Wikipedia:Claims require specific evidence

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Claims require specific evidence. Stronger claims, such as about disruption, require even more evidence to show a pattern of disruptive actions, rather than just casting several opinions of imagined turmoil. Otherwise, any person can claim a disagreement as a "disruption" of their thinking, or perhaps violating wp:NPA (no personal attacks) simply by disagreement against their viewpoints (as attacking their issues, rather than a personal attack).

A common form of skirting the evidence is to merely list a short set of claimed actions, but not provide diff-links which clearly demonstrate each claim. For that reason, one of the poorest attempts at unsubstantiated claims is to merely suggest a situation violates a list of Wikipedia acronyms, but give no evidence, as merely "WP:THIS or WP:THAT or WP:THEOTHER". Such a list of WP acronyms is often a warning sign to beware that there is no significant basis to the claims, although some evidence might be listed later, as if a few details could justify all the acronyms in the list.

Incorrect reasoning[edit]

Unsubstantiated claims, which lack specific evidence, involve some common fallacies, which can mislead other editors into false conclusions. Some common fallacies of baseless claims include:

It does not take long to notice a pattern, of long-winded diatribes which do not pinpoint specific evidence, so that there is less talk-page space for other editors to write real concerns or link to specific facts. In some cases, the smokescreen of excessive text is noticed by other editors as clearly a rambling case of wp:TL;DR ("too long; didn't read"), versus somewhat long text which actually shows specific examples with diff-links.

When just one or two edits are diff-linked, as supposed evidence of the stated claims, then that can be a gross exaggeration of a pattern, while three or more cases would begin to show a pattern. For example, in a claim of wp:FORUMSHOPPING, if only 2 other venues can be cited (as being "all the other forums"), then that claim of forum-shopping would be suspect (discussions in three forums is not many, among dozens). Another example would be a claim of wp:VOTESTACKING where only two more editors were contacted, on one side of a debate, as compared to the count of other editors contacted. Otherwise, a one-vote difference could be combined with an accidental notice, as a two-vote excess, and so three extra would be more evidence of a real pattern, as contacting a "disproportionate numbers of users" who favor one side of a debate (see: wp:CANVAS). Note that the count of three cases (or more) is for claims of a pattern, whereas a single violation could be backed by just one diff-link, as in the case of a personal attack which demonstrated a disparaging attitude toward other users (if strong words are stated).

See also[edit]