Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not

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Expanding NOTPLOT[edit]

There's currently a (mildly contentious and frequently debated) rule under "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information" that prohibits "Summary-only descriptions of works." I think this should be clearer that it refers not only to plot summaries, but also to articles that solely describe or summarise the fictional universe of a novel (e.g. places, people, science-fiction concepts and inventions, and other fictional background information).

The rationale is that if these materials are not discussed in third-party sources, then they're not notable and therefore don't belong in Wikipedia; additionally such articles frequently contain elements of original research, to offer theories and interpretations, and to fill in gaps, which also doesn't belong here.

The basic wording is OK, but should add something like "This applies to articles which merely describe the novel's world, including plot, settings, characters, and concepts, based entirely or largely on primary or in-universe sources."

Apologies if this has been discussed and rejected before, but while I could see a lot of debate on other aspects of this rule, I didn't see anything making this suggestion. Colapeninsula (talk) 11:36, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

  • support not sure exactly how it should be worded, but clarity would help. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 11:42, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support per PLOT, WP:FICTION, WP:UNDUE, etc. This should also apply to descriptions of nonfictional works. — (talk) 17:14, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Though we should be careful that things like lists of characters which may only be sourced to the work itself are generally acceptable as long as they are terse on each character/entry. Long rambling descriptions and fictional bios of a character without third-party sources definitely fall afoul of NOT#PLOT. --MASEM (t) 17:45, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
    • Or when we have no other content about the work. If a reasonably sized article devoted to plot or characters is spun off from a huge article about the work itself, that’s fine. — (talk) 07:57, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
      • YEah, the lists I'm talking about are really only appropriate if the work is long, likely serialized (tv show or such), and already well sourced and lengthy that the character list cannot fit comfortably in the main article on the work. --MASEM (t) 14:17, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: The "and therefore don't belong in Wikipedia" part is not entirely true. We discuss non-WP:Notable aspects in articles about fiction. In other words, not all of it is WP:Notable. And a WP:Reliable source noting or discussing something doesn't mean it's WP:Notable. The point is that the Wikipedia article should pass the WP:Notability guideline, and we shouldn't be giving WP:Undue weight to any aspect, including plot detail. That stated, I've seen editors create WP:Spinout articles just to split off character/plot detail when it doesn't seem that the character/plot detail needs its own Wikipedia article. Not every show needs a List of characters article, for example. Also, with this, this, this, this and this edit, I alerted WP:Film and WP:TV editors to this discussion. Flyer22 (talk) 08:54, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. It probably won't stem the tide of plot-only articles on science fiction topics, but who knows. I don't think that novels should be singled out. The problem exists for every form of media. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 09:51, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Speaking of books, I also alerted WP:WikiProject Novels and WP:WikiProject and here. Flyer22 (talk) 12:18, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, as per reasons already stated above, but do agree with the cautions raised by Masem and Flyer22 Onel5969 TT me 12:36, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with Masem on the need to be careful. A clarification of the section (not expansion, as it already covers discussing a work's content without context at any article) should not have the effect to remove valid list articles. Lists like List of female detective characters or List of DC Comics characters named Batman may not be perfect, but they can become the basis of articles like Bond girls if they're allowed to grow; there should not be a policy that mandates deleting them. Diego (talk) 15:39, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • My inclination is that WP:WAF in combination with the current WP:NOTPLOT already handle this quite nicely. --Izno (talk) 15:42, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, BUT I would remove "or largely" from the last sentence. Articles based "entirely on" primary sources is what WP:NOTPLOT forbids. The word "largely" is subject to interpretation and thus dilutes the effectiveness of the policy. -- Wikipedical (talk) 19:22, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • From WP:RS, primary sources are the best ones for the polot of a work; most secondary sources are much less reliable for this. DGG ( talk ) 18:09, 11 August 2015 (UTC)`

Why shouldn't it be an indiscriminate collection of information?[edit]

Setting aside technical issues like server space and similar, what other reasons would there be to not include all known verifiable info? (talk) 07:02, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

For one thing, it would be a complete mess. An article could be about anything at all, going off on tangents not even remotely related to the supposed subject, or listing pages and pages of completely inconsequential data, as long as a source could be cited. How would that be helpful to a reader researching that subject?
To put it simply: Encyclopedias are not indiscriminate. We are making an encyclopedia. (talk) 04:39, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

I second's points. --Rubbish computer 11:01, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

Then maybe we shouldn't be making an encyclopedia. And as far as I'm concerned, no data is inconsequential. If it's cited, they can find the source themselves, just like now. (talk) 00:35, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
If we didn’t want to make an encyclopedia, we wouldn’t be editing Wikipedia. You are absolutely free to create a wiki to serve as a repository of all possible information about everything, if you wish; you can load the MediaWiki software on your own server, or you can use a site like Wikia (not sure if that site imposes limitations), or you can join such a project that someone else may have started. I can’t imagine the space requirements for something like that, but good luck! — (talk) 03:24, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
It is clear that has never actually had a dialogue with a diagnosed schizophrenic or attempted to read their writings. Anyone who has actually worked with the severely mentally ill would never entertain such a frivolous proposition. --Coolcaesar (talk) 07:31, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

RfC: Should we add a footnote to WP:NOTHOWTO/WP:NOTFAQ stating that it does not apply to redirects?[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.
Consensus is against making an exception for redirects. Esquivalience t 04:45, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Over the past week, there have been around 100 nominations at Redirects for Discussion that apply WP:NOTHOWTO/WP:NOTFAQ very broadly to mean that redirects in the form of "How to ______" or in the form of a question are subject to deletion based primarily on the fact that the term used for the redirect represents a search for a "how to" or question. I propose that the NOTHOWTO and NOTFAQ sections be altered to contain a footnote that reads as follows:

"The how-to and FAQ restrictions apply only to the text in articles themselves. In particular, plausible search terms formatted as a how-to or FAQ may be appropriate redirects, provided that they meet all other policies and guidelines."

Do you support the above clarification of the policy? ~ RobTalk 00:34, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

  • "Do you support the above clarification of the policy?" "Clarification" isn't really a good way to put it, "change" would be more fitting. As the policy stands, it applies generally to "Wikipedia" (as a whole), not just certain places within it. I suppose if you see the current state of those parts of the policy you mentioned as unclear or ambiguous, I can understand that wording. I don't view it that way.Godsy(TALKCONT) 05:58, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
  • The text of NOTHOWTO/NOTFAQ is proceeded by "Wikipedia articles should not read like:", which I interpret to mean that the policy only applies to articles. This was the rationale for my wording. ~ RobTalk 02:13, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
  • I guess it depends on how you view a redirect, and I've expressed my opinion on that below, no need for me to reiterate it here. Respectfully,Godsy(TALKCONT) 06:09, 9 August 2015 (UTC)


  1. Support as proposer. I think it is clear that NOTHOWTO and NOTFAQ were intended to apply to article content, not plausible search terms. Removing plausible search terms due to these policies makes it harder to navigate the wiki and achieve our goal of connecting anyone to the information they're seeking. ~ RobTalk 00:36, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
  2. Support in the general sense - in that hard-nose application of NOTHOWTO can be a problem outside of prose, but I do think that some of these where the redirects are trying to play the semantic web idea, are not necessary - otherwise the possibilities could be endless. Some might be appropriate, like "Who shot JR?" is a valid phrase from the Dallas TV show, not enough for its own article, but things like "How noise pollution affect our health" is not really a likely search term in the scope of WP's purpose. Let Google handle the semantic web algorithms. --MASEM (t) 01:44, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
    We should probably avoid discussion of specific ongoing discussions due to concerns of WP:CANVASSing. In cases like you described, though, our other policies, guidelines, and general consensuses can be weighed to decide. Implausible redirects do not need this policy to support a deletion. ~ RobTalk 03:52, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
  3. Qualified support. In general I support the concept that a redirect page need not conform to the WP:NOTHOWTO rules, but I have a nervousness that the concept of a how to might creep into the articles redirected to, or into sections of them. My qualified support is that we need, somehow, and ideally on that redirect, to make it clear that the page redirected to is not intended nor expected to be a hot to guide. I realise that Joe User never sees that, but Freda Editor does, and it is to Freda Editor that this is to be addressed. Fiddle Faddle 15:48, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
  4. strong support. While not every FAQ-style or How-to style title will make a good redirect, many will and each must be evaluated on their own merits. There should not be any general statement that they are good or bad. Thryduulf (talk) 15:55, 16 August 2015 (UTC)


  1. Weak oppose Readers entering FAQ-like search terms in the search box may be looking for FAQ-like content in articles, and thus, they will not find that content and might spend a long time searching what they are looking for, by the way, I never search for something in the for of an FAQ on Google because it is a waste of time and no major difference than just entering major search terms. - TheChampionMan1234 04:29, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
  2. Oppose the FAQ-like redirects also violate the spirit of WP:NOTFAQ, since if Wikipedia is not a FAQ repository, why does it answer FAQ questions? What purpose do FAQ-question-redirects serve if not to provide links to answers for FAQs? Having found that these exist can encourage the proliferation of FAQ-like question redirects for all the various forms that such questions may be phrased, and to the limits of vagueness, thus establishing WP:SYSTEMATICBIAS when answering FAQ questions, since "Who is the president" redirecting to Obama is obviously highly biased, as Xi Jinping is president (or Robert Mugabe, etc). And any that are temporally related (such as "who is president") would also need to be tracked and changed every time it changed, presenting an large workload to keep these things up to date for no perceptible advantage. -- (talk) 04:51, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
    WP:RECENTISM applies to all content, including redirects. Regardless of the result of this RfC, the redirects you described are not supported by existing policies and guidelines. ~ RobTalk 05:12, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
    That was an example. RECENTISM doesn't apply to what led to civil war, which is what you voted to keep, even though it pointed to the American Civil War, and not say, the English Civil War, or Chinese Civil War, the thing in Ukraine, the thing in Iraq, etc. As I said, these come in a myriad of forms, having no set way of phrasing such questions, and would lead to a build-up of systematic bias, such as favoring US topics like the American Civil War. -- (talk) 13:59, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
  3. Oppose. Any statement on Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not applies to Wikipedia as a whole. The entire page can be interpreted any way any editor chooses to interpret it, and telling editors that certain parts only apply to certain parts or aspects of Wikipedia is a combination of unnecessary bureaucracy and instruction creep. If someone doesn't agree with a bold action another editor may take due to the other editor not agreeing with another editor's interpretation of any guideline on the Wikipedia namespace, they can revert and discuss. This applies here too. Steel1943 (talk) 05:03, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
  4. Strong Oppose The most basic definition of a redirect is an alternative title for an article (See WP:RPURPOSE for more). A lot of "how"s, "why"s, "where"s, etc., which now have a rationale for deletion with WP:WWIN, would not if this proposal were to pass. We don't need to phrase redirects in this manner: the search engine makes it unnecessary, and they are not proper for an encyclopedia. They do not help but hinder: drifting through countless redirects during a search only to end up at the same target is pointless. Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not applies to the whole of Wikipedia, why should it be any different for redirects?Godsy(TALKCONT) 05:45, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
  5. Oppose per the TheChampionMan,, Steel1943 and Godsy above. Instruction creep is rarely advisable, and making an exception to WP:NOT which could lead to a proliferation of redirects which give a misleading impression of how Wikipedia is structured seems a particularly bad idea. AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:48, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
  6. Oppose. This isn't a policy issue; however, I would support clarification in appropriate guidelines, which would have to include those RfD nominations that are not actually questions nor phrased as "how-to". Many of what amount to good search terms that are not questions nor how-to phrased are being nominated as "QA" and "FAQ" that are neither, and yet editors keep blindly !voting "delete" without even questioning this. The babies are going out with the bathwater. – Paine  10:05, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
  7. Oppose Strong Oppose as What Wikipedia is Not applies to the encyclopedia as a whole. Redirects such as these give the misleading impression that Wikipedia is a FAQ where questions are typed in and answers are given, rather than an encyclopedia where a name is typed in for an article on the subject. --Rubbish computer 10:59, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
  8. Oppose carving out exceptions to the policy, per comments above, ChampionMan in particular, and I agree that this RfC as written is not a policy issue. I am interested in whether or not project-wide consensus supports these redirects, and this is a fine place to have the discussion, but the most we should take out of this is maybe adding a section to WP:RFDOUTCOMES, not a matter of changing policies. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 14:51, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
  9. Oppose. People asking FAQ questions will be looking for FAQ answers, and they won't find them on Wikipedia. This would cause substantial confusion, when the whole purpose having redirects is to minimize it. Compassionate727 (talk) 15:53, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
  10. Oppose. The way to search on an encylopaedia is to search for WP:NOUNs. If anything, all these "What is" redirects should go to the WP:REFDESK. The "What is" or "How to" and so on are redundant: if you want to know what is a cat, you search for cat, not what is a cat or what is a cat?. Those in support are putting extra work at the gnomes like me at WP:RFD to sort it out, with no fruition, were this proposal to be accepted. It makes it worse also for searching stuff, WP:RHARMFUL if people get a WP:SURPRISE if they end up at the "wrong" topic. (See the ongoing discussion at RfD for What is a Jew?, for example: where I've suggested a retarget either to Jew or Judaism, which are distinct topics.) Si Trew (talk) 07:20, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
  11. Oppose. It's "What Wikipedia is not" ... not "What Wikipedia articles are not". The policy applies to redirects just the same precisely because we're not any of those things. We don't create redirects that are dictionary definitions per WP:NOT#DIC, redirects that are lyrics per WP:NOTLYRICS, and I've seen redirects deleted per WP:NOTGUIDE, WP:NOTPRICE, WP:NOTPROMO, WP:NOTWIKIA, etc. It's best to discuss redirects individually at RFD, where people can discuss each individually, instead of instruction creep because WP:NOTFAQ specifically discusses articles (as it should, because that's more important to this policy). -- Tavix (talk) 17:33, 10 August 2015 (UTC)


How have those nominations turned out? If they’ve passed consensus, I’d argue that NOTHOWTO and NOTFAQ should be altered to reflect that consensus rather than to deter it. That’s what our policy pages do. I could only support this proposal if they’ve been roundly rejected. — (talk) 04:45, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

The redirects are generally being deleted, having established RfD precedent for deletion along these lines -- (talk) 04:51, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
The problem with discussions at RfD is that they typically involve very few editors compared to the amount of people editing Wikipedia. That's more-or-less the purpose of this RfC: to determine what the general consensus of the project is on whether all redirects based as a question should be universally deleted or not. I'm trying to avoid a local consensus on how to interpret this policy from overriding what I perceive to be a larger community take on the issue, although it remains to be seen whether I'm right on what the community thinks about these. I should note that the current text of the policy already states that "Wikipedia articles should not read like:", implying that it was only ever intended to apply to articles. It does not say "all content". It's my position that the RfDs have been a misapplication of existing policy, and this footnote is to clarify existing policy, not make new policy. ~ RobTalk 05:11, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
I take it you’ve advertised this discussion at someplace like WP:VPP then? If not, please consider it; that’s a very commonly suggested way to help determine project-wide consensus on a policy issue. — (talk) 05:36, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
I have advertised the discussion at WP:VPP ([1]) and 67.70 has advertised it at WT:RFD ([2]). Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 14:36, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

This is getting snowy, and as the proposer, I would not oppose a close as such. ~ RobTalk 02:14, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for it. User:TheChampionMan1234 made me aware of it. Does seem to be WP:SNOWBALLing. Si Trew (talk) 07:23, 10 August 2015 (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.

@Esquivalience: After re-reading through this, it seems that at least 9/11 of the opposition not only oppose the suggested change, but hold the opinion that WP:NOT applies to Wikipedia as a whole. Though this wasn't directly the question being asked in the RfC: Do you think a slight alteration (changing "article" to "the encyclopedia" or "Wikipedia") of the text preceding the bullets of WP:NOTFAQ and WP:NOTDICT and maybe a couple others would reflect the consensus here?Godsy(TALKCONT) 21:40, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Does WP:NOT apply to redirects?[edit]

Boldly moved to WT:RFD#Does WP:NOT apply to redirects? Si Trew (talk)


Some more eyes on this discussion would be welcome.

It seems to me that both the spirit and the letter of WP:NOTCHANGELOG are being selectively disregarded in some of the comments, to the point where "I find it useful" appears to be trumping "Use reliable third-party (not self-published or official) sources in articles dealing with software updates to describe the versions listed or discussed in the article."

WP:NOTCHANGELOG no longer discourages tables, but it clearly still prohibits dumping a list of changes/releases whose primary (and often only) source is... the project's changelog.

chocolateboy (talk) 02:09, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

My only problem with WP:NOTCHANGELOG is that everyone is abusing "the rule" to delete any well sourced well reported on and notable changelogs with plenty of neutral 3rd party coverage claiming that all changelogs are unencyclopedic. I haven't heard the "useful" argument as often as I have heard the anti-changelogs (in general) arguments.
--Hoang the Hoangest (talk) 01:34, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
I think WP:CHANGELOG would benefit from a clarification inspired in the best parts of WP:Source list and WP:Stand-alone lists, of which changelog articles are a subset. A sentence or two encouraging editors to define selection criteria for the entries and a reminder on how to maintain WP:DUE WEIGHT should focus any discussion regarding changelogs, over the currently found "they belong/they don't belong" division. Diego (talk) 09:23, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
WP:PROSELINE is also a good essay to think about here, its the same problem as applied to an ongoing event. Listing major changes in software is completely reasonable, it's the fine details that may only be of significant interest to developers and power users that we should be drawing the line at. --MASEM (t) 14:19, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
If those fine details of interest to developers and power users are covered by multiple specialized third party sources, we should be fine with including them (possibly as a WP:SPLITted article, or a separate independent section if there's not enough material for a whole article). For example, every new release of Android, Windows Phone or iOS gets inordinary amounts of detailed coverage of every minor change to their user interfaces and available functions, so we could cover them with support from multiple sources.
It's the lack of independent coverage which makes some details count as unnecessary detail, not their technical nature - Wikipedia covers material of highly technical nature, it just needs to be well organized so that the general content comes first, and the technical jargon is explained. Diego (talk) 17:36, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Sometimes highly technical aspects may be of note, but at the same time, there are also other resources for that; we should not be compelled to include every listed changelog element just because it was mentioned in another source. As an example of a failure of NOT#CHANGELOG, IOS version history lists every little tiny detail that Apple probably published as the major changes in every single minor revision. We should not be documenting to that level. Listing the dates of the minor change releases make sense, but the changes that have occurred should be documented at a much higher level than what this list presently does. And because Apple is good in this fashion, if necessary, the table can include a link to Apple's own website with the details of the changelog. The level of detail for this list is inappropriate under WP:IINFO. --MASEM (t) 18:41, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
That's what I'm getting at. The strength of your argument does not lie in "IINFO says so" but on the "should be documented at a much higher level" - but merely because there are no third party sources covering that level; if they were, then the more detailed level would be adequate, not indiscriminate - same as with PLOT, LYRICS and STATISTICS, which get relevant when they get critical analysis at independent RSs. IINFO sets a general direction to follow, but doesn't provide any practical advice on how to define what is "indiscriminate"; that is left to the opinion of editors participating in each particular case. This implies that, when a different group of editors , they will get widely different results from the same guideline, turning every WP:NOT debate into a childish do not/do too. At least the criteria set up at WP:WEIGHT provide some objective standards (width and significance of the coverage in reliable sources) that may be used to bring editors into line under some external influence. Diego (talk) 20:47, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
However, in considering PLOT, LYRICS and STATISTICS, while secondary coverage does allow us to include more details than would be afforded if it was just primary sources, we also don't go overboard - for example, take any Shakespeare play which has been analyzed by literary critics in great detail. We don't get so far into the details of those analysis but cover broader themes of what these analysis typically hit, and then provide references for readers to learn more if they need that. Same here with changelogs. As another thing to consider with changelogs particularly of popular software, it does often end up the case that a third-party source will repeat the vendor's changelog verbatim, which does not make that a secondary source but a primary one. ("Here's version X.Y, and what you can expect! (copy + paste)"). We should be guided by the larger points that secondary sources hit, but be careful of going so far into the weeds on the tiny details of a changelog. We do not have nor should not be the last place that someone looking for detailed information will end at, otherwise we're no longer just summarizing source material. --MASEM (t) 22:32, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
But we do get into the details of what analysts have said!, sometimes with lengthy quotes. Shakespeare is the perfect example of how detailed we can get when there's an abundance of critical analysis; articles about scholarly commentary of Shakespeare's handwriting or spelling of his name are not "general summarized knowledge" about the author. Or should we be deleting all this indiscriminate cruft? Diego (talk) 06:13, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
Even there, that's still capturing the volumes of analysis that have been done on the play at a high level. And when it comes to secondary sources with regards to changelogs, there's rarely this deep of an analysis. A feature may be highlighted (I remember when one iOS update broke the alarm app for many, and so its update and fix were certainly covered) but the tiny details, like "adding landscape view" for an app is well into the land of trivia and IINFO for an encyclopedia, and where we can link to detailed sources for those that need it. --MASEM (t) 14:24, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
To me, if multiple independent, reliable, verifiable (or: MIRV) sources crow about how some change in an update will change the world, or it has the potential to change how a device or feature is used forever, or they’re just personally excited about it, that’s perfectly suitable for inclusion even if they turn out to be wrong (in which case any followup about how wrong they were should also be included). But if MIRV sources just state that the change exists, there’s no reason for us to mention it. And if you think I just added “verifiable” so I could be cute with the acronym, you’re right. — (talk) 22:44, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
The importaance of including changes depends on the context. As an encycopedia , WP covers things of importance--though there is no formal guideline for content corresponding to WP:N, it is none the less appropriate to include more detail for the subjects of greater importance. Considering the cases of a major general-purpose program widely used by tens of millions to a specialized niche program used by a few thousand, i In the first case , much more detail is appropriate DGG ( talk ) 04:39, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Text may inadvertently support unlawful use of copyright material[edit]

The following text (emphasis added) may inadvertently give the impression that copyrighted material is appropriate for Wikisource:

"Quotations from a song should be kept to a reasonable length relative to the rest of the article, and used to facilitate discussion, or to illustrate the style; the full text can be put on Wikisource and linked to from the article. Most song lyrics published after 1922 are protected by copyright, and any quotation of them must be kept to a minimum, and used for the purpose of direct commentary or to illustrate some aspect of the style."

would better read

"Quotations from a song should be kept to a reasonable length relative to the rest of the article, and used to facilitate discussion, or to illustrate the style; the full text of uncopyrighted or open-sourced songs can be put on Wikisource and linked to from the article. Most song lyrics published after 1922 are protected by copyright, and any quotation of them must be kept to a minimum, and used for the purpose of direct commentary or to illustrate some aspect of the style."

Thisisnotatest (talk) 08:45, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

Open-sourced songs are a thing? I’d say just “in the public domain” would do. Or maybe a link to Wikisource’s inclusion policy, as WP:NOTLINK has. — (talk) 15:17, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't know if open source songs are a thing, but they do exist. For example, they are being promoted at Creative Commons: Legal Music For Videos.
Wikisource specifically allows for some free content.
"Quotations from a song should be kept to a reasonable length relative to the rest of the article, and used to facilitate discussion, or to illustrate the style; the full text of public domain or certain free content songs can be put on Wikisource and linked to from the article; see Wikisource:WS:COPY. Most song lyrics published after 1922 are protected by copyright, and any quotation of them must be kept to a minimum, and used for the purpose of direct commentary or to illustrate some aspect of the style."
Thisisnotatest (talk) 18:13, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
That’s… not how open-source works… but anyway, I support this addition, because you’re right: it seems to say we can throw any lyrics up on Wikisource, which of course we can’t. — (talk) 03:54, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Crystal question[edit]

Hi, I was just wondering, for One Direction, can I change the years active to 2010-2016? Someone put a note saying it can't because it's Crystal, but it's been confirmed they will end? Elsewhere in the article says about their end, but it isn't counted at Crystal, which makes no sense. When Westlife announced in 2011 they would end the following year, their page was allowed to run as 1998-2012 so I don't see the issue here. CDRL102 (talk) 18:01, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

I mean their end is verifiable so does that not mean it's not Crystal and should be 2010-2016? CDRL102 (talk) 18:02, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

It is crystal in the fact that 2016 hasn't happened yet. The group could stop touring this year (despite the sources noting the plans to end in 2016); they could decide to continue after that point, there's a lot of things that could come up. As such its more premature to say that their years active are 2010-2016, but it is not premature to say that the group is expected to end in 2016 with sources. --MASEM (t) 18:17, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
And from what you say here, it sounds like Westlife was in violation of CRYSTAL during that time. — (talk) 03:43, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, if that was the case. --MASEM (t) 03:51, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

The elephant in the room[edit]

The current text of the not censored section may lead users to assume that the policy is primarily about a libertine attitude towards images in sexology articles. I am proposing the addition of language explaining why not being censored is the only intellectually coherent position that can preserve a large amount of Wikipedia's content given the global nature of the project. The moment that Wikipedia starts censoring sexology images, editors who believe that women should wear niqāb will start requesting that their sincerely held religious and moral beliefs should receive equal accommodation. Moreover, Wikipedia would have no principled basis for refusing them. If censorship of the project were to take root, Wikipedia would be subject to the burden of not offending any large portion of the world's population, forcing the removal of vast swaths of material. DavidLeighEllis (talk) 19:02, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

I've got to agree with much of this, though for somewhat different reasons. In the U.S., we have a population of religious folks who believe that heterosexuality is the only sexual orientation which exists or deserves to exist, a large population also believes the best sex education is ignorance and abstinence. While it appears true that heterosexuals are a majority around the world and in the U.S., sex education must acknowledge the other sexual orientations, homosexuality as well as asexuality. Consider the sexual who marries an opposite gender asexual because neither of them were aware of the asexual orientation, this is a pairing full of frustration for both partners. Censorship is never a good way to educate. The use of static as well as moving images is important to the education process for vast numbers of folks. Gzuufy (talk) 15:51, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not is not a soapbox... AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:34, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
It is worth pointing out that the word "education" is notably absent from WP:SOAPBOX. Perhaps the line between advocacy and education is thin. Gzuufy (talk) 16:56, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
The purpose of Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not is neither advocacy nor education. The section on censorship instead explains why material that some people may find objectionable may nevertheless be included - it doesn't need to include lecturing the readership on what is or isn't an 'intellectually coherent position'. That is editorialising. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:11, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
WP:NOTCENSOREDNOTSOAPBOX? It’s sounding like we could use a self-referential section here, though I doubt it’s necessary. Maybe someone could write a humor page. — (talk) 05:22, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
The final paragraph of the section brings things like Scientology to mind, rather than sexology. Members are forbidden to discuss e.g. Xenu with outsiders, if I recall, but that cannot and should not stop WP from discussing it given sufficient reliable sources. — (talk) 05:28, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

"Simple listings" in WP:NOTDIRECTORY[edit]

I have suggested a clarification of WP:NOTDIRECTORY at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#WP:NOTDIRECTORY_-_simple_listings to include simple listings without encyclopedic context in this policy. Any feedback would be welcome. GermanJoe (talk) 13:28, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Added that point, including the given feedback at WP:VPP. The point's main intent, to address unencyclopedic business-related lists as part of a topic's self-presentation, should hopefully be clear enough and uncontroversial - further tweaks are welcome of course. GermanJoe (talk) 10:04, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Emphasis for "not a forum" applies to talk pages of biographies[edit]

I'd like to emphasize that wikipedia blp talk pages are not a forum to discuss the subject of the article. Here's an example.wp:not a forum doesn't directly address this. I'd like to add something like "This is especially true in biographies." Comments?--Nowa (talk) 19:33, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

This looks to me like instruction creep, and possibly liable to misinterpretation. WP:BLP applies everywhere, not just in regard to biographical articles, and WP:NOTFORUM isn't 'especially' true for one form of subject matter - it is a general statement about the purpose of talk pages. This is in accord with the objective of WP:NOT - to set down the limits of Wikipedia. If there are issues with specific discussions on specific talk pages that can't be resolved according to existing policies and guidelines, we should probably be looking at amending Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines, where one would expect such issues to be discussed. Scattering policy and guidelines regarding talk page use over multiple pages seems unwise, and unnecessary. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:54, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
I tend to agree with AndyTheGrump here. This is covered adequately already, and the emphasis here, is distracting. Issues on individual Talk pages can be as easily addressed by reference to WP:BLP itself, as by reference to WP:NOTFORUM. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 23:21, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

Is it promotional in archaeological articles to mention the university leading an excavation?[edit]

At Durrington Walls an editor removed the name of the university leading an excavation[3] calling it "Braying academic booster ism". I don't get this. It seems encyclopedic to include the university or organisation leading an excavation. I note that Britannica includes the name of the organisation doing recent work at Stonehenge.[4]. We also frequently include the names of lead archaeologists. 11:42, 7 September 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Doug Weller (talkcontribs)

No, it doesn't seem unreasonable. Johnbod (talk) 12:53, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Just mentioning the university and persons involved is not promotional, and actually is the norm for any type of ground breaking scientific research to name the discover(s) and organizations involved for proper credit. --MASEM (t) 13:53, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
In the lead? It's sickening academic boosterism. Wikipedia has the ref system for readers who are interested in such details. Otherwise it just disrupts the flow of the article, and often constitutes a primary source reporting itself. In other words; a result is published in the primary scientific literature by scholars at University X. Reporting the result in the Wikipedia article is sometimes okay, but it is WP:OR to mention University X. Abductive (reasoning) 17:55, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Phooey! Johnbod (talk) 19:06, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
If it is 'boosterism' to state that the University of X was responsible for research Y, is it likewise 'boosterism' to state that the army of X defeated the army of Y at the battle of Z? If so, we are going to have to rewrite a lot of articles... AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:09, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
It is necessary information, and not only acceptable to note both the university and the leader of an archeological dig. The University of Chicago for example is known for its Egyptology department and the digs carried on over many years.(Littleolive oil (talk) 19:15, 7 September 2015 (UTC))
In the lede of the article on the archaeological site is likely inappropriate, unless for some reason that the university or person is so directly connected to the work (For example, at DNA we do mention the seminal work of Watson and Crick in the lede since they are directly connected in sources as discovering the structure. I don't know a good example for archaeology). But if it is not mentioned in the lede, mentioning the work in the body of the article is completely acceptable as long as it just mentioning the group and not written in peacocky terms. --MASEM (t) 19:16, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Would Tutankhamun with Howard Carter in the lede or Burgess Shale with Charles Doolittle Walcott in the third paragraph be the kind of example you wanted? Bazj (talk) 19:54, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Those seem like perfectly reasonable examples. --MASEM (t) 20:02, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
What universities did those guys work for? See, you are confounding the scholars with their employers. Abductive (reasoning) 02:40, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
And to add, adding the university doing the archaeology study provides an indirect reference to an interested reader if they want to know more if our article doesn't fully cover everything they (the university) know or we don't include all the updated sources. On the other hand, if , say, 4 or more different groups have evaluated the site but we only highlight one's results, that might be a bit of a problem too, though that doesn't seem to be the case at the questioned article. --MASEM (t) 19:20, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) So far from being "boosterism", I think an article which omitted this information would be seriously deficient. An article about a book always mentions its author, and normally at least its initial publisher. An article about a film will mention the major actors, the director, the producer, and the studio, gennerally all in the lead section. Digs are generally sponsored and orgsnized by universities or other institutional entities, and these should be mentioned prominently in any article about such activity. This is partly a matter of credit, but also one of transparency. If any bias is involved, the identity of terh sponsor may be relevant. Putting such information in a ref only is akin to attributing a quote only in a ref, in my view -- not acceptable. DES (talk) 19:21, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Again, the question was not about the names of the scholars. Abductive (reasoning) 02:41, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
  • No to the question posed in this section title but as a matter of WP:LEAD it should be in the body of the article, and only then should it be considered for the lead. (I don't understand the "sickening" claim, though, at all.) It may well be useful for the lead, if it's useful for the body. Alanscottwalker (talk) 01:05, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Every single statement in Wikipedia is supposed to be backed up by a secondary source. Secondary sources are generally written by scholars, and those scholars are almost always employed by universities. Where does it end? Should Wikipedia become the repository for inline attribution of every single statement to some university? This is why I am asking for a secondary source to allow the names of universities to be in articles. Abductive (reasoning) 02:45, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
  • For example, the fact that the Oriental Institute was prominent in Near Eastern archaeology (not so much Egypt, though) surely has some secondary sources. I am not saying that the article on Persepolis shouldn't mention it. What I am saying is that all such mentions are to be held to the same standards as anything else. Abductive (reasoning) 02:53, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Primary reliable sources can be used too, as well as tertiary. We just put more weight on secondary due to avoiding OR that secondary sources do for us. But that said, if the research team doing the work is not mentioned at all by secondary sources, even though we can turn to primary sources to figure out who is doing that, that is probably more a matter of undue, not so much promotional. --MASEM (t) 03:09, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
  • All that will do is increase the problem of WP:Recentism. If something is not mentioned by secondary sources, then it really does not belong in the lead. Abductive (reasoning) 05:58, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
  • If we are talking about in the lede, I fully agree that the university or whatever group doing the site needs to be something of significant note in secondary sources to be included as it would otherwise sound like name dropping; in the body, this should not be a problem. There is a difference where this is being applied that comes into play. --MASEM (t) 13:36, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Speculation and rumor[edit]

In WP:SPECULATION, the main paragraph says, "Wikipedia is not a collection of unverifiable speculation... It is appropriate to report discussion and arguments about the prospects for success of future proposals and projects or whether some development will occur, if discussion is properly referenced." Paragraph #5, about product announcements and rumors, says, "Speculation and rumor, even from reliable sources, are not appropriate encyclopedic content." This on its own appears to contradict the passage in the main paragraph. Should that be the case? Reading paragraph #5 in its entirety, it says that product announcements should not warrant their own articles and can be merged. Then it says rumors do not warrant articles or merging. It seems like the "Speculation and rumor" sentence should say something like "on their own" because the main paragraph supports having verifiable speculation about "the prospects for success of future proposals and projects or whether some development will occur".

I ask because there is an issue with reporting discussion about a sequel film, for which the studio announced a release date, but due to the first film's box office performance, there have been commentators speculating about the sequel's fate. Should WP:SPECULATION be applied to include or exclude this kind of discussion? Erik II (talk | contrib) (ping me) 12:16, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

I think speculation and rumor should be when there has been no product announced that it would be inappropriate to include; but if there is some reasonable affirmation of a product announced (such as the release date for the sequel by the studio that would be making it), then the potential to include the speculation that it may never happen may be appropriate if it is not an undue consideration from the sources. If only one critic thinks this sequel may not come, that's not appropriate; if many many critics think that, that's reasonable. --MASEM (t) 13:57, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for commenting! Should we not clarify the sentence, then? Something like, "Speculation and rumor about unannounced products, even from reliable sources, are not appropriate encyclopedic content"? Erik II (talk | contrib) (ping me) 13:39, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
We want to be careful to not exclude information that is coming directly from first-parties about unreleased products as long as we avoid promotional aspects (eg "Apple says its next iPhone will be even more powerful than the last" is promotional, while "Apple says they plan to include support for (new wifi tech) in their next iPhone" is fine, nor speculation). I think we need to make sure we're talking speculation and rumor from third-party sources that would not be in the know. --MASEM (t) 14:03, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
What would be another way to say it, then? The sentence is being abused as a contradiction to what is stated in the main paragraph. Erik II (talk | contrib) (ping me) 14:09, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
I think you had the right idea "Speculation and rumor about unannounced products or events from third-party sources, even if reliable, are generally not appropriate encyclopedic content." --MASEM (t) 14:23, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Requesting clarification on NOTCHANGELOG[edit]

I’ve started a discussion at the help desk asking for clarification about WP:NOTCHANGELOG, when third-party sources only verify the changes: WP:Help desk#Unremarkable software updates. Please comment. Thanks. — (talk) 02:11, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

I’ve also started a discussion at WP:VPP that may directly affect NOTCHANGELOG: WP:VPP#Are software changelogs acceptable? Maybe should have been my first stop. — (talk) 04:43, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Creation of WP:Prices[edit]

I created WP:Prices to aggregate discussion about including prices into Wikipedia. Previously this was a redirect to Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_a_directory. I think there has been enough discussion on this topic to justify centralizing whatever has been said. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:06, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

I think that it's pretty clear here and don't see any reason to change it. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:34, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
I do think we need to have a bit more time to develop what would be a separate page on WP:Prices (what is appropriate advice and all that), and agree that right now WP:Prices should redirect to here. I'm not against a guideline or essay about more specific advise but we need to have consensus on that. --MASEM (t) 17:38, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
(EC) Please go ahead and develop but don't water it down!
BTW, the sentence "5. Sales catalogues. An article should not include product pricing or availability information unless there is a source and a justified reason for the mention." really does cover it all on prices (correct me if I'm wrong) but I would include "product lists or availability" to make it "5. Sales catalogues. An article should not include product pricing, product lists or availability information unless there is a source and a justified reason for the mention." It might seem like "product lists" is redundant, but there are tons of product lists in Wikipedia, see e.g. Camel (cigarettes) (but I'll go change that). It really comes down to WP:NOADS, giving a product or price list is just a form of advertisement. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:42, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

You missed an important point why prices have no place in wikipedia: they are subject to change with time; they depend on country. It is an unencyclopedic burden to maintain the correctness of this data, which zillions of non-particular numbers would be extremely vulnerable to vandalism. Staszek Lem (talk) 01:07, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

Also the weasel wording "justified reason" must be cast into clear wikipedia concepts. Otherwise this guideline will generate even more bickering and pressure, both from big-corp shills and hype-hungry startups. Staszek Lem (talk) 01:07, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

I support creating an essay on this but I think WP:Prices is an unsuitable location for it as users linking to it are assuming it backs up the WWIN point; I'd prefer a "See also" hatnote at Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not a directory. However, I think a separate essay to help document such issues is helpful. --Rubbish computer 16:49, 8 October 2015 (UTC)