Wikipedia:Micronations

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This was a proposed guideline covering the notability of, and interpretation of existing Wikipedia policies and guidelines in relation to, micronations.

Background[edit]

Micronations are entities that resemble sovereign states in their use of such symbols as flags, coats of arms, coins, banknotes, passports and governing hierarchies, but which are in fact unrecognised as sovereign, and which may be partly, largely or wholly ephemeral in nature.

There are many types of micronations including, but not limited to:

Kingboyk has started to categorise some of the micronation articles, because the scope distance in the main category was too wide. However as he's not an expert in the subject he may have made mistakes; please fix, and if you can suggest other/better categories please do.

Principles[edit]

  • "micronation" as a catch-all term has been applied by the media, by major public institutions, in educational discourse and in printed publications to describe any and all of the above for well over a decade.
  • Wikipedia is not the arbiter of whether the concept of micronations is "trivial" or not. The concept exists and has been clearly defined. Wikipedia's purpose is to document that reality, and those of its manifestations that have been documented in multiple non-trivial sources. We must, however, document them in a way which reflects their coverage in the provided sources, and not allow personal enthusiasm to distract from that.
  • Anybody can declare themselves head of a free state, and achieving trivial media coverage is not difficult. Micronation articles need, therefore, to have strict notability standards, and multiple independent non-trivial reliable sources per WP:RS.
  • Wikipedia is most certainly not for things made up in school one day
  • Articles on micronations should be written with a neutral point of view in a style and tone which reflects the predominant view of the reliable sources. Examples:
    • If the reliable sources indicate that the "micronation" is regarded as a cultural curiosity or cultural phenomena only it should be written about in the same tone, and not unilaterally given undue legitimacy or significance. Example micronation: Empire of Atlantium??
    • If the micronation has not been recognised by other governments but has received serious coverage as a political entity, it may be presented as such in the Wikipedia article. Example micronations: Sealand, Hutt River Province
    • DISPUTED. If the micronation has been covered in reliable sources as primarily a scam or attempt to defraud, the article should focus on the scam or the scamster and must not present the micronation as a legitimate entity. Example micronation: The Principality of New Utopia, now moved to Lazarus Long (micronationalist). (This principle proposed by User:Kingboyk and disputed by User:Gene Poole).

Verifiability[edit]

Micronations which are referenced in multiple non-trivial sources are, by definition, appropriate inclusions in Wikipedia.

Micronations for which physical evidence of existence has been documented in multiple non-trivial sources, are by definition, appropriate inclusions in Wikipedia.

A micronation may be considered verifiable if it meets the following criteria:

  1. That its existence is independently verifiable by more than 5 offline documentary sources.
  2. That such documentary sources are likely to have come to the attention of a minimum of thousands of people in a minimum of 5 countries over a period of years - eg through the medium of popular television and radio broadcasts, and in high circulation national newspapers.
  3. That it has produced substantial physical evidence of its existence - ie tangible objects such as coins, medals, banknotes, stamps, passports (preferably all of them) produced in multiples of at least hundreds - or alternatively, that it or its representatives have been involved in court cases or other public processes, meetings or ceremonies, for which transcripts or photographic records exist.

Alternative views[edit]

The above is based on a list created by User:Gene Poole in 2004. After some debate in 2006, some other opinions arising were:

  • A notability guideline is needed
  • Criteria 1 should read: 5 different offline documentary sources. 5 articles in the Sydney Morning Herald should be not enough. 3 different sources would be better than 5 articles from the same newspaper; those 5 articles could be just because one writer or editor has a hobby.
    • The same 5 articles seem to be used in support of all the micronations or wannabe micronations anywhere near Australia, and the book "Strauss, Erwin S. How to Start Your Own Country" seems to be relied on by most also.
  • Criteria 3 may be too lenient. Court cases should not be enough (see talk).
    • DISPUTED: Coins, passports, stamps etc should only count if they are valid somewhere. (this is the dividing line between Micronation and Microstate; see Talk)
  • The policy makes no distinction between territorial micronations and artistic/political/fandom ones, both which are valid encyclopedic topics but which should have different notability tests and which require different approaches to article writing.
  • There was a suggestion that WP:WEB should apply to micronations which exist primarily online

Naming conventions[edit]

Short form or long form? (In the examples below, the current article name is wikilinked; any dab suffix is hidden by piping)

Relevant policy: Wikipedia:Naming conventions

Possible precedents:

  • Existing micronation articles (mostly long form, some exceptions)
  • "Real" countries, e.g.:

Deletion debates[edit]

Grand Duchy of Avram (AFD discussion) Kept Complied with: 1, 2, 3
Empire of Atlantium (1st nomination) Kept Complied with: 1, 2, 3
Empire of Atlantium (3rd nomination) Kept Complied with: 1, 2, 3
Empire of Atlantium (4th nomination) Kept Complied with: 1, 2, 3
Empire of Atlantium (5th nomination) Kept Complied with: 1, 2, 3
Hutt River Province Principality (AfD discussion) Kept Complied with 1, 2, 3
Ladonia (AFD discussion) Kept Complied with: 1, 2, 3,
Nation of Celestial Space (AfD discussion) Kept Complied with: 1, 2, 3,
New Utopia (AFD discussion) Kept Complied with: 1, 2, 3,
Principality of Freedonia (AfD discussion) Kept Complies with: 1, 2, 3,
Sealand (AfD discussion) Kept Complied with: 1, 2, 3,
Sovereign State of Aeterna Lucina (AfD discussion) Kept Complies with: 1, 2, 3,
Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands (1st nomination) Kept Complied with: 2, 3
Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands (4th nomination) Kept Complied with: 2, 3
Principality of Marlborough (AfD discussion) kept Complies with: 1, 3
Northern Forest Archipelago (AFD discussion) Deleted Complied with: 3
Nova Roma (AFD discussion) Deleted Complied with: 3
Fifth World Council Deleted Complied with: none
Duchy of New Sealand Deleted Complied with: none
Empire of Septempontia (AFD discussion) Deleted Complied with: none
Nation of Pogo (AFD discussion) Deleted Complied with: none
Republic of Atlasia (AFD discussion) Deleted Complied with: none
Societas Via Romana (AFD discussion) Deleted Complied with: none
Virtual Commonwealth of Cyberia (AFD discussion) Deleted Complied with: none