Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons

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Separating corporate acts from corporate officers[edit]

I have come across a number of instances where information is presented (usually in a negative light) about actions attributed to a corporation or business entity on the page of a person related to the entity, but either not directly connected to the action at issue. For example:

Example 1. Bob is the CEO of Bobcorp, selling Bob's Organic Carrot Juice. One day, a reporter calls Bobcorp and speaks to employee Alice, who makes a claim to the investigator that Bob's Organic Carrot Juice is the cure for cancer. The reporter visits a Bobcorp distribution outlet and notices employee Fred improperly using a customer's credit card information to buy herself a flat screen TV. The reporter publishes an article noting that 1) Bob is the CEO of Bobcorp, and 2) Bobcorp employee Alice made a false claim about a Bobcorp product, and 3) Bobcorp employee Fred stole a credit card number. The article does not assert that Bob was responsible for Alice's claim, or Fred's theft.
Answer 1. It would be a BLP violation to discuss these incidents in the article on Bob, as the inclusion implies a responsibility on Bob's part that is not supported by the source.
Example 2. Bobcorp receives an FDA warning letter, addressed to Bob as CEO, with respect to claims made by the company about Bob's product.
Answer 2. It would be a BLP violation to include this letter in the article on Bob, as the FDA addresses letters to company CEO's per a bureaucratic rule, and not based on a theory of individual liability on the part of the letter recipient. A real world example would be the FDA warning letter issued to Whole Foods Market in the past year, but not mentioned on the pages of Whole Foods Market co-CEOs John Mackey and Walter Robb, despite both of them being named in the address block of the letter.

Are these principles, and these examples, useful for inclusion on this page? bd2412 T 16:42, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

The FDA letter may well bear on Bob's conduct as a CEO, and that would have to be considered for his biography. It's by no means open & shut that it would not appear. Take Martin Shkreli as an extreme case: his alleged immoral deeds would seem to be pertinent. Or Tony Hayward, who will be forever associated with Deepwater Horizon ... and in his case one might consider this an instance of your example A if you take the view that this was a subcontractor screwing up. The best we can say is that your examples are not very helpful in establishing what are the limits of the inclusion of events that have some relationship to the subject, in the subject's article. --Tagishsimon (talk) 16:55, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
I can't imagine a scenario where we would include reference to the FDA letter with the letter itself being the sole source, or with other sources referencing the letter not also referencing the article subject's connection to it. In Shkreli's case, for example, very reliable sources very directly connect him to the FDA's actions with respect to his company. My basic concern here is that articles on individuals connected to companies (even company CEOs) not be used as coatracks for criticism of the company or its products, unless reliable sources connect that criticism to the actual person. bd2412 T 22:31, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
THat's a jolly good basic concern to have. The other basic concern to have is that we should not whitewash individuals biographies: there are circumstances, to come back to your title question, where it is reasonable to mention corporate acts on the biods of the executives who had responsibility for those actions. And I say again, and for the last time, that your examples do not advance our understanding of which situations merit a mention, and which do not. You ask "Are these principles, and these examples, useful for inclusion on this page?". I answer: no, for the foregoing reasons. --Tagishsimon (talk) 22:44, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
Could you provide some examples that you think would illustrate situations where a CEO or comparable corporate officer should not have information about company/employee acts included in their personal bio? bd2412 T 01:35, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
BD2412, I generally agree with your perspective on what is and is not appropriate in such cases, but I am unsure if new rule-making is needed. Where reliable sources cover the person's involvement in the affair to a noteworthy extent, inclusion to that extent is entirely appropriate. Otherwise, it looks to me like existing policies and guidelines are sufficient to rule out most kinds of coatracking, innuendo, and synthesis of this sort. Can you point to some specific examples of extant articles where existing policy has not been sufficient to resolve this to your satisfaction, or where it has been unduly contentious due to lack of clear policy? Is there some specific, succinct language that you think would lend clarity? ~ Ningauble (talk) 17:48, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm sure I can find some examples. I've had my mind on articles with excessive "criticism" and "controversy" sections for a while now, and these are just some things that I have noticed from time to time. bd2412 T 22:34, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

Publishing names/birthdates of non-notable minor children[edit]

I seem to recall from a few years back that editors were generally discouraged from publishing the names/birthdates of non-notable minors in articles. For example {{Infobox person}} seems to non-committaly prefer the use of a number in |children= as the instructions weakly request "For privacy reasons, consider omitting the names of children of living persons, unless notable." Is there a community concern that we try to protect the names and birthdates of non-notable minors, or has that been widely opposed? Either way, I think I'd like to get some clarification in the BLP guidelines, please. Actors and other celebrities often release this information via press releases and Twitter posts, so I could see strong arguments for "well, if they don't care about privacy, why should we"... Thanks. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 14:06, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

I have, for years, only listed the number of children, unless any are notable, in which case I use "number; including *insert name*". (The child's name of course being linked.) (talk page stalker) CrashUnderride 14:21, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
I would support removal of the nonsense "please consider..." from the docs, but they do say "Number of children (e.g., three or 3), or list of names if notable". I am among the many who interpret that as written—a notable child should be listed with a blue link; others are only counted. If someone added a red link I would be inclined to revert with WP:WTAF as edit summary. Certainly there would need to be secondary source asserting notability—the opinion of an editor is not relevant. This issue has been raised at WP:BLPN in the past. Johnuniq (talk) 03:18, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
I appreciate your input, Crash and Johnuniq. I guess what I'm complaining about is both the wishy-washy language as well as the lack of consistency between the infobox instructions and WP:BLP. If the community doesn't want us to add the names of non-notable minors in the infobox in order to protect the children's privacy, there should be a parallel discouragement at WP:BLP. Otherwise, what's the point? Privacy is protected in the infobox, but not in the article body? Regards, Cyphoidbomb (talk) 16:14, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. The relevant section in WP:BLP is WP:BLPNAME and it is wishy washy—of course an enthusiast adding the full name and birthday of a celebrity's new baby is doing it with what they think is "caution", and they have a host of sources. Unfortunately, tightening language is tricky because it might rule out exceptions and people don't like that. I'm afraid I don't have a suggestion. Johnuniq (talk) 01:43, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
It's difficult because celebrity parents name the children, often with dates of birth, and newspapers pick it up, so the argument is that Wikipedia looks odd omitting details that are easily available. SarahSV (talk) 01:59, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Well, it is also the case that the such parents often still follow the social practice of making a public birth announcement, so that would just make it odder, not to include it based on a non-existent "privacy" claim. Besides, 'Fred and Alice had a daughter named Clara' is standard biography stuff. Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:45, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
We could add as the last sentence of WP:BLPNAME: "Consider omitting the names of non-notable minors, even if the names have been widely published." SarahSV (talk) 02:15, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

Til next year
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
I want tomato sauce! I want tomato sauce!


  • Rationale: Living potatoes do not need protection. Living tomatoes do. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:20, 1 April 2017 (UTC) [4-1]
  • Oppose per nom. Tomatoes are too saucy.[citation needed] --Tryptofish (talk) 00:20, 1 April 2017 (UTC) Note: This editor has made few or no edits that anyone cares about, and appears to be a Single Potato Account.
  • Support per nom. The claim that tomatoes are too saucy is another ignorant WP:FRINGE POV and we really need to start pruning editors like this from the project. YOU'RE RUINING WP WITH YOUR SAUCELESS AGENDA!!!!11!!!1!1!1!1oneoneone ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 01:05, 1 April 2017‎ (UTC) Note: Preceding comment made by an editor who was canvassed burlapped into participation here by the tomato lobby.
  • Oppose. Potatoes need more protection. There's a reason why they hide underground. Kingofaces43 (talk) 02:03, 1 April 2017 (UTC) Now where's my potato shill paycheck?'
  • Support because I assume this is chiefly about bacon. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 02:11, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
    • But did you realize that bacon thinks it's chiefly about you? --Tryptofish (talk) 02:13, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose unless you can provide a reliable sauce. EEng 02:59, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per Barbecue Committee (Barbcom) Discretionary Salads Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 09:19, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per Ranch Council ruling of 2015. (talk page stalker) CrashUnderride 10:20, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
  • support we must stop the murder of tomatoes! Stop the plucking of tomatoes!! Let the tomatoes live out their lives fruitfully on the plants that bore them, ripen, and fall to the ground to rot and give birth to the next generation like The Great Tomato intended!!!! Protect the tomatoes!!!!!! This is The Truth!!!!!!!! Jytdog (talk) 19:51, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
  • mmmmmmm . . . BACON! The Big Bad Wolfowitz (aka Hullaballoo). Treated like dirt by many administrators since 2006. (talk) 00:53, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

Libel Issues for Corporations[edit]

I know current policy says that: "This policy does not normally apply to material about corporations, companies, or other entities regarded as legal persons, though any such material must be written in accordance with other content policies." Why is this the case? Most of the BLP seems to be to avoid potential libel issues (which makes sense), but libel issues are just as big a problem in dealing with companies and other legal persons. -Obsidi (talk) 20:04, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

WP:LIBEL is a longstanding policy. Most of the issues covered by BLP policy extend beyond libel. -- zzuuzz (talk) 20:12, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

RfC on the WP:ANDOR guideline[edit]

Hi, all. Opinions are needed on the following: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#RfC: Should the WP:ANDOR guideline be softened to begin with "Avoid unless" wording or similar?. A WP:Permalink for it is here. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:09, 17 April 2017 (UTC)