Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 6

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I need help determining notability. It states on the Wikipedia Notability page that short term news bursts don't count as notability. But what if that news burst was short term, but major in how far it reached? Like a person who got on the news in America and also got on the news in Korea?... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Heero Kirashami (talkcontribs) 04:51, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

As our world becomes more connected, through global TV networks, the internet, and general mass media, it becomes more and more likely that the reach of a news item will grow. Where someone once became famous for five minutes only locally, they can now become famous for five minutes on a global scale. That does not change the fact that they were only famous for five minutes. A short term news burst is still a short term news burst, no matter it's reach. Blueboar 19:53, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
My personal opinion? Ask yourself, if it disappears from the headlines and nothing else happens, will people still want to read about this a year from now? Sometimes you can predict. If a volcano explodes or someone wins the Nobel Prize you can be pretty sure people will be interested a year from now, even a hundred years from now. If a person gets arrested for a bizarre crime, nobody will care next week. In between you have to guess. Sometimes, an event is just news for now but there is a lot of context, connection with other important events, importance in illustrating the subject, etc., so you can take a chance and infer that it is notable. But you're risking the possibility that after all your work, six months from now people are going to decide the article is pointless and delete it. It's nice when Wikipedia can be current and relevant, and useful to understand the latest headlines. But we don't have to be completely up to date with the news - that's what newspapers are for. There's usually no harm in taking a breather and waiting a week or a month to see how the story plays out before writing the article.Wikidemo 00:55, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
So in the case that a person continues to make news, at least amongst academia, that person may be article-worthy?... --Heero Kirashami 02:00, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
  • There is no hard and fast standard, only guidelines which are subject to reasonable interpretation. Read WP:BIO and use good judgment. For an academic or musician consult WP:PROF or WP:MUSIC respectively. If someone doesn't like your article you will hear about it or it will be nominated for deletion. Without very clear information on you subject we just can't tell much more. If you write an article and feel it is being unfairly criticized, please contact me and I will help. --Kevin Murray 03:05, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Notability for an encyclopedia article differs from notability in the news cycle. If a topic is notable enough for a stand alone encyclopedia article at one time, it remains notable even after the news fades. Take for example Theodore Kaczynski, who hasn't been in the news much lately. Conversely it is prudent not to place excessive merit on skiing squirrels simply because they made the evening news report. - Michael J Swassing (talk) 22:30, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Five pillars

There has been a lot of rewriting going on at Wikipedia:Five pillars recently, with very little broad based oversight. It might be a good idea for more of us to be involved, at least in observing the process. --Kevin Murray 16:34, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

I took a look, & didn't see anything. But your concern leads me to wonder: if some troublemaker managed to significantly rewrite some fundamental policy but almost no one supported the change, would that rewrite matter? Beyond a few literalists who might believe we must "follow the policy -- right or wrong!" -- llywrch 00:22, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
It appears to me that there is the very real possibility that a very small number can change policies, and then cite them to support what they, in good faith, believe is best for the many. The fact that most editors are interested in article topics and content rather then policies or consensus discussions provides the obscurity to allow what would not pass muster among the many. Watch the deletion discussions, and the policy changes. The same names appear from fewer than 25 wikipedians, making decisions for all who do not enter into those specific discussions. And even when a lone editor confronts them they dispose of the arguments one by one, one after another, day in and day out, month after month. As if representing the objectives of some larger, external agency, as a full time job. - Michael J Swassing 02:22, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that would be WP:CABAL. WP:ROGUE may or may not also be relevant. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:22, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Golly, now I feel silly. Surely various government agencies, and political partisans take no interest whatever in how policies are presented. Corporate public relations departments can be similarly trusted. - Michael J Swassing (talk) 23:04, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Policy thrash

Yes, an otherwise unimportant change to policy does matter, because tools and processes are built on policy. Example:- including or excluding high schools is not really that critical - but a move to exclude them would result in many thousands of hours of work being nullified. Moreover, an undocumented later move to allow them again would absorb a load more effort. This has been happening on MoS to some extent. Rich Farmbrough, 11:55 18 November 2007 (GMT).

Could you link to that discussion? Relata refero (talk) 18:21, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Why can archival material be edited?

NOTE: THis discussion moved here from Wikipedia:Village pump (assistance)

I am puzzled as to why Archival material can be edited. Surely archived material should, by definition, be packed away and not be changed or deleted? This would include archived talk pages, archives of the reference desks and so on. If you wish to reactivate some of this material, you should copy it over to a current active page, link it to the archive it came from and take it from there. And similarly, why does the system allow the history pages of articles to be amended? It is after all an auditable record of what was actually written. I know you can get the history of the history pages, but wouldn’t it be simpler and cut down on data storage to cut out as much of this stuff as possible? Myles325a 23:02, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

The main reasons I've seen are new "archive" navigation templates being invented, users who have changed their usernames updating their signature, and new spelling bots. As for why these pages aren't protected, it would appear to be a waste of admin time to have our sysops protect every archived discussion and then have to respond to requests to people asking for edits to the protected archives, especially when archive edits are so rare and so transparently traceable through the history. I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean by "why does the system allow the history pages of articles to be amended". Do you mean, "Why can page revisions be deleted by admins?" - BanyanTree 20:16, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Now I'm the one who doesn't understand. As someone with auditing experience, my understanding of archives are they are historical records, which have had a line ruled under them, and are packed away for future reference, not something which can be amended or "fixed up" later. And I don't get why we would need "sysops [to] protect every archived discussion", seeing as there are already umpteen articles which have been locked, either temporarily or indefinitely. And you don't say anything about my idea of posters copy/pasing material from archives into current pages. Of course, someone researching archived material could look for changes in the history pages, but that is a tiresome task which should not have to slow them down. And really, if the only reason you can give me is that some users change their usernames, then I must confess I consider that to be a trifling matter. In contrast, I would estimate that about 5% of Wikipedia is encyclopedia articles. The rest is all this stuff, and it gets hard to sift thru it all. Letting archives be archives would be a step in the right direction in slowing down and rationalising some of this stuff. BT, you're a great sysop, but I think you should have a chat with an auditor. Editing historical records is what people like Stalin did. Myles325a 03:30, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, my mistake. I thought you were looking for an explanation, rather than an excuse to start an argument. Please ignore my response above as I wouldn't have bothered if I had realized your intention. - BanyanTree 04:00, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Myles325a, are you sure that you are addressing a real problem rather than a theoretical one? Do you have evidence that (1) there are archives being modified in a way that is truly problematic, (2) these problematic changes are not being caught and (3) these problematic changes are happening often enough to warrant the cost of preventing them?

If you are an auditor or have worked with one, surely you know that there is a cost/benefit analysis to preventing or even detecting problems. The edit history on archive files is enough to prove that an archive file has been tampered with and how. Even if an editor goes into an archive file and makes a substantive but illegitimate change, we would be able to detect that if it were important enough to make the effort. Usually, however, archive files are not of any great value except in providing evidence for ARBCOM cases. I would drop this line of inquiry as not likely to be very productive.

--Richard 17:50, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Archives may be edited, but histories are not. While the currently visible version of any page may or may not be the full story, the history tab shows every single version of every single page including talk pages. You can't make stuff change or disappear by altering an "archive". Even deleted pages aren't really "deleted". Admins and buerocrats have access to them and their histories. This seems a non-issue to me. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 04:23, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Myles325 replies to BanyanTree, above. Ho hang about a sec, bro, and swap that high horse for a pony. You sound like some high priest giving “explanations” to a young dynamic researcher as to why the status quo is the best of all possible worlds, and getting snippy when he doesn’t just say “Oh, of course, how silly of me, O Divine One, thank you for setting me straight.” Wikipedia is not some medieval conclave of metaphysicians pulling rank on their novitiates, but a dynamic, evolving structure. And, frankly, I don’t mind an argument; you seem to think it an impertinence. I am a novice here, sure, and I was genuinely in search of explanations, but there is an element of the Socratic Question in my approach. I think that there is something irregular in allowing archives to be amended. Are you so sure that that there is nothing in anything that I said? I was, until medical retirement, a Senior Management Consultant in a large organisation, in charge of about $1 billion in capital investment. That involved a lot of careful and intricate analysis of structures. What’s your line of work? You have not substantially answered any of my points, and I would appreciate it if you did not bother to reply to this with more of your snotty “humour”. There are plenty of sysops out there, and the chances are that nearly all of them would have heads made of something of more benefit than the wood of a Banyan Tree.

To Richard. I am a management consultant, and they work with everyone in an organisation, including auditors. But making the most of cost-benefit analysis is not an auditor’s job. In fact, it’s quite the reverse. It is their job to make the system as fraud and fool proof as possible, at whatever expense. Trying to make it profitable is mine. Auditors demand audit trails on every transaction made in any business. The lack of strong transparent audit trails is behind most frauds. I fully realise that your history pages act as a kind of audit trail. I do not see why there needs to be a byte consuming tier on top of the archives, when it serves no real purpose. This might be cruel of me but the problems of a user “Stuffymuffy” who now wants to be known as “Fluffymuffy” would not be top of my priorities. As to whether these archives have much use, I point you to Karl Popper’s notion of World 3, as the cultural world which holds information in libraries etc, which can be retrieved IF and WHEN needed. There are books in such libraries that have not been opened in hundreds of years, some will never be opened. Why not turf them out? Because no one knows when the data held there might be needed for some future purpose not now known. A good example is the daily flight data of the Viking space craft, held on floppy discs in “archives” and thought useless. Until someone noticed that the craft had travelled further than theory predicted. The daily data, which could have been turfed out, formed the basis of one of the most important cosmological theories of the last 30 years. Archives are there as a historical record, like Magna Carta, and the Domesday Book. They are not there to be edited and amended with a footnote to the “original version” elsewhere. No auditor, historian, or indeed any scholar would countenance such an outrage. Apart from opening the door to fraud, it makes it harder for some SERIOUS researcher down the track who is sifting thru an already Byzantine maze of info for what they need. Such researchers would not be best served by having to study copies of newspapers from 1879, which have been emended in 2007 by some wit who has replaced text with “I have a big donger” and a pointer to what the original was. And my overriding concern is with the intelligentsia and the researchers of the future. The Stuffymuffies of the present are not my top priority, and neither should they be yours. Myles325a 05:24, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

This isn't like a newspaper or some historical document. It's not something people can irreparably damage. They can be irritants, sure, but that is a non-issue. Regular users archive pages all the time, and not all archives use the same formatting. To expect admins to track down and semi/full protect every one is unfeasable, as well as completely unnecessary. — Someguy0830 (T | C) 05:54, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I never understood this either. Surely it takes more time to keep a constant eye on such pages than perform a one time protection of such pages? The number of people who want to perform truly essential and non-destructive edits on such pages can be counted on a single hand. It might be largely a theoretical issue now, but I'd rather not see it become reality. - Mgm|(talk) 13:38, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

In many companies the backup system works as follows: A complete incremental backup of every harddisk on a central server is made every night, or every weekend. But most people don't know who to ask if they want to restore deleted data, or they know and it's a complicated process. Therefore, and to be on the safe side, they make their own backups.

It's a bit like that on Wikipedia. The history system is like the automatical centralized backup system. Everybody can use it, but it's not very convenient. If a talk page gets too long, one could just delete it, but then nobody would read the old data. That's why we have the manual archiving system. It's like a secretary saving her documents on a floppy disk.

I believe the answer to BanyanTree's question is: Contrary to appearances, archival material can not be deleted by ordinary users. On first sight it looks as if you could change history. But if you use the "Edit this page" button on a history page and save, the result seems to be exactly the same as if you copy the content of the old version, click "Edit this page" on the current version of the page, paste the content in, and save. The audit trail is not affected. Even though the wording on the history editing page suggests otherwise: "You are editing an old revision of this page. If you save it, any changes made since then will be removed." In the context of just having browsed history in order to get there this seems to suggest that you can remove everything after a certain date from history. BanyanTree: Is that what you meant? This would really be unreasonable, and it doesn't happen, as I just checked.

But it would be equally unreasonable for a company to put a system in place to make sure that everybody make their personal backups only on CD-ROMs, and that they have to be archived, rather than safely disposed of. Similarly, it wouldn't make much sense to turn the current archiving practices into a second history system. --Hans Adler (talk) 18:44, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

is an anonymous user allowed to have a user page?

At the Dutch wikipedia we had one of our typical discussions about the question whether an anonymous user could have his own user page. It concerns users with a seemingly fixed address. Has the English wikipedia a policy on this subject? Ellywa 15:07, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

It certainly happens, for example User: so I suppose it is allowed. This example shows how it can be helpful (on a shared but static IP address) but most people find it mysterious why folks like this don't register. Thincat 15:22, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
That is clear. Some people apparently have their reasons, we cannot understand, as we are so used to our nicknames and additional nice things such as a watchlist. Anyway. Thank you for your quick response. Ellywa 17:33, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
IP editors cannot create new pages on English wikipedia, including user pages. This is one reason that very few IP editors have user pages. We expect long term contributors to register a user name, in any case; editors who don't want to do so have little room to argue about being deprived of benefits because of it. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:47, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I believe that the policy was recently reversed and IP users can once again create pages. Sadly. --Kevin Murray 18:08, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
It was discussed, but in the end it was not put into effect, because the developers didn't see consensus to do it See Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Anonymous page creation. — Carl (CBM · talk) 18:30, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Great news. I'm so glad to be wrong on this one. --Kevin Murray 18:46, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
FYI, the better term is "unregistered", rather than "anonymous". Registering and then editing only when logged in actually preserves one's anonymity (since only a CU or Steward can see their IP address), unless you choose to provide personal info. --SB_Johnny | talk 23:47, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

user pages for IP editors

(undent) Returning to the question at hand - unregistered users could create pages until the policy was changed in December 2005; since then, they've not been able to. Regarding the page User:, that was created by a registered editor on September 21, 2007; the edit summary says "Create per request from". -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:18, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I think it's a silly idea to create user pages for IP editors. There's no reason not to get a username, and as a community we need to encourage it. Having a userpage is one of the benefits of having a username. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:22, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I can't remember the IP off-hand, but there's definitely at least one that refuses to get an account for whatever reason, and we should respect that. If the IP is static and can be consistently traced back to the same person or source, I see no reason why they shouldn't get a user page. GlassCobra 14:28, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

User: -- Corvus cornix (talk) 17:22, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

A couple of examples User talk: and User talk: [[-- Guest9999 (talk) 18:00, 16 November 2007 (UTC)]]

At NL wikipedia we have at least three users who do not want to register. I respect their stanpoint. Ellywa (talk) 09:08, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I regularly edited as an IP for years and have had several successive accounts now only because of peer pressure, as it were. I totally respect anyone who doesn't wish to create an identity here for themselves outside their contrib histories. Relata refero (talk) 18:19, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Title Possible Offense (Five pillars)

(note: I copied this discussion from the FP talk page, as I think it is important and not receiving notice there.) ---- Kevin Murray (talk) 18:53, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

To Whom it May Concern:

I represent the Islamic Information Center (IIC) on a volunteer basis, and they asked me to contact you (whoever that may be) as to a possible violation upon our principle religion regarding both the Quran and relation to the modern world today. Unfortunately, I didn't see any phone number to contact, so I wrote in discussion - as Jim Wales suggested on C-SPAN for independent organizations to contact Wikipedia. The problem is this articles (or policies) title as a basis of the five pillars of Islam. We don't consider such actions hostile towards the Muslim community, however we do ask it be changed to prevent any possible confusion in Muslims relations with Wikipedia - to something more neutral.

To discuss this further, please contact me at

(redacted to save you from the crawlerbots)


Josh Armin —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:07, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

If we went around changing every article that would/might offend Muslims then we would be in direct breach of the second pillar " Wikipedia has a neutral point of view," by submitting to one groups claim to offence not to mention we would lose all sense of accuracy and credibility to wikipedia. Its been argued over and over, especially on articles such as Aisha that wikipedia does not bend or change to Islam. Its about facts and knowledge and I highly doubt and unsigned comment by someone claiming to be from the IIC (even though you list a yahoo email address NOT an IIC one) is going to do anything constructive. Thats my two cents --Curuxz 10:15, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • In away I agree with Curuxc and we must be cautious about pandering to social pressures and special interest groups. However, I see legitimate concern in this case. Was it random chance that we named this policy the Five Pillars, or were we emulating Islam? I see no offense intended, rather I see a potential compliment. But if offense is being taken, why not modify our title. We are a young enough project that we can easily adapt. ---- Kevin Murray (talk) 18:48, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Islam lays no unique claim to the number five, or the idea of pillars supporting something. Their combination is rather natural, and the similarity a coincidence. EVula // talk // // 20:55, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I can't agree. There is no special meaning to "ten", nor to "commandments" but the combination has a very specific meaning. ---- Kevin Murray (talk) 21:32, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • "Commandment" doesn't have a strong definition outside of "The Ten Commandments" or general orders; "pillar" has a more literal definition, which is what the symbolic meaning is derived from. See Five Pillars, Four Pillars, and Three Pillars. EVula // talk // // 21:46, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Good examples! Thanks. I'd like to find out more about the depth of concern. Perhaps someone should write to IIC, to see whether there is broad based concern. ---- Kevin Murray (talk) 21:50, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Personally I don't think so, as your just assuming based upon the titles notability that its irrelavant. For instance, what if there were the 6 commandments or 5 commandments (not having to do with the Bible). Just because there aren't doesn't warrant 10 pillars - after all we have to take this from a Muslim perspective, what would a Muslim first think about when he hears 4 pillars, like a Christian would think about 4 commandments. They are very much alike.-- 02:04, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I think a more interesting question is whether this page is needed at all. All our policies are important. SashaCall 21:38, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I strongly disagree. It's usually more usable and scalable to decide things based on general principles, rather than expecting people to memorize 27 different policy pages whose content may or may not be accurate at any given time. The principles and some intelligence are all you need; the details can be worked out as needed. Friday (talk) 21:52, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • The relevant question is whether we would change if it was the Ten Commandments of Wikipedia, and someone objected. I leave people to contemplate that. I'd also say that if it is the case that some people are being offended, we could perhaps leave it out of the welcome template, because that at least should be as anodyne as possible. Relata refero (talk) 18:16, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Fair use illustrations of living people

While I am fairly sure there was some guideline on this specific point, I currently can't find it. However I also think it is over broad to de-illustrate articles on living people on the basis that, in theory, a wikipaparazzi could be out there photographing them. I would request two things:

  1. More eyes on Wikipedia:Non-free content to review what if anything we should say about living people
  2. Some thought to whether there should be a place where User:R. Baley/Acquire a free image could move which would also link to Wikipedia:Requested pictures/People.

Rich Farmbrough, 13:15 18 November 2007 (GMT).

I don't think you will get anywhere with that as I have seen articles on dead people de-illustrated on the basis that, in theory, a wiki user could be out there who would offer up a photograph. Garda40 (talk) 14:50, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
You seem not to be aware of the March 2007 Licensing policy resolution of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia foundation. Quote:
...may not allow material where we can reasonably expect someone to upload a freely licensed file for the same purpose, such as is the case for almost all portraits of living notable individuals.
Regards, High on a tree (talk) 23:02, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Image fair use policy

How can I tell if an image I find online qualifies as "fair use" or not?--Miss Pussy Galore (talk) 18:37, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Does it meet all ten points of the non-free content criteria? Pay particular attention to #1: if it is possible to find or create a free-licensed replacement, then the non-free image does not meet Wikipedia's requirements. --Carnildo (talk) 21:45, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Administrator Re-confirmation en masse

Before you jump all over my humble suggestion, let me assure you I'm no crank and am saying this with the best interests of Wikipedia in mind. However, the spate of wheel-warring, direct overruling of James Wales by that one admin, admins with mental disturbances ..., and blatant admin vandalism and deletion sprees in the last year really have cast disrepute on the current corpus of sysops and stewards.

Therefore I propose that on Christmas Day 2007 (25 December), ALL admins and stewards have their access removed and are immediately put up again for re-nomination and discussion. That way the 'bad apples' can be easily removed without incident whilst the bulk of decent admins and stewards will be re-confirmed, likewise uneventfully. I hope this proposal helps. Thanks, BradTimlin (talk) 00:59, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I hope you're prepared to hear the myriad reasons why that idea is beyond foolish. Aside from the massive problems removing all access would cause, renomming would take too long and what can only be described as a train full of crap will rush onto Wikipedia like the plague in the meantime. — Someguy0830 (T | C) 01:02, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
There are 1400 administrators on the English Wikipedia. The time cost alone of "reconfirmation" proceedings would make this an impossible exercise. With respect to stewards, they are elected on Meta-wiki, not on English Wikipedia, and I believe that most of them are being put up for reconfirmation in December. Newyorkbrad (talk) 01:08, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Clearly you have some examples in mind - a spate of wheel wars that the community has not addressed, or 'blatent bad adminship' causing admin vandalism and deletion sprees likewise needing exceptional handling? The thing is, as with articles, admins are given trust to use admin tools, and this is removed or cautioned if they later fail to use them well. So what I'd need to see is evidence that there are significant cases where 1/ this stuff has gone on, but 2/ the specific individuals responsible have not been censured by the community, and 3/ it happens often enough with enough (hundreds of?) current admins are implicated, that we're better off renominating all 1400 or so admins, rather than dealing with these cases as/when they arise. I'd need to see significant advantage or need, in the cost-benefit scale. I don't see the relevance of "stewards", since non-admin stewards will not be "wheel warring" or doing "blatent" admin disruption as asserted -- they can't. FT2 (Talk | email) 01:10, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't think this is such a horrible idea for admins (not stewards though, they have been multiply-vetted already), but removing the bit on all admins at once would leave the project in a tight spot. I think that an organized and gradual reconfirmation of admins in groups, perhaps after one year of service, might not be a bad idea. I don't think removing their bit beforehand would be necessary either. - Crockspot (talk) 01:19, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

If you want to punish admins for having the guts to make tough decisions, this is one way to do it. Raymond Arritt (talk) 01:23, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

There aren't enough admins to handle the load. Admins are getting burned out, that's a bigger problem than the admins who leave messes and create embarassing drama.Professor marginalia (talk) 01:40, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I have blocked this user following discussion, as a disruption-only account, see User talk:BradTimlin. FT2 (Talk | email) 01:51, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Good move. A look at his contribs shows charming edits such as this. Raymond Arritt (talk) 01:59, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

And on Christmas Day of all things. As if nobody could see right through this. - Cyborg Ninja (talk) 03:03, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

After reading through his contribs, can I be the first to say I hope he eats them. Happy Thanksgiving! (Sasha) 07:50, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Granted it's pretty much a given this guy is just trolling, I'm a little surprised at how quick people are to block. I can't but help but feel that this block is emotionally driven, simply because he choose a controversial subject to troll. What ever happened to at least giving a warning, letting the user know that we're serious, etc. ? -- Ned Scott (talk) 08:51, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Note: The above user has been indefinitely blocked for trolling ;-) --Carnildo (talk) 10:09, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Although the proposal is clearly unworkable in its current form, it does not reflect well that administrators are so hasty to make and maintain indefinite block on a new user, citing a proposal to reconfirm administrators as one of the reasons for the block. His short career on Wikipedia is nothing to be proud of, but no worse than many others who are given warnings before blocking and an opportunity to promise to be constructive editors. The claim that he has not tried to make any constructive edits to the project is clearly untrue.[1] Unless this is a sockpuppet account (quite possible given that he seems to have appeared here new with a chip on his shoulder and more than a passing familiarity with Wikipedia, in which case this is as likely an obtuse attempt to make fun of anti-administrator sentiment as it is a genuine complaint about administrators) the motivation looks a touch vindictive even if the result may be correct. Wikidemo (talk) 10:40, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, an indefinite block does seem rather over-the-top, and counter-productive, since the user can just create a new account and start over. It would be better to use progressive discipline, rather than go straight to the nuclear option. Ironically, taking the bait, hook, line and sinker, only supports the user's WP:POINT. Dhaluza (talk) 11:49, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

For the record, please see the user's talk page. It is clear that the user is 1/ almost certainly not in fact a "new user" at all, and 2/ using this account purely so far for disruptive purposes and non-encyclopedic posts, not just this one post. Nonetheless, the block post clearly explains: "An indefinite block exists to protect the wiki against activity of a disruptive nature, either indefinitely or until it is confirmed the behavior will cease", and explains how to request unblocking if this will be the case.

"Indefinite blocks are usually applied when there is significant disruption or threats of disruption ... an open-ended block may be appropriate to prevent further problems until the matter can be resolved by discussion ... the more usual desired outcome is a commitment to observe Wikipedia's policies and – if unblocked – to refrain from the problematic conduct in future." (WP:INDEF)

This is neither hasty, nor particularly unusual. It's a neutral and appropriate application of an indefinite block, which is not the same as a "ban". The entire editing history was discussed before placing, and so far the decision (which took the user's entire editing history into account) has been independently reconfirmed twice on unblock request [2] [3] and by several further admins and reputable users here [4] [5] [6] etc. The user, who is almost certainly not a new user (as Wikidemo notes) and has created this new account which is presently used purely for disruptive edits (it's made only unconstructive edits to date), needs to confirm the account will be used constructively, before normal access can be re-allowed. FT2 (Talk | email) 13:19, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

let me assure you I'm ... saying this with the best interests of Wikipedia in mind - I think it's fair that someone who starts a post off with what turns out to be a blatant lie (based on the prior record of edits) should be ignored. If someone who is a responsible editor here wants to restart this discussion (at a separate section, please), fine; that's the right way to consider this proposal. (Personally, I think it's a stupid idea, but different editors see things differently; I'd certainly support the right of an editor with a history of constructive edits to make such a proposal.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 19:48, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

User:Esskater11/Dirty images

Is that link acceptable in our encyclopedia? Lex94 Talk Contributions Guest Book 16:03, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Legal threats: Instant, auto and permanent block.

"Users who make legal threats will typically be blocked from editing indefinitely, while legal threats are outstanding."

The problem is, there is no one to follow-up so...

Making legal threats is automatic, instant, and permanent block that will remove yourself from Wikipedia with no chance of unblock. Thoughts?SYSS Mouse (talk) 17:28, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Conflicts with the general principle that (almost) anyone is capable of reform. For example, statements made in anger or immaturity should not always be held against people for the rest of their lives, so to speak. We remove them for specific reasons, not just because "it's a legal threat": -
  • Because it reduces scope for escalation of a bad situation,
  • It reduces stress and administrative burden on the wiki,
  • It reduces disruption to articles and the editorial environment,
  • It prevents the difficult situation where a person is both seeking to be collaborative partner and also setting themselves up as litigatious adversary (in general those two roles are mutually exclusive).
But... if those conflicts are in fact resolved (or the decision's made to test if they are resolved), then in fact there may be no current issue to protect the project against. FT2 (Talk | email) 17:54, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, the point of no legal threats is not to prevent people from suing Wikimedia, its to prevent idiots like myself with no legal knowledge from handling the legal issues, and making things stickier by letting someone be both the plaintiff and the defendant. Let User:Mike Godwin handle any lawsuits. Once lawsuits are resolved, there's no reason to maintain a block. But letting the person be on boths sides of a lawsuit is a terribly stupid idea. WilyD 18:34, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
(EC) Generally, if someone says "Hey, I'm sorry, I said that in anger, I'm not really going to sue anyone", they'll be unblocked, since at that point the threat has been withdrawn and is no longer outstanding. If they persist in threatening that, though, they shouldn't be participating in the project at the same time they're threatening to sue it or someone else participating in it. Once the legal action is complete or they decide not to pursue it (and make that decision known), they can edit again, but we just can't have people running around threatening to sic lawyers on those who disagree with them. An indefinite block is not necessarily permanent, it just means there is not a fixed date set for it to expire. Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:37, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
"The problem is, there is no one to follow-up so..." is not really true. If they post an {{unblock}} request where they sincerely withdraw the threat (as opposed to just saying "threat withdrawn, now unblock me"), an admin will review the situation and they may be unblocked. Mr.Z-man 18:43, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
how can you prove that intent, may I ask? SYSS Mouse (talk) 19:32, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I have seen people get unblocked from making legal threats once they retract them. The legal threat block is not punitive, but rather a device to ensure that all legal proceedings happen off-wiki and does not effect NPOV through intimidation. I think the current wording is very effective. 1 != 2 19:34, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. I recently gave one of these out: [7] and if the user makes any indication they don't intend to follow through, that would be enough to lift the block as far as I am concerned. Regarding:"how can you prove that intent, may I ask?" ..."Intent" may not need to be evaluated, I think what is meant by "sincerely" in the above is that a reasonable person reading the text they post would believe they've taken the threat back per their wording. Also, if someone thinks I could have made my wording to the blocked user clearer I'd love to hear about it. ++Lar: t/c 20:10, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Science fiction groups I can sense might be immune to WP:RS

I get the sense that becaouse there are a lot of scifi fans amongst wikipedia admin/editors, even if they have no WP:RS they will be let off if it comes to a deletion debate and lack of notability to those who are not into it. I sense this because of the number of these groups who have an article, even with no WP:RS. If so, this should change, it's hardly NPOV of wikipedia as a whole to make special lack-of-rules for these groups. Merkinsmum 19:32, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

If you see an article that doesn't appear to meet notability standards, feel free to nominate it for deletion. You can also tag articles with no reliable sources for cleanup. There is no all-seeing guru on Wikipedia to review every article, so it's up to the user community to enforce the standards. -- Karanacs (talk) 20:09, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes I know but I suspect there is a different rule for these type of articles, as so many of them have been here long-term and been allowed to stay.:) I may ask your opinion about one on your talk page.-- Merkinsmum (talk) 20:20, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I've seen groups of article before that I wondered why they were still here, and I've usually concluded that they were of such narrow focus that no one had really noticed them before. I don't know if that's the case here, but it's a possibility. No one such be immune to the RS policy though. -- Karanacs (talk) 21:29, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Is there a policy issue here? Because I'm not seeing it. Maybe if you provided some specific examples, this would be a more productive discussion. --- Chunky Rice (talk) 21:52, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Spoo. Surviving two AfDs. --MASEM 22:02, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Offhand, that article seems fine to me. I'm not seeing the problem. — Someguy0830 (T | C) 22:07, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Look through the sources - the bulk of the sources that attempt to cite the notability of Spoo are Usenet or other forum posts or from other primary sources (B5's Lurker Guide). There are no reliable secondary sources for that article (particularly of it's primary description as a term in the B5 mythos) --MASEM 22:23, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. I think that the reason the article may have survived however is not so much because it is science fiction related but that it is related to a fairly active project. If one really wanted to help remove such articles, the best way might be to try to encourage the growth of broader projects which could eventually surplant these smaller scope projects. But I myself have seen the "History of As the World Turns" articles, currently in six articles, beginning with History of As the World Turns (1956-1959), which are soap-opera, not science-fiction, related, and I personally wonder whether they have even as much notability. -- John Carter (talk) 22:42, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Okay, but this doesn't really strike me as a policy issue. It sounds more like a content dispute. And I think that Spoo has gotten by on its status as a Featured Article more than because it's science fiction based. -Chunky Rice (talk) 22:58, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
It's not so much a content dispute because I meant is this what's happening in general, rather than on one particular article. There is a big Category:Science_fiction_organizations which seems a bit lengthy for them all to be notable for an encyclopedia. I'm not arguing for the category's deletion or anything, I came here to ask if having so many articles about these orgs is a matter of precedent/unwritten license, I can't think offhand but I know some types of articles are always kept at AfD.Merkinsmum (talk) 01:58, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh no, they've discovered the Wikipedia Science Fiction Cabal! Anomie 02:26, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
ROFL! Maybe I just need to prod some of these- but not too many at once because I'm already being threatened with being reported for harrassment, for questioning the notability of one of the groups.:)Merkinsmum (talk) 13:36, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
  • People simply have different interpretations on what constitutes a reliable source, some or too permitting, some are too stringent. Regardless, an issue with just a few sources, is hardly a reason to delete an entire article. - Mgm|(talk) 13:44, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree absolutely with Merkinsmum that Wikipedia has a problem with admin-sanctioned fancruft. Spoo, whilst being especially egregious, may only be the tip of the iceberg. It's been said that someday, when all the *other* fancruft has been terminated, they will relent, but frankly I don't see it happening. In the meantime, our coverage of fiction becomes ever more slanted.--Nydas(Talk) 11:18, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I think many people with some history in SFF believe that usenet posts attributable to significant individuals count as reliable sources for articles strictly deealing with that subculture. I personally, as someone who remembers that moderated usenet groups did have considerable status at one point, believe that this is a reasonable expectation. Relata refero (talk) 18:13, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
That's special pleading. What's so special about sci-fi fandoms and usenet?--Nydas(Talk) 15:33, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

What about WP:N? I don't think that Usenet posts by the creator of an object can be considered independent sources as evidence of notability. Out of all the references, the only one which seems to possibly make the cut is the Dining on Babylon 5 book. But as the Amazon review by the author makes clear [8] the book idea and topic came from WB licensing, so it's not really an independent source either. (and the references to other uses of the word "spoo" in Beetle Bailey, etc., don't concern the main topic of the article). It does really look like Sci-Fi articles get a pass by WP. -- Myke Cuthbert (talk) 20:58, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

  • An article doesn't have to meet WP:N to be notable. An article has to be thought of as notable by a consensus of Wikipedians using WP:N as a guide. Spoo gets by because the current consensus of Wikipedians is that including the article improves the encyclopedia. If you don't think it does, this is the wrong arena for debate. Hiding Talk 21:10, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Really it's pathetic: In the fictional universe of Babylon 5, spoo is a valuable and highly desired food product. What does that article make in Wikipedia. I imagine Babylon 5 (whatever it is - book, film, game?) may deserve an aticle but "spoo"?!
It's like List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes (yes, each and every single Star Trek epysode has a full article or maybe even more). What the heck?! I agree that the series, the films, the books and even Klingon language (a freaky social phenomenon in some parts of the world, namely: the USA) may deserve articles... but each single epysode? No way! This is not a fanzine. The people so much interested in such matters should better work their own wikizine.
Speedy deletion for all! Guillotine! --Sugaar (talk) 17:16, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
  • It might be worth having an RfC about Wikipedia's bias in covering fiction.--Nydas(Talk) 21:16, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Patrolled new pages

As you may or may not have noticed, a change has been made to Special:Newpages to enable patrolled edits there. This allows users to mark a newpage as reviewed. See full details here. However, for unknown reasons, it has been set so that only admins can patrol pages. I would request input on the poll on the talk page as to who should be given the ability to patrol, so that the developers can be assured they are implementing community consensus. Mr.Z-man 01:05, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Update: all editors can mark new pages as being "patrolled". -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:02, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Out of curiosity -- & concern over a possible weakness in the process -- is it possible for someone to mark a page they created as "patrolled"? (If no one answers, I'll have to investigate this.) -- llywrch (talk) 18:19, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Radio and TV station notability

It recently came to my attention that TV and radio stations are exempt from the notability guideline that most other companies must satisfy. That is:

is notable if it has been the subject of coverage in secondary sources. Such sources must be reliable, and independent of the subject. The depth of coverage of the subject by the source must be considered. If the depth of coverage is not substantial, then multiple independent sources should be cited to establish notability. Trivial or incidental coverage of a subject by secondary sources is not sufficient to establish notability.

Radio and TV stations however apparantly only need to be licensed by the FCC or equivalent in other countries. However, the FCC requires TV and radio stations to have a license. "Fines and/or criminal prosecution may result from illegal operation of an unlicensed station." The content of many of these articles fails the main verifiability policy as the only sources they have are the FCC database and other such listings, which do little more than prove the existence and address of the station, a far cry from the substantial coverage required of every other company and the reliable sources guideline. What I saw from my attempt to nominate 2 stations for deletion (WRNY (AM) and WRRC (FM)) was completely shocking. First, someone removed the AFD tag from the article, saying that the radio project must be consulted before such nominations. Reasons for keeping the articles were absolutely ludicrous, saying that if we delete minor radio stations such as those, that we would have to delete every radio and TV station, including the BBC World Service. Since when are radio stations so special that they are exempt from the notability guideline and the verifiability policy? Mr.Z-man 18:56, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

  • ON the face of it, this looks wrong and an end-run round notability and verifiability policies. It also raises a systemic bias question; do non-American radio stations, without the free pass of the FCC, have to pass policy? This does need to be looked at. ELIMINATORJR 19:04, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Beeing licensed by FCC is for me not a sign of notabillity. otherwise someone need to go through and add all missing stations :) AzaToth 19:05, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I must say I'm puzzled by the AFD results. I find the argument that a radio station is notable simply because it is licensed utterly unconvincing. A license is simply an instrument all stations must have to operate, and doesn't imply any kind of notability. I have to join Mr.Z-man in asking why WP:N and WP:V shouldn't apply to radio stations? henriktalk 19:08, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
This [9] is also somewhat illuminating. ELIMINATORJR 19:10, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I took the keeps into account, but I hadn't though that having a FCC license wasn't a valid reference. I had trusted user opinion, especially some admins which had taken part, and some other pointers like "it's notable" and "Wikipedia should cover all radio stations". However, I would take concern with the latter, as it is not the right to have an article on a radio station that isn't verifiable through independent and reliable sourcing. In retrospect, would it be right of me to conclude that users may have just "piled on"? 21:20, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
And just saying "its notable" doesn't make it so. Mr.Z-man 21:28, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I would say the articles deserve a full discussion, either at deletion review or by reopening the AFDs, especially since the posting at the WP:WPRS was such a flagrant case of WP:CANVASS. henriktalk 22:34, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Broadcast stations are inherently notable, and are part or a region's infrastructure just like highways, railroads, dams, etc. The language about being licensed is so we don't have people adding articles for every public access, closed-circuit cable station. I don't think that guideline was ever meant to be US-specific; broadcast stations in almost every country need to hold a license. It's just that most of the editors are in the US, and our FCC makes the license data accessible online. Squidfryerchef (talk) 21:56, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
And fictional characters are inherently notable, and are part of a culture's infrastructure just like songs, plays, television shows, etc. That's phenomenally bad reasoning, and I thought we'd been through this before with schools. Nothing is "inherently" notable, from the stars that shine upon us to the dust between our toes. Hiding Talk 22:02, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Fictional characters aren't inherently notable and certainly aren't part of any infrastructure. Some things are inherently notable here on Wikipedia, cities being one example. Squidfryerchef (talk) 22:11, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
And inherently notable, even if it were true (is there a consensus somewhere for this, where is this all written down?), does not override WP:V. Every named, official street is a part of regional infrastructure too, but we only have articles about significant ones, not all of them. How is an article about a public access cable station any less notable than a college radio station with a coverage area of about 10 square miles? How is a radio station a public good like highways and dams? Why should they not should be treated like companies? A newspaper can serve about the same purpose, are they inherently notable? The argument: license = notable is completely contrary to the idea of notability on Wikipedia. Mr.Z-man 22:26, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
The "inherently notable" idea came from some policy about place names. I think the standard was, if something was a Census-designated place name, it was deemed notable. Thousands of articles were robot-created from Census data, and there's remnants of this in many articles about small towns. There's also an element of practicality needed here, versus deducing from first principles: In a metro area, there can only be a dozen or so broadcast TV stations and maybe a couple dozen radio stations (including college stations). The same can not be said for every public-access feed. And while stations change hands from time to time, they tend to stay in operation for decades. This means a limited number of articles about stations. They are treated as part of the public good, for instance they are required to carry certain hours of news and educatonal programming, and they participate in emergency broadcast drills. I'd also like to point out that radio and TV stations are mentioned every week in a reliable secondary source; the newspaper listings and TV Guide. Squidfryerchef (talk) 22:42, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I endore EliminatorJRs comments. I complied with all guidelines regarding non-admin closures. 22:59, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
According to Nielsen, the average Full Power or Class-A TV station in the U.S. broadcasts to a potential audience of more than a half a million homes (not viewers, households).[10] With the exception of one TV station in Glendive, Montana, FP and CA TV stations in the U.S. enjoy wide coverage (larger circulations than comparable newspapers). I can't speak for stations in other countries, but stations with audiences estimated at, on average, more than half a million homes are kinda inherently notable. I don't see why this fact needs to be included in each article, though: the policy is there to discourage non-notable subjects from being added to Wikipedia, not cause good-faith editors to spend extra time trying to "prove" the notability of something that is already very obvious to them, and something they think other editors should already be aware of, given the predominance of television in U.S. media. Firsfron of Ronchester 23:21, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is saying that a TV station with an audience of 500,000 is non- notable. However, radio stations with much, much, smaller audiences may well be. ELIMINATORJR 23:27, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
But Mr. Z-man is stating that a radio station with a potential audience of 313,000 persons (as linked in the article), on the air since 1962 (as linked in the article) isn't notable. Is 313,000 much, much smaller than 500,000? Firsfron of Ronchester 02:05, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Numbers don't matter, significant coverage in reliable sources does. Mr.Z-man 03:34, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
"Numbers don't matter"??? You were the one who pointed out that the station's coverage was only 10 square miles. Now that I have pointed out that that is clearly wrong, you have changed your argument to "Numbers don't matter." Please stop arguing in circles. I know you desperately want these articles deleted, and that you're willing to take this discussion to any forum you can in order to get them deleted (AFD, DRV, VP), but at least one of the articles has established clear notability (on the air for 45 years, audience of 313,000, all verifiable through independent links to reliable sources). Firsfron of Ronchester 03:55, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I was only using the numbers arguement to show how silly it is to compare a small station like that with the BBC World Service, not as a reason for deletion. The reason for deletion is still: Fails WP:CORP, no sources for the article content, so it also fails WP:V. Mr.Z-man 05:24, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Nope: clear notability (on the air for 45 years, audience of 313,000, all verifiable through independent links to reliable sources already present in the article). Firsfron of Ronchester 05:34, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
If we are to even consider changing the notability for radio and TV stations then one could find that WABC, KDKA (the US's first broadcast station) or even BBC Radio fails notability. By the same token, it could be said that WRGB (the first broadcast television station) or even NBC fails notability.
If the "small" and "non-notable" stations were removed, where would it stop? Would we find reasons to eliminate all TV and Radio stations articles? Even all TV and Radio network articles? If one is removed, that would open up a can of worms that would make WP:WPRS, WP:TVS, and several other WikiProjects completely irrelavant, we would lose thousands of hours of tireless work by many, many editors, and set a precedent that if it is small and even remotely "non-notable" then it shouldn't be here, which would put the entire project, Wikipedia itself, in jeopardy.
Changing a notability standard isn't something that should be done on a whim and without thinking...or at all. These are rules that were set up long ago, have been here long before we showed up, and continue to be enforced. If the Wikipedians who started this project thought that radio and TV stations were not notable, they would never have allowed WP:WPRS and WP:TVS to be.
Mr.Z-man, this and this should be clear enough that even thinking about changing the notability standard is a really, really bad idea. - NeutralHomer T:C 23:33, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
That is a very silly argument. Just because one or two minor radio stations would be deleted, why exactly do you think someone would go "zOMG! we must now delete BBC Radio"? We delete biographies all day long, that doesn't mean the articles on Winston Churchill or Michelangelo are going to be gone tomorrow. Radio- and TV-stations are mostly notable, but they're not inherently notable, and not all are notable. henriktalk 23:49, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
All I see in those AfDs are lots of "Keep" votes with no rationale other than the station has got an FCC license, closed by a well-meaning non-admin who didn't realise that this isn't actually a notability guideline. (Note that I am not actually commenting on the notability or otherwise of those stations, merely that I am somewhat perturbed that those AfDs appeared to ride roughshod over our notability and verifiability policies). And User:henrik is exactly right in his comment above.ELIMINATORJR 23:56, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
If one can argue that WRNY is not notable, I can argue that BBC Radio is not notable. Yeah, sure it's a world-wide radio network, but same with Voice of America. Do we need a massive article on each, no, hence it should be deleted. Not a perfect arguement, but neither is the one User:Mr.Z-man has given above either.
If the notability standard is changed, it will lead to a slippery slope for all radio and TV station articles, all radio and TV network articles and all radio and TV program articles at risk to deletion. Then the precedent set here will go to other WikiProjects...and then you have just eliminated Wikipedia. You open Pandora's Box, you ain't getting Pandora back in. - NeutralHomer T:C 00:02, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Are you seriously claiming that non-notable radio stations should be kept, because then we'd have to delete every radio station article? The only factors in play here are notability and verifiability, just as they are with every single other article on Wikipedia. Notable and verifiable articles stay; those that aren't should be deleted. No category of article is exempt from that. ELIMINATORJR 00:14, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
(e/c)Oh please, how on earth can you compare BBC Radio with worldwide coverage with some little college station with 10 square miles of coverage? I find it extremely hard to believe that there is no significant coverage in sources to establish notability for the BBC. That argument is absolutely ridiculous. My argument is that radio stations are no different from any other type of media or company, why do they need special rules? Where were these rules made up? Where is the wide consensus that would be needed to override the main notability criteria and WP:V? Mr.Z-man 00:23, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
The station's coverage is closer to 350 square miles, not 10 square miles. The 10 mile measurement is the radius of coverage. Firsfron of Ronchester 02:10, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

The fact that we cannot, in advance, lay down a bright line rule about which items in some category are notable, and which are not, is not a real problem in practice. We don't have similar rules for many, many types of things. The "slippery slope" argument, also known as "OTHERSTUFFEXISTS/DOESNTEXIST", is not considered valid at AFD. Each is judged on its own merits, and whilst there may be some difficult choices at the borderline, in practical terms there is usually fairly clear consensus as you move away from it. Our solution is the one described - we set general principles, and allow the community to decide where different radio/TV stations fall within them. That's fine, and works. Some get deleted. Some get kept. WP:NOT is clear that we do not include all items indiscriminately, even if sources may exist. Perhaps some rules may apply that we will agree is a good indication a radio/TV station is notable, which might help, but often no such rule exists and it'll be down to sources, impressions and editor's views at AFD. In this context, FCC is "evidence" not "proof", and may be considered for some stations, insufficient evidence to compensate for smallness. In practice, it works. Wikipedia is non-deterministic that way, and both allows and is robust against inconsistency in its editorial AFD choices. FT2 (Talk | email) 00:29, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Thought 2: I dont have a problem with discussing the concept "are all licenced radio stations notable" (or some large part of them excluding tiny ones). It principle we can make that decision on any subject - population settlements, rivers, countries, for example. But I'd want it decided by the community, not just asserted... and that decision would need to look at examples of what might be included under it. If it includes some tiny hospital radio thing, then my personal opinion is, no... because as a sample item I wouldn't think all hospital radios are automatically notable, licensed or not. But that'd be my own opinion..... others might disagree. But if the category was narrowed to something like: "Permanent, established, and legally operated radio stations that serve the general population of a significant geographical area" (as opposed to some campus, or other organization, a tiny settlement's radio, or a specialist function not of general interest), then I'd be more inclined to consider it. Thoughts? FT2 (Talk | email) 00:41, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't think low-power FM stations are notable. They serve maybe 3 miles from their transmitter, if that. Some don't even cover their community of license. These are not notable. But when a station covers their community of license (in WRNY's case, Rome, NY...which isn't college based) then it is notable. When a station covers a 75 miles radius, it is more than notable. I think we need to have a major consensus before changing anything. But if the box is open, any station or network is at risk. - NeutralHomer T:C 00:49, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Not if they meet the WP:N guideline that every other comapny and media outlet has to meet. Mr.Z-man 00:56, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Nothing is being changed - no one has ever produced a policy that an FCC-licensed station is inherently notable (at least not to me) - it's just a guideline that's been followed, whether it's within the realm of policy or not. JPG-GR (talk) 00:55, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I share several of NH's concerns. A 45-year old, well-established radio station which began operations during radio's "golden age" was nominated for deletion. People aren't thinking these nominations through. Firsfron of Ronchester 00:58, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Its a college radio station, with a broadcast area of ~10sq mi. I stand by my statement that if it so special that there should be substantial coverage in reliable sources. Things don't become notable automatically after reaching a certain age, they still need sources. Mr.Z-man 01:34, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
No, it not a radio station with a broadcast area of ~10 square miles. It is a radio station with a radius of ~10 miles: huge difference. Its coverage is around 350 quare miles, with a potential audience of around 313,000 persons,[11] as already linked in the article. Clearly, you made a mistake somewhere. Firsfron of Ronchester 01:42, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I did make a mistake in the math, thank you for catching that. However, I'm not sure where 350 comes from, from that map, the radius appears to be more like 5 miles, which would give an area of about 78. But even then, a big number is not a substitute for a reliable source, which I still have yet to see for any of these articles. Mr.Z-man 02:16, 19 November 2007 (UTC) and the FCC's website aren't reliable sources?! *slaps forehead* The radius for local-distant-fringe coverage is 10 miles, as shown here. ( Firsfron of Ronchester 02:26, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Math never was my strong suit :) Sorry about the radius goof. But Firs is right, the FCC and are the best sources available. We also use (for coverage maps). They are "standard operating procedure" when making articles. Make sure each has a {{FMQ|WXXX}}, {{FML|WXXX}}, and a {{FMARB|WXXX}} link at the bottom. (AMQ, AML and AMARB for AM stations). These give automatic links to that stations FCC licenese (via FMQ), the stations Radio-Locator page (via FML) and the stations page on the Arbitron website (via FMARB). We also make sure they are categorized by format and state or metro area if need be. There are plenty of people who are currently making sure that all articles have each of these tags on them. Also, we add websites (where available) for even further sources. If there are newspaper articles, we add those. We don't do this "half-assed", we make sure things are sourced beyond the point of necessary. - NeutralHomer T:C 03:22, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
None of that proves notability. JPG-GR (talk) 03:29, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
(e/c)Significant coverage in reliable sources, as is required for every other company, including media outlets like newspapers and magazines would be nice. Mr.Z-man 03:34, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
If you don't consider the Federal Communications Commission, the governing body of all radio and television stations in these United States, a reliable source, then there is no source that will make you happy. What you are talking about is newspaper articles, TV station reports and the like on each and every radio station. Some stations go their entire "life" without so much as a mention in the local paper (unless a DJ does something stupid). With that said, we should have a TON on WXRK in NYC (former home of Howard Stern). But if you want true notability, then best place is the FCC, if that isn't a reliable source, then delete all radio and TV station articles now. - NeutralHomer T:C 03:46, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
You're confusing terms. The FCC is a reliable source - no one is saying it isn't. However, it doesn't prove notability. Apples. Oranges. JPG-GR (talk) 04:03, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Then you show me something that proves a station notable. If the FCC, Radio-Locator, and Arbitron don't, then what does? - NeutralHomer T:C 04:08, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Regarding notability. Have no books been written about these radio stations? Are there no independent websites that discuss them? From where did you get the information that is in the articles? Unless I'm mistaken, the reference in WRNY (AM) to the New Jersey AM Radio History website talks about a completely different station that closed in 1934. --Smalljim (talk) 13:47, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
There is no "pandoras box" here, Homer. AFd and Wikipedia don't work that way. Since you can't readily argue from precedent at AFD (some very strong precedents and principles excepting), the "pandoras box" effect doesn't happen, and has singularly failed to happen on thousands of subjects to date. (It fails to happen roughly at the point someone tries to say "We have to keep/delete X because we have/don't have Y" and the AFD closer strikes that out saying "OTHERSTUFFEXISTS/DOESNTEXIST" is not valid here.) FT2 (Talk | email) 01:01, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Change the notability standard for radio and TV stations and then start deleting them....and see what happens. See the precedent that will be set. If it will happen for radio and TV, it will happen for history, or towns in the US. Watch and see. - NeutralHomer T:C 03:22, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Why, we require other companies and media outlets (newspapers, magazines, websites) to meet notability criteria that includes significant coverage in reliable sources and Wikipedia hasn't fallen apart. Mr.Z-man 03:34, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Like I said, change the standard (remember, you are asking for a notability standard change here) and watch what happens. - NeutralHomer T:C 03:46, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
No, we don't. I just checked the articles of the USA's top 20 newspapers in terms of circulation. Only 11 of the 20 meet the standards you cite, and some of those are even suspect. So if you want to rigidly enforce those standards, you'll have to delete articles for top-10 newspapers The New York Daily News, The Washington Post, and The Arizona Republic. dhett (talk contribs) 10:05, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
What happens? This is a Secret account 04:20, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
It will set a precedent where any article about any radio and television station, radio and television program, or radio and television network runs the risk of being deleted. You and Mr.Z-man are not seeing the big picture. You are not seeing the precedent this will set. If you change a notability standard, it will change the way any and all articles about any and all radio and TV stations, be it in Glendive, Montana or New York City are viewed. You are also not seeing that KDZN in Glendive is not less notable than WCBS in NYC and WCBS in NYC is no more notable than KDZN in Glendive.
Somehow, you and Mr.Z-man are trying to tell me that WRNY is Rome, NY (the article that Mr.Z-man is on a 3-day mission to get deleted) is notable. Let's see....founded and launched: 1959...that's some 48 years ago. WRNY covers some 250,000 to 300,000 people. The station is also heard on two other, co-owned stations, in Utica and Little Falls (both in New York). So that grows the station's coverage even more. So...say about 500,000 people are able to hear the is that station less notable than say KDZN which covers about the same area but only serves about 6,000 people and maybe 25,000 cows? You can't argue it. You would have to argue each and every single station. You would have to compare them to each other to see which is notable to which one....which is what you are doing now.
Here's the problem with this -- all that you just said - not mentioned in the article, and therefore unsourced. And, for that reason, the article does not assert the station's notability. JPG-GR (talk) 05:16, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
So you are trying to change the rules...and that will open the box for each and every single station, program, network to be at risk for deletion. The precedent will be set and other WikiProjects will say, "hey, if they can do it, so can we"....the pages for the smallest towns in the Union will be up for deletion because they aren't notable...the smallest rodent or the smallest bug will be up for deletion because it isn't notable and it will go to the big things. Hey, we all know about elephants, do we need a full article on it, nah, deletion. It's a precedent that will be set and a box you will not be able to close and it will, mark my words, will lead to the downfall of Wikipedia itself....because someone will go "hey, we can find all this stuff on other websites, why do we need an online encyclopedia about it". Think about it. - NeutralHomer T:C 04:58, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
No one is "trying to change the rules" - they are trying to enforce the policy which has been neglected. The implication that the deletion of a single/pair of radio station articles will bring the "downfall of Wikipedia itself" is amusing at best. JPG-GR (talk) 05:08, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Why does it always have to be black and white? The argument I have seen a lot is: "Delete this and you have to delete them all." -- Um, why? Why is it not possible for some stations to be notable but not others? That system works perfectly well for every other type of company, for newspapers, magazines, websites, etc. and Wikipedia has yet to implode as a result. There are plenty of potential substantial sources for WCBS, not so many for KDZN - perhaps it would be better in a "List of Montana radio stations" until it becomes more notable. Mr.Z-man 05:22, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not an advocate of inherent notability for all licensed broadcast television and radio stations. However, if that station originates content, it is notable in my estimation. As I've mentioned in previous notability arguments, if a broadcast station reports on an issue and meets the standard of a reliable source, that report is considered a reliable source and is used in establishing the subject's notability. How then is a broadcast station a reliable source and a provider of notability, but not be notable itself? It is ludicrous to compare fictional characters with broadcast stations; fictional characters do not establish notability. The standard currently in use in the Television Stations Project is that mere translators are non-notable and do not have articles, or even article stubs. They do, however, get a redirect that links to the primary station's article. Stations that originate content are considered notable just from the broadcast licensing authority's information, although any statements beyond such information are free to be challenged as with any other article.
Many try to apply the standards of WP:COMP WP:CORP to broadcast stations, but I believe that's a bad idea. There is usually a conflict of interest with broadcast stations that doesn't exist with companies in other industries. I wish that I could find more independently-sourced information about stations, besides licensing authority material, and I do try to provide them whenever possible, but a newspaper is not likely to cover a broadcast station, unless that station screws up somehow. The same goes for radio or television stations in the market - why advertise your competitor? About the only time a station would get independent press is if it were to be sold, and even then, some have challenged such references as insubstantial. The only source that can be cited in many cases to establish notability is a station's own material, or material from a partner station, but those fail the independence test.
As for verifiability, one only needs to go to the licensing authority to see if the station exists; information from the authority used in the article is verified. If there are statements in the article that cannot be verified following a challenge, then remove the statements, not the article. dhett (talk contribs) 05:36, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Well said, Dhett. Firsfron of Ronchester 07:03, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. - NeutralHomer T:C 07:17, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, well-stated. Certain arguments supporting the deletion proposal reflect a flaw in the manner in which notability is established on Wikipedia. Whether it's because of the competition factor between differing corporations, or just because we tend to take them for granted, radio and television stations generally don't get a lot of press. With the exception of the occasional note about ratings, I can't think of the last time I saw independent coverage of CBC, or CKNW, or any of the other stations in my market. It doesn't affect how important they are, or how much people rely on them on a day-to-day basis. --Ckatzchatspy 09:50, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
What's the difference from schools? Over the years a school will educate -and that's something important- thousands of people. They just go about their business year after year. They have to be registered with your Government, here's one such database, just like the FCC list of radio stations. Yet many schools are found not notable. What's the difference? --Smalljim (talk) 14:18, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Big difference. Using the example of the smallest TV DMA, Glendive, Montana, the television station there potentially reaches 5,000 households daily, which translates to roughly 15,000 persons. Any school that reaches 15,000 persons daily would be considered notable. Further, that television station would be cited as a reliable source to help establish notability; not so with a school. If that's not enough, anything newsworthy that a school does would be covered in the local media, adding to its notability. TV and radio stations, as well as newspapers, don't get covered by each other unless they do something bad, or, in the case of KTVK and KNXV-TV, something happens to them so horrific that it transcends competition, such as a mid-air helicopter collision. Unlike a school, the media's basic responsibility actually works against notability as defined in WP:CORP: it's their job to cover news, not to make it. dhett (talk contribs) 17:46, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Well that's an interesting argument - that we should compare the number of pupils in a school with the number of people listening daily to a radio or TV station to determine relative notability. OK, if you want to make a comparison like that, I can assert that a day spent educating one child is about 1,000 times more meaningful than a day spent listening to the average content of a local radio station, so the school is therefore 1,000 x (number of pupils) / (daily listening figure) as notable as the radio station. And no, of course I'm not claiming that, I'm just pointing out the fallacy of such comparisons. // All I was saying -and it's a just a small simple point- is that both schools and radio stations are government-registered and both have online databases that list those registrations. And it was claimed earlier (not by you, I think) that all radio stations are notable because they appear on the FCC list, yet consensus now is that all schools are not considered so despite appearing on an equivalent list. Consensus can change. // The question of notability being reflected back to the source may be worth exploring further, if it hasn't already. If I understand correctly, you're saying that a radio station is sometimes cited as a reliable source for another article here (presumably most often for news reports that it has produced); and when this happens that station must therefore be notable itself. Well that doesn't sound unreasonable to me in principle, though I think it would only be likely to happen with the larger stations, and proof/verifiability would be a problem unless it had a website (e.g. BBC News, widely cited here). What do others think: it's different from WP:NOTINHERITED, but not a new concept, surely? --Smalljim (talk) 23:26, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
My numbers point was simply an answer to your assertion that a school educates thousands of people. It does, and high schools seem to have an inherent notability to them, whether in policy, or simply in practice. The point was made first because it was a direct response to yours, not because it was the principal point of my argument. My principle point is that WP:CORP puts media outlets at a distinct disadvantage, due to the competition issue. Because of that, many articles about U.S. broadcast stations rely heavily on FCC information, as the FCC is both independent and reliable. Assertions beyond that should be reliably sourced, just as with any other article. You are correct: I oppose blanket inherent notability for radio and TV, but if a station is producing its own content, and not merely repeating a satellite feed or the over-the-air signal of another station, then that should be sufficient to establish notability, due to the number of people served by the stations. dhett (talk contribs) 02:15, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
There is a proposal to define notability for broadcast stations, which I find to be well-reasoned. It addresses the particular needs that broadcast stations have that WP:CORP does not address. I try to follow this standard myself when determining broadcast station notability, and I hope all here will give it serious consideration as a guideline. dhett (talk contribs) 09:23, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Wouldn't it be better to just improve the articles?

Instead of complaining about the "changing of a notability standard" (completely untrue, because there isn't any special notability standard for radio stations), why not concentrate on making the articles on those that are notable conform to Wikipedia standards? Because at the moment, there are frankly a lot of radio station stubs that are not only non-notable, but don't even assert notability and could be speedy deleted on the spot under {{db-corp}}. For example, look at KAWO (FM) or indeed most of the other stations on that template - all they say is "This station exists. It transmits on X frequency and plays Y type of music". Now, I'm not going to delete them en masse under CSD, and I doubt if anyone else is either, but the fact that an administrator would be perfectly in line with Wikipedia policy if they were to do so should surely be a matter of concern. Obviously, such articles would not (or should not) pass AfD either - unless they're improved to meet WP:N and WP:V. ELIMINATORJR 07:28, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I am all for improving on these articles. But sometimes it is hard to find information on some of these stations. They "live quiet lives", if you will. In my time living near Winchester, Virginia, I have seen 8 newspaper articles about the local radio stations. That's not alot to work with. Then you have to source them. Sometimes all you have is the article in your hand. You can't link to it, because it isn't on a website, it is in front of you on paper. So, sometimes, it is hard to source information.
Doesn't mean it can't be done though. Take WTVR or WTOP for instance...great histories written. Now, WINC-FM has a history, but it needs work. 1947 to the Mid-70s are missing (just don't have the information). Again, doesn't mean it can't be done.
If I may pose an idea....would it be possible for members of WP:WPRS to call these stations and see if they can send them history information about their stations? With many people in many parts of the country, this shouldn't be hard and shouldn't cost anyone any long distance charges :). It's an idea.
We can sit here all night and bicker about it, or we can come up with an idea on how to get the information and make these damned things notable. Personally, if I had to choose, I would take making a phone call and getting a history than bicker and get a migraine. What do you all think? - NeutralHomer T:C 07:39, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, you're exactly right! We should look at KAWO (FM), an article that was a bare stub that could be improved to a fuller article with multiple independent references. This radio station article, and many just like it, needed to be expanded, not deleted. (So I've done just that, or at least made a good start of it.) Would Wikipedia be best served if the WikiProject Radio Stations editors were able to devote all of their time to such articles in need of attention or would it really be better if instead we had to spend hours each day arguing about the "notability" of each of thousands of stations at the whim of anybody who would rather devote all their energy to getting articles they don't like deleted? - Dravecky (talk) 09:16, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I'd say if you have 8 citable references, that is more than enough to establish Notability. Most stations that have been on the air for more than a few years probably have long histories that are not available on-line, but could be dug out with some shoe-leather type research. It's pointless to delete these if there is sufficient verifiable content for a stub. I'd say that a stub that says "This station exists. It transmits on X frequency and plays Y type of music" is fine as long as it is verifiable. We could also get the transmitter power and geographic coordinates of the transmitter from the government database, along with the license history. That would provide encyclopedic information on geography and history, and should be sufficient for inclusion. Even if the article were merged, we would still leave the redirect, so it is not a candidate for deletion. Dhaluza (talk) 11:36, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Sometimes all you have is the article in your hand. You can't link to it, because it isn't on a website, it is in front of you on paper. So, sometimes, it is hard to source information. - Just to make perfectly clear: sources do not have to be on-line in order to be acceptable. On-line sources are easier to check, but Sophie Blanchard, today's main page article, for example, contains all of two footnotes citing on-line sources. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 19:54, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I heartily support article improvement, and have added reliably-sourced information whenever I have found it. I have also been challenged on how substantial the sourced information is, so I try to ensure that the information is substantial, not just a passing reference, and independent. In researching the top-20 U.S. newspapers by circulation, I was appalled at the references posted. So many were nothing more than self-references. The notability policy clearly instructs editors to first try to improve non-compliant articles, but instead, the AfD nominator chose to dispute the guideline. dhett (talk contribs) 02:52, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Reasonable potential

I can't help but think that people are just mad that it's easier to make an article about some stuff over other stuff. Notability is nothing more than our inclusion guidelines to keep us from having everything under the sun have an article, and turning this place into a real mess. If you really want to get worked up on the details and start comparing any two given articles for inclusion, go ahead, but that's totally missing the point. Personally, I think it sucks that I can't find sources to make an article for the wildly inappropriate Pedobear meme, but that's just how things go sometimes. Most, if not all, of these articles have high potentials to find all the sources we need, simply because of the nature of radio stations. It's not so hard to believe that we have an easy inclusion rule for them because there's almost always more sources to be found. -- Ned Scott (talk) 09:07, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Clearly there are plenty of infrastructure-type things for which we have to go to the basic premise of notability, that something is notable if it is worth knowing about. Having significant mentions in independent reliable sources, or whatever the particular standard may be, is not the same as notability, it is a presumptive test for establishing notability. But a number of things like roads, media outlets, authors, experts, lobbying groups, etc., do not get press in proportion to their notability. In some cases we have specialized guidelines; in other places we don't and we have to use common sense instead. Setting aside the question of whether a licensed broadcast station is inherently notable, if it has been around for a while, has a large prospective audience, has been owned by a major media company, has produced its own material, etc., those are arguments for notability. There is truly nothing gained by trying to delete this kind of content from Wikipedia. It is not spam or cruft, and it clearly enhances our mission of creating a body of encyclopedic knowledge. Wikidemo (talk) 10:22, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
That's right. And comic books and television shows have been around a while, they have a large prospective audience and are owned by major media companies, and so they're all inherently notable too. Hiding Talk 10:40, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Show me a comic book or TV show that has been in continuous daily operation since 1962, and I'd say it was notable. One of the reasons I'm pretty upset about the radio station deletion nomination is that one of the stations has been in continuous operation for 45 years. A TV program that was in its 45th season would be notable by anyone's measure, I'd think. A comic book that just went into its 45th volume would probably be notable, too. Firsfron of Ronchester 11:33, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
They are not infrastructure. The brick-and-mortar type of things that are limited by available capital, and are long-lasting, semi-permanent things that affect the everyday life of people are worthy of note, and usually are noted by RS. Television shows also get coverage in RS, and become notable for that reason (they are also limited by available capital). Individual comic books, on the other hand, do not require a large capital investment, and probably don't get a lot of coverage unless they are special in some way. But a successful series of comic books probably is notable.Dhaluza (talk) 11:24, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Articles about the shows themselves, yes. We're not talking about fictional characters. And my point is that these radio stations are something that, far more often than not, can be shown to be notable via our guidelines, even if that information hasn't been added yet. (like, realistically can be added, not just speculated about, which is often done for fictional character articles). -- Ned Scott (talk) 11:25, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
My point is that inherent notability is inherently flawed. Nothing is built with notability alone, there's no packet of notability mixed into the cement that built the White House for example. Already Dhaluza has noted these types of things are usually covered by reliable soirces, so I fail at some level to see why we bandy around the term "inherently notable". I am attempting, however, to show that on some levels all things are equal. We don't treat bricks and mortar as of more value in our lives, so why should Wikipedia. Humanity is built of more than just the roof over our heads, we're built of dreams and loves too, and I'm trying to cut through some of the systemic boas involved in this debate which seems to be stating that some things are good and can therefore rely on certain arguments, but other things are bad and can't. I'm not arguing that fictional characters should be included, but I'm arguing you can't declare certain concepts as of more weight than others. That's a POV, and we don't do that. Oh, and as to comic books not getting much coverage, if some of the people in this debate are right and some radio stations aren't covered in any sources, then I'm afraid that even minor characters get more coverage; there are more than a couple of encyclopaedias out there on them. Think through your arguments is all I'm asking. If you can substitute another term for radio station and the argument would still have merit, even though it might not come from your lips, then think of a better argument, because the one you have is flawed. Hiding Talk 14:29, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Hiding, I never argued that there is inherent notability. What are you going off about? I said that there is often reasonable potential, meaning that there are sources to allow these articles to exist without an inherent notability argument. The success rate of finding sources for these articles is very high, something that cannot be said for articles on fiction. We don't actually disagree, because you're not understanding what I'm trying to say. -- Ned Scott 03:21, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not merely addressing points you raise, Ned, but ones raised throughout the debate. Hiding Talk 09:29, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
I think the concept of "inherent notability" raises hackles among some editors, particularly deltionists who don't want whole classes of articles put out of their reach. But there is a practical concern that needs to be considered. Some topics, particularly those relating to basic infrastructure, are better given comprehensive coverage. When the vast majority of possible articles in a subject area are Notable, then it really does no good to argue over the few that may not be. Notability is a valid concern where the potential number of articles is huge, like people, or fictional characters. Where the number is limited by practical constraints, there is no real problem. This was the wisdom behind allowing articles on verifiable populated places, regardless of size. It would be pointless to try to argue the relative notability of a village in Africa vs. a suburb in North America. A similar case applies to telephone area codes. How can you judge which are notable and which are not? All are verifiable with multiple sources, so why stop editors who are willing to research and write about them? The same is true for licensed public broadcast stations. Most are notable, and we don't have to fret over the ones that may not be, because they are limited by pracitcal considerations. Who is to say that a not-for-profit college station with a 10 mile coverage radius is more or less notable than a rural commericial station with a 50 mile coverage radius. Does it really matter? Really? Dhaluza (talk) 11:14, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I think part of the problem is labelling people as "inclusionist" or "deletionist". You'll find most editors actually look at AfDs with a neutral eye; naturally, there are bound to be lots of WP:ILIKEIT/WP:IDONTLIKEIT comments from editors who don't really understand the AfD process, but in general admins are quite good at ignoring such rationales. Personally, I'm in favour of merging a lot of the time; keeping content without having the bloat of dozens of stub articles. However, very few things are "inherently notable". Obviously some are; countries, settlements, geographical features, elements, etc. As for other subjects, TV shows, comic books or even radio stations - are often (but not always) notable. In other areas many subjects may be individually non-notable (this especially applies to fictional characters). It all depends, in the end, on the basics of verifiability and notability. ELIMINATORJR 12:37, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I have stated before my reasons why articles for radio and television articles are notable before and don't wish to repeat myself. However, with consensus going as it is, I think we are going to see the scenario of all the radio and television stations being transwikied to another Wiki specifically for TV and Radio stations. If things are as they are (considering the deletion review of the two articles), we can kiss goodbye to 99% of UK radio articles, where sources, even for the European stations (I have had two nominated for deletion, another merged into another article - and they were significant national/European radio stations - only saved by quoting WP:WPRS guidelines) are hard to come by and would fail WP:NOTE and WP:V by definition. The definition of the original deletion nominations mean that there are a lot of articles, even for stations up to a million listeners, and even the BBC World Service, because of the constant conflicts of accuracy and sources, could be according to Wikipedia policy, be up for deletion. I think that, considering notability for other things (ie. towns with one resident are notable) doesn't add up.

Frankly, I'm suprised that there hasn't been any significant bannings as a result of this sorry state. As for me, I would prepare to mass transit any TV and radio article on Wikipedia to another Wiki, should the deletion review and subsequent deletion succeed, because it will open the floodgates for other stations to be deleted. --tgheretford (talk) 13:22, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

  • You seem to misunderstand the deletion review. It is not a discussion as to whether the articles should be deleted or not, but whether the AfD was run correctly (which it probably wasn't). Also, these type of comments are just silly - radio stations with a million listeners are obviously going to be notable and are obviously going to be sourceable. We are talking about a minority of articles here, not 99%. ELIMINATORJR 14:09, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I think you are being overly fatalistic to the extreme, to be perfectly honest. You've already pre-judged the deletion debate before we've even assessed whether it needs to be re-opened, and I fail to see how on earth anyone could be thinking the article on the BBC World Service could in any way be deleted; on a quick library search I count 94 mentions in The Guardian this year alone. The problem is with the level of debate, not with the articles or the guidance. So far the level of debate is sitting somewhere in the region of not fair because I like it. After all, what is "inherent notability"? How is it built into something? The quick rule of thumb, and it is a rule of thumb no matter what anyone says, since consensus can change and we can ignore all rules and policy trumps guidance, is that topics are presumed to be notable if they have received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject. It does not say they are presumed no notable if they fail, but that they may not be notable and certain avenues should be considered by editors, one of which is listing for deletion where "the merits will be debated and deliberated for 5 days." Now I think rather than arguing for inherent notability, people concentrate on arguing the merits to Wikipedia of inclusion of articles on licensed radio stations, as well as demonstrating the vast quantity of arguably "trivial" coverage in numerous sources. I should think every licensed radio station has been mentioned somewhere within a local newspaper a certain number of times a year, as well as elsewhere, and I should think that company accounts are filed etc etc, and I should think that at a deletion debate it would be possible to present the case that these amount to significant coverage through weight alone. I would think there would also be other sources to be found. I would also point out that nowhere does it state the independent coverage has to be examined or presented; a consensus of wikipedians only has to be satisfied that it likely exists. I hope that helps focus the minds of all in this debate. Hiding Talk 14:10, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
    • Someone above finally gave a good reason why the general WP:CORP doesn't really work well for radio and TV stations (and most forms of media for that matter) - and that is basically because many reliable sources come from the media. CNN isn't going to do a whole story on Fox News unless Fox screws up. However, just creating a blanket guideline that basically says anything larger than an amateur radio station is automatically notable really doesn't work either, it assures we have articles on all the important things, but also opens Wikipedia up to articles that contain no more verifiable info than the FCC and radio-locater, which could be argued is a violation of WP:NOT#DIRECTORY. I've started work on a new notability guideline proposal for media outlets in my userspace that I will move into project-space and ask for opinions when I'm done. Believe it or not, I'm not out to destroy Wikipedia one radio station at a time. I just don't see why radio/TV stations are so special as to be inherently notable. And I do not believe all infrastructure is inherently notable either. Local roads don't get articles, they have to be historic or at least a state highway. City water systems don't get articles, they're all pretty much the same. Few things are truly inherently notable, that is usually reserved for things that would be, to some extent, in paper encyclopedias: Cities, and most other populated places, major geographical features, historic persons, etc. Mr.Z-man 15:49, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I was interested in this debate so I visited the articles for the two stations I listen to most (KKBQ and KILT-FM). The articles as they were written would have failed the notability guidelines, so I did some google searching. In a short amount of time, I discovered that both of the stations had been nominated for awards (although in one case a decade or more ago), and there was a lot more information than I had expected about them in the local newspaper. Voila, I've now fixed the articles to clearly meet the notability guidelines and have much of the information sourced to a reliable source. Reliable sources should not be impossible to find. No, CNN is not going to do a story on Fox News, but USAToday (which has no television component) might. Likewise, a radio station or television station might not discuss another radio station, but check newspaper archives and I'll bet you can find some information abou them. In the US, at least, you can also check Billboard Magazine and Radio and Records - they have lots of articles about radio stations. Karanacs (talk) 20:10, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I looked at your KKBQ references, specifically the five you cited in the Growth section, and commend you for them. However, I have defended TV station articles where every one of those references would have been rejected out of hand because not one article cited gives significant treatment to the radio station. The closest is the first, but it is about the Lander, not KKBQ. The station is only mentioned in passing as his employer. The others are passing references at best; in no way do the articles give significant coverage to the station. That's what I've been dealing with and why I contend that WP:CORP does not apply well to media. dhett (talk contribs) 03:09, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
I find it interesting that when people discuss "inherent notability", they often present examples that would pass the standard notability guideline with flying colours anyway. That is presumably because it's easier to bring up a big example that everyone's heard of, but it doesn't add as much to their argument as it could. (Not targeting any particular person mentioning "inherent notability", although there are probably some examples in this thread.) Confusing Manifestation(Say hi!) 23:51, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I've just stumbled across this thread, & have two comments:
  1. I find it odd that no one here has thought of turning to the industry publications to help establish notability -- or at least provide sources for facts. (A person known as a librarian, usually found at your local library, ought to be able to help you identify these publications.) There's more information out there than is available on the Internet.
  2. I think the problem this thread is struggling with is that many articles (not only about radio stations) are written from the premise of "Here's some information -- so how do I add it to Wikipedia?" rather than from the premise "If I wrote about this subject, what would a reader want to know about it -- & why?" No matter what objective criteria are set for notability of radio stations (e.g. audience size, age, market, etc.), there will be some excluded that shouldn't be, & vice versa. If these articles were written with the reader's interests in mind -- explaining why the radio station is notable -- we wouldn't need to establish a standard of notability. -- llywrch (talk) 18:57, 20 November 2007 (UTC)


I have created a proposal for a notability guideline for media outlets (newspaper, magazine, radio, TV). See Wikipedia:Notability (media) and please discuss it on the talk page. Mr.Z-man 00:10, 20 November 2007 (UTC)