Wikipedia talk:Proposed deletion of biographies of living people

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Category:BLP articles proposed for deletion  · Template:Prod blp  · Template:Prod blp/doc  · Template:ProdwarningBLP

RfC: Articles with only IMDb references eligible for BLPPROD?[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Summary:-There is a strong consensus to oppose the proposal that articles with only references to Internet Movie Database be made eligible for WP:BLPPROD.
Rationale:-Allmost all the editors have supported working in the lines of the KISS principle.The argument that the quality of a source is best evaluated at an AfD and that there are several other venues available for getting rid of poorly sourced articles are strong enough.Some of the discussants seem to be considerate towards the enactment of such sticky prods in articles concerned with the corporation and business; which seems to attract a lot of spam.Winged Blades Godric 11:51, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

I propose that articles with only references to the Internet Movie Database should still be eligible for BLPPROD. Looking at SP:NPF, we've got a dead person with only an IMDb reference (Ken Parry), but a quick look doesn't show any living. However, even this month I have located some.

IMDb consists of user-generated content, which therefore poses risks that the person is a hoax or has information that is incorrect. IMDb is used as an external link in many articles, including quite a few that use it as an only source. IMDb is certainly not reliable, let alone good to be used as an only source. Those are reasons why I have placed this RfC up. If this gets accepted, then bot Twinkle and Page Curation should be notified. Additional options could include a short grandfather clause for current article affected, and an extended timeframe between the tagging and the deletion. J947(c) 04:46, 15 April 2017 (UTC)



  1. Support as nominator. J947(c) 04:46, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
  2. Support. I've seen a lot of articles using IMDb as an only source throughout the year, including BLPs, and if those BLPs could go to BLPPROD it would be great because it would remove lots of unreferenced content from the encyclopedia. Luis150902 (talk | contribs) 06:39, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
  3. Support Doesn't go far enough, IMHO, but it would be a start. It would make thing more complex, but perhaps a template that mentions IMDb could be created to slightly reduce the confusion. Yeryry (talk) 17:03, 9 May 2017 (UTC)


  1. Oppose. As it is, BLPPROD is already too hard to understand. Changing one of the rules to "No sources means no sources--except IMDb" will only make the process that much more unusably complicated. I'd sooner change the eligibility bar to "no reliable sources" but I don't think that's likely to happen either. Innisfree987 (talk) 06:09, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
    Comment @Innisfree987: I actually think there's a chance it would happen if proposed. I frequently have to explain and defend myself when I remove BLPPROD tags that shouldn't have been placed because there was a source. It's clear to me that many people think BLPPROD means "no reliable sources". That's why I wrote an essay. Adam9007 (talk) 21:39, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
    I think you're completely right Adam9007 about how it's often interpreted--indeed that's the exact mistake I made when I first tried to use it. Even though I read the directions start to finish three times, it was just too confusing that there are two different sourcing standards, one for applying the tag and a different one for removing it. But that issue is biggest among people who don't usually use the process. My guess is that folks engaged enough with BLPPROD to participate in an RfC may have a different perspective on it, and different priorities. Can't hurt to ask though, if you or someone else wanted to! Innisfree987 (talk) 22:33, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
  2. Oppose. BLPPROD is for unsourced articles, not poorly sourced articles, which can be subject to the standard PROD process. The Big Bad Wolfowitz (aka Hullaballoo). Treated like dirt by many administrators since 2006. (talk) 12:12, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
  3. Oppose keep it as simple as possible, no sources saves time Atlantic306 (talk) 18:37, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
  4. Oppose per Hullabaloo. The KISS principle applies, and there are few enough of these that modifying this process is inadvisable. Jclemens (talk) 22:02, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
  5. If we were to broaden the concept of sticky prods we should keep it simple, but also keep it targeted at our biggest risks and problems. So if we were to broaden sticky prod it would be better to broaden it against corporations and spam. ϢereSpielChequers 10:16, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
  6. Oppose The case of Ken Parry is not a significant problem. I have no trouble finding additional sources for that actor such as The Stage but many editors seem to struggle with such searches and so it would be disruptive to go tag bombing such cases rather than assisting. Note also that the actor in question is dead and so talk of BLP is in poor taste. Andrew D. (talk) 11:52, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
  7. Oppose AfD works fine for non-notable people. WereSpeilChequers is right in that the most logical expansion would be for corps and spam. TonyBallioni (talk) 04:28, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
  8. Oppose the policy needs to be kept clear and unambiguous. If we add this then the obvious question is why we don't allow other specific examples of unreliable sources as well (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc). This would result in either an unworkable enormous list of specific examples or a general statement which would be open to argument and misinterpretation. There are plenty of other processes available for getting rid of poorly sourced articles. Hut 8.5 18:00, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
  9. Oppose—considering the difficulties at NPP, less ambiguity would seem to be a good thing. And, if the technique is to be considered, WereSpielChequers would seem to have it right. — Neonorange (Phil) 18:11, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
  10. Oppose If we are talking about the initial tagging. (If we can remove the BLPProD for a link to twitter on initial tagging, then we should definitely remove for IMDB present on initial tagging.) Probably should not be considered RS for the purpose of removing tag if it were properly applied in the first place. The quality of the source is often best left to AfD.Dlohcierekim (talk) 09:35, 20 May 2017 (UTC)



  • @J947: I was in the middle of writing a reply, when I found I wasn't sure what was being proposed... Is it:
  1. Confirm that IMDb is not a reliable source, to prevent the removal of BLPPROD tags that were added prior to the addition of (only) an IMDb link.
  2. Make an exception for the adding of the tag, so that BLP articles having only an IMDb link may be tagged
I'm guessing it's 2, and going by the votes, others seem to think so too, but it'd be good to make sure. Yeryry (talk) 15:02, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
  • 2. Reading below, 1 already is instated. J947(c) 18:50, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
That's right, 1 is already policy. Innisfree987 (talk) 18:56, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Ok, as I thought... In that case, why just IMDb... Why not include, linkedin, amazon, social media, person's-own-web-site, and other unsuitable sources? Yeryry (talk) 22:32, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
think its simpler as it is otherwise the list of bad sources will grow and grow, there is always a normal prod for badly referenced pages Atlantic306 (talk) 22:41, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
It would be ambiguous if it was all unreliable sources eligible, as there would be unnessasary discussions whether a references is reliable or not. IMDb is the main problem. Also, PRODs are based on notability and not referencing. J947(c) 03:07, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
A number of prods are for poor referencing and can lead to improvement of the refs if there is a clear explanation in the prod rationale Atlantic306 (talk) 17:35, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Normal PROD is all but useless for newly created pages. AfD may work, but is rather overkill for things that should be easy enough to get rid of. BLPPROD is already pretty useless, so anything that lets it be used more is good.
To avoid the problem of which sources should be in the "bad" list, making it "any unreliable source" would actually make the whole thing less complex than it is now, as the criteria for tagging would then be the same as for removal. Yeryry (talk) 17:16, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Where it's unclear whether a source is unreliable or not , particularly non-English sources, would cause problems as a lot of sources are on the borderline with disagreements about whether a source is reliable or unreliable, apart from the obvious ones Atlantic306 (talk) 17:29, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

What about twitter[edit]

let me lay on you Saharul Ridzwan. Only link is to his twitter account, which does name him. And has a very flattering picture, I might add.Dlohcierekim (talk) 09:25, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

In other words[edit]

if we say, "John Seigenthaler Sr. was the assistant to Attorney General Robert Kennedy in the early 1960s" and put a citation for that fact, then we can say whatever we want in the rest of the article, and it won't be eligible for deletion under this rule. Mister Ernest Thayer (talk) 15:19, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

It's true that BLPPROD couldn't be used in that scenario. (Whether we can say "whatever we want" is obviously governed by other policies.) But yes, at that point, a different deletion process would have to be used, as applicable: regular PROD, AfD, CSD, etc. Innisfree987 (talk) 15:25, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

Contradiction - What exactly is the ineligibility bar?[edit]

This policy seems to contradict itself about at which point a BLP article becomes ineligible for this process. Some parts say To be eligible for a BLPPROD tag, the entry must be a biography of a living person and contain no sources in any form (as references, external links, etc., reliable or otherwise) supporting any statements made about the person in the biography, whereas elsewhere it says Only add a BLPPROD if there are no sources in any form that name the subject. Which is it, and what exactly does it mean? Adam9007 (talk) 23:16, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

Ugh (to the inconsistency--good work Adam9007 for spotting it.) I'm just going to BOLDLY change this so both say "supporting any statements made about the person in the biography," as that's the standard I hear cited far more often. If anyone feels this is the wrong decision, please feel free to revert me and the group can have a discussion: I really am not wedded to a particular the outcome here, I just think it would be super if it got resolved without having to be an enormous timesink, if at all possible! Innisfree987 (talk) 23:57, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
@Innisfree987: Yeah, I had to do this after the hoo-ha on my talk page. Adam9007 (talk) 00:00, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
Agree with the edit, that's the interpretation I've always made Atlantic306 (talk) 00:02, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

Old BLPs (2004) and BLPProd?[edit]

What's our current practice of BLPPROD for old BLPs? 20004 creation, barely a stub, nothing contentious on an academic whose obvious publishing history is a clear pass for BLPN. However it's not easy or quick to find secondary sources on well-cited academics - if there are any, they're hidden behind the primary sources, and their citations (which aren't the type of secondary coverage we need).

I've just reverted a PROD on this - I can't see any way in which the encyclopedia is improved by such a deletion. But where does our policy stand on such? Andy Dingley (talk) 20:08, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

  • BLP PROD doesn't distinguish between different kinds of sources, as long as the source supports a statement in the article. So non-secondary sources such as the subject's academic website or papers written by the subject would mean the subject doesn't qualify for BLP PROD. Complete lack of third-party reliable sources would be a serious problem (see Wikipedia:Verifiability#Notability), but that's the kind of thing that would be dealt with using regular PROD or AfD. Also there was a point in late 2011 where there were no articles tagged as unreferenced BLPs (aside from a few in the deletion process), so if this one is completely unreferenced then either it wasn't recognised as an unreferenced BLP back then or it used to have some sources which have been removed since. Hut 8.5 20:50, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
It doesn't seem to have hit the BLP radar until 2015. Andy Dingley (talk) 09:18, 10 August 2017 (UTC)
@Andy Dingley: Given that there was at least one reference in a previous revision (in fact, from the first version of the entry), this entry was never eligible for BLPPROD and you were definitely correct to remove it. Even if it had been without sources in all revisions, adding a primary source would still usually be enough to remove the BLPPROD (e.g. if the entry says he worked on X and you can reference a paper he wrote on X, that's a reliable source supporting a claim in the entry--it's ok if that that source is primary.) As for other deletion processes that might apply, I think the relevant policy would be WP:NACADEMIC; if I'm not mistaken, this special notability guideline exists pretty much exactly because of the issue you're describing re: secondary sources.
But in any case, no need to worry about secondary sources for the BLPPROD process specifically, just other processes like AfD, regular PROD (which you can still use on BLPs), etc. Hope that helps! Innisfree987 (talk) 17:11, 10 August 2017 (UTC)
That (his academia homepage) is too primary to really support it, IMHO. Plenty of stuff gets deleted with less.
I put some work in on it last night, but was still having trouble finding good secondaries on him personally. Someone today clearly disagreed anyway and re-prodded it. Andy Dingley (talk) 17:33, 10 August 2017 (UTC)
His academia homepage, though deadlinked now, (since fixed!) at least confirmed his place of employment as stated in the entry, so definitely the page was ineligible for BLPPROD. Whether it should be deleted under a different process is probably a subject for the entry's talk page; I'll weigh in there, if I can get a handle on what the debate even is, I'm honestly confused by the blanking. Innisfree987 (talk) 18:12, 10 August 2017 (UTC)
There is such a rush to delete this article today: [1] [2] [3] that I'm wondering if I shouldn't just AfD it and leave them to it. Welcome to Wikipedia. Why do we do this again? 8-( Andy Dingley (talk) 20:09, 10 August 2017 (UTC)
I actually had the same thought about AfD, that there it would attract the attention of folks who deal with academic notability all the time and the matter'd be easily settled. But it looks like a good number of folks are weighing in at the talk page so hopefully it can be resolved that way... Yeesh! Innisfree987 (talk) 20:42, 10 August 2017 (UTC)