Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not

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Peacedove.svg The project page associated with this talk page is an official policy on Wikipedia. Policies have wide acceptance among editors and are considered a standard for all users to follow. Please review policy editing recommendations before making any substantive change to this page. Always remember to keep cool when editing. Changes to this page do not immediately change policy anyway, so don't panic.

Wikipedia Is Not Censored[edit]

I would like to update this page to reflect the exception to this rule for child protection purposes. See the page Wikipedia: Child Protectoon Wikipedia's policy to delete any statements in an article which express (whether properly sourced and cited or not) any view that inappropriate relationships between adults and children can be harmless to the children involved.

Please discuss if you believe this change woud not make this page more accurate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:55, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure it's needed to be honest, the child protection policy expressly overrides others and repeating elsewhere could lead to inconsistencies. And anyway your phrasing isn't quite correct, it is permissible to report (with sources) inappropriate comments made by others where this is relevant to the article and clearly not in Wikipedia's voice (your wording would prohibit this). Thryduulf (talk) 11:33, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
Is there somewhere that "repeating [rules] elsewhere could lead to inconsistencies" is codified on Wikipedia? I've been desperately looking for somewhere this obvious principle might be at a WP: shortcut.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  05:12, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Should the reference to Wikinfo be replaced with a reference to Wikiversity?[edit]

Do you support the following changes to the section headed "Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought": (a) insert, at the end of criterion 1, the words "(Original research which meets the guidelines of Wikiversity's original research policy is permitted on Wikiversity)"; (b) delete the words "There is a Wikipedia fork at Wikinfo that encourages personal opinions in articles" where those words appear at the end of criterion 3. James500 (talk) 10:31, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Survey: Support (a) inclusion of Wikiversity[edit]

  1. Support (a) inclusion of Wikiversity as proposer. This change is obvious and should not be controversial. I've explained my reasoning in the section headed "Sister projects" above on this talk page. Upon reflection, I now have no opinion about (b) inclusion of Wikinfo. James500 (talk) 15:23, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  2. Support (a) per the rationale given above by James500. Thryduulf (talk) 12:02, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  3. Support (a). Promoting a sister project is appropriate. -- P 1 9 9   22:51, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  4. Support (a). It's a sister project, and I don't see any actual evidence for the concern Carolmooredc raises below. Masem's point isn't entirely meritless, but our policy does need to tell people this isn't the place for that, and directing them a specific sister project for this is likely to be more productive than telling them to shut up. AndyTheGrump's objection seems to be based on a non-existent conflict with Wikiverisity policy, and seems to assume that our wording here somehow couldn't be updated if their policies did change.

Survey: Oppose (a) inclusion of Wikiversity[edit]

  1. Oppose inclusion of Wikiversity - We are not in the position to tell people where to take original research/thought in a policy page, so including anything like this is bad. MASEM (t) 14:57, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  2. Oppose Most people don't know about or visit Wikiversity. All many may remember is "Wikipedia allows original research" which they may argue for, despite WP:OR policy page, because they know they read it somewhere. Just confuses the issue. Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 22:01, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  3. Oppose. This page is about Wikipedia, not Wikiversity - and it is up to Wikiversity, not Wikipedia to determine what content they accept. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:22, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Survey: Support (b) removal of Wikinfo[edit]

  1. Support removing of Wikiinfo. We are not in the position to tell people where to take original research/thought in a policy page, so including anything like this is bad. MASEM (t) 14:57, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  2. Support removal of Wikinfo. This is a Wikipedia policy page, not a directory for non-WMF projects. BethNaught (talk) 18:09, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  3. Support isn't a part of Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation and should not be mentioned at all. Just confuses people. Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 22:01, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  4. Support removal of Wikinfo. It isn't part of Wikimedia Foundation and should not be mentioned at all (there are 1000s of sites where people can post their opinions, why promote this one?). -- P 1 9 9   22:51, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  5. Support' - not only is it not a WMF project, but it appears to be more or less dead. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:24, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  6. Support' Irrelevant to our project. Staszek Lem (talk) 23:47, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  7. Support (b) per WP:EL (its reasoning, anyway, even if it was intented to cover article content). To agree with the above: It does confuse people into thinking its a WMF project, it does seem to be mostly inactive, and it is just one irrelevant site among many that doesn't deserve special treatment here. Furthermore: I think it may have been added back when the idea that WP content could be repurposed was a "gee whiz" concept, but this is no longer true. Every other Ynandex/Google/Bing search anyone does brings up hits at WP-ripoff sites. It's not novel, it's tiresome.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  05:06, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Survey: Oppose (b) removal of Wikinfo[edit]

  1. Oppose (b) as personal opinions in encyclopaedia articles are not what Wikiversity is about and yet it is what some people are looking for. That Wikinfo isn't a sister project is not really relevant to this page. Thryduulf (talk) 12:02, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Survey: Other[edit]

Threaded discussion[edit]

See the section headed "Sister projects" above on this talk page. James500 (talk) 10:31, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

  • It is appropriate to mention sister projects in WP:NOT because we should have a policy of exporting out of scope content to them and this is the logical place to put it. James500 (talk) 22:14, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  • It is suggested above that people might misconstrue the proposed addition and get it into their heads that Wikipedia publishes original research. That could only happen if they were illiterate or exceptionally stupid or completely senile. I think it is very unlikely to actually happen. And why hasn't it already happened with the references to Wikinfo, Wiktionary, Wikisource, Wikinews, Wikiquote, Wikibooks and Wikivoyage already in NOT? There is no evidence that it has. James500 (talk) 22:23, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought is the only section regarding an actual editing policy so the possibility of confusion arises there more than elsewhere. However, saying confusion assumes good faith.
Unfortunately I’ve seen editors argue vociferously for putting in obvious original research and synthesis and this plays into their hands. They might argue yes, it’s allowed, see WP:WHATISNOT if you don't believe me. And some other editors (especially less experienced ones) will just drop it at that point, not wanting to visit the page and/or get into a fight. Why give aggressive editors an excuse when it's not really important to note who DOES publish original research? (Unless it's a way to get them to peddle their stuff elsewhere, and I may keep that in mind since I'm sure Wikiversity articles come up very low on the search engines.)
In this Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought section, notes about OR in other projects should be at most a separate note at the end. Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 22:49, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  • It is suggested above that the proposed addition would amount to Wikipedia determining what content Wikiversity must accept. There is absolutely no way that the proposed addition could have that effect. James500 (talk) 23:37, 31 March 2014 (UTC)


It is organization, not organisation. (talk) 15:07, 3 April 2014 (UTC) 4/3/14

See WP:ENGVAR, but I don't know what you mean as I can't find any instances of "organisation" on the page. BethNaught (talk) 15:38, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Proposed NOTGUIDE addition: Field guides[edit]

Suggested addition to WP:NOT#GUIDE:

3. Field guides. Wikipedia articles do not exist to help readers locate, identify or evaluate anything. Consequently, some types of textual and other information, primarily intended to assist distinguishing or appraising things, are not appropriate in the encyclopedia. Examples include bird silhouettes, types of defects in antiques, the values fetched at auction for collectibles, animal track shapes and patterns, identifying marks on product lines, points of distinction between similar coins, and many other sorts of detail that do not aid an overall understanding of an encyclopedia topic, except where they pertain to notable individual examples that are the subjects of their own articles or article sections. If the principal utility of the information is in-hand in the field, be it a meadow or a swap meet, it probably does not belong in a Wikipedia article.

First draft, but I think I got at most of it. A plant and a rock example might be nice.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  05:35, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Rarely have I seen such a bizarre attempt to suppress information from an encyclopaedia. Basically you are saying that we are allowed by you to describe common bluebell, but it's forbidden to say how it differs from Spanish bluebell. We can describe meteor, but you don't want the article corrupted by explaining the difference from meteorite. Absolute nonsense. Jimfbleak - talk to me? 11:45, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't think that is what SMC is proposing. Mind you, we would not have direct advice for the reader to differentiate between the common and Spanish bluebell, but we would have information about their respective appearances so the reader could figure that out if they put them side by side. I think what SMC would be getting at is that for an article like Angraecum, where there's a couple dozen specific varieties, we would not document the specific differences between these as they are otherwise nonnotable on their own. --MASEM (t) 14:45, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
I would agree with non-notable, like your example, but all species are notable by definition. The third para of the description of the Hyacinthoides_non-scripta GA explains how it differs from Hyacinthoides hispanica. As I understand SMC, he is saying that para shouldn't be there at all, because we shouldn't mention the Spanish species. Even if your interpretation is correct, you are saying that you should put the descriptions sequentially and let the reader play "spot the difference", instead of providing properly sourced text saying how the species differ Jimfbleak - talk to me? 15:00, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, a field guide, more traditionally, is going to guide the user in a manner like 20 questions to figure out what the item they are seeing is, and that's not a good encyclopedic article. On the other hand, how two near-relative species differ visually and by any other manner is fair game when presented in encyclopedic context. It's the approach in how the content is organized, and not so much the context, that I think this is stressing. --MASEM (t) 01:25, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose I hate to be contrarian in a good faith attempt to add to this page, but the information listed here is great content for our articles. More often than not our editors drop the ball when writing about antiques and collectibles topics. Articles on these subjects absolutely should be getting into these details and specifics. As a collector myself, I oftentimes turn to Wikipedia for research, fully expecting to find this sort of information. Many times I leave feeling disappointed because we don't have a strong editing base in the field. The project as a whole should be working 180 degrees in the other direction, towards the inclusion of details that appeal to both the experts, collectors, and specialists, as well as novices. ThemFromSpace 01:14, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
  • No, not really. We're supposed to be summarizing, not detailing, information, as an encyclopedia, providing a first pass of information so that those that need to learn more know where to look. Notable details and variations should be documented if they are well sourced and mentioned in secondary or third-party sources, but fine details that would only cater to a collector or an expect and only sourced to primary works should be left out - though external links and references to such information is always appropriate. --MASEM (t) 01:33, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, not every sentence of our articles should be written specifically to an amateur who has little understanding of the subject. It is only natural for article content to broaden out into other areas of interest, and just the same to deepen into a more specialized nature. Our articles should be incorporating the best aspects of both the Brittanica Micropaedia and Macropaedia. We should introduce a topic for an amateur so he knows what it is about and, to the best of our ability, we should write clearly so that everybody can understand our content. But by no means should we limit ourselves to a broad overview if our content policies (reliable sources, verifiability, etc) would allow a more in-depth view of a topic. In general, the more in-depth we get the more we will serve our readers, as long as we don't confuse them or wander into the realm of meaningless trivia. ThemFromSpace 02:03, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
They don't, however. That's why we're not guidebooks, textbooks, and a number of other highly detailed works - that's what other Foundation sister projects can handle. There is a line, and it's not easy to say where it is, but if we take, for example, WP:NOT#PLOT as a starting point, where if one starts to rely too much on the primary work and not from secondary/third-party sources for the bulk of the article, that's an issue. That idea can expand to areas that field guides would apply; if you're basically adding details only present in the primary sourcing and not noted by others, that's probably an issue then. That's why we put a lot of emphasis on summarizing what secondary sources says about topics, as that guides how deep we can really get into a subject. --MASEM (t) 02:10, 17 April 2014 (UTC)