Wikipedia talk:Neutral point of view/Archive 53

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"Cannot be superseded by editor consensus"

What is this supposed to mean? Editor consensus decides in any given case what is and isnt neutral. An editor is citing this sentence as a way to justify the inclusion of spourced information that a majority of editors on the talkpage have argued to exclude. They are claiming that sourced information cannot be removed by an editorial consensus since that would violate NPOV. Methinks someone ought to clarify that strangely absolutist sentence that seems to misrepresent both policy and practice.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:18, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

I think that the sentence is saying that editorial consensus doesn't mean that the editorial consensus is correct with regard to the WP:NPOV policy. A group of talk page editors, for example, might misunderstand the WP:NPOV policy and apply it incorrectly. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 07:26, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
And how would it be determined if that is the case, if not by consensus? Surely you cannot be suggesting that this passage means that one editor who thinks that he or she has the correct interpretation can force his or her perspective against a consensus to the contrary?·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:37, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
Take the recent move discussion concerning the Death of JonBenét Ramsey article, for example. Isaidnoway and I felt that we argued based on policy and a number of others did not. The biggest misconception about the WP:NPOV policy is that being neutral on Wikipedia means what being neutral means in common discourse. Really, what being neutral on Wikipedia means is that we go by what the sources state with due weight. As you know, if the majority of sources report on a matter in the literature, and a few sources conflict with that viewpoint, we give most of our weight to the majority viewpoint...unless the majority viewpoint has actually been proved as incorrect (such as an overturned scientific belief). I'm not stating that a lone editor can force anything into an article; I'm stating that the policy tells us how it should be applied. I'm also not stating that the current sentence is best. If it's being misused, it needs tweaking. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 07:50, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
You are not really addressing the problem at all. The problem is that Wikipedia has not method except consensus of editors to determine whether a policy is being correctly or incorrectly applied. The same goes of course for the NPOV policy. If a consensus of editors state that including fact X in article Y is neutral and a couple of editors dissent and claim that their argument is based in policy and the opposing argument are not, there is no way that those editors can claim that policy requires them to decide the outcome. In an RfC a closer of course can discard non-policy based arguments, but the outcome of the RfC then is the editor consensus. So that means that editor consensus determines what is and isnt neutral and in turn that the sentence needs to be removed, because it is nonsensical. Consensus interprets, enforces and applies the policy. Hence there can never be a conflict between editor consensus and the NPOV policy.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:10, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure how I'm "not really addressing the problem at all." I addressed your point exactly how I should have, and my commentary is echoed by Ryk72 below. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 09:31, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
The problem is that the sentence makes it very easy for editwarriors who claim to have the truth on their to attempt to argue that they do not need to respect consensus becaus ethey are defending NPOV.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 11:13, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
  • It's supposed to mean that editorial consensus cannot be to not follow the policy. While it is true that editorial consensus determines if the policy is being followed correctly, there cannot be a consensus, local or otherwise, to throw the policy out and write whatever we collectively decide is proper. For mine, there is an importance to making such a distinction.
    As for the situation described, with a solitary editor holding for a particular position based on NPOV, it does not mean that they are free to revert endlessly. Editors who feel that NPOV is not being followed should use the standard methods of achieving consensus (Talk page discussions, noticeboard posts, third opinions, RfCs, etc). Hope this helps. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 09:27, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
That is the same for all policies and pillars. NPOV is not special in this regard. A local consensus also cannot decide to dispense with verifiability for example. So stating it here lends it self readily to misinterpretation.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 11:11, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
With respect, it is not the same for all policies; the vast majority of policy is capable of being addressed by WP:IAR. Verifiability and neutrality, as core content policies, however, must only be addressed through compliance. I feel that this is an important distinction, worth explicit mention in the policy. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 14:48, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

What is this all about? The cannot be superseded text appears to have been in NPOV forever in wikiyears. Where is there a dispute involving the term? A misunderstanding somewhere is no reason to worry about the current wording—every clause in every policy has been misinterpreted on many occasions. Johnuniq (talk) 10:17, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

That hardly means that it is useful. In this case it is ambiguous and redundant since none of our policies are negotiable and they all are applied by consensus. The specific case that made me notice the problematic sentence is this.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 11:11, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

RfC: Remove the sentence "This policy is non-negotiable, and the principles upon which it is based cannot be superseded by other policies or guidelines, nor by editor consensus."

Having assessed both the quantity and quality of arguments on both sides, it is clear there is a consensus to include "this policy is non-negotiable, and the principles upon which it is based cannot be superseded by other policies or guidelines, nor by editor consensus" (as this is the status quo, the RfC should really have asked whether it should be removed, as opposed to retained, but the result would have been the same). However, the RfC ideated no options other than a question to retain and this appeared to inspire the participating editors to largely limit their discussion to binary either/or !votes. Given that several editors, in the expanded discussion, indicated a mild secondary interest on the possibility of amending or rewording the sentence, a new RfC that proposed a concrete alternative short of wholesale deletion might be opened within a relatively short period of time after this one has closed, should someone desire. (As an aside, it's unclear to the closing editor if the sentence can actually be deleted since it's self-entrenched, though the consensus was clearly against it any case so this question is only theoretical.) LavaBaron (talk) 19:24, 7 November 2016 (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.

Should the policy include the sentence "This policy is non-negotiable, and the principles upon which it is based cannot be superseded by other policies or guidelines, nor by editor consensus."? ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:17, 3 October 2016 (UTC)


  • no. None of our policies are negotiable, but they all have to be interpreted and enforced by editors backed by consensus. All policies are interpreted, enforced and applied through consensus, for this reason it is misleading to suggest that there can be a conflict between "editor consensus" and the NPOV policy. The statement as it is now lends an air of special importance to the NPOV policy, but this sense is false because it does not dispense with the need for making editorial decisions about what is and isnt neutral. Neutrality is (almost) never something that can be objectively determined, but always has to be based on how editors interpret the sources and proposed encyclopedic text. It may be possible or desirable to mention that all articles must be neutral and that the policy is non-negotiable in that sense, and it may be possible to warn against the formation of local consensus that seeks to disregard the policy, but the current sentence is misleading and lends it self readily to abuse by editors who claim to have the true interpretation of what is neutral against a consensus of editors with whom they disagree.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:17, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Retain the sentence - It is important that we continue to state that NPOV must be followed; even where editorial consensus determines if it is being followed.
    WP:NPOV is special; as are WP:NOR & WP:V as core content policies. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 09:27, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Retain the sentence -- NPOV must, of course, be interpreted by editors and consensus certainly has a place in determining what NPOV looks like. The sentence to me is important for the hypothetical (if somewhat silly) situation wherein all of Wikipedia agrees that an opinion is minor or even fringe, but must be highlighted for some other reason (say, the good of the world). I think the sentence does no harm and a very slight bit of good, so keep it. Thank you. Dumuzid (talk) 13:40, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Retain While I understand the argument for removal, unfortunately suspicious me can see too mnany opportunities for abuse once it is gone. Only in death does duty end (talk) 15:09, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Retain - This policy is one of the pillars of Wikipedia, and is absolute. If we take it out, someone will argue that this means that it can be locally superseded. Robert McClenon (talk) 20:18, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Alter - That sentence is a bit strong, but I see the ideas behind is. Maybe weaken it a little bit and keep the idea the same? Tamwin (talk) 05:39, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Retain It must be clear that the policy takes precedence over all other policies and guidelines. TFD (talk) 12:16, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Retain the sentence. The policy should contain the sentence. Neutrality is a necessary property of any encyclopedia. Editors cannot agree on violating this property, as this would lower the quality of encyclopedic content and thereby diminish its trustworthiness.--*thing goes (talk) 13:28, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Retain the sentence This is not negotiable and the wording helps to strengthen the fact that WP:LOCALCONSENSUS cannot compromise NPOV. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 15:05, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Delete the line -- Just not an understandable lien that could be of use. Y'all seem to be confusing enthusiasm for following guidelines with that the question is whether this line is crappy. First, Ryk72 etc mention how it's in with WP:V an WP:NOR ... but those do not have such language so this line seems not necessary by that example. Second is the line makes no sense so should be deleted. Read that line over and go "hunh", because y'all are having to guess/ explain here what it means -- when as a guide the language THERE should be clear enough to stand on its own. Exactly who is 'negotiating' ??? Exactly where here does it state "the principles upon which it is based" ??? Does "cannot be superseded by other policies" mean this tops WP:V and WP:NOR ??? (Looking at the click-thrus it seems the 'negotiable' was a chance phrasing in a 2003 email that should be paraphrased 'Other guidelines may vary in different language wikis, but this one should not." So the line here is malformed.) Third is that there seems little or no ability for practical use of this line. Exactly how is consensus not allowed here when an article is written - and the article writing process is supposed to do WP:Consensus ??? And lets be real here too -- in the imperfect world and volunteer labor, MANY articles have NPOV issues, because either one vocal editor or a group stampede things -- just look at any contentious page and see that fighting vs natural tendency to stomp down the other viewpoint(s) to get one 'right' view versus one 'most common view and here are the others'. This just isn't an understandable line that can be used -- it needs someone to put up a better version or couple paragraphs to explain what it means and how to apply it. But since the RFC is 'have this or nothing', I'll say delete. Markbassett (talk) 13:16, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Retain - as has been said above, this is one of the pillars of Wikipedia. Get rid of it and the edifice will begin to collapse. Doug Weller talk 16:00, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Doug Weller -- clarify please. From your comment, it sounds like you are literally under the impression that this RFC had proposed 'get rid of WP:NPOV'. Was that your impression or was your phrasing intended as a metaphoric comment or larger principle ? Markbassett (talk) 11:56, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
Get rid of the sentence, I thought that was implicit in what I said. It's more or less what others have said above. Doug Weller talk 12:06, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Great Scott, No. If WP:NPOV trumps WP:RS and WP:BLP and WP:UNDUE and everything else, you then have: "Well, according to the article, he seems like a good guy, but here's an anonymous blog post that says he's a blackguard. We must include it, to avoid being overly laudatory". Let's not go down that path. These other rules are important too. Herostratus (talk) 14:04, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Retain, for precisely the same reason that Herostratus gives, funnily enough. Example A: A free energy device is supposedly invented. It is covered in some newsppaers, which qualify as RS. However, free energy devices are impossible. Without NPOV precedence, the RS wins and we get an article on a delusional thing before reality-based sources have had a chance to catch up. Example B: A person is rather unpleasant, but his fans do not like that in the biography. They WP:CRYBLP, but NPOV wins so we cover the unpleasantness. Herostratus' example would potentially invoke WP:UNDUE - and even then only if there were solid reliable sources for the critical material. There's nothing to fix here. Guy (Help!) 17:00, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Retain In fact it should not be questioned here, as a guiding principle. Collect (talk) 18:23, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
  • No A Wikipedia search found 84,764 hits for "Criticism", neutrality is achieved by editors balancing a page, every edit isn't neutral. Dougmcdonell (talk) 18:30, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
  • (Amended) Retain Retain, but remove "nor by editor consensus." Concensus rules at Wikipedia. As a practical matter, a group of dedicated, like-minded fanatics can bend entire areas of Wikipedia to their POV through consensus. Only a blind, deaf, and dumb person could miss or deny this fact. So, take out the last clause and allow this policy statement to be less unctuously hypocritical! Tapered (talk) 00:21, 28 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Remove. The absolute soverignty of WP:CONSENSUS makes it impossible to enforce any policy, because all policies are ultimately both determined and interpreted by consensus. Wikipedia should not be bamboozling editors by pretending that any policy is non-negotiable, apart from enforcement by office action or ArbCom. Elizium23 (talk) 00:31, 28 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Retain. This is the one sentence which gives Wikipedia some backbone to avoid issues with the "dedicated, like-minded fanatics" groups mentioend by Tapered. Felsic2 (talk) 15:51, 28 October 2016 (UTC)


Just as a comment, there is actually one policy that supersedes NPOV, that being BLP, which I've seen more and more as a situation when the media as a whole opt to become critically negative of a person without reservation, overwhelming anything the person might have said about themselves as a "fringe" view. Here's its no so much that BLP overrules any and all NPOV, but NPOV cannot be used to override BLP, though obviously attributed criticism of a person should be included if there's that much weight of the media behind it. I wouldn't necessary say this idea invalidates the above sentence, nor do I think it needs changing though a footnote to note BLP must be respected in considering NPOV. --MASEM (t) 15:36, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

Masem, I know we disagree on this, so I thought I'd pop in to offer the per contra. Essentially, as I see it, the problem you present is a logical impossibility -- that is if the weight of NPOV says "Dumuzid is a knucklehead," then it's not a BLP violation to say so as it is strongly sourced by definition. Even if I protest "no I'm not!" to the Signpost, it's still NPOV and not a BLP issue to report me as being a knucklehead. If there isn't enough in the reliable sources to really make an NPOV determination (like about me!), then there probably shouldn't be an article in the first place. So, for what it's worth, put me down in the 'no, BLP does not supersede NPOV' camp. Thanks. Dumuzid (talk) 16:05, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
It's not about not including what the media has said, but using the massive amount of media statements directly about a BLP to say that a BLP's counterpoint, perhaps the only source making the counterpoint to the media, as a fringe view under NPOV and thus eliminating it altogether. BLP requires us to be more cautious in this type of situation, and hence NPOV cannot override this type of case. --MASEM (t) 16:56, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
Seems just as easy to argue the same result through the opposite logic: A biographical subjects opinion about themselves published in a reliable source always merits weight in articles about themselves, and excluding it is always a violation of NPOV.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:16, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
Forgive me Masem, I don't mean to put words in your mouth, and I don't think the following is what you're arguing. But it seems to me like the ineluctable conclusion of your position is that we must always balance statements by a person about themselves as equal to reliable secondary sources. I guess my question is, why am I wrong? Dumuzid (talk) 18:51, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
Not equal weight, but not zero weight either. If a BLP contests to how nearly every other source in the world describes their person on a subjective aspect (such as one's religious or political views), then that subjective statement by all those sources, even if universal, should be taken as a contentious claim and YESPOV must be engaged properly, instead of claiming that the BLP's stance is fringe and can be ignored and using the universal stance as fact. --MASEM (t) 20:06, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
If someone wants a good example of this, read the article on David Irving. A man whose opinion of himself is at variance with almost everyone qualified to comment. Only in death does duty end (talk) 20:09, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
I could not have hoped to put it better than this, by Wnt: Never am I so adamant about letting the subject have his say than with articles about people like David Irving. When Wikipedia paints someone as a villain, they should have a right to be heard, to put up their defense so to speak, by means of having their own statements about themselves relayed to the reader. Often they convict themselves out of their own mouth; sometimes when that happens the 'ethical' people will turn up to defend them from their own words even though they still stand by them! But I'm against that too. Whenever there is a trial or any issue for debate, and that issue is noteworthy enough for us to cover the dispute, then neither side deserves to be treated as a "fringe" so unmentionable and unimportant that we don't even allow people to know what they had to say. We are not here to decide who was right in every controversy around the world; we are here to let the reader know what the controversy was, and that involves letting them understand what one side said and the other side said.[1] Concur entirely with this, and with the comments by Masem, above. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 12:11, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
BLP merely reminds us to follow policies and guidelines. If the media make someone out to be a villain, our article will likely do the same, since it will be weighted toward negative information. But our articles should not make someone out to be more of a villain than the media does. For example, there may be a lot of factual negative information about someone that only appears in news media like Fox News or in a paper's investigative reporting. For some BLPs, an investigative report may contain far more information than has been reported in other media. Unless it makes its way into CNN and MSNBC, it should not be included. But that is consistent with NPOV. Once it makes its way there and receives significant coverage relative to the subject, it should be included but only to the extent that most mainstream media cover it. TFD (talk) 12:36, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
This actually points to a growing problem particularly in the current political climate. Mainstream sources, which average as left-leaning, seem to have no issues with using character assassination of those that are on the far/alt right, and thus the only stance you usually find about subjective aspects of such people (like their political beliefs) in the body of what we normally take as reliable sources is the critical view. Now, NPOV does demand we include that view about that person, and BLP says that as long as strong RSes are making that stance it is acceptable to include, so there is no question that it cannot be ignored. But what more often happens is that any contrary view is either by the person themselves, likely published in an SPS manner, or from right-leaning sources that due to their nature are not considered as RSes for fact (read: Brietbart). A strict reading of NPOV (above and beyond all other policies) would say that those counterpoints are dismissable as fringe views, but BLP requires an impartial, dispassionate stance in relation to BLPs, and thus it requires the inclusion of the counterpoint by the BLP or the opinions from authoritative but not reliable RSes to meet it. It should not be equal coverage, per false balance, but it cannot be omitted.
Arguably, NPOV does have the right language already built in to meet this via WP:IMPARTIAL and WP:SUBJECTIVE, for example, but recently, I've seen editors take WP:UNDUE over all other points in NPOV when it comes to BLPs like this, eliminating any view that speaks against the mainstream, including the BLP's own voice. Hence why I think while the sentence in question is fine as is, we need to remember that BLP is a specific application of NPOV that eliminates some of the leeway that NPOV allows when dealing with living persons. --MASEM (t) 15:34, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Another interesting example in this context is Aquatic ape theory where a majority of editors are currently arguing that even though the theory has its own entry in two different encyclopedias of pseudoscience Wikipedia should not mention the word pseudoscience in the article or cite the encyclopedias or other scholars defining it as such. This is of course in effect a local consensus to disregard NPOV. So how is it that one uses the statement that "the policy is not negotiable" in practice? Does it mean I can simply disregard the outcome of the RfC and insert the citations anyway? ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:20, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
    • So AAH is behind this? Please give it a rest—AAH is not trying to sell a product or attack science. In the worst case, it is simply wrong. The article does not need the immediate contradicton of every AAH assertion, nor does the lead need shame labels. There are dozens of articles on truly pseudoscientific scams which might benefit from skeptic attention. At any rate, the clause under consideration above is irrelevant to the AAH situation which depends on opinions of what would be a neutral presentation at that article. Johnuniq (talk) 23:17, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
No it is not, that is actually the opposite - since this situation is exactly covered by the sentence I am trying to remove.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 06:04, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
Some editors may misinterpret NPOV to think that mentioning it has been referred to as pseudoscience is not what they would consider neutral. While I do not wish to argue the case here, I voted against inclusion on the basis of rs and nor. Obviously if it does not meet those two requirements, it cannot meet npov. TFD (talk) 12:25, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
  • ·maunus - I don't think you've got that right. There are some places that argue WP:PSCI overrules WP:NPOV, and about wording such as saying WP having a topic in List of topics characterized as pseudoscience means the lead for that article should start by WP-voice stating as fact that it is PS versus phrasing that as the view by scientists or otherwise WP:NPOV. But the Aquatic ape hypothesis discussion seems over whether PS gets said at the lead or body. Whether the majority of discussion in the 1950s outweighs 2 sources in the 21st century also seems relevant to me, but I've seen WP:PSCI put above WP:WEIGHT elsewhere so we'll see. Markbassett (talk) 13:47, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Not really, no. In mattters of science the scientific consensus is the neutral point of view, so it will look as if PSCI bvetas NPOV only if you succumb to the fallacy of false balance. Guy (Help!) 17:04, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • BLP does not override NPOV. If it did, we would never be able to include factual material showing bad people to be bad. Guy (Help!) 17:02, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
    • We should not be trying to engage BLPs by considering "bad people", as when that happens, editors will find a way to use RSes to push the POV that that person is "bad" and the article article needs to reflect that. WP treats living persons as living persons without trying to evaluate their morals or motiviations. Now, of course when there is "factual" information if someone was bad (which nearly all will be a result of a criminal or civil prosecution, or a evaluation from an agency of authority whether it was bad or not), that of course can be included, but we have to avoid the cases where it is the court of public opinion - the press - that has decided to paint someone as "bad", and that's where BLP overrides NPOV. For example, if every major source came out tomorrow to say that "John Q Smith is the worst thing ever to happen to humanity", we never would treat that as fact on the BLP on John Q Smith's article even though NPOV would say to do otherwise, via a strict reading. Per NPOV we'd need to include the assertion that the public opinion see Smith as this bad person, but we'd not say that in a factual manner in WP's voice. --MASEM (t) 16:36, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
      • If every major source reported that John Q. Smith is a bad person, per my reading of Wikipedia policies, of course we would report it as fact. We are not truth finders. To take things to a strange epistemological place, Wikipedia "knows" only what it finds in the reliable sources. Strong sourcing can always overcome BLP concerns, though the greater the concern, the stronger the sourcing needs to be. In a universe where every reliable source reports something, I would think it can be used in the face of any BLP concerns, no matter how great. Thanks. Dumuzid (talk) 16:47, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
        • Unless those sources are in a position of authority to make the decision or whether a person is bad (which the press is not, in general), no we would not. It is an immediately contentious claim about a living person and has to be treated as a claim, not fact. This not truth-finding, but more about staying impartial and dispassionate about topics involving living persons, which is of utmost importance since this is partially set by a WMF edict. --MASEM (t) 17:05, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
          • I see now a bit more what you're getting at, but I still think you're coming at it upside down, so to speak. As I see it, we don't reject moral conclusions from reliable sources; rather we find sources reliable that don't engage in extraneous moralizing. A claim that is agreed upon by ALL reliable sources cannot in any way be called "contentious." So, would I support a hypothetical page that starts "Dumuzid is a jerk and a cheapskate?" No, but it's because that's not the way reliable sources report, not that there's an outside constraint on the reliable sources. We're getting in to fairly rarefied pettifogging here. Suffice it to say this is something that has to be applied concretely rather than made the subject of a sophistical thread. Thanks. Dumuzid (talk) 17:40, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
        • @Dumuzid: If every major source reported that John Q. Smith is a bad person, per my reading of Wikipedia policies, of course we would report it as fact. Which policies are referred to here? Because this seems contrary to everything we have; including what is written in this very policy. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 11:59, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
          • Ryk72, I guess I was thinking mostly of this policy and WP:RS, really. My point is about the level of epistemic humility for which I think editors should strive, but also for the epistemic humility inherent in the entire project. There's a certain level of garbage in, garbage out in the sense that Wikipedia is beholden to its sources. If all reliable sources go crazy on a given subject, then Wikipedia, if it is following its mandate, will be crazy too. It makes sense to me, anyway! Thanks. Dumuzid (talk) 12:35, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment; summoned here by bot and don't have much time to read the above discussion in detail. I don't think it would be a good idea to remove the phrase altogether. What I do agree with is that it seems ambiguous, particularly in the sense that as it is now it could be interpreted to mean that specific instances of neutrality disputes cannot be resolved through editor discussion and posterior consensus. Of course it rather means that the NPOV policy itself cannot be superseded by editor consensus (although we're in a chicken or the egg situation here, given the very own policy was attained through community lobbying, albeit quite early on) in general terms. This wording is too strict in my opinion; the language could be a bit more lenient - this would provide the community with a bit more leeway regarding the application of rules in general. Policy should be interpreted akin to a constitution; it shouldn't be too intricate, that's what laws and regulations are for. Leave policy to consist of Wikipedia practice broadstrokes; phrases such as this in my opinion go against this overriding simple logical principle. Anyway, that's my quick analysis of the RfC's circumstances. Best, FoCuS contribs; talk to me! 03:55, 21 October 2016 (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.


Is it really a non-NPOV statement for saying that ISIS is bad, terrorism is bad, etc.,? If everyone believes it, give or take a few ISIS f***s, wouldn't it be a NPOV. It's similar to saying something like 'the US presidential election is fair'. It's a universal opinion, so it's technically NPOV, right? UNSC Luke 1021 (talk) 11:49, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

Yes. We don't even call genocide "evil"[2]. Opinions do not become facts, no matter how widely they are held; not even if universally so. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 11:55, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, but there's also a difference between saying "ISIS is bad" and "terrorism is bad." The latter refers to an abstract concept, the former refers to a person, place, or thing. Occasionally there may be some leeway to present abstract concepts in normative terms if a value judgment is built into the linguistic construction of the term itself (e.g. "evil is evil"). LavaBaron (talk) 19:46, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Number of NPOV articles in different languages

I don't know if this is the right place to ask this question but I need the number of NPOV templated articles in a particular language, meaning the articles that there is some sort of dispute over its neutrality in different languages let's say on the articles in german language. I need it to use them in my research. Can somebody help me with that? thanks! rinduzahid(talk) 11:29, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

You can use the transclusion count tool: [3]. The template may have a different name in other language wikis. For example, in the German wiki (de.wikipedia) it is Neutralität. Stickee (talk) 04:54, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

"history and religion" or "history of religion"?

"Wikipedia articles on history and religion draw from a religion's sacred texts as well as from modern archaeological, historical, and scientific sources." This gives special status to religious beliefs regardless of quality and verifiability of sources. As written it applies to history articles, not just history of religion. I guess this policy is the justification for passing off Bible stories (sourced directly to the Bible rather than scholarly articles) as actual history. "Neutral and Unbiased". Keith McClary (talk) 17:55, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Definition of WP:NPOV at the Death of JonBenét Ramsey article and its relation to article titles and article content

Will editors here weigh in on an important discussion at Talk:Death of JonBenét Ramsey#I have removed "Murder" references? It's about the definition of WP:NPOV and its relation to article titles and article content. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 16:31, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

Flyer22 Reborn, I think you meant to post this to WP:NPOVN? Feel free to delete my comment here along with this thread. Manul ~ talk 17:41, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
Manul, no, I meat to post it here. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 17:43, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
It's now an RfC; see Talk:Death of JonBenét Ramsey#RfC: Is use of murder in the text, or use of murder categories, within the article against the WP:NPOV policy?. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:46, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

NPOV article in Arabic

It is my opinion that the Arabic wikipedia is very favouriting of Islamic views (e.g. half of the opening paragraph of the arabic "Termite" article talks about the mention of termites in the Qur'an, among many other unflattering examples of the Islamic domination of Wikipedia Arabic). Should a npov#Religion section be added? another example is the deletion of my translation of the article Ahmad Harqan, which exists in English and Russian, by a self-described "adhering muslim" admin, under the tag "unnecessary article", knowing that the subject of the article is an atheist Egyptian journalist and human rights activist. not because it's my article or anything, its because all atheist and Christian Arabs can not browse Wikipedia as a source of everyday information because it is -in its current state- nothing but an Islamic propaganda website! how can we battle this so that Wikipedia Arabic (with about half a million articles) would become a good, neutral encyclopedia like Wikipedia English? SammyMajed (talk) 11:25, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

Unfortunately, there is nothing we here at the WP:en can do. I sympathize with your concern, but the different language WPs are all independent projects, and they each have there own set of Policies and Guidelines. Some allow more Original research than we do here, some have radically different interpretations of what qualifies a reliable source than we do... and some have different interpretations of what is and is not NPOV. Certainly, what you are complaining about would not be acceptable here at WP:en... but whether it is acceptable at the Arabic WP is up to the editors at the Arabic WP. Blueboar (talk) 12:09, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
Look on the bright side, its countered by the overt pro-Israeli slant of English-Wikipedia. So swings and roundabouts. Only in death does duty end (talk) 12:30, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

Dealing with false statements from Trump and his surrogates

Food for thought, with implications for how our policies apply to Trump (and others):

"We believe there is an objective truth, and we will hold you to that.
"When you or your surrogates say or tweet something that is demonstrably wrong, we will say so, repeatedly. Facts are what we do, and we have no obligation to repeat false assertions; the fact that you or someone on your team said them is newsworthy, but so is the fact that they don’t stand up to scrutiny. Both aspects should receive equal weight." - An open letter to Trump from the US press corps, CJR

BullRangifer (talk) 15:34, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

RfC notice

As a heads-up, there is a discussion centering around whether or not attributed opinions need coverage by secondary sources in order to use said opinion in articles. This discussion would greatly benefit from input from editors that understand WP:UNDUE, WP:FRINGE, as well as basic Wikipedia sourcing policies. Thanks. That man from Nantucket (talk) 22:38, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

NPOV for the WMF's actions and statements on behalf of Wikipedia

NPOV doesn't just apply to editors - it also applies to the WMF's actions and statements. I just created Wikipedia:Propagate the model, not issues because I think it is very important that the WMF does not propagate their viewpoints on any specific issues that is not directly related to Wikipedia's operation and preserves its neutrality (and the public image of Wikipedia being neutral and unbiased) as well as avoids the exclusion of differing groups / viewpoints or conflict with certain groups of editors and readers. I think this is important to maintaining the quality (reliability, neutrality, many-sidedness), financial security as well as unity of the site - more details there.

--Fixuture (talk) 18:02, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Agree, and it is an important point. North8000 (talk) 20:39, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Regarding medical articles

Shall I include propaganda against scientifically-proven medical treatment just for maintaining the neutral point of view? What if a reader also a patient misguided by the propaganda? That will make me feel guilty. --It's gonna be awesome!#Talk♬ 09:48, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

No, and feel free to remove propaganda. See Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources (medicine). If you need help ask at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine where you will find editors strongly supportive of the medical establishment. Thincat (talk) 21:02, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Thank you so much for the provided information! --It's gonna be awesome!#Talk♬ 23:02, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
No question on removing propaganda from unreliable medical sources, however, keep in mind that if RSes significantly cover the propaganda and opposition to proven treatment (eg something as large as anti-vaccination), editors should consider including some section that outlines this, noting it is opposition that "believes" the treatment is faulty or whatever, following UNDUE and FRINGE. --MASEM (t) 23:12, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes. Best practice is to cite reliable sources that say the unreliable sources are unreliable. MMR vaccine controversy. Thincat (talk) 23:21, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Using subjective terms as fact

There's a discussion ongoing at Talk:Alkaline diet#Nonsense on whether it is appropriate to use the word "nonsense" to describe a subject in Wikipedia's narrative voice, if a reliable source also uses that term. At issue here are whether the descriptor "nonsense" can be considered neutral in the context of the fact that WP:NPOV cannot be trumped by consensus or other guidelines such as WP:FRINGE.

As a m:Precisionist I would appreciate some additional clarity in the policy. ~Anachronist (talk) 21:43, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

In the context of talking about pseudoscience (a fad diet), "nonsense" is too strong a term and is non-neutral, and should not be used in WP's voice. "Invalid", "Disproven", "dismissed", "refuted", etc. are all much more neutrally-toned words that mean the same. I recognize from the page that there is much in the RSes against this diet, so I see no problem in including a quoted "nonsense" with attribution as to help provide a reader a sense of how much distaste they have for it, but certainly not a fact. --MASEM (t) 21:53, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, it would be nice if someone chimed in there; I feel like I'm the lone voice in the wilderness.
Otherwise, I'd like to discuss adding some clarity to this policy to cover terms stated in Wikipedia's voice. Even if there is a consensus that words like "nonsense" are neutral, the fact that consensus doesn't trump NPOV is relevant, but this policy doesn't really cover situations that give the appearance of bias based on word choice.
WP:IMPARTIAL (the section "Impartial tone") touches on this, but it needs to be stronger. I suggest adding clarification such as "Choice of wording in article prose must avoid the appearance of bias. Any non-impartial tone that may be present in reliable sources must not be presented in Wikipedia's narrative voice, but rather quoted or properly attributed in the article prose." ~Anachronist (talk) 23:28, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
Good and needed idea.North8000 (talk) 00:10, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
We do need something, recognizing that there are terms that fall outside of a "formal" subset of the English language that one normally would use in academic works, that we should never state bare as fact, like "nonsense", or that we can state them as attributable claims. --MASEM (t) 00:41, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
  • wrong venue:
    1. As a policy WP:NPOV does not prescribe which terminology is to be used in reliable sources. If its good for a reliable source, then it is, in principle, eligible for use in Wikipedia.
    2. If anything, Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Words to watch (e.g. its WP:LABEL subsection) may be a suitable place to hash this out. However, I think for "nonsense" it would be difficult to write anything conclusive there: if not formulated very, very careful we'd not be allowed to describe Jabberwocky as nonsense verse (that's nonetheless what reliable sources do), or we'd have to rename the Nonsense verse article for no-good reasons. But in general I think "nonsense" is a "word to watch" in the sense of that guidance, i.e.: don't use it lightheartedly, and only if it is covered thoroughly by reliable sources.
    3. In this particular instance, whether or not (and if so: how) to use "nonsense" in the Alkaline diet article can be hashed out at the WP:FTN if the article talk page discussion would be inconclusive: also in that respect this policy talk page is the wrong venue. --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:50, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
Disagree with "wrong venue" Respectfully, first, it opens with a false dichotomy in essence saying that avoiding the extreme "prescribe which terminology" equates to "don't talk about neutrality of wording at wp:npov.". I think that the latter is certainly appropriate for wp:npov. And with evolution of the media, e.g for political topics, to abdicate this to merely meeting conventional "wp:RS" to solve this is getting less and less useful. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 12:22, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
I also disagree with "wrong venue", and Francis Schonken's position is a non-sequitur. Nowhere have I proposed prescribing terminology. We are talking about maintaining a neutral position using Wikipedia's voice. The couple of sentences I proposed above could easily link to an appropriate guideline for further clarification. And conflating a known and accepted literary term nonsense verse with the use of "nonsense" (rather than the policy-approved "pseudoscience") to describe a dubious nutritional hypothesis makes no sense at all. How we use Wikipedia's voice is highly appropriate for clarification in this Wikipedia policy. This is exactly the right venue. ~Anachronist (talk) 17:09, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
I've commented on that article dispute; as for greater clarity in this policy, I think that "Strive to eliminate expressions that are flattering, disparaging, vague, or clichéd" covers it pretty well already. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 13:26, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
The fact that that is seldom mentioned or given weight in discussions probably means that it is probably too weakly worded and hidden under a specialized-looking sub-title.North8000 (talk) 13:44, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
That's a good point. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 03:23, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

"Nonsense. n. spoken or written words that have no meaning or make no sense." That seems like an accurate description of the theory behind the alkaline diet. Stupid, moronic, dangerous, fraudulent, idiotic, imbecilic, and batshit crazy are also all accurate. To me, the question should not be whether it's neutral, but what's the most informative way to get the point across in the lede. Someguy1221 (talk) 03:34, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Clearly the topic arouses certain passions. Nonetheless, the neutral point of view is a fundamental principle of Wikipedia. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 04:12, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
And what does that have to do with reliable sources stating that it is a fact that a theory is nonsense? There really is, honestly, no kind way to talk about alkaline diet from a neutral point of view. Editors should just accept that and then figure out the best way to word the article. Someguy1221 (talk) 04:19, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
That's a judgmental view. We can recognize that its considered by nutritionists that the diet's claims are unproven, but it judgemental to call it nonsense. --MASEM (t) 04:32, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
Do you consider it judgmental to state that the theories behind the alkaline diet have no rational basis in biology or medical science? Or taking something that no one supports, should we change N ray to state that "physicists consider N rays to be illusory" to avoid being judgemental? Just trying to feel out the boundaries of your thought process. For the record, I don't think "nonsense" is a good word for the article, as it's too vague, even if factual and neutral. Someguy1221 (talk) 04:43, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes, if some type of pseudoscientific thing like a fad diet or junk science has been rufuted, disproven, or the like, it is nearly always better to present it with some general attribution to the larger scientific community that has rejected the idea. Instead of "The alkaline diet is nonsense." say "Nutritionists have refuted the principle of the alkaline diet." in WP's voice. More formal writing without neutrality issues. --MASEM (t) 05:00, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Getting back to the point

I want to get away from the specific dispute that served as the seed for this discussion, and back to my original point, that is, whether we should include in the policy (not a guideline) some words about stating things in Wikipedia's narrative voice to appear impartial and unbiased in spite of what reliable sources might say.

My original suggestion, which seems to have gotten lost in the discussion about the word "nonsense", was this (somewhat modified from above):

WP:IMPARTIAL (the section "Impartial tone") needs to be stronger. I suggest adding clarification such as "Choice of wording in article prose must avoid the appearance of bias. Any non-impartial tone in reliable sources must not be presented in Wikipedia's narrative voice, but rather quoted, paraphrased using dispassionate neutral terminology, or properly attributed in the article prose."

I may be belaboring this, but I've seen this situation come up before, where a group of editors insists that it is "neutral" to use the same value-laden words as a source uses just because the source is reliable. That is an invalid position, especially since NPOV is not negotiable and cannot be trumped by anything. A clear policy statement would help resolve such disputes more efficiently. ~Anachronist (talk) 06:50, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

I think that you are doing some much-needed work in an important area. I think that your proposal needs some type of "in generally contested areas" qualifier /condition on being considered bias. Otherwise every statement could be considered bias. E.G. "Humans visited the moon". North8000 (talk) 13:15, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
But "humans visited the moon" doesn't contain any contentious terminology, or even any descriptive terminology that could be contentious (like "nonsense" in the conversation above). Even if that statement itself is controversial to people who don't believe humans visited the moon, the individual words are neutral.
After thinking about this for a few days now, I seem to be proposing to add a specific policy statement to WP:NPOV, supplemented by the guideline WP:LABEL. That guideline is useful for providing discussion, examples, and alternatives regarding value-laden terminology. I believe we also need a clear policy statement, with the "non-negotiable" force of WP:NPOV behind it, that prohibits using such terms in Wikipedia's voice. We can certainly still use those terms with proper attribution or inside quotations. ~Anachronist (talk) 21:34, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
As further demonstration of why the policy needs to be clearer on this point, there are still arguments ongoing about describing a subject in terms of qualifier adjectives and calling it "neutral". Policy clarity would help resolve such situations one way or another. ~Anachronist (talk) 19:36, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
I think that you are taking on something pretty complicated there, a blend of several policies which could use some evolution in the areas related to the example at hand.North8000 (talk) 20:52, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm a bit confused why this would be complicated. Which policies do you believe are blended? All I'm suggesting is to add one or two clarifying sentences to the "Impartial tone" section of this policy. WP:LABEL isn't a policy, it's a guideline that supplements this NPOV policy. The fact that people are actually arguing on talk pages that using Wikipedia's voice to advocate a particular value position doesn't violate NPOV, is ample justification for policy clarification here. There may be an overlap with the part of this policy that talks about the "pseudoscience" label, but that part of the policy is quite clear and doesn't need expansion. ~Anachronist (talk) 01:20, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, maybe what you are bringing up is separable, but with the evolution of the thread I don't know exactly what you are proposing. I chose the "humans have landed on the moon" example to try to clarify. First, there is clarity (no dispute) on what it is saying. This means that everybody, even the people who are saying that we never landed on the moon would still agree on what "humans visited the moon means. Second, it is where there is an overwhelming agreement that the statement is accurate, but there are still some (fringe) differing views. So saying that "humans landed on the moon" could be considered to be a value-laden statement in a "contested" area, and thus something that you might be accidentally banning. I think that what you are really after is an unnecessary-to-the-statement value-laden wording. So one can write "some people believe that the moon landings were staged." but not "some people wrongly believe that the moon landings were staged." (?) North8000 (talk) 05:08, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that's my point: inserting value-judgment words in Wikipedia's voice detract from the impartial tone expected of an encyclopedia. There's no problem if the phrase were quoted or properly attributed to a source in prose, for example "NASA Director John Smith acknowledged, 'some people wrongly believe the moon landings were staged.'" Wikipedia's voice isn't being used then, and the word "wrongly" is perfectly fine.
We have a guideline WP:LABEL that covers specific terms in article prose. What I am proposing is a 2-sentence clarification in the "Impartial tone" section of this policy, supplemented by WP:LABEL, that it isn't acceptable to use value-judgments in Wikipedia's narrative voice. The entire purpose of my proposal is to head off pointless arguments such as the two I linked previously. ~Anachronist (talk) 21:36, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

Rename to "Plural point of view"?

I'm not well versed in this philosophy, but I've enjoyed trying to apply NPOV as I understand it. Striving to outgrow my own biases, and representing or at least being open to perspectives other than my own is a skill I'd love to improve in my writing, and in life in general.

However, I find the "neutral" label problematic and it brings connotations that echo unpleasant, reactionary rhetoric I remember from my adolescence in the USA of the 1990's and 2000's, such as Fox News's "Real Journalism," "Fair & Balanced" slogans, and objectivity, the existence of which has been arguable for over a century.

What I see on this content page is something I would not label as "neutral" POV, because that sounds like it suggests a single, homogenous POV probably aligned with the status quo. Getting over this misunderstanding has been a huge hurdle for me.

I would explain WP:NPOV instead as suggestions written to help editors achieve a "plural" point of view, and I would like to move that we consider renaming the pillar to reduce the potential for confusion.

Thanks, Adamw (talk) 23:53, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

Our articles can discuss external singular POVs (if significant)... but to remain neutral, we need to discuss them with attribution. Stating: "X is bad" may not be neutral... but stating: "According to Y, X is bad" can be.
Articles can also discuss multiple points of view if they are significant, weighted according to coverage in reliable sources to avoid WP:UNDUE emphasis on one view. Whether singular or multiple, we are still striving to present points of view in a neutral, dispassionate, and impartial fashion, so I believe the title of this policy is appropriate. ~Anachronist (talk) 21:42, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
While I appear to be somewhat late to the discussion, I have to wonder: why should we avoid using the word "neutral", which has a fairly clear meaning, just because some media outlets which claim to be neutral are not? I would guess that nearly every common word has been abused in some way or another to refer to its opposite, but surely those are not good enough grounds to strike them out. Double sharp (talk) 15:09, 18 March 2017 (UTC)


The section on

Impartial tone uses the word impartial three separate times without much elaboration. For the sake of clarity and curbing redundancy, I would suggest rewriting the second paragraph of that section to something more like:

The tone and style of Wikipedia articles should not appear to endorse or reject a particular point of view. Try not to quote directly from participants engaged in a heated dispute; instead, summarize and present the arguments clearly and disinterestedly.

Sangdeboeuf (talk) 06:55, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Science and NPOV

On questions of science, what is the proper group to determine if a view is a majority view, minority view or fringe? Is it (a) everyone, (b) all scientists, (c) scientists in that field. Or is it based on RS? If there are RS that support multiple points of view on a scientific field does that automatically mean it is a majority/minority views (or equal), and not fringe? -Obsidi (talk) 17:02, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

WP:SCIRS probably has something on the point. --Izno (talk) 17:26, 8 April 2017 (UTC)
As well as similar advice at WP:MEDRS. Basically we're looking for views backed by reported published in peer-reviewed, non-predatory journals. --MASEM (t) 17:28, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

RfC on the WP:ANDOR guideline

Hi, all. Opinions are needed on the following: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#RfC: Should the WP:ANDOR guideline be softened to begin with "Avoid unless" wording or similar?. A WP:Permalink for it is here. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:10, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Is "pioneered" or "innovated" a neutral characterization?

No POV/NPOV argument made in the original discussion, so this thread is based on thin air, a.k.a. forum shopping. --Francis Schonken (talk) 11:42, 18 April 2017 (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.

I'm asking this because the growing consensus at this active CfD suggests that it isn't. You've probably seen "X is a pioneer of Y" in various articles. We also have many other categories of this nature (Category:Television pioneers, Category:Cinema pioneers, Category:Science pioneers, Category:Internet pioneers).

Merriam-Webster's definition of a pioneer:

  • a person or group that originates or helps open up a new line of thought or activity or a new method or technical development

  • one of the first to settle in a territory

Again, for innovator:

  • to introduce as or as if new

  • to effect a change in

So basically, is it POV to note "Blaise Pascal is a pioneer of calculating machines", "Socrates is a pioneer of Western philosophy", or "Chuck Berry is a pioneer of rock and roll"? --Ilovetopaint (talk) 11:20, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

It depends on the sources. If a term is used by multiple reliable sources when discussing the subject, then it is fine for Wikipedia to use the term, as we would be neutrally repeating what the sources say. If the term isn't supported by sources, however, then we would be inserting our own POV by using the term. Blueboar (talk) 11:29, 18 April 2017 (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.

Citation overkill proposal at WP:Citation overkill talk page

Opinions are needed on the following: Wikipedia talk:Citation overkill#Citations. A permalink for it is here. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 06:21, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 22 May 2017

This article does not have the required neutral point of view and should be edited and/or deleted. While sources are used, they are speculative. Morris1956 (talk) 03:23, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

Not done: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the page Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. If possible, please make your request at the talk page for the article concerned. If you cannot edit the article's talk page, you can instead make your request at Wikipedia:Requests for page protection#Current requests for edits to a protected page. —KuyaBriBriTalk 03:36, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

How to describe the Emmett Till case in the lead sentence of the Emmett Till article

Opinions are needed on the following matter: Talk:Emmett Till#RfC: Should we include the "accused of showing an interest in a white woman" aspect in the lead or specifically the lead sentence?. A WP:Permalink for it is here. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 16:55, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

Note: A significant potion of the debate concerns this policy, for those wondering why I listed this RfC here. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 18:55, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

Military history FA/GA discussion

MilHist project is hosting a discussion on GA / FA articles some of which have been tagged for undue weight. The discussion can be found here:

Interested editors are invited to participate. K.e.coffman (talk) 21:56, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

Listing order of parents as man followed by woman - is this standard protocol and if so is it neutral?

I wondered, in terms of the neutrality policy, about the many articles I've read in which the subject's parents are listed as the father first then the mother.

ie Donald Duck was born in XXXX to his father Mr Ronald Duck and and his mother Mrs Flappy Duck.

Is this the standard wikipedia order? If I edit articles to reverse the order, is this going against wiki protocol - i.e. if I edit

Donald Duck was born in XXXX to his mother Ms Flappy Duck and his father Mr Ronald Duck.

Is it standard wikipedia protocol to put father first then mother and if so what is the thinking behind that protocol?

Many thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by Perry Bill (talkcontribs) 15:31, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

That's just the way it's been done for the last 10,000-ish years. It's not right, it's not wrong, it just IS. (FWIW, married couples are formally referred to as Husband, Wife, informally as "whichever is less jarring to the ear.") — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:38, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

Thanks very much for your considered and v helpful reply. I note on Alison Bechtel's entry the mother is listed first then the father. So I guess there are exceptions within Wikipedia but perhaps they are just because of the personal preference of specific editors. In Who's Who sons are generally listed first, then daughters, irrespective of the age of the children. So that suggests a notion that male children are seen as more important (in the Who's Who world not mine!) than female children. So a further question: are we actually being non-neutral by putting father then mother, because we are conforming to old ideas about men being more important than women? I don't have a definite answer to this, but wanted to make sure my entries are as neutral as possible - in line with wikipedia guide lines. Many thanks again - Perry Bill Perry Bill (talk) 10:50, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Who's Who is generally conforming to the rules regarding inheiritance (titles and property) in which traditionally (and legally still in many cases) the male children of any age would inherit before the female. Only in death does duty end (talk) 11:03, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Thanks very much for this note re: Who's Who. Yes, I agree absolutely about inheritance. Male children inherited before female because they were/are seen as more important in those societies, and legal structures discriminated/discriminate against women in favour of men. But is this defined on wikipedia as a neutral position? Or does wikipedia aim to reflect traditional mores - i.e. if something is traditionally the case, does wikipedia define this as a 'neutral' position? Does this just apply to gender or also to race and class? Thanks very much again - Perry Bill (talk) 08:24, 16 June 2017 (UTC)Perry Bill

As far as I am aware 'Wikipedia' does not address it explicitly - leaving it up to individual editors. The place to go for a discussion on that would be associated with the manual of style (WP:MOS) which does have all sorts of pointless guidelines on things however. Generally most literate editors will follow their day-to-day usage. If you want to do it in strict age order (or random) I doubt anyone would complain. But the best place to find out if anyone is likely to complain would be at the MOS talkpages. Only in death does duty end (talk) 08:55, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Great - thanks very much. Will refer to the manual of style -which as you say looks as if it has a complete tonne of guidelines! But also good to know that you think age or random order would probably be alright as well. Many thanks again = Perry BillPerry Bill (talk) 09:24, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

essay "NPOV dispute"

top-level impact essay WP:NPOV dispute was confusingly marked by related tags Template:Essay and Template:Wikipedia how-to. Though the lines are blurry those are different fish, see Wikipedia:Project_namespace. In addition, since its rated top level impact, it seemed like it [{Template:Supplement]] was a better fit. There are no definite rules on usage of that tag, but there is a vague notion that there should be consensus at the essay page or the policies being explained. In a related edit, on this page there is a section title "essays", under which there was a category listing for NPOV disputes, which I changed to point to essay NPOV dispute.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 20:00, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

weight based on primary sources?

I was surprised to see that WP:WEIGHT doesn't mention anything about primary vs. secondary sources (or, alternatively, about sources being independent of the subject). Isn't it fair to say that, in general, weight is established by secondary sources (and/or sources independent of the subject)? There are exceptions, perhaps, but it seems like a common theme in many disputes over weight. For example, a non-notable award given to a person, covered only in press releases from either the award organization or the recipient, would not have sufficient weight to include in an article about that person. That seems fairly straightforward. We would need secondary sources independent of the subject to cover it first, otherwise there's nothing separating it from an award I invent tomorrow and send out press releases for. Is there a reason I'm not thinking of not to include something along these lines? — Rhododendrites talk \\ 04:55, 3 August 2017 (UTC)

If the sources, although primary, are independent of the recipient, then this is different from a self-conferred award. and if the awarding entity is notable, or close to notable, even if the particular award is not, that gives it some weight, in my view. DES (talk)DESiegel Contribs 22:27, 3 August 2017 (UTC)

Discussion about moving the Genderqueer article

Opinions are needed on the following matter: Talk:Genderqueer#Requested move 1 August 2017. A permalink for it is here. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 00:44, 4 August 2017 (UTC)

Using "illicit" to describe Letourneau's interaction with Fualaau at Mary Kay Letourneau article

Opinions are needed on the following matter: Talk:Mary Kay Letourneau#Regarding "illicit". A permalink for it is here. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 17:35, 21 August 2017 (UTC)


What would the opposite of this be? Wikipedia:Non-neutral point of view or Wikipedia:Biased point of view or something else? ScratchMarshall (talk) 23:23, 22 August 2017 (UTC)

POV, as in WP:POVPUSH or WP:Civil POV pushing. Jytdog (talk) 04:15, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
@Jytdog: Sorry, I have to disagree. A neutral POV is still a POV, not an antonym. The "neutral" bit refers to the style in which the POV is described, ie. factually. A POV which is described in a non-neutral way, is one in which an editor embellishes the description without a corresponding source, or bases a statement on an insignificant number of sources. For example, describing The Beatles as the best band in the world, is not neutral, and reads as the opinion of an editor. Describing certain sources which have described The Beatles as the "best band in the world" may be neutral. I believe that @ScratchMarshall: is correct, that the opposite of NPOV is non-NPOV, and I think that "biased" also sums it up. Of course if you wish to describe an embellished non-neutral POV as one that is being pushed by an editor, then fine, but I would argue that this does not assume good faith, and may be down to poor judgement, bad use of English, or lack of awareness of other sources. --Iantresman (talk) 14:22, 26 August 2017 (UTC)

I like biased as WP:BPOV seems more distinctive than WP:NNPOV. Either way it would be nice to have a cognate article explaining the opposite of NPOV explained in a flip. ScratchMarshall (talk) 15:11, 26 August 2017 (UTC)

What about just WP:BIAS? this would be more clear to new editors. Tornado chaser (talk) 15:27, 26 August 2017 (UTC) I diden't realize WP:BIAS already referred to something, I think POV works fine. Tornado chaser (talk) 15:59, 26 August 2017 (UTC)
Articles are full of POVs, that are described neutrally. POV is not the opposite of NPOV. The "N" stands for "neutral", not "non". --Iantresman (talk) 16:18, 26 August 2017 (UTC)
We also have to be careful describing POVs as "biased". Articles on any specific POV are intrinsically "biased" in their coverage of that POV. Some editors seem to think that this fails WP:NPOV since the mere mention of a POV (irrespective of whether it is described neutrally), amounts to "pushing" that POV. --Iantresman (talk) 16:21, 26 August 2017 (UTC)

Article Evaluation

Is the article neutral? Are there any claims, or frames, that appear heavily biased toward a particular position? The information included in the article is neutral and there are no signs of bias present. Latriceetheresa (talk) 04:11, 31 August 2017 (UTC)

What article? Tornado chaser (talk) 03:06, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
I'm going to throw out a guess based on the contents of the above user's sand box: Is this the article you are talking about @Latriceetheresa:? If so, what specifically prompted you to use this notice board? If there's a specific issue with the article, the talk page for the article would be the place to address it. If you are setting a class assignment (again, just guessing) then directing your class to look at the questions in your sand box would be more than sufficient. Edaham (talk) 08:43, 6 September 2017 (UTC)