Discussion report for this week
Academia not given its due weight?
At the village pump, editor IP220.127.116.11 asked "Why is there such a strong bias against academics on wikipedia? I'm not going to write or improve any more scientist stubs or articles on wikipedia. It's pointless. AfD should be renamed: Academics for deletion, because that's essentially what it is." IP18.104.22.168 also provided examples to support the assertion. Kotniski felt the problem may be wider than that, writing: "there's probably a bias against articles on people in general (particularly living ones). The twin concerns of libel and self-promotion mean that editors look with great suspicion at new people articles, and hence they are more likely than others to get deleted. And once the deletionist enthusiasts discover that, they jump on the bandwagon and focus their efforts on those articles".
Fuhghettaboutit countered that "The fact, as mentioned above that the articles are being kept means the system is working", a view ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ supported: "People come, they write what they know...but they don't back it up. They just say "I'm an expert/fan and know this is true!". Then it gets put up for AFD because there is no proof that it's true and/or notable. See the problem? Sure someone may indeed BE an expert, and theoretically WP welcomes them with open arms, but how can anyone else know?"
Discussing the examples, Mr.Z-man stated "I agree that we do have problems with systemic bias, but, to put it bluntly, when someone complains they can't find sources for something, the solution is to prove them wrong by finding sources, not to complain about them." The debate continues.
Wikipedians have been struggling with some basic questions about the nature of policy for years. Should a policy page be permanently full-protected? The text of the Creative Commons license is. Should policy pages deal with off-wiki conduct? Reusing Wikipedia content does. Occasionally, Jimbo or the Foundation will "declare" a new policy ... where do those go? Why do some policy pages have a non-standard message in the nutshell at the top?
The only controversial step so far seems to have been the suggestion that Ignore all rules should be regarded as a principle rather than policy. As we go to press, that change was reverted, but it seems likely given the discussion so far that the page will not continue to live in the conduct policy category.
Next week's Policy report will include discussions from the Civility talk page.
It was a relatively quiet week in deletion debates this week. A fourth nomination for article Smosh was closed as a speedy keep by non-admin @Kate after less than twelve hours of debating. All eleven participants were moved to keep the article, with nominator Fbifriday the only person in favour of deletion. The article was improved to add sources mentioned in the second deletion debate.
Although listed as the second nomination, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series (2nd nomination) is the fifth time the material has been considered for deletion. Each time the result has been to delete, with RHaworth closing the new debate just over twelve hours in as speedy delete, stating "The massive weight of deleted versions on countless variant titles says that we do not want this topic." Dream Focus asked RHaworth to reconsider the close, arguing that given "three [of the] previous AFD's happened in 2006, and one previous one happened in 2007, [they] should not have anything to do with the current one". RHaworth countered: "The article I have just deleted presented no evidence of notability and gave no hint that anything has changed since 2007", directing DreamFocus to deletion review. A deletion review was therefore opened. Although debate is still running, the dominant view is that the close should be endorsed. Those arguing for a relisting are mainly basing their reasoning on the swift nature of the close rather than any merits found regarding the topic.
Mentioned in last weeks report, the debate regarding List of socialist countries has been relisted by Belinrahs. This move seemed unnecessary to a number of editors, with Timurite arguing that "Relisting is done when insufficient participation. The discussion had sufficient attention, which clearly shows that the opinions are polarized, and they will remain polarized as long as the article remains in bad state (unreferenced)." The debate since relisting seems to support Timurite, with new opinions split roughly equally, four editors favouring deletion, three favouring the material kept and one arguing for a "rename at the very least, delete otherwise". Many editors agree that the article is problematic, but no one solution seems likely to emerge as consensual. When challenged on the relisting by User:Tim Song, Belinrahs responded "I relisted it because I felt that consensus was mixed and unclear, and that further discussion in attempt to reach consensus would be beneficial. If you feel that this was likely not the best idea, accept my apologies and let me know so that I may improve my actions in the future!"
Twenty-three Requests for comment have been made in the week of 23 to 29 November:
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