Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons

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I have one question[edit]

What happens if a living person is recently dead? What happens with BLP? Qwertyxp2000 (talk) 10:19, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

WP:BDP. GiantSnowman 10:50, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Extending the rights of living people for two years after their death[edit]

When did this become BLP law: "The only exception would be for people who have recently died, in which case the policy can extend for an indeterminate period beyond the date of death—six months, one year, two years at the outside." Why are we extending the rights of living people to dead people for two extra years? This reminds me of copyright extension. Why extend the policy at all, and why be nebulous and extend it "six months, one year, [up to] two years". How did these three numbers come to be policy and why is there not one number? This policy is being used to delete articles of recently dead people at AFD. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 03:54, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Dead people don't have 'rights'. And come to that, WP:BLP/WP:BDP policy has nothing to do with rights anyway (we are in no position to either grant legal rights nor take them away). BLP isn't 'law', it is policy - arrived at through consensus, taking into consideration the WMF resolution on the subject (as discussed at WP:BLP). I suggest that you look through the talk page archives to see how this was arrived at - it certainly isn't new. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:11, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Of course we at Wikipedia extend rights through our policies, BLPs are subject to libel laws, and that is why we are so careful about content. Extending those rights to dead people for up to two years is silly. Sure, corporations are people, but dead people should not get rights of living people for an additional two years. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 04:23, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia content is subject to libel laws regardless of policy. As for your ridiculous straw man assertions about 'rights', I don't see why anyone should even bother responding - WP:BDP makes it entirely clear that the 'dead people' extension is there out of respect for the living. If you wish to propose a change in policy, I suggest that you actually address that. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:30, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
The length of time is roughly determined by the amount of interest in the death. Famous and/or controversial deaths might have longer periods of heightened scrutiny that comes with BDP. That said, ATG is correct that there is no "right". There is a policy that is meant to avoid potential libel and increase the scrutiny afforded to certain subjects. Regardless, BLP is among the most important policies on this website. Any changes to it would be, to be blunt, Herculean efforts to undertake. And I doubt you'll find many sympathetic ears on this particular topic. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 04:55, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
You can't libel a dead person. That right dies with them. What is my "ridiculous straw man assertion"? I do not see it. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 05:41, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
No, you can't libel a dead person. But WP:BLP policy isn't about libel. It isn't about 'rights'. We don't need policies to say 'don't libel people' - and the presence or absence of such a policy makes precisely no difference to whether it is permissible to do so, since Wikipedia is in no permission to grant permission to do such things. The policy is about appropriate standards for encyclopaedic content. Which, per consensus and per the WMF resolution, includes treating the subjects of our articles (and, in the case of the recently dead, their friends and relatives) with respect. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:35, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I am not sure why you are obsessing over my use of the word "rights". Rights are "a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way." I am using the term properly. Our Wikipedia policies bestow moral rights, and United States and Florida law, where our servers are located, bestow certain legal rights to living people, and what is written about them here at Wikipedia. The same goes for images of them and the associated personality rights and copyright. And for indexing Wikipedia biographies in the EU they are covered by the Right to be forgotten. So yes, Wikipedia acknowledges certain rights that living people have, that dead people do not have. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 19:46, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
I agree that this is an unnecessary extension of policy to begin with, and definitely an unnecessarily vague extension of policy. User:EvergreenFir's explanation is much less than satisfactory: why should deaths with a larger "amount of interest" - i.e. a larger number of reliable sources - be subject to more stringent restriction than those with relatively little publicity? Wnt (talk) 10:34, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
If you wish to propose a change of policy do so - but please address the actual reason for the policy - which is consideration for the friends and relatives of the recently dead, as is made abundantly clear. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:35, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
It can be said that the emotional impact of death on those closest to the deceased tends to decrease with the passage of time. But there can be uncertainty even about that. Bus stop (talk) 13:50, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
How does it benefit friends and relatives of the deceased to have ambiguity about how long the "BDP" standard applies, so that people can then get into long arguments about whether there was "widespread interest" in that particular death. And again, why does more media coverage mean that the Wikipedia coverage could hurt those relatives more? Wnt (talk) 17:53, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
The 'widespread interest' comment by EvergreenFir appears to have no basis in policy. WP:BDP clearly refers to "contentious or questionable material", and as far as I'm aware that is the only context in which it has legitimately been applied. It isn't a license to exclude coverage of legitimate topics entirely - instead it is an instruction to take into account "implications for... living relatives and friends" when considering how to cover such material, in a similar manner that we do in the WP:BLP context which requires that material about living persons be "written conservatively and with regard for the subject's privacy". Clearly, if the subject is dead, their personal privacy isn't an issue, but the privacy of their relatives may be, and the need to write 'conservatively' still applies. This really comes down to common human decency, along with doing something we should be doing anyway, regardless of the topic - writing in an encyclopaedic and neutral manner about topics for the long term, rather than engaging in sensationalism, gossipmongering and questionable attempts to imitate the news media. And as for the 'ambiguity' about how long it applies, there are many things in Wikipedia policy which are ambiguous - they often come down to judgement, and to decisions about whether particular content belongs in an encyclopaedia. It simply isn't possible to create hard and fast rules for every possible contingency, and I see no reason to waste our time trying. If someone wishes to propose a change to the wording, please do so - but please provide a rationale that actually addresses the purpose of the policy as it stands. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:58, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
"Common human decency" has many definitions. For example, if you finish a newspaper and someone asks you if he can read it, then letting him do rather than throwing it in the trash is common human decency, even if it is a subversive act against copyright law. You don't say "wait a minute, I better cut these articles out, they're too salacious." Since Wikipedia is about sharing our knowledge and media research, that is our common human decency.
Now what of the family's privacy, their right not to hear gossip and so on? Well, we're generally talking about notable people. With many of them, for years they have intruded themselves into our lives, appearing on our TV screens, topping our headlines and search results, making decisions about how the products we buy will spy on us and cost too much, or passing laws about what we ought to be thrown in jail for doing that we used to have the freedom to do yesterday. But the moment the fickle spin turns somewhat against them, then they appeal to privacy! Well our job isn't to make them look good, but to share what data we have. I'm not suggesting, of course, deliberate bias or falsehood, but I won't support undermining our content based on some vague claim of "decency". Wnt (talk) 14:00, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Now as for a proposal, well... where did this two year/six month figure come from? Someone's ass. I propose we get a bit fresh, rummage around in there, see if we can pull out a shorter figure like, oh... a month. A month is plenty long enough for a newspaper to issue a correction or retraction. It's long enough for a wide balance of viewpoints to come out from the media and for the pace of coverage to die down to a trickle. It's long enough for the family to file a defamation lawsuit and/or an angry rejoinder and for it to be published where we'd see it. Furthermore, it has the advantage of not being an anniversary, so that the family doesn't have to deal with a hypothetical tide of editors celebrating the end of BDP after a year, then "really" doing so after two years, and probably trying again after some clueless admin decides the policy really means three years, etc. There's more than one way to cause offense, after all, and Wikipedia's blindness to the looks of its own internal processes is not universally shared. So I'm going to make believe as if mere editors can rewrite the policy, and suggest changing the paragraph to two (as suggested above):
I don't believe that passage accords with policy, or with our encyclopedic mission. It is certainly not a BLP concern. I could see a discretionary application of a BLP-like caution for a few hours or days, basically the news cycle during which people speculate about a person's death, which is basically how we deal with current events. How did this language come to be in the BLP page and how long has it been here? What was the discussion? - Wikidemon (talk) 18:48, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
To follow up, this[1] seems to be the change where it was inserted, and the discussion is at Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons/Archive 35#Proposed change to "Recently dead or probably dead" paragraph. I don't think the discussion was particularly conclusive or thorough, it just kind of happened. In any event the phrase "six months, one year, two years at the outside" is more dross than policy, as it does not formulate any rules or how they should be followed. - Wikidemon (talk) 19:19, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Proposed change 1[edit]

Recently dead

[Policy shortcut: WP:BDP]

This policy does not apply directly to material concerning people who are confirmed by reliable sources to have died more than one month ago. However, the WP:BLP policy may still apply to contentious or questionable material about the dead when it that makes implications about their living relatives and friends, such as in the case of a possible suicide or crime.

Presumed dead

In the absence of confirmation of death, anyone born more than 114 years ago is presumed dead unless listed at oldest people. If reliable sources widely agree that a person is "presumed dead", to the extent that the contradictory reports (if any) may be discounted per WP:FRINGE, the subject may also be presumed dead.

Added text is marked in green; some portions have also been removed. Wnt (talk) 14:25, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Does this mean, for instance, that we could not report that Robin Williams took his own life? We would only report that he died and maybe a month later report it was a suicide to protect the feelings of his family. I remember people fighting over this in his biography and people reverting it, making it contentious. We would wait a month, or if the policy stays in place, we would only report it as a suicide after two years have elapsed? Or does this mean that we would not report speculation from reliable sources, such as rumors that it was autoerotic asphyxiation? --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 16:52, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Contentiousness is a judgment about the nature of the claims, not whether people on Wikipedia are fighting over how the rules apply to it. That Robin Williams death was by suicide was uncontentious and no amount of edit warring on Wikipedia would have made it otherwise. If major reliable sources printed as fact an incorrect claim that it was a case of autoerotic asphyxiation then we have a sourcing problem. If they speculated, or if they reported authoritatively on speculation, we could probably dismiss that under WP:NOT#NEWS, relevance, weight, or a handful of other theories that keep tabloid style unencyclopedic material regarding circumstances of recent deaths out of the encyclopedia. There's no particular harm to carefully and in limited measure adding the hammer of BLP policy to the efforts, as long as we're not giving license to people to take unreasonable positions. Overblown concern over surviving relatives of particularly notable or infamous people is misplaced, it's really a question of encyclopedic content. - Wikidemon (talk) 19:36, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
@Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ): I don't think my new text should be any more restrictive than the old text, and is meant to be less so - stuffing the "BDP" into a one-month period when, arguably, the media might still be getting its facts straight. I also don't see current (or my) text as banning statements of a suicide, but as requiring solid sourcing, as for a criminal allegation about a living person. That said, I am actually rather fond of less credulous ways of putting it, like "was determined by the medical examiner to be a suicide" or "reported to be a presumed suicide (refs)". That's just a personal thing, because I'm of the opinion that dumb people commit murders and smart people commit suicides. Wnt (talk) 21:19, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
I think the wording still needs to be clearer. When I read it, it seems to apply all BLP and BLP1E rules after death for one month. "Contentious" to some may mean "poorly sourced", but the most common interpretation will be "anything I disagree with". So people will use it to not display birth dates, no fair-use images, and delete articles based on BLP1E. If we mean "poorly sourced" we should say it. I understand respecting people who lost a loved one, but no amount of time with end that loss. I am not sure what "makes implications about their living relatives and friends" means. Is this mentioning living people in the article on Robin Williams, like his children? Or is it removing things that may upset living friends and relatives of Robin Williams for an extra month? I think it needs a total rewrite, it is written so nebulously that people are interpreting it to mean extending all rights of living people for one more month (or two years in the old version) after death. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 00:22, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
OK, I've added strikeouts/edits above to just take out the "contentious" restriction altogether, which actually is irrelevant. The idea is, any material about the dead that is really affecting living persons is of course under BLP. Admittedly I'd find it cleaner to delete the sentence entirely, but I was shooting for minimal change in the hope of being accepted here - I didn't expect to run into trouble for not doing enough. Wnt (talk) 00:54, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
The separation into two sections is clearly beneficial - the 'presumed dead' clause has little directly to do with the 'recently died one'. As for the reduction to one month for BDP 'recently', I don't think that such a substantive change should really be made without a proper RfC - the existing wording has been policy for some time, and we need to get input from a broader sample of contributors than the few who have commented so far. Personally, I don't think a month is enough, though really what matters is the intent - and as I've already said, if we avoid sensationalism, gossip etc as we should be doing anyway, the issue shouldn't arise. And for the record, I see nothing in existing BDP policy that suggests that we can't report (reliable sourced) suicide, and nothing that suggests that it can be used as a veto for articles. AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:20, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Can you give me a concrete example from an article where a Wikipedia editor wrote information that had "implications for [the] living relatives and friends [of the deceased]". That way I can understand what the problem was, and know better how to move forward to prevent it in the future without extending BLP rights for two years. It appears to be a rule searching for a problem, rather than a problem needing a rule. Reading an obituary or a post mortem biography for anyone I knew personally has "implications", in that I will feel sad reading about their death, or feel angry if they were murdered. We shouldn't break our rule about Wikipedia not be censored, by censoring articles about the recently dead for two years. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 16:39, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm not the slightest bit interested in debating your repetitive straw man arguments. How about letting other contributors voice an opinion? AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:56, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I asked you before to point out my strawman logic and you did not reply. What exactly is my strawman argument, I do not see it. This is my second time asking. You also seem to think that I am personally addressing you when I am discussing this policy. Are you the one that inserted it into the rule book? --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 18:52, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
@AndyTheGrump: If you can cite an RFC that was held to add the two-year restriction, I of course will not dispute the need to have one to change it. But if none such exists, then clearly it would be inappropriate to have an RFC for removal. If a change in the length of BDP is too major to make without an RFC, and there was no RFC, it should in fact be reverted altogether, and then we can have an RFC for the various options, with the default that "no consensus" means that no BDP policy exists. Wnt (talk) 18:24, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Can you explain in simple words why getting input from more contributors over this question would be a bad thing? AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:28, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Oh, it's not. But if an RFC is needed to make a change like this, then the present two-year policy isn't legitimate; and if it isn't, then an RFC doesn't have to be called for us to change it further. Either way, I "do not expect" the RFC to give any preference for a two-year policy over other policy options; for example, a no consensus vote should mean no BDP policy. Wnt (talk) 19:27, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
So basically your only grounds for not holding a RfC amount to Wikilawyering to achieve your preferred option. Why doesn't that surprise me? AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:29, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
On second thoughts, I'm not going to argue about this further - if the policy is changed in any substantive manner without greater community input, I'll start a RfC on the issue myself, whether you approve of it or not. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:33, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Procedure aside, I think there are some fair questions about what's going on in article space, and the answers would be helpful to some of us who are not as deeply aware of the issue. How much of a problem do we have over with speculation and salaciousness over recent deaths, how effective is the current language at dealing with it, and does the current language itself cause trouble or is this mostly hypothetical. Richard Arthur Norton, above, pointed to Andreas Lubitz but that's just one article that will probably sort itself out with or without BLP policy, and it has plenty of other stuff going on. - Wikidemon (talk) 00:10, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I would prefer This policy does not apply directly to material concerning people who are confirmed by reliable sources to have died more than one month ago or whose death is still under active law enforcement, coronial or judicial investigation. It's about waiting until all the proper channels have flowed. Stuartyeates (talk) 02:42, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
@Stuartyeates: I could just about live with that, except that at least in the U.S. murder cases are never formally "closed" until someone is convicted. Of course, cold cases aren't really active, but the decision about whether a cold case is really "active" or not, when police of course won't talk about ongoing investigation, would be an average of totally uninformed guesswork. Wnt (talk) 18:29, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Etan Patz was snatched in 1979 and not legally declared dead till 2001. Adam Walsh was killed in 1981 and the case was not closed until 2008.
In most cases, deaths of famous people create at most a very short-term period of speculation and scandal, and public interest settles down to normal within hours or days. Occasionally it takes a lot longer to taper off, rarely more than a month but occasionally it could go on for a long while, e.g. Death of Michael Jackson. So I think any specific amount of time would be arbitrary, and risk being over or under-inclusive. - Wikidemon (talk) 00:10, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Death of Michael Jackson is a great example. Insane amounts of speculation and salacious detail in the press over a period of years when he has minor children who are mourning him. This is exactly the kind of case I'd like to see us observe BLP for longer periods of time. Cold-case crimes are less of an issue, Stuartyeates (talk) 03:09, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Can you provide an example of something from that article that BLP for the dead would fix? If you're talking about pharmaceuticals, I should emphasize that a far-reaching discussion of the potential ways in which drugs could have interacted to kill someone has the potential to save actual lives of people who read the article, and I empathize with those lives far, far more than I empathize with Jackson's children. Maybe they're mourning, but no, they aren't spending their days reading Wikipedia. The world's press is out there to entertain them, whether we are in it or not. They can easily afford to have someone else read the article for them... or write the article for them... or (whatever they want). When one ant in an anthill exclaims something offensive, none but his fellow ants would imagine his utterance troubles the gods. Wnt (talk) 15:55, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
I have no problems with 'a far-reaching discussion of the potential ways in which drugs could have interacted to kill someone,' per WP:MEDRS, they should be conducted based on review articles in peer-review journals not on the fringes of the death of high-profile individuals. Stuartyeates (talk) 00:11, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it does harm, and may do good, to discuss more speculative ideas in regard to individual events, provided they are well sourced and not presented as medical dogma/doctrine. There is often quite a gap between the time when reports start coming out about drug interactions and they are formally the subject of a high-quality review. Wnt (talk) 10:32, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Proposed change 2[edit]

  • I think the simplest wording that does not require us to censor ourselves for two years is:
"Extra care should be taken when reporting information about the newly deceased. Editors should not include rumors and speculation, even when those rumors and speculation are reported by reliable media."
The BLP extension to recently dead people was used successfully at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Andreas Lubitz (3rd nomination) and to not have an article on him. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 18:14, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
What good did it do to delete the article? Granted, it would be almost completely redundant to have separate articles about the crash and the pilot, but aside from redundant content, what's the problem that you're trying to address? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:47, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Spartaz' AfD closure was mysteriously described as WP:SNOW merge without referencing the actual merge discussion, so not a sign of anything. However, Guy's closure of the merge discussion in favor of merging did contain some opining about BLP1E that I think is unfortunate. I don't think this is a sign of anything. There was a consensus to merge the article, and I think that's the right decision, but different editors had different reasons, or at least phrased their reasons according to different policy arguments. To the extent there is truly a BLP concern material would be deleted, not merged. - Wikidemon (talk) 00:22, 20 April 2015 (UTC)


Tusar Talukder — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:33, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

When a person's public image is possibly influenced by prejudice[edit]

Is there an issue here and, if so, can a content, perhaps at WP:Naming conventions (people) or at WP:BLP be developed?

In particular I am thinking of the specific case of "Hillary Clinton" / "Hillary Rodham Clinton"

The notes section of her page displays the content:

She has never legally changed her name from Hillary Rodham.[1] Bill Clinton's advisers thought her use of her maiden name to be one of the reasons for his 1980 gubernatorial re-election loss. During the following winter, Vernon Jordan, Jr. suggested to Hillary Rodham that she start using the name Clinton, and she began to do so publicly with her husband's February 1982 campaign announcement to regain that office. She later wrote that "I learned the hard way that some voters in Arkansas were seriously offended by the fact that I kept my maiden name".[2] Once he was elected again, she made a point of using "Hillary Rodham Clinton" in work she did as First Lady of the state.[3] Once she became First Lady of the United States in 1993, she publicly stated that she wanted to be known as "Hillary Rodham Clinton",[1] and she has authored all of her books under that name. She continued to use that name on her website and elsewhere once she was a U.S. Senator.[4] When she ran for president during 2007–08, she used the name "Hillary Clinton" or just "Hillary" in campaign materials.[4] She used "Hillary Rodham Clinton" again in official materials as Secretary of State.[5] As of the 2015 launch of her second presidential campaign, she has again switched to using "Hillary Clinton" in campaign materials.[5]

According to my reading of the situation WP:PG would seem to indicate that, in this case, the page should move to "Hillary Clinton". However, on her talk page, a general awareness is discussed regarding Systemic bias. If thought to be relevant, can a policy-guideline response to situations like this be developed?


  1. ^ a b Kelly, Michael (February 14, 1993). "Again: It's Hillary Rodham Clinton. Got That?". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Clinton 2003, pp. 91–93; Morris 1996, p. 282.
  3. ^ Kruse, Michael (April 14, 2015). "The long, hot summer Hillary Clinton became a politician". Politico. 
  4. ^ a b Williams, Joseph (February 26, 2007). "Name changes define Clinton's various career stages". The Boston Globe. 
  5. ^ a b Elving, Ron (April 13, 2015). "'Hillary Clinton' Is Back, But Will There Be A Return Of The Rodham?". NPR. 

GregKaye 14:00, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Brother, you've simply asked the wrong people!! Listen, Isaac Asimov used this term, Ruritarians, to describe a fictional culture (essentially so he could point out some workings of cultural jokes without impugning any especial cultures), so, imagine there's a little-known religion called Ruritarianism. Whatever else their beliefs, the Ruritarians believe theirs is the right religion, and this they believe as fervently as members of mainstream religions believe the same thing.
Wandering into the Ruritarian temple, believing it to be just another place to exchange views on philosophy, you may find yourself surprised that everybody already in there thinks Ruritarianism is right, objectively and undeniably right, and they may even imagine the rest of the world agrees with them. And since everytime somebody unaffiliated wanders in, the dozen Ruritarians there all agree with each other that not only is Ruritarianism right, but only stray stragglers disagree on this point, they will confidently claim that it's a settled question that Ruritarianism is the best of all beliefs -- and any proof presented contrariwise is deficient or unworthy of consideration or obviously flawed in ways only they can see.
Which simply illustrates that one must take care not to be fooled by the echo chamber self-congratulations amongst the dozen or so denizens of the Ruritarian temple!! Pandeist (talk) 19:13, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
To answer the stated question, we discuss, debate and seek to form consensus. Exactly as has been happening (for years) on the article's talk page. To answer the unstated question, this policy will not work in your favour to force the article to your preferred title against consensus. Resolute 19:27, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
This seems to be a WP:Forum shopping attempt. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 19:47, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
There is a discussion of whether we ought to be allowed to discuss discussing this at the Village Pump. Nobody there seems to think BLP is an issue at all, so there's not much point to discuss it here anyway. Pandeist (talk) 20:45, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Roger (Dodger67) Pandeist It would be nice if I could go to at least one "forum" and for people to AFG. I was the editor that started the recent and renamed thread at: Talk:Hillary Rodham Clinton#Lacking civility#Requested move 9 April 2015 (retracted on a technicality). In the context of what I interpreted to be the ensuing drama on the page I also started a sub-thread: Talk:Hillary Rodham Clinton#Lacking civility. I have also been a major supportive editor of the developing content at Talk:Hillary Rodham Clinton/April 2015 move request. My main experience at Wikipedia is to work with Wikipedia is to work on topics related to organisations particularly Population Matters and ISIL and to have worked with issues related to fiction such as Secret identity. Getting involved in the "Hillary Clinton" topic has felt like walking into a mine field but, despite this, I came here to raise some issues related to the views of people that I have experienced to present consistent antagonism and I came here, without any canvas reference being left within the content of other threads, to raise the above issue in a location where it might be considered by editors better acquainted to issues relating to biographies of living people than I am.
In this context I started a thread here under the, I hoped, neutral title of: "How, if at all, should Wikipedia act differently in situations when a public image of a person is perceived to have been influenced by factors such as prejudice?"
Certainly "Hillary Clinton" acts very publicly to present herself in this way and I think that, if WP:PG is applied directly to RM contents such as has been recently developed then a move should be inevitable. I came here to see if there might be any other side to a WP:PG response. I was interested that Britannica inc. presents "Hillary Rodham Clinton" and considered that it either does this because of political influence such are evident here in Jimbo Wales' contacts with the H(R)C camp or due to another ethics based concept.
I hope that the issue raised can be considered, or not, at face value. GregKaye 02:20, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Friend, let me not be misunderstood -- I assume good faith in you, it is others with whom you have conversed in whom my faith is exhausted. The crowd which is oblivious to its own civility issues is so because its membership is limited to the small group who can not be convinced, no matter the proof, that a person's own most common self-representation is their common name. Pandeist (talk) 05:09, 20 April 2015 (UTC)


I am asking here in response to a question at the Teahouse and the answer that I tried to give. The question had to do with a proposed article about a 16-year-old woman in the fashion industry. I advised the use of the Articles for Creation process to get objective review of her notability and to get any non-neutral content stripped out, but also advised that, due to her age, the BLP policy would be applied even more strictly than usual. However, I don't see any specific statement in the BLP policy about minors as article subjects. Have I overlooked part of the policy, or should something be added to the policy about minors as article subjects? Robert McClenon (talk) 16:19, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

I can't speak directly to policy on this as I don't know of any. However, as with any BLP, it would still have to be in concordance with the legal right to privacy. However, I think that's what you're already getting at. On a related note, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled (Smith v Daily Mail, 443 U.S. 97) that media outlets can write about juvenile criminals (and non-criminals), including names, despite any state laws to the opposite, due to the first and fourteen amendments. This is seemingly in opposition to the rehabilitation law in the UK and if an individual makes a claim of Right to be Forgotten for the EU. My opinion, therefore, is that you hit the nail on the head. I also believe it should follow strict BLP guidelines with no breach of confidentiality. The Haz talk 17:46, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I think there is good precedent here to the effect that we ignore completely the UK rules about names of criminals and of suspects--except that people who are in the UK may want to use caution themselves in writing. But that is apparently not at all the case with this particular subject. If a 16 year old is in the fashion industry on a commercial basis using their own name, I don't see how any privacy issues can possibly apply. (I have previous said otherwise in the case of sub-teen children who may have been coerced by their parents who are acting against their child's best interest, as in the young children's fashion shows found in the UK and some other countries. I'd still maintain that, on grounds of common sense and NOT TABLOID. I don't recall whether my view was supported.) DGG ( talk ) 04:13, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Hi Robert McClenon. While I understand (and to some degree admire) the intent, I do not believe that we should include a specific statement on minors as article subjects in policy; nor do I believe that we should apply WP:BLP more strictly for minors than usual. If we are applying WP:BLP consistently & as written, then we are also applying WP:V (incl. WP:RS), WP:NPOV (incl. WP:DUE) and WP:NOR. I believe that these provide sufficient (and necessary) protection for all living persons, regardless of age.
In jurisdictions where information about minors (and others) is suppressed by legislation or court order, the filter is best applied at the "source", not at Wikipedia. If information is reliably sourced, and due, then it should not be WP:CENSORED. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 13:23, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Is Talk:Hillary Rodham Clinton/April 2015 move request a BLP violation?[edit]

A proposal has been made at Talk:Hillary Rodham Clinton/April 2015 move request‎ to change the title of the article, Hillary Rodham Clinton to Hillary Clinton. It has now been asserted that such a proposal "violates our neutrality policy, and therefore our BLP policy". Would such a title change be a BLP violation? bd2412 T 12:05, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Why don't you ask them, but perhaps they might have been thinking of " Be very firm about the use of high-quality sources." Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:53, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Ask who? The person who has expressed the belief that this is a BLP violation? bd2412 T 13:11, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
  • There may be some BLP issues. Since both Hillary Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton get you to the same article, and the article has been stable(at the current Title) since 2001(almost 14 years), why would we change it? The move request lists a lot of Google data, some only listing results since 2014, that reeks of recentism. As if HRC did not exist before. Hillary Rodham was semi-notable before she added the Clinton name to hers in 1983. When she added the C to HRC, she stated the reason she kept Rodham in her name was because: "I need my own identity too". Our Naming conventions policy lists BLP reasons why we should give weight to the articles subject preference. How much weight is given isn't stated. But since our Article Title policy states "If an article title has been stable for a long time, and there is no good reason to change it, it should not be changed.", why change it? So perhaps a small BLP issue, but one we should consider. Dave Dial (talk) 14:28, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
    • There's quite a bit of daylight between a small issue that we should consider, and a BLP violation (which sounds like something prohibited because no evidence supporting it can be found). However, I do appreciate your point of view, and your well-stated articulation of it. bd2412 T 14:34, 30 April 2015 (UTC)