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My view is that Iranian sources, on politically charged subjects (for weather - might be different), are similar (and even worse) to the way we view RT (TV network) - reliable only for attributed statements or for the regime's position. Iran lacks freedom of speech and has a highly oppressive system in place to control political publications for topics that interest the regime.RSF, Freedom House, HRW, HRW, Vice, NYT, BBC.Icewhiz (talk) 15:50, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
The use of media sources should be reigned in, in general. This is true for Iranian press source, but also for other press sources. Regarding freedom of the press, most European countries have content-specific prior restraint. Even US media sources are imperfect, despite the fact that the US has probably the highest level of de jure press protections in the world. There has also been a tremendous amount of research published that points of serious flaws in US media reporting, not least of all racial stereotyping. As long as we are using media sources in general, I'm not able to justify excluding some of them based solely on platitudes. But I do think all media sources, including American sources or what have you, are prone to misuse and is probably one of the more significant sourcing issues the encyclopedia as a whole needs to contend with at present.Seraphim System(talk) 16:30, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
@Seraphim System: - while I share your concern for overuse of media sources - there is a distinction between restrictions and biases in the US and Europe - and the situation in Iran where publishing (or even pre-publication if discovered) the "wrong" narrative will land you in prison, possibly tortured and killed - something that occurs with quite some frequency. Note that the prison/torture/killing issue also applies to non-media sources - also to private communication, social media, and works of scholarship as well.Icewhiz (talk) 16:35, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Waging war on God is a technical legal term in Islamic jurisprudence. Among the things that convicts you of waging war on God is murder. Those who were executed by Khomeini's fatwa had started a nationwide killing spree! By the time the execution fatwa came, they had murdered over 10 thousand Iranians. And when we are talking about MKO, we are talking about a terrorist group that recruited young volunteers who would go through regular ideological indoctrination sessions developing a deep sense of righteousness even become willing to embrace suicide to serve their cult leaders. It was only after 7 years of bloody armed insurrection and treason against their country in the height of the Iraq invasion, that the fatwa by Ayatollah Khomeini was issued. Unless you are familiar with these cultural and political details you can't make a fair judgement about a complex topic as this. --Expectant of Light (talk) 20:24, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I agree that Iran does not have a free press, and the repercussions for reporting against state policy or positions has deadly consequences. I also agree that even where there is a free press, it doesn't mean that there isn't bias.
All that said, what I am trying to get to is: are there any circumstances where sources published in Iran may be used? The answers, it would seem to me would be: 1) no, under no circumstances should sources published in Iran be used - or - 2) yes, under some circumstances (non-controversial, statements of regime position, etc.) they may be used.–CaroleHenson (talk) 16:54, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Iranian sources are OK for the stated regime position in Iran - little else.Icewhiz (talk) 17:20, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Agreed. Regime-controlled press should be used to reflect Regime views when discussing a conflicted topic such as political opposition group. Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 14:20, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Support use of sources published in Iran where helpful and sparingly - backed up by other, reliable sources; for non-controversial content or statements of regime position, with attribution, seeking the sources more likely to be more objective.–CaroleHenson (talk) 16:57, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Only for regime positions. Changing my vote, as I described below under Mhhossein's Comment.–CaroleHenson (talk) 19:37, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Support without special qualifications. I think we have to stop short of a categorical ban on "Iranian sources". Rather the sources should be taken individually, Press TV is as reliable as any news outlet, but Tasnim is not great. Seraphim System(talk) 17:05, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I would have to look into it more. I was skeptical about Press TV at first, but their English language content seems pretty normal. Compare  with . I don't know much about Iran Daily or PSRI. Seraphim System(talk) 17:25, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Only for regime positions - per lack of freedom of expression and grave peril of jail, torture, and death for any writings that do not condemn MEK strongly enough - MEK is considering heretical in Iran, and hearsay is punishable by death. Multiple organizations and RSes have covered this freedom of expression issue in Iran.Icewhiz (talk) 17:22, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Only for regime positions - considering bias issues with Western sources, these remain considerably different from issues (risk of imprisonment / execution) with current IRI-controlled sources, particularly with regards to the MEK. Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 17:35, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
It should be checked case by case: Surprisingly, prohibition of using any Iranian media is in line with those who want to censor media and against Wikipedia's basic idea. With few exception, almost every book can be published in Iran even atheistic works such as Karl Marx's German Ideology and Richard Dawkins's The Blind watchmaker. There are newspapers and authors with different views in Iran and it is unfair to prohibit using their works and ideas because of the Iran's Media Law and the Government's regulations. It is strange if we can not use the idea of any Iranian internal opposition in Wikipedia just because he/she lives and works in Iran such as Davoud Hermidas-Bavand. On the other hand, it is against WP:NPOV to prohibit usage of the Iranian's state media. Either, it is the viewpoint of a considerable block of society or at least significant minority. This idea is similar to prohibition of using France's Media and authors due to Gayssot Act or BBC because it is operates under a Royal Charter.--Seyyed(t-c) 03:13, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Support for sources that meet the WP:V criterion of "reputation for fact-checking and accuracy". Sorry, I haven't read all the exchanges in this section, but I'm surprised that we aren't referring to this basic criterion of reliability in the conversations I've seen so far. There's no blanket admission or barring of sources from any part of the world. Iran is a big and complex country. The press includes government outlets and opposition newspapers. Universities employ academics of international reputation and politicized hacks. For example, Brill, which is a leading international publisher of academic reference works is putting its own reputation on the line by publishing a translation of a new Iranian encyclopedia as Encyclopaedia Islamica. If the reputation is there, so is reliability. In all cases, an editor who wishes to use a source whose reliability is disputed has the burden to demonstrate that the source meets this criterion, based on the publisher or the author. Eperoton (talk) 03:26, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
This is a very helpful comment and vote, Eperoton. Just so that I am sure that I am understanding, do you think what you say applies to coverage of the People's Mujahedin of Iran? And, how to we verify if a source has a "reputation for fact-checking and accuracy"? I especially like that you provided a potential source. I am slightly familiar with it, but I am sure that others will have a clearer impression of Encyclopaedia Islamica. Thanks much!–CaroleHenson (talk) 04:27, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Usually we establish the reputation based on the publisher, either directly (e.g., book published by Brill or article published by the New York Times) or indirectly (e.g., the author has work in the field published by reputed publishers). This is of course much harder for Iranian sources, especially for those who don't speak Persian and aren't familiar with the Iranian cultural landscape. I was making two main points: 1) we should examine the sources on a case-by-case basis; 2) the onus to demonstrate reliability is on editor(s) wishing to use the source. I don't expect that Encyclopedia Islamica would have material relevant to the topic; I just used it as an example to caution against blanket generalizations. Eperoton (talk) 04:44, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. I have a better understanding of where you're coming from.–CaroleHenson (talk) 04:47, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
If French authorities start executing academics/journalists/publishers for publishing in favor of the Charlie Hebdo shooting, as it happens in Iran for publishing in favor of political opposition groups, I think French sources should also be questioned when dealing within that topic. Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 18:39, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
In fact, if you look at Censorship by country. France has practically no filtering of its press, while Iran is on the opposite extreme with pervasive filtering of the press and is not considered a free press.–CaroleHenson (talk) 18:44, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Here is a reliable source: What France has is prior restraint. I have not read that article, but it looks to be unsourced. If it does say France does not restrict speech, our article is wrong. Seraphim System(talk) 20:01, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Side conversation about alleged bias and censorship
Comment: I think positions by some editors here imposes an undue systematic bias against many useful sources in Iran. First I think when it comes to Human Rights organizations reporting, we have to take into account that towards an Islamic government, there will be naturally ideological biases. Iran has an Islamic constitution. This constitutions was endorsed by popular referendum after the 1979 revolution. Certain elements are sacred such as Islamic doctrines. This though doesn't restrict freedom of expression for most Iranians since most Iranians are Muslim and naturally respect the religious doctrines adopted by the government. I recommend reading the interesting result of this public opinions survey by Maryland university which shows popular support for some of the most controversial IRI positions in the West which is very interesting. Because it shows that what is controversial in the West and by Western values is often not controversial among the majority of Iranian public. The survey also belies to some extent this perception by Icewhiz that Iranians are oppressed by a reviled theocratic despotic regime. This can't be true when the majority support enforcement of Islamic law and do not think that their political system needs fundamental changes for example. I also think Icewhiz's pro-Israel biases influences his opinions towards this subject. Another point is that in Iranian academia there are many valuable contributions to historical, political and philosophical research. Unless the views espoused by these academics sharply clash with that of the government, they don't face restrictions. As for MKO in particular even Western sources say it is not popular inside Iran and even outside in the diaspora which is only natural considering that there's a consensus even among Western sources that MKO is a vile terrorist group. So complaining why Iranian government doesn't allow support for MKO in Iran is like asking why Western governments don't allow support for al-Qaeda in the West. I wanted to also make comments about specific sources named, but I thought I shall start with the above general points and see how they are received. --Expectant of Light (talk) 17:54, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
WP:NPA please. And, as a general observation, most regimes - even the most despotic regimes - rely on the support of most of populace - which the regime influences or directs in various ways.Icewhiz (talk) 18:09, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. There is zero reason to make this personal. You may not agree with others' opinions, but that's no reason to characterize the nature of their comments. You make some interesting points - from the perspective of an essay - but in terms of the question about whether to use Iranian sources or not, much of this is tangental or ignores the consequences that people may face for publishing content that the state does not agree with. My vote is still to support some use of Iranian sources, but I understand their viewpoint.–CaroleHenson (talk) 18:18, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Regarding MKO, I expect that most people who actually live in Iran would not see violent overthrow of their government as an improvement and I strongly oppose censoring content about this from Iran. This is the same organization that first supported the Ayatollah Khomeini and then turned on him to push a "revolutionary Islam free of clerical influence". Not popular is probably an accurate description. I find the arguments here to impose restrictions on an entire category of sources irregular and unpersuasive.Seraphim System(talk) 18:24, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Returning to content, WaPo coverage of the poll EoL cites says "Conducting opinion polls in authoritarian countries like Iran is difficult — the country has limitations on freedom of speech, and it is not always clear whether people feel free to voice their true opinions" towards the end of the article. WaPo notes IranPoll was accurate for the presidential elections, but I shall note that all the candidates for said election are pre-approved by the Supreme Leader and thus within accepted bounds of approved speech in Iran.Icewhiz (talk) 18:27, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Further, it is one of the top ten countries to censor journalists. In addition: "The government uses mass and arbitrary detention as a means of silencing dissent and forcing journalists into exile. Iran became the world's leading jailer of journalists in 2009 and has ranked among the world's worst jailers of the press every year since."–CaroleHenson (talk) 18:36, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
CaroleHenson. I have had conversations with Icewhiz in the past but while he has every right to have his opinion but you should realize the hostility between Iran and Israel do influence people's opinions on these topics especially given that MKO has had collaborations with Israeli Mossad in assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists. As for Icewhiz's comment, WoP is entitled to its own opinion that "Iran is authoritarian" and so forth but that remains an opinion. Iran's political system is a complex one. It can just as well be described as a guided democracy. And Maryland itself doesn't state any reservations about this survey and the range of opinions expressed in those polls are views that I also routinely hear in Iran from people who express them without fear. I don't think Icewhiz (Redacted) can view Iran as accurately and without bias that I do. Here in Iran we can hear all sides given that Western outlets are now accessible to us even in our own language via satellites while I don't think this is readily true from many outside Iran. --Expectant of Light (talk) 18:46, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
CaroleHenson. There have been many arrests in 2009 elections as the report says. But unless you are closely familiar with political developments in Iran from both sides, you can't have a fair assessment. Iran has been facing existential threat by powerful hostile governments since 1979 that are looking for opportunities to bring about regime change. In 2009 elections, Iranian intelligence said it identified MI6 and MKO operatives in streets of Tehran. There are strong arguments that show the fraud allegations in that elections were fraud themselves. Once reformists lost the elections, they wanted to win over the streets! So it is understandable that a government under the threat of regime change, may crackdown on journalists who were peddling around fraud allegations that instigated riots in Iran. Khatami who was the second most important reformist figure in that phase himself is said to have expressed regret for reformist leaders' positions that led to unrest and instability in the country. --Expectant of Light (talk) 18:58, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I find it totally and utterly unacceptable to discuss whether or not Icewhiz has a right to express their opinion or not. I have seen them make their comments here in a reasonable, well-positioned way -- even if I don't entirely agree with their position. Your comments are also tangental points again. I hope that you consider reverting this edit or striking it out and come back with something more salient as to why you believe the Washington Post info is not accurate with your own sources, vs. what is essentially original research. An apology would be good, too. Everyone has a right to vote. You don't get to decide whose opinion is more important than anyone elses'.–CaroleHenson (talk) 18:59, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Should we censor "US endorsement of terrorist organization" - No. Is the Iranian Press less reliable for this then Western Press are for random things that they say? Nope. Iran jailing journalists does not make other media sources more reliable. Textbook strawman-ing. The problems with media sources in general are well-attested to, in voluminous academic literature that goes back decades. The problems are different, but that doesn't make Western press sources any more reliable and the issue here is reliability. Sorry if this is unpopular to say, but the fact that what Iran does to journalists is worse for the journalists involved, which it is, doesn't let Western press sources off the hook. The same restrictions should be applied to all media sources at a policy-level.Seraphim System(talk) 19:03, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
As noted above, I think Censorship by country stats and the current level of journalistic/academic repression in Iran, particularly within this topic, need to be identified in the discussed article as these are quite different from other issues is Western academic bias. Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 19:26, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't know why should I apologize. I didn't make any disrespectful comments but if that's perceived to be necessary I do. I think the worst form of media bias is Corporate media bias which affects major media outlets in the West. My points were not at all tangential. They explain that how cases of repression were only when government felt existential threat or some of its foundational constitutional values have been violated by people who abused freedom of speech. Like I said, all Iranian officials are criticized on a daily basis in Iran and I find it preposterous that some editors want to depict Iran as a world prison of journalists when even the supreme leader can get respectfully criticized by students in his face. --Expectant of Light (talk) 19:33, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
In the past couple of weeks someone was blocked indefinitely for saying something similar to what you said. I would be very careful about how you talk about other people and their nationality or ethnic background. In other words, don't talk about someone's nationality or background and how that affects their ability to comment or vote.–CaroleHenson (talk) 19:50, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
That's a fair advise. But I have nothing against nationality or ethnicity of the user in question. I was talking about political bias resulting from strong existential hostility between two countries. That's about it. --Expectant of Light (talk) 19:56, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Only for regime positions - Icewhiz and Stefka pretty much said it all. --HistoryofIran (talk) 18:13, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Comment: This discussion is not going to anywhere since reliability of the issues need to be addressed case by case. The final decision depends on the context, the material to be used and the source itself. I don't think we can ban Iranian sources for the bogus reasons provided by some users here. --Mhhosseintalk 19:16, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Only for regime positions - Per WP:BIASED, partisan sources are reliable only to describe opinions of individuals or governments, as long as they are attributed.--יניב הורון (Yaniv) (talk) 14:14, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Comment For others who want to vote, I think the dispute was over this edit?  - this is attributed, but I agree with Carol's first point, English-language sources are preferred. For basic history like this it should be possible to find replacement sources and I would be glad to help with that. I already changed my vote to exclude this particular use of this source, but I think that even at RfCs votes for exclusion should be justified based on existing policies. Unfortunately, the majority of votes only for regime positions have not resolved the fundamental issue of whether we should include the content in this edit.Seraphim System(talk) 14:52, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for providing the source , which has a list of newspapers and information about those papers. I am going to update List of newspapers in Iran based on the pages I can see.
The book mentions "pro-reform". How would this be defined? Would these papers be more likely to be independent, fact-checkers regarding MEK?–CaroleHenson (talk) 19:12, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Most of them are probably not accessible sources, I doubt much is known about them. The regime accused them of advancing western interests and shut many of them down. I don't think an Iranian source is needed here though - the PSRI source that was disputed on the talk page seems to have been used for basic content that can be sourced elsewhere. I'm not sure why a foreign language source was chosen for this, it could also be cited to this Routledge source Seraphim System(talk) 00:42, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. I won't work on the List of newspapers in Iran, then.–CaroleHenson (talk) 02:09, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Only for regime positions and only when its WP:DUE Though the source is reliable for position of Iranian theocracy this postion is not always WP:DUE to include if major sources had not picked this up --Shrike (talk) 21:13, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Support use of Iranian sources / case-by-case basis - 4
Only for regime positions - 6
This seems pretty clear. Even if anything other than Only for regime positions are put into one category, it is 6 vs. 4 in favor of only use Iranian sources for regime positions.
Does anyone think we need to have an admin look at this?–CaroleHenson (talk) 17:57, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't think it matters if an admin looks at it. Case by case evaluation of sources is part of the WP:RS policy. Posting at the WikiProject talk page is not a substitute for a formal RfC - (for example, no editors were summoned by bot and it wasn't listed as an RfC). Notice of the RfC should be posted to the WikiProject page. A formal RfC can be opened on the article page if a formal consensus is needed, but I don't think it is - since EoL is no longer editing the content may no longer be disputed. Seraphim System(talk) 18:14, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
This called in people that weighed-in on this previously on RSN, is on the larger project page and was posted on the article talk page and my work page. It seems to me that we have given folks plenty of opportunity to vote.
Even when we tried to find some sources to use, you said that most of the reform papers have probably been closed. So, it seems that the only sources that are remaining are the ones that support the government position. I don't think it's fair to everyone that has voted to say that now the votes won't be counted. I agree that the number of disputes may go down now, though.–CaroleHenson (talk) 18:24, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but this doesn't really address the issue. This informal RfC should not have been opened with a question about the use of sources based on their country of origin. Pinging editors previously involved at RSN means comments were only solicited from previously involved editors - the purpose of the RfC is to request comments from uninvolved editors as well as previously involved editors. That was an error to begin with, but I'm absolutely sure it was a good faith one. In the course of the discussion, EoL was indeff'd which should resolve the disruption for now, so the discussion has served its purpose. I'm not involved with editing the article, so this is not a threat, but in principle, I don't consider this a consensus. Consensus incorporates all editors' legitimate concerns, while respecting Wikipedia's policies and guidelines.. Multiple editors have objected to it for reasons like it is against WP:NPOV to prohibit usage of the Iranian's state media and There's no blanket admission or barring of sources from any part of the world. . That makes those 4 votes weigh heavily in my opinion. Seraphim System(talk) 18:36, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
The two positions are not contradictory, nor does "only for regime positions" mean that we "prohibit usage of the Iranian's state media" - to the contrary Iranian state media is an excellent source for the Iranian regime's position. Sure, in principle, case by case applies in any case. For Iranian media - if you evaluate all the current major outlets - you end with up with only for regime positions. There might be an underground outfit, yet still with high quality editorial controls, that might be worth using - never say never - moon shots do happen on occasion.Icewhiz (talk) 18:54, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
It's not even clear what "only for regime positions" is supposed to mean - I assume it means the sources can be used with attribution. That is already policy. EoL was a disruptive editor - disruptive editors should be prevented from editing the article. I think a template or note at the relevant article with a reminder to attribute state run news agencies would be sufficient, and this applies to all articles. State run agencies should always be attributed. This wouldn't have even needed an RfC to resolve, if EoL's editing pattern had not been extraordinarily disruptive to begin with.Seraphim System(talk) 19:01, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
Well, we have a number of votes that say that it doesn't have to be decided on a case-by-case basis. That it should be only for regime positions.
Based upon the lack of ability to at least see why the Iranian sources could be filtered or censored... and to discount other users or their votes is making me close to changing my vote to Only for regime positions, because I am beginning to question whether there would be appropriate analysis on a case-by-case basis. It would be safer, easier, and less prone to future disputes to make a clear delineation.–CaroleHenson (talk) 19:26, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
The problem is we can't deprive Iranian sources for having their views and reporting on a topic that is most relevant to them. MKO is an Iranian organization and has been in conflict with Iranian government and parties. They have negatively affected the country and many people. It is unfair to say that Iranians have no right to have their views and stories on a topic that has most affected them. It's like saying American sources have no right to talk about 9/11 terrorism and al-Qaead. --Expectant of Light (talk) 19:39, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
In principle, there are situations in which regime controlled Iranian sources are acceptable. Coverage of mundane weather, sports, or cultural events. Also coverage of some aspects of regime sanctioned elections (e.g. regime sanctioned candidate A vs. B. But not topics such as how content the populace is or the fairness/openness of the process). For a topic such as MEK, which is used as a scapegoat/bogeyman (they are mentioned often as suspects for negative events) as well as being an opposition to the regime, it is a clear no.Icewhiz (talk) 19:38, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't think a discussion here can override WP:RS in any case - under that policy, a dispute about the reliability of sources should be discussed at RS/n on a case by case basis. I thought this was an informal request for feedback to help resolve an ongoing dispute. A WikiProject can not issue a blanket ban on sources from a particular country, or impose additional requirements beyond what is required by policy. That would have to be written into the actual policy. At most this would be a project guideline/essay. Seraphim System(talk) 19:40, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
MKO has launched deadly attacks in Iran killing thousands. MKO has fabricated nuclear misinformation against Iran. MKO has assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists. MKO is bribing American war hawks who seek regime change in Iran. MKO has abused its members who have escaped to Iran. Yet, for some reasons it is still a bogyman in the eyes of Icewhiz! --Expectant of Light (talk) 19:42, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Oh, I most definitely agree that Iranian media has written all those things about MEK.... And so much more. Some actions around 2017–18 Iranian protests were pinned on them as well as the 2018 Iranian water protests. If you read Iranian media, as I do on occasion, you see coverage of MEK being responsible for many different plots (as an "inner enemy", obviously some events are pinned on "external enemies").Icewhiz (talk) 20:00, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Well, over 90 percent of things MKO are accused of are widely confirmed by non-Iranians sources. And there are other cases when outside sources can't technically verify but that doesn't necessarily mean they are made up by Iran. If MKO's strong survival and espionage abilities are a measure along with their proven record of grave hostility against Iranian government, other accusations by Iranian government are not unlikely to be true. --Expectant of Light (talk) 20:08, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Suggestion. Unless other people come to this page to vote, I am not seeing any new convincing points being made that are going to sway anyone's vote and I am sad to see the way the conversation has been devolving and has become personal. How about if we wait a couple of days and see if anyone else comes to vote. Then, I can ask an administrator or someone at WP:RSN to evaluate this. How does that sound in terms of approach?–CaroleHenson (talk) 20:04, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
A lone administrator or "someone at WP:RSN" also can not unilaterally approve sweeping projectwide changes to sourcing requirements based on this discussion. That would basically give this the effect of a policy change - it's not allowed. I suggest the next step would be a broad community-wide at the Village Pump, otherwise to turn this into a project guideline or essay. This discussion isn't even on the article talk page, that's why I thought it was a project guideline. I don't think this is permissible or binding on any editors. Any change that would have to go through the "policy" making process.Seraphim System(talk) 20:20, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Of course, it's not my place to say whether you can comment or not... it's just that it seems like there's nothing new being said that is convincing anyone... and a really long discussion of circular conversations can discourage people from reading and voting. That's my only point.–CaroleHenson (talk) 20:09, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
As far as I remember we had three specific sources in mind. PSRI, Nejat and Habilian. I didn't see any cogent argument why these Iranians sources must not be used for their own views at least. The latter two are closely associated with MKO's defectors and victims. And the first of is an academic study of high quality. I think even Icewhiz can confirm that since he apparently knows Persian. --Expectant of Light (talk) 20:12, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Well, I was talking most specifically about Iran (newspaper) and PSRI at the top of this section. We didn't discuss Nejat and Habilian. But, what I am understanding is the viewpoint is that journalists and people in general are censored in Iran. There were sources that were provided and statistics about that at Censorship by country. I am totally understanding that you do not see why sources for Iran should not be used for an article about MEK/MKO/PMOI, but others disagree.–CaroleHenson (talk) 20:32, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
There have been journalist repression in Iran. I don't deny that but I also see outside pressures by hostile governments on Iran that play a role in domestic repression. I also see thousands of journalists that are working in Iran despite a dozen that have been arrested. --Expectant of Light (talk) 20:50, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't think we're discussing "sweeping projectwide changes to sourcing" here. Rather, we're trying to determine if IRI-controlled sources would constitute WP:RS in this particular topic. Considering what has already been established above with regards to censorship and influence in current IRI-controlled media, and the IRI's stance with regards to the MEK (and political opposition groups in general), I don't see a counter-argument that establishes why IRI-controlled sources should not be identified as such within the MEK article. Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 22:29, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Your proposal is at odds with WP:NPOV and disregards Iran's close relevance and right of opinion to this topic. I am still yet to see why PSRI study, on its own merits, i.e. being an unique exhaustive academic work om MKO is unreliable. --Expectant of Light (talk) 22:37, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Side conversation regarding the article
There is a lot of discussion to mull over. For example, removing Munafiqin from the lede because it's a derogatory word and we shouldn't give UNDUE weight to "Iranian media/officials" - but, which officials discerning editors might be wondering? Well, it just so happens the Ayatollah Khomeini himself popularized it. Yes, the same Ayatollah setup the country's legal system. I don't think this restriction on sources will resolve the disputes on this article since the content wasn't per coverage in Iranian regime controlled sources or a "derogatory term used by IRI propaganda" - it was a label of historic significance that is verifiable in a Routledge source and multiple other sources given during the discussion. Seraphim System(talk) 23:44, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes, that label was supported by multiple non-Iranians sources. And there were debates that regardless of its venerability whether it can be used in the lead or at least in the body. But the Iranian sources dispute started when CaroleHenson wanted to help us resolve disputes by listing them. I had attempted to cite info from the PSRI study which was disputed by Stefka and I also proposed use of two other sources which ultimately landed us here since we couldn't reach consensus on CaroleHenson's page. --Expectant of Light (talk) 00:17, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Are the last two comments off-topic? Should they be moved to the article talk page?
Right now we're just trying to vote on use of Iranian sources, right? We're not discussing Munafiqin or other article issues here, unless I am missing something. This seems like an attempt at deflection, rather than staying focused on the issue here.–CaroleHenson (talk) 00:30, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Not off-topic, right now there are multiple disputes on the page and many of the editors commenting here are involved in those disputes. They have also refused to accept sources like McGill and Routledge for something which seems to be of historical significance. I haven't been involved in any of those disputes until this discussion, but based on what I've seen I would agree to exclude the use of the PSRI source only. We don't usually prefer broad restrictions on sources based on country of origin. In fact, I've never seen it before. The reliability of the source and its use needs to be evaluated in context. This would exclude PressTV because of a dispute over PSRI. Seraphim System(talk) 01:00, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Are you saying that this changes your vote above or qualifies it?
Have you looked as some of the discussion regarding sources for North Korean news sources, for instance?–CaroleHenson (talk) 01:11, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, my vote is to exclude PSRI. I have not seen any discussion about North Korean news source, and I don't read Korean so I'm sure there is someone more knowledgeable then me about Korean media - generally, I think the most important issue is the content must be properly attributed. The content may still have encyclopedic value.Seraphim System(talk) 01:26, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
I thought discussions like this must no be based purely on vote, rather reasonable arguments. Again, I would be interested in an explanation why an academic work with contribution of an Iranian historian that is demonstrably richer in documentation and sources than the work of Ervand Abrahamian must not be used. I'm also interested whether policies like WP:NPOV and WP:BIAS are a matter of concern by editors here at all. --Expectant of Light (talk) 05:51, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Here's my take, others may have another opinion:
I thought discussions like this must no be based purely on vote, rather reasonable arguments. - Yes, and so far, I have seen sources for information about why there are concerns about using Iranian sources. I have heard personal experience and opinion for the reasons to use the sources, but no sources to support your position. (I am not sure if there is an intention to deflect, but that's the way it appears to me.)
As far as specific sources, I am understanding that there is a concern with any sources due to censorship and consequences of being jailed. There's no way that has zero effect on the people that are writing articles or books.
I believe that WP:NPOV and WP:BIAS are key factors for these arguments.
Lastly, I don't think that there's any more likelihood that you're going to change someone's vote, than others are likely to change your vote - because the viewpoints are based upon whether or not the censorship statistics and articles are believed. The only thing that might change things is if you can find sources that say that certain sources are reliable and aren't subject to censorship about political matters - MEK in this case.–CaroleHenson (talk) 06:12, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
As far as specific sources, I am understanding that there is a concern with any sources due to censorship and consequences of being jailed. There's no way that has zero effect on the people that are writing articles or books. -- Two points:
First! Why does that even matter whether it has effect on the people writing stuff or not? Do you think these influences do not exist in other countries such as US and UK? Have a look at Media bias in the United States for a list of myriad of structural biases that can affect neutral coverage of reports as an example. Politically overt media control is in fact the least dangerous form since it is all out in the open for the world to see. The most virulent form of bias is those coming from peer pressures and editorial control influenced by business interests of a media company and enforced based on a myriad of excuses. See what Ken Silverstein has to say about an example of media control under euphemistic excuses: ..."balanced" coverage that plagues American journalism and which leads to utterly spineless reporting with no edge. The idea seems to be that journalists are allowed to go out to report, but when it comes time to write, we are expected to turn our brains off and repeat the spin from both sides. God forbid we should ... attempt to fairly assess what we see with our own eyes. "Balanced" is not fair, it's just an easy way of avoiding real reporting...and shirking our responsibility to inform readers. Ken Silverstein in Harper's Magazine, 2007. There are critiques who believe that Corporate media are "an arm of the ruling class" and deliberately introducing political bias  to the discourse in line with dominant interests. You need to only explore this form bias to realize the depth of their impact.
Second: There are many ways that government restrictions don't actively influence people in the media and academia: 1) They broadly subscribe to the official ideology 2) Their findings or topics don't just conflict with the restrictions.
Btw, I removed the collapse tag for this part for others to notice my reply. --Expectant of Light (talk) 21:14, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
^Silverstein, Ken, "Turkmeniscam: How Washington Lobbyists Fought to Flack for a Stalinist Dictatorship", 2008.
Personally, I don't think any consensus here should be respected. If it's aimed to cover the sources to be used in MEK, it should be discussed either on the article TP or at RSN board. --Mhhosseintalk 06:05, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
It is common practice to take issues that aren't getting resolved to a project talk page. And, people from the article have been pinged here... as well as people from a previous RSN discussion and posting the link to this discussion on the article talk page. I brought it here to open it up to more people that would have a vested interest in the topic.
It's very interesting to me that you have tried to discount people's opinions, the way that the vote was captured, etc. if the vote doesn't appear to be going your way. The lack of sourcing to support your arguments that Iranian sources should be used... and instead devolving to complaints, deflection, and personal attacks has been disappointing.
I don't think that you'd be happy unless the voting turned out differently. By the way, the article can still be a good article if it has to be reworked a bit for sources.–CaroleHenson (talk) 06:20, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
RSN is where many uninvolved users may evaluate the reliability of a source. That's why I say you'd better act in other way. --Mhhosseintalk 11:56, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Trying to find sources that would be more likely to be independent/a discussion on relative bias of Western sources
Expanded conversation with no specific Iranian news sources identified/a discussion on relative bias of Western sources
The two of you, Expectant of Light and Mhhossein are really good at deflecting and providing personal opinion and not addressing issues directly. I asked you to please find sources to support your points. We're not talking about media in France or the U.S., we're talking about media in Iran. Others and I have provided sources regarding censorship and the affect that has on the media and that Iran is among the countries most likely to jail its journalists.
Can you deal with that head-on and see if you have find sources to substantiate your claims that Iran sources should be used for political issues? You would do better to identify the most reliable and objective sources - and most likely to speak freely. I have seen for instance, that Press TV is considered a fairly reliable source, all things considered, but I don't know how that would work for political issues like MEK. This is a very hot topic, so it would be interesting to see what you could find. Sources like Freedom of the Press (report) or Press Freedom Index would be good places to start. I'll see if I can find more to help get you working in that direction.–CaroleHenson (talk) 21:35, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Freedom of the Press (report) for Iran here, which does not identify any independent source that is not subject to censorship and say "Media outlets that carry independent, critical, or reformist-leaning content regularly face closure."–CaroleHenson (talk) 21:42, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Press Freedom Index for Iran here. It says, "State control of news and information has been relentless in Iran for the past 39 years. The Islamic Revolution keeps a tight grip on most media outlets and never relents in its persecution of independent journalists, citizen-journalists, and media outlets, and uses intimidation, arbitrary arrest, and long jail sentences imposed by revolutionary courts at the end of unfair trials. The media that are still resisting increasingly lack the resources to report freely and independently."–CaroleHenson (talk) 21:47, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Council on Foreign Relations says here that there are some easing in censorship, including many people having access to foreign news sources via satellite, but there are also attempts to confiscate satellite dishes and jam signals. Journalists that are "promoting subjects which might damage the foundation of the Islamic Republic" or other "red lines" for journalistic coverage are subject to jail, fines, etc. This was written in 2009.–CaroleHenson (talk) 21:55, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Advocacy Assembly has an interesting article about Media Consultants Bureau, specifically media in and outside of Iran. It doesn't mention a source for independent news, but outlines what needs to be done to make that happen and that things are opening up for social media.–CaroleHenson (talk) 22:04, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
work in progress, I will keep working on this and please add anything that you find.–CaroleHenson (talk) 21:42, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
What we need here is a source that says Iranian media is less reliable than other media sources we consider reliable. Journalists face real danger and pressures in every country that effect the content of media sources, all of them, everywhere - we should not pretend that they do not, even if the forms of censorship differ (like denying journalists entry, or deporting them), or the violence is committed by private actors and not the government. Seraphim System(talk) 22:01, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
My third and fourth items came from googling "independent media Iran". Do you think that there is a better search query, Seraphim System? I'll do a couple more and then leave it to others to see what they can find.–CaroleHenson (talk) 22:09, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
The problem is I think you are failing to see our point and see them as tangential opinion. You want to show how awful the situation of "press freedom" is in Iran by citing Western sources among them Us-government-funded institutions. That's fine. But regardless of how awful they say it is, it doesn't address my arguments on why that even matters, if we are using Iranians sources for stating the opinion of those specific sources only or when we have good quality academic sources from Iran. You just apparently suggested an exception for PressTV but without any concrete reason which seems arbitrary. Wouldn't PressTV be subject to the same regulations all media in Iran are? However given that media bias and control are more or less present in all parts of the world but simply go unchecked due to political and structural reasons, I don't see why Iran must be treated as an exceptional case. These press freedom reports have many shortcomings because among other reasons they only study positive and explicit forms of bias or control, like when a journalist is arrested or government regulations imposing restrictions. It doesn't or can't take into account forms of bias I referred to above. How do you identify editorial bias due to financial and political interests of a media company when the journalists just prefer to go along with it rather than lose their jobs? In Iran secularist journalist who don't feel attached to IRI official ideology or their country can seek asylum in countries hostile to Iran and then even receive grants, high pay and get to work in influential Persian language outlets such as BBC Persian. Where an American, French, or British journalist can escape if (s)he doesn't like working for a Western corporate outlet if he or she views it to be biased against Palestinians, Iranians, Venezuela or Russians for example? We're talking about the overwhelming impact of structural bias which goes totally unchecked in these liberal blacklists, therefore biasing the reports against countries that have the more explicit forms of media control many of them happen to be the international underdogs like Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afqanistan, Venezuela, Cuba, etc. Have a look at Reporters Without Borders#Criticism of RWB. This concern been stated in the past by leftist/third-worldist commentators. --Expectant of Light (talk) 22:29, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
I am not trying to use U.S. sources, I used the two main sources from Censorship by country and I googled based upon "independent media Iran". Press TV was mentioned in something I read on the internet and here. I am not supporting it, I just gave that as a potential example.
Again, no sources with supporting links. Lots of rhetoric. I am stopping the searches.–CaroleHenson (talk) 22:36, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
The ironic thing is Western media is a known and documented biased source for the topic of Iran, which hasn't prevented its unattributed use in the article - Novinite.com probably isn't even an RS, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (which is known to have been CIA funded until 1972) is also used unattributed in the article. The problem here is WP:Recentism all around, and removing the Iranian sources without the rest of them is not likely to improve the situation. If we can agree to remove all these weak sources, I would fully support that. But not when there is a known bias problem with some of these sources.Seraphim System(talk) 22:46, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
I am still not hearing any recommended news sources for independent coverage of political issues in Iran. It's a problem if there are recent changes that no one has been able to document or report upon the opening up of independent coverage. More time is needed, it seems.
If you can give me a list of what you call "weak" sources, including to Novinite.com I will look into them - after reviewing their use in the article. I'll put the them on the workpage and tackle them there.–CaroleHenson (talk) 23:01, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Not the only ones, there's an opinion article from the BalkanPost. globalsecurity.org isn't great either, but some editors like it. We're using TiranaTimes to cite that the Albanian headquarters moved to Durrës. I can't find any other sources for this, but I'm uncertain about removing it, and TiranaTimes seems basically reliable.Seraphim System(talk) 23:54, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
All I said was rhetoric?! Right! But you did use many US sources above such CFR. As for Censorship by country] it cites Freedom House, a US-government-funded organization. And as for Reporters Without Borders, it is based in France, another government with often hostile attitude towards Iran, and I just refereed you to criticisms raised against RWB, too. --Expectant of Light (talk) 22:56, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
You know, I was looking into if I could help get you started identifying independent sources. Now I see that you don't seem to be interested in doing that, it's much more fun to complain and point fingers rather than solve problems, right? Sorry it wasn't the order you would have liked. You're reading something into it that isn't there. I have no interest in further discussion with you unless you want to engage in moving the conversation forward... like identifying independent Iranian news sources, etc. If you're not going to do that, I have nothing more to say to you.–CaroleHenson (talk) 23:06, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
There are no independent sources in the world! You have a simple understand of the world we're living in! --Expectant of Light (talk) 23:08, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Oh, you are making this so much clearer for me! And, the outcome of this discussion very apparent. See  starting with page 4.–CaroleHenson (talk) 23:12, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
I can't make it clear to you if you don't want to see the points raised. But maybe your realization that the conclusions of the above report you linked exactly confirm my testimony about the situation of journalists in Iran may be a step forward for you, even though that doesn't help us resolve the dispute over academic material published by Iran by the "non-independent sources". --Expectant of Light (talk) 23:39, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
More rhetoric, again off-point. We're not talking about working conditions of journalists. We're trying to identify if there are any sources that freely report on the political environment in Iran, specifically MEK. There wasn't a source listed in the report that I saw that addresses this specific issue. You are getting personal again, not nice.–CaroleHenson (talk) 23:51, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm basically opposed to your proposed resolution. That's why we can't move forward. But you can go forward by like-minded editors instead of calling my points rhetoric. That's being personal! --Expectant of Light (talk) 00:20, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
CaroleHenson - there basically is no free and independent media in Iran (and while PressTV might do a decent piece or two on world news Iran doesn't care about (the same is true for Russia's RT - by the way) - so that people will watch them when they want to push something - this is a state owned propaganda outlet - far from independent - it is the government). Outside news sources covering inner-Iranian affairs (BBC Persian, VOA PNN (US), Radio Farda (US), Kol Yisrael Persian, as well as news outlets affiliated with opposition groups) - all push an agenda as well (though journalists in these outlets do not fear death or imprisonment (except should they visit Iran)). The regime framework inside Iran - which means law, law enforcement, judiciary, as well as extra-judicial enforcement simply does not allow such reporting to exist on political issues (on sports? Maybe) - particularly not on opposition groups considered terrorists and heretics by the regime. The situation here is similar to asking - "what independent news sources were usable in the Soviet Union during the 1970s?" or the more extreme question - "are there any independent sources within North Korea?" (In NK - not even sports). Deflecting the question to the deficiencies of corporate media (certainly, there are some such deficiencies) - does not address the lack of reliability and independence - or in fact - the lack of even a possibility for such independence given the nature of the regime - for sources within Iran on the topic.Icewhiz (talk) 09:58, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Thea idea is that the corporate media, especially those for whom concerns of systematic bias have been raised also come from countries that have been hostile to Iran such as US. When this systematic bias is ignored, and then an entire ban is imposed on all Iranian media outlets, we are only exacerbating these forms of systematic bias not alleviating them. Your comparison with USSR during the 1970s equally applies to the US today that have been in a state of cold-war with Iran via proxies for some time now. --Expectant of Light (talk) 10:10, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure who "you" is here, as I personally did not have control over Joseph McCarthy. Furthermore, McCarthyism did not deny free speech (it did affect the employment prospects of people who supported the Soviets or the communist party (not the same) and led to overzealous investigations in relation to treason/espionage). I fail to see the point raised in relation to The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America and one might argue that many of the professors covered are more mainstream than the author David Horowitz. As for Robert Faurisson (born in the UK, professional career in France) - he is not connected to the US, and is rather well known for being a holocaust denier (which led to him being fined in France, and to loss of his academic post) - however he has continuing publishing after losing his academic post. Icewhiz (talk) 12:06, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I just realized I confused Finkelstein with Faurrison. What a fat chance! Now I have to answer Holocaust denial charges in ANI! :( Finkelstein was fired from DePaul university for challenging fallacies of Zionist historical narrative. See his page. As for Noam Chomsky he has an interesting comment on Finkelstein's feud.
I warned him, if you follow this, you're going to get in trouble—because you're going to expose the American intellectual community as a gang of frauds, and they are not going to like it, and they're going to destroy you.
So Finkelstein and Chomsky basically confirm what I just said about deep-seated media/academic bias in US that goes unchecked. --Expectant of Light (talk) 12:20, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
It would seem to me that if at all Finkelstein and Chomsky demonstrate the ability to freely publish their work, even when said work, at times, is at political odds with the establishment. They are also able to freely challenge the media and the American intellectual community. Icewhiz (talk) 12:31, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
The case I think obviously shows there are strong consequences for academics who want to challenge the dominant narrative. So there are red lines that they can't cross or find themselves in trouble. I know other academics too but not as notable as this. --Expectant of Light (talk) 12:43, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ It isn't helpful here to bring academic bias into the subject - we're talking about media sources. Censorship of media and academic freedom aren't interchangeable concepts. What we have are biased Western press sources and biased Iranian press sources - there is high quality sourcing available to back up claims that these sources are biased and require attribution. Policy permits the attributed use of biased sources. We can't permit one set of biased sources and ban the other one without raising serious concerns about NPOV.  . Seraphim System(talk) 14:30, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
I haven't forgotten about the sources you have questioned... and am working on that today. See User:CaroleHenson/People's_Mujahedin_of_Iran#Questioned_sources. If you have recommendations for sources to swap in, such as for the Bulgarian news source, that would be great (i.e., helpful to start with a source that you'd agree with up front). Either way, though, I'll get started and put in edit requests once we agree on replacement sources, attribution, etc.–CaroleHenson (talk) 14:39, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
That's a false equivalence. While Western media can be biased (and indeed - is lambasted from every which way regarding perceived biases - and is often fragmented into different outlets with different POVs (e.g. FOX vs. CNN to itty-bitty ones promoting a peculiar POV - e.g. The Christian Science Monitor). Iranian media is monolithic in some topics (e.g. - denouncement of MEK), and the source of the media bias in Iran is to a large extent an inability to Publish anything else - if you try - you go to jail, get tortured, or are killed. Western media is free to publish positive and negative coverage of MEK (and indeed - there is negative coverage of MEK in Western media - e.g. highlighting cult or terror POVs (as usual - a cult to one is freedom of religion / leader admiration / whatever to another. A terrorist to one, is freedom fighter to another)). In Iranian media - publishing anything but scathing critique of MEK is impossible. Icewhiz (talk) 14:42, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
I think it is not very good to accuse editors of "false equivalence" when they have posted reliable sources that support their statements and you have not. You have repeated the same unsourced opinions several times in this discussion already. Seraphim System(talk) 14:51, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
To Icewhiz In Iranian media - publishing anything but scathing critique of MEK is impossible. Where did you get that? MKO has had different phases. Iranian sources are almost unanimous that MKO was a legitimate organization with a legitimate conduct, even though ideologically inconsistent up to 1976 atheist coup which involved bloody purge of its Muslim members. This schism is covered by Ervand Abrahamian's which is seen a neutral source by people here. But the Iranian sources are also unanimous in condemning MKO's terrorist bombings and so forth and their alliance with Saddam during war that's because there's no way you can be an Iranian or even a neutral observer but agree with their terrorism which resulted in death of at least 10 thousand Iranians. So it's somehow similar to how scientists are monolithic in believing Earth is round or all condemning Al-Qaeda. --Expectant of Light (talk) 15:16, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Where is this going? Icewhiz did provide sources with their vote above - a number of them. I agree with Seraphim that there are some sources that could be improved, and where they can, why not? I think we likely have a different opinion about the nature of Western media, per the degree to which countries actively censor or filter the press.
It seems appropriate to collapse this discussion shortly. It's a long wall of text that essentially just restates what has already been said and the discussion is devolving again.–CaroleHenson (talk) 15:25, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
You can be sure it goes the way you like. You support ban of your counterpart and then proceed as you like with your own opinion! Mhhossein is probably next on the hit list. --Expectant of Light (talk) 15:28, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
One last comment before Carole collapses the section, none of Icewhiz's sources support the implicit claim guiding many of the arguments here that Western media bias is less bad than Iranian media bias. This presumption of superiority is somewhat ironically fundamental to scholarship about Western media bias in Iran (like the above Taylor and Francis paper). My concern is lending that presumption credibility here. Seraphim System(talk) 15:33, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Seraphim System, You seriously don't believe that there is a difference between censoring, filtering, and jailing the press in Iran versus countries where that doesn't occur? The concept of a "free press" means nothing to you?
Yes, everyone writes from their cultural and societal background. The point is whether expressing controversial opinions has severe enough repercussions to land them in jail for a long time. If you cannot see the differences in the reports for US, UK, and Iran, I don't think any further conversation is helpful for anyone. The votes above should speak for themselves.–CaroleHenson (talk) 15:44, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Seraphim System is correct that I chose to address (and source) the fundamental ability to publish a different viewpoint - freedom of the press - whether it is possible to publish a divergent view. As for measuring bias - that's a matter of the POV of the measuring party (e.g. the cited FAIR has faced quite a bit of criticism from more conservative circles for its own alleged bias).Icewhiz (talk) 15:46, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
@CaroleHenson: I appreciate all the work you have done here and the patience. I understand you are starting to feel a little worn out. But this comment The concept of a "free press" means nothing to you? is coming very close to a personal attack. I didn't say anything like that and it is a complete mis characterization of the comments I have made here. "Free press" is probably something I am more familiar with then most editors here, having studied it formally in constitutional law classes. That may account for some difference in views, and I hope I haven't been bitchy about it, but I find this comment completely out of bounds. Seraphim System(talk) 15:53, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
I apologize. I could have worded that better. It was a confrontational question. You're right.
I, too, have studied domestic and international law.–CaroleHenson (talk) 15:57, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
@CaroleHenson: Do you see my point now? What about proposing a topic ban on Seraphim System too? Btw, I'm also a senior MSc Political Sciences drop-out! So perhaps you need greater humility in judging me! Your support for topic ban on me destroyed all your credibility in my eyes. So I think we need another arbitrator. Thanks for your efforts! --Expectant of Light (talk) 16:17, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
I am sure that this is very upsetting for you... and I feel bad about having to make the vote. No, I am not supporting a topic ban for anyone else. Seraphim System and I have a difference of opinion about WP:POV re: Western media and I overreacted, that's all.–CaroleHenson (talk) 16:24, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Can we close this down? No one is changing anyone's opinion. The votes speak for themselves.–CaroleHenson (talk) 16:25, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
No! You proposed a topic ban on me simply because like @Seraphim System: I didn't shared your view so you accused me of "fighting each step of the way" against you. This is what Serapihm System has been also doing and you were just about to accuse him/her the same way! So seriously! Go ahead and file a topic ban on him/her too! Btw, if this discussion didn't turn out the way you liked, there's no reason to close it. There are others who will hopefully come in and help this to a conclusion! --Expectant of Light (talk) 16:33, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Collapsing this section is ok. We're all human and this discussion has gotten heated at points. The concept of free press is of course critically important in every society. My purpose is not to call that into question, but to emphasize that de jure protections will only protect you from certain parties in certain circumstances. That's an issue worth discussing in some other article, certainly. Seraphim System(talk) 16:37, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Exactly that's the point! I've been addressing this when I was saying how formal and legal restrictions are not the only form of media control. When a prestigious, highly skilled and knowledgeable academic like Norman Finkelstein can get fired from academia for exposing fallacious historical fabrications of a certain political party with diplomatic protection -- that has caused misery and suffering for hundreds of thousands people in Palestine -- then one should see that informal control can be as bad as formal control. In fact it can be argued that formal control is even less sinister since it can be seen and understood by all! --Expectant of Light (talk) 16:43, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Agree with closing this down for now, mainly on the basis that the thread tends to get off topic and votes already speak for themselves. Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 16:46, 2 August 2018 (UTC)