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Matthew Whitaker, Ronald Mallett, WP:GUILT[edit]

World Patent Marketing was a start-up company, only in business for about 3 years. Anybody can do the research and learn that these types of companies are not miracle workers, and that it requires a minimum of 2 to 3 years from submission of an invention to get it patented & marketed, and even then, there are no guarantees the invention will sell. The question is not about the process, or about good business practice vs mistreating clients; rather, it is about WP:GUILT because that company chose some high profile people to serve on their advisory board, including scientist Ronald Mallett, Omar Rivero, founder of Occupy Democrats, and Matthew Whitaker who was acting US Attorney General for a short 3 mos (Nov 2018 - Feb 2019) after he served as an advisor to the start-up along with several other high profile people described as Obama advisors, scientists, US attorneys, etc. The problem is that, regardless of whether the company was forced to shut down by the FTC within 3 years of opening their doors, or that they agreed to make restitution to clients without admitting guilt, or whether they were indeed scam artists - it is not our job as editors to do anything beyond stating facts. We should also be compliant with WP:GUILT relative to the BLPs, and therein lies the problem. I added Omar Rivero to the lead because for some reason, only Whitaker was singled out for the lead. My edit was reverted but Whitaker's name remains - none of the others are mentioned. That is a clear indication of WP:GUILT. I actually oppose any of the names being included because the company itself is not notable, except for its choice of advisory board, some of whom weren't even aware they named initially. Why smear the names of those high profile people when none of them were mentioned in the FTC case or found guilty in any way? I have nominated the article for AfD because other than the political angle that has been attempted, there is absolutely nothing encyclopedic about that company - it fails in numerous ways. Just because the news covers an incident, it is not an adequate reason to include it in our encyclopedia. What I'm seeing is a BLP vio, and that all mention of WPM in the BLPs and vice versa should be removed. Further reasons for its failure to pass GNG are provided in the AfD. Atsme 💬 📧 17:30, 24 March 2021 (UTC)

For Whitaker there was significant coverage with respect to him and WPM. (see WP:WELLKNOWN). He was, after all, the Acting Attorney General, and that's a critical legal post for one day, let alone three months. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:21, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, it takes a good three years just to hear back from the patent office, and then like 98% of the time they are going to reject it. It's almost like a little game they play, probably just to see what you will say upon appeal. (Yes, you can and should appeal, in case they don't tell you that.) My advice is, stay away from companies like this or those looking to buy your gold. Go hire yourself a good patent lawyer who is bound by the ethical practices set by that profession.
I find it highly unlikely that AFD will succeed, given the amount of coverage this has in RSs. However, at the same time we do have quite a few questionable sources and primary sources too. You really need to go into AFD with the ammunition to shoot down all the sources, because many there lean toward "keep" as a default position, and it's hard to sell bad writing, tone, or even BLP issues over there.
This article reads like a news article rather than an encyclopedia article, and when combined with some of the sourcing I see, at first glance, I would be on the lookout for OR and synth. What I would be very careful of is making any direct statement or implication that is not found in the sources. For example, the Whitaker article seems to do a fairly good job of making it known that he was just on an advisory board, and really had nothing to do with the day to day operations of this firm (although I'm not sure just how involved he was and if we're giving this due weight in his article). The company article makes it seem more as if he was at the center of it all, which really doesn't make sense, since that is not what a panel of experts does. So I think it needs some toning down, and, while we kinda have to mention how his name was used to allegedly intimidate people, we also need to make his side clear, that he was never aware of this happening. Zaereth (talk) 20:06, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
Thanks, Zaereth - I agree with everything you said. It was a start-up company, so how could any of the advisory board member be aware? Advisory boards don't have any financial liability and their suggestions are NON-BINDING. Media spins for baitclick, and in this case it is quite obvious considering there was no evidence to indicate that he or any other advisory board member was aware of what the company was doing, which is why none of them were named in the case by the FTC. We need to put politics aside and comply with NPOV and GUILT. Atsme 💬 📧 20:44, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
You're welcome. I admit, I haven't had time to look at all the sources, being covered in grease and grime and hydraulic oil, but so far I haven't seen it verified that everyone listed as being on this panel was really on this panel. Whitaker sure was, or at least he agreed to be and even did some promo work, but a company that would do what this one is accused of wouldn't be beyond faking a panel of experts. Of course, I may have missed something, but I think what people really want to know is who was running this operation. That might be a BLPCRIME problem at this point (I don't know), although I doubt it would ever go that far.
One of the huge problems of our times, not just with the US but globally, is the corporate model. Many of these entities are more wealthy and powerful than nations, yet they are --required by law-- to behave like a sociopath, putting the profits and (for lack of a better word) greed of the shareholders above all else. When something goes wrong, as it invariably does with sociopaths, the entity takes on all the blame and punishment, and none of the people involved ever feel any repercussions (especially the shareholders, being twice removed). It's a crazy way to do things, but it goes back a long time. (For example, the American Revolutionary War had more in reality to do with the East India Trading Co. than it did with King George.)
So what I see in this particular case is a bunch of people who were named as an advisory panel of experts, in company ads, promos, and brochures, who are now being used as the only faces of what is probably being treated legally as the faceless entity; the corporation. That's what it looks like to me, anyhow, and I think we need to be very careful in just how we word this. Zaereth (talk) 21:55, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
The sources make clear Whitaker was personally involved in responding to claimants (as shown in FTC documents) so his mention in the lead is appropriate. The company wasn't just trading on his name. Fences&Windows 12:17, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
"Personally involved"? No, not personally. Fences and windows, your inclusion of a primary source raises a big red flag, and I found it rather disconcerting. Did you take the time to review the items at the link you provided? For example, the first two audio recordings: the first was a message to Whitaker, and the 2nd was Whitaker's response and willingness to be cooperative. He also advised the caller that as of September he was no longer active on that advisory board. I also read the document that lists all the advisory board members: World Patent Marketing's Advisory Board includes: (i) Dr. Aileen M. Marty, a Navy veteran, infectious disease specialist, and member of President Obama's Advisory Council to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria; (ii) Brian Mast, a veteran of the United States Army, Joint Special Operations Command, and candidate for the US House of Representatives in Florida's 18th District; {iii} Pascal Bida Koyagabele, a Presidential Candidate for the Central African Republic; (iv) Nitzan Nuriel, a retired Israeli Brigadier General who received an Honorary Citation from the United States Congress for his contributions to world Security and counterterrorism; (v} Richard Paul Sulaka II, Deputy Public Works Commissioner of Macomb County, Michigan; and {vi} Matthew G. Whitaker, Esq., a former United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa and Executive Director of The Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust (FACT), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics and transparency in government. Is there a particular document that you believe supports the position that Whitaker was guilty of something? What is your point exactly - and please, whatever it is you're trying to prove, keep in mind that it must be compliant with WP:GUILT. You might also want to refresh your memory about WP:NOTNEWS, which is something I deal with on regular basis as a NPP reviewer/trainer and article creator. It clearly states (my bold underline as it applies in this case): Editors are encouraged to include current and up-to-date information within its coverage, and to develop stand-alone articles on significant current events. However, not all verifiable events are suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia. Under News reports it further states: While news coverage can be useful source material for encyclopedic topics, most newsworthy events do not qualify for inclusion... I'm not going to argue over the inclusion of WPM if it is properly presented from a NPOV without BLP & WP:GUILT violations. I accept what DGG and BD2412 decided relative to draftify because the article, as it stands now, is a coatrack. The facts must be stated accurately, without media speculation, innuendos, and biased opinions - the case has been finalized by the FTC, and the bottomline is that Whitaker was cleared of any wrong-doing. To present it as anything other than that is unacceptable. If we can't get this resolved here, perhaps we can get it resolved with a bit more clarity at ARCA since WP:GUILT was one of the principal findings in a prior ArbCom case. Recent edits at WPM have restored Whitaker in the lead which is noncompliance with WP:GUILT. Atsme 💬 📧 19:02, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/World Patent Marketing closed as keep. As I said there, "many reliable sources have prominently discussed Whitaker's role at WPM, including that he was aware of and involved in responding to complaints (e.g.Reuters, Washington Post, New York Times, Slate, ABC News)." We need to discuss Whitaker's role because the sources do and at no point does the article say he is guilty of a criminal offence. Fences&Windows 20:24, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
By way of trying to check whether mentioning any individuals is WP:DUE, I asked Google News for information about the company (search string: "World Patent Marketing"). I then checked the first ten results. They were a mix of obviously normal news sources that editors widely consider to be reliable, such as NPR and Politico, and some that I've never heard of before. The articles were dated in 2017, 2018, and 2020, showing sustained coverage. Here's what I found:
  • Seven of the first ten articles mention Whitaker in the headline. (Remember, I searched only for the company's name, not for Whitaker's name.)
  • All of the first ten articles mention Whitaker in the body of the article.
  • Two of the first ten articles mention Ronald Mallet. Zero mention Omar Rivero.
The first ten articles about the company aren't necessarily the full story, but from where I'm sitting, it appears to me that it would be appropriate to mention Whitaker in the lead, and inappropriate to mention these other two. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:38, 5 April 2021 (UTC)

First a reminder to everyone that per WP:RSPS Forbes contributor articles are treated as WP:SPS unless they are published in print. They therefore cannot be use for any claims concerning living persons per WP:BLPSPS. Note the article being an "editors' pick" is largely irrelevant, see contributors yet again - editors' pick. If the author is a subject matter expert they potentially could be use for other content, but IMO we really should just replace [1].

In the mean time, I have removed one paragraph concerning Whitaker as it did rely on this SPS [2].

I did find this NYT article which partly mentions the content [3], but not all and it's complicated. According to the NYT, Cooper is the one who drafted the email Whitaker sent. Further the customer was "apparently" a disgruntled former employee of Cooper from a different business. I don't think we can ignore this detail, the NYT clearly thought it significant enough to mention and I can see why.

It provides context to the dispute with this particular customer as they weren't simply a customer but someone where it's likely there was already animosity between Cooper and the customer. (Remembering this is the article about WPM not Whitaker.) And if we explain that we also have to explain how Cooper drafted the email and Whitaker sent it. Yet this seems a lot of detail so frankly it seems better just to not go there at all. Also while I don't know for sure, I suspect "apparently" means the NYT did not try to verify the connection, it's just something they gathered from the emails.

Nil Einne (talk) 04:45, 6 April 2021 (UTC)

Note also there doesn't seem to be any reliable secondary source that mentions the customer's response. Nil Einne (talk) 04:48, 6 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I am responding to a diff request made by MastCell relative to my post on his UTP, wherein I asked him to provide input here. He asked again on my UTP, so I provided the diffs below:
  1. March 20, 2021, I removed a BLP vio per WP:GUILT from the lead
  2. March 21, 2021 Gandydancer reverted (WP;GUILT does not apply here--this is clearly well-supported by numerous references) <— what is "well-supported", his guilt?
  3. (March 21, 2021), "fraudulent" was removed from the lead by BD2412; Note:- we don't use "headlines" in press releases - this is an encyclopedia. We report the facts, for example: The proposed settlement order resolves charges the FTC brought last year, alleging that Cooper and his companies deceived consumers and suppressed complaints about them using threats, intimidation, and gag clauses. A federal court subsequently halted the Florida-based scheme and froze its assets pending litigation. Notice the word "alleged".
  4. (April 2, 2021) "fraudulent" was restored by MastCell. Note: FTC headline: FTC alleges company’s practices are “patently” deceptive If the FTC is "alleging", how can we state it as fact in WikiVoice in the lead?
  5. I added Omar Rivero's name as another advisory board member for the sake of NPOV in the lead because I believe that adding only Whitaker's name is noncompliant with NPOV & GUILT. There were several other high profile members on that advisory board, all easily verifiable in the FTC docs. The company circulated several press releases that could be cited depending on context, unless inclusion is noncompliant with GUILT per MastCell's edit summary for removing board names: "potentially contentious/harmful material about living people." What makes it potentially contentious/harmful??
  6. Smartse reverted Omar Rivero's name from the lead, but left Whitaker's name. His edit summary: (it's massively undue including this in the lead when the only source is a press release) What I'm seeing is an obvious misunderstanding of NPOV. Also, context determines a source's reliability for inclusion of material. Omar was quoted saying something for a press release that was cited to a press release. I'm ok with removing all quoted statements, but it's either OR or POV if we choose to use only Whitaker's and no one else's on that same board.
  7. MastCell tweaked the edit a bit, and found no issue with Omar being reverted or Whitaker remaining in the lead;
  8. MastCell removed the names of board members: (→‎Advisory board: rm per WP:BLP; high-quality independent reliable sources are required for potentially contentious/harmful material about living people; the website and press releases of a fraudulent company are NOT independent reliable sources; this is a BLP action) BLP action - he made it clear that it was contentious/harmful material except for everyone but Whitaker. WP:GUILT?
  9. MastCell removed more names: (→‎Advisory board: rm WP:BLP violation; need high-quality independent reliable sources for this material; do not restore without appropriate sourcing)
  10. MastCell cited a source: (→‎Advisory board: add ref for quote and statement) <--Is this NPOV editing?
  11. MastCell cited a primary source (→‎Business model: not a great source) <-- he has no problem citing sources for material he wants to keep
  12. I removed Whitaker's name, (Remove per NPOV & WP:GUILT - if you want to include advisory board members, do it in the body text - there are several high profile members that should be named, none of which belong in the lead, but if they are to be included, then include at least 3 of the individuals.)

I think it's rather obvious that NPOV & GUILT are at issue here, and that the article needs revamping. I'm certainly open to discussion with those who believe that I'm off-base in my evaluation. I'm certainly not perfect. Atsme 💬 📧 05:19, 7 April 2021 (UTC)

  • WP:NPOV is clear: we achieve neutrality by accurately reflecting the content, emphases, and weight of reliable sources. WP:BLP is very clear: "If an allegation or incident is noteworthy, relevant, and well documented, it belongs in the article—even if it is negative and the subject dislikes all mention of it. If you cannot find multiple reliable third-party sources documenting the allegation or incident, leave it out." Multiple reliable third-party sources link Whitaker to WPM (in fact, Whitaker's role is arguably the most heavily-reported aspect of WPM). In contrast, few or no reliable third-party sources link Omar Rivero to WPM—the effort to include him seems to rely on press releases and Facebook pages for a fraudulent company, which clearly violates WP:BLP. So to treat Whitaker's and Rivero's cases as if they were comparable shows deep ignorance of available sources and/or site policy.

    As for the specific diffs, I am at a loss for what underlies Atsme's aspersions. She cites this edit, asking: Is this NPOV editing? Since the edit in question simply consists of replacing a broken ref tag with a full citation to a reliable source, I guess my answer is... yes? And WTF? Likewise, Atsme's summary of this edit is a deceptive misrepresentation. I didn't cite any new source in that edit; I simply removed a citation to DemocracyNow!, which is clearly an inappropriate source for a BLP.

    So leaving aside these unfounded personal aspersions, we're left with the need to follow reliable third-party sources, which link Whitaker to WPM. If high-quality sources link other people to WPM, then we should mention them. If high-quality sources don't, then we don't. This is Wikipedia 101. MastCell Talk 18:05, 7 April 2021 (UTC)

The issue with citing Wellknown, is that wellknown presumes the allegation satisfies WP: Synth (as in there is a source for the allegation itself). The problem with this content which I think Atsme is getting at with Guilt is that there's an implied conclusion of wrongdoing on the part of Whitaker by the way we are selecting and presenting sources. This is an WP: IMPARTIAL and WP: SYNTH violation. --Kyohyi (talk) 18:24, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
I disagree. There is no "synth" involved, because reliable sources clearly and directly connect Whitaker to WPM. There is also no "implied conclusion of wrongdoing"—we do, or should, state explicitly that Whitaker has not been charged with any crime nor any civil action in connection to WPM. Again, WP:BLP—a foundational policy—states very clearly that "if an allegation or incident is noteworthy, relevant, and well documented, it belongs in the article—even if it is negative and the subject dislikes all mention of it." We don't suppress material simply because a reader somewhere might reach a conclusion that you don't want them to reach. It's still not clear what would justify hiding this relevant, amply sourced material from the reader, in violation of WP:BLP. MastCell Talk 20:48, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
The synth isn't that sources connect Whitaker to WPM. The synth is the implication that Whitaker did something wrong. The way the section is covered we are implying wrongdoing, while no source is explicitly stating out wrongdoing. That is a synth and impartial violation. If we are providing material that implies a conclusion not presented in any of the sources we are violating synth, synth policy clearly states "Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources" note the word imply. We need to be careful to not write the section to imply wrongdoing without a source that outright alleges wrongdoing. --Kyohyi (talk) 16:30, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
Look, I have thought about your position and have tried again and again to come up with something to show that I cannot agree with you. But MastCell has said it quite well already and I have nothing to change or nothing to add to his words. Gandydancer (talk) 23:57, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
Kyohi, Whitaker has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing, and no one is pretending or implying otherwise. As to whether anything he did was "wrong", our job is to be honest with the reader and present relevant, reliably sourced facts, so that they can form their own conclusions. You believe he did nothing "wrong" in his association with the WPM fraud, but you don't get to suppress sources and manipulate our coverage to coerce readers to your preferred conclusion. MastCell Talk 00:30, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
I'm reading through this, and ignoring the Vanity Fair source for the moment, the issue is not the factuality of the information (that Whitaker worked for this firm and later was this position) but its location in the lede (that is, it is a tone issue), barring any other issue. If it was a statement in the body, among other people that were involved with the firm, it wouldn't be a problem. But it's being pulled out into the lede. Given that it is unusual information to see about a company , and that it is the only other person mentioned in the lede besides the founder, its appearance there is basically focusing a massive spotlight on that. And after the prior sentences talk about the firm being fraudulent, this implicitly gives the impression that Whitaker was implicit in that, assigning guilt. If the lede was revised that the first sentence mentioned nothing about the company's fraudulent activities, then mentioned Whitaker, then mentioned "The firm was found to be engaging in fraudulent deals..." as the last sentence, that is better as it removes some of that spotlighting/implicit guilt, though it is still odd for this one factoid to be focused on in the lede. The same sentence can likely exist somewhere in the body, but in better context would not trigger any immediate implicit guilt.
Now, the source issue also comes into play and that leads to me to find "barring any other issue" is in play. That VF article supporting it is not great - it is clearly written in an opinionated style. So as soon as I go looking for a better, less opinionated one, I get this from ABC News, as well as some of the latter sources in the article that tells me there's definitely something important to say about this firm, Whitaker, and Whitaker's appointment as acting AG. Given what I'm reading, the better way to phrase that would be something like "Further details about the firm's fraudulent activities came to light following its former advisory board member, Matthew Whitaker, being named at acting AG to the Trump administration in late 2018." In that phrasing, the guilt remains on the firm itself, and while that's implying Whitaker knew of its fraudulent activities, that's also the general tone of the factual articles on the situation (but without the opinionated approach of the VF article), but importantly, it establishes why we're bringing up this person in the lede - WPM would likely be a footnote in history without the fact that Whitaker had ties to it. --Masem (t) 00:56, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
It's also unusual for 70% of the headlines about the company to mention one person, and for 100% of the articles about the company to mention that same member of an advisory board – and 80% of the time, only that one member. Even though that's "unusual", that's what I found in this case. That unusual emphasis by the sources suggests that it actually would be WP:UNDUE to downplay Whitaker (e.g., by making his name only be one among many or buried in the body).
I agree that we want to avoid assigning guilt to him, but I do think we need to find a way to mention his name in the lede. Your suggested sentence ("Further details about the firm's fraudulent activities came to light following its former advisory board member, Matthew Whitaker, being named at acting AG...") might work, assuming that there is a source that explicitly makes a claim about the timing. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:30, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
I think you get at what I discovered in reading the sources: there is definitely a tie of importance between Whitaker and this firm that came about due to him being named Assc. AG, that's readily documented and that we can't avoid per UNDUE. The way the sentence that was being used to introduce Whitaker, however, didn't make this clear and just introduced him, and not why his story is relevant to the firm, which made it look like we were throwing shade at his guilt at being associated with it. A bit of rewording as I suggested to better explain the nature of how this connection was made relavant would help significantly, and that can be documented readily. It's basically a different tone issue to get the wording right. --Masem (t) 03:10, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Consider this my final summary now that I've had a chance to read the comments. Inclusion of any of the advisory board members in the lead of that article is noncompliant with WP:GUILT and various other policies. It is perfectly acceptable to summarize in the lead that WPM boasted about their advisory board which comprised notable people, and then in the body text, we have a section that provides accurate, well-sourced information about the advisory board and their responses. The obvious reasons media focused on Whitaker include (1) clickbait (2) if appointed AG he was expected to recuse himself from any investigations involving WPM, and (3) the Democrats highly publicized concerns that he would dismiss the Mueller investigation. None of that rises to inclusion based on the following:
  1. UNDUE (my bold underline): For example, discussion of isolated events, criticisms, or news reports about a subject may be verifiable and impartial, but still disproportionate to their overall significance to the article topic. This is a concern especially in relation to recent events that may be in the news. Whitaker's involvement with WPM has been disproportionately portrayed by news media, and does not belong in the lead anymore than any other member who served on that same board, regardless of news coverage - newsworthy and worthy of encyclopedic inclusion are two different things. Also keep WP:SCANDAL in mind because it supersedes the argument to include Whitaker in the lead: Articles must not be written purely to attack the reputation of another person. The draftify arguments in the AFD further support that position.
  2. The article is about the company; it is not about Whitaker - he was not named in the FTC complaint, and neither were any of the others which further supports the concern of GUILT.
  3. Common sense and sound editorial judgement tell us that the media utilized Whitaker's political affiliation in the manner I described above during a rather brief period of news media feeding frenzy. The timing could not have been more convenient considering the concerns expressed by House Democrats re: his appointment potentially ending the Mueller investigation - that simply didn't happen. Liken it to our coverage of Hunter Biden and Burisma or his dealings in China; except for the fact that Biden is still under investigation so it's not a closed book, unlike the FTC investigation of Whitaker who was cleared. We need to maintain consistency in our handling of public figure scandals and GUILT issues, so take a look at how we handled the Biden incident because many of the same policy issues apply here as well - BLP, NOTNEWS, SCANDAL, etc. The BBC recently reported on April 7, 2021 stating that "Hunter resigned from the board of BHR in April 2020, but still held his 10% stake in BHR as of July this year, according to the company report." Whitaker had no connection to WPM that included fiduciary responsibility, much less enforceable decision making as an actual member of the company's board of directors. His activity was limited to suggestions as a member of the advisory board, nothing more. When arguing DUE, please keep the latter in mind:
  4. WP:NOTNEWS, clearly states that most newsworthy events do not qualify for inclusion, especially when considering today's media conglomerates. We are still dealing with BLPs, public figure or not, and the way this article is written is unambiguously noncompliant with GUILT, as well as SCANDAL because it focuses only on Whitaker: Articles must not be written purely to attack the reputation of another person..
  5. There were a dozen or so high profile members besides Whitaker on that same advisory board - all of whom are verifiable by the FTC documents - including Occupy Democrats founder Omar Rivero, Ronald Mallett, Aileen Marty, an appointee to Obama's Advisory Council, Brian Mast, and others. If we're going to include Whitaker, then we are obligated by NPOV to include the names of other notables - and that is where DUE applies, regardless of echo chamber coverage repeating a WSJ article or Miami New Times. Furthermore, DUE doesn't apply in this context because of GUILT.

  6. Citing WP:BLP based on "noteworthy and relevant" crumbles under the weight of SCANDAL, NOTNEWS & GUILT. Not one RS demonstrated a "direct relationship between the conduct of the third parties and conduct of the subject" - the news implied potential guilt based only on guilt by association. We also have the receiver's conclusion stating that Whitaker did not know, which corroborates Whitaker's denial. We already know, or should know that an advisory board has no control or fiduciary responsibility and could not have prevented anything. None of the members of that advisory board knew or could have prevented it. The proof is in the pudding. WP:GUILT takes precedent, but exclusion from the lead is supported even further by NOTNEWS & SCANDAL, and probably even POV fork. Atsme 💬 📧 14:21, 10 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I watchlist Atsme's and MastCell's talk pages, so that's how I became aware of these discussions, and today I decided to take a look. I don't claim to have examined everything, but I can give this much as feedback. It seems to me that the content decision should rest upon whether or not the available sourcing, taken as a whole, justifies naming Whitaker in the lead. If he is mentioned at all, it should be in terms of him being a particularly and notably prominent member of the advisory board, and should not imply in Wikipedia's voice, beyond that, that he was guilty of anything. The choice is between: (a) that, and (b) leaving him out of the lead. (It kind of sounds to me, based on what other editors have said here, that (a) is workable, but I could be wrong about that.) But Rivero, Mallet, and others should not be listed in the lead beside him, unless any one of them has had equally prominent coverage in sources (which it appears they have not). It's a false equivalence to include a Democrat to balance out a Republican (or vice-versa), and doing so simply for balance would, in fact, be a BLP violation, and would be a false NPOV. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:15, 10 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Tryp, you said I don't claim to have examined everything, but I can give this much as feedback. I'm of the mind that examinations are always better before surgery. This particular case requires more than a quick look and a bandaid. I'll make it short and simple - See my comment here on the article TP. It's an eye-opener. Atsme 💬 📧 19:21, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

Category:Anti-Christian sentiment in the United States[edit]

I was surprised to find this category include both Atomwaffen Division and a living podcaster Seth Andrews. Not to mention a mass murderer, and incidents of arson and shootings. Does this lumping of atheist activists with criminal acts and neo Nazis follow guidelines? ☆ Bri (talk) 13:00, 26 March 2021 (UTC)

that does seem a bit sus, yeah. --Licks-rocks (talk) 13:22, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
If the sourcing exists for them to be in the category it doesn't seem odd. I imagine there are plenty of categories that contain both good people and bad people. Category:19th-century American Episcopalians (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) contains both John Wilkes Booth and Jessie Benton Frémont. Doesn't seem that out of place to see similar things arising elsewhere. ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 13:33, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
For some reason, Category:Anti-Christian sentiment doesn't have the barring of groups and individuals from the category that Category:Antisemitism and Category:Anti-Islam sentiment have. This seems an imbalance, which is probably best addressed by adding the bar to the Christian category rather than removing it from the other two. --Nat Gertler (talk) 13:40, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
If those categories bar having people and groups then I agree that the same should be true for Category:Anti-Christian sentiment. ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 13:44, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
There's longstanding consensus (since this 2011 discussion) to exclude biographies from "bias categories" such as Category:Racism and Category:Sexism (though we do include people in more specific, concrete subcategories such as Category:Ku Klux Klan members.) The recently created Category:People involved in anti-Protestantism is currently at CfD, likely to be deleted. I suggest categorising Mr. Andrews in Category:Critics of Christianity and/or Category:Critics of religions. Cheers, gnu57 13:53, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Well, Anderson admits to being an atheist and former Christian but whether that makes him "anti" anything escapes me. Has he proclaimed that he is anti-Christian or is it an assumption that because he is atheist he is anti-Christian? I did a search at his BLP for "anti" and nothing came up. Just because one doesn't believe in something doesn't automatically make them "anti". As for the prefixes neo, anti and alt, that particular category appears to be a catch-all considering alt-right is also categorized there, yet the lead of alt-right itself states: The term is ill-defined, having been used in different ways by various self-described "alt-rightists", media commentators, and academics. Groups which have been identified as alt-right also espouse white supremacism, white separatism, right-wing populism, anti-immigration, racism, anti-communism, anti-Zionism, antisemitism, Holocaust denial, xenophobia, anti-intellectualism, antifeminism, homophobia, and Islamophobia. Anti-Christian is not even mentioned in the article. Something needs to change because when an encyclopedia miscategorizes actually appears to be a product of incompetence and/or bias rather than knowledge. Atsme 💬 📧 13:56, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
Indeed. I could criticize the tenets of various Christian beliefs today, that I myself was raised with, but that doesn't make me hate my family who still believe those. No longer thinking that Yahweh actually exists also doesn't make me an antisemite. This reminds me of claims that acknowledging that Ayurveda is pseudoscience is "anti-Hindu sentiment" (and BTW, I love Karnatic music)... In relation to this particular user who added the category above, also see the same here with antisemitism. Msiehta is of course "atheisM" inverted and has been proselitizing on user talk pages. They have never received the BLP ds/alert so I'll issue one with a mention of WP:BLPRS. —PaleoNeonate – 22:27, 30 March 2021 (UTC)
Seth Andrews#Views on religion quotes him as saying "I am an enemy of religion." That presumably counts as evidence of him self-identifying as being anti-Christianity, anti-Islam, anti-Hinduism, and anti-any other religion you can think of.
However, I'm not sure that a reader, upon visiting such a category page, would actually expect to find many individuals named. Maybe Madalyn Murray O'Hair, but I think they would instead expect to find mostly things like court cases about School prayer or Ten Commandments#United States debate over display on public property or the Mount Soledad Cross. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:47, 9 April 2021 (UTC)

That category seems to be pretty vague and subjective. If someone is catholic, an protestant, Hindu, Jewish, etc seems pretty straight forward and easy to define. How does one define if someone is part of the "anti-christian sentiment"? Does that mean they're a critic of religion? If so just say that. If they are part of an official faction or ethnicity or organization, just state that. As such, the category can probably put up for discussion at WP:CFDHarizotoh9 (talk) 13:37, 10 April 2021 (UTC)

Andre Rush[edit]

He's currently involved in some online fitness youtubers over some of his fitness claims. An IP user keeps inserting a long "controversy" section, citing those youtube vlogs. Thing is, reliable sources have not covered this controversy at all, and it hasn't risen above online fitness youtube so far. It does not matter if these are right or wrong, it's that no reliable sources cover any controversy, thus it's inappropriate for a Wikipedia article, especially a BLP. Harizotoh9 (talk) 16:49, 4 April 2021 (UTC)

Content removed per WP:NOR. I could see it being restored as literally a single sentence under the Fitness section if there's eventually WP:SECONDARY coverage. - Wikmoz (talk) 23:47, 4 April 2021 (UTC)

No reliable source has really covered it, but it does seem that he really does make odd claims about health. For instance, he does seem to claim he only sleeps for 2 hours a day.

“Andre Rush: Nooo, I usually go to bed at 1AM and wake at 3AM to mediate, then start my 2,222 push-ups,” came the reply. “I only sleep for two hours; I’m one of those exceptions to the rule.” Source. Harizotoh9 (talk) 12:42, 10 April 2021 (UTC)

Kim Walker bassoonist[edit]

Kim Walker (bassoonist) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) The entire section of 'controversy' is defamatory in tone and content. The person who created the allegations, works at the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia and therefore created these articles which formed the basis of a law suit for 'unconscionable behavior'. The issues were proven to be unfounded and I was exonerated. To maintain this section on the wikipedia site contributes to ongoing libel, defamation and slander. The entire section should be removed as it is defamatory and libelous misinformation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kimwalker KWB (talkcontribs) 2021-04-06T18:56:32 (UTC)

(Copy and paste of the aforesaid section removed. Uncle G (talk) 15:03, 7 April 2021 (UTC))

  • Hello there. Just to let you know, you're coming rather close to WP:Legal threats territory, which could get you blocked. Just be careful, because if you want to continue to participate and help improve the article, you'll need to be careful and try to work collaboratively.

    That said, the article is terrible. It's very poorly written, and not encyclopedic at all. It reads like an autobiography, and judging by the history, it also seems very apparent to have been created and primarily edited by the article subject. Looking at the sources, they are all primary sources and even the subject's own, personal website used as sources. The whole article has a very promotional tone. The only reliable, secondary sources we have are the two from the Herald, which are about the plagiarism allegations.

    My first thought was that this should go to WP:Articles for deletion, to be deleted as non-notable BLP1E, but a quick search through google news does indeed show a plethora of reliable sources that mention her, and why we're not using them is beyond me. As written, this article is in really bad shape, and, no offense, but if I were you I'd stick to music. Unfortunately, the problem with being notable is that your dirty laundry becomes fair game, and suddenly having a Wikipedia article doesn't seem like such a good idea anymore. But, as long as it is found in reliable, secondary sources like the Herald, then it becomes a part of the story that we are bound to include. WP:WEIGHT decides just how much space to give it, meaning we literally weigh the coverage in reliable, secondary sources, and apportion the info accordingly. Unfortunately, yet again, because this has been, and is getting, so much coverage --and in fact so much it is now becoming the nexus of your notability-- we cannot ignore that.

    Keep in mind that a multi-million dollar lawsuit may help your pocket book, but is just like adding fuel to the fire when it comes to the notability issues I just mentioned. It's up to you how you want to handle it, but staying silent to the media is likely not the best way to get out in front of it and restore your reputation, but likely just the opposite. What you cannot do is use Wikipedia as your own personal website to try and do that. You need to read our WP:Conflict of interest policy, and start by following the rules here, and just hope and pray that the media doesn't get wind of this, because bad behavior on Wikipedia can earn you just as much ill-repute as it can out in the real world, so I would be very careful how you proceed in the future.

    If anyone has the time and inclination, this is one of those cases where the entire article will likely need a complete rewrite. I see Tony has been involved with this in the past, so I'll ping him, in case he has any insights. Zaereth (talk) 20:00, 6 April 2021 (UTC)

    • For clarity the lawsuit was apparently filed in 2012. While legal cases can be slow at times, I'm fairly sure it's long over by now. This source [4] suggests it may have been quietly settled. Nil Einne (talk) 13:59, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
    • That's not really how the edit history reads. Here's a timeline.
    • It seems quite incorrect to state that the article has been written by its subject. It has been rewritten by its subject, and said rewrites have often not lasted even 1 day. And the lawsuit that Zaereth seems to think is on-going was over six years ago. Uncle G (talk) 15:56, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
I may be wrong about who wrote it, as I only did a quick sweep of the history, but I still stand by my assessment of the writing. I don't recall ever stating anywhere that the lawsuit is ongoing, so that's an interesting interpretation. Of course, when talking directly to someone else, my comments are often not meant to be understood by the everyone else in the same way they are to the person I'm talking to.
Currently, the stuff we have in the controversy section is the best-sourced stuff we have. That's a sad state of affairs, but it means it's very unlikely it will get deleted. What the subject needs to know is that adding more weight to it, no matter how much they want to get the whole story out there, that only gives it more prominence in the article, and I'm sure that she doesn't want this to be what she's mostly known for. The subject has more power than anyone to affect their notability, not from Wikipedia, but from the media we use as sources. That's simple PR advice I'm giving for free. What the subject can do best for Wikipedia is to gather up as many good, quality sources as she can, and bring them to the talk page, because most people are very aware of what has been written about them.
Now, there are good sources out there on this person, and it would be wonderful if that right person came along who has the time, background knowledge, and motivation to fix these problems, and really build this article into the wonderful bio that it can be. While the info in the controversy section will likely stay, the section itself should go, and everything put into its proper sequence of events. I see no reason to wall it off in it's own section, which in itself creates an imbalance. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to help, the snow is starting to melt, the work is ramping up, and real life has to take precedence, so beyond giving this advice, that's about the extent of what I can do. Zaereth (talk) 17:40, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Whoever dragged out that block-because-legal-threat should take a chill pill. How often have I seen admins abuse it. Just deal with the issue at hand, and if it is out of proportion in the article, or not factual, or unsatisfactory in some other way, it should be modified. Tony (talk) 01:46, 9 April 2021 (UTC)

I've whacked the article to remove any unsourced material, which took all of two minutes. The article has been tagged since 2011, which shows that tagging should only be done after making a sincere effort to fix a problem. Perhaps a proper article can be written now that the dodgy content has been removed. Jehochman Talk 02:28, 9 April 2021 (UTC)

That does read a lot better, although I saw no problem with the material in the controversy section ... except maybe weight. I was thinking more along the lines of building up the rest of the article rather than cutting the only secondary sources it had. While university profiles and campus news are certainly reliable sources, they are in fact primary sources, which leaves this article without a single, secondary source.
I wasn't trying to be rude in my comment above, but I guess in hindsight it's a good indication that a person's true mood is easily observed in their connotations --even when they try to hide it-- and people react much more strongly to written connotations than to those same connotations if used in speech.
My basic premise is that a quick search of google revealed many, good, secondary sources. I mean news, magazines, and actual books. There's at least the potential for a decent, start-class article here, otherwise I would have recommended it for AFD if it had only one secondary-sourced event and nothing else but primary sources. That would take all of two minutes as well. All I'm saying is that, while I think the troubles she had at Sydney should likely stay, the rest of this article has the potential to be so much more. But I typically only do that kind of work on articles in which I am very familiar with and have some direct expertise in the subject matter, so that's my two cents. Zaereth (talk) 21:06, 9 April 2021 (UTC)

Lead images for BLPs[edit]

Following a discussion at Talk:Taeyeon § Lead image (again) and the one above it, there does not seem to be a local consensus as to whether higher-quality images should be favoured over more recent images for the lead. I am aware of the discussion that took place at MOS:IMAGES, but I feel that this is different in the sense that the RfC there were for cases where there were decades between the photos proposed. This appears to be a chronic problem for Korean celebrities, where many of the images used are low-quality but are a couple of years more recent. In that light, I would like to form a "broader" consensus on the issue. Sdrqaz (talk) 20:25, 7 April 2021 (UTC)

Can you link to the discussion that took place at MOS:IMAGES? Personally, I think "more recent" is not necessarily a good thing. For example, if the subject is now retired and looks different than they did while they were at the peak of their of their notability, then a more recent picture might actually be worse than one at the height of their fame. What the best image for a given article is depends on the article, and on the choice of images, and will often be subjective, in other words we may not be able to make a general rule. --GRuban (talk) 20:48, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
GRuban, it's the discussion here: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Images § Request for Comment. I agree that we usually cannot make a general rule (there was a bit of concern about WP:CREEP at MOS), but I don't understand favouring a more recent photo when the difference is only a couple of years and nothing major has happened since (like a sex change etc). Sdrqaz (talk) 20:56, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
Well, I think this is something that needs to be decided on a case by case basis, and policy is written to allow for that, so let's look at this in the broader sense. Fist, I have to ask myself, what exactly is gained?
There is really not much difference between the two photos in terms of her physical appearance. Aside from some different clothes and moderate change in hairstyle, she looks pretty much the same in both, meaning she has not aged significantly or what have you. We're not facebook, so we generally prefer quality over whatever is most recent, and as GRuban points out, in many cases people want to see pics of notable people at the height of their notability. Thus, in this case we can really put the dates aside and just look at the quality of the photos.
Image quality is one thing, because we usually want the sharpest pics we can get, but that becomes less of a factor when pictures are thumb sized, so thumb-size image quality is the best we really need to shoot for. Then there is portrait quality, in which a bit more of an artistic eye is needed. Someone one told me that the key to being a good photographer is taking lots of photos, and being able to pick out the few good ones. The better images are ones where the subject is in what you would expect of a good portrait. The background should be good, and provide the best contrast, it's best to be centered in the shot, with the subject looking directly at the camera if at all possible. Cute, flirtatious poses are fine for the body, although not typically ideal unless the subject is known for it, but a good portrait is always best for the lede. So I think all of these things need to be considered, but in this case I think age is a very small factor in that decision. Zaereth (talk) 21:03, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
Noting that the "prime-of-career" images might often be subject to copyright, and our WP:NFCC has more leeway for first image -- so, if it's not the the first image, NFCC might prevent it from being in the article at all (although perhaps for someone like Carrie, if there is some in-article discussion of her distinctive 'look' in the original Star Wars, you might be able to get it in under NFCC). That aside, I think there is generally more encyclopedic value if we don't use "poor quality" images (indeed, if the only choice is a really poor amateur picture, we should consider none, at all). Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:12, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
@Alanscottwalker: For what it's worth, I'm not looking to call for NFCC inclusion: these higher-quality photos are freely available on Commons. Sdrqaz (talk) 21:20, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
Well, that depends, if the commons are terrible amateur pictures, then . . . -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:25, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
I think this is all pretty much universal, not just restricted to bios. Whether it's Moose, Pressure measurement, or Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, the best quality portrait should be used in the lede wherever possible. Zaereth (talk) 21:31, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
Right, but while for many things/persons there maybe many 'good' free images, for some, there may be only 'poor' free images. So, what to do then -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:41, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
I think we're back to case by case. Are we talking poor image quality? (Under/overexposed? Grainy? Blurry?) Does "poor" mean unflattering? Regardless of the subject, I don't think we should be going for that. I think a picture is good to have, but ultimately it needs to add something to the article. I'm by no means a photographer, and many of my images are not the best quality. I know sooner or later someone will likely come along with a better one, but they help explain the text. (Surprisingly, many of my pics have been used in everything from books to documentaries to scientific studies.) I don't think this is the place to try and make some sweeping change to policy, nor do I think policy either can nor should try to encompass every possibility. In this particular case, I would opt for the better portrait. Zaereth (talk) 21:57, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
Yes, there are several considerations: this, while it does not make the living person look particularly silly, imo (it more makes us look bad) is one situation. But I am also thinking of a famous deceased author, and there is a single commons image that looks rather ridiculous, imo, and I think it better to go without any than with that. (I'm not going to link it). Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:12, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
In that case, I would agree; better no pic at all that a pic that looks silly, unflattering, or is so bad you can't even tell. To me, that seems to go without saying, like common sense. Unfortunately, common sense is rather uncommon. Honestly, it shouldn't make a difference if it's Mother Teresa or Aleister Crowley, a lede image should be the best portrait we can get of the subject, and if we can't at least have a decent one, then none at all is probably best. Zaereth (talk) 22:21, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
Remember that a lead image is not required. If we have the issue of a poor quality but better representative of the person as known to the public, over a higher quality but poorer representation of the person, both otherwise free, neither is required in the lede but both can be used within the body. --Masem (t) 21:50, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
I think the bone of contention is whether the photo is a better/poor representation, Masem. For instance, Jimmy Carter uses his official portrait from 1977 as opposed to something more recent like File:Jimmy Carter at the LBJ Library02.jpg. That's understandable, given that his notability was derived from that time. But what's happening at the Korean singers is that more recent images are being used, even if the newer image has no improvement in displaying what they look like (see my previous comment about drastic changes in appearances) and decreases in image quality (greater blurriness, exposure etc). Sdrqaz (talk) 22:11, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
Like I said, I would rate such factors as blurriness (image properties) on what the image looks like at standard, in-article size. There are a lot fewer pixels, so what's a little blurry at full size may be perfectly fine for article size. On the other hand, I would ask myself this: if these were pics of me, which one would I use for, say, my official, high-school yearbook? Which one looks like the better portrait? Zaereth (talk) 22:27, 7 April 2021 (UTC)

Mohammed Jabbateh (Jungle Jabbah)[edit]

Mohammed_Jabbateh_(Jungle_Jabbah) contains a line that is out of place with the balance of the article, presents an obvious opinion and the reference, #14 in the article, nets a 404 error at It is doubly suspicious that the only complimentary sentence in the article is to an article titled "FPA - Witnesses Tell Stories of Jabbateh Torture, Rape, Murder, Cannibalism in Bopolu" which would seem to not be the correct title for the claim made by that sentence; and an article of that import should remain in the African news repository. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

That wording was included in the first version in 2017. The source is available on the Internet Archive: [5]. The word "righteous" is a creative interpretation of what is said therein. Fences&Windows 12:52, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
I've edited the page to fix issues and update it. Fences&Windows 20:51, 8 April 2021 (UTC)

Gary Taubes[edit]

Gary Taubes is an award winning journalist and author who writes on nutrition. There is a line in the summary that states:

"Some of the views advocated by Taubes are inconsistent with known science surrounding obesity."

The source was a single researchers criticism of his book. I had changed it to reflect the weight of the source:

"George A. Bray, an American obesity researcher, believes that Taubes' views are inconsistent with known science surrounding obesity."

but it was reverted. An additional source, the blog of an internet doctor was just added.

It appears inappropriate for Wikipedia to weigh a blog and a book review as 'the opinion of the entire scientific community', and its especially important in the bio of a living person, where something that could be borderline libelous is said in Wikipedia's voice.

Your input on the phrase is appreciated. Thank you.Gsonnenf (talk) 20:42, 8 April 2021 (UTC)

This is about a fringe view and has been already raised at WP:FT/N, as well as being discussed at the article Talk page. Alexbrn (talk) 20:47, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
The overweighed characterization of Taub's as 'fringe' is what is at issue here. Please use this message board as it relates to the biography of a living person. Thank you. Gsonnenf (talk) 21:04, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
Nobody is calling him (his name is Taubes) "fringe"; that would be nonsensical. But some of his views are, as good RS tells us. Alexbrn (talk) 21:09, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
Thank you for your participation. Lets also create space for non-fulltime Wikipedia editors to chime in over the next few weeks. Thank you. Gsonnenf (talk) 21:11, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
Ahh, the surest money makers are fad diets and workout programs without the work. From my own pov, as someone who has been mostly a carnivore for, well, all of my life, I've never put much stock in the science of it. There's too much government involvement, as in there's a big push by both growers and producers in the influence of what is scientifically considered healthy. One of the most interesting studies I ever saw was by a dietician, who actually travelled the world comparing different, regional diets and comparing those to local health-statistics. It was interesting to me, because her conclusion was that the healthiest people tended to be bush tribes in Africa, the Amazon, and Alaska. That's interesting to me, because the last is basically my diet.
I don't know what is best, and would never claim to know. It doesn't really matter to me. I do know today's doctors will someday be tomorrow's witch doctors, and the biggest fallacy in science is the belief that all current theories are absolute. People threatened Antoine Lavoisier for daring to speak out against the Phlogiston theory. Thomas Young was beaten up for claiming that light was a wave rather than a particle. Alfred Wegener was the laughing stock of the scientific community when he proposed the idea of plate tectonics. These may be mainstream science today, but were fringe theories one and all at the time of their inception.
The point is, "fringe theory" is not some kind of insult. It simply means it's on the outer-edge of what is currently considered as accepted science. One could also equate this term with "cutting edge", but fringe also encompasses pseudoscience and pure bunk, as well as cutting-edge science. Thus, I see no BLP vio in this interpretation, especially coming from a very reliable source on the subject. I think even the subject would agree that his ideas are not mainstream, and I think he even makes of point of that in his books. Zaereth (talk) 23:48, 8 April 2021 (UTC)

The qualification to the specific researcher in the lede is a huge red flag. Calling upon the opinion of the entire scientific community seems nonsensiscal, but typical of the sophistry that comes from fringe promoters: I hope that's not the case here. Instead, it might help to point to the current state of biomedical knowledge on the subject matter, to see if we're straying from it rather than assume we are. --Hipal (talk) 22:08, 8 April 2021 (UTC)

Barbara Nitke[edit]

Barbara Nitke (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

The article ( is peppered with bizarre and defamatory insertions that portray this artist’s work as exploitative of children. Her work does not involve children in any way. Please correct. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2603:7000:6b40:6d00:758a:703e:9cd8:eafd (talk) 07:47, 9 April 2021 (UTC)

I'm very sorry that such claims were missed and left in the article. I've deleted them and removed them from the page history. Thank you for raising it here. - Bilby (talk) 11:49, 9 April 2021 (UTC)

Susan Price[edit]

The "as translator" section does not relate to this author (I have double-checked by emailing them) and I propose deleting it. Timetocheck (talk) 11:13, 9 April 2021 (UTC)

This looks uncontroversial so go ahead and do it. In future this sort of suggestion would probably be better made at Talk:Susan Price. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 16:57, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
I've removed it. The editor who added it was already indefinitely blocked. Fences&Windows 17:21, 9 April 2021 (UTC)

Alexei Navalny[edit]

  • The disagreement is about 2nd paragraph in section Political positions. Should his allegedly "nationalistic views" be described at all (the page is very big) and how much space should be dedicated to this? Here is - a typical edit. Is it improvement/neutral wording? The issue is also with properly summarizing sources, some of which are in Russian language and not necessarily RS. My very best wishes (talk) 15:10, 9 April 2021 (UTC)


LowTierGod (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)
The page for this person is being used to purposefully defame and disparage the subject person. There is clear violation of BLP policy.

Many negative assertions were added to the page. Not only do the assertions violate BLP policy, there is also no reference provided for these assertions. Even in places where references are given, careful checking would reveal the sources do not actually support such assertions. In other words, fradulent references are being used to make defamatory assertions. These assertions are libelous in nature.

This subject person is known to have a large community of internet trolls targeting him. In fact, it is likely that the page was created with the purpose of defaming and disparaging this person. In fact, the subject person is not noteworthy enough to warrant a page on Wikipedia, and the page should perhaps be deleted.

There have been attempts to remove the poorly referenced (if any) assetions made on this page. But people keep on adding them back to the page. This is violation of BLP policy. The Talk page of this article has become quite active. I have posted in the Talk page and more details on the situation can be found there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shortscircuit (talkcontribs) 20:37, 9 April 2021 (UTC)

@Shortscircuit: it looks like User:Cullen328 and others have fixed the article so these problems are largely resolved. Nil Einne (talk) 03:23, 10 April 2021 (UTC)
@Nil Einne: Yes, thankfully much of the article has been fixed by Cullen328. However, in the long term this article still requires attention in regards to BLP policy. I will just briefly relay here what I asked User:Cullen328 in the talk page.
Right now, the article is semi-protected and is due to become unlocked in a couple of days. Considering how strongly certain users have protested about the removal of the unsourced assertions, and considering how certain users have already been asking for more (badly sourced/unfounded) assertions to be added... it is reasonable to expect that once the page is unlocked, there will be people continuously trying add such assertions back again. The reaction so far indicates these people are very insistent. What can be done to make sure these people do not make the same contentious assertions again in the long term?
I reviewed the page again, and I do not think the subject of this page is even noteworthy enough to warrant an article on Wikipedia. The subject is merely one of the thounsands of video gamers in the world.
Shortscircuit (talk) 13:19, 10 April 2021 (UTC)

My first reaction is: "Wait, Low Tier God has a Wikipedia page?!". Looking at the sources, it seems he's only notable for the 2020 incident of being banned thus might fall under WP:ONEEVENT. Thus he is worthy of being included in a line or two in the page on the Evo tournament, but not really subject to a full page. If you were to just trim to the best most reliable sources, you'd be left with a stub. thus trying to fill in the page for a controversial figure like LTG would require either unsourced, or sourced to more less notable sources. It's a recipe for problems. Harizotoh9 (talk) 13:30, 10 April 2021 (UTC)

I tried adding his birth name to the page, thinking this wouldn't be a controversial edit, and it was reverted. His birth name is "Dale Emanuel Wilson". "Dalauan Sparrow" is a name he gave himself and is not his birth name. He's very infamous online and people have been following him for a long time. I'm pretty sure they're right, because you can't find any records of anyone named "Dalauan Sparrow" living in the USA. The fact that his actual name is not something you can cite to reliable sources suggests that he is not a notable figure because journalists haven't bothered to check that. Which implies that he isn't notable at all. Harizotoh9 (talk) 20:30, 10 April 2021 (UTC)

Harizotoh9, it is commonplace for stage names, pen names, online handles and other pseudonyms to be used in Wikipedia articles and this person uses "Dalauan Sparrow" in all of his social media profiles, so I see no problem with that. For example, probably 90% of rappers use something other than their birth name. As for what you believe to be his birth name, please be aware that legal name and birth name are not necessarily synonymous. Read the early life of Gerald Ford for a well known example. Please read WP:BLPPRIVACY for the policy reasons why you should refrain from spreading around what you believe to be this person's real name. If you truly think that this person is not notable despite your own description of him as "very infamous online and people have been following him for a long time", then please nominate the article at Articles for Deletion. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 02:56, 11 April 2021 (UTC)

Siobhán Coady[edit]

Oversight requested of defamatory/libelous statements posted by most recent IP editor on this article. Second occurrence in recent weeks so I've also separately requested temp. page protection. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 11:01, 10 April 2021 (UTC)

Page has been protected and vandalism has been removed.49ersBelongInSanFrancisco (talk) 05:23, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

greg yuna[edit]

The page is a clear sign of advertisement and must be removed. The sources are poor. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kohakinori (talkcontribs) 18:07, 11 April 2021 (UTC)

Thomas D. Brock[edit]

An editor has just noted that the subject has died. However, I have not been able to confirm or verify this information anywhere. If I am charitable, then it's likely the user found news of this death in a government index of some kind. Can anyone verify that the subject has died? Thanks. Viriditas (talk) 22:11, 11 April 2021 (UTC)

Colm O'Gorman[edit]

Colm O'Gorman (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) Oversight needed on recent edits that added a category to the article. Reason for inclusion in that category is not mentioned in the article body, and is unreferenced. Diffs: One; Two. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 22:17, 11 April 2021 (UTC)

Michael Potts (actor)[edit]

Michael Potts (actor) was born September 21, 1962 not January 1, 1950. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mpotts62 (talkcontribs) 22:59, 11 April 2021 (UTC)

  • Please show us where we can find that out from published information. Uncle G (talk) 20:04, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

George Stephanopoulos[edit]

User:Therazzors has repeatedly added unsourced or poorly sourced content to this page. See [[6]]. This seems to be a pattern of behavior on the user's part, and he has been previously blocked for BLP violations. I'm not sure whether this is best handled here or on the vandalism-related noticeboards, but I thought I'd bring it to your attention so that you can address it accordingly. (Full disclosure: I have previously reported this user here for similar behavior on the Michael Bloomberg page.) Thanks in advance for your help. Dndlp (talk) 03:26, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

Dndlp This isn't really a "reporting" board in the sense of discussing editor behaviour. It's mostly meant to discuss BLP disputes. I suggest going to WP:AN/I. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 22:55, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
Thanks very much for the explanation! I just wasn't sure how to handle this because it seems that the editor has only added potentially objectionable material to biographies, and it does seem different from outright vandalism or spam. I will definitely consider taking it up with WP:AN/I if the behavior continues. Thanks again for your help! Dndlp (talk) 15:31, 13 April 2021 (UTC)

Mariah Carey birthday[edit]

Alright. There's no getting thru to you savage heathens apparently. I give up. Fuller crie de couer at the bottom. Herostratus (talk) 22:01, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
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.

Executive summary: Mariah Carey's birth year is currently given as "1969". It should be "1969 or 1970" or maybe "birthdate disputed" or maybe just nothing.

So... a team of editors did some excellent investigative work regarding Carey's birthdate. There are two versions circulating and they apparently figured out which one is real. The discussion is here: Talk:Mariah Carey#New evidence for 1969 birth. Lot of sweat, smarts, and teamwork, and its great. I love doing stuff like that myself -- for dead people.

Problem is, Carey's alive, so that complicates how much we can get into investigative journalism.

It is pretty clear that Carey doesn't want -- or at least might not want -- people to necessarily know her real birth date and/or she doesn't want them to think that it's 1969. Stuff like this Yahoo story (and there are others like it) sure as heck makes me believe that could be true,

WP:BLP (at WP:DOB) says

Wikipedia includes full names and dates of birth that have been widely published by reliable sources, or by sources linked to the subject such that it may reasonably be inferred that the subject does not object to the details being made public.

Emphasis added. It doesn't say "widely and uncontestedly published by reliable sources" although you could certainly infer that that'd be assumed. Our rules can't include everything, particularly obvious things. But that's secondary to the subject objecting, which is the key point.

It's just not our job to play "gotcha" journalism whenever we can possibly avoid it. "Oh look she wants to play cutesy and maybe pretend she's a year younger than she really is, but we caught her out didn't we" is not supposed to be how we roll. And it's not key to understanding the entity "Mariah Carey". If it was ten year age difference, that'd put her in the mileu of a different generation of entertainers, and that'd matter. One year doesn't. It's a detail, of little meaning to the reader but apparently of some meaning to the subject.

So, request for permission/direction to restore the old lede. Herostratus (talk) 04:49, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

To the admins. there is a similar discussion in the Help desk with arguments by user above and others. --Apoxyomenus (talk) 15:22, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
While Mariah is known to have been intentionally ambiguous on age when asked (and jokingly referred to March 27th as her "anniversary" instead of a birthday), the impression I get isn't so much a "I don't want people to know the truth" vibe as it is a "I'd prefer to not say the answer". This is someone who gets playful when saying she "doesn't age" (obviously said in jest) and already knows there are various publications suggesting 1969 was her birth year anyway and others indicating it was 1970. Nobody can change the fact that journalists have published such details. Based on what can be credibly verified, we're supposed to make Wiki pages as accurate as possible. Not giving anything for her birthdate would make the page look incomplete and be a disservice to our readers. If 1969 isn't maintained with a note saying there are various sources for that and 1970 with precedence going to the former based on a birth announcement (which honestly is the most convincing evidence available for when she was born), then the next best option would be to go back to the prior "born March 27, 1969 or 1970" bit with citations for each year. The piece I linked is how we finally resolved a question that had previously faced years of debate and uncertainty. Like it or not, that's already public knowledge and has been since even before Heartfox found it (and that user deserves tons of credit for helping determine the answer). Furthermore, it's not like Carey actively goes out of her way to stop people from trying to figure out the truth on their own or interfere with the press using one year or the other as a birth date in their articles (undoubtedly aware that they'll make some comment on it regardless of what she says when asked about it). In conclusion, there's nothing wrong with the note on birth we currently use (especially when that includes multiple sources for both reported years), and it's best to keep this in place. We're not getting invasive by putting in things like addresses or phone numbers. SNUGGUMS (talk / edits) 17:14, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
These are fair points. Still... a lot of this hard to know for certain, and we are supposed to err on the side of caution and protecting the interests of the subject. I don't know as all this adds up to "it may reasonably be inferred that the subject does not object to the details being made public" being incontrovertibly not in play.
And in addition to the question of whether Carey'd welcome our deciding to investigate and settle the matter once and for all, there is that matter of gainsaying sources. I'm sure she was born when you say. However, a number of sources haven't gotten the word. For instance Britannica has 1970. It's unusual for us to say "There's a bunch of usually reliable sources like Britannica saying such-and-so, but they're wrong". But we do it sometimes if there's good proof. But doing it in a BLP over a fraught matter... if we're ever going to forbear doing it that'd be the time.
This case may not be as urgent as some because Carey is not some hapless private citizen. And the facts are on our side. Still... any opportunity to practice caution in these matters is practice put to good use; as a side effect of our great success as an encyclopedia, we largely create the worldwide forever public face of many people great and small. We want to hold the line on caution here as far back as we can, I hope everyone will agree. Herostratus (talk) 13:53, 13 April 2021 (UTC)

Alright. Really, never mind I guess. I suppose a number of admins watch this board, and my experience (not just in this thread) is that both the Admin Corps and the Editor Corps pretty much don't give a tinkers dam about half of WP:BLP, the half which is predicated on "With great power (which believe me we do have) comes great responsibility, so let's be kind to people." Depressing, but I can't make them, and I don't want to hector if nothing'll come of it. Carey's a big shot and I suppose she'll live. (Last time I was here it was some hapless mook being crushed under our iron heel -- sorry, but if the shoe fits -- and I got nowhere even then. So I kind of give up, whatever.) Herostratus (talk) 22:01, 15 April 2021 (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.

Roberta Blackman-Woods[edit]

Issue with the last line of Parliamentary Career section.

Line currently reads "In 2021 it was reported that Blackman-Woods had bullied two of her staff and that the Labour Party had first heard allegations about her behaviour in 2018 [11] " Entry does not note that this was an investigation, no sanctions were levied and multiple complaints were dismissed. Entry is therefore misleading.

Should read "In 2021 it was reported that Blackman-Woods had been subject to investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards over allegations of bullying. No sanctions were levied following the investigation, with Blackman-Woods stating there were 'strong medical grounds for what happened' [11]" — Preceding unsigned comment added by NickRippin (talkcontribs) 08:07, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

The proposed text would fail to reflect the following: "It is understood that last October the parliamentary commissioner for standards upheld two complaints of bullying against her." Fences&Windows 23:20, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

Ron DeSantis[edit]

Biography, particularly section 4.2.1, violates Wikipedia's neutral point of view (NPOV) policy. It relies heavily on information from the Sun-Sentinel newspaper, a known biased critic of Ron DeSantis. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:45, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

  • There are 28 references in that section, and only two are from the Sun Sentinel. There is a quote from the paper, and it is critical of DeSantis, but similar criticism can be found in many other sources as well. Black Kite (talk) 10:49, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

Shannyn Sossamon Family + Relationship libel/spam[edit]

Someone is purposefully inserting incorrect information about my partners and children, thank you so much for your help!!! -Shannyn — Preceding unsigned comment added by Turkeyprince (talkcontribs) 18:12, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

Answered on your user talk page.331dot (talk) 18:59, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

Mehmet Oz[edit]

This article leads with "Mehmet Cengiz Öz…is a Turkish-American[2][3] television personality, cardiothoracic surgeon, Columbia University professor,[4] pseudoscience promoter,[5] and author.[6]"

All of the above factually describe this person's professional qualifications occupations except for "pseudoscience promoter," which is not a profession, it is an allegation. The citation links to a article about other people's opinions -- hardly the same as "Columbia University professor."

In all likelihood Mehmet Oz is a "pseudoscience promoter" and the 2nd paragraph adequately describes controversies and allegations around this. However, the presentation of this allegation as a fact alongside his professional qualifications occupations is obviously intended to push POV and poison the well of this BLP article. It could easily be construed as libel.

There are a number of editors, including admins, who work to keep this in the lede, who shut down all discussion and repeatedly revert good faith changes. They also keep the talk page clean of discussion around this to make it seem like there are no issues. Athene cunicularia (talk) 22:52, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

@Athene cunicularia: Since when were television personality or author "professional qualification"s? They're occupations perhaps, but not professional qualifications. Even professor isn't really a professional qualification. It's a job title or occupation.

Anyway Salon isn't the greatest of sources but frankly the source for Columbia University professor is arguably worse as a primary source. If no one else cares that he's a Columbia University professor, I don't think we should either. I had a look at WP:RS/PS and it suggests there is no consensus on the reliability of Salon but statements from there should be attributed which obviously isn't something we normally do in the lead. If I were you, I'd go to the talk page and concentrate on that aspect and see if better sources can be found.

Finally you claim that discussion has been shut down. This makes zero sense since this discussion in 2017 Talk:Mehmet Oz/Archive 1#Pseudoscience promoter, or alleged? is very very long. This attempted RfC Talk:Mehmet Oz/Archive 1#"Pseudoscience promoter" stated as fact started by you was, non-admin closed with a very detailed rationale. I'm not going to repeat it but the closure seems to be correct. If you want to start an RfC you need to format it like an RfC. If you don't know how, you should ask for help before doing so. Alternatively you can start a less formal discussion. You were explicitly told this in great detail so I'm not sure how that was stifling discussion.

It doesn't look like there has been any attempt to discuss the issue since that malformed RfC in 2018 [7], so no one can be shutting down anything. Any discussion will of course need to be grounded in our policies and guidelines and avoid making nonsensical claims like author or television personality being a "professional qualification".

Nil Einne (talk) 05:56, 13 April 2021 (UTC)

Well hopefully we can just perpetuate this obvious BLP violation because I made a "malformed RfC" and used the term "professional qualification" instead of "occupation." God forbid an incredibly straightforward BLP violation get corrected after numerous years. Athene cunicularia (talk) 18:17, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
If there is a BLP issue here its not an obvious or straightforward one. There is a style issue here but a BLP violation... No. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 06:44, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
To give an example, MOS:BLPLEAD doesn't say anywhere that only occupations let alone professional qualifications can be mentioned in the lead or opening sentence. It makes no sense since otherwise John Wayne Gacy would say something like "John Wayne Gacy (March 17, 1942 – May 10, 1994) was a Democratic Party precinct captain and building contractor." which is clearly off, and would be off even in 1993. I make no comment on what the lead of Mehmet Öz should say, simply emphasising my earlier point that you need to focus discussion based on our policies and guidelines. Nil Einne (talk) 06:27, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
IMO we woud be better splitting the sentences. Simply having "pseudoscience promoter" in the first sentence is fairly unhelpful - we'd be better off dropping it from the first sentence, and adding a complete second sentence pointing out his penchant for non-reality-based medicine and various other nonsense. Black Kite (talk) 10:25, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
Yep and the pseudoscience allegations get their very own paragraph following the lede. Athene cunicularia (talk) 18:12, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
I would give the same advice here as I did in the section below. We need to introduce this person and lead in to the point, rather than trying to cram all the points into the very first sentence. To that, I would also add that there's an old adage in writing, "Show, don't tell." What this means is that calling someone a "pseudoscience promoter" is far less effective than showing it. That type of label is not like "doctor" or "tv show host", but is actually a value-laden label; those who believe in traditional medicine will tend to agree while those who prefer alternative approaches will disagree. Readers don't like to be told what to think, because it often comes off as condescending, so it is always better to show that he's a pseudoscience promoter than to tell us he is. I mean, he obviously is a fan of alternative approaches and whatever berry is the latest craze, or whatever, so isn't it more believable just to show that? Zaereth (talk) 23:11, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
This pretty much is a standard problem on WP all over the place. The first sentence of a BLP (or nearly of any article) should avoid any type of language that can be taken as charactization and that strays outside of objective, factual information. That sentence should be trying to place the topic into a taxonomy of how we'd organize information, and is not required to address notability, with the except of the case if the person is solely known only for that element they are characterized by. Eg Lee Harvey Oswald is strictly known as the assassin of JFK. When we get to people here like Oz where they have an actual profession but are generally seen to be promoting false material, that doesn't make it that the only they they are know for is a psuedoscience promoter, and as that is a clear characterization and not an objective classification, it shouldn't be forced into the first sentence. I'd expect it in the lede as that seems to be a significant facet of what they are known for otherwise but as I said: there's no requirement for the first sentence to outline why a person is notable, only the lede as a whole must do that. --Masem (t) 23:27, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
I agree 100%. I think a lot of the problem, which is a problem of the human condition, is that people often take a backward approach to things. The opening sentence is vital, because it introduces the subject, and it should be factual and objective, but the most important sentence is the summary sentence, because that's where the point is. I again point to the article on Adolph Hitler, only because it is such a good opening paragraph. We don't start by calling him a mass murderer. In fact, we don't call him that at all. He was a politician who became dictator, and then we show how he was responsible for causing mass murder. (Reader's like to make their own value judgments.) We introduce him, and then create a pathway that gets us from here to there in the shortest route possible. That what a lead/lede is, "a conduit, pipe, wire, or pathway". The first sentence is critical as an intro to the subject, but is not the place to make points, that's what the summary is for, and where people look for them. (That's also a hint to people who come here with big walls of text without paragraph breaks. No one can tell where the points are without them.) Zaereth (talk) 23:41, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
Exactly. I think it is a common human fallacy (and extends often to editors on WP as a group) that we want to call out someone that may be ideologically opposed to us in some way (whether they did something morally offensive or if simply they are on the opposite side of the political spectrum), and because we're WP editors and "control" the page, we tend to want to push that, particularly when we can back that up with RSes. Part of being a good editor within WP is being able to craft a lede like at Hitler - one that doesn't express our (editors') views but instead only provides the path and evidence that a reader can decide those views themselves. And a lot of that starts with the careful build from the most objective, non-contestable facts in the first sentence towards the more characterization, impact aspects of a person. It seems like the type of advice that should be codified in some way at BLP at minimum. --Masem (t) 04:25, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
It always seems to be easier to add to leads than to trim them... When a less notable thing is added the natural reaction people seem to have is not to remove that less notable thing but to add everything thats as or more notable to the first sentence as well. First sentences should be short and sweet, you’re probably right that it should codified a bit more.Horse Eye's Back (talk) 06:44, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
Perhaps this is a discussion elsewhere on a policy page, but for example, with news of his death today, I see the same type of problem at Bernie Madoff. There's a way to word that intro to not dismiss his criminality in the ponzi schemes, but as its slapped onto the lede sentence (plus the excessive detail of the trial in the lede) puts far too much focus on that. --Masem (t) 14:11, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
Out of interest I looked at the NYT coverage.[8] The headline, subhead and opening give a good idea of what a professional, balanced approach to Madoff looks like at its outset. Alexbrn (talk) 14:15, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
Again, this may be better off for discussion elsewhere, but I disagree that this is appropriate, at lease from an encyclopedic view. A newspaper's goal is to inform as quickly as possible, the who/what/where/when, and while I agree it covers Madoff in a professional manner for that goal, it is not the same approach one would use in describing Madoff in an encyclopedic tone, where we are not beholden to brevity. --Masem (t) 15:20, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
An "encyclopedic" lede is beholden to brevity, by its very nature. It gives the basics in a nutshell and cultivates interest in reading on. The "basics" here is that Madoff was maybe the most infamous fraudster of the century - without that he'd be obscure and uninteresting. Alexbrn (talk) 15:33, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
We have multiple paragraphs to get to why a person is notable, whereas the newspaper has a sentence or two, that's the big difference. Thats why its important to stress that the lede sentence in WP article need not address why a person is notable, as long as by the end of the lede, that is covered. --Masem (t) 15:41, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
From MOS:FIRST "The first sentence should tell the nonspecialist reader what, or who, the subject is". Madoff was a well known fraud, that does belong in the first sentence. My general thinking, which I got from MOS:LEAD and from high quality articles, is that if the reader only reads only the first sentence, the first paragraph, or first section (the LEAD) they leave with an understanding of the topic. We are not a newspaper but we absolutely should be informed by reliable sources, including newspapers, in how we describe our subjects in the first sentence, first paragraph, and LEAD as a whole. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 15:49, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
"what or who the subject is" is not the same as "why the topic is notable"; often to describe why a topic is notable requires going into how a topic is characterized by other sources, which is a NPOV issue, and we have to be careful around those since we're supposed to write with an impartial and dispassionate tone; throwing in characterizations harms the attempts to stay neutral (which differs our position from newspapers) Later in MOS:LEAD is "Try to not overload the first sentence by describing everything notable about the subject. Instead use the first sentence to introduce the topic, and then spread the relevant information out over the entire lead." We expect the reader to, minimally, read the entire lede section, and possibly stop there and not read the body, not just the lede sentence. So for where a case of someone is more notable for their negative characterization by sources (as the case of Oz here), we can work up a handful of sentences to explain that and present that case in a neutral and impartial tone (as Zareath has pointed out on the page for Hitler). In the case of Madoff, there's no reason that the criminal fraud aspects can be shifted to a second sentence, if only to split what his career was from what his crimes ended up being. It would make that sentence far less clunky and improve the overall tone without losing the relative weight of his crime to his biography. --Masem (t) 16:03, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
He was a famous fraudster. That's the principal defining characteristic of him & his life. This is bringing back memories of the "David Icke is a goalkeeper" discussion. It's a weird take and not rooted in the WP:PAGs or even in any sense of what effective, communicative writing is. Alexbrn (talk) 16:10, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
Effective writing (telling readers what is important in as few words as possible) is a goal though not a required, while NPOV and more importantly BLP require neutrality and impartiality in writing; their importance might require deviation from the most effective writing as to make sure we are presenting an encyclopedic tone. In the case of Maddoff, obviously on the shortlist of details that need to presented near the top of the lede are his convictions related to the ponzi scheme, but it is clear that before the ponzi scheme, he was doing other things in his life that from an encyclopedic view, we would consider also high importance to include in the lede. Because we are to write on BLP (and articles in general) in an impartial and dispassionate tone, rushing to get to the convicted crimes without going through the process of basic explanation of non-contentious facts makes us look like we are writing to the spectacle of shaming criminal behavior, which, while may be reasonable for a newspaper for their efficiency in writing where they may have limited space, is not a position we're to take. There is no requirement in any P&G that the lede sentence include what a person is most notable, only that the lede overall (if not the lede paragraph) gets to that. That first sentence in nearly any article - Oz, Maddoff, Icke - is critical to establishing the tone for the rest of the article, and that may mean that the most notable thing about that person may have to be delayed just a bit to make sure the encyclopedic tone is properly established. --Masem (t) 13:12, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
What you are proposing in unencyclopedic (or at least, antithetical to this Project's goals). Neutrality requires we give most prominence for the most weighty aspects, as established by the best sources. By wanting to give pre-eminence to minor aspects of people's lives, you're proposing something opposite to NPOV. Alexbrn (talk) 14:32, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Yet, "prominence" does not mean first. For a mountain to be prominent, it has to be surrounded by smaller mountains, otherwise there's no point of comparison. It's not only surrounded by smaller mountains, but has the lowest ridgeline between itself and all other mountains, so that it stands out the best among them. That's what prominence means, and it's really no different for writing. If you want something to be prominent, then putting it first is not the way to do it. That's what I meant when I said people often take a backward approach. Putting something first does nothing to make it more prominent, but rather just the opposite. Zaereth (talk) 15:30, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Prominence generally does equate to being first in text. Unlike geographical features text is linear. Actors argue about whose name goes top of the billing for a reason. Your mountain analogy might work if some text in the middle was given a huge font, making it more prominent than its surroundings. Alexbrn (talk) 15:50, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Really? Font size? That's the argument you're going with? Can't think of anything else that may cause prominence in writing? Well, there's no point in trying to argue with logic like that. Zaereth (talk) 16:02, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

I agree that 'fraudster' needs to be prominent in the first sentence of Bernie Madoff - there's no two ways about it, that's the reason he is as famous as he is (I doubt many people in the general public would have heard of him, but for the fraud). On the question of Mehmet Oz, I don't like that awkwardly written first sentence - if you're writing a 'Madeup Nameson is a...', you probably ought to stop before you get to the fifth thing that they are. I'd probably ditch 'author' (how many university professors aren't also authors?), and have something along the lines of 'Mehmet Cengiz Öz, known professionally as Dr. Oz, is a Turkish-American cardiothoracic surgeon and Columbia University professor, who regularly appears on television programmes and is known for promoting psuedoscientific theories on the subject of alternative medicine.' Or words to that effect. GirthSummit (blether) 15:56, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

I was just clicking edit to add a comment but I see GS beat me to my point. I think the Oz FIRST is too long as is and should probably be something more akin to "is a television doctor". However, omitting the pseduoscience is a "good writing" thing rather than a BLPVIO thing for me and if we're going to have that run on sentence I haven't dived into the sources enough to say whether or not pseudoscience belongs there. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:01, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Barkeep49, my understanding is that the OP isn't questioning whether or not he does promote pseudoscience - they're asking whether we should use 'pseudoscience promoter' in the first sentence because it's not a profession. I tend to agree with the OP insofar as 'pseudoscience promoter' isn't really a thing you can be and probably shouldn't be used, but promoting pseudoscience is a thing you can do, and if you do it so prominently as to get articles written about you in the BMJ, that should be mentioned early on. GirthSummit (blether) 16:16, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
I support GirthSummit's proposal or something similar. Oz's promotion of pseudoscience is very prominently covered in RS.Firefangledfeathers (talk) Firefangledfeathers (talk) 16:18, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
I get that but I'm saying that if we're going to have a run-on sentence of a FIRST maybe pseudoscience belongs there, maybe not. I am saying I don't think the sentence should be a run-on, in which case it does not belong there. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:21, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
I'm not pushing for the run-on sentence. What I was trying to say was 'pseudoscience promoter' isn't great writing, that's all, the idea is better expressed as describing something that he does, rather than something that he is. I don't need it to be in the first sentence, quite happy for it to be mentioned in a later sentence (provided it's still reasonably prominent). GirthSummit (blether) 17:30, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Supporting GS proposal, sounds to me like a reasonable and well thought out one CommanderWaterford (talk) 16:59, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

The 2nd paragraph of the lede explains in some detail that Mehmet Oz promotes medical pseudoscience. Given that, I think we can simply remove the label "pseudoscience promoter" from the first sentence. While it's true that he promotes pseudoscience, I always find this sort of writing objectionable, and any reader who continues past the first paragraph (which is short) will learn about Oz' promotion of pseudoscience. -Thucydides411 (talk) 16:16, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

Giving this a bit more thought. Here are the first five reliable and independent sources that Google gave me:
  • NYT: "Dr. Mehmet Oz, the celebrity talk show host..."
  • Missouri Medicine: "Dubbed "America's doctor" by Oprah Winfrey, Oz is well known as the star of his own television show..."
  • Business Insider: "Dr. Mehmet Oz, a television host and adviser to President Donald Trump, is one of the most well-known celebrity doctors in the country. "
  • New Yorker: "Mehmet Oz, the heart surgeon and host of "The Dr. Oz Show,"..."
  • CNN: "Dr. Mehmet Oz, the celebrity cardiac surgeon whose medical advice has been called into serious question in the past."
So, they're mostly introducing him as a TV Doctor. They all go on to talk about his pushing fringe theories/pseudoscience/dubious medical advice very shortly after introducing him though. Given that MOS:ROLEBIO says that the lead sentence should describe the person as they are commonly described in reliable sources, I think that Barkeep49 is pretty much on the money in saying that our lead sentence should call him a TV doctor, but we definitely need to make it very clear in the lead that the medical advice he gives has been seriously questioned. Every unaffiliated source I click on doesn't just mention that - they're mostly about that. GirthSummit (blether) 18:00, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
See, I can agree with this. When people use the term "prominence", it's helpful to know what it means. It comes from the Latin promintorium, meaning "a large mountain jutting out". As a mountaineering term, prominence is applied to writing in much the same way. Giving too much prominence to information is just as big of an NPOV problem as not giving enough. Prominence has nothing to do with order, but it really doesn't exist without a frame of reference. It's like trying to judge speed inside a box with no windows. From that frame of reference, there is no speed. Likewise, with no frame of reference, there is no prominence. That's why when judging NPOV we weigh the sources and proportion things in comparison to the size of the article.
The lede should really be a mini-version of the article. I like to think of it as being like a scaled-down map. Scaled way down. But the order of information as well as the prominence should really match the layout of the body. This is all part of foreshadowing, which is somewhat like constructing a table of contents in the reader's mind. It greatly helps the reader in understanding, comprehending, and remembering info to give it in a non-linear order like this, because that's how the brain works. An example I've used many times before is the honey article. This article has an absolutely excellent lede, and I would encourage everyone to examine how well it gives a summary and layout of the rest of the article, touching on all the main points but not going into any detail. It didn't always look like that, but thanks to the efforts of very good writers like Zefr and so many other, it is now something to be proud of. The Hitler article wasn't always so good either, but once the emotion of everyone involved starts to wind down on article like these, people will come along and think, "that looks weird" and change it bit by bit into a well-written article. I just think it's better to do that to begin with.
Wikipedia really needs some guides on good writing practices, because I think it would help a lot in areas like this. Zaereth (talk) 19:21, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Just a note because "it's helpful to know what it means.” You said earlier that "For a mountain to be prominent, it has to be surrounded by smaller mountains, otherwise there's no point of comparison.” but thats not technically correct... A mountain that has no other mountains around it is extremely prominent, for instance Mount Kilimanjaro is the fourth most prominent mountain on earth specifically because it is not surrounded by smaller mountains. Surrounding smaller mountains make a mountain less prominent, not more prominent. Not sure if this changes your argument about wikipedia policy but just thought I would offer the note. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:32, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Not necessarily true. Take Denali, for example. It is an extremely prominent mountain, with few other nearby that compare. The next most prominent mountain is Aconcagua, in South America, with the lowest point on the ridge between them being somewhere in Ecuador I believe. But that aside, I think that's taking the analogy too far, because even sea-level gives some kind of reference point. Denali in space is just another rock. We need to start by giving reference points, which is what building context is. Zaereth (talk) 19:40, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
I’m not sure what you mean by "Not necessarily true.” Also Aconcagua is more prominent than Denali not less. At least if List of mountain peaks by prominence is to be trusted. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:47, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
I feel like we're just mincing words at this point, but I do believe I said the next most, if I'm not mistaken. I'll give it one more try, and then leave it at that. Let's try a patent analogy.
When you write out a patent, you have a list of claims. Legally speaking, that's what is important, and where you need a lawyer specializing in patents, or you can describe yourself out of your rights. The first claim, therefore, should be the single, broadest, most all-encompassing definition of the subject it can be. It is just a starting place to build from, but too much detail here will restrict your rights. This also, just like expository writing, is based a lot on the theory of scientific methodology as set down by Mills so long ago. So, let's say I invent the lightbulb, my first claim should be: 1.) An incandescent light bulb, consisting of a hermetically sealed, glass bulb, with lead wires and a filament, for the production of light.
That's all you really need for your first claim, and anything else that fits that description fall under my patent. The next claim: 2.) Said item in claim 1, vacuumed of air, to prevent filament from burning up. 3.) Items of claim 1 and 2, with added inert gas of some pressure range, to prevent excess evaporation of filament. 4.) Items in claim 1, 2, and 3, with metal cap, having threads for screwing into socket.
This is really not that much different for expository writing, except we prefer formal language over legal jargon. You start with a very broad, simple beginning and build upon it from there. (In mechanics, we call this assembly order.) To use the notion of prominence as an analogy, assume the reader is starting off at sea level. They don't know boo about the subject. It's better to take them up the mountain than to fling them right to the top. Explain what the subject is, before explaining what they do or how they work. We don't start the Hitler article with the Holocaust. We start by explain just what this person was, and how he came to a position to to cause such terrible tragedy. The Holocaust is really the main point, so we end with that.
People are far more apt to remember the end of a story, not so much the beginning. The beginning is just an intro. You can't give all the information at once, so it's ridiculous to even try. That's my two cents, so I'll just leave it at that. Zaereth (talk) 21:38, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
I actually liked your mountain prominence analogy... With Hitler the Holocaust isn’t that prominent not because it isn't a massive “mountain” in its own right but because adjacent “mountains” (takeover of the German political system, global championing of fascism and racism, invasion of Western Europe, invasion of Eastern Europe, war crimes associated with said invasions etc) are also very tall. For someone like Bernie Madoff there aren’t mountains that come close to their main peak (in his case the Ponzi scheme). Horse Eye's Back (talk) 21:59, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Well, thanks. I guess that's where discussions like this can get confusing, because an analogy is one thing, to help emphasize a point, but sometimes it's best not to get too deep into picking it apart that it obscures the point. For instance, I'm still thinking about Oz. Is he a TV doctor, a quack, or a wonderful wizard? I think in his case it's best to start with doctor and work up to wonderful wizard. But what amazes me is the emphasis people put on the importance of the first sentence. It's only important in as much as it's a place to start. I did my best to describe much of this in my own essay, User:Zaereth/Writing tips for the amateur writer, especially in the foreshadowing and newcomer sections. It still needs work, copyediting, and a little more added. But one of these days, when I have a lot more time, I may try to work on something a little more formal, hopefully with the help of people like Tony, Sarah, Atsme, Zefr, and several others I can think of off the top of my head who are well versed in this area. Someday. Zaereth (talk) 00:18, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
If I were writing the first sentence of Mehmet Oz I would say “American television personality” and probably not much more. I’m not amazed at the emphasis people put on the first sentence, when I ask Siri or Alexa “What is X” half of the time they literally read off the first sentence of the wikipedia article. As far as I am aware not something thats historically been considered when discussing what should be at the beginning of the lead. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 00:47, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

Phillip Adams (American football)[edit]

Phillip Adams (American football) last week shot and killed six people before killing himself after a later police standoff; the story is well established, investigators have tracked the events and know it was him that shot the victims, etc. There's no question that a murder-killing happened with Adams at the trigger.

However, the problem is that we have editors that are rushing to add in "Adams was a football player and mass murderer..." as part of the lede sentence. The lede overall already covers that he shot and killed people, as there's no way to ignore that, but it seems extreme UNDUE and POV-ish to rush to call him a mass murderer. You cannot deny that the sourcing talks about Adams in context of the murder, and by definition "mass murderer" applies, but there are no sources that actually call him a "murderer"; there are no significant signs (yet) that this was a premeditated or provoked attack and while there's still investigation and a coroner's evaluation going on, the current theory ties to to complications of his mental health state from his football career, so the media are treating him more of a victim of circumstance and not calling him, outright, a murderer, though obviously they do not deny his crime. So it seems wholly inappropriate for us to rush to call him a criminal or a murderer in the lede like that, given that is not reflective of the sourcing.

If the attack was determined to be premediated or something that Adams had full control of, then it may be more appropriate to include it, but at this point, we just simply don't know enough, and given the state of the media, we should be as conservative or more so in our reporting rather than rush to use blaming language. --Masem (t) 00:01, 13 April 2021 (UTC)

He chose to go to a house with a loaded gun & kill 6 people. No-one made him do it. Jim Michael (talk) 10:05, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
It's not a BLP so this seems moot. Athene cunicularia (talk) 00:13, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
BLP absolutely applies to the recently deceased per WP:BDP. --Masem (t) 00:14, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
There's no good reason it should - that guideline/policy/rule needs to be changed. Jim Michael (talk) 10:05, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
Being a murderer is a legal conclusion. Labeling him as such would be unacceptable under WP:BLPCRIME if he was sitting in jail awaiting trial. Should the tenets of BLPCRIME extend under WP:BDP? Do current reliable sources (not WP:RSOPINION) label the act as a murder? Morbidthoughts (talk) 00:37, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
There's certainly no shortage of RS which clearly describe the mass shooting as murder. Jim Michael (talk) 10:43, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
Do any directly label him a murderer? The categories that are in the article labeling him as a criminal and murderer are problematic without a conviction. Morbidthoughts (talk) 22:12, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
I think there's a point where we have to use some editorial judgment. First, the opening sentence: Unless a persons sole or main source of notability is being a murderer, then having an opening sentence like that reads as amateurish. When defining any subject, there are a certain set of questions you have to answer to build a context for the reader, so the following info will make sense. There is an order of importance to these question that is intrinsic to the questions, and there is a chronological order to factor in as well. The opening sentence does not need to cover every aspect of the person's notability. It simply needs to define the subject in the broadest terms possible. Then, once you have some context to build from, you can start describing different aspects.
As an example, the article on nitroglycerin would sound pretty funny if it began, "Nitroglycerin is an explosive and responsible for the deaths of millions of people." True as that may be, it sounds ridiculous. We need to build some sort of context first, and describe exactly what nitroglycerin is before we get into details of what nitroglycerin did.
People are no different. We need to begin first with defining what exactly a Phillip Adams is, and then go into different aspects of what he did. Unless he's like Charles Manson, whose only claim to fame is being a murderer, or his friend Bobby Beausoleil, whose primary claim to fame is still being a murderer, then it sounds silly to put that in the very first sentence, sort of like the way a child would tell a story.
I don't see how we can avoid having info about this in the lede. I would avoid using labels like "murderer" at all, and simply describe what he allegedly did. The way the article looked when I checked it, oh ... about 15 minutes ago, looked pretty good, and is just how I would state it. I'd keep in mind recentism, and how bad early news reports can be from the way they will be a few days/weeks from now. News outlets deal with events in real time, and that inevitable leads to mistakes, especially early on, so it's best not to be hasty in jumping to conclusions. Zaereth (talk) 01:28, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
It's not childish at all. Try having a conversation about Adams - see how few seconds (not minutes) it takes for it to be mentioned that he killed people.
To use your example of Manson, your argument about Adams could be used to say that the first para of the lead of Manson's article should be limited to his 'work' as a cult leader. Or should it say new/fringe religious movement in order to avoid being negative towards him? Jim Michael (talk) 10:11, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
What I've stated is that it is too soon to be using that language. If down the road months after these events (likely after the investigation has closed) and that becomes the common way of thinking of about him , then yes, but right now, adding it is putting undue weight on the recent events and without giving the time needed to let the immediate emotional impact of the events simmer down. --Masem (t) 01:43, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
I understand and agree, but I still stay that months/years after this event, an opening sentence that says " player and mass murderer..." will sound ridiculous. That's just bad writing, that's all. Months/years from now, onc the emotion of it winds down and people can look at it objectively, we likely won't have this problem. At the risk of invoking Godwin's law (yet I can't think of a better example of a mass murderer), even the article on Adolph Hitler doesn't read like that, and has a very professional opening-paragraph. Rather than trying to cram it all in the very first sentence, it's better to think about the reader, and what do they need to know first. Zaereth (talk) 01:55, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
It won't ever sound ridiculous. If he'd only committed a minor crime it would be. Readers need to know about the mass shooting well before the list of teams he played for. He was an ordinary player who committed an extremely serious crime. He wasn't an outstanding, world-famous player who committed a minor crime. Jim Michael (talk) 10:07, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
That's funny, because, no offense, but your first sentence sounds, well, ridiculous, so I couldn't help but laugh at the irony. It's not an insult to you, but please take it as a bit of constructive criticism, because, while I understand what you're trying to say, it's just poorly written. That's all. Zinsser's law states, "Easy writing makes for hard reading. Hard writing makes for easy reading." I tried above to briefly explain why it sounds "ridiculous", meaning "unprofessional", but it is difficult to do without writing an entire book. I'd suggest clicking on the link I provided above if you want more info, or I'd highly recommend the book On Writing Well: The Classical Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser, to name but one. I hope that helps. Zaereth (talk) 17:13, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
If it helps, though, I'll break it down like this: Anytime people write more than a text, they have info they want to convey, typically in the form of a relationship between info that leads them to a point. We always have to start with an introduction, and end with a point, or a summary sentence. In between is the content, which show how the two relate. When this end point is reached, then it's time to begin a new paragraph, or else people may miss it. The goes for anything we write, really, be it a single sentence, a paragraph, section, or an entire article. As much as people feel the need to make the point first, that's a mistake, because that's not where people look for it, and it becomes circular reasoning.
Look again at the article on Hitler. That is a very well-written lede there. It introduces the subject, and then leads to the main point. This really goes for all articles, even those like phosphorescence or mirror, and really any informative writing, not just bios. Introduce, relate, and lead to the point. Don't start with it. I hope that helps. Zaereth (talk) 19:11, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
Many notable people are known for 2 different things. In those cases, it's normal and commonplace for both to be in the first sentence. There are 3 mentioned in the first sentence of Donald Trump, 5 in the first sentence of Arnold Schwarzenegger & 6 in the first sentence of Jerry Springer. Even when one thing is criminal & the other is not, it's still normal & commonplace - for example Bill Cosby & Harvey Weinstein. If many WP editors shared your view that it's ridiculous, we wouldn't have a large number of articles which mention multiple things in their first sentences. Jim Michael (talk) 07:33, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
The first examples are cases where those are multiple professions or careers, and thus listing them all in the first sentence is logic. Adding in the criminal or characterization facet that is not a career thing is what makes the sentence completely awkward and appear as immature writing, becuase that is putting that as equal weight as the career parts, which is usually not appropriate. There's a TV Tropes trope called "Murder, arson, and jaywalking" that is sorta the reverse of this but is the same idea: a lede sentence that includes professional/career descriptors and then adds on a criminal facet is mixing terms and phrases inappropriately to create poorly written sentences. Just because you can probably find hundreds of others BLPs with similar first sentences doesn't make it right: as I mention in the above section, this is a long-standing problem due to human nature of wanting to call out negative behavior, and we should really codify that the lede sentence should not be going to to call out criminal or other characterizations unless that is the only thing they were noted for. The whole of the lede can get to any critical criminal facets (as we clearly have with Adams). --Masem (t) 13:13, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
I disagree with your assertion that it's awkward & immature. I agree that in most cases criminality shouldn't be in the first sentence & that it would in most cases be undue weight to do so. However, in this case it's entirely justified. He's best-known for committing a mass shooting - it's not a side issue & wasn't a minor event in his life. He was an ordinary player who committed an extremely serious crime, not a world-famous player with millions of fans who committed a minor crime. Criminality is not mentioned until late in the articles of many sportspeople who've committed serious crimes, which I suspect is in many cases due to fans not wanting it to be prominently mentioned. Jim Michael (talk) 16:11, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
Only over the course of the last few days has he been considered as a murderer over his football career; prioritizing that now is a problem per WP:RECENTISM. If months down the road - after the investigation and analysis has been completed - that sources still readily considering him a murdered over a football player, then maybe there is something to include in the first sentence. But in the days and weeks after his death? It's very much inappropriate to include - this is exactly why BRCP exists. --Masem (t) 16:19, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
What's BRCP? Jim Michael (talk) 19:35, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
Oh, I totally agree about that. Unless a person is solely known for a criminal act, pushing the criminality into that first sentence seems very immature; someone gave the example that we do this on Harvey Weinstein where it is Harvey Weinstein is an American former film producer and convicted sex offender. which seems extremely awkward. --Masem (t) 02:40, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
Should Weinstein's article list many of his films first? Try having a conversation about him & see how many seconds it takes for his sex offending to be mentioned. Even if you try hard to keep the conversation to his film career, the other person will definitely repeatedly bring up the fact that he's a convicted sex offender. Jim Michael (talk) 10:05, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
There is no requirement at all that a person's criminal history has to be made in the first sentence of an article, unless they are solely known for that (eg Lee Harvey Oswald). If their criminal history is a clear notable facet, it must be described in the lede, but the lede still must be written to present the topic neutrally, impartially, and dispassionately, and the rush to include the criminality as early as the first sentence completely demolishes that neutrality (particularly the dispassionate side - it makes us look like we're focusing on calling out the negative). We will cover the criminal facet, but we shouldn't be putting it top shelf, and by placing it last - usually what ends most people's careers and/or lives - it is in appropriate order as well, and that makes us dispassionate to the topic. Keep in mind that we expect that if a reader visits an article they will read at minimum the whole lede, hence the importance of the lede to include this, but not required to be in the lede statement. --Masem (t) 13:18, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
Yes, the act is clearly label as a murder, he is clearly named as the suspect/culprit. But they don't attach "murderer" or "killer" to him. --Masem (t) 01:43, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
Mass shooter, mass killer or who shot six people and himself dead could be put in place of mass murderer. Jim Michael (talk) 10:05, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
It currently says "Adams shot and killed himself following a standoff with police in Rock Hill, South Carolina, after being identified by investigators as the gunman responsible for killing six people the day before." which seems reasonable to me. He's not solely notable for the killing; he already had an article here. Black Kite (talk) 10:20, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
The reader only finds that out after reading a list of the teams he played for. He's by far best known for the mass shooting he committed. The large majority of the people who've heard of him now have only known of his existence since then. Most couldn't name any of the teams he played for. Had he not done the shooting (even if he'd died), most of them still wouldn't have heard of him. He was an ordinary player who committed a massive crime, not a star who committed a minor crime. That's why a mention in the first sentence is due weight. O.J. Simpson's career was much longer, varied & successful - but his criminality is mentioned in the first sentence of his article. Jim Michael (talk) 10:26, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
The probem is that you end up tying yourself in knots trying to phrase it in a single sentence without it sounding terrible. I would possibly swap the second and third sentences around so that the sentence about the shooting follows directly on from the first one which says basically who he was, with the list of teams following separately. Black Kite (talk) 10:31, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
That would be better than how it currently is.
Talk:Phillip Adams (American football) is a more appropriate place for this discussion. Jim Michael (talk) 10:51, 13 April 2021 (UTC)

I'll respond down here, since it's time to undent but doing so would break up the continuity of the threads. I really don't know how to explain this all in a few, simple paragraphs. I can recommend a lot of good books on the subject, but that only works if people decide to look them up and read them. I think if people just understood how written communication works most effectively, then they wouldn't get so focused on the opening sentence as being this all-important thing. Don't get me wrong, because it's very important, but not for the reasons people seem to think.

I've tried one analogy, so I'll try another. This is also a big problem in scientific and technical articles. Math is a completely different language than English, and those proficient in it are quite often not very good in the other. The problem that arises is that scientists and mathematicians tend to want to start off by tossing people right into the deep end, without giving any of the background or basic, general definitions a person needs to follow along. It's really a common problem, in that people tend to assume the reader has all of the necessary background info to be able to follow along.

As an example, I'll use the mirror article. The natural tendency of anyone who is well versed in the science of mirrors is to begin by stating that a mirror is an object that produces specular reflection. That is entirely correct, simple, and precise. But what the hell does it mean?

Now, you can go on to explain what it means, and eventually people might start to comprehend the concept of specular reflection, but that is really doing it backwards. Instead, it's important to think about the reader. What does the reader need to know first about mirrors? What is the one thing that everybody recognizes when they see a mirror? What are the uses of a mirror? How did they come to exist? What are they made of? It's questions like these that need to be answered before we ever need to get into how a mirror works. That's what I mean when I say there is an order of importance to questions. There are certain things a person needs to know first or else the following info will not make sense, and it has nothing to do with people's personal feeling about what is most important.

It's really not so different for bios. There are different ways information needs to be organized in order to make it understandable. In a sense, we're writing a story, so chronological order is a prime concern, but there are also orders of what, where, when, who, how, and why, and orders of other things we can categorize, but ordering things by notability makes the least amount of sense. That first sentence is more like a gateway; a place to get us started on the pathway. The first sentence should be a short, simple equation: "Subject is(=)...". The sentence should be the single, broadest, simplest, most all-encompassing definition possible of what the subject physically is, given in the fewest words possible. As a fictional example, here is an article on John Doe: "John Doe is a politician. John Doe was born on January 1, 1900, in Barf City, USA. Doe worked at a local law firm for two years, until being elected city council member in 1925, where he did this, that, and the other thing. In 1929, Doe was arrested for the murder of his wife and two children..."

In that example, it makes no sense to start with, "Doe is a murderer". First, that's just name calling, which is what makes it look childish. Technically, Doe is a politician who became a murderer, and there is a story in that, so we need to show how it gets from there to here. When he goes on trial, he will be a politician on trial, and when he goes to jail, he'll be a politician in jail. Now he might become far more infamous for these murders, but a politician will still be the primary thing that he is. Second, it's like premature ejaculation to put the climax of the story first. That's what I mean when I say the summary is where the important points go. Putting them first is backwards, and is like trying to explain how a mirror works before first explaining what the damn thing is. While I totally agree with the comments on RECENTISM (this is too recent to tell), regardless of what he's done, a football player is what he is.

To Jim, the one question I would ask myself if I were you is: "Why is this so important to me?" I mean, why do you think the opening sentence is so all fired important? Isn't it better to have a well-written article? Wouldn't that get the message across more effectively? Wikipedia has a lot of rules people can use to micromanage with, but once in a while we should step back and look at the bigger picture, and see the forest rather than just the trees. In all these rules, we sadly have little beyond MOS in the way of good writing guides. Zaereth (talk) 22:59, 14 April 2021 (UTC)

Oh, and at the risk of making this even longer, I think another important concept that people often misunderstand is "Show, don't tell". There's some basic psychology there. People tend to go in the opposite direction of where they're told. In theory, the seemingly obvious way to get kids not to smoke is to tell them not to. In practice, telling a kid not to do anything is the best way to ensure they will. In Aristotelian view, the universe was just like it seems, but since then we have learned things are rarely like they seem. This is really no different for names like "murderer". If you tell me Darth Vader is a murderer, I'm like "Yeah, right. Whatever." If you show me he blew up the entire planet of Alderaan, then I'm apt to believe you. It's always more believable to lead people to a conclusion and let them come to it themselves than to give it to them and then expect them to buy it. Zaereth (talk) 00:33, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Several people made the same edit to this article as I did - but none of them have entered this discussion.
Your hypothetical example of a politician-turned murderer wouldn't be a politician in jail - he'd be a prisoner who used to be a politician.
I strongly disagree that it's bad writing to include a profession & serious criminality in the first sentence - it's just as good writing as including multiple professions in the first sentence. Our readers don't need to read a list of teams that Adams played for before he chose to become a mass murderer. The team names are trivia in comparison to what he chose to do at the end of his life.
Another example of someone who used to have a successful legitimate career but who now is known for something else which gives him a bad reputation is David Icke. He's not a criminal, but it's a valid comparison in that it includes very different things in its first sentence. On top of that, it puts conspiracy theorist first. The lead doesn't go into details about his sports career before much later saying that years later he became a conspiracy theorist. The lead doesn't include any sports details; well over 90% of it is about him being a conspiracy theorist. Jim Michael (talk) 02:28, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Fortunately, the concept of what is well written and poorly written is based in science and not people's personal beliefs, and really goes back as far as Pliny with roots in ancient Greek and Babylonian. In the modern age, there is a very good understanding of the neuroscience and neuropsychology developing that helps explain why. I can recommend some more good book on the subject, but I'd start with the first one I already recommended, because that's one of the best. It's universal, meaning it doesn't matter what language it's in, and is a great factor in determining a sources reliability.
Of course, I don't expect to convince you. There is little point in giving advice to people who have already made up their minds. Like Masem said, this is a problem that transcends this article and is really Wikipedia wide. In any discussion like this, the people you really need to convince is everyone else. Zaereth (talk) 02:45, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Several editors whom I don't know were convinced enough to alter the first sentence in the same way as I did, without any prompting from me. Jim Michael (talk) 02:51, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Have you ever heard of argumentum ad populum? It's what I call the lemming fallacy. If everyone jumps off a cliff does that mean I should do it too? See, this all has to do with basic logic, as all communication does. There is a premise, basis, and conclusion. If any of these don't hold water, then the whole thing is invalid, and it doesn't make sense. It's always a bad idea to make the conclusion the premise, because that becomes circular logic. You start with a premise, and end with a conclusion different from the premise. I don't know how to explain it any clearer than that ... at least, not without charging you. People make good money teaching what I'm giving you for free, so I hope it helps. Have a good day. Zaereth (talk) 03:06, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

Patrisse Cullors[edit]

She might not be everyone's popular figure but various editors are repeatedly adding content to this BLP that is impliedly contentious which they have been told is poorly or unreliably sourced. Help or Advice please ~ BOD ~ TALK 10:49, 14 April 2021 (UTC)

There is plenty of sourcing for it, a good portion of which is reliable. BET is covering it and has some of her and the organization's response. That might be a good source to use if its determined coverage is necessary. ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 12:56, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
For reference, here's a diff with the disputed material. Most of the talk page discussion is in this section and this one. Firefangledfeathers (talk) 12:58, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
Apologies for accidentally deleting this post, after I think I accidentally duplicated it, at the same time as Firefangledfeathers was correcting my error. ~ BOD ~ TALK 13:25, 14 April 2021 (UTC)

FYI The sources that are currently being used are: just a news aggregator, so not reliable not reliable according to Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Perennial sources is just repeating a press release from the right wing National Legal and Policy Center
Fox Business has been offered in the past
I am not sure if BET is reliable, I cant see their article. ~ BOD ~ TALK 13:15, 14 April 2021 (UTC)


NXIVM (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

A series of IP editors and very new accounts have been adding material to the article indicating that a lawyer (Dennis K. Burke) that represented this (rather notorious) group was in fact a participant in the organization that 'which conducted "human fright experiments" on women'. The basis for this seems to be a sentence in a court document which notes that Burke filed a letter on behalf of a client containing statements that turned out to be false. More eyes with familiarity with BLP concerns would be very appreciated at the article and at Talk:NXIVM#Inclusion_of_Burke. - MrOllie (talk) 22:23, 14 April 2021 (UTC)

This page could use some attention by admins as it's getting a lil' hot.--Jorm (talk) 22:54, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
NXIVM has been in the national press for the past few years. There was a segment yesterday about a lawyer who was in so deep with the cult he ended up being singled out by the prosecutor for being a part of nxivm's schemes himself. About the article, what happened was discussion on the talk page leading to a re-write of the text in question by PolySciRBWGirl in a neutral tone. This is exactly what she wrote: "Dennis Burke, lawyer for NXIVM and the NXIVM-sponsored Ethical Science Foundation ("ESF")[126] which conducted "human fright experiments" on women in New York State.[127][128] Burke was previously disciplined by the State Bar of Arizona for misconduct.[129]" Each statement was supported by links to sources already used since years ago within the article. The re-write did not state Burke was a participant in the organization that conducted human fright experiments. It clearly states he was a lawyer for NXIVM and the Ethical Science Foundation which conducted human fright experiments. Yet there was a effort to incorrectly portray the neutral text as improper in order to justify numerous reverts resulting in deletion (concealment?) of any reference to this lawyer who clearly was in the cult, Burke, as can be read on the article talk page. (talk) 04:17, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
@MrOllie: You described people's input as "a series of IP editors" while seeking to lead admins to delete the Burke reference? Really? Did it occur to you many people interested in this article may not want a permanent link to the NXIVM "sex cult" (a verbatim quote from the article) on their Wikipedia account history? (talk) 04:49, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
98: If you're telling me these are experienced editors WP:SOCKing for privacy reasons then okay let's treat them as such and not forgive mistakes because they're still new and inexperienced with policy. 49: What do you mean by all those statements are supported by sources? A quick check of the edit history [9] shows the disciplined bit was only supported by a clear WP:BLPPRIMARY violation, the disciplinary record. Maybe more of the text has the same problem, I didn't look well but I did see other court documents. I don't give a damn how long the text or the source what in the article. If you find a BLP violation please fucking remove it. Don't keep it in but reword it just because it's been in a long time. Nil Einne (talk) 06:50, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Looking into this more, another source editors seem to be trying to use is Frank Report by someone called Frank. Any source with someone's name in it should automatically be questionable when it comes to BLP. A quick check of the source [10] shows that it does appear to be what it sounds like. A self published source. I don't know if the author is a subject matter but it's almost definitely a moot point. There is very little information in that article which won't involving living persons besides the author. In other words, yet another source that seems useless but editors are trying to defend because it's been there a long time. Again WTF? This is the sort of behaviour we encounter a lot with new editors fairly inexperienced with policy but the other IP insists this isn't the problem. Nil Einne (talk) 07:02, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
I also see Newsweek 2013 and beyond is a source editors are trying to use but per WP:RSPS, I don't see where a consensus was ever reached that the source they are trying to use is reliable. There are other questionable sources like ArtVoice. Yet this also seems to be a typical case where editors are insisting it's all very well sourced and documented, but somehow they're pulling out all these questionable or unsuitable sources rather than ones without any doubt. I'll also add that I wasn't the first editor to point out the unsuitablity of primary sources like court documents for BLP so even if 98 is simply wrong and these editors are inexperienced, they still had time to learn BLP policy. In the talk page, there have been completely unsupported claims of WP:PAID editing by those trying to enforce BLP which I've also ignored. Nil Einne (talk) 07:30, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
The 're-write' was still adding Burke's name to a section titled 'Notable NXIVM participants'. Of course it was calling him a participant. And each statement had links attached, sure, but these links mostly did not mention Burke. All we had for that was the court document I already mentioned, and a source about the State Bar. The State Bar source is again a primary source, and also does not mention NXIVM, so cannot be used to connect the two. MrOllie (talk) 11:02, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

David R. Marchant[edit]

The release of a recent PBS documentary may warrant keeping an eye on this page about a scientist. Ditch 13:16, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

Will Amos[edit]

Moved to Talk:Will Amos § Will Amos – aeschyIus (talk) 04:23, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

Noah Oppenheim[edit]

There was strong consensus of an RFC Talk:Noah Oppenheim#Request for Comment Noah Oppenheim for the article Noah Oppenheim that the allegation that Oppenheim attempted "to stop Ronan Farrow’s reporting on the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse cases”, now the first sentence of the story “deserve a place in the lead. There is currently no consensus on how that information should be presented; further discussion may be necessary to elucidate its final form.” No one has responded with suggestions since the consensus decision was determined on Feb. 16. As noted in the article, I have a WP: COI as a paid consultant of NBC News.

1) The lead is not a representative summary of the body of the article or the cited source in regard to the Farrow accusation. Neither the body of the article nor the cited source state as fact that these allegations are unequivocally true, as the lead now does. On Wikipedia, in Noah Oppenheim#Harvey Weinstein, the article says: "Oppenheim denied Farrow's claim and said that the reason NBC News chose not to report on the story was that the available evidence did not meet their journalistic standards." The source cited in the lead includes this: "In response, NBC told the Times that “the assertion that NBC News tried to kill the Weinstein story” was “an outright lie.”[1] “All significant viewpoints” need to be represented.WP:BALASP

2) The current lead is also not enough representative summary of Oppenheim's major accomplishments, as represented in the body of the story. I'd suggest the following, with anything about Farrow in a paragraph afterwards. This language is a straightforward summary of the actual language in the body of the article, already sourced.

Noah Oppenheim (born 1977 or 1978) is an American television producer, author, and screenwriter. He became president of NBC News in 2017. Oppenheim was previously the executive in charge and senior producer of NBC's Today Show and head of development at the production company Reveille. He co-created CNBC's Mad Money with Jim Cramer. Oppenheim wrote the screenplays for Jackie, The Maze Runner and The Divergent Series: Allegiant. He is the co-author with David Kidder of the New York Times best-selling book series The Intellectual Devotional.

In 2017, it was Oppenheim's idea to assign Ronan Farrow to investigate the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations. NBC News ultimately decided not to publish Farrow's reporting, a decision Farrow says Oppenheim played a major a role in. Oppenheim said that the reason NBC News chose not to report on the story was that the available evidence did not meet their journalistic standards. BC1278 (talk) 20:04, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

I do agree that the way the lead is written doesn't match the sources as well as it could. Maybe something more along the lines of He became president of NBC News in 2017 and is known for his involvement in stopping Ronan Farrow's reporting on the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse cases at NBC. If we went with your suggested lead I'd rather see the second paragraph as In 2017 Oppenheim's suggested Ronan Farrow interview Rose McGowan which started Farrow's investigation into the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations. NBC News ultimately decided not to publish Farrow's reporting, a decision Farrow says Oppenheim, president of NBC News at the time, played a major a role in. ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 16:56, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
I would argue that if a defining feature or reason a person is notable is due to one specific event, but that is not the only extent of why they are notable, trying to push that event into the lede sentence with brevity is a problem. You usually need a few sentences to establish the nature of the event for both ease of readability and to avoid possible tone/BLP problems. In this case with Oppenheim, the situation around Farrow is clearly lede-worthy, but I agree it cannot be easily summed in under a sentence and to try to wedge it into the lede para would be wrong; a full second lede para as suggested is much more sensible. --Masem (t) 17:00, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Hi BC. First, I want to thank you for disclosing your COI and working to do this the right way. I must admit, I had to laugh at the part about journalistic standards. That's something I haven't seen on any US news since the days of Cronkite and Rather. There's a reason that if people like me want good, neutral reporting on the US, and especially US politics, we watch the BBC, France24, or the HKN. Not to bust your chops, but I hope you pass that along to your bosses.
Having gotten that off my chest, I will say that when you come to a noticeboard like this, it's a good idea to phrase things in terms of how this is a BLP policy violation. You'll just get a much better reply.
This is really much in the same vein as some of the other discussions on this page right now. Does everything need to be in the very first sentence? My opinion is no, and the lede of that article is rather awkward to read. First, I would try to keep some sense of chronological order there. Saying things like "previously" is written from a present temporal perspective, and makes it read more like newspaper reporting. Encyclopedias should be written from a perfect (timeless) perspective, where the narrator speaks as if outside of time looking in. I would also avoid using phrases like "known for". That's telling me. Just show me what happened.
Thus, even without your additions, at the very least, I would move the part about NBC and Farrow to the end of the paragraph, and get rid of the "previously" and the "known for", and as briefly as possible just tell the facts of the matter. I think that's probably the best way to handle it.
It's a very short article, and I don't think it needs a large lede that is basically just a repeat of what is in the body. The lede should be a brief summary, and keep in mind that more space means more weight, so brief is often better. (And I would avoid also saying things like "it was his idea", because it makes it sound like we're mind readers, or we have close ties to the subject.) That's what I'd recommend, is correct some of the phrasing and put everything in a logical order. Zaereth (talk) 17:23, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Ok, I have a few moments while I was stuck on hold, so I did a quick draft of what I believe would be a more appropriate lede. Keep in mind, I'm just going by the article as currently written, and the article is currently in a very poor state, with a lot of unsourced material, poorly written in many spots, and some even written from future perspective (like a prediction of the future). The entire thing really lacks any time reference, cohesion, or continuity. Anyhow, if I were to write this lede, I would go for something more along the lines of:
Noah Oppenheim (born 1977 or 1978) is an American television producer, author, and screenwriter. He wrote several screenplays, including The Maze Runner. Oppenheim became a producer at NBC overseeing shows such as Mad Money and Hardball. In 2015, he became a vice president at NBC, and was the executive in charge and senior producer of NBC's Today Show, where he supervised the 7–8 AM hour of the broadcast, and was head of development at the production company Reveille. He became president of NBC News in 2017, where he received criticism for refusing to publish the story of the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations.
That's my two cents, so I hope it helps. Zaereth (talk) 19:17, 16 April 2021 (UTC)


Heffner000 has been edit warring the following passage to the TommyInnit article (Note: the subject in question, Thomas Simons, is currently a minor):

Simons came under fire after he asked for a "shoutout" under KSI's tweet about the tragic passing of legendary rapper DMX. KSI was one of many online personalities and celebrities who took to social media to pay tribute to the late icon. However, KSI's tweet ended up being overshadowed by one particular comment from Simons, who had just turned 17 years of age at the time. In the comment, he asked KSI to post an Instagram story giving him a "shoutout" in honor of his birthday. This not only proved to be a case of horrible timing but was also labeled as "insensitive" and "disrespectful." Amid rising backlash, he eventually realized how triggering his reply was and immediately deleted it.[2] He later addressed the situation on stream and attempted to clarify his comment by revealing that he hadn't read KSI's tweet properly.[3]

To me this looks massively undue and frankly trivial. SportsKeeda is as far as I can tell an unreliable group blog that should never be used for claims regarding living persons, as it has no evidence of editorial oversight. Hemiauchenia (talk) 02:02, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

Trivial minor social faux pas that doesn't seem to have any long-term impact, along with questionable sourcing. Remove. --Masem (t) 02:07, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Heffner000 edit warred the material in again, this time using Dextero. I don't think Dextero is any better than SportsKeeda and remains massively undue regardless. Hemiauchenia (talk) 02:15, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Even if it was sourced to BBC, assuming that this was all that was covered, its a minor triviality. It's why we don't post minor infractions that celebrities may have (like speeding), unless it has a long term effect. --Masem (t) 02:17, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
@Masem: Heffner000 has gone and restored the material again, this time just directly linking to the tweets diff. As I am at my 3RR for the page today, can I ask you assist? Hemiauchenia (talk) 02:44, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
I went ahead and reverted that. I think with that level of sourcing you can rightfully claim the BLP exemption rule to 3RR, but of course, that's always up to interpretation. I think this was a clear enough breach to qualify. Zaereth (talk) 02:53, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
I agree, I had a revert all lined up but you had already done it. Thanks for that. Hemiauchenia (talk) 02:54, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
They've gone and reverted again. This is enough. I have opened an ANI thread, see Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Heffner000.Hemiauchenia (talk) 04:07, 16 April 2021 (UTC)


  1. ^ Battaglio, Stephen (2017-02-15). "'Today' show executive Noah Oppenheim is named president of NBC News". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  2. ^ Periwal, Saahil Agnelo (2021-04-10). "TommyInnit faces backlash after asking for a "shoutout" on KSI's "RIP DMX" post". Sportskeeda. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
  3. ^ "TommyInnit Explains His Inappropriate Tweet To KSI..." Just Twitch Clips. 2021-04-09. Retrieved 2021-04-15 – via YouTube.

Birth certificate[edit]

The Birth certificate article contains an image of a birth certificate from commons. The underlying certificate appears to be a public record that anyone could order. Nevertheless, the WP:BLP policy does not allow the use of public records to establish the birth or death dates of living persons. The person described in the questionable image is likely to be living. So should this image be removed from the article? Should it also be removed from commons? Jc3s5h (talk) 17:00, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

Is the image being used as the source of someone's birthdate, or is it just being presented as an example of a b.c.? The issue is that we don't want public records as the source for birth dates if we have an article on that person and that's the source for them. I am guessing this is for the date of the son of Louis Tomlinson (based on the name shown) but going by the sources there, there are three BLPSPS from Tomlinson and spouse that are 100% appropriate to use, and there is no need to touch that b.c., nor the current article there from In Touch Weekly (which is just republishing it) for demonstrating the date. --Masem (t) 19:33, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
I see no problem with that image. All of the pertinent info has been blacked out, so there is no way to tell who this certificate is for or when it is from. It looks like just a sample of a birth certificate with all the necessary precautions taken. And although you can call it a public record, it is very difficult for anyone to just order one, because from that you can get a driver's license or whatever else you need for identity fraud. I had a hell of a time just getting a copy of my own. Zaereth (talk) 19:48, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Edit noted below... - Wikmoz (talk) 19:53, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
I've edited this photo and a few others as well to obscure personal information. Masem, saw your note after editing. I can walk back obscuring the parent's names. Would then just need someone to delete the original version. - Wikmoz (talk) 19:53, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Didn't notice that. Yes, we should definitely get rid of the original asap. Zaereth (talk) 19:56, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Personally, unless Tomlinson himself offered that cert (which based on the photo and the In Touch source that says "In Touch has exclusively obtained the birth certificate of Louis Tomlinson’s baby boy, Freddie Reign.", that Tomlnson did NOT offer that cert), then us having that photo is an invasion of their privacy even if if this is a matter of public record and would be a free image. I don't know how Commons would handle it, but we should not use it ourselves just because it exists. (Right now there's a similar discussion happening on User talk:Jimmy Wales over the matter of consent, and this I feel falls right into that). If we really need a birth cert. image for another reason (such as to illustrate one), we should use one that we know has been voluntarily provided, such as a WPian's own cert, or one for a person long since dead where there will be no issue over concent to use (eg someone that has been dead pre-1920s). But using this image for any purpose seems wrong. --Masem (t) 20:01, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
No objection to removing entirely. As an immediate fix though, can we delete the original versions of:
Can't fix the NZ one because it's a PDF and unsure about the Russian ones. Pinging Ellin Beltz and Didym for Commons admin assist. - Wikmoz (talk) 20:17, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

There are fourteen non-specimen birth certificate images on that page that have not been redacted and that identify likely living people with information such as identity card numbers, certificate numbers, identifying barcodes, full dates and times of births, and even full information about parents in some cases. For this article, I think that only specimen or completely redacted birth certificates should be used. There is no reason for this article to have any birth certificates that directly identify specific people. These are examples, not specifics. Uncle G (talk) 20:21, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

  • Yeah, I will agree. I don't deal much with commons, but things like that should get deleted on sight, in my opinion. When I first clicked on the image above, I just assumed it was a sample someone pulled off flikr, but in retrospect, it should all probably just be deleted, for the reasons both you and Masem said. Zaereth (talk) 20:28, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
    • Whether Commons has a problem with these images is a separate matter, and arguments can be made that some specific birth certificates have value, and (knowing Commons) will be. This, however, is a Wikipedia problem. Bad editorial judgement was used here to include the birth certificates of specific identifiable people in an article that will never need to have anything other than samples or redactions as examples. People took what was available, without consideration of what was highly inappropriate for the article. Uncle G (talk) 21:07, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Obscured a few more. - Wikmoz (talk) 21:05, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

Some of the comments are about the ability of any member of the public to get a copy. In the United States, the policy varies from state to state. Some states, like California, offer "informational" copies that anyone can get, and "authorized" copies that only people connected to the birth can get. See Jc3s5h (talk) 20:49, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

Yet another reason I'm thankful I don't live in California. It's bad enough that, according to any label, everything is "known to cause cancer" there. (That's a bad joke, I know, but someone said it to me once, so I had to pass the burden to the rest of you.) Regardless, it is such a blatant vio of BLPPRIMARY, I don't even know where to begin. I'm with Masem. UWe shouldn't use them unless it's like an official sample, or something from at least 100 years ago. We wouldn't even allow a link to a source that provided a pic of one, so having them on wiki is just so wrong... Zaereth (talk) 21:10, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Just a quick note in relation to Masem's 20:01, 16 April 2021 (UTC) post, we generally exclude the full names and dates of births of non-notable children without regard of how much their parents are spreading them per WP:BLPNAME. We should only consider including them if enough other sources have picked up the details. If the subject themselves are the one spreading the info then our concerns are greatly lessened although in the case of a minor I don't think them spreading the info changes much. Nil Einne (talk) 22:37, 16 April 2021 (UTC)