Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard

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

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

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

(Added clarification in green 22:20, 28 August 2016 (UTC)) updated link underlying "in this section" as the section has been archived Jytdog (talk) 05:44, 9 September 2016 (UTC)

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

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

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

Survey and discussion[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Name Mixup.[edit]

In the article on Tony Gardiner (, his Olympiad predecessor is given as Peter Shiu. While this information is correct, the Peter Shiu in question is Mathematician Peter Man-Kit Shiu ( as opposed to the Peter Shiu linked to who is the Vice Chairman of the Liberal Party in Hong Kong ( --— Preceding unsigned comment added by Aap03102 (talkcontribs) 10:56, September 7, 2016 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done --GRuban (talk) 13:20, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Crash Override Network[edit]

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reliability of the Washington Examiner[edit]

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

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

Some perspectives that might help ground the assessment:

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

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

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

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

Filibuster Waiting Room[edit]

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

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

Moving forward[edit]

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

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

Note the last sentence.

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

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

Content The disputed text is in this diff:

Sources The primary sources are linked from here:

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

A report by Ashe Schow:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miriyam Aouragh as a source for the views of Gilbert Achcar[edit]

At Gilbert Achcar

The editors opposed to Miriyam Aouragh’s inclusion support the retention of Matthias Küntzel. I support the retention of both. She is an Arabist, qualified formally in the topic area: he has no technical background in Middle Eastern studies, no knowledge of Arabic, and is strongly criticized by German Arabists as incompetent. For those who cannot read German, the German wiki states he is a 'publicist' and several of the most prominent German Arabists dismiss his books, published by such distinguished publishing houses as Elephanten Press and Telos Press. One even summed his tirades up as 'grotesk verzerrt' (grotesquely distorted'). He's not cited in the serious scholarly literature on Islam, as opposed to be frequently cited in the polemical literature.

(a) wiki policy on RS does not appear in my view to be applied neutrally here, since the criteria being applied vary according to the position taken by the scholar in question: an Arabist with a university post is excluded, a non-Arabist with a university position is accepted, from a section dealing with Achcar's views and their reception. (b) All that concerns me is to hear from neutral third party experts here whether or not Miriyam Aouragh, used already with attribution, is a reliable source for a review of a book by Gilbert Achcar?Nishidani (talk) 19:21, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Here [17] is Aouragh's profile. As you can clearly see she lacks any expertise in this particular subject (which is Arabs and the Holocaust). Her opinion was published in a self proclaimed group blog with an ideological bent.
Here [18] are some of Kuntzel's relevant publications. His review was published in CISA.
Contrast and compare. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 21:07, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
His status as a scholar in this field is reflected by the fact he has a tenured part-time position as a teacher of political science at a technical college in Hamburg, Germany. This, on the other hand, is Miriyam Aouragh's updated profile as a university fellow and lecturer in Arabic studies, including teaching Cyber Politics of the Middle East at the Oxford Middle East Centre. Achcar's whole book is about the politics of spinning Arabs in western reportage, right up her alley.Nishidani (talk) 21:39, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Please note that the German education system does not map well to English language terms at all. Küntzel is a part-time teacher at a Gewerbeschule - the best translation might be "vocational school". It is a school where people who do a traditional apprenticeship fulfil their compulsory school attendance, and where they learn some of the theoretical skills of their chosen craft or trade. This is not an establishment of higher eduction. The term "tenured" is also problematic - in Germany, most teachers are either Angestellte im öffentlichen Dienst (public service employees) or Beamte (civil servants). Most of these people have permanent positions. Permanent public service employees have job security comparable to tenure, Beamte auf Lebenszeit have job security even better than that. Either could claim to be "tenured" in that sense (although normal teachers do not enjoy the status and freedoms of university professors). Anyway, for a teacher a few years into his or her career, "tenure" in the above sense is the normal state in Germany (and was even more prevalent in 1992). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:00, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, Stephan. Numerous institutional words don't translate except by generating similar misprisions (public school/private school etc.etc. I went to a public school that I have to explain was a private school in other countries), even within Anglophone usage, of course.Nishidani (talk) 22:50, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

As No More Mr Nice Guy writes, Küntzel is a published by academic sources on this exact topic. The virtually unknown Ms. Aouragh is published in an extremist group blog - a source explictly disallowed by WP:V. I have little to add to Nice Guy's summary, but I will correct the (typical) misrepresentations by Nishidani. Aouragh is not an "Arabist" - here is her bio on the U of Westminster site [19]- it doesn't use that word, even once, and here is the bio she had on Oxfords Internet Institute - [20] which also does not use that descriptor. Both sites describe her as having a background in anthropology, and current interests in Internet and New Media. This is also what she teaches (or rather, taught, a few years ago. It does not appear that she currently has a teaching role) at UoW - "Media, Activism & Censorship". Her research interests are likewise described as "Centre for Social Media Research", "Arab Media" and" 'New Media-New Politics". At OII, her research interests were "virtual mobility, online empowerment, grassroots activism, Internet and Arab revolutions, construction of online exiled communities". None of this is even remotely related to the relationship between Nazism and antisemitism in the Arab world. Epson Salts (talk) 00:55, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

  • Eh, there is no doubt that an academic like Dr. Aouragh is perfectly acceptable to comment on a topic like a book by Gilbert Achcar. What is this, just hatred of academics and expertise? And are these critics here aware of how academics get their degrees? of how broad one's expertise typically is, and of how many years academics spent getting their degrees? Drmies (talk) 01:22, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
  • OK, I wrote up her article, using nothing but the first two pages of search results on Google Books--for a scholar who really just graduated, it's amazing to see how frequently she is being cited. And I haven't even looked at JSTOR; a more up-to-date academic database is probably better than JSTOR. Besides, there's hits all over the Dutch news media, all of which confirm her notability. With a Ph.D., and a postdoc at Oxford, and a position at Westminster, and citations full of praise (follow the links to GBooks in her article), her work on social media, internet activism, and the Arab world makes her eminently qualified. Drmies (talk) 01:57, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Could you elaborate exactly how here work on social media and internet activism makes her "eminently qualified" to opine on the relationship between WWII-era Arab antisemitism and Nazism? Have any of the frequent cites she's been receiving been on this topic? Epson Salts (talk) 02:17, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
  • You sound like a public school administrator asking one of the teachers to give a minute-by-minute plan for class including educational goals and learning outcomes, including how to measure each and every one of them. It is also public knowledge that such administrators know nothing about teaching. In other words, I think you are being deliberately obtrusive; I am reminded of the student who refuses to learn and asks whether this is going to be on the test.

    If you had read the review (I just did), and if you knew anything about academic writing, you'd recognize that this review is written by someone who obviously knows her stuff, including historical developments, major academic and other opinions on history, and the various critiques from various angles of those opinions and interpretations. I note also that you (deliberately?) cite only "social media and internet activism", which of course are taking place in a context--that of the Arab Spring in Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan, a range of events that one cannot understand without a thorough grounding in the history of that region, including colonialism, two World Wars, the competition and cooperation between three major religions, etc. She got a Ph.D. in that area from a pretty decent university. Come get a graduate degree, and you'll see how much you need to know. Now, I understand that you don't like this person's politics and activism, but that doesn't make them wrong or, for the present discussion, unqualified. Drmies (talk) 03:11, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Kindly stop the condescending personal attacks (I have a graduate degree, than you very much) and answer what I asked you, using wikipedia policy, if you can: How does her work on social media and internet activism make her "eminently qualified" to opine on the relationship between WWII-era Arab antisemitism and Nazism? Have any of the frequent cites she's been receiving been on this topic? You just wrote an article about her, which clearly labels her as an "anthropologist who specializes in social media and internet activism." Not a word about history, antisemitism or Nazism, and with good reason - here scholarship is not in those areas, nor remotely related to them. My opposition to her has nothing to do with her views- they are identical to those of Tariq Ali who is quoted in the artilce - but with the clear violation of wikipedia policy on the usage of activist blogs as sources. Epson Salts (talk) 03:37, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

(e/c):::Just a slight correction there Drmies if you will allow me. There was no Arab spring in Palestine, as that is Israel, a haven of democracy, free speech, relative peace and sanity in a region gone insane. If you are referring to the Palestinian Territories, there has been no spring there, but unfortunately a repressive government holding on to power, with no press freedom or even a timeframe for the next elections. Abbas has been de facto strongman since 2006. The Arab Spring phenomena of 2010 has turned into an ice age, the ice splattered with hundreds of thousands of dead. See Syria, as we all do daily, barrel bombs, chlorine vapor and all. Just a gentle correction. Simon. Irondome (talk) 03:38, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

  • I meant to say "Arab world" but typed "Lebanon". Sorry. Epson Salts, I have indicated well enough, I think, that a Ph.D. in that field, which includes the history of the region, should be enough to qualify her. I don't know what your degree is in, but if it's in molecular physics, for instance, I would say you should be qualified to render a valid opinion on a book published in a closely related field ("nor remotely related" is silly"). And yes, that is the "label", in the lead, but there is more in the body of the article, and you are welcome to do a little JSTORring or bookreading to see what all her research involves. As for condescending, I find your line of questioning condescending. I might counter, for instance, that someone who teaches part-time at a technical college is less likely to qualify, but his resume is obviously strong enough--you, on the other hand, called Aouragh "virtually unknown", which shows you didn't look since she is pretty well known, and speaking of condescending, you called her "Ms. Aouragh"--try "Dr. Aouragh", Mr. Epson Salts. Besides, as Nishidani says, "Achcar's whole book is about the politics of spinning Arabs in western reportage, right up her alley". Drmies (talk) 04:34, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Unlike you, I did look at what here research involves, and quoted it right above - and it is not history, nor anti-Semitism , nor relationship between Nazims and Aranb antisemitism,m. It is about Activism on the internet, and the use of social media for politics. These topics are not related to the views she is quoted on, at all. Let's see if I get your argument: A PhD in anthropology, whith a tehsis about inetrnat activism in the Levant makes one qualified to comment on historical events like WWII, Nazism, and 1930s Arab antisemitism,? That's really what you are claiming? Epson Salts (talk) 13:49, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Aouragh's review is too partisan for my liking. But Künstel's review is also highly partisan, and he is also known as an activist at one edge of the spectrum. Künstel also has a COI: Achcar derided him as "an 'expert' on Islamic questions who does not know Arabic" and called his book a "fantasy-based narrative pasted together out of secondary sources and third-hand reports" (p163). I'd prefer to leave both of them out, with the second best option being to leave both of them in. Excluding Aouragh and including Künstel on the totally fatuous reasoning provided here would be a blatant NPOV violation. It is perfectly obvious that Aouragh is a qualified commentator whose expertise is related to the content of Achcar's book. Her review can be cited with attribution, or it can be removed along with Künstel's. Zerotalk 09:31, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

  • They are obviously both "activists", for lack of a better term, which we could mark, yes. Drmies (talk) 12:05, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
I am inclined to follow Zero0000's reasoning on this. Nish, is there another academic out there that can be used in lieu of Dr.Aouragh, who essentially covers the same ground? While obviously being a formidable academic, she can be occasionally somewhat "unfortunate" in her tone from what I have read of the proposed source. This may alienate future readers in this whole issue may re-surface. Oh how I wish academics of all POVs could write powerfully yet "glide above it all" in tone, Magisterially, offering a world weary-yet NPOV voice, and elegantly. Simon. Irondome (talk) 12:30, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
There is already an academic with her views, quoted in the article- Tariq Ali. The problem is that Nishidani misreads the NPOV s demanding an equal number of positive and crirical reviews for 'balance'. That a misunderstanding of policy. Epson Salts (talk) 13:49, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
No, Nishidani is arguing that it would be very unfair and highly POV to leave the one (Küntzel) and chuck the other (Aouragh), esp. on the basis of a notability argument which, as I think we have argued here, does not apply. Drmies (talk) 16:11, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, you argued so, but not very convincingly. Both Küntzel and Aouraghare academics, but that's about were any similarly ends. Kuntzel is published, on this exact topic - the relationship between Arab antisemitism and Nazim in academic peer reviewed sources - for example this or this (as just a small subset). He was a was a research associate at the Vidal Sassoon International Centre for the Study of Antisemitism (SICSA) for 9 years and is currently employed by the Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, on whose behalf he published the review of the book. In contrast, Aouragh is an anthropologist with a research interest in internet activism, who has not published a as ingle thing related to the topic in academic venues - her review was posted on an political group blog - exactly the kind of sources that [{WP:RS]] warns against. There is simply no equivalence here, and the tit-for-tat- game being played has no basis in fact. Epson Salts (talk) 22:53, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, Drmies, precisely. In all of these edit conflicts, see again the talk page, I am making a plea for consistency in application of policy. My argument was, 'if Kuenzel, then Aouragh cannot be objected to,' esp. since she has superior qualifications in the field. Zero's argument takes this to a logic conclusion; if Aouragh goes out, Kuenzel is automatically excluded. I'm almost always inclined to defer to Zero on most of these calls, but on this, I think of the precedent it sets: I too find Aouragh partisan, naively vetero-ideological indeed, in her analytic approach (which doesn't exclude her utility. After all many a liberal scholar has found things of heuristic value in Marx, and many radicals appreciate John Stuart Mill). But this is true of a huge number of experts used reflexly on I/P pages, who are never questioned, experts on 'Arabs' with no knowledge of Arabic. On the same page we have Jeffrey Herf, a distinguished scholar in his own territory of expertise who, however, as Robert Irwin notes, 'has no Arabic and this has prevented him from accurately assessing the impact of Nazi propaganda during and after the war.' I've given a long précis of his opinions on the Islamophobia article, but none of his talking points seem to be taken too seriously in the higher scholarly literature on this issue. I'm a bit wary of the implications of Zero's parallelism. Strictly speaking, a review of Achcar's work on the Arabs and the Holocaust would require someone with some qualitative knowledge of Arabic and primary sources and secondary sources in that field. Nishidani (talk) 21:28, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
That is a ridiculous argument. You can't say that a bad source must remain because it supposedly balances another source. As I said on the talk page, you can discuss the other source's removal as well if you want. You could replace the removed source with another, better source. Each source is judged on its own merit, not on how it may or may not balance another one in the article.
Also, I find the idea that someone who studied media and teaches media and published mainly about media is considered prima facie an expert on any and all history of the people whose media she is studied/teaches. That is patently ridiculous. The fact she published this piece in an ideologically sympathetic group blog is also a hint here. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 21:46, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
I didn't say Aouragh was a bad source, and your interpretation of my views is a caricature. A large amount of the material I read I find (personally) unsatisfactory either for the slant taken, or some theoretical option exercised I may be critical of (this means nearly everything I read in newspapers on these topics strikes me as bizarre. But I use those sources because policy and the consensus of editors accepts them). I'd say 80% of the documentation I see on the average IP page is unacceptable in scholarly terms, but the rules don't impose much of a high bar, and there is a lamentable tendency to use policy to excise what editors dislike, and ignore that interpretation for stuff an editor likes. When you have an area as toxically ridden with spin from all sides, as this one, or as poorly reported, then one must be careful of jumping on any policy excuse to exclude stuff one dislikes. I think Drmies has done sufficient legwork to give reasonable grounds that justify Aouragh's inclusion. The only reason for keeping Kuenzel in is to maintain parity, i.e. the balance the pros and the contras. Maintaining parity by excluding both assumes that Aouragh is as poorly qualified as Kuenzel, which is not the case. Scholarship does not think in terms of such 'sacrificial gambits'. Nishidani (talk) 22:12, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
  • If we are accepting little-known academics for their expertise, it requires their expertise actually be in the area concerned. Not around the edges of it. She is not published on the topic of the book, does not lecture in this topic and as far as I can see, has not qualified in it. If the book was in her specialty, it would be a no-brainer. As it stands, including her would give undue weight to an opinion that is neither notable by itself (its not been cited elsewhere, commented on, or even published in a more 'reliable' location) or even of relevance. Küntzel's opinion as a published academic in precisely this area is. Even if it is not positive. This looks like an attempt to 'balance' a good source with a much weaker one just because the good one is negative. Only in death does duty end (talk) 09:06, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Errr, sorry to perhaps burst your bubbles, but is the article in question actually by Miriyam Aouragh? I think it is not. Has nobody noticed that the embedded link in the author's name [21] actually leads to Philip Weiss, not Miriyam Aouragh, and that Miriyam Aouragh's name is crossed out in the publisher's newsletter reposted here [22], and that the article's author is given as Phillip Weiss elsewhere on the mondoweiss website [23]. And it is listed amongst his articles here [24]. Bubbles are all burst, I think. But at least Miriyam Aouragh got a Wikipedia article out of it. :) Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 21:35, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Miriyam Aouragh claims that article on her own web page and it is the sort of article she would write. The discrepancy is more likely a glitch made by Mondoweiss. The lists of articles by each author are probably generated automatically so only one editing error was needed. The page with crossings out does not just cross out her name but also crosses out the title, so it says nothing about authorship. On balance the evidence that Aouragh wrote it is much stronger than the contrary. Zerotalk 03:36, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

I suggest someone email Philip Weiss or Miriyam Aouragh - Philip Weiss is probably the one more likely to respond quickly. There is no point in discussing a source until its authorship is known for certain. It isn't Miriyam Aouragh's own website, it is a website of a department of the University of Oxford, and the section is "past visitors" so it is unlikely that Miriyam Aouragh has or ever had the ability to edit the page concerning her and its content may just be the work of an unconnected researcher. Miriyam Aouragh has not written anything else on the Mondoweiss site, which makes her name beside this one solitary article unusual. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 15:14, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
Every article hosted on Mondoweiss has a description of the author's background at the bottom of the article. This one has Miriyam Aouragh, so whatever the glitches, Mondoweiss attributes it to her.Nishidani (talk) 22:50, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
It doesn't - it has Philip Weiss's background at the bottom of the article. I am viewing it using Google Chrome. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 15:25, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
The review in Mondoweiss is a version of a review posted on Aouragh's personal blog. So the authorship is beyond question. Zerotalk 02:09, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Probable yes, but not beyond question. There is no author's name on it, and Miriyam Aouragh's site has articles by other people on it. I have sent an email to Philip Weiss. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 15:44, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

The Telegraph[edit]

I'm sure the The Daily Telegraph has been discussed before, but I don't know the consensus. I did come across a piece that I thought was pretty appalling. It's used to ref a fact over at Murder of Seth Rich.

It's not exactly a BLP since the person's dead, but the "for people who have recently died" clause applies since his family has made requests regarding publicity about the matter. So it's a sensitive issue, and its an extremely sensitive fact (it implies that the victim may have been a criminal and was assassinated by a hitman rather than killed in a random robbery). The passage, taken from this piece, involves the motive for the Murder of Seth Rich (he was pretty clearly murdered in a botched robbery but some people have trolled that he was assassinated) and says:

Police stated that he may have been killed in an attempted robbery but that his belongings were not taken

which we can deconstruct as

  1. Police stated that he may have been killed in an attempted robbery
  2. BUT his belongings were not taken
  3. AND this casts doubt on the "attempted robbery" theory (as opposed to the "assassination" theory)

The third point is implied. Otherwise there's no need to mention the second point, and there's especially no need to use the word "but" to preface the second point. The use of "but" clearly presents the third point by clear inference.

This sure looks like editorializing on the part of The Daily Telegraph, since common sense tells us that if you're robbing someone, and it goes bad and you shoot the person (on the public street! gunshots are loud!) your number one thought would be to get the fuck away fast rather than pawing over his body. (I don't have a ref proving that, but the burden would be on an editor trying to prove the highly counter-intuitive proposition, I would think.)

(FWIW there's zero evidence of an assassination, and no disinterested reasonable person has suggested this; it's purely a "Vince Foster murder" type political ploy.)

The entire Telegraph piece looks pretty sensationalist to me, and while its presented as a straight news story their POV about the matter -- an extremely fringe POV -- is pretty much in evidence. So my question is, is the Telegraph any good generally for ref'ing sensitive contentious (kind of BLP-ish even) facts, and what about this one in particular? Herostratus (talk) 14:51, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Attempted robbery already signifies that the robbery wasn't completed (i.e., nothing was taken). So leaving aside the reliability question for the time being, the text at issue appears rather redundant in any case.
I do agree that, in any case, the use of the word "but" is improper. Neutralitytalk 15:04, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Agree with rewording to remove "but". What I am having problems with is the reasoning used at Talk:Murder of Seth Rich#Is the Telegraph piece acceptable as a BLP ref for contentious facts?, which was
"Since we know that the editorial says false things on purpose, and goes out of its way to imply other false things, should we really be using it? How is that a service to the reader?"[25]
I also have a problem with the removal of the citation (replacing it with [ Citation Needed ] ) using the same reasoning:[26]
I agree that what Wikipedia contains should be carefully worded to retain NPOV, but we should also follow the sources rather than replacing what the sources say with our own original research.
If we reject and remove sources because an editor believes they "say false things on purpose", we open the door to the same sort of source removal from creationists, holocaust deniers, and other individuals who are convinced that Wikipedia's sources are lying. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:46, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm not asking for the source to removed on my say-so. I'm asking for people's opinion on the piece in particular and the Daily Telegraph in particular. This Equire piece where the piece's author, Nick Allen, is called out for "plainly fraudulent journalism" and "a river of lies" is big red flag to me. Rather than saying silly things -- obviously we will remove references which actually do "say false things on purpose", so why imply we shouldn't -- can you mount any defense of this source? Herostratus (talk) 01:10, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Got anything better than a six-year-old editorial where a left-wing writer criticizes a right-wing writer for writing right-wing things? So far, all you have presented is your opinion that the esquire writer is saying false things on purpose. In particular, do you have the slightest shred of evidence that the language in the current version of the article that the telegraph citation is used to support ("WikiLeaks offered $20,000 in reward money for providing information regarding the perpetrator of this crime.") is not true? --Guy Macon (talk) 04:42, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

To cut a long story short, my general thoughts on newspaper sources is they are okay as a "stand-in" source or to flesh out detail, but generally I would not choose it over as a critically acclaimed book or thoroughly researched report written ten years after the event which may not exist. The Telegraph has historically had a pro-Conservative bias (which is why it's nicknamed the Torygraph) but otherwise is considered a broadsheet-style paper like the Times and Guardian with a solid reputation of fact-checking and minimum sensationalism. Of course, that doesn't imply everything they say is true or accurate, like any newspaper. Reading the piece linked here, I immediately get the impression it is calling the Wikileaks events a conspiracy theory without making any serious attempt to show the reader it is true. With such a small article, it is probably not a prominent enough viewpoint to include right now, until there's any more detail that can be fleshed out from other sources. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 09:47, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Quite agree that The Telegraph is one of the UK newspapers where one would least expect to see POV issues (unless something was quoted directly from the Editorial). Robbery is only successful if something is taken, although in UK there is the separate offence of "Assault with intent to rob", see [27]. So I see no problem at all. The Telegraph, like any UK source reporting an ongoing crime investigation, is dependent on what the police tells it and this is often not a full (or even always consistent) account of what may have occurred. But this happened in the US, of course, so the situation may be totally different and/or something may have been "lost in translation"? Martinevans123 (talk) 10:06, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

In a pattern now quite familiar to those who have been watching the page, once again an attempt has been made to delete the source[28] with zero evidence that it is not a reliable source for the statement in the article ("WikiLeaks offered an additional $20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction") that the source is being used to support. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:19, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Overall, its in a similar place as Fox News, whatever that means to you. Rhoark (talk) 14:24, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
mmm no. fFox News is more like RT. Fine for trivia but not for anything important or controversial Jytdog (talk) 17:25, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
  • There is nothing wrong with the Telegraph as a source generally - they are a major news paper with a reputation for fact checking. There is nothing wrong with the specific content and the specific article used to source it. Jytdog (talk) 17:25, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Unfortunately, I have to agree that this particular article appears to be OK to use as a source. I generally do not agree with Guy, but in this case I agree that he is correct. Also, until this discussion, I didn't know if the Telegraph has a reputation for fact checking - now I know. Steve Quinn (talk) 18:49, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
  • I am changing my assessment. I do not consider this a reliable source. I mistakenly thought this was only sourcing the police reward. I did not realize it was being used to support the WikiLeaks reward. Obviously this source for the WikiLeaks reward was removed from the article and was therefore being contended, and should not have been restored. In any case, if it is in the article, a more serious mainstream independent (reliable) source is required. In this instance, it is pretty clear the author has a penchant for sensationalism [29] , who is best at covering Hollywood gossip and seems to miss the mark on significant issues - as pointed out by User:Herostratus and his source. For such a small article, we are giving this source with questionable motives, generalizations, and much innuendo is too much weight to carry the burden of sourcing for the WikiLeaks reward - as noted by Ritchie333. Previously I misread what editors' assessments were and, as i said, I thought this was sourcing only the mundane police reward factoid. The WikiLeaks reward has been highly controversial in the press. Lastly, Space4Time3Continuum2x seems to hit the nail on the head, point by point in my opinion. I apologize to everyone about the misunderstanding. Steve Quinn (talk) 20:59, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Are we even discussing the same reference? Within a 24-hour period, three different editors have removed it as an unreliable and/or redundant source, and GuyMacon reverted their edits three times. Nick Allen is not a respected or reliable journalist (see Herostratus' Esquire link, above). The article itself is pure trash. More than half of it is a lengthy direct Assange quote, while the rest consists of
    • rumors (swirling speculation in Washington - only on the conspiracy theories websites),
    • uncorroborated "facts" (shot in the head – get it (nudge, nudge), execution style?), i.e., otherwise known as totally made up; on top of that, this particular factoid was already removed from the article itself per this discussion, but we're putting the trashy and gossipy source back in?
    • innuendo by drawing a direct line from the shooting to the publication of the stolen emails (unsourced rumor-mongering).
    • As for the newspaper that employs this "journalist", the Telegraph has lately been renowned for reporting several people dead who weren’t, it has several major conflicts of interest because of being paid large amounts of money by companies and a Russian government-owned newspaper, and so on. So no, not a reliable source per se. Space4Time3Continuum2x (talk) 19:19, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
      • Thank you for your personal opinions about the source. Do you have the tiniest shred of evidence that it is not a reliable source for the statement in the article ("WikiLeaks offered an additional $20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction") that the source is being used to support? Can you find a single source that even hints that the statement in the article is not true?
      • Multiple editors being willing to revert is not a good metric of consensus. We had multiple editors willing to revert to keep the bare fact that Wikileaks offered a reward out of the article, and they showed themselves willing to do so even after the RfC made it clear that there was roughly a 3:1 consensus for retaining the information about the Wikileaks reward. This appears to be a continuation of that refusal to accept the consensus of the community. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:55, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Guy, I don't agree with your behavior. (Redacted) Steve Quinn (talk) 20:59, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
  • GuyMacon. RE Opinion: You're welcome and right back at ya. As with any law/rule: x % written text, y % (personal) interpretation.
-Tiniest shred of evidence: I was talking about the really biiiiiig one, i.e., "shot twice in the head". You are misquoting me.
-Attempting to second-guess me again? Nope, nope, aaand nope. Do what continuation of what refusal to accept what now? Space4Time3Continuum2x (talk) 05:07, 17 September 2016 (UTC) Space4Time3Continuum2x (talk) 05:10, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This noticeoboard is of no value if it's the same editors coming here from the article talk page. The idea is to get independent viewpoints. The issue at hand on the talk page is why we should use the Telegraph when there are unquestionably better sources such as the Washington Post for the facts presented in the article text. The Telegraph insinuates all the conspiracy and anti-Clinton mongering by incorporating and pointing to that much weaker, redundant reference. SPECIFICO talk 21:10, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Wait, I think there's some misunderstanding. This wasn't about ref'ing the Assange reward. The ref was used to source the statement "Police stated that he may have been killed in an attempted robbery but that his belongings were not taken" with IMO the subtext "and that's odd for a simple robbery, which is why we mention it". The question I asked was, is the Daily Telegraph piece sufficiently fact-checked and reliable (and neutral) us to use it for the implied statement "People being killed in an apparent botched robbery, but their belongings not taken, is sufficiently unusual to be remarkable", Herostratus (talk) 23:21, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
No misunderstanding. The point is that for the content you just copied, in bold, there are numerous better sources than the telegraph. By choosing the dicey Telegraph citation, it gets the Telegraph link in the article, and at that Telegraph page we see all the conspiracy and poorly-sourced statements. SPECIFICO talk 00:59, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
The police statement is a simple fact, reported speech. It relates to another fact in the real world, an assault. The Telegraph reports the first fact. That's what's been added to the article. How can there be any "better source" for that? If the words had been sourced from a police website, it would be WP:PRIMARY, and so less acceptable. Since when was it the job of Wikipedia to rule out sources because they contain other material that some think is "conspiracy and poorly-sourced"? Surely that's beyond any editor's remit and constitutes some kind of WP:OR? We can't be responsible for what article readers decide to read or not read when they look at a source (assuming they even look at all). The Telegraph is one of the best UK newspaper sources we have. But I see that the article now uses Newsweek as the source: I guess a US source might well be better than a UK one. The Telegraph is just used to support the reward. But are you suggesting the source can't be used at all, in case readers go and read something "dicey"? Martinevans123 (talk) 09:52, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
We have at least two sources for the reward offer in the article; we just need to add the second one to that particular sentence. As for the Telegraph reporting the facts as the police first reported them, it most decidedly did not. The reliable sources reported that the victim was shot; “shot in the head“ and – even worse – “in the back of the head“ came straight from the conspiracy fringe. Here are a couple of the sources, one from immediately after the shooting and one from the day after the reward offer. I can’t speak for Specifico; for my part, I’m suggesting that this particular article is an unreliable source at best and should not be used. The journalist didn't do his job researching, and his editor didn't do his/her job fact-checking, and that's assuming that none of this was intentional because sensationalist & titillating sells better than mere boring facts. Space4Time3Continuum2x (talk) 12:13, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
So is there a primary source, from the police, stating exactly what did happen, against which we are comparing all the secondary newspaper sources? I'm getting confused as to what is "straight from the conspiracy fringe" and what isn't. The exact wording from The Telegraph is:
"Seth Rich, 27, was shot twice in the head in what appeared to be an attempted robbery near his home in a suburb of the US capital on July 10, but his belongings were not taken."
Which part(s) of that do you have a problem with? Martinevans123 (talk) 21:12, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
It's a recent open case, one of numerous similar ones in the area and around the time. The police department doesn't comment on the status of ongoing investigations. The primary source is the MPDC press release which says that police officers “located an adult male victim conscious and breathing, and suffering from gunshot wounds.“ And this report of victim's mother and the MPDC police chief asking the public for assistance. I have two problems with the sentence ayou quoted:
  1. "Twice in the head" - see my initial post 19:19, 16 September 2016
  2. "but his belongings were not taken". It's loaded language straight from the conspiracy theorist's handbook with the subtext "they say it appeared to be (something) but we know better". See also Neutrality's comment (I believe he/she is an admin) at 15:04, 15 September 2016. Space4Time3Continuum2x (talk) 06:33, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
If the initial source for "Twice in the head" can be shown to be unreliable, then it should left out. Wholly agree with User:Neutrality's comment about the redundancy of the word "but", and I suspect there is no distinction here between US and UK law. It looks more like a grammatical error than "loaded language straight from the conspiracy theorist's handbook". Martinevans123 (talk) 09:24, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
I ran several searches with combinations of name + head + shot, but every time the Telegraph article was the only one that contained them. The other search results, even the conspiracy sites, all said "shot dead", "shot in the back", etc. The author does not say where he obtained the information, so it looks to me like he made it up. Well, this may be a moot point now; not sure how Herostratus counted, I'm gonna ask him on the Talk page. If you’re interested in the rest of the story, Snopes (I don’t know if you’re familiar with them in the UK; they’re Canadian/US fact checkers who got fact-checked by and received an A rating) thoroughly debunked it. Space4Time3Continuum2x (talk) 19:56, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
As if any self-respecting Torygraph reader would entertain such subversive drivel. Maybe we could just replace the article with a redirect to that Snopes article? Martinevans123 (talk) 20:33, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
Specifico, I think there may be a misunderstanding here? Herostratus was the first editor to remove the Telegraph reference, you were the second one, and I the third, and we all got reverted by Guy Macon. Space4Time3Continuum2x (talk) 12:24, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Curiosity took me to have a look at the article. I think there has been a lot of troubling editing going on there, and a troubling distortion of Wikipedia guidelines (such as BLP and consensus) to support that editing. We have some of that distortion revealed in the initial post here: "This sure looks like editorializing on the part of The Daily Telegraph" given as a reason to exclude the source. However, sources can editorialize as much as they want, the Wikipedia guidelines forbidding editorializing is about Wikipedia editors editorializing the content of sources. My feeling is that this article has been censored to the point that the subject's notability has been entirely removed - it would now almost qualify as an AfD candidate. The "speculation / conspiracy" stuff that some editors working on it are wanting to exclude [30] is what makes the subject notable - remove it and all we have left is a non-notable murder. I think the article urgently needs some new pairs of editorial eyes to look at it. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 21:03, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

I don't think you really mean "sources can editorialize as much as they want". That'd amount to saying we can use editorials to reference statements of fact (that is what sources are used for) -- thus "Barack Hussein Obama II (US Listeni/bəˈrɑːk huːˈseɪn oʊˈbɑːmə/; born August 4, 1961) is an American politician who is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is dedicated to the humiliation and destruction of the United States.", the second sentence sourced to an editorial or an editorializing "news story". Well that would make for some fun edit wars. Herostratus (talk) 14:44, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
Of course I mean what I wrote - sources can editorialize as much as they want; for newspapers their primary function is to editorialize. Without editorializing the source would be a primary source. Editorializing is interpreting facts, sifting out inaccuracies or irrelevancies, finding connections, with the aim of making a coherent story out of them. Your example is just an example of a Wikipedia editor misusing sources to support his/her pov: the "news story" is expressing an opinion, so the content would need to be worded to make that clear, and the opinion is obviously fringe, so would be unlikely to be usable at all and certainly not usable in a lede. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 15:34, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
OK. Well we are getting a bit off topic here I guess... You are using the word ""editorialize" to mean "write a news story". I gather you are making the point "there is no such thing as a neutral secondary source, all things are written by humans and all humans have opinions and no human can prevent her opinion being the operative factor when deciding what facts to include in a news story." This is a sour and extreme position, and leaves us able to use opinion columns to reference statements of fact -- after all, everything is either a primary source or an editorial, according to you. Thus we do end up with no reason not include material such as "He is dedicated to the humiliation and destruction of the United States" if we can ref it to an editorial. Can you see why this would make it impossible to write an encyclopedia? Because there are always competing opinion pieces!
If I may gently suggest, you are entitled to your opinion, but what on earth are you doing at the Reliable Sources Noticeboard if you think all non-primary sources are editorials? I don't see how you can contribute beyond saying "OK" to everything... Herostratus (talk) 17:19, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
Please stop claiming I have said something when actually I have said nothing of the sort, as well as stopping claiming that I did not mean what I had clearly expressed. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 17:56, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
OK! Herostratus (talk) 22:20, 18 September 2016 (UTC)


Wikipe-tan head.png

Counting noses and arguments, it looks like the consensus is that the Daily Telegraph is a reliable and neutral source generally and in this instance in particular, and very much thanks to my colleauges who took the time and effort to help out here. Herostratus (talk) 17:19, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

  • There's absolutely no question whatsoever about this. The Daily Telegraph is obviously WP:RS. duh. Any argument to the contrary strains WP:AGF to the breaking point. Dlabtot (talk) 09:41, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
The Telegraph is, indeed, a presumptively reliable source. Newsweek says "Strangely, however, they found his wallet, credit cards and cellphone on his body" so if you eliminate the Telegraph as somehow unreliable by reason of the Telegraph suggesting an incongruence one could just turn to Newsweek to make the same point. Is Newsweek therefore unreliable as well? The direction of the reasoning here is disturbing: source provides a bit of material used by those whom WIkipedians consider conspiracists therefore source is unreliable? Does everyone appreciate the circularity of such thinking?--Brian Dell (talk) 00:52, 21 September 2016 (UTC)[edit]

@Stevietheman: was unsatisfied with the limited involvement with the last discussion that ended up sent to archives. At the advice of Cameron11598 I am opening up another RS/N section.

Following is the contents of the last discussion in entirety:

Digging around I found out that this "Rebel Magazine" is not even the Rebel Magazine we have an article on ([31]), but instead some obscure Arizona Christian publication. A publication so non-notable that it doesn't even have an article on Wikipedia, and so poorly managed that none of their websites ([32] [33]) are even functional (though they do have a facebook page [34]. Therefore this source should not be considered as reliable on any article, including Shaun_King_(activist) (which by the way is the only article trying to use it as a source). - (talk) 03:16, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

Article in question: [35]
Sources without proper websites or Wikipedia pages are not necessarily unreliable. The website may not be functioning now, but it was in August 2014, when the archive snapshot was created. Is there anything to suggest this Rebel Magazine lacks editorial oversight or has a poor reputation for fact-checking? clpo13(talk) 03:24, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
Assuming that it's really theirs, the twitter that they briefly reached out from really lacks professionality: [36]. Other than that I am not really sure how to demonstrate a lack of editorial oversight, only the opposite. I guess I'll read around about the process? - (talk) 04:01, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, you could demonstrate a lack of editorial oversight or reputation for poor fact-checking by finding evidence that the source in question has a broadly-held reputation for, and documented history of, publishing misstatements, fabrications, politically-motivated smears and outright lies about people. Sort of like, say, Breitbart does. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 06:17, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
Sources are not usually presumed reliable until proven otherwise. Having no reputation is often considered nearly as bad as having a bad reputation. Rhoark (talk) 22:18, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
That's what I had thought until I was met with such resistance. I'm glad to finally hear some reinforcement of my assumption. So if anyone would like to show evidence of Rebel issuing corrections, that would easily establish reliability. - (talk) 19:19, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

Stevietheman insists on an RfC being made for this. He refuses to do that himself, despite my protests, that in my limited experience I don't feel comfortable doing that and even if I did, I have no idea which category to file it in. If the passing reader would please create an RfC for this, I guess it would be helpful?? - (talk) 05:05, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

an RfC where? And for what edit? Reliability isn't a default position, User:Rhoark is right. Doug Weller talk 20:24, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
As per this discussion closed by an uninvolved administrator, there is a clear consensus on the article talk page that the source and statement (which is that the article subject's parents are of Caucasian and African-American descent) are acceptable; no reliable sources dispute the statement and the anonymous editor in question (who was blocked 72 hours for BLP violations relating to the subject and strongly advised to disengage from the topic area) is the only user prolonging the argument. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 02:19, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
I looked at that discussion you linked to and it did not appear to be a discussion about whether Rebel was a reliable source according to Wikipedia policies and guidelines. When its reliability was mentioned, the discussion seemed to be no more than "it is" vs "it isn't". Over here reasons are required about whether or not it is a reliable source. --Bob K31416 (talk) 07:00, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

I looked at the website and couldn't find any information regarding editorial oversight nor any names of anyone who runs the website. --Bob K31416 (talk) 15:05, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

[Please note that there is currently a discussion at Talk:Shaun King (activist)#Attributing King for info on his father. --Bob K31416 (talk) 16:40, 22 September 2016 (UTC)]

Reliability of a "diploma"[edit]

Is this] which is named a diploma a reliable source for claims about Pleistocene lakes in South America? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 14:51, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

It's a PhD dissertation. Fyddlestix (talk) 15:07, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
Diploma as such is generic term that can stand for various types of theses or degrees. If the publication indeed a PhD thesis, it probably be considered a reliable source as long as the content is not particularly controversial.--Kmhkmh (talk) 23:09, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
That depends on the university granting the degree. Doug Weller talk 12:28, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
Well assuming it is regular phd and not a diploma mill thing.--Kmhkmh (talk) 14:03, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
This is from Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle de Paris which is certainly a highly respected institute of higher education. EdChem (talk) 14:12, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree. The committee is also made up by competent scientists, and its president is Henry de Lumley, a well-regarded senior scientist. Note also that the candidate has (co-)published several academic papers on the subject matter. This strengthens the case for reliability of the thesis, but also may provide alternative sources of unquestionable reliability. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:22, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
You haven't stated the material where the author's work is proposed to be used; it would be helpful to do so. Perhaps this article discussing the author's work is related to the OP's concerns. It's squarely in the mainstream of paleoclimate research as far as methodology (oxygen isotope ratios etc). Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 00:03, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
We got an enWP entry about the issue. Doctorate#France. The French WP has fr:Diplôme national de l'enseignement supérieur français. The lady in question, Florence Sylvestre became directrice de recherche à l’IRD and directrice adjointe du Centre Européen de Recherches et d’Enseignement en Géosciences de l’Environnement (CEREGE) in Aix-en-Provence. She is as well Chevalier de l’ordre national du mérite. Will say, a high level research scientist with various accolades and for sure worth a separate entry. That said, someone like her may still fall out of the grace of the likes of Stefan Rahmstorf - take the case of Jan Veizer, who gained a Leibniz prize for his lifelong and very mainstream paleoclimatic research, but Sylvestre's work is not to be dismissed easily. The statement paleo-climatic records from ice cores may be skewed by the local hydrological cycle, and should be interpreted with such an influence in mind sounds like the bone of contention. Polentarion Talk 01:42, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Thanks for the input so far. For the record I was not asking about a specific claim, just whether that source in general could be used to build the article currently sandboxed at User:Jo-Jo Eumerus/Lake Tauca per WP:MINE. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 15:17, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Youre welcome. For the record, I was looking at the section since I would like o use a bachelor thesis - and I am more cautious now, due to the discussion here. But I am sure you may go ahead with your draft using Sylvestre's work. Polentarion Talk 18:26, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
  • It may be worth looking over WP:SCHOLARSHIP, which has a few parts which seem relevant. I personally think that we would want to attribute any claims which are from an individual study; as it's likely a primary source. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 22:17, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Columbia Journalism Review[edit]

There seems to be some concern about "How do we know what we know about #Gamergate?" in the CJR. The question does not concern its use in the article, but on whether its description of the landscape of other publications on the topic is a significant resource for informing article structure. That discussion is here. I don't quite understand the objections, but they apparently pertain in part to the qualifications of the author, Chris Ip. The article has been discussed once before on RSN. Rhoark (talk) 02:09, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

A lot of CJR stories are "meta" / analytical pieces. As such it's not like one has to assume anything is being fabricated if a piece is disputed, it's just that the author has an opinion and perhaps not everyone agrees with it. Attribution to either CJR or the author may be ordinarily in order if it's a analytical / overview claim. As for exclusion even with attribution, just how reliable are the disputing sources? One cannot look at this sort of article in isolation, in isolation it's presumptively reliable. How good is the argument that the author here is off base?--Brian Dell (talk) 01:09, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
CJR is mostly analysis and commentary (and is a very well regarded source for such). Whether to include/how much to include is thus really a question of proper weight rather than reliability. In-text attribution may sometimes be called for when citing a CJR opinion piece. Neutralitytalk 04:25, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Some relevant info: It should be noted that this source does not actually appear in the CJR proper - rather, it's web-only content on the CJR's "behind the news" blog. So WP:NEWSBLOG (and it's requirement that such sources should be "used with caution") would seem to apply. It may also be relevant that it was written by one of the CJR's Delacorte Fellows, which means that he was a recent journalism school grad, basically doing a year-long work experience/internship at CJR, when he wrote this. I did my best to figure out what Chris Ip does now, but he does not seem to be currently working as a journalist, or to have done much journalistic writing since his stint at the CJR - at least that's what his own website appears to suggest.

Not saying any of that necessarily makes the source unusable - but it certainly affects its weight. This wasn't written by a particularly experienced or well-known journalist, so whatever weight it carries comes from it's appearance on the CJR's blog. Fyddlestix (talk) 04:50, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

The News International[edit]

This article[1] published in The News International has no markings to indicate whether it is a news item or an opinion column. Can you take a look and give me your view? It has been used on the 2016 Uri attack page in this edit. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 11:28, 19 September 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Sabir Shah, Uri attack is an addition to RAW failures, The News International, 19 September 2016.
When an article is marked as opinion, it is just forewarning that opinions exist in the article, which is a truism. The importance of that should not be overstated, since both facts and opinions exist in almost every source regardless of disclaimer. This one seems to consist of about 90% opinion. Rhoark (talk) 11:54, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for that Rhoark. The distinction between "news" and "opinion columns" is a bit more significant in our context because we assume that the opinion columns don't go through editorial review in newspapers. WP:NEWSORG asks us to treat the two kinds quite differently. Cheers, Kautilya3 (talk) 19:45, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
It's not that simple. Sources can use facts in support of arguments, and the disclaimer that opinions exist does not necessarily mean that the portions that are fact were not checked. Liability for defamation is still in effect except for statements of pure opinion.[37] The reputation of the publisher and expertise of the author should be considered as well. That said, the specific source raised here does not look suitable for statements of fact. Rhoark (talk) 19:59, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
The issue with opinion pieces is that they are rarely subject to editorial review and fact checking. Generally, opinion writers have much more leeway in what they write than news writers, because the label of "opinion" allows the news outlet to publish works that would otherwise not pass the bar to be considered journalism. This makes claims of fact in opinion pieces much less reliable. They should always be used with caution, taking the author's credentials and reputation into account. Highly respected authors with a reputation for accuracy, acknowledged expertise in the subject being written about who frequently cite their own sources are as good as news articles. But most opinion pieces don't fit that mold. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 20:11, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Should be considered a reliable source?[edit]

Should be considered a reliable source? It is used in the article Charles Webster Leadbeater to support a variety of assertions. Dlabtot (talk) 07:53, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

It appears to be a specifically Theosophist site, and, as such, generally considered a primary source for anything not stated as being published otherwise. The sources which it cites are more likely to be usable as a rule, in any event. Collect (talk) 12:15, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

A reliable press?[edit]

In the AfD for The Latin Testament Project there's an editor who is arguing for various sources as a sign of notability. Many of them are unusable, such as a personal email by someone asking to use text from one of the books in the project, as that's a SPS at best. However the email states that the person is going to use that text in a book published through the University Press of the Catholic University of Lublin, which looks like it also goes by the name of Wydawnictwo KUL, at least via their URL.

I'm not familiar with this like I would be the Yale University press, but it offhand seems like it should be usable given the university's ranking in Poland. What say you guys? This one is iffy since I've not familiar with the publisher and I know that being a university press isn't always an automatic seal of usability. Their books do seem to get referenced here and there. I don't see a lot, but then we also have to take the language barrier into consideration. Tokyogirl79 (。◕‿◕。) 15:04, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Hi, I think that sort of book, if published, would be reliable for this kind of content. However, having an entire article devoted to this project based on a mention in one book seems WP:UNDUE, and a mention at e.g. Bible translations could be more approproate. That is, once the book is published. Cheers, --Dailycare (talk) 17:46, 21 September 2016 (UTC)[edit]

Can be used as a reliable source? Specifically, this article reviewing one of Onnit's products. There is currently an RfC discussion on Onnit's talk page in which the article's reliability may influence some decisions. Thanks! Meatsgains (talk) 01:00, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

"Exclusive Discount Code" (The guys there have even been good enough to give us an exclusive discount code for our readers, so enter the code ‘mancave10’ to get 10% off any purchase of Onnit supplements on site.) is a bit of a red flag here - the "review" is a compensated one as a result, and is no more a "reliable source" than the many celebrity "endorsements" of weight loss products are. Collect (talk) 10:42, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Ahh I see. Good find. Not reliable then, thanks! Meatsgains (talk) 00:11, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Ambiguity in primary vs secondary source[edit]

There is an ambiguity in use of primary and secondary sources in legal articles. Please comment at WikiProject Law here. Note I changed this initial comment after the comment by TheBlueCanoe below.

This would seem like the definition of a primary source. Not that primary sources are completely off the table; they can be used as RS in limited circumstances. TheBlueCanoe 04:15, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, TheBlueCanoe. I altered my initial comment above yours, for clarification of the request for comment, and referred all commenting to one section at WikiProjec Law. MBUSHIstory (talk) 13:18, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Background to 2016 Uri attack[edit]

We are currently having a discussion (at Talk:2016_Uri_attack#Kashmir_unrest) on what sort of background to include for the 2016 Uri attack article. I have found that BBC News, New York Times, The Telegraph, LA Times, Washington Post all mention 2016 Kashmir unrest, and the 70-80 people killed in it, in their coverage of the Uri attack. User:Kautilya3, however, has implied that these sources are not very reliable and instead suggested using The Diplomat (specifically this article) as a more reliable source for sourcing the events preceding the attack. While I do not deny the reliability of The Diplomat (while noting that all opinions should be attributed and not stated as fact), I do think that all the sources I mentioned above (NYT and BBC) are also reliable enough to be used.VR talk 23:33, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Quoting a source that (very slightly) misquotes its source?[edit]

It's just a hypothetical at the moment, but Good Friday#Ireland currently cites this article from the generally respectableIrish Independent. I wanted to rewrite the sentence to fully represent what the source says, but would have trouble doing so without somewhat altering the structure of the section and perhaps lending undue weight to a recent (mostly 2016, it seems) controversy surrounding a ban on the sale of alcohol. If I were to do so, I might quote Donall O'Keeffe, whom the article quotes as saying the ban "amounted to discrimination against the licensed trade and made no financial sense". It's a really minor issue, but technically the two verbs should be in square-brackets, as it's obvious he wasn't speaking in the past tense (this source gives what look like his actual words, ironically not in quotation marks).

But are we allowed correct our source on this kind of thing? Or should we follow our source in (probably, kinda-sorta) misquoting the person named? Or should we just find a better source?

Hijiri 88 (やや) 05:39, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

The source should have used an indirect quote instead of a direct quote, but you can provide an indirect quote based on this source without being concerned that they have erroneously used a direct quote. Fabrickator (talk) 05:53, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

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

GAR input sought (sourcing concerns)[edit]

I nominated the Joachim Helbig article for community reassessment due to sourcing concerns:

  • 21 citations to Franz Kurowski (please see linked article)
  • 5 citations to a book from the right-wing German publisher VDM Heinz Nickel (de) (pls see linked article)
  • 10 citations to an author from the same imprint
  • 12 citations to a self-published source

Any additional input would be welcome. K.e.coffman (talk) 02:59, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

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

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

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

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

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

I'm not sure about some of the reasoning here. A website cannot be a reliable source if it covers WWE wrestling? Or entertainment? The site covers a wide range of topics, including science and technology, and has editors for those specific topics. Also, does the tone of reporting on a topic and use of profanity disqualify a source as being reliable?  Adrian[232] 20:45, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
The tone of the "article" appears not to be of a nature as to convince any reasonable person to place credence in its statements. Your mileage may differ, but I rather suspect my opinion is quite rational about this. Collect (talk) 22:40, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
Rational, maybe, but I find interesting the tone you are using here.  Adrian[232] 22:44, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Mahidevran Gülbahar[edit]

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

Forex trading websites[edit]

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

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

completed 3402 Type I Audit under the guidance off Deloitte

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

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

Generally, any of these Forex trading websites (and I periodically remove them from trading-related articles I monitor) exist to sell stuff. In support of that purpose, they publish information that they think will keep people on their site. They are not sources of news; in fact most of the information they publish can be found in other, more reliable sources. At best, they can be considered trade publications, but really they aren't even that. ~Amatulić (talk) 20:56, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Are American tabloid clickbait websites reliable sources for the fringe theory that Cleopatra was black[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is a minor gap in the lineage.

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

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

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

  • NOTE - Let's not get sidetracked... The question we need to ask isn't whether the historical Cleopatra was primarily of Greek ancestry, but whether it is appropriate to include the Liz Taylor movie in our list of movies that are accused of engaging in "Whitewashing". Blueboar (talk) 23:18, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Focus (German magazine)[edit]

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

We need the exact use - Focus is a major publication, and claims of fact made by it are generally accepted as being from a "reliable source." The "agent" claim, if made in an opinion column, is only usable as an opinion and cited as such. More to the point, the precise use of "agent" in German has several meanings, and is not always "paid operative" in the "US spy" sense. As so much depends on the exact wording in the source, no one here can make a definitive answer about it being a reliable source as a claim of fact. Collect (talk) 19:18, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
The labelled as an "agent" claim is actually made by RT English: "Focus had already made similar claims about the former NSA contractor, whistleblower Edward Snowden, whom the magazine labeled a 'Russian agent.'" I'm aware of RT's reliability issues but in this case took the "Russian agent" "label[ing]" at face value given RT's use of quotes. I now think it's more likely that Focus reported Hans-Georg Maaßen's comments about Snowden and RT is mis-attributing the views of Focus' source to Focus. As for Wikileaks, Focus states "Die Whistleblower-Organisation sei seit Jahren von Moskaus Agententruppe unterwandert, heißt es in dem Berliner Regierungsdossier. Analytiker französischer und britischer Nachrichtendienste kämen zum selben Ergebnis. Russlands Präsident Wladimir Putin und Ministerpräsident Dmitri Medwedew seien detailliert über bevorstehende Veröffentlichungen..." which I'd translate as "The whistleblower organization has been infiltrated by agents of Moscow for years, according to the Berlin government dossier. Analysts with French and British intelligence services have come to the same conclusion. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev receive detailed information before publication..."--Brian Dell (talk) 21:49, 24 September 2016 (UTC)[edit]

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

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

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

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

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