Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 10

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linking to hate groups

Hello. I was wondering if according to wikipedia rules and regulations, a user, could add a direct link to a Nazi website in an article? And if not, please provide me with the related quotes from the laws. --Kaaveh 08:22, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

It all depends on three things: Ein, if the link is not being spammed for business purposes (user contribs showing only additions of that link are red flags); Zwei, If the link is pertinent to the article and not added specifically as a shock site meant to offend other Wikipedians; Drei, if the site can be considered a RS at all (this three-tiered test is the status quo here on Wiki). I would need to see a diff before I could pass judgment, however - no policies apply all of the time. -Jéské (Blah v^_^v) 08:40, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
As Jeske says, it is a balancing act. In general, such links are appropriate to pages that discuss the hate group, but are unlikely to be appropriate in most other contexts. Dragons flight 08:50, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks a lot to both of you. cheers --Kaaveh 09:42, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Linking to neo-Nazi websites is sometimes used as a form of POV-pushing. See Links to David Duke.--John Nagle 18:31, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Is there a specific policy for inappropriate images displayed in articles?

I searched for the article entitled Sexual Intercourse (admittedly in the event of my boredom)and I happened to notice some rather explicitly sexual images. I do acknowledge that the images are necessary to provide useful content in the article, but, I feel that the availability of such sensual images to minors is a serious problem, considering that there was no disclaimer of any kind in the article.

Whether the article's explicit content appears without warning on a computer in a public place or in front of elementary school kids, I believe that something should be done about it.

-Krono45 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Krono45 (talkcontribs) 20:48, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

wikipedia isn't censored. ~Sasha Callahan (Talk) 20:52, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
However here's an interesting way to bypass wikipedia isn't censored .Garda40 21:31, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
See also the Wikipedia:Content disclaimer. Natalie 22:16, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Garda, misapplying policy is not a clever way to manipulate WP. --Kevin Murray (talk) 03:55, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
It appears that there is such a policy. The second cited in the edit comment linked above. Wikipedia is not censored except for ... ;) Alastair Haines 05:09, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
If you intentionally navigate to an article called "sexual intercourse," I cannot fathom how you'd be the least bit surprised to see... depictions of sexual intercourse. This is how we generally treat the issue. Of course there should not be gratuitous and pointless images where you would not expect to find them (Walt Disney, for example) but if a user is reading an encyclopedia article about sexual intercourse, it is reasonable to expect that the article will contain illustrations relating to the article topic. FCYTravis (talk) 03:46, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Discussion about image use and WP:NOR

Please come participate in the discussion here. It involves image use policy issues far beyond the template itself. Thanks. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 06:43, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Proposed policy WP:PRIVATE

Several editors of differing philosophies have been working on a proposed policy to address the posting of private correspondence on Wikipedia. Initially intended to address user behaviour, this has now been extended into areas that may affect content edits to the encyclopedia proper. In the interests of transparency, consensus and collaboration, other editors might wish to review and comment on this proposed policy. Risker (talk) 22:19, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

What does this have to do with building an encyclopedia? --- tqbf 00:56, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I am really at odds with the NNOTABILITY/Trivia policy right now.

Sirs:

I am really at odds with the NOTABILITY/Trivia policy.

This policy has alienated a large number of WebComic advocates, and certainally cost WP some creadibility and good will, and some donation money too.

As I stated on my former user page, ( I will provbibly not log in again ):

"This is upsetting me, a lot. Articles are set for speedy deletion based upon the concept of Notability, i.e. popularization which to me has a connotation of sensationalizm. Since the most of the web is sensationalism and esoteric, and polarized in that way. ( Some eMusic sites I have been to only have 25~30 page views.)

Why would you want a encyclopedia, that only has popular topics? I really wound't want that. Id read 'People' Magazine if I wanted that. Encyclopedias should EMBRACE THE ESOTERIC. There is an article here on wikipedia for every pokemon character, and I %*&3 hate pokemon, but I respect its reverence amoung five year olds, and especially five year olds who use wikipedia as their reference. Can you imagine the effect of children growing up as knowing wikipedia as something that was usefull to them, and they would enjoy comtributing to?

By this criteria alone ( Notability ), we should delete ALL HISTORY before WWII for its irelevence. Is Joan D'Arc relevent? Practically no. But she has extrodinary significance to the history of religion, spirituality and philosophy." You can easily rewrite history, by only looking at the "popular" aspects of it.

I have an eye for detail and consistancy, and am about to actually work on my first complete rewrite, ( although, no one has stepped forward to guide me, or adopt me). Is it actually become sport to destory what others are passionate about? ( Feel free, of course, to delete this message if you feel that is not notable enough. )

What is being done policy wise about this?

http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Comments:Wikimedia_fundraiser_highlights_webcomic_community%27s_frustration_with_Wikipedia_guidelines#The_tip_of_an_iceberg.

end of soapbox —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.188.118.64 (talk) 08:17, November 12, 2007 (UTC)

You're clearly upset about the notability requirement, but I'm sorry to say that I don't understand much more than that. I'll take just a couple of your points: Why would you want a encyclopedia, that only has popular topics? Why indeed? But en:WP isn't that. (Brutalist architecture isn't a popular topic or a popular kind of architecture.) Again: By this criteria alone ( Notability ), we should delete ALL HISTORY before WWII for its irelevence. Is Joan D'Arc relevent? Practically no. But she has extrodinary significance to the history of religion, spirituality and philosophy. If she indeed has extraordinary significance to these three histories, then surely she's notable. Where's the (potential) problem with here? Perhaps you could rephrase your complaint. -- Hoary 09:27, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
It is no longer essentially nessessary. Wikipedia will be the only product of 'Group thought' and 'Mass popularizm' If its "interesting" to the admins It stays, I am taking Jim Bo's suggestion that I find something else significant to do with my life other than swim upstream. I have created other accounts on other wiki's and am developing my SPAM bot to help a few others using wiki-software that do not have the benefit of a few million dollars in resources. See ya. (i.e. dont waste your time ) Stupidly I didnt sign my very last, and final post. G'day mate! Artoftransformation 12:51, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
  • The notability guideline sets some easy to follow and fairly objective standards, with a relatively low bar to inclusion. However, I do see uneven application of the standards at AfD, mostly by uninformed nominators and less informed evaluators. This is more of a problem than the guidelines. --Kevin Murray 13:14, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
For example? Editors being too strict about WP:N, or too lenient? I'm a relative newcomer that spends a bit of time at AfD, and in the wake of your comment, am now looking for guidance. --- tqbf 19:28, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
  • A lot of people tried to abuse the rules by including webcomics that were just starting hadn't gotten any outside coverage (reliable or otherwise). I'm sure there are multiple webcomics that satisfy the current criteria. We just can't include ALL of them. - Mgm|(talk) 13:53, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
    • Why not include everything that gets submitted, if the information is correct? Are you short on money to buy more hard drives? Are people having a hard time finding the information they are looking for? Is there some other reason for the policy? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.188.122.139 (talk)
      • If it doesn't pass the basic notability guidelines, there generally isn't enough verifiable information to be sure anything in the article is correct. Hence, it's often better just to delete it until such a time as some information is available from reliable sources. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 22:16, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
        • In that case, just enforce the verifiability guidelines. Your argument if followed through leads to the conclusion that the notability requirement is redundant. Mdmkolbe 23:14, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

More on this, I finally figured that...the notability paradox, the more you exclude notability, the more insignificant you become. Britannica has an enormous amount of trivia, and because of this, errors or not, it will always be the encyclopedia of choice, vs wep which has notable authors such as the man who posed as the Dr of divinity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Artoftransformation (talkcontribs) 19:21, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Copyright vs. Trademark

There seems to be a big issue here on both Wikipedia and Commons, where users are confusing copyright versus trademark. This has been an issue with many logos, which cannot be copyrighted due to their simplicity, but are subject to trademark laws. For example, Image:Mbta-logo.svg cannot be copyrighted because it merely consists of the letter "T" inside a circle. An editor has been confusing copyright with trademark, and has since added a copyright image tag (in addition to the public domain tag), and now the image is listed for deletion. I don't want to start an edit war over this, or any other image, but it is certain that editors need to establish the difference between copyright and trademark, and know when to use {{Trademark}} and {{PD-ineligible}} on image pages. There is no detailed explanation about this at WP:LOGOS, and I think that a statement should be instated somewhere. I also think that a {{PD-logo}} should be created to help users understand this concept a little bit better. NOTE: This message was previously posted at Wikipedia talk:Logos on 2007-11-07 with no replies. –Dream out loud (talk) 16:59, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

This sounds like a good idea to me. -- Ned Scott (talk) 21:29, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
As an additional note to the above, there is no legal regime that prevents Wikipedia from using a non-copyrightable trademark in any manner, except that we can not confuse the public into thinking that we are in fact produced by the company that is the owner of the mark (see Likelihood of confusion). bd2412 T 05:51, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm having an issue right now with an editor over the licensing status of Image:SEPTA.svg. The image is in public domain because it was first published without a copyright notice before 1978, and it also consists entirely of simple geometric shapes, which cannot be copyrighted to begin with. However, despite the fact that I added public domain tags to the image, another editor insists that the image must be copyrighted because it has a trademark. I tried explaining to the user the different between the two, but he continued to be ignorant after I left him a message and he changed the copyright status back to fair use because of a trademark disclaimer, and said NOT to change it back. I'm not starting an edit war here, but I need to get this issue resolved, as well as other issues regarding copyrights vs. trademarks. –Dream out loud (talk) 17:02, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
FYI, the arrangement of the "simple geometric shapes" in that logo could be copyrighted (even if in this case it isn't due to failure to go through the formalities), just like a Mondrian painting is. That "simple geometric shapes" exception is for truly simple things like a circle or a square. - JasonAQuest 16:09, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

The wording of Template:Non-free logo doesn't help. It says "copyright and/or trademark". That basically implies that trademarks are fair use images. FunPika 20:49, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

The majority of fiction is non-notable

Can we just delete everything to do with fiction, period? It seems kind of subjective that we're deleting virtually every article on video games characters, often with very little warning (two articles that I frequently contributed to were deleted before I was even aware they had been nominated for deletion). And really, what fiction is important? I suppose Shakespeare can stay, and Dickens, and Austin, and "classic" literature, stuff like that. And I suppose some people would get quite upset if the Harry Potter or Foundation stuff went as well, but I don't see why we need an article on Pokémon, or CardCaptor Sakura, or Red Dwarf, or The Edge Chronicles. I mean let's face it - who cares? RobbieG (talk) 13:21, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Please feel free to take them to deletion review, but in general fictional concepts that have been around for over a century and are still actively studied and read, such as Dickens and Shakespeare characters, have sufficient independent scholarly sources as to allow a realistic assessment of their historic cultural importance. The character you have to kill to get to level 3 in Sonic is less unambiguously significant. Guy (Help!) 13:32, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I made that distinction. The works of Shakespeare are probably suitable material for an encyclopaedia, as is most classic literature. Apart from that, though, surely all fiction is irrelevant to Wikipedia's goals, right? RobbieG (talk) 13:46, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't know what you're trying to say. The notion of "classic" literature is extraordinarily flexible, at least if we concede that "modern classic" is more than a marketing gimmick, and especially if somebody claims that the term "instant classic" isn't mere hyperbole.
Putting aside the matter of what "classic" means and what it covers, there's a great amount of fiction that interests a substantial number of thinking people, although perhaps not you or me, and about which people may write intelligible and informative articles according to WP's precepts of "no original research" etc. As long as they follow the rules and also don't risk confusion of fiction and reality, I don't see what's problematic.
You introduce your question about fiction with something about video game characters. I don't see why video game characters merit articles (though I'm open to persuasion); and I also don't see why fictional characters merit articles, unless those characters are known (perhaps only faintly, and perhaps only has doubly fictional caricatures) to people who haven't read the fiction. The fiction might be fairly well read in this century (Lolita and Humbert in Lolita) and it might not (Svengali and perhaps Trilby in du Maurier's Trilby).
If you're unhappy about some deletion, you can take up the matter in "Deletion Review". -- Hoary (talk) 14:33, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
To be perfectly frank, I am unhappy with several specific deletions, but I really haven't the time or the energy to spend arguing my point, when I have very little confidence that the people at deletion review would take my complaints seriously anyway. But that's got little to do with the point I'm making here now, which is: do we need multiple pages listing every Pokémon from #1 to #however many there are by now? Compare the article on Wyatt's rebellion with the article on Dagger of the Mind, for example. A reader of Wikipedia would probably find out more information about the fictional history of Star Trek than the real world history of England. Doesn't this bother anyone else? RobbieG (talk) 14:45, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Deleting good articles on pop culture topics doesn't make articles on "important" topics any better... it's not like the guy carefully formatting Naruto infoboxes is going to just start working on articles about the French Revolution because you deleted his fiction articles. More likely he leaves and the "serious" articles still suck. --W.marsh 14:48, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
(ec) The solution to that problem isn't to delete Dagger of the Mind, but to improve Wyatt's rebellion. You say you haven't the time or energy to spend arguing your point, but what exactly is your point? Anomie 14:50, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
This is why notability for articles on fiction is present. It defines what level of external information for a fictional work should be present to allow for articles on it (this itself is the reason why many fictional articles are being put for deletion - its to help stop fancruft). Now, we may be overly strong on modern "fiction" and weak on older ones but that is primarily because of the makeup of the editors, with a larger fraction interested in these newer works than those of the older ones, but there's no reason why there can't be more coverage of classical works that met the same requirements for notability - we just need to find the editors to help out on those. --MASEM 14:52, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't know, man. Lady Macbeth (Shakespeare) cites no references showing real-world importance. Maybe I should speedy delete it just to be safe. --W.marsh 14:41, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Never mind, it was only a suggestion. I wasn't trying to disrupt anything, but if the cruft is here to stay, then so be it. RobbieG (talk) 14:55, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
You ask: do we need multiple pages listing every Pokémon from #1 to #however many there are by now? Answer: No. ¶ You ask: A reader of Wikipedia would probably find out more information about the fictional history of Star Trek than the real world history of England. Doesn't this bother anyone else? Answer: It bothers me. It bothers me that the real history of England (or anywhere else) is poorly covered; it alternately bothers me and hugely amuses me that great numbers of people would spend large chunks of their life writing up Star Warstrek. Well, WP is promoted as the encyclopedia anyone can edit, so its editors are likely to approach a cross-section of people capable of using a computer and writing in English. Now, if you look at what the anglophone masses read about, you'll find junk and trivia hugely represented. Hardly surprising that the Wikipedia-editing masses then choose to write about junk and trivia. -- Hoary (talk) 15:24, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
RobbieG brings a valueble point, especially with the Pokemon. I just checked and there are currently 493 pokemon. All that plus the articles on the characters from the show, the regions, the games, the movies, the manga, etc. You must have 500-600 articles just for Pokemon (which most of them are stubs). Are they really necessary? Should they be tolerated? My answer is no. Just by having 1 pokemon article is fine. Everything else belongs in a Pokemon Wikia. Feedback 16:09, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Most Pokemon characters are in lists such as List of Pokémon (1-20) (which has been pwned by the fair use guidelines/policies meaning we can't even have pics of most pokemon here). Notable ones such as Pikachu do however have their own articles. And if we come to the point that all Pokemon knowledge must either be transwikied or be simply deleted, I think Bulbapedia would be more suitable then Pokemon Wikia. FunPika 20:32, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
W. marsh has a good point. There are no references at all in that article. I hate inline citations, but a nice reference at the end is not too much to ask. Not so tongue in cheek. Keegantalk 07:24, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Disagree. A very large amount of fiction is undoubtedly notable according to Wikipedia policies, including all the examples that you give. Indeed, it would be difficult to include all the relevant information on Pokemon into a single article; it would be incredibly unwieldy. However, where Wikipedia falls down is the amount of articles on certain types of fiction. To give an example; there are currently over 600 articles on Gundam. Most of these articles could be happily deleted or merged without any loss of encyclopedic content, but it doesn't happen. Why? Because Wikipedia content, especially on fiction, is not based on actual notability, but how many Wikipedia editors think that content is notable. If you don't believe me, find a non-notable, unsourced, in-universe article on this topic (there are hundreds - here's a good starting point) and AfD it. Unless it's indefensibly NN, you will get a slew of WP:ILIKEIT keep votes (thus), and even if the closing admin correctly closes as Delete, the eventual outcome, after weeks of stress, will be that the information is merged somewhere else, resulting in an article with a long list of NN, unsourced information instead of individual articles (example). Sometimes they do get deleted; but it doesn't happen often. If you PROD an article, it'll probably be removed, and someone will claim to be writing a merged article; then nothing will happen ((example). No wonder that most people can't be bothered. ELIMINATORJR 16:36, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I find it telling that the only examples you provide are unwieldy mass-noms. Invariably, when someone shows up to mass-nom Gundam articles, it turns out they havn't examined them closely. Even more invariably, people who have problems with Gundam articles never post on WP:GUNDAM about it.

Current consensus is to merge minor stuff into list of articles and only make or keep articles about major things. That's policy and that's how we at WP:GUNDAM do things. Your claim about 'nothing being done' is in fact a blatant lie-- a lot of work is being done at the moment, but it mostly is focusing on mecha from a specific series at the moment. There are not many people working on WP:GUNDAM, and not all of them know everything about every series. Jtrainor (talk) 17:56, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Partly agree. I would not say Pokémon is not notable but I really think that many details of this phenomenon are non-notable and yet they are widely covered in Wikipedia. Like other fan stuff (Star Trek and so on) it has a coverage that goes well beyond what is logical: there is absolutely no reason to cover each epysode for instance; this doesn't happen with Pokémon, it seems (only a handful of epysodes in the list have active links, what is excessive), but it happens with Star Trek, what is absolutely ridiculous. The notability of other fiction stuff should as well be adressed properly, specially when it comes to have loads of articles about the most nimious related detail, be it characters, toys, epysodes... --Sugaar (talk) 17:13, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
OK, be aware that I've thought about it and toned down my views a little since my last comment here. The thing is, I am in many ways an inclusionist (despite the impression I probably gave above). I don't see why we shouldn't have more detail on fiction than a print encyclopaedia because, well, Wikipedia is not paper. On the other hand, Gundam Wing is exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about. Wikia is full of specialist wikis for various works of fiction, the majority of them awful, due partly to a lack of material and partly to a lack of decent rules like the ones we have here. The result is that if someone wants to add their knowledge of Gundam Wing (for example) to a wiki, they won't go to Wikia, they'll come here. I don't think it helps that when something is declared non-notable, it is rarely transwikied to a Wikia site; in this deletion debate, I proposed that the content of a page be transwikied to a relevant wiki and deleted from Wikipedia. The material was not transwikied, as far as I can tell; it was promptly deleted. Consequently, we have this vicious circle where newcomers add information about their favourite work of fiction to Wikipedia, it gets deleted (quite rightly so), newbies leave in a huff, and more newcomers arrive, eager to add their own info. The Gundam wiki[1], meanwhile, is a bit pathetic, full of red links. To sum up my current view, I don't think modern fiction should be out of bounds for Wikipedia, but I do see that we seem to be the lead authority on a number of unencyclopaedic topics that ought to be other wikis' business, and I think we should do something to change that. RobbieG (talk) 17:17, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
With various discussions at WP:N, WP:WAF and WP:FICT, we're trying to address the problem of proliferation of fancruft articles that exist due to the previous definition of notability (which lacked the demonstration of coverage in secondary sources). That includes how to handle fancruft information and moving it to wikias. The problem is is that this process is not well defined yet, and you also have groups of editors that feel their work should not be removed because, primarily, WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. It's a learning process, it's not going to change overnight. However, we need to education as many editors as to what is appropriate and what isn't, and yet not discourage editors from participating. --MASEM 17:32, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Just a thought. WP is a long-term project, right? So having lots of articles on stuff that young people find interesting draws them in and gives them the editing skills that they will remember when they come back in 5 or 10 or 40(!) years time and want to contribute to the subjects that they are interested in as older people. Rome wasn't built in a day.  —SMALLJIM  11:38, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Comment As it takes only 30 seconds to copy and paste an entire volume of game instructions into an article, it will probably only take 20 years before most of WP will comprise of nothing but Rome: Total War. Rome wasn't built in a day, but endless fancruft will flood into WP like barbarians very quickly unless admins make a greater effort to enforce the notability guidelines. --Gavin Collins (talk) 20:35, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I think Gavin Collins may have misunderstood my comment. I'm most certainly not advocating that we ignore the "endless fancruft that will flood into WP…". Exactly the opposite in fact - it's essential that we keep a firm hand on it, or else the young editors who are adding it will not have the chance to learn how things are done here. Reverting or amending any of their faulty contributions and explaining to them why we have done so is very important. We can't stop this addition of what to many editors is seen as trivia, so we should turn it to our (long-term) advantage as best as we can.  —SMALLJIM  15:01, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Comment Conversely it takes only 30 seconds to insert an AFD tag on an article, which seems to be done sometimes with no effort to improve an article on an otherwise notable subject. I think part of the difficulty is that many editors seem to rely solely on Google hits to "prove" that an article is notable or not. In any case, Rome: Total War is notable, just merely by having received awards from so many different magazines, but the article clearly needs to be sourced better than it is (like the vast majority of articles here). (I also can't think of another computer game, the main engine of which was used as the basis of a TV series on the BBC or any other television network, namely Time Commanders. I just wish they'd bring it back and let me on there to show everyone else how to win a battle properly. ;) But then I'm a gamer/wargamer and that's not the candidates they'd like to have on their show.) In any event, this is starting to take us far afield from the original poster's concerns. As an aside I've cut way back on my editing essentially because it all got very tiresome even trying to convince editors that things that are notable are really notable (as the sources/refs I provided were even questioned). As a question of interest, when exactly does fiction pass from non-"classical" to "classical"? To take just one general genre, is Poe classical? Is Lovecraft (relatively unknown and unappreciated for his work while alive)? Is Stephen King? Is Poppy Z. Brite? Who "decides" these things anyway? :) --Craw-daddy | T | 21:44, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Comment - My guess would be that if there is sufficient, non-trivial, discussion (such as review) of any work of fiction in what is generally counted as a reliable source, like newspapers, books, etc., that qualifies the fiction as notable. Lovecraft and Poe have both had several works published regarding their fiction, although, at least in Lovecraft's case, not all that fiction is necessarily reviewed, so not all of it is necessarily notable. King has also had several books of criticism published regarding his work, so I tend to think the material discussed at length there qualifies as notable. Don't know much about Brite (in the interests of objectivity, don't really like the stuff I know either), but any work of hers which has been subject of multiple significant, notable pieces of commentary probably qualifies as notable as well. John Carter (talk) 21:50, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Comment Well, I suppose my question might have been more rhetorical than not. The main distinction I was trying to make is between the notability criteria of Wikipedia and the more nebulous quality of being "classical literature". I haven't taken a survey of college or university literature courses, but I have the impression that, despite the critical analysis of his work, Lovecraft's writings aren't generally considered "classical literature". To me it's sort of like the words "encyclopedic" and "unencyclopedic" that editors throw around on various AFDs and other pages here. Those are words that have no real meaning as one man's "encyclopedic" article is another man's "cruft" (even if the subject under consideration could indeed be notable, Star Trek being an obvious example, there being loads of material (critical and otherwise) written about the original TV series and its derivatives, even, I'd wager a few PhD theses, but to other people it's all "cruft"). <shrug> --Craw-daddy | T | 22:01, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Comment And don't forget... Bulbasaur (of Pokémon fame) was, at one point, a featured article. :) --Craw-daddy | T | 22:11, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer also has a lot of material written about it including academic studies.I believe there has been at least one PhD as well .Garda40 (talk) 22:29, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

We should be careful with terminology here. There is a difference here between 'classical' and 'classic' (compare the difference between 'historical' and 'historic'). Classical often refers to the period of classical antiquity, though as the disambiguation page shows, there are other periods called classical as well. Classic literature, on the other hand, is what we are talking about here (and what, to be fair, everyone was talking about before I pedantically pointed out the terminology snafu). That article doesn't do a good job of explaining what a classic is, though it does note that the origin of the phrase is from the word classical. Anyway, not all classics are literature and not all literature is classic. The standard of secondary literature on the topic is a good one. Tolkien Studies is a journal on the subject of Tolkien studies, and there is a fairly large body of secondary literature on the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. Not all of it good, but then you can't have everything. Carcharoth (talk) 22:52, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Comment Apologies for not using the correct terminology. If you agree with that (unsourced) article, then anything written less than a hundred years ago (or, more specifically after 1900) can't be "classic literature" unless it has particular "modern significance" or "perceived future significance". <shrug (again)> As I said, it's like that "encyclopedic/unencyclopedic" difference in some cases. To me Lovecraft's work is "classic literature" (going along with the "modern significance" argument if you like). To others he's still a hack, even though much critical work has been written about his writing. --Craw-daddy | T | 23:03, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Comment: Perhaps we're beating a dead horse at this juncture, but for what it's worth, in response to the original editor's proposition, "I care." MalikCarr (talk) 23:54, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I have moderated my view considerably since I wrote that. I am perfectly aware that "I don't care about it" is not, in itself, grounds to delete anything. Actually, it looks as though my proposal was nothing new; the rules are in place, they're just not consistently enforced. RobbieG (talk) 19:09, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
A simple question: How long before we start targetting articles about published novels? Probably 98% of our novel articles are 'simple info + plot summary' stubs.--Nydas(Talk) 21:59, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Send the fancruft to Wikia. That's what Wikia is for. They host the Star Wars/Trek/Gate wikis and similar cruft. Wikia is in the business of monetizing fancruft. So let them have it and get it out of Wikipedia. --John Nagle 18:25, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I have no problem with an article on any commercially and/or critically sucessful franchise such as Gundam or Pokemon. My objection is to devoted fans engaging in "fanspew" in that they take in an episode, then rush to the keyboard and spew out in-universe unreferenced articles about every minor event that happened in the episode, every character, costume, location, weapon, spell, space suit, spaceship, battle, or transformation. These things are better given appropriately brief mention in the general article about the show if they are important to the development of the plot arc or are ongoing elements of the show. If these elements receive independent scholarly analysis such as some objects or characters from the Sherlock Holmes stories or some episodes of Star Trek or Twilight Zone, then those reliable and independent sources can be used to write a split-off article. Edison (talk) 21:16, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Why is scholarly analysis the standard for fiction? What's wrong with the standard notability criteria (non-trivial, independent third party coverage)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chunky Rice (talkcontribs) 21:24, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Everybody commenting here should really try and adjust WP:FICT to stricter standards. It makes for a good exercise to learn a few things about how even the process of guideline-making has been hijacked to pave the way for uncurbed fan enthusiasm. On the issue of articles about novels vs articles about episode or minor character: William Pietri recently brought up the brilliant point that even average writers are always superb readers, whereas below-average readers cannot possibly write a coherent article. So that's what it has come to, as far as I'm concerned: Any hint that the author has read anything about the topic is enough for me to accept it. That means I can certainly tolerate an article about a book. But the unfortunately non-cliché 14-year-old half-literate who watches Family Guy or some such and then stuffs Wikipedia with every unimportant detail about it, convinced that he's doing a good thing, is something I cannot possibly combine with the idea of producing a serious encyclopedia. And the reason they keep fighting against the moving of such hopeless cruft articles to e.g. annex.wikia is a similar one, in that they are too lazy to even look for another place to gather. Wikipedia is right here, so why go somewhere else, right? Those people are unwilling (or unable, which is even worse) to do so much as google for sources and read them. I would endorse clamping down on those who do this, and on those who defend it by arguing for it. Alas, it's too late, the masses have already overrun Wikipedia and we may want to consider leaving it to them. A bit like with Moriarty in that "Ship in a Bottle" TNG episode. ¶ dorftrottel ¶ talk ¶ 21:39, December 5, 2007

Whitewash actions on Talk:Ruud Lubbers

This may be interesting and surprising...:

  1. Talk:Ruud Lubbers#Rewriting History
  2. Talk:Ruud Lubbers#BLP Policy Blocking Editing

Apparently, it seems Wikimedia even actively helps and concedes to such censorship ??

--LimoWreck (talk) 18:23, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

This is outrageous. On the Ruud Lubbers article, it says he "resigned due to an unsubstantiated allegation". Not so. The official, public UN document says he sexually harassed the woman. After the fact, she was threatened to keep mum by the personnel officer. Apparently Mr. Lubbers office has 'handled' Jimbo, or WMF, so as to muzzle the information. Nice. Talk about no censorship.

That article is completely biased in Lubbers favor.. The official UN press release didn't deny the evidence but called it not worthy of a court case. But cases were filed in Switzerland and the U.S., though they didn't get traction. The victim was an American woman. She worked on short term contracts and her job was at threatened after she filed a claim.

What made this case so striking is that soldiers under UN hat (really national soldiers loaned out to help the agency) had a recent history of abusing refugee women. So for the head of the UNHCR agency to do this was huge. Lubbers was the former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, so to make him fall was quite a big deal.85.5.180.9 21:22, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

I will look further into this today, since the topic seems very quiet. --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:06, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

More variations of Wikipedia:Perennial_proposals#Deleted_pages_should_be_visible

As Wikipedia:Perennial_proposals#Deleted_pages_should_be_visible notes, there have been many proposals to make deleted pages visible to non-admins. For instance:

The latter included a proposal to limit viewing to logged-in users. What about this variant: Allow contributors to a deleted article to view it. This will at least enable users to easily get back their text and move it to their userspace in order to re-work it, as well as have something to reference at WP:DRV. Most people, especially newbies, are probably unaware that some sysops will userfy deleted stuff on demand – and in any case, that requires extra work on the sysops' part.

Another possibility might be to allow users with sufficiently old accounts to view deleted articles, similar to the restrictions on page moving. The main point of keeping them hidden is to prevent casual surfers from being able to read those articles, right? The perennial proposals page notes the difficulties associated with dealing with copyvios, threats, etc. and other stuff that has to stay hidden, but those concerns could be addressed easily enough with a two-tier system, in which you have deleted stuff viewable only to admins and deleted stuff viewable to a larger group. Sarsaparilla 05:09, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Admins _are_ the larger group - for truly problematic stuff we have WP:OVERSIGHT. There may, though, be some merit in adding a third tier for stuff that is deleted for e.g. notability reasons. —Random832 18:54, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Interesting. So what would go on the second tier and what would go on the third? (I presume the first tier would just be the three types (nonpublic personal info, libel, copyvios) mentioned at WP:OVERSIGHT.) Sarsaparilla 21:11, 4 December 2007 (UTC)


If you need the text of an article that was deleted, you can always ask any admin for it, providing that the article was not deleted due to BLP violations or office actions. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 21:15, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

So.... Why don't we just add that to pages that were deleted... ? "This article does not exist. You can create a new article, or if the article was previously deleted, you can ask the deleting admin (linked) or the admin forum (linked) to recover it for you so you can work to address its problems." Something like that ? Seems a lot simpler and doesn't require loads of extra rules and just a little bit of coding (for specific admin) --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 00:39, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
There is a list somewhere of admins who are willing to userfy deleted pages. We should put a link to that list on the page to which you refer. Sarsaparilla (talk) 13:46, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I would like to see more access to deleted articles. I have no problem with deletion for BLP concerns and copyvios remaining invisible to most users (so laong as they can see that there has been a deletion), but for deletions for alleged non-notability or "lack of context" (which does not appear to have any meaningful definition) then certainly contributors should be able to see the content - how else can they improve? DuncanHill (talk) 13:51, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Fake message bars

I would like to propose a policy to ban fake message bars (such as the one on User:Just Jame's userpage). While fake message bars are perhaps ammusing or funny, some users find it annoying and immature as it disrupts the flow of wikipedia. Another reason why I think that fake message bars should be banned is that wikipedia is not a place for jokes or other non-sense, even if it is userfied. It creates a sense that wikipedia is losing it's goal of becoming a "fountain of knowledge" and that we're plummeting towards humorus entertainment such as uncylopedia. Please consider this idea with care.--Sunny910910 (talk|Contributions) 01:54, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

It is "not recommended". However, it is their userpage, they can do what they want in nearly every case. Unless this is malicious (link to somewhere distasteful for example), it is probably fine. And certainly userpages are not part of the "fountain of knowledge", so no need to worry about that. Prodego talk 01:58, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps the time and customer goodwill that would be needed to scrutinize user pages for comformity to these sorts of standards might better be spent building the encyclopedia. Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 02:03, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the main goal of wikipedia is to build an encyclopedia, but wouldn't being the fact that it should be "avoided except when necessary for testing purposes" mean that it shouldn't be on userpages without good reason to?--Sunny910910 (talk|Contributions) 02:21, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
It isn't worth the effort to make anyone remove it, basically. Unless it is hurting someone (like in my example), who cares? Prodego talk 02:23, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Sunny, is the reason you have a problem with this because you fell for it? ;) JayKeaton (talk) 17:46, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
There is a rather long archived discussion about it (which has been listed at WP:LAME), which might be of interest as it presents some rational arguments.
My personal opinion is that it should be discouraged, but not forbidden. I think that users should have a lot of freedom on their user pages (I'm not saying they should have complete freedom, posting racist propaganda is still not acceptable there, but that's a different story).
One issue that has not been brought up in the linked discussion, and which I believe is important is screen readers. Generally, the screen reader will read the text, but not the web address it links to. This could cause problems for blind users. Puchiko (Talk-email) 19:29, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I think faking system messages is disruptive and it should be treated as such. I think it falls under the same rational why we don't let anyone edit under the usernames of "sysop" or "admin." 67.164.220.177 (talk) 19:40, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
If someone was using them to actually be misleading in a harmful way that's a bit different that someone just using them as a joke. Friday (talk) 19:42, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Based on the discussion at Wikipedia talk:User page/UI spoofing linked by Puchiko (thanks!), it looks like this issue has already been thoroughly addressed by the community. At a result, a section was added to the WP:UP guideline stating "The Wikipedia community generally frowns upon simulating the MediaWiki interface, and it should be avoided except when necessary for testing purposes." — Satori Son 19:47, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Examples - in DRASTIC need of an update

I surfed on in to the WP:NPOV page to look up a specific detail and randomly noticed the link to Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Examples. You can imagine my enormous surprise at finding that this page is essentially unchanged since the day I first posted it back in October 2001. (see the version at Nostalgia).

While I am deeply flattered that something I wrote so long ago is still being referenced, it is fair to say our collective perspective is (ahem) "a tad more sophisticated now". In my opinion we should either archive it as historical, or subject it to a complete re-write. The concept is useful, but the current version is hopelessly out of date.Manning 13:21, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

The editing history suggests that the reason for this is that no one much has seen it since, at least, mid-2005; and those were following links and recent changes. But I don't see why that means we should throw it away or remodel it. Neutrality is not a different thing now than it was in 2001. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:04, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia's Oligarchy

(moved here from the Reference Desk)


For the record I love everything about wikipedia. But it's hard not to get past all the grumbling I read in blogs [[2]]. Does Wikipedia have a serious problem in authority: oligarchy vs. democracy? Sappysap (talk) 23:55, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Depends on who you ask - it's a matter of opinion, and as such not good fodder for the refdesk. --Tagishsimon (talk) 23:58, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
News stories and bloggers practically never get the nuances of how Wikipedia works right. But it can't function as an oligarchy; the program is inherently democratic, despite what some bloggers like to think. We all have the same powers; admins have a few extra buttons but there's just no viable way for an elite authority to sieze power that I can figure out... if I knew a workable way to be the Tyrant of Wikipedia, you'd all be bowing down before me already. -FisherQueen (talk · contribs) 00:02, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
There's plenty of scope for Oligarchy in wikipedia. The Register article illustrates one alleged aspect of it. Whether & the extent to which is occurs is a matter of opinion & some little controversy. As I said, not RD fodder. --Tagishsimon (talk) 00:05, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
The reality is always somewhat more mundane that what the bloggers would have you believe. That particular story is sensationalist nonsense, the so called "secret mailing list" was never particularly secret, nor is it some sort of anti-Wikipedia Review cabal. There are some horrendous examples of harassment and stalking that has taken place on and from Wikipedia, usually females who had the misfortune to attract the attentions of unbalanced (usually) males. This list is a serious attempt to address this problem by editors who have experience or expertise of such harassment. It not a club of the "senior editors" we always hear about (as the bloggers would have you believe), but a diverse group of everyday regular editors, most most of who have no interest in WR at all. Of course, thats not dramatic enough to blog about, so instead we get conspiracy theories. Rockpocket 00:24, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
  1. Do not start debates or post diatribes. The reference desk is not a soapbox. Sigh. ==Tagishsimon (talk) 00:26, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Sounds like a valid question to me, and there is information available from primary sources that answers it. Rockpocket 00:36, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Does wikipedia have a problem with. What part of the answer to that would not be opinion? Clearly some people do have a problem with it. Some people do not. Your "primary sources" are actions & posted opinions. Not RD fodder. --Tagishsimon (talk) 00:42, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
My "primary source" is a someone who has direct access to that being discussed and thus is in a position to know exactly what that list is or is not. Everyone who is in a position to know has said that same thing, everyone who is not in a position to know speculates (incorrectly).However, if my primary source isn't good enough, here is a secondary reference for you. [3] Rockpocket 18:03, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
You’re not by any chance a member of this secret cult of Wikipedia rulers are you Tagishsimon? Trying to silence another lone voice of freedom and justice? :-) --S.dedalus (talk) 03:05, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree - it's quite sensationalist. I'm coming close to 2 years working on Wikipedia (yesterday I passed my 10,000'th edit!) - so I guess I'm entitled so some opinion (and it is only opinion). There are (broadly speaking) two kinds of Wikipedians - the ones who contruct this elaborate layered set of procedures and rules - and those who are actually writing the encyclopedia (or working the reference & help desks). There is some overlap - but it's nowhere near as great as the media seem to think it is. All of the upheaval about people talking on private mailing lists or changing our licensing to Creative Commons has almost zero impact on day-to-day encyclopedia writing - frankly, I don't give a damn what happens.
There are a few times when this split matters greatly - for example, the drive to exclude ALL 'fair use' pictures from the encyclopedia - that's something that could get pushed down by the political types from on high because it's somehow pure and idealogically wonderful - but it's something that most of the actual encyclopedia writers would find very painful and unnecessary. Compare the pictures in "Andy Warhol" in English Wikipedia to http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Warhol in the German Wikipedia (which doesn't allow 'fair use' pictures) to see what I mean.
But mostly, it's occasionally necessary for one of us to appeal to an admin to block a vandal or to use their guidelines to rap the knuckles of a clueless newbie...but mostly the politicians stay out of our way - and mostly, we return the favor. SteveBaker (talk) 00:35, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
SteveBaker, you know I'm your biggest fan, but this is hardly sensationalism. Tagishsimon: how is it ok to talk about politics and history and religion in other reference desk posts, but not talk about Wikipedia in general, and the standard we are all trying to set when in judging our world?

Brett Favre was SI's 2007 Sportsman of the year as of today. Early this morning I checked his article and it had not been edited because it was locked. I had to post on the discussion page and wait till an editor, sometime in mid-morning, observed it, to wait for an updated edit. Now no shame to him, he was an expeditious and smart editor, but what does this say about the democracy of Wikipedia? Sappysap (talk) 03:07, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

It says that the democracy of Wikipedia has to put up with vandals who have no lives. And why is this discussion on the Reference Desk? Corvus cornixtalk 03:09, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is an historical document. This is the right place to discuss historical documents. Sappysap (talk) 03:14, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Why don't you write a historic essay on your historic userpage and invite some historic comments there? Nothing historic is going to happen here as a result of your historic question. :P --- tqbf 14:14, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Oligarchy in action lmaof! Here we go to the much-much less read village. Ah, thank you random admin/editor, for proving the point I was hoping to disprove: Wikipidea is not at all an historical document created by the masses. It is, in fact, ruled by an Oligarchy. Contributers unite against the oppression!! Sappysap (talk) 03:29, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Oligarchies are boring. I suggest a theocracy. All hail Jimbo!. Dragons flight (talk) 03:33, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Quite boring, indeed, when the page you prescribe about Jimbo is impervious to edits. Sappysap (talk) 03:38, 5 December 2007 (UTC)