Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 Policy Technical Proposals Idea lab Miscellaneous 
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.

« Older discussions, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139

Should Wikipedians be allowed to use community granted tools in exchange for money?[edit]

Recently we had an OTRS "volunteer" lose their access to the tool here. User:KDS4444 is a well known long term paid editor.

This raises the question:

  • Should OTRS volunteers be allowed to request money from people sending in question to OTRS?
  • Should editors at AfC be able to request money for passing / accepting an article at AfC?
  • Should admins be allowed to bill for undeleting an article / use of admin tools?
  • Etc

Or should we have policies clearly disallowing this. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:18, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

  • Seems like WP:INVOLVED and WP:COI capture most of the spirit of this, and would be the places to amend if clarification is needed. — xaosflux Talk 16:40, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
    • That we have had OTRS agents using the system to make money proves that when it comes to paid editing "spirit" is often not enough. We need it to be black and white. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:46, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Obviously not, that's corruption. If our existing policies do not effectively forbid it then we should have news ones that do - perhaps amendments to WP:INVOLVED and WP:COI, as xaosflux says. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 16:58, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I think that an explicit prohibition of such would be a good idea. In government and business that is considered to be bribery or a kickback scheme. And since Wikipedia conflates tools with related powers/positions, we should note that it's not just mis-use of tools, it's mis-use of powers/position. North8000 (talk) 17:10, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
  • The admin aspect was already discussed and rejected as a standalone item. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 17:11, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
    • One difference is that the proposal there was "No administrator may accept payment to edit articles or to perform any administrative function on Wikipedia" (my emphasis). This suggestion is only about prohibiting paid use of tools. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 17:17, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
    • And after reading a bit through it, the discussion is essentially about whether admins should be prohibited from paid editing. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 17:32, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Making rules that are impossible to enforce is...problematic. Honest people lose, liars win. As someone who has never gotten a dime for editing Wikipedia, I can only suggest (mostly facetiously) that all editors be required to give WMF regular copies of all bank statements. Or quarantine all editors on a desert island with internet access. What a nightmare this all is. If I had to guess, I’d say that at least 10% of political edits at Wikipedia are financed by somebody. Anythingyouwant (talk) 17:51, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
    • Locking your door does not prevent 100% of break-in, that does not make it useless. Wikipedia improves when good faith editors overall have a greater ability to contribute that bad faith ones. Rules help achieve a positive balance. Google Knol failed as it filled full of advertising. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:06, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Obviously the answer is 'No!' It's odd that the questions even have to be raised, but the goal therein is to make it absolutely clear, because paid editors - some of whom are notorious for their Wikilawyering - will use any 'omission' in the policies to practice their art. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 18:01, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Okay so with respect to wording, what do people thing about adding at WP:COI:
"No one may use admin tools or accepting articles at WP:AfC in exchange for a financial reward. Additionally the WP:OTRS system may no be used for recruiting clients or payment."
Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:55, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
  • In order to shine a light on this, if we read current policies as prohibiting administrators, editors or OTRS volunteers, from taking actions while at risk of being thought to be paid for those actions, then no funded academic, employee, Wikimedian in residence, should ever take any action using their editing/sysop/access rights which could in any way benefit their employer or funder, even the scenario often used in the past by certain employees that though they are employed, they were editing in their volunteer time... It might actually be better to highlight case studies where administrators that were in a paid contract or had a grant, did legitimately use the tools as they were the best person at that time to do so, while correctly handling their declaration of interest in a transparent way. There may be cases where conflicts of loyalty have nothing to do with money, and those may also make for useful case studies. -- (talk) 17:55, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
    • If you were a WiR at say the NIH and you protected all NIH related article without explicit consensus to do so, that would still be a problem. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:08, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
    • (edit conflict) Some good points there, which were raised in that other discussion (I've just finished reading it). While we should certainly want to prohibit 'corrupt' use of tools, it's hard to word policy so it does not adversely affect honest use as in examples like those. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 18:11, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I fully support this. Nick (talk) 18:08, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Anything other than "regular" editing (as can be done by an auto-confirmed user; a name-space restriction has too many edge cases to be reasonable) in exchange for payment should be strictly prohibited. The corner cases (what if a professor who is an admin does admin work on university time) can be figured out by lawyers, the spirit should be clear. power~enwiki (π, ν) 18:10, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I also support making policy clear against potential corruption. I don't have a problem with Doc James formulation; it's of course always possible to improve it in the future for precision, i.e. WMF legal suggestions welcome... —PaleoNeonate – 19:36, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
  • My view: No editor should be allowed to use permissions given through community input or tools that allow editors to work in an "official" capacity (OTRS, etc.) to edit for pay. As long as a draft meets all normal AfC requirements, I'm ok with editors being paid for their work. Admins can be paid for their work as long as they don't use their admin toolbox in the process. Of course, all paid contributions should be declared. Gestrid (talk) 08:24, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • OTRS is outside of our domain, and it seems the question has already been answered. However, I'm not aware of any instance of an admin using tools for pay - I'd be hard pressed to think of a situation where that would occur. Do we need to prohibit a practice that doesn't happen? As to AfC, that is a common job request, so it does represent something that happens. My knowledge of AfC is limited, though - do you need special tools in order to approve an article from AfC? I didn't think that was the case, but maybe I'm mistaken. - Bilby (talk) 08:49, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
Bilby, Of course you're not aware of any instance of an admin using tools for pay. I'm not. Nobody is. They are not exactly going to yell it from the rooftops if they are. It's a very plausible concern and I can think of several situations where it might occur. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 11:23, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
Hard pressed to think of a situation where an admin using tools for pay would occur? How about undeleting an article that had been deleted, unblocking a blocked paid editor, protecting an article at a favoured revision? It took me about 30 seconds to think of those three. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:37, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
No, I'm hard pressed to think of a situation where an admin is accepting money to undelete an article. The advantages are clear, but I haven't seen an admin use the tools for pay, and I'm hard pressed to picture that situation arising. - Bilby (talk) 11:41, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
Several years ago, a Russian Wikipedia admin was desysopped for using admin tools to promote paid editing.--Ymblanter (talk) 17:24, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
One instance, several years ago, on a different language Wikipedia. Ok. But has this ever happened here? I agree with the principal - no admin should use the tools in return for pay - and if the community wants that to be clearly stated I'm a bit concerned re WP:BUREAU, but it doesn't bother me overly much. I do worry about "the sky is falling" policy changes, though, and pushing through changes without evidence of there being a need for them. - Bilby (talk)
Did you ever hear, (until now), that somebody was actively using OTRS to recruit clients and solicit payments?Winged Blades of GodricOn leave 10:21, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
I can testify for my own part, that this case was particularly egregious and lost me a bit of sleep thinking about it. I realize it may not look that way from our end, but from the perspective of our readers, OTRS is in few ways a higher position of trust than being an admin on wiki. From the perspective of readers, they're getting an email from Wikipedia, and not a message from some anonymous user on Wikipedia. I think per discussion below, I'm personally leaning toward favoring something along the lines of No one may misuse a position of community trust... and perhaps specify that this can include user rights, various coordinator positions, and off wiki access like OTRS and ACC. GMGtalk 10:29, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
The problem with OTRS was a serious one, but that should be handled through OTRS. As I said, I'm not opposed to this on principal. My concern is that I'm seeing a lot of rhetoric and exaggerated claims about paid editing which are leading us to take more extreme steps, but not a lot of data to back up the specific claims. Given that I can't imagine any current admin accepting money to use the admin tools, the change in policy is moot, and I'll support a well worded proposal. It doesn't prevent anyone from doing anything that they were going to do. But I do want to be cautious of inventing problems that don't exist. - Bilby (talk) 11:10, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
Well, at least to my mind, the admin bit isn't really special here. It's just one of many rights or positions, of which there are many requiring both more and less community trust, and more or less oversight. And this isn't an expectation of admins; it's an expectation of everyone, and admins are an everyone. The key common factor there is the trust, not the number of buttons. For example, autopatrolled users are trusted by the community to make acceptable quality articles that don't require community review.
Also pretty much just to my own mind, there are really two distinct types of policy formation. There's policy that attempts to create new process to deal with outstanding problems, and there's policy that simply documents widespread community practice that's already in place, but hasn't been explicitly written down anywhere. I believe this is the latter. It's already a de facto policy. When we have, and if we do find someone abusing positions of trust, we will remove them from that position. That's a fact. But we currently don't appear to have explicit, unequivocal wording that says You knew this was going to happen when you made the decision to abuse your position or access. GMGtalk 11:26, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
I understand where you are coming from - I am fully in agreement that admins should not use tools for pay, with the various normal exceptions for WiR and whatever. My caution comes from seeing what can only be described as a war between paid editors and anti-paid editors, and in that war we're giving up progressively more. Thus I need to ask, every time a new policy change is put forward, the basic three questions - is it needed, will it work, what will it cost? This one costs nothing, in that it is such a specific case that it won't have a wider impact. But it isn't needed, because we have no evidence of this ever happening on en.Wiki. Will it work? I can't see how anything can "stop" something that doesn't occur, but I think we'll find that this is going to be very hard to prove to the level where we can desysop someone if it ever does arise, and that from a practical sense we'll end up using a different justification.
In regard to other tools, though, the approach doesn't seem to be the best solution. With AFC, I think we need a clear statement that says "you cannot approve any draft in return for financial remuneration" - it isn't about the use of tools, but the act of approving a draft. Focusing on the tools is the wrong part of the equation - someone just needs to take the longer process of approving it without any special permissions to meet the policy. Similarly, if we remain worried about auto-patrolled users, we need to say that all paid articles must be created through AfC is we want a real fix. It isn't the auto-patrolled status that is the core problem, but paid articles being created in mainspace and not being independently verified - although there will be more of a cost if we make that change. - Bilby (talk) 11:49, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
Not to beat the horse into a pulp, but to focus narrowly on existing community practice and reasonable expectation of future practice:
  • When we have found users abusing AfC for paid editing, we have removed their access;
  • When we have found users abusing OTRS for solicitation, we have removed their access;
  • If we did find someone abusing autopatrolled to avoid scrutiny of paid articles, we would remove it;
  • If we did find an FA coordinator, a member of the ArbCom electoral commission, etc. abusing their position, we would remove them from it;
  • If we did find a sysop doing this (as other projects have), they'd have their mop snatched so fast it would cause whiplash;
So that raises the question to me, of why we haven't taken the time to write this down, when we seem to all agree to some extent that it is the way things work, and the way they can be expected to work for the foreseeable future. GMGtalk 12:05, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't understand enough about OTRS - my assumption is that it was a meta issue, not a en.WP issue, but if I'm wrong it is something to address here.
In the case of ArbCom, FA coordinators and admins, you are correct - we'd act if we found them. In general I don't really care if we wish to formalize those issues, except to note that we're formalizing something that we've never done, never had to do, and which would happen irrespective of any decision here. I'm wary of the principal of creating unnecessary changes. (I'd also note that, if policy reflects practice, in these cases we're reflecting what we believe would be practice, not what actually is, simply because it has never arisen).
With autopatrolled, yes, we would (and have) removed it. Let's put that in Wikipedia:Autopatrolled as the relevant place to discuss this and make the change. This one is far more important to me, and reflects something that we do, should do, and should formally note.
AfC is the other big issue to me - I would like to see that hole filled, as there are a lot of jobs hiring people to pass articles at AfC. But it isn't the tools that are the issue, so much as the approval. I'd like to see a more important change stating that articles cannot be approved from AfC in return for pay, as that would address the actual problem. Focusing on the tools rather than the approval is an error.
Just to be clear, my disagreement isn't with the spirit of the proposal, but with the two basic issues - I don't like creating policy changes that are not needed, and I don't care for skirting around the real issues (permissions) when we should be addressing the actual problems (approving articles for pay; creating paid articles in mainspace). - Bilby (talk) 13:03, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
Well... it seems the main difference in approaches is that you would like to wait until each individual right or position is abused, and then add a specific policy on that specific topic. (Also, BTW, OTRS is stand alone project and AFAIK the only one running media wiki that doesn't accept SULs.) To my mind, it just seems simpler to put a blanket statement on a central place, like PAID. GMGtalk 13:11, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
Not quite. I have two main differences. a) I'd like to address the real problem at AfC of approving articles for pay, rather than tackling the secondary (and mostly irrelevant) issue of use of permissions. b) I don't think we would need to change in policy even in the unlikely chance that the problems with FAC coordinators, admins or ArbCom members arose, because we would solve it without a change in policy. In that situation, I don't like creating policy changes to address remote issues that have never arisen and wouldn't need a policy change if they ever did arise.
I'm sure we'll end up with a blanket statement at paid. And WP won't end as a result. But I wish this energy went into changes that would have an impact or would address the real problems. - Bilby (talk) 13:22, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
That's part of my concern though, that if we have a blanket statement, we have one arguably time wasting discussion. If we do it piece meal, we end up with separate recurring discussions for each individual piece. GMGtalk 13:49, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I think I've been explaining things badly. If we have this discussion and agree to make this change to WP:PAID - which it is likely we will if we can get the wording right - it won't make any difference to how we respond to the main cases you raise: admins, FaC coordinators and ArbCom members. It may not do any harm, but it won't change the response, make it more or less likely that the problem will arise, or make things any easier if the situation ever appears.
In regard to this change and AfC, based on what I was told below, all the paid editor needs to do is not use any advanced permissions to pass something through. They can either argue that use of the helper script is not an advanced user right, or they simply don't use the script and do it the long way. That's because the AfC problem is not about permissions, but about actions. So if we make this change, we will still need to have another discussion to address the real problem.
In the situation of auto-patrolled users, the change I'd most like to see isn't a ruling that paid editors can't create pages in mainspace if auto-patrolled, but a rule that says that paid editors cannot create pages in mainspace. That second one seems more valuable to me, and will also involve a separate discussion.
Anyway, this is not of much value, because we're having the discussion however I may feel about it. :) Which is fine. But I've been arguing against paid editors for many years now, and what I'd most like to see is discussion around actions which will address the core issues without harming the project. This discussion has the advantage of not harming WP, but it retains the disadvantage of not addressing the problems that matter. - Bilby (talk) 14:19, 4 November 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Well, part of my concern is once the issue of the paid OTRS agent was raised, it took several days for access to be removed. Even after the evidence was damning, it didn't seem like anyone wanted to unilaterally pull the trigger. Yes, it's technically a separate jurisdiction, but for English agents, it's pretty much the same cops on the beat. (I don't know of specific instances where autopatrolled has been removed for paid editing, but I'd be interested to.) This is the kind of thing that is to be expected where sysops, ideally cautious by nature, are in fairly uncharted territory as far as the letter of the law.

As to AfC, that and the issue of non-user right positions (coordinators, etc), are the reasons for my focus on emphasizing "positions of trust" and not just user rights. From a lower level implementation standpoint, if there is a project wide policy in place to that effect, project or right specific policies can probably for the most part be boldly added, and simply point to the main. Something along the lines of:

No user may use positions of community trust in order to solicit or accept payment for activities which have a direct and foreseeable impact on Wikipedia. This includes advanced user rights for which individual vetting and permission granting is required, positions of authority elected or appointed by the community, and system access on or off wiki not normally available to all users.

I think something like that would fairly well cover everything, including OTRS and AfC. GMGtalk 15:57, 4 November 2017 (UTC)

GreenMeansGo: to your question, the same OTRS agent Doc James mentioned above voluntarily relinquished their autopatrolled flag after I suggested it to them when the issue was first raised. We have no policy as to when to revoke user permissions in cases like this, and as a recent ArbCom case pointed out, the removal of user permissions is one of the most controversial things an admin can do.
Re: your proposed wording, I think I like it. I might also add something such as ...impact on Wikipedia; or use such a position to take actions on behalf of a client. for clarity. TonyBallioni (talk) 16:05, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
My issue with raising OTRS here is not that it hasn't proven to be an issue, but that my understanding is that OTRS policy is managed at meta, so I assumed that a change in that policy in regard to paid editors has to be presented and discussed there. If this is not the case I have no problems with agreeing to the policy change here, but I had always assumed that OTRS policy is outside of our immediate control.
I still need to return to my issue with the AfC problem. I do not see permissions or "positions of trust" as the primary concern, based on what I've been told. What I think we need is not the change being discussed here, but a clear and unambiguous change to Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation that states that you are not permitted to approve an article where you have a COI, and in particular you are not permitted to approve an article in return for remuneration. It isn't about positions of trust or advanced permissions, but simply who can and cannot approve an article. - Bilby (talk) 16:28, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
Well, my thought was that AfC would be covered under system access on or off wiki not normally available to all users. It's true that can't actually enforce anything at OTRS. But I think we can probably still say that someone abusing OTRS to make changes to is exactly half in jurisdiction, and we can still say that we don't approve of it.
Also, I'm fine with Tony's suggested addition. And I think the absence of policy on when to remove these rights is part of the problem, and part of why sysops are rightfully hesitant to do so. GMGtalk 17:00, 4 November 2017 (UTC)

    • Yeah, AFC Reviewers need access to a helper-script, designed for the purpose, that heavily eases the process/workflow.It may be noted though, that all auto-confirmed editors have the right to move articles from draft space into mainspace or that any body could choose to follow a tedious manual reviewing process, that existed before the development of the script.Winged Blades of GodricOn leave 09:08, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
      • In that case, there are no special permissions needed for AfC? Just optional access to a helper script that is open to any autoconfirmed editor? - Bilby (talk) 10:08, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
        • Manually reviewing articles is sufficiently tedious so as to be prohibitive for most users. It is a de facto user right. GMGtalk 10:27, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
        • Echo Timothy.In a very strict sense, AFC is not a right.But, in my wiki-life, I have neither seen someone evading the script-access-barrier by manually reviewing the submissions nor someone who is moving other author's AfC draft(s) to mainspace without using the script.Winged Blades of GodricOn leave 10:45, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
          • I guess what I'm wondering is if you need special community-granted permission to use the tool. Is this the case? Or an anyone use the tool? - Bilby (talk) 11:41, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
            • AfC works similarly to rights granted at PERM, but at a different venue. All you need is to convince one sysop that you're competent. The major differences are 1) it doesn't automatically come with the admin kit, although theoretically any admin could grant it to themselves, similar maybe to the way some things work with stewards (unless I'm mistaken), 2) it's not technically required for reviewing, but it's a bit like saying you don't technically need access to the elevator to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower. GMGtalk 11:49, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • There was "consensus for some language on this issue" last time and it is still a good idea, so support. Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:57, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Regarding Doc J's wording, if it is to be used, it may be simpler and more effective to say No one may use advanced user rights.... I have a hard time imagining a scenario where any right couldn't potentially be abused, which is why they're restricted. In fact, with ACTRIAL in effect, it could be easily argued that creating a paid article outright, instead of going through AfC is itself a type of abuse of auto-confirmed.
For rights with a greater potential for damage (e.g., sysop, AfC, page mover, AWB), and especially for those which have a comparatively limited amount of public oversight (e.g., OTRS, CU, OS)... Well... until very recently I should have thought that this actually didn't need to be spelled out at all, and that anyone with enough sense to use them would have had enough sense to assume this as a matter of course. But since the laundry list of rights and the myriad ways they could be abused is so lengthy, probably best to spell out the principle, and let the community decide the specifics, For example, is it an abuse of auto-patrolled if an editor doesn't unreview their own paid article creation? I don't know that we've ever needed to answer that question, but we might at some point. GMGtalk 10:59, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
Actually, after thinking my way through a hot shower:
  1. It may be better to say No one may use abuse advanced user rights...
  2. I realize most autopatrolled users probably can't unreview their own article in the first place, because they probably don't have NPP. Which adds another layer of hypothetical problems.
  3. It's not entirely clear that pieces of the admin kit that non-admins may also have should be on the one hand, specially covered for sysops, or on the other, specially exempted for non-sysops. GMGtalk 11:10, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • No to allow use of "community granted tools in exchange for money" - for all the obvious reasons. Yes to policies that disallow it.Atsme📞📧 11:56, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • An even more perverse variant of this problem crops up periodically at AFC. An author/submitter of a declined (or deleted) draft is contacted off-wiki by someone who claims they will approve (or undelete) the page for payment. This practice of holding a page (draft or mainspace article) to ransom has been condemned as a form of extortion. There is a standing request that all such incidents be reported to WMF Legal. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 12:07, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • NO - No one should be paid this way. This smacks of bribery. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:15, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • No- this is a horrible idea. Reyk YO! 12:21, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I'd like to be clear that the question here is quite different from "Can an editor simultaneously be a paid editor and have access to certain user rights, so long as they do not overlap those roles?" ~ Rob13Talk 14:12, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
    • I'd planned on commenting on this today and it was closed before I could. Rob makes a good point, and I think it is worth clarifying if there are circumstances when being paid is incompatible with a role: the only thing I feel somewhat strongly about in this regard as an absolute no is the autopatrolled flag since it's impossible to turn off for only paid articles. Other areas I do think need clearer guidelines as well, and I think this is a first step in the direction of setting up those guidelines. Obviously this is a nuanced topic where there are strong opinions on both sides by the community, and I think further discussion (if not on this question then on other questions) is needed. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:24, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
    • (+1) to Rob's queries.But, primarily this discussion has in itself stemmed from an overlap.I have requested CPower678 to vacate their close.Winged Blades of GodricOn leave 14:40, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
      • The close is fine, mostly because the question as posed was wrong. The question is "should volunteers in roles of trust be allowed to use their tools for money?" The answer is a snow no, which is obvious. There is quite a separate question of whether volunteers can both hold roles of trust and separately be paid. For instance, should Wikipedians-in-residence be able to be admins? That is a very nuanced issue that would need a very different discussion. We can't have that discussion when it starts with such a flawed question. ~ Rob13Talk 14:59, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
At least to my mind, one of the more intuitive ways to go with this is that if you have an account with basically any userrights other than extended confirmed or autopatrolled, and you want to do disclosed paid editing, then you need to register a separate account for the sake of propriety. GMGtalk 15:11, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
As to off wiki access like OTRS, that's a blanket no from me. It can't be separated technically, since access is granted to a person, and not to an account, and it has comparatively little oversight. Probably similarly with CU since they have access to private information, possibly also ACC, and being part of ArbCom is right out. (Jesus this list gets long fast.) GMGtalk 15:14, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The WiR issue in particular is complex because while generally a wonderful program it has caused issues in the past (I think I'm thinking of one WiR who copied compatibly licensed advocacy pieces into about 6 months back). That being said, having worked with Doc James on PAID issues several times, he typically is not referring to individuals employed by orgs that share the WMF's mission and values (the WiR program or similar), but to those who are paid to edit commercially.
This could be spelled out better, I agree, but I don't think the question is fundamentally flawed: establishing a principle that people agree on has value, even if it is only a very basic one. That gives a starting point for agreement for any future conversations on the issue, which as Rob rightly point out will be nuanced out of necessity. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:17, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
The UNESCO fellow? GMGtalk 15:20, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
That's the one I was thinking of. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:25, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
Rob, the question, flawed or not, concluded with "or should we have policies clearly disallowing this.". The close failed to address that adequately, or explain why it was overlooking it. I agree with your other sentiments, and a close thus explained would have been fine. -- Begoon 15:28, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • No since this is open again, the answer to the question asked is clearly no. I also disagree with Rob that this is a flawed question, and think we can set out some general best practices here for the less complex cases that will make the more complex cases easier to deal with when the time comes to have conversations on those issues (call it the baby-steps approach if you want). These are the policy things I think are fairly easy to deal with:
  1. No one should use a position of community trust to solicit payment for services rendered on Wikipedia.
  2. No one should use any user rights or positions of trust to advocate for their clients or to make technical changes that would not otherwise be possible if they did not have the rights (i.e. an admin undeleting a page or a page mover skipping the RM process for a controversial move over a redirect, etc.)
  3. Technical permissions, use of tools requiring a checklist, and positions of trust that involve new content cannot be used to evade our normal scrutiny system for new content and COI content.
I think these three principles are things most people can get behind, and can help be the policy basis for any guidelines on how to apply the principles that Doc James is asking about. There are obviously others that might be able to be agreed upon as well and questions that can be raised regarding these points, but I think they would provide a basis for future discussions on the more nuanced and complex cases. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:42, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment I've seen questions raised about whether buying access to admin capabilities is really a big deal. Yes, it is. Look at the number of admins whose talk pages are filled with begging from conflicted editors whose articles were deleted. Won't spell this out due to BEANS but the possibility for a rent-seeking admin with access to deleted revisions are obvious. Also, very few people know about this, but I've communicated privately my evidence-based concern about at least one other CU confirmed socking account that was trying to gain access in 2015 to OTRS. There are good reasons to believe the socking was undisclosed paid/advocacy editing-related as is often the case. This is a big deal since OTRS handles all kinds of private, confidential information that could lead to WP:OUTING at the very least.
If you can't tell I'm leaning very hard towards "no" on the question, but want to see some refinement of the terms before making a commitment. Behavior that even smells of rent-seeking and bureaucratic malfeasance, aka bribery, could be another piece in the puzzle that results in the end of this worthwhile project. ☆ Bri (talk) 17:35, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Yes? I think Anythingyouwant sort of addresses my viewpoint. There's an unmet need in the economy for moving drafts through AfC and getting images approved at OTRS. I would never want to turn either of those processes into pay-for-play and perhaps that's what the opposition is scared of. The fact is, volunteers do a poor job of meeting our various backlogs. Wikipedians edit where they find satisfaction and avoid the drudgery that's needed to keep our maintenance effort going. So long as editors divulge their payments per ToU, I don't see the problem. I don't think money is universally corrupting. I'd like to see our hard-working Wikipedians get paid for their work, and I'd love if some of our most-talented Wikipedians could make a living off of editing just as we're happy to see our favorite YouTubers be able to focus full time on their content work. Disclosure is the sunshine treatment that prevents corrupt activity. If the WMF would stop spending money on un-asked for coding projects and started on-going investigations for business promotion (among other problems) I think introducing a pay mechanism would help us refine product. I know I've enjoyed getting paid to edit; sadly there aren't many reasonable opportunities anymore. Chris Troutman (talk) 21:42, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Hell no and props to Doc James for raising this issue. Support a common-sense prohibition. Coretheapple (talk) 17:14, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
  • NO in the strongest possible terms - This does not conform to the spirit of the encyclopedia. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 16:19, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Once again, we have a proposal that would, whether intentionally or not, stop or hinder Wikimedians in Residence in their valuable work. "Should Wikipedians be allowed to use community granted tools in exchange for money?" What, like when I use my account creator status to set up accounts for attendees at an editathon I'm running, as a paid WiR, even thought it was given to me for that purpose? I mustn't move an article that one of my trainees creates? I mustn't use AWB, or rollback, or mark an edit as patrolled, in my WiR role? "No one should use a position of community trust to solicit payment for services rendered on Wikipedia." So, when I apply for a paid WiR role, I mustn't mention my experience as a Wikimedian? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:28, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
Usage of ACC right for editathons etc. and WIR does not fall under the purview of this discussion. Winged Blades Godric 15:05, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
  • No - it seems I inadvertently said this twice; see my comments below under Kudpung's proposal. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 15:51, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • No--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 16:09, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

We just need acceptable wording and a place to put it[edit]

I agreed with the now retracted close. This is a "snow no" to allowing people to use positions of trust and tools for personal enrichment. There are many cases covered here, mainly at AfC, OTRS, and admins, so we need to refine the wording and place it in the right policies. I say policies in the plural because paid editors routinely ignore guidelines and because OTRS is regulated on enWiki by Wikipedia:Global rights policy, admins are regulated at WP:Admins (specifically at WP:Involved}, whereas AfC reviewing is not regulated by any policy that I know of, only by Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation.

I suggest similar wording for all the above, based on User:TonyBallioni's wording just above. Once we get the wording to almost everybody's liking, then place it for an RfC at WP:GRP and WP:Admin. I'll be bold and start the discussion at Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation soon myself.

Basic wording:

No editor may use a position of trust or any user rights to:

  • solicit payment for services to be rendered on Wikipedia, or
  • accept payment for the use of such a position or rights
    • for the benefit a client
    • for advocating for a client, or
    • to evade our normal scrutiny system for new content and COI content.

Payments and grants made by the Wikimedia Foundation or its affiliates (e.g. chapters) are excepted.

Please see AfC and the related talk page. Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:38, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support since it is based on my wording above, see my reasoning there. I would also extend this to NPP/the NPR flag as well as AfC because that is what gives a user the ability to mark a page for indexing by Google. This wording should cover that, but I did want to mention it explicitly in my support. TonyBallioni (talk) 18:40, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support as initial wording, without prejudice to editing or improving as with any policy. This seems concise, reasonable, and easy to understand. Everything a policy needs to be. --Jayron32 19:04, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment How would this apply to Wikipedians in residence (i.e. people who edit on behalf of universities, libraries, and museums). I personally know someone who was paid by a museum to help write articles on 100 notable New Zealand craft artists as part of a GLAM project. It seems like the wording used here could be made to apply to that project as well. "any user rights" seems ambiguous. I am extendedconfirmed, does that count as a 'user right' in this context? Does that mean that autoconfirmed users are not allowed to use the perks of that 'user right' (i.e. creating articles) to create articles for pay? Or is this meant to only apply to user rights that are community granted (i.e. page mover, rollback). — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 19:53, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
    • It'd be pretty simple to deal with WiR's would create distinct accounts, which they do anyway normally, and in most cases, I would expect the accounts wouldn't have additional flags. Autoconfirmed isn't a flag but an implicit group that is determined every time a user action is attempted. Extended confirmed is a flag, but it is automatically granted, so I'd assume we'd use common sense and treat it the same as autoconfirmed. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:23, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment I agree with ICPH any paid editor (disclosed or otherwise), any wikipedian in residence that uses an autoconfirmed user right to create a page or even just to edit is in breech of this text; Wikipedia:User right is redirected to WP:User access levels and ALL user groups have right attached to them. Domdeparis (talk) 20:08, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Those creating articles for pay are to go through AfC. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:18, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • As I mentioned above, autoconfirmed is not a user right. It is a test that the software does automatically when any action is attempted. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:23, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
You might be right about autoconfirmed. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 21:36, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
Insertcleverphrasehere: yes, this is made clearer in Special:UserRights. See yours here. It lists autoconfirmed as an implicit membership rather than a membership. Its just a software check. From the admin side of it, we can't revoke autoconfirmed status once it has been achieved (there is no tick box for it, and removing the confirmed tick box on the rare occasions that flag is granted does nothing once someone meets the software requirements). TonyBallioni (talk) 21:44, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:18, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I definitely support a prohibition such as this. I would suggest that the way to distinguish someone like a Wikipedian in residence etc. from what we want to prohibit, is that the prohibited conduct occurs when there is a quid pro quo in exchange for something that would not be approved if it were out in the open. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:21, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
    • Tryptofish, WiRs who have distinct accounts for their work as a WiR would be in compliance with the user permissions part of this since that role account would not have additional permissions. We do want to prohibit a WiR who is also an OTRS agent (or hell, hypothetical future arbcom member) from using that position to somehow advance the cause of the org they are being paid by just as much as we'd want to prevent those paid for commercial purposes. The WiR program is good but we also need to recognize that some of them do have a COI on advocacy issues, and that the same principles apply to them as well. I think the overwhelming majority would not abuse it, but I don't want to exempt them completely. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:29, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
      • I agree with what you say. I didn't mean to make it sound like I was saying that there should be anything special about WiR, but I see now that it sounded that way. What I meant was distinguishing acceptable from unacceptable conduct. And I think that what defines unacceptable is (i) a quid pro quo and (ii) a result that would have been opposed by the community if it had happened out in the open. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:34, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment - I don't know if this is exactly the right wording, someone can probably improve upon it, but I would suggest going with something more like No editor may use advanced user rights requiring community trust.... Auto confirmed and Extended confirmed are both user rights, but they're not really an expression of community trust, and they're not really a user right in any meaningful sense that we are talking about now. As for the rest of it, if we did have a user with advanced rights go out for WiR, I think it would be totally appropriate for them to either request their rights be temporarily removed, or register a disclosed second account, especially as it concerns auto-patrolled and sysop. I don't really see a reason why a WiR would need to be active at places like NPP or AfC anyway. GMGtalk 20:24, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
I'd support this proposed change in the wording (which I believe was the original and understood intent of the version proposed above). I propose that we amend the proposal to this new wording, and then continue the voting. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 22:11, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
If we are going to change it lets just come out and add normal editing by autoconfirmed or extended confirmed users is not considered use of permissions for these purposes or something like so we don't get into quibbling as to what an advanced permission is or which ones require community trust. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:19, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
Umm... I think I actually disagree on one point. I think the purpose is kindof to be intentionally vague to some extent, and let the community decide the specifics in an actual situation. GMGtalk 22:30, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
Not all forms of advanced editing privileges requiring community trust are backed by user rights. I wouldn't want FAC coordinators accepting money to get commissioned articles on the Main Page, for instance. MER-C 12:57, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
Ah ha! Now this is actually a very good point indeed! There are actually quite a bit of coordinator type positions that have nothing to do with a user right in the software but could be just a easily used improperly and in many cases with greater effect. This should probably be covered here somehow. GMGtalk 14:12, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now. I'm 100% in support of the sentiment here, but I still think the wording is a little vague. For instance, last year I spent some time in a paid WIR position. I registered a separate account, and made it clear that I would not be using any of my admin/functionary access for anything related to my work as a WIR. I kept the separation going to the point of CSD tagging old userspace drafts rather than deleting them myself. I did not make a secret of the fact that I was an administrator before taking the job, and I suppose that an overzealous individual could say that by making this clear I was trading my 'authority' as an admin and trusted user in exchange for a job? I am also not sure what problem this instruction creep is going to solve, as in the KDS4444 situation the user was quickly evicted from OTRS once their conduct was discovered without the need for a policy change. This does have the smell of security theatre about it. Lankiveil (speak to me) 02:17, 3 November 2017 (UTC).
    • Wikipedians are not the only audience for this policy. This creates a policy we can point to when reporting spammers to freelance job sites and/or in OTRS tickets regarding commissioned articles. MER-C 12:52, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
  • No editor may use a position of trust... may be overly broad. If you were going to legitimately hire someone to make non-promotional edits, you'd want to engage someone who was trusted by the community. Conversely, if an editor is going to provide copy-writing services, the community should prefer someone who is trusted to follow policies, guidelines, and best practices, versus someone who has failed to be proven trustworthy. isaacl (talk) 03:05, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support in principle. Wording wise, I suggest something like "Editors with advanced editing privileges requiring community trust must not solicit or accept payments for using said privileges to advocate for or on behalf of a client or circumvent normal editorial processes regarding new and COI content". As for placement, why not put it in WP:PAID as well? MER-C 12:52, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment Personally I would go even further and require that any advanced user right cannot be *held or granted* if you are engaged in or offering any commercial or otherwise paid service related to Wikipedia. The inherent conflict of interest that receiving money for services engages means that its too much of a risk. Only in death does duty end (talk) 17:14, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support, with wording to be refined, particularly regarding acceptable exceptions. And yes, per Only in death, no advanced right or permission should be granted or allowed to paid editors. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 20:24, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
    I don't see that working generically for practical reasons. The GLAMwikitoolset right has been given to GLAM and Wikimedia Chapter employees for their "official" user accounts in order to manage donations of image archives to Wikimedia Commons and in some cases to run bot-generated reports (with granted bot flag) to support reuse on Wikipedias. They were being paid to do the work, and there is no reason to waste valuable unpaid volunteer time when projects like these are run transparently. -- (talk) 22:56, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
    @: minor questions. a) Is this being run to make edits on enWiki? b) is this right covered at WP:GRP? c) does my proposed wording below make your objection mute? Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:30, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
, what I said in my first short sentence above ("wording to be refined, particularly regarding acceptable exceptions") should be taken as applying also to what I said in the second sentence. Also, what happens on Commons happens on Commons; my opinion expressed here on Wikipedia relates specifically to this project. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 18:43, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I'm ok with the principal, but what is meant by "any user rights"? That seems overly broad. The wording makes it sound as if anything you can do as a user - create new articles, edit, revert, etc - would fall under this. The wording needs to better reflect what rights are at issue. - Bilby (talk) 08:14, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The suggestion is that "payment for service" is automatically harming the encyclopedia, that is just suspicion, it's possible to be paid for doing good work, it's also possible for an admin to put their responsibilities to the community last or first, paid is not proof of a problem, it's only proof that we don't trust them. The heart of the issue isn't WHY the editor, or admin might be acting against the community, only that there is a problem with what they actually did. So lets be focused on behavior not mistrust. Dougmcdonell (talk) 19:17, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
Prohibition statements etc. in policies/guidelines oalmost always reflect upon the behaviour of common folks, not that of the outliers.Though, if you had choosen to oppose, because you think, that there's no problem in any editor soliciting payment(s) from potential customers through OTRS channels (as long as the worth the article he/she later churns out is satisfactory) or somebody self-patrolling his own paid creations, despite the elements of obvious cognitive bias or some sysop restoring articles, declining CSDs, closing AfDs in lieu of payments, it's another case.Winged Blades of GodricOn leave 14:05, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose I think Wikipedians should always be able to solicit "payment for services to be rendered on Wikipedia". Chris Troutman (talk) 21:46, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support long overdue. Coretheapple (talk) 17:16, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support in principle and most specifics; I prefer the slight modification in the next subsection. It's concise, non-bureaucratic, and consistent with the general community take on these matters. We know there'll be some paid/COI editing, and consensus implemented policy about it. This just closes a loophole.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  00:23, 11 November 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── With very few exceptions there are no opposes here based on principle. We're just arguing about wording (and where to put that wording). Within the limits of my available time, I'll keep coming back to this. There are several places to put this, and I think several are needed since advanced rights are covered in several places. Progress so far:

Other discussions, with possible wording changes, will have to be held at WP:GRP (for ORTS) and WP:Admin. I don't expect any opposition at WP:GRP, and will start that discussion on Monday. My suggestion for wording follow. I'm just adding a line on Wikipedians in residence, but please note that the "who" in the 1st line will change based on where the policy is proposed. Once everything is done, we can then summarize the changes at WP:Paid.

  • I don't get it. As far as I can tell, using any bit in exchange for money is already disallowed so outlining rules for it just makes it easier to game. Anyone misusing any bit is subject to having that bit removed. Doing it for pay is clearly misusing it. There really is no question about it. Any admin unblocking for cash would be dragged to Arb and bit stripped, for instance. No one would oppose that. A new rule is superfluous. Dennis Brown - 20:14, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
  • @Dennis Brown, the TOU—even in the brave new world of the WMF crackdown—aren't as clear-cut as you think, and there are still quite a few loopholes. Show me where in policy it's forbidden for an admin to profit from their access to deleted revisions, for instance—and that's something that does have commercial potential, there are ad-funded websites that literally do nothing but host deleted Wikipedia articles (Deletionpedia is the best-known). ‑ Iridescent 20:23, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
  • As long as policy is based on consensus and consensus is overwhelmingly against selling use of the bits, then it seems obvious to me. If I find any admin using any bit for gain, I won't hesitate to block them, for example. I don't need a specific policy statement, WP:COMMONSENSE covers it well, as bits are based on trust that they will be used only to benefit Wikipedia. Any use of the bit to gain advantage, be it financial, in an edit war, or otherwise, is grounds to lose the bit. Any bit. The community has already said this by providing a vetting system for all the bits, and policies on use of each of the bits. Anyone that doesn't understand that shouldn't have advanced bits, as the reason we have them is to benefit the encyclopedia, not ourselves. I'm afraid once you start setting specific rules, you start creating loopholes. As it is now, ANY misuse of any kind, even those we can't think of ahead of time, is grounds to lose the bit. I truly feel we codify too much that is already covered by common sense, and that is part of the problem with the contradictory maze of policies we have. Dennis Brown - 01:35, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Without a policy to back it up, the odds of a desysop from arbcom are negligible. Sure we could go the community ban route that we went with within the last few days for an OTRS agent, but that would also lead to the inevitable arbcom case. TonyBallioni (talk) 01:45, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I have a bit of a counter-proposal to this, which is that rather than setting out prohibitions for paid editing activities, we should merely set out a very tightly limited list of what paid editors can do, and specify that any action not on that list is prohibited. The list would be something like, following disclosure of having been paid, adding reliably sourced information to a draft, or proposing on an article talk page that content be added or changed. If that is the complete list, then obviously things like unearthing deleted edit histories would be outside the scope. bd2412 T 20:28, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
    • As the United States discovered when it tried to ban alcohol, it is very difficult to regulate that which you prohibit, and I think your proposal comes so close to prohibition that the same principle will apply. If you make the rules too onerous, then at some point paid editors will just not disclose their paid status. I'm sure this already happens, and probably quite a bit, but it will get worse. WP:OUTING is written so strongly (too strongly IMO, but that's a separate discussion) that enforcement will be very difficult. --Trovatore (talk) 21:14, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support this or a similar version. Gandydancer (talk) 04:33, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support in principle. I don't like this wording -- for example, I don't know whether the limitation of the circumstances under which accepting payment is prohibited also apply to soliciting payment. More importantly, the access to non-public or privileged information described by User:GreenMeansGo in his boxed text above is missing. While admins getting a pass for articles about Mzoli's or something is mildly disturbing, I'm far more alarmed (for example) by the prospect that the Turkish government could call up an admin and say that their sockpuppet about to start a big argument with a Gulenist and they'd like to see the admin indef them both. Or that they could use the block to goad the editor into emailing a user or accessing a custom document to give away his IP, or simply get SPI access if they have it. We are wording this policy to fight nuisances, but we need to look at the serious threats above all. Mercs hiring themselves out to hurt our editors under color of etiquette. Wnt (talk) 16:07, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • support--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 16:12, 16 January 2018 (UTC)


New basic wording:

No editor may use a position of trust or advanced user rights to:

  • solicit payment for services to be rendered on Wikipedia, or
  • accept payment for the use of such a position or rights
    • for the benefit a client
    • for advocating for a client, or
    • to evade our normal scrutiny system for new content and COI content.

Payments and grants made by the Wikimedia Foundation or its affiliates (e.g. chapters) are excepted. Wikipedians-in-Residence should declare their paid status and their paid use of advanced rights, but are otherwise exempt.

Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:30, 4 November 2017 (UTC)

This is an improvement, but I'm still a little uncomfortable with the word "solicit", which I think could potentially cover a wider range of scenarios than what is intended. Am I correct in assuming the intended effect of that clause is to stop people using OTRS and other WMF-sponsored tools for finding work? Lankiveil (speak to me) 02:30, 5 November 2017 (UTC).
Examples where "solicit" may come into play: Orangemoody-type advertising via email, i.e. Pay me to write your article and I'll make sure it sticks because I'm an admin, b) ads on Fiverr "You can pay me to write your article, and I'm an admin". One place that it wouldn't come into play is with Wikipedians-in-Residence because they "are otherwise exempt." I have no problem with a potential WiR saying to a respectable GLAM "BTW I also volunteer at OTRS" because GLAMs are aligned with our aims, and because I think GLAM folks (on- and off-Wiki) would police the activity themselves. I trust librarians!. Smallbones(smalltalk) 04:20, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Can the scope of "position of trust" be narrowed? What roles that do not require advanced user rights are being targeted? For example, is a co-ordinator of WikiProject Military history, an elected position, considered a position of trust for the purpose of this proposed guidance? How about the Today's featured article co-ordinators? Teahouse hosts? isaacl (talk) 18:26, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Sorry for my absence here, real-world obligations catch up sometimes. The answer to @Isaacl:'s question is most that there are many places where the rules for different positions and user rights are set out. I believe that each place needs input from the folks that hang out there and that the exact wording for each position can be worked out, In short, it'll be narrowed by doing one position at a time, and by the people involved. That's not to say that folks here can't be involved at those pages as well. So far:
  • small change already made at WP:AFC, with no opposition
  • small change at WP:COI reflecting the AfC change
  • an interesting discussion at WT:Good articles
  • I'll start a discussion very soon at WT:GRP (which covers OTRS and other rights)
Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:47, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
Can you list some examples of roles that would be covered which do not have associated advanced user rights? This would help me consider what type of wording may be appropriate. Personally, I do not think just being trusted by the community should be in itself a disqualifying factor, even though trusted editors inherently have a greater influence on discussions than those who aren't trusted. isaacl (talk) 17:00, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
My main concern is with holders of advanced rights who use their status, rather than the rights per se for paid editing, e.g. OTRS "volunteers" who might come on to enWiki (their rights, if we call them that are used elsewhere) and post something on a talk page, e.g. "From an OTRS ticket, I'm removing .... until a better source can be found." Or say an admin !voting at ANI. That's not exactly using their tools - it's a use of their position or status.
As far as "trusted positions" without tools - the only ones that concern me at all are AfC reviewer (this seems to have been taken care of) and Good Article reviewer (which is still being discussed). Others may be concerned about different positions - but let them make the proposals. As far as the elected director of WP:Military history - I just don't know enough about it - but I doubt that he'd win an election if he declared that he was willing to sell his services as the director. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:49, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
FA coordinator and the ArbCom election commission have been mentioned above. GMGtalk 17:56, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps it would be better to cast the restriction (for editors without advanced user rights) in terms of the type of services offered: the commonality seems to be decisions that are entrusted to one or a small number of persons, or the evaluation of the community's consensus view. So maybe something like this:
  • No editor with advanced user rights may solicit or accept payment for any service related to Wikipedia. Examples of services include advocating for a client, or evading scrutiny for any edits benefiting a client.
  • No editor may solicit or accept payment for any service related to evaluating the Wikipedia community's consensus view, or to deciding on an outcome either as an individual or within a committee, as opposed to part of a community discussion. Examples of outcomes include decisions made by the feature article co-ordinators, and rulings made by the Arbitration Committee election commission.
Further examples of course can be listed. isaacl (talk) 18:35, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Prefer this version to the one in the above section, since it deals with the "coordinators" matter. I do think the admin, CU, etc. policies need to be updated with explicit rules again using such special power/tools/authority on behalf of off-site interests. It really doesn't have anything to do with money changing hands but with PoV, COI, and NOT#ADVOCACY policy.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  00:24, 11 November 2017 (UTC); revised: 12:34, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I've made the relevant additions to New Page Patrol: [1][2]. MER-C 09:33, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

(radical?) counterproposal[edit]

Instead of running away and pretending we can stop editing (hint - I've only seen reports and instances of paid editing increase since the change in the ToS from my OTRS work), why don't we almost create a "trusted editor" system - editors that are trusted by the community are added to a page, can be contacted by external editors, and if the subject is indeed notable, the page can be created by them for either a charge or a donation to the WMF? (something a bit like WP:JOB but better publicised) Paid editing is clearly not going to go away - as I see it, we can have a choice where both us (with better paid-for articles, so less NPP needed), and the subjects (article less likely to get deleted, less likely to be scammed). I'm aware this does present a potential COI flag over the foundation, but as it is independent editors carrying out the editing, I don't see this as an issue.

Note: I'm not involved in paid editing, I just regularly dealt with the fall out from it. The current approach clearly isn't working IMO - maybe a shift in our approach may well get better results. Mdann52 (talk) 22:50, 3 November 2017 (UTC)

Those hiring paid editors are often looking for promotional rather than neutral content. The problem is growing as we become more well known and respected and the businesses that do this work increase in number. The rise of sites like Elance and Fivver also contribute. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:18, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
@Doc James: True - however, I think if we are going to keep our head into the sands that this issue can be solved with our current approach, promotional content is going to become more widely available. I think that trialing different approaches to see what impact they make would be at least vaguely worthwhile. Mdann52 (talk) 17:01, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Our current approach appears to be 1) some pretending the problem does not exist or if it does it does not matter 2) a small group trying very hard to keep our rules against paid editing from being applied and try to do everything possible to prevent any new rules from being created to regulate the practice or enforce our TOU.
So it is not surprising we are here. We do need to try things, but I would like to suggest we try enforcing our current rules or ban paid promotional editing directly in article space completely. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:41, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
  • @Godric on Leave: I can see the parallels there, but that seemed to be far more about money from the WMF rather than subjects. I'm under no illusion this proposal is not going to get any real levels of support - sometimes, I think it's best to throw radical proposals out there to get people thinking, as in my time on Wikipedia, towing the same line has only seen the problem get worse... Mdann52 (talk) 17:05, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Hi all! My opinion is simply disallowing those types of paied contributions because especially OTRs members as will as admins should be of the most confident users and represent the idea of volunteering for wikipedia and if we allow them to be paied for their contributions then wikipedia will become like any paid website and will lost its main principle of free knowledge. Those paied users are more prone to bias than those who are freely volunteering and sacrificing there efforts and time!. Regards--مصعب (talk) 11:18, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
This isn't going to happen.
  • @مصعب: There are a few editors involved with Wikipedia who are paid for their work and tend to produce high-quality articles - I'm of the opinion that paid editors !=bad editors as a general rule - hence why I'd rather it was members of the community being paid for writing articles outside their comfort areas, rather than unknown people writing paid promotional content. Mdann52 (talk) 17:01, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Just no TonyBallioni (talk) 13:13, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Hell no! - it would be reputational suicide. --Orange Mike | Talk 20:58, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Heck no! - some people get carried away! Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:44, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Absolutely no . This is even worse than the error that was made in the first place by allowing paid editing under the condition of disclosure. No form of paid editing is compatible with the volunteer philosophy of Wikipedia.Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:36, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Hahaha Worth imagining just so that in my mind I can see the look on the WMF's face if we tried to turn the platform into a donation machine through community consensus... In all seriousness though: not gonna happen. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 12:31, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
  • @Insertcleverphrasehere: Evidently, you've never been on Wikipedia around December while logged out for the annual fundraising drive... :P Mdann52 (talk) 22:12, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Presses nuke button - Seriously though, it is a good idea but per above wishful thinking. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 16:24, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
  • No. Such a web site would be possible, and might be no worse than the commercial world already is, but whoever wants to run it, can and must do so entirely independently from WP or the WMF, and I do not think anyone could ethically participate in both. The problem is that our copyright permits anyone to use our material, and then add commercialism onto it, but we always knew that's inherent in the license. Personally I sometimes think we should have chosen -NC, but we didn't. DGG ( talk ) 19:14, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • No Absolutely not. Bad idea. Qaei 10:17, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

History - people with privileges who edited for pay[edit]

Several folks have asked if this has ever happened. I've been spending a bit of time looking at that...

apparent sock (listed at SPI): Homechap (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)
apparent sock (listed in Arbcom decision June 2009): Zithan (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)
crat, oversighter, admin, OTRS.
per edit count first edit in 2004.
status, Zithan blocked; other accounts not blocked, Nichalp retired; last edit on en-WP was Jan 2009 (left enigmatic note here 31 Jan 2009).
Made a 'crat here in September 2005 ; stripped by arbcom here June 2009.
joined OTRS here October 2007; removed from list here July 2009 with edit note No longer active(!)
June 2009 SPI filed and was put on hold for Arbcom, Arbcom finding is here
btw this from July 2008 looks a lot like trying to figure out how to cover their socking tracks after a goof, using the tools.
The arbcom decision spawned a long discussion at the related talk page here.
Led to a slew of AfDs eg linked from Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Brad Sugars
Led to a mammoth RfC that ran June-July 2009 Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Paid_editing
Status. not blocked. Still an admin. not too active per edit count, last edit was Feb 2017
per edit count, created in 2006
diff, June 2009 acknowledged editing for pay; explained here on 11 June that they work for a university and I only add content or modify content with information that is sourced directly from our publications and web-sites, or from accompanying articles.. That diff says that they gave up the bit and they did but they asked for it back in Nov 2009 log)
sock of account formerly called Mrinal Pandey, renamed to Empengent (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)
See SPI Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/Mrinal_Pandey/Archive (I had never looked at that before. Wow)
arbcom case Feb 2015; desysopped and banned for socking and editing for pay on behalf of a university, Indian Institute of Planning and Management
Master account (edit count) created Dec 2006
Wifione account (per edit count) created April 2009.
user rights log, made admin Sept 2010.
OTRS, autopatrol
status, indeffed Nov 2017)
OTRS (removed Oct 2017)

--(That is what I found so far. Jytdog (talk) 18:31, 18 November 2017 (UTC))

Currently editing for pay through "Mister Wiki"

— (added by JJMC89(T·C) 18:56, 19 November 2017 (UTC))

New Page Patroller
Systematically marked as patrolled new pages created by one of the big UPE sockfarms.

-- added by Rentier (talk) 19:27, 19 November 2017 (UTC))

AFC reviewer
Does work for "Mister Wiki".

- (added by Jytdog (talk) 22:54, 19 November 2017 (UTC))

Other history[edit]

Had never seen this list before. Back in 2009 already somebody was tracking ads for paid editing on Elance. See User:Brumski/paid_editing_adverts. Jytdog (talk) 18:31, 18 November 2017 (UTC)

Rather than putting this list on the village pump page, how about including it somewhere under Wikipedia:WikiProject Integrity, such as a subpage of Wikipedia:WikiProject Integrity/Editor Registry, so it can more easily located again in future and kept up-to-date? isaacl (talk) 20:07, 19 November 2017 (UTC)

As I noted at the top, people in the RfC discussion asked about other people with advanced privileges (PWAPs ??) who edited for pay and I wanted to make it easy for folks participating to see. But yes it should be copied to the Integrity page. Jytdog (talk) 21:17, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
You guys should probably take care to separate your own sigs from the list of editors in the section above. ☆ Bri (talk) 00:31, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
thx, added notations and smallified. :) Jytdog (talk) 02:40, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

Current developments[edit]

In view of the current case (which is going to be accepted) at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case#Mister_Wiki concerning an admin, the entire proposal should be reworded as:

The holding of advanced rights is incompatible with paid editing

Even if a user with advanced rights creates creates another identity for his/her paid editing (such as user:Salvidrim!), it just creates yet another perceived degree of tolerance for paid editing - and its still the same person. No one can claim to successfully manage a voluntary split personality. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:01, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

  • I didn't realize this discussion was happening here, I had been commenting on the case request. I'll just basically expand on what I said there: I think that it would be a very good idea if we made users choose between holding advanced permissions or being paid to edit. To my mind it's pretty simple: if you want to accept payment for doing something on Wikipedia, you first go to WP:BN and say "I've been hired to do a thing, please remove all of my userrights" (yes, rollback and everything, right down to autoconfirmed). Maybe we should require that you describe the work you're being paid to do, or post a link to the request on Fiverr or wherever, that seems like a good idea for transparency. Then you go do your paid gig, making proper disclosures along the way, and once you're done you go back to BN and say "my paid gig is done, please give me back my userrights". Then, obviously, you don't touch that topic again. It's all done from one account so you're accountable for it, and nobody is prevented from doing paid editing if that's a thing they want to do. And if you're being paid to "manage" content on an ongoing basis, you shouldn't be entitled to any advanced permissions.
As for Pigsonthewing's concern about Wikipedians in Residence, I think it stands to reason that being paid to promote Wikipedia and facilitate outreach events is somewhat different from being paid to edit Wikipedia on behalf of a third party. The WiR program is already pretty transparent, and clearly valuable. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 15:43, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I think this would be a very bad idea. There are far too many grey areas and corner cases and times where this would harm the encyclopaedia (making it much harder for someone to revert vandalism they happen across) - not to mention that it would encourage people with rights greater than autoconfirmed to lie about any paid editing making the problem worse rather than better. We will either lose many good editors and admins because of technical violations or the rules will be inconsistently enforced making much more of a mess than we currently have. Thryduulf (talk) 17:15, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Support the principle that The holding of advanced rights is incompatible with paid editing. I'm not sure that lesser rights than admin really need to be covered, but it does no great harm and keeps it simple. Anything in excess of auto-confirmed rights should be covered.
And this seems to me to be consistent with the direction ARBCOM has taken. When I became an admin, the principle seemed to be that I'd be under greater scrutiny when exercising "the mop", but that's now been extended to every edit an admin makes. We should be consistent, and apply this principle to all advanced rights and positions.
But please note I'm not advocating enforcement as a solution. The spirit of wp:5P5 as I see it is, whenever we need to enforce the rules, they have in a sense already failed. The goal should be to write the rules, and build consensus supporting them, so that enforcement is rarely necessary, and so that the cases where sanctions are needed stick out like sore thumbs, because users that are here try to follow the rules whether they agree with them or not. Andrewa (talk) 22:01, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
Support Kudpung's proposal that "The holding of advanced rights is incompatible with paid editing". Once money enters the scene the motivation for every action is questionable. In Salvidrim's case, granting rights to the alternate account is (imho) indistinguishable from sockpuppetry. Regardless of the outcome at Arbcom Salvidrim's credibility and impartiality is shot. How can an admin, who accepts payment under another hat, give fair judgement on other paid editors?
A bright-line rule as proposed by Kudpung would leave no room for ambiguity or doubt, and leave no grey area for anybody to stumble into. The restriction needs to be applicable not only to Admins but to Page Movers (for suppressredirect) and Template Editors (for the ability to duck the title blacklist) at the very least. Cabayi (talk) 18:31, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
Not in this form. With the way the question is being framed so far, the proposed solution is missing the aim. The problem underlying all the situations that have been discussed so far is not the fact itself that payments have been made, it is the introduction of a conflict of interest subsequent to these payments. It is the conflicts of interest that we should strive to find ways of tackling, regardless of their form (and there are myriads ways for this to happen: personally, I think the existence of visible edit counts acts as a much stronger disincentive to keep wikipedia's purpose in mind than all the harmful money you could pump into the project). Directly or indirectly receiving payment for any forms of editing (with or without the exercising of advanced rights) can happen in a variety of situations that do not involve such conflicts of interest. How about wikipedians in residence, WMF staff or WikiEdu coordinators, should they be banned from using any advanced tools? Is it wrong for the organisers of a big student editathon to hire a wikipedian to clean up the resultant mess? Is it wrong for a user to start a crowdfunding campaign among her friends so that she can dedicate a month of her time to helping clear the AfC backlog? – Uanfala (talk) 19:27, 24 December 2017 (UTC)

RfC: Comma or parenthetic disambiguation for "small places"[edit]

(non-admin closure) Closed as no consensus.- MrX 🖋 19:05, 23 January 2018 (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.

There are recurrent disputes about article titles for what could be called "small places" – churches, sporting event arenas and other venues, schools and other institutions, malls, plazas, parks, outdoor statues and monuments, railway stations, and other things to which one can go but which are structures or otherwise have an architectural component, and are not villages, cities, forests, or other large areas. Just today, for example, there was move-warring between Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam and Nieuwe Kerk (Amsterdam), both moves performed via WP:RM/TR despite being potentially controversial. I see stuff like this all the time, and the amount of disruption (both to article locations and to editorial tempers) has gotten to the "enough is enough" point.

Should Wikipedia:Article titles#COMMADIS be applied to such "small places" consistently, or should we continue to arbitrarily apply parenthetic disambiguation to some of them? If the latter, what determines whether to use the one style versus the other?

Background: according to WP:ATDIS policy, parenthetic disambiguation is the third (that is, quite disfavored) choice in disambiguation style, with comma-based disambiguation ahead of it as number 2, and natural disambiguation preferred over all. An argument can be made that comma style in this sort of case is actually a form of natural disambiguation because it is regularly used in everyday English (i.e., comma disambiguation that isn't also natural is really more like Robert Scarlett, 2nd Baron Abinger and Robert Scarlett, 6th Baron Abinger – an awkward formalism, though still less awkward than parenthetic). The section in this policy on comma disambiguation gives both royal styles/titles and locations as examples, but not only is this not an exclusive list, it specifically says "Comma-separated disambiguation is sometimes also used in other contexts". The counter-argument appears to be that "places" was meant to be interpreted strictly as jurisdictions, is not inclusive of structures, fields/pitches, and other "micro-places", and that "sometimes also used in other contexts" doesn't apply to them.

 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  05:51, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

Comments on COMMADIS scope[edit]

  • Apply COMMADIS consistently, as more in keeping with WP:CONSISTENCY and WP:NATURAL policies (not to be confused with WP:NATURALDIS, which is dependent on it), and to put an end to pointless but heated and near-constant disputation over this disambiguation trivia, which is predicated on subjective, unclear, idiosyncratic distinctions about what is and isn't a "place".  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  05:51, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support for all cases where there's no good reason to do otherwise. Tony (talk)
  • No objection to adding churches, parks and stations to the list. But for example this generally does not work for paintings in art galleries (or in cities). Johnbod (talk) 13:40, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
    • Sure; this isn't mean to apply to anything no one would think of a "place", i.e. something one can neither enter nor (thinking of large monuments with no doors) climb. If it's big and outside, it should qualify. More like: stuff that our language naturally disambiguates with commas qualifies generally (per WP:ATDAB policy's order of disambiguation-style precedence); but commas don't work well for small, indoor things, or for stuff that's abstract or a person, or otherwise not something we non-awkwardly use commas with in English.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:49, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I do not get how this works for neighborhoods/sections of a city, where there is also a park or other geographical feature with the same name. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:47, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
    • Same as for any other such naming clash: disambiguate further, probably parenthetically. The idea that "Foo Bar, Baz" and "Foo Bar (Baz)" with each term identical between the examples (i.e. Foo=Foo), is supposed to meaningfully disambiguate between (e.g.) a park and a neighborhood is silly and impractical. The fact that people have been trying this and that readers and even many editors have been confused by it is a part of why this RfC has been opened. The sensible approach is to use "Foo Bar, Baz" for the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC and "Foo Bar, Baz (park)" or whatever for the non-primary one(s).  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:42, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Comma disambiguation is a relic of the fact that this is how names of populated places tend to be addressed in the real world. I think it would be absurd to apply it to objects like statues. With respect to natural features like rivers and mountains, it typically distinguishes between those features and place names that happen to include the word "River" or "Mountain". bd2412 T 05:51, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Note: An editor has expressed a concern that editors have been canvassed to this discussion. (diffs: [3], [4], [5])  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:37, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Consistency is not needed... What determines whether to use the one style versus the other? Discussion and local consensus. Blueboar (talk) 15:11, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
    That doesn't seem to be particularly meaningful. This is a discussion, and WP:CONLEVEL specifically exists to prevent a "local consensus" from making up its own rules that conflict with site-wide policy like WP:ATDAB.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:38, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
I’m not saying that a “rule” should be made at a local level... I’m saying that the “rule” is: “There are several acceptable forms of disambiguation”... and the determination of WHICH acceptable form of disambiguation is most appropriate to use in any given article has to be made at the article level... on a topic by topic basis. Blueboar (talk) 13:04, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • This RfC seems a poorly framed (i.e., unclear) attempt to make policy based on edge cases. In general, I really, really do not understand why some editors have such an irrational dislike for parenthetical disambiguation. Personally, I think parenthetical disambiguation should be the default EXCEPT in those cases where there is a commonly used natural language title. Parenthetical disambiguation makes it clearer to readers what part of the title is the actual name of the subject rather than some arbitrarily appended term to disambiguate. So, I think that would place me firmly in the oppose camp. olderwiser 15:25, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
    Cognitive dissonance. It seems "unclear" to you, and you "don't understand" and think there's something "irrational" going on because you've made an incorrect assumption that this has something to do with likes and preferences. In reality, it's about how to apply the WP:ATDAB policy more consistently, to avoid continual pointless dispute on the matter. By way of analogy 1: You can harbor a dislike of a particular rule in Texas hold'em poker and wish that the game were a little different, but you'll still strenuously object when one of your opponents cheats under the rules as-written. Analogy 2) Your argument is effectively indistinguishable from "Kosher and hallal are weird nonsense. I don't get why these people hate pigs and have emotional issues with dairy. It's irrational that they won't eat my pepperoni pizza." It has nothing to do with emotional preferences, but with wether the food you put in front of them complies with rule systems they take seriously.

    I personally don't mind parenthetic DAB at all. I'd be quite happy if we eliminated all other options. But we have a four-tier system of DAB, with parenthetic in next-to-last place of preference, and that's what consensus has decided we collectively want. Analogy 3: Don't show up to a football game with a basketball and complain about all this kicking and grass and lack of a hoop.
     — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:45, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

    I stand by the assertion that this is unclear (not only that it seems so). You want to read WP:ATDAB policy as being more hierarchical than it is or than how others interpret it. Sorry, I remain unconvinced. Ignoring your deprecating asides as off point and irrelevant, I continue to maintain it is more beneficial for readers to clearly mark the disambiguating terms with parentheses rather than make implicit suggesting that the comma term is a part of the name. olderwiser 16:18, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Close per WP:FORUMSHOP. See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Trains#RfC: UK railway station disambiguation. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:24, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
    • Nonsense. That's an only tangentially related discussion, primarily about word order, for one topic+country intersection. This is about a general principle across all topics, site-wide.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:36, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
So what was the objection to advising those participating in that specific discussion that a discussion of the 'general principle' had now been initiated (and would outrank the local discussion)?Rjccumbria (talk) 16:48, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't know. Where is this objection of which you speak, so we can look at it?  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  10:53, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • There is absolutely nothing wrong with comma disambiguation for these places. It should be applied as it has always been applied. Consistently according to consensus (e.g. in most Commonwealth countries, the consensus is and has long been to use commas). -- Necrothesp (talk) 14:20, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I have several issues:
    • I agree with Bkonrad in believing that my esteemed colleague, SMcCandlish, is mistaken in asserting that, because in WP:ATDIS policy, parenthetic disambiguation is listed third, it is a "quite disfavored" choice in disambiguation style. In fact, WP:ATDIS says, "When deciding on which disambiguation method(s) to use, all article titling criteria are weighed in," and then it lists 5 methods. There is no basis for concluding that these methods are listed in order of most-favored to least-favored.
    • The topic heading here is vague. Streets and roads are long and narrow; are they small places? For example:
    • Schools are typically disambiguated with parentheses, see, e.g. Lincoln High School.
    • It was recently decided that rail lines should use parentheses disambiguation.
    • "X, state" implies that X is the name of a locality within a state, for example, Syracuse, New York. We should avoid using comma disambiguation when it incorrectly implies that something is a locality.
    • In conclusion, I think this proposal should be quietly forgotten, i.e.,
    • Close. —Anomalocaris (talk) 10:20, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Use parenthetical disambiguation for geographical objects which are not, as Wiktionary says, "inhabited areas" (place § English § Noun 1.3). While both would be correct but strange if inserted into the middle of an English sentence (and assuming we can't use "in place" as a disambiguator), using parentheses would marginally help with some consistency in naming for classes of physical objects which are disambiguated by things that are and are not place [inhabited area] names, such as railway stations. Jc86035 (talk) 15:13, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Prefer comma disambiguation when it would be a natural way to describe a place in a sentence. As Jc86035 says, some "would be correct but strange if inserted into the middle of an English sentence"; the comma-disambiguated ones that would be correct and not strange should be preferred that way. I would think this would apply to a lot of Main Streets and railway stations. Dicklyon (talk) 16:17, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Close. I cannot see how any one rule is going to fit well for all purposes, places, and regional styles; the reasonable exceptions may well outweight the "majority". "Small places" is imprecise, likely to create more EW, not less. Maybe this RfC could be broken down in a few manageable sub-cases (like the railway naming), but not one rule to ring them all. --A D Monroe III(talk) 18:04, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Close with "no consensus". As per Anomalocaris, there is more than one way to disambiguate, and the comma is not always the natural way. This entire RfC seems to be another attempt by SMcC to make everyone follow the rules as determined by him or else. Useddenim (talk) 14:45, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:CREEP. Andrew D. (talk) 18:14, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

Extended discussion of COMMADIS scope[edit]

What are you raving about, McCandlish? There has only been a single move, which I performed (not by WP:RM/TR), at Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam, to what you admit (behind the usual smokescreen of verbiage) is the right title. You might be thinking of Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, which is where it has long been, until some well-meaning type briefly moved it to Oude Kerk (Amsterdam), to agree with the Nieuwe Kerk as it then was, and I moved it back (via a WP:RM/TR request). The vast majority of churches are disamed with a comma, and rightly so. No "move-warring", still less "pointless but heated and near-constant disputation", & nothing "potentially controversial", Johnbod (talk) 13:22, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

I decline to address uncivil characterizations like that. If I say this is about a long-term pattern of conflict, then I mean that. The fact that you don't like one example has no bearing on the RfC other than maybe some additional examples would have been in order. At this late a date, there'd be no point.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  16:48, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

Are these "small places" actually places, or are they just things which happen to have a fixed place because they're too big to move easily? For example, Forres railway station just moved. (Must update the article...) The term "Forres railway station" now applies to the new facility (even though they built new platforms rather than shifting the old one), suggesting that the article's topic is an object rather than a place. There is an argument for COMMADIS applying, but I don't think it's an obvious consequence of "small places" being a subset of "places". Certes (talk) 15:18, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

@Certes: See also wiktionary:place#noun. I think you could look at this debate as entirely based on which sub-definition of "place" is supposed to be meant. Jc86035 (talk) 15:21, 3 December 2017 (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.

RFC on forming possessive form of singular names, MOS advice simplification[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was that there appears to be consensus in support of the proposal. Bellezzasolo Discuss 16:39, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

Should we simplify the advice of the WP:Manual of Style to choose between a pronunciation-based option and a uniform "add apostophe and s" option, in favor of just the uniform approach, since the pronunciation-based approach is complicated, seems to be misunderstood, and is hard to apply? Dicklyon (talk) 02:36, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

Specifically, the proposal, based on the discussion at WT:MOS#Apostronot, is that the nearly three hundred words of the existing MOS:POSS under the heading Singular nouns be replaced with this text that paraphrases the advice in University of Oxford Style Guide:

For the possessive of singular nouns, including proper names and words ending with an s (sounded as /s/ or /z/, or silent), add 's: my niece's wedding, James's house, Cortez's men, Glass's books, Illinois's largest employer, Descartes's philosophy. If a name already ends in s or z and would be difficult to pronounce if ’s were added to the end, consider rearranging the phrase to avoid the difficulty: Jesus’s teachings or the teachings of Jesus.

Note that most modern English guides recommend an approach close to this, though often with a short list or small category of exceptions. Please comment, support, or oppose. Feel free to propose alternative simplifications if neither this proposal nor the status quo seems ideal. If you prefer exceptions, what is the list or how will it be determined? Dicklyon (talk) 02:36, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

Comments on singular possessive form[edit]

  • Support as much simpler and easier to understand and explain; would avoid the pronunciation arguments that the current MOS:POSS generates, and reflect common usage MapReader (talk) 06:10, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I've always found this rule from the University of Oxford's style guide to be very clear and useful. I'd support this change. Killiondude (talk) 07:09, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support (preferably without the second sentence, since pronunciation varies widely). This is the sensible "please stop fighting about this" approach, and is very clear and simple both for editors and more importantly for readers. The "sometimes just use ' by itself" styles are ambiguous, inconsistent, confusing, and lead to frequent dispute, while the "consistently use 's" style is understood by everyone, and 100% clear on whether something is a singular or plural possessive. Verbal pronunciation-based ideas about how to punctuate are of no relevance on Wikipedia, which is not a broadcast medium. Such "rules" (which sharply conflict in both specifics and rationales from publisher to publisher) are found in regional style guides, but do not make any sense in an international encyclopedia, because pronunciation of things like Jones's and Texas's vary on more than one axis (both syllabification and, often, /s/ versus /z/ – varying not only by dialect but by individual word/name). Modern style guides are increasingly shifting to a simple "just use 's" rule, including The Chicago Manual of Style (with some nitpicks [some of which are not even self-consistent – even CMoS has some editing gaffes] in the 17th ed., University of Oxford Style Guide, and various others. Those that want some kind of "odd exceptions for ' by itself" variance are mostly either old, or are written for a fixed audience with known dominant pronunciation patterns. We have no need of the rather tortured "make a special exception for ..." stuff found very randomly and inconsistently in various off-WP style guides (when not based on regional pronunciation, they're usually based on the traditionalism of "Jesus'" and "Moses'" in the King James Version of the Bible, which is written in late Middle English, while Wikipedia obviously is not).  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  11:25, 12 December 2017 (UTC); revised 14:24, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support but allow occasional exceptions if contemporary English reliable sources are (mostly) consistent in using just '. Above all don't edit war about it. Thryduulf (talk) 13:43, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
    I was assuming it went without saying that the normal approach of preserving format for citations and quotations would continue to apply. Other than that, I doubt that there are any words where an alternative format is consistently used; even Jesus's is very common nowadays MapReader (talk)
  • Support This is the only sensible version. No need for a list of exceptions, just rephrase the sentence if you don't like how it sounds. --Khajidha (talk) 13:46, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. This is great.The current MOS, with two options, one unconditional and the other depending on pronunciation, with the one to be used depending on who's edited the article first, couldn't be better designed to generate editor disputes. The new proposal is so much better. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2a00:23c5:5a4c:c400:d093:4f95:a3d0:abdb (talkcontribs)
  • Support per University of Oxford style guide linked above. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 15:42, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
    Just to be clear, this is the "University of Oxford Style Guide", not one of the "professional" guides published by Oxford University Press, which it states it is not trying to compete with, but does differ from a bit. Dicklyon (talk) 16:35, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
    Thanks, edited to clarify. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 18:57, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment - in the example, I don't understand why it's recommended to add 's for "Glass's books" while it's recommended to rewrite "Jesus's teachings". What's the difference? Both end with a hard s sound, at least how I pronounce them. And maybe it's different in different places, but wouldn't "Jesus's teachings" and "Jesus' teachings" be pronounced the same? Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 18:55, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Your last sentence is a good point. I suggest that multiple editors corner their respective priests/pastors at church on Sunday and ask them how they pronounce the possessive of "Jesus" in their sermons. And report back here afterwards. If "Jesus's" is good enough for Father Bob and his congregation, it should be good enough for Wikipedia. ―Mandruss  19:49, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Jesus's is certainly good enough for a range of reputable sources including the Daily Telegraph, the Atlantic website, Newsweek magazine, and the Guardian, as well as a whole batch of Christian sites in both the U.S. and Europe. MapReader (talk) 20:59, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
  • That being the case, even if the last sentence is retained, which I will probably oppose as a cost:benefit fail, "Jesus's" is a crappy choice for an example. ―Mandruss  21:06, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Nevertheless the proposal delivers 90% of what you are arguing for, and the option to re-word a phrase is always there, whether flagged by the MOS or not. WP MOS proposals are littered with examples of the good failing for want of the best, and hopefully editors will recognise that a leap forward is progress even if not perfection in a single bound? MapReader (talk) 22:55, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I stated support for "as written" as second choice. That means that, absent a consensus for my first choice, my !vote is no different from yours. Thus, this is not a case of "better is the enemy of good". But there is no chance of that consensus if nobody is willing to be the first to !vote for it. ―Mandruss  05:12, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Yep. I've changed my own stated preference to match yours, since I hold the same views; all the second sentence does is shift the point of contention instead of removing it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:24, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Many guides discuss exception for names already ending with two sibilants, like Jesus and Moses; quite different from Glass. And if you would pronounce Jesus' the same as Jesus's, you are evidence for the fact that this distinction is super confusing. Dicklyon (talk) 20:24, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
  • No, that's the key point, the ' is silent (in those style rules, like ours, that are based upon pronunciation). Listen to the Velvet Underground song Heroin, the line containing Jesus' son. Pronounced the same as Jesus son. Indeed pretty much the only argument for the ', given the potential ambiguity it creates, is the supposed difficulty of pronouncing 's (in certain limited circumstances). Yet, as SMcC says above, WP is not a broadcast medium. MapReader (talk) 20:46, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Is that a point of difficulty with the instructions? I've always read constructions like Jesus's and Jesus' as both sounding like "Jesuses", although it occurs to me that I would pronounce something like "Jesus' son" as you said in your example. I've also wondered why it became standard to use s' at all, figuring it's just one of those weird English things. Like how in Shakespearean-era English in a phrase like "all are punished!" the word "punished" is pronounced with three syllables (pun-ish-ed), where for it to be pronounced like we do these days it would be written "punish'd". That is, just something weird that evolved into (or out of) the language. This is probably way off-topic. The point is, if people don't agree on how to pronounce these things, then a standard based on pronunciation will fail. I don't know if this is a widespread case: it's what I'm used to, but it could still be a rare thing. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 21:37, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
The only argument for not adding the 's, which is the standard approach in written English, is the link (in some style guides) with pronunciation. As soon as you divorce pronunciation from the written form - already a common approach, English being full of irregularities - you may as well always just add 's for the written possessive. As you say, we would be better off without a style guide within WP that tries to link punctuation with pronunciation, given how much the latter varies around the world. MapReader (talk) 03:43, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment - If a name already ends in s or z and would be difficult to pronounce if ’s were added to the end, consider rearranging the phrase to avoid the difficulty: Jesus’s teachings or the teachings of Jesus. - Why does it matter whether it's difficult to pronounce (for some people)? How often do people read Wikipedia articles aloud? Are readers going to spend a significant amount of time struggling to "pronounce" "Jesus's" in their minds? ―Mandruss  19:35, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
    You're right, and the group of us that discussed it on the MOS talk page did consider going a step further and recommending simply always adding 's. The final proposal we ran with retains a small part of the existing link to pronunciation, particularly for sensitive words like Jesus - but through the option of re-ordering the phrase (which is always open to editors anyhow). MapReader (talk) 20:51, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
    To answer this would take quite awhile and involve the mechanics of how people actually perform the process of 'reading'. Short version: Internal voice can trip up reading as much as external voice. See Subvocalization. If its hard to say, it can be hard to read. Only in death does duty end (talk) 09:16, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
    That is not an argument for omitting the 's. I get "tripped up" more by Jesus' than by Jesus's—my language processing center needs the 's sound to make it a possessive.
    Regardless, even if there is some subvocalization benefit that is so minute that we need academics to tell us it exists (and that has yet to be shown, anyway), I weigh all benefit against its cost and I believe that that second sentence is a cost/benefit fail for the project. Editor time is a finite resource; there will never be enough of it to do everything, so priorities must be set and some less important things must be allowed to slide in favor of more important things. The editor time spent arguing, edit-warring, and RfCing about this (and more editor time dealing with the disputes at DRN, ANI, AN3, etc) would be editor time not spent doing things that benefit readers more. ―Mandruss  20:24, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support first sentence only per my comments above. I fully support the use of guidelines to eliminate unjustifiable battlegrounds, and the second sentence does the opposite. It will not be a good use of community time to engage in debates about the degree of difficulty in pronouncing "Hughes's"—replete with academic/pedantic references to sibilants and such—especially considering that readers are not required to pronounce it. Support as written as second choice, as that would still be a marked improvement. ―Mandruss  21:46, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose anything more: I am extremely unfamiliar with "'s" being added to possessives ending with an "s"; it looks really weird. In that regard, I am completely against anything that fully discourages the use of "s'". If—however—it is evidently becoming common (and I have missed it), by all means give editors a choice. Sb2001 14:19, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
    Adding 's has always been the most common thing, for most names ending in s. I've never seen a style guide that said generally not to, have you? A lot of people do confuse the rules from plurals that end in s, however, which may be the case with your own familiarity. For examples, see the history of the Steve Jobs article; every now and then someone comes along and claims they were taught that Jobs's would be wrong; but by all style guides I've ever seen, it's right and preferred. Still, some of the cited sources do use Jobs', so we quote them that way. Neither of the alternatives recommended by our MOS or most guides would sanction that. Dicklyon (talk) 02:02, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
    I cannot say I have ever consulted a style guide on this—it has never been disputed. I have always written "s'", and haven't been questioned about it. Most of my grammar, etc, comes from education. The teacher who introduced me to possessives must have adopted this style. Sb2001 01:00, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
    See here for some recent previous style guide and dictionary discussion, before the RfC. See also long list of previous discussions going back to MoS's earliest period. The précis is that style guides since at least Strunk & White's The Elements of Style have advised consistently using apostrophe-s, while some have made various inconsistent exceptions but decreasingly do so, and various news publishers have preferred dropping the s under various circumstances to save space but they also don't do it consistently.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:44, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose standardising this completely. As there are still style guides that recommend checking the pronunciation [6], we don't need to force editors to write "Mephistopheles’s" against their will. Our MoS should not recommend something and then say "if it looks weird to you, rephrase it". Instead, allow non-weird possessives. —Kusma (t·c) 21:55, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
    You are of course free to write it any way you please. The MOS does not force editors to do anything. But if someone moves it toward MOS compliance, let it go, OK? That's all we ask. Dicklyon (talk) 03:58, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
    Unfortunately, in reality, no one is free to write anything any way they please because MOS does force editors to do it the MOS way -- and it's why one editor can easily lord over another editor with [[MOS:SAYS]]. Pyxis Solitary talk 12:14, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
    I can't even imagine how I could force you or another editor to write the way the MOS recommends. Dicklyon (talk) 00:49, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
Off-topic digression about editors who delete content based on MoS-related arguments
  • Every time an editor swoops into an article to delete or change content with [[MOS:SAYS]] as the reason, he's using MOS to force editors to write content in a manner that complies with MOS. Sometimes it's legitimate, but sometimes MOS is used by assholes who spend their life nitpicking articles as self-appointed MOS enforcers. Pyxis Solitary talk 03:59, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
    I'd like to see one example of an editor referring to themselves as a "MOS enforcer". Primergrey (talk) 05:42, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
    I'll bet you thought you had a perfect riposte. But I suggest you re-read what was actually written. Pyxis Solitary talk 03:26, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
    So how do you decide which it is? Legitimate attempt to bring an article more into accord with en.w's MOS, versus just nitpicking self-appointed enforcers? And how does that force anyone else to write one way or another? Dicklyon (talk) 04:11, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
    Experience, with certain editors who shall remain nameless. I've seen editors wipe out content, for example, and point to MOS as the basis. But when you read what MOS actually says, the "basis" was a personal interpretation of MOS. And these are editors who, when you look at their history, are habitually involved in ANIs. (Having a system in place for resolving disputes is laudable, but Wikipedia also needs a simple 'EditorName+ANI' search function so that everyone can find out how contentious some editors are.) MOS in a Webopedia offers a measure of uniformity in its articles (sections, sources, links, images, et al.). But nitpicking, for example, is when an editor removes a name from an infobox because the article does not also contain a source for the name, and gives MOS as the reason for the deletion — when what he should have done is add a 'citation needed' template so that it stands out and another editor can then find a source. And then when you look at the history of the editor that deleted the content, you see that he's been swooping through numerous articles, making the same or similar edits to them.
    How can MOS be used to force someone to write one way or another? All you have to do is rewrite what that someone contributed and use [[MOS:SAYS]] as the reason. Maybe it was poorly written, and that's legitimate. But sometimes it's just another editor's preference for how something should be written. And that, in itself, sends a message. (And this discussion is not a means to an end. And is going nowhere. Because there's nowhere to go.) Pyxis Solitary talk 04:40, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
    Unless a change per MOS can be shown to harm the article, it should be left alone. If there is disagreement about whether it harms the article, that's why we have article talk pages and consensus. All of this can and should be resolved with mutual respect like any other issue. Hyperbolic and inflammatory references to swooping into articles (how does one "swoop into" an article, exactly?) and "assholes who spend their life nitpicking articles as self-appointed MOS enforcers" have no place in discussion or in one's thinking, smack of WP:PA and WP:OWN, and are themselves harmful to the project. Period. ―Mandruss  04:57, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
    "have no place in discussion or in one's thinking, smack of WP:PA and WP:OWN". And here is a perfect example of how WP guidelines can be abused.
    WP:PA doesn't apply to a generalized comment where no specific, individual editor is targeted in a comment. WP:OWN doesn't apply when a generalized comment does not involve an article.
    Saying that my comment smacks of "WP:PA and WP:OWN" is a veiled attempt to intimidate me. Until I say "So and So is an asshole" — WP:PA is null and void. Until I say "I don't want editors doing this and that to this article" — WP:OWN is null and void. I don't play games with WP guidelines and I don't use WP guidelines to apply pressure on another editor. And unlike the behavior and attitude I've witnessed from many editors since Day One ... I don't walk on water. Pyxis Solitary talk 03:21, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
    "Smack of" as in "smells like" as in "not far removed from". You acknowledge this yourself when you point out the distinctions between what you're saying and an actual violation of these policies. Primergrey (talk) 05:50, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
    Pyxis, you appear to be mixing up "the MoS" with "isolated disruptive editors I have a problem with and who deleted some content I would have kept". That whole block of invective is just is off-topic, since it has nothing to do with apostrophes and possessives. PS: The search function you want already exists; go to WP:ANI, and at the bottom of the "Noticeboard archives" navbox there's a search field.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:24, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Pyxis is obviously confusing "writing" with "editwarring to prevent rewriting", confusing "I want to write how I want to write" with "I want to stop anyone else writing how I don't want to write in articles on my watchlist", and forgetting WP:MERCILESS. If you write "Amy Jones's", as advised by Chicago Manual of Style, et al., and Pyxis happened to have originally put "Amy Jones' " in there, under the old and confused/confusing MoS guidelines, it's Pyxis who wants to "swoop into an article to delete or change content ... to force editors to write content in a manner that complies" with a PoV position. This sort of thing is precisely why we have WP:OWN policy. — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:24, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Kusma, "there are still style guides that recommend checking the pronunciation" is a faulty notion. Style guides are not in any way consistent in doing so (other than the major academic ones, on which MoS is based, are all moving to using " 's" consistently. Purported rules in the other direction I've seen (in old style guides, news journalism ones, and obscure ones) are to: use the apostrophe alone only with "Jesus" and "Moses" specifically; do it it for all Greek and Latin names; for "names from antiquity"; for everything ending in the character "s"; for everything ending in the character "s" or "z"; for everything ending in an "s" sound, for everything ending in an "s" or "z" sound; for anything ending in those sounds but only if a following /əz/ sound would be dropped from it [by that publication's target audience]; for anything that already has sibilants in both the final and penultimate syllables; and more besides. WP has no particular target audience, and pronunciation varies, widely, by region even in the same country. The only practical solutions here are what Dicklyon proposed, or Mandruss's shorter version without any "rewrite" suggestion. While editwarring about this doesn't rise to the level of a huge public controversy like the kind that end up with their own ArbCom case, it's still frequent. And it's always a facts-versus-opinion issue (what style guides that WP cares about say, versus WP:IDONTLIKEIT / WP:IDONTKNOWIT), and essentially the same debate again and again and again; preventing such perennial drain on editorial productivity and collaboration is why we have a style guide.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:24, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I think clearer instruction in the MOS would be beneficial to the project as a whole, (hopefully) eliminating one point of confusion/contention. At the very least, perhaps we can restrict this conflict to a single thread here as opposed to a myriad of article talk pages. Personally I have always cringed at the singular s-apostrophe construct, but I have noticed a marked increase in its usage of late, especially in more casual writing. CThomas3 (talk) 03:53, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
    • Some variant of it is commonly found in news style, but WP is not written in that style as a matter of clear policy at WP:NOT#NEWS. Its common in that field because journalism prizes compression over clarity due to print constraints (WP:NOT#PAPER), and is usually (aside from massive publications like The New York Times and The Guardian) written for localized audiences with predictable publication patterns. While use of the bare apostrophe has declined outside journalism, it seems to have increased in news, probably because of merger of broadcasting and print news operations, with internal consolidation of their style guides (pronunciation cues like using "Texas' " instead of "Texas's", in particular markets, has long been a feature of writing for teleprompters). We cannot predict how people are going to want to pronounce things.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:24, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per initiator. Jc86035 (talk) 09:45, 29 December 2017 (UTC)


With over 80% support, a formal close does not appear to be needed. I'm make the proposed change at the MOS and see where we go from there. Dicklyon (talk) 02:32, 8 January 2018 (UTC)

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

Should Wikipedia have and maintain complete lists of airline destinations?[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was that there appears to be consensus Wikipedia should not have these lists, due to the excessive detail and maintenance required for keeping a local version up to date of data which is available directly from airline websites anyway. Basically, the arguments in Wikipedia is not a directory. fish&karate 11:47, 23 January 2018 (UTC)

See Category:Lists of airline destinations. These 444 pages are lists of every single city each of these airlines fly to. Should Wikipedia be hosting this content or is it a case of Wikipedia is not a directory? 22:28, 1 January 2018 (UTC)

  • It is my belief that these were created in good faith by somewhat over-eager fans of aviation. These lists provide far more information than is needed for a general-knowledge encyclopedia and to my mind amount to free advertising for the airlines, although I'd again like to stress that I do not believe that was the intent behind them.
An explanation in the main article on an airline of what region an airline operates in and what cities are its hubs is more than enough explanation, if readers desire further information they can follow the links to the airlines own website, which is far more likely to be accurate and up-to-date anyway. There is an important distinction between information and knowledge. Wikipedia strives to provide knowledge, and is explicitly not a directory or catalog, which is just information. I therefore believe a community discussion of whether we should retain this content is in order. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:28, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No. Well summed up by Beeblebrox. I can't imagine this would be possible to keep current indefinitely anyway. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 23:19, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Well, I just looked at one - the um, list was started 14 years ago! and it was pretty up-to-date - what are you going to do with them? Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:25, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
  • wow. I'd no idea we had that. I just looked at a few (per Alanscottwalker) and they look to be in good shape. Some in really good shape. So I have no problem with us keeping these as long as they can be kept up. So yes I suppose. Hobit (talk) 00:01, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Can we somehow port these over to Wikivoyage? bd2412 T 00:12, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Question: How is this any different from all our super-detailed info about railway, bus, streetcar, subway, and other transit destinations? The only obvious differences are the mode of transport and distance covered (sometimes – but there are very short flights and very long railway lines). A less obvious distinction is that it's easier to change flight patterns and routes of service, so they will change more often, so these lists will need more maintenance. We have lots of lists that need regular maintenance, so again: how it this case different? All that said and asked, I have no particular objection to the idea of moving the info to WikiVoyage, if that site is still really alive. Just makes me wonder what else should move there if we go that route [pun intended].  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  01:53, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
    • There isn't one, which is why the examples you give should also be rewritten, trimmed, and/or removed. James (talk/contribs) 14:38, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
    • WP:OTHER is no argument either way. Having said that, I agree that WP:NOTADIRECTORY deserves more respect than it gets and the whole lot probably need an axe job. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 19:01, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Obviously not. This is what NOTDIR is for. Regardless of how "current" these lists are, they do not belong here. If another site or project wants them, they can have them; we are CC-licensed, after all. James (talk/contribs) 14:38, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment – See previous (10+ year old) deletion discussions here and here. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 15:13, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment Is this any different from the "airlines and destinations" section present in almost every article about a commercial airport? As much as I like the sections because they give one an idea of the "reach" of an airport, I can't come up with a policy-based argument for keeping one but not the other. – Train2104 (t • c) 16:41, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No - As BD2412 suggested above, the information should somehow be copied over to Wikivoyage. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 16:44, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Perhaps re-run the old deletion noms? See what happens? -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:50, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No: might be ok at Wikivoyage but not here, for the reasons given by the OP. - Sitush (talk) 16:57, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I think no. The lead content in say Aerolíneas_Argentinas_destinations can be merged with Aerolíneas_Argentinas but the list itself is not needed. Galobtter (pingó mió) 17:05, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No: But I bet you, if these are deleted, editors will try and include the information in just as much excruciating detail in the articles proper on the airlines in question. At least this way its corralled out of the main articles. Only in death does duty end (talk) 17:06, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm not worried, we deal with these kinds of things all the time. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 17:09, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) I think we can avoid that problem if we move these to Wikivoyage, and then put up prominent crosswiki links to inform editors and readers that this is where they can be found and updated. bd2412 T 17:11, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I don't have a problem at all with the well-maintained ones, and have often used the destinations lists in airport articles. Just like most other transportation related articles, they are typically up to date, well maintained and useful. Wikipedia is not only a "general purpose encyclopaedia", but in addition contains vast amounts of specialised knowledge. I can't see a huge difference between lists of this type and many of our sports statistics pages -- both are specialised and require frequent updating. There may be interesting content to add to many of the lists (reasons for opening and closing of certain routes, or which routes were bought when some other operator collapsed). The historical destination lists seem to me to be a possibly quite valuable resource. Removing all those pages will throw out a lot of encyclopaedic material; not worth it just because some of them feel like they might not belong. —Kusma (t·c) 17:10, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Is there a way to separate the historical ones then or include the information via prose in other articles? If I were looking for what plane took me where I would inquire a travel agent, not Wikipedia. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 17:13, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
I do think that since changes in destinations do receive coverage it kinda makes sense to have it. Galobtter (pingó mió) 17:14, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No, for two reasons. A) Listcruft, B) Too difficult to keep up to date. Reyk YO! 17:16, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes It seems likely that these lists have been spun off from the airline articles as they have grown and developed. If there is scope for improvement in the way we do this, this this should happen in an organic way, rather than being disrupted by some crass deletionism, which has already been tried and failed. WikiVoyage would be hopeless as a substitute. It doesn't have pages for individual airlines and so does not appear when you search for such information, where our pages do. Wikidata might be better as a repository because their data is more comprehensive and better structured as a database. Exploring this possibility should be done in a constructive rather than destructive way per our editing policy. Andrew D. (talk) 17:28, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • "Crass deletionism" is not a useful argument, just as "crass inclusionism" is not. - Sitush (talk) 17:32, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, despite wanting to say no, because Wikivoyage ought to be the more natural place for this sort of thing. Problem is, the editors at Wikivoyage disagree with this assessment! In early 2017 a decision was made to not host information about airlines or destinations due to concerns about how much there would be to maintain, and because they aren't attempting to maintain similar sorts of information about bus or train lines. There are other reasons, too. See wikivoyage:Talk:Airlines for more of that conversation.
But therein lies the reason why this information is probably okay to stay on Wikipedia -- we do maintain extremely comprehensive information about destinations served by train and bus lines all over the world. Random example: List of Toronto Transit Commission bus routes The long-standing existence of lists of routes suggests to me that Wikipedia has long accepted consensus around the idea of providing information about destinations. I guess I just don't why rail & bus would be fine, but airline would not -- servicing destinations is the intrinsic purpose of these businesses, right? A transit company/agency that didn't serve destinations wouldn't even be notable, right? Warren -talk- 03:06, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I stopped reading at WP:OSE as WP:NOTDIRECTORY is a policy used here. As I said if I wanted to see what airline took me where I would go-to a travel agent. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 03:16, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No but WP:OSE and WP:CCC does. Each case is different, you are comparing a train lines to airline destinations which change frequently. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 03:53, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • If Wikivoyage decided some time ago not to host these, perhaps we can ask them to reconsider. Obviously there is a community of interest willing to maintain them. Maybe those editors would be willing to maintain them on a sister project. bd2412 T 04:41, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Also, we are not obligated to do something just because Wikivoyage have decided not to do it either. Reyk YO! 05:51, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Nobody's disputing that. Warren -talk- 05:59, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Move to wikidata is what I say.. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:36, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No. Wikipedia is not a travel guide, and it's all but impossible to verify through reliable sources many destinations, as the airlines themselves consider many route alterations to be routine and therefore don't publicise them beyond altering their ticket-selling algorithms online. And that is what also defeats the WP:OTHERSTUFF argument of "but what about train stations and bus routes, we cover them?" above: train stations very rarely change, and when they do, there are news articles about it (because new stations have to be built, communities fret about losing their stations, etc.), and bus routes are also very stable things that can be easily sourced to reliable sources (at least in part due to the fact that you don't buy tickets from Bus Stop A to B, you instead look up where stations are). - The Bushranger One ping only 02:00, 6 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No I agree with above comments that Wikipedia is not a directory, and is not maintained like a directory - these types of lists are likely to become outdated. SeraphWiki (talk) 02:19, 6 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No, for the sole reason that Wikipedia is not a directory nor it is a travel guide. Ajf773 (talk) 09:17, 6 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No - if we aren't a directory (and we shouldn't be) then we shouldn't have directory pages. We're also not a travel guide of course. Doug Weller talk 14:59, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No, particularly since destination cities frequently change. It is fair to have a list of major hub airports for an airline (eg Delta having Atlanta, etc.) but that probably can be in the article on the airline and doesn't require a list. --Masem (t) 15:03, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No. Unmaintainable and hence useless and even worse: misleading. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:01, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment - Well it appears that we have a consensus here against having lists of airline destinations. The next step would be AfD which is going to last another week (possibly more). I feel this should be closed now as the same arguments are going to be repeated in the AfD discussion anyways. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 16:15, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
Agree that the next step is for this to go to s “formal” AFD... if only to ensure wider consensus and notification. Blueboar (talk) 16:22, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment what an odd position to adopt, all of you who said "it's going to be too difficult to maintain", that could apply to any large article of temporally-sensitive data. Moreover, that's why we have templates like {{as of}}. This definitely opens the door to AFDs for articles such as London Buses route 159. The Rambling Man (talk) 16:37, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
That should go too. Its not remotely as notable as London Buses route 161. Only in death does duty end (talk) 17:02, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
Why would it do that? In this case, we are not a dumping ground for travel destinations. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 17:05, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong with article London Buses route 159. Staszek Lem (talk) 18:41, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No Obviously Wikipedia is not a directory; not for collecting indiscriminate factoids; and not a travel guide. I am surprised all these are on Wikipedia. It is problematic to find acceptable sourcing so all these fail WP:N per WP:GNG --Steve Quinn (talk) 19:15, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No Given the ephemeral nature of this information, it is unlikely to be able to be useful. --Jayron32 19:19, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
  • This is the sort of information that is at best moderately useful if we can guarantee its accuracy, and actively harmful if we cannot. We cannot. Use an external link to the airline or airport, as appropriate to the page in question. —Cryptic 19:38, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
  • hell no As above, I can see listing major hubs, in the airline's article, but every destination? A classic example of what WP:NOTDIR was supposed to forbid. Mangoe (talk) 14:38, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No per WP:NOTDIR. Gimubrc (talk) 14:53, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No per WP:NOTTRAVEL. MarnetteD|Talk 20:16, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. I don't see these lists as a travel guide as a directory (they are useless for that anyway, because they don't indicate the actual routes being flown), but they provide information about the areas in which each airline operates, which would be much less informative if reduced to a vague summary. CapitalSasha ~ talk 22:48, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
    • The information about "areas where the airline operates" must be provided in generic, encyclopedic way. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:15, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
Exactly. Indicating what region they operate in, which cities are hubs, and providing a link to their website gives the reader all the information they could possibly want. No one could actully plan a trip based on these lists, they are just long lists of information, without any knowledge behind them. They provide no benefit to the reader that they couldn’t get (in much more detail like routes and times) by just clicking the link and going to the airline’s own website, which the airline would be paying someone to maintain and keep up to date in real time as changes occur. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:34, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

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

Article-space template messages should require starting a talk page discussion[edit]

Too often I see editors add something like {{globalize}} or {{confusing}} to the top of an article without explaining why and without trying to fix the issues. As a result, the messages are left at the top of the article for months (or years). I believe that for an editor to place a template message at the top of a page, they should have to also create a talk page discussion explaining what needs to be fixed.

I was surprised to see that this policy has not yet been implemented. Further, I can't seem to find any guidelines surrounding the use of these template messages at all. I welcome your thoughts. AdA&D 19:19, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

@Anne drew Andrew and Drew: WP:DRIVEBY says that non-obvious tagging should be explained on the talk page. Is that what you're looking for? RudolfRed (talk) 19:31, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
WP:DRIVEBY is something I certainly agree with, however it is an essay, not a guideline. I would propose a template guideline which states that all newly added cleanup templates must be explained in the talk page. Better yet, promote Wikipedia:Template messages/Cleanup to guideline, and strengthen its language against "drive-by tagging". AdA&D 19:46, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Remember that anyone can start a talk page discussion... even “you”. If someone leaves an unclear “cleanup” tag, and you can’t figure out what needs to be fixed... you can go to the talk page and ASK. Don’t wait for the other guy to do the right thing... do it yourself. Blueboar (talk) 20:11, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
    I'm aware of that. I just think that the onus should be on the tagger to explain their reasoning. AdA&D 21:41, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I would oppose making this a policy, per WP:CREEP. If I can't figure out why a tag has been placed and the editor placing it hasn't made any effort to explain, I just remove it. I've been doing it for eight years, it doesn't seem to have been a problem yet. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 20:15, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
    • I agree with your diagnosis, but it is certainly a problem, as there are editors who think that placement of tags is a right, not just another edit that anyone can revert.  There was an RfC on WT:V whose closure basicly concluded that WP:BRD applies to tag placements, [7]Unscintillating (talk) 04:04, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
  • {{globalize}}, {{technical}}, {{coi}}, {{unbalanced}}, {{systemic bias}}, {{unfocused}} and some others have instructions in their documentation stating that the talk page should be used to describe the issues at hand. The way we present this request varies significantly from template to template; maybe it'd make sense to add an encouragement to open a talk page discussion on more templates, or at least to standardize the language a little bit more across more templates. This doesn't require changing policy and it may help increase the amount of actionable information. Warren -talk- 01:01, 6 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Here is another case, in which I reverted with the edit comment "unclear templates" without getting either BRD or any clarification.  In looking at just the COI tag, it has two talk page requirements that were disregarded.  Unscintillating (talk) 04:35, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
Eh, I happened to add {{Globalize/Eng}} at Ordinal number (linguistics) recently (without even seeing this thread). I didn't start a discussion on the talk page, because it seemed really obvious to me: it's a linguistics article about something that's not language specific, yet the article only covers English. I could have started a talk page thread, but I don't know what that would accomplish. And I just don't have the expertise to improve it, myself. So yeah, often times discussions are helpful, but sometimes there's just not much point. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 05:11, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
I don't see much point in trying to make talkpage explanations "mandatory". It really wouldn't change much. The current situation is that you can just go ahead and remove any tag lacking an apparent purpose, that wouldn't change. Currently the next step is that you can optionally leave a question or notification to that person that you removed the tag... that would change to an optional warning. Currently if someone engages in persistently and egregiously bad tagging, we can topic ban or otherwise sanction them for disruptive editing. That would change to... a stronger basis to topic ban or otherwise sanction them. And I see zero chance we're going to apply swift and firm enforcement on something like this. The proposal here just isn't going to change much. If an article is badly or mysteriously tagged, just remove it. If that editor wants to reassert their tag then they are going to have to show up and explain it (or risk sanction for unexplained editwarring to restore it).
However we could certainly try to make some of the template instructions more emphatic. Instructions on the template-docs aren't as effective as text on the live template. We really don't want to bloat the size of template messages, but templates which particularly suffer from this problem might try to squeeze in something short like "Unexplained tags may be removed", or references to talkpage explanations may use worlds like "need" or "should", or use "must be explained on talk" in conjunction with removal if not explained. Just don't expect or imply that failing to leave a talkpage message might be enforceably-prohibited. Alsee (talk) 09:04, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
  • While people certainly should do this, I don’t believe it should be mandatory. Personally, when I see this and don’t see the problem, I just remove the tag. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:38, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Yup. In a lot of cases the tags are old, the article has been fixed, but no one took the last step and removed the tag. --NeilN talk to me 00:48, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
    • Or the problems are obvious, and don't need a talk page discussion. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:52, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Nah. This would just be an excuse to remove 99% of dispute and cleanup templates.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  09:29, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose- most of the time it's obvious what the tagged problem is from looking at the article. There's nothing to be gained by placing yet another obstacle in the way of content maintainers. Reyk YO! 09:50, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Unnecessary – but if you see a tag and can't figure out what's it's trying to tell, just take it out. Dicklyon (talk) 04:08, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

Frontloading leads of articles on conservative organizations with negative criticism[edit]

I've noticed a pattern where articles on conservative/right wing organizations often have lengthy criticism, talk about specific controversies, or labels from their opponents tacked on to the lead while left wing counterparts have more generic descriptions and praise for awards. See Breitbart News, Conservapedia, One America News Network, and Drudge Report talk page for example. Compare Daily Kos, Rational Wiki, Democratic Underground, and Huffington Post.

Some specific examples

The site has published a number of falsehoods and conspiracy theories,[9][10][11][12] as well as intentionally misleading stories.[13] Its journalists are ideologically driven, and some of its content has been called misogynist, xenophobic and racist.

the channel has risen to greater prominence due to its pro-Trump coverage.[7] Robert Herring, Sr., founder and CEO of the network, has ordered producers to promote certain types of content, such as pro-Trump stories, anti-Clinton stories and anti-abortion stories, and minimize stories about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.[7]

When you confront editors about this their usual rationale is that everybody agreed with it some day in the past, or that they googled a few links that says what they want and that proves there is an objective consensus for what they're putting in.

I propose that criticism in controversial political articles be preferentially confined to its own section, or if not possible not in the lead, or at the very least some sort of higher standard be imposed on what criticism is allowed in the lead and how its phrased and that editors who want to preferentially frontload conservative organization articles with negative press but not leftwing organization articles provide stronger evidence for their claims than random search engine results. IE just because you can find a link from WaPo and the Huffington Post saying Breitbart News is very mean doesn't necessarily mean its universally agreed on and worthy of being stated as straight fact right at the top and almost the first thing you read about the site on a supposedly unbiased encyclopedia. Jarwulf (talk) 05:09, 6 January 2018 (UTC)

Something like MOS:LEAD? Jack N. Stock (talk) 05:41, 6 January 2018 (UTC)
The issue isn't that the organizations you mentioned are "right-wing", it's that they all actively court controversy, and their chosen methods of presenting themselves result in significant criticism. Wikipedia's article on Cato Institute, for instance, doesn't have the problems you mention because their public statements and publications are significantly less tendentious than Drudge Report. When a subject is mostly notable for its controversiality, then you have to accept that Wikipedia's coverage of that subject is mostly be focused on that. , 06:30, 6 January 2018 (UTC)
That still doesn't meant the lede should be frontloaded with the criticism/controversy around the group prior to the basic facts about the group though the criticism still should be in the lede. This is necessitated by the need to be impartial. How a group is seen by other groups is a matter of subjectivity and should follow want can be objectively stated about the group. (However, I know there are a number of editors that insist that if several media sources critize a group , that should be treated as a fact, which is not how we should work). --Masem (t) 06:59, 6 January 2018 (UTC)

I suggest we all reject participating in politicization here. Any labeling of article-subjects as liberal or conservative is irrelevant. Jarwulf has listed two sets of generic articles, suggesting one set may be written with negative bias and/or other set may written with a positive bias. Wikipedia's NPOV policy is that we summarize what Reliable Sources say about each topic, in rough proportion to significance and coverage of each viewpoint. To support those concerns Jarwulf quoted some content from the first set of articles. The copy-paste includes ref-numbers, however I pulled up the list of sources that those numbers represent:

  • L.A. Times
  • Associates Press
  • NBC News
  • CNN
  • FactCheck(*3)
  • Politifact
  • Snopes
  • Washington Post

If Jarwolf believes those sources are unreliable, or believes they are undue weight and do not reflect prevalent coverage present in a multitude of uncited Reliable Sources, Jarwolf can go to those articles and challenge that content. We have RFCs, other dispute resolution mechanisms, and administrative intervention available if editors are unwilling or unable to respect the applicable policies.

As for the articles which Jarwolf asserts are written with a favorable bias, Jarwolf can to go to those articles and demonstrate a comparable level of critical coverage in a comparable number and quality of Reliable Sources for any content they wish to add. We have RFCs, other dispute resolution mechanisms, and administrative intervention available if editors are unwilling or unable to respect the applicable policies.

There appears to be nothing to discuss here unless and until Jarwolf actually deals with policy issues and addresses sourcing for content they want to add/remove at particular articles.

If the issue turns out to be dissatisfaction with what Reliable Sources are (or aren't) writing about various topics, then that is an issue that we cannot and will not fix on Wikipedia. Wikipedia has a strong and deliberate bias for summarizing what Reliable sources say. Alsee (talk) 09:09, 6 January 2018 (UTC)

Agree with that. Objective criteria should be presented and using reliable sources and especially checking sites like Snopes or Politifact or FactCheck sounds like a good way of going around the business. Wikipedia is not the encyclopaedia of mumbled pleasantries. Noticing things is fine, but that means nothing unless you can show it is something in the real world rather than your own mind. Dmcq (talk) 10:51, 6 January 2018 (UTC)

The reason that Breitbart News' article begins that way is that, whether you agree with them or not, an overwhelming consensus of independent reliable sources describe the site in that manner. Your problem is with the sources, not with Wikipedia. If you believe that all of the reliable sources cited in the lede of Breitbart News are biased, then you are simply editing the wrong website and Conservapedia is thataway --->. We are not here to right the great wrong that you believe exists in mainstream media sources. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 19:00, 6 January 2018 (UTC)

As I suspected nobody here has any actual defense other than what I predicted; that a handful of googled citations equals definitive proof of some phantom consensus. Let me do what nobody else here is doing and provide actual specific logical arguments and evidence for my claims instead of mindlessly posting links to generic template guidelines. If I do a google search for "breitbart is a right" vs a search for "breitbart is a far" I get almost double the results. How exactly do the omniscient maharajis of wikipedia KNOW that 'far right' and 'racist and misogynist' are the 'overwhelming consensus' for describing the site? Snopes 'part of the consensus we don't question even if it might be wrong' has an Alexa rank in the 2000s while Breitbart which is not part of the 'consensus' has a rank of 200. 'But oh Breitbart is not reliable! (whatever that means)' Yeah well the omniscient maharajis have no problem packing articles which references from sites which have tons of criticism for bias and flawed reporting and nakedly partisan sources that proudly state their political alignment.
Look I'm not asking for removal of criticism. Or even partisan sources. All I'm asking is that a partisan editor (left or right) be held to a higher standard. Some vetting before being allowed to plant their flag on a article and put 'X is a naughty bad meanie mean dum dumb![1]' as the first sentence just because they found a HuffPo article that says so, and close down all discussion contesting it. Keep statements from openly partisan sources off the lead. Keep criticism off the lead. Directly attribute them rather than stating their insults as fact in the lead. Have some sort of logical basis for determining consensus other than 'HuffPo and WAPO is all I and 70% of editors read so they're the consensus'. I dunno. Do something that will actually make this place's selfprofessed neutrality meaningful. Or don't I guess, I'm just trying to offer some helpful advice. Take it, or leave it. Nobody takes this place's political articles seriously anyways so you are welcome to stay the course and accelerate wikipedia's rightful place in the rubbish bin of 8th grade poly sci teachers Jarwulf (talk) 23:34, 6 January 2018 (UTC)
Jarwulf if as you describe someone puts that kind of criticism in the lead based on just a HuffPo article, you might have to contest it but you should ultimately win. (Unless the article-subject is barely notable and HuffPo is one of the only sources that exist.) There are various policies, guidelines, and ManualsOfStyle that may be relevant, but the main one you are looking for is Undue weight. The lead should summarize the body of the article, and the body of the article should reflect significant and prevalent views present across the available Reliable Sources. The Breitbart article contains at least 215 sources (some key refs contain multiple sources). A significant portion of those sources are devoted to establishing the Breitbart's ideological stance and the widespread critical commentary about it. Controversy and criticism *are* some of the most noted and noteworthy things about Breitbart. If you look at an article such as National_Review, it doesn't have any criticism in the lead. If someone were to add a flame-throwing HuffPo piece to the National Review lead, that would be flagrant Undue Weight. You would be absolutely justified in reverting and citing policy. If the other editor is combative, there's RFCs and other dispute resolution mechanisms which should ultimately result in policy compliance. Alsee (talk) 22:00, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I've been trying to argue what you have been asking for - in that our ledes should progress from the most objective, neutral facts, then into subjective praise or criticism of the topic - to be impartial and neutral. It's not about removing a wide-spread opinion from the lede, but presenting the lede in the order from objective to subjective matters. You see this all throughout most topics on WP (such as highly praised films or books, highly decorated soldiers and officers, proficient athletes and academics, etc.) where the subjective aspects are left for last. The only class of articles where this is completely flipped is anything on conservative/right-wing politics, and it is because of the resistance you speak to. It is claimed "but these people are notable for being bad people", which is not content of issue to include in the lede - the lede at some point needs to ID why the person or group is notable, and for those that are constantly barraged by press criticism, that is it. But it should be after establishing the neutral, objectives facts of the topic rather than frontloading. --Masem (t) 00:30, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
Agreed, this doesn't necessarily have to be a full formal policy change. Maybe just a reminder for overzealous editors. But it appears to be a systematic problem which is why I'm bringing it to general attention here instead of like some people suggested by running around like a hamster trying to convince self appointed lord after self appointed lord of each individual article. I'm not necessarily opposed to 'overwhelming consensus' but if you're going to regularly be stuffing in juvenile insults and tangents about specific controversies disproportionately, in what is supposed to be a generalized descriptive lead, we're going to need a bit more to go on than random hits on a fishing expedition in Google. I raised some points here and so far nobody I've seen has bothered to specifically respond to them, or seem to really care. So, I guess its open season on certain articles and you can tack on any rambling criticism you want at the top in there if you can google it up. Because its the 'overwhelming' consensus and 'self evident reality' cause a majority of editors say so. Whatever, I just offered some suggestions. Jarwulf (talk) 11:49, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
While this sounds plausible, I don't think it is true. If you look at WP articles on pseudo-science journals, for example, I believe you will normally find cautionary labels early in the lede. The same for extreme-left political parties, etc. My suspicion is that some editors only notice the cautionary labels when placed on articles that, by their own individual or fringe POV, they feel should not be so labelled. In those cases (only), such editors appeal for "objectivity" in the lede. Then they use false parallels with HuffPo or WaPo - which operate according to much more conventional journalistic standards - to confuse the issue. ---- — Preceding unsigned comment added by Newimpartial (talkcontribs) 01:46, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

In the words of Stephen Colbert, "reality has a well-known liberal bias". This isn't true in general, but in the world of American politics, it certainly is truer than not. Conservative outlets like the National Review are now the exception, not the norm, especially in the age of Trump. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 02:12, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

I don't really think changing the policy would be helpful. The lede should follow WP:RS and subjective criticism should probably not be stated as objective fact in any part of the article, but clearly attributed as an expert opinion that is critical. Something like publishing a conspiracy theory would, however, not be a subjective criticism per se, because it should be verifiable - they have either done this or not. The majority view of WP:RS would have to be discussed on talk pages - a policy-based exclusion of anything "negative" from the lede would introduce its own POV and WP:FALSEBALANCE problems.SeraphWiki (talk) 02:40, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) It is true what Alsee has stated. The coverage in the ledes and elsewhere in these these articles is based on the proportion of coverage received in independent reliable sources. Also, the lede is supposed to be a summation of what is in the article. And since these are well developed articles with controversial material, I have to think that what is in the lede is further discussed in the article. Also, I am pretty sure in all these cases, there was discussion and agreement before placing the material in the article proper and in the lede. As stated above, psuedo-scientific topics and extreme-left political persons and parties get the same treatment. There is no single editor with an agenda going around promoting a point of view. Or several editors with an agenda each working on an article, promoting a point of view. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 02:44, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
As an observer from afar I probably shouldn't put my oar in, but from that distance the most obvious point about negativity in the lead of WP articles on US right-wing mouthpieces is that it is not just greater than for their equivalents on (what passes for) the left; it is also greater than for the former mouthpieces of the NSDAP. It would seem eminently reasonable for the lead of the WP article on Völkischer Beobachter to note (with support from reputable sources) that "it published a number of falsehoods and conspiracy theories, as well as intentionally misleading stories. Its journalists were ideologically driven, and some of its content has been called misogynist, xenophobic and racist." But it contains no such health warning. That disparity seems worrying, but it is not an argument for not pointing out -at proportionate length- negative aspects of current publications. Rjccumbria (talk) 03:59, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
It depends on what it is most noted for in reliable sources. As WP:LEAD says we should say why a topic is notable. And if you look at Conservapedia or Breitbart News where the OP specifically went to complain, their leads do describe them as the secondary sources on balance do. Can anyone find a reliable secondary source that has a good word for Conservapedia? IT is notable because it publishes twaddle like that Einstein's Theory of Relativity promotes moral relativism. And is anyone really going to stand up and say Breitbart News is anything but far right and publishes all sorts of fake news? The stories they are notable for have a common theme of being made up or heavily edited and them having to pay out damages. It is what they are notable for. Dmcq (talk) 14:04, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Fixable by applying WP:UNDUE, which means a) removing excessive dwelling on criticism (especially that which is only coming from the far-left quarter) from conservative-subject articles' leads, and b) inserting more mentions of (general and well-supported, not just far-right) criticism into the leads of lefty-subject pages.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  09:29, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment -- Hello, I think that the phrase "X organization has caused controversy" is generic. What hasn't caused controversy? Everything has detractors, especially in politics. Our focus should be in improving the descriptions of the respective controversies (who, when, why), not on whether X is considered controversial or not (short answer: yes). --NaBUru38 (talk) 20:28, 18 January 2018 (UTC)

RfC: Is "telenovela" a suitable disambiguator?[edit]

Should we allow "telenovela" to be used as a disambiguator? There was recently a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (television)#RfC: Telenovela disambiguation which, despite being fairly thoroughly discussed among a number of topically interested editors, failed to come to consensus, and the closer specifically directed that a broader discussion would be needed to resolve the matter. --woodensuperman 09:15, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

  • Oppose. "TV series" is sufficient. A telenovela is still a TV series. We do not allow other genres of TV series to be disambiguated in this way (sitcom, soap opera, etc, etc), so WP:CONSISTENCY is an issue. This is not sanctioned at WP:NCTV, and despite the recent RfC which resulted in no consensus to add this as a disambiguator, the poorly worded close means that despite there being no consensus to allow this, articles can remain at a title which goes against our naming convention guideline. --woodensuperman 09:15, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
    • Comment. While we're at it, it might be a good time to discuss the use of "miniseries" also. --woodensuperman 09:38, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:USEENGLISH and WP:OVERDAB. Woodensuperman is exactly right; this would open the door to "Foo Bar (soap opera)", etc., and even to use of non-English labels for these things.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  09:26, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment Just to point out that most telenovela have been disambiguated as such for quite awhile. The main argument being that telenovela is a format rather than a genre - the genre being soap opera. We don't disambiguate by genre but we do by format (sometimes). A no-consensus result means that there would be no consensus to change these from the status quo (already disambiguated as telenovela). Only in death does duty end (talk) 09:30, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
I disagree. A "no consensus" close means there is no consensus to change the guideline, and article titles which go against the guideline should be moved in line with it. There has never been consensus to allow "telenovela". --woodensuperman 09:37, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
Guidelines are not binding policy and can (and are) ignored regularly. You would need actual consensus to mass-rename a bunch of articles beyond 'this guideline says so' when they have been stable for a significant period of time. (FWIW I actually think they should be disambiguated as TV series, as the technical differences between tv-series, soap operas, telenovela's are a matter for categorization, not disambiguation) Only in death does duty end (talk) 09:40, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
What Woodensuperman said is absolutely what it means. It is not possible under WP:CONLEVEL policy for the failure of a minor discussion on a backwater page to even come to a consensus, to magically transform into the overturning of an actual site-wide guideline. That's ass-backwards. RM discussions and RfCs about moving articles are the consensus discussions to move the articles, so what you're saying must happen is happening. I.e., you're making a point that isn't a point. Finally, there is no principle that a mistake that has languished for a long time cannot be corrected. We regularly – like every single day – move badly named articles to comply with WP:AT policy, the WP:MOS guidelines, the WP:DAB guideline, and/or the naming conventions guidelines, more often than not via the WP:RM/TR speedy process. PS: Since you actually say you agree with the proposed change, please do not post devil's-advocate stuff like this. It's a waste of other editors' time.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  09:49, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
While I generally agree with you, the main problem is there are already exceptions in the relevant guideline which indicates it is not a hard and fast 'generally accepted' for everything. Just most things. More than a few of the policies and guidelines which include exceptions state that others not listed may exist, because nothing is entirely documented to that level of detail. If the relevant guideline were so hard and fast, a bulk-rename request should have sailed through. That no one attempted it suggests less than absolute confidence. Only in death does duty end (talk) 14:41, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
As I mention above, perhaps now is the time to get rid of the exception for "miniseries" too. "TV series" can work equally well for these, and usage of "miniseries" is not universal, and could be controversial, especially when it is used for non-US shows. --woodensuperman 14:47, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
I would also agree that's probably a good idea. Telenovelas have more in common with miniseries in structure (apart from the obvious one - length) than standard TV-series. And a guideline that doesn't include exceptions is less difficult to wriggle around. Only in death does duty end (talk) 14:51, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - there is no call for one particular genre to be an exception to a WP:NCTV guideline. The same problem exists for articles named with (anime). Why are these exceptions just because they originate in non-English countries/languages? The argument that this is a "format" vs a genre is flawed as no one can define this "format" in a way that doesn't also fit other (TV series) unless you bring up language, storyline types, or run length - all of which could apply to any other TV series. None of these is sufficient. -- Netoholic @ 10:02, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per SMcCandlish and Netoholic. Would lead to endless special pleading and wheel warring. James (talk/contribs) 13:47, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No. (This is phrased as a yes/no question, people, not as a proposal to support or oppose). Per our article, similarly formatted shows are called different things in different places around the world. Taking this to the extreme would produce a whole host of different disambiguators for each one, which is silly compared to using what they're all common examples of. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 14:02, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose "TV series" is fine, we shouldn't use the show's genre unless all other options are taken (eg two shows, from the same country, from the same year, with the same name, then we'd have to distinguish by their style). --Masem (t) 14:49, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No per others. Same for miniseries, (anime) in MOS:ANIME etc. Genre is vague and creates complexity- having it all as TV series is simple and consistent. Galobtter (pingó mió) 07:30, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No, per discussion above. Although I've been neutral on this, and can see an important cultural component in various usages of the terms, consistency does favor labeling Wikipedia articles on fictional television series with the same descriptor. Article text itself should still allow use of the term, and hopefully no objection to in-text usage will arise based on this RfC. Randy Kryn (talk) 13:08, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is suggesting that we stop using it in article text, or indeed as a category name - we happily use "sitcom" or "soap opera" in this way. --woodensuperman 13:55, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
  • oppose my views are identical those already expressed BURLEY-XXII 07:32, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Extended content
Although it's been discussed in this RfC, I don't think the use of the term "miniseries" is being decided here. That seems like another discussion, as miniseries has a meaning in English related-but-separate-from "TV series". Randy Kryn (talk) 14:06, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
Agree, let's keep on topic. -- Netoholic @ 04:59, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Proposal to amend WP:NCTV. As we seem to have clear consensus, I would propose adding the following (or similar) to the guideline:
"Do not disambiguate by genre or format, i.e. "sitcom", "telenovela", "soap opera", etc., unless multiple articles for TV series from the same year, region and network exist and further disambiguation is required."
Would appreciate any comments or improvements. --woodensuperman 09:25, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
  • My suggested version would be "If the year, country, or a combination of both is still insufficient to disambiguate the topic, only then should the use of an appropriate genre or format word ("sitcom", "telenovela", etc.) be considered via a page move request - announced to WT:NCTV, WT:WikiProject Television, and any other relevant discussion pages.". This line could also replace the (animated) option, since that is a similar odd situation, and rarely used correctly anyway. -- Netoholic @ 09:48, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Either of those seem fine to me; the wording of the second is a bit clearer (e.g. what would "exist" really mean in the first?).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:05, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

Dead mergers[edit]

If I propose that articles be merged (as I have at Talk:Pixel density and Talk:MTR Fare Adjustment Mechanism) and (almost) no one ever comments, is the correct procedure to merge the articles anyway, remove the merge templates and close the discussion as "no consensus" (which would be true but next to useless), nominate the smaller article at AfD, or…? Jc86035 (talk) 16:23, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

IMHO just boldly do it yourself, and there's no need to close it - just add a note that you have done so. Galobtter (pingó mió) 16:25, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
Probably the only rule is that there's no need to formally close the discussion. Other that, it's down to common sense. Depending on how well you know the subject area and how confident you are in the need for a merger you can either perform the merger straight away, or try to get more eyes on it: relevant wikiprojects can be helpful, and so can the major contributors of the articles concerned. AfD should ideally be a good place too, but it's likely that the discussion will get drowned in a sea of procedural comments about AfD being only for deletion). – Uanfala (talk) 02:11, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
WP:MERGECLOSE suggests that you can merge if nobody objects within 30 days. It doesn't require that anyone supports the merger proposal, only that nobody objects. Personally, I will wait much longer, but typically more than 30 days makes no difference. If nobody has objected in 30 days, you can be reasonably sure nobody will ever object. You can close the discussion with outcome as merge. Jack N. Stock (talk) 02:25, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
Merge proposals don't get picked up by the article alerts, so depending on how many watchers the articles have and what a proportion of those passing by are likely to comment, there are varying degrees to which the lack of objections can be taken as a meaningful sign. – Uanfala (talk) 02:41, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
So take the BRD approach - merge them; if someone reverts your merge discuss the issue with them (and anyone else who happens to join in). עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 15:09, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
Also @Jc86035: in most cases a redirect would be better then AfD the merged-from page. — xaosflux Talk 03:50, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

Disambiguation of adjectives: a missing guideline[edit]

Please join Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation#Disambiguation of adjectives. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:26, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

In brief: Bayesian econometrics is in Bayesian (disambiguation), but Long bow is not in Long (disambiguation). My guts tell me why this is so, but is this conforming disambiguation guideline? Staszek Lem (talk) 00:29, 11 January 2018 (UTC)


More and more I get worried about the application of WP:MEDRS on articles. That articles about health need to be true and reliable, I can agree with. But I have seen MEDRS being used against articles only remotely related to health, like Organic food. The group mostly using MEDRS is in fact strangling articles with the application of MEDRS, by not allowing any alternative source than "western medical sources", even with exclusion of agricultural universities in case of the prior mentioned Organic food. This is going way over the top and is preventing solid, reliably sourced information to be added to articles.

To my opinion, the working of MEDRS should be severely restricted. The Banner talk 18:22, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

"Severely restricted" so that editors can add poorly sourced medical claims? There are no "western" medical sources (or indeed "eastern" medical sources), just good medical sources and bad ones. Good sources follow MEDRS; bad ones don't. Peter coxhead (talk) 18:34, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
  • When MEDRS is used against the mechanical construction of lightbulbs, you already know which editor is responsible!
MEDRS is terse, and its simple warning against primary sources and the need for secondary review is well-intentioned, but is all too frequently used instead as an excuse for bullying by a handful of editor. WP:PRIMARY covers much the same ground: a single source might be reliable and competent, yet we also need to guard against POV issues. MEDRS though keeps being used to simply strip sources even when the content involved is objective and unchallenged.
And yes, edit-warring is edit-warring, even when the editor is "right". The exceptions for it are narrow and focused on vandalism, absolutely not the sort of ref-weighing content issues here. Andy Dingley (talk) 18:37, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Looking over the history of Organic food, I can't see a single mention of MEDRS in any edit summary since 2015 (and that was by yourself); likewise, looking through the talk page archives I can't see a single mention of MEDRS since this thread three years ago. Why is this suddenly now an issue? ‑ Iridescent 18:50, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
    • Because I gave up on that article... My username is The Banner, not Don Quixote. The Banner talk 18:57, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
    • @Iridescent: Probably this --NeilN talk to me 19:05, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
      • If that's the case, Periodontitis is undoubtedly a medical article by any conceivable definition, so I'm not quite sure what the issue is. ‑ Iridescent 19:06, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
        • That article also shows that by a conflict about MEDRS, there is promptly a tagteam pushing MEDRS. Usually ending in a block for the editor who dares to have a different opinion. The Banner talk 19:14, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Can we get back to the issue presented at the top: the misuse of MEDRS and a wish to reduce the working field of it? The Banner talk 22:22, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
Please give a specific example of what you object to. Peter coxhead (talk) 23:02, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
I left it for a few year, due to threats of blocks when I continued to be critical. But just a few here: Talk:Organic food/Archive 3#WP:MEDRS, Talk:Organic food/Archive 2#Recent Study from Newcastle, Talk:Organic food/Archive 5 and Talk:Organic milk. The Banner talk 00:24, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

Yup this is the issue right here. A user is trying to push their own hypothesis into Wikipedia based on sources from the early 1900s and Youtube videos they made.

User:The Banner is here helping them[8][9]. Neither one has joined the talk page discussion I started to address the concerns I have raised.

This reply appears to imply that The Banner wishes to push fringe points of view within health care based on very poor references. Their current editing appears to be WP:POINTY from a dispute from three years ago... Not impressed.

Maybe a topic ban will be required. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:39, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

  • The problem with organic food in general is that it has been co-opted by big business and the holistic nutjobs they sell to. 'Organic' food was originally (and still is in parts, but its getting fainter by the year) about the environment. Less pesticides, less intensive farming etc. It had very little to do with health effects on people. Sadly the general public were/are largely not interested in paying more for food that has no benefit to them in the short term, and only benefits the environment in the long term, so in an attempt to make it marketable (and profitable) it was gradually turned into some sort of health food. Which is why now MEDRS has to be applied to it. Because you cant walk into a supermarket without some organic product touting non-existant or poorly researched health benefits. So really, if you don't want organic food to come near MEDRS, I suggest you take it up with organic food manufacturers. Only in death does duty end (talk) 08:51, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

It doesn't matter whether MEDRS applies or not - the principle simply comes from WP:DUE and WP:NPOV. Medical reviews summarize information, allowing us to know what is due or not. Fringe viewpoints are fringe viewpoints whether MEDRS applies are not; sources can't be cherry-picked to push a POV, whether MEDRS applies, and articles on organic food also need to be "true and reliable". Galobtter (pingó mió) 09:01, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

  • The request for a topic ban by Doc James is typical for the bullying you get when you challenge MEDRS.
  • And yes, Galobtter, I agree that organic food needs independent and reliable sources. That is why I am amazed that reliable sources, for instance from agricultural universities, are shot down with a claim that they do not satisfy MEDRS. How many medical magazines will publish about farming? The Banner talk 11:14, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Agricultural universities may be reliable for the agricultural aspects, not the health aspects. Do you have an example of where an agricultural university was rejected as not MEDRS for a non-medical claim? Only in death does duty end (talk) 11:19, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Ow, they are there. But with the threat of a topic ban it is loud and clear that the Cabal in unwilling to change even a hairbreadth. Too bad for the reliability of Wikipedia due a systematic bias. I admit defeat against the cabal. The Banner talk 17:09, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
@The Banner: A number of people disagreeing with you is not a Cabal. Considering requesting a topic ban on the basis of your editing behavior is not "bullying". If you do not understand why MEDRS is in place, perhaps it's better to stay away from medical topics. Kleuske (talk) 19:32, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Start wondering why MEDRS is in place for agricultural subjects and not just for medical subjects. The Banner talk 19:41, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
You still haven't provided an example of MEDRS being applied inappropriately. Natureium (talk) 19:46, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
If an article (on any subject) makes medical claims (such as "this, that or the other is good/bad for your health") MEDRS is applicable. This has been explained before. Kleuske (talk) 13:05, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Sources can be reliable for one aspect but not for other aspects. Also like I said, DUE and all that - a few papers or whatever from agriculture universities have to be given due weight. Galobtter (pingó mió) 11:35, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
  • All of this is why attribution is so important... there is a HUGE difference between saying “X is good for your health” and “Y claims that X is good for your health”. The first is a statement of fact, and requires a high level of source scrutiny... we need extremely reliable medical sources (as outlined in MEDRS) to verify the statement... the second is a statement of opinion, and appropriate verification does not require the same level of source scrutiny. This isn’t to say that every claim should be included (UNDUE is always a factor in determining what claims should and should not be mentioned)... simply that the type of source that is acceptable for verifying an attributed opinion is different from the type of source that is acceptable for verifying an unattributed statement of fact. An opinion can be total bullshit... and yet may still be noteworthy enough to mention in an article. The key to mentioning opinions is attribution... to make it clear to the reader that the opinion IS just that... an opinion. Blueboar (talk) 14:48, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Replacing "X is good for your health" by "Y says that X is good for your health" (not "claims" as per WP:CLAIM) requires it to be balanced by "there is no reliable evidence to support this". If there is reliable evidence, then "Y says" isn't needed. My experience is that believers in Y's views usually object to this balancing as much as they do to leaving Y's views out. Peter coxhead (talk) 15:50, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
I think the OP is right that MEDRS has been used in an overbearing way. I've seen this at various herbal and biological articles over the years. The main problem is that there is a certain group that tries to make everything "medical" even when it is not. A medical claim would be that a certain herb cures cancer in humans, yes. But reports that the herb is being investigated as an anticancer drug on a research basis should not be subject to MEDRS requirements. We need merely indicate it is research. Likewise, if the herb was traditionally used as an antipyretic, say, (traditional use of herbs against cancer is at best rare ... not sure if it happened at all) we should not need to cite a MEDRS source in order to tell readers that it was used for this purpose for centuries as prescribed by Aulus Cornelius Celsus or described in the Synoptic Essentials of the Golden Cabinet; we should just print the history without hindrance. If people want to assume the historical use was valid or that the ongoing research will pan out, that's their problem and not ours. Wnt (talk) 22:19, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
There are several requests for examples in this discussion, and I can easily provide one, since I've been meaning to take this to RSN for months now. The following sentence (among others, most of which were similar) was removed after multiple discussions about MEDRS (see the talk page, plus the archives of WT:MED, and with an edit summary complaining about a "bad ref": "Sea buckthorn oil is used in shampoo and other hair care products."
The ref in question is this: Zielińska, Aleksandra; Nowak, Izabela (2017-05-19). "Abundance of active ingredients in sea-buckthorn oil". Lipids in Health and Disease. 16 (1): 95. doi:10.1186/s12944-017-0469-7. ISSN 1476-511X. PMC 5438513Freely accessible. PMID 28526097. 
Yes, you read that right: At least one editor believes that a peer-reviewed narrative review article, written by actual university chemists, in a scientific journal dedicated to the chemistry of oils, is supposedly a "bad ref" for supporting a claim that this plant extract is used in cosmetics. We do have a problem with MEDRS sometimes being applied to statements that are clearly not WP:Biomedical information, and we do have some editors who want to expand its scope to include as much as possible (including content that MEDRS itself says should not be treated as biomedical information). WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:35, 23 January 2018 (UTC)

Question about WP:VERIFY[edit]

I am currently reviewing Kid A for GA. Three sources have caused concern for me in reference to WP:VERIFY. Two radio interviews are given with a date and a station. However, as far as I can see, there is no legal way to verify the contents of these interviews. Can they therefore be considered reliable sources? A similar question is raised about a promotional interview CD that was sent to the music press by Radiohead's record company. WP:VERIFY states that just because a source is hard to come by, it should not automatically be thrown out. However, in this case, I would say that it is borderline impossible for a regular person to come by this source by legal means. A YouTube video of the audio exists, as does a transcript on a Radiohead fan page. I would however consider both of those as not-reliable sources... Any thoughts? Zwerg Nase (talk) 17:37, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Just for the benefit of the discussion, audio and transcripts of pretty much all these interviews, including the radio interviews, are easily available on YouTube and fan sites. For example, here's the audio of the interview CD mentioned by Zwerg. So in that sense it's very easy to verify them. But yes, I suppose technically these are illegal copies of the original sources, so I don't know what that means for verifiability.
I think you could make the same argument about old magazines - how is someone supposed to verify a claim made in a decades-old magazine without resorting to checking online scans or transcripts? You could track down an old copy on eBay, but that's not always straightforward. Popcornduff (talk) 03:13, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
The Magazine Rack at the Wayback Machine is a useful resource for finding scanned copies of old magazines. It tends to favour computing and gaming magazines, but you can find complete scans of a lot of other stuff. Ensign Magazine (official JC LDS publication), over 1,000 issues of Sports Illustrated, old issues of Playboy, the Austin Chronicle, etc. , 05:15, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
There are libraries and other archives that keep copies of old magazines. Please remember that sources do not have to be online. (talk) 11:48, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
I'm sure that the BBC keeps archive copies of all its broadcasts, at least since the relevant date here, but I don't know if it's possible for members of the public to get to get access to them. I can't speak for KCRW, but would be surprised if it doesn't keep copies, and again I don't know if these can be accessed. (talk) 11:48, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
It looks like it is possible to get access to the BBC archives. (talk) 12:05, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Another approach for a case like this would to ask whether the information is WP:DUE. If the only source is a radio interview with no known and legal means of verification, perhaps the information should be removed. If no one has thought to publish or refer to the assertion elsewhere, mentioning it may be dubious. Also, people make mistakes when speaking in an interview so facts that cannot be verified elsewhere such as the name of a person or a date should be regarded as suspect. Johnuniq (talk) 22:37, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
This reminds me of an issue we had on the macOS article recently, where one editor was really insistent that the "X" in "Mac OS X" was a homage to the X in Unix. Their source? An opinion segment in a single BBC broadcast. Because of the BBC's international rebroadcast restrictions, I couldn't even verify that source. This is really hard to justify on topics that receive widespread global coverage, like Kid A or Mac OS. Sure, we have the folks at WP:RX to facilitate access to hard-to-reach sources, but it shouldn't be necessary most of the time. , 07:14, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
But... again, the sources in question are extremely easy to verify because they're abundantly reproduced online. The question is whether the fact that listening back to an interview on YouTube is technically piracy means we have to discount it as a source. Popcornduff (talk) 07:21, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
Indeed, I think we have touched upon what we in German call "the poodle's core". I had hoped that there were clear policies regarding such issues, but apparently, there are not and eventually, the decision comes down to me as GA reviewer? Zwerg Nase (talk) 09:25, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
As I'm the guy who added these sources in the first place, I'm biased, so take this with a pinch of salt... but the way I see it, the WP:VERIFY guidelines state "Do not reject reliable sources just because they are difficult or costly to access", and there seems to be nothing else relevant on the page, so I think it's OK. You might want to ask more on the WP:VERIFY talk page, and it seems like it might be a guideline thing to have a decision about for future cases. As for the WP:DUE concern, I see nothing in that guideline to advise against using these sources either: most things mentioned in promotional interviews aren't reproduced elsewhere, that's normal and doesn't discount their reliability. Popcornduff (talk) 09:54, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
Just one quick comment: I brought this discussion here because the WP:VERIFY talk page specifically says not to discuss such matters there. Zwerg Nase (talk) 10:22, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
Good to know! Popcornduff (talk) 11:52, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
The correct place if you have an issue regarding the reliability of a source in context is WP:RSN. Only in death does duty end (talk) 11:48, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
@Only in death: I thought about putting it there, but since I was going for an answer wether there was a particular policy about this, I went for this one. Feel free to move this debate, if you feel it should be over there. Zwerg Nase (talk) 09:50, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

RfC at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#RfC: Linking to wikidata[edit]

An RfC has been initiated at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#RfC: Linking to wikidata. Please comment there, not here. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:51, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

Question about Manual of Style/Trademarks[edit]

I would like to ask for detailed explanation of the following part of the Manual of Style/Trademarks: "Follow standard English text formatting and capitalization practices, even if the trademark owner considers nonstandard formatting "official", as long as this is a style already in widespread use, rather than inventing a new one."

Does it mean that capitalization of trademarks should always follow standard English capitalization rules or should the editor always search what the usage of the trademark is and then decide? Thank you! --Jan Kameníček (talk) 10:37, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

As a general rule, one should start by reviewing how sources independent of the trademark owner tend to refer to the trademark. If there is more than one formatting variant that is widely used, then the variant that most closely resembles typical English formatting should be preferred. Dragons flight (talk) 11:04, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
In other words... we don't necessarily use the trademark's "official" capitalization (as seen on packaging or advertising)... we use whatever capitalization is most commonly used by independent sources. For more on this, see our WP:COMMONNAME policy and the WP:OFFICIALNAMES supplement. Blueboar (talk) 14:25, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
I'd disagree with this interpretation. I'd say that you should start by following the standard English capitalization rules, and use this as long as this is a style already in use elsewhere. We shouldn't necessarily use the most common style. Also WP:COMMONNAME is not relevant, as this is a style issue, not a naming issue. --woodensuperman 15:30, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
I originally understood it the same way as Woodensuperman, but decided to ask. What is more, there are cases when some trademarks are not mentioned by any independent sources (one example here: [10]). Such companies are not notable to have a separate article, but sometimes may be necessary to be mentioned in articles on other subjects. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 21:07, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

Obscene (and irrelevant) trans-wiki results[edit]


I searched for "DC Baltimore area". What the hell is this?! Is there no filter at all on the "from our sister projects" results? Given the very obvious risk of finding the search text in a citation to a random adjective?

If we can't filter out obscene trans-wiki results because Wikipedia is not censored, can we at least check that the Wiktionary page title references the search term, and not just some random text somewhere on the page?Chi Sigma (talk) 19:18, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

What is obscene is a matter of opinion. No algorithm can filter based on such highly subject criteria. Ruslik_Zero 20:04, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
A search for one of America's largest metropolitan areas returns a list of places that have been "fuxated" by "niggers", but that's okay because we can just blame The Algorithm? Chi Sigma (talk) 20:19, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
It's obviously horrible language but part of what Wiktionary does is catalogue horrible language. I agree that a mundane search of a common, everyday topic should not return shocking things--see WP:EGG. Do you have in mind what a solution would be? ―Justin (koavf)TCM 20:28, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I suggested it above, at the same time as acknowledging that Wikipedia is not censored! Chi Sigma (talk) 20:34, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
You are correct that return is clearly moronic, if it is not intended to be racist, in which case it is racist. Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:42, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
The only *technical* solution would be to remove the quotations from the searched text in the cross-wiki search, and given the way that Wiktionary determines what a quote is ( *# at the beginning of the line, that strikes me as technically difficult and not worth it. Another surprising result... search for "capstan cucumber". Naraht (talk) 21:45, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
I don't believe for a second that that's the only technical solution. If I'd searched for "John Seegentaler" and the suggested Wiktionary entry had been "murderer", someone at Wikipedia would very quickly be getting locked in a room with a copy of Search Optimisation for Dummies. Chi Sigma (talk) 22:06, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
You could try mw:Talk:Cross-wiki Search Result Improvements. I don't know who reads it now. Registered users have the option "Do not show search results for sister projects on the search results page" at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets. I'm not saying it's a good solution. PrimeHunter (talk) 22:57, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
  • This is a valid complaint. Don't start with the not-censored stuff please: that applies to articles, not search. We did not include Commons in search because of things like searching for "fruit loops" yielded (until very recently) a naked porn star taking a bath in fruit loops and milk. Keeping search family-friendly is important, because people expect not to have to see racial obscenities when they are searching for the national capital region of the United States. Given the number of school children who do use this website, that is a very real concern. There is a difference in allowing Wiktionary to document it, which isn't our concern, and making it so unsuspecting readers get it put in their face for no clear reason when they were not looking for it. Prohibiting the former is censorship, removing the latter is giving a damn about our readers. TonyBallioni (talk) 23:09, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
    • There is a meaningful distinction between shock images and shock text. I agree that we should try to control when both appear but it's a much bigger deal if an inappropriate piece of media pops up from commonplace searches versus a word. ―Justin (koavf)TCM 23:27, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
      • Let's be clear what we are talking about: hate speech. There is a big difference between obscenities (I swear like a sailor) and hate speech, and I don't particularly care if the Klan and the neo-Nazis don't think that niggerfuxated isn't hate speech, it is. For those who don't want to click the interwiki link, the English Wiktionary defines the word as: (slang, derogatory, offensive, ethnic slur) Ruined by black people. A hypothetical person of colour (or any person) should not have to worry about hate speech coming up in Wikipedia search results when they search for the Baltimore DC metro area. We should obviously document the word in Wiktionary: that is part of that projects mission. We should also make sure that our readers aren't forced against their will to see something that they wouldn't reasonably anticipate and that is hate speech. TonyBallioni (talk) 23:46, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
        • If we can control the Algorithm, then the solution is to make sure words pulled from Wikitionary are not from that site's category of "offensive terms" (which this one falls into). However, I throw out the case that maybe I was using en.wp's search to find offensive terminology, in such a case, having the current search results that may include offensive words would actually be helpful. The question becomes a balance of being sensitive to readers (I agree, not censorship in this case), and being useful. I don't know what the right answer is. --Masem (t) 23:55, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
          • Agreed, it would be useful if people were searching for an exact match. I think the concern isn't so much this specific case, but what it tells us could also happen. What random search terms are going to bring up homophobic and anti-Semitic slurs? Controlling the algorithm would be the best option, but if that isn't possible, I do think we may need to revisit including Wiktionary in our cross-wiki search results: there is a text/image distinction I'm willing to make, but at some point, the text search result also have the potential to both do wrong by our readers and also to make a PR nightmare, which would not be good for the site. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:00, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
            • The shock value of the word is only half the problem. If you took that screenshot and replaced "niggerfuxated" with its definition "ruined by black people", it wouldn't be an improvement. When a user searches for a concept that could be an article title, and you give them a single Wiktionary entry, what you're saying is "here is Wiktionary's interpretation of that search term". Businesses would pay a fortune to have their web page be the top search result for "DC Baltimore area"! If you were a white supremacist trying to sabotage Wikipedia, boosting "ruined by black people" up the list of search results for "DC Baltimore area" is exactly the way you'd go about it. Chi Sigma (talk) 00:02, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
              • I was literally just thinking this. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:09, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
                • Thank you for reassuring me I'm not being a snowflake! I'm a British non-snowflake though, so I shall be back in 9-10 hours. Chi Sigma (talk) 00:19, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
                  • We are always going to have this problem. As number of user-driven projects across separate servers, it is very easy to inject something COI-ish or POV-ish into a sister project that will show up by happenstance on; we do not allow this and take action against those that game the system, but the only checks are human-driven and outside our ability to automatically patrol. It's the unfortunate part of being on an open wiki.
                  • I don't know if it is possible to change the algirithm but lets say it is and we can force it to omit "offensive terms" from wikt. At that stage, we'd need to come to consensus to understand if we put more weight in avoiding having readers hit with inappropriate terms when randomly search, vs the usefulness of finding such offensive terms if purposely research them. The algorithm can't make that determination, it would only follow what orders we give it. That would be a question we should be asked. My gut is that we'd prefer to avoid seeing readers see these bad hits, but we should assert consensus while determining what is possible via this algorithm. --Masem (t) 00:26, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm not very technical, but would it be so difficult to make the algorithm:

  1. Get the search result from Wiktionary
  2. Look for the Wiktionary page title in the search string
  3. If it isn't there, truncate the search string at the first space, thus leaving only the first word
  4. Try again? Chi Sigma (talk) 10:58, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
I think this would help not give irrelevant results in wiktionary - even ignoring the offensiveness the result is still utterly irrelevant Galobtter (pingó mió) 11:03, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Wiktionary is interesting for search indexing. I guess when entering DC baltimore, the result you'd expect on wiktionary would be wikt:Baltimore, but this includes neither DC nor the word Area, thus making it a significantly less likely search result for that particular combination. I think some reweighing needs to occur there. Not sure who is on the search team these days... —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 17:18, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

The search team is still around. I reached out to the PM and engineering manager to see what can be done. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 19:34, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
Task filed. Looks like this result happens on Wiktionary as well. A possible fix has been proposed, but some testing will need to be done. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 19:59, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
This is good. I like this. Thank you User:CKoerner (WMF)! Chi Sigma (talk) 21:23, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
Chi Sigma We made a stop-gap change tonight to do a title only search for Wiktionary in the sister projects sidebar while we all discuss the best way to deal with content that is undesirable to display. Thanks, DTankersley (WMF) (talk) 02:25, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
Too complicated. There isn't any Wiktionary entry you'd expect to get from "DC Baltimore area". It's not a string that makes sense to search Wiktionary for. Pick one of the three words at random, or don't show a Wiktionary entry, surely? Chi Sigma (talk) 21:07, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
  • This is more WMF doing shit without consensus and fucking things up . Jytdog (talk) 07:30, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
    • Noted. How do you suggest we go about discovering what the consensus is? Does posting something on the policy village pump not constitute a request for comment from which a consensus can emerge (if anyone cares)? Chi Sigma (talk) 07:47, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
    • This was discussed here and only enabled after community consensus, see Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 135. —Kusma (t·c) 13:07, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
      • Thanks for pointing me to that discussion! User:DTankersley (WMF) wrote: "We’ve also changed the search query to be title only for the Wikivoyage and Wikiversity projects, rather than full text searches." Is there a reason it's not title only for Wiktionary too? There didn't seem to be any consensus about it in the votes to add Wiktionary results, only a consensus that they should be added. If it's easy to change it to title only, do that! Chi Sigma (talk) 15:34, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
I don't see anything wrong with this search behavior, nor with the output. That happened to be Wiktionary's best effort to find "DC and Baltimore area". It is probably an extremely uncommon thing to have happen. There is a way to fix it: define wikt:BC and Baltimore area for Wiktionary. The fact that it is common enough a phrase to search for means it is common enough a phrase to define, using abundant search results for it.
I realize that Wikipedia is out of step with our totalitarian Masters who rule from the thrones of a few corporations, imposing a Chinese model of the internet protested only, ironically, it would seem, by the surviving organ of the Fourth International. But Wikipedia has the potential to be as obstructive and unchanging as the Socialists, if we try, and to do so would be truly a service to the world. Wnt (talk) 22:28, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
Nah tho. You can't selectively disown the Mighty Algorithm. You can't say "if we try" like we deserve some kind of credit for raising this thing, and then not bear any responsibility for how it behaves. Chi Sigma (talk) 07:52, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

I should note that I searched [11] and received no Wiktionary suggestion. Apparently this is due to [12], namely the title-only search was done and merged. If you ever need to benchmark how fast WMF developers can possibly move on something, just get a Bad Word involved! Wnt (talk) 01:36, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

I tracked down the "fruit loops" issue to this, and I should say that I am disgusted. No, not at the image, which is the top Bing result but I have no idea how to reverse engineer to a real link, but at the sorry excuses made for censoring and destroying our artistic heritage. To be clear, the picture isn't even porn -- nothing is shown that isn't seen often on a Hollywood runway, though of course the rich are as virtuous by nature as the poor are wicked in the eyes of the judgmental. It was an expensive scene to set up and a clever, pretty picture. I will admit I prefer the face one better ([13]) but no one should have to fear for being a creative artist. And yet she did fear, thanks to the miracle of metadata, the notion so aggressively pushed by administrative-types that a picture ought to come with some ream of almost-hidden secret data that no normal people notice but which ought to come back to haunt the person when it is time to pick on them. And so the first AfD. And then the second ... because people made fun of Commons for having art. Just burn it, that's the fix! I mean fuck 'em fuck 'em fuck 'em all. Everybody here, except Tracy, is useless. Wnt (talk) 16:51, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

Red links on English Wikipedia[edit]

I'm thinking about this for quite a while, finally think it's better to make a discussion. I actively read three different languages of Wikipedia frequently, namely English, Japanese and Chinese. One thing I noticed here is that English Wikipedia seems like to actively avoid using Red links.

Take Japanese game series, The Idolmaster as an example. This game has a major release (more like sub-series) called "The Idolmaster Million Live!", which hasn't have an English article yet. Without much doubt, it is a worth one and will have one eventually, so I won't say it falls into the criterion of "articles that are not likely to be created and retained in Wikipedia". But none of the seven mentions of this name in this article is (red-)linked.

Furthermore, at the bottom of the page, The Idolmaster Million Live! is not even included at all in that {{The Idolmaster}} template. It feels like people intentionally do not include it in the template, despite being a major release of this game series, just because the article doesn't exist (yet).

I understand one example doesn't say much, but it matches my experience here. So my questions, before I go and modify such articles,

  1. is it the correct practice for in-article text to avoid red links, like in case of the example shown above? I read Wikipedia:Red link briefly and my gut says no, but further explanation is welcome.
  2. is it the correct practice to avoid red links by not including non-existing articles at all in the template, assuming the article is important enough for such template? I haven't find the relevant policy page for this.

Thanks! --fireattack (talk) 17:45, 18 January 2018 (UTC)

The correct practice, or at least what I have been doing, is to have red links in article prose but not navigational tools such as the hatnotes, templates, and the see also section. Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 22:34, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
For years I've believed that people shun red links to articles that should exist far more than they should. It's a harmful habit that needlessly restricts Wikipedia's growth, and is unsupported by Wikipedia:Red link or any other guideline I'm aware of. Even for navboxes, WP:EXISTING supports the addition of certain redlinks. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 05:11, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
There are two major topics for which redlinks are shunned rather fairly: persons and companies. It is not like some rare fish or science: BIO and ORG notability are problematic and controversial. IMO having them redlinked gives them undue prominence in text. If these are notable, it is not rocket science to write a bio or stub, unlike, say, about auctorial self-criticism. Also, different Wikipedias have different criteria of notability. For example, in Lithuanian Wikipedia each and every county-level politician or director of a factory has a detailed article. Staszek Lem (talk) 23:16, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

RfC about sources[edit]

Please see Talk:2018 in science#RfC about sources for new entries. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 02:24, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

Conflict between WP:NCP and MOS:ENGVAR, MOS:JR[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (people)#Conflict between WP:NCP and WP:MOS
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  23:57, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

Splitting of Featured Lists[edit]

What happens to the Featured Lists status of an article when it is split? List of Doctor Who serials had the Featured List status, but was recently split into two separate articles, List of Doctor Who episodes (1963–1989) and List of Doctor Who episodes (2005–present), following consensus via discussion. What is the status of these articles in relation to being Featured Lists? -- AlexTW 09:31, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

Wouldn't Wikipedia talk:Featured lists be the place to ask? This isn't the kind of broad policy discussion for which this page is useful; I very much doubt if anyone outside the WP:FL project cares exactly what their criteria are. (Looking at the histories of the three pages linked here, it seems that what they did previously was keep the FL status for one of the lists and submit the other to Featured List Candidates.) ‑ Iridescent 16:12, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps, but as you can see in the history of the link you gave me, that is a very inactive talk page, and I would likely be given zero response. Unlike this talk page, which is extremely active. Thanks for the linked discussion. -- AlexTW 15:45, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

Pruning/blanking abandoned very bad articles[edit]

As the encyclopedia grows, we have increasingly many articles started but abandoned in essentially useless state (unstructured, no context, hopelessly bad writing, no sources, etc). Some remain that way for years - someone tags them for cleanup, but no-one is interested enough to make a go of it, or doesn't know where to start. We have 9000+ articles in Category:Cleanup_tagged_articles_without_a_reason_field (3000+ tagged for at least 8 years) and 4000+ in Category:Wikipedia_articles_needing_rewrite. There's currently a WP:ANI discussion about one user who's been trying to delete such articles, leading to acrimony since others note the article topics meet the notability bar, that sources are available, but no-one adds the sources or fixes the actual article.

I'd like to get away from the user-conduct-focused discussion/arguing at ANI and see if we can find a better solution to the underlying policy issue, which several others there seem to think is indeed a problem. Testing the waters here if people would be supportive of one of the following, or an improvement thereon. If the discussion goes somewhere, can take to {{rfc|policy}} after sorting out the details.

  1. Speedy-delete. Create a CSD to allow speedy-deleting such articles, under some sort of stringent conditions, e.g. tagged for ["major"?] cleanup and no substantive edits for [3+?] years, no or woefully inadequate sources provided.
  2. Discuss-delete. Don't allow CSD, but change deletion policy to explicitly allow deleting such articles, with reasonably stringent guidelines as above to prevent abuse or false urgency/brinksmanship. Hope that at least some of the time, someone in the AFD discussion will instead jump in to improve the article.
  3. Blank. Don't delete such articles, but replace them with a template like "A Wikipedia article with this title was started, but was abandoned before a usable article was developed. If you feel this topic is notable, we encourage you to create an article using reliable sources. Previous partial content is available in this page's history if useful." Remove from generic cleanup categories. This blanking action could either be allowed as a matter of editorial discretion (Editorial-Blank), again with some guidelines to avoid overuse, or only as a soft-delete outcome of an AFD discussion (AFD-Blank).
  4. Flag. As Blank, but keep the existing article content, just preface it with an editnotice, something like "This Wikipedia article has been abandoned in a state which may be of limited usefulness. Wikipedia is a collaborative encyclopedia; if this topic is of interest, we strongly encourage you to dive in and improve it, using reliable sources."
  5. And of course, Status quo. There's no problem, leave such articles as-is in the hope someone will improve them, and continue to Keep them if someone nominates them AFD, etc, provided the subject is notable and sources appear to exist, etc.

The Speedy-delete option would of course the swiftest at removing embarrassing, useless stuff, but essentially gives up on the tiny ray of hope someone will improve things. It would require the most stringent, bright-line conditions on where it could be applied to be developed. Discuss-delete would harness multiple pairs of eyes to verify, and perhaps productively force a discussion of "OK, are we going to fix this or not?". The remaining two options keep the so-called content available, caveat it for readers, yet encourage someone to sometime jump in, and reclassify the cleanup backlog to segregate out articles where realistically normal cleanup isn't going to be sufficient or even happen.

Thoughts? I will mention this at the ANI thread and am pinging ~10 top commenters there of this discussion (but let's keep user conduct out of it!). Martinp (talk) 16:55, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

  • I'm opposed to "blanking" a page as it will still be indexed, be a blue link, etc. What I don't see above would be something like "send it to Draft:" (which could be an AFD outcome anyway) that could be useful? — xaosflux Talk 17:02, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I think the status quo is probably the right play. Even really crappy articles sometimes have something of merit, or they point to the need for an improved article on the topic. Those that don't meet notability criteria are subject to deletion already; no great need for a CSD criteria, which would be potentially controversial as as enabler of ultra-deletionism by a handful of rogue administrators — just tote them to PROD or AfD as appropriate. The cure appears worse than the illness, from where I'm sitting... Carrite (talk) 17:06, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Number 5 (status quo) as first and only choice. Anything that allows any driveby editor to unilaterally declare something as "very bad" will just mean a re-run of the current problem in an ever more virulent form since what you consider "very bad" isn't necessarily what I consider "very bad", and the existing of maintenance tags isn't necessarily actually indicative of a serious problem with the article. Anything that requires a consensus before something is flagged as "very bad" would just create an additional layer of bureaucracy replicating AfD. Despite the people who claim otherwise, "this article is terrible and will never be improved" is regularly accepted as a deletion rationale; the current issue is regarding an editor who's been tagging legitimate articles and lying about the non-existence of sources, not with the WP:TNT approach per se. ‑ Iridescent 17:06, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Status quo--The project has no deadline.As simple as that.By the way, I will concur with Iridescent that TNT is quite used as a successful deletion rationale but the case at ANI differs by a mile.Winged BladesGodric 17:12, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
  • As has been shown in recent AfDs, many of these articles are about notable topics, are easily fixed with a little effort, and many could not be described as 'essentially useless'. The best approach in these cases is to encourage good editors to attempt to improve them, and nominate them for deletion only if the articles are genuinely unsalvagable. So basically the status quo, but with greater efforts to get them fixed. --Michig (talk) 17:13, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose It is explicit policy that "Perfection is not required: Wikipedia is a work in progress. Collaborative editing means that incomplete or poorly written first drafts can evolve over time into excellent articles. Even poor articles, if they can be improved, are welcome. ..." Nupedia had the different idea of only publishing polished and reviewed work but that was not successful and so was abandoned. Wikipedia works and so its successful methods should be left alone. Andrew D. (talk) 17:14, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Status quo I'd never have gotten involved on WP (for whatever that's worth! ;) ) if not for such a stub... 2Q (talk) 17:27, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Any such change to the status quo is incompatible with the very foundation Wikipedia is built on and cannot work. Wikipedia is a constant work in progress, with no article ever being perfect and that's what makes the project great. It's also, as 2Q points out, the main reason people actually start to get involved: They come here, see that something does not exist or lacks information and they add something. We can't force anyone to actually work on those articles the OP mentions but every single one of them might a) be useful to someone already and b) might get someone to fix it. I understand that there are a few editors who believe Wikipedia should work radically different but that would probably also be its demise (it#s basically what Citezendium tried and we do have an article about how they failed miserably). Regards SoWhy 17:38, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
  • There is one (and as I see it ONLY one) advantage to outright deletion ... any existing links to the article will become redlinks. Redlinking will highlight the need for someone to start over and create a new (better) version. Blueboar (talk) 18:03, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
    ...until the next well-meaning editor comes along and starts removing the red links... Regards SoWhy 20:28, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
    Removing red-links can be done in two ways: (1) removing the wiki-code to leave the potential article topic unlinked; (2) creating a small stub that doesn't get expanded (i.e. turning the red-link blue). I have never quite worked out which is worse, but there is definitely an effect where people rise to the challenge of a red-link and create good articles from scratch. For some reason, the motivation seems to diminish when expanding a stub (well, for some people, some are just as happy expanding a stub as they are creating a new article). Maybe find a way to motivate people to work on permastubs? I am sure there have been editing drives along those lines. Iridescent is right to keep making the sewage analogy, but is there any way to work out whether Wikpiedia (or rather, the small part of it any one person sees at any one time) is a delicately fertilised field with blooms springing up here and there, or a fetid, steaming mess with some diamonds gleaming in the murk? Carcharoth (talk) 23:02, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment- recently I have been cleaning up and categorising articles about tiny villages in India, which is indisputably some of Wikipedia's worst content. They've frequently got no sources at all and are riddled with such strained grammar and so many misspellings it can often be impossible to decipher what the sentence is trying to say. Many contain advertisements for local tourist attractions, travel blog entries, gushing hagiographies of non-notable local residents, and attempts by article editors to communicate with each other by asking each other questions in the article space. Often there's nothing to be done but aggressively prune them back such that all the content that's left is "Such-and-such is a village in Foobarbaz state, India". It's a lot of work. A lot of work. Yet none of them so far have had no salvageable content. So I'd say there's an option missing from your list, @Martinp: allowing editors very wide freedom to aggressively remove crappy content from articles. Reyk YO! 18:12, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
    • Even the worst of those "Boggley Wollah is a village in Foobar Province, men are brave and women are beautiful and virtuous, is 12 km from railway and have electric light" Indian village stubs still serves some useful purpose, since if nothing else they tell readers where the place is, and generally include at least some kind of external link to the local government website. It's actually vanishingly rare for a non-vandal Wikipedia article to be useless to the reader; where WP:TNT comes into play is when the answer to "would people Googling this topic genuinely be better served if this page didn't appear in the search results, and it is unfeasible for it to be improved to the point where that's no longer the case?" is unambiguously "yes". ‑ Iridescent 18:50, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
Stubifying is definitely an option - just replace the text with a source line (to say the census) that the village exists and has such an option. Galobtter (pingó mió) 18:55, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
WP:ATD already mentions reducing something to a stub as an alternative to deletion. Yet people mostly ignore it, just as many ignore ATD altogether. Regards SoWhy 20:26, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
I do what Reyk does. Sometimes I get kickback for it but I have a fairly thick skin. However, the Indian village articles (and indeed those across the subcontinent) specifically have some other issues, notably a lot lack coordinates and they have so many variant transliterated spellings that it is nigh-on impossible to locate them. That is when AfD should come in but, alas, the usual people will turn up with the usual argument, ie: place of habitation, therefore keep. - Sitush (talk) 19:33, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
I haven't had anyone scream at me for my extensive pruning yet. But I also know that if I take them to AfD (even the ones where I can't verify if they exist) it'll be "keepkeepkeep! habited place!" with possibly "block nominator for disruption" thrown in. But I can do something about the travel guides and silly comments about local inhabitants. Reyk YO! 19:58, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
A few years back when I was working on the inhabited places of Ethiopia, I sent a few to AfD & managed to get those articles removed. While it is difficult to prove a given village or hamlet in a country like Ethiopia or India does not exist -- & the problem with Ethiopia is multiplied due to bad maps & numerous variant spellings -- I was able to do it using some reliable sources. (Citing Google Maps as showing nothing there ought to be a clincher.) While I consider myself an inclusionist, & we should never lightly delete articles, IMHO when sufficient research has been spent on showing such a place does not exist, deletion really is the proper solution. -- llywrch (talk) 17:58, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose any changes along these lines. I totally get where User:Martinp is coming from on this, but articles that aren't in great shape are often a great source of new editors for Wikipedia. Many of our existing ,well-sourced, well-written articles can be very intimidating for a new editor to approach because of the use of complex templates, hundreds of sources, the application of a wide range of MOS guidelines, etc. etc.... three of the oldest articles that is tagged cleanup without a reason are List of Ranma ½ video games, Canadian Radio-Television Commission and Punk rock in Spain. I doubt any substantial support would be found for deleting these articles simply because they have a cleanup tag and need some work. Someday, someone will show up to do more work on these... might be this year, might be 2025. Who knows. What I do know is that our standard AFD process works fine for getting rid of unsalvagable articles. We don't need to employ speedy deletion for this sort of thing. In fact, doing so would be a violation of WP:CONS. , 18:17, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment The problem is real and many of these little village articles have BLP violations as well as the other problems discussed. But I think User:Galobtter's answer is best, stubify them or take them to AfD. Doug Weller talk 19:21, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose current policy allows for easy removal of unreferenced material and stubbing if necessary. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:36, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Flag might be a good idea and give new editors something to test their teeth on rather than have them create new non-notable trivia to prove themselves. Xxanthippe (talk) 21:31, 20 January 2018 (UTC).
  • Strongly support pruning, but ... I'm not sure people realize how bad some of our articles are and how many of them there are. It's very likely that we could use purely mechanical criteria to select the worst 5% of our articles and 99% of our readers and editors would say that these articles are useless to them. 5% of 5.5 million is over 275,000 articles, much too many to benefit from AfD or the other labor intensive methods discussed above. Just to give folks an idea of these types of articles, I I hit the "random article" button about 50-60 times and selected the following:
I intentionally did not include articles on officially recognized geographical places, species, and sports people, who likely have supporters of even the shortest articles in such a series. I think some of the included articles (e.g. the 1902 film) might be worth being in the encyclopedia, but I wouldn't want to take more than 10 minutes to review it. That would take 46,000 editor hours for the 275,000 articles.
So how to select the articles for review. The mechanical criteria could include articles than have *all* the following
  • article length (say less than 4 sentences or xx words)
  • page views (say less than 2 per day)
  • last substantial edit by a human (i.e. not a new category or spelling correction) older than, say, 2 years.
  • less than 2 inline refs
  • ORES score, say 90%+ prediction that the article is a stub (see )
So get the bottom 1% of the articles. In many cases (50%?) it should be a speedy merge of perhaps 1 line, with a redirect, e.g. Bass sarrusophone into Sarrusophone. It would be nice to have a special Prod that couldn't be removed unless you actually improve the article. That might cover 30% of these articles. So maybe 20% would need special consideration that would actually take more than 10 minutes. Then move on to the next 1% if everybody is happy Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:35, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
  • This is not actually a bad idea in principle, except for one flaw: Then move on to the next 1% if everybody is happy . Has everybody ever been happy here? - Sitush (talk) 01:20, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
  • 1% is still 55,000 articles. If ten of us addressed 10 of these every day, it'd still take a year and a half. This isn't a process that can be truly automated, especially if you want to contemplate merging articles together. , 01:28, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
My main point above is that we have to semi-automate it, or just leave all the garbage in. Humans are only needed to save the acceptable stuff - but having any discussion would just take too long on the very worst stuff. Merging Bass sarrusophone into Sarrusophone could be done in 10 minutes. Slapping a sticky prod onto Euskaltegi would only take a few minutes to find that there aren't any non-Wikipedia, non-commercial sites to reference. The lost 1902 film might be worth taking a bit more time to see if anything other than crowdsourced sites have anything about it - the crowdsourced sites don't. At some point, it's got to be do something with it (at least 10 minutes worth) or chuck it asap. The mechanical methods would give you the "at some point". Smallbones(smalltalk) 05:13, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
Re If ten of us addressed 10 of these every day, it'd still take a year and a half.

'If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,' the Walrus said,
'That they could get it clear?'
'I doubt it,' said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

– Lewis Carroll (1872), "The Walrus and the Carpenter", from Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. See also Sisyphus. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 10:28, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
Can we have that as the Wikipedia disclaimer? :-) Carcharoth (talk) 23:04, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I would probably just stubify - I think it's good to leave a stub for editors who like to develop stubs. Some of the articles above like Aliens are to Blame for Everything or Christodoulos Neophytou could probably be deleted through AfD, but it's a notability issue more than an article-quality issue. For poor quality articles that are notable I think it is preferable to have a stub instead of a redlink. SeraphWiki (talk) 02:08, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
    ...which is already policy and has been for for years now. Sometimes people are trying to re-invent the wheel instead of simply following policy. I dare say any messy article about a notable subject that people argue to WP:TNT, could be reduced to a stub instead; we just need people to do it. Regards SoWhy 15:43, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Improve. Nobody's suggesting edit and improve incomplete articles about notable topics? For a start, we could apply the time used on this discussion, and time wasted on AfDs for notable and verifiable subjects just because Wikipedia:I just don't like it. Be Wikipedia:Here to build an encyclopedia, Wikipedia:Don't demolish the house while it's still being built. Jack N. Stock (talk) 05:57, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the feedback! To be honest, I'm a bit surprised so many people think there is no problem. We do have lots of basic stubs that are mildly helpful and someone will hopefully expand them, but we also have lots of abandoned stuff which is really not usable in its current state, and it's pretty clear essentially no one has the ability/interest to improve it and feels it is worth their while. It's nice to say "eventually someone might fix it" or "why don't *you* try fixing it rather than just destroying stuff", but we can't force people to volunteer to fix stuff they're just not interested in. However, it's pretty clear there's little support for any of the proposals I suggested. I do think the discussion about when to stubbify and WP:ATD is a useful one, and perhaps provides a good framework for some articles (and requires no change to policies). Anyway: leaving open for a while longer (not everyone is on WP every few hours!)... Martinp (talk) 12:06, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
    • Don't be too surprised. Remember that you're talking to an audience who by-and-large remember the competition between Wikipedia and Citizendium; we have empirical evidence when it comes to whether "the sewage fertilizes the flowers" or "weed out the dead wood" is a more productive approach over the long term both in terms of article production, and in terms of editor retention. Wikipedia's policies sometimes appear arbitrary, but—especially for something fundamental like deletion—they're generally the result of years of watching what works and what doesn't, so we're typically reluctant to change core policies unless there's an extremely good reason to do so. ‑ Iridescent 13:12, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Improve. the community is trying to get away from giving deletion editors any tools.--Moxy (talk) 14:51, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose, the day we abandon constructive policies such as WP:PRESERVE or WP:ATD, or principles such as WP:DEADLINE, is the day I abandon Wikipedia. I'd say status quo, but at present we already have far more misuse of AFD than we should to stifle articles that can be fixed, or to address what are really editing problems, such as what to do with subpages of undeniably notable topics or articles that have been WP:SPLIT. postdlf (talk) 15:09, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Pruning is good, but do it with care. See William Whitfield for an example (see article history and the talk page). The process of deletion and recreation does already happen, specifically for the case of articles that get prodded and when copyright violations are deleted. An example here is Patrick Forrest (see logs). This article was first created about someone else of the same name and deleted by the prod process in June 2006. An article on the surgeon was created in May 2017 and deleted due to the aftermath of a sockpuppetry case. The current article was created in June 2017. I suppose the question is whether the deletions made any difference to the ultimate outcome? It looks like it didn't. Carcharoth (talk) 23:16, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Status quo plus per User:Postdlf. I am particularly alarmed by the comment by User:Smallbones because he seems to target stubs about "ethnic" things like a Serbian film or a Kazakh sports body, which are certainly notable. Providing readers with a basic link to those things is obviously useful, and if the articles don't do anything else, so what? If we had a better geographic representation they would not stay stubs for long. And we're not going to get that by arbitrarily deleting articles for being too short, knowing what bias that is enforcing! Wnt (talk) 02:11, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment First, the number of articles the OP is concerned about amount to less than 0.1% of the total number of articles. In short, we're discussing what amounts to a rounding error, so in the larger picture we will always have a few thousand problematic articles like these; the "status quo" is a defensible option. On the other hand, something needs to be done about these articles; there are too many articles marked as stubs. (In my experience, as many as a quarter should be upgraded to "Start" or better.) If we had more active WikiProjects, we could simply leave the problem of abandoned very bad articles to those groups to either improve these articles or nominate them for deletion: those group would have the experts who could handle them quickly. Perhaps there should be a competition to encourage dealing with this backlog. (FWIW, currently I am reviewing a number of articles -- maybe as many as 100 -- that were created by a banned user that may be hoaxes. So I am working on this problem from my own direction.) -- llywrch (talk) 17:58, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Status Quo (5) as first option. Flag (4) as second option; though an additional flag over all the crap we current tag such articles with is probably of marginal additional utility, so the more I think about it, the more 5 seems the best option. I am unconcerned with substandard articles, all of Wikipedia is substandard to some degree, and I don't see what we gain by deleting some number of articles below some arbitrary quality limit. --Jayron32 20:26, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Flag. Cleanup tags get the reader's attention and help encourage involvement. KMF (talk) 01:42, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Draftify. These articles are essentially drafts. Move them to draft space and if an editor wants to improve them, they can. If they are garbage, they can be deleted. Natureium (talk) 15:04, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment I think that either drafting or flagging is a better idea. The problem with flagging is that it might be prone to drive-bys. Why do you think {{cleanup}} has a ten-year backlog? Because people just slap the tag on without explaining what needs cleaning up. Adding a "reason" field has done very little. Pruning and stubifying may help, but it may also leave the content vulnerable to unwarranted A7s. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 23:45, 23 January 2018 (UTC)

Require all templates to have appropriate disambiguation parameters and documentation[edit]

Frequently, templates are built on the assumption that there all pages on a certain topic will conform to the same title scheme, with no ambiguities. However, reality is not that forgiving. Editors therefore come across numerous instances where a template has been constructed that automatically fills in fields by adding an incorrect expected value to article names. Sometimes these links are just wrong. Sometimes these are links to disambiguation pages. An example that I have recently come across is Template:International football competition statistics, which incorrectly assumes that every article on the men's national soccer team for a given country will be at "Foo national football team", despite both United States national football team and United States men's national football team being disambiguation pages, due to the prevalence of American football in the United States. A contrary example (where the disambiguation parameter is done right) is Template:Sortname, which has a clearly delineated "|dab=" parameter for introducing a disambiguating term.

Complicated templates can easily generate errors that are hard for even seasoned editors to find and fix. I therefore propose that every template that has a parameter that can potentially call an incorrect page should have

  1. either a clear disambiguation parameter such as "|dab=" or "|link=", or an "#IFEXIST" function that allows an editor to override the parameter by filling it in with a piped link (e.g. [[Correct link target|Desired display text]]
  2. a "Disambiguation" section in the template documentation page demonstrating how link fixes can be implemented.

I don't think that it is too much to ask that template editors employ existing common solutions to avoid pervasive errors. bd2412 T 22:50, 23 January 2018 (UTC)

At {{Stnlnk}}) I coded an "#IFEXIST" tree that goes through all the disambiguation forms for railway stations (from most- to least-common) to automatically find the correct page. This makes it completely transparent to the user, and after three months I have yet to hear any complaints. Useddenim (talk) 23:49, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
Oooookayyyyy then - see User talk:Jc86035#Disambiguating Broad Street and User talk:Certes#Disambiguating Coniston. Two users WP:SUBSTing {{stnlnk}} in order to dab the link. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:56, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
I am not calling out particular templates here. I cited Template:International football competition statistics solely as an example, but I am proposing that this should be a standard for ALL templates that can potentially call a wrong link due to natural inconsistencies in article titles. bd2412 T 23:59, 23 January 2018 (UTC)