Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons

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What do we do with articles that are using WP:WELLKNOWN[edit]

After reading through the above section on who is or isn't WP:WELLKNOWN, the only article I can find where this is being applied is 2017 Chicago torture incident. So clearly something needs to be done to apply Wikipedia policy in a consistent manner. What do we do with articles such as 2017 Fort Lauderdale airport shooting, Shooting of Benjamin Marconi, 2016 New York and New Jersey bombings, 2016 Russell Square stabbing, and Franklin Regional High School stabbing? In most of these, if not all, the suspect is less well known than the suspects and the torture case.  {MordeKyle  20:28, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

Another to add to the list... Quebec City mosque shooting. Again, still looking for a solution to this issue.  {MordeKyle  20:18, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

Citizenship, Immigration stutus, & BLP poicies[edit]

In the past week, a reference to Stephen Wolfram's recently-granted US citizenship was removed from his entry via a good-faith edit. I have reverted it and used a Wolfram Alpha link to document his citizenship awaiting better documentation. Wolfram is, in fact, a dual national.

This edit raises an important BLP issue under current political circumstances. I propose that, as an emergency temporary measure, that BLP policy discourage edits that remove references to the subject's US citizenship or legal immigration status, as such edits might cause the subjects of these entries difficulties with international travel.

What is the right place to make a formal proposal for such a policy change? --Pleasantville (talk) 14:08, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

I wish I could laugh at the idea that Wikipedia articles might be used as evidence at the border. EEng 14:57, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 6 February 2017[edit]

I would like the sentence "Such extensions would apply particularly to contentious or questionable material about the dead that has implications for their living relatives and friends, such as in the case of a possible suicide or a particularly gruesome crime." changed to "Such extensions would apply particularly to contentious or questionable material about the dead that has implications for their living relatives and friends, such as in the case of a possible suicide or a particularly gruesome accident or crime." (talk) 17:55, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. Please discuss this change first, in a new topic and get a consensus to see if "accident" should be added. Once a consensus is reached, someone can either modify or you can add an edit request. Sir Joseph (talk) 17:59, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

Mental health of a subject[edit]

I would like a general opinion on whether it is appropriate for an article to include commentary about, or evaluation of, a public figure’s mental health – provided the commentary is done by professionals in the field and reported in Reliable Sources. The case in point is this discussion: Talk:Donald Trump#Health section. MelanieN alt (talk) 18:22, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

Clearly - it was rev deld - we can't even look at Freds additions User:Fred Bauder - (cur | prev) 06:14, 15 February 2017‎ Fred Bauder (talk | contribs)‎ . . (324,311 bytes) (+6)‎ . . (edit summary removed)- (cur | prev) 06:12, 15 February 2017‎ Fred Bauder (talk | contribs)‎ m . . (324,305 bytes) (+4)‎ . . (edit summary removed) - (cur | prev) 06:11, 15 February 2017‎ Fred Bauder (talk | contribs)‎ . . (324,301 bytes) (+1,353)‎ . . (edit summary removed) - so it's clearly wikipedia policy and guideline violating addition. This type of desired attacking content in a living persons biography is partisan editing in total violation of multiple core wikipedia policy. Has he had official health concerns that have been treated by doctors, no - opinionated chit chat about his mental heath whether reported in "reliable sources" should not be repeated here by experienced contributors in a living persons biography, we are requested to report conservatively and with caution. Govindaharihari (talk) 18:35, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Concur with Govindaharihari. Mental health stigma exists and this sounds like making the subject guilty by association. -SusanLesch (talk) 17:33, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
The only valid source regarding any person's mental health is a qualified medical professional who has examined that person, and in those cases such a diagnosis falls under the category of privileged information. Any other "opinion" is invalid under the law in any event. Collect (talk) 17:58, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
If someone has spoken about their own diagnosis or treatment, perhaps, but it does seem quite impossible that we could even begin to mention it, otherwise. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:12, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
Wrong place to discuss this, and the responses are full of errors. Take into account that this falls under WP:PUBLICFIGURE and that Wikipedia editors are not in the position to classify comments in multiple high quality reliable source as "valid" or not (ping Collect). Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 23:01, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
This is not the wrong place to discuss this, as this is a matter of BLP and the request was made for opinions in this matter. That being said, Alanscottwalker and Collect hit the nail on the head with their responses. Not to mention, in this specific case, it is simply WP:UNDUE.  {MordeKyle  23:10, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
Apart from the fact that they ignore scientific fields such as psychopathography and the very clear fact that psychiatric diagnosis is not invalid just because is wasn't performed face-to-face. The Goldwater rule is a esoteric American rule and has nothing to do with the validity of diagnosis. The diagnostic criteria spell this out very clearly, and this is made abundantly clear by sources on the subject. E.g.: [1] [2] [3] etc. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 23:15, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
If you can find any professional medical group anywhere which supports the position that a person can be diagnosed with a medical disease or defect by a person who does not examine them, please tell us. I believe telepathic diagnosis of disease is not currently accepted. Collect (talk) 01:01, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
Sure; easy. This group. hth --Tagishsimon (talk) 02:26, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
Ping Collect — actually, the DSM-criteria are written to allow "remote diagnosis", and many of the criteria detailed in DSM require no direct involvement by the psychiatrist at all. There are of course caveats, but the reason the comments are contentious is not because they are invalid per se, but that the Goldwater rule binds members of the APA (but not members of international psychiatric associations) to not comment out of ethical concerns. Wikipedia does not need to abide by the Goldwater rule (and should not per WP:GLOBAL), and there is no need for "telepathy" to be able to correctly categorize behavior that can be seen and judged remotely. Psychiatrists don't mind-read, neither remotely nor when the patient is in the office so the comparison to telepathy comes off as somewhat absurd... Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 04:49, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
No, while WELLKNOWN can support inclusion of facts of a living persons life, it does not support inclusion of controversial opinions about their private information, which mental health diagnosis or treatment falls under. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:26, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
Exactly.  {MordeKyle  23:35, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
Which is of course why no-one is suggesting that the article read "X has narcissistic personality disorder", but rather that "a number of psychiatrists wrote a joint letter questioning the mental health of X. This was heavily disputed and gave rise to a debate about Y." Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 04:45, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
First of all, the letter also includes social workers, who do not diagnose, and such a letter runs afowl of WP:REDFLAG and WP:UGC. Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:33, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
If anyone is counting votes, my recommendation is that topic bans or blocks should be applied to those who continue to push the view that the article should include speculation about mental health—it's nonsense and disruptive, particularly in a topic under discretionary sanctions. Johnuniq (talk) 02:15, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure that is necessary, as this really does violate WP:BLP, specifically:

Contentious material about living persons (or, in some cases, recently deceased) that is unsourced or poorly sourced—whether the material is negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable—should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion. Users who persistently or egregiously violate this policy may be blocked from editing.

There really is never going to be a valid source for this information, unless it's on a person like Carrie Fischer, who was an advocate for a topic like this. This whole topic reeks of political agenda and is pretty clearly a violation of not only the above mention WP:BLP, but it is also FRINGEY and WP:UNDUE.  {MordeKyle  02:25, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, that doesn't apply when 50+ credible and reliable sources discuss the topic. This isn't about whether it should be in the article or even whether there is any BLP issue — because calling all of the sources that discuss this "unreliable" is frankly ridiculous and none of those arguments hold even a smidgen of weight when the NY-Times, Washington Post, Salon, The Atlantic, The Hill etc. have all commented on the issue. See:

In the case of public figures, there will be a multitude of reliable published sources, and BLPs should simply document what these sources say. If an allegation or incident is noteworthy, relevant, and well documented, it belongs in the article—even if it is negative and the subject dislikes all mention of it. If you cannot find multiple reliable third-party sources documenting the allegation or incident, leave it out.

You can't just call any source of information that is contentious — unreliable. All of the sources I listed above have a long history of reliability. This does not mean that this per definition must belong in the article, but a BLP-issue it is not and any attempt to misconstrue it as one isn't going to work in the long run. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 02:38, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
Where did I say the sources were unreliable? Also, it is a BLP issue, as the subject in question is a living person, and this is in relation to a biography on that living person. This is still, again, WP:UNDUE so this whole conversation in specifics to Donald Trump is really irrelevant.  {MordeKyle  02:44, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
I agree that there may be many reasons to omit this, and that it very well may be WP:UNDUE. But the fact that the stance is politically loaded isn't a relevant reason for omission — if all Democrats went out and said that Donald Trump was mentally ill then it would be a non-issue to include it because it was so widely voiced. This is just so central to WP:NPOV: that we always present all significant sides of the issue. The point is not that this information actually belongs in the article, but that you can't misuse BLP to omit sourced information. There are plenty of reasons why it doesn't belong. But BLP is only a reason to be more careful, but as long as there are sources WP:SHOUTINGBLP isn't good for the discussion — because BLP specifically outlines that with sources abound BLP is not an issue. See WP:PUBLICFIGURE Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 02:49, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
But this is the issue with this. If you had the subjects doctor saying that this was the case, then that is a good source for inclusion. But, due to HIPPA laws in the US, for this specific case, you are not going to have that source. Otherwise, these are just opinions given by reporters, which really detracts from the sources validity as a source for this subject. It wouldn't be hard to find multiple blogs or articles from sources that say these sorts of things about all sorts of people, it doesn't make them true, or verifiable. Not everything published by reliable sources, is a valid source for inclusion. Also, a politically motivation is a relevant reason for omission, when it comes down to being WP:FRINGE or not.  {MordeKyle  03:20, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
HIPPA isn't relevant, that has to do with physician-patient confidentiality. Where your argument fails is that it assumes that indirect diagnosis is invalid or that it isn't possible to examine someone without conducting a face-to-face exam. This is in fact false and the DSM definitions make that abundantly clear. This misconception is based on the Goldwater rule, which is an ethical rule of the American Psychiatric Association and not legally enforceable, nor does it have anything to do with the validity of diagnosis. Most of the psychiatrists in the world are not members of the APA and thus not bound by the rule (or similar rules, as it is rather unique), and an entire field of psychopathography exists outside the very narrow anglosphere debate. Anyway, this isn't about "multiple blogs" — the mentions are in major sources, some of which are very highly regarded. However this is beside the issue of BLP, and more about a content-dispute so I suggest you discuss that on the page at hand to avoid repetition. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 04:24, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
The topic as raised is, indeed, a valid issue under WP:BLP and was properly raised here as a generally valid point for all such biographies. I would note that this is not just an APA ethical rule, but that courts in general do not allow testimony from medical professionals based on "distant examination" but require direct contact with the person being diagnosed. As far as I can tell, by the way, this is true in most nations, including member states of the EU. Collect (talk) 13:54, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
I will admit that your comment peaked my interest, but I can't seem to verify it. In all the forensic psychiatry books I've looked at there is no mention that "distant examination" is invalid as testimony. Rather the psychiatrist is instructed to take into account the full breadth of evidence in the trial to make an assessment — and this of course includes material that he/she does not directly pick up during examination.
Rather the question is why an expert opinion would be necessary if there was no way to examine the patient. A large part of the reason why testimony is given at all is in order to establish whether an individual is fit to stand trial. If there are factors that inhibit even a cursory examination of the individual there seems to be little reason why an expert statement would be at all necessary. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 18:15, 19 February 2017 (UTC) 

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────My original, redacted, post is about whether the standard diagnostic criteria used in the United States apply to Donald Trump's unusual behavior and speculations by mental health professionals about it. They do not, in the opinion of the psychiatrist who chaired the development of those criteria. Whether there are other criteria which might be applied, for example, by the intelligence services of other states remains an open question. As does our ability to access and publish such information. Certainly, one reason for BLP policy, avoiding ruinous litigation, is relevant. User:Fred Bauder Talk 14:07, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

I have to agree with Collect here that a "distant" mental health examination is not at all appropriate to include, even as BLP-meeting opinion, in Donald Trump#Health. But one should recognize that there absolutely is a political tie to why these doctors are trying to make these evaluations (as a pretense to declaring the President unfit,and that all comes to recognize it is part of the criticism of Trump as president. If we had a article or section about "Critical of the Trump presidency", then a statement that "Some elected officials are seeking to have Trump's mental health evaluated in serving his role as President. Several psychiatrists have made "distant examinations" of the President's recent actions and state there are signs of mental health issues..." which does reflect the weight of the BLP, but in a section that it is clear this is not yet a factual evaluation makes sense for the balance purposes. In other words, it seems as reasonable information as long as it is well established it is related to the political issues, and absolutely not an fact that should be on his bio page. --MASEM (t) 14:28, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
I think this is the perfect summary of the issue, and the answer to the issue.  {MordeKyle  02:58, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

Note: See [4] from Cornell Law School. (Federal Rules of Evidence › ARTICLE VII. OPINIONS AND EXPERT TESTIMONY) "The first is the firsthand observation of the witness, with opinions based thereon traditionally allowed. A treating physician affords an example. Rheingold, The Basis of Medical Testimony, 15 Vand.L.Rev. 473, 489 (1962). Whether he must first relate his observations is treated in Rule 705."

[5] (Medical Testimony and the Expert Witness Joseph D. Piorkowski, Jr., DO, JD, MPH, FCPM, FCLM ) "When an expert is called upon to give an opinion as to past events which he did not witness, all facts related to the event which are essential to the formation of his opinion should be submitted to the expert in the form of a hypothetical question. No other facts related to the event should be taken into consideration by the expert as a foundation for his opinion. The facts submitted to the expert in the hypothetical question propounded on direct examination must be supported by competent substantial evidence in the record at the time the question is asked or by reasonable inferences from such evidence." Which rather restricts claims of medical diagnoses based entirely on hearsay rather than direct personal observation. "Experts" who testify without a strong evidentiary basis tend not be ever hired again.

From Notre Dame Law School [6], (Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the Credibility of Witnesses David B. Saxe) "It has been suggested that clinical examination of witnesses is the most reliable basis for psychiatric opinion introduced into the courtroom."0 The clinical examination by a psychiatrist involves a study of the subject as a "psychobiological whole"; physical and mental examination, aided by psychoanalytical technique and psychological testing devices, is necessary to evaluate an individual's total personality. The disclosure of mental abnormalities can be accomplished through the use of a proper psychiatric interview, noninquisitorial in nature, that will provide some insight into the behavior of the witness. Requiring a witness to submit to lengthy examination, while clinically desirable, is not the ideal manner of uncoveriig intrapsychic processes. We do not live in an ideal world, and less than perfect means of providing answers must be utilized. A more abbreviated psychiatric examination, reinforced by other biographical data, would enable a psychiatrist to present a meaningful, although not complete, diagnosis of the prospective witness. This procedure would allow a court or jury to make a more realistic evaluation of the testimonial credibility of a witness." Noting that a clinical diagnosis requires a "physical and mental examination" which is not likely to be found in newspapers. "In another study, psychiatric residents anticipated fifty-five percent of the official subtype diagnoses correctly.' 4 The study appeared to show "that the reliability of psychiatric diagnosis diminishes as the frequency of the incidence decreases."" " Which means that diagnoses, under ideal circumstances, amount to tossing a coin (55% correct to 45% incorrect in the example given). More on request. Collect (talk) 22:41, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

RfC on Donald Trump[edit]

There is currently a discussion on Talk:Donald Trump concerning the size of the article and the possibility of splitting it up. Interested editors are encouraged to join the discussion. -Ad Orientem (talk) 17:13, 25 February 2017 (UTC)