Wikipedia talk:Advocacy

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This proposal looks good to me and fills a gap. Like WP:COI, this would probably be a behavioral guideline rather than a policy. It should have a nutshell summary. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:03, 21 November 2008 (UTC)


There was an extensive discussion at WP:BOOSTER regarding promoting it to guideline status. The consensus was for BOOSTER to remain/become (its previous status was unclear) an essay in part because it was perceived to be too specific to universities/colleges. ADVOCACY appears to address the concerns about the over-specificity of BOOSTER. To the extent that both pages address similar issues at the intersection of NPOV (specifically WP:ASF and WP:MORALIZE) and V (specifically WP:UNDUE and WP:RS), we should ensure that both are consistent. Madcoverboy (talk) 16:31, 13 January 2009 (UTC)


Should this proposal be upgraded to a behavioral guideline that supports WP:NPOV and WP:SOAP? Jehochman Talk 16:31, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

There have been a grand total of 8 editors who have edited this page[edit]

There have been a grand total of 8 editors who have edited this page before I reverted the guideline tag. If a guideline is going to affect all of wikipedia, I think more than 3 editors should be involved.

Of those 8, Jehochman had 22 edits, Madcoverboy had 16 edits, and MastCell had 9 edits. The other 5 editors had only one edit, except for Slp1, who had two. So of the 54 edits on the main page, three editors had 87%, and now this essay becomes a guideline, which all of wikipedia has to follow? Ikip (talk) 10:47, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

I am going to restore the guideline tag. Who appointed you to make unilateral decisions? While that page has not been edited by many, it does represent widespread consensus. If you think not, start a discussion somewhere central. In partcular, what statements within the page do you think fail to represent consensus. Please be specific. Thanks. Jehochman Talk 13:17, 8 February 2009 (UTC) and 13:19, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
I wanted to edit it, but I couldn't think of any way to improve it. (I'm very bad at writing policy) --Enric Naval (talk) 13:23, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Do you have any objections to the content of the page, or are you just raising procedural objections? Hut 8.5 15:15, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

1. It was not cited numerous times [1]. 2. There is official WP policy which describes a process on how to propose a guideline and achieve a consensus. This 'guideline' did not go through such a process, and therefore cannot be a guideline. 3. I am objecting to "just procedural" violation of existing policies. (talk) 15:17, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Assuming that you are are the same editor...Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. There is no such thing as a procedural objection. Whatever makes Wikipedia better is allowed. If you think the guideline is wrong, please explain why with specifics. Jehochman Talk 16:52, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Unlike me, it seems you can read other editors minds when claiming that they agree with the guideline. Unlike you, I think there should be a discussion first with other editors before claiming they agree with you. As I don't feel like invoking the same WP:IAR now to make wikipedia better, I will let other editors reply to your arguments. Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#few_editors_imposing_a_new_guideline_on_community_without_any_discussion (talk) 17:18, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

I have to make one more observation... From the same WP:BURO that you quote: Similarly, do not follow an overly strict interpretation of the letter of policy to violate the principles of the policy... Disagreements are resolved through consensus-based discussion, rather than through tightly sticking to rules and procedures. I am not insisting on tightly sticking to rules and procedures, but can you follow the rules at least vaguely? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:40, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

...240.232, What exactly about the guideline itself do you object to? 18:15, 8 February 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ddawkins73 (talkcontribs)

It being a guideline without higher participation and consensus.
Also, i don't see what this guideline solves that is not already solved by existing policies and guidelines, and therefore i think it is redundant and possibly a instruction creep. It doesn't say anything new, and I don't think it is needed. (talk) 18:50, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Instruction creep - wikidemon has taken care of that for now. Duplication - which guideline, out of interest?

Ddawkins73 (talk) 19:25, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, what Enric Naval said - the people interested in writing it have seemed to be doing a good job. - Eldereft (cont.) 23:03, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

I want to chime in that I don't think this page is quite up to par for guideline status. I don't think I agree with everything on this page, and I think it paints a somewhat one-sided perspective. I also think it hasn't picked a definition of advocacy which fully reflects the consensus of wikipedia editors. I think the page is fine as an essay and for now I'd like to keep it labelled as such; I would oppose submitting it to become a guideline in its current form. Cazort (talk) 17:08, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

Restoring to proposal status[edit]

I'm restoring this page for the moment to guideline status,(intended to, and worded the preceding incorrectly, but got beaten to figuring the matter out) for two primary reasons. First, in my opinion it is not ready for prime time, although it seems like a good idea and has some merit to it. It reads like an essay and has a lot of extraneous commentary that, though informative, is probably unwise to release as rules to be followed. In the hands of a truly strong, neutral editor this policy or one like it could be a useful tool. However, POV pushers and neutral editors alike have learned to cite guidelines, including accusing each other of agenda-based editing. Perhaps there is no neutrality, only different POVs. Anyway, a guideline like this does not become useful simply by coming down hard against advocates. The real issue is helping the multiple editors on the page, and administrators trying to calm disputes, determine where the source of trouble realy is. Second, I am not convinced that this page has had enough discussion to become a guideline, either in time, amount of adoption / recognition, or amount of participation. I'm a fairly active editor who watches a lot of policy and guideline pages, and this is the first I have heard of this (not everyone can be expected to chase down every rabbit hole that appears in the village pump. WP:CREEP suggests a high bar before we add yet another anti-POV guideline page, and things like this often have unintended consequences. Better to clean up any cooking mistake while it's still in the oven, rather than trying to contain the damage after it leaves the kitchen. I'm not adverse to considering this and maybe supporting it, but there should be no hurry - we have time to do things carefully.Wikidemon (talk) 19:12, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

I object to this becoming a guideline, and not only on the grounds of instruction creep. It's just a synthesis of other existing policies, and furthermore it encourages the assumption of bad faith. You can't make it a guideline to have editors going around making judgment calls on each others' editing habits. The policies already give editors the tools to identify bad edits, and this proposal goes too far in attempting to give editors the tools to identify bad editors. This would foster too much negativity and accusations in the community. Jehoch, you said in your edit that you were promoting to guideline cause you thought no one would object. Well you've got at least 2 objections so far. More discussion seems in order before promoting it again. Equazcion /C 19:26, 8 Feb 2009 (UTC)
You beat me to the main page revision. Yes, I see the point. This does go against the "question the edits, not the editor" spirit. At some point we may decide that somebody is just too contentious, agenda driven, etc., to be allowed to edit on a page or a topic, and then warn or block / ban them. But we usually give people every last chance rather than jumping too soon to accusations of incorrigible partisanship. Those accusations themselves are often the source of the problem. Do we really need for editors to be neutral? Everyone has a point of view, and some reason for being here. We can get a good article from people who deeply care about the subject but disagree, may even have a staken in the matter. They make each other justify their contributions. That's the premise of dialog and debate isn't it, that out of the discourse of competing ideas the truth will emerge? Disinterested people may lack the energy and motivation to get things right, they let small mistakes lie. WP:COI says people should be careful, not that people who have an opinion on a subject should not edit on it. Not saying we should avoid admonitions about COI/POV, just that we should be clear and careful about this. Wikidemon (talk) 19:50, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
I would've waited for you to do the honors, Wikidemon, but I guess I got confused by your statement. You said you were " guideline status", so I thought this had been perhaps marked as a policy before, and you had already demoted it down to guideline. I felt the need to take it one step further, back to essay/proposal status. Equazcion /C 20:11, 8 Feb 2009 (UTC)
No prob, my wording fact I was poking around the facts of the matter a little more before being so WP:BOLD - you obviously figured it out faster than me.Wikidemon (talk) 20:37, 8 February 2009 (UTC)


I agree that this proposed guideline should not have been promoted in the absence of any explicit consensus, but neither do I understand the vitriol directed against it becoming a guideline. "It's just a synthesis of other existing policies"? Isn't that exactly what a guideline is supposed to do: there are disparate and abstract policies that apply to certain situations but need further specification? Would you have us just go around quoting WP:V and WP:NPOV and expecting that they would have any modicum of specificity or traction whatsoever? I ultimately find it hilariously ironic that editors are invoking an essay as though it were policy when objecting to the practice of beating people over the head with policies as a rationale for preventing this from becoming a guideline/policy/whathaveyou. Madcoverboy (talk) 03:30, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Well essay or not, creep is pretty widely acknowledged as being a serious consideration. Besides which, the synthesis and creep aspects only constitute the first sentence and a half of my total objections, so perhaps you'd care to comment on the remaining paragraph, along with Wikidemon's extensive objections. Equazcion /C 03:41, 9 Feb 2009 (UTC)
Also, see WP:BURO, part of WP:NOT, which is a policy, and states that "instruction creep should be avoided". Equazcion /C 04:54, 9 Feb 2009 (UTC)
My reading of the remainder of your objection was that there was a lack of consensus (which I already agreed was the case) and that the guideline needs improvement (which likewise follows from having more participation and consensus). I wish I could see the world through your rose-tinted glasses, but we/Wikipedia absolutely make judgment calls on users' editing habits all the time in the name of promoting stability (WP:3RR), neutrality (WP:GRAPEVINE), and verifiability (WP:NOR). I agree that we should absolutely judge the edits, not the editor, to the extent possible, but this guideline exists precisely because there exist situations in which the tenaciousness/tendentiousness of an editor advocating a viewpoint makes it impossible to ignore the editor him/herself. You argue for absurd implications as a necessary conclusion, as though the existence of a NPOV policy would necessarily become a tool to cudgel those who have a POV. In other words, so far as WP:AGF and WP:NPA continue to hold, I absolutely fail to see how guideline would be any more divisive or negative than any other standing guideline because any guideline can be misappropriated. This objection is an absolute non-sequitur. I await to hear a more reasoned objection to this proposed guideline than recursive citing of essays/guidelines/policies against policy creep as policy justifications for why citing essays/guidelines/policies are bad. Evaluate the guideline on its merits and drawbacks, not on knee-jerk predispositions and procedural safety blankets. Madcoverboy (talk) 05:34, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

new section for long-ass response[edit]

Sure, any guideline has the potential for misuse, which is why we should be careful when considering the creation of new ones, weighing the pros and cons. "...there exist situations in which the tenaciousness/tendentiousness of an editor advocating a viewpoint makes it impossible to ignore the editor him/herself" -- Yes, and in those situations, appropriate actions are taken already against that editor, because they are impossible to ignore, even though a guideline doesn't exist. So what do we need one for? We already have guidelines and policies describing the issue of POV editing, so the point of this can't be to inform users who otherwise might not know the correct behavior. More on that later.

Rose tinting being the contended source of my continued belief in judging the edit and not the editor, some more rose-tinting, if you will, would be the fantasy that guidelines are merely descriptive and not prescriptive. If that were really the case I doubt we, or anyone else discussing possible new guidelines, would end up in such heated debates over them. Essays describe things and guidelines are what we use to back up actions, and guidelines are furthermore where people go to find out what they're supposed to be doing. I think telling people that they're supposed to be on the lookout for advocacy is a bad idea, and I also think that providing this as a tool to use when accusing someone of advocacy is similarly a bad idea and won't accomplish much, aside from making some of the most inflammatory fights on Wikipedia heat up even faster.

  • "You only disagree with me because you're advocating this particular opinion, don't try to deny it, I've seen your contribs, they all point towards blatantly advocating this POV."
  • "I'm not the one advocating, YOU are, I've seen YOUR contribs too and the only reason you disagree with me is because you're constantly advocating the opposite opinion."

When you expressly give people a guideline that suggests the possibility and condones judging the editor, this is what happens. People start thinking hmmm, my opponent doesn't seem to be getting it, let's have a look at his past edits for clues to why he feels this way. People already do that, they just don't generally say it. But if a guideline existed saying, "That a user is unreasonably advocating a particular position is a possibility to look out for" (paraphrasing), suddenly this becomes fair game for the debate, and the accusations fly.

Now, up until this point, editors actually have generally avoided such exchanges, thank the good lord, sticking with criticism of individual edits instead of contribution history. This is due to the policy on Wikipedia of questioning the edit and not the editor, and maybe more importantly, assuming good faith. This advocacy guideline would be a monumental move in the opposite direction. It could even be described as contradictory to AGF.

Yes, this proposed guideline may illustrate what generally occurs already, but then what do we need it for? As I said in the first paragraph of this increasingly excessive comment, the point can't be to educate users on the POV issue, cause several other pages already take care of that. Is it to make it easier to accuse people of advocacy and (hopefully) win such an argument? My spidey sense is tingling in that direction. Truth be told, I'd rather keep such a thing more difficult, because it shouldn't be done often, and the fallout from the false accusations isn't worth the possible ease gained for the rare legitimate ones. If there's another potential benefit I didn't consider, please let me know. But if not then I'd strongly caution you to think that through more thoroughly. The tradeoff might not be worth it.

Finally I think this idea is fundamentally all wrong for reasons that Wikidemon stated much more elegantly than I can, so I'm just gonna quote him.

"Do we really need for editors to be neutral? Everyone has a point of view, and some reason for being here. We can get a good article from people who deeply care about the subject but disagree, may even have a stake in the matter. They make each other justify their contributions. That's the premise of dialog and debate isn't it, that out of the discourse of competing ideas the truth will emerge? Disinterested people may lack the energy and motivation to get things right, they let small mistakes lie. WP:COI says people should be careful, not that people who have an opinion on a subject should not edit on it."

Equazcion /C 07:18, 9 Feb 2009 (UTC)

Where is the consensus?[edit]

I see no consensus. I see a load of bureaucratic piffle,. I see assumptions. I see WP:CREEP. I see very little of anything new except another, yet another, damned thing to quote at people.

This looks to me much like a case of things made up in school one day, but this time by the big kids.

So, since we are based upon consensus, let us build it. I am implaccably opposed to this. While I agree that my opinion is one opinion, it is one opinion. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 19:43, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

In case it wasn't blatantly obvious from my diatribe above, I too am diametrically opposed to this becoming a guideline. I'd also like to add that, noting which editors have been... advocating the advocacy guideline, some of our paths have crossed before and I'm familiar with the kinds of issues they've had to deal with. Some have been predominantly involved in maintaining articles that attract more than their share of controversy, and therefore more than their share of POV edits. So I understand fully where this is coming from. But I think this is the wrong way to go about fixing it, and has farther-reaching implications than they may have foreseen. This would be cutting off your nose to spite your face. Not every problem can, or should, be solved by creating a new policy. And, as I and others have stated above, this goes against Wikipedia's spirit, as well as a number of existing policies. Equazcion /C 20:35, 8 Feb 2009 (UTC)
I shall not even look at which editors have worked on this. To me it does not matter. This is just plain wrong. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 21:05, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
And I object to Fiddle Faddle's characterization as it is entirely in bad faith. I would encourage Fiddle Faddle to suggest tangible ways to improve the proposed guideline rather than impugning the motivations of its contributors. Madcoverboy (talk) 05:41, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
"I wish I could see the world through your rose-tinted glasses" -- I found that rather insulting, Madcoverboy. So there, we've established that you've both acted inappropriately, and probably me too somewhere on this page. In a debate like this we'll all say some emotional things. Equazcion /C 08:38, 9 Feb 2009 (UTC)
Why don't you both just remove any comments you made that are not advancing the discussion. I'd really like to focus on the merits of what the page says. Like Mastcell said, the tag at the top is merely descriptive. The community does what they will. How can we improve this page so that it may serve as a useful guide to editors? Jehochman Talk 09:14, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

←Encourage away. I see the entire article as precisely what I have said it is. I do not attempt to polish turds because I know it to be impossible.

No consensus has been sought, and this looks like an attempt to railroad things though on the basis that others have to assume good faith and be reasonable. Well, I have no ambitions to be an admin here, and I am thus unconstrained about calling a spade a spade because of internal wikipolitics and people quoting the naughty things you've said when you struggle insanely to become an admin. I assume good faith until I feel railroaded. Hmm, now isn't that some of the stuff this baloney is about? Ah the irony.

So, I feel as if I am back in the schoolyard being bullied by the big kids.

Ok, a tangible way to improve it is to abandon it. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 12:44, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Procedural objections[edit]

I feel I need to address the implication above that procedural objections are invalid. They are of course completely valid, at least in this case. Our anonymous friend stated the issue rather well. Present policies dictate that the promotion of new policies and guidelines require a relatively high standard of participation and consensus, and recommend advertising the proposal to the community. This is not just policy but common sense. You can't promote something to guideline status without at least letting everyone know you're doing it and giving them the chance to object. At the very least a notice at WP:VPP was in order, along with a subsequent pause of reasonable length to wait for input. As it turns out, it was a good thing anonymous was watching and did end up making such a post, so that in the end, the remarkable lack of consensus for this guideline could be ascertained. Equazcion /C 21:34, 8 Feb 2009 (UTC)

I'm actually not that fussed about what tag sits at the top of the page. If people are bothered by the idea of another guideline, that's fine with me. Call it an essay. In the end, guidelines and policies are descriptive. If they accurately describe a real behavioral issue, then they have value, regardless of how they're tagged. We're not trying to change the rules and outlaw a formerly permissible sort of behavior here - we're just trying to summarize a common problem, and provide some guidance on why it's a problem and how to deal with it. Personally, I think this sums up (imperfectly, but adequately) a recurring theme that I see quite often on Wikipedia - so I find it useful shorthand, regardless of whether it's a guideline or essay. MastCell Talk 22:05, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

The page summarizes bits and pieces that have been discussed extensively by the community, at arbitration, and noticeboards, and at other policy talk pages. An editor who engages in advocacy is likely to be blocked. The prohibition against that behavior is stronger than an essay, such as don't template the regulars. The guideline tag is more appropeiate for that reason. Wikipedia is not a legislature. Policies and guidelines are descriptive, not normative. Now, please, let's cut the wonkery and talk about any objections to the substance.Jehochman Talk 01:36, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Already done, see specific objections above, heading "Restoring to essay status". Equazcion /C 02:21, 9 Feb 2009 (UTC)

A test for Essay vs. Guideline?[edit]

Except for legal/office issues, policies and guidelines are written to reflect current consensus practice, not the other way around.

Is this what people think we should be doing or is this what the community is currently enforcing?

If the first it should be an essay for awhile before being promoted to guideline.

If the second then it's a de facto guideline and either it should be promoted or current practice must change.

In either case, if anyone is saying "yeah, that sounds like a good idea, we aren't doing that now, I think we should" then it should be an essay for at least a few weeks before being promoted. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 22:26, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps you could reply above, to the specific objections I and others have already raised to promoting this to a guideline, under the headings "Restoring this to essay status" and "Where is the consensus?", so we don't need to basically copy and paste those discussions here. Thanks. Equazcion /C 23:20, 8 Feb 2009 (UTC)

Some suggested improvements[edit]

Here are a few things I would do:

  • Refocus lede so that it explains what the page is and does.
  • Move everything after the first phrase of the sentence of the lead down into the body, in a section on how the various policies and guidelines interact (discussed below)
  • Emphasize "at the expense of" in the new lead sentence: "Advocacy is the use of Wikipedia to promote personal beliefs or agendas at the expense of Wikipedia's goals, policies and guidelines."
  • Say what we really mean (I hope) the policy is all about, i.e. "Having a personal belief, affiliation, or editing goal is not a bad thing, as long as editors can be productive and stay within the guidelines for behavior, content, and style. Conversely, breaches of behavioral, content, and style guidelines are always things to watch out for. This guideline (or essay) is about the occasional situation where both intersect, when editors are making edits, or behaving, in a way that detrimental to the project, in pursuit of an agenda other than improving the encyclopedia.
  • Also say something like: this is not an attempt to create a new kind of violation or procedure - nothing violates this essay / guideline without violating other guidelines or policies. Rather, this is intended to assist in identifying and dealing with problematic editing that is agenda-based.
  • Below the lead, divide it into 3 sections: (1) identifying the problem (what it is and what it is not), (2) dealing with the problem, and (3) different kinds of agendas and how they relate to pages like COI, NPOV, TRUTH, FORUM, SOAP, WP:TEND, BATTLE, TEND - and the kind of violations that may occur as a result, e.g. BLP, NPA, AGF, EW, DE.
  • The existing section on "Identifying advocacy" is weak, and not of much help. The first paragraph is just throat clearing and it goes back to trying to explain what it is. The second is party a prescription, and I think it misses the point. What are the real clues? Doing it again and again across a series of articles. Being a SPA. Socking. Stating an agenda. Maybe some others. We should caution that it is dangerous to infer an agenda solely from an editing preference, e.g. policing some articles rather than others or objecting to one side rather than another. There has to be an underlying and repeated violation of some rule, not just an editing preference.
  • The "defenses" section is written in essay-like expository style, and even at that is for the most part unhelpful. Most disruptive editors have an excuse. And these ones could be raised by almost anyone, not just an agenda-based editor. The last one, though, is an important point (and a counter-example to the whole page) - accusing other people of being affiliated is wrong, because they are entitled to edit too.
  • I disagree with "productive ways". People with a strong opinion should not have to back out of editing an article. Nor do I think we want to favor disclosure. People are free to be anonymous, and not to state their personal opinions. Frankly, keeping your personal opinion out of the discussion is one of the best ways to avoid advocacy. Truly, the best thing an advocate can do is, simply, not violate policies and guidelines to support their position.

- Wikidemon (talk) 10:00, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Thank you very much for proposing these ideas. I think they would generally improve the page. Jehochman Talk 10:18, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
These are excellent ideas and I look forward to working with other editors to incorporate them. Madcoverboy (talk) 14:30, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Rather than "expected to have no opinions", I suggest "expected not to be prejudiced against the sources" or something along those lines, but wiv betta wurds. 14:08, 12 February 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ddawkins73 (talkcontribs)

Relation to WP:SOAP[edit]

I have nothing against this as an essay (more useful for editors encountering advocacy than for those who have created it, perhaps), but if we're going to make it a guideline, it should be because current policy needs to be clarified in some way. Pasting it here for convenience, current policy (namely, Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not a soapbox) says the following:

Wikipedia is not a soapbox, a battleground, or a vehicle for propaganda and advertising. This applies to articles, categories, templates, talk page discussions, and user pages. Therefore, content hosted in Wikipedia is not propaganda, advocacy, or recruitment of any kind, commercial, political, religious, or otherwise. Of course, an article can report objectively about such things, as long as an attempt is made to describe the topic from a neutral point of view. You might wish to start a blog or visit a forum if you want to convince people of the merits of your favorite views.

What exactly is the hole that needs filling? —JAOTC 10:53, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

People seem to have trouble understanding what constitutes advocacy. Have a look at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Cold fusion and Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Fringe science to see concrete examples of the problem. Regrettably, the Wikipedia community has been unable to deal with long term disrution in these areas caused by advocates. At least two administrators who have been involved on the front lines trying to maintain order (User:Mastcell and I) feel that editors need more guidance. This page is useful so we don't have to keep typing out the same long-winded explanations. As the content of the essay aims to reflect well-established consensus, I think it should be improved to the point that it could be marked as a guideline. Jehochman Talk 11:00, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
With precision please explain why the italicised paragraph is not sufficient? It is brief, to the point and very hard to fail to grasp. It also has consensus. This article does not. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 12:53, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
The paragraph is too brief and mixes different concepts together. It also does not offer much advice on how to identify, refrain from, or deal with chronic polite POV pushing. All Wikipedia policies can be boiled down to don't be a dick, but it is usually helpful to provide more details. Jehochman Talk 14:31, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
So all work should come to a full stop because there is not yet consensus? Or should all work come to a full stop because WP:IDONTLIKEIT? Or perhaps work should continue and you can come back when there is an RfC or other mechanism to formally develop consensus so you can let us know what you think? Madcoverboy (talk) 14:34, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
@Jehochman: I suggest you propose a minor expansion of that paragrpah instead of this mighty work.
@Madcoverboy: To me this and the history of it looks like an attempt, now failed, to railroad. It walks, quacks and looks like one. What started in good faith appears to me to have become wish fulfilment. This is an over-large blunt instrument, doubtless considered with care, and now with strenuous opposition. Consensus on policies tends to come down to liking or not liking something. That is how policies are created. So no, I do not like it. I am saying so clearly. And I am saying that it is entirely valid not to like it. This is not an article in the main namespace. This is yet another goshdarned thing to throw at people, and it is instruction creep. There is a point when equine necrophilia should cease. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 15:20, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Fiddle faddle, given your hostile comments above about turd polishing, please excuse me for not being convinced by your arguments. Jehochman Talk 15:55, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Ah yes. The old "find one fault and the whole thing is invalid" technique. Perhaps you would prefer to place a cherry on the turd in order to prettify it, then? I am hostile to feeling that people are riding roughshod over the wishes of others by not developing consensus. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 15:59, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
There already one snarky sock puppet disrupting this page. Forgive me, but I am not really impressed with your sarcasm and non-collegiality. I don't go around calling your work turds, and I'd appreciate if you raised your level of civility a few notches if your going to edit the same pages as me. Thank you. Jehochman Talk 16:02, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Seconded. Madcoverboy (talk) 16:03, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Ah yes. When you run out of argument resort to ad hominen stuff. You can check any time you like that I am no sock puppet, of course, though I have forgotten in the past to log in a few times. I happen to find this task you have created for yourself(ves) counter to the spirit of Wikipedia. I find it poor work, thus I used a very simple and direct metaphor. I do not regret that for an instant. You may be as unimpressed as you wish. no-one will die if this thing you have created goes through and no-one will die if it doesn't. But I do not believe that the history of this thing shows full regard for a transparent building of consensus. What on earth is "non collegiality"? does that mean that I have to be in some sort of club, worse a cabal, before I can hold a strongly held and strongly worded opinion? Please do not for a moment assume that I have accused you of club or cabal forming or membership, that would be very improper. I use it because I do not understand your term at all. It just seems to me that it implies something I must be a member of. Hmmmm.
The consensus building was not present. That is the point. Even when I asked where it was I saw no attempt to build one. I still see no attempt to build one. I challenge you to build it in favour of this Advocacy thing. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 16:14, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Collegiality means that you try to work well with other people, which you are not doing here. Calling other's work "turds" is not helpful at all. Jehochman Talk 16:22, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Not a common word where I live. I am criticising the work of others. That is one of the roles of a colleague. I am doing it in a way I choose, and doing it heavily. This is one of the roles of a colleague. I do not see this topis as presented here capable of improvement. I see it as instruction creep and I feel that stinks. Hence the metaphor. I see the topic as unnecessary and the way it has been handled as an attempt to railroad it through. I see no consensus building and no attempt to seek to build one. The only moral high ground here is for the community as a whole, and it needs to build a consensus in order to achieve it. I challenge you again to do this. Set out a framework and see what happens. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 16:29, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
I support this guideline, and your incivility is not constructive. It is in fact disruptive. Please desist. Verbal chat 16:33, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
We've already addressed the "originial sin" of this article being promoted without explicit consensus as being one of omission rather than commission. However, FiddleFaddle is simultaneously arguing that because there is no consensus on this issue, we shouldn't even permit consensus to develop because he is strenously opposed to the article. Perhaps if editors cannot suggest tangible ways to frame or structure the guideline to improve the guideline, we can eschew the current tit-for-tat discussion and engage in some constructive work? Madcoverboy (talk) 16:42, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

←How many times do I have to say this? I challenge you to build a consensus. How many tiomes do I need to challenge you in order for you to actually read the words. Build it. Build it now and build it well.

Note that this is not at all the same as denying the chance for a consensus to be built. This is, instead, arguing that one should be built! Fiddle Faddle (talk) 16:48, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

  • Jehochman: "Fiddle faddle, given your hostile comments above about..." I hope you ignore Madcoverboy too then, cause he seems to be maintaining a similar hostile attitude, only he's on your side, but that shouldn't matter of course. "let's cut the wonkery..." That one's yours, jehoch.
  • Madcoverboy: "we shouldn't...permit consensus to develop because he is strenously opposed..." Fiddle faddle isn't preventing anyone from constructively discussing the article. He has a fundamental objection to the idea of this article. You may feel compelled to argue with him rather than focusing your energy on discussing improvements, but that's frankly your problem.
  • Fiddle faddle: Maybe it would be best to allow the attempt at improvement to progress without the continued remarks. I feel the same as you, that this is a bad idea fundamentally, but if its proponents think they can improve it to the point that most people will feel comfortable with it being a guideline, I say let them. When they're done and ready to try promoting it again, we'll know about it and there'll then be time to evaluate the new version and voice your protests, if you still have any (well, hopefully there'll be time, and notification -- I do hope the authors will do the community that service next time). Equazcion /C 16:59, 9 Feb 2009 (UTC)
I am watching now and awaiting developments with interest. Not that my "watching" should mean anything. I am just watching. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 17:04, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia and NPOV[edit]

This is a response to some of the discussion in the preceeding section, but it's long so I put it in its own section. In summary: Wiki-NPOV means fringe theories get little if any space unless they are notable as fringe theories. Non-fringe minority theories get porportional space. Mainstream theories such as evolution, Einstein's theories, and the like are treated as if they are the neutral point of view, even though as not-yet-proven-but-very-likely-true theories, they are a point of view and there is nothing neutral about them.

In may religion, politics, and soft-science fields and in some hard-science ones, there are experts in the field who hold a minority or fringe position. In some cases, they have a sizable lay followings. If Wikipedia had the luxury of being truly neutral, every article or set of articles on these topics would cover all of the points of view in enough depth to be useful to laymen. This would result in huge, unwieldy, and self-contradictory articles or sets of articles that would collapse under their own weight. Having such material here could in some cases bring ridicule or outside political pressure to purge the material. Based on being around here for over 2 years, the consensus seems to be a combination of the notability/verifiability/neutrality pillars, plus WP:FRINGE and WP:UNDUE, along with an unwritten rule of "don't embarrass Wikipedia as a whole." This means in fields where the term "neutral point of view" has no meaning, predominant points of view are treated as if they were the neutral point of view, minority views with sizable followings are given porportional coverage, and fringe science and frings points of view are describe as fringe, and only given space if they are notable as fringe theories, since pretty much by definition they aren't notable within their field. People who repeatedly attempt to give fringe or minority points of view more space than this find themselves labeled as disruptive and eventually subject to sanction. The "Don't embarrass Wikipedia as a whole" [2][3] is a combination of "don't be a dick" and "put yourself in the shoes of the people trying to raise funds and protect Wikipedia's external reputation." If you edit Nazi articles in ways that make it look like Nazism had or has more popular support than it does, you will be slapped down for being disruptive, even if your edits are cited using reliable sources and you sincerely believe you are improving the encyclopedia. If your username is "Adolf H." and you don't edit elsewhere you'll be slapped down hard and fast. Odds are very high that even if you are citing reliable sources, other reliable sources give conflicting information, and adding these without hashing it out on article talk pages first will be seen as POV-pushing. POV-pushing generally isn't allowed, but de facto it is allowed if you are "pushing" the articles or set of articles to a healthy mix of the dominant/mainstream POV and porportional/not-unduely-weighted space for significant minority POVs, with no or little space for POVs that are not significant, and space for fringe POVs only if they are clearly labeled as such. In other words, if there is an article on some animal, and the article says "this animal descended from that animal" but 40% of scientists in the field say it did not, it's okay to change it to "while most scientists believe this animal descended from that animal, other scientists believe it descended from this other animal." However, if 99% of scientists in the field believe it descended from the same animal, then this correction would be viewed as POV-pushing. If it's somewhere in the middle, then it should be discussed on the talk page first. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 17:03, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

In essence, the edifice which supports Wikipedia is academia, which by default is mainstream.

I read a line in an article on ID which said "All scientists support evolution", which was not only POV-pushing and inaccurate, but unneccesary. The correct statement would be "Evolutionary theory is accepted by the scientific community as the relevant explanation of complexity in lifeforms." Accepted, that's it. In the scientific context, there's no support or need for support. Academia accepts it, Wikipedia accepts it. There's no need to assert neutrality or justify it. The editor doesn't believe it (or rather, their belief is irrelevant), Wikipedia accepts it by default as the only mainstream scientific explanation. Not as a cultural phenomenon, or as the only voice in public debate, but as far as the article discusses the science there is only one theory. For no other reason than there isn't an alternative theory.

In the hard sciences, it's simple. There are no 60-40 splits for accepted theories. General Relativity can be explained by a number of alternatives, but GR works fine (at a certain scale), for now. It certainly doesn't need a court ruling to be the paradigm. There is one explanation and lots of interpretation and sub-explanations based upon the accepted theory. Science is science. Wikipedia accepts it. The concept of "Human knowledge" admits of only one paradigm at a time.

It strikes me that policies and guidelines re neutrality and POV are often used as a form of politeness.

Ddawkins73 (talk) 18:55, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

In the early days of many scientific theories, there are naysayers. One by one, the naysayers buy into the theory and it crosses some undefined threshold and becomes "predominant" or "accepted." This is also true for non-hard-science theories, such as various and sometimes conflicting theories of economics, child-rearing, traffic engineering, and the list goes on. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 19:32, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
For every crank who is subsequently proven correct, there are fifty who remain forever cranks. Jehochman Talk 20:20, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
For speculative theories, then POV indeed comes into it. However many physicists and mathematicians there are working on string theory, it wouldn't be correct to say any of them "believe" in it (even if some do). Hard sciences is easy - all unconfirmed theories have equal weight: none at all. At best they have notability.
My original point though was intimating that advocacy of fringe theories as "alternatives" is easily rebutted in the hard sciences. A theory isn't supported. It is the accepted theory. There are no alternatives. Ddawkins73 (talk) 21:04, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
This is where I would debate with you. For centuries, classical Newtonian physics was accepted be-all end-all theory to explain motion. It was the accepted theory. Today, it's rejected but it is still used as a good-enough-in-most-cases approximation. Today, the accepted theories are those developed around Einstein's theories. However, there was a time between the day Einstein first developed the theory and the time enough evidence rolled in to convince the majority of physicists that things were in flux. There was probably a short period of time, possibly only a month or even a day, when you could legitimately say both theories had equal or nearly-equal acceptance in the minds of experts. There was no single accepted theory. There are scientific areas of inquiry where we literally can't explain how something works and there are multiple supported theories, none of which is widely accepted yet. As experiments are run and data comes in, one theory may gain some mind-share, only to be knocked down when the next experiment doesn't agree. This needs to be taken into account. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 02:50, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Years with GR. The point is not two or more competing theories (or the messiness of the actual picture - which is largely internal) but that there is never an alternative theory to an accepted theory. If advocacy problems for hard science articles at Wikipedia are not in 99% of cases usually a matter of someone advocating an "alternative" theory to the accepted one, or even to the now incomplete theory (GR now), then I'd be very surprised. If I've mischaracterized it, then my apologies. If that is so, I would be interested in looking at the examples (because I'd be interested). Ddawkins73 (talk) 06:13, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
This still leaves religion, politics, and soft-science fields. Unlike hard science, where things are much less based on the consistent, predictable results of repeatable experiments and a testable theory which accurately predicts the correct outcome quickly gains wide acceptance, arguments over which theory is best in these other areas can last years or millenia. In hard sciences, "mutliple prevailing theories" usually exist only when we don't yet have the means to test them, such as some physics theories that are awaiting the building of new supercolliders, or theories where the data is still coming in and there haven't yet been enough repeatable experiments to establish firm results. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 11:17, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Yup. Still leaves everything else. I was making the point that there shouldn't be a problem with fringe theories and hard sciences. Just give no truck. Multiple notable theories aren't a problem - and there's loads of them in the hard sciences. The point is that none of them need be given undue weight. They all have equal weight. which ones are presented is a matter of notability. Same with multiple theories in anything else. I'm working on the Modernism page - that's pretty fuzzy and multidiscipline. All we try to do is present what the sources say.
If anything has to be done when there are multiple sources, it's identifying what they all say, then splitting the topic up appropriately. In Literature, arts, politics, philosophy etc etc there are thousands of viewpoints. You start at the top with the least broad summary possible (and of course in a fuzzy topic, there are lots of sources about the topic itself, so it's not as bad as it seems) then divide the topic up as appropriate. If someone comes up with notable sources that say "that's doesn't cover this aspect", it has to be incorporated. We're getting there with the Modernism page, and I'm sure we will get there. Look at the Renaissance page. It's not perfect, but I'd say that's pretty darn good.
The best thing about the Wikipedia model is that if you approach an article in good faith, then it will tend towards a suitable overview: As you are made aware of the sources, another perspective, they are incorporated. Constantly moving towards an inclusive picture. But you need not incorporate anything for the sake of it. A means of determining notability, a definition of the reliable sources, and good faith are all that are needed.
I'm not for or against a new policy. I'm just responding to the whole advocacy issue, as raised. I think a lot of it comes down to avoiding words like "believe" and "support". In fact, the crucial point I was making, if there was one - using words like that undermines the mainstream position anyhow. No need to say what scientists believe. What I'm saying is, don't play the POV game: If you're right, then the sources are there. If you're wrong, then you've learnt something.
15:41, 10 February 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ddawkins73 (talkcontribs)

This is an excellent and well-written essay...[edit]

...and should probably stay that way. It works quite well as an advisory essay for editors dealing with advocates, but I don't believe it would actually stop the advocacy any more than WP:SOAP already has. Yes, WP:SOAP is very brief, and this essay is a very useful interpretation and expansion on it. But it should not have the force of a guideline, WP:SOAP is policy, and that is enough; if someone is violating the spirit of this guideline, then they are already going against WP:SOAP anyway, making this page somewhat WP:CREEPy. Leave this as an advisory essay for people to reference if/when they are dealing with advocacy. I would even go so far as to say that this would be a good candidate for the {{supplement}} tag, marking it as an essay intended to supplement WP:SOAP. Cheers, --Aervanath (talk) 15:05, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Thank you. I have tagged it as you suggested. Let's see if that works. Jehochman Talk 18:38, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
A very good solution. —JAOTC 18:49, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
I support this as well. However, I just wanted to a consensus test on whether this is a final or interim solution. Are editors ok with this being a supplementary essay to WP:SOAP or is there a need/desire to have this become a formal guideline in the future? Madcoverboy (talk) 21:57, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
I think the test will be how much it gets cited and how much pushback people who cite it get. If it's cited for reasons to do stuff a few times a month for the next 12 months, and nobody objects, then consider promotion. If it's not cited, or people say "now just hold on a minute there" when people do cite it, then don't. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 22:08, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
The test will not be that exclusively. It will also be a consensus built here. For the record I oppose the promotion of this, but applaud the enquiry to start to build consensus. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 22:13, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Let's add Wikipedia:Smear campaigns, which Hrafn says shouldn't be a page by itself. --Uncle Ed (talk) 20:11, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Possible Misinterpretation[edit]

Is it not also possible, that someone may be legitimately concerned about an issue, and he/she does not have time for regular WP editing? For example, let's say an expert scientist wants to keep facts about Global warming straight, where, for whatever reasons the facts are not accurate on the article. In that situation, somebody with an agenda can claim that this user is politely pushing his/her agenda. And honestly, WP policies and procedures can be very frustrating for beginners. In the end WP may end up losing all that expertise that he/she had to offer. -- ManasShaikh (talk) 19:50, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion for 'Defenses'[edit]

Good work. I have a suggestion for the 'defenses' section: This was mentioned directly in an op-ed/article/report in X, which is a reliable source, it has to go in the article: WP:RS says we should "[make] sure that all majority and significant minority views that have appeared in reliable, published sources are covered". One mention in X, even if it was picked up and repeated by a number of bloggers at the time, does not make this a "significant minority view" until it gets more coverage and analysis by reliable secondary sources.

Or something like that. Any thoughts? P.S. I'm going to try to reformat this section of the essay into a 'data-definition list' without changing any existing wording. Please feel free to revert if you like. --Nigelj (talk) 08:48, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

This is an essay; is better![edit]

I compared this essay with

Funny enough I find this essay approaching the activist/advocacy problem a bit one-sided! This essay here suggests that activists are basically pushing minority views that they like. The other one first points out that activists may be trying to suppress minority views that they dislike, but also mentions the opposite problem.

Obviously both things happen. By statistical necessity the minority view suppression problem (which this proposed guideline neglects) is likely to be the biggest issue - and weird ideas are quickly spotted.

So, if a guideline of this issue related to balanced editing is to be made, it should include the missing elements from Wikipedia:Activist. Harald88 (talk) 18:27, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Is trying to identify advocacy healthy or constructive?[edit]

I think some of the things advocated by this essay trouble me somewhat, as they seem to conflict with the principle to WP:Assume Good Faith. I don't think it's particularly healthy, useful, or beneficial to Wikipedia to think extensively about whether or not someone is trying to advocate or advance a specific viewpoint. This involves attempting to infer the person's intentions on the basis of solely their edit history--which in many cases is something that can be very hard to do with any accuracy.

I think a more constructive way of dealing with advocacy is to stick to focusing on the edits themselves, and how they relate to Wikipedia's guidelines.

I also am not sure how relevant it is whether or not someone is intending to use Wikipedia as a platform for advocacy, so long as they stick to NPOV. As a personal example, I created the article on the endangered Colorado delta clam with an agenda: I wanted to protect this species by raising awareness of it. This was my primary motivation for creating this article.

If someone is coming here with the intention of advocacy, I don't think it's a problem so long as they stick to Wikipedia's core guidelines and policies and are improving Wikipedia. Advocacy is only a problem when it does damage, but it doesn't always do damage at all, and there are plenty of editors who aren't advocating for anything who do a ton of damage through other means. I also find this article a little self-contradictory. It points out examples below of how AIDS-denialists or KKK members can have valuable perspectives to contribute to articles on these topics. Sometimes I think the best articles result from when people trying to advance or advocate for different perspectives come together, and then use Wikipedia's guidelines and policies to hash out what to end up including in the article. To that end, I don't think it's useful or empowering in any way to spend time analyzing whether or not people are trying to advance an agenda. I think focusing on the quality of the edits and the quality of the material, and reasoning from guidelines and policy, is the way to go. Cazort (talk) 17:16, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

There is no way to deal with advocacy that is problem free. Some defects from relying on AGF and investigation of each edit are: (a) there are more advocates (on the Internet) than good editors; (b) advocates are more motivated to persist in their topic area than good editors; (c) good editors trying to deal with advocates will eventually burn out. Advocacy is nothing to do with writing an encyclopedic article about an endangered species. Johnuniq (talk) 23:06, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

Manipulation of sources biggest problem[edit]

I think this is the biggest problem one finds in advocacy editing (the phrase we should use rather than labeling people; advocates can edit in an NPOV way). Specifically:

  • Removing info from reliable sources with questionable excuses claiming they are not
  • Removing proper SPS about persons/groups activities which might make them seem more credible; and or using only that which makes them look non-credible
  • Using obvious advocacy organization sources, including self-published blogs by minor lights in various movements.

Of course, more specifics on the various advocacy editing WP:GAME also would help. At my leisure I'm going to put something more specific in there on this topic. Thanks. Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 20:21, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

This essay is even worse than the policy[edit]

I respectfully disagree with the wording of the WP:SOAP policy, but this essay is even more extreme.

It classifies only alternative people and dissidents as "advocates", which is rather Orwellian, not to say incorrect. If some economics textbooks say things like monetary policy works via the required reserves ratio (a quantity which does not even exist in some countries), or that unemployment cannot happen, or that Adam Smith held identical views on government intervention to those of modern American libertarians, or that land is just a form of capital like any other, or any other nonsensical things like that, then no matter how widespread these incorrect views about economics are, they are still incorrect and must be balanced by those that are correct, however alternative or un-numerous they may be in the economics profession. And those who advocate wrong economic doctrines from the 20th-century, are in fact advocates.

That means that this essay - which thankfully is not a policy or guideline - emboldens advocates of the status quo to think they can edit Wikipedia with impunity, whereas advocates of minority viewpoints must shut up forever and never, ever edit the relevant parts of Wikipedia. This is intolerable.--greenrd (talk) 18:20, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

Many people use Wikipedia to find information. If the ideas in this essay were not implemented, most articles of interest to general readers would be overrun with advocacy. That might suit some readers, but it would reduce the value of Wikipedia because it would then be nothing more than a box to hold all the crank ideas that Google can find. Re economics: I'm always happy to kick (almost all) economists as evidence-free POV pushers, but people wanting more than my opinion would want to read articles based on reliable sources. Those sources will be wrong in some cases, but such errors cannot be corrected by using counter-arguments from advocates who are not supported by reliable sources. Johnuniq (talk) 01:34, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Merge WP:Advocacy and WP:Activist[edit]

These two essays are redundant with each other, as was pointed out by proponents of merging, at WP:Activist's MfD discussion, they can be synergistically combined. It's pointless to have two similarly named advice pages here addressing the same behavior patterns, as no one is likely to remember which one to cite for which exact point.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  01:58, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

SMcCandlish, I agree, and have wondered about the need for both. I think that WP:Activist should be merged into WP:Advocacy. Well, the pieces that are not redundant. Have you taken a look at the people who created these essays? If they are still actively editing Wikipedia, we can contact them to weigh in on this. Flyer22 (talk) 03:38, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
What would the merged article be called?
As long as all of the content and nuances are preserved and redirects implemented, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have all the material accessible in a centralized essay. --Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 04:34, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
The merged essay would be called "WP:Advocacy" or "WP:Activist"; there is no need for a new name, and I don't see what would be a better name. I prefer "WP:Advocacy" as the name, which is why I stated above, "I think that WP:Activist should be merged into WP:Advocacy. Well, the pieces that are not redundant." Flyer22 (talk) 04:56, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
I disagree with that opinion.
Activism generally encompasses more of a group dynamic from the start, and group dynamics from groups of activists are a more intractable problem than one-off advocates.
The Activism essay is much longer than the Advocacy essay, and should obviously receive priority if the name is to be one or the other.
Alternatively, called in the essay "Activism and Advocacy" with separate redirects, etc., seems like an option worthy of consideration.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 05:13, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Advocacy includes activists; so I don't see any problem at all with the essay being called "WP:Advocacy" or "WP:Activism." I also don't see much of a problem with it being called WP:Activist, except that a person might engage in activism without technically being an activist, but the wording on the essay page can clarify matters and the WP:Activist page being longer than the WP:Advocacy page does not mean that we should use "WP:Activist" as the title. What problem is there with merging most of the WP:Activist material into WP:Advocacy? I don't see it. As for WP:Activism; it is a redirect. I created the WP:Activism redirect in November 2013, deciding to have it redirect to WP:Advocacy instead of to WP:Activist, since activism is a collective matter more than an individual matter. Calling the essay "Activism and Advocacy" is unneeded. Flyer22 (talk) 05:31, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
On a side note: Considering that Wikipedia has the Advocate, Advocacy and Activism articles (with activist redirecting to the Activism article), it's not surprising that it has the WP:Advocacy and WP:Activist essays. Flyer22 (talk) 05:46, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
That logic doesn't work. There are millions of WP articles, but we do not have millions of WP essays.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:02, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Activism and advocacy are closely related types of behavior, and it seems advisable to include both in the title.
I never suggested "Activist" as the title, so please strike the irrelevant portions of your comment insinuating that I did.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 11:38, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
I see no need to have both "Activism and advocacy" in the title. As for you never having suggested "Activist" as the title, I won't be striking anything in my above posts. If you weren't suggesting "Activist" as the title, that should be clear, especially since you just stated it. My opinions on the title stand, no matter what you meant. But as for what you meant... You stated "I disagree with that opinion." This was after I reiterated that I think WP:Activist should be merged into WP:Advocacy. You didn't clarify what you meant by "I disagree with that opinion." It's not like I could have absolutely known that you weren't suggesting "Activist" as the title. Why else should I have thought you were objecting to WP:Activist being merged into WP:Advocacy? You stated, "The Activism essay is much longer than the Advocacy essay, and should obviously receive priority if the name is to be one or the other." Like I noted, there is no WP:Activism essay, unless one counts the WP:Advocacy essay as the WP:Activism essay, since that is where WP:Activism redirects to. So by "Activism essay," one can assume that you meant "Activist essay." Anyway, it seems that you were referring to my entire "04:56, 16 May 2015 (UTC)" post when you stated, "I disagree with that opinion." Not just the fist two sentences. Flyer22 (talk) 12:17, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Why did you create a redirect to WP:ADVOCACY from WP:ACTIVISM when there was already a WP:ACTIVIST essay?
I see that the ADVOCACY essay predates the ACTIVIST essay by about two years, even though the later is longer and more comprehensive. Personally, I would have named the essay ACTIVISM, in parallel with the name ADVOCACY (as opposed to ADVOCATE).
  • ...advocacy is a general term for promotional and agenda-based editing
  • ...activists with a specific ideological, religious, political, national, personal or other agenda
I tend to associate advocacy more with a promotional agenda that can be carried out on an individual level, and activism as encompassing a broader, society oriented agenda, as per the lead sentence of the Wikipedia article Activism

Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, or direct social, political, economic, or environmental change, or stasis.

Accordingly, I don't think that the two should be conflated. That doesn't mean that I don't think they can be merged into a single essay, with a proper title and retention of the differentiation.
Oppose merge of ACTIVIST to ADVOCACY
...would support merge of both ACTIVIST and ADVOCACY to ACTIVISM & ADVOCACY.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 15:13, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
You asked, "Why did you create a redirect to WP:ADVOCACY from WP:ACTIVISM when there was already a WP:ACTIVIST essay?" I already stated above, "I created the WP:Activism redirect in November 2013, deciding to have it redirect to WP:Advocacy instead of to WP:Activist, since activism is a collective matter more than an individual matter." As seen in that edit history, I initially redirected WP:Activism to WP:Activist. Then I changed my mind.
As for the rest of what you stated above, your merge rationales on this matter make no sense to me because what you are arguing are title matters based on your personal semantics and what Wikipedia articles state. This section was originally about merging the content, and you made it into a title dispute. Flyer22 (talk) 20:52, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
If the topics of advocacy and activist were distinct enough, this merge proposal wouldn't exist. Flyer22 (talk) 20:58, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
I would merge to WP:Advocacy and retain that title; it's more inclusive. It's also less antagonistic, in addressing an editing behavior pattern, not targeting editors. (I just rewrote WP:SSF and moved it from WP:Specialist style fallacy to WP:Specialized-style fallacy for the very same reason). Activists are not actually a problem. I am an activist, professionally (though not all the time). Activists are often subject-matter experts we want working on content. What we don't want is for them to bring the passion of their activism (advocacy) into article-writing here, as it's a serious WP:NPOV problem, among others. WP:Activists is essentially a mildly phrased attack page, and I'd be inclined to see it deleted on that basis if it's not merged, and soon.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:01, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm still inclined to see a need to preserve the distinction, as I generally associate activism with altruistic behavior and advocacy as motivated by material gain.
I agree that activist is not a good title, and I agree that the two are closely related enough that they should be merged, and will not object to simply using Advocacy is that is what is necessary; however, on Wikipedia, it seems that activism doesn't become an issue until it involves POV pushing, etc., tendentious editing.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 04:27, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Those definitions are personal, though, not supported by dictionaries. As a pro at this, I can tell you that issue-based activists call themselves advocates in various contexts (particularly when working on behalf of a narrowly defined cause or population and/or to influence a narrowly defined set of policymakers, and also use advocacy in this sense (borrowed from the legal sense of the word); as distinct from working on a broad issue like "civil rights" or "environmental protection"). It can also contextually indicate other kinds of differences, such as between doing policy analysis in preparation for a class-action lawsuit or a request for federal regulatory intervention, vs. organizing public protests (by the same person in the same job, even). Meanwhile, various lobbyists only in it for the corporate paycheck try to spin themselves as "activists" hoping some of the grassroots cachet of the term will rub off on them (this is part of a strategy known as astroturfing).

For WP purposes, we simply don't care. POV-pushing by people breaking WP's rules and warping facts in articles because they're on a WP:GREATWRONGS mission are exactly as detrimental as cynical spindoctors trying to improve the WP coverage of an unpopular industry or regime. Perhaps moreso, because when Pakistani government agents or tobacco industry lobbyists PoV-push in our articles its usually more obvious and thus more easily rectified than when well-meaning people do it in articles on issues in which the Truth they are advancing generates a lot of sympathy from other editors, enough to create PoV blind spots. This is a subtle side effect of the WP:BIAS problem. Ultimately all we have to go on are patterns of editing and the results they produce. A professional or semi-pro editor is what he/she is, regardless who they're working for, be it big pharma, or a grassroots organization fighting big pharma.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:35, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Support. There is nothing on this page that really isn't already covered at WP:ADVOCACY. jps (talk) 13:32, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

And merge in WP:Advocacy articles[edit]

Yet another redundant essay is WP:Advocacy articles.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:55, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

@SMcCandlish: Merging WP:Advocacy articles into WP:Advocacy seems highly uncontroversial based on the titles; but based on their content, the first one seems to overlap with Wikipedia:Controversial articles more. Fgnievinski (talk) 22:28, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
No particular dispute from me. For disused essays, there's no harm in merging their best bits to multiple different pages; whatever it takes to clean up the profusion of redundant material with confusingly similar names.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  22:42, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support this too. Removing cruft from WP space is a good idea. jps (talk) 13:32, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Does not qualify as a supplement[edit]

Template:Supplement says "Use this template carefully, only when there is a well-established consensus at the relevant policy or guideline page to link to an essay in question." Neither of the pages link to this essay, so there is certainly not a "well-established" consensus to link to this essay from those pages!--greenrd (talk) 05:26, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

Agreed. It's the wrong essay tag.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:03, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

A Question[edit]

If an editor, through 'atleast' 1 revert or through filibustering style in discussions, continues to push 'one' item across Wikipedia (reliable sources or not), does that type of intense focus, qualify as advocacy? GoodDay (talk) 00:29, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

It could, and it might not. A question this vague is kind of meaningless.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:03, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

Advocacy ducks[edit]

There is an RfC where your input would be appreciated: Wikipedia_talk:Advocacy_ducks#RfC:_Is_the_following_addition_relevant_in_the_Signs_of_advocacy_section? Atsme📞📧 14:05, 17 July 2015 (UTC)