Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)

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The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss proposed policies and guidelines and changes to existing policies and guidelines.
If you want to propose something new that is not a policy or guideline, use Village pump (proposals).
If you have a question about how to apply an existing policy or guideline, try one of the many Wikipedia:Noticeboards.
This is not the place to resolve disputes over how a policy should be implemented. Please see Wikipedia:Dispute resolution for how to proceed in such cases.

Please see this FAQ page for a list of frequently rejected or ignored proposals.

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Contents

Notability of theatrical plays[edit]

NAC: Unfortunately, I have to conclude that there is No Consensus on whether to adopt this guideline. I am uninvolved with this, and I agree with User:Coastside as to needing guidelines and even ipso facto notability criteria, but the community is divided. Suggest a rewording and more publicity. Robert McClenon (talk) 00:37, 10 March 2019 (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.

Bumping thread for 15 days. –MJLTalk 14:56, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

Un-bumping thread, discussion is closed --DannyS712 (talk) 00:03, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

This draft offers, in my view, a legitimate set of criteria for the notability of theatrical plays. -The Gnome (talk) 10:46, 27 January 2019 (UTC)

Support[edit]

  • Support per nomination. -The Gnome (talk) 10:46, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Wikipedia needs more guidance on notability. This is helpful. Coastside (talk) 21:05, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support I am supporting this as part of a paradigm shift to judge notability on the basis of having a large amount of structured data versus the traditional GNG standard of expecting to see citations to traditional reliable sources. The trend that I am perceiving is that the quality of information in databases is better, and in the case of plays, we can access information about directors, venues, actors, length of run, and local reviews often without having access to reliable sources which establish GNG. English Wikipedia currently judges information from databases generally unreliable. I still respect Wikipedia's reliable source definition, but increasingly, reliable sources means human-written content which may be of low quality whereas database information is machine-arranged information from some authority but which does not meet WP:RS. To me, Gnom's draft appears to be a check of whether we have the data which would complete the Wikidata modeling of a play and even go beyond that to check that related entities - like the theatre house, director, and actors - also have good verified data around them. What I am imagining in this scheme is that we have the infobox for a play completed and referenced to a reliable database, and then perhaps without citations someone summarizes the plot of a play. In such an article there might be no WP:RS cited and WP:GNG met, but to me, such an article would be higher quality than an article about a play which lacked that data but which cited 3 critical reviews to pass GNG. Now might not be the time to approve this because English Wikipedia is still forming its policy on its relationship with data, but I do think that this proposal will seem much stronger when we know how much we can trust databases like Internet Broadway Database. If this fails, I would join anyone in exploring the development of a policy on the reliability of information from databases. Blue Rasberry (talk) 22:51, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. This is well done, potentially useful, and not in conflict in any way with how we assess notability of such articles. What the oppose people below seem to be missing is that SNGs (with one or two controversial would-be exceptions) are not alternatives to GNG; they are not in competition with WP:N. Their purpose is predictive: they explain in topically specific terms what kinds of articles in that category are likely to pass or fail our overall notability examinations, and why. They're not rulebooks, they're tools for helping (mostly new-ish) editors select appropriate topics and write them up in an encyclopedic manner. We actually need more of these. Should this fail to be elevated to a guideline in this proposal motion, it should be made a wikiproject advice essay and kept at WP:WikiProject Theatre/Notability or whatever. If it is referred to frequently enough – because people find the arguments in it compelling, as with any other essay we use a lot, not because it's being "cited" as a "rule" – then it'll likely become a guideline later. Or it simply won't matter that it doesn't have a guideline tag on it. It won't be the only such page. (Hell, some of our most cherished deletion-related material has {{Essay}} on it: WP:AADD, and what it says is considered actionable in deletion debates; it is effectively a guideline. Similarly, some guidelines effectively have the force of policies, like WP:MEDRS, WP:BRD, WP:ROPE, and WP:CIR – WP and its admins and processes act on their community-acceptance authority with firm force.) Lots of wikiprojects have notability, style, naming-convention, and other pages in this boat. Remember WP:NOT#BUREAUCRACY. Consensus is what the editorial pool does in the aggregate over time, not what banners it puts on the tops of pages.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  11:43, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. I agree with SMcCandlish's views on the purpose of SNGs. For those concerned with the narrow scope, perhaps envision not just strictly plays but also musicals, operas, any written performed theatrical work. This proposed guideline works for them all. --Bsherr (talk) 17:16, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support As with Blue, I think it's a good idea to use something other than the GNG in this area. In major theatrical centers essentially everything that opens gets reviewed,thoughfor some material it can be difficult to find, so it doesn't serve as a discriminating factor for notability , but rather for the diligence and access to sources of the contributor. The most satisfactory of the SNGs are the ones that are alternatives--GEOLAND and PROF, and the inclusion of all biological species the charting sections of music. (I'm omitting sports here, because the appropriate levels are always under some degree of dispute) These are ones that can permit us to build content, not argue about nuances of sourcing. All that is necessary in fact to harmonize the others with the SNG is to interpret "presumptive" in the way it means in law--it holds unless there is actual convincing evidence otherwise. It is very rare that a search for sources in most fields is sufficient comprehensive as to really be convincing evidence that none exist. Iyt can be done, and I have seen some afds in restricted fields where it actually is done, but but for most topics nobody has access to all the possible resources. Thus, all we can do is predict. DGG ( talk ) 20:10, 28 February 2019 (UTC)

Oppose[edit]

  • Why? Is there some perceived need for an SNG specific to plays? --Izno (talk) 15:51, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
    The benefits of having one are the same for having in place one for films. -The Gnome (talk) 19:15, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
    Which are? --Izno (talk) 20:00, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
    On the basis of the strengthening of WP:5P1 and WP:INDISCRIMINATE, as well as more and more people turning to Wikipedia "to keep up with the popular culture moments happening around them" (link), Wikipedia has been tightening up on its inclusion criteria. Consequently, subject-specific guidelines for notability have been increasing in number at the rate of approximately one every year. This is a welcome trend as the increasing size of the AfD process indicates. Do you object to having WP:NFILM in place? -The Gnome (talk) 21:27, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
    P.S. Discussions at the pump tend to get unwieldy, as it is, so we should strive for clarity whenever we can. You can !vote to oppose the suggestion in the Oppose section and ask questions at the Discussion section. Wouldn't this be more practical and clear, also for readers? - The Gnome (talk) 21:31, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
    WP:OTHERSTUFF about the FILM question. Please answer my question directly. What is the benefit of Yet Another SNG? If the play is notable, it should be able to meet the WP:GNG. Are there plays which do not which we should cover? Conversely, are there plays we cover that we should not? SNGs, if they are employed, should cover those two cases. I doubt this one does, especially since it was initially drafted in 2011. 8 years is a long time on Wikipedia.
    Please consider reviewing WP:LISTGAP regarding the indenting you changed.
    I'll ignore your comment on discussions. It's my choice to have this discussion under the oppose section since I currently and will continue to oppose until I get some good answers. If you would like to reply in #Discussion, that is your prerogative. --Izno (talk) 23:14, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
I suggested placing this discussion in the, well, Discussion section since this is why we have such sections: to have discussions separately from !votes. It simply makes for better navigation. That's all. Of course, it's your prerogative to post anywhere you feel like. And I asked if you oppose the existence of WP:NFILM. You responded by invoking WP:OSE, which can only mean that you consider WP:NFILM to be "stuff" that "already exists" and "probably should not." Interesting. -The Gnome (talk) 23:39, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
I don’t know where I'll land on this question but this discussion feels like this is really a case of some stuff exists for a reason which not so coincidentally resides at OTHERSTUFF. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 06:17, 28 January 2019 (UTC)
Greetings, Barkeep49. Izno above asked 'Why?' and I pointed out WP:NFILM strictly as a kind of short hand (similar justification). I then provided a fuller explanation for my proposal without using at all the existence of a precedent as justification. Hope this is clearer now. -The Gnome (talk) 17:36, 28 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as instruction creep and unneeded bureaucracy as GNG is enough. There are not enough play articles being written to need an SNG in comparison to the far greater number of film articles, thanks Atlantic306 (talk) 23:12, 28 January 2019 (UTC)
Greetings, Atlantic306. The relative dearth of Wikipedia articles on theatrical plays could actually be a shortcoming of our encyclopaedia. -The Gnome (talk) 09:34, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose for multiple reasons. Firstly, I just don't think it is needed. Secondly I believe the guidelines are too limiting - "The play has been produced by a notable theatre company or producing theatre and enjoyed a long and successful run in one or more major venues." A long run should not be a determination of notability. Equally, a play which opens on Broadway and closes within a week would also be notable. Or a play which plays at the Royal Court/Young Vic/National Dofrman would be considered notable despite being limited runs. Mark E (talk) 08:07, 3 February 2019 (UTC)
Greetings, Mark E. If you disagree with the language of the specific, currently extant draft, it can, of course, be amended, through a process of suggestions and discussions. If there could be an SNG which you'd find acceptable, then that would mean you would generally support the suggestion to have one. -The Gnome (talk) 09:34, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - No need for an SNG, GNG is enough. Blueboar (talk) 10:46, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose GNG is sufficient. It has not been demonstrated how the GNG would encourage the deletion of articles that this SNG would somehow save.--Jayron32 16:46, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
    Jayron32, I would argue that # The play was directed by a notable director and starred notable performers.[1] would most likely save a few. Don't ask me which ones ones, though. I'll concede I have no actual clue. ―Matthew J. Long -Talk- 02:57, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
    Well, no SNG should save an article that doesn't pass WP:GNG. The goal here is to make it easier to determine whether something should almost certainly pass WP:GNG. SportingFlyer T·C 08:27, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ i.e. those which would be deemed notable enough to have a stand-alone article in Wikipedia
  • Oppose It's a well drafted SNG and I don't have any problems with introducing it generally. My concern revolves around how few articles about plays I've seen around town here. I don't see many if any I remember at AfC or AfD. There's one active PROD over at Musical Theatre (which I agree with) and none over at Theatre as it stands right now. I just don't think it's generally needed in mainspace since determining notability of plays is a fairly rare task, one guided by WP:GNG, and it doesn't outweigh the need to keep the number of SNGs limited. I would consider adding it as a general non-binding guideline over at Wikiproject Theatre if you haven't already since I do think it is a well drafted proposal. I don't see any links to notability on the project page so please excuse me if I'm wrong. SportingFlyer T·C 08:26, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

Neutral[edit]

  1. Neutral. The Gnome, please do not get discouraged by the results of this RfC. I have come up with much worse ideas, so do not feel like this anyone here is saying your proposal is that bad. Many editors are simply of the reasonable opinion that there is nothing currently being expressed that warrants this change right now. I suggest that you, as you move forward, create theatre-related articles to improve our coverage of this topic. Thank you for bringing this policy up for debate, and I am sorry if these are not the results you had hoped for. ―Matthew J. Long -Talk- 02:57, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for the kind words, Matthew J. Long. Take care. -The Gnome (talk) 08:04, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

  • I think we need more guides on notability and what to include and exclude in Wikipedia. There is a strong bias against "rules" and "instruction creep", which is understandable. There is a clear libertarian streak amongst the Wikipedia powers-that-be. Those who are comfortable with the status quo don't want more rules. For me the issues isn't rules but guidelines. There must be some kind of reference to help editors navigate. I think Gnome did a great job trying to provide a reference for editors to consider. If someone wants to add an article on a play, why not give them some kind of framework to decide whether it merits an article in an encyclopedia? As I see it, Wikipedia is ballooning into a glorified phonebook for 7 billion people and fansite for every video game character ever conceived. I would like to see more guidance to include content that will be relevant long-term and to exclude content that is better suited in blog posts than the encyclopedia. Soup nazi? No. Guidance and attempt to rationalize the influx of pop culture? Yes. Coastside (talk) 21:15, 15 February 2019 (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.

Social Media Statistics[edit]

There is no consensus to implement this proposal. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 05:45, 13 March 2019 (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.

Social media statistics, such as subscribers, followers, likes, and views may not be used in infoboxes or lead sections and may not be used to establish notability. When it has received significant coverage from an independent reliable source these statistics may be used sparingly in the body of an article accompanied by the month and year that the number was reported. Best wishes, Barkeep49 (talk) 00:05, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

Support (social media statistics)[edit]

  1. Social media networks like Instagram, Twitter, Twitch, and YouTube have experienced persistent problems with the reliability and accuracy of statistical measures. This has meant inflated follower/subscriber counts and paid for or bot generated inflation of the count of individual pieces of content such as views on YouTube or likes on Instagram. This has been a problem for many years (see efforts in 2012 to counter on Youtube or on Twitter in 2014) and remains a problem today (sample of stories from 2019: [1] [2]). On Wikipedia these pieces of information are often used to promote article subjects rather than inform readers. Further they are frequently cited to the social media networks themselves which can be hard to verify as these numbers fluctuate. There is no policy or guideline support for use of these numbers to establish notability; social media influencers and online streamers normally are proved notable through use of the general notability guideline. Best wishes, Barkeep49 (talk) 00:05, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  2. Well-worded. A blanket ban wouldn't be appropriate and neither would a blanket inclusion. The context, namely, the notability of the individual and whether YouTube etc is their only endeavour all come into play, meaning application on a case-by-case basis is the best way forward. SITH (talk) 00:13, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  3. Full Support. I fully support this move. Half of all web traffic on the Internet is just Bots. It's time to stop fooling ourselves. None of these statistics are going to be reliable. Large numbers should not replace Reliable Sources. Thank you all for your time. ―Matthew J. Long -Talk- 02:35, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  4. Support. Particularly because I think the second sentence is a good standard. If a follower count is seen as newsworthy by reliable sources, it should be included as far as it is due. Otherwise, it's more of a piece of trivia. Natureium (talk) 03:53, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  5. Support the big problem for leads and infoboxes are that these are about impossible to keep up to date. On top of that, as barkeep has pointed out, there is significant manipulation of these numbers and they don't really tell us that much and are highly unreliable. Combine that with the fact that we are not an advertising platform for YouTubers, and I think the weight of the arguments is strongly against these.
    In terms of the body, if high quality sourcing thinks it is significant, we can cover it, but on its own, the numbers are meaningless. TonyBallioni (talk) 07:05, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  6. Support It trivial, largely unreliable and not even sure it tells us how popular someone is.Slatersteven (talk) 11:28, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  7. Support per all above. I call social media stats "spammer metrics" because their primary audience is marketers and advertisers. They only exist to promote the subject, and are not reliable encyclopedic information. The livelihoods of influencers depend on spammer metrics, so that companies can justify spending their marketing budget on them. The platforms have an incentive to look the other way regarding fake likes because they too use spammer metrics to justify growth and audience size to investors and advertiser clients. A simple Google search demonstrates that padding social media stats is surprisingly cheap (about a cent per like) and there is a whole cottage industry dedicated to it. MER-C 11:45, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  8. Support These are bullshit statistics. By itself, absolutely unreliable for proving anything about notability. If someone else comments on it, fine to use, as always, but we add to the problem by reporting these numbers. valereee (talk) 13:09, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
    • @Valereee: This policy would prevent us reporting on these numbers, regardless of their reliability, notability or commentary in secondary sources. Thryduulf (talk) 10:40, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
      Thryduulf, I think it only prevents using them in leads and infoboxes and using them to establish notability, doesn't prevent us from reporting them AT ALL? valereee (talk) 12:22, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
      Depends how you read it I suppose, but that is certainly my interpretation of it. It would definitely disallow the numbers being mentioned in the infoxbox and lead even when they were (per secondary sources) key parts of the subject's notability and regardless of whether they were reliable or not. Thryduulf (talk) 12:58, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  9. Support: Subscriber, follower, like count isn't an indicator of notability. GN-z11 [[User talk:GN-z11|
  10. Support - Subscriber, follower, “like” counts are primary data. They may underlie notability for social media personalities, but (because they ARE primary data) they are not (on their own) enough to determine whether a social media personality is Notable or not. This is why we need independent secondary sources to comment upon the personality (and the numbers). As for listing the numbers in an infobox - given how frequently the numbers fluctuate, I don’t see them being particularly useful data. They will constantly be out of date. Blueboar (talk) 19:23, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  11. Support Very well worded. They don't necessarily need to be banned from the top section altogether but this is certainly not something that should even be considered when it comes to establishing notability or emphasized in a biography once that is passed. Subjects should have more interesting content about them to fill the lead with than their follower statistics. Reywas92Talk 05:06, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
  12. Support As a very primary source should not be used to establish notability. Once notability established sure may be used sparingly. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:41, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
    • This would also prohibit use in situations where such numbers are the basis of notability in other sources (e.g. where a video becomes notable to reliable sources because it has a large view count.) Thryduulf (talk) 21:12, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
      • It's not our job to tell readers why The Fooland Times decided Alice B. Ceesdale was worth an article in their newspaper; trying to do so is probably OR. It's our job to scrape the article for encyclopedically relevant information about Ceesdale and cite them as the source for it. If the article was really just an "OMG, she got 42 million Likes!" fluff/puff piece without any real substance, then a) it's not much of a source for anything, and b) it's enough to describe her Youtube video or whatever as having gone viral; the specific number is meaningless, since it'll be different a day later, and even what it means in relative terms will shift over time as social-media usage patterns change. [Back in the day, I was the editor of an online newsletter with around 40K readers and that was huge, one of the most-read publications of the early public Internet. Today, that would be a joke – like, "come talk to us when that has two or three more zeros at the end, dude". Heh.]  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  12:03, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
        • If the mention is just a puff piece it isn't suitable for our use (for most purposes) per existing policies, but there are non-puff pieces that this policy would prevent being used with no consideration for quality. This is one of the biggest problems with this proposal it doesn't allow for any consideration of individual circumstances, context or anything that isn't a bad-faith attempt to manipulate our content. A guideline discouraging the use of stats as key information without secondary sources to explain its relevance and significance would be both unproblematic and redundant. Thryduulf (talk) 13:03, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
          It wouldn't prevent non-puff journalism from being used at all; just not used for social media statistics which will soon enough be meaningless or worse.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  14:50, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
  13. Support This would help two things simultaneously: the 1) "they have a lot of views, therefore they're notable!" arguments, and 2) making sure user counts, subscribers, or views can be mentioned in the article, but only if backed up by secondary sources. There's currently an ongoing argument on a web-based software platform regarding how many people actually use the site, a problem because the higher number has been discredited but proponents obviously want to use that number instead of the much lower number of daily users. While oppose !voters may be right in saying you can't use primary sourced statistics anyways, I do see a problem here since this can be ignored, and this would help fix the problem. SportingFlyer T·C 22:48, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
  14. Support When we have access to good data about social media statistics from a stable third-party source then we should include this. This is defining data, much like the number of employees or revenue of an organization. I recognize that this is primary source content but it is also fundamental to understanding these channels and not something that we are likely to find in what we now define as reliable sources. There are a range of problems with including this data and I think we need to build out some policies and norms, but I support moving in this direction. Blue Rasberry (talk) 23:55, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
    • @Blueraspberry: Your rationale seems to be in contradiction to your bolded "support"? You seem to be in favour of including social media statistics (in at least some circumstances), but this proposal is about disallowing such information in all circumstances. Thryduulf (talk) 00:42, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
      • Um... no... the proposal just limits where we can mention the statistics. It does not disallow them entirely.
  15. Limited Support Get rid of it in infoboxes, but if an editor thinks it's important enough that it belongs in the lead, that should be handled case-by-case valereee (talk) 13:36, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
  16. Support. The social media cruft isn't really relevant. If there's coverage of a subject in reliable sources, that's what matters (both in AfD arguments and in what's important to have in an article). Primary-sourced statistics (from proprietary, commercial Web sites, no less) are prone to fakery and deserve no weight. —{{u|Goldenshimmer}} (they/their)|😹|✝️|John 15:12|☮️|🍂|T/C 16:06, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  17. Support for multiple reasons, including WP:NOTSPAM and does not lead to subject significance. funplussmart (talk) 21:33, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  18. Support. Aside from all of the above, there's a WP:NOT#SOAPBOX issue. Reliable sources, not fans of the subject (or even the subjects editing their own article) tell us what these stats are and and when the real world considers them important with regard to a particular subject. It is not lead-section material. If there's ever an exception, e.g. because a particular number of "likes" or whatever (new world record in 24 hours?) is itself part of the reason for notability (and RS say so, not people on the talk page), then an exception can apply per WP:IAR (aside from legal policies forced on us by the foundation, none of WP's rules are exception-free).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  03:04, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
    • @SMcCandlish: if you have to bake in IAR when designing a rule then you've got the rule very, very wrong. IAR is for situations that were not anticipated by the rule or which are truly exceptional and so the rule needs to be bent. This proposal would require frequent examples of the rule not just being bent but broken to the extent of being the exact opposite. Thryduulf (talk) 10:40, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
      • @Thryduulf: I think I've been a bit misread on this. I have in mind what WP:P&G explicitly says about guidelines (i.e., this is an actual rule in policy about them): "Editors should attempt to follow guidelines, though they are best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply." This principle is pretty frequently cited and is a form of IAR. (And IAR itself is a policy, a rule! Heh.) I didn't mean that people need to specifically say "Per WP:IAR." Nor do I think what's being contemplated here is policy rather than guideline material, just to be clear; nit-picks like this don't rise to policy level. This would almost certainly end up in MoS, since it's about leads and infoboxes: MOS:LEAD, MOS:INFOBOX. And it thus would not actually be phrased in terms like "may not be" absolutes, but in our usual softer guideline language. I.e., your concerns that this "bans" or "prohibits" something would not actually be possible, since MoS can't actually do that, just lay out a best-practice default which is sometimes ignored when common sense tells us to ignore it on a case by case basis. That's the heart of IAR anyway, and we do it every day without actually having to cite IAR by name. It's just how guidelines work, so you can just cite the lead of WP:P&G instead of citing WP:IAR.

        Anyway, if you think that exceptions that would really be encyclopedically justifiable, and necessary for proper coverage (not just desired by fanbois trying to PR-massage their idol's article) would actually be all that frequent, then we can write a specific set of exception criteria, or include a more generalized exception statement. We do this all the time (especially in MoS). I understand your reaction to the strident tone of the draft language, but WP:Writing policy is hard, first drafts almost never get it right, wording of such a line-item in any P&G page is not set in stone, and if something is codified in too-stringent an initial form, the kinks get worked out pretty quickly with a round of revision to deal with unintended consequences.
         — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  12:03, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

      • @Barkeep49: Please see the above, and moderate the tone of some of the wording; people are reacting negatively to its "This shall be thy Holy Law" stridency, rather than assessing the intent of it. Read around in the main MoS page, as well as MOS:INFOBOX and MOS:LEAD, to see how MoS guideline material is actually written.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  12:07, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
        • (edit conflict) Yes writing policy is hard, that's why we should restrict policy to situations where it is needed (per others this is not one) and go through several drafts where problems are identified and ironed out - which has not happened here. A new rule or policy such as this attempts to be should be correct in (almost) all forseeable circumstances in which it would apply: per my and other's objections this is very much not the case. No we don't want fans attempting to use social media stats to inflate articles, but we don't need this to do that - we already have sufficient policies and guidelines around reliable sources and neutral languages, which work. Whether social media stats are or are not relevant is a matter that needs to be judged in the context of the individual article. Also, this is not just a disagreement about the stridency of it, my objections are also that it is unnecessary. Thryduulf (talk) 12:15, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  19. Support – social media are nothing compared to reliable secondary sources. If a secondary source see fits to comment on exceptional social media stats, then maybe there's something we can say, but not otherwise. Dicklyon (talk) 03:15, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
    • @Dicklyon: but this proposal would prohibit using social media stats completely, even when that is the basis for coverage in independent reliable secondary sources. If you believe there are any occasions when social media stats are relevant to notability and/or significant information about the subject then you should be opposing this proposal. Thryduulf (talk) 10:34, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
    Again... no... the proposal does not prohibit using social media statistics completely... it just prohibits them from infoboxes and the lead. We would still be able to mention them in the other sections of the article. Blueboar (talk) 11:10, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
    That's part of the problem - what you intended and what I'm reading are not the same thing, but even if it only prevents them being used in the lead or infobox it does so in all circumstances (and discourages them elsewhere) regardless of what the circumstances are - even when that is a significant part of their reliability which should be mentioned in the lead and/or infobox. What is needed (if anything is) is broad and flexible guidelines as to best practice in typical cases, not hard and fast rules that must be adhered to regardless of what the facts on the ground actually are. Thryduulf (talk) 13:07, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
    Why don't you draft an alternative and I'll see if I can support that better than this one? Dicklyon (talk) 06:00, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
    @Dicklyon: because I'm increasingly of the opinion that the only guidance that wouldn't have the same problems this proposal does would be redundant to our existing policies and guidelines (and common sense). Thryduulf (talk) 10:48, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  20. Support - no reason at all for them to be mentioned in the infobox. In the lead, I could see some very few edge-cases where, for example, PewDiePie is mentioned as the YouTuber with the most followers and there was active RS coverage of him about to lose it; or the Instagram egg with the amount of likes. The stats in this case are important to the context and are equivalent to something like the reported ratings for a TV show. Yes, these stats can be bought, but regardless for these handful of cases, this context is needed in the lead (and body) of the article. It is never needed in the infobox. --Gonnym (talk) 14:13, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  21. Support - A number of people liking something or following someone is not notability (besides some exceptions) and should not be treated as such. Reliable secondary sources should be the go-to. Kirbanzo (talk) 16:58, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  22. Support in a WP:NOTSPAM way. Common sense should be used to determine if it's useful information or just promotional. There are obvious exceptions like PewDiePie, but I think that even those cases only deserve a brief mention in the lead. Reliable sources often publish articles with headlines like "X Y passes Z million subscribers", but that is in my opinion usually only good for a mention in an article's body. A big problem is that lead sections have the strongest verifiability requirements as per MOS:LEADCITE, and ever-changing statistics are unlikely to be recorded in a reliable source forever. As subjects about which I wouldn't worry too much about promotional content are non-profits, social experiments, various curators etc. whom we wouldn't really be promoting with several statistics in an article body and up to one in the lead, of course at a specific date and cited to a reliable source. Still, infoboxes should receive minimal changes and so do articles; I can't imagine why "gained X views in the first week" or something like that would need to be constantly brought up-to-date. If it's cited to a reliable source, leave it be. If it isn't, find a source or remove it. There are inaccuracy concerns brought up by some editors, and I don't have an opinion on it. On one hand, you have plenty of reporting on these statistics and on their audits, while on the other hand, you have lengthy reports on their abuse. wumbolo ^^^ 10:00, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
    • @Wumbolo: In other words you think we should continue to do things exactly as currently and decide what is significant and what isn't on a case by case basis using a combination of common sense and reliable sources. Which is exactly the opposite of this proposal. Thryduulf (talk) 10:50, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  23. Support: Social media statistics are trivial to manipulate (See Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Please do the following web searches), the only limit to how high your numbers can go is your budget, and there is no way to detect the fraud. You can't say that about sports scores, financial reporting, or election results. Those all make an good-faith effort to give you real numbers instead of letting anyone with a credit card choose whatever numbers they want Wikipedia to report. And there is no "case-by-case basis" decision to be made; social media statistics are trivial to manipulate in all cases, without exception. No known social media platform does any sort of authentication other than asking you to reply using a free throw-away email account. --Guy Macon (talk) 12:57, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
    Quora and Google already have a system in place, although it's not perfect. Twitter and Instagram are getting close. wumbolo ^^^ 19:15, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
    I don't think Google has any social media statistics, or anything resembling "likes" "views" "upvotes" etc. Please correct me if I am wrong. Does Quora have anything like that, and can someone post social media statistics from Quora? If so, then it would appear that Quora is an exception to my "No known social media platform does any sort of authentication..." statement above, and I owe you a big thanks for correcting my error. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:40, 20 February 2019 (UTC).
  24. Support Anything that denies fans their joy pleases me. Chris Troutman (talk) 23:38, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  25. Support Everyone above said it well. Subscriber and follower count should be a minor detail, not an establishment of notability here in a encyclopedia. –eggofreasontalk 15:47, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
  26. Support I'm not so happy with the reliability of reliable sources any more but so far that's all we got. --tickle me 03:01, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
  27. Support. Absolutely. Softlavender (talk) 03:25, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
  28. Support. Yes, if they are to be made notable, it is because they have been written about, also, bots. take a look at this if one of the most Subscribed Channels lost that many, what is to say that an account may really have only like 2k subs instead of 5K? LakesideMinersMy Talk Page 17:51, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
  29. Support - Others have said it sufficiently above, and many of us have said it multiple times in the past. Including this kind of material is messy, and we too often inflate their importance (and their connection to notability). — Rhododendrites talk \\ 05:02, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  30. Support – social media stats are easily gamed, and not to be used as an indicator of notability. We base our content decisions on reliable sources, not statistics. Bradv🍁 14:13, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  31. Support These are difficult to keep current, very susceptible to being gamed and not particularly useful to readers (if the information is relevant, it should be put into context in the article itself, following the lead of how reliable sources contextualize it). Just a Rube (talk) 14:40, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  32. Support. I agree that this is trivia of interest mostly to marketers. We can discuss it in the body of the article when reliable sources cover it. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 04:35, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  33. Finally there is a proposal about this frequent issue. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 13:01, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Oppose (social media statistics)[edit]

  1. I'd learn toward assuming subscriber and view counts are not largely manipulated, unless there's some specific reason to think so, in any given case. Benjamin (talk) 00:27, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  2. Oppose based on wording. These should be handled on a case-by-case basis, with well sourced numbers being included where reasonable. The wording used is too restrictive, IMO. Nihlus 02:44, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  3. Oppose based on wording and Nihlus. These metrics constitute an important part of the notability of many articles that use them, and properly sourced they deserve mention for that reason. --Tom (LT) (talk) 09:03, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  4. Oppose per Nihlus und Tom. I also don't see why a blanket ban on use in infoboxes is required even if the numbers are verifiable. Since these are statistics that are oftentimes relevant to readers, they should be quickly glanceable from the infobox (similar to company articles having information of employees and earnings in the infobox). For example, PewDiePie (a good article!) demonstrates how the number of subscribers can be very important to be mentioned in the lead and infobox since that is one of the major reasons why he receives all that significant coverage in reliable sources. Regards SoWhy 12:09, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
    Also, that proposal would force editors to violate MOS:LEAD on a regular basis because the lead is supposed to "summarize the body of the article with appropriate weight" and this includes such statistics in many cases. Regards SoWhy 12:52, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
  5. Oppose. Establishing an overarching guideline or policy for social media statistics if a form of instruction creep. Their use in various articles should be decided on a case-by-case basis, taking into account existing rules. Calidum 19:13, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  6. Oppose per SoWhy, Tom, and Nihlus. While we shouldn't have an SNG that says "people with X Twitter followers are automatically considered notable", we shouldn't tell editors where to mention the number of followers in case it is worth mentioning. —Kusma (t·c) 20:47, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  7. Oppose Unnecessary. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:22, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  8. Oppose. I support the principle behind this proposal, but I don't believe this change is necessary. As primary data, social media statistics already cannot be used on their own to establish notability; notability must be established with reliable sources. And if reliable sources determine that a subject is notable in part because of their social media presence, that information should probably be part of the encyclopedia, so long as the date the information was retrieved is tagged. Novusuna talk 22:08, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  9. Oppose; the proposal is flawed. While notability something something reliable secondary sources, there is no need for a ban specifically targeting data by social media companies. In addition to the points raised by others about the statistics' importance, a large amount of useful data on other topics (e.g. TV viewership) is also basically unverifiable for practical purposes, and the manipulation of data by third parties does not render the data useless, particularly for services which already actively counteract data manipulation. Jc86035 (talk) 06:55, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
  10. Oppose. This absolutely needs to be handled on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes it's significant information, other times it's meaningless trivia. Sometimes they should be included in an infobox, other times they shouldn't. Thryduulf (talk) 14:23, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
  11. Oppose They should rarelybe in aninfoboxx or lede, but there willbe occassionalarticles where it's the key information. Foor notability , we should use and evaluate whatever is available. DGG ( talk ) 00:01, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
  12. Partial oppose I have no problem with some of their use in infoboxes or in lead sections, however I agree that explicit language needs to say that they have no bearing on notability for Wikipedia purposes. Some social media numbers, for example YouTube subscriber and viewership numbers, are equivalent to, say, album sales or Neilson Ratings in other media forms, and are important metrics. Some social media numbers aren't that big of a deal (Facebook friends, for example). I could support a statement that only makes explicit that these numbers have no bearing on notability, AND I could support a guideline that explains where and why some social media numbers are good, and others are not, but I can't support this statement which conflates several issues, and lacks the nuance necessary to handle the issues around social media stats. --Jayron32 13:23, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  13. Oppose per WP:CREEP and WP:NOTLAW. Statistics of this sort are naturally suspect and so need good evidence -- the size of a crowd, the number of sales, the volume of a print run -- but we should not discriminate against modern technologies just because they are new. Andrew D. (talk) 10:59, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
  14. Oppose not so much overall. I fully agree that social media stats originating from just checking the person's channel/page/etc. is the type of thing to avoid in infoboxes or ledes. On the other hand, there are enough cases of third-party RS sources that comment on subscriber counts (eg I know there exists some for PewDiePie but that was from a few years ago) that is core information about why we have an article on that person that should be in the lede, but based on the point in time given by the RS. This also speaks to the notabilty issue - agree that only on simply viewer count is nowhere near sufficient (the GNG already dismisses popularity as a notability reason), but that when you get this type of coverage in third-party, you are getting the right sources even though that may be solely based on viewer count. In other words, the proposal has the right ideas in mind but throws out the baby with the bathwater. --Masem (t) 14:47, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
    To add, I fully support a ban on these types of stats in infoboxes until we have a reliable third-party tracking source similar to Neilsen for television programs or Alexa Internet for web page rankings or the like. Such fields should not be in any related infobox as they will draw in "bad" data in the absence of a reliable source. But the lede inclusion is different. --Masem (t) 14:56, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
  15. Oppose as it is one of the main claims of significance of a youtuber and removing that information from the easy to find infobox will only frustrate and annoy the reader who expects to find the germane information in a wikipedia article. It's similar to record sales or film box office takings, all statistics are vulnerable to manipulation but YouTube and other social media concerns are currently reforming their processes with the intention of making these figures more reliable and trustworthy. Also, as these statistics are routinely reported in many reliable sources that should be the determing factor that they have a place in wikipedia with perhaps a caveat of including a link to an information page or article about the reliability of such statistics, thanks Atlantic306 (talk) 17:27, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
  16. Oppose As mentioned above, this rule would force us to violate MOS:LEAD whenever the social-media standing of an individual is an important aspect of their life or career. XOR'easter (talk) 18:45, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
    Also, as others have pointed out, the proposal conflates distinct issues. There's the question of what can justify the existence of an article (notability), versus what belongs in an article (comprehensiveness, verifiability, due weight), versus what belongs in which part of an article (layout and style). Lumping all these together is counterproductive. In addition, we need to distinguish primary from secondary sources. If I look up a YouTube video and see its current number of up-votes, or if I look up a scientific journal article and the website tells me its altmetric scores, then that's a primary source for the figure in question. Maybe a big number means something, and maybe it doesn't; making a judgment call there would likely amount to Original Research. But if Science or Nature report on a journal article getting the most hashtag coverage of the year, then someone else has made the judgment call about that being important. XOR'easter (talk) 16:56, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  17. Oppose as worded because it combines too much: notability (new stand-alone article) with inclusion (in existing article), infoboxes with leads, and all social media statistics in one category. These are separate issues, and I can see a lot of case-by-case variation. I feel our existing policies on verifiability and notability are sufficient to guide editors for those case-by-case decisions; I'm not seeing the benefit of having a new overarching rule, and I'm afraid this rule, as currently worded, would constrain editors' decisions rather than help them make those decisions. For example: There are cases where people or videos or images are notable because of how many "views" or whatever they've gotten, and in those cases, it would be strange not to include that information in the lead of those articles. We already have policies not to include content that's not reliably sourced and this proposal doesn't address what is and what isn't an RS for social media stats. "Sparingly" is too open to interpretation, and maybe too permissive (why would we state the number of views more than once? ...and why would we need a rule about how often to say something anyway? NOTBURO.). So I wouldn't be in favor of making this proposed language into a new policy. That said, I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to changes to existing policies/guidelines relating to social media, e.g., for notability, in infoboxes, etc. I could see changes to WP:N, WP:RS, WP:MOS, and I'm not sure where the rules are for infoboxes. I also wouldn't be opposed to like a social media guideline that essentially interpreted our policies as they apply to social media, but it would need to be a lot longer than a few sentences to be helpful. Levivich 00:55, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  18. Oppose as worded. Usually they do not show notability , usually they do not belong in infoboxes or ledes. If they are high enough, and reliable sourced, they do contribute to showing notability . Such cases are rare, but they do exist. A blanket ban on anything is rarely a good idea. WP should be made not by a bot-like process, but by humans who think. And, if they are reported by a selective RS, that report makes them non-primary. DGG ( talk ) 19:46, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
    DGG I would suggest, and indeed am suggesting, that even in exceptional circumstances, given the lack of any sort of SNG, that it's going to be the coverage by RS that makes a social media influencer notable not the raw (inherently unreliable) numbers. So the numbers don't help establish notability and instead we should, as we do as good encyclopedia writers, take our cue from RS about how much, if any, overall coverage to give them. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 04:10, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
  19. Oppose per XOR'easter above. Sometimes the number of likes/views/etc. is important to an article - Gangnam Style comes to mind, see the first lead paragraph. I agree that a high number can't give notability on its own and that in many cases it would be inappropriate to mention in an infobox or lead, but this proposal goes a bit too far. ansh666 01:42, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  20. Oppose. While there's good reasons not to put too much emphasis on these statistics for notability, a blanket ban on their use in the lede or infobox is an overreach, and restricting their use in the body to the bare minimum is ridiculous. Often for the subjects of these articles, these statistics are a good rough estimate of their relative importance as a social media personality, and should be included, since this is helpful to the reader. And in certain cases, social media statistics are central to the subject's importance and should have more than sparing coverage in the body and should be included in the lede. For example, articles such as Pewdiepie, Despacito, Gangnam Style should absolutely mention statistics more like being the most-subscribed YouTuber, most viewed YouTube video, first YouTube video to 1 billion views, and this proposal as written would disallow mention of that in the lede or body beyond very short coverage. ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 17:18, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  21. Oppose. There are very occasional subjects that receive significant coverage in independent secondary sources precisely because of their social media statistics. R2 (bleep) 20:13, 8 March 2019 (UTC)

Neutral (social media statistics)[edit]

  1. Neutral should be on a case by case basis as they may be cases where the stats are useful for example in the PewDiePie vs T-Series article where 2 youtube channels are competing to be number 1 in subscribers. However I believe in the majority of cases the stats should not be used in articles Abote2 (talk) 10:56, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  2. Neutral If we had stable access to some third party database which maintained this kind of information then I would support us including it in infoboxes. I agree that social media statistics, like number of subscribers, is defining information for people, organizations, and publications which have social media channels as their primary venues. The problematic point of this to me is verifying that numbers are correct. If a citation claims a social media count in a point in time, then so far as I know, we have no good way of verifying that count. Blue Rasberry (talk) 22:54, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
    @Bluerasberry: For most sites I would think the Internet Archive would be good enough, mainly because of the difficulty which would be involved in falsifying data. I used it to (deliberately) collect the data in the graph at List of most-disliked YouTube videos, for example. Jc86035 (talk) 19:44, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
    @Jc86035: I did not realize that Internet Archive repeatedly archived user responses to YouTube videos. Wow, that does make for stable information. I am going to change to support. Blue Rasberry (talk) 23:52, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
    @Bluerasberry: Wait, you support including the information in infoboxes, but you've changed your !vote to support a proposal that would ban including this information in infoboxes? Novusuna talk 00:02, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

Discussion (social media statistics)[edit]

  • As a bit of a tech luddite, I'd welcome a broader discussion as to how these stats relate (or not) to notability. Such articles are often nominated for speedy deletion under the A7 criterion, despite ostensibly containing claims to notability. Espresso Addict (talk) 01:45, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I am leaning oppose but would appreciate hearing editors opinions on:
  1. Our articles are accurate even when the numbers aren't. If a Twitter account has a million followers, and we say "According to Twitter, the account has a million followers", we're not saying a million people follow the account; we're saying Twitter says a million people follow the account. It's verifiably true that Twitter made the statement, even if the statement is wrong.
  2. It's relative. Whether PewDiePie or T-Series is "winning" is based solely on what YouTube says their subscriber count is. It doesn't matter if it's accurate, inflated, not inflated, etc., because, for example, if it is inflated, presumably they're both inflating it, and what matters is who was more successful at inflating it. If cheating is allowed in a race, and both runners cheat and one of them wins, they're still the winner, even though they cheated, and the article on them should still say they won the race, and what their time was, even if it was manipulated by cheating.
  3. The world believes it. RSes report on SM stats. Shouldn't that be the end of the discussion? If we substitute our judgment for RSes, isn't that WP:OR?
  4. When YouTube reports data about their website (which is what social media stats are), isn't that something we accept as a reliable source per WP:ABOUTSELF?
  5. Corporate profits are overstated and manipulated but we still provide them (because RSes report them); so are Nielsen television ratings; professional athletes sometimes cheat, we still list their stats even though we know them to be manipulated. All sorts of statistics are manipulated; the world is an inaccurate place; why are social media stats special? Levivich 01:51, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
On your last point, egregious manipulation of corporate profits is illegal, the law is actually enforced and every now and then someone gets busted for it. Executives have been sent to prison for securities fraud, but padding social media stats has very little consequence. MER-C 12:10, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  • @Nihlus: This proposal leaves open, on a case by case basis, the inclusion of what you're asking for ("well sourced numbers"). It does give a bit more structure to what well sourced is (sigcov in independent RS) but this leaves lots of room for editors to find the right balance. For instance under this standard I would expect that PewDiePie would have numbers covered in some depth because there is plenty of sourcing that meets this standard for him. Best wishes, Barkeep49 (talk)
  • Can we please split the proposed language? It combines two completely different things: a) whether statistics etc. establish notability and b) how such information may be used. Users currently have no way to support a) without supporting b) and vice versa. Regards SoWhy 13:18, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
    Agree this would be helpful; my votes on a) and b) would be different. Levivich 21:41, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Why is this needed? Surely our current policy/guidelines lead to pretty much the same conclusion? Phil Bridger (talk) 21:37, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
    • In such circumstances its usually because the existing policies/guidelines sometimes result in consensuses a few people don't like, so they feel the need to introduce rules that don't allow for things like exceptions, common sense, etc. Thryduulf (talk) 23:08, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
      • I still think I'm missing something here. Can someone give an example where this proposal would lead to a different outcome from current policies and guidelines? Was this prompted by any particular incident? Phil Bridger (talk) 18:27, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
        • Ok, I think I've found what prompted this: Talk:Mark Dice. We all (or at least those who have been editing here for a long time) know that Jimmy Wales likes to suck up to people who he imagines to be rich and powerful, and to support their efforts to make promotional edits about themselves if they contact him directly. That's no reason for anyone else to take any notice of what he says, and certainly no reason to change policy or guidelines. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:18, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
      Most of this is an outgrowth of current practice in some areas - AfC for instance - but not others, i.e. the pages of many YouTubers, and the results of the never endng stream of scandals around maniupulation. Literally as I was preparing this RfC the latest issue with Instagram broke. I'm not inventing a problem out of nowhere. Before going down this route I tried a series of edits and faced several editors who told me "reverting if you want this get an RfC." Since doing this RfC the rest of my edits were reverted in bulk though it's not clear if it's as a result of this or not as that editor has not commented here.
      Thryduulf I do regret the style guidance above. That was overly prescriptive and gets in the way of the larger point. Best wishes, Barkeep49 (talk) 04:45, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • YouTube regularly audits views and subscribers. [3] [4] [5] [6] wumbolo ^^^ 20:41, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • That's just whistling in the wind. Those sources by no means counter the overwhelming evidence to the contrary that such statistics are unreliable. I could easily sign up with many different accounts from many different locations and "like" people on social media, and nobody would know that I am the same person. Phil Bridger (talk) 21:31, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

Please do the following web searches[edit]

Do a web search on "buy twitter followers", "buy facebook followers", "buy instagram followers", "buy youtube subscribers", "buy reddit upvotes", "buy flickr followers", "buy pinterest followers" "buy tumblr followers"...

I'm just saying. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:32, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

We should certainly treat such statistics with a large bucketful of salt, but I don't see why we need a new guideline to do so. We judge the reliability of all sorts of sources for all statements in all articles all the time, so shouldn't we just do the same for these statistics produced by social media sites? They can clearly be gamed, so shouldn't be treated as reliable, especially when they are claimed to boost someone's notability. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:27, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
@Guy Macon: How is that different from corporate profits or corporations' net worth? Those are manipulated routinely, reported in RSes routinely, and included in our infoboxes routinely. We report the finishing times of Lance Armstrong and the batting average of Barry Bonds even though we know those statistics were obtained by cheating. I mean, lots of information is subject to manipulation or is not objectively true and accurate, but we still include it if the RSes include it. Why should SM be any different? (This applies to including the information in the article, not to using the information for establishing notability, which is a separate issue.) Levivich 19:43, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
A rule would be helpful since a lot of the time the RS component gets ignored, at least from my limited experience editing in the area. SportingFlyer T·C 19:45, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
If the current rules get ignored then that's the problem we should address, rather than introduce a new rule that will also get ignored. Phil Bridger (talk) 21:27, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

User:Levivich asks "How is that different from corporate profits or corporations' net worth? Those are manipulated routinely, reported in RSes routinely, and included in our infoboxes routinely. We report the finishing times of Lance Armstrong and the batting average of Barry Bonds even though we know those statistics were obtained by cheating." Let's start with Lance Armstrong and Barry Bonds. Lance actually rode that fast and Barry actually hit those balls. If the number of times Barry Bond hit the ball was something that anybody with enough money could undetectably alter, we would treat reports of his batting average as being unreliable.

  • those things have ALWAYS happened. See Payola. We still use metrics like RIAA certifications and Nielsen Ratings and the like, even though it has happened before (and probably still happens to an extent) that the metrics can be gamed. YouTube subscriber numbers are still used by industry sources as a metric. --Jayron32 17:30, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • The difference between old-fashioned Payola and the manipulation of social media statistics is that the old way was difficult and expensive to implement, but social media statistics can be manipulated very easily and very little cost. After all, there's a limit to the number of times a record (am I showing my age by using that word?) can be played on the radio or bought in the right shop. I don't want to go too far into WP:BEANS territory, but I don't think I'm giving away any great secrets by saying that it's possible to write a script to create any number different user ids on a social media site and to like or download or whatever is needed any number of times. This is a big step change from Payola methods, which now seem rather quaint and innocent. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:29, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

As for corporate profits or corporations' net worth, as Business Insider says, "An analysis of results from 500 major companies by The Associated Press, based on data provided by S&P Capital IQ, a research firm, found that the gap between the "adjusted" profits that analysts cite and bottom-line earnings figures that companies are legally obliged to report, or net income, has widened dramatically over the past five years."[7] The key point here is that the Securities and Exchange Commission exists and will put you in jail if they catch you reporting fake financials of the official forms. Also, the auditor's report, published in the annual report in conjunction with the financial statements, gives us an independatt evaluation on whether a company's financial statements comply with generally accepted accounting principles. If a company could simply get on the net and buy fake numbers for profit or revenue, we would not consider those numbers to be reliable.

Please don't assume that just because I say that the numbers for social media likes/followers/etc. are trivial to fake that I am saying that we need a new rule. That is an entirely different question and hinges on whether our existing rules are adequate. But the fact remains that social media statistics are trivial to manipulate, the only limit to how high your numbers go is your budget, and there is no way to detect the fraud. You can't say that about sports scores, financial reporting, or election results. Those examples all at least attempt to give you real numbers instead of fake numbers. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:01, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

Separating infobox inclusion from lead inclusion[edit]

I think it would be helpful to break this into two separate questions...

  1. Under what circumstances should the statistics be included in infoboxes?
  2. Under what circumstances should the statistics be mentioned in the lead?

Personally, I would have different answers to each question - Much more inclined to allow mentions in leads, and much less so when it comes to infoboxes. Please discuss. Blueboar (talk) 13:28, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

  • The only possible answer to both is "when they are verifiable and there is a consensus among contributors to the article that they should be included in the infobox/lead". There are far too many variables to get more specific than that for such high level questions. Thryduulf (talk) 13:39, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
    Thryduulf, what is your definition of verifiable as it applies to social media statistics? valereee (talk) 13:55, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
    Well that depends on the statistic, but primary sources will be fine for verification in most cases - (e.g. [8] verifies that Cyndi Lauper's version of Girls Just Want To Have Fun had 708 million views as of 16 February 2019), and reliable source reports are good too - e.g. [9] supports the statement that Ellen DeGeneres' tweet was retweeted more than 2 millions times by the end of the night on which it was taken. $Random_celebrity reported in a reliable source as claiming that they have more than a million followers on Twitter does not count as verification of the figure (although it obviously verifies the claim, but such claims shouldn't be in the infobox and are unlikely going to be appropriate in the lead, although it's possible). "Social media" is a very broad term and there are almost an infinite number of stats that can be derived from it - YouTube (displayed) view counts are prominent and easy to verify, but something like the number of people who have seen a person's posts on facebook is equally a social media statistic but much harder to verify (if it is even possible). Thryduulf (talk) 14:24, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • No information should be listed in the infobox that isn't already in the body of the article. Also, no information in the lead section should not already be in the body of the article. Basically, I tend to take the general idea that it goes body-->lead-->infobox, though not strictly speaking, because there will be some information appropriate for the infobox that might not be mentioned in the lead, and vice-versa, but in general, the lead is a text summary of the body of the article, and the infobox is a data summary of the body of the article. There should (almost) never be information in either place that wasn't already explained in more detail in the body of the article. With regard to social media statistics, it really depends on context, and I am mostly with Thryduulf on this: I can see where some statistics, like YouTube views or channel subscriptions, are metrics that are akin to RIAA certifications or Nielsen SoundScan sales, and as such, are probably useful to include. For media that exists only on YouTube, insofar as it may be notable for a Wikipedia article, metrics regarding consumption of that media are useful to know. For things like "Facebook friends" or the like, I'm less inclined to find it universally useful as I would YouTube subscribers (for example, nearly all articles on music albums include data on album sales, or movies on ticket sales), but I can't say we should ban the statistic in all cases. There may be times when, in the context of an article, it bears mentioning, and even mentioning in the lead. My own lack of imagination doesn't mean I can say I would ban it from the lead, per se. However, YouTube channel subscribership does seem like the kind of data that would regularly appear in leads and/or infoboxes. Regarding reliable sources, I don't know that YouTube algorithms are unreliable, I would trust their own statements as reliable sources for their own viewership numbers. While it has been mentioned that those numbers can be faked, that's true, but it's also true for every metric of media consumption. See Payola for one famous example; when radio airplay is used as a metric, record companies bribe radio programming directors to play the song more. And so on. Reliable sources at large still report such media consumption statistics, and we should to. --Jayron32 17:42, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
Jayron makes some valid points... however, not all information that is mentioned in the body of an article deserves to be included (summarized) in the lead or highlighted in an infobox. We do use judgement when summarizing. So, the questions are: 1) Under what circumstances are viewer statistics important enough to be a) highlighted in an infobox, or b) summarized in the lead. (Are there circumstances where we should do one, but not the other?) And 2) Under what circumstances are the stats NOT important enough to be included? Blueboar (talk) 19:01, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
Well, of course. The word "summarize" has meaning, and its actual meaning is why I chose it. I hope I don't have to define every word I use, because that would get tiresome. We shouldn't be using an axe to do editing that requires a scalpel. We should decide when we should usually include such statistics, when we should usually exclude them, of course noting that there will still be times when we include something that isn't in our guidelines on such usage. I would say that metrics on consumption of social media, which is analogous to similar metrics from pre-Internet media should be used in similar ways; the subscription data for YouTube channels is analogous to the sales numbers of books. The viewership numbers of a specific video is similar in many ways to the Neilson ratings of TV shows. That is, if data is relevant to a TV show, it is relevant to a YouTube video, since they form a similar role in the modern media landscape. --Jayron32 19:21, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
That’s fine as theory, but it does not address the questions I have asked: Under what circumstances should we a) mention in the lead, b) include in infobox? Under what circumstances should we NOT a) mention in the lead, and b) include in infobox? Blueboar (talk)|
The questions are not answerable at such a high level - that's the point Jayron and I are making. The answer for a video will be different to the answer for a politician from a YouTuber, a YouTube channel, a person primarily known for twitter, and the developer of a social media platform will all be different again. List of most-retweeted tweets correctly includes a social media statistic in the lead (it doesn't have an infobox), T-Series (company) includes subscriber and video view counts in both infobox and lead (I think correctly). Tom Scott (entertainer) does include them but Ed Sheeran doesn't despite both having very a strong social media presence. Thryduulf (talk) 22:28, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
Thryduulf hits the point on the head, though I will say I did address your questions: You asked "Under what circumstances should we (include social media data)", and my response was essentially "when the metrics serve an equivalent role to analogous metrics in other forms of media". I thought that was fairly clear. I would also add "when it makes sense in the context of a specific article." and "when the metric itself is the subject of mainstream coverage of a topic." That seems to capture when it is reasonable to include social media data. Also, regarding when to include the data in the lead or infobox, I also answered that clearly. As I said earlier, "No information should be listed in the infobox that isn't already in the body of the article. Also, no information in the lead section should not already be in the body of the article." So, it would need to already be discussed in the body. In summation of what I had already said, we should include information in the lead and/or infobox 1) for information which is analogous to metrics used in non-social-media like TV, Radio, Books, Movies, etc. and 2) When it has already been discussed in the body of the article. When we should not include it is when it doesn't meet those conditions, allowing for WP:IAR-exceptions and articles where context determines that the data is a significant portion of the narrative. --Jayron32 14:24, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
head |========> point
While you hit the wrong end of the metaphorical nail, which I attempted to crudely illustrate [above], I completely agree with your approach to this; that is the right way round :) I think of best practice as building the content from the base up, not plugging in data and scrabbling around to back that if challenged. A well written lead leads to the relevant content below and shows the infobox for what it is: merely redundant or contrary data vying to replace the content, information with context and citations in sentences. Any contested field "Number of friends = " obviously can only be provided with context, wikidata is the place for labelled data fields. Pretty obviously I dislike infoboxes altogether, so advocate tight constraint on their use and misuse, and have few friends if this is what I am worrying about. cygnis insignis 14:35, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
I tend to write articles the other way around: I start with the body of the article, where I have already written the necessary details and provided references and context for all of it, and THEN I write a summary of the body as the lead. It seems odd to me that one would start with the summary. What is one summarizing? --Jayron32 16:24, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
As an aside, some people like to write an outline of what they plan to write, and then fill out the details. Of course there can be some back-and-forth between the two. isaacl (talk) 21:05, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
I apologize if I repeat a point already made as I have been busy and so I admittedly skim read a lot of this discussion, but we're not and in a place where the types of statistics are as reliable as non-social media. If that happens, I would be all about their widerspread use. But that's not the reality right now and if it ever becomes that reality we can change our practices, as a lagging indicator to reflect that changed reality. The reality also is that while the numbers themselves aren't currently reliable they do have some importance, which is why there is the carve out for discussion by RS, and, importantly, the removal of them are resisted by some number of editors meaning community consensus is important. Best wishes, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:16, 22 February 2019 (UTC)

Notifications[edit]

I have left notifications about this discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject YouTube, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Internet culture, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Biography/Arts and entertainment and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Blogging (chosen as these projects tag articles about Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and three YouTubers I follow). Thryduulf (talk) 14:22, 20 February 2019 (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.

Citing an encyclopedia[edit]

Hello - I'd like to hear some thoughts on an issue I've noticed with the references at Septuagint - an article rated vital level 4 in Arts, and top or high importance for 5 different Wikiprojects. The issue is that a large part of the article relies on citations from a single source, and (poorly formatted in that article) this source appears to be an article that appeared in an encyclopedia in 1906.

It concerns me because I have seen other articles using these statements - apparently cross-referencing from the WP article, and yet I can't really see the justification of such heavy reliance on a single source, in particular one from so long ago in another encyclopedia. I know we value secondary sources, but this is a bit ridiculous isn't it?

Any thoughts? JMWt (talk) 15:15, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

Avoiding any specifics about this article, which belong in the discussion that you started on the talk page, I would think that there must be better sources than one published in 1906 in any field, including bible studies, that has moved on significantly since that time. We should reflect more recent scholarship about such subjects. Phil Bridger (talk) 15:53, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

Rangeblocks[edit]

I've written User:Bri/Misapplication of blocking and would like to start discussion around excessive rangeblocks especially of educational networks and other resources available to a wide swath of users. Bottom line up front: Is there a policy or even guidance on how admins are to weigh the impact on the project of blocks affecting large numbers of contributors? Under the current system blocks appear to be ad-hoc, sometimes punitive, applied for arbitrary time periods, and under the radar unless one is skilled in sussing out edit summaries and technical logs. In addition long-lived hard blocks make it impossible for well-intentioned users to even request an account. This is contrary to policy. ☆ Bri (talk) 18:21, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

Bri, I'm not certain "no apparent reason" is accurate when looking at that database report. For an example, in the report, 159.65.0.0/16 shows no reason given, but there is clearly a reason - "{{colocationwebhost}}: <!-- DigitalOcean -->". There are many other instances of this - it looks like there may be an issue with that database report. This quarry should have the missing data filled in. SQLQuery me! 21:57, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
I have raised the issue (and provided a fix) regarding the errors in the database report at Wikipedia_talk:Database_reports/Range_blocks/Configuration. As to some very specific examples you've listed - we should probably notify those editors: Materialscientist (regarding [10]), and Gilliam (regarding [11]). As far as indef'ed ranges - specifically those set by Ryulong, those are webhosts. They shouldn't be editing - but I am of the opinion that they probably shouldn't be blocked indef. IPs change hands - we should be re-checking those periodically. SQLQuery me! 22:14, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
FYI, SQL, last I heard, Materialscientist has notifications disabled. —DoRD (talk)​ 11:16, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
DoRD, Thanks, left a TP message. SQLQuery me! 04:35, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Is there any evidence of a problem? Is there an example of an IP block that was removed and where some of the IPs went on to do good work? That is, work that outweighed any vandalism from the range? Total freedom would be wonderful but in reality it is not satisfactory to rely on someone else to do the cleanup from open proxies and vandalism-only IPs. Such cleanup is soul destroying and burns out the few good editors who do it. They need support from the community, not hurdles. Johnuniq (talk) 22:33, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
I prepared a long answer to this that I think I'll save for later if someone else wants to talk about what excessive means. WP:IPBLENGTH already answers this is a plain-English way. Instead here's a response to your question about vandalism-only IPs. Basically I challenge that there is such a thing as a vandalism-only educational range at all. I don't buy the argument that all these libraries and school districts on the blocklist are full of nothing but vandals. What is the human capital we're turning away from the project by blocking them? SQL linked above to two three year blocks of two states' education networks, account creation blocked! There most definitely is a cost imposed on us by blocks. The reckoning of the cost should be public and demonstrable, not just some hand-wavey clairvoyance about negativity of future contributions from a range. It seems to come close to an elitist and hostile attitude to a whole population of people among whom are some bad actors. ☆ Bri (talk) 04:03, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
There is no proof that keeping a long block of an IP range is necessary, but you have just demonstrated that there is no evidence that unblocking is ever helpful. Johnuniq (talk) 22:53, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
I have several times asked about this while I was on arb com. The general line of response from arbs and other functionaries was the the need to block vandals was so important that the minor difficulty of asking people to make accounts outside the institution was trivial. I disagreed rather completely, but the reception to my questions was so negative, that I did not pursue it further. It was my impression that most of my colleagues on the committee had no conception and nor realization at all that the survival of wikipedia requires the continual recruitment of new editors, and anything that has the effect of discouraging this harms the encyclopedia. They did not realize the difficulty for many people in the world of editing from anywhere except their schools and libraries. They did not realize that we need to take advantage of every opportunity someone has to contribute, because if they run into difficulties initially, very few will keep trying. I attribute this total misunderstanding of priorities to be the result of the focus of almost everybody who would want to be a functionary on dealing with disruption, more than on editing. They see the problems from the small part of the encyclopedia where they work, but not those from the main function, content building.
I make the following proposal as first step, what I consider a very modest proposal: a range block for more than 4 months, that involves a school or library requires clear consensus . I consider this minimal, but it would at least require periodic discussion. Those who would be involved in such discussions are mainly involved with vandalism fighting, not editing, and 4 months (the length of a school term) is a very long time--but I can see a one person persisting that longer, but think it would be very rare for it to be longer. We have edit filters to deal with such problems. Assuming that the WP does not bring itself into total disrepute after a year of a policy like this, I'll suggest changing it to 1 month. DGG ( talk ) 19:53, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
Those are good points but keeping editors is also necessary! A new user can be enthusiastic for a month then run into persistent silliness from a range of IPs. It does not help to tell a new user that there is no problem, all they have to do is AGF and take an hour to explain procedures to each new IP and be sure they don't edit war. Anyone, new or experienced, can be burnt out by unrelenting silliness. Johnuniq (talk) 22:53, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
Those aren't mutually exclusive goals. From a purely technical perspective, there is no good reason to indef IPs, because these may be re-assigned by ISPs without warning and without notice. Blocks/Unblocks can and should be carried out by adminbot; for example, ProcseeBot tirelessly identifies and blocks open proxies. -FASTILY 02:48, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
Fastily, I've been considering doing this for a while - an adminbot that double-checks aws/azure/google compute/other ranges and auto-blocks / unblocks them. SQLQuery me! 04:32, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
What if we block school IPs, but allow account creation from school emails only and blacklist blocked emails. Advantages:
  • Limited ban evasion—once someone's created an account with their email address, if they get blocked they're stuck.
  • Deterrence: if we (threaten to) send emails of vandals to school administration, that's likely to deter vandals.
Main disadvantage I see is the complexity implementing the feature, as well as maintaining the whitelisted email domains. Also, doesn't help with libraries. Gaelan 💬✏️ 05:25, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I used to be meh about this, but schoolteacher friends and acquaintances have told me in no uncertain terms that vandalism originating from school accounts is completely unacceptable and they should be blocked. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 10:12, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I work in education, and many schools are quite happy that their students can't edit - as long as they can read articles - as they don't like an IP page with their school name emblazoned on it followed by a whole list of vandalism warnings, and I can quite understand why. Black Kite (talk) 10:20, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Schools and libraries only get blocked for time periods of months if they have persistently been outputting nothing but vandalism for a considerable time. There will have been multiple blocks for a much shorter time before that happens. There are many schools out there where the internet access is not supervised or controlled who have had long blocks for years. It is almost guaranteed that soon after the block expires vandalism will start again, but we always give them a chance and refrain from blocking until that actually happens. There's no other site out there that would put up with that. Anywhere else, once you're blocked, you stay blocked. SpinningSpark 00:44, 5 March 2019 (UTC)

Photos with only a GFDL license[edit]

I have noticed some photos recently with only a GFDL license in the form of "GFDL-user|migration=not-eligible". I'm tagging the ones I find with a {{Do not move to commons}} template, as commons has ceased accepting GFDL only licenses for photos since 15 October 2018 - see c:Commons:Licensing#GNU_Free_Documentation_License. Would it not make more sense for Wikipedia to follow the same policy? Ronhjones  (Talk) 17:06, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Question: Per [ http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl-1.3-faq.html],
"Section 11 has been added to allow wikis like Wikipedia to use FDL-covered works under the terms of CC-BY-SA 3.0 if they choose to do so. They have told us that they would like to explore this option, and adding this provision gives them a clear path to do so."
"Normally, these sorts of licensing decisions can and should be handled by the copyright holder(s) of a particular work. However, because Wikipedia has many copyright holders, the project needed some alternative way to accomplish this, and we've worked with them to provide that."
The above was added in 2014, yet to my untrained eye the actual text of section 11 at [ http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html ] doesn't appear top do what the above says it does, and instead has some November 1, 2008 and August 1, 2009 deadlines. Or maybe the legal language is confusing me. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:23, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree but am not a lawyer either. It is a time-restricted one time opportunity that if unused is lost. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 12:58, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Unify alternative names for articles with spelling differences[edit]

The article American and British English spelling differences includes a lot of words that are Wikipedia articles themselves. Reading through them I noticed that there is no uniform way in which the alternative names are presented. See below a small sample of the first sentence of some articles (references also copied from the articles):

References

  1. ^ "licence Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary". dictionary.cambridge.org. Retrieved 15 April 2018.

As you can see, there are too many different ways in which the spelling differences are presented.

The proposal is to update the first sentence so that it is uniform and just contains the alternative names in bold, with no link or reference since the main topic has nothing to do with American or British pronunciation in most cases. Vpab15 (talk) 23:33, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Proposal to make TfD more RM-like, as a clearinghouse of template discussions[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia talk:Templates for discussion#RfC: Proposal to make TfD more RM-like, as a clearinghouse of template discussions.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  05:17, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

Translation differences[edit]

I'm considering translating http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradycardia into Dutch. There is already a page there, http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradycardie but not only is it very brief and lacking references, it also has contradicting information.

Is it appropriate for someone like me that doesn't have primary knowledge on the subject to translate the English page into Dutch, overriding the content on the Dutch page and reusing the English language references?

Aethalides (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 12:06, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

I think it would be better to ask that question on the Dutch Wikipedia, because it is their article that you would be changing, and they may have different policies and guidelines from ours. Phil Bridger (talk) 12:11, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

Wikimedia Foundation re-branding discussion/planning[edit]

See the recent Foundation blog post at Leading with Wikipedia: A brand proposal for 2030 and the ongoing discussion on Meta at m:Communications/Wikimedia brands/2030 research and planning/community review. Just dropping a few public notifications since I'm not sure this project has been otherwise notified. GMGtalk 15:03, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

Future routes in airline destination tables[edit]

There's a long and continuing edit war going on at Sofia Airport (and several other airport pages, but curiously only a select few) regarding removal of future routes from airline destination tables. Typically, as evidenced at airports worldwide such as Dubai International Airport#Airlines and destinations, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport#Airlines and destinations, Melbourne Airport#Airlines and destinations, and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport#Airlines and destinations, describing our current general policy shows future routes can be listed in destination tables if properly sourced. The edit war goes in circles, though, since the reverting editors continually cite WP:PROMO, WP:CRYSTAL and WP:NOTTRAVEL. I don't think any of those actually apply - we note all future routes objectively, so we're not advertising them, we require sources for routes per WP:CRYSTAL (and never have any problems finding sources). Finally, WP:NOTTRAVEL has had a sticky past with transportation articles since anything transportation related is necessarily travel related, and it seems that either the entire airlines and destinations table fails WP:NOTTRAVEL or none of it does. (I strongly believe it does not – I use the information encyclopedically to do basic research on transport routes/city and airport connectivity.) But I wanted to pose the question at a place where non-airport editing users might see it: Is the rule "Future routes may be included in an airport's airlines and destinations table if properly sourced" an accurate reading of our current policy? Thanks in advance. SportingFlyer T·C 14:14, 28 February 2019 (UTC)

ArbCom questions[edit]

I have two ArbCom-related questions.

What comes next?[edit]

What is the best venue for the current dispute at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case to continue at if it is not heard by ArbCom? Qzekrom 💬 theythem 18:50, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

Participating in ArbCom[edit]

(Moved from Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous))

I believe that the current dispute at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case should be heard by ArbCom, but I don't know what I could say that hasn't already been said by the other users that posted statements. Basically, I agree that some aspects of this dispute have already been resolved or can't be resolved through arbitration, but I think other parts of it (the conduct stuff) can't be resolved effectively except through arbitration. What should I say? Is what I have written here enough? Qzekrom 💬 theythem 06:46, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

This is already being discussed in multiple places. Do not try to spread it elsewhere as well. Natureium (talk) 19:03, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
Natureium, I don't want to discuss the issue itself here. I came to VPP because I wanted advice on how (and whether) to get involved in the discussion in the proper venues. Qzekrom 💬 theythem 23:09, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I would say to just let the matter go. If it is the consensus of the community, and if ARBCOM also concurs, that there is nothing more to do, then there is nothing more to do. If the matter persists into the future, that is if the kinds of behavior that led to the ARBCOM filing, continue repeatedly, we can revisit the matter, but if nothing else bad happens going forward, there's no need to continue pursuing anything. --Jayron32 19:05, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
    @Jayron32: It looks like ArbCom is settling on deciding that the case would best be handled in another venue. There is one aspect that I predict will come up again in the near future, and that leaves me concerned. So far I'm not really doing anything, but I want to see which way it goes. Should I push to get it addressed now or wait for it to come up again? Qzekrom 💬 theythem 23:20, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
    I would say it would better sum up the results of the ARBCOM discussion that the committee roughly believes that the community has handled the issue in other venues. The two most recent decline votes basically say as much, and one of the few accept votes, that of SilkTork, basically declines all aspects of the case as "the community already dealt with this" except for one small issue, and there is not much consensus, among either the community at large, or other ARBCOM members, that the particular issue he thinks needs dealing with is an issue at all. (particularly relevant is Ivanvector's comments regarding the appropriateness of prosecuting whistleblowers...) In all, I would say that ARBCOM isn't saying the community needs to do more to deal with the issue, they're largely saying that it has been dealt with, and that there isn't any good reason to keep this fire burning any longer. --Jayron32 11:24, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Depends on what exactly you want to achieve, but usually an WP:RFC, at either WP:VP or WT:SIGNPOST would be the way to go. I'd wait until the Signpost makes a statement before doing so, personally, but Bri has yet to come back from his Wikibreak due to the situation. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 23:31, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

Russian disinformation on Wikipedia[edit]

Is anyone aware of any past or current discussions about Russians potentially engaging in government-sponsored disinformation on Wikipedia? To be clear, I don't mean accusations pointed at specific editors. I'm thinking more of VPP discussions about the problem more broadly, detecting if it exists and how it might be addressed. After all, we know Russian disinformation is on all major social media platforms, so why wouldn't it be on Wikipedia? I know I'm not the only one thinking about this. And Russia was caught doing this at least once, though in a ham-handed way in 2014. Please ping me, as I won't be watching this page. R2 (bleep) 17:30, 8 March 2019 (UTC)

I don't think I've seen any particular "Russian" effort, but that's probably because there are always POV pushers all over Wikipedia so that one more campaign does not necessarily stick out. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 19:28, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree. There are all sorts of people, including those organised by or editing in support of states, who behave in this way. There are some who make themselves obvious and get blocked or banned quickly, and there are some others who make lots of good edits but show their true intentions in a particular area. All we can do is to be vigilant. And, by the way, if you want to see the responses to your edit then do put the page on your watchlist. It's not up to other people to obey your commands about pinging. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:41, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
Geesh, I was just asking for a courtesy, you were under no obligation to comply. Anyway, the thing that makes Russia different from other POV pushers is that the Russian online international disinformation effort is by far the biggest in the world and is well-documented in the reliable media. I've been wondering for some time whether the armies of editors who push for certain POVs on certain pages are in fact paid by the Internet Research Agency or related entities, in violation of our TOS. Whether that is something that can or should be investigated or addressed would be an open question. I'm merely trying to educate myself on whether this has been discussed in the past. R2 (bleep) 20:07, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
Personally, I don't think that the pro-Russian POV-pushers are worse than any other POV-pusher, and we have a wide variety of them from antivaxxers to ufologists. Which might say that this IRA isn't active on Wikipedia. Or it might say that IRA-sponsored POV-pushing is no worse than the other kinds of POV-pushing. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 19:47, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
Speaking of anti-vaxxers, a recent study found a Russian involvement: [12]. This is how they work, they get involved in controversial topics and blow it up and amplify it for the purpose of sowing FUD. The Russians were famously behind the myth that AIDS was a US government conspiracy. The Russians "promote discord" and it works! -- GreenC 20:16, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
I don't doubt at all that Russians are involved in spreading misinformation - you will see that I have in the past had run-ins with conspiracy theorists, who may or may not have been sponsored by the Russian government, on the article that you linked and others where people tried to spread nonsense about HIV and AIDS, but there are plenty of others apart from Russians who engage in such activity. We should be careful about all POV-pushers, not just Russians. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:31, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
We also shouldn't minimize or discount it, either. -- GreenC 04:05, 10 March 2019 (UTC)

I'll be so happy, if & when the new McCarthy era comes to an end. GoodDay (talk) 20:10, 8 March 2019 (UTC)

  • I'd be surprised if we didn't have some Russian state editors on the site (between here and their own Wiki, I'd imagine). However, nothing particularly has jumped out - there's lots of ranting on the Crimea page and I suppose either side could be them, but nothing that indicates evidence on the issue. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nosebagbear (talkcontribs)
  • Probably not, it's best not to worry about stuff till we have evidence we need to worry about it. And considering America's legislature isn't averse to editing Wikipedia, there's not much wiggle room when it comes to finger-pointing. SITH (talk) 16:43, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
  • You might find some stuff in the archives of User talk:Jimbo Wales, which is the natural home for this sort of discussion. I'd agree with others that few campaigns are going to make a successful difference on this wiki. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Russia's English Wikipedia efforts concentrated on influencing secondary sources. For example we have over 1,000 links to Sputnik, which is something I wouldn't normally recommend. -- zzuuzz (talk) 16:52, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Basically this. Every time you see a link to Russia Today or Sputnik, you are seeing the effects of Russian propaganda and social engineering efforts. These sources exist for no other reason other than to populate the public discourse with the official government position. Some of these people may be active agents of the movement, proactively trying to add these to push a POV. Others may have just found a "source" that they intuitively agree with or that fits their preconceptions, and so they use it more as a dupe than as a co-conspirator. There is no real difference for our purposes. GMGtalk 17:08, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
      • I agree that that is the case when such sources are used for anything that is controversial, and that also goes for many of the non-Russian sources that are accepted uncritically as reliable, but they are reliable for such things as who has been appointed to which official position or for the football results. Sources are only reliable or unreliable according to the context. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:06, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
        • No. These sources only exist for the purpose of operating a propaganda arm of the Russian government. If you really need a source for the mundane details of the latest football match, then there are surely plenty to choose from, and no reason to use these in particular. The only reason the US Department of State doesn't give you the stats on the latest game is because the US DoS isn't trying to masquerade as a news agency. GMGtalk 18:17, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Significant programs of interference in social media exist in Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and a few others - and Wikipedia's open culture is dangerous and antithetical to those regimes. There is no question Wikipedia is on the list of sites to influence, we are the top 5 site in the world, get the top google hits and "anyone can edit" - of course they are. I read an article about this concerning Wikipedia (forget where) describing how IPs and socks don't work well, so the trick is to use long-term reputation accounts ("unblockables") and even admin moles. Personally I think that method is too expensive and low impact. A cheaper method would be to undermine and confuse reality (and Wikipedia's reputation) by quietly injecting wrong and distorted information that has no apparent bias looks like incompetence. This is essentially how they undermine the free press, by creating confusion and a mix of false and true, it is misdirection trick you don't know who to blame or trust, it keeps authoritarians from being ousted. -- GreenC 17:45, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
You're thinking of the New Statesman article I linked to in my original post. Ha. R2 (bleep) 06:03, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
Hah! Yes that is a very good article. -- GreenC 16:02, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
  • My personal concern is not so much about POV warriors--in general we know how to deal with those--and more from editors who might be strategically disrupting specific articles or discussions in order to inhibit article development in certain undesired ways. The "strategic disruptor" wouldn't need to show a pro-Russian bias, or any bias at all. Their agenda would be hard to detect, and if they were careful, they could evade admin attention long enough to cause long-term damage. And by damage I don't necessarily mean POV content, I mean non-POV editors being pissed off or distracted and, for example, not developing an article on some topic Russia would like to suppress. R2 (bleep) 06:18, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
And I will add, building on GreenMeansGo's comment, when I see disruptive editors seeking to add post-1932 U.S. politics sourced to Russia Today or Sputnik, I do begin to wonder. And when those editors make awkward, unsolicited references to being American when no one ever asked them about their nationality, that makes me wonder even more. R2 (bleep) 06:24, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Response. R2, to answer your original question: Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive1002#Editor with ties to Russian government. Yes, that was one specific editor, but it contains some more information about the problem. This link contains some really good reading for any interested. The problem is not isolated to Russian state contractors. –MJLTalk 20:58, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
  • This is a relevant Wall Street Journal story from last month about how Russian disinformation trolls used Wikipedia in conjunction with Twitter and Tumblr to promote fake news in 2015. They created a hoax story about a food poisoning attack in New York, then created a Wikipedia page about it (2015 New York poisoned turkey incident), then tweeted about it thousands of times. Fortunately the WP hoax page was spotted by WilliamJE and speedy deleted. I don't know how he spotted it. 4 sockpuppets were detected and blocked. Interestingly, the 4 socks were created during the same 2-day span (May 20-21, 2015) but had very different editing patterns before being caught. None did any POV pushing that I could find. One of them, Jenniohra (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log), did a fair amount of editing relating to American white supremacists. R2 (bleep) 18:49, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
    • I don't recall at all why I smelled a hoax. It could have been the article's poor sourcing and the fact no Mainstream media (MSM) was picking it up. I worked for a MSM outlet for a while. Maybe it has given me a stronger bullshit detector. Here[13]and here[14] I found WP articles, including a GA, with serious misinformation/errors in them. I call it 'bullshit with a reference' pardon my French.
Anyway, if any administrator sees this I wouldn't mind getting a copy of that deleted article in order to further jog my memory. Thanks in advance....William, is the complaint department really on the roof? 21:13, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
I'd like to see its edit history as well. R2 (bleep) 17:00, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
Ahrtoodeetoo, CambridgeBayWeather restored it at User:WilliamJE/Hoax. Galobtter (pingó mió) 05:37, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia:Disinformation -- GreenC 20:16, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I think the case with Russia is probably similar to usual practice in POV pushing: hired meatpuppets exist, but their efforts probably pale in comparison to those of bona fide believers relying on dubious sources, or just going with whatever suits their third-party POV agenda. DaßWölf 22:45, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
Disinformation is distinct from POV editing, vandalism and COI. -- GreenC 23:51, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

About graphic nude photos[edit]

I am not talking about censoring that, but can we make a system that we will make the image folded (i forgot the accurate word) and if anyone put the cursor on the image, it will show a message, that the image has graphic nudity, and also a show option will be given with the message. If any user want to see the picture, he or she will click the show option. If he or she doesn't, he or she will not click the show option. I think the idea is more democratic than the present policy. Waiting for all other's responses. Love for Wikipedia. Sharif Uddin (talk) 02:58, 10 March 2019 (UTC)

Nope. For many, many reasons. First, WP:NOTCENSORED. Second, people would now need to flag 'nudity' in images. Second, this is an extremely slippery slope. First it's nudity. Next it's bad words. Then it's ideas. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 03:08, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
@Sharif Uddin: maybe try User:Anomie/hide-images --DannyS712 (talk) 03:10, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
Historical reference - something similar to this was proposed some time ago. I was on the "managing the vote" side of things so wasn't paying too much attention to what happened with the results, but it's pretty clear that the broad global community was pretty evenly split on the "worth investing in" vs. "not worth a nickel" spectrum. That was pretty much the last we ever heard of the idea. The biggest challenge is not so much the intentionally placed graphic images (whether of nudity or other potentially "shocking" material); if one opens an article about human reproduction or war atrocities or certain medical conditions or artists whose work includes nudes, it's likely that at least one graphic or NSFW image will be present. No, the bigger issue is when these kinds of images turn up unexpectedly on pages or articles where they don't really seem to fit. There's no really effective way at this time to immediately identify and 'tag' an image with graphic content at the time it's uploaded. Risker (talk) 03:20, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
It is very embarrassing for me to edit on wikipidea in front of everyone of the office in a desktop computer. Yesterday, in front of one of my coligue I openes an article, and I didn,t khnow that the photo contain nudity, when I opened the article it came out with a photo recently taken by camera including a complete uncovered people on the top of the article, and from then a negetive idea about me has been silently born on his mind. My family already started thinking me negatively because they I edit in wikipedia, and it is full of open graphic nudity. I think it is similar to a torture on the editors to make them seeing this photos who do not want to see this, and making them deprived of sharing the experience of wikipedia with othrs. I will not try to attack your ethics, you should not attack mine, but we all have the equal rights to get a neutral preview of wikipedia to enjoy the informations, becaousse wikipedia is of all. Sharif Uddin (talk) 12:07, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
I think a vote such like this should be again started meta:Image filter referendum/en. Sharif Uddin (talk) 12:58, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
Sharif Uddin, if the article included a nude photo that was a surprise, it's possible that article shouldn't include a nude photo. If you let us know which article it was, maybe we can offer other opinions. valereee (talk) valereee (talk) 13:07, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
It was exhibitionism, and as a muslim, it is also my duty to maintain my haya and refrain myself from Fahisha.I will not or never tell you to censor them, but I think as a human being, I also have the right to enjoy my religious or personal ideology in wikipedia's policy equally as other user's enjoy and make impact on them, so I think wikipedia should keep an opportunity to hide these pictures for a user. I don't know wheather all other muslim users will agry with me or not but most probably bost of them will agree with me including some or many other users. Sharif Uddin (talk) 15:00, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
As an encyclopedia, articles on subjects related to nudity will have nude images. The best solution here is for you to not visit pages on topics related to sex or nudity. A second solution would be for you to use work computers for working rather than editing wikipedia. Natureium (talk) 15:09, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
I thought, i would have a better response than that, but no problem. Still now I will remain in my request to all of you to make a better solution for it. Sharif Uddin (talk) 15:18, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
i was editing the article tazkiah in bengali wikipedia, there was a term Riya which is similar to "the tendency of showing of something", in english wikipedia there is a link added ostentation. so I started sarching the word exibition (in bengali "prodorshon") to link with it, the translated article came out in the search result as the name "Prodorshon Batik" (Show off disease or disorder), I clicked on hte link and then it happened. Same kind of occurance happened many time in English wikipedia, and it is undeniable that all other language based wiki community just follow the english wiki policy and most often translate the english wikipedia rather than hardly or poorly transforming it according to their own culture. In bengali wikipedia, there is all agreed community policy that real photography of graphic nudity is not allowed but artwork is allowed, so in bengali wikipedia, I removed the image, but the same problem I face on enlish wiki, I think a don't have the right to tell it to make it censored, but as a wikipedian like other wikipedians, I must have the right to ask wikipedia to make an opportunity option for the users to hide it, javascript is ess havenot worked today as I tried, so I think making a better option will work and make the rights equal. Sharif Uddin (talk) 15:26, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
@Sharif Uddin: Did you have a look at User:Anomie/hide-images as suggested above? --bonadea contributions talk 15:30, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
I just checked now, it doesn't work. Sharif Uddin (talk) 15:44, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
Sharif Uddin, it doesn't work for you because you didn't follow the installation instructions. User:Sharif Uddin/common.css needs to be exactly what it says in User:Anomie/hide-images. The script does work for me on Exhibitionism for example. Not that I would ever use it, other than for testing. I find all forms of censorship, including self-censorship, abhorrent. Vexations (talk) 23:51, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
If I intentionally viewed an article titled exhibitionism, I would expect it would include images of exhibitionist behavior, i.e. nudity. There are many types of content on the internet (and in the world in general) which I do not wish to see. For the most part, I self-select what I'm going to look at. I only get upset when I'm tricked into looking at something I didn't want to by a misleading title, unexpected pop-up, etc. As long as it's appropriately labeled, I can make my own informed decisions about what to access.
That being said, one of the nice things about wikipedia is that all of the content is freely available for anybody to do whatever they want with. Artificial intelligence has advanced to the point where it's quite feasible to have a computer detect nudity in images. It seems like it would be a useful project, for an interested person or group, to systematically examine all of the images contained in wikipedia and assign them tags describing aspects of the image which might be offensive to various groups. This collection of tags could then also be made publicly available, and people could build software that takes advantage of them. I could envision a browser plugin which, before it displays each image, would do a lookup in this database and decide to show or hide each image according to whatever set of rules the user has configured. I suspect many people would find such a system useful, and building it would be entirely within the spirit of wikipedia. -- RoySmith (talk) 15:47, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
Many many many many many many many many many support as a proposer. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ I am tooooooooooooo much happy that I have got apositive response, Again LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOve ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ to Wikipidiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sharif Uddin (talk) 15:54, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
This is more or less what commons:Commons:SDC will do/enable directly. --Izno (talk) 16:25, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
Again thanks for another response!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ Sharif Uddin (talk) 16:40, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
We do not need the hyperbole. Please be more gentle with your keyboard. --Izno (talk) 16:48, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
RoySmith, I had the same thought initially–well, if you want to avoid nudity, don't click on exhibitionism–but then it occurred to me that you and I know what that word refers to, but others–particularly non-native English speakers–may not understand that "exhibitionism" isn't just a synonym for "show off". Perhaps easier than an AI to filter the images would be a little [[[NSFW]]] tag that appears after wikilinks to NSFW articles. It could be a script/gadget so editors could turn the NSFW tags on or off depending on if they wanted them. The hard part would be compiling a list of all the "NSFW" articles, but that could actually probably be done semi-automagically using categories and keywords (and also by looking at the categories that images in the article are tagged with). So if an article is in an NSFW category, has NSFW keywords, or has an image that is in an NSFW category (like "nude"), then it would get the NSFW tag after the link (if the user had that feature enabled), so users would be warned not to click on NSFW links. Levivich 17:02, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
Anything addressing this needs to take account of the fact that different readers find different things offensive, especially in a world-wide encyclopedia such as this, so any global "NSFW" tag will not work. For example, on an individual level, I don't have any problem with nudity but am very squeamish when it comes to pictures of medical operations, particularly if internal organs are visible. And there are also cultural differences. In general (although there are, of course, many individual exceptions) Europeans are more accepting of casual, non-sexual, nudity than Americans but less accepting of violent images, and there are other differences in all cultures. And, of course, such issues exist all over the Internet, not just on Wikipedia. I think it would be best, if people are offended by a particular type of image, to use some sort of global solution that applies to all web sites (surely there are browser add-ons on the lines of AdBlock that can be configured to the user's requirements?) rather than develop something that only works with Wikipedia. Phil Bridger (talk) 17:30, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
@Levivich: See Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2019 February 14#Template:NSFW and Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2019 March 4#Template:NSFW --DannyS712 (talk) 00:00, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
DannyS712, wow thanks for that, I didn't realize this was a current topic of discussion. But anyway I wasn't suggesting a template, I was suggesting more like a script, that would essentially be like a link highlighter, highlighting any link that pointed to a page in a certain category (e.g., pornography). Then people would know not to click on the link. Only those who wanted the highlighter would install/enable it. No one would have to go around tagging stuff "NSFW." Levivich 03:13, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
I am so much happy that I have got a lot of positive response. Thank you all. Sharif Uddin (talk) 09:11, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
I just followed Vexations and the anomie js worked but I also differently followed the Z-man's bad image js but it didn't work. And initially I dont want to hide all image except the graphic nude images (It would be better for me including semi-nude pictures, but now only graphic nude will at least work.), It will be very irritating for me to do it manually again and again. And also it completely spoils the attention of the work then i intend. Sharif Uddin (talk) 09:54, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
To comment further on "the bigger issue is when these kinds of images turn up unexpectedly on pages or articles where they don't really seem to fit. There's no really effective way at this time to immediately identify and 'tag' an image with graphic content at the time it's uploaded." – More to the point, we have a large editorial pool, including a lot of people devoted to anti-vandalism and anti-trolling. If you stick a cock picture in Star Wars: Episode I it won't be there long. This is basically a "solution" in search of a problem.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  14:32, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

I think probably most editors would agree that the fact that users of the encyclopedia are unexpectedly confronted with material that is shocking or traumatic to them is at least an issue; maybe it is time to revisit the matter of content/trigger warnings. They could be the most principled way to deal with Sharif's issue. But not such an easy task: see Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Content_warnings and Wikipedia:No disclaimers in articles.

The counterarguments there seem possible to tackle: I'm reminded of Scott Alexander's "I still really want an Official List of Trigger Warnings, looked at and endorsed (if grudgingly) by An Assembly Of Reasonable People";[1] if any assembly can do that, Wikipedia can. The use of content/trigger warnings is that they can appear in popups, be a basis for article exclusion by user preference according to whatever technical choice is favoured, and perhaps eventually influence search results. It makes most sense to say that the topic concerns, say, human sexuality or suicide, rather than the actual contents of articles, since the latter are relatively transient and judgements about them perhaps more likely to be subjective.

Does anyone else think this topic is worth raising? — Charles Stewart (talk) 13:22, 16 March 2019 (UTC)


Query about dealing with clearly non-RS websites on Nazi Germany[edit]

I should probably know this, but do we have a policy/process that relates to banning or blocking clearly non-RS fanboi websites? There are a few clearly non-RS fanboi-type websites related to Nazi Germany (like axishistory.com, lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de and feldgrau.com) which should really never be used on WP, and I'm wondering if there is a way to automate rejection of citations to these sites? It is not spamming, per se, but at the moment, those who are interested have to search the website addresses manually to cull them from articles, which is a losing battle, and I just wondered if there was a way to stop them being used across the board. Thanks, Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 07:31, 10 March 2019 (UTC)

Most of these probably qualify as self-published sources, and as such can be blanket removed unless the author is a recognized expert in their field. We do have precedent for blacklisting links in these circumstances, but be careful to make sure that it's not going to exclude anything legitimate. For a topic as heavily researched as Nazi Germany, I'd expect anything worth using as a source to have been published in a legitimate source, so there should rarely be a need to rely on a WP:SPS. The 'recognized expert' clause was introduced for topics like animal husbandry and railroad history, where the authors of major reference works sometimes self-publish appendices to their books or put additional content on their websites, giving the extra detail there wasn't space to include in the book. ‑ Iridescent 07:56, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. These three that I have mentioned are definitely SPS, and host online fora as well, which are sometimes cited in articles. None of these three have a claim on "recognised expert" status, as their contributors don't meet that bar, they are basically user-generated content with no likelihood to be assessed as RS. Can they be blacklisted, and if so, what is the best method to suggest that? Cheers, Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 08:45, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
You need to propose it at MediaWiki talk:Spam-blacklist, to give people a chance to argue in favor of non-blacklisting. Assuming nobody raises a valid objection, it will be blacklisted in due course. (The typical valid objections are "even though the site is inappropriate as a source, it's sometimes necessary to link to it as an external link" or "there aren't enough instances of it to justify a blanket blacklisting"). What you may well find is that people would prefer an edit filter to a formal blacklisting, so don't be surprised if you see people suggesting that; the net effect will be similar. ‑ Iridescent 08:55, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
There is a link to at least one of the three websites in some 1100 mainspace pages. If these are low value (and I'd say they are), I think these would be a natural spam blacklist addition. --Izno (talk) 13:46, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
G'day Izno what do you mean by "low value"? Just for my info really. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 10:47, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Just shorthand for your own description of the websites. --Izno (talk) 13:06, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Ok. I've listed these three websites at WP:RSN to get confirmation they are not RS, then I'll re-post at the blacklist. Thanks for the advice. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 23:50, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

when sources say "died by suicide" and we're still using "committed suicide"?[edit]

See the first paragraph at WP:CCC. The current consensus is recent enough, and no "previously unconsidered arguments or circumstances" are raised. Closing per WP:SNOW. ―Mandruss  18:59, 11 March 2019 (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 know this has been discussed extensively, but when the cited sources are using "died by", why are we still using "committed"? valereee (talk) 18:37, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

Because consensus for the last three years has been that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and not bound by the AP guidelines. See [15] [16] [17]. Praxidicae (talk) 18:42, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
We do not use euphemisms and we do not follow the AP stylebook that the news articles that use that phrase do. Praxidicae linked to a few discussions above. We've discussed this several times on wikipedia. We don't need to go over this entire issue again. Natureium (talk) 18:47, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
This again. I think the dispute is largely a cultural one - there are certain customs in Australia regarding how the media treats suicide cases. Without time to assess this issue, my preference is for the status quo. power~enwiki (π, ν) 18:50, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

(edit conflict):Also this discussion is one of the better ones regarding this matter, particularly InedibleHulk's comment: "Died by suicide" sounds awkwardly passive to me. Suicide is killing yourself, not being killed by yourself. Praxidicae (talk) 18:51, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

(after edit conflict) And, anyway, the phrases are synonyms. The word "commit" does not imply anything criminal. Its meaning is much wider than that. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:54, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Even if sources do use "died by suicide" it's quite normal to paraphrase or rephrase. Equally there is no policy that we have to use "committed suicide" if an alternative construction could be used. But I'd agree it's still debatable if these two phrases are exactly synonymous. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:54, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
From the most simple view of it, "died by suicide" is redundant. It's like "died by death", "fatally murdered" or "murdered to death." this discussion most adequately sums up the approach I think we should take. Praxidicae (talk) 18:57, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Regardless of the actual words used, it's important to focus on the event and not make value judgments about the action. So, for example, killed herself is right out. Bradv🍁 18:58, 11 March 2019 (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.

Follow-on discussion[edit]

Also, to expand upon "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and not bound by the AP guidelines": WP has it's own WP:Manual of Style (including WP:Manual of Style/Words to watch, the usual locus of this perennial debate). We also have a policy, WP:NOT#NEWS: Wikipedia is not written in news style. Virtually nothing in our MoS came from AP Stylebook. In particular, we have adopted nothing from it that has anything to do with euphemistic language to keep certain subsets of readers happier (a business/PR approach, not an encyclopedic one).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  14:29, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

SMcCandlish, good info, thanks! I had been unaware of the perennial nature of this discussion, and this exact discussion closed before I got back and discovered it, didn't want to add then, so: so sorry! valereee (talk) 21:41, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Merging style-and-layout guidelines on interwiki linking[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia talk:Wikimedia sister projects#Requested move 12 March 2019, a proposal to merge WP:SISTER to be either a subpage of MOS:LINKING or more directly a part of MOS:LINKING#Interwiki links. Rationale summary: It's unproductive to have interwiki-linking-style-and-layout material in two different places.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  14:23, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Proposal for CSD criteria X3 - portals created by The Transhumanist[edit]

Please note that there is a discussion at the administrators' noticeboard regarding the creation of a new CSD category for portals created by The Transhumanist. Please contribute to the existing discussion there. GoldenRing (talk) 09:21, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

The name is The Transhumanist with a space. SemiHypercube 11:24, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

 Administrator note: This proposal is being advertised at WP:VPP and WP:CD, and it has been requested that it stay open for at least 30 days. ~Swarm~ {talk} 05:14, 17 March 2019 (UTC)


I am entering and numbering this proposal in order to get it into the record, but am requesting that action on it be deferred until the current round of MFDs are decided.

As per User:UnitedStatesian, Create Criteria for Speedy Deletion criterion X3, for portals created by User:The Transhumanist between April 2018 and March 2019. Tagging the portals for speedy deletion will provide the notice to users of the portals, if there are any users of the portals. I recommend that instructions to administrators include a request to wait 24 hours before deleting a portal. This is a compromise between the usual 1 to 4 hours for speedy deletion and 7 days for XFD. The availability of Twinkle for one-click tagging will make it easy to tag the pages, while notifying the users (if there are any). Robert McClenon (talk) 04:21, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

This proposal should be posted in a wider venue, such as WP:VPR or WP:MFD. Many of those portals have been in place for months, making WP:AN too narrow a venue for them. CSD notices wouldn't be placed until after the discussion is over, and therefore would not serve to notify the users of those portals of the discussion. A notice to the discussion of this proposal, since it is a deletion discussion, should be placed on each of the portals, to allow their readers to participate in the discussion. The current round of MfDs are not a random sampling of the portals that were created, and therefore are not necessarily representative of the set. The portals themselves vary in many ways, including scope, the amount of time they've been accessed by readers, quality, number of features, picture support, volume of content, amount of work that went into them, number of editors who worked on them, length, readership, etc.    — The Transhumanist   07:09, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
How would you suggest to get a representative sample? Legacypac (talk) 07:20, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for asking. That would be difficult now, since there are already a bunch of portals nominated for MfD. If those were included, then the sample would already be skewed. I expect a truly random sample would reveal that some portals are worth keeping and others are not. A more important question would be "How would we find the portals worth keeping? Which is very similar to the question "what should the creation criteria for portals be?", the very thing they are discussing at the portal guidelines page right now. Many of these portals may qualify under the guideline that is finally arrived upon there. For example, they are discussing scope. There are portals of subjects that fall within Vital articles Level 2, 3, 4, and 5, and there are many portals of subjects of similar scope to the subjects at those levels. And many of the portals had extra work put into them, and who knows how many had contributions by other editors besides me. Another factor is, that the quality of the navigation templates the portals are powered by differs, and some of the portals are powered by other source types, such as lists. Some have hand-crafted lists, as there are multiple slideshow templates available, one of which accepts specific article names as parameters. Another way to do that is provide a manual list in the subtopics section and power the slideshow from that. Some of the portals are of a different design than the standard base template. Some are very well focused, contextually, while others are not. For example, some of the portals have multiple excerpt slideshows to provide additional context.    — The Transhumanist   07:46, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support in principle. Looking at the existing MFD discussions, TTH seems determined to drag and wikilawyer as much as possible to try to derail the discussions, even for blatantly and indefensibly inappropriate microportals like those discussed at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portals for Portland, Oregon neighborhoods; it's not a good use of anyone's time to go through the same timesink 5000+ times. (The cynic in me says that a speedy criterion wouldn't work as while the creators wouldn't be able to decline the templates themselves, TTH and Dreamy Jazz would probably just follow the tagger around removing the speedy templates from each other's creations.) In practice, it would probably be more efficient to do what we did with Neelix and have a streamlined MFD nomination process, in which "created by TTH" is considered sufficient grounds for deletion at MFD and they default to delete unless someone can make a strong argument for keep. MFD is less gameable and also gives a space for people to defend them in those rare cases where they're actually worth keeping. (Every time I look, I find that the flood of inane and pointless TTH portals has spread further than I thought; shipping containers portal, anyone?) ‑ Iridescent 08:26, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
    Dreamy Jazz seems unlikely do that, having already decided during this debate to stop donating their time to Wikipedia. Certes (talk) 18:06, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment – Another option would be to move these to draft space. The templates and lua modules could be modified so that the portals render right in that namespace (I wish I would have thought of this before). Being in draft space would give time to fix their various problems (keeping in mind that micro-scope is not fixable), and identify the ones worth keeping. I would agree not to move any of them personally, and would propose/request such moves after the new creation criteria guidelines for portals are settled upon. I would also be willing to tag those that did not meet those guidelines with CSD (as creator), saving Legacypac the trouble of nominating them at MfD (he mentioned somewhere that he thought I should help clean up this "mess"). Another benefit of this strategy is that if any of them sit in draft space too long without further development, they automatically become subject to deletion per the draft space guidelines, and those that reach that age without any edits can be deleted en masse without time-consuming effort-wasting MfD discussions. This course of action would of course need the participation of some lua programmers to add the necessary functionality to the modules, which would be a good upgrade for those, to allow for portal drafts to be created in the future.    — The Transhumanist   09:15, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
P.S. @Iridescent and Legacypac: (pinging)    — The Transhumanist   09:28, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Absolutely not. The problem is that hundreds of portals on obscure topics makes an unmaintainable mess. Passing it to another namespace does not solve the problem which is that the portals are not helpful and are not maintainable. Automated creation of outlines/portals/anything must stop. Johnuniq (talk) 09:36, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • No. I tried moving one broken portal to Draft as a test and it broke even more stuff. Not worth the effort to modify everything for draft space and then let the same little group of editors release them willy nilly back into portal space. Since this group ignored their own Wikipedia:Portal/Guidelines "portals should be about broad subject areas, which are likely to attract large numbers of interested readers and portal maintainers." why should anyone trust them to follow stricter guidelines? Legacypac (talk) 09:57, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Definitely not. What possible benefit would there be to cluttering up another namespace with ≈5000 pages that will never serve any useful purpose? If you want to goof around with wikicode, nobody's stopping you installing your own copy of Mediawiki; we're not your personal test site. ‑ Iridescent 15:38, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • As a general rule, Portal pages should not be draftified. In fact, we should not usually move anything not designed to be an article to draft space. Draft portals should be in portal space, just like draft books should be in book space and draft templates in template space (pages with subpages are a pain to move, and many namespaces have special features that suggest keeping drafts in the same space if possible). If a portal is not ready for viewing by the general public, tag it with a relevant maintenance template and make sure it is not linked to from mainspace or from other portal pages.
  • In the case at hand, TT's mass created portals do not seem like they will all be soon made ready for wider consumption, so deleting them seems the better option. —Kusma (t·c) 20:15, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support nuking from orbit: It's the only way to be sure. ——SerialNumber54129 09:32, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support enough with the wikilawyering and obstruction. This proposal is a little too narrow though - TTH created 3500+ automated portals but others in his little team created around 1000 more. I just grouped some by User:Dreamy Jazz into Wikipedia:Miscellany_for_deletion#US_County_Portals Legacypac (talk) 09:57, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support These useless broken portals have to go. CoolSkittle (talk) 14:54, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support, too many, too quickly, not enough thought went into their creation. Nuke these, revert other portals that were better before TTH "restarted" them. Automation should help with portal maintenance, not replace portal maintenance or move the maintenance burden to navboxes or other places. —Kusma (t·c) 14:57, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support, sensible and fair way to deal with these. Johnbod (talk) 16:53, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: MFD could never handle the overwhelming amount of unnecessary and unsustainable portals, considering the magnitude of TTH's portal creation entering the thousands. –eggofreasontalk 20:12, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support nuking. Beyond My Ken (talk) 20:30, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Transcluded to Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion. {{3x|p}}ery (talk) 20:31, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support mass creation of portals on these topics isn't appropriate without wider discussion, and the automated/semi-automated method used to create them doesn't produce high quality output. Portal:Sierra County, California, for example, is about a county with a population of 3,240, and consists of the lead of the main article, a few random contextless images grabbed from that article (mostly maps or logos) and portal boilerplate. Cleaning these up will require a temporary speedy deletion criterion, I don't think MfD could handle the load. Hut 8.5 22:25, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support as proposer. I had already suggested deferring, but am satisfied that it is going ahead to mass-delete. I will add that, after a consensus is reached on whether and how to use portals, any that were deleted and are needed are available at Requests for Undeletion. Robert McClenon (talk) 01:01, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  • This mass page creation went against WP:MEATBOT and at least the spirit of WP:MASSCREATION if not the letter. An appropriate remedy for automated script and semi-automated creation is speedy deletion. Did you know they were driving for 10,000 portals at a rapid pace? It's here [18] Legacypac (talk) 04:44, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose any and all notions of creating new CSD criteria at any drama board. Discussions here are too rushed, too emotive, too reactionary. Use WT:CSD. Consider using a WT:CSD subpage RfC. Do not attempt to mandate the detail of policy from a drama board. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:52, 4 March 2019 (UTC) Transclusion is not good enough. The discussion needs to be searchable from WT:CSD, and the specifics of any and all new criteria need to address the Criteria for a new CSD criterion. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:55, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
Many editors at the Village Pump discussion, the Tban discussion above, and at MfDs also supported this. We do not need to fragment this discussion further. Legacypac (talk) 05:12, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
Proposal 1 will make this Proposal 4 moot. This Proposal 4 is not a proper CSD implementation. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:41, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
@SmokeyJoe: Proposal 1 is about stopping TTH from creating new portals. Proposal 4 is about deleting those he created in the last couple of months. How is P1 going to make P4 moot? —Kusma (t·c) 10:19, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
List them all in an MfD, if they must all be deleted. A CSD that enables self appointed decision makes for which should go and which might be ok, is inferior to MfD. MfD can handle a list of pages. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:24, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
If you want them all at MfD stop objecting to the listing of specific Portals at MfD. Legacypac (talk) 01:34, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
No. Some of the Portals I would support for deletion, and others definitely no. This makes the proposal for a CSD invalid. It fails the CSD new criterion criteria. The proposal is neither Objective or Uncontestable. It would pick up a lot of portals that should not be deleted. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:44, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. No care at all went into these portals, they are mindless creations with loads of errors and little actual benefit for our readers. I would also support the restoration of all pre-existing portals to the pre-transhumanist version, the new "single page" version may require less maintenance, but is way too often clearly inferior (see e.g. this, which is more like vandalism than actual improvement, and has been reversed since). Fram (talk) 10:31, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment. Anyone restoring old multi-subpage portals should bear in mind that they will require maintenance. If there is no-one willing to maintain them, they, too are likely to be MfDed. No old-style portal with a willing and active maintainer has been converted as far as I know, so I suggest that anyone restoring them should be willing to maintain them. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 16:47, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
    • No. Converting an unmaintained but well-designed portal into an unmaintained semi-automated worse portal is not the way forward. Any claims that the new portals are maintained or don't need maintaining is false, as the many problematic new portals demonstrate. Fram (talk) 17:00, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Portal:Germany was converted (more than once) although it has maintainers. To make sure your portal isn't "improved", you need to put a specific template on the page, which isn't very obvious. There are old-style multi page portals that require only minimal maintenance, and where the conversion removed specific features. All those should be reverted, also to protect the subpages from overzealous deleters (the worst is deleting the /box-footer subpages; this breaks all old revisions by removing a necessary closing div). —Kusma (t·c) 17:21, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose A mass-deletion of the new generation portals. Listing them at MfD will be sufficient for any that do not meet the criteria laid out in the portal guidelines (which are still under discussion). It makes little sense to remove the whole batch because some of them are problematic. They would need to be properly triaged to ensure the good ones are not caught in the process. I would of course, help with said triage. We're not trying to create more work for the community, just preserve good content. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 23:47, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment - You created more work for the community by creating thousands of portals, some of which do not work, and with no intention to maintain them. I see no evidence that this effort created good content that needs to be preserved. Robert McClenon (talk) 04:17, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
There is no new content in the automated portals, it's all poorly repackaged bits of existing content. Legacypac (talk) 04:40, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
All portals, old or new, good or bad, manual or automated, repackage existing content. That's their job. New content belongs in articles. Certes (talk) 11:20, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose per wumbolo below: criterion P2 already covers a number of these, the rest should be discussed. I still stand by my original comment which follows this addition. Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 22:37, 13 March 2019 (UTC) Original comment: Weak oppose on principle. CSD is a necessary evil, and I don't think we should be hasty to add another criterion that skips our usual consensus process. I'm fine with nuking these portals and not opposed to deleting them, any diamonds in the rough will prove their worth by being created again, but I would prefer one big MfD with the rationale "created by The Transhumanist" which allows proper determination of consensus and gives those who want to spend their time triaging a chance to do so. Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 08:03, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
Building multipage MfDs like Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portals for Portland, Oregon neighborhoods is time consuming and tedious. A temporary CSD is rhe way to go. Consensus against this mess of new portals has already been established at VP, AN and in the test MfDs. Legacypac (talk) 17:20, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support due to the massive amount of time it would take to put the ~4500 portals through MfD. MfD has been swamped with portal deletion requests from some time ago, and I can't see all this stuff removed via MfD in the foreseeable future (as someone said earlier, there is still a lot of Outlines left over from one of TTH's previous projects, so who knows how long it would take for MfD to delete all of this). This CSD X3 would streamline the process, and it would probably only take a few days to a week. It would help, as also mentioned earlier, to extend the criterion to the other users involved in the mass creation of these portals. Rlin8 (··📧) 03:31, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
    • MfD has never had an issue to nominations of list of pages. 4500 separate MfD nominations would be absurd, but a list would be OK. If each is new, and has a single author, notifications of the author will be trivial. A CSD proposal shortcuts a discussion of the merits of the new portals, and pre-supposes deletion to be necessary, contrary to deletion policy. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:01, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
TTH demands we place notification on every portal. We can skip notifying him, but building even 20 page MfD's is very time consuming. How do you propose to discuss 4500 or even 100 assorted portals at a time? These took 3 min to make - but far more than 3 min to list, tag, discuss and vote, then delete - when you add up all the time required from various editors and Admins. The test MfDs are sufficent and the very strong opposition to this automated portal project justifies this temporary CSD. Legacypac (talk) 04:16, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
"TTH demands we place notification on every portal"? Legacypac, I have missed that post by him. If he did that, it needs to be repudiated. If these are new pages, and he is the only author, it is sufficient to notify him once. If all 4500 are essentially variations on the same thing, as long as the full set is defined, and browsable, we can discuss them all together at MfD. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:34, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
User:SmokeyJoe during the Portland Oregon neighborhood MFD I specifically said I was not tagging all the related portals but he insisted I tag here [19] I could not get support in the section above to relax the MfD tagging because others wanted this CSD. During the Delete Portals RFC TTH went all out insisting every portal including the community portal be tagged for deletion - then he did it himself. That brought in all kinds of casual infrequent editors who were mostly against deleting the community portal. (Even though that was Pretty much pulled out of consideration for deletion before the tagging project). That massive tagging derailed the deletion RFC. By making cleanup as hard as possible TTH is making a lot of people want to nuke everything. Legacypac (talk) 06:11, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
Legacypac's analysis is erroneous and misleading. The WP:ENDPORTALS RFC was a deletion discussion, and posting a notice on each page up for deletion is required by deletion policy. Note that the Community Portal was only mentioned twice. A portal that was the basis for about 50 oppose votes was the Current Events portal. Neither the Community Portal nor the Current Events portal were exempted in the proposal at any time. If you didn't count those, that left the count at about 150 in support of eliminating portals to about 250 against.    — The Transhumanist   07:25, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
@SmokeyJoe: (edit conflict) See the top of this section for the referred to statement, which is not exactly as he quoted. A notice posted at the top of the portals slated by this proposal would be appropriate. Legacypac has been posting notice for his multi-page nominations using the {{mfd}} template, which auto-generates a link to an mfd page of the same title as the page the template is posted on. Rather than following the template's instructions for multiple pages, he's been creating an MfD page for each, and redirecting them to the combined mfd. Then a bot automatically notifies the creator of each page (me), swamping my user talk page with redundant notifications. Thus, Legacypac believes he'll have to create thousands of mfd redirect pages, and that I somehow want 3500+ notifications on my talk page.    — The Transhumanist   07:10, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
You want us to manually tag pages for deletion that you used an automated script to create? You flooded Wikipedia with useless pages in violation of WP:MEATBOT but you are worried about having to clean up your talkpage notices? Just create an archiving system for your talkpage like we did for User:Neelix's talkpage. If you don't want notices you could start tagging pages that fail your own guidelines with "delete by author request" instead of commenting on how we will do the cleanup. Legacypac (talk) 08:37, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
TTH, if you don't want so many deletion notices on your talk page, then remember in future not to create thousands of spam pages. Please help with the cleanup, rather than complaining about it.
@Legacypac: good work MFDing the spam, but it does seem that you are using a somewhat inefficient approach to tagging. Have you tried asking at WP:BOTREQ for help? In the right hands, tools such as AWB make fast work of XfD tagging. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:21, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support whatever course of action that will result in every portal created in this manner being deleted with the minimal of time and effort required. TTH has set up his automated tool, created a massive mess, and left it unattended for others to sort out. It should take less time to clean up this mess than it did to make it, not more. Nuke the lot and if there is anything of value lost then TTH can manually request pages to be restored one at a time at DRV. Fish+Karate 11:19, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per Fish and karate. RGloucester 14:20, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose as written. I could support something that explicitly excluded portals which are in use and/or are being developed, but the current proposal to indiscriminately delete everything, including active portals, unless the admin chooses to notify any editors and the ones notified happen to be online in a narrow time frame is significantly overly broad. Thryduulf (talk) 01:54, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Not that portals are that bad, but I don't think we need portals on smaller subjects. (Portal:Spaghetti when we already have Portal:Pasta? Portal:Nick Jr., anyone?) Some might be worth keeping, but a lot are unneeded and unmaintainable. At least it's not a Neelix case. SemiHypercube 16:57, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
    • @SemiHypercube: "Some might be worth keeping" is actually an argument against this proposal. Thryduulf (talk) 12:08, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
      • @Thryduulf: Kind of, but that might be a reason not to just mass delete all at once. In the Neelix case there were some redirects that were actually useful, so a separate CSD criterion was used to keep some redirects at the admins' discretion, so this might be a similar case (before you say that contradicts my "it's not a Neelix case" statement, I meant that in terms of what the redirects were about) SemiHypercube 12:23, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
      • It violates points 1 and 2 of the requirements for CSD criteria: objectivity and unconestability. Unless all the portals covered should be speedily deleted then none of them should be. If you only want to delete some of them then you should be opposing this criterion (just like you should have opposed the subjective Neelix criterion). Thryduulf (talk) 12:34, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Only realistic way to deal with these. Johnbod (talk) 01:57, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Request the posting of a notice at the top of each of the pages being nominated here for mass deletion, as required by the Deletion Policy. This proposal is currently a gross violation of the deletion policy because it is a discussion to delete 3500+ pages, that have been created over the span of a year, that are presently being viewed hundreds of thousands of times per month (projected to millions of times over the coming year) by readers of Wikipedia. The proposal for mass deletion has been made without the required notice being posted at the top of the pages to be deleted. This is being decided by a handful of editors unbeknownst to the wider community, namely, the readership of the portals to be deleted. It may be that those reading such notices would decide that the portals should be deleted, but the point here is that you are denying them the opportunity to participate in the deletion discussion as required by the deletion policy.    — The Transhumanist   21:12, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Request you stop wasting people's fucking time. Only in death does duty end (talk) 21:41, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • He switched back to Outlines Special:Contributions/The_Transhumanist which are another unpopular plague for Wikipedia. The assertion that hundreds of thousands of readers a month are looking at his 3500 portals is fanciful at best and not supported by readership stats. Legacypac (talk) 21:58, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Support opposing anything TTH says from now on. Per OiD. ——SerialNumber54129 13:30, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Strong oppose taking ad hominem arguments into consideration. Thryduulf (talk) 13:49, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Oppose WP:BLUDGEONING. ——SerialNumber54129 15:48, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • @Legacypac, technically he's probably telling the truth. Even obvious drivel like Portal:Coconuts averages around five views per day, thanks to webcrawlers and people who have the articles watchlisted and are wondering "what's this mystery link that's just been spammed onto the article I wrote?"; multiply that by 3500 and you have 500,000 pageviews per month right there. ‑ Iridescent 22:52, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment Neelix created about 50,000 redirects, which were reviewed by the community. The number of portals is an order of magnitude smaller. If X3 is to be introduced, it should involve a similar review process. We should certainly delete portals which have too narrow a scope or are of poor quality and cannot be improved. However, systematic deletion of all portals which qualify for consideration, purely on an ad hominem argument, would be as wrong as semi-automatic creation. Certes (talk) 10:51, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Absolutely not. Look at the rate these were created [20] sometimes several dozen an hour, and sometimes an average of 12 seconds each. If so little thought went into creation, why make deletion so difficult? The Neelix cleanup took far too long (I was a big part of it) and we deleted the vast majority of those redirects anyway the extra hard way. As far as I could see the editors who insisted we review everything did none of the reviewing. Also, these were created in violation of WP:MEATBOT which is a blockable or at least sanctionable offense Legacypac (talk) 11:04, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Two wrongs do not make a right - it is much more important that we get the cleanup right than it happens quickly. Whether or not TTH is blocked or otherwise sanctioned is completely irrelevant. While many (maybe even most) of the created portals should be deleted not all of them should be, and this needs human review: see requirement 2 for new CSD criteria at the top of WT:CSD. Thryduulf (talk) 12:07, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
@Thryduulf, Certes, SmokeyJoe, and Legacypac: Concerning the rate, Legacypac's observation is not accurate. What the edits he is citing do not show, is the method by which the pages were created: they were created in batches, in tabs. Before saving, all the pages/tabs were inspected. For the pages that did not pass muster, such as those that displayed errors (this did not catch all errors, because lua errors can be intermittent or turn up later due to an edit in source material being transcluded), the tabs for those were closed. In a batch of 50, 20 or 30 might survive the cull (though batch sizes varied). Some tabs got additional edits in addition to inspection, to fix errors or remove the sections the errors were in, or further development. After all the tabs in a batch were inspected and the bad ones culled, the remaining ones were saved. That's why the edits' time stamps are so close together. If you look more closely, you'll see the time gap is between the batches rather than the individual page saves. Therefore, WP:MEATBOT was not violated.    — The Transhumanist   18:55, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
He claims [21] he created 500 portals in 500 to 1000 minutes. and is using a script Wikipedia:Miscellany_for_deletion#User:The_Transhumanist/QuickPortal.js If this is not MEATBOT we should refind MEATBOT as meaningless. Legacypac (talk) 19:07, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
A minute or two per portal of the new design sounds about right. Note that the script doesn't save pages. It puts them into preview mode, so that the editor can review them and work on them further before clicking on save.    — The Transhumanist   19:39, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
@Legacypac and The Transhumanist: As I said above, the method of creation is irrelevant to this proposal, as is what (if any) sanction is appropriate. Likewise discussions of WP:MEATBOT don't affect this at all. What matters is only that these pages exist but some of them should not, this proposal needs to be rejected or modified such that it deletes only those that need deleting without also deleting those that do not. Thryduulf (talk) 20:42, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Procedural note I have advertised this discussion at WP:VPP and would encourage others to add links where they think interested editors might see. I think this should remain open for 30 days, as it is quite a significant policy change. GoldenRing (talk) 09:24, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support now that the MfDs (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here) are closing with strong consensus around delete, it is clear this is the fastest path to improving the encyclopedia (which is what we are here for, remember?) Any argument that 3,500 more portals have to go through MfD is strictly throwing sand in the gears. It is going to be enough manual labor pulling the links to the deleted portals from all the templates and pages they have been added to. UnitedStatesian (talk) 15:15, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
    • That shows that a speedy deletion criterion is possibly warranted for some, but several comments on those discussions - including your own at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Spaghetti - indicate that this proposed criterion is too broad. Thryduulf (talk) 15:33, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
      • You misunderstand my comment at that MfD: I strongly support that portal's deletion and all the others that would be covered by this proposed criterion. UnitedStatesian (talk) 15:37, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
        • You supported the deletion of Portal:Spaghetti because the topic was covered by Portal:Pasta, even though Portal:Pasta would be deleted under this criterion? That's rather disingenuous at best and very significantly and unnecessary disruptive at worst. Portal:Pasta is an example of a portal that should not be deleted without discussion. Thryduulf (talk) 16:00, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
          • Again, you misunderstand my reasoning: I was specifically pointing out to another editor that the existence of Portal:Pasta could NOT be a reason to delete Portal:Spaghetti, since in my opinion Portal:Pasta would likely also be deleted. Instead, I think the current Wikipedia:Portal/Guidelines provide ample OTHER reasons for deleting both portals (and many, many others, of course). Hope that clarifies. UnitedStatesian (talk) 17:55, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose and keep all. WP:P2 covers unnecessary portals, and there is no rationale presented other than WP:IDLI to delete a large proportion of all of them, which were all kept after a RfC in 2018. The next time content policies are created at AN by the cabal of admins, I am retiring from Wikipedia. wumbolo ^^^ 16:40, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
    @Wumbolo: Well, if it came to that, take it to WP:RFARB first. Given the past history of WP:FAITACCOMPLI and WP:LOCALCONSENSUS extremism (i.e., WP:FALSECONSENSUS) cases, I have little doubt that ArbCom would agree to take a case about a gaggle of anti-portal people WP:GAMING the consensus-formation process by inventing sweeping policy changes out of their butts in a venue few content editors pay attention to and which is clearly out-of-scope for such a decision, even if it somehow had sufficiently broad input (e.g., via WP:CENT). I'm skeptical any alleged consensus is going to come out of this discussion, anyway.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:33, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support This is a repeat of the Neelix situation. ―Susmuffin Talk 00:01, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
    • @Susmuffin: The situation has similarities, but the proposed criterion is not comparable. Criterion X1 applied only to redirects created by Neelix that the reviewing administrator reasonably believed would be snow deleted if discussed at RfD (i.e. they had to evaluate each redirect), this criterion would apply to every portal created by TTH in the timeframe without any other conditions and without the need for anyone to even look at anything other than the date of creation. Thryduulf (talk) 00:13, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
      • Honestly, there are far too many portals to be deleted through the usual channels. However, an quick evaluation would be reasonable, provided we keep the portal system itself. ―Susmuffin Talk 00:24, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
Unlike Neelix who created some reasonable redirects along the way, these autogenerated portals are of uniformly low quality. The community has looked at representive samples across a variety of subject areas at MFD and the community has already deleted 143 of the 143 portals nominated at closed MfDs. The yet to be closed MfDs are headed to increasing that number. No one has suggested any alternative deletion criteria for X3. Legacypac (talk) 00:45, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
That nobody has suggested an alternative is irrelevant - it's not up to those who oppose this proposal to fix it, and those who support it are by-and-large ignoring the objections. The MfDs have been selected as a representative sample of those that, after review, are not worth keeping and have been reviewed by MfD participants. This does not demonstrate that deletion without review is appropriate - indeed quite the opposite. Remember there is no deadline, it is significantly more important that we get it right than we do things quickly. Thryduulf (talk) 09:59, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as unwarranted and dangerous (and circular reasoning). First, we do not modify CSD without a strong community (not admins' star chamber) consensus that an entire class of material is not just categorically unwanted but so unwanted that it should be deleted on sight without any further consideration. It's our most dangerous policy, and a change like this to it should be an RfC matter at WP:VPPOL. In theory, it could be at WT:CSD, except there is not yet any establishment of a consensus against these portals, and VPPOL is where that would get hashed out, since it's a project-wide question of content presentation and navigation (and maintenance, and whether tools can permissibly substitute for some manual maintenance, and ...). The cart is ahead of the horse here; we can't have a speedy deletion criterion without already having a deletion criterion to begin with. I strongly agree with SmokeyJoe: "Oppose any and all notions of creating new CSD criteria at any drama board. Discussions here are too rushed, too emotive, too reactionary."  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:05, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • OpposeWP:P2 covers problematic portals just fine. A concerning issue here is that some users herein appear to simply not like portals in general, and so there are several arguments above for mass deletion as per this "I don't like it" rationale. Mass deletion should be a last step, not a first step, and portals should be considered on a case-by-case basis. North America1000 22:22, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
You created some with the same tools. One or two of your creations are now at MfD which is why you are now engaging against this solution. We will consider each of your creations at MfD. Legacypac (talk) 02:34, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
My !vote here is based upon my view of the matter at hand, and as such, it stands. Period. Regarding my portal creations, so what? You come across as having a penchant for scolding content creators on Wikipedia if you don't like the medium that is used. Please consider refraining from doing so, as it is unnecessary, and patronizing. North America1000 01:12, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • @Northamerica1000: I agree - for example, I actually welcome the creation of Portal:Economics because I think econ should be established as distinct from business as in Portal:Business and economics. Qzekrom 💬 theythem 02:20, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - this CSD seems have to no more objective criteria than "shoot unless someone defends it". For this to be justified, they'd have to explain how no-one reacting within 24 hours was sufficient reasoning. As far as the initial proposal included, it didn't contain any acceptable objective criteria for something warranting deletion on quality grounds. Far worse, it didn't contain suitable justification (whether popularity/quality) for these portals to impose such a major hindrance to Wikipedia as to warrant a process with as few eyes (per consideration) as CSD. The nominator might have had more luck with a PortalPROD mechanism. Nosebagbear (talk) 23:09, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
This CSD exactly meets each criteria for CSD's at the WP:CSD page. It is clear. It is easy to decide if the page meets the CSD. We ran 145 of these portals through MfD already and none survived. Numerous editors suggested this CSD in the Village Pump discussion. These mass created portals universally have the same flaws. Therefore this oppose rational is flawed. Legacypac (talk) 02:34, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: will allow to quickly manage the auto-created portals of zero utility. --K.e.coffman (talk) 02:23, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support enthusiastically. Taking all these portals through MFD would be a massive drain on community resources. TTH created these portals at sustained speeds of up to 40 per hour, so even the time taken to apply a CSD tag and assess it 24 hours later will require more editorial time than TTH took to create them. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 07:23, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - There are good quality portals that will be excluded, few maybe, but deserve to remain. For example Portal: Cities, Portal: Architecture.Guilherme Burn (talk) 11:40, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
    • @Guilherme Burn, maybe those are worth keeping. Or maybe not. But even if they are good, they are not worth the price of the community committing huge amounts of time to individually debating every one of the thousands of useless portals which members of the portal project have spewed out over the last year (often as drive by creations, and which project members have then piled into MFDs to keep.
If the Portals Project had exercised discretion so far, then we would be in a very different place. But it's utterly outraegous to ask the community to devote more time to assessing this spam than the Portal Project put into creating them. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:10, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Could these portals be marked to be spared?Guilherme Burn (talk) 13:03, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
@Guilherme Burn: not according to the proposal as written. The only chance of saving is if an admin chooses to notify and wait 24 hours and somebody objects within those 24 hours and someone spots that CSD has been declined previously if it gets renominated. Thryduulf (talk) 14:01, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
@Guilherme Burn: Portal:Cities is totally moribund and unread, and has never had a single participant. Portal:Architecture dates from 2005 and wasn't created by TTH or this tag-team, so wouldn't be deleted regardless (although I imagine the enormous wall of pointless links which TTH's bot dumped onto the page a couple of months ago would be reverted). ‑ Iridescent 14:08, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per SmokeyJoe et al. Completely unnecessary to override already existing procedure. Paine Ellsworth, ed.  put'r there  17:12, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
    • @Paine Ellsworth: the administrative work of trawling through several thousand drive-by-created micro-portals is huge. Cleaning up this flood of portalspam through MFD requires a huge amount of editorial time, vastly more than was involved in creating the spam.
If you think that existing procedure is fine, why aren't you devoting large hunks of your time to doing the cleanup by the laborious procedure you defend? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 02:33, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Because...? I don't know, I guess I think this whole thing is rather more of a knee-jerk reaction than a brainy, measured response. Sure I've done my share of big, teejus jobs for the project and plan to continue (on my terms). I have a lot of respect for editors like yourself and TTH who've been lifting this project out of the primal soup of its beginnings even longer than I have (I went over ten in January, or was it Feb? whatever) and I'm tired of seeing good, solid editors get reamed for their work and retire, just leave or get banned. Don't think it can't happen to you, because as good as you are, neither you nor the rest of us are immune to the gang-up-on-em mentality that turns justice into vengeance 'round here. Think you should also know if you don't already that I'm about 95 farts Wikignome and 5 parts other, and it takes a lot less for us to think we're being badgered and handled. I voted correctly for me and my perceptions, and I don't expect either of us will change this unwise world one iota if you vote you and yours! WTF ever happened to forgiveness? REspectfully, Paine Ellsworth, ed.  put'r there  13:28, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • @Paine Ellsworth: Thank you for adding the words that I dared not write in case I was next against the wall. Certes (talk) 16:31, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
But it seems to me that the unintended effect of what you are both saying is something like "I am not making any effort to assist the cleanup of this mass portalspam, but I will take the effort to oppose measures which reduce the huge burden on those who are actually doing that necessary cleanup work".
As I say, I do not believe that is what either of you intend. But all I see from either of you is opposition to any restraint on the portalspammer, and opposition to anything which would assist the cleanup. I respect the fine principles from which you two start, but I urge you to consider the effects on the community both of not easing the cleanup burden and of continuing to describe the likes of TTH in positive terms. Look for example at my post in a thread above about the #Lack_of_good_faith_from_User:The_Transhumanist, and at Iridiscent's observation above that of TTH's previous history of spamming useless pages.
As to lifting this project out of the primal soup of its beginnings ... that's an extraordinary way to describe TTH's spamming of hundreds, if not thousands, of useless, unfinished micro-portals. Face-sad.svg --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 22:53, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
I am not making any effort to assist with mass deletions, beyond !voting to delete the clearer cases. We already have enough enthusiasts working in that department. Until recently, I had been adjusting individual portals and enhancing the modules behind them to improve quality, but I slowed down when it became obvious that my contributions in that area will be deleted. Certes (talk) 00:19, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
So that's as I feared, @Certes: members of that WikiProject are leaving it to others to clean up the mess created by the WikiProject and its members.
That only reinforces my impression of a collectively irresponsible project, which doesn't restrain or even actively discourage portalspam, doesn't try to identify it, and doesn't assist in its cleanup.
That's a marked contrast with well-run projects. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 02:06, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
To BHG: not a surprising perspective, possibly a hasty generalization, however that's not your worst move. Your worst move is to consider "mass deletions" of what you deem "portalspam" as better than the "mass creations" of portals. Who's really to say? As an editor mentions below, "...these portals are doing no harm so great that they can be deleted without due process." So maybe you're wrong about those mass deletions that portray some portals as WMDs instead of the harmless windows into Wikipedia that they were meant to be? No matter, at present you are part of the strong throng. If you're right, you're right. But what if you and the strong throng are wrong? May things continue to go well with you! Paine Ellsworth, ed.  put'r there  07:01, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support and also apply it to those created by Northamerica1000, who has made such useless portals as Portal:Strawberries and Portal:Waffles. Reywas92Talk 08:26, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
    • @Reywas92: Northamerica1000 has created only 70 pages in the portal namespace (excluding redirects) in the relevant timeperiod. In no conceivable scenario does that justify a speedy deletion criterion. Thryduulf (talk) 11:58, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per F&K (whatever course of action that will result in every portal created in this manner being deleted with the minimal of time and effort required) and SN (nuke from orbit). I'll be honest I don't know enough to know whether it should be a X3 or a P2 or a single MfD list with 4,500 entries... but it should not need to involve manually tagging pages that were created by a bot or otherwise spending any real time figuring out which should be kept and which should not be kept. Delete them all. If editors feel like this portal or that portal should be kept, let them make the case for undeletion afterwards which can be examined on a case-by-case basis. (If that process is followed, it goes without saying that the portal creator should be banned from making any such undeletion requests.) Levivich 17:25, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
    How are we supposed to work out what is worth undeleting, short of downloading all portals in advance lest they be deleted? Certes (talk)
    If an editor is not aware of a portal existing, then that editor shouldn't be asking for it to be kept. If there are particular portals that editors know they want saved, then they should have an opportunity to request that it be saved. But there should be no one-by-one examination of thousands and thousands of portals created by one user using semi-automatic methods. Levivich 19:39, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
    Kill them all and let God sort them out is very much not the way Wikipedia works and is very much not the way it should work. Why should the review be restricted to administrators (as your proposal would require)? Why is it preferable to significantly harm the encyclopaedia by deleting good portals than to do the job properly and delete only those that actually need deleting (which are doing significantly less harm by existing than deleting good ones would cause)? Thryduulf (talk) 18:06, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
    So let me create several thousand pages semi-automatically, and then I'll put it to you to go through them one by one and tell me which should be deleted and why? I don't think that's how it should work. It should work in reverse. The default should be delete them all, with some process for allowing people to request that particular portals not be deleted. BTW, when I say "all portals" I mean all portals covered by this proposal, not all portals that exist on Wikipedia. Levivich 19:39, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
    If an editor created several thousand pages semi-automatically, the correct sequence of events is to analyse a representative sample to determine whether consensus is that they are (a) all good, (b) mostly good, (c) all bad, (d) mostly bad, or (e) a mixture. If (a) then no action is necessary, if (b) then individual deletion nominations are the correct response. If (c) then a CSD criterion to remove all of them is appropriate, if (d) or (e) then a CSD affectingly only the bad ones should be explored. In this the situation is somewhere between (d) and (e) depending on your point of view, but this proposal is treating them as (c). As I've said several times, I'm not opposed to a criterion proposed (in the right place) that caught only the bad ones and allowed for objections - that is not this proposal. This situation is frequently compared to Neelix, but the proposal is very different - this one: All pages created between Time A and Time B, unless anyone objects to the optional tagging within 24 hours. Neelix: All pages created between Time A and Time B that would be snow deleted if nominated at RfD, retargetting would not lead to a useful redirect and no other editor has materially edited the redirect. Do you now understand the fundamental difference? Also remember that pages can be tagged by bot. Thryduulf (talk) 20:56, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
    Yes. We also need to clarify one important detail of the proposal: would an editor be required to look at the portal before applying CSD, or is there an assumption that everything created by this editor in that time period is automatically rubbish and does not deserve assessment? Certes (talk) 22:29, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
    If a human being didn't spend a lot of time making a page, then human beings should not spend much time deciding whether to keep it. I put it to you again: suppose tomorrow I create 5,000 new pages and ask you to go through them and decide which to keep and which to delete. That would be insane; this is a website of volunteers; my doing such a thing would be disruptive. It would make work for others. Nobody reading this thinks it would be a good idea for me to do such a thing. Yet this is what is essentially being asked of us. Insofar as I have a !vote, I !vote no. Delete them all. They are all bad. Any that are good can be recreated as easily as they were created in the first place. Letting people flag keepers in one way or another is a perfectly reasonable way to prevent the baby from being thrown out with the bathwater. But yes, my starting point is that all of them should be deleted because none of them should have been made in the first place, and they do not have content value. Some portals are the product of careful creation and extensive work, but not 5,000 or however-many automatically created by one editor. The quantum portal idea is a much better idea, anyway. Levivich 02:38, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    I've alreadyanswered this immediately above, but as you apparently don't like the answer I'll respond again. If you create 5000 new pages in good faith (which TTH did), then the correct response is for others to go through and look at a representative sample, then gain a consensus about whether they are all bad, mostly bad, a mixture, mostly good or all good. This has been done with TTH's portals and while you may think they are all bad that is not the consensus view, especially as others have taken over some and either have improved them or are working on improving them. This means that it is important that only the bad ones are deleted meaning any proposal (such as this one) to delete all of them is overbroad and needs to be opposed. Thryduulf (talk) 10:03, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    This statement by Thryduulf is incorrect on many levels. Who has taken over and improved any of his creations? Where is the concensus view that they are not all bad when so far zero of his creations have been kept at MfDs. Where is the proof any of this was in good faith when he admits several sections down that no one (including him) has followed WP:POG Legacypac (talk) 10:38, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    Are you even reading the comments made by those who disagree with you because I'm not seeing evidence of it, especially when it comes to the MfDs (to reiterate, a reviewed selection of the worst pages being deleted by consensus but not unanimously in all cases does not provide evidence of the need for deletion of all of them without possibility of review). Thryduulf (talk) 16:36, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    Thryduulf, so I spend less than 1 minute per page creating 5,000 pages; you and others spend–what, an hour, cumulatively, at least?–per page to analyze it, discuss it, vote it, close it, and delete it. I spend 5,000 minutes; the community spends 5,000 hours. With all due respect I am flabbergasted to hear such a high-ranked Wikipedian express the view that this is OK or preferred. Even with your representative sample approach, say it's 100 portals that are looked at, that's still 100 hours of labor forced upon volunteers. In my opinion, no one should be allowed to make 5,000 pages without going through something like a BAG process to seek community approval. There was once a time, years ago, when it made sense to, for example, automatically create a stub for every known city and town in the world. I believe that time has long since passed; there are not 5,000 pages that can be created automatically that we need to have that we do not already have (IMO). And as for consensus, if they're not being kept at MfD, the consensus is clear. Those portals that people maintain manually are the same ones that can be flagged as exceptions to a mass-deletion. So I feel like we're on the same page about consensus, but I'm saying the consensus to keep a particular portal can be effectuated by allowing people to flag them as exceptions to mass deletion, whereas you seem to be suggesting: let's get together and spend an hour per portal to decide if it should be kept, even though nobody spent anywhere near that time creating it in the first place. If that's where we are, we'll have to agree to disagree, because I fundamentally don't believe these portals are worth a one-by-one analysis, and I believe the representative sample approach you advocate has been done and has led to the conclusion that these are worth mass deleting with exceptions. I guess that's for a closer to make the ultimate decision about, but for my part, from uninvolved editors, I'm seeing a lot more support than oppose for mass deletion. Levivich 14:42, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    @Levivich: If you're just going to ignore all the explanations I give in response to you (twice) and all the explanations elsewhere from me and others about why a reviewed selection of the worst being deleted (and not unanimously in all cases) is not evidence of the need for all of them to be deleted without possibility of review by others then it is clear we will never agree. Fortunately, per WP:VOLUNTEER, nobody is being forced to do anything they don't want to do - including you - and it's really disappointing that someone as experienced as you feels the need to prevent that work being done by others just because you don't want to. Perhaps between now and the time this is closed those in support of this overbroad proposal will actually choose to address the points in opposition but unless they do the only possible outcomes are no consensus or consensus against. Thryduulf (talk) 16:36, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    Thryduulf, I heard you say: pick a representative sample and decide if they're all bad, some bad, etc. As I understand it, a representative sample has been sent to MfD with consensus to delete almost all of them, if not all of them (I'm not sure if lists I've seen are complete). Then you say that just because the sample is all-delete doesn't mean the whole category is all-delete. I infer you think the sample is not well-chosen? By TTH's admission there are like 4,500–5,000 portals, and a tiny tiny percentage of those are being manually maintained–like less than 5%. Are we on the same page about the facts so far? If so, where do you see consensus other than "delete 95% of these things"? Why can't we tag the 100 that are manually maintained and delete the remaining 4,500? I am reading what you're writing, but I am not understanding it. Levivich 16:44, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: these portals are easy to create semi-automatedly and contain no information not found in articles so we're not losing any information from Wikipedia, which sets this apart from most other CSD criteria. An alternative proposal I would support is to expand the remit of P2 to apply to any portals with fewer than one-hundred pages under their scope (or alternatively, fewer than one-hundred notable topics if there is evidence that the portal creators and users are planning to create such topics as articles). If a topic doesn't have 100 pages on it at the bare minimum, there's absolutely no reason to focus a portal around it. Even for portals covering tens of thousands of articles, reader interest is very, very low and the current semi-automated busywork is not serving the readers. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 19:05, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
    • @Biorv: a proposal for expansion of speedy deletion criterion P2 is being discussed currently at [[Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion}} (which is where proposals related to speedy deletion criteria should be held, not AN), so I will refrain from explaining here why I oppose your suggestion to avoid splitting the discussion. Thryduulf (talk)
  • Support with exceptions. I support the speedy deletion of all portals auto-created in recent months as it seems excessive and unnecessary. However, those few portals which are manually maintained in good faith should be kept. Down the line we need to take another look at a notability threshold to keep a lid on portalmania. Bermicourt (talk) 22:37, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
    • If you believe there should be exceptions for portals maintained in good faith (and I agree there should be), then you should be opposing this proposal in favour of an alternative one that allows for that. Thryduulf (talk) 22:59, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
    X3 only covers the mass created automated portals started by TTH so already excludes the type of portal User:Bermicourt wants to exclude. Thryduulf is muddying the facts. Legacypac (talk) 23:08, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose because a) on procedural grounds this shouldn't be discussed at the AN "closed shop" and b) because these portals are doing no harm so great that they can be deleted without due process. It is not TTH's fault that the guidelines for portal creation are permissive. Triptothecottage (talk) 02:56, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment: I have already voted here but I just wanted to provide an example of how much thought was going into the creation of these portals. Portal:Aquatic ecosystem was created by TTH on Aug 15 2018 and in classified as "Complete" despite having 4 selected images. An identical portal was created at Portal:Aquatic ecosystems by TTH on Nov 24 and is classified as "Substantial" (the portalspace equivalent of B-class). One wonders, which portal is of better quality, how was this determined, and how was this oversight not caught? — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 13:33, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Criteria are supposed to be uncontestable - almost all pages could be deleted under this criterion, according to consensus. Looking at the most recent 50 portals created by TTH, I see a lot of frivolous ones, but I also see Portal:Pumpkins, Portal:Woodpeckers, Portal:International trade, and Portal:World economy, all of which represent subjects with well-populated categories. And I could add at least as many that are debatable. If TTH, now under a topic ban, were to create more portals, they could be speedy deleted under WP:G4. But the pages considered here were created before the ban, so they should stand or fall on their own merits. RockMagnetist(talk) 06:05, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
    • @RockMagnetist: I think you mean WP:CSD#G5 (Creations by banned or blocked users) rather than WP:CSD#G4 (Recreation of a page that was deleted per a deletion discussion). Thryduulf (talk) 14:49, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
      • WP:CSD#G5 cannot be used here. The locus of G5 revolves around obliterating the edits of LTA's and sockpupeters and for ban-evasion in a generalized scope. << FR (mobileUndo) 15:12, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
        • G5 can be used to delete pages created in violation of a topic ban, if deletion is the best course of action. I would never use G5 on a page that was a borderline violation, but that's not relevant here (I can't think of any page creation that would be anything other than clear-cut one way or the other). It's all theoretical though as TTH hasn't created any pages in violation of his ban and I think it unlikely they will. Thryduulf (talk) 15:37, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
        • @FR30799386 and Thryduulf: My point in mentioning G4 (oops - G5!) was that it is a more appropriate standard for deleting pages based on who created them. The current proposal is too broad. RockMagnetist(talk) 16:09, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose I have gone over many of the portals. It seems that there are a mix of topics which are mainstream and some which should not have been created. This isn't a white or a black issue, the wheat must be carefully separated from the chaff. << FR (mobileUndo) 12:04, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • FR, is there some issue with deleting them without prejudice to re-creating existing ones? These were basically made by a bot in what amounts to a single spasm, so deleting them all could be seen as a BRD reversion. The next step would be to let uninvolved editors recreate any worth keeping. Yes, that might take a while. There is no deadline and if some potentially useful portals have gone uncreated up til now, it's fine if they stay absent a little longer. 173.228.123.166 (talk) 04:07, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - the proposal assumes that none of the portals should have been created, and that is an incorrect assumption. Certainly the are some that perhaps should not exist, but equally there are some that definitely should, and some that need a bit of discussion to determine consensus. Speedy deletion is not the way to resolve this. WaggersTALK 16:45, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
    • No, the proposal assumes (correctly) that 95% should never have been created, and that the tiny amount of time spent on those few that might be worth keeping doesn't justify the hours needed to discuss them all at MfD. The ones that get speedy deleted and would be an acceptable portal anyway can easily be recreated if someone really wants them. No effort has gone into creating these portals (usually not even the effort of checking if the result was errorfree, never mind informative or not a duplicate of existing portals), so demanding a week-long discussion for all of them because sometimes the mindless effort created an acceptable result is putting the cart before the horse. Fram (talk) 08:28, 19 March 2019 (UTC)


Large scale WP:COPYWITHIN[edit]

I noticed a student is presently editing the article Ghost hunting as part of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment. The student appears to have simply copy/pasted the text from a number of existing articles into Ghost hunting. See Before and After. Bear in mind I don't get the impression the student intends a WP:MERGE of any kind, they seem to be just aggregating other articles they feel are related to the topic. Besides the obvious WP:ATTREQ problem, I don't think this improves the article. But not having run across this situation before, I would appreciate some assistance in identifying the relevant policy/guidelines. - LuckyLouie (talk) 00:41, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

The course syllabus Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/Texas AM/Technical Editing (Spring 2019). Based on the syllabus, they are not trying to expand new content but improve what exists through "organization, appropriateness, and Wikipedia style". Maybe the student interpreted that to mean copywithin ie. reorganizing content from one article into another. That sort of thing can be done, but if you don't feel it's an improvement discuss/revert through normal process. The syllabus says the students will learn how to work with the community so it is part of the teaching process to engage with them. There are also links to the teacher contacts if there is confusion what "organization" means in terms of copying content between articles. Personally I don't think large-scale copywithin is a good idea as it can create content forks that become hard to untangle and read. Just link to the original. -- GreenC 01:23, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, I see the instructor has also given guidance to students about article practices in the past. One more question, tho. I have always operated under the assumption that when one wrote, say, three paras of text about a topic that is the focus of an existing main article, and then linked to that existing main article, you tried to avoid having the reader arrive at the main article and find the same text they just read repeated over again. I don't know if there is anything in WP:MOS that would formalize or clarify this. - LuckyLouie (talk) 12:55, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
WP:SUMMARY might be the place. -- GreenC 15:16, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

Inline tag preferred when OTRS confirmation is the only reference?[edit]

I recently answered an edit request regarding a subject who's marriage was cited properly in their Wikipedia article by the NYT. The couple had separated since then and the subject asked for that to be reflected in the article. (OTRS ident confirmed). I removed the claim entirely, but immediately came to feel that this was wrong and that the obvious solution would have been to input the claim of separation into the article but with a {{cn}} tag. That course of action had initially felt like the wrong thing to do, since a cn tag can have the effect of calling things "into question" when the facts here were not in dispute - it's just that they weren't ref'd by the NYT. But erasing the entire claim felt like I was erasing their relationship, which really feels wrong. Before I go changing things back and forth again I need to know if consensus for dealing with OTRS-only claims is to just {{cn}} tag it. Facepalm Thanks in advance for feedback.  Spintendo  01:27, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

I have always felt that if we know for a fact a statement in Wikipedia is false, but nominally reliable sources uniformly say it's true, we need to just leave it out entirely. Including situations like this one, where the statement is literally true but implies something false. "Bob married Bobette in 2009" is of course still true even if they divorced years later, but mentioning the marriage without the divorce implies they are still married. Anyway, my vote is always to just include nothing. Someguy1221 (talk) 02:22, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
That works for me! Face-wink.svg Thanks  Spintendo  08:16, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Did you look to see if the divorce has been publicized? It is most correct to include both details. (See also WP:NOTPUBLICFIGURE.) --Izno (talk) 15:44, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

GA Review done within project?[edit]

Hello! I occasionally hear an editor suggest that a GA review must be done by someone outside the project for which it was composed. I can find no such guideline in any official document (and not all articles are composed within the auspices of a project anyway).

Can someone shed definitive light on this?

For the record, given our backlogs, I'd take a review from anyone! :)

Neopeius (talk) 02:36, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

I think there is no such guideline, and there is no "must" about it. I think sometimes we want the kind of expertise you will most likely find in the relevant wikiproject, when the article is on a subject of highly technical interest and proper coverage of the subject matter requires a high level of technicality. Usually, though, we care about accessibility to non-experts, so it may be better to wait for people to turn up and review articles. Were you thinking of advertising the GA review request to the Wikiproject members? — Charles Stewart (talk) 12:38, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
That's generally what I do, yes. :) --Neopeius (talk) 03:36, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Anarchism referencing guidelines[edit]

I just discovered this "guideline" today. It seem to be a duplicate of already existing guidelines and policies. There also seems to be no evidence that this guideline ever had consensus for implementation, and even if it did it is a decade old and quite outdated. Bringing this up here to see what others think about this page because I don't know where else to bring this up. funplussmart (talk) 21:51, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

I'm honestly having trouble making sense of the page move history of that page. Someguy1221 (talk) 22:13, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
Oh, I forgot you can move pages into a redirect with one edit. So this has been a guideline in the main project space since 2008? Someguy1221 (talk) 22:36, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

Input was solicted from the wider community only once, here: Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_17#No_dispute_to_report,_just_peer_review_solicited. Then after some discussion, it was made a guideline. that was reported to the community by a bot, here: Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)/Archive_67#Wikipedia:Anarchism_referencing_guidelines_has_been_marked_as_a_guideline. It's in the list of guidelines, but otherwise it's not referenced outside of Anarchism and related project pages. I'm not surprised that I had no idea this guideline even existed. The entire talk page archive prior to becoming an "official" guideline contains comments from only nine different editors. I can't honestly say I know off the top of my head how much discussion and support guideline proposals usually get, but this certainly seems pretty damn low, and it doesn't seem to me to come close to the required amount of notice. Someguy1221 (talk) 02:18, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

I would support removing the guideline tag and marking it as historical. There appears to have never been consensus to have this due to the serious lack of input, far too little for a real guideline. funplussmart (talk) 21:12, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
A guideline is only valid insofar as it it used. This may have seemed like a good idea once (although I can't understand why) but it is much too specific to be of any use. We have policies and guidelines about what constitute reliable sources in general, without having to have such separate guidelines about separate topics. Phil Bridger (talk) 21:27, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
I do recall this page being used in a number of varied discussions, and it is linked prominently on Wikipedia:WikiProject Anarchism/Resources, so I wouldn't consider it historical. -- Netoholic @ 01:53, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
As far as I can see, the page just re-states standard policies, apart from the one point of identifying the journals Anarchist Studies and Journal of Libertarian Studies as WP:RS. -- The Anome (talk) 10:06, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Hmm, there was a longer list of resources that seems to have been recently removed. I'm not sure if that edit is a good one, since links to those resources were kind of the main content of the page and what made it different from the more general guidelines. -- Netoholic @ 12:55, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

WikiProject members/participants/volunteers/minions[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Thanks for your ideas. WBGconverse 11:57, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

Many years ago, there was some disagreement over what WikiProject members/participants/volunteers/minions should be called. The two leading contenders were the terms members and participants. It was decided that each WikiProject could call their members/participants/volunteers/minions whatever they preferred. Unfortunately, over the years this has led to proponents of either term using their favorite despite the chosen WikiProject members/participants category name. This has led to a perplexing mix of the two terms within many, if not most, WikiProjects. I propose that all WikiProjects be required strongly encouraged to pick either the term members or the term participants and make all references in their project pages, templates, and categories use that term. If a WikiProject does not like its members/participants category name, the members should request a category renaming at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion#Speedy renaming and merging. Thank you for your consideration,  Buaidh  talk contribs 01:04, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

Is there a problem that this would solve? Natureium (talk) 01:47, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
This can be very confusing, especially to new and prospective members/participants. They don't know if members and participants are the same thing or if there are two classes of participation. The WikiProject pages, templates, and categories must all be linked together, and the confusion of terms greatly complicates this process. Laissez faire has not worked.  Buaidh  talk contribs 02:03, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Can you provide any instances of where this has caused any confusion? It just seems like the normal use of normal English words to me, rather than anything confusing. Phil Bridger (talk) 21:30, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Virtually all of the U.S. state WikiProjects switch back and forth between the terms members and participants. I am in the process of editing project pages and templates to match the WikiProject members/participants category.  Buaidh  talk contribs 02:36, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
That doesn't answer my question. I don't doubt that projects use more than one name for the people who take part in them, but can you give an example of where this has led to confusion? Phil Bridger (talk) 09:18, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
It bedevils me. This is just one more thing that leads to decreased WikiProject participation. I've spent a week trying to straighten these 50 WikiProjects out.  Buaidh  talk contribs 15:13, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
I believe the proper collective noun is a "confederacy", so individual members are "confederates". –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 15:43, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Cabalists. postdlf (talk) 15:51, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I find it difficult to imagine that this makes any meaningful difference whatsoever. Let people use whatever terminology they want. GMGtalk 15:48, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
I propose letting each WikiProject use whatever term they wish. I just ask that they use that term consistently. Inconsistency is slowly eroding Wikipedia. Entropy will eventually triumph.  Buaidh  talk contribs 16:03, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Rest assured, the impending doom of Wikipedia, whenever it comes, will almost certainly not be the result of somewhat inconsistent usage of essentially synonymous terms in project space. GMGtalk 16:30, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • This is arguably the most pointless proposal I've ever seen; we're not going to introduce a new policy to address a non-existent problem, the existence of which you've not provided the slightest evidence for other than "it bedevils me". Wikiprojects are informal and unofficial groupings of people with similar interests, not paramilitary groups or political parties where the exact degree of someone's formal involvement does potentially have significance; it doesn't make the slightest difference to anyone whether someone considers themselves a "member of", a "participant in" or a "person with an interest in" any given project. In any case, WikiProjects are a legacy of the Wikipedia of 2007 and the overwhelming majority are completely defunct and have no active members, so the point is largely irrelevant. ‑ Iridescent 15:59, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Thank you. If we wish to get rid of WikiProjects, do so. Don't just let them turn into mush. No wonder editors are giving up on Wikipedia.  Buaidh  talk contribs 16:04, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
I think instruction creep poses a much bigger problem for editor retention than variation. postdlf (talk) 16:19, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
I don't think of this as an instruction, but rather a no-brainer like spelling things correctly and consistently. "Color" and "colour" are the same thing, but "culler" is not.  Buaidh  talk contribs 16:53, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Buaidh, you obviously understand that these words mean the same thing, so this would need evidence that anybody else has been confused or bedevilled (another of those words spelt differently by some) by this. Your color/colour/culler analogy doesn't hold, because all of the words at issue here are spelt and used correctly. And don't you think that your assertions that this issue leads to decreased WikiProject participation or even editors giving up on Wikipedia are just a little hyperbolic and irrational? Phil Bridger (talk) 17:18, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
I am both hyperbolic and irrational, but this still bothers me. I belong to an older generation that cares about these things.  Buaidh  talk contribs 20:56, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
There are plenty of us here who belong to an older generation. I'm not quite old enough to have served in the Vietnam War (if I was from one of the combatant countries) but am still the right side of 60. Phil Bridger (talk) 21:02, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
I'm glad for you kids. Are you trying to run up your edit count?  Buaidh  talk contribs 22:24, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Proposal to store article data in the template namespace[edit]

An RfC is being held at Wikipedia talk:Template namespace#RfC on templates storing data on the question "Is storing data an acceptable use of template namespace?". Additional participation is requested. -- Netoholic @ 01:44, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Deemphasizing terrorist names[edit]

Can you direct me to any information on how Wikipedia deals with "deemphasizing" certain names and other information (such as names of terrorist organizations or specific terrorists themselves) in order to "not give them air". That is, deemphasizing media coverage which might have the effect of causing more violence or terrorism. I'm thinking specifically about the practice of not including the names of individual terrorists or mass murderers IN THE LEAD of the article about the incident. I'm not finding any info about this specific subject in WP:BLP. --RoyGoldsmith (talk) 08:48, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia in an encyclopedia, and as such our articles reflect what is in reliable sources. If the sources start purposely omitting names our articles will follow the sources. The other way to get what you want is to propose a change to our BLP policy through an RfC and see if you can get consensus. Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) is the right place to post such an RcF and WP:RfC gives you the nuts and bolts on how to create an RfC. --Guy Macon (talk) 09:43, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
@Guy Macon: Thanks, Guy. But I'm not even sure I have a policy; I was only requesting information. It seems to me that, in most articles, some of the sources will deliberately omit names while some of them won't. So we're back to consensus of the current contributors of the specific article. --RoyGoldsmith (talk) 12:35, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
This is pretty much WP:NOTCENSORED. You don't need to plaster Justin Bourque 20348 times in the Moncton shooting article, but you've got to mention him. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 12:41, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • With regard to the case where sources disagree there is the case that when sources don't cover something, we naturally focus our consideration on sources that do. As a general editor pool we wouldn't consider those than don't, when evaluating source consensus, unless they actually state they are de-emphasizing names. Nosebagbear (talk) 14:37, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
As with many things on Wikipedia the answer is that it depends on the particular circumstances of the article in question and its sources, so I don't think you will find any prescriptive policy about this. One thing that must be borne in mind is that we shouldn't describe any living person as a murderer or terrorist, rather than a suspected murderer or terrorist, unless they have been convicted. As regards "not give them air", that idea, which was at the time usually known in the UK as "the oxygen of publicity", failed miserably in this case, and I think would also fail in any other case, at least in countries that have some semblance of freedom of expression. Phil Bridger (talk) 15:12, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
"Not give them air" seems like WP:RGW to me, and closely related to social activism. My understanding is that Wikipedia tries to be dispassionate as to the social/societal effects of its content (notwithstanding one or two niche areas that have crossed that line). ―Mandruss  21:19, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Unreferenced articles[edit]

I thought these were a rarity. There are 180,000+ (as of March, 2019) of them tagged with 'unreferenced'. And some unknown number, possibly more, that are untagged. I also seem to remember that an article cannot be created without 2 WP:RSs. So how did these get to have none? I'm basically appalled. No one is going to do anything about them any time soon. When an editor walks away from his creation like this, he's done. If they are unfit to be created, they are unfit to exist. I propose that they be moved to an article draft space until they meet the existing criteria for new article creation. The policy should be that they are not allowed. It's a BOLD reform. The mechanics could/should be relegated to a bot. And we need another bot that can go thru the encyclopedia to tag and move articles that aren't tagged as 'unreferenced'. Once they're moved into draft space, no unreferenced article should ever be able to be reinstated. If an article should somehow 'lose' all its references, it should be moved back into draft space as a matter of policy and mechanics. We need to raise the bar, because these articles are basically allowing anyone to say anything they want. Sbalfour (talk) 21:35, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Apparently, there are a couple of scripts to do just this. Ostensibly, I can just use the 'Move' function under 'More' to move the article to 'Draft:<article name>'! The script fixes up some miscellany, so I don't have to check on those. I don't have the Page Mover right, so some administrator will have to delete the cross-namespace redirect. WP:Draftify only describes use of this for new article creation and as an alternative to deletion following a deletion discussion. I don't intend to delete such articles, only to get them referenced before they return to article space. In practice, that doesn't happen - they'll be in perpetual limbo, or they would've gotten fixed in article space. Fine. If anyone cares, they can fix the problem and move it back. I've not seen the Move capability used in this way. Sbalfour (talk) 00:45, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

I assume that's a typo above, because there are 182,000 articles in Category:All_articles_lacking_sources, which tracks articles tagged with {{unreferenced}}. The category isn't completely forgotten, just a year ago it was at 200,000 articles. But obviously at that pace it'll take us a very long time to clear the backlog. Also Category:Articles_lacking_sources breaks down unreferenced articles by month and you can see that about 1,000 new unreferenced articles are added to the backlog each month. This discussion has been had in various places and times while I've been here, but perhaps there's some way to reduce the frequency of new unreferenced articles being created? That said, I would be strongly opposed to boldly moving all unreferenced articles to draft space. I look at a lot of the articles in Category:All_articles_lacking_sources. Some are junk, sure. But some are perfectly fine and just need a reference and some development. Even for the ones that are unhelpful, they're often poorly linked to, unlikely search terms. Basically they're mostly invisible (which is why you were surprised there are so many). So I think the cost of hosting them is low. Draftifying would risk throwing quite a bit of baby out with some bathwater. Ajpolino (talk) 01:29, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
But some ... just need a reference and some development. Isn't that the definition of draft? Draft is neither purgatory nor a trash bin. It's equivalent to the peer review stage of professional publication: done but not yet conforming to norms for publication. We don't actively use draft space in the encyclopedia for what it is; there are other reasons why an article isn't ready for mainspace. Separately, New Page Reviewers and administrators should never be approving pages with no sources. Sbalfour (talk)
@Sbalfour: Not here. Wikipedia:Drafts are "administration pages in the Draft namespace where new articles may be created and developed, for a limited period of time." The place for incomplete articles that need references and development is mainspace. Drafts don't show up in Google searches (I think?), aren't linked from mainspace, and are basically only looked at by AfC reviewers and new users. So moving things to draftspace basically condemns them to obscurity. Plus old drafts basically get auto-deleted. I totally agree that having 180,000 unreferenced articles is a problem, but I think the best thing we can do is to chip away at the backlog and try to get others to help. There may be no easy work-around to make the backlog drastically shrink without a massive input of man-hours. Ajpolino (talk) 18:13, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

Red XN Not Done (we shall not move unreferenced articles to draft space.) Proposal closed. Sbalfour (talk) 18:54, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

I'm going to expand my inquiry. I think the first order of business is to find all unreferenced articles NOT tagged as 'unreferenced', and apply the tag. I'm afraid of what I'm going to find. I'm a retired Unix Operating system programmer, so writing a javascript app to inspect an article for that shouldn't be too hard, given a specification. Applying it over the encyclopedia with a bot is something I'll need help with. A bot already creates that category; maybe we can add some switchable functionality to it? Like once a month, it searches and tags all unreferenced articles. Then some kind of triage, because some, a large number, tens of thousands probably, really are not appropriate for mainspace (i.e. move to draft). Actually ref'ing an article can take hours per - that's not going to happen any time soon for any significant portion of them. What other alternatives are there? Nominate for deletion? I'm think a small minority (only) might qualify, but flooding the AFD list with thousands of bot-triaged nominations isn't likely to be very welcome, and deletion discussions feel like pilloring an article. 180K unref'ed articles is a slap-in-the-face. We need to get that list down to something policeable, so it will be policed. Is it sufficient that an article lacks a reflist template to tag it as unreferenced? What about when it has one, but no references are listed? I don't think external links should be counted dire ctly as references - it they're usable as such, they should be cited as per form. Sbalfour (talk) 17:14, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

"I also seem to remember that an article cannot be created without 2 WP:RSs." You can created articles with 0 references if you want. Nothing prevents you from doing that. See also WP:NOTFINISHED. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:30, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Bots/Requests_for_approval#GreenC_bot_11 for such a bot. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:33, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
And see also Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 157#Bot to add Template:Unreferenced and Template:No footnotes to pages (single run), a discussion that was closed just a few weeks ago. Phil Bridger (talk) 17:47, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
Sbalfour, see this which seems to be indicating 1 in 4 articles has 0 references --valereee (talk) 17:50, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
1 in 4 is a nonsense number. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:59, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree. While others were replying to Valereee I did my own survey by hitting "random article" 50 times. I found two articles without references, and another four with references but without in-line citations. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:04, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
My own rather intuitive notion is that it might be a very few percent; your experiment suggests 4% or 1/25. That's atrocious by any measure. Who did the original data collection, and what did they say? Did the tagging bot actually run? In which case, the number is 182K/5.8M articles in the encyclopedia = ,03 or 3%. Relatively confirming your 4% sampling. Sbalfour (talk) 18:16, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
I have seen articles that use a {{no footnotes}} rather than unreferenced tag. They have no inline references but may have EL's or a sources or bibliography section. I don't know if they show up in the Category:All articles lacking sources. I also don't know whether this fits in with the rest of the concerns of this thread but I wanted to mention it in case it does. MarnetteD|Talk 17:54, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
They don't. They show up in Category:Articles lacking in-text citations. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 17:57, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
Sbalfour, I think the research was done by Wikimedia Foundation? The number was 24.5%. Maybe they had a decimal point misplaced. Here's the link to the report section: here--valereee (talk) 19:34, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
We have 182K articles we can find, and if that's all, it's 3% of the encyclopedia. Now what? Two things: we need to cut down the monthly influx to zero, or it's never going to get better. Then, how do we triage the rest? Sbalfour (talk) 19:39, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
Sbalfour, could we set something up that checks whether there's a reflist or similar template on an article and flags if there isn't? Would that possibly catch most? --valereee (talk) 19:49, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

I think it should be policy that no article can be created without citing at least three WP:RSes. Wikipedia is past its "stub" stage of development; at this point, if it can't be sourced, we shouldn't have it in the encyclopedia. Any articles that don't have three RSes should be CSD candidates. Deleted articles can always be recreated, and if they don't have any sources, they probably shouldn't be showing up on Google searches. Levivich 00:29, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

On terminology on breaking violent crime articles[edit]

In watching how the Christchurch mosque shooting article has developed, and seeing other things in the past, I think we need to better establish some policy for how to describe certain factors related to these crimes while the attack is still recent and investigations are ongoing.

We already have BLP that cautions that we should call any named suspect as actual criminals/murderers. But there are other aspects that are not directly covered by policies that editors rush to jump to conclusions based on media coverage but not necessary by the police authority or judicial body overseeing the change. So for example, in the day(s) after a crime these are problematic:

  • Factually stating the motive of the crime/suspect. Media analysts can make usually judgements that are correct at the end of the day, but the only authoritative voice in the actual motive are the police/government investigators that will present that information in the final report. Even within the government side, you'll have leaders that will make statements of motive but who are not directly involved in the investigation outside of being updated as it proceeds. In such cases, while it is appropriate to include what the media has come to believe, this should always be attributed or stated presumption.
  • Where an attack is terrorism related or not. This is a title editors and media love to jump on, but it is a term to be very careful about. Most countries have laws that define what is a terrorist act actually is which subsequently leads to different penalties for those that commit those acts. But it is very easy for media and politicians to say in the hours after an attack it is terrorism going by the more common definition of the word, but when really the full picture is nowhere close to determining if that's the case from the legal side.
  • Separately, many countries also have provisions for law enforcement officials to treat a situation as terrorism-related which gives them unique powers that help to arrest those more quickly and prevent further harm to the public. So just because a head of police has stated they are treating an attack as a terrorist situation, doesn't meant the attack was terrorism-related, only that they are using the special powers to expedite the immediate threats.

There are probably other parts of recent crime coverage that might also fall out of BLP, but its all related to the fact that the media, while reliable sources, cannot be considered reliable for trying to understand why a crime was done while an active investigation is ongoing. We can consider WP:UNDUE here, and if a crime was widely considered to be driven by, say, anti-immigration, then we can list that with attribution to media. We just have to avoid speaking on these terms in an factual WP voice until we can use the conclusion of the investigation to complete that. --Masem (t) 19:07, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

The best way to deal with such things would be for us to stop trying to be a news site and to start waiting until good quality secondary sources are available before having an article about an event. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:49, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
Phil, I completely agree... But it ain’t gonna happen. Blueboar (talk) 21:14, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
It could happen. ―Mandruss  21:19, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
A 24-hour delay after something is reported before an article can be created would be nice, but that's just wishful thinking. Natureium (talk) 21:28, 19 March 2019 (UTC)