Wikipedia:Village pump (all)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This is the Village pump (all) page which lists all topics for easy viewing. Go to the village pump to view a list of the Village Pump divisions, or click the edit link above the section you'd like to comment in. To view a list of all recent revisions to this page, click the history link above and follow the on-screen directions.

Click here to purge the server cache of this page (to see recent changes on Village pump subpages)

Village pump sections

post, watch, search
Discuss existing and proposed policies

post, watch, search
Discuss technical issues about Wikipedia

Dialog-information on.svg
post, watch, search
Discuss new proposals that are not policy-related

Idea lab
post, watch, search
Incubate new ideas before formally proposing them

Wikimedia-logo black.svg
post, watch, search
Discuss issues involving the Wikimedia Foundation

post, watch, search
Post messages that do not fit into any other category

View all village pump sections at once

Other help and discussion locations
I want... Where to go using or editing Wikipedia Help desk find my way around Wikipedia Department directory
...specific facts (e.g. Who was the first pope?) Reference desk
...constructive criticism from others for a specific article Peer review resolving a specific article edit dispute Requests for comment comment on a specific article Article's talk page view other Wikimedia projects Wikimedia Meta-Wiki learn about citing Wikipedia in a bibliography Citing Wikipedia report sites that copy Wikipedia content Mirrors and forks ask questions or make comments Questions

Discussions older than 7 days (date of last made comment) are moved to a sub page of each section (called (section name)/Archive).


NPOV-problems on Wikipedia


For a long time, I really liked editing Wikipedia. However, the last few years, there has been a shift in the general editing, that made me think that the WP:NPOV-policy has weakened in favor of partisan editing.

In January 2007, this was how editor User:Esurnir described the NPOV-policy here:

Karada offered the following advice in the context of the Saddam Hussein article:

You won't even need to say he was evil. That is why the article on Hitler does not start with "Hitler was a bad man" — we don't need to, his deeds convict him a thousand times over. We just list the facts of the Holocaust dispassionately, and the voices of the dead cry out afresh in a way that makes name-calling both pointless and unnecessary. Please do the same: list Saddam's crimes, and cite your sources.

Remember that readers will probably not take kindly to moralising. If you do not allow the facts to speak for themselves you may alienate readers and turn them against your position.

I fully agree that this advice is very sound for making a good encyclopedia. However, if I compare articles from 2016 with the present ones, my conclusion is that editors do not work according it anymore. Please, for example, look at these intros:

Content dump

The Gatestone Institute

The Gatestone Institute, 16 May 2016:

The Gatestone Institute, formerly Stonegate Institute and Hudson New York, is a "non-partisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank based in New York City" with a specialization in strategy and defense issues.[1][2] Gatestone was founded in 2012 by Nina Rosenwald, who serves as its president.[3][4] Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton is its chairman.[5][6][7]
Gatestone publicizes the writings of authors as diverse as Alan Dershowitz, Robert Spencer, Khaled Abu Toameh, and Harold Rhode.[8]

The Gatestone Institute, 17 October 2020:

Gatestone Institute is a far-right think tank known for publishing anti-Muslim articles.[a][9][10][11][12] It was founded in 2008 by Nina Rosenwald, who serves as its president.[4] Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and former[13] national security advisor, John R. Bolton, was its chairman from 2013 to March 2018. Its current chairman is Amir Taheri.[14][15][16][17]
Gatestone is an anti-Muslim group.[a][18] The organization has attracted attention for publishing false or inaccurate articles, some of which were shared widely.[19][20][21][22][23]

This intro went from describing it neutral into calling a fake-news-spreading hate-group.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed=== Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, version 7 June 2016:

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a 2008 documentary film directed by Nathan Frankowski and starring Ben Stein.[24][25] The film contends that the mainstream science establishment suppresses academics who believe they see evidence of intelligent design (ID) in nature and who criticize evidence supporting Darwinian evolution and the modern evolutionary synthesis as a "scientific conspiracy to keep God out of the nation's laboratories and classrooms."[26][27] The scientific theory of evolution is portrayed by the film as contributing to communism, fascism, atheism, eugenics and, in particular, Nazi atrocities in the Holocaust.[28][29] The film portrays intelligent design as motivated by science, rather than religion, though it does not give a detailed definition of the phrase or attempt to explain it on a scientific level. Other than briefly addressing issues of irreducible complexity, Expelled examines it as a political issue.[28][30][31]

Expelled; No Intelligence Allowed, version since 16 September 2020:

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a 2008 American documentary-style propaganda film directed by Nathan Frankowski and starring Ben Stein.[29][32][b][33] The film contends that there is a conspiracy in academia to oppress and exclude people who believe in intelligent design.[26][27] It portrays the scientific theory of evolution as a contributor to communism, fascism, atheism, eugenics and, in particular, Nazi atrocities in the Holocaust.[28][29] Although intelligent design is a pseudoscientific religious idea, the film presents it as science-based, without giving a detailed definition of the concept or attempting to explain it on a scientific level. Other than briefly addressing issues of irreducible complexity, Expelled examines intelligent design as a political issue.[28][30][34]

This evolved from describing it as a documentary film into a documentary-style propaganda film, something that is already clear from the article. The pseudoscientific nature of Intelligent Design is already explained in it’s article in 2016, so why hammering it in here?

Carl Benjamin Carl Benjamin,version of 6 September 2016:

Carl Benjamin, also known as Sargon of Akkad in social media, is an English YouTube commentator, content creator and game developer.[35] He is married, has two children and lives in Swindon.[36]

Carl Benjamin, current version:

Carl Benjamin (born 1979)[37] is a British anti-feminist[38] YouTuber who is better known by his online pseudonym Sargon of Akkad. A former member of the Eurosceptic right-wing populist UK Independence Party (UKIP), he was one of its unsuccessful candidates for the South West England constituency in the 2019 European Parliament election.
During the Gamergate controversy, Benjamin promoted a conspiracy theory that feminists were infiltrating video game research groups to influence game development according to a feminist agenda. Since Gamergate, his commentary has been largely devoted to promoting Brexit, and criticising feminism, Islam, identity politics, and what he views as political correctness in the media and other institutions.[39]
In 2016, in response to politician Jess Phillips' complaint that she frequently received rape threats from men online, Benjamin tweeted to her: "I wouldn't even rape you." Criticism of this comment—and a later remark in which Benjamin said he might rape Phillips but for the fact that "nobody's got that much beer"—dominated press coverage of his European Parliament candidacy.

Please note that the Jess Phillips-comment was already made before the First version I quoted. It is as if the readers need to know mr. Benjamin is a bad man from the intro.

Steven Crowder Steven Crowder, intro as per 10 June 2016:

Steven Blake Crowder (born July 7, 1987) is a Canadian-American actor, comedian, host of Louder with Crowder, former contributor for the Fox News Channel, and regular guest on TheBlaze.

Steven Crowder, current version:

Steven Blake Crowder (/ˈkrdər/; born July 7, 1987) is an American-Canadian conservative political commentator, media host, and comedian.[40][41] He hosts the YouTube channel and podcast Louder with Crowder, where he gives his opinion on sociopolitical issues in the U.S and their solutions. He is also a former contributor at Fox News.
In June 2019, Crowder's YouTube videos were investigated over his repeated use of racist and homophobic slurs to describe journalist Carlos Maza.[42] The channel was not suspended, with YouTube saying, "the videos as posted don't violate our policies".[43][44] His channel was demonetized the next day, with YouTube noting this could be reversed if Crowder addressed "all of the issues" with his channel, citing community guidelines.[44] His channel was re-monetized in August of 2020.[45]

It is quite weird to see how the intro states Crowder’s “use of racist and homophobic slurs” as a prominent fact, while Youtube exonerated him.

ACT! for America ACT! for America, version per 20 August 2016:

ACT! for America is an American conservative political organization founded in 2007 to "promot[e] national security and defeat terrorism". It has been described as "a central player"[46] and a "force multiplier"[47] in promoting state laws banning Sharia (Islamic law) in the United States. It describes itself as a "non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization" with "nearly 300,000 members and 890 chapters".[46][48] It is loosely associated with the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters.[49]

ACT! for America, current version:

ACT! for America, founded in 2007, is a U.S.-based anti-Muslim,[50][51][52] pro-Trump[53][54] advocacy group dedicated to combating what it describes as "the threat of radical Islam" to the safety of Americans and to democracy.[20]

In four years, the intro went from "anti-sharia" to "anti Muslim", which is certainly not identical. And why is it necessary to mention the Pro-Trump-part? Do we have to mention each endorsement of each organisation, or only when it supports that spoiled, angry, racist cry-baby that currently resides in the White House? And why not quoting the mission statement of the organisation, instead of calling them plain “anti-Muslim”?

Conclusion (NPOV)


  1. ^ "About Gatestone Institute". Gatestone Institute.
  2. ^ La tournée africaine de Sa Majesté le Roi, l’expression d’un leadership solidaire soucieux du bien-être des peuples de la région , Le Matin, March 27, 2013 "Gatestone Institute, un think tank américain de renommée internationale spécialisé dans les questions stratégiques et de défense."
  3. ^ "Gatestone Institute". Facebook. May 3, 2012. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Nina Rosenwald". Gatestone Institute. Retrieved September 24, 2013. Cite error: The named reference "NRbioGI" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  5. ^ "John Bolton". Archived from the original on August 3, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  6. ^ John R. Bolton. "Scholars – John R. Bolton". AEI. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  7. ^ "Former UN Ambassador John R. Bolton Joins Gatestone Institute as Chairman". Gatestone Institute. July 17, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  8. ^ Blumenthal, Max (June 13, 2012) "The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate", The Nation, Retrieved September 21, 2013.
  9. ^ Cite error: The named reference vox327 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  10. ^ Gjelten, Tom (April 6, 2018). "Trump's National Security And State Department Picks Alarm American Muslims". NPR.
  11. ^ Cerulus, Laurens (July 17, 2017). "Germany's anti-fake news lab yields mixed results". Politico.
  12. ^ Cite error: The named reference huff was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  13. ^ Staff, TOI (September 10, 2019). "Times of Israel". Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  14. ^ "John Bolton chaired anti-Muslim think tank". NBC News. April 23, 2018.
  15. ^ Cite error: The named reference bolton was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  16. ^ Cite error: The named reference sugar was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  17. ^ "Board of Advisors" Gatestone Institute. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
  18. ^ Filkins, Dexter (2019-04-29). "John Bolton on the Warpath". The New Yorker (Serial). ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  19. ^ Przybyla, Heidi (April 23, 2018). "John Bolton presided over anti-Muslim think tank". NBC News. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  20. ^ a b "Profile: ACT! for America" (PDF). Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  21. ^ Cite error: The named reference bloomberg was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  22. ^ "False: European Union Gag Order On Revealing Muslim Terrorists' Religion". November 18, 2016. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  23. ^ Fang, Lee (March 23, 2018). "John Bolton Chairs an Actual "Fake News" Publisher Infamous for Spreading Anti-Muslim Hate". The Intercept. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  24. ^ "EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed" (DOC). (Press kit). Premise Media Corporation. 2008.[dead link]
  25. ^ Colavecchio-Van Sickler, Shannon (March 13, 2008). "Legislation may keep evolution debate alive". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, FL: Times Publishing Company. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  26. ^ a b Dean, Cornelia (September 27, 2007). "Scientists Feel Miscast in Film on Life's Origin". The New York Times. New York: The New York Times Company. p. A1. Retrieved 2007-09-28. Cite error: The named reference "Dean_Scientists Feel" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  27. ^ a b Burbridge-Bates, Lesley (August 14, 2007). "What Happened to Freedom of Speech?" (PDF) (Press release). Los Angeles, CA: Motive Entertainment; Premise Media Corporation. Retrieved 2016-01-05.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)[dead link] Cite error: The named reference "Motive_pressrelease" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  28. ^ a b c d Whipple, Dan (December 16, 2007). "Science Sunday: Intelligent Design Goes to the Movies". Colorado Confidential (Blog). Archived from the original on 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2016-01-05.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Cite error: The named reference "Whipple_CC" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  29. ^ a b c Catsoulis, Jeannette (April 18, 2008). "Resentment Over Darwin Evolves Into a Documentary". The New York Times (Movie review). New York: The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-12-03.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Cite error: The named reference "Catsoulis" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  30. ^ a b Chang, Justin (April 11, 2008). "Review: 'Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed'". Variety. Sutton, London: Reed Business Information. ISSN 0042-2738. Retrieved 2008-06-10. Cite error: The named reference "Chang_Variety" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  31. ^ Emerson, Jim (December 17, 2008). "Ben Stein: No argument allowed". (Blog). Chicago, IL: Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved 2016-01-05. One spokesman comes close to articulating a thought about Intelligent Design: 'If you define evolution precisely, though, to mean the common descent of all life on earth from a single ancestor via undirected mutation and natural selection -- that's a textbook definition of neo-Darwinism -- biologists of the first rank have real questions... 'Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature that are best explained as a result of intelligence.'
  32. ^ Cite error: The named reference Puig_USAToday was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  33. ^ Shermer, Michael. "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed--Ben Stein Launches a Science-free Attack on Darwin", Scientific American, 9 Apr. 2008. Accessed 26 May 2018. Shermer calls the movie "Ben Stein's antievolution documentary film".
  34. ^ Emerson, Jim (December 17, 2008). "Ben Stein: No argument allowed". (Blog). Chicago, IL: Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved 2016-01-05. One spokesman comes close to articulating a thought about Intelligent Design: 'If you define evolution precisely, though, to mean the common descent of all life on earth from a single ancestor via undirected mutation and natural selection -- that's a textbook definition of neo-Darwinism -- biologists of the first rank have real questions... 'Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature that are best explained as a result of intelligence.'
  35. ^ Zombie slayers call for start-up funders; Swindon Advertiser,by Beren Cross, 26 March 2014
  36. ^ I set out to troll her — why all this fuss about 600 rape tweets?, by Martin Daubney June 5 2016; The Sunday Times
  37. ^ Benjamin, Carl (27 May 2019). Exactly as Expected. Event occurs at 4:25. Archived from the original on 27 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019 – via YouTube. This graph from the BBC: shows you how the Conservative and Labour vote share has fallen since the year of my birth until now.
  38. ^ Cite error: The named reference bowles was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  39. ^ Straumsheim, Carl (November 11, 2014). ""#Gamergate and Games Research"". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved October 7, 2020. Sargon of Akkad, a YouTube user who regularly discusses “gaming, anti-feminism, history and fiction” on his channel, has fueled that conspiracy theory.
  40. ^ Steven Crowder [@scrowder] (20 February 2014). "Allow me to clarify. I have dual-citizenship with the USA and Canada" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  41. ^ "Steven Crowder, conservative comedian, draws Prophet Muhammad on YouTube channel". Washington Times. Retrieved 2017-04-14.
  42. ^ Cite error: The named reference WaPo1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  43. ^ Cite error: The named reference Time was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  44. ^ a b Nett, Danny (June 8, 2019). "Is YouTube Doing Enough To Stop Harassment Of LGBTQ Content Creators?". NPR. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  45. ^ Cite error: The named reference remonetized was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  46. ^ a b Lean, Nathan (12 August 2015). "Hirsi Ali Teams Up With Act for America for Event on Islam". Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  47. ^ Elliott, Andrea (July 30, 2011). "The Man Behind the Anti-Shariah Movement". The New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  48. ^ "act for america (homepage)". Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  49. ^
  50. ^ "Florida's Ron DeSantis spoke to group whose founder says devout Muslims can't be loyal Americans". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  51. ^ Buncombe, Andrew (August 22, 2017). "US's largest anti-Muslim group cancels 67 rallies after seeing size of anti-fascist crowd in Boston". The Independent.
  52. ^ Allam, Hannah; Ansari, Talal (April 10, 2018). "State And Local Republican Officials Have Been Bashing Muslims. We Counted". BuzzFeed News.
  53. ^ "ACT for America cancels pro-Trump rallies planned for Sept. 9 in 36 states". Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  54. ^ CNYCentral. "Syracuse denies permit request for group planning 'America First Rally'". WSTM. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  1. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference anti-Muslim bundle was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Puig calls the film a "controversial documentary", but characterizes it as "propaganda, a political rant disguised as a serious commentary". She notes, "A documentarian is not required to be objective, but Stein's point of view is blatant advertising."

It does not matter what you think of these persons, film and organisations. What matters is that the User:Esurnir was right: the pointless name-calling does alienate readers and turn them against you, ie. against Wikipedia as a reliable encyclopedia. I already see examples of this hostility in social media. And, what is worse for me personally, it demotivates me from editing.

Now, I do believe this problem is a serious threat for the image and future of Wikipedia. Do others think that too? And if so: does anybody has an idea for a solution? And, as a final question: is this the right place to show my concerns? Regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 13:33, 18 October 2020 (UTC)

Discussion (NPOV)

I don't need to repeat my soapbox but this hits the nail on the head. Too many articles editors are far too keen to rush to characterize the topic (as per what RSes may say) rather than explain what the topic is first in a neutral and impartial tone first (per the collapsed examples). We still can including that characterization, and often must include that per WEIGHT as that is usually why a topic is notable in most of these cases, but we have to present that in a dispassionate way, and that starts by first introducing the objective details of the topic, then moving into the subjective. For 99% of these articles, this doesn't change what content we have, just the order of how its presented. --Masem (t) 15:05, 18 October 2020 (UTC)

Masem, the core question always is: why is someone looking this up? Normally it's because they want to know if they should trust this source. Example: someone looking for the Cato Institute will be coming here because they have heard a statement by them. So the first and most important thing to know is that they are a libertarian free-market think tank funded by polluters. That colours everything they say. They don't say anything at all unless it's to serve their masters. Don't trust think-tanks. Ever. Guy (help! - typo?) 22:10, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
That is absolutely the wrong approach. Take Encyclopedia Britannica - do you think think they lead off with what the "reader" expects? No. We have a lede section to eventually address this and certainly burying the lede by not mentioning what somebody is notable for until the last para of the lede is bad, and this is not what anyone is suggesting. But there is a need to keep characterizations from any source secondary to the key purposes of presenting factual information first and foremost. WP is not here to be the mouthpiece to criticize people that have been criticized by the media or others, and that's exactly what the OP post is pointing out has been abused over the last several yeras. --Masem (t) 00:51, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
And that example of the Cato Institute is absolutely the last thing that we want people using Wikipedia for, or at least for WP to be as explicit about. It's the "Hilter is evil" comment mentioned above. We can explain what objectively the Cato Institute is, we can list who are their known backers and wikilinks to them, and if there's recognized commentary on that, mention those backers are known polluters, but it is absolutely not our place to even suggest in wikivoice that Cato is backed known polluters, much less promote that as the first thing the reader sees, per RIGHTGREATWRONGS. We are amoral to these things, we can't take sides at all. Pushing these points earlier make is doing exactly that. --Masem (t) 00:58, 19 October 2020 (UTC)

THIS. 1,000 x this. Especially in the AP2 area, articles have moral judgments in the lead. In my experience, if you try to "neutralize" the article by removing just judgments from the lead, you will be accused of POV pushing, etc. The belief is, to paraphrase, starting the article on Hitler with anything other than "Hitler is a bad man" is considered pro-Hitler. This approach is not only contrary to NPOV, it's just bad writing. It's "telling" rather than "showing". I've tried to fix these sorts of things in the past and always been outnumbered and chased away. To be blunt, since Trump was elected, Wikipedia took a hard turn towards moralism in the AP2 area. It's an understandable reaction, but re-balancing is needed. Lev!vich 18:27, 18 October 2020 (UTC)

Levivich, I disagree. I have a serious problem with think-tanks, for example. We should not treat them as neutral scholarly institutions because they are not. They exist to conduct policy based evidence making. A think tank funded by polluter money is not an honest broker. Carl Benjamin certainly isn't an honest broker: he's a grifter. And - amazingly - he is virtually unknown in his home country. He was humiliated the one time he tried for elected office, I guarantee you that most Brits have never heard of him, same as Paul Joseph Watson. Guy (help! - typo?) 22:06, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
Taking Carl Benjamin for example, I think if the word "anti-feminist" were removed from the lead, nothing would be lost. The second paragraph communicates the same thought, and it does so by "showing" rather than "telling" (or labelling). Gatestone Institute is another example, it has "anti-Muslim" twice in the lead. It's like we're beating our readers over the head with it. Lev!vich 22:23, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
Levivich, really? He's a MRA. He is known as an advocate of misogyny. I think that would lose something. Guy (help! - typo?) 22:44, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
"He's a MRA" says a lot more than "He's an anti-feminist". "Anti-feminist" is a meaningless label, like "anti-communist" or (drumroll) "anti-fascist". Labeling or categorizing something isn't really the best an encyclopedia can do; describing and explaining is better. Lev!vich 03:51, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
In this case, maybe we would need more references that explicitly use the term "anti-feminist" to refer to him in order to justify using it as the first term to describe him in the lede. They could either be all next to the first appearance of the term in the lede itself or further down in the body article. El Millo (talk) 03:56, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
"He is known as an advocate of misogyny"? Thanks. That shows the problem. I am pretty sure Mr. Benjamin never published a statement in favour of more mysogyny. I would also think he would deny such a statement. Nor do I know of any news about him abusing women. It are only others who call him a mysogynist. So, if Wikipedia is supposed to be a neutral source, why then putting such a statement in the lead? It would fit better in a sourced "Reception/criticism"-section. Meanwhile, his viewpoints can be explained in a "Viewpoints"-section, with the proper links that show Benjamin explaining his worldviews . That is how an encyclopedia should be made: neutral, without the use of the Poisoning the well-fallacy in the lead. Regards, Jeff5102 (talk) 07:26, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
Of course it's only others who call him a mysogynist and not himself. What he has to say on the term itself being applied to him is not important as long as there are enough reliable sources that define him as a mysognynist (or an advocate of it, for that matter) based on things he has said and done. Now, you might argue that we don't have enough sources to justify defining him as a mysogynist—which isn't even what's actually being discussed here, this is about the "anti-feminist" label, which is not only reliably sourced but self-evident by hashtags promoted by him like "#FeminismIsCancer", which is mentioned in the article—but his opinion on whether this label applies to him doesn't have nearly as much weight as what reliable sources have to say on the matter. El Millo (talk) 07:47, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
Hate to fall back on the example of Hitler again, but Hitler was publicly very adamant to citizens and to journalists that he espoused socialism, although the Nazi brand of socialism is most certainly not the kind that historians would accept as socialism. In fact, he made it a point to privately emphasize to large business owners and to wealthy patrons that he was not advocating for any sort of policies that favored workers over businesses. It's an example of why we favor reliable secondary sourcing over primary sourcing at Wikipedia. There are people and sources we trust in this area of politics for a reason. If we can't trust them, we trust nobody.--WaltCip-(talk) 13:23, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
It's also why we should wait a sufficiently reasonable time before getting too into the characterization of any topic, using sources that have "time-removed" aspects from the events rather than from any sources reporting in the midst of the events. From a purely academic interest, it is going to be interesting to see how Trump's presidency is going to be qualified a decade from now, for example, and that is the type of characterization we want to include in WP, not what the mass media is saying today about it, nor what Trump is saying about himself today as well. Yes, sometimes how a topic is characterized in the now is the only reason why they are notable, but we can still carefully approach that to avoid the aggressive and hostile tone that the various given examples show. --Masem (t) 13:41, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
Over-reliance on news and other less than scholarly sources has gotten us here. Easy to find a source that paints someone poorly these days. The other is the overall attitude of experienced editors is "X viewpoint (usually conservative) is wrong so bash away because their views are discriminatory Slywriter (talk) 00:37, 20 October 2020 (UTC)
@Levivich: How on earth are anti-feminist or anti-fascist "meaningless labels"? They both describe concrete political ideologies and contemporary social movements and organisations. It's 100% neutral and helpful to our readers to point out if an affiliation with either is a significant part of a person's biography. – Joe (talk) 15:36, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
Anti-feminism and anti-fascism (of the modern-day "antifa", not the early-20th-century variety) are not organizations, social movements, or ideologies. No more so than "anti-communism", "anti-capitalism" or "anti-anything". "Anti-feminism" is also known as "misogyny". "Anti-fascism" is also known as "being human" (might as well call it "anti-evil-ism"). "Feminism" and "fascism" might be ideologies and might be (or might have once been, in the case of fascism) social movements, but that doesn't make opposition to those ideologies/movements an ideology/movement in and of itself. Calling someone "anti-feminist" is just another way of saying someone is misogynist, and calling someone "anti-fascist" doesn't mean anything at all, it doesn't say anything about the person at all. Lev!vich 16:15, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
@Levivich and Jeff5102: I suspect the Hitler example was supposed to be facetious, but... In the past year, "universally regarded as gravely immoral" was added to the Hitler lead. (See discussion; there's also an ongoing back-and-forth about replacing it with "evil".) It sounds ridiculous to me, that the article gives precedence to modern-day public opinion over the actual deeds. It's really not the same issue as characterization in articles relating to contemporary politics, exactly, but it's somewhat related. For the issues with contemporary political articles, my first thought was that we need some clearer policies, but many of these things are already clearly covered: WP:BLP says "Summarize how actions and achievements are characterized by reliable sources without giving undue weight to recent events. Do not label people with contentious labels, loaded language, or terms that lack precision, unless a person is commonly described that way in reliable sources. Instead use clear, direct language and let facts alone do the talking.", for example. I do think it's clear that we're getting worse at various areas of NPOV editing, somehow. I don't know why, or how to fix it.
Re the points above about ideological identification of a person or group when that conflicts with their self-identification: In present-day political situations, I doubt it would ever be a good idea to label someone eg "anti-Muslim" or "anti-feminist" in Wikipedia's voice; it fits into the category of "thing someone has an opinion on", and doesn't say anything about the topic. There's an implied "Wikipedia says". If a person sees "Wikipedia says that Y says that X is [label]", they can ignore the "Wikipedia says" part since they have no reason to doubt Wikipedia's statement on Y's statement there, so they learn something about Y, and possibly about X if they happen to trust Y's opinion. If they see "Wikipedia says X is [label]", they learn something about Wikipedia, and nothing about X since they probably don't care about the opinions of anonymous internet people. But if they see "Wikipedia says that X [did things that clearly demonstrate [label]-ness in the reader's mind] (sourced to reliable sources)", then they'll actually learn the thing. (That is, assuming the article doesn't sound like it's trying to, as Levivich phrased it, "beat our readers over the head with it", which would immediately cast considerable doubt on it.) --Yair rand (talk) 09:48, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
I completely disagree with this view of labels: if a public figure is antisemitic, identified as such by reliable sources, and this is important to their notability (per the BALANCE of RS) they should be labelled as antisemitic in Wikivoice. The same is true with antifeminist or anti-gay or anti-transgender activists and spokespeople. In the case of Carl Benjamin, there are many, many RS that use "antifeminist" beyond the NYT cited in the lede; in fact, when he was a UKIP candidate in 2019, "anti-feminist Youtuber" seems to have been the standard description used for him. See (among many possible examples) the long explanation in the Guardian, this piece in the Independent, this more recent PinkNews piece, the Houston Press or Vice, which uses the longer descriptive phrase "Youtuber who rose to prominence trailing against feminism". The description isn't incidental: it is, as the sources say, central to Benjamin's "rise to prominence" and subsequent notability. Newimpartial (talk) 15:59, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
Those are some bottom-shelf sources you're point to. Got anything academic? Lev!vich 16:17, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
I disagree that the NYT, the Guardian and the Independent are "bottom shelf" sources. I also find it bizarre when editors insist on scholarly sources on political labels in articles where little or none of the rest of the content is sourced to scholarship.
Nevertheless, because Benjamin's antifeminism has been such a prominent part of his work to date, it has actually been subject to scholarly attention by media studies, criminology, and gender studies scholars. Newimpartial (talk) 16:49, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
NYT isn't a bottom-shelf source but I didn't see an NYT link there; Guardian and Independent are not good sources. Would you kindly quote where in those three papers the authors introduce Carl Benjamin as an "antifeminist YouTuber", or use the words "antifeminist" and "Carl Benjamin" in the same sentence, or in the same paragraph? Lev!vich 17:09, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
@Levivich: How is the Guardian "not a good source?" Seemplez 12:49, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
It's press, not academic. Levivich harass/hound 05:40, 27 November 2020 (UTC)
I don't normally do legwork for other editors, once I have actually linked to sources, but I will make an exception this time. The first article simply states, Benjamin is a conspiracy theorist and anti-feminist when introducing the figures it is discussing.
The Palgrave chapter spends a paragraph analysing Carl Benjamin/Sargon of Akkad's influence post-Gamergate, and states the following about him and his epigones: SoA’s account has been banned from Twitter, but through his followers, he still has a presence in our research data. The overwhelming impression of these most active participants is that they are in 2019 still concerned with “geeky” topics (games, comics, science fiction, and fantasy) but are also, for instance, climate change deniers, against feminism, against the AntiFa movement, and in general against social justice topics.
The third paper opens with the VidCon incident and approvingly cites Sarkeesian as saying, Carl is a man who literally profits from harassing me and other women... He is one of several YouTubers who profit from the cottage industry of online harassment and antifeminism}. This all seems to have been assessed by scholars, from different though overlapping fields, who know what they are doing. Newimpartial (talk) 18:03, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. Of those three, don't you think the second and third do a much, much better job of communicating CB's views than the first? And, noticeably, the second and third do not call CB "antifeminist"; the second one is calling his followers "against feminism" among many other things, and the third one is saying he profits from antifeminism, which is not the same as being an antifeminist (it's worse, in my opinion, and part of "the point" is that we should let the readers form their own opinion instead of telling them what to think). Lev!vich 20:27, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't see any incompatibility between the two approaches, or any reason WP shouldn't use both. Newimpartial (talk) 14:17, 23 October 2020 (UTC)

@Yair rand:, w/r/t "why, or how to fix it": I think the "why" has a lot to do with Trump being elected in 2016. It seem to me pretty understandable that in response to the "misinformation age" of the last four years, many people will want to do something to counteract that misinformation, and editing Wikipedia is a pretty natural choice for that. So it makes sense to me that there has been an increase in "naming and shaming", particularly in AP2, since 2016. I checked out the OP's examples with tools like mw:WWT and WP:WikiBlame and was not surprised to find that the familiar AP2 regulars were the editors who originally added labels like "anti-Muslim" to these articles (and others, I have seen), in some cases edit warred to keep them in, and in some cases !voting in RFCs to keep them in. Certain media outlets have been writing about this for years, embarking on their own "naming and shaming" countercampaign (or is it a counter-countercampaign? I've lost track). As with every other topic area, this topic area reflects the editorial judgments of the editors who edit the topic area, and for better or worse, labelling is popular nowadays in this topic area (as can be seen in this discussion, too). So as to how to fix it: partly I think the problem will get better in the future whenever Trump leaves office and hopefully the "misinformation age" subsides, and partly it won't change until/unless more "anti-label" (heh) editors start regularly editing these articles, particularly with an eye towards providing more meaningful leads. Lev!vich 16:58, 22 October 2020 (UTC)

I think there is a problem here, but with regards to the first example, while I think the latter version of The Gatestone Institute article isn't OK, the 2016 version was worse. They, like a great many think tanks, are a glorified propaganda outfit and when we replicated their assertion that they are "non-partisan" in the lead with no indication as to their ideological leanings, we were complicit in reputation washing. "Show, don't tell" might be good advice for many fiction authors but it reduces the value of a reference work: we should be figuring out NPOV leads that do succeed in summarising their topic. — Charles Stewart (talk) 19:20, 21 October 2020 (UTC)

I don't understand the distinction Masem draws between characterising something and describing what something is, since the OED defines to characterise as to "describe the distinctive nature or features of". The Gatestone Institute is a "far-right think tank known for publishing anti-Muslim articles". That is not name-calling or a moral judgement, just a description of the facts as established by reliable sources. It is no less objective (and more precise) than describing it as just a think tank. It's substantially more objective than quoting verbatim the institute's own marketing copy. Ditto for all the other American alt-right figures given as examples above.
Esurnir's maxim is being misapplied here: if we're saying that previous versions of the examples are the model, the Hitler analogy I'd draw is that we should neither call him a bad man nor dispassionately describe his crimes, we should factually introduce him as the "Führer of the Germanic Reich and People",[1] list his objective political appointments and military accomplishments, and perhaps mention something about criticism of his treatment of minorities in a Controversies section.
If we're getting better at calling spades spades, that's a good thing. – 


  1. ^ Reich Cabinet of National Salvation (August 20, 1934), Geisetz über die Vereidigung der Beamten und der Soldaten der Wehrmacht.

Joe (talk) 15:22, 22 October 2020 (UTC)

What something is is through clear, objective tests or evaluations, such as through scientific measurement or simple observation against a long-established definition requiring no interpretation. There may be limited debates here due to shifting knowledge - Pluto being a planet vs just a astral body for example - but for the most part, if you have any competent person that can understand the same process to determine what that topic is, they should always come to the same conclusion.
What something is characterized as is based on subjective measures, and thus will depend on who the person making the description will be. This not only affects, for example, the application of value-laden labels, but as well as what are the most salient "features" of the topic that are not part of what the topic "is". As an example of the latter, Kevin Spacey to some may be an "award-winning actor" while to others, a "sexual predator". Anything where there is a matter of opinion, judgement, or the like where there is even the possibility or room for counterarguments even if these aren't voiced should all be treated as characterizations of a topic.
Now related to multiple other concurrent discussions, with time, if academic sources tend to all agree that a topic - one that is no longer active or alive or whatever - meet some subjective characterization, then maybe there's room to treat that as fact. We're talking, if here in 2020, topics likely before 1950. The problem is editors want to use media sources to do that job, which is absolutely not the same as academic sources as cautioned by RECENTISM. Media is fine for facts, but we should not be trying to include their opinions or characterizations unless they are essential to understanding the topic, and when that's necessary, that's got to be presented as characterization of the topic, spoken out of Wikivoice with attribution and after we've gone through what the topic "is". Calling a spade a spade is great if that's based on a sizable body of academic works, but should be not be the case if we're basing that on current media. --Masem (t) 16:18, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
But not all cases are subject to a simplistic "is"/"characterized as" distinction. For example, I would argue (along with the sources, including scholarly ones) that Carl Benjamin's antifeminism is a defining aspect: it is a major reason he receives the attention of scholars (though anti-immigrant sentiment factors there as well), and perhaps more importantly it was a huge part of how he gained his bully Youtube pulpit through the GamerGate movement. "Antifeminism" isn't a label people apply to Benjamin because they DONTLIKE what he says: his path to notability was entirely wrapped up in his avowed opposition to feminism and feminists. There may he cases where WP would be better to let actions speak rather than labels, but Carl Benjamin just isn't one of them Newimpartial (talk) 17:04, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
What I've said doesn't mean we don't include "characterization" (of which calling CB under "antifeminism" is certainly still characterization since you've just shown it's a subjective label.) Characterization, no matter how loud it is from the media sources, should be presented after the fundamental objective statements as to not impact the initial tone of the article, and always in some type of attributed sources to take it out of wikivoice. That is, in this case, CB's notability is strongly tied to his characerization of being antifeminism and that absolutely need to be stated early in the lede per WEIGHT, but no P&G requires us to open with why a topic is notable in the first sentence, only that this is given somewhere in the lede at some point. --Masem (t) 17:13, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
I am not here to shadowbox about which sentence of the lede something goes in. There have been versions of Carl Benjamin where the antifeminist activism featured later in the first paragraph, and I was fine with that. But I still disagree with any reading of WP:LABEL that would require undisputed characterizations, or characterizations that are undisputed among high-quality (in this case, academic) sources to be attributed in the lede and denied wikivoice. I am for most purposes a philosophical realist, and Benjamin is AFAICT objectively anti-feminist; I entirely disagree that it is a "subjective label" in this instance, in the sense you mean. Newimpartial (talk) 17:24, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
This is the slippery slope fallacy when it comes to LABELs and claiming no dispute exists when you only limit to where the dispute must be from high quality RSes. This is where we entire the fact that RSOPINION is fair game for the source of points of dispute that can be used for labels (even if we don't actually include those sources), as well as common sense that a term would be taken as a disputed term and there is an absence of any sources that dispute it; the nature of the term itself should be sufficient to consider it in dispute.
The thing overall is that wikivoice cannot be judgmental at all, and taking such labels only used in the media in the short term is judgement. Editors should be very much aware that overall there's been a culture war that's been leading to an information war, and WP is at the center of that. No question we have to fight off the misinformation that is trying to be propagated (eg why we have deprecated numerous sources recently) but at the same time, we have to recognize that the press itself is fighting that way in the direction to paint the far/alt-right in a negative light, for numerous valid reasons. But because of this new approach over the last 5-6 years, that makes their coverage more judgmental on these topics - doesn't reduce the reliability of what they report factually but does beg how much we should focus on their commentary and analysis in the short term per RECENTISM. Its why we should be waiting for the academic sources that come later in time, separated from the events that will not be anywhere close to judgmental and consider if they use the same language then. Of course, if the press's broad opinion has the WEIGHT, it obviously should be included, but LABEL as well as WP:OUTRAGE tell us to keep all that outside of Wikivoice. --Masem (t) 18:07, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
No, Masem, I am not engaged in a slippery-slope fallacy. I am naming two scenarios: one where all available sources agree (and none contest) an attribute, and a second where all of the highest quality (e.g. academic) sources agree and there is no dissent within that domain. In both of those cases, I am saying that the distinction you are maintaining between "factual" and "opinion" labels cannot be maintained in some important cases, and the consensus of the sources should stand as a description of reality in these cases. Your assertion that the "antifeminist" characterization of Benjamin is limited to the media is simply incorrect; the idea that the term is "judgmetal" and unlikely to be maintained in future (vs. recent) scholarship strikes me as a truly weird kind of CRYSTAL gazing. There is nothing about terms like antifeminist, anti-transgender or anti-Jewish that makes them suitable for articles about long-dead historical subjects but inappropriate to more recent ones. All of these can be - and are - used by reliable sources to accurately describe important attributes of our BLP subjects. Removing them based on CRYSTAL or CRYBLP concerns seems the opposite of an encyclopaedic approach, to me. Newimpartial (talk) 18:21, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
The first fallacy is claiming "all available sources". WP is not a walled garden or ivory tower as to ignore what happens beyond what we list at RS. RS is important to block out what we include for facts, but we have RSOPINION, and as soon as you start digging at commentary and criticism from sources otherwise deemed RS for fact, you have created fair game to start looking beyond the RS to see if there's other opinions out there to consider if there's more that just the "RSFACT" sources. Otherwise, this logic states we basically can pretend that there is almost no right-leaning views that exist because there are no RSes on that side of the board, which is of course wrong. Contrast this to when we designation scientific theory as fact -this is through peer review and sound scientific principles that are meant to eliminate the possibility of other options. With press and subjective language, you simply cannot prove the negative - that no counter views readily exist. That's why as we get more academic works - the ones that do have peer review with the historical perspective, we now have more something like the scientific fields as to say there's no other options and thus move to a more factual usage. (And I will stress, have little care myself for any of these far right entities. It's just that if this balance is not dealt with now, it will continue to spiral out of hand to other topics beyond the far right.
The other fallacy is the emphatic need to include these terms. Again, WP needs to be non-judgemental, neutral, and impartial, and that starts with how editors approach articles. I've dealt with far too many editors that work on topics who are entering the topic believing they must show the person is "bad", which is basically against RIGHTGREATWRONG. We absolutely need to leave it for the reader to decide for themselves and focus first on writing the basic bio pieces common for any biography, and the consider how to incorporate the controversial bits knowing these are notable facets but they have to integrate in a way that keeps WP non-judgmental. This doesn't mean whitewashing or whatever removals people may claim, 99% of the time it is simply reordering and word choice of the existing text. --Masem (t) 21:47, 22 October 2020 (UTC)

But you are making a BOTHSIDES claim here that doesn't align with reality. The "other side" on Sargon and feminism doesn't claim that Benjamin isn't opposed to feminism; they argue that he is opposed to feminism and he is right. In his own words, This is what feminism has wrought – a generation of men who do not know what to do, who are being demonised for what they are - the reader shouldn't "be left to themselves" whether Carl Benjamin opposes feminism. Everyone - including the scholars, including his supporters, including Carl himself - agrees that he does. Trying to exclude or adopt WEASEL language about this obvious fact in his article would absolutely be WHITEWASHING. Newimpartial (talk) 22:54, 22 October 2020 (UTC)

But that goes to BPP's point: does he call himself "anti-feminism"? It doesn't appear to be, where it seems to be more about favoring men's rights. (It's like why pro-choice supporters on the abortion debates aren't called "anti-life supporters".) Certainly his position is readily characterized by the mainstream sources as "anti-feminism" , no question, and that's no going anywhere, but looking over the walled garden is clear this is not a universal truth and thus cannot be stated in wikivoice. We don't and can't include those sources that fail RS (no need to create false balance), we don't have to even mention that there's conflict per WP:MANDY if we don't have decent RSes that explain the conflict over the term, but we do need to take the language out of Wikivoice, which in no way is any weaseling. It's consistent with WP:YESPOV and WP:OUTRAGE and WP:LABEL. No where else on WP do we apply characterization in Wikivoice except in these areas, which is why there's the problem. --Masem (t) 23:15, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
But someone who declares themselves opposed to feminism is anti-feminist, just as someone who declares themselves opposed to fascism is anti-fascist and someone who declares themselves opposes to the Jews is anti-Jewish. These aren't LABEL issues; this is a matter of basic English-language syntax and Arisotelian logic. Newimpartial (talk) 23:35, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
No, that's still a characterization issue, and one I know I can attest to since I've been on that side that is a result of the race to trying to pigeonhole people (where my arguments to try to keep topics neutral have been argued to saying I'm pro-right). I don't know in depth of CB's statements he made, though I'm well aware he is strongly outspoken against the modern wave of feminism as it impacts men's rights. Yes, that may be (and in this case most likely is) anti-feminism but I can also see that some may argue that's pro mens-rights. Whether he's said himself he's anti-feminist I don't know, and if he has self-labeled as BPP has asked, that simplifies matters. But absent anything CB has said about himself, we have to take the media's use of that as a broad pigeonholing characterization that can't be said in wikivoice. Even if it was the case he used the term to self-identify, as it is still a term that is a characterization, and not something that can be measured or determined objectively like one's career, it still needs to be used as a point of characterization, which means it should be not spoken in wikivoice, and cannot lead off an article if we are to maintain a neutral, impartial, and dispassionate tone that NPOV/BLP requires for writing about these people. The article still is going to reflect on CB's overall stance that speaks against feminism, and by the second sentence of the lede should establish that, the reader is still going to learn this, but we can't force that to the reader, they need to be able to come to that determination themselves. --Masem (t) 13:54, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
I don't want to BLUDGEON this further, so I won't respond at length. That you see the media's use of (such a label) as a broad pigeonholing characterization that can't be said in wikivoice is clear, and is a perspective you have maintained tenaciously in this and similar cases. However, I haven't seen any substantial consensus of support for that interpretation, here or elsewhere. Newimpartial (talk) 14:15, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
It is written in policy via WP:IMPARTIAL how exactly we're supposed to present controversial aspects in Wikivoice. It seems patently clear that applying a label like "anti-feminism" to CB is a controvserial stance so IMPARTIAL 100% applies. But then I know the argument is "but there's no other view presented in the high quality RSes" but that's the other problem is that the high-quality RSes isn't the extent of the real world. We are not blind or deaf to everything else, and we're smarter than that than to know how to apply IMPARTIAL appropriately. That's exactly what has been argued throughout this entire thread from the OP's post. We have given away from what IMPARTIAL requires and instead adopted the tone the high-quality RSes have used because editors feel that's the only sources we can even listen to, which creates the problems. WP cannot write like this and asserting "But this is fine" is creating the problem. --Masem (t) 14:32, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
To try to clarify (again) - I am, by and large, a philosophical realist. I therefore recognize that that are cases where the "consensus of the best" sources may represent only a limited perspective on reality and depart from overall accuracy. For example, there are issues where NPOV derived only from the best English-language sources would depart from a BALANCEd global NPOV, for this reason.
However, in the specific case of Carl Benjamin, there are literally no sources making the claim that he isn't antifeminist; that it is patently clear that applying a label like "anti-feminism" to CB is a controvserial stance is a kind of thing I've heard from (usually avowed centrist) WP editors, but I have never once seen this argument made in the "real world". Op-edsters for example would be much more likely to argue, "people say he's antifeminist, but what he says about feminism is true", rather than objecting to those using the "antifeminist" label.
Finally, IMPARTIAL follows and must be read in the context of FALSEBALANCE. We do not include FRINGE perspectives in articles where doing so would lend undue attention to the viewpoints of small minorities, and we do not provide in-text attribution when saying that a conspiracy theory is a conspiracy theory. Editors going out of their way to insist on attribution for labels that are uncontroversialy applied to BLP subjects are, objectively, engaged in undermining NPOV and encyclopaedic tone through FALSEBALANCE. Newimpartial (talk) 15:02, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
The problem with the CB argument is that you can't prove a negative as well as the fact of the other points that Levivich is pointing out (the sourcing is not as strong as claimed that these are all stating "anti-feminist"). We can do a survey of sources and come to a fair idea how frequent a term is used but that can't 100% conclusively say "no source doesn't say this" since it is impossible to search all sources
But wholly separate is to the last point, because what this comes down to is again my point of differentiating anything that is objective (like a BLP's career and nationality) and what one is characterized as (whether that is a positive or negative characterization). Wikivoice can never speak directly a characterization as fact, period, because of the nature of being characterization of something that cannot be proven, only asserted. Near-universal characterizations can be described as such and forgo the need for direct inline attributions in the lede, "X is widely considered to by Y" is acceptable like that assuming the body has said details, or such assertions can be applied to specific facets which can be taken as fact (like what someone specifically says or does) "X is known for their views on Y", and this is all to maintain the tone. This is not a false balance issue but staying far more middle-ground/conservative in how we provide information rather than the "absolute" that the media write, thus keeping us impartial and dispassionate about the topics. As soon as you take the tone of the press, you take us out of that mode, even if this is reflecting the near-universal consensus of those sources. That's the incompatibility of media writing versus encyclopedia writing, and as we are not a newspaper, we have to change that. No other real encyclopedia writes in a tone like this. --Masem (t) 15:24, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Apart from your proposed distinction between "facts" and "characterizations" (which alongside most philosophical realists I oppose), I think our key disagreement concerns the scope and application of the following: Near-universal characterizations can be described as such and forgo the need for direct inline attributions in the lede. To me, CB's antifeminism counts as a "near-universal characterization" within the context of his notability as a public figure. While I would have no problem with phrasing the lede as "CB is a Youtuber known for his antifeminism" rather than "CB is an antifeminist Youtuber", I don't agree that what is at stake there is a more "middle-ground" or "conservative" tone. Newimpartial (talk) 15:48, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Key is that WP is not supposed to be judging topics but let the reader come to the conclusion. In a case of a person who's notability is tied to being controversial in the media as with CB, we have to be very careful of preloading the article with that stance, otherwise we've pre-judged the topic for the reader. We obviously can't avoid it nor should we bury that lede, but it is about establishing as much as we can factually state about CB - as we would at any other bio page - before moving into what makes him notable as a result of his controversy. It drastcally improves the tone and shows to the reader we (Wikipedia) are not making that judgement, but the media at large, letting them decide if the media's portrayal is correct. When we write instead in this aggressive tone that immediately applies labels even if they are well supposed from the press, it disposed the reader as well as other editors, and it encourages only negative additions to the article, which is not what we want. We're still writing encyclopedia biographies, not entries for the SPLC. --Masem (t) 16:03, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Masem wrote: "No where else on WP do we apply characterization in Wikivoice except in these areas, which is why there's the problem."
Wikipedia says: "The theory and practice of Ayurveda is pseudoscientific. The concept of vital energy is pseudoscientific. Black salve, also known by the brand name Cansema, is pseudoscientific alternative cancer treatment. Unani medicine is pseudoscientific. Zero balancing is pseudoscientific. Reparative therapy is pseudoscientific. The literal belief that the world's linguistic variety originated with the tower of Babel is pseudoscientific. The basis of the Kon-Tiki expedition is pseudoscientific, racially controversial, and has not gained acceptance among scientists. This theory is pseudoscientific. This theory is pseudoscientific. [Note: That was a different theory than the first one.] Candida hypersensitivity is a pseudoscientific disease promoted by William G. Crook, M.D. Crystal healing is a pseudoscientific alternative medicine technique. It is a pseudoscientific supernatural explanation. The Immune Power Diet is a pseudoscientific elimination diet. Ear candling, also called ear coning or thermal-auricular therapy, is a pseudoscientific alternative medicine practice. Magnetic therapy is a pseudoscientific alternative medicine practice. Pseudophysics is a pseudoscientific practice. Reverse speech is a pseudoscientific topic."
I could go on, but maybe we can already agree that we do apply characterization in wikivoice outside right-wing politics. With enthusiasm, even. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:19, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
Pseudoscientific theories are disproven via the scientific method and peer-reviewed studies, and thus once disproven, can be stated in Wikivoice. This also applies to conspiracy theories that have been well-established by highly-reliable sources following investigative reporting to be false/wrong (like Pizzagate), and to fringe science. Importantly, none of these are subjective value-laden aspects compared to what LABEL describes (objective measures are being used to distinguish these facets from reality), so this is completely different concept. --Masem (t) 02:21, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
You say that it is a completely different concept, but Expelled: No intelligence allowed was one of the OP's chosen examples, and it consists of a FRINGE, disproven claim, spun out at length into a conspiracy theory of exactly the kind you are describing. So the concepts do not seem to be all that different in practice. Newimpartial (talk) 11:39, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
The content of what Expelled covered included pseudoscience, but to apply that to the film as a documentary and to spin that as calling that "propaganda" in Wikivoice is inappropriate. Or, another way to look at it, to call someone promoting a fad diet as a sham artist in wikivoice just because we can call the science they try to claim as BS woud be inappropriate. One can objectively prove these "theories" are wrong or incorrect and with those sources label them in a Wikivoice-factual way, but no one objectively do the same with anyone's or any group's personal intent or motivation for doing something, and that's where Wikivoice cannot make the factual leap to make others' characterization as fact. --Masem (t) 14:00, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
So you are saying that there is a category of promotion of misinformation, information that has been proven false per RS, where we have to WEASEL the language and refer to it as "documentary"? Like Plandemic for instance? Because I don't think there's a policy basis for not saying that people are promoting misinformation or CT when that is what they are, in fact, doing. Stating in Wikivoice that the Plandemic videos promote falsehoods and misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic seems obviously factual and appropriate to me, not as what you call a "characterization" requiring attribution. Likewise, the lede of Expelled observes, Although intelligent design is a pseudoscientific religious idea, the film presents it as science-based, without giving a detailed definition of the concept or attempting to explain it on a scientific level which means to me that the reference to the film as "propaganda" rather than "documentary" has been substantiated as a factual claim. The fact that some people react to terms like "propaganda" and "misinformation" as though they were emotional labels, independent of content, doesn't mean that they lack demonstrable, evidential criteria - criteria that are amply met in the cases of Plandemic and Expelled. Newimpartial (talk) 19:02, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
Wikivoice cannot be judgmental, at least while things are still recent. Whether something was intended to be a documentary or propaganda, Wikipedia can't be a part of making that determination and Wikivoice has to stay with the most neutral description (this being a documentary). Do you know objectively what the intent of the filmmakers were? No, you can't, no one objectively can, save the filmmakers themselves. We can never judge intentions, only read them, and when that happens, it has to be stated from reliable sources and outside of WP voice to avoid the NOR issue. Again, I think alot of this comes from editors wanting to fight misinformation (a good thing) but at the cost of doing what the press is doing, which is calling them out on the BS they spew. Unfortunately, WP cannot do this and stay neutral, and requires a more tempered approach. --Masem (t) 19:30, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
No, Masem; a documentary film is a non-fictional motion-picture intended to "document reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record" while a propaganda film is communication that is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda. One term is not more inclusive than the other or more "judgmental" than the other: they simply refer to different things. The statement that Plandemic and Expelled are not documentaries is objective in your sense and is certainly not a matter of POV. To remain neutral, WP cannot call either Expelled or the Plandemic videos "documentary" because that is simply not what they are, and the reliable sources confirm this A description can never be "neutral" if it is both factually incorrect and unsupported by RS; that language choice is what we call "obfuscation". Newimpartial (talk) 20:13, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
Then let's go label An Inconvenient Truth as propaganda as well since its doing the same furthering of agendas (no , I am not seriously suggesting that). Propaganda is a value-laden label, just as much as white supremacy and the like, because it is as subjective. Just as I've been saying elsewhere in this thread, we can historically judge when something is propaganda (eg we clearly can recognizing much of the Nazi propaganda out of WWII because we have had decades of academic study to recognize this), but we should very cautious to apply the term factually to modern works and if its approprate to mention from its use in RSes via WEIGHT, it should be used with attribution. --Masem (t) 20:22, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
Pseudoscientific is also a value-laden label. So's hoax, and yet we have dozens of articles that use "hoax" in the name or directly call the subject a hoax. This guy actually "is" anti-feminist as well as also being "characterized as" being anti-feminist.
@Masem, it turns out that pseudoscience is not primarily identified by its inefficacy, and very few research dollars are dedicated to investigating possible relationships between string theory and whether that new brand of hair products is a decent detangler. Whether something is pseudoscience is determined primarily by its explanation. You may remember people joking during the 1980s that they knew so little about electronics that if their grandkids asked, they'd have to tell them that their televisions worked because little Japanese men were running around inside the box to make the picture. If given seriously, that explanation would be pseudoscience. Their televisions would have worked anyway.
For altmed and related commercial products, we accept sources that editors would normally classify as quite low quality, such as a couple of websites with no professional editors or other checks and balances that we find among traditional journalism or similar publications. We're okay with that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:54, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
Again: there are objective ways (outside WP in RSes, to avoid the OR) to determine if something is pseudoscience or a hoax, that's the scientific method to prove/disprove the science, or through proper investigative reporting of facts to determine the veracity of events. It is impossible to prove with any type of objectivity if creators of a work that may present pseudoscience or a hoax set out to present it as a documentary or as propaganda, though often Occum's razor will apply to how we want to think their intent was (just as we cannot prove out if a person's intention is to be anti-feminist or the like without a statement of self-assertion). (And also, if we have WP articles calling topics as pseudoscience or hoaxes without support of RSes, even if it seems obvious, that is OR and needs to be removed. But I would be surprised to find these articles to meet notability guidelines and still not have any coverage of the pseudoscientific facets from the RSes that are also providing the notability.) --Masem (t) 21:04, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
I don't think we need to go into people's intentions. It is possible to "be" anti-feminist without "intending to be" anti-feminist. This is true for just about every possible intention. Haven't you ever been the target of an inept favor? People very frequently "intend" to be helpful, but that doesn't mean that they "are" helpful. Consider also "I didn't intend to kill him", which doesn't get homicide reclassified into a death by natural causes, "I didn't intend to get drunk", which doesn't make people less drunk, "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings", "I didn't intend to Reply All to that e-mail message", etc. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:47, 31 October 2020 (UTC)
Even if one could set an accepted, standard definition of these value-laden labels, whether someone is an anti-feminist (as an example) still is only something that that person knows that they are; everyone else is using observation of what they say and do to make that judgement. Again, a person who knows (only to themselves) they are trying to promote men's rights with zero intentions of trending on women's rights may still come off as anti-feminist in their external behavior because "promoting men's rights" is often seen as a core part of being anti-feminist. (I am not saying Benjamin fits this). That's why these labels have to be seen as characterizations and judgements that should be kept out of Wikivoice. We don't have to say a single word in favor of the person or entity being called the label, we just have to take that these labels are near-universally controversal or contestable terms and thus words as such outside of WP's voice per NPOV policy. --Masem (t) 00:35, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
No. I simply do not agree that you have to intend to tread on someone's rights to actually do it. "Anti-feminist" does not mean "person who intends to oppose women's rights". It means "opposition to some or all forms of feminism", which this guy actually does. There is no difference between "opposes feminism" and "is anti-feminist". WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:53, 4 November 2020 (UTC)
But you're still looking at what Benjanin has done and thus what RSes have characterized him as, but cannot speak to what he actually intends. He could actually intend to be anti-feminist, he could instead actually intend to want to promote mens rights while staying equal with women's rights but inadvertently speaks more negatively against women's rights in an unintentionally manner, or a range of cases between those. No one but Benjamin will never know for sure (no one can peer into his mind and make that determination); the only case where we could say with some degree of confidence in Wikivoice is if he affirmed what the RS characterization of his actions were, that he was anti-feminist; or if we had enough passage of time to have better clarity of other more academic sources or distancing of time to know how to frame things better without the RECENTISM of current events clouding issues. That's the distinction we have to make here, and why labels are tricky things to be kept out of Wikivoice. Attribution or similar wording to show their origin, sure. --Masem (t) 22:31, 4 November 2020 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you're trying to say about An Inconvenient Truth, but the WP article currently describes it as "a documentary/concert film" - that is, a documentary about an event (a Gore speech), not a documentary about climate change. The speech itself may ask be promoting an agenda, but the film is presented in wikivoice as documenting the event, not the underlying phenomenon.

The point you have consistently been missing here is that "documentary" as a label is every bit as value-laden as "propaganda". For WP to imply that an audiovisual work is documenting reality, when it is not, would be a violation of NPOV and more fundamentally of WP:V. "Propaganda" is no more difficult to identity using impartial criteria than "documentary" - we have the whole discipline of Media Studies to do that, and it isn't especially difficult (or time-consuming) to do so - the preprints on the coronavirus infodemic are already hitting the journals. And what media studies scholars do is not to assess the "intentions" of the filmmakers, but that her the rhetorical impact of the audiovisual work as a whole. This is what determines whether it an educational or advocacy piece - and we use reliable sources to do that, not your personal sense of how we want to think their intent was, which seems to be the criterion you were using in this discussion. Newimpartial (talk) 21:12, 30 October 2020 (UTC)

A documentary film has zero values associated with it; it one of the accepted genres of film for non-fiction works intended to carry information. Whether that information is biased or not, the documentary label doesn't care (our article on documentary film even mentions their use as political tools). Expelled is classified as such in movie databases as AFI [1], IMDB [2], and AllMovie [3]. Propaganda, regardless of how one might dislike the material these push, is a type of documentary film, but whether something counts as propaganda or not depends in the eyes of the viewer, making that classification subjective. The fact that most media do consider a film like Expelled to be more propaganda does mean that we should ultimate describe that this is how the media describes it, but it has to be out of wikivoice because it still remains a value-laden label. To take an example of this being done properly, Zero Dark Thirty was called out heavily by the media as a propaganda film but you'll notice this is only brought in within the third para of the lede of that article and outside of Wikivoice. That's keeping the judgement away from Wikivoice. --Masem (t) 21:46, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
No, Masem. "documentary" as a category does carry a value-laden purpose: namely to "document reality, primarily for the purpose of instruction" etc. Please don't confuse the use of "documentary" as a category in movie databases, with the more rigorous sense in which we use the term on WP. Propaganda is not a subset of documentary, and not only because some Thrillers, etc. are also propaganda films. Newimpartial (talk) 21:58, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
No, on calling films documentaries, this is grounded in how they are categorized by film organizations (see WP:FILMLEAD "At minimum, the opening sentence should identify the following elements: the title of the film, the year of its public release, and the primary genre or sub-genre under which it is verifiably classified"). This is again avoiding applying value-laden judgement in wikivoice. --Masem (t) 22:06, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
That is MOS, not policy, and anyway FILMLEAD does not actually appeal to "film organizations"; rather it specifies, Genre classifications should comply with WP:WEIGHT and represent what is specified by a majority of mainstream reliable sources. Actual articles on WP seem to follow the reliably sourced criticism of the film in question more than they do the "film organizations", so that What the Bleep Do We Know!? is generally classified as a documentary in databases, but WP treats it as a pseudo-science film. Newimpartial (talk) 23:01, 30 October 2020 (UTC)

I think this disagreement we are having about what counts as a factual statement (in this case, concerning CB) is a great example of how the fact/value distinction just doesn't work in settling these disputes. And there are plenty of ways to evaluate veracity and objectivity without handwaving to those particular metaphysics. Newimpartial (talk) 22:27, 23 October 2020 (UTC)

For me, to have a statement like "anti-feminist" in the lede and be an objective fact is if he actually self-identifies with that term. Does Carl Benjamin consider himself anti-feminist?Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 17:33, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
We don't require that standard for many other labels, so why here? The lead at Al-Qaeda calls them an "extremist" group. Do you expect us to find an official statement from them that says "yeah, we're extremists"? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:54, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
The labels in the lead have to be an objective fact, not a subjective opinion verified by many well-respected sources. I personally find it very problematic myself how anti-feminism is defined as well. I don't believe it a viable term to use so actively unless self-identified because of how loose the term is and how modern-day chooses to use it. The word Wikipedia identifies suggests there are different waves of antifeminism (just as there are different waves of feminism) but will not label it. Hypothetically, a 1st wave feminist may not agree with modern-day feminists. Does that make them both a feminist and an anti-feminist? I just don't agree with such a subjective term being used as an objective fact unless they self identify as one.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 22:27, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
You didn't answer the question about extremism, though. Even I have to admit that "extremist" is a subjective and value-laden label, but there it is. Newimpartial (talk) 22:44, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
The word "extremist" was added earlier this year, after going without it for most of its existence, and it doesn't seem to be an improvement to me. --Yair rand (talk) 23:04, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
I also want to add that if being an extremist is a label that is once again relying on subjectivity, then we can have that also removed. But i by no means am saying that we need to get rid of all labels. My point is that labels that are heavily subjective shouldn't be used so bluntly in the lead as an objective fact. Its just not encyclopedic.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 19:16, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
And my point is that I don't see any basis for "extremist" beyond "many sources state" - it seems inherently subjective and perspectival - whereas "anti-feminist", "anti-fascist" etc. can actually be discussed using evidence (including, but not limited to, self-description) and evaluated without bias, objectively. Newimpartial (talk) 19:36, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
Have you looked into the term extremist the same way you looked into anti-feminist? Are you sure without a doubt that the word extremist has no academic definition that can be evaluated without bias, objectively? The majority of the sources you claimed were scholarly, were in actuality more journalistic. Which is a big reason why i'm against using the word as an objective fact. No matter what you say in this situation, the fact is that anti-feminist is indeed a subjective term.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 20:21, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
Where is the alleged rule that says the labels in the lead have to be an objective fact, not a subjective opinion verified by many well-respected sources?
Where is the logic in believing that self-identification makes something an objective fact? If I self-identify as the Queen of England, is it an objective fact that I'm the Queen? WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:39, 28 October 2020 (UTC)

For the record, the three sources I added here were all peer-reviewed scholarship. And my point about "extremism" isn't that there can't be some esoteric definition used by scholars, of which I am unaware. My point is that "feminist" and "antifeminist" are subject to real world fact checks (e.g., does the BLP subject support or oppose explicitly feminist positions or actions), while extremist does not, at least not the way it is used in (some of) our articles. But your reaction when presented with an actual subjective and value-laden term seems, err, different than one would expect based on your blanket generalizations. Newimpartial (talk) 21:50, 27 October 2020 (UTC)

I can't see two of those, but the one I can see ("Drinking male tears:") in fact does not call Benjamin anti-feminist at all, not directly. He's mentioned to set the stage in like of Gamergate, but that's it. The paper broadly talks of "pickup artists, men’s rights activists, anti-feminists, and fringe groups" and at no time makes any attempt to catalog Benjamin into those. It is absolutely wrong to use that for a BLP sourcing for this purpose. And to that point, it is often that men's rights activists are seen as anti-feminists but that doesn't mean all men's rights activists are anti-feminists, and from what I see of Benjamin's arguments, that is where he places himself (even though most believe he has a very strong stance against women having the same rights as men). I mean, all of use probably would readily recognize that as being anti-feminist, but again, being clinical and impartial, we'd simply say this is a characterization well-stated by the press, but not as a fact. --Masem (t) 22:07, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
I already provided that same quotation at greater length here, along with the content of the other sources I provided. The "Male tears" piece is concerned with CB's "followers" so, no, I wouldn't use it to LABEL him, but it definitely connects Benjamin to the misogynist FRINGE with some authority. Newimpartial (talk) 22:24, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
That paper is quoting Saarkensen (who is a valid critic in this case relative to GG, no question) but she's not the academic here and that quote is not reflective of the academics that wrote the article. That's extremely tenacious use of that paper for that assertion, because the authors themselves make no reference otherwise. Looking at your explanation, the second source (given what you quote)( is also not talking about him specifically, though yes, can be used to talk about the people that seem to avidly follow him, so it would have to be carefully used. Perhaps there's more in that source. Both of those sources would need to be carefully used due to the BLP issues. --Masem (t) 22:44, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
Please remember that I was not offering those scholarly sources for the lede of the CB article. When I spelled out the sources, for example, I was answering this request: Would you kindly quote where in those three papers the authors introduce Carl Benjamin as an "antifeminist YouTuber", or use the words "antifeminist" and "Carl Benjamin" in the same sentence, or in the same paragraph?, which each of the sources does. What seems very clear from these three sources is that none of these scholars consider antifeminism to be a purely emotive or "value-laden" label in the sense that our LABEL policy discusses (though each uses the term for different purposes). Newimpartial (talk)
The problem I see Newimpartial is that you confuse journalism with "scholarly/academic". And we need to make sure it has its proper weight. If there was some academic/scholarly paper saying "Carl Benjamin: The Mind of an Anti-feminist" where it not only defines what an anti-feminist is but also confirms that Carl Benjamin is one, then you'll have more weight in this conversation that we can look into. You claim the word Extremist is used only because a bunch of sources said so, and you find it subjective, you have continued to ignore the question: "why?" Why is anti-feminist something that can be identified objectively and not extremist? This is important to me that you clarify with actual academic/scholarly definition and analysis. I don't feel comfortable you continuing to use extremism is a subjective value-laden term without properly establishing why and why anti-feminism isn't one.
With that said, you have not proven that the usage of the word "anti-feminist" isn't purely emotive or "value-laden". For example, have you found sources that refer to him as an anti-feminist when doing an interview or not reporting anything negative?
I want to make it clear I am not a follower of Carl Benjamin, and I definitely do not agree with his views or methods. But, Wikipedia neutrality matters to me. I have yet to see proof that the word anti-feminist is a label that isn't emotive in the context of journalism.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 03:28, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
I have given three academic sources in my previous diff, which use "antisemitism" in different ways but none of which treat it in a purely emotive or "value-laden" manner. Per WP:SEALION, I will not be going any further to accommodate new goal posts. There has never been a requirement that only peer-reviewed scholarship focused on a particular political ideology can be cited when using descriptors for a BLP subject.
My argument has been (1) that scholarship does indeed place CB in The context of antifeminism (and other FRINGE views) and (2) that when the term "antifeminism" is used, scholarly sources are not engaged in mudslinging or content-free derogation but are making a substantive evaluation. (The argument had been made that the term "antifeminism" itself was essentially emotive rather than factual, so I went to scholarly sources in part to indicate that this isn't the case.)
I would now add (3): without confusing quality journalism with scholarship, it seems clear to me that serious journalism is also able to assess the nature of a BLP subject's e.g. ideological orientation and to apply appropriate labels to it. Community consensus, expressed in policy, does not require that BLP articles be restricted to peer-reviewed scholarly sources (though we should always use the best sources we have). I think two reasons this is the case are, that we trust editors to distinguish better from worse non-scholarly sources, and that we recognize that the better sources outside of scholarship (such as quality journalism) are able to distinguish fact from fiction and accurate from emotive categorization in a way that is useful for our articles (including BLPs) to reflect. Newimpartial (talk) 13:32, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
You have found academic sources and specific to Benjamin, though I dispute two of them, but lets just say all three of them are good. But they are still all recent, and this is the key problem. Again, I've compared to how we'd handle a situation in the scientific world: if a new theory came out - such as the recent announcement by NASA of water on the moon to use something practical - we are not going to write that as factual yet in wikivoice because the theory hasn't been borne out yet. It is going to take more time to test and validate, even though mainstream media are talking of it in a factual tone. Only once we actually have a system that likely can extract that water on the moon and validate its operation would Wikivoice then say it factually, but until then we'd speak of it as "NASA stated that they have found evidence for.." or the like.
Turning back to the social side, we can't bury our heads to the social war that's going on, and we know that both academics and media on the left are fighting the attempt to sway information from those on the right. The media side is focusing on that as well as their livilihoods, so they have a vested interested here while, while not affecting the reliability of their fact finding, is affecting their tone and makes them far more accusational and confrontational to the right (pretty much as they are fighting fire with fire, the right-leaning media started that). The same type of tone is in at least the one article I can see of the three; the article is far from the clinical nature I would normally expect from an academic, but having seen numerous articles related to studies around Gamergate typically from liberal-leaning academics, indicative of those that are also being critical of the right .. in other words, I see them showing their opinions a bit too much for what I would normally expect academics in social sciences to be. (not to take sides, like we are). Not to say these aren't RSes here, but again, judgement is getting clouded by being too invested in the culture war and the recentism around it.
Assuming this culture war dies out in the next 5 years the most ideal sources to document someone like Benjamin and whether any labels apply would be academic sources written 10 years out from now or longer, following by in-review media sources, where we can reasonably expect no one is directly influenced by current events. In such cases, if those did exist, then it would seem to me to be fair game that if there were enough of them to be able to use the labels factually in terms of characterization in Wikivoice. But if 10 years go by and we don't see any such sources, we can still rely on the sources that were out today, but still should be careful on wording the labels outside of Wikivoice because of the RECENTISM issue. The reason I have generally pushed on the academic sourcing side is that this usually comes much longer after the events to avoid the RECENTISM issue at least in the scientific side of publication. If the social sciences are pushing out these articles faster and come off this nuanced, that still creates a problem from RECENTISM with regards to how to treat the label in wikivoice. --Masem (t) 15:59, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
As far as your first paragraph is concerned, Masem, it doesn't seem to correspond to how WP articles, such as Water on Mars, are actually written. Without being grounded in WP policy or practice, it reads more like "how Masem thinks articles on controversial topics should be written", but transposed to hard science, so I have difficulty seeing its relevance except as a reiteration of your POV.
The second paragraph raises what I take to be the key epistemological difference underlying this discussion: do we think that quality journalism and recent academic sources are fundamentally biased, to the extent that whether man-made climate change or white genocide are real things, or conspiracy theories, are questions where we have to balance BOTHSIDES? Are the standards of evidence for those who assert that cultural Marxism is a real thing comparable in some sense to those who label it a conspiracy theory? My own take on the "culture wars" is that WP should apply consistent standards of evidence, and if scholarship that maintains a consistent standard also tends to reach consistent conclusions about what is real and what is conspiracy theory, then the supposed "bias" in this case is part of reality and should not be treated as a flaw in the sources.
To the last paragraph: thanks for having me read WP:RECENT, but I find your use of that explanatory supplement quite one-sided here. It also recognizes that One of Wikipedia's strengths is the collation and sifting through of vast amounts of reporting on current events, producing encyclopedia-quality articles in real time about ongoing events or developing stories, and it nowhere suggests that we should hold off on explicating controversial topics until the dust has settled and the controversy, faded. Frankly, we would not have BLPs at all if there were a requirement for the distance of time and scholarship before a WP article could be written. And the idea that some of the scholarship itself might be too much influenced by current events features a misunderstanding, I think, of how scholarship is performed. All scholarship reflects, in one way or another, the conjuncture in which it is produced, and it would take an argument I can't currently imagine to convince me that scholarship that is motivated by concerns proximate to the topic researched is of less quality or reliability than scholarship motivated by more distant concerns. The criterion, as with all scholarship and journalism for that matter, should be in the way evidence is used. And so the idea of discounting scholarship if it doesn't have a 10-year trendline of previous studies on the same topic for comparison is, fortunately, not based on or compliant with WP policy in any way I can see. Newimpartial (talk) 18:54, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
If you look at Water on Mars, the word "may" appears over 70 times on that, clearly establishing that most of the article is based on theories and observations and not stating the definitive proof of water on Mars. That's exactly what I am saying in how we write scientific articles on new discoveries that have not yet had the test of time to become scientifically accepted.
And you seem to be implying that I am saying we can't talk about anything controversial about BLPs or the like, which is not at all the implication. If the WEIGHT of sources is clearly there as is the case of Benjamin to cover that a vast swath of media and/or academics at the present time consider him anti-feminist as an essential part of his notability, we should absolutely document that; my point is that we need to document that in a clinical manner. We document controversies but don't become part of them. This isn't false balance issue (that would be saying that we'd need to include more material from Benjamin's side to make the coverage equal), but simply that something that is controversial in the short term may not really be that in the long-term, especially when we consider the state of the world and the media's unhindered response to that. This is the essence of WP:OUTRAGE but it is also be cognizant of the whole situation happening in the world out there for the last decade, not just in this comfy zone provided by the high quality RSes.
Also, we shouldn't be trying to conflate the very real thing of "white supremacy" or "anti-feminism", ideologies that are well documented for decades, with the issues of calling out people and groups based only on the short-term media's observations. We absolutely should write on the ideologies of anti-feminism in a factual voice as it has been a well-studied topic, though obviously there's new theories and concepts that get added over time that should be added with appropriate language in Wikivoice to note they are not yet accepted parts of what is included in anti-feminism. (Same would be true with new theories in climate change). And I'm sure there are historical people that are well documented in these studies as examples of anti-feminists. But when it comes to persons or groups today, we simply don't have the wisdom of time to properly be judging in Wikivoice, considering all factors in play, so as to be clinical, we should be taking the same approach as with scientific articles, simply not stating these factually in Wikivoice but indicating their origin.
Again, most of the time to get to where I've suggested we should be, this is just a matter of changing existing statements to make the tone far less accusational in Wikivoice, like "Benjamin is anti-feminist" to "Benjamin is widely considered anti-feminist", and perhaps an ordering change of information to start with objective and going to subjective, not a neutering of this key information from articles. Though I will say that a fair number of ledes on these articles also tend to stuff in smaller incidents (already documented in the body) that are not directly related to notability but make the person look "bad" just because there's space for that. For example, in the current lede of Benjamin's article, the 2nd para is good (this strongly establishes why he's notable), but I question at least the need of the third para, as while that created a burst of coverage during the election, that doesn't seem to be an enduring factor about him, compared to what the second paragraph says. This is all a part of documenting controversies but not getting involved or taking sides even if it feels much of the rest of the world has.--Masem (t) 20:26, 28 October 2020 (UTC)

I have no problem with removing the third paragraph of the CB lede, or with widely considered antifeminist, though I still prefer "rose to prominence with his antifeminist videos on YouTube". But what what you said previously about science articles is quite unlike what you are now saying about Water on Mars. You had said that we would avoid Wikivoice, as in "NASA stated that they have found evidence for.." or the like, but in-text attribution is not prominent in the Water on Mars article. The lede of that article, for example, consisted almost entirely of unattributed "is" statements based on the current scholarly consensus, with only one "may" hypothetical. This is not at all the meticulous process of distinguishing "theoretical" from "factual" statements that you described previously.

You keep saying that you are concerned about calling out people and groups based only on the short-term media's observations but when presented with recent non-media, scholarly sources, it becomes clear that no level of source quality will satisfy you, only persistence over time. And this is a weird sort of CRYSTAL argument on your part: that maybe, some day, new sources will become available that question the accuracy of these characterizations (although none have to date), so we should attribute them until enough time has passed. And I just don't see anything, in WP:RECENT or anywhere else in policy, that suggests we should do that when we have sources of reasonable quality and quantity to establish a consensus reality. Newimpartial (talk) 21:41, 28 October 2020 (UTC)

On the lack of attribution in water on Mars, you'll note that I've been saying the same type of limited attribution can be used on an article on Benjamin if you're talking about labels that are widely used. You don't need to say "Benjamin is considered to be anti-feminist by the New York Times." but simply "Benjamin is widely considered to be anti-feminist." That aligns with the same type of scientific approach in keeping claims of fact out of Wikivoice on the Water on Mars article. I read that lede as appropriately keeping most of the theories about the topic as theories and not as fact, only factual to what we have observed only from various probes and where there has been scientific corroboration on the results.
And this isn't a CRYSTAL issue, as sources may never appear about Benjamin or others in the far future but he clearly will remain notable. To give a better example, do you think it would be practice to try to summarize a criticism of Trump's presidency at this point with the current media sources? Heck no - the media is clearly hostile towards him for good reason (he's been hostile towards the media in addition to the culture war) and we've yet to see fallout from his term of office, in addition to what might be a second term. We'd probably not be at a place to do that until 5-some years after he's out of office when the full implications and outcomes can be assessed. We can have some short term aspects as there is plenty of WEIGHT to do that, but per RECENTISM and NOT#NEWS we should keep this to just enough and a high level coverage so that a reader with no idea of US politics can understand the larger concerns. While Benjamin's case has nowhere close the impact on the world as Trump, the same principles around RECENTISM applies. Should no new sources come around in time, we can then rejudge the now-current sources with better hindsight and write better around them without being so caught up in events. --Masem (t) 22:24, 28 October 2020 (UTC)

@Joe Roe: Re Esurnir's maxim, I don't understand the point you're trying to make. We don't describe the actions as crimes; we leave that judgement up to the reader. We tend not to have Criticism sections in biographies. Historical articles are typically sufficiently NPOV that one wouldn't be able to tell whether the authors supported or opposed any given action, as they should be. Nothing should hint at the author being eg pro- or anti-genocide. Listing objective appointments and actions and such is basically what the lead has looked like for most of the article's existence. Are you suggesting that it shouldn't be? This is pretty basic NPOV. --Yair rand (talk) 21:40, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
I really, really, really hope that every editor here is "anti-genocide" and I don't see any problem with our coverage reflecting that... – Joe (talk) 07:25, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
And that is exactly the problem. Wikipedia is a neutral source. Editors, who want to have their opinions shown, can edit Conservapedia or RationalWiki. Just take a look at the article concerning the Liepāja massacres. Those massacres were anti-Semitic, gruesome and immoral in every sense of the word. However, such characterizations do not appear in the text: the facts speak for themselves. And that is how it should be written in an encyclopedia. Best regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 11:24, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
@Joe Roe: All articles are required to be written from a neutral point of view. That includes articles dealing with extremely abhorrent views. The NPOV FAQ specifically calls out the issue of morally abhorrent views ("What about views that are morally offensive to most readers, such as advocacy of homicidal cannibalism, which some people actually hold? Surely we are not to be neutral about them?"), requiring that we present them neutrally. NPOV is a binding policy which is non-negotiable. Articles may not be anti-cannibalism, anti-genocide, anti-human-extinction, or anti-anything else. This is fundamental to what Wikipedia is. --Yair rand (talk) 23:23, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
Articles may not be anti-cannibalism, anti-genocide, anti-human-extinction – I will add this to the collection of utterly astonishing and deplorable quotes from this discussion. – Joe (talk) 07:17, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
@Joe Roe: but that is what NPOV means. We all agree that Wikipedia articles must be neutral. That means articles cannot be pro or anti anything, regardless of one's personal views or how widely those views are or are not shared. Thryduulf (talk) 11:32, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
@Thryduulf, I don't think that's quite right. Articles must be pro-something if all the reliable sources are pro-that thing, and anti-something if all the reliable sources are anti-that thing. The goal is not to leave people wondering whether or not a hoax was a hoax, whether the Alternative cancer treatments that Facebook is adverstising are just as effective as what their oncologists recommend, etc.
There are subjects over which reasonable people (and, relevantly, reliable sources) can disagree, but neutrality means "representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without editorial bias, all the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic", not "articles cannot be pro or anti anything, even if all reliable sources are 'pro' and none are 'anti'." If all the sources are 'pro', then the article can't be neutral unless it is also "proportionately" 'pro', too. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:29, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: yes and no. If all the reliable sources are pro (or anti) obviously our article will be presenting only that viewpoint, and our readers should not be left wondering wether the subject is or isn't a Good Thing. However, we should be careful to always show not tell, including in that situation. "Quack Mixture is a syrup manufactured by BadCorp marketed as a dietary supplement that will cure various diseases and ailments including the common cold, influenza and Covid-19. All reliable medical authorities agree that the mixture conveys no medical benefits and indeed may be harmful for some people. It has been banned by regulators in the EU, USA and 27 other countries." rather than "QuackMixture is a fraudulent and harmful fake product that, despite marketing claims, does not cure the common cold, influenza or Covid-19." (please can someone add some sub-headers to this section, it's not easy to edit currently). Thryduulf (talk) 02:21, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
@Thryduulf, I don't think that's the actual practice. See, e.g., "Homeopathy or homoeopathy is a pseudoscientific system of alternative medicine." I am only partly joking when I say that some editors would like to have that sentence read "Although it doesn't work, homeopathy, which doesn't work, is a type of alternative medicine that doesn't work". WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:11, 31 October 2020 (UTC)

Search Carl Benjamin and read the text in the box to the right. Wikipedia editors are writing for google and not a reference work. fiveby(zero) 20:25, 23 October 2020 (UTC)

@Fiveby: Google just takes information and create their own infoboxes and link to whatever they like. That doesn't mean that the editors edit for Wikipedia. If you notice there's also links to facebook, Instagram, and twitter too.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 21:09, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Good company. fiveby(zero) 21:37, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
I feel some editors are unintentionally using WP to wage the fight in the ongoing culture war in an inappropriate RIGHTGREATWRONGS matter, knowing that WP is read by many and has influence (such as appearing in Google search results like this). It is important that we do not allow those agencies that are deep in the culture war get their way on WP and we have to fight off mis/disinformation campaigns from these agencies and those that want to support them, absolutely, but that doesn't mean we swing the other way to treat those groups in an unencyclopedic fashion. Again, Wikivoice is amoral here, and we're not supposed to be taking a side here. --Masem (t) 22:21, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
I hope my hyperbole is not taken to mean that it's not important, or that the difficulties aren't apparent. I think lots of editors do phenomenal work. fiveby(zero) 23:26, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
@Fiveby: I think you're right on the money. I don't feel that the way the lead starts at Proud Boys really doesn't conform to generally accepted MOS for biography yet there is such a great bickering over tha first line. See all the discussion at Talk:Proud Boys and Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view/Noticeboard#White_supremacy_and_the_Proud_Boys. I think how it gets picked up by Google is why such a big deal is made over the first line. Graywalls (talk) 21:25, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
...all those RfCs asking: should the first sentence of the lead describe X as Y? and filling the talk pages. fiveby(zero) 21:37, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
After reviewing all the information that I saw, I'm going to also weight in and agree with Masem and Levivich that these labels are not encyclopedic and it is not for Wikipedia to label these people. I believe this especially holds true if the person doesn't align or confirm alignment with those views.
Terms such as "far-left" or "far-right" or even "alt-right" and even "Facist" are not encyclopedic and they are indeed bludgeoning tactical terms that media has continued to use. There is room to be labeled "Far-left" or "far-right" but I believe after the political meltdown. I truly believe Wikipedia needs to be more strict with these terms. In this modern age, it's almost impossible to be subjective. Even scholars have their own political alignments. So we can't rely on subjective opinions on where someone is aligned with and call it an objective fact. There's some recentism at play by labeling with these terms when at this time it's common to use them as insults.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 22:07, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Be that as it may, in the case of Carl Benjamin, that he is "known for his opposition to feminism" or "for his antifeminism" is an objective fact, and that he is "opposed to feminism" is something he himself has stated. There are various ways this can be stated in the article, but leaving out this basic piece of information - which is the main reason for him to be considered notable - would be most unencyclopaedic (and also a NOTCENSORED violation). Newimpartial (talk) 22:23, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
You've just contradicted yourself with that statement, as there's no way that we can consider any of that "objective fact". Objctive fact is something demonstrated though something comparable to the scientific process, not just "because so many journalists said so so it must be true"; we do not use that approach anywhere else on WP, and to continue to argue that shows how broken this is --Masem (t) 23:06, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Objective social facts are facts that are established by rigorous social-scientific processes, such as those used by sociologists and historians. Not all of these processes have to wait years after the fact for such data to be collected, as many professional ethnographers or demographers could tell you. In the case of Carl Benjamin being noted for his opposition to feminism, this has already been established by scholars and quality journalists who have looked at the reporting about him and observed the online communities he has been part of. Given the extent of the documentation available for this (recent) history, this is a verifiablen, objective fact. That Benjamin has stated his opposition to feminism is, in fact, part of the historical record already. You are strawmannig me ("because so many journalists have said so") in a discussion where I have presented scholarly citations on this as well as journalism; in point of fact I am not the one applying different standards of evidence on this topic than in the rest of the encyclopaedia. Newimpartial (talk) 23:24, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Sometimes subjective attributes are presented as facts in professionally written encyclopedia. For example "has a pleasant ether like odour." "plesant" and "ether like" are subjective qualities, yet these are stated as facts. In my opinion, that's about as accurate as describing lemon as having "lime like flavor" and perhaps not everyone finds the odor "plesant". "denser than water" is an objective fact. Graywalls (talk) 23:38, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Which itself would extend from the scientific literature, given that smell or taste of a chemical is something impossible to quantify except against other more common things. (Eg its well known that cyanide has an almond-like taste but that's the last thing you'd want to verify). But here again, this is something that the scientific literature has come to agreement to use via peer-review as a means to assess chemical odors, which the EB just replicated; it is something still determined through the scientific process, and not really comparable to the use of value labels to describe people which can't be proven out, only asserted. --Masem (t) 23:51, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Objective social facts are facts that are established by rigorous social-scientific processes, such as those used by sociologists and historians Which I agree with, and why we should we be waiting some time (Years) until these sources actually arrive with that rigorour process that takes years to complete to make that determination, and not using the current media. Doesn't matter how much material there is, we're still far too close to these events to establish if this is how history will document him, for example. Completely different standards are being applied here, because if the same standards were used across WP, we'd be calling Hitler evil, Casablanca the greatest movie ever, the Beatles the greatest musical group ever, and numerous other things directly in wikivoice and right up front in their respective articles. It is a very selective twist of policies that editors have applied across the right-leaning set of topics (the ones the current media have shown high detest for) only. I don't think this is intentional, its fighting back against the culture war, but it is showing how badly these articles are written in terms of tone and presentation of media and public opinion in wikivoice compared the rest of the encyclopedia. We can't be in this blame game (that's a job for a liberal-leaning wiki, not us) even though it is really easy to slip into taht mode. --Masem (t) 23:51, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Noting that Carl Benjamin is anti-feminist is simply not in the same category as describing the Beatles as the greatest musical group or Casablanca as the greatest movie. The former can be documented using logical and impartial criteria, while the latter are subjective judgements. Many of the other statements in article ledes objected to by the OP, such as describing Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed as a "2008 American documentary-style propaganda film", rather than a "documentary", are simply more accurate than the whitewashed versions they replaced - not only do they give more information, but the information they give is more accurate. There is no justification for presenting Expelled first as a documentary and then noting criticisms of its veracity, when the reliable sources have concluded with very good reasons (that don't have much to do with any "culture war") that it is propaganda. Newimpartial (talk) 02:22, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
The arguments are exactly the same - the bulk of the media say so, there's no counterargument, so we need to present it that way as fact is effectively the logic here, and that's why its wrong. Taking a look at the Expelled talk page, the change to label it a propaganda film is only recent (last 2-3 years) and thus part of this same twist of using Wikivoice to be judgmental, and represents the same problem here; the talk page uses the same logical faults ("none of RSes same its nothing but proganda, so it must be fact that it is"). Given that the filmmakers appear to have earnestly made it a documentary, it should be presented like that --- BUT clearly because its touching on fringe concepts, its contents should be called out where appropriate in line with FRINGE and we can certain reference that major sources considered it more a proganda piece. Almost all of these problems (making the jump that the "majority of press agree on point of contest/controversy/subjective nature" means it must be an "objective fact") is drawing WP into this culture war when we need to be distancing ourselves and not taking any sides or the like. The more we keep doing it, the more we continue to create conflicts and have editors drawn to try to "fix" it by flooding with misinformation. Staying neutral and impartial on these topics will significantly help prevent that. --Masem (t) 02:59, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
@Newimpartial: Personally, I agree that Expelled is a propaganda movie. However, as an encyclopedia we cannot say that. WP:NPOV states that Articles must not take sides, but should explain the sides, fairly and without editorial bias. This applies to both what you say and how you say it.
If we call the film a propaganda movie, we take sides and violate the very basics of the NPOV-rule. Thus, the best we can do is explaining the falsehoods, inaccuracies, and the tricks the producers pulled both during production and editing. And all without editorial bias. That is not "whitewashing." That is making a good article. Best regards, Jeff5102 (talk) 09:01, 24 October 2020 (UTC)

FALSEBALANCE is on the same level as IMPARTIAL for a reason. Not all issues have two (or more) comparable sides - sometimes there is "one side" that is based on what actually happened, and an "other side" based on a conspiracy theory. And in that scenario, User:Masem, "not taking sides" is in fact taking a side, and we call that activity WHITEWASHING.

Also, nobody in this discussion is using the argument the bulk of the media say so, there's no counterargument, so we need to present it that way. I have pointed this out as a strawman twice already, and will not be responding to it further since it is not my position. If you haven't read correctly my account above of how social facts are known, that ain't my fault. Newimpartial (talk) 11:52, 24 October 2020 (UTC)

WP:FALSEBALANCE is about claims that the Earth is flat, that the Knights Templar possessed the Holy Grail, that the Apollo moon landings were a hoax, and similar ones. Conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, speculative history, or plausible but currently unaccepted theories. It is not about denying persons to defend themselves in their own article. In short: Carl Benjamin is not on the fringe when it is about Carl Benjamin. Jeff5102 (talk) 13:29, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Not true at all, especially since we are only supposed to be documenting the controversy. I know in the current culture wars that the idea that if one is not actively engaged on one side or the other, one is considered part of the problem, but WP has to be neutral and cannot be involved here, that's not anything in our purpose or the like. We can't take a side. The argument is not a false balance one either, as that would be asking to include the counter-arguments at any length. Instead, as documented at WP:YESPOV, if we know that a stand is controversial or contestable , we're not supposed to present it in WS as fact, but with sometime that implies its attribution, and that's all that needs to be then be said if there's nothing that can be reliably sourced in counter-argument to that. Just as we can't say "CB is anti-feminist" but can say "CB is widely considered anti-feminist", we can't say "The Beatles are the greatest musical act of all time" but we can say "The Beatles are often considered one of the greatest musical acts of all time", without the need to any any counter-points or any other sourcing from what exists already (eg avoiding the false balance), but keeping characterization out of Wikivoice and thus keeping it neutral and impartial. --Masem (t) 13:36, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
Both of you are arguing about a counterfactual. Carl Benjamin isn't defending himself against accusations of antifeminism; he argues rather that feminism really is the problem. The fact that he takes an antifeminist position is pure WP:BLUESKY. Likewise, to note that Benjamin rose to prominence through his participation in Gamergate and his antifeminist activism isn't becoming involved or taking a side, it is making a factual statement backed up by scholarship as well as quality reporting. Nobody disputes these facts - not the BLP subject, not the right-wing disinformation machine, nobody. But certain avowed centrists among the WP community imagine these documented facts to be "contentious" and thereby create FUD that makes them appear so. They are not, except in the minds of certain WP editors.
Perhaps, Masem, you believe that if everyone including the BLP subject understands that subject to inhabit a contentious identity, like being a flat-earth advocate, that WP must nevertheless attribute that characterization because being a flat-earth advocate is taking a controversial position. If so, this seems to me to be a complete misreading of LABEL, which is intended to cover situations where the labels themselves are contested, not ones where everyone can agree that a categorization applies but some are for and others agin' the position categorized. Newimpartial (talk) 14:30, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
We have more common sense to understand that even if there is an absence of any direct contentious to the use of a label in any source, even those not in RSes, the use of such labels should be taken for granted as a contestable aspect, particularly in the absent of direct self-identification, that's the whole reason they are value-laden labels - you can't prove the negative. Otherwise, we're presenting a position of only allowing what the media presents as their view to be our view in wikivoice, which is absolutely not acceptable. As I mentioned, only with significant time and academic analysis can we even begin to consider adapting labels to be fact but that's after allowing the academic process of peer review and the passage of time to distance analysis from current events to be able to judge that. Otherwise, we are simply making WP be an engager in the current culture war, which is not a role we're suppose to take.
Self-identification is where things change. If a person has said they were a flat-earther, we'd present that as one of those areas they present. A good example (properly written) pulled from the category appears to be David Wolfe (raw food advocate), where we state, neutrally, what he is in his career, and then note his pseudoscientific beliefs which is what he is notable for , but without any additional commentary to that. That's putting the characterization secondary to the objective facts about the topic, but still covering it as appropriate to the WEIGHT of sources. Trying to pushing characterization before is not our place. On the other hand, from the same flat earth category, somethng like B.o.B is clearly badly worded that sets an immediate negative tone by the forced inclusion of the non-objective "conspiracy theorist" term in the lede. That he does promote conspiracy theories including flat earth should be noted in the lede, which it does later, but you can see how that small inclusion at the time immediately taints the entire read of the article, and given how small the section on his views are compared to his musical career, that's even perhaps UNDUE. This is the type of blame game that editors are likely unintentionally doing because of this attitude, that we have to call out these "bad" behaviors on such topics, which in reality WP needs to be far more impartial on. --Masem (t) 16:15, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
I didn't see much there that engaged with what I said in a meaningful way, so I wasn't going to reply. However, I think I should address the assertion that you can't prove the negative. This is a nonsense argument in this context - people try to prove the negative of these labels all the time. People try to show that Ezra Pound wasn't really a fascist or that Martin Heidegger wasn't really a Nazi, for example. And when such arguments have supporting evidence, the descriptions of such figures become nuanced to reflect the scholarship. But arguments that Adolf Hitler wasn't a Nazi, or that the National Socialist party wasn't antisemitic, are taken as nonsense - not because you can't prove a negative, but because the negative is so obviously false. Newimpartial (talk) 23:36, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
And those arguments go to the "sufficient time passed" factors I've mentioned: we have more than enough time in academic analysis that scholarly determination has made that distinction that clearly define the Nazi party as antisemitic in a factual basis from an academic view. We're not using media of the 1940s to make that distinction, but academic analysis from the decades that followed. --Masem (t) 23:59, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
I am reasonably confident that Hitler is characterized as a Nazi, and the Nazi party is labelled antisemitic, from their very first respective mentions in encyclopedias. And I doubt very much that discussions of Pound and Heidegger in encyclopedias and similar reference works left out mentioning or characterizing these BLP subjects' Naziism and Fascism until "sufficient time passed". Masem, your claim here seems entirely unsupported by evidence - just because so much time has passed by now does lend support to the hypothesis that it only recently became possible to make these characterizations. Newimpartial (talk) 01:24, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
The First paragraph of the Adolf Hitler-article is:

[Hitler] was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as the chancellor of Germany in 1933 and then as Führer in 1934.[a] During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland on 1 September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

Please note the absence of words like "antisemitic", "racist" or "far right." Without these characterizations, it is perfectly clear to readers that initiating World War II and perpetrating the Holocaust is very bad already. That is no coincidence. After all, MOS:LEADBIO tells us to write clinically, and let the facts speak for themselves. These concerns are especially pressing at biographies of living persons. Even after all the discussions here, I do not see good reasons to divert from this rule. Regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 10:08, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you are saying here, since the leader of the Nazi party is literally a Nazi - the opening of the Hitler article. And anyone following that link will find that The Nazi Party ... was a far-right political party in Germany and at the end of the lede in the 1930s the party's main focus shifted to antisemitic and anti-Marxist themes. As I stated above, Hitler is labelled as a Nazi, and the Nazis are characterized as antisemitic, as I believe has been the case for as long as either have held encyclopaedic attention. Newimpartial (talk) 13:08, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
There is a difference between "the nazi-party is an antisemitic and anti-Marxist party" and "Nazi political strategy focused on anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, and anti-capitalist rhetoric, although this was later downplayed to gain the support of business leaders, and in the 1930s the party's main focus shifted to antisemitic and anti-Marxist themes," as the complete quote goes.
And on your other point: indeed, now it says immediately the Nazi Party is "far right." This was inserted in June 2017 by User:Jaco IV, a user who was blocked a year later, and turned out to be a sock puppetteer. I would say that the article could do without this label, if the discussion page was not visited by one-time editors whose fringe-theory expressed the opposite. In situations like this, I understand the labeling.
Still, that does not change MOS:LEADBIO tells us to write clinically, and let the facts speak for themselves. These concerns are especially pressing at biographies of living persons. I still believe that this rule stands. Regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 16:36, 25 October 2020 (UTC)

I agree that we should be clinical, but CB is quite clinically and impartially antifeminist, and that he "rose to prominence through his antifeminism" is a purely accurate statement that does not imply POV. Obviously for his many followers, his antifeminism has been a feature rather than a bug. Newimpartial (talk) 17:46, 25 October 2020 (UTC)

I don't know what people mean when they say feminist these days, let alone an antifeminist. Looking at his article, he opposes Reclaim the Internet and social justice feminism. Reading antifeminism#Definition tells me nothing about Benjamin, and really the political views section does not either. Editors ref-bombing the labels and failing to actually describe the person. His views are probably somewhere in between oppisition to just the two things mentioned and revoking the vote and founding Gilead, but I really have no idea. Seven talk page archives and this is the best Wikipedia can do to serve the reader? fiveby(zero) 00:30, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
I think it is safe to sat that people who blame feminists for the rise in misogyny are antifeminists. Newimpartial (talk) 01:58, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
Women Against Feminism is antifeminist [4], as was Lucy Dawidowicz [5], among other notable women. I read "CB is an antifeminist" and I think "Oh, like Dawidowicz?". No, not like Dawidowicz. Not at all like that. That's why the label is meaningless... it has too many meanings. Lev!vich 02:22, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
Anti-feminists may not have any more in common than feminists do, but that doesn't imply that either term is meaningless. Next thing I know, you'll tell me we shouldn't be talking about libertarians or anarchists because there are too many different kinds. :p. Newimpartial (talk) 02:32, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for bringing up anarchism. I went to the article of Noam Chomsky, and saw his article starts with his professions and expertises. Only in the end of the first paragraph, it says that Ideologically, he aligns with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism. That is how to "write clinically," and is so much better than describing him as a anarcho-syndicalist and libertarian socialist linguist and philosopher. Or, even worse, if we let his enemies characterize him: an America-hating, Holocaust-denying anarchist. We do have reliable sources to back these claims up, but charactarizations like those would turn the article into an attack-page, and attack-pages do not belong on Wikipedia. Instead, I do think the Chomsky-lead is a good example on how encyclopedic leads should be written. Regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 09:01, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
Yes all that for the first line. When you search Proud Boys on Google, the right side box shows "The Proud Boys is a far-right and neo-fascist male-only organization that promotes and engages in political violence in the United States and Canada. Proud Boys|Wikipedia". Clearly, I think one of the huge motivation behind such a long winded bicker over the line is for the control of how it shows up on Google. Graywalls (talk) 22:44, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
  • My thoughts: a well written, neutral article lead starts by defining WHAT the topic is, and THEN discusses WHY the topic is NOTABLE. The facts can be presented in one sentence or many... but the order is what establishes the neutral tone. So... we don’t say “Hitler was a genocidal German leader”... we say “Hitler was a German leader who was genocidal”. Blueboar (talk) 00:48, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment - this discussion is long, intense, and informative. After weighing and measuring the different perspectives that were presented, I closely align with the arguments presented by Masem, Levivich, and Blueboar, which are basically corroborated by Jimbo, who did not participate in this particular discussion but whose perspectives are similar as evidenced by the following: To say it in WikiVoice, or not??, To include it in a BLP, or not??, and Politics, presidents and NPOV. I think it pretty much wraps it up in a nutshell. WP:LABEL guides us in the handling of contentious labels, and WP:Editorializing further explains certain aspects of NPOV relative to impartial tone. In fact, our WP:PAG are quite clear about everything that has been brought up in this discussion, and we should not stray too far off the beaten path in what appears to be an effort to RGW, or to align with one's own subjectivity. Our editing should be pragmatic reflecting a dispassionate tone; i.e. encyclopedic. Granted, WP doesn't have firm rules, and content and interpretation can evolve over time but it should not go in a direction that may prove detramental to the project's neutrality. With the slang characterization of opinions in mind, use your imagination and I'll just say everybody has one, including our readers. They should be the ones forming their own opinions based on what they glean from our neutral, accurate and factually presented articles. Atsme 💬 📧 10:18, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    I Agree completely with Atsme, Masem, Levivich and Blueboar. NPOV on Wikipedia has long been described as "absolute and non-negotiable" and part of that is not labelling people as pro or anti anything. When people descirbe themselves as pro or anti something, or there is a strong consensus of academic literature that so describes them then we report that characterisation without labelling them ourselves. Thryduulf (talk) 11:32, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    But in MOS:LABEL, this only applies to Value-laden labels—such as calling an organization a cult, an individual a racist or sexist, terrorist, or freedom fighter, or a sexual practice a perversion. Are you seriously suggesting that anti-racist or pro-irridentist activism are "value laden" in the same sense as the examples given? If so, what about "environmentalist" or "climate change activist"? Do they count as well, even though they don't have "pro" or "anti" in the name? Because if the scope of MOS:LABEL is supposed to be that wide its language needs to he clarified, for sure. Newimpartial (talk) 11:45, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    IMO, yes MOS:LABEL should apply to all labels. What is "value-laden" is subjective. We should describe someone as "an activist for environmental issues" rather than "an environmentalist", unless "environmentalist" is the only term they use to describe themselves. Thryduulf (talk) 12:15, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
Indeed, self-described labels should be fine. When a politician was a life-long member of the Anti-Revolutionary Party, then there is no problem in calling him an "Anti-Revolutionary politician" (though "politician of the Anti-Revolutionary Party" is better). That said, I also completely agree with User:Atsme. We are here to make, as she says, neutral, accurate and factually presented articles, to have readers form their own opinions, not to tell them how to think about persons,organisations, documentaries or music groups. Is there a way to highlight her words as the conclusion of this discussion? Best regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 12:38, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

I'm very late to this party (I normally don't follow VP). The original editor makes a very compelling argument. I 100% agree that we need to use fewer labels and let the readers draw their own conclusions from the actions, events, etc discussed in the article. What is the answer? Not sure but seeing the problem sure is a step in the right direction! Springee (talk) 22:48, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

I do want to stress that I don't think there's an argument to disallow the use of labels. But when they are used, they should not be in wikivoice if the labels are primarily originating from recent media and not from academic sources. A concurrent argument would be when the sourcing of such labels in quantity is sufficient to not require named attribution in lede/summary statements, and when it should be more specific to whom is making the claim by naming the speaker(s) (differentiating between a label widely used to describe a person/group, and a label used somewhat more selectively), and of course avoiding one-off label claims even if coming from one single high quality RS. --Masem (t) 23:08, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
...but for some subjects, "recent media" is the best, and sometimes the only, source, and for non-academic subjects, high-quality media should not be despised.
I do not think that we should be afraid of stating, in "wikivoice", things that are very widely stated in Wikipedia:Independent sources. We should not have sentences that start to sound like "According to Alice, Bob, Carol, Dan, Erin, Frank, Grace, and pretty much every other independent source that's ever written about this guy, he's a _____". That would be silly. The opening sentence of Richard B. Spencer is probably fine just like it is, and it does not need to be re-written with WP:INTEXT attribution. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:13, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
For recent topics, recent media may be the current best source, but it should be recognized as "recent" and that means RECENTISM applies. This doesn't mean we ignore the media, because much of the time their notability is tied to how they are characterized by the media and actions/events that stem from that. But we have to recognize that the media does not have the "wisdom" that time and sufficient academic review can give, so it is wrong to call them the "best" source", at least while things are still current. To compare it to the scientific world, even if a peer-reviewed paper came out tomorrow in the journal of Nature that said we can get cold fusion with graphene, Diet Coke and Mentos, and there's sound scientific theory behind, we would not write that immediate as fact in Wikivoice, but instead something like "Researchers from such-and-such claims they achieved cold fusion..." in the short term. If other researchers were able to replicate it, bring it to scale and show it to be correct, then we may later change it to fact. This is the same vector that climate change theory became accepted as fact over multiple decades. Now, I do understand that we may never see academic analysis of some of these people or groups years down the road, which okay, sure, at which point if there's nothing else that shows conflict in the long-term future, then the consensus that had been developed now could be taken as fact, but we should absolutely wait on that.
On the matter of writing towards that, I've talked elsewhere of the idea of a source survey that serves double duty for this as well as satifisying future complaints "but no sources say this!". If we want to incorporate any of those labels on Spenser's article, the first step would be to take a good number (100 or more, but 200+ is better if we can) of what we do deem as RSes over a reasonable source range and time range that Google News will give hits on (say, 2014 to 2020), and find out how many apply the label of interest (eg neo-Nazi, conspiracy theorist, etc.) to him in that context against how many many that don't. If its a reasonable high percentage that do (and to me, 25% or more is reasonable high), we're talking a broad use of the label which can be reflected in Wikivoice without stating it as a fact that "Spencer is broadly considered to be a neo-Nazi." without having to name sources, presuming that the body is going to state this again and have a paragraph or so that gets in to the evidence from these sources to explain why this is the case (he expresses neo-Nazi beliefs? He sides with neo-Nazi groups? I dunno exactly what is used, but when you read on SPLC why they label a group as a hate group, they give reasons why, this is the type of "documentation" I would expect). If only 10-25% of sources say this, or the source selection is very narrow, then it probably is necessary to name the specific sources that use the label. If its' less than 10%, then you're probably looking at only a handful of individuals using the label, and that's something probably to keep out of the lede and may itself be a fringe/undue view to include. (These are very very rough guidelines but it gives the idea of addressing the concern of having a bazillion source names in the lead when its not really necessary). --Masem (t) 20:08, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
  • RECENTISM is about breaking news, not about subjects that don't interest scholars.
  • Given that you can create a BLP on the basis of just two (2) independent reliable sources, why do you think that we could realistically have 200+ reliable sources that all talk about the same aspect of a typical BLP?
  • I notice that on the one hand, you're advocating for only mentioning negative things that scholarly sources say about BLPs, and on the other, you say that you like the SPLC as a source. Are you counting their website/database as a scholarly source? I don't. I count it as a reliable source, and I think we should use reliable sources for this kind of content, not merely reliable sources that were published in the academic literature.
WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:00, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
RECENTISM is more than just breaking news; it covers many facets related to how to cover topics that are recent and making sure to focus on facts over opinions.
Keep in mind that in terms of notability, WP is looking at enduring coverage. We want to know why a person is notable over time, not for a spat of coverage. (The essence of WP:BIO1E and WP:NEVENT as well). Someone it just takes one event to cause a change in perception: arguably this is the situation around Andy Ngo after that Proud Boys incident in Portland, or how we view people like Kevin Spacey caught (convicted or not) in the #MeToo movement that seeming changes how the tone of writing in the media which gets reflected in Wikipedia. So just because 200+ sources all might focus on, say, the anti-feminism of Benjamin here, we're still writing a biographical article and need to write that clinically and neutrally. If those 200+ sources were all over a period of a few months representing just a burst of coverage, and nothing since (which I know isn't the case but hypothetically), maybe the event that triggered them wasn't as significant as implied by the source count. Even if those 200 sources are spread over time, but all they just do is name drop the person with the label and do not explain further, that's not helpful either. If it is notable facet, it will be covered in an enduring manner.
SPLC may cross both but it depends on context. For example, they recently did an article to look at the origins of the monuments in the South and their ties to the Confederacy and other groups. That would be a scholarly article. On the other hand, their typical database of cataloging groups into hate groups would be more media/advocacy and needs to be attributed - but still a reliable source. Remember, the issue here is not doubting the quality or reliability of these sources, but simply the context of how we present their information in Wikivoice to keep a clinical , neutral, impartial tone on topics that may be highly controversial otherwise in the media and current scholarly works, per WP:OUTRAGE; Wikivoice cannot be judgement or imply judgement on current topics, but only can lead the reader to understand what that judgement is if that has the WEIGHT of coverage. --Masem (t) 17:18, 28 October 2020 (UTC)

Actionable proposals This is a valuable discussion, with some good points raised by both sides. I think there's common ground to be found here – is anyone willing to propose some actionable guidelines or suggestions that we can compromise on and implement? I have an initial idea to get the ball rolling, but I'll first put my cards on the table (skip to my suggestion below if you don't want to hear me wax lyrical). I lean in the opposite direction to Masem, Levivich et al. and sympathise most with the arguments made by Guy and Newimpartial. I recognise the valid points made about the slippery slope of labels and moral judgements, and think it's worthwhile seeing if we can take steps to reduce this trend as some of the examples above have simply taken this too far. We avoid advocacy ... and describe points of view in context rather than as "the truth" or "the best view". Saying that, I have strong reservations about a slippery slope in the opposite direction, where we avoid calling a spade a spade despite the overwhelming weight of RS saying this, and give unnecessary oxygen to the conspiracy theories and intolerance which left unchecked in an age of disinformation, will eventually gobble up the free society, tolerance and civility Wikipedia relies on. We characterize information and issues rather than debate them ... all articles must strive for verifiable accuracy, citing reliable, authoritative sources – we should take care to avoid debating baseless conspiracy theories or extremist narratives from non-RS sources, or presenting their case in a way that creates a WP:FALSEBALANCE. If we're going to cover conspiracies/extremists, we have to call them what they are. So, on that basis...

  • Suggestion:

The use of politicised labels (perhaps there's a less nebulous term for this? can we define this?) in the first lead paragraph:

  1. must not rely on or cite opinion, editorial, commentary or feature articles, even from media judged as RS;
  2. requires widespread (not universal) RS coverage from academic articles, published books or factual reporting only in media judged as RS (e.g. the news section of broadsheet newspapers with excellent reputations, press agencies); —can we include sources like The Economist (excellent reputation but does not separate analysis from reporting) here? My gut feeling would be we should, but then again, on what basis?
and no dissenting coverage in RS (not including dissenting coverage in non-RS, opinion pieces in RS etc.)
This may well be a stupid suggestion, but at least this way we can still call David Duke a white supremacist. Can we come up with a better one that we can build a consensus around? Rhetorical debate is only helpful up to a certain point. Jr8825Talk 04:24, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
I'm not sure if this is necessary the right way. To use the Carl Benjamin example, the lede absolutely should mention the "anti-feminism" label somewhere, because the WEIGHT of sources that use it (even if it is going to be out of Wikivoice) is undeniable and it is part of why he's notable. It's more simply, going to what Blueboar said above, that our ledes should start with the more objective, factual elements (what I've said "what the topic is") and then move onto the subjective assessments if that's what they're most notable for ("how they are characterized") with those characterizations kept out of wikivoice if we don't have the wisdom of time to use more academic sources for it. More generally, editors need to step back and make sure it is not Wikivoice looking like it is the one being critical here, and that we are being clinical and impartial in the coverage of the lede, and should not be overly focused on painting people like Benjamin as "bad" but summarizing the sources as to explain that. --Masem (t) 14:12, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
Do you notice that I suggested this could be only for the first lead paragraph? Perhaps, instead of labels, we should focus on reducing value-laden judgements? Jr8825Talk 14:30, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
I appreciate Jr moving this discussion towards some concrete improvements via an actionable proposal. I agree that what we're really talking about is how to strike the right balance: it's not about "labels" or "no labels", but about when, where, and how to use which labels. For my part, most of my focus has been on the use of labels specifically in the lead sentence. I think the specific parameters set out above are reasonable, and could be incorporated into MOS:1ST. However, I think a better approach than trying to devise must/must-not rules (which is always very hard to do site wide across topic areas), would be to focus instead on how a lead sentence should describe the topic, with encourage/discourage language, and specifically addressing labels in the course of that guidance. Currently a lot of MOS:1ST is focused on technical formatting issues rather than giving advice about how to write good content. That advice is contained in other essays and stuff, and perhaps some of that essay guidance should be incorporated into the MOS guideline. Lev!vich 18:22, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
BTW when I think of "guidance", I think of examples like Jeff's above: I went to the article of Noam Chomsky, and saw his article starts with his professions and expertises. Only in the end of the first paragraph, it says that Ideologically, he aligns with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism. That is how to "write clinically," and is so much better than describing him as an anarcho-syndicalist and libertarian socialist linguist and philosopher. Or, even worse, if we let his enemies characterize him: an America-hating, Holocaust-denying anarchist. We do have reliable sources to back these claims up ... Lev!vich 20:17, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
Agree with Lev!vich. Regards, Jeff5102 (talk) 19:50, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
@Jr8825: I agree with enacting more stringent requirements for politicised labels, but only for BLPs. There are multiple reasons for this: 1. People are complicated and often change their positions or have nuanced positions that are easily over-simplified. 2. We need to be conservative in the wording of BLPs because of the potential to cause actual harm to people (see WP:BLP). I think that it's fine for Wikipedia to have relatively low requirements for politicised labels in articles that aren't BLPs, such as deceased politicians (e.g. Hitler) and political organizations. What would you think about adding "in BLP articles" to your proposal? Kaldari (talk) 22:11, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
@Kaldari: - I have no objection to this. Jr8825Talk 22:16, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
Just a note that, since factual claims cannot be sourced to opinion pieces anyway, it seems somewhat redundant to insist that these labels not be sourced to opinion pieces. It only makes sense to me to include such characterizations in the lede if they represent factual (ultimately, evidence-based) descriptions, and we don't use opinion pieces for that. Newimpartial (talk) 22:31, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
@Newimpartial: I agree, I would describe the purpose of my suggestion as making more explicit/a restatement of existing principles. While I don't have the experienced to judge how frequently it happens, I have come across a considerable number of feature/analysis pieces (and even opinion pieces) being used to support value-laden terms on the basis that they are published by RS such as the NYT, Washington Post, Guardian etc. In particular, I think it's easy for editors less familiar with media literacy to conflate editorials and 'long-read'-style feature articles with NPOV. I suspect the decline of printed newspapers, with nicely delineated news and comment sections, and the spread of online news/social media makes this more of a concern than it would've been in Wikipedia's early days. It's an easy mistake to make even for more experienced editors, if the URL/title doesn't explicitly say "comment" or "opinion". Jr8825Talk 22:55, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
We have to contend these days with even major, traditionally-reputable, serious media organizations completely doing away with the distinction between news, analysis, and opinion. Lev!vich 23:00, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
(Perennial favorite Forbes (well, Faux too, but that already earned the RSP designation of "never use for politics"). Is there anyone else doing that right now? --Izno (talk) 23:24, 28 October 2020 (UTC))
Two examples front the current front page of CNN: this starts out as straight news but about halfway through, plenty of analysis and opinion gets mixed in. This is straight analysis not obviously labelled as such (for comparison, here is an example of labelled analysis). Both are in the "politics" section, where columns and contributor op-eds are still clearly marked, but in-house news/analysis gets real mixed. I think all "politics" sections are like that now. Partly it's Trump's fault. His administration has put out so much misinformation over the last four years that mainstream media has responded by doing inline fact-checking. Could we cite the first article to say that Trump is not happy about campaigning? Could we cite the second article to say that Obama pulled punches to use late in the campaign? I don't know; I can't tell. Lev!vich 23:38, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
While this practice started with Fox News since its inception, the use of it by the sources we'd call more reliable started with the Assoc Press's "accountability journalism" push in a more ethical manner in 2008 [6] which nearly every other major paper has adopted. And this is a well known issue - The Economist, CRJ American Press Institute. And considering that accountability journalism is to make these people of higher power "accountable" for what they do, that's completely against WP's neutrality, which is why this style of report is a problem and causing these issues. --Masem (t) 00:16, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
That is as may be, but to me there is a significant difference between a long-form, evidence-based analysis piece by a qualified subject matter journalist, and an editorial or op-ed intervention. It doesn't take much work for a volunteer to make that distinction, IME, beyond a critical look at the byline and an examination of the evidence cited or referenced. If WP editors can't make that distinction for themselves, I don't think we can blame legacy media for that. Newimpartial (talk) 00:33, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
Except its clearly not happening given this entire thread. To point out from the Economist article These pressures are changing the way newspapers report. Last year ap’s style book declared: “Do not use racially charged or similar terms as euphemisms for racist or racism when the latter terms are truly applicable.” Some organisations have embraced, even emblazoned taboo words: “A Fascist Trump Rally In Greenville” ran a headline last year in the Huffington Post. Others are inserting more value judgments into their copy....Disenchanted with objectivity, some journalists have alighted on a new ideal: “moral clarity”. The phrase, initially popularised on the right, has been adopted by those who want newspapers to make clearer calls on matters such as racism. Mr Lowery repeatedly used the phrase in a recent Times op-ed, in which he called for the industry “to abandon the appearance of objectivity as the aspirational journalistic standard, and for reporters instead to focus on being fair and telling the truth, as best as one can, based on the given context and available facts.” The editor of the Times, Dean Baquet, called Mr Lowery’s column “terrific” in an interview with the “Longform” podcast. Objectivity has been “turned into a cartoon”, he said. Better to aim for values such as fairness, independence and empathy. This is the problem , those values that are being praised by this approach in the press are incompatible with the encyclopedic form, but there are editors that stand on "but the media reported this, it must be true" stance. We need to editors to be aware of this type of reporting and recognize this, and the easiest way is simply to know that value-laden labels should never be said as fact in Wikivoice from this current period. --Masem (t) 00:45, 29 October 2020 (UTC)

I'm still stuck on the first part of that quotation: Last year ap’s style book declared: “Do not use racially charged or similar terms as euphemisms for racist or racism when the latter terms are truly applicable - try as I might, I can't see the problem with that change. If the journalist has correctly assessed the truth and relevance of the term "racist" or "racism", I don't see why using it, rather than a euphemism, would be a problem (1) for journalism or (2) for article writing here. The Economist piece is also downplaying a key argument being made by those it is quoting, namely the distinction between objectivity and the appearance of objectivity. It seems to me that this is clearly what is meant by objectivity has been "turned into a cartoon". The point is not to embrace partiality and ignore objectivity; the point is that the euphemisms, bothsides-ism and FALSEBALANCE that had been used to maintain the appearance of objectivity had led to coverage that was less objective and less truthful than it should have been. While the obligations of WP editors are not the same as those of journalists, I don't think our articles gain anything when they obscure the (reliably sourced) truth and the best available characterization in favor of imaginary WHATABOUT considerations or concessions to FRINGE POV. Newimpartial (talk) 01:11, 29 October 2020 (UTC)

Guys, we're going in circles here, and illustrating quite nicely how our job as Wikipedia editors is not simple at all. This is why it's worth trying to find some common ground, it helps to be as explicit and clear as possible in guiding editors on how to approach areas such as current affairs, where these difficulties are most apparent. News & analysis inherently merge into each other – it doesn't make RS less serious or reputable. Perhaps stricter rules in (BLP) leads will encourage editors to inform themselves about this. (The Economist, which wears its self-described liberal values on its sleeve, has never separated factual and analytical articles, priding itself in its "distinctive blend of news, based on facts, and analysis, incorporating The Economist’s perspective"). As along as media sources are transparent about the values they apply to their reporting (even if they don't explicitly spell this out in individual articles), having an independent perspective, or "soul" (to quote C. P. Scott), is a highly desirable trait. It's an extremely common misconception (media literacy is not intuitive!) that media should (or even can) be impartial – witness the limitations of ardently value-free sources such as Reuters (refusing to label the 9/11 attackers terrorists, for example). Critical viewpoints are essential for understanding our world. At Wikipedia we have to cover the facts, then accompany these with the major analyses and viewpoints as fairly and neutrally as we can (which inherently requires us to adopt some value judgements). Our current policies say we shouldn't go as far as sources like Reuters, that we should describe [fringe views] in their proper context with respect to established scholarship and the beliefs of the wider world. CNN doesn't explain its stance as eloquently as The Economist, but I did notice that its stated aim is "To Inform, Engage and Empower the World", which is obviously a value-driven stance, not "just report the facts". This doesn't make it unreliable, value-free journalism doesn't exist, while fact-free journalism does!
@Izno: re: who else distinguishes between analysis and news: take a look at The Guardian, with its (rather undeserved) reputation among conservatives for being horribly biased. It rigorously (yet subtly in its online version) separates its "hard" factual reporting from its "soft" news sections. Take this article for example, which appears to the untrained eye to be an opinionated news article, but, if you scroll down to the end, you'll see it's tagged as 'features' (i.e. stories about news). All Guardian articles that are not pure factual reporting are tagged under 'features', 'opinion' or another relevant section. Compare this with its actual news reporting, which is tagged as 'news'. Here's an excellent example about climate change causing a train crash, demonstrating why it has its well-established reputation for fact-based reporting. This is what distinguishes a RS from a non-RS, but it's unreasonable to expect all our editors to be making this distinction all the time. That's why I think it's worth spelling it out for contentious topics. Jr8825Talk 01:18, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
Your "excellent example" of fact reporting and summary as "climate change causing a train crash" is a excellent example of how distinctions of "fact", "news analysis", and "opinion" are meaningless in the face of WP editors inability to critically read and evaluate sources, and their willingness to interpret them according to their point of view. fiveby(zero) 14:37, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
@Fiveby: You missed my point. It's an article whose title connects climate change with a train crash. My point is that The Guardian does not editorialise on the issue, it's simply reports the facts and statements of relevant politicians because it's the news section. Even the title is paraphrasing a government official's quote. To spell it out more clearly, my point is that you while you might expect a source like The Guardian to make a point on climate change, it doesn't. It's a good example of robust factual reporting. Jr8825Talk 17:14, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
I'm reluctant to push this further, but I find your criticism of my ability to read and evaluate sources a bit rich, given your recent (reverted) edits disputing the Daily Mail's inaccuracy. Jr8825Talk 17:25, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
There are some things i might use The Daily Mail for, finding factual information not one of them. I am disputing Wikipedia's accuracy. Michael Matheson is actually quoted further here. Guardian stretches the truth a bit, editors here do a great deal, and What we don't want to do at this particular point is to start to speculate about what actually caused it becomes climate change causing a train crash. Wikipedia has fine policies concerning neutral point of view, verifiability, and no original research, but those policies are left behind when it is easier to divide editors into the right side and wrong side of an issue. fiveby(zero) 18:46, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
I think that's a bit harsh. I do not think at all this is a competency issue with most editors particularly in these topic areas. I would say that some editors are strongly driven by their feelings towards a certain topic (whether it is like or dislike of that topic area) to let that cloud judgement and/or their willingness to evaluate sources critically in such cases. But I know it has been hard to discuss the changing nature of the media and its reporting style and how that impacts how WP should use these sources because of the "blind" trust some editors maintain for these works despite the evidence that the changing style moves away from elements that we can use appropriate while staying neutral and impartial. --Masem (t) 14:55, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
What I would say is that we are in the middle of a cultural shift, and are all experiencing it in different ways. Language that is "woke" to one person is "neutral" to another, and language that is "impartial" to one person is "euphemistic" to another. This isn't a context that allows for truly general rules, I think, only principles. Newimpartial (talk) 18:03, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
That's true, but it's also tautological: we are always in the middle of a cultural shift; there has never been a time or place in history when that hasn't been the case. What do we do about it? We don't impose our (editors') beliefs about what is woke/neutral/impartial/euphemistic. Instead, we follow the sources, and impose their beliefs. The question is: which sources? We get a different answer when we look at academic sources v. media. (And a different answer depending on which media we look at.) Lev!vich 18:58, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
Well, here is where my take is different from yours or Masem's: I don't think we really do get a different answer from academic sources vs. quality journalism. Academic sources over the last 10 years, say, use similar (though more nuanced) language to most journalistic sources over the last say 5 years - indeed, a lot of the language choices that have changed in this cultural shift probably came to journalism by way of academic discourse (which doesn't mean they originated there). So while the inclination I seem to detect in Masem is to set aside the most recent of scholarship until there is less turbulence in these language communities, I hold a view closer to yours I think, Levivich, that these issues are going to be with is for some time and we just have to navigate them. Newimpartial (talk) 20:46, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
We also have to acknowledge that journalism has changed within the last decade, and there is political bias involved more than ever, even to high-quality journalists. I still don't agree Journalists should be the deciding factor to label someone's ideology just because they believe they fit that criterion. To me, labeling their ideology it's very similar to label someone's religious belief. I understand that can be an extreme opinion, but i think its very important that we have labels that involve ideology. Especially BLPs who in the next ten years could identify as a Nazi, or as a new 4th wave Feminist. Even if it holds no value-laden, or used to spread a negative reputation, we're still labeling someone's own personal beliefs with words like feminist/anti-feminist.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 22:07, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
And where I differ from that is, that I don't agree that there is more political bias involved than ever. What I think has changed over the last 10 or so years, is a shift in the dominant political bias in reputable media from "let's make up terms that sound neutral, so that we (the media) can seem objective, even if it distorts what is actually happening" to "let's call things what they actually are, as best we can tell". And it is not at all clear to me that the second thing is in fact less neutral than the first, only that it may sound less neutral to people who are used to the old obfuscations. Newimpartial (talk) 00:12, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
Than "ever"? "Ever" would have to include the period of Yellow journalism plus various forms of state-controlled media and wholesale suppression of media. The Walter Cronkite era of "de-politicized" news was a historical anomaly, and it only existed in a handful of countries. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:58, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
So in your eyes, you believe media hasn't become more bias, almost the opposite direction?Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 20:57, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
More than when and where? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:59, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
Sorry, my question is directed toward Newimpartial, not you.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 21:01, 30 October 2020 (UTC)

Sorry; I didn't recognize that question as addressed to me. To answer it, I think we need to look at journalism at least as a field rather than a spectrum. Let's use left and right for political orientation (obviously a simplification) and the vertical direction for something like "expressiveness". So the Wall Street Jounal and the New York Post might be about the same distance to the right of the origin, but the WSJ would score much lower on expressiveness. Now it might seem that the more expressive sources are less reliable in general, but I'm not sure how true that is: Huffpost and the Guardian might score about the same for expressiveness, but the Guardian's news stories do not show the reliability problems that have plagued Huffpo.

So if this map makes any kind of sense, I would say that the last 10 years have seen a number of dots on the graph move up and to the left, while Fox made its dash up and to the right 15-20 years ago. During the postwar consensus in the US, the dots were clustered towards the center and much further down, and the UK print media have always been much more widely scattered in cartesian space than US print media ever were, while the same was never true of UK broadcast media. Does this make any sense? Fundamentally, I suppose I am saying that it isn't necessarily more "neutral" to be lower on the expressive dimension - 1960s US coverage of race issues is a good example, where it went out of its way to use pseudo-neutral language but was far more distorted in its reporting than the more expressive media of today. Left and right, expressive and not are characteristics of style, but what we should concern ourselves with when we use journalistic sources is the accuracy of their statements and their consistency with other sources. Newimpartial (talk) 15:31, 31 October 2020 (UTC) I suppose reliability would be a third dimension in this model, so that the Guardian would be close to Huffpo in X and Y but quite a bit higher in Z. The New York Post would be above the WSJ in the Y dimension, close to the same X but quite a bit lower in Z. Etc. Newimpartial (talk) 18:07, 31 October 2020 (UTC)

On one small point I agree with Newimpartial. It's not really about academic versus journalistic sources.
It's more about finding multiple sources that present a particular view, and then stating that view in Wikivoice, without establishing that it is a consensus view among the sources.
One example that's come to my attention recently is the Proud Boys, who are described in the first sentence as "neo-fascist". This is supported by four sources, and no doubt many more could be found.
Now, are they neo-fascist? Particularly in the carefully descriptive sense one would expect of an encyclopedia, meaning something like "adherents of a philosophy that has its origins in the works of Giovanni Gentile, albeit modified for later developments"? I don't know. They might be. I have not looked into it deeply. But what I can say is that looking at the tone of those four sources does not especially convince me.
What an "actionable proposal" for this might be, I don't know. As a rough-and-ready rule of thumb, I might say that if a group is described by a particular term by sources from the four poles, conservative, progressive, libertarian, and communitarian, then it can be so described without attribution. So if you can find them described as "neo-fascist" in the Wall Street Journal, Vox, Reason, and Utne Reader, then go for it. But if you have to cherry-pick from a particular viewpoint, then it should be attributed. It's not perfect because that doesn't exhaust the political space, but it's a lot better than the current situation. --Trovatore (talk) 05:21, 31 October 2020 (UTC)
  • I would suggest that rather than focusing on kicking out sources (or kicking out opinion/editorial page sources), we should do a better job of identifying for the reader the type of source being used. For example, saying that an article from X news site, or an editorial from Y newspaper, says whatever is in the point being cited. BD2412 T 00:00, 1 November 2020 (UTC)

I don't mind the source, or the quality of the source. After all, sources should return in the main part of the article, and prove their value and validity there (see MOS:LEADCITE). To return to the Noam Chomsky-examle: you will find hardly any references in the lead, and his politics is not sourced at all. Still, it is a good lead. For me, this discussion is more about how the lead is written than how the lead is sourced. Therefore:

  • Suggestion 2:

Wikipedia-editors should take strong care that lead paragraphs:

  1. has to be written in a clinical and neutral tone, see MOS:LEADBIO
  2. do notattribute political viewpoints to persons or organisations as factual traits (thus, [Chomsky] aligns with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism as opposed to [Chomsky] is an anarchist philosopher.
  3. Instead, start with birthname, and birthplace, then go through the person's professions, expertises and his/her career. Or, in the case of organisations: name the founding date, founders, expertises) Then, in case it is relevant, convictions can be mentioned in a distant way (as in: "X aligns with XYZ-ism")
  4. Avoid to bring up your own opinion: even though every sane person should agree that Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a propaganda movie posing as a documentary supporting a pseudo-scientific idea, don't tell the reader that: show the facts.

Is this something?~Regards, Jeff5102 (talk) 14:14, 1 November 2020 (UTC)

+1, I think it's a step in the right direction. #1 I agree with but I think it's a bit of a "throw-away"... a vague statement that no one would disagree with and is already adequately stated in various PAGs ... I think we're more at the point of defining or fleshing out what "clinical and neutral" means for a lead, rather than simply restating core principles; #2 I think is the "meat" of the "something", I think perhaps more examples like this would be helpful; #3 I'm not sure I agree with, I think that's too restrictive or one-size-fits-all. I think the first sentence should state why the subject is notable/important, e.g. Albert Einstein, which starts with the few things he's most notable for, and doesn't get into the details of his career until later. I'm not saying that the lead of Albert Einstein conflicts with #3, but I feel like #3 doesn't say everything it needs to say; as to #4, I agree with the general guidance "show don't tell" but I'm not sure about the (implied) suggestion that "propaganda" is a label to be avoided (or that any particular label should be avoided). As an example, I cannot imagine an article about Triumph of the Will that doesn't include the word "propaganda" in the opening. I'm not sure if the same applies to Expelled, but I think it'd be better in general guidance to avoid that kind of specific question, perhaps by choosing a clearer example. Lev!vich 06:30, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Triumph of the Will. It is safe to say that movies, produced by the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, can safely be called "a "propaganda movie" in the lead. As for "Expelled": I don't know about that one. That would leave the door open for NRA-sympathizing editors to describe Bowling for Columbine as a "documentary-style pro-gun-control-propaganda-movie." That is not the road Wikipedia should take.Jeff5102 (talk) 09:09, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
I would generally suggest that reference to someone's views should generally be made obliquely. For example, rather than the aforementioned [Chomsky] aligns with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism, we should say (assuming it can be supported) that [Chomsky] has been described as aligning with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism. BD2412 T 06:36, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
This removes all forms of bias and I fully support this option.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 16:29, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
I also seek attention to the lack of NPOV in the Joseph Nicolosi article. - (talk) 18:53, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
If you are concerned about it describing Conversion therapy as "pseudoscience" instead of "bad science", then it's probably easier to find sources that call it pseudoscience. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:59, 4 November 2020 (UTC)
Again, this Nicolosi-article is an example of how Wikipedia-articles changed as compared with four years ago.Jeff5102 (talk) 10:11, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
Seems like one of the issues is also with undue weighting of criticism from news media sources, especially in articles on topics that don't have much coverage so most of the coverage is negative. For example The Post Millennial, mention of a single controversy with one no-longer present editor who previously worked for Russian outlets seems to be too much for a Lead paragraph, but it is justified under the idea that the Lead summarizes the article. A lot of politically charged and media outlet pages similarly have this problem in which every single controversy covered by a media source is listed in the lead. Another such article is The Daily Caller. Marquis de Faux (talk) 05:16, 6 November 2020 (UTC)
  • I know this is kind of an old discussion but I think you really make a fair point. We should describe the subject neutrally instead of barraging the lead sentence with a half a dozen of labels. We should show why they are percieved as these labels as opposed to just telling. Regards  Spy-cicle💥  Talk? 20:00, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
    • User:Spy-cicle, I think the difficulty is that editors do not agree on what it means to "describe the subject neutrally". Imagine that every single independent reliable source about 'Paul Politician' says that he has an absolutely enormous ego. Imagine that he's even named in a widely used university-level psychology textbook as an example of egocentrism. In your opinion, is it "neutral" for the Wikipedia article to say that he's got a huge ego? Or should we take an approach that some editors might call self-censored, and omit that entirely because it "doesn't feel neutral" to include derogatory information? Or maybe we should take a mealy-mouthed approach, and turn sources that say "He has a huge ego" into a Wikipedia article that says "He has a lot of self-confidence"? Editors in this discussion do not seem to have achieved a mutual understanding of what the word neutral means. (Our actual definition, as written in the policies, is that the article is neutral if it accurately and adequately represents what the sources say about the subject.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:46, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
      WhatamIdoing I think you make a valid point. In your example I would personally say something along the lines of Paul Politician has been widely described as having a large ego, and is often pointed as an example of egocentrism. some where in the perhaps later lead section but depends on the person/article itself. I personally just do not think bombarded people with heavy value laiden labels, especially in the lead sentence, is particularly helpful in maintaining and creating a balanced and neutrual encylopedia. Take for instance This proposal on Trump's page. People want to insert that into the first paragraph of a BLP as if it is the defining characteristic of him as a person. That is certainly no way no neutral in my view. Regards  Spy-cicle💥  Talk? 22:10, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
      @Spy-cicle, how is that proposal's suggestion of "widely accused of abuse of power and corruption" different from your suggestion of "widely described as having a large ego"?
      (Abuse of power isn't a characteristic of anyone as a person; it's an accusation about actions. That accusation is about "bad choices", not "bad person".) WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:18, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Section break

I often put Wikipedia's content policies in a one sentence nutshell: Wikipedia is to be an accurate summary of what Reliable Sources say about a subject. I have resolved some messy arguments when one side reluctantly faced the fact that the content-they-object-to was indeed an accurate summary of what the sources said. Continuing the argument be futile. I also notice above repeated mention of "truth", "facts", or "proof". We do not debate truth on Wikipedia, such arguments carry zero weight. On the internet somebody will spend 42 months in a nonstop argument about the truth of anything, Wikipedia can't and won't engage argument about "truth". If the sources say the moon is made of cheese, then the article will say the moon is made of cheese. If sufficiently many Reliable Sources say the moon is made of cheese, if zero percent disagree with that, if the sources which don't explicitly address it are compatible with it, our summary can and does simply repeat the statement without in-text attribution (but we will ref it). Whatever Wikipedia says, it's not about truth or facts or proof, it's only about whether it is an accurate summary of the sources. If someone has a problem with what the sources say, it is futile to argue those concerns on Wikipedia. Alsee (talk) 17:59, 11 November 2020 (UTC)

Like I said above, I am not interested in what reliable sources say: I am interested in writing good, unbiased articles. Like I showed in my first bit, the last few years Wikipedia has become more partisan (and thus, less neutral), and resorts to name-calling when describing persons, organizations and documentaries. I do not believe that is a healthy development.
When that name-calling and those partisan descriptions are the result of an accurate summary of what Reliable Sources say about a subject, then that is saying a lot about the decline of those “Reliable Sources.” That is disturbing, to say the least. Regards, Jeff5102 (talk) 09:58, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
Alsee, I think what you are discussing ends up being part of the problem. Note that I'm not questioning your summary rather questioning if this is really what we want. For many (perhaps most) topics this method often works just fine. However it fails when many sources either repeat the common refrain or repeat the reaction to something without actually analyzing the something. Consider the example of the Ford Pinto, the rear impact fires and the infamous Pinto Memo [[7]]. From the mid 70s through perhaps 1991 it was understood that the Pinto readily caught fire when impacted from the rear and that Ford had calculated that it would be cheaper to fight the lawsuits vs fix the problem. This was so well known that the narrative was widely repeated and even used as an example of unethical corporate behavior in academic material. It also is largely not true. In 1991 a legal review paper[[8]] spent a lot of time diving into many details of the Pinto case. It was one of the earliest articles that explained why the popular view of the Ford's attitude towards safety and the Pinto Memo were wrong and perhaps the paper that caused many other sources to reexamine their understanding. Were we writing the Ford Pinto article in 1992 we would have a problem in that we have lots of sources that repeat what is basically conventional wisdom and one source that actually looks at the primary sources to refute that conventional wisdom. Most of the sources repeating conventional wisdom provided little in the way of sourcing for their claims while the law review paper was extensively researched and argued. But we would have said 1 RS vs many RS thus.

I think a better way to approach this is to use the large volume of sources discussing the Memo to indicate that it is important as a topic but once we establish the (sub)topic is important we then strive for an IMPARTIAL and, when reasonable, a detailed discussion of the topic. That means if 20 sources say "Ford was immoral" but one source says "Ford engineers and managers did X, Y, Z" then we give equal treatment to these discussions vs 20:1 reaction:investigation. Things like this seem to come up a lot in political topics where many sources will criticize someone for something they said but few will actually discuss the controversial statement in context and detail. We should.

Perhaps this can be summarized by saying we need to spend more time on the factual thing and less on the subjective reactions. Springee (talk) 13:36, 12 November 2020 (UTC)

I think that the areas where en Wikipedia has the most problems and is most losing it's credibility are where where it reflects a large scale real world contest. And the two biggest categories within that are where there is a culture war, and US politics. And face it, a lot of editors WANT the article to be biased and so it is a question of giving better guidance in our policies and guidelines especially wp:npov and also the definition of RS's. One thing that would help in an immense range of areas is to evolve the wp:RS definition to where it reflects actual reliability. More specifically a context-specific definition that reliability means degree of expertise and objectivity with respect to the use at hand. And since not every source can be established as such, say that that is a gauge of strength, and the more controversial the content the stronger the required strength and vice-versa. The problem is that in this area sources have transitioned to often being participants rather than coverers. The ham-handed approach of defining an overall source as an RS or not an RS based on a few trappings or a (political) vote ("consensus") in Wikipedia is now obsolete. Also, modifying wp:NPOV to say that we are here to present information not characterizations. Characterizations are usually not information. A rough gauge for where a characterization becomes acceptable and useful would be if 90% agree on it and if it provides information. Finally another good change would to introduce degree-of-WP:Relevance as a factor in content inclusion/ exclusion decisions. Person B's opinion (=talking points) about person A in the person A article is not info on person A, it is info about person B's opinion/ talking points, even if Person B is a "source" North8000 (talk)

Second the above. Things like the RSP list are problematic. If a lower quality source produces a very well reasoned article with evidence etc we should give it more consideration vs say a subjective description in a generally reliable source. We definitely should stop assuming no good information exists in "unreliable" sources as well as stop assuming that reliable sources never mix subjective assessments into their facts etc. This doesn't mean treat them as equal but currently we are rather arbitrary when it comes to including/excluding sources. Springee (talk) 13:42, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
Before this circle-jerk gets awkwardly close to a climax, I want to point out that there is a kind of saw-off between those who "value expertise or depth of analysis" and those who "reject characterization". It seems to me that the logical relationship between these two things would be that characterizations by experts in the field would be accepted, and characterizations by non-experts would be rejected. But what I have actually seen out there in article-land is that the editors who "reject characterization" also reject the whole idea of expertise in social sciences, so they reject the views of experts/academics along with those of non-expert journalists. And meanwhile, many of these same editors are comfortable with self-characterizations of BLP subjects - even in Wikivoice - when these are often the least expert commentators of all. These observations make me skeptical of the POV that says that the more accurate labeling of political and social issues by academics and journalists over the last 15 years or so is some kind of challenge for encyclopaedic writing. Newimpartial (talk) 14:14, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
Your argument might be rhetorically satisfying but fails to address the concerns at hand. Perhaps if you had specific examples it would help. Springee (talk) 14:36, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
There are enough examples in the parent section that I don't feel the need to point elsewhere. Newimpartial (talk) 15:05, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
I don't think that it is good to characterize small or large agreement as "circle-jerk gets awkwardly close to a climax" North8000 (talk) 15:12, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
I counted four messages (by three editors) that were mutually self-reinforcing; rather than seeing that trend continie I wanted to ruin the vibe. Newimpartial (talk) 15:19, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
That's called agreement. North8000 (talk) 17:10, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
Next time I'm in a bathhouse, I'll try to remind people of that. :P Newimpartial (talk) 17:29, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
The thing is , we are an encyclopedia. We are not supposed to be as indepth as the sources we use, and in fact should be encouraging readers to go to the sources to read more. In terms of current events, while factual information does not changes, positions and characterizations do rapidly change and that's simply something we should not be documenting in the short term, but our references provide those links for readers to learn more. We can capture, in attribution, when there is broad characterization, but it should be treated as that, and not as facts of the situation, because of the immediacy of reporting. Also I don't think anyone's said we're automatically going to take self-identification automatically in wikivoice. If self-identification matches with the broader characterization, there I don't see a problem saying in wikivoice, but self-identification alone would still require attribution. --Masem (t) 14:56, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
Masem, you have suggested that we wait for posthumous reports or decades of scholarship to develop consensus characterizations in this area. My essential difference from your position is that I think "broad characterization" can be established much more quickly than you do - not for "current events", but certainly within five years or so. Supposedly "contentious" labels that have been used consistently for several years by high-quality sources and have never been contested by RS should not be considered "contentious", because nobody is actually contending about them. On the other hand, I totally agree that where self-characterizarion and RS characterization match, attribution should not be used. Newimpartial (talk) 15:05, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
It really depends on the situation. In the US, we're still in the midst of a culture war that started at least around 2016, and given the trend on this election, could go to 2024 if not beyond. Saying to wait five or even ten years should be after that situation has completely cooled down, so it would be inappropriate to be talking characterization-as-fact for people and events from 2016 in 2021 given the current state. But remember, I'm not saying we can't include characterization at all. If it is clear that such characterization is so common among the reliable sources (and I've talked of source surveys that should be documented to prove this out so that we're not be accused of piece-mealing this characterizations), its clear DUE to include a type of attributed characterization statement, even if that's "X is broadly considered to be Y" to avoid having to name all sources that say it, just as 1) it is not treated as fact in Wikivoice and thus 2) placed secondary to an establishing objective sentence or phrase in a lede of the article which is defining the topic is as neutrally and non-characterizing method as possible. This has miniminal impact on what we already have in most of these articles, but it drastically changes the tone of the articles for the better as they do not come off as attack pieces from the start, which is where we get criticized for acting just like liberal media. --Masem (t) 15:27, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
Agree with North8000. However, I do believe that the NPOV-guidelines give enough guidance in these matters. WP:NPOV is a policy, while WP:RS is a guideline. And, as WP:PG states, policies are standards all users should normally follow, and guidelines are generally meant to be best practices for following those standards in specific contexts. This means that a statement like "it's only about whether it is an accurate summary of the sources" is incorrect. It assumes that using texts from "reliable sources" automatically implies neutrality. Actually, it is the other way around: it is the editor's job to keep articles neutral by selecting the relevant facts, and remove the bias from it. Regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 19:36, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
I would very much like to see certain types of allegations removed from the lead section of articles, and support the #1 Suggestion list above. While i agree with @Newimpartial:'s comments about how some labels go from contentious to undisputed, i would like to bring your attention to the part of WP:LABEL that says "[...] are best avoided unless widely used by reliable sources to describe the subject, in which case use in-text attribution". A referenced statement is not automatically in-text attribution, and adding a single source's words would be, in my opinion, undue weight for the lead (unless that source was the top expert in that subject, which isn't a claim any newspaper can really back). That same in-text attribution may be perfectly acceptable in the article's body. I think this specific instruction asking for these claims to use direct speech is widely ignored across Wikipedia, and we would go a long way simply by doing more to enforce that policy. YuriNikolai (talk) 02:33, 13 November 2020 (UTC)
But this section applies to value-laden labels that express contentious opinions. There is - and has been for some time - a sustained conflict about which labels are or aren't considered "value-laden" in this sense - viz. the discussion of "documentary" and "propaganda" above - what counts as "contentious", and when a characterization is merely descriptive (I for one hold that undisputed characterizations should always count as descriptive and never require in-text attribution). Newimpartial (talk) 02:49, 13 November 2020 (UTC)
I saw the discussion above on the use of the words "propaganda" and "documentary." Your arguments are not that convincing. When you say that documentaries are there to "document reality, primarily for the purpose of instruction," then Expelled does document the reality as perceived by it's makers. As are The Exodus Decoded, and Michael Moore's documentaries (which all are, rightfully, described that way on Wikipedia). There is not much difference in Michael Moore shoving an idea through the throats of his viewers, or Ben Stein, doing the same. Thus, the best thing to do is to keep the wordings in leads neutral, as it was four years ago, and avoid words as "propaganda" when it is not suitable. (Newimpartial, if you really think I am wrong in this, please edit the articles on Michael Moore's documentaries, and replace the phrase political documentary with documentary-style propaganda film. If something important for Wikipedia, it is that it is impartial and consistent.) Regards.Jeff5102 (talk) 13:07, 16 November 2020 (UTC)
"Wikipedia is to be an accurate summary of what Reliable Sources say about a subject.". Not a bad thing to say, but in my opinion, especially in the past six to ten years, NPOV and WP:RS have both fallen victim to partisan POV pushing and have become a complete joke. We all know it, it's just considered impolite to point it out. Jtrainor (talk) 12:27, 22 November 2020 (UTC)

Many of the disputed characterizations are based on claims that WP:RS have made. Even though they are made by RS, they still can be undue or biased. I would argue that therefore we should rely on editorial judgment and local consensus, rather than merely counting sources, in order to achieve balance in the level of emphasis given to these characterizations. Per the existing WP:BIASEDSOURCES, even though biased sources can be reliable, they often need to be attributed in text. Perhaps WP:NPOV needs to be elaborated to explicitly give editors more leeway to choose a more neutral approach even when RS do not.Jancarcu (talk) 04:55, 1 December 2020 (UTC)

Agree'.This is exactly what should happen.Jeff5102 (talk) 12:51, 1 December 2020 (UTC)
That plan is not possible. Imagine the results with a rule that said articles should follow reliable sources except that people could make up their own minds about when to not follow those sources. I would put in my POV, you would insert yours, someone else would add theirs, and so on forever. If reliable sources say a claim is false, then it is false and an article should not suggest otherwise. Johnuniq (talk) 22:59, 1 December 2020 (UTC)
As I've stressed in this discussion, if we were talking about journalism standards 20 years ago, where there was a rather strict wall being "news" and "editorial", if a news article from the NYTimes came out with a characterization as a statement of fact, there's a very strong reason they have made the effort to research all sides of the issue and justify that as a statement of fact. In today's journalism world were accountability journalism reigns, we cannot assume that there is this rigor anymore when it comes to value-laden characterizations. We have the capability as editors to simply take a statement out of fact in wikivoice into attribution to the source(s) that state it without diminishing anything, and in most cases, this improves the tone and impartialness of the article. Now, there is a whole different area around "false" claims which is connected but requires different approaches and solution, as this starts to get into the area of conspiracy theories and fringe topics, which we do take a more proactive stance on if enough RS assert them to be false especially if they involve BLP. --Masem (t) 00:18, 2 December 2020 (UTC)

This entire thing is basically a partisan complaint, but it's worth pointing out that most of the original "neutral" examples are not neutral; they are puffery.

  • The Gatestone example: The first sentence is literal advertising copy, directly quoted from the organization website. "_____ publicizes the writings of authors as diverse as" is also textbook advertising copy, and (it would not be the first time, probably not in the first hundred thousand) possibly written by a flak. Although if it was, the flak had a very creative interpretation of a reference called "The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate."
  • The ACT example is also, essentially, an advertisement. About 30% of the lead is direct quotes from the org website or press releases (, much of which is corporate buzzword speak like "force multiplier" (the only quote ostensibly from a neutral source, but in the profile, this is not editorial but a promotional quote by Frank Gaffney, the founder of a similar organization) and "a central player." These quotes are spackled together with weasel words like "it has been described as."

Other examples, while not as obvious puffery, are puffery by omission. In particular, the original Sargon piece reads like a conference bio. Most of the information is either vague or trivia (being married with children) and goes out of its way to avoid incorporating external sources -- going from "I set out to troll her — why all this fuss about 600 rape tweets?" (the article cited) to "He is married, has two children and lives in Swindon." (what the citation goes with) is some spectacular citation gymnastics. The incident is clearly far more noteworthy than being one of three people involved in a refunded Kickstarter. (It's about as notable as the Parliament run, but obviously in 2016 that had not happened yet.)

Almost all of the examples mistake citation for endorsement. Back to the Sargon example, the Jess Phillips incident is a newsworthy event that happened -- newsworthy enough to dominate a run for Parliament. It is a fact. It doesn't cease to be a fact because some people might view the subject in a negative light (or, for that matter, because some people might view it in a positive light). If Lex Luthor becomes a public figure for eating 40 cakes, you can't suppress that fact from an article just because someone might think "and that's terrible." Similarly, while the Crowder controversy obviously hadn't happened in 2016, once it did, it certainly is relevant information to include. ("The videos as posted don't violate our policies" is also different from "YouTube exonerated him," but even if YouTube did fully exonerate him, the incident still would be newsworthy.)

The only actual instance of negative POV in the revised example is possibly the Expelled article, but even that is fairly mild. If you wanted to, you could probably make an argument claiming that the original article was heavy-handed by including the verbiage "criticize evidence supporting Darwinian evolution and the modern evolutionary synthesis," which was since cut. Otherwise, the new examples seem fine, and your primary complaint seems to be that Wikipedia is being an encyclopedia and not a PR firm. Or, more accurately, your complaint is that Wikipedia is being an encyclopedia and not a PR firm for right-wing subjects, since there's certainly no shortage of startup companies and indie bands and bloggers and autobiography and paid editing to remark upon, and I'm sure you could find liberal or leftist subjects with non-NPOV articles as well. So this whole thing is very disingenuous. Gnomingstuff (talk) 16:53, 10 December 2020 (UTC)

As for the examples, let's take Steven Crowder. According to the article, events he is known as known for are the December 2012 union protest, his sacking because of his negative statements about Fox News host Sean Hannity, his Change My Mind meme, the YouTube investigation for using racist and homophobic slurs and his Coronavirus misinformation. Yet of all these events, only the investigation over "his repeated use of racist and homophobic slurs" (just see how the investigation if something happened is changed into an investigation about something that happened in the lead) made it to the lead-section. That looks a more like a violation of WP:UNDUE than "puffery by omission," if that really is a thing.
And as for the "while the Crowder controversy obviously hadn't happened in 2016, once it did, it certainly is relevant information to include"-argument: the opposite could be said on Carl Benjamin and his 2016 Jess-Phillips-tweet: it already happened in 2016, yet it was not until later it was regarded as important enough to include in the lead (as opposed to his troubles with Patreon, The Guardian, milkshakes, Vidcon and Akilah Hughes).
It is saddening to see how an appeal for more neutrality is regarded as a "complaint (...) that Wikipedia is being an encyclopedia and not a PR firm for right-wing subjects." and responded to with "I'm sure you could find liberal or leftist subjects with non-NPOV articles as well. So this whole thing is very disingenuous."
It might certainly be true that there are "liberal or leftist subjects with non-NPOV articles." As you have read above, I did check some, which resulted in me praising the Noam Chomsky-article as an example how a Wikipedia-lead should be written. And I noted that Michael Moore's documentaries were described as such, instead of "documentary-style propaganda films." Yet, if I missed leftist subjects with non-NPOV articles, then please show them and we can approach them too. That would be a win for both sides of the aisle.
But apart from that: I never said that the neutrality-problem was especially with rightist or conservative subjects. If you can prove me wrong, please do so. But otherwise, calling my concerns "very disingenuous" is a serious attack on my good intentions. Your comments are exactly how User:Levivich described it above: "to paraphrase, starting the article on Hitler with anything other than "Hitler is a bad man" is considered pro-Hitler." Gnomingstuff, please study WP:GF. Jeff5102 (talk) 16:28, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
I think Michael Moore's article is a good example of a liberal or leftist subject with a non-NPOV article. The lead doesn't include any criticisms of him, including the (well known) criticism that he is, indeed, a propagandist, and not a documentarian. For example, it mentions Bowling for Columbine's awards, but not the ensuing scandal over the staged scenes in the movie. It doesn't mention that his books have failed fact checks. And so forth. I also agree that calling "this whole thing" disingenuous is just WP:ABF. This kind of dismissal of legitimate concerns as sour grapes is what fuels our NPOV problem. Levivich harass/hound 16:40, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
I do not mind the lack of criticism in the lead; it is not up to the editors to say if someone is bad person or not. This can be discussed later, while awards can be mentioned to show someone's notability. However, I would like to elaborate on the comment that my "complaint is that Wikipedia is being an encyclopedia and not a PR firm for right-wing subjects" Again, I never said that the neutrality-problem was especially with rightist or conservative subjects. But the topic may be discussed.
Indeed, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and not a PR-firm. However, there is a big difference between "a PR Firm" and "an attacking pamphlet." Encyclopedic articles should be neither. However, over the recent years, it appears that leftist subjects indeed are met with more sympathy than rightist ones. To stick with Michael Moore: In the current version, he is described in the first sentence as an American documentary filmmaker, author, and activist. In September 2016, Wikipedia described him as an American documentary filmmaker and author. On the other hand, Dinesh D'Souza, Moore's conservative counterpart is currently described as an Indian-American far-right political commentator, provocateur, author, filmmaker, and conspiracy theorist. In September 2016, his article on Wikipedia only described him as an Indian American political commentator, author, and filmmaker. I am unfamiliar with D'Souza's work. However, the different approach the D'Sousa- and Moore-articles have met the last years at least raises eyebrows. This example also confirms the concerns of the recent decline of neutrality on Wikipedia of my original comment above.
That said, I am still interested in Gnomingstuff's examples on liberal or leftist subjects with damning non-NPOV articles, which had more neutral articles in the past. I would love to correct them too. And I would love to be corrected, if my examples turn out to be the result of some tunnel vision. After all, our task is to make neutral, encyclopedic articles here, and not damning, partisan pamphlets. Best regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 10:42, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
Sorry for not seeing this earlier. The burden of proof is on the person presenting the complaint to come up with representative examples. Given that every example given was of a right-wing figure or organization, I think it's fair to characterize it as a complaint about how Wikipedia specifically treats articles about right-wing subjects, and that presenting it as something other than that is a bad faith-argument, as is characterizing positive coverage as neutral and largely neutral coverage as negative, as is misrepresenting facts in a defensive manner (claiming the one guy was "exonerated"), as is claiming I said or believe that articles should read like "Hitler is a bad man."
As for the specifics: Puffery by omission is absolutely a thing. In fact, there is an entire field devoted to reputation management, i.e. burying any unflattering coverage of a client to present positive material only. Unsurprisingly Wikipedia articles are a major focus of reputation management -- so widespread that one example involves Wikipedia itself.
That said, if you do genuinely want to create a more neutral encyclopedia, and are concerned about NPOV as a general principle, then one good way to get started is by wikisearching some of the PR language mentioned in my post, as this tends to be something of a code-smell for press releases disguised as articles. Just off the top of my head, searching "as diverse as" +organization yields a manageable 600+ results, many of which obviously are fine -- that's the nature of searching -- but many of which are glorified PR. (Whether any of the subjects qualify as "liberal" I'd have to click through to see, but of course if it's just neutrality you're concerned with, that shouldn't matter, right?) Gnomingstuff (talk) 22:18, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
I don’t understand you. I have given five examples on how over the years, the neutrality of lead sections on Wikipedia has been victim of partisan editing, which is done, among other things, by moralizing name-calling. You point out that the examples I’ve given are all from “right-wing figures or organizations.” Maybe this is indeed the cause why these lead-sections have changed so much for the worse as compared to those of, say, Cenk Uygur, Noam Chomsky or Michael Moore.
But actually, I don’t care. I just want to make a good, neutral encyclopedia, regardless the political orientation of the subjects of the article. That is why I invited you to come up with examples of left-wing figures or organizations whose lead-sections also have worsened over the years. But for some reason, all that is “very disingenuous,” according to you. That puzzles me.
As for the rest: the article on reputation management does not mention the term “Puffery by omission” at all, nor does any other article on Wikipedia. Apart from you, there is only one mention of the term on a five year old user-talkpage. That is not enough to use this as a policy on WIkipedia. Therefore, WP:UNDUE is a better guide in these matters, but I discussed that one above.
And finally, for your suggestion to look for the term "as diverse as" + organization: 1) That is a whataboutism, 2) I do not see much neutrality issues with the articles on national numbering agencies, Geoscience Australia, Association for the Study of Modern Italy, Oxford e-Research Centre, the European Space Camp, the Oregon Public Utility Commission or the European Atomic Energy Community, and 3) it was you who was complaining about PR-issues, not me. Otherwise, I would have complained on how the lead of MoveOn only cites the organization’s website, without mentioning the ad controversy at all. But like I wrote: WP:UNDUE is a better guide on Wikipedia than complaining about “Puffery by omission”. Best regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 08:29, 15 December 2020 (UTC)

If someone is going to open an RFC, then please do so already so we can formally terminate this. Otherwise this should be shut down as unconstructive. Expelled says "propaganda" because that word was widely used by both film experts and science experts. Above it appears some people suggest random-idiots-on-the-internet should get to decide the Reliable Sources aren't being fair, and should be allowed to negotiate a more fair description than "pseudoscience" on the astrology article (or whatever other article they feel isn't being treated fairly by RS). That won't work and it ain't gonna happen. Alsee (talk) 17:34, 13 December 2020 (UTC)

It is not editors asking for sources to treat the film fairly; it is about presenting topics in a neutral, dispassionate voice and impartial tone. This doesn't mean whitewashing any criticism out of the article, in the case of something like Expelled, but starting with what the work is objectively is (the most factual and neutral information), and once that basic taxological information is set forth, then moving into the characterization of the film as propaganda (getting to why the topic is notable). This is all about order of information and wording, not about removal of information as some claim. This is all outlined in NPOV already and more importantly in WP:OUTRAGE related to topics that may be detestable to some editors, we're still supposed to be dispassionate and neutral in how we present them in Wikivoice, but doesn't meant we avoid the criticism that meets UNDUE. --Masem (t) 17:54, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
To return to the Hitler example given in the quote at the beginning of the section: the article doesn't say explicitly that he was evil, but reading the article you would undoubtedly conclude that. Thos conclusion would come from the Holocaust and/or World War 2, and the lead explicitly mentions his responsibility for both. (talk) 05:29, 24 December 2020 (UTC)
An encyclopedia does not need to tell people that Hitler was evil—to do so would be redundant commentary. That particularly applies because the vast majority of Wikipedia's readers know who Hitler was. By contrast, most readers would have no prior knowledge regarding the items listed as examples above. A duty of an encyclopedia is to inform readers. That means, for example, that a film which pushes pseudoscientific fringe ideas needs to be described as such. Exactly how to do that can be discussed and I favor not overdoing negativity, but the brief facts need to be outlined in the first one or two sentences. Johnuniq (talk) 06:07, 24 December 2020 (UTC)
Hilter is actually a strong example that Wikipedia cannot come out in wikivoice to say he was evil or any other value-laden term, but we can refer to the clear consensus of historians that he was broadly considered evil. This is exactly the advice of WP:OUTRAGE as well as WP:LABEL. The problem we get is that editors often feel so upset or angry at a topic (which they are entitled to do) to a point that they appear to want to make sure readers are clear that the topic is a "bad" thing, but WP has to be neutral and impartial and non-judgemental here in Wikivoice. (I've seen some editors feel this is even to be WP's duty, but that's falling against WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS too). We can't describe Hitler being evil but we can be clear that the history books paint him that way and that WWII is pretty much attributed to him. Or to go back to Expelled, we can't call it propaganda directly, but we can call it a documentary that expert reviewers and commentator clearly saw as pushing numerous conspiracy theories and likened it to propaganda. Eg: we can still cover what outrages people as long as there's RSes to back it up, but its just got to be taken out of Wikivoice and framed after establishing neutral coverage of the topic. Otherwise, we're no better than a work like Conservapedia which lets editor POV take over. --Masem (t) 06:54, 24 December 2020 (UTC)
Agree with Johnuniq, in general, if there is clear cut negativity (or positivity) then I don't see why that should not be included right up front. Putting it in down the page somewhere is not helping the reader much.Selfstudier (talk) 13:46, 24 December 2020 (UTC)
And no one is saying to bury the negativity, particularly if that is what the topic's notably is based one. It just should not be the very first thing say about the topic and doesn't need to be the first sentence, but can be in the second sentence of the lede. Every other lede on WP generally goes "Topic is objectively classified as (). Topic is subjectively characterized as ()." if that characterization is important to the topic. There is absolutely no reason per NPOV to make an exception for topics that are generally considered "bad" (alt/far-right people and groups for example) but this still gets to the key notability factors early enough in the lede as we'd do for all other topics. --Masem (t) 15:47, 24 December 2020 (UTC)
You know, to play dumb devil's advocate, a sociopath isn't necessarily going to be able to tell that it's evil just by reading a description that says 'he killed 6 million people'. --Izno (talk) 16:15, 24 December 2020 (UTC)

Controversial subjects

Many articles say "this subject is controversial, with some people applauding and some people condemning". Well, that's not very informative.

Any subject is controversial, no matter how obvious it seems at first sight. Even whether the Earth is round or if vaccines prevent diseases. On the contrary, it would be unusual that an article says "every one of the 7 billion people in the world think exactly the same about X".

The article on Donald Trump says: "His election and policies have sparked numerous protests". Who hasn't? That's barley newsworthy, much less to include in the lead.

It also says: "He reacted slowly to the COVID-19 pandemic". Er, most governments did.

Now, it also says: "He made unsubstantiated accusations of electoral fraud". Now that's s strong statement. It would be more neutral just to state that courts rejected all those accusations. I'm pretty sure that many other sections of the article make non-neutral statements. As the original poster said, these affect the trusstworthiness of Wikipedia.

--NaBUru38 (talk) 11:51, 29 December 2020 (UTC)

The problem with the Trump text is that, as editors, we can't pass judgement on partisan nonsense while that squabbling is going on. So the current text is accurate, but weak. However that will get fixed as we transition from live-news sourcing to historical-oriented sourcing. Historians are rapidly cementing Trump as the worst president in US history. (Historical rankings of presidents of the United States has preliminary surveys, and all indications over the last two years are that historians only firmed up on ranking Trump as the worst.) The shift in sourcing will, in time, allow the lead to more clearly and directly summarize the reasons why Trump was a complete shitshow. And again, anyone who doesn't like what current sources say, or who doesn't like how historians rank Trump, have no business arguing about that on Wikipedia. If someone doesn't like what the sources say, any efforts to "fix" that need to be taken off-Wikipedia. Alsee (talk) 16:35, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
More the issue of the lede at Donald Trump would be excessive emphasis on his presidency and criticism of it. This is not to say WP cannot lay out that criticism in the lede, but we have to consider that there's a whole swathe of articles about Trump's presidency that these can go into detail there; further, while there's very little positive that can be said out of his presidency and we can't make a false balance, at this point in time we should be careful about overloading the negatives in the lede. But the statements that are being pointed out all seem legit given sourcing. --Masem (t) 17:04, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
See this US News article: "These "academic parlor games," as historian and presidential expert Richard Norton Smith calls them, have been conducted for years. None are perfect, he says, and historical comparisons of leaders who served in two completely different eras becomes difficult." Put the WP:Crystal away because it's still too early to make a credible determination, although if we're judging only personalities, Trump would clearly take the lead away from Obama as the worst president since WWII. At this point in time, we're dealing with subjective political views, echo chamber-style news, most of which is left-leaning, and then there's the COVID pandemic. WP has alienated a good portion of its conservative readers while gaining readers in other respects. We've also lost a substantial number of editors, arguably as a result of WP's left-wing ideology per The Critic, and that's kinda sad. Half the US will see it one way, and the other half another and that will probably hold true for the UK as well. I've also seen misunderstandings about American politics by some Europeans who are accustomed to a different form of government, so unless they've actually had years of studying/living under US government, and are familiar with the 3 branches of government, the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, electoral college and are familiar with the Federalist Papers which provide context/intent, chances are they will naturally relate more to their own country's type of government. SCOTUS is charged with the job of interpretation in the US because there are American politicians and citizens who still don't understand our form of government or the purpose of the electoral college. With all of the latter in mind, it's hard to get excited about WP publishing neutral AP2 articles this early on. Right now, we're not much more than mirrors of left leaning media per this Bloomberg article. Jimbo addressed the issue in one of his responses in 2019 which I have "enshrined" on my UTP. Just look at the grading system at WP:RS/P, and you'll see some instances of ideological bias, some of which is explained in how we achieve consensus. There's no doubt that several of our political leads are in dire need of improvement if we ever hope to achieve NPOV but it's going to take time. I'd like to see more strict adherence to our core content policies, as well as RECENTISM, NOTNEWS, 10YT and RS. If there's ever an RfC relative to the aforementioned, I hope it will be announced via Centralized discussion. Atsme 💬 📧 19:50, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
SCOTUS is charged with the job of interpretation in the US because there are American politicians and citizens who still don't understand our form of government or the purpose of the electoral college - there certainly are such politicians and citizens. Some of them are now serving in lame duck roles as president or members of cabinet, or have been holding press conferences in front of landscaping firms. Newimpartial (talk) 20:23, 29 December 2020 (UTC)

I started this discussion about the NPOV-differences I noticed in several current articles when comparing them with the same from 2016. Issues with the 2020 election, aftermath and involved persons logically can not belong in the scope of this discussion. As a side note, I would say that phrases like "Trump's political positions have been described as populist, protectionist, isolationist, and nationalist." and "Many of his comments and actions have been characterized as racially charged or racist." are much more neutral than something like "Donald Trump is a racist, populist, protectionist, isolationist, and nationalist politician, who is the 45th and current president of the United States." As such, the problems I described are not the ones in Trump's article. But that said: this discussion is going on for more than two months now. I believe all arguments have been written. Shouldn't there be an administrator/staff member close the discussion, and come to a judgement by now? Regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 20:13, 1 January 2021 (UTC)

I have just discovered and read this whole discussion. Given your statements
  • WP:FALSEBALANCE is about " claims that the Earth is flat, that the Knights Templar possessed the Holy Grail, that the Apollo moon landings were a hoax, and similar ones."
  • I am not interested in what reliable sources say: I am interested in writing good, unbiased articles.
  • I agree with Triumph of the Will. It is safe to say that movies, produced by the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, can safely be called "a "propaganda movie" in the lead. As for "Expelled": I don't know about that one.
  • Avoid to bring up your own opinion: even though every sane person should agree that Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a propaganda movie posing as a documentary supporting a pseudo-scientific idea, don't tell the reader that
my impression is that you do not want the reliable sources to decide what is the right and neutral way of putting it, you want to decide it yourself. When it comes to Triumph of the Will being propaganda, it is OK for you to avoid false balance. But not when it comes to "Expelled". So, what is the real difference between both? Reliable sources agree that one is propaganda, and they agree that the other is propaganda. The difference is your personal opinion on what the correct stance is: you regard "Triumph of the Will is propaganda" as a fact, and "Expelled is propaganda" as just your own opinion. But you do not get to decide that. Reliable sources get to decide that. Of course that is not only about you, but also about those who agreed with you. Don't see this as an attack; it is not intended as such. I just want you to see that your own biases will creep in even when you try very hard to keep them from doing so. Mine sure do.
Since Wikipedia has been founded, reliable sources have changed their ways. They have moved away from false balance, toward being more fact-based. Before, they treated things like intelligent design and climate change denial, which have no basis in fact, in a some-say-this-and-some-say-that manner. Now, they tend to care more for truth and denounce those ideas. You picked 2016 as your comparison point for article intros, and 2016 was a year when the who-cares-what-is-true-let's-just-report-who-said-what attitude bore ugly fruit - which have since turned into windfall. The reality-based community has fought back, and maybe the article intro changes reflect that.
Two of Wikipedia's pillars are neutral language and dependance on reliable sources, and the ground on which the second pillar rests has moved. Now we are doing the splits, and we must choose one pillar to stand on or collapse. Some here favor the first pillar and others favor the second one. Well, WP:LUNATIC tells us where Jimbo stands: on the second one. I do not think that removing even a part of that second pillar is a viable option. When reliable sources tell us something is a lie, we cannot override them, not because we happen to disagree with them and also not because we happen to agree with them and feel we should avoid writing something that is also our own position. --Hob Gadling (talk) 18:47, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
You already literally quoted my argument: “movies, produced by the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, can safely be called "a "propaganda movie" in the lead.” As such, when a self-proclaimed propagandist produces a movie, it may be called a “propaganda movie.” I can only assume that this point is logical; it is not my “bias” or “personal opinion” that made the nazis call their ministry like that.
But that aside: like I said above: editors, who want to have their personal opinions shown, can edit Conservapedia or RationalWiki. Those who prefer a more neutral approach, can edit over here. And to establish that, we need to be better both better than our opinions, and be better than those “Reliable Sources.” After all, editors on reliable sources have their personal opinions too, which we should not allow to have them included in Wikipedia.
Therefore, we need to be even better than the New York Times, CNN, or CBS News. Being named a reliable source by some Wikipedians (and largely rightly so) does not make that source infallible. As with Wikipedians, the own biases of reporters and journalists will creep in in their articles, even when they try very hard to keep them from doing so. That is especially true in the current 24-hour news-cycle, in a world with sharply divided opinions. We always need to be careful and critical. Therefore, blindly copy-pasting what reliable sources have to say on a topic sounds like a ridiculously careless idea to me.
And as such, I would prefer Brittanica’s approach on its article on homeopathy above the current one on Wikipedia. Brittanica says homeopathy doesn’t work in a much gentler, neutral way, without ignoring reality. I see still see that as an example; not as an outdated concept. Regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 14:15, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Jeff5102 I understand you have good intentions, but the idea won't work. In the name of neutrality you are advocating that Wikipedia take a more Conservapedia approach, where random idiots on the internet (us) pass judgement that scientists being biased and unfair. Pass judgement that professional historians are being biased and unfair. That medical professionals are being biased and unfair. That Reliable Sources in general are being biased and unfair. We already have a hard enough time keeping issue-advocates under control, gutting the core of NPOV policy to invite overruling majority mainstream Reliable Source coverage is a recipe to fail. It's hard enough getting random idiots on the internet to accurately summarize what the Reliable experts and professionals say. It is a well intentioned fool's errand to imagine that random idiots on the internet are somehow going to make things better by overruling the Reliable majority mainstream coverage. WP:OR: A perfect editor doesn't know anything (and imperfect editors are to keep what they think they know out of articles). WP:NPOV: A perfect editor doesn't have have any opinion on the content being summarized (and imperfect editors are to keep their opinions out of their work). You are inviting editors to have opinions on the content, and explicitly suggesting they insert their opinions instead of an accurate summary of the Reliable experts and professionals. For every time that arguably results in an improvement, there will be multiple failures. Wikipedia does not contain Truth, it is an accurate summary of what Reliable Sources say. Anything that allows or encourages Truth-warriors to overrule ReliableSource coverage is a recipe to fail. Alsee (talk) 21:10, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Sorry, Alsee, but that is not what I am saying. I do not understand how my "We are here to make neutral, accurate and factually presented articles, to have readers form their own opinions, not to tell them how to think about persons,organisations, documentaries or music groups." morphed into "You are inviting editors to have opinions on the content, and explicitly suggesting they insert their opinions instead of an accurate summary of the Reliable experts and professionals." Nor do I understand how my "Being named a reliable source by some Wikipedians (and largely rightly so) does not make that source infallible" morphed into me advocating that "Reliable Sources in general are being biased and unfair."
Furthermore, it is confusing to see that Hob Gadling disagrees with me, because nowadays, Wikipedians "care more for truth", while you disagree with me, because "Wikipedia does not contain Truth".
Thus, per WP:GOODFAITH: what was your intention with your last comment?Jeff5102 (talk) 09:15, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Your confusion was caused by your misreading of what I wrote. I extract the relevant parts: reliable sources have changed their ways. [..] Now, they tend to care more for truth Do you now see who "they" is? It is not "Wikipedians".
So, what does your quote "Being named a reliable source by some Wikipedians (and largely rightly so) does not make that source infallible" mean? So what if they are fallible? Does it mean that Wikipedians should correct what they see as potential mistakes and replace what the reliable sources say by some-say-this-others-say-that text? That would be WP:OR. That is what Alsee is saying: You want to reject the judgment of reliable sources on, say, Expelled, and want to force the reader to form an own opinion unhindered by previous expert assessment. RS could be wrong, so let us not repeat them! Whew, we have avoided the remote hypothetical possibility that Wikipedia contains a false statement, at the price of throwing out one which is very probably true. Let's avoid collecting the knowledge of humanity because some of it could be wrong.
Do you really believe that readers can "form their own opinions" only if Wikipedians predigest their message, remove any bits that taste to them like evaluation, and turn it into a flavorless pulp, while if we report on how RS are judging something, the readers' opinion-forming glands are somehow inhibited?
Reliable sources on a subject usually have inside knowledge and professional skills the average reader lacks, and they are able to connect dots and get a meaningful picture. If you show the same dots to laypeople without saying which picture the experts see, the opinion they form will be random and worthless, but at least you have reached your goal of having them form one. Your flavor of neutrality is just another form of bias, leading to another flavor of misinformation. --Hob Gadling (talk) 10:32, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

Jeff5102 you are objecting to what Reliable Sources say, and arguing we should not allow [an accurate summary of Reliable sources to be] included in Wikipedia. You say we need to be better [] better than those “Reliable Sources”, that a bunch of random idiots on the internet are supposed to be 'better' than professional scientists and professional historians and professional reporters who operate under professional editorial management, and that random internet idiots are to pass judgement over and overrule the majority-mainstream-Reliable sources. If the prevailing Reliable Source view is that something is a conspiracy theory, or pseudoscience, or propaganda, or far-left, or far-right, or whatever, we can't allow the UFO-fans or political-activists to strike that because they feel the Reliable mainstream position is biased or unfair. That is substituting editor opinion in place of an accurate summary of Reliable Source info. I am personally baffled why anyone considers the Mona Lisa a significant or even interesting painting. However if the experts say it is a "masterpiece" with an "enigmatic expression" and assert a "monumentality of the composition", then our job is to accurately summarize that. Those are all opinions, and you argue we are to overrule those Reliable expert views. We can't have editors trying to "do better" by excluding or overruling the majority mainstream Reliable expert content. Our core struggle is to get imperfect editors to stop asserting their personal opinions over what the sources say. An ideal editor wouldn't care what the sources are saying. They would just summarize it accurately. Alsee (talk) 14:18, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
So, if a propagandist calls himself a propagandist, we call his products propaganda, and if he doesn't, we don't? He gets to decide what Wikipedia calls him? You want to ignore the reliable sources and let the propagandist do his propaganda on Wikipedia, although you personally disagree with him? Well, that is, as I said, "your personal opinion on what the correct stance is", or "your bias", but reliable sources do it differently. They call both movies propaganda. We follow reliable sources and not you. --Hob Gadling (talk) 10:32, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

Hob, let me first thank you for clarifying the "they" in your response. I misread that one indeed. Now, I was mostly referring to the newsmedia when I was saying that reliable sources aren't infallible.I already explained that in the sentence afterwards. I do not know about you guys, but I refuse to write over here that Iraq had weapons of mass destucktion, because a reliable source like The New York Times said so, even when I know that those at the New York Times are professional reporters who operate under professional editorial management. It is beyond me how a critical stance towards news media opens the door towards UFO-fans. Anyway, to keep with the Expelled-example: Already in the version of March of my beloved year 2016, at the end of the lead, we could read:

The general media response to the film has been largely unfavorable. Multiple reviews, including those of USA Today and Scientific American, have described the film as propaganda.[1][2][3] The Chicago Tribune's rating was "1 star (poor),"[4] while The New York Times described it as "a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry" and "an unprincipled propaganda piece that insults believers and nonbelievers alike."[1] It received an 9% meta-score ("rotten") in late May 2008 from the film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes (later improved to 11% overall) where the film was summarized thus: "Full of patronizing, poorly structured arguments, Expelled is a cynical political stunt in the guise of a documentary."[5] Christianity Today gave the film a positive review, earning a rating of 3 out of 4 stars.[6]

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) describes the film as dishonest and divisive propaganda, aimed at introducing religious ideas into public school science classrooms.[7] Paul Kurtz, founder and late chairman of the Center for Inquiry, called the film “anti-science propaganda” and an “exercise in anti-intellectualism at its worst.”[8] The film has been used in private screenings to legislators as part of the Discovery Institute intelligent design campaign for Academic Freedom bills.[9]

In this text, there were enough sources present to see that the "Let's avoid collecting the knowledge of humanity because some of it could be wrong"-claim is baseless. But what is more important: the Wikipedia-article did not say the movie was propaganda; the encyclopedia stayed neutral on that point. Instead, it merely quoted the authoritive scientific outlets saying so, and let the reader decide if all these scientific outlets were right or wrong. Moreover, under this text, all falsehoods in Expelled are summed up extensively. As such, the reader can follow the reliable sources, and doesn't have to follow the judgement of the people, who Alsee describes as "bunch of random idiots on the internet" (Thanks, Alsee. That excactly is the kind of appreciation I like to see after my 15 years of editing here).. In short: I do not mind having reliable sources quoted on wikipedia that say a movie is a propaganda piece (and why should I?). I only oppose that Wikipedia itself says it, since Wikipeda is merely written by bunch of random idiots, and idiots aren't the ones to judge. Jeff5102 (talk) 16:08, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

Jeff5102 you may have missed that I referred to myself as a random idiot on the internet. The only way the Wikipedia model can work is if we firmly insist random idiots on the internet (us) do not get to argue whether scientists or other Reliable Sources are wrong. Internet Truth arguments are endless.
Regarding It is beyond me how a critical stance towards news media opens the door towards UFO-fans: People advancing a fringe or non-ReliableSource view often advance the same argument you do, I've seen it repeatedly. They argue the source content is just an opinion, just a theory, or biased, or wrong. Either they misunderstand NPOV policy, or they argue to change it. They object to how the content is covered in the sources, they want editors to be better than the sources, they want editors to pass judgement on the sources and fix it so Wikipedia is "neutral" between their position and the mainstream Reliable Source position. That is not what the "neutral" in NPOV means.
A perfect NPOV editor is one who doesn't care what the sources say, an editor who just summarizes the sources accurately. If the sources are wrong, or biased, or part of come alleged conspiracy, NPOV means Wikipedia is an accurately reference-summary of the wrong/biased/conspiracy content. That is because Wikipedia cannot be a platform for random idiots on the internet to argue scientists or other ReliableSources are wrong. If the science books say the moon is made of cheese then Wikipedia will say the moon is made of cheese. If someone wants to argue that the moon is not made of cheese, they must go off wiki and work on fixing the sources.
When abundant Reliable Sources assert something in a factual manner, and when there is zero Reliable dissent or only Fringe dissent, it is generally appropriate to summarize the content with a direct statement as the sources do. We should not butcher every sentence in the Evolution article into attributed-claims-by-some-scientists. That's not your intent, but that's the door you're suggesting we open. Objecting to an accurate summary means the objection actually lies with the coverage in the sources. Alsee (talk) 12:11, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
This is broadly my takeaway. I think it's noteworthy that a number of the people arguing for major policy changes above express dissatisfaction with how reliable sources are covering things today. People aren't really upset that Wikipedia is biased, they're upset with mainstream coverage of topics in reliable sources, and are trying to address that on Wikipedia because it's the one place they can push back against it - but that falls under WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS. If eg. reliable sources refer to someone as a white supremacist, we're ultimately required to do so ourselves; we cannot go "reliable sources are using this term too freely, let's put our thumb on the scale to correct it!" Neutrality is ultimately determined by looking at the sources, not our guts. --Aquillion (talk) 17:29, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
I disagree with the "A perfect NPOV editor is one who doesn't care what the sources say, an editor who just summarizes the sources accurately."-stance. Editors should see what is of value, and what is not. They should combine all sources into an article that is the best reflection of the truth. Just see my comments on the articles of Noam Chomsky and Steven Crowder throughout the discussion for this. I would rather be an idiot, who judges the merits of the sources, than a brainless copy-paster, who summarizes some hit-piece of a disgruntled editor of the Washington Post (which is a reliable source). If that disqualifies me from being a good editor per WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS, then this "upset random idiot" leaves for the Commons, and wishes you all well.Jeff5102 (talk) 14:57, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
This I agree with as well, as its absolutely necessary to understand the broader relationship that what we are using as reliable sources for a topic have with that topic; it is not just sufficient to blindly summarize them, and this is actually supported in NPOV's language in terms of being aware of what is being the printed word in the RSes. Case in point is that it would be poor of us to not consider that the quality RSes we have for American politics are very much at odds with Donald Trump, who is also very much at odds with them. This doesn't mean these sources aren't useable but we have to be aware of their bias and have good reason to keep things with inline attribution than to take as fact. But that goes back to why NOT#NEWS and RECENTISM are important in that we should not be using sources so close to the time, or so close to the matters at hand for analysis and opinion but instead look to those sources that are well separated in both time and any connection to the event, who are going to be far more disinterested and dispassionate and thus their analysis and opinion would be more appropriate to consider.
What is important is that if the current RSes are all near unified in some type of opinion that that still is reflected appropriate per UNDUE/WEIGHT, but it still needs to be respected as opinion if it's still coming from sources with a close time or topic-relationship to the topic at hand. That the RSes express universal detest of Trump is something I would expect to read in our coverage, as long as it is stated this as attributed to the media. That meets verifyability, that meets NOR, and that meets NPOV. Key to all this is that we do not blindly follow RSes; we're not that beholden to take every word they printed as undisputable fact blindly, though we are not in a position to completely doubt the authority of their word, as some IPs would tend to want us to do. --Masem (t) 16:20, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • The initial example for this discussion was originally my wording, many years ago, using Stalin. Difficult as it is to write truly NPOV about things which really matter, It is harder still to apply NPOV in summaries, and even harder in lede sentences, and it's better not to try to reduce to a single term. I don't think we ever have to use epithets, whether positive or negative. We can always avoid it by summarizing what the person has done that makes them notable . It may be easier to understand if we look in a positive sense: we do not have to write , for example," Luc Montagnier is a famous scientist-"-we can say "Luc Montagnier is a scientist who won the Nobel prize for the discovery of the HIV virus". We don't even have so say X is a criminal. , when we can say X is known for his role in the murder of A. It can be tricky, because not everything's importance can be expressed so easily. It might be right to say that CATO is "a libertarian free-market think tank" (though it would be perhaps better to say "a think tank that generally supports free-market libertarian positions" --the very first thing I want to know at such an article is the political orientation, and I think everyone including themselves would agree on that; but it is gross overemphasis to add "funded by polluters,", when that's only one particular criticism about it.There may be a reasonable connection between supporting free market libertarianism and engaging in industrial pollution, but that's a political opinion, not a basic fact.
Applying to politics the Pseudoscience ArbCom decision used in WP to justify the framing of a particular practice as "pseudoscience" is a mistake--the degree of general consensus possible in these two areas is very different. . Even in science, that decision, at least in how it is being interpreted, was in my opinion the most momentous error ever committed by arbcom. The world is not as simple as they thought; the best way of ensuring neutrality is to avoid anything that might be taken as a judgement of value, rather than statement of fact-- one could in most cases better say "a therapeutic practice not supported by most physicians". Even such practitioners would agree on that, and it's even clearer. Politcs is much more complicated Judging the role of a contemporary politician in a few words is usually impossible. I can think of many terms to apply to the current president, but no single one seems sufficient. If I had to , I would say "whose views and sharply polarized the country" which would be enough of an alert for an imaginary someone who had never heard of him.
We write articles, not taglines, because articles are necessary to explain things requing more than a dictionary definition. DGG ( talk ) 06:42, 16 January 2021 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b Catsoulis, Jeannette (April 18, 2008). "Resentment Over Darwin Evolves Into a Documentary". The New York Times (Movie review). New York: The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-12-03.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. ^ Puig, Claudia (April 17, 2008). "Also opening: 'Bin Laden,' 'Intelligence,' 'Forbidden Kingdom'". USA Today. Tysons Corner, VA: Gannett Company. Retrieved 2016-01-05. This is propaganda, a political rant disguised as a serious commentary on stifled freedom of inquiry.
  3. ^ Shermer, Michael (April 9, 2008). "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed--Ben Stein Launches a Science-free Attack on Darwin". Scientific American. Stuttgart: Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. ISSN 0036-8733. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  4. ^ Moore, Roger (April 20, 2008). "'Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed' (Ben Stein monkeys with evolution)". Chicago Tribune (Movie review). Chicago, IL: Tribune Publishing. Archived from the original on 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2016-01-18. Adapted from the Orlando Sentinel review.
  5. ^ "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. San Francisco, CA: Flixster. Retrieved 2013-04-26. Page also Archived 2008-05-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Moring, Mark (April 18, 2008). "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed". Christianity Today (Movie review). Carol Stream, IL: Christianity Today International. ISSN 0009-5753. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  7. ^ Lempinen, Edward W. (April 18, 2008). "New AAAS Statement Decries 'Profound Dishonesty' of Intelligent Design Movie" (Press release). Washington, D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science. Archived from the original on 2008-04-25. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  8. ^ Expelling All Reason: CFI’s Paul Kurtz Joins the Chorus of Critics Dismissing Ben Steins “Expelled” as Anti-Science Propaganda
  9. ^ {{cite news |last=Simon |first=Stephanie |date=May 2, 2008 |title=Evolution's Critics Shift Tactics With Schools |url= |newspaper=The Wall Street Journal |location=New York |publisher=Dow Jones & Company |page=A10 |archiveurl=

Increased rules on articles leading to overzealous article thinning and deletion

I've been a Wikipedian for over 16 years, and I would like to comment here, that over time, many good editors have left due to exhaustion and frustration with what appears to be an ever increasing set of rules being enforced by an overzealous army of editors who seem driven by the unquenchable need to remove every bit of content that they deem unnecessary, non-notable, insignificant, or inadequately cited or sourced to degrees clearly not originally intended by the rules and guidelines. I would dare to say that Wikipedia has become a rather unfriendly place, where the police shoot first, and ask questions later. Sadly. --Thoric (talk) 18:31, 7 December 2020 (UTC)

WP has matured. Sixteen years ago, we were definitely much more maverick and open about what content we allowed but we've recognized that a lot of readers depend on us for quality research and summation, as well as trying to avoid the reputation of having 1000s of pages of Pokemon but very little on practical history. We've better focused on material that is backed by more reliable sources and less on "popular" topics which are better covered in other places. --Masem (t) 18:35, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm afraid you will have to give specific examples of the "increasing set of rules", the "overzealous army of editors" and the "unquenchable need to remove every bit of content." If you are just blowing of steam then so be it - everyone needs to do that from time to time but don't expect any big changes without examples of what needs to be changed. I will add, for the record, that the reference to "shooting first" would be out of line at the best of times but after the year we've lived through it is particularly vile. MarnetteD|Talk 18:40, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
Just to note that IMO the Wikipedia Seigenthaler biography incident brought about the need for WP:RS and several other guidelines and policies that are part of WikiP today. MarnetteD|Talk 18:44, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
You are assuming that Editors will move from editing articles that they have an interest in, to articles on practical history. The more likely scenario is they start off on Pokemon and move on to other things. Bits are cheap. Just have a flag saying that the article is not notable and let the user be able to exclude non notable articles. And let the project people by able to split them from their stats. AT the moment the many articles keep on being searched for and deleted. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 08:11, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
I'm reasonably certain that this is a reaction to SMAUG and particularly Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/SMAUG (2nd nomination). Bald assertions of notability from an article's primary author are not unusual, nor is frustration at having an article one cares about nominated. The difference between 16 years ago and now is that such assertions were often accepted at AfD and now AfD participants expect there to be some evidence to back up these assertions. A MUD will always struggle with the notability criteria but that is why pop-culture topics have split off into their own Wikia universes. Indeed, there is wiki devoted entirely to MUD's and one could even create their own SMAUG wiki, if one wished. But Thoric is correct that the culture has changed and it is harder to keep articles such as the SMAUG one on en:wiki. That is by the general consensus of the participants in this community. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 19:00, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
I haven't thought about MUDs for years. I never used SMAUG (I was a Shattered Worlds fan). But SMAUG and Shattered worlds were used for AI research [9] Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 08:41, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
(ec) I agree that the "shoot ... ask" metaphor is misplaced; nobody dies here as a result of proper editing. Questions aren't asked because experience has unfortunately taught us that the majority of such questions go unanswered, and it adds a level of extra workflow complexity that we don't find palatable. It's much easier to revert something that is likely wrong or uncitable and let the promoter of it prove it. After all, restoration is only a click away. I'm not advocating blind reversion – a certain amount of finesse is required (and I believe, used). The fact that we are becoming more vigilant at removing trivia or otherwise unnecessary fluff, stuff that is uncited (and often uncitable), etc., is a good thing for the most part. Now, if we could just enforce WP:RAWDATA instead of supporting the recording of every poll or vote, goal or basket, pageant quarter-finalist, game show contestant, or minor supporting actor, etc., too much of which is never cited, verified, self-consistent, ... —[AlanM1 (talk)]— 19:05, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
Obviously the articles, not the people, are the fatalities in this case, although I know for a fact that over the past decade, a significant percentage of original editors burnt out and departed. The problem isn't that some articles are "uncitable" in so much as becoming difficult to cite according to ever changing rules. Many "cited" articles have become "uncited" as previously acceptable sources were deemed unacceptable. --Thoric (talk) 22:22, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
Articles that are deleted are not "fatalities." Considering the number of people who have died this year your continued use of such language is truly disgusting. BTW you have yet to provide examples of any "ever changing rules" that are causing a problem. Yes, sources can become unacceptable due to their actions not Wikipedia's guidelines. MarnetteD|Talk 22:32, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
Sure... keep attacking me personally because not only are you guys the Wikipedia police, you're also the language police. You guys are the very reason that the two Wikipedia founders ended working on entirely new spinoff projects. Let that sink in. "No small group of elites deserves the power to declare what is known for all of us." -- Dr. Larry Sanger --Thoric (talk) 23:20, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
No one has attacked you personally even though you've leveled plenty of accusations and attacks. Seeing as how you have no desire to present evidence to act on, nor any concrete proposals to make perhaps you would be happier working on one of those spinoff projects. I've been here almost 16 years as well and still can't find any "small group of elites." Thus, your whinging on is unlikely to change anything. MarnetteD|Talk 00:19, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
I mentioned our maturity. That includes not only aspects like notability, but sourcing quality as well. We're less likely to accept primary source as principle sourcing for articles nowadays since companies and others have found ways to abuse WP to self-promote themselves with primary sources, for example. This thus causes some articles that we'd have accepted a decade ago to no longer be considered appropriate here. --Masem (t) 23:36, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
I understand that Wikipedia is held to higher standards than it was 16 years ago, and I understand the need to prevent self promotion, but things have gotten to the point where rules meant to prevent abuse are being used to slice some articles down to a stub, which then gets flagged as too small to have its own article, and gets deleted without allowing a redirect to a relevant parent article, and next the parent article ends up on the chopping block (am I even allowed to say chopping block here?) Over 250 articles are removed from Wikipedia daily, such that there is a site for the express purpose of archiving them ( There is a problem here. It's not just me. --Thoric (talk) 00:14, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
Do you have any examples of how sourcing guidelines (Expanded or not over the last decade) have been misapplied, in the specific context that you're here about your own project being at AFD? SMAUG was never culled down to a stub. There were a few attempts once to redirect it back in 2016, a soft delete at AFD which was restored at your request (A COI refund is a little off, IMO), and then a subsequent renomination after the only improvement you made was a copyright violation. Otherwise the article is in the same state it was in 2015, which was mostly written by you. -- ferret (talk) 00:23, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
I brought it back to work on it, then was told I couldn't work on it due to COI. Are you saying the renomination was due to the copyright issue? I misunderstood one of the WP:C-P concepts, and had permission to use the content, but I can reword it (if I'm even allowed to). Most edits by anyone other than me were removed and/or reverted. There used to be an entire "MUD Task Force" at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Video_games/MUD but it's gone now, so who is even to edit articles such as this? Look -- MUDs are the historic predecessor to MMORPGs such as WoW. SMAUG earned itself a mention on Raph Koster's Online World Timeline of "significant events for the development of virtual worlds". The SMAUG codebase has been downloaded well over 100,000 times, and is used by over 5% of the MUDs listed on The Mud Connector. It's a piece of Internet history. It's non-commercial. It has many derivative works. --Thoric (talk) 01:14, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
Ok, so, no, you can't provide any examples of sourcing policy or notability policy being used "against" SMAUG, other than the AFD itself. It's pretty clear that the article hasn't been "attacked" or "purged" of content in any form. In fact, the most substantial removal of content in the article's history was you in 2005. The page has been nearly static for over a decade beyond minor tweaks or template syntax/merge type fixes. The article restoration and the copyright incident occurred in October. You made no further edits from that point to improve it, and the AFD nomination didn't come until December, and the COI warning after that, since I am familiar with ROD and SMAUG and recognized your name. I'm more than adequately familiar with MUDs and MU*s and their history, having ran several myself. -- ferret (talk) 01:43, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
So a developer formerly used Wikipedia to promote his product and now comes back after a 10 hiatus of active engagement and complains that the entire project is fatally flawed because of an article about his MUD is being rightly nominated for deletion. Do I have those facts right? That's an awfully big claim to make based on one article in which you have a conflict of interest and which hasn't undergone anything like the set of alterations you ascribe. You haven't yet, despite multiple requests, provided a scintilla of evidence for your MUD's notability nor have you provided any sort of evidence for your complaints here. Do you really think this is going to be taken seriously or result in any action based solely on your evidence-free assertions? Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 00:41, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
The SMAUG article is certainly not representative of my work as a wikipedian, as can be gleaned by my user page. I purposely avoided work on it so as not to appear to be self promoting. It's a piece of Internet gaming history. --Thoric (talk) 01:14, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Having read through the above, I'm not seeing any indication that this could lead to alterations of our longstanding notability and sourcing requirements, and VPP is not the place to coach an editor who doesn't understand them. This discussion should be closed. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 02:32, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
I don't think this discussion should be closed yet. It raises a couple of important points on motivation of wikipedian editors. The criteria 16 years ago and for many years since have been strict. The point being made is not solely about notability and sourcing. This discussion could result in a new stage in the deletion process. This could introduce the concept of prompting suggestions for improving articles from the people who are unhappy with articles, rather than jumping straight to deleting, merging or redirecting them. Please let me know if this stage has been proposed before, and where, I would be grateful for a link. This new stage would result in improvements to wikipedia, and more motivated contributors. The point being raised is that the deletion process is thinning and reducing Wikipedia plus also losing valuable editors, forever. Please could we address those two separate points and come to consensus conclusions before closing this valuable discussion, thanks. Mediation4u (chat) nb: editing is fun 18:22, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
@Mediation4u:, this is already required and has been for eons. The Deletion Policy includes consideration of alternatives to deletion and nominators are expected to carry out exactly those types of checks before nominating. You may also find Wikipedia:Perennial_proposals#Deletion worth reading. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 18:28, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
Many thanks for the relevant links. I did suspect that this topic had been discussed before and I see that many wikipedians have expressed in great detail that Wikipedia should not be limited by the disadvantages of a paper encyclopedia, here >> Wikipedia:Deletion reform/Brainstorming#Remove notable requirement. There are calls for clear definitions of notability in that discussion. It is a fine line between Wikipedia's integrity and gravitas on one side, and the appeal of Wikipedia's innate eccentricity on the other side of the coin. Deletion without sufficient cause risks throwing out the baby with the bathwater and throwing out well-intentioned contributors too. Mediation4u (chat) nb: editing is fun 01:03, 11 December 2020 (UTC)
For instance:

Notability has been used by editors with an axe to grind. It is a way of suppressing useful information in order to give preference to a personal POV. Notability is too subjective. It hands a loaded gun to a child. Wikipedia is becoming increasingly crippled by the limiting view of some editors that it must model itself after paper encyclopediae, and mimic their limitations. The Notability criterion is one painful, destructive manifestation of that policy. --Aminorex

On one hand Wikipedia is not a random collection of information and on the other hand Wikipedia's appeal for many is that editing it and reading it should be fun. If there are more links to prior discussions, then please feel free to gather the links here. A compendium of prior consensus summaries may speed up the closing of this thread. Mediation4u (chat) nb: editing is fun 01:03, 11 December 2020 (UTC)
There's really nothing further to do in this thread. There is no true call to action or proposal. We have infrequent editors popping up in response to what I believe have been at least some offsite mentions to defend a particular topic of which the poster has an unambivalent conflict of interest. No one is rushing to deletion without sufficient cause. We have processes and procedures in place and they are operating just fine. Not a single person has mentioned how or why the process is supposedly failing in this instance, and the AFD has not even closed yet. So the complaint boils down to "how dare they even think about deleting my topic", which is simply a non-starter. -- ferret (talk) 15:23, 11 December 2020 (UTC)
@Mediation4u:, it is very nearly inexplicable that you cherry-picked one editor's statements out of a discussion that was overwhelmingly in favor of keeping notability requirements and use it to suggest that there is some sort of active debate on the issue. "Many wikipedians have expressed in great detail that Wikipedia should not be limited by the disadvantages of a paper encyclopedia" is not exactly an untrue statement but many, many, many more have expressed that the "disadvantages of a paper encyclopedia" have nothing to do with notability requirements. There is a strong, lasting, and continuing consensus that we as a community have no interest in becoming a vehicle for promotional or trivial articles. Notability is the bar that intentionally keeps those out and neither you nor the thread originator have yet expressed any reason why that should change. You haven't even made a proposal for such a change. The idea that notability and AfD leads to "thinning" of the encyclopedia is belied by the actual facts at hand which show that we are at 6.2 million articles and growing, despite whatever gets removed through CfD, Prod's, and AfD. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 16:22, 11 December 2020 (UTC)
@Eggishorn: I concur. You have summarised, above, my conflicted position.  I am sure there are other essays and debates on this topic.  I paste a second quote, for balance. 

Absolutely not. Removing the notability criterion means Wikipedia becomes an unusable morass, not an encyclopedia. Here are five practical problems with it, completely aside from the fact that an encyclopedia by definition is selective: Spamming, vanity articles, bids for fame, it would break categorisation and also the random article feature. -- Fubar Obfusco

By way of explanation, I fell into the confirmation bias trap, which explains that a person sees the things they agree with when reading a discussion and they are blind to items they don't believe are true.   Seeing the balanced view requires an open mind. I also agree with your point that the discussion so far has generated a lot of heat and light, but nothing which moves the Wikipedia project forward. So I have drafted a small positive proposal which I will add, below. It is similar to Ferret's constructive approach to this issue. Deeds, not words (Acta, non verba). Mediation4u (chat) nb: editing is fun 23:39, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
Further, we have the WP:AFC and Drafts system in place that help editors get an idea early in article creation if the article has a chance to be sustainable with the newer criteria on sourcing and notability. --Masem (t) 18:30, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
I think this is an interesting discussion and raises a question. Is there a way Wikipedia can capture knowledge that isn't covered by our traditional sources yet might be of interest to readers. Is that knowledge "encyclopedic"? I'll offer two automotive related examples. The first might be an article like the one about the Sports_2000 amateur race car class. This is clearly a special interest article. As it stands the article has no sources. I'm sure that could be improved but many of the best resources are likely to fail WP:RS. Even some of the better sources about racing at the less than top tier are going to be iffy per our RS standards (as an example here is an article about a designer of one of the Sports 2000 cars [[10]]. Techie/geekie details about the cars are often on blogs, forums and other largely self published sources. I would find such content really interesting. I would like to know that the Swift DB1 used rocker arm front suspension with dampers actuated via a pivot link. I also get this doesn't rise to the same level of significance as many of our articles. Still, I think Wikipedia would be a more interesting place if we could have some of this "content sourced to low quality sources". Think of it something like Bloomberg vs Bloomberg Contributor. In my view it would be nice if we could separate these into articles that are perhaps of interest to some readers but not sourced to the same standards as many articles. I also understand such an allowance could easily be abused etc. Still, I think it would make Wikipedia a richer resource. Springee (talk) 19:30, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
Based on the situation around the "walled garden" of the mixed-martial arts area from several years back that WPians had to dismantle, the answer to this ("can WP cover topic areas not well covered by traditional sources") is "no". In our maturity we've moved away from accepting niche sources. The MMA is one example; demoting porn actors from NBIO is another, dealing with the COI-filled world of cryptocurrency reporting is yet another. The general notability guideline is there to try to set a minimum amount of coverage and sourcing for all topics so that no topic area has the freedom to use more niche coverage or the like to be more inclusive of what it includes; we have have some exceptions to that as agreed to globally, such as WP:NPROF for academics, and stuff like WP:OUTCOMES isn't readily challenged though not formally set. But in general, if a topic field is simply not covered in depth by good sources, and the sources that do exist for that field are considered problematic, we really can't develop that content. We can get as close as possible to guiding readers where to go next short of pointing them to Fandom, for example. --Masem (t) 20:00, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
Concur with User:Ferret and User:Masem. I see no problem with strictly enforcing WP:V and WP:RS. With so many reliable sources easily discoverable through Google Books as well as public and private academic databases, it's getting easier every day to find reliable sources for even the most obscure factual assertions, such as the fact that the most common generic term for a law school in the United States is "school of law." I stumbled across that interesting fact while researching something completely different, and saved a copy of the relevant article so that I could add that fact to WP several months later. --Coolcaesar (talk) 03:52, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Proposal

My proposal acknowledges that it is the hard work of deletionists which has kept Wikipedia at the high standard it is today, holding back the flood of Pokemon articles, etc.  However I sincerely hope that incremental improvements to how this is achieved can be made.

Proposal - amend the deletion criteria to include a main aim of any deletion discussion to be:

Do not lose the contributor, educate the contributor.
Education before castigation
  • Reason #1  Education

This means include educational evidence and links, do not include unsubstantiated emotive arguments which intend to demotivate the contributor(s) into submission. Taking one example of attempting to dominate the opposition on the recent SMAUG deletion thread.  I don't think weight should be given to the accusation of meatpuppetry.  Perhaps that accuser did a check, using the automated tools, and found no sock puppets were on that page.   If so, then please post that evidence.  That would be objective, useful, and educational for newbies.  Then all those in the discussion know that there are no sock puppets.  By contrast, jumping to a "meatpuppet" claim,  with no evidence provided of that, just lowers the tone of the debate in an adversarial manner.  With no evidence of sock puppets, then please conclude that many people independently hold a view which is different from your own.  This would be more rational than seeing gangs of meatpuppets acting in concert around every corner.

  • Reason #2 Vicious circle

As more of the project falls into disrepair, with no active editors, then those areas become ripe for deletion too.  Hence the vicious circle of thinning and, in the long run, losing Wikipedia's raison d'etre.  No fun will mean no new editors. No new Wikipedians fighting the vandalism will mean Wikipedia is likely to exponentially implode. Anecdotally, I see more vandalism sticking now than 10 years ago. Get on over to WP:CVU and WP:SVT if you have some spare time.

  • Suggested approach #1
Previous debate links instead of divisive and abrasive exchanges

If the point being made in the argument has been discussed before, and ideally has a summary paragraph which concludes the debate, then always furnish a link to that debate.  Instead of an aggressive assertion, show the contributor the links to the actual policy and also to previous debates on that point where the policy was decided. So in this case, on notability, it allows the contributor to see the discussion has been held before.  Taking as an example, in the case of the SMAUG deletion discussion, with a full understanding of notability criteria, we can find an appropriately notable page on which to merge the valuable content. 

  • Suggested approach #2
Face to face test.

For instance, imagine you are at a cafe/diner/breakfast table /telephone/video recording. When making a point in a deletion debate - would you say that same statement,  in that way, to someone who is sitting across the table from you?  On the phone?  In a video post, in your own name, on public YouTube?  Hold up what you are about to say and imagine it in those situations. As well as the onus on being kind to newbies, there is also a case to be made on thinking before writing anything negative, to anyone, not just newbies.  Flame wars are an inevitable consequence of written exchanges in anonymous forums, email chains, etc.  The written word can be misinterpreted very easily.  Imagine a contributor arrives enthusiastically to become famous by writing an article about themselves, then they could be welcomed in and encouraged to find someone who is famous already and write an article about them instead. - a very different outcome to the current atmosphere.Other outcomes could include pointing them to Wikihow / Fandom / other internet wiki WP:OTHERWIKIS or blog more suited to their specific article.


Unfortunately some appear to hold a view that Flame wars should not be taken too seriously.  It is these people who need to realise that the  consequence of this abrasive level of debate will be the death of the Wikipedia project.  While it may seem a speedy and efficient use of time to stamp someone's views firmly into the ground, the project will die by a thousand cuts.  There are other times in history when man's cruelty to man has been unbelievable.  Let's try to turn the ship around and stop Wikipedia being one of them.

There is a turning point in many Wikipedians' trajectory of contributions when they leave the project, disillusioned. 

That disenchanted, experienced, contributor will also have an impact on others they know.  Probably for the rest of their life.

Word of mouth is a powerful way to spread a message.  Bad news travels much faster and much further than positive information.  

---  luckily it is the season of goodwill, so with peace on earth as the goal uppermost in people's minds, I hope the spirit of this proposal makes its way in some form to the right places as advice and guidance for deletionists.  Mediation4u (chat) nb: editing is fun 10:49, 15 December 2020 (UTC)

  • If anyone has examples of previous similar suggestions, please provide some links in the box, below. Thanks very much.
  • Is anyone keen on the proposal above, in theory? If so, please mark your ~~~~ sign, below.
Any support is much appreciated. Thanks. Mediation4u (chat) nb: editing is fun 18:05, 15 December 2020 (UTC)

Support --Thoric (talk) 16:53, 21 December 2020 (UTC)


Revised proposal: Create a WP:RFC To publish guidance for deletionists during an annual season of good will.

It has now been 13 days since my proposal and there has been very little support for the full proposal, above. For the reasons below I have revised the proposal to only apply for a specific, annual, period during the year.

A summary of the advice to be posted annually. This for guidance in article deletion debates during a season of good will.

Season of good will announced
  • Education before castigation
  • Do not lose the contributor, educate the contributor.
  • Previous debate links instead of divisive and abrasive exchanges.
  • Face to face test.
  • Be bold in editing, not in attacking.

The paragraphs in the section above give detailed explanations of these five bullet point guidelines, the background reasons and the consequences if they are not followed.


My reason for revising this proposal is that no independent Wikipedian has voted for my proposal so I must assume everyone in the two associated discussion threads are content with carrying out future exchanges in the same robust manner, due to expediency. So I have amended the proposal to make a WP:RFC for the face-to-face test and a reduction in slap down debate to be announced every December on deletionists forums, backlog drives and perhaps even a link posted on a few user pages. This cease fire hiatus will be during an advent season of goodwill. Perhaps that calm time is a good reason for abrasive deletionists to take a fortnight off and have a well deserved rest. Then kindness can prevail for that period, ready for hostilities to resume after the season of goodwill is over. Mediation4u (chat) nb: editing is fun 08:38, 27 December 2020 (UTC)

Athanasius1, I do not personally believe that this proposal serves a real purpose, as it seems like the proposal is just to spread WikiLove. JJP...MASTER![talk to] JJP... master? 18:50, 27 December 2020 (UTC)
An Alternate Proposal.

I went through the Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Log/2021_January_1 and reviewed The request for deletion pages are stressful, so hats off to the people who do it. Personally, I would never create a page

  • Go with the Desire Paths. Change the notability guidelines to match up with what people are looking for. Search deletionpedia shows 20 % of the deletions are to do with schools . Primary Schools are not notable. Change it so kids can have their school having a page.
  • Change the creation of wiki pages process to encourage the user to find out information first, but have the option to continue. So you want to create a page about a soccer player ? Have they played 50 games ?
  • Get some statistics - users leaving after having their page deleted, which pages are most searched for, but don't exist
  • Change the disambiguation process to allow a simple to link to a section. I think you can do it, but I have never seen it done Smaug_(disambiguation which started this thread I think has this issue
  • Change the wording on Article for Deletion to article for review and possible deletion. It also refers to both the deletion policy and a guide to deletion. Choose one
  • Change the approach on AfD. Its prosecutorial. A user can not canvas for support from the project page. from January 1st - see Branch_Insurance "ZXVZ, I want to apologize and will see myself out." IComparison_of_Remote_Music_Performance_Software "I am afraid to post here, as I am unfamiliar with your process.
  • Make the procedure simpler, so that a new editor can understand it Wikipedia:Deletion_process. Allow the user to merge it with other articles. At the moment, the creator of the page has to wait. "Even if the article is ultimately deleted, you can ask the closing administrator for a copy of the material to reuse, and the administrator can also advise you on any further steps that you may need to perform in order to reuse the content."
Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 11:17, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

RfC: Should G2 now apply to duplicate templates?

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
There is a strong consensus against applying G2 to unusued duplicate templates, unless the duplicate was obviously created as a test edit. (non-admin closure) (t · c) buidhe 05:28, 5 January 2021 (UTC)

Recently, T3 was deprecated, but I came here to formally ask for your comments on if G2 now applies to unused and duplicate templates, as a sort of continuation of the T3 RfC, where the proposer brought up the idea of duplicate templates being deleted per G2. JJP...MASTER![talk to] JJP... master? 18:43, 27 December 2020 (UTC)

Edit: It appears that several of these commenters thought that my question was does it apply to duplicate templates, even though I meant should it apply to duplicate templates. JJP...MASTER![talk to] JJP... master? 00:08, 28 December 2020 (UTC)

The wording, for those who are not as familiar with WP:G2, is:

G2. Test pages
This applies to pages created to test editing or other Wikipedia functions. It applies to subpages of the Wikipedia Sandbox created as tests, but does not apply to the Sandbox itself. It does not apply to pages in the user namespace. It does not apply to valid but unused or duplicate templates.

T3, before obsolescence, was:

T3. Duplication and hardcoded instances
Templates that are substantial duplications of another template, or hardcoded instances of another template where the same functionality could be provided by that other template, may be deleted after being tagged for seven days.

It would appear that G2 explicitly avoids those templates indicated by T3. Primefac (talk) 19:29, 27 December 2020 (UTC)
  • No, unless the duplicate template was created as a test. Anything else would be contrary to both the wording of the G2 criterion and the reasons T3 was deprecated. Also, this discussion should be happening at WT:CSD. Thryduulf (talk) 19:35, 27 December 2020 (UTC)
  • It already does, sometimes - Some templates would have qualified under both G2 and T3. Those that did still qualify as G2. Those that don't still don't and, as Thryduulf said, probably shouldn't. Now, the reality is that if we make no policy changes, some templates that are obviously duplicates and look like a test edit but there's a small possibility it's not, and it's also probably a g6 so unless the only people who might object are those being pedantic about G2 would have been T3'd in the old days. Now they may be nominated under G2, G6, or both. If the nominator had good "wiki-instincts" then nobody will object and it will be deleted. If his instincts are off, well, he was wrong to use G2 or G6 in this case. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 🎄 19:48, 27 December 2020 (UTC)
  • My comment would have been basically everything Thryduulf said above, so I'll just agree with that instead. Regards SoWhy 19:49, 27 December 2020 (UTC)
  • No per Thryduulf. —Kusma (t·c) 20:02, 27 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Why on earth would you even think so? —Cryptic 23:10, 27 December 2020 (UTC)
  • No. To quote the proposal of the RfC that deprecated T3 (by Primefac, who has already commented), I very rarely see instances where T3 would be appropriate and/or the only method of reasonable deletion; the template can be redirected to the "original" template or deleted under a different criteria such as WP:G2 (test) WP:G3 (hoax), WP:G6 (copy/pastes), etc.. It was in no way a proposal or suggestion to broaden G2 to cover anything T3 was previously doing, just that there are certainly examples of templates that would be eligible both for G2 and T3. I genuinely think that there might be an argument to be made to clean up the G2 wording, because the current specifics sound kind of strange and oddly specific in the absence of T3, but there's certainly no existing consensus to clarify here, the T3 deprecation RfC barely mentioned G2 outside of that passing mention in the opening statement. G2 covers test pages, continues to cover test pages only, and does happen to include templates that are clearly that. ~ mazca talk 23:52, 27 December 2020 (UTC)
  • No per Thryddulf & Mazca.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:43, 1 January 2021 (UTC)

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

Extremist groups and their URL's

Hi all, do we link to or display the URL's of websites used by extremist groups to plan violent crimes like terror attacks and recruit members? Like at the nazi website Stormfront (website)? I don't think we should. Is there a standing convention or consensus on dealing with these kinds of sites? Thanks in advance. Bacondrum (talk) 21:25, 28 December 2020 (UTC)

  • I started two different rfc's relating to this same issue here and here, another editor suggested asking here as well to get a broader consensus. Bacondrum (talk) 21:29, 28 December 2020 (UTC)
  • You might find this discussion informative. The usual first question to ask is whether something is illegal in the United States. After that, ask if it is reliably sourced. If it's not illegal and reliable sources are providing the link, hiding it from Wikipedia is theatre. Personally I think the answer is to be found in the WP:NOTCENSORED policy. How would you feel about the link to Westboro Baptist Church, 8chan, 4chan, or Charlie Hebdo? Where are you proposing we draw the line? -- zzuuzz (talk) 23:27, 28 December 2020 (UTC)
The issue for me is that these sites are used to plan violent attacks, like terrorism etc. I feel that crosses a line that those other sites you listed don’t. Particularly sites like stormfront whose sole purpose is discussing genocide, planning racial murders, terrorist activities etc. I’m opposed to censorship, this is really a bit of common sense regarding extremist sites. As for not censored, Wikipedia’s policies and guidelines are not set in stone, as per WP:PILLARS, we can make commonsense exceptions. Thanks for the feedback and the link. Bacondrum (talk) 00:12, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
  • If an article is about a website then the URL is a basic fact about the website that is appropriate to put in the Wikipedia article. A link is not an endorsement and the URL is not a secret so I'm not sure what this would accomplish to justify creating exceptions to the not censored and neutral point of view policies. CapitalSasha ~ talk 23:34, 28 December 2020 (UTC)
the issue for me is the extreme nature of violence and the fact the planning such violence is connected to these sites, surely there’s a line that can or should be drawn somewhere? Thanks for the feedback. Bacondrum (talk) 00:12, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not censored. Assuming that linking to said web site is not in violation of the law in Wikipedia's physical location (the US), it's appropriate to link to said web sites in the following situations:
  1. An article about an organization should link to the organization's web site.
  2. An article about a web site should link to it.
  3. A statement about an organization's opinion on some topic, or on a statement they made, if appropriate to be mentioned in a Wikipedia article it may be sourced to the organization's web site. (talk) 09:39, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
  • I agree completely with everything says above. We have an established set of guidelines at Wikipedia:External links that have been developed and refined over the years and I can't see any justification for arbitrarily going against them. Thryduulf (talk) 14:08, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Yes, we should link. It's like a cross between a zoo and a Holocaust museum. I wholly endorse our readers browsing these zoo animals. The link is useful educational material, and per WP:NOTCENSORED we do not delete useful educational material just because someone finds it objectionable. Alsee (talk) 17:34, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Little bit confused whether forum shopping is occurring here. Wouldn't the proper thing be to link to the talk page discussion rather than holding two..three separate discussions that are all likely to end the same way... WP:NOTCENSORED Slywriter (talk) 17:56, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment re - Not censored - From WP:EXT in particular WP:ELBURDEN

    "This guideline describes the most common reasons for including and excluding links. However, the fact that a given link is not actually prohibited by this guideline does not automatically mean that it must or should be linked. Every link provided must be justifiable in the opinion of the editors for an article. Disputes about links can be addressed through the normal dispute-resolution process, particularly at the external links noticeboard. Disputed links should normally be excluded by default unless and until there is a consensus to include them."

clearly WP:NOTCENSORED is not a mandate for inclusion. Bacondrum (talk) 03:17, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
Indeed it isn't a mandate for inclusion, but it is a mandate for not excluding. Wikipedia:External links makes it clear that a link to the official website of the subject is a normal thing to include on the article - this is the mandate for inclusion. Wikipedia:NOTCENSORED makes it clear that being objectionable is not a reason to exclude it. This does not mean that the link must be included, of course, just that any argument not to must be made on other grounds. Thryduulf (talk) 10:14, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Yes, they should be linked like we do in every other article. I think zzuuzz put it very well. It is not our job to decide what groups are worthy to be treated like every other. There is also the argument that such an arbitrary mandate is a slippery slope. PackMecEng (talk) 03:59, 2 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Support disincluding URLs for sites of groups/organizations that are primarily engaged in violent behavior and similar, especially when those sites are used to promote violence or recruit for the organizations. Wikipedia "isn't censored" but there's no reason to WP:PROMO hate groups, especially violent/terrorist ones. IHateAccounts (talk) 22:38, 2 January 2021 (UTC)
    Linking to an originations official website is not an endorsement of the group or their activities, as such it is not promotion of said group. PackMecEng (talk) 00:06, 3 January 2021 (UTC)

Severe organisational issues

There are unfortunately some severe organisational issues here that we need to resolve first if we hope for this discussion to have any precedent-making power. There are three active discussions happening about this: the one here, the RfC about Stormfront (which violates WP:RFCNEUTRAL), and the RfC at Proud Boys (which is asking about the general question, not Proud Boys specifically, and is therefore invalid per WP:LOCALCON). Together, these are a WP:TALKFORK/WP:MULTI violation.

To @Bacondrum: We all have a learning curve, so I don't fault you if this is your first time hearing about the shortcuts above, but you will have a much easier time getting your policy proposals to succeed in the future if you familiarize yourself with them.

To everyone else: Skimming the discussions, I'm quite disappointed to see that, apart from Ahrtoodeetoo, almost no one has been addressing these problems (despite there being plenty of experienced editors at these discussions who have surely identified them), instead jumping to discuss the content question and allowing this to sprawl into a mess. When there are problems with an RfC, those need to be resolved before the content question is discussed, or the RfC will be invalid and the consensus process will break down. This is not a new problem, and editors need to start doing their part to put the needs of the project over their personal desire to proclaim their opinion on a hot topic. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:06, 30 December 2020 (UTC)

Hey, Sdkb thanks for assuming the best, I assure you I had no ill intention. So, what should I do now? Bacondrum (talk) 21:12, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
Bacondrum, we need to centralize the discussion at a single place, which should probably be here. There is already a bunch of discussion at the other two pages, though, and we don't normally move RfCs from one page to another (plus the !votes from the Stormfront one are mildly tainted even if they're moved). Hopefully some others will weigh in and we can form a meta-consensus about how to proceed. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:20, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the call-out, Sdkb. I think Bacondrum's position is perfectly reasonable but, giving this some additional thought, ideally it should be addressed in WP:EL rather than on some ad hoc basis. I think the best way to best way for them to proceed would be to end all the pending discussions and to start a new one at WT:EL, proposing a change to WP:ELOFFICIAL. Notices of the discussion at Talk:Proud Boys, WP:TERRORISM, etc. would seem appropriate. R2 (bleep) 23:42, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
Cool, thanks for all the helpful suggestions, I'll close the rfc's and open a new discussion at WP:EL tomorrow morning when I've got some free time. Assuming we are all agreed that's the best way to approach this?. Cheers. Bacondrum (talk) 23:39, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
Nah, here is fine. Splitting the discussion makes 0 sense. --Izno (talk) 01:09, 3 January 2021 (UTC)

RFC: active violent extremist websites (hate groups)

Should we exclude links to recruitment and propaganda sites for extremist groups (ie neo-Nazi sites, Jihadist and other terrorist groups)

  • (A)Yes
  • (B)No
  • (C)Maybe (In some cases)
  • (D) Include the URL in our article about an organization, but nowhere else

Bacondrum (talk) 00:42, 3 January 2021 (UTC)

  • Option D added because bundling up providing the URL in an article about an organization with other links to the organization is not helpful, as User:Slywriter and others says below. Note the date of this addition; from the rationales, several people saying B below appear to support this option. Bishonen | tålk 09:55, 3 January 2021 (UTC).
  • A I've come across links on wikipedia to recruitment and propaganda sites linked to neo-Nazi and terrorist groups. I understand that Wikipedia is not censored, but I feel like some common sense can and should be applied when linking to sites run by groups like Iron March and Stormfront (website), Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Al-Qaeda etc. Stormfront for example has a link to its website in the article, this website has been used to plan numerous lethal hate crimes and mass killings since 1995. Once an account is created one can easily find discussions on planning genocide and mass shootings at the site and many such brutal acts have been linked to the site. Again, I know that Wikipedia is not censored, but as always other considerations apply and WP:NOTCENSORED is not a mandate for inclusion, surely we can apply some common sense in these cases? With such extreme groups, do we really need to/should we link to their recruitment and propaganda pages? I personally think there's no reason to add links that serve to WP:PROMO hate groups, especially violent/terrorist ones. Stormfront's purpose is recruitment and propaganda for white-supremacist hate groups and the coordination of violent/terrorist incidents, that alone make their website much more than merely offensive, it's dangerous and they are involved in the most serious of criminal activity including terrorism and murder. Same with Al-Qaeda, the KKK, ISIS etc. I think it would be reasonable to exclude such extreme sites. I understand groups like the Hells Angels have engaged in criminal behavior and we still link to their sites, but their site is just pics of men riding bikes, some history, wedding photos, it's not used to plan mass shootings. I'm personally firmly against censorship in almost all cases, but I also think it is reasonable to draw a line with these particular kinds of sites, to define what a reasonable person could expect to be too dangerous, too violent, too extreme for inclusion. Look forward to hearing what you think. Bacondrum (talk) 00:42, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B no (except sites containing malware, malicious scripts, trojan exploits, or content that is illegal to access in the United States). There is no reason to disregard WP:NPOV, WP:NOTCENSORED or the established guidelines at WP:EL, as explained by multiple people in the multiple discussions preceding this one. Thryduulf (talk) 02:46, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
Thryduulf So it'd be okay to link to say the pedophile advocacy websites run by groups like Vereniging Martijn, Party for Neighbourly Love, Freedom, and Diversity and Pedophile Group, or do we have some cases where we apply editorial discretion and others where we don't? Keeping in mind that many crimes planned and committed via extremist groups are also illegal. Bacondrum (talk) 06:45, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
@Bacondrum: We should link those, but it seems we're not? — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 07:53, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
Actually Party for Neighbourly Love, Freedom, and Diversity already had the website linked. I added archive links (because dead url) to the other two. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 08:20, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
@Bacondrum: I'm not familiar with those groups, but if (a) they are notable enough to have an article, and (b) they have a website that is legal to access in the United States then we should absolutely be linking to it like we do for any other official website, because anything else would be contrary to NPOV. We should also be quoting them with regards to what they say about themselves and it is not unlikely that one or more of the citations supporting such statements will come from their website - and where that is the case there is no conceivable reason not to link it. Exactly the same applies to any other organisation or group regardless of what any editors' personal opinion of them. Thryduulf (talk) 12:12, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
Clarifying now that option D has been added that I still think option B is the correct one and I strongly oppose option A and oppose options C and D. Whether to include a link to any organisation on articles that are not about that organisation is already determined by WP:DUE and WP:EL. These policies are, correctly, blind to any personal opinions one or more editors' personal opinions about that organisation. Applying any new policy will undermine the existing ones (which nobody has indicated there are any actual problems with), likly be confusing, possibly contradictory with those policies and incompatible with NPOV and NOTCENSORED. Thryduulf (talk) 19:12, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
@Thryduulf: I'd like to understand your opinion a bit better if I can. You say that we should exclude content that is illegal to access in the United States. Is it illegal to link to illegal content? My understanding is "no" but I could easily be wrong. If I'm not, then what's the purpose of this rule? To prevent serious harm to readers? Then why only the U.S. and not Canada or South Korea or Austria (all countries without stringent governmental internet censorship like China or North Korea)? — Bilorv (talk) 13:14, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
Brief answer, servers are in the United States and subject to US jurisdiction. Under US law, really only child pornography meets this bar as other illegal content is generally not unlawful to merely view (Drugs, Assassins for Hire, etc). Slywriter (talk) 13:44, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
There are also servers in Amsterdam and Singapore. isaacl (talk) 19:52, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
Why only the US? The servers are in the United States and the WMF is a United States organisation the project is subject to United States law. IANAL but AIUI, if a website subject to US law knowingly links to content that is illegal to access then the operators of the website (and/or the person that added the link) is guilty of a criminal offence (unless they take action to remove it as soon as possible after they become aware of it). It is definitely illegal to link to child pornography, I think (some?) copyright violations might be as well, and there is or was something about content that bypasses or maybe ways of bypassing "effective" digital rights management restrictions (although there is an argument that any DRM which can be bypassed is not "effective", see also AACS encryption key controversy) Thryduulf (talk) 14:14, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
  • C, but only because question is partially malformed. At a miniumum when a website is the direct subject of an article we should be including the web address as part of the info box or external links and not subject the link to further scrutiny(without hyperlink, if others feel such a pause is a benefit to readers). For groups, we should generally include the link if the website is a significant source of information about the group. Any other tangentially related pages should never see the link added. To the argument of common sense, nothing is common about sense, least of all when related to political ideas. While the most extreme cases might make sense to most rational editors and readers, it remains a slippery slope that can creep into pages that are merely objectionable to some editors/readers. Slywriter (talk) 03:05, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
@Bacondrum: in re-reading the RfC policy, it does not require stating what specific policy pages are being modified, so the RfC is not malformed from a technical perspective. Concern would be what exactly is being modified? Would these addressess be banned from citations? Info boxes? External links? Is a new blacklist/edit filter to be created for affected sites?
To clarify the C, support unhyperlinked versions being used; also support limiting the use to no more than one place on the site (Info box or External Links on the article page specifically about said group/website) Slywriter (talk) 16:53, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
  • A, Yes we should disallow links to sites used to recruit for, encourage or coordinate violent acts of hate. WP:RS can be used to describe what the sites contain without having to give them promotional linking. If the site or organization is defunct, there will still be plenty of WP:RS that can describe what the site was and how it was used. "Slippery slope" arguments are a logical fallacy, in any case. IHateAccounts (talk) 03:20, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
Usually a fallacy, not always. As a current MOS RfC shows, when paths to advocacy are opened on wikipedia, advocates will travel down the path as far as it will take them. And this rule is general enough that Nationalist, AP2 POVers, and other pushers can apply it to groups they don't like. One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter.(If this should remain in my comments, feel free to refactor) Slywriter (talk) 03:44, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
"advocates will travel down the path as far as it will take them" based on what evidence? Logically fallacious and not assuming good faith. Bacondrum (talk) 04:22, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
"One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter." @Slywriter: I don't really care how self-deluded individuals (whether racial supremacists, anti-LGBT terrorists, women's health clinic bombers, or otherwise) who commit acts of violent terrorism see themselves or convince themselves that their terrorism is "right". I think the appropriate thing for wikipedia to do is not to link to the websites where they recruit, organize, attempt to radicalize their followers, and plan their attacks. Per Wikipedia:No_original_research#Primary,_secondary_and_tertiary_sources, SECONDARY WP:RS ought to be the norm for articles. In the cases of these groups, their websites are meaningless primary sources that contribute nothing of worth to the articles. Further, wikipedia shouldn't be in the habit of feeding them new recruits by including a quick "go here to the group's recruiting website" link. IHateAccounts (talk) 16:07, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
Determining which groups are "terrorists" or "self-deluded individuals" is original research and contrary to NPOV. Personally I'd rather not give direct links to the websites of radicalising organisations that engage in state-sponsored harassment of minority groups like the UK Conservative Party and would encourage links to organisations that campaign for teenagers' access to gender-affirming medical treatment but another editor would regard this as censorship of right-thinking politicians and be horrified at the thought of providing a recruiting link to an organisation that sets out to harm children. Now imagine how bad it would get when you add religion into the mix. Providing a link to the official website of an organisation is not an endorsement of that organisation but simply a factual link so the reader can find out more information should they choose to. However, once you start omitting links to certain organisations because you disagree with some or all of their methods, goals, politics, religion, morals, etc. then the links you do choose to include do become an endorsement of that organisation - this endorsement is contrary to NPOV and immediately gets you into trouble with organisations that oppose the ones you endorse. Even if this proposal were desirable, there is simply no possible way that it can be done objectively. Thryduulf (talk) 16:27, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
"Determining which groups are "terrorists" or "self-deluded individuals" is original research" - No, it's something that can be sourced to WP:RS in most cases, and certainly something that can be decided by an RFC on the talk page for a particular group if necessary. IHateAccounts (talk) 01:07, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
@IHateAccounts: You seem to say above that "violent terrorism" is inherently wrong. This puts you at odds with historical violent terrorist groups including instigators of the French Revolution, the suffragettes, anti-apartheid activists, Malcolm X supporters etc. The U.K. government show signs of considering Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament as terrorist groups. Let's say they say this in an official capacity. Is this then good reason to withdraw external links to these groups? — Bilorv (talk) 13:28, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
@Bilorv: I think you're engaged in a false equivalence there. I'm unaware of suffragettes having done something equivalent to (for example) bombing women's health clinics or assassinating medical doctors. And it appears you didn't read your Guardian article past the headline... you'll need far better sourcing to make the claim that the UK is somehow about to name peaceful environmental protest groups "terrorist". IHateAccounts (talk) 14:58, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
@IHateAccounts: I'm afraid that's provably incorrect. Suffragettes attacked communication channels that consequently injured postal workers, including bombings; they attempted and sometimes succeeded in committing deadly arson; they knowingly put their lives in danger (sometimes losing them) as part of public stunts. We document some of this in the lead of suffragette. Unfortunately both the education and public perception around this are horrifically whitewashed. The suffragettes used violence of the kind you talk about. It is different in that (I believe) the violence was morally compelled (and hence justified/acceptable) rather than morally disgusting. But "morally justified" is not part of the definition of terrorism—it may be part of the subtext but if so then it's inherently POV to use "terrorism" as a criterion.
I have read the Guardian article I link in full three times. Next time, it is a more polite assumption to think that you do not fully understand my position rather than that my position is that of an illiterate nine-year-old. I haven't assumed that of you. I'll read your comment instead as: "I do not see how your claim is relevant given that the UK is not about to name peaceful environmental protest groups 'terrorist'". And then politely reply that the intention behind my message was to pose a plausible event that could occur in future, rather than to describe the future confidently; and as evidence that the event is plausible I name four separate historical movements which the governments at the time categorised as "violent terrorism". — Bilorv (talk) 15:20, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
This conversation doesn't really seem to be taking into account the scale of the issue at hand. RS may maintain a contemporary consensus on whether groups are good, or bad, or justified, or unjustified -- they don't do so consistently across the range of decades, and what's being proposed here seems significantly beyond the scope of what "just trust the RSes" can support. Is the IWW still a terrorist organization? The US Justice Department sure thought they were one in 1918, when over a hundred of them were imprisoned for conspiring to hinder the draft in World War I. That's to say nothing of the mind-boggling complexity of establishing a project-wide list of all the "good guys" and "bad guys" in every country and updating it constantly (note that, for Americans, the Mujahideen were the "good guys" for a while, and later became the "bad guys"). Is there any compelling reason to think that this massive undertaking would even be possible, and if so, that it would be desirable? jp×g 16:12, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • C: If the link is genuinely relevant to the article, we shouldn't avoid it solely because it's used for recruitment of extremists. We ought to have some trust that our audience is savvy enough to understand what Stormfront is and why they're bad. That being said, I think we should only include such links when they actually convey relevant and useful information: while a link to the WHO's web page is fine to include in the external link section of the WHO website, I don't think that we should put a link to Stormfront on the page for Stormfront because of the possibility, however slim, for real world harm. In practice, I think there are very few situations where a link to a website like this is appropriate for the external links section. (But for example, I can easily imagine situations where we need to cite something said on Stormfront, and in that case we shouldn't not cite relevant information because it's on a hate site.) Forgot to sign, this was from Loki (talk) 21:49, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
  • A (exclude): no encyclopedic value in including these sites. ----K.e.coffman (talk) 04:52, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
  • strongly endorse B (C when other concerns are involved). We link to the official website of a subject, we even whitelist pages specifically for that. We are not excluding porn sites because there are people that think that we should not link to them, we are not excluding illegal download sites because people can illegally download material there, we are not excluding shock sites because they can shock people, we are not excluding third-world country job sites because they could be hiring for sweatshops. Excluding this is just being more catholic than the pope himself, and is a slippery slope into implementing the opposite of WP:NOTCENSORED. (the only thing I could agree to is that we link to a neutral landing page, not necessarily to the root of the domain). --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:42, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
I have no issue with linking to porn sites, consenting adults can do what they want. As for Piratebay, downloading a few movies is a very different crime to perpetrating a mass shooting or racially motivated murders, a fairly blatant false equivalence is being drawn there. Sites like Stormfront have been linked to literally hundreds of murders and mass shootings. As for NOTCENSORED, it's a moot point, we use editorial discretion all the time, the burden for justifying inclusion lies with those adding content...besides wikipedia:ignore all rules. The explicit purpose of Stormfront is recruiting, propaganda and preparation for violent extremist acts including a number of real life mass shootings, many racist murders and a number or terror attacks - that sets it apart and warrants a frank and open discussion about an exceptionally horrific site - there are limits to everything. Sure most Jihadist groups don't have official websites, but if they did I don't think there'd be any question about not linking to places where they plan attacks and recruit etc. We provide all relevant information, I don't see how the url is particularly important to an encyclopedic entry, I don't see how it is useful for anything other than promoting the group and directing traffic there. I think there's a social and moral responsibility not to promote violent extremists in anyway, intentional or not. I'm sure we can all agree they are exceptional, it's not mainstream discourse, it's not merely a far-right YouTube conspiracy video. What is the purpose of including the url to such violent extremist groups that outweigh concerns and dangers surrounding violent extremism and terrorism? I can't see any. Bacondrum (talk) 05:52, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
but if they did I don't think there'd be any question about not linking to places where they plan attacks and recruit etc
I agree, there is no question such a place should be linked if the subject is notable enough for inclusion. How can we write about nasty shit if we are bound by a you do not talk about nasty shit-rule? It's similar to attempts to ban Mein Kampf. It's better if people can see and judge the incoherent bullshit for themselves. By making it a mystery we'd only fuel the imagination, which is more likely to cause people to fantasize about it as some ideal place. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 07:45, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
But no one is saying there shouldn't be an article about the subject, that's a false equivalence. No one is saying we can't write about nasty shit, we have an article about it. Bacondrum (talk) 07:49, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
The purpose of the URL in an article about a website is so that readers know what site we're talking about and can visit it for themselves. We aren't going to remove links from or People's Liberation Army on the off-chance our readers might consequently engage in some repressive murders, because Wikipedia is not censored. ----Pontificalibus 07:52, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
Um, is a perfectly legal gun shop, and the People's Liberation Army? That's China's regular army. Are you attempting to bamboozle me? It's not a false equivalence, there's no equivalence at all, completely random examples. A much fairer equivalent would be groups like Vereniging Martijn, Party for Neighbourly Love, Freedom, and Diversity and Pedophile Group, we don't link these groups websites for very good reasons. It's common sense. Bacondrum (talk) 08:01, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
You might not see an equivalence, but if we start removing external links that might cause people to commit crimes, then other people certainly will. How would you respond when a user removes our external link on United States Army Recruiting Command citing the US's murderous and illegal occupation of Afghanistan? Of your examples, we do provide an external ink to the second one, an archive link to the first one as the site is no longer online, and the third doesn't have a verified site.----Pontificalibus 08:39, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
@Bacondrum: That's China's regular army. Are you attempting to bamboozle me? In Soviet Russia, China bamboozles you.Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 08:34, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
@Bacondrum: But no one is saying there shouldn't be an article about the subject, that's a false equivalence. We're not removing the ISBN (which like a URL is an identifier) from Mein Kampf. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 08:34, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
yeah, well mein Kampf’s ISBN doesn’t take you to a violent extremist website where hundreds of racist murders have been planned, mass shooting etc. a ridiculous comparison, IMO Bacondrum (talk) 08:41, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
That's the point - it's a ridiculous comparison in your opinion. It is a perfectly legitimate comparison in my opinion - both are censorship by removal of direct access to content some editors personally dislike. Should we remove links to 4chan where racist and transphobic attacks have been planned? What about websites where Black Lives Matter protests were/are planned? What about websites where antifascist direct action is coordinated? What about websites that facilitate access to abortions? Where you draw the line is unavoidably subjective and so not just shouldn't but cannot have any place on a neutral encyclopaedia. Thryduulf (talk) 19:20, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B I agree with Beetstra. We should include links where relevant, like on Stormfront (website) or when a particular discussion there makes headlines. In case of sites containing malware, malicious scripts, trojan exploits, or content that is illegal to access in the United States (Thryduulf) we should provide the address without link ( or link to the Internet Archive version if the harmful part isn't included there. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 07:45, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
    Alexis Jazz, No, with the latter I disagree. If you put in a text form, there will still be people who copy-paste it and get infected with malicious scripts or trojan exploits. Those link should be completely out of the document and an html-comment (<!-- <comment> -->) should be there explaining why there is no external link. A much safer way is to link to a former archive of the website which was not infected through or wayback. Same goes for some other totally obfuscated sources (I am very much against text-only .onion links, seen the problems we had with people changing official .onion addresses, putting back the text-only varieties is just going to land people in trouble as one cannot check). Dirk Beetstra T C 10:14, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
    @Beetstra: I think the domain should be included in some form for identification purposes. Whether that's by writing "nastyshit dot example dot com" or domain contains nasty shit)example(this domain contains nasty shit)com (try copy pasting that) or some other way I don't really care much. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 11:08, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
    Alexis Jazz, not for material that is posing a risk for the people following the link. Those are blacklisted for a reason, and any form of evasion is a blockable offense. Dirk Beetstra T C 13:48, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
    Beetstra Okay, but if a reader is reading an article and they think it's about, how could they know it's about and not something else? Or even editors, would they have to guess what it's about? Could we provide a checksum or something? — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 09:11, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
    Alexis Jazz, except for articles on websites itself, we hardly ever in depth discuss the website of the subject and hence generally we discuss a subject and knowing whether the website is named or is not important (the name is just a handler, the website is actually an IP). Where the name of the website needs discussion you'll indeed run into a problem.
    Wikipedia unfortunately does not have a mechanism to protect information (we can protect a whole page, not one word on it - we could protect a template that transcludes the data, but then you can still change the transclusion-code). That could have been done with WikiData, but it is not implemented there either (you can, again, protect the whole page on WD, not one item, and then you can still here chose not to use WD -- IMHO a massively missed chance on WD, especially for immutable or sensitive data). You can checksum the data, but no-one is going to check the checksum, and then still the checksum can be changed with the data. The closest you can get is through the AbuseFilter. Dirk Beetstra T C 09:22, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B We provide external links so that our readers can visit the site having read our article on the topic. It is not our role to provide a curated web experience or attempt to prevent crimes by withholding information.----Pontificalibus 08:44, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
  • D. I don't see the point of us making it just a very tiny bit more difficult for readers to find the website for the Proud Boys, for instance. Their site is the second Google hit (the first being Wikipedia's article, naturally). We should follow the general principle of providing the URL for the organization that's the subject of the article, unless of course it's blacklisted. As Pontificalibus says above, we're not in the business of providing a curated web experience. Bishonen | tålk 09:55, 3 January 2021 (UTC).
@Bishonen: As a hypothetical example, if a notable person was killed and mainstream media would write that the murder happened after the killer discussed harming the victim in a thread on, would we not be allowed to link the thread in question? — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 11:20, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
Assuming the thread was legal to access in the United States, yes we are allowed to link to the thread in question. Whether we should is entirely a matter for the consensus of editors on the relevant article(s) to determine whether inclusion is WP:DUE and useful. Any option in this discussion other than B would hinder making that judgement. Thryduulf (talk) 20:36, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
  • (Update: B) D/C/B (in that order). I cannot think about a valid reason for linking Stormfront website other than in the external links section and the infobox of its article. On the other hand, other usages should already be covered by other policies and guidelines. That's why while I'm leaning to D, I'm not sure there's a need for any policy change. --MarioGom (talk) 13:36, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
    • @MarioGom: D and C are policy changes (as is A). If you believe the existing policies are correct (which your comment suggests) then you should be supporting option B. Thryduulf (talk) 20:36, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
      • Thryduulf: Yeah, you're right. I've changed my !vote. Basically I think D/C is the right thing to do... given the already existing policies, so there is no need to introduce a new one. --MarioGom (talk) 20:44, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
  • D in general with reasonable exceptions. Our disclaimers already give warnings that external content is not under WP's control and users are taking responsibility for following such links, and as we aren't censored, there's no reason not to link to them as we would with any other website. I can see exceptions being made if the front page of the group is a hate-speech spewing insult to all readers, but most of the time, these groups do not present their extreme views as direct as media sources tend to present them, and instead try to project themselves as legitimate organization, even if buried among the pages are hate-speech filled mantras and the like. Only in the case where the site is basically page after page of hate speech should we not link to these. Of course, with "D" here, this is only appropriate when on the page about that organization and as a standard link to that organization, and no where else. --Masem (t) 16:38, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
    • You haved bolded option "D" but your comment indicates that you are actually supporting option B - all external links are already subject to policies about when it is appropriate to link to them: WP:NPOV, WP:EL and WP:DUE. These are basically: only when they are the subject of the article or there is another encyclopaedic justification. Thryduulf (talk) 20:36, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
      • Nope, its consistent with "D". By default, on the page about a entity, a link to that entity's site is appropriate. Would we link to it as a reference which is the other use for external links? Given these are primary sources that would be outright rejected for reliability outside claims about themselves (being hate groups, etc.) they would never be used in any other article for a reference outside their own article, and even on the entity's article, we'd use them very sparingly. So I'm supporting "D" based on how these links can effectively be used. --Masem (t) 23:23, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
  • D, more or less. There might be other cases as well. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:11, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
  • C, what is the definition of 'extremist group'? Please define your terms before asking questions like this. Elizium23 (talk) 21:54, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B If legally accessible websites in the US where Wikipedia servers are hosted per NOTCENSORED. If they have actual terrorist content, then almost always the DOJ/FBI will seize the website's infrastructure and this would be a moot point. Many European countries however have stricter blacklists that ISPs have to oblige. But let's be honest here, the Proud Boys and ISIS aren't exactly organizations of the same caliber... which brings the problem on what kind of reasoning this kind of curation would be based on. While this proposal may be aimed towards far-right or Jihadist sites, it isn't a hypothethical question whether you should also block extremist sites of other varities -- NYT Aug. 25, 2017: Germany, in a First, Shuts Down Left-Wing Extremist Website. --Pudeo (talk) 22:19, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
I wouldn't argue that links to sites like the Proud Boys should be omitted automatically, on a policy basis. But obviously things like snuff sites and child porn sites should be and are specifically prohibited from inclusion. I'd argue that sites like Stormfront that are connected to hundreds of murders should treated is the same manner , same for Jihadist recruitment sites for groups like ISIS. Everything has a limit, surely there are limits on the extreme nature of content offsite we can link to. Bacondrum (talk) 22:52, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
  • C.5 Mostly D, but I could see the need to use it as a reference to verify something said about the group in another article. --Jayron32 15:47, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
    • Or something the group has said about the subject of a different article (be that a person, place, organisation, event, religion, ...) or something published on the organisation's website by or about a person associated with the organisation who is independently notable. Thryduulf (talk) 13:26, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B/D. I consider B and D to be essentially the same since D is already part of our WP:EL guideline (and I doubt anyone !voting for B supports loosening the rules for violent extremist or hate groups). Essentially I agree with Pudeo. Our job is to educate, not to restrict or censor. We identify hate or extremism but it's not our job to tip the scales towards it or away from it. There is real encyclopedic value in providing an organizational link per WP:ELMINOFFICIAL, no matter the nature of the organization. And haters will will find those websites regardless of whether we link to them. By excluding these ELs, we effectively degrade the utility of the encyclopedia (however slightly) and make a symbolic but nearly invisible statement against hate. A more effective way for the community to make a statement against hate would be something like WP:DISCRIM. R2 (bleep) 18:01, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment while I personally lean towards option "B" (it simply could become a nightmare & lead to poor quality articles banning any links to the websites of hate groups), we may be forced to rethink our policies on this if Section 230 is repealed or rewritten. So any decision here may prove moot. -- llywrch (talk) 18:44, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B-An unbiased open platform for information should not exclude links to websites unless they contain malware. People should have the opportunity to learn about these groups by reading what they say about themselves. Display name 99 (talk) 01:03, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B There's no way this will be equally applied to all hate groups by editors. Gamaliel (talk) 01:14, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B The criteria for exclusion are too subjective; just imagine the drama that trying to decide whether this applies to Hamas is going to cause. --RaiderAspect (talk) 08:49, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
Notice that wikipedia doesn't link to recruitment websites for groups like the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Crying about "Hamas" is either a slippery slope fallacy or a red herring. IHateAccounts (talk) 15:17, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
@IHateAccounts: Please don't describe other editors' comments as "crying about" things. jp×g 16:18, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

<strikethrough>* A One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter but this is an encyclopedia. We should not link to groups that advocate for murder of any persons (unlawful killings) for political agendas. The statement itself is an ode to the subjectivity of political opinion but it doesn't mean we have to include all these groups that advocate unlawful killings only because some exceptionally controversial outlier case of a quasi-state actor exists. We can and should just exclude linking of all groups that advocate for unlawful violence, especially those like Stormfront with a documented history of providing a platform for planning criminal violence Spudlace (talk) 21:33, 5 January 2021 (UTC)</strikethrough>

  • This is a hard B > D and no other options. I am fairly certain D is how it basically works today; sites like these end up on the spam blacklist just by virtue of the fact they are trash, but we do allow whitelisting usually under WP:ELMINOFFICIAL where the organization is notable or there is a particular link that might be useful on a specific other page. This is fundamentally just more WP:BADSITES agitating, and we've been over that before. --Izno (talk) 22:52, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B. To copy my position from Talk:Stormfront (website)#URL: This is clearly not a matter of endorsement -- and to posit is as endorsement would be fundamentally harmful to the very idea of Wikipedia. The argument that linking to a website via Wikipedia could cause public harm is instantly risible, a claim on a similar tier to 'violent video games cause real-world violence'; the idea of someone becoming a neo-Nazi (let alone a neo-Nazi murderer) solely because they followed an article's link to Stormfront is bizarre, more a moral panic than an argument. There are real discussions to be had about people being radicalized and recruited, and they have nothing to do with Wikipedia links. The idea they do indeed serves as an opportunity for the people radicalizing and recruiting others, considering how powerful the "we're being unduly censored" message is. Vaticidalprophet (talk) 14:20, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B because anything else requires conflicting subjective political opinions to be taken into account, and NOTCENSORED of course. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 14:26, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B Even if it were a good idea to exclude links to Stormfront and Hamas, what if you have some fairly unknown Islamic guerilla somewhere in India? Do we endorse the (far-right) Indian government's view and exclude their links or do we make an exception for this particular extremist group? ImTheIP (talk) 23:03, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
I think we would resolve it by local RfCs, like the one we currently have open for Stormfront Talk:Stormfront_(website)#URL. I struck my vote after multiple objections to broadly the original RfC question was worded. It is possible to define a scope more narrow than "extremist groups" without excluding political opinions. Murdering people at a suburban shopping mall because of a subjective political opinion is a crime. From the A vote rationales the rationale is about groups giving lazy links to groups with an extensively documented track record of radicalizing people that have carried out murders (like Stormfront). If it's going to be read expansively to include guerilla warfare in India we better hash it out more in local RfCs.Spudlace (talk) 09:12, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B, since an organization's website is relevant encyclopedic information. Readers who learn about an extremist organization are better informed when they are able to identify the website associated with that organization. There is value in being able to determine whether a statement is made on a notable organization's official channel, regardless of the purpose of the organization. If there are issues that would cause a link to the website to violate the external links guideline or another relevant policy/guideline, the article can simply mention the domain name without linking it to the website, i.e. — Newslinger talk 23:31, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B It is relevant enclyclopedic information. Plus these types of things always get applied with an uneven standard for POV purposes. North8000 (talk) 01:32, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B/C. ImTheIP makes one of the best points in the discussion: we do not want to endorse the Indian government, for instance, because this is non-neutral. We should not endorse any government—such a thing is non-neutral. The contrapositive (informally, "opposite way around of saying this") is that we should not condemn all extremist groups. As for "hate" groups, such a term is inherently non-neutral to define. I comment above that instigators of the French Revolution, the suffragettes, anti-apartheid activists, Malcolm X supporters and others were considered domestic terrorists, extremist groups and hate groups both by the relevant state and by the consensus in reliable sources of the time (at least initially). While this argument should not be taken too far, it shows that excluding all extremist content is a political decision (i.e. POV).
    The only arguments I consider valid for exclusion of an external link that would otherwise be included are the following: content is illegal to link to under U.S. law (where servers are held); and content violates the principle of least astonishment (WP:ASTONISH/WP:GRATUITOUS). For instance, I supported the removal of the link to 8chan based on a specific documented case of a person finding child pornography immediately after viewing the link and it causing severe unexpected distress. This is, yes, in the context of the article mentioning that the site has been known for hosting child pornography in the lead; and yet, it still violates WP:ASTONISH, because the infobox can be the first thing someone reads and the link followed before a single word of prose is read. So I do see there being a low bar to exclude something via WP:ASTONISH, because readers have a reasonable expectation that links on Wikipedia do not lead to certain types of highly distressing content, but I support arguing this case-by-case based on the particular article prose, landing page and type of content on a website. — Bilorv (talk) 20:05, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B. We should link. It's like a cross between a zoo and a Holocaust museum. I wholly endorse our readers browsing these zoo animals. The link is useful educational material, and per WP:NOTCENSORED we do not delete useful educational material just because someone finds it objectionable. It is not an endorsement, promotion, or advocacy, to link to the subject of an article.
    Regarding option D, I expect there would rarely be reason to link such sites outside their own article. However WP:ELBURDEN means such links can be removed and generally only restored with consensus. That renders option D worthless at best. The only effect of option D would be to create a conflict if there were a consensus-view that there was good reason for that link. Alsee (talk) 23:26, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B The slippery slope is plain to see. Would we be allowed to link to the official sites of governments that have been accused of sponsoring terrorism? How about sites of political groups that officially deny they're connected to terror, but are accused of it - say Sinn Fein, or the PKK? How about Black Lives Matter? --GRuban (talk) 23:44, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B per Thryduulf, Pudeo, GRuban and many others, WP:NOTCENSORED should apply and if we go down this path we will inevitably run into WP:NPOV issues. Cavalryman (talk) 01:19, 8 January 2021 (UTC).
  • C - Identical concern to Elizium23. While I would like to reduce WP's usefulness to outfits like Stormfront, I can't support a positive measure here in the absence of an objective criterion for the words 'extremist' and 'terrorist'. It really is the case that one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. I'd prefer an ad-hoc page-by-page concsensus to any of A, B, or D. — Charles Stewart (talk) 06:28, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
  • C - Community consensus should weigh them individually. On on hand, we've got WP:CENSORED and WP:NPOV, on the other hand, we've got WP:SOAPBOX and WP:NONAZIS. Assessment will depend heavily on context and so I can't say B, the need for some education or citation instances will also preclude A, so C it must be. ~Gwennie🐈💬 📋⦆ 08:05, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B (except sites containing malware, malicious scripts, trojan exploits, or content that is illegal to access in the United States/California) - when we say "Not Censored" we can't then say "except when it's unpleasant". I've included the exceptions for the truly egregious cases, but the whole point is that we aren't reliable. So we include links to our sources, but if you were researching a topic about an organisation, you couldn't claim to have done a proper review as a researcher without actually taking a look at it yourself. That is why we give the links, because our responsibility as source of information that enables confirmation of our content demands no less, however much we may dislike some outcomes of that. On a less policy-based side, I also find that having these sources is one of the best ways to counter it - we deny a soapbox here, because the distraction outweighs the benefits, but actually seeing the depths which some can fall to is the best way of countering their more publicly distributed messages. Nosebagbear (talk) 11:34, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
  • C: I think editors, page by page, should weigh whether an active link like that actually adds encyclopedic value to the pages that it appears on. All of the claims of WP:CENSORED should be measured against WP:NOTDIRECTORY. I think active recruitment links would add little useful & encyclopedic information to most pages. (For that reason, I also lean towards D as well.) —Wingedserif (talk) 17:01, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
  • A/C let's not kid ourselves that people do try to manipulate Wikipedia for search engine optimization, and we shouldn't allow fringe sites to exploit Wikipedia as a promotional tool. Wikipedia articles are highlighted by Google, and Wikipedia is consistently one of the most visited sites in the world. People target Wikipedia to promote all kinds of nonsense, knowing that when they help their google ranking it will be without the context of a Wikipedia article. It's the same reason that we are much more careful around articles about WP:HOAXes, where somethnig has become notable for being verifiably untrue, and that doesn't mean we promote that either. Wikipedia isn't a promotional tool for hoaxes, defamation, or incitement. Shooterwalker (talk) 18:34, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
  • D. While it's true that Wikipedia is not censored, WP:NOTCENSORED does not mandate inclusion; and as external links outside of articles about their subjects, such links are almost always going to fail WP:ELNO point 2, as well as raising reasonable questions regarding points 4 and 11 (promotional links and personal websites.) On the other hand, even as far as the concerns raised above go, excluding in case D is unnecessary because anyone reading our article for such sites already knows about them, so it's not really promotional or likely to help them recruit anyway. They are absolutely not likely to pass WP:RS, so they can't really be used in non-EL contexts, either. --Aquillion (talk) 00:15, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
  • D its better to mention all information about them. Championmin (talk) 09:28, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B/D: yes, include a link in the article about the organization. Linking in other situations should presumably be rare but might sometimes be appropriate under WP:ABOUTSELF. —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:42, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
  • B/C/D. There is obviously such a thing as editorial discretion, and I cannot imagine any compelling reason to link to, say, Stormfront on any article aside from Stormfront; I certainly would not complain if someone removed random links to that site. At the same time, I don't really see why this necessitates a general policy; unless there is some rampant issue of people citing as a RS (from perusing people's arguments here, there isn't), does it really matter? Then we have the issue of "endorsement", which I think is greatly overstated. Is anyone really going to read our article on al-Qaeda and decide that they're great? And if someone is really that disturbed, are we really going to keep such a person from joining al-Qaeda by refusing to link to their website? I mean, I don't like them any more than you do, and it is true that editing Wikipedia is the only weapon we have, but I think the best way to use it is to accurately document all of the bad stuff they do. Speaking of which, our role is to inform and educate people. The number of people researching this for a wholesome and productive purpose vastly outstrips the number of people trying to join their ranks, by orders of magnitude. For example: the pageview statistics from January 12 show that al-Qaeda got 6,389 views that day... whereas this article estimates that "as of July 2020, al Qaeda had between 400 to 600 fighters in Afghanistan". That is to say, in twenty-four hours, between 12 and 15 times as many people viewed the article as there are members of the organization. Clearly, their conversion rates are not very high! So, okay -- maybe it isn't a pressing issue, and maybe it wouldn't actually accomplish anything, and maybe it would hurt researchers more than it helped guide wayward souls, but it wouldn't inconvenience us, would it? Well, I think it would do that, too. There are some obvious issues with a bright-line policy: the governments of Turkmenistan and Zimbabwe and China have been responsible for lots of bad stuff popping off, are we to refuse linking to their websites as well? What about Israel and Palestine, whose governments, I am given to understand, mutually regard the other as extremely bad? Are we supposed to come up with binding, project-wide opinions about every issue in world politics (that somehow manage to include all of the "bad guys" and none of the "good guys")??? It doesn't seem necessary, useful, realistic, or practical to me. jp×g 15:51, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • C. The problem with "A" is that it is ill defined. Everyone can agree that Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization, but what about the Islamic Republic of Iran? What about Bill Ayers?

It gets murky in a hurry. Therefore, this should be left up to editorial judgment. Adoring nanny (talk) 13:11, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

  • D, leaning towards B. But still editorial judgment will play a role in things. Abeg92contribs 19:25, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

What are the rules for stating someone has been tortured?

Hi all

I've recently been writing about journalists who have been tortured and some users have been keen to state 'allegedly tortured' instead. Please could someone explain the policies for:

  • What decides whether you can say someone tortured or allegedly torture? What proof is needed to say that torture has happened (ie what is the burdon of proof). Often people are tortured by their own government so a court saying they have been tortured is not a realistic standard. Is it just based on what the references say? If one or more references say they have been tortured then you can say tortured? If so how many and by who?
  • Whether you can say someone has been tortured if the sources do not use the word torture but describes a method of torture eg they were handcuffed and force fed for months. Is there a list of methods which define torture that Wikipedia uses?

Note: I'm only asking what the policies are, not people's opinions on what constitutes torture, I want to understand what is correct to say under the policies and also if any definitions are missing from policies.

Thanks very much

John Cummings (talk) 10:21, 29 December 2020 (UTC)

On the first, off the top of my head, WP:V (particularly WP:EXTRAORDINARY) and WP:BLP (if it applies) would be the obvious guidance. Context may be very different, depending on whatever.
On the second, if no sources use the word, WP probably shouldn't either. Write "he was waterboarded" (if that's what the source says), not "he was tortured with waterboarding". Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 11:24, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
Thanks very much @Gråbergs Gråa Sång:, on your second point could you point to where the policy is for this? Thanks John Cummings (talk) 11:49, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
WP:OR/WP:SYNTH. Again, context matters. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 14:07, 29 December 2020 (UTC)

Thanks, @Gråbergs Gråa Sång: which parts of these large policies relate to these questions? John Cummings (talk) 14:52, 29 December 2020 (UTC)

"The phrase "original research" (OR) is used on Wikipedia to refer to material—such as facts, allegations, and ideas—for which no reliable, published sources exist.[a] This includes any analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to reach or imply a conclusion not stated by the sources." If your source/sources doesn't say "torture", this reasonably applies. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 15:37, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
Thanks @Gråbergs Gråa Sång:, maybe I can ask the question in a different way to try and be more clear:
  1. It is not original research to say that a swan is a type of bird, we know a swan is a kind of bird because of biological taxonomy
  2. Does Wikipedia use taxonomies in other areas to describe that one thing is a part of another? If so does English Wikipedia use a specific taxonomy/definition which describes torture? There are several available, including many national and international laws.
  3. Is it enough to say waterboarding is a type of torture because it is defined as a type of torture in a reliable source e.g (there are many sources in the article for waterboarding itself).
Thanks again
John Cummings (talk) 17:37, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
Well, if you want a different answer, perhaps someone else will give it. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 17:40, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
I don't think there's any doubt that waterboarding is a form of torture, so don't think there would be any original research in summarising that someone who had been subjected to it has been tortured, just as we could say, if a source said that someone had been stretched on a rack, had their fingernails pulled out and had electrical current applied to their genitals, we could say that they have been tortured. The prohibition on original research doesn't mean that we should use the exact same language as the source - in fact, that would probably violate copyright. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:46, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
  • “Alleged torture” versus “torture”? Do what the reliable independent secondary sources do. Follow the sources. If the only source is the journalist themself, that is not enough. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:59, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I think this applies to more claims than just those involving torture. There's probably room for someone to do some cleanup there. Consider, e.g., the opening sentence of Perseus (spy): if it's real, then it would only "allegedly" be a problem (so maybe if it's true, it'd be perfectly fine?). The Pregnancy Pact contains the world allegedly twice in the first sentence. I saw an article recently that said someone was accused of allegedly committing a crime, and I wondered why they accused him of only allegedly doing it, and not of actually doing it. Roy DeMeo contains a sentence about "the first known murder allegedly committed", which is self-contradictory: either the murder is known, or it's alleged, but it's not both. We could do better. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:14, 7 January 2021 (UTC)


You might receive more monetary support for your operation if you didn’t require the benefactor’s email address. I know that’s what stopped me. This should be an optional field: Wikipedia doesn’t need it to process a donation, and people get tired of having to delete so much junk from their inbox. - Brian — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:26, 31 December 2020 (UTC)

I'm not sure the WMF folks who set up the donation system really monitor this board; does anyone know who we ought to ping or where we ought to forward this feedback? I doubt they'd remove the email since it's useful for sending a receipt, but they might want to add a "we promise not to spam you" notice when they ask for it. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 19:00, 31 December 2020 (UTC)
Sdkb, There's a WMF tab within this board. S Philbrick(Talk) 20:31, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
Sdkb, I'll go further and suggest this discussion should be removed as it is not an English Wikipedia policy and thus doesn't literally belong here. S Philbrick(Talk) 20:32, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
We usually just leave these discussions (usually ignored or responded to just once) to be auto-archived. Otherwise, I have directed the existence of this thread to a responsible WMFer offwiki. --Izno (talk) 21:20, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
There are other ways to give that would not require an e-mail address. The options are at [11]. You can send suggestions about the fundraising to RudolfRed (talk) 20:19, 31 December 2020 (UTC)

Duplicating content across 4-5 articles

What is the guidance for editors who contribute and maintain identical content across multiple articles? I see editors now who feel their content is appropriate for 3, 4 or 5 articles, and create an original paragraph or two, and then insert it in all those articles. Then I see a typo or other opportunity for edit, and I am forced to make not 1 but 5 edits. I see someone else make a valid edit to one article, should I replicate that edit 4 more times? I do not presently have the tools to ease this kind of editorial maintenance burden. Can transclusion be used to keep the original content in one place, and display it elsewhere, just for ordinary article text and references? Elizium23 (talk) 18:06, 3 January 2021 (UTC)

From a purely technical perspective, selective transclusion can be used and it is used in some articles already. As to whether it SHOULD be used in any specific case is going to be an editorial decision. I can think of situations where 2 or more articles might start off sharing a common paragraph, but with the intent that content changes to those paragraphs be unique to the pages they are on. I can also think of situations where the opposite is true - where you want a change in one article to be mirrored in the others. Also, when the amount of shared content is small, like a sentence or two in the middle of a larger paragraph, it's rarely worth the overhead to set up selective transclusion. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 🎄 19:52, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
Selective transclusion has been used in the COVD-19 articles. It has saved some work (update the stats in one place, not five) but resulted in a lot of complaints about how hard it is to edit the articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:19, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
  • From a descriptive current policy perspective, our guidance is at WP:CONTENTFORK, which is mostly about forking entire articles but can easily be applied on the level of paragraphs.
    Switching to a normative "what should our policy be?" perspective, I think we ought to use transclusion a lot more widely than we do, since it helps the encyclopedia grow faster by allowing contributions to one page to benefit multiple pages rather than requiring wasted duplicate effort. The {{Excerpt}} template being developed by Sophivorus can be used to make it relatively easy, although it still sometimes confuses newcomers or generates pushback from more experienced editors who aren't used to it. Hopefully those problems will diminish as excerpting becomes more widespread and we refine our templates/documentation/etc. to make it easier to understand. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 11:19, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I'm having trouble picturing why I would want to have identical content of a paragraph or more in multiple articles. I admit that I have done this, but those articles were not fully-developed; as an article matures I find that I have to rewrite the shared content, for example to change the emphasis, wherever that material appears. If one or more paragraphs must be identical, I have to wonder if a better answer would be to put the shared identical material in its own article & link to it. Which raises the issue of usability: at what point should ancillary information be included in an article, & when should it be linked to? (And having said all that, yes I know that one can never make hard-&-unchangeable rules about how to write an article: there will always be a case where doing something against all logic is the best solution.) -- llywrch (talk) 22:09, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
    I could see this coming up in stat boxes on articles with two people who competed as a team, and therefore have exactly the same statistics. Meryl Davis and Charlie White is the example that comes to mind, it seems like having the stats all in one place instead of duplicates in each article would streamline things a bit in that scenario (indeed, someone suggested that on the talk pages of those articles and I supported it, but I didn't and still don't have the technical capacity to implement it). The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 22:55, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
    I just demonstrated how it'd work for the "programs" section; feel free to convert the other appropriate sections as well if you'd like. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 11:54, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
    I will leave your demo alone, but do ask: Should the {{Excerpt}} be converted later to a small note and a link? Also, there is currently no link from either Charlie White or Meryl Davis to Davis and White, so the change to a link would resolve that — GhostInTheMachine talk to me 15:15, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
  • There are definitely situations where tranclusion is beneficial. For example, a list article may grow to the point where it makes sense to split it into multiple sub-lists (broken out by nation or state... or A-E, F-J, K-O, and P-Z, etc)... the original intro paragraph could work for all of these sub-lists, and so it would make sense to “host” it at one and transclude into all the others. Chances are, we would want any change to the common intro to be reflected at all the sub-lists.
However, there are also situations where transclusion would not be beneficial. When two or more topics overlap, it may make sense to repeat a paragraph or two verbatim when initially setting them up... but it would not make sense to use transclusion (as that would make it difficult for subsequent editors to add, remove or amend the text in the individual articles as the various articles grow and develop over time).
So, no one policy “rule” can be made here. When (and whether) to repeat text on multiple articles - and whether to transclude when doing so - has to be made on an article by article basis. Blueboar (talk) 23:36, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
My point wasn't to set policy on this matter. It was to point out that wanting to maintain the identical text over several articles may not be the right solution, because the shared text may need to be changed in each article as they evolve; the solution sought may not be the right one. Although The Blade of the Northern Lights did come up with good examples where the shared information would be best maintained in one place. -- llywrch (talk) 00:10, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I suspect that this happens a fair bit when a set of new articles are created from a single source. For example: this search finds 12 articles sharing the same three paragraphs. The common text is not enough for a separate article, but probably does stand as a section in each of the 12 articles — GhostInTheMachine talk to me 15:30, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
  • The transclusion being discussed here has been implemented in the past at Non-visa travel restrictions, which is currently transcluded onto hundreds of articles of the form Visa requirements for United States citizens with "United States" replaced by various countries. That said, I think it is best to use this technique sparingly and there should be hatnotes indicating the transclusion - otherwise a reader reading multiple articles may get an unpleasant sense of deja vu. CapitalSasha ~ talk 17:14, 7 January 2021 (UTC)

Is there an existing policy or guideline on circular reporting, and if not, how may one be added?

Circular reporting is "a situation in source criticism where a piece of information appears to come from multiple independent sources, but in reality comes from only one source". This may occur for example when one book makes a claim (the veracity, context, and coverage on the claim being another matter), and some other books may repeat the claim and cite the original book, including both direct citations and indirect citations (book cites another book that cites the original). This provides the illusion that the claim is independently made by each different source, when in fact there was only one original claim, and the other works simply cite that. Essentially, there's only one actual and original source for the claim.

Is this covered in any Wikipedia policies already? If not, why may that be, and what can be done to change it? Thanks!

PS: I know about the circular reporting template, but it is specific to sources that use Wikipedia as a source and isn't a formal guideline. Saucysalsa30 (talk) 22:35, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

Perhaps you are looking for WP:CIRCULAR? I think that covers much of it from a policy standpoint. PackMecEng (talk) 22:37, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
Unfortunately, WP:CIRCULAR is confined to using Wikipedia articles as sources. Is there a policy regarding the more general case described in the opening comment, or can WP:CIRCULAR be extended to cover it? Saucysalsa30 (talk) 23:11, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
I suppose possibly WP:USEBYOTHERS partially covers that, from a reliability standpoint. I'll keep looking. PackMecEng (talk) 23:21, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
Saucysalsa30, WP:CITOGENESIS has information about specific incidents occurring here and how they were handled. Elizium23 (talk) 23:38, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
Saucysalsa30, Wikipedia policies are forged to assist editors with things that occur on Wikipedia. The behavior of sources citing other sources is rather beyond our ken, and not something that a policy will be written about.
There is a great deal of discretion given to editors insofar as our use of reliable sources, when and if a consensus determines them as reliable. I can foresee that if a given source is known for believing a fact that was reported by only one unreliable source, then transitively we could judge it as reliable. But single-source reporting comes up so much, and is not inherently unreliable, so I don't see how we could adequately defend against all cases of it.
Sometimes you have a source and it is the only definitive scholarly source on a topic and others "stand on the shoulders of giants". Other times, you have a source that is fringey or dicey and asserts something and other less-dicey sources pick it up, and it is "blessed" into the common knowledge that way. Once again, I don't see a way for Wikipedia as a body to defend against these things.
We are here to summarize reliable sources, and part of that job includes determining which sources are and aren't reliable, but when we get down in the weeds of determining the provenance of individual facts, that is just beyond our ken; we summarize and move on. Elizium23 (talk) 23:43, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
Elizium23 Thanks for the response. For clarification, WP:CITOGENESIS is also specific to circular reporting with respect to Wikipedia itself. The deeper question is why is this considered a problem everywhere else in reporting, but not in Wikipedia? More pertinent, if we aren't to be concerned with sources citing other sources, then why do WP:USEBYOTHERS and other guidelines exist that are specifically concerned with sources citing sources? That is, is this a contradiction?
With regards to the statement, "Other times, you have a source that is fringey or dicey and asserts something and other less-dicey sources pick it up, and it is "blessed" into the common knowledge that way," this is inadvertently dangerous. If for example one book trivially has a couple sentences in a footnote making a completely novel claim and gets picked up in other works, how is that situation handled? I understand other issues such including trivial mention and WP:CONTEXTMATTERS are at play here that may not qualify such content as encyclopedic information, but specifically with regards to the circular reporting how would that be handled given Wikipedia already appears to be concerned with sources citing sources? Thanks. Saucysalsa30 (talk) 00:23, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
I would assume if a fact can be shown to be circular it then editors could discount sources that used that fact as relevant. I think the problem is proof. As an example, the infamous Pinto memo and Ford's deciding it was cheaper to pay off burn victims vs fix the Pinto. Anyway for many years that was common knowledge and all one had to do was point at an early Mother Jones article for proof. This universal understanding was widely referenced but never actually happened. Yes, the Pinto fires did and there was a memo but only much later and with strong academic sourcing and we confidently say the original story and those who repeated it were wrong. So if a modern source were to reference the claim we could show the narrative is false and discount the source per our current policies. Springee (talk) 00:44, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Springee Agreed, and the proof of sources using an original source is certainly present if the downstream sources say X with a citation to the original source which claimed X. My question is in line with your assumption: is there a policy related to that and if not, why can't one be made? Saucysalsa30 (talk) 00:58, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Saucysalsa30, I am daunted by the kind of editorial burden you propose to lay at our feet. We already have trouble keeping up with the deprecated sources and evaluating them at WP:RSN. There are millions of sources, how can we possibly categorize and evaluate enough of them to make a dent? Now you're proposing to slice and dice each fact and its provenance. What structures do you propose to put in place to handle this? This is why a policy is unwritable. The task is Sisyphean. Elizium23 (talk) 01:12, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Saucysalsa30, I would say that a primary problem on Wikipedia is that facts are uncited. Not that they are unverifiable, just nobody knows what source would support a given fact. That's a visible and marginally solvable problem: place {{citation needed}} tags and someone will do the groundwork.
A secondary but even graver problem here is that facts are cited but the sources doesn't actually support the facts! We often rely on casual readers to stop and say "hey, I read this source and it doesn't say what you say it does." {{failed verification}} tags are used in this case, and get used far less often, simply because checking all sources in an article is a job for a WP:GAR and you know how many articles never, ever make it to GAR.
So now you're asking us about a related problem that isn't even on Wikipedia. It's not our problem. If sources are bad and cite another bad source and somehow that is generated into citations in a good source, it's beyond our ken to handle it. The best we can do is discover such shenanigans and red-flag the sources that caused the havoc and track them all down and strike them from our articles and then pray it never happens again. It's editorial discretion. It's the operation of consensus on RS, I don't see how a policy could be written for it. Elizium23 (talk) 01:18, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
There is a maxim Wikipedia:Verifiability, not truth. Perhaps it is germane to your query. Elizium23 (talk) 01:23, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Elizium23 Sorry if it came across as I was implying I was asking to create more work for people, but it appears this is a misunderstanding. I'm not asking anyone to do anything or for every individual source in Wikipedia to be checked. For example, an individual editor can demonstrate out evident circular reporting on a given statement or claim within an article, and discuss it just as they can point out other issues just as is regularly done on Wikipedia. This would require checking closer to 5 sources, not millions. A guideline or warning regarding circular reporting can help editors in such content discussions.
As noted, Wikipedia already has guidelines that are concerned with sources citing sources. Do such policies need to be removed from Wikipedia? Some guidelines exist to post cautions and necessitate multiple sources on the topic like WP:REDFLAG. Why can't a warning guideline be similarly provided for identified general circular reporting (like the Wikipedia circular reporting), other than that it may theoretically create more work for editors? A guideline on that would help bring alignment on content discussions and if anything, prevent more back-and-forths and create less work.
Take this example: A statement on Wikipedia has 3 sources. There's the original source to make a claim: let's say an otherwise unsubstantiated fringe/redflag novel claim in an appendix. The other 2 sources directly cite the first source, but add nothing extra and evidently are not independent from the original source regarding the particular claim. An editor can write, "I know there's nothing covering this otherwise novel claim except a sentence in an appendix and this is not encyclopedic information for X, Y, Z reasons, but other sources cite it!" How would you handle this situation? Do you focus primarily on the underlying issues of the poor quality content to begin with, or do the additional non-independent sources add weight? Saucysalsa30 (talk) 02:09, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
If source 1 is the "origin source" for this, and sources 2 and 3 are merely duplicating its claims there still may be value to use sources 2 and 3 if source 1 is not a typical reliable source but sources 2 and 3 are very strong reliable sources that give weight to source 1. So for example, there was a recent story broke by Axios (website) related to Chinese spying in the US which is not quite the best RS in the world for that type of information, so if that was the only source reporting on it, I'd be careful. But the story was quickly picked up by multiple quality RSes like Washington Post and SF Chronicle, which to me give weight to say they considered that story reliable enough to include. In incorporating that information, I'd be careful to attribute to the originating source (source 1) but still included the sources that implicitly acknowledge the validity of the story. On the other hand, if sources 2 and 3 are at the same quality or less than source 1, they are doing nothing to help here so their inclusion is just extra weight. --Masem (t) 02:20, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Thank you Masem. For my better understanding, let's say in this scenario that Washington Post and SF Chronicle were not writing independently from Axios, such that instead they directly cited Axios and didn't independently report the story. Also, hypothetically the Axios article was reporting on something entirely different but in an offhand random remark mentioned the Chinese spying (which may have RS/VER issues such as CONTEXTMATTERS and REDFLAG), and SF Chronicle and WaPo did nothing more than copy-paste from the Axios article regarding the offhand remark on Chinese spying? How would it be considered in this scenario? To clarify, I'm focusing more on the content itself and how it is used and treated, rather than who the publisher is. Saucysalsa30 (talk) 02:44, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
If it is clear a literal copy/paste, I would not consider the WaPost/SFC as usable sources from the primary one. For example, this is the situation all the time with Assoc. Press news. So for example, this is an AP-first story [12], which is sent on wires to other papers and picked up there. Most papers will properly identify it as a wire story from the AP (eg [13]) and so there's no point in using that second source if we have the AP source already, the second source is not helping. --Masem (t) 04:37, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Masem Thanks for the clarification, much appreciated. Is there an editing guideline regarding (not including WP:NEWSORG but more general to include books and other publication types), or is it left to editors' discretion? Saucysalsa30 (talk) 04:49, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Not aware of any explicit guideline, this is one of those that comes from common sense + editing experience. --Masem (t) 20:42, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Masem Agreed with that perspective. Do you think some form of guideline under RS or VER should be created to help service as a caution to editors regarding this case? This is essentially what my initial comment was pointing towards. Saucysalsa30 (talk) 02:33, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Saucysalsa30, it seems like a narrow special case. We generally don't try to legislate something unless it becomes contentious and outside the bounds of common sense for editors. We rely on a lot of common sense in judging sources, their reliability, and the genesis of facts. Can you document whether this is a pervasive problem? Is it particularly troublesome in sources which are cited by Wikipedia? Do you have stats? Elizium23 (talk) 02:44, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Elizium23 Yes, it's not excessively common like [citation needed] type situations, but more like WP:NN which is not so common and not as clear-cut. The scenario I am describing in this section I've seen demonstrated by other editors or demonstrated myself ~10 times. I fully agree on common sense but as the saying goes "common sense isn't common". I don't believe there's stats for sourcing issues on Wikipedia, as there isn't an automated system or algorithm that would be capable of identifying such things like how many articles don't meet notability criteria but don't have the notability template. I understand your point though.
Given you're a very experienced editor, regarding this scenario, how would you handle it? If you point out, "There's one original source making this claim in a sentence in an appendix and this is not encyclopedic information for X, Y, Z reasons, and any other sources available on this particular claim almost-verbatim or verbatim copy-paste and cite the original", common sense says the dependent sources are frivolous. But what would you do if someone else says, "But still, other sources cite it"? Thanks. Saucysalsa30 (talk) 04:48, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
First, let me say I've never ever encountered this in my 13 years of editing. Admittedly, I haven't spent any appreciable time checking up on these things.
I would handle it by handling each source on their independent merits. If the fact could not be found elsewhere and the original source failed WP:RS then I would remove the fact with the source. Then I would evaluate the auxiliary sources. Am I positive they obtained the fact from the first source? Could it be possible that they researched or corroborated it? It depends on whether it's an important fact or an insignificant one. Evaluating each aux source and reporting this whole affair to WP:RSN and I would be essentially done with it. Elizium23 (talk) 04:57, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
But is there good reason to leave any ambiguity, if we all agree that it is inherently a bad practice to use such sources for controversial information? So when such a situation does occur here, editors will have some policy to point to, instead of just hand-waving about it being bad practice in all other media. FunkMonk (talk) 20:57, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
FunkMonk Precisely. If it's all common sense and editors will know what to do and it's bad practice everywhere in other media outside Wikipedia, why leave it to unnecessary ambiguity and arguments? Saucysalsa30 (talk) 05:42, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
@FunkMonk, we don't create this policy now, because
  1. Adding more words to our impossibly long policies when we don't have a practical problem is always WP:CREEPy.
  2. This problem is easily solved by normal editing, and specifically by editors remembering that three sources:
    1. Alice said ____.
    2. The Washington Post said that Alice said ____., and
    3. The San Francisco Chronicle said that Alice said ____
      do not magically add up to "____ is true".
  3. It's very hard to write this and not run into serious problems with POV pushers, who will then argue that statements from reliable sources that don't say "____ is true and I promise that I fully investigated this myself and did not get any of this information from Alice, whom I consider to be utterly unreliable" actually came from Alice even when the claim is not attributed to Alice.
  4. Some factual claims should always come from the same central source. Consider, e.g., the reported revenue for publicly traded companies. Who are you going to believe: The CEOs, who will go to prison if they lie about the revenue, or anyone else in the world?
While I think it's useful for editors to be aware of this problem (which is called the telephone game, not circular sourcing), we don't need a policy that encourages editors to distrust reliable sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:41, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing A couple of your points are good, but point 1 is not pertinent, as you could easily make that case to eliminate about 90% of Wikipedia's policies and guidelines and not allow anything else. At least this scenario is considered a serious issue in all media outside of Wikipedia and it's an oversight if anything that it isn't covered here. Also the idea here is this would be a guideline on an existing policy, rather than its own policy, so much less WP:CREEPy.
Point 2 is exactly what everyone else in this thread is saying: if it's such a common sense thing, then why leave it to ambiguity and unnecessary arguments?
Point 3: Actually in practice, POV pushers actually abuse the opposite of this. They may even even acknowledge the circular reporting going on, yet say "But other sources cite this claim so it must be necessary to include!" If there was a simple guideline in place to point them to, it would resolve disputes immediately.
Point 4: And if the claims are not factual or reliable coming from the central source or the source is not reliable even admitting to contain "rumors and stories" (remember, reliability is not only the publisher, but also the author and work itself), which is what this is about?
While related, telephone game is different from circular reporting, which is the problem at hand here. "we don't need a policy that encourages editors to distrust reliable sources." Then why is much of WP:RS and WP:VER conditions specifically about mistrusting and being careful with superficially "reliable" sources or context of sourced material? Saucysalsa30 (talk) 03:09, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Point #1 is pertinent for all discussions about expanding policies until we have demonstrated that multiple separate editors (i.e., not just the same editor causing multiple disputes) have actually been unable to resolve disputes in a reasonable manner. Wikipedia is not a system of laws and rules, no matter what it must look like to someone who has only made a few hundred edits, and most of those in articles under Wikipedia:General sanctions/Post-1978 Iranian politics. We have no evidence that there actually has been a significant number of "unnecessary arguments" about this. Therefore, this is not the time to be writing down extra rules.
(I have seen Point #3 argued, even in the absence of written rules saying that it should be avoided, so you will not tell me that it does not happen.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:01, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Who is the "we" here? You? Because this matter has been brought up other times by others. Not sure who you're referring to nor do I know what that project page is anyways, but if it's to me, then it's rather discourteous to demean someone simply because they refuted your points. And to repeat, I'm not suggesting rules or laws. I'm not sure why you brought that up. Saucysalsa30 (talk) 06:07, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

Masem, Springee - what are your thoughts about the media giants and the way they're grouped in this article? There's a box just above the social media links at the end of the article that's labeled Sources, and it gives a list of the RS used to gather the info. Atsme 💬 📧 00:50, 13 January 2021 (UTC)

NPOV issues on wiki with regards to politics

I was advised this is the place to make such a proposal (and I was going to wait for dust to settle from this election, but it appears it never will) here goes. As I am sure many here are aware: there are some issues as far as articles that deal with politics go. In short, we have a real problem with a lot of activist editors. There are a few who go from article to article with a agenda. The end result is something I think no one who observes NPOV wants. I could give a lot of examples....but it may be best to save it for right now. You may be reading and thinking well, if these "activists" are observing RS [and so on]....what is the problem? The problem with that is it ignores how malleable and open to interpretation the rules here are. (That is (after all) one of the reasons we have RFCs.) Some I have talked to feel that more editors is the answer. I fall more into the category of thinking some concrete, overall article standards are in order. Some articles are veering into tabloid category at this point. (And are unlike any Encyclopedia I have ever read that deals with such topics.)

What to do? What would make sense to me is some sort of oversight committee (for a lack of a better term). What to oversee? A lot of the big name/high profile/historical articles are in decent shape (although I've always thought (for example) that when you put the MSNBC & CNN articles side by side with the Fox News article, you gotta wonder if it is intended as a joke)'s when you get to the stuff that's bit lower that things start getting crazy. So, a group to monitor/edit a revolving list of articles (maybe a few consistently) would be (I think) beneficial. Typically when people show up in the news, that's when their page goes nuts. (And frankly, while we are on the topic, a lot of these pages have guard dogs that have very strong opinions (read: bias) one way or the other.) At the very least....a committee that can hopefully curb the (current) trendline and create consistency from article to article in subjects that deal with politics. Not sure if we have the personnel (or inclination)for it.....but thanks for hearing me.Rja13ww33 (talk) 20:24, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

See the current top thread on this page "NPOV-problems on Wikipedia" (if it doesn't get archived soon). The broader issue is that we have both external and internal issues colliding; we're struggling externally with a ongoing culture war while the media that we take as RS is in their current mode of accountability journalism (making them more willing to point fingers than report neutrally), and internally, we're struggling with the principle of WP:NOT#NEWS and WP:RECENTISM (distinguishing when facts that can be added immediately between opinions and analysis that should wait for some filtering) and the fact that many editors (myself included) likely feel the urge to make sure that, for example, those responsible for the events of last week are held accountable, but struggling to keep the language of our articles neutral. That is: everything externally and internally is stacked against the farther-out conservative voice but we have to stay ideologically neutral as best we can, and that's a site wide problem, not just a handful of articles. An oversight committee would not help that in that that would be far too much of a workload; I'd expect we'd need to lock down far too many articles. What we need is a better acknowledgement this is a problem first and foremost, as there still seems to be some subset of editors that don't think this is an issue despite the numerous threads we have on it for several years, and the routine issues brought up at BLP/N and NPOV/N. Once there's better agreement that we know there's external and internal issues that are systematically working against NPOV, then we can figure out the right ways to course correct as a whole. --Masem (t) 21:00, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks Masem. I noticed the thread you were talking about....but it didn't quite zero in on the points I wanted to focus on enough for me. You also make good points with regards to WP:NOT#NEWS and WP:RECENTISM. That's been a big part of the problem as well.Rja13ww33 (talk) 21:31, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
I realize you're getting to something else now that's related. I will offer that one aspect that is related to what you're trying to get at is that because Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC are all cable news networks with online presences, their article structures should be very very similar from the top, and only vering to other topics - like controversies - later in the article. I expect a History section, a type of "Current Programming" section, a type of "Demographics/Viewership" section, a section on any media leanings/biases, and then probably at that point the remaining structure is likely depending on what is available. Just looking at the TOCs of these articles, I can tell that's not there, and that's a good sign that the bias I talk of above is influencing these articles. --Masem (t) 16:12, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
The article on Fox News doesn't resemble the article on CNN because the ReliableSource coverage of Fox doesn't resemble the ReliableSource coverage of CNN. As far as Wikipedia goes, that's the end of that. And if you're wondering why ReliableSource coverage of Fox differs from ReliableSource overage of CNN, I'll note that CNN was established to provide conventional 24-news news coverage. In contrast Fox was established with an explicitly political mission, to be an explicitly politically-conservative network. Fox was launched with a Republican political strategist (Roger Ailes) as chairman and chief executive. That's like launching a "news" network with George Soros or Nancy Pelosi in charge. Unsurprisingly many Reliable Sources have reported on how Fox's explicitly political agenda and political-strategist-management has corrupted Fox's content, including Fox going anti-science whenever the science doesn't suit the political agenda. In a notable bit of irony, Newsmax is now stealing away Fox viewers by hammering Fox News as Radical Liberal Media. Alsee (talk) 23:37, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
There are plenty of RS IDing MSNBC's coverage as having a left tilt. In fact, this is mentioned on it's respective page: [14]. But note it is not noted in the LEAD. (Unlike Fox) Same deal with CNN....except this is buried so far down on CNN, you have to go to their controversies page to find it. [15]. And even there, the word "liberal" doesn't appear once. This isn't just about the networks. Moving on to pundits. Look at Eleanor Clift's page [16]. The fact she is a left-winger and has been (jokingly) called Eleanor "Rodham" Clift for her frequent defense of Hillary Clinton is of course NOT noted. (In fact it's a pretty flattering bio.) Now go to her counterpart across the aisle (for years) on the McLaughlin Group: Fred Barnes [17]. Not surprisingly, a quote calling him a "perfect Bush hack" is included. So Freddie is a "perfect Bush hack"....but Eleanor is just another commentator. I could go on here...we can start comparing (say) Candace Owens page to the Julianne Malveaux page. Or the Tucker Carlson page to the Paul Begala page. (Anyone knowledgeable about these pundits would quickly recognize a lot of less than flattering quotes are included for one side, but not the other.) But I think my point is made to anyone who believes in NPOV or impartiality. I think if you look at the LEAD of a lot of people who ran for office this last should see some issues as well. I can come up with a itemized list beyond this.....but anyone should be able to look at these pages and see the problem quicklyRja13ww33 (talk) 00:20, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
The WP:WEIGHT is different. And you won't find RS that describe MSNBC in terms equivalent to "the most profitable propaganda machine in history"[18] or "Known for its unabashed Republican bias, pro-Donald Trump rhetoric, blurring of fact and opinion"[19], anywhere. The pages are different because the subjects are different. IHateAccounts (talk) 00:29, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
I don't think that is much of an excuse for not noting a outlet has a overwhelming bent (backed by RS). We put the label on plenty of other sources describing their political bent (regardless of how profitable they are).Rja13ww33 (talk) 00:34, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
The claim that MSNBC (to use the first you mentioned) has "an overwhelming bent" is a pretty fantastical claim that'd need very solid RS sourcing provided. It sounds more like you're just arguing for creating WP:FALSEBALANCE, which is against policy. IHateAccounts (talk) 00:38, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Are you kidding? Did you read [20]?Rja13ww33 (talk) 00:44, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
You keep arguing from your own personal opinion and viewpoint. If you want to demonstrate there is a problem, you would have to show that an article isn't reasonably summarizing reliable source coverage of that topic. I haven't paid much attention to MSNBC (I alternate between watching CNN&Fox) but as I understand it many sources do identify MSNBC as on the left, but that doesn't imply the coverage of MSNBC is equal in quantity and nature to the coverage of Fox. As far as I'm aware, MSNBC is not and never was managed by a professional political operative. As far as I'm aware, MSNBC has not repeatedly argued in court that they have a free-speech right to lie and deceive (while legally true, it nakedly exposes Fox's prioritization of political agenda over honest reporting). While MSNBC is on the left and Fox is on the right, they don't act the same and the coverage of them isn't the same. Expecting our article on them to look the same is a fallacy of false equivalence. Alsee (talk) 02:45, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
It's kind of interesting you say I am arguing from my "own personal opinion and viewpoint" when that is exactly what you are doing. Even more amazing, you acknowledge the fact MSNBC is left-wing....but it appears the excuse for not mentioning this in their lead is 1)Fox has been managed by a "professional political operative", 2) "quantity and nature" in the two are not comparable, and 3) Fox "has argued it has free-speech right to lie and deceive". #1 & 3 are obviously ridiculous arguments and about the best, worst-case examples of WP:OTHER I think I have seen. The fact is, we have (in that very article) multiple RS that describe MSNBC as liberal/left-leaning. (And here is another: [21].) It takes up a good percentage of that article (therefore would be appropriate for LEAD). The notion we should omit MSNBCs leanings because of another outlet is clearly preposterous. By this logic, if National Review is busted in some big scandal.....should we then remove (it's traditional rival) The Nation's label as a obvious left-wing source from the LEAD? Of course not. But shifting gears for a second....we are (predictably) getting bogged down in the discussion on Fox vs. whomever. That wasn't my intent. (I thought about omitting Fox in my OP....and I should have gone with my gut instincts.) There are a lot of articles at issue here. I am not arguing about any one article. And even if you don't think NPOV is a problem here...there still is the problems of WP:NOT#NEWS and WP:RECENTISM as Masem noted. And I might add: the selectivity of the application of those rules.Rja13ww33 (talk) 03:24, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

@Rja13ww33: Part of the problem is that Fox is still considered even "generally reliable" in any category, and only in "no consensus" for politics and science, which is a sad commentary on the number of editors who are inside the right-wing/fox cult. There's really no reason for anyone to be trusting Fox for facts. IHateAccounts (talk) 23:40, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

Outside of right-wingers, I don't think anyone trusts "Fox for facts". I certainly don't. This isn't about where a network stands.....or even about Fox, this is about double standards and something that resembles a encyclopedia.Rja13ww33 (talk) 00:22, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Notified: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Politics. –MJLTalk 00:37, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I'd also be concerned by such a divergence from our default position that, in content, we don't raise the standing authority of anyone. I do get the sourcing concerns - another way that even people acting in GF can get a false consensus reading is that left-wing groups and publications are traditionally more likely to split and form new groupings than the right. This means there are, just generally, more left wing-sources. Even given an even judgement on which ones were reliable, a left-wing interpretation will likely occur. It's not intentional by them, and it's a logical action by any editor, but it has that outcome. Nosebagbear (talk) 11:20, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
    • This parallels a comment I had related to a Signpost Opinion article[[22]]. My hypothetical was based around the case that, per Adfonts's media ratings there appeared to be 7 sources that fit into a second tier but still good, not too biased (left or right) category. Of those 6 were left, one was right. If all 7 covered the same topic and all approved/disapproved stricktly according to their bias, how should Wikipedia handle it? Would we treat the [left view] as the majority view? Would we treat these as roughly balanced views using the single source to speak for the [right view]? Would we decide that 1 out of 7 makes the [right view] fringe? Do we assume a level of echo chamber/churnalism with the sources on the [left view]? My comments were hypothetical and assumed that sources would act in a pure left/right way and those are the only 7 RS available. Reality will never be that clear cut but the overall impact on our work is probably not zero. Springee (talk) 15:01, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
      • I struggle to see how this is a problem in itself. The left-right lean of news organizations isn't simply a reflection of leftist in-fighting; demographically speaking, the target audience of conservative news (at least in the US which this conversation seems focused on) has been the numerical minority for decades. The conservative champion has, in the last six presidential elections, received a plurality of the vote only once: namely in the 2004 United States presidential election. In terms of political support, Democrats consistently have more states where they lead in polls by at least 5 percentage points, with Republicans only surpassing them twice since 2008 according to Gallup. In terms of party registration or identification, Republicans have a plurality in only a minority of states (21). Even if we ditch the party-as-ideological-proxy stance, Gallup polling of conservative-moderate-liberal ideological affiliation shows that conservatism has been on the decline since 2011 at the latest, and identification as moderates has steadily dropped since the late 90s; liberalism is the only ideology they polled that has consistently been rising in terms of identification.
        All this is to say that the bias in reliable sources is not an accident but a reflection of the actual ideological leanings of the society those journalists cover and cater to. We follow the weight of reliable sources in order to avoid thumbing the scales, and providing false balance to correct for the decline of an ideology in both numbers and journalistic representation is the antithesis of WP:DUE. If Wikipedia were around in the 1500s, we would say the Sun circled the Earth because that's what reliable sources said at the time. Even if geocentrism is wrong, heliocentrism was undeniably a minority view and no matter our personal beliefs about orbital mechanics, we would (should) reflect the prevailing zeitgeist whether it eventually turns out to be wrong or not. That's not to say we cannot use common sense, but all the hand-wringing about left-wing bias often misses that point. We are always quick to point out that our job is not to promote liberal and left ideologies through biased coverage, and this is a correct assessment. But what that also means is that it is not our job to halt the verifiable decline of American conservatism by creating a false balance. If every liberal source says something and the lone conservative source says the opposite, we should do what we always do in this situation: present those opinions in proportion to their weight in the sourcing. If the opinions expressed in the conservative source were indeed persuasive or undeniably correct, they would not be the only source making the claim. And often they are not; news media and conservatives exist outside the US, and factual coverage by reliable sources largely align regardless of publisher ideological leanings because otherwise they wouldn't be reliable. If there is ever a situation where one news organization (regardless of ideology) was the only source taking a particular position, I would much sooner believe it is a trash opinion than that there is some conspiracy to bias coverage. I understand the impulse behind these kinds of discussions, but they always strike me as textbook examples of WP:RGW. Wug·a·po·des 21:50, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
        • I concur strongly with @Wugapodes: the idea that somehow, conservative sources are being maligned when they are found to be less-than-reliable, fails to account for the American political issue of Asymmetric Polarization[23] over the past few decades. The problem is not unique to wikipedia in the slightest, despite the unfortunate tendency of conservatives on wikipedia to accuse other editors of somehow being biased against conservatives or "conservative media" (a form of "playing the refs"[24]).
  1. Conservative media, because of asymmetric polarization, tends towards a strong bias that degrades reliability, preferring to promote falsehoods and relax or ignore editorial standards in service of viewpoint. The same is not true of outfits like CNN or MSNBC, which on an actual political spectrum fall somewhere in the center or light center-left zones; you have to go into the realms of fringe sites and often those tend to just be a mishmash.
  2. Through and within conservative-media channels and social media, "go more extreme to get more engagement" has been the model. Newsmax and OAN can't peel off viewers from Fox from the center, because there are already multiple other outlets serving a centrist or "barely left" position in the USA, according to a classic political spectrum. So Newsmax and OAN go further on the scale rightwards, from "arch-conservative" into fully reactionary territory, and Fox reacts by drifting more extreme rightwards as well, trying to hold their viewership numbers.
  3. The same is true for other areas of conservative media, such as talk radio (where sure, Limbaugh is still noontime "king", but other hosts such as Savage or Levin regularly try to out-extreme, out-bigoted or out-bloodthirsty each other for ratings), or the various blog/shock pages that occasionally go viral on social media before having to change their names because they were added to the spam filters or discovered to be run by provocateurs in a troll mill in Russia or Ukraine[25]. And of course the List of fake news websites is full of entities like Gateway Pundit or Law Enforcement Today.
  4. Likewise, conservative media's stock-in-trade for their ratings isn't the nightly news or real news; it's the production of "this will make you angry" stories, where the facts don't matter as long as the rage is authentic[26], that come to them filtered through right-wing blogs and outfits of orwellian names like "Project Veritas".
At the heart of this is the same WP:FALSEBALANCE problem that seems to keep coming around and around. The factual record shows that conservative media tend to fail reliability standards, but this is not due to some kind of inherent bias in wikipedia. It's because conservative media are less interested in being reliable; following ethical fact-checking standards and journalistic integrity practices creates coverage that doesn't sell to their audience. Their economic incentive is to cast off reliability in favor of the stuff that encourages anger addiction.[27] IHateAccounts (talk) 00:29, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
Pointing out that we're fighting the attempt to create false balances for things like Fox News is important, but I think we have a second problem that is not well addressed here in that is the opposite of the false balance, being that we tend to overload articles on any group or person seen as "negative" from the reliable sources with every iota of negative information that we can source, making their article a scarlet letter or a checklist of every "bad" thing that they convincedly did under the pretense that "RS reported negatively on this group, so we can do that." We can't whitewash away Fox's poor reputation, but piling on "bad things" is just as inappropriate as forcing in "good things" to create a false balance. The best advice we have on this is WP:CSECTION, in that we should try to avoid criticism sections or the like and better integrate criticism into an article's body. In the same manner, we should look at criticism of Fox news more holistically. Oh, they ran another article trying to downplay climate change, the third time this month? We probably don't need yet another sentence about that, but instead look to a section that talks overall how Fox has downplayed climate change for decades, rather than focusing on an individual event. There will still be individual events that have to be highlighted (Pizzagate stands out for Fox here), but we can be far more careful to avoid excessively detailed criticism timelines and focus more on large scale ones. --Masem (t) 00:52, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
"being that we tend to overload articles on any group or person seen as "negative" from the reliable sources with every iota of negative information that we can source" - that's an odd way to misspell "we're following the WP:DUE WP:WEIGHT policy correctly. IHateAccounts (talk) 01:21, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
That's not quite it, though. Due weight should be applied to the entity as a whole over the long time scale, rather than in microcisms of events, which is where this problem comes from (too much of a NOT#NEWS/proseline approach). Due weight says we wouldn't note every instance that Fox News denies climate change, but instead broadly report that this is something Fox News often does and explain why they have taken this position. More specificly, there is a current section "Glenn Beck's comments about George Soros" which is exactly the time of over excessive focus that in the larger scope of Fox News seems excessive, given very little long-term impact of the events on Fox News itself. There is a place for it - likely at Glenn Beck's page, but its one of those things people have laundry-listed onto the Fox page just because "Oh, reliable sources have covered it, so it must be DUE". --Masem (t) 04:41, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
Given that Beck's anti-semitic attacks went on for years, fully supported by Fox, this single-paragraph section appears entirely WP:DUE. IHateAccounts (talk) 15:26, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
But not from a larger-picture aspect. In contrast, sections like "Pro-Republican and pro-Trump bias" (in title/theme) are good broad discussions in this form, though within it gets too into some specifics, while Fox's role in the Seth Rich murder conspiracy theories was very central and should be specifically called out. Beck is but one of several hosts Fox has that are troublesome, and a broad section about those hosts would be reasonable, covering the general criticism not only Beck but Tucker Carlson, etc. and Fox's lack of action or their support for them. In other words, I'm not saying that these aren't appropriate things to talk about, but the amount of detail is far too much, driven by the claim that these were covered with respect ot DUE, and that contributes to the perception of bias in these articles. We're an encyclopedia, and should be covering these in very broad, big-picture strokes, which if done correctly will still show Fox has a strong bias (no whitewashing of bad stuff), but handled with a bit more decorum expected for a neutral work that we're supposed to be. --Masem (t) 15:39, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
A multi-year antisemitic attack chain on someone by a prime-time host, including "three-part special reports" and other incitement, all supported by Fox's executives? If you don't think that a single paragraph covering this is WP:DUE, I question your judgement. IHateAccounts (talk) 15:50, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
As a single section? Yes, I think it is, when we know multiple other hosts of Fox News have similar criticism. Its the singular focus on one host, being the problem, not the inclusion of it in geenral. (Particularly, in considering what Fox's reaction to it is based on articles from the same short time period around Nov. 2010). Calling out Fox's support of Beck obviously should stay, but part of a broader section about its controversial hosts that would include Beck and Carlson and others. --Masem (t) 15:59, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
If you think the section needs expansion, then expand it, but it's ridiculous to claim that any of the merely 8 sentences in that single paragraph, each strongly sourced, are not WP:DUE. IHateAccounts (talk) 16:16, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
In fact @Masem: I agree with you. The single-paragraph section as written is UNDER the WP:WEIGHT it should contain and needs expansion. I've started a talk page discussion at Talk:Fox_News#Fox's_pattern_of_anti-semitic_attacks_on_George_Soros to work on consensus wording and nail down the sources, I would be happy if you participate in providing materials and wording to improve the section to its proper, much larger, size to match WP:WEIGHT of coverage. IHateAccounts (talk) 16:23, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
I replied there and I think you got my point: basically when it comes to criticism, the Fox News article demonstrates far too much focus on the microscopic (short term/narrow focus) aspects, when criticism should be approached fom a macroscopic view. In the case of the Fox News article, this is a matter of better summarization of some of the criticism sections to remove some of the highly-specific aspects and bringing in coverage of more broader criticism to make it a better summary at the macroscopic scale. This is a better way of approach the DUE issue since you're looking at the criticism across the broad range of both sourcing and time so you're talking enduring problems with Fox. To stress, there are still specific events like coverage of Seth Rich's murder that should still be singularly focused on because of Fox's direct contribution to that. But I think you are seeing what I'm talking about, I'm not trying to talk any further than that in terms of neutrality (compared to where I've seen IP /new editors "demand" the removal of bias). --Masem (t) 16:36, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
IHA, Wuga, perhaps the context of my comments, when removed from the original location was lost. I'm not suggesting that we dump our current NPOV policies nor that there is some sort of conspiracy against conservative sources. I think our NPOV policy is a bit like a democracy, problematic but better than the alternatives since we have yet to find the "Unbiased Dictatorial Editor From On High" to fix things. That doesn't mean we can't be aware of the system's blind spots with respect to producing better articles. Springee (talk) 02:37, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
@Springee: Re: we have yet to find the "Unbiased Dictatorial Editor From On High" - sure we have, take a look here. Face-smile.svg davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 03:08, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
While clearly an excellent judge of all things knowledge, their lack of power beyond simple pleading suggests they would fail the dictator requirement :D Springee (talk) 03:44, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
Worldwide density of geotagged Wikipedia articles
Worldwide density of named places in GeoNames
Worldwide density of geotagged images on Wikimedia Commons
One of our most severe systemic biases is too much focus on the United States (of which this discussion is an example) when compared to the 6 billion other people living in the world.
I meant my comment as more a reflection on this genre of VP posting than as a direct response to you or NBB. It's not lost on me that we have a bias, and I'm not trying to deny that we have an under-representation of American conservatives. My point is that any solution other than WP:DUE will require more editorial judgment and scale-thumbing---while we certainly have a bias, it is at least as much a reflection of journalistic bias than our own personal biases---it seems we may agree on that assessment. My concern is that for all the energy put into discussions about bias against American conservatives, we rarely (if ever) confront the biases that affect the other 6 billion-odd people in this world. In this discussion, it seems easy to forget that our American Politics articles are among the encyclopedia's best work; of our 53 featured articles in politics, over half are on American politics and only 3 are on topics outside the Anglosphere. We certainly have our systemic biases, and one of them is our constant focus on American politics to the detriment of every other topic. Imagine if we spent a fraction of this energy on ensuring minority views in Chinese or Ethiopian politics were adequately represented. This isn't a new thread, and the only innovative part is the proposal for a committee (which I vehemently oppose). It's well documented both internally at WP:SYSTEMIC and publicly at criticism of Wikipedia. We are not discussing something revelatory or new or even interesting. We have this thread every few weeks, and yet no one seems to see the irony that our discussions of systemic bias suffer from systemic bias. Wug·a·po·des 21:14, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
Wug, I think we can observe WEIGHT, DUE, and so on and still look like a encyclopedia. (Even if the source count is 100-1.) One of the 5 pillars here is that. Anyone who can look at some of these articles (that relate to politics) and say that looks like one.....they have never picked up a encyclopedia in their lives. We do a better job presenting the wackiest UFO CTs than we do on some of this stuff. Look at the Candace Owens article. You find me one article on Encyclopedia Britannica that looks like that (especially with all the out of context quotes).....and I'll stop talking on this.....for a while anyway :) Rja13ww33 (talk) 18:37, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
  • If Wikipedia were unaffected by the biases of the contributors it would be an accomplishment without precedent in human history. And there's probably more Assadists here than Republicans. --RaiderAspect (talk) 00:07, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
    "we have a real problem with a lot of activist editors." non issue, hurray for activist editors, whatever their position, it all gets ironed out in the end, and we somehow manage to knock articles into shape. As long as folk follow WP:VER, and we keep refining guidelines on WP:RS, we'll be fine. WP:NOT#NEWS and WP:RECENTISM is the real problem, Wikipedia is not a newspaper, but editors keep writing stuff as if they are reporting on current events. We should let the dust settle, but we don't, perhaps that should change? Acousmana (talk) 16:39, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
Only problem is: this stuff isn't getting "ironed out"....and a lot of these articles aren't "into shape".Rja13ww33 (talk) 18:16, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I agree with the diagnosis but not the prescription. The problem with an content oversight committee is that it would create hierarchical editorial control, and that's contrary to the flat editorial model that is basically the core of Wikipedia. Having a small group of people who could overrule broader consensus is anathema to the anyone-can-edit model, and frankly IMO it would create more POV issues than it solves. So what is the right prescription? More editors will certainly help; recruitment is still the #1 priority for this project IMO. But I also think fewer editors might be the answer. My impression (which you can check for yourself using a tool like Who Wrote That) is that the entire AP2 topic area is dominated by a few ("few" meaning less than 20, maybe less than 10) editors who edit all the AP2 articles, including boatloads of negative information in certain articles but not others. These editors are also frequent fliers at noticeboards like ANI and AE. I think they should be given less leeway, meaning topic bans should be issued more frequently, even against veteran editors, who disrupt this topic area. Sometimes I think a broad, group topic ban (which has been suggested before) is the way to go. Our articles aren't the way they are by accident; there is a group of editors who volunteer a lot of their time to make them that way, for better or worse. (And this isn't just for AP2, but in pretty much every DS topic area.) Levivich harass/hound 17:59, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
    • We also have a general problem , not limited to political-dealing articles, of how we incorporate "current" elements into existing articles. It is more the exception than the rule that an article on an active company, artist, actor, or similar entity frequently in the news is written in a summary manner, and instead much more commonly you'll see proseline proseline proseline, with no attempt to focus on the big picture and move away from NOT#NEWS/RECENTISM. Political-dealing articles make it worse only because you get the addition of sourced commentary but without long-term context on that commentary to know how representative it is of the larger picture. --Masem (t) 18:43, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Sounds like folks just don't like what reliable sources are saying. That's the only NPOV issue I can see here. A debate about bias, full of bias, it's like a Monty Python skit. Bacondrum (talk) 01:29, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
    • To that, I'd add that Wikipedia articles naturally grow by small additions, so whatever the topic — politics, science, art history, anything — they can end up full of trivia and lacking a clear organization. Sure, Candace Owens doesn't read like a Britannica article, but then neither did Quantum mechanics until we put in the effort to revamp it. The root of the problem isn't political "bias", it's the long tail: most edits to a wiki are going to be small modifications. XOR'easter (talk) 17:10, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
      • Have to agree with Bacondrum and XOR'easter; every time I see this it's the same stuff, people saying "you're not being NPOV on politics" when what they mean is, they want WP:FALSEBALANCE and whitewashing. IHateAccounts (talk) 16:05, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
not being NPOV on politics? OK, so can we state that is was mostly white men that stormed the capitol last week? Seems not, apparently that's a point of view. Acousmana (talk) 16:13, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Most IP/new editors that come onto WP and make assertions on the political NPOV points are likely going to be seeking impossible solutions involving false balance and whitewashing, which is usually a first suggestion on seeing a article written with an apparent ideological bias. But there is a very valid concern that myself and others have that when it comes to topics generally seen in the negative light by the body of RSes we have that we write in a manner that "gangs up" on that topic to include every ounce of criticism and detest that can be pulled from RSes about that topic, and the writing tone and approach loses all sense of impartiality. It is completely possible to still write in a neutral, dispassionate tone that summarizes the broad concerns and complaints about a topic from the body of RSes without making it read like a biased article; this is what NPOV demands; it won't require adding content as to create the false balance, nor would require removing the broader complaints to white wash a topic (some specifics that are not significant at the large scale may be removed though), but more often (as least when I review these) simply involves wording choices, ordering of information, and delegation of information to other more appropriate articles. --Masem (t) 16:29, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

Amendment request: Weightage for WP:ANYBIO

C:1 of WP:ANYBIO states that:

The person has received a well-known and significant award or honor, or has been nominated for such an award several times.

  • Related theory: It is a common instinct that the winner of a major award will obviously get enough coverage and that may have been the ground for the enactment of this criteria but the foremost fact that undermines this criteria's reliability is that there have been several instances where a major award has been given unfairly to an undeserving person for comparatively trivial things. In these situations, the subject, although expected, does not receive significant coverage. An example was provided by Eddie891 on his talk page here. Another one is Deviprasad Dwivedi who is the recipient of Padma Bhushan for something that i couldn't find despite trying. A writer whose books (has only written three or four) have never been reviewed and an academician for a local university. Nothing else on his resumé other than being member of some regional associations. The articles of these peoples are stubs that can neither be expanded nor can be referenced and therefore undermine the reliability of Wikipedia.
  • Derived conclusion: We have to lay more stress on the contribution for which a person gets an award and the consequence (coverage, recognition etc.) rather than just the significance of the award that they have got in order to be more consistent in judging the notability. Also, "well-known and significant" sounds subjective given that it has not been defined that what makes an award significant.
  • Proposed amendment: I think that we should either define the weightage of these notability criterias (blatantly failing WP:SIGCOV or WP:GNG overrules passing WP:ANYBIO which is anyways an additional criteria rather than a basic one) or replace C1:ANYBIO with something that is more precise. I lie in favour of the former.

Pesticide1110 Lets wrestle! 11:35, 13 January 2021 (UTC)

I would say WP:ANYBIO is a weak and almost worthless section. I believe the first line of WP:ANYBIO basically provides the answer here:
People are likely to be notable if they meet any of the following standards. Failure to meet these criteria is not conclusive proof that a subject should not be included; conversely, meeting one or more does not guarantee that a subject should be included.
That line pretty well says ANYBIO is a vague suggestion someone might be Notable, but that doesn't really establish someone is or is-not Notable. Notability is actually established by WP:SIGCOV / WP:GNG or perhaps under other sections of WP:Notability (people). Alsee (talk) 12:36, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
@Alsee: I agree with you. But some peoples i have come across here do not. See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Deviprasad Dwivedi. Your contribution to the ongoing deletion review will be helpful and would prevent editors from taking a wrong step in the implementation of WP:ANYBIO. Pesticide1110 Lets wrestle! 14:40, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Agreed that WP:ANYBIO is pretty weak and overly subjective. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 10:50, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:CREEP. We don't have exact numerical weightings for the various notability guidelines. As they are guidelines, rather than policies, they are explicitly loose and exceptions may apply. When it comes to awards and honours then there is a large range of possibilities and each case will tend to be judged on its merits rather than according to some hypothetical formula which the OP doesn't detail. Andrew🐉(talk) 16:27, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
    It's really subjective i think. Don't you think that it could be made more precise? It'll help decrease the cases of misinterpretion of it. Pesticide1110 Lets wrestle! 16:37, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose This sounds like guideline creep to me. The problem of judging whether or not a person merits an entry in an encyclopedia is intrinsically difficult, and throwing more words at it won't eliminate gray areas and edge cases. XOR'easter (talk) 16:58, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
    • Amendment is a necessity because this guideline is misleading. Coverage comes only when your contributions are worthy enough because the incident of winning an award comprises of only 1% of any article covering such happenings. The rest answers the "why". If there is no answer to the why, then there's no point of dedicating an article. Yet again, i cite Deviprasad Dwivedi as an example. Deviprasad was a member of the Union Public Service Commission at the time when he was awarded the Padma Bhushan. And around the same time this information surfaced. This shows the real reason why he was awarded. He is granted notability per ANYBIO but he has received no coverage let alone coverage by independent reliable sources. Stating these repeatedly may leave a bad impression of mine but this can be helpful when shared. Pesticide1110 Lets wrestle! 09:08, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose. All the guidelines are inherently subjective, and I've seen good faith arguments based on GNG used by experienced editors on both sides in Articles for deletion. I don't see that we, as Wikipedia editors, are in a good position to be able to rule that a national or international awards-making panel has made a mistake. It might be helpful to compile a list of awards that are generally perceived to confer notability and lead to retention in Articles for deletion, but it would be descriptive (like Outcomes) not prescriptive. Espresso Addict (talk) 01:52, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment: We've got a lot of people citing WP:CREEP here. Well, i'm not asking for the three-line criteria to be expanded to a form where it becomes "unmanageable". I'm basically asking for narrowing the scope of the criteria. What a "significant" or "well-known" award is, is left undescribed. And due to such subjectiveness, which i contradict is not common in any other guideline, many peoples are declared notable when they are not notable at all. Pesticide1110 Lets wrestle! 08:06, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
    • Comment: It's like, Pompeia (wife of Caesar) had done nothing, remove her article because, "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion"! Bookku (talk) 09:46, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
      • Caesar's wife is an important figure and part of historical events of high importance. Additionally, she has been the subject of various studies, print and high-profile researches. P.S. I never said "has done nothing". There's not a single person who hasn't done anything. Instead, i said that Deviprasad has done nothing so as to receive the Padma Bhushan. Here, his work is being compared to the general PB winners. Its like comparing a book shelf to a whole library. Pesticide1110 Lets wrestle! 10:10, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
    • Additionally, she has been the subject of various studies, print and high-profile researches. So you mean there was more to her than Wikipedia article Pompeia (wife of Caesar) mentions, What is that ? Caesar's wife is an important figure How? just because she was Caesar's wife? and part of historical events of high importance. Which ones? as of now article Pompeia (wife of Caesar) mentions only of celebrating one of regualr festival with women, what is so special in that? If she was really important Caesar would not have divorced her! What did Diana, Princess of Wales do other than marrying a prince later divorcing him and dying in an accident, her birth, marriage and road accidents were just another accidents out of trillions of accidents that happen every year, what did Diana, Princess of Wales do to merit a Wikipedia article? Do you know how many numbers of Criminals do have Wikipedia articles? many Criminals even won't have articles in their names and still Wikipedia has articles! Why ? just because they are encyclopedically notable and do have significant coverage, isn't it?
What business any Wikipedian has in their encyclopedic editorial role to decide if some is worth an award or not? It is for those agencies which give awards. If some one has some award reader searches for information, and Wikipedia's business is to render whatever information available – the awardee fellows were worth or not readers will decide after reading information, Why Wikipedia editors do need to decide worth of some one for readers, what to read and what not to read and what to think? once some one has an award hence has notability? next is just speak about if significant coverage is available or not. As much significant coverage available cover it and present it. Wikipedia collects donations from general readers and then those reader have right to check whatever available information on Wikipedia, don't they? And Wikipedians do have 'moral responsibility' to provide maximum information won't they?
This reminds me the great US President Donald Trump asked Yazidi Nadia Murad what did she get noble peace prize for? May be for Donald Trump she was just another raped woman! Are Wikipedians editors in their editorial role small copies of Donald Trumps to decide whether one is worth of noble peace prize or not? And which prize is big and which is small?
Bookku (talk) 13:24, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Bookku Thankfully, i've learned the skill to tolerate pointless and offensive arguments so i don't mind being called "small copy of donald trump"."And which prize is big and which prize is small?" The one that occupies more volume of space is the bigger one. "Many criminals do not have any article in their name but still wikipedia has articles because they do have significant coverage" So a person can not have any article "in their name" but still be significantly covered? New information for me. And at last the question that appears everywhere in your comment- "who are wikipedians to judge who is worthy or not". I have not only judged but i've backed it up. The TOI article and the complete absence of any kind of contribution by him explains it all. And Wikipedia has never forbidden anyone of us from using "common-sense" which i am using here. "You presented your best attitude with this comment. Wikipedians can do better than this." Pesticide1110 Lets wrestle! 15:17, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Yes I repeat Wikipedians can do better than this. and also that they don't have any moral right to pass value judgements in their editorial role beyond discussing notability and significant coverage (Pl. do read again)Bookku (talk) 15:29, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Fix the general problem by setting a minimum standard for all articles about individual people. I think that this problem would evaporate if we fixed the big problem, which is that editors have invented, over the years, a variety of "objective" reasons to write articles without considering whether it is actually going to be possible to write an article. I give several examples:
    • "Anyone who gets paid to play certain games": Write an article. It's okay if the only thing you know is the person's name and the place where he played the article. Wikipedia should have whole article that says "One time about 150 years ago, This Guy got paid to play one ball game. Nothing else is known about him."
    • "Any school that issues a diploma": In this case, according to its supporters, you don't even have to know the name of the school. I'm not kidding. I asked some of them once about whether we should have an article on a school I'd learned of, which was in operation for a year or two during the 19th century. I told them that all that was known was the the approximate location, the approximate dates of operation, and that it had burned down. They said, yes, absolutely, if even one student had completed his education there, then we needed an article. And... we'd name the article what? Nobody knows the name of the school. Nobody knows if it even had a name. Unnamed school operating for part of two years in a 19th-century California mountain logging camp? Yeah, right. Not even knowing the subject's name is a tolerably good indicator that the subject isn't notable.
    • "Any academic who had a significant impact on universities": The preferred source, according to the PROF proponents, is the subject's own self-published résumé, bolstered by press releases from his employer. They say it's unfair to expect Wikipedia:Independent sources or a Wikipedia:Secondary source about any modern academic's life, and they beg to be excused from core content policy requirements such as NOT's "All article topics must be verifiable with independent, third-party sources" or NOR's "Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published secondary sources".
    • "Anybody whose career is being quoted in the news": Don't bother with things like whether anyone ever writes anything more about him as a person than labeling him as a "computer consultant" when quoting him. The important thing is that he got his name in the paper by returning phone calls from journalists. Begin the article with "Chris Consultant is a computer consultant who is regularly quoted in the news" and fill the rest with evidence of him expressing opinions to journalists who were desperate for anyone who was willing to be quoted on the record.
  • The bottom line is that if we actually required that it be possible to write a non-stub-length article that described the person's life directly (e.g., content such as "Chris Consultant attended Big U.") while citing only independent sources (which means that you can't cite Chris Consultant's résumé to claim that he attended Big U.), then we wouldn't have problems with people who win "significant" awards but nothing's known about them except what they say about themselves. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:59, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals) § Proposal to change logo for 20th anniversary

 You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals) § Proposal to change logo for 20th anniversary. Wug·a·po·des 22:45, 13 January 2021 (UTC)

RFC: "Committed suicide" language

Should "committed suicide" be permitted in articles? Masem (t) 17:05, 14 January 2021 (UTC)


Currently, the status quo reflects this 2018 Village Pump discussion and this 2019 Manual of Style discussion (with a closed follow-on at VPPOL 2019) that allows for "committed suicide" if editors chose to use that language, and it is intended to add language to the appropriate MOS (MOS:BIO at minimum) to reflect this consensus. (Other past discussions include the following: MOS 2014, WTW 2016, MOSBIO 2017, MOS 2017, VPPOL 2017, WTW 2018, CAT 2019) There are external writers that suggest, in general and not just for Wikipedia, moving away from this language primarily related to mental health issues (see References below), which has led to some edit warring on articles on Wikipedia. The goal of this RFC is verify consensus on the acceptability of "committed suicide" prior to committing language to the MOS reflecting this consensus, as to eliminate continued edit warring over the term. --Masem (t) 17:05, 14 January 2021 (UTC)

  • Additional prior discussion: VPPOL 2018xaosflux Talk 17:42, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
    • That's the very first wikilink above :) --Masem (t) 18:43, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
      • Oops, there were sooooo many of them! — xaosflux Talk 19:34, 14 January 2021 (UTC)


Survey ("committed suicide")

  • Continue to allow. This is a standard phrase in most varieties of English, and it's not the job of Wikipedia to enforce a particular form of language. In a few very specific instances, when there's the potential for it to be misunderstood as carrying legal implications, I would support replacing it with something unambiguous. ‑ Iridescent 17:16, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow - editors should be able to use terminology that is both common and contained in reliable sources. Additionally, list this at Wikipedia:Perennial proposals, this being at least the 8th time this is being reviewed in the last 5 years. — xaosflux Talk 17:44, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Change I encountered this conundrum this week and am glad it’s finally being addressed. The proper terminology is died by suicide. "Committed" suicide continues the mental health stigma and insinuates that the person committed a crime like murder is, meanwhile it’s obviously unprosecutable and ultimately a personal decision. The same tiptoeing we do around here about identities should be done for mental health. Trillfendi (talk) 17:51, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow - it is normal English. "Died by suicide" is horrible English. If an individual editor wishes to avoid saying "committed suicide" then "killed himself" is the proper alternative. DuncanHill (talk) 17:58, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow Wikipedia generally follows widespread English usage rather than trying to change it. "Committed suicide" is a widely used English phrase and I suspect it may be more common than any of the alternatives, "died by suicide" sounds a bit odd to me. If that stops being the case them I'm sure we can change it. "Committed" doesn't necessarily have to mean committing a crime, e.g. committing adultery. Hut 8.5 18:10, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
    Adultery was originally a crime and continues to be criminalized in many jurisdictions including the state of New York.[28] (t · c) buidhe 18:23, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
    That gives it a similar status to suicide then. Both were formerly crimes in the Western world but have now been largely decriminalised as there's a general recognition that the state shouldn't be trying to reduce the prevalence by criminalising them. Laws against adultery in parts of the United States are rarely enforced and may well be unconstitutional (according to Adultery#United States) and suicide is still a crime in some places. Hut 8.5 18:39, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow, as has been said already committed suicide is the most commonly used language throughout much of the English speaking world and it is not up to Wikipedia to lead in this area. Cavalryman (talk) 18:46, 14 January 2021 (UTC).
  • Allow - "committed suicide" is standard phrasing. - DoubleCross () 19:42, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow, per Iridescent.-- P-K3 (talk) 19:49, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow. The phrase "committed suicide" is still consistently used by reliable sources thus I see no compelling reason why to completely eradicate the phrase. Regards  Spy-cicle💥  Talk? 19:56, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Follow high-quality sources. There's a lot to unpack in here, but my overall feeling is that this idiom should be in the "sometimes permitted but never required" range, with the key point being following the sources. If the high-quality sources use "committed" (typical of high-quality older sources and low-quality sources), then it's probably an acceptable option for that article; if the high-quality sources avoid that language (typical of very recent sources), then it's not okay for that article.
    Also, I think we should never require the "committed" phrase in any article. Editors should be able to have a chat on the talk page and decide which phrase is best for that article, with the language used by high-quality sources being the key factor in the decision. If "died by suicide" sounds strange to your ear, then there are many other options. Plain old "killed himself" is also very traditional, going back centuries in English, and if I were going to select one to promote as the most direct, plain, and non-euphemistic option, it would be "killed himself" instead of either "committed" or "died by". (Why "died by"? Why not "died from suicide" or "died from complications of depression"? We don't say that people died by cancer.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:16, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
    Without having yet read the references, I am strongly leaning towards this option. I am not seeing that the other !votes are based on RS, which should be the standard. Kolya Butternut (talk) 20:28, 14 January 2021 (UTC) Struck per WP:Specialized-style fallacy. Kolya Butternut (talk) 12:10, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow. The word "commit" in no way has any implication of stigma or a crime. A crime is just one of the many things that can be committed, some good, some bad and some neutral. This whole campaign against the phrase is a misunderstanding of simple English by mental health professionals who should be concentrating on our real issues rather than spending their time mangling the language with such tautological absurdities as "died by suicide". Phil Bridger (talk) 20:24, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Sometimes permitted but never required, per WhatamIdoing. There are cases where "died by" might sound more natural, for example, in a list of different causes of death or when some kind of parallelism is desired. For example, Those who didn't die by suicide died by neglect. Or, to take the first Google Scholar hit for the phrase, the article title A comparison of guilt in bereaved parents whose children died by suicide, accident, or chronic disease. XOR'easter (talk) 20:29, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow – There is a questionable objection to using "commit" because that word's association with committing criminal acts gives it a negative connotation; but one can commit oneself to doing good or make a commitment. Besides, the Prianka Padmanathan, et al., source above shows that "commit suicide" has the widest range, both negative and positive, of connotations among those supposedly most vulnerable to inappropriate usage. The phrases that tested most positively—"ended their life" and "took their own life"—are both preferable to "died by suicide" in terms of readability. Dhtwiki (talk) 20:37, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Use direct quotes: "As of 2015, the Associated Press style guide... says: 'Avoid using committed suicide except in direct quotations from authorities.'" Taken from Slate reference. [29] I think it makes sense to avoid the term unless taking directly from an RS. The American Heritage Dictionary also advises against "committed".[30] Also per MOS:MED#Careful language per Xurizurl and my 06:21, 16 Jan discussion comment. And per my 21:54, 17 Jan comment, the dictionary definition of "commit" in this sense clearly has negative connotations, in violation of WP:NPOV, which "cannot be superseded by editor consensus." Kolya Butternut (talk) 20:56, 14 January 2021 (UTC) Kolya Butternut (talk) 13:01, 15 January 2021 (UTC) add MOS:MED Kolya Butternut (talk) 14:36, 15 January 2021 (UTC) Kolya Butternut (talk) 14:20, 16 January 2021 (UTC) add NPOV Kolya Butternut (talk) 22:03, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
    If we're looking at the Slate source, it would be well to follow it to its concluding paragraphs:

    I respect the intention behind the ban on “commit suicide.” But I can’t support it. I don’t begrudge those who are more comfortable with “died by suicide” or “killed themselves,” but I bristle at the prescriptive nature of their objections, as though the rest of us who prefer “committed suicide” are wrong and need to catch up. “Commit” doesn’t always imply a criminal act: We commit things to memory, commit to each other and to God, commit to a college football team, commit random acts of kindness. “Commit suicide” is clean and clinical. There are no cartoon characters or inappropriate emotional responses. It is clear, matter of fact, free of emotional valence. It neither condemns nor romanticizes.

    -- Cabayi (talk) 09:47, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
    That's just the opinion of the writer. I am just using the Slate source to quote the AP. Kolya Butternut (talk) 10:01, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
    It might also be used in other things, but the specific meaning of commit in this phrase, based on its origins, refers to it being a crime.[31] NB: If you're not aware of them, Beyondblue is an Australian mental health organisation. --Xurizuri (talk) 14:20, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • (Strong) disallow: it's disappointing but unsurprising given past discussions to see not much focus on reliable sources. It is a vanity to go from "'died by suicide' sounds odd to me" to "most people must consider it odd", and one you'll be disabused of by reading the Plos One source given. “Attempted suicide”, “took their own life”, “died by suicide” and “ended their life” were, however, considered acceptable by most participants, including those who considered “commit suicide” most appropriate. The source and others give that "committed suicide" is a common phrase used, so that doesn't disqualify it from consideration, but that's not the same as us being able to use it in wikivoice. We have a tight style guide that doesn't consider acceptable most forms of slang, plenty of words that others would consider unoffensive and words that may be acceptable for people to use in their daily lives. Rather than explaining in my own words the etymology, historical connotations and what relevance this has to current connotations of the phrase I can point to InPsych. The Slate source is really about daily life and about prohibiting people from using the term to describe personal experiences. Very few people should be writing about personal experiences on Wikipedia and so this source has less weight for our purposes, which is not to say that it is irrelevant or that the author's views are not valid.
    In the CAT 2019 RfC linked above I commented, in part: As we see from Coffeeandcrumb's links and the evidence that some (not all) NYT and BBC articles are beginning to avoid the phrase, "committed suicide" is unlike "died by suicide" or "killed themselves" in that it is a very loaded term. [...] Additionally, we see above and below that the WHO, APA, APA (different one), NIMH and many others all recommend against "committed suicide". So this "we're not here to right great wrongs" nonsense is not based on the actual current state of the world, which is that "committed suicide" might be a very commonly used phrase but it's one advised against by high quality sources and guidelines, and there are several terms which are not advised against and don't share the non-neutral baggage. This all still applies. — Bilorv (talk) 21:49, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
    You're engaging in the WP:Specialized-style fallacy. The most reliable sources for English-language usage matters are style guides, dictionaries, and the actual usage evident in modern high-quality sources across various genres. Language-change activism source material is WP:PRIMARY (op-ed, opinion, advocacy), so it is not a reliable source for anything but the viewpoint being expressed and the reasoning behind the viewpoint. No one questions that the viewpoint against "committed suicide" exists, that it is found advocated by various writers (in journalism, in psychology, etc.), nor what the beliefs behind that viewpoint are. (That said, the factual claims underlying those beliefs are sometimes incorrect, especially about linguistic matters.)  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  07:27, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
    @SMcCandlish: perhaps I can make myself clearer. I view the phrase as having a specific and strong negative judgement value on those to whom it applies. If you agreed with me that the phrase held significant negative judgement and that a term without this judgement existed (and I'm sure you can think of other terms/phrase to which these premises apply) then would you agree with me that this is no such "specialized-style fallacy" but instead a necessary measure to take under WP:NPOV and (when discussing named individuals) WP:BLP? — Bilorv (talk) 21:56, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
    See big sourcing dump below. In short, virtually none of the RS on English usage agree with you in this assessment. So your if scenario is not applicable; it's false analogy. This is not in fact comparable to something like, say, "honkies" versus "white people". There is only a narrow subset of writers making an argument for offensiveness, so it is in fact a specialized-style argument. They may actually win on this matter over the course of one to three generations, but it certainly has not happened yet, and there is no evidence it is likely to be successful.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  03:42, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow but do not require. While there are calls to avoid the phrase, and possibly some movements against using it, these are not mainstream at the current time and it remains in common use in the reliable sources that Wikipedia should generally follow. I wouldn't be surprised if the landscape looks rather different in 10-20 years time, but for now there is not justification for Wikipedia to proscribe it - we really shouldn't be actively encouraging it though. Thryduulf (talk) 22:59, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
    Thryduulf, I've seen the Ngram results, so clearly "committed suicide" is ubiquitous, but what RS using "committed suicide" are folks generally referring to? Would biographies be a good place for me to check? News sources seem to be using "died by suicide" more often. Kolya Butternut (talk) 23:57, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow Good lord, hasn't this been discussed enough? "Committed suicide" is common language and can be found all over in high-quality sources. There is no need for Wikipedia to be so persnickety. ∴ ZX95 [discuss] 23:14, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow - It takes a lot of commitment to commit suicide. That said - also allow other terms and usages. Trust editors to figure out what words to write in which situations. Blueboar (talk) 23:29, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow. It is widely used and the argument that committed implies a crime is plain wrong, one can, for example, idiomatically commit oneself to a cause or religion ("committed Christian"). Espresso Addict (talk) 00:16, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
    @Espresso Addict, I've tried to come up with examples of committing acts, because that's the specific form under discussion, and phrases like "committing his body to the deep", committing code (for software developers), committing to do better next time, etc., aren't the same construction. So far, I have found that we commit (lots of) crimes, (some) sins (many of which either are or previously were crimes in the English-speaking world), and (occasional) random acts of kindness. Can you think of any others? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:02, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
    I see what you mean; the transitive verb and the intransitive verb have diverged somewhat. Chambers gives the transitive the following definition (my numbers): "(1) to give in charge or trust; (2) to consign, send; (3) to become guilty of, perpetrate; (4) to involve (esp oneself); (5) to pledge, promise". "To commit suicide" could fall under senses (1) or possibly (2) as well as (3). But to be honest, I think this is irrelevant; it's just an idiomatic phrase that conveys the gravity of the act. (By the way, in response to your comment above, I'm extremely sensitive around suicide for reasons I'm not prepared to go into here, and I don't personally think that any form of wording helps to get around the basic facts that the person chose to kill themself without regard to the love and support that their family and friends offered them.) Espresso Addict (talk) 00:36, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
    This kind of response is one of the reasons that I love talking to Wikipedia editors. You understood the grammar point and could still see the broader context. Thank you so much for posting that. I think you're right. The fact that it's just the familiar idiom is a key factor, no matter what anyone might guess about its true/grammatical/historical/etymological origin. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:38, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
    WhatamIdoing, isn't the phrase "commit an act of kindness" an ironic, nonstandard use? It sounds to me like "rather than committing an act of harm, today commit an act of random kindness." Can you find another example? I can't find anything with this Google search.[32] It seems that "commit" violates NPOV.
    Espresso Addict, the definition from Chambers Dictionary which applies is "1) to carry out or perpetrate (a crime, offence, error, etc)." Kolya Butternut (talk) 02:10, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
    If we were trying to write that "commit random acts of kindness" is ironic, then we'd need a source. However, it sounds very plausible to me.
    I am not sure that commit inherently violates NPOV. We might, however, need to be careful of when it's used. One person might "commit" suicide, while another might merely die that way. As an example, I think that editors might choose different descriptions for an apparently impulsive suicide by a teenager versus a carefully planned suicide by a dying person.
    Some years ago, I read about some people who survived a "jumping from heights" suicide attempt. One thing that is unusual about that method is that you are conscious and thinking, but there is nothing you can do. You can't "un-jump" when you change your mind, and you know it. All but one survivor reported regretting the decision while still falling. Perhaps editors would decide that "commit (as in an error)" could be a fair description for that situation. (I'd still personally prefer to follow the sources, because editors could agree in principle that the context and circumstances matter, but never agree on which ones warranted the "commit" language.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:11, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
    The RS show that "commit" has a negative connotation. Every RS which specifically discusses the phrase "commit suicide" says so. It's loaded language which violates NPOV. Kolya Butternut (talk) 04:29, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
    Of course it has a negative connotation: it's suicide! Do you expect describing someone's grisly death would be a bed of roses experience for the reader? Elizium23 (talk) 04:54, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
    Negative as in doing something that's wrong. Kolya Butternut (talk) 05:02, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
    99 out of 100 RS agree that suicide is wrong. Murder is wrong and suicide is just a special case of murder. There are, historically, repercussions for committing or attempting suicide. If we wish to remain neutral then we will observe the RS judgement that suicide is wrong and bad and not try to fake over it. Elizium23 (talk) 05:06, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow and please prevent shaming and edit-warring of others who wish to obliterate such language from the project. We follow WP:RS and decades, centuries of them have used this idiom for good reasons. Elizium23 (talk) 00:20, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow. By far the most common term... we are not censored nor should we advocate for a new term.--Moxy 🍁 01:56, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
    It appears that this allegedly "new" term was in use in the 19th century. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:27, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow - It's not our task to attempt to change the language, any more than it is for us to promote scientific theories which have not been accepted, or changes in the generally accepted history of things which experts do not yet have a consensus about. It's our task to use the language as we find it, and "committed suicide" is the commonly used expression. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:23, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • And, incidentally, "died by his own hand" and "took her own life" are in no way euphemistic or editorializing and should be allowed as well. They are not euphemistic because the event as described is literally true (although the use of "hand" is figurative, but not euphemistic), and they do not editorialize because neither makes a value judgment about the act. If anyone sees a value judgment there, it's being inferred by them and is not implicit in the phrase. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:30, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • And, of course, there's nothing wrong with saying "X killed herself", "Y shot himself", "Z jumped off a building to her death" etc. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:36, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I'd be inclined to strongly discourage "died by his own hand" outside direct quotes not because it's euphemistic but because it's unnecessarily flowery, and also potentially open to misunderstanding particularly by people for whom English isn't a first language. In general, idiomatic English doesn't translate well on a global project; I could easily imagine a reader interpreting it as "he died of wounds to the hand". ‑ Iridescent 03:40, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • That's a valid point, one that's also applicable to "passed away" or "passed", which are both euphemistic and idiomatic, and which should be disallowed if they're not already. (Of course, they don't generally refer to suicide.) Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:11, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow, but don't require I've never seen "commit" under a negative connotation. I think "commit" is perfectly acceptable. But if the Wikipedia article originally doesn't use the word "commit", we shouldn't replace it. pandakekok9 (talk) 03:39, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow but not mandate, and also discourage changing to other wording for no good reason. We do not need obscure euphemisms, or overly blunt language. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 03:45, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow If there is consensus on a given page to use something else, so be it, but in my experience changing from the standard "committed suicide" to something else is generally an undiscussed POV edit. This reminds me of the all instances of "prostitute" must be changed to "sex worker" mindset. Meters (talk) 03:47, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow. Even if this is a wrong (I personally disagree, but that's neither here nor there), Wikipedia is not the place to right them. The 'permitted but not required' softening sounds odd to me, on account of I doubt people have been trying to require this wording -- it's simply the natural English wording used in most formal conversation and by most sources. Vaticidalprophet (talk) 04:25, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
    Vaticidalprophet (The Bushranger who also used this argument): Doesn't the "right great wrongs" section refer to making claims that aren't supported by evidence? How is that related to the way we word things overall? Is it therefore also righting great wrongs to translate material, or to use modern terms for an illness? --Xurizuri (talk) 01:54, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow - it's common language, Wikipedia is not censored, and we are not a place to right great wrongs historical or social. - The Bushranger One ping only 04:52, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow - While I'm sympathetic to the argument presented by those sources (I don't know who wouldn't be), "committed suicide" is still, for better or worse, the common terminology, and disallowing in favor of more euphemized alternatives would be fairly heavy-handed censorship on a project that is not censored. That said, I totally agree with the above users who say wording shouldn't be arbitrarily changed to "commit", nor should it be favored. ~Swarm~ {sting} 05:18, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
    • "I don't know who wouldn't be" -- not to get too personal, but a lot of claims in the sphere of suicide terminology (this is a prime example, but not the only one -- consider also the mentioned-in-this-thread "the cause of death is mental illness, not suicide") actually rings quite false to people with experience with suicide or its attempts/ideation either in themselves or close associates. It of course also rings true to many people, but it's not as one-sided as you might assume from reading the popular takes. Vaticidalprophet (talk) 05:27, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
      I'm not saying the arguments ring true with every person affected by suicide, indeed the linked survey suggests that that even these people are completely divided between finding it completely acceptable and completely unacceptable. I'm just saying the arguments against it are pretty common sense and straightforward, and even if you find it to be an inoffensive term, the fact that others find it stigmatizing, upsetting or hurtful for what are pretty understandable reasons should be enough for a normal person to at least be sympathetic. ~Swarm~ {sting} 05:46, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
      The notion that "commit" implies criminality is baseless, and the idea that we should be sympathetic to a misunderstanding of linguistics is confounding. Nihlus 06:05, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
      Your opinion is irrelevant. ~Swarm~ {sting} 08:34, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
      Swarm, it's not and neither is your opinion that you shared above. Do better. Nihlus 20:03, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
      Actually it is, we're literally discussing the fact that people have divided opinions on this, there's absolutely zero reason for you to jump in just to declare that everyone who disagrees with your opinion is invalid. If you're proud to invalidate reliable authors and widespread opinions from people who have been affected by suicide, that's on you. But it's irrelevant to me personally and it's irrelevant to how we consider sources. And also, don't do so by saying it's because they "don't understand linguistics" when you apparently can't even conceptualize that language is fluid, subjective and always changing. Saying people who interpret words differently than you are wrong because your perception is the correct one is a psychologist's fallacy, saying it's because they don't "understand linguistics" is an oxymoron. It's nonsensical. You do better. ~Swarm~ {sting} 00:38, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
      I had something much longer typed out, but I think it would be a better use of your time to just read this to see why you are wrong. I also suggest you don't assume whether or not someone has been affected by suicide. 👍 Nihlus 04:48, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
And now for a straw man argument, how expected. Don't kick your argument to another person who's making it better to refute the fact that the opposing argument is irrelevant to begin with. I've literally said, multiple times now, that people have mixed opinions on this. I'm literally acknowledging that your opinion exists and is shared by others. I'm simply pointing out that your side of the argument is not pertinent to the fact that the other side exists, and is validated by the existence of reliable sources and surveyed opinions. The fact that you're so fixated on your own opinion, to the extent that you'd invalidate reliable sources and research surveys, simply because they don't agree, is, again, indicative of the psychologist's fallacy. The fact that you think the entire discussion revolves around whether you've been affected by suicide is just nonsensical. When I refer to "people affected by suicide", I'm literally referring to the linked survey of "people affected by suicide". I have no idea how you could think otherwise unless you literally didn't even look at the linked sources. This argument is bizarre and anti-academic. I'm trying to discuss sources here, you're just trying to argue your personal opinion above all else. It's unbecoming of a Wikipedian. ~Swarm~ {sting} 00:20, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
    • To stress, the proposed wording (in the discussion below) is not meant to stress "committed suicide" as the preferred wording. It is meant to simply keep it an option on the table when editors are considering what wording to use for an article. --Masem (t) 05:24, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow and prefer "committed suicide" per the above. The fear of the word commit has never made sense, and it almost seems like institutions are trying to downplay the specter of suicide. Nihlus 05:51, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
    • We're on the same team here in terms of "allow", but the fact that you're arguing that we should prefer "committed suicide" in the face of reliable sources that indicate that the term is hurtful to some is downright cruel. ~Swarm~ {sting} 04:01, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
      • If you want my personal story to know why I can't take your comment seriously, feel free to send me an email, but I will not entertain it with a debate here. Nihlus 04:59, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow, for as long as this remains a standard English usage in high-quality sources. This is essentially the exact same discussion we've hade before about euphemisms for died (like "passed away"). Wikipedia is not for advocacy of any kind, including "language-reform" activism. If some day the preponderance of future editions of mainstream book-publishing style guides like Chicago Manual of Style, New Hart's Rules/Oxford Syle Manual, Garner's Modern English Usage, Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage (the four most influential on our WP:MOS) say to stop using this phrase, then we should consider revising the MoS to say not to use it. Frankly, the arguments behind the idea (that "committed suicide" derives from "committed a crime" or "committed a sin") are linguistic falsehoods, a confusion of correlation for causation, and a folk etymology. All these phrases are simply normal uses of the most common sense of commit: 'to carry out a deliberate, consequential action', with an appropriate implication of contextual gravitas regarding the action in question (no one says "I committed taking a shower"). Like virtually all wording choices, this matter of how to encyclopedically write about a suicide should simply be left to editorial discretion at a particular article, but within the bounds of WP:NPOV, MOS:TONE, MOS:EUPHEMISM and MOS:EDITORIAL – it is not okay to use awful magazine and memoir style, like "took her own life" or "died by his own hand").

    PS: No, do not say "permitted but not required". That's redundant and silly, since "not required" is already implicit in the definition of "permitted". Our guideline material should not treat our editors as if they have brain damage.
     — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  07:20, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

    SMcCandlish, what do the style guides you mention say? The American Heritage Dictionary recommends "death by suicide",[33] so does the AP[34] and The Guardian.[35] Kolya Butternut (talk) 10:01, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

Source dump:

Lots of detail from style guides, dictionaries, medical glossaries, other encyclopedias, etc.:
CMoS is entirely silent on it, as is Hart's. Garner's doesn't care; it's only critical of: euphemisms like Latin felo-de-se; "semiliterate" non-standard usage like "to suicide" (verb) and a bit less so "was a suicide" (agent noun); and the judgmental phrases "suicide victim", "self-murder", and "self-slaughter". He also notes the existence of "self-killing", without recommending it. Does not mention "died/death by suicide" at all. Fowler's (Burchfield ed.) has no entry on it, but uncritically illustrates use of "committed suicide" in quotes, thrice (in the "because" and "may and might" entries, pp. 99, 100, 484). No other mention of the word in the entire book is relevant (I have this one in searchable e-book form). I'm not sure where my Butterfield ed. of Fowler's is, but doubt it would be different on this, and even if it were it would be in the minority.

AHD being nearly alone (along with perhaps only the Random House Webster's database, searchable at out of all major online dictionaries to take this position is no indication that WP should follow suit. Judging from the wording similarity, these may well be merged databases now; the RH material reads almost exactly as described for AHD in the article you linked to. Anyway, AHD is the most political English dictionary. It does not have an equivalent of WP:NOT#ADVOCACY, but was explicitly founded for the purpose of engaging in linguistic activism (against the linguistic description rather than prescriptive grammar position taken first by Webster's Third New International Dictionary and many after it). The source you quote says it all, very plainly: "Responding to years of advocacy from mental-health patients and practitioners", i.e. AHD made the change to appease activism, from one particular quarter, that its editors agreed with. Cambridge University's dictionary site contradicts itself; it has a proper dictionary entry [36] that has no issue with "committed suicide" and illustrates it twice, from both of Cambridge's print dictionaries, without including "death/died by suicide". But then has a usage entry from the Cambridge Learner's Dictionary (the one for kids and ESL learners) [37] that deprecates the "committed" form, despite one of the examples of it at the main page coming from the same work. This is such an egregious editorial failure, I've reported it to their dictionary editors for review.

Moving on: WP has no reason to care what news style guides say. WP is not written in news style as a matter of clear policy, they have had virtually no influence on our own MoS, they diverge grossly from encyclopedic writing style on literally hundreds of points, they sharply conflict with each other on hundreds of points, and they're often written with publication-specific quirks as a "this is our trademark style" marketing technique (this is especially true of The Guardian and Observer style guide [sic], The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, The Economist Style Guide, and other per-publication stylesheets). They are effectively useless for any WP-related question except when included as additional data points in an overview of all major style guides in the aggregate, on a non-politicized question (e.g., whether to use a comma before "Jr." in a name). Since you seem to like news style guides so much, be aware that the NYT and Economist stylebooks are silent on the matter, though Reuters (as usual) parrots AP Style, down to the false linguistic claims and the recommendation of encyclopedically inappropriate emotive euphemism like "died by his own hand"

Dictionary counter-examples to AHD: Same with Lexico (the new name of the Oxford U. dictionary site) [38] (uses "commit" forms three times, not "death/died by" at all). The Merriam-Webster English Dictionary uses "commit[ted] suicide" three times in its entry, not "death/died by", though it does illustrate "ruled the death a suicide" [39]; has separate entry for "commit suicide" with no judgmental usage notes about it [40]; no corresponding pages for "death by suicide" or "died by suicide". Collins English Dictionary uses "commit" forms eleven times, including many press quotations, but "death/died by" forms zero times. two examples of "commit[ted] suicide", none of "death/died by suicide" [41]. The Free Dictionary (Farlex) interestingly shows how recent AHD's change is, since it quotes the 5th ed. using "commit[s] suicide" twice, with not "death/died by"; quotes Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, Princeton U./Farlex WordNet, and Collins Thesaurus all doing the same [42]. Random House Unabridged Dictionary (via uses "commit" but not "death/died by". MacMillan Dictionary uses "commit", does not mention "died/death by", though an "open dictionary" WP:UGC post at the bottom brings it up [43][44]. Good Word Guide (a usage dictionary like Fowler's and Garner's), uses "commit[s]" twice without "died/death by", and says nothing judgmental about "commit" in its notes [45]. Wordsmyth uses "committed suicide", doesn't list "death/died by". The only sources among any of these that I've seen even mention suicide as a crime are WordNet and Chambers 20th Century Dictionary (both quoted at entry, which uses "commit" four times and "died/death by" zero times); neither of them try to assert any etymological (word/phrase-origins) connection between "commit a crime" and "commit suicide". The Century Dictionary (quoted at Wordnik) uses "commit".

Surprisingly to probably no one but the language-change activists, medical dictionaries generally do not help the case for "death/died by". MedTerms Medical Dictionary at MedicineNet [46] and RxList [47] uses "committed", including over and over again in related article "Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Testing for Bipolar Depression" [48]. The Free Dictionary medical search's encyclopedic entry uses the "commit" forms 17 times, "death/died by" 0 times [49]. Merck Manual uses the "commit" forms over and over again [50][51], and also uses the "died/death by" forms a lot in the latter (mixing usage in same article). takes no position on the matter, and neither does OpenMD, or The Vocabulary of Loss: A Glossary of Suicide-related Terminology [52].

Other encyclopedias: provides material from The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia (Columbia U.), Collins Dictionary of Sociology, Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary (Gale), and less relevant works; the combined material from those named sources used "commit" forms seven times, and again in press quotations at the bottom, but "death/died by" forms only once (only in a press quote), though it has other constructions used in it also. Encyclopædia Britannica uses "commit" and not "death/died by" in its article on suicide [53], though it probably uses various phrasing including the latter in specific biographical articles.

Corpora searches (just ones using recent material) mostly can't be searched and then linked to the results, so you have to run most of them yourself. Google Ngrams shows that the "commit/committed/committing" forms massively dominate over the "death/died/dying by" forms in book publishing, and that even up to 2019, the latter barely register at all, i.e. have not been appreciably increasing, much less toward the levels of currency enjoyed by the former. News on the Web shows "committed suicide leads over "died by suicide" in online-findable news material by about a 41:6 ratio. Corpus of Global Web-Based English shows the same ~41:6 ratio again. The 14 Billion Word Web Corpus shows about and 18:1 ratio in favor of "committed". Corpus of Contemporary American English says "committed" leads by about 23 : 0.5.

Ultimately, this is a WP:FRINGE matter. It is not WP's job to avoid writing in plain English just to avoid hurting the feelings of a few people who don't know jack about etymology and who have falsely assumed that "commit suicide" is derived from "commit a crime/sin". There is no connection between these phrases other than their use of the Latinate word "commit", which has positive uses as well ("commit to our marriage", "committed to memory", etc.). The word does not imply a wrong, it just implies, well, a committed (serious-intent) decision or course of action of some consequence or importance. We are not in a position to pretend otherwise because some busybodies have a "post-truth", "alternative facts" false idea in their head, about which they choose to get unreasonably emotional. It doesn't matter for WP that AP and a few other entities have bought into this nonsense. A few other large publishers like Fox News have also bought into the idea that the Trumpist/QAnon conspiracy theory about a "deep state" is true, too, but we do not write about it as true on Wikipedia.

 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  18:54, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

SMcCandlish, I see that Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary includes, "commmit suicide, a phrase used to mean 'to kill yourself', which is now considered offensive because it suggests that doing this is a crime."[54] The Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary does not include this idiom and has apparently not updated its examples. advises: "However, the phrase commit suicide is discouraged by major editorial style guides, mental health professionals, and specialists in suicide prevention. The verb commit is associated with crime (in the justice system) and sin (in religion). Using such moralistic language deepens the emotional pain surrounding a suicide. The verb phrases to die by suicide and to end one’s life are now preferred over the common expression commit suicide."[55] It appears that this has been a change over just the past few years, and many sources have not caught up yet. We have three dictionaries, news style guides, and the American Psychological Association recommending against "commit suicide". Shouldn't we avoid "commit suicide" per WP:MOSMED#Careful language, and WP:Manual of style/Words to watch which states: "The goal is to express ideas clearly and directly without causing unnecessary offense. Do not assume that plain language is inappropriate"? "Committed suicide" is just an idiom which causes unnecessary offense. Kolya Butternut (talk) 02:00, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
I already covered the fact that Cambridge's two dictionaries contradict each other (and the one you like even contradicts itself: some of the "commit" examples are from Cambridge Advanced Learner's, not from Cambridge Academic; maybe you missed that?). It's not dispositive of anything in this discussion, it just rules out that particular dictionary site as helpful either way on this question. "Using such moralistic language ..." – repeating the assertion that "commit" is moralistic doesn't magically make it so. The WP:SNOWstorm here clearly disagrees with you, as do the vast majority of RS material on English usage. That was the entire point of this sourcing run, which took many hours, so I find it very disappointing that it just did not make a dent in your viewpoint advocacy. [sigh] The verb commit is also associated with forming and affirming relationships, diligence, principle and integrity, and various other positive things. I'll leave it to you to look up that word in every available dictionary, since hardly anyone else here is having confusion about this, so the work will not be a productive use of my own time. "It appears that this has been a change over just the past few years" – Google Ngrams and other corpora searches shows no such change taking place at all. (And I can anecdotally tell you that I first encountered this "commit-is-bad" argument back in the late 1980s! It is not new at all.) What has actually happened is some linguistically ignorant busybodies have made some noise, and a tiny handful of players in the mainstream publishing industry (AHD, AP, Reuters, Guardian, and a couple of others) have bought into it uncritically, while all the rest have ignored it as nonsense. It's highly instructive to look at the those which have done so: AHD expressly exists as the last bastion of prescriptivism in major dictionaries; it is an overtly political work. The newswires and the news publishers who use them are utterly dependent on advertising dollars, and thus are extremely averse to giving offense to any category of persons for any reason, whether the reason has any basis in reality or not; they are vastly more tolerant of, more promotional of, euphemistic circumlocution than any other type of publisher (which is one of many reasons that WP doesn't use news style). And "an idiom which causes unnecessary offense": This argument is made all the time with regard to everything listed at MOS:EUPHEMISM, and the argument always fails. This is in no way a special case. WP is not the World Feelings Police, and is not in a position to "clean up" the English language to never be possible to give (fallacy-based) offense to anyone. Listen to the actual suicide survivors (in both senses) on this very page. They are telling you they do not find this offensive. If you Google around off-site for similar debates you'll find many, many more of them. What you'll also find is social-sciences nerds making arguments that the term is offensive, i.e. acting in loco parentis as "allies" of people who did not ask for their advocacy. There are comparatively few relatives of suicided persons or survivors of own suicide attempts, who are activists against the phrase "commit suicide". Someone-somewhere-may-be-offended can be true of virtually anything, and it does not have an effect on how WP writes; we change how we write when English usage in the aggregate has provably changed. Not before, and certainly not in an effort to cause that change to happen or go faster.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  03:35, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
SMcCandlish, WP:MOSMED#Careful language says that we should avoid terms like "drug abuse" because for one, the term "carries negative connotations", and we should avoid saying that people "suffer from" or are "victims of" illnesses because of the implications. The policy also says we should defer to what "Many patient groups, particularly those that have been stigmatised, prefer". Do typical style guides speak to these concerns? If they do not, we should not expect them to inform our decision about "commit suicide" either. Note that even AHD defines the noun epileptic as "One who has epilepsy" without a usage note against it,[56] even though our policy does advise against its usage. Even though style books don't mention every term, Chicago Manual of Style does have a section on "Good usage versus common usage", which applies. Kolya Butternut (talk) 12:14, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
The policy also says we should defer to what ""Many patient groups, particularly those that have been stigmatised, prefer"" is fine, but the point you are ignoring but which is being made by many people here is that those who have been most directly affected by suicide are almost all in favour of retaining "committed suicide", the advocacy for change is primarily coming from onlookers. There is no evidence that anyone has actually been stigmatised by "committed suicide" and the people who the guideline says we should defer to clearly have no desire to create such a stigma by proscribing a common phrase. Thryduulf (talk) 12:57, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
The RS which comment on "committed suicide" say it is problematic. The opinions of editors here are WP:OR. The cited survey states that while "commit suicide" is acceptable to many people effected by suicide, many "People bereaved by suicide have highlighted that the word 'commit' is most commonly used in conjunction with a criminal act, resulting in a negative connotation of immorality... Consequently, use of the phrase 'commit suicide' in the media and in academia has been discouraged...." "The scores for 'commit suicide' were most variable...'took their own life', 'died by suicide' and 'ended their life' were however considered most acceptable. We argue that academic and media guidelines should promote use of these phrases."[57] Kolya Butternut (talk) 13:52, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
It's odd to leave out this part, emphasis mine: Opinion about the phrase “committed suicide” was most divided amongst people who had been affected by suicide through someone they knew (3; IQR = 1–5). Those who had been affected by suicide solely through their own experiences more commonly found it to be acceptable (4; IQR = 3–5) compared with those whose experience of suicide was exclusively through work or volunteering (2; IQR =1–3). This entire conversation just feels like people trying to be politically correct for the sake of being politically correct, including the not-so-reliable "reliable" linguistically ignorant busybodies, as SMcCandlish put it. Nihlus 22:20, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Kolya, I decline to argue in circles with you until the end of time. You are engaging in false dichotomy and false equivalence. "Drug abuse" carries "negative connotations" because "abuse" has nothing but negative connotations. This is not true of "commit" which has a wide range of connotations, including positive and neutral ones. You're effectively pretending that there can only be "offensive" and "not offensive" but this is silly. Pretty much everything is offensive to someone somewhere (usually for unsound reasons, as in this case). "Offensive to some small sliver of the population" does not equate to "offensive" in the meaning of our guidelines and with regard to how WP should write. I have outsourced you by an order of magnitude. Virtually no reliable sources on English usage are critical of "commit[ted] suicide". Of the few that are, one is self-contradictory, one is an explicitly activistic, prescriptivist work, and the rest are known for bending over backwards to appease as many sensibilities (and thus advertisers) as possible, even at the expense of clarity.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  14:24, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Possibly every reliable source, every dictionary, says that commit means to do something (wrong). Lexico: "Perpetrate or carry out (a mistake, crime, or immoral act)."[58] That violates NPOV. Kolya Butternut (talk) 15:18, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
A quick 2¢, which is: the majority of these sources do not include specific guidelines on the term "committed suicide" (if we're excluding the ones argued against), but simply contain the words uncritically in tangential entries. Also, we should be careful referring to standard dictionaries for usage, since they are concerned with descriptive definitions, which is not quite equivalent with usage. —WingedSerif (talk) 15:02, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow I lost an uncle and two cousins to suicide, and if anyone asked me how one of them died, I would say that he or she "committed suicide", with tears in my eyes, and a big lump in my throat. This is common English language usage. Wikipedia is not a place to campaign for language reform. We follow reliable sources, not lead them. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 07:37, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow saying "died by suicide" is PC snowflake do-goodery at its worst. Lugnuts Fire Walk with Me 09:21, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
    User:Lugnuts that's not actually an argument. 1) why is it PC snowflake do-goodery, 2) why is that bad?, 3) this RfC isn't even about died by suicide, it's about committed suicide.
    It's clearly an argument against euphemistic language, even if a poorly phrased one. And this is about "died by suicide" and every other alternative to "committed suicide", so your argument that Lugnuts is not actually making an argument, is not actually an argument. That is, your pretense to not understand someone's reasoning is not an actual rebuttal, it's just hand-waving.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  18:47, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow - Suicide is the person's last act of their own volition. Switching from an active to a passive voice ("died by suicide") frames the act as if it were an accident rather than a choice. COMMIT ; -- Cabayi (talk) 13:03, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
    I understand, but this RfC is just about the word "committed". We can still say "killed themself", "ended his life", or "chose death by suicide rather than..." Kolya Butternut (talk) 13:09, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
    Suicide isn't a heroic act where you take back power. It is a symptom of mental illness. --Xurizuri (talk) 14:31, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
    Not always. Goering and Himmler, for eample, commited suicide to escape justice. Hector MacDonald commited suicide to avoid disgrace. Suicide is not always a symptom of mental illness. DuncanHill (talk) 20:39, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
    the overwhelming majority are related to mental illness. Being able to name a handful of exceptions does not refute this. --Xurizuri (talk) 01:54, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
    And none of this has anything to do with whether "committed suicide" is conventional, contemporary English in high-quality sources (hint: it is).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  18:47, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Change. As per MOS:MED#Careful language, "Choose appropriate words when describing medical conditions and their effects on people". Within the context of the section and the "for more advice," on that point, appropriate means medically accurate and not expressing negative/disparaging attitudes. If one goes to the recently released version of the linked guideline, it more specifically states: "strive to use language that is free of bias and avoid perpetuating prejudicial beliefs or demeaning attitudes in their writing". A fair number of guidelines and self-advocacy groups, and some other statements such as in the background section of this discussion, recommend that commit suicide should be avoided as it is negative/disparaging/prejudicial/demeaning. (Beginning of this sentence was changed after feedback, it was previously: As suicide is almost universally a consequence of mental illness) People with mental illness are overwhelmingly more likely to experience suicidality/attempt suicide and cause of death is as close as you can get to a basic field of medicine, I believe that this should be treated as falling under MED. And so, that we should use non-stigmatised language. Also, WP is for the people that are reading it, and a lot of people have been affected by suicide. The experience of the user isn't irrelevant. In this situation, it's not about offense, it's about the experience of being literally harmed by the way something is discussed. For example, someone who has experienced childhood abuse would really really struggle with seeing the persistent use of a phrase that implies that they were at fault for having been abused (because that's what commit suicide implies - that it was within the person's control and that they have done something wrong). I'll admit that the harm that is incurred isn't huge in this case as it is a super common term in general, but there is reason to modify behaviour here that isn't just "people don't like this". I personally feel very strongly about this term being inappropriate outside of WP as well, and I am not a proponent of "just go with what an article uses" - we copyedit material in many ways. Also, a genuine request for clarification, doesn't WP:COMMONNAME only apply to article titles? Or is there another policy/guideline that states to use the most common terms? --Xurizuri (talk) 14:20, 15 January 2021 (UTC) - systematic review of guidelines for public messaging around suicide, one of the findings is that there was majority agreement to avoid committed suicide. (Note: the purpose of these guidelines isn't necessarily to reduce stigma or general harm, typically their goal is to reduce rates of suicide. I still believe these to be relevant as they are a reasonable guide on what the literature supports as appropriate.) --Xurizuri (talk) 14:20, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
    The last sentence of the "results" section of that paper is is telling: "none provided empirical data that could help support or refute any recommendations". I have (as a mental illness sufferer [and I chose that word carefully] who has known fellow-sufferers who have killed themselves) not seen any surveys of those of us who supposedly undergo this stigma that show that "commit suicide" is considered in any way disparaging or stigmatising. This argument about language is simply a cover-up that avoids proper research into what really concerns us. Psychiatry is a difficult business, largely and understandably based on trial and error, and such side-shows only lead to less research being done into the real issues of mental illness. Listen to the people with mental illness, not those who earn money by pretending to know about it. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:50, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
    I have wondered whether this recommendation might be an effort to reduce the shame and stigma experienced by some friends and family members. In that case, the recommendation could be a valid recommendation, even if we had incontrovertible evidence that it had no effect on any person who is considering suicide or who has attempted suicide in the past. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:11, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
    How about friends and family members who find the use of this kind of pussy-footing euphemistic "look at me I am so caring" language painful? DuncanHill (talk) 00:16, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
    "Don't use committed" does not necessarily translate to any specific language, pussy-footed or otherwise.
    (I associate pussy-footed-ness with a very specific situation: a dangerously slick staircase at a professional ballet company, and their efforts to keep their younger dancers from running loudly downstairs. That picture fits into our efforts to "dance around the subject".) WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:25, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
    Telling people not to use "committed suicide" is pussy-footing around it, and does seem to me to be far more to be about making the person using the language feel good about themself rather than any real concern for the victims. I think @Phil Bridger: put it very well above "This argument about language is simply a cover-up that avoids proper research into what really concerns us. Psychiatry is a difficult business, largely and understandably based on trial and error, and such side-shows only lead to less research being done into the real issues of mental illness." DuncanHill (talk) 00:33, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
    "As suicide is almost universally a consequence of mental illness"[citation needed] -- now that, I do find offensive. Espresso Addict (talk) 00:46, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
    My apologies Espresso Addict, I worded the statement slightly incorrectly; I struggle with conceptualising risk. People with mental illness are overwhelmingly more likely to experience suicidality, and to attempt suicide. I have struck out the previous statement above, and replaced it with that. And the requested citations, all meta-analyses published within the past 5 years: [59] [60] [61]. Finally, may I ask for clarification on how me not providing citations is offensive to you? If you are being genuine, I would appreciate feedback. If not, why are you bringing offense into this at all? No one in this thread has stated that the issue is offense, the issues put forward are stigma and harm. --Xurizuri (talk) 02:23, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
    I don't argue that people with mental illness are more likely to attempt suicide, but the converse that "suicide is almost universally a consequence of mental illness" is, as far as I know, completely incorrect; what I find offensive is the implication that anyone who commits suicide or experiences suicidal ideation must have a mental illness. If you can't see why that might potentially be offensive then I can't help you. Espresso Addict (talk) 02:55, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
    Phil Bridger, the research is about whether certain ways of discussing suicide increases or decreases the risk of suicide in the general population. Is the claim you're making that this is not worthwhile? Further, our opinions on what research is and isn't worthwhile is both OR and irrelevant to this particular discussion. Further, it's a new field; this is how many of them start, with theories. It is a problem that they aren't tested, but unless you can find something else, it's the best we can go on. And you are not the only one with lived experience. --Xurizuri (talk) 02:23, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow This is actually ridiculous. Why would we change a good grammatic statement to a bad one? Lettlerhellocontribs 18:01, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
    @Lettler, do you think that "He killed himself" or "The cause of death was suicide" are ungrammatical sentences? I don't.
    The RFC question doesn't even mention the phrase died by suicide. There is no proposal to require any specific phrase. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:53, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow as per above and because otherwise we're entering WP:NOTCENSORED territory. — Czello 19:08, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow as per (WhatamIdoing) sometimes permitted, never required. This perennial discussion came about as I sought to resolve the ongoing edit war at Robin Williams, that had spilled over at times to Lewy body dementia, before his 70th birthday in July 2021, where his article will be in focus. I initially approached this dilemma as not caring which way it was resolved, as long as it was resolved, but what convinced me that this was not a black-and-white, either-or situation was this Slate article. After reading the Slate article, I went back to see what language Williams's widow used, and decided to respect her use of language. Through that, I discovered that there were plenty of options for not using "committed suicide", while not resorting to the ungrammatical "died by suicide". At both dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Lewy body dementia (LBD), that involved simply recasting of sentences: DLB, LBD. The solution I found allows those articles to still use the words committed suicide should there be another notable suicide involving Mr. Lewy, where the family and sources have a different preference. There are plenty of ways to reflect reliable sources without restricting our choices, and we don't need to disallow the choice of "committed suicide". We can respect families and reflect reliable sources without outlawing any individual choice, by simply re-casting sentences. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:12, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow and mark as a perennial discussion that shouldn't be reopened without a good reason. Yes, there are some advocacy groups that are offended by this language (for reasons that I personally don't see as a very convincing interpretation, although my personal preferences are irrelevant). No, that isn't enough to "ban" a perfectly valid construction that is used normally and without ill intent quite commonly by both writers and readers. Even if it wasn't common, that still wouldn't be reason to discourage or forbid it anymore than thousands of other constructions whose popularity might wax or wane with time, some of which are also sometimes accused of leading to hostile interpretations whether accidentally or not. SnowFire (talk) 00:26, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow - per many, many arguments above. I'll just point to SnowFire, Czello, and Cabayi in particular. --Khajidha (talk) 13:35, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow - excising a phrase from the encyclopedia is a drastic remedy that should only be taken, if at all, when there is a clear consensus among reliable sources that the phrase is unacceptable. See, e.g., WP:NOTCENSORED. I just don't see that consensus here. "Commit" has a neutral denotation ("to carry into action deliberately") and a connotation that is subject to reasonable dispute by people of good faith. Taking a side in that dispute would compromise Wikipedia's reputation for neutrality. The MOS should only forbid phrases that standard English usage already forbids, and, whether one likes it or not, standard English usage still permits this phrase. Extraordinary Writ (talk) 01:08, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow "commit" is the verb that collocates with "suicide". That's just standard English grammar. Most complaints I see about this usage are based on the flawed comparison to "commit a crime", which is facially ridiculous. Just because we use "make" for "make a cake" and "make a joke" doesn't imply that cakes are a joke. The fact that some activists push to eliminate this usage, and that some newspaper style guides have gone along with it, shouldn't affect Wikipedia in any way. Editors should generally use the standard and most common verbal constructions. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 02:26, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow. While the list of institutions and organizations that have come out against the usage of the phrase "commit suicide" is rather impressive, most of those organizations (WHO, APA, NIMH, etc) have recommended against the phrase "commit suicide" in their role as advocacy groups seeking to prevent suicide. Advocacy groups and their opinions are unimportant to this discussion regardless of who they are. What matters is what important style guides have had to say on this matter. So far I've only seen that the AP stylebook has recommended against the usage of the phrase "committed suicide". This is one style guide used mostly for primary sources (newspaper articles are mostly primary sources regardless of what editors at AfD believe) in only one country. I'd like to see this ban on the usage of the phrase "committed suicide" supported by several other style guides representing a variety of English speaking countries before I could support this change. Chess (talk) (please use {{ping|Chess}} on reply) 06:27, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Require "committed suicide". My brother committed suicide, as well as others I have known. Not sure why anyone would think changing how its worded makes any difference. "Died by suicide" should not be tolerated. 899 articles currently use it already, people keep edit warring that in. You can't just "allow" you have to make it "required" otherwise people will just keep edit warring nonstop. Dream Focus 14:50, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow as normal English usage. If there is a rational reason not to use it in a specific context, discuss giving relevant reasons and evidence in that context.· · · Peter Southwood (talk): 14:59, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Disallow Wording should be neutral and the trend in reliable sources is away from using the verb "committed." See for example "The words to say – and not to say – about suicide" (CNNhealth June 11, 2018.) Under common law, suicide was a felony with legal consequences to the offender and their family. The offender would be buried at a crossroads with a stake driven through their heart and their property forfeited to the Crown.[62] Since that is no longer the case we should not falsely state that someone committed a felony. TFD (talk) 15:45, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow because we write in common/normal English, as said so many times above; if there is a specific reason not to use it in a specific context (vague, because i can't think of one), then that's certainly allowed, but generally we should not forbid common usage. In reply to the argument immediately above, we are not stating "that someone committed a felony", exactly because it isn't (most places) any more; happy days, LindsayHello 16:06, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow but discourage "Committed suicide" is common terminology so it shouldn't be outright forbidden per se. But die(d) by suicide / die(d) due to suicide / die(d) from suicide are all grammatically correct, straightforward and neutral, and should be preferred IMO. Some1 (talk) 19:23, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Problem is... on WP, saying something is “preferred” quickly becomes interpreted as a mandate to mass-edit to that option. That just leads to more drama. Blueboar (talk) 20:20, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Disallow To "commit" suicide is to suggest something criminal or immoral. The terminology should be consigned to the history books wherever possible. Language and attitudes have moved on, Wikipedia must reflect that. doktorb wordsdeeds 22:23, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow - Its not our place to decide what language people use- we're not here to do activism. Leave this to the natural evolution of language and actual activist efforts, please - until that language has actually been stopped from usage (be it hate speech laws or otherwise), its not our place to make that change. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 02:11, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow per SMcCandlish – it's not at all obvious that the negative connotations of "commit" in the sense of "commit murder" also apply to the phrase "commit suicide". Absent a clear consensus that the phrase is non-neutral, editors should be permitted to use it. – Teratix 02:22, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Follow the sources, use the phrase used by sources. If sources say "committed suicide", "suicided", "killed himself" or whatever, use what the sources use, follow the sources, Wikipedia does not lead. NB. sources must use the phrase, as suicide is emotive and sensitive sometimes, especially when unclear, and Wikipedia should not lead with the judgement. If in doubt, use "died". --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:00, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow. I definitely do not agree with preferring "died by suicide" in close cases; that strikes me as a PC euphemism, whereas Wikipedia is supposed to prefer straight talk. If anything, we should prefer "killed him(her)self", which is simply factual, and cannot be argued to imply a crime (in jurisdictions where it's not in fact a crime). That at least respects the agency of the individual. --Trovatore (talk) 03:42, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Follow recent sources. Wikipedia should not be on the vanguard of language change, but our pages are not editors' personal blogs and there is no need to "let" anyone write in "their voice." I am not sure where the change stands at the moment but we should be open to preferring "died by suicide" as this phrase becomes preferred in recent publication. In particular, I oppose closing this discussion with prejudice against future discussions as it seems that this is a rapidly changing area of language and the situation may well be different in the future. CapitalSasha ~ talk 05:16, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow or require. This is one of the few issues on which I fully concur with User:SMcCandlish. It definitely should be allowed because "commit" is still by far the predominant usage and WP core policies reflect a long-running tradition that Wikipedia follows, never leads. I am on the fence as to whether to require. User:Dream Focus raises an excellent point that we may need to require "commit" in order to end edit wars over this issue. --Coolcaesar (talk) 07:03, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow - the "evidence" presented is pretty clear that "committed suicide" is a pretty median, middle of the road term. We see one editorial arguing we should change it (and rather disingenuously to boot!), one survey of people on the acceptability of language where it falls right in the middle of the "euphamism to deliberately shocking" continuum - i.e., it's neither a euphemism nor shocking, but a pretty middle of the road expression. And one editorial that argues (though largely from a personal perspective) that the arguments against using "committed" are all obvious hokum. "Killed themselves" might also be generally acceptable - though that phrase is very slightly ambiguous as it can be used when it's an accident, but it's always specified it's an accident. So, either of those are probably fine, and anything else would probably need a really compelling arugment for why you're using a euphemism. WilyD 14:17, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Follow the sources, especially recent ones. We should generally follow the lead of the sources in reflecting this sort of thing. Aggressively substituting one term for another when the consensus of the sources is clear is a WP:NPOV violation - but this goes in both directions; "we're going to avoid 'committed suicide' even if the sources use it" is trying to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS, but so is "the sources are wrong to be changing their language and we need to push back against it." We follow, we don't lead. --Aquillion (talk) 17:17, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow I would guess that this is the most common term for the act. An acceptable alternative, probably favored by MOS:WORDS, would be "killed himself/herself". The alternative "died by suicide" sounds off in the same way it sounds off to say that someone "died by patricide" or "died by infanticide". Same goes for "suicided". ("John Doe matricided" vs. "John Doe committed matricide" or "John Doe killed his mother") I can accept that the word "commit" is usually followed by something negative (though not can also commit funds or troops or commit acts of kindness) but I don't see that as sufficient reason to disallow the word here. ~Awilley (talk) 18:17, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Follow the sources: "Committed suicide" does seem like the phrase the average reader is most likely to understand, but I wish this thread made better use of the main style and usage guides. Their silence on the specific term "committed suicide" shouldn't be used as a bludgeon for the use of the phrase, especially when it's combined with dismissal of news style guides, which do have an enormous, general audience and suggest that the term's use is changing. (In this, I agree with User:Aquillion.) Aside: This is an odd case for applying MOS:MED, because it's hard to define what a "patient-perspective" would be here, even if it's to maintain WP:NPOV. —WingedSerif (talk) 19:50, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow or require I don't know if there's precedent for requiring a certain phrasing, but this is the source of many pointless edit wars. While "died by suicide" is becoming more common in the media, it's still nothing more than a euphemism, and there is nothing wrong with the phrasing "committed suicide". From some of the statements above, this looks like another one of those things where people try to tell other people that they should be offended by something that doesn't offend them. Natureium (talk) 20:41, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow but absolutely, completely, do not require. Making it compulsory is nonsensical. We follow the sources. If all, or the majority, of the sources aren't using "committed", then we obviously shouldn't either. Example: Scott Hutchison. Doesn't use the word, and even if you type "Scott Hutchison committed" into Google, you get very few hits from RS. The majority of descriptors from RS are of the style of "took own life" or "died by suicide". Black Kite (talk) 20:58, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow based on standard English. It should also be noted that "killed himself" would include accidental self-caused deaths; and "died by suicide" would include innocent bystanders who died along with the person who committed suicide e.g by causing a vehicle with other people to crash. (talk) 21:42, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Continue to allow This is the standard English phrase, and it also disambiguates by accidental deaths caused by a person's own actions. Dimadick (talk) 22:32, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • WP:SNOW. We can continue discussing this, and other silly things that MOS:MED purportedly mandates via WP:LOCALCON, but this RfC has made its point. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 05:18, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
    • NOT SNOW: this RFC needs a careful close with a well-written rationale by an experienced admin RFC closer. The matter has come up over and over, to the point of disruption, and even as it is snowing, denial and misunderstanding continues at individual articles. The RFC should run its course and the closing rationale should be tight so that disruptive arguments do not continue across multiple articles, as they still are in spite of the snow here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 07:28, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
    • This is an excellent point actually, and hits on a serious problem: How someone died is not and should not be treated as a MOS:MED issue unless there is some technical expertise needed to properly explain the death. That someone committed suicide, died of a heart attack, died in a car accident, etc. is not something that requires careful explanation in the overwhelming majority of circumstances. This would be like extending WP:MEDRS sourcing requirements to cover things like uncomplicated cause of death. Come on. (talk) 18:58, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow but do not require, it's common and normal terminology. Stifle (talk) 14:10, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Allow unless and until some major milestone occurs with this sort of thing, like all the mainstream style guides picking it up and keeping it for more than one edition. Or something like that. I guess my point is that the sources presented as giving support for this move are both extremely recent (in linguistic terms) and not reflective either of actual usage or actual practice by prescriptivist authorities. If this was coming from someone like Bryan A. Garner, I could see our MOS (at best) deprecating the phrasing. But even then I think it shouldn't be banned. (talk) 02:08, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

Discussion ("committed suicide")

  • What alternative wording is proposed? GiantSnowman 17:10, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
    • This RFC was developed over a while on my talk page (See User Talk:Masem#Williams with help of @SMcCandlish, SandyGeorgia, WhatamIdoing, and Izno:.
    • The language that MOS-fu master SMcCandlish has proposed for MOS:BIO as a starting point is (with the given footnote):
      • When writing of a death by suicide, use any of a variety of encyclopedically appropriate wording choices found in modern reliable sources for biographical subjects. In particular, no consensus exists against the use of committed suicide on Wikipedia. But avoid euphemistic and editorializing expressions, such as died by his own hand or took her own life. Editorial discretion is otherwise left to the consensus of editors at a particular article.{{efn|Previous RfCs and other consensus discussions include: [Cite all those old discussions here.] Euphemistic wording about suicide is common in journalism, but Wikipedia is not written in news style and does not follow news stylebooks. As in most matters, contemporary nonfiction books from major academic publishers provide better models for tone and usage in encyclopedic material.}}

    • This is based on the above noted past discussions, this RFC is to affirm this has broad community consensus. --Masem (t) 17:15, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
      • This RFC can't be used to support that proposed change. The RFC is worded as "should phrasing X be permitted"; but that change would involve insert wording saying alternate phrasing Y is discouraged, which is not the question asked here and not the one most of the respondents have weighed in on. Allowing something is clearly not the same as encouraging it, and definitely not the same as discouraging alternative phrasing - that proposal is completely different question and will (at this point) require a separate RFC. If we want to know the answer to "should we discourage died by his own hand or took her own life" then we'll need a separate RFC for that. --Aquillion (talk) 17:20, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
    • And in terms of other forms that are not "committed suicide", that are not euphemisms that we had identified "died by suicide", "died from suicide", "killed himself", "cause of death was suicide", "suicided", and a few other versions. But key is that what form is free to editors to select, ideally bases on what the RSes say; the key is that status quo would not be to eliminate the use of "committed suicide" as an option. --Masem (t) 17:20, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
      Masem, on the contrary, "died by suicide" seems highly euphemistic to me! To take a literal reading, I would have to believe that suicide is some kind of monster, illness, or machine that ran over the poor unfortunate soul! Elizium23 (talk) 00:23, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
      • We are not at this point considering any other specific language outside the concerns over the wording around "committed". If in practice, editors feel that "died by suicide" is a euphamism in the specific article usage, they are not required to use that version, as there's at least four other options they may consider even discounting "committed". All we are concerned with are when editors challenge the use of "committed suicide". --Masem (t) 05:02, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • See Suicide terminology. Kolya Butternut (talk) 21:21, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Why the new RfC? Weren't the 2018 and 2019 discussions clear enough on this matter? – Teratix 14:24, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
    • Arguably yes, those discussions should be sufficient but as this keeps coming up (editors removing "committed suicide", this RFC to confirm that this has wide support gives us a place to cement it in MOS, and then a pointer to this RFC to show this wasn't a decision made by a couple editors so that we don't have to continue to redebate it (the fact so many debates have happened shows a need to make this final). --Masem (t) 14:27, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
      • But the wording of the RFC doesn't support the proposed text! Allowing phrasing X is obviously an easier question to ask then "should we discourage phrasing Y"; but this RFC only covers the first. Depending on the outcome of this one, we would need a more specific RFC asking whether eg died by his own hand or took her own life should be allowed as well before inserting language discouraging them. --Aquillion (talk) 17:28, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
        • Except that those phrase fall under clear euphemisms which established MOS disallow unless as part of quotes. In other words, without this RFC, those phrases should alread be considered inappropriate to use, so in terms of this RFC closing in favor of supporting the allowed use of "committed suicide", it would make sense to just remind editors that these euphemisms - which already are not appropriate - should be avoided as well. --Masem (t) 18:01, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
I think the above suggestion for MOS:BIO is much too long. In particular, the "not news style" is irrelevant, and always reminds me of all the fight we had to have, years ago, to convince the MOS mavens that burying the lede is not considered a good thing in news style. I think we should consider a single sentence: Although some external style guides recommend against it, the phrase committed suicide is not banned in Wikipedia articles. We can expand later if editors can't figure out what "not banned" means for their articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:16, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Agree, because "less is more" is always a good solution, and per my "allow" !vote above; there are so many ways to resolve this without over-legislating it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:52, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I'm not really seeing arguments in favor of the acceptability of "committed suicide" besides it being the common term. It seems to me that it should be avoided based on similar existing WP:MOS recommendations:
WP:MOSMED#Careful language

The term drug abuse is ... and carries negative connotations...


Choose appropriate words when describing medical conditions and their effects on people... Avoid saying that people "suffer" from or are "victims" of a chronic illness or symptom, which may imply helplessness: identifiers like survivor, affected person or individual with are alternate wordings. Many patient groups, particularly those that have been stigmatised, prefer person-first terminology—arguing, for example, that seizures are epileptic, people are not. An example of person-first terminology would be people with epilepsy instead of epileptics... For more advice, see Guidelines for Non-Handicapping Language in APA Journals.

From the American Psychological Association, "Tips for grieving adults, children, and schools dealing with a death by suicide.": "Choose words carefully. To protect peers who may also have suicidal thoughts, avoid phrases such as 'She’s no longer suffering,' or 'He’s in a better place.' Instead, focus on positive aspects of the person’s life. Avoid the term 'committed suicide,' and instead use 'died by suicide.'"[63]
WP:Manual of Style/Words to watch

Clichés and idioms are generally to be avoided in favor of direct, literal expressions.

While "commit suicide" is a direct, literal expression, it is just the familiar idiom.
Also, "died by suicide" is grammatically correct; consider: "Although he died by self-slaughter, in a criminal's cell...." (1851, [64]) "If it appears that he died by self-murder, Finding in the inquisition shall conclude...." (1894, [65]) Kolya Butternut (talk) 06:21, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Kolya Butternut, I believe there was one comment above that felt "committed" had an appropriately formal gravitas. (I have wondered how many "allow" votes are actually "it doesn't matter as long as it's not 'died by suicide'" votes.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:20, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
    I can speak only to my "allow" !vote. To me "died by suicide" feels a slightly unusual construction, as in I would likely notice the actual words used whereas with "committed suicide" the words (as opposed to the meaning) would rarely consciously register. I would not go so far as to say it was jarring, unlike using "suicide" as a verb which definitely is jarringly unusual. It ("died by suicide") is more akin to reading "gay" used with the meaning "happy" rather than "homosexual" or something written in the mid-20th century that uses clearly gendered language in a way that we just would not write today - clearly understandable but equally clearly unusual in contemporary formal English. Language changes, and I would not be surprised if in the future the "committed" form is the one that feels outdated, but that future is on the order of decades away and entirely WP:CRYSTAL. Wikipedia does not lead language change, it follows language change. Thryduulf (talk) 03:32, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Per WP:EUPHEMISM, I would contend that we are prohibited from using "died by suicide" because there is no reason for its existence other than to be a gentle euphemism glossing over the fact that suicide is, by definition, a deliberate action (whatever the frame of mind or mental health of the subject); if one's death is not deliberate then it is not classified as suicide. "Died by suicide" removes the stigma of "committed" because it is euphemistic and papers over the harsh reality of the grisly action. Elizium23 (talk) 06:31, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
    This discussion is limited to the appropriateness of "committed suicide". As I said above, this term is inconsistent with WP:MOSMED#Careful language. Kolya Butternut (talk) 11:03, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
    MOSMED is relevant to medical topics. If it was relevant to all topics it would be MOS. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 14:55, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
    "Committed suicide" is misleading because suicide is no longer considered a criminal offense that one can commit. As I stated above, suicide was a felony punishable by burial at a crossroads with a stake driven through one's heart and one's property forfeit to the Crown. We should get away from medieval terminology. Incidentally, death by suicide is not a euphemism. The death certificate will say "Cause of death: suicide." It does not put the cause of death as "unlawful suicide." In comparison, in cases of murder we could refer to "unlawful homicide." TFD (talk) 15:57, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Flawed argument... The verb “commit” is not limited to crimes. For example, one can “commit an act of kindness”. For another: When someone dies, we “Commit their body to the grave”. There are other uses of “commit”... some have positive connotations, some negstive negative connotations, and some have neutral connotations. Blueboar (talk) 16:59, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
The definition of "commit" in the sense "commit suicide" is:
  1. Cambridge Dictionary: "to do something illegal or something that is considered wrong", for example: "She tried to commit suicide by slashing her wrists." [66]
  2. Lexico: "Perpetrate or carry out (a mistake, crime, or immoral act)", for example: "he committed an uncharacteristic error". [67]
  3. American Heritage Dictionary: "To do, perform, or perpetrate", for example: "commit a murder". [68]
  4. Wiktionary: "To do (something bad); to perpetrate, as a crime, sin, or fault", for example: "to commit murder". [69]
  5. Chambers Dictionary: "to carry out or perpetrate (a crime, offence, error, etc)." [70]
There is a clear negative connotation to the word used in this sense which is a violation of WP:NPOV. NPOV "cannot be superseded by other policies or guidelines, nor by editor consensus." Kolya Butternut (talk) 21:54, 17 January 2021 (UTC) added Chambers Kolya Butternut (talk) 02:00, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
User:Blueboar, I think the grammar answer is above in a comment about transitive verbs. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:18, 18 January 2021 (UTC)\
The negative connotation isn't on the word "commit", it is on the word "suicide".--Khajidha (talk) 20:21, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • As I said above, if we're going to consider whether died by suicide is allowed (or discouraged), we will need a separate RFC. This RFC is worded specifically along the lines of "should we allow phrasing X", which is generally a trivial question per WP:NOTCENSORED; especially given how many people cite WP:NOTCENSORED in their replies, it would be absurd to turn around and use the results here to say "alternate phrasings Y and Z are discouraged." This RFC doesn't ask which term we should use, or ask editors to weigh in on one to encourage; it merely asks the question of whether one particular option out of the various terms that can be used is allowed. That's a softball question, but also not really one with many policy implications outside of refuting the relatively few people who are trying to argue that "committed suicide" must automatically be replaced everywhere it appears. --Aquillion (talk) 17:32, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • This exactly. See my talk page (per above) for how this RFC was crafted to be as simple as possible around the "committed suicide" language which was clearly the point of issue, and where we have clear past discussion to establish a reason to have this RFC. Any other extension would require a new RFC. --Masem (t) 17:43, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

List of references

Can editors please list references here in one place that could be used to determine responses to this RfC? --Hipal (talk) 16:51, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

Policies, guidelines, and supplements cited:
WP:Specialized-style fallacy (essay)
MOS:MED#Careful language
WP:Manual of style/Words to watch
Initial references:

  • Systematic comparison of recommendations for safe messaging about suicide in public communications[71]
  • Non-RS discusses OED eytomology, etc.[72]
  • American Heritage Dictionary (interview).[73]
  • usage notes[74]
  • Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary[75]
  • Beyondblue, an Australian mental health organisation[76]
  • Associated Press[77]
  • American Psychological Association[78]
  • CNN[79]
  • Reporting on Suicide: Recommendations for the Media (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Mental Health, Office of the Surgeon General, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Association of Suicidology, Annenberg Public Policy Center. Developed in collaboration with the World Health Organization, National Swedish Centre for Suicide Research, New Zealand Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy)[80]
Most of them. SMcCandlish lists many which do not speak to its usage or use the term without comment. Kolya Butternut (talk) 18:17, 17 January 2021 (UTC) (essay) Kolya Butternut (talk) 19:47, 17 January 2021 (UTC) added NPOV Kolya Butternut (talk) 21:35, 17 January 2021 (UTC) add Kolya Butternut (talk) 08:11, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
  • In regards to "Following the sources" we do not follow sources which say "X passed away on Y date." We do not follow sources which use WP:PEACOCK terms. Per WP:EUPHEMISM, we are prohibited from following sources which say "X died by suicide." Elizium23 (talk) 04:19, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
    "Died by suicide" is not a WP:EUPHEMISM. Suicide means intentional self-killing. "The word died is neutral and accurate." Commit suicide is a loaded term which implies that the act is something wrong. We are to "Try to state the facts more simply, regardless of the common idiom. Kolya Butternut (talk) 16:44, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
    • ”Commit” in “commit suicide” does NOT imply that the act is wrong... it implies that the act is deliberate. Blueboar (talk) 17:21, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
      That is not accurate; there is confusion over which definition applies. Awilley, the synonym for commit is do (something wrong). "Do funds" or "do troops" is not the right meaning. "Commit an act of kindness" is the only contradictory example provided, and it appears to be tongue-in-cheek. Every single RS which discusses the term commit suicide says it has a negative connotation. Consensus cannot override NPOV. Unless RS are provided which say that "commit suicide" is neutral, we have to go by the dictionaries and recommendations which say that at the very least "commit" implies a "negative" act.
      I only have access to the versions of the OED, but Etymonline states "Sense of 'to perpetrate (a crime), do, perform (especially something reprehensible)' was ancient in Latin; in English it is attested from mid-15c."[81] Kolya Butternut (talk) 19:56, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
      The fact that one of the senses, a negative one, is old doesn't tell us anything about other senses (and the ancientness of them is irrelevant anyway). What matters is what the current, 21st-century-English definitions are, and you will see from the huge ol' sourcing dump I did above, Blueboar is entirely correct. The principal definition one can boil out of all of the major modern dictionaries is that commit in this sense means 'to decide or act deliberately, especially upon a matter of consequence'. This entire debate is very much like people arguing over the meaning of integrity, with one small subset of people utterly convinced it can imply only one thing (e.g., wholeness/completion), and everyone else pointing another and much more common sense, but that minority just not being willing to hear it. I think we all know how this will go, and it's why this RfC has been a WP:SNOWBALL from the start. WP is not a place for prescriptivist agitation about what things "should" or "must" mean and to whom, much for less misuse of that notion to try to force all other editors to write differently, to write around that one interpretation as if it were the only possible one.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  14:41, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
      You're mistaken on which definition applies, but this can be easily corrected. Please cite a specific dictionary definition which you're using so that we can clear this up. Kolya Butternut (talk) 15:28, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
      • Die by suicide is not precisely the same thing as commit suicide. If an airplane pilot intentionally crashes the plane he's flying for the purpose of ending his own life, then only he committed suicide; however, everyone on the plane died by/from suicide. (talk) 22:05, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
      • This whole argument is completely backward. We don't have a negative perception of suicide because we use "commit", we use "commit" because there is a negative perception of suicide. --Khajidha (talk) 12:06, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
        • And even THAT is incorrect... we use “commit” to establish intent. “Commit” means “to do or act deliberately”. It takes commitment to commit suicide. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Blueboar (talkcontribs) 21:56, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

"Commit suicide" as an idiom

Espresso Addict and WhatamIdoing, it sounded like you felt that the definition which matters is limited to the idiom "commit suicide" rather than its component words. In that case we must examine the RS and WP:PAG for the idiom. I've found two definitions, Cambridge which states "a phrase used to mean 'to kill yourself,' which is now considered offensive because it suggests that doing this is a crime",[82] and Merriam-Webster which gives a neutral definition.[83] The words "now considered" lead me to think that Cambridge's definition is more up-to-date. Previously cited dictionary usage notes[84] and also the American Dialect Society write that "to commit suicide" suggests a criminal act.[85] Are you also seeing that the weight of the RS say that "commit suicide" is non-neutral?

Also, consider that per WP:IDIOM, idioms should be avoided in favor of direct, literal expressions. Pinging Masem from Talk:Robin Williams discussion. Kolya Butternut (talk) 20:16, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

We don't want idioms that are metaphorical ("piece of cake") or casual ("take it easy"). There's another meaning for idiom that is closer to Formulaic language, and I think that this phrase falls into that broader meaning.
I think there are differences between British and American sources on this point. I understand that the anti-suicide groups in the UK have been very active in opposing this phrase for some years now, so it would not be entirely surprising if there was a difference between the dictionaries, too.
Also, you keep saying that it's POV to imply that suicide is a crime, but what if the suicide being mentioned in the Wikipedia article actually was a crime? Wouldn't it then be non-neutral to imply that it wasn't a crime? WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:03, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
It sounds like you do not want to discuss what the RS actually say about "commit suicide" and whether it is a neutral term for intentional self-killing. Perhaps someone else would like to discuss the usage notes[86] and the American Dialect Society's comments,[87] among the dictionary definitions?Kolya Butternut (talk) 23:22, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

Templates in categories

Should this kind of template be included in this category? Eurohunter (talk) 17:45, 14 January 2021 (UTC)

No. See WP:CAT#T. --Izno (talk) 18:48, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
@Izno: Thanks. Eurohunter (talk) 19:26, 14 January 2021 (UTC)

BLP categories

A discussion has been started at Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons about potential additions to the BLP policy on categorizing people. Please join the discussion there. Thank you. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 21:51, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

When are endorsements notable?

This has been discussed multiple times; Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Archive_164#RfC_on_inclusion_criteria_for_lists_of_political_endorsements was held in late 2019. Now that the presidential election is over, it seems time to re-visit it.

Looking at the Joe Biden endorsement pages post-election, I feel that the current behavior is excessive. Some of the references seem clearly insufficient (Sam Gooden is sourced only to a Joe Biden campaign event virtual flyer, which wouldn't meet criterion number 2). Another example, this Axios piece is used as a reference for many of the 80 people who signed an open letter, including people such as Yi Cui (scientist), Ruth DeFries, and Jeremy Nathans who aren't mentioned in the Axios piece itself. Finally, we have a Fox News piece on donations, which sources people like Larry Lucchino and Patty Jenkins based solely on donations, which is against criterion 3.

The problem is that none of these people are important or relevant in this context. This is an agglomeration of trivia that is inappropriate. And the current guidelines seem unable to prevent that. What is to be done here? power~enwiki (π, ν) 00:37, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

  • Yeah... Lists like this are a classic example of WP:RECENTISM. It takes time to know if an endorsement is significant to a political campaign (or not). Ideally, we would hold off on highlighting ANY endorsements until we know which were significant and which were not. I would suggest a culling and then a merger with the broader 2020 presidential election article. Blueboar (talk) 01:16, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I'd agree that we need to be more selective. DGG ( talk ) 05:01, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Leave it for now while people calm down and send the whole thing for deletion in six months' time. Thincat (talk) 15:26, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Good lord. I'm not an American, so maybe I'm missing something, but do any of these actually mean something tangible? I realize notability doesn't expire, but this seems ridiculous. Matt Deres (talk) 15:45, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

Historical Significance factor

Hi, I understand that Wikipedia rules are a common set of standards that have been agreed on by a majority, however I am more confused than ever.

We state that articles have to have not ability set out in the rules and associated accepted essays. However this means we have articles which will be lost that have historical significance, as sigcov is not there and the articles are covered more by smaller snippits. Surridge Sport is the current example which I picked up from a current AFD. They were a big supplier of sporting equipment right upto the 1990s, supplying some of crickets biggest stars. There is little significant coverage, however anyone who watched cricket will know of their equipment, especially the Jumbo and Turbo cricket bat's.

Another example is The Cambridge Working Group. Again little sigcov but historically very significant as it influenced the US Federal authorities to stop certain research, which stood in place for three years.

My request is can we have a caveat in place, where editors can discuss historical significance at AFD, and if enough multiple sources are available, can be applied, much like WP:Basic is for individuals? Davidstewartharvey (talk) 10:23, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

If subjects truly have historical significance, why would there be no significant coverage available? – Teratix 12:16, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
Historically something may have been significant, but coverage may have been smaller. For example The Cambridge Working Group does not have an article totally directed at itself, however it has been documented in many scientific articles about bioscience and vaccines how this group did bring about the memorandum federal authorities brought in that stopped research. The group there is historically significant for forcing a change in policy. In the other case I gave Surridge Sports were historically active prior to the net, but in articles since regarding cricket bat's they are discussed for the innovations (the Turbo for instance) but it is not in depth coverage about the company themselves.Davidstewartharvey (talk) 13:08, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
For Surridge Sports – if the company has received little significant coverage but their products have, what's wrong with simply having articles on their products, if they are what is notable? Similarly, if Cambridge Working Group itself received insufficient coverage but the policy change did, what's wrong with simply discussing the group's influence on the policy change, in some other related article? Just because a subject doesn't satisfy a notability standard doesn't mean it can't be discussed in Wikipedia articles at all. – Teratix 08:33, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

Can I create an inline cleanup template?

Is there a policy prohibiting regular editors from creating inline cleanup template like {{Citation needed span}}?

I would like to create {{Request quotation span}} because the current {{Request quotation}} is unable to flag a specific piece of text that needs a quotation.

If the policy prohibits regular editors from creating inline cleanup templates, I would appreciate if an editor with the privilege could help create it. --Matt Smith (talk) 02:56, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

Matt Smith, there's no policy prohibiting it to my knowledge; feel free to boldly create that template. Sometimes template creation can be tricky, but there's limited risk when you're creating a new one compared to modifying one already in wide use. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 03:12, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice! I'll go ahead and do it then. --Matt Smith (talk) 04:12, 19 January 2021 (UTC)


Background color

Hi, could anyone tell me is there an option/setting to change the (white) background color of WP (if yes, and what options are available)? Thank You!(KIENGIR (talk) 17:06, 10 January 2021 (UTC))

@KIENGIR: there are a few ways to go about this, first can you tell us how you normally view wikipedia? (Desktop, Tablet, Mobile, or Mobile App) — xaosflux Talk 17:24, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
There is no simple on/off option that will do that for you, but a simple user script can let you change the colour of any part of the page. What do you want changed? — GhostInTheMachine talk to me 18:20, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
Destop (which inludes as well laptop).
GhostInTheMachine, I consider watching too much bright white component would be not the best, I'd consider a less warm color which may work good with the black text color without having a visual interlace harming (= sorry I cannot phrase it better, it's like you'd put a bright purple text on a black background). So what I want to change is not the color of WP margins (headlines and sidelines), but the rest which serves the background of anything else, which is white.(KIENGIR (talk) 08:30, 11 January 2021 (UTC))
If it bothers you in Wikipedia, then I presume it bothers you equally on other websites that are not Wikipedia, and that also have bright white backgrounds? If this is the case, you can find the answer by googling change Chrome default color scheme (change "Chrome" to the name of the browser you use). Or try this search. Mathglot (talk) 09:13, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@KIENGIR: Desktop "dark mode" is hard (see phab:T199634 for progress on the effort). You may customize your standard desktop background my updating this page: Special:MyPage/vector.css, and can request styling of many elements, for example putting:
.mw-body {
    background-color: #ccc;
on that page will change the main article body from whitish to grayish. — xaosflux Talk 11:59, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
especially I considered just in WP, and I don't use Chrome but Firefox. However, I managed to scale the exact background and text parameters, and I've found a good composition, however, the problem is then I don't see properly the diff marker color adjustment (= opening a diff, in which the changes are covered with a slightly bluish box, in which the text color became as well marked more darker)...
before analyzing in more details your suggestion - which may have been solved meanwhile as mentioned above, could you suggest the solution the newly mentioned emerging issue? Thank You(KIENGIR (talk) 12:23, 11 January 2021 (UTC))
@KIENGIR: just as you may use a personal style for most any element, you can also style those - just look at the source to find what the identifier is, then add the styling to adjust it; my example above was very simple for just the ".mw-body" id - but you can use it for most anything. — xaosflux Talk 15:30, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks your recommendation works, this green is fine (but still only if I put brightness & contrast to nil and Gamma to the minium allowed - 0.5 by this constellation). In this case the adjustment markers are as well ok. However I should dig in more into the issue on the browser examiner/console to locate all needed parameters and test their adjustments alltogether. Maybe I'll go ahead when having more time. Thanks for now!(KIENGIR (talk) 16:25, 11 January 2021 (UTC))
You're welcome KIENGIR - for your use case you may be better off with a browser extension, they may be more robust. The benefit of using the vector.css file is that it will follow you to other browsers and computers you may use (while logged in). — xaosflux Talk 16:28, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@KIENGIR: I recommend you take a look at Dark Reader, a browser extension that automatically generates a dark theme from a site's normal colour scheme. It doesn't work perfectly 100% of the time – for example, it rarely produces unreadable yellow-on-yellow text –, but Wikipedia is normally usable very nicely with it. – Rummskartoffel (talk • contribs) 23:05, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
thank you I will test it!(KIENGIR (talk) 23:14, 16 January 2021 (UTC))
There is Preferences|Gadgets/Appearence - Use a black background with green text. DuncanHill (talk) 23:26, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Red link counter?

Hopefully an easily answered question, is there a tool or script that can count the number of red links in a particular article? I've searched the archives of this and other project pages, thanks. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 17:10, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

@Nimbus227: you may be able to do this in your browser for casual use, view the page source and use your browser's find/count utility to look for: class="new". You certainly could create a userscript to count these if you wanted to. — xaosflux Talk 17:31, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
That works thanks, 'page does not exist' is another search term that works. It is counting red links in navboxes so I guess the way to get a true picture is to place the article text minus the navboxes in a sandbox. For Firefox the steps are Tools>Web Developer>Page Source. Great stuff, thanks. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 17:47, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
@Nimbus227: Open the "console" tab of developer tools, and run $('.mw-parser-output > *:not(.navbox) .new').length This will give you the count of all red links in the page content but excluding navboxes. – SD0001 (talk) 08:29, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks, works well. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 10:27, 16 January 2021 (UTC)


Hello, I think reFill may be down. Thank you for looking. Caro7200 (talk) 15:58, 13 January 2021 (UTC)

Coming here to report the same thing. It was fine earlier today. GiantSnowman 17:18, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
See the top of which has a "Report bugs" link. --Malyacko (talk) 18:07, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
Yes, the creator/monitor, Zhaofeng Li, has not been active for some time... Caro7200 (talk) 18:18, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
Adding my voice to the pile-on. --Ser Amantio di NicolaoChe dicono a Signa?Lo dicono a Signa. 21:44, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
The only way to restart it is to contact the maintainer or convince a toolforge system operator to restart it. Piling on will not resurrect it. The only other option is to take the tool and maintain it yourself. None of those can be solved here. --Izno (talk) 21:54, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
@Izno: I'm not suited to maintaining a tool myself. Mentioning it here has in the past at least alerted editors who are able to restart it - is there anyone you could suggest pinging? --Ser Amantio di NicolaoChe dicono a Signa?Lo dicono a Signa. 22:01, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
I think, also, the last time it went down, there was a discussion to incorporate the tool more under a general maintenance authority. Sorry, I don't know a whole lot about how tech responsibilities play out. It is an important tool, as it's something that welcoming editors encourage new editors to use. Thanks. Caro7200 (talk) 22:19, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
@Caro7200: I've been chewing over that off and on since the last failure - while I'm not suited to coding anything (I push the button and the computer go "boop" and it's REALLY COOL) I keep thinking about putting together a sort of "what do we want from the new ReFill" page so that we can request the best features from both it and Reflinks, along with anything else we can come up with. But it's a hugely important tool, and it becomes troublesome not having someone who can help look after it. --Ser Amantio di NicolaoChe dicono a Signa?Lo dicono a Signa. 22:30, 13 January 2021 (UTC)

Hey, just worked, I am very appreciative, thank you. Caro7200 (talk) 17:39, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

Worked for me as well. Thanks to those who posted here and at this thread User talk:Zhaofeng Li/reFill#Down?. MarnetteD|Talk 17:47, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
Just for information T272161 gives details of problem and fix. Keith D (talk) 19:18, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
Glory, Hallelujah. Just in the nick of time, too - I've found a couple today that want fixing. --Ser Amantio di NicolaoChe dicono a Signa?Lo dicono a Signa. 22:29, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

Add search by edit summary to Contributions search?

Would any of the Wikipedia programmers out there be interested in adding the ability to search contributions by the contents of edit summaries? I would certainly find it useful, and I believe other editors might as well. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:03, 13 January 2021 (UTC)

Is phab:T60698 more general, or sufficiently powerful for that? --Izno (talk) 22:28, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not sure. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:38, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
For now there's the Edit summary search tool (linked from contributions pages), but it'd certainly be nice if that was an internal feature. Graham87 09:21, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:42, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

Help needed to make a query more efficient

I'm trying to create a query to find non-existent templates which have at least one transclusion. I'd like to filter out userspace .css/.js pages from the results as well. I tried with quarry:query/51274 and quarry:query/51273, but both run very slowly and/or end up getting killed. Does anyone know how I can improve the efficiency of these queries? Thanks in advance. -FASTILY 09:10, 14 January 2021 (UTC)

You may be looking for Special:WantedTemplates. If that isn't what you want, it's probably at least a good starting point. It's only updated occasionally though. The last update was at 01:13, 20 December 2020. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 18:24, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
Fastily is trying to replicate wanted templates precisely because the last report was almost a month ago. --Izno (talk) 18:58, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
Wait, that was Fastily? *trouts self* *gets caffeine* Sorry Fastily, if I'd paid attention to the who not just the what I would've known this wasn't a "low-hanging-fruit" question. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 22:56, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
No worries, I appreciate the effort to help :) -FASTILY 01:15, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
page_content_model = "wikitext" or page_conent_model not in ("javascript", "css") may be quicker than page_title not like "%.js". Modules have their own content model, "scribunto".--Snaevar (talk) 18:51, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
Indeed, querying against the content model is a much better way to find not-JavaScript/CSS. --Izno (talk) 18:57, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I've revised the query and it succeeds without getting killed roughly 1/3 of the time. I suspect this has to do with caching of previous runs. Needless to say, this isn't ideal. Is there anything else I could try or am I out of luck? -FASTILY 01:15, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Fastily, WP:RAQ folks may be able to help (I know there's one or two over there who I think don't check this forum too often). --Izno (talk) 02:28, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Okay, I'll give that a try. Thanks again! -FASTILY 04:51, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

User compare report

While filing a SPI today, I observed that the "User compare report" link [88] that is produced for case pages is a deadlink (presumably due to being a Betacommand tool...). The link should possibly be removed, I think, unless the tool has been moved (in which case it needs to be updated)? - The Bushranger One ping only 01:51, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

@The Bushranger: that is coming from Template:SPI report - you can request an edit or discuss the deadlink on that template's talk page. — xaosflux Talk 11:56, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Why is Wikipedia logging me out?

It could be because of WP's 20th anniversary. But why is Wikipedia logging me out when I load a page? Sometimes even if I log back in it won't stay logged in. And I do have cookies enabled! Nearly but not perfect (talk) 05:23, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

No issues here. Amaury • 06:48, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
I had the same issue, but it seems to have stopped now. Whatever the reason was, it wasn't too cool. I didn't catch it at first and made one edit while logged out. If it was something that affected lots of people, then lots of people got their IP addresses revealed. -- Marchjuly (talk) 07:02, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
@I'm not perfect but I'm almost: Even if you have cookies enabled, the act of logging in does not guarantee that you will be served pages that indicate that you are still logged in. A number of factors are at work together: every time your browser requests a page, it sends the cookie at the same time, this is checked against the cookie table on the Wikimedia servers; only if this is present and valid are you treated as being logged in. So any of the following can cause you to be treated as logged out:
  • your browser sends the wrong cookie, a corrupt cookie, or no cookie at all
  • you have a dodgy internet connection causing the cookie to be damaged, received late, or lost altogether
  • the Wikimedia servers might be out of synchronisation (if the server that receives your cookie has a table that is different from the table on the server that first sent you the cookie)
For any given rendered page, several requests are sent to the server - one for the page content; one each for the various style sheets and Javascript files; one each for every single image. Even for a modest page like HTTP cookie that's a lot of requests (my browser sends 48), and each needs to be accompanied by your login cookie. There are lots of points of potential failure; the surprise is that it works well virtually all of the time. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 10:30, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
After logging in today, I started to get logged out just like I'm not perfect but I'm almost described. I stayed logged in after disabling JS. It seems to be related to one of the Gadgets, as it stopped after I disabled them. However, I'm not sure which one causes the problem yet. - Flori4nK tc 12:48, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Nevermind, I reenabled all gadgets one-by-one and the problem seems to be gone. - Flori4nK tc 12:58, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
So I'm not the only one? This happened just a bit ago, and the only way for me to stay logged in was checking "keep me logged in" which I normally don't like doing. Sro23 (talk) 16:38, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
@I'm not perfect but I'm almost, Marchjuly, Flori4nK, and Sro23: Does WP:COOKIES help? Particularly the "I get logged out just after logging in" bit. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:30, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

New logo - link?

The interesting new logo that's appeared for the 20th anniversary in the top left hand corner. Why does it just link to Main page, instead of to Wikipedia:20th anniversary or [89]? --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 11:28, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

I'm going to post this question at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#English_Wikipedia's_20th_anniversary. Please reply there. Don't delete this - others may have the same question. --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 12:49, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

Time-sensitive mobile accessibility help needed at WP:20


This page is currently linked from the main page banner, but has not yet been made to display properly on mobile. Please see discussion and make comments at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Main_page_banner, where I fear it's getting swamped by all the other discussion. Severe display issues for half our readers on a page linked from the top of the main page is a pretty big issue and needs resolving as soon as possible. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 13:37, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

Diff for TimedText is weird

Open this RecentChanges page (or the equivalent on Commons, which has more results) and click on any "diff". The diff table itself displays correctly but the rest of the page is treated like you're viewing the previous revision, including the preview below the diff, notice at the top, and the link destination of the "Edit" tab. Has this been reported on Phab? Nardog (talk) 14:32, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

Eyeballing the project on phab indicates no. I would guess this is due to the Revision.php work done in 1.35. --Izno (talk) 19:23, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

Template to ping WP members?

Is there a template or module to ping a WikiProject members list? Module:Mass notification seems to require pre-coding the list. In Wikidata exists d:Template:Ping project, which looks effective. -DePiep (talk) 00:30, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

@DePiep: I think the closest is the template {{Mass_notification}}. Its limited to 50 people and you need to register the project you want to send a message to, instructions are on that template page. RudolfRed (talk) 01:16, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Template formatting issue

I apologize for posting with such a minute issue, but I didn't receive a response at the help desk and this has been bothering me for a while now! Wondering if anyone knows how to solve a formatting oddity at some of the medieval music templates I've been maintaining, such as {{Ars nova}}, {{Ars subtilior}} and {{Medieval music}}, where the bottom of the template is unable to center consistently, while also including the navigational arrows. The Medieval music one for example pushes the Category, Portal and WikiProject to the left when the "Renaissance music →" is put on the same line, though I'm unsure how to resolve this, even after much experimentation. Any help would be appreciated. Aza24 (talk) 08:50, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

A crude solution would be to put something blank with similar width at the other side, e.g. {{align|left|{{spaces|10|em}}}}. If there is already something there but it's shorter then add something like {{spaces|5|em}} to it. PrimeHunter (talk) 11:02, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I seem to have fixed it by setting the style to "position:absolute" here. It would cause overlap on extremely narrow screens, but that shouldn't be an issue as navboxes don't show up on mobile. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 13:37, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
    • Thank you both, these ideas are very helpful! Aza24 (talk) 20:33, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
      • PrimeHunter the adjustment to the {{Medieval music}} you just made off centered it for me still; I'm just using chrome on a mac desktop, and I checked what it looked like on a macbook air with chrome and it still wasn't centered. Sdkb, your method on {{Ars nova}} works perfect, but I'm not sure how to transmit it to {{Ars subtilior}} or {{Ars antiqua}}; when I tried it, it made the right aligned ones go far left. Aza24 (talk) 23:10, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
@Aza24: Your version [90] pushed "Category Portal WikiProject" so far to the right of the center that it doesn't fit on the same line as "Renaissance music" in a narrow window. If it jumps to the next line for you then it may be centered there but not for others who see it on the line where it belongs. My version [91] seems better. The idea is something of about the same width as "Renaissance music →". That's definitely not 45 em (typography). PrimeHunter (talk) 23:35, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Ah I see, well perhaps Skdb will be able to alter his solution to help with that one. Aza24 (talk) 23:38, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Aza24, hmm, I just took a look but I'm afraid I can't figure out anything. BrandonXLF is pretty good with this kind of thing, so he might know. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 02:41, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
Sdkb, I went ahead and replaced the floated elements with ones using the "position: absolute" trick. The one that had to be aligned to the right, using "right: 0" moves them 0px away from the right side of their positioned parent. I also added a positioned parent so they would use the padding that contents of the below area have. BrandonXLF (talk) 03:38, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
Your solution seems to work perfectly, thank you Brandon! Aza24 (talk) 03:44, 18 January 2021 (UTC)


Is there a substitute for Dispensers dablinks tool? The tool seems to be unavailable even via the links given at {{dablinks}}. Nthep (talk) 10:40, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

tech problem (stalled) ?

what is to be expected (or done) with a tech problem, that seems to have stalled..?

Gfigstalk 12:33, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

The example [92] in phab:T271288 works for me with Google Chrome 87.0.4280.141, paper size A1. I tried other sizes, margens and scales but didn't find any problem. PrimeHunter (talk) 13:13, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
PrimeHunter ok thanks, will check this on the browser..Gfigstalk 13:26, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
is anyone else experiencing this problem with Chrome (mobile) on ?Gfigstalk 04:51, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Reading - Mobile Pages, and fixing Template problemsGfigstalk 09:32, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
Neveselbert, Frietjes, Headbomb here on Mobicel X4 mobile phone. Chrome 87.0.4280.141. browser..Gfigstalk 07:47, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
apparently, lot of controversy on this issue of : Infobox/Marriage templates. unable to view codes, as they are protected, due to vandalism..hope it works regards Gfigstalk 03:02, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

Editing toolbar - display only one button?

Hi. Can the editing toolbar ("This is sometimes called the '2010 wikitext editor'") be customised so it only shows the redirect button? I have no use for the other editing tools, but do use the redirect syntax a lot. Grateful for any help or code I can drop into my custom .css. Thanks. Lugnuts Fire Walk with Me 14:57, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Yes, you would replicate the code at mw:Extension:WikiEditor/Toolbar_customization#Removing_things for each element you don't want and add to your javascript page. The reference toolbar, which is active by default, should be disabled in your gadget settings.--Snaevar (talk) 15:46, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks. I disabled the toolbar in my preferences years ago. IIRC the javascript was giving me issues with my web browser, and I'd forgotten about it until today. I had a play with turning it back on. How would I find out the names/properties of all the other buttons? Lugnuts Fire Walk with Me 17:49, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
The names/properties can be looked up in the page source, but I listed them below.
section group tool
main format bold
main insert link
main codemirror CodeMirror
and then you can just remove the whole menus (sections), their names are advanced, characters and help, like so:
$( '#wpTextbox1' ).wikiEditor( 'removeFromToolbar', {
	'section': 'characters'

Personally I would readd the redirect button to the top (main section). No reason to open up an menu for one button. On the mediawiki page I linked, higher up on that page is some documention how to do that.--Snaevar (talk) 19:49, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply, but this is beyond my expertise. Lugnuts Fire Walk with Me 13:26, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

Restoring musical score functionality

Due to phab:T257066, musical scores through LilyPond have been partially disabled since last summer. However, for the moment it's possible to restore the display of the scores at least by commenting out the "vorbis=1" argument with percent signs. Since it does not look like the matter is close to being resolved, I'd like to propose creating a bot that will do such commenting out on all pages that use the extension, and then un-comment it once the functionality has been restored. I want to sound out the idea here before writing and requesting approval for such a bot, because it would involve making a large number of trivial edits, so I don't know what the community support would be for this. --Ipatrol (talk) 21:04, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

The thing is, that would only display it until someone changes the score, as has been confirmed on phabricator. It gives people an false sense that scores work, when they do not. Personally, I would say no to the proposal.--Snaevar (talk) 13:00, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

Mystery ping

I received a ping notification related to this edit - but I cannot see my name mentioned? GiantSnowman 22:49, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

The edit accidentally transcluded User:Cupper52 instead of linking to it. Your username is mentioned on that page, in the "Fact file" section, and that got picked up as a mention of you. * Pppery * it has begun... 22:57, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
OK, thanks! GiantSnowman 08:38, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

Header feature

I use to have a feature at the top of my page that showed when a page was created, by whom, and a few stats such as its length. Now, I don't see this info.-TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 23:45, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Preferences - Gadgets - XTools: dynamically show statistics about a page's history under the page heading. Is that what you are looking for? It's working for me. – Jonesey95 (talk) 01:50, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Yes, that would be the one. Either a) Xtools was down at the time Tony looked, or b) he has another script that is broken and needs fixing. --Izno (talk) 04:16, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
That is a good script, but the one that seems to be down use to also show the latest diff summary and time, which is often quite handy.-TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 05:28, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
I have an educated guess. In User:TonyTheTiger/vector.js, you have a link to User:Eizzen/LastEditor.js and another script by the same user. On 4 Jan 2021, those scripts were moved to match the user's new username, e.g. User:Eizen/LastEditor.js. If you remove the extra "z" from each of the user names in your vector.js file, and then reload or purge an article a few times, I suspect that your script will start working again. If that works, we may want to notify 1997kB, who moved those pages, to say that editors who use those .js scripts may need to be notified about the page moves. – Jonesey95 (talk) 00:19, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
Jonesey95, This was result of a account rename and as of I know rename extension set a redirect from old script to new, so that people using old one don't have any issues. So I don't think the script is issue here. ‐‐1997kB (talk) 02:42, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
I put the old (now a redirect) script name (with User:Eizzen) in my vector.js, and it did not work. I changed the script name to User:Eizen/LastEditor.js, and it works. It appears that moving the script, even with a redirect in place, broke the script's use, at least for me, and presumably for TonyTheTiger and about 18 other editors. Can you please notify them, or possibly fix the redirect so that it works, if possible? Thanks. – Jonesey95 (talk) 06:07, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
Jonesey95, I don't have permission to fix them, but I'll open a phab task as hundreds of users get renamed every day, so hundreds of such redirect. ‐‐1997kB (talk) 12:48, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

Query, or feature request: UI in my own language

Is there currently a way, when guest-starring on other-language projects, to have the UI in my native language so that I can actually navigate? I appreciate that it's fun to learn new languages and attempt to navigate by touch and feel in, say, Arabic or Belorussian, but ain't nobody got time for dat, I would typically prefer to edit using an interface in a language that I understand, even if the content is cast in a completely unintelligible tongue. Is there currently a preference for this, or a phab that I can glom onto? Thanks! Elizium23 (talk) 06:05, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

Have you tried the Google Translate extension? -FASTILY 06:41, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Actually I won't bother! I just found out that there is a global preference to set language and once it's set, the UIs are all translated. It might not be entirely consistent or there may be a propogation lag effect, but I've successfully edited in Azerbaijani and much more now. Thanks for the pointer, anyway! Elizium23 (talk) 06:48, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

user device and OS stats

are there any stats available on wiki websites, indicating number (or percentage) of users on mobile vs desktop..also any info on operating systems in use..many thanks Gfigstalk 07:38, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

See [93] for mobile vs desktop on Wikimedia wikis. has data on individual pages. PrimeHunter (talk) 08:25, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
thank you Gfigstalk 09:10, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

How to deal with link rot on "Official Website"

The "Official Website" for SUPER-UX (this version) is no longer valid. The displayed information is retrieved from Wikidata via Template:Infobox OS, as the website parameter is blank. The Wikidata information allows other language Wikipedia projects to use, and in this case provide, the website URL and have the information consumed and displayed by each of the Wikipedia projects.

I asked and updated the information as no longer valid, per a project chat over on Wikidata.

See: (On Wikidata) Best way to deal with link rot on "Official Website"

The Wikidata solution of setting the end time (P582) qualifier to the Wikidata statement(data) has been done. The rationale, I gather, is that old Wikidata information can be tagged with the end time (P582) to say the statement(data) was valid, up to and including the end time value. This implies, I gather, that some time after the specified end time value, the statement(data) should be treated as no longer valid.

As the Official Website still is rendered by the Infobox OS, I'm assuming that the official website (P856) value from SUPER-UX (Q2665351) is being used anyway.

What is the best way to resolve this?

  1. Set some other qualifier on the wikidata information that Infobox OS recognizes
  2. Wait/Request some bot to set things or note things properly, like Citation bot does for broken doi's
  3. Request a change to Infobox OS (or the parent/superclass template) to not display an Official Website if a P582 end time qualifier exists and the value is not in the future
  4. Workaround the Infobox OS to eliminate/modify the displayed value
  5. Workaround the Infobox OS to display URL for the last valid snapshot of the site cached at
  6. Something else

Or a mixture of the preceding?

Enquiring minds want to know :) Lent (talk) 12:39, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

Template:Infobox OS#Parameters mentions the option |website=hide. PrimeHunter (talk) 13:23, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
 Done THANKS! I missed that special value. I guess I'm spoiled by emphasis like bold and <code> in documentation. Lent (talk) 21:34, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

Watch pages issue

Hello, I usually edit pages, and they are auto saved to my watchlist. This stopped happening for some reason? Also, I'm not getting certain on-wiki notifications such as reverts. I checked these settings, and they appear to be set correctly. Also, the email notifications are going through, just not the on-wiki ones. Huggums537 (talk) 14:46, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

@Huggums537: Is "Add pages and files I edit to my watchlist" enabled at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-watchlist? Is "Edit revert" enabled in the "Web" column at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-echo? Please post an example of a revert you think should have notified you. Always include an example if possible when you report any issue. Were you notified of this post? PrimeHunter (talk) 15:20, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Yes, all the settings are correct as I stated. I even checked my global settings. The last two reverts are in fact showing up in my notification list, but they are appearing as read, and I never saw them when they came in. The only way I knew about them was from my email. I used to get a "red light indicator button" at the top of the page near my username when this type of notification comes in, but now it works for everything else except reverts I guess. Weird. Huggums537 (talk) 15:50, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Ok, so it turns out the watchlist issue did have something to do with my settings. I'm getting it ironed out. I'll have to wait it out on the revert issue to see if it was just something I might have overlooked when someone eventually reverts me. Thanks for your help. Huggums537 (talk) 16:10, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
@Huggums537: I have reverted you as a test and then restored your post. Did you click the link in the email while you were still logged in and before viewing any other Wikimedia page since the revert was made? The link includes a markasread part. PrimeHunter (talk) 17:02, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
HA! Thanks. It worked! And, yes I think I might have done that. So that would explain it I guess... Huggums537 (talk) 17:04, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

Tech News: 2021-03

16:09, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

Transcluding multiple pages based on multiple links pulled from wikidata.

Goal: Transclude all the links returned by wikidata call.

I got some help on the Module: wd help page that got me part way to a solution.

I'm using: {{#invoke:wd|properties|linked|Q151973|P26|format=\{\{:%p\}\} }}

To give me this list of Richard Burton's spouses:

{{:Elizabeth Taylor}} {{:Sybil Christopher}} {{:Suzy Miller}} {{:Elizabeth Taylor}} {{:Sally Burton}}

And I can kinda make it transclude them by doing this:

{{subst:#invoke:wd|properties|Q151973|P26|format=\{\{:%p\}\} }}

But, upon saving, subst will do what it does and replace the wikitext with its substituted translusion links, which is what I'm trying to avoid.

Is there a way to achieve the same result, without using subst? Because if a new spouse were added to Richard Burton, I want my page to automatically capture that and take it into account and transclude the new spouse's page too.

Been trying workarounds like recursive subst through a template but nothing seems to manage this. Any help would be appreciated. El Dubs (talk) 00:25, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

You already asked this at Help talk:Transclusion#Transclusion instead of substitution for multiple links and (in slightly different form) at Module talk:Wd#Fetch link and transclude linked page; please observe WP:MULTI. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 08:37, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
My apologies, I was asking for more general information than I did at Module:wd, and I realised the Transclusion help page is not a very active one, so thought this the best place. Let's consider this the main one. El Dubs (talk) 19:10, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

Embedded video insist downloading rather than playback (on iOS mobile)

A Webm video. iPhone refuses playback, while Android insists to play from the beginning, ignoring the command to play from 41'
An ogv video. iPhone refuses playback, while Android plays perfectly from 1:52, as instructed

On iOS mobile device (Safari and Chrome), while playing Webm and ogv embedded in an Wikipedia article, it directs users to download the file rather than a simple playback (which is ridiculous for a >100Mb video). On Android (Chrome), while ogv works perfectly, Webm could only be played from the beginning, ignoring the time tag commands (Note: most users specify a starting time of the video so that it corresponds to relevant content to the article). The above issues does not happen on desktop computers. Is there a fix? -- love.wh 04:23, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

Try the same thing on testwiki:, especially the playback part. There is an different audio/video player there (video.js, instead of Kaltura here). There is an ogv file at testwiki:Equivalence_principle, for example.--Snaevar (talk) 17:31, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Also, are you using the mobile app or the mobile website to access these? (If both, is it the same experience?) — xaosflux Talk 17:38, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

Tag reverted 2

Regarding fourth and fifth comment, here is the example that proves that tag should not be there: Special:Diff/1001276030/1001368163, Special:Diff/1001368163/next. Kalimoun's contribution line should not have (Tag: Reverted) at the end because that is not related to his/her contribution as other user reverted that edit indeed; other user's contribution can have (Tag: Undo) because it is describing the contribution in question. Solution can be to alter (Tag: Reverted) so that it is (Tag: Reverted by other user) and (Tag: Reverted by contrib user) or something like that, and when accompanied with tag Undo – e.g. (Tags: Undo, Reverted previous or one of previous contribs). Contributions in View history need to be clean. Also, by that line, '(cur | prev)' should be separated from the line some way, as well as (talk | contribs)‎ and total page size and (undo) function. I know this is kind of talkable matter but I see it consistent that way or something similar to that way. -- (talk) 13:57, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

The "Reverted" tag is behaving exactly as intended. There is no technical problem, just dislike of a feature. Others like it. "(Tag: Reverted by other user)" seems long once you have seen a few hundred, and many editors will see thousands. The message is made by MediaWiki:Tag-mw-reverted. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:49, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

How to template an article that uses public domain sources?...

I am working on a historical biography that's kind of a mess MOS-wise and reference-wise. It contains content copied wholesale from a book (published in 1850 and now public-domain). I have searched for an appropriate somewhat generic public-domain source template to use, similar to the Encyclopedia Brittanica {{EB1911}} & {{EB1922}} Templates but have been unsuccessful. Help please! Thanks, Shearonink (talk) 19:23, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

@Shearonink: I don't think this is really a technical problem, but you could use templates such as Template:PD-old-text or Template:PD-notice. Category:Attribution templates contains most of the attribution templates if your source is a popular one it may have a special template as well. — xaosflux Talk 19:50, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Xaosflux - It might not technically be a "technical" problem but I thought I'd ask those more technically knowledgeable than myself about the answer and this place seemed like an appropriate venue to forestall my wandering in the Wiki-wilderness of ohsoMANYtemplates. I don't *think* it's a popular source but I'll continue poking around to see what I can find on that score. Thanks for your response - Shearonink (talk) 20:20, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
@Shearonink: oh sure no worries, I meant I couldn't see a tech problem - so that if you had one we'd need more to go on. Hope those help! — xaosflux Talk 20:25, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

Number of edits not available via API?

Page information shows you "Total number of edits", but is this not available via a MediaWiki API? API:Info doesn't seem to cover it. Nardog (talk) 00:46, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

Hiding a specific list item label in Ordered list

Consider this ordered list:

  1. Introduction
  2. Luttes ("Struggles")
  3. Voluptés ("Delights")
  4. Jeu divin ("Divine Play")

I'd like to hide the "0." (without breaking the indentation), but the rest of the labels should stay. How can I achieve that? Cheers, intforce (talk) 00:59, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

  1. Introduction
  2. Luttes ("Struggles")
  3. Voluptés ("Delights")
  4. Jeu divin ("Divine Play")
  • Thanks a bunch! :) intforce (talk) 01:31, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

ReFill down again?

It's not worked for me this morning - is there a wider problem or is it just me? GiantSnowman 10:05, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

Reflinks is working fine. The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 14:32, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
Nice to know that reflinks is back but refill is still down. If someone who has access to phab would file a new request to get it going again that would be great. MarnetteD|Talk 14:58, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
many thanks, I'll use Reflinks for now. GiantSnowman 15:41, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
FYI GiantSnowman and The C of E as far as I can tell the current version of reflinks (unlike the one that was deactivated last year) only adds a bot generated title to the bare url. It does not actually put the url into a cite template. IMO that is not useful as it doesn't help with linkrot. You may feel differently but I wanted you to be aware of what I found. Regards. MarnetteD|Talk 18:45, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
That is what Reflinks has always done (or has for as long as I have done). Whenever this situation arises I always go back and re-convert properly using ReFill whenever it is fixed... GiantSnowman 18:47, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
@MarnetteD: Have you tried switching it to interactive? That does put the link in a cite template. I always use Reflinks and (barring a few it can't connect with), it does most of the work for you, you just have to trim the loose threads. The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 19:00, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
Thank you so much The C of E. Of course it would be something so simple that I was unaware of since I had never activated it before. Gosh it is nice to have this tool working again - now if we can just get reflinks back to working it'll be like the old days (all of two years ago) formatting bare urls. Thanks again. MarnetteD|Talk 19:07, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
Wow, that's great, thanks! GiantSnowman 20:08, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

Any idea why it is adding a 1970 date to websites published earlier today, such as this? I've manually remedied. GiantSnowman 22:33, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

Ordered list not correctly indented on mobile

I've raised this issue here; perhaps someone can shed a light on this issue. Thanks, intforce (talk) 12:49, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

Adding an automatically updated featured content section to Wikipedia:WikiProject_Zimbabwe/Rhodesia_task_force

I was wondering how you can get an automatically updated featured content section by the JL-Bot to Wikipedia:WikiProject_Zimbabwe/Rhodesia_task_force similar to what WP:WikiProject YouTube and WP:X/showcase have please? The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 14:41, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

Need some help building a proforma with sections autofilled based on username

Hi all

I've spent quite a lot of time building a resource to help keep people's multiple sandboxes organised to make writing draft articles and publishing them a bit easier

Whilst people can simply copy the page and change the name in the wiki text manually I would really like to make a page on Wikipedia where people can make their own version of this simply by clicking a button, this will make it easier to discover and also use the tool.

To make a version of this page for other users all that needs to happen is for my name to be replaced in the wikicode with the user who wants to use it (I have instructions at the bottom of the page for doing this manually). Because the page uses multiple tools there are two versions of the username that have to be replaced, one which replaces a space with a '+' and another which replaces a space with _, eg John+Cummings and John_Cummings.

Does anyone have an idea of how to create a button that would

  1. Read someone's username
  2. Add their username to a proforma adding in their username with either a '+' or a '_' in different places in the proforma (people can have 0 or 1 or 2 or a lot of spaces in their username)
  3. Saves the page or makes it very obvious how to save the page, either overwriting their existing sandbox or letting users chose where to save the page


John Cummings (talk) 15:23, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

@John Cummings: If I understand what you're asking, maybe an {{Edit}} link with a preloaded page (copy of your sandbox somewhere) and a Template to substitute their name, which would be pulled from magic word REVISIONUSER? Mathglot (talk) 19:36, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
Take a look at how we manage signups for the GOCE copy edit drives. There might be code in there that is helpful. – Jonesey95 (talk) 19:41, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks very much @Jonesey95: and @Mathglot: the bit I'm really stuck on is how to take a username with a space in and replace the space with a + in some places and a _ in other places on the same preload? John Cummings (talk) 20:00, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
@John Cummings: try {{#replace}}. Mathglot (talk) 20:24, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
Hmm, I see what you mean, I think... maybe the preload page should just be a one-line, template invocation of a second page which has your actual sandbox data, with the template of your design in the preload, which executes the task of replacing tokens in the second page with the userid the way you want it. Never tried that with a preload, and not sure if it will work; try it and let us know. Mathglot (talk) 20:31, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

Lost "inspect diff" today i