Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not

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Plot summaries, internet guides, non-notable persons[edit]

In my opinion, criteria 1 of INDISCRIMINATE, sometimes called NOTPLOT or PLOT, is wholly redundant to the notability guidelines, serves no useful purpose, is liable to produce clearly absurd results, and should be deleted. If the plot of a book is summarised in reasonable detail by a dedicated article in the NYT and a dedicated article in Britannica we should certainly have a Wikipedia article on that book. A summary of the plot of a notable book is a reasonable thing to include. I can see no reason whatsoever not to include it. I can only infer from its complete redundancy that NOTPLOT must pre-date the notability guidelines and is now simply obsolete and has been retained through inertia alone. Criteria 4 of "Wikipedia is not a manual, guidebook, textbook, or scientific journal" ("Internet guides") has the same problems and should also be deleted for the same reasons. And we could get rid NOTMEMORIAL as well, because that adds nothing to GNG or BIO. So, in summary, NOTPLOT and what might be called "NOTINTERNETGUIDE" are positively harmful and NOTMEMORIAL is useless. James500 (talk) 16:50, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

NOTPLOT doesn't say that articles with plot summaries are not allowed, but only that articles should not consist solely of plot summaries. We can certainly summarize the plot of a book in reasonable detail, but we should also include some of the reception or analysis provided by the NYT or Britannica articles in our own offering. Similarly for Internet guides, if the sources exist to make the thing notable, then the sources also exist to allow us to detail its impact or significance, and we should include same in our article. The only one of the three you mention that is truly redundant to the notability guidelines is NOTMEMORIAL, but I think it is useful to include here as an aspect of the problematic social networking to be avoided. Nikkimaria (talk) 17:10, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
That isn't what I meant. In my opinion, an article that consisted solely of a plot summary would be perfectly reasonable if the book in question is notable and a plot summary is all that can be said about it. This would presumably occur where the "independent reliable secondary sources" of GNG contained nothing but a plot summary for that work. It would presumably occur where the book satisfied criteria 5 of NBOOK and no further sources or no sources other than plot summaries could be found. James500 (talk) 17:34, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Well then we would need to disagree on that point, as in my view an article consisting only of plot summary is not encyclopedic. Indeed, NBOOK explicitly states that "Wikipedia should not have a standalone article about a book if it is not possible, without including original research or unverifiable content, to write an article on that book" that complies with NOTPLOT. Do you have any concrete examples of books for which criteria 5 would apply without non-plot sourcing being available? I expect that for criteria 5 books we would at least be able to contextualize it within the author's oeuvre, as by definition if that criteria applies there is significant academic study on that topic. Nikkimaria (talk) 18:00, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
A third-party source that consists only of a plot summary of the topic is not a secondary source. Secondary sources require analysis and transformation of information, of which summarizing a work is not. As such, these would fail notability guidelines, not NOT#PLOT (or in addition to that). --MASEM (t) 18:08, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
The points you are making are, as noted by Nikkimaria, are on articles that have passed notability guidelines, but where the balance of content is poorly handled. For example, a recent point that came from an ANI was that many of the pages for the original Star Trek series episodes are solely plot summaries, but because of the impact of that show, we presume them notable (but work does need to be done to add secondary sources). WP:N is met, but WP:NOT#PLOT is not. We also get articles like this Steve Frame which is about a notable character but 99% of the content in the article is plot summary. This is what NOT#PLOT is directed towards. --MASEM (t) 18:06, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Even if I accepted what Masem says about secondary sources, NBOOK says nothing about secondary sources, except for acknowledging that NOTPLOT exists. For the avoidance of doubt, I am proposing that the section headed "Articles that are plot summaries" be removed from NBOOK, since it doesn't say that books that fail NOTPLOT are non-notable (this is a feature of all notability guidelines, taken from the lead passage of N). That said, I'm not at all convinced by Masem's definition of a secondary source. According to my sources, a primary source is a contemporary description of an event by an eyewitness, whereas as secondary source is a description of that event by someone who wasn't there when it happened: (Careers for Students of History, p 22). I don't see why that should necessarily require "analysis" or "transformation of information" (whatever that means). I think it would include A's summary of B's summary of Book C ... which is still a plot summary. In any event, a summary probably is "interpretation" because the summary will normally inject some of the subjective opinions of the person making it. (I recall an example where a summary described a character as a "dandy" despite that word appearing nowhere in the dialogue of the film. If that isn't "analysis", what is it? But it is still a plot summary.) In any event, the only possible reason that could be advanced for rejecting an article on a book only because the independent reliable sources available give only a plot summary seems to be "I don't like it". I think that is a poor argument. James500 (talk) 19:22, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
  • On Wikipedia, secondary sources are defined as those that "contain an author's interpretation, analysis, or evaluation" of primary sources, "making analytic or evaluative claims about them". If those sources exist, as I mentioned, they should be used to create reception or analysis sections in a book article. If those sources don't exist, the book likely should not have an article. Do you have any concrete examples of books that you think would be permitted by NBOOK (excluding the section that refers to here) but would not be permitted by this section? Nikkimaria (talk) 21:06, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I disagree. (1) Wikipedia policies and guidelines are supposed to be construed according to their spirit rather than their letter. Accordingly "secondary source" ought to be construed as including anything that could reasonably regarded as secondary. (2) Since the description of "secondary sources" in SECONDARY is not reproduced in within the body GNG, it may not necessarily be what GNG means when it speaks of secondary sources. SECONDARY could be altered without discussion on the talk page of WP:N, and without regard to the meaning of other policies and guidelines which it does not say it applies to. (It doesn't say something to the effect of "and this definition shall be used for the purposes of GNG"). (3) I don't believe that SECONDARY was ever intended to "trump" what reliable sources have to say about secondary sources. To begin with, we shouldn't have a POV definition of a "real world" concept anywhere on Wikipedia, including the project space. If that description is intended to be exhaustive, the thing ought to speak of "relevant secondary sources" or "this is the Wikipedia definition" or something like that. (4) What PSTS actually says is "Secondary or tertiary sources are needed to establish the topic's notability" (my emphasis). It then says "Tertiary sources are publications that summarize primary ... sources" (my emphasis). That would seem to allow a plot summary. It also suggests that "secondary" is not being used in the same sense as in GNG, which does not refer to tertiary sources. James500 (talk) 02:41, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
    • It's long been the application of WP:PSTS as applied to WP:N and subsequent AFD discussions that secondary sources are those that have transformative information. This is provide some aspect of real-world importance to a topic through the transformation provided by secondary sources. Yes, there are other scholastic definitions of what primary and secondary is, but our house choice is the use of transformational works given that we ourselves are tertiary and want to build quality encyclopedia articles off secondary sources. This is also why we have independent/dependent sources to make the distinction of "closeness to the event". --MASEM (t) 02:47, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
      • Claims about what normally happens at AfD are practically unverifiable. We lack reliable statistics. In any event, stare decisis doesn't apply at AfD. James500 (talk) 02:55, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
    • (1) Wikipedia policies and guidelines are by their nature inter-referential, thus (2) since GNG links directly to the definition of secondary that I did, I see no reason to assume that it intends a different definition. (3) We have many Wikipedia-only definitions of common English words; whether we should is another question, and not one we are able to resolve in this discussion, but that is the state of the wiki as it is. In this context, it is reasonable to assume that we could have (and in fact do have) a different definition of "secondary" than might be used elsewhere. (4) I don't follow your argument here, as you seem to be suggesting that plot summaries are both secondary and tertiary sources. Nikkimaria (talk) 03:05, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
      • (4) What I said is PSTS says that sources which summarize primary sources can establish a topic's notability. James500 (talk) 03:14, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
        • The key word in the definition of tertiary sources is that is summarizing multiple sources, not just one. Simply summarizing a plot of a single work does not make a work tertiary for that topic. --MASEM (t) 03:16, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
          • If a tertiary source summarizes multiple plot summaries (eg by conflating them), that tertiary source is still a plot summary. James500 (talk) 04:46, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
            • Multiple plot summaries for the same work (say, a TV series episode guide) would make it tertiary for the show but not for each episode. --MASEM (t) 12:08, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Leaving aside the question of what the notability guidelines do or do not include, since we are not likely to agree: I think that any book that needs to be excluded will be excluded by the notability guidelines, therefore we should delete NOTPLOT and the other two because they are unnecessary and they add an additional layer of complexity to an already bewildering system. If you think the notability guidelines independently exclude articles that can't be expanded beyond a plot summary, you should support this removal of redundant junk. I don't think they are needed to prevent the arbitrary exclusion of commentary and appraisal etc from articles either, because it should be obvious that we don't do that, and if we did need something, it should take the form of "don't exclude commentary and appraisal etc" and apply to all articles, not just books and websites. To put it another way, we should have something that is clearly a content policy and couldn't be mistaken for a topic policy. WP:NOT should not be an indiscriminate repository of large numbers of random and very narrow instructions of no real utility. James500 (talk) 04:46, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
  • WP:NOT#PLOT is a very clear (and very necessary) content policy. The only problem I've seen with it is that people are unwilling to enforce it by deleting each and every article that violates it, regardless of notability. As a result, we are developing an ever larger mountain of trash while depriving people of the tools necessary to clean it up. An unambiguous failure to meet a WP:NOT restriction should be grounds for speedy deletion, and it's unfortunate the people squabble over the unambiguous cases so loudly that they create the illusion of ambiguity.—Kww(talk) 04:59, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
  • The reason people are unwilling to delete articles on notable topics to enforce NOTPLOT is because doing so would be pointless and absurd (WP:IAR). It would achieve nothing but harm to the project because accurate plot summaries are useful reasonable encyclopedic content. Wikipedia does have a "mountain of trash", but it isn't comprised of plot summaries. It is in the project namespace, which needs a massive clear out ASAP. What we need is a speedy deletion criteria for "detrimental instruction creep". James500 (talk) 05:21, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
  • No, the reason that we don't mass delete them is a result of an arbcom case long ago, where fait accompli was established - it is disruptive to nominate a swath of articles where there is a possible chance for improvement (which can be the case of plot-only articles) in a short period. --MASEM (t) 12:08, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
  • And that decision was imbalanced, because it didn't recognise that devoting entire Wikiprojects to building articles that consist of a bloated plot summary, a fair-use violation in the form of a screenshot, and an unsourced cast list was a fait accompli in the other direction. "Oh, we'll fix it someday" is obviously a hollow promise because the mountain of such articles continues to grow.—Kww(talk) 14:23, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Even if that arbcom decision was overruled, I doubt you would find many Wikipedians who would be prepared !vote to delete an article on a notable topic to enforce NOTPLOT. Frankly, I infer from the large number of plot summary articles created that there is probably a large section of the community who do not support the use of this policy to exclude article topics, period. I doubt that it really reflects consensus. James500 (talk) 07:49, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
  • It's true that we have an unfortunately large community that doesn't understand the difference between an encyclopedia and an television guide. Myself, I would view understanding that distinction as an essential test for having sufficient competence to edit.—Kww(talk) 13:54, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
  • The large number of plot-only articles were created before notability guidelines were made. And consensus has definitely changed from that. We had a long long discussion about the notability of fictional elements WP:FICT which after a year or so never got anywhere beyond recognizing that fictional elements basically had to meet the GNG. And there are projects that are slowly working to cut down the number of fiction-only articles, but there's just a lot of them. We also can't deal with plot-only articles quickly as often these are prime candidates for redirects, and as such AFD per BEFORE is called out as the wrong venue for discussion of just redirecting articles (and yes, we've tried to get that changed at the AFD process to allow redirect/merge discussions but that never goes anywhere too). --MASEM (t) 14:06, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I think you are fooling yourself. Monstrosities like this are created every day. A plot summary so enormous it required subsections, a cast list, and two token review lines added in an effort to justify it.—Kww(talk) 14:25, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
  • But it has reviews, at least. Yes, the plot is too large, and the reviews might feel like token reviews, but there's no reason to compare that to articles that have zero reviews which was the case much earlier in WP's lifetime. --MASEM (t) 21:42, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
  • The distinction between an encyclopedia and a television guide is, principally, that a television guide tells the reader when, and on what television channel, a particular program will be broadcast. [We are at this time probably correct to exclude that information from articles on works on grounds that it is too transient (it would only last for a few days before it had to be updated). That said, we do appear to include old television schedules for given channels.] NOTPLOT has nothing to do with that. Can you provide even one reliable source that says that encyclopaedias should never include plot summary only articles? Can you prove that that is the overwhelming consensus of reliable sources? Can you provide a substantive reason not to include such articles, one that goes beyond "I don't like plot summaries, I really hate them, I do"? (The utility of summaries is obvious: they allow a reader to ascertain the plot of a work without reading the whole thing, which saves time. In the case of a work that is not freely available online, they also save money. They are, therefore, "A Good Thing". And we don't seem to have a sister project for them, so that argument can't be invoked against them either.) I think that accusing the community of incompetence is rather dubious, since the community determines consensus. The section on internet guides was added to the policy on 8 May 2006 and NOTPLOT was added 9 July 2006, so they do pre-date the notability guidelines (N was tagged as a guideline on 23 September 2006 (and disputed and heavily edited for some time); NBOOK became a guideline on 6 February 2007). They look like an obsolete protean attempt to exclude non-notable topics by imposing an over broad restriction on content, that disregards certain types of coverage and possibly forms of inherited or inherent notability (which we do sometimes admit). Darkness on the Edge of Town (Once Upon a Time) doesn't violate NOTPLOT. A one word review, asserting that a work was "good" would satisfy NOTPLOT (which shows how utterly pointless NOTPLOT is as exclusion criteria, if it was used that way). James500 (talk) 20:02, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Many of the things listed on WP:NOT are useful to someone for one reason or another; we don't exclude them because they're useless, but because that's not what we as a project are here for, according to the consensus of the community as represented in this policy. Nikkimaria (talk) 21:29, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
  • The policy was added in 2006, before the creation of the notability guidelines. Consensus can change. This policy might have been left in by accident. Do the archives indicate that it has been reconsidered on its merits? Is there a recent discussion I can read? "Not what we are here for" is a paraphrasal of an argument to avoid. Frankly, it is not a reason. James500 (talk) 07:38, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
  • No, it wasn't left in by accident. Pixelface (talk · contribs) fought quite the crusade against it, based primarily on the the same misconceptions.—Kww(talk) 14:03, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
  • That was in 2009, more than five years ago. If that was the most recent discussion, and there hasn't been an RfC on automatically excluding any topic whose article cannot be expanded beyond a plot summary since then, I think we should have an RfC in the near future to see if consensus has changed. James500 (talk) 14:10, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
  • As a note, we do not allow standalone schedules of old stations, but we do allow comparative schedules (particularly in the US as the fate of a TV series is often what other shows it is up against, and thus these are notable tables).
  • As to NOTPLOT, the example Once Upon a Time episode does fail NOTPLOT as it is mostly plot. We would not delete it but would tag with {{plot}} to be dealt with in cleanup. --MASEM (t) 21:45, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
  • The example does not fail NOTPLOT. The policy does not say that articles must not be mostly plot. James500 (talk) 07:38, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
  • MOS:PLOT, however, does. And NOTPLOT explains that articles on works of fiction should be focused away from just plot iteration. Most WIkiprojects that deal with fiction have guidance on keeping plot summaries short (eg WP:FILM has a strict 400-700 word summary for plots). --MASEM (t) 16:17, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
  • "Summary-only descriptions of works. Wikipedia treats fiction in an encyclopedic manner, discussing the reception and significance of notable works in addition to a concise summary" is pretty clear, James500. In what way do you think that episode doesn't fail it? I see no discussion of "significance", two perfunctory reviews masquerading as a reception section, and that summary is far from concise.—Kww(talk) 16:59, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Having 6.66 million viewers is a form of significance. The fact that it was reviewed in high circulation publications is a form of significance. Recognised artistic merit, entertainment value, etc (8.5 out of 10, "gratifying scenes", "started on a strong foot", "exciting" etc) is arguably a form of significance. The details of any review covers "reception". All of which is mentioned in the article. Moreover, the word "and" is quite capable of including the word "or", and the policy doesn't say, in express words, that both reception and significance must be included in every article, just that they must be included in Wikipedia as a whole (notice in this respect that the policy refers to "works" (plural) and not each work (singular)). Need I go on? I am sure that I could interpret the policy in such a way that the article will satisfy it. James500 (talk) 18:02, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Willful misinterpretation can lead to any result that one wishes, true.—Kww(talk) 18:05, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Further, "and" does not encompass "or", James500. "Or" requires that either element, or both, be true, while "and" is only true if both conditions are true. "Reception and significance" means just that: a discussion of both reception and significance. If you want to argue policy, perhaps a brief education in logic would help.—Kww(talk) 20:37, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
According to this highly regarded source, the word "and" can sometimes, by force of context, be read as "or". Wikipedia policies are (unfortunately) not written by logicians with the precision of a mathematical formula. James500 (talk) 13:53, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
"Force of context" does not apply here, as there is no reason to permit an article that omits one or the other to exist. Nothing about a straightforward reading forces an illogical state.—Kww(talk) 14:30, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Also (per KWW) keep in mind policies and guidelines are not to be read like rules of law, but are descriptive (not prescriptive) statements of how WP works. NOT#PLOT was added when it was determined that we in general were trimming away plot-only articles; at one point we had article for every Pokemon back when WP was new, but since have matured past that. Wikias and other sites are things we can acknowledge and point to for details of fan-level interest. --MASEM (t) 15:08, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
I look forward to the day that it matures sufficiently to apply WP:ROUTINE properly to articles about television episodes. A cast listing, Nielsen rating, and a handful of reviews during the week after the broadcast is simply routine coverage to be expected of all episodes of all television shows, and does not justify an article.—Kww(talk) 15:18, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Force of context does apply because there is no reason whatsoever to exclude an article that omits one or the other. There clearly is a reason to include such articles in that they clearly increase Wikipedia's utility to its readers for the reasons already explained. I did not cite that work because I think that policies and guidelines should be strictly construed according to the rules of statutory interpretation that existed in England circa 1903. I cited it because I think it is saying that low quality (or perhaps imprecise) written instructions (or, indeed, descriptions) often use the word "and" when they really mean "or", that this is a feature of such writing generally, and I know from experience that this sort of confusing and/or atypical usage regularly occurs in non-legal written instructions (or descriptions). I am sure you could find a source that said the word "and" was capable of bearing that meaning outside a legal context if you looked, such as possibly this, this and this from translators and linguists, even if the source I originally offered isn't saying that, which I feel it probably is. Anyway, in my view, the standard of written prose of a significant proportion of Wikipedia's policies and guidelines is low quality. And all I see in the policy is ambiguous language. And I don't think the meaning Kww suggests is obviously correct, looking at either the wording or the apparent intended purpose. Moreover, it isn't obvious that there is a relevant difference between "significance" and "reception", or what that difference might be. (Another two features of low quality writing are the appearance of redundant synonyms and the absence of definitions for vague or ambiguous words and expressions). Wikia is not a solution to anything because it is not a WMF website. This policy is not clearly confined to "fancruft". It appears, for example, to encompass serious non-fiction works. ROUTINE applies to events, not creative works. I can't see why it should be applied to television programs. Frankly, what Kww calls routine coverage may be evidence that all such episodes are notable. I don't view a trend towards increasing restrictions on permissible article topics as a feature of maturity. It is just a trend that might, like all trends, be completely reversed in the fullness of time. I don't think there is anything particularly inevitable about it. One would, frankly, expect an increasing backlash against that trend sooner or later on a website where anyone can edit and !vote. James500 (talk) 15:45, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
You can write large blocks of text denying plain meaning, but I don't see why one would. There is a substantial difference between "significance" and "reception". Let's take a classic example: Plato's Stepchildren, probably the only notable episode of Star Trek, which featured one of television's first interracial kisses. This is something that is remembered and commented on some fifty years later, and it is significant in the history of the portrayal of race on television. There is also the matter of how the episode itself was received, in terms of ratings and contemporary reviews. There are probably less than a thousand individual television episodes of sufficient significance to warrant individual articles in Wikipedia. Covering individual episodes of a television series is similar to creating individual articles about each chapter in a book.—Kww(talk) 05:40, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Note that I agree completely with you, James, that the specific article is fine in passing the GNG, but the point of the GNG is to show that there is significance in independent, third-party sources, through secondary sources. We need that as well as the conciseness of plot to stay as a tertiary work meant to summarize information, not detail it. The plot should be a supplement to the secondary coverage - providing just enough detail to make the secondary sources make sense without having to read or see the original work. --MASEM (t) 18:10, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

James: if you think this policy doesn't reflect consensus, you are welcome to start an RFC on the topic. That would perhaps be more productive as it would settle this one way or the other - though it may not have the result you would like, the above isn't accomplishing much and is getting off the immediate topic at hand. Nikkimaria (talk) 15:55, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

  • We do have a great many articles that contain mere plot summaries, but since almost all of the works are notable, they can be improved. There is no reason to delete an improvable article. The problem continues before naïve young students or fans frequently do write articles that contain nothing before, in the accustomed manner of school book reports. But if the book has been reviewed, and almost all popular books that would attract fans or students have been, there is almost always more to be said.
A bigger problem is that the majority of many plot summaries we do have violate NOT CENSORED--they censor the ending, in the general manner of "Jack and Jill went up the hill--and you'll never guess what comes after!". This affects not only books, but films and other works. the solution, as always, is to get more people interested. DGG ( talk ) 05:01, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

A further problem to keep in mind regarding plot summaries - detailed summaries even with commentary can be considered copyright violations; there is case law for this. More reason why we want articles on fiction to avoid weighing too much on the plot and edging for conciseness. --MASEM (t) 06:03, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

I have seen almost none such here (the only exceptions are articles about non-fiction polemical books, which sometimes give the arguemnt in very great detail, to the extent we have been known to delete them as promotional.) --it would be copyvio if it served as a substitute for the book. Some extensive reviews in 18th and early 19th century periodicals such as Gentleman's Magazine were explicitly designed so readers who hadn't read the book could pretend they had, with sometimes a dozen pages of quoted highlights and summaries of every turn of the plot. These would probably nowadays be considered copyvio. DGG ( talk ) 07:01, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

clickbait[edit]

WP:POPULARPAGE works just as well. jps (talk) 14:10, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

An editor inserted an entire section, namely this:

===Wikipedia is not clickbait===
Articles in Wikipedia are not written with the sole intent to attract the most readership (clickbait). Inclusion in Wikipedia is decided by taking into account notability guidelines rather than the specific popularity of an item or the likelihood it is to attract content consumers. Prurient, outrageous, or salacious content on Wikipedia may be included if there are reliable sources that discuss such content, but lacking that it is not the place of Wikipedia to play host to such.

which seems reasonable but I do not want to see an entire section added to this important page without an exhaustive discussion. I haven't thought through the implications of this, if it's a solution in search of a problem, how this could be misused, and much else, and I'd like to. So I've reverted the addition and let's discuss this first. Herostratus (talk) 20:18, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for starting the discussion. I have lately seen statements about the popularity of various Wikipedia pages in terms of pageviews being used as justification for Keep !votes. I think it's been standard practice for 15 years of Wikipedia that the popularity of a Wikipedia page does not determine its encyclopedic nature. Still, I would like a discussion. jps (talk) 20:20, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
It seems unnecessary to me. It repeats what we already know - that Wikipedia notability guidelines determine appropriate subject matter - and then goes off at a tangent regarding specific content that may or may not be 'clickbait'. This policy isn't intended to be exhaustive, and before extending it to cover arguments for inclusion which are already invalid, I think we need something in the way of evidence that such an extension is actually merited. Furthermore the wording as it stands might be Wikiplayered into justifications for including salacious material, contrary to established standards: "It is sourced, so policy says we can include it..." AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:41, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
I think we need some indicator that popularity is not a good metric by which to claim that Wikipedia articles should exist is all. I don't really care how it is worded, but given the current culture of internet content creation, this is going to come up more and more, I fear. jps (talk) 20:59, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
But I don't agree with that. I think that popularity and pageviews is worth considering, by which I mean it's reasonable to include it as a factor in weighing the worth of an article -- not terribly important, but not nothing either. We exist to serve readers, of many kinds, and they are, in a sense, our customers. There's no benefit to going out of our way to deliberately refuse to even consider whether the reading public likes the article and wants it to exist (which high pageview shows, I guess). It's complicated and we don't want to keep stuff this is truly unencyclopedic cruft; I'm talking about borderline cases. If "statements about the popularity of various Wikipedia pages in terms of pageviews being used as justification for Keep !votes" is rampant, or is being applied to obvious cruft, then we might have a problem. Do we? Herostratus (talk) 01:25, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────WP:ENC and WP:RS are guiding principles I use. There is no way that high pageviews can trump that, but, yes, there are conversations I've had (and am currently having) where people are making the arguments that in spite of there not being good sources, the high pageviews indicate we should have an article. jps (talk) 01:32, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

The proper response to such arguments has to be that without good sources, we have nothing to base an article on - a response that doesn't need new policy. AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:05, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't think the proposed addition is necessary. I don't think it tells us anything we don't already know from N and V and NOR. James500 (talk) 02:48, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
I like that we have agreement that clickbait isn't a good excuse for Wikipedia article creation (save, perhaps, some concerns by Herostratus). But there really is no one-stop-shop for an explanation of this. I could write an essay, but this idea is pretty succinct. jps (talk) 11:00, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

This seems ripe for misuse, and any non controversial aspects of it are handled by WP:N and WP:RS, probably best to leave it out. Artw (talk) 23:55, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

It's worth, I think, noting here that while popularity (or lack of) is not a good reason to create, keep or delete an article, it is a good and very frequently used factor for creating and deciding the fate of redirects (frequent misspellings, alternative titles, common misnomers, etc, should all have redirects). Anything added about click bait should therefore be careful to use "articles" not "pages". Thryduulf (talk) 00:34, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

WP:ITSUSEFUL is the general rationale for redirects. A tiny little aside about popularity contests not deciding article content in that space might work. How does that strike you? jps (talk) 14:08, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

NM -- Thanks to Thryduulf for jogging my memory: I discovered an excellent answer: WP:POPULARPAGE. That's all I needed. jps (talk) 14:10, 12 March 2015 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Talk page soapboxing[edit]

Is this soapboxing?[1] A talk page (of Sayerslle, now notified) blanked, and completely replaced with political propaganda (user page as well). FunkMonk (talk) 19:53, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes, this is outlined at WP:UP. --MASEM (t) 20:06, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, placed a "warning". FunkMonk (talk) 22:18, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 27 March 2015[edit]

27.97.98.209 (talk) 17:06, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. NiciVampireHeart 17:52, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Propose restrictions on statistics be changed to restrictions on numbers[edit]

The section "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information" previously has read as follows:

# Excessive listings of statistics. Long and sprawling lists of statistics may be confusing to readers and reduce the readability and neatness of our articles. In addition, articles should contain sufficient explanatory text to put statistics within the article in their proper context for a general reader. In cases where this may be necessary, (e.g. Nationwide opinion polling for the United States presidential election, 2012), consider using tables to enhance the readability of lengthy data lists. Where it is not necessary, as in the main article United States presidential election, 2012, omit excess statistics altogether and summarize any necessary data concisely.

I just changed it to the following:

# Excessive listings of numbers, data without context, or statistics. Long and sprawling lists of numbers may be confusing to readers and reduce the readability and neatness of Wikipedia articles. In addition, articles should contain sufficient explanatory text to put numbers within the article in their proper context for a general reader. In cases where this may be necessary, such as in presenting polling information from an election or numbers of lost lives in a war, consider using tables to enhance the readability of lengthy data lists. Where it is not necessary, omit excess numbers altogether and summarize any necessary data concisely.

My intent is this to to emphasize that all kinds of lists of numbers need context, and not only statistics. I think that this is already the Wikipedia practice, and that this section has been interpreted in that way already. I would appreciate comments from anyone here who either supports or opposes this change. Thoughts? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:27, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

I was thinking that there is not much difference in popular use between "statistics" and collections of "numbers" Merriam-Webster says

"Definition of STATISTICS

  • 1 a branch of mathematics dealing with the collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of masses of numerical data
  • 2 a collection of quantitative data"

1) is the "scholarly" definition IMHO, and your change helps distinguish between that and a mere collection of numbers,

2) is the "popular" definition, and your change doesn't really affect the meaning in this sense.

In sum, it helps a bit and doesn't hurt anything. Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:15, 8 April 2015 (UTC)