Wikipedia:Update/1/Content policy changes, July 2008 to December 2008

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December 2008
  • WP:Biographies of living persons
    • Remove from lead section, after removed immediately and without waiting for discussion: "from Wikipedia articles, talk pages, user pages, and project space"
    • A few obvious clarifications, and deletion of some repeated sentences






  • WP:Verifiability
    • Added to WP:V#Burden of evidence, after "Any material lacking a reliable source may be removed, but editors might object if you remove material without giving them sufficient time to provide references,": "and it has always been good practice, and expected behavior of Wikipedia editors (in line with our editing policy), to make reasonable efforts to find sources oneself that support such material, and cite them."
    • Added to list of presumably self-published sources: "podcasts, vcasts, patents, patent applications"
    • In WP:V#Self-published sources, added "and other periodicals": "Some newspapers and other periodicals host interactive columns that they call blogs ...". Also changed "Self-published material may, in some circumstances, be acceptable when produced by an established expert ..." to "Self-published work is acceptable to use in some circumstances, with limitations. For example, material may sometimes be cited which is self-published by an established expert ...". Also added "Self-published work by non-experts may also be used in limited circumstances, as described below."
    • In WP:V#Using self-published and questionable sources as sources on themselves, removed the last condition: "the source in question has been mentioned specifically in relation to the article's subject by an independent, reliable source."
    • Removed from WP:V#See also: Wikipedia:Forum for Encyclopedic Standards


November 2008
  • WP:Biographies of living persons
    • After "Remove any contentious material about living persons", added: "... or that relies upon self-published sources (unless written by the subject of the BLP; see below)".
    • Removed "These principles apply to biographical material about living persons found anywhere in Wikipedia, including user and talk pages." (Applicability to talk pages is still mentioned in the introduction and in WP:BLP#Non-article space.)
    • "there is no reasonable doubt as to who wrote it" changed to "there is no reasonable doubt that the subject actually authored it"
    • After "the name of a private individual has not been widely disseminated or has been intentionally concealed (such as in certain court cases", added "or occupations)"
    • After "if a {{WPBiography}} template is present, you can add living=yes to the template parameters.", added: "On pages with multiple WikiProject templates, the message can be added by adding the code |blp=yes to the {{WikiProjectBannerShell}} template."
    • After "{{BLPsources}} may be used on BLP pages needing better sourcing", added: "with {{BLPunsourced}} for those BLPs having no sources at all."
    • Added link to Category:User essays on BLP



  • WP:Neutral point of view
    • Added, along with an example: "In attributing competing views, it is necessary to ensure that the attribution adequately reflects the relative levels of support for those views, and that it does not give a false impression of parity."
    • Added "wikilinks" to: "Wikipedia aims to present competing views in proportion to their representation in reliable sources on the subject. This applies not only to article text, but to images, wikilinks, external links, categories, and all other material as well."



  • WP:Non-free content criteria
    • After "Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic," added: "and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding."


  • WP:Verifiability
    • WP:V#Self-published sources changed to WP:V#Self-published and other questionable sources
    • Added: "Just because a source is not self-published does not automatically make it reliable."
    • Changed to: "Any contentious claims the source has made about third parties should not be repeated in Wikipedia, unless those claims have also been discussed by a reliable source." "Articles" became "in Wikipedia", and "published by reliable sources" became "discussed by a reliable source."
    • Changed: "Questionable sources, and most self-published sources, may only be used as sources about themselves, and then only if" to "Self-published or questionable sources may be used as sources of information about themselves, especially in articles about themselves, without the requirement that they be published experts in the field, so long as", and removed one of the conditions: "it is not contentious"
    • In the same section, changed "relevant to the notability of the subject being discussed" to "relevant to the notability of the subject of the article"
    • Same section, added a condition: "the source in question has been mentioned specifically in relation to the article's subject by an independent, reliable source"


  • WP:What Wikipedia is not
    • Removed redirect from WP:Obituary
    • Changed "preference" to "orientation" in: "User pages that move beyond broad expressions of sexual orientation are unacceptable."
    • Added: "when a cited quotation contains words which may be offensive, it should not be censored."
    • "These guidelines apply to Wikipedia discussions and forums." changed to "The following policies apply to Wikipedia's governance and processes."
October 2008

Feel free to edit, but please keep discussions about changes to a page on that page's talk page. Use quotation marks to show which sentences and phrases people can search for to find the changes you list; quotation marks are also useful for giving verbatim changes whose consequences may not be clear, yet. Occasionally, notice of some changes may be deferred a month if there's evidence that the changes may not last.

  • WP:Biographies of living persons
  • WP:Naming conventions
  • WP:Neutral point of view
    • In #Article structure, after "Segregation of text or other content into different regions or subsections, based solely on the apparent POV of the content itself", added: "can result in an unencyclopedic structure, such as a back-and-forth dialogue between "proponents" and "opponents" ... It may also create a hierarchy of fact: details in the main passage are "true" and "undisputed", whereas other material is "controversial" and therefore more likely to be false, an implication that may be inappropriate. A more neutral approach may result by folding debates into the narrative rather than "distilling" them out into separate sections that ignore each other." Some of the links in one footnote to this section were changed, and another footnote was removed.
    • In #Impartial tone, added "Try not to quote directly from participants engaged in a heated dispute; instead, summarize and present the arguments in an impartial tone."
  • WP:No original research
    • In #Original images, added: "Image captions are subject to this policy no less than statements in the main text of the article. Great care should be taken not to introduce original research into an article when captioning images."
  • WP:Non-free content criteria
    • Category:Wikipedia content policies added (it has always been policy).
    • Added for emphasis: "Note that it is for users seeking to include or retain content to provide a valid rationale, not for those seeking to remove or delete it to show that one cannot be created."
  • WP:Verifiability
    • Restored to the August version: "In general, the most reliable sources are peer-reviewed journals and books published in university presses; university-level textbooks; magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses; and mainstream newspapers." The "special cases may arise" sentence from August was also removed.
    • Added: "Reliable sources may be print-only, electronic-only or be available in both print and electronic formats."
    • In #Questionable sources: Added pseudoscience.
    • In #Non-English sources: "quote the relevant portion of the original, non-English text" only applies now to a "direct quote"; the case "where editors use a non-English source to support material that is likely to be challenged" was removed.
    • WP:Fringe theories added to See also.
  • WP:What Wikipedia is not
September 2008

Feel free to edit, but please keep discussions about changes to a page on that page's talk page. Use quotation marks to show which sentences and phrases people can search for to find the changes you list; quotation marks are also useful for giving verbatim changes whose consequences may not be clear, yet. Occasionally, notice of some changes may be deferred a month if there's evidence that the changes may not last.

  • WP:Biographies of living persons
    • Added "External links in biographies of living persons must be of high quality and are judged by a higher standard than for other articles", which seems stronger than the previous "in full compliance".
    • Added "attributions to anonymous sources" as things to watch for.
  • WP:Naming conventions
  • WP:Neutral point of view
    • Added "Minority views can receive attention on pages specifically devoted to them"; removed "In [minority view] articles, the minority view should be described in detail". Also removed "When a clear consensus can be identified in reliable sources indicating that a particular view is a minority or majority view relative to the article's subject or to the general context of the material, it is appropriate to indicate this in the text of the article. It may also be appropriate to contextualize viewpoints relative to their acceptance in various communities which sources indicate to be particularly relevant."
    • Added "Give precedence to those sources that have been the most successful in presenting facts in an equally balanced manner."
  • WP:No original research
  • WP:Non-free content criteria
    • Fair-use rationales should be "specific".
  • WP:Verifiability
    • Added: "The source cited must directly support the information as it is presented in the article." In a footnote: "When there is dispute about whether the article text is fully supported by the given source, direct quotes from the source and any other details requested should be provided as a courtesy to substantiate the reference."
    • Wikipedia mirror sites may not be used as sources. [Added for emphasis; this was already understood.]
  • WP:What Wikipedia is not
August 2008