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.
Before posting, please be sure to include the following information, if available:
  • Source. The book or web page being used as the source. For a book, include the author, title, publisher, page number, etc. For an online source, please include links. For example: [].
  • Article. The Wikipedia article(s) in which the source is being used. For example: [[Article name]].
  • Content. The exact statement(s) in the article that the source supports. Please supply a diff, or put the content inside block quotes. For example: <blockquote>text</blockquote>. Many sources are reliable for statement "X," but unreliable for statement "Y".
While we attempt to offer a second opinion, and the consensus of several editors can generally be relied upon, answers are not official policy.
Please focus your attention on the reliability of a source. This is not the place to discuss other issues, such as editor conduct. Please see dispute resolution for issues other than reliability.
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Kissan support services Private Limited (KSSL)[edit]

Kissan Support Services is Private Limited Company, established in 2006 as a subsidiary of Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), Located in Islamabad Capital of Pakistan. The purpose for establishing this subsidiary was to outsource ZTBL’s non core activities which include:  Sports  Security Services  Provision of man power (Clerical & Non-Clerical Staff)  Janitorial Services &  Canteen Maintenance

The Company Provides Services to Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Content sourced from lawsuit brief[edit]

The following content was added to the Monsanto legal cases and to the Glyphosate article:

In April 2015, a lawsuit was filed against Monsanto alleging false advertising for the claim they made that Roundup herbicide (containing glyphosate as the active ingredient) acts on an enzyme that is not found in people.[1] The plaintiff claims that because the EPSP synthase enzyme is found in microbes of the human gut microbiome, it is therefore found in people. The outcome of the case is pending.


  • Is the source reliable for the content?
  • More broadly - should we ever source content from briefs filed in lawsuits (as opposed to decisions from lawsuits). The question is about briefs. i searched the RSN archives and there have been discussions about affidavits and decisions, but not about briefs per se.
  • There are clear questions about WP:UNDUE that folks can comment on, if they want but this is not the board for that, of course. Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 14:23, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Clarification: So as not to waste any uninvolved editor's time, and since this is a discussion, my underlying question at the relevant Talk page, which is the reason stated by Jytdog for creating this somewhat misrepresentative noticeboard posting is, Can the source as cited be used to verify the fact that a lawsuit was filed. IOW, if the legally recognized existence, at any stage, of a particular lawsuit is deemed noteworthy for inclusion in article content, is the above sourcing sufficient to establish verifiability at content level (per WP:SELFSOURCE). My question has nothing to do with then extracting content from the brief, simply of establishing, "On this day, X was filed." --Tsavage (talk) 15:33, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

not a "clarification". the question as stated is neutral and and accurate. and please note that the actual content goes beyond simply reporting that a lawsuit was filed and also describes the claims of the plaintiff. Allowing content based on sources like this would turn Wikipedia into a garbage dump. As i wrote on the glyphosate talk page, allowing content like this is an invitation to turn WP into advertising for litigants on all sides of all issues. Horrible. Jytdog (talk) 15:40, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I understand what you're saying, Jytdog, but i think the question here is whether this document from this source established the fact that this lawsuit was filed as described by my original edit to the articles in question. I think it is a separate question whether this warrants reporting in the article at all, and it may also be another good question as to whether its inclusion is or is not a WP:WEASEL way of getting a concept into the article that some think has no merit. I would just like to separate out all the questions clearly, and define what editorial decision is for reason A versus reason B versus reason C, and get it all on the table transparently. In this case, i think that Tsavage's comment is useful. SageRad (talk) 15:48, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
no i am specifically raising an issue about sourcing. Jytdog (talk) 15:57, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
@Jytdog: It pains me that I feel forced to contribute to clogging up a noticeboard by your (typical) hasty posting. That said, your statement from the Talk page is, "Tsavage, about your comment on the same content and sourcing at the Monsanto legal cases article, I have opened a thread at RSN here" - you are telling me that this RSN query is to address my question (which is as represented above in the clarification), while using the original example from way earlier in the discussion, one which I assume you hope is a slam dunk for disapproval. It's a kind of bait and switch, with the ultimate result no doubt of simply drawing things out forever - if you get support here for the wrong question, you'll still use that to argue against my point. It reminds me of the "doesn't matter if you're right or wrong, we have such deep pockets, we can litigate you to death" approach to dispute resolution - where do you get our energy for this sort of editing? --Tsavage (talk) 15:59, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
incoherent personal attack. whatever. Jytdog (talk) 16:00, 11 May 2015 (UTC)


  • specific content: not reliable - source is WP:PRIMARY, WP:SPS source with an obvious bias (briefs are written to make arguments, not to provide a neutral perspective) and an obvious financial interest in its bias. On the weight issue (not for this board, but it intersects) WP content should be sourced from independent, secondary sources for WP:NPOV broadly, and narrowly within NPOV, to determine appropriate WP:WEIGHT for content generated from it. Jytdog (talk) 14:32, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
  • generally - it is hard to imagine a case where sourcing content to a brief filed in a lawsuit would be a good idea. Generally unreliable. Jytdog (talk) 14:32, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I can certainly see cases where sourcing quoted statements describing the plaintiff's position could be made to the primary document (say, directly quoting something that was partially quoted in a secondary source), but here, where it's being used to support the claim that the defendant had made certain statements? Not reliable, not by a mile. --Nat Gertler (talk) 14:43, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
    • Just to make my general stance clearer: a brief is just as suitable - and no more suitable - as any self-published source. If the AMA files an amicus curiae brief on whether Disco Fever is a disease, then that makes just a good source for making a statement about AMA's stance on DF as if they'd put it on their own website. But we would not use it for boastful claims about themselves. In the case of an initial filing, claims about the merits of the case qualify as such. --Nat Gertler (talk) 15:30, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
  • This is an NPOV dispute. The source is reliable in that there is a lawsuit with those allegations. However, it's a primary source and as such cannot demonstrate that the content is worthy of note anywhere in this encyclopedia. To incorporate it in an article as sourced would violate WP:UNDUE and WP:SOAP. --Ronz (talk) 15:16, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
  • That sounds like an editorial decision that editors of a page would make, about whether inclusion of something that is not noted by a secondary source is worthy of inclusion. It is much more likely that something noted by a secondary source with an editorial board would have a stronger argument for inclusion, but i wish to make the point that primary sources are not disallowed. I read WP:UNDUE and see:

Giving due weight and avoiding giving undue weight mean that articles should not give minority views or aspects as much of or as detailed a description as more widely held views or widely supported aspects. Generally, the views of tiny minorities should not be included at all, except perhaps in a "see also" to an article about those specific views. For example, the article on the Earth does not directly mention modern support for the Flat Earth concept, the view of a distinct minority; to do so would give undue weight to it.

This makes sense to me, and i agree -- but this does not mean that the point supported by this primary source is *necessarily* the view of a tiny minority. If it is, then so be it, and call it what it is -- as in the example they give of the article about the Earth not including the view of the "Flat Earth Society".
As for WP:SOAP, i read there:

Advocacy, propaganda, or recruitment of any kind: commercial, political, scientific, religious, national, sports-related, or otherwise. An article can report objectively about such things, as long as an attempt is made to describe the topic from a neutral point of view. You might wish to start a blog or visit a forum if you want to convince people of the merits of your opinions.

I agree with this, as well, then the question would be, is inclusion of this piece of information really a soapbox / propaganda thing, or is it about completeness? I can see it both ways, and it would depend on your frame of reference, i am sure. A lot depends on frame of reference. NPOV on controversial issues seems to be a balancing of significant points of view described as such. I feel a certain point of view being pushed by others in the article in question, but i wish to assume good faith as much as i can. It goes both ways. Things are indeed relative. And majority does not decide correctness or rightness. SageRad (talk) 15:29, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
With that one source, we only know that it is a pov of the claimants and their lawyers. Such a tiny minority has no weight here. --Ronz (talk) 15:36, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
To clarify, i think there is a logic error in Ronz's comment above, in that this one source does not have to be the only source by which we can know how many people who think about glyphosate share the POV it represents versus those who think about glyphosate who do not. Or, more appropriately, the real editorial decision to be made would depend upon this question: Among those people who think about glyphosate, does a significant sub-population think that the fact of this lawsuit being filed is relevant enough to be included in an article on glyphosate? Their answer to that would probably incorporate and estimation as to whether they think the matter involved is important and is likely to be correct. In other words, among people who think about glyphosate seriously, how many of them think that the lawsuit reflects a "flat earther" POV versus an interesting and significant POV. SageRad (talk) 15:41, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I can think of no examples where it is great scholarship to add content based solely on a single brief where the litigation is not reported in any independent, secondary sources. That is horrible. You made it clear you did this because you are so focused on Wikipedia saying that "EPSP synthase enzyme is found in microbes of the human gut microbiome" - this is a perfect example of absolute bottom-scraping sourcing to push a POV. It is not what we are about here. I appreciate you stooping this low because it is giving the community a chance to weigh in on a broader sourcing issue. Jytdog (talk) 15:55, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Reliable but Undue on reading the first few pages of the filing, it is clear that the defendant's advertising claim is central to the plaintiff's claim (Page 3). The specific advertising is attached at Page 13 and labelled "Exhibit 1". The specific wording in our article - which is a list of lawsuits, after all - is supported. Even though it is a primary source, it describes the court case, not any wider or general situation. So long as our article wording does not change its own scope, I see no problem. As the case is ongoing, however, we might regard this mention as WP:UNDUE, unless there has been significant media coverage. If there are no secondary sources, then the case itself is not notable. A quick search and I can find only one (at I note that the link provided above goes to a page on the class action website, not to any repository of official legal documents. I think I'd want to see a bit more media coverage before including this. --Pete (talk) 15:57, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Pete and is a blacklisted source because it is essentially a for-profit wiki. if you read the examiner posting it is a press-release by the attorney. as of now there are no independent, reliable sources discussing this. No content in WP should be based on solely on a court brief. It is the definition of a WP:SPS and probably the clearest example of an SPS that exists to make money and push a biased perspective (that is what lawyers are paid to do - make an argument for their client and do whatever they can to demolish the other side). Sourcing content to a court brief alone is batshit crazy in my view. Jytdog (talk) 16:06, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree. It's a reliable source - if the case is notable. In which case there'd be good secondary sources, which would recapitulate the same information. The fact that the only mentions we can access lead back to the plaintiff leads me to conclude that this attempt to get a mention in Wikipedia is more of the same, and SageRad deserves some closer investigation. --Pete (talk) 16:14, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Don't worry the whole gang has been investigating the heck out of me and sending me notices of COI and other stuff... so since you make this implication of my motives, let me say that i found the lawsuit to be of interest, and i came across it in my inquiry into glyphosate, and then i saw the section on legal issues involving Monsanto, and i recalled this lawsuit and thought it relevant in a compendium of legal issues involving Monsanto, and i added it to the article. Is that bad? If you want to investigate me, go ahead. If you want to make a formal accusation of some kind, go ahead. I have differing perspectives than do some people who are doggedly watching several pages in that topical area, and who are doing things that seem shady to me. So i guess it's all relative. And it makes a lot of sense. So let's just be honest about what we're saying, right? You're saying it's worthy of investigation that i have a watchful eye toward Monsanto, i think. I say that an aware person *should* have a watchful eye toward Monsanto, given history, and that Wikipedia is a place where information about its wrongdoings should be available to the public and not edited away for unknown reasons based on technicalities and 1,000 paper cuts. SageRad (talk) 16:21, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
We have policies built up over many years. You would do well to familiarise yourself with them, otherwise you'll run into trouble, especially editing on closely-watched topics. From where I sit, you're trying to use our encyclopaedia as a soapbox. However, this is not the page for discussion of that nature, and I'll leave it there. --Pete (talk) 16:47, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I think Pete's finding (and I don't know him from...Adam) is...refreshingly rational. Keeping content decisions as much as possible at the article level, which here is about deciding on the noteworthiness of the item in light of available sources, is good. Although consensus is not a vote, more editors are likely to go against inclusion at this point, and while this can be argued against, it's also generally fine as long as the reason for non-inclusion is clear, and that it is NOT that the current sourcing is unreliable. This really belongs on the article Talk pages. --Tsavage (talk) 17:10, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Tsavage i think you would agree that discussions between you and me are not productive. When you said you wanted to include this at the Monsanto article, I brought it to the community, to spare the mutual aggravation. I don't give a flying squirrel why you agree not to include it, just that you do. Jytdog (talk) 20:03, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, i fully agree with Tsavage here. Amazing how a simple dialogue in which one is heard and responded to in good faith can feel so good. I'm not here to soapbox, to take over any article, or to push a synthesis. I am here to improve the content of Wikipedia, and i do bring my own experience and perspective, but i also recognize that others have equally valid perspectives. I'm ok to leave the lawsuit off the pages for now, and maybe propose that *if* it moves forward or gets into a more respected source than, that we can revisit it. It's been this meta-level stuff that has been bothering me, not genuine decisions about content made in good faith discussions. SageRad (talk) 17:41, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
great, SageRag. Jytdog (talk) 20:03, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
It's not about you, or any other editor. It's about wikipolicy, developed over the years by the community. If we can't find reliable secondary sources, it's not notable enough for inclusion, regardless of anything else. Cheers. --Pete (talk) 21:44, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Reliable as to the claim made by the party. This would have to be weighed as to whether inclusion would be undue. Unreliable as to the merits of the case or claim. GregJackP Boomer! 18:04, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Reliable primary document for the Monsanto legal cases but undue for the Glyphosate article. This is similar to where President Clinton said, "It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is." It is pure semantics. Remember, anyone can make any claim in the filing of a lawsuit. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 18:12, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
By saying it is reliable at all you are contradicting your own last sentence, along with SPS and the financial COI of the litigant; there is not even a pretension in a court brief of being neutral. We should all agree on a strong presumption against using court briefs to source anything. Jytdog (talk) 20:06, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry that you don't understand the nuanced difference between what the claim is and the merits of the case. I do not agree on a presumption against using court briefs, quite the opposite. GregJackP Boomer! 03:41, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
i know exactly what i am saying, and that is, that there should be a strong presumption against using a court brief as a source in Wikipedia. a decision is at least aiming for truth; an affidavit is at least sworn to be true. a brief is SPS raw argumentation, aimed to win for the client. why would you ever want a wikipedia editor to source something from one? (real question) Jytdog (talk) 03:54, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Obviously you don't understand what I am saying, and I never stated that you didn't understand what you were saying. The best place to get the claim of a party is from that party's pleadings. It is where, in every court case, that the party states exactly what his claim and cause of action is. In a like manner, the best place to determine what the other party's defense is comes from that party's pleadings. Whether the claim or defense has merit is a separate manner, for which no pleading or brief is an acceptable source. Those are completely different issues. There is no contradiction between the first sentence and the last sentence, and the fact that I have to explain the difference proves the point. GregJackP Boomer! 05:08, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
The wording of the article is fully supported by the source. We are not making a judgement on the claim, nor accessing for neutrality. We are simply reporting the basics of the claim, in much the same way as we might summarise the plot of a work of fiction. The real question is whether the case is notable, and without any reliable secondary sources, it is hard to give a positive answer. This may change if the story is picked up or goes viral or something, but I don't think Wikipedia needs to lend itself to that process. We'll report on the story, not be part of it. --Pete (talk) 11:26, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
We are not making a judgement on the claim, nor accessing for neutrality. We are simply reporting the basics of the claim, in much the same way as we might summarise the plot of a work of fiction. Exactly my point. Thanks Pete GregJackP Boomer! 13:39, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Reliable, but reliable secondary sources are to be preferred per PRIMARY. Almost certainly UNDUE to include it, however, since a single legal claim is almost certainly insignificant until (and maybe even then) fully litigated (through appeal, if appealed) or unless it becomes a cause célèbre and is widely covered in reliable secondary sources. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 16:03, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

  • No. This should not be included because it is a primary source and the allegations are sub judice, we have nothing in response and that would require us to enagge in original research or synthesis in order to contextualise the case. We could document the lawsuit as described in reliable independent sources if it can be shown to be significant. Guy (Help!) 21:57, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Guy, i'm seeing some others saying that the source is reliable to establish that this lawsuit was filed. The question here was not whether the lawsuit's filing is significant enough for an article, and not whether the claims made in the lawsuit are valid, but only whether the source was sufficiently reliable to establish the fact that such and such a lawsuit has been filed. SageRad (talk) 16:03, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

As others have said above, the source is technically sufficient as a source to establish that the lawsuit exists and to cite the fact that the plaintiffs are claiming such-and-such a thing (although any reference would have to have an in-text attribution making it clear that this is just what the plaintiffs claim and not established fact.) However, it would be better to find a secondary source referencing the lawsuit; crucially, the existence of a brief obviously doesn't establish that that lawsuit or brief are noteworthy. So to answer the original question -- yes, we can sometimes cite a legal brief as a primary source; but it has to be done carefully, and it would almost always be best to find a secondary source as well in order to establish that the legal brief is worth discussing. If absolutely nobody is reporting on this case, then it's hard to see why we should put it in the article, since it would be giving it WP:UNDUE weight; and if people are reporting on the case, we should cite to those reports rather than to the legal documents themselves. --Aquillion (talk) 12:47, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Undue. Without secondary sources mentioning this it's WP:OR and undue. Alexbrn (talk) 02:48, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
How is this original research? --Tsavage (talk) 11:15, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Because it's Wikipedia editors who have uncovered and presented (i.e. originated) the information that this article exists. Nobody else is saying it's important. Alexbrn (talk) 12:40, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
That is nowhere near OR. It may be undue and it shouldn't relied on for the merits, but it is not OR. It is not something secret that has been uncovered and presented, it is a claim made in a primary source that is reliable as to what claim is being made (or what defense). It may very well be the only source for that information. GregJackP Boomer! 15:34, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
GregJackP just fyi I work in law, so please stop saying that i don't know what i am talking about. nothing in a legal brief should be considered "information" - a brief is an argument that selects facts and frames them to serve the client. If some POV-pusher wants to try to shove content into WP by repeating that argument in WP and sourcing it to the brief, that is a serious problem. Briefs should not be used as sources. Decisions are the primary sources from court cases, that should be used with care. Jytdog (talk) 15:40, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, I can only base my opinion on what you write, and what you write indicates that you have not had legal training. Working in "law" includes many things and people, including the clerk that filestamps pleadings, but it doesn't mean that they understand the law, nor that I should go to them for legal advice. The fact that I had to explain the difference between a claim and determining a case on the merits is telling, as is the assertion a brief is not as valid as a sworn affidavit. The later tells me that you are not legally trained, especially since you did not except verified pleadings from your blanket assertion.
The pleading, complaint, or petition may be the only location in the court documents where you can find what the plaintiff's claim and cause of action are. The answer or response may be the only location in the court documents where you can find what the defendant's defense is. Someone who is trained in the law knows that.
Is a brief persuasive? Sure. But if you are not looking to the brief for the merits, how does that affect what the party's claim is?
None of this, by the way, affects your value as an editor. I don't create content in the medical or alt-med areas because I'm not as competent as someone like you. I don't have that type of background. It just means that you and I have different skills. Almost everyone who has commented on this, and every single lawyer who has commented, has said it is reliable for what plaintiff is stating the claim is, but unreliable as to the merits. GregJackP Boomer! 18:10, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
GregJackP for pete's sake stop commenting on contributors! just stop it. and stop trying to prove you have legal training. it doesn't matter and is a waste of time. Jytdog (talk) 18:22, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Sigh. Quit bringing it up then. I merely responded to your comment, which indicated that you work in law and that you know what you are talking about. In any event, the material is reliable as to the claim, possibly undue, and unreliable as to the merits. GregJackP Boomer! 18:29, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

i was responding to this. and you continue even now with it. 18:43, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I know what post you were replying to, due to the threaded nature of this page. However, your first sentence was "just fyi I work in law, so please stop saying that i don't know what i am talking about.", by which you brought your competence in the law into the discussion. I'm happy to drop it, but I'm not going to let you paint this as a situation where you are being mistreated. If you don't want your knowledge of the law discussed, don't bring it up. GregJackP Boomer! 19:35, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Please comment on content, not contributors. Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 19:46, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm happy to do so. Is that going to work both ways? I just question it because of the comments being made about my contribution as wikilawyering (here), which also described the conduct of another editor as "shoehorn[ing] content" and "bottom-scraping." Content and not contributors? I'll tell you what, if you make a commitment not to comment on others ("incoherent personal attack," "you stooping this low"), I'll do the same. But otherwise, don't feel like you can tell me to act better than you are doing yourself. GregJackP Boomer! 20:58, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Reliable, but perhaps premature. The source is reliable for a statement of the allegations in the lawsuit. Since the case is pending, and the resolution unknown, perhaps it is premature to even include this case in the article. The case could ultimately be dismissed or nonsuited - in which case it probably shouldn't be included. IAAL. Minor4th 18:16, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Using Parlamentní as a source[edit]

An editor is using this source [1] for content in the synopsis section of the documentary The Weight of Chains 2. The author of the piece is 'Radim Panenka' who 'Googles' as being only a contributor to 'user-posted' sites, and who appears to be an activist in the area which the documentary covers.

Parlamentní listy has an entry on Czech WP [2], which Google translate [3] appears to suggest is a mix of monthly print output and user-posted online output. It is not clear which this article is. Some discussion of the source has taken place here Talk:The_Weight_of_Chains_2#Synopsis_..._single_source.

Whilst I appreciate that sources are not required for non-contentious claims in a documentary synopsis, sources, if used should be RS I believe, otherwise a spurious-legitimacy is being given to the content, is this a correct supposition on my part?

Parlamentní listy is used as a source in a very small number of Eng WP articles [4].

Is a RS ?[edit]

Is a RS ? On facts? For establishing notability of an individual who is mentioned in this publication? E.M.Gregory (talk) 23:18, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

What exactly is the thing it is supposed to be supporting? In general, socialistworker is an opinion site, generally not reliable for news. They often link to other news outlets though, and that could be used. Kingsindian  23:46, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Need to know context, but I would say in general no. Among other reasons, their "About" page indicates that they accept reader contributions. Formerly 98 talk|contribs|COI Statement 23:51, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Looking at a BLP of questionable notability. Useful to know that they accept reader contributions. I won't rely on it to carry much weight, if any.E.M.Gregory (talk) 00:06, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Agree with Formerly98. But you need to provide the article in the Socialist Worker and the article it is used to establish notability. TFD (talk) 00:19, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
    • An activist, Sherry Wolf (activist) has the fact of having penned articles published on (which is true, [5], on her WP page. It is being used to validate notability, ("Wolf has also written articles published in....").E.M.Gregory (talk) 15:51, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
  • In general, no, especially not for a BLP. Niteshift36 (talk) 01:28, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Isn't Socialist Worker known for having extreme left bias? Sfan00 IMG (talk) 10:49, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Sure, but isn't some of the "mainstream news" known for having an extreme right bias? In my opinion, Socialist Worker is biased and i read it as such, but so is the Wall Street Journal and Forbes, in the other direction. Bias is ever-present in all media, in my opinion, and one kind of bias is not so different from another. I personally would take anything from Socialist Worker with a grain of salt, especially anything that is interpretive or ideological, but i do the same with anything i read from WSJ. SageRad (talk) 16:00, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
As for the point that Socialist Worker accepts reader contributions for articles, wouldn't the question be whether they automatically publish them, like a Wiki or an unedited Blog site, or do they go through an editorial process and exclude some things, and edit the things they do accept? SageRad (talk) 16:00, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
I can't find a masthead on their website, let alone discussion of the editorial process. There is, of course, a sense in which all publications "accept reader contributions". In this case, however, SW specifically invites: "activists involved in day-to-day struggles, large and small--writing about protests, pickets, meetings and other actions in their area, and taking up the issues and questions they face. We welcome contributions to our Labor News and Activist News sections--and to the ongoing discussions in our Readers' Views department." Which suggest little or no editorial oversight of at least these departments. Whether the rest is edited, or perhaps operated on an ideologically egalitarian, cooperative, blog-like basis (as is true of at least some left wing magazines, see : +972 Magazine) is unclear.E.M.Gregory (talk) 16:28, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
I would say that the source is valid for the statement 'has also written articles in ...', BUT that having written articles on this website, is not valid for establishing notability. Are the other publications/notability claims more solidly grounded seems to be the key question.Pincrete (talk) 11:37, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

To point out that their about page says they welcome reader contributions is true but a bit misleading. It says "We welcome contributions to our Labor News and Activist News sections--and to the ongoing discussions in our Readers' Views department." Anyway, I agree it's a valid source for the fact she has written for it, but probably marginally relevant or not at all in terms of her notability. Formerip (talk) 12:08, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Notability is a general issue. That she has written for SW is slightly relevant for notability, but not too much. As far as I can see from the article, she has also written for The Nation magazine. It would require a bit more than one article to make her notable, of course. Kingsindian  12:28, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Generally speaking, no. But if you have a specific claim for a specific article, we can take a closer look. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:50, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Google search result as a direct source[edit]

Guy Macon (talk · contribs) (at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Interwiki searches and case-sensitivity) claims that I am mistaken in saying "A Google search performed by myself cannot be guaranteed to return the same result as one performed by yourself; hence, a Google search results page fails WP:V and so cannot be used as the linked source in a reference". I say that I am not mistaken: not only because this search is non-repeatable (it will give different results for different people, partly because Google factors in your previous search terms) and transient (it will change with time, and cannot be permalinked or reached via a web archiving service like WayBack), but also because the reader is expected to draw their own conclusions from an examination of that Google search result. There needs to be a source that explicitly backs up the claim in the article, otherwise we have a failure of WP:V not to mention a violation of WP:NOR. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:28, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

Guy is correct. Google results can get pretty "noisy" (with lots of false positives), even when the search is clearly specified, and so their raw results aren't useful as references. A statement such as the case here needs to be cited to a second party reliable source. Nick-D (talk) 11:34, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Google results aren't the same for everyone. And just showing a Google search result isn't a valid source. Niteshift36 (talk) 12:28, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Not only do Google search results vary by user and by geographic location, they change over time. Therefore, a link to search results should not be used as a source. When I use search results in a report, one way to do it is to use an incognito window in Chrome and take a screen shot. Even then it is necessary to document the date and location of the search. Jehochman Talk 12:56, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
@Nick-D: I'm confused. Why do you start with "Guy is correct" and then take my view, which is opposite to Guy's? --Redrose64 (talk) 14:10, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Oops - my mistake. Raw Google searches can't be used as references for statements (or probably anything, really). Nick-D (talk) 22:28, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps you should ask me what my opinion is, rather than putting words in my mouth and then trying to defeat the straw man you yourself created. Nick and I are in complete agreement that Google results can get pretty "noisy" (with lots of false positives). We may or may not agree on other details -- you would have to ask each of us. For example, I reject your assumption that noisy results are always unusable, but I don't know Nick's opinion on that, not having asked him.
Consider the following claim: "The internet meme "No justice, no peace" is more common on the world wide web than the internet meme "Vacation in the islets of Langerhans". Can we verify that claim using Google? Yes, we can. That's because the signal is far larger than the noise -- just as in acoustics, where ambient sound may be able to drown out a whisper but not a shout. Are false positives a problem? Do the Google search yourself (with the quotation marks) and try to find a false positive for either phrase. Are the results inaccurate? All results from any measurements are inaccurate. The question is whether they are inaccurate enough to give us the wrong answer, In this case they are not. "No justice, no peace" is more common no matter who does the search. It was more common last week and last month, and it will remain more common next week and next month. We could ask a hundred people to run the test and exactly 100% of them would find that the internet meme "No justice, no peace" is more common on the world wide web than the internet meme "Vacation in the islets of Langerhans".
So my conclusion is that Google results must be used with care and careful consideration of exactly what they are being asked to support, but they are not totally useless in all situations, nor are they always forbidden by Wikipedia policy. --Guy Macon (talk) 15:55, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Guy, are you talking about using Google Search results as sources for talk page discussion, or in article-space? Abecedare (talk) 16:14, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
if the suggestion would be to source "The internet meme "No justice, no peace" is more common on the world wide web than the internet meme "Vacation in the islets of Langerhans" to google searches, that would be WP:OR. I am not sure that is the suggestion, though. Jytdog (talk) 16:30, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
That was a made-up example showing how Google can support a claim in article space without violating WP:V. I didn't try to make up an example that also passes WP:OR, WP:SYNTH, WP:WEIGHT, etc., just WP:V. If you prefer, look at the real-world example from Plummer v. State listed at the top of this thread. My point remains that that Google results must be used with care, but they are not totally useless in all situations, nor are they always forbidden by Wikipedia policy. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:56, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
BTW, Bad Elk v. United States makes the same claim without any source. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:05, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
yes, this editor is doing WP:OR and committing WP:SYN. Not good. I have opened discussion on the Talk pages of both articles. This is not what we do here. If this matter should be discussed anywhere, it should be the WP:ORN Jytdog (talk) 18:29, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
@Guy Macon: I am not putting words in your mouth. In this edit you used the words "I believe you are mistaken", so that is why I wrote "Guy Macon ... claims that I am mistaken" above. Also, what is this "straw man" which you say I created but am now trying to "defeat"? --Redrose64 (talk) 19:09, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
@Jytdog: In that same edit, Guy Macon said to post the objection on the reliable sources noticeboard. This page is, I believe, the reliable sources noticeboard. If it is not, where should I have posted my question? --Redrose64 (talk) 19:09, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── generally, when editors go wrong in WP, they go wrong many ways at once. If you do what every policy and guideline says we should do - namely find the best secondary sources you can about something, read them, and craft content based on them, you will almost never go wrong. When editors do stuff like this - come in with some pre-determined goal and try to create content about it, they tend to wrong in many ways. Yes, the sourcing is questionable so WP:V and WP:RS come into play. Yes, this is WP:OR. Yes, giving any weight to this is UNDUE, because there are few/no secondary sources discussing it, so WP:NPOV is at play. Those are our three key content policies!. Do you see what I mean? Jytdog (talk) 19:15, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

Except for the fact that you apparently did not read the referenced sources. I reworded a problematic portion and reverted, especially since there are additional sources that have been located. GregJackP Boomer! 20:43, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
I look forward to your response on the article talk page. Jytdog (talk) 00:24, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I would suggest that everyone carefully read Wikipedia:Search engine test (full disclosure: I wrote part of that guide) and that Redrose64 and/or Jytdog quote the exact wording of any Wikipedia policy or guideline that contradicts what that page says. In particular, I would like to see the policy or guideline that supports such claims as "a Google search results page fails WP:V and so cannot be used as the linked source in a reference" after I explained exactly how and where such a result can be used. (Which is, of course, with great care and a firm understanding of the many limitations of such a test.) --Guy Macon (talk) 22:19, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

  • A Google SERP would seem to be a poor source for article content. It's variable and lacks editorial control. More importantly, the example given is pure original research.- MrX 00:45, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I'll happily stand by what I wrote above. there are problems with regard to every content policy when people use bottom-scraping sources like a google search result. Maybe it scrapes by WP:V on the basis of some essay (not even a guideline) but then it runs smack into OR and UNDUE. What is the point of having wikilawyering discussions on every noticeboard? Just base content on solid, secondary sources and we don't have to go through all this. Jytdog (talk) 00:50, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Great. We agree that it does not violate WP:V (and presumably we agree that no Wikipedia policy or guideline specifically prohibits it, as you surely would have quoted it.) So let's pick WP:UNDUE and talk about that (please address WP:UNDUE before engaging in the scattergun approach of citing every policy you can think of -- we will get to the others in good time). In the case of Plummer v. State, the wide misquoting on the internet is one of the most notable facts related to what would otherwise be a minor footnote in legal history. WP:UNDUE gives us clear guidance on this: "the majority view should be explained in sufficient detail that the reader can understand how the minority view differs from it, and controversies regarding aspects of the minority view should be clearly identified and explained." Giving the misquote due weight in this case means documenting the fact that thousands of web pages (every one an unreliable source) falsely claim that Plummer contains the phrase "citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an arresting officer’s life if necessary" and that the actual case contains no such quote. The only question is how to document the fact that those thousands of web pages with the bogus quote exist. --Guy Macon (talk) 03:38, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
There is no source for that. There could be one, but it doesn't exist. The fact that none of the law professors with their many many blogs, much less law journals, has not written about this, is a good sign that it is UNDUE. Jytdog (talk) 03:51, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
For those engaged here, I opened a discussion on a related article on related but different OR issues here: Wikipedia:No_original_research/Noticeboard#Bad_Elk_v._United_States Jytdog (talk) 04:33, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
  • As explained by Redrose64, using Google searches to verify article content is a very bad idea, and one that obviously fails WP:SYNTH because verification of a factoid in an article would involve the reader interpreting what they see in search results. Another point is that for the claim (This case is widely cited on the Internet in blogs and discussion groups) to have any significance, the reader would need to know how the search results compare with other searches—for example, try apple dog love then explain whether there is anything unusual about the case in question. Either the claim is unimportant and can be omitted, or it is important and requires a secondary source for interpretation. Johnuniq (talk) 11:12, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Italian American culture[edit]

Are the following sources used at Italian American#Culture considered reliable? The first is content written by self-described bloggers to verify the following content:

Italian American culture, and transplanted Italian culture, have influenced American culture in a variety of ways, such as: Italian restaurants, foods, coffees and desserts;

The second is from a website that appears to be a personal website, as described in its about page; the source claims to be an excerpt of a published item, and is used to verify the following content:

wine production (in California and elsewhere in the U.S.);

.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 21:56, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

No. Both are on the low end of the reliability scale. For a subject like Italian American culture, it should be easy to find much better sources.- MrX 00:37, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
There are many books on the subject, for example: [6]. - Cwobeel (talk) 00:51, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Cwobeel, skimming through the book it appears to be about Italian American Culture, but doesn't really go into the claims of the sub-culture impacting overall American Culture.
Thanks to both MrX & Cwobeel for your views.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 20:18, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I am sure that may be many others. - Cwobeel (talk) 20:21, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
@RightCowLeftCoast: If this is a subject of interest, there is a long bibliography in this book [7] - Cwobeel (talk) 20:24, 17 May 2015 (UTC)


Ca.papavero is insisting using WHOIS to describe the ownership of Carly Fiorina's websites, including information about the name of the owner (non notable person) and the fact that one of the domains names is under private registration, based on his understanding that WHOIS is an "official" source. That material was not reported as notable in any secondary source. Editors may weigh in at Talk:Carly_Fiorina#WHOIS. - Cwobeel (talk) 20:05, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Saigon Post Office[edit]

I don't know if this will be picked up, but, here goes ! Item on Saigon Post Office :- states - ".. which was built in early 20th.century..." WRONG ! I was in the building 1st.March 2015. It states there on the walls that it was built between 1886 and 1891. That's late 19th.century. in a BLP[edit]

Previous discussion doesn't seem to have come to a solid conclusion.

As issue is a divorce date for Sharon Leal. The offered source says, "Married October 2001 Divorced 2007" without a byline (which seems to have been important in the prior discussion.

Separately, Essence magazine gives confusing information that seems to dispute this. An article dated either November 2008 (in the URL) or December 2009 (in the copy) has Leal saying she was "going through a divorce right now...", though no sources seem to indicate another marriage in 2007or after that could have been ending in late 2008 or late 2009.

IMDb (not a reliable source, but doesn't mention any marriage(s)) gives a link for her official site, but it is a dead link.

Thoughts? - SummerPhD (talk) 17:51, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

The article as it stands now has contradicting information in regards to her dating Paul Becker while still being married to Bev Land with sources saying he is currently married to Dania Ramirez Please evaluate these inconsistencies. Dumaka (talk) 18:11, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that is inconsistent. It does not, however, tell us that Leal divorced Land in 2007 (as states). Additionally, it does nothing to rectify the apparent conflict with the Essence article, which seems to suggest the divorce was in process in late 2008 or late 2009, rather than being completed in 2007. While it seems likely that Leal and Land divorced at some point between 2001 and 2011, I do not see solid sourcing for 2007, unless is reliable. Then we would have the further issue of integrating the weird dating from Essence (which does not seem to support 2007). - SummerPhD (talk) 03:14, 19 May 2015 (UTC)[edit]

A PROD i recently added to a new article was removed with the addition of a reference to this webpage, which does indeed mention this episode by name. However, I am not sure whether this source is reliable (mainly because I don't speak German), which is why I am bringing it here for further discussion. Everymorning talk 00:41, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

I think the issue might be more one of notability than reliability. is website for tv series hosted and maintained by some private media/internet company. The content they host or link to seems to be a mix of material edited/organized by company employees, provided by freelance editors, taken or quoted from other publications and user generated content. It is probably reliable enough for sourcing basic information/facts on various tv series being broadcast in German speaking countries. However whether it alone is enough to provide notability for a particular episode seems rather questionable to me, similarly their reviews might not be considered notable. Imho it might be acceptable as a supporting source for minor information tidbit, but resting the bulk of the content and the notability of a subject just on this site seems inappropriate to me.--Kmhkmh (talk) 01:05, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Johnston's Archive - self published site[edit]

User Maury Markowitz restored the following to W71 article: 'To take advantage of the range of soft x-rays in space, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is reported to have designed or "tailored" the warhead's secondary with a gold liner, instead of the usual depleted uranium or lead, which maximized x-ray production'. The source given is the page from website 'Johnston's Archive'. This appears to be a self-published site and so unsuitable as a source. The give page in turn references Chuck Hansen's 1988 book U.S. Nuclear Weapons: The Secret History. I don't have access to this book, so I can't comment on its content. If this source supports the claim, then it should be quoted directly instead. - Crosbie 05:05, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Use of gold in nuclear weapon design is widely mentioned in many sources as a few seconds in Google Books will demonstrate. In fact, when the W-71 was decommissioned it was referred to as a "gold mine". Crosbie removed very large sections of a previous editor's work based on single-word problems like this, "soft" which I am restoring because they're correct, as well as citing during the process. Maury Markowitz (talk) 11:41, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I post on this reliable sources noticeboard for the sole purpose of establishing consensus on whether johnstonsarchive is a reliable source. My understanding is that johnstonsarchive is a self-published site and is therefore not a reliable source, and may not be used as a reference in Wikipedia. - Crosbie 19:43, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Pearl S. Buck[edit]

There is currently a dispute Pearl S. Bucks alleged involvement the the Sixties Scoop. The content was repeatedly added by an IP/new user possibly in good faith but reverted by me and another editor due to insufficient sources. See the following edits for that.

The issue with the provided sources currently is that even their existence is not easy to verify and their reputation is unclear and whether they alone provide enough notability for the content to mentioned seems rather questionable as well (at least to me). As I want to avoid an edit war, I'd appreciate some other editors to asses sources and content. The sources in question from the 2 edits are:

  • Tim Fontaine, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network - APTN, Tim Fontaine, 2012
  • Library and Archives Canada, Truth & Reconciliation Commission – Canada, file “Taber Gregory – Henry Desjarlais, wtg for additional citation”, 2012.

Best comment on the article's talk page at Talk:Pearl_S._Buck#Sixties_Scoop to keep the discussion in one place. Thanks in advance.--Kmhkmh (talk) 14:27, 19 May 2015 (UTC)


CoinDesk has been used as a source at the Bitcoin page. Recently, a user marked it as unreliable. The facts are:

  • CoinDesk specializes in bitcoin and digital currencies. I do not think the specialization lowers the reliability of CoinDesk as the source. Contrary to the opinion of some editors claiming unreliability of CoinDesk, specialization is not listed at WP:IRS as a reason why a news site might be unreliable.
  • CoinDesk published their editorial policy and board.
  • Facts published by CoinDesk have been reprinted by other sources considered reliable by Wikipedia. The group of outlets republishing the facts published by CoinDesk includes these sources considered reputable by Wikipedia: The Economist, The Telegraph, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, The New York Times, CNBC, Bloomberg, and Business Insider. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 14:36, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
'Specialisation' certainly doesn't make a source unreliable - but neither does it necessarily make it reliable. And given that (according to our article at least), the CoinDesk founder has a financial stake in Bitcoin, it would seem at least open to question as to how independent a source it is. As for mainstream media citing CoinDesk, can you provide a few links illustrating this? AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:41, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Incidentally, I think that, as always, we need to look at the specifics of what is being cited - it is one thing to cite a website for hard news, and another to cite it for opinion. This was the real issue with the CoinDesk citation recently discussed [8] on the Bitcoin article talk page. The piece in question [9] claimed to be based on an environmental assessment of Bitcoin compared to "fiat and gold-based monetary systems" conducted by the author, but lacked any evidence of scientific credibility - no evidence that it had been published in a credible peer-reviewed journal, and nothing to suggest that it was anything but selective guesswork and handwaving conducted with the purpose of boosting Bitcoin (I could point out multiple obvious flaws in its reasoning, but that is unnecessary - it is up to those citing sources to establish credibility, not for others to disprove it). As an 'assessment' it appears entirely lacking in encyclopaedic merit. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:01, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I specifically mean this text: "Exchanges have since implemented measures to provide proof of reserves in an effort to convey transparency to users" sourced by [10], where the source has been marked unreliable by an editor for unspecified reasons. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 15:24, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Yet another text where CoinDesk citation was marked as unreliable is: "About 1,000 bricks and mortar businesses were willing to accept payment in bitcoins as of November 2013" citing [11]. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 15:38, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
The first source doesn't actually support the claim being made - it states that a specific exchange has implemented measures. And the second source definitely isn't WP:RS for the material cited: "All entries on CoinMap are crowdsourced..." AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:19, 19 May 2015 (UTC)[edit]

Would pages from be considered to be reliable as sources? An editor has added this page from the website to cite information in Beetlejuice#"Beetlejuice" or "Betelgeuse". I cannot find anything about the website other than it is "a collection of movie scripts and screenplays to serve as a resource for writers and actors and those who simply enjoy reading movie scripts." I guess that means it is sort of a database for scripts and does not generate the content itself, right? Does that mean the script being cited is a primary source? Can it be used in this way if it is? FWIW, I think the edit that was made is not entirely correct and does not reflect what is said in the source. I just want to see if the source is reliable before fixing the bare url and fixing the text. Thanks in advance. - Marchjuly (talk) 21:56, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

I would say that this website does look like a reliable source, however there are a few things that make me seem skeptical about it. First off, the website is not published/doesn't have any publication date. We have no idea what their sources are and where the information is coming from. Wiki policy states that "media sources must be produced by a reliable third party and be properly cited." It almost seems like it is publicly generated information. I don't think it should be entirely ruled out, but there should definitely be other sources being used in the article. Good luck and Cheers. Comatmebro ~Come at me~ 21:21, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

The Line of Best Fit[edit]

I'm wanting use this website as a source but I'm uncertain of its reliability. I'm particularly wanting to use this story for a WP:BLP article. Could someone give me a heads up please? Thanks in advance. Slay A Bit (talk) 01:19, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Is this the website you are referring to? Comatmebro ~Come at me~ 21:23, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes Comatmebro. Slay A Bit (talk) 04:13, 21 May 2015 (UTC)


Source: Article: Kabaddi Content: "General reliability"

Fellow Wikipedians, I am currently doing some copy editing of the Kabaddi article, and found this source, which I am considering data mining for some additional facts to flesh out the article. Before I do so, could you please let me know what you think of the source from a reliability pov?

Many thanks for any advice that you are able to give. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 04:30, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

The webpage is almost certainly a copy of an earlier version of our article, and accordingly not WP:RS - compare it with the 'History and development' section here: [12] AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:21, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually, looking into this further, I suspect that the relevant content of our article may have been copy-pasted from here, [13] though this needs further investigation. If the article as it now stands does contain copy-pasted material, we will have to remove it. AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:30, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Hi AndyTheGrump, Many thanks. I too thought there might be some chance of either WP:CIRC or WP:COPYVIO. I'll have a look at a compare & contrast and see if I can identify any overly common bits. Appreciate any advice you could offer on doing so. Regards, - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 08:12, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Humarinews an RS?[edit]

I hadn't heard of this before seeing it being used (and removed) at Axact. It claims to have "professional editors, writers, columnists and reporters, hailing from Pakistan & from other parts of the world, along with those having years of journalistic experience".[14] However, its owner's blog says "We are famous Online news agency.We are working with honestly.If you want to publish your news or wants to publish your Brand contact us at"[15] which makes me wonder. This statement (warning?) in regard to anyone who thinks they are reprinting copyright material[16] doesn't encourage me. Looking at the front page,[17] most of the material seems to be written by the website's owner, Usama Abbasi, who seems to actually be a blogger, not a journalist.[18] See also its FB page[19] which shows its url as which takes you to Dougweller (talk) 08:58, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Just one of four personal blogs run by Usama Abbasi on No indication of reliability. Abecedare (talk) 09:32, 20 May 2015 (UTC) a reliable source for WP:BLP articles?[edit]

I have a concern regarding usage of FILMIBEAT.COM (previously known as, which redirects) as a source for WP:BLP articles. The content is poorly written and does not strike me as a source we should be incorporating into our encyclopedia.

For example, the Raadhika Sarathkumar article refers to this link as a source:

I am seeking community input as to whether or not we should be relying on this website for biographical texts. Regards, Yamaguchi先生 19:12, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

I have never been particularly happy with anything relating to It seems often to be an aggregator and I've seen enough examples where the aggregation appeared to include material that closely resembled our own articles. Proving unattributed use of our material would require a lot of work but perhaps we need to try to do that at some point. For now, I would suggest not using it in BLPs on the basis of "least harm". - Sitush (talk) 08:23, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Law School Transparency Not a Reliable Source for Law School Information[edit]

Over the last two months a large number of edits have been made to dozens, possibly hundreds of articles about law schools. Almost all the edits follow the exact same format and appear to originate from a single commercial organization "Law School Transparency", inserting links to its website into specific law school articles. LST seeks to monetize data that is available for free elsewhere, and often introduces errors into the data in the process.

There are slight variations in the edits for some law schools--for example, some note the overall employment rate for law students and not just the "Full Time JD required not solo" category invented by LST. The more favorable edits appear to be for law schools who have paid LST for its services or otherwise provided financial support to the organization.

Someone (apparently from LST) has inserted LST metrics into most law school's websites without any prior discussion of whether or not LST is a reliable source of information.

Law School Transparency' is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit advocacy organization. LST was founded by Vanderbilt Law School class of 2008 graduates Kyle McEntee and Patrick Lynch after LST's founders were unable to secure more attractive legal employment. From the outset, one of the greatest challenges LST faced was securing funding and resources.[1] LST describes its own mission as "to make entry to the legal profession more transparent, affordable, and fair."[2] LST accuses law schools of presenting misleading data and other misdeeds, and demands payment from law schools to certify that their employment information is accurate. Critics have compared this practice to extortion.[3][4]

The head of law school transparency, Kyle McEntee was quoted in the Washington Post saying “Law school is not a ticket to financial security . . . There’s just no evidence that the people starting school now are going to end up okay, and to me that’s really concerning.”[5] However, the Washington Post reported that there was substantial evidence of positive financial outcomes for most law graduates. McEntee also criticized the New York Times for positive press coverage of legal education and the legal profession,[6][7] although others have suggested that that New York Times story was factually accurate and used data appropriately.[8] LST's data clearinghouse contains numerous errors.[9]


Law School Transparency was founded in July 2009 by two class of 2008 law students at Vanderbilt University Law School, Kyle McEntee and Patrick J. Lynch. LST was initially funded through a Vanderbilt program to support non-profit jobs for Vanderbilt graduates who could not otherwise obtain employment.[10] When Lynch obtained a job practicing environmental law with a nongovernmental organization in South America, he reduced his involvement in LST.[11] Lynch was replaced by Derek Tokaz, a graduate of NYU Law school who blogs for the rightwing legal humor website Constitutional Daily and who pursued a Masters of Fine Arts at American University after completing law school.[12][13] From the outset, one of the greatest challenges LST faced was securing funding and resources.[14]


There have been numerous critiques against LST and its founders, including unethical practices that critics say resemble extortion, inaccuracies in LST data, selective and misleading presentation of data, and anti-law school bias. LST has been criticized for a lack of transparency about its own sources and uses of funds and for alleged irregularities in its dealings with the Internal Revenue Service.


LST accuses law schools of presenting misleading data and other misdeeds, and demands payment from law schools to certify that their employment information is accurate. Critics have compared this practice to extortion.[15][16]

Anti-law School bias[edit]

The head of law school transparency, Kyle McEntee was quoted in the Washington Post saying “Law school is not a ticket to financial security . . . There’s just no evidence that the people starting school now are going to end up okay, and to me that’s really concerning.”[17] However, the Washington Post reported that there was substantial evidence of positive financial outcomes for most law graduates. McEntee also criticized the New York Times for positive press coverage of legal education and the legal profession,[18][19] although others have suggested that that New York Times story was factually accurate and used data appropriately.[20] McEntee earlier argued that law schools should cut enrollment 50 percent,[21] and explained that his goal was to drive down the price of law school.[22]

Kyle McEntee responded to peer reviewed research by professional labor economists showing that the overwhelming majority of law graduates benefit financially from their degrees and can afford to successfully repay their loans[23] by saying that the research "missed the point."[24] McEntee also accused law schools of being "immoral" and said that law students should be "frightened."[25]

Anonymous Cyber-harassment of individual law professors[edit]

According to University of Chicago Law Professor Brian Leiter, Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Chicago Law School, founder and Director of Chicago's Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values, LST co-founder Derek Tokaz has engaged in cyber-harassment of individual law professors.[26]

Inline source, reliable source, neutral POV, this now complies with BLP policy. If Leiter's claims are disputed by Mr. Tokaz, let that be added to the entry.

Tokaz has also harassed individual law professors on his website, Constitutional Daily, referring to them as "Professor Ass Dean of Admissions", saying they "give zero fucks", accusing them of trying to raise tuition, using "extremely dubious facts", being "butt-hurt", "just making stuff up", being "the most misguided in legal education", being "wrong about everything", and suggesting they should be fired from their jobs.[27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35]

Factual Errors[edit]

LST's data clearinghouse contains numerous errors.[36]

Lack of Transparency[edit]

LST is not transparent about its funding sources or uses of funds, and did not file paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service that is required for its donors to receive a tax deduction.[37]The organization appears to be funded in part by individuals providing career placement services to former law students, and to operate by scaring them into thinking they won't be able to find a job without such services.[38]


  1. ^ Rachel M. Zahorsky, Legal Rebels: Kyle McEntee Challenges Law Schools to Come Clean, Sept. 19, 2012
  2. ^ LST Mission, Law School Transparency.
  3. ^ Paul Caron, More on Law School Transparency's Certification Fee, TaxProfBlog, August 3, 2013
  4. ^ Karen Sloan, Group Offers to Certify Law Schools' Honesty: Organizers say they're promoting best practices, but critic compares it to a protection racket, National Law Journal, August 2, 2013
  5. ^ Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Why Law Schools Are Losing Relevance — and How They’re Trying to Win It Back, The Washington Post, Apr. 20, 2015
  6. ^ Steven Davidoff Solomon, Law Schools and Industry Show Signs of Life, Despite Forecasts of Doom, The New York Times, Mar. 31, 2015
  7. ^ Kyle McEntee, Deceptive Statistics 101, Courtesy Of A Law Professor And The New York Times, Above the Law, April 2, 2015
  8. ^ Michael Simkovic, Kyle McEntee Attacks The New York Times for Using Data Honestly, Brian Leiter's Law School Reports, April 7, 2015
  9. ^ Steve Freedman, Is Law School Transparency a Reliable Source for Information?, The Faculty Lounge, January 27, 2015.
  10. ^ Rachel M. Zahorsky, Legal Rebels: Kyle McEntee Challenges Law Schools to Come Clean, Sept. 19, 2012
  11. ^ Rachel M. Zahorsky, Legal Rebels: Kyle McEntee Challenges Law Schools to Come Clean, Sept. 19, 2012
  12. ^ Rachel M. Zahorsky, Legal Rebels: Kyle McEntee Challenges Law Schools to Come Clean, Sept. 19, 2012
  13. ^
  14. ^ Rachel M. Zahorsky, Legal Rebels: Kyle McEntee Challenges Law Schools to Come Clean, Sept. 19, 2012
  15. ^ Paul Caron, More on Law School Transparency's Certification Fee, TaxProfBlog, August 3, 2013
  16. ^ Karen Sloan, Group Offers to Certify Law Schools' Honesty: Organizers say they're promoting best practices, but critic compares it to a protection racket, National Law Journal, August 2, 2013
  17. ^ Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Why Law Schools Are Losing Relevance — and How They’re Trying to Win It Back, The Washington Post, Apr. 20, 2015
  18. ^ Steven Davidoff Solomon, Law Schools and Industry Show Signs of Life, Despite Forecasts of Doom, The New York Times, Mar. 31, 2015
  19. ^ Kyle McEntee, Deceptive Statistics 101, Courtesy Of A Law Professor And The New York Times, Above the Law, April 2, 2015
  20. ^ Michael Simkovic, Kyle McEntee Attacks The New York Times for Using Data Honestly, Brian Leiter's Law School Reports, April 7, 2015
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^ Steve Freedman, Is Law School Transparency a Reliable Source for Information?, The Faculty Lounge, January 27, 2015.
  37. ^ Stephen Diamond, Profits of Doom--Updated, July 30, 2013
  38. ^

-- — Preceding unsigned comment added by Unemployed Northeastern (talkcontribs)

Misleading Data Reporting Methodology[edit]

LST uses non-standard definitions of employment and unemployment that make law school data non-comparable to widely used employment and unemployment data from almost every other source. [1]


@Unemployed Northeastern: Thank you for raising the issue. Now, before you continue removing this source from every article in which you find it, why not let some discussion occur to evaluate your points? WikiDan61ChatMe!ReadMe!! 20:17, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I've seen some commentary questioning LST's accuracy, but I've also seen positive commentary as well. It would have been preferable for the editor to raise the question for discussion before initiating this massive campaign of removals from dozens of articles, and use of the term "extortion" in edit summaries raises concerns as well. In any event, I agree with WikiDan61 that the question should be discussed before any more removals. I also note that our Law School Transparency article has been heavily revised today by another new editor, who has not (so far) made any other edits at Wikipedia. --Arxiloxos (talk) 20:47, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
To address one of the initial concerns in this report: it does not appear that the edits in which the LST references were added can reliably be sourced to LST themselves. The edits in question appear to come from IP address scattered all over the country. That doesn't make the source any more reliable, but it makes the addition of the source to Wikipedia much less nefarious. WikiDan61ChatMe!ReadMe!! 21:23, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
LST personnel are scattered across the country and frequently travel for presentations. The nearly identical formatting and word use show these edits are clearly coming from a single source, as does the fact that they are all closely clustered together in terms of time period. LST has also been caught using anonymizing techniques to cyberharass individual law professors and may be concealing their IP address.[2]Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 21:54, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Citing a blog for serious assertions of negative conduct isn't going to cut much weight here... AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:58, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
It depends on who the blogger is. We are talking about Brian Leiter, a highly respected law professor and philosopher at the University of Chicago. I've adjusted the source to comply with BLP policy. If Tokaz disputes Leiter's findings, let the dispute be added to the entry to maintain NPV.Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 22:22, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
That's completely false. You can't take any opinion of person z, on person z's personal blog, that "x engaged in harassment" for anything more than person z's opinion. You can't then write "x engaged in harassment." It was just an opinion. In the first place. Of an individual. Not even of an individual who is an expert in the law of harassment (the fellow's area is philosophy and jurisprudence). But even if it were the fellow's area of expertise, it would still then only be an opinion -- it would not support the blanket assertion that "x engaged in harassment." That's a BLP violation by you, and I would urge you to stop violating BLP. Epeefleche (talk) 05:35, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
@ Eppefleche The right person's opinion is a reliable source, particularly when backed by research, expertise, and reputation. That's Wikipedia's official policy on reliable sources, not a BLP violation. I would urge you to read the policy. The views of one distinguished and well published professor are more reliable than the views of many unknown our unaccomplished (but nevertheless public figure) bloggers such as the folks who run LST. "Articles should be based on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. This means that we publish the opinions only of reliable authors, and not the opinions of Wikipedians who have read and interpreted primary source material for themselves. . . . Many Wikipedia articles rely on scholarly material. When available, academic and peer-reviewed publications, scholarly monographs, and textbooks are usually the most reliable sources. . . . News sources often contain both factual content and opinion content. "News reporting" from well-established news outlets is generally considered to be reliable for statements of fact . . . Editorial commentary, analysis and opinion pieces, whether written by the editors of the publication (editorials) or outside authors (op-eds) are reliable primary sources for statements attributed to that editor or author, but are rarely reliable for statements of fact. When taking information from opinion content, the identity of the author may help determine reliability. The opinions of specialists and recognized experts are more likely to be reliable and to reflect a significant viewpoint. . . . Self-published material may sometimes be acceptable when its author is an established expert whose work in the relevant field has been published by reliable third-party publications. " Leiter is published in many impressive third party publications. No one at LST is. So how about we stick to the issues about LST and you quit making threats and trying to change the subject or censor relevant facts?
The extremist, hateful views expressed by Mr. Tokaz and LST's predatory business practices are relevant under Wikipedia policy to a determination of whether he and LST are reliable sources, per Wikipedia Policy: "Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for checking the facts, or with no editorial oversight. Such sources include websites and publications expressing views that are widely acknowledged as extremist, that are promotional in nature, or which rely heavily on rumors and personal opinions. Questionable sources are generally unsuitable for citing contentious claims about third parties, which includes claims against institutions, persons living or dead, as well as more ill-defined entities. The proper uses of a questionable source are very limited. . . . Beware of sources which sound reliable but don't have the reputation for fact-checking and accuracy that WP:RS requires. The Journal of 100% Reliable Factual Information might have a reputation for "predatory" behavior, which includes questionable business practices. . . Partisan secondary sources should be viewed with suspicion as they may misquote or quote out of context. In such cases, look for neutral corroboration from another source."
Under Wikipedia policy, the extremist and hateful views expressed by Mr. Tokaz and others at LST, and their questionable business practices, are relevant to this conversation about whether LST is a reliable source. Information about Tokaz and LST should not be removed; rather more information should be gathered and submitted here for the Wikipedia community to consider in passing judgement on LST's reliability as a source. If you have evidence from a reliable source exonerating LST or Tokaz, then you may present the evidence. Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 07:48, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

  • As user:Stesmo points out, Unemployed is deleting far more than one source ("the deletions included removal and editing of unflattering employment or debt figures, whether from LST, USNews, law school bubble sites or the college themselves"), under the guise of "not an RS". And I see Unemployed just created his account today. And another user, making similar edits at the page of the source in question above, was just created today as well. I think our issues here go beyond LST as a source. But include the deletions by this editor of USNews, etc. And also think a checkuser is in order. Epeefleche (talk) 22:02, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
The deletions are sourced to a related blog called "Law School Tuition Bubble." Debt levels from reliable sources, such as the American Bar Association or U.S. News, were left intact (or were unintentionally deleted). LSTB is not a reliable source per wikipedia policy and has many of the same biases as LST. These ad-hominem attacks are an inappropriate distraction from the issue it hand, which is the unauthorized and unapproved editing of hundreds of wikipedia pages by LST and LSTB (which stand to commercially profit by attracting traffic to their websites) using anonymous IP addresses and whether LST is a reliable source.Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 22:10, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

The basic point is that citing LST adds nothing to the conversation, since all of the underlying data is available for free from the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education, without any advertisements or pleas for donations. LST has nothing to offer that the ABA is not providing already, and is clearly a *less* reliable source than the American Bar Association.

So why don't we all agree to take all of the LST references and editorializing by LST out of the articles and replace it with Neutral citations to the underlying ABA data, without any commentary, and without creating artificial categories of employment favored by LST. Just say what the overall employment rate is across categories, and then provide a breakdown of each ABA category without any attempt to group the categories together.

That is the most reasonable, fair, neutral and non-commercial approach to resolving this issue. Any debt level references should cite to ABA data or NALP data, not LST "estimates" and should include information on student loan default rates, where available, and typical monthly payments. We should not cite U.S. News--which is a commercial paid website--unless the data is not already available for free from the ABA.Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 22:33, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

So it's not just LST that should be removed, but all commercial websites like USNews? Your arguments above would seen more persuasive if you hadn't also deleted the ABA reports of the law schools in dozens of articles today while asking for ABA reports to be used instead. You've also removed references to ABAJournal and (on the ABA article!). After reviewing dozens and dozens of your edits today, this seems less like you're here to build an encyclopedia and more like you have a one-sided vendetta with LST and have decided to remove any references to it while also removing any debt / employment numbers / references that don't cast a rosy glow on graduating from law school. Including the same exact refs to ABA data you claim to want to be used instead... Stesmo (talk) 23:46, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
@Stesmo We should include the full ABA data from this website, without any editing or commentary, which will always be the most up-to-date data available, and will always be available to everyone free of charge. The deleted text presented the ABA data in a misleading light by excluding certain categories of employment and only reporting the categories that LST says count as real jobs. That's not the position of the ABA or of the U.S. Department of Labor. Check out the definition of "Employment." U.S. News is behind a paywall, and if we can provide the information for free from an equally reliable or more reliable source, like the ABA, we should do that so that everyone can see the data for themselves without having to pay U.S. News for a subscription. I thought Wikipedia was all about open access for all? I'm trying to find a sensible solution, so there's no need to accuse me of anything or discuss my motives. Let's discuss what makes the most sense going forward and focus on the substance. My proposal is that we replace all references to employment citing to LST with the following text: "The latest employment data for recent graduates 9 months after graduation is available for all ABA approved law schools from the American Bar Association.[3] The data includes both overall employment--which includes jobs other than practicing law--and a breakdown by specific categories that may be of interest. Information on tuition, fees, living expenses and scholarships is also available from the American Bar Association, free of charge.[4] Information about debt levels at graduation is available from U.S. News, but is behind a paywal." Unless trusted Wikipedia editors can confirm that the reported U.S. News data is what U.S. News actually says, we should not rely on it, since someone from LST may have inserted data that is different from what U.S. News actually says. They've made many mistakes in the past with ABA data. And with the paywall, we and other Wikipedia editors won't be able to spot the mistakes. As between LST and US News, US News is clearly the more reliable source, but it is a paid source that is basically just repackaging ABA data, so ABA is preferable. Can we get consensus behind something close to this proposal?Unemployed Northeastern (talk)
FYI, everyone should look at the edit history of this page. The substantive proposal above was deleted from this page by user Epeefleche, who seems to be very focused on attacking and censoring me rather than on resolving substantive issues about whether or not LST is an appropriate source.


... and, when I asked Unemployed if he had edited via other accounts, his response was to simply delete the query from his talk page. So, given the circumstantial evidence, a checkuser seems appropriate. Epeefleche (talk) 22:17, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
How about we run a checkuser on all of the edits that were apparently inserted by LST using anonymous IP addresses over the last two months and stay on point instead of trying to change the topic and make ad-hominem attacks against someone for pointing out problems with the sources in the articles. Focus on the argument, not on the person.
It's perfectly appropriate to share a concern about you editing via different accounts, under the circumstances. You are welcome to not respond to my question as to whether you have edited via different accounts, and simply delete the question (as you have done). Or to not respond to my question as to whether you have edited via different accounts, and instead simply seek to divert the focus to suggest that others be checked (as you have done). But your behavior does have the effect of increasing my concern that your pattern of editing, and that of the other editor of that article, both accounts of which were created today, suggest a seasoned editor editing via more than one account. And, of course, the very nature of checkuser is that it relates to the person -- and whether the person is even entitled to take part in this discussion at all, on the basis of his behavior. Epeefleche (talk) 22:46, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
By your logic, maybe we should run a checkuser on you. You just deleted wholesale the criticism section of the Law School Transparency wikipedia site, even though it was relevant, well sourced to established news outlets and university professors, and appropriate. And without any discussion on the talk page. You also claimed (falsely) that I deleted all of the debt information when I clearly left well sourced debt information from the ABA in place. So if we want to play the ad-hominem game:
Do you have any connection to law school transparency, law school tuition bubble, or other similar blogs? Have you ever edited Wikipedia under another name or an anonymous IP? Or maybe we can just focus on making the articles as good as possible with the best sources and discuss in good faith.Unemployed Northeastern (talk) 23:34, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Press TV[edit]

Press TV is the Iranian state television service. At Talk:United_Synagogue#Rewrite there is some discussion as to whether it can be relied upon as a reliable source related to criticism of a Jewish religious organisation (United Synagogue) and its links with Zionism and Israel. I'd welcome input. --Dweller (talk) 10:00, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Well, all news outlets are biased one way or another... I think Press TV is usable as long as editors are careful with context, balance and due weight. The guidance has been followed by directly quoting from Press TV ("The organization was called a "Zionist pressure group" by Press TV...") so it seems a fair use, especially as Press TV is described as the state news organisation of Iran allowing readers to make their judgement. QuiteUnusual (talk) 11:40, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Political Graveyard[edit]

How reliable is for biographical information (non BLP)? Blueboar (talk) 12:47, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Wall Street on Parade[edit]

Looking at this site for use in an article. It seems well done and the editors appear to be knowledgeable and reasonably neutral. My concern is the perceived lack of editorial oversight. Any opinions? [20]. Niteshift36 (talk) 14:34, 22 May 2015 (UTC)