Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard

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Does splitting off of the "controversies" part of the main pages on the NSA, CIA, and FBI raise neutrality concerns?[edit]

The discussion between me and @Thewolfchild: about this at Talk:National Security Agency#Removal of Content from Main Article is not going anywhere, so I'd welcome input from others, especially from experienced editors. Until a few days ago the main page for the NSA included extensive information about controversies, and the TOC listed 13 of them, so that any interested reader would quickly find what they wanted. Now there's nothing more than a link to a newly created "List" article that contains that information. I later noticed that a while ago the same editor had done the same on the main pages for the CIA and the FBI. In all cases, coverage of these controversies in the news media and other sources has been extensive, and there's been a lot of public interest. My concern is that a reader could easily get the impression that the main page has been sanitized by relegating criticism to a subsidiary page. I assume good faith, am not claiming that there was any intent of bias, and take Thewolfchild at their word that their only reason for doing this was to shorten the rather long main page. But it seems odd that, if it's really necessary to shorten these articles, sections weren't removed that are much less likely to be of interest to readers, such as NSA#Facilities for example. NealKoblitz (talk) 13:16, 21 December 2021 (UTC)

It does raise NPOV concerns. Especially so given that despite removing ~50,000 bytes of content, no discussion about the split has been sought, and no attempt has been made to follow CORRECTSPLIT – instead the section has simply been deleted and pasted into a separate article with no summary. Splits on highly visible pages such as this should certainly have discussion first. I should restore the status quo prior to this bold edit, until there is consensus, or not, for removing this whole section of content. Cambial foliar❧ 21:51, 21 December 2021 (UTC)

I normally say that "controversy" sections should not exist; they just lower the bar for putting heckling and POV crap into the article. But in this case, these contain a huge amount of central and important content; IMO they should not be removed. North8000 (talk) 22:12, 21 December 2021 (UTC)

@North8000: this isn't about the existence of "controversy" sections, just that the size of one became quite large, in an already very large article, and the section was split off to it's own page. No content was lost or changed in the move. - wolf 23:44, 21 December 2021 (UTC)
Nobody is claiming any content was removed, but that the removal of that content from the main article creates NPOV concerns. This seems fair, given that readers will naturally land on the main page first. Theknightwho (talk) 06:56, 22 December 2021 (UTC)
As per Wp:STRUCTURE, to maintain NPOV we should avoid Segregation of text or other content into different regions or subsections, based solely on the apparent POV of the content itself because this can result in an unencyclopedic structure. Rather than separating off into a separate article (which would intensify the NPOV problem here), restoring NPOV would entail folding debates into the narrative, rather than isolating them into sections that ignore or fight against each other. Most of this content should be incorporated into the “History” section. If there is a size issue it can then be dealt with in the normal way by trimming of excessive detail from all sections. Cambial foliar❧ 08:04, 22 December 2021 (UTC)

I answered (and received responses) in two places. Briefly, I am more more focused on the informativeness of the article (which POV can affect) than the higher goal of NPOV. Either way, to avoid duplication, I'll move to just the talk page of the article. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 12:57, 22 December 2021 (UTC)

The key is proper summarization. As long as the main article covers the fact that these controversies exist, and gives a synopsis of what they consist of… I don’t have a problem with placing the details of the various controversies in a sub-article (or series of articles). Blueboar (talk) 13:06, 22 December 2021 (UTC)
Agree with Blueboar. While controversies are noted in the lead, the section itself still needs a summary. If the split remains and no one else does it, then I'll write one. - wolf 14:35, 22 December 2021 (UTC)
There actually appears to be a summary, that was initially and inadvertently moved in the split. If that's not sufficient, it can always be improved, but just wanted to note that a summary need not continue to be an issue. - wolf 14:26, 2 January 2022 (UTC)
  • Strong no. Contrariwise, NOT having such sections woulc be aeggregious violations of somethubg of a far more fundamental nature than applies to NPOVl concerns, though I lamely confess I cannot think of the word forv it at this time. It would br dangerously close to censorship and/or suppression of knowledge to have all of the controversies scattered and buried throughout the rest of the article. Furthermore, except for the agencies themselves, there IS NO "POV" controversy that even exists here. It is universally in ALL of our best interests to have this information as easily accessed as possible while adhering to all the rest of the P&Gs. These are exceedingly powerful government agencies, and the perpetuation of knowlege over wrt to controversial things they've done is how government is kept honest in free societies, and is one of the critical factors in in ensuring free societies REMAIN free. For, if the CIA or FBI & knew that they could do anything in the world that they want and that its reporting would be minimal to non existent, they would be playing hard and fast with the rules whenever they wanted. Including said sections on said types of articles is how these groupsare kept honest and within the rule of law we've placed them under. 2600:1702:4960:1DE0:6CB7:62BD:5DB:4891 (talk) 18:30, 22 December 2021 (UTC)
  • As a comment (ignoring the split), I'd question if each of those sections in the current controversies section are really notable controversies or just things editors believe should be classified as controversies. Some of them are, no question, but there are a few that seem like "I dislike the NSA so I think this needs to be called out". This is the general problem with "controversy" sections in general, as they tend to attract any negative commentary that editors can find about an entity. This doesn't mean the section should be dismantled, but it needs trimming to key ones (eg I would definitely agree the warrentless wiretaps should stay, while the AT&T one seems iffy). Also, in this particular case with a wholly separate notable topic "Mass Surveillance in the United States", some of those can be discussed there. --Masem (t) 18:37, 22 December 2021 (UTC)
  • Yes, splitting them out to a separate article without leaving a summary in the main article creates a problem with NPOV. On the other hand, many things in List of NSA controversies should not be in a controversy section or article. They are just operations (see National Security Agency#Operations) or important passages of its history (see National Security Agency#History), and they belong in the main body of the NSA article, possibly with pointers to other articles which go more in-depth for specific operations or topics. MarioGom (talk) 17:12, 25 December 2021 (UTC)
  • Moving controversies to a separate article without summaries is obvious WP:POVFORK. Relegating them to a controversies section is less egregious but still not good NPOV WP:STRUCTURE. The ideal would be to anchor them all with summaries in the History and Operations sections, in chronological order alongside the uncontroversial aspects. Sennalen (talk) 22:03, 27 December 2021 (UTC)
  • I see this conversation is ongoing on the article talk page, so I hope those editors are still watching here. This is the same issue that is occurring on media company articles; I made a comment on Wikipedia Talk:Criticism regarding this. I see this argument has occurred on the CIA talk archive as well. Perhaps a unified strategy can be generated for information-related organizations or something, so that this argument doesn't have to continue recurring. SmolBrane (talk) 04:06, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
  • Not Necessarily, splitting it into a separate article is fine if the section for NSA, CIA, and FBI controversies makes it so their respective articles are WP:TOOLONG, but a link to a separate article should be provided along with a synopsis of the controversies in the new article. KlammyKlam (talk) 19:18, 17 January 2022 (UTC)

HM Prison Edinburgh: Craig Murray[edit]

I am referring the entry on Craig Murray as per the discussion on the talk page: User:NSH001 refuses to accept that his version of the text about Murray is biased, goes beyond the facts and indulges in obvious speculation. Mark Hamid (talk) 18:48, 21 December 2021 (UTC)

No other inmate's circumstances are treated in the way being insisted upon here. Mark Hamid (talk) 18:49, 21 December 2021 (UTC)

Everything I wrote is fact-based, with one possible proviso. I referred to the fact that the case was heard without a jury (and that's still a fact), the implication being that no jury would convict on the evidence presented; thus in effect the case was rigged to get the desired verdict. It remains my view that the case was rigged – and not just the absence of a jury. However, I am willing to consider taking that part out for now, as it could be regarded as OR. I also note that the ECHR, when it eventually gets round to hearing the appeal, is quite likely to comment on the absence of a jury, and the numerous other judicial anomalies involved. --NSH001 (talk) 19:22, 21 December 2021 (UTC)

It's best to keep discussions all in one place, so I have moved the folowing from Talk:HM Prison Edinburgh. --NSH001 (talk) 19:53, 21 December 2021 (UTC)

Why not just stick to simple facts? "Found guilty of contempt of court for publishing information about the Alex Salmond trial." Schazjmd (talk) 18:57, 21 December 2021 (UTC)

Publishing reports on a court case is not a crime. It's what journalists do as a routine part of their work. As it happens, Murray's court reports are complete (except when he was barred from entry to the court), scrupulously accurate and written in clear, elegant English. If you overlook the claim of "jigsaw identification", then you're not sticking to the facts. --NSH001 (talk) 19:44, 21 December 2021 (UTC)
It remains my view that the case was rigged. Nobody cares what your opinion is on this case. Wikipedia is not the place to right great wrongs. Hemiauchenia (talk) 20:09, 21 December 2021 (UTC)
On the ‘lack of a jury’ point, plenty of inmates in Scottish prisons are in there following conviction by a judge sitting without a jury, but - as per established practice - Wikipedia entries don’t note this. There is no right to jury trial in Scotland, so it’s not appropriate go into the judicial process, even if you personally feel it was prejudicial. Mark Hamid (talk) 20:27, 21 December 2021 (UTC)
This is bizarre. I offer to make a concession, and you are both responding as if I had said the opposite. Mark, could you please show me the evidence for your claim that "there is no right to jury trial in Scotland"?
NSH001, if you are under the misapprehension that blatant editorialising like this [1] is remotely compliant with WP:NPOV policy, you are very much mistaken. As Schazmid says above, all we need to report in this article is that Murray was imprisoned there. We say nothing about the merits or otherwise of the conviction, since that is entirely off-topic. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:35, 21 December 2021 (UTC)
No, there is no editorialising there, other than possibly the point I've already mentioned (and that can be dealt with, if necessary). We do say what the inmate was incarcerated for. Unfortunately, in this case, because the charge of "jigsaw identification" is so rare, some explanation is necessary of what it is, and that makes the entry longer than would normally be expected. --NSH001 (talk) 22:20, 21 December 2021 (UTC)
Murray's article doesn't even mention "jigsaw identification". Why does it need to be explained in a list of notable inmates? Schazjmd (talk) 22:30, 21 December 2021 (UTC)
"Murray's article doesn't even mention "jigsaw identification".". That's bizarre. It's what he's imprisoned for, FFS. I've said this before, but can I just remind you all that without "jigsaw identification", there is and was no contempt of court. Someone should correct it ASAP. Admittedly I haven't looked at it for a long time – it's not the sort of article I enjoy working on. I hope someone else will do it, but if necessary, I'll do it myself. --NSH001 (talk)
He's imprisoned for contempt of court. It's contempt of court because a judge made that ruling. Rightly or wrongly, it is what it is. The list of notable inmates is not the place to argue the case or even to explain it. "Found guilty of contempt of court for publishing information about in connection with the Alex Salmond trial." suffices. (I tweaked my suggestion.) Schazjmd (talk) 23:45, 21 December 2021 (UTC)
This is clear editorialising per MOS:EDITORIAL. Hemiauchenia (talk) 22:36, 21 December 2021 (UTC)
The crime was "contempt of court"; "jigsaw identification" is not a crime known to the law of Scotland (and don't ask me to prove a negative). As for proof that there is no right to trial by jury in Scotland, that "the procurator fiscal is the master of the instance" is a long-established precedent for which, again, you will find no recent contradictory case law. The PF chooses between summary (judge, sheriff or justice sitting alone) or solemn procedure (judge or sheriff with a jury) - the exceptions are those limited cases where statute law requires a particular approach (eg. solemn for murder trails) and anyone with professional experience of the Scots legal system will tell you the same. Mark Hamid (talk) 22:42, 21 December 2021 (UTC)

Regarding your comment that "Found guilty of contempt of court for publishing information about in connection with the Alex Salmond trial" suffices, I wonder if it is proper to link to the BLP of Salmond when he is know for far more than this trial, and whether a better / more appropriate wikilink might be HM Advocate v Salmond? Perhaps as

Found guilty of contempt of court in connection with HM Advocate v Salmond

@Schazjmd: Thoughts? (talk) 06:56, 1 January 2022 (UTC)

I agree with you,, that is better. Schazjmd (talk) 15:28, 1 January 2022 (UTC)
I have edited to introduce this NPOV brief summary version. (talk) 23:06, 1 January 2022 (UTC)

The wording as just amended reads: "A former ambassador to Uzbekistan found guilty of contempt of court in connection with HM Advocate v Salmond." This is inadequate in a number of ways:

  • All of the entries apart from Craig Murray's give some kind of indication of why the incarceration was remarkable.
  • Although factually correct, the charge of contempt of court is very generic and could encompass a very wide range of acts. Therefore, the current wording is very uninformative. The specific here is that Murray was alleged to have published information which could have been used, along with information available elsewhere, to identify the complainants in the Salmond case, so-called "jigsaw identification", a phrase used conspicuously about Murray's case. A fuller treatment elsewhere would mention that the judge applied a very broad interpretation of "information available elsewhere", so that it included knoweledge held by those related to or work colleagues of the complainants, and that part of Murray's defence was that there was no evidence that anyone who hadn't known who the complainants were anyway or had identified them using the greater detail provided by the mainstream media had identified them using the information provided by him.
  • Identifying the Salmond trial using the label "HM Advocate v Salmond" is entirely unhelpful. Even anybody suspecting that the Salmond in question is former First Minister of Scotland would have to follow the wikilink to check that the trial is the one they suspect it is.

    ←   ZScarpia   15:57, 2 January 2022 (UTC)

I disagree. The descriptions for the other "notable inmates" are just basic facts, same as Murray. It appears that having a Wikipedia article is the criterion for being listed as a "notable inmate" in HM Prison Edinburgh, not that there was anything unique or notable about their incarceration. The "fuller treatment" of the charges and identification of Salmond is at the linked Craig Murray article (where it belongs). The prison article is not the place to argue Murray's conviction, as ZScarpia and NSH001 appear to want to do. Schazjmd (talk) 16:49, 2 January 2022 (UTC)
The descriptions in the other cases, may be "basic facts", but they are basic facts from which some kind of sense of why the person is being mentioned may be gained. At the moment, the way the entry on Murray reads is that he is being mentioned because the fact of a former ambassador being imprisoned is notable. In fact, until events surrounding the case, including possible tie-ins with attempts to prosecute Julian Assange, are clarified, I think it would be better, for the moment at least, to omit any mention of Craig Murray's incarceration in the current article. At what point do facts stop being "basic"? Wouldn't that be very subjective in the present case? I'm sure that the other cases mentioned could be stripped down to even more basic facts too.
Please keep your opinions about what other editors "appear to want to do" and other products of your imagination off the talkpage noticeboard. Note that I did write "a fuller treatment ELSEWHERE."
    ←   ZScarpia   17:52, 2 January 2022 (UTC)
There is an almost-article of faith amongst some sections of the crank left that Nicola Sturgeon is a power-mad dictator wanting to censor any criticism of her and the Salmond rape trial (and Murray's contempt conviction) were part of that (and, as an aside, there's a weird overlap between the people who think the average trans woman is a sex pest and those who think all of Salmond's accusers were lying harridans, but I digress). In reality, however, Murray was warned that his publishing could jeopardise the trial, but still went ahead; it's the exact same thing Tommy Robinson got done for, but the article for HMP Hull doesn't try to paint him in a good light. Sceptre (talk) 19:59, 2 January 2022 (UTC)
Thanks for that. However, bear in mind WP:Talk Page Guidelines: "Talk pages are for discussing the article, not for general conversation about the article's subject (much less other subjects)." I shouldn't think that noticeboards, including the current one, should be treated much differently. In addition, I think that there are errors of fact or misrepresentations in what you wrote which would be WP:BLP issues. Either provide (accurate) sources justifying writing that "Murray was warned that his publishing could jeopardise the trial, but still went ahead", delete it or amend it so that it is not a misrepresentation or, at very best, misleading. Contrary to what your statement implies, Murray's contempt of court conviction had nothing to do with potentially prejudicing Salmond's trial.
As I wrote before, I'm not in favour of currently including Craig Murray in the list of notable inmates. If he is listed, though, the entry should be reasonably informative.
    ←   ZScarpia   21:43, 2 January 2022 (UTC)
Regarding Sceptre's comments, it may be useful to refer to the court's sentencing statement and one of Murray's blog articles. The blog article contains a facsimile of the 20 January 2020 letter sent by the Crown Office which requests the removal of the 18 January 2020 article "Yes Minister Fan Fiction", which the Crown Counsel viewed as containing a potential contempt of court, and that Murray refrain from publishing anything further which may be prejudicial to the Salmond trial. Something the letter did not request was that Murray refrain from publishing anything about the case altogether. Although other articles relating to the Salmond affair were removed from the blog, the "Yes Minister Fan Fiction" one remains. At the contempt trial, Murray faced two charges, that he had impeded or prejudiced the Salmond trial by his reporting and analysis of events leading up to it and that he published material which could have led to the identification of one of the complainants. The first charge seems to have related to two articles, one published on 23 August 2019 and the 18 January 2020 one mentioned in the Crown Office letter. The sentencing statement outlines the reasons that the judges rejected the arguments supporting that charge. Perhaps of note given comments made above is that the sentencing statement uses the phrase "jigsaw identification", a use being to differentiate Murray's offence from that of Yaxley-Lennon (Rommy Robinson).
Sceptre might like to note that, for me at least, if a Google search is done on the terms "Sturgeon" and "dictator", the first result returned sounds decidedly un-leftwing, crank or otherwise.
    ←   ZScarpia   17:08, 3 January 2022 (UTC)

Bias in Wikipedia page for Rand Paul[edit]

Rand Paul (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

There is a sentence on Rand Paul's Wikipedia page that should be changed, due to obvious bias. The sentence currently reads:

"In August 2021, Paul was suspended from YouTube for a week under the company's misinformation policy after he published a video which falsely claims that masks are not effective".

I think it should read: "In August 2021, Paul was suspended from YouTube for a week under the company's misinformation policy after he published a video which (according to YouTube) falsely claims that masks are not effective."

If this sentence isn't changed, it demonstates a clear bias by Wikipedia about masks in general, as well as about the YouTube video being referenced. Neutral reporting demands that no judgement is made by the reporting entity. They can report that another entity has made a certain judgement, but they are not supposed to make one themselves. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:4A:C801:2390:B034:A59C:E7AB:8DFE (talk) 23:45, 22 December 2021 (UTC)

With all due respect, Wikipedia follows the reliable sources, and we say what they say. "Neutral" is perhaps poor phrasing, but the line in question seems appropriate to me. If you have sources which say something else, by all means present them on the article's talk page. Cheers, and Happy Holidays. Dumuzid (talk) 23:51, 22 December 2021 (UTC)
In this case, I think the IP is correct that we should be attributing YouTube for the reason they suspended him, if that is actually what they said (which is the case, per the cited NYTimes article). It removes the issue that the reason for removal being speculation from other sources. That said, the phrasing could "In August 2021, YouTube suspended Paul's account for a week, stating that a video he had published, claiming that masks were not effective against COVID, violated the site's misinformation policy." It is minor change but takes a few things out of wikivoice to be more neutral in writing but keeps it to following the sources. Otherwise, the current line puts the rationale in Wikivoice, which is not really the right voice to state that. --Masem (t) 00:44, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
The IP is not correct. Neutrality does not imply that we give equal voice to fringe theories regarding the effectiveness of masks, which is what the essence of the IP's complaint boils down to. AlexEng(TALK) 01:05, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
That's not what I'm saying the IP is correct about, only that we should be attributing YouTube for the reasons why they blocked. They made the choice to banned, and thus their statement (or paraphrase of it) is what we should be saying without Wikivoice itself criticizing fringe view. (Clearly the "masks don't work" is fringe per WP standards, but we don't need to call it out every time it is mentioned in any context, which is what the present text in Paul's page says. The IP's suggested claim is not appropriate, but switching to make sure that we attribute YouTube itself for why they blocked is appropriate. --Masem (t) 01:25, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm not sure I follow, Masem. Which part of the following sentence do you disagree with? "In August 2021, Paul was suspended from YouTube for a week under the company's misinformation policy after he published a video which falsely claims that masks are not effective". The sentence does not state any rationale in Wikipedia's voice. The sentence says three (maybe four) things:
  1. Paul was suspended for a week from Youtube in August 2021. → "YouTube on Tuesday ... suspended him from publishing for a week"
  2. This happened due to the company's misinformation policy. → "A YouTube representative said the Republican senator’s claims in the three-minute video had violated the company’s policy on Covid-19 medical misinformation."
  3. This happened after Paul posted a video that claimed that masks were not effective. → "... after he posted a video that disputed the effectiveness of wearing masks to limit the spread of the coronavirus"
  4. The claim that masks were not effective is false. → "In fact, masks do work, according to the near-unanimous recommendations of public health experts."
All of these points are directly supported by the source. We don't need to attribute them, as they are not not opinions (see: WP:VOICE). What is the issue? AlexEng(TALK) 02:14, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
In your list, it is #3 being said in Wikivoice, as well as a bit of unnecessary pushing on point #4. YouTube said that Paul's video about masks being ineffective violated its policy and thus blocked him. It's clear from the source that was the reason, but that's in YT's words, so the way its stated is putting that language in Wikivoice. Furthering that, once you put #3 into attribution to YouTube, there's no need to reiterate "false claims that masks are ineffective" since its still the point that YouTube considered that misinformation. It is correct that the video's message of "masks aren't effective" is a false claim, but there's no need on a BLP to hammer that point when we can simply call it misinformation per YouTube's assessment. It's a rather subtle but key point about the passage's tone in Wikivoice. --Masem (t) 04:55, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
Some points are so subtle as to be meaningless. Nothing you have proposed is "key." Your version gives the impression that there was some sort of equivalence between the claims of Paul and YouTube. Dumuzid (talk) 05:11, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Why do you need to attribute YouTube's assessment of whether or not Paul broke YouTube's policy to YouTube? Who else is the arbiter of when someone breaks YouTube's policy? This position has been reported by a reliable secondary source, not in an opinion piece, and is suitable for inclusion without attribution. If it had come from YouTube's website, blog, or social media, I might even agree with you, but that is not the case. BLP policy does not exclude us from posting verifiable, neutrally worded facts on a BLP, so I don't see any reason not to describe the claim as false either. AlexEng(TALK) 05:16, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
The way the sentence is currently given, it is given as a factual claim in Wikivoice for the reason for removal. There are times that a social media site may take action to block a person, but is not clear about the reasons, but the RSes covering it make their speculative guesses for the reasons why; in such a case, we absolutely should attribute the guesses why to the sources reporting them. This is not one of those cases, but as to be clear that it is not such a case, we should be very clear in attributing the reasons why to YouTube, and out of Wikivoice. --Masem (t) 14:36, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
It is the factual reason for removal according to the New York Times. Even if you, personally, have a gut hunch that this is just "speculative", that has no bearing on article content; including your gut feelings on the matter in the article voice (by framing that undisputed fact as mere opinion, and making it sound like it is only YouTube's opinion, at that) would be a gross NPOV violation. Again, if you feel that the NYT is unreliable, you can take it to WP:RSN; but it feels like you're bringing a WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS approach to this where you want to "fix" what your gut instinct tells you is the NYT's "speculation." That is not how writing Wikipedia articles works - if you want to argue that this is a seriously-disputed assertion and should be treated as such, you need to present sources of comparable weight to the NYT actually disputing it, not your gut feelings and personal opinions. --Aquillion (talk) 20:59, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
There are two issues: First, did Paul's video claim that masks are not effective? If there is reasonable doubt about whether the video made that claim then an attribution regarding whether the claim was made would be suitable. The second issue concerns whether "masks are effective". I would have thought that issue was well settled by reliable sources and an attribution should not be made because to do so would suggest there was some doubt. Johnuniq (talk) 02:07, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
There is not reasonable doubt regarding the first point. Here's the direct quote from NYT:

In the video, Mr. Paul says: “Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work. They don’t prevent infection.” Later in the video, he adds, “Trying to shape human behavior isn’t the same as following the actual science, which tells us that cloth masks don’t work.”

If there is doubt regarding whether or not he claimed that masks are not effective, it is not reasonable. AlexEng(TALK) 02:19, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
I agree with AlexEng. Masks are known to be effective, and the sentence in question clearly states that it's YouTube's misinformation policy that Paul violated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Muboshgu (talkcontribs) 03:37, December 23, 2021 (UTC)
  • I have to ask… is the fact that Paul was suspended from YouTube (for a week) really significant enough to mention in the first place? Was there any lasting effect? WP:RECENTISM? Blueboar (talk) 13:17, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
On the contrary, it is encyclopaedic to preserve (and not hide from readers) the actions of the large private corporations, with regard to Senators elected by the people. Or are we now into the business of not seeing, not hearing, and not talking about what the mega-corporations do? XavierItzm (talk) 18:38, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
  • Agree that the correct text ought to be "In August 2021, Paul was suspended from YouTube for a week under the company's misinformation policy after he published a video which (according to YouTube) falsely claims that masks are not effective." The original sentence said in Wikipedia's voice that Paul's statement was false. Whether Paul's statement is false or not is irrelevant: what is relevant is that Wikipedia in its own voice becomes judge and executor regarding politician's opinions.XavierItzm (talk) 18:31, 23 December 2021 (UTC)

What do RS say?Slatersteven (talk) 18:41, 23 December 2021 (UTC)

If we say "according to Youtube," we are giving parity with a proven scientific fact and Paul's statement, which is a violation of neutrality. Paul said, "Most of the masks you get over the counter don't work. They don't prevent infection." While that statement is false, he leaves open the possibility that other masks might work. Paul later changed his statement to "cloth masks don't work." While that statement may actually be true, the 3-ply masks more people wear do work.[2]
Maybe we could change the text to "Paul was suspended from YouTube for a week under the company's misinformation policy for making a false claim about the effectiveness of masks in preventing the spread of covid-19."
TFD (talk) 20:12, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
Adding that Paul's mask statement contradicts scientific fact (which is does) outside of YouTube's rationale is basically coatracking that it is a fringe view atop discussion of YouTube's ban. What is appropriate is to discuss, in a "Views" section, that Paul's claims on masks in general beyond YouTube have been criticized as fringe and against science with RSes separate from YouTube (see for example [3] as a source) and then add that YouTube blocked him for his mask video as misinformation. That still covers that issue about his views but separates it from YouTube's reason to block. --Masem (t) 22:57, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
@Masem: with respect, and there is lots of it, this argument is almost exhaustingly trivial in nature. We have an RS saying that he was banned for violating the mask policy. The OP has an obvious POV on the subject and looks like they're righting great wrongs, particularly about mask effectiveness in general. We don't need to pick apart sentences word by word to come to the conclusion that what the NYT said and what the article says are the same thing. Please be reasonable here. It's plainly against WP:FALSEBALANCE to hedge statements with fringe beliefs that no reasonable person would dispute. Surely you can agree with that? AlexEng(TALK) 06:21, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
It is small things like that have been building up across numerous articles as a larger trend that WP seems to promote incorporating as many negative things just because media sources have said that. Its on the more subtle but still key parts of NPOV that our tone of writing needs to remain impartial and dispassionate regardless of what sources say. That Paul has a fringe view of masks is something we should say and can be backed by sources where it can be (like the WaPost one I give). That he was blocked from YouTube for his mask video that went against their misinformation policy is absolutely fact but the reasoning should be stated in their words. While the reasoning very much overlaps with the previous aspects that his mask theories are fringe, we have to be very careful about mixing that up and creating synthesis of ideas in Wikivoice, a step that is very easy to fall into in the current ideological environment. As a hypothetical example where this type of approach can be a problem, imagine a person that has a well-established anti-LGBT stance (supported by numerous sources). If they posted a video expressing their thoughts that "marriage can only be between a man and a woman" without mentioning anything about sexuality or the like and there was a reason to talk about that video, it would be absolutely wrong for us to say "he posted a homophobic video" based on what we already knew about him and the lack of anything that specifically calls that out in the video. That's synthesis. We can include attributed statements if others called it a homophobic videos, but its not WP's place to be the ones to call it that. --Masem (t) 13:47, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
I understand your points. I really do. But this isn't synth. Both aspects of this are from the same article in the same source, and they are not cherry picked out of context to mislead the reader. We're saying what NYT said in Wikivoice, which is appropriate, because we summarize consensus views based on RS. It feels like a slippery slope to me. Do we also have to attribute statements on the curvature of the Earth to NASA? AlexEng(TALK) 13:55, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
That we're saying in Wikivoice is the problem. It's still synthesis on a BLP page. The way it is currently writing is Wikivoice making an interpretation of the video contents - even if that interpretation seems consistent with the same ideas that are already out there in RSes. I'm looking at the "Disease control" section of Paul's and that we don't touch on his mask ideas before the video is a problem and makes this statement stand out even more. As I've said, just as that section started with the sourced statement "Paul has spread false claims about the safety and efficacy of vaccines.", there should also be a paragraph that leads into the YouTube one , based minimally off the WaPost source above, that says something like "Paul has also made false claims related to mask-wearing. <more stuff here about his mask stance> YouTube suspended Paul for one week after he posted a video related to his stance on masks as misinformation." Now that's all 100% kosher in Wikivoice without any bit of interpretation and makes sure that we've identified his stance on masks not being effective as also false in the same paragraph. This isn't challenging the veracity of masks being effective, simply avoiding interpretation of the video and why YouTube blocked him in a direct statement made in Wikivoice without attribution. --Masem (t) 14:15, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
I agree with Masem's concerns here. Personally my concern is that in some context what Paul said appears to be true. This is one of the big issues with fact checks in general. Sometimes the context of a statement is lost. "A bike helmet won't protect you" is a statement that I would generally view as false. However, if the context was a discussion of related to a type of crash that hurts the legs vs the head, yes, a bike helmet won't protect you becomes true. If someone says my original statement is false but leaves out the specific context then we have an accuracy problem. To avoid that we attribute. Back to Paul's claim, my understanding of masks is almost all types help reduce the risk of a sick person transmitting to healthy people. The other way around is less clear. Among many factors it is dependent on the type of mask and if the wearer uses the mask correctly. So depending on Paul's intended context his statement may not have been false. However, if he didn't include that context then it may be reasonable to read it as a broader statement rather than a narrowed statement (even if that wasn't Paul's intent). If we are going to say Paul was wrong then we need to make sure his context and intended scope of the claim is clear. If we don't have that then we should stick with Youtube's statements as we can cite them without risk of false context. If nothing else we should always err on the side of attributing since it's the "do no harm" path. Springee (talk) 14:22, 7 January 2022 (UTC)

There are multiple statements buried in that sentence (and keeping in mind that masks have only partial and variable effectiveness which means that such can be in context be termed both effective and ineffective)

  1. That Rand Paul flatly claimed that masks are ineffective
  2. That such a claim is clearly false
  3. By combination of the above, that Rand Paul made a clearly false claim

The above are all extraordinary claims. Without even getting into NPOV, Both under WP:Verifiability and especially WP:BLP these would need very strong sourcing (which they don't have) to be in Wikipedia. Further, burying additional "slam" statements (via adjectives) in a sentence which is informing about a YouTube suspension is also bad practice and not informative. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 14:34, 7 January 2022 (UTC)

Aside from the fact that these claims are, in fact, supported - both by the source cited and by the mass of other available sources - I don't see how any of them are EXTRAORDINARY except in your imagination. In particular, to refer to the statement that masks are effective in the context of Covid-19 as EXTRAORDINARY sounds rather like fringe POV, to me. And the idea that a conservative politician in the US making a clearly false claim is EXTRAORDINARY hasn't been plausible for, well, some time now. Newimpartial (talk) 14:47, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
In broad terms, if we have a source that says "Person X believes <claim>" and another source "<claim> has been proven false" but does not mention Person X in any manner, then it is synthesis and a violation of NPOV (particularly in light of BLP) to say "Person X believes in false claim <claim>." That said, I would find it hard to believe that no source that can be used for "Person X believes <claim>" doesn't also say within it about that being a falsely proven claim, but I wouldn't say that as an absolute. This is where we have to be careful to reflect precision of language. eg: if some academic states in source that "this global warming we're seeing is part of a solar cycle" but that source doesn't tie that person directly to being a climate change skeptic/denier, it would be absolutely wrong to label the person that way, interpreting their stance as a skeptic/denier in violation of NOR. --Masem (t) 15:11, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
What? The NYT source says all three things: that Paul was suspended from YouTube for medical misinformation, that Paul dusputed the effectiveness of masks in the YouTube video in question, and that the scientific and medical consensus is that masks in fact work. You are getting into hypothetical that have nothing to do with the case at issue. Newimpartial (talk) 17:45, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
(edit conflict) NewImpartial, you are not addressing the specifically noted claims and are transforming my statement into an incorrect straw man version of it. And what would the fact that conservative politicians elsewhere have made clearly false claims possibly have to do with the specifics here? North8000 (talk) 15:16, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
You have posed three claims as EXTRAORDINARY: that Rand Paul claimed...masks are ineffective, that such a claim is false, and that...Rand Paul made a clearly false claim. I do not see why any of these three claims would in fact be extraordinary (and in the case of the second claim, it seems FRINGE to me to even propose that it is extraordinary). The NYT article clearly makes all three statements, and I see no reason that would not be sufficient verification for all three. Rand Paul was suspended from YouTube for making misleading medical claims, and WP should plainly follow the sources that sat this. Newimpartial (talk) 17:45, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
(edit conflict) What on Earth is even happening here? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. Nothing you said is even remotely true.
  1. Rand Paul claimed that masks are ineffective. NYT: ... the senator said that “there’s no value” in wearing masks.
  2. Such a claim is clearly false. NYT: In fact, masks do work, according to the near-unanimous recommendations of public health experts.
  3. Rand Paul made a false claim. NYT: In the video, Mr. Paul says: “Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work. They don’t prevent infection.” Later in the video, he adds, “Trying to shape human behavior isn’t the same as following the actual science, which tells us that cloth masks don’t work.” In fact, masks do work, according to the near-unanimous recommendations of public health experts. That's what "in fact" means. It's a prepositional phrase establishing contrast with the previous statement, and it's often used to rebut claims in journalism. I'm flabbergasted that we apparently need to have a discussion on basic grammar to step through what is plainly written in the source.
  4. These "claims" are not particularly "extraordinary" (that's your personal interpretation) and they are cited in line to a reliable source, making both your first and second sentence provably false. There is no additional "slam" statement (whatever that means) in correctly describing a false claim as false based on its description as such in a reliable source. That provides needed context. Without it, we are implying that Paul was somehow treated unfairly or that the policy was misapplied. None of that is implied in in the source. You, North8000, are not, in fact, a reliable source. The New York Times is. I think we should probably go with that.
  5. If you actually think any of the above three "claims" are in doubt, then I would expect you to do even a modicum of research to either A) find a contrary view in a reliable source or B) determine that no other sources make that assertion. You know how I know you didn't do that? Because a five second Google search for "Rand Paul" "masks" yields the following:
    1. NBC News: Paul falsely claimed in the removed video, “Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work. They don’t prevent infection," adding that “cloth masks don’t work."
    2. Detailed WaPo fact check on Paul's claims regarding mask effectiveness: Rand Paul’s false claim that masks don’t work
    3. AP News: In the three-minute video Paul disputed the effectiveness of masks, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and medical experts around the world have recommended to limit the spread of the coronavirus. as well as YouTube suspended U.S. Sen. Rand Paul for seven days on Tuesday and removed a video posted by the Kentucky Republican that claimed cloth masks don’t prevent infection, saying it violated policies on COVID-19 misinformation.
    4. Politico: In the video, Paul, whose background is in ophthalmology, criticized the effectiveness of “over the counter” and cloth-based masks. “They don’t prevent infection,” he said at one point in the roughly three-minute video. “Trying to shape human behavior isn’t the same as following the actual science, which tells us that cloth masks don’t work.”
    5. ABC affiliate with contribution by the AP: The New York Times reports that Paul false claimed, “most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work. They don’t prevent infection” in the video. Later in the video he claimed again that cloth masks don't work. and also However, masks do work, according to health officials and scientists. The World Health Organization's policy says that fabric, non-medical masks can be used by the general public under the age of 60 and who do not have underlying health conditions. (Note the use of preposition to rebut a claim once again)
    6. ABC News: YouTube has suspended Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky from uploading content for one week after he posted a video claiming most masks are ineffective in combatting COVID-19 and also Public health experts have said masks, even cloth masks, which Paul took particular issue with, offer protection against COVID-19 transmission, which in turn prevents infection. But Paul claimed in the video, "cloth masks don’t work," and that most over-the-counter masks “don’t prevent infection,” according to YouTube, which it said violated its policies against spreading COVID-19 medical misinformation.
That's just the first page of Google. On the next page, you would have found essentially the same support from The Guardian, Business Insider, Politifact, Newsweek, The Hill, and a Fox affiliate, but I'm frankly tired of pasting links and quotes. Now if you actually want to talk about Verifiability and NPOV, then I'd like you to retract your previous objection and admit that previously discussed wording is neutral and verifiably correct. Thanks. AlexEng(TALK) 18:25, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
The problem is your step #3 - that is an interpretation of the video content in Wikivoice which violates NOR and NPOV on a BLP page. This the key point. You can establish that Paul's comments on masks prior to the video have been assigned as false from other sources But you can't claim video's contents have false claims in Wikivoice. You can say YouTube booted him for a week for the video carrying misinformation (which is not always going to be false/disproven theories, there's other types of misinformation), attributed to YouTube, but unless you have a source that specifically says the content of his video was a false claim, you cannot connect those in Wikivoice in the way the article presently does it. This may be super subtle but these types of leaps of logic bloom into worse problems that remove Wikipedia from its neutral and dispassionate tone that is required by NPOV. This isn't about disputing that Paul's overall stance on masks has been deemed false, or that the general advice about masks being effective should be disputed; it is simply using attribution to avoid inappropriate interpretation of a video. --Masem (t) 18:39, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
@Masem: this is getting ridiculous. I assume good faith, but I feel that my time is being wasted here. I need you produce a policy-based requirement for attribution for a fact that is sourced to multiple reliable sources and disputed by zero reliable sources, if we're going to continue this discussion productively. AlexEng(TALK) 19:20, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
WP:SYNTH is the policy atop BLP. You cannot take fact A from once source (let's say that's YouTube's week-long ban due to misinformation in a video speaking about masks) and fact B from another source (WaPost's story about Paul's mask stance which is considered false) to come up with a novel conclusion that sounds like both but is not said by either source (that Paul's YouTube video promoted a false theory). I recognize that there's an Occum's Razor aspect of why YouTube called it misinformation and the seemingly obvious conclusion is that his video continued to promote his false theories, but we have to be super careful on this around a BLP and taking the Occums Razor conclusion is synthesis. Mind you, you can state both points separately (as I've demonstrated) and the reader will likely come to a similar conclusion, but we shouldn't be putting that in Wikivoice for them otherwise that is SYNTH on a BLP's page which is absolutely a no-go. --Masem (t) 20:33, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
To what novel conclusion do you refer? I don't see anything stated in the current article text that goes beyond the (NYT) source provided. Newimpartial (talk) 21:25, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
The NYTimes piece does not specifically call out that the video "falsely claims", though it does counterargue that masks are considered effective by several agencies. But because no attribution is given, the claim of what's in the video is put in Wikivoice, which still is interprtation of its content (remember that YouTube did not speak exactly what was misinformation) It could be fixed by saying "In August 2021, Paul was suspended from YouTube for a week under the company's misinformation policy after he published a video which, according to the NYTimes, falsely claims that masks are not effective." Of course, as I've said before, it would be better to start a paragraph about his mask claims in general which have been considered false claims, and then can end about talking about the YouTube ban. The key point here is that the language currently use makes Wikivoice interpreting and critical of Rand, which it can't be. It is a very subtle point, I agree, but this is the type of issue that compounds easily into problems. --Masem (t) 21:35, 7 January 2022 (UTC)

I'm afraid, Masem, that you are simply wrong about this. Unless the statement that Paul falsely claims that masks are not effective is disputed by some RS, it would be a violation of NPOV to attribute it to the New York Times. We don't attribute statements unless there is disagreement among reliable sources, or unless they employ value-laden LABELS (and prior discussions have not established that "falsely" is a value-laden label, in terms of policy). Newimpartial (talk) 19:14, 8 January 2022 (UTC)

That's not how issues around interpretation and synthesis works. just because the synthesis may seem close to what's stated and there are no sources to deny it doesn't make the synthesis correct. The disputed factor here is that YouTube banned Paul because his video had false claims on masks; that's not why YouTube blocked him, they just said "misinformation", it is synthesis to assume it was for a false claim even though this is the most logical result, and aligns with broader statements on Paul's general take on masks. --Masem (t) 19:19, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
The NYT says that he was suspended for claims he made in the video and that those claims were false. You are splitting hairs, here, and calling something SYNTH that is actually just summary. Newimpartial (talk) 19:38, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
The NYTimes article never uses the word "false". It states what the video was about, and that YT banned him for misinformation, and then goes on to say that masks are effective. It never specifically counters the content of the video as being false. Combining all those in wikivoice is not at all appropriate. It is very easy to see that interpretation, but we cannot do interpretion in Wikivoice. And while this may seem trivial, this is a core issue around writing neutrally on BLP to avoid Wikivoice from taking a roll in controverise And again, I've posed an option that uses additional sourcing that establishes outside the video that Paul's stance on mask ineffectiveness are false, but the only thing we can say about the video directly is that YouTube considered it misinformation. --Masem (t) 19:49, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
The NY Times first quotes Paul: "Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work. They don’t prevent infection." in the next paragraph, the Times writes: "In fact, masks do work, according to the near-unanimous recommendations of public health experts.". The text already in the article is a reasonable summary of the content of the NY Times article. - MrOllie (talk) 19:59, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
NBC, the Seattle Times and Politifact all use "false". I really don't see the problem with "false" - it clearly isn't WP:OR. Newimpartial (talk) 20:02, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
The only agency that knows 100% why Paul was banned is YouTube and the only statement they gave is for "misinformation". Everyone else is supposing what the reason was, which we shouldn't be doing nor should be putting their words in YouTube's mouth without atttribution. But as a whole different solution, we can use articles to broadly discuss Paul's mask stance (not just in that video but in prior interviews) and state those views are false (this stuff presently is not in the article, surprisely), and then in the same paragraph, present that Paul's mask video was considered misinformation by YouTube and led to his week ban. While we aren't calling the video's claims as false, this structure neutrally guides the reader to understand conclusion. Its far more impartial and dispassionate in tone in writing about that Paul's mask stance makes false claims and still properly reflecting RSes without needed further in-line attribution. --Masem (t) 20:09, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
You see, Masem: this is where you get over your skis, policy-wise. WP:V (and WP:BLP) do not require that WP use sources that demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt everything we state in wikivoice - they need only represent the preponderance of facts according to the reliable sources available. Your issue with how the RS have reported this incident is an issue between you and wikipedia's sources, and is not a policy-relevant consideration in how we write our articles (might as you might wish otherwise). Newimpartial (talk) 20:21, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
The "fact" that is still a problem is that YouTube banned Paul for a week on "false claims", which is nothing what they said. This is what others may have claimed, but not YouTube, so it is factually wrong to state that without attribution in Wikivoice. And this is the problem when editors are in the mode of "we have to be as critical as possible of a topic that is criticized by media" and want to ignore subt built into NPOV. We are supposed to be dispassionate and not be taking sides, and from this view it is clear that that statement is a problem but there's ways to fix it that I've suggested. But even as small as this might be, waving our hands and saying is okay is what leads to larges problems with NPOV writing and what Wikivoice's tone should be. --Masem (t) 20:35, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
No, absolutely not. NBC unambiguously states that YouTube suspended Sen. Rand Paul's account on Tuesday for posting a video claiming cloth face masks are ineffective against the coronavirus. ... Paul falsely claimed in the removed video, “Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work. They don’t prevent infection," adding that “cloth masks don’t work."[4] What you are suggesting is that we ignore that because you, personally, believe that the media is being too critical and want to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS by correcting that here. Even if you don't recognize it, that suggestion blatantly misrepresents the source for the purposes of inserting your personal POV into the article. The primary reason we have problems with NPOV writing on these articles is precisely because of errors like the one you are making here - editors who are unable to separate "what they believe the sources should say" from "what the sources say" and who therefore argue stridently that their POV language is required for NPOV. NBC and the NYT's wording is not critical - Paul is not being "criticized by the media" in the vague boogieman sense you are using here, and the fact that you felt the need to imply otherwise undermines your point by diving headfirst into WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS territory. The sources for this are objectively summarizing the broadly-accepted facts in and impartial neutral tone. Your suggestion, on the other hand, would crudely insert your POV into the article based solely on your personal gut disagreement with or distrust for those sources. --Aquillion (talk) 20:52, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
That's wrong again, and this is representative of too many problems we have with people and entities like this. The only factual reason the ban was placed was that YouTube said the video was misinformation. What the NYtimes and others said is what they say the video was about and (at least in the case of the NBC) that it presnted false claims, but we do not know if that's how YouTube framed it. Instead, the current wording puts the claim that YouTube removed the video due to being false claims in Wikivoice, which is not something we know is true; we can't put words in YouTube's mouth at all. Either we can attribute the video had false claims to sources like NBC, or insert ahead of that more broader statements about Paul's false claims in general (which we have sources for) without the need for attribution, and not worry about trying to reassert that the video had false claims again in talking about YouTube's action. The latter solution would be far more appropriate as it expands on how the media has framed Paul's claims, retaining their stance and proving more sources to support it. --Masem (t) 21:11, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
Re: which is not something we know is true - this seems to me to raise the key point; WP is WP:NOTTRUTH, much as you would like for it to be so. We cannot put words in YouTube's mouth, but if reliable sources have done so (and none have not done so), we have no choice but to follow them. Any alternative would be a novel interpretation of the primary sources, which is what you gave offered above. Newimpartial (talk) 22:43, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
One side note. Since masks do help, but don't absolutely prevent infection if someone changes "don't prevent infection" (a true statement) into them saying that they are "of no value" (a false statement) unless the latter is a direct quote from Paul (not modified by removal from context)) such is at best creating an extraordinary claim. North8000 (talk) 18:56, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
The current arricle text, are not effective, appears to be both accurate and well-sourced. Let's not wander into the weeds for no reason. Newimpartial (talk) 19:09, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
  • The NYT source we're using as the citation for that says, in the context of Paul's comments, that In fact, masks do work, according to the near-unanimous recommendations of public health experts. NBC says that YouTube suspended Sen. Rand Paul's account on Tuesday for posting a video claiming cloth face masks are ineffective against the coronavirus. ... Paul falsely claimed in the removed video, “Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work. They don’t prevent infection," adding that “cloth masks don’t work."[5] Politifact says that YouTube and Twitter on Aug. 10 temporarily suspended accounts belonging to Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on grounds they violated the platforms’ policies against spreading COVID-19 misinformation.[6]. Many other sources say similar things. Without a source contradicting this it would be a clear WP:NPOV violation to frame it as YouTube's opinion (it would be representing an essentially uncontested fact as opinion), and it would be grossly misrepresenting the source (presenting this as merely YouTube's opinion when the source flatly says otherwise.) Suggesting that we could add (according to YouTube) using that source is suggesting a shocking violation of WP:NPOV and WP:TONE. -Aquillion (talk) 20:52, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
Using what NYTimes and others claim that YouTube banned Paul for (in that it was removed for false claims) as fact is the violation of NOR and NPOV. Period. Unless they said they spoke to YouTube to get more clarification, NYtimes et al cannot know any more than what YouTube published (which was "misinformation"). --Masem (t) 21:15, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
Am I misunderstanding you? Did you mean to say that reporting what the NYTimes says is original research? That seems a bit backward. As to your other point, we have no way of knowing who the NY Times spoke to, and since we're not in the business of second guessing reliable sources we're shouldn't be trying to reconstruct what the Times can or cannot know. MrOllie (talk) 21:24, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
We have no idea from the NYtimes (or any other story I've seen so far) that they made any contact with YouTube about the ban, so we cannot make any assumption that their reporting is based on a conservation with a YouTube rep. That could be the case, but there's no explicit mention of that (and nearly any time the Times does talk to an involved party, they will usually state about this contact) As such, we have to take what NYTimes and others said as what they assessed the reason for the ban, but they are not YouTube ,and so we can't take what they said as YouTube's reasons as fact. --Masem (t) 21:31, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
No, the New York Times is a RS. We must take what they state about the reasons for a ban as fact unless we have another source stating otherwise. Your personal gut feelings are not a valid reason that would allow us to cast doubt on the NYT's conclusions in the article voice by framing them as opinion; and suggesting that we could do so is a NPOV violation. --Aquillion (talk) 00:23, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
The New York Times is a high-quality WP:RS; what they say in their articles as fact can (and, when there is no indication of any dispute, must) be reported in Wikipedia as fact. Your personal gut feelings and speculation that maybe in this particular case they didn't do all the fact-checking an RS requires is absolutely not something we can put in the article voice in the way you are suggesting here. They said it, and as an RS we presume they verified it concretely, therefore we must WP:STICKTOTHESOURCE. If you believe the NYT is not trustworthy as a source for such facts, by all means take it to WP:RSP, but you can't just arbitrarily substitute your judgment for theirs. --Aquillion (talk) 00:23, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
  • I think the problem is that Rand Paul didn't say masks don't work, he said most masks don't work. The current sentence oversimplifies what Rand Paul was inaccurately claiming. There's an easy fix here, in my view: "In August 2021, Paul was suspended from YouTube for a week under the company's misinformation policy after he published a video in which he falsely claimed that most masks are not effective". Losing precision/context can have the result of appearing as editorial bias/selective use of information, which does end up entering into NPOV-violating territory. However, once this is rectified I don't think it's necessary to attribute "falsely claimed" to YouTube, as there's a strong weight of RS which say his claim that most masks don't work is scientifically false. Jr8825Talk 21:35, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
    • To be clear, YouTube only said "misinformation" in their public release of the reason for the ban and not "false claims", which is also part of the complexing issues. --Masem (t) 21:41, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
      @Masem: I think my suggestion helps to resolve that issue as well. By being clear about what Rand Paul claimed (that most, not all, masks are ineffective) and stating this is false (attribution unnecessary per weight of RS), we avoid inaccurately accusing Rand Paul of saying something he didn't while also showing to the reader why what he said was misleading/misinformation. Jr8825Talk 21:45, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
      • That helps, but as I've suggested, we can also talk in broader terms that Paul's general views on marks (not just what the video presents) are false claims, using the WaPost source and some of the other ones identified above and not requiring attribution on calling it "false claims". Here we can talk to what RSes summarize Paul's stance (which I read from those being as you say, not all masks are effective, rather than no mask is effective/masks are ineffective), so that we don't have to worry about the video's contents short of that YouTube banned Paul as they considered it misinformation. --Masem (t) 21:57, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
        To be clear this would be a paragraph like Paul has also promoted false claims about mask effectivness. Paul had misinterpreted results from a 2020 Annals of Internal Medicine study in Denmark, as well as the lack of mask use in Sweden, to claim masks were not effective nor necessary to prevent the spread of COVID.[7] (probably one or two more things here). Paul had introduced legislation to repeal the federal mandate requiring masks for public transportation, saying "In a free county people will evaluate their personal risk factors and are smart enough to ultimately make medical decisions like wearing a mask themselves."[8] Paul was banned for a week on YouTube in August 2021 for a video about his stance on masks which YouTube said violated their misinformation policy.(NYTIimes current source). And there's probably a few more things that could be added but that expands out more on the mask issue while staying true to what RSes have said about his theories, and not havign to worry about interpreting YouTube's ban reason. --Masem (t) 22:12, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
        (edit conflict) A more detailed section on his mask views sounds like a good idea, but I don't think that's directly relevant to this discussion: I'm only looking at the sentence that's been brought up here, which I believe is problematic, regardless of the apparent bias of the reporting editor and the stance of most thread participants. I understand you're concerned about being too quick to state "false" in wikivoice, and I'm sympathetic to this, but the YouTube ban is notable in itself (so deserves a dedicated sentence), and I don't think "false" is the main problem with the sentence. I'd personally prefer the phrasing "inaccurately claimed" to "falsely claimed", as I think it's more explicitly non-judgemental ("false" is correct and appropriate, but I do think "falsely claim" carries a subtly judgemental tone, and infers intent to mislead); "inaccurate" may also be more precise (his statement wasn't an obvious in-your-face lie, it was misleading as it leans into genuine scientific concerns about cloth masks). Nonetheless, both wordings are factually correct, and I consider this a comparatively unimportant phrasing issue. There's clearly strong resistance to removing "false" (as can be seen above), so I'd rather focus on fixing the main issue as I see it: that we're characterising Rand Paul's comments with too broad a brush, and 1 extra word can fix it. This isn't mutually exclusive with adding a more detailed look at his views on masks, and looking at the article it would logically follow the paragraph about his false claims regarding vaccines, which is ideal as this closely precedes the sentence on the YT ban, so would provide extra context for this sentence. Jr8825Talk 22:26, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
        Looking at your proposed text more closely (because of the edit conflict), I agree the extra information is helpful. I suggest going ahead and adding the new sentences only. I still think it's unnecessary to say that YouTube "considered" it misinformation, it adds unnecessary doubt over factual information contained in the supporting cites. I'm sure you're going to face opposition to that wording, so better to separate it from your new additions, which are a definite improvement. Jr8825Talk 22:47, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
  • I am surprised to see this volume of discussion over what appears to be a well-sourced fact. I would prefer not to add much to the an already overlong discussion, but I'll add my voice to those who see no NPOV issues here, and believe that the status quo version is solid. Firefangledfeathers 22:10, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
Have you read my concerns about oversimplifying what Paul was inaccurately claiming? He was undermining mask science while also suggesting that a few masks do/might work, and I think it's important to chronicle misinformation accurately. Jr8825Talk 22:28, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
I did. I don't believe there's a need to go too in-depth on the point, but if it's possible to improve the statement without making it overlong, I'm supportive. I don't think adding "some" accomplishes this. Minor wording tweaks would, I think, be better discussed at the article talk page. For this noticeboard, I hope only that we quickly reach consensus that no NPOV issues are present. Firefangledfeathers 22:39, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
I think there is a potential NPOV issue, though. Saying "Paul falsely claimed in the removed video, "Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work. They don’t prevent infection," adding that "cloth masks don’t work"" (NBC), is not the same as saying "Paul falsely claimed masks don't work". This kind of inaccuracy matters when fighting the spread of misinformation, we want to ensure readers trust our content. Jr8825Talk 22:51, 8 January 2022 (UTC)

Why do you even need the word falsely in there? Why not just say YouTube suspended Paul for claiming that masks don't work which violates their policies on COVID misinformation, the end. You dont need to attribute to YouTube what other expert sources say is true, and who YouTube relies on in determining their misinformation policy. But you also dont need to push in "falsely" either, it is just not necessary there. nableezy - 22:36, 8 January 2022 (UTC)

Because several sources emphasize it, and because WP:FRINGELEVEL requires that we note the status of fringe theories whenever we discuss them. --Aquillion (talk) 00:27, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
The big issue is that we're putting words in YouTube's mouth in Wikivoice in the current text version. YouTube said nothing of "false claims", only "misinformation", while other sources characterized the video as promoting false claims, but not YouTube. That's misquoting as NOR and NPOV. But you can easily, as I've pointed out, talk prior to the YouTube part about Paul's mask statements considered to be false by many sources, and that still meets the issue of making sure his fringe views are pointed out without misquoting YouTube or the like. --Masem (t) 01:37, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
Sure, but YouTube suspended Paul for claiming that masks don't work which violates their policies on COVID misinformation says that masks don't work is COVID misinformation. Why do you need to say it twice in the same sentence? nableezy - 01:49, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
I'm saying there's at least 3-4+ more sentences we can write before the YouTube aspect to discuss Paul's mask statements and that they are false claims (see the green text I proposed 8 Jan). Then you can say that YouTube blocked him for misinformation for a video that discussed his view on masks, leaving at that but predicated by the fact that we've got sources that describe his mask claims as false already that the reader can make the connection but we aren't miscontruing YouTube's statement. Again, the stress here is trying to interpret YouTube's statement in Wikivoice beyond being misinformation. --Masem (t) 02:01, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
  • Support current wording - I understand the hangup here: We can't use YouTube's determination that someone violated their COVID-19 misinformation policy to say that misinformation actually took place in Wiki voice. However, the three reliable sources currently cited (who are well aware of this caveat) do say so unambiguously in their own voice:
    • NBC News - "Paul falsely claimed in the removed video, 'Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work. They don’t prevent infection,' adding that 'cloth masks don’t work.'"
    • The New York Times - "In fact, masks do work, according to the near-unanimous recommendations of public health experts."
    • PolitiFact - "The Republican lawmakers responded by criticizing the platforms for taking action against their posts, with Paul calling his ban a 'badge of honor.' But public health experts told PolitiFact that the claims that earned them their respective suspensions strayed far from the truth." (This source goes on to address Paul's specific claims in detail)
We do not use an "According to YouTube..." caveat when a fact is supported by multiple reliable sources. It is correct and unbiased to call it "misinformation" in Wiki voice. –dlthewave 13:08, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
Again, the current wording puts "false claims" as what YouTube said, in Wikivoice. YouTube specifically said "misinformation", the other sources are saying the video has false claims, but those are not exactly the same terms or meaning. That's basically the same as changing the contents of a quote. --Masem (t) 13:17, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
Masem is correct on this point. If YT didn't say more than misinformation and sources like the NYT are putting 2 and 2 together themselves then we need to attribute such claims to the NYT et al. These differences are often lost on readers but this is exactly the sort of detail we should strive to get right. Springee (talk) 18:38, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
No, Masem is not correct, Springee. "False claims" is a subset of "misinformation", not a mutually exclusive category, and the NYT - along with all the other RS presented to date - have concluded that the form of misinformation for which Paul was suspended was false claims. You two can hold whatever OR POV on this that you like (that "the sources are wrong!" for example), but the conclusion to be drawn from the available RS is clear. Newimpartial (talk) 18:52, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
No, Masem is correct. We go to what YT actually said. If they say, "the video violated our guidelines" but didn't say specifically what then we can not claim "YT did X because of Y" even if the NYT claims as much. We can say "YT did X. The NYT said the video contained this misinformation...". As you just said, "NYT - along with all the other RS presented to date - have concluded...". That is not "YT said" thus we need to make the attribution. Springee (talk) 19:15, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
Have you recently read WP:PRIMARY, WP:SECONDARY, and WP:NOTTRUTH? You are literally saying that your reading of the primary source trumps the reliable, secondary sources, and you are also saying that we have to provide in-text attribution for undisputed factual statements documented by multiple RS rather than presenting them in wikivoice. I'm not sure what volunteer-edited encyclopedia's community norms you think you are channeling here, but they aren't Wikipedia's. Newimpartial (talk) 19:25, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
No primary sourced are being used. Virtually every article on the ban include the quoted reason of "misinformation" from YT, and separately describe the video as having false claims. They do not say directly that YT removed the video for false claims, and they did, that is tantamount to altering published quotes, whuch wouldnt allow per core policies. --Masem (t) 19:33, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
Your description of the content of these sources does not correspond to the sources actually presented in this discussion. Also, paraphrase is not tantamount to altering published quotes - the whole project of this encyclopaedia depends on RS that paraphrase and even summarize the content of primary sources. Newimpartial (talk) 19:40, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
I have read those linked and others and they all are clearly distinct that they video had false claims, but separately quote YT reason to block for violating "misinformation". That is two different pieces of information that is currently being synthezed inappropriately. And when we have quoted information on sources, we have to be extremely careful with any paraphrasing to not include OR, or otherwise we quote the needed phrase directly. It would be fully against OR to misquote YT's quoted reason as "false claims". --Masem (t) 19:50, 10 January 2022 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you think is going wrong, so here e.g. is NBC's discussion of YouTube's reasoning: "We removed content from Senator Paul’s channel for including claims that masks are ineffective in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID-19, in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies," NBC specifically describes the claims in question thus, Paul falsely claimed in the removed video, “Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work. They don’t prevent infection," adding that “cloth masks don’t work." The current version of our article reads, In August 2021, Paul was suspended from YouTube for a week under the company's misinformation policy after he published a video which falsely claims that masks are not effective. I don't see any WP:SYNTH there whatsoever. Newimpartial (talk) 20:11, 10 January 2022 (UTC)

I read the current text as putting the description of the video as part of YT's reasoning, which is not true. As I've said a far better solution is to start with the general assessment that Paul's mask ideas are false claims, and several points related to that, and then conclude with the YT ban without having to state anything about false claims, just misinformation. You can get more of a picture of the situation, and avoid the misattribution aspect. --Masem (t) 20:34, 10 January 2022 (UTC)

WP:Ver and wp:nor establish a sourcing / sourcability requirement for inclusion, not a mandate or force for inclusion. Just because a source is generally OK does not mandate including what they wrote. For example, if they say that youtube said something that they didn't say. Or, if due to such reasons or others, such does not meet the even higher standards of WP:BLP. Saying that YouTube made a damning statement about Paul, and a statement that YouTube never made certainly is an extraordinary claim. North8000 (talk) 20:00, 10 January 2022 (UTC)

If you feel that this content is a BLP violation, why don't you remove it immediately? –dlthewave 20:14, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
Actually I would recommend just to modify / limit it to what YouTube actually said. But the answer to your question is because it would be out of process because there is a significant discussion about it going on here. North8000 (talk) 20:44, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
North8000, I fear you are misreading our article. The current text reads, In August 2021, Paul was suspended from YouTube for a week under the company's misinformation policy after he published a video which falsely claims that masks are not effective. The reliable sources establish a sequence: Paul makes statements on YouTube which the RS document to be false; Paul is then suspended by YouTube under its misinformation policy. Our article text doesn't suggest that YouTube made any particular statement about the matter, so you seem to be making up a claim and then interpreting it as EXTRAORDINARY. Newimpartial (talk) 20:20, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
No, this is with regards to the latter part of the material which you just referenced. North8000 (talk) 20:47, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
You mean he published a video which falsely claims that masks are not effective? That statement has been supported by multiple RS in this discussion, and contradicted by none. Newimpartial (talk)

I also agree with Masem's rationale even though they are focusing on a different area than me. I think that Masem's main point is that the questioned statement blends both:

  • the YT event and
  • somebody else's assessment of Paul's statement

into the same sentence and in a way that implies that the "somebody else's assessment" was the reason given by YT for the 1 week suspension. And the a wiki editor doing such is synthesis/OR.

My different aspect is this. If you ask an expert "will this mask certainly prevent transmission of Covid", they will say "no" because it is only partially effective at that. So there are variable meanings of "effective" and under some of those saying "not effective" can be true. Which means that saying "not effective" is an arguable statement rather than a categorically false one. So Paul made an arguable statement, not a flatly false one. So a statement that he made a false statement is at best an extraordinary claim and under WP:BLP would need very strong sourcing (that it was a false statement). North8000 (talk) 18:33, 11 January 2022 (UTC)

North8000, please stop. This is beginning to get disruptive. I personally don't care that you think Paul made an "arguable statement" and frankly Wikipedia doesn't either. We go by what reliable sources say, and they all say that it was false. Time to drop the stick. –dlthewave 19:54, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
@Dlthewave: Quit the crap of mis-characterizing what I wrote.North8000 (talk) 20:00, 12 January 2022 (UTC)

Why can't the sentence be turned around, to avoid the potential inference that YouTube made a declaration as to the falsity of Paul's claim? That is, change:

In August 2021, Paul was suspended from YouTube for a week under the company's misinformation policy after he published a video which falsely claims that masks are not effective.
to something like:
In August 2021, Paul published a video in which he falsely claimed that masks are not effective, after which he was suspended from YouTube for a week under their misinformation policy.

Does this address the concerns? (talk) 11:20, 12 January 2022 (UTC)

That works considerably better imo, but change after which to for which. nableezy - 20:33, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
My interest is to rough out and encourage a more structural analysis of that type of thing in the context of policies and guidelines rather than in how that particular article ends up. I think that your idea resolves the issue that Masem is focusing on / describing (?) which is an improvement. North8000 (talk) 20:46, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
I'm glad to hear it is seen as an improvement... Masem, does this address your concern? Newimpartial, what do you think?
North8000, I understand that there is a big picture here, but it is also made up of little pictures and perhaps addressing enough of the little pictures will make clearer some general approaches? Certainly, if Masem is in favour of this change, it would illustrate how tweaks that collaboratively trying to address concerns can be achieved without compromising core policies like WP:RS and WP:NPOV. The interpretation that you raise, however, would violate core policies as there are RS that report on the falsity of Paul's claim... and the interpretation that you present on an "arguable claim" would be prohibited WP:OR in article space unless you can cite it in RS and in such prominence as to make it WP:DUE for inclusion.
Nableezy, I think that changing "after which" to "for which" alters the presentation of sequence into a presentation of causation. According to YouTube's statement, the cause of the suspension was violation of their policy on misinformation. Without a definitive statement from YouTube, to conclude that the falsity of the statement on masks (about which we have RS) was the policy violation on which they acted is an WP:OR / WP:SYNTH violation. It is likely true, or at least a factor, but WP policy forbids declaring that there is a causative connection. (This is, as I understand it, Masem's point.) There is, however, unquestionable evidence of a sequence of events and facts, including:
  1. Paul posted the video in question
  2. The video contains falsehoods according to RS
  3. The video was removed and YouTube issued a suspension for a misinformation policy violation
My proposed text covers this sequence (except for stating that the video was taken down, which could be added – I don't recall if YouTube made any comment on that. It is true that some readers will likely think post hoc, ergo propter hoc, which is a logical fallacy though it is likely true that the suspension was propter hoc in this case. (talk) 02:25, 13 January 2022 (UTC)
I considered the causality part, but I would read the for which to be in reference to the video. And he was banned for the video. nableezy - 02:27, 13 January 2022 (UTC)
I would prefer "subsequently" (but not "consequently"), rather than "after which", but that is a matter of prose style more than anything else. Newimpartial (talk) 02:52, 13 January 2022 (UTC)
Just looking at this AP News source that quotes
“We removed content from Senator Paul’s channel for including claims that masks are ineffective in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID-19, in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies,” YouTube said in a statement. “We apply our policies consistently across the platform, regardless of speaker or political views.”
So, YouTube did take the video down and stated that "including claims that masks are ineffective in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID-19" in the video was inconsistent with their "COVID-19 medical misinformation policies." And, I take your point that the video being the reason "for which" the suspension was imposed is supported by this RS. Maybe something like:
In August 2021, Paul published a YouTube video that falsely claimed "that masks are ineffective in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID-19."[r1][r2][r3+] YouTube took down the video and suspended Paul for a week under their COVID-19 misinformation policy.[r1][r3+]
[r1] = the AP source
[r2] = a Washington Post fact check on Paul's mask claims but does not address the YouTube video specifically
[r3+] = a bunch of sources that cover the ban and the claim, perhaps including the NYT, The Guardian, NBC News, PBS, Forbes, etc...
Given the strength of the YouTube statement, I am struggling now to NPOV and RS concerns that exist here. (talk) 02:57, 13 January 2022 (UTC)
That's better -- but I think a better solution is what I've noted above in that outside of the YouTube video , there is more sourcing that can be used to discuss Paul's mask claims in general and they are considered false claims and other aspects related to what Paul (as a lawmaker) had gone out to do related to that. Then there's no reason to force the "false claims" bit in discussion of the YouTube ban since that would already be established. But I would not be opposed to this version as it does what I was concerned with, the mixing of the video's description with YouTube's specific reasoning. --Masem (t) 13:47, 13 January 2022 (UTC)
My point in saying I was more interested in the generalities was just to say "don't worry about me" if people want to edit the article because I'm not particularly worried about that sentence in that article. And my point was not to insert "arguably true/false", it was to say that escalating that reality into saying that he made a categorically false statement is an extradordinary claim and thus needs stronger-than-usual sourcing under WP:BLP. Or possibly including more of the context/qualifying wording that the more careful sources presumably included.North8000 (talk) 13:53, 13 January 2022 (UTC)


There is considerable discpute on the article's talk page about whether the site is anti-Muslim or neutral on religion. See the major changes made by a new editor here. Doug Weller talk 14:59, 25 December 2021 (UTC)

This is a misrepresentation of the current debate. The current debate is whether to continue to use outdated sources to report that material such as ex-Muslims testimonies are still on the website after a massive overhaul, when they verifiably are not as per WP:V, and whether or not the website and its parent organization can be used to verify this fact as per Wikipedia's WP:RS policy which states "Self-published or questionable sources may be used as sources of information about themselves." A number of editors have repeatedly claimed that there is no verifiable evidence that the overhaul took place and that the material in question was removed, despite 3rd party attestations and links to the website which show the material clearly was removed.--Underthemayofan (talk) 04:12, 26 December 2021 (UTC)
  • IF the website itself has officially stated that it has changed its policy, that statement can be quoted or closely paraphrased with in text attribution (under ABOUTSELF). That statement, however, would not outweigh independent reliable sources that say otherwise (see WP:DUE).
The one thing we can not do is analyze the site ourselves, and reach the conclusion that it has changed its policy. That would be original research (see WP:NOR). Blueboar (talk) 14:20, 26 December 2021 (UTC)
Blueboar may I add the above edits that you suggested?--Underthemayofan (talk) 04:10, 27 December 2021 (UTC)
Blueboar, a third party cannot be a more reliable source on what a website's official policy is than that website's own official statement of its owm policy on its own site. Period. That's looney talk. 2600:1702:4960:1DE0:10BA:9558:7F4:32F (talk) 00:02, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
Blueboar has already said that we can say that it has officially stated that it changed its policy. But "official policy" does not always equate to "policy" or purpose. As suggested by at least one source, it could easily be a site that hosts false claims that are not inflammatory, etc in themselves but are intended to be used by haters. Doug Weller talk 09:19, 8 January 2022 (UTC)

SpaceX Starship NPOV request[edit]

It is a very unusual request, but I want to know if the article has derailed way out of course or not. I am a main editor at the article, and I just want to make sure that I haven't done anything too biased, and there isn't any content dispute on the article right now. Another reason is the divisiveness of the article: Starship is considered from scams to game-changing by multiple reliable sources, and you know how it goes with things related to Elon Musk. Thanks User:Giraffer for pointing this out. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 06:39, 1 January 2022 (UTC)

The tone is more optimistic than I would have written, but we'll know in a year or two if that was warranted. Sennalen (talk) 16:03, 1 January 2022 (UTC)
Related: Talk:SpaceX_Starship#Describing_Musk's_"predictions" CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 02:11, 2 January 2022 (UTC)
The article is now going on a GAR about neutrality now. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 03:26, 17 January 2022 (UTC)



A flag is used as an ethnic flag of the Kurds. However, there are no sources proving it's ethnic flag of the Kurds. Additionally, the flag belong to the Iraqi Kurdistan. Requesting someone with NPOV to inspect the case which I believe is clearly against the Wikipedia rules. If the source doesn't say it's ethnic flag of the Kurds, adopted by all Kurds, then it's not. SkyEditor85 (talk) 10:49, 5 January 2022 (UTC)

FYI, I am extremely neutral as I am mostly ignorant towards the controversy on this topic. It's an interesting question. Can we compare it to British people, which is displaying the Flag of the United Kingdom? I have doubts that sources say that the flag of the UK is accepted by the British people as their cultural flag. I've viewed a few other ethnic group articles and most don't seem to have flags on them. A glance over the sources at Flag of Kurdistan seem to *hint* that the flag represents Kurdish people but I did not find any explicit statements saying so. MarshallKe (talk) 22:30, 11 January 2022 (UTC)
A glance over the sources at Flag of Kurdistan seem to *hint* that the flag represents Kurdish people but I did not find any explicit statements saying so. — That is to say, the article's opening statement, The Flag of Kurdistan [...] is the flag of Kurds, appears to be unsupported by its citations? (I am ignorant in this matter as well.) —2d37 (talk) 03:27, 14 January 2022 (UTC)
The Flag of Kurdistan article shows it is not just the flag of "Iraqi Kurdistan" (i.e. Kurdistan Region), but could definitely benefit from some improvement in its sourcing. I don't think this is an NPOV issue so much as an issue of better sourcing required in the flag's article. BobFromBrockley (talk) 10:05, 14 January 2022 (UTC)

Long quotes and insignificant details in HK politician biographies[edit]

Long quotes, beliefs, and random details have been recently inserted into Hong Kong government biographies. It is not due weight to include selective quotes of what politicians say in press conferences, right? Or to add random details mentioned in half a sentence in a news article?

The later parts of the Carrie Lam biography are basically only quotes. For example: "Lam also stated that "So if you asked me today about what I said in 2017, 2018, 2019 as chief executive, I can tell you it's meaningless."" Or, "Lam retorted that "There's no definition of what a lavish dinner is. There's no definition of what is being unreasonable. At the end of the day, it's a matter of judgement."" Is this really notable?

Entire paragraphs of Chris Tang are quotes. Especially under "Controversies and views" (isn't that a weird grouping, so views to automatically be controversies?).

Tan Yueheng and Dong Sun has random stuff like "In January 2022, Tan was one of three people, out of 90 legislative council members, who took his oath using Mandarin rather than the local dialect of Cantonese", even though this random detail isn't the focus of any major newspaper articles or other media attention.

Take Gary Chan, which has stuff like "In January 2022, Chan did not raise his right hand when taking the oath while being sworn in as a legislative councillor."

Maybe someone trying to paint a picture that is not even given by the media for people who already have a (deserved) negative light, I don't know. But this trivia distracts from the substance of what these people have done. Shouldn't these be cut down to what newspapers and books actually summarize? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:18, 6 January 2022 (UTC)

Yes, some those quotes sound inappropriate per WP:QUOTEFARM, particularly the Carrie Lam ones. I suggest going ahead and removing the ones you believe are unnecessary. If you meet opposition, the best thing to do is to start a thread on the article talk page asking other editors to discuss it with you. The details about swearing oaths in a certain way may deserve inclusion if they've been treated as noteworthy by reliable sources. So the main question is whether those details are adequately sourced in a way that demonstrates weight for inclusion. Jr8825Talk 01:35, 9 January 2022 (UTC)

GitHub - Controversies section[edit]

See Talk:GitHub#Inclusion_of_controversial_issues_related_to_conduct_of_users and please weigh in. Also the user who reverted my removal advised me to post here, so I guess no need to spam them with {{NPOVN-notice}}. 🙏 -- Champs65 (talk) 04:44, 7 January 2022 (UTC)

Chevy Equinox[edit]

Hello! So while taking a look at the article Chevy Equinox to see if there's been any information added regarding an electric version of the vehicle (since Chevy recently announced an electric version of it and 2 other of it's vehicles) and I saw that there has been some discussion of the articles state as being neutral. The discussion is years old, however the issue may not have been addressed still as there are still tags on the article, one regarding the neutrality, and the other regarding it possibly being read like an ad. I would like some assistance in determining if these tags are still valid or if they've been addressed but not removed. ― Blaze WolfTalkBlaze Wolf#6545 20:49, 7 January 2022 (UTC)

@Blaze Wolf:, the dispute appears to be one over published EPA MPG figures versus ones obtained by various reviewers. I would remove that whole section and the tags. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 16:59, 11 January 2022 (UTC)

Women's Refugee Commission[edit]

Hi all. I came across this article while watching recent changes and it seems to have some serious NPOV and COI problems. It has a lot of promotional sounding wording, and one recent edit added content copied directly from the WRC website. I almost exclusively do simple vandalism cleanup here, and I'm not really comfortable tackling an article that looks to me like it probably needs a substantial rewrite. Anyone feel like taking a look? Squeakachu (talk) 19:59, 14 January 2022 (UTC)

Yep, this one needs some work. I will go through it. Pyrrho the Skipper (talk) 20:02, 14 January 2022 (UTC)

Sri Lankan Tamils[edit]

Multiple parts of the lead of the Sri Lankan Tamils specially the final paragraph contain opinion pieces (Eg-1 2 and other less-reliable/biased sources which appears to have been added as to promote the specific viewpoint of an editor. I Think the entire final para is big statement of an editor and the poor sourcing mean it should be removed. - (talk) 21:22, 15 January 2022 (UTC)

"White demographic decline"[edit]

I'm not sure what I'm looking at, but an article beginning with the following words doesn't read neutral to me:

"White demographic decline, also known as White decline, is the persistent and pervasive fall and displacement of White people [...]"

Yes, the sentence continues with "as a percentage" et cetera, but this can surely be written differently, so that it doesn't look as weirdly biased as quoted above. The article is from 2021-12-12, just a month old now, and probably needs attention if even the first sentence is written so badly. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 23:24, 15 January 2022 (UTC)

The entire article is a pile of crap. It takes as read that 'whiteness' is some sort of biological attribute for a start, ignoring almost everything we know about 'race' and ethnicity, and goes on from there. It is riddled with WP:OR, and clearly written with an agenda - not a pleasant one... AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:36, 15 January 2022 (UTC)
I've checked again, it's from 2020-12-12, so 1 year and 1 month. Misread that. The strange wording appears to come from Special:Diff/1036396656, introduced by Shlar47 who I've now notified of this discussion and whom I'll sternly warn to adhere to WP:NPOV. They're inactive, though, for 4 months now. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 23:40, 15 January 2022 (UTC)
I have reverted the article to the state before Shlar47's edits, which may very well still have issues but is at least not as blatantly biased. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 23:49, 15 January 2022 (UTC)
I should note that you've deleted approximately 85% of the article's page size in doing that. I agree that there are numerous WP:OR and WP:NPOV issues, but that seems like a very drastic change to revert some comparatively minor additions. I would expect that the editor who seems to have been making gradual additions to the page from May last year will revert your edits, as a hunch. Theknightwho (talk) 01:47, 16 January 2022 (UTC)
Seems to have a very large amout of overlap with White flight, maybe redirect there? Hemiauchenia (talk) 01:49, 16 January 2022 (UTC)
They're different concepts, really, and while they obviously overlap in some contexts they don't always. The size of the page was several miles over the line of WP:TOOMUCH, though, due to detailed statistics, graphs and graphics being provided for loads of different countries. Completely unnecessary and an obvious breach of WP:INDISCRIMINATE, when that information can be discerned from the relevant demographics pages. There was also a lot of exposition of what you could just read in the tables, too. If it's particularly notable in a particular locale, then it should be noted on that place's page. Otherwise, hammering home the point in this level of detail veers strongly into WP:OR due to WP:SYNTHESIS. Theknightwho (talk) 02:12, 16 January 2022 (UTC)
As an example of that, loads of sections prior to the cut-back drew heavily implied causal links between anti-discrimination legislation and white demographic decline (e.g. Australia, the UK), or attempts to obscure white demographic decline (e.g. France). This is self-evidently WP:SYNTH. Theknightwho (talk) 02:21, 16 January 2022 (UTC)
Looking through the diff, the drastically shorter restored version looks a much more stable base to work with than the article as it was. Jr8825Talk 05:53, 17 January 2022 (UTC)

Aafia Siddiqui[edit]

This article has been overtaken by two very zealous pro-Siddiqui viewpoint editors since the Colleyville synagogue hostage crisis happened a couple days ago, and I don't personally have the energy to try to stem the tide anymore. But if some neutral editors would like to look at and attempt to repair the article a bit (particularly the lede) until it satisfactorily covers a neutral viewpoint, that'd be great. She's a heroine in Pakistan but also a convicted felon with (alleged, both by U.S. intelligence and Khalid Sheikh Muhammad) terrorist ties. For reference, this was the version before the hostage crisis was undertaken in her name which seemed to ignite (at least two of) her Wikipedia-editing supporters. Well-cited quotes such as she being estimated as "one of the few alleged Al Qaeda associates with the ability to move about the United States undetected, and the scientific expertise to carry out a sophisticated attack" have mostly been removed in the past 24 to 48 hours, under the guise of "copyright violations." Thank you for taking a look if anyone has the time. Omnibus (talk) 18:54, 18 January 2022 (UTC)

I was just coming here to make a report on this too. This article is in dire need of a complete overhaul, and the sooner the better given it's relating to a current event. FDW777 (talk) 22:39, 18 January 2022 (UTC)
In agreement with both the OP and FDW757. Even for someone not sympathetic to US imperial interests, the article reads like a pro-Siddiqui soapbox. Not everything is decent with the longstanding version either but my restoration was summarily reverted. TrangaBellam (talk) 22:42, 18 January 2022 (UTC)
I was directed here from WP:AN/3. It appears the pro-Siddiqui slant is happening on the Colleyville synagogue hostage crisis article as well. I've had to remove an entire undue series of edits that sought to include numerous irrelevant biographical details and allegations on the article, and that's not the end of that. It's still ongoing. Not sure if I need to start a new entry for this, but I thought I'd chime in. Love of Corey (talk) 05:10, 19 January 2022 (UTC)
Update: not sure to whom you're referring to when you say "two very zealous pro-Siddiqui viewpoint editors", but one has now been partially blocked from the Siddiqui and Colleyville articles, while the other seems to have made their appearance in the latter article. Also, some suspicious-looking IP users have also started jumping into the Colleyville article. Love of Corey (talk) 21:21, 19 January 2022 (UTC)
I can assure you that I've been off of wikipedia for at least 18 hours, and those IP addresses can't have anything to do with me. I was also left logged on this whole time except for during a span of 2 minutes a couple minutes earlier. — Preceding unsigned comment added by NerdyGenius1 (talkcontribs) 01:11, 20 January 2022 (UTC)
Mentioning both sides is important for an unbiased view, not just the official American Government Narrative but also the alternate narratives about her. We need to remember that she is also considered by many as an innocent political prisoner, causing many protests on her behalf, as reported here and here. This position is "held from Pakistan to North Texas". She has the support of an "international network of activists who say she is innocent and are demanding her release". This isn't just a Pakistani view, but a view held internationally. Malik Faisal Akram thought she was framed, as reported by Paragraph 3 of the section added on 6:50 p.m. ET, January 15, 2022, As well as according to a recording Reproduced here, and in the article, as well as in the 8th paragraph of the second section here. The word "Framed" is literally used. Analysts mention that "Siddiqui's conviction in 2010 embodied the injustices of the post-9/11 US judicial system" Therefore, we should include that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by NerdyGenius1 (talkcontribs)
Mentioning both sides is important for an unbiased view, not just the official American Government Narrative but also the alternate narratives about her. We need to remember that she is also considered by many as an innocent political prisoner, causing many protests on her behalf, as reported here and here. This position is "held from Pakistan to North Texas". She has the support of an "international network of activists who say she is innocent and are demanding her release". This isn't just a Pakistani view, but a view held internationally. — Preceding unsigned comment added by NerdyGenius1 (talkcontribs)