberta; ... PE [=] Prince Edward Island ....
...
10.31 Abbreviating country names. ... Certain initialisms, on the other hand [i.e., in lieu of spelled-out names], may be appropriate in regular text, especially after the full form has been established.... UAE (United Arab Emirates), US, UK, GDR ....
...
10.32 "US" versus "United States." ... Note that, as a matter of editorial tradition, this manual has long advised spelling out United States as a noun, reserving US for the adjective form only (where it is preferred) and for tabular matter and the like. In a departure [i.e., from the 16th ed.], Chicago now permits the use of US as a noun, subject to editorial discretion and provided the meaning is clear from context. US dollars; US involvement in China; China's involvement in the United States or China's involvement in the US.
...
10.33 Mailing addresses—postal versus standard abbreviations. Standard abbreviations preferred by the US Postal Service (first column) are in all caps and do not use periods; these forms are most appropriate for mailing addresses. In tabular matter and the like, Chago prefers the form of abbreviations presented in the second column. ... In running text, spell out rather than abbreviate. [... Table provides examples, e.g. AVE versus Ave., BLDG vs. Bldg.; none of these pertain to placename abbreviations like US or PEI.]

— The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed. (2017), University of Chicago Press, ISBN: 9780226287058
This is the same advice as in the 16th ed. (2010), aside from a few copyediting tweaks, and the new "In a departure" note, quoted above.

PS: The dominance of "US" isn't "unsubstantiated"; see #RS citations above. If you want to prove a counter-claim, Pyxis Solitary, you have a tremendous amount of sourcing to do, with works somehow more authoritative than those already cited; I don't see how that could even be possible.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:17, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

  1. Why did you edit my comment? Why did you alter my comment by removing the quote frame? Where in WP:TALK does it say that a quote box is discouraged or is not appropriate?
  2. What do you mean "Where are you getting this from?" Click on the CMS FAQ link I included when I quoted CMS and you'll see it.
  3. You quote the CMS publication as if everyone has a copy of the book. I'm not going to buy one just to double-check that what you're quoting is precisely what appears in it. Provide a link to those sections. It's not available online? Then I take what you've posted with a grain of salt.
  4. "the post appears to have been unrevised from the 15th edition (since the 16th says what the 17th does, except, as noted below, in one spot)". Scroll down to the bottom of the webpage I cited and you will see: "The Chicago Manual of Style 17th edition text © 2017 by The University of Chicago. The Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition text © 2010 by The University of Chicago. The Chicago Manual of Style Online © 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017 by The University of Chicago." That's what CMS has published — that's what CMS says.
  5. You are trying to push your position down everyone's throat. Provide a reliable source that can be verified by everyone. When it comes to MOS, quoted content from a book that many if not most Jane and John Does don't have at their disposal is insufficient validation.
  6. Life is short, and since you took it upon yourself to lord over my original comment ... this is the last time I am going to respond to this topic. Shame on you. Pyxis Solitary 12:06, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
Generally speaking, we trust editors to be honest about quotations. Complete? Well, maybe not always. But honest about the parts that they type. We do this partly because we're fond of WP:AGF, but also experience has shown that that experienced editors are reasonably smart about their self-interests, at least to the extent of not wanting to get caught in an outright lie. You might not personally happen to have a copy of CMOS at hand, but plenty of other editors do. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:08, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
And can you imagine me of all people lying about the content of a style guide, when half the people I argue with have the style guide? LOL. I would have be possessed by Donald Trump to do that. >;-)  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  18:33, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
I think this all demonstrates that CMOS is not consistent on the issue, as the website FAQ doesn't match the printed book. This could mean that either is wrong, or that there has been a change since the publication of the book. I don't think it matters which is which - either its inconsistent or wrong - neither of which point to a reliable source on the matter. -- Netoholic @ 03:13, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Does it really matter what CMOS says? We are not bound by the CMOS. Sure, it is nice when our guidance is in sync with what other style guides say, but ultimately our guidance is based on our own internal consensus. That consensus currently seems to be to allow both “U.S.” and “US” (but whichever is used, be consistent within an article). This is supported by actual practice at the article level (whenever there are undiscussed attempts to change from one to the other, they are quickly reverted... and it goes both ways). Blueboar (talk) 13:56, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
    It is just one source among many, though a high-quality one on this particular micro-topic  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  18:36, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
To take these in numbered series:
  0. Why are you picking fights about talk page trivia, and pretending people who disagree with you are dishonest? No one cares about the former or will buy the latter.
  1. I didn't edit your comment, I editing the disruptively obnoxious framing around it. Your posts are not magically more important than everyone else's that they need to draw attention to themselves with huge visual gimmicks. The talk page guideline permits refactoring of this sort. Taking a "There's not a rule against what I want to do" approach is wikilawyering. It doesn't mean "I can do it no matter what and no one can stop me." Other editors are permitted to refactor within reason. You do not own a talk page you post to, not even your user talk page.
  2. It's called a rhetorical question, which is obvious, since I answered it myself in the sentence that followed.
  3. That's a serious failure to assume good faith. See also Verifiability policy: No one has to buy a source for you, and sources being available online for free is not required. You also seem to be unaware that discretionary sanctions apply to style/titles-related policy discussions, especially with regard to casting aspersions without evidence or otherwise excessively personalizing such disputes.
  4. You're sorely confused about what The Chicago Manual of Style is. It's a book, available in paper and (for a fee) online, with identical text. The webpage you cited is not the CMS or part of it, it's part of the staff-written Q&A blog materials about the CMS, at the CMS website. You also don't seem to understand that a copyright notice applied by a script to an entire website has nothing to do with the last time the content in a page on that website was substantively updated. "That's what CMS has published" is not a sensible statement. The CMS is a publication. The publisher is the University of Chicago Press (also the publisher of the website). It's like mistaking The Magical Mystery Tour for Apple Records, or confusing Game of Thrones with HBO. "That's what CMS says" is a demonstrably incorrect statement, though I ascribe this to the above-mentioned confusions, not to any intent to deceive. You actually do appear to believe what you're saying, despite all evidence presented to you that you've erred.
  5. Source already provided. If you don't want to buy the book, get it from interlibrary loan for free, or just look at a copy in your local bookstore. Or just ask anyone else here who has a copy to look for you. Providing sources and challenging false statements isn't pushing anything down anyone's throats, it's providing sources and challenging false statements. It's much of what we do all day every day here.
  6. Yes, life is short. See point 0, above.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  18:33, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Off-topic.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  05:35, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I said I would not respond to this topic again. And I'm not.
    However, this thinly-veiled attempt by SMcCandlish to intimidate me in response to my 9 July 2018 comment in this discussion is a form of harassment. I've responded to this misbehavior on my talk page.
    I suggest that this discussion be closed until another editor that is not so obviously personally vested in the subject creates a new but similar topic. Pyxis Solitary 04:49, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
    I'm not sure what to make of a "this is the last time I am going to respond" statement followed by a response that says it's not a response and reminds us there will be no response then also points us to another response in user talk. That seems very unclear on the concept of not responding

    A {{Ds/alert}} template is not a threat or intimidation, or anything like WP:Harassment. This template (and this template only, without modification) is required by ArbCom to be delivered (not more frequently than once per year) to anyone whose editing seem to indicate they are unaware of the discretionary sanctions (DS) that apply to that particular topic area. It is awareness notice, not a threat or an accusation. I made it very clear when posting it that it had nothing to do with any action I would take myself. Per your request, I have closed this discussion, since it is off-topic anyway.

    If you don't like the template and its wording, see fortuitously ongoing discussion at Template talk:Ds about revising it. If you don't think these templates should be necessary but that DS should still apply, try raising this at WT:ARBCOM. I have tried several times to get rid of this bureaucracy, but ArbCom always refuses or ignores. If you don't think DS should apply to MoS at all, join the club. I tried to have them removed about two weeks ago and ArbCom unanimously refused. We're stuck with it, at least for now. If you have an issue with me personally, use User talk:SMcCandlish; it's what user talk pages are for, not what Village Pump is for. If you plan to respond with grandstanding of this sort every time someones leaves you a procedural notice in user talk, you're going to find that will not go over well.
     — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  05:35, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

(1)You are in no position to deliver an ArbCom notice to me about my 9 July 2018 comment -- specially since you're so emotionally involved.
(2) "Per your request, I have closed this discussion. You know very well that the "discussion" is the topic, not my comment. Pyxis Solitary 06:58, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Comment: How about avoiding U.S: and UK altogether? We can easily write United States and United Kingdom without wasting ink. --NaBUru38 (talk) 02:27, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Doing this is what most style guides recommend, at least for noun usage ("Relations between Canada and the United States") but many like the abbreviation for adjectival cases ("US sanctions on Cuba"). Chicago Manual, weirdly (given its traditionalism) has now started "permitting" the abbreviation in noun use, as do the journalism style guides. Real-world usage isn't consistent. I think people will object that always having to use "United States" (and thus probably also "United Kingdom") will be onerous and pedantic. Even among those who don't mind it in running text, we'd still have the issue tables and other circumstances where the short form would often be desirable.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  05:35, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

WP:DESIST[edit]

In doing category cleanup, I found Wikipedia:Desist categorized in Category:Wikipedia behavioral guidelines. I've put {{Essay}} on it and moved it to Category:Wikipedia behavioral essays.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  03:30, 8 July 2018 (UTC)

Good move. Beeblebrox (talk) 06:58, 8 July 2018 (UTC)

ArbCom wants the community to come up with infobox inclusion criteria[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Infoboxes § ArbCom wants there to be an RfC and the drafting of infobox inclusion criteria

Short version: In two RFARBs, the Arbitration Committee has said that it can't/won't resolve the perpetual "infobox warring" problem, because this is a content and policy decision that the community has to make. We've been asked repeatedly by ArbCom to develop inclusion criteria for infoboxes so that "The use of infoboxes is neither required nor prohibited for any article" does more than resolve (or devolve) to "fight about it endlessly article by article and category by category". But this has yet to happen, and it won't be easy.

The discussion now open isn't an RfC for !voting, but a place to discuss drafting such criteria for eventual RfCing at Village Pump. SMcCandlish (talk-contribs) 02:32, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

This discussion has been a long time coming and, though it is going to see some vigorous debate no matter what we do (due to this being the perennial battleground between two highly entrenched groups of editors who have litigated the matter repeatedly across numerous articles and tend to show up together en masse) I think we can nevertheless mitigate the tension somewhat by organizing a shortlist of options here. I agree with SMcCandlish that the status quo is not working, and hasn't ever since the inception of the "Infobox wars", if we're to use the somewhat (but not completely) hyperbolic term for this roving battle of wills. So, while I don't favour a one-size-fits-all approach here, I do think that we need a shift towards presumptive inclusion of presumptive disclusion, even if the ultimate guideline ends up being quasi-precatory. That could either be a blanket presumption or inclusion or disclusion for all non-list and non-disambig pages in mainspace, or else a set of presumptions that vary across a selection of articles types (BLPs, historical biographies, geographical entries, taxonomical articles, abstract concepts, works of music, works of literature, ect, ect.).
I know I am going to make myself the least favourite person of one of the afore-mentioned groups either way here, so I am just going to make a call here as to what I expect the general opinion to be amongst the editing corps broadly: I think that most editors are going to err on the side of inclusion either as a general rule or at least for most particular categories. I think the anti-infobox stalwarts, while represented by an active, vocal, and well-organized (by which I mean both their arguments and their propensity for moving together) group of editors, are a minority in the larger Wikipedia population. I think that the utility of infoboxes is largely presumed by the average editor; I won't belabour the reasons in detail, but will try to summarize the arguments I have most often seen asserted in the past by the pro-infobox camp (augmented by my own perspectives):
  • 1) The utilitarian-for-the-reader argument that an infobox serves as a useful encapsulation of vital information which the reader can access at a glance, which (if wisely considered) may actually address the needs which brought a significant number of readers to the article in the first place and which, in all other cases, helps summarize and frame the rest of the article.
  • 2) The utilitarian-for-the-project argument that infoboxes, owing to their consistent and constrained syntax, are incredibly useful to the encyclopedia, to the project, to other Wikimedia movement projects, to analytics researchers, and to other individuals and entities looking to leverage our information for pragmatic purposes. This owing to the fact that the inofbox allows for bot activity and other machine processing and learning mechanisms to extract data in an organized fashion and to analyze, relate, and index both the data itself and the articles they are found on, in a myriad of useful ways. These technical applications are so varied and complex that they go well beyond my ability to effectively summarize here, so I will leave that exhausting task to those who work in these areas (both on project and off, and as part of the broader Wikimedia movement and external to it). But I can say as much as this with confidence and without exaggeration: the applications are myriad and substantial for both research and practical purposes.
  • 3) The style and consistency argument, which has various iterations but which I believe can be boiled down to two inter-related points: A) There is a value in preserving a default approach across Wikipedia's articles (or at least articles within a given vein) and that since most Wikipedia articles already employ an infobox, it is easier to default to this approach, and B) The infobox has become a staple of Wikipedia style and their absence in most categories of article is noticed and disliked by most readers. Needless to say, I think that (even if we assume these assumptions to be true, which is a bit of an if) this third category of argument is by the far the weakest of the three which advocate for a default inclusion approach. But not entirely irrelevant.
Now, having detailed those pro arguments, I don't want to give short-shrift to the anti-infobox perspective, but I fear I have to, for one simple reason: I've never (despite getting RfC'd to a contentious infobox discussion a few times a year since forever) entirely understood the deeply held conviction of a minority of editors that the "Idiot box" is unnecessary and ungainly. While I can't say for a certainty that the trend always holds, my experience has been that the objection to Infoboxes usually boils down to aesthetics--the infobox is said to not look very much like what you would find in a traditional encyclopedia. I don't know if that's necessarily true (I certainly saw very similar templates in some encylopdias when growing up before electronic versions were a reality) and more importantly, I'm not sure if that is a compelling argument anyway: Wikipedia is WP:NOTPAPER after-all. It is worth noting that not every anti-infobox advocate is an absolutist: some simply want the parameters utilized in a box kept to a minimum, and in this respect, I can definitely agree: most IBs to tend to contain excessive detail, and the fields chosen for inclusion can be arbitrary and perplexing at times. If am doing a disservice to the anti-infobox/default-to-non-inclusion advocates and/or have forgotten any obvious pragmatic arguments for their preferred approach, I am sure they will provide a detailed rebuttal, but those are the major categories of argument which I can recall from both sides, in any event.
I think (and I suppose this central discussion will either confirm or refute) that most editors fall somewhere on the inclusion/lean-towards-inclusion spectrum for one of the above three general reasons. But I do think we need to be careful about locking ourselves into binary thinking: there may be alternative, more nuanced, and/or middle-ground approaches out there that have not been widely considered in the past. I personally lean towards a hybrid of the two possibilities I discussed at the opening of my comments here: 1) create a general guideline that presumes inclusion for most articles, but allow it to be rebuttable, and 2) create a more nuanced set of topic-specific guidelines that discuss the policy calculus for each--though I expect most of these, reflecting community consensus, will err towards inclusion too, though probably not all. I do think its important that, even if we do diversify the analysis some, the guidelines should probably be kept in one centralized policy or MoS space. That's about all I can think to say by way of introduction. Except maybe, I recommend buckling your metaphorical seatbelts on this one. Strong (but hopefully fully civil) opinions most certainly incoming. Snow let's rap 12:50, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

Use of copyrighted material undergoing active license negotiation[edit]

What does Wikipedia policy say with regards to publishing verbatim government documents whose copyright is under active negotiation? The article Towrang Convict Stockade makes use of Australian government documents, one of which was published under a copyright held by the Roads and Traffic Authority of New South Wales. That agency was covered by an agreement with the Copyright Agency for the use of content in reliance on the government statutory licence until 30 June 2012. However, an agreement with NSW government agencies is currently under negotiation. That would seem to preclude the usage of copyrighted material published by the Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW, under which the document in question was published. Any input on this question would be greatly appreciated.
References

 spintendo  08:27, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

@Spintendo: You seem to be a bit confused. This article uses CC-BY licensed material from the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage. The Berger document is a referenced source, not something whose text is actually used in this article. No copyrighted material from the Roads and Traffic Authority is used in this article. The copyright status of a referenced source is completely irrelevant - one would expect that it, like most other sources, would be copyrighted. The Office of Environment and Heritage material is released under CC-BY 4.0. A private business claiming that they have been "in negotiation" to manage copyright for government organisations since 2012 doesn't change the fact that many, many government departments have decided to instead release material under free licenses during that time. The Drover's Wife (talk) 08:37, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
@The Drover's Wife:"The Berger document is a referenced source, not something whose text is actually used in this article." If saying it only made it so. Unfortunately, I believe you may be the one that is confused, as large amounts of text from the Berger document are used in the article, as shown below:
Comparison of texts
Text as it appears in the Wikipedia article
Towrang Convict Stockade
Text as it appears in the
Berger Source Material
It is certainly believed to have had the largest concentration of convicts in southern NSW during the period of its operation. The convicts were guarded by soldiers of various British regiments, including the 28th, 31st, 51st and 80th. The first commander of the stockade was Captain J. Darley (1833 to 1836), followed by Lieutenant R. Waddy (1836-39), Lieutenant R. Sherberras (1839), Captain W. Houghton Tyssen (1841), Lieutenant W. Cookson (1842) and in 1843, the last year of the stockade's operation, Lieutenant Owen Gorman. The stockade is believed to have consisted of a small cottage and a number of huts for the soldiers and their families, together with a garden tended by the military, and huts and boxes or timber cells about 4m square for the convicts further down the Wollondilly River. Towrang was the largest concentration of convicts in southern New South Wales at this time. The convicts were guarded by soldiers of various British regiments, including the 28th, 31st, 51st and 80th. The first commander of the stockade was Captain J. Darley (1833 to 1836), followed by Lieutenant R. Waddy (1836-39), Lieutenant R. Sherberras (1839), Captain W. Houghton Tyssen (1841), Lieutenant W. Cookson (1842) and in 1843, the last year of the stockade's operation, Lieutenant Owen Gorman. The stockade consisted of a small cottage and a number of huts for the soldiers and their families, together with a garden tended by the military, and huts and boxes or timber cells about 4m square for the convicts.
You've just stated that text from the Berger document has not been used in the article. If that is the case, can you explain how the text above was placed exactly where you said it wasn't?  spintendo  22:14, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
@Spintendo: I should point out that the Berger source is also CC-BY-3.0 licensed. As I said above: a private business claiming that they have been "in negotiation" to manage copyright for government organisations since 2012 doesn't change the fact that many, many government departments have decided to instead release material under free licenses during that time. The Copyright Agency is a business - it has no special standing, and its desire to get back the cushy government contracts it had prior to 2012 has no legal bearing on the decisions of government departments in New South Wales and around the country to not assign management of their material to them, and instead release their material under free licenses. The Drover's Wife (talk) 22:27, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
"Many government departments have decided." You must have copy then of exactly which govt departments those are, and the one specifically from RTA which states its texts are available under that license. And if that is the case, would you like to redact your earlier statement, or is it still your assertion that there is no Berger text used in the article?  spintendo  22:39, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
@Spintendo:, your own link tells you that the Berger document is CC-BY-SA 3.0 licensed. I previously pointed out the Office of Environment and Heritage material is released under CC-BY 4.0. The Drover's Wife (talk) 22:44, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────(edit conflict) Spintendo, The Drover's Wife, you might get more input on this if you moved it to WT:CP. But just quickly: if the Berger source is compatibly licenced and the article includes content copied from it, then attribution is required, similar to that already in place for the Office of Environment and Heritage content. That's easily provided, and perhaps is all that's needed (please note, I haven't looked in detail). Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 22:59, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

Correct. I was not aware that one freely-licensed source had closely paraphrased another freely-licensed source - that is easily remedied. But this stuff about The Copyright Agency is rubbish. The Drover's Wife (talk) 23:03, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

Search Box Filtering?[edit]

Wikipedia is one of the most useful sites on the Internet. Even so, if it is going to be used everywhere, it needs to apply some filtering to the search box, so topics that are widely viewed as offensive do not inadvertently appear because they contain the same first two or three letters as the search target. Specifically, while using the big screen where displaying pornography is inappropriate, a search for "Alternator" caused an inappropriate image describing "Alt Porn" to appear. It would be seem to be more sensible remove pornography from the look-ahead function so only a deliberate search will find and display it, and to do likewise with other widely-offensive topics. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 198.208.47.94 (talk) 19:04, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

Hi 198.208.47.94. The kind of people who volunteer as unpaid encyclopedia-writers tend to have a strong ethos in favor of freely and openly sharing information. We are also have a primary mission of writing articles as neutrally and impartially as we can. As an open project, we have diverse people from every corner of the planet, with diverse views on controversial topics. We have by necessity developed a rather strong taboo against subjectively imposing individual opinions and passing judgement on anything controversial or culturally-subjective. We have a policy that Wikipedia is not censored. We write educational content, and we firmly decline to pass judgement on which articles or which images some people might consider "offensive". No two people will ever agree on what should or shouldn't be filtered, especially when we serve every country on earth. Some people find images of Muhammad offensive, some people want images in the breast cancer article filtered, some people want bikinis&speedos filtered, someone wanted to filter any image of a woman not wearing a burka, as well as of a million other topics and social-standards. We do not frivolously include potentially offensive content, but we do not apply culturally subjective standards to exclude or hide educational content which some people might find offensive.
The only way that we will avoid displaying "offensive" search images is if we shut off all images from search results. In fact when images were first being added to the search results, I personally raised the concern that maybe we shouldn't do it at all. I foresaw exactly your objection, that you saw images from some random article you weren't looking for. However it was decided that having images in search results was a valuable feature, that it was worth having those images even if it meant some people would occasionally come across something they dislike.
I hope you can at least partially understand and respect that we deliberately-avoid imposing a subjective and cultural judgment on what kind of educational content you can find on Wikipedia. We hope that our dedication to broad and uncensored topic coverage makes up for any unwanted content you accidentally come across. Alsee (talk) 21:37, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
Help:Options to hide an image may be of some use. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 11:53, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

MOS:WTW addition RfC Terms that can introduce bias[edit]

FYI: pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Words to watch#RfC Terms that can introduce bias

Gist: Should we add a class of "Terms that can introduce bias", listing incorrect use of Arab and Arabic as an examplar? Batternut (talk) 10:44, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

Should the "In wrestling" section be removed from professional wrestling articles?[edit]

The "In wrestling" section has been a standard part of professional wrestling biographies for over a decade. It covers mostly character information in a bulleted list format. On May 24, 2018, an editor raised an issue with the section's vague heading to WikiProject Professional wrestling (see WT:PW#In wrestling). The next day, renaming the heading to "Professional wrestling highlights" and adjusting "Championships and accomplishments" into a subsection beneath it was proposed. On June 3, it was considered to have reached consensus after the 5 participants agreed unanimously. In the weeks that followed, a few editors disapproved of the new heading, as well as "Championships and accomplishments" being turned into a subsection. On June 24, clarification of which heading to go forward with was requested, where an additional option to remove the section entirely was proposed. On June 28, the discussion was closed after 10 editors participated, with an "overwhelming consensus" to remove the section but rework any content deemed significant into prose, potentially into a "Professional wrestling persona" section (see WT:PW#Trying to gain clarity (closed)). The changes were immediately enacted into hundreds of articles, causing news of the changes to be spread onto online professional wrestling communities. Many new editors voiced frustration over the removal, with some reverting the changes.

Below is the style recommendations for this section, taken from WikiProject Professional wrestling prior to its removal:

"In wrestling" recommendations per WP:PW/SG

An overview of notable character information is compiled in a bulleted list format. This initial section should be limited to finishing moves, signature moves, managers (and/or wrestlers managed), nicknames, entrance themes, and wrestlers trained. Any taunts, gestures, or other descriptions are better suited for the article prose.

Example of highlights list
  • All items should be sorted alphabetically. An exception is with entrance themes, which can be sorted chronologically if date ranges are sourced.
  • For signature and finishing moves, there must be one reliable source explicitly mentioning that it is a signature move of the wrestler. One reliable source merely mentioning that the wrestler performed the move is not enough.
  • A specially named move should be italicized, with the regular name following in parentheses and wiki-linked.
  • {{Cite episode}} should not be used for citing moves as commentators often call moves wrong or do not give full technical names, leading to speculation.
  • Track names in entrance themes should not be wiki-linked to articles about the compilation albums on which they are sold, unless the article contains further information on the track itself (not just name, number, and wrestler who used it).

This proposal seeks to remove the "In wrestling" section, with the possibility of any of its content that is deemed significant to be contextualized in prose. Much of the information contained within this section would be lost. The content most likely to be reworked is certain Finishing moves, Nicknames and Wrestlers trained. As it stands, Managers are already expected to be covered in prose, primarily in the "Professional wrestling career" section. If necessary, reworked content can be placed within the existing "Professional wrestling persona" section (see WP:PW/SG#Professional wrestling persona).

Below are diffs from various articles, showing before the section's removal, after the removal, and some with content reworked to prose:

Proposal: Should we adopt a default approach of omitting the bulleted list "In wrestling" section, in favor of its notable content being contextualized in prose when appropriate? Prefall 14:53, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

  • Yes To reiterate my comments from the original discussion, this has long been the most problematic section in professional wrestling biographies, even more so than "career". It is a magnet for cruft, with a majority of edits coming from new or inexperienced users. It has devolved into a database of items ever associated with the wrestler, often poorly sourced at best or outright original research at worst. Even when "properly" maintained, the content itself is mostly trivial, adding very little to the understanding of the subject. Any significant material from this section can be framed more effectively in prose, alongside any additional character or performance information. Prefall 14:54, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes Looking at the examples you included, the page is much more encyclopedic. List a number of moves which someone has done has no value. The way it was reworked to explain the basis behind it and put it into context is a much more encyclopedia appropriate way to discuss the identical information. - Galatz גאליץשיחה Talk 15:21, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Absolutely. Drmies (talk) 16:33, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • No Content should be condensed and trimmed to essential moves, a bare minimum of Finishing Moves. I believe theme music section should remain untouched, as there is no real alternative to it. Other sections like Nicknames and Managers aren't that essential. The "In Wrestling" section (I'm not attached to that name) can be bloated, but should not be outright removed. It should be improved.206.45.59.254 (talk) 17:15, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • No. Fixing what was not broken. Restore each page to it's previous incarnation and figure out a new format that works for everyone, not just the neckbeards from WP:PW. Endlessdan (talk) 17:44, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Could we please try to be civil here Endlessdan? Would this discussion fall under "professional wrestling broadly construed"? If so we should probably mention that Pro Wrestling as a topc is under General Sanctions so no one is surprised.  MPJ-DK  20:54, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes The old format had several issues. Now, I think it's better and follows Wikipolicys. --HHH Pedrigree (talk) 17:58, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • No The 'In Wrestling' section should be at worst condensed. I would suggest removing 'Signature moves', 'Nicknames' and 'Managers'. The 'In wrestling' section is generally informative and missed on pages it has been removed from. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.27.113.12 (talk) 18:07, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • No A wrestler's moveset is not "trivial information". Some wrestlers like Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles used to have an unnecessarily long "In wrestling" section, but that can be fixed by limiting the moves to finishing moves and notable signature moves, and removing "nicknames", "managers", "wrestlers managed" and "wrestlers trained" from the section. Removing it altogether rather than fixing it is lazy. Most of the time the wrestler's moves will not be mentioned in the articles, or be mentioned in awkward sentences like "Asuka uses a crossface chickenwing with bodyscissors as a finisher and calls it the "Asuka Lock"", that break the natural flow of the text, and essentially, is just an overcomplicated way of doing exactly the same thing that the bulleted list was doing. Very few wrestler's gimmicks are connected to their finishing and signature moves strongly enough for it to be worked in a prose, and in these particular cases, it can be worked in the prose while also keeping the "In wrestling" section. We should fix what was wrong with the section, not lazily remove it. BLXCKPXGX (talk) 18:45, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
So, where is the limit? What makes a signature move notable? Why Nicknames, managers should be deleted? Just because you say so? --HHH Pedrigree (talk) 18:48, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
What makes a finishing move more notable than signature moves? Because they end a match? How is is that more significant? Just because you say so? 67.244.146.250 (talk) 18:56, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
BLXCKPXGX Said we should limit the section to finishing moves and notable signature moves. My question, what is the diferent between a notable signature and a no-notable signature? That's one of the many problems the section has. --HHH Pedrigree (talk) 18:59, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
Using Triple H as an example, the Pedigree, the spinebuster and the high knee are notable moves. The running clothesline and the abdominal stretch are not. The Tombstone, chokeslam, Last Ride, Old School, etc. are notable Undertaker moves, the Fujiwara armbar and the bearhug are not. And I suggested removing "nicknames", "managers", "wrestlers managed" and "wrestlers trained" to trim down the section, not that I want it, but many are saying the lists were full of trivial information, so leaving only the essential, and what's hard to work in the prose (theme songs) could be the solution. BLXCKPXGX (talk) 19:23, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
That's your point of view, your own criteria. For example, you say "Abdominal stretch isn't notable", I say "Abdominal stretch is notable". We need a criteria for all of them. If a move is signature, we need a source saying "this move is signature". --HHH Pedrigree (talk) 19:26, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
I think we all agree that the spinebuster is a notable Triple H signature move while the abdominal stretch isn't. What criteria am I using? I'll be honest, I don't know, I just know that one is an iconic part of his arsenal and the other isn't. But if we're working it in the prose, wouldn't we have the exact same issue? The user below said: "if, say, John Cena's theme song entrance theme is notable, we'll note it, of course, but in the proper section under "Professional wrestling career", or, "Music", or wherever." What's the criteria used to mention "My Time is Now" but not "Slam Smack" in the text? Or are we just mentioning everything? Which, again, is just an overcomplicated way of doing exactly the same thing that the bulleted list was doing. BLXCKPXGX (talk) 20:00, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
If it's a "I just know" situation, then you must keep in mind WP:OR, WP:SYNTH and WP:ILIKEIT. oknazevad (talk) 01:26, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, do so: per Galatz, we don't need long lists of information that serve no real purpose; per WP:NOTEVERYTHING and WP:IINFO, if, say, John Cena's theme song entrance theme is notable, we'll note it, of course, but in the proper section under "Professional wrestling career", or, "Music", or wherever. HHH Pedrigree, in the discussion below, also laconically summarizes my beliefs regarding policy and the "In wrestling" list. To close, I'd like to quote WP:NOTEVERYTHING: "Information should not be included in this encyclopedia solely because it is true or useful." I believe the "In wrestling" list-sections most certainly fall under that distinction.
    Addendum: perhaps the revival of the Pro Wrestling Wikia might be better for pro-wrestling fans? Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 19:16, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
Javert2113 - The Pro Wrestling Wikia never went away, and is still updated... Lee Vilenski (talkcontribs) 13:06, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
I didn't know that. Strike above word "revival", replace with "continued updating". Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 15:41, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I used to update a bit on there. I'm sure the wikia would love aditional editors. Lee Vilenski (talkcontribs) 15:46, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, Admittedly I'm not involved with this project but the section comes across as very problematic to properly source, as well as arguments of WP:NOTEVERYTHING. Additionally, the section doesn't come across as particularly 'encyclopedic', but that last one is just my opinion. ToastButterToast (talk) 19:49, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • No. If it attracts cruft, the solution is to remove the cruft. If some of it is the result of original research or synthesis, then (a) try to find a reliable source for it, and, if that doesn't work, then (b) remove it. Isn't that how everything on Wikipedia works? Taking a look at Bret Hart's article, 32 moves were listed (2 finishers, and 30 signature moves). I think the list could easily be trimmed to six--Finisher: Sharpshooter; Signature: Second rope elbow drop, Russian legsweep, Sidewalk slam; With Jim Neidhart: Hart Attack. I totally agree that almost all of the rest are moves he used, sometimes consistently, but that very few of the others are important for an understanding of the character. If we can source these six, we've got something worthwhile and in keeping with policy. However, there's no need to delete an entire section from thousands of articles because some have become bloated. In many cases, this has led to a "policy based" deletion of sourced information where no problem ever existed. As for the other sections, I can't speak much about Entrance Themes, since I've never cared much. I think it would be better for people who are more invested in the topic to consider the importance, although I will say that I am concerned to see so many people pushing for elimination because "it's just not important". There's really no way to measure that, and Wikipedia is full of information and articles that are important only to a select group. I'm never going to read about Finnish equestrians, but I would assume that Wikipedia has a bunch of information. Just because I won't read it doesn't mean it's "just not important", though. I'm also not particularly concerned about the "Nicknames" subsection. Some of it seems valuable, while others were used a handful or times, in a single interview, mentioned once on Twitter, etc., and obviously have no place. To use that to justify removing "The Rocket" or "The King of Harts" from Owen Hart's article is obviously an overreaction, although these may work just fine in the prose. The other subsections involved, however, are ones that I find particularly useful (and I know that there has been a lot of negative reaction to the claim of being "useful" lately, with people pointing to an essay about arguments to avoid in deletion discussions. There's nothing binding in that, however, and there is no need for paranoia about people finding the content useful--there have been a lot of disparaging comments about "fanboys", but it's important to note that (a) wrestling fans aren't less important or worthy of respect because they choose to watch a television show that they are aware is not real, and (b) not everybody who reads or edits the articles is an obsessed teenage boy. I'm certainly not a teenager, and I don't watch wrestling. I do, however, have multiple academic publications about professional wrestling. While doing this research, I have made much use of the "Managers" and "Wrestlers Managed" subsections. This has provided a valuable quick glance at a wrestler's career that can then be delved into with reliable sources to discover valuable information that is not necessarily covered in the article. Rewriting these sections as prose would make them difficult to navigate and would often provide choppy, list-like sentences. Certainly, for managers, it's essential to an understanding of the character to have a clear (and well-sourced) list of the wrestlers they have managed. And, on both sides, I would say it is important to keep it under control by leaving out one-time appearances. For example, on the Jake Roberts article, it listed Alice Cooper as a manager. Because this was a one-time deal done to publicize an event, it would fit much better into the prose when discussing Roberts's appearance at WrestleMania III. GaryColemanFan (talk) 20:14, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • No. Well, here's my two cents. Which I already gave in the Pro Wrestling Talk Page, so I guess I'm up to four cents? Everyone appears to have jumped the gun, deleting the section before assessing what separates data they consider unimportant from that which is, and I'd like to remind everyone WP:NODEADLINE. No editor appears to dispute that wrestling moves possess encyclopedic significance; currently finishing moves are to be added in prose in recognition of their relevance to the wrestler. However, what quality lends a wrestling move significance remains unanswered within the style-guide or discussion. What specific guideline a signature move as a piece of information violates within WP:NOTEVERYTHING, which a finishing move to be included in the 'Wrestling Persona' sections does not violate has not been adequately identified. Finishing moves are important, but the quality making them more important than a signature remains vague. These distinctions appear arbitrary. Arguments abound that the sections themselves sections tend to contain OR, poor sourcing stemming from frequent fan edits, that a signature is pure WP:FANCRUFT, or that removing it grants a more encyclopedic aesthetic. And each of those may be true. But those are individual violations to be removed on a case-by-case basis; their existence does not demonstrate why all information attempting to be included is not material an encyclopedia should provide. Someone using original research to include a wrestler's frequent use of a piledriver should be removed, it's original research. But whether a piledriver is pertinent information for a wikipedia article is an entirely different question, and one that has not been answered. Discussion of the value or significance of content does not appear to have driven the removal conversation; no rationale has been solidly agreed upon regarding why a move might or might not be important information. Worse, the wider use of the Wrestling Persona alternative opens up up identical WP:FANCRUFT and Original Research concerns the 'In Wrestling' section was deleted for, but this too appears to be ignored. 67.244.146.250 (talk) 20:25, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes Remove - over the last 10 years this has failed miserabily - crufty, trivia, edit warring over a move is a "leg lariat" or "a kick", false information inserted, Original Research etc. It's a mess and there is no way anyone can persuade me that a wrestler has 25 signature moves. Nicknames were a mess, too - someone was called a "toolbag" one week and it's an official nickname on Wikipedia and so on - it is the single most abused and edit warred over section.  MPJ-DK  20:51, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
Why don't we fix it then? Removing it rather than fixing it is lazy. No, no wrestler has 25 signature moves. There is no reason for the Fujiwara armbar to be listed as a signature move of The Undertaker for example. Limit the moves to finishing moves and notable signature moves, and remove "nicknames", "managers", "wrestlers managed" and "wrestlers trained" from the section. Just remove all that's trivial, there is no need to gut the entire section. BLXCKPXGX (talk) 21:51, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
I'm not a part of the clean-up effort here and their perspectives may vary, but the problem I see there is that there is no empirical, WP:WEIGHT-based way of deciding what content is important or note-worthy, which means the fields become a constant source of attraction for subjectivized tinkering; no consistent approach can be applied and the section remains a perpetual site of either edit warring or entrenched debate, since the content added is always the product of fan metrics (which are highly variable between these devoted fans), rather than something pulled from reliable sources (which is disallowed as a matter of policy anyway, and further reason to avoid an approach that encourages it). Snow let's rap 22:00, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
Some editors have been trying to fix it for 10 years, with reverts and IPs and fans adding stuff, no good guideline for inclusion etc. It's not like some people haven't tried. MPJ-DK  22:06, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes (edit conflict) This section was horribly trivial for ten years. There were no criterion for inclusion, resulting in users adding movees or nicknames that were used once (see this article on WWE.com, where AJ Styles is called the "Georgia Pitbull" for the first and only time, resulting in it being added to his nicknames). Nearly every single technical name for moves were WP:OR. It was overly crufty and broken to the point of no return. The main counterarguments I'm seeing are WP:ILIKEIT, "lots of people find this useful", and "it was here for 10 years so it shouldn't be removed." Prose for the notable moves is a much better alternative. JTP (talkcontribs) 20:59, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, Support - This seems like a reasonable approach and the one which is most broadly consistent with a number of guidelines and MoS recommendations (WP:WEIGHT and WP:PROSE most prominently). Furthermore, the topic matter of pro wrestling has been put under general sanctions now, so without some broad community consensus backing them up, WP:HERE editors working on clean-up in this area would find their efforts slowed to a crawl by SPAs and socks jumping around abusing multiple accounts, flaunting the sanctions while regular good-faith editors obeying the rules would not be able to violate 1RR restrictions. The clean-up brigades therefore have a reasonable request in wanting to establish clear guidelines for what type of formatting is generally expected for these articles. They at first attempted to create this guidance at WP:PW but they were informed that WP:Advice pages prohibits that. So they thereafter diligently constructed this proposal and brought it here for wide community vetting and hopefully approval. Given that I think their approach is the option which is most consistent with actual policies and MoS guidance, I can support it, even though I am generally very wary of default approaches.
And on that last topic, it is worth noting that the proposal does frame this as a default approach; WP:LOCALCONSENSUS would still apply on any article and a discussion on a talk page for a given pro wrestler's article could still adopt another approach. What a support consensus in this discussion would mean would be a simple shifting of the burden; the clean-up crews could begin shifting the content towards a WP:PROSE approach and be able to point to this discussion if asked to make a prima facie case for consensus; local editors would then be able to propose rebutall arguments on the talk page, but the burden would be upon them to establish a clear consensus for an exception. That seems like a very reasonable way to balance the local and community consensus issues here and allow the needed clean-up to take place. Wikipedia is not the place for all possible content and I have become convinced by the editors undertaking the clean-up here that this is a necesary first step to pairing down the articles in question and making our coverage more consistent with our general encyclopedic standards. Snow let's rap 21:54, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes/Remove These sections seem to be fancruft. From a policy perspective it is likely most of the material is WP:UNDUE from the point of view of an encyclopedia. In fact all of the 'in-universe' stuff needs to go except for those events/elements which break out into the universe of real-world reliable sources. Jbh Talk 21:59, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • No/Reinstate Partly I agree that the Signature move list was way too long and unsourced. However I believe that the Entrance music and especially the Finisher sections/lists are fairly easy to implement and properly source. Entrance musics are easy to source with VODS, as are Finishers. Finishers by definitions are moves that quite frequently finish that respectives matches. Not one or two offs, frequently. For example: Sami Zayn's Blue Thunder Bomb is pretty much his signature move but doesn't finish matches: Should probably not be included. His Helluva Kick does finish his matches on the regular and should be included. So in summary: Remove the Signature Move section, keep the Entrance Theme and Finisher sections. I have no opinion about the Manager section one way or another. DrJackl (talk 22:36, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • NO I already gave enough suggestion directed to people want to rollback this change, so It appears "the small group" have jumped the gun, deleting the section before allowing proper outreach to many users to help improve. 10+ years this section been alive. This change should never been jump into removal or else we wont have this.

Returns this good section the only option to end this rockus. Colton Meltzer (talk) 23:17, 11 July 2018 (UTC)


  • NO It’s a handy resource for people who may, for whatever reason, need a quick and easy answer to a question about any number of pieces of information and there’s not a suitable second best place to go online looking for it. In my opinion, removing this would be along the same lines as cutting track listings from albums or trying to work the name of each song into the article about the album. Part of the point of an encyclopedia is to be able to quickly dig up an easy answer to something and abundance of cruft or not, this section largely provides that. Evalas618 23:04, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • NO For some then championship section is much longer then their moves, music, etc. Why remove that but keep the long championship listings? I for 1 want to see someone's moves & want to look up their music & some have won every single championship in every company they have been in! Who needs all that? I think their moves & music is more important then their endless championships. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:CCE0:8550:81DD:D18E:1485:114A (talk) 23:49, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • No - I've been mostly retired for numerous years now, both as a user and an admin, but on this matter would like to give my opinion. Years ago, many many years ago, the question was asked over spoilers for pro wrestling over whether it was an entertainment program or a sport (as in did an event transpire when it occurred in front of a crowd, or when iot was broadcast on television). Wrestling is a carny business, its stupid and illogical and amazing, and part of the story is in the moves and the abilities of the competitors. To catch this in pose, over decades of a career, is impossible especially as times change and without the text reading like a grade schooler trying to pad the word count. This is because the stories in the matches aren't limited to a single move, it's a number of them that build to a particular style. Some things are generic yes, but some things are not and knowing these and what they are is part of the knowledge base for wrestling. Could the In wrestling sections be cleaned up? Undoubtedly yes, but the accusations of cruft and that of diminishing value is as blinded by wall gardening as the inclusionist accusations are. Not everything fits into a narrow box of "is trivial" or "is not trivial" nor can making things have a sweeping removal ever be done without uproar occurring, and to then pass off the uproar as fly-by-nighter-johnny-come-latelys is to ignore the readers of wikipedia at their own peril. Wikipedia is a force for good, but sweeping changes made by 8 people is inevitably going to cause a problem, and its not like these 8 were arbitrators. If things need to change they have to change, but what has happened here was clearly wrong and to much "us vs them" rather than actually looking at why these sections existed without one side reducing it to WP:USEFUL and the other WP:CRUFT. They have their place, they are important, and all-or-nothing is not the way we do things. At least not when I was here. –– Lid(Talk) 00:05, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, remove Professional wrestling articles are now under strict sanctions because the broader editing community was fed up with the constant bickering and edit warring, and the inclusion of large amounts of unsourced trivia and "in universe" content in those articles. I have been very impressed and gratified at the work that many pro wrestling editors are doing to clean things up. I agree completely with Snow Rise that going back to the old ways now would severely interfere with this essential cleanup campaign. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 00:18, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes Besides the maintenance issues.. look, even if you could guarantee these would be properly maintained, this type of list is still the definition of cruft. Minutia that is only of interest to the hardcore fan, that does not actually give any additional insight on the subject of the article in a broader sense. --SubSeven (talk) 01:11, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, remove. A trivia magnet bullet list with no clear inclusion criteria is possibly the worst way to present information about a character's persona. I've seen numerous complaints at the WT:PW discussions that it is needed for video games' "create a wrestler" feature. That is totally not what Wikipedia is for! Pro wrestler biographies have a weird double job of being both a biography of the performer and an article about the character. But it is WP:NOTGAMEGUIDE. Nor is it WP:IINFO. These sections just don't work well. Prose is a better format, and allows for context, which serves the Wikipedia purpose of being a general interest encyclopedia better. oknazevad (talk) 01:26, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Nuke from orbit, destroy entire section immediately, and on the off chance anything worthwhile is lost, it's worth it because it might attract CRUFT!!!! seems like a poor choice. Whatever the ultimate consensus is, I would submit that this option is by far the worst. There's no WP:DEADLINE and no need to WP:BITE new editors. Deltopia (talk) 01:57, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I don't get the "Deadline" argument - if a consensus is reached to remove them, who cares if some people go through and remove them quickly or make a five-year plan to hunt them all down? That's just a stall tactic by those who do not like the consensus - if consensus is to allow it I could use "deadline" to stall any work on readding the content? Sorry I was not going to comment in general, but this does not make any sense to me. And if we remain WP:CIVIL no newbies would get bitten, that's not WP:AGF my good chap.  MPJ-DK  02:11, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I haven't seen much in the way of articulated policy or guideline-based reasoning for removal of this content, besides one reference to WP:OR. WP:NOT here and there, but those references are a stretch. Does someone want to lay it out? Conversely, I also see little on the keeping editors. Is there a reason we should keep the content, grounded in policy/guideline? --Izno (talk) 03:39, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes - These sections invariably attracted cruft and WP:OR. This is what Roman Reigns' section looked like. The moves list is a very typical example; sources almost never actually describe "Signature moves" so the solution has been to provide multiple sources which show the wrestler used the move a couple of times. This is a blatant case of WP:SYN. Theme songs are also rarely notable enough to get mentioned in WP:RS, so the solution has been to link to iTunes. A good rule of thumb is that if RS don't mention it, then it's not worth keeping around. Everything worth keeping should already be in the prose or could easily be worked into it and anything lost had no place in the encyclopedia to begin with. I recently brought Bobby Heenan to GA status and was surprised to see that almost everything in his "In wrestling" section (every nickname and all but a few of his less notable pairings) was already in the prose! The section was simply superfluous! LM2000 (talk) 03:43, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • No - While the section could use cleaning up, I disagree with outright removal. The information is valuable and useful, and the list format is the most efficient method of digesting the information. Removal of the section may follow the letter of the law, but I feel it ignores the spirit of it. Removal of the section may follow some arbitrary rules of conduct, but I feel it goes against the idea of what Wikipedia is. I'm disappointed with the decision to remove a valuable section that I use on many occasions. I feel that if Wikipedia is no longer interested in providing knowledge to the masses, I am no longer interested in supporting Wikipedia. 122.106.169.214 (talk) 04:04, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • No - To generally summarize what I posted on the talk page, I feel that the prose compromise is insufficient and needlessly complicates what is a section with use and that has encyclopedic information in it (nicknames of a wrestler, important moves, theme music and wrestlers trained come to mind as well as falling under this category in my view). Prose runs the risk of becoming convoluted in nature and removes the intended resourcefulness of its own self. A prose page for all wrestlers will be hard to do and become more difficult to parse through for information. The length of move-sets has long been a problem and I also believe, despite supporting the keeping of the 'In Wrestling' section, it should be managed at a level and/or trimmed down, but provided information for key moves to a wrestler and additional encyclopedic information is well-cited and reliably-cited, I see no reason to move this sort of information into a prose block. It removes convenience for user and editor and I don't see a reason to do that and remove a chunk of information that I would consider to be worthy of inclusion on this web encyclopedia. In conclusion, I believe sweeping removal (or at the very least dramatic change) of long-standing content that has merit for being in these articles in the first-place is not the way to go about this matter. NotAdamKovic (talk) 04:09, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • No with condition - These lists do often turn to WP:FANCRUFT about which wrestling moves are notable and which are not. Some of them even have concerns about whether the wrestler actually did the move, because they did a variation of it or something like that. However, with stringent enforcement of Reliable sources, adhering to standard procedures when material is challenged, and Wikipedia's policy on WP:DUE weight, these moves do have relevance within the realm of wrestling. A wrestler may be well known for doing a certain move as part of their cliche or personality. If they are well known for doing such, we should be able to find sources to that effect. We also need to enforce the No original research policy if this is kept. I'm overall in favor of keeping them if these Wikipedia policies can be enforced on these articles. Tutelary (talk) 05:15, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Sure, but wouldn't this information be best placed in prose? Lee Vilenski (talkcontribs) 11:29, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Moves that are significant to the wrestler's identity, with good sourcing, should be added to the prose, not put into a list. --SubSeven (talk) 05:48, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes - There is no definition of what a signature move is, and there is no official guide that describes what the technical moves are. Therefore all move lists are WP:OR or a violation of WP:SYNTH. Finishing moves are important to the characters, but prose can help provide context that a bullet list lacks. Managers can also be listed in prose with context such as dates and promotions, which provides more info than a straight bullet list. Entrance themes are important to "some" characters, and that too can be included better in prose with an explanation of "why" it is important to that character. The majority of the information in the "In wrestling" sections was impossible to source, so trimming the lists down to what can be properly sourced would result in some very short lists. I don't see how a short context-less list is any more accessible than prose. Nikki311 09:20, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. People who want to have an in-universe article should use the wrestling wikia. This information is not encyclopedic. Natureium (talk) 13:57, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • No - While some wrestlers may have long lists of moves, to argue that finishing moves are irrelevant to a wrestler is ignorant. A finishing move, and by extension signature moves, are keys to a wrestler's in-ring performance. This is even more apparent with historical industry changing moves, whether it's now common moves that used to be big moves in previous eras, like the German Suplex or the Brainbuster, to something like the Orange Crush, Burning Hammer, or Emerald Flowsion. I think the scope of this argument has been focused to "Roman Reigns' list has an armdrag on it" (or whatever) and isn't taking into consideration the effect this would have when talking about wrestlers in the context of wrestling history. You can't have an article about Ric Flair without the Figure 4 Leglock. Should these lists be concise, cited, and logical? Sure. But they should not be removed as a whole. Bonevoyage (talk) 19:03, 11 July 2018 (UTC) Bonevoyage (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.
As we said one hundred times, if a move is notable and important, we can put in a career or wrestling style section. Lou Thesz includes the creation of the powerbomb in the introduction. Same as Fujinami Dragon suplex and Dragon sleeper. Try to find a source and include Flair's finisher in the article. --HHH Pedrigree (talk) 19:24, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
-Sorry I didn't realize only new opinions were allowed in this discussion area. Bonevoyage (talk) 20:26, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
He didn't disregard your opinion. We have always maintained that if something is significant to the performer and can be reliably sourced, such as Flair's figure four leglock, then it can be included regardless of this section's removal. This proposal itself even mentions that certain finishing moves are likely to be retained. Flair's article may not have been updated to include that detail yet, but you can WP:FIXIT yourself, if you'd like. Prefall 21:01, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Like someone's theme music isn't "significant to the performer"? I think it is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:CCE0:8550:418D:E52E:5D61:A083 (talk) 21:47, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes - Like mentioned before, some content can be added to the prose, not put into a list (like finishing moves, managers, "some" entrance themes), but stuff like the signature moves has no clear definition and the nicknames bit is a huge clutter. Really disappointed with the section, even from a long-time pro wrestling fan. 2A02:2F0D:D00:C00:463:23AB:1E16:D947 (talk) 20:01, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes - If such content is based on reliably-sourced in-depth coverage, then there should be material for more than a bullet point list. If it is not based on reliably-sourced in-depth coverage, then it doesn't need to be included. The effort that would be put into stopping clean up on this general site should instead be used to fix and maintain specialist sites like the wrestling Wikia. I don't see why we should apologize for making people read actual prose with more than four words per line instead of lists that are utterly meaningless to non-fans. Ian.thomson (talk) 00:21, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
  • No, but change the name The debate was originally about whether the In Wrestling section should be renamed to something else, since many felt the subheading was very vague and didn't accurately represent what the section was about. As far as I'm concerned, the idea of deleting the whole section wasn't brought up until few days before the consensus vote. The vote lasted a couple of days and was closed after an "overwhelming consensus". I feel like the decision was made in a WP:RUSH and as can be seen by the amount of discussion it has led to since then, there are a lot of people who oppose the change. I wholeheartedly agree that the section should be renamed to something else. "Professional wrestling highlights" and "professional wrestling details" were two of the suggestions for the new name. Removing the whole section, however, is not the answer. When it comes to working the contents of In Wrestling into the prose, I'd say that would affect readability, and sometimes a simple list is a better option. It's stated in WP:TRIVIA that "a selectively populated list with a relatively narrow theme is not necessarily trivia, and can be the best way to present some types of information", and I would say that's the case here. Professional wrestling is a combination of theatre and sports, and the finishing moves or entrance theme musics of wrestlers are just as important as championships and other accomplishments. None of this information is trivial in context of wrestling. Another cause of concern amongst the most active WikiProject members seems to be that the section gets edited a lot by people who believe every single move ever done by a certain wrestler should be included in the article. It's unfortunate that this happens, but I don't think WP:SUSCEPTIBLE is a good reason to remove the whole section just like that. Many of the professional wrestling promotions' websites, including World Wrestling Entertainment and New Japan Pro Wrestling, do have a plethora of articles and wrestler profiles listing their finishing moves and entrance music. Those websites can and should be used as sources, and the list of moves can be limited to their signature moves. Not every single punch and kick needs to be listed. All in all, I believe this consensus relies too much on Wikipedia's imperfect policies and guidelines. Sometimes accessibility and informativity should be put ahead of those guidelines (WP:RAP). In my personal opinion, the decision should be reverted, the section should be brought back and the WikiProject should focus on renaming the section and clarifying what moves, nicknames and themes should be included on the list. Kanavarras (talk) 10:28, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
You say “Many of the professional wrestling promotions' websites, including World Wrestling Entertainment and New Japan Pro Wrestling, do have a plethora of articles and wrestler profiles listing their finishing moves and entrance music. Those websites can and should be used as sources, and the list of moves can be limited to their signature moves.” but that just is not true. Where, exactly does WWE list superstar theme music? The fact of the matter is you can’t say because they don’t! Wikipedia was the “only reliable” place that ever did!~~The Greatest— Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:cce0:8550:d424:64a0:7b5c:a6e5 (talk) 08:14, 12 July 2018‎ (UTC)
First of all, no need for the hostility. If Wikipedia is the "only reliable source", then it isn't a reliable source at all, since Wikipedia relies on other sources for its information. However, WWE actually has a record label named WWE Music Group. They compose and release most of the wrestlers' music by themselves, and those releases can be found on Amazon and iTunes. They also have a VERIFIED YouTube channel. All the music on artists' album pages (here's an example with Britney Spears) use similar sources, so that shouldn't be a problem. Kanavarras (talk) 23:43, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a reliable source. If Wikipedia is the only place that listed them, that's a very good indication that it's not a notable concept and shouldn't be included in the articles. --Ahecht (TALK
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Where else is? The only other place that had/has it is way outdated & is missing current/new content! Content that was, in fact, on Wikipedia before it was taken down! So if Wikipedia isn’t a reliable source then where, exactly, is? That right here makes it the **most** reliable source! What part of that is so hard for you to understand? If it can’t be found on Wikipedia when where **can** it be found? Furthermore, it has been on Wikipedia for 10+ years so why take it way now? That makes no logical sense whatsoever!~~ The Greatest— Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:cce0:8550:d424:64a0:7b5c:a6e5 (talk) 10:03, 12 July 2018‎ (UTC)
Firstly you are violating Wikipedia:SIGLINK by not properly signing your posts. Second, everything on Wikipedia must be independently verifiable, see WP:V. If the only place you can find this information is on Wikipedia, then its not verifiable, and therefore should not be kept on wikipedia, regardless of the outcome of this discussion. - Galatz גאליץשיחה Talk 15:02, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
I am signing my posts (now). Don’t you see “~~The Greatest”? I may not be signing them the “official” way or how you want them signed but I am signing them the way I am going to with the was I have been treated! If you have a problem with that then tough crap….“~~The Greatest— Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:cce0:8550:d424:64a0:7b5c:a6e5 (talk) 11:25, 12 July 2018‎ (UTC)
If you wish to contribute to this discussion, Wikipedia has certain requirements for signing posts, and for what the signatures must contain. Sign your posts by using four tildes (~~~~). If you want "The Greatest" to show up as your name, you should register an account with that name first by going to Special:CreateAccount. It literally only takes a few seconds, as all you have to do it enter your desired username, your desired password, and enter the CAPTCHA text. You don't even have to provide an email address. --Ahecht (TALK
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  • No, unless a policy is put in place to replace the section with prose on each relevant page before deleting the information outright I am okay with the section being removed in favour of a "wrestling style" prose section, or something of the sort, but I feel like the sections were basically deleted based on the opinion of a few people with very little way for the general public to even know the debate was happening without digging into a sub-page deep in the editor's side of Wikipedia, a place which not many people generally end up, which has resulted in the information just ceasing to exist. No-one deleting it is making any effort to replace it with a more appropriate format, they're just deleting information outright, which is the problem. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:8003:CC03:AC00:8947:847:85E3:DD23 (talk) 14:24, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Well, there was a consensus for it's removal, so it was removed. Then there was a conversation over it's removal, and now we are here. The information is not lost, as it will always appear on the history tab; and can be turned into a real section. Lee Vilenski (talkcontribs) 11:29, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
  • No per Lid. GhostOfDanGurney (talk) 03:02, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - The above procedure would be simply moving a list of what is usually meaningless cruft into prose (The "Professional Wrestling Persona".) Most of these article are filled with examples of WP:FANCRUFT for every move that the BLP has ever done is "sourced" with a reviewer stating that the move was used. Personally, I'm against meaningless information like this being included in an article. The arguement against the removal of this information are generally based on WP:ILIKEIT, or a confusion on what wikipedia is. Important information should be easy enough to turn into prose. Some pieces of information, such as Jeff Hardy creating his own theme song in TNA, or Petey Williams inventing the "canadian destroyer is information that could very easily be changed into prose. Information on who a person has been managed by (Even if sourced) is irrelevent, unless they were a long term manager, in which case, this should be in this section, or more likely the career section. Information on moves used is no more notable than a list of ways that Lionel Messi attacks during a football match. Lee Vilenski (talkcontribs) 11:26, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
Less so, if you ask me since a) Messi's approach to the ball has actual impact upon his game, and b) the number of ways in which he can approach the ball can be summed up as a relatively closed class of options due to competitive constraints, whereas a pro wrestler's moves a) are completely arbitrary and chosen for theatrical effect, and therefor b) are a completely open class of ever-shifting and potentially infinite options that will invariably add up to mammoth proportions. There's also the rather critical policy matter that Messi's techniques are the subject of substantial WP:WEIGHT of coverage in WP:reliable sources, discussed in encyclopedic context, whereas "finishers" or whathaveyou are not a substantial part of what WP:reliable sources have to say about professional wrestlers and are simply added at the whim of whichever fan would happen to be editing the "In wrestling" section that day. Snow let's rap 13:42, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
I agree. But I was using the simile pretty arbitrarily. In fact, WP:FOOTY has a "playing style" or "Style of play" for this type of entry, which is what the "Professional wrestling Persona" section would be similar too. Lee Vilenski (talkcontribs) 13:52, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
  • No per Lid and others. (Summoned by bot) This information is clearly of great interest to many people, based on comments here of those who don't want to see it disappear. If these topics have WP:WEIGHT in RS reporting on wrestlers, then Wikipedia should present that information in some format. Also, if these sections attract "cruft" from new editors, surely that is an opportunity for us to welcome new content-creators in a non-bitey way. HouseOfChange (talk) 08:55, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't think WP:ITSUSEFUL / WP:ITSINTERESTING works here. It's one of the reasons why professional wrestling articles have been swamped in immense WP:INUNIVERSE detail for such a long period of time. This is also not a simple matter of weight given by reliable sources. When it comes to wrestlers in popular promotions, such as WWE, practically every performance in their career will be covered ten times over in routine coverage from reliable sources. This can range from hundreds to thousands of matches, all with detailed writeups of each move performed during them. One of the major issues with this section is trying to discern which of this information is actually worth noting. This also does not delve into the WP:SYNTH / WP:OR issues with many of the moves performed (as discussed in the section below). To cite the Daniel Bryan and A.J. Styles examples from the proposal, they show just how excessive and problematic this section can become. Prefall 09:59, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • No Just try again to source it properly, exactly like we attempt (and often fail at) with prose. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:21, July 15, 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, anything encyclopedic should be included in well-sourced prose. I agree with Prefall's first post and the one above mine. Doug Weller talk 13:24, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • No, but condense and source the content. This is not WrestleCruftPedia.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:27, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • comment - Anyone who says "keep" should provide their input on when something is notable enough to include - signature moves, nicknames , managers and theme music has gotten very crufty and trivial over the years. If we keep the section we need a good, CLEAR guideline for everyone so that it is easier to maintain.  MPJ-DK  19:22, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
When a reliable source notes a move is a certain wrestler's finisher, that move is notable and suitable under Finishers (with a bullet and citation). Same deal with managers and the Manager section, signatures and the Signature section, all the way down. No synthetic local excuses like "If four sources call it a move a wrestler does, it's a signature move" or "Accompanying someone to ringside makes you their manager" or "If your finisher looks like something a New Japan guy did on a tape you watched, that means he trained you."
Just plain and transparent verifiability, the sort that's currently sorely lacking in wordier cruft like "In the ring, Monsoon dominated opponents with vicious chops, the dreaded Manchurian Splash, and his signature move, the Airplane Spin". Fortunately, nobody bothered to rename and delete his In Wrestling section, so even complete rubes can still easily and quickly see the simple truths those long-winded lies are roughly based on. Would you keep the unsourced format for matching the style of what you think people want, or delete the sourced list for merely resembling the type of place that's fooled you before? InedibleHulk (talk) 01:12, July 16, 2018 (UTC)
  • NO The old In Wrestling section should've been left as it was, and should be reinstated. Condensing the information is one thing, but to remove it completely was a ridiculous decision. I've used that section as a reference for years when reviewing information about wrestler's current and past entrance themes and move sets. It was both informative and fun to skim over every now and then; especially when a wrestler debuted a new theme, as this was sometimes the quickest and easiest place to find the name of the song or artist. As for trying to work the information into the prose, this seems like an equally ridiculous amount of work to people who will now have to go through and try to eloquently write that information into the prose in an effective way, as well as to anyone who came to these articles specifically to find that information; they'll now have to skim through paragraphs and paragraphs of information for something that they could once skip straight to. Reverting it to how it was is much easier on everyone.--MignightDaybreak (talk) 01:23, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. Things like signature moves might not be the extreme point of trivia, but they're not hugely far. Bulleted lists can be a good idea in some situations, but that's only when the relevance of those items is obvious, e.g. the article about a geographic subdivision (like a U.S. county) ought to have a list of its towns, because nothing really needs to be conveyed about the towns aside from their existence there, and virtually everyone knows something about local government in their country and will understand why the towns are mentioned. However, tons of us are agnostic about professional wrestling; we may wonder why "European uppercut" and "Cobra clutch to a facedown opponent" will matter and why those moves are listed when others aren't: are other moves less significant, or are they not signature moves, or does this character have no other moves at all, and what's a signature move anyway? If you're reading Beaver County, Pennsylvania and you see that Aliquippa is a city in the county, you don't need to be told anything about Aliquippa or city to understand its inclusion, but non-wrestling readers will need explanations that a simple list can't give. And finally, when converting stuff into prose, be sure to use reliable sources. I see that the Daniel Bryan article lost sources like [25], YouTube, [26], and [27]; those are primary sources, as they're either raw numbers (Cagematch) or reports derived from the event itself, not secondary sources that are distilled from the primaries. None of these is written by scholars in the field, which for professional wrestling would be something like film studies or media studies. If you can get solid, reviewed sources of this sort, by all means provide a prose section covering these aspects of the wrestler's career. Nyttend (talk) 01:43, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
Dave Meltzer, Bryan Alvarez and Wade Keller are among the closest things wrestling has to noted scholars. That's not to say it always trickles down to their whole staff, but PWTorch and F4Wonline are still generally top dogs on the topic, something like Sports Illustrated or Vanity Fair are to their niches. Setting the bar higher than that would kill off almost all wrestling articles and seriously starve what's left. If they're good enough for our featured article, they should be good enough for other things one doesn't learn at Dartmouth. That said, they were used improperly in synthesis at Daniel Bryan's list (and others); can't hold that against them. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:24, July 16, 2018 (UTC)
  • No - The "In wrestling" section was incredibly useful. I looked up wrestler's finishers on Wikipedia on a monthly basis. When you want to know a wrestler's current or former finishing moves, a bulleted list in a dedicated section is much easier to use than trying to find it in prose. Prose can easily miss information. Using the above example of Daniel Bryan's reworked page, the added prose talks only about his submission finishers; there is not a single mention of his running knee finisher, which he uses frequently. Even if you disagree with my stance that the information is better presented in a bulleted list, having the information presented in a bulleted list is infinitely better than having the information missing. If the "In wrestling" section must be removed, then a mass removal without replacing the information is absolutely not the way to do it. The Bludgeon Brothers have finishing moves called "The Bludgeoning" and "The Reckoning". If someone wants to know what each of those moves are, that information is no longer available on Wikipedia, because it was simply deleted without re-adding it as prose. The removal of the "In wrestling" section is both the wrong thing to do and the wrong way to do it. --Curseofgnome (talk) 07:57, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
Curseofgnome - This isn't a conversation on how to remove the information. If there is missing notable information (Such as Bryans running knee lift), that can be sourced, you can simply add it (See WP:SODOIT.) However, it does need to be sourced. The issues with some of the move names, is that they can't be reliably sourced. They break WP:SYNTH, which is a big pillar of wikipedia, by adding two references, one that says they use a finisher (by name), and then another by the move itself (common name). However, this is incredibly bad. If a "professional wrestling persona" section was created for the Bludgeon Brothers, then those moves could be added, if the moves are sourced. I should mention, most of these articles are WP:BLP articles, and any information that is poorly sourced should really be removed, regardless of the consensus here. Lee Vilenski (talkcontribs) 09:05, 16 July 2018 (UTC)


Wrestling discussion[edit]

I do NOT like that the “In Wrestling” section listing “Fishing Holds”, “Signature Holds” & “Theme Music” has been removed! I am trying to look up some wrestler theme songs & that has always been my go-to for looking it up but that is impossible to do when they have been removed! Where else can that be found? NOWHERE AT ALL! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:CCE0:8550:81DD:D18E:1485:114A (talk) 16:32, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

  • Sorry, but that's not what Wikipedia is for, to be your go-to source for information deemed trivial (and usually poorly verified) by Wikipedia editors. Drmies (talk) 16:33, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I don't understand how this information is "trivial". Wikipedia should absolutely be your "go-to source", why would you want to send users elsewhere by making this vital information pertaining to a wrestler's character much harder to find? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.14.197.130 (talk) 18:54, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

Worth noting that /r/SquaredCircle on Reddit and possibly other professional wrestling communities are now aware of this discussion. Prefall 18:17, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

Yup, sorry to keep dragging this out for you guys. We value the information a lot though, and see a lot of encyclopedic value in it. 67.244.146.250 (talk) 20:41, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
That's alright; I for one appreciate that the original comment of that Reddit thread does make an effort to contextualize matters and encourage involvement here to conform to our local rules. Predictably, a fair number of people participating there are instead encouraging or demonstrating proclivity towards more disruptive attitudes and tactics, but if they arrive here looking to effectuate that approach, they will find we have significant mechanisms in place to put onerous, uncivil, tendentious, or generally disruptive participants outside of the discussion entirely. I do think that it is likely that the closer of this discussion will take into account that a lot of opposing !votes come from WP:SPA's and factor that into their analysis of the consensus, but so long as SquaredCircle's community members come here to share their opinions in a cogent, civil, and principled manner, they are welcome and will be heard out. Snow let's rap 23:09, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
You guys kept saying people coming from other sources because they were told to. I ultimately disagree, as i see it the majority came here on their own will, because they saw this important information of Encyclopedia section "IN wresting" missing,so they found own way to this discussion/vote/security. Colton Meltzer (talk) 19:57, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
I find that somewhat improbable, given how byzantine Wikipedia projectspace is for a newcomer and the fact that at least four of the above accounts that I've checked were registered immediately after the SquaredCircle call to arms. But it doesn't really matter: everyone is welcome to comment here, provided they follow the rules, treat others civilly, keep comments focused on the matter at hand, and at least make an attempt to understand how community consensus works on this project. Snow let's rap 21:56, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

As I saw in the previous discussion, the In wrestling section has some policies against it. Finishing moves, sources don't include the technical description of the move, so it's OR. Signature moves it's clearly OR since it's hard to find a source saying "signature move". At the end, we made SYNTH (he uses the move X times, it's signature) Nicknames, people includes every YouTube video or promo as nickname (I removed severals and I find again in the article some days later). Entrance themes, for me it's pure trivial. --HHH Pedrigree (talk) 19:07, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

Soumds like there has to be Wikia-wikis about this stuff somewhere? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 22:14, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
The Pro Wrestling Wikia could work, though it is poorly upkept and a majority of it is copied from here. JTP (talkcontribs) 22:21, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
Entrance themes are part of the character portrayed by the wrestler. Further, change in entrance music also signifies major changes in the character being portrayed. Similarly to articles about musicals or other theatric performances, the music is certainly not trivial (e.g., Cats_(musical)). Secondly, the finishing moves are also part of the character being portrayed. Again, if a character omits or adds certain moves which in general finish a match, these changes indicate change in the character being portrayed. Furthermore, one important part of storytelling is whether the wrestler innovated the finisher, and if another wrestler adopted this finisher from their trainer. If anything, there should be more information regarding the finishers pertaining to the evolution of the character, in particular if they are the innovator, or whether the move was passed on from someone else. All these details are historically significant not only for individual characters, but for the wrestling performance as a whole. In general, it is my opinion that articles about wrestlers should not be treated as articles about athletes, but rather as articles about fictional characters. JackKasket (talk) 03:13, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • So here is my counter, if it's so important would a list actually help inform the reader of any of this? I don't see where a list convey the "historical significance" that you mention.  MPJ-DK  03:44, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I would argue that a timeline would be the optimal representation, similar to Carcass_(band)#Band_members. However, maintaining this would be a nightmare, in which case the second best option would be Current/Past lists. Basically, treat this information similarly to other performance arts.JackKasket (talk) 03:57, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • How is someone's theme music & move set any different then the number of championships someone has held? For many of of them, their championship listings (in every single promotion they have been in) is much longer then the theme songs they've had & moves they've done. So why take out (all of the) the theme songs & moves but keep (all of) the championships? If you keep the championship reigns they you should also keep the theme music & move set....that just makes logical sense! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:CCE0:8550:418D:E52E:5D61:A083 (talk) 12:59, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Championships and awards typically receive far more coverage in reliable sources and are generally more notable to the subject. Entrance themes rarely receive any coverage, which is why most of their inclusions is supported by an iTunes Store link or a database entry (which does not establish notability). Sidenote, signature moves is not intended to be a "move set"—a common misconception and one of the reasons it is better left omitted. Prefall 13:17, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Let me ask this: say,, if, for example, someone wanted to have (or has) wrestler theme songs on iTunes. Now, let’s say they want to list them in chronological order (starting with Seth Rollins’ 1st theme & ending with his current theme, etc. with other wrestlers). The same holds true with TV programming (Raw, SmackDown, NXT, etc.) or PPVs & so on. Where would people find them, if not on the wrestler pages where they’ve been? You can find the TV programming opening theme. But where is that on the wrestler pages? Please don’t tell me on the “WWE Music Group discography” page because that is only a listing of when the songs were released on iTunes & only those that were released by WWE’s musical department, not if a Kid Rock song is used, etc. Is that not reason enough to keep it? Is that not a historical reference of the character’s development? Why is it not an issue to list the TV show themes but it’s a problem to list the wrestler themes? Someone may want to know what theme song(s) A.J. Styles used when he was in TNA & not just his championships! As for awards/accomplishments, who cares how may times he has been Pro Wrestling Illustrated or Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Wrestler of the year or in match of the year or how many times he’s won a “WWE Slammy”. Furthermore, a Slammy is not really an award par-say but a gimmicky thing. What about Booker T (or anyone else, for that matter) being listed with a “Hall of Fame” award where there isn’t really a hall of fame? That, too, is a gimmicky thing but it’s still listed? So how are championships & accomplishments really any different then theme music & moves? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:CCE0:8550:418D:E52E:5D61:A083 (talk) 15:03, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS is not a valid argument...if you want to start a discussion to remove than section go ahead, but that has nothing to do with the matter at hand. - Galatz גאליץשיחה Talk 15:52, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes it does! It has EVERYTHING to do with it! It is ABOUT a segment the content THAT IS BEING removed as opposes to contest that is being kept! That makes it VERY relevant to the matter at hand! Furthermore, let me also draw your attention to parts of the very article: “these comparisons are important as the encyclopedia should be consistent in the content that it provides or excludes”, “legitimate comparisons are disregarded without thought or consideration” & “it is important to realize that countering the keep or delete arguments of other people, or dismissing them outright, by simply referring them to this essay by name, and nothing else, is not encouraged” which is exactly what you have done! Therefore, I do make a very valid point! Man, I hate when I’m right…. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:CCE0:8550:418D:E52E:5D61:A083 (talk) 17:17, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
I appreciate discussion as much as the next guy, but can we at least keep it civil? Snarky comments like "Man, I hate when I'm right" irritate others and are downright rude. Thanks. JTP (talkcontribs) 19:56, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
When Prefall made a overhaul, i agreed with the changes (except for "In Wresting") as stated on previous posts discussion with reasons. This right here, almost like "Donald Trump wins the 2016 President Election fairly" Where this In Wresting section was removed fairly anger many many people. Colton Meltzer (talk) 20:12, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
I am not trying to be snarky - I am being sarcastic, there’s a difference. You my thing me saying “Man, I hate when I'm right” is snarky, but I think being told my comments/opinions “is not a valid argument” is snarky. I quoted an article - apparently intended to discredit my comments/opinions - that clearly states not to do what was done to me. How, exactly is THAT not being snarky? You want to talk about being “civil”, since when was it a crime to make a sarcastic remark when I am being insulted? Isn’t THAT “downright rude”? If I am going to be attacked I am going to fight back so please don’t accuse me of being “snarky” but let others be rude to me & insist on how “wrong” I am - just because someone does not agree with me does not give them the right! I make very valid points, rather or not you or anyone else like them or not! I stand by every single word I said - theme music should NOT be removed & nonsense like Match/Superstar of the Year it kept! You may call this “snarky” but I don’t care….prove me wrong (the entire statement, not just what should/shouldn't be removed)! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:CCE0:8550:418D:E52E:5D61:A083 (talk) 20:44, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Championships are gimmicks too. Slammy Awards also have numerous categories that have been legitimately fan voted. Anyway, the difference is that these items typically receive far more coverage than much of the content contained within the "In wrestling" section. But if you think other items should be removed too, a separate discussion can be created.
Most entrance themes are simply not significant to the performer and thus do not receive much coverage outside of a retailer listing or "listen now" link. A catalog of entrance themes being WP:USEFUL is not the greatest argument. WP:Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information comes to mind. Now, if a theme is actually significant to their persona and has received notable coverage, it can still be written into prose. A couple examples is Steve Austin's "glass shattering" soundbyte ([28][29][30]), or Triple H's use of Motörhead and friendship with frontman Lemmy ([31][32][33]). Prefall 22:48, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
I reiterate my previous point: “what if someone wanted to have (or has) wrestler theme songs on iTunes. Now, let’s say they want to list them in chronological order (starting with Seth Rollins’ 1st theme & ending with his current theme, etc. with other wrestlers). The same holds true with TV programming (Raw, SmackDown, NXT, etc.) or PPVs & so on. Where would people find them, if not on the wrestler pages where they’ve been? You can find the TV programming opening theme. But where is that on the wrestler pages? Please don’t tell me on the ‘WWE Music Group discography’ page because that is only a listing of when the songs were released on iTunes & only those that were released by WWE’s musical department, not if a Kid Rock song is used, etc.” I think that is that not reason enough to keep it! Like I had asked before, “Why is it not an issue to list the TV show themes but it’s a problem to list the wrestler themes? Someone may want to know what theme song(s) A.J. Styles used when he was in TNA & not just his championships!” Therefore, I beg the question: if someone can’t look up somebody’s theme on Wikipedia anymore, then where EXACTLY can they? From what I have seen, NOWHERE WHATSOEVER! Wikipedia is the ONLY PLACE that someone has EVER been able to locate that information! Taking that away is completely unacceptable!
I don’t care how “insignificant” you think theme music is or how “significant” you think championships are! Have you ever thought that theme music MIGHT VERY WELL be significant to people that WANTS to know that stuff? Bet where do you expect them to go to get that information? Just because it isn’t significant to you does not give you the right to dictate that it can’t be to someone else! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:CCE0:8550:418D:E52E:5D61:A083 (talk) 23:25, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
I beg the question: if someone can’t look up somebody’s theme on Wikipedia anymore, then where EXACTLY can they? Some have recommended that this content would be much better suited for a fan Wikia, such as the Pro Wrestling Wikia. This extends beyond entrance themes too—for a lot of detailed information that is not hosted here. Prefall 23:44, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
That is WAY OUTDATED! I saw the posting you are talking about & I already looked there but guess what? It is WRONG! For example , there are SEVERAL that I have seen that are NOT accurate! That [still] lists Bianca Belair’s theme as "We Do It Better" (WWE; 2017-present) & Lacey Evans’ theme as "Bad Girl Good Boy" by Kimberly Korn (NXT; October 20, 2016 – present) but before it was taken down Wikipedia said that Bianca Belair’s current theme is REALLY “Watch Me Shine” by CFO$ & Lacey Evans’ is “Like a Lady” by Nancy Rowland! That is JUST A SMALL EXAMPLE of MANY which right there in itself PROVES that you have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER what you are talking about regarding that site! I did not pull that out of my butt so clearly you can’t even get your facts straight! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:CCE0:8550:418D:E52E:5D61:A083 (talk) 00:15, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Then go fix that specialist site instead of mucking up this general one. Ian.thomson (talk) 00:17, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Also, your behavior including SHOUTING IN ALL-CAPS is uncivil bordering on disruptive. Please stop.--WaltCip (talk) 02:15, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Because I am not a “specialist”….but apparently you think you are if your attack me for speaking the truth! Learn some common sense, people! Oh, that’s right, I forgot….common sense ain’t too common anymore - people are stuck on stupid….
Maybe I gotta use all caps to make a point because clearly nobody is smart enough to understand what is clear as day right in front of their faces….it’s enough to make me sick. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:CCE0:8550:418D:E52E:5D61:A083 (talk) 03:11, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Ok, not withstanding my defense of your questionable all caps habit below, the actual content of your comments is getting increasingly incivil; I would like to direct you to WP:CIV which you will want to read before commenting further here. Civility is one of our five pillar policies in this work space and you will find we take it very seriously. Not only are the liberal "you are so stupid" comments pretty much guaranteeing that anything you have to say about the content is being discounted whole-cloth, but you are very likely to find yourself banned from further participation if you keep it up. We have a low tolerance here for people who bring "more heat than light" to content discussions and the community just recently decided to put the topic area of professional wrestling under WP:general sanctions, because you are not the only visitor from a wrestling community who has shown a refusal to avoid speaking abusively to other contributors here. General sanctions being in effect means that the fuse you light with unkind terminology is shorter than normal and will lead to a block quite quickly if you can't show the self-control necessary to discuss matters without resorting to insults and other WP:personal attacks.
That addressed, I think you should know that when Ian references "specialist" Wikias, he was not talking about platforms that require any more technical knowledge than Wikipedia does, nor expert knowledge of pro wrestling. Wikia is like Wikipedia (created by some of the same people in fact): it is open source and mostly community run. Everything that has ever been added to Wikipedia regarding pro wrestling could be replicated there. What we mean when we say "specialist" is that Wikipedia was never intended to be a wharehouse for all possible information on a given topic. Our objective here is not to preserve every bit of human knowledge on any given topic, but rather to provide an encyclopedic summary of encyclopedic topics. Let me elucidate with an example: let's say you like to play video games. Would you come to Wikipedia to find out how to play a given game? No, you'd come to Wikipedia to learn about the release date or critical reception or development history of the game, but you'd go to a Wikia to learn how to navigate the water level without putting your foot through the TV.
That is what others are talking about here when they suggest Wikia as a place where you could relocate this information, if you were so inclined. And if you aren't willing to pitch in to preserve this content that you feel is so important, then perhaps its not really that important--and demanding we cater to your needs is a tad bit of an entitled way to look at this situation? I knew very little about the technical side of this project when I started editing on Wikipedia, but I kept at it and I'm proud of the content I have created and maintained for the benefit of this with an interest in the topics I can help make available. It doesn't happen over night, but only you can decide if it is worth the effort. Meanwhile, we have bigger fish to fry with regard to maintaining our articles than "Oh, all caps guy liked that The Impalanator once entered to ring to Fat Bottom Girls and ended a match in 1998 with a triple-suplex. Guess we have to rethink this whole thing." That is perhaps appropriate for a Wikia index, but not useful summary information for an encyclopedia article.
When I was reviewing that SquaredCircle page, I noticed that the group had something like 356 thousand subscribers--twelve thousand were online WHILE I WAS READING IT. (See, a little emphasis in moderation goes a lot farther). If just one in a hundred of those subscribers has some Wiki-editing experience and/or a little bit of patience and time to give to a community project (rather than wasting it yelling "idiot" at us here), then that is 3,560 editors for your new project! Do you know how much work that number of editors can get done in short order? In all of the physiology and cognitive science articles I work on, I bet there are fifty total regular editors that I would recognize as reliable editors working in those same areas, if that. Maybe we're not the ideal targets on which to spend your considerable energy and motivation to maintain this informations somewhere in an organized and centralized manner? Snow let's rap 04:03, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
I'm a bit confused as how the consensus was achieved to remove the "In wrestling" -section altogether? On one hand, editors are arguing that the information is mostly/all trivial, which I disagree with. On the other hand, editors are focusing on the difficulty of maintaining that section and cruft that it attracts (as opposed to the content being trivial). These two reasons seem contradictory in the sense that I do not see any evidence of a consensus being achieved that would justify the sudden removal of the section from all articles. JackKasket (talk) 06:57, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
The consensus in question does not yet exist; that is the purpose of the present thread. It may be that you will find some more information about the original thinking behind these reforms at WP:PW, where the original discussion took place. However, because that space is a WP:WikiProject the editors who originally responsible for promoting this change in approach where told that they would have to host a larger discussion before this could become a default approach for all wrestling articles. This is because we have a policy here (WP:Advice pages) which prohibits WikiProjects from unilaterally deciding on changes to be applied over a large number of articles without broader community input/vetting (many years ago we had some WikiProjects which tried to create default rules for every article they felt was in their purview and it got to be quite disruptive). However, if a consensus approach arises out of this discussion, it will be considered a valid default approach for all wrestling articles; variations will still be allowed, but editors will have to meet a much higher burden of proof / win an explicit WP:LOCALCONSENSUS discussion on individual articles in order to ignore this default rule, and that will be very difficult. And because WP:General sanctions will be in effect on those articles, admins will be able to sanction those who disruptively ignore the consensus established here. In effect, this discussion will have almost (but not quite) the effect of a WP:GUIDELINE. If this is all a bit confusing and byzantine-seeming, trust me that you are not alone in that. This is a case of what I would call "advanced" (or at least intermediate) policy work; I would expect that even some very experienced editors might be confused about how this whole thing unfolded and what the impact of this discussion is; if I have failed to explain the matter in a way that makes sense, let me know and I will attempt to clarify.
I agree that there do seem to be multiple competing theories as to why the "In wrestling" section should be traded in for a conventional prose section (as indeed there are multiple theories asserted by those who see value in it, although not all of them very well based in our policies). In addition to the arguments you note above, there is also a feeling amongst some respondents here that WP:PROSE is controlling; in general, we expect content on the encyclopedia to be written in full prose that allows for contextualizing information, where possible. There are also WP:V arguments regarding removing the content, but I am not won over by those; there are many cases with regard to entertainment media where we allow the subject to be its own self-verifying source (plot summaries, for example, usually do not need to be verified by an independent source). However, there are legitimate WP:WEIGHT concerns. Personally I do not see why the WP:TRIVIA and WP:CRUFT-attraction arguments are mutually exclusive, so you'll have to further clarify for me why you do. I also think both the WP:PROSE and WP:WEIGHT arguments raise valid concerns. However, even if some of these different concerns were in conflict with one-another, they could still all point us in the same general direction (imagine you have three legislators in an assembly; one wants to lower the speed limit in municipal areas for safety reasons, another because of the wear on infrastructure, and the third because they want to curb greenhouse gases; they don't all have to have the same motivation in order to stand on the floor and advocate for a change, and the circumstances are similar here). The WP:CLOSER of this discussion (which in this case will probably have to be an admin) will have to find a way to interpret a general consensus from the disparate opinions provided here, weighing all of the opinions, trying to find common ground amongst them, and considering them in light of previous community consensus and already established policies and guidelines. In doing so, the relative numbers of editors supporting one approach or another will be considered, but they will not be strictly determinative of the outcome; the closer can reject a statistically more numerous perspective if they find there is good reason (for example, if the outcome would conflict with a policy that has even more community support), although that is a very rare outcome. The discussion could also be resolved "no consensus", which would be a very bad outcome in this case, as it would leave everybody hanging in limbo and locked in dispute over the appropriate format of these articles even as they come under general sanctions--a recipe for disruption and rapid-fire sanctions.
I hope there is more clarity in this reply than overwhelming bureaucratic project-speak. Again, if I can do anything to make matters clearer, please say as much here or on my talk page. Snow let's rap 07:37, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Thank you! I'll have a gander on the surrounding discussions as well. JackKasket (talk) 08:30, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Ehh, I'm sure you and I are not the only ones who would rather they didn't do it, but there is absolutely nothing anywhere in policy or community consensus that says it is incivil or per se disruptive to use all caps, and I wouldn't hold your breath on that ever changing, because flexibility in expression is a value that has a lot of currency in this community, for good and ill. WP:TPG does (wisely) recommend avoiding all caps as "good practice", but there's no requirement.
Personally, I've always found strong reactions to all caps to be puzzling. It is often analogized to shouting because it was often used that way stylistically in written dialogue (not so much literature as often as comic pages and such), but that doesn't mean it actually has the effect of shouting. There are reasons shouting is often considered obnoxious in many contexts; at it's loudest it can actually physically hurt your ears and even at lower volumes it has a physiological stressing effect on people. But neither of those things is true for all caps; in order for it to have an effect upon another person, it has to be mediated through a recipients psychological filter. Meaning it only causes an elevated state of arousal from with participation by the recipient; as opposed to actual shouting, which causes this response rather instinctively regardless of a strong interpretive outlook on the part of the recipient.
Anyway, returning the behavioural policies, I don't think it is fair to describe the all caps habit itself, as regards any firm community consensus, as "uncivil bordering on disruptive". Obnoxious and self-defeating seems accurate though! I would say that it's more the content of what the IP is saying that is getting closer and closer to uncivil, not the way they are saying it. Snow let's rap 03:25, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Oh, so I suppose you are going to say I was never attacked? I am not allowed to fight back & defend myself when **I** am attacked 1st? Take a look at all the insults & rude comments thrown my way **before** I ever said anything! As I’ve said before to someone else - get your facts straight!— Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:cce0:8550:d424:64a0:7b5c:a6e5 (talk) 09:11, 12 July 2018‎ (UTC)
Just because people don’t like what I say or how I say it doesn’t make it any less true….I speak the honest to God truth - always have, always will!~~ The Greatest — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:CCE0:8550:D424:64A0:7B5C:A6E5 (talk) 13:00, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Man, I'm on your side of the argument but you're being illogical, stubborn and toxic. Please. Jcw91 (talk) 03:32, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

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Where did anyone actually say anything about you as a person? Quote something. Presenting logical arguments that you happen to dislike, pointing out problems with your attitude and behavior, and pointing out problems with your arguments are not the same as actually attacking you. Users have repeatedly asked you to behave in a civil and mature manner and if the next response I see from your IP range is anything but that, I'm going on ahead and blocking. Ian.thomson (talk) 16:34, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Did I say “as a person”? No, I am being attacked by my comment & opinions! Do you really think it is acceptable to say someone’s comment/opinions are “is not a valid argument” (Galatz - 15:52, 11 July 2018), are “snarky” & “are downright rude” (JTP - 19:56, 11 July 2018) “are simply not significant” & “is not the greatest argument” (Prefall - 22:48, 11 July 2018) & therefore don’t matter? What if I find those to be rude personal attacks? Is that “acceptable” & “civil”? No, that is not! Yet I am going to be accused of it? That is laughable to me! If people aren’t going to be “civil” & respectful with me why would/should I be “civil” & respectful with them?
Am I over reacting? Perhaps but I am going to defends myself regardless of if anyone likes it or not! Don’t blame me when I did not “fire the 1st blow” so to speak - I am just firing fire with fire, that does not make me the bad guy that everyone is making me out to be just because they don’t agree with my stance! You say “Presenting logical arguments that you happen to dislike, pointing out problems with your attitude and behavior, and pointing out problems with your arguments are not the same as actually attacking you. Users have repeatedly asked you to behave in a civil and mature manner and if the next response I see from your IP range is anything but that, I'm going on ahead and blocking.” but that is not true when that is exactly what is happening! Why would I “behave in a civil and mature manner” when I am not getting the same? If you are going to block me for standing up for myself that tells me how you treat people & find it acceptable but that’s neither here nor there - I don’t tolerate being bulled yet that is exactly how I have been treated!2602:306:CCE0:8550:D424:64A0:7B5C:A6E5 (talk) 18:23, 12 July 2018 (UTC)The Greatest
Please read WP:Civility#Dealing with incivility, where it says that if you believe someone else is making uncivil comments, you should not make them in retaliation. I'm afraid your "fighting fire with fire" mentality is not the best way to go. JTP (talkcontribs) 18:38, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Personal attacks are, by definition, about you as a person. They're not simply about your chosen behavior or about how (un)reasonable your arguments are, which are what everyone has been commenting on. You do not get to behave in an uncivil manner, then use WP:NPA as a shield when anyone points out problems with your chosen behavior. You don't get to use WP:CIVIL as a weapon to force others to agree with you. Ian.thomson (talk) 19:18, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

I find it interesting that nobody who opposes this change has bothered to come up with a policy-based counter-proposal or bothered to show that it is possible to properly source an "In wrestling" section (maybe in a sandbox, for example) without any original research, using reliable sources, and not using WP:SYNTH of sources. You can't just say that it's possible, you have to prove that it is and your argument will have more weight. Nikki311 06:13, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

I don't think there's any reason to downplay the opposing side despite disagreeing with them. Plenty of people here and on WikiProject's talk page have pointed out how that would be possible. World Wrestling Entertainment has its own record label slash music department named WWE Music Group, which releases their custom-tailored themes (so majority of WWE's themes) on multiple platoforms, including Amazon, iTunes and their own verified YouTube channel. Those platforms are used as valid and reliable sources on other music-related Wikipedia pages, such as articles about artists' discography. They would for sure be good enough sources on wrestler pages as well. It's a bit more problematic on other promotions, but New Japan Pro Wrestling, for example, lists the names of their wrestlers' entrance themes on their website. When it comes to finishing moves, WWE has a huge amount of articles referring to a wrestler's finishing move, NJPW and many other promotions list those moves in the wrestler bios. Managers and nicknames are a more difficult beast to tackle, but I'd say they have no place in Wikipedia, unlike finishing moves and theme musics. Kanavarras (talk) 06:41, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
My argument is mostly about finishing and signature moves. I'll pick Brock Lesnar as an example, because he is the first person listed on WWE.com. His WWE profile [34] lists the F5 and Kimora Lock as his signature moves (not even as finishers like his Wikipedia profile did prior to the section removal [35]). And nowhere does it describe the technical move name of F5 as "fireman's carry facebuster". Same with New Japan. Kenny Omega's New Japan profile [36] lists his finishing moves as Katayoku no Tenshi, V trigger, and Croyt’s wrath...again with no technical move description. Therefore those can't be used to source the moves unless you only list the move name without the description included. If even the promotions themselves only list a handful of moves considered "finishing" or "signature", how is listing them in a bullet list any more accessible than written in prose with more context? Nikki311 07:05, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
I understand the concern with WP:SYNTH. However, that's only a problem when combining two sources could lead to a misinterpretation of why those two sources are connected. If WWE's own website lists F5 as Brock Lesnar's finishing move and the same website has a video of Brock Lesnar doing a fireman's carry facebuster named F5, it's pretty clear to all users that the two sources are referring to the same move. As stated in WP:NOTSYNTH, it is only a guideline and not a rigid policy, and in this case I wouldn't say combining the two sources is original research. Besides, you would be facing this same problem regardless of whether the moves are mentioned in prose or in a bullet list. In this case bullet list would be better than prose simply because of its easier readability and accessibility, the same way championships and accomplishments are a list instead of a wall of text. Kanavarras (talk) 07:59, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
WP:SYNTH is actually a massively important policy page that represents one of the oldest, strongest and most unviersally supported points of community consensus on this project. It is in fact as rigid as they come with regard to constraints on content on this encyclopedia. Respectfully, you can't have been on the project long if you don't know this, so I'd like to recommend to you and your visiting compatriots here not to be too bold in your policy pontifications until you have greater familiarity with said policies and how they operate in practice. I say this because I've seen a substantial number of "it's 'just' a guideline" comments already in this thread. Guidelines are actually policy and they have substantially secure operation to the circumstances they describe. They have to be vetted by the WP:PROPOSAL process, meaning they only come about if they represent substantially community consensus on the default approach for a given situation (contrast this with WP:ESSAYS which are optional opinions closer in importance to what you seem to think a WP:guideline is. While we do have an WP:Ignore all rules principle that allows us to contemplate exceptions to any policy, you will find that we don't exercise it very much or without very substantial cause, and the burden is upon the parties wishing to ignore those principles to make a compelling argument for why it should be done in that instance. In 999 out of 1,000 situations, the guideline is gonna control (and with regard to WP:SYNTH or anything that has to do with WP:ORIGINALRESEARCH, think closer to 9,999 out 10,000).
Also you actually turned WP:NOTSYNTH completely on its head when you said that it urges that WP:SYNTH can be considered as optional; the supplement says no such thing and, in fact, the opposite is the case, as WP:NOTSYNTH actually just provides extra guidance in how to apply the policy in particular situations. It augments, rahter than contradicts, the policy; this is why the first two sections of the explanatory supplement are "WP:SYNTH is not useless" and "WP:SYNTH is not unnecesary". That said, the point is moot, because, per my comments below, there is a better explanation with regard to sourcing which explains why this information could come in, if WP:V was the only issue with the "In Wrestling" section. Unfortunately, WP:V is just the beginning of the story, and there are much bigger hurdles which actually do preclude the section. Snow let's rap 08:18, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
I am not neglecting the whole WP:SYNTH guideline, I am simply questioning the validity of that argument in this context. Why would combining the two sources (the name of a wrestler's finisher on a wrestling promotion's website, and a video of the wrestler doing a move with the same name) be original research? If no such connections could ever be made, most information in Wikipedia would be classified as WP:SYNTH. Even if combining multiple sources is a problem, it shouldn't affect the whole In Wrestling section. The entrance music, for one, can be verified with just one source and definitely should be included in wrestler articles. I'd say it's comparable to articles about movies where the movie's soundtrack is simply in a list form instead of being worked into the prose or excluded completely. Kanavarras (talk) 08:52, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
Because the video doesn't say "it's a fireman's carry facebuster". --HHH Pedrigree (talk) 09:22, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
I disagree with HHH on this, because I think you are speculating about a scenario when the move is explicitly named in the video. Nevertheless, there may be issues with regard to whether or not the video is a WP:reliable source. However, I do not see why you would need the video in any event: if the other source names the move as the "finisher" and is an RS, it would suffice in itself, so there is no need to even attempt to combine the sources, whether it would involve WP:SYNTH or not. (On the other hand, if both sources are needed to reach a conclusion and one is not RS, then you have both a SYNTH and a WP:V issue). However, notice my comments below; I believe meeting WP:V is actually a relatively easy thing to accomplish for most of the content likely to appear in such lists. It still doesn't make it appropriate encyclopedic content under our other content policies (see WP:ONUS). Snow let's rap 10:10, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
As we said, it's hard to find videos where the finisher is named and includes the technical description. There is some examples, like Shawn Michaels (Sweet Chin Music Superkick) or James Storm (Last Call Superkick). But it's hard to find a video about HHH (The pedigree, double underhook facebuster). I have an example; long time ago I created the article Kahagas. I have these sources [37][38][39] where I see his finisher is named "Osaka Street Cutter". however, I can't find the technical description. It's a stunner, a jumping cutter, springboard cutter? I can find some video in YouTube, but it's gonna be my personal descrption of the move. The name is sourced, of course, but not the technical move. --HHH Pedrigree (talk) 12:42, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
Issues with "technical" nomenclature not withstanding, I actually think that the WP:V argument is by far the weakest for omitting this section. The fact of the matter is, we do have a perfectly valid source for verifying that each individual move or piece of music was utilized in a particular airing of a particular event: the recorded event itself. We routinely permit that media may be its own source for verifying its own content; indeed, in any given day we have many tens of thousands of edits across thousands of articles that do this. Plot synopses (of every form of video entertainment media in existence) never use independent sources, nor do statements describing the events in reality TV shows. And pro wrestling is just a weird amalgamation of reality tv and scripted television fiction. It's perfectly reasonable to use the shows themselves as the source in this respect, and I haven't seen any principled reason put forward to explain why we would deviate from this wholly accepted practice that is so ubiquitous that (despite having seen hundreds of disputes over what should go into a synopsis) so long as the event is a plain facially accurate interpretation of what happens on screen, I've never once seen anybody challenge any form of "in-universe" description of a show on the basis of sourcing--not once. So this is not really a WP:V issue, it's an WP:ONUS issue:
"While information must be verifiable in order to be included in an article, this does not mean that all verifiable information must be included in an article. Consensus may determine that certain information does not improve an article...The onus to achieve consensus for inclusion is on those seeking to include disputed content."
It's not that the information can't be satisfactorily verified; though there may be occasions where that happens (as with the situation you describe where particular descriptive terms are hard to verify, even if the fact that the thing they describe can be verified), mostly verification will be easy to achieve. However, WP:V is just the beginning of the analysis for whether we include a given piece of information and its the following steps where the argument for retaining the "In wrestling" section breaks down. For one, information must have an encyclopedic context, not just be a random assortment of information piled unceasingly on top of itself in unending waves of added fancruft until you have 120k compost heap of indiscriminate information. This touches upon multiple important policies, including WP:WEIGHT, WP:TRIVIA, WP:WWIN, WP:PROSE, and WP:SUMMARYSTYLE, to name just a few. I could write two paragraphs for each of those policies explaining why the "In wrestling" section presents problems of inevitable violations with regard to each. But the common nucleus of those concerns is that we are here to create an encyclopedic summary of article topics, a general narrative which could be used by the completely uninformed reader to achieve a basic understanding of the topic; NOT a complete warehouse of all minutia that can be collected with regard to said topic so that hardcore aficionados can have it all at their fingertips (and stored here as opposed to a more appropriate platform) even though it degrades the quality and consistency of our ability to achieve encyclopedic aims. Snow let's rap 08:06, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
I think the above is the biggest argument that is being forgotten here. Just because something is verifiable, doesn't make it encylopedic. Lists have their place, but have very little bounding in a WP:BLP. Most of these articles have some sort of list on them (Filmographies, discographies, etc), and the articles DO have a need for a list of accomplishments/championships. However, these should also be mentioned in prose! These are usually for information that needs to be an exhaustive list (Which entrance music and moves aren't), and are mentioned in the career sections on BLPs. Lee Vilenski (talkcontribs) 13:27, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) "we do have a perfectly valid source for verifying that each individual move or piece of music was utilized in a particular airing of a particular event: the recorded event itself." That isn't the case with professional wrestling moves. There is no official guide that describes or defines the technical moves, so I may describe a move one way and someone else may describe it another way...which is where a lot of the edit-warring on these sections actually occurs. We could use the recorded event to source the wrestlers' names for the moves (such as the name F5), but as for what he is actually doing (the technical name) when he is performing that move cannot be sourced with the event itself. Nikki311 13:37, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
That's a useful observation: thanks for that. I had been operating under the assumption that there was at least a little uniformity in how moves are labelled and/or that the announcers for the matches tend to describe said moves as they occur, as in athletic wrestling and other contact sports. If that is not the case, then my WP:V argument is weaker than I presumed and there is yet more reason to omit the section. Snow let's rap 13:50, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
There is uniformity in technical descriptions. There are articles right here on wikipedia with the information Professional_wrestling_moves with sources ranging from WWE articles, interviews, to books, to long-used glossaries from deathvalleydriver.com. It does get a little tricky with named moves, where the same technical move might have several names (e.g. the Tiger Driver) depending on who is doing it or the announcer calling it or the promotion it's being used in. Since media is a reliable source, I'm wondering how create-a-wrestler sections of video games might be fit into that. I dunno, I just wanted to chime in and point out there is uniformity in technical terms, otherwise wrestling schools and trainers would have a very hard time. Bonevoyage (talk) 19:16, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
For some of the more basic moves but certainly not all. I remember an edit war over whether a move was a "wheel kick" or a "heel kick", or as pointed out above "stunner", "jumping cutter", or "springboard cutter". Some of the moves are very similar and even different sources deemed reliable call them different things. Nikki311 13:31, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

Example of the "Keep" vote with strict WP:V verification.[edit]

  • So taking the feedback of people who vote "keep" and their approach on handling content I have worked on the Sin Cara article, an IP reverted the removal and I did not want to just wholesale remove it since it's being discussed here. So I did an analysis of sources and content. After which I have removed anything that was not found explicitly stated in a reliable source, so it went from this long list to this much shorter list. I figured that instead of a theoretical discussion we should have an actual example of how this would look. There is nothing stating that a "wrestling persona and style" section has to be included, which means that this is the sections and content based on the original style guide that's been in place for over 10 years. I just want people to know what that actually means. This is a WP:BLP and under general sanction, keep that in mind as well.  MPJ-DK  04:16, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
MPJ-DK - The "Incognito Especial" wouldn't be acceptable by WP:SYNTH. And all moves are sourced by an offline source. I am willing to promote WP:GOODFAITH on this article, but if we can literally only source wrestling moves from printed text, there is very little hope for the other thousands of articles out there.
The entrance music issue is different, as arguably, this is notable, as the wrestlers themselves have the music made for them (Original music). However, I'm not sure I would be ok with articles simply referencing iTunes store for this purpose. I think I could be convinced there is a place for any original music created for the talent - But this could once again, simply be written in prose, if the music was notable enough. Lee Vilenski (talkcontribs) 07:55, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
One of my biggest concerns with sourcing itunes or the youtube video, or anything else is it doesn't really say much about it. Randy Orton had a live version of his music done at WrestleMania one year, it was a different version than before (was it the same artist? was it not? do we have a source that proves either argument which could be questioned). Would a link to them singing the music at WrestleMania tell us anything about it? In prose however it could be discussed and a clearer picture could be painted, with proper sourcing. - Galatz גאליץשיחה Talk 13:15, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Question about templates and categories re: user essays[edit]

See here. Reason I'm posting here is that it wasn't until after I saved the page that I noticed no one had posted anything on the page except an edit request (which automatically solicited a response) in eight years, and figured a random message left on the talk page would never be noticed. Sorry if this is forum-shopping: feel free to just copy my message there over here and blank it there if so. Hijiri 88 (やや) 00:08, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

RfC on Spanish/Catalan/Basque regional identites[edit]

There is a an RfC at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Biography #RfC on use of Spanish regional identity in biography leads that may be of interest to editors here. --RexxS (talk) 00:23, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

Reference in headers[edit]

Hi folks.
Is there any policy that prohibit usage of references [1] in the headers (e.g. Header[1]) of sections and tables (columns)?
Can't find it. I searched the archives for that but to no avail. Thanks.
DAVRONOVA.A. 12:47, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

WP:CITEFOOT which contains: "Citations should not be placed within, or on the same line as, section headings." It would appear that the subsequent clause beginning "For exceptions, see ..." referred to WP:REFPUNCT which says nothing about references in headings.
Trappist the monk (talk) 13:00, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
@Trappist the monk: Thanks. DAVRONOVA.A. 13:54, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

Chains (unit of measure) RFC[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject UK Railways#Chains RFC

This is a four-way proposal for a possible variance from WP:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers on the handling of a unit, the chain, in articles on British railways in particular.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  03:42, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

Proposal to draftify UDP-tagged articles[edit]

Currently we have just 780 articles tagged with template:Undisclosed paid (UDP), a particular aspect of more general template:COI. I think mere tagging for suspected UDP editing is toothless - the potential paid editor gets the job done anyway and the article becomes indexed by search engines, hanging around indefinitely until someone cleans it. Moving all UDP-tagged articles to the non-indexed draft space and keeping them there untill they're fixed and ready to return to the mainspace could be a good solution. Also in this option, any new UDP-tagged article might be draftified by any registered user. If adopted, the proposal might entail corresponding addendums in relevant pages. Thoughts (support, oppose, comments)? Brandmeistertalk 13:40, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

  • Support I like this idea, as it would remove those problematic articles to a more appropriate space where they can be dealt with properly, subject to the AfC criteria. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 19:27, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Support This would reduce the automatic "BOGO" that many paid editors count on. John from Idegon (talk) 19:36, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Although it would be interesting to know if the relevant templates could also apply noindex as an alternative. —PaleoNeonate – 19:51, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
    • Mainspace pages aren't noindexable. —Cryptic 01:14, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
      • Unless someone changed something again when I wasn't looking, Cryptic, new pages are default NOINDEX, until passed by NPP or 90 days old. Oh, wait....I read that wrong. So, yeah. I like the idea of the UDP template adding the NOINDEX back in addition to draftified. Anything that pushes UPE editors into outing themselves is a good thing in my book. John from Idegon (talk) 02:02, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
        • My point is that either this requires a software change, or that all paid pages are found and fully dealt with before the 90-day cutoff before indexability stops being configurable. Neither of those are realistic in the least. —Cryptic 03:17, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
          • I don't understand the software, nor do I care to. So I'll take your word for it. However, that does not affect the original proposal, ya? John from Idegon (talk) 03:36, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Are supposed to go through AfC anyway. One thing to consider is the "undisclosed paid articles" that make it through AfC, should we deal with these differently? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:41, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
    • My understanding is that those that have passed AfC do not require cleanup requested in the UDP template, at least in the reviewed AfC version. If UDP is still suspected, they could be sent back to drafts. Brandmeistertalk 21:10, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
      • IMO, and I'm not alone, AfC is kinda like economics. We all know ideally that's how it should work, but in actuality, it doesn't always. John from Idegon (talk) 02:07, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Support This sounds like a good idea, as the authorship violates the site's terms of service. However, would not the lag between creation and detection allow for search engine indexing in some % of cases? Also, could someone point me at a description (or put it here if brief) of how one determines that the content has been paid for, particularly if undisclosed? Thanks. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:32, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Conditional Support - I'd like a second pair of eyes on each of the articles before they are moved to draftspace. I'm leery about doing this automatically where it allows any editor to unilaterally move any page to draft. Tazerdadog (talk) 01:42, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • While I support the general idea, I'm not sure moving pages into draftspace where they will disappear from the eyes of other editors is the best way. Natureium (talk) 01:47, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose as written. We should not automatically userfy pages just because someone slapped a template:Undisclosed paid on it. Really, if no one is planning on improving these articles, sending them to draft space is just a delayed WP:CSD G13 death sentence. If we want to delete these articles, we should use the existing CSD or AFD processes, and only send them to draft space if there is a editor without a COI issue who plans to improve the article in the 6 month window. If they haven't already been nominated for deletion under existing policy, and instead are stuck with the Undisclosed paid tag, its because they still add value to the encyclopedia, not withstanding the issue with their primary contributor. Monty845 04:39, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I'd prefer a sticky PROD that couldn't be removed by the creator. TonyBallioni (talk) 04:46, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • #1 choice sticky PROD. This deals with the article quickly and keeps it visible for those who may be interested in fixing it. The stickiness should require the remover to place {{oldprodfull}} with con= and conreason= filled out ie disallow 'I just don't like prod's prod removal'. Personally I would like to see that requirement for all PRODs but I know a loosing battle when I see one :) #2 choice support proposal for moving them to draft but it seems to be the less accountable and reviewable of the two. Regardless, if this is to become a regular thing, a tracking category should be added when either is done to facilitate review. Jbh Talk 11:07, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As it's currently set up, the draft namespace is only for short-term collaboration on future articles, so unless there are editors who have expressly volunteered to work on an article, and there's agreement that this article is not ready for mainspace, then it shouldn't be draftified. In practical terms, sending an article to draft will be useless if the COI editor is still around, as they're likely to be motivated enough to move it back; and if there are no editors (with a COI or without) watching it, then the move is most likely to result in the silent "expiry" of the draft after six months – this is deletion by the backdoor and should not be encouraged. Additionally, the fact that a given article has been edited by someone suspected of UDP is not a single problem that has a single solution, it's simply an indication of a more basic problem. Fundamentally, this might be an issue of either notability – in which case deletion via the proper channels is the way to proceed, or of neutrality and sourcing – in which case it's better to rewrite the article or simply to remove any suspicious parts, even if this means paring it down to a one-sentence stub. – Uanfala (talk) 13:47, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Support if not fully automatic, per concern raised by Tazerdadog and Monty845. It needs human review, because not every tagging will have been valid, and some valid ones will already have been resolved without removing the tag.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:00, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Conditional support - I'm with SMcCandlish here, although I'd prefer mass draftify over leaving them alone. DaßWölf 00:19, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Regulars to the Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard or NPP would observe that this is already starting to become practice when dealing with promotional articles. I prefer sticky prod over draftifying -- spammers sometimes continue to work on the draft and move it into mainspace (either with the original account, socks, meatpuppets or a different spamming company altogether). Paid-for spam in many cases can't be fixed, because the subject may be non-notable and the article's very existence is promotional. Sticky prod satisfies the desire above to have review of any pages affected by this proposal. MER-C 12:15, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Incident thread RE: Usage of AWB (continued)[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This is following on from the above linked incident thread, in which I was informed that I had incorrectly used AWB when I updated "U.S." to "US" in usages of {{Episode table}} following a discussion at the WikiProject Television (Special:PermaLink/848355963#MOS:US); specific details available at the incident thread.

The result was that I would have my AWB permission removed, but now that I have successfully reapplied for it (Special:PermaLink/850161648#User:AlexTheWhovian), I wanted to post here to basically ask permission to revert my edits using AWB (i.e. change "US" back to "U.S." in usages of {{Episode table}}), to restore the pages to how they were previously before my AWB edits, as suggested in both the initial incident thread and the PERM thread. Thought that it might be best to ask here first instead of going straight for it, lest there be another incident thread raised.

@Amaury, AussieLegend, Davey2010, Esuka323, HandThatFeeds, IJBall, Iridescent, JJMC89, John, Netoholic, Nyttend, Only in death, Power~enwiki, Primefac, Pyxis Solitary, Schwede66, SMcCandlish, Snow Rise, Swarm, and The Optimistic One: Pinging every editor that contributed to the initial incident thread and the PERM thread. Cheers. -- AlexTW 02:55, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

You know, I think it's best to not use AWB to "undo" this – let's just let individual editors take care of this on their own... --IJBall (contribstalk) 03:10, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
One of the concerns with the original run was whether due care could ever be given to keeping the articles consistent in their usage of US/U.S. and other dotted/undotted acronyms both inside and outside the Episode table. This is something which is very hard to guarantee on any sort of semi-automated run. That concern is present both in the original run and in any run to restore the old usage. Like IJBall, I think this is something that is best done manually. -- Netoholic @ 03:42, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Okay, all good. So, there's no issue with keeping US, and we should leave the initial case that raised the issue. Thanks for that, I'll need to remember that for the eventual RFC I was planning. I only raise this based on the previous suggestions of other editors, including administrators, that it should be reverted thusly. Cheers. -- AlexTW 03:59, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
"there's no issue with keeping US" - no.... I didn't say that. I said it should be fixed manually, which involves checking the article for consistent use. As in, you should fix it, but don't use AWB. That you so radically misunderstand (or just hear what you want to hear) is the root cause of this whole thing. I can see no good from you regaining access to these tools when the effects of misunderstanding can be so profound. You want to fix this, open your contribs list, and start fixing. Frankly, I wouldn't have given you back the tool until you'd completed this, as a minimum. -- Netoholic @ 07:14, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Unless I have an admin state that I have to manually check 2,000+ articles, that won't be going on. What you would or would not have done really has no standing here, as you are not the one who reviewed the application, nor are you the admin who stated in the incident discussion that I could/should reapply. Cheers. -- AlexTW 10:19, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
"Okay, all good. So, there's no issue with keeping US, and we should leave the initial case that raised the issue." Don't jump to conclusions based on the responses from TWO editors.
I don't accept that the massive edit should stay as-is until an individual editor changes US back to U.S. on an individual article — because 99.5% of editors who work on TV articles probably don't know that MOS has not been changed, don't know what was behind the edit and that it was not based on a legitimate decision.
I don't care how you play with your toy as long as how you use it wiki-wide is based on a substantial consensus of editors.
My suggestion for undoing what you did: why don't you create a talk page message similar to those of bot messages, use AWB to post it on the articles you affected, and through it inform editors of those articles that the US can be changed back to U.S. on American and Canadian articles. In whichever manner the rollback is accomplished ... it should be done. Pyxis Solitary 06:53, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Your personal suggestion has been noted and may be looked into. I'll wait for some administration comments as well (as I can't jump to conclusions based on the responses from four editors), as it was an administrator who recommended I use AWB to revert the edits. Cheers. -- AlexTW 10:19, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I strongly suggest that you listen to whatever consensus this thread comes up with regardless of the advanced permission status of those commenting. The dismissive attitude you are expressing towards your fellow editors in this thread is extremely inappropriate and is, in my experience and opinion, one of the behaviors which signals an editor heading for a long IDHT block. I believe that would be a loss to the project should that come to pass.
On the issue raised here my suggestion would be for you to start checking the articles you changed for internal consistency - that means doing it manually unless/until you can get consensus for an AWB run not doing nothing while lobbying for an AWB run. You made the mess so it is your responsibility to work to clean it up. Jbh Talk 11:29, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Cheers. I'm sure that I'll get around to cleaning it up. -- AlexTW 13:51, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

I wasn't fully aware of the U.S. to US changes until I saw people reverting the edits made by Alex and linking to the admin board discussion in their edit summaries as their justification. I had little choice but to read the entire discussion as I wasn't sure if their reversions were justified or not and I just wanted to make sure. But if you want to change back to U.S. go for it, I don't mind either way. Esuka323 (talk) 11:15, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

  • @AlexTheWhovian: I appreciate your caution, but part of the reason your AWB access has been reinstated was so that you can revert the mass changes you initially performed. The issue was not that you used AWB incorrectly, but that you made a mass style change to a huge number of articles without a formal community discussion. The local consensus on the talk page was not sufficient to override an MOS guideline to the contrary. That's a fairly minor "offense" that was blown out of proportion, IMO, and it's even possible that the community might end up supporting the change. But your AWB was correctly revoked, and you are still expected to revert the changes. You should now understand why AWB is a privilege, and how it can become controversial even with seemingly minor improvements. You do not need to ask permission to use AWB in accordance with the rules, and reverting a controversial change you made is not something you need to ask permission for. What you need to ask permission for is the change itself, via RfC or on a community noticeboard and listed at WP:CD. Swarm 12:07, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
So, if I've got this right... I should have filed an RFC for the initial change, but in my oversight I didn't, and now in an attempt to rectify my apparent transgressions, I need to leave the mistake on a great number of articles for weeks while I file and wait for an RFC to gain permission to undo my mistake? I would have thought Wikipedia would be all against faulty articles. But, anyways, thank you for clearing it up; it does actually help. -- AlexTW 13:51, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
No, it seems you've misread. You don't need permission to undo your mistake. This thread is unnecessary; you're already expected to just do it without further ado. You need permission for the original change you tried to make. Swarm 16:12, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I agree with both IJBall and Netoholic, up top; if editors have a strong argument to make in favor of "U.S." at a particular article, they can make it; the accuracy and presentability of the article isn't affected for readers either way, and in probably 99% of cases it's going to be a WP:DGAF matter. I would add three additional reasons:
    1) The current and immediately previous MOS:US (which one to use is still under discussion in an RfC) both actually favor "US" as a default, either implicitly or explicitly. Even the decade-old wording led to "US" dominating in the long run at WP because of the rule to not use "U.S." then "UK" in the same material. Ergo, a mass-revert to "U.S." would have a WP:POINTy effect if not intent, and would be a WP:NOT#BUREAUCRACY failure. We don't do an unhelpful thing "just because", only to have it slowly be undone again later. That segues into ...
    2) Two wrongs don't make a right. If it was disruptive to mass-change articles to one spelling, it would be disruptive to mass-change them back to the other. We have a whole MOS:STYLEVAR about this, and it's also covered in more general terms at WP:MEATBOT. Mass "twiddles" of this sort are disruptive primarily because they trigger thousands of editors' watchlists for near-pointless trivia that virtually on one cares about and which doesn't noticeably improve the encyclopedia one way or the other for readers.
    3) This mass case in particular is about tabular data, which is a circumstance in which concision is valued. Given the overall meaning and intent of MOS:ABBR, the fact that a "U.S." exception is sometimes permissible cannot be interpreted as if a requirement to use the longer version for subjective reason; here we have an affirmative objective one to prefer the short style.
     — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  16:57, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
AlexTheWhovian, I agree with SMcCandlish on this. A second AWB run would make sense to undo actual damage to an article, and would (IMHO) be uncontroversial and expected. But in this case, the edit was trivial, and a second run would be more disruptive than useful. If this discussion results in consensus for a mass-revert, then cool beans, but it doesn't look that way right now. I also don't think anyone can honestly expect an editor to manually fix several thousand changes either. Perhaps the best course of action would be to let these edits be dealt with organically by the individual editors watching the articles, with a message on your talk page (per Pyxis Solitary) to let editors know it's okay to revert your changes. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 17:08, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
That sounds entirely reasonable. Though the message should probably point to this thread and the larger discussion about why not to revert them with AWB. >;-)  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:22, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • It may be helpful to disassociate this discussion from the current US vs U.S. debate (above)... the issue is how best to correct a disruptive automated mass edit. Imagine that Alex had run a script to mass capitalize the word “farm” where ever that word appeared... and now realized that this was an error... What would we tell him to do? Blueboar (talk) 17:35, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Couldn't he run a script that goes through his contributions, hits "undo" on AWB edits from the period in question, saves the edits that can be undone, and logs the ones that can't? This should avoid false positives, and if he's determined to decapitalise "farm" correctly, it should reduce the manual workload significantly. Nyttend (talk) 22:34, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Invitation of newly graduated PhDs to edit articles in their domain[edit]

Dear all

In order to improve the contents of the wiki articles and expand the coverage of relevant topics, I'd like to propose tracking and invitation of newly graduated PhDs and specialists to edit articles in their relevant domains. It would be wonderful if new specialists got invitations with a list of Wikipedia topics they might be interested in editing

Regards, TZ — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tany Zyu (talkcontribs) 17:42, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

A nice idea, but per WP:EXPERT not a great idea. I also find it unlikely that recent recipients of PHDs are setting as their first task a place to work that offers no pay and no benefits. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:01, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
We'd be asking them to walk into an editing situation entirely alien to them - they are trained to do original research and synthesis. Which of course is just endorsing what Beeblebrox has linked to. Doug Weller talk 18:42, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
To be fair, Wikipedia offers the same benefits as most post-doc and sessional instructor positions. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 05:55, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
I've been involved in quite a bit of outreach over the years, and one of the most basic lessons that I have learned is that our target for new editors is intelligent altruists with spare time on their hands and an interest in Wikipedia. New PhDs certainly meet one of those criteria...... ϢereSpielChequers 22:15, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Indeed. And we do very well out of not-yet-graduated doctoral students looking for a distraction or excuse not to get on with their thesis. WP:EXPERT certainly does not mean we discourage expertise - a wierd idea. Johnbod (talk) 22:24, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
WereSpielChequers, the altruistic part? --Izno (talk) 23:28, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't know if PhDs are more or less altruistic than society in general. Does anyone have data on that? ϢereSpielChequers 05:37, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
Without repeating what our many essays on expert engagement already say (which I agree with to varying extents), and having worked on this a bit, including Wikipedia:Wikipedia Fellows (although I'm only commenting as a volunteer in this thread), the impression I have is that the ease with which we can get new PhDs to contribute (or academics in general, but especially early career academics) varies significantly by field. That's not to say academics in some fields are more capable of editing, have an easier time adapting to the Wiki Way, or are more interested to edit, but that the activity of contributing to Wikipedia can more easily be considered relevant to one's academic career in some fields rather than others. If you're encouraged to do so professionally, you're more motivated to put in the effort to learn the policies and guidelines and persist when ol' Randy comes by. One good example is sociology, and in particular the emphasis on public sociology. Contributing to Wikipedia is easy to justify as doing public sociology, and the American Sociological Association was among the first participants in the Wikipedia Fellows program. It fits in well with any department that sees as a priority dissemination of knowledge to the general public and/or engaging in collaborative communication of the discipline beyond traditional publishing. Doing public sociology on Wikipedia means engaging with the discipline in a novel way -- that's something people get excited about, and something that makes for an easy conference proposal. There's a similar way in to many humanities and social science fields, but it's a harder sell with others. Generally speaking, academics/professionals in fields like chemistry, electrical engineering, mathematics, physics, business administration, biology, etc. are simply expected to have other priorities. Yes, there are aspects of these (science communication, for example), but it's more often a niche/specialty. $0.02 — Rhododendrites talk \\ 03:02, 16 July 2018 (UTC)