Wikipedia talk:Consensus

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Q: When was WP:CONEXCEPT, which says that editors at the English Wikipedia do not get to overrule the Wikimedia Foundation on issues like server load, software and legal issues, first added?

A: It was added in January 2007 by User:Circeus, after a brief discussion on the talk page in the context of whether this page should be a policy rather than a guideline. It has been discussed and amended many times since then, e.g., here, here, and here.

Suggestion to discourage reverting and edit warring[edit]

I was having a discussion on another talk page, and we came to the conclusion that the current wording in WP:EDITCONSENSUS is a little too encouraging of reverting which can lead to edit warring. The wording in question is: "An edit which is not clearly an improvement may often be improved by rewording. If rewording does not salvage the edit, then it should be reverted", which suggests that one should feel entitled to revert if one dislikes an edit and can't think of a way to change it to something one likes. We suggest that the wording be changed to: "If you see an edit which is not an improvement, try to improve it by rewording. Only if you cannot do so should you consider reverting the edit." This we feel doesn't encourage reverts and edit wars. Any objections to the change? LK (talk) 01:53, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

While I don't much like the existing wording, I like the proposed version even less. It can be read (due to "only") to conflict with WP:BURDEN and there's already too much of that out there, see this current discussion at Verifiability talk as an example. The real problem here is that the paragraph focuses on rewording and suggests that many problems may be fixed by mere rewording when, in fact, most problems raised in articles are due to issues which cannot be cured by mere rewording unless, for example, adding a source to unsourced material is considered rewording. I'd be fine with the first proposed sentence if the second sentence read, "If you cannot do so you may consider reverting the edit." Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 19:05, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
Actually, I have an alternate proposal: How about deleting those two sentences altogether? They're really just obiter dicta in this paragraph which is about how to achieve consensus, not about when and where and how you can revert stuff. — TransporterMan (TALK) 19:10, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
I have no objection to deleting them. They don't address the main topic of this page. LK (talk) 02:34, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
Interestingly, those sentences replaced language which said - without the problems caused by the current language - this, "In this way the encyclopedia is gradually added to and improved over time without any needless procedures – editors do not need to seek permission before making changes. Even if there is a difference of opinion, often a simple rewording will satisfy all editors' concerns. Clear communication in edit summaries can make this process easier." (Emphasis added.) There was a discussion about the change here. Frankly, looking back at it I think that it was a poor choice. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 03:41, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
I am agreeable to reinstating the original wording. In fact, reading the discussion that you link to above, it seems consensus was never really reached to change it in the first place. LK (talk) 08:51, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
I've made a change to achieve both the goals of the original wording and to avoid the problems which you've raised. If you're okay with it, let's see if it sticks. Best regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 16:20, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
Looks good to me. LK (talk) 01:24, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

RFC OP self-implementing pretty cut-and-dry RFC consensus[edit]

If I made a proposal on an amendment to an WP:MOS page and opened an WP:RFC off the bat in order to generate a consensus faster, and my proposal has received near-unanimous support, is it cool if I just implement the proposal on the MOS page and wait for someone to close the RFC as having already been resolved?

Not posting the link here for the same reason I'm posting logged out. If you have nothing better to do, you can check this IP's edit history to find out pretty easily which username is mine and then check that account's recent edits to find the RFC in question, but I don't recommend it. I imagine there's also a list of open RFCs somewhere and only a small minority of them are on MOS talk pages. (talk) 13:01, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

There's too many unanswered factors to be able to answer that question in the abstract. For example, how long has the RFC run? The default period is 30 days. Near-unanimous isn't unanimous, how near was it? And there are several others. Generally, it's better to get an uninvolved third party to evaluate all those questions and close the RFC and you can make a request for that at AN. Best regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 20:30, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Having made no attempt to investigate the specifics, I agree it’s probably much better to wait for an uninvolved closing. As the proposer you won’t be seen as sufficiently neutral to evaluate the consensus, even if it seems obvious to you; I never cease to be amazed at how often something that’s perfectly straightforward from my POV turns out to be contentious. Even if the closing is just a formality, it will go a long way to making sure the changes ‘stick’. Moreover, since MOS is under discretionary sanctions there’s a heightened risk that any suspicion of “disruption” or circumventing process might provoke a disproportionate response. And WP:NODEADLINE.—Odysseus1479 20:46, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Or go ahead and implement your proposal. It's a good way to bring out the opposers, if they exist. Dicklyon (talk) 06:32, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
I oppose implementation before close. In theory, three editors with strong arguments should outweigh twelve with weak arguments, and we should observe that theory, despite the fact that closes almost never go against the numerical majority. Anyway, WP:NORUSH. ―Mandruss  03:27, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
(Just noticed I'm 3.5 months late to this party. Oops.) ―Mandruss  03:31, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Enforcing consensus[edit]

I have a query about consensus I raised at WP:VPM#Enforcing a consensus. Dmcq (talk) 14:42, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 8 June 2016[edit] (talk) 13:10, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

  • Empty request, not sure which edit is being proposed here. --Francis Schonken (talk) 13:11, 8 June 2016 (UTC)


Off topic. This page is for discussing improvements to this policy, only. Your sources will be evaluated through the AfD process. Moreover, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a place for self-promotion. See Facebook for that. — TransporterMan (TALK) 02:27, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

'Gubbaare' is an independent Pakistani short film made for film festivals and online releases. A citing has been added on the article linking to the youtube link of the film. Please look into the matter soon. I need a Wikipedia page because I am a budding film-maker and need platforms like these. Please, look into it soon. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Worldwideshortfilms (talkcontribs) 19:59, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Proposed RfC on whether CONACHIEVE applies to decisions about choosing pictures[edit]

I'm going to be proposing an RfC on clarifying the WP:CONACHIEVE section. Here are two three ways of phrasing the question.

A. "RfC on whether WP:CON policy applies to changing pictures in articles"
B. "RfC: Should WP:CONACHIEVE policy be construed as applying to decisions about choosing pictures?"
C. "RfC: Should decisions about choosing pictures be based on personal preferences or on policies, common sense, and analogous pictures in reputable sources?"

Any ideas for making the question clearer or shorter? --Dervorguilla (talk) 15:22, 7 September 2016 (UTC) 16:12, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

What's the background to this? In my experience everything here is subject to consensus decision (with a few exceptions mostly listed in CONEXCEPT) and consensus is always supposed to be determined on the basis of the quality of the arguments. Indeed, the very first words of this policy are, "Consensus refers to the primary way decisions are made on Wikipedia" and if you'll do a page search on the word "quality" you'll find several references to quality of arguments. What causes you to think that changing images is different? I wonder if you might not need content dispute resolution more than a policy RFC. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 16:22, 7 September 2016 (UTC) PS: Or you might need consensus evaluation. — TransporterMan (TALK) 16:25, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
@TransporterMan: For background, see a relevant comment (4 September 2016) by a page administrator: "I'm aware of policy, thanks. [...] If everyone wishes to continue to argue they have the best aesthetic sense, that's fine as there are no sources that tell us which is the best picture and no policy that dictates who has the best taste." --Dervorguilla (talk) 17:54, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
What he says there doesn't contradict anything I said above or, indeed, your proposal C, above. Sometimes there are good articulable policy based reasons to support or reject something and sometimes it does just come down to esthetics when no such reasons exist. The purpose of a consensus evaluation is to sort all of that out. With no disrespect to the good NeilN, administrators — there's no such thing as "page administrators" — only have the right as administrators to deal with conduct issues and they do not have the right to make binding pronouncements about content matters. Though I agree with what he said there, his opinion like my opinion is just that: opinion. Informed, experienced, neutral opinion perhaps, but opinion nonetheless. There's no need for an RFC about the issues you list above, DR (one form of which might be an RFC about which picture to use) or consensus evaluation, maybe, but not an RFC about these well-settled policy issues. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 18:44, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
@TransporterMan: I'm going by this example at the RfC project page--
--which also says, "The outcome is determined by weighing the merits... Counting 'votes' is not an appropriate method."
To me, it sounds like the RfC question would best be worded:
D. "RfC: Should decisions about changing a picture in a lead be based primarily on (1) the personal aesthetic sense of a plurality of editors or (2) similar pictures of the subject published in reliable sources?"
--Dervorguilla (talk) 20:01, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
I'd be careful with (2). Applying it generally may be fine, but for this particular subject I've noticed that many reliable sources, with their need and zeal to get the newest pictures, often publish photos that would be rejected by the majority of participants in that discussion. --NeilN talk to me 20:26, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
Point taken, NeilN. Yes, they do indeed. Perhaps the emphasis should be on "...or published by the subject's own organization". --Dervorguilla (talk) 21:01, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree with everything TransporterMan said above. I explicitly said a poll was only a suggestion. I also think in that particular discussion, Dervorguilla is, in some cases, conflating objective observations with subjective opinion. I can make objective observations of fact (e.g.., "muted field", "taken by same photographer", "tie and background match", "teeth appear whiter") but saying these facts make a certain photo better than others (which may have other redeeming features) is subjective opinion. You only have to look at other editors' responses to Dervorguilla's originally favored picture (photo D, I believe) to see that. In addition, deciding to hold a poll to determine if one or two photos are favored is in itself a form of consensus. --NeilN talk to me 20:07, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
@NeilN: "Deciding to hold a poll ... is in itself a form of consensus." As is deciding to hold a poll that determines consensus by a simple counted majority. More at the WP:POLL essay. "A 'vote' that doesn't seem to be based on a reasonable rationale ... may be escalated to wider attention if it appears to have been treated as a simple vote-count."
Notwithstanding, if 25 editors respond to an RfC, and 9 vote to reach consensus by a simple vote-count, those 9 have decided for themselves that the consensus is to not reach consensus by a simple vote-count. The default process unanimously prevails. --Dervorguilla (talk) 08:21, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
I understand the policy, but its practical working out can be highly problematic. For example, here, relating to the disappearance of Australian prime minister Harold Holt, a majority vote was overturned in favour of text that was proved to be a hoax. A perverse outcome, but one justified by policy. With regard to Trump, an RfC could overwhelmingly choose one picture, but the closer could decide that one argument was more compelling than others. The "consensus" could therefore be a 1% opinion. I commented that the endless Trump discussions are like polishing a turd. I didn't mean that as an attack on Trump, but a comment on the fact that this has been going on for years and years. People are clearly not happy with the photos generally available. I think people should accept that he is not that photogenic and move on. He has been involved in beauty contests, but not as a contestant.--Jack Upland (talk) 10:03, 9 September 2016 (UTC)