Wikipedia talk:Neutral point of view

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No mention of relevance?[edit]

We tell editors that they should "describe disputes, but not engage in them"... which I totally agree with. However, I think this rule may be incomplete. It assumes that the dispute is relevant enough to be mentioned in the first place. I have seen this over and over again... editors engaging in heated POV debate over relatively trivial bits of background information that are not really important the topic/subject of the article.

My point... sometimes "teaching the dispute" may actually be the wrong approach. When the bit of information being disputed is a minor bit of background trivia, spending article space on "teaching the dispute" may end up giving UNDUE weight to that trivial background information... In such cases it may be better (and neutral) to simply OMIT the bit of information completely.

I think we should mention this approach somewhere in the policy. Thoughts? Blueboar (talk) 14:48, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

That's covered by WP:UNDUE and WP:NOTE, I think. If a dispute is not relevant enough to cover, then devoting time to it is giving it WP:UNDUE weight. Especially see the WP:BALASPS and WP:GEVAL subsections, which specifically talk about how giving all disputes equal validity is not neutral, and how some disputes are so WP:FRINGE that they should not be mentioned at all. WP:FRINGE and WP:PROFRINGE also talk about this; generally citing WP:UNDUE, WP:NOTE and WP:FRINGE is the way to go if you're trying to explain how you feel a controversy is too fringe (and lacks enough coverage by reliable sources) to include in an article. --Aquillion (talk) 19:41, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Hi Blueboar, Thanks for raising an interesting point. While I'm not sure that I agree with Aquillion that each of the policies & guidelines referenced apply directly, I do concur that the question is covered in a number of different places, including already being mentioned explicitly in this (WP:NPOV) policy. I would highlight WP:BALASPS as directly relevant to the question, and as allowing omitting aspects which are not WP:DUE.
Notwithstanding this, I do consider that WP:NPOV, especially WP:IMPARTIAL, provides the best advice for us in documenting disputes or controversies in a neutral way - and that we should definitely be describing, rather than engaging, in them. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 13:13, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
thanks Blueboar (talk) 20:24, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
Issue being that what some people might not see as relevant might be extremely relevant to others. For example, some people might think that having a trivia section on a page about the United States' July 4th celebrations that lists famous people from other countries who have a birthday on that day might be irrelevant, but others might not. (talk) 02:08, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Hi "32", Thanks for an interesting follow up. I would be inclined towards suggesting that the "list of famous people" is clearly off topic for an article on "US' July 4th celebrations"; but also that it would clearly be on topic for a "List of people born on July 4th". There is similar example in WP:NPOV already, covering the Earth & Flat Earth articles - "Flat Earth" theory being undue for the former, but clearly core to the latter article.
These examples draw attention to WP:UNDUE being contextual to the Article topic itself. Points of view, theories, beliefs, etc are not WP:UNDUE or WP:FRINGE across the whole encyclopedia; and we should not treat them as such.
Hope this helps. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 06:42, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

I can easily imagine some facts or events being irrelevant, but it's hard to say that a POV is not relevant (unless it's UNDUE). WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:35, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Art and creative topics section[edit]

In the section on "Describing aesthetic opinion", a sentence near the end of the paragraph says that "Articles should provide an overview of the common interpretations of a creative work, preferably with citations to notable individuals holding that interpretation. Verifiable public and scholarly critiques provide useful context for works of art." (bolding added by me). I think that the first sentence, stating that citations should preferably sourced be to "notable individuals" is incorrect, according to WP policies. WP:RS sets out three criteria for what qualifies as a reliable source, these being the reliability of the author, the work (the article, book, etc) and the publisher. There is no requirement in WP:RS that the reliable source be himself or herself notable enough for his or her own WP article. If Pat Smith is one of the world's leading experts on the art form XYZ, and she/he has had articles published in the most reliable journals that are put out by the most reliable publishers, then Pat Smith's views on XYZ are pertinent for that art or creative topic article, even though Pat Smith does not have a Wikipedia article about him or her.OnBeyondZebraxTALK 19:31, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

Valid point... and easily resolved by simply changing "notable individuals" to "noteworthy individuals". Blueboar (talk) 00:22, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Well yes, but there is still the matter of the wikilink to Wikipedia:Notability (people). In context it seems clear that a requirement of Wikipedia-notability was not the intention. Perhaps the wikilink should be removed to prevent confusion. Manul ~ talk 00:55, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Since this seems minor and uncontroversial, I've gone ahead and made a change.[1] Manul ~ talk 10:30, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
Would make that "broadly recognized" experts...: in the context we're not looking for the self-declared ones. --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:55, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
"Expert" is usually defined according to the standard set forth in WP:SPS. (Also, thank you for noticing the problem.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:37, 28 July 2015 (UTC)


See current discussion at WP:VPP#How to write on moral/ethical acts/behaviors that are treated negatively today but not during the time of the original topic? --Francis Schonken (talk) 13:01, 20 August 2015 (UTC)