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NPOV-problems on Wikipedia[edit]


For a long time, I really liked editing Wikipedia. However, the last few years, there has been a shift in the general editing, that made me think that the WP:NPOV-policy has weakened in favor of partisan editing.

In January 2007, this was how editor User:Esurnir described the NPOV-policy here:

Karada offered the following advice in the context of the Saddam Hussein article:

You won't even need to say he was evil. That is why the article on Hitler does not start with "Hitler was a bad man" — we don't need to, his deeds convict him a thousand times over. We just list the facts of the Holocaust dispassionately, and the voices of the dead cry out afresh in a way that makes name-calling both pointless and unnecessary. Please do the same: list Saddam's crimes, and cite your sources.

Remember that readers will probably not take kindly to moralising. If you do not allow the facts to speak for themselves you may alienate readers and turn them against your position.

I fully agree that this advice is very sound for making a good encyclopedia. However, if I compare articles from 2016 with the present ones, my conclusion is that editors do not work according it anymore. Please, for example, look at these intros:

Content dump

The Gatestone Institute

The Gatestone Institute, 16 May 2016:

The Gatestone Institute, formerly Stonegate Institute and Hudson New York, is a "non-partisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank based in New York City" with a specialization in strategy and defense issues.[1][2] Gatestone was founded in 2012 by Nina Rosenwald, who serves as its president.[3][4] Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton is its chairman.[5][6][7]
Gatestone publicizes the writings of authors as diverse as Alan Dershowitz, Robert Spencer, Khaled Abu Toameh, and Harold Rhode.[8]

The Gatestone Institute, 17 October 2020:

Gatestone Institute is a far-right think tank known for publishing anti-Muslim articles.[a][9][10][11][12] It was founded in 2008 by Nina Rosenwald, who serves as its president.[4] Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and former[13] national security advisor, John R. Bolton, was its chairman from 2013 to March 2018. Its current chairman is Amir Taheri.[14][15][16][17]
Gatestone is an anti-Muslim group.[a][18] The organization has attracted attention for publishing false or inaccurate articles, some of which were shared widely.[19][20][21][22][23]

This intro went from describing it neutral into calling a fake-news-spreading hate-group.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed=== Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, version 7 June 2016:

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a 2008 documentary film directed by Nathan Frankowski and starring Ben Stein.[24][25] The film contends that the mainstream science establishment suppresses academics who believe they see evidence of intelligent design (ID) in nature and who criticize evidence supporting Darwinian evolution and the modern evolutionary synthesis as a "scientific conspiracy to keep God out of the nation's laboratories and classrooms."[26][27] The scientific theory of evolution is portrayed by the film as contributing to communism, fascism, atheism, eugenics and, in particular, Nazi atrocities in the Holocaust.[28][29] The film portrays intelligent design as motivated by science, rather than religion, though it does not give a detailed definition of the phrase or attempt to explain it on a scientific level. Other than briefly addressing issues of irreducible complexity, Expelled examines it as a political issue.[28][30][31]

Expelled; No Intelligence Allowed, version since 16 September 2020:

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a 2008 American documentary-style propaganda film directed by Nathan Frankowski and starring Ben Stein.[29][32][b][33] The film contends that there is a conspiracy in academia to oppress and exclude people who believe in intelligent design.[26][27] It portrays the scientific theory of evolution as a contributor to communism, fascism, atheism, eugenics and, in particular, Nazi atrocities in the Holocaust.[28][29] Although intelligent design is a pseudoscientific religious idea, the film presents it as science-based, without giving a detailed definition of the concept or attempting to explain it on a scientific level. Other than briefly addressing issues of irreducible complexity, Expelled examines intelligent design as a political issue.[28][30][34]

This evolved from describing it as a documentary film into a documentary-style propaganda film, something that is already clear from the article. The pseudoscientific nature of Intelligent Design is already explained in it’s article in 2016, so why hammering it in here?

Carl Benjamin Carl Benjamin,version of 6 September 2016:

Carl Benjamin, also known as Sargon of Akkad in social media, is an English YouTube commentator, content creator and game developer.[35] He is married, has two children and lives in Swindon.[36]

Carl Benjamin, current version:

Carl Benjamin (born 1979)[37] is a British anti-feminist[38] YouTuber who is better known by his online pseudonym Sargon of Akkad. A former member of the Eurosceptic right-wing populist UK Independence Party (UKIP), he was one of its unsuccessful candidates for the South West England constituency in the 2019 European Parliament election.
During the Gamergate controversy, Benjamin promoted a conspiracy theory that feminists were infiltrating video game research groups to influence game development according to a feminist agenda. Since Gamergate, his commentary has been largely devoted to promoting Brexit, and criticising feminism, Islam, identity politics, and what he views as political correctness in the media and other institutions.[39]
In 2016, in response to politician Jess Phillips' complaint that she frequently received rape threats from men online, Benjamin tweeted to her: "I wouldn't even rape you." Criticism of this comment—and a later remark in which Benjamin said he might rape Phillips but for the fact that "nobody's got that much beer"—dominated press coverage of his European Parliament candidacy.

Please note that the Jess Phillips-comment was already made before the First version I quoted. It is as if the readers need to know mr. Benjamin is a bad man from the intro.

Steven Crowder Steven Crowder, intro as per 10 June 2016:

Steven Blake Crowder (born July 7, 1987) is a Canadian-American actor, comedian, host of Louder with Crowder, former contributor for the Fox News Channel, and regular guest on TheBlaze.

Steven Crowder, current version:

Steven Blake Crowder (/ˈkrdər/; born July 7, 1987) is an American-Canadian conservative political commentator, media host, and comedian.[40][41] He hosts the YouTube channel and podcast Louder with Crowder, where he gives his opinion on sociopolitical issues in the U.S and their solutions. He is also a former contributor at Fox News.
In June 2019, Crowder's YouTube videos were investigated over his repeated use of racist and homophobic slurs to describe journalist Carlos Maza.[42] The channel was not suspended, with YouTube saying, "the videos as posted don't violate our policies".[43][44] His channel was demonetized the next day, with YouTube noting this could be reversed if Crowder addressed "all of the issues" with his channel, citing community guidelines.[44] His channel was re-monetized in August of 2020.[45]

It is quite weird to see how the intro states Crowder’s “use of racist and homophobic slurs” as a prominent fact, while Youtube exonerated him.

ACT! for America ACT! for America, version per 20 August 2016:

ACT! for America is an American conservative political organization founded in 2007 to "promot[e] national security and defeat terrorism". It has been described as "a central player"[46] and a "force multiplier"[47] in promoting state laws banning Sharia (Islamic law) in the United States. It describes itself as a "non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization" with "nearly 300,000 members and 890 chapters".[46][48] It is loosely associated with the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters.[49]

ACT! for America, current version:

ACT! for America, founded in 2007, is a U.S.-based anti-Muslim,[50][51][52] pro-Trump[53][54] advocacy group dedicated to combating what it describes as "the threat of radical Islam" to the safety of Americans and to democracy.[20]

In four years, the intro went from "anti-sharia" to "anti Muslim", which is certainly not identical. And why is it necessary to mention the Pro-Trump-part? Do we have to mention each endorsement of each organisation, or only when it supports that spoiled, angry, racist cry-baby that currently resides in the White House? And why not quoting the mission statement of the organisation, instead of calling them plain “anti-Muslim”?

Conclusion (NPOV)


  1. ^ "About Gatestone Institute". Gatestone Institute.
  2. ^ La tournée africaine de Sa Majesté le Roi, l’expression d’un leadership solidaire soucieux du bien-être des peuples de la région , Le Matin, March 27, 2013 "Gatestone Institute, un think tank américain de renommée internationale spécialisé dans les questions stratégiques et de défense."
  3. ^ "Gatestone Institute". Facebook. May 3, 2012. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Nina Rosenwald". Gatestone Institute. Retrieved September 24, 2013. Cite error: The named reference "NRbioGI" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  5. ^ "John Bolton". Archived from the original on August 3, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2013. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  6. ^ John R. Bolton. "Scholars – John R. Bolton". AEI. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  7. ^ "Former UN Ambassador John R. Bolton Joins Gatestone Institute as Chairman". Gatestone Institute. July 17, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  8. ^ Blumenthal, Max (June 13, 2012) "The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate", The Nation, Retrieved September 21, 2013.
  9. ^ Cite error: The named reference vox327 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  10. ^ Gjelten, Tom (April 6, 2018). "Trump's National Security And State Department Picks Alarm American Muslims". NPR.
  11. ^ Cerulus, Laurens (July 17, 2017). "Germany's anti-fake news lab yields mixed results". Politico.
  12. ^ Cite error: The named reference huff was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  13. ^ Staff, TOI (September 10, 2019). "Times of Israel". Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  14. ^ "John Bolton chaired anti-Muslim think tank". NBC News. April 23, 2018.
  15. ^ Cite error: The named reference bolton was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  16. ^ Cite error: The named reference sugar was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  17. ^ "Board of Advisors" Gatestone Institute. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
  18. ^ Filkins, Dexter (2019-04-29). "John Bolton on the Warpath". The New Yorker (Serial). ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  19. ^ Przybyla, Heidi (April 23, 2018). "John Bolton presided over anti-Muslim think tank". NBC News. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  20. ^ a b "Profile: ACT! for America" (PDF). Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  21. ^ Cite error: The named reference bloomberg was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  22. ^ "False: European Union Gag Order On Revealing Muslim Terrorists' Religion". November 18, 2016. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  23. ^ Fang, Lee (March 23, 2018). "John Bolton Chairs an Actual "Fake News" Publisher Infamous for Spreading Anti-Muslim Hate". The Intercept. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  24. ^ "EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed" (DOC). (Press kit). Premise Media Corporation. 2008. Unknown parameter |dead-url= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)[dead link]
  25. ^ Colavecchio-Van Sickler, Shannon (March 13, 2008). "Legislation may keep evolution debate alive". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, FL: Times Publishing Company. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  26. ^ a b Dean, Cornelia (September 27, 2007). "Scientists Feel Miscast in Film on Life's Origin". The New York Times. New York: The New York Times Company. p. A1. Retrieved 2007-09-28. Cite error: The named reference "Dean_Scientists Feel" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  27. ^ a b Burbridge-Bates, Lesley (August 14, 2007). "What Happened to Freedom of Speech?" (PDF) (Press release). Los Angeles, CA: Motive Entertainment; Premise Media Corporation. Retrieved 2016-01-05.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)[dead link] Cite error: The named reference "Motive_pressrelease" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  28. ^ a b c d Whipple, Dan (December 16, 2007). "Science Sunday: Intelligent Design Goes to the Movies". Colorado Confidential (Blog). Archived from the original on 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2016-01-05.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Cite error: The named reference "Whipple_CC" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  29. ^ a b c Catsoulis, Jeannette (April 18, 2008). "Resentment Over Darwin Evolves Into a Documentary". The New York Times (Movie review). New York: The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-12-03.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Cite error: The named reference "Catsoulis" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  30. ^ a b Chang, Justin (April 11, 2008). "Review: 'Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed'". Variety. Sutton, London: Reed Business Information. ISSN 0042-2738. Retrieved 2008-06-10. Cite error: The named reference "Chang_Variety" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  31. ^ Emerson, Jim (December 17, 2008). "Ben Stein: No argument allowed". (Blog). Chicago, IL: Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved 2016-01-05. One spokesman comes close to articulating a thought about Intelligent Design: 'If you define evolution precisely, though, to mean the common descent of all life on earth from a single ancestor via undirected mutation and natural selection -- that's a textbook definition of neo-Darwinism -- biologists of the first rank have real questions... 'Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature that are best explained as a result of intelligence.'
  32. ^ Cite error: The named reference Puig_USAToday was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  33. ^ Shermer, Michael. "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed--Ben Stein Launches a Science-free Attack on Darwin", Scientific American, 9 Apr. 2008. Accessed 26 May 2018. Shermer calls the movie "Ben Stein's antievolution documentary film".
  34. ^ Emerson, Jim (December 17, 2008). "Ben Stein: No argument allowed". (Blog). Chicago, IL: Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved 2016-01-05. One spokesman comes close to articulating a thought about Intelligent Design: 'If you define evolution precisely, though, to mean the common descent of all life on earth from a single ancestor via undirected mutation and natural selection -- that's a textbook definition of neo-Darwinism -- biologists of the first rank have real questions... 'Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature that are best explained as a result of intelligence.'
  35. ^ Zombie slayers call for start-up funders; Swindon Advertiser,by Beren Cross, 26 March 2014
  36. ^ I set out to troll her — why all this fuss about 600 rape tweets?, by Martin Daubney June 5 2016; The Sunday Times
  37. ^ Benjamin, Carl (27 May 2019). Exactly as Expected. Event occurs at 4:25. Archived from the original on 27 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019 – via YouTube. This graph from the BBC: shows you how the Conservative and Labour vote share has fallen since the year of my birth until now.
  38. ^ Cite error: The named reference bowles was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  39. ^ Straumsheim, Carl (November 11, 2014). ""#Gamergate and Games Research"". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved October 7, 2020. Sargon of Akkad, a YouTube user who regularly discusses “gaming, anti-feminism, history and fiction” on his channel, has fueled that conspiracy theory.
  40. ^ Steven Crowder [@scrowder] (20 February 2014). "Allow me to clarify. I have dual-citizenship with the USA and Canada" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  41. ^ "Steven Crowder, conservative comedian, draws Prophet Muhammad on YouTube channel". Washington Times. Retrieved 2017-04-14.
  42. ^ Cite error: The named reference WaPo1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  43. ^ Cite error: The named reference Time was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  44. ^ a b Nett, Danny (June 8, 2019). "Is YouTube Doing Enough To Stop Harassment Of LGBTQ Content Creators?". NPR. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  45. ^ Cite error: The named reference remonetized was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  46. ^ a b Lean, Nathan (12 August 2015). "Hirsi Ali Teams Up With Act for America for Event on Islam". Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  47. ^ Elliott, Andrea (July 30, 2011). "The Man Behind the Anti-Shariah Movement". The New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  48. ^ "act for america (homepage)". Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  49. ^
  50. ^ "Florida's Ron DeSantis spoke to group whose founder says devout Muslims can't be loyal Americans". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  51. ^ Buncombe, Andrew (August 22, 2017). "US's largest anti-Muslim group cancels 67 rallies after seeing size of anti-fascist crowd in Boston". The Independent.
  52. ^ Allam, Hannah; Ansari, Talal (April 10, 2018). "State And Local Republican Officials Have Been Bashing Muslims. We Counted". BuzzFeed News.
  53. ^ "ACT for America cancels pro-Trump rallies planned for Sept. 9 in 36 states". Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  54. ^ CNYCentral. "Syracuse denies permit request for group planning 'America First Rally'". WSTM. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  1. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference anti-Muslim bundle was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Puig calls the film a "controversial documentary", but characterizes it as "propaganda, a political rant disguised as a serious commentary". She notes, "A documentarian is not required to be objective, but Stein's point of view is blatant advertising."

It does not matter what you think of these persons, film and organisations. What matters is that the User:Esurnir was right: the pointless name-calling does alienate readers and turn them against you, ie. against Wikipedia as a reliable encyclopedia. I already see examples of this hostility in social media. And, what is worse for me personally, it demotivates me from editing.

Now, I do believe this problem is a serious threat for the image and future of Wikipedia. Do others think that too? And if so: does anybody has an idea for a solution? And, as a final question: is this the right place to show my concerns? Regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 13:33, 18 October 2020 (UTC)

Discussion (NPOV)

I don't need to repeat my soapbox but this hits the nail on the head. Too many articles editors are far too keen to rush to characterize the topic (as per what RSes may say) rather than explain what the topic is first in a neutral and impartial tone first (per the collapsed examples). We still can including that characterization, and often must include that per WEIGHT as that is usually why a topic is notable in most of these cases, but we have to present that in a dispassionate way, and that starts by first introducing the objective details of the topic, then moving into the subjective. For 99% of these articles, this doesn't change what content we have, just the order of how its presented. --Masem (t) 15:05, 18 October 2020 (UTC)

Masem, the core question always is: why is someone looking this up? Normally it's because they want to know if they should trust this source. Example: someone looking for the Cato Institute will be coming here because they have heard a statement by them. So the first and most important thing to know is that they are a libertarian free-market think tank funded by polluters. That colours everything they say. They don't say anything at all unless it's to serve their masters. Don't trust think-tanks. Ever. Guy (help! - typo?) 22:10, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
That is absolutely the wrong approach. Take Encyclopedia Britannica - do you think think they lead off with what the "reader" expects? No. We have a lede section to eventually address this and certainly burying the lede by not mentioning what somebody is notable for until the last para of the lede is bad, and this is not what anyone is suggesting. But there is a need to keep characterizations from any source secondary to the key purposes of presenting factual information first and foremost. WP is not here to be the mouthpiece to criticize people that have been criticized by the media or others, and that's exactly what the OP post is pointing out has been abused over the last several yeras. --Masem (t) 00:51, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
And that example of the Cato Institute is absolutely the last thing that we want people using Wikipedia for, or at least for WP to be as explicit about. It's the "Hilter is evil" comment mentioned above. We can explain what objectively the Cato Institute is, we can list who are their known backers and wikilinks to them, and if there's recognized commentary on that, mention those backers are known polluters, but it is absolutely not our place to even suggest in wikivoice that Cato is backed known polluters, much less promote that as the first thing the reader sees, per RIGHTGREATWRONGS. We are amoral to these things, we can't take sides at all. Pushing these points earlier make is doing exactly that. --Masem (t) 00:58, 19 October 2020 (UTC)

THIS. 1,000 x this. Especially in the AP2 area, articles have moral judgments in the lead. In my experience, if you try to "neutralize" the article by removing just judgments from the lead, you will be accused of POV pushing, etc. The belief is, to paraphrase, starting the article on Hitler with anything other than "Hitler is a bad man" is considered pro-Hitler. This approach is not only contrary to NPOV, it's just bad writing. It's "telling" rather than "showing". I've tried to fix these sorts of things in the past and always been outnumbered and chased away. To be blunt, since Trump was elected, Wikipedia took a hard turn towards moralism in the AP2 area. It's an understandable reaction, but re-balancing is needed. Lev!vich 18:27, 18 October 2020 (UTC)

Levivich, I disagree. I have a serious problem with think-tanks, for example. We should not treat them as neutral scholarly institutions because they are not. They exist to conduct policy based evidence making. A think tank funded by polluter money is not an honest broker. Carl Benjamin certainly isn't an honest broker: he's a grifter. And - amazingly - he is virtually unknown in his home country. He was humiliated the one time he tried for elected office, I guarantee you that most Brits have never heard of him, same as Paul Joseph Watson. Guy (help! - typo?) 22:06, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
Taking Carl Benjamin for example, I think if the word "anti-feminist" were removed from the lead, nothing would be lost. The second paragraph communicates the same thought, and it does so by "showing" rather than "telling" (or labelling). Gatestone Institute is another example, it has "anti-Muslim" twice in the lead. It's like we're beating our readers over the head with it. Lev!vich 22:23, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
Levivich, really? He's a MRA. He is known as an advocate of misogyny. I think that would lose something. Guy (help! - typo?) 22:44, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
"He's a MRA" says a lot more than "He's an anti-feminist". "Anti-feminist" is a meaningless label, like "anti-communist" or (drumroll) "anti-fascist". Labeling or categorizing something isn't really the best an encyclopedia can do; describing and explaining is better. Lev!vich 03:51, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
In this case, maybe we would need more references that explicitly use the term "anti-feminist" to refer to him in order to justify using it as the first term to describe him in the lede. They could either be all next to the first appearance of the term in the lede itself or further down in the body article. El Millo (talk) 03:56, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
"He is known as an advocate of misogyny"? Thanks. That shows the problem. I am pretty sure Mr. Benjamin never published a statement in favour of more mysogyny. I would also think he would deny such a statement. Nor do I know of any news about him abusing women. It are only others who call him a mysogynist. So, if Wikipedia is supposed to be a neutral source, why then putting such a statement in the lead? It would fit better in a sourced "Reception/criticism"-section. Meanwhile, his viewpoints can be explained in a "Viewpoints"-section, with the proper links that show Benjamin explaining his worldviews . That is how an encyclopedia should be made: neutral, without the use of the Poisoning the well-fallacy in the lead. Regards, Jeff5102 (talk) 07:26, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
Of course it's only others who call him a mysogynist and not himself. What he has to say on the term itself being applied to him is not important as long as there are enough reliable sources that define him as a mysognynist (or an advocate of it, for that matter) based on things he has said and done. Now, you might argue that we don't have enough sources to justify defining him as a mysogynist—which isn't even what's actually being discussed here, this is about the "anti-feminist" label, which is not only reliably sourced but self-evident by hashtags promoted by him like "#FeminismIsCancer", which is mentioned in the article—but his opinion on whether this label applies to him doesn't have nearly as much weight as what reliable sources have to say on the matter. El Millo (talk) 07:47, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
Hate to fall back on the example of Hitler again, but Hitler was publicly very adamant to citizens and to journalists that he espoused socialism, although the Nazi brand of socialism is most certainly not the kind that historians would accept as socialism. In fact, he made it a point to privately emphasize to large business owners and to wealthy patrons that he was not advocating for any sort of policies that favored workers over businesses. It's an example of why we favor reliable secondary sourcing over primary sourcing at Wikipedia. There are people and sources we trust in this area of politics for a reason. If we can't trust them, we trust nobody.--WaltCip-(talk) 13:23, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
It's also why we should wait a sufficiently reasonable time before getting too into the characterization of any topic, using sources that have "time-removed" aspects from the events rather than from any sources reporting in the midst of the events. From a purely academic interest, it is going to be interesting to see how Trump's presidency is going to be qualified a decade from now, for example, and that is the type of characterization we want to include in WP, not what the mass media is saying today about it, nor what Trump is saying about himself today as well. Yes, sometimes how a topic is characterized in the now is the only reason why they are notable, but we can still carefully approach that to avoid the aggressive and hostile tone that the various given examples show. --Masem (t) 13:41, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
Over-reliance on news and other less than scholarly sources has gotten us here. Easy to find a source that paints someone poorly these days. The other is the overall attitude of experienced editors is "X viewpoint (usually conservative) is wrong so bash away because their views are discriminatory Slywriter (talk) 00:37, 20 October 2020 (UTC)
@Levivich: How on earth are anti-feminist or anti-fascist "meaningless labels"? They both describe concrete political ideologies and contemporary social movements and organisations. It's 100% neutral and helpful to our readers to point out if an affiliation with either is a significant part of a person's biography. – Joe (talk) 15:36, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
Anti-feminism and anti-fascism (of the modern-day "antifa", not the early-20th-century variety) are not organizations, social movements, or ideologies. No more so than "anti-communism", "anti-capitalism" or "anti-anything". "Anti-feminism" is also known as "misogyny". "Anti-fascism" is also known as "being human" (might as well call it "anti-evil-ism"). "Feminism" and "fascism" might be ideologies and might be (or might have once been, in the case of fascism) social movements, but that doesn't make opposition to those ideologies/movements an ideology/movement in and of itself. Calling someone "anti-feminist" is just another way of saying someone is misogynist, and calling someone "anti-fascist" doesn't mean anything at all, it doesn't say anything about the person at all. Lev!vich 16:15, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
@Levivich and Jeff5102: I suspect the Hitler example was supposed to be facetious, but... In the past year, "universally regarded as gravely immoral" was added to the Hitler lead. (See discussion; there's also an ongoing back-and-forth about replacing it with "evil".) It sounds ridiculous to me, that the article gives precedence to modern-day public opinion over the actual deeds. It's really not the same issue as characterization in articles relating to contemporary politics, exactly, but it's somewhat related. For the issues with contemporary political articles, my first thought was that we need some clearer policies, but many of these things are already clearly covered: WP:BLP says "Summarize how actions and achievements are characterized by reliable sources without giving undue weight to recent events. Do not label people with contentious labels, loaded language, or terms that lack precision, unless a person is commonly described that way in reliable sources. Instead use clear, direct language and let facts alone do the talking.", for example. I do think it's clear that we're getting worse at various areas of NPOV editing, somehow. I don't know why, or how to fix it.
Re the points above about ideological identification of a person or group when that conflicts with their self-identification: In present-day political situations, I doubt it would ever be a good idea to label someone eg "anti-Muslim" or "anti-feminist" in Wikipedia's voice; it fits into the category of "thing someone has an opinion on", and doesn't say anything about the topic. There's an implied "Wikipedia says". If a person sees "Wikipedia says that Y says that X is [label]", they can ignore the "Wikipedia says" part since they have no reason to doubt Wikipedia's statement on Y's statement there, so they learn something about Y, and possibly about X if they happen to trust Y's opinion. If they see "Wikipedia says X is [label]", they learn something about Wikipedia, and nothing about X since they probably don't care about the opinions of anonymous internet people. But if they see "Wikipedia says that X [did things that clearly demonstrate [label]-ness in the reader's mind] (sourced to reliable sources)", then they'll actually learn the thing. (That is, assuming the article doesn't sound like it's trying to, as Levivich phrased it, "beat our readers over the head with it", which would immediately cast considerable doubt on it.) --Yair rand (talk) 09:48, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
I completely disagree with this view of labels: if a public figure is antisemitic, identified as such by reliable sources, and this is important to their notability (per the BALANCE of RS) they should be labelled as antisemitic in Wikivoice. The same is true with antifeminist or anti-gay or anti-transgender activists and spokespeople. In the case of Carl Benjamin, there are many, many RS that use "antifeminist" beyond the NYT cited in the lede; in fact, when he was a UKIP candidate in 2019, "anti-feminist Youtuber" seems to have been the standard description used for him. See (among many possible examples) the long explanation in the Guardian, this piece in the Independent, this more recent PinkNews piece, the Houston Press or Vice, which uses the longer descriptive phrase "Youtuber who rose to prominence trailing against feminism". The description isn't incidental: it is, as the sources say, central to Benjamin's "rise to prominence" and subsequent notability. Newimpartial (talk) 15:59, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
Those are some bottom-shelf sources you're point to. Got anything academic? Lev!vich 16:17, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
I disagree that the NYT, the Guardian and the Independent are "bottom shelf" sources. I also find it bizarre when editors insist on scholarly sources on political labels in articles where little or none of the rest of the content is sourced to scholarship.
Nevertheless, because Benjamin's antifeminism has been such a prominent part of his work to date, it has actually been subject to scholarly attention by media studies, criminology, and gender studies scholars. Newimpartial (talk) 16:49, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
NYT isn't a bottom-shelf source but I didn't see an NYT link there; Guardian and Independent are not good sources. Would you kindly quote where in those three papers the authors introduce Carl Benjamin as an "antifeminist YouTuber", or use the words "antifeminist" and "Carl Benjamin" in the same sentence, or in the same paragraph? Lev!vich 17:09, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
@Levivich: How is the Guardian "not a good source?" Seemplez 12:49, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
It's press, not academic. Levivich harass/hound 05:40, 27 November 2020 (UTC)
I don't normally do legwork for other editors, once I have actually linked to sources, but I will make an exception this time. The first article simply states, Benjamin is a conspiracy theorist and anti-feminist when introducing the figures it is discussing.
The Palgrave chapter spends a paragraph analysing Carl Benjamin/Sargon of Akkad's influence post-Gamergate, and states the following about him and his epigones: SoA’s account has been banned from Twitter, but through his followers, he still has a presence in our research data. The overwhelming impression of these most active participants is that they are in 2019 still concerned with “geeky” topics (games, comics, science fiction, and fantasy) but are also, for instance, climate change deniers, against feminism, against the AntiFa movement, and in general against social justice topics.
The third paper opens with the VidCon incident and approvingly cites Sarkeesian as saying, Carl is a man who literally profits from harassing me and other women... He is one of several YouTubers who profit from the cottage industry of online harassment and antifeminism}. This all seems to have been assessed by scholars, from different though overlapping fields, who know what they are doing. Newimpartial (talk) 18:03, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. Of those three, don't you think the second and third do a much, much better job of communicating CB's views than the first? And, noticeably, the second and third do not call CB "antifeminist"; the second one is calling his followers "against feminism" among many other things, and the third one is saying he profits from antifeminism, which is not the same as being an antifeminist (it's worse, in my opinion, and part of "the point" is that we should let the readers form their own opinion instead of telling them what to think). Lev!vich 20:27, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't see any incompatibility between the two approaches, or any reason WP shouldn't use both. Newimpartial (talk) 14:17, 23 October 2020 (UTC)

@Yair rand:, w/r/t "why, or how to fix it": I think the "why" has a lot to do with Trump being elected in 2016. It seem to me pretty understandable that in response to the "misinformation age" of the last four years, many people will want to do something to counteract that misinformation, and editing Wikipedia is a pretty natural choice for that. So it makes sense to me that there has been an increase in "naming and shaming", particularly in AP2, since 2016. I checked out the OP's examples with tools like mw:WWT and WP:WikiBlame and was not surprised to find that the familiar AP2 regulars were the editors who originally added labels like "anti-Muslim" to these articles (and others, I have seen), in some cases edit warred to keep them in, and in some cases !voting in RFCs to keep them in. Certain media outlets have been writing about this for years, embarking on their own "naming and shaming" countercampaign (or is it a counter-countercampaign? I've lost track). As with every other topic area, this topic area reflects the editorial judgments of the editors who edit the topic area, and for better or worse, labelling is popular nowadays in this topic area (as can be seen in this discussion, too). So as to how to fix it: partly I think the problem will get better in the future whenever Trump leaves office and hopefully the "misinformation age" subsides, and partly it won't change until/unless more "anti-label" (heh) editors start regularly editing these articles, particularly with an eye towards providing more meaningful leads. Lev!vich 16:58, 22 October 2020 (UTC)

I think there is a problem here, but with regards to the first example, while I think the latter version of The Gatestone Institute article isn't OK, the 2016 version was worse. They, like a great many think tanks, are a glorified propaganda outfit and when we replicated their assertion that they are "non-partisan" in the lead with no indication as to their ideological leanings, we were complicit in reputation washing. "Show, don't tell" might be good advice for many fiction authors but it reduces the value of a reference work: we should be figuring out NPOV leads that do succeed in summarising their topic. — Charles Stewart (talk) 19:20, 21 October 2020 (UTC)

I don't understand the distinction Masem draws between characterising something and describing what something is, since the OED defines to characterise as to "describe the distinctive nature or features of". The Gatestone Institute is a "far-right think tank known for publishing anti-Muslim articles". That is not name-calling or a moral judgement, just a description of the facts as established by reliable sources. It is no less objective (and more precise) than describing it as just a think tank. It's substantially more objective than quoting verbatim the institute's own marketing copy. Ditto for all the other American alt-right figures given as examples above.
Esurnir's maxim is being misapplied here: if we're saying that previous versions of the examples are the model, the Hitler analogy I'd draw is that we should neither call him a bad man nor dispassionately describe his crimes, we should factually introduce him as the "Führer of the Germanic Reich and People",[1] list his objective political appointments and military accomplishments, and perhaps mention something about criticism of his treatment of minorities in a Controversies section.
If we're getting better at calling spades spades, that's a good thing. – 


  1. ^ Reich Cabinet of National Salvation (August 20, 1934), Geisetz über die Vereidigung der Beamten und der Soldaten der Wehrmacht.

Joe (talk) 15:22, 22 October 2020 (UTC)

What something is is through clear, objective tests or evaluations, such as through scientific measurement or simple observation against a long-established definition requiring no interpretation. There may be limited debates here due to shifting knowledge - Pluto being a planet vs just a astral body for example - but for the most part, if you have any competent person that can understand the same process to determine what that topic is, they should always come to the same conclusion.
What something is characterized as is based on subjective measures, and thus will depend on who the person making the description will be. This not only affects, for example, the application of value-laden labels, but as well as what are the most salient "features" of the topic that are not part of what the topic "is". As an example of the latter, Kevin Spacey to some may be an "award-winning actor" while to others, a "sexual predator". Anything where there is a matter of opinion, judgement, or the like where there is even the possibility or room for counterarguments even if these aren't voiced should all be treated as characterizations of a topic.
Now related to multiple other concurrent discussions, with time, if academic sources tend to all agree that a topic - one that is no longer active or alive or whatever - meet some subjective characterization, then maybe there's room to treat that as fact. We're talking, if here in 2020, topics likely before 1950. The problem is editors want to use media sources to do that job, which is absolutely not the same as academic sources as cautioned by RECENTISM. Media is fine for facts, but we should not be trying to include their opinions or characterizations unless they are essential to understanding the topic, and when that's necessary, that's got to be presented as characterization of the topic, spoken out of Wikivoice with attribution and after we've gone through what the topic "is". Calling a spade a spade is great if that's based on a sizable body of academic works, but should be not be the case if we're basing that on current media. --Masem (t) 16:18, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
But not all cases are subject to a simplistic "is"/"characterized as" distinction. For example, I would argue (along with the sources, including scholarly ones) that Carl Benjamin's antifeminism is a defining aspect: it is a major reason he receives the attention of scholars (though anti-immigrant sentiment factors there as well), and perhaps more importantly it was a huge part of how he gained his bully Youtube pulpit through the GamerGate movement. "Antifeminism" isn't a label people apply to Benjamin because they DONTLIKE what he says: his path to notability was entirely wrapped up in his avowed opposition to feminism and feminists. There may he cases where WP would be better to let actions speak rather than labels, but Carl Benjamin just isn't one of them Newimpartial (talk) 17:04, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
What I've said doesn't mean we don't include "characterization" (of which calling CB under "antifeminism" is certainly still characterization since you've just shown it's a subjective label.) Characterization, no matter how loud it is from the media sources, should be presented after the fundamental objective statements as to not impact the initial tone of the article, and always in some type of attributed sources to take it out of wikivoice. That is, in this case, CB's notability is strongly tied to his characerization of being antifeminism and that absolutely need to be stated early in the lede per WEIGHT, but no P&G requires us to open with why a topic is notable in the first sentence, only that this is given somewhere in the lede at some point. --Masem (t) 17:13, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
I am not here to shadowbox about which sentence of the lede something goes in. There have been versions of Carl Benjamin where the antifeminist activism featured later in the first paragraph, and I was fine with that. But I still disagree with any reading of WP:LABEL that would require undisputed characterizations, or characterizations that are undisputed among high-quality (in this case, academic) sources to be attributed in the lede and denied wikivoice. I am for most purposes a philosophical realist, and Benjamin is AFAICT objectively anti-feminist; I entirely disagree that it is a "subjective label" in this instance, in the sense you mean. Newimpartial (talk) 17:24, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
This is the slippery slope fallacy when it comes to LABELs and claiming no dispute exists when you only limit to where the dispute must be from high quality RSes. This is where we entire the fact that RSOPINION is fair game for the source of points of dispute that can be used for labels (even if we don't actually include those sources), as well as common sense that a term would be taken as a disputed term and there is an absence of any sources that dispute it; the nature of the term itself should be sufficient to consider it in dispute.
The thing overall is that wikivoice cannot be judgmental at all, and taking such labels only used in the media in the short term is judgement. Editors should be very much aware that overall there's been a culture war that's been leading to an information war, and WP is at the center of that. No question we have to fight off the misinformation that is trying to be propagated (eg why we have deprecated numerous sources recently) but at the same time, we have to recognize that the press itself is fighting that way in the direction to paint the far/alt-right in a negative light, for numerous valid reasons. But because of this new approach over the last 5-6 years, that makes their coverage more judgmental on these topics - doesn't reduce the reliability of what they report factually but does beg how much we should focus on their commentary and analysis in the short term per RECENTISM. Its why we should be waiting for the academic sources that come later in time, separated from the events that will not be anywhere close to judgmental and consider if they use the same language then. Of course, if the press's broad opinion has the WEIGHT, it obviously should be included, but LABEL as well as WP:OUTRAGE tell us to keep all that outside of Wikivoice. --Masem (t) 18:07, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
No, Masem, I am not engaged in a slippery-slope fallacy. I am naming two scenarios: one where all available sources agree (and none contest) an attribute, and a second where all of the highest quality (e.g. academic) sources agree and there is no dissent within that domain. In both of those cases, I am saying that the distinction you are maintaining between "factual" and "opinion" labels cannot be maintained in some important cases, and the consensus of the sources should stand as a description of reality in these cases. Your assertion that the "antifeminist" characterization of Benjamin is limited to the media is simply incorrect; the idea that the term is "judgmetal" and unlikely to be maintained in future (vs. recent) scholarship strikes me as a truly weird kind of CRYSTAL gazing. There is nothing about terms like antifeminist, anti-transgender or anti-Jewish that makes them suitable for articles about long-dead historical subjects but inappropriate to more recent ones. All of these can be - and are - used by reliable sources to accurately describe important attributes of our BLP subjects. Removing them based on CRYSTAL or CRYBLP concerns seems the opposite of an encyclopaedic approach, to me. Newimpartial (talk) 18:21, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
The first fallacy is claiming "all available sources". WP is not a walled garden or ivory tower as to ignore what happens beyond what we list at RS. RS is important to block out what we include for facts, but we have RSOPINION, and as soon as you start digging at commentary and criticism from sources otherwise deemed RS for fact, you have created fair game to start looking beyond the RS to see if there's other opinions out there to consider if there's more that just the "RSFACT" sources. Otherwise, this logic states we basically can pretend that there is almost no right-leaning views that exist because there are no RSes on that side of the board, which is of course wrong. Contrast this to when we designation scientific theory as fact -this is through peer review and sound scientific principles that are meant to eliminate the possibility of other options. With press and subjective language, you simply cannot prove the negative - that no counter views readily exist. That's why as we get more academic works - the ones that do have peer review with the historical perspective, we now have more something like the scientific fields as to say there's no other options and thus move to a more factual usage. (And I will stress, have little care myself for any of these far right entities. It's just that if this balance is not dealt with now, it will continue to spiral out of hand to other topics beyond the far right.
The other fallacy is the emphatic need to include these terms. Again, WP needs to be non-judgemental, neutral, and impartial, and that starts with how editors approach articles. I've dealt with far too many editors that work on topics who are entering the topic believing they must show the person is "bad", which is basically against RIGHTGREATWRONG. We absolutely need to leave it for the reader to decide for themselves and focus first on writing the basic bio pieces common for any biography, and the consider how to incorporate the controversial bits knowing these are notable facets but they have to integrate in a way that keeps WP non-judgmental. This doesn't mean whitewashing or whatever removals people may claim, 99% of the time it is simply reordering and word choice of the existing text. --Masem (t) 21:47, 22 October 2020 (UTC)

But you are making a BOTHSIDES claim here that doesn't align with reality. The "other side" on Sargon and feminism doesn't claim that Benjamin isn't opposed to feminism; they argue that he is opposed to feminism and he is right. In his own words, This is what feminism has wrought – a generation of men who do not know what to do, who are being demonised for what they are - the reader shouldn't "be left to themselves" whether Carl Benjamin opposes feminism. Everyone - including the scholars, including his supporters, including Carl himself - agrees that he does. Trying to exclude or adopt WEASEL language about this obvious fact in his article would absolutely be WHITEWASHING. Newimpartial (talk) 22:54, 22 October 2020 (UTC)

But that goes to BPP's point: does he call himself "anti-feminism"? It doesn't appear to be, where it seems to be more about favoring men's rights. (It's like why pro-choice supporters on the abortion debates aren't called "anti-life supporters".) Certainly his position is readily characterized by the mainstream sources as "anti-feminism" , no question, and that's no going anywhere, but looking over the walled garden is clear this is not a universal truth and thus cannot be stated in wikivoice. We don't and can't include those sources that fail RS (no need to create false balance), we don't have to even mention that there's conflict per WP:MANDY if we don't have decent RSes that explain the conflict over the term, but we do need to take the language out of Wikivoice, which in no way is any weaseling. It's consistent with WP:YESPOV and WP:OUTRAGE and WP:LABEL. No where else on WP do we apply characterization in Wikivoice except in these areas, which is why there's the problem. --Masem (t) 23:15, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
But someone who declares themselves opposed to feminism is anti-feminist, just as someone who declares themselves opposed to fascism is anti-fascist and someone who declares themselves opposes to the Jews is anti-Jewish. These aren't LABEL issues; this is a matter of basic English-language syntax and Arisotelian logic. Newimpartial (talk) 23:35, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
No, that's still a characterization issue, and one I know I can attest to since I've been on that side that is a result of the race to trying to pigeonhole people (where my arguments to try to keep topics neutral have been argued to saying I'm pro-right). I don't know in depth of CB's statements he made, though I'm well aware he is strongly outspoken against the modern wave of feminism as it impacts men's rights. Yes, that may be (and in this case most likely is) anti-feminism but I can also see that some may argue that's pro mens-rights. Whether he's said himself he's anti-feminist I don't know, and if he has self-labeled as BPP has asked, that simplifies matters. But absent anything CB has said about himself, we have to take the media's use of that as a broad pigeonholing characterization that can't be said in wikivoice. Even if it was the case he used the term to self-identify, as it is still a term that is a characterization, and not something that can be measured or determined objectively like one's career, it still needs to be used as a point of characterization, which means it should be not spoken in wikivoice, and cannot lead off an article if we are to maintain a neutral, impartial, and dispassionate tone that NPOV/BLP requires for writing about these people. The article still is going to reflect on CB's overall stance that speaks against feminism, and by the second sentence of the lede should establish that, the reader is still going to learn this, but we can't force that to the reader, they need to be able to come to that determination themselves. --Masem (t) 13:54, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
I don't want to BLUDGEON this further, so I won't respond at length. That you see the media's use of (such a label) as a broad pigeonholing characterization that can't be said in wikivoice is clear, and is a perspective you have maintained tenaciously in this and similar cases. However, I haven't seen any substantial consensus of support for that interpretation, here or elsewhere. Newimpartial (talk) 14:15, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
It is written in policy via WP:IMPARTIAL how exactly we're supposed to present controversial aspects in Wikivoice. It seems patently clear that applying a label like "anti-feminism" to CB is a controvserial stance so IMPARTIAL 100% applies. But then I know the argument is "but there's no other view presented in the high quality RSes" but that's the other problem is that the high-quality RSes isn't the extent of the real world. We are not blind or deaf to everything else, and we're smarter than that than to know how to apply IMPARTIAL appropriately. That's exactly what has been argued throughout this entire thread from the OP's post. We have given away from what IMPARTIAL requires and instead adopted the tone the high-quality RSes have used because editors feel that's the only sources we can even listen to, which creates the problems. WP cannot write like this and asserting "But this is fine" is creating the problem. --Masem (t) 14:32, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
To try to clarify (again) - I am, by and large, a philosophical realist. I therefore recognize that that are cases where the "consensus of the best" sources may represent only a limited perspective on reality and depart from overall accuracy. For example, there are issues where NPOV derived only from the best English-language sources would depart from a BALANCEd global NPOV, for this reason.
However, in the specific case of Carl Benjamin, there are literally no sources making the claim that he isn't antifeminist; that it is patently clear that applying a label like "anti-feminism" to CB is a controvserial stance is a kind of thing I've heard from (usually avowed centrist) WP editors, but I have never once seen this argument made in the "real world". Op-edsters for example would be much more likely to argue, "people say he's antifeminist, but what he says about feminism is true", rather than objecting to those using the "antifeminist" label.
Finally, IMPARTIAL follows and must be read in the context of FALSEBALANCE. We do not include FRINGE perspectives in articles where doing so would lend undue attention to the viewpoints of small minorities, and we do not provide in-text attribution when saying that a conspiracy theory is a conspiracy theory. Editors going out of their way to insist on attribution for labels that are uncontroversialy applied to BLP subjects are, objectively, engaged in undermining NPOV and encyclopaedic tone through FALSEBALANCE. Newimpartial (talk) 15:02, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
The problem with the CB argument is that you can't prove a negative as well as the fact of the other points that Levivich is pointing out (the sourcing is not as strong as claimed that these are all stating "anti-feminist"). We can do a survey of sources and come to a fair idea how frequent a term is used but that can't 100% conclusively say "no source doesn't say this" since it is impossible to search all sources
But wholly separate is to the last point, because what this comes down to is again my point of differentiating anything that is objective (like a BLP's career and nationality) and what one is characterized as (whether that is a positive or negative characterization). Wikivoice can never speak directly a characterization as fact, period, because of the nature of being characterization of something that cannot be proven, only asserted. Near-universal characterizations can be described as such and forgo the need for direct inline attributions in the lede, "X is widely considered to by Y" is acceptable like that assuming the body has said details, or such assertions can be applied to specific facets which can be taken as fact (like what someone specifically says or does) "X is known for their views on Y", and this is all to maintain the tone. This is not a false balance issue but staying far more middle-ground/conservative in how we provide information rather than the "absolute" that the media write, thus keeping us impartial and dispassionate about the topics. As soon as you take the tone of the press, you take us out of that mode, even if this is reflecting the near-universal consensus of those sources. That's the incompatibility of media writing versus encyclopedia writing, and as we are not a newspaper, we have to change that. No other real encyclopedia writes in a tone like this. --Masem (t) 15:24, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Apart from your proposed distinction between "facts" and "characterizations" (which alongside most philosophical realists I oppose), I think our key disagreement concerns the scope and application of the following: Near-universal characterizations can be described as such and forgo the need for direct inline attributions in the lede. To me, CB's antifeminism counts as a "near-universal characterization" within the context of his notability as a public figure. While I would have no problem with phrasing the lede as "CB is a Youtuber known for his antifeminism" rather than "CB is an antifeminist Youtuber", I don't agree that what is at stake there is a more "middle-ground" or "conservative" tone. Newimpartial (talk) 15:48, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Key is that WP is not supposed to be judging topics but let the reader come to the conclusion. In a case of a person who's notability is tied to being controversial in the media as with CB, we have to be very careful of preloading the article with that stance, otherwise we've pre-judged the topic for the reader. We obviously can't avoid it nor should we bury that lede, but it is about establishing as much as we can factually state about CB - as we would at any other bio page - before moving into what makes him notable as a result of his controversy. It drastcally improves the tone and shows to the reader we (Wikipedia) are not making that judgement, but the media at large, letting them decide if the media's portrayal is correct. When we write instead in this aggressive tone that immediately applies labels even if they are well supposed from the press, it disposed the reader as well as other editors, and it encourages only negative additions to the article, which is not what we want. We're still writing encyclopedia biographies, not entries for the SPLC. --Masem (t) 16:03, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Masem wrote: "No where else on WP do we apply characterization in Wikivoice except in these areas, which is why there's the problem."
Wikipedia says: "The theory and practice of Ayurveda is pseudoscientific. The concept of vital energy is pseudoscientific. Black salve, also known by the brand name Cansema, is pseudoscientific alternative cancer treatment. Unani medicine is pseudoscientific. Zero balancing is pseudoscientific. Reparative therapy is pseudoscientific. The literal belief that the world's linguistic variety originated with the tower of Babel is pseudoscientific. The basis of the Kon-Tiki expedition is pseudoscientific, racially controversial, and has not gained acceptance among scientists. This theory is pseudoscientific. This theory is pseudoscientific. [Note: That was a different theory than the first one.] Candida hypersensitivity is a pseudoscientific disease promoted by William G. Crook, M.D. Crystal healing is a pseudoscientific alternative medicine technique. It is a pseudoscientific supernatural explanation. The Immune Power Diet is a pseudoscientific elimination diet. Ear candling, also called ear coning or thermal-auricular therapy, is a pseudoscientific alternative medicine practice. Magnetic therapy is a pseudoscientific alternative medicine practice. Pseudophysics is a pseudoscientific practice. Reverse speech is a pseudoscientific topic."
I could go on, but maybe we can already agree that we do apply characterization in wikivoice outside right-wing politics. With enthusiasm, even. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:19, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
Pseudoscientific theories are disproven via the scientific method and peer-reviewed studies, and thus once disproven, can be stated in Wikivoice. This also applies to conspiracy theories that have been well-established by highly-reliable sources following investigative reporting to be false/wrong (like Pizzagate), and to fringe science. Importantly, none of these are subjective value-laden aspects compared to what LABEL describes (objective measures are being used to distinguish these facets from reality), so this is completely different concept. --Masem (t) 02:21, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
You say that it is a completely different concept, but Expelled: No intelligence allowed was one of the OP's chosen examples, and it consists of a FRINGE, disproven claim, spun out at length into a conspiracy theory of exactly the kind you are describing. So the concepts do not seem to be all that different in practice. Newimpartial (talk) 11:39, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
The content of what Expelled covered included pseudoscience, but to apply that to the film as a documentary and to spin that as calling that "propaganda" in Wikivoice is inappropriate. Or, another way to look at it, to call someone promoting a fad diet as a sham artist in wikivoice just because we can call the science they try to claim as BS woud be inappropriate. One can objectively prove these "theories" are wrong or incorrect and with those sources label them in a Wikivoice-factual way, but no one objectively do the same with anyone's or any group's personal intent or motivation for doing something, and that's where Wikivoice cannot make the factual leap to make others' characterization as fact. --Masem (t) 14:00, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
So you are saying that there is a category of promotion of misinformation, information that has been proven false per RS, where we have to WEASEL the language and refer to it as "documentary"? Like Plandemic for instance? Because I don't think there's a policy basis for not saying that people are promoting misinformation or CT when that is what they are, in fact, doing. Stating in Wikivoice that the Plandemic videos promote falsehoods and misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic seems obviously factual and appropriate to me, not as what you call a "characterization" requiring attribution. Likewise, the lede of Expelled observes, Although intelligent design is a pseudoscientific religious idea, the film presents it as science-based, without giving a detailed definition of the concept or attempting to explain it on a scientific level which means to me that the reference to the film as "propaganda" rather than "documentary" has been substantiated as a factual claim. The fact that some people react to terms like "propaganda" and "misinformation" as though they were emotional labels, independent of content, doesn't mean that they lack demonstrable, evidential criteria - criteria that are amply met in the cases of Plandemic and Expelled. Newimpartial (talk) 19:02, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
Wikivoice cannot be judgmental, at least while things are still recent. Whether something was intended to be a documentary or propaganda, Wikipedia can't be a part of making that determination and Wikivoice has to stay with the most neutral description (this being a documentary). Do you know objectively what the intent of the filmmakers were? No, you can't, no one objectively can, save the filmmakers themselves. We can never judge intentions, only read them, and when that happens, it has to be stated from reliable sources and outside of WP voice to avoid the NOR issue. Again, I think alot of this comes from editors wanting to fight misinformation (a good thing) but at the cost of doing what the press is doing, which is calling them out on the BS they spew. Unfortunately, WP cannot do this and stay neutral, and requires a more tempered approach. --Masem (t) 19:30, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
No, Masem; a documentary film is a non-fictional motion-picture intended to "document reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record" while a propaganda film is communication that is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda. One term is not more inclusive than the other or more "judgmental" than the other: they simply refer to different things. The statement that Plandemic and Expelled are not documentaries is objective in your sense and is certainly not a matter of POV. To remain neutral, WP cannot call either Expelled or the Plandemic videos "documentary" because that is simply not what they are, and the reliable sources confirm this A description can never be "neutral" if it is both factually incorrect and unsupported by RS; that language choice is what we call "obfuscation". Newimpartial (talk) 20:13, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
Then let's go label An Inconvenient Truth as propaganda as well since its doing the same furthering of agendas (no , I am not seriously suggesting that). Propaganda is a value-laden label, just as much as white supremacy and the like, because it is as subjective. Just as I've been saying elsewhere in this thread, we can historically judge when something is propaganda (eg we clearly can recognizing much of the Nazi propaganda out of WWII because we have had decades of academic study to recognize this), but we should very cautious to apply the term factually to modern works and if its approprate to mention from its use in RSes via WEIGHT, it should be used with attribution. --Masem (t) 20:22, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
Pseudoscientific is also a value-laden label. So's hoax, and yet we have dozens of articles that use "hoax" in the name or directly call the subject a hoax. This guy actually "is" anti-feminist as well as also being "characterized as" being anti-feminist.
@Masem, it turns out that pseudoscience is not primarily identified by its inefficacy, and very few research dollars are dedicated to investigating possible relationships between string theory and whether that new brand of hair products is a decent detangler. Whether something is pseudoscience is determined primarily by its explanation. You may remember people joking during the 1980s that they knew so little about electronics that if their grandkids asked, they'd have to tell them that their televisions worked because little Japanese men were running around inside the box to make the picture. If given seriously, that explanation would be pseudoscience. Their televisions would have worked anyway.
For altmed and related commercial products, we accept sources that editors would normally classify as quite low quality, such as a couple of websites with no professional editors or other checks and balances that we find among traditional journalism or similar publications. We're okay with that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:54, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
Again: there are objective ways (outside WP in RSes, to avoid the OR) to determine if something is pseudoscience or a hoax, that's the scientific method to prove/disprove the science, or through proper investigative reporting of facts to determine the veracity of events. It is impossible to prove with any type of objectivity if creators of a work that may present pseudoscience or a hoax set out to present it as a documentary or as propaganda, though often Occum's razor will apply to how we want to think their intent was (just as we cannot prove out if a person's intention is to be anti-feminist or the like without a statement of self-assertion). (And also, if we have WP articles calling topics as pseudoscience or hoaxes without support of RSes, even if it seems obvious, that is OR and needs to be removed. But I would be surprised to find these articles to meet notability guidelines and still not have any coverage of the pseudoscientific facets from the RSes that are also providing the notability.) --Masem (t) 21:04, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
I don't think we need to go into people's intentions. It is possible to "be" anti-feminist without "intending to be" anti-feminist. This is true for just about every possible intention. Haven't you ever been the target of an inept favor? People very frequently "intend" to be helpful, but that doesn't mean that they "are" helpful. Consider also "I didn't intend to kill him", which doesn't get homicide reclassified into a death by natural causes, "I didn't intend to get drunk", which doesn't make people less drunk, "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings", "I didn't intend to Reply All to that e-mail message", etc. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:47, 31 October 2020 (UTC)
Even if one could set an accepted, standard definition of these value-laden labels, whether someone is an anti-feminist (as an example) still is only something that that person knows that they are; everyone else is using observation of what they say and do to make that judgement. Again, a person who knows (only to themselves) they are trying to promote men's rights with zero intentions of trending on women's rights may still come off as anti-feminist in their external behavior because "promoting men's rights" is often seen as a core part of being anti-feminist. (I am not saying Benjamin fits this). That's why these labels have to be seen as characterizations and judgements that should be kept out of Wikivoice. We don't have to say a single word in favor of the person or entity being called the label, we just have to take that these labels are near-universally controversal or contestable terms and thus words as such outside of WP's voice per NPOV policy. --Masem (t) 00:35, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
No. I simply do not agree that you have to intend to tread on someone's rights to actually do it. "Anti-feminist" does not mean "person who intends to oppose women's rights". It means "opposition to some or all forms of feminism", which this guy actually does. There is no difference between "opposes feminism" and "is anti-feminist". WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:53, 4 November 2020 (UTC)
But you're still looking at what Benjanin has done and thus what RSes have characterized him as, but cannot speak to what he actually intends. He could actually intend to be anti-feminist, he could instead actually intend to want to promote mens rights while staying equal with women's rights but inadvertently speaks more negatively against women's rights in an unintentionally manner, or a range of cases between those. No one but Benjamin will never know for sure (no one can peer into his mind and make that determination); the only case where we could say with some degree of confidence in Wikivoice is if he affirmed what the RS characterization of his actions were, that he was anti-feminist; or if we had enough passage of time to have better clarity of other more academic sources or distancing of time to know how to frame things better without the RECENTISM of current events clouding issues. That's the distinction we have to make here, and why labels are tricky things to be kept out of Wikivoice. Attribution or similar wording to show their origin, sure. --Masem (t) 22:31, 4 November 2020 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you're trying to say about An Inconvenient Truth, but the WP article currently describes it as "a documentary/concert film" - that is, a documentary about an event (a Gore speech), not a documentary about climate change. The speech itself may ask be promoting an agenda, but the film is presented in wikivoice as documenting the event, not the underlying phenomenon.

The point you have consistently been missing here is that "documentary" as a label is every bit as value-laden as "propaganda". For WP to imply that an audiovisual work is documenting reality, when it is not, would be a violation of NPOV and more fundamentally of WP:V. "Propaganda" is no more difficult to identity using impartial criteria than "documentary" - we have the whole discipline of Media Studies to do that, and it isn't especially difficult (or time-consuming) to do so - the preprints on the coronavirus infodemic are already hitting the journals. And what media studies scholars do is not to assess the "intentions" of the filmmakers, but that her the rhetorical impact of the audiovisual work as a whole. This is what determines whether it an educational or advocacy piece - and we use reliable sources to do that, not your personal sense of how we want to think their intent was, which seems to be the criterion you were using in this discussion. Newimpartial (talk) 21:12, 30 October 2020 (UTC)

A documentary film has zero values associated with it; it one of the accepted genres of film for non-fiction works intended to carry information. Whether that information is biased or not, the documentary label doesn't care (our article on documentary film even mentions their use as political tools). Expelled is classified as such in movie databases as AFI [1], IMDB [2], and AllMovie [3]. Propaganda, regardless of how one might dislike the material these push, is a type of documentary film, but whether something counts as propaganda or not depends in the eyes of the viewer, making that classification subjective. The fact that most media do consider a film like Expelled to be more propaganda does mean that we should ultimate describe that this is how the media describes it, but it has to be out of wikivoice because it still remains a value-laden label. To take an example of this being done properly, Zero Dark Thirty was called out heavily by the media as a propaganda film but you'll notice this is only brought in within the third para of the lede of that article and outside of Wikivoice. That's keeping the judgement away from Wikivoice. --Masem (t) 21:46, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
No, Masem. "documentary" as a category does carry a value-laden purpose: namely to "document reality, primarily for the purpose of instruction" etc. Please don't confuse the use of "documentary" as a category in movie databases, with the more rigorous sense in which we use the term on WP. Propaganda is not a subset of documentary, and not only because some Thrillers, etc. are also propaganda films. Newimpartial (talk) 21:58, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
No, on calling films documentaries, this is grounded in how they are categorized by film organizations (see WP:FILMLEAD "At minimum, the opening sentence should identify the following elements: the title of the film, the year of its public release, and the primary genre or sub-genre under which it is verifiably classified"). This is again avoiding applying value-laden judgement in wikivoice. --Masem (t) 22:06, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
That is MOS, not policy, and anyway FILMLEAD does not actually appeal to "film organizations"; rather it specifies, Genre classifications should comply with WP:WEIGHT and represent what is specified by a majority of mainstream reliable sources. Actual articles on WP seem to follow the reliably sourced criticism of the film in question more than they do the "film organizations", so that What the Bleep Do We Know!? is generally classified as a documentary in databases, but WP treats it as a pseudo-science film. Newimpartial (talk) 23:01, 30 October 2020 (UTC)

I think this disagreement we are having about what counts as a factual statement (in this case, concerning CB) is a great example of how the fact/value distinction just doesn't work in settling these disputes. And there are plenty of ways to evaluate veracity and objectivity without handwaving to those particular metaphysics. Newimpartial (talk) 22:27, 23 October 2020 (UTC)

For me, to have a statement like "anti-feminist" in the lede and be an objective fact is if he actually self-identifies with that term. Does Carl Benjamin consider himself anti-feminist?Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 17:33, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
We don't require that standard for many other labels, so why here? The lead at Al-Qaeda calls them an "extremist" group. Do you expect us to find an official statement from them that says "yeah, we're extremists"? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:54, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
The labels in the lead have to be an objective fact, not a subjective opinion verified by many well-respected sources. I personally find it very problematic myself how anti-feminism is defined as well. I don't believe it a viable term to use so actively unless self-identified because of how loose the term is and how modern-day chooses to use it. The word Wikipedia identifies suggests there are different waves of antifeminism (just as there are different waves of feminism) but will not label it. Hypothetically, a 1st wave feminist may not agree with modern-day feminists. Does that make them both a feminist and an anti-feminist? I just don't agree with such a subjective term being used as an objective fact unless they self identify as one.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 22:27, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
You didn't answer the question about extremism, though. Even I have to admit that "extremist" is a subjective and value-laden label, but there it is. Newimpartial (talk) 22:44, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
The word "extremist" was added earlier this year, after going without it for most of its existence, and it doesn't seem to be an improvement to me. --Yair rand (talk) 23:04, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
I also want to add that if being an extremist is a label that is once again relying on subjectivity, then we can have that also removed. But i by no means am saying that we need to get rid of all labels. My point is that labels that are heavily subjective shouldn't be used so bluntly in the lead as an objective fact. Its just not encyclopedic.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 19:16, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
And my point is that I don't see any basis for "extremist" beyond "many sources state" - it seems inherently subjective and perspectival - whereas "anti-feminist", "anti-fascist" etc. can actually be discussed using evidence (including, but not limited to, self-description) and evaluated without bias, objectively. Newimpartial (talk) 19:36, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
Have you looked into the term extremist the same way you looked into anti-feminist? Are you sure without a doubt that the word extremist has no academic definition that can be evaluated without bias, objectively? The majority of the sources you claimed were scholarly, were in actuality more journalistic. Which is a big reason why i'm against using the word as an objective fact. No matter what you say in this situation, the fact is that anti-feminist is indeed a subjective term.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 20:21, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
Where is the alleged rule that says the labels in the lead have to be an objective fact, not a subjective opinion verified by many well-respected sources?
Where is the logic in believing that self-identification makes something an objective fact? If I self-identify as the Queen of England, is it an objective fact that I'm the Queen? WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:39, 28 October 2020 (UTC)

For the record, the three sources I added here were all peer-reviewed scholarship. And my point about "extremism" isn't that there can't be some esoteric definition used by scholars, of which I am unaware. My point is that "feminist" and "antifeminist" are subject to real world fact checks (e.g., does the BLP subject support or oppose explicitly feminist positions or actions), while extremist does not, at least not the way it is used in (some of) our articles. But your reaction when presented with an actual subjective and value-laden term seems, err, different than one would expect based on your blanket generalizations. Newimpartial (talk) 21:50, 27 October 2020 (UTC)

I can't see two of those, but the one I can see ("Drinking male tears:") in fact does not call Benjamin anti-feminist at all, not directly. He's mentioned to set the stage in like of Gamergate, but that's it. The paper broadly talks of "pickup artists, men’s rights activists, anti-feminists, and fringe groups" and at no time makes any attempt to catalog Benjamin into those. It is absolutely wrong to use that for a BLP sourcing for this purpose. And to that point, it is often that men's rights activists are seen as anti-feminists but that doesn't mean all men's rights activists are anti-feminists, and from what I see of Benjamin's arguments, that is where he places himself (even though most believe he has a very strong stance against women having the same rights as men). I mean, all of use probably would readily recognize that as being anti-feminist, but again, being clinical and impartial, we'd simply say this is a characterization well-stated by the press, but not as a fact. --Masem (t) 22:07, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
I already provided that same quotation at greater length here, along with the content of the other sources I provided. The "Male tears" piece is concerned with CB's "followers" so, no, I wouldn't use it to LABEL him, but it definitely connects Benjamin to the misogynist FRINGE with some authority. Newimpartial (talk) 22:24, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
That paper is quoting Saarkensen (who is a valid critic in this case relative to GG, no question) but she's not the academic here and that quote is not reflective of the academics that wrote the article. That's extremely tenacious use of that paper for that assertion, because the authors themselves make no reference otherwise. Looking at your explanation, the second source (given what you quote)( is also not talking about him specifically, though yes, can be used to talk about the people that seem to avidly follow him, so it would have to be carefully used. Perhaps there's more in that source. Both of those sources would need to be carefully used due to the BLP issues. --Masem (t) 22:44, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
Please remember that I was not offering those scholarly sources for the lede of the CB article. When I spelled out the sources, for example, I was answering this request: Would you kindly quote where in those three papers the authors introduce Carl Benjamin as an "antifeminist YouTuber", or use the words "antifeminist" and "Carl Benjamin" in the same sentence, or in the same paragraph?, which each of the sources does. What seems very clear from these three sources is that none of these scholars consider antifeminism to be a purely emotive or "value-laden" label in the sense that our LABEL policy discusses (though each uses the term for different purposes). Newimpartial (talk)
The problem I see Newimpartial is that you confuse journalism with "scholarly/academic". And we need to make sure it has its proper weight. If there was some academic/scholarly paper saying "Carl Benjamin: The Mind of an Anti-feminist" where it not only defines what an anti-feminist is but also confirms that Carl Benjamin is one, then you'll have more weight in this conversation that we can look into. You claim the word Extremist is used only because a bunch of sources said so, and you find it subjective, you have continued to ignore the question: "why?" Why is anti-feminist something that can be identified objectively and not extremist? This is important to me that you clarify with actual academic/scholarly definition and analysis. I don't feel comfortable you continuing to use extremism is a subjective value-laden term without properly establishing why and why anti-feminism isn't one.
With that said, you have not proven that the usage of the word "anti-feminist" isn't purely emotive or "value-laden". For example, have you found sources that refer to him as an anti-feminist when doing an interview or not reporting anything negative?
I want to make it clear I am not a follower of Carl Benjamin, and I definitely do not agree with his views or methods. But, Wikipedia neutrality matters to me. I have yet to see proof that the word anti-feminist is a label that isn't emotive in the context of journalism.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 03:28, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
I have given three academic sources in my previous diff, which use "antisemitism" in different ways but none of which treat it in a purely emotive or "value-laden" manner. Per WP:SEALION, I will not be going any further to accommodate new goal posts. There has never been a requirement that only peer-reviewed scholarship focused on a particular political ideology can be cited when using descriptors for a BLP subject.
My argument has been (1) that scholarship does indeed place CB in The context of antifeminism (and other FRINGE views) and (2) that when the term "antifeminism" is used, scholarly sources are not engaged in mudslinging or content-free derogation but are making a substantive evaluation. (The argument had been made that the term "antifeminism" itself was essentially emotive rather than factual, so I went to scholarly sources in part to indicate that this isn't the case.)
I would now add (3): without confusing quality journalism with scholarship, it seems clear to me that serious journalism is also able to assess the nature of a BLP subject's e.g. ideological orientation and to apply appropriate labels to it. Community consensus, expressed in policy, does not require that BLP articles be restricted to peer-reviewed scholarly sources (though we should always use the best sources we have). I think two reasons this is the case are, that we trust editors to distinguish better from worse non-scholarly sources, and that we recognize that the better sources outside of scholarship (such as quality journalism) are able to distinguish fact from fiction and accurate from emotive categorization in a way that is useful for our articles (including BLPs) to reflect. Newimpartial (talk) 13:32, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
You have found academic sources and specific to Benjamin, though I dispute two of them, but lets just say all three of them are good. But they are still all recent, and this is the key problem. Again, I've compared to how we'd handle a situation in the scientific world: if a new theory came out - such as the recent announcement by NASA of water on the moon to use something practical - we are not going to write that as factual yet in wikivoice because the theory hasn't been borne out yet. It is going to take more time to test and validate, even though mainstream media are talking of it in a factual tone. Only once we actually have a system that likely can extract that water on the moon and validate its operation would Wikivoice then say it factually, but until then we'd speak of it as "NASA stated that they have found evidence for.." or the like.
Turning back to the social side, we can't bury our heads to the social war that's going on, and we know that both academics and media on the left are fighting the attempt to sway information from those on the right. The media side is focusing on that as well as their livilihoods, so they have a vested interested here while, while not affecting the reliability of their fact finding, is affecting their tone and makes them far more accusational and confrontational to the right (pretty much as they are fighting fire with fire, the right-leaning media started that). The same type of tone is in at least the one article I can see of the three; the article is far from the clinical nature I would normally expect from an academic, but having seen numerous articles related to studies around Gamergate typically from liberal-leaning academics, indicative of those that are also being critical of the right .. in other words, I see them showing their opinions a bit too much for what I would normally expect academics in social sciences to be. (not to take sides, like we are). Not to say these aren't RSes here, but again, judgement is getting clouded by being too invested in the culture war and the recentism around it.
Assuming this culture war dies out in the next 5 years the most ideal sources to document someone like Benjamin and whether any labels apply would be academic sources written 10 years out from now or longer, following by in-review media sources, where we can reasonably expect no one is directly influenced by current events. In such cases, if those did exist, then it would seem to me to be fair game that if there were enough of them to be able to use the labels factually in terms of characterization in Wikivoice. But if 10 years go by and we don't see any such sources, we can still rely on the sources that were out today, but still should be careful on wording the labels outside of Wikivoice because of the RECENTISM issue. The reason I have generally pushed on the academic sourcing side is that this usually comes much longer after the events to avoid the RECENTISM issue at least in the scientific side of publication. If the social sciences are pushing out these articles faster and come off this nuanced, that still creates a problem from RECENTISM with regards to how to treat the label in wikivoice. --Masem (t) 15:59, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
As far as your first paragraph is concerned, Masem, it doesn't seem to correspond to how WP articles, such as Water on Mars, are actually written. Without being grounded in WP policy or practice, it reads more like "how Masem thinks articles on controversial topics should be written", but transposed to hard science, so I have difficulty seeing its relevance except as a reiteration of your POV.
The second paragraph raises what I take to be the key epistemological difference underlying this discussion: do we think that quality journalism and recent academic sources are fundamentally biased, to the extent that whether man-made climate change or white genocide are real things, or conspiracy theories, are questions where we have to balance BOTHSIDES? Are the standards of evidence for those who assert that cultural Marxism is a real thing comparable in some sense to those who label it a conspiracy theory? My own take on the "culture wars" is that WP should apply consistent standards of evidence, and if scholarship that maintains a consistent standard also tends to reach consistent conclusions about what is real and what is conspiracy theory, then the supposed "bias" in this case is part of reality and should not be treated as a flaw in the sources.
To the last paragraph: thanks for having me read WP:RECENT, but I find your use of that explanatory supplement quite one-sided here. It also recognizes that One of Wikipedia's strengths is the collation and sifting through of vast amounts of reporting on current events, producing encyclopedia-quality articles in real time about ongoing events or developing stories, and it nowhere suggests that we should hold off on explicating controversial topics until the dust has settled and the controversy, faded. Frankly, we would not have BLPs at all if there were a requirement for the distance of time and scholarship before a WP article could be written. And the idea that some of the scholarship itself might be too much influenced by current events features a misunderstanding, I think, of how scholarship is performed. All scholarship reflects, in one way or another, the conjuncture in which it is produced, and it would take an argument I can't currently imagine to convince me that scholarship that is motivated by concerns proximate to the topic researched is of less quality or reliability than scholarship motivated by more distant concerns. The criterion, as with all scholarship and journalism for that matter, should be in the way evidence is used. And so the idea of discounting scholarship if it doesn't have a 10-year trendline of previous studies on the same topic for comparison is, fortunately, not based on or compliant with WP policy in any way I can see. Newimpartial (talk) 18:54, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
If you look at Water on Mars, the word "may" appears over 70 times on that, clearly establishing that most of the article is based on theories and observations and not stating the definitive proof of water on Mars. That's exactly what I am saying in how we write scientific articles on new discoveries that have not yet had the test of time to become scientifically accepted.
And you seem to be implying that I am saying we can't talk about anything controversial about BLPs or the like, which is not at all the implication. If the WEIGHT of sources is clearly there as is the case of Benjamin to cover that a vast swath of media and/or academics at the present time consider him anti-feminist as an essential part of his notability, we should absolutely document that; my point is that we need to document that in a clinical manner. We document controversies but don't become part of them. This isn't false balance issue (that would be saying that we'd need to include more material from Benjamin's side to make the coverage equal), but simply that something that is controversial in the short term may not really be that in the long-term, especially when we consider the state of the world and the media's unhindered response to that. This is the essence of WP:OUTRAGE but it is also be cognizant of the whole situation happening in the world out there for the last decade, not just in this comfy zone provided by the high quality RSes.
Also, we shouldn't be trying to conflate the very real thing of "white supremacy" or "anti-feminism", ideologies that are well documented for decades, with the issues of calling out people and groups based only on the short-term media's observations. We absolutely should write on the ideologies of anti-feminism in a factual voice as it has been a well-studied topic, though obviously there's new theories and concepts that get added over time that should be added with appropriate language in Wikivoice to note they are not yet accepted parts of what is included in anti-feminism. (Same would be true with new theories in climate change). And I'm sure there are historical people that are well documented in these studies as examples of anti-feminists. But when it comes to persons or groups today, we simply don't have the wisdom of time to properly be judging in Wikivoice, considering all factors in play, so as to be clinical, we should be taking the same approach as with scientific articles, simply not stating these factually in Wikivoice but indicating their origin.
Again, most of the time to get to where I've suggested we should be, this is just a matter of changing existing statements to make the tone far less accusational in Wikivoice, like "Benjamin is anti-feminist" to "Benjamin is widely considered anti-feminist", and perhaps an ordering change of information to start with objective and going to subjective, not a neutering of this key information from articles. Though I will say that a fair number of ledes on these articles also tend to stuff in smaller incidents (already documented in the body) that are not directly related to notability but make the person look "bad" just because there's space for that. For example, in the current lede of Benjamin's article, the 2nd para is good (this strongly establishes why he's notable), but I question at least the need of the third para, as while that created a burst of coverage during the election, that doesn't seem to be an enduring factor about him, compared to what the second paragraph says. This is all a part of documenting controversies but not getting involved or taking sides even if it feels much of the rest of the world has.--Masem (t) 20:26, 28 October 2020 (UTC)

I have no problem with removing the third paragraph of the CB lede, or with widely considered antifeminist, though I still prefer "rose to prominence with his antifeminist videos on YouTube". But what what you said previously about science articles is quite unlike what you are now saying about Water on Mars. You had said that we would avoid Wikivoice, as in "NASA stated that they have found evidence for.." or the like, but in-text attribution is not prominent in the Water on Mars article. The lede of that article, for example, consisted almost entirely of unattributed "is" statements based on the current scholarly consensus, with only one "may" hypothetical. This is not at all the meticulous process of distinguishing "theoretical" from "factual" statements that you described previously.

You keep saying that you are concerned about calling out people and groups based only on the short-term media's observations but when presented with recent non-media, scholarly sources, it becomes clear that no level of source quality will satisfy you, only persistence over time. And this is a weird sort of CRYSTAL argument on your part: that maybe, some day, new sources will become available that question the accuracy of these characterizations (although none have to date), so we should attribute them until enough time has passed. And I just don't see anything, in WP:RECENT or anywhere else in policy, that suggests we should do that when we have sources of reasonable quality and quantity to establish a consensus reality. Newimpartial (talk) 21:41, 28 October 2020 (UTC)

On the lack of attribution in water on Mars, you'll note that I've been saying the same type of limited attribution can be used on an article on Benjamin if you're talking about labels that are widely used. You don't need to say "Benjamin is considered to be anti-feminist by the New York Times." but simply "Benjamin is widely considered to be anti-feminist." That aligns with the same type of scientific approach in keeping claims of fact out of Wikivoice on the Water on Mars article. I read that lede as appropriately keeping most of the theories about the topic as theories and not as fact, only factual to what we have observed only from various probes and where there has been scientific corroboration on the results.
And this isn't a CRYSTAL issue, as sources may never appear about Benjamin or others in the far future but he clearly will remain notable. To give a better example, do you think it would be practice to try to summarize a criticism of Trump's presidency at this point with the current media sources? Heck no - the media is clearly hostile towards him for good reason (he's been hostile towards the media in addition to the culture war) and we've yet to see fallout from his term of office, in addition to what might be a second term. We'd probably not be at a place to do that until 5-some years after he's out of office when the full implications and outcomes can be assessed. We can have some short term aspects as there is plenty of WEIGHT to do that, but per RECENTISM and NOT#NEWS we should keep this to just enough and a high level coverage so that a reader with no idea of US politics can understand the larger concerns. While Benjamin's case has nowhere close the impact on the world as Trump, the same principles around RECENTISM applies. Should no new sources come around in time, we can then rejudge the now-current sources with better hindsight and write better around them without being so caught up in events. --Masem (t) 22:24, 28 October 2020 (UTC)

@Joe Roe: Re Esurnir's maxim, I don't understand the point you're trying to make. We don't describe the actions as crimes; we leave that judgement up to the reader. We tend not to have Criticism sections in biographies. Historical articles are typically sufficiently NPOV that one wouldn't be able to tell whether the authors supported or opposed any given action, as they should be. Nothing should hint at the author being eg pro- or anti-genocide. Listing objective appointments and actions and such is basically what the lead has looked like for most of the article's existence. Are you suggesting that it shouldn't be? This is pretty basic NPOV. --Yair rand (talk) 21:40, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
I really, really, really hope that every editor here is "anti-genocide" and I don't see any problem with our coverage reflecting that... – Joe (talk) 07:25, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
And that is exactly the problem. Wikipedia is a neutral source. Editors, who want to have their opinions shown, can edit Conservapedia or RationalWiki. Just take a look at the article concerning the Liepāja massacres. Those massacres were anti-Semitic, gruesome and immoral in every sense of the word. However, such characterizations do not appear in the text: the facts speak for themselves. And that is how it should be written in an encyclopedia. Best regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 11:24, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
@Joe Roe: All articles are required to be written from a neutral point of view. That includes articles dealing with extremely abhorrent views. The NPOV FAQ specifically calls out the issue of morally abhorrent views ("What about views that are morally offensive to most readers, such as advocacy of homicidal cannibalism, which some people actually hold? Surely we are not to be neutral about them?"), requiring that we present them neutrally. NPOV is a binding policy which is non-negotiable. Articles may not be anti-cannibalism, anti-genocide, anti-human-extinction, or anti-anything else. This is fundamental to what Wikipedia is. --Yair rand (talk) 23:23, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
Articles may not be anti-cannibalism, anti-genocide, anti-human-extinction – I will add this to the collection of utterly astonishing and deplorable quotes from this discussion. – Joe (talk) 07:17, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
@Joe Roe: but that is what NPOV means. We all agree that Wikipedia articles must be neutral. That means articles cannot be pro or anti anything, regardless of one's personal views or how widely those views are or are not shared. Thryduulf (talk) 11:32, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
@Thryduulf, I don't think that's quite right. Articles must be pro-something if all the reliable sources are pro-that thing, and anti-something if all the reliable sources are anti-that thing. The goal is not to leave people wondering whether or not a hoax was a hoax, whether the Alternative cancer treatments that Facebook is adverstising are just as effective as what their oncologists recommend, etc.
There are subjects over which reasonable people (and, relevantly, reliable sources) can disagree, but neutrality means "representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without editorial bias, all the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic", not "articles cannot be pro or anti anything, even if all reliable sources are 'pro' and none are 'anti'." If all the sources are 'pro', then the article can't be neutral unless it is also "proportionately" 'pro', too. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:29, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: yes and no. If all the reliable sources are pro (or anti) obviously our article will be presenting only that viewpoint, and our readers should not be left wondering wether the subject is or isn't a Good Thing. However, we should be careful to always show not tell, including in that situation. "Quack Mixture is a syrup manufactured by BadCorp marketed as a dietary supplement that will cure various diseases and ailments including the common cold, influenza and Covid-19. All reliable medical authorities agree that the mixture conveys no medical benefits and indeed may be harmful for some people. It has been banned by regulators in the EU, USA and 27 other countries." rather than "QuackMixture is a fraudulent and harmful fake product that, despite marketing claims, does not cure the common cold, influenza or Covid-19." (please can someone add some sub-headers to this section, it's not easy to edit currently). Thryduulf (talk) 02:21, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
@Thryduulf, I don't think that's the actual practice. See, e.g., "Homeopathy or homoeopathy is a pseudoscientific system of alternative medicine." I am only partly joking when I say that some editors would like to have that sentence read "Although it doesn't work, homeopathy, which doesn't work, is a type of alternative medicine that doesn't work". WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:11, 31 October 2020 (UTC)

Search Carl Benjamin and read the text in the box to the right. Wikipedia editors are writing for google and not a reference work. fiveby(zero) 20:25, 23 October 2020 (UTC)

@Fiveby: Google just takes information and create their own infoboxes and link to whatever they like. That doesn't mean that the editors edit for Wikipedia. If you notice there's also links to facebook, Instagram, and twitter too.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 21:09, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Good company. fiveby(zero) 21:37, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
I feel some editors are unintentionally using WP to wage the fight in the ongoing culture war in an inappropriate RIGHTGREATWRONGS matter, knowing that WP is read by many and has influence (such as appearing in Google search results like this). It is important that we do not allow those agencies that are deep in the culture war get their way on WP and we have to fight off mis/disinformation campaigns from these agencies and those that want to support them, absolutely, but that doesn't mean we swing the other way to treat those groups in an unencyclopedic fashion. Again, Wikivoice is amoral here, and we're not supposed to be taking a side here. --Masem (t) 22:21, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
I hope my hyperbole is not taken to mean that it's not important, or that the difficulties aren't apparent. I think lots of editors do phenomenal work. fiveby(zero) 23:26, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
@Fiveby: I think you're right on the money. I don't feel that the way the lead starts at Proud Boys really doesn't conform to generally accepted MOS for biography yet there is such a great bickering over tha first line. See all the discussion at Talk:Proud Boys and Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view/Noticeboard#White_supremacy_and_the_Proud_Boys. I think how it gets picked up by Google is why such a big deal is made over the first line. Graywalls (talk) 21:25, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
...all those RfCs asking: should the first sentence of the lead describe X as Y? and filling the talk pages. fiveby(zero) 21:37, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
After reviewing all the information that I saw, I'm going to also weight in and agree with Masem and Levivich that these labels are not encyclopedic and it is not for Wikipedia to label these people. I believe this especially holds true if the person doesn't align or confirm alignment with those views.
Terms such as "far-left" or "far-right" or even "alt-right" and even "Facist" are not encyclopedic and they are indeed bludgeoning tactical terms that media has continued to use. There is room to be labeled "Far-left" or "far-right" but I believe after the political meltdown. I truly believe Wikipedia needs to be more strict with these terms. In this modern age, it's almost impossible to be subjective. Even scholars have their own political alignments. So we can't rely on subjective opinions on where someone is aligned with and call it an objective fact. There's some recentism at play by labeling with these terms when at this time it's common to use them as insults.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 22:07, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Be that as it may, in the case of Carl Benjamin, that he is "known for his opposition to feminism" or "for his antifeminism" is an objective fact, and that he is "opposed to feminism" is something he himself has stated. There are various ways this can be stated in the article, but leaving out this basic piece of information - which is the main reason for him to be considered notable - would be most unencyclopaedic (and also a NOTCENSORED violation). Newimpartial (talk) 22:23, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
You've just contradicted yourself with that statement, as there's no way that we can consider any of that "objective fact". Objctive fact is something demonstrated though something comparable to the scientific process, not just "because so many journalists said so so it must be true"; we do not use that approach anywhere else on WP, and to continue to argue that shows how broken this is --Masem (t) 23:06, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Objective social facts are facts that are established by rigorous social-scientific processes, such as those used by sociologists and historians. Not all of these processes have to wait years after the fact for such data to be collected, as many professional ethnographers or demographers could tell you. In the case of Carl Benjamin being noted for his opposition to feminism, this has already been established by scholars and quality journalists who have looked at the reporting about him and observed the online communities he has been part of. Given the extent of the documentation available for this (recent) history, this is a verifiablen, objective fact. That Benjamin has stated his opposition to feminism is, in fact, part of the historical record already. You are strawmannig me ("because so many journalists have said so") in a discussion where I have presented scholarly citations on this as well as journalism; in point of fact I am not the one applying different standards of evidence on this topic than in the rest of the encyclopaedia. Newimpartial (talk) 23:24, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Sometimes subjective attributes are presented as facts in professionally written encyclopedia. For example "has a pleasant ether like odour." "plesant" and "ether like" are subjective qualities, yet these are stated as facts. In my opinion, that's about as accurate as describing lemon as having "lime like flavor" and perhaps not everyone finds the odor "plesant". "denser than water" is an objective fact. Graywalls (talk) 23:38, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Which itself would extend from the scientific literature, given that smell or taste of a chemical is something impossible to quantify except against other more common things. (Eg its well known that cyanide has an almond-like taste but that's the last thing you'd want to verify). But here again, this is something that the scientific literature has come to agreement to use via peer-review as a means to assess chemical odors, which the EB just replicated; it is something still determined through the scientific process, and not really comparable to the use of value labels to describe people which can't be proven out, only asserted. --Masem (t) 23:51, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Objective social facts are facts that are established by rigorous social-scientific processes, such as those used by sociologists and historians Which I agree with, and why we should we be waiting some time (Years) until these sources actually arrive with that rigorour process that takes years to complete to make that determination, and not using the current media. Doesn't matter how much material there is, we're still far too close to these events to establish if this is how history will document him, for example. Completely different standards are being applied here, because if the same standards were used across WP, we'd be calling Hitler evil, Casablanca the greatest movie ever, the Beatles the greatest musical group ever, and numerous other things directly in wikivoice and right up front in their respective articles. It is a very selective twist of policies that editors have applied across the right-leaning set of topics (the ones the current media have shown high detest for) only. I don't think this is intentional, its fighting back against the culture war, but it is showing how badly these articles are written in terms of tone and presentation of media and public opinion in wikivoice compared the rest of the encyclopedia. We can't be in this blame game (that's a job for a liberal-leaning wiki, not us) even though it is really easy to slip into taht mode. --Masem (t) 23:51, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Noting that Carl Benjamin is anti-feminist is simply not in the same category as describing the Beatles as the greatest musical group or Casablanca as the greatest movie. The former can be documented using logical and impartial criteria, while the latter are subjective judgements. Many of the other statements in article ledes objected to by the OP, such as describing Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed as a "2008 American documentary-style propaganda film", rather than a "documentary", are simply more accurate than the whitewashed versions they replaced - not only do they give more information, but the information they give is more accurate. There is no justification for presenting Expelled first as a documentary and then noting criticisms of its veracity, when the reliable sources have concluded with very good reasons (that don't have much to do with any "culture war") that it is propaganda. Newimpartial (talk) 02:22, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
The arguments are exactly the same - the bulk of the media say so, there's no counterargument, so we need to present it that way as fact is effectively the logic here, and that's why its wrong. Taking a look at the Expelled talk page, the change to label it a propaganda film is only recent (last 2-3 years) and thus part of this same twist of using Wikivoice to be judgmental, and represents the same problem here; the talk page uses the same logical faults ("none of RSes same its nothing but proganda, so it must be fact that it is"). Given that the filmmakers appear to have earnestly made it a documentary, it should be presented like that --- BUT clearly because its touching on fringe concepts, its contents should be called out where appropriate in line with FRINGE and we can certain reference that major sources considered it more a proganda piece. Almost all of these problems (making the jump that the "majority of press agree on point of contest/controversy/subjective nature" means it must be an "objective fact") is drawing WP into this culture war when we need to be distancing ourselves and not taking any sides or the like. The more we keep doing it, the more we continue to create conflicts and have editors drawn to try to "fix" it by flooding with misinformation. Staying neutral and impartial on these topics will significantly help prevent that. --Masem (t) 02:59, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
@Newimpartial: Personally, I agree that Expelled is a propaganda movie. However, as an encyclopedia we cannot say that. WP:NPOV states that Articles must not take sides, but should explain the sides, fairly and without editorial bias. This applies to both what you say and how you say it.
If we call the film a propaganda movie, we take sides and violate the very basics of the NPOV-rule. Thus, the best we can do is explaining the falsehoods, inaccuracies, and the tricks the producers pulled both during production and editing. And all without editorial bias. That is not "whitewashing." That is making a good article. Best regards, Jeff5102 (talk) 09:01, 24 October 2020 (UTC)

FALSEBALANCE is on the same level as IMPARTIAL for a reason. Not all issues have two (or more) comparable sides - sometimes there is "one side" that is based on what actually happened, and an "other side" based on a conspiracy theory. And in that scenario, User:Masem, "not taking sides" is in fact taking a side, and we call that activity WHITEWASHING.

Also, nobody in this discussion is using the argument the bulk of the media say so, there's no counterargument, so we need to present it that way. I have pointed this out as a strawman twice already, and will not be responding to it further since it is not my position. If you haven't read correctly my account above of how social facts are known, that ain't my fault. Newimpartial (talk) 11:52, 24 October 2020 (UTC)

WP:FALSEBALANCE is about claims that the Earth is flat, that the Knights Templar possessed the Holy Grail, that the Apollo moon landings were a hoax, and similar ones. Conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, speculative history, or plausible but currently unaccepted theories. It is not about denying persons to defend themselves in their own article. In short: Carl Benjamin is not on the fringe when it is about Carl Benjamin. Jeff5102 (talk) 13:29, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Not true at all, especially since we are only supposed to be documenting the controversy. I know in the current culture wars that the idea that if one is not actively engaged on one side or the other, one is considered part of the problem, but WP has to be neutral and cannot be involved here, that's not anything in our purpose or the like. We can't take a side. The argument is not a false balance one either, as that would be asking to include the counter-arguments at any length. Instead, as documented at WP:YESPOV, if we know that a stand is controversial or contestable , we're not supposed to present it in WS as fact, but with sometime that implies its attribution, and that's all that needs to be then be said if there's nothing that can be reliably sourced in counter-argument to that. Just as we can't say "CB is anti-feminist" but can say "CB is widely considered anti-feminist", we can't say "The Beatles are the greatest musical act of all time" but we can say "The Beatles are often considered one of the greatest musical acts of all time", without the need to any any counter-points or any other sourcing from what exists already (eg avoiding the false balance), but keeping characterization out of Wikivoice and thus keeping it neutral and impartial. --Masem (t) 13:36, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
Both of you are arguing about a counterfactual. Carl Benjamin isn't defending himself against accusations of antifeminism; he argues rather that feminism really is the problem. The fact that he takes an antifeminist position is pure WP:BLUESKY. Likewise, to note that Benjamin rose to prominence through his participation in Gamergate and his antifeminist activism isn't becoming involved or taking a side, it is making a factual statement backed up by scholarship as well as quality reporting. Nobody disputes these facts - not the BLP subject, not the right-wing disinformation machine, nobody. But certain avowed centrists among the WP community imagine these documented facts to be "contentious" and thereby create FUD that makes them appear so. They are not, except in the minds of certain WP editors.
Perhaps, Masem, you believe that if everyone including the BLP subject understands that subject to inhabit a contentious identity, like being a flat-earth advocate, that WP must nevertheless attribute that characterization because being a flat-earth advocate is taking a controversial position. If so, this seems to me to be a complete misreading of LABEL, which is intended to cover situations where the labels themselves are contested, not ones where everyone can agree that a categorization applies but some are for and others agin' the position categorized. Newimpartial (talk) 14:30, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
We have more common sense to understand that even if there is an absence of any direct contentious to the use of a label in any source, even those not in RSes, the use of such labels should be taken for granted as a contestable aspect, particularly in the absent of direct self-identification, that's the whole reason they are value-laden labels - you can't prove the negative. Otherwise, we're presenting a position of only allowing what the media presents as their view to be our view in wikivoice, which is absolutely not acceptable. As I mentioned, only with significant time and academic analysis can we even begin to consider adapting labels to be fact but that's after allowing the academic process of peer review and the passage of time to distance analysis from current events to be able to judge that. Otherwise, we are simply making WP be an engager in the current culture war, which is not a role we're suppose to take.
Self-identification is where things change. If a person has said they were a flat-earther, we'd present that as one of those areas they present. A good example (properly written) pulled from the category appears to be David Wolfe (raw food advocate), where we state, neutrally, what he is in his career, and then note his pseudoscientific beliefs which is what he is notable for , but without any additional commentary to that. That's putting the characterization secondary to the objective facts about the topic, but still covering it as appropriate to the WEIGHT of sources. Trying to pushing characterization before is not our place. On the other hand, from the same flat earth category, somethng like B.o.B is clearly badly worded that sets an immediate negative tone by the forced inclusion of the non-objective "conspiracy theorist" term in the lede. That he does promote conspiracy theories including flat earth should be noted in the lede, which it does later, but you can see how that small inclusion at the time immediately taints the entire read of the article, and given how small the section on his views are compared to his musical career, that's even perhaps UNDUE. This is the type of blame game that editors are likely unintentionally doing because of this attitude, that we have to call out these "bad" behaviors on such topics, which in reality WP needs to be far more impartial on. --Masem (t) 16:15, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
I didn't see much there that engaged with what I said in a meaningful way, so I wasn't going to reply. However, I think I should address the assertion that you can't prove the negative. This is a nonsense argument in this context - people try to prove the negative of these labels all the time. People try to show that Ezra Pound wasn't really a fascist or that Martin Heidegger wasn't really a Nazi, for example. And when such arguments have supporting evidence, the descriptions of such figures become nuanced to reflect the scholarship. But arguments that Adolf Hitler wasn't a Nazi, or that the National Socialist party wasn't antisemitic, are taken as nonsense - not because you can't prove a negative, but because the negative is so obviously false. Newimpartial (talk) 23:36, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
And those arguments go to the "sufficient time passed" factors I've mentioned: we have more than enough time in academic analysis that scholarly determination has made that distinction that clearly define the Nazi party as antisemitic in a factual basis from an academic view. We're not using media of the 1940s to make that distinction, but academic analysis from the decades that followed. --Masem (t) 23:59, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
I am reasonably confident that Hitler is characterized as a Nazi, and the Nazi party is labelled antisemitic, from their very first respective mentions in encyclopedias. And I doubt very much that discussions of Pound and Heidegger in encyclopedias and similar reference works left out mentioning or characterizing these BLP subjects' Naziism and Fascism until "sufficient time passed". Masem, your claim here seems entirely unsupported by evidence - just because so much time has passed by now does lend support to the hypothesis that it only recently became possible to make these characterizations. Newimpartial (talk) 01:24, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
The First paragraph of the Adolf Hitler-article is:

[Hitler] was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as the chancellor of Germany in 1933 and then as Führer in 1934.[a] During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland on 1 September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

Please note the absence of words like "antisemitic", "racist" or "far right." Without these characterizations, it is perfectly clear to readers that initiating World War II and perpetrating the Holocaust is very bad already. That is no coincidence. After all, MOS:LEADBIO tells us to write clinically, and let the facts speak for themselves. These concerns are especially pressing at biographies of living persons. Even after all the discussions here, I do not see good reasons to divert from this rule. Regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 10:08, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you are saying here, since the leader of the Nazi party is literally a Nazi - the opening of the Hitler article. And anyone following that link will find that The Nazi Party ... was a far-right political party in Germany and at the end of the lede in the 1930s the party's main focus shifted to antisemitic and anti-Marxist themes. As I stated above, Hitler is labelled as a Nazi, and the Nazis are characterized as antisemitic, as I believe has been the case for as long as either have held encyclopaedic attention. Newimpartial (talk) 13:08, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
There is a difference between "the nazi-party is an antisemitic and anti-Marxist party" and "Nazi political strategy focused on anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, and anti-capitalist rhetoric, although this was later downplayed to gain the support of business leaders, and in the 1930s the party's main focus shifted to antisemitic and anti-Marxist themes," as the complete quote goes.
And on your other point: indeed, now it says immediately the Nazi Party is "far right." This was inserted in June 2017 by User:Jaco IV, a user who was blocked a year later, and turned out to be a sock puppetteer. I would say that the article could do without this label, if the discussion page was not Talk:Nazi_Party/Archive_6#Semi-protected_edit_request_on_8_July_2017 visited by one-time editors whose fringe-theory expressed the opposite. In situations like this, I understand the labeling.
Still, that does not change MOS:LEADBIO tells us to write clinically, and let the facts speak for themselves. These concerns are especially pressing at biographies of living persons. I still believe that this rule stands. Regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 16:36, 25 October 2020 (UTC)

I agree that we should be clinical, but CB is quite clinically and impartially antifeminist, and that he "rose to prominence through his antifeminism" is a purely accurate statement that does not imply POV. Obviously for his many followers, his antifeminism has been a feature rather than a bug. Newimpartial (talk) 17:46, 25 October 2020 (UTC)

I don't know what people mean when they say feminist these days, let alone an antifeminist. Looking at his article, he opposes Reclaim the Internet and social justice feminism. Reading antifeminism#Definition tells me nothing about Benjamin, and really the political views section does not either. Editors ref-bombing the labels and failing to actually describe the person. His views are probably somewhere in between oppisition to just the two things mentioned and revoking the vote and founding Gilead, but I really have no idea. Seven talk page archives and this is the best Wikipedia can do to serve the reader? fiveby(zero) 00:30, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
I think it is safe to sat that people who blame feminists for the rise in misogyny are antifeminists. Newimpartial (talk) 01:58, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
Women Against Feminism is antifeminist [4], as was Lucy Dawidowicz [5], among other notable women. I read "CB is an antifeminist" and I think "Oh, like Dawidowicz?". No, not like Dawidowicz. Not at all like that. That's why the label is meaningless... it has too many meanings. Lev!vich 02:22, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
Anti-feminists may not have any more in common than feminists do, but that doesn't imply that either term is meaningless. Next thing I know, you'll tell me we shouldn't be talking about libertarians or anarchists because there are too many different kinds. :p. Newimpartial (talk) 02:32, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for bringing up anarchism. I went to the article of Noam Chomsky, and saw his article starts with his professions and expertises. Only in the end of the first paragraph, it says that Ideologically, he aligns with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism. That is how to "write clinically," and is so much better than describing him as a anarcho-syndicalist and libertarian socialist linguist and philosopher. Or, even worse, if we let his enemies characterize him: an America-hating, Holocaust-denying anarchist. We do have reliable sources to back these claims up, but charactarizations like those would turn the article into an attack-page, and attack-pages do not belong on Wikipedia. Instead, I do think the Chomsky-lead is a good example on how encyclopedic leads should be written. Regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 09:01, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
Yes all that for the first line. When you search Proud Boys on Google, the right side box shows "The Proud Boys is a far-right and neo-fascist male-only organization that promotes and engages in political violence in the United States and Canada. Proud Boys|Wikipedia". Clearly, I think one of the huge motivation behind such a long winded bicker over the line is for the control of how it shows up on Google. Graywalls (talk) 22:44, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
  • My thoughts: a well written, neutral article lead starts by defining WHAT the topic is, and THEN discusses WHY the topic is NOTABLE. The facts can be presented in one sentence or many... but the order is what establishes the neutral tone. So... we don’t say “Hitler was a genocidal German leader”... we say “Hitler was a German leader who was genocidal”. Blueboar (talk) 00:48, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment - this discussion is long, intense, and informative. After weighing and measuring the different perspectives that were presented, I closely align with the arguments presented by Masem, Levivich, and Blueboar, which are basically corroborated by Jimbo, who did not participate in this particular discussion but whose perspectives are similar as evidenced by the following: To say it in WikiVoice, or not??, To include it in a BLP, or not??, and Politics, presidents and NPOV. I think it pretty much wraps it up in a nutshell. WP:LABEL guides us in the handling of contentious labels, and WP:Editorializing further explains certain aspects of NPOV relative to impartial tone. In fact, our WP:PAG are quite clear about everything that has been brought up in this discussion, and we should not stray too far off the beaten path in what appears to be an effort to RGW, or to align with one's own subjectivity. Our editing should be pragmatic reflecting a dispassionate tone; i.e. encyclopedic. Granted, WP doesn't have firm rules, and content and interpretation can evolve over time but it should not go in a direction that may prove detramental to the project's neutrality. With the slang characterization of opinions in mind, use your imagination and I'll just say everybody has one, including our readers. They should be the ones forming their own opinions based on what they glean from our neutral, accurate and factually presented articles. Atsme 💬 📧 10:18, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    I Agree completely with Atsme, Masem, Levivich and Blueboar. NPOV on Wikipedia has long been described as "absolute and non-negotiable" and part of that is not labelling people as pro or anti anything. When people descirbe themselves as pro or anti something, or there is a strong consensus of academic literature that so describes them then we report that characterisation without labelling them ourselves. Thryduulf (talk) 11:32, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    But in MOS:LABEL, this only applies to Value-laden labels—such as calling an organization a cult, an individual a racist or sexist, terrorist, or freedom fighter, or a sexual practice a perversion. Are you seriously suggesting that anti-racist or pro-irridentist activism are "value laden" in the same sense as the examples given? If so, what about "environmentalist" or "climate change activist"? Do they count as well, even though they don't have "pro" or "anti" in the name? Because if the scope of MOS:LABEL is supposed to be that wide its language needs to he clarified, for sure. Newimpartial (talk) 11:45, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    IMO, yes MOS:LABEL should apply to all labels. What is "value-laden" is subjective. We should describe someone as "an activist for environmental issues" rather than "an environmentalist", unless "environmentalist" is the only term they use to describe themselves. Thryduulf (talk) 12:15, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
Indeed, self-described labels should be fine. When a politician was a life-long member of the Anti-Revolutionary Party, then there is no problem in calling him an "Anti-Revolutionary politician" (though "politician of the Anti-Revolutionary Party" is better). That said, I also completely agree with User:Atsme. We are here to make, as she says, neutral, accurate and factually presented articles, to have readers form their own opinions, not to tell them how to think about persons,organisations, documentaries or music groups. Is there a way to highlight her words as the conclusion of this discussion? Best regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 12:38, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

I'm very late to this party (I normally don't follow VP). The original editor makes a very compelling argument. I 100% agree that we need to use fewer labels and let the readers draw their own conclusions from the actions, events, etc discussed in the article. What is the answer? Not sure but seeing the problem sure is a step in the right direction! Springee (talk) 22:48, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

I do want to stress that I don't think there's an argument to disallow the use of labels. But when they are used, they should not be in wikivoice if the labels are primarily originating from recent media and not from academic sources. A concurrent argument would be when the sourcing of such labels in quantity is sufficient to not require named attribution in lede/summary statements, and when it should be more specific to whom is making the claim by naming the speaker(s) (differentiating between a label widely used to describe a person/group, and a label used somewhat more selectively), and of course avoiding one-off label claims even if coming from one single high quality RS. --Masem (t) 23:08, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
...but for some subjects, "recent media" is the best, and sometimes the only, source, and for non-academic subjects, high-quality media should not be despised.
I do not think that we should be afraid of stating, in "wikivoice", things that are very widely stated in Wikipedia:Independent sources. We should not have sentences that start to sound like "According to Alice, Bob, Carol, Dan, Erin, Frank, Grace, and pretty much every other independent source that's ever written about this guy, he's a _____". That would be silly. The opening sentence of Richard B. Spencer is probably fine just like it is, and it does not need to be re-written with WP:INTEXT attribution. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:13, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
For recent topics, recent media may be the current best source, but it should be recognized as "recent" and that means RECENTISM applies. This doesn't mean we ignore the media, because much of the time their notability is tied to how they are characterized by the media and actions/events that stem from that. But we have to recognize that the media does not have the "wisdom" that time and sufficient academic review can give, so it is wrong to call them the "best" source", at least while things are still current. To compare it to the scientific world, even if a peer-reviewed paper came out tomorrow in the journal of Nature that said we can get cold fusion with graphene, Diet Coke and Mentos, and there's sound scientific theory behind, we would not write that immediate as fact in Wikivoice, but instead something like "Researchers from such-and-such claims they achieved cold fusion..." in the short term. If other researchers were able to replicate it, bring it to scale and show it to be correct, then we may later change it to fact. This is the same vector that climate change theory became accepted as fact over multiple decades. Now, I do understand that we may never see academic analysis of some of these people or groups years down the road, which okay, sure, at which point if there's nothing else that shows conflict in the long-term future, then the consensus that had been developed now could be taken as fact, but we should absolutely wait on that.
On the matter of writing towards that, I've talked elsewhere of the idea of a source survey that serves double duty for this as well as satifisying future complaints "but no sources say this!". If we want to incorporate any of those labels on Spenser's article, the first step would be to take a good number (100 or more, but 200+ is better if we can) of what we do deem as RSes over a reasonable source range and time range that Google News will give hits on (say, 2014 to 2020), and find out how many apply the label of interest (eg neo-Nazi, conspiracy theorist, etc.) to him in that context against how many many that don't. If its a reasonable high percentage that do (and to me, 25% or more is reasonable high), we're talking a broad use of the label which can be reflected in Wikivoice without stating it as a fact that "Spencer is broadly considered to be a neo-Nazi." without having to name sources, presuming that the body is going to state this again and have a paragraph or so that gets in to the evidence from these sources to explain why this is the case (he expresses neo-Nazi beliefs? He sides with neo-Nazi groups? I dunno exactly what is used, but when you read on SPLC why they label a group as a hate group, they give reasons why, this is the type of "documentation" I would expect). If only 10-25% of sources say this, or the source selection is very narrow, then it probably is necessary to name the specific sources that use the label. If its' less than 10%, then you're probably looking at only a handful of individuals using the label, and that's something probably to keep out of the lede and may itself be a fringe/undue view to include. (These are very very rough guidelines but it gives the idea of addressing the concern of having a bazillion source names in the lead when its not really necessary). --Masem (t) 20:08, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
  • RECENTISM is about breaking news, not about subjects that don't interest scholars.
  • Given that you can create a BLP on the basis of just two (2) independent reliable sources, why do you think that we could realistically have 200+ reliable sources that all talk about the same aspect of a typical BLP?
  • I notice that on the one hand, you're advocating for only mentioning negative things that scholarly sources say about BLPs, and on the other, you say that you like the SPLC as a source. Are you counting their website/database as a scholarly source? I don't. I count it as a reliable source, and I think we should use reliable sources for this kind of content, not merely reliable sources that were published in the academic literature.
WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:00, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
RECENTISM is more than just breaking news; it covers many facets related to how to cover topics that are recent and making sure to focus on facts over opinions.
Keep in mind that in terms of notability, WP is looking at enduring coverage. We want to know why a person is notable over time, not for a spat of coverage. (The essence of WP:BIO1E and WP:NEVENT as well). Someone it just takes one event to cause a change in perception: arguably this is the situation around Andy Ngo after that Proud Boys incident in Portland, or how we view people like Kevin Spacey caught (convicted or not) in the #MeToo movement that seeming changes how the tone of writing in the media which gets reflected in Wikipedia. So just because 200+ sources all might focus on, say, the anti-feminism of Benjamin here, we're still writing a biographical article and need to write that clinically and neutrally. If those 200+ sources were all over a period of a few months representing just a burst of coverage, and nothing since (which I know isn't the case but hypothetically), maybe the event that triggered them wasn't as significant as implied by the source count. Even if those 200 sources are spread over time, but all they just do is name drop the person with the label and do not explain further, that's not helpful either. If it is notable facet, it will be covered in an enduring manner.
SPLC may cross both but it depends on context. For example, they recently did an article to look at the origins of the monuments in the South and their ties to the Confederacy and other groups. That would be a scholarly article. On the other hand, their typical database of cataloging groups into hate groups would be more media/advocacy and needs to be attributed - but still a reliable source. Remember, the issue here is not doubting the quality or reliability of these sources, but simply the context of how we present their information in Wikivoice to keep a clinical , neutral, impartial tone on topics that may be highly controversial otherwise in the media and current scholarly works, per WP:OUTRAGE; Wikivoice cannot be judgement or imply judgement on current topics, but only can lead the reader to understand what that judgement is if that has the WEIGHT of coverage. --Masem (t) 17:18, 28 October 2020 (UTC)

Actionable proposals This is a valuable discussion, with some good points raised by both sides. I think there's common ground to be found here – is anyone willing to propose some actionable guidelines or suggestions that we can compromise on and implement? I have an initial idea to get the ball rolling, but I'll first put my cards on the table (skip to my suggestion below if you don't want to hear me wax lyrical). I lean in the opposite direction to Masem, Levivich et al. and sympathise most with the arguments made by Guy and Newimpartial. I recognise the valid points made about the slippery slope of labels and moral judgements, and think it's worthwhile seeing if we can take steps to reduce this trend as some of the examples above have simply taken this too far. We avoid advocacy ... and describe points of view in context rather than as "the truth" or "the best view". Saying that, I have strong reservations about a slippery slope in the opposite direction, where we avoid calling a spade a spade despite the overwhelming weight of RS saying this, and give unnecessary oxygen to the conspiracy theories and intolerance which left unchecked in an age of disinformation, will eventually gobble up the free society, tolerance and civility Wikipedia relies on. We characterize information and issues rather than debate them ... all articles must strive for verifiable accuracy, citing reliable, authoritative sources – we should take care to avoid debating baseless conspiracy theories or extremist narratives from non-RS sources, or presenting their case in a way that creates a WP:FALSEBALANCE. If we're going to cover conspiracies/extremists, we have to call them what they are. So, on that basis...

  • Suggestion:

The use of politicised labels (perhaps there's a less nebulous term for this? can we define this?) in the first lead paragraph:

  1. must not rely on or cite opinion, editorial, commentary or feature articles, even from media judged as RS;
  2. requires widespread (not universal) RS coverage from academic articles, published books or factual reporting only in media judged as RS (e.g. the news section of broadsheet newspapers with excellent reputations, press agencies); —can we include sources like The Economist (excellent reputation but does not separate analysis from reporting) here? My gut feeling would be we should, but then again, on what basis?
and no dissenting coverage in RS (not including dissenting coverage in non-RS, opinion pieces in RS etc.)
This may well be a stupid suggestion, but at least this way we can still call David Duke a white supremacist. Can we come up with a better one that we can build a consensus around? Rhetorical debate is only helpful up to a certain point. Jr8825Talk 04:24, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
I'm not sure if this is necessary the right way. To use the Carl Benjamin example, the lede absolutely should mention the "anti-feminism" label somewhere, because the WEIGHT of sources that use it (even if it is going to be out of Wikivoice) is undeniable and it is part of why he's notable. It's more simply, going to what Blueboar said above, that our ledes should start with the more objective, factual elements (what I've said "what the topic is") and then move onto the subjective assessments if that's what they're most notable for ("how they are characterized") with those characterizations kept out of wikivoice if we don't have the wisdom of time to use more academic sources for it. More generally, editors need to step back and make sure it is not Wikivoice looking like it is the one being critical here, and that we are being clinical and impartial in the coverage of the lede, and should not be overly focused on painting people like Benjamin as "bad" but summarizing the sources as to explain that. --Masem (t) 14:12, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
Do you notice that I suggested this could be only for the first lead paragraph? Perhaps, instead of labels, we should focus on reducing value-laden judgements? Jr8825Talk 14:30, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
I appreciate Jr moving this discussion towards some concrete improvements via an actionable proposal. I agree that what we're really talking about is how to strike the right balance: it's not about "labels" or "no labels", but about when, where, and how to use which labels. For my part, most of my focus has been on the use of labels specifically in the lead sentence. I think the specific parameters set out above are reasonable, and could be incorporated into MOS:1ST. However, I think a better approach than trying to devise must/must-not rules (which is always very hard to do site wide across topic areas), would be to focus instead on how a lead sentence should describe the topic, with encourage/discourage language, and specifically addressing labels in the course of that guidance. Currently a lot of MOS:1ST is focused on technical formatting issues rather than giving advice about how to write good content. That advice is contained in other essays and stuff, and perhaps some of that essay guidance should be incorporated into the MOS guideline. Lev!vich 18:22, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
BTW when I think of "guidance", I think of examples like Jeff's above: I went to the article of Noam Chomsky, and saw his article starts with his professions and expertises. Only in the end of the first paragraph, it says that Ideologically, he aligns with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism. That is how to "write clinically," and is so much better than describing him as an anarcho-syndicalist and libertarian socialist linguist and philosopher. Or, even worse, if we let his enemies characterize him: an America-hating, Holocaust-denying anarchist. We do have reliable sources to back these claims up ... Lev!vich 20:17, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
Agree with Lev!vich. Regards, Jeff5102 (talk) 19:50, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
@Jr8825: I agree with enacting more stringent requirements for politicised labels, but only for BLPs. There are multiple reasons for this: 1. People are complicated and often change their positions or have nuanced positions that are easily over-simplified. 2. We need to be conservative in the wording of BLPs because of the potential to cause actual harm to people (see WP:BLP). I think that it's fine for Wikipedia to have relatively low requirements for politicised labels in articles that aren't BLPs, such as deceased politicians (e.g. Hitler) and political organizations. What would you think about adding "in BLP articles" to your proposal? Kaldari (talk) 22:11, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
@Kaldari: - I have no objection to this. Jr8825Talk 22:16, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
Just a note that, since factual claims cannot be sourced to opinion pieces anyway, it seems somewhat redundant to insist that these labels not be sourced to opinion pieces. It only makes sense to me to include such characterizations in the lede if they represent factual (ultimately, evidence-based) descriptions, and we don't use opinion pieces for that. Newimpartial (talk) 22:31, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
@Newimpartial: I agree, I would describe the purpose of my suggestion as making more explicit/a restatement of existing principles. While I don't have the experienced to judge how frequently it happens, I have come across a considerable number of feature/analysis pieces (and even opinion pieces) being used to support value-laden terms on the basis that they are published by RS such as the NYT, Washington Post, Guardian etc. In particular, I think it's easy for editors less familiar with media literacy to conflate editorials and 'long-read'-style feature articles with NPOV. I suspect the decline of printed newspapers, with nicely delineated news and comment sections, and the spread of online news/social media makes this more of a concern than it would've been in Wikipedia's early days. It's an easy mistake to make even for more experienced editors, if the URL/title doesn't explicitly say "comment" or "opinion". Jr8825Talk 22:55, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
We have to contend these days with even major, traditionally-reputable, serious media organizations completely doing away with the distinction between news, analysis, and opinion. Lev!vich 23:00, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
(Perennial favorite Forbes (well, Faux too, but that already earned the RSP designation of "never use for politics"). Is there anyone else doing that right now? --Izno (talk) 23:24, 28 October 2020 (UTC))
Two examples front the current front page of CNN: this starts out as straight news but about halfway through, plenty of analysis and opinion gets mixed in. This is straight analysis not obviously labelled as such (for comparison, here is an example of labelled analysis). Both are in the "politics" section, where columns and contributor op-eds are still clearly marked, but in-house news/analysis gets real mixed. I think all "politics" sections are like that now. Partly it's Trump's fault. His administration has put out so much misinformation over the last four years that mainstream media has responded by doing inline fact-checking. Could we cite the first article to say that Trump is not happy about campaigning? Could we cite the second article to say that Obama pulled punches to use late in the campaign? I don't know; I can't tell. Lev!vich 23:38, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
While this practice started with Fox News since its inception, the use of it by the sources we'd call more reliable started with the Assoc Press's "accountability journalism" push in a more ethical manner in 2008 [6] which nearly every other major paper has adopted. And this is a well known issue - The Economist, CRJ American Press Institute. And considering that accountability journalism is to make these people of higher power "accountable" for what they do, that's completely against WP's neutrality, which is why this style of report is a problem and causing these issues. --Masem (t) 00:16, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
That is as may be, but to me there is a significant difference between a long-form, evidence-based analysis piece by a qualified subject matter journalist, and an editorial or op-ed intervention. It doesn't take much work for a volunteer to make that distinction, IME, beyond a critical look at the byline and an examination of the evidence cited or referenced. If WP editors can't make that distinction for themselves, I don't think we can blame legacy media for that. Newimpartial (talk) 00:33, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
Except its clearly not happening given this entire thread. To point out from the Economist article These pressures are changing the way newspapers report. Last year ap’s style book declared: “Do not use racially charged or similar terms as euphemisms for racist or racism when the latter terms are truly applicable.” Some organisations have embraced, even emblazoned taboo words: “A Fascist Trump Rally In Greenville” ran a headline last year in the Huffington Post. Others are inserting more value judgments into their copy....Disenchanted with objectivity, some journalists have alighted on a new ideal: “moral clarity”. The phrase, initially popularised on the right, has been adopted by those who want newspapers to make clearer calls on matters such as racism. Mr Lowery repeatedly used the phrase in a recent Times op-ed, in which he called for the industry “to abandon the appearance of objectivity as the aspirational journalistic standard, and for reporters instead to focus on being fair and telling the truth, as best as one can, based on the given context and available facts.” The editor of the Times, Dean Baquet, called Mr Lowery’s column “terrific” in an interview with the “Longform” podcast. Objectivity has been “turned into a cartoon”, he said. Better to aim for values such as fairness, independence and empathy. This is the problem , those values that are being praised by this approach in the press are incompatible with the encyclopedic form, but there are editors that stand on "but the media reported this, it must be true" stance. We need to editors to be aware of this type of reporting and recognize this, and the easiest way is simply to know that value-laden labels should never be said as fact in Wikivoice from this current period. --Masem (t) 00:45, 29 October 2020 (UTC)

I'm still stuck on the first part of that quotation: Last year ap’s style book declared: “Do not use racially charged or similar terms as euphemisms for racist or racism when the latter terms are truly applicable - try as I might, I can't see the problem with that change. If the journalist has correctly assessed the truth and relevance of the term "racist" or "racism", I don't see why using it, rather than a euphemism, would be a problem (1) for journalism or (2) for article writing here. The Economist piece is also downplaying a key argument being made by those it is quoting, namely the distinction between objectivity and the appearance of objectivity. It seems to me that this is clearly what is meant by objectivity has been "turned into a cartoon". The point is not to embrace partiality and ignore objectivity; the point is that the euphemisms, bothsides-ism and FALSEBALANCE that had been used to maintain the appearance of objectivity had led to coverage that was less objective and less truthful than it should have been. While the obligations of WP editors are not the same as those of journalists, I don't think our articles gain anything when they obscure the (reliably sourced) truth and the best available characterization in favor of imaginary WHATABOUT considerations or concessions to FRINGE POV. Newimpartial (talk) 01:11, 29 October 2020 (UTC)

Guys, we're going in circles here, and illustrating quite nicely how our job as Wikipedia editors is not simple at all. This is why it's worth trying to find some common ground, it helps to be as explicit and clear as possible in guiding editors on how to approach areas such as current affairs, where these difficulties are most apparent. News & analysis inherently merge into each other – it doesn't make RS less serious or reputable. Perhaps stricter rules in (BLP) leads will encourage editors to inform themselves about this. (The Economist, which wears its self-described liberal values on its sleeve, has never separated factual and analytical articles, priding itself in its "distinctive blend of news, based on facts, and analysis, incorporating The Economist’s perspective"). As along as media sources are transparent about the values they apply to their reporting (even if they don't explicitly spell this out in individual articles), having an independent perspective, or "soul" (to quote C. P. Scott), is a highly desirable trait. It's an extremely common misconception (media literacy is not intuitive!) that media should (or even can) be impartial – witness the limitations of ardently value-free sources such as Reuters (refusing to label the 9/11 attackers terrorists, for example). Critical viewpoints are essential for understanding our world. At Wikipedia we have to cover the facts, then accompany these with the major analyses and viewpoints as fairly and neutrally as we can (which inherently requires us to adopt some value judgements). Our current policies say we shouldn't go as far as sources like Reuters, that we should describe [fringe views] in their proper context with respect to established scholarship and the beliefs of the wider world. CNN doesn't explain its stance as eloquently as The Economist, but I did notice that its stated aim is "To Inform, Engage and Empower the World", which is obviously a value-driven stance, not "just report the facts". This doesn't make it unreliable, value-free journalism doesn't exist, while fact-free journalism does!
@Izno: re: who else distinguishes between analysis and news: take a look at The Guardian, with its (rather undeserved) reputation among conservatives for being horribly biased. It rigorously (yet subtly in its online version) separates its "hard" factual reporting from its "soft" news sections. Take this article for example, which appears to the untrained eye to be an opinionated news article, but, if you scroll down to the end, you'll see it's tagged as 'features' (i.e. stories about news). All Guardian articles that are not pure factual reporting are tagged under 'features', 'opinion' or another relevant section. Compare this with its actual news reporting, which is tagged as 'news'. Here's an excellent example about climate change causing a train crash, demonstrating why it has its well-established reputation for fact-based reporting. This is what distinguishes a RS from a non-RS, but it's unreasonable to expect all our editors to be making this distinction all the time. That's why I think it's worth spelling it out for contentious topics. Jr8825Talk 01:18, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
Your "excellent example" of fact reporting and summary as "climate change causing a train crash" is a excellent example of how distinctions of "fact", "news analysis", and "opinion" are meaningless in the face of WP editors inability to critically read and evaluate sources, and their willingness to interpret them according to their point of view. fiveby(zero) 14:37, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
@Fiveby: You missed my point. It's an article whose title connects climate change with a train crash. My point is that The Guardian does not editorialise on the issue, it's simply reports the facts and statements of relevant politicians because it's the news section. Even the title is paraphrasing a government official's quote. To spell it out more clearly, my point is that you while you might expect a source like The Guardian to make a point on climate change, it doesn't. It's a good example of robust factual reporting. Jr8825Talk 17:14, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
I'm reluctant to push this further, but I find your criticism of my ability to read and evaluate sources a bit rich, given your recent (reverted) edits disputing the Daily Mail's inaccuracy. Jr8825Talk 17:25, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
There are some things i might use The Daily Mail for, finding factual information not one of them. I am disputing Wikipedia's accuracy. Michael Matheson is actually quoted further here. Guardian stretches the truth a bit, editors here do a great deal, and What we don't want to do at this particular point is to start to speculate about what actually caused it becomes climate change causing a train crash. Wikipedia has fine policies concerning neutral point of view, verifiability, and no original research, but those policies are left behind when it is easier to divide editors into the right side and wrong side of an issue. fiveby(zero) 18:46, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
I think that's a bit harsh. I do not think at all this is a competency issue with most editors particularly in these topic areas. I would say that some editors are strongly driven by their feelings towards a certain topic (whether it is like or dislike of that topic area) to let that cloud judgement and/or their willingness to evaluate sources critically in such cases. But I know it has been hard to discuss the changing nature of the media and its reporting style and how that impacts how WP should use these sources because of the "blind" trust some editors maintain for these works despite the evidence that the changing style moves away from elements that we can use appropriate while staying neutral and impartial. --Masem (t) 14:55, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
What I would say is that we are in the middle of a cultural shift, and are all experiencing it in different ways. Language that is "woke" to one person is "neutral" to another, and language that is "impartial" to one person is "euphemistic" to another. This isn't a context that allows for truly general rules, I think, only principles. Newimpartial (talk) 18:03, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
That's true, but it's also tautological: we are always in the middle of a cultural shift; there has never been a time or place in history when that hasn't been the case. What do we do about it? We don't impose our (editors') beliefs about what is woke/neutral/impartial/euphemistic. Instead, we follow the sources, and impose their beliefs. The question is: which sources? We get a different answer when we look at academic sources v. media. (And a different answer depending on which media we look at.) Lev!vich 18:58, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
Well, here is where my take is different from yours or Masem's: I don't think we really do get a different answer from academic sources vs. quality journalism. Academic sources over the last 10 years, say, use similar (though more nuanced) language to most journalistic sources over the last say 5 years - indeed, a lot of the language choices that have changed in this cultural shift probably came to journalism by way of academic discourse (which doesn't mean they originated there). So while the inclination I seem to detect in Masem is to set aside the most recent of scholarship until there is less turbulence in these language communities, I hold a view closer to yours I think, Levivich, that these issues are going to be with is for some time and we just have to navigate them. Newimpartial (talk) 20:46, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
We also have to acknowledge that journalism has changed within the last decade, and there is political bias involved more than ever, even to high-quality journalists. I still don't agree Journalists should be the deciding factor to label someone's ideology just because they believe they fit that criterion. To me, labeling their ideology it's very similar to label someone's religious belief. I understand that can be an extreme opinion, but i think its very important that we have labels that involve ideology. Especially BLPs who in the next ten years could identify as a Nazi, or as a new 4th wave Feminist. Even if it holds no value-laden, or used to spread a negative reputation, we're still labeling someone's own personal beliefs with words like feminist/anti-feminist.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 22:07, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
And where I differ from that is, that I don't agree that there is more political bias involved than ever. What I think has changed over the last 10 or so years, is a shift in the dominant political bias in reputable media from "let's make up terms that sound neutral, so that we (the media) can seem objective, even if it distorts what is actually happening" to "let's call things what they actually are, as best we can tell". And it is not at all clear to me that the second thing is in fact less neutral than the first, only that it may sound less neutral to people who are used to the old obfuscations. Newimpartial (talk) 00:12, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
Than "ever"? "Ever" would have to include the period of Yellow journalism plus various forms of state-controlled media and wholesale suppression of media. The Walter Cronkite era of "de-politicized" news was a historical anomaly, and it only existed in a handful of countries. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:58, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
So in your eyes, you believe media hasn't become more bias, almost the opposite direction?Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 20:57, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
More than when and where? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:59, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
Sorry, my question is directed toward Newimpartial, not you.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 21:01, 30 October 2020 (UTC)

Sorry; I didn't recognize that question as addressed to me. To answer it, I think we need to look at journalism at least as a field rather than a spectrum. Let's use left and right for political orientation (obviously a simplification) and the vertical direction for something like "expressiveness". So the Wall Street Jounal and the New York Post might be about the same distance to the right of the origin, but the WSJ would score much lower on expressiveness. Now it might seem that the more expressive sources are less reliable in general, but I'm not sure how true that is: Huffpost and the Guardian might score about the same for expressiveness, but the Guardian's news stories do not show the reliability problems that have plagued Huffpo.

So if this map makes any kind of sense, I would say that the last 10 years have seen a number of dots on the graph move up and to the left, while Fox made its dash up and to the right 15-20 years ago. During the postwar consensus in the US, the dots were clustered towards the center and much further down, and the UK print media have always been much more widely scattered in cartesian space than US print media ever were, while the same was never true of UK broadcast media. Does this make any sense? Fundamentally, I suppose I am saying that it isn't necessarily more "neutral" to be lower on the expressive dimension - 1960s US coverage of race issues is a good example, where it went out of its way to use pseudo-neutral language but was far more distorted in its reporting than the more expressive media of today. Left and right, expressive and not are characteristics of style, but what we should concern ourselves with when we use journalistic sources is the accuracy of their statements and their consistency with other sources. Newimpartial (talk) 15:31, 31 October 2020 (UTC) I suppose reliability would be a third dimension in this model, so that the Guardian would be close to Huffpo in X and Y but quite a bit higher in Z. The New York Post would be above the WSJ in the Y dimension, close to the same X but quite a bit lower in Z. Etc. Newimpartial (talk) 18:07, 31 October 2020 (UTC)

On one small point I agree with Newimpartial. It's not really about academic versus journalistic sources.
It's more about finding multiple sources that present a particular view, and then stating that view in Wikivoice, without establishing that it is a consensus view among the sources.
One example that's come to my attention recently is the Proud Boys, who are described in the first sentence as "neo-fascist". This is supported by four sources, and no doubt many more could be found.
Now, are they neo-fascist? Particularly in the carefully descriptive sense one would expect of an encyclopedia, meaning something like "adherents of a philosophy that has its origins in the works of Giovanni Gentile, albeit modified for later developments"? I don't know. They might be. I have not looked into it deeply. But what I can say is that looking at the tone of those four sources does not especially convince me.
What an "actionable proposal" for this might be, I don't know. As a rough-and-ready rule of thumb, I might say that if a group is described by a particular term by sources from the four poles, conservative, progressive, libertarian, and communitarian, then it can be so described without attribution. So if you can find them described as "neo-fascist" in the Wall Street Journal, Vox, Reason, and Utne Reader, then go for it. But if you have to cherry-pick from a particular viewpoint, then it should be attributed. It's not perfect because that doesn't exhaust the political space, but it's a lot better than the current situation. --Trovatore (talk) 05:21, 31 October 2020 (UTC)
  • I would suggest that rather than focusing on kicking out sources (or kicking out opinion/editorial page sources), we should do a better job of identifying for the reader the type of source being used. For example, saying that an article from X news site, or an editorial from Y newspaper, says whatever is in the point being cited. BD2412 T 00:00, 1 November 2020 (UTC)

I don't mind the source, or the quality of the source. After all, sources should return in the main part of the article, and prove their value and validity there (see MOS:LEADCITE). To return to the Noam Chomsky-examle: you will find hardly any references in the lead, and his politics is not sourced at all. Still, it is a good lead. For me, this discussion is more about how the lead is written than how the lead is sourced. Therefore:

  • Suggestion 2:

Wikipedia-editors should take strong care that lead paragraphs:

  1. has to be written in a clinical and neutral tone, see MOS:LEADBIO
  2. do notattribute political viewpoints to persons or organisations as factual traits (thus, [Chomsky] aligns with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism as opposed to [Chomsky] is an anarchist philosopher.
  3. Instead, start with birthname, and birthplace, then go through the person's professions, expertises and his/her career. Or, in the case of organisations: name the founding date, founders, expertises) Then, in case it is relevant, convictions can be mentioned in a distant way (as in: "X aligns with XYZ-ism")
  4. Avoid to bring up your own opinion: even though every sane person should agree that Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a propaganda movie posing as a documentary supporting a pseudo-scientific idea, don't tell the reader that: show the facts.

Is this something?~Regards, Jeff5102 (talk) 14:14, 1 November 2020 (UTC)

+1, I think it's a step in the right direction. #1 I agree with but I think it's a bit of a "throw-away"... a vague statement that no one would disagree with and is already adequately stated in various PAGs ... I think we're more at the point of defining or fleshing out what "clinical and neutral" means for a lead, rather than simply restating core principles; #2 I think is the "meat" of the "something", I think perhaps more examples like this would be helpful; #3 I'm not sure I agree with, I think that's too restrictive or one-size-fits-all. I think the first sentence should state why the subject is notable/important, e.g. Albert Einstein, which starts with the few things he's most notable for, and doesn't get into the details of his career until later. I'm not saying that the lead of Albert Einstein conflicts with #3, but I feel like #3 doesn't say everything it needs to say; as to #4, I agree with the general guidance "show don't tell" but I'm not sure about the (implied) suggestion that "propaganda" is a label to be avoided (or that any particular label should be avoided). As an example, I cannot imagine an article about Triumph of the Will that doesn't include the word "propaganda" in the opening. I'm not sure if the same applies to Expelled, but I think it'd be better in general guidance to avoid that kind of specific question, perhaps by choosing a clearer example. Lev!vich 06:30, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Triumph of the Will. It is safe to say that movies, produced by the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, can safely be called "a "propaganda movie" in the lead. As for "Expelled": I don't know about that one. That would leave the door open for NRA-sympathizing editors to describe Bowling for Columbine as a "documentary-style pro-gun-control-propaganda-movie." That is not the road Wikipedia should take.Jeff5102 (talk) 09:09, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
I would generally suggest that reference to someone's views should generally be made obliquely. For example, rather than the aforementioned [Chomsky] aligns with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism, we should say (assuming it can be supported) that [Chomsky] has been described as aligning with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism. BD2412 T 06:36, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
This removes all forms of bias and I fully support this option.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 16:29, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
I also seek attention to the lack of NPOV in the Joseph Nicolosi article. - (talk) 18:53, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
If you are concerned about it describing Conversion therapy as "pseudoscience" instead of "bad science", then it's probably easier to find sources that call it pseudoscience. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:59, 4 November 2020 (UTC)
Again, this Nicolosi-article is an example of how Wikipedia-articles changed as compared with four years ago.Jeff5102 (talk) 10:11, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
Seems like one of the issues is also with undue weighting of criticism from news media sources, especially in articles on topics that don't have much coverage so most of the coverage is negative. For example The Post Millennial, mention of a single controversy with one no-longer present editor who previously worked for Russian outlets seems to be too much for a Lead paragraph, but it is justified under the idea that the Lead summarizes the article. A lot of politically charged and media outlet pages similarly have this problem in which every single controversy covered by a media source is listed in the lead. Another such article is The Daily Caller. Marquis de Faux (talk) 05:16, 6 November 2020 (UTC)

Section break[edit]

I often put Wikipedia's content policies in a one sentence nutshell: Wikipedia is to be an accurate summary of what Reliable Sources say about a subject. I have resolved some messy arguments when one side reluctantly faced the fact that the content-they-object-to was indeed an accurate summary of what the sources said. Continuing the argument be futile. I also notice above repeated mention of "truth", "facts", or "proof". We do not debate truth on Wikipedia, such arguments carry zero weight. On the internet somebody will spend 42 months in a nonstop argument about the truth of anything, Wikipedia can't and won't engage argument about "truth". If the sources say the moon is made of cheese, then the article will say the moon is made of cheese. If sufficiently many Reliable Sources say the moon is made of cheese, if zero percent disagree with that, if the sources which don't explicitly address it are compatible with it, our summary can and does simply repeat the statement without in-text attribution (but we will ref it). Whatever Wikipedia says, it's not about truth or facts or proof, it's only about whether it is an accurate summary of the sources. If someone has a problem with what the sources say, it is futile to argue those concerns on Wikipedia. Alsee (talk) 17:59, 11 November 2020 (UTC)

Like I said above, I am not interested in what reliable sources say: I am interested in writing good, unbiased articles. Like I showed in my first bit, the last few years Wikipedia has become more partisan (and thus, less neutral), and resorts to name-calling when describing persons, organizations and documentaries. I do not believe that is a healthy development.
When that name-calling and those partisan descriptions are the result of an accurate summary of what Reliable Sources say about a subject, then that is saying a lot about the decline of those “Reliable Sources.” That is disturbing, to say the least. Regards, Jeff5102 (talk) 09:58, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
Alsee, I think what you are discussing ends up being part of the problem. Note that I'm not questioning your summary rather questioning if this is really what we want. For many (perhaps most) topics this method often works just fine. However it fails when many sources either repeat the common refrain or repeat the reaction to something without actually analyzing the something. Consider the example of the Ford Pinto, the rear impact fires and the infamous Pinto Memo [[7]]. From the mid 70s through perhaps 1991 it was understood that the Pinto readily caught fire when impacted from the rear and that Ford had calculated that it would be cheaper to fight the lawsuits vs fix the problem. This was so well known that the narrative was widely repeated and even used as an example of unethical corporate behavior in academic material. It also is largely not true. In 1991 a legal review paper[[8]] spent a lot of time diving into many details of the Pinto case. It was one of the earliest articles that explained why the popular view of the Ford's attitude towards safety and the Pinto Memo were wrong and perhaps the paper that caused many other sources to reexamine their understanding. Were we writing the Ford Pinto article in 1992 we would have a problem in that we have lots of sources that repeat what is basically conventional wisdom and one source that actually looks at the primary sources to refute that conventional wisdom. Most of the sources repeating conventional wisdom provided little in the way of sourcing for their claims while the law review paper was extensively researched and argued. But we would have said 1 RS vs many RS thus.

I think a better way to approach this is to use the large volume of sources discussing the Memo to indicate that it is important as a topic but once we establish the (sub)topic is important we then strive for an IMPARTIAL and, when reasonable, a detailed discussion of the topic. That means if 20 sources say "Ford was immoral" but one source says "Ford engineers and managers did X, Y, Z" then we give equal treatment to these discussions vs 20:1 reaction:investigation. Things like this seem to come up a lot in political topics where many sources will criticize someone for something they said but few will actually discuss the controversial statement in context and detail. We should.

Perhaps this can be summarized by saying we need to spend more time on the factual thing and less on the subjective reactions. Springee (talk) 13:36, 12 November 2020 (UTC)

I think that the areas where en Wikipedia has the most problems and is most losing it's credibility are where where it reflects a large scale real world contest. And the two biggest categories within that are where there is a culture war, and US politics. And face it, a lot of editors WANT the article to be biased and so it is a question of giving better guidance in our policies and guidelines especially wp:npov and also the definition of RS's. One thing that would help in an immense range of areas is to evolve the wp:RS definition to where it reflects actual reliability. More specifically a context-specific definition that reliability means degree of expertise and objectivity with respect to the use at hand. And since not every source can be established as such, say that that is a gauge of strength, and the more controversial the content the stronger the required strength and vice-versa. The problem is that in this area sources have transitioned to often being participants rather than coverers. The ham-handed approach of defining an overall source as an RS or not an RS based on a few trappings or a (political) vote ("consensus") in Wikipedia is now obsolete. Also, modifying wp:NPOV to say that we are here to present information not characterizations. Characterizations are usually not information. A rough gauge for where a characterization becomes acceptable and useful would be if 90% agree on it and if it provides information. Finally another good change would to introduce degree-of-WP:Relevance as a factor in content inclusion/ exclusion decisions. Person B's opinion (=talking points) about person A in the person A article is not info on person A, it is info about person B's opinion/ talking points, even if Person B is a "source" North8000 (talk)

Second the above. Things like the RSP list are problematic. If a lower quality source produces a very well reasoned article with evidence etc we should give it more consideration vs say a subjective description in a generally reliable source. We definitely should stop assuming no good information exists in "unreliable" sources as well as stop assuming that reliable sources never mix subjective assessments into their facts etc. This doesn't mean treat them as equal but currently we are rather arbitrary when it comes to including/excluding sources. Springee (talk) 13:42, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
Before this circle-jerk gets awkwardly close to a climax, I want to point out that there is a kind of saw-off between those who "value expertise or depth of analysis" and those who "reject characterization". It seems to me that the logical relationship between these two things would be that characterizations by experts in the field would be accepted, and characterizations by non-experts would be rejected. But what I have actually seen out there in article-land is that the editors who "reject characterization" also reject the whole idea of expertise in social sciences, so they reject the views of experts/academics along with those of non-expert journalists. And meanwhile, many of these same editors are comfortable with self-characterizations of BLP subjects - even in Wikivoice - when these are often the least expert commentators of all. These observations make me skeptical of the POV that says that the more accurate labeling of political and social issues by academics and journalists over the last 15 years or so is some kind of challenge for encyclopaedic writing. Newimpartial (talk) 14:14, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
Your argument might be rhetorically satisfying but fails to address the concerns at hand. Perhaps if you had specific examples it would help. Springee (talk) 14:36, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
There are enough examples in the parent section that I don't feel the need to point elsewhere. Newimpartial (talk) 15:05, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
I don't think that it is good to characterize small or large agreement as "circle-jerk gets awkwardly close to a climax" North8000 (talk) 15:12, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
I counted four messages (by three editors) that were mutually self-reinforcing; rather than seeing that trend continie I wanted to ruin the vibe. Newimpartial (talk) 15:19, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
That's called agreement. North8000 (talk) 17:10, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
Next time I'm in a bathhouse, I'll try to remind people of that. :P Newimpartial (talk) 17:29, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
The thing is , we are an encyclopedia. We are not supposed to be as indepth as the sources we use, and in fact should be encouraging readers to go to the sources to read more. In terms of current events, while factual information does not changes, positions and characterizations do rapidly change and that's simply something we should not be documenting in the short term, but our references provide those links for readers to learn more. We can capture, in attribution, when there is broad characterization, but it should be treated as that, and not as facts of the situation, because of the immediacy of reporting. Also I don't think anyone's said we're automatically going to take self-identification automatically in wikivoice. If self-identification matches with the broader characterization, there I don't see a problem saying in wikivoice, but self-identification alone would still require attribution. --Masem (t) 14:56, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
Masem, you have suggested that we wait for posthumous reports or decades of scholarship to develop consensus characterizations in this area. My essential difference from your position is that I think "broad characterization" can be established much more quickly than you do - not for "current events", but certainly within five years or so. Supposedly "contentious" labels that have been used consistently for several years by high-quality sources and have never been contested by RS should not be considered "contentious", because nobody is actually contending about them. On the other hand, I totally agree that where self-characterizarion and RS characterization match, attribution should not be used. Newimpartial (talk) 15:05, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
It really depends on the situation. In the US, we're still in the midst of a culture war that started at least around 2016, and given the trend on this election, could go to 2024 if not beyond. Saying to wait five or even ten years should be after that situation has completely cooled down, so it would be inappropriate to be talking characterization-as-fact for people and events from 2016 in 2021 given the current state. But remember, I'm not saying we can't include characterization at all. If it is clear that such characterization is so common among the reliable sources (and I've talked of source surveys that should be documented to prove this out so that we're not be accused of piece-mealing this characterizations), its clear DUE to include a type of attributed characterization statement, even if that's "X is broadly considered to be Y" to avoid having to name all sources that say it, just as 1) it is not treated as fact in Wikivoice and thus 2) placed secondary to an establishing objective sentence or phrase in a lede of the article which is defining the topic is as neutrally and non-characterizing method as possible. This has miniminal impact on what we already have in most of these articles, but it drastically changes the tone of the articles for the better as they do not come off as attack pieces from the start, which is where we get criticized for acting just like liberal media. --Masem (t) 15:27, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
Agree with North8000. However, I do believe that the NPOV-guidelines give enough guidance in these matters. WP:NPOV is a policy, while WP:RS is a guideline. And, as WP:PG states, policies are standards all users should normally follow, and guidelines are generally meant to be best practices for following those standards in specific contexts. This means that a statement like "it's only about whether it is an accurate summary of the sources" is incorrect. It assumes that using texts from "reliable sources" automatically implies neutrality. Actually, it is the other way around: it is the editor's job to keep articles neutral by selecting the relevant facts, and remove the bias from it. Regards,Jeff5102 (talk) 19:36, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
I would very much like to see certain types of allegations removed from the lead section of articles, and support the #1 Suggestion list above. While i agree with @Newimpartial:'s comments about how some labels go from contentious to undisputed, i would like to bring your attention to the part of WP:LABEL that says "[...] are best avoided unless widely used by reliable sources to describe the subject, in which case use in-text attribution". A referenced statement is not automatically in-text attribution, and adding a single source's words would be, in my opinion, undue weight for the lead (unless that source was the top expert in that subject, which isn't a claim any newspaper can really back). That same in-text attribution may be perfectly acceptable in the article's body. I think this specific instruction asking for these claims to use direct speech is widely ignored across Wikipedia, and we would go a long way simply by doing more to enforce that policy. YuriNikolai (talk) 02:33, 13 November 2020 (UTC)
But this section applies to value-laden labels that express contentious opinions. There is - and has been for some time - a sustained conflict about which labels are or aren't considered "value-laden" in this sense - viz. the discussion of "documentary" and "propaganda" above - what counts as "contentious", and when a characterization is merely descriptive (I for one hold that undisputed characterizations should always count as descriptive and never require in-text attribution). Newimpartial (talk) 02:49, 13 November 2020 (UTC)
I saw the discussion above on the use of the words "propaganda" and "documentary." Your arguments are not that convincing. When you say that documentaries are there to "document reality, primarily for the purpose of instruction," then Expelled does document the reality as perceived by it's makers. As are The Exodus Decoded, and Michael Moore's documentaries (which all are, rightfully, described that way on Wikipedia). There is not much difference in Michael Moore shoving an idea through the throats of his viewers, or Ben Stein, doing the same. Thus, the best thing to do is to keep the wordings in leads neutral, as it was four years ago, and avoid words as "propaganda" when it is not suitable. (Newimpartial, if you really think I am wrong in this, please edit the articles on Michael Moore's documentaries, and replace the phrase political documentary with documentary-style propaganda film. If something important for Wikipedia, it is that it is impartial and consistent.) Regards.Jeff5102 (talk) 13:07, 16 November 2020 (UTC)
"Wikipedia is to be an accurate summary of what Reliable Sources say about a subject.". Not a bad thing to say, but in my opinion, especially in the past six to ten years, NPOV and WP:RS have both fallen victim to partisan POV pushing and have become a complete joke. We all know it, it's just considered impolite to point it out. Jtrainor (talk) 12:27, 22 November 2020 (UTC)

Many of the disputed characterizations are based on claims that WP:RS have made. Even though they are made by RS, they still can be undue or biased. I would argue that therefore we should rely on editorial judgment and local consensus, rather than merely counting sources, in order to achieve balance in the level of emphasis given to these characterizations. Per the existing WP:BIASEDSOURCES, even though biased sources can be reliable, they often need to be attributed in text. Perhaps WP:NPOV needs to be elaborated to explicitly give editors more leeway to choose a more neutral approach even when RS do not.Jancarcu (talk) 04:55, 1 December 2020 (UTC)

Agree'.This is exactly what should happen.Jeff5102 (talk) 12:51, 1 December 2020 (UTC)
That plan is not possible. Imagine the results with a rule that said articles should follow reliable sources except that people could make up their own minds about when to not follow those sources. I would put in my POV, you would insert yours, someone else would add theirs, and so on forever. If reliable sources say a claim is false, then it is false and an article should not suggest otherwise. Johnuniq (talk) 22:59, 1 December 2020 (UTC)
As I've stressed in this discussion, if we were talking about journalism standards 20 years ago, where there was a rather strict wall being "news" and "editorial", if a news article from the NYTimes came out with a characterization as a statement of fact, there's a very strong reason they have made the effort to research all sides of the issue and justify that as a statement of fact. In today's journalism world were accountability journalism reigns, we cannot assume that there is this rigor anymore when it comes to value-laden characterizations. We have the capability as editors to simply take a statement out of fact in wikivoice into attribution to the source(s) that state it without diminishing anything, and in most cases, this improves the tone and impartialness of the article. Now, there is a whole different area around "false" claims which is connected but requires different approaches and solution, as this starts to get into the area of conspiracy theories and fringe topics, which we do take a more proactive stance on if enough RS assert them to be false especially if they involve BLP. --Masem (t) 00:18, 2 December 2020 (UTC)

RfC: Should we move WP:ONUS to WP:CONSENSUS?[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.
There is an overwhelming consensus against this proposed change, primarily due to concerns that it would undermine verifiability and efforts to remove poorly sourced information. (non-admin closure) (t · c) buidhe 03:47, 29 November 2020 (UTC)

Should WP:ONUS link to a new section at WP:CONSENSUS § Achieving consensus#Onus to clearly define Onus as applying to new additions, removals, and modifications?

WP:V § Verfiability does not guarantee inclusion would remain virtually unchanged. 04:29, 1 November 2020 (UTC)

New section under WP:CONSENSUS § Achieving consensus


The onus to achieve consensus for changes to longstanding content is on those seeking the change (but verifiability does not guarantee inclusion).

For the analogous sanction, see the Consensus required restriction.

Diff adding Onus to WP:CONSENSUS

Current text of WP:V

Verifiability does not guarantee inclusion

While information must be verifiable to be included in an article, not all verifiable information needs to be included in an article. Consensus may determine that certain information does not improve an article, and that it should be omitted or presented instead in a different article. The onus to achieve consensus for inclusion is on those seeking to include disputed content.

Proposed change to WP:V

Verifiability does not guarantee inclusion

While information must be verifiable to be included in an article, not all verifiable information needs to be included in an article. Consensus may determine that certain information does not improve an article, and that it should be omitted or presented instead in a different article. The WP:ONUS to achieve consensus for inclusion is on those seeking to include disputed content.

Added underlined text to WP:CON#Onus proposal. Kolya Butternut (talk) 15:43, 1 November 2020 (UTC)

Survey (onus)[edit]

  • Support as proposer. The concept of onus is about the consensus-building process, and we need clarity that it applies to additions, removals, and modifications, consistent with WP:NOCON. Kolya Butternut (talk) 04:29, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
It appears that there is still no consensus on the interpretation of ONUS, so these policies will still need to be clarified in the future even if this proposal is rejected. The interpretation shared by at least Bradv and I is different than others. Kolya Butternut (talk) 11:42, 14 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Wikipedia's quality comes just as much from what we keep out as from what we let in. This proposal results in making it much harder to keep some things out. It significantly changes the meaning of WP:ONUS from 'if content doesn't have consensus, it doesn't stay' to 'it has to stay unless we get a consensus to remove it'. It thus makes it much harder to ever remove existing material, and this is a problem because there are very many low-traffic, low-scrutiny articles out there, along with very many WP:POV and WP:Fringe theory pushers. So, here's a scenario to ponder:
    You stumble upon an obscure article on a topic you are familiar with. You notice some content that has sources but that is in some way fringe (synthesis, poor sources, misuse of sources, or some combination thereof), and/or that is undue emphasis on some POV, and remove it. Some editor, either the content's WP:OWNER or someone who happens to have it on their watchlist but doesn't know the topic well, reverts you because you "removed sourced content" and it looked fine to them, and says that per WP:ONUS (the new version being proposed right now), you need to get a full-on consensus to get it removed. (Likely, a new or irregular editor would give up at this point.) Yes, there are ways to do so, but they may not get enough attention to develop a new consensus for removing the material, and even if that did happen, this alternate version of ONUS made it much harder to do so.
    The current setup of everything is fine and does not need changing, because it works. "Don't fix what ain't broke." As these policies are at the heart of what we do, any changes must have very good reasons for them, and there is no evidence that this policy needs changing. Crossroads -talk- 05:36, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
  • The proposal does not result in making it harder to keep things out; the proposal is clarifying what ONUS already means -- otherwise ONUS contradicts WP:NOCON.
  • It significantly changes the meaning of WP:ONUS from 'if content doesn't have consensus it doesn't stay'; the proposal doesn't change this; it clarifies that content which has achieved WP:IMPLICITCONSENSUS (linked from "longstanding") needs consensus to be removed.
  • "[R]emoved sourced content" is not a policy-based reason to restore content; the purpose of WP:VNOT is precisely this. Your interpretation makes it much easier for POV-pushers to make articles POV by removing content.
  • "Removed longstanding content" is not a basis to restore content and the proposal does not change this; we should cite a policy besides consensus when restoring content.
  • The proposal does not change that obviously unverifiable content may be removed without seeking consensus. Kolya Butternut (talk) 12:00, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
If ONUS contradicts WP:NOCON - of which I am not totally convinced - the solution is not to change a content policy but instead to reinstate this edit by WhatamIdoing which clarified NOCON and which stood for weeks until reverted by you.
As for POV pushers, POV problems more often come from WP:Undue weight on material describing a certain POV, with the solution being removal of the excess, rather than the other way around. And in cases where the removal is POV, it is easy to find a consensus in favor of the material, because editors readily revert such bad faith removals.
Content which is "obviously unverifiable" is easily removed by WP:BURDEN; a less obvious problem is content that is superficially verifiable but otherwise unencyclopedic (misrepresents sources, original research by synthesis, undue weight, etc.). In cases where there is not a consensus for material, it should stay out, lest the encyclopedia accumulate garbage. We do not privilege material just for happening to lack scrutiny and sticking around for a while. Crossroads -talk- 22:57, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
You said "editors readily revert such bad faith removals"; by the same token, editors could "readily revert such bad faith additions", so any text which is longstanding must have implicit consensus. I don't know that that's how we should be arguing this. The edit by WhatamIdoing seems to say: In discussions of proposals to add, modify or remove material in articles, a lack of consensus commonly results in retaining the version of the article as it was prior to the proposal or bold edit. However...When the dispute is about whether to include something, [The onus to achieve consensus for inclusion is on those seeking to include disputed content]. That does not clarify things for me. Kolya Butternut (talk) 23:24, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
Editors can readily revert bad additions, yes, but that often does not occur. Think about how huge the encyclopedia is and how little-scrutinized most of it is. Most passing editors are not too familiar with a topic and are biased toward letting through (or not bothering with) something that looks superficially okay. So, some bad material sticks around for a long time and was never reverted, even though in an ideal world, it would have been reverted when it was added. As for "any text which is longstanding must have implicit consensus", in many cases this is only in a very weak type of consensus, per WP:CONLEVEL, such that once someone shows up to challenge it, there can no longer be said to be consensus for it. Changing this is bad, as has been explained. Crossroads -talk- 23:54, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Crossroads. Anything can be gamed and people should not make a habit of removing text because they can. However, the point of ONUS concerns what should happen if someone removes an assertion saying that there is no citation or that the source is not reliable. Another editor should not restore the assertion merely on the basis that it has been there a long time. The person removing text does not have to prove that the text should be removed. The onus is on the person restoring the text to say why it should be restored (that is, explain how WP:RS + WP:DUE + any other relevant policies/guidelines are satisfied). That is similar to WP:BURDEN, but BURDEN relates to "Responsibility for providing citations" while WP:ONUS relates to "Verifiability does not guarantee inclusion". Johnuniq (talk) 06:27, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Crossroads. The proposed changes would significantly weaken the verifiability policy by prioritizing the length of time a claim remains in an article over whether the claim is actually supported by reliable sources. — Newslinger talk 06:34, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. See Appeal to tradition. Verifiability is more relevant than age. --Hob Gadling (talk) 07:38, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Elevates process over content quality and will only increase the friction faced by editors improving content, when faced by POV-pushers playing the "you didn't notice my edit for several weeks so I have consensus and a mighty discussion must ensue" card. Alexbrn (talk) 11:41, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose For all the reasons expressed above.Slatersteven (talk) 11:12, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose: They way we are doing things now is not broken and does not need to be fixed. --Guy Macon (talk) 13:28, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose The proposal contains two different things in it and so is mal-formed. The general idea of shifting process issues from wp:ver to the correct place (WP:Consensus) is a good one, though, but it would take several different steps of changes to do that successfully. This would also force clarifying the pseudo-conflict between the two policies in that area. North8000 (talk) 13:29, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Whenever the "longstanding" content was first added, it was the ONUS and the BURDEN of the editor(s) adding to comply with content-policy-informed-consensus (even when as is usually the case, it was not discussed, at the time it was added). The ONUS and the BURDEN never shifts, it remains always with the pro argument. In many cases, consensus within policy/guideline is and will be easily achieved and in others more difficult, but the burden and the onus remain on the side that wants the content to be/stay in the article to demonstrate it is within policy/guideline consensus. --Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:36, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose The only thing I have to add beyond what is already above is ONUS applies in the specific case where the content is reliability sourced. If long standing content is poorly sourced then other parts of WP:V and/or RS etc apply. Springee (talk) 13:54, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
  • SNOW Oppose. I genuinely don't wish to denigrate the OP here, but this is quite possibly the biggest non-starter of a policy revision (and the most poorly-considered in terms of the massive negative implications to the project if it did somehow pass) that I have seen here in many years. It would drastically alter (or indeed, outright turn on its head) the basic operation of one this project's most fundamental editorial principles, with implications that are more or less impossible to overstate--it would 1) essentially cripple WP:V in a majority of editorial contexts in which disputes take place, 2) basically reverse the meaning of a common community policy term that editors are used to invoking in a particular fashion (creating massive confusion and issues wherever it is employed, project-wide), 3) make any problem subject matter even more prone to intractable dispute and POV pushing unfathomably more difficult to work in and to remove problem content from, and 4) just generally degrade the quality of our content and the efficaciousness of our processes, making pretty much every kind of editing (in virtually all subject areas) more of a chore, with more subjective bickering and more obstinate, entrenched opposition using the new read on the rule as a pro forma excuse to stonewall to keep content in (or protected from alteration) even where WP:V or another principle policy clearly indicate the opposite approach. Honestly, if someone just outright suggested we just drop WP:V as policy in it's entirety, it would be only be marginally more of a monumentally bad idea. Snow let's rap 15:07, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps my proposal was unclear? It is not meant to change anything, only clarify. I read your comment a few times and I don't see an explanation for how it would cripple WP:V and reverse the meaning of ONUS. WP:ONUS will direct to a new section which essentially means the same thing. We could have both WP:VNOT and a new WP:ONUS mirror each other: WP:V states "V does not guarantee inclusion; the ONUS is on those who seek inclusion to achieve consensus", WP:CON#ONUS could state: "The onus to achieve consensus is on those seeking the change, but V does not guarantee inclusion." I added this line to the proposal. Kolya Butternut (talk) 15:29, 1 November 2020 (UTC)Kolya Butternut (talk) 15:48, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose – either this proposal fundamentally undermines our verifiability policy by shifting the onus onto those who want to remove information in certain situations, or it accomplishes nothing other than retargeting a long-standing project-space redirect used in countless talk page discussions and edit summaries. Either way, this is a bad idea. All ONUS says is that just because something is verifiable, that doesn't mean we have to include it. That's a pretty straightforward concept. – bradv🍁 15:59, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
Bradv, what about where IMPLICITCONENSUS functions in the consensus-building process? My proposal was meant to be consistent with your comment here.[9] Kolya Butternut (talk) 18:13, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
In that discussion I was commenting on people misusing ONUS to make demands of other people during the consensus-building process. I know it's somewhat popular to cherry-pick this one line out of the verifiability policy and use it to prevent changes to articles, but that usage is based on a misunderstanding of how our policies work. Verifiability governs content, the consensus policy governs editor conduct. WP:ONUS belongs to the former. – bradv🍁 18:39, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
Bradv, ok. Is there a way to clarify all of this? From my limited experience, that cherry-picked line is almost always what people cite ONUS for, and there's no agreement that the status quo ante remains when longstanding text is challenged by revert. NOCON and the sentence from ONUS seem to contradict, and QUO is only an essay. Kolya Butternut (talk) 18:52, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
They don't contradict – they're talking about different things. Content policies govern what our articles can say, conduct policies govern how we behave, collaborate, and make decisions. The ONUS section is a reference from a content policy to a conduct policy – it says that just because something is allowed according to the content policy doesn't mean it has to be included. And then it refers the reader to the relevant conduct policy describing how we make that decision. – bradv🍁 19:04, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
Bradv, I agree with all of that; it just appears that they contradict. Because the last sentence, "the onus to achieve consensus" describes behavior, I thought the word onus should link to consensus, but which word we use isn't what matters. Is there text in WP:CONSENSUS which already explains the procedure from that sentence from ONUS? NOCON is the only thing that seemed close to me. Kolya Butternut (talk) 19:20, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
WP:CONSENSUS is already linked within WP:ONUS. The whole page describes how we decide what information to include in an article. There isn't just one proscribed procedure – consensus is determined through discussion. – bradv🍁 19:38, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. And, really, any notion that a person can come along and remove whatever they want and then others have to justify why that material should stay is not quite accurate. Besides vandalism being an obvious case that we don't tolerate, we do get people removing material on an "I don't like it" basis. And we can often simply revert and pay those people no mind. Yes, via an edit summary or on the talk page, we may cite a policy or guideline about why they are wrong. But it's often that the content will not need to stay removed while we argue our case about why it should be retained. And when a proper dispute resolution channel is taken, these people usually will not get their way. Frankly, it is a waste of time justifying "why that should stay" in those cases.
  • The words "it has to stay unless we get a consensus to remove it" are mentioned above. We already engage in this practice. WP:Consensus can change is also a policy. Material that has had consensus in the past may need a new consensus today to get it removed. Content is restored all the time for discussion, with editors often citing WP:BRD or WP:STATUSQUO; both aren't policies or guidelines...but they temper edit warring. Articles are sometimes full-protected until a consensus is reached about whether the material in an article should be removed. Again, it's not like it's automatic that a person can simply come along, remove content while citing WP:ONUS and the content gets to remain removed just because that person said so, or until that person is satisfied with a new version of it, or until others say it should stay. WP:PRESERVE is also a policy, and it states, in part, "as any of the facts or ideas added to an article would belong in the 'finished' article, they should be retained if they meet the three article content retention policies: Neutral point of view (which does not mean no point of view), Verifiability and No original research." Editors are supposed to have valid reasons for removing material. The "just because that person said so, or until that person is satisfied with a new version of it, or until others say it should stay" type of thing does happen, but it's far more justifiable in the case of BLPs...per WP:BLP. Flyer22 Frozen (talk) 00:02, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
I suggest modifying the text of the WP:ONUS proposal to reflect these compromises between the goals of different policies and guidelines. Knowledge Contributor0 (talk) 11:44, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
Knowledge Contributor0, WP:NOCONSENSUS states: In discussions of proposals to...remove material in articles, a lack of consensus commonly results in retaining the version of the article as it was prior to the proposal or bold edit. This makes sense because editors may disagree over whether policies such as NPOV and DUE are violated by keeping the content or removing the content. Kolya Butternut (talk) 12:36, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
Kolya Butternut I am sorry for the mistake in the "Content Deletions/Major Modifications" point, I meant "per WP:Verifiability#Verifiability_does_not_guarantee_inclusion" at the end of the sentence which is where WP:ONUS used to point before. According to WP:Verifiability#Verifiability_does_not_guarantee_inclusion The onus to achieve consensus for inclusion is on those seeking to include disputed content.. While this contradicts the statement you quoted from WP:NOCONSENSUS regarding deletions or major edits, as others mentioned it protects content from all kind of violations to policies/guidelines e.g. WP:BURDEN, WP:OR, WP:POV, WP:Fringe ... etc. Violation of a policy/guideline that is supported by a group of users cannot result in removal of content unless WP:Verifiability#Verifiability_does_not_guarantee_inclusion is invoked. In summary "no content" is better than "disputed content" as the reader expect WP:CONSENSUS not a certain point of view. Knowledge Contributor0 (talk) 09:57, 6 November 2020 (UTC)
You just created your account on October 11,[10] so you may not realize that removing content can also make an article violate POV and DUE. Obvious Fringe will be removed quickly. Kolya Butternut (talk) 11:50, 6 November 2020 (UTC)
The problem is the non-obvious fringe. Even outright hoaxes commonly last for many years; see WP:List of hoaxes on Wikipedia. Material that is fringe can obviously last just as long. And I know from personal experience removing it, and researching how it got there, that it does. Most of Wikipedia lacks much scrutiny. We don't need to make it hard to remove such material. And as I said above, bad faith removals are already much more easily thwarted. Crossroads -talk- 16:54, 6 November 2020 (UTC)
There is no edit-warring exemption for disagreements over fringe material.
This is actually pretty simple; if there is a dispute which cannot be solved through editing then keep the longstanding material pending dispute resolution unless there are WP:Edit warring#Exemptions; if there is no consensus the material stays. If the material is clearly fringe consensus will come quickly. Kolya Butternut (talk) 20:07, 6 November 2020 (UTC)
Kolya Butternut I think many editors with accounts older than mine stated the same problem, so the age of my account is not a factor in discussing this situation. Removing content can't result in fringe view unless the total content after removal achieves consensus. In short any content that after thorough discussion doesn't achieve consensus or wide spread agreement should be removed at the end to avoid WP:POV and other problems. Keeping longstanding content regardless of consensus gives incentive to editors to add their fringe views early on a page on the hope that at some point it will stick if nobody contested for some time. Knowledge Contributor0 (talk) 14:04, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
What was your account before creating this one on October 11? Kolya Butternut (talk) 15:22, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
Kolya Butternut Didn't have an account before. Many many years ago used to make contributions without an account, so I have a pretty good idea of how the editing process works. All I needed was just a few weeks of refreshing about the policies and guidelines to know what changes that happened over the years I missed. Knowledge Contributor0 (talk) 11:17, 13 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "WP:ONUS" is a rule invented and added to WP:V, which is OK, because WP:V is a core content policy. WP:Consensus is different, it is not a rules policy, but describes consensus as Wikipedians understand it. Worse, rules like WP:ONUS jar with consensus decision making, much like vote counting. Imposing a rule like WP:ONUS on a discussion is a strategy that is at odds with consensus decision decision making. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:16, 17 November 2020 (UTC)

Discussion (onus)[edit]

How does this relate to WP:BRD? It looks to me as if the proposed change would remove a current contradiction between BRD and ONUS, but maybe I am just not familiar enough with the rules network. --Hob Gadling (talk) 07:38, 1 November 2020 (UTC)

@Hob Gadling, I'm not sure that there is a clear contradiction between BRD and ONUS. Under BRD, which is optional (read the first sentence!) and not applicable to many situations (read the rest of it!), then either you boldly add, and both BRD and ONUS say someone can revert your addition, or you boldly remove, and ONUS says that's okay, and BRD says "Eh, BRD is optional and not always the best approach, so I guess the other guy isn't doing BRD today".
However, there is IMO contradiction between the WP:QUO/WP:NOCON approach and ONUS. According to ONUS, if you blank long-standing content (e.g., something you think is trivia), then the guy who wants to include that has to demonstrate consensus for it. According to QUO (an essay), you have to demonstrate consensus for its removal. And according to NOCON, if the subsequent discussion is a true stalemate (rare, but it happens), then ONUS says it's out and NOCON says it's in. Whether this would actually resolve that contradiction is unclear to me. (I support resolving the contradiction.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:57, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
As I said above to Kolya Butternut, I think the best solution to any seeming contradiction would be to simply reinstate this edit. And regardless, even though it may be (as NOCON says) that a lack of consensus (perhaps at a high-traffic article and after a well-attended discussion) "commonly results" in keeping the prior version (whatever "commonly" means), we should not mandate that no consensus for questionable but old material means it has to stay. Crossroads -talk- 23:14, 1 November 2020 (UTC)

Someone said that anything can be gamed. This is likely the case and I think it applies to the current setup as much as any other. That said, I have long objected to verified properly sourced material being too easy to remove without any good reason other than "I don't like it" and then having to go through all the hoopla to restore it. My 2 cents but I am not going to cast a "vote" on this because I probably need to be on WP another 10 years before I would understand all the procedures.Selfstudier (talk) 10:18, 1 November 2020 (UTC)

If it takes 10 years to figure out how procedures work then something's broken. We need to clarify that if content disputes cannot be solved by editing alone then the WP:STATUSQUO should be in place pending discussion, and if WP:NOCONSENSUS is reached a lack of consensus commonly results in retaining the version of the article as it was prior to the proposal or bold edit, with the standard exceptions. Kolya Butternut (talk) 12:25, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
I think my proposal should have said The onus to achieve consensus for disputed changes to longstanding content... so that it was clearly meant to mirror the existing WP:ONUS. I don't know how much that omission affected !votes. Kolya Butternut (talk) 21:22, 2 November 2020 (UTC)

BLP has exceptions: WP:BLPREMOVE requires poorly sourced information to be removed immediately. WP:BLPREQUESTRESTORE places the burden on those seeking inclusion. --Hipal/Ronz (talk) 22:17, 7 November 2020 (UTC)

WP:BLPREQUESTRESTORE sounds like it applies when editors seek to restore BLP material removed by an administrator? I'm not familiar with that, but it's under WP:BLP#Role of administrators Kolya Butternut (talk) 02:39, 8 November 2020 (UTC)

Call for Snow close... or maybe not[edit]

Obvious consensus is obvious. --Guy Macon (talk) 20:59, 6 November 2020 (UTC)

A little more time please. There is obviously no support for this proposal, but there is no consensus on the interpretation of the existing policy. Kolya Butternut (talk) 21:21, 6 November 2020 (UTC)
No problem. Would 14 November be acceptable? --Guy Macon (talk) 22:30, 6 November 2020 (UTC)
Yes, thank you. Kolya Butternut (talk) 23:00, 6 November 2020 (UTC)
About the part of the proposal that refers to "the" analogous sanction (rather than one of multiple sanctions systems), see also Wikipedia talk:Consensus required#Title and Wikipedia talk:Edit warring#WP:Consensus required link. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:53, 15 November 2020 (UTC)
El C created WP:Consensus required and he said that the discretionary sanction can largely be seen as a more strict (binding) version of WP:ONUS[11] and both ONUS and CR are the same in so far as the burden of establishing consensus rests upon those wishing to introduce the change.[12] Regardless of whether you disagree, this wasn't my idea. Kolya Butternut (talk) 10:20, 15 November 2020 (UTC) Kolya Butternut (talk) 19:55, 15 November 2020 (UTC)
I didn't mention you at all in that comment. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:44, 15 November 2020 (UTC)

Second call for Snow close[edit]

At fourteen oppose, on support, and one support with modifications, obvious consensus is obvious. I see no point in keeping this RfC open any longer. I don't believe in closing RfCs where I have participated, so would someone uninvolved please close this? --Guy Macon (talk) 23:06, 18 November 2020 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Linking to Wikidata from lists of artworks[edit]

Last couple weeks I am working on List_of_woodcuts_by_Albrecht_Dürer. Most of the work is cleaning and organizing several thousand files on Commons and unifying, checking and cleaning data on Wikidata. It is still work in progress as I still run into woodcuts on Commons and in Wikidata not on the list. However I run into rather shocking issue, apparently as I was informed we are no longer allowed to link from articles to Wikidata, as I did using {{Wikidata icon}}. I am linking to wikidata as there is a ton of additional information about each print, like all the sources and references needed to verify the correctness of the information, links to commons categories for each woodcut, list of museums that have them, etc. Reading more I learned in Wikipedia:Templates_for_discussion/Log/2018_January_16#Template:Wikidata_icon that the current preferred method is use {{Interlanguage_link}} template to link to wikidata. I changed the article to use the template, but now the page takes 7 seconds to load since I have "394 expensive parser functions", which I guess are calls in the template to see if wikipedia page exists. I think the version of the page with {{Wikidata icon}} looks much better (see here) than the current version, without all the red links. Is there some better way to link to the source data on Wikidata without those ugly redlinks? I have seen [] links used with URLs at some pages like List of paintings by Camille Pissarro, but I also think that is ugly. --Jarekt (talk) 23:36, 11 November 2020 (UTC)

I'd like to be more sympathetic, but really the extra information on wikidata is so useless it isn't worth making a fuss about not being able to link to the wikidata pages. The ones I looked at listed 3 or 4 museums (all American or German it seems), when few of Durer's woodcuts are really rare, & the great majority will be in several dozen museums, in some cases over a hundred I expect. I didn't see either the British Museum or the Albertina, which must both have all but complete collections. Likewise the Metropolitan in NY. The odd few catalogues listed will mostly contain almost all the prints, that's the point of them. The more useful ones, especially for English-speakers, were not listed. Better to summarize all this on the list page here. The Commons categories (in the usual Commons mess) should be findable by clicking a couple of times on the images. Johnbod (talk) 00:16, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
It is not useless if you are trying to figure out which source thought the work was created at what date or which thought it was made by Durer and which by his school. Everything in that table come from Wikidata, and per Wikipedia:Verifiability we should be able to follow the sources and be able to verify it or at least see where the information come from. --Jarekt (talk) 03:43, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
There's no reason not to do that by normal footnotes - how many sources have been using? Wikidata isn't really suitable for that sort of thing. It doesn't really tell you that as the links don't take you to the catalogues. Normally it's more like none of the sources are sure, within a year or two. Btw, i get a warning on all the NGA links - via "" - what's that? Johnbod (talk) 03:46, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
Johnbod, In my experiencea lot of URLs are still OK even a decade after adding them, and the one which are dead often can be found in Wayback Machine. There is even some bot which scrapes all the URL from Wikimedia projects and adds them to Wayback Machine catalog and replaces dead ones with URL to archived pages. About the warnings about I do not what that is all about Those URL's were added by "Digital Projects Coordinator" of NGA. They gave me less issues if I change http to http in the URL. As for adding sources to footnotes that would be a BIG task to scrape 300-400 wikidata pages and figure out which fact is supported by which source. A date or an author might have several sources. If I get 3 sources per woodcut that would be over thousand sources to be added to the article. A simple link to a single wikidata page with all the sources for each woodcut seems much simpler and cleaner solution. That is, I think, why we have almost no artwork level sources in any of the "list of artworks" articles. And the last thing I would like to do would be to invest my time to add artwork level sources, just so they are all removed by the next user because they violate some mostly undocumented "policy", like what happen to the article I was improving. --Jarekt (talk) 20:15, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
You miss my point, I meant (and said, I thought) that none of the sources are sure of the date a work was produced, within a year or two. I'm going to copy most of this discussion to talk at the Durer list, before it vanishes into the archives. Johnbod (talk) 15:59, 19 November 2020 (UTC)
Yes most sources have different opinion about approximate dates. Sometimes even the same institution or the same author in different publications. --Jarekt (talk) 03:37, 20 November 2020 (UTC)
Jarekt, in terms of relevant guidelines, mainspace links to Wikidata usually fall under Wikipedia:External links. You might find it useful to look at WP:ELLIST in particular. It is, in limited circumstances, acceptable to include external links in a list. This might be most common when a link has some value both as an external link (e.g., to get more information than can comfortably be included in an article or to provide an official link to a named person or entity) and also as a way of verifying some of the content in the specific list entry (e.g., that Alice's Restaurant is a restaurant, or that Alice was a candidate in the election – or that source X gave this date for that woodcutting).
One of the reasons that editors use this "inline" formatting, which seems relevant here, is because adding 200+ ref tags might make the citation/link less useful to readers, and nobody wants articles to contain a thousand citation templates. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:20, 14 November 2020 (UTC)
This seems like a useful way to go about it. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:42, 15 November 2020 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, Thanks for your input. WP:ELLIST is a good guide. So external links from individual items, are allowed in the list articles; however according to User:Pppery at Talk:List of woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer, one should not use Template:Wikidata icon or create links using [[d:Q....|title]] format. However it seems like links using [] are OK. Also I just noticed that Template:Wikidata entity link is used on 30k pages, so that format seems to be acceptable in article namespace. Format adopted by Template:Wikidata entity link is used by similar templates in great many projects across wikiverse and would be my preference here. This is my first "list" article I worked on, so some of those "rules" seem hard to comprehend or navigate. --Jarekt (talk) 19:44, 16 November 2020 (UTC)
"According to Pppery" is a misnomer; it is according to Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2018 January 16#Template:Wikidata icon (which is prominently linked to at Template:Wikidata icon) and Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Archive 204#New RFC on linking to Wikidata (which is listed at Wikipedia:Wikidata#Appropriate usage in articles). By that latter RfC, Template:Wikidata entity link should not be used in articles either. The 30k transclusion figure is misleading since most uses of Template:Wikidata entity link are via Template:Wikidata redirect which, as the name implies, is used on redirects, which are not articles despite being in the main namespace. * Pppery * it has begun... 20:18, 16 November 2020 (UTC)
Pppery, Sorry I am just trying to understand the strange policies related to the format of Wikidata links. What I am gathering is that:
Any opinions about [ Q1] or [[d:Q1|Q1]] style links which are almost the same as [] only a bit more readable in wikitext? --Jarekt (talk) 22:19, 16 November 2020 (UTC)
You know, you two have been around long enough to know that this isn't a game of Mother May I? The goal isn't to see who can follow the rules the best. If these rules (if we call an archived discussion from a couple of years ago "rules") are interfering with improving the encyclopedia, then ignore them. Just figure out what's best for this article/list and do that.
I'm currently thinking that linking to sources via Wikidata is better than either no way to find sources or putting the estimated ~thousand citations on the page (which will almost certainly break the page). Are we agreed on that? If so, the only thing left to settle is how to format the links ...which is just not that important. Get a functional link on the page, and move on. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:18, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, I agree with you, about linking to wikidata, and yes I have been editing Wikipedia projects for great many years. One think I really do not like is, when I invest my time into a project, like improving an article or uploading a batch of images, and then my edits or uploads are deleted. That is what happen with this article, when Pppery deleted all the links to the source data citing "archived discussion from a couple of years ago". I do not want to start an edit war, but I do want to understand what are the rules governing per-item sources in link articles. I agree that format of the links should be irrelevant, but in this case it seems to be important, because linking with {{Interlanguage_link}} seem to be OK, while use of {{Wikidata icon}} template which looks much better and does not use expensive parser functions is "prohibited". --Jarekt (talk) 03:14, 19 November 2020 (UTC)
@Jarekt, at the risk of sending you on a wild goose chase, you might get better advice on formatting links to Wikidata (or any other sister project) at Wikipedia talk:External links. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:09, 19 November 2020 (UTC)
Regardless of any other issues, the [] format should never be used; the correct format is [[:d:Q1]] (piped to provide suitable link text if needed). That said, the suggestion that [[:d:Q1]] is permissible but {{Q|Q1}} is not is asinine. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:36, 22 November 2020 (UTC)

I think you're approaching this from the wrong direction, @Jarekt:. I'd like to be more sympathetic, but really the way that enwp normally maintains lists is so useless it isn't worth making a fuss about. It's better to maintain the information on Wikidata, then you can use {{Wikidata list}} to maintain the list here and on other language wikis. You can include as many references there as you like. You also won't be accused of linking to an external link when it's a link within the Wikimedia projects. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:57, 16 November 2020 (UTC)

Mike I agree that Wikipedia's way of dealing with list articles is prehistoric and supper hard to maintain and Template:Wikidata list is much better approach. I just found that there is so much disagreement between different scholars, (or even the same scholar who changes his opinion with each publication) about the prints (authorship, date of creation, etc.) that it is hard to create a query which captures all the works in logical order. I have used Template:Wikidata list to clean up the data on Wikidata and Commons, but I feel like hand created list (actually SPARCL->spreadsheet->wikitext which is than manually altered) is better here. Also I am not sure if Template:Wikidata list is allowed in article namespace. --Jarekt (talk) 22:17, 16 November 2020 (UTC)
Theoretically it is not disallowed, but every instance has been deleted after a few AfDs found clear support for their deletion. If you want to source a list, add reliable sources to the list, not another wiki which may or may not have reliable sources in it, somewhere. Basically, your whole list needs reworking to meet the guidelines here. Fram (talk) 08:37, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
It doesn't seem to be a matter of referencing, List of people killed by and disappeared during the Brazilian military dictatorship was generated via Wikidata (after a lot of work by the Brazilian Portuguese community) and is #2 on Wikipedia:Articles with the most references. On ptwp it continues to be maintained by listeria and editors on Wikidata, here it's been turned into a manual list, people messed around with formatting a bit, then everything went quiet... Mostly it seems to be WP:IDONTLIKEIT. Mike Peel (talk) 09:09, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
You misread my reply. I didn't say that Wikidata lists were disallowed because of referencing issues. I said that Wikidata lists were disallowed after AfDs. And I said that sourcing can be done by adding sources in the list here, not by adding (wikidata) links after an entry. The two statements were not linked by a "because" or anything similar. Fram (talk) 09:19, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
Ah, that would have been clearer if you'd used an 'also' in the middle or similar. Anyway, "every instance has been deleted" is definitely wrong, there are a number of cases that have been converted to manual lists rather than deleted. Mike Peel (talk) 10:38, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, I should have used "removed" instead of "deleted" there. Fram (talk) 11:21, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
@Mike Peel: Sadly, every time I've experimented with Wikidata lists in mainspace, somebody has quickly come along to disable it, and edit war to keep it disabled. So while the guidelines say there is "no consensus" on its use in mainspace, in practice it seems to be disallowed because the anti-Wikidata crowd is extremely persistent. I guess you can substitute the template to generate a list as a starting point, but their major advantage (automated updates) is nullified on enwiki under the status quo. – Joe (talk) 13:12, 20 November 2020 (UTC)
@Joe Roe: Indeed, it's really daft. It's like insisting on keeping the internet in its 1990s state, with static webpages, rather than using databases to generate them. Really shortsighted. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:12, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

Nice list. It would be better, from an accessibility point of view, to display unique text for each link, rather than repeating the word "Wikidata". The unique text should probably be the QID. I'd also suggest putting the Wikidata links in a separate column, rather than appending them to the names of the artworks. That would have an added advantage of allowing a link to Wikidata in the column heading, for the benefit of those not yet aware of what that project is about. I'd also suggest replicating the list, using {{Wikidata list}}, on a talk page or sub-page (linked from the talk page), so fellow editors can compare the two versions and see for themselves the advantages of automated list generation. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:49, 22 November 2020 (UTC)

Andy, You have a lot of good points. About "wikidata" links I agree with you those links were generated by {{ill}} which is according to some archived discussion a preferred way to link to Wikidata instead of {{Wikidata icon}}. I agree they were ugly, but I was trying to do things by the book (even if it does not make much sense). I switched to different style links as suggested by WP:ELLIST. I also created Talk:List of woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer/dynamic list which uses {{Wikidata list}}. It is not optimal as I can not control the order of the images, and which images to exclude since I will list them later in the book illustrations section. Also {{Wikidata list}} does not handle dates well, while my table uses {{Wikidata date}}, which can handle many nuanced dates. So this data set might not be the best example of superiority of wikidata-based dynamic lists, as it is wikidata-based lists after manual clean up. --Jarekt (talk) 03:07, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

As people noted above, there is a consensus against external links to Wikidata in the body. The guideline on external-links has a section WP:ELWD explicitly stating "Wikidata should not be linked to within the body". Formatting is irrelevant when the link itself is inappropriate. Anyone can of course open a new debate on the topic if they wish, but I suggest reading the RFC before doing so. I expect a new RFC would have the same outcome, for largely the same reasons. Unless someone is opening a new RFC, all of the discussion above amounts to an excessively wordy way of saying "Nope, don't try to link Wikidata in the body". Alsee (talk) 23:38, 22 November 2020 (UTC)

Alsee, guideline Wikipedia:External links you are quoting (WP:ELWD) has the following disclaimer on the top: that it " is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply". As people noted above, this restrictions make no sense when applied to list articles, especially the ones generated by a Wikidata database query. That is because it contradicts Wikipedia:Verifiability policy, which in the nutshell states that "Readers must be able to check that any of the information within Wikipedia articles is not just made up", so we need to link to the source data, which just happen to be Wikidata, and WP:ELLIST guideline suggests the format. I was thinking about copying the sources from Wikidata to the article but since this is a list of several hundred prints and for each print we have several statements and each statement has several references, the number would be in 1-2 thousand range, and I was advised not to import couple thousands references, especially since current guidelines allow per items links to the source data. --Jarekt (talk) 03:36, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

I did a bit of rewrite with the help of the Template:Woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer table/row and SPARQL] query. This time I used external links following WP:ELLIST suggestion. I also corrected confusing or missing dates. --Jarekt (talk) 01:48, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

Jarekt policy section WP:SELFPUBLISH directly addresses "open wikis" like Wikidata. You can't link a Wikipedia page, a Conservapedia page, or a Wikidata page, as a ref. They are not Reliable sources (unless it is being cited as a primary source about itself). Policy section WP:CIRCULAR mainly focuses on the most common case where people try to link Wikipedia as a ref. However it explicitly covers cites "Wikipedia (or a sister project)", explaining the primary-source exception for such cites. If such a page happens to mention sources, then those sources need to be cited directly.
There is no formatting issue or question here. The problem here is that, for some reason, you want to shove lots and lots of inappropriate links into the article. You can't use Wikidata as a ref. You seriously shouldn't be trying to stick Talk space(!) links in the article. You shouldn't be linking to Wikidata in the body. And why oh why do you even stick Wikidata-book-item-links on the book refs?? Alsee (talk) 11:13, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
Yeah I am a bit confused as the meat of that list is the table, which includes the reference column - all of which are reference links to wikidata. Wikidata isnt a valid reference for anything, and on top of that, as lists are still articles, it fails the 'must not link to wikidata in the body of the article' etc. The reference column needs to be removed in its entirety or replaced with actual references. Only in death does duty end (talk) 10:12, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
@Alsee and Only in death: In many other lists of artworks each artwork has a dedicated Wikipedia page, where all the information about that painting is bundled. The Wikipedia:Verifiability policy, (one of the 3 Core content policies, is satisfied because you can click on the link to that page and find all those references. At the moment we have only 2 articles for individual woodcuts (out of 350+), so I doubt we will have articles for most those woodcuts. Pages on Wikidata are also wikimedia pages that group all the published verifiable information about each woodcut. That is why I link to them, so if someone wants to see where the information come from they can track it back to the source.
Durer had about 350+ woodcuts, each woodcut has four or five pieces of information, and each piece of info can have have up to several references. The rough estimate of number of references used is between one and two thousand and I was asked in the discussion above NOT to add thousands of references to this article.
Alsee, you mention WP:SELFPUBLISH policy, but I am not sure how it applies to this case as the policy is about the user created webpages, which can be used to add any unsourced made-up information and nobody can correct it. The pages on Wikidata are just like any other wikimedia page, yes anybody can edit it, but they follow similar stringent verifiablility guidelines and statements that do not have proper sources they are often removed. --Jarekt (talk) 04:56, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
Jarekt it doesn't appear you even read it. The second sentence of WP:SELFPUBLISH says it applies to self-published material such as [] open wikis. WP:USERGENERATED sites like Wikidata are not remotely Reliable Sources. Any editor with your apparent experience should already be aware of that. And you're still battling against the consensus not to put external links to Wikidata in the body. As you should also know, we expect people to respect policy and consensus once they've been cited. Alsee (talk) 12:01, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
Alsee, I totally agree with you that wikidata or wikipedia pages should not be used as referenced sources. The issue is that we have too many items with too many references to add them directly so we need to rely on pages aggregating all the info and all the references about an item, and link to them for each item in the list. Many list articles list objects which have independent English wikipadia articles, so one can follow the link to that page to get more information and references. However, we do not have links to wikipedia articles for Durer's woodcuts, so originally I was linking to pages on Wikidata to satisfy WP:LISTVERIFY guideline. After all, all the information in the list were generated using Wikidata query so I know that those pages have all the info to back up the claims in the table. After the links to the source data were removed from the article (seemingly in violation of Wikipedia:Verifiability policy), I followed WP:ELLIST guideline to format my links to pages with references as "external link [] at the end of stand-alone lists" recommended by that page. Those are not ideal, so perhaps a better approach would be to use Template:Sister-inline to add links to pages on other projects (like Wikidata or Commons), related to a given woodcut. --Jarekt (talk) 20:03, 1 December 2020 (UTC)
Jarekt each cell in the table generally only needs to be covered one ref, if there is a conflict in dating you can cover earliest and latest dates with two refs. I expect in many cases a single ref can cover all or much of a row or column, or a single ref may be re-used in scattered places. If Wikidata mentions multiple sources for something, we only need one. I don't think I'm saying anything particularly interesting here - Wikipedia has lots of tables and this is all routine practice. Alsee (talk) 04:00, 2 December 2020 (UTC) P.S. Not all cells necessarily need to be directly covered by a ref, such as empty cells, image column, and title column. Alsee (talk) 04:06, 2 December 2020 (UTC)

Privacy and Names[edit]

I hope this is the proper way and place to bring this kind of issue up (and if not please let me know). The main issue I want to discuss is the way wikipedia deals with a person's birth name. The reason I bring this up is that it's always shocked me, ever since first using Wikipedia, the way Wikipedia immediately reveals everyone's birth name right at the beginning of the article no matter what. Obviously we must navigate between propriety, pertinence, relevance and respect when deciding what to include in wiki articles. Whenever I see a person's profile with their birth name, I wonder is that really always relevant in every case?

Maybe. But maybe its not. If it is relevant, it may not be so relevant that it should be immediately disclosed, as the first thing everyone sees on anyone's wikipedia page, no matter what. I understand that putting the birth name immediately before the name they're known by is a convenient solution for dealing with the issue, but I'm just not sure it's necessarily a good permanent solution as to be an official policy. There is also the issue of privacy and personal autonomy: names are given to us by others before we have any choice in the matter, and if someone has a name they're ashamed of, or embarrassed by, and they change it, I can't even imagine how devastating it is that Wikipedia immediately shows the whole world their unwanted birth name, even before their current name. Their birth name may be a name they have spent their whole lives running away from, and yet, there it is, before their chosen names, right on Wikipedia, which is usually one of the first sites in search, and is thought of as the official and definitive source on most subjects. I'm not trying to be political here, but imagine a hypothetical scenario where a transgender person was required to introduce themselves to anyone and everyone by always and immediately disclosing the gender they were at birth, their gendered birth name, and only then can they tell someone the name the currently identify with. I just think that everything communicates something, and what Wikipedia seems to be communicating by including the birth name as the very first thing in everyone's profile, even before the known and potentially legal name, is that the birth name is who this person 'really is' and that their known legal name is at best less 'real' than their legal names and at worst can seem even spurious and fake/phony.

I'm just hoping to open a dialogue about this as something that's always seemed like a shocking choice to me. Thoughts? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sstewart888 (talkcontribs) 02:28, 21 November 2020 (UTC)

Sstewart888, on pages about transgender people, we already state their legal name before their birth name. See, for example, Chelsea Manning, which begins with "Chelsea Elizabeth Manning (born Bradley Edward Manning)...". If you're asking us to remove birth names entirely, including in favor of stage names, not only is that an enormous task (I'd guesstimate at least 100,000 articles would be affected), it's just not going to happen. See WP:IDONTLIKEIT. As for stage names, I wouldn't be opposed to changing the order of names to something like "Lady Gaga (legal name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta)..." This would also be a huge task, though. Squeeps10 Talk to meplease ping me 03:10, 21 November 2020 (UTC)
An Wikipedia should not be publishing any names for the first time, but only follow names found in reliable sources. So do not think that any privacy is additionally lost because of an appearance in Wikipedia. As that information would have already been published. Anyway the first name would be the name as used on the title of the article, and that should also be the first one used in the opening sentence. Any birth name would come second, so although you might be surprised, you should not be mislead. The name at birth would usually come first in the story about the person. In any case the name we use is the name as used by others as we follow reliable sources. The subject's preference is not a prime consideration, but should be included if known. There will be many many cases where the name we use for the subject is not the birth name, and in many cases we do not even know if it differs from the well-known name of the person. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 12:36, 27 November 2020 (UTC)
Just so that we are clear, per MOS:DEADNAMES we do not include the names assigned at birth for trans people unless they used said name during the period in which they were notable. This differs from our treatment of other birth names. Newimpartial (talk) 14:46, 27 November 2020 (UTC)
Sstewart888 we understand that transgender individuals may have complicated or painful views regarding their given birth-name, but please understand that is no malice here. I believe Wikipedia editors are, on average, supportive of LGBTQ people and issues. Compare our opening sentence at Marilyn Monroe and Rock Hudson. When a Notable person has had a name change, any book-biography would be expected to include that name change - likely on the first page if not the first sentence. A name change is a significant event in anyone's life, and that information is essential to avoid confusing the reader when a biography covers events both before and after that point in time.
You mentioned people being ashamed of their birth name. We can't fix the bias and bigotry people suffer out in the world, but we can refuse to participate in it or perpetuate it. I don't know if this will make you feel any better, but I don't believe birth name or transgender are shameful things, and I don't think Wikipedia should treat them as shameful. Transgender people are people, transgender name changes are name changes, and I wish we lived in a world where everyone treated it as routine and uncontroversial. Alsee (talk) 23:35, 27 November 2020 (UTC)

NFILM Issue[edit]

There are at least two different interpretations of the film notability guidelines as they apply to future films, and efforts to discuss and resolve these two interpretations seem to get nowhere, because editors holding each interpretation know that they are correct and that anyone else is just wrong. On the one hand, some editors think that films are considered notable after they have begun or completed production. On the other hand, some other editors think that films are normally considered notable after they have been released and reviewed, and that films that have been produced but not released are only seldom notable. There have been contentious AFD discussions and even contentious Deletion Review discussions, and the outcome seems to depend on which viewpoint the editors who happen to take part in the discussion have.

The first sentence of the first paragraph of the Future Film Guidelines states:

Films that have not been confirmed by reliable sources to have commenced principal photography should not have their own articles, as budget issues, scripting issues and casting issues can interfere with a project well ahead of its intended filming date.

Based on that statement, some editors infer the inverse, which is that films that have been confirmed by reliable sources to have commenced principal photography should have articles. But that isn't what it says.

The third paragraph of the Future Film Guidelines states:

Additionally, films that have already begun shooting, but have not yet been publicly released (theatres or video), should generally not have their own articles unless the production itself is notable per the notability guidelines.

I have tried to discuss this at the film notability talk page, but it has been inconclusive. Can we either discuss it here or publicize a discussion at another page? I would like to see it resolved. Are films that have been produced and not yet released normally considered notable, or are they only notable under special circumstances? Robert McClenon (talk) 05:29, 21 November 2020 (UTC)

The third paragraph seems to say that films that have begun shooting but are not yet released can have their own articles if they meet GNG requirements. Is this true of the films in question? Newimpartial (talk) 05:38, 21 November 2020 (UTC)
In my opinion, the discussion of the films in question that were in production was only about whether reliable sources had reported that the film had begun shooting, and not whether the production itself satisfied GNG. (I don't like GNG, because I think that its vagueness results in too many contentious AFDs and DRVs, but I recognize that my dislike is in a minority, and that many editors like GNG because of its vagueness.) Robert McClenon (talk) 16:24, 21 November 2020 (UTC)
I agree that SIGCOV in particular can lead to unfortunate back-and-forth discussions that the SNGs can often pre-empt, but in this case a plain reading of NFILM does suggest that the intended treatment of this case is to throw the production right back to the GNG. Newimpartial (talk) 16:33, 21 November 2020 (UTC)
Bear in mind that Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. "Wikipedia treats creative works [including films] in an encyclopedic manner, discussing the development, design, reception, significance, and influence of works in addition to concise summaries of those works." Rarely can anything be written about a film's reception, significance or influence before it is released. So one should ask whether enough has been written about the development and design of an unreleased film (in independent, reliable, secondary sources) to write something encyclopedic instead of a mere publicity teaser. Remember why we have notability requirements. Wikipedia is not intended to be IMDb. --Worldbruce (talk) 17:32, 21 November 2020 (UTC)
I agree in general, but (unfortunately?), this needs to be decided on a case by case basis. There certainly cannot be any general rule that unreleased films can never be notable, viz. The Other Side of the Wind. Newimpartial (talk) 17:41, 21 November 2020 (UTC)

Deletion Review Criterion 3[edit]

There seem to be two different viewpoints as to whether article titles that have been deleted after an AFD discussion should be reconsidered at Deletion Review if there is new information to support notability. On the one hand, some of the regular editors at DRV complain when such cases are brought to DRV, and they tell the filer that they should just create the article again. On the other hand, the instructions for DRV say, as The Purpose for Deletion Review: "Deletion review may be used … 3. if significant new information has come to light since a deletion that would justify recreating the deleted page." So: Should the instructions for DRV be changed so that changed circumstances do not come to DRV, or should the DRV regular editors read that guideline again? At this point there seems to be a difference in interpretation between the guideline and how the guideline is applied.

If this should be discussed somewhere else, please let me know where else. Robert McClenon (talk) 05:29, 21 November 2020 (UTC)

WP:DRVPURPOSE #3 should be removed or perhaps reworded to address appeals of denied requests for creation-unprotection, but editors shouldn't be required to go to DRV to re-create a page that was deleted (via PROD, CSD, or AFD) if the editor thinks the re-creation addresses the reason for the deletion (e.g., new sources). In other words, WP:BOLD re-creation should be permitted. Lev¡vich 07:09, 21 November 2020 (UTC)
There's no way it should be removed. It's a little unclear as to whether you need to ask permission when you're creating an article that was deleted a long time ago. However, if you WP:BOLDly create a page that was just closed as delete as AfD, there's a very, very strong chance that will be disruptive. SportingFlyer T·C 07:30, 21 November 2020 (UTC)
I am satisfied that it is now being discussed at WT:DRV. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:19, 21 November 2020 (UTC)

Album and film[edit]

I wonder if article on old albums should stay here even though there is no reference about it? Yet it is an album by a famous artist whose biography has a lot of references, but not on his album. Is it necessary to write articles about his/her albums? Also, should a telefilm or film published by famous producer but doesn't really have media coverage be written in Wikipedia? Please ping me if you have any comments about it and could you please put some links that relate to your comments, so I can take a look to it? Thanks. CyberTroopers (talk) 14:18, 21 November 2020 (UTC)

No, if the album or film is not notable, we don't need standalone articles on those works, but they can have redirects or entries in disambiguation pages that point back to the creator so that they are searchable terms, and they should be mentioned in the creator's list of works. --Masem (t) 14:51, 21 November 2020 (UTC)

Filemover RfC has been opened[edit]

An RfC has been opened into whether the filemover flag should be removed from CU (indefinitely) blocked accounts. Your input is welcome. --TheSandDoctor Talk 18:12, 21 November 2020 (UTC)

Now withdrawn. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 21:00, 21 November 2020 (UTC)

Machine translation for experienced users?[edit]

I understand why machine translation was originally canned, since the amount of junk produced was overwhelming. However, I wonder if it would be time to consider allowing extended confirmed users to use the tool? The technology behind it keeps getting better, and I would imagine more experienced users would have the judgement to wield it responsibly. Keepcalmandchill (talk) 08:07, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

It seems extended-confirmed users already have access. – Teratix 08:20, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
It definitely does not currently work for me, can somebody else check? Keepcalmandchill (talk) 08:31, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
Keepcalmandchill, do you have the tool enabled in your beta settings? It works for me, although it's clearly still a beta feature. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 23:11, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
Sdkb, Do you mean the content translation tool in general, or the machine translation feature within it? I mean the latter, which I'm quite certain is completely disabled in En Wikipedia. Keepcalmandchill (talk) 23:19, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
Teratix, That is the content translation tool in general. I am speaking specifically of the machine translation function within it, which is currently disabled for all users. Keepcalmandchill (talk) 23:17, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

Why does 3RR have a 24-hour limit?[edit]

Is there a particular reason why WP:3RR only counts the edits within the last 24 hours (or immediately after)? Seems to me like edit warring that takes place over a longer period of time is still edit warring, and if this clear and simple rule covered those cases then there would be less confusion over what is edit warring, easing the lives of editors and administrators alike by presumably lessening its prevalence. Keepcalmandchill (talk) 08:19, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

According to the relevant policy, the three-revert rule is a convenient limit for occasions when an edit war is happening fairly quickly, but it is not a definition of "edit warring", and it is perfectly possible to engage in an edit war without breaking the three-revert rule. – Teratix 08:24, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
Sure, but is there a reason why the rule shouldn't just extend to all edits? It would make edit-warring very quick to diagnose, leading to faster repercussions and therefore I would assume more careful editor behavior. Rules should preferably be as clear and simple as possible. Keepcalmandchill (talk) 08:29, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
If there's no time limit the rule is very subjective to understand, follow and enforce. 3RR over any period of time, for example, would be silly. It'd mean you can't do more than 3 reverts on an article ever, so you have to construct some notion of a reasonable timeframe. 3RR in 24 hours is that bright line that fixes these problems and makes it comprehensible. Longer term edit warring is still edit warring, of course, and people are still often blocked for it. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 08:32, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
Right, I'm sorry, I thought the rule only covered reverts of the same material, my bad. Keepcalmandchill (talk) 08:34, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
I suppose 3RR could still be expanded to include reverts of the same content across any period of time? Keepcalmandchill (talk) 08:37, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
Of course there could still be cases of edit warring that don't break 3RR. Keepcalmandchill (talk) 08:32, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
The idea is to try and include only cases which are almost certainly edit warring, while making it difficult to game the system without slowing down considerably. (talk) 15:14, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
...which is a Good Thing, but better served with a 48 hour limit.
As for the original question, there are roughly two trillion galaxies in the observable universe.[13] One of those galaxies has a few hundred billion stars in it.[14] One of those stars has eight planets around it (it used to be nine, but we don't go there.) One of those planets spins at a certain rate (at least for now. It used to spin faster.[15]) So we take the time it takes for that planet to spin relative to the closest star (not relative to the other stars: that's just crazy talk.[16]), multiply by the number of strikes allowed in American Baseball, and that's how many times you can revert before violating 3RR -- but the rules for edit warring and 3RR are different. Totally not arbitrary. I hear[Citation Needed] that the W?F is planning on changing it to be average lifetime of the Humboldt Squid[17] divided by the number of seconds in the song "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who. The W?F says[Citation Needed] that this will be less arbitrary (not to be confused with arbitration) than the present system... I hope this helps. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:22, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
Um, I thought we did go there. For what it's worth, if you are "there" it's going to be very hard to break WP:3RR. Latency and all. Face-smile.svg davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 16:26, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
First, almost any change that removes or substantially changes existing text can be construed as a revert. If there was no 24-hour window on the 3RR everyone would eventually bypass the 3RR simply through that. Second, one revert is not a bad thing - the entire concept behind WP:BOLD and WP:BRD depends on the fact that if someone has an issue with a bold edit, they can quickly revert it. If there was no time limit on the 3RR then this style of editing wouldn't work. Reverts themselves aren't bad; they're an essential part of the editing process. And a revert-war is tricky to quantify, yet the most drastic and disruptive revert wars need to be shut down quickly to keep articles stable enough to edit. At the same time, it can be very tricky to identify a broader revert war, determine who is at fault, and resolve it appropriately. This leads to the WP:3RR, which sets a very specific, narrow red line that allows some of the most disruptive revert-wars to be resolved quickly and easily, without the in-depth analysis necessary to analyze longer-term behavior. It's not the only type of revert-war, merely a narrowly-defined subset of them that can be easily dealt by a blunt rule with without the risk of causing problems for the WP:BRD cycle or similar things. --Aquillion (talk) 23:43, 27 November 2020 (UTC)

Proposal to modify CSD T3[edit]

There is an RFC proposal to deprecate WP:T3 deletions of templates ("duplicate or hardcoded instances"). Your opinions are appreciated at the discussion. Primefac (talk) 15:05, 26 November 2020 (UTC)

Using Wikiquote as a back door for POV pushing[edit]

Vilho-Veli (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log), who seems to have made a career of adding Wikiquote links to Wikipedia articles (which is usually a Good Thing), recently added one to OpIndia.[18]

Alas, the Opindia page at Wikiquote contains a bunch of material that would be rejected if someone tried to add it to the English Wikipedia.


  • "We live in a post-truth world where the facts often get lost in the cacophony of emotional wails and motivated narratives. One website which has occupied the driver’s seat in the information-warfare era is Wikipedia. Wikipedia has become the agent of misinformation and propaganda. In a post-truth world where facts are relegated to the ‘right-wing imagination’ and the Left narrative is considered as the Gospel truth, Wikipedia reigns supreme."
23 Nov, 2018. OpIndia CEO, Rahul Roushan in Nupur Sharma, Caravan Magazine asked us about our coverage on Wikipedia and its Left bias – Here is our detailed response][19]
Note: Wikiquote allowed a link to www [dot] opindia [dot] com/2020/11/caravan-magazine-questions-opindia-wikipedia-coverage-full-response/ which I could not quote because that site is on our blacklist.

Compare that with:

By its very nature, Wikiquote is one-sided; pretty much giving free reign for an individual or organization to paint a picture with direct quotes without any inconvenient negative material.

What should we do about this, if anything? Is there some change of policy here on the English Wikipedia that would address this problem? --Guy Macon (talk) 23:04, 27 November 2020 (UTC)

Well, I don't have opinions of the texts, just inform that there's an article on Wikiquote. Others can write it better.--Vilho-Veli (talk) 23:10, 27 November 2020 (UTC)
Just to be clear, I did not mean to criticize you in any way. 99.9% of the time adding Wikiquote links is helpful and an improvement. It just happens in this case (which you had no way of knowing) that Opindia has pretty much declared war on the English Wikipedia and is using Wikiquote as an attack page. The reason I brought it up here is that if it works for them we might start to see other groups (scientologists, holocaust deniers, alt-med quacks...) use the same backdoor to get their propaganda into Wikipedia. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:20, 27 November 2020 (UTC)
Guy Macon you describe a troubling scenario, but thankfully it looks like a primarily theoretical problem. I expect approximately 0% of readers click through a Wikiquote link at the bottom of the article, making such a strategy a rather ineffective in general. Regarding the current OpIndia example, the Wikiquote link appears to have been added innocently, the opening sentence at Wikiquote identifies OpIndia as "right-wing", and the Wikiquote page appears to contain no more than an incidental passing smear against Wikipedia. I don't think anything currently needs to be done. If anyone were to actively attempt a strategy like you describe, we could consider removing the specific Wikiquote link and we could ask Wikiquote editors to consider whether the Wikiquote page was being stacked with improper content for an improper purpose. (I assume Wikiquote has some sort of policies on the subject.) Alsee (talk) 00:15, 28 November 2020 (UTC) Struck apparently-innocently part of my comment. The situation is now extremely unclear, and I am seeing significant indications to warrant further investigation. Alsee (talk) 22:48, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
The links are neutral and important. Otherwise you perhaps wouldn't have noticed the problem. The improvements should be done at Wikiquote in my opinion.--Vilho-Veli (talk) 01:27, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
I happen to be a Wikiquote admin. The site has standards for inclusion, at Wikiquote:Quotability. Pages can be nominated for deletion, and individual entries on pages proposed for removal from the page, in much the same way that such actions can be taken on Wikipedia. BD2412 T 01:56, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
I can see a plethora of problems with this. Even assuming, only a tiny minority would see the link to wikiquote and even bother clicking, it still violates the core policies on neutral point of view and that anyone can edit. I'm somewhat surprised that opindia isn't under a global blacklist after the doxxing incident. Not to mention, doesn't most of the wikiquote entry violate its specific content guidelines? Of the 6 external links in them, 5 of them are self-referential cited to themselves. The quotes as captions of images are unsourced and the entire entry displays them as some sort of glorious resistance leaders.
I don't agree that wikiquote is one-sided by its very nature, the quotes can of course be displayed in context while citing to reliable sources. Since it's a website, I assume it should include both quotes from them as well as about them? The only quote which is about the website is a sort of "challenge to the establishment". Unless this is fixed on wikiquote, it shouldn't be linked on the English wikipedia. I'm of the opinion that if the entry isn't neutral then the link isn't neutral either. Tayi Arajakate Talk 02:35, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
@BD2412:, is the above accurate? Can a Wikiquote page about an individual or organization contain quotes by other people critical of the subject? (Assuming of course that the quotes meet the other requirements). Or is a John Smith Wikiquote page only for quotes by John Smith? --Guy Macon (talk) 03:03, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
A Wikiquote page can absolutely contain quotes about the subject. Most of our pages are "about" subjects in the first place, since many of the subjects are abstractions, but there are countless examples of pages with quotes both by and about individuals (for example both q:Donald Trump and q:Hillary Clinton have quotes about the subject making up a substantial portion of the page). BD2412 T 03:12, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
Though in contrast to, we use a measure to avoid "unduly self-serving" material. If a BLP says something about themselves, we generally only include it in if a third-party source republishes it (there are other circumstances too). That doesn't seem to be a factor at WQ, which thus allow editors to potential include POV that's not the same as reflected in reliable sources, which seems to be the situation here. --Masem (t) 03:31, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
I initially misunderstood its guideline on avoiding self-references to mean that quotes shouldn't be solely sourced from the author. I couldn't find anything on Wikiquote which explicitly mentions this but I think quotes which have not received coverage by sources independent of the author would fail the policy on quotability going by the section on "Fame factor". Tayi Arajakate Talk 04:01, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
I don't use WQ enough but the way I read the criteria is that they are not "all must be satisfied" but that they all add to general appropriateness if a quote should be included. While the "fame" criteria is akin to how we avoid self-serving material, it doesn't appear to be a requirement for inclusion, so this would allow quotes from people or organizations which the editors of WQ feel is important to include. Which could lead to POV pushing if one wanted to go that route. Now with this specific case Opindia if they have a beef with Wikipedia and that is well known in other sources, then a few quotes to reflect that could be argued (in the mindset) but seems very much weird at WQ as is. --Masem (t) 05:34, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm sure that much of Wikiquote, as a smaller wiki, lacks scrutiny comparatively speaking, thereby making it easier for some of their pages to be hijacked by POV pushers. So maybe we should allow or make clear, if it isn't already, that editors on English Wikipedia can remove links to Wikiquote if our editors are concerned that a Wikiquote page has serious neutrality issues. (Of course, in such a situation, one could also try to fix it, but I can see that meeting opposition from a page's WP:OWNer, and it would be a pain to figure out how to get that addressed over there, and who knows how long it would take.) Crossroads -talk- 05:06, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
    • Wikiquote has an Administrators' noticeboard, and though things are a bit slower there (days instead of minutes for responses, and weeks instead of days to reach a resolution), these issues do get raised and resolved. I would consider removal of a Wikiquote link to be a last resort rather than an opening step. BD2412 T 06:12, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
      • Agree 100%. Links to Wikiquote are good, and Vilho-Veli is improving the encyclopedia by adding them. If someone else doesn't raise the issue on Wikiquote next week (this is a long holiday weekend for many in the US) I will do so. --Guy Macon (talk) 10:14, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Well, I disagree. I am fed up of seeing indiscriminate spamming of WQ in WP articles. I have raised this issue in the past, and am fairly sure it involved the same person responsible for this latest example. Linking requires a bit of nous and if you don't have it, don't do it. It is frequently said here that care needs to be taken with using the "broken" Commons and WQ is no different. - Sitush (talk) 20:02, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
In every case wikidata links.--Vilho-Veli (talk) 20:25, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
Not true, unless things have changed in recent months. There have been lengthy discussions about how a small group of people have been trying to impose the poorly controlled WD on WP. Which seems to be exactly what you are doing with WQ. I remember now, though, that it was RistoHot sir who I previously noted as spamming, and their command of English also didn't always aid their judgment IIRC. I can't really check stuff easily on mobile, sorry. - Sitush (talk) 20:46, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
I see Risto hot sir (talk · contribs) was blocked for socking. I am fairly sure they were from Finland, as you say you are V-V. Can you please save us all some time here and confirm that you are not them? - Sitush (talk) 21:00, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
And this from 2018 is interesting. - Sitush (talk) 21:03, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
Look, I'm really not interested whether you keep the links or not.--Vilho-Veli (talk) 21:08, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
Then why add them? Still waiting for your confirmation, BTW. - Sitush (talk) 21:10, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
I have boldly removed the WQ link per Vilho-Veli's indifference to it stated above, and pending some sort of discussion outcome at WQ. - Sitush (talk) 21:59, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
I have also just removed their recent addition at 1998 Coimbatore bombings, which has similar issues of backdoor pov pushing. - Sitush (talk) 22:19, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
SPI now filed under the name of Risto hot sir. See [20]. - Sitush (talk) 22:44, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
@Guy Macon and Sitush: I am still waiting for any editor involved in this discussion to raise an issue at Wikiquote. There are numerous venues there where asserted deficiencies in a page of quotations can be addressed. BD2412 T 22:57, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
I think Guy M said they would raise it if no-one else does. I have no desire to get involved with WQ policies/bureaucracy etc because I consider it to be a project beyond redemption, sorry. - Sitush (talk) 23:00, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
Wikiquote is no more "beyond redemption" than Wikipedia. Both face the same issues of vandalism and POV-pushing, and both respond to them to the extent that participants have the bandwidth to contribute to that effort. Wikiquote also has some excellent content, including very good work calling out misattributions (see, e.g., q:Benjamin Franklin and q:Mark Twain), and thoroughly cataloguing the most notable quotes on basic topics (e.g., q:Peace and q:Fishing). BD2412 T 23:18, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
I wasn't expecting you to agree with me, merely telling you why I am not raising the issue there. - Sitush (talk) 23:21, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
Re: "I am still waiting for any editor involved in this discussion to raise an issue at Wikiquote", I intend to do so on Tuesday. That will [A] give this thread time to let everyone have their say, and [B] be past the long holiday weekend in the US. None of this is an emergency that needs to be dealt with today. --Guy Macon (talk) 03:41, 29 November 2020 (UTC)
Just as a general suggestion, should not be including links to Wikiquote automatically unless we are talking about a topic that has well been out of the news (and thus "stable") for many decades (eg wikiquotes of anyone pre-1950 should be reasonably fine). For newer topics - particularly ones that we know are playing into any type of long-term controversial area, inclusion should be based on general consensus that the WQ page is adding valid material for the page. --Masem (t) 06:31, 29 November 2020 (UTC)
The devil would be in the detail. It takes no time at all for a pov pusher to "turn" an article. On WP, there is often scrutiny to a much greater degree than on WQ but it could mean having repeatedly and frequently to scrutinise the WQ entries from the WP article and get to grips with another set of policies etc. If WQ were akin to a dictionary of quotations, ordered in the traditional manner under the name of the person being quoted, then it would be much less of an issue. But instead it is often quotes assembled by subject and the scope for meaningfully disruptive changes is much higher, eg for subjects related to Indian castes even in a fairly tangential way. The likes of James Tod are long dead but the scope for creating a significant POV is considerable. - Sitush (talk) 10:13, 29 November 2020 (UTC)
Given this and the amount of spamming that goes on, might it be better to say that WQ links should be "opt in" consensus rather than "opt out"? Would that help at all? - Sitush (talk) 10:24, 29 November 2020 (UTC)
Every article in Wikipedia is subject to potential spamming. Why not make all links subject to "opt in" consensus, on that basis? BD2412 T 17:25, 29 November 2020 (UTC)
absolutely agree with "opt-in" consensus. My brief look at NY Daily News on WQ concerned me (and WQ link likely should be removed from their page) because the only connection to NYDN was publishing the Op-ed containing the quote. That standard of inclusion could be problematic in the BLP and other controversial topic areas.
Not sure if policy treats it this way, but interwiki links are a little more sacred than external links for the reader. They are seen as continuing the dialogue in wikipedia.
I also wonder if a transclude of specific, notable quotes would be better for readers than the blind link currently used. Slywriter (talk) 17:30, 29 November 2020 (UTC)
Every article in Wikipedia is subject to potential spamming. Why not make all links subject to "opt in" consensus, on that basis? But that is the consensus for WP:External links. Our default without a consensus is "no link". --Izno (talk) 17:39, 29 November 2020 (UTC)
Most external links do not contain content that can be edited by Wikipedians. If you can edit here, you can edit at Wikiquote, and address whatever problems are perceived to exist on the corresponding Wikiquote page. It would be rather absurd for us to get to a point where we can't automatically link pages like Thomas Edison and q:Thomas Edison, or Hesitation and q:Hesitation, or Smile and q:Smiles. BD2412 T 01:50, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
Not a persuasive argument.
1. Wikiquotes standards appear to be lower than En-wiki. Whether that's a function of the project's standards or limited userbase, it still stands that potentially irrelevant quotes are added and survive.
2. Adding wikiquote blindly to pages means that editors now need to monitor a secondary project to ensure readers are getting proper information
3. A generic link that says "wikiquotes has quotes related to: X" adds limited value to the page especially when the quotes may be about the person, may be tangentially related or in the case of prominent people like Donald Trump include a laundry list of quotes and then a section of quotes about DJT which are just a kitchen sink inclusion of everything someone said about DJT that some editor felt NEEDED to be captured. Joe Biden's page is no better.
4. The more I dig, the more I see WQ is absolutely a dumping ground for POV quotes with almost no curation.
5. The WQ project is great for collecting quotes but it seems to be a place an editor would go to find more information and potential new sources, not a place to direct a reader looking to learn more Slywriter (talk) 02:34, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
Most external links do not contain content that can be edited by Wikipedians. - sources cannot be edited by Wikipedians either. Why is this alleged "feature" of WQ important when they can edit Wikipedia provided they comply with its policies and guidelines? WQ seems to have virtually no content policies that are meaningfully enforced. As with anything, if enough exists then some bit, somewhere, will have some merit ... but that doesn't mean it is a generally meritorious thing. Slywriter's opinion coincides with mine but is far better expressed. WQ is everything WP:QUOTEFARM would seem to deprecate but we seem to accept it, absolving ourselves by passing the reader to another bit of the WMF universe and indeed enshrining that with a mention of it in QUOTEFARM itself. - Sitush (talk) 05:43, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
Of course Wikiquote does not abide by WP:QUOTEFARM, in the same way Wiktionary does not abide by WP:DICDEF and Wikisource does not abide by WP:NOTREPOSITORY. These are the functions each project fulfills within Wikimedia. Did you know that Wikiquote was one of the first Wikimedia projects to be created after Wikipedia itself? Or that it incorporates the content of a half dozen public domain compilations of quotations on a variety of themes? A substantial proportion of Wikiquote pages reflect mostly this curated content. I would also note that Wikiquote has fewer than 39,000 pages, compared to Wikipedia's 6.2 million articles. It would be trivially easy for Wikipedians to address the relatively small proportion of actually problematic Wikiquote pages. BD2412 T 06:17, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
The onus for fixing WQ does not lie with WP contributors. - Sitush (talk) 06:41, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
And my point about QUOTEFARM was not that WQ should abide by it but that by pointing WP readers to WQ we are sending them to exactly the sort of mess that we want to avoid here. Yes, I am sure that there are a few decent articles at WQ but just clicking the Random Article link there, plus the detailed India stuff I have mentioned, tends to confirm what Slywriter has said - it is mostly useless to the general reader who has travelled from a WP article. - Sitush (talk) 14:43, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
I should add that it bothers me just how many WQ articles comprise little more than quotes of notorious figures such as Koenraad Elst and David Frawley with seemingly little context except a link to their bio. Perhaps this is normal - does the same apply for, say, David Irving? - Sitush (talk) 06:05, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
I raised some of this at WQ Village Pump. The "moderation team" is apparently small and both exhausted and confused with what are actually blatant attempts to promote Hindu nationalism and Islamophobia across a large number of articles even after specific accounts have been reported. - Sitush (talk) 13:25, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
Yikes, the list of the articles on WQ created by the sock/tag-team is an impressive exercise on POV pushing. I checked out a few of them and all of them had serious neutrality issues, a bunch of de-contextualised cherry-picked quotations. I was thinking of venturing into that project but now that the extent of the damage is put into perspective, we probably need a blanket removal of their contributions for starters.
In any case, I'd support a free hand to remove WQ links from WP pages at this point. Tayi Arajakate Talk 14:09, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
I happen to have personally created over 1,300 Wikiquote pages, primarily seeded with quotes from curated public domain collections, and in each instance I have added these to the corresponding Wikipedia article. In fact, in some instances, I have created articles on Wikipedia to correspond to topics or individuals for which there were collections of quotes. Is there any basis to remove links to Wikiquote in articles like those? BD2412 T 17:51, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
I assume one would have to provide some reason to remove a WQ link and that the addition of unproblematic WQ links wouldn't be contested in the first place. There are too many articles on WQ which do have neutrality issues so I can't support making it more difficult to remove links. If there is a dispute over inclusion or not of a WQ link then they can be treated as akin to how we treat other verifiable material à la WP:ONUS. Tayi Arajakate Talk 05:37, 1 December 2020 (UTC)

I'm with Masem: we should err on the side of not including Wikiquote links and primarily consider them for older subjects. At a most basic level, we shouldn't allow Wikiquote links in BLP because Wikiquote does not have the same BLP requirements. My main experience with Wikiquote POV pushing was a few years ago now, but the problem is still there. After Khizr Khan came to prominence, a bunch of extremist conspiracy theory sites started going through his old law journal publications and cherry picked some quotes to build conspiracy theories on (that he wants to impose Shari'ah law in the United States, that he's a secret Muslim Brotherhood agent, etc.). We kept those quotes out of the Wikipedia article, of course, because they fail to come anywhere close to our BLP and RS standards, but there they sit at his Wikiquote page. When I brought this up in the past, there was never any appetite to remove it as it technically didn't violate any Wikiquote rules once he had been determined "quotable". — Rhododendrites talk \\ 15:27, 30 November 2020 (UTC)

  • I would agree to not add wikiquote links to wikipedia. A while ago I found that after a user failed to push their POV on an article, Vilho-Veli soon after added a wikiquote link where someone had pushed the exact same POV in a similar time frame (I tried documenting the similarities here). I was then shocked to learn how lax the standards are at wikiquote, where basically anything goes. I agree with backdoor concerns. Only silver lining is that most readers wouldn't click on it.VR talk 04:32, 1 December 2020 (UTC)

There seems to be a consensus so far that something needs to be done because WikiQuote has issues which are incompatible with Wikipedia's ethos. It is also evident that these issues have been raised at WQ previously and there has been no appetite at WQ to address them. That may change in time but we have to deal with the here and now. - Sitush (talk) 07:46, 3 December 2020 (UTC)


Vilho-Veli has not only been been sock-blocked,[21] the account has been Globally locked[22] and a swarm of other sock accounts are either already globally locked or soon to be globally locked. WP:ROLLBACKUSE #4 appears to invite reverting their edits. Alsee (talk) 06:22, 29 November 2020 (UTC)

And now a new account created by the same person has been blocked here, although the folks at WQ don't seem to be concerned that the account is active there. [23]. - Sitush (talk) 16:06, 2 December 2020 (UTC)
Please provide diffs to support the assertion that "folks at WQ don't seem to be concerned" about that account. BD2412 T 15:59, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
I raised it at WQ Village Pump and nothing was done. I don't particularly want to go back to that cesspit any time soon. - Sitush (talk) 16:18, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
Your comment above links to User:Minä muka. I see no instance of you raising any concern about that user on Wikiquote. If I am mistaken, please provide the diffs. BD2412 T 19:50, 3 December 2020 (UTC)

Note:I've struck all the comments from User:Vilho-Veli which were made in violation of their previous block. Tayi Arajakate Talk 18:51, 2 December 2020 (UTC)

Question About AFD Action[edit]

I have a question about behavior in an AFD. Maybe the AFD talk page or Deletion Policy talk page are really where I should ask, but I expect to get a quick answer here, and I would like a quick answer without drama. An author created article Z. It was moved to draft space by a New Page reviewer. It was then edited by its author, and moved back to article space. It was then moved to draft space a second time, by a different reviewer. It was then edited and moved back to article space by its author. That is two trips into draft space and back out. Another reviewer then tagged it for deletion, which of course creates an AFD discussion page. The author then moved the page into draft space. The author then removed the AFD template from the page that is now in draft space. The AFD page of course still exists, and is listed in the lists of deletion discussions.

This is a case where common sense as well as policy says that the author was probably acting in good faith, and is now seeking to draftify it for further work, although they twice moved it back into article space when it was thought not to be ready. However, the AFD is still listed in the logs. If the AFD template were simply removed while leaving the article in article space, the appropriate response would be to replace the template and caution the remover. What is the best approach at this point?

Robert McClenon (talk) 05:48, 28 November 2020 (UTC)

Argubly, the page should not have been moved back to draft space once the AFD was tagged. The author could have asked "please draftify this" and asked for a speedy close so that the AFD could be closed normally. So yes, I agree the right response is to move the article back, readd the template and warn the author to either ask for drafting it or let the AFD run out so that the proper close procedures can be handled by an admin. --Masem (t) 05:51, 28 November 2020 (UTC)

Stale user templates[edit]

I am seeking to establish a consensus for the removal of stale transclusion of templates which are intended to be short term, from the user pages and talk pages of editors who re long-term absent.

I have in mind templates such as:

and such like, where it is clearly implausible that they apply for more than a year, or like:

where it implausible that they apply for several years (in some cases, more than a decade - yes, we have such cases); and like:

which promise a reply, when used on the talk pages of users who have been indefinitely blocked (or otherwise absent for a signifiant period), and thus mislead the reader.

Having such templates in use on pages of inactive colleagues makes it impossible to gauge the extent to which those templates are used by active editors. It also dilutes their meaningfulness for users who deploy them in realistic timeframe.

I have been told that having such templates on user pages aids the identification of sock puppets who use boilerplate page design; but they are always available in the page history for those needing to check for them.

I propose to add a note allowing such removals, to WP:TPO. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:41, 29 November 2020 (UTC)

I think there are actually two classes of templates being referenced here. {{Storm}} and {{At school}} seem to reflect this idea of "stale" use, and I would be hesitant to have these removed because of their value in establishing a history. An editor coming back to actively participate in the community after a decade may remember a user they collaborated with, and finding one of these templates on a user page would give them a good idea of what happened to this editor they remembered. It might be worthwhile to add a parameter stale=yes or even date= that enables verbiage along the lines of "This user has now been at school for over 10 years, and does not appear to be returning to actively edit Wikipedia."
On the other hand, {{Usertalkback}} doesn't suffer so much from stale usage as inaccurate usage. If an editor using this template is indeffed, it ends up functioning as active misinformation on their status. A possible suggestion would be a new template {{Indeftalkback}} that instructs users to only leave messages on their talk page or to use the email function that could replace {{Usertalkback}} or even implemented universally for all indeffed users. VanIsaacWScont 14:21, 29 November 2020 (UTC)
How does that establish a history, and how does removing such a templte differ from an editor who spends a few days in storm, and then removes the template and resumes editnig; or who does so at the end of the school term? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:26, 29 November 2020 (UTC)
The history is about the editor missing in action, not one who has come back. If they come back after a wikibreak, there isn't any mystery. It's for those editors that never come back that these templates can give other editors clues about what has happened to a fellow editor they are looking for. VanIsaacWScont 21:43, 29 November 2020 (UTC)
I would consider it better to leave these templates there and instead add some other template that says the user has been inactive since ..whenever.. Then others will get a clue that it may not be worth communicating with the inactive user, and at the same time see what triggered their absence. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 00:53, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
This is well beyond my technical abilities, but would it be possible to create a bot that places a notice at the top of talk pages of editors who have been inactive for greater than 12 months? It could even say when they were last active and be removed when (if) they make another edit. Cavalryman (talk) 01:49, 30 November 2020 (UTC).

Can we please get a wiki home for fictional topics already?[edit]

The appropriate forum for this discussion would be at Meta. (non-admin closure){{u|Sdkb}}talk 05:15, 1 December 2020 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The constant afds and mergers on fictional topics are disheartening and are driving people off the project, especially since it is a vocal minority of deletionists that are doing it. Fandom/Wikia is not a suitible place as it is full of ads and gdpr violations. Wikimedia needs a project where we can have an encyclopedia focused on fictional topics that don’t need to focus on real world notability. Wikiquote is kind of there but it is only for quotes and not an encyclopedia.

A similar project is also needed for minor actors and films (a wiki imdb). (talk) 17:53, 30 November 2020 (UTC)

A) IMDB is already a wiki. B) You may be interested in previous requests, such as meta:Wikifiction (In-universe_encyclopedia). --Izno (talk) 18:06, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
Try Everipedia or start something new, like a mega MemoryAlpha? Disagree that Wikimedia needs this. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 20:07, 30 November 2020 (UTC)
Trying to manage user-provided content on fictional topics based only on primary sources is near impossible. (See TV Tropes). It's a beast that can't be tamed, and something we've long determined that Wikipedia can't be. We can summarize fictional parts of a work, but we're not going to be having full entries on topics that have no other sourcing but the work itself. --Masem (t) 20:10, 30 November 2020 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Support for editors with disabilities[edit]

Withdrawn. ―Mandruss  20:46, 1 December 2020 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I've just attempted to answer WP:Teahouse#From folks - Is this the Help Desk for wikipedia? - somebody not I think wanting support specifically for themselves, but to know where visually impaired editors can go for support. I went looking, and was shocked, in 2020, that I couldn't find anywhere to send them. There's WP:WikiProject Disability, but that's disability-related articles; there's Disabled Wikipedians, but there's only a dozen or so people who have put themselves in there. There's MOS:ACCESS, but that's about how to edit for people with disability. There have been occasional discussions on VP about specific matters, but there's nowhere that I can find that editors who have a disability can go for any specific assistance, whether technical, or individually from willing volunteers.

I'd be happy to start a page like WP:Assistance for editors with disabilities, but I don't know much about what to put on it: I've no particular knowledge about the subject, and I don't know how to find editors with such expertise (or even better, editors with disabilities themselves, apart from the few in the category).

I've raised this here rather than at the Idea lab because I believe this should be a matter of policy, not just something that concerned editors make happen. --ColinFine (talk) 23:29, 30 November 2020 (UTC)

I'm feeling genuinely puzzled by what you're looking for. People who need help with some random thing can go to the teahouse or VPT or the help desk, the same as anyone else. For an existing group of people interested in ensuring WP:Accessibility is reasonably dated, we have WP:WikiProject Accessibility. Everything else should fall out of WP:ACCESS.... Maybe Graham87 can make an appearance. --Izno (talk) 05:03, 1 December 2020 (UTC)
Yes, exactly this. The teahouse/help desk have a wide variety of users and I've always found them helpful with random queries I've had which would be easy for a sighted person to answer but difficult for a blind person (e.g. what is this image, I think I've broken this table ... etc.). The problem with a specialised noticeboard would be getting a critical mass of people both to ask and answer questions, which given the tiny population we're serving here, doesn't seem viable in the long term to me. DrMel, if you'd asked me this privately, I would've told you exactly the same thing. Graham87 06:38, 1 December 2020 (UTC)
Re: table, it wasn't me ... and it wasn't broken. :-) Graham87 06:46, 1 December 2020 (UTC)
Agree with Graham, such a specialist help desk would very likely end up just ghettoizing the issue. The "mainstream" help venues usually work well enough. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 10:20, 1 December 2020 (UTC)
As do I; it's better both from our point of view and the readers' that we have as low a number of helpdesks as possible, to maximise the chances that an enquiry is seen. I also don't really understand what's being proposed. A generic "disabilities" help desk makes no sense, since "the disabled" don't form a single group (someone who's an expert on screen readers for the blind is no better qualified than anyone else to comment on how to enter Wikitext markup using a one-handed chorded keyboard, how to add TimedText captioning to audio files, how to enlarge the default font without also enlarging the images so much they dominate the page, etc.) ‑ Iridescent 10:56, 1 December 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments, all. I take the point about "ghettoising". What troubled me was that I expected to find somewhere to direct DrMel to that answered their question in a more helpful way than the first answer did. I did search, but didn't think of trying "accessibility" as opposed to "disability", (my unconscious ableism?) Since I couldn't find anything, I concluded that Wikipedia didn't have a policy on accessibility, which concerned me a lot. I guess this can be closed now. --ColinFine (talk) 12:54, 1 December 2020 (UTC)
In closing I'd just remark that WikiProject Accessibility is more focussed on accessibility for readers rather than editors. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 18:20, 1 December 2020 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Finished MOS:DIACRITICS merge from MOS:CAPS to WP:MOS[edit]

For details, please see: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Finished MOS:DIACRITICS merge.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  02:00, 2 December 2020 (UTC)

See RfC on changing DEADNAME on crediting individuals for previously released works[edit]

FYI – Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Biography#RfC: updating MOS:DEADNAME for how to credit individuals on previously released works
This potentially would affect a significant number of articles.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  02:21, 2 December 2020 (UTC)

Someone edited my User Page??[edit]

Someone went through my User Page and edited it. They were sort of tech or coding edits. Mainly, someone went through all my Userboxes and recoded things--also removing underlines I had in spaces between words. The result is, as far as I can tell, they way I had it looking in the first place (although I did go back in the history and look at the previous version; I found that one of them had stopped working while I had my back turned)
Oh, yeah, this someone also changed every <br/> to say <br>, without the slash.
I guess someone went through and updated coding for me, that had been changed without my realizing it. I don't know. Is it usual to go "fixing" someone else's User Page? Why do I feel just slightly violated?? Uporządnicki (talk) 02:47, 2 December 2020 (UTC)

Did you ask them about it? Natureium (talk) 02:50, 2 December 2020 (UTC)
I believe you are referring to this edit by Voidxor at User:AzseicsoK. That looks fine to me—this is a wiki where anyone can fix things. I don't know why the "User:B.D.Will/read or else" stuff is being changed but there is sure to be a good reason. Johnuniq (talk) 02:55, 2 December 2020 (UTC)
It was an AutoWiki Browser edit. It looks like all of the changes are genfixes except for the BD Will username change. I'm sure the AWB run was to update after an account name change, and it just hit every page that links to the old userspace. VanIsaacWScont 03:03, 2 December 2020 (UTC)
Well, as far as fixing things, I fix a lot of things--but I kind of figure I wouldn't touch someone's User Page. But it sounds like it's an automatic thing that goes through and updates when there are changes in the way things are coded. Uporządnicki (talk) 03:16, 2 December 2020 (UTC)

RfC: For biography leads, do we prefer recent images or images from when the subject was most notable?[edit]

Opinions are needed on the following matter: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Images#Request for Comment. Flyer22 Frozen (talk) 07:07, 2 December 2020 (UTC)

Professional critics[edit]

What even qualifies someone to be a "professional" film or television critic? Who gives out the certifications/awards in film criticism? I'm questioning the guideline as outlined at MOS:TVRECEPTION. Aggregator sites such as Rotten Tomatoes are overwhelmingly biased towards mainstream white male baby boomers. Not that their perspectives are invalid, just that it's only one perspective. Not calling anyone a racist, but if you've never been stopped in the street by police just for being Black in public you're not going to understand what it's like. Trying to introduce alternative perspectives is an uphill battle on wikipedia; people question the source's reliability and/or the person's qualification to make a criticism. I'm not only talking about race (or "skin color" as I have been misrepresented as saying), I'm talking about all alternative perspectives.

The popular Netflix series The Queen's Gambit is what brought this to my attention. On aggregator sites like Rotten Tomatoes they're almost universally raving about it, 100% approval or close. However several non-white writers have criticized the series' use of the "sassy Black woman" and "magical negro" tropes. Problem is, most of these writers are not published in mainstream newspapers or sources wikipedia has agreed are "reliable", and are rejected by many wikipedia editors on this basis. (See the article's talk page). Do the current MOS and guidelines on film and TV criticism contribute to a systemic bias in wikipedia? Thoughts? And please don't just link me to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS or any other WP links, Wikipedia policies and guidelines can evolve and always have. I want your own thoughts. Pinging @YoungForever, Anywikiuser, Intforce, CapnZapp, and Drovethrughosts: MaxBrowne2 (talk) 04:59, 5 December 2020 (UTC)

Controlling policy is still basically WP:UNDUE. When we are looking to consider the critical reviews of a work, we're going to look at the type of sources that are typically considered reliable for the same types of works in that media, once that have been identified over and over as mainstream or top critics. Could they be a male-dominated or other similarly racial/gender-skewed perspective? Maybe, and that would be a systematic bias but beyond the scope of WP. What we can't start doing is including every random review or criticism just because it may go against the grain of mainstream. A wholly separate example in the world of video games is when we find games raved about by the common review sites, but there is a loud set of user complaints that we simply cannot talk about unless they get documented in third-party sources. And the sources I'm seeing so far brought up for this aspect of the Queen's Gambit are similarly weak sources that fail the UNDUE test. That said, this WAPost article touches on the issue, it seems, but I'm not seeing much yet out there. There could be an argument if this consideration related to the sassy Black woman trope was something in multiple weaker RSes, but given there really only seems to be one weak RS making the call, that really suggests it fails UNDUE. --Masem (t) 06:21, 5 December 2020 (UTC)
I see another site I linked to on the talk page, by Gloria Oladipo on Bitch Media, has been added to Rotten Tomatoes as the only negative review. Clearly an intelligent woman with some cogent arguments, but she's a 20 year old college student and it's a minority interest site. MaxBrowne2 (talk) 07:17, 5 December 2020 (UTC)
Sorry if some one feels I am digressing; but irrespective of rest of the discussions User:MaxBrowne2 has a valid point when he says,"... Trying to introduce alternative perspectives is an uphill battle on wikipedia; people question the source's reliability and/or the person's qualification to make a criticism. I'm not only talking about ...XXX..., I'm talking about all alternative perspectives..." (any rational fellow would happily read again).
I do wonder in last 20 years how come Wikipedians didn't get reasonable number of experts in pointing out (List of fallacies) in those 'self point of view serving' status quo.
Considering something as mainstream and rejecting something as fringe is technically original research. Unlike old printed encyclopedias there is no space limit to Wikipedia then finding reasons to exclude lot of content sitting behind range of rules has more to do with Political religious and nationalistic etc point of views which want to suppress other views rather than logical reasoning. IMHO. And that really makes ...introduce alternative perspectives is an uphill battle on wikipedia...(Pl. do read again 1000 times)
Sorry for expressing non mainstream views which questions status quo.
Bookku (talk) 08:01, 5 December 2020 (UTC)