Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard

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Welcome to the reliable sources noticeboard. This page is for posting questions regarding whether particular sources are reliable in context.
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  • Source. The book or web page being used as the source. For a book, include the author, title, publisher, page number, etc. For an online source, please include links. For example: [].
  • Article. The Wikipedia article(s) in which the source is being used. For example: [[Article name]].
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Is PolitiFact a reliable source for fact checking?[edit]

1. Is PolitiFact [1] a reliable source for reporting the veracity of statements made by political candidates? The relevant context is the proposed wording in this RfC at Donald Trump. Here is the relevant source: [2]

2. Is PolitiFact a reliable source for reporting the percentage of false statements made by a political candidate (of the statements checked by PolitiFact), provided that attribution is given? The relevant context is the proposed wording (both versions in the blue boxes) in this section at Donald Trump. Here are the relevant sources: [3] [4]

(Added clarification in green 22:20, 28 August 2016 (UTC)) updated link underlying "in this section" as the section has been archived Jytdog (talk) 05:44, 9 September 2016 (UTC)

Thank you. - MrX 15:59, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

NOTE: Regarding the second question, here are full cites to the two sources linked above:

The Holan article is also the source cited above for the first question.Anythingyouwant (talk) 20:53, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Survey and discussion[edit]

  • Yes Obviously. The claims that they are unreliable are confined to opinion pieces and unreliable sources such as MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 16:02, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes. Obviously. It has all the hallmarks of reliable sourcing: a professional journalistic operation, frequent citation by others (WP:USEBYOTHERS), awards and recognition from the profession (e.g., Pulitzer Prize). Neutralitytalk 18:22, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes. The Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact of the 12-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Tampa Bay Times which is owned by the respected non-profit Poynter Institute is a reliable source. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 20:07, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes. I cannot add anything to the points clearly made above. --MelanieN (talk) 21:48, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes provided the statement selected for fact-checking is clear as to what the speaker was trying to communicate[5] and no, respectively. Yes, they are reliable for determining whether a given statement is true or false or somewhere in between. But, no, they are not a reliable source for a purported "percentage of false statements made by a political candidate" because they would then have to analyze every sentence uttered by the candidate, and evaluate it for truth or falsity, which would be completely impractical, and is not something that Politifact has ever attempted to do. They can say the percentage of false statements among those they have evaluated, but then a high percentage could simply mean that they only evaluated the statements that they most expected would be determined false.Anythingyouwant (talk) 22:04, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
    What I meant in the second question is percentage of false statements of the statements PolitiFact evaluated. I have now clarified this in the question.- MrX 22:22, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Okay, if that is what you meant, then I still think that Politifact is not a reliable source for the percentage of false statements of those that they evaluated, if they fail to explain how they selected the statements to evaluate, or if they selected the statements based upon inquiries by unknown people. In the latter case, those unknown people are unreliable, and hence the percentages depending upon those unknown people are unreliable as well. And, as I previously said above, "They can say the percentage of false statements among those they have evaluated, but then a high percentage could simply mean that they only evaluated the statements that they most expected would be determined false." Please note that I have given distinct answers to the two questions posed; I request that the closer not jump to the conclusion that people who only gave one answer were attempting to answer more than the first question.Anythingyouwant (talk) 22:38, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Politifact is a source of both news and opinion, and Wikipedia treats those two things very differently in a BLP. Per WP:OR opinion pieces are primary sources rather than secondary sources, and per WP:BLPPRIMARY (which is under a section about reliable sources within WP:BLP) "Exercise extreme caution in using primary sources....Where primary-source material has been discussed by a reliable secondary source, it may be acceptable to rely on it to augment the secondary source, subject to the restrictions of this policy, no original research, and the other sourcing policies." It therefore seems to me that opinion pieces by Politifact can only be valid and reliable for our purposes if the opinion is also discussed by a reliable secondary source, and so mere inline attribution to Politifact is not enough. The RFC statement above cites a Politifact article by Angie Holan for both of the two questions posed, and that article is an opinion piece; it's title expresses an opinion about who should get an award for worst lie, and Holan goes on to make generalizations like "Donald Trump doesn’t let facts slow him down. Bending the truth or being unhampered by accuracy is a strategy he has followed for years.... when challenged, he offers flimsy explanations and suggests he shouldn’t be held accountable -- or simply insists he’s right." There are other Politifact pieces that are mainly factual rather than opinion, and I think we can use those factual pieces as reliable sources to evaluate particular statements by Trump, but this piece is opinion, and so it would require not just inline attribution but also discussion by a separate reliable secondary source.Anythingyouwant (talk) 21:18, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

  • Yes. Criticisms from those not given poor ratings are generally about the concept of fact-checking as opposed to unreliability of Politfact itself. Objective3000 (talk) 22:15, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes and No. My objection on the second question above is basically the same as expressed by Anythingyouwant above: While the fact-checking organizations may be reliable for the specific statements that they analyze, we need to be careful about comparing percentages of False statements between candidates. As far as I'm aware, the fact checking organizations don't use a systematic approach in selecting which and how many of a politician's statements to analyze. Unless there's some indication that the statements are chosen for analysis in a systematic, unbiased manner, percentages can't be considered objective.CFredkin (talk) 22:54, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
    • Well, yeah, exactly. That's why the OP is proposing in-text attribution for the comparison of falsehood rates: because it is inherently somewhat subjective. When a reliable source (like Politifact) makes a subjective judgement, then we convey that using in-text attribution. This is Wikipedia 101. MastCell Talk 04:37, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
      • Our role as editors calls on us to exercise good judgement regarding whether information is potentially mis-leading, regardless of whether it's mentioned in reliable sources. As mentioned above, factors like the selection process of the statements being analyzed can have a dramatic impact on the percentages being quoted. Thus far, no editor, either here or at the article Talk page has directly addressed this concern.CFredkin (talk) 05:11, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
        • In-text attribution for the percentages is necessary but more would be preferable, such as reliable third-party reporting of the Politifact percentages that is independent of Politifact. Otherwise Politifact would be in a position similar to a self-published source for material about a living person, not written or published by the subject of the biographical material. Separately, any attribution to Politifact would also be safest if supplemented by attribution to the unknown people who submitted the inquiries to Politifact, if Politifact used and were influenced by such inquiries (i.e. the nature of the inquiries could apparently significantly shape the percentages). If all of these steps are taken, I still doubt that these very malleable percentages have much relevance to the BLP, but that's a matter for discussion at the BLP talk page.Anythingyouwant (talk) 11:14, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
          • You lost me. Politifact is not a self-published source, nor is it "in a position similar to a self-published source", and I don't see how you can maneuver it into being one. It's a third-party reliable source, and can be used for statements of fact as well as for properly attributed opinion (the latter according to WP:RSOPINION). MastCell Talk 17:08, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
            • Per WP:BLPPRIMARY, "Exercise extreme caution in using primary sources....Where primary-source material has been discussed by a reliable secondary source, it may be acceptable to rely on it to augment the secondary source, subject to the restrictions of this policy, no original research, and the other sourcing policies." If we use Politifact as a primary source about its own opinion regarding these percentages, then it would be best to also use a separate secondary source that discusses Politifact's percentages, IMHO.. Additionally, any attribution to Politifact would be safest if supplemented by attribution to the unknown people who submitted the inquiries to Politifact, if Politifact used and were influenced by such inquiries (i.e. the nature of the inquiries could apparently significantly shape the percentages).Anythingyouwant (talk) 17:25, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
" may be acceptable to..." and " is absolutely required to..." are two completely different things. In addition, if politifact says that they have checked a representative sample of a candidate's claims, then you'd need a reliable source to dispute this, not your own misgivings about whether it's true or not. We don't use WP:OR to pick and choose which statements by a reliable source are actually reliable. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 17:34, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
Hi User:MjolnirPants, I'm hitting the road now for a long drive, but wanted to reply briefly first. You wrote, "if politifact says that they have checked a representative sample of a candidate's claims...." Has Politifact said that? Or have they said that they checked claims that unnamed people asked them about? Or that they only checked claims that looked doubtful at first blush? Or that they checked a broad sample of Clinton's claims as compared to a narrower sample for Trump that only included Trump claims that looked very doubtful at first blush? How the heck did Politifact choose claims to fact check???Anythingyouwant (talk) 17:53, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
That's why I said "if". If politifact doesn't give any information on how they choose claims for fact checking, then it would take a different source compiling statistics about how many claims they fact check for us to make any statement on the overall honesty of a candidate. If however (as I believe to be the case, but haven't confirmed), politifact says that they fact claim claims based on how notable the claims are (which means how much media coverage the claim gets in the hours and days immediately after it's made), then it's neither synth nor OR for us to say that their results are representative, because the overall honesty of a politician is going to be based on notable claims they make. The other, final option is that they fact check claims based on reader submissions (which may well be the case) and their own judgement as to what 'deserves' to be fact checked. In that case, we can't report an overall judgement unless the fact checking source gives one. In the case that they do provide an overall judgement of a candidate's honesty, then it is our trust in them as reliable which we lean on to determine whether or not to use that. Since it's pretty much universally felt to be a reliable source here at WP, the onus would be on those asserting unreliability. Again, however, that last clause is only the case if the fact checkers themselves make claims about the overall honesty of the candidates, which I don't think too many of them do. In other words:
*Note that a table showing the number of fact checked claims for each candidate is functionally and logically a claim by the fact checking source that candidate X has more false and fewer true claims than candidate Y, assuming the table demonstrates this. The claim shouldn't need to be made explicitly.
Otherwise, we should not make claims about a candidate's overall honesty. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:54, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── User:MjolnirPants, Politifact says, "We get asked all the time how the candidates compare. We often fret the question because we don’t fact-check every claim a politician makes (we’d never sleep), and we may fact-check a statement multiple times if candidates keep repeating themselves." This is strong evidence, it seems to me, that the percentages are subjective and incorporate opinions abut which claims should be fact-checked. It's a red flag that not even Politifact considers these percentages particularly reliable, in contrast to their analyses of a particular statement by a candidate.Anythingyouwant (talk) 21:39, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

@Anythingyouwant: Given the statement on that page, I tend to agree that using politifact to make blanket statements about a candidates overall honesty in wikivoice should not be done. I'm still not opposed to doing so in source voice, per WP:BIASED. But we should be careful, using direct quotes and careful attribution. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 13:19, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
User:MjolnirPants, do you agree that the formulation of these percentages involve a substantial amount of opinion? WP:OR says that opinion is primary source material. And WP:BLPPRIMARY seems to say (or at least strongly suggests) that we would therefore need the percentages to be reported in a secondary source to be used in a BLP. Why do you think inline attribution is enough without any report by some secondary source other than Politifact? Even without WP:OR and without WP:BLPPRIMARY, it seems to May that reporting in a separate secondary source would be needed to indicate that the percentages are sufficiently noteworthy for our purposes.Anythingyouwant (talk) 14:58, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
What I'm talking about with respect to including any claims they make about a candidate's overall honesty is this: Politifact is notable and highly reliable. Politifact says claim X is false. Since Politifact is highly reliable, we can say "claim X is false." but politifact says "Candidate Y is dishonest." However, we have reason to doubt their conclusions, so their reliability for this claim isn't strong. However, they are still notable. The fact that Politifact said "Candidate Y is dishonest" is important to presenting a neutral, complete depiction of Candidate Y. So again, as long as it's very clearly attributed to Politifact, we should include it. Even if it's untrue, it's still worth noting that they said it. Failure to note it is equivilent to saying we can't mention many of Trump's claims which have been fact checked, because they're false. Well, we're not mentioning them because they're true, we're mentioning them because their notable. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 15:40, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
User:MjolnirPants, Politifact says "we don’t fact-check every claim" and they could easily raise a candidate's percentage of falsehood by simply not checking claims that sound somewhat plausible at first blush. I believe that the Politifact percentages therefore involve opinion. Loads and loads of editorials and opinion-pieces in newspapers and magazines have said very negative things about Trump, and the best way for us to pick and choose which ones to mention is to follow WP:BLPPRIMARY, which seems to advise extreme caution and only use opinion pieces that are sufficiently noteworthy to be reported by secondary sources such as news articles.Anythingyouwant (talk) 16:14, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't see anything in BLPPRIMARY that would exclude the reporting of notable opinions. Notably, the section is titled "Avoid misuse of primary sources" (em added), and begins with "Exercise extreme caution in using primary sources". I'm not seeing how anything I've suggested is not using extreme caution, and it's certainly not a misuse of primary sources to report what that source says. Furthermore, in this case (Trump), such opinions have been reported on by secondary sources. So I'm really not seeing a good argument for excluding such opinions (and I don't deny they are opinions, all things considered) here. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 17:00, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
BLPPRIMARY says "Where primary-source material has been discussed by a reliable secondary source, it may be acceptable to rely on it to augment the secondary source...." I don't see how this could mean anything but that a secondary source is needed in order to rely on a primary source within a BLP. The two questions at the start of this talk page section did not mention any secondary source, and I think the sources mentioned at the start of this section are not reliable without a secondary source, regarding opinions about a BLP subject.Anythingyouwant (talk) 17:06, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
PolitiFact isn't a primary source. Full stop. Nor does WP:OR apply to material in reliable sources such as PolitiFact; it applies only to novel interpretations generated by Wikipedia editors. These policy objections are so obviously off-base that their continued repetition here is becoming disruptive. MastCell Talk 19:26, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Unless repeated in other media, yes, it certainly can be considered to be a primary source. Full stop. The comment you are responding to does not mention OR either. Arkon (talk) 19:44, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
I agree with User:Arkon. And I do think WP:OR is relevant here. It says that "editorials, columns, blogs, opinion pieces" are primary sources for purposes of the OR policy. I don't see any exemption for editorials and columns that are printed in the New York Times or the like. So the question is whether editorials and columns are also primary sources for purposes of WP:BLP. The answer is clearly "yes" because WP:BLP very prominently links to WP:PRIMARY which is part of WP:OR.Anythingyouwant (talk) 21:02, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm glad to see you believe we should abide by the policy at WP:OR, which opens its section on primary sources with Unless restricted by another policy, primary sources that have been reputably published may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them.
Since that's exactly what I suggested, can we then agree that it's okay to cite them, so long as we are very careful to attribute it properly? MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 21:32, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Nope. Per my comment above, "BLPPRIMARY says 'Where primary-source material has been discussed by a reliable secondary source, it may be acceptable to rely on it to augment the secondary source....' I don't see how this could mean anything but that a secondary source is needed in order to rely on a primary source within a BLP." Moreover, the footnote to this part of WP:BLPPRIMARY says "Please note that exceptional claims require exceptional sources". Claiming in the BLP lead that Trump is often false...that's an exceptional claim. So is saying in the article body that x% of his utterances are false.Anythingyouwant (talk) 22:01, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
"Anythingyouwant, you may call me handsome if you write it on paper and post a photo of that paper." Does the preceding sentence mean that you may not call me handsome if you simply type it here? No. Simply because the policy says that primary sources may be used under a given set of circumstances does not meant that they may not be used under others. Before you ask "then why would the policy highlight those particular circumstances, if not to set them apart?" let me say that those particular circumstances are ones where many editors would start crying WP:SYNTH" as soon as someone did it. It's not synth, but it really looks like synth if you say "so-and-so said X and Z, and whatsername said Y about X, without addressing so-and-so's additional mention of Z." then source that to so-and-so saying X and Z in one source, and whatsername saying Y in another. So I would say the policy highlights those particular circumstances because those are circumstances under which the rest of the policy isn't entirely clear.
Regarding the extraordinary sources part of your comment (which conflicted with my edit, grrr), I should direct you to the overwhelming consensus here in this very section. I dare say we have an extraordinary source for this claim. Besides which, the wikitext would be "Politifact says so-and-so is a liar", sourced to politifact saying that so-and-so is a liar. That's about as clear-cut an example of verifiability as it gets. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 22:15, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
User:MjolnirPants, I'm sure that you are very handsome.  :-) But, the meaning of this part of WP:BLPPRIMARY has been discussed many times in many places, and the predominant conclusion has been that attribution is not enough to cite primary sources in BLPs. Otherwise, we could troll through court records and the like to find little nuggets that we like. For starters, here are links to a couple prior discussions at this noticeboard, and at BLPN: [6][7]Anythingyouwant (talk) 22:43, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Well, thank you for saying so, and I appreciate the interactive proof of my argument. :) I'm afraid, however, that neither of those two discussions addresses this question. The first link is specifically about making claims in Wiki voice, and the second pertains to court documents, a form of WP:SPS. We're not talking about SPSs, nor saying anything in Wiki voice. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 05:43, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
No Arkon, PolitiFact is not a primary source, not today; not tomorrow; not ever. Their work is cited in other sources, but that doesn't matter anyway. Primary sources are original materials that are close to an event, and are often accounts written by people who are directly involved. They offer an insider's view of an event, a period of history, a work of art, a political decision, and so on. Not only that, PolitiFact cites other sources. Another way to know that PolitiFact is not a primary source, is the fact that their fact checks specifically cite other sources.- MrX 22:26, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
So you're saying, User:MrX, that Politfact never does what the New York Times does, which is to publish or express opinion (the NYT publishes op-ed columns as well as editorials)?Anythingyouwant (talk) 22:43, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Anythingyouwant Is that a trick question? The scope of this discussion is PolitiFact's fact checking, an activity that is intrinsic to journalism. Fact checks are not in the same realm as opinion columns at all.- MrX 22:56, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
User:MrX, no, of course it's not a trick question. You made a categorical statement that PolitiFact is not a primary source "not ever". That would be unusual for mainstream publications, most of which have a division between factual news reporting (which is a secondary source) versus opinion (which is a primary source). I agree with you that PolitiFact does a great deal of valuable and accurate reporting, in which case it's a reliable source. But I do believe they also sometimes mix in opinion, which is subject to WP:BLPPRIMARY. So my question stands: Politfact never does what the New York Times does, which is to publish or express opinion (the NYT publishes op-ed columns as well as editorials)?Anythingyouwant (talk) 23:11, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── From the source: "PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics." Why in the world would a website called PolitiFact publish opinion pieces? - MrX 23:35, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

Answer: For the same reason that some people insert their opinions into the Wikipedia. Any source known to publish purely objective truth would soon develop a powerful credibility with its audience. Credibility is the primary requirement for the dissemination of opinion. Opinions can have consequences, and can be highly profitably to the source. Conversely, objective truth is only moderately profitable to the publisher. Among human beings, the temptation to inject opinion into objective sources is usually overwhelming. No newspaper or other news organ has been able to resist. Professors and textbook publishers are notorious. And most people cannot even distinguish between their own opinions and objective truth. Grammar's Li'l Helper Talk 23:49, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
User:MrX, fact-checking organizations like Politifact often inject opinion in how they interpret what Trump means. Trump often does not speak with crystal clarity, and fact-checking organizations will often attribute to him the most outlandish possible meaning, and then fact-check that meaning. This phenomenon is discussed by University of Wisconsin School of Journalism Professor Lucas Graves, author of a new book titled "Deciding What’s True: The Rise of Political Fact-Checking in American Journalism." You can hear him talk about it in this August 10 interview starting at 50:30. I'd be glad to give you particular examples of this phenomenon, but it's better you should hear it from a source like Lucas Graves than from me. And Politifact articles can likewise use opinionated language; consider the Politifact article by Angie Holan titled "2015 Lie of the Year: the campaign misstatements of Donald Trump". The bare concept of a "lie of the year" is opinion rather than objective fact, and she likewise writes: "Donald Trump doesn’t let facts slow him down. Bending the truth or being unhampered by accuracy is a strategy he has followed for years....when challenged, he offers flimsy explanations and suggests he shouldn’t be held accountable -- or simply insists he’s right." So, yes, there is lots of opinion involved in the PolitiFact fact-checking.Anythingyouwant (talk) 04:01, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
When a highly reputable fact-checking organization (like PolitiFact) finds that a Presidential candidate is so exceptionally untruthful, and outright disdainful of the idea of truthfulness, that is notable. Yes, it's a subjective judgement, which is why it needs to be attributed (per WP:RSOPINION). I see what you're trying to do, but you're actually making a point opposite to the one intended. By emphasizing that PolitiFact has called out the unique and exceptional nature of Trump's dishonesty, you're making the case that it deserves mention, per our basic responsibility to follow high-quality sources and report their findings. MastCell Talk 17:08, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
I emphatically agree that the opinion of fact-checkers warrant mention with attribution, via reliable secondary sourcing, in the body of the Trump BLP, and I think that I have led the way in that regard. The material now in the article body is generally nuanced and well-sourced, as it should be.Anythingyouwant (talk) 17:19, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes and yes. Politifact is a reliable source (really, it's not even a close call). As far as subjective judgements (for instance, that Trump is a uniquely untruthful politician), those can be expressed so long as they are relevant to the article in question and so long as in-text attribution is provided (see WP:RSOPINION). This is pretty basic, and the fact that it requires a trip to WP:RS/N to affirm (much less the fact that some experienced editors don't seem to understand it) speaks poorly to the editing environment at the articles in question. MastCell Talk 04:40, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes, but Talk:Donald Trump#RfC: Donald Trump's false campaign statements tries to push editorial freedom too far. A source can be reliable for certain statements, but the RfC proposal that many of Trump's statements have been false goes too far. Stuff like that has to be attributed (it does not seem to be in RfC), and is undue in the lead of a BLP. Johnuniq (talk) 09:43, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes for 1, No for 2. PF is not a statistical sample of someone's public statements, and should not be used to try to paint an overall picture of someone's overall "truthiness". TimothyJosephWood 18:02, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Snow yes for 1, It depends Yes but for 2. PolitiFact is one of the most reliable politics sources out there. It is cited approvingly by just about every major news outlet. If PolitiFact says something we can generally treat it as gospel. As for #2 however, I'm not aware of any PolitiFact source saying what MrX is proposing, but I suppose it's possible. Certainly PolitiFact has published articles about the number of false statements by a politician, or using the word "many," but that's a far cry from giving a percentage of all statements the politician has ever uttered. As for #2, sure that kind of a percentage would be reliably sourced, but moving beyond verifiability, how useful would it be? PolitiFact exercises a lot of editorial discretion in deciding which statements to fact check. I think they usually consider how high-profile, controversial, or suspicious-sounding the statements. A percentage of a denominator like that says as much about PolitiFact as it does about the politician. There might be a place for this information but I can't think of where. I'm not watching this page so please ping me if you'd like my attention. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:33, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Compare with the RSN entry of 17:47, 25 August 2016 (UTC):

"You are invited to participate in Talk:Donald Trump#RfC: Donald Trump's false campaign statements. Prior discussion involved the reliability of the proposed sources."

One of the two proposed sources whose reliability was disputed is a PolitiFact piece. There is no consensus that the source can be used to support contentious material in a BLP. --Dervorguilla (talk) 21:08, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

Are you really claiming that some consensus of which no-one but you seems to be aware somehow overrides a massive (and still growing) consensus here? MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 23:44, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
@MjolnirPants: To the contrary, I'm alerting editors to the lack of consensus in a related discussion started by a question that was posted here less than three days ago. --Dervorguilla (talk) 09:08, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
So you're alerting people who have taken part in a discussion that extremely rapidly produced an almost overwhelming consensus that there's still no consensus? MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 12:45, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
User:MjolnirPants - he's advising other editors more fully. That may lead them to reconsider their opinions as being based on bad WP:RSCONTEXT. That this thread was started immediately after the RFC at the other article makes this thread look suspect of WP:FORUMSHOPPING. Witholding or opposing the info about the other RFC does not help such suspicions. Markbassett (talk)
It wasn't started "immediately" after the RfC, unless your definition of immediately is three days. What other RfC? There's only one that I'm aware of.- MrX 12:45, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Advising them of what? He seems to be 'advising' them that their voices don't count because one or two people disagree. But that's not how consensus works. The reasons those few don't agree have been addressed already by pointing out that the 'evidence' of these sites' unreliability is simply a handful of opinions. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 13:19, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

*Probably not. I googled "politifact bias" and the results are somewhat troubling. Here is an image briefly summarizing my concerns. They appear to editorialize "facts" and cherry pick scenarios which doesn't fly for me. Mr Ernie (talk) 00:51, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

    • You're citing an anonymous Internet meme from in support of your conclusion? That's very creative, but makes no sense whatsoever. Neutralitytalk 01:09, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
If a meme can be used as an argument, can I use one as my rebuttal? Graham (talk) 01:13, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
I didnt know it was a meme as it was the first response on my google search. Is it accurate? Regardless I'll strike my vote. Mr Ernie (talk) 01:28, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
Accurate? It simply shows a bunch of (carefully chosen to create the impression of a bias) examples of fact checking and sarcastically claims a bias (note there are no citations or evidence presented to support the text at the top of the two columns, so that text is really nothing but the claim of a bias itself). Even the examples shown don't fit the claim. How can Ted Cruz be "off by 1%" in the claim listed at the top of the (ironically) left column? No, while the web is full of charges of a liberal bias against the fact checkers, there's precious little in the way of evidence. I did read one well-written (if not well thought-out) piece on one of the bigger news sites once, but even then, the only evidence they presented was crunching the numbers and showing that conservative politicians get worse ratings than liberal politicians by some of the fact checking sites. The author tried to imply that they fact-checked the conservatives way more often, but only showed like a 5% difference. I believe the classic response is "Reality has a well known liberal bias." MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 04:24, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
  • With caution When Politifact says the candidate said x and the truth is y, then that is reliable. But there is judgment included in their coverage too - what statements to list and how egregious they rate each discrepancy. This becomes a particular issue when their findings are summarized: "We checked 10 statements by candidate A and found 8 to be true, while for candidate B we found only 2 to be true." So Politifact's summaries show that Clinton is more honest than Sanders.[8][9] TFD (talk) 05:04, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
  • No and No. The Wall Street Journal says "PolitiFact ... has marketed itself to ... news organizations on the pretense of impartiality." ("Politifiction: True 'Lies' about Obamacare".) And the Journal is the most trusted newspaper in America. --Dervorguilla (talk) 18:08, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
Dervorguilla that's an opinion piece from the WSJ, not a news article. The "most trusted" study you linked to was about who Americans trust for news, not opinion. And it wasn't the "most trusted" paper, it was just more trusted than not by people in different ideological groups. Overall, however, the graph shows the USA Today has more trust than WSJ.Depauldem (talk) 21:19, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
Exactly. It also doesn't make a declaration that PolitiFact is generally unreliable. It merely opines that it disagrees with PolitiFact's view that Obama Care is not a government takeover. - MrX 21:24, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
@Depauldem: See the Pew studies. 1. "The Economist, BBC, ... and The Wall Street Journal are among those with the highest ratio of trust to distrust [for news about government and politics]." 2. "The average consumer of the Wall Street Journal sits very close to the typical survey respondent, but the range of Journal readers is far broader because it appeals to people on both the left and the right." So the Journal's editorial board may be far less "liberal or conservative" than the average board -- and thus more trustworthy. --Dervorguilla (talk) 08:09, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
WSJ news is generally reliable. WSJ Opinion, not covered by that survey, is another beast entirely; their "editorial board" (James Taranto basically is the editorial board) is firmly planted on the conservative side of the field. Xenophrenic (talk) 08:50, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
This discussion is now publicized at Talk. I rephrased the questions per core policies and for accuracy and readability:
"1. Is the PolitiFact subsidiary of the Tampa Bay Times a reliable third-party source for material about the truthfulness of statements made by a candidate?"
"2. Is it a reliable third-party source for material about the ratio of false statements made by a candidate and checked by PolitiFact to true statements made by a candidate and checked by PolitiFact?"
For more on PolitiFact, see this old version of the article. (It's somewhat more concise than the current version.)[not in citation given] --Dervorguilla (talk) 08:22, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
That link contains NPOV policy violations which don't appear in the present version: Xenophrenic (talk) 06:25, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
  • No the sources shown are not a RS for the statement.
  • WP:RSCONTEXT - the statement is an unqualified broad judgement, put at the lead of BLP. These sources are not a source of encyclopedic review of sources that would support such a claim, nor are they posing as such, they are each a single secondary source of editorial opinion. Per WP:NEWSORG. an editorial article is suitable as one of a range of views, but not as an unqualified summary of fact.
  • WP:BIASED, Politifact and Factcheck have both been mentioned as somewhat biased by quick google check. (USnews, Forbes, WSJ, National review, Salon). A bit from being slightly left-of-center sources, but more so from a systematic bias of what they choose to examine and that they structurally are a simplistic scoring, not something that looks for interpretations or what the person meant. A joke or hyperbole -- gets scored as 'false', even if reasonalb e people would not take it seriously.
  • WP:RS, in particular for WP:BLP cautions about offensive words like 'false'. This has not approached the level of satisfying that.
  • Look, bottom line there is no way suc an edit isn't going to be read as WP:BIASED and WP:ADVOCATE. For the sake of WP:CREDIBILITY just reject blanket judgement statements being proposed. We don't need to really look at whether the policy is evenly handled with other candidates or shown as just their opinion -- it's inappropriate to be going here with any candidate.
Cheers, Markbassett (talk) 00:52, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but PolitiFact is widely-cited by other reputable publications. PolitiFact lists sources for each of their determinations and each is reviewed by a three editor panel before being published. I notice that you haven't provided any evidence that "Politifact and Factcheck have both been mentioned as somewhat biased" so I assume there is none. - MrX 12:45, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Markbassett, I think you're misreading those policies and guidelines. WP:BIASED says that the bias of a source does not disqualify it--not the other way around. And WP:BLP (specifically, WP:PUBLICFIGURE) says that verifiable facts about public figures should be included even if they're negative or disliked--not the other way around. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:50, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes and (weak) Yes - They have the required reputation for fact-checking and accuracy required by our Reliable Source policies. The arguments about bias are unpersuasive, since the accusations of bias have come from both ends of the political spectrum. Some Wikipedia editors also seem to forget that WP:RS says: reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective. Sometimes non-neutral sources are the best possible sources... Use of PolitiFact in case (2) should be with attribution and additional care. Xenophrenic (talk) 08:50, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
  • 1. Yes (with attribution) 2. No – No clue on methodology to pick which statements get fact-checked. Also potential bias towards checking "popular" controversial soundbites vs checking the totality of a speech. — JFG talk 11:17, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Comment. I have a simple question. Is this the main reference we are using to say that some of his speeches contain half-truths? If it is, I don't think this should be used. Also, in fairness, have they fact-checked Clinton's speeches? I am only asking because "Hillary pinocchio" has many matches on Google, and that connotation seems to have become a campaign issue, too.Zigzig20s (talk) 05:02, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
Zigzig20s, the scope of this query is clearly articulated at the top of this section. It's about Trump's false statements. (No idea what a half-truth is.) Yes, PolitiFact has fact checked Clinton's statements, some of which are probably in her speeches. Why is that you can hijack nearly every discussion with this Hillary pinocchio and Hillary coughing nonsense, but you can't be bothered to go to to get the answer you seek? This tendentiousness and trolling is sure getting disruptive. No more good faith for you!- MrX 13:01, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, please assume good faith. It looks like is a project of the Tampa Bay Times, which is published by the Times Publishing Company, which is owned by the Poynter Institute, whose president is Tim Franklin. Has he made any political endorsements or contributions?Zigzig20s (talk) 13:44, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
Actually, we would need to double-check their board of trustees.Zigzig20s (talk) 13:57, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
That's actually beside the point. "Reliability" and "bias" are two different things. The only question that matters is "do they have a reputation for fact checking and accuracy" (WP:RS)? Volunteer Marek (talk) 14:27, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
And if we have to ask if they are reliable, that means they are probably not sufficiently reputable. Otherwise we wouldn't even question it.Zigzig20s (talk) 14:49, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
And if we have to question Trump's honesty, that means he is probably dishonest. If we have to question whether WP:BLP applies, that means it probably doesn't. If we have to question your intelligence, that means you're probably not very intelligent*. Do you see the fundamental problem with this line of reasoning?
*(That is a purely rhetorical device, I'm not saying you are not intelligent, merely picking an example most likely to illustrate the utter inapplicability of that logic.) MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 18:20, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes although of course there might be some instances where additional sources would be useful.Volunteer Marek (talk) 14:27, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes They make occasional mistakes or use incorrect wording in their conclusions but don't we all. Gaas99 (talk) 21:26, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes and Yes - I don't know of a source that would survive the tests applied to PolitiFact by some in this thread. ―Mandruss  04:11, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes and wrong question. Politifact is not a reliable source for the number of true or false statements that a candidate has made. They do not even claim to be a reliable source of this. However, Politifact is a reliable source for the number of true or false statements rated by Politifact. However, on the latter question, Politifact is a primary source, so not really usable. Some news/opinion articles, which are secondary sources, have mentioned the Politifact statistics. I see nothing wrong with citing those statistics, and referencing Politifact (or the appropriate wayback machine archive), but using such opinion content as a secondary source requires a careful consideration of policies other than the WP:RS guideline, such as WP:WEIGHT, WP:NPOV, WP:BLP, etc. Sławomir Biały (talk) 22:45, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes per all of the above. --Taivo (talk) 22:57, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
  • yes to both, based on the content provided in the blue boxes, which is attributed. for the second one, the content in the blue box notes "of the statements checked" which is essential - I would have said "no" to the second one otherwise. Jytdog (talk) 05:45, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment. I have requested a formal close on this. Neutralitytalk 20:56, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
    • Commenting to prevent automatic archival pending close. Neutralitytalk 05:29, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
    • Commenting again to prevent automatic archival before closure. Neutralitytalk 18:54, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes, Politifact is most definitely a reliable source. GABgab 22:02, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Sometimes and No: it's not above influence or bias. And if this is stemming from trying to edit Trump pages about his claims, we are heading towards a POV. There's a long history of biased editing on his pages. DaltonCastle (talk) 05:44, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes but and No. Yes but they are always right so if another source disagrees then we should treat it as such. No for the second because it's based on the number of claims they have elected to check, not total claims made, ratio of claims checked vs made etc. Springee (talk) 15:53, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Crash Override Network[edit]

Crash Override Network (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Gamergaters want to include information on this page which is sourced to a rightwing political rags The Washington Examiner and Heat Street.


jps (talk) 12:17, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

Reliability does not appear to be a factor. The Washington Examiner is a reliable news source; and reliability is not affected by source bias or position on political spectra (per WP:BIASED). If it were we would have very few sources available at all. Opinion pieces published on are reliable for attributed opinion (per WP:RSOPINION). See also the section earlier on this page "Is Heatstreet a reliable source for attributed opinion?".
Of course, verifiability does not imply inclusion, but the other aspects which might exclude this information or affect how it is included, are best handled on the article Talk page. I would also caution that it is not WP:CIVIL to refer to editors in good standing as Gamergaters. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 12:36, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
I find your statements troubling jps as you are using political affiliation as justification to deny facts from being added the page. If that were the case, I would have to agree with Ryk72 and agree that very little information would be usable on wikipedia at all. The heatstreet article is written by someone who used to be in those chat rooms that verified that the leaked logs are indeed valid, which has been further been validated by other members of the group either confirming out right or disappearing all together. Just because you do not agree with the facts does not mean they are any less factual. In fact, you have two articles where one is citing the other on the same first sentence of the article no less. References #3 is using Reference #5 as a source, so you can get rid of Reference #5 for example. Also, while we're on the subject of what is opinion, reliable, and not. If you go by WP:QUESTIONABLE most of the references in the article would be thrown out since no fact checking was done except by Reference #14 which issued an update to the article. If you still want to pursue this, I can go through each reference with a fine tooth comb and issue a redaction for the ones that fail to meet the standards of a reliable source with detailed documentation. I would suggest you put your personal bias aside. 2601:140:8100:BC7C:6944:B648:F326:FB9F (talk) 14:10, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
A biased source like Washington Examiner can be used for some things, but it depends on the context. Simply being biased doesn't mean it's unreliable, but for some sources (like both of these), that bias is prioritized such that the publications do not have a "reputation for fact-checking and accuracy" and take to publishing WP:FRINGE perspectives. For contentious subjects that tie in with a given bias (this qualifies), it should be considered reliable only for the opinion of the author, not as established fact, and would not alone carry sufficient WP:WEIGHT to merit inclusion. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 20:38, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Can you elaborate on that bias is prioritized such that the publications do not have a "reputation for fact-checking and accuracy"? Are you saying there are instances of inaccuracy and lack of fact-checking or that their bias is strong enough that a reputation for accuracy is irrelevant?
If that article does espouse FRINGE positions they're not represented in our article; here's the current text:

An August 2016 leak of chat logs among members who would go on to found the group suggested some participated in doxing and harassment of Gamergate supporters.[13] Ian Miles Cheong says he was a member of the chat group and that the logs are genuine.[14]

The claim we repeat from the article is uncontroversial - supported by primary documents, confirmed by a participant. As far as I'm aware no publication has countered the article's interpretation or offered an contrary interpretation. James J. Lambden (talk) 17:56, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
Are you saying there are instances of inaccuracy and lack of fact-checking or that their bias is strong enough that a reputation for accuracy is irrelevant? - Not the latter; more or less the former. The promotion of WP:FRINGE perspectives is part of what calls their reputation for accuracy into question -- I didn't mean that particular article did so. They do not have a good reputation for fact-checking and accuracy in the way they report on contentious political topics (including social topics with a conservative/liberal angle, like gamergate). Doesn't mean it's precluded from use, but if the only sources for a particular claim are sources that are those with a bias relevant to that claim, it's considered fringe. I'm talking more about use of these sources in general than this particular instance btw. (i.e. I'm more reacting Ryk72's comments than jps's). — Rhododendrites talk \\ 19:22, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
Respectfully, I'm not finding support in either policy or guidelines for if the only sources for a particular claim are sources that are those with a bias relevant to that claim, it's considered fringe; nor evidence that this is a generally applied principle. Nor am I seeing anything in the history of this noticeboard which supports a consensus that the Washington Examiner promotes WP:FRINGE perspectives. I think it's clear from our use of news sources generally that bias is not a disqualifier. More on this to follow, below. If there are supporting policies, guidelines or discussions demonstrating consensus, it would be appreciated if diffs to these could be provided. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 00:03, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Tell that to those who are predisposed to want to include rightwing muckraking in Wikipedia articles, I guess. [11] jps (talk) 16:09, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
Rhododentrites, While The Washington Examiner has an obvious political bias, I respectfully disagree that is rises to the level at which we would disqualify the source or consider it WP:QUESTIONABLE. Were we to do so, then, to be fair and equitable, we would need to re-examine our use of sources with similar levels of political bias, such as The Guardian. As for WP:WEIGHT, while this is better discussed at the article Talk page, it is worth noting that there is a particularly small pool of reliable, secondary, sources for this organisation; particularly post-creation; it does not, therefore, take much to warrant inclusion. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 18:26, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
Woah there, in what world do the Guardian and the the examiner have "similar levels of political bias"? One is a major newspaper of record which has been around (and been widely respected) for decades, the other is... not. The sources we're discussing here are both badly and obviously biased, especially when it comes to this subject/topic. Way to little weight to include this, even as an attributed opinion. If these are really the best sources out there then I'd say it's obvious the content should not be included. Fyddlestix (talk) 19:13, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
The Guardian has a well-recognised bias in it's ideological & political viewpoints with influences it's editorial & journalistic processes. This is not unusual. The same is true of many or most newspapers. The Washington Post has such a bias that a presidential candidate from a major political party has banned it from campaign events. Murdoch owned media has a well-known bias internationally. In Japan, both the Yomiuri Shimbun (right) & Asahi Shimbun (left) have well-recognised political biases. In Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post has a bias towards supporting mainland China. For our Antipodean friends, The Age & The Australian are generally openly supportive of the Labor & conservative parties respectively. All of these biases are well understood; none are disqualifying of those publications for use as a reliable source. The issue which was raised here was one of bias. Bias alone cannot be disqualifying. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 00:03, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
It so happens we have a reliably sourced section on The Guardian's bias. Also: The Washington Examiner#Political stance. Rhoark (talk) 19:38, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
The idea that The Guardian is a reliable source regarding anything directly or indirectly related to the gamergate controversy is utterly laughable. Editors at The Guardian went as far as to tell their writers not to cover it until Leigh Alexander, an individual at the center of the controversy had the opportunity to propagandize their staff and dictate the narrative. Meanwhile people are arguing that a primary source that has personally verified the validity of the documents is unreliable. What a joke. (talk) 00:39, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The Washington Examiner's reputation is pretty far from that of The Guardian. That's not a statement about the extent of their respective political biases; that's about their reputation as a reliable source (reputation for fact-checking and accuracy and all that). If you do not find The Guardian to be a reliable source for certain topics, you're welcome to open that discussion. More to the point, however, if you had aimed a little lower, going with e.g. Counterpunch, Crooks & Liars, or Daily Kos, I would agree that they are not reliable sources for contentious political topics and that if they're the only ones publishing a particular position, it should be considered fringe. But all of that is a separate discussion. We're not trying to be fair, we're trying to stick to an WP:NPOV. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 19:22, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
The Guardian was chosen deliberately, because it is so well-recognised as having a political & ideological bias; and yet so clearly considered reliable. The issue which was raised here was one of bias. Given that we recognise sources with well-known, acknowledged bias as reliable, bias alone cannot be a disqualifier. The only use of "fair" in my prior comments was to suggest that we should be consistent, even-handed & non-partisan in our application of policies and guidelines; I am not certain whether it was the intent, but, to suggest that this would be a WP:FALSEBALANCE is a clear misunderstanding of that policy, and deeply disturbing. An invitation to clarify is extended. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 00:03, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

I think the point here is fairly clear. There are a number of factual claims being made sourced to the Examiner:

  1. There exists genuine chat logs among members who would go on to found CON
  2. Said logs suggest some participated in doxing and harassment of Gamergate supporters.

Both of these points would need a fairly strong source to verify. The Washington Examiner is liable to simply repeat something they heard on the internet one day as they have done in the past. Additionally, we have the following opinion sourced to Heatstreet:

  1. Ian Miles Cheong says he was a member of the chat group and that the logs are genuine.

This is at least properly couched as an opinion rather than a fact, but how do we know Heatstreet has faithfully and reliably reported that this opinion was proffered? jps (talk) 20:04, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

Cheong is the author. Rhoark (talk) 20:37, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
I guess my point is that he is something of an unreliable narrator even when it comes to his own opinions. jps (talk) 21:54, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
Are you being serious? Perhaps you'd be a better fit at RationalWiki. (talk) 00:42, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I'm totally serious. The person routinely disavows opinions he admits to having in the past. jps (talk) 10:12, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
Last I checked, disavowing opinions one freely admits to having in the past is just a condescending way of saying that somebody changes their mind over time, which is (last I checked) a natural part of the human experience. The WordsmithTalk to me 14:09, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
Not really. Changing your mind is 'I did think that previously, I now think something different' - its admitting you previously thought something and now longer do. Disavowing former opinions is 'No I never said/thought that, you misheard/misreported/misunderstood me'. Some people (eg presidential candidates) tend to do this quite often where the opinion is so (or turns out to be) controversial as to require complete denial they ever had it. To answer the original question: By themselves I would say neither are reliable enough to consider inclusion. However one is a primary source which states 'yes these logs exists, I participate in them' which is not unreliable unless you consider they may be lying. It couldnt be used for commentary on other participants per the BLP. The Examiner has never been found to be unreliable when discussed before, its always 'well it depends on what you are using it for'. Only in death does duty end (talk) 14:24, 12 September 2016 (UTC) Only in death does duty end (talk) 14:18, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
If that's what JPS meant, then I may have misinterpreted his statement. I parsed "admits to having in the past" as "acknowledges that he previously held those beliefs, but doesn't believe them currently." The WordsmithTalk to me 14:30, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
Ah, I read it as 'He disavows opinions that he (in the past) admitted to having.' Which, without straying into BLP territory, would not surprise me in the slightest in this topic area. Only in death does duty end (talk) 14:34, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It is indeed hard to decide which is which in this topic area, and it is way beyond the scope of Wikipedia itself to try to disentangle this. We have in the past gotten into problems in Wikipedia including opinions of people who have a documented history of changing their minds. (I am reminded of an instance where Virginia Heffernan was quoted praising a particular climate denial blog and then she changed her mind on her verified twitter account which led to all sorts of contortions about how we should describe the state of affairs. The end result was to omit her opinions on the blog entirely.) As it is, I think this discussion is probably best left to the talkpage. jps (talk) 14:45, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

What utter hypocrisy, I could strike out half the citations in any gamergate related controversy page by your own standards. You're POV pushing. (talk) 22:19, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
You might find a way to state the same without the pugnacious language. Would you like to try again? Grammar's Li'l Helper Talk 22:58, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm replying to an individual who opens up his POV pushing campaign by calling anyone who disagrees with him "gamergaters". I think my comment is factual and I will let it stand on it's own merit. I'm not an editor, just someone who is more interested in documenting history rather than pushing narratives via proxy wars about the political leanings of websites, not the authors themselves. I will state it again, the hypocrisy of this argument is overwhelming when you consider the currently used citations in related articles. (talk) 00:37, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I find this line of "how do we know that that's his real opinion?" reminiscent of first year philosophy epistemology classes; not least in that it doesn't even rise to the level of sophomoric. We're not verifying the content's of Cheong's heart (now, earlier, or at sometime in the future); we're verifying that which he wrote, and which was reliably published by Dow Jones in HeatStreet. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 15:52, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm honestly struggling to believe this farcical claim that Cheong "misremembered" his membership of the group in an attempt to bring his reliability as a primary source into doubt. Unbelievable. LCrowter (talk) 16:46, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia is supposed to be descriptive, not proscriptive. An article that includes details about a controversy that exists only in the writings of two contentious sources is the epitome of proscriptive writing. Our mandate is not to put this information out there as soon as we get it, but to wait until the information is important to the subject of the article before including it. Right now, this is claimed to be true in wikivoice which is absolutely unacceptable, whether we find these sources reliable or not, whether this is true or not. It takes a lot more than two opinion articles of contentious reliability to establish a claim well enough to be stated as fact in wikivoice.
Even if this is true and the sources deemed reliable, how does it help the article? The second paragraph states clearly that they engage in "white-hat hacking", which any reasonable person would expect to include getting personal information about individuals. So it's not really adding anything except an utterly unnecessary example that paints the subject in a bad light. It's certainly not a major controversy, or else it would be covered by other sources.
All I'm seeing in defense of inclusion in this thread is people pointing out that some of the arguments against inclusion aren't that great. Imagine if I argued that the sky must be blue, because blue is a cool color and there's a cool breeze outside. Does that make the sky red? What about orange? Neon pink? Hell no. The sky is still blue, no matter how crappy my argument for it being blue is. The parties advocating inclusion need to demonstrate that this is reliably sourced (not done), that this is not undue (not done), and that inclusion improves the article (not done). I'm not saying these things can't be done, I'm just saying that so far, they haven't been. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 17:38, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Those who normally cover these types of topics are known to have extensive personal bias on the topics, several have stated they simply refuse to cover this story outright. These are the same outlets and publications that are often used in gamergate related articles. Meanwhile we have a primary source verify the legitimacy of a primary document which undermines a large amount of what is currently written on the gamergate controversy topic at large. Wikipedia is allowing POV pushers to create revert wars, and game the system in concerns to what does or does not qualify as a "reliable source", without consideration for specific individuals. Just because The Guardian allowed some freelancer blogger to post on their domain suddenly their opinion piece becomes a reliable source? In this modern media age the idea that a brand gives reliability to an article is extremely naive. (talk) 17:52, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
"So it's not really adding anything except an utterly unnecessary example that paints the subject in a bad light" Painting the subject in a bad light is literally the entire premise of the Gamergate controversy article as it stands.
Continuing to claim that Cheong, a confirmed and verifiable member of the group is a contentious source is EXACTLY the reason why people are having a hard time believing that the discussion of inclusion is being carried out in good faith. LCrowter (talk) 18:35, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Has it ever occurred to either of you two that maybe people are concerned about Cheong's reliability because they actually doubt his reliability, instead of pretending to be concerned for the sake of pushing a POV?
Furthermore, I'm still not seeing any arguments for how this claim improves the article, why the complaints about Cheong are unfounded, how the Examiner article is in any way reliable or any concession to putting these claims (properly) into source voice, even if we accept the reliability of the sources. In short, while the exclusion case may contain some fallacious arguments, your case consists of nothing but name calling and incredulity that the other side doesn't take Cheong at his word. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 18:52, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
So what you're saying is we need at least one other primary source to verify the legitimacy of this primary document? More? I really should just stop wasting my time, it's pretty clear you're not interested in having an article that reflects reality, merely an idealized concept of reality. I guess it's your job as an admin to determine whether or not a primary source is lying and you've made that call. Do me a favor and go look at some the citation people currently use, what a joke. (talk) 18:58, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
<sarcasm>Yes, I'm sure that if you can just cast enough aspersions on me, I'll suddenly turn around and admit you were right all along, no actual arguments required.</sarcasm>
In all seriousness, I think you've inspired a good idea; getting an admin involved in this thread. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:05, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
It depends on how you view "improving" the article. If attempting to include a claim, confirmed by a verified primary source and reported on by a secondary source is not the best way to go about creating new content on an article then we may as well all pack up and head home now, because this dispute is clear evidence that it's a waste of time.
The arguments pitched against Cheong are that he is:
  • Prone to changing his mind on things.
  • Writing on a site which allegedly engaged in "tabloid"/"right wing" behaviour
The first isn't an argument at all, he is entitled to have any opinion he likes and it doesn't change the fact that the claim he makes of being a member of the group can be verified with the evidence he refers to.
The second is also a moot point, Heat Street is not exactly a well known name, but given that it was founded by a former British MP as part of a multinational news company I think that it fits the right criteria for inclusion. Much more so than Gawker or the Mary Sue, which are widely cited on the main Gamergate controversy page despite a history of poor editorial/ethical standards.
The wording of the statement as proposed by James seemed to be a fair and reasoned edit based on the information that the sources provide. The rest of the article, which goes to great lengths to talk about the work being done by CON to an almost advertorial extent, provides more than enough balance to ensure that we continue to meet a Neutral POV. LCrowter (talk) 19:34, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Please read Argument from fallacy. You can utterly destroy every argument against inclusion, and still not make the case for inclusion. You need to make a positive argument for why we should keep the material. Also, your argument about Heat Street applies just as well the, one of the biggest non-RSs there is. A sources reliability is not determined by the success level of its founder, but by its reputation for fact checking and accuracy. Also, there would be nothing to say about the group if the article did not say what the group does. That's the thing with group of any sort, from your local D&D group to multinational corporations to charities: the most important thing about them is what they do. Disparaging the article for describing what CON does is like disparaging an article about a film for having a plot summary. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:44, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

The reason why it must be included is clear for anyone with a sense of objectivity. Please refer to the post by where he goes into detail, but really, it should be obvious with the slightest bit of background on the topic. (talk) 19:53, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Once again, we're pack to accusing others of POV pushing... For the record: I have absolutely no dog in this show. At the end of the day, I don't care whether this group gets dragged through the mud, lauded as heroes, or utterly ignored by the rest of society. In short, I have no preference for either outcome, but your side has so far, completely failed to convince me of anything except your inability to abide by WP's behavioral guidelines. The second IP editor is the only one to even attempt to make a case for inclusion. My advice to you and to the 24.84 IP editor are to shut up and let the 73.13 IP editor discuss this for you. You're only hurting your cause with this "accuse everyone who doesn't agree with me of POV pushing" tact. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 20:09, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Why would anything I say affect the outcome of this discussion? The evidence is before us and it can stand on it's own merit, I'm simply directly you to look at it. I'd rather not shut up and simply continue to return us to the point: what will it take? So far the hecklers vote has brought us to a editing stand-still with no recourse beyond an admin unlocking the article so we can resume our revert war between "nothing happened" and "here's some accusations that come along with this mountain of evidence and a primary source backing it up". (talk) 20:28, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
@LCrowter: Much more so than Gawker or the Mary Sue, which are widely cited on the main Gamergate controversy page Just a note that isn't a true statement. The Mary Sue is cited once, and it's being used for the attributed opinion of Wu's and even then it's only being used as a primary source and backed up by a secondary source. Gawker is cited for a statement about Gawker saying they lost money. And Kotaku a Gawker publication is used in three places, once as an example of the "Death of an identity" article and twice for statements about Kotaku directly. — Strongjam (talk) 19:51, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
My apologies. You'll have to excuse my lack of awareness as I don't participate actively in editing the Gamergate controversy page. I feel my point stands that I don't feel the inclusion is compromised by any deliberate misgivings on the part of the websites in question. LCrowter (talk) 19:59, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree, name-calling and casting aspersions isn't helping anyone. Since you asked, the information improves the article by documenting that CON was conducting many of the same toxic conduct that they purported to oppose, directly in contrast to their mission statement. Unlike most of the actions attributed to Gamergate, there are primary sources showing that doxing, harassmnent, and covert intimidation tactics were done by the members and founders. Also unlike Gamergate, the sources show that they were done with the Network's full knowledge, consent, direct encouragement and assistance. Cheong himself should be considered a reliable source, as he's been the most forthcoming about the actions of CON. The logs also align with the statements made soon after leaving CON months ago- that the group wasn't living up to their values and engaging in the same behavior that they claimed to oppose. Furthermore, the Washington Examiner article presents an objective description of the log's contents that we can see match the primary source being covered. So far there has been no debate over the accuracy of the article's contents, nor has there been any proposal to cite any of the article's more opinionated statements. (talk) 19:20, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Well that's better. An actual discussion.
Since you asked, the information improves the article by documenting that CON was conducting many of the same toxic conduct that they purported to oppose, directly in contrast to their mission statement. I see two problems with that. 1) Allegations against 'social justice' types are a dime a dozen. The internet is full of them. I'm sure there are allegations that Zoe Quinn has raped someone out there, somewhere. 2) Even if they are true, they serve as nothing more than an example of the "white hat hacking" the article already identifies the group as engaging in. Hacking is, by definition, the retrieval of private information, an act which accomplishes nothing if that information is not used somehow. Doxing is, by definition, the release of private information. It should be apparent enough from the mention of white hat hacking that doxing would be in their repertoire.
Cheong himself should be considered a reliable source, as he's been the most forthcoming about the actions of CON. That looks like a non-sequitur to me. How does Cheong being vocal (you used the word "forthcoming", but that word presumes he is already considered reliable) about CON make him more reliable? Generally speaking, in my experience, the most vocal critics of any group or person are usually the least trustworthy. I have a niece who is the most feminist person I know, and she thinks that all men are rapists by nature. The fact that she won't shut up about it doesn't make her views any less ridiculous.
The logs also align with the statements made soon after leaving CON months ago- that the group wasn't living up to their values and engaging in the same behavior that they claimed to oppose. That's something worth considering. Can you provide some sources where he said this soon after leaving CON?
Furthermore, the Washington Examiner article presents an objective description of the log's contents that we can see match the primary source being covered. While Cheong's endorsement helps, I find it to be insufficient, given the nature of this issue. I think there needs to be some independent affirmation that the logs are genuine, such as a current member of CON who is a participant attempting to 'explain' the logs, or to justify their use of such tactics. Barring that, we should not claim the logs are accurate. If we can find some coverage elsewhere, however, I'm open to keeping this claims, re-written to be in source voice. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:44, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I see two problems with that. 1) Allegations against 'social justice' types are a dime a dozen. The internet is full of them. Thank you for the detailed reply. This is true, but allegations against anyone are common on the internet. We're not citing a 4chan post, these aren't third-party "allegations" but a direct documentation of the group's inner workings, verified by a primary source. The Washington Examiner article mostly just repeats what is already documented.
In regards to "white hat hacking" being a sufficient descriptor, it's an umbrella term used to describe a variety of actions, with their unifying attribute being that they are done "ethically". When in doubt, it's better to be more specific than vague, which is why most of the same actions attributed to Gamergate are not described as "white hat hacking". And the new sources cast serious doubt on the group's self-asserted ethics, as they seemed to be mostly acting in defense of their own reputation, and out of revenge against individuals who took no part in any doxing or harassment.
That looks like a non-sequitur to me. How does Cheong being vocal (you used the word "forthcoming", but that word presumes he is already considered reliable) about CON make him more reliable? . He's been the most honest about the group's inner workings, whereas no other members will confirm or deny the logs (besides whoever leaked them, and the leaker is clearly not comfortable with making themselves known). In the past he stated that he joined because he believed in the purported mission of CON, but grew disillusioned upon seeing that they were seeking to create more victims of doxing/harassment instead of supporting them. I'll need a moment to find his past statements, but he's talked about it at length in a blog post or two, without leaking specific chatlogs. Also unlike the current members of CON, Cheong no longer has a personal or professional stake in the group's reputation. He's also not the "most vocal" critic, just the most forthcoming. His recent verification of the logs was the most he's spoken about the group since announcing his departure. Aside from that, current members of CON have commented on the release of the logs, CON member Randi Harper was present in the logs and publicly attempted to justify her actions in a section. Specifically, the act of deliberately antagonize Gamergate members on twitter for the purpose of "distracting" them from a recent discovery that one CON member was an outspoken pedophile and child porn distributor in the years prior. The only sources for this are primary ones, so I shall not name the CON member in question. Source for Randi's verification of the logs: (talk) 20:59, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Can you please confirm the link that you've made for the verification from Randi. It appears that there's a manual redirect page set up. LCrowter (talk) 21:21, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
The link works fine (which I consider a legitimate archiving service in case that comes up) but Randi hasn't deleted the post so it's live as well: (talk) 21:28, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
The Mary Sue is cited three times on the main Gamergate Controversy page, actually. Gawker is cited 6 times. There are no less than 3 papers behind paywalls cited as sources; do we expect people to pay to read these sources, or are they just to assume that they say what they are said to say? There are dozens of opinion pieces sourced. There is a BBC article written by Quinn sourced. As has been mentioned, though, all the sources follow a strict narrative and POV-- and, in some cases, the sourced items are written by people friendly with Quinn and her crew of friends. If you can, by chance, explain why those sources are considered reliable, when many of them are opinion pieces or are from sources, like The Mary Sue, that do not pass the 'known for fact checking' paradigm being pushed here, I'd love to hear it. (talk) 21:50, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
(In response to this commentby're not citing a 4chan post, these aren't third-party "allegations" but a direct documentation of the group's inner workings, verified by a primary source. The Washington Examiner article mostly just repeats what is already documented. If you sprinkle the word "allegedly" a few times in that quote, I would agree with it entirely. As it is, that's the point of this discussion: we're discussing whether this claim is accurate, whether the sources are reliable, and whether the claim is WP:UNDUE. Stating your preferred conclusion on two of those issues is not an argument for that conclusion.
He's been the most honest about the group's inner workings, whereas no other members will confirm or deny the logs (besides whoever leaked them, and the leaker is clearly not comfortable with making themselves known). Again, stating that he's honest is not an argument that he's honest. Without a prior reputation for integrity, the only things we know about him are that he makes the claims he makes. For all we know, he only joined the group to dig up dirt on them, failed, and decided to type up a fake chat log instead, then 'leak' it to the Examiner, an outlet he knew would be sympathetic. Now, I'm not suggesting that's the case. I'm just looking for some evidence that fits less with that hypothesis than with the "Cheong is the one telling the truth" hypothesis. So far, the evidence could go either way. And since this is a BLP issue, that means we should leave it out. (This doesn't matter if this controversy gets picked up on by other, good sources. At that point, the allegations themselves will be notable enough for inclusion.)
Now, assuming the twitter link and the link (I can't access the latter, whether because I'm at work or due to the same problem LCrowter had) are the same thing, I have to say that while that's a good start, that's not the confirmation of their accuracy you claim it to be. Sure, Randi might be suggesting "Yeah, we said those things, but that was long before we started CON," or he could just as likely be saying "The person who made this up couldn't even get the date right." MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 21:54, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I do know that Randi's claim about the logs being dated 4 months prior to CON's founding is only partially true. A part of the log dates back to that, but continues up until about two weeks prior to the public launch date. A former client and professional blogger wrote about his experiences in getting support from CON prior to their launch, and that the network was operating privately weeks before that. Also, Randi further justified her own actions in the logs in other tweets. Sources: (talk) 22:45, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
So we're now back to where unless Zoe Quinn affirmatively verifies these logs. I feel like this a moving goalpost, as long as Crash Override Network has even a shred of plausible deniability we're not even allowed to mention it full stop. It doesn't matter we have the anonymous leaker, the chat logs, the trello logs, one person in the logs verifying the legitimacy and now additional primary source acknowledging validity of the leak and attempting to provide additional context. Where is an admin? Are you an admin? Like this is getting crazy. (talk) 22:03, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I'll say this one time. I'm not an admin and never claimed to be. Get over it. I've asked for an admin to come take a look at this, mostly at the fact that you've edit warred over your own personal attacks to keep them on the page despite three other editors removing them. If you want anyone, let alone me to actually engage you, you're going to need to drop this "everyone who disagrees with me is a POV pusher!" attitude, put on your big boy pants, and engage like an adult. Until then, I'm done responding to you. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 22:09, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Don't really care about this whole thing, but gotta say that considering the verbiage used at the -very- start of this section, complaining now about others calling people POV pushers is quite silly. Arkon (talk) 22:14, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I asked you previously why your name was green, I'm obviously new to wikipedia (at least in this context) and you never answered. I continue to ask, what more does it take? We have the primary documents and we have 2 primary sources acknowledging their validity and origin. Do I need to bribe some Forbes contributor to get an article run that ultimately cites the exact same stuff? You're clearly filibustering and being a disruptive force to wikipedia. I don't normally edit Wikipedia because I don't normally want to deal with this stuff but clearly the normal editors of these pages are not of the correct competence level. It takes some idiot rando on the internet to come in here and tell you the sky is blue, all you gotta do is look at it (which you clearly have a vested interest in avoiding). (talk) 22:17, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
So as long as an active member of CON doesn't actively verify the chat leaks we'll just pretend none of this ever happened? By the way in concerns to CON there's no real activity to speak of and from my understanding most CON members intentionally kept unlisted so you're basically saying until Zoe Quinn herself talks about it we should just ignore it. Are you an actual admin? why is your name green? I have a hard time believing you speak with authority by the way you speak.
I should also point out the concept of CON is flimsy at best and most of the information is self-cited without a shred of evidence. Yet it's all reliable, good faith and all. (talk) 20:57, 13 September 2016 (UTC) (talk) 20:55, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

Reliability of the Washington Examiner[edit]

Taking a look at the Washington Examiner editorial board and staff. There are several experienced journalists and editors there. I don't know what kind of fact checking it does generally. Looking at the article cited, we see that the writer (Ashe Scow) is listed as a "Commentary writer". I don't know what exactly this means, but perhaps it is similar to a columnist or opinion writer. The claim for which it is supposed to be a source is "suggest some members participated in doxing and harassment of Gamergate supporters while part of the group". That's a rather strong claim and has possible BLP implications. I would not use a sole source like the cited article for this claim. The Heatst source is probably fine with attribution: whether it should be included or not is to be decided on the talk page. Kingsindian   22:30, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

If we're talking about the author in particular, she is listed on the site as part of the "opinion" staff. She worked previously for the Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action for America. Even if this were a mainstream newspaper, which it is not, an opinion column is rarely an appropriate source for a contentious claim (although I recognize I'm replying to someone who agrees with this). — Rhododendrites talk \\ 23:53, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
The two comments above mine are pretty much silver bullets to this discussion. The article is an opinion article, because the author is an opinion contributor. The author has no reputation for fact checking, and an apparent reputation for pushing a particular ideology (which is biased enough that we should consider that bias when coming to a decision here). The other source itself is an opinion piece. So no, these are not reliable sources. If the claims published within then are addressed elsewhere (in other words, if the claims themselves are notable enough to be considered prominant viewpoints) then we can include them in the source voice. But we should never include them in wiki voice. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 13:58, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
if the claims themselves are notable enough to be considered prominant viewpoints -- Sure, but that "notable enough" would have to be established by better (or at least more mainstream sources) to include the voices of these authors. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 14:07, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, that's exactly what I meant. Sorry I wasn't more clear. If a handful of RSs start writing stories about this claim (or at least bringing it up in more than a passing way in articles about this site or gamergate or something else closely related), then we can include it in source voice. Not before. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 14:26, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't see the current opinion from WE as notable enough to include in the article (although it certainly did encourage a few anonymous IPs to participate in discussing it.) Should I, at this point, remove the statements sourced to it and the related opinion article from Cheong, or simply rephrase entirely as opinion? Given that the source is accusing named people of engaging in harassment, I'm wary of including it given that it is purely opinion. PeterTheFourth (talk) 21:29, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
Remove? No; Rephrase? Propose something on the Talk page. Notability and Reliability are not congruent; nor is there any consensus, here or otherwise, that one affects the other. The article text does not (other than Cheong, who self identifies as having been involved) name any persons. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 22:07, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
Simply put: No reason to include 'opinion article from opinion contributor' if it's not a notable opinion. PeterTheFourth (talk) 06:29, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Surely I've missed something here. Cheong's statements have been noted; by the Washington Examiner. And really, I'm not sure where this idea that we only include things that are notable comes from - WP:N covers determining which topics should have their own articles; WP:NNC makes it clear that it doesn't cover content. If we're requiring independent verification of everything that an expert or primary source says then we're not really going to be able to include much at all. I don't wish to fail WP:AGF but this ex-policy requirement does seem indistinguishable in effect from moving the goalposts. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 15:52, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) From WP:IRS:
When taking information from opinion content, the identity of the author may help determine reliability. The opinions of specialists and recognized experts are more likely to be reliable and to reflect a significant viewpoint
The author has reported on this topic, accurately and in depth for over a year. That bolsters her credibility.
Policy recognizes the distinction between fact and opinion and that both may exist even in the same article. You're arguing for a much stricter standard where if an author is primarily known for opinion pieces any piece she publishes (whether identified as opinion or not) counts as an opinion piece. I see no support for that argument in policy or in past discussions.
The reliability of a source depends on context. Each source must be carefully weighed to judge whether it is reliable for the statement being made in the Wikipedia article and is an appropriate source for that content.
This is a rare example where a journalist can "show their work." We have the original logs, with published verification by a participant, supporting the author's claims. That against bolsters credibility. Is anyone in fact arguing the claims are in doubt? No RS has challenged them or published a contradictory interpretation of the source material.
The article in the Examiner may not meet the standards you've set but I'd argue none of the current article's sources meet those standards; they all offer opinions, and the reliability of some (Destructoid) are even more questionable. It not likely sources meeting our highest standards will report on this or any other development with this organization so the standard you've outlined (which I do not agree is required) is effectively unattainable. James J. Lambden (talk) 21:36, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
If WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS, you are free to ask for the article to be deleted. I probably would !vote to delete. My interest right now is the rumormongering that seems to be allowed because a single opinion columnist from the Washington Examiner published a claim which has, as far as I can tell, been picked up by literally no one else in the mainstream media. jps (talk) 11:08, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Given your contribution elsewhere on this page that "Gamergaters want to include information on this page which is sourced to a rightwing political rags The Washington Examiner and Heat Street" (emphasis mine) I think there's a bit more to this than just an interest against rumormongering.
In any case, as James has already stated, the logs are backed up by a primary source (Cheong) who can verify the contents of the logs in question due to his direct involvement. This has then been reported on by Schow, who has done so regularly on the GamerGate controversy for the Examiner. Given the contentious nature of the topic in question, I find it unlikely that the Examiner would risk allowing blatantly untrue accusations to be published irrespective of the seniority of such a reporter or their politcal alignment. As far as I'm aware, the Examiner, unlike Breitbart, has not been ruled out explicitly for biased or poorly fact checked works, so I remain to be convinced that it should be the case in this instance. LCrowter (talk) 14:04, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
There doesn't seem to be any clear and obvious implication of what "commentary writer" means for reliability. I agree that saying someone engaged in harassment is a judgement call, and there isn't enough backing to say that. I do think there is a case to be made for including claims that are not opinions per se, particularly the paragraph, For example, the group discussed trying to contact the superior officer of a Purple Heart recipient who had expressed support of Gamergate to try to silence him. The group also discussed contacting Google in an attempt to get Justine Tunney fired after she also voiced support for Gamergate.. Unlike the interpretation of whether or not it was harassment, this is not an opinion of Ashe Schow; it's in the logs or it isn't. Rhoark (talk) 16:24, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I would agree that specifying certain events which can be positively verified by the logs would be preferable over making accusations of harassment. LCrowter (talk) 17:03, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
The initial wording was mine but you're right: specifics are better supported by policy and I think address some of the objections presented. I am somewhat concerned to see an admin edit the article through protection, to remove the content on debatable BLP grounds. James J. Lambden (talk) 18:00, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
The hypocrisy is overwhelming, shit like this is why I don't volunteer my time to be an editor. This shit needs to come under control real quick because I think this revert war is going to become a controversy in itself. Make no mistake, the inclusion of these logs in the Crash Override Network would cause ripple effects throughout all related gamergate articles. These two sentences essentially throw doubt at the majority of existing citations on the topic. What type of citation does this require? Do we need additionally primary sources to verify the document? Do we need all participants? Do we just need some freelance blogger at The Guardian to mention it? (talk) 18:09, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Well the logs do show they had a number of wiki editors on speed dial. It wouldn't surprised me if that includes admins. (talk) 18:15, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Recommend everyone cool their jets a bit and remind themselves of WP:NPA and WP:ASPERSIONS here. Fyddlestix (talk) 18:25, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry is there a rule about referencing known meat-puppets who have a long history of gaming the system in the exact same way? Hecklers veto and sourcing nightmares, the truth doesn't matter, the bureaucracy matters. How long are we gonna play this game? Will it take until everyone forgets about this whole mess before an even half-hearted attempt at a NPOV article is possible? Let's get back on topic and figure out what exactly the requirements for referencing a primary document that has been verified by a primary source in an article. I'm still not sure where the consensus actually is. Unfortunately the hecklers veto as succeeded in locking down the article without the new additional information. (talk) 18:34, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
You're so stuck on this "freelance blogger" and here I am trying to figure out what article from The Guardian you're even talking about. clpo13(talk) 18:13, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
What's your point? I'm attempting to point out that freelance bloggers in online news media is now the norm. The very first citation in the Crash Override Article is a op-ed by a freelancer at The Guardian who you could reasonably debate is an individual at the very center of the gamergate controversy. (talk) 18:18, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I thought there was a different article you were referring to. clpo13(talk) 18:23, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I wasn't referring to any specific article, it's just a meme in these discussions. Like The Guardian is the standard for what is a reliable source. I didn't even know what the first citation on the Crash article was unlike I just looked. Looking at the gamergate article I can see at least 6 citations by freelancers at The Guardian, a large amount of which were written by another individual who you could debate was at the very center of the gamergate controversy. I'd personally argue The Guardian is an extremely biased source on this specific topic, we're not talking about Greenwald and Edward Snowden. We're talking about a very incenstous and cliquish group of bloggers trying to spin their own personal conflicts. (talk) 18:49, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

Some perspectives that might help ground the assessment:

Rhoark (talk) 21:06, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

  • Comment. Opinion content is largely reliable as a primary source for the opinion of the author. Primary sources must only be used with care on Wikipedia, in part because it is difficult to assess their WP:WEIGHT. But in this case, the content is being cited for facts, not opinions. Generally speaking, opinion content is not reliable for facts. If facts are verifiable, typically they will have been reported by other sources that have a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. A supposed "fact" being only reported by an opinion column, without a follow-up in more factually grounded kinds of sources (like news reporting), is clearly a red flag, that should be a clue that better sources are required. Also, I should point out that WP:BLP does apply to the allegations made in the proposed edit, which generally demands sources of a very high quality. Sławomir Biały (talk) 21:02, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Just another IP editor here: These logs are demonstrably authentic if one simply compares what primary sources have said. Surely Wikipedia policy must have some remedy for this situation. It feels rather "cheap" to simply use the "reliability of secondary sources" as a proxy to suppress this document. (talk) 10:36, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Considering this it'd make sense to delete the entire crash override network article, the majority of claims are unverified and arguably reads more like an advertisement. It was promoted for deletion but it was kept for some reason, I imagine due to the historical meatpuppetry and admin abuse surrounding this topic. Granted with this new information the inclusion of Crash Override Network becomes a lot more relevant since it has severe implications on the gamergate controversy at large. (talk) 21:05, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I'd push for Washingtom Examiner to be a valid source in this special case. The arguments put up here (its an opinion piece! But, its not. What is your definitiion of opinion piece versus other sourced articles?.) aren't very convincing. The article is about a small, rarely heard about, twitter safety council which is why its not being reported on by various outlets. Fangrim (talk) 13:42, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
It's clearly editorial commentary as opposed to news reporting. Ashley Schow is listed as a "commentary writer". Moreover, her former affiliation is with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank, rather than news. Finally, the paragraph
"There's much more in the leaked logs, which Ian Miles Cheong has been documenting over at Heat Street, and I encourage you to read it. The point I want to make is that members of CON, including Quinn, have spoken out against online bullying before the United Nations, and have also worked with Google and Twitter allegedly to stop online harassment, all while engaging in the very same harassment."
is immediately disqualifying. One would never see a reliable news source address the reader in this way. Sławomir Biały (talk) 15:03, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Aside from the personal statements ("I encourage/the point I want to make"), Those all seem like objective claims, supported by the primary sources. It's an observable through these primary sources that the logs were leaked, there's more of them, Cheong is documenting them at Heat Street, that CON has spoken out against forms of online bullying before the United nations, that they have worked with google and Twitter on these issues, and that they've engaged in the same behavior they've denounced. Although, if directly addressing the reader is a disqualifier, then there are one or two sources on the Crash Override page that should be removed now. (talk) 22:45, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
If they engaged in such behavior, and it can be proven to a degree that news organizations with a reputation for fact-checking can corroborate, then I'm sure we'll be reading about it soon in higher quality sources. But the Wikipedia rules don't allow us to reference poor opinion sources like this for making controversial claims about living persons, period. Furthermore, based on the primary sources of the leaks I have seen, I do not believe that they alone support the statement as added to the article. An uncomfortably high amount of reading-between-the-lines and interpretation is required to convict Quinn et al of doxing and harassment, which is what the proposed edit to the article purports to do. Sławomir Biały (talk) 00:13, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
and it can be proven to a degree that news organizations with a reputation for fact-checking can corroborate, then I'm sure we'll be reading about it soon in higher quality sources. Highly doubtful. 1. CON, itself, isn't very newsworthy outside of virtue signaling writers, or writers with personal connections to Quinn, Lifschitz, etc. 2. Because said writers care more about virtue signaling and/or are friends with one or more people involved in the CON chat leaks, they will never report on the leaks-- because it will cast the members of the group in a bad light-- and, as we've seen, that simply won't happen; nor will it be accepted here on Wikipedia, as the current situation is showing. The current sources on the CON article include at least one personal friend of Quinn et. al. (Leigh Alexander)-- which, in and of itself, should remove this as a reliable source. After all, is Alexander going to say anything negative about her friend? Also, every single source used in the CON article is simply sourcing all their info from CON. "They've helped people!" "Who can confirm that?" "CON said it! That's good enough!" Might as well only use Trump as a source for Trump and Clinton as a source for Clinton... you'd get the same amount of fact checking as is happening in the articles sourced on the main CON page. The articles sourced are little more than fluff pieces propping up CON as something beyond what it actually is. Supposedly, though, these are all outlets considered reliable because of their propensity for fact checking; correct? That is the argument that certain editors are using, isn't it? So, just 'Listening and Believing' what CON says about itself is fact checking, now? It's like using press releases as verifiable facts and discounting anything that discredits the press releases. The obvious political and idological bias of Wikipedia editors is showing, and that valued neutrality that Wikipedia strives for is now dead and buried when it comes to certain subjects.
Congratulations, Wikipedia. You're proving yourselves, more and more every day, to be no better than Conservapedia or RationalWiki. Hell, Wikipedia is about to fall below Encyclopedia Dramatica in terms of reliability. (talk) 14:01, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
@ Let's assume for the moment that the logs are authentic. They should then be used as any primary source is. One way in which they can be used is when they have secondary coverage; we can then cite the secondary coverage as to how these other sources characterize the primary source, which parts are important and which are not and so on. In the absence of widespread sources in the latter category, primary sources are generally used only with attribution. (There are plenty of bad articles on Wikipedia which don't follow this practice, but that's a separate matter). In addition, one also has to determine the WP:WEIGHT - here there's no right and wrong, but the case has to be argued - and it is a uphill battle if there's little secondary coverage. Sometimes a topic is just too recent and/or too controversial that good sources with enough weight aren't available, or there's too much heat/light ratio. In that case, one has no choice but to wait for better sources to be available. Wikipedia already has too much "breaking news" dross, imo, but I digress. Kingsindian   13:45, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
@Kingsindian: So then would we, for example, be able to take Ian Miles Cheong as a reliable source for this purpose only in his personal capacity, regardless of the fact that he published this work in an outlet deemed "unreliable"? This seems reasonable and fair. (talk) 02:18, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
One gets a very different impression of things reading the actual logs than what is expressed in these opinion sources. The logs themselves are not cite-able, and the opinion sources are just that—opinion. Sławomir Biały (talk) 14:53, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
@Sławomir Biały: I read through them last night, and I couldn't agree more. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 14:16, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
I read the logs, and they seemed to match the Washington Examiner's description of them. What contradictions do you see? Keep in mind, we've established that sources from opinion columns are not disqualifiable on their own- as wikipedia already uses countless opinion articles as sources. Neither is the act of addressing the reader, as there are already sources on the Crash Override page that do this, while also relying exclusively on CON members as primary sources. That said, most of the article consists of objective and not subjective claims, which have been verified by the author by multiple primary sources (which is the base criteria for any "news" article). Furthermore, opinionated and personal statements from the Examiner article are not being considered for inclusion in the wiki page. (talk) 18:12, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Mostly reading into comments to present them as saying what the author thinks they really meant, as opposed to the literal words (which is all you can reasonably do with text). I can't quote right now, because I'm at work and don't have access to pastebin. Also, it has not been established that opinion sources are reliable as a blanket statement, nor has it been established that these particular opinion sources are reliable. It's still being discussed, and the outlook so far is not leaning towards "reliable" IMHO. Not that it matters, because these sources used to support the text in question violates BLP, and has been removed by uninvolved admins who also fully protected the page. No-one has even disputed the notion that this violates our BLP policy, let alone presented any good argument as to why it wouldn't. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 18:33, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
It's correct to say that opinion sources aren't considered reliable across the board. Fortunately, I never claimed they were, just that they're not unreliable by default either. Whether or not wikipedia uses cites opinion sections of media sources that are otherwise considered reliable depends on other factors. Factors such as: does the information come from an expert on the subject? In this case, yes. Is the opinion section from a publication that would otherwise be considered reliable? In this case, yes. Does the information being extrapolated consist of subjective statements from the author's perspective? In this case, no, we're only citing objective descriptions of the log's contents. Did the author verify their assertions using multiple primary sources? Yes, and those sources are public. Also, there has been arguments made that it doesn't violate BLP, mostly saying that the sourcing is solid enough that the likelihood of every source being either wrong or lying is incredibly unlikely. We don't want people's reputations being hurt by hearsay, rumors, secondhand sources, or unsubstantiated accusations. Fortunately that isn't the case here. (talk) 20:07, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Also, there has been arguments made that it doesn't violate BLP, mostly saying that the sourcing is solid enough that the likelihood of every source being either wrong or lying is incredibly unlikely. Frankly, that argument is completely ridiculous. It's either circular reasoning (the sources are strong because the sources are strong) or a bald-faced assertion (the sources are strong, period), but even if it wasn't, it's ignoring the very fact that this discussion is taking place: If the sources were that strong, this would have been an open-and-shut case. Furthermore, it ignores the actual problems people have with the sources: the author has a history of writing extremely conservative opinions, which introduces a strong bias. It doesn't do anything to diminish her opinions, but it casts serious doubt on her ability to be used to cite claims of fact. (This is true of writers with a liberal bias, as well). The other author, a blogger, is also in a position where the charges of bias are worth listening to. Again, his opinion is his opinion, and it's as valid as any other, but what he reports as fact is not necessarily fact. (Bias doesn't prevent us from using a source, but it absolutely should be considered when evaluating a source. For example, we wouldn't trust for claims of fact about Roger Ailes if those claims paint him in a bad light.) Add to that you have two editors here who've looked at the logs and contend that what these authors present as fact is not so. Add to that, we have another primary source claiming the logs have been edited. So it's not just a lack of evidence, but a small amount of evidence contrary to the assertion that the author's claims of facts are accurate.
I'm not convinced from this evidence that these charges aren't true. I'll admit to that right now. I'm still on the fence about that. But I'm also not convinced that we have good enough sources to make this claim. Even if these sources were reliable enough, and even if we did decide that they're reliable enough to account for the BLP standards, we still don't have good enough sources to make the claim in wiki voice, which is what had been done. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 20:25, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for the reply. "It's either circular reasoning (the sources are strong because the sources are strong) or a bald-faced assertion (the sources are strong, period)". I disagree with this assessment, mostly because the reasons for the sources being strong were already given. The primary sources are strong because they come from people who were directly present in the chats, and they have no reason to be falsely implicating themselves in coordinating harassment and doxing. This is in addition to the chatlog, which is both extensive and heavily aligned with chronological events taking place at the time. The secondary source is strong for the reasons I outlined in my previous post.
it's ignoring the very fact that this discussion is taking place: If the sources were that strong, this would have been an open-and-shut case. But I gotta say, this also seems pretty circular. The sources aren't good enough is evident because we're discussing them, and there wouldn't be a discussion if they were good enough. Because wiki editors are never wrong, or act in bad faith? Keep in mind, the chat logs also document CON directly instructing established wiki editors to push changes on their behalf. The editors named (who were eventually blocked), along with the timing and nature of edits to the Gamergate page match up with what was discussed in the chatlog. I'm not implying that anyone here is in contact with those involved, just that it's not without precedent
Furthermore, it ignores the actual problems people have with the sources: the author has a history of writing extremely conservative opinions, which introduces a strong bias. Normally I would agree, if this were a political topic and the author was injecting conservative views into the article. However, the subject of the article doesn't relate to politics, and contains no conservative spin or viewpoints. At least, none that I can identify. Their opinions on current politics seems irrelevant and entirely absent from the article.
Add to that, we have another primary source claiming the logs have been edited. This is in reference to Randi Harper. Specifically, she said that "some are edited", the meaning of which is vague- but at the very least establishes that some were not edited. Notably, the section in which she tries to justify her actions in them, which is not something she would do if they were fake.
For example, we wouldn't trust for claims of fact about Roger Ailes if those claims paint him in a bad light. Normally we wouldn't, unless they did their due diligence and reached out to former employees under Roger Ailes to confirm the authenticity of something like leaked emails. Which many other outlets have, especially in the recent sexual harassment scandal. (talk) 21:26, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I disagree with this assessment, mostly because the reasons for the sources being strong were already given. And countered. Are you contending that Randi did not indicate the logs were edited? Or that a disgruntled former member is under no COI with respect to the issue? Those are both huge problems with the rationale given, and whenever I bring them up, they're ignored, or countered with "but the sources are so strong!" I'm sorry, this is either circular logic, or simply restating one's point.
But I gotta say, this also seems pretty circular. No, you're missing the implication. I should have spelled it out better. I'm saying if the sources were strong, any arguments against them would have been shot down quickly. Instead, we have an ongoing discussion that's resulted in multiple blocks over the course of several days now. We also have unanswered criticisms of the sources, and several defenses of the source consisted of blatant falsehoods (claiming that the Examiner source wasn't an opinion piece, for example). I've seen numerous situations where strong sources were opposed for ideological reasons, and they tend to end pretty quickly because eventually, the opposing side runs into a wall they can't climb. They run out of arguments and either turn to incivility and get blocked or give up. I can't speak for others, but again: I have no dog in this fight. My concern is only for the quality of the article and our adherence to WP policy. I have no problem believing that anyone involved in CON could have engaged in doxing themselves, nor do I have any desire to protect them. I'm just as happy to lose this argument as I am to win it. My concern over the quality of the sources is based on their applicability to the BLP issues here.
Normally I would agree, if this were a political topic and the author was injecting conservative views into the article. Conservatism and liberalism extend to more than just politics. Perhaps I should have said "right-wing" rather than conservative: Gamergaters are obviously right wing, just as the SJWs (I don't mean that pejoratively, just for lack of a better term) are obviously left wing. In fact, I'm sure I should, because conservatism and liberalism aren't quite the same things, and I don't think they apply here. So consider this a correction.
Notably, the section in which she tries to justify her actions in them, which is not something she would do if they were fake. That's not true. I've recently been accused of ordering someone to never disagree with me. The allegation was obviously false to everyone who heard it, yet I still have typed several paragraphs (significantly more than Randi) justifying my actions.
Normally we wouldn't, unless they did their due diligence... Even then, I wouldn't even consider citing them for that. If they are right, less biased news outlets would pick up the story, and we could run with those sources. To analogize that back to this section, it's as if TP claimed to have smoking gun proof in the form of emails that Ailes molests Catholic school girls, and a former employee verifying said emails, yet NPR and CNN never once mention the story. At that point, we're not relying on TPs editorial process to vet their stories so much as we are beginning to question whether they were ever reliable for any use. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 02:52, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
Gamergaters are obviously right wing Are they? Before Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race, many of the same people now claiming that Gamergate supporters are now 'alt right' were claiming the same people were 'Bernie Bros'. So, which is it? Are they right wing extremists, or are they so far to the left (In US political terms, Sanders would be considered right of center in Europe) that they support Sanders' ideal of a more socialist vision of America? They cannot be both at the same time.
If they are right, less biased news outlets would pick up the story, and we could run with those sources. You are using a fallacy that there are many, if any unbiased sources on the subject of GamerGate. As we have seen, there are very few unbiased sources on this issue. You previously mentioned Kotaku as a source, if they wrote about these logs. However, many of the writers at Kotaku are friends with people in the chat logs, including Quinn and Lifschitz-- as well as one of the writers being one of the focal points of the controversy, Nathan Grayson, who slept with Quinn in the past. So, please, tell me honestly if they are going to write anything bad about them or a group they are involved with. The very first 'reliable source' used in the CON article is penned by Leigh Alexander, who is both part of the whole GamerGate controversy, and a personal friend of more than one person involved in Crash Override Network. Are you going to say Alexander is an unbiased writer on the subject? The other 'reliable sources' used in the CON article read like press releases for CON, as well-- they are simply using quotes and talking points given to them by CON members as their sole basis for the articles. I was unaware that press releases and fluff pieces were considered reliable sources, now.
The truth is, there are very few, if any unbiased news outlets for this issue and those involved in it. They either follow the preset narrative of all those supporting any facet of GamerGate being women hating, basement dwelling, neck bearded cis-het white power shitlords; or they haven't bothered to cover it in any sort of detail. Look at articles that talk about politics, recently, and there are quite a few that do what GamerGate supporters call 'gamedropping' (a play on namedropping), using GamerGate as a portmeau for Naziism and other movements demmed to be totalitarian or fascist in nature. Given the propensity of 'gamedropping', one would think GamerGate supporters are rounding up indie devs (especially female ones), game journalists, feminists, and others who fall under the purvey of 'SJWs', putting them in concentration camps and doing the same thing the Nazis did to Jews, Homosexuals, Romani, and others during WWII. Which is ironic, since a prominent anti-GamerGate person was the one saying anyone who supported it in any way should be put to death in concentration camps; and Lifschitz, himself, has said he wants GamerGate supporters branded or otherwise marked so everyone could see just how 'horrible' they are.
Let's also not forget that the logs show someone mentioning getting in touch with a now banned editor about changing something in the GamerGate Controversy article, and then a few minutes later saying that that editor had made the 'appropriate' changes. The fact that the logs do show that there was definite meat puppetry going on on Wikipedia is an embarrassment to Wikipedia. So, I can foresee that the known meat puppets on Wikipedia being outed in these logs being an issue for them being included. There are more than one known meat puppets involved, as well, whith one of them permanently banned and another on an extended ban for violating his topic ban provisions. It's not a far stretch to assume there is still meat puppetry going on, regarding the GamerGate issue, to this day; just that they are being better hidden. At least one editor involved in this discussion is a known poster to a subreddit where members of CON are moderators.
These issues-- the fact that 'reliable sources' on the subject already have a vested interest in burying the logs (by not covering them, at all) due to personal connections with members of the skype chat, and the fact that are known meat puppets who have edited articles in a favorable way to those involved in the chat-- will need to be taken into account by any admins when deciding on the reliability of the sources of the CON leaks. Meat puppeting has happened in the past, and it would be naive to assume that it isn't potentially happening now, and won't happen in the future; and the majority of what is considered a 'reliable source' in anything involving the GamerGate Controversy have pretty identifiable conflicts of interest that a brain dead monkey could point out. (talk) 13:27, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
And countered. Are you contending that Randi did not indicate the logs were edited? Or that a disgruntled former member is under no COI with respect to the issue? I've contended that Randi didn't indicate what the nature of the edit was, so it's impossible to know if the content itself was altered in any way, or just the formatting. All we can definitively conclude from her statements is that parts were unedited, specifically the portion where she posts the facebook profiles of Gamergate supporters and publicly calling for employers to blacklist them. I've also explained why Cheong is under no COI- he's no longer a part of the organization and thus has no personal or professional stake in defending it's reputation, unlike the current members. You floated a theory in which Cheong might have hypothetically joined in order to find dirt, then inexplicably quit, and then nearly a year later created months worth of fake chatlogs. I explained why this was highly unlikely, and that there was no evidence of it, so it wasn't worth consideration. I'm sorry if you missed it, I will try to be clearer in the future
Conservatism and liberalism extend to more than just politics. Perhaps I should have said "right-wing" rather than conservative: Gamergaters are obviously right wing, just as the SJWs On that note, I don't see anything in the Examiner article that shows a right-wing bias, or advocacy of any conservative position. Again, it would be helpful to point out where the author has injected their opinion, but they seemed to have left it at the door in favor of a simple recounting of events, backed by primary sources. On the question of Gamergate being right-wing, all available data on their political affiliations shows most of them identifying as leftist or liberal. Of the Gamergate members who voted in the last US election, Obama supporters outnumbered Romney supporters by 4:1. To date I haven't seen any polls showing conservatives or right-wingers to be more than a small minority, but maybe you have some.
Even then, I wouldn't even consider citing them for that. If they are right, less biased news outlets would pick up the story, and we could run with those sources. This is less of an argument against verifiability than it is against notability. But the Washington Examiner isn't any more biased on the subject than the outlets already cited in the article, many of which have personal connections to Crash Override Network and their founders.
That's not true. I've recently been accused of ordering someone to never disagree with me. The allegation was obviously false to everyone who heard it, yet I still have typed several paragraphs (significantly more than Randi) justifying my actions. This is a bit confusing to read. You spent time justifying actions which you didn't do? Or did you deny ordering someone to disagree with you? Anyway, if the logs were fake, Randi Harper would simply state that the quotes attributed to her were fake, spending time explaining why she said the things she said in the chatlogs. (talk) 22:09, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

So let's sum up: we're good with the Washington Examiner as a source, right? Since it's used on many other pages, and on the scale of reliable sources is far better than most of the existing sourcing on the page in question. 2601:602:9802:99B2:B8B7:8167:6D6E:F9D6 (talk) 02:48, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Nope. Sławomir Biały (talk) 13:57, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
You, uh, kind of seem to be in a tiny minority here. That aside, if you genuinely believe the Washington Examiner is unreliable, may I assume you are now energetically removing it from all the other places it's been used as a source on Wikipedia? If not, why not? 2601:602:9802:99B2:25CD:9D48:9BB3:C28A (talk) 22:44, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
I did not say that The Washington Examiner is unreliable. I did not even say that the editorial under discussion is unreliable. Most sources are reliable for the opinions of their authors, and indeed I fully accept that the editorial under discussion is reliable for the opinion of the person that wrote it. What I do not think it is reliable as is for the statement-about-the-world that Quinn et al themselves engaged in doxing and harassment, which was how the source was being used. This requires much stronger sourcing under Wikipedia policy. Statements of fact, especially about living persons, are required to be verifiable, and the above discussion clearly shows that this standard is not met for the content and source under discussion. Sławomir Biały (talk) 23:23, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
  • The Washington Examiner is a reliable source with a well-known and extensively documented right-wing bias. Dlabtot (talk) 05:10, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
True enough, but not very relevant. The content under discussion is a contentious statement about a living person that is sourced to an opinion column in the Washington Examiner. Generally speaking, opinion columns are not regarded as reliable for statements of fact, other than for the opinions of their authors. Sławomir Biały (talk) 10:52, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
This is the important part. WP:RS isn't about whether a source is "always reliable" or "always unreliable." A source can be sufficient for some claims, and insufficient for others. In this case, the claim seems clearly WP:EXCEPTIONAL (given the amount of passion and intensity over it on both sides), so it requires coverage from multiple mainstream sources, which a sole cite to the Washington Examiner clearly fails to satisfy on either count. It strikes me as a source that can be used for uncontentious claims or for statements of opinions, but it definitely cannot be used as the sole news source for exceptional claims like these. --Aquillion (talk) 21:51, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
  • For the record, my opinion hasn't changed since early in this thread. Not a reliable source for this sort of thing. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 18:52, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Filibuster Waiting Room[edit]

We should probably break up this disgusting thread with a new section, it's hard to read. Now that there's nothing more to be said and we're simply waiting for everyone to forget about this article before pretending like nothing ever happened maybe we could play a game? Maybe we could do that thing where we all say a sentence and try to make a story out of it. What do you guys even normally do on this page? is this just where citations go to die? (talk) 04:30, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

This is just an informal discussion page where random good samaritans give their viewpoint. Whether the sentence is included or not is decided on the article talkpage. The best way to handle impasses/deadlocks it is to open an RfC, imo. Just give a sentence and ask people yes/no. Kingsindian   13:48, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Where do the formal discussions happen where intelligent humans talk about reality, as opposed to circlejerking about their favorite websites? I'm not a wikieditor and as such I'm more interested in the truth rather than naively believing a domain name lends reliability to an op-ed written by a freelance blogger. As someone interested in the truth I find it disturbing that no one seems interested in it. Reminder: We have 2 primary sources verifying the legitimacy of primary documents of extended length and verifiability. (talk) 20:49, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Moving forward[edit]

The instructions at the top of this page are clear. Applying them here, this information needs to be provided:

  • Source. For an online source, please include links.
  • Content. The exact statement(s) in the article that the source supports. Please supply a diff, or put the content inside block quotes. For example: <blockquote>text</blockquote>. Many sources are reliable for statement "X," but unreliable for statement "Y".

Note the last sentence.

As this is a very contentious topic, expect things to proceed slowly as debate takes place. This debate needs to be free of snark, aspersions, or attacks. Editors not adhering to this requirement should expect arbcom enforcement blocks. --NeilN talk to me 18:14, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Did you hear that two different people in the primary source documents have verified the legitimacy of the documents? How many more people in those logs need to come forward and verify them?
We're not even talking about the content of the article, we're simply trying to get the concept of the existence of the leaks allowed, full stop. So far we have two different individuals who are heavily featured in those leaked logs acknowledging them, one of which who went into detail to verify it while the other acknowledged the legitimate origin. Those two people are Ian (and his heatstreet article) and Randi Harper (who commented on the chronology of the logs on twitter).
Should we be allowed to acknowledge that these things happened (in our current timeline of reality)? (talk) 21:13, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Additionally I recommend reading what has already been written, most of your requirements have already been fulfilled. Again, we cannot attempt to make a draft because we haven't even got past the idea that we can acknowledge the leaks in any form at all. (talk) 21:25, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Content The disputed text is in this diff:

Sources The primary sources are linked from here:

Secondary sources include Ian Miles Cheong who was a member of the Crash Override Network:

A report by Ashe Schow:

William Usher is self-published but has followed the subject closely and any of his claims can be double checked against the logs:

Hope that helps. (talk) 21:24, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Also here's Randi Harper confirming the origin of the leaks (note: the logs cover an extensive period of time): I just assumed you would have already read what was written and didn't need it spoonfed, sorry my mistake. (talk) 21:26, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Nope. The sources are not reliable for making the claim made in the above diff. See my reasons in the previous section. Sławomir Biały (talk) 21:42, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I guess we should just pack up and leave, at least one editor said the idea of any referencing of the leaks at all is too icky for them. So how many more primary sources need to come forward and acknowledge these leaks? No one has said they're faked, and two have acknowledged them as real. Do simply need to bribe a freelance blogger to pitch a story to a domain that is on your reliable sources whitelist? How do we proceed? (talk) 21:45, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Whilst I understand your frustration, please try to remain civil. LCrowter (talk) 22:40, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Let's clear up a few things.
1. The statement is not contentious. No one contended it except PeterTheFourth.
2. The statement does not refer to any identifiable people. It refers to "some" unnamed members of a larger group. There is no BLP vio and no one has made a case for there being one.
3. Heat Street is a Dow Jones news service. It passes RS.
4. Cheong's reporting is investigative journalism, not opinion. The argument over Schow is ongoing.[12]
Something is wrong with the perception of reliability in this thread when people can reject Breitbart, Heat Street, and the Washington Examiner and then recommend Kotaku [13] and the Guardian [14] which are at the center of one of the largest media scandals since Hearst blamed Spain for the Maine sinking. That scandal is called Gamergate. You might have heard of it.
Guy Macon says something in another thread which relates to this discussion as well as that one:
> ***Thank you for your personal opinions about the source. Do you have the tiniest shred of evidence that it is not a reliable source for the statement in the article that the source is being used to support? Can you find a single source that even hints that the statement in the article is not true? (talk) 21:22, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, you get full marks for chutzpah. Not contentious? Really? In what alternative universe? Guy (Help!) 23:22, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
Heat Street and Cheong retracted a report that differed from the party line of the Clinton campaign. [15] This damages the credibility of both. (talk) 22:07, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Note for editors. [16] --NeilN talk to me 22:38, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

So anybody using Shaw Cable can never comment on anything related to this discussion ever again without being banned for socking? Q T C 08:25, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
I assume you're being facetious. --NeilN talk to me 12:11, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, pretty much. Funny how that goes. Guy (Help!) 23:22, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Disputed reliability of Calcutta Journal and John Murray (publisher)[edit]

What Culture as a reliable source in a BLP[edit]

There is discussion on David Wolfe (nutritionist) about whether the What Culture article "7 Hilariously Batsh*t Things David "Avocado" Wolfe Believes" would qualify as a reliable source for the information that David Wolfe is a flat-earth theorist. The site has editors for multiple subjects including science, which is the section that this article is in. Does this site have a good reputation for accuracy or otherwise qualify as a reliable source?

For some background, there are other (primary) sources from Wolfe himself verifying this information, but third-party secondary sources are preferred yet difficult to come by on this person.  Adrian[232] 08:20, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Does not look like a reliable source by my reckoning. Looks like a polemic attack piece. Even a simple fact-check on the seemingly outlandish claim in the source that Wolfe once claimed that solar panels are "draining the sun" is quickly proven to be absolutey wrong by clicking on the link to the tweet and seeing that Wolfe's next tweet in response was "Never even crossed my mind that folks would take the #SolarPower post LITERALLY. Scientism clergy are in an uproar!" So... no, it is most definitely not a reliable source for this kind of claim. SageRad (talk) 17:32, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
Fact is, he did claim that solar panels drain the Sun. He quickly retreated from this view but it is exactly true that he once claimed it to be so. For the claim that he is a Flat Earth Theorist, has he ever denied this to be the case? Ewen (talk) 17:56, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
Apparently he did so in jest, so to claim it was not in jest seems an untruth or at least very questionable. SageRad (talk) 22:25, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

"" is not remotely a "reliable source" nor does it claim to be one. It is an "entertainment" source including a big wrestling site. (Since then we've grown to cover TV, Gaming, Music, History, Science, Technology, Comics, Sport, and Literature, and become the biggest unofficial Wrestling website in the world.) And I suggest any source which says: He’s also Flat Earther because, of course he f*cking is. is pretty much not usable. Sorry - epic fail for that site. Collect (talk) 19:36, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

I'm not sure about some of the reasoning here. A website cannot be a reliable source if it covers WWE wrestling? Or entertainment? The site covers a wide range of topics, including science and technology, and has editors for those specific topics. Also, does the tone of reporting on a topic and use of profanity disqualify a source as being reliable?  Adrian[232] 20:45, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
The tone of the "article" appears not to be of a nature as to convince any reasonable person to place credence in its statements. Your mileage may differ, but I rather suspect my opinion is quite rational about this. Collect (talk) 22:40, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
Rational, maybe, but I find interesting the tone you are using here.  Adrian[232] 22:44, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
  • A couple of points: Anything written by Wolfe is going to be highly unreliable. He's a well known peddler of BS who has made many highly ridiculous statements in all seriousness. That being said, if he says he was joking about something, then absent any compelling evidence to the contrary, we need to either take his word for it or work real hard on honing our psychic powers. Because without psychic powers, the only insight we have into Wolfe's (or anyone else's) mind is through his (or her) words. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 01:57, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Regarding the specific question: Yes, I'm afraid this site is not reliable. The problem isn't that it covers wrestling or entertainment, it's that it's making an extraordinary claim of fact about a real person, with no reputation for fact checking or accuracy, in a flippant way. The article is fine as a source for the opinion of the author about Wolfe. I wouldn't use it for anything beyond that, though. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 02:01, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Agreed with most of those above -- not a reliable site for this purpose. That's the sort of theory that, if he is a proponent to the extent that it would be due WP:WEIGHT to include, would probably be covered in multiple reliable sources. I'm not seeing that -- some blogs, forums, etc. I see there's a recording of him talking about relevant stuff on YouTube. I listened to the first two minutes before my brain threatened to walk out on me. From what I can tell, he's trying to highlight aspects of scientific theories to try to poke holes and/or provoke, err, "scientism clergy" and/or "open people's minds" or somesuch. So in that audio clip he's talking about how the curvature of the earth should make it so you can't see something that's X distance away... but you can! Seems like he's trying to undercut the authority of science more than actually argue that the earth is flat (i.e. the earth may be round, but science says it knows more about it than it actually does). — Rhododendrites talk \\ 14:47, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
The problem we are having is that he isn't talked about much in reliable sources at all. He is spokesman for the NutriBullet and was a judge and host on a reality TV show; enough to meet WP:N, but not much otherwise. His public criticism comes mainly from his large social media following and the ideas he expresses that spread on social media. He has claimed that "...the Earth really is flat" [20] on his Twitter, and spoke on a flat Earth panel as in the video which was posted on YouTube [21] (which contains plenty of dogwhistles at the very least). He's spoken about it enough that a news site thought it was the second most notable aspect of his social media presence: [22]. When it comes to this specific thing it seems to be non-controversial that he holds it and out of all of his views it is among the highest weight. The specific source here may not be reliable for this info, but it is difficult tracking down a source that someone doesn't have some issue with.  Adrian[232] 00:18, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, that just means we shouldn't have much to say about the guy. Don't get me wrong, I think everyone in the English-speaking world should know that Wolfe is full of shit. But I don't think it's WP's job to let them know. So if we can't get much info from reliable sources, we shouldn't have much info. I understand the rationale. "Everyone agrees that he's notable, but it's so hard to find strict RS sources that talk about him, maybe we should relax our RS standards a bit so as to allow us to write about it." It makes sense, except that it presupposes that stub articles are bad articles. They aren't. If all we can write is a stub, then all he gets is a stub. Hell, that'd probably bother him more than an article that calls him a flat-earther. I least I hope it will... ;) MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 01:48, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Mahidevran Gülbahar[edit]

Of the subjected article, can this can be considered a reliable source since it comes from, it's not a blog or a forum but an online news site, they have published the interview with a descendant of the subjected woman. Is this website trustworthy? For the same subject, please advise if this second source can be considered reliable. The second one is archived from 2003, way before any TV serial aired. This source says that Mahidevran was married to Suleiman and was a Haseki sultan. Please advise for both sources. Worldandhistory (talk) 15:45, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Forex trading websites[edit]

Concerning sourcing at Spotware: much of the article is sourced to these sites:

cTrader is awarded ‘Best Retail Platform 2013’ at the FX Week e-FX awards in New York.

completed 3402 Type I Audit under the guidance off Deloitte

Spotware becomes the first e-FX technology firm to offer netted accounts and hedged accounts under a single environment.

What is consensus on general reliability on any of these? And specifically, are FX Week e-FX awards notable in this context? - Brianhe (talk) 17:16, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Generally, any of these Forex trading websites (and I periodically remove them from trading-related articles I monitor) exist to sell stuff. In support of that purpose, they publish information that they think will keep people on their site. They are not sources of news; in fact most of the information they publish can be found in other, more reliable sources. At best, they can be considered trade publications, but really they aren't even that. ~Amatulić (talk) 20:56, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
Just noting related issues are being discussed at Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard#Offshore trading companies, regulators and promotion agency and we may get some more comments from editors who saw it there. - Brianhe (talk) 00:48, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for putting these in one place. I looked through all of them, and they seem to exist in a tiny bubble that is never referenced by any outside sources, aside from trivial mentions. Basically, once you clear google search results from self-cites, press releases, and social media, there's nothing left. I looked into the people who run one site, financemagnates, and they appear to be total unknowns. Certainly, if a source is never used by anyone else, there's no way to prove a reputation for fact checking and accuracy, and we can't claim the source is penned by experts if the authors are totally unknown. I feel comfortable saying that none of these are reliable sources. Someguy1221 (talk) 01:41, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
I would suggest that we be very cautious about sourcing in the "forex" area. In the "binary options" area, which is closely related, we've had some of the hardest COI pushing in the history of Wikipedia. See the history of Banc de Binary at AN/I. The binary options business, which is mostly in Tel Aviv, has been exposed in a 16-part series in the Times of Israel.[23]. A crackdown in Israel seems likely. (The US crackdown happened years ago.) So the hundreds of companies and thousands of people involved are looking for another industry to enter. Forex and binary options are closely associated; they have a joint annual convention and some of the same people are involved in both areas.[24] With the heat on in the binary options business, some firms are moving into the forex area. On Wikipedia, we're now seeing the same tactics on Wikipedia, as Brianhe and Someguy1221. In this area, I'd look for reliable sources at the WSJ/Bloomberg/Fortune/NYT/Economist level. The legit players in foreign exchange are big enough and well known enough to have references at that level. If somebody claims to be a big player and they're not well known in the financial community, it's suspicious. John Nagle (talk) 03:57, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Useful resource: the National Futures Association FOREX company background check database. [25] If a company isn't in there, they are not authorized to do FOREX transactions in the US. None of the business names from the latest COI case are showing up in that database. John Nagle (talk) 22:47, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Are American tabloid clickbait websites reliable sources for stating Cleopatra is an example of Hollywood 'Whitewashing'.[edit]

The article Whitewashing in film uses American tabloid/clickbait websites as "reliable sources" to call Cleopatra a non-white (an anachronistic tag anyway). This is against general academic consensus that Cleopatra was from a heavily inbred Greek family, and also plays into the fringe Afrocentric theories of Egypt and the Jews, per the sources.

The sources to include Cleopatra are not academic, they are four American tabloids making clickbait lists.

First: Huffington Post using evidence cited from the Daily Mail, a notorious British tabloid

Second: Complex calls Cleopatra a "woman of color", a phrase which didn't exist 100 years ago never mind 2,000 years ago. Probable echoing of Afrocentric meme

Third: US News: "The British-American actress (she had dual citizenship) doesn't look even remotely Egyptian or North African. " Not an argument, Cleopatra was Greek.

Fourth: Madame Noire. An ethnocentric website claiming that both the Egyptians and Hebrews were black, both of which are discredited fringe theories. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

  • There are certainly enough reliable sources that state that Cleopatra's ancestry was almost entirely Greek. So I have to agree that the casting of Elizabeth Taylor in the movie is not an example of "whitewashing". I would remove it from the list. Blueboar (talk) 18:07, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Cleo's lineage is fairly well-established, and she was not especially "Egyptian", so, unless someone manages to find it wrong, she was probably olive-skinned at most, and probably not with violet eyes. Meanwhile - clickbait sites do not meet WP:RS in my opinion for anything. mentions a claim that her sister had mixed features, if one believes that the skull examined was that of her sister. One more case where trying to classify people on the basis of ethnicity, even dead people, is not a great idea, Collect (talk) 19:29, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

There is a minor gap in the lineage.

  • Cleopatra VII's father was Ptolemy XII Auletes, also known as "Nothos" (Νόθος, Nóthos = the Bastard). He was apparently a bastard son of Ptolemy IX Lathyros by an unknown mother. There is a theory that the mother was actually Cleopatra IV of Egypt, Ptolemy IX's wife, but there is insufficient evidence for it. Basically we have little to no idea who was Cleopatra's paternal grandmother.
  • We are not certain who Cleopatra VII's mother was. Possibly Cleopatra V of Egypt (Ptolemy XII's only attested wife), or Cleopatra VI of Egypt (a shadowy figure of disputed identity). In either case, there is no clear attestation of who her mother was.

The idea has been used by various writers and genealogists to question the purity of Cleopatra's lineage. The main problem as Chris Bennett puts it: "Her mother is not named in any of the classical sources. Her date of birth is several months before Cleopatra V was removed from power. Aside from a comment by Strabo 17.1.11 that Berenice IV was Ptolemy XII's only legitimate daughter, there is no suggestion in any ancient source that Cleopatra VII was illegitimate. Given the threat she posed to the Augustan regime in Rome, and the narrowness with which it was averted, it seems generally and reasonably agreed that this silence is positive evidence that she was legitimate, since there is every opportunity for her to be labelled a bastard if she was not the daughter of Cleopatra V, even if she was in fact the child of an officially recognised second queen. For general comments on the question of whether Ptolemy XII had a second wife, see discussion under Ptolemy XII."

In other words we are ignoring Strabo's comment that Cleopatra was not a legitimate daughter of Ptolemy XII to begin with. And he was her contemporary. Clearly there are gaps in our knowledge of Ptolemaic lineage. I do not know where the idea of an "African" Cleopatra comes from, but the pure Greek/Macedonian lineage of the dynasty is not known for certain. Dimadick (talk) 22:51, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

  • NOTE - Let's not get sidetracked... The question we need to ask isn't whether the historical Cleopatra was primarily of Greek ancestry, but whether it is appropriate to include the Liz Taylor movie in our list of movies that are accused of engaging in "Whitewashing". Blueboar (talk) 23:18, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
OK, well, real sources, even real pop sources like Smithsonian, will tell you that it's not at all clear what Cleopatra VII looked like to this level of detail, but she was (from the images we have) not a stunner, and definitely not black. In any case the line here between white and non-white is all too often blurry and arguable.
The real issue here is in that phrase "that have been subject to criticism," because most criticism is irrelevant. The fact that this list is sourced almost entirely from newspaper, TV, and online journalism is a big problem: it presents the impression that they are the only ones who care about this and that anyone who isn't just chasing publicity for its own sake doesn't care that much. There's also no sense of how egregious the various cases may or may not be; Breakfast at Tiffany's is painful even to the unenlightened, but fussing about race in Roman/biblical costume dramas, considering the historical/textual liberties taken, is hard to defend. It would be more accurate to say that "of late the media have made a fuss over this, citing as examples" and then quickly bulleting out a list. I got reverted for demanding an academic source, but when it comes down to it, the problem here is notability, not so much reliability. When the popular media are the primary source for accusations, is the controversy real or manufactured? Surely there are better sources than this clickbait. Mangoe (talk) 13:06, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
  • The fringe theory that she was black can be referenced directyly to Africentric scholars, no need to use bad websites. Another way is to cite it to F. Royster who describes the theory and attributes it to the afrocentric movement.[26] - Lefkowits also describes and critiques the theory in her book on Afrocentrism. The theory is notable and is mentioned (and rejected) by scholars of Cleopatra as well as scholars of afrocentrism.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:08, 25 September 2016 (UTC)


What exactly makes it a "fringe theory"? The title of this section begs the conclusion. I don't see how that's ok. What i read in a brief survey of sources says that Cleopatra's race is not known well but there are indications she was not a white European. What qualifies something to be described as a "fringe theory" and then a question asked about it in that light? Anyway, the question here was whether a specific source is a RS, not what race Cleopatra was, but the way of asking it predetermines a specific conclusion. SageRad (talk) 13:50, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

We are not trying to reference whether the historical Cleopatra was white or black... We are trying to find a quality reference for the claim that the movie is an example of "whitewashing". Blueboar (talk) 18:37, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
But why's the section title currently "Are American tabloid clickbait websites reliable sources for the fringe theory that Cleopatra was black"? SageRad (talk) 18:42, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
What exactly makes it a "fringe theory"? Anything that you believe. Just kidding. But seriously, I know for a fact that you've been linked to an expansive and complete answer to that question many, many times. Perhaps you should click on links your are offered, if -as your question indicates- you have no idea what they say. So go ahead and click on that link now, and read the article. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:48, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
What makes this particular theory a "fringe theory"? Do not condescend to me. My question is not about the guideline called "fringe" but rather what determines whether something in particular -- like this idea that Cleopatra may have been black or otherwise not white -- is "fringe" and who determined this to be true, and where and when was that determination made? My question is full import and relevance here, MjolnirPants, and your dismissiveness and condescension do nothing to answer my question. We cannot just have anyone declare something to be "fringe" and then call special rules about how it's treated within Wikipedia. That's a recipe for chaos and degradation of content. SageRad (talk) 14:15, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Sage, given our history, I'm afraid you're SOL if you want me to not condescend to you. You pretty much guaranteed that I'm going to have to talk down every time we engage each other, because you say things like you just said above. This isn't something I do because I want to, it's just that you seem to be marginally more capable of understanding what I'm saying when I condescend.
You see, the answer to your second question is, actually, the answer I provided to your first question. Any questions you have about the nature of fringe theories can be answered by a thorough reading of that page. Normally, I would not advise anyone to use WP as a direct source of information (although it's a great place to start finding information), but in this case, I've vetted the article for you. It's pretty good. So try reading it. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 01:52, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Once again your comment is rude and uncivil. And you still have not ansewered my completely valid question about where and when is it determined that this particular concept is a "fringe" concept and therefore subject to "special rules of evidence"? Because there is not a good reason. It's more like editors saying "I know it when i see it" and that is not acceptable in the world of Wikipedia. You say that i guarantee you to condescend to me by "things like you just said above" -- meaning what exactly? What of what i said makes you need to condescend to me? I call your bluff and i declare your behavior uncivil here. Do not speak to me if you cannot be civil. That is a policy of Wikipedia in case you don't know about it: WP:CIVILITY. SageRad (talk) 05:34, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
  • To drag this back on target. 'Whitewashing' is the act of casting white actors as ethnicities other than their own - usually minorities. Black, hispanic etc. Taylor was white, portraying a Greek Egyptian. She was certainly portraying an ethnicity other than her own, but was it whitewashing? Taylor could certainly pass for modern Greek, historical Egyptian-Greek? Who knows given the uncertain knowledge of Cleo's exact looks. The afrocentric Cleo theory is completely fringe and the article is 'Whitewashing in Film' not 'Accusations of Whitewashing in Film', so absent a better source (preferably scholarly) indication it is an example of whitewashing, I'm with Blueboar and it should probably be removed. Only in death does duty end (talk) 12:36, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
  • The question was whether a source was reliable or not. I do not think it's established what race or appearance Cleopatra was from this here discussion, nor was that the topic. But the title of this section implies that the questioning of the established idea is "fringe" and therefore i asked whether this is acceptable and where did that conversation happen? We cannot allow assumptions like this to creep in. SageRad (talk) 12:55, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Well since the title seems to bother you and Blueboar has clarified what the actual issue is, I have altered the title to reflect the actual question he wants answered. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:17, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
  • No. They're not RS and secondly they're never original, thus there is a better source somewhere behind them. That source might be usable.
Also, I do wish that Americans, from the nation of Fox News and USA Today, would stop describing the Daily Mail, as "a notorious British tabloid". It's bad, but it's not that bad. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:00, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Its not limited to the US. You can dislike the Daily Fail from the UK too. About the only thing you can say these days is that at least they didnt hack people's phones. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:17, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

BAM! Y'all could have saved a lot of time by doing a properly constructed search on google books, this literally took me a minute to find. Anyway: you don't need the clickbait articles because there are numerous reliable sources that describe Taylor-as-Cleopatra as whitewashing. Here is another example, which states that "It is not the first time that Hollywood has been accused of "whitewashing" historical figures in ancient history. Elizabeth Taylor played Cleopatra in 1963...." Fyddlestix (talk) 13:48, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Thats kind of the problem. 'Whitewashing in film' is a list of 'whitewashing in film'. There is no end of sources that indicate Taylor portraying Cleopatra is whitewashing. The book ref you posted is indicative of the issue - Cleopatra is often depicted by non-scholars as 'of colour'. So a combination of Black/African Egyptian. When she was actually pretty damn Greek (so Olive-skinned at the darkest). So while its easy to say 'yes these sources say this is whitewashing' the reality is they are based on a faulty premise. It could be solved I suppose if some reliable sources can be found disputing that it was whitewashing and insert that. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:59, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Your argument appears to be WP:OR. If a large number of reliable sources call it whitewashing, then it can and should be listed in the article, period. Fyddlestix (talk) 14:09, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
To add: a lot of you seem to be under the impression that Cleopatra needs to have been black for this to have been a case of whitewashing, but I don't think that's a valid assumption: the term has a much broader meaning than that (covering, for example, white actors playing Mexicans or Native Americans, or people of any other ethnicity). Cleo doesn't have to have been black or even dark-skinned for this to be a case of whitewashing, just of markedly different ethnicity than Taylor (which she was). Fyddlestix (talk) 14:15, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
I would have to agree with this that if the list inclusion metric is "Below is a list of films that have had their casting criticized as "whitewashing":", and we have RSes (eg books, not clickbait) that state it, despite the fact that separately we know differently, its hard to invalidate its inclusion. What we should be doing, as its OR otherwise, is to find sources that counter the whitewashing statement wrt Cleopatra that points out the arguments above raised about her primarily Greek ancestory and that those calling it "whitewashing" are likely not as well versed on the known history of her. (I note that in trying to search for this counter-source, "liz-taylor-as-cleopatra" seems to be the go-to example of how Hollywood has "consistently" whitewashed Egyptian-based films, so to remove it would go against popular opinion, even if that popular opinion is malformed). --MASEM (t) 14:27, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Possible better text and sources[edit]

I agree that most or all of the popular-media sources cited are either unreliable or, if reliable, of inferior quality to other sources that exist. Fyddlestix is right: there are a bunch of good academic works/works of film criticism that address the topic, and we should cite to those. Because there is pushback on the "white washing" claim, this too should be noted. An example text that I think would read better, and would reflect the high-quality sources, would be:

Some scholars characterize Elizabeth Taylor's depiction of the film's title character, an ancient Egyptian queen, as a form of Hollywood "brown face"[1] or "racial ventriloquism."[2] Other scholars, however, note that the historical Cleopatra was part of the Macedonian Greek dynasty that then ruled Egypt, and that "no surviving ancient portrait of Cleopatra gives any indication of her skin color."[3]


  1. ^ Dale Hudson, "Vampires of Color and the Performance of Multicultural Whiteness" in The Persistence of Whiteness: Race and Contemporary Hollywood Cinema (ed. Daniel Bernardi: Routledge, 2008), p. 148.
  2. ^ Katheryn Russell-Brown, The Color of Crime (New York University Press, 2009), p. 18.
  3. ^ Mary R. Lefkowitz, History Lesson: A Race Odyssey (Yale University Press, 2008), p. 29.

--Neutralitytalk 14:34, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

It's actually original research for us to prompt the counter-argument based on what scholars have said about her lineage. We actually need something like a scholarly source to point out that the whitewashing claims are wrong. Again, the way the list appears set up, its to list films accused of whitewashing, which doesn't mean that the claims of whitewashing are right or wrong. If we have sources that specifically call out the claims as wrong they absolutely should be included, but we have to watch the OR/SYNTH here. --MASEM (t) 14:38, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree, certainly, on the need for caution. However, the Lefkowitz source (and others, such as one by the same author here) is a direct respond to the whitewashing claim with respect to the specific film at issue. She doesn't use the specific phrase "white washing," but I don't think that's a problem here. (Hudson doesn't use the phrase, either; he calls it "brown face" but it doesn't require any interpretative step to connect this to the whitewashing phenomenon). Neutralitytalk 14:43, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
And maybe... just maybe... the whitewashing claims are more right than wrong. This is of course an interpretive question, and it ought to be that we read the universe of available sources and evaluate the lay of the land of opinions by reliable sources on this matter and then report that lay of the land. I find it odd but i feel a "pushing" here to find that it's not whitewashing, as if that's an outcome that many here would love to avoid having written in Wikipedia. I get this sense and i find this odd. Note that i still have a question open as to why it's assumed in the title of this section that the idea that Cleopatra was not white is a "fringe theory". I don't see where that's established as a fact either. SageRad (talk) 14:49, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
I would agree with that. (The whole issue is really not one that's capable of having some sort of "objective Truth" ascertained). I agree that we should briefly survey the lay of the land on the subject and cite to the academics/scholars who have directly commented. This includes both those who characterize the film as being whitewashed and those who have contested this assertion. Neutralitytalk 15:01, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Unless we have a preponderance of reliable sources claiming that Cleopatra was black, we shouldn't be saying she was black. If there are sufficient RSes documenting that some people think she was black, then we can say that, making sure we don't give it any WP:UNDUE weight. (Considering the subject of the article, any mention at all might actually be undue, but let's deal with that later, if we have to.) But if the scholarly consensus among historians was that she was Greek, we should absolutely say that (albeit concisely, as that's not the subject of this article). Regardless of what historians say, if the scholarly consensus among cultural anthropologists or film critics is that this film is an example of white-washing, then we should say that. If some notable CAs/critics say that this is not whitewashing, then we should say that some disagree (possible with a "such as so-and-so, who said "blah blah," to illustrate). If it's a hotly debate thing whether this fil represents white-washing, then that's what we should say. As someone else pointed out above (sorry, but I forgot who), there is such a thing as "brownface", "redface" and "yellowface", in addition to blackface. There may be good arguments to be made that Greek people aren't different enough from British-American actresses to consider that in the same category as a blackface performance, but that's not for us to make. We should simply be reporting what the RSes say. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 02:05, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
On the point If some notable CAs/critics say that this is not whitewashing, then we should say that some disagree (possible with a "such as so-and-so, who said "blah blah," to illustrate). I have found for WP that when we say a work is notable for subjective measure X (like whitewashing) (and where it's more than one random person), this implicitly sets out this does not have to be universal opinion that everyone agrees that X applies, and we don't need on this list to include the counter-points. That's on the list page: on the work's page, however, UNDUE should apply, and we should include both arguments for and against X in the proper portion. But further, specifically on the issue of Taylor's Cleopatra, when looking through sources, I see that it often discussed at the key example of whitewashing of Egyptian peoples, so here, outside of the list but in the prose, more discussion is warranted, and there again, like for the work's page, it should include both arguments. In other words, the list doesn't need to flesh out everything but I would expect either on the prose leading the list or on the article on the work a more UNDUE-weighted discussion is presented on whether the work is or isn't whitewashing. --MASEM (t) 02:18, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
While I agree that better coverage should be given to the article on the film, rather than the list, one of your phrases caught my attention: "whitewashing of Egyptian peoples". Is it possible that the debate is not about Cleopatra VII or the Ptolemaic dynasty in general, but concerns the Ancient Egyptian race controversy which covers the racial classification of all ancient Egyptians? And while there is a lot of debate about that, the main problem is the assumption that Egyptians all looked alike and could easily fit in modern categorization schemes. Dimadick (talk) 20:47, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
I am sure there's elements of that too; I think from just my quick scan of sources that there could be a reasonable section on this Whitewashing article specifically talking about Taylor's casting as Cleopatra and how that has some different opinions if it is true whitewashing or an expectation spread by myth and/or lack of in-depth knowledge. To the point at hand, the number of reliable sources is rather large that there's no need to resort to "clickbait" sites. --MASEM (t) 21:00, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
...implicitly sets out this does not have to be universal opinion that everyone agrees that X applies, and we don't need on this list to include the counter-points. That's on the list page:...That's fine by me, unless it's very contentious. If it's very contentious (if we can find about as many sources saying it's not whitewashing as saying it is), then we should mention that. Otherwise, just mentioning that "many" have called it whitewashing is enough. If it's a matter of just including it on the list: if there's any significant number of RSes calling it whitewashing, that's enough to include it. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 01:28, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Focus (German magazine)[edit]

I'm raising this in advance of editing as I'm anticipating controversy. According to this German weekly, Edward Snowden is a "Russian agent" and Wikileaks, which arranged for Snowden's travel to Russia, works for Russian intelligence with Putin being informed "in detail" about every forthcoming WikiLeaks publication in advance. Wikileaks has responded by claiming that Focus is a tool of German intelligence. Anyone have any examples of where Focus has reported contradicted claims before (and failed to issue a correction if required)?--Brian Dell (talk) 17:56, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

We need the exact use - Focus is a major publication, and claims of fact made by it are generally accepted as being from a "reliable source." The "agent" claim, if made in an opinion column, is only usable as an opinion and cited as such. More to the point, the precise use of "agent" in German has several meanings, and is not always "paid operative" in the "US spy" sense. As so much depends on the exact wording in the source, no one here can make a definitive answer about it being a reliable source as a claim of fact. Collect (talk) 19:18, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
The labelled as an "agent" claim is actually made by RT English: "Focus had already made similar claims about the former NSA contractor, whistleblower Edward Snowden, whom the magazine labeled a 'Russian agent.'" I'm aware of RT's reliability issues but in this case took the "Russian agent" "label[ing]" at face value given RT's use of quotes. I now think it's more likely that Focus reported Hans-Georg Maaßen's comments about Snowden and RT is mis-attributing the views of Focus' source to Focus. As for Wikileaks, Focus states "Die Whistleblower-Organisation sei seit Jahren von Moskaus Agententruppe unterwandert, heißt es in dem Berliner Regierungsdossier. Analytiker französischer und britischer Nachrichtendienste kämen zum selben Ergebnis. Russlands Präsident Wladimir Putin und Ministerpräsident Dmitri Medwedew seien detailliert über bevorstehende Veröffentlichungen..." which I'd translate as "The whistleblower organization has been infiltrated by agents of Moscow for years, according to the Berlin government dossier. Analysts with French and British intelligence services have come to the same conclusion. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev receive detailed information before publication..."--Brian Dell (talk) 21:49, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
Which means you might be able to say that:
According to Focus, the Berlin government dossier says that WikiLeaks has been infiltrated by Russian agents.
at most, and not that:
Edward Snowden is a "Russian agent" and Wikileaks, which arranged for Snowden's travel to Russia, works for Russian intelligence with Putin being informed "in detail" about every forthcoming WikiLeaks publication in advance.
Do you see the difference? Collect (talk) 12:10, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
If you think Focus should only be used with attribution then why not say so plainly instead of presuming that perhaps I don't understand the difference between using attribution and not using attribution? I've already acknowledged that the text "Edward Snowden is a 'Russian agent'" would not be appropriate given what I've found. Here's the edit: "In September 2016, the German weekly Focus reported that according to a confidential German government dossier, WikiLeaks had long since been infiltrated by Russian agents aiming to discredit NATO governments. The magazine added that French and British intelligence services had come to the same conclusion and said Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev receive details about what WikiLeaks publishes before publication. The Focus report followed a New York Times story that suggested that WikiLeaks may be a laundering machine for compromising material about Western countries gathered by Russian spies."
I had rather thought I made that clear in my very first post. The "fact" is about what the dossier appears to state according to Focus, not what RT said Focus said etc. The material about what intelligence services though is opinion at best, not concrete fact, and the NYT article appears to be essentially opinion about WikiLeaks at best. And Focus can not know "as a fact" what Putin knows. Collect (talk) 14:09, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
This appears to be a bit of a red herring. Maybe I've missed something, but I have scoured the Internet and I could find no Focus article labeling Snowden a "Russian agent." The actual source cited by Brian was published by RT, which has been described as "the Kremlin's propaganda outlet" by the Columbia Journalism Review and part of Russia's anti-Western disinformation program by The New York Times. Not reliable. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 19:18, 28 September 2016 (UTC)[edit]

Recently I reverted an attempt to fill in a "citation needed" request with a citation to because, when I examined the site,

  • It refers to entries as "posts" suggesting it's someone's private blog
  • The website doesn't disclose any sources whatsoever about where the bio information comes from
  • The website doesn't disclose any information about itself, editors, or editorial policies
  • The domain name uses a Domains by Proxy DNS which anonymizes all information about who operates the site

All of the above suggest that the site is someone's personal self-published project.

A link search reveals that this site is cited in several other articles.

I hesitate to remove those links because the site does have useful bio information about notable people, provided it's trustworthy, but as far as I can tell it's no better than IMDB. ~Amatulić (talk) 20:49, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

I went ahead and removed the citations I found to starsunfolded. ~Amatulić (talk) 02:39, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Reliability of Salon Newspaper as a Reference on Wikipedia?[edit]

Hello please can a senior editor or administrator check the reliability of a particular Salon online newspaper article reference number 58 in the article about public figure ' Sri Chinmoy'? On the Talk page for the article there was a discussion from October 2015 - February 2016 from various editors about whether the article could be counted as reliable but it does not seem to be decided upon by a senior editor. The discussion ends with no-one really able to decide. The article reads like a tabloid, gossip trashy almost pornographic downgrading to religion type article with no balance or dignity. Can it actually provide as a reference for an International encyclopedia especially for an unproven case that never had any legal deals or court cases at all? Your answer would be most appreciated. I feel there needs to be a final overall proper administrative decision. Thank you. (talk) 05:20, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

This is a bit problematic. The article in question is not a straight news story; on the other hand, it is a reference for the testimony in question. We don't really have a rule about using a source which justifies a bland statement but which itself is not the least bit neutral. Mangoe (talk) 12:21, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Pinging Softlavender, who looks to have been engaging with a number of geographically proximal IPs and socks on this article. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 15:12, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
More on point, however, I'd ask if Salon's political bias would affect the accuracy of this story? Possibly? Salon has a pretty good reputation for accuracy, as far as I know, but does also have a reputation for left-leaning political bias that makes it unreliable for facts about certain subjects. I frankly don't know if this would be one of them. It does seem odd that a google search for the woman's name doesn't bring up other reliable sources. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 15:16, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Hello and thank you for the above feedback. It sounds as if those of you that have looked at the reference article from Salon are not sure if you would clarify it as a good reference because the actual article lacks neutrality. It qute possibly is an approach to the media from a disgruntled ex-follower of Sri Chinmoy or suchlike. If both of you who have responded to my query are not sure if this reference is a reliable one then can either of you or a higher Wikipedia administrator actually make an overall decision about reference 58 so that the banter that gets nowhere on the Talk page of the 'Sri Chinmoy' page supported only by those who are obviously 'haters' of Sri Chinmoy can actually be resolved in a more dignified way?
As it stands the people discussing whether this reference is a worthy one or not on the Talk page only appear when this subject matter is in the air and do nothing productive or 'positive' for the article in the meantime, no editing, nothing other than threatening, yes threatening those editors who may question the source or try to do any editing around it, even if they have very good intelligent reasons for the editing. This article needs help from administrators or senior editors who do not have a particular angle on Sri Chinmoy because right now there are two editors who seem to be protecting the 'controversy' paragraph in a negative rude and obnoxious way and sometimes threatening way who neither, of (as mentioned) have any interest in up-rendering the article in any way, let alone adding to or editing in a neutral way, so No the actual Talk page has turned into a ridiculous ineffective place only for new editors and in actuality any editors from what I have experienced to get squashed almost immediately if they 'go near' the controversial paragraph or so called 'critical' paragraph. The controversial line from ref: 58 is always immediately reverted with no reasons given let alone discussion on the Talk page. Who has the right to do that? If I am in the wrong place for help about this then any help in being directed to some editors who are actually neutral, dignified and intelligent enough to see through what is actually happening on the Talk page and indeed with the editing that would be good because otherwise no proper editors can come forward to do proper editing. Thank you very much for now. (talk) 03:41, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't get what you mean by no talk page discussion. There seems to have been decent engagement on the talk page Talk:Sri Chinmoy#Do not revert other editors work without legitimate thought out stated reasons and proper discussions on talk page please. You should continue to discuss on the talk page seeking help via standard means of WP:Dispute resolution where necessary (which RSN can be, but ANI is not). As always in any dispute you don't have a right to demand something remains in or out while discussion is ongoing and it's better to discuss rather than worry so much about whether something should remain in or out which discussion is ongoing. Especially when the material appears sourced, has apparently been there for over 2 years [27], there has apparently been a history of sockpuppetry and BLP concerns don't seem to arise. You should also refrain from making accusations that can't be substantiated like accusations of bigotry [28]. Note that wikipedia doesn't operate by "administrative decision" but by WP:Consensus. No one is going to rule on a content dispute for you, anywhere. Nil Einne (talk) 14:11, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
BTW, it's hardly surprising that someone would be a disgruntled ex-follower if the allegations of what they were required to do are true. Nil Einne (talk) 14:18, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Hi Nil Einne yes thank you for your feedback. My overall question to begin with was simply and only about whether the Salon article is deemed appropriate by Wikipedia as a reference. Now I understand that the answer is neither yes or no. However to so arrogantly say that it is "hardly surprising that someone would be a disgruntled ex-follower if the allegations of what they were required to do are true", is an utterly rude and inappropriate judgement about a subject matter you know absolutely nothing about and does not belong on a noticeboard like this. Why not just comment on the actual quality of the Salon article reference and the way it is being handled? You crossed the line with your ridiculous posted last BTW comment. More care is needed. (talk) 21:49, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

In terms of our policies, I'd say Salon is comparable to Fox News in several respects. Some people might argue about the degree or their reputations, but in very broad strokes:

  • It has a clear and generally-accepted political position, which doesn't automatically disqualify it (see WP:BIASED) but which needs to be taken into account, especially when judging WP:DUE weight, and could sometimes require inline citations.
  • It maintains a separation between opinion and news reporting. This doesn't mean its reporting is unbiased - what it chooses to report and how it reports it could still be seen as influenced by its political position - but it does mean that...
  • Most importantly, regardless of the above, it maintains basic journalistic standards. It has the reputation for fact-checking and accuracy a news source requires; it issues retractions when it needs to issue retractions, and so on.
  • The last one means that it generally passes the standard that WP:RS sets, and that the arguments over it will often be ones about whether we're giving it WP:UNDUE weight (especially in situations where eg. it's the only source to cover a story, which might indicate a problem, whereas we could more easily satisfy due weight with a single cite to a more mainstream source like the New York Times.) So generally you want to take complaints about Salon to WP:NPOVN rather than here. It's reputable, but the fact that it covers the news from a clear and specific political position means we have to be careful not to give it too much weight. It might also not be the best source for WP:EXCEPTIONAL claims, at least not unless backed up by another source. --Aquillion (talk) 23:51, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Is Upworthy considered RS?[edit]

Greetings all. I've been looking at some edit requests, particularly those stuck in the backlog here. I'm currently working through a number for Math for America. The requester has requested that an edit be made using an Upworthy article. As many will know, Upworthy is one of those social media outlets like Buzzfeed. I was considering declining the edit request, but as I'm uncertain how reliable Upworthy is, I figured I may as well bounce this to RSN to see what others think. I'd welcome the thoughts of those more familiar with this end of WP. Thanks in advance for your thoughts. Blackmane (talk) 08:36, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

It's doubtful that Upworthy would be considered an RS, but the intended content (factual information about the scope of the charity's operations) can be sourced to the MfA website.Martinlc (talk) 10:05, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
No. It's a well-known clickbait outfit, and also mostly a news aggregator to boot. Cite to the original source of the information instead (depending of course on whether the original source is reliable, due weight, etc.). Neutralitytalk 15:36, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for your thoughts. On that basis I'll decline the request. Regards Blackmane (talk) 21:59, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Uploading photos[edit]

Hi. I want to upload a couple of photos and have official permission to use them. Please could you tell me the email address for OTRS so I can send them the details. Thanks. Myosotis Scorpioides 13:27, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

@Myosotis Scorpioides:This is off-topic for this page, but the copyright holder (not you) would need to write to using the template in WP:CONSENT for the email. ~Amatulić (talk) 15:50, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Millenium[edit], French gaming and eSports website.--Prisencolin (talk) 04:44, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

RfC on importing Wikidata information into Wikipedia observatory infoboxes[edit]

Please see the RfC Template talk:Infobox observatory#Comments on RfC: Satisfy verifiability related RfC? Jc3s5h (talk) 12:40, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Is this article acceptable for a report on an obscure Israeli village?[edit]

Skylar Lindsay, 'Palestinian fishermen struggle to survive next door to Netanyahu’s palatial suburb,'

It strikes me as a non-controversial piece of reportage by a travel writer mainly quoting local people in the Israeli village of Jisr az-Zarqa. It was published by the Mondoweiss web site.

The argument is, Mondoweiss is a blog and can never be used on Wikipedia, a position which has not been confirmed in the past by third parties examining what had developed into a modern web based news organization, under editorial control, and reflecting a wide variety of reportage and opinion.

On 2 occasions, the objecting editor replaced the source with sources he approves of, without altering the content. I argue that this itself testifies to the impression that the article has reliably reported what the people he interviewed remarked, and therefore can be used for things like villagers commuting for work in Haifa and Tel Aviv, a rather innocuous fact, but, in my view, not likely to be mentioned in multiple sources, given the obscurity of the village. Nishidani (talk) 12:53, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Mondoweiss is a blog that has been accused by reliable (as wikipedia defines it) sources of publishing anti-semitic material as well as being anti-semitic. And you want to use a piece titled "Palestinian fishermen struggle to survive next door to Netanyahu’s palatial suburb" as a source from a blog with that pedigree? If there are other sources to support the same material in the article from more reliable and less obviously partisan origins, they should be used instead. Failing that, I would remove the material added entirely due to lack of a reliable source. [ninja edit] Hilariously the quite sensible filter at my current location blocks Mondoweiss as a 'political/social advocacy'. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:09, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
I asked for outside comment, not a reflex, for the nth time, 'no, Nishidani'. For any newspaper, article, or website commenting critically on some aspect of Israeli policy you will get a storm of accusations about anti-Semitism, anti-Israel advocacy, etc.etc., that any editor with a mission can then drop onto the newspaper or website's wikipage. Use this criterion and half the historical works issued by Tel Aviv University press would be antisemitic. In normal democracies, opinions are refreshingly diverse, even antagonistic, as is reportage itself etc. Most of the mainstream newspapers we use for the I/P area are partisan. I haven't edited the Mondoweiss page to balance the coatrack of negative comments on it, -I expect an average reader can detect hot air -so I'm requesting outside editors to read the article, compare it to other articles cited on the page, to tell us whether this is informative and uncontroversial. Nishidani (talk) 13:41, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
What kind of location and what kind of filter blocks "political/social advocacy"? Sounds Orwellian. We do not want Wikipedia to be subject to such filters, for certain. A strive for NPOV but this does not mean blinders. SageRad (talk) 13:42, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
The reason it matters at all whether something is a "blog" is because its sometimes an indicator of a WP:SPS. Mondoweiss is not an SPS, so its pointless to press that line any further. Anyone who conspicuously criticizes the state of Israel will be called anti-Semitic sooner or later, so that's neither here nor there. What you need to look at is WP:BIASED, because Mondoweiss certainly is that. They obviously care about this fishing village only as an avenue to scold Netanyahu. Including that angle would be WP:COATRACK on the village's page and undue on Netanyahu's page. Bias is not unreliability, so there's no reason to exclude their information about the village itself. Rhoark (talk) 13:49, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
The fact they are anti-Israel is not what makes them anti-Semitic. Many people are anti-Israel without being anti-Semitic and using your post as an excuse for anti-Semitism to just allow any anti-Israel piece is wrong. Mondoweiss should not be allowed because they have no credibility, and that is on top of their bias. They are a blog, and should not be allowed. Then again, Nishidani thinks Ma'an News is a reputable source so please take this with a heap of salt. 🔯 Sir Joseph 🍸(talk) 15:04, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Of course it is slef-publsihed. Who do you think publishes it ? It list some unknown "Scott Rot" with a twiiter hande as a "publisher". Epson Salts (talk) 14:07, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't know who that is, but it's not the author, Skylar Lindsey. The pieces there have to get by the editors, who seem to have solid credentials, so its not self-published. Now, there's the question of whether they have "no credibility". It seems they have quite a lot of credibility with some people, and make some other people very angry. This is what's known as bias. Rhoark (talk) 20:23, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Sources are not required to be *neutral* by policy but they are required to be reliable. The relevant part of WP:V would be WP:BLOGS (as this is not a WP:NEWSBLOG) and so yes, it does qualify as a SPS. I cant see the author of the piece is an expert on either economics or pollution that would allow a group blog to be useable except for very basic information. The core of reliability is 'Is this source reliable for the material cited?' Given the author is a writer who lists 'social justice' amongst their topics, who writes for a known activist blog with a dubious history of anti-semitism, and the tone of the article is clearly anti-Israel, I have zero confidence they are portraying an accurate reflection of the situation in the area. Only in death does duty end (talk) 14:03, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Mondoweiss seems like a good source, with a point of view. As long as its POV is taken into account -- as with any source on such controversial topics -- it seems to not be a junk or worthless source. SageRad (talk) 14:07, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
What exactly makes it seem like a good source? Epson Salts (talk) 15:27, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Your edits to the page answer that. On three occasions (here here and here) you retained the content added from this article, but replaced the source each time with articles you regard as acceptable. Therefore, you do not regard the content of the article you object to as problematical, indeed you corroborate its accuracy by finding alternative sourcing that says the same things.Nishidani (talk) 16:47, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
If there are uncontested sources for the same information, it should make no difference to anybody. There is no precedent to be made here that would carry into a truly disputed claim. Rhoark (talk) 20:23, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
That it seems to be written by journalists and edited decently, and well-regarded by many other sources that speak about it. It also appears to have a POV that is not liked by a good many other sources but that doesn't disqualify its use. Many sources can be found who think the New York Times is horribly liberally biased, etc. Allegations of bias are everywhere about so many sources but do not automatically disqualify a source. A source's POV must be taken into account in determining whether it a a very good source or a poor source for any particular claim. Sometimes a claim is about a POV and is attributed as such and then it could be a great source about that. SageRad (talk) 05:38, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Diccionario enciclopédico hispano-americano de literatura, ciencias y artes[edit]

An established editor with a track record of productive edits[29] recently created Diccionario enciclopédico hispano-americano de literatura, ciencias y artes and started putting links to it in various articles.[30]Is it a reliable source, or is this spam? --Guy Macon (talk) 13:58, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

I'd say it's unlikely to spam as the encyclopedia in question was only published during the 1880s and is archived at HathiTrust, so there would not be much point/benefit in "spamming" it. It's also obviously notable, there are two high-quality RS in the article that testify to that. Most of the links appear to be references, so I guess the question is whether its too old a source to be used as a reference in the linked articles, or if there are better sources might be used instead. This is basically akin to using an 1880s Britannica as a reference, which I've seen done but is probably not ideal in most cases. Looking at the links I don't see an obvious or specific problem in how it's been used so far though. Fyddlestix (talk) 14:36, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) ?? It was created and then wikilinked from articles that already mentioned it. For the couple instances where it's used as a source, it was already used as a source -- it's just wikilinked now (the article creator looks to have added it to only those articles he/she created, along with many other sources). As whether it's notable is a separate question from whether it's spam or a reliable source, I'm unclear why this raised any red flags. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 14:39, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Self-published paper with government decree[edit]

In this paper, a previously unknown government decree from Luxembourg in French (1951) has been scanned and published, on page 17, with a translation to English on pages 18 & 19. The decree contains the full text of a summary published in the Luxembourg Government's gazette here (page 1135).

The decree has been cited in the article Prince Bernadotte as a source on specific information about two different coats of arms issued to certain persons named in it.

This article text and sourcing (besides a lot of personal stuff) is what the discussion on that article's talk page has been about (here). This was added, but the text was removed anyway.

Please help us determine whether or not the decree can be cited in the context it was. I may very well have been wrong it citing it that way, but more neutral input is needed. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 14:27, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

The site is obviously not a RS, self-published genealogy-type sites like that are notoriously unreliable. I wouldn't used anything that it is written/posted somewhere like that as a reference at all. The gazette source looks like it might be ok though. Fyddlestix (talk) 14:48, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you! I fully agree with you about self-published genealogical sites and have done a lot work cleaning up that kind of inappropriate sourcing over the years. In this case, though, what is posted there in full is a paper published with a Swedish ISBN number and included in the collections at the Library of Congress and Kungliga biblioteket as well as other reputable libraries. That's why I (wrongly?) felt safe in using it. Could that make a differece?
The paper has also bee posted here . --SergeWoodzing (talk) 15:05, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't think the fact that it's held/catalogued in specific libraries makes it reliable. Libraries buy and catalog all kinds of things, especially stuff relating to local/national history, but that doesn't mean that the sources are high-quality: only that the library thinks it's something people might be interested in reading. In this case, the source appears to be self-published by a club rather than an actual publishing house, and to have been authored by someone who is primarily a film and cabaret director. I will leave it to others to chime in here but I would still not call this a reliable source. Fyddlestix (talk) 17:56, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
That is exactly what we others have said too, as you can see in the discussion in the article (better keep the discussion there so all involved parts can see it). Best regards, Adville (talk) 19:46, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Added similar view to Fyddlestix as an outside view on the relevant talk page. --Tóraí (talk) 19:55, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
I thank those of you who are neutral for your valuable neutral comments. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 15:34, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

1971 Bangladesh genocide[edit]

The text being added in this edit is being contested by some editors to be sourced to an unreliable source. The text provides an alternative point of view regarding the genocide and provides necessary balance to the article. The author is Bangladeshi himself and his point of view in this book is contrary to mainstream Bangladeshi point of view. The text is being attributed to the book and author specifically and is not being cited as a fact. The feedback from editors not party to the dispute is appreciated.

  • Source:[1]
  • Article: 1971 Bangladesh genocide
  • Content: According to Bangladeshi author, Dr Abdul Mu'min Chowdhury's book, Behind The Myth of Three Million, some of these student dormitories had been turned into arsenals and insurgency training centres and a number of the university teachers had been involved with the secessionist movement and the secessionists were buying arms years before the Army crackdown.

Sheriff | ☎ 911 | 20:17, 26 September 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Chowdhury, Abdul Mu'min (1996). Behind the Myth of Three million. London: Hamidur Rahman AL-HILAL PUBLISHERS LTD. p. 36. 
First, Chowdhury's nationality is irrelevant as to whether the source is reliable or not. Second, describing the content of the source as "providing an alternative point of view regarding the genocide" sort of gives the game away, doesn't it? It's crap, not reliable. Originally, the discussion on the talk page was whether the source should be described as "controversial". But then someone noticed, hey, this isn't reliable at all. That someone was User:Worldbruce here. As Worldbruce points out this appears to be a self-published work or one from a vanity press. Chowdhury has no expertise in the subject. There's only one WorldCat library which actually has the book. So yeah, I removed it. Another editor also agreed [31].Volunteer Marek (talk) 00:09, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Who is Dr. Chowdhury and why should we care what his opinion is? Furthermore, does Al-Hilal ltd. have a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy in the publication of history books? I can't seem to really find out anything about the author - everything online just points to this book. And I also can't really find out much of anything about the publisher. Their website is pretty basic and only talks about magazine publications (assuming I even have the right publisher), and there's really not much in Worldcat from any publisher by that name. Someguy1221 (talk) 01:01, 27 September 2016 (UTC)


Santo contra los zombies (Santo vs. the Zombies, 1961) aka Invasion of the Zombies (dubbed in English) appears in WIKIPEDIA: SANTO the famous Mexican wrestler. Is missing in the list of all movies related to ZOMBIES.

Wrong noticeboard. Take this discussion to the article's talk page here. Meatsgains (talk) 02:39, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

More questions about Andean lakes[edit]

Me again. This time, the source in question is which argues that the ancient Lake Minchin in the Altiplano occasionally drained into the Pilcomayo River. Now the issue is that it is not entirely clear what the "Lake Minchin" they refer to is - as I noted on the draft I am considering to use it on, there is quite some disagreement on the timing and naming of the various phases of Altiplano paleolakes - the text of the article However, we intend here to continue its usage and, hence, maintain the homage to the original discoverer of the whole system, which includes the northern Titicaca Basin, the southern Poopó-Coipasa-Uyuni Basin and the connecting Desaguadero River Basin (Fig. 1), based on the notion that these water bodies worked and still work as a system. sounds like it does apply to southern Altiplano paleolakes in general and not necessarily to one specific lake cycle. And in this case, it would be worth mentioning on the draft as one prevalent view has it that the Tauca phase lake was the highest south Altiplano lake (--->and would thus be capable of draining into the Pilcomayo). Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 16:11, 27 September 2016 (UTC)[edit]

Just wanted to double check this one, because inevitably someone will bring up in AfD that "it's just a fan blog", when the website is now published by Time Inc.--Prisencolin (talk) 16:48, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Its disclaimer is what counts. It is a blog site open to posts by fans, " Taking matters into their own hands, they launched Arrowhead Addict, a move that would spawn the creation of FanSided in 2009, a network of over 300+ fan-powered unique sports, entertainment and lifestyle sites dedicated to team-specific, sport-specific, genre-specific, and fanbase-specific coverage." The material is not under editorial control of Time, Inc.
FanSided editors are given full editorial control of their very own team sites. They’re eligible for our competitive revenue sharing program and a myriad of other perks. Whether you are looking to make a little extra money covering your favorite teams or you want a career in sports, FanSided is where you want to be.
Sorry - it appears there is no central editorial control, and it is a social media site. Collect (talk) 17:40, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
According to the about page, it does have an editing team aside from contributors. Perhaps they do have at least some editorial control?--Prisencolin (talk) 00:45, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
They have something they call an editorial staff, but it looks like these guys are just frequent volunteer contributors to the site. The actual employees of the site seem to be exclusively involved in site maintenance and marketing. If you can show that a particular writer for the site has a reputation for fact checking and accuracy, such as by frequent citations to his work from sources whose reliability is not in doubt, then maybe you can worm something in under WP:SPS. Specifically Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the subject matter, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications. However, that does not seem likely to be the case here - these people describe themselves as fans. I'm sure if they were professional journalists (or anything else relevant) they would proudly say so. Someguy1221 (talk) 02:50, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Can article titles be used as sources?[edit]

At Whole30, this diet is being described as a "fad diet" in the first sentence based on two sources: a listicle in Health, and an article in Business Insider. Neither source refers to the Whole30 as a fad diet in the article itself. The subtitle of the Health listicle is "Take a lesson from this year's diet fads, fitness flubs, and expert-approved movements." The title of the Business Insider article is "Millennials are obsessed with Whole 30, the ‘cultish’ fad diet taking over Instagram and Pinterest." Is there any precedent for using article titles in this way? Safehaven86 (talk) 03:37, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

This mispresents the situation.. The OP who created the article - see this piece of PROMO editing and compare with current version after i fleshed out the article from the sources that were already there (with one exception that i added) - and actually has the chutzpah to even raise the issue of "NPOV" - is
a) claiming this is not a fad diet when every source used describes its marketing "package" and its kooky food exclusions that are not good for you (the definition of fad diet) and
b) is demanding the exact phrase "fad diet" be used in a source.
Well, even with that demand (which is not supportable by policy) the phrase is used in the title of one article (that goes on at some length describing how it is a fad diet) and it is used in the subtitle of another - the one that calls this one of the worst diets of 2013. This is some pretty serious wikilawyering going on here
here is another ref, that is by a nutritionist and stronger than this bloggy ref used by the OP already. Jytdog (talk) 03:59, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't think the source you've added, which appears to be a nutritionist's personal Word Press site, meets WP:RS standards either. Safehaven86 (talk) 04:08, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
another from U Penn's Health and Wellness blog. comes out and calls it a "fad diet" too. Jytdog (talk) 04:05, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Note that WP:PARITY is at play here. There are zero mentions of this in standard sources about health. no mentions at NHS Choices. No mentions at the NIH, anywhere. no mentions at pubmed. We are out in fringe-y land, so things like a blog from University of Pennsylvania's med school and the blog from the dietician are very much at play here. Jytdog (talk) 04:13, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
That source says "Develop a weight loss plan that works for you. Make an appointment with one of our primary care physicians and get the support you need for success." It is an advertisement for the University of Pennsylvania medical center. It mentions Whole30 once, here: "It seems like every month, there’s a new 'AMAZING' diet plan. Whole30, The 21 Day Fix, Teatox—the list goes on and on." That's a highly WP:TRIVIALMENTION that doesn't go into any depth about whether or not the Whole30 is a fad diet. Safehaven86 (talk) 04:16, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
User:Safehaven86 as I mentioned both the dietician blog and the UPenn blog are much stronger than this bloggy ref that you used. Jytdog (talk) 04:14, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

It's obviously a fad diet and there are sources that point this obvious fact out. Wikipedia needs to say so too per WP:PSCI. Fringe stuff must be clearly identified as such. Alexbrn (talk) 04:25, 29 September 2016 (UTC)