Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 20

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Suggestion to reduce CAT:CSD

Hello, if you look atr my deleted contributions, you will see that there are a lot of them. I do a lot of patrolling on Special:Newpages and tag articles for speedy deletion. And it's getting frustrating. Yesterday, CAT:CSD had 105 articles in it. People constantly create spam and nn subjects. And looking at CAT:CCSD, the majority of the users who create CSD articles are clueless. And I have to come to the conclusion that MediaWiki:Newarticletext is too weak. What people do is either not notice it or figure it isn't important. I have a suggestion to make it bolder. I think this should grab attention, it's based off the one from Meta.

Nuvola apps important.svg
Before creating your article, please read the notes below.

With this, people will notice it right off the bat, and they'll know it's important. I'd like to suggest we make this the knew MediaWiki:Newarticletext. Any opinions? Thanks. JetLover (talk) (Report a mistake) 00:17, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

I'd put the exclamation mark beside the text, rather than above it, and I'd get rid of the "before creating your article" bit, but other than that, it looks better than what we've currently got. --Carnildo (talk) 07:38, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Go for it. I'd retain something in there about Wikipedia being an encyclopedia and that what we expect in a nutshell is an article in an encyclopedic tone on an encyclopedic subject. We should try to lessen the learning curve for creating new articles.

In particular: remove the lookup for the CSDs, replacing it with a CSD for dummies like below. The most frequently arising CSDs are common sense - paper encyclopedias don't contain social networking profiles and/or adverts so neither should we (A7, G11), don't create articles so short nobody can tell what they are about (A1, A3), don't create nonsense (G1, G2, G3), don't plagiarize (G12 - yes I know copyvio != plagiarism but it might be easier to explain copyright infringement this way) and don't attack people (G10). I'd also try to remove the notability bit (try to construct this in terms of enough sources to write a comprehensive encyclopedia article). MER-C 12:17, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

they are both good improvements. About copyvio, possible wording: "Don't copy from other websites or published sources" again, PD & GFDL is an exception, but direct copies from PD sites dont generally make good articles anyway. DGG (talk) 17:28, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
How about putting the links for the introduction, your first article and tutorial above the others - would make this more friendly and less confrontational. As the suggestion stands it doesn't give the impression of an encyclopaedia which welcomes new contributions, rather the opposite. DuncanHill (talk) 17:31, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Making the first link go to WP:CSD seems unnecessarily forbidding. Is there a page that says roughly the same thing, but more in the style of WP:5P? --- tqbf 17:33, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Add something about BLP, perhaps: "Statements about living persons are held to exceptionally high standards and inadequately sourced negative or contentious material will be deleted without warning. See WP:BLP."--agr (talk) 18:26, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

This is too unfriendly, and it's trying to solve a problem that is too ambitious for that portion of the UI. What I like is the big warning icon; what I don't like is the gauntlet of questions. What this should instead say is something like, "Is this your first article? Please read WP:YOURFIRSTARTICLE" or somesuch, where the point can be addressed more eloquently. --- tqbf 19:41, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

I hope someone is going to be bold and try something. With well over 1000 articles deleted per day, mostly CSD, I don't think the current situation is optimal. (It would also be nice to measure how things change as we try different approaches, but that's not the Wikipedia way, I realize.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 19:57, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
No strong opinion, but want to raise the question: if the notice cuts down 10% of speedy-bait at a cost of 5% of legitimate articles, was it worth it?
If it's a legitimate article, we'll get it eventually anyway. --Carnildo (talk) 05:35, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Another suggestion: the words "thank you" should precede warnings. --- tqbf 20:00, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

I think this is a fine idea, and I support it, but it will really serve only to make experienced NP Patrollers feel better "See, now they have REALLY been warned, so I shouldn't feel so bad about db-tagging this". I am not sure that people really read the warnings and guidelines. Most of this is on the page-creation page ANYWAYS, and a big red exlamation point is pretty, but I am not sure its going to stop someone from creating a page about their favorite garage band, since the band still RAWKS D0od!!!!!. So go make the change, be bold, yada yada. I hope it works, I really do, but I doubt it will have any affect really. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 05:48, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
For the record, I have very little faith in humanity's ability to read, in regards to warnings like these. I don't think adding this will do much at all, sorry to say. EVula // talk // // 05:52, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Hear, hear. But we can try, and for those that don't pay attention there's always the bigger cluesticks of getting their page deleted, then later (if appropriate) salted and banhammered for "refusal to acknowledge that encyclopedias don't contain social networking profiles". The new notice should ensure that there's no excuse now for creating vanity/advertising, even if there was one beforehand. MER-C 07:08, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I think there are some very negative comments in this thread. How about supporting new editors to write worthwile articles, instead of trying to insert ever more ugly "go away - we don't want to know" templates all over the place? DuncanHill (talk) 09:24, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I think that unfortunately there are some very negative things in the world (people who don't read instructions, people whose failure to read instructions results in a lot more work for editors (tagging) and admins (removing) articles (again, more than a thousand a day, most of them CSD), and it's proper to acknowledge and deal with them. A good notice certainly should encourage editors to write good, needed articles (maybe some links to the Wikipedia pages that list needed articles?), but it also should make clear that certain types of articles are unwanted, and that potential authors should read Wikipedia's guidance before spending a lot of time writing something that could quickly get deleted. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:05, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Here we have proposed a countermeasure that selects for the people who actually read Wikipedia info text. Hence the negs. --- tqbf 14:35, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
  • FWIW, I like it. Eusebeus (talk) 20:45, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
If anyone has any suggestions for the message, I'd appreciate it if you put it in User:JetLover/Sandbox. In response to EVula, although some people may not bother to read the warning, I think it's better than what we have now, it's not "read this first" at all. JetLover (talk) (Report a mistake) 22:16, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
That much I can agree with. For the record, I'd also check out m:MediaWiki:Newarticletext and commons:MediaWiki:Newarticletext; ours is definitely ho-hum. Dunno about the massive Nuvola apps important.svg, but the blue border would definitely make it pop a lot more (and perhaps a slightly off-white background, considering the mainspace already has a white background). EVula // talk // // 22:25, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
In fact, my idea is based of Meta's. I'm not sure about the one on Commons, it still doesn't have a real attention-grabbing appearance. JetLover (talk) (Report a mistake) 22:38, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I think this is a great idea. One thing that strikes me as crucially missing is that there is no specific mention of our core content polices (WP:V, WP:NPOV and WP:NOR). I went ahead and drafted a proposed change, with the core content policies up front. I have also incorporated a number of the suggestions here—moved the tutorial/my first article up and CSD information down, added text on copyvios, BLP and attack pages, and some other tweaks such as changing "your" to "an" in the first line (don't want to start people off with a WP:OWN understanding) and spelled out all the shortcuts in the pipes. Also please not the change to the line referring users to the help desk. I am a regular there and we get a large number of misplaced posts better suited for the reference desk. I shudder to think of the result if it is left in its current generic form "...questions can be asked at the help desk". The proposed changes appear below.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 02:18, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Nuvola apps important.svg
Before creating an article, please read the notes below.

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, which means all information added: 1) must be verifiable through existing, published, reliable sources; 2) must be written from a neutral point of view; and 3) must not add any original research, in the form unpublished facts, arguments, concepts, statements, or theories.

In addition to complying with these three core content policies:

I support the above design. JetLover (talk) (Report a mistake) 03:13, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

I've cut it down to a (hopefully) readable size, and removed some redundant or irrelevant bits. --Carnildo (talk) 04:18, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Nuvola apps important.svg

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, which means all information added: 1) must be verifiable through existing, published, reliable sources; 2) must be written from a neutral point of view; and 3) must not add any original research, in the form unpublished facts, arguments, concepts, statements, or theories.

I'd wager that the "Please do not write about non-notable people, bands, or websites" bit could be dropped; for starters, there's my lack of faith that people will care, but I also think that most band and website articles would fall under the general "don't use us for spam" note. Perhaps add a quick note about Notability to the beginning of the reliable sources line. Visually, I like the icon being on the side, rather than the top; still catches your eye, but less over-dramatic that way. EVula // talk // // 07:41, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Adding "and/or social networking profiles" after the advertisement one in lieu of notability might be a good idea. Vanispamcruftisers generally don't have enough common sense to realize that spam == social networking. I've had something like this in my talk page header since May and I rarely get the "why did you tag my page for deletion" queries despite 1000+ speedy taggings since then.
The "why was my page deleted" thing might find a better home in MediaWiki:Recreate-deleted-warn. MER-C 13:27, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't think the idea behind notability comes across to people in any way by telling them not to advertise. Between advertising, copyvios (removed in this cut down version) and notability, that is the bulk of the bases under which articles are deleted; I think it's therefore vital all three appear in some manner. The problem I see with the current notability formulation is that the text doesn't explain in any way what notability means, and we all know that just saying "non-notable" invokes the vernacular definition to everyone who does not already know how we use that word here, which is everyone this is geared toward. Mechanically, formulating it so that some people will actually look at WP:BIO if they are writing a bio and the same for bands and websites, I think the right way to go is something along the lines of" (italics here just to set off): Before writing an article on a person, a band or a website please visit the link which applies to your intended subject; please visit here if the subject is something else.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 13:30, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

It's a really good idea, but many people won't really care. It needs a bold sign that says the non-notable things, etc. will be deleted. Reywas92Talk 18:45, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

  • I don't like it. The more warnings we put in, the less attention will people pay to them. --Apoc2400 (talk) 22:47, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
I like each of them. For those who read it will defintvely help. Though i have always thought that making someone take a short quiz on the new page creating criteria first has always been a better idea. BonesBrigade 04:58, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't like the idea. I think users should rather create inappropriate articles and get them deleted, because this will introduce them into the rules and procedures of Wikipedia right away and maybe turn them into contributing editors. Sven Eberhardt (talk) 22:18, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

References are the key

The simple act of providing references solves most problems:

  • If there are references then the information is verifiable.
  • If there are references then it isn't original research.
  • Spam won't have references
  • Non-notable people, bands, etc. won't have references

Just having references (to reliable sources) pretty much demonstrates that the subject is notable. So I simplify the warning to just this:

By keeping it short and sweet we improve the chances that people will actually read it. We tell them specifically what they have to do as opposed to telling them what not to do. And we tell them in a concrete way: "provide references" instead of the somewhat nebulous "don't write about non-notable subjects". Sbowers3 (talk) 13:26, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

You might want to remember that many times, people only skim Internet text. Try this:
Nuvola apps important.svg

Before making your Wikipedia article:

That might be a little better. But overall I like your idea. ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 18:44, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
That one is fine with me. Any admins willing to make the edit? Sbowers3 (talk) 03:54, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Is anyone going to change MediaWiki:Newarticletext? ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 22:59, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
I really hope someone decides to edit MediaWiki:Newarticletext. There is a lot of work for CSD taggers. JetLover (talk) (Report a mistake) 23:52, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
That interface page is very {{esoteric}} and requires careful updating, FULL TEXT of the update requested should be placed in a new section of MediaWiki talk:Newarticletext and be shown consensus before updating. FWIW, images in the MW: are typically discouraged, if this can be effective without the image, it would be preferable. — xaosflux Talk 03:59, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
I like this one much better than the big one, since it's more positive (it doesn't tell users what not to do) and concise (duh). -- Ddxc (talk) 16:02, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Is it time to require sources for BLP?

Last week I proposed adding a new speedy criterion coverning new articles about living persons with no reliable source. See WT:CSD#BLP with no sources. My reading of WP:BLP is that we should be strict about sourcing such articles. They make us a significant part of the CSD traffic, I'd say 20-30%. Others disagreed and said I was taking WP:BLP too literally and suggested I make the proposal at Village Pump. Since it seems relevant to this topic, I've added it here. I'm not suggesting that each new article about a living person have inline cites for every fact, but that at least one non-self -published source be required to establish some notability. Having a clear rule and speedy deletion category would discourage some authors who can't meet the requirement and reduce the time needed to evaluate those articles that are submitted. --agr (talk) 02:38, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Athletes and exemption from WP:N, WP:RS, WP:V, and WP:BIO

I would like to propose that athletes participating in the Olympics or somesuch are not exempt from the aforementioned policies. While patrolling CAT:CSD, I deleted James Barker (athlete) as a non-notable biography. It was later restored by User:Canadian Paul because of this exemption. I then re-deleted the article for reasons stated in the deletion summary (here). I think that people who were in one event in one Olympics (for example), did not medal, are not covered in reliable sources and have only one claim to notability (that sporting event) should be deleted under CSD A7. Please comment, I think that this precedent is ridiculous. Regards, Keilanatalk(recall) 02:24, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Nota bene: The precedent is exemplified in this debate Keilanatalk(recall) 02:27, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Arguably they meet the additional criteria of WP:BIO in that they've participated at the highest level of amateur sports (which in most sports is the olympics) and have represented their country. The fact that they may not meet the basic requirements of WP:N is something most people overlook, thinking that "well he was in the Olympics so there must be some sources somewhere". 81.77.136.231 (talk) 02:32, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
But especially for people who did not medal, there's nothing. Keilanatalk(recall) 02:40, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
You know, there are deletion processes other than speedy deletion.. A7 even says to take it to AFD if controversial. You should have sent this to AFD for discussion, rather then deleted it then tried to change policy to support your deletion. If you don't undelete and send it to AFD, I'll take this to WP:DRV. --W.marsh 02:51, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
It was originally speedily deleted without controversy, why would I have taken it to AFD? Keilanatalk(recall) 02:57, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Because an admin objected. That seems to suggest controversy... he didn't agree with your speedy deletion, and now I don't. A7 isn't meant to whisk away articles when there's reasonable disagreement about deletion... it's one of the speedy deletion criteria meant for uncontroversial deletions. --W.marsh 03:00, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Clearly there is dissent, and not from a clown user either... This person is obviously in the database and reached higher levels than a random pro baseballer or footballer - there are hundreds of pro-footballers in any country. Kindly undelete it please.Blnguyen (bananabucket) 03:01, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I will send it to AFD as soon as I undelete it, but I would still like the policy amendment to be considered. Keilanatalk(recall) 03:02, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

As for the issue at hand, having competed in the Olympics, even if you stubbed your toe in the starting gate, is a claim of importance. That satisfied WP:CSD#A7, which just requires that claim. Presumably even in 1912 you didn't just walk in off the street and get into the Olympic race... it was the top level of competition and you got there. But once such an article gets to AFD, I believe inclusion policy is flexible enough that we wouldn't keep such an article if it couldn't be properly sourced. --W.marsh 03:08, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

The AFD is located at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/James Barker (athlete). Keilanatalk(recall) 03:11, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
  • You are aware that if an article has a claim to notability, that CSD-A7 does not apply, right? PROD/AfD was where it should have gone from the start, given that being an Olympic athelete is a claim to notability in and of itself. Whether that is enough to pass WP:N is another issue though. Resolute 03:47, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Keilana has written on a talk page [1] that he'd like to 'nuke' any number of articles similar to this. Perhaps before he does so he could follow the AfD of Mr Barker and wonder if his idea to change the notability rule for sportsmen really does have community support? Nick mallory (talk) 04:27, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

First of all, I'm female, just FYI. I said that I was tempted because I think that it's utterly ridiculous, and I am following Mr. Barker's AFD. Please, WP:AGF here. Keilanatalk(recall) 15:58, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

I promised Keilana that I would comment here, so here I am. The debate at the Barker AfD is going to spill over here, because this question is bigger than just the single article. I'm going to flat out say that it's a problem. There are literally thousands of articles such as this on Wikipedia. There are people who have gone to great links to create articles on every skier, bobsledder and so on who ever competed at an international level. Let's take Frederick Milton. Good old Mr. Milton was a member of the British water polo team in 1936 which finished eighth. As a representative from the English speaking part of the world, we can presume that there is no language bias when searched for sources to ascertain his notability. Let's pretend that Wikipedia dropped the athlete clause right now. Would this person pass? The general criteria is as follows:

A topic is presumed to be notable if it has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject.

First, a Google search. Depending on your parameters to narrow down the field of "Frederick Milton"s, you get a fair amount of results noting his position in the team, his participation in the Olympics and the fact that he finished eighth. This more than takes care of the "reliable sources" requirement. We know he was an Olympian, we know he was on the team. There are also plenty of sources that are independent of the Olympic commission or the British Olympic Committee. So independent is taken care of as well. No substantial coverage, however, can be found. Since this person's prime was in 1936, it might not be fair to search just the Internet. So I tried a [www.jstor.org JSTOR] academic journal search. Their journals go back to the 1800s, so it should take care of the time bias, as well as a United States vs. Britain bias. Still, no substantial coverage. The same results come from a full catalog search at the libraries of the University of Texas. We would therefore conclude that, what we see presently in the Frederick Milton article is all that there is to write about him (short of violating WP:OR and interviewing him or his descendants) and, without the athlete clause, would probably merge the article into a list of "competitors" or something similar at the Olympics.

Obviously not all cases are as straight forward - many present language barriers, many have similar coverage but also won an actual medal. But I cannot stress enough that we now have literally thousands of articles that cannot be anything more than what Frederick Milton has got. People will notice that I have created maybe a dozen of these articles myself. In most cases, it was done to end confusion, since when there are thousands of people competing in the Olympics over the years, some were bound to have the same name. If you take out all the fancy stuff I put around it, most of them come down to this formula:

X (born – died) was a (country adjective) (wikilinked sport player) who competed in the Olympic games in (wikilinked year of Olympic games). (He was a member of/He participated in) (sport) (that won a (colour) medal/but did not win a medal) in (wikilinked hosting city).(citation to databaseOlympics)

Try as I might, I rarely find anything more than that. I can provide a list of any reasonable number of articles like this: it's only a quick journey into Category:Possibly living people to find them. Sometimes the coverage is so inconsequential that the original rolls only recorded their first name (Lecomte) or none at all (from Archery at the 1900 Summer Olympics: Only France, Belgium, and the Netherlands sent archers. None of the Dutch archers are known by name and none won any medals ) By the clause that we have now, Unknown Dutch Archer 1, Unknown Dutch Archer 2 etc. deserve their own articles. We can prove that there were a certain number of Dutch archers, we just don't have names.

The clause has got to change, or else we're going to have thousands more articles that say nothing more than what can be put on a list. I think the clause should be modified to say that, without substantial coverage, Olympic athletes should be placed on a list of competitors rather than given their own article. If there's no sources for an article, then the person should not have one. I'm open to hearing arguments on whether or not this should apply to only non-medalists or all Olympians, but I do point out that even many medalists were not considered notable enough to be given substantial coverage in their day. I'd love to write an article on Mr. Frederick Milton, but at the end of the day, I can't change history. So I say, let's give Lecomte, the Dutch Archers and Frederick Milton a place where they belong. Let's laud their achievements (or lack thereof) on a list. The best part (at least in my mind) about this proposal is that there's no slippery slope; it's a (relatively) objective test. We're not drawing the line at placement or performance or anything like that, simply at the sources and the WP:N guideline. Furthermore, we do not discard, but listify those that do not make the cut.

I know I'm missing some things that I wanted to say, but I wanted to lay a foundation. Please, point out the holes it so I can fill them up with my bucket of mortar. I may not have gotten it all out now, but I've got it all ready to go. Cheers, CP 05:09, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

The formula you give above - X(born – died) was a (country adjective) (wikilinked sport player) who competed in the Olympic games in (wikilinked year of Olympic games). (He was a member of/He participated in) (sport) (that won a (colour) medal/but did not win a medal) in (wikilinked hosting city).(citation to databaseOlympics) is fine. What's wrong with having a gajillion articles for every Olympic competitor? These are at least real people who've actually done something. It's not as if you're talking about pokemon, or 'characters in 4th installment of obscure Japanese SNES RPG'. Dan Beale-Cocks 15:55, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is WP:NOT a directory of every person ever verified to live. Too much of our time is wasted on writing short stubs and then maintaining them rather than improving useful articles. I highly congratulate Canadian Paul/CP for his brilliant prose. At the 2004 Summer Olympics 11,099 athletes participated. There is absolutlely no reason why being in the Olympics give notability. As CP said, very few Olympic athletes, especially ones at much earlier games, have any coverage. So many peoply have only trivial sources. They do not meet the general notability requirement. Reywas92Talk 16:34, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Hmm so in 2004 only 0.0002% of the world's population qualified for the highest level of athletic acheivement that only happens every fours in their respective sports. AgneCheese/Wine 23:05, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
we don't spend any time creating articles about athletes, people who are interested in athletes create and maintain those articles. People starting with small stubs about olympic athletes might continue to be productive editors, but that's unlikely if they find that any article they create gets deleted. There's a whole bunch of other stuff that WP doesn't need. I find it odd that people want to delete accurate sourced articles about olympic athletes over, for example, fictional pokemon or bus routes. Dan Beale-Cocks 21:31, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, it's accurate and sourced, but is it notable? No. If there were an article on everything that was accurate and sourced we could have about half a billion articles on every band, person, and building. But no, the sources must be substantial enough to make the subject notable. The source is so short it really doesn't count enough to warrant notability of the person and the article. Also, I would like to delete the ridiculous number of articles about bus stops and then merge the Pokemon. Reywas92Talk 21:43, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
We wouldn't have articles about everything, because most stuff isn't representing its country in a worldwide competition. The problem isn't that we might end up with articles about everything, but that we're almost there. Just sticking to sports - there's a whole bunch of poorly created stubs about players who've spent a few seasons with a minor team. Accurate, sourced, articles about olympic atheltes are the least of WP's problems. Some people seem to be saying that editors creating olympian articles could spend their time better on other parts of WP. I'd say that editors deleting accurate, sourced, well written articles could concentrate on all the fan cruft and WP:NOT vio bus routes. Dan Beale-Cocks 14:38, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Some mention of this discussion really ought to have been posted to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Olympics. That group of editors is sporadically active, but fairly dedicated to improving the Olympic articles on Wikipedia.
Now, as a long-time member of that WikiProject, I offer my thoughts. Despite the fact that I have consistently supported the inclusion of these articles, I tend to agree with the notion that we don't need thousands of stubs. My estimate is that there are about a quarter million individual athletes who have competed in one or more Games since 1896. Heck, there are at least 15,000 Olympic medalists! It's probably going to be a difficult enough task to get articles for those people beyond stub status, so perhaps that's as far as inherent Olympic notability should go.
I think the main reason why these articles tend to be created is rooted in the consensus article hierarchy of our WikiProject. For example, we have main articles for each Games (e.g. 1912 Summer Olympics), from which we also have a set of per-sport per-Games articles (e.g. Athletics at the 1912 Summer Olympics). Those articles contain a summary of medalists for all events in the sport. The deepest level is the competition results for each events (e.g. Athletics at the 1912 Summer Olympics - Men's 100 metres). That's where every athlete is listed, and unless articles are created for each person, we have a large number of redlinks. Many editors will take that as a spur to action, to resolve the redlinks with new articles. Therefore, if consensus changes for athlete notability, we ought to de-link all those redlinked athlete names. The completed event articles (like the 1912 100 metres results), and completed nation articles (such as Great Britain at the 1908 Summer Olympics) would serve to document the list of athletes who competed at each Games. Those people are clearly notable enough to be included in those two articles (per-event and per-nation) even if they cannot sustain individual articles about them. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 22:56, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't see why 250,000 stub articles about real people who've represented their countries is a problem, so long as the articles are accurate and sourced. Dan Beale-Cocks 14:38, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't mean to be rude, but your comment is ridiculous. There is more than an article being accurate and sourced. Would you like 250,000 stub articles about some random bands? Or 250,000 stub articles about every Pokemon episode (and other assorted TV shows)? Anything can be accurate and sourced, but Wikipedia also requires notability. A source must include more than a reliable statement that something exists. There's surely something on the internet saying that you exist and that you've done something, but does Wikipedia really want an article on you or me or anyone whose existence it accurate and sourced? No. There must be place place to draw the notability line, and this athlete and most others fall below it. And I must say that another comment of yours above is also wrong. Having many stubs just laying there really do take up our time. They create clutter, way too much. Some of our backlogs of mostly stubs are over 100,000 articles long. We don't want even more. These lesser-known articles can be targets for vandals, and it might not be caught for months. An untrue statement could last even for years in these unmaintained articles, decreasing Wikipedia's reliability. As anyone knows, it is easier to maintain something with less entities, in our case articles. They really do take up our time sorting through them and improving them. For people with so little notability, the public rarely sees the article, especially with only one page linking to it. We'd rather not spend any time on these articles. 250,000 passing mentions of everyone who has been in the Olympics is not good for Wikipedia. Reywas92Talk 18:47, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
As I've said before: These aren't random people. They're not fictitious pokemon. They're not non-notable bands. They're not random people (you or me). They're not non-notable athletes - they're notable athletes. They're notable because they were the best amateur athletes at the time. As for who watches the articles - I'd suggest that's doen by the people who create the articles, plus any relevant projects. As for a notability line: I almost agree with you, except for the part about the best athlete a country can produce being non-notable. Just out of interest: Why do you keep suggesting that I'm in favour of articles about pokemon or non-notable bands or anyone who has some evidence of existance? I thought I'd made it pretty clear that I don't support such articles. Dan Beale-Cocks 20:24, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
You're right, I interpreted that too far: It's good that you don't want Pokemon or bands. It's just that your earlier comment was very broad if you look at it again. Even if the articles on people are accurate and sourced, though, they aren't necessarily notable. If they are the best, the person probably has some notability, but in what is written, notability is only percieved. WP requires non-trivial sources, but those given are very trivial. Reywas92Talk 20:50, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Okay. Just to clarify my point: All articles should be accurate, and should have a proper source and be about something or someone notable (I think we agree so far) and that an olympic athlete is notable because they've competed in the olympics. (I think that's the only bit we disagree on?) Note that I'm only talking about Olympic athletes; there are lots of competitions that don't make a sports person notable. I do think it's a shame that a world class athlete from 1912 (who'll obviously have less online sources available) gets less WP space than, say, a runner up in a UK tv singing show. Dan Beale-Cocks 21:53, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree that consensus can change and if does articles like James Barker shouldn't exist. However, it is rather inappropriate to try and argue a change of policy on an isolated article's AfD rather then take the discussion to WP:BIO. AgneCheese/Wine 23:08, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
It's not a change of policy, though. WP:BIO has always (or almost always) stated that meeting the criteria such as the Olympics one don't guarantee a right to a standalone article. There can be exceptions here and there, as consensus dictates, and AFD is a place to get exactly that: consensus. So deleting or merging the article wouldn't be anything against policy. WP:BIO is just a guideline anyway, hence the non-binding wording. --W.marsh 23:32, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
The {db-bio} tag on this article was clearly false in the first place. Such tagging (if not a one-time-error) is close to vandalism. Deleting wrongly tagged articles should be avoided, and strongly discouraged. Admins that do not understand policy, or disagree with policy, should rather find other admin tasks to do than to misuse "power tools" to make their points. Oceanh (talk) 16:48, 1 January 2008 (UTC).
Thanks for the comment, though it's a little off topic. I and many others probably would not consider it false and definitely not vandalism. At the time of the first tagging, the article was two sentences long and simply stated he was eliminated in the first round of the 100m in 1912. I can easily foresee many editors to not consider it an assertation of notability, though there are obviously dissenters. Reywas92Talk 18:53, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
If people who disagreed with policy never tried to change it, then we wouldn't have much policy, and Wikipedia would be a disaster. Keilanatalk(recall) 20:22, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm not really sure what you mean by that, but i'm on your side. Reywas92Talk 20:35, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I'll clarify. Sometimes people have to disagree with policy and ignore it to get things changed. If we didn't have people that did try to change things and were bold about it, then Wikipedia would have probably failed awhile ago. Keilanatalk(recall) 22:36, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Try rolling back all of our policy pages to their January 2004 versions. There's quite a difference. I can't imagine all of those changes were made only by people who agreed with each other. -Freekee (talk) 23:01, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Policy should not be changed easily, only after thorough discussion leading to consensus. But certainly not by "delete/undelete wars".
There are two issues here:
1) Speedy deletion based on violation of CSD#A7. This should only be used in obvious and noncontroversial cases. As seen in retrospect from the discussons here and at the AfD-debates, the {db-bio} tag was not uncontroversial and should therefore not have been applied. The article should likewise not have been speedy deleted, as it is the responsibility of the deleting admin to judge. Everybody makes wrong judgements now and then, but we normally learn from them, and try to avoid similar cases in the future.
2) The notability of sportspeople is a separate issue. Several people have claimed that participation in the olympics is sufficiently notable, while others oppose. Obviously there has to be reliable sources to verify the claim that the person participated, eventually won a medal or some other award. The {refimprove} and {notability} tags are for challenging the documentation and the notabilty of the subject. As for "significant/substantial coverage", it is not expected that such coverage of hundred years old events is found on internet, but it is expected to be found in news archives or in history books.
I do not know how to clearly "draw the line", but personally I like to operate with two different standars: 1) When creating articles myself, I would set a relatively high notability standard, not risking they get challenged or deleted. 2) When judging other editors' work I would not apply the same standards, but "assume good faith" and not override the other editors' judgement. Only articles/material that clearly violate policies or guidelines should be removed. Having said this, I appreciate you guys that do the "dirty" work, cleaning away hoaxes, self-promotions, advertising, copyright infringements, trivialities, etc.
Oceanh (talk) 23:13, 1 January 2008 (UTC).
As for the CSD deletion. I think that the article should not exist, for reasons expressed in my deletion summaries and here. I honestly think that articles about sportspeople should be judged to the same standard as other articles, Mr. Barker not being an exception. Keilanatalk(recall) 23:22, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
This is pretty much the reason for the current proposal at WP:BIO to remove all 'additional criteria' from the guideline. 81.77.136.231 (talk) 00:09, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
OK, that's a fair opinion (about the article). I have no opinion whether this particular article should exist or not, but as long as there are conflicting opinions, would advice not to claim A7 violation and speedy-delete articles of this type. The second argument ("no way he's going to be covered in reliable, 3rd party sources") can be used for a {notability} tag, eventually later followed by a {prod} tag, eventually an AfD if the prod-tag is removed. (But the argument does not support speedy-deletion). Personally I think it's unproductive to waste time on trying to get rid of articles like this. If somebody wants to cover a particular topic in more detail than average, why not let them? Of course it gives wikipedia a somewhat unbalanced focus, but I can see no more harm than that. I have created a few stubs on sportspeople myself, but they are mostly all either world champions, olympic champions, world cup winners, recipients of major awards or recognition, etc. And most of them are based on redlinks in other articles, which means they are not orphaned. Hope it is ok to create stubs – maybe others will expand them later.
That's one of the key questions with stubs. Can the the stubs be expanded? And that's one of the problems with this whole discussion about Olympians - they can't. -Freekee (talk) 03:11, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Oceanh (talk) 02:43, 2 January 2008 (UTC).

  • Comment Olympic sportspeople compete in a global competition at the highest level of their sports - so the same standards as applied to other articles would seem to suggest that they ARE noteable. DuncanHill (talk) 00:01, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Pardon? With respect that's an extraordinary thing to claim. As people keep saying the issue is about notability not achievement. The same standards applied to other articles would most certainly not suggest achievement implies notability. --BozMo talk 14:56, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    • I do not recall mentioning achievement - perhaps you misread my post. DuncanHill (talk) 23:01, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. This isn't rocket science. If a subject does not have enough sources to build a complete encyclopedic article, it should not have its own article. Vassyana (talk) 03:01, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    • I think the current debate boils down to the definition of "enough" and "complete" per your statement. There are two relatively independent sources that document his Olympic results, but not much beyond that. Some feel that is sufficient for a short article, others disagree. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 17:30, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    • There was a talk in WP:BIO about Olympic athletes about a month ago which was getting support in the talk page, those athletes articles, like all articles need to meet sourcing concerns first. If there isn't enough non-trivial, reliable sources, an article shouldn't exist. And yes editors tend to ignore policies like WP:N, that's why we needed notabilty guidelines like WP:MUSIC, WP:BIO, etc. A rediscussion of WP:SPORTS would be nice. Secret account 23:13, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment - Every professor at Berkeley, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, Princeton, etc. etc. is much more important and more notable than some person who can run really fast or throw a ball really far. Does no one else think it is silly that we devote so much attention to people who are basically genetic freaks (or steroid users) with the leisure time and money to train for some event like throwing a javelin really really far?!?! Are we still hunting Woolly Mammoths?!? The amount of importance attached to athletics is just silly. I don't see why an athlete should get an exemption over all the other types of things humans can do and are good at just because they can run fast etc.. I know these things are important to some people, but they are not important enough to all people to warrant an exemption. (I actually only know one person who even watches the Olympics! The event is just a Capitalist money-pit that destroys/bankrupts its host-city like a blood-sucking parasite and displaces thousands of poor people and ruins the environment. But that's an aside.) If the person in question is THE FASTEST RUNNER EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, they should have an article. Otherwise there should just be a dump list for each Olympics with the names of the athletes, events, times, distances etc. and put paid to it. Let me say too that I am a strict inclusionist. I just don't like exemptions that privilege one group over another. Saudade7 00:07, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment I came to this debate expecting to be defending the exception however the arguments made by CP and others are persuasive. In much the same way as every pro soccer player and every pro baseballer are afforded their own articles (something which I have previously disagreed with) this exception perpetuates a nonsense where anonymous sporting non-achievers are recorderd for posterity where others fall by the wayside. It is more useful to formulate a workable notability criterion, building on a number of credentials which extend beyond simple representative status, to achieve a more worthwhile category of sportsmen and women who deserve to have their achievements recognised. A blanket exception like the present one is frankly lazy and does more harm in terms of cruft than it does good in protecting the forgotten. Dick G (talk) 05:57, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment that I fully expect everyone to ignore entirely. It is a common misconception that the additional criteria in guidelines like WP:BIO represent exceptions to the standard criteria. Rather, the represent situations where the entire class of people are all likely to pass the criteria. For example, the Olympics is a heavily publicized event. Every athelete receives coverage, often quite extensive, in reliable sources just for participating. Thus, the stipulation that "Athletes that compete in the highest level of amateur competition (read: Olympics) [are notable]"... Those athletes universally receive a level of coverage that makes them notable. So don't politicians holding national office. So don't leading actors in notable films. That's why they are listed, its not that they get exempt from the notability guidelines, its that they all pass the notability guidelines easily. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 06:13, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
    • Question for Jayron32 and others...then how is this different from the rule (that goes something like) "Wikipedia is not a newspaper"? Sure these people get alot of press during the Olympics, but most of the time they don't follow that up with anything of note nor do they break a record. I dated a guy once who was on the U.S. Ski Team. He didn't win a medal and now he's like a woodworker or magazine layout editor or something like that (it was 10 years ago). Lots of people get coverage...people who write lots of bad checks get coverage. What makes being a non-contender in the Olympics important just because that person receives some coverage in the year of a particular Olympics? If you are the fastest runner in, say, the Falkland Islands (just as a fallacious example, but there are equally unpopulated countries) and make the team, is that really notable? Saudade7 09:08, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
    • Jayron, you may have confuses some earlier Olympics with the modern ones. Athletes at more recent Olympics have huge amounts of world-wide coverage (sometimes) and are often much better known. A majority of the short articles with trivial sources relate to some of the first Olympics. You know, the Olympics were not televised until 1936. Athletes nowadays may have an easier time having sources, but most don't. Reywas92Talk 15:56, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
The point isn't about the amount of press generated during the competition (UK news papers are garbage and I'd hate to think the amount of coverage in a UK paper had anything to do with 'notability') but that a "non contender in the Olympics" is still the best athlete that country had in that sport at that time. An Olympic athlete that comes 12th is still 12th _in the world_. WP needs to sort out some kind of inclusion criteria for sports people; have a look at my one attempt to PROD a non-notable sports person. I find it odd that I disagree with Saudade7 (who says they're an inclusionist) because I'm a deletionist/exclusionist, and I'm happy for almost all articles about sports people to be deleted and for policies to be created to say that sports people have meet some benchmark for inclusion. I'd say that an Olympic athlete is notable just because they're an Olympic athlete. Short, well written articles about Olympic athletes are better than, for example, articles about people who don't win tv talent shows. Dan Beale-Cocks 14:22, 3 January 2008 (UTC)


  • What's the consensus so far? What do people agree with? That a medal winning Olympic athlete can get an article if there are sources to support it? Dan Beale-Cocks 14:22, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
    • Medal-winning? Sure! That means that the person really did compete at the highest level, the final round, and didn't just get a DNF. A medal winner is much more likely to have more sources, too, but they are still required, as you said. Reywas92Talk 15:56, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Inherent bias of wikipedia Looking at the total medal counts of all time, it should be no surprise that the top 20 countries with the most medals are all first-world countries. These nations have the resources and money to train athletes to such levels, a much more likely reason than inherently better genetic stock. Wikipedia is already highly biased towards affluent western nations, as one would expect with anything on the internet. Furthermore, our typical western editor is likely to use the internet as their sole resource for establishing notability, when the internet is less likely to be used than traditional media in less developed countries. Less developed countries are also less likely to send along a high number of competitors, increasing the individual notability of the competitors involved. In addition, any editors coming from a country with few medal wins would be unlikely to feel welcomed if their country's sporting heroes were denied mention. No harm ultimately comes to the project from comprehensive coverage (this is not the place to debate this, however), and as such significant notability is best used as a measure of appropriate depth, not a right to exist (which is the preserve of verifiability and some measure of notability within a greater populace). In the case of these athletes, until further information arises they should be present within a list, with article names reserved and redirected to the list. LinaMishima (talk) 17:23, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

An interesting debate - a few thoughts. Our existing rules take care of notability and reliable sources - and that need not be internet based. Assuming that someone does have enough WP:RS to make an article, the question is should one be created? Really, its never a question of definative YES or NO, but always a question of balance of reasons of notability - its in the grey "could he/she/it" where we need clear rules and better consensus. One thing many editors forget is the useful role of lists in Wikipedia - rather than create an article or delete someone else's work, adding the information to a list means its recorded, tabulated and in context. For our example 1936 rower, a list entry would be more than adequate - what more could we say about him, and he'd be more "in context" with his colleagues than as a singular article amongst many. I think on balance the existing rules and points of clarity address the issue, and tighter definition could create problems - what happens if he came eight, but was locally so significant they created a library in his name: see, it changes the balance of his importance. I am currently writing individual articles on the top10 shots from the Allied side of the Battle of Britain - and yet, most of these gentlemen who were media personalities at the time didn't have articles before - and yet others who were significant locally did. Perhaps one point of definition could be created, and again I'll take our rower as the example - he's only notable because he took part as part of a team of rowers in one boat. So, rather than eight individual articles, there could be a rule focus more on why he's notable in the field of athletics/olympics (ie - as part of a team), rather than the individual. That should create a better coverage over fewer articles, and more list entries. OK, so there are a few who turn up twice - but they then should easily pass WP:Notability. But most turn up once - and it would at least remove those "standard/looky-likey" articles from the system. Thoughts? Rgds, - Trident13 (talk) 18:25, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Trying to address a similar issue for fictional notability, to me, this comes down to common sense application. Yes, Olympic athletes may be notable, but there is likely a better chance to demonstrate notability to group such athletes into a single article, say, "Americans Participating in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games". You can use a table to give each persons name, age, hometown, sport(s) and placement, and then you can add more information about how America's representatives were sponsored. Athletes that are more notable due to other facts should still be listed but can be wikilinked to a more verbose page. --MASEM 18:40, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

The list solution is one that I strongly support. I view it not as "not notable enough to be detailed on wikipedia", but "notability and verifiable information can only justify a stub", combined with the belief that directly related stubs that logically form a group should, wherever possible, be merged into well-formatted lists. Note that this also allows a unified approach for medal earners as well, as there is no guarantee we will know any more about them other than their sporting success. If competing in the Olympics is not notable, winning a small medal in a less significant sport is unlikely to be, either. LinaMishima (talk) 18:50, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I should point out that these lists already exist. For the medalists, 66 list pages have been written that tabulate every medal winner, organized by sport and event. See Lists of Olympic medalists for the "list of lists". For individual athletes, ~3000 pages exist for each nation/Games combination, such as United States at the 2004 Summer Olympics. That's where we (where "we" = Wikipedia:WikiProject Olympics) have summarized the results for every athlete for each nation at every Games. Many of these articles are incomplete, but you can see the intent by looking at the 2004 USA page for example. Of course, we are also working on the results of each Olympic event, such as Athletics at the 1912 Summer Olympics - Men's 100 metres. Therefore, when we are finished, every Olympic athlete ought to be listed in at least two places: on the event results page, and on the "Nation at the year Olympics" page. Of course, this article structure is how we arrived at this debate in the first place. All those athlete names are wikilinked, which is an open invitation for editors to start articles when they see redlinks... — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 20:32, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I still don't see why it's a problem if an Olympic athlete has an article. Maybe it's just me. I really think it'd suck if Olympic athelte articles are deleted while lists of fictional ducks, bus routes in Essex etc etc are kept. Dan Beale-Cocks 16:52, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Way back near the beginning of this thread, Canadian Paul put her/his finger on a very important point worth considering: "articles that say nothing more than what can be put on a list." This problem extends to other areas than Olympic contestants. One example is any one of the kings of the 14th and 15th dynasties of ancient Egypt, where what is know about most of these is only his name -- & in a few cases, we do not know even this much. Details like what happened during his reign, dates of his birth & death -- even more than a vague sense of when he actually lived -- are not known, & have so far failed to even attract published commentary or speculation from the experts in the field. And there are countless more cases where one could say that although information on a subject can be verified, the subject itself is not notable. Now we can simply dismiss this with a reference to the principle that "Wikipedia is not paper". However, as we continue to add new articles to Wikipedia, this problem of creating articles which fall into this grey area, articles that conceivably may never grow beyond a sentence or two, this will continue to return to trouble us. -- llywrch (talk) 19:05, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

The action of the inclusion of information within a list and within an article are effectively equivalent, except that individual articles have higher maintenance overheads and list entries are slightly harder to locate. It seems that merging small articles into lists (where they become collected with related material, easing reading) gets around the notability farce. There seems to be three sides to the debate, an unlisting side favouring separate articles, a zero-mention side based on wish-wash concepts that are inherently tied to wikipedia's biases, and a few voices for reason preferring lists until the wealth of strong knowledge supports an individual article. Certainly on matters of debatable notability, lists are by far the best way to go, especially when there is a strong case for the subject matter's inclusion (or narrow boundaries between inclusion and exclusion). What we find with the olympic athletes is that this list route is already in use, so the entire debate is moot ;) LinaMishima (talk) 03:44, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree that lists are the best solution for large numbers of people in this situation, but the "problem" is that we tend to wikilink all the names on those lists, and the mass of resultant redlinks is an invitation for other editors to write those stub articles and help "complete" those lists. Either we stop linking every name on a list, or we learn to leave redlinks alone if nothing substantial can be written. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 05:47, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
My suggestion would be to stop wikilinking the names on the lists. A collection of pre-existing articles is only one of the criteria for a possible list. The other (from the top of my head) is having a series of naturally-fitting items - the various lists of Olympic athletes would easily fit that bill. Only ones with full articles should be wikilinked, I believe. Cheers, CP 07:22, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
While I agree with your proposal, CP, this would require an additional step: somehow, & in a place associated with such lists, we need to indicate that after a good-faith search that we were unable to find enough information about these people or subjects. Otherwise, once these names are unlinked we all know that someone forgets that this lack of information has been clearly proved (e.g. anywhere from 5 years to five minutes later), someone will recreate the link & try to create an article -- & we'll find ourselves right back where we started. -- llywrch (talk) 21:55, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
How about the talk page? For the List of romantic novelists we are only keeping created articles on the main page, and on the talk page there is a list of people we would like to have articles for, with notes next to those that we have tried and failed to find enough information to write about. Karanacs (talk) 22:03, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
(reply to Canadian Paul): There is a big advantage in keeping the (red) wikilinks, and that is that it is very easy to find athletes who compete in multiple events and/or multiple Games via "what links here", since those names would appear on multiple lists. Delinking names loses that. I think there is a certain amount of "red links = bad" culture on Wikipedia, and I don't think that should be the case. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 22:20, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Here's another bloody AFD with the same issues that's went on in the Baker article Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/John Cowne. This time it's an american football player rather than an OlympianSecret account 21:45, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
And another Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Magdalena Mikloş here. This one is an Olympian. Just trying to note them all in the same place. Cheers, CP 00:34, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Misuse of section headings to point something out

The AfD for James Barker (which started all of this) closed as a redirect to 1912 Summer Olympics. While I think that it could be better redirected somewhere else, Athletics at the 1912 Summer Olympics or Great Britain and Ireland at the 1912 Summer Olympics for example, I think it is similar to my suggestion - what User:LinaMishima referred to as "preferring lists until the wealth of strong knowledge supports an individual article", which I think is a nice summary. It needs a better redirect destination and a subsequent clean up to make sure nothing redundant wikilinks to it, but it's something to consider. I do disagree with the statement, however, that "What we find with the olympic athletes is that this list route is already in use, so the entire debate is moot". I came across hundreds, if not thousands, while doing research for this list; many can be found in Category:Possibly living people as well. Cheers, CP 05:27, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

I strongly oppose the use of a redirect in this instance, per comments I made several times in that discussion. Either keep it or delete it, but the redirect leads to a very confusing user experience when browsing Olympic results pages. So where is the best place for me to re-state my position? Deletion review? Request for comment? Suggestions welcome. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 05:43, 8 January 2008 (UTC)