Wikipedia:Living People Patrol

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Living People Patrol is a proposed active monitoring group interested in manually assisting editors in implementing and enforcing the Wikipedia policy on Biographies of living persons (BLP). As we seek out a direction, please visit talk on Wikipedia talk:Living People Patrol. For automatic, bot assisted enforcement of the BLP policy, see Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/BLPWatch. Although currently inactive, there is a brainstorming session here to discuss future projects and revisions to the rules.


Simple ongoing edit checking[edit]

This is a simple patrol to keep an eye on edits as they come through. It doesn't have to be perfect and the reviewers don't have to be perfect; we just want every living bio edit to be reviewed at least once.

  1. Regular checking of changes to anything in Category:Living people. As of September 2006, these are coming through at about 10 edits per minute.
  2. Regular checking of Special:Newpages for possible new living bios. These should be tagged with Category:Living people and {{WPBiography}} on the talk page (if not already present).

The first should be automatable using similar tools to those currently used in vandalism patrolling; the second would be suited to some custom JavaScript, such that a reviewer need only glance at an article and press a button to add the cat and tag if needed.

Note that the recent changes patrolling should not be difficult; revert edits that add apparently-questionable information without a source and note the reverted edit on the talk page (this could also use a piece of JavaScript to do the job in one click), tag more difficult cases for someone else to take more time over (see next section). Note also that perfection is not required of the editors.

If we can honestly tell people that Wikipedia runs at least this level of checking, it'll be good for both internal quality control and for internal and external publicity.

Simple ongoing category maintenance[edit]

We have a lot of existing living people articles that are not in the category and don't have the tag. We need to find these articles and tag them (with Category:Living people on the article and {{WPBiography}} on the talk page), so that they can be more easily monitored. This is something that can be done more slowly at our leisure.

Possible ways to search on such articles:

  • Go through all categories for people. An iterative search through all of Category:People should be suitable, and could in fact be semi-automated.

More difficult problems (proposed process)[edit]

Once members of BLPP identify an article as potentially libelous, the following process should be followed:

Removal of unsourced and poorly sourced claims and potential defamation per se; WP:LIBEL
  1. Remove any unsourced negative claims;
  2. Remove any defamation per se that is dubiously and weakly sourced.;
  3. Use a summary along the lines of "BLP Patrol: Unsourced negative material removed as per WP:BLP."

Slander_and_libel#Defamation_per_se describes four instances of libel that are already defamatory by default.

  • Allegations or imputations "injurious to another in their trade, business, or profession"; perhaps described as destruction of professional reputation. As an example, journalists try and follow an ethics code, alleging violations of that code may cause termination and prevent them from future jobs in the industry.
  • Allegations or imputations "of loathsome disease"; Subnote: (historically leprosy and sexually-transmitted disease, now also including mental illness)
  • Allegations or imputations of "unchastity"; Subnote: (usually only in unmarried people and sometimes only in women). Also can be expanded to include sexual orientation, specifically allegations of homosexuality
  • Allegations or imputations of criminal activity; Subnote: (sometimes only crimes of moral turpitude) Allegations calling someone a prostitute, fraud or other crime should be determined by the judicial system.

User Process[edit]

Three user talk templates for dealing with users violating WP:BLP.

To put these messages on a user's talk page, use the code {{blp1}}, {{blp2}}, or {{blp3}}


Any editor can join this group. Just sign your name below.

  • ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 23:46, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Crockspot 01:14, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Fred Bauder 02:56, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
  • --Tbeatty 04:04, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
  • HResearcher 13:06, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
  • David Gerard 16:17, 8 September 2006 (UTC) - I haven't time for the patrolling, but have been in much discussion of the processes and (as a press contact) have a strong interest in getting something workable in place
  • Geo.plrd Geo. 17:58, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Electrawn 21:08, September 9, 2006
  • FCYTravis 23:07, 9 September 2006 (UTC) - I've been involved in quite a few BLP issues, and have OTRS access to help deal with issues raised there.
  • SlimVirgin (talk) 17:43, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Tree Biting Conspiracy 23:35, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Lou Sander 02:31, 14 September 2006 (UTC) Also I have no time for patrolling, but I have an interest and maybe some acceptable thoughts and suggestions. I'm willing to jump in when the patrol finds a problem article.
  • Musaabdulrashid 07:30, 16 September 2006 (UTC) very good idea.
  • Atom 16:11, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Hornplease 10:18, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
  • FloNight 16:45, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Ramsquire 18:55, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Edison 19:07, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Fairness And Accuracy For All 01:57, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Caper13 19:01, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Honorable citizen 16:36, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
  • AvB ÷ talk 15:35, 27 April 2007 (UTC) Just found out this project existed. I started doing some work on the noticeboard after posting a report that did not attract any attention and realizing the board was a bit understaffed (in terms of quantity, not quality)
  • KonsulRomanumSPEAK to the Consulate 02:16, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Voice of Reason 05:11, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
  • ELO MnLynx Fan77 13:57, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Terraxos (talk) 03:13, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Trust me, it's notable (talk) 07:52, 5

Mithrandir (talk) 15:57, 27 January 2011 (UTC) June 2010 (UTC)


See also[edit]

Living People Patrol