Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not

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Clarification on WP:NOTADVERT[edit]

Is a link to an iTunes page in violation of WP:NOTADVERT? I think it is, @RedJulianG40: thinks it is fine. The article in question is Bantams Banter but this obviously affects other articles. Further input welcome. GiantSnowman 18:21, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

I've removed the iTunes link, there is already a link to their "official website". While spam like this is obviously related to WP:NOTADVERT it's usually taken care of via WP:SPAM and the related project, who know where to draw fine distinctions and follow usual practice. I'll suggest taking it up there if there is any further discussion.
At the same time, I have to say that many folks around here seem to have very, very loose definitions of "advertising." An ad almost seems to have to be of Super Bowl proportions to qualify as being an ad to some. "Advertising" is just an old-fashioned word for "publicizing" and so almost anything that a firm or its employees could do on Wikipedia regarding the firm or its products should be considered advertising. Of course the more modern use of the term concerns commercial advertising, but it is the same basic principle.
Consider a handwritten sign posted on a fencepost "Hay for sale. Inquire at McDonald's farm". That is an ad. If it was placed in a newspaper, it would be a classified advertisement. If it was blown up and pasted on the side of a barn (or on a special board), it would be a billboard advertisement. If it was put in our article on Hay, it would be an advertisement.
While the concept of advertisement is quite simple, I'm wondering whether we need to put in a definition. My definition would be "any information placed in an article by a business or its employees that would tend to increase its sales or otherwise benefit the business." Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:46, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
I don’t think it violates NOTADVERT per se, but it definitely seems inappropriate for a reference work to include external links to retailers, in general. That should probably be mentioned in that section (and then it would be a violation). — (talk) 22:52, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
To a lesser extent, we also shouldn’t (selectively) link to aggregators/directories, such as iTunes, Stitcher, Podbay, etc. pages for a podcast. — (talk) 23:14, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

What travel links are appropriate?[edit]

Is there somewhere, a help page or a forum, where I can go to clarify Wikipedia is not a guidebook? Or can this page be revised to clarify this? Place articles often have external links to the following:

Official (i.e. run by a government) tourist pages. Private firms tourist pages (though sometimes misleadingly called "official".) Often these are guide pages offering free information but with many ads. Personal photo blogs. Links to other travel guide pages. "Sister links" to Wikitravel.

And there are others.

Are there any generally accepted rules about what sort of travel links are acceptable? If so, where are they? Thanks for any enlightenment.

(Personally I think government tourist links would be acceptable, if they really are government ones, and no other travel/tourist external links should be given.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Littlewindow (talkcontribs) 15:51, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

WP:EL gives the basic guidelines. Travel links are promotional by nature, so rarely appropriate as links or references. --Ronz (talk) 17:12, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I'm going to assume all the links of the types I mentioned are inappropriate, except maybe links to official government tourist sites. I won't delete the latter myself, but I won't complain if anyone else does it.Littlewindow (talk) 00:26, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Thinking about this some more, I'd like to argue that there should be a stricter policy on this. After all, no mainstream print encyclopedia (that I recall seeing) ever gives tourist/travel information or references to such information, so why should Wikipedia? Allowing such links just opens the door to irrelevant links, personal travel or photo blogs, open spam, or disguised spam (many destination guides on the internet claiming to be "offficial" in fact are put up by private companies, not government agencies.) What would people think of a policy that travel information links simply don't belong in place articles? Littlewindow (talk) 17:09, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

When to censor some material...[edit]

I am familiar with this rule of not being allowed here to censor relevant-to-the-topic material, but what about material (such as that in quotes) which are irrelevant for the topic? Gamingforfun365 (talk) 20:37, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Editing, which normally includes the removal of some material, is not the same as censorship. A quick and dirty definition of censorship might be "the removal of material for idealogical reasons." Hope this helps. Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:11, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, removal of info that is irrelevant is not crensosphip. A look at the crensosphip article will help get a better idea of what is considered censorship.-- (talk) 00:32, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
If we incompletely quoted someone as saying “That’s pretty ****ed up,” that would be an example of censorship. Same if we chose to omit the quote entirely rather than include explicit language. But if the source’s opinion on fucked-upness is not germane, or if it’s more eloquently stated elsewhere—if there’s no reason to include it in the article—that’s not censorship. Hope that helps. — (talk) 11:30, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
Oh, and unless the cited source censored a word like in my example here, we shouldn’t censor it either. If we use a quote, we keep it intact. — (talk) 02:56, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
The use of quotations instead of descriptive text is a style problem anyway, regardless of the presence or not of dirty words. --Cambalachero (talk) 13:09, 7 July 2015 (UTC)


The page Wikipedia:Propaganda used to be a redirect to Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not a soapbox or means of promotion. I have took it to write an essay about the way that propaganda sources may conflict with the policies of verifiability and neutral point of view (note that we already have Wikipedia:Advocacy to point the problems of trying to use wikipedia itself to generate propaganda). As it is not among the listed shortcuts, and has few pages linking to it, I thought that there shouldn't be a problem; but I'm informing about it anyway, just in case. Cambalachero (talk) 13:14, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

@Cambalachero: I propose that the essay be moved (to restore the shortcut) and made to {{supplement}} this policy—the bit about propaganda under SOAP could include a link to it. — (talk) 11:42, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
I added {{supplement}} to that essay, so could we link to WP:Propaganda somewhere in WP:SOAP? Later I’ll try an RM if the RFC there gets no action — (talk) 20:22, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Expanding NOTPLOT[edit]

There's currently a (mildly contentious and frequently debated) rule under "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information" that prohibits "Summary-only descriptions of works." I think this should be clearer that it refers not only to plot summaries, but also to articles that solely describe or summarise the fictional universe of a novel (e.g. places, people, science-fiction concepts and inventions, and other fictional background information).

The rationale is that if these materials are not discussed in third-party sources, then they're not notable and therefore don't belong in Wikipedia; additionally such articles frequently contain elements of original research, to offer theories and interpretations, and to fill in gaps, which also doesn't belong here.

The basic wording is OK, but should add something like "This applies to articles which merely describe the novel's world, including plot, settings, characters, and concepts, based entirely or largely on primary or in-universe sources."

Apologies if this has been discussed and rejected before, but while I could see a lot of debate on other aspects of this rule, I didn't see anything making this suggestion. Colapeninsula (talk) 11:36, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

  • support not sure exactly how it should be worded, but clarity would help. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 11:42, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support per PLOT, WP:FICTION, WP:UNDUE, etc. This should also apply to descriptions of nonfictional works. — (talk) 17:14, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Though we should be careful that things like lists of characters which may only be sourced to the work itself are generally acceptable as long as they are terse on each character/entry. Long rambling descriptions and fictional bios of a character without third-party sources definitely fall afoul of NOT#PLOT. --MASEM (t) 17:45, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
    • Or when we have no other content about the work. If a reasonably sized article devoted to plot or characters is spun off from a huge article about the work itself, that’s fine. — (talk) 07:57, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
      • YEah, the lists I'm talking about are really only appropriate if the work is long, likely serialized (tv show or such), and already well sourced and lengthy that the character list cannot fit comfortably in the main article on the work. --MASEM (t) 14:17, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: The "and therefore don't belong in Wikipedia" part is not entirely true. We discuss non-WP:Notable aspects in articles about fiction. In other words, not all of it is WP:Notable. And a WP:Reliable source noting or discussing something doesn't mean it's WP:Notable. The point is that the Wikipedia article should pass the WP:Notability guideline, and we shouldn't be giving WP:Undue weight to any aspect, including plot detail. That stated, I've seen editors create WP:Spinout articles just to split off character/plot detail when it doesn't seem that the character/plot detail needs its own Wikipedia article. Not every show needs a List of characters article, for example. Also, with this, this, this, this and this edit, I alerted WP:Film and WP:TV editors to this discussion. Flyer22 (talk) 08:54, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. It probably won't stem the tide of plot-only articles on science fiction topics, but who knows. I don't think that novels should be singled out. The problem exists for every form of media. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 09:51, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Speaking of books, I also alerted WP:WikiProject Novels and WP:WikiProject and here. Flyer22 (talk) 12:18, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, as per reasons already stated above, but do agree with the cautions raised by Masem and Flyer22 Onel5969 TT me 12:36, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with Masem on the need to be careful. A clarification of the section (not expansion, as it already covers discussing a work's content without context at any article) should not have the effect to remove valid list articles. Lists like List of female detective characters or List of DC Comics characters named Batman may not be perfect, but they can become the basis of articles like Bond girls if they're allowed to grow; there should not be a policy that mandates deleting them. Diego (talk) 15:39, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • My inclination is that WP:WAF in combination with the current WP:NOTPLOT already handle this quite nicely. --Izno (talk) 15:42, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, BUT I would remove "or largely" from the last sentence. Articles based "entirely on" primary sources is what WP:NOTPLOT forbids. The word "largely" is subject to interpretation and thus dilutes the effectiveness of the policy. -- Wikipedical (talk) 19:22, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

When are defunct products exempt from NOPRICES?[edit]

I understand why NOPRICES exists in relation to products that are still being sold, but what about products that are long defunct?

This question was inspired by this edit (ignore the unrelated WP:OVERLINK removal). The content in question was uncited, and so I agree with the removal, but what if sources had been provided? Generally, is leniency allowed in cases where many reliable sources note that a price is unusually high or low? (Perhaps I Am Rich is a relevant example on the high side.) --SoledadKabocha (talk) 04:03, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

To clarify: I am not claiming that NOPRICES necessarily applies only to products still being sold. I just want to ask whether any specific exceptions to it should be mentioned and whether active/defunct status is at all relevant. --SoledadKabocha (talk) 05:49, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

NOPRICES should apply to any product, present or past. Unless the price is of interest (for example a product going defunct due to a high price) the price shouldn't be mentioned. --MASEM (t) 05:56, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
To my mind, there is never any reason to give any actual prices. But if reliable sources remark that a price is unusually high or low, we can (and potentially should) say the same—not say what the price is, because that’s not the point and is potentially meaningless, but repeat the independent analysis of the price. — (talk) 07:53, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
NOPRICES is not a prohibition to list prices - and should not be considered as one, just a reminder to do so with due weight, and advice against using Wikipedia articles as price comparison lists that could be exploited as advertising by sellers. Usually it's best to just explain the price range of the product with respect to others in the makret (mid-range, high-end, entry-level...) - but when reliable sources note how the price is relevant to the product in a way other than routine mentions (the "justified reason for the mention" part of the policy), it's OK to include it in a section discussing it.
The price is specially interesting for compilations like the one in the example (provided it could be sourced) as the price per game is one of their selling points. Action 52 includes the price in such way, and Caltron 6 in 1 mentions its resale valuation; those uses are not against NOPRICES. Diego (talk) 14:27, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Ok, so admittedly I kind of answered my own question by giving I Am Rich as an example, and I agree with the ones given by Diego Moya. The implication is that no changes to the wording are needed because common sense/IAR are sufficient to handle any exceptions, and so the section title was a bit misleading.
However, shortly after writing the above, I noticed that the article section I Am Rich#Similar applications might be problematic, as those apps are not as noteworthy (in the intuitive sense, not any formal Wikipedia definition) as I Am Rich itself. A strict reading of NOPRICES would suggest only stating that each app is priced the maximum allowed for its store, without stating what each maximum is. That might be a discussion for that article's talk page though; mind if I take it there? --SoledadKabocha (talk) 17:41, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
NOPRICES is only against listing WP:Run of the mill prices; that's not the case for the I Am Rich#Similar applications, where there's a reason to mention the price - namely, that each app is priced the maximum allowed for its store. Given that the article mentions such reason, there are no grounds not to also say what the exact price is. Again, there's nothing in NOPRICES against writing the number when it's somehow relevant to the article, only against doing it routinely for every product. The goal should not be to hide information from the reader as much as it's avoiding that vendors abuse Wikipedia as a sales resource. Diego (talk) 22:37, 25 July 2015 (UTC)