Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 106

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Editnotice for IPs

I have no idea if this is the right page for this, but some people might be interested to comment on m:Talk:Editor_engagement_experiments#Convert_the_IP_editors. πr2 (tc) 01:00, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Which photos to use for biography headers?

The apparently accepted policy on Wikipedia of posting the most recent photo of any living person at the top of the page -- often followed by other less recent photos farther down the page -- seems totally contradictory to the purpose of a quick biography to give the highlights and most important facets of a person's life and/or career. For example, for a world class and internationally known musician from the rock era in the 1960s, whose career peaked during that period, it would make little sense to post a picture at the top of the page of that musician at his/her current age of 73. This is particularly egregious if the person has had little known popularity in recent years. While this faulty policy is most apparent when applied to entertainers and actors, whose outwards personas are/were an inherent part of their careers, it really makes little sense for any person. for example, if a scientist is mostly known for a major contribution made in 1957, it would make little sense to post a current picture of the person in 2013 at the top of the page. on the other hand, if an older person is most known for his/her recent work, and the career peaked in later life, it might make more sense.

If one of the aims of a biography is to inform people who may know little about the personality, it seems the persona of the personality when he/she was at the height of his/her career would dictate the most relevant image be posted at the top of the page. Some bios don not even have images of the people when they were at their most prolific or successful, or when they were most known to the public. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.120.171.79 (talk) 15:41, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

Makes sense to me. What policy/guideline page covers this? Blueboar (talk) 15:47, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Images#Choosing images, but where's this supposed policy that says to show a picture of an old man when the person was a famous only when quite young? I've seen a couple of discussions on this point, and the always conclude that it's best to post a picture that shows the person during the actual period of notability. That means that a person who is notable as an athlete from age 19 to 24 should lead with a picture of the person in his (or her) early 20s. Now, musicians generally have much longer careers than athletes, as do most politicians, academics, and business people, so if you're talking about a person still very active in the field, then it would be appropriate to lead with a current picture. One wouldn't want to say, "Oprah started her talk show back in the 1980s, so let's lead with a picture from 1980s, as if she hadn't done anything interesting or important since that first show". In that instance, you're best off showing a reasonably current picture in the lead, and adding others to illustrate the appropriate stages of her career. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:09, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
The issue here is that our non-free content policy and the Foundation resolution on non-free media and free-content goal that specifically call out that we should never use non-free images of living persons since a free image is always, presumably, possible. So if they were famous in, say, the 1950s but still alive today, we are required to use free media which is more likely than not going to be the older person. We do accept the reasoning for a non-free image of a person if their visual appearance was a key factor in their career , so for a movie star, sports person, or the like, where this was a noted facet of their life, we do accept non-free but this is almost always part of their history and not the infobox picture. (Example Weird Al Yankovic's earlier look is included on his article because his former look was of note in the article. But for a scientist or a politican, this is less likely going to be the case, and so we are required to stick to whatever free images we can.
Of course, that said, if we have free images of both the earlier part of their career and of a more recent one, the image that is most representative of their career should be the infobox one. --MASEM (t) 00:32, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

I'm the one who initiated the topic here -- "if we have free images of both the earlier part of their career and of a more recent one, the image that is most representative of their career should be the infobox one". Glad both of you basically agree with me. It is certainly possible that in some cases there are not images to choose from available for free during the apex of a person's career. However, usually this is not the case. Let's take a specific example: how about Bob Dylan? while it is true that Dylan's career has continued all the way to the present, Dylan's mark on history is his iconic contribution to the folk-rock era of the 60s and 70s -- an era that also spans major socio-political and historical events in the US and the world. the Wiki article opens with a photo of a much older man from 2010. Why? Why not use one of the photos below from 1963 or 1975, that show the more iconic image of Dylan? This is not even one of the most egregious examples, because Dylan himself has not changed his look all that much -- has only gotten older. We can try this with almost any famous musician: check out Neil Young and David Bowie. it's really ridiculous, in my opinion.

To answer the question about "policy", no, i don't think it is part of Wiki's policy. My own feeling is that it is something done by people who are not all that familiar with the people in the bios, but who like editing bios. And this has become an apparent standard, unfortunately. I guess my feeling is that if there were a kid in school wanting to know how a celebrated person looked during the major part of that person's career, the student would open up Wiki and see a much older person. The people i mentioned above are all people who became famous for their contributions during eras in which youthful energy was very important in the music business. They all continue to make contributions, and recent photos should be shown as well -- but it just seems silly to highlight recent photos. We're going to end up with a Wikipedia full of pictures of old people at the top of the page -- the latest photos before they died -- except for people who lived during the age of easy photography. How absurd. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 168.244.11.3 (talk) 17:48, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

I see your point and think I agree in general with what you're saying, but I'm not so sure about your examples. Dylan, Young, and Bowie continue to have vibrant careers and are highly notable for what they're up to today. Years from now, it may be possible to look back and identify the stage of a performer's career that was unquestionably the apex, but I rather think we should avoid making such judgments while someone is still very much alive, working, and relevant. Otherwise, we risk conveying a subtle message that so-and-so is "past it" (beyond the apex being another way of saying over the hill). Also, what about famous people who have had two or more highly noteworthy periods in their careers, with intervals of inactivity in between? We'd wind up arguing about which period was the more important one to depict. It also occurs to me that a biographical article should be about the whole person—the relatively minor things that make them notable as well as the moments of greatest notability—and the person today is, in a sense, the sum of that whole person. Does that make sense or have I begun to ramble? Rivertorch (talk) 20:49, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Nobody said Dylan or Bowie or Neil Young don't have vibrant careers today, but that's not the point. I don't think any rational person would argue that their contributions and personas today are iconic as they were 40 years ago. This is not a discussion about what any person thinks of their work then or now, it's about their influence and presence in the world. It's just silly to suggest that Dylan as an historical figure is most known for his presence 3 years ago. If you want a more obvious example, take a look at the Wiki for Don McLean: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_McLean. I mean -- REALLY? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.120.171.79 (talk) 23:22, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Flickr "Public Domain" uploads

Wikipedia:FLICKR currently states that images that have "No known copyright restrictions" are "Public Domain", when this is not necessarily the case. A supporting license statement should be added as to why the image is actually out of copyright. I am also bringing this up over at Wikimedia Commons Village Pump. -- Nbound (talk) 01:49, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Given that free images are almost always uploaded at Commons rather than here, let's direct all discussion to commons:Commons:Village pump/Copyright#"No known copyright restrictions", is not necessarily PD.. -- King of ♠ 02:01, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

RfC: Pending changes Level 2

An RfC is open on whether to implement pending changes level 2 protection, closed in a previous RfC as "no consensus". Deadbeef 06:12, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Blocked users - rescinding watchlist and notification access as part of the block

A quick question - is there any support within the community to rescind access to some or all notifications, and to the watchlist, for the duration of a block (as a selectable option along the lines of rescinding talk page access in the case of abuse) ? Do users who have been blocked feel that notifications and access to the watchlist is useful or was it a temptation to sock during a block ? There is some evidence to suggest that some users, whilst indefinitely blocked or banned are using the watchlist and/or notifications to watch various pages and continue editing using dynamic IP addresses, causing a headache for administrators and editors who have to deal with abuse and inappropriate editing behaviour. Any and all thoughts would be welcome. Nick (talk) 15:00, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

  • There is a good case to be made that a watchlist cannot possibly be useful for a blocked user except as an enticement to evade that block. The information isn't lost, if/when the block is lifted one can always see what one missed; but I can't think of a good reason to keep it useable while you're blocked. — Coren (talk) 15:11, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
    I would say that's a bad assumption. I for one use my watchlist just to see anything new in various articles. A reading issue, not an editing one. If someone is blocked they can't edit, so if they were going to evade the block they'd have to consistently log in and out of different accounts...anyone that determined isn't going to be deterred. Though as an option to be added in case there's fear they ARE going to do that, I could get behind. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 16:39, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • This could be helpful, as I have seen a case where this is probably happening. Writ Keeper  15:24, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I certainly support disabling e-mail watchlist notifications during the duration of a block. E-mailing someone to say "here's an edit that you can't do anything about" doesn't seem like a good idea. As for the standard watchlist, I don't care much one way or another. If the editor is logging in to check his watchlist, he's triggering his autoblocks.—Kww(talk) 16:52, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
    • What does "triggering his autoblocks" mean? Autoblocks only prevent someone from editing not viewing their watchlist. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 17:31, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • The act of logging in to view a watchlist prevents that same IP from immediately editing based on that watchlist, even if the editor logs back out or switches accounts. It's not a huge obstacle, but nothing about our blocking system is really a huge obstacle.—Kww(talk) 17:35, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I can't see how revoking watchlist access would do much good, it's easy enough to get around. Anomie 17:25, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
    • Well, so are the blocks themselves, but we don't let that stop us. Writ Keeper  17:34, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • At the very least, it makes sense to be revoked for indefinitely blocked/banned users, as they have absolutely no reason to be able to see their watchlist. And, indeed, I can certainly see how it would be abused by their socking accounts. Would blocking access to their watchlist also block their access to the list of articles they've watched? That would be best, as it would severely hamper their ability to reconstruct their watchlist under a socking account. 68.106.213.57 (talk) 17:58, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I think this would be counter-productive. Blocked users would get frustrated that they could not view their watchlist and would be more likely to set up an alternate account to view the pages they're interested in. Not all blocked users are willing to sock to evade their block, and this would be, essentially, punishing the ones who don't. 28bytes (talk) 18:46, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree; for most users being blocked for shorter periods, removing watchlist and notifications would be punitive and not really in the spirit of why we block users. I would only ever support blocking access to watchlists and notifications as an option that would need to specifically be set, and to be justified by the blocking administrator, in the way revoking talk page access is. I would envisage this sort of block option being used very sparingly and targeted at long term abuse, longer term blocked users (months and longer, I'd say) and those banned from the site. The default block would not alter in any way the watchlist or notification functionality as it is at present. Nick (talk) 19:38, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • If a user lacks the self-control to sit out their block and resorts to socking that is their fault, not the fault of a notification. Also what 28bytes said. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:35, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
    • Well, it's not about self-control; the specific scenario involved a blocked user who was probably using his watchlist to see if and when another user's talk page came off semiprotection in order to harass them on their talk page more. Also, I'm pretty sure the proposal is for this to be a blocking option like removing talk page access, not part of any old block. All the same, though, the potential for abuse on our end and evasion on theirs is a good point well made. Writ Keeper  19:40, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Removing access to watchlists and notifications could actually be counter productive. The majority of blocked editors are those who got frustrated due to a specific dispute in a specific article, and allowed their frustration to get the better of them. The block is essentially a "time out" to allow them to reflect and calm down... and a good way for a frustrated editor to reflect and clam down is to leave the article that caused all the frustration, and spend his/her "time out" following the productive and calm discussions at other articles. On the other hand, being shut out of even passive activity on Wikipedia can result in the editor stewing in their frustration, and would result in the editor returning to Wikipedia still in a combative frame of mind.
Remember that the typical editor has multiple pages (in multiple topic areas) on their watchlist... pages that have nothing to do with the dispute that resulted in a block. I would think we would encourage a blocked editor to spend their "time out" following the discussions at those other pages... if only to teach them the kind of productive behavior we are looking for. Blueboar (talk) 12:11, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
It may still be particularly relevant for a blocked user to see changes to, for example, pages like WP:AN, WP:AN/I, WP:RfArb, the talk pages of the blocking admin and other administrators, etc. Ongoing activity in areas where a user has been involved in a content dispute or edit war can be relevant to formulating a coherent, up-to-date unblock request or block appeal, whether that appeal takes place on-wiki or off-. It is also not unusual for admins reviewing an unblock request to ask the blocked editor how he intends to contribute if unblocked; access to one's watchlist may make it easier to respond constructively to such requests.
A banned editor who is willing to use his blocked account to follow his watchlist while banned and then engage in long-term logged-out or sockpuppet editing is already more determined than the usual block evader; it would be trivially easy to create a new sockpuppet with a watchlist of favored hotspot articles. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:39, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
  • It's very difficult to see this proposal as anything other than an additional punishment to be imposed on a blocked editor. And please, no guff about "blocks are preventative, not punative". Malleus Fatuorum 17:11, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Really dislike this idea, per Blueboar's observation that the block may pertain to only one article, topic, or discussion that the editor participated in; in recognition of the human element per 28bytes (it's unlikely to produce the desired psychological effect); and TenOfAllTrades's point about being able to follow pages that may pertain to the block. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:34, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
  • No, watchlists are about reading and not editing or circumventing the block (which is easy enough as it is, as pointed out above). And: why always assume the worst? Lectonar (talk) 18:05, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose This sort of option seems like nothing more than gravedancing. If users are circumventing their blocks, we deal with that like we do now, but I see no useful reason for us to have an option like this except for admins to say "you must respect my authoritah" or some such. Nope, don't like this. What we have is fine, and heavy handed technical "solutions" cannot be used to solve what is ultimately a social problem. --Jayron32 16:13, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Are discussions ever closed?

In this discussion (Talk:David_Johnston#Order) you can see that 2 of us were discussing rather normally, then I proposed a compromise between our opinions and got no response in over 2 weeks so applied the edit only to find now (another 3 weeks later) that the other editor just reversed it and seems to be be unwilling to work towards a compromise on the talk page.>> M.P.Schneider,LC (parlemusfeci) 13:43, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Suggest getting more editors from the relevant WikiProjects involved in the discussion per Wikipedia:Third opinion. The problem may not be that the other editor is unwilling to compromise... but that the specific compromise you suggested does not address the other editor's concerns (in which case, a different compromise might work). Blueboar (talk) 17:59, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Contentious discussions may be formally WP:CLOSEd, but even that does not mean that the decision is irreversible; WP:Consensus can change at any time. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:37, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I had posted on the Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Governments_of_Canada which seemed the most appropriate wikiproject asking for a third opinion.>> M.P.Schneider,LC (parlemusfeci) 10:48, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Use of accessdate in citation templates

As presently defined in Citation Style 1, the |accessdate= in citation templates is intended to indicate the date that an online resource was retrieved. As such, the value provided for |accessdate= is only displayed if |url= (or one of its analogs, like |chapterurl=) is included.

The underlying logic here is that an access date is intended to be used to determine the version/edition of an online work that one is looking at. By contrast, physical works such as books, journal articles, and the like generally have different mechanisms for determining the version (e.g. publication date, issue number, etc.). In general, an access date is unnecessary (and often useless) when determining what version of a book or other physical work is being cited. So, the long-standing practice is that |accessdate= is only displayed when a URL is present.

However, the new Lua citations reveal about 45,000 pages where an |accessdate= was given in a citation that didn't use a URL. This makes this usage by far the most common "error" in how citation templates are presently used.

Some people have criticized the current practice (e.g. this discussion), suggesting that the access date should always be displayed when given. Or alternatively that the access date should be displayed for some other situations that generate external links, such as using |doi=, |oclc=, |bibcode=, etc. (Though if you have a DOI or Bibcode, does an access date add any information about the version cited?)

So, I would like to ask the larger community:

  1. Do you agree that |accessdate= should only be displayed if there is a URL present? Or should the present behavior be changed in some way?
  2. If we agree that there are circumstances where having an access date is not helpful, then should we take steps to inform people when not to add it? For example by including a visible error message? This could help people understand when to use an access date, and help understand why it isn't shown in some cases. (At present, Lua citations can generate an error message for this, but it is hidden from users unless they specifically configure their personal CSS to see it.) Alternatively, we could just decide that this "error" is so trivial that it isn't worth bothering people over.
  3. If we want to have a user visible error message, should we first task a bot with removing the access date from currently existing citations that are using it inappropriately? That would limit the impact of an error message to informing people presently writing citations, rather than placing a rather trivial error message on 45000 pages with existing citations.

Thanks for your feedback. Dragons flight (talk) 03:54, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Note: the error help link leads here -DePiep (talk) 09:11, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
1. No, update the help page and template to match actual practice. 2. No, this is a programmer issue, not an editor mistake. Trust the cite-er to know whether an access date is warranted. There may be reasons for its use that are not obvious to a third party. 3. N/A. VQuakr (talk) 04:24, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
Your position appears to be that the access date should always be reported. Given that, it might help clarify the situation if you can offer some examples, or find some in the category mentioned above, where having an access date can help in identifying the work being cited even though no URL is present. Dragons flight (talk) 05:35, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
without taking a position on the issue as you framed it, i can foresee situations that verify VQuakr's position, such as in cases of a paywall of some sort. if the url is restricted, an editor may decide not to post it. but the accessdate is still useful. 70.19.122.39 (talk) 13:11, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
Citations with a |url= pointing to a resource that requires payment or registration should still be included in the citation. This limited access is noted by the {{subscription required}} or {{link note}} templates, or the new |subscription= parameter and is not an excuse to leave |url= empty and simultaneously include |accessdate=.
If the reasons for doing something unconventional are not obvious to another editor and not explained by hidden comments or other means as a way of making it obvious, such unconventional uses may, and probably should be removed or replaced.
|accessdate= has been part of the {{cite web}} documentation from the beginning when it was first established as a required parameter.
Documentation for |accessdate= first added to {{citation}} with this edit.
Trappist the monk (talk) 18:37, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
clarity, please. in my reading, WP:SOURCELINKS seems to suggest that paywall links should appear only when the source is online and nowhere else:

If the publisher offers a link to the source or its abstract that does not require a payment or a third party's login for access, you may provide the URL for that link. If the source only exists online, give the link even if access is restricted
— WP:SOURCELINKS

70.19.122.39 (talk) 00:45, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
to add, if the above holds, a "naked" accessdate has some significance, in situations where the citing editor formatted the citation by having access behind the paywall.
70.19.122.39 (talk) 00:58, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
If no free versions are available, and the source is available on paper, then you may link to paid versions if you want—or not if you don't want. We do this all the time with scientific journal articles. If the source is online-only, then you must provide the link no matter what. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:06, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
but that's not my question. if the editor may not want to enter the paywall url, s/he may still want to add the accessdate, to specify the retrieved version, esp. when the content changes. this would be relevant. 70.19.122.39 (talk) 12:20, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
clarification: the above is for paywall sources that also exist in other media, not just online. 70.19.122.39 (talk) 12:26, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
Citations should only contain as much information as necessary to help the reader verify the information in the article. When citing a non-static webpage, the access date is necessary, to pinpoint which version of the webpage contains the relevant information. When citing books, journals, newspaper articles, the content isn't going to change, so the access date isn't necessary (same goes for most online articles or blog posts; while these may not be as static as paper sources, they usually display a "last updated on" date alongside the publication date). However, I don't know if I like the idea of hiding parameters, or displaying an error message – partly because this is likely to confuse editors, and partly because there will always be exceptions. And redundant access dates don't do any real harm. I think it would be enough to add a note to WP:Citing sources#What information to include to more clearly discourage the use of access dates where the publication date is given (it currently implies this, with "required if the publication date is unknown", but that's open to interpretation). I routinely remove redundant access dates when I come across them, and while I haven't been challenged yet, it would be nice to be able to point to a specific guideline to justify my actions. DoctorKubla (talk) 06:34, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
How can we know a webpage is "static"? There is no guarantee ever. That would depend on the honesty & maintenance quality of the page owner/editor. This is also true for so-called read-only pdf files. I like the "underlying logic" reasoning in 2nd paragraph, so I'd keep the status quo for question 1. It is very logic, consistent and relatively easy (compared to other cite style elements). Also, the old citation documentation says (today): |AccessDate= date when the |URL= was accessed.. So the current errors were errors before (though unmarked). It seems the only issue is the sea of red errors now appearing. We do not have to change the style documentation to get them out. -DePiep (talk) 09:08, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
  • From the current CS1 documentation: "accessdate: Full date when original URL was accessed; use the same format as other access and archive dates in the citations; do not wikilink. Not required for web pages or linked documents that do not change; mainly of use for web pages that change frequently or have no publication date. Can be hidden or styled by registered editors."
    • Note: The over use of access dates had gotten so bad that CSS was added so that editors could hide them.
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th ed., p. 192: "Do not include retrieval dates unless the source material may change over time.
  • Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed., 14.7: "An access date—that is, the self-reported date on which an author consulted a source—is of limited value: previous versions will often be unavailable to readers; authors typically consult a source any number of times over the course of days or months; and the accuracy of such dates, once recorded, cannot readily be verified by editors or publishers. Chicago does not therefore require access dates in its published citations of electronic sources unless no date of publication or revision can be determined from the source (see 14.8). For such undated sources--or for any source that seems likely to change without notice—authors are encouraged, as an additional safeguard, to archive dated copies, either as hard copy or in electronic form. Because some publishers in some disciplines—in particular, research-intensive fields such as science and medicine—do require access dates, authors should check with their publishers early on, and it never hurts to record dates of access during research."
  • --  Gadget850 talk 09:54, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
The vast majority of accessdates in Category:Pages using citations with accessdate and no URL seem pointless. They weren't added because the editor knew better. Don't display accessdates without a url. If a convinving case can be made that there are situations where an accessdate is valuable without a url then we could consider a new parameter like display_accessdate_with_no_url = yes. I wouldn't mind a long name like this so editors are fully aware what they request when they use the parameter. PrimeHunter (talk) 11:05, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
This is one reason why I never use templates to format citations... you don't get these problems when you use the old <ref>text, text, text</ref> format. That said (for those who do like to use the templates)... I agree that accessdates are needed for webpages that might change over time, but not for other citations. A template needs to be flexible enough to be used in all situations ... both citations that need an access date and those that don't. Blueboar (talk) 13:32, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
I think that an accessdate without a URL is pointless, but I am concerned that some of these citations might have contained a URL at the time that they were added. We have a small problem with people violating WP:DEADREF by deleting any URL that doesn't work for them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:23, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Numerous Bibcode, doi, PMC, PMID, OCLC weblinks have accessdate: A survey of pages will reveal numerous articles where cite editors think the accessdate is when a webpage was accessed, where the URL is specified by the various id codes: Bibcode, doi, PMC, PMID, OCLC, etc. Those cites generate the web-link URL from the id code, and so there is a "url" in those cites. -Wikid77 (talk) 21:38, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Spam filter promotes omitting improper URLs: Another major factor, to cause people to leave "accessdate=" but no URL, is to have the spam filter tell editors that their URL is improper (such as a news website), and then they learn how removing the URL worked to save the page with the cite title (and accessdate), as long as the URL was omitted. -Wikid77 21:38, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Over 150,000 accessdate problems, multiple per page: The count of "45,600" pages in the accessdate category is misleading, because in many cases, there are multiple accessdate problems on each page, often as a pattern of an editor who added several sources and set each "accessdate=" before those cites generated the Lua red-error messages. -Wikid77 21:38, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Many people think accessdate is when a source was accessed: After viewing thousands of articles, the clear pattern I have noticed is people who set the accessdate to whenever they read a particular source webpage, book or document. The accessdate is not exactly when they edited the page, but rather whenever they viewed the cited document, perhaps weeks or months earlier. Often the viewing of a newspaper story is given an accessdate, even if no proper (spam-filter-allowable) URL was stored in the page. I use the word "Viewed" when people consider access to a book. -Wikid77 21:38/21:42, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
i don't understand what your implied definition of "accessdate" is. if it is not the date of access, what does it signify? 70.19.122.39 (talk) 00:51, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
It's supposed to be used for when you access an online source, not when you access any old source. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:36, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree with WhatamIdoing In general accessdate should only be used when needed, which would mean URLs for the most part. But I routinely see people removing dead URLs rather than finding an archive. This leaves the reference with an accessdate but no URL. This is a problem we should be aware of during this discussion. 64.40.54.181 (talk) 01:44, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Well now there will be a red link in the references section after that edit. I guess a redlink in the article text would trigger the editor who is probably not going to look at the bottom of the article to see if they messed anything up. While maybe overkill, maybe a bot to post a notice on the editors page? Since I have been doing categories lately I scrool past the references, I try and fix those red warnings while I'm in the article. Vegaswikian (talk) 02:03, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
      • Or the bot could simply remove the accessdate, since it is of no further use (it's in the history if needed). —[AlanM1(talk)]— 02:27, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
        • Or not since the best solution may be to undo an undesirable change. How can the bot tell when to remove and when to fix? I almost suggested a bot to remove bad parameters, or at least those with no data. However I'm not convinced that is wise. Humans need to look at a lot of these. I don't think using the over sized sledge hammer to fix the square peg into the round hole is the best solution here. Vegaswikian (talk) 02:38, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  • None of the above (1, 2, or 3): I think the accessdate is useful for offline resources to document the date the editor actually saw the material. This can be used to resolve ambiguities if there are problems with the rest of the cite (i.e. missing issue number/date), etc. As to whether to display the date or not, that's up to the more biblio-minded people to decide as a matter of style. Even if it should be decided not to render the date in some situations, I'd still leave it there and make it clear that it can be used for internal documentation, even though hidden. —[AlanM1(talk)]— 02:27, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  • My comments and observations are as follows:
    1. There is simply no point of displaying access dates when there is no url. These should be either deleted, or not displayed.
    2. In line with the guideline, I believe we should switch off displaying of accessdates in certain templates, such as {{cite book}}, ore remove these altogether. The content of books, printed magazines or newspapers changes with the edition and is independent of accessdates.
    3. I do a lot of refs work, and would say that access dates for electronic citations are in general about as useful as wet tissue paper, and I'm inclined to follow the advice of the CMOS (quoted above).
    4. I have no objection to keeping accessdates only visible as metadata where they have been supplied and the content is still 'live'; many are formatted in what I would call 'machine language' and are incomprehensible to the average reader. Simply not displaying accessdates, which are irrelevant to most users, would considerably reduce on-screen clutter
    5. I'm not in favour of showing any error message where these involve access dates. Editors wanting to clean up will already have that category to sift through.
    6. There is nothing that 'defines' a static web page. However, general links that contain short names (or only the domain name) are much likely to be non-static than ones with long urls with many slashes. Having said that, a lot of long urls also go dead (like yahoo news links), and we should advise editors to prefer other news sites that have enduring static content. -- Ohconfucius ping / poke 04:49, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Completely agree with everything Ohconfucius says above, especially points 3 and 4. I also do a lot of refs work, and I have always found access dates to be a great deal more trouble than what little they are worth. -- Alarics (talk) 07:39, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  • opinion: 1. if the paywall issue i discuss above is resolved in some way or other, i have no problem displaying the accessdate only when urls are present. 2. no error messages please. emphasize the proposed guideline in the doc and make accessdate dependent on url (if no paywall) 3. no. even though leaving the naked accessdates in is inconsistent, this goes into article cleanup territory, and should be treated under the relevant guidelines.
comment: i disagree with ohconfucius re: the usefulness of accessdates for online citations. from a verification standpoint, when an online source is concerned, i start with the accessdate as the most significant piece of information: i have no way of knowing whether any given page is static, and i want to verify the citation as the citing editor saw it and composed it. if that particular version is unavailable, i have to make further research on whether the content changed since, which is a chore. if i cannot determine the content's stability, the citation as formatted is unverifiable afaic. even if i find the source in other media (another chore) i have to make sure the content is similar in both.
70.19.122.39 (talk) 13:01, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  • My opinion. Access dates are not very useful without a URL. The only utility I can think of for non-URL uses is in cases where subsequent edits move the citation away from what it supports or insert statements not supported by the cite. In those cases, it functions more like a timestamp for when the citation was added to help locate the original version in edit history. I have found it useful on occasion to locate dead URL links in the Internet Archive. To sum up, I don't see any reason to prevent editors from adding the access dates for non-URL links, though I agree there is no reason to display access dates for non-URL links. olderwiser 13:20, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
    • When the url is dead, the accessdate is invariably not necessary. 'Live' citations are more often found using the article title. -- Ohconfucius ping / poke 16:19, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Wait, check accessdate first: As noted above, when the web-link url is dead, the first thing I check is the accessdate (not the title which often differs from the actual webpage), and if recent, then I re-try the url, very carefully, because a recent "deadlink" is often a case of prior server-offline-long, rather than a true dead-link URL address. -Wikid77 (talk) 19:40, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Opinion for original 3 questions: So, after reading responses above, I think: 1. No, always show any accessdate. 2. No, no error messages. 3. No, do not have bots remove accessdates. -Wikid77 (talk) 12:49, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I will say that not displaying the red error and just categorizing the page is totally useless! I just went to the category to see how it is being used and maybe fix a few. Without the red error, these errors are for all practical purposes hidden. If so they will not be fixed. Vegaswikian (talk) 19:05, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Consensus: show accessdate if present

Well, after reviewing all opinions above, the only reasonable consensus is to show the "accessdate=" value whenever present (without error message: see (visible error message?) dif319 "No, this is a programmer issue, not an editor mistake" or dif8429 "not in favour of showing any error message where these involve access dates" or dif9404 "no error messages please" or dif947 "no error messages"). This is because, when omitting error messages for non-url accessdates, then a user would wonder why a cite keeps refusing to show the accessdate, regardless of where the parameter is placed, even if "accessdate=" is added 10x times it would not show based on the Lua cite's url-only rule. Plus, in actual usage, people find other places to put the URL data, such as within the "id=" or even as "format=[http:xx.com/myfile.pdf PDF format also]". As feared in the above discussion, there have been several exceptions to the url-only rule, in actual use, where people have in fact linked a source webpage in other cite parameters, and set the accessdate for that web-link. Hence, "The exception makes the [new] rule" to always show an accessdate. So, all accessdate parameters would be displayed, and then editors who dislike accessdates could remove them with consent of other editors of each article. Meanwhile, showing accessdate, without restrictions, would fix more than 150,000 date errors in the Lua-based wp:CS1 cites. It would also fix accessdate errors in double-nested cites, such as inside the Template:Cite_pmid or Template:Cite_doi subtemplate knowledgebase. I want to thank everyone above for exploring all aspects of the accessdate problems, to reveal the final consensus, and to note how some people use the accessdate to deduce an omitted document date (month/year) or check for prior revisions (see: dif1464 "it functions more like a timestamp") for when a URL was available (removed as deadlink). -Wikid77 (talk) 19:40/20:05, 30 April 2013, 14:05, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Huh? --  Gadget850 talk 19:46, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
Editor Wikid77 may be misstating the facts: This is because, when omitting error messages for non-url accessdates, then a user would wonder why a cite keeps refusing to show the accessdate, regardless of where the parameter is placed, even if "accessdate=" is added 10x times it would not show based on the Lua cite's url-only rule. Not true. Neither the Lua nor the {{citation/core}} versions of {{cite book}} display the contents of |accessdate= when |url= is left blank or omitted as this very simple comparison shows:
Cite book compare
{{cite book |title=Title |accessdate=2013-04-30}}
Old Title. 
Live Title. 
Apparently, then, not displaying the accessdate when there isn't a url has been going on for some time and is not new to the Lua version of the citations.
I'm not really clear on the point that sentence is trying to make. If I didn't know better, I'd think that Editor Wikid77 is in favor of the error messages that CS1 displays. But that can't be the right conclusion given writings elsewhere.
I can't say when I've ever seen a url in |id= or |format=. That's not to say that it doesn't happen, but I haven't seen it so I'm inclined dismiss this claim as interesting but rare unless there is evidence that I've missed.
Is there a new rule to always show the accessdate? When did the rule-making occur? Who was party to it and where can I read the discussion that the took that decision?
150,000. Where does this number come from?
How does hiding an error message fix something that may be broken?
Preemptively declaring consensus seems to be the purpose here. I'm not convinced that Editor Wikid77 is the editor to make such a declaration.
Trappist the monk (talk) 02:14, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Accessdate used to locate a newspaper article: There seems to be a misunderstanding, above, because when an accessdate is specified for a magazine article, then it could be a clue to the print date (rather than hidden):
  • Parameters: {{cite document |author=John Doe |work=The Telegraph |title=Article Name |date=2009 |accessdate=1 June 2009}}
  • Result: John Doe (2009). "Article Name". The Telegraph. 
The consensus viewpoint is to show the accessdate (no error messages), and editors could modify the page if they do not want to see it. Hence, readers could see the accessdate ("1 June 2009") to find that newspaper article of 2009. Current cites which use accessdate to timestamp a source are one of many exceptions, as suspected above, where the accessdate should be shown even without "url=". That is why the consensus view is to always show the accessdate, as date information, to handle all situations. Editors who want to remove the date can edit the cite. Thus, this is a consensus which addresses all options. -Wikid77 (talk) 05:30, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Uh huh.   However, as noted above, there could be an optional parameter to change the default results, such as by setting: hide_accessdate_with_no_url = yes, with the "long name like this so editors are fully aware what they request when they use the parameter". Otherwise, if editors set the accessdate, then the accessdate should appear in the formatted citation (with no error message, as people indicated above). Also in the discussion above, many actual cases were noted, and I have seen many cites of newspapers where the "accessdate=" provided the clue to the missing "date=" often where those dates would be the same/next date, and someone added the cite with accessdate set to being the day they read that newspaper article. If the accessdate were suppressed while having no "date=" parameter, then the readers would not know which day/month/year to check for the newspaper page. It really makes a lot of sense, when other editors discuss what typically happens in actual cites, and why readers seeing the accessdate, in a displayed article, can help, or is often crucial, to find the specific source/version to read. -Wikid77 (talk) 21:35, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
There is no need for special parameters to hide an accessdate on a citation. If you don't want to see them, see this: Help:Citation Style 1/accessdate.
Trappist the monk (talk) 02:14, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Access date is not a time stamp for when every citation was added. An access date, as defined by the major style guides as noted above, is the date a web page that contains no discernible date was accessed or for a web page that changes (example: Wikipedia main page). Frankly, a web page that does not include a date should be examined carefully to ensure it is a reliable source.
  • Online documents identified by doi, Bibcode, JSTOR and the like are not going to change, thus no access date is required. Printed works are not going to change, thus no access date is required. If an online work is revised, then the 'date' should reflect the change.
  • The purpose of the citation is to identify the source work and each element needs to be considered in that context. We don't work in a vacuum: we mainly use the APA and Chicago style guides.
  • Simply because we have a way to hide the access date for individual editors does not mean that showing it for everyone else is right. This just means that we had no good way to show spurious access dates and editors got tired of seeing them.
  • Bottom line: 'accessdate' without 'url' is a spurious citation element. 'accessdate' with 'url' but with 'date' is a spurious citation element. --  Gadget850 talk 10:13, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
some clarifications are needed imo: 1. citations by def. identify sources. their purpose is to aid verification. it may look like a minor point, but it properly (in my view) shifts emphasis to the reader from the editor. the discussion has been too editor-centric. if readers are not going to use citations (no matter how well-formatted), they are useless 2. the incongruity between WP:CITE (section WP:SOURCELINKS) re: restricted urls, and what is being proposed here has to be resolved in some fashion, perhaps by a "paywall/subsrcription" option? 3. also account for the guidelines re: Google Books (WP:BOOKLINKS – only preview/fullview urls). Google Books imposes viewing limits per unique IP/Google sign-in. a previously available url may suddenly become restricted for users that share ip addresses (practically anyone at work, libraries, etc.). even though most Google Books content doesn't change, "accessdate" for such sources may become significant in view of the limitations. 70.19.122.39 (talk) 12:50, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

if consensus has not been reached, please edit the section heading, it may mislead. 70.19.122.39 (talk) 12:52, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

That section heading refers to the "consensus viewpoint" which has been supported by a rough consensus of opinions already stated. So, it is not misleading. -Wikid77 (talk) 14:05, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't know how disinterested Admins who close discussions on whatever subject can do it and feel confident that they know and understand the consensus. It must be easier when the proposal or question is tightly constrained. In this case, Editor Dragon Flight's multiple questions aren't tightly constrained. Editors in this discussion have raised related issues and stated opinions that don't actually answer Editor Dragon Flight's questions.
If I sift through the discussion above and extract postings that only address the first part of Editor Dragon Flight's first question, (I've intentionally ignored answers to questions two and three because they are dependent on an affirmative answer to question one) this is what I get (quotes may have been edited for brevity):
  • Do you agree that |accessdate= should only be displayed if there is a URL present?Dragons flight
  • No, update the help page and template to match actual practice. – VQuakr
  • "citing a non-static webpage, the access date is necessary"; "citing books, journals, newspaper articles, ... access date isn't necessary" – DoctorKubla
  • "I'd keep the status quo for question 1" – DePiep
  • "Don't display accessdates without a url." – PrimeHunter
  • "accessdate without a URL is pointless ... might have contained a URL at the time that they were added" – WhatamIdoing
  • "accessdate should only be used when needed, which would mean URLs for the most part" – 64.40.54.181
  • "None of the above (1, 2, or 3): I think the accessdate is useful for offline resources to document the date the editor actually saw the material." – AlanM1
  • "1 ... no point of displaying access dates when there is no url"; "2 ... switch off displaying of accessdates in certain templates, such as {{cite book}}, ore remove these altogether"; "3 ... access dates for electronic citations are ... as useful as wet tissue paper, ... follow the advice of the CMOS"; "4 ... no objection to keeping accessdates only visible as metadata where they have been supplied and the content is still 'live'" – Ohconfucius
  • "Completely agree with everything Ohconfucius says above, especially points 3 and 4" "access dates to be a great deal more trouble than what little they are worth" – Alarics
  • "if the paywall issue i discuss above is resolved in some way or other, i have no problem displaying the accessdate only when urls are present." "i disagree with ohconfucius re: the usefulness of accessdates for online citations." – 70.19.122.39
  • "Access dates are not very useful without a URL." "I don't see any reason to prevent editors from adding the access dates for non-URL links, though I agree there is no reason to display access dates for non-URL links." – older ≠ wiser
  • "When the url is dead, the accessdate is invariably not necessary." – Ohconfucius
  • 1. No, always show any accessdate. – Wikid77
If I have incorrectly attributed or misquoted or improperly edited your comment please point that out.
So, this sifting leads me to a conclusion that is distinctly different from Editor Wikid77's conclusion. In general, the answer to the first part of Editor Dragon Flight's first question seems to be yes, accessdates should only be displayed when there is a url.
The answer to the second part of Editor Dragon Flight's first question is a little harder to get because editors seem to have declined to answer it. Those who appear to have answered it state:
  • Or should the present behavior be changed in some way?Dragons flight
  • If a convinving case can be made that there are situations where an accessdate is valuable without a url then we could consider a new parameter like display_accessdate_with_no_url = yes. – PrimeHunter
  • As to whether to display the date or not, that's up to the more biblio-minded people to decide as a matter of style. Even if it should be decided not to render the date in some situations, I'd still leave it there and make it clear that it can be used for internal documentation, even though hidden. – AlanM1
  • 4 Simply not displaying accessdates, which are irrelevant to most users, would considerably reduce on-screen clutter – Ohconfucius
Not a clear agreement here and probably an insufficient number of opinions upon which to base a consensus.
Trappist the monk (talk) 16:57, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Consensus viewpoint is a workable compromise: In the early years of Wikipedia, there were discussions about types of voting to determine so-called consensus, but the concept now has been explained as a "compromise" position. Of course there are some users who do not want to see accessdates. However, we already know more than 30,000 users prefer to show all accessdate values, with over 40,100 pages having accessdate without a "url=" or "chapterurl=" or such. There are many editors who have set accessdate with the weblink for Bibcode, doi, OCLC, ISSN, PMC, PMID, Zbl, etc. Plus other editors, above, have already noted cases where the accessdate is set but the URL was (later) omitted due to paywall restrictions, or deadlink status, or spam-filter rejection, or being obvious from newspaper and title. In some cases, the only date information comes from the accessdate, and people have used those dates to find prior revisions where that cite was added, to then check what text was backed by the original cite (before other unsourced text was added at the same cite). Plus I have found cases where people put URL addresses in the "id=" parameter, while setting accessdate for that. For all those reasons, the logical, workable, compromise is to show the accessdate if present (with no error messages), but allow a page to be edited to remove accessdates if other editors agree for those pages. Also, users can set their CSS-page to suppress the class to bypass all accessdate values for them. Hence, the consensus viewpoint is to always show the accessdate by default, but allow users to suppress or remove unwanted dates, as a workable compromise. I have also suggested creating a new parameter (perhaps named "urldate=") which could be used to show red-error messages in new cites when parameter "url=" was not set, as being directly tied to new usage of the url parameter, not a retroactive restriction. So having all those options allows for a workable consensus, as noted. This does not require years of discussion to resolve. I think we have reached a workable compromise now. -Wikid77 (talk) 16:15, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Conceptually, I agree that consensus can be defined as a workable compromise. However, we don't have that here. What we have is one party unilaterally declaring that a state of compromise and hence consensus exists. Compromise is not reached through declaration but through negotiation. Where is the negotiation? Thus far, there has been The Question; there have been expressions of opinion regarding The Question; there have been posts declaring consensus (you); there have been posts disputing the declaration of consensus (me). There has been no negotiation so there is no compromise.
How do we know that more than 30,000 users prefer to show all accessdate values? Where does that number come from?
That editors misapply |accessdate= is not disputed; that editors remove |url= without also removing |accessdate= is not disputed; that editors use |accessdate=, orphaned or not, to research a citation is not disputed. These facts do not explain why all accessdates should be visible and the existing error messages that highlight malformed citations should be removed.
No need to "allow" |accessdate= removal – that privilege already exists; that registered editors can hide all accessdates with css is not disputed. These facts are simply statements reflecting current practice that don't establish a new consensus viewpoint.
The idea of |urldate= is worth consideration though probably not in this forum.
Where there is negotiation, there can be compromise and consensus. Unilateral declarations of consensus do not constitute actual consensus.
Trappist the monk (talk) 10:12, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

Handling non-consensus accessdate issues

To address specific concerns of issues which do not meet the rough consensus, then more discussion should be continued. Some issues to discuss:

  • Suppress all accessdates already in cites: The idea to suppress all accessdate values, as a rare viewpoint, could be handled by a user-preference which redefines a CSS class to hide the accessdate value, which even contradicts the current documented use of "accessdate=" to be a parameter which is displayed in some cases. However, that user-preference option could be explained in a help-page for custom viewing of articles. -Wikid77 (talk) 14:41, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Have an accessdate to reject when no URL, perhaps urldate: For editors who want to have an accessdate parameter which future users could be warned not to use, then consider adding a new parameter to the full wp:CS1 style, perhaps named "urldate=" which could issue an error message to beware usage, because the old parameter "accessdate=" has already been used in over 150,000 citations without a "url=" or "chapterurl=" parameter. Typically, when changing the rules, avoid retroactive "punishment" (or error messages); however, a new parameter "urldate=" would not have a retroactive impact. -Wikid77 (talk) 14:41, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Update Wikipedia essays to warn how people think "access" means "accessed" or "viewed": Because thousands of editors have already imagined that "accessdate=" was the date on which they accessed a source, then it should be noted, in Wikipedia design essays, how over 30,000 people ran away with that notion, and perhaps having a parameter named "urldate=" might have avoided that confusion about the word "access". A rough consensus often forms around the perceived meanings of terms, rather than the formal, precise redefinitions, as in stated in style manuals. -Wikid77 (talk) 14:41, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Feature already available through CSS due to the overuse of spurious access dates.
  • "an accessdate parameter which future users could be warned not to use" My babel fish just puked in my ear when it could not translate this.
  • Already in the template documentation, as noted above. Where else should it be? --  Gadget850 talk 17:54, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

PLEASE don't randomly delete accessdates. If you want to get rid of the error, you can just comment out the parameter.

  • It really sucks to come across a dead link, try to 'fix' it, and find 300 entries for that url on the Wayback Machine.
  • It also sucks to find where someone used {{cite web}} for something like a NYT article, and put 'accessdate' of the day they read it, instead of the publication date from the page. It 'autobreaks' when it moves behind the paywall, but if the editor put in the access date it makes it easier to actually fix the cite (like all the {{cite web}}s that are actually to wire service stories, and available elsewhere).
  • The accessdate isn't really 'part' of a citation, imo...you should be able to find the source w/o it, eventually...it's more like an 'editorial comment' of "This was working on this date"....i.e. metadata. It lets someone else come by and 'clarify' the reference by connecting it to the right Wayback Machine page without having to worry about breaking the actual 'citation'.
  • A better fix for the 'overdisplay' of them, IMO, would be an additional parameter to {{reflist}}...something like...{{reflist|suppress-postcripts}} for use in 'overcrowded' reference lists.
    • Something like this would also be useful for things such as LCCNs, WorldCat, etc. People object to including or adding them because it 'breaks' the layout, but the 'metadata' they embed is important.
    • Even better would be something like {{reflist|postscript-footnotes}} to automatically 'fold' the spammy and 'nonessential' parts of the citations, like the {{DNBfirst}} banner and such, into a 'reference footnotes'.
    • You could 'optionally' change the 'book sources' ISBN link in the cite to a little link like (search for this book) to book sources, and move /all/ the UIDs out of the reference list itself into a 'reference footnote'.
  • I think (I'm not going to try to test it, because I might break an article) that you should be able to simulate this effect by wrapping the {{reflist}} with the 'suppress accessdates' css, in the article itself. Revent (talk) 18:13, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
  • No - the accessdate should be the date you read/accessed an electronic document. It _isn't_ the publication date, which is date. Secretlondon (talk) 18:30, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
    • Right. I'm not saying that....sorry if unclear. My point is that if someone used a {{cite web}} for, say, an NYT story, and put in an accessdate, it's easy to fix, even if I can't 'see' the paywalled story...I can look up the 'byline' to get the publication date, and use the citation tool to 'autogen' the corrected paywalled url in a {{tl:cite news}}. Hiding the access date doesn't 'break' that, but drive-by deleting of it does. Revent (talk) 19:10, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
I mean hiding in the sense of commenting out here. Revent (talk) 21:22, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
if the citation is behind a paywall, and you have no easy/free access to other formats of the source, you cannot verify the byline or anything else about it. this goes for all restricted sources. you have to obtain paywall access. the extra step immediately degrades the quality of the citation from a verification standpoint. this standpoint is much more important than presentation, or someone's idea of aesthetics.
newspaper articles are often corrected. so accessdate for a paywalled source can become significant in 2 ways where source info is altered: 1. it helps determine the citation's initial veracity (before alteration at the source) and 2. it can flag the citation (and therefore the relevant article information) as in need of correction/verification, or as obsolete (after the alteration at the source).70.19.122.39 (talk) 17:15, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm not saying I would remove the access date. What I'm saying is that I would fix the url (which is only a convenience link, you're citing the NYT itself, and saying you /saw/ it on their website) to the 'permanent' location that the NYT uses for their archive. BTW, the NYT cite tool (once you give it the 'correct' url) actually pulls the article author, name, publication date, etc from the NYT archive (this is all info that's usually missing). Just a {{cite web}} to the 'free' location on the NYT current stories, with no more info, is totally useless, and I mean TOTALLY. With an accessdate, I can find the story...it was always published within a week or so before the accessdate, and I can use the 'words' in the dynamic url (and the topic) for comparison against the 'headline/byline/lead' on a free newswire and make sure it's the right story. NYT doesn't change them after they go to the archive...they write new ones. :)
If there /is/ some kind of uncertainty, I can just comment out the original markup of the cite, put the 'corrected' one in, and mark it with a commented {{verification needed}}, keeping the same accessdate on the new cite, and someone can check it in....what....three clicks? and then edit the cite if something is wrong, or take out the flag. What's arguable about this? Every reader is an editor.
And yes, you never change the accessdate unless you actually 'fact checked' the article...i.e. reread it, and said "Yes, it's accurate. I'll verify that." With stuff like a webpage on the Wayback Machine, that's trivial to do. Revent (talk) 22:30, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Or I can say 'oh, that's a news agency story', find a 'free' copy (like from the service itself), check the cite real fast, and change the source to the 'better' one. Revent (talk) 22:48, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
  • {{reflist}} can't modify any of the entries in the reference list. All it can do is apply a style to the list, such as columns or labels. The list is generated by the included <references /> tag which is part of the Cite software extension. --  Gadget850 talk 23:20, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Clear consensus remains to show accessdate to resolve sources changed afterward: There have been far too many exceptions showing the need for the accessdate in a wide variety of cases, such as: a document being moved after accessdate and then altered; or people putting the typical URL data in the "page=" parameter while the blank "url=" is misleading because the required URL is, in fact, specified within the page parameter; or people wanting to delete accessdate just to stop error messages (unaware of URLs in page data). Hence, the clear decision is to just always show whatever accessdate, to the viewers, and they could use that date to help check websites and find if the sources changed their statements after that accessdate time, as well as checking the history of article edits to see how the page was worded when the cite was first added into an article. -Wikid77 (talk) 17:22, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Policy on talk page archiving

I'm in a very odd edit war with someone with a very poor command of english. The editor appears to think that archiving will somehow effect an active discussion. Here is what is being reverted. Are my actions according to official policy given in WP:TALKCOND? TippyGoomba (talk) 04:28, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

If a dispute has no activity for 90 days... I think it'd be stale. And it needs 6 threads before archiving any. So in all fairness, the auto archiving is not a problem. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 04:41, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Per "Before setting up automatic archiving on an article's talk page, please establish a consensus that archiving is really needed there." I would just leave it. Archiving is clearly not essential there, and if someone feels strongly enough about not using it now, why do it? If that was really an edit war it would kind of qualify as a candidate for WP:LAME. Apteva (talk) 05:17, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Apteva. The talk page is fairly long right now, but it's not really unwieldy, so there's no pressing need to start archiving. Given that someone wants to keep a section readily available, and that you already have some conflict with the other editor, fighting over this sounds like it'll only add to the friction between you. It's probably wisest to save this for another time (and to avoid criticizing the editor's command of English where it's not relevant). —Ben Kovitz (talk) 12:40, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Single names vs. full names

We have following pages redirect to full names:

Other names similar to first names stay this way: Lulu (singer), Madonna (entertainer), Prince (musician), Adele and Kesha. There are pen names or nicknames, like Drake (entertainer), Rihanna and Fergie (singer), which I grew to appreciate, especially since the stage names are middle names of full names. However, since Madonna (entertainer) will change to neither Madonna Ciccone nor Madonna, I'm reaching an impasse here. I could not request renaming "Prince (musician)" because it's listed in WP:NCP as a good example for single names and because his full name is unknown to many people. But I do see some inconsistencies between WP:NCP and WP:NATURAL. How would a guideline's rules apply to single names, while a policy's rules don't? --George Ho (talk) 18:51, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

The rules (from WP:NATURAL) do apply. Why do you think they don't? Powers T 20:55, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Oh... you assumed? My apologies, but I do think NATURAL applies. However, I assumed others think otherwise. It is just "Madonna (entertainer)" vs. "Madonna Ciccone" issue here that prompted me to assume other people's opinions. --George Ho (talk) 21:11, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Lulu and Madonna and Prince and Adele and Kesha are well-known trademarks for those artists; their full names are much less used to refer to them; per commonname, we stick with their trademarks. NCP is not so relevant when the individuals in question are mostly known by their trademarks. Dicklyon (talk) 21:16, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
WP:COMMONNAME says pick a name that many sources use, that is least offensive, and that is very accurate. It does not mention how to disambiguate, like WP:NATURAL. Even WP:NCP#Single names tells readers how to title an article about a single-name person, but it still looks vague to me. "Ciccone" and "(entertainer)" the rules did not imply which to choose; I think "Ciccone" is fairly used often. --George Ho (talk) 21:58, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Re: "How would a guideline's rules apply to single names, while a policy's rules don't?" It is important to realize that the WP:AT policy is NOT meant to be a narrow set of "rules" that must be followed. The policy outlines various broad factors that need to be weighed against each other when reaching a consensus as to the best title for an article. The policy is intentionally flexible, because every title has unique factors that must be taken into consideration. In one article, the consensus might be that need for disambiguation outweighs the need for recognizability... yet in another article the consensus may be the opposite. That's OK. Blueboar (talk) 13:43, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
This is supported by the fact that most of the 70 odd pages of the article policy are guidelines, not policies. Apteva (talk) 20:17, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure I understand what the issue is here. It is exceedingly obvious that the majority of sources use only the name "Madonna" when referring to her, but obviously that word has several other meanings so we need to disambiguate it. So my question would be "what exactly is wrong with the name as it is now?" Beeblebrox (talk) 22:40, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Article name

Are we allowed to use any language version of settlements and towns as link with source, or just agreed article title per WP:AT? --WhiteWriterspeaks 21:53, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Follow Wikipedia:AT#English-language titles. Blueboar (talk) 23:53, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
But what if common name is not english? Are we allowed to use several language variants? --WhiteWriterspeaks 00:46, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
The article's title should be in the Latin alphabet.—Ryulong (琉竜) 02:42, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
No, no, we are missing the point of my question. Can we use other languages linked name, instead agreed article title? --WhiteWriterspeaks 10:49, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
I am not sure what you mean by "other languages linked name" and "agreed article title"? Our policy is to prefer English language sources over non-English language sources of equal quality (this is the English language version of Wikipedia, after all). So... a) we first look at the English language sources to see if there is a standard (or "common") name for the place in English. If so, Wikipedia uses that as our article title. If not, b) we look at the appropriate non-English language sources to see there is a standard ("common") name for the place in those.
Does this answer your question? If not, perhaps you could give us an example of what you are asking about? Blueboar (talk) 11:46, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
To give you an example... consider the capital city of Italy. Looking at English language sources, we discover that the vast majority refer to the city as "Rome"... so we use that name as our article title (we can refer to "Rome" as being the "common English language name"). We don't use the Italian "Roma".
Now consider another Italian city ... "Livorno". The appropriate title for our article on this city is debated... Many (archaic) English language sources refer to it as "Leghorn"... A few English language sources refer to it as "Legorno" or "Ligorno"... but the majority of modern English language sources now refer to it using the Italian name, so... after a lot of discussion our article title settled on Livorno. We can say that "Livorno" is the most common English language name. Blueboar (talk) 13:52, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Bravo, exactly that was my question! So, if we have Livorno as article tile, can we use [[Livorno|Legorno]] instead in articles anyway, or not? --WhiteWriterspeaks 14:04, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Why would you need to do that anyway?—Ryulong (琉竜) 14:29, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
(ec) Ah... Usage in the article text is trickier, and depends somewhat on context. For example, in an article that discusses Livorno in terms of its historic use as a British naval base, it might well be appropriate to use the archaic English name "Leghorn" (which is a redirect) and not the modern English name "Livorno" (although to help readers who might not know the archaic name, I would probably give both... writing: "For many years, the Mediterranean Fleet was based out of [[Livorno|Leghorn (Livorno)]] in Italy" ... at least the first time I referred to it).
I would be happy to give you more specific advice (relating to a specific article)... but suggest that we continue on my talk page rather than here. Blueboar (talk) 15:00, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, you don't need to pipe links with alternative names, since all alternative names should be redirects anyway. When a separate article exists on an alternative name, link to that article (e.g. never write [[Istanbul|Byzantium]]) - filelakeshoe (t / c) 09:43, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Whitewriter, to relate this to the use of Kosovan names for Kosovan places since independence in 2008, as with the RM which was raised by the Kosovan editor (but rejected by Serbian editors), as I said in the RM, (1) this needs to be decided by a wideranging RfC such as Danzig/Gdansk, (2) those with local connections would declare these and !vote in a separate section, (3) there is a 2 year lag in printed sources. The RM showed that in the case of the town mentioned the "new" Kosovan name did not overtake the old Serbian name in English sources until 2011. In ictu oculi (talk) 09:03, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Which article(s) are we discussing? Blueboar (talk) 11:48, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
I couldn't remember the name of the RM when I wrote the above, after looking at List of populated places in Kosovo by Albanian name I've found it; Talk:Vučitrn. It's evident that the result may have been affected by WP Serbia alerts getting a bigger audience, than WP Albania. Those with local ties (including myself on the SerboCroatian side of the fence, though I didn't !vote) shouldn't be the only ones deciding what is an all-wp naming issue as important as Danzig/Gdansk. In ictu oculi (talk) 14:26, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
I will note Talk:Vučitrn on Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Kosovo-related articles aka WP:MOSKOS. In ictu oculi (talk) 07:52, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Precising novel titles and adaptation titles

Why do we refer the novel as The Fellowship of the Ring, while we refer the film as The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring? Same for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Lightning Thief, etc. Can't we make originals and adaptations more precise than they are now? --George Ho (talk) 18:05, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Sigh... How many times, George, are you going to post at VPP complaining that there is inconsistency when apples and oranges are not treated alike? This is your second such question on this page right, and like many, many other questions you've posted here in the recent past, this does not raise a policy issue but is instead purely a factual one, regarding how to refer to titles of separate works of fiction. It should be obvious that a film can be and often is titled differently than the book it adapts, or that a different WP:COMMONNAME could apply to separate works regardless of the relationship of those works to each other. Even assuming this was a question worth delving into further, there are far better, more specific places you could have raised this narrow topic, such as the talk pages of the articles in question, relevant wikiprojects, or WP:TITLE. postdlf (talk) 18:38, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
You've hit the nail on the head Postdlf. George has raised this on various talk pages including this one Talk:The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe#Requested move. While I don't know if George is disappointed in the outcome of discussions like this one bringing the item here seems to a bit of WP:FORUMSHOPPING. There is all kinds of editing to do around here that doesn't involve page moves. MarnetteD | Talk 19:53, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Is that a hobgoblin I see? --Jayron32 04:56, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Letter in New Scientist

A letter to the editor published in the New Scientist in response to an opinion column about Wikipedia:

Wikipedia's editorial elite are utterly opaque in their structure and dealings, and their growing power and arrogance has been understood and written about for years (13 April, p 38). They need to be thanked for their Herculean achievement, and stood down. The editorial process must become transparent, rational, fair and truly global.

Wikipedia is indispensable, but the huge variation in the quality of entries has become a headache for users. A vast number of entries carry Wikipedia's own tags, often years old, identifying problems with the content.

In my own experience these are big issues: related entries, handled by rival editors, may not be linked; additions may simply be appended to, rather than integrated with, existing text, creating repetition; and entries may be "hijacked" by, for example, government and private organisations who contribute (self-congratulatory) text. The list goes on: some entries are straightforward adverts; there is insufficient non-Anglophone perspective (and not just from the developing world); and links to Wikipedia entries in languages other than English are patchy.

Finally, there's sometimes a failure to ensure that entries are comprehensible to lay readers – my pet example is the one on the weak nuclear force.

—Guy Dugdale, London, UK http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21829160.600-a-little-knowledge.html

Thoughts?

The observations seem spot on; the suggested solution less so. Victor Yus (talk) 11:50, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
To actually address these concerns, would require a major shift in the editorial base. But the 'editorial elite' cannot do this alone. Some of the tags are necessary and others less so, the process is constantly evolving and its easier to tag issues then to fix them. Because of the tags, fixing the issues are easier then hiding them. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 04:03, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, members of the editorial elite (Do I qualify? Is there a badge, or a T shirt, or a secret handshake), one kind of old tag I see a lot is the popular citation needed one. Many such tags are years old. Saw a couple recently that were five years old. That's pretty embarrassing for the project, Is there/can there be an automated process for doing something about them? HiLo48 (talk) 04:11, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
It's called going to WP:BACK and going through the list and citing them. Some are disruptively tagged, many are cited within the references but have not been tagged at the end of the contested claim and others may be OR or SYN. It is time consuming to check them, but so is most things. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 04:52, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
With regard to inconsistency in quality... Realistically, it's a volunteer project, and with 4 million plus articles. To even begin to enforce consistent standards across articles, first the community would have to agree on all the standards. I think it could happen, eventually, because the quality of the articles has overall been improving over time. It's a gradual process, though. Add to this another question, should the articles be written in plain English for a high school reading level, or for academic experts? Or somehow appease both audiences in one article? (It can be done, I think, by introducing less technical information on the topic at the start of the article, followed by more detailed info...) There are sooo many factors to be considered in discussing quality gaps. When I think about how far WP has come in 10 years, I am optimistic. I don't think it will ever please everyone 100% though... and there will always be editing conflicts to some extent; it's built into the system, and it's healthy. WP isn't static. nothing is ever perfect, and nothing is ever finished. OttawaAC (talk) 04:58, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I wrote much of that article and I'm a "lay reader" - although I totally understand his concerns. In fact, it's a good example of where expert knowledge is actually required to make it understandable to the lay reader. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 11:45, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I find it hard to take seriously a criticism of Wikipedia that expects me to pay a $19.95 subscription fee just to read the whole thing. Wikipedia may be arrogant, but at least you can read to the bottom of the page without needing a MasterCard. That said, based on the quoted bit it's the usual gripe that, shockingly, in a volunteer-edited free encyclopedia with millions of articles, some of them are better than others. Nothing new or shocking about that. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 03:22, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
  • The letter is just another run-of-the-mill mis-characterization based on a poor understanding of what Wikipedia is and how it works. The accusation that "editorial elite are utterly opaque in their structure and dealings" has no basis. The "structure" of editors is pretty clearly defined: anybody can edit. Yes, some editors can extra privileges but for most good-faith discussions this shouldn't even matter. As for the "dealings" of editors, the policies and guidelines of Wikipedia pretty clear about what can be done and what can't. The vast vast majority of all discussion happens here, on-wiki, and that's the way it should be. Wikipedia is about the least opaque (or secret as I think is hinted out by the verbage) in its "dealings" as any community that I can think of. Then the letter further just lists some obvious consequences of a collaborative, open encyclopedia. Basically to solve the concerns we've have to somehow eliminate bias and make every subject, even complicated ones, accessible to everybody. We already try to do that but to criticize the encyclopedia because it hasn't been done perfectly and there's room for improvement is absurd: perfection here is an impossible goal. Again, it's the encyclopedia that anyone can edit. I wish more people who complain about Wikipedia, would start editing to try to fix problems and stop attacking people who are already trying to help. This is an emotional topic for me because I think there's a component of "biting the hand that feeds you" in it. These people are really attacking the people who helped build this encyclopedia by donating hundreds or even thousands of hours of their time and expertise. Wikipedia is simply an astonish resource because of it. And yet, the derogatory epithet "elite editors" has somehow attached itself to the minds of cynics, often who've never actually tried to edit but will gleefully use the resource while chastising those who made it. Grrrrrr. Jason Quinn (talk) 03:57, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Attack articles

A number of article that have had recent RfCs seem to be moving towards being attack articles. What happens is that a group of editors with something against the subject of the article (maybe justified) decide to abandon all WP principles of weight and encyclopedic quality and add as much negative material to the article as possible, generally citing media sources as justification.

Should there not be a uniform standard across similar article subjects on WP and how can this be encouraged? Martin Hogbin (talk) 13:01, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

  • Attack articles should be marked for speedy deletion; the behavior of the editors is best taken to WP:ANI if your representation of the situation is accurate.--Ymblanter (talk) 13:05, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
The articles that I am talking about may not correctly described as attack articles but they have moved in that direction. The main problems are excessive detail on negative facts and a generally unencyclopedic tone. Martin Hogbin (talk) 16:20, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
He isn't referring to an article that exists solely for the purpose of attack. He is referring to the inclusion of excessive amounts of negative material in articles about notable corporations. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:04, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Robert is referringto one example of what I mean but there are others. It is a worrying trend that could ultimately result in loss of confidence in WP. I can give examples but I am trying to keep the discussion general. Martin Hogbin (talk) 09:15, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • See: WP:UNDUE, and delete content until negativity is achieved. Then if problems persist with such articles, have them protected and warn the editors, or in extreme cases, request blocking. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 10:35, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
If only it were that simple. Two arguments are always given in reply to WP:UNDUE. Firstly, due weight is decided by the volume of reports in reliable sources (generally the media), secondly because everyone knows that the person/organisation are bad, due weight requires us to add more negative material. Martin Hogbin (talk) 12:43, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm having this problem on a BLP and what happens is the group of entrenched "owners" simply re-include attack content whenever a new editor drops in...after a day or so the new editor goes away exhausted. May122013 (talk) 14:01, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Interesting comment to make May, as you only signed on to Wikipedia on May 20 of this year. I don't believe you are well versed on policy or are experienced enough to interpret it. You are the one who is both being the problem and crying foul about it. Were you previously an editor under a different name? Alaney2k (talk) 15:03, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Speaking generally, I am willing to bet the specific articles people are referring to here will be relatively short, very incomplete overall, but feature significant detail of a negative incident that involved the subject. May122013's example sounds a little more malicious than average, but I agree with Martin Hogbin that simply removing the negative content until equilibrium is reached is often problematic. Personally, I think the solution in many cases is not to remove content, but to add. Take the unbalanced article and expand it to include as much other missing content as available - personal details, positive contributions, etc. As the article is improved, the 'attack' loses its prominence and becomes just another part of the whole. Most editors add to an article without thinking about the larger narrative, which is why articles become unbalanced. It takes someone willing to look at the article holistically to level it out into something approcahing quality. Resolute 14:13, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
The article in question is the Rob Ford article. The general consensus of editors is to proceed under the policy of WP:WELLKNOWN. Two editors are wanting to eliminate any mention of the current crack video scandal. Alaney2k (talk) 14:49, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
I disagree with User:Resolute that the articles being discussed are short and incomplete overall, but feature significant detail of a negative incident. The two of which I am aware are BP and Rob Ford. The former was a good long article, which had a brief mention of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and a link to that article. Then there was addition in the BP article of a large amount of material from the spill article. Then there was an RFC:Request for Comments, which drew attention to the article, and as a result, a group of BP opponents came to the article and began arguing that any removal of the negative material from the company article would be a "whitewash". Martin Hogbin and others said that that would not be a whitewash, because the information was still in the specific article on the spill, and besides responsibility for the spill has not been adjudicated between three companies. In this case, my own opinion is that the RFC process had the unintended consequence of drawing attacking editors to the article. At this point, dispute resolution has not worked. Mediation may be the next step. I haven't followed the Rob Ford article, but it is also not a short incomplete article, but a reasonably well-developed article. Resolute's assessment may apply to other articles, but not to the two at which I have looked. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:24, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough, but bear in mind that I was speaking in generalities, as nobody had highlighted a specific article when I made my reply. I was going on what I typically encounter. You are correct in that the BP and Rob Ford articles are of a different breed with different problems. Resolute 17:29, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Now we are in agreement. The BP and Rob Ford articles were balanced before POV-pushers came. With small attack articles, the article can be balanced by expansion if the subject is notable, and can be deleted if the subject is not notable. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:32, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
BP and Rob Ford were indeed two of the articles that I had in mind but I think we should try to look at this problem more generally. Articles are seen by opponents and those with complaints and grudges (sometimes justified) as soapboxes to promote a negative image of the subject. The problem is that the media abounds with negative comments about everyone and every organisation except the very few who have not yet fallen from grace. This makes it easy to claim a reliable source for vast 'Criticism' sections. Martin Hogbin (talk) 23:59, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Can a DYK be RFC'd?

Here's something new: an RfC on a DYK. It's here, but that's not a policy issue; the policy issue that has come up is "Is an RfC on a DYK (and by extension other Main Page elements, pre-publication) even allowed?" Dunno, but don't think it's disallowed anywhere that I know of. But maybe it should be; any editor with an interest or opinion is invited to weigh in at Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment#Question re RfC on main page issues. Herostratus (talk) 03:02, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

Deletion campaign by editors

Over at WP:ANIME's talk a group of editors want to start a deletion campaign to either improve articles to C class or delete them from Wikipedia and/or remove all with languishing notability or unsourced tags. Objections have been raised on the grounds that such a campaign is disruptive and WP:POINTy, by imposing artificial deadlines. Many of these works have a claim of notability and are likely to pass GNG. Also relevant is WP:BIAS as the editors have expressed that works without Angelo-notability should not be on Enwiki despite greater coverage and detail on non-English Wikipedias. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 23:08, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

There's absolutely nothing wrong with starting a consensus-based determination of article suitability as a cleanup project. Even given that we're talking works that will likely have their only sources in Japanese, editors can call for deletion of articles that don't meet notability guidelines particularly if they have been languishing for a few years. Mind you, the key is consensus - editors that want to clean up on a large scale should generate a list of those they think are bad, then present it to the project (and WP as a whole if they want), and decide on a path to either clean up those or consider their deletion. Editors that go forward without engaging in a consensus-based plan forward are likely being pointy. While there is no DEADLINE, there's a lot of articles created pre-2006-ish (before notability was established) that likely need review. And to emphasis, just because something exists and was even mass-market published doesn't make it notable. --MASEM (t) 23:15, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
  • It could be a problem if done poorly but in general there does not seem to be anything wrong with a systematic effort by volunteers to vet articles. Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:17, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree... there is obviously nothing wrong with efforts to improve articles, nor is it wrong to nominate a poor article for deletion if it turns out that it can not be improved. If we start to get nominations on articles that obviously can be improved, that is another issue. Wait, and see what happens. Blueboar (talk) 23:24, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
I took a quick skim over the discussion, and the criteria for deletion are extremely arbitrary (can't reach C level? In importance or quality? What project has that standard?)...that said, it's not a bad idea to do a clean up. They should discuss the policy in greater depth before undertaking the task though, because there doesn't seem to be widespread familiarity with Wikipedia:Notability (books) (or film or art) from what I see in the discussion. Establishing (non-)notability for literature (even pulp graphic novels) is complex. OttawaAC (talk) 23:27, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Two articles were put up for PROD, both easily improved with minimal work and research even without going to the native language. While yes there is no deadline, the campaign is already disruptive as it avoids searching in the original language for the works and has not used WP:BEFORE standards before putting them up. Language links have shown that Japanese, Chinese and Russian Wikipedia to have vastly superior articles, yet their information was not even checked or added before PRODing the last one. The campaign is already disruptive because it is not being executed properly and its a deletion campaign rather then an improvement campaign. Deletion is supposed to be a last resort; removing content better covered in our foreign language sister-sites is either ignorance or bad-faith, the two articles to test this were in fact one's covered under my newly formed WP:HENTAI group. So several issues here likely play into this 'campaign' as it is being pushed by Lucia Black who has a very deep personal grudge. Its the intended 'deletion' focus by a pro-deletionist[1] which concerns me. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 23:30, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

WP:Deletion is not cleanup: We don't delete articles solely because their current versions aren't C-class. But a review of articles to see whether it would be possible (given plenty of time, money, resources, etc.) to turn them into C-class articles is a good thing. If it's not possible for an article to reach C-class, then there's a strong likelihood that the subject does not meet our notability requirements. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:44, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

The articles in question have had tags going back to January 2008 for notability, there is also the part that says WP:SOFIXIT I have no idea what Chris and Lucia's problem is but it is getting to be disruptive at the WP:ANIME Project. Calling out editors for waging a "Deletion Campaign" I also see in bad faith. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 23:48, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

One other thing: Why the distaste for stubs/start-class articles, though? It's possible to write a stub with multiple sources that only yield a little information. (I've written such stubs for historical subjects, there are many at WP) But the subject is still notable, gaining references in multiple sources. Just saying, it does happen. Length is not always a solid reason to delete. You may come across books, films, authors, etc; who are mentioned in several English sources, but only briefly, meriting a stub/start-class article. (OK, I'm an inclusionist.) I'm regurgitating existing policy here anyway. OttawaAC (talk) 00:01, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
If it has the sources that are reliable I fully agree that a stub or start class article is fine but should be improved upon to give a wider range of coverage. I went through the long list of articles with notability issues the majority of them are biographies, and articles that have to do with hentai or eroge games. Chris has recently been in a dispute involving the WP:HENTAI project with editors at the WP:ANIME project, most being Lucia. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 00:12, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
For the record I hold no bitterness towards Chris not too long ago I raised an issue over at WP:ANI and we forgave each other. I just dont see this being in good faith though as it involves all the editors in the project not just Lucia. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 00:18, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
And do get those I need to use the National Diet Library and the paper archives, but I can't translate Japanese yet. Do not bring up unrelated/conduct matters here; otherwise it will go way off topic. I'll discuss that on your talk page. Okay? Please stick to the nature of this dispute and address it with policy. I've pointed out that the national library is the place to cite just about all of these works, and the newspaper archives. We need those to improve our coverage not artificially limit it. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 00:26, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Deletion campaigne is also improving article campaigne. in my book, all articles that have notability are able to be C-class. if you find it too subjective for C-class, then we just look at WP:CLASSES. Main point is that we wont be AfD an article before we do a search for sources and find a way to cover more info. i lowered the scale to start and give each series that made it to start 6 months each for editors to work together to find info so it can make it to C-class.Lucia Black (talk) 00:35, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

That logic is flawed. Notability does not mean they have to be C class, the assessment is subjective. Even a stub or a start are allowed. For someone who focuses on English-centric sources for foreign articles, that is a major problem. Many sources are to be found in news sites like Yomiuri [2] or ZakZak [3]. Some of the content 404s meaning you need to wayback it or find an archive. What about Asahi Shimbun? It has an English variant that can be used as well. [4] You want to focus on 'media', but WP:ANIME as a whole doesn't even recognize they exist, let alone use them. Just prior to this, the argument was that they had to express Angelo-notability which is patently false. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 00:50, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Let's face it: the anime section of Wikipedia is choc-a-block full of crappy articles. There is nothing wrong with a systematic effort to improve the ones that can be made to meet some minimum standard and removing the ones that can't. Screaming "OMG! NO! NO! NO! AFD IS NOT CLEANUP!" misses the point entirely. The defenders of these articles should really use this situation as a wake-up call that there is a problem and that people are going to try to solve it. They ought to direct their efforts to improving the encyclopedia, rather than mischaracterising this as a "deletion campaign" and strenuously resisting all change. Reyk YO! 01:06, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Stubs are stubs even if they are notable. The 'stub' criterion is a call for expansion to an article and hence stubs should not be classed as 'C' or even 'Start'. See Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment. That said, classification other than formal audit through GA or FA are not an award system for articles and are often applied arbitrarily. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:16, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
  • As others have said, notability is a separate axis of measuring the quality of an article from the stub-start-C-B-A classes. Even stubs are expected to either show why the topic is likely notable or minimal sourcing to demonstrate that. The demonstration of notability will likely improve as one improves a stub up to C-class, but it is not the the case that C-class requires a sufficient level of notability to be shown to be rated as such. --MASEM (t) 14:34, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

The goal is to improve an article. afding stub class articles that have no hope of being improved.Lucia Black (talk) 05:11, 21 May 2013 (UTC)


  • Here's my take on the whole thing. Remember that almost all, if not all articles on Wikipedia began as stubs. Even most of our featured articles, good articles etc. began life as stubs. But just because they are stubs (or Start-class for that matter) doesn't necessarily mean they are not notable. It simply means the articles need expansion and/or improved sourcing. Except for BLPs and perhaps articles with possible copyright violations, there is no deadline for Wikipedia's completion. Wikipedia will never be complete, so there will always be articles that will remain stubs or Start-class articles. This doesn't mean they're not notable, it simply means there isn't enough material that can be used to work on.
  • Now, as for sources, while English sources are the ones that are usually desired, they should not be the only sources of information, especially with regards to a country whose main language is not English. Sources in any language should be used as long as they are reliable and are relevant to the overall topic. In fact, many of our featured articles on topics from outside the Anglosphere would probably not even make it that far if it weren't for the non-English coverage they received.
  • And finally, AfD is not cleanup. Just because the articles aren't good enough doesn't mean they should be deleted. Here's a quote from WP:ATA which pretty much sums it up (emphasis added on relevant passages):

A common maxim is that "AFD is not cleanup". Consider that Wikipedia is a work in progress and articles should not be deleted as punishment because no one has felt like cleaning them up yet. Remember, Wikipedia has no deadline. If there's good, eventually sourceable, content in the article, it should be developed and improved, not deleted. (If there is no usable content, however, it may well be best to delete.)

An article too short to provide more than rudimentary information about a subject should be marked as a stub and edited, and expanded, rather than simply deleted.

  • In a nutshell, articles should only be deleted if there isn't enough coverage, English or not, that can be used to establish notability. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia that strives to be as complete as possible. Deleting articles simply because they are poor and/or do not have enough English coverage is a case of systematic bias, something Wikipedia tries to avoid. If the articles aren't good enough, be bold and improve them. If they truly aren't notable, then that is the time they should be deleted.
  • As for stubs that don't have any chance of expansion at all, Wikipedia:Permastub is the relevant page, and while it does suggest that stubs can be deleted/merged if it cannot be expanded, it doesn't mean that all stubs can't be expanded.
  • Nevertheless, this should serve as a wake-up call for editors of WikiProject Anime and manga. Several articles are indeed of poor quality, so they should be improved as much as possible. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 08:48, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
AfD campaignes arent an issue as long as A) they do research before AfDing an article. B) Not set standards ridiculously high.
The standard is (compromise) to get them to at least start instead of C. but if the article is start class we will give it six months of work in efforts to make it to C-class. Its not as subjective as others make it out if one reads WP:CLASSES. stub is too short, start needs verification and c has enough notability but with flaws. Every article that proves notability should be able ro be B-class, which implies being mostly complete.The issue originally being derailed because of some off base assumptions such as being anglo-bias etc. The issue isnt that the AfD campaigne would cause harm, is for the wikiproject's lack of japanese sources. which isnt a problem related to the campaigne. if he has sources, he can add them as long as their reliable.Lucia Black (talk) 10:18, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Narutolovehinata5; yes many articles are in poor shape, but works like Abara was published in a major magazine and is held on file at the National Diet Library and dozens of other lessor libraries. The creator Tsutomu Nihei is also notable but is also a target despite numerous interviews [5] and being recorded at three different national libraries (Japan, America and Germany)[6]. Lucia Black's campaign is disruptive; and likely would result in mass removals under a time limit, and many probably will not make 'B'-Class anyways. Though the assessments before GA and FA are so arbitrary, that it will be abused to delete content. Its like saying 'all must be GA or FA or else they are not notable enough and will be deleted'. Lucia does not understand Wikipedia or its policies either. She doesn't even believe stubs should even exist.[7] And her intentions are made all the clear by not having the sources to look them up.[8] Even stating that multiple sources might not meet notability.[9] Refusing to acknowledge GNG and Wikipedia:Notability (books) to wage a deletion campaign is disruptive, while Lucia tries to claim it is personal, it is quite obvious that it is trying to divert attention to the real issue at hand, as she has done before in the discussion. This diff best summarizes, in three edits, Lucia's ignorance of policy and WP:BATTLE mentality as it relates to this discussion. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 14:15, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

"is held on file at the National Diet Library" in itself is totally irrelevant for notability (not for verifiability), as this library "collects copies of all publications published in Japan", like most national libraries around the world do for their country. Being held in other libraries "may" be a minor indicator of notability, but there are e.g. self-published books that have been sent to libraries for free, and then included in those libraries; this does not give such books any notability whatsoever. Please see WP:NBOOK, especially the section "Threshold standards", which explains this further. This is intended as a general remark, not a reflection on any works discussed here in particular. Fram (talk) 14:27, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Agreed, but I was pointing out that it is an exclusionary criteria covered under Threshold standards. Though its useful for finding additional sources about the work, because you get more information. Though I disagree that they collect 'all works' because that is not true, not all works in Shueisha's Ultra Jump are there. Abare has several international releases for one, which is unusual. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 15:33, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
  • On one hand, I object to the prospect of "C" being the cut-off point, but at the same time, I imagine the problem will just sort itself out at AFD; if its out of line, they're just going to all close as "Keep", and if that keeps happening, I imagine the nominators will get tired of doing the nominations with no real progress. I think its a bad idea, but I imagine it'll solve itself if people do happen to press forward with it... Sergecross73 msg me 14:29, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

@Chris A) I still dont believe Stubs should exist in wikipedia, but that doesnt mean i want speedy deletes all of them. Stubs can ebe improved to being C-class. B) How can my intent be clear by not having the sources? Like i said, if you have sources, then share them. You only assume we have so little sources to prove notability. C) There have been many articles that were deleted because they rely solely on first party sources and provided no third party sources/info such as awards or even anticipation. Sources to verify doesnt automatically mean notability, and you shouldnt take that as me trying to delete an article in bad faith. D) youve made several comments that you are more worried about the editor pushing for the campaigne rather than the campaigne itself and raised several issues unrelated to it. When you initially opposed you continued to derail the discussion such as what others considered anime and manga, then you talked about being in libraries, sales, awards. Not of which all manga has. Sales and awards may lrove notability, but not individualy, it just helps so much. Then you raise your issues on the reliable source list, in which no one is denying japanese sources. You just argue to prove a point that only proves you "could" be helping to m ake this campaigne even better but you dont.

@Serge, C-class implies notability but not perfect. all stubs for manga and anime can be improved to at least start, however C is the sure way it wont ever get AfD because it holds notability. according to WP:CLASSES that is. and if its a brand new series, im sure we can make an exception (or move it in sandbox, whichever is simpler). Still i dont think this will be an issue as multiple editors are into the idea.Lucia Black (talk) 18:19, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

No, it doesn't. C-class says something about the material on the page. It says nothing about whether Wikipedia chooses to have a separate article on that subject. Lucia, I think you have seriously misunderstood the WP:1.0 team's assessment system. None of the classes have anything to do with notability. If it's not notable, then it shouldn't have existed in the first place, and therefore it is impossible to give it a 1.0 assessment. It's possible to write a GA-class article—yes, to meet all the WP:Good article criteria and to pass an actual WP:Good article review—despite failing notability. That's why the GA folks have conversations like this one and this one about what to do with well-written articles on non-notable subjects.
Put another way: if you've got at least two sources and two sections on the page, and more than ten sentences total, then the article probably meets the actual, written C-class requirements. A Start-class article, by contrast, may be completely {{unreferenced}}. Reaching C-class does not prove that the subject is notable. It doesn't even come close to doing that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:06, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Folks... I think we may be generating a lot of heat very prematurely... For all we know, all but one or two of the articles in question will end up being improved to Class... and if so, then we are not really talking about any kind of mass deletion campaign. Focus on the improvement phase of the project first. Do your best to make the "deletion" phase unnecessary. When improvement is done, we will have a better idea how many potential deletions we are really talking about... and then (if need be) we can get all riled up. But at the moment its premature. Blueboar (talk) 22:31, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. However naming it the AfD campaigne really puts the edge on editors to defend editors notability. btw, if someone can prove where A class can exist without notability, then be my guess. the argument seems to rely strongly on devils advocate. Because stub and start class are classes associated with need of expansion.Lucia Black (talk) 23:50, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

It's going to be a case of Lucia nominating articles for deletion, then Chris voting "keep", thus their votes will cancel each other out, and the status quo will be maintained. Ugh. IMO, Lucia, you are choosing to ignore policy by setting a "purge the stubs" agenda, and a deadline for improvement (not always realistic on a volunteer-driven project). But the real problem here, as I see it, is the C, B, GA, FA system that appears to "grade" articles like a quality scale -- it is a quality scale, of a sort, but it doesn't necessarily reflect notability; as stated before, a stub can achieve notability. And notable articles shouldn't be purged, even if they're just two sentences. (Look at the article for Spork and explain to me how that will ever reach C status, or FA -- it won't. But that doesn't make it un-encyclopedic info.) The C.B.GA.FA. system distorts the perception of quality somewhat, particularly because length is considered a weightier factor than many other aspects of an article (such as a topic's degree of notability, impact or influence in a field, and so on), and also because it is subjectively assigned, it's a system that isn't very reliable. I also dislike the use of the C and B and the "hierarchy" structure of that system. I know I'm far from the first person to raise the issue.OttawaAC (talk) 00:22, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Stub articles are supposed to demonstrate notability too. The stub-to-A class aspect is completely separate.
The better solution instead of started a mass number of AFD is simply to generate a list of problem articles, propose those to the appropriate Wikiprojects, and suggest a reasonable time based on the size of the list to have some type of notability to be met. This time frame depends on the size of the list but I'd estimate that we're talking somewhere at least a couple months. Once the plan has gained consensus and put in motion, and articles at the end of that time still lack notability, then nominating the rest at AFD is a reasonable approach. You will cause less tension throughout this way. --MASEM (t) 00:41, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
@OttawaAC class depends more.on how complete more than size. stub is a class related to being too short and need expansion. start barely passes stub but still needs additional info. C-class is an article that is close to being B-class which is moderately complete. WP:ANIME has a B-class criteria list, so as long as it covers some of those in the B-class criteria, it can make it to C-class. Unencyclopedic is more about what belongs in wikipedia, not whether its notable or not. Sporks seems to cover history really well, and has sources for it. Whats stopping it from being C-class? If the topic wont ever get anymore coverage than it could be C-class.
@Masem: Actually thats not what WP:CLASSES/WP:STUB says. Stub class is an article in need of expansion. The problem is theres.no drive within the wikiproject. Ive attempted to do a.clean ip drive, but no one seemed to care. Still, just because its called AfD campaigne, doesnt mean we will AfD articles without verifying if theres any info on them. If stub classes need expansion its because of something. The goal is to against AfD by using AfD campaigne. There already is some form of consensus in WP:ANIME. Lets not get swept up by the title "AfD Campaigne". If it does, you admit there are articles that arent notable.
Overall, getting very jumpy. the goal is to improve and often time AfD is improvement. it allows editors to pay attention to articles that are being questioned and merges articles that dont have enough info to make them independent. And of course, removing the ones that dont have notability. But that said, this is the last time i say this the process is to verify which articles can make it to start first. then we improve them to C-class. which will get 6 months, not because we want a deadline because ot fuels the drive in editors. Also because we want the whole wikiproject working together rather than aimlessly fix articles little by little. Ill say again, dont worry about the "AfD" part. if it fuels you enough to edit stub/start articles, it will be fine.
Purging stubs isnt the problem. its deleting stub class articles. think about what im saying. the idea is to purge stub class, but it doesnt mean the articles have to be deleted. it would be great if you READ IT ALL, before jumping to conclusions. ive said this nearly a dozen time, we will find info before AfD an article.Lucia Black (talk) 01:53, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't think you are aware of the work load in your implications. What I see is something ominous looming here which recalls the misguided repeated efforts of one editor who launched hundreds of mass AfD on school articles last year just because he has a personal grudge against the well established notability precedents for school articles. It caused a huge drain on human resources, and almost all the AfD were closed as 'keep'. We need to balance editors' time between contributing content and needless time spent on unnecessary discussions. AfD isn't the place for what you are proposing.Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 02:02, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

I already answered that, we give each article a 6 months before AfDing and.improve an article 1 at a time. So 6 months for 1 article to get to C-class sounds perfectly reasonable. And im well aware of the size but im also well aware of how much easy access we have for Anime and Manga. Other than magazines we have.plenty of review sites and news sites. I doubt a handful of editors cant get start to C class within 6 months.Lucia Black (talk) 02:12, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

You refuse to acknowledge policy and other editors statements. Notability is NOT tied to assessment. A time limit for improving articles to any class is bad. You are trying to force editors to work on the worst articles or have them deleted. Your push to find information is good in spirit, but your intention of deletion if not able to meet X class is the real problem. Articles will need to be merged, expanded and sourced, we will need someone fluent in Japanese to research many of these topics. Notability is not related to class. WP:ANIME has done a lot of bad things to itself, including using a walled garden approach to remove articles like Dragonball Z and Dragonball GT; impose disruptive 'policies' which are superceded by actual policy.
I'd like to make one final comment, about Wikiproject Anime and sadly, Lucia's conduct. Even when something is explicitly allowed by policy, Lucia continues to fight about it. For instance the creation of WP:HENTAI. Now that it is fully working; the project has addressed many of issues since creation; three types of tags have been resolved thus far! WP:ANIME may be an old wikiproject, but is managed strangely, with layouts which defy common sense. For instance, while it has article alerts, it requires prods and afd's to be added manually because of how it is set up. Not only that, it is obscured under a taskforce page. I welcome a refinement of the processes, but with the way things are currently set up actual coordinated effort has been marginalized from the very beginning. This 'deletion campaign' as Lucia herself calls it, should be put on indefinite hold until these issues are fixed. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 02:29, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
I think Lucia is labouring under the misconception that article classification (other than FA and GA which are audited by the community) is some kind of merit system. It is not. If anything, its a sign for the projects who look after the articles of what needs to be done. There are even bots that keep the projects up to date on the class state of their articles for that purpose. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:53, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
It completely amazes me that this discussion has gone on as long as it has. Lucia, no, we are not and should not be deleting articles just because it cannot make it to C class. It is not reasonable, it is not even smart. I'm glad you are trying to improve articles and get them promoted but I fear if you keep up this crusade to delete all the articles you don't like your going to end up getting blocked. Kumioko (talk) 03:58, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Thats your opinion. Overall lets back up.for a moment. lets say i drop the issues of notability? It only makes the AfD campaigne even better. For one, this is coming from FEAR of articles not being able to make it to C-class than anything else. stub articles are still articles that are too short and need expansion, start are articles that pass the length threshold but need verification. Two of these classes describe incredibly poor article. If an article cant make it to START then it can be AfD, the campaigne still allows start class however they have 6 months to be worked on. So the problem isnt that most of them cant get to C-class, because they can. Its that the threat is there.Lucia Black (talk) 04:10, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Deletion is not to be used for quality control, period. Deletion is used to remove non-notable articles, and otherwise ones that fail NOT (again, nothing to do with quality there). You're arguing against something that is very strongly engrained in the existing deletion process. --MASEM (t) 04:15, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

(edit conflict) @Kumioko: Well, I don't think we would (at least not I) resort to blocking so quickly, but I would sorely have liked to have taught that arrogant user who created 100s of school Afd a lesson...

@Lucia. You are indeed misunderstanding the purpose of article classification and that of AfD. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 04:17, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Break

Heres the thing. no one here actually proving stub articles to being articles that need verification. and same with start. These classes coinside with notability issues. AfD can be whatever it can as long as nominating an article for deletion is based on notability issues in which stub/start usually fall in. Has anyone ever AfD an A-class article? No. And would anyone dare? no. Its also not like were speedily delete articles because they cant make it to start, its because no info can be found. So youre only.seeing the systematic side of the AfD campaigne but not the logic. Start/stub articles have notability issues aswell, and if no info to expand the article can be done, it can be AfD WITHOUT WORRY. because it has notabiloty isssues And no sources can be found. targetting stub/start is because they are the ones with notability issues. They just happen to coincide making this AfD campaigne even easier. .Lucia Black (talk) 04:40, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

So you are advocating a mass of AfD? As Kumioko pointed out, it could be regarded as disruptive...Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 04:45, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
For stub specifically, in which isnt so hard to get to start. Then improve it to C-class. but first is looking up info to upgrade to start. If no info can be found, then AfD it. Its only disruptive if they are AfD innapropriately.Lucia Black (talk) 04:57, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Not necessarily. It's disruptive if it causes an unnecessary burden of the people who have to close a mass of AfD. You are still clearly misunderstanding the class system in spite of numerous explanations here. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:03, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

No im not. And many people are onboard.Lucia Black (talk) 05:16, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

It's okay if you want to go through and say "okay, these topics don't appear notable, we should tag them and see if anyone can improve the notability and then nominate the rest for deletion", particularly if we're talking articles that step from the early days of WP when notability wasn't a concern. But you cannot force them to reach a certain class level (start, C, whatever) and if they fail say that must be deleted. A stub article that shows some effort in demonstrating notability cannot be sent to AFD or even considered towards AFD. This is why we have no deadline for ppl to improve article quality. You're really stretching what is considered allowable AFD actions here. --MASEM (t) 05:30, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
The ones in WP:ANIME are onboard, so FORCING is too much. Stub articles can be improved to start or even C if notable and thats not because, level of quality. Again missing the point. too much devil advocate. fighting for a cause your not sure is worth fighting for. think the fact this also serves as a wake up call, is most of it.Lucia Black (talk) 05:41, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Again, notability does not come into play in determining if an article is stub, start, or C-B-A. There is zero connection. If you want to try to start a drive to get stubs to C or better, that's fine, but if the stubs show any sign of notability deletion is the wrong venue. Again, to stress - notability is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for a stand-alone article and we expect all articles of all quality classes - Stubs to FA - to show notability. If notability is not clear, deletion is appropriate. But the way that this discussion has been going, we are talking topics that may actually be notable but have stub-class articles. If you try taking those to AFD, you will probably be dealt with as engaging in pointy and disruptive behavior. --MASEM (t) 05:45, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
NuTech Digital has been a stub since 2006, I just began working on it. Though I prefer to have freedom to not edit under a deadline for these things. It is notable even as a tiny stub with no references.[10] It is one of over 9600 pages are currently Stub or Start class at WP:ANIME as seen here. The potential damage to the project is massive. Lucia has a battleground mentality on Wikipedia as seen in other conflicts. Repeatedly, Lucia has intended this as a deletion to remove 'fan-added' works that fill the project, this means axing directors, voice actors, companies and more. No one should logically stand behind this campaign because the only result will be a disruptive and destructive campaign. I am worried that Lucia Black is going to use the 'support' of two others to try and begin this campaign despite the communities rejection of the very idea of a deletion campaign based on assessment and her own concepts of notability. Even pointing out the policies and essays proved futile, like WP:POINT, WP:DE and WP:NEGLECT, and instead have thought it justifies her actions. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 05:52, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
All of these points are raised in this diff which includes her 'C' class requirement for notability, "And stop misusing policy and guidelines. WP:POINT means.i must have a point to disrupt. But what point am i trying to get accross other than remove articles that dont meet notability?"[11] And here is an unrelated post showing WP:BATTLEGROUND behavior in response to being rejected by a consensus of other editors which includes a threat and self-admitted confusion of the topic of discussion.[12] ChrisGualtieri (talk) 05:57, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Well, on the other side of the coin, it is impossible to have a topic here on WP if there are no sources, period (Though, to be clear, the sources can be those identified on the talk page and not yet integrated in the article). Not only does WP:GNG or any of the subject-specific notability guidelines require a source (or more) to demonstrate this, but WP:V requires at least one third-party source has been identified. Stub articles that completely lack sources are a problem too and should be deleted, so Lucia is not completely wrong in this facet. However, there's also good faith assumptions here, and that's why just saying "okay, we're sending them to AFD" will be taken as confrontational. There should be a period of time for these articles to have a chance to improve before they are sent to AFD as part of a larger cleanup. But again, this is only when zero sources have been found to demonstrate notability. --MASEM (t) 06:00, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
I'd like to point out that for 6 years Nutech hasn't had a source, but finding them is through Highbeam and other sources, Anime News Network has a bunch as well. The problem is not so much the lack of sources as the fact that they haven't been added yet, in many stubs the information is not challenged or has been by external link to the Anime Encyclopedia of ANN. While not up to Wikipedia standards, archive searches and more bring up sources for a large majority. So I hate to push a deletion campaign when not even WP:BEFORE is done which should be the minimal amount of good-faith search. The real issue is this 'C' class matter which Lucia bundles with it. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 06:06, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
And that's why I agree that even if Lucia is just focused on ones that lack notability, taking them en masse to AFD without a reasonable time frame to improve that number is also disruptive, since there is the good faith aspect that the stubs were created presuming notability. Lucia has a right to challenge it, but because the goal is to check a large number of articles, an appropriate cleanup process should be in place instead of mass wiping them to AFD. --MASEM (t) 06:08, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

What point? Masem, this is pure devil's advocate talk. stub-class specifically associated to being articles too short and not being verified. WP:CLASSES/WP:STUB. Nothing you say will change how i view the stub class. I can understand that articles topic that is currently stub class can be notable (in which will be expanded to and be at least C-class by default). however that doesnt mean the article with stub-class has proven notability.

i can even understand C to A may not be notable, but you havent proven stub/start are articles that already established notability. And does it even matter? If no info can be found and its at a class associated with need of expansion, you bet that it can be AfD for notability issues. Targetting lower class articles is best. Should we target all of stub to A? Is C claas too hard for us editors?

Like i said....the articles wont be AfD before looking for info. idk how this has been dodged.Lucia Black (talk) 06:16, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

The impression you have given is that the process you've suggested will not give a reasonable amount of time for sources to be found, specifically knowning that for anime, most of these will be Japanese publications and thus will take more time. Hence the concern for disruption by being overly aggressive.
But back to the classes, you'll note that nowhere in CLASSES does "notability" appear. It is a completely separate axis of evaluation. You're free to challenge and later delete articles that lack notability, but a stub that does show notability is not a valid candidate for deletion, only improvement or possibly merging to a larger topic. --MASEM (t) 06:24, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

There are no time limits for the improvement of articles except in the case of PROD and BLPPROD. To have any would require a major policy change and that is another topic. If Lucia would like policy changed, then she should start a major central RfC. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 06:44, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Then forget about impressions because even after i clarify, you still assume the same situation. If im aggressive, is because we're going in circles and i know exactly where the cycle is about to repeat and its the part where you guys assuming deletion before verification. And forget about what you think about classes. If a stub cant be improved and has no article to merged to its perfectly acceptable AfD it. WP:CLASSES alongside WP:STUB are classes associated with "need" of expansion, and if it cant get what it needs then it cant make it as an article. Almost 100% of the time start/stub class have notability issues. There is no stub that meets GNG. because WP:STUB is saying its an article thats too short to be an article. and if start is above stub and passes the length threshold but doesnt have verification, you can bet a stub will usually lack that aswell.
Its like saying all white/blue colored gum is mint flavor. Your trying to say its not, even though evidence is against you. Is it a pure fact? no. but is it accurate enough to establish that is white/blue gum is mint flavor? heck ya. Same here, do start and stub class articles lack the proof of notability? yes. Does that mean start/stub classes are relevant to finding articles that need work or possibly AfD? yes.
the classes associated with completeness of the topic. but stub is associated with being too short, start is associated with lacking verification. Any article within those two classes can be questioned for notability right? C-class may not always mean notable but its a 50/50 chance they are. And thats enough to keep deletionists at bay.
Its like the articles are food in an isle, and separated by classes. the one with least nutrition (verification) are going to be in the isle with the most issues (stub/start). Im not backing down on the stub/start. im not a devils advocate. i call it like i see it. dont bother me with it again, theres nothing wrong with removing articles with notability issues that cannot be improved. PERIOD. too aggressive? maybe but im done saying the same.thing, im done seeing you trying to see it nuetrally over realistic. so thats it.


Its called fixing the obviously flawed and removing what cant be fixed.
Deadline have been around for a while. A deadline to improve an article to C? Its almost as easy as promoting a typical stub to start. Wikipedia may not have a deadline, but that doesnt mean deadlines cant be set (especially if its C-class which is just start class with verification). 6 months is a lot of time. Ive seen editors turn 20 articles into start within 6 months (actually 3 GAs all in one wikiproject). But deadline isnt an issue.Lucia Black (talk) 07:09, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
A stub can meet the GNG. GNG does not consider the content of the article outside of what sources or other evidence is presented to presume the topic notable. A one-sentence stub backed by a few references can pass the GNG. So you cannot keep connecting notability to Stub/Start/C class assessment, there is no connect period. (A stub is more likely to fail notability than a C-class, but that's not an explicit connection). --MASEM (t) 13:25, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
  • (ec)The threat of deletion should not be used to impose a deadline. Equally, neither should WP:NODEADLINE be used as a way to dodge content policies indefinitely. Reyk YO! 07:15, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Yet no policy has been mentioned at all. We cant wait forever, and i think you all underestimate the magnitude of non notable articles. targetting stub/start isnt an issue. The deadline is to find whatever we can (the whole group) for one article at a time. Its the only way the search can be broad enough yet shows people made effort to look for before AfD an article incase inclusionist claims we didnt give any effort at all.Lucia Black (talk) 07:25, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

No policy was given to you? Are you being intentionally disruptive on purpose now? You have flaunted WP:STUB as 'proof' that stubs should be deleted, that is false. You have argued that notability is a C class, which is not even in WP:CLASSES as you suggested before. WP:BEFORE seems to have been avoided by you because according to WP:DEL#REASON 'class' is not a valid criteria. Previously, the WP:BIAS for Angelo notability was pushed by AngusWOOF, which has been refuted. WP:NRVE explicitly states that the presumed existence of sources are enough, their immediate citation is not required. WP:NONENG states sources may be in any language, translation is our biggest hurdle. WP:DEADLINE may be an essay, but it expands what was covered at NRVE. Conduct wise, despite these policies you think that it is not a problem with WP:POINT, because its 'your view'. You have a combative attitude which results in you rejecting community input and edit warring or drowning out other editors to purposely drive them away from the discussion; which is covered by WP:DE. Which brings us to WP:TE an essay which highlights the types of disruptive editing, of which you have repeatedly accused me of acting in bad-faith, rehashing your argument ad infinitum without answering good-faith questions from editors and rejecting third opinions. Wikipedia should work by policy, and not by a few editors trying to override WP:LOCALCONSENSUS. Because it doesn't matter if it is just 'WP:ANIME', 9600 articles should not be at risk because of two or three editors think they know better then the whole community. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 13:00, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Even if there are "many people on board" at WP:ANIME, as Lucia says, that still doesn't mean there's consensus to go through with this. Looking over things here, at best I would say there's a "no consensus" situation going on here, where no action/change happens. Again, like I said earlier though, I feel this will likely take care of itself though. If people do go through with this, I imagine they'll either bring them to C class and the article will be better for it, delete it at AFD if it fails the GNG, or be closed as "Keep" if it was an unwarranted nomination. If the nominations are continually bad, they'll probably start be thrown out or Speedy/Snow Kept. Sergecross73 msg me 13:26, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Its good that the Wikiproject is taking the time and effort to dig through their old articles and remove those that don't belong here. As long as this review is done thoroughly, without any rush, the result will be a big bump in the project's quality. If this is successful other projects should consider doing the same. ThemFromSpace 16:07, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Lucia, first regardless of whether or not there are other users who agree, we still are not going to start deleting articles just because they cannot make it to C class. There are several reasons for this including the following and excuse me if I seem rude. People say I don't have much tact:
  1. A C class assessment is too subjective. The different between C and Start varies between project and some don't use C at all. The assessments weren't even designed for how you are trying to use them and with the exception of FA, the assessments are mostly used by the projects and individuals to guage the level of completeness of an article. Some
  2. Some will never be more than a start. Some may never be more than a stub...and that's ok.
  3. You seem to indicate that you can find all the references for these articles on the internet. I work 3 blocks from the Library of Congress, Smithsonian and the National Archives and I can assure you they have a lot of references that you cannot find online and probably never will. Including, to my surprise, a lot of information about Anime stuff (I asked this morning).
  4. Its just plain dumb
So hoping to not sound like a complete jerk, this discussion is little more than a waste of time. The vast majority of the community does not beleive we should be deleting articles that cannot make it to C class and even if we did its likely the Admin's wouldn't do it anyway and even if you found one or some that would the WMF and/or Jimbo would stop that in short order because both have stated that they think stubs are important. Kumioko (talk) 17:38, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

@Chris, im targetting stub/start because they are the ones with notability issues. an article that has proven notability would at least be upto C-class. So improving an article upto C-class has to do with quality more than notability. However the AfD process will be because no info can be found to prove it can be improved. This campaigne can still happen and still follow WP:BEFORE.

In the end the article will be AfD for not meeting GNG. Stop trying to use class as a reason against this. ive explained it hundreds of times. take it or leave it. The campaigne is to start somewhere not to aimlessly go in the sea of articles with notability issues, tagging articles, only makes the work overload.

Im tired of the inclusionist ideology that comes with no action done in the end. Theres no drive unless the benefits affect the editors negatively in someway. Even here people like the idea. And its not like were AfDing articles that have an article. it doesnt matter if their imediate citation isnt required, we just need to expand it enough.

Theres no problem other than personal interoretation. one heres AfD campaigne and one assumes the worst. Im done, ill be posting this in WP:ANIME. you can oppose there or support. theres no consensus here. I dont agree articles that will never be above start are articles that meet GNG purely for how WP:CLASSES and WP:STUB describes them. by default they coincide. the argument is just devils advocate.Lucia Black (talk) 17:57, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

No actually you can take it or leave it Lucia. As I stated above, its great that you are improving the articles and cleaning house. It is not ok that you are deleting all the ones that you feel cannot be improved. I have seen your attitude of all or none before, a lot, and the reason you may not recognize it is because they are not here anymore. Some were banned from the project because they had the same type of attitude towards Images, categories, etc. The result is bad, they aren;t here anymore to help build the encyclopedia. I would hate to see your passion for improvement lost because you can't deal with your ideas not being accepted. In the end you are free to submit to AFD of course but its likely that most of the admins will speedy close and decline the AFD. Kumioko (talk) 18:14, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
  • AfDing a stub because it is a stub is wrong. I have recently started two articles, one in main space and the other in my user space. The one in main space is based upon an obituary. The subject is clearly notable, but I cannot improve it much without plagerising the main source. The problem with deletion campaigns is that they will be done by a group of editors with similar ideas, articles will get deleted because the editors will be acting like sheep.Martin451 (talk) 18:37, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Again...missing the point. So im not going to repeat the same explanations. You all know youre misinterpretting it.Lucia Black (talk) 18:56, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

How is an article's grade a better proxy for determining the notability of a subject than actually determining the notability of a subject? It's a different issue if you are just intending to use the grade to make a short list of possibly non-notable articles, and from that pool then following WP:BEFORE and respecting the policies at WP:PRESERVE and WP:ATD before you list anything for deletion. Is that what you were trying to say? If everyone is "misinterpreting" what you are saying, Lucia, that's on you for not explaining yourself well enough. postdlf (talk) 19:04, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Like I said, AfD will be after verifying it cant be expanded anymore to start (to pass the length threshold). Then individually, we all focus on 1 article to make it to C class (verification). That way, even if their not notable, they still better quality enough to have benefit of the doubt.And even then AfD is still the last tier of the process.Lucia Black (talk) 19:38, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
And like we said before, you don't delete any stubs because of their 'class', you clearly do not understand WP:N or are intent on continued disruption. You have a serious issue with personal attacks as seen from the NPA you posted at Ani and followed it up with a an uncivil essay to attack me. You continue to attack me with lines like,"going to ignore chris. because at this point, only opposing for the sake of opposing. he does not know what a sub article is."[13] Do you honestly think editors are going to work with you to fix things when you make disagreement into a battle? The result will be little work on the 9600 stubs and starts and many deletions. WP:ANIME is a walled garden which has its own versions of notability and policy, a flawed line from MOS-AM is the reason Dragonball Z has been a tiny 3 paragraph page for 5 years? Many of ANIME's stand alone lists don't meet WP:STANDALONE notability criteria, yet it is 'how things are done'. Ironic because Lucia Black, recreated the the GITS manga list and had it declined twice at AFC, diff and wound it back to List of Ghost in the Shell chapters and together with Ryulong destroyed the 'non-notable' franchise page for preference to the original work. While this was going on Lucia actually has deliberately reinserted false material into articles after being made aware of the error, as this diff shows. Lucia does improve Square Enix articles very well, but if history has shown anything involving conflict with Lucia's interpretations results in lengthy discussions with the intent of driving away editors. The "improvement" focus should not be trusted to an editor who's flawed logic directly ties that 'improvement' to deleting stub and start class articles. Even more stunning is that Lucia dismisses this RFC and wants to continue it anyways. I do not know if this rises to WP:RFC/U, but it seems clear that Lucia has no intention of listening or valuing community input. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 01:05, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

The deleting will be based on stubs and start class not meeting notability. All im saying is the classes of stub and start coincide to notability issues. Period.Lucia Black (talk) 01:28, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

This has crossed the line from being pushy into being stupid.
Lucia began by insisting that more than 9,600 (nine thousand six hundred!) articles needed to be upgraded within the next six months. People are supposedly "onboard". Yes, enough people are truly supportive of this, that if each one of those true supporters upgraded an article every single hour, right round the clock, seven days a week, for the entire six months, then they will still fail to deal with all of these articles by then, even if we charitably assume that none of them go mad from sleep deprivation before the end of those six months.
And then Lucia says at WT:ANIME that only stub-class articles will be reviewed—okay, if each truly committed volunteer does 24 articles per day, then it's just possible that they'll each get reviewed within six months—and "ill make this even easier, we only do one AfD at a time." There are more than 5200 stubs currently tagged for ANIME. Do you know how long it takes to process "one AfD at a time" for 5200 articles? It takes 100 (one hundred) years to handle 5200 week-long AfDs in sequence. Lucia, and everyone else involved in this argument, will be dead by then.
This is stupid. The project was ill-conceived, poorly planned, and doomed to failure. If you want to improve the articles, then go for it. But don't toss around artificial deadlines and threats of deletion if you can't even do enough basic math to figure out what's realistic. If you want to do something realistic, then try just getting all 17 of your top-priority stubs upgraded to C-class during the next six months. That would be a major contribution, and it's one that won't get you laughed at for proposing it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:34, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
The argument that "the mountain of garbage this project has built is so big and so tall that we can't possibly improve it in any reasonable timescale" is one of the best arguments for mass deletion that I've ever encountered.—Kww(talk) 22:05, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Section break

  • Comment This quote from above "If a stub cant be improved and has no article to merged to its perfectly acceptable AfD it." is at odds with our policies, in my opinion. A few years ago, a handful of people were sytematically going through all pre-2007 GA's in a rapid fire fashion and down grading them to start class. I fully agreed that the articles in question were no longer GA's, but they certainly weren't start class. Article classification is very subjective. I cannot find any policy or guideline that says article classificatiopn should be used to determine whether an article is deleted or not. 64.40.54.104 (talk) 01:33, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Because there is no such policy, assessment does not deal with notability. A GA could in theory be non-notable, but unquestioned non-notability gets AFD. The mere notion of notability and the existence of sources, and not their immediate citation is enough for inclusion. WP:CLASSES mentions nothing about notability issues. And WP:NRVE explicitly covers the second half of my comment. Lucia brings up a classic strawman argument; claiming assessment equates notability and improving or deleting ones that aren't improved as non-notable. It is a deceiving argument which runs counter to policy and the continued advancement of such a position is disruptive. Lucia Black intends on making a half-hearted improvement attempt and using support as reasons to delete 'articles made by fans'. On its face, it looks good, but so did her insertion of false material during the earlier content dispute. To get straight to the heart of the discussion is that Lucia's beliefs on notability are incompatible with Wikipedia's actual policy on notability. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 02:18, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Youre not exactly getting the point. An article with stub/start are articles that "need" verification.If an article needs it, its because its insufficient. STUB and START are articles that are lacking. C-class is subjective but not hard to determine. If stub is too short and start passes the length threshold but need verification, then C-class can be determined by passing the length threshold and gets verification. The problem is more subjectice than you make it out to be. Were not deleting stubs because they cant make it to start, deleting because no info can be found, then we try to improve it to C-class for 6months. It doesnt really matter if its subjective because WP:CLASSES can help us determine C-class. If it adds what both stub and start lack it can make it to C-class. Still this is a better situation than targetting aimlessly. With this system it only saves time then aimlessly looking for articles stub to A. The problem is how much devils advocare you want to play. Theres no policy against this system. If im aiming all C, B, and A because those have higher chance of being notable. Understand?

AfD an article is for issuficient sources to pass GNG abd most times those are stub and start that xant be improved.Lucia Black (talk) 04:06, 23 May 2013 (UTC).

Stub/start articles are not quantified against needed verification. Additional verification, yes, but even stubs are expected to be passing the core tenet of WP:V "if there are no third-party sources about a topic, we shouldn't have an article on it". But we don't rate articles against the stub-start-c-b-a scale based on whether WP:V is met at all. You keep twisting what that scale means, and as repeated, it is quality control with no DEADLINE to meet. It's one thing to encourage an improvement drive to get a number of articles from stub to C or better; it's also reasonable to have a organized process to review and list potential non-notable topics. But you're trying to mix these two and that's just not a good approach for anyone. --MASEM (t) 04:38, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Even a lack of sources doesn't mean it isn't notable. I just browsed undelete and picked an article at random to work on. Ashen Empires was PRODed back in 2009, just restored. It got an award from Independent Games Festival. Dug up some media coverage, fixed a few things here and there. Took less then 45 minutes and I can't get the early-mid 2000s coverage of when it was in its prime. The PROD reason was "no assertion of notability - primary refs only", but now its improving again. Hopefully the requester will continue to work on it, its got a ways to go still. So even a deleted article can be restored and improved. Let's go through the ones at ANIME right now though: List of ecchi anime 2nd nom, flawed but I'll fix it up some. Él (visual novel), while me and Calathan disagree on the inclusion of a review, the OAV is really the only sourced thing because it had an English release. United Publications, has numerous con mentions and a furry association, not-notable yet. Tatsuya Endō, possible with work featured in a major magazine with 300,000+ circulation. Yuto Suzuki (voice actor) does not meet WP:N, no major voice roles. Dragon Ball Z Complete Song Collection Box: Mightiest Recorded Legend, merge not a PROD. Afro Ken a character for San-x, fails WP:N, merging the mention of the OVA is likely the only thing of value here. I'm not out to save every article or anything, but there is a big difference between some minor character like Afro Ken or a voice actor whose works consist of extras. Notice its not the 'assessment' it is how it stacks up to N or GNG. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 05:29, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Cancer—one of the leading causes of death—was unsourced for the first three years of the article's existence. The fact that nobody has typed sources into the article yet does not mean that the subject is non-notable. WP:V requires that somebody in the real world has published the sources. It does not (with some specific exceptions) require that any of those sources be typed into the article. Cancer was a notable subject before the article was even started, it remained a notable subject through several years of having no sources on the page, and it is still a notable subject now that the page is well-referenced. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:38, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Please stop using a policy section that is specific to inline citations to excuse completely unsourced material. It doesn't.—Kww(talk) 20:38, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Its like you only hear wgat you want to argue against. Again, it doesnt matter if an article has 0 sources. That would be relevant if the AfD campaigne was targetting articles that have no sources and deleting them before they even got the chance. Not only that but WP:CLASSES actually does mention notability. If you read WP:CLASSES on the extensive description if start, it says notability is required. So start class articles still need to prove notability. This also means a bunch of start class articles werent properly classified. Still, missing the point. The first step is improvement, if an article is stuck at stub, then we cant salvage it.

And thats the point. Attempt to improve first, then if all else fails, delete. Now I did lower my standards ti start but with c class upto 6months. But now the improvement has to be a fullfledge start. I can modify the proposal whenever its best suited.Lucia Black (talk) 06:59, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Lucia, any article of any size can be notable. WP:CLASSES has nothing to do with notability, but you cling to this made-up interpretation. You have this issue where you tried to justify inserting knowingly false material into an article. You were wrong and you were doubly wrong to reinsert that false material again. That discussion showed that you inserted of false material because it was your 'opinion'. You also demonstrated a superiority complex and interpreted a call for seriousness as bad-faith and trolling because your argument failed. Your premise of notability is wrong here; but rather than reevaluate your stance you double down on it. Thankfully, others see the problem with your reasoning and can separate the 'improvement' aspect from this destructive attribution of what notability and improvement mean to you. And if its not too much trouble, could you please fix simple misspellings, grammar and clearly state your thoughts; it is becoming difficult to understand your words, and I've fixed your indenting again. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 14:06, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

That is irrelevant and a personal attack (and also lacking in knowledge for you to say anything on the subject). AND anyone claiming someone else to having a superiority complex has a good chance of talking about themselves. And WP:CLASSES for start-class does mention notability. SO im not arguing about that anymore. Regardless, AfDing and article will be because we couldnt find info to salvage it. I know all articles can be notable. Doesnt mean all of them are notable. AfD is still the last step. Im done arguing about this because the problem isnt that the campaigne wont be beneficial, its the fact that we'll be targetting stubs and start class (the ones that dont prove notability usually). And it bothers you in a personal way that the system of improvement is targetting those first. Obviously AfD is the last step of and last resort. So im done arguing the same thing. You all think im going to AfD these articles before doing research or think I say I will but wont. All im doing is improving the weaker articles, and if they cant be improved and they dont prove notability than its time to AfD. The process works fine. The problem isnt the campaigne, its how I view the relation to stub/starts to notability.Lucia Black (talk) 20:18, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

It is not a personal attack because I am demonstrating, with evidence, an instance in which you intentionally added false information into Wikipedia during a content dispute and attempted to justify and defend that misinformation. As a self-identified expert, you questioned my knowledge, but admitted your changes were false in your own edit summary.[14] Why does it matter? You intentionally disrupted Wikipedia during a content dispute and then claimed everything was a personal attack. While this is not the best venue to get into those details, they demonstrate WP:NOTHERE. Which brings us back to why we are having this RFC; you intend to go against Wikipedia's core values, but at least you acknowledge it is "Lucia's view" which it the problem. Why continue with it? I much rather go with some variant of WP:TAFI for WP:ANIME then have any semblance of a "deletion campaign". The solution to problem is just a change of focus and without deletion deadlines. I still am in disbelief that you continue to defend such a position; because notability is not tied to class. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 21:30, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

My view has no issues. And doesnt go against principles of wikipedia. And thats the point. AfDing an article isnt an issue so why a campaigne to improve an article? Its a personal attack because its not relevant. And only shows bad debating by bringing a topic that has nothing to do with. You only bring it up to discredit me. And thats just not good.

Lucias view isnt a bias view. Wp:classes states notability as a factor.Lucia Black (talk) 03:23, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break

I am completely going to ignore the bulk of the text above. On a glance the argument is to purge or not to purge stub articles. WP:STUB articles aren't banned. Attempts to purge them before (particularly for fiction related content) have resulted in indefinite blocks or severe restrictions as it is disruptive activity. -- A Certain White Cat chi? 21:53, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Judging by the insane length of this argument, I can't believe it could be viewed as having consensus in favor of moving forward on it either... Sergecross73 msg me 01:54, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Purging stub-class isn't unheard of. Its how I ts done. Point being stub class articles and most start class articles are articles who have length issues and problems proving notability. Deleting a stub isnt a problem if the reasons are no sources that can be found per WP:PRESERVE.

And thats the issue. That the editors are ranting over the simplification of start/stub class being articles with notability issues just because it doesnt really set in stone. But WP:CLASSES already statss notability as a factor.


And even then AfDing an article isnt the first step. Its attempting to improve the articles. Even if theres no consensus for a campaigne, that doesnt mean a generic AfD should lead to blocking.Lucia Black (talk) 03:18, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

You are factually wrong. The only time a word similar to "notable" appears in CLASSES is "notably" in the table about Start class, and not in the context of WP:N notability. So you can't use that as justification, period. --MASEM (t) 03:27, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
And there's no consensus. Let's wrap this up, no more endless arguing. no consensus, no action. Sergecross73 msg me 03:59, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
It is tiring to keep seeing this pop up every so often. It is almost like a war of attrition where community patience is tested. -- A Certain White Cat chi? 04:04, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, purging of stub articles is a well known disruptive action on this site. People do it from time to time and are blocked for it. Many people have attempted gaming the system with afds, redirectifying (converting the page to a redirect), having canvassed straw polls as well as other means to compliment this goal. The end result however was blocks and eventual mass reverts. Frankly it sounds like you are on a personal crusade against short articles because you feel like it. Such personal crusades always ended with blocks, often indefinite blocks. If you really want to help the site, please do not continue in this direction. -- A Certain White Cat chi? 04:02, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
This ^^^^ --Jayron32 04:07, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

WP:CLASSES state the level of quality and article has. Stubs are too short. Key word "too". Start pass the length threshold, but need verification, even if deemed "additional" verification. No one can deny the usual stub-class are articles about topics that can be expanded. Lets not forget that stub-classes are also articles that don't prove notability (and if they do, then the article has the potential of being A-class as the classes are determined mainly by how complete an article is).

If an editor is being blocked for mere lying nominating an article for deletion, then the system of wikipedia is compromised. 1)These are editors making nominations in good faith 2)If an editor nominated a stub article, an article that is too short to merit an article or need of expansion. That shouldnt be the nominators fault. 3)It seems like there isnt even a sign of warning.

I can completely understand if an editor is nominating without following WP:PRESERVE and WP:BEFORE. The campaigne is still geared to prove notability/better quality articles before AfD. And that's the one thing you all ignore. AfDing a stub isnt violation of anything unless the nominating is done without proper research. A campaigne dedicated to improve the stubs to start and AfDing the ones that cant be improved. We're not AfDing articles because they are stubs, we would AfD them because they are articles that havent proven notability and cant be improved any further. it just so happens that the most common class to have notability issues are stubs. Having short articles isnt an issue, its having articles that dont establish notability, in which case stub articles need to prove.

WP:CLASSES is about completeness of a topic. If an article is stub it either A)covers all it can and cannot be protected from AfD or B) is notable but need expansion. And if it is notable and proven notability and passes the length threshold it can be upgraded to C, B, or A as those are associated with the completeness of that topic. C) its not notable, but it still can be expanded to pass the length threshold and pass C to A-classes per completeness, regardless of notability.

Let me give a hypothetical situation: If a manga article called "Lucia Black" is at stub class, it either A) covers all it possibly can and cant be expanded or B) Its a notable topic that can be expanded. C) Not notable, but can still be expanded to pass the length threshold and have complete coverage of the topic.

Lets say Lucia Black manga article is at stub, technically its complete but too short to provide encyclopedic value. So in the scale, regardless of it being complete (A-class) its too short to pass the length threshold (start-class).

However lets say Lucia Black manga article is at stub class but its notability can be proven. Then all one needs is to research and expand the article. Passing the length threshold (start) and reaching the topic to completion (C, B and A-class). And in order to be trully complete, its notability has to be present in the article. theres a reason why stub and start arent named F and D-class.

And lets say this hypothetical Lucia Black isnt notable, but there is still info out there that can expand the article and pass the length threshold. Sure its notability may not be proven. But it still long enough to get to start and potentially C, B, amd A as those are classes associated with completeness of the topic.

Now im not stating all start, B C and A classes automatically deem notability as some topics may be about self published works that no third party source ever covered.

However, stubs are in a different league. Its either too short to provide any encyclopedic value (while being complete) or an article that can be expanded. Basically its either A) a box that provides nothing but a screw or B) a partially assembled bike with the rest of the pieces scattered somewhere.

Basically theres no excuse a stub has to remain a stub-class unless theres no possible way it can pass the length threshold. And if it cant, then im sorry, editors have every right to AfD the article.

So I dont like stubs. Its like not liking a poorly written C-class, but im not going to delete them because I dont like them. Im still promoting improvement before AfD.Lucia Black (talk) 08:47, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Lucia, WhatamIdoing has perfectly summed it up in one of your section breaks above. Can't you see that you have lost your argument many bytes ago? For the 'Nth time Lucia, you are totally confused over the use of the class system (except for audited GA & FA); everyone has explained it to you ad nauseam. Your work and enthusiasm is appreciated, but at best - in this concept - misguided. Time to give it a rest - please. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 09:59, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

WP:STUB and WP:PERMASTUB are essays that support this. Even of they are essays and not policies, its established in wikipedia's public domain. So it is an accepted in wikipedia to a degree. I can tell you havent read my comment at all. Or you did, but didnt even give it a second thought. Because my comment is more related to new commenters stating I have ulterior motives such as WP:IDONTLIKEIT. But the reasons why I dont like it are legitimate. WP:CLASSES has to do with how complete a topic is right?rather than how notable, right? But stubs and start criteria is actually what deems encyclopedic.

If a stub article is complete than it should pass to A-class regardless of what size, right? wrong. Because it doesnt pass the length threshold (start-class) thus it is aPermanent Stub. So it can be merged, redirected, and AfD.

Stubs that are notable are articles than can be expanded and pass the length threshold (start-class) and from then on complete all areas of the topic (C, B, and A-class).

And theres no guarantee theres a stub thats notable, but we should still try to expand it so it passes the length threshold (start). Im not arguing about notability here. Im defending how legit my view on stubs really is.

But still, if an article at stub class is notable, we should expand it to at least start-class. Theres no excuse why we shouldnt focus our attention in expanding stubs.People here want to argue what they what they want to argue about. Most of it is devils advocate talk and when I say it, they dont deny it.


So heres a compromise. We make an "expansion" campaigne to expand the most faulty of articles (stub) into (start). If they cant be promoted, im not going to AfD them, but if the stub doesnt meet GNG, then anyone is free to AfD it. Its the same crap only reworded so you people get the idea. Because for the billionth time, the campaigne is still geared toward improvement first. Youre not against the campaigne because you assume false info on it, and the very little you get right about is mostly related to how I personally see it. And ive altered it now. Even then this camoaigne still has hogh chance of not AfDing a single article for anime and manga. Wikipedia isnt perfect, but you cant chain other editors from trying to optimize editing.Lucia Black (talk) 11:27, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

If any article (Stub or otherwise) doesn't demonstrate notability, and the editor has made a reasonable good faith attempt at steps outlined in WP:BEFORE to improve the notability demonstration, then yes, they are free to take it to AFD. But, historically, and by common sense, a mass purge (though AFD) of stub articles of dubious notability will not go lightly within the community (not just wikiproject, just overall), even if you nominated one by one. I know there's nothing in policy that says you can't do that, but I can tell you from knowing how AFD works (ignoring anything else about this conversation about your intentions) that there will be a lot of editors complaining.
I don't think anyone has an issue about having some reasonable process to go through a class of stub articles that may have been created before formal notability processes were in place, and suggest those that need to be improved in how they show notability and then ultimately AFD'ing the rest. But as I hope you understand, that has to be separate from any other formal process of advancing stub articles to start or better, as quality on that scale has nothing to do with notability, and if the only problem with a stub is that it is short but notability, we simply don't delete it. It is also very important that you do have a formalized process that gives a reasonable amount of time for notability to be determined given the sample size of stubs you are looking at. In this case, it sounds like we're talking on the order of 100+ stubs most where publishing was primarily in Japan. That's going to take a fair amount of time for editors to react to that, so I'd expect a time frame of no less than 6 months to give editors a chance to improve before even starting to look at deletion. And even after that, I'd still give another 1-3 month period of listing the last remaining stubs that haven't been fixed and making sure no one objects. Once there, then you can talk about AFD. Everything you've said is not about taking this slow and steady and gaining wikiproject (and perhaps WP-wide) consensus before you begin. Yes, it might seem counter to the process if you were just nominating them by yourself, one by one, but it is clearly evident from the past that if you start a deletion campaign without getting all the right parties on board and giving enough time to fix, that you will find yourself at the heart of a major dispute. --MASEM (t) 13:29, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I still don't think Lucia understands why our concerns exist; but this tacit admission that she will not AFD an article seems to be an improvement. A&M does have 85%~ of its articles at stub and start class, but I'd be more happy if the improvement focused on the Top and High class articles which are stubs and starts; as mentioned above. It will be easier and the sources are abundant even in English. With that being said, I'm considering an RFC/U for conduct reasons here and at other discussions and want to focus on her insertion of knowingly false material, personal attacks, and efforts to exhaust the community and drive away editors by continuing to advance a indefensible position. I think it is the only route to dealing with future issues like this. The 'deletion campaign' is essentially dead because of the communities involvement, but this is not the first instance of this. I thank everyone for participating in the RFC even though it was extremely lengthy and circular. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 14:20, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) Bulk nominations are disruptive and there should be no WP:DEADLINE after all stub articles do not impact performance or quality of the rest of the site. I would suggest having bulk article improvement drives improving stub articles one by one that have the greatest chance of getting improved. Lucia Black and everyone else in this discussion could have spent their time more productively on this task. Likewise an AFD war would also waste everyone's time while also getting people blocked for disruption. -- A Certain White Cat chi? 16:24, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Ok this is why things get heated. Because the editors dont actually hear the other one out. The AfD campaigne is just called the AfD campaigne. It still geared toward improve the articles first and whatever PERMASTUB out there would get deleted. Not only that but this method has 2/3 chances it wont be deleted. And also, AfD an article being productive or not productive is a subjective view. But even then it doesnt matter. I renamed the campaigne to the expansion campaigne. Anti AfD ju S t because of a personal view shouldnt affect you to ignore everything else. The terms are agreeable to both inc ll inclusionists and deletionists because theres a strong chance that most of the articles wont get deleted.

I know theres no deadkline. But at the same time there is, sourxes are disapearing everyday. Not onlt that but that doesnt excuse bad articles. The AfD camoaigne will also optimize editing within the wikiproject. Knowing that the majority kf the anime and manga articles are stubs/start can affect the drive of the editor, but a campaigne to fix all that xan help not only one editor but the entire wikiproject. So when an accomplishment such as "75% of the articles arent stubs" thats an improvement. And editors might aim for 100%. Not only that, if more campaignes follow more campaignes, itll make it easier to edit new articles because the editor doesnt get the sense of backlog.

im tired of the "afd campaigne is bad" its not if done right. Its only bad for inclusionists Lucia Black (talk) 19:18, 25 May 2013 (UTC) There is virtually no personal attack AT ALL. And you have no idea what a personal attack is. You only choose to use it whenever it seems fit for you. And you bring up past events unrelated. Still, at this point MASEM has given a more reasonable answer than just being polar opposite. @Masem, the process can still be done class related. If stubs are both too short and in need of improving, the most we can do is expand on it. And for the record, the circular was on the opposing side's fault. As much as I clarify, the issue still more of against personal view rather than what the campaigne actually accomplishes. Point is improving by class first would benefit inclusionists, as per actually finding articles that establish notability will be even harder because most of the info only verifies its existence.Lucia Black (talk) 16:16, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Company listing

We are a 93-yr-old, employee-owned US corporation. We employ hundreds and have thousands of former employees. With 4 operating divisions and a major presence in industrial and consumer markets, we are a significant presence in the trade and in the towns where our plants operate. We wish to create an article on our company as a historical reference and with general information, rather than as a promotional tool. We notice other companies have done the same. May we establish a page?

Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Natspin1 (talkcontribs) 13:24, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

You probably should not start an article on your company (as that is a conflict of interest)... However, someone else (someone not connected to the company) should be able to. The key question is whether the author could establish that your company is notable enough for an article or not. The relevant Wikipedia guideline is WP:ORG... essentially, if your company has been discussed extensively in reliable sources that are independent of your company, it should be notable enough. If, on the other hand, the only sources that discuss your company are those directly connected to the company, then it would not. Best. Blueboar (talk) 13:46, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
I see no reason why you should not mention the name of your company here so that anyone interested can start a page, based on information to be found in reliable publicly available sources. Just bear in mind that you will have no special rights over what is written. Martin Hogbin (talk) 16:23, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Based on the user's name, I think that the company in question is National Spinning. I agree that references ought to be available, but this Google News search doesn't look promising. This book reference might help, as might various references behind paywalls or only available in print or as microfilm. There is or was an unrelated company called National Spinning in Pakistan. Eastmain (talkcontribs) 17:58, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
I do not see the lack of news articles on the company as a reason that it should not be included in WP. In my opinion WP is too news-focussed already. Martin Hogbin (talk) 09:25, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
  • WP:BFAQ might be the most helpful page. The corporate publicity office (if any) probably has copies of any past news articles about the company, which would be valuable to anyone who wants to work on it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:38, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Hello, Natspin1. You can ask for the article to be created at Wikipedia:Requested articles. The instructions are listed on that page. 64.40.54.250 (talk) 03:28, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Thank you all for your helpful replies. For the record, National Spinning Co., Inc. has no affiliates outside of USA. Natspin1 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.176.35.52 (talk) 19:30, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

14-day deadline for proposals on Wikipedia project pages?

Is there a Wikipedia policy stating that a 14-day deadline exists for proposals on Wikipedia, in which a proposal can be considered to have failed if no result has occurred? At Wikipedia:WikiProject Food and drink/tli, the nomination page for articles to have top-importance status for WikiProject Food and Drink, another editor created this stipulation, "Per Wikipedia policy after 14 days there has been no actionable result, the proposal shall be considered to have failed." What if nobody contributes to the discussion until day 15? The main project page doesn't receive a great deal of contributions, and page views are rather low (check views). Also, I've seen discussions that went on for months on talk pages before consensus was attained. I haven't found this stipulation in policy or guideline pages thus far that supports this notion of a 14-day deadline. Northamerica1000(talk) 15:06, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Yeah...I don't know where the editor in question got that idea, but its certainly not set down in any policy I've ever seen. If there was a consensus to use a given timeframe as a cut-off point, that would be fine, but there's no limit set in policy like that.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 15:17, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
That's odd. Most people claim that there's a 30-day magic time limit. I've never seen a 14-dy limit claimed before. Setting forth that set of rigid rules is especially silly for the subject matter: this is just for deciding what's top-level importance on the project's WP:1.0 assessment. People should be able to talk about that whenever they want, in a friendly discussion. People involved in WikiProjects are supposed to have functional relationships with each other, after all. I'm not even sure why a separate page exists, rather than handling them on the regular talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:58, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
I've removed the 14-day stipulation from the page, per discussion here. Northamerica1000(talk) 20:43, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It's back (diff), "Per Wikipedia policy after 14 days there has been no actionable result, the proposal shall be considered to have failed." Promptly added back to the page again, with the edit summary, "Add policy based rules to the section". This is quite concerning; an editor making up their own policies for the encyclopedia, and stating that they're "policy based". It sets a poor precedent for collaboration; a deadline for editing and input from the start, on a page with already very limited contributions. Better to not set a deadline on a project that already receives few contributions. What happens after nominations are "archived"? If they have "failed" once, then they'll likely just be dismissed as already "failing." Not so great for building an encyclopedia; rather, this inhibits productive contributions and growth. Northamerica1000(talk) 10:45, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

  • I really don't want to edit war, but I removed the information from the page again (diff), per the advice here. This isn't policy, and these types of WP:DEADLINEs don't encourage people to build the encyclopedia. Northamerica1000(talk) 11:08, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

Assessment page

Also, at the project's assessment page, it's stated "Any member of the Food and drink WikiProject is free to add or change the rating of an article." However, this appears to contradict information at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Assessment FAQ, where it's stated, "Who can assess articles? In general, anyone can add or change an article's rating. However, the "GA" and "FA" labels should only be used on articles that have been reviewed and are currently designated as good articles or featured articles, respectively. Individual WikiProjects may also have more formal procedures for rating an article, and please note that the WikiProject bears ultimate responsibility for resolving disputes." The thing is, I haven't found any formal procedures (other than those on the assessment page itself) that were created from the talk page archives of the project in which this specific matter was discussed. Northamerica1000(talk) 16:02, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

It looks like the page was created yesterday. Why don't you just talk about it on the project page? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:32, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes. Please see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Food and drink/tli. Northamerica1000(talk) 20:15, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

This encyclopedia's scope

I believe that WP:UNDUE is an often misapplied policy. However, this is because I assume a certain vision of this encyclopedia, the English Wikipedia, which I believe is the right vision and one which many people share. However, I realize now that maybe most people don't share this vision. Before I keep going on about the application of WP:UNDUE, I want to be clear where the community stands on this vision.

I envision this encyclopedia not to be limited in its depth of coverage of a topic qua depth. I want to know whether people agree with this or not. What does this vision mean? This means that details of a topic are not to be excluded just because these details are too fine. This doesn't mean that details of a topic are not to be excluded when they don't have sufficient coverage in reliable sources, or when they are largely disputed by reliable sources. So, consider some details which are universally agreed upon in multiple high-quality reliable sources: these may be included in this encyclopedia, I envision.

I want to make examples, but I also don't want to speak falsely about a topic: My training is in philosophy, and I realise this doesn't have a wide-appeal, so such an example may just be confusing rather than enlightening, but I'll try one anyway. So we have an article on Plato. In the article we go into Plato's metaphysics. We could go in depth into his metaphysics, such that the article would be so long, it would require a sub-page, and we (kind of) have one at Platonic realism. But at such a sub-page we could go even more in depth into just the metaphysics of Plato's Republic, and we would require a sub-page for that. And then there we could even go in depth to single arguments that occur in the Republic, such that we would require a sub-page for just one argument. Such a page could be fully sourced to multiple,, high-quality reliable sources (i.e., the works of tenured professors of philosophy at accredited institutions published in academic presses and peer-reviewed journals).

Let me try a more general example, but just take this with a grain of salt, because I don't actually know if this topic could be covered to such a detail with multiple, high-quality reliable sources: We have an article on Minnesota. There we go into such depth of that state's economy, that we require an article, Economy of Minnesota. There too I think we could go into such depth into mining in Minnesota, that we could require a sub-page on Mining in Minnesota. There we could into such depth into the environmental impact of mining in Minnesota that we could require on subpage on the Environmental impacts of mining in Minnesota. Then to the environmental impact on Lake Superior of mining in Minnesota. Then on the impact of mining in Minnesota of Lake Superior's lake trout populations. I don't doubt that all of this could be referenced to multiple, high-quality reliable sources.

The question is: Are such things beyond the scope of this encyclopedia? I don't think so. It certainly would be educational, and it would certainly be verifiable, and it certainly would be notable. It does a lot of good to include such details, and it does no harm. However, I realize that there are some people that think that this encyclopedia should not contain such a level of detail. These people could cite WP:NOTEVERYTHING, which says "An encyclopedia article should not be a complete exposition of all possible details. Rather, an article is a summary of accepted knowledge regarding its subject."

I think that statement is fine, if understood in the right way: An article should be summary of its topic, that itself is true. But that is not to say that the encyclopedia as a whole should be limited to being just a summary, which it shouldn't. An implication of this is, however (because the encyclopedia is built out of articles), that there must be a prima facie allowance for such details in some article (if not in the main article for a topic). That is: Sub-pages which then deal with finer details may be made. If no such sub-page has been made yet, such finer details shouldn't simply be excluded from the encyclopedia altogether, but, when they have received sufficient length, they should be rolled into a sub-page. This is all assuming accurate references to high-quality, reliable sources, of course.

More than anything I just want to see where people stand on this issue. That's my primary concern. However, as matter of secondary concern, if people do agree with me that this encyclopedia should not be limited in this way, I propose amending WP:NOTEVERYTHING to include something like "That an article should be summary of a topic should not by itself exclude including more in-depth coverage in sub-articles devoted to sub-topics of that topic. If a sub-topic does not have the depth of coverage to warrant its own article, then the sub-topic should still be included in the main article." I welcome suggestions for the wording of this or any other alternatives. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 19:43, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

UNDUE applies to individual pages, not to the whole encyclopedia. It's perfectly fine to have an entire article on the Impact of mining in Minnesota of Lake Superior's lake trout populations. But you must not disturb the BALANCE of Environmental impacts of mining in Minnesota by filling it with thousands of words about Lake Superior's fish. If you reach a point at which the lake trout are taking over the general article, you must remove information from the general article and WP:PRESERVE it at the far more specific article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:46, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
If such guidance is needed, it probably makes more sense to make reference to the guidelines on forking and summary. Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:12, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Notability also comes into play here. If only one or two sources have gone into great depths on a subject, a separate article make not be appropriate for that sub-topic. You can always link as references or external links in the main topic to these detailed papers if they are appropriate. --MASEM (t) 01:57, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
There is no simple answer... essentially the question is whether specific bit of detailed information X is appropriate for specific article Y. Because the question is based on specifics, you can't make a one-size-fits-all generalized "rule" about it... each time we ask the question, the answer will be different. Going into detail might well be appropriate in one article, and not appropriate at all in another. And within one article, it might be appropriate to go into detail about sub-topic A, yet totally inappropriate to go into detail about sub-topic B. Blueboar (talk) 12:55, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
To rephrase the question of the vision, which is not specific but is general: Should some details be excluded from this encyclopedia just because they are too fine? If you answer yes, then you disagree with the vision. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 13:51, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
No. The detail may be too specific for a particular article, but the encylopedia as a whole has no such limitations. AIUI, WP:NOTPAPER addresses this point. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 14:02, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
It's not so clear cut... this isn't a black and white Yes/No answer... A lot depends on what the specific detail actually is. Some details may not be notable enough for a stand alone article, and may be considered too trivial to discussed in the context of any other article. Blueboar (talk) 13:04, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
If a detail is discussed in multiple high-quality reliable sources (the assumption being made), is it still not notable and too trivial? --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 16:04, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
It can also be too tangential to a current article, which are scope and balance issues open to editorial discussion. Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:58, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
I think a question of quality rears its ugly head early on. We can't answer these questions before they arise. An editor has to be on hand to create an article on a relatively obscure subject. If other editors can look at the rough draft and say "yes, I get it", "yes, I'm beginning to understand"—then the green light can be given for the article to take its place among articles. But if no one else "gets" it, it is doomed to failure. Even if some can see that it is a good idea, it won't get off the ground without initiative. Someone has to make it take form. Articles don't write themselves. (Not yet, anyway.) So the question is more one of initiative and hard work rather than Wikipedia's limited scope. I haven't addressed how much depth one should go into in individual articles. The article should be readable as an article. Too much depth in one area might upset the overall balance. On the other hand a reader need not read an entire article. Bus stop (talk) 01:26, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
Bus stop: I think that's true.
Alanscottwalker: I think that's the editorial discussion I'm trying to start. Another way I describe my vision: If tenured professors of the relevant discipline at accredited institutions are writing in peer-reviewed publications on a certain detail, then I think that detail is worthy of discussion, since these eminently reliable sources find it worthy of discussion. I don't see a reason to trust the judgement of each editor here over the judgement of these scholars as to what is worthy of discussion. Absolutely, you're right that such a detail is going to be too tangential for most articles, but I don't think it is too tangential or too specific such that it should not be mentioned in this encyclopedia. Here's the (albeit small) harm of excluding it: Whereas otherwise readers would be informed of this (albeit small) detail, they now are deprived of this information. And I don't see any harm of including it in theory, and in practice there are footnotes and appendices which may contain the detail such that inclusion will not disrupt articles stylistically or in terms of readability. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 03:11, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
You are aware, Atethnekos, that a tenured professors job is, in very large part, to write publications in peer-reviewed journals? And that, in many cases, those journals are accepting information of extraordinarily narrow scope, scope that may, in fact, be of interest to only a few hundred people in the world? And that they may accept claims which are not in broad agreement, even though there aren't necessarily specific other papers that refute it? Take, for instance, intelligent design. There are peer-reviewed journals for it (in the sense that people with PhDs are blindly reviewing submissions from other people with PhDs). And there are often papers published there that are never refuted in mainstream scientific journals, because they deal with theories that are simply irrelevant to actual scientific work. Would it then be appropriate for us to find a place for such a detail somewhere in the encyclopedia, despite the fact that, if asked, 99% of other tenured professors in the field would reject it as non-scientific?
Furthermore, how fine a level of detail do you propose? Should we, for example, reproduce (w/o violating copyright) detailed discussions of the methodology and background for every research study we talk about (which, presumably, based on your thinking, should be every one we can get)?
And let me bring in a non-academic point: I'm sure that, if I looked hard enough, I could find reliable sources that stated what Jeniffer Aniston wore to several thousand public events, and probably a great many nominally private ones. Would it be appropriate to include that info in Wikipedia somewhere?
If people want access to all possible information, there's a great resource: the Internet (and the journals themselves, and libraries, and...). Wikipedia's value, like that of any encyclopedia or other knowledge aggregator, is that we distill down the essence of subjects in a way that a general reader can gain at least a surface level understanding of them. What you propose is to essentially (in my opinion) remove the very thing that makes us useful. Qwyrxian (talk) 14:55, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
If multiple-high-quality sources discuss a subject, then the remaining barriers are WP:NOT (is it encyclopedic? Some actress's wardrobe probably isn't) and editorial judgment (a separate article, or part of a larger one?). If all three of those considerations agree that the subject is worth an article, then it is notable and qualifies for its own article. This is true even if the subject is non-scientific or primarily interesting to a minority viewpoint. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:33, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
Answer to question 1: Yes. Q2: Yes. Q3. Yes. Q4: I personally don't know much about intelligent design. I also don't know much about what distinguishes what's non-scientific from what's not non-scientific (the scientific), so your question is a bit mysterious to me. I would guess that such sources would not be reliable sources for most claims for which a certain group of misguided editors would use them as sources. So just on that ground they would not be so useable. Our Intelligent design article says "The intelligent design movement has not published a properly peer-reviewed article supporting ID in a scientific journal, and has failed to publish supporting peer-reviewed research or data. The only article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal that made a case for intelligent design was quickly withdrawn by the publisher for having circumvented the journal's peer-review standards". If however they somehow are reliable sources for the claims for which they are being used, then I don't see why including such a claim somewhere in the encyclopedia would be problematic just because it is too specific for this encyclopedia. For example, if one of these so-called "peer-reviewed" intelligent design journals featured a piece which stated in the authorial voice of the article that the author herself knew that her views were not widely accepted, then that source seems like it would be strong enough to back a claim that at one point at least the author believed her views were not widely accepted.
Q5: I'm not sure if I propose any level of detail. I propose that no level of detail is too fine for this encyclopedia qua level of detail. Q6. I don't think we should do that. I believe that we shouldn't remove entirely such discussion if it is sourced to reliable sources. Q7. I'm not sure if it would be appropriate to include that information. I think it would be inappropriate to remove entirely such information, if what you say is true.
Re: removing usefulness: I don't see how it removes that thing. The distilling down would still occur and would be unaffected. What would be added are more articles and entries in sub-categories. For example, were it the case that an article such as "The effects of Minnesota mining on Lake Superior lake trout populations" exists would not affect the ability of a general reader to gain a surface level understanding of Minnesota, because the article "Minnesota" would still contain the distilling down to which you refer. Similarly, I don't believe that were it the case that an article such as "Outfits worn by Jennifer Aniston" exists would affect the general ability of a such a reader to gain such an understanding of Jennifer Aniston, for the same reason just given, mutatis mutandis. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 19:11, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Shorter version of the question

Regarding "I envision this encyclopedia not to be limited in its depth of coverage of a topic qua depth. I want to know whether people agree with this or not. What does this vision mean? This means that details of a topic are not to be excluded just because these details are too fine.":

Disagree I understand an encyclopedia to be a summary of factual information: only salient facts about notable topics. "Salient" means standing out in importance relative to the great majority of facts. Limiting coverage only to salient facts is essential to the value of an encyclopedia for lay readers, as opposed to specialized writings and other reference works. An encyclopedia provides an overall view of each topic, enabling someone not familiar with it to get a quick but thoughtful introduction. Including non-salient facts would bury the salient ones in the trivial ones, undermining the encyclopedia's sole purpose. Providing a summary of facts, not exhaustive coverage of facts, has been Wikipedia's guiding vision since day one. —Ben Kovitz (talk) 03:59, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
But isn't Wikipedia different (in ways relating to the posed question) from a traditional encyclopedia? Can't we Drill down to articles on narrower scopes? Wikipedia is said to be never finished. We need to avoid improper forks but I'm not sure there is an inherent limit to the Granularity of the information we can carry. Bus stop (talk) 04:47, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes. Wikipedia should and does have pages about narrower topics than are feasible to include in a paper encyclopedia. That doesn't mean we include any topic at all. Topics need to be notable: there needs to be some reason why they are important, beyond just being true and reliably sourced. Perhaps Atethnekos is taking the inclusionist side in the long-running inclusionist/deletionist debate. That debate resolved to the moderate deletionist position now summarized at WP:NOT. —Ben Kovitz (talk) 12:08, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
I think you are distinguishing between "lay readers"[15] and others, but readers of course vary in their background familiarity with topics, therefore articles can be geared to be appropriate even to those with considerable expertise in an area. Failure to achieve noteworthiness would of course disqualify any article. But I think increasing depth of coverage could be welcome and valuable. Articles are linked this way now, with superficial articles linking to more specialized articles. The question that I think we are addressing concerns how much depth is possible or advisable. My response is that I tend not to place a limit on the amount of detail we can go into on a subject. Bus stop (talk) 14:08, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
I am trying to ask about fineness of detail itself, not notability. That's why I speak of depth qua depth. The question is whether you think some details should be excluded just because they are at some depth or some level of fineness of detail, assuming that all requirements of reliability, notability, et cetera are already met. I'm not talking about any requirement discussed in any current policy. Neither am I asking about what we should include, that is, create. I'm asking about what we should exclude, that is, entirely remove once it has already been created.
And for that I'm not so sure about your examples below. For example, it is just false that every number has multiple high-quality reliable sources discussing them and is notable. And I'm pretty sure that could never be the case, unless there were an (uncountably) infinite number of scholars being published, which I would guess would be physically impossible. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 21:45, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
If a topic is notable, then yes, I believe the consensus is to include a page about it regardless of how narrow it is. Indeed we do have many pages about specific numbers. Similarly if a topic is not notable but is salient to one that is; then the facts should go on the notable topic's page. Note that salience means standing out in importance relative to all facts about the topic, so salience will exclude most fine-grained facts—but not all. Notable topics can still be out of the scope of Wikipedia, of course, as discussed at WP:NOT. —Ben Kovitz (talk) 06:34, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Comment I havent been involved so far, and to be perfectly honest havent read most of whats here, but more specialised information does have a place on articles aswell. On the main topic for a particular thing, it might only be mentioned in passing as it may be of little value to a the average reader, but an article can (and should) be written on specialised pages. An article should only have salient information relative to its particular title. There is little point going on about DNA replication beyond how it affects evolution in an article on evolution. but on an article on DNA replication, specific information on how this occurs is needed, that article wouldnt be the place to discuss the intricate chemical structure of the DNA proteins (beyond how this affects replication), and so on. Such information would be considered notable within its field, the Jeniffer Aniston example above would not. (though an article on what she wore at important events might, or that were controversial for one way or another might also (Lady Gaga's meat dress for example) - what someone wears in public isnt notable, but specific cases might be, and there might be enough of these for some people to warrant its own article). - Nbound (talk) 04:52, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Specific examples

Here are some specific examples of very fine-grained topics for which there is a reliable source and solid information that anyone can verify. For each of these, do you think it is too fine-grained to have an article about it in Wikipedia? Do you think current Wikipedia policy allows it?

  • Every house for which there are public real-estate records: its location, floor plan, owner, purchase history, tax history, construction history, and all other publicly available information. This includes nearly every house in the United States.
  • Every single number. If we cover Mathematics to unlimited depth, then every single number would be a very fine-grained subtopic. For example, 21,797 could have its own page, as would 21.797.1, 21,797.11, 21,797.110000000007, and 3i+21,797. Most mathematical claims are verifiable by anyone. There are an infinite number of trivial but true, easily verifiable facts about every number, including every relationship that it has with every other number.
Too fine-grained. Precluded by lack of disk space. —Ben Kovitz (talk) 17:15, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Every bus schedule for every city in the world with public buses. Cities usually make this information available on little pamphlets available to anyone, and they make it available on their web sites. Beyond the current bus schedule, we could describe all past changes to each bus schedule and route. In fact, we could have a separate page about each of those.
Too fine-grained. Actually detrimental to information access, because our page could introduce errors or get out of date and would likely appear higher in search results than the city's own web page. Let people get this information directly from the source, not from an encyclopedia. —Ben Kovitz (talk) 17:15, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Every topic covered in every newspaper article in every reputable newspaper worldwide.
  • Every word in every language spoken or written on Earth.
Too fine-grained. While outside the scope of Wikipedia, a wiki with a page for every for every word in every language is certainly an excellent idea. In fact, Wikimedia has been running one since 2002. —Ben Kovitz (talk) 06:16, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Every element of tax law in every tax-collecting governmental jurisdiction in the world.
Too fine-grained. A wiki that covers every element of tax law might be very useful. It just wouldn't be Wikipedia. —Ben Kovitz (talk) 06:21, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Every court case in every country with public trials.
  • Every sporting event ever played and recorded in some sort of public record: a separate page for every Little League game, every intramural volleyball game that is recorded somewhere on the Internet, every YMCA's racquetball challenge ladder.

This argument has already been done, over years. Wikipedia's vision and present policy require that, to merit a page, a topic have notability, not just reliable sources. The great majority of verifiable information is out of Wikipedia's scope because it's too fine-grained. As with any encyclopedia, a large part of editing on Wikipedia consists of thoughtfully sifting out only the most important facts and omitting the rest. —Ben Kovitz (talk) 17:15, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia is also a gazetteer. Meaning that at some level coverage of mere existence of certain things is acceptable; even while those subjects may not rise to notability in some other fashion. The register of national registries of historic places may not seem notable individually, but have been designated at important by others, inclusion is proper even if it is lacking because the presumption and important has been demonstrated. Court cases like the Supreme Court cases are typically included because they are the highest court and their function is the scope of the entire legal profession, this is not some TV Court case, importance and notability increases with rank. We do not have every major serviceman listed either, but high ranking military officers like Generals and Admirals are presumed notable. Will a private be notable for being in the military? No, but we can think of numerous cases in which the individual's actions regardless of rank have been subject of enough reports to meet GNG. Just remember, even bowling balls are subject to a battery of tests and lab research spanning 50 years for smoothness as xkcd pointed out today.[16] While YOU may not care about things, people will always care about the most boring topics. Just imagine the coverage we would have if train otaku came to enwiki. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 02:12, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Actually, more specifically, WP is meant to have elements of a gazetteer, not that we are one. That means it is reasonable that one can type in the name of more geographical features and find some information on it. But we don't need to have articles dedicated to every such place (and in fact, we know have Wikiatlas for this). There is a reason we have WP:NOT, to determine the level of detail we expect. --MASEM (t) 03:40, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Counterexamples

In my long experience at AfD, the issue is really WP:IDONTLIKEIT. Chess players and mathematicians will rally to defend their cruft, no matter how obscure or opaque it is for the general reader, and will ignore stuff like WP:NOTGAMEGUIDE. Editors hate buses but love railways. Anything related to astronomy will always be kept. And don't get me started on schools. My view is that an encyclopedia, by its nature, should cover everything. This is best done in a top-down fashion. If something seems too detailed then summarise and merge up the tree of knowledge. Warden (talk) 07:15, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

Some day, when people build the New Jerusalem chip, fifteen hundred miles on a side of silicon and quantum logic, its inhabitants will write articles on every drop of rain that has ever fallen on all the planets of the cosmos, and be able to read them all in a lazy afternoon, and see, for the first time, some measurable fraction of the beauty God perceives in each drop of falling water. Wnt (talk) 23:34, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

Review of Featured\GA and associated assessments

This is only a discussion, not a proposal.

I do not understand why all Featured\GA pages could not have a general assessment every say five years (at most) to see if they are up to scratch. Simply south...... eating shoes for just 7 years 19:16, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

The GA project often has drives to review each article every 3-4 years though not a regular thing. There's no formal system for FAs as likely it would take a lot more effort (one person can review a one-person-passed GA, but one person can't likely review a consensus-based FA-pass). Editors are free to take articles they think fail FA to FAR, but the idea is that if it has passed the very difficult FA requirements, it take a lot of work to have it fall out from those requirements as long as there's someone doing routine maintenance or anti-vandal patrolling of it. --MASEM (t) 19:44, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
There was a sweep of all GAs conducted from August 2007 to March 2010—and that was just to review the 2,800 articles that existed when the sweep started. The number of articles has grown exponentially since then (it's over 17,000). So just to do 2008's GAs would take years, and 2009's would take even longer, etc. It can't be done. —Designate (talk) 10:33, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Should all screenshots in articles about television episodes be deleted? Its happening now.

I would think that a screenshots from an episode helps you understand it, you seeing what the characters and scenery look like. One editor has mass nominated massive numbers of image articles, and a fair number of them have already been deleted. Few if anyone notices and participates in these discussions. I believe more attention should be brought towards it, and we need a policy. For years these articles have had an image in them, now suddenly its all changing. Some could argue that showing the cover of a book, comic book, or album doesn't add to the ability to understand the article, or a movie poster doesn't belong in a film article. Dream Focus 01:57, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

First of all, we need links. Second, if its under NFCC the pages may need to be updated. And lastly, ask the editor to stop nominating so this can be discussed. I'd like to comment more, but there is no information for me to go on. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 02:00, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
I asked him to just group all these mass nominations together to make it easier to respond to all of them. [17] You can see them all in today's nominations at Wikipedia:Files_for_deletion/2013_May_23. Others also do this though, for other shows as well. Dream Focus 02:09, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Unlike cover art, which is official branding and marketing of a work as chosen by its publisher or creator, and thus can be implicitly used along NFCC lines, episode screenshots are picked by editors and not official material, and ergo have no implicit allowance for inclusion. (Thus, in this case, the comparison to cover art is not applicable). They have to be justified as per normal NFCC rules, specifically that the scene either must be one discussed in detail within the article or that is otherwise impossible to explain the plot/episode without showing the image. Note that most of these shots predate the more explicit NFCC formation, and while they "meet" the core requirements of NFCC (having a rationale, for example), they haven't been evaluated further than that.
The TV project has actually been rather helpful in removing unnecessary episode shots when brought to their attention. There was a recent purge of nearly all the Star Trek: Voyager episode ones with their help; similarly, the Doctor Who project is usually pretty good about limiting episode screenshots to only where they are discussed.
I will note that mass deletions (even though XFD) is not really a good approach, though. It is better to implore the TV project or related project to help decide what screenshots are unnecessary over a good number of weeks/months, and then send those agreed unneeded to deletion. I've done this at least twice before, and it works. I remember a relatively recent case of numerous Simpsons-based screenshots sent to XFD without prior discussion, and due to low participation, most were deleted, and that caused problems afterwards. --MASEM (t) 02:06, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree that submitting dozens of identical, scripted deletion proposals is not the best way to go. In this case (proposing deletion of a huge bunch of Star Trek screen shots on May 22 and May 23), the deletions should definitely (IMO) be put on hold pending a more careful review by the Star Trek project or the TV project. — Richwales (no relation to Jimbo) 06:30, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
That review has already taken place. On the occasion Masem mentioned, the Star Trek project was advised that the whole issue of screenshot use would have to be reviewed, and people were asked to help identify those items they thought were keepable and improve their FURs accordingly. I am not aware that any member of the project went round doing that. There was a concrete bunch of ST Voyager-related images listed for deletion at the time, and hardly anybody raised a hand in defense of any of them (I'm not sure I would call that "helping" in the deletion, but at least they weren't actively obstructing it.) This and other batch deletion precedents have surely clarified the relevant criteria enough for everybody to understand. People in all relevant TV projects have known for months, if not years, that this kind of deletion wave was coming. If they didn't go and help sorting out the wheat from the chaff, that's just a silent acknowledgment that the huge majority actually is chaff and not wheat. Fut.Perf. 16:41, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Many things are being deleted because they are "decorative". Does showing a picture of a person in a biography article help you understand them better? Or the cover of a book/album/DVD? No different than screenshots for television episodes. There is a nomination now for a picture of a winning basketball team in an article about the event they won. [18] The argument is that you can just say they won, no reason to show the picture of the winning team. Dream Focus 15:26, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
    • NFCC#8 is a two-pronged test. The first test - if the reader's understanding is improved by adding the image - nearly always passes for any NFC picture, but it is the second test - if the reader's understanding is harmed by the picture's omition - that most images fail on. If I can remove the picture and still have a complete educational (if not blander-looking) article, then the picture's use was, effectively, "decorative", and because we have a foundation requirement to use non-free in only exceptional places, we remove it. This is usually demonstrated when there is no in-depth discussion of the image on the page.
    • Now, for cover art, I specifically started an RFC a few years ago on that question, Wikipedia:Non-free content/Cover art RfC, but the result was solidly that there is implicity branding and marketing that may not always been written out in text but otherwise help the reader understand the topic - the cover art image could be removed but it will harm this factor. As such, cover art used in infoboxes is considered acceptable even if no mention of the art is directly made on the article. Same is true for logos. But beyond that, as per WP:NFCI, those are the only two cases where such images can be used without specifically discussing the image itself. Every other NFCI case and other places outside of that, we need critical commentary and discussion about the image in the text to meet both halves of NFCC#8. For most episode screenshots, this does not happen - editors pick a random interesting scene and use that, and ends up failing NFCC#8. This isn't universal of all screenshots - again, the Dcotor Who ppl have been careful in picking illustrations that are the subject of discussion and represent the article well.
    • In the case of the basketball team, the addition of the image doesn't even help the reader to understand the article - it is a bunch of people celebrating. If it was free, we'd not ask questions, but as a non-free, the bar is much higher than just fair use, and it fails on all counts. --MASEM (t) 16:01, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
      • Wait a minute -- <snark>we have articles on television episodes and basketball teams? I thought this was supposed to be an encyclopedia. What's next, comics and toys?</snark> Seriously, the tail is wagging the dog here. Our practices should be based on what makes the best encyclopedia, not the best trivia collection. LeadSongDog come howl! 16:12, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

The policy, as expressed in WP:NFCC and interpreted through a long-standing stable consensus manifested in hundreds of FFDs over several years, is very clear on this: episode screenshots can be used not as a routine matter, but only if a specific image serves a significant function in making specific points of analytical discussion in the article adequately understood. Such a case can often be made about some of the more well-developed episode articles, but certainly not about the large majority of them. Unfortunately, over the years, many editors have acted on the mistaken assumption that there was some kind of blanket routine allowance of one screenshot per episode, and a very large number (several thousands) have been uploaded, the large majority of which are, without any doubt, bad. We are thus faced with a situation of mass misuse of the policy, and for that reason it is unavoidable that the necessary cleanup will also proceed partly in large batches. In an ideal world, we would be able to afford to give lengthy individual consideration to each individual deletion proposal; however, in an ideal world, we'd also expect careful individual discussion on the part of the uploaders. This is typically lacking. The huge majority of these images have been uploaded with only the most threadbare, boilerplated FURs, barely glossing over the obvious fact that they were being uploaded without any concrete consideration of NFC policy. If uploaders couldn't be bothered to spend time considering and individually justifying their uploads – as they obviously were obliged to do – then why would anyone expect we should spend more time discussing the necessary cleanup deletions? Fut.Perf. 16:26, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Section break - episode articles

  • I've gone through and reviewed the bulk of these. So far I've found one image that actually met WP:NFCC#8. In most cases, it isn't the image that needs deletion so much as the whole article. This is what abuse of the WP:NODEADLINE mentality leads to: a pile of plot-only stubs got created (because, after all, someone else can add the important stuff later). Those plot-only stubs becoame an excuse to add an abuse of our fair-use policies, but no one ever gets around to actually writing an article. Better off to just delete every single stub we have about television episodes and not permit an article about more to be created until the creator actually creates a damn article.—Kww(talk) 01:30, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I've finished the task: at this point, I believe that Koavf and I are the only editors to have actually reviewed each image, and I know that I am the only one to have written a unique deletion rationale for the vast majority of them. My primary suggestion at this point is to caution Dream Focus that making ludicrous keep arguments is disruptive, caution Aussie Legend that making obviously false statements ("As stated by others below, these images are illustrative of the episodes and increase understanding" appears over and over when there are no such statements by others below and all but one images creates no increase in understanding whatsoever) is disruptive, and then delete the whole batch. Life would be easier if we made "article consists of plot summary and an infobox" a speedy deletion category, because, once these images are removed, the next step is to take 90% of these articles to AFD on the basis of violating WP:NOT#PLOT.—Kww(talk) 05:37, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
  • That (plot-only articles, lacking notability demonstration) is a very different question from the non-free issue and probably one that would be taken disruptive. Some years ago I suggested a massive TV project cleanup along these lines, going series by series to determine notability of episodes, but that's just too much work. That said, its reasonable to have an idea of testing the wind to understand if it reasonable to keep to improve or not. For example, I know many TNG episodes lack sourcing but I also know at least one reliable non-fan site (AV Club) has reviewed them all recently, and given this is Trek, I would not expect it to be hard to find more RS critical reviews. So despite the fact most of them presently don't have sources, it is reasonable to expect them notable. This would not be true of all series, particularly those that only have cable channel broadcasts and outside of prime time. Removing NFC is a necessary factor; deleting articles just because they are presently PLOT only is far far different and would be disruptive. --MASEM (t) 06:03, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I think of them as being attractive nuisances. It's part of the reason that I favor a strict application of WP:V's exhortation that we base articles on third-party sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy, and would prefer to delete all articles on all topics that are not based on third-party sources: articles with unsound foundations rarely grow into good articles.—Kww(talk) 16:31, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree they need to be addressed, as most of them were likely created pre-2006/2007 when notability standards were developed, when WP was young and at its expansion. But like WP:POKEMON, I think that we should really engage the TV project to, at minimum, merge the unsourced ones back to episode list articles, allowing them to consider future expansion later if such sources do appear. --MASEM (t) 16:38, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I have posted a request at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Star Trek, asking for more people to come here and join the current discussion. Even though I have contributed material in the past to some Star Trek episode-related articles (including one of the fair-use images currently being proposed for deletion), I am not blind to the policy-based argument going on here, and I do not intend to fight "tooth and nail" for retention of the disputed content solely because I had some small role in its creation. Nevertheless, I still believe that discussion and consensus-building should apply in this case — and even if some people feel this issue involves a defiance or disregard of policy that has gone on too long, this is still not one of those narrow situations (see WP:CONEXCEPT) in which policy is to be implemented without regard to editor consensus. — Richwales (no relation to Jimbo) 04:15, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Kww, I very much doubt there is "abuse" of the WP:NODEADLINE sentiment (and I'm not really sure you can abuse an essay in the first place.) There's simply 700-plus articles to go through, and yeah, simply wholesale merging is going to make more work down the road for editors, because I would hazard to say the lion's share of those articles are A) notable, and B) have enough content to justify a standalone article that can reach at least GA (which is my personal criteria for when to consolidate lesser quality articles.) As to people working through it, there's only so many active members on the project and we do have people working on episode articles and getting them up to GA and beyond (User:Miyagawa has been doing a bang-up job on a collection of episodes, including one that's currently up for FAC.) So when it comes down to it, if there are people willing to work on the articles, I don't see any reason to raze work to the ground or go through an intensive merge when that's going to be undone later. As for your sentiments that articles not entirely based on reliable sources from the get-go should be deleted on sight: can we both agree that it is in no way supported by either facts or policy? I think my content work proves ample evidence to the contrary. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 13:48, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I figure I should jump in here. Now first of all, I have no opposition to the removal of the images from the leads. I would say that in 90% of the cases, that there isn't really a great deal of justification that can be provided by the article because those articles are simply plots. I've been working on Star Trek articles since last November, and in that time managed to bring some 33 articles to GA, one of which is currently nominated for FA, and I figure that two more probably have a fair shot. I think I have another eight articles at GAN, but that is sort of my upper limit for GAN because I'm well aware of just how many episode articles there are and I don't want to overload the process by having created 75% of the television GAN articles. I've got the sources to hand, and I could churn them out that fast, but I don't want to break the system and frankly - annoy the good people at the GA project by virtually spamming them with ST articles. So, I'm pacing myself. I'm mainly concentrating on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine as I have the most source books for those, plus Enterprise as I can pull the production reports from old versions of the Star Trek official website. Based on those alone, that makes 456 articles. Then add three seasons of The Original Series, two seasons of the Animated Series and seven seasons of Voyager to that. There is a heck of a lot of articles. At the current rate, I'm doing about 6.6 GAs a month, which means that I should be done in about six years-ish. But I'll still have Voyager, The Original Series and the Animated Series to go. When I think about it like that, I do have to raise a hand and admit that there is a point to be made regarding the deletion argument. What I would say specifically is that there will be some seasons that will be very hard to expand with production information. Enterprise season one is next to impossible - no sources and the production reports on the website started with season two. The only production information that is likely to be around will be for the series premiere and I managed to find some in a series of interviews for the episode "Dear Doctor". Other than that, I think season one can be easily merged into the episode list and is quite likely never to come out again unless someone purchased all the production notes in the end of series auction and intends to make a book out of them at some point down the line. (Unlikely, but someone is doing it on KickStarter right now for the Original Series). The Animated Series can all be merged where nothing has been added other than the plot, no sources really concentrate too much on that. Voyager seasons 5, 6 and 7 will also be short of easy to get hold of information and so can pretty much be merged into the list without a great loss - the official Voyager series companion contains virtually no production information (unlike the terrific DS9 one) and the only unofficial guides only run to season four. To be honest though, a mass merger wouldn't be massively annoying for expanding the articles, but you would see a trickle of them being unmerged as time goes by and turned into proper articles. As for the images, as long as the bar is set to say what images are appropriate as screen shots then we can abide by them, the removal of images from any ST article will not make that article suddenly unintelligible, so personally I'm happy to go with whatever is advised by people who know the policies better than I and I'll stick to those points once I know them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Miyagawa (talkcontribs)
  • This goes back to my comment above, that there's some of these TV-shows with plot-only summaries presently but we can pretty much assure there will be sources for them based on looking around at specific episodes or understanding the nature of the work at its original broadcast. These are also lingering articles from pre-2006 where notability wasn't a factor in article creation. That said, today I would be more hesitant of creating episode articles unless I'm sure that the show in the past has always received criteria review. I'd never question the creation of a new Doctor Who episode article given the coverage the work gets, but I would question the creation of new episode articles without sources for something like Gravity Falls or MLP:FIM, where some but not all episodes get coverage. But I do believe in general the TV project is aware of such issues and this really isn't a problem for most shows broadcasting today. It's just this cleanup of what we have in the past, and thus I point to not worrying about a DEADLINE and if it is a real problem, repeating what was done in the pokemon test. (I also do have to remind ppl about TTN, a long-gone editor that was overly active towards merging non-notable episode articles w/o regard for discussion). --MASEM (t) 15:05, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs, WP:V has contained some variation of the directive to base articles on independent third-party sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy for the last seven years. An article that consists of a plot summary derived from viewing or reading a work is not based on independent third-party sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. To say that my stance is not based on policy is simply false. The community has generally ignored this portion of WP:V when it comes to fictional topics, and I always have considered that to be a problem. We have far too many articles that are based on licensed and primary sources using the barest smidgen of independent material to try to squeak past WP:N: tolerating their existence is not a solution.—Kww(talk) 20:19, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
  • If someone were trying to create these articles for the first time today with this much minimal sourcing, I would expect either: a lot moire PRODs and AFDs of them before they latest this long, or an upfront attempt to provide said WP:V/WP:N sourcing. The problem is that these were created way back in the history of WP and they still linger. It doesn't make sense to force them now to conform at any sort of pace considering 1) there are lots of other topics like small towns, secondary schools, sports athletes, etc. that probably have just as little sourcing but no one questions those, and 2) for some population of these shows, it is clear sourcing exists and just a matter of someone doing leg work to add in those sources (per WP:V/WP:N/AFD, this would never be deleted assuming those are good sources). It would be great if there was a community effort to go through all shows and make two passes: one to determine which shows likely don't have enough shows to warrant articles for every episode, and the second to then ween through all the episode articles merge those to episode lists where they clearly fail. But I stress it has to be community effort, and that requires full on participation from the TV project and related projects to do so. As there's no DEADLINE, there's no rush to get it done but we can keep stressing this importance that this should be a long-running goal. --MASEM (t) 20:49, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree with Masem that although something should be done here, it needs to be done carefully and by consensus. Different people may reasonably interpret the same policy in different ways, and I urge those who are convinced that an obvious violation of policy has gone on long enough and needs to be dealt with NOW to give the community time to sort through the situation, place it in its proper historical context, and come up with a consensus solution that really will improve Wikipedia. — Richwales (no relation to Jimbo) 21:01, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Don't worry: I'm not going to start mass-deleting articles. The images certainly need to go, and I don't think that there's any argument for retaining them. The plot-only stubs are a cancer on the project, but I'm well aware that we have too many people that think they should be retained to allow any campaign to remove them to succeed. I will continue to argue in favor of deleting them, but I won't start deleting them or nominating them en masse.—Kww(talk) 21:13, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Back when a long list of Twilight Zone screenshots were pushed through, I did look at most if not all of them. It did seem largely a waste of time. I think it is not possible to justify an infobox image for every episode as fair-use, and very, very few of the images I came across told me much about the show in question. Mangoe (talk) 13:50, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Hmmm... I think a lot depends on what image is chosen. Including an image just for the sake of having an image is pointless... but an image that evokes the specific episode is not. To illustrate: I just looked at the article for Time Enough at Last (one of the most notable Twilight Zone episodes, and one that definitely should have its own article). I expected to find a screen shot image of Burgess Meredith sitting on the steps of the library, surrounded by books, and crying out in anguish because his glasses were broken and he could not read them. That is the most iconic scene in the episode, and I was surprised not to find an image of it in the article. An image like that would be perfect for the infobox. None of the other images in the article are really appropriate. Blueboar (talk) 14:35, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

RFC on WP:BLANKING

In the section of the userpage policy on talkpage blanking, what should be understood by the statement that users may not remove "any other notice regarding an active sanction"? Should this be interpreted as:

  1. Users may blank any talkpage message not otherwise covered by WP:BLANKING?
  2. Users may blank any talkpage message not otherwise covered by WP:BLANKING, except for comments by the reviewing admin that are directly and unambiguously tied to a declined unblock template?
  3. Users may not blank any comment that a reasonable person would regard as pertinent to a future review of the block?
  4. Users may not blank any content that is related to the block?
  5. Something else?

For context, please see this thread at WT:UP. Yunshui  02:25, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

User may blank anything. Blocking admins should be making clear entries in the block log, and the past stuff is in the talk page history. Forcing the user to keep the "you were very bad" stuff on talk pages is Wikipedia's version of the stocks -- and it doesn't make any articles better. NE Ent 02:48, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

  • Option 4 or option 3. We don't want to shame anyone but while the block is active it is helpful if all discussions are visible. While you can go back in the histories, if the page has been blanked more than once, there will be no single version with all the info. If they have been blocked for a long time, there can be many blankings, and you are asking for errors and an undue burden on the reviewing admin or observing party. Idle chat can be deleted, but chat back and forth by an admin and the blocked editor, as well as the obvious, block templates and review templates, should stay only as long as the sanction is active. Otherwise, you lose the context of the entire process. Dennis Brown - - © - @ - Join WER 02:51, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Option 5: Blocked users probably shouldn't remove most of this stuff, but experienced users who edit war over this trying to force them NOT to remove it are creating unnecessary drama and wasting everyone's time. --Jayron32 04:54, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Option 3 (or option 4). Actually, I believe there is a more widespread problem here: I've seen many cases where uncommunicative users routinely delete comments made on their talk pages (not replying to the comment in any way other than by deleting it). Aside from running the risk of seeming rude, this practice makes it difficult later on for others to piece together the big picture when a user starts behaving disruptively. I would really prefer to see the user talk page guidelines revised so as to strongly discourage the practice of deleting talk page comments without keeping them up for at least a few days, except for comments that are clearly inappropriate. — Richwales (no relation to Jimbo) 06:17, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Option 5g: Guy's Counterproposal
I propose that we follow the list from Wikipedia:Don't restore removed comments, which is:
There are only four types of messages that a user should not remove:
  1. Declined unblock requests while the block is still in effect.
  2. Confirmed sockpuppetry notices.
  3. Miscellany for deletion tags (while the discussion is still in progress).
  4. Shared IP header templates for unregistered editors.
--Guy Macon (talk) 07:04, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
To expand on the above, Wikipedia:Don't restore removed comments doesn't just provide a list that was gleaned from our policy pages. It also gives the reasoning behind the choices: "These templates are intended not only to communicate with the user in question but also to communicate with others." This gives us the rationale for not allowing the following to be deleted by the talk page owner.
  • Declined unblock requests while the block is still in effect.
As has been well established in previous RfCs for allowing such templates to be deleted, when a user is blocked, other editors who come to his user page wondering why he disappeared in mid-conversation need to know that he can't reply on the article talk page, and thus cannot assume anything from a non-response.
  • Confirmed sockpuppetry notices.
The sockpuppet doesn't need to be notified that he is a sockpuppet. This is for the other users so that they know when they have been interacting with one user pretending to be two.
  • Miscellany for deletion tags (while the discussion is still in progress).
If a user talk page is up for deletion, the notice on that talk page is for everybody, not just that user. There is a basic principle that if there is a discussion about deleting a page, the readers of that page need to be informed of the discussion.
  • Shared IP header templates for unregistered editors.
This is another example of a templates intended not only to communicate with the user in question but also to communicate with others. In this case, the others are the other people who share the IP address.
What we don't do is forbid a user from deleting any warning, comment, or template that is addressed just to that user. Deleting it is considered evidence that it was read, we don't leave badges of shame on user pages, and we purposely leave the option open for a misbehaving user to quietly stop misbehaving at his first warning.
While is could be (and often is) argued that some or all warnings are also addressed to some future admin who might come along (see Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Removing warnings), admins are expected to be able to read history pages, and this particular argument can be used to forbid removal of any warning, something that the community has rejected.
So basically what I am saying is that Wikipedia:Don't restore removed comments correctly summarizes our policy, as evidenced by looking at the "what links here" for that page and seeing how many times users have been told to read it and follow the advice contained in it. --Guy Macon (talk) 08:03, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Some of those responding may be unclear about the purpose of this RfC. You are not being asked what the policy should be but rather what the policy is in the context of two groups of experienced users and administrators disagreeing on how to interpret existing policy. --Guy Macon (talk) 08:13, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Absolutely; this is about interpretation of policy (and will hopefully result in clearer wording of the existing policy), not about determination of policy. With regards to WP:DRRC, unfortunately that essay does not address the question of interpretation - it covers the four types of message covered in the rest of WP:BLANKING, but that's not the text under discussion here. Opting to follow the guidance there is, in effect, the same as Option #1, above - "users may blank anything not otherwise covered by WP:BLANKING". The question here is what constitutes "notices related to active sanctions", not what should or should not be deleted. Yunshui  08:26, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, a significant problem is that on WP: Don't restore removed comments it says, "Here are only four types of messages that a user should not remove:," and "any ... notice regarding an active sanction" from WP: Blanking is not one of those four things. So there's a conflict between those two approaches, and I thought I would offer a suggestion to just remedy this whole thing. But since we're interpreting the meaning of "any ... notice regarding an active sanction" I'm going to remove my proposal and offer a new, very short comment. 68.50.128.91 (talk) 10:31, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Yunshui. thanks for the clarification. I must admit that I did not catch that subtlety before, but once you pointed it out I saw that you are obviously right. Please treat my previous comments as if I was smoking crack before editing Wikipedia again. <-- (Attempted humor by someone who has actually never used alcohol, tobacco or drugs).
68.50.128.91, that's a good point about having to correct one or the other. If we are correcting things, we might want to consider asking why block notices can be deleted but block appeals can not. That always struck me as being strange. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:13, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. 68.50.128.91 (talk) 06:54, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Option 4, provided that it would include warning templates or other informal warnings related to disruptive behavior, whether or not that behavior was directly related to the block (e.g., someone who is blocked for edit warring should not be allowed to remove warnings related to personal attacks). A disruptive user should not be able to avoid identification as such by removing material not directly related to the reason for an ongoing sanction. I like Option 5g as well, but I am unsure about item 3, since deletion discussion notifications are generally regarded as a simple notice to the article creator (or file uploader, etc.) to give them a chance to argue their case. Unless it is related to the reason for the block, I don't see why those tags shouldn't be able to be removed. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 08:23, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
As I've stated above, option 5g is essentially identical to option 1 - it covers only those elements which are already specified elsewhere in the policy. Yunshui  08:29, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
(Edit Conflict) But if you read the debates that led up to this RfC, you will find that both sides are convinced that they are following option 1. In particular, I and several others think that the language "and any other notice regarding an active sanction" agrees with option 5b, but several other editors think it agrees with option 4. And we both think we are following policy and the other fellow is misinterpreting it. It's as if Wikipedia had a WP:CATFOOD policy that says "he gave her cat food", I said that she received cat food from him, you said that he gave food to a cat that she owns, and someone put up an RfC that gave as the first choice "all food transfers must follow the description at WP:CATFOOD". A consensus in favor of that would not resolve our dispute. --Guy Macon (talk) 09:06, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I understand. Option 3 is closer to 4, but 5g/1 (pick one, but I liked Guy's wording) would be my second choice. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 08:37, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Let me try putting it this way. WP:BLANKING (and for that matter, WP:DRRC) clearly says that editors may not remove four types of message: (active) declined unblocks, confirmed sockpuppetry notices, (active) MFD tags and shared IP templates. In addition, WP:BLANKING also prohibits removal of "other notices relating to active sanctions". That last bit is the element under discussion. The assumption is made that these "other notices" are not covered by the rest of WP:BLANKING, so discussion of the four named aspects (which are already delineated by policy, and are not up for debate here) merely serves to derail the thread of this RFC. I don't agree that both sides think they are following option 1; Dennis, for example, clearly believes he is following option 3. By the same token, your WP:CATFOOD analogy is also incorrect; this RFC is designed to choose from several possible interpretations of the phrase "other notices relating to active sanctions" - it's akin to asking "Does 'he gave her cat food' indicate his provision of cat food to her, or her ownership of the cat food that he gave?"
If we decide that the four types of messages covered in WP:DRRC are the only types of messages that cannot be removed, then we need to delete the phrase regarding "other notices" from the policy. If, on the other hand, we decide that some other types of block-related message should not be deleted, then the policy needs to be rewritten to clearly state what those other types are. I'm not much fussed either way, as long as there's a consensus, but we're interested here in that specific phrase, not in the wider interpretation or implementation of the policy. Yunshui  09:40, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Hi Yunshui. Actually, the definition of "other notices" is the huge problem here. With regard to blocks, one side says it means block templates only and the other side (mostly admins) say that it means block templates and any comments relating to the block. The key question here is: Are comments the same as notices? That question is precisely what prompted this RfC. ;) I'm starting to fear that this quirk in the RfC is going to derail it completely and result in a continued war over this issue. Can we please do something to make the choices much more clear to remove any ambiguity? How can editors !vote on options about the phrase "not otherwise covered by WP:BLANKING" (options 1 and 2) if they don't know or understand what is covered by WP:BLANKING. You're doing an amazing job of trying to get this calmly resolved, but I'm worried because of all of this confusion and apparent lack of clarity. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 13:13, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Option 5. Users should be able to blank anything other than a declined unblock request, while the block is still in effect. Users who are stung often get up in disgust and leave WP, blanking their talk page as they go. There is nothing wrong with that. Admins have no difficulty checking logs and history to see previous blocks and other sanctions. It is their user page, and should have control over removal of content. While it is better to archive instead of blanking, the history is still there, for all to see. While a block is in effect, many editors submit multiple unblock requests, and it if far better to require that all of them stay on the user talk page while the block is in effect, but that is the only exception needed. It is specifically noted that replacing blanked notices is not an allowable 3RR exception. Apteva (talk) 09:32, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
    Just to make it clear, the original case refers to the user who posted four successive unblock requests for the same block, and between posting them, they blanked for instance warnings which lead to the block (calling them "trolling"), or they also posted some statements about the block and removed replies of involved administrators to the statements. At some point they even removed a part of the response of the administrator, though after that was reverted, they have chosen not to edit-war.--Ymblanter (talk) 10:24, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Just to make it clear, Ymblanter is inaccurate about the original case, which anyone is free to view by looking at my talk page history, although this RFC isn't really about Ymblanter's blocking mistake anymore, it's about dealing with the issue for all users. 68.50.128.91 (talk) 10:42, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Option 5: "Notice" =/= "comment." Any notice that a user is blocked should not be blanked. Any prefacing or subsequent commentary, no matter how germane to the block, if not otherwise covered by WP: Blanking, can be blanked. 68.50.128.91 (talk) 10:50, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment / restart the RFC I believe that the wording is flawed. Something that should obviously be listed as a choice "Users may remove anything from their talk page." was not listed. Leaving it out so only respondents who write it out can pick it creates a bias against that choice. North8000 (talk) 10:59, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I strongly feel that users may remove anything from their user pages and talk pages.... even disciplinary notices. Disciplinary comments/notices/etc don't disappear because they are removed from view... they remain part of the record in the page history. If there is an issue, Admins know to check that record and look at the page history. Blueboar (talk) 12:12, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Once again, this RFC is about the interpretation of the current wording, not what the policy should be. "Users may remove anything..." is not listed as an option because it is not an option; the existing policy quite clearly lists certain notices which may not be removed. If you want an RFC on whether users should be allowed to blank anything from their talkpages, then do by all means start one, but please don't use this discussion to introduce tangential debates. Yunshui  12:15, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, we are addressing a different question. Before we can answer your question (and interpret the policy as currently written) we need to determine whether the policy as currently written actually reflects community consensus. There is no point in interpreting the policy points if consensus agrees that the policy points should not be there in the first place. Blueboar (talk) 12:38, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Agree with Blueboar. Without that, this has the appearance / would be interpreted as "deciding" both.North8000 (talk) 12:54, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
How does #5 not cover this? Toddst1 (talk) 17:51, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Users should be free to remove anything from their user page. And,, again, this RFC is faulty and should be restarted because it did not list that choice. North8000 (talk) 12:56, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • You might want to look at how I handled the RfC not having any option that was exactly what I wanted. Instead of demanding that the RfC be restarted, I just defined it like the Engineer I am, called it "Option 5g: Guy's Counterproposal", and watched as the support rolled in. You could put up "Option 5n: North8000's Counterproposal".
I am curious, however, as to why you think that one student on a school's shared IP should be allowed to delete a block notice and thus prevent any of the other students from understanding why they are blocked and where they can appeal the block. (Yes, that is indeed a direct consequence of a "users should be free to remove anything from their user page" policy.) Could you please explain on what basis you concluded that this was desirable? --Guy Macon (talk) 10:47, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
I am curious how you can justify blocking an entire school (or any users of an IP) because one editor removes what they perceive to be a load of clutter. Even if they are unblocked and entirely productive, this is a direct consequence of this entire guideline. Furthermore, block messages and routes to unblock are entirely visible, probably more visible, to the end users in the actual block message. -- zzuuzz (talk) 11:03, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
That isn't true. Here is what the blocked user sees, while this is what is on his talk page (which the first notice links to).
Also, I offered up no opinion on whether Wikipedia should or should not block shared IP addresses from schools. That is a policy issue that is entirely separate from the current discussion, which is about deleting notices on user talk pages.
So, now that we have put those to bed, I ask again; why you think that one student on a school's shared IP should be allowed to delete a block notice and thus prevent any of the other students from understanding why they are blocked and where they can appeal the block? --Guy Macon (talk) 08:05, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
Typically they will not only see the block message (Blockedtext), but something like {{schoolblock}} transcluded onto the same page. This is visible whenever a user tries to make an edit. The talk page 'orange bar' in contrast is only visible once, to one user, before it is dismissed. Other users will generally have little knowledge of their talk page. The natural consequence of saying that a user cannot do something is that sanctions are used to prevent them doing it. The consequence of this is that users who only clear their talk page get reverted and eventually blocked entirely from editing, or get prevented from appealing their block by removal talk page access, even when they have caused no other disruption. In case there's any doubt, my response to your specific question is that users are unable to remove the relevant message in the system message. They are also unable to remove the big pink box on the contribs page which tells other users of the block (why would you look at someone's talk page and not their contributions?), and also unable to remove their editing history, or the history of the talk page. Blocking users and preventing them from editing, or appealing their block, merely for removing a talk page message is entirely counterproductive. -- zzuuzz (talk) 10:17, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
I completely agree with the proposal of User:North8000; as stated by others, there is a reason why there are logs, and old versions (history) of the talkpage if others are really interested in such things.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 07:22, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Option 3: As a frequent reviewer of blocks and a frequent issuer of blocks (quite a few of which are appealed), this only makes sense. The warnings leading up to the block are easy enough to find in the history, but if there are comments from a blocking admin, questions, answers or other administrative discourse it should remain in the original context. However hecklers, grave dancers and admin-hecklers frequently make less-than productive comments which IMHO would be reasonable to remove. I realize some folks may want this info to stay, which would be option 4, but in almost all cases this isn't very productive. Toddst1 (talk) 16:41, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Option 5 ("something else"): for me, the only situation were block-related messages and discussions need to remain on the page is as long as a blocked editor is seeking an appeal. In that case, of course, for them to remove, say, an earlier unblock decline and then add another appeal would be detrimental to the transparency of the process. But if, for instance, an editor has accepted the block and just wishes to go away and be left alone for the remainder of the block time, I really don't see any benefit in forcing the embarrassing material upon them for all that time. In fact, for the editor to be able to remove such a discussion may well be a helpful and positive sign of allowing them to disengage with the situation. As for Guy Macon's argument that the block messages may be necessary for other users (e.g. to understand why an editor is no longer participating in a discussion), I don't find it very convincing. For that purpose, we have block logs, which are quite prominently displayed on a user's contribution history. Fut.Perf. 16:51, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Interesting proposal - does this mean that if an editor removes block-related info, they would lose the ability to appeal the block? Toddst1 (talk) 16:54, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Nah, that would be instruction-creepish, bureaucratic and unintuitive. Many users would want to remove an annoying block message in a first spontaneous reaction, without being aware of such a consequence. If they remove stuff but then change their mind and decide they want to appeal anyway, they'd of course have to be prepared to have the relevant discussion restored (which, frankly, ought to be sorta self-evident to them). Fut.Perf. 16:59, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Comments This is what I would like. Big picture: B&W = simple; "Reasonable" = bad (as fertile ground for yet more drama over what is reasonable). So I'm in favor of a list formatted like Option 5g above, supplemented by admin power to mark threads that must remain (with or without future comments added) for X days, or until Y happens, or until X days after Y happens. All related templates should include language to educate eds about how/when things may be removed, if ever. With an explicit list, combined with admin power to explicitly mark, there would hopefully be a large reduction in both hurt feelings by good faith folks who get tripped up, and removing a lot of grist for the drama queens. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 18:38, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Option 5g. This has been the standard interpretation for many years until recently when folks started including user warnings to be covered under Stuff You Must Not Blank While Blocked. The policy was even changed to that effect for a while without any real consensus on the matter. I'll go further and say it's even OK to blank declined unblock requests if the blocked user has no intention of contesting the block again. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:58, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't know what would be best. Of course routine notices and warnings and comments should be blank-able. I don't think that it's a good idea to remove active block notices, even if the block is not being appealed, but I'm willing to be flexible. But I wonder sometimes whether normal users have an actual need to know about some other issues. I believe I've seen people who have been required to keep COI notices up (maybe as a condition of unblocking? per ArbCom, maybe? I can't find an example right now). Mightn't it be useful sometimes to have a public note about a topic ban? If it's not there, and I see someone being mildly disruptive, then how am I supposed to know that the person has a topic ban? It's not like everyone does a total review of a user's history, or even looks at the block log, over what would normally be a minor issue. At the same time, I wouldn't usually want to interfere with normal archiving, and a topic ban like the many TBANs issued at WP:ARBSCI might last for years and years, and we neither want to permanently penalize editors nor increase the number of ban appeals whose primary goal is to get that badge of shame off the user page. In short, I'm not sure that there is any simple, one-size-fits-all answer to this question. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:15, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
(Idea A) Using invisible text, hidden except when in edit mode, a record of "badges of shame" could reside at the top of a usertalk page until, after passage of time (duration to be determined) they still remain but auto-convert into badges of honor representing full redemption; (Idea B) even better, IMO, is a new feature similar to block log, at which badges of shame endure until after a defined period of ____ months of no further wrongs, after which they still remain but are auto-redefined as badges of redemption. Sort of an archive, if you will, of only this type of material. Easy to research, and no reason to be ashamed of a prior foul that due to long period of good behavior is now a badge of full redemption. Why keep it if there was "full" redemption? Eds of prior shame can point to full redemption in their self defense, and if there is a relapse, admins may wish to shorten the warning phase or more rapidly apply increasing levels of sanction. So maybe its not really super-full redemption. But damn close if they work as hard at staying out of trouble as any regular ed who doesn't get in trouble in the first place. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 20:28, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I quite simply oppose any blocks for removing any content from a user's 'own' talk page. I also oppose any edit warring over such content. No template, no content, is so important that it's worth alienating an editor. -- zzuuzz (talk) 20:42, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I go for option 5: commentary from the blocking admin that explains why he blocked should not be able to be removed while a block is in effect.—Kww(talk) 20:48, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Option 5g or Option 1 - (Let's not forget about the very important WP:OWNTALK. I don't see it mentioned anywhere above.) Generally speaking, I oppose blocking editors for removing content from their own talk pages. Quite simply, it's a totally senseless battle. But I'll be more specific and flexible with regard to this issue. Since the purpose of this RfC is intended to be solely about interpreting the meaning of the WP:BLANKING phrase, "any other notice regarding an active sanction", I'll address that first. The word "notice" "comment". Clearly, if the intent of the policy was to say that nothing related to a current block could be removed, then it obviously would just say that directly so that there is absolutely no ambiguity. But it does not say that for a reason. It is purposely specific by using the word "notice" because it is not referring to general comments. The issue comes down to this: An editor must never be forced to wear any unnecessary badges of shame. While I am not opposed to requiring that block templates for currently-active blocks and decline unblock requests for currently-active blocks remain displayed until the block has expired, anything beyond that absolutely is unnecessary and should therefore be allowed to be removed. As has been said by other editors it is, respectfully, total nonsense to say that anything related to a current block must stay on the page simply for the benefit of admins involved in the block. Please, give me a break. The desire to make things more convenient for an admin absolutely does not outweigh what should be a user's right to never be unduly humiliated. Not even close. If an admin wants more info about a current block, then they should simply check the talk page history or confer with the blocking admin. And admins should be leaving clear edit summaries to make finding particular edits easier. But it is not an editor's obligation or responsibility to make an admin's job easier. I assume that most editors agree and understand that when an editor removes any content from their talk page it is an implicit acknowledgement that they have received and read the content. Trying to force editors to keep anything related to a current block on their talk pages is cruel and unnecessary, and simply a way of trying to embarrass the editor, whether intended or not. For the record, I would prefer that even current block templates and current denied unblock requests be allowed to be removed, since of course an editor's current status can always be checked by looking at their block log. However, I am certainly flexible enough on this issue to understand that limiting the display requirement to current block templates and current denied unblock requests only would be acceptable, even though I feel they are not needed. I hope my comments clearly explain why I !voted for Option 5 and Option 1. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 23:05, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment One point for clarification. There has been a good amount of discussion here about WP:DRRC, which has been referred to as if it's a policy. But we need to make clear that WP:DRRC is not a policy, nor even a guideline. It is merely an essay. While I believe it's a very important essay and fully agree with the spirit of what it says, it absolutely does not override WP:BLANKING, which is of course a policy. It is a nice supplement to it, though. I will also point out that although WP:DRRC says that edtiors cannot remove shared IP header templates from their talk pages, WP:BLANKING does not say that; it is not one of the listed exclusions. Therefore, WP:BLANKING outweighs WP:DRRC on that issue. If editors should not be allowed to remove shared IP header templates, then it must be included in WP:BLANKING. And consensus would be needed to do that. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 23:28, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
This is a good point, but it's confusing for casual editors to have two official-looking Wikipedia documents saying different things, but having to differentiate between them because one is considered a "policy" while one is considered an "essay." I say standardize restrictions across both documents, or get rid of the document that is overridden by another addressing almost the same thing. Also, good observation about IP notices. 68.50.128.91 (talk) 07:00, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
To clarify this point: WP:BLANKING is only a "project content guideline". It has never been a policy. -- zzuuzz (talk) 07:44, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
I consider WP:BLANKING to be policy. I know it's in the middle of WP:UP, which is a content guideline, but the language used in the BLANKING section is policy-like, e.g., "Policy does not prohibit users" and the imperative nature of the language, e.g., "A number of important matters may not be removed by the user". I also believe I was involved in a discussion on this issue, and most agreed that it was policy rather than guideline, although that doesn't make it so.--Bbb23 (talk) 20:52, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the great catch, Zzuuzz. Apparently, my sleepy eyes were playing tricks on me. In any case, a policy or guideline outweighs an essay. IP 68 made a very good point; that WP:BLANKING, WP:OWNTALK, and WP:DRRC should align with each other so that there's no confusion. For example, DRRC must not say that an editor is not allowed to remove shared IP templates if BLANKING does not say that. The essay cannot contradict any policies or guidelines about particular removal issues. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 10:05, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
That kind of illustrates of my point, zzuuzz. What does "project content guideline" mean? And if I'm just your casual, everyday editor, how am I supposed to know where that definition fits in the hierarchy of policy? It further makes the case for making all these things at least have the same rules, if more than one is to exist at all. 68.50.128.91 (talk) 12:42, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • 5g. As others have noted, the policy may need to be tweaked a bit to show that dynamic IP templates should not be removed. VQuakr (talk) 06:54, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • The (last) blocking admin should have a right to specify which parts of the talk page are any other notice regarding an active sanction. Also, all blocked users’ rights movement in Wikipedia shall be uprooted and burned to the ground, and its activists shall be sentenced to various terms of forced labour in the main space. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 14:28, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Option 5 (first choice). Something like "Users may not remove anything from their talk page while currently blocked." Because that option probably doesn't stand a chance at being adopted, Option 4 (second choice), Option 3 (third choice). Call me a pessimist, but I don't think we'll ever reach a consensus on this RFC. Not only have there been many discussions about this issue before, but, even now, everyone interpets the language differently and enforces it differently. When a user is blocked, the focus should be on allowing the user, admins, and to some extent non-admins, the ability to discuss the block and whether it was well-founded and whether it should be lifted. Anything that facilitates that discussion is a good thing. Anything that does not is a bad thing. Usually, users remove stuff while blocked because they're angry. Sometimes, it's just anger. Other times it's part of the disruption that led them to being blocked in the first instance. Either way, it can wait until after the block expires. Blocking and reviewing blocks are often hard. We shouldn't be making it harder or more contentious than it already is.--Bbb23 (talk) 17:14, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
Obviously, your extremely hardline approach ("Users may not remove anything from their talk page while currently blocked"), and even options 3 and 4, will obviously make things much more contentious, not less. This isn't about making the job of an admin easier. If you want to check something, it's all there for you in the talk page history. And there are other ways where it can be easily programmed to have information admins may want to see located somewhere else, without having it plastered on the user's talk page to humiliate them. For blocks, the most and admin would need to see are the current block template and current denied unblock requests. And of course you can always take two seconds to look at the block log to know if an editor's currently banished. Everything else would simply be for your convenience. And a user's right to not be shamed is far more important than an admin's alleged need to see some random items. So I believe you're absolutely right; your preferred choice to not allow anything to be removed stands no chance in hell. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 19:53, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Question: If material is removed from a Talk page but placed in an (easily accessible) archive or sub-page, does it fall under “blanking”? If not, the user’s option to do so would undermine the ”shaming” argument, as the material would remain available but off the most public page. (I’m not including the necessarily-public notices, with whose rationales I’m largely in agreement, just the attendant discussions, more or less directly relevant to the template content.) I agree with those who’ve pointed out that having recourse only to a page history where there’s been a lot of blanking can be tedious and frustrating, which inclines me to Options 2 or 3. Suggestion: if archiving is an acceptable means of preserving a block- or puppeteering-related discussion intact, when a user removes such content, rather than reverting to restore it, that an appropriately named archive be created for it. That would feel less to the user like having his face rubbed in it, reducing the likelihood of further drama, leading to revocation of talk-page access, creation of sock-puppets, &c. (Again excluding the public notices.)—Odysseus1479 00:43, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
That's an intriguing suggestion, but it would be a policy change, and in this RfC you are not being asked what the policy should be, but rather what the policy is in the context of two groups of experienced users and administrators disagreeing on how to interpret existing policy. I would like to see your idea turned into a proposal for a policy change. I am not sure which way I would vote, but it certainly would be worth discussing. --Guy Macon (talk) 01:23, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough, but what about my question? Were a user to archive (in an obvious place), say, a message from the blocking admin setting forth conditions for unblocking, leaving only the block template on the Talk page, would this be considered “blanking” for the purposes of options 2 through 4 above?–Odysseus1479 04:01, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
I have been thinking over what you wrote above, and not only would I say that archiving is not blanking, but in the case you mention, I really don't see any harm in allowing anything related to a block to be archived. Who is the target audience here who are somehow bright enough to understand a block notice but also too dim to check a users archive pages while looking for one?
Miscellany for deletion tags (while the discussion is still in progress) should not be archived or deleted. It would be a rare case when a user talk page is up for deletion, but if it is, that notice needs to be front and center, because a successful page deletion also deletes all of the archives.
Shared IP header templates for unregistered editors should also not be archived or deleted. Here the target audience is often a first-time reader, and we want them to be crystal clear about the fact that they just got a message from any of a number of people in a school instead of a message from an individual.
I could go either way on confirmed sockpuppetry notices.
A related question: what if the user just shuts off his computer and goes on a long vacation, and later an archive bot archives the message? --Guy Macon (talk) 10:11, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
  • In a perfect world, Option 3 would work, but as I've seen concepts of "reasonable" which vary widely, I forsee dramah and warring over that if implemented. I therefore support option 5g as the most sensible approach which can be written clearly enough to avoid the interpretation drama. KillerChihuahua 12:08, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Did you mean 5g? I can't find a 3g. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:21, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, yes I did. I have corrected that, thank you. Apologies for any confusion. KillerChihuahua 01:37, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

By my count the total so far is:

Option 1: 0 votes.
Option 2: 0 votes.
Option 3: 2 votes, 2 second place votes.
Option 4: 2 Votes, 2 second place votes.
Option 5a (Apteva) 1 vote.
Option 5f (Fut.Per.) 1 vote.
Option 5g (Guy Macon) 6 votes, 1 second place vote.
Option 5i (IP 68.50.128.91) 1 vote.
Option 5j (Jayron32) 1 vote.
Option 5n (North8000) 2 votes.
Option 5z (zzuuzz) 1 vote.

Does anyone want to change your vote or add a second choice? --Guy Macon (talk) 07:09, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Guy, good job of trying to summarize where this discussion stands. However, I believe the current results show something different. First, just to clarify, I !voted for 5g (see 23:05, 23 May 2013), not 5ib. I don't even see a 5ib option. Also, I don't feel that second choices should even be considered; it obviously gives undue weight over the many who !voted for one choice only. We have numerous people !voting for all different types of variants of option 5, even though they're closely aligned. But let's be clear, the option getting the most support is those saying that editors can remove everything from their talk pages (NE Ent, Blueboard, North8000, RightCowLeftCoast, zzuuzz, Apteva, Fut. Perf.), yet it's not even one of the official options listed! The only exception Fut. Perf. had to allow removing everything was saying that declined unblock requests should not be removed. Second place is option 5g (Guy Macon, 68.50.128.91, NewsAndEventsGuy, Amatulić, VQuakr, 76.189.109.155). (I'm not sure where Guy saw that IP 68 !voted for the non-existent 5ib; IP 68 chose 5g at 10:50 23 May 2013.) Bbb23 is the only one who thinks nothing should be allowed to be removed. Then there are some stray !votes for options 3 (Richwales, Toddst1) and 4 (Dennis Brown, Evanh2008). Jayron32 !voted for removing both nothing and everything haha. He said, "Blocked users probably shouldn't remove most of this stuff, but experienced users who edit war over this trying to force them NOT to remove it are creating unnecessary drama and wasting everyone's time." Here's the bottom line... Most editors clearly feel that editors should be allowed to remove more content from their own talk pages, not less. The heavy leaning here is for these two: removing everyhing and 5g. Thirteen editors supported one or the other. Those supporting option 5g are saying that removing everything is going overboard and there should be some (four) items that cannot be removed: 1. Declined unblock requests while the block is still in effect, 2. Confirmed sockpuppetry notices, 3. Miscellany for deletion tags (while the discussion is still in progress), and 4. Shared IP header templates for unregistered editors. So, the decision (at this point) is a compromise between removing everything and option 5g. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 11:23, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
  • That is an amazingly verbose and contorted way of viewing this, and doesn't accurately reflect the consensus here. Dennis Brown / / © / @ / Join WER 12:53, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry that one paragraph of text is too lengthy for you. Putting aside your dramatic description ("amazingly verbose and contorted"), you failed to explain what you believe does "reflect the consensus here". In any case, each edtior can of course decide for themselves how accurate my summary is. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 13:23, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I was unsure as to whether your additional comments were enough to classify it as "5g with modifications", and I wanted to avoid any bias toward my proposal. I have updated the votes so that your is counted as 5g. Unless someone else argues that they were not the same, I am assigning Blueboar RightCowLeftCoast and NE Ent to 5n.

zzuuzz did 'not vote the way you say he voted. The vote could be interpreted several ways. If she/he wants to be counted as supporting 5n he/she will have to say so. Apteva clearly does not agree with North8000. "require that all of them stay on the user talk page" cannot be reconciled with "free to remove anything". Likewise for Fut. Perf.: "the only situation were block-related messages and discussions need to remain on the page is..." cannot be reconciled with "free to remove anything". Finally, second place votes are fine. They can by used as a tie-breaker.

Here is my revised count. This is rather hard to count, so if anyone could clarify their vote by saying "I agree with X" or "I don't agree with any of the other votes", that would help us all to get a good count.

Option 1: 0 votes.
Option 2: 0 votes.
Option 3: 2 votes, 2 second place votes.
Option 4: 2 Votes, 2 second place votes.
Option 5a (Apteva) 1 vote.
Option 5f (Fut.Per.) 1 vote.
Option 5g (Guy Macon) 7 votes, 1 second place vote.
Option 5i (IP 68.50.128.91) 1 vote.
Option 5j (Jayron32) 1 vote.
Option 5n (North8000) 4 votes.
Option 5z (zzuuzz) 1 vote.

I am going to let someone else count this. I think I am too literal-minded to properly count which option 5s agree with other option 5s. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:15, 1 June 2013 (UTC)


--Guy Macon (talk) 17:04, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

The above is inaccurate. I don't see my vote for Option 5 reflected. I don't see kww's vote for Option 5 reflected. I didn't look through the whole mess to see if there are other inaccuracies.--Bbb23 (talk) 22:39, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
What do you mean zzuuzz didn't vote the way I said?? I said that zzzuuzz said that everything should be allowed to be removed. At 20:42 23 May 2013, he said, "quite simply oppose any blocks for removing any content from a user's 'own' talk page". And I voted for "Option 5g" (at 23:05, 23 May 2013), so obviously my choice is 5g. And I think you need to re-read the others, but I think you're overanalyzing people's comments. I'm not going to go through all of them again. And you're making up all these option codes on your list that do not even exist (5a, 5f, 5i, 5j, etc.) without giving any explanation about what they mean. This whole generic "5" option has essentially ruined this whole !vote because 10 people will interpret them 10 different ways. We should have decided on a select number of options first and then voted. And editors should only have been able to vote for one of the agreed upon options. But to have seven different versions of option 5 is ridiculous. And second choices should not and do not count because it's obviously unfair, so your tie-breaker theory doesn't work. Obviously, most people did not make a second choice because that was not part of the opening instructions or options. So to count the few editors who voted for more than one option as the tie-breaker would make no sense because you're giving all the weight to just a few people. Obviously, all the people who voted to allow removal of everything, or just a few select items, would vote for the next closest option as their second choice if they were told to pick another option. That goes for anyone... whatever was their first choice, the next closest option would be their second choice. That's just common sense. What do you think all the 5g people would vote for as their second choice? ;) Anyway, it's practically impossible to reach true consensus when there are like a dozen choices, which is essentially what's been done here with the many option 5 variations. There should have been just four or five agreed-upon choices. None of this make-up-your-own option. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 19:52, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
As I said before, your additional comments seemed to admit the possibility that you were voting for "5g with modifications", and I wanted to avoid any bias toward my proposal. Now that you have clarified your position, I have updated the votes so that your is counted as 5g. I don't know why we are still discussing this.
zzuuzz wrote "I quite simply oppose any blocks for removing any content from a user's 'own' talk page." That's not the same as saying that everything should be allowed to be removed. I, like many Wikipedia editors, oppose any blocks for simple incivility or for 2RR edit warring. That's not the same as saying that incivility or 2RR edit warring should be allowed. If I got zzuuzz's vote wrong, zzuuzz will have to tell me that, not you.
--Guy Macon (talk) 05:48, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
I believe this entire vote may perhaps be so flawed that it no longer has any credibility. And keep in mind that I support the option that is currently receiving the most support. It appears likely that nothing will come of this discussion/vote, so the best thing may be to simply close it. Going forward, if any admins choose to abuse or violate the spirit of the talk page-blanking guidelines, they can be dealt with on an individual basis. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 13:53, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
This all started when various editors decided that the essay at Wikipedia:Don't restore removed comments does not interpret our policy at Wikipedia:User pages properly. I maintained that it does, and suggested an RfC as a method to see if I am right about that. I believe that this RfC has shown that there is a consensus that Wikipedia:Don't restore removed comments does indeed interpret our policy at Wikipedia:User pages properly. That page says:
"There are only four types of messages that a user should not remove: declined unblock requests while the block is still in effect, confirmed sockpuppetry notices, miscellany for deletion tags (while the discussion is still in progress) and shared IP header templates for unregistered editors. These templates are intended not only to communicate with the user in question but also to communicate with others."
That seem to be quite specific and clear, and it is evident that a large number of administrators and editors agree with the above interpretation. This can be easily confirmed by looking at the "what links here" for the essay and seeing how many times users have been told to read it and follow the advice contained in it.
I can see nothing in any policy that justifies expanding this, as has been claimed by some editors, into a policy that a user cannot remove "warnings he received before getting blocked", "anything relating to the block while they are blocked", or "discussion relevant to the block". Furthermore, most of the RfC responses that don't agree with me want fewer restrictions on blanking, not more.
In my opinion, "these templates are intended not only to communicate with the user in question but also to communicate with others" is the key to applying this policy correctly. the reason why you cannot remove a confirmed sockpuppetry notice is because you are not being notified, but rather other editors who come to your talk page are being notified. Likewise for shared IP header templates; they are not just for notifying you as an IP editor, but also the other IP editors who share the IP address.
On the other hand, other user warnings and talk page discussions are addressed to the talk page user. Claiming that the next admin might want to see the warning or discussion and can't be bothered to look at the history is an invalid argument; it can be applied to pretty much anything posted on a user talk page.
Clearly, the idea of requiring more things to be unremovable than specified at Wikipedia:Don't restore removed comments has very little support. Having fewer or even no items be unremovable does have a fair amount of support, and I encourage the proponents of that idea to create an RfC to properly gauge support for changing the policy. Might I suggest North8000 as the logical person to write up the RfC? Of course I would like my position -- that Wikipedia:Don't restore removed comments as written gets it right -- to be one of the options, but judging from the above, it might very well lose to "no restrictions on blanking". That would be fine with me, if that's the way the consensus goes. --Guy Macon (talk) 15:40, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
Guy, you are preaching to the choir. Haha. I agree with almost everything you just said. (But you better be careful because Dennis Brown may accuse you of being "amazingly verbose", as he did with me yesterday. And you wrote much more than me. Haha.) The problem is the admins who, purposely or not, create their own, unreasonable interpretations of the talk page-clearing guidelines and therefore abuse their authority with editors who've done nothing wrong. That often times results in other admins simply backing them up, or turning their heads, when the affected editors rightly complain that their rights are being violated. There are many great admins who have the integrity to stand up to their misguided colleagues and clarify the rules, but unfortunately there are many who don't. I've read several prior discussions on this topic where admins have been reamed by the vast majority of commenters, including admins, for their blatant misapplication of WP:BLANKING, WP:OWNTALK, and WP:DRRC. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 17:38, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
Guy Macon, did you accidentally or on purpose dropped the sentence and any other notice regarding an active sanction, which is found at Wikipedia:User pages? I think all disagreements are due to interpretation of what this other notice mean. If this sentence were not in the guideline, this is a no issue.--Ymblanter (talk) 18:49, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
Ymblanter, I'm sure Guy will respond but I know that he was quoting WP:DRRC. The phrase to which you referred is from WP:BLANKING. The word "notice" is a huge part of the problem that prompted this discussion. Some admins mistakenly or purposely contend that "notice" means everything even remotely connected to a block, when the guidelines clearly do not say or intend that. I think Guy's overall explanation was excellent. His one comment summed it up beautifully: "most of the RfC responses that don't agree with me want fewer restrictions on blanking, not more". ("Me" refers to Guy's 5g option.) That's precisely what I had also stated; that editors want fewer restrictions (than are currently in place), not more. If there is one thing that has clear consensus here, that point is it. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 21:01, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
I personally do not care, but I do not see how this discussion can be closed differently to no consensus. And please do not alter my indenting calling it "incorrect". It was correct.--Ymblanter (talk) 21:43, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
I purposely did not quote WP:BLANKING. Yes, it is a policy, and instead I quoted WP:DRRC, which is an essay, but you have to look at the context. The very phrase that Ymblanter quoted from the policy is the phrase that we know is interpreted differently by different editors. When that happens, there is always someone who wants to quote the phrase in question as if that settles the issue, but of course the other side can do the same. My opinion is that the essay WP:DRRC properly interprets the policy WP:BLANKING, so of course I quoted the essay WP:DRRC.
Our discussion here has drifted from the topic of how to interpret WP:BLANKING and into the topic of whether we should change WP:BLANKING to reduce or eliminate the list of things that you cannot blank. Several editors think there should be fewer restrictions, but none of them has said that the current wording of interpret WP:BLANKING supports that. So basically we have a strong consensus that I was correct -- that the essay WP:DRRC properly interprets the policy WP:BLANKING, almost no support for the view that "and any other notice" in WP:BLANKING means anything other than what WP:DRRC says it means, and a number of editors who think that the policy should be changed to have fewer restrictions than those found in WP:BLANKING and WP:DRRC. I can't say whether this opinion does or does not have consensus, because this RfC asked a different question.
You do touch on another issue that we are not going to solve here. The following are observable phenomena that you simply have to work around:
Administrators and editors with a lot of edits are given more slack when they do not follow policy. They should be held to a higher standard, but they are not.
In the vast majority of cases where an editor accuses an administrator of not following policy, the editor is dead wrong. This happens so often that a boy who cried wolf situation applies.
IP editors are often given less slack than regular editors.
In other words, Wikipedia is not perfect.
Because of the above phenomena, your complaint above (starting with "The problem is the admins who..."} is going nowhere. Even if you were to prevail, there are other good reasons for blocking the user who's actions started this. On the other hand, the administrator(s) in question are unlikely to do it again. My advice is for you to walk away and let others deal with this. You have to pick your battles. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:22, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
Ymblanter, you should not get so offended by someone adding one colon to your post. It's nothing personal and, more importantly, proper indentation is a behavioral guideline to make threads easier for editors to follow. WP:THREAD and WP:INDENT explain that you should use one more leading colon than the comment to which you're replying. You used the same number, so it looked like your comment was part of the prior editor's comment. Guy, I agreed with almost everything you said until you started making your absurd comments that implied that IP editors should be treated differently than registered editors in this regard. What I wrote is not a "complaint", but a factual observation. And it's why we're here; because some admins are interpreting and implementing the talk page clearing guidelines much differently than they're intended. And let's be clear, my comments in this discussion are not at all about any particular editor that was ever blocked. This is a topic that affects every editor. And who the hell are you to tell me or any other IP to "walk away and let others deal with this"? You're starting to give the impression that you want to control this discussion, so please step down from your pedestal and stop making implications that treating IP editors like second-class citizens is ever acceptable. You were doing so well until you started going down that path. I suggest you read WP:HUMAN. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 23:38, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
Please don't put words in my mouth. I never implied anything about what should be. I only describe what is without saying whether or not it is acceptable. (I will do so now; treating IP editors as second class citizens is never acceptable, and I don't do it. Nonetheless, it happens whether I approve or not.) Learn the difference between describing and approving. Also, if your sensibilities are so delicate that you cannot withstand someone saying "My advice is..." without insulting them and accusing them of trying to control you, I refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram. --Guy Macon (talk) 07:18, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
Based on your response, it appears that the only one with delicate sensibilities here is you. Haha. No one has to put words in your mouth; they are on the page in black and white for everyone to read. Your rambling and condescending attempt now at trying to spin them is certainly not going to fool anyone. Although it seems unlikely, perhaps you will step down from your throne and stop trying to control this discussion. Anyone can read this thread in its entirety to see that that's exactly what you've been doing. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 14:03, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Support minimalist interpretation. I have no clue which option is which - I'd think option 1 is the one that says to more or less ignore the expansive "anything else", but most seem to be voting it as 5. I understand that this isn't the place for me to vote strongly against the policy of having Scarlet Letters on user pages --- however, the level of community opposition to the whole idea needs to be taken into account when interpreting the policy. If you can't define clearly whether blanking something is prohibited or not under the policy, then you shouldn't act against a user for blanking it - this is basic "innocent until proven guilty"; if you don't know what guilty is, just give it up for lost. Wnt (talk) 15:15, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

File metadata and assumption of copyright violation

I've seen several times that files come up for deletion at WP:PUF or WP:FFD this year where the entire deletion rationale is that the file has no metadata, and therefore is suspicious and should be deleted on grounds of probable copyright violation. I find this rationale highly suspect, since there are many people recommending that all files be stripped of metadata before being disseminated to a general audience.

As well, many basic image manipulation programs do not attach metadata to resized/cropped/rotated images that they create, so even if you took the image (photo/scan) with a device that attached metadata (and not all of them do) it doesn't end someone that way for the version uploaded. And I'm pretty sure most people cannot add metadata back into their files after, or even know that metadata exists.

Should this sort of rationale be allowed as the sole basis for a deletion recommendation ? Are we restricted to uploading only the version of a photo that was created originally, regardless of need to crop the image to the subject that one wants to illustrate ?

-- 65.94.76.126 (talk) 22:02, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

I would agree that lack of metadata should not be used as the only rationale. Its hardly a rationale at all, for some of the reasons you have suggested. It could probably be used to back a case which has other more powerful evidence, but not on its own. -- Nbound (talk) 01:48, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

I once had a hard drive crash that was unfortunately a month since my last backup. I was able to recover some lost photos because I had uploaded them to Facebook, and guess what? No metadata. Plenty of innocent explanations as to why a file may lack it. postdlf (talk) 02:21, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

We have zero requirement for metadata, and it really can only be used to strengthen the assurance the photo was taken by the uploader but it is by no means the only way. If there have been XFDs that have closed as delete because of the sole argument "it lacks metadata", we need to reverse those or at least taken that to DRV and revert them. --MASEM (t) 03:48, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
I have often edited image metadata to include the description or geodata. Since it is editable, it really has no use in determining the validity of an image. --  Gadget850 talk 19:54, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Strong support (for the OP's position of accepting photos without metadata). I've made similar comments on Commons in the past. In fact, it has long been my policy to strip photos of metadata before uploading because it adds unjustifiably to their size and is a poorly readable format, and because I find the practice of using it as a means to secretly have ID numbers into images and track who made them to be ideologically offensive. Wnt (talk) 15:19, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Can Bots Give Thanks?

I've just sent my bot to set the precedent for bots thanking users.

Should bots ever be allowed to thank an editor? Does it depend on the circumstances? What do you think? 930913(Congratulate) 02:28, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

It's far more valuable to receive a "thank you" notice from a human being than from a bot. Just like emails (or even snail mail) - I'll appreciate the personal "thank you" from someone whom I can tell handcrafted the correspondence as opposed to a "thank you" notice that was whipped, canned, and designed for a mass-mailing. --MuZemike 04:16, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Please, no automated thanking. We are already deluged by information of negligible importance. A real thank-you note is specific to a unique act of generosity and tells something of what it meant to its author. Automated thank-you notes are essentially junk mail. —Ben Kovitz (talk) 06:06, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Bots should only thank their maker, to thank others would be blasphemy. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 10:20, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't want to rule it out 100%, but I'd say that we shouldn't normally permit it and that bot-given thanks should only be done after a good explanation of why a certain situation is exceptional. I'd agree with the others that this specific situation isn't a good one for bot-given thanks. Nyttend (talk) 18:06, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't mind a thank you from a live user when I've done something really nice, but I don't want to be deluged with thanks for every typo I've corrected. Mind you, I'm finding it hard to envisage a situation where I would have done something nice for a bot. Peridon (talk) 18:19, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Ben and MuZemike on this. The thanks feature is for human beings to show gratitude to each other. Gratitude from a bot doesn't mean much, and might actually be a negative for newbies (without a controlled test to show one way or other, we don't know). The feature is really new, so we can always give it a shot later after the dust has settled on it, and we get a sense of the what the normal volume of usage is like. Steven Walling • talk 20:49, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Agree with Ben, MuZemike, Swalling. A thank you from a bot seems disingenuous.--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 20:51, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't really like this idea either. Also, having to opt out of receiving these messages would be like, to use the mail example given above, setting spam filters.  Hazard-SJ  ✈  23:12, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Not a good idea. Bots are useful, and it is plausible that the thank proposal might also be useful, but an automated evaluation of edits is both impossible and undesirable. Johnuniq (talk) 22:48, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Not a fan of this either. --Rschen7754 05:04, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Userboxes/Media/Books/Series has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Userboxes/Media/Books/Series (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Fixed - the page was curiously transcluding WP:UBX and thus inheriting the category. — Scott talk 14:33, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

What's wrong?

I issued an RfC for THIS matter per the instructions in the WP:RfC page. However, a BOT keeps killing the RfC template (see, for example HERE) as "expired". I reinserted the template and the BOT went ahead and took it out again! Why is that happening and where can I find the RfC listed so that I can confirmed other editors can see it to contribute if they so chose? Am I doing something wrong? Con someone here advise/help? Thanks, Mercy11 (talk) 16:08, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Ive gone ahead and added it to the section with the RfC, that should fix it. Werieth (talk) 16:11, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Wonderful and thank you - I recognize now what I was doing wrong!
Also, how come when I look HERE I don't see it listed? Where are editors seeing this RfC listed (unless they happen to be watching that particular policy's Talk Page)?
Thanks! Mercy11 (talk) 17:38, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
It is at the very top of the page. Werieth (talk) 17:40, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

RFC on reform of the WP:REFDESK

See Wikipedia:Reference desk/Refdesk reform RFC. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:44, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Time to get rid of WP is not a dictionary?

I was just over at today's AfD list. There were a bunch of articles on cliche expressions ("whipping a dead horse" "it takes two to tango" etc.) nominated based on Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary. As seems to almost always be the case the great majority of AfD voters totally dismiss the not a dictionary policy. Not because they don't like it, or because they happen to like the particular article. It's really more like they have no mental grasp on the whole concept expressed by the policy. (Which is mainly that encyclopedia articles should be about things not words.) A lot of time and mental energy is wasted by both sides and the outcome is almost always the articles are kept and the policy ignored. If a policy is not enforced, and probably not understood by the majority of people it is supposed to guide, what is the point of having a policy? Borock (talk) 16:54, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Because it should be enforced? And because Wikipedia isn't a dictionary. And because arguments based on the premise that Wikipedia contributors are stupid are unlikely to win much support... AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:08, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
I did not say "stupid." Maybe they are just different. Then again since I seem to read a different meaning from the same words maybe I am the one who is different. Borock (talk) 22:10, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
I have to totally agree with Andy. Saying that the "great majority of AfD voters...have "no mental grasp" of the policy is definitely equivalent to calling them stupid. It's a really bad way to preface a discussion. I know you mean well, but it is actually you who is misunderstanding the policy. See my comments below. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 05:44, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
I am actually a bit shocked. I would of thought in this community the idea that human minds differ does not mean that someone is "stupid." I, for instance, have no musical ability (I can't even hum a tune so someone would recognize it) yet I don't consider myself stupid. Borock (talk) 14:45, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment Some words and expressions can support a full article. Some can't. Those that can only support a one liner (or even worse, a three worder....) should be at Wiktionary (if they aren't already). In other words, if all there can really be is a dictionary definition, it should go. There are some people (I think of them as 'expansionists') who are against almost every deletion. (There don't seen to be any who are against any new additions at all being made, however...) IMO, if the 'article' is no more than the existing entry at Wiktionary and adds nothing, it should go. If it's Wiktionary length and not really encyclopaedic and not at Wiktionary, it should go there. If it's a made up one day student neologism probably only known to three people, it should be stamped on very rapidly. Peridon (talk) 18:13, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Some words are things, it's as simple as that. So AFD commentators will always be asking whether the article in question is about a word or a thing. NOTDIC still frames that debate. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 18:16, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
  • WP:NOTDICT says we shouldn't be a dictionary, but it doesn't say we shouldn't define words. More importanty, the first sentence of nearly any mainspace page should be a definition of what the article is, though arguably this isn't going to necessarily be like a dictionary definition. NOTDICT properly states that we shouldn't host articles that amount to simple dictionary entries, but not that we may, at times, have elements like a dictionary, and this is where nearly all confusion comes from at AFD issues - editors see something that looks like a dictionary entry and cry fowl. As far as changing NOTDICT, I think the wording is fine and it all resolves out at AFD; there doesn't seem to be a significant number of cases where an AFD closed inappropriately against NOTDICT. --MASEM (t) 02:46, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm very familiar with this issue. A few brief points:
  1. There's a historic problem with misinterpretation of NOTDIC. Much of the current policy page contains sentences that were written by an editor who had a extreme stance on this issue (who has since been banned for sockpuppeting).
  2. NOTDIC was invented before Wiktionary existed. It was created and is kept, to prevent newcomers from writing a tiny definition-stub for every redlinked "word" (as opposed to "topic") that they came across. (It was adapted, after Wiktionary was created, to clarify which types of information-content belong in each project. This is what it should be doing, but frequently isn't accomplishing.)
  3. There are notes on prior discussions, relevant guidelines (here and at Wiktionary), examples of existing damage, examples of good articles "on words", and suggested courses of action, in this draft RfC from 2010. There is also a table of evidence on the talkpage proving that certain types of "articles about words" do belong in an encyclopedia.
  4. The informal / pragmatic summary could be stated as: "Are there enough Reliable Sources to (eventually) make a Featured quality article, about the word itself? If not, merge the existing content to a parent-topic Wikipedia article (if appropriate). Copying some content across to Wiktionary is also encouraged, but they don't want everything. (See draft RfC for links)"
    Most words/phrases are not notable enough to warrant an encyclopedic article, but some are. Eg. Macedonia (terminology) is FA.
    (Note: Tropical Depression Ten (2005) and Miss Meyers are the shortest FAs I'm aware of. FAs do not require length.)
Hope that helps. –Quiddity (talk) 19:54, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I guess what I'd really like to see is the policy article rewritten to explain what the real policy, as accepted by most Wikipedians, is. Borock (talk) 02:27, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
That would be good and is overdue. It will take work though. Volunteers appreciated! (Check the old versions, particularly pre-2008, for shorter/clearer wording). I'll try to help, but already have a lot of plates spinning... –Quiddity (talk) 06:15, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
  • No, we should not get rid of it. WP:NOTDIC does not mean that Wikipedia should not contain entries about words and phrases, it means that Wikipedia articles should not be merely definitions of terms. Insofar as quality encyclopedia style articles can be written about a word or phrase, there's no need to delete them, but that doesn't mean that WP:NOTDIC doesn't contain good guidance on the difference between what a good encyclopedia-style article and a mere definition is. --Jayron32 20:03, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
  • @Borock: Can you provide some examples of AfDs where Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary is not being properly cited? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 03:16, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
    Historical examples are easy, from this facepalm to, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (ugh, 7), 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, etc
    Examples where it was used correctly: 1, 2, 3, 4, etc
    Today's batch of AfDs, which seem to have triggered this thread, has some clear mis-uses of citing NOTDIC: 1, 2, 3.
    This policy should only get complicated to implement, when the article is immensely short, eg this. I'd be hesitant to keep that, though I can see how it has potential for expansion. (previous versions of the article had different content, much of which could potentially be re-inserted.)
    So it goes. –Quiddity (talk) 06:15, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

I have never understood the angst that sets in when an article is nominated for deletion at AfD. Being nominated for deletion does not mean the article will actually be deleted. If anything AfD errs on the side of keep. Trust the community, it usually shows good judgement... and a proper balance between inclusion and exclusion. If NOTDIC (or some other policy/guideline) is being mis-cited in the nomination, other editors will point it out in the discussion. Blueboar (talk) 13:43, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, its one thing to be mis-used as an AFD argument but as long as the closing admin takes in all opinions and appropriate manages the misuse, it's not a problem. It would be a problem if there were AFDs being closed as delete based on misapplication of NOTDICT but that doesn't seem to be the case. --MASEM (t) 13:46, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
  • To quote from one of the AfD discussions: "Far more than a dictionary definition, this is a term that is an integral part of the culture..." Suppose I started an article on the word "the." Isn't it an integral part of our culture? Borock (talk) 15:21, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
    There is already one. --Jayron32 17:51, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
    And a related AfD, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/The, from 2007 ;) (Yes, it really does get misapplied, quite frequently by nominators, spreading the mis-interpretation further). –Quiddity (talk) 22:10, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
Policies and guidelines should always be changed to reflect our current way of deciding consensuses. If NOTDIC is not being "listened" to as it currently is written, then be BOLD and rewrite it. Policies are not laws and not proscriptive of what we must do, they are descriptive of what we have done. Make NOTDIC describe how it truly is applied correctly at AfD. Perhaps that will correct some problems with editors not understanding what exactly Wikipedia is vis a vis a dictionary.Camelbinky (talk) 15:33, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
You should not be bold with rewriting policies; it should be discussed in some form; such as here; prior to being changed. Being bold doesn't apply to everything; while it is in need of clarification, consensus is important prior to changing the wording. You could even have an encyclopedia article on 'the', but English articles is lacking and even blogs can help point the way for someone really wanting to run with the idea. [19] NOTDIC should be focused on whether or not a detailed encyclopedic origin on the word is present. I'd suggest etymology or functional aspect and history be included at a minimum. Take a word like murder or Blue which include origins in their articles. Language experts care about these things and scholarly works on language are abundant; but we should not go about making 3 lines articles on the just definitions and usage of the word. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 15:57, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
Being bold does apply to rewriting policies. If you are responsible and have seen consensuses using a policy or guideline in a manner inconsistent with current wording of the policy/guideline then it is ANY and all Wikipedian's duty to correct the said policy. We don't have laws, constitutions, or wording set in stone. Anyone can and should be allowed to change wording in GOOD FAITH. I am not condoning vandalism. If someone objects, they'll revert, a discussion will ensue. That's our way. It doesn't apply only to articles, that procedure is for everything. Please don't scare people from being bold in helping to make Wikipedia better. We don't take votes for a reason, we rely on the facts of arguments, you can be outnumbered in a !vote and still win by admin closure because the other !votes were for reasons of lesser quality arguments.Camelbinky (talk) 18:48, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:BOLD#Wikipedia_namespace.  Hazard-SJ  ✈  02:12, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
The point is that Wikipedia isn't a dictionary, so a rewrite would be better than getting rid of it.  Hazard-SJ  ✈  02:12, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
Borock, this issue is not cut and dry. Some words, phrases, and expressions are worthy of having their own articles and some are not. As the lead of WP:DICTIONARY points out, "In some cases, a word or phrase itself may be an encyclopedic subject. WP:WORDISSUBJECT and WP:NEO, sub-policies of WP:DICTIONARY, tell us how to make this determination. The premise with which you began this discussion was that "cliche expressions" violate the "Wikipedia is not a dictionary" policy and that AfD voters "have no mental grasp on the whole concept expressed by the policy". Well, that's true in some cases and not true in others. (However, I'd describe it as some users "misunderstanding" the policy, rather than the term you used which can easily be perceived as being derogatory.) Editors must evaluate each situation on its own merits to see if the expression passes or fails the "dictionary test". So, to answer your question: No, it is not time to get rid of WP is not a dictionary. Although parts of it could certainly be improved, I think it's a very good and important policy. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 05:29, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
No one should 'be bold' and edit it while it is under discussion here. Per Wikipedia:EP#Editing_policies_and_guidelines something like this should be discussed in advance; especially in the middle of a dispute. It needs to be clarified, but not deleted. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 05:49, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree that few editors grasp WP:DICTIONARY. Here's its nutshell: This is a reason to merge pages, not to delete them. If someone is basing an AfD on WP:DICTIONARY they are almost certainly wrong. If a concept is sufficiently common that there's a word for it, then we should have a blue link for it. It's just a matter of finding the right article heading. Warden (talk) 06:33, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
See my point #1 above. That nutshell was invented/written (nov 2009) by an editor who thought all articles-about-words should be deleted. It's confusingly phrased, because he was continually trying to rewrite NOTDIC to assist him in eradicating those articles. The nutshell, as well as the policy, needs a dire rewrite/overhaul/checking. –Quiddity (talk) 06:46, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I thought that the main creator of the current page was User:Uncle G. The guy you're talking about was User:Wolfkeeper, who just tinkered with the work of the master. Warden (talk) 07:39, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
  • There's good content in there, but Wolfkeeper did a lot of damage, both to the policy, and to numerous articles, during 2008–2010. See the policy's history tab from 2008–2010, and see the talkpage archives (#5–#11...) for painful circular arguments. –Quiddity (talk) 21:11, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Note that those nominated in a recent batch were not just simple short dictionary definitions, but entire articles. It's just Beating a dead horse to keep bringing this up when AFD consensus is overwhelmingly clear whenever these things appear there. Dream Focus 13:31, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. WP:NOT is a snarky document that confounds advice about style with policy, and it is very prone to misinterpretations. We should have advice about dictionary definitions, yes, even special policy to some degree - namely, to legitimize redirects to Wiktionary for items that aren't notable enough for an article here based on GNG. But the point is, we shouldn't do anything to specifically exclude content suitable for a dictionary (even proper interpretation of WP:NOT says as much) and our action to include it doesn't go beyond such redirects and otherwise it doesn't matter. Wnt (talk) 14:50, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
    • But that's not what NOTDICT says. It doesn't exclude us from including content appropriate for a dictionary that is also appropriate in the context of an encyclopedia. It simply says that articles shouldn't otherwise simply look like dictionary entries with no other content. (And by its nature, NOT has to be a mix of content and style policies, to manage other polices that otherwise would allow for broad inclusion of topics). --MASEM (t) 14:55, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
      • What an article looks like is appropriate for a style guideline, written to make it clear that it is giving advice about how the article should be written, and also written to be clear that it is not giving instructions about what to delete. In short, murder your darlings. Give up the "Wikipedia is not a <---->" format and write policies and guidelines that are designed to work, not to look pretty. Wnt (talk) 15:04, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
At this point, I think it is obvious that the confusion alone surrounding it provides ample reasoning that a rewrite is needed. Wnt is correct; the thing is a wordy mess which could probably be summarized with a single paragraph. With something along the lines of: "Because Wikipedia is an encyclopedia; an article about a word, term, phrase or idiom should go beyond the mere dictionary definition. Only one article for common variations and spellings; with redirects comprising other notable variations. Inclusion is based on content guidelines like WP:GNG and the ability of page to go beyond the definition and provide adequate information about the subject; which may include its origin; critical analysis; and usage." ChrisGualtieri (talk) 15:36, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Style guidelines are more than about looks but how the information is presented, and this does factor into NOT (eg the debate on television schedules - the lineup for a single station is usually rejected, but the comparative lineup of several stations is usually accepted). We need NOT because none of the other policies establish what the bounds are for "indiscriminate information". NOT whittles back what otherwise would be a flood of information which is not all encyclopedic. We have a dictionary project, there is zero need for us to be a dictionary, though I fully support including the approach aspects of dictionary sourcing when in context of encyclopedic content, and support redirects when appropriate. This situation here is simply the case of the grey line - where the definition and history of an idiom is presented which borders both types of works - is being tested by consensus. Nothing is broken with NOTDICT nor NOT. --MASEM (t) 16:52, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
But there is a problem with NOTDICT if creates such confusion in numerous editors; also even the has its own subjection; but as I've pointed out above; it could very well become its own article with enough work. Wiktionary is a dictionary; we get it, but etymology is a specific study that provides encyclopedic value to words that go beyond the dictionary definition. This understanding is being missed and needs to be addressed. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 22:11, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Based on reading on how this thread came to be it is not general confusion with editors in creating articles that are effectively simple dictionary entries and thus not appropriate, but with a few select editors that believe that anything that approaches a dictionary entry should be removed. Because the only way this issue is dealt with at AFD, aka determined by consensus, the prevaling opinion on what is and isn't a dictionary entry will prevail. In other words, NOTDICT is working, it is a few editors with chips on their shoulders that are taking a much stronger reading of it and trying to enforce that. (And this is not to say their behavior is necessarily wrong though based on an ANI discussion, there was a lot of apparently POINTY noms recently. Only that at some point if you keep trying to enforce something that consensus continues to overrule, you'll likely found yourself with a block). Certainly removing it won't work because we are removing/merging some articles as being too much like a dictionary, so the advice holds true. And we provide examples of where part of the article is like a dictionary but the rest discusses the word in an encyclopedic manner, so we have that advice there. There's little else we can do to improve on the wording without exceeding the descriptive nature of policy. --MASEM (t) 22:23, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── We can always change a policy though. Orange (word) and Thou are good examples of encyclopedic coverage; and many of the recent ones were major historical terms and very active in use. One's popularity stemmed from Reagan (Takes two to tango (idiom)) and the other is from the 1600's, but is a staple of the Queen's speech (Salad days). Though Delegitimisation is an example of a concept which was nomed per NOTDICT, does not and should not apply. The basis of NOTDICT should be whether the subject is notable on its own, as per GNG. People who call a spade a shovel are the types that this simple fact gets lost on. Is it esoteric? Maybe, but Wikipedia should at least clarify itself after cases like this. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 00:23, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

There may be value in adding more examples, and stressing that coverage of articles that tend to weigh more like a dictionary entry should be from third-party, secondary sources more than other primary reference works (eg while the OED is a great reference, that being the only reference sources is not a good sign, though using the OED with other sources is perfectly reasonable). But this is just clarity - notability is required already for all standalone articles, and adding more examples is just helpful. --MASEM (t) 16:51, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Proposal to close this discussion

I agree with Dream Focus. The reason this thread was started was to discuss whether WP:DICTONARY should be deleted. It appears that there's no chance that will happen. Therefore, I propose that we close this discussion. Please indicate whether you support or oppose closing it. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 14:23, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

I do not think that is necessary or wise. The decision has been made that it isn't going to be deleted, but you do not close this discussion to and open another discussion on procedural grounds. It is better to propose changes and discuss that at this venue rather than make a second discussion. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 14:45, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
This is not another discussion, but rather a very focused sub-section of the current discussion. More importantly, the sole purpose of the OP starting this discussion was to recommend deleting the policy and to see if other editors agreed. It was not created to propose changes to it. Clearly, the policy is not going to be deleted. Therefore, I feel that determining if editors support or oppose closing this thread is appropriate. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 17:41, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
And I am pointing out it does not need to be closed just because it has changed focus; Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy and does not need a procedure and policy for everything. Discussion continues above; clearly the discussion will move forward. This is not a voting matter anyways. Not sure why you are intent on ending this discussion; or moving or opening a new discussion to discuss changes. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 22:05, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Editors decide as a group whether a matter should move forward or not. Unlike you, I am presenting editors with a choice, not making a unlilateral ruling as you inappropriately seem to be attempting. Borock started this discussion simply to ask a question ("Time to get rid of WP is not a dictionary?"), and that question has been answered. And any matter can lead to a vote. You of course are not mandated to participate, but other edtiors will make that decision for themselves. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 23:22, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Please don't try to instigate conflicts. You are welcome to your opinion and I offered mine with the understanding of policy. We don't close an open discussion just because the original question has been asked, relevant points have been raised and are open to being discussed. To "close" this would only disrupt it, and this side discussion itself is a distraction and a disruption. I am not sure where you get this notion from; but please watch the hostile undertones. We are here to build an encyclopedia and we are not a bureaucracy. Even RFCs do not have to be formally closed, and this is not a RFC either. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 23:56, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
How ironic coming from the editor who actually did instigate this pointless debate simply because I asked editors if they think we should close this discussion. I'm not sure why you fear such a routine, relevant question and continue to fight so passionately to prevent others from speaking for themselves, but perhaps you should reflect on your own words before launching any more dramatic descriptions such as "hostile undertones." If you don't want to participate, then don't. But trying to stop others from having that opportunity if they so choose will not work. You've again stated your opinion, and now I'll defer to what other editors decide as a group. If they don't want this discussion closed, then it won't. Therefore, you have nothing to worry about. If they do, then it will. Very simple. --76.189.109.155 (talk) 00:30, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Use of Wikipedia in books

I have been looking for references for some wiki-articles in books found on Amazon.com and am surprised to find that some of the books copies whole Wikipedia articles. One such example is: This New Ocean about Project Mercury where the Wikipedia article (from 2012 somewhere) is copy pasted in between the table of content and the foreword.

Two things:

  • Copy pasting, even though it doesn't violate copyrights, is poor style and not recommended on Wikipedia itself.
  • It creates a reference problem since wikipedians run the risk of citing from Wikipedia itself if they are not careful.

What can be done about it? - Soerfm (talk) 13:25, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

Nothing. As long as they follow proper attribution requirements of the CC-BY-SA, they can legally do that. We as WP-ians just have to be aware of potential WP:CIRCULAR sourcing that can follow from that. --MASEM (t) 13:29, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
Add your findings to Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks. - Sitush (talk) 13:35, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
Hard copy republications are at Wikipedia:Republishers. Cheers! bd2412 T 13:56, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
It's worth clarifying that This New Ocean itself does not copy Wikipedia; it's the Kindle "reprint" of This New Ocean that does. Andrew Gray (talk) 14:06, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
That seems bizarre and I wonder what the authors would think of that. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:51, 2 June 2013 (UTC) Without attribution, the Kindle has essentially made it appear that the authors of that book are plagiarists by misattribution, or misrepresented those authors to have written things they did not write (which maybe worse). Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:33, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
This New Ocean is a NASA History Office publication - SP 4201 (1999) - hence why they've been able to do so without any legal concerns. Andrew Gray (talk) 19:23, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
Right but its still misrepresents both the authors and what was written -- as to liability, if there is some problem with what was done, they better hope those named authors are dead, for putting words in their mouth like that. Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:05, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I've seen a "coffee table book" in a chain bookstore which consisted of photos of birds together with reprints of the WP articles on them, including "see also" and things like that. Borock (talk) 14:50, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
  • As Masem says, it's quite legal so long as they attribute the source. If they do, it makes our life easier when a copyvio is suspected. (If they don't, it makes checking up a bit of a slog... Our free for all licensing is one of the reasons we cannot allow unlicensed or unfree text and images to be used here. We are CC-BY-SA. We can't even allow something in that's licensed CC-BY-NC-SA - no commercial use permitted. There's also a lot of websites mirroring Wikipedia content, presumably with adverts that I don't see because I block them. Advertising is the only reason I can see for them doing this, anyway. Peridon (talk) 17:09, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

For the OP, also please also put note on the wikipedia article talk page, See '

' Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:24, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

I can understand the concern of sites and books that copy whole our articles, but isn't uses like the bird coffee book, and even more so the Boy Scout Handbook using Commons images pretty much along the lines of what Wikipedia and especially Commons is meant for? The BSH using images from Commons is exactly what Commons was invented to do, have free-use images that everyone can use (not just for other Wikimedia projects). Instead of this being a perennial topic (8th time I can remember in that many years) how about we all just relax that XY has used "our" articles and instead be proud that we our articles are good enough to copy in the first place. It seems the heart of the issue is that because other websites use advertising and books make money from being sold- we are JEALOUS of the money others make. Well, it sucks, but it's life. If editors want to be compensated- all that energy you put into research and editing of topics you love, how about you instead use it to write your own book, make some money, and who knows, someone might use your book as a reliable source if you do a great job doing original research that would otherwise not be allowed here!Camelbinky (talk) 20:11, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
I'd like to see how the BSH properly cited a 'Commons image' as there are no such things. John lilburne (talk) 21:47, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
The heart of the issue is that our policies have to protect against sourcing to ourselves. So, if sources do not attribute, or editors rely on sources that come from Wikipedia, we have to protect against that. We also need to protect against losing content through claims of copying sources that copied us. Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:26, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
If reliable, authoritative sources cite Wikipedia, then that's their problem. They might stop being reliable, but even that is not certain - Wikipedia is not reliable and authoritative, but it is not always wrong; thus if someone has really checked that there is nothing wrong with the text, we might even cite that. If non-reliable sources cite Wikipedia, then we shouldn't cite them anyway. Once again, it is not our problem. And in most cases "losing content through claims of copying sources that copied us" is easy to guard against with some work. The source that copied Wikipedia's article is not going to be published before the article itself was written. And if administrators and editors are going to delete without checking the dates, what is going to stop them? Short of harsh application of Wikipedia:Competence is required, of course... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 21:18, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
All of those are our problem, in that you have to judge whether a source is Wikipedia, and Wikipedia does not cite itself. Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:09, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
One problem that admins face with copyvio tags is this - it's easy to identify when a Wikipedia article was written or modified, but how do we know when some website was edited? Which came first? As to citing - we should never cite works that quote Wikipedia. I don't mean places that have a brief quote properly attributed in a sea of their own stuff. I mean mirrors or ripoffs. Mirrors attribute, ripoffs don't. Peridon (talk) 08:29, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
It's not really all that difficult to figure out who is copying who... it just takes a little bit of digging. Hard copy books have a "date of publication" (usually printed on the first page of the book) - if that date is after the text first appeared on Wikipedia, we know the book copied from WP (and in which case, we don't need to change our article, but we should not cite the book as a source per WP:CIRCULAR). If, on the other hand the date of publication is prior to the appearance of the text on WP, we know the WP article copied from the book (and in which case, we should re-write the WP article to avoid a COPYRIGHT violation, but we can use the book as a source, assuming it is considered reliable). For websites - we can use archive sites like Wayback Machine to check when the text on the website first appeared. That is the electronic analog of "date of publication". Blueboar (talk) 12:52, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
I said websites, as books generally do have dates of publication (except for a period around 1890 to 1920 when it seems to have been fashionable NOT to include the date - they're easily identified by the style anyway). Unfortunately, one has to have a copy to hand... Archived websites, OK. But what about Facebook, and similar? We get a fair number of things duplicating Facebook entries. Do they get archived too? A lot of them fall under spam anyway, but some don't - and they're the tricky ones. Did someone really write their WP article first and copy it to FB? Does happen, yes. (It also happens that the text cited in the tag for copyvio vanishes from the site by the time an admin checks it - in which case, this admin tends to delete on the basis that neither the bot or patroller that found it are that daft that they cite a blank page, and if it has been up even for 10 minutes, it's copyright even in its (temporary) absence from view.) Peridon (talk) 10:14, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
For the "reliable source" that started this discussion, it does not appear to have a publication date printed on the publication, and while the "Kindle Store" suggests a publication date, we know that the actual title was not published then, but 13 years earlier. As for the archive sites hopefully some website has been archived, and is reliable, but yes it takes digging. So, it still takes care. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:52, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Or, as a third option, it could be that WP and the book both copied from the same (hopefully PD) source. Particularly when neither is an exact copy of the other. Anomie 01:46, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
  • The information in the Kindle book corresponds to a Wikipedia version from 7 August 2012. (If you look at the section "Tracking network" you will find the caption "Mercury Control Center, Cape Canaveral, Fla." — "Florida" was changed to "Fla" on that date.) The original book version from 1966 can be seen on This New Ocean PDF. - Soerfm (talk) 18:07, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Once I get the votes to establish a new policy what do I do.

I have never changed a policy before. At Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(people)#Birth_date_format_conformity_.28second_round.29 I finally have the votes to do so. The policy is that when birth date is used as part of disambiguation, the format should be consistent as Name (subject, born YYYY) rather than random (including or excluding a comma, and often abbreviating born as b.) as has been the case. What do I do? How do I get people to start moving articles? Should this get a WP:POST announcement.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 14:16, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

With such a well-supported change, I'd say just go ahead and do it - you'll need to edit WP:QUALIFIER and WP:NATURAL, and possibly mention it in other places that I don't know - and link to the above discussion in the edit summary, plus leave an explanation (also linking) on the talk page. — Scott talk 14:43, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Before things get crazy, let me request centralized discussion on this topic at Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(people)#Enacting_the_new_policy.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 15:19, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Sigh... yet another "conformity for conformity's sake" style rule that will simply piss a lot of editors off and lead to endless debates (any bets on how long it will be before it is challenged?)... Like so many other "one-size-fits-all" style rules, I fully intend to WP:Ignore this completely. I note that the above RFC was premised on the assumption that having conformity in dates was a good thing, and that it was simply a matter of agreeing on which format to conform to. Did anyone think to first ask the broader community whether we needed such conformity in the first place? Oh well... So be it. Have fun running around attempting to "enforce" this... just don't be surprised when there is a backlash. Blueboar (talk) 16:42, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

So long as dates are clear, I don't care how they're put. I do object to the format 12/11/10 being used, as this can mean different things in different places. I see a need for clarity, but not standardisation (or even standardization, come to that... Peridon (talk) 09:58, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Distances between localities

Hello - I'm writing to ask whether or not there is a policy or precedent for an issue we have had recently with the article about Newmarket, Ontario: One or two IP editors have been repeatedly changing the lead sentence of the article where it indicates that Newmarket is "approximately 50km north of the City of Toronto", changing the 50km to 25 km. The facts are that the distance is about 50 kms from downtown-to-downtown, whereas it is about 25 kms from the southern border of Newmarket to Steeles Ave, the northern border of Toronto.

I have started a discussion at Talk:Newmarket, Ontario#Distance to Toronto in order to build consensus, and it has been suggested that Village Pump (policy) may have dealt with the question before. Do we have a standard rule/guideline for measuring distances between localities? PKT(alk) 18:21, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

  • I don't think this has ever been discussed in general before, so I'll just give my opinion: center to center. -- King of ♠ 01:41, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I'd tend towards center-to-center myself, but think it needs to get replaced when it gets misleading. Phoenix and Glendale in Arizona are probably ten miles apart center-to-center, for example, but they share a common border that's twenty miles long. Describing them as "ten miles apart" would plant a false image.—Kww(talk) 02:22, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • It has to be centre to centre because cities are changing borders all the time. It is for that very reason that highway distance signs measure to a specific point in a community, usually city hall. And through that, it is why a google maps search shows Newmarket to Toronto as being 54.7KM. Kww makes a good point, however. So in this specific case, is there even value to noting the distance, as opposed to simply stating that "Newmarket is a city in the Greater Toronto Area, located north of the City of Toronto"? That statement strongly implies the short distance between the two while neutring the argument over distance. Resolute 14:18, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • You could probably solve this problem by labeling it: "Newmarket is approximately 50km north of the City of Toronto, measured from city center to city center." WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:53, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
JFTR if the article is in Canadian English, as I would expect, that should be “centre“.–Odysseus1479 04:26, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I think http://www.aag.org/ is free to join. Someone may wish to and see if they have a codified solution. They have an online forum but only members can view it.--Canoe1967 (talk) 18:50, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • My opinion is omit the distance entirely. --Golbez (talk) 19:14, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • My opinion: City limit to city limit. The centre of a city isn't necessarily located in the downtown area, and it isn't necessarily easy to pinpoint the centre of a city either--the boundaries tend to be all blobby and amorphous. (Sorry to get technical.) OttawaAC (talk) 22:01, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Edit... leave it out. City limits change when city boundaries change, as with the amalgamation of suburbs/exurbs. Or, give an approximate distance. OttawaAC (talk) 22:04, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
People here dont mean the mathematical centre. They mean the centre as defined by the downtown or central business district, generally this also includes the suburb after which the city is named. In some smaller locations the centre may also be defined by the location of the post office, the town hall/council chambers, or other important buildings such the police station. -- Nbound (talk) 04:28, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
On the Newmarket talk page, people have been saying that it should be cityhall to cityhall. But in many cities, CityHall is located some distance from the CBD/downtown/oldtown. And oldtown, downtown and CBD are located in different places in many cities as well. Any distance measurement should explicitly state what they are measuring. -- 65.94.76.126 (talk) 22:32, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
If the other measurements provide results unusual compared to real life experience. Then use something thats more appropriate (how do road signs measure in that area?), Measure from the suburb that shares the city name perhaps? Consider how you would measure between two localities within the city, and transfer the same mechanism to the other city? IMO, City hall measurements only apply to smaller towns and villages that do not have a downtown/CBD. FWIW, Road signs are relatively easy to cite thanks to google street view. - Nbound (talk) 00:29, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
  • If it were my choice I would measure it from where the North/South main throughway crosses the East/West one. If they use ring roads then just estimate where they would meet. This seems the most logical to me as a driver and border to border seems the least logical as it does change and may eventually be zero. The geographers I linked at the site above may have it codified and someone at Wikipedia:Reference desk may help as well.--Canoe1967 (talk) 23:05, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
    • What about cities that aren't organized in either of those ways? --Jayron32 23:55, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
    • Most cities that are large enough for the difference in measuring techniques to matter are large enough that they don't have a clear pair of "main throughways" (eg. what is the main north-south throughway of Detroit? Is it I-75, I-96, M-10, or Grand River Avenue? What about east-west: I-75, I-94, or US-12?). --Carnildo (talk) 01:24, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
  • If you measure city limit to city limit, the distances between cities in Los Angeles and Orange counties is always zero. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:27, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • The natural interpretation of "distance between two cities" (or between any two physical entities) is the distance between their outer boundaries. If they are adjacent, then you say that and the distance between then is moot. If there is a concern about the boundaries (or the centers) changing, then don't include the distance. Jojalozzo 03:05, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I dont agree Joja, in that case the cities would have adjacent metropolitan areas, but the cities themselves (measured from centre as per roadsigns, and colloquial speech) could be tens of kilometres apart. Most major city metropolitan areas are formally or informally further split into smaller cities or towns. Which in turn are usually just a group of suburbs which have a shared historical or planning basis. - Nbound (talk) 03:12, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
I think most off en:wp ones follow city hall to city hall or benchmarks. Reference marker (New York) and California postmile seem to go border to border. I can see the difference though. One is for travel distance once on the road and the other is for distances recorded in atlases (altlasi?) and maps. Did anyone that cares more than me join http://www.aag.org/ and ask yet?--Canoe1967 (talk) 17:58, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
  • There's a real problem with using a "border to border" distance in places like New England, where there is essentially no unincorporated land, and every plot of land is occupied by a municipal corporation (see New England town). Also, many cities and towns have "official" boundaries which are so large as to be almost useless for indicating the location of the compact urban place, for example Jacksonville, Florida and Juneau, Alaska have very large areas within their borders which are essentially open land; no one thinks of these locations as "part of the city", as people will think of the city center or downtown area. I agree that the best course of action is to use some official location inside the city limits that serves as a municipal center: A city hall or town hall, post office, or benchmark, or some such. --Jayron32 14:54, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
Unless someone has a reliable source to otherwise, I do believe that no state DOT in the USA uses "landmark" measuring for their green distance signs, contrary to popular belief. It is always to nearest crossing of that highway by the city/town/village line. If two communities border each other then you should never say they are xx distance; you should say they border each other. Of course the reason people think that DOT's use landmark measuring is because, especially in the south and western states- boundaries shift and the signs are not updated (also, DOT's are terrible at putting up those signs, there are several instances in many places where you'll see xyxxxz 9 miles and then 3 miles up the road another sign says xyxxxz 9 miles meaning you've gone no closer in those 3 miles to your destination!) Of course I would always argue in favor of whatever the most current reliable source says the distance between two communities are (except for if two communities touch, then it is moot and you should say they border). Reliable sources trump entering info into Mapquest or Google Maps and getting directions.Camelbinky (talk) 20:38, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
Control city is relevant to what the state DOTs put up. Can't give you any reliable sources, but I can say from experience that at least here in Indiana the situation is different from what you describe. If you're heading from Bloomington to Indianapolis, you use northbound State Road 37; shortly after passing 39°14′8″N 86°32′24″W / 39.23556°N 86.54000°W / 39.23556; -86.54000, you see a sign for "Indianapolis 45" — it's only about 35 miles to the southern border of Indianapolis (it's a Unigov, like Jacksonville and Juneau) but 45 to downtown. Meanwhile, if you're on westbound I-70 at 39°48′25″N 85°57′10″W / 39.80694°N 85.95278°W / 39.80694; -85.95278, you're crossing the Indianapolis city limits, but a mile or two farther to the west, you'll see a sign telling you that Indianapolis is a few miles away. Ohio does likewise, at least in some places; the signs for Cincinnati on southbound I-75 give distances that are virtually identical to the mile markers (it leaves the state by crossing the Ohio River right at downtown), although the highway crosses the city limits several miles to the north. Nyttend (talk) 17:48, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

In my opinion, the correct measure is from center to center. The article should say "Newmarket is located 50km north of the centre of Toronto". --NaBUru38 (talk) 17:47, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

For those still following I did some actual research (something we all, including myself, should have done before guessing)- each state is different in specifics, but all fall within the following Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, subsection 36 (Distance Signs) which states "The distances displayed on these signs should be the actual distance to the destination points and not to the exit from the freeway or expressway"; in the case of Wisconsin they use GIS software to determine the center of town, and then decide on the nearest major intersection and round to the nearest mile. In Iowa they use a prominent building near the center of town and rounded to nearest mile. All states I found however agree that once a city boundary is moved to be past the distance sign the distance sign is either removed or if multiple city listings the home city is blanked. So in my opinion if two cities were to share a boundary the distance would have to be zero based on if you had a distance sign on the border, no matter which side you were on, the distance should be zero.Camelbinky (talk) 19:17, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Are musical groups singular or plural?

The policy on whether musical groups (hereafter "bands") take the singular or plural form of verbs and pronouns in Wikipedia articles is one which meets the following criteria:

The conclusion in the previous discussion linked above was that the difference is cultural and depends on whether the band name is perceived to be plural, namely:

  • The Strokes are a band = US English, plural band name
  • The Clash is a band = US English, singular band name
  • The Clash are a band = GB English, singular band name

However, a great number of the US English articles about bands with "singular" names then proceed to use the plural form of verbs and pronouns. Take these examples from the article about the Canadian musical group Arcade Fire:

"Arcade Fire is an indie rock band" [singular verb]

"The band came to prominence... with the release of their... debut album" [plural pronoun]

"Arcade Fire has won numerous awards... (they hold the distinction...)" [singular verb & plural pronoun in same sentence]

"The band plays guitar, drums, bass guitar..." [singular verb]

You can play this game for yourself by choosing a Wikipedia article about a US band with a singular name, and then seeing how long it takes before the plural forms of verbs and pronouns are used. Phil Champ (talk) 11:21, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

  • I really would think that irregardless of nationality, if the band's name implies plurality (eg how the name would be used if it wasn't a proper name), then we should treat them as plural, otherwise not. "The Beatles are", "The Rolling Stones are", "The Grateful Dead are", "Arcade Fire is", "Jethro Tull is", "Rush is", "Mike and the Mechanics are", "Dave Matthews Band is". etc. Basically, I'm using a "what sounds right when I speak it aloud" test, and these all are the most natural ways of speaking tense. Once you've established it is a band with multiple people, "they" is a proper pronoun to replace it, but when using the band name directly, the verb should match with the plurality implied by the name. --MASEM (t) 13:55, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
    • Or let me emphasis the key point: The right pronoun to refer to a band (any group with more than one person) is "they", not "it", and all verbs will be plural on that pronoun or the like. --MASEM (t) 13:58, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
      Nonsense. "The London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) ...is one of the major orchestras of the United Kingdom." Eric Corbett 14:36, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
      That's doesn't break it. First, "Orchestra" is a singular word, so "The LP Orchestra is one of the major orchestras in the UK. They perform at several functions throughout the year." That's the point I'm making - when the proper name is used, the verb tense should follow the plurality of the name. When we then refer to the band or group via pronouns, it is "they" in the plural form irregardless of the proper name. --MASEM (t) 20:02, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
      As I said, nonsense. Eric Corbett 22:38, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
      That's not a helpful response. Why is Masem's proposal nonsense? Interestingly, the article on the LPO starts in the singular and then proceeds to use several instances of "they" and "their", including the following: "In December 2001, Vladimir Jurowski first conducted the LPO.... He subsequently became their Principal Guest Conductor in 2003." For me, that rather makes Masem's point.Phil Champ (talk) 09:56, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
      That the LPO article is in error by being inconsistent is unsurprising and irrelevant. The distinction is very clear: the band is singular if you're talking about the band, plural if the subject is the members of the band, as in the "police have" and "Metropolitan Police has" example. Quite simple really and nothing to do with formality. Eric Corbett 16:33, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
  • American and British English differences#Formal and notional agreement has more detail on the national difference. British English usually uses notional agreement when deciding the correct verb form, which means that it depends on whether the author was thinking about the subject as a collective or as the individual members. American English, on the other hand, usually uses formal agreement, making the verb agree with the form of the subject. But the choice of pronoun is often notional rather than formal even in American English, and then in AmEn the verb associated with the pronoun would usually chosen formally rather than notionally. But see singular they for a complication there. Anomie 14:33, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
    • This discussion needs to be tabled. ;) Anomie 14:33, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Simple answer... it depends on the group. Blueboar (talk) 20:06, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
(ec) Are you using a UK table or an American one? A point about something above - 'The Grateful Dead' is not singular. Dead as a noun normally refers to more than one corpse ('the dead of centuries'), and when used as a group name definitely is plural. (A bit like 'sheep', but unlike sheep, when you have only one you use a different form - 'the dead man' or the corpse/cadaver/body or whatever it is.) Whichever pronoun is used for 'band' or 'orchestra', there should be consistency. Either call them them or call it it. All the way through. Mind you, there can be other problems. Take 'Them' (the band, that is). Does one say "Them is playing at..." or "Them are playing at..."? Neither sounds right, does it? Or is it "Neither sound right, do they?"? Isn't grammar fun? Peridon (talk) 20:08, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
There are a few off-cases, like Them and The Who. But here I'd argue that both terms beg for plurality. Of course, one can always rewrite these if the wording gets really wonky. Instead of "Them are a Northern Irish rock band...", we can always go and start "The band Them is a Northern Irish rock group..." --MASEM (t) 22:16, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the link, Anomie: that summarises the problem well. It strikes me that there a couple of other factors at play here.

Signified and signifier

The signifier is the singular label (The Clash) and the signified is the plural entity (the four musicians from London who performed under that label).

Level of formality

I have heard both of the following on the BBC:

"The Metropolitan Police has announced..." (formal)

"The police have arrested..." (informal)

In formal speech, the singular label is used; in informal speech, the plural entity is used. It's not simply a cultural difference, it's a difference in the level of formality preferred by individuals and by cultures. That may be what lies at the heart of the disagreements here and the inconsistency of so many Wikipedia articles. Editors don't know what the appropriate level of formality is. (Read the article on the Canadian band Rush [[20]]. That uses the singular forms most of the time initially and sounds to my ears overly formal. It does slip into using the plural forms by the middle and end, though.)

I propose the following policy:

  • Editors should use the informal, plural versions of verbs and pronouns throughout.
  • If editors feel that the formal label is appropriate, they can refer to the label explicitly in the opening sentence of the article: "Arcade Fire is the name of a Canadian band formed in 2004." That would avoid any disagreements about whether "Grateful Dead" or "ABBA" is plural or not.

Phil Champ (talk) 11:21, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Just accept that there are different ways of referring to bands, teams, companies and other groups (per WP:ENGVAR) and move on (to other questions and issues that really matter). Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 11:02, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

A lead should never start with "... is the name" unless the article is about the name. —Designate (talk) 14:29, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
A thousand times this. postdlf (talk) 16:18, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Roger, I think you're making up a distinction formal/informal, where no such exists. The distinction formal/notional does however seem to be relevant, as explained above, and it's treated differently in American and British English. Attempts to erase this difference are doomed. As a South African, you think the American style sounds odd; to me, your style would sound British. But I have no problem with that. Dicklyon (talk) 14:41, 9 June 2013 (UTC)