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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Kabali (film) and List of highest-grossing Indian films[edit]

Hey all, I'm having some ongoing problems at both Kabali (film) and List of highest-grossing Indian films. Breifly, Indian films are very popular in India, but they're also very prone to promoters bloating box office financials, and Wikipedia often gets caught in the middle of these promotional campaigns. List of highest-grossing Indian films was fully protected because a bunch of editors, including auto-confirmed ones who had suddenly come out of retirement, kept changing the box office values to reflect the box office figures a producer, (a primary source) was reporting a few days after the Tamil-language film Kabali was released. The producer claimed the film had grossed 3.2 billion (320 "crore") rupees. No amount of discussion on the talk page was making a difference. Same at Kabali (film), although to a lesser degree.

With that wave of disruption mostly over, a new disruption arose after Financial Express, which is generally considered a reliable source, made claims that the film has grossed 650 crore and higher. However International Business Times, which is also generally considered reliable, has outright called these high estimates "fake", noting that they include income unrelated to the film's box office take. IBT places the more reasonable estimates at 309-350 crore (3.09-3.5 billion rupees) as has First Post, which has said, "More conservative estimates put Kabali’s collections at around Rs 300 crores from worldwide ticket sales." This is obviously less than the 320 crore that the producer was reporting a few days into the film's run.

This talk page comment of mine is a bit of an obnoxious read in response to an IP user's demand for a detailed explanation, but I think it clearly explains the various issues. If anyone is willing to comment at either that discussion, or at Talk:Kabali (film), or at both, that would be appreciated. Or just to add these pages to their watchlists to help address some of the questions would be helpful too. Thanks! Cyphoidbomb (talk) 02:42, 5 August 2016 (UTC)

Hi, the 309-350 crore figure is currently outdated and we now have multiple sources pointing the Domestic collection as "Rs 211 Crore" and International Collection at "Rs 259 Crore", which brings the world wide theater collections at atleast 470 Crores. . Yes, Tamil Nadu government has a cap on ticket sales at Rs 120 per ticket hence the domestic is lesser than the international. Indiatimes, The Financial Express, BoxOfficeCollection-India, Galaxy Reporter and Bollywood Box Office Collection. So i think we can move on from Rs 350 Crore to Rs 470 Crore until a more updated figure is available. Thanks. --Pearll's SunTALK 03:45, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

pearll's sun - And I don't think we can, since the values that were put out by Financial Express drew skepticism by Firstpost and IBT. They didn't just question the values, they criticized the lack of research behind the values. If other members of the media are criticizing a publication for not doing research, why would you assume that the rest of their report would be factual? When you can find values from established reliable sources that do not originate from Financial Express, then perhaps we can move ahead. But for days now you've been citing the same problematic references, or (as above) citing publications that are referring to these problematic references. As for your inclusion of galaxyreporter and, no dice on those as far as sourcing goes. I'm not even going to look at them. I know from past experiences that these are faceless blogs, which fails WP:UGC. You seem to be a real hurry to update the box office data using the most questionable sources out there, and that is problematic. I've explained several times at Talk:List of highest-grossing Indian films that we have no deadline, but you seem to keep conveniently ignoring it. You also seem to have ignored my points that Indian cinema articles are prone to corrupt inflations. If you were interested in academic integrity, now would be the time to demonstrate that, rather than deciding of your own accord that now's the time to fluff up the disputed box office values. I'm perfectly fine with the compromise of removing the box office data for Kabali entirely from that article and from Kabali (film) until multiple sources report independently of Financial Express what the gross values are, but somehow I strongly doubt you're interested in a compromise. As noted, the only thing we know for sure is that the film has crossed 350 crore. We do not know for sure if the 470 crore estimates are close to what the rest of the film analysts think. I'm proposing caution and circumspection with time determining what value should be used, you're proposing we rush to publish what one periodical thinks, apparently with no regard for whether or not we'd be republishing bullshit marketing hype. Yours is not the sound position. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 04:28, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
Cyphoidbomb. Perfect, Why publish a wrong figure or publish a disputed/inflated one? Removing the box office data entirely from the article claiming it to be "disputed" sounds like the best way to keep off false figures from the article. Also when we check google, it seems to reflect wiki and shows a wrong value. But on the "Highest Grossing Indian Films", can we say its around 350 - 470 Crore or 350 - 650 Crore and call it disputed?. Let's not fix a value by ourselves. Thanks. --Pearll's SunTALK 04:37, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
I would remove the gross from List of highest-grossing Indian films and from the Infobox at Kabali, with the latter maybe pointing to a relevant section in the article that discusses the disparity, maybe with "Disputed, see Box office". An option for the former article might be to present the gross in the form of a range as I previously did, and as you suggested above, but to flag it as disputed with {{disputed inline}}, linking to a relevant discussion on the talk page (see template instructions). I don't have time to do this now, so if you want to handle both, I'll trust your judgement. Whatever you do, you might want to link to this discussion in your edit summary. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 06:01, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I'm a bit biased but when real reliable sources say that the 600 and above range is complete rubbish and anonymous blogs are cited as the exact kind of thing that the reliable sources consider quoting the rubbish, using the anonymous blogs as evidence for a mid-level claim. I'd rather keep a week-old citation and then we can figure out whether or not than a poorly sourced recent one. As noted, our policy is that badly sourced information is worse than no information at all and being conservative is better than claiming things like "this moves from the 14th highest Indian film gross of all time to 6th" and possibly retracting that entire claim. This is no small claim. Just to make sure it's clear, a number that is literally tens of millions of dollars more as we are moving from 350 crore (about $52.6 million) to 470 crore ($70.6 million). A difference of 120 crore which is equivalent to $18 million or basically what the third US box office results were in their entirety this weekend. I know one huge problem is that the Indian film task force has not really analyzed these websites (in part because a new one seems to pop up every few months) and we tend to take the "accept it unless evidence is to the contrary" approach instead of WP:BURDEN the reverse. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 08:05, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
Ricky81682, thanks for your comments. IBT's latest from 9 August 2016 is casting some shade on some of the broken record claims. They also wrote: ""Kabali" has collected more than Rs. 300 crore at the global box office in 17 days and its current pace shows it will not be able to surpass the Rs. 500 crore mark in its life time." It's somewhat noteworthy that the milestone they mention is 300 crore, not 400 crore. Though I have no evidence to support it, the Financial Express pieces read more like press releases than articles. Knowing that the Kabali producer was claiming 320 crore gross a few days into release, which was not supported by independent sources, it would not surprise me if his people had flooded Financial Express with a puff piece and they reprinted it without fact-checking, which is kinda what IBT suggested when they mocked the unnamed publication for printing claims of up to 675 crore. Needless to say, other sources hungrily reprinted the nonsensical claims without any effort of fact-checking, because hey, it brings in clicks. In the discussion above with pearll's sun I recommended presenting the data in the form of a range. It's one way to go and I would typically endorse that for minor disputes, but I really don't know how much Financial Express can be trusted on this. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 19:28, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
Cyphoidbomb Yes, IBT says it has collected over 200 Crores in India. But again we need to see which are the most trustable sources. For me all the popular Indian news media are a trustable source and IBT is new one as only post Kabali reports i learned about this news agency.

1: India Times - 1 week back - 211 Cr Domestic + 259 Cr Overseas = 470-500 Cr Overall. 2: FilmiBeat - 2 dys back - 211 Cr Domestic + 259 Cr Overseas = 470-500 Cr Overall. 3: India Today - Film producer claims film earned 320 Cr in 6 dys in Tamilnadu there is a Cap on ticket sales at Rs 120 whereas [1] and theaters sold the tickets at 10 times the price which does not happen otherwise in TN which is illegal, now the question is if the quoted price from IBT could be at Rs 120 per ticket and Producers claim could be the other one. 4: Financial Times - 1 week back - 211 Cr Domestic + 259 Cr Overseas = 470-500 Cr Overall 5: Domestic collection at over 200 Crore - BoxOfficeCollection-India And we have 6: IBT that keeps publishing same collection report for past 1 week.

Now which one to choose? I too second in Ricky81682 comment that "badly sourced information is worse than no information at all". Do we have any option (an e.g. from any article) to place a value such as "350 Cr to 700 Cr" with a tag "Disputed"? or simply remove the value and place "Disputed - See Box Office report within article"? --Pearll's SunTALK 14:15, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

IBT is not a "new" source. It's been around for years and is widely considered reliable by the Indian cinema task force at Wikipedia. Per your points:
  1. The India Times reference you keep bringing up cites Financial Times as the source of the info. That's not an independent confirmation, so it doesn't count as an additional source. It is not constructive to keep bringing it up as though it were a unique source reporting its unique findings.
  2. There's also no indication that Filmibeat is considered a reliable source by the WP:ICTF. On the contrary, the community appears to dislike Filmibeat/Oneindia as a reference.
  3. The Indiatoday source you bring up cites the producer as the source of the financials. We don't use primary sources for controversial data. Obviously the producer has a financial interest in inflating the box office claims. I don't know exactly what point you're trying to make about the ticket scalping, but why would it matter if we're going to discount what the producer claims anyway?
  4. Yes, we are aware of the Financial Express claim.
  5. There's no indication that is anything more than a blog, or that it is in any way considered a reliable source by WP:ICTF. Useless for our purposes.
  6. Yes, we are aware of IBT's adherence to a value <400 crore. Does it occur to you that this is because IBT doesn't believe the film crossed 400 crore? Like here where they mention crossing 300 crore, but not 400 crore?
Your suggestion that we list the top-end estimate at 700 crore is ludicrous. You couldn't possibly believe that 700 crore is a reasonable top end, since not even the poorest of the sources you've provided has claimed that Kabali grossed 700 crore at the box office. I genuinely don't understand your reluctance to wait a couple of weeks until the chaos subsides. It is not inaccurate to say definitively that the film crossed 350 crore. What is inaccurate is to say definitively that the film crossed 400 and 500 crore. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 18:56, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
700 Crore is just a figure and can mean anything the sources claim it to be. So instead of focusing on the "700" i think we should see if we can either place two figures and call them disputed or remove the outdated 350 Crore claim by IBT (unless wiki clearly specifies IBT to be only reliable source).
  1. If IBT is widely considered reliable, does all other popular news including "Financial Times" and "India Times" considered un-reliable?
  2. Is IBT the only reliable resource of wiki?
  3. For me IBT and other sources such as "Financial Times", "NDTV", "India Times" and other popular press media seems same unless wiki specifies a list of most reliable sources.
  4. I'm now so glad that google has finally removed the 350 Crore figure from its search sourced from wiki and placed "5.7 billion INR (570 Crores... no idea if this is right or wrong yet they seem to have an updated figure)". Hope wiki too finds an acceptable solution for such issues.

Thanks. --Pearll's SunTALK 14:24, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Cyphoidbomb Also i want to know why we have to keep waiting (its also a waste of time which drains valuable efforts which can beneficial to other wiki articles) for some estimate to surface when we have an option to either place two figures and call them disputed or remove the entire figure from the box office zone and point to "Box office" section within the article. Even if we never have a sharp value even after two weeks or two months, this arrangement should suffice as calling the box office collection "Disputed" forever can work as we at wiki aren't in the job of placing our own assessments (if done can easily go one sided) when such a huge difference is being projected.

Also i wish to reiterate Ricky81682 lines here "Our policy is that badly sourced information is worse than no information at all" and i thing we are exactly doing what we dont want to "publish a badly sourced and outdated info". Thanks. --Pearll's SunTALK 01:13, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

  1. Please stop asking me about India Times, it's getting irritating. I explained it very clearly the last time, and I've probably explained this to you three times already in various ways at different discussions: If a site simply reprints what another site says, that's not an independent verification. That's just a reprint. If fifty reliable newspapers reprint a producer's quote that the film made NNN crore, does the fifty reprints mean that we have fifty unique sources that endorse the information? No, it means we have one source that made a claim, the producer, and fifty sources that blindly reprinted the claim. Please meditate on this response, because it'll be the last time I give it.
  2. No.
  3. Okay, and?
  4. Okay, and? Google's business is Google's business.
  5. The articles have remained relatively stable for the last week or so, so I'm not sure what grand waste of time you're complaining about, especially when I'm the one who has invested the most time dealing with the fallout. If the disruptions continue in the next few days, that would be a very odd coincidence. If we remove all mention of Kabali's gross from either the List of highest-grossing Indian films or Kabali (film), I think there will be a greater disruption than there has been already. So if you're concerned about wasting editors' time, it seems that maintaining the status quo has been the best approach. Adding the range in this case seems like it would just serve to promote the film. As I have previously said, we know that the film made 350 crore. It is not inaccurate to say that it has grossed that much. When reliable sources decide to sack up and start publishing their own analyses of the gross, then we can increase the figure. And since I wind up saying the same over and over to you anyway, I'll say it again: we know that the film made 350 crore. It is not inaccurate to say that it has grossed that much. When reliable sources decide to sack up and start publishing their own analyses of the gross, then we can increase the figure. Not sure why that's a sticking point for you. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 07:49, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I still say go with the reliable source. The two sources that actually acknowledges the complete BS being posted and giving a mid-range number I'll trust 100X over someone just parroting the big giant number that hasn't been repeated. We've been at this for over a week and other than a scattershot of anonymous blogs or sources citing nothing or perhaps citing those blogs, we have a stable number that says this is the 12th highest grossing Indian film ever as opposed to sources that would put this in the top 5 or even 2nd highest film ever which would have a hell of a lot more press if people believed that. I'm more curious why we cite BoxOfficeIndia so much when Kabali isn't listed (or it may just be Hindi-related). I'd rather wait until the year end and see what the actual end results are than care about weekly box office guesses. -- — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ricky81682 (talkcontribs) 08:27, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
Ricky81682, thanks for clarifying your position. BOI isn't always a great choice because in my experience it seems they lose interest in tracking box office figures sometimes. Occasionally their values will go static while other sources' figures are unfolding. I don't know, maybe they're actually good and they know when the income starts to dry up, so they stop updating the gross because it's not worth the effort. Whereas the other sources are just repeating what the producers are saying. Who knows. But there are other issues to, like that their URLs sometimes become dead links over time, which requires us to dig up archives. Also, they don't publish dates in their box office breakdowns, so you never know exactly when that figure was relevant. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 07:55, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
Cyphoidbomb Ignoring the BOI issue, the problem here is that the entire encyclopedia is supposed to have a single consistent WP:NPOV. For us to report a 700 crore box office result puts Kabali at literally the second highest grossing Indian film of all time and thus we should adjust the wording at Baahubali: The Beginning as no longer second and Sultan and Dhoom 3 and on and on based on what I assume are going to be actually consistent statements that match these rankings. Otherwise, to put it in US-Canadian non-inflation film rankings, it would be like arguing about whether we should rank Shrek 2 above Avatar when sources explicitly state that the producers of Shrek 2 are giving out completely nonsensical figures rather than wait more than a week to get consistently stable figures. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 08:34, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
Ricky81682 I found this DNA article from 27 July 2016 it predates the other sources, I think, but it speaks very loudly to the questions that have been raised, and while they're talking specifically about box office inflations made early on, it indicates very clearly that there was an active campaign to inflate figures to lure people to see what they consider to be a sub-standard film.

Rajinikanth’s Kabali reportedly collected a record Rs 250 crore on its first day. An industry source says these figures are grossly inflated ... But everyone seems to have bought the lies. Often, the producers send out inflated figures and the media carries it without checking the facts ... One doesn’t know where these inflated figures of Rs 250 crore have come from. Who’s going to check the box-office figures in India? That is why producers give out such inflated numbers. The film has no chance of sustaining as it’s a very bad, amateurishly-made film

Given that these opinions come from a few different analysts, they comprise more voices articulating that the bloated figures shouldn't be blindly swallowed. If the campaigners are desperate at the start of a marketing blitz, they're surely desperate at the end of their marketing blitz. This is allegedly the second highest-grossing Indian film of all time, but none of the major news sources have said anything of substance about this film in the last two weeks. That's also telling. It's the biggest movie that the media forgot. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 07:59, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
It is so surprising that none of the trade analyst (more voices or north voices??) who have commented are from the Tamil industry and its also sounds childish for a well known print media to publish a comment from a distributor who will obviously promote the direct hindi movies that he distributes and not some dubbed tamil movie that he may not have any idea. This distributor says at the 1st week " For Kabali the reviews are bad so there may be a drop this week." while the actual picture sings a totally different song that too at the end of its 3rd week. The film is said to have made huge profits from both the South India and from the Overseas so unless we hear from both these locations. If we keep on considering and lauding articles that rubbishes Tamil movies which it actually has no idea (clearly evident when it calls a blockbuster movie "Kabali" as "very bad, amateurishly-made film" and more funnier as a "sub-standard film"), then we might have to consider the following for Mohenjo Daro which is claimed to be below average and Rustom which too as an average grosser and Sultan which completely went missing from Chennai theaters after Kabali was released. And this "IBT" which wiki considers as "Most Reliable" collects all its reports about kabali from some overseas based blog and a twitter account and has no info on its own nor does any research. Hope we start considering some genuine news articles than those who publishes and promotes false reports and personalized articles for some particular peoples interest. Again i wish to quote that "lets not fix and publish a particular figure and instead claim the quoted figure as disputed". Thanks (Magizhchi). --Pearll's SunTALK 11:02, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
You keep citing WP:OR, but I'm guessing you haven't read it. A source exists for 350 crore, thus it is not original research. We know it made at least 350 crore. That is a fact, not original research. If I said "Kabali is based on the American comic book series Spider-Man", that would be original research, because no reference exists for that. (It's also a lie.) If you're going to criticize IBT and their sources, that's perfectly reasonable, but who are Financial Express's sources for the data? The producers? Sure sounds like it. It doesn't strike you as bizarre that a film is alleged to have grossed so much money that it allegedly has become the #2 highest-grossing Indian film of all time, yet no reliable source other than Financial Express has published this? That's not strange to you? It's not odd that The Hindu or Hindustani Times or Deccan Chronicle or Mumbai Mirror or even Forbes, which occasionally weighs in on noteworthy Indian cinema accomplishments, hasn't said anything about this? Not even a "Wow, Kabali did way better than we thought" comment? By the way, it's certainly possible for someone to anticipate a drop across all of India, but still see an increase in Chennai. Not sure what you're trying to argue, but an increase occurring at X doesn't mean an increase occurred at A, B, Y and Z. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 20:40, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
  1. Please post the source that says it made exactly 350 crore.
  2. Yes, definitely when the someone happens to be a distributor then he would not only anticipate but also might pray for a drop for a movie that he doesn't distribute. A movie review would be fair only if written by a person with no Conflict-of-interest and with proper knowledge on the subject. Here all the reviewers on the subject has either COIor has absolutely no knowledge on the subject (being a tamil guy myself cannot be the right person to review nor comment on a direct Hindi movie).
  3. Financial express says over 430 crore on day 7 Source - Points to an analyst and not the producer.
  4. Rajinikanth's Kabali box office collection is Rs 650 crore Source - No source specified and again not the producer.
  5. [ As per trade reports, the worldwide gross collection of the film is said to be over Rs. 350 crore] Source - Some twitter account and a blog.
  6. This over 350 cant be taken exactly as 350 so it would be better to call it disputed.
  7. And i seriously dont care it if it made 250/350/550 or even a 1000, but i just wish wiki to have a perfect value or place a disputed tag so people who access and consider wiki as perfect source of details gets the right message.

Thanks. --Pearll's SunTALK 10:12, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

  1. At no point did I say that it made exactly 350 crore. I have never said that. Re-read my statements. I have said repeatedly that it has made at least 350 crore, and that is the only figure we are sure that the film made.
  2. No idea what your point is. How do you feel about the analyst mentioned in the Financial Express article you keep waving around? What's his/her name again? I couldn't find it. What are their qualifications? Do they have any conflicts of interest, like being in the back pocket of the Kabali producers? If you're going to question the analysts, perhaps you should question the ones in the Financial Express article too. If you can find their names.
  3. You're really hanging your hat on that Financial Express article. Though it's certainly benefited from the clickbait headline, it actually does express skepticism. "Aside from S Thanu who went the whole hog about the Kabali numbers, no other figure or filmmaker has stepped forward with a statement that puts the data in perspective." "Whole hog" is criticism toward Thanu for exaggerating the figures, and they seem to be lamenting the lack of corroboration from anyone other than him. (Not that we would trust corroborated data that comes from a primary source, but the fact that they haven't heard anything is questionable. They further express doubt in their subtle phrasing, "if we follow one particular analyst" to arrive at a certain figure for the international gross. "If we follow one particular analyst" doesn't sound like a confident report to me. You might as well say, "if this guy is to be believed". They further say "what is increasingly being feared is that the movie has quit working as much as was indicated in the wake of the movie just being released." This is another way of saying that the film is slowing down, which the other reports said. And the coup de grace, "We have already indicated the film may well have crossed the Rs 600 crore, but that is yet to be substantiated as data is still incomplete. Till the final word on this exercise is said there is going to a big question mark hanging on the whole isue." [sic] So, are you just swallowing the numbers, or are you reading the subtext?
  4.  ?
  5.  ?
  6. Repeating: I never said "exactly". You keep repeating your preference for it to be labeled as disputed. You don't have to keep repeating yourself. When you repeat yourself, it forces me to repeat myself. I don't agree with you at present, because I still think we should wait. Based on all the doubt, even by Financial Express, marking it as disputed would give credence to the high values.
  7. We will never have a perfect value for an Indian cinema article, because all the values are estimates, and corruption is rampant. Maybe you aren't familiar enough with Indian film article editing as I am, but every time there is a new film, the exaggerations begin.
This is the Reliable Sources Noticeboard. Instead of discussing whether or not Financial Express's data should be published blindly, this discussion has become a seemingly endless debate between me preferring to wait until the data solidifies, Ricky seeming to prefer that we wait as well (if I am interpreting him correctly) and you wanting to include a range of data and mark it as disputed. We appear to be going nowhere with this, but I certainly don't want to take up any more screen space here. That's not what this noticeboard is for. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 04:43, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Now we have an article from the India Today that says "Kabali shattered all box office records and the film reportedly grossed over Rs 600 crore worldwide.". --Pearll's SunTALK 11:57, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Is TalkOrigins a reliable source for science topic?[edit]

Distilling this discussion: TalkOrigins is a well-known archive of material from numerous sources. One cannot say that it is blanket reliable or blanket unreliable, it will depend on the material, its author, and the statement it's being used to support. So this one has to be reviewed case-by-case. Disputing it because it promotes the scientific consensus view of evolution is never going to fly on Wikipedia. Evolution is not a belief system, it's a conclusion form observed facts, and our content will reflect that for as long as it continues to be the case. Guy (Help!) 20:21, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

There is an ongoing discussion on Macroevolution page whether TalkOrigins can be used as a reliable source for a scientific article. (It is cited in multiple locations in the article.)

To recap, even TalkOrigins themselves admit to the lack of scientific reliability:

"How do I know the contents of this archive are reliable?"
Visitors to the archive should be aware that essays and FAQs appearing in the archive have generally not undergone a rigorous peer review procedure by scientific experts. Rather, they have been commented on and critiqued by the readership of the newsgroup. While many of the participants in are well regarded scientists, this informal procedure is not as demanding as the process a scientist goes through to publish a paper in a scientific journal. It is important to keep this fact in mind when reading the contents of this archive. Because most of the essays have not undergone rigorous peer review, some of them may contain errors or misstatements of fact.
Isn't the Talk.Origins Archive just some website that has no particular credibility? Those FAQs and essays aren't peer-reviewed, and many are written by interested laymen rather than specialists, so they can be ignored, right?
We encourage readers not to take our word on the issues, but rather to look at the primary literature and evaluate the evidence. While materials on the Archive have not necessarily been subjected to formal peer-review, many have been subjected to several cycles of commentary in the newsgroup prior to being added to the Archive.

Even they acknowledge that their contents may contain errors or misstatements of fact because they had not undergone a rigorous peer review procedure by scientific experts. Furthermore, they themselves encourage readers not to take our word on the issues, but rather to look at the primary literature.

I propose that TalkOrigins lacks scientific reliability and neutrality to be used as a reliable source. Could you advise please? (talk) 20:17, 11 August 2016 (UTC) is a curated repository of essays and papers on the topic of evolution or the evolution/creation debate, written by biologists and scientists, for the public. It seems that the site is cited four times at our page for Macroevolution:
  • First, to document that evolution is ongoing and speciation has been witnessed by scientists today. This essay is a peer-reviewed article from The American Naturalist also held at talkorigins.
  • Second and third, to note that evolution is both a theory and fact.
  • Fourth, to note that scientist define macroevolution as "any change at the species level or above."
talkorigins is neither an ideal (e.g. textbook) nor a wholly uncredible source. Because it is being used to source uncontested statements of fact I would recommend the citations not be removed, but instead replaced with better sources. I would invite the IP to engage in this work for their own sake and ours if they want to improve Macroevolution. -Darouet (talk) 20:47, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
Darouet, your argument that "evolution is both a theory and fact" is an uncontested statement of fact, is inaccurate. There are many scientists who contest against regarding evolution as both a theory and fact.
‘Evolution’ cannot be both a theory and a fact. Theories are concepts stating cause–effect relations. Regardless of one’s certainty as to the utility of a theory to provide understanding, it would be epistemically incorrect to assert any theory as also being a fact. ... An emphasis on associating ‘evolution’ with ‘fact’ presents the misguided connotation that science seeks certainty. Acknowledging that the statement, ‘evolution is a fact’, is an incorrect assertion has the benefit of focusing our attention back on the goal of science
I do agree with you that the references to TalkOrigins should be replaced with the better sources. (talk) 21:24, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
(an aside) "Evolution" has several distinct meanings and connotations. That species adapt genetically over time is not mere theory - it is observable fact, evidenced by mapping of genomes. That entirely different groups of animals have a specific single common ancestor is still "theory" as unless or until a specific reasonable lineage is shown, it is speculation, and there may be several distinctly different ancestors for different species, or even several different lineages for what is now a single species. As we do not have proof of any positions, there are a bunch of differing "theories of evolution" in that sense. The DNA evidence that many humans have significant Neanderthal DNA is one of the more recent surprises in that area. Collect (talk) 13:47, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not the place to conduct a battle over evolution. -Darouet (talk) 21:37, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Short answer: Yes. Talkorigins is, generally speaking a good enough source, though if a better source exists for a claim, use that.
Long answer: First, talkorigins is not the source of most claims cited to it. Rather, some paper which caught the attention of the users of talkorigin and managed to impress the credentialed users and staff sufficienty is generally the source. In that case, we can link to the talkorigins copy, but we cite the original publication. Additionally, if you think there are problems with the theory of evolution, such as your insistence that it cannot be both a theory and a fact, you have absolutely no business editing any articles on evolution. This is not only common sense (you don't see the majority of liberal editors editing Donald Trump), but a matter of wikipedia policy. Pushing an anti-evolutionary agenda here is a sure-fire way to wind up topic banned or indef blocked. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 21:52, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
Darouet, That is why TalkOrigins should be removed. According to them, the main purpose of TalkOrigins is to address creationism/evolution controversy. Let's not bring the controversy to Wikipedia.
MjolnirPants, You should follow the PDF link to find out whom I have quoted saying, "‘Evolution’ cannot be both a theory and a fact."
You just accused Kirk J. Fitzhugh of "pushing an anti-evolutionary agenda" just because he explained how a scientific theory can never become a fact.
Here is [another] from National Science Teachers Association:
I have heard too many scientists claim that evolution is a fact, often in retort to the claim that it is just a theory. Evolution isn’t a fact.
And that is one of reasons why TalkOrigins should not be used as a reliable source. It causes Wikipedia to lose neutrality, and makes people like yourself to think even legitimate scientists are anti-evolutionary simply because they spoke science. (talk) 22:32, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
Off topic
Here are the US National Academies speaking upon "theory or fact". Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:38, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
And Here is National Center for Science Education refuting such misconception.
Misconception 2 "Theories become facts when they are well supported and/or proven."
The second statement implies that theories become facts, in some sort of linear progression. In science, theories never become facts.
(Please read the aforementioned Dr. Fitzhugh's article who explains it more clearly.)
The fact of the matter is that the original argument made by Darouet that "evolution is both a theory and fact" is an uncontested statement of fact, is inaccurate because clearly, there are many scientists who contest it. There are plenty of legitimate scientists who find the such argument false, not because of some religious reason, but because the such argument goes against the philosophy of science itself. (talk) 00:18, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
That's already made clear at Evolution as fact and theory#Evolution as theory and fact in the literature. No need to repeat the same stuff all over the place. Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:09, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for providing the link to the article discussing evolution and its relationship to theory and fact. Now, please ask yourself - if someone asserts that "evolution is both a theory and fact" is uncontested, without mentioning other disagreeing viewpoints, is that person being neutral? Furthermore, the disagreeing viewpoint gets automatically labeled as "anti-evolutionary agenda." Is that a neutral position? Is Wikipedia neutral? (talk) 01:19, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
There is an article about difference between evolution as fact and evolution as theory at [2]. Its gist is in this Dobzhansky quote: "Let me try to make crystal clear what is established beyond reasonable doubt, and what needs further study, about evolution. Evolution as a process that has always gone on in the history of the earth can be doubted only by those who are ignorant of the evidence or are resistant to evidence, owing to emotional blocks or to plain bigotry. By contrast, the mechanisms that bring evolution about certainly need study and clarification. There are no alternatives to evolution as history that can withstand critical examination. Yet we are constantly learning new and important facts about evolutionary mechanisms."
So, most reliable sources seem to consider evolution either fact, or theory, or fact and theory. The germane neutrality requirement is WP:UNDUE, which recommends using sources proportionally to their adherence (majority view/minority view). Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:51, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Neutrality in this case rests with scientific consensus. It is our job to build an encyclopedia of human knowledge, not teach basic biology to every creationist who decides they want to edit. -Darouet (talk) 02:51, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

@ You have completely misrepresented what I said. Let me try to spell it out: If you (the IP editor who made a good enough argument once to change my mind about something else) push an anti-evolutionary agenda here on WP, you will almost certainly end up on the receiving end of a topic ban or an indefinite block. I have not accused anyone of pushing that agenda, I have instead, warned you (not the author of the paper) not to. If you never intended to, then that's just awesome. I'm happy to hear it, but I'm completely flabbergasted by your arguments here.
As far as the paper, yes I read it. Do you know what it is? It's a jumbled mess of conflated jargon and semantics. It's pure pedantry. It's using precise language and arguments to debate the accuracy of vague terms and simple logic. It is a near-total misunderstanding of the differences in language between scientists and lay people. It's the scientist equivalent of a literary critic interpreting the phrase "He had a black heart." as a Freudian slip exposing an author's subconscious racism against people of African ancestry.
It argues against the accuracy of a common idiom based on the presuppositions that 'evolution' is meaningless except as the definite article denoting a specific scientific theory, cannot be used in any tense except as a definite article, that the word 'fact' has only one meaning, a very specific one that just happens to be the meaning it has in the author's professional jargon, that (for some unfathomably ridiculous reason) everyone who's ever heard this idiom will not only be aware of the single specific meaning he permits each key word to hold in his musings, but will agree that those are the only possible meanings as well.
In short, it's nothing more than a brilliant answer to the question "Why do some people think science is extremely boring?" For all that he makes a good argument in the specific context his letter (not peer-reviewed paper, mind, but a letter to the editor), it is one that does not account for the double entente inherent in the phrase, and thus the actual meaning of it. For all intents and purposes, the phrase means "The massive preponderance of evidence points to the theory of evolution, notwithstanding our admittedly limited understanding of it, as the most accurate explanation for the current diversity of life on earth." or possibly "Evolution actually happened." if one can wrap one's head around using 'evolution' to refer to the sequence of events predicted by the theory of evolution.
You might notice "Evolution is both a fact and theory." to be catchier and easier to remember.
  • Please provide your source that says that there exists a scientific consensus to regard evolution as both a theory and fact.
  • And no, Dr Fitzhugh is not a creationist. He is the curator at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, who has published numerous biology papers. As so, it is not necessary for you to teach him basic biology; since you're a student, you should learn from him instead. Also, National Center for Science Education is not a creationist organization either. Neither is National Science Teachers Association.
  • Here is what you wrote in your warning: "if you think there are problems with the theory of evolution, such as your insistence that it cannot be both a theory and a fact, ... Pushing an anti-evolutionary agenda here is ..."
For you, "insistence that it cannot be both a theory and a fact" somehow equated to having "problems with the theory of evolution" and you would take it as "pushing an anti-evolutionary agenda".
Thus, the warning wasn't just addressed to me; it was addressed to anyone who would insist that it cannot be both a theory and a fact. That is why I've shown you how there exist many legitimate evolutionary scientists who do insist so, also. Well, from the fact that you now backpedal, it looks like you've realized your mistake; so, I am going to let it go, although a simple mea culpa would have won you more respect.
  • It is unfortunate to hear you disparaging Dr Fitzhugh's writing by putting it down as being "a jumbled mess of conflated jargon and semantics" and "pure pedantry." Dr Fitzhugh is a prominent scientist who specializes on the philosophical foundations of evolutionary theory. I am curious, and I apologize for being blunt, but what is your credential to criticize the expert in evolutionary theory?
  • Thank you for acknowledging that I am technically correct. It is my hope that we all strive to make Wikipedia a scientifically reliable and neutral source of information. (talk) 16:50, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
This is no longer a discussion about the reliability of talkorigins: we should move further discussion about facts and theories to Talk:Macroevolution. -Darouet (talk) 17:03, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
I am sorry, but I would like to hear from a couple of more neutral people regarding the reliability of TalkOrigins.
Again, even TalkOrigins acknowledge that their contents may contain errors or misstatements of fact because they had not undergone a rigorous peer review procedure by scientific experts. Furthermore, they themselves encourage readers not to take our word on the issues, but rather to look at the primary literature.
For example, here is one of their erroneous articles written by a scientist and cites many primary literature, but it wouldn't pass a peer review, although it would fool the general public. The article claims that there were 1,000 times more ocean water back on the early Earth, and then uses this absurd figure in his calculation to support his claim. Also, the article grossly misstates the primary literature by claiming "a staggering 2.5 x 10^112 sequences are efficent ligases" and uses this erroneous figure in his calculation to support his claim (the actual value in the cited source is 2.5 x 10^12.) The article has more errors, but these are just a couple that I still remember on top of my head.
These are type of incorrect calculations that even scientists would not easily recognize. No wonder TalkOrigins puts up a disclaimer to warn the readers not to take their word on the issues, but rather to look at the primary literature. I understand that they have good articles, too. But, the bad articles are also written by scientists and cite primary literature. How are the general public supposed to tell them apart? I have no problem Wikipedia citing the primary literature used by TalkOrigins, but TalkOrigins themselves should not be considered a reliable source. (talk) 20:01, 12 August 2016 (UTC)


The example you post looks like a simple typo, and given the responses so far, it's unlikely that there'll be a blanket proscription against talkorigins. People here like to know specific contexts, which are often relevant to reliability. If your specific content concern is about Evolution as fact and theory, we have a whole article about that topic. -Darouet (talk) 20:10, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

If those figures were not used in his calculations, then you can claim it to be a simple typo. It is not a simple typo when the author uses the erroneous figures in calculations, then uses the erroneous outcomes to back up his claim. Furthermore, I am not even going to get into other errors (not typo) in his article. I had challenged the author long ago, but he has never responded. I think it's because there are many other people who found many other errors in his article, too. The article is unreliable, period. And TalkOrigins posting such unreliable articles should not be considered a reliable source either; simply putting up a disclaimer that we as the readers should check the primary literature does not exonerate their sloppy publishing practice. I don't worry about checking primary literature when I read an article in normal science journals. But, with TalkOrigins, I don't take them at face value. Is this how low Wikipedia wishes to lower the standards of reliable source? (talk) 20:46, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
@, the warning wasn't just addressed to me; I just erased the sarcastic response I typed up first because this thread is getting sidetracked. Suffice it to say, telling another editor what they really meant is never a very polite or particularly intelligent thing to do. I know you're an intelligent person, so please try to stick to intelligent commentary.
Also, let me offer you some advice: Just let this thread sit. People will continue to read it, and if they feel the need to add to it, they will. But the longer it gets, the less likely new people are to join it. I've hatted the off topic discussion, which should help shorten the thread up quite a bit. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 21:57, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
@MjolnirPants, Thank you for steering the thread back to the original topic and hiding the off topic discussion. And I'm sorry for the whole warning business; let's start over. I'll listen to your advice and wait for others to chime in. Have a great weekend! (talk) 22:35, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

As far as I can see, all the cites to TalkOrigins are to essays by established experts on biology and evolution; therefore, even if we consider TalkOrigins a personal website (which I'm not sure is correct), they still fall under the exception in WP:SPS for work "produced by an established expert on the subject matter, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications." In fact, it seems like almost a textbook case of that clause, and I would not be at all surprised if it was one of the specific examples people had in mind when that clause was written. --Aquillion (talk) 02:28, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

Open Journal of Geology is a peer-reviewed scientific journal and it is reputably ISI-indexed. Yet, it cannot be cited by Wikipedia simply because its parent publishing company (which owns 250 different journals) happens to be deemed predatory. There is not a single shred of evidence that Open Journal of Geology had ever published a scientifically inaccurate article. But, because of its mere association with the parent publisher, it is deemed unreliable by Wikipedia.
On the other hand, TalkOrigins is neither peer-reviewed nor a scientific journal, which even they admit. I even pointed out an error-riddled article that they had published. Yet, TalkOrigins is reliable, while Open Journal of Geology is not??? (talk) 20:16, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
@ We've gone around on this before; Journals from predatory publishers are considered highly suspect, but papers published within them are to be judged on their own merits. If there's enough evidence that the paper is a reliable source we can use it. If there's no evidence of reliability, then the only thing we know is that this paper was published by a company that isn't rigorous enough to trust. This was the linchpin of our argument on the James Ossuary: Until you made the case to me, and showed me how the paper you cited had been presented to a wider audience of experts without any backlash, and that it was written by respected experts in the field, the only information I had to go on was the publisher, who is highly suspect.
Also, you seem to be hung up on sources, but while we often make generalizations about sources, sources aren't the focus in these discussions. Claims are. If the source is reliable for the particular claim it is used to support, then we can use it. So if we needed a citation on the sentence "the sky is blue," I could go to any tin-foil-hatted, lizard-people-run-the-government, Bob-Barker-controls-my-brain-with-television-signals conspiracy theory website that happens to mention the sky is blue and cite that. It'd be fine. So we can't use a physicist's peer-reviewed, widely cited paper on some minutiae of PET scans to support a claim that PET scans are medically useful. However, we can use some doctor's off-the-cuff comment on his or her personal blog somewhere for it. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 20:38, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
If what you've said is true about "papers published within them are to be judged on their own merits", then how come the editor removed the journal reference from James Ossuary and labeled it as "unusable as a source"? Perhaps, it is true to you, but certainly not true to other editors of Wikipedia; also, you'd be fine with citing an unreliable source based on a claim, but not to other editors of Wikipedia. (talk) 23:16, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
Well, that editor was me, and I just (explicitly) answered your question in the comment you asked that question in response to. See This was the linchpin of our argument on the James Ossuary: Until you made the case to me, and showed me how the paper you cited had been presented to a wider audience of experts without any backlash, and that it was written by respected experts in the field, the only information I had to go on was the publisher, who is highly suspect. I strongly suggest you read a comment in it's entirety before you respond in the future (even if it's a bit long-winded, as mine tend to be). If there's a way to sum it up in one or two sentences, I'll add a tl;dr note at the top or bottom. Otherwise, you kinda have to read the whole thing to know what I'm saying. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 02:10, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
That editor is not you. I have written twice that my comment was about "other editors".
Look at the history page of James Ossuary and you will see that an editor named David Eppstein was the one who had removed the reference to Open Journal of Geology. (talk) 17:54, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
I must have missed that. Still. The addition was done with consensus, so go revert him and direct him to the talk page in the edit summary. It's more productive than complaining about it here, and asking me to explain why he did it. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 13:02, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
You're missing the point. The point is that there are always other editors (most of them actually) who disagree with your interpretation. They would automatically reject Open Journal of Geology (peer-reviewed; science journal; no erroneous article found), yet they would automatically accept TalkOrigins (not peer-reviewed; not science journal; erroneous article found).
And you bring up a good point -- you've said that you would accept a citation from even an unreliable source based on a well-established Claims, e.g. "the sky is blue." Think about that for a minute: if the claim is indeed well-established, then certainly there are many truly reliable sources other than TalkOrigins that can be cited. But, if the claim cannot be found in other reliable sources, but is found only on TalkOrigins, then from deduction, the claim is not well-established, but the claim is unique only to TalkOrigins. Thus, Wikipedia should cite other truly reliable sources instead of TalkOrigins for a well-established claim. (talk) 18:05, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
The point is that there are always other editors (most of them actually) who disagree with your interpretation. You asked me to explain why the other editor did that, if I was correct. I can't explain why he did that. You should ask him. But as to why me might have done that? Maybe he didn't read the talk page. Maybe if you point him to the talk page, he'll change his mind. You won't know until you find out. So maybe try finding out instead of trumpeting this as proving me wrong somehow. Even if he doesn't change his mind, the fact that he disagrees with me doesn't make me wrong. I've got another editor right now going around saying I 'forbade' him from arguing with me in a comment in which I said I'd " happy to continue arguing with [him]". I've seen editors say that it's not against policy to cite a conspiracy theory blog to claim the government is mind controlling people with television signals. I've seen editors argue that the bible is a reliable source for historical claims. None of those editors were even slightly right. It could be that this guy is just plain wrong. Or, as I already mentioned, maybe all he knows about that source is that it's published by a predatory journal. Or possibly me and he simply assign different weights to the evidence. Your evidence was enough to convince me. Maybe it's just not enough for him. There's certainly no policy that says we must remove any source published by a predatory journal.
if the claim is indeed well-established, then certainly there are many truly reliable sources other than TalkOrigins that can be cited. While that's a good heuristic that should be used frequently here, it's also a well known logical fallacy that doesn't work for dismissing any use of a given source. Frankly, if a source is 'good enough', then, while we can use it, we hopefully do so only temporarily, until someone finds a better source. But we can still use it. As I've pointed out once before: the reliability of a source depends on the claim. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 18:45, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
I am okay with your approach to cite whichever source as long as it is done with neutrality. However, realistically, the other editors won't follow your practice. So, let's hear from other editors here: do you agree with MjolnirPants that any source can be cited, e.g. creationist website, pro-life website, etc.? (talk) 19:45, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Do not put words in my mouth. I never said "any source can be cited, e.g. creationist website, pro-life website, etc." full stop. I put an extremely important qualifier there and you leaving it out is highly misleading. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 22:01, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

  • Comment: There is too much noise in the above discussion and I didn't wade through it all. TalkOrigins is not taking responsibility for the accuracy of the articles. So the articles have the status of WP:SPS. However, WP:SPS tells you: 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. So, if it is an article by a reliable scholar, treat it as reliable (but with caution). Otherwise, don't. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 22:08, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
I apologize if you thought that I was putting words in your mouth; I was simply being succinct. Anyone can read your qualifier on the previous comments and would have known what I've meant.
Thank you for your input. WP:SPS description sounds reasonable. However, there are two wordings that would still create disagreements, and I would appreciate if you could clarify those wordings: "by an established expert on the subject matter" and "relevant field".
  • Who qualifies as "an established expert on the subject matter"?
    • I have a science degree; I publish paper on a reliable science journal. Nevertheless I wouldn't consider myself to be an established expert on the subject matter, although I possess deeper scientific understanding than non-scientists. Is there a list of criteria that Wikipedia would consider someone to be an established expert on the subject matter?
  • Please confirm that applying this requirement on Macroevolution would render this and this citations unreliable because we cannot even determine the authors' credentials -- there is too little information about John Wilkins and Joseph Boxhorn on the cited sources to track them down on the internet.
(I have also provided additional supporting citations by National Science Teachers Association and National Center for Science Education to back up Dr Fitzhugh's writing.)
But, a certain editor (who does not hold the science degree as far as I know -- please correct this if inaccurate) quickly disregarded Dr Fitzhugh by saying that his writing was "a jumbled mess of conflated jargon and semantics. It's pure pedantry." Furthermore, he said, "The author's credentials as a scientist do not make him an authority on logic and rhetoric. I am every bit as qualified as (in not slightly more qualified than) he is to speak on the subject as he."
Thus, apparently according to that editor, even an established biologist who specializes in the philosophical foundations of evolutionary theory is not qualified to give his professional statement that "‘Evolution’ cannot be both a theory and a fact" because Dr Fitzhugh's evolutionary biology background is not relevant field.
So, who gets to decide what "relevant field" is?
  • Using that editor's logic, one might say that this citation is unreliable because the author, Laurence Moran, is a biologist, and thus not an expert in the relevant field.
WP:SPS also states: "Questionable sources are those that have a poor reputation for checking the facts, lack meaningful editorial oversight, or have an apparent conflict of interest".
TalkOrigins, by their own account, does not check facts and lack meaningful peer review; moreover, the website is mostly dedicated to the evolution/creation controversy from a mainstream scientific (evolutionist) perspective -- which introduces a conflict of interest on an evolution/creation topic. (talk) 18:20, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
IP, Fitzhugh was writing about semantics, not about evolution. He's not an established expert on semantics. I've already explained to you what issue your sources take with the phrase "evolution is a theory and a fact", how they are correct in their analysis, and how they still fail to get the point of the phrase. I've even explained why. You keep presenting these links as if they argue against the assertion that evolution almost certainly happened, but none of them actually do that. They take issue with the semantics of the term because, in the jargon they speak, the term isn't accurate. Furthermore, It's a well-known (but poorly defined) norm here not to cite any expert on views that diverge from the established consensus. So we don't cite Lee Smolin for how gravity works, even though he's a well respected, established physicist. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 18:34, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
I would like to stay focused on the topic instead of chasing after your straw man, but nevertheless, I am curious -- so, please allow me to ask you for the same evidence that I had asked another editor: please cite a reputable source that states that there exists a consensus that evolution is a fact.
I can cite you a reputable source that clearly states that there exists a consensus on climate change, but I have never seen a consensus on evolution being a fact -- though I see many scientists supporting evolution as being a theory, and disagreeing on it being a fact. (talk) 20:20, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
Well, first off: You're apparently a creationist. So don't expect me to entertain your pedantry any longer. I have no patience for debating such an incredibly obvious fact with someone who will take the word of a bronze-age priest over that of all of modern science and never entertain the notion that maybe that bronze-age priest was writing metaphorically. But, in the interest of integrity, here's a few that I dug up in about ten seconds of googling:
So basically, take your creationist crap elsewhere: It's not wanted here. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 20:51, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
  • As expected, you cannot cite a single source to back up your false claim. I have looked at all your cited sources and none of them claims that there existing a consensus on evolution being a fact. What you fail to understand is that scientists agreeing on the theory of evolution (= consensus) does not equate to the same scientists agreeing to a theory being treated as a fact (= not consensus).
This is not a matter of evolution vs creationism; this is a matter of the philosophical foundation of science. That is why even Dr Fitzhugh (who opposes creationism) rejects the theory of evolution being treated as a fact.
  • It's ironic that one of your cited source is National Center for Science Education. That is the very source that I have cited and it states:
Misconception 2 "Theories become facts when they are well supported and/or proven."
The second statement implies that theories become facts, in some sort of linear progression. In science, theories never become facts.
It is very unfortunate that you cannot take a neutral position. You think I am a madman because you're content looking at shadows on the cave wall. (talk) 21:26, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
IP, you've never given any indication you're truly interested in the semantic issue of "fact" vs "theory:" to do that you would need to make it obvious you don't doubt the reality of evolution (of which "Macroevolution" is a part) in nature. As I wrote a long time ago, Wikipedia is not the place to waste people's time arguing about evolution, and this "fact/theory" discussion looks like a WP:TROJAN Horse. -Darouet (talk) 05:13, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Unreliable - an article appearing there does not mean that it is coming from any credentialed, reliable source, and some of the material on the site is erroneous due to a lack of carefully reading the reliable sources that it does cite. Claims cited from Talk.Origins would need verification elsewhere. PraiseTheShroom (talk) 17:18, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.[edit]

Is a WP:RS? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:55, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

We would need to know the claim the source is being used to support first since in several instence a source can be reliable for one thing but not another.-- (talk) 03:50, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
No,, it is not a reliable source. Per their website, "RYM is a community-built music and film database where you can rate, review, catalog and discover new music and films as well as participate in contributing to the database itself... Anyone with a RYM account can help contribute to the database." Meatsgains (talk) 20:11, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Deseret News as a source for LDS-related subjects[edit]

Over the years there has been a string of AfD nominations for articles about Latter-day Saint temples and high level LDS church leaders based on the fact that many of these articles are sourced to the newspaper Deseret News. While Deseret News is the oldest newspaper in Utah with the largest or second largest circulation, it is owned by a holding company that is owned by the LDS (Mormon) Church. The argument at the AfDs, which have a checkered history of keep/delete/no consensus closures, is that the newspaper cannot be considered independent from the church and is therefore ineligible for establishing Notability for article subjects. (To my knowledge normal Deseret News reporting has editorial independence from the LDS Church, but it publishes a weekly insert titled Church News that is published directly by the church.) I believe the readers are predominantly Mormon, though I don't have a source for that. To be clear, the argument is not that Deseret News is an unreliable source for the article content (usually uncontroversial stuff like names, dates, square footage, etc.) but that it can't establish notability for the article subjects. By way of example, there's a current AfD open at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Hugo E. Martinez (2nd nomination), and a closed AfD at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Montréal Québec Temple.

I'd like to get some input from the wider editing community on this issue. Can a large newspaper be used to establish notability for a member of an organization that owns the newspaper?

Pinging User:Purplebackpack89 who I expect will have a lot to say on the subject

~Awilley (talk) 16:31, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Thanks, I wasn't aware of that discussion. ~Awilley (talk) 18:36, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
  • As Only in death points out, we had this discussion only a few weeks ago. Awilley thinks I may have a lot to say, but he has in fact summarized my main argument: that since Deseret News is owned by the Mormon church, it is not independent of LDS leaders, LDS edifices and other LDS topics. FWIW, other discussion have also pointed out that Deseret News' editorial policy favors a pro-Mormon view of things; and that it refuses advertisements from things shunned by the Mormon hierarchy. Therefore, in order for an LDS topic to pass GNG, it needs sourcing from something other than just Deseret News or other LDS publications and website. I don't really see what the size/circulation has to do with anything: having a large number of readers doesn't some how make it more independent. I also don't see why my point of view should be the least bit controversial. If it was an article about a bandleader, we wouldn't allow it to be sourced solely from his band's website. If it was an article about an executive, we wouldn't allow it to be sourced solely from his company's website. Why should LDS officials be any different? pbp 17:24, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
You seem to be operating under the assumption that the newspaper just prints whatever the church tells it to print, the way a company website would reflect what the company leaders wanted published. Assume, for sake of argument, that the newspaper had editorial independence and could print whatever it thought would appeal to its readers. Would that change anything for you? ~Awilley (talk) 18:36, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
For one, there's a lot of evidence to say that, yes, the paper does print what the church tells it to (or, at the very least, reprints LDS press releases almost verbatim). For two, no, I think I'd still be troubled by its ownership. pbp 18:42, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. Re: "verbatim" I assume you're referring to the Church News insert that they distribute weekly? If so, I think you're correct that is directly from the church. I don't read the newspaper myself, but our article says the newspaper is "usually described as moderate to conservative, and is often assumed to reflect the values of its owner, the LDS Church". For that reason I would agree that it should be used with caution as a source for controversial issues related to the church. But I have no problem using it as a source for, say, the square footage and completion dates of LDS temples. What I'm really looking for though is outside input from people who have dealt with issues like this before. Like was there ever a discussion on whether we could use major newspapers as sources about the owners or employees of their parent companies? For instance, can the New York Times be used as a source for Carlos Slim? ~Awilley (talk) 03:01, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
The issue I'm trying to raise isn't necessarily "can it be a source?", more like, "can it be the source"? I've never had a problem with LDS Church News being used here and there for details on LDS articles, nor do I have a problem with the NY Times being used here and there for details on Carlos Slim. What I would have a problem with is Carlos Slim (or Rupert Murdoch) being sourced ONLY by media he owns. Likewise, I have a problem with LDS leaders and edifices being sourced ONLY by LDS papers and websites (and, yes, I DO include Deseret News among them). pbp 13:03, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
It's not independent, though. I and others have explained to you the difference between reliable and independent in the last discussion, Unscintillating. This isn't about Deseret News saying things that are inaccurate, it's about DN covering things that normally wouldn't be covered by other RSes, simply because it is owned by the Mormon church. pbp 23:32, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
The unsourced claims about what "others" have "explained" are some kind of fallacy, possibly argumentum ad populum, as what "others" have "explained" may or may not be good explanations.  Here is our last exchange on this noticeboard, from [3]
  • AfD has closed with a conclusion that, "I consider the primary argument around the definition of 'independent source' to be a fundamental misunderstanding of what we mean by 'independent of the article subject'. The sources aren't directly connected to the article subject but to an organisation of which he's a part, and that degree of connection isn't sufficient to discount the sources, any more than we would discount the Journal of the American Statistical Association or The Spectator as sources for biographies because most of the people mentioned will be connected to the ASA or the Conservative Party."  Unscintillating (talk) 01:17, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
So? This isn't AfD, there's no consensus here right now that Deseret News is independent, and there's already considerable blowback to that statement made as part of a biased supervote. If the admin wants his opinion heard here, let him come here. pbp 03:26, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Well, no one is stopping you from pinging him, but what he said seems clear.  Unscintillating (talk) 21:12, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
  • One of your comments at AfD was, "Nobody here's saying that Deseret News is unethical.", diff.  If they are not unethical, then they practice independence in their journalism ethics.  Unscintillating (talk) 21:12, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
Unscintillating (talk) 22:56, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Funny how you claim my argument is just "some other people said this", then you try to demolish it with what one person (a rogue admin) said, coupled with your own take on independence on sourcing, The stuff in blue up there omits that I (and believe other editors) also took issue at your claim that I must think Deseret News is unethical if I think they are not independent. Since the AfD was closed as no consensus, it can't be used as precedent. The previous discussion on WP:RS/N either ended in no consensus, or a consensus for my way of looking at things (FWIW, I stand 100% behind what I said in the previous discussion, including what's in blue up there). And, no, Unscintillating, what other people say isn't a fallacy, it's building consensus, of which in this particular discussion, you have none. pbp 13:03, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
The first word here, "funny", is an appeal to emotion.  Unscintillating (talk) 00:47, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Ahem, the admin who closed the AFD is far from being a 'rogue' admin. The closure went to deletion review and was found to have overwhelming consensus to endorse the closure as proper. So no, it was not just what 'a rogue admin' said. Which you know perfectly well because you contributed there. At length. The closer of the AFD had this to say about you personally, "I'd also add that the conduct of some parties in this discussion, particularly the nominator, has been absolutely atrocious," - I dont see that your conduct has changed much since. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:16, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
@Only in death: Atrocious? Please focus on the topic rather than trying to attack me. Also, remember that the AfD was closed as no consensus, and the DRV endorsed a no consensus close. It didn't endorse wholesale rewriting of SNG or RS. It didn't endorse the book being closed on this topic forever (and, lest you forget, I didn't reopen the book by starting this discussion. Another editor started this discussion and asked me to comment). pbp 13:30, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
The point is, you are making the same arguments now you did then, which were soundly rejected. The AFD was closed as no consensus with your *specific* arguments regarding independance being rejected and your conduct reprimanded. Making the same argument now using the same tactics is just tiresome. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:47, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
@Only in death: If it's so sound for my argument to be rejected, how about actually giving a reason you yourself believe in that these sources are indeed independent, instead of saying that a no-consensus close on ONE AfD means I must shut up forever? Maybe this discussion never should have been started (as you noted above, there was a recent RS/N thread on this topic, one where several people DID agree with my point of view that Deseret News isn't an independent source). I didn't start it. But here we are, and I'm going to make my point, goddammit! pbp 13:57, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
I do not need to give proof a reliable source is independant. You need to provide convincing proof it isnt. Being owned by a related organisation does not mean it is not independant for the purposes of being a reliable source RE notability. As multiple people have explained to you. Only in death does duty end (talk) 14:04, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
I hope you realize what a can of worms you're opening up with that standard. Also, I've explained why I don't think it's independent (not independant, which isn't a word) above, and in other linked discussions to this. To review, even though the connection to the LDS Church is not direct, the policies of the paper to promote a Mormon view of things are problematic (See also alanyst's comments below). pbp 14:59, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Deseret News is both a reliable source and a suitable source for evidencing notability of LDS subjects (or any other). - MrX 13:11, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
@MrX: Why? It's controlled by the LDS Church. pbp 13:27, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
No, it's controlled by the these people. It's owned by a company which is owned by a company owned by the LDS church. According to WP:GNG "If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to be suitable for a stand-alone article or list." Unless the subject of an article is the Deseret News, Deseret News Publishing Company, Deseret Management Corporation or the LDS church, the Deseret News is suitable for contributing to establishing notability according to the guideline.- MrX 14:03, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
I hope you realize what a can of worms you're opening up with that standard. You haven't even excluded people who work for Deseret News or for the LDS Church under your standard. Think about what would happen if that were applied to corporations or to musical groups. pbp 14:59, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Being personally familiar with the source in question, I can say that some things reported on exclusively by the Deseret News are notable for inclusion in Wikipedia, and some are not. The DN primarily serves two overlapping audiences: residents of the U.S. Intermountain West region, and members of the LDS church and culture. It may cover events and subjects important to the region or to Mormonism that should be included in Wikipedia; but it may also cover subjects of marginal notability simply because some connection to LDS belief or culture or local interest makes it more attractive to their readership, and we wouldn't want those to appear in Wikipedia simply by virtue of being reported on by the DN. So both sides of this argument are making valid points; the problem IMO is in trying to be too prescriptive. Rather than say that being mentioned in the DN should automatically qualify it for notability, or that it should be entirely ignored when considering notability, take it on a case-by-case basis or with more tailored guidelines (such as whether all LDS temples or general authorities are inherently notable) similar to other topic-specific guidelines such as the notability of high schools, etc. alanyst 14:38, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, User:alanyst, I think you're right about not trying to judge everything on a single guideline. My feeling is that LDS Temples are inherently notable (all 166 currently have articles) while mid-level general authorities are not necessarily. ~Awilley (talk) 15:21, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Deseret News is both a reliable source and a suitable source for evidencing notability of LDS subjects, in particular LDS personnel. It would not be a good source for articles on the excellence of the Deseret news or articles on, say, Islam. Oculi (talk) 01:42, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
@Oculi: Reliable ≠ independent. DN would be an independent source on Islam. pbp 01:46, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes; I have made no claim to the contrary. Oculi (talk) 01:59, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Youtube video used as a source in the lead section of the Blockchain (database) article.[edit]

Hi, this source, actually a Youtube video recording a spoken presentation, is used as the source in the Blockchain (database) article to confirm the definition/explanation of the blockchain notion, more specifically, to confirm this content:

It [the blockchain] consists of data structure blocks that may contain data or programs—with each block holding batches of individual transactions and the results of any blockchain executables.

  • According to the related Youtube information, this is a record of a speech presented by Joseph Lubin, and I do not have any information about his reliability and reputation as an author.
  • According to the same information, the video was published by a "DEVCON1" publisher, and I am having doubts about the reputation of the publisher, since it is, probably, the first occassion when this publisher disseminated something.
  • In the presentation, there is a substantial part advertising the activities of a ConsenSys organization, and the author is presented as an employee of ConsenSys. That is why I doubt the presentation is neutral.
  • Finally, the structure of the blockchain is not discussed thoroughly enough for me to be able to agree that the presentation confirms the given content. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 23:49, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
"YouTube videos" are not inherently reliable or unreliable as sources, any more than "books" or "TV programmes". It depends on (1) what the video is and (2) what the claim for which it is being cited is. YouTube's original business model, and their name, have no sway on whether this or that video that is linked to is an objectively reliable source, because in practice most of the time a YouTube video is cited by an experienced Wikipedian and someone else says that "YouTube is not a reliable source" and the discussion winds up here, the source itself (a video lecture, more often than not) is not self-published or dubious at all.
Typically, recordings of spoken lectures by reputable authorities are reliable sources in general, with the only potential issues being copyright (as sometimes videos that were ripped from DVDs or the like are uploaded to YouTube without permission) and whether the presentation was actually delivered by a reputable authority. The former is probably not a concern, as the YouTube channel appears to be the official Ethereum account and the presentation appears to have been given at an Ethereum conference.
The latter is muddier, though: I have no subject knowledge in this area, so I cannot tell you whether Lubin is a reputable expert in the field, or whether Ethereum having invited him to give a presentation gives him any authority as a source of information on Blockchain. Your suspicion about 'a "DEVCON1" publisher' seems a bit like an overreaction -- did you watch the video? "devcon one" is obviously just the first Ethereum Developer Conference: whether "a DEVCON1 publisher" is reliable depends 100% on whether Ethereum is reliable.
The fact that the speaker spent some time shilling for his company is irrelevant: the vast majority of the YouTube-viewable public lectures by Bart Ehrman were delivered to commemorate the publication of Ehrman's latest book, their content is derived from Ehrman's books, and Ehrman frequently tells listeners that if they want a fuller picture they should buy his book -- this does not mean Ehrman is not a reliable source.
I would say you should explain why you think the claim in question is dubious -- do you have a (possibly) better source that appears to contradict it, or does your own intuition tell you that the claim is questionable based loosely on some other source? If all you want to do is replace the current source with a different one, without altering the content of our article, then that is what you should do, and then we can have a discussion of which source is better.
Hijiri 88 (やや) 01:32, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
  • "Typically, recordings of spoken lectures by reputable authorities are reliable sources" - and where exactly is a proof that Mr. Lubin is a reliable authority?
  • "did you watch the video?" - yes I did, and found out that the main content of the lecture is advertisement of ConsenSys activities. As mentioned above, I did not find much (reliable or not) information on the structure of the blockchain, which is what the lecture is supposed to confirm.
  • "do you have a (possibly) better source that appears to contradict it" - I think that the claim is WP:OR, and that it is, most likely, contradicted even by the video in question, although I am unable to tell for sure. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 07:16, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
  • and where exactly is a proof that Mr. Lubin is a reliable authority? Woah. Holy hostility, Batman! You have the editorial authority to question the reliability of the source, and if you have another source that appears to contradict the claims, or indicate that the claim somehow constitutes an advertisement for the company that employs the author of the source, then you can remove it, and the burden to convince the community is on anyone who wants to re-add it. I was merely addressing your apparent assumption that a "YouTube video" is an inherently unreliable source. I have seen material cited to Yale and University of North Carolina professors, as well as generally reliable news agencies, removed because some ignorant Wikipedia editors believed that "YouTube videos are not reliable sources". Anyway, per OID's comment below the burden is now on you to find another source that contradicts Lubin for basic factual information.
  • I did not find much (reliable or not) information on the structure of the blockchain, which is what the lecture is supposed to confirm I have not watched the presentation from start to finish, and I don't intend to, so I cannot verify or falsify your claim, but if you believe the source does not verify the claim being made in the article, then you can tag it or just remove it, but you'd need to be careful that you have fully checked the entire presentation to make sure that it doesn't verify the content.
  • I think that the claim is WP:OR, and that it is, most likely, contradicted even by the video in question, although I am unable to tell for sure So ... you want the rest of us to watch the video to tell you whether the material in the article is verified by the content of the video? That's not what RSN is for, and that was not hinted at in your initial post. You should first try to verify or falsify the content yourself, and if you are still unsure take it to WP:NORN.
Hijiri 88 (やや) 12:16, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

That would be this Joseph Lubin who probably does know what he is talking about regarding blockchains. I would not have an issue with him for basic factual information regarding blockchains, but obviously anything that may be disputed should not be sourced to him, due to his commercial involvement. He is not an independant academic, he has a vested interest in blockchains. Only in death does duty end (talk) 07:45, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

My main problem with the video is that it presents commercial activities, not the structure of blockchains. That is why I think that it should not be used as a source in this specific case. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 12:35, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Thats not really a concern unless the commercial aspects impact or could lead to doubt on the reliability of the information provided. Example, you would not generally query the reliability of the chairman of a commercial bank for explaining how bank accounts work, but you would look a lot more closely at claims he made regarding the suitability/performance of them. Only in death does duty end (talk) 12:53, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @Ladislav Mecir: I thought your main problem with it was that it didn't verify the claims attributed to it in the article - did you change your mind again? If you think that a source that "presents commercial activities" should "not be used as a source at all", then you should probably re-familiarize yourself with WP:CONTEXTMATTERS: we should not function as an advertising mouthpiece for Mr. Lubin, but citing a lecture that he intended to serve a partly, or even mainly, commercial purpose for an innocuous factual statement is in theory perfectly acceptable.
The problem here is that you are being very slippery with what your actual problem is. Did you watch the video and see nothing that verified the material attributed to it in the article? Then per WP:V the commercial nature of the source is completely irrelevant. Or did you watch the video, find that it does verify the material, but your intuition tells you that the material is still wrong and the source is misleading for commercial purposes? If this is the case, then the burden is on you to find another source that contradicts the material in the article. Either way, the commercial nature of the rest of the source apart from the bit relevant to what is in the Wikipedia article is not something that can be discussed on RSN.
Hijiri 88 (やや) 12:56, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
@Only in death: Yeah, what you said. Hijiri 88 (やや) 12:56, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Regarding the original statement (which I dont think is in the article currently) it looks to be a description of what people who are implementing 'blockchain 2.0' are doing. See Ethereum. IMO its an accurate description but there should be better sources out there. Last time I was looking at Ethereum however, a lot of the material was either commcercial or presentation based for factual stuff, with brief glossed-over references (absent useful detail) in reliable sources. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:01, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Hijiri88 wrote: "...the commercial nature of the rest of the source apart from the bit relevant to what is in the Wikipedia article is not something that can be discussed on RSN" - I did see the commercial presentation, but I, actually, did not see the bit you mention, relevant to the above article content, just a part that actually contradicts it. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 13:35, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
@Ladislav Mecir: Kindly drop the hostility. I did not "mention" any "bit". I said that you were giving contradictory statements regarding your view of the matter, either that you thought the video did verify the content but was an untrustworthy source and the content didn't sit well with you or that you thought the video didn't verify the content, and that in the former case the only way the commercial nature of the video would be relevant would be if you could locate a better source that contradicted the content in the article. However, now you are presenting a third possibility, that the video contradicts the article content. If you are right, then the material should not be in the article, as the source says something else and not what is being attributed to it. Can you tell me where in the video (preferably minute:second format) is the point that actually contradicts the article content? Hijiri 88 (やや) 13:54, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
"Kindly drop the hostility." - why do you think that the sentence "I did not see the bit you mention" is hostile? You mentioned "the bit relevant to what is in the Wikipedia article" (citing your own words) and I was uncertain where it was. I find it possible that I overlooked something in the sea of commercial announcements, and I hoped that you may help me with that by telling me where in the video it is. As to the part that actually contradicts the article content - I would not use the video to confirm an opposite claim than present in the Blockchain (database) either, since, as far as I observe, it is not intended to communicate informations on blockchain structure. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 04:16, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but if you are not willing to cite a source that contradicts the article content, then it is really unclear what you want from us. this noticeboard is not designed to slam this or that source because it is "commercial" or "a YouTube video". Allwe can do is say whether a source is adequate for a particular statement in this or that Wikipedia article, and the reason you say you are suspicious is that the source appears to contradict the claim attributed to it, but you don't seem to be willing to tellus where in the source is this bit that contradicts the claim attributed to it. Hijiri 88 (やや) 07:26, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
"you don't seem to be willing to tellus where in the source is this bit that contradicts the claim attributed to it" - I do not think it is needed at all. I think that it suffices to determine whether the video is appropriate to confirm the claim attributed to it or not. I did watch the video, and my opinion is that it is not appropriate for the purpose. Do you express an opposite opinion, and based on what reason? Ladislav Mecir (talk) 17:34, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
It is needed, for any source. If your opinion is that it is not appropriate, you need to say what exactly makes you feel it is not appropriate. As Hijari and I have pointed out, merely being a youtube video does not make it unreliable for some claims. If you think the info sourced to the video has been misrepresented or is incorrect (Video says A when actually the video says B), you need to say where. 'The video is wrong' is not a strong argument. As far as I can see the actual statement at issue is not contentious in any manner. Only in death does duty end (talk) 12:57, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hi, I'm N2e, the editor who has originally added that YouTube source of the conference talk recording to the article you three have been discussing over the past week. I did not know this discussion was going on.

Thanks to Hijiri 88 and Only in death does duty end for clarifying the circumstances under which a YouTube source might be perfectly fine. Those comport with my understanding; an understanding I had previously communicated to Ladislav on that Talk page.

Several days ago, I had said to Ladislav on that Talk page that I would get find a more specific source within two days. I did, when about 24 hours ago I added a time stamp to the specific part of the video that supports the challenged statement. That is here: Talk:Blockchain_(database)#Article_lede:_question_of_sourcing Some questions on Ladislav's part remained, and I answered those in the past hour, in that same section. That discussion is moving along rather cordially.

Unfortunately, in another section on that Talk page, Ladislav moved to personal attack on me this morning (I know, not a subject for this noticeboard). But it does leave me wondering, as you two above, whether something else is going on here. Cheers. N2e (talk) 12:20, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

@N2e: I have not looked at the talk page (the subject doesn't frankly interest me all that much), but given Ladislav's rather slippery way of acting in my above discussion with them, I can certainly imagine that your description of the situation is accurate. All of this is well outside the scope of RSN. All I can say is that if the situation persists you should seek dispute resolution. Persistent problems with user behaviour, which this appears to be, generally are referred to WP:ANI, not this noticeboard or NORN. Hijiri 88 (やや) 14:33, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Modern Firearms[edit]

Modern Firearms is a blog written by Maxim Popenker, author of several books about firearms. According to @Mike Searson:, it is not reliable. Here and here. It is used in lot of articles about guns. Here is the statement, from SIG MCX.

According to Maxim Popenker of Modern Firearms, it uses the same overall layout as those rifles.[1]


So, what do we do? Felsic2 (talk) 22:20, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

The site is a self-published and sole-authored blog derived from open source material with little to no oversight. He has gotten things wrong more than once, and it may be a language issue, but I do not consider it as a reliable source. If his books are so great, use those as sources; at least there is a coauthor and editorial oversight there. The point is that there are copious sources that state the same thing he states (because like a wiki, he got it from somewhere else), use one of them. Newsweek, Time and US News & World Report all said the same thing.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 22:29, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
This is cut and dried If other sources say the same thing we don't need it if other sources say something different creditability comes in via WP:sources and WP:rs If every source says the same thing it may not need a citation. J8079s (talk) 05:25, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. I'm trying to prune these out as I find them.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 07:35, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Mike, I'm confused becasue you've said that the Modern Firearms source is wrong, but you're also saying that it the same claim is made in several other sources. Can you cite these other sources you're talking about? Felsic2 (talk) 15:03, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @Felsic2: @Mike Searson: Is he a reputable expert in the field? Having books published in the field is not necessarily an indicator that he is a reputable authority. Conversely, if he is a reputable authority, then the blog having no editorial oversight does not necessarily mean it is not reliable: Bart Ehrman's blog is a reliable source and the reason he self-publishes online is so he can donate the proceeds to charity without having to cover high production costs. Of course, a blog is almost never the best source, unless for whatever reason you want to attribute a claim to Popenker himself, so I am basically in agreement with J8079s. If it says the same thing as better sources, then maybe cite it along with them if the blog is more accessible, or add the URL in a WP:COMMENT so other editors can check it, presumably more conveniently than a print source. Hijiri 88 (やや) 07:36, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Apparently he (Maxim) is a published author on the topic of a book by The Crowood Press UK for what it's worth. Also apparently an officer in the russian military.TeeTylerToe (talk) 08:38, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
And published sources are better due to editorial oversight and the fact that he works with a co-author. Service as a military officer does not automatically translate into weapon's knowledge. He could supervise the motor pool for all you know.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 18:02, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
@Hijiri88: - I have no opinion on whether this source is reliable or not. Felsic2 (talk) 15:03, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
For what it's worth, after reading the first two comments, I would have said almost exactly the same thing as Hijiri88. (I probably would have even used the same example. ;) ) Nothing said since then really changes that. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 15:54, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
FWIW. There is a hierarchy for reliable sources. The top might be an article published in an unimpeachable peer-reviewed academic journal published in the last edition. One rung down might be the same, except from the edition before that. At the bottom might be no source whatsoever. In the middle is wibbley wobbley. Having unimpeachable RS is always the goal, but some featured, article of the day good articles simply have to mostly rely on blog sources. And while in the past this may not have been true, we may be looking at a reality where content published on paper may become less carefully vetted and edited than online content as things like newspapers shift their focus from print journalism to focus more on online journalism than print journalism, and as more people self-publish, and as book publisher vetting slips.TeeTylerToe (talk) 19:33, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
In the middle is wibbley wobbley. It may also be timey wimey... Stuff. Just saying. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:47, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
TTT, I do agree with you in principle, but Wiki seriously needs to play catch-up on that. Although having gone through FAC about 10 times, I doubt this source would pass muster.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 19:58, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't either. Well, I do have fond memories of my father letting me stay up late to watch the 60s-70s version with him, though no real desire to re-watch them. But it's just so damn popular these days, I figured I'd get a hit. Oh well. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 16:58, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Don't blink. Dr Who is a work of towering importance if only for its theme tune, written by Ron Grainer but realised using entirely analogue pre-synthesiser technology by the legendary Delia Derbyshire. Guy (Help!) 20:13, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
A theme tune which I have personally remixed at least a half dozen times, listen to regularly and stands as the one aspect of that show I will never get sick of. Truly, a modern masterpiece. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 20:39, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Because the poster has no opinion on the source they should assume good faith now and where ever it appears. This is not the place for such a question. please see also Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources Thank you J8079s (talk) 20:25, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

While I had no opinion, another user did and I asked for input. I haven't failed to assume good faith just because I wanted to get wider input before declaring as unreliable a widely used source. Frankly, I'm confused as to the outcome here. Felsic2 (talk) 02:23, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

Excluding reliable sources: WP:BLP or WP:CRYBLP?[edit]

The following RfC is either an example of excluding reliable sources based on WP:BLP or excluding reliable sources based on WP:CRYBLP, depending on which side you are on:

Talk:Murder of Seth Rich#Should the WikiLeaks reward be mentioned in the article?

We could use some more eyes who are familiar with what our BLP policy actually says about excluding reliable sources. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:47, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

User:Guy Macon what a non-neutral post! The BLP question is whether content that is well sourced should be included or not, mostly based on WP:AVOIDVICTIM. For pete's sake. Jytdog (talk) 07:21, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
The notion that merely mentioning a reward for a murder -- a reward that has significant coverage in the press -- has anything at all to do with AVOIDVICTIM is contentious. I am not going to argue my side of the content dispute here. Rather, I am asking that those who have familiarity with where BLP applies and doesn't apply look at the issue. --Guy Macon (talk) 10:52, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Donald Trump's false campaign statements[edit]

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. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:47, 25 August 2016 (UTC)[edit] - Magic the Gathering news website--Prisencolin (talk) 03:19, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

I think it's fine as a source within the sphere of Magic: The Gathering and/or related games. It is also the page of a business which sells cards, though, so when it's used, the potential for a conflict of interest in its writing should be considered. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 03:24, 26 August 2016 (UTC)


Dear editors: I came across this article, Dane Elkins which has a lot of sources, but it seems to me that many of them are not independent, published information. Two of the sources are Livestream videos. I know that generally YouTube videos are not considered reliable sources, particularly to demonstrate notability, because anyone can post there; is Livestream a similar situation? Or is it used by professional broadcasters? Should those references be removed from the article? I don't know anything about racquetball, and there is no WikiProject about it; I'll leave it to someone else to decide if winning a lot of junior tournaments makes this person a notable player.—Anne Delong (talk) 14:17, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Its a similar situation to youtube - useable as a primary source for the subject where its the subjects livestream, but some secondary organisations also have livestream channels. So it would depend on what is being broadcast and who is doing it. A livestream video from a USA racquetball organisation would probably be useable to show someone competed at a certain event, where they placed etc, but you couldnt use it to demonstrate notability. If the livestream was hosted by a third-party news organisation.... it depends on who published it and exactly what it is supporting. Only in death does duty end (talk) 14:20, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Are readers' comments to an online article acceptable to quote in the lead?[edit]

There has been a bit of a dispute at International Music Score Library Project. The website introduced a controversial paywall that was mentioned in the lead of the article. To balance this out, a user wants an addition to the end of the sentence:

According to Norman Lebrecht, the change was met with a "rising surge of anger amongst composers and musicians", whereas comments to Lebrecht's article were mostly in favor of the change.

For those who do not know, Lebrecht is a famous music commentator and critic who runs a classical music news website having previously written for British newspapers. Is it acceptable to cite the opinions of readers to balance out the criticism? It feels wrong to me. Please do come over to the page: it is not a heavily-edited page and the other user seems to be avoiding discussion as long as the article is as he wants it. (talk) 19:21, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

This is a tricky one. Normally, I would say "readers comments" are not acceptable. However, it might be argued that Lebrecht is an expert, and we accept monologues and even blogs by those considered to be experts in their field. DrChrissy (talk) 19:34, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Sorry: let me clarify. I agree a reference to Lebrecht's article should be included: he is an expert who has given a relevant description of the paywall and reactions of musicians and composers to it. My concern is that the other user wants to lessen this criticism by saying that the comments made to the article (by readers of Lebrecht's article) were more favourable. I am not sure this is okay. (talk) 19:39, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
In other words, the other user wants to include the bit in bold above. I do not agree: I do not think we can use this to respond to the main article. (talk) 19:40, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
The comments are user generated content, so no they shouldn't be included. If however Lebrecht summarised the comments in his article as being mostly in favor of the change then I think that would be fine. — Strongjam (talk) 19:46, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
e/c Oh I see. IMHO the bit in bold can not be included because it is not verifiable. The source appears to be an article by Lebrecht himself. There needs to be another independent source saying his comments "were mostly in favour" - otherwise, I suggest this is original research. DrChrissy (talk) 19:48, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, Strongjam. DrChrissy: let me clarify again, sorry. The quotation is directly from Lebrecht's article: the article was describing the opposition to the paywall. The bit in bold at the end is the other Wikipedian's interpretation of the user-generated replies to Lebrecht's article. He seems to want to include it so as to deflect the criticism.
Would one of you be happy to remove the bit in bold and place a note on the talk page? The other user just keeps reverting. When he did eventually come to the talk page, he reverted the page again before getting a reply. We could do with a proper third-party judgement. (talk) 19:55, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
  • This is a no-brainer. We have absolutely no way of authenticating those reader comments, they have no peer-review and are just opinions by J. Random Reader. No, we absolutely do not include them. Lebrecht is a quotable commentator, probably my favourite writer on classical music today, but he is very opinionated so we have to be sure not give even his comments too much prominence unless it's assessed to be significant by reliable independet sources. Guy (Help!) 20:10, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
The phrase has been deleted with a suitable edit summary left. I'm now watching the page so can respond at the talk page if necessary. DrChrissy (talk) 20:15, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Per Guy's comment, I'm moving the sentence from the lead to the meat of the article as there is no evidence it has been assessed to be significant by reliable independent sources. Will not change the sentence itself. 2600:387:5:807:0:0:0:C1 (talk) 20:54, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Harry Watson, Jr.[edit]

An editor JLOPO is reverting the date of death of comic/actor Harry Watson, Jr. to October 1, 1965(without sources) when an official source, Silent Film Necrology, points to his death as being September 23, 1930. Between the two of us we keep reverting back and forth. If JLOPO is correct he needs to source Watson Jr.'s death from 1965. The editor says he knew the actor and can get a pic of his grave. That means nothing without newspaper, obit, trade-journal etc. proof. Harry Watson is a common name and I think the editor is confusing two people. Furthermore actor/comic Watson Jr.'s work history ends in 1930 just when official sources state he died. A second-rate comic going into 1930s Depression America would certainly need to keep working. If the editor can provide proof that contradict said source, then that would be fine and I would concur. But saying he knew somebody with a common name isn't proof or substantial at all and contradicts a given credible source. Thanks.

My most recent version of the article(sourced) which JLOPO keeps reverting:,_Jr.&oldid=736356715

JLOPO current version:,_Jr.&oldid=736435486

Thanks Koplimek (talk) 14:37, 27 August 2016 (UTC)


This actor is my uncle. I created the article under the account "Lobby" (I have since lost the password). Koplimek's ultracrepidarian behavior must end. Koplimek's sources say he was born in Philadelphia which is not accurate. No doubt there is another actor named Harry Watson Jr, another Wikipedia page should be created for him. Koplimek's is using the IMDB and google books. If you actually look at those sources you will see that they do not correspond with the works of Harry Watson Jr. except for a few minor occurrences (which may be an error by the IMDB). Harry Watson Jr. is a common name, so common there may even be two actors.

I have attached an article showing Harry Watson Jr. grave file. Perhaps we should be looking for new information to support the theory of two actors instead of adding inaccurate information. Harry Watson Jr. was an actor in Musty Suffer. However he was not an actor in many of the other films. I am proposing that the sources added for Harry Watson Jr. are actually for another actor. Go look at the films that he allegedly made, you will find that he does not look like the Musty Suffer actor at all.

Thanks JLOPO (talk) 14:58, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Just provide a source for his date of death. You can't. Koplimek (talk) 16:28, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

You sources are just as equally unreliable. Instead of attacking me why don't you examine the facts. JLOPO (talk) 16:34, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Since when am I attacking you. I asked you to provide a source for his date of death. you haven't.Koplimek (talk) 16:41, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Your past history of editing this article. As I said your sources are just as equally unreliable. JLOPO (talk) 16:45, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Serious problem of WP:COI users editing articles about religion statistics[edit]

(non-admin closure) Wrong venue. For when two users have a problem with each other's edits to a particular topic area, we have a disputeresolution process. This noticeboard is for establishing whether a particular source is adequate for a particular statement in a particular article. I suggest bringing this to WT:CHRISTIANITY or WT:RELIGION. But just for the record, it is not normally considered COI to edit articles loosely related to one's own religious affiliation, so WP:COIN is probably a bad idea. Hijiri 88 (やや) 07:51, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Articles such as:

Are in a horrible state. First of all I put a question mark on the utility of such articles. They should be merged into "major religious groups". They seem to be primarily meant as platforms of propaganda by certain religious ideologies. They are mostly contructed through unreliable and biased sources, such as tabloid articles and Christian literature, and I make reference especially to the sections about Christianity recently reviewed by user Jobas.

I think that the time has come to purify these articles or purify Wikipedia from these articles.-- (talk) 16:01, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Moreover, inspecting some of the reliable sources used (I mean the non-biased academic ones), I have found that they do not contain what is reported in the article!
Update: I hope Jobas won't revert again the tags pointing to unreliablity, COI and bias that I have added to the articles.-- (talk) 16:09, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Update: I have also discovered that user Jobas was already blocked back in 2007 for adding false information:
17:38, 6 July 2007 Georgewilliamherbert (talk | contribs) blocked Jobas (talk | contribs) with an expiration time of 72 hours (account creation blocked) (Inserting false information: also sock User: (talk) 16:14, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Most of the sources of these articles are from Pew Research Center, several national Census, Eurobarometer, The Guardian, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, BBC News, Encyclopædia Britannica, UNHCR, World Christian Encyclopedia, Arena - Atlas of Religions and Nationalities in Russia, reuters, Without addressing the references from books etec. The last time i checked these references they were not from "Christian literature" or been called as part of the "Christian propaganda". And I'm not the only - as you try to show- one who revert your edit, User:Bbb23 edit your edit in the article Growth of religion and left attention in your talk page, Oh it is totally irrelevant to bring up blocking me from 2007 (9 years ago!).
The artilce Christianity by country for exmaple is quite exist as Islam by country and Buddhism by country, I don't see you go there asking to "delet it".--Jobas (talk) 17:47, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
First of all. You declare to be an Arab Christian and on your personal pages you make your faith / religious ideology very evident, with Christian phrases and imagery. You have been engaged for a long time in pushing your views about the demographics of Christians, most of the time using unreliable sources and ignoring good sources. Given this, you have a huge WP:COI in writing those articles.
Regarding the list of source agencies you have provided: The Guardian; the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Values; BBC News; UNHCR; World Christian Encyclopedia; & Reuters are not good sources and should not be used in Wikipedia. They are journalism and tabloids with a certain political bias, and besides this "journalism" is not (or no longer) academic: they make the readers believe what they want, they don't base their claims on academic sources and don't need to do so, and many of their articles are fabricated lies. The World Christian Encyclopedia is a biased source by the same name it uses. All the other sources you have listed are worthy to be used.-- (talk) 15:46, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
I ask intervention of administrators, since I am unable to open a request on administrators' noticeboard. This problem of source quality has to be resolved.-- (talk) 15:56, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Wow really? So for you being Christian mean i can't edit in articles related with Christianity and Christians?. Is this also applies to the Muslim editors of Islam-related articles? Or atheist Editors who edits in atheism related articles?
The source that you mention before are widely used in the wikipeida, Most of Statistics in the articles are from Pew study and several national Census, and from Eurobarometer, Many of the previous sources that you described as "not good" are in fact - if you even tried to read it - Review statistics from the Pew study and several national Census, and by the way World Christian Encyclopedia is a reference work published by Oxford University Press, And its widely used in dozens of articles here - and two of these articles are use this source only in two sentences-.--Jobas (talk) 17:32, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
I have not said that you can't write because you're a Christian, I have said that you have demonstrated to have a conflict of interest in the way you edit and in the unfair use you make of sources. It is not true that the agencies that I have mentioned as not good and not reliable base their claims on national censuses, eurobarometer, and pew study. Most of them are tabloid articles.-- (talk) 23:12, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
I am still waiting for the intervention of a third party, possibly an administrator, to solve this issue and purify those articles.-- (talk) 23:14, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


I think this might be a first. Guy (Help!) 22:08, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Indeed. "A spokesperson for the FTC confirmed to us that this is a precedent-setting case: 'This is our first case against an academic journal publisher.'" Quite remarkable. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 01:21, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Does this make the works published by journals under OMICS unreliable? As I read it this is more an issue about "pay to publish" and lack of disclosure (hence why the FTC is involved), but this doesn't seem to necessarily subvert the peer-review process that the editors of these journals used. --MASEM (t) 02:16, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
My impression from other discussions is that OMICS is typically considered an unreliable source for being a predatory publisher. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 09:42, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
The FTC complaint goes into great detail about the problems with peer review in OMICS journals. For our purposes, the lack of effective peer review means that articles in OMICS journals (or predatory publishers in general) are essentially self-published sources. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 14:35, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

Is PolitiFact a reliable source for fact checking?[edit]

1. Is PolitiFact [4] 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: [5]

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: [6] [7]

(Added clarification in green 22:20, 28 August 2016 (UTC))

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

  • 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 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)

*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)

Source being used in the S-400 article[edit]

I need an opinion on a Russian-language source which is proposed for deployment. I reverted it [[10]] but this is purely provisional based on community consensus. The I.P. is in communication via my talk page and has left me the source link, [here]. Comments appreciated. Simon. Irondome (talk) 18:35, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
RIA Novosti is a large news agency, generally acceptable as a source for Russian topics. The one you reverted,,[11] sounds a bit propagandish but does quote military personnel extensively, so I think it has some credibility, provided it is attributed properly (just like we would take with a grain of salt claims of strike capability from any military in the world). — JFG talk 17:18, 29 August 2016 (UTC), CNN, and selfie-related death.[edit]

Source: CNN[1] "What they found was sobering: Since 2014, 49 people had been reported dead as a result of some sort of accident involving a selfie."

The 'they' in that quote is Priceonomics[2], CNN's source: Underneath multiple graphs laid over photos of people using selfie sticks reads "Zachary Crockett; Data via Google News Archives, Wikipedia"

Priceonomics' source: An earlier version of List of selfie-related injuries and deaths

Article: The current version of List of selfie-related injuries and deaths


First sentence, cites CNN "This is a list of serious injuries and deaths in which the victim or a member of their group (for group selfies) took a selfie, or was preparing to do so, and any death(s) or injury(s) sustained were at least in part attributed to this activity causing distraction." The second sentence cites an article in the Telegraph which links directly back to the wikipedia list, and makes claims which are debunked in the CNN article. The ledes third section focuses on India. "As of February 2016, Priceonomics had recorded more selfie-related deaths in India than any other country. The data service provider said data gathered from Google News Archive and Wikipedia showed 19 people were killed since 2014 in India while taking selfies, accounting for 40% of all selfie-related deaths."

The last quote selected cites the CNN article and an article from AP. Both explicitly lay the data at Priceonomics, whose 'experts' used Google and the Wikipedia list. My question is not about circular sourcing. I have brought it up and had no support, and I have tried to make it explicit in the lead without damaging the lead.

My question is about Priceonomics. Priceonomics is a privately owned content marketing company which sells training bootcamps, marketing campaigns where it edits company data to increase web presence, and two books titled 'Everything is Bullshit: The greatest scams on earth revealed' and 'Hipster Business Models: How to make a living in the modern world'. It gives away software called Priceonomics Content Tracker (I assume the idea is you'll want them to show you how to really use it), and it runs a blog as its sole form of self-promotion. The idea is to show how viral they can consistently be. And it works. Every major news source uses them (except, perhaps, BBC). I've found them in law journals and pre-med reading lists. They have been very explicit about what they are, what they sell, and what the blog is (they don't have a Wikipedia page so I drafted one it's waiting approval, but more info can be found in its references Draft:Priceonomics). My question is, does Wikipedia consider company advertisements via blogging a reliable source for this lede? ~ Fiachaire (talk) 10:52, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

I believe this was answered here. Samsara 12:36, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
You mean this answer? "Methinks the lady doth protest too much. I can't wait to hear why TIme, CBS News and the Guardian aren't reliable sources either.Pschemp (talk) 14:16, 16 June 2016 (UTC)" Priceonomics is reliable because x,y, and z are reliable? ~ Fiachaire (talk) 12:46, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
No, I mean the diff that the link points to. Try clicking it again. The text is highlighted. Samsara 12:50, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't see the relevance here. Also, as the lede stands now that distinction would only apply to one citation: "More people have died by taking selfies this year than by shark attacks". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 September 2015. And that citation is addressed above. ~ Fiachaire (talk) 13:19, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
  1. ^ "How selfie-related deaths happen". CNN. 
  2. ^ "The Tragic Data Behind Selfie Fatalaties". Priceonomics. 

The Score esports[edit]

This site has surfaced as a source in Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/CJ Entus. My position is that it's unambiguously user-generated content (see the terms of use, point #5), but I've been advised that there's "no chance of consensus" about its reliability. Let's see!—S Marshall T/C 11:08, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

This was discussed at WP:VGRS and Talk:League of Legends Pro League.--Prisencolin (talk) 19:51, 29 August 2016 (UTC)