Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard

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This page is for reporting issues regarding biographies of living persons. Generally this means cases where editors are repeatedly adding defamatory or libelous material to articles about living people over an extended period.
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Nicholas Schorsch[edit]

Nicholas Schorsch (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

The wikipedia article seems to include everything up to June 2014, when in October 29, 2014, his company American Realty Capital, reported accounting errors that had been previously covered up in q2 2014 10-q. His company has since fractured, he has been rumored to be investigated by the FBI, the SEC and the State of Massachusetts for everything regarding the accounting scandal to allegations concerning proxy voter manipulation. He had a lot of his other non work related positions tarnished, and has had to close down his business. This article only shows the Nick Schorsch everyone in the industry knew of before the bombshells dropped. Its a less extreme example of only writing a wikipedia article on Bernie Madoff that only goes up to June 2008.

Stephanie Seneff[edit]

Stephanie Seneff (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) There has been some back-and-forth editing to remove, and then restore, lots of negative content about Seneff's research sourced in large part to blogs. See for example this edit in which some of this content previously removed on NPOV and BLPSPS grounds [1] was restored because the sources that content was cited to were "appropriate...for a a fringe BLP in line with BLP policy." I would like to know what other editors think about whether or not this content violates any BLP related guidelines. Everymorning (talk) 17:07, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

In this edit to the section dedicated to her work, from an interview in Alternet about her research on glyphosate and her conclusions regarding autism and gluten sensitivity, the summary "some scientists say she's a quack" is a problem. This is the epitome of cherry picking, and for a BLP, it is offensive to me that this would be the choice quotation. If for some reason there is justification to use the Alternet piece, and if for some reason the only salient bit is what others think of this scientist, may I recommend you instead use the quotation that describes her as "very controversial"? I would also note that although you've changed the heading from "criticsm", the content of the section clearly focusses only on criticsm, giving ample space to these details and literally none to describing her work, making the new section heading misleading by falsely indicating that this is no longer an attack page, but an encyclopedic article. petrarchan47คุ 14:39, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Describing her "work" -- i.e., the part where she pretends to be a biologist -- would mislead our readers. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 14:43, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Referring to her work as "pretending" makes clear that you have strong feelings against this person, and for this reason I would recommend you allow more neutral editors to decide how she is described. You truly believe that to call her a quack, rather than controversial, as you indicate in this edit, solves some problem of "misleading the reader"? I'm going to revert to the more neutral version, and hope other editors keep an eye on the POV pushing at this BLP. petrarchan47คุ 14:55, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Bernie Sanders[edit]

There is an open RfC at Talk:Bernie Sanders#Request for comments -- religion in infobox which proposes to call Bernie Sanders Jewish. This is supposed to be done only for religious Jews, and only if they publicly identify as such. Sanders does not. Consequently, only one outcome would not be a clear BLP violation and the RfC needs to be closed. --Sammy1339 (talk) 04:17, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

you do realize that his press kit states "religion: Jewish?" Sir Joseph (talk) 04:19, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I realize that when explicitly asked about his religion two weeks ago he said some vague humanistic things followed by "This is not Judaism."[2] --Sammy1339 (talk) 04:32, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Please be aware of the consensus established at Template talk:Infobox#RfC: Religion in infoboxes and note that "Jewish" is explicitly listed as a special case. Many commenters in the RfC do not seem to be aware of the standards. --Sammy1339 (talk) 04:52, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

I will comment briefly about this controversy, which I am keeping at arm's length these days. Sammy, if you have not read this article in the Washington Post, please do, because it is a very in-depth report about this stuff. Additionally, I will only say that it is extremely perplexing why so many Wikipedia editors are glad to parenthetically mention denomination in infoboxes, and to mention conversion dates parenthetically, and to mention previous religions parenthetically, but when it comes time to say "Jewish (inactive)" or "Jewish (secular)" or "Jewish (non-observant)" then that is some great offense in their estimation. I have already made clear that I support such a parenthetical in this instance. If such a parenthetical is not included, then saying "Religion: Jewish" in the infobox would be highly misleading and contrary to the subject's own caveats --- and thus an obvious BLP violation.Anythingyouwant (talk) 04:57, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I just read it. It does not identify Sanders as of the Jewish religion, quotes him demurring on the subject, and quotes his brother as saying he is not of the Jewish religion. Note there is confusion between Jewish ethnicity an Jewish religion. The RfC result said "Jew/Jewish" is a special case. The word has several meanings, so the source cited needs to specify the Jewish religion, as opposed to someone who lives in Israel or has a Jewish mother. This is not one we should leave to democracy. The discussion should be closed. --Sammy1339 (talk) 05:24, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
And @Anythingyouwant: it is not a "great offense", but forgive me for thinking we should not be misstating a major US Presidential candidate's religion. --Sammy1339 (talk) 05:29, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
You're absolutely right that we should not misstate it. If you haven't studied WP:Primary yet, it may be worth a look, since the press kit is a primary source.Anythingyouwant (talk) 05:35, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Sammy1339, please be aware that (a) the RfC at Template talk:Infobox to which you link explicitly says The determination if something is a religion or a non-religion should be based on reliable sources and not on the personal opinions of Wikipedia editors, per WP:No original research. (b) in his his press kit, Sanders describes himself as "Religion: Jewish" (c) the Washington Post article to which you link says "Sanders would be our first Jewish president." (d) yet absurdly, you try to argue that "Sanders does not identify publicly as Jewish." What the hell are you smoking? — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 05:14, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

@Malik Shabazz: You are misreading that RfC result. It is about whether Judaism is a religion, and "Jewish" is explicitly mentioned as a special case. The guideline for whether someone can be categorized in a religion is WP:BLPCAT: Categories regarding religious beliefs (or lack of such) or sexual orientation should not be used unless the subject has publicly self-identified with the belief or orientation in question, and the subject's beliefs or sexual orientation are relevant to their public life or notability, according to reliable published sources. --Sammy1339 (talk) 05:18, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
The statement that "Sanders would be our first Jewish president" is equivocal as to the sense of "Jewish" (culturally vs. ethnically vs. religiously). The press kit is a primary source and therefore of questionable utility by itself (we don't even treat a secondary source in isolation from other relevant sources).Anythingyouwant (talk) 05:21, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Not sure if he clarified this tonight or, for our purposes, made it more confusing, but he seems to be differentiating between practicing a formal religion, and practicing spirituality:
[Sanders] delivered some of his most candid remarks on religion and spirituality at the CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall on Wednesday evening, saying that his "very strong" Jewish faith underpinned his belief in social justice...It's a guiding principle in my life, absolutely, it is. Everybody practices religion in a different way. To me, I would not be here tonight, I would not be running for president of the United States if I did not have very strong religious and spiritual feelings...So my spirituality is that we are all in this together and that when children go hungry, when veterans sleep out on the street, it impacts me. That's my very strong spiritual feelings."[3]
Will that fit in an infobox? petrarchan47คุ 05:35, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Petrarchan, that source also says: "By winning even a single delegate in Iowa, Sanders, a secular Jew of Polish ancestry, has now won more delegates than any non-Christian presidential candidate in history." The word "secular" would fit nicely in parentheses, in the infobox.Anythingyouwant (talk) 05:38, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Petrarchan47 Watch the video. The secondary source editorializes it as "his Jewish faith" but he never says anything of the kind, referring instead to "my spirituality" with no mention of Judaism or God. --Sammy1339 (talk) 05:43, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Interesting. You're right Sammy, I watched the video. The question mentioned Judaism, but the answer didn't. Oy.Anythingyouwant (talk) 05:50, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
@Malik Shabazz: what do you have to say to Sanders' explicit statement that what he believes "is not Judaism"? Do you propose to ignore RSes that don't conform to your opinion? Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 06:10, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Are we really treating passing comments made on the Jimmy Kimmel Show and taken out of context as reliable for the purposes of WP:BLP now? -- Kendrick7talk 07:30, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Are you challenging the reliability of the source (The Washington Post)? Nobody's suggesting calling him "agnostic"—we're suggesting leaving the parameter blank because the answer is obviously not black-and-white. Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 07:38, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
  • We do need to fix this issue of people who are culturally Jewish but are not religious. Guy (Help!) 15:38, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
"The closer is there to judge the consensus of the community, after discarding irrelevant arguments: those that flatly contradict established policy, those based on personal opinion only, those that are logically fallacious, those that show no understanding of the matter of issue."
As far as I can tell, all but a couple of the support !votes are based on the affirming the consequent fallacy:
  1. If Bernie Sanders is a member of the Jewish religion (Judaism), then Bernie Sanders is Jewish.
  2. Bernie Sanders is Jewish.
  3. Therefore, Bernie Sanders is a member of the Jewish religion (Judaism).
The fallacy consists of assuming that being a member of the Jewish religion (Judaism) is the only way to be Jewish. Other ways of being Jewish include but are not limited to::
  • Members of an ethnoreligious group originating from the Israelites, or Hebrews, of the Ancient Near East. See Jews.
  • Through matrilineal descent as defined by Halakha. See Who is a Jew?#Jewish by birth.
  • Descendants from a population bottleneck of 350 individuals who lived about 600-800 years ago. See Genetic studies of Jewish origins and Medical genetics of Jews.
  • Those who have the right to live in Israel and to gain Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return.
  • Various definitions used by racist groups for the purpose of targeting Jews for persecution or discrimination. While these definitions are generally considered invalid, they are vaid for the specific purpose of prosecuting members of such groups for Hate Crimes.
  • Those who either share, or are only one step removed from, a pattern of values for 6 Y-STR markers, named the Cohen Modal Haplotype and thus are claimed to be/may be descended from Aaron, brother of Moses, in the direct lineage from Levi according to the tradition codified in the Tanakh. See Y-chromosomal Aaron.
After discarding the support !votes that are logically fallacious, pretty much all that is left are arguments that a press packet is a reliable secondary source and several outright refusals to even read WP:WEIGHT. --Guy Macon (talk) 15:44, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
  • I still don't get your point, Bernie Sanders is Jewish because his mother is Jewish, does that make things clearer for you in any way? He also identifies as jewish, as per BLPCAT. Sir Joseph (talk) 15:54, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Here is an example of Sir Joseph engaging in the exact logical fallacy I list above: "If someone is Jewish, their religion is Jewish"[4] In my opinion, this is a clear BLP violation. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:01, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
  • What are you talking about? If someone is Jewish, their religion is Jewish. If someone is Muslim, their religion is Islam. If someone is Christian,their religion is Christianity. See how it works? You can try to be pedantic, semantic, academic, and all the other ics in the world, but when someone says, "I am Jewish" they mean to say, "The religion I wish Guy Macon to associate me with is the Jewish religion on Wikipedia, for my religion is Judaism/Jewish and I am a Jew." Sir Joseph (talk) 18:16, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Ever heard of ethnicity? Nomoskedasticity (talk) 18:39, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
That is irrelevant considering that Sanders is Jewish, for what all consider Jewish to mean. All the other points are red herrings for the topic of Sanders' infobox. Sir Joseph (talk) 18:52, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
The problem is that isnt necessarily true. A person can both identify as ethnically Jewish, as in I am a Jew, and not a follower of Judaism, as in I am an atheist. And absent the Washington Post specifying Jewish by ethnicity or by religion I dont think that source quite cuts it for saying his religion is Jewish. But I think the people arguing the press packet isnt "a reliable secondary source" are missing a more important point. I was under the impression that we go by self-identification in such matters, if a person says their religion is "Jewish", or "Christian", or "Rastafarian" then we say the same. The press packet on his Senate page is I think a straight-forward self-identification of religion as Jewish. nableezy - 18:45, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

The Bernie Sanders BLP now establishes clearly that Sanders is a "secular Jew". He's also now in Category:Secular Jews. I suggest that people take a look at who else is listed in that category, and see what their infoboxes say. Just for perspective.Anythingyouwant (talk) 18:59, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Three relevant wikilinks:

  1. List of Jewish atheists and agnostics
  2. Category:Jewish atheists
  3. Jewish atheism

If people can be classified as Jewish atheists, then Bernie Sanders can be classified as "Jewish" without having a clear fill-in-the-blank answer for "Religion" in his infobox. Infoboxes are places exclusively reserved for clear, fill-in-the-blank facts. Mr. Sanders' religious identify is not such a fact. -- DanielKlotz (talk · contribs) 21:28, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Who said he's an atheist? He identifies as Jewish and for infoboxes and BLPFACT that is all that is needed. Sir Joseph (talk) 21:39, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
He says he believes in God. Sir Joseph (talk) 21:44, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I see where I did not make my meaning clear enough. I am not saying that Bernie Sanders is an atheist. Instead, I am establishing the broader point that precedent on Wikipedia seems to be that a person can be "Jewish" while not at all identifying with the religion Judaism. If Woody Allen can be both Jewish and an atheist, then it's certainly true that Bernie Sanders can be both Jewish and not have a clear fill-in-the-blank for "Religion" in his infobox. -- DanielKlotz (talk · contribs) 21:45, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Joseph and others insist that if a religion can be established—in the broadest meaning of the word—then the infobox field should be filled in. Objections are varied, my own being that that both misleads the reader and, in the particualr case of Sanders, is a violation of WP:WEIGHT by highlighting an aspect of his life that he has downplayed and apparently plays a small role in his life. Joseph et al seem to believe that Infobox fields fall outside the scope of the WP:WEIGHT policy. Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 22:26, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Just for the fun of it, someone should actually read the first sentence of the ethnoreligious article, it clearly states that those members of an ethnoreligious group share a common religion. "An ethnoreligious group (or ethno-religious group) is an ethnic group whose members are also unified by a common religious background." Sir Joseph (talk) 23:26, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
    • If the dispute were over whether Sanders were Jewish or not. Which it's not. Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 00:06, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
      • Guy Macon seems to think it is. Sir Joseph (talk) 02:44, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
        • Really? @Guy Macon: Do you believe Bernie Sanders is not a Jew? Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 03:15, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
          • Of course not. I have told Sir Joseph this multiple times, but he insists on stuffing words in my mouth. Any time that you read a comment by Sir Joseph that claims that Guy Macon holds a particular position or made a particular statement, just assume that it is a bald-faced lie and ignore it. --Guy Macon (talk) 06:56, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
            • No one is arguing that Sanders is not Jewish. Everyone agrees that he is of Jewish descent, that both his parents were Jews, that he went to Hebrew school, had a bar mitzvah, spent some time volunteering at an Israeli kibbutz, that he frequently invokes Hitler and the Holocaust as inspirations for his social activism, and so on. He is indisputably ethnically and culturally Jewish. The issue is whether he is religiously Jewish. The counterargument is that he says he is not involved in "organized religion", that he calls himself a "secular Jew", that he has praised Pope Francis and said that some of the things he likes about the pope are not Jewish. Those are all points worthy of discussion. In response, I point out that in matters of religion and sexual preference, we insist on overt self-identification. Sanders self identifies in his press packet as "Religion: Jewish" and that is powerful. Attempts to dismiss this as an unacceptable use of a primary source are weak, since this is a perfect example of a case where a primary source is acceptable or even preferred, especially when it is confirmed by an abundance of secondary sources, and contested by none. Sanders says he believes in God although he has his own definition of the deity which is in no way incompatible with the range of Jewish religious thought. That puts to bed all theories that he is an agnostic or atheist. Yes, many sources discuss various aspects of his Jewish identity with varying degrees of skepticism, but not a single solitary reliable source says that he is not a member of the Jewish religion. Some editors have argued, forcefully and repeatedly, that he cannot be a member of the Jewish religion because he is not an active partipant in organized religion, which in Judaism, is the world of ritual observance, denominations, and synagogues. This ignores the fact that modern Judaism is not a hierarchical religion like Roman Catholicism, that it has no mandatory creed and does not excommunicate people for failing to carry out old rituals, go to a synagogue or immerse themselves in denominational disputes. The term "secular Jew" cannot be construed as a complete rejection of a Jewish religious identity, since another interpretation that religion is private and public policy discussion should be framed in secular terms is just as reasonable. Those who interpret his praise of the stances that Pope Francis has taken on social justice, economic inequality and human caused climate change as a rejection of a Jewish religious identity are seriously mistaken. He is not endorsing the divinity of Jesus or the virgin birth. Finding new ideas and common cause on sociopolitical issues with leaders of other religions is by no means a rejection of the Jewish religion, but rather a long and well established part of that religious tradition. In conclusion, I do not see any doubt that Sanders is a member of the Jewish religion. Given that he is one of 535 members of the US Congress, and as far as I know, every other such biography includes religious identity in the infobox, I believe that it is a mistake to exclude this information from the Sanders biography infobox. It is wrong and unencyclopedic, in my view, and the potential for negative press attention pointing out perceived unfair treatment of Sanders on Wikipedia is very great. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 08:32, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
              • Give that man a standing ovation! Someone gets it. Guy Macon, I suggest you read what he says. We really need to put this to bed because it doesn't pass the smell test to me. What is good for 534 other members of the US Congress is good for Bernie Sanders the Jewish Senator from Vermont. Sir Joseph (talk) 16:17, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
                • The same issue I identify below about the press kit likely applies to the Congressional website (as well as Sanders' own pages) - they beg the question of "self-identification" since the information was more than likely filled out by aides of Sanders' or his PR agents to appeal to voters and put him in the best possible light without lying. There is clearly a means to say "Sanders is Jewish", but for WP, and specifically the "religion" field of the infobox, this is not a precise enough statement to work from knowing that it is not necessary self-identification and that Sanders has say, from his own mouth, a more nuanced take that "Religion: Jewish" in the infobox does not adequately capture. --MASEM (t) 16:26, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
                  • That's just plain stupid. Taking information from someone's personal government website, is selfidentification. Why do you feel the need to WP:OR as to why he would put Religion:Jewish? He said he's Jewish, that should be all that is necessary. Do you go to the religious communities in the middle of the US and verify that the Christian elected officials are thoroughly Christian enough or are they just pandering to their constituents? Sir Joseph (talk) 16:45, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
                    • It's not an OR issue. As stated below, if the only place where Sanders' religion was on his Congressional website, then that's good enough for BLP. But it's not. Editors have shown interviews/comments directly from Sanders that shows that he self-identifies his religion in a different way than what simply "Religion: Jewish" would imply. It's a contradiction, and thus it makes sense to avoid the issue in the infobox and explain in prose: "Sander's Congressional website and his campaign press kit identify him as having Jewish faith, but Sanders has explained in interviews that...". Which all can be sources (avoids OR), provides the two different stances (avoids NPOV), and makes sure we're getting the exact wording from the person of interest directly (avoids BLP). --MASEM (t) 16:59, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Nothing in that quote or interview takes away the BLP or selfidentify that Sanders is Jewish, his interview is just how Sanders practices his Jewish faith. In addition, why don't we do the same for the more than 20+ Congresscritters in middle America catering to the religious right who are obviously lying about their religion, so we should not put their religion in their infobox. Sir Joseph (talk) 17:03, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

  • The key difference here is that the word "Jewish" has many possible meanings, and of importance here, one that relates to faith, and one that relates to ethnicity. In contrast, for Catholics or Christians, that's strictly a meaning of faith so there's no nuances there. Further, your counter-example is absolutely wrong to take in BLP: we cannot judge if people are lying if they make self-identifyng statements claiming one thing and there's no published counter-statements to challenge that. If a Congressman has self-stated they are Catholic, but "everyone" knows, in an undocumented manner, they never go to church or practice that faith, BLP still requires us to say they are Catholic. Here, no one is saying that Sanders is lying, or that his PR is lying, just that there is conflict between what he has said personally, what his PR team has published, and the nuances of the word "Jewish" that we should avoid over-simplification of the issue in the infobox. --MASEM (t) 18:29, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

We have a problem here[edit]

Consider the following series of diffs:[5][6][7][8][9]

The first problem is that we have an editor who thinks that "saying 'he is Jewish' has exactly the same meaning as saying 'his religion is Judaism,' and likewise saying 'his religion is Judaism' has exactly the same meaning as saying 'he is Jewish.'"

The second problem is that several other editors agree with the above, they all are heavily involved in editing various pages about Jews and Judaism, and they have all gathered at Talk:Bernie Sanders#Request for comments -- religion in infobox. It doesn't look like sockpuppetry, and meatpuppetry seems unlikely, but it is really odd that multiple editors would {A] come up with that oddly specific opinion and [B] strongly resist even looking at any source that disagrees. I suspect that they all got the idea from the same online blog or discussion group. As long as they hold on to this fundamental error regarding what the word "Jewish" means, they will regard any source that claims that someone is Jewish as being identical to a source that claims that their religion is Judaism.

The third problem is that well meaning editors stumble upon the resulting conversation, announce to all that they are wrong to offer personal opinions (about what the word "Jewish" means) and should simply follow the sources. They don't realize that the fundamental error regarding what the word "Jewish" means leads to a systemic misinterpretation of the sources. You can't quote sources that prove that most crows are black and few are white to someone who thinks that "black" and "white" are identical. They will simply see every "crows are usually black" citation as support for inserting "all crows are white" into Wikipedia articles. Alas, these editors are focused on BLP articles... --Guy Macon (talk) 08:29, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

In this specific case, the BLP subject, Bernie Sanders explicitly self-identifies as,"Religion: Jewish", says he believes in God, and talks about how religion and spirituality influences his work for social justice. And yet you deny that he is a member of the Jewish religion when no reliable source denies that he is a member of that religion. That is the core problem here. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 15:30, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Just to be clear, he self-identifies as a "secular Jew" who is "not actively involved in organized religion". That self-identification appears in reliable secondary sources.Anythingyouwant (talk) 15:40, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Sigh, Jew-tagging season again. Can you link the specific sources they are using to support 'religion jew' please someone? Only in death does duty end (talk) 15:44, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Only in death, here's the link you requested. And please be more careful about ascribing motives. Cheers.Anythingyouwant (talk) 15:57, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Yeah thats no good for an infobox statement-as-fact. Its directly contradictory to other primary source statements. It could be included in the prose 'Bernie has stated his religion as Jewish (PR pack source) but when asked stated he did practice his religion (interview source). And so on. Prose has the ability to explain inconsistancies, infoboxs (and categories) are just flat 'This person is X' facts so they need to be 100% accurate on a BLP. No comment on motives, except when you have seen people Jew-labelled during elections as many times as I have, its hard to not suspect an ulterior motive. Whats worse is it happens from both sides, Jewish people want to claim one of 'theirs' and opponents want to label them in order to influence the voters who harbour anti-semitism. Only in death does duty end (talk) 16:05, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
The statement Religion:Jew is a statement of fact, nowhere does it say how he practices and how much he practices. It just identifies, as per his presspack, selfidentify is valid and this should end this discussion. We don't go to all 534 other members of congress and verify their practice of their religion. We just identify the religion. Bernie identified his religion, he said I am a Jew. That is all that is needed to say Religion:Jewish. Sir Joseph (talk) 16:10, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Except he has given interviews where he directly seems to contradict this. Per BLP where contradictory or contested information, we dont use it, or we present both sides. Its not possible to explore this in an infobox, so it doesnt go in the infobox. Only in death does duty end (talk) 16:20, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Has he? Has he once given an interview where he said his religion is not Jewish? Sir Joseph (talk) 16:46, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
"This is not Judaism."[10] --Guy Macon (talk) 19:07, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Firstly, I find the term "Jew-tagging season" highly offensive and ask you reword that. Secondly, Bernie identifies as a Jew, his press kit identifies himself as a Jew. It is common knowledge that his religion is Jewish. Sir Joseph (talk) 15:53, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
'Common knowledge' is not a standard by which we make statements of fact on a BLP. You can make that argument on the BLP noticeboard and I gurantee you wont get far when it comes to contentious issues like religion or sexuality. Only in death does duty end (talk) 16:08, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Is the press kit really "self-identification"? Remember that we're talking about a work composed by people in his hire to make him look good for the campaign, so whomever wrote that may be looking to put Sanders' religion/ethnicity in the best possible light to get the most voters, and I think its reasonably evident that making Sanders appear to identify as "Jewish" as opposed to "secular Jew" is clearly the best angle to be taken, even if it is a stretch of the truth (that is, it's not "wrong" per se, but it creates the problem of exactness/precision that this dispute seems to be over). The amount of weight in the claim that the press kit is "self-identification" in the climate of the US election is a bit troubling. --MASEM (t) 15:47, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Its been used in the past. It depends on how and why. Self-published material is considered generally reliable for the purposes of non-contentious/contested claims about the subject. Press Releases and other PR-related material released by the subject come under self-publishes sources. Unless there is contradictory information or obviously wrong info in them. In this case there would appear to be contradictory info - statements by the subject indicate he is not religious, so I wouldnt accept a press release as evidence of something that is very contentious (as religion, and Jewishness in particular is). Its just a no per the BLP policy. Only in death does duty end (talk) 15:56, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
This is the way I see it. It's not self-published by Sanders, it's self-published by the campaign of "Sanders for President 2016", which is not the same entity as Sanders himself. They are marketing him to look attractive to voters. There's a filter on that information that makes it very questionable to call it as self-id for the person specifically. They're not lying or being obtusely false, but they are spinning information that as stated conflicts with stated that are self-identified by Sanders himself, and in this type of case, the latter should take priority. --MASEM (t) 16:13, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Absent any other information or anything contradictory I would probably see little problem with using the press kit. Its at least something he would have to sign off on. However he has given interviews and made statements (the washington post and lifezette ones) in interviews that can be read as directly contradictory, so I would use nothing in the infobox (we dont have to fill it in) and if necessary explain in the article. Only in death does duty end (talk) 16:22, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, agreed. If we only had the press kit and no further statements, it's fine to go from the press kit. But we have conflict between what Sanders has said and what his press kit says, and that begs analysis of how self-identified the press kit is, and as such, it's best to omit or leave for prose to discuss in depth. --MASEM (t)
The press kit should be enough for self-identification. Furthermore, that is not the only source to say he is Jewish. I am really just at my wits end here trying to post that Bernie's religion is Jewish. I imagine in a few weeks time, CNN reporting "Wikipedia shows why they will never replace a real encyclopedia, when they refuse to identify that Sanders is a Jew." It is WP:COMMON that his Religion:Jewish, his ethnoreligion is Jewish, his identity is Jewish, his culture is Jewish, I'm not sure what else we need. He's from Brooklyn, I'm sure he drinks borscht for all I know. Sir Joseph (talk) 15:53, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
If there were a field in the infobox for ethnoreligion or culture then I would say go ahead and simply insert "Jewish" without elaboration. But we're talking about a different field.Anythingyouwant (talk) 16:06, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

If there are contradictory sources then the information should not be in the infobox which is for clear cut information. If it need explaining then it belongs in prose only. In my opinion. HighInBC 16:23, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

There is no contradictory sources. That is the issue. People are confusing religion and practice of religion. He is Jewish, he may not practice his religion the same way some other Jews do. Same way Trump or 534 other members of Congress don't practice their respective religions. We don't ask each member of Congress how they practice their religion, we just identify their religion, and put it in the infobox. That is all. In the article we mention the nuance of his religious beliefs. Sir Joseph (talk) 16:49, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
It's unreasonable to assume that because Sanders is ethnically Jewish, whatever religion he practices is some degree of Judaism. If he believes god was birthed from a golden egg or born to the Christian's Mary, that would not be Judaism. Religion is not genetically inherited. Aside from the press kit I haven't seen any evidence he practices Judaism. D.Creish (talk) 17:52, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
He said he's Jewish, so that should be enough. In this article, which is a RS, it says he's Jewish, so that is in addition to the press kit, plus Sanders is quoted as saying "I'm proud to be Jewish" ( ) This has really gone on far enough. You have no evidence he practices Judaism? Good for you, that's not what the infobox is all about. Are you going to go investigate the practices of the 534 other members of Congress and see how they practice religion? The infobox is again, not how they practice, it is a box for info, to identify the religion, in this case, it is Judaism. If you want to say if he practices, add another line in the box and fill that one out, but just to identify, Bernie Sanders is Jewish. Sir Joseph (talk) 18:18, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Please keep in mind as you read and respond to the above that Sir Joseph thinks that saying "he is Jewish" has exactly the same meaning as saying "his religion is Judaism," and likewise that saying "his religion is Judaism" has exactly the same meaning as saying "he is Jewish."[11][12] You can't quote sources that show that water is wet to someone who thinks that "wet" and "dry" are identical. They will simply see every "water is wet" citation as support for inserting "water is dry" into Wikipedia articles, claiming all along that "there is no contradictory source." --Guy Macon (talk) 19:03, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Ha! I see we're still going around in circles with Sir Joseph the Tautological, and will forever and ever, Amen. Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 22:40, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Brian Martin[edit]

Brian Martin (professor) (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Looking at this article I found one example where the statements in the article reflected the source content inaccurately, to the denigration of the professionality of the subject. I deleted and started a section on the talk page. Diff 1 [1] Then I found another. Diff 2 [2] And now I've found 2 more. "He has been (xxxxxcenscored) for his support of Michael Primero, whose PhD thesis alleged the Rockefeller Foundation had declared a war on consciousness through the imposition of musical tuning standards,[3] his defence of Andrew Wakefield, who lost his medical license due to research fraud and ethical violations[4]" Both of these statements are not supported by the sources cited.

I have not checked the rest of the article. Nor have I ID'd the editor/s involved.

I AGF however am aware that the subject of the article is a professor with a recent anti-vaccination PhD student. He describes some of the attacks in "Mobbing of a PhD student: lessons and responsibilities" [3]

I would go DE but do not have access to a acceptable account. I am out of time. Inaccurate and negative statements are currently in the BLP article. (talk) 17:23, 4 February 2016 (UTC)


I've been watching things unfold with the Brian Martin (professor) article, and wrote this a day or two ago, and hope it helps...
This article is quite derogatory about Martin himself, and his work, yet this is not based on strong evidence. It seems to be mainly based on slanted views of a WP:SPA editor. I would think the article, and Talk page, contravene WP:BLP.
More clarification and context on Martin's publishing record is needed to better examine this situation, but details of Martin's key publications have been removed from the page several times: [13], [14].
Despite what is being said in this WP article, Martin has published many peer-reviewed journal articles. But, yes, he does publish widely in a diverse range of publication outlets, as many academics do. The article is portraying Martin as an activist, but to me he is just an "interdisciplinary academic" working in the area of "science and technology studies (STS)." He is a full professor employed full-time at a major university.
There is an amazing amount of criticism of Martin in the second paragraph of the article, relating to Michael Primero, Andrew Wakefield, and Judith Wilyman. Yet, material about Martins' STS professorial colleagues, Mark Diesendorf, Ian Lowe and Jim Falk has been removed from the article with little discussion. Johnfos (talk) 22:45, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Not that amazing. An academic going into bat for Wakefield is sticking his neck out big time, given that Wakefield's fraudulent studies with their concealed conflicts of interest and unethical unapproved tests on children caused a resurgence in a deadly and highly infectious disease. Guy (Help!) 22:52, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Negative, yes, but not inaccurate. He has a history of misidentifying cranks as whistleblowers, and his supervision of the Wilyman PhD calls into question his fitness to supervise further PhDs, as that document used confirmation bias and conspiracist thinking in place of actual evidence. Guy (Help!) 23:00, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Strong words, but without any supporting references. This is reflective of the poorly sourced derogatory material in the WP article itself. Thankfully, a recent paper by Martin helps to clarify his position and some basic issues: "On the suppression of vaccination dissent", Science and Engineering Ethics. 2015 Feb 21(1):143-57, where Martin says:
    • "Dissent is a disagreement with or challenge to standard views ... and in practice scientific dissent remains risky."
    • "... the existence of suppression of dissent, does not necessarily mean dissenters are correct."
    • "The vaccination debate can be incredibly emotional on both sides."
    • "My own involvement in the vaccination debate is primarily as a defender of fair and open debate on contenious issues, given my long term interest in dissent. Personally, I do not have strong views about vaccination."
This type of material would provide more context and clarification, and I don't see why it is being excluded from Martin's WP article. Johnfos (talk) 20:44, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
1. IP listed this article on this BLP discussion page, an IP editor. I suggest the *Brian Martin* entry on this BLP page here be removed as this seems IP's disagreement dressed up as a BLP issue.
2. As quoted above, Martin's supporters agree that Martin prides himself in dissent. In this context the article as it stands would be seen as mostly flattery not "denigration". Martin is an academic who encourages non-violent rebellion and as such "both notable and tres cool" according to his fans - talk page.
3. IP obviously has not read the sources and claiming an "inaccurate reflection of source" is misrepresentation and a false reflection by this IP editor - talk page.
4. IP removed the content on page she didn't like, and it was promptly reverted or re-entered by a senior WP admin.
5. IP has stated "legal consequences" (against WP?) on talk page. OK!
6. She also states "Nor have I ID'd the editor/s involved", so does she intend to 'out' the identity of editors of article? Concerning.
Gongwool (talk) 00:18, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Mikael Ljungman[edit]

There is some serious whitewashing going on at Mikael Ljungman, exemplified by this diff. Ljungman is described by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet as Sweden's "most well-known financial criminal", with various convictions ranging from multi-million dollar fraud to arson. Yet Tore N Johansson has written a feel-good lead that does not appropriately summarize the article and does not even mention the reasons Ljungman is notable in the first place. The content of the article has been bloated with trivia such as campaign donations he made while living in the US or his patent applications, all without third-party sources. That violates WP:UNDUE, according to which his (former) tech companies and his crimes should be the focus of our coverage. My attempts to explain our guidelines on the talk page were countered by "all information about a person is interesting", which is not based in policy and - rather obviously - is a recipe for just this kind of feel-good fluff. I'd appreciate it if someone else could take a look and explain why Tore N Johansson's changes are not acceptable. Huon (talk) 20:10, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

There is some problematic black-washing going on the living person biography "Mikael Ljungman". Mikael Ljungman are convicted for serious crimes and its well documented by reliable sources. He is released from jail. This article is about a living person why the article should be balanced and not a portrait for mudslinging. Huon want to focus the entire article on tech companies and crimes but are reluctant to include information about Mikael Ljungmans patent applications related to tech activities. There is two interesting and notable aspects of this contradiction between criminal and inventor. And the facts are published in reliable sources and edited by other contributors. If a person have been released from prison its portrayed by Huon as a feel-good lead. When a convicted criminal such Mikael Ljungman appears as a parliament candidate its a notable fact in it self. His earlier and recent political contributions and activities could not be described as trivia. Even if Mikael Ljungman first was notable for criminal activities he is also notable for his political activities and for his patent applications. His recent political activities, education in political science are supported by third-party sources. Mikael Ljungmans political activities are also events that have taken place after Mikael Ljungmans convictions why it does appropriately summarize the article. Huon shows bias when he express that the content of the article has been bloated with trivia such as campaign donations and patent applications. To exclude such information violates WP:UNDUE, according to which his (former) tech companies and his crimes should be in focus together with political activities, patent applications, political activities on social media. My attempts to explain our guidelines on the talk page were countered by if you once becomes notable as a criminal the person will always be ported as just a criminal on wikipedia, which is not based in policy. Its a recipe for black-wash and mudslinging. I'd appreciate it if someone else could take a look and explain why Huons changes are not acceptable.Tore N Johansson (talk) 21:28, 4 February 2016 (UTC) Tore N Johansson (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.
User:Tore N Johansson has made literally no edits outside Mikael Ljungman and its talkpage (excepting only the post above). It seems safe to call him an extreme SPA and to ask him on his page to disclose any conflict of interest he may have. He was asked politely in April 2015 to read WP:PSCOI, but did not comment. I'm going to ask him more directly if he has a conflict of interest, and inform him of the terms of use with regard to paid editing. Bishonen | talk 16:31, 5 February 2016 (UTC).
The idea that patent applications sourced to the applications themselves need to be included for the inclusion of his much-covered crimes not to be WP:UNDUE is a fundamental misunderstanding of weight in Wikipedia. --Nat Gertler (talk) 16:49, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Setting aside possible (and likely) COI, this is my opinion of the article itself: the only third-party sources about Mikael Ljungman that I can find are some Danish newspaper articles about some of his crimes, and Swedish newspaper articles about his criminal record in relation to his candidacy for the Christian Democrats in the 2014 Swedish parliamentary election. (Apparently he didn't get in.) Most of the latter articles are from 15 June 2014, when the news about the candidacy broke. So the criminal record, especially in relation to the parliamentary candidacy, is the only thing about the subject that's possibly notable. It's what the article should focus on — if we're to have an article. Myself, I don't think we should; let's delete it. I call out, as typical tabloid exaggeration for effect, Aftonbladet's claim that he's such a well-known financial criminal. Aftonbladet tends to be sensationalist. Now, my personal impressions aren't a reliable source, but just for ambiance: I live in Sweden, I follow the news, and I had never heard of him. Note also that the Swedish Wikipedia doesn't have an article about him. Bishonen | talk 20:03, 5 February 2016 (UTC).


I (just now!) noticed an odd edit to one of my user talk archives from 2007 [15]. Note that the edit summary is "(rm as per this section of WP:BLP)". Looking at the contribution history for that IP address, it entirely consists of going around in September-November 2007 removing all references to that incident from archives of places like ANI, Wikiproject talk pages, and user talk pages, with that edit summary.

I don't quite see what bothered the IP about those archived conversations. I'm tempted to restore it to at least my talk archives, as I like having complete archives. I also feel it's important to restore it to the ANI archive. However, if it really is a BLP violation, it obviously shouldn't be restored, and should probably be oversighted from all those places.

I guess I've got two questions:

  1. Does anyone else see the BLP problem that the IP editor apparently saw in 2007?
  2. Should archives, especially of official business like ANI, remain unchanged?

~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 21:11, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

I'd suggest leaving it deleted not for WP:BLP reasons (although the attempt to ascribe a motive to someone is not the best move) but for an attempted WP:OUTING. --Nat Gertler (talk) 03:08, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Advice on new biographical article needed[edit]

Hi, I'm considering writing a a Wikipedia article on the Italian composer/record producer Roberto Danova, most of his success came in the 1970s/80s when he had many European hits - including the million seller 'Lady In Blue', He is also credited with co- writing a song 'Sweet Little Rock n Roller' which reached number 15 in the UK charts for Showaddywaddy in 1979. Danova was very influential in the careers of Irish singers Joe Dolan and Johnny Logan and wrote songs recorded by many well know singers such Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. He also composed the music for, and produced, a successful stage show 'The Phantom of the Opera on Ice' which toured Europe with the Russian Ice Stars. A couple of questions I would like to ask editors are; 1. Before I start the task, would he be considered 'notable' under Wiki bio criteria? 2. References are hard to find for his 1970s/80s chart hits as they varied from European country to country. There are hundreds of videos of his recordings featured on YouTube, but I know these links aren't usually acceptable to Wikipedia, so what in your views would be the best sources of information? Thanks for any help, Alfshire (talk) 13:05, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

ameritopia (mark levin)[edit]

footnote 31 is simply a hate-filled reference that does not approach an objective review of the subject book. how did this get included? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:c0:8001:d050:ec70:8c60:dfa6:57f5 (talk)

Presumably, by being written by a distinguished professor of philosophy and contributor to the Chronicle OfHigher Education, among the more notable sources for discussion of books of this sort.MarkBernstein (talk) 03:48, 7 February 2016 (UTC)


Hi there. I joined Wikipedia to fix the ongoing terrible edits of one Carmalita100 to my daughter Carsen Grays biography. she is expecting her first child and this woman I believe to be named... writes terrible things about her. I don't know why as she does not know my daughter but I have had enough. It is out of control. She defames her on every social media site possible any my daughter has never met her. please remove my daughters biography as I cannot figure out how to remove the bio or I would have done it already. Thank you.

Mamafixit — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mamafixit (talkcontribs) 05:24, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Hi there. I am Carsens mother and I would like to have her bio removed from Wikipedia as soon as possible. There is constant defamation and horrible entries made by a Carmalita100. I would remove the bio myself but cannot. I loined Wikipedia just to stop the constant horrible edits.m Please remove it as soon as possible and you might consider removing the offending user from your site. Thank you. Mamafixit. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mamafixit (talkcontribs) 05:29, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

The editor who added the "information" has now been permanently blocked from editing Wikipedia. The article has been nominated for deletion and will probably be removed in a few days. It can't just be deleted on the spot -- Wikipedia is very bureaucratic in the way even simple things are done. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 15:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Carsen Gray[edit]

Hi there. I wrote a report regarding the deliberate sabotage of Carsen Grays bio. I want this page removed. I am her mother and the constant sabotage is causing her stress. She is expecting her first child and the woman who keeps doing this to her page even wrote about her pregnancy on Wikipedia. Carsen has a right to live without this causing her worry when she has a child on the way. Carsen would like the page removed as well. As long as there is this woman carmalita100 continues to harass her on this site there is no point in having it. I am wondering why this woman is able to continue to use your site when she uses it for the wrong reasons. Please remove the biography and it is my sincere hope that you will figure out a way to deal with this user. Thank you

mamafixit — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:52, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

I have started a deletion discussion on the article at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Carsen Gray. --Nat Gertler (talk) 06:29, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Discussion combined with above section. Article deleted per discussion. "Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough." --GRuban (talk) 20:57, 7 February 2016 (UTC)


I am a little concerned by the sentence found under "4.1 legal issues" which states the following:

"Tyga was accused of pedophilia after direct messaging a 14 year old girl on the photo sharing social network Instagram."

The article that is referenced does not make mention of any allegations of pedophilia, nor do any other news articles I found about the incident. The article was simply stating that Tyga had been messaging a 14 year old girl via Instagram who he thought was 17 years of age - leaked messages show that she told him she was 17 not 14. I believe it is quite slanderous to have such an allegation on his Wiki page. Maybe we could change it to what can actually be shown in the reference, something like:

"In January 2016, a 14 year-old girl stated she felt "feel uncomfortable" after Tyga repeatedly messaged him via the social network Instagram. According to his manager, Tyga wanted to FaceTime her to "talk business and see her sing" – while sitting in the studio with producers. Text messages obtained by TMZ show that the girl claimed to 17 years old, not 14."

References: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:01, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Bert Wollersheim[edit]

Could someone who reads German run an eye over the sources for Bert Wollersheim please? I've removed an unsourced section but I'm tempted to cut further. ϢereSpielChequers 12:39, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Smash it - the sources are highly tabloid journalism in nature, and some do not even support the claims asserted. "Rp-online" has lots of "celebrity stuff" and , for example, is a book review which basically starts: "In the 70s, pimps and gamblers in Cologne committed more than 50,000 crimes each year. These small-time criminals were called "Kings of the ring" and are part of the folklore of Cologne." (simplified translation) and is used as the source for the claim "(Dusseldorf) where he worked as a barber for stars like Dieter Thomas Heck and Rex Gildo. This is also how he made his first encounters with red-light district patrons like Heinrich Schäfer." As the cite provides not a whit of support for the claim made, and is likely not WP:RS for any claims of fact at all, much less meeting the requirements of WP:BLP I think this entire BLP is likely to fail scrutiny. "" also fails - it appears to be a TV station marketing "celebrity gossip and images" more than being a journalism site AFAICT. In short - the person may or may not be a major pimp, but WP:BLP requires far better sourcing than I found here (especially when one source has nothing remotely approaching the claim made it is used to support). Collect (talk) 14:04, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks Collect, would you mind if we move this discussion to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Bert Wollersheim? ϢereSpielChequers 19:10, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Lester Coleman[edit]

This article, about a man convicted of fraud, has been a trouble spot for years. It has repeatedly seen bouts of editing by sock puppets and SPAs (possibly all the same editor, but that can't be proven), with the effect of whitewashing the subject and inserting information not supportable by sources. Over the years a number of editors, including me, have kept watch on the article and stepped in to insist on rigorous adherence to Wikipedia's sourcing policies. Another such bout of editing is now under way, carried out by Sure Footed1 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log), but this time it seems that I am the only editor paying attention. I reverted a mass of edits once, asking for changes to be made incrementally so they can be evaluated; the editor simply undid my revert and continued. Since I have a policy of never engaging in one-on-one edit wars, I don't feel that I can do any more without input from other editors. It would be a black mark for Wikipedia for this article to turn into a mass of unsourced information after all the effort that has gone into maintaining it. Looie496 (talk) 16:04, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

WP:UNDUE in the lede of Vladimir Putin[edit]

Are the following statements appropriate for the lede of Vladimir Putin:

However, the economic development of Russia experienced a significant setback due to Western sanctions imposed in response to the Russian intervention in Ukraine during Putin's third presidential term. The IMF has estimated that about half of the decline in GDP in 2015 was due to sanctions.


In 2014, Russia was suspended from the G8 group as a result of its annexation of Crimea.

I feel these are recentist and undue weight, and not directly related to Putin himself. As such I don't think they are appropriate for the lede of a living person article. Athenean (talk) 07:54, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Not clear on how this is suppose to be a BLP issue. Regardless of whether one thinks this should be in the lede or not.Volunteer Marek (talk) 08:21, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Well technically I suppose blaming a living person for the downfall of a countries economy would be a violation if untrue. I am pretty sure given Putin's control over Russia, no one else is to blame for Russia having sanctions, and sources can be provided, so I dont see how it is undue in his biography. His BLP is to have all the significant events in *his* life, and causing the economic downturn of an entire country probably counts as significant. Maybe not lead material though. Only in death does duty end (talk) 08:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)