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People's birthdate, conflicting (reliable) sources, and WP:SYNTHESIS

There's a dispute on Talk:Taylor Lorenz on whether the subject's date of birth can be included in her article. Regardless of the specifics, this case raises some interesting questions:

  1. is it ok to "construct" a person's DOB from multiple reliable sources? (In Lorenz's case, her birthday was based a brief mention of her's in "today's birthdays" section on Politico, and her birthyear was inferred from a September 2020 Fortune article listing her age as 35.)
  2. is it ok to make a judgement call between conflicting sources? (In Lorenz's case, another source gave her age as 31 in 2018, implying a year of birth of 1986/87, but Brandt Luke Zorn argued to rather trust Fortune)

Lorenz isn't the only case, just the most recent that caught my attention. For a similar case from 2017, see Talk:Vernon Jarrett (there, too, we needed to weigh between conflicting information from the Library of Congress, various obituaries, and the person's own headstone). Bottom line: the question is whether any of this violates WP:SYNTHESIS. The WP:SYNTHNOT essay doesn't include this case among its many exceptions, but maybe it should. -- bender235 ( talk) 18:24, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

Edit: after digging through the VPP archives, I saw that the second point had been briefly discussed in 2013. Jayron32 concluded that it's better to include the contradicting dates (and attribute them explicitly) than to leave the birthdate out entirely. -- bender235 ( talk) 15:19, 27 March 2021 (UTC)

  • Jayron32 stated, and I quote, "either cite them both and attribute them explicitly in the text ("Source A says that he was born in 1963, but source B says that he was born in 1959) or leave it out entirely." (emphasis added). -- TheSandDoctor Talk 18:14, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
@ TheSandDoctor: ... and he continued, in the very next sentence, with: "The former is better because it does what we're supposed to do, represent reliable viewpoints in proportion and allow the sources to speak for themselves." As I have summarized. -- bender235 ( talk) 22:11, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
The point is that both were presented as valid options, which the initial edited quote did not represent. It is also worth noting that what has been advocated for and repeatedly restored is neither of these two options that were described by Jayron32. -- TheSandDoctor Talk 02:55, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
Two options were laid out as to be considered, not as to be valid. One was argued to be favored over the other. I don't understand why you continue to misrepresent this. If I write "if Sec. 230 is revoked Wikipedia could either adopt or shut down. The former is better because..." does not imply I consider both options to be equally good. At this point you're just arguing for the sake of arguing. -- bender235 ( talk) 14:46, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
I've been working on such situations for years now, often including discussions at BLPN. Rebecca De Mornay (  | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views), Lee Grant (  | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views), and Lydia Cornell (  | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) are examples. I'll take a look. -- Hipal ( talk) 18:39, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
Clearly identifying all the references on the talk page would help. It's also important to note any that address WP:DOB, or at least clearly stating WP:DOB status given the refs. -- Hipal ( talk) 18:52, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I view (1) as acceptable under the routine calculations exception to WP:OR. Regarding (2), if one source is clearly more acceptable than another, I'd say we're allowed to make a call, but if there's genuine confusion, it might be better to note the uncertainty. Keep in mind that, since many sources rely on Wikipedia (even if they shouldn't), getting a birth date wrong can result in citogenesis that makes it harder to sleuth out the truth down the road. {{u| Sdkb}} talk 19:15, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • A thought: since the subject is alive, why not ask her? Yes, she could lie about that fact (some have, see for example Ann Coulter & elsewhere in the Talk archives of that person), but for the most part I'd trust any person about such basic facts if there is no other source for them: date of birth, where they went to school, name of people in family (i.e. spouse, parents, children). If the person lies, well the misinformation is on that person, not us. And if they decline to share that information, then we go with the best information we have. Yes, there might be a problem down the road with relying on someone for such basic facts, but if it is confirmed by circumstantial evidence & stands up to common sense, it won't be harmfully wrong. -- llywrch ( talk) 21:51, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
    • Or better yet, if we don't have clear sourcing for a birthday, just forego it. With rare exceptions, it's trivia. So long as their is enough information in the article to put the subject in a generational context, the exact date of birth is trivia. -- Nat Gertler ( talk) 21:57, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
      • That would work if we had the dates she attended college. I believe that is public information, which the institution would be happy to provide. -- llywrch ( talk) 22:14, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
        • Neither asking the person nor asking the institution satisfies our need for verifiability. Both are intrusive and unneeded research for a piece of information we do not need to have. -- Nat Gertler ( talk) 22:26, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
          • So being intrusive is worse than getting a fact wrong? -- llywrch ( talk) 23:33, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
            • Not including the birthday, which is the suggestion that your last two comments were in response to, is not getting the facts wrong. It's simply not including something. -- Nat Gertler ( talk) 23:59, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Asking a person is not a good option. How would we source it, to make it verifiable? Also, this question wasn't about a situation win "no source exists", but a situation in which multiple reliable sources are in contradiction with each other, or each have only a "piece of the puzzle." -- bender235 ( talk) 23:21, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Get a reply by email, save a copy with headers at the Foundation, as we do now with copyright permissions on photos. I would think people would be willing to have facts about them in Wikipedia correct. (And if a given person does not want that fact in their Wikipedia biography, we could record that too.) The only reason we don't do something like that now is due to a misdirected emphasis on secondary sources. -- llywrch ( talk) 23:33, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • "[...] if a given person does not want that fact in their Wikipedia biography"? I remember a time when Wikipedia went to court arguing we don't give people editorial rights over their Wikipedia entries. -- bender235 ( talk) 00:36, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Strong agree here, that is a terrible and unworkable standard for public figures. — BLZ · talk 05:22, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
  • In some cases, original research to estimate a birth date might work. However, it is a bad idea for Wikipedia as I have seen many examples of complete guesses based on something like a Twitter post saying "Happy 21st!!!". Unsourced or poorly sourced birth dates should be removed. Johnuniq ( talk) 23:19, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I am the main proponent of adding the birthdate based on the Fortune 40 Under 40 article naming Lorenz as a notable person under the age of 40. My reasoning is simple: of the three conflicting sources, this is the only source that is biographical, the only source in which the primary subject is Lorenz, and because "40 Under 40" is an age-based commendation it is the only one in which her age is a key fact. The other two sources are about completely unrelated subjects and provide Lorenz's name only in passing, because she (1) happened to be a witness to a random incident on a train and (2) happened to have participated in a trend and could offer her perspective and experience for a trendpiece. Neither of those two sources are reliable in and of themselves with respect to Lorenz's age, much less preferable for that fact. There is reason to trust the Fortune source as accurate, but no reason to trust either of the other two over Fortune here. I think it's important to not just ask the surface-level question "do these sources provide different information?" and leave it undecided, because we should also ask "is there a good reason to trust one source over another for this piece of information?" No one in the discussion has identified a reason why the anonymous CBS News article could be the only one that got it right, because no one seriously believes that; there is no shred of evidence to suggest that an anonymous breaking news reporter working on deadline to get out a story about a loud sound on a train actually researched Lorenz's age and found the correct answer, an answer that later eluded a Fortune reporter whose main task was determining her age. The age inconsistency among the sources is a footnote curio at best. The train article wouldn't even be worth citing otherwise, unless someone wants to work "Lorenz once heard a loud sound on a train" into her encyclopedic biography. — BLZ · talk 02:54, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
    If we had to choose just one reference, I'm not sure I'd pick the Fortune over the NYTimes. I've often wondered how much fact-checking Fortune does for their lists vs having each individual submit the information for the brief biographies that appear with the lists. Still, choosing one high-quality ref over another is rarely a good strategy.
    Here's the CBN News ref: CBS News staff (February 1, 2016). "Cries of "oh my God" heard on moving Amtrak train". CBS News. Retrieved March 6, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter ( link) -- Hipal ( talk) 03:48, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
  • OK, let's talk about the New York Times article: it's "These Companies Really, Really, Really Want to Freeze Your Eggs" (August 29, 2018). Is Taylor Lorenz the primary subject of this article? No; it's about trends in oocyte cryopreservation (in common parlance, "freezing one's eggs"). Lorenz is quoted for her perspective and experience as a woman who had frozen several of her eggs. I have no doubt that her perspective and experience are valid and even interesting, but she is not an expert in this field, just someone who can speak to their own anecdotal experience and serve as an example illustrating a (purported) trend among "ambitious, focused and hyper-organized millennials". Lorenz appears in two paragraphs total—the 27th and 28th paragraphs of a 40-paragraph article. The New York Times article has two subsequent editorial corrections: one error was a misattribution of an expert source, the other a misstatement of the location of a clinic described in the story. Both of those errors cut much closer to the heart of what the article is ostensibly about; it is not about Lorenz and it is not about her age.
    I want to emphasize that I am not, in any way, saying "Fortune is always and in all cases a categorically more reliable source than the New York Times and should be preferred in all instances whenever there is a discrepancy between the two sources". I'm just saying that for this fact, in this context, we have only one source where her age is a central fact. — BLZ · talk 06:40, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
WP:BLPPRIVACY says "Wikipedia includes [...] dates of birth that have been widely published by reliable sources, or by sources linked to the subject such that it may reasonably be inferred that the subject does not object to the details being made public. If a subject complains about our inclusion of their date of birth, or the person is borderline notable, err on the side of caution [...]". If we have only a few sources and they're inconsistent and none are for the whole birthdate, such that we're having to both judge one of the sources to be more reliable than another for the year and then combining that with a different source for the day (whether we consider it unacceptable WP:SYNTHing or acceptable WP:CALCing), it's clearly not "widely published by reliable sources". Like NatGertler suggests, just omit it pennding better sourcing. -sche ( talk) 07:32, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
At the risk of taking this on a tangent, WP:BLPPRIVACY is one of the most unhelpful policies that we have. I have led several attempts trying to delete or at least modify it, precisely because of this arcane terminology like "borderline notable" (where is that defined? Certainly not anywhere on WP:NBIO) or "widely published" (what is widely published on the internet? WP:PUBLISHED doesn't help), but as I said, this is beyond the topic of this present debate. -- bender235 ( talk) 17:15, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
It is, however, still part of Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons, which is a policy that is fundamental and must be followed. Despite insistence, BLP and its sub sections are still in effect until such a time as they are removed/repealed via a successful RfC. Based on the discussion you linked, the attempt was snow closed; as we know, snow closure meaning by definition that it had "a snowball's chance in hell of being accepted" . Taking a stab at what "widely published" would mean: it would, at minimum, mean "multiple" (reliable) sources stating the same thing. We currently don't have that according to the references available/discovered at this time. This discussion isn't a place to argue for/discuss the repeal — in full or in part — of a policy. That needs its own RfC ran separately. -- TheSandDoctor Talk 16:06, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
@ TheSandDoctor: WP:DOB was added in the early days of Wikipedia without any discussion, and it caused issues ever since. The trigger for the 2019 RfC was an issue with the Bryna Kra article, where a reliable source for her DOB clearly exists, but WP:DOB was misused to argue that it is up to Wikipedians to claim privacy on Kra's behalf without her asking for it. This absurd privacy theater was only made possible because of WP:DOB's ambiguous language (WP:RS isn't enough, it has to be "widely published", too; and "borderline WP:NBIO" are exempt anyways, because reasons) which I sought to remove in this 2019 RfC. Bottomline: DOB's are no different than any other biographical fact (name of high school, name of parents, year of graduation, etc.) and as such should be held to same standards as them (i.e., WP:RS). Nothing more and nothing less. Instead, WP:DOB lumps birthdates together with "phone numbers, addresses, account numbers" as if any of the latter even remotely had any encyclopedic relevance.
Ending this tangent and bringing this back to Taylor Lorenz, though: if you are arguing on the basis of WP:DOB, you essentially have to claim that Fortune magazine published her age without Lorenz's knowledge and consent. Because that's what the policy says: you have to infer that the subject objects to her DOB being "published" on Wikipedia (despite it being published elsewhere). And good luck trying to square the "we can infer a person's privacy concerns" with "we should not infer birthyear from age at date" argument. (I'm being sarcastic to demonstrate how absurd WP:DOB is). -- bender235 ( talk) 17:38, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
If it wasn't already technically a part of the biography of living persons policy (BLP), it is now due to that RfC you cite. The RfC effectively renders any historical discussions or precedents that could be cited moot. Generally speaking (in an abstract from this discussion), citing an RfC that has one outcome as justification for doing the exact opposite of that outcome is not in line with consensus (in spirit or otherwise). Ignoring consensus could be potentially considered disruptive behaviour. IAR does not indemnify editors from the latter and cannot be used to go literally against the result of an RfC (that hasn't been superseded) just because the editor does not like its outcome. The correct way to change a policy/guideline is with the successful passing of a new RfC (preferably dedicated solely to that question). This thread is not the venue appropriate to that discussion; Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons would probably be the best venue, with VPP itself and WP:BLPN being alternatives (all cross advertised to whichever ones aren't the host, of course).
Going into this historically though, it appears that the birthday section was indeed present (in a form) when BLP was upgraded from a guideline to a policy in July 2006. With that said, privacy has been a key consideration in the BLP page since December 2005 when it was still a proposed guideline and not in effect. -- TheSandDoctor Talk 03:58, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
I am definitely on board with making sure the birth date is accurate and sourced to high quality RSes, as that does have aspects of privacy concerns. (eg I'm asked for my birthday all the time when I see medical professionals to confirm identity). But I would reasonably say that the birth year and/or the person's age or estimate thereof can have weaker sourcing requirements, as long as there's still some reliability involved. Outside of a few situations, how old someone is is far less a privacy issue and something most people can guess +/- 5 years from just looking at a person's picture, so not something you easily mask. -- Masem ( t) 15:01, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Trivia, if not reliably sourced, don't add it. Acousmana ( talk) 16:53, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
I agree with you that WP:RS is the threshold for inclusion of any kind of information, but a date of birth is not trivia. Not more than a person's middle name, or which high school she attended. -- bender235 ( talk) 17:17, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
sorry, meant in the case of BLPs, and in particularly celebrity culture garbage, there is an obsession with the age, height, bodily dimensions etc. it all comes under trivia. Arguably there's a hint of ageism in this too. Acousmana ( talk) 10:39, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I would say that if there's conflict between dates, neither one is obviously a clearly better source, and no source notes the conflict, we should forego it entirely. Choosing either one would be unacceptable for reasons that should be obvious; covering the disagreement is a problem in this case because we're essentially "creating" a conflict ourselves. That is, if no source notes the conflict, yet we put "sources differ" in the article, we're essentially introducing this concept that there's confusion or disagreement over the subject's birth date whole-cloth ourselves - in practice it is WP:OR / WP:SYNTH. A mild form of it, yes, but I'm not convinced it's a simple WP:CALC / WP:BLUE thing, because outright stating there's disagreement turns what could be a simple typo in one source into a bigger conflict. If it's something where we don't particularly have to weigh in immediately, and where there is ultimately one right answer, it's better to wait until we can state the correct answer with more confidence. -- Aquillion ( talk) 17:11, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
@ Aquillion:: I mentioned at the top that this is not strictly about Taylor Lorenz, because there have been plenty of similar cases in the past. And so just to be clear, in case of conflicting sources, would you prefer to leave out the DOB entirely, or to handle it as in Vernon Jarrett, where a judgement call was made by Lwalt and myself (see Talk:Vernon Jarrett), and a footnote mentioning the conflicting sources was added to the article. In my opinion, this would be a valid solution in Lorenz's case, too. Do you agree? -- bender235 ( talk) 01:24, 18 March 2021 (UTC)

Several participants in the discussion have requested (or bemoaned the lack of) a direct side-by-side comparison of the three sources at issue. I want to lay this out as plainly as possible:

Article Publication Date Lorenz's ascribed
birth year
Is Lorenz the
article's central subject?
Is Lorenz independently notable at the time of publication? What is Lorenz's relation to the article's central subject? Would the source be worth citing on Lorenz's Wikipedia page for any purpose other than her age? Is Lorenz's age
a central fact of the article?
Is the article
"Cries of 'oh my God' heard on moving Amtrak train" CBS News 2016-02-01 1985
(2015  30)
No No She directly heard the unexpected unexplained loud noise on the train Definitely not No Yes
"These Companies Really, Really, Really Want to Freeze Your Eggs" The New York Times 2018-08-29 1986
(2017  31)
No No She can provide her anecdotal perspective of participating in egg-freezing; she serves as an example of a purported trend among "ambitious, focused and hyper-organized millennials" Maybe; it notes "she broke off an engagement of several years", which could be clarifying in the "Personal life" section Somewhat; it matters to the extent that Lorenz is a " millennial" (i.e. born 1981–1996) No; two corrections for two substantive errors
"Taylor Lorenz — 2020 40 under 40 in media and entertainment" Fortune 2020-09-02 1984
(2019  35)
Yes Yes She is Taylor Lorenz Yes Yes Yes

I also want to concur with Aquillion, who was very astute to point out that the claim that Lorenz's age is somehow objectively "in dispute" is a ("mild", and perhaps not unacceptable) form of WP:SYNTH. The fact is, in the real world, Lorenz has a set birthdate. No actual reliable source points out this "dispute". (This December 2020 article in The Washington Free Beacon notes the discrepancy among sources, but I would not make the case that the Free Beacon is reliable generally and regardless the article is labeled in the site's "satire" (?) section—make of that what you will.)

Along those lines, something conspicuous is that no one is making the affirmative case that "the CBS story was most likely to be right based on [reasons], making the other two wrong" or "the New York Times story was most likely to be right based on [reasons], making the other two wrong". The two sides of this discussion are "the Fortune story was most likely to be right based on [reasons], making the other two wrong" or "the fact that generically reliable sources differ at all means that Lorenz's age is unknowable (and therefore she could in principle be older or younger than stated in any of the three sources)". In other words, the argument is: "if all three are 'reliable' yet differ, then none are reliable". This makes no sense, especially when no one is actually affirmatively vouching for context-specific reasons to prefer the CBS article or the NYT article, other than falling back on their big-picture reliability as institutions (which I do not dispute at all; CBS and NYT are perfectly fine sources in general). — BLZ · talk 07:47, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

why does it matter when this "American culture and technology reporter" was born? it's fluff. Acousmana ( talk) 10:43, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
If the date of birth (of this person or any other) is fluff, then what isn't? Does it define her as a person, or her role in history, or her notability for Wikipedia? Probably not. But neither does her college degree, or which social media service she used in her 20s. Trying to look at all these biographical tidbits and ask "does this really matter?" is like looking at a map of the US and ask "now where is the economy?" It's the whole thing that's relevant. -- bender235 ( talk) 01:12, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
I can't see an age in the Fortune article myself, but assuming that it is like the other two and just gives an age as-of date, what that gets you is a range: (cf: {{ Birth based on age as of date}}
  • Age 30 on 2016-02-30: born 1985/1986
  • Age 31 on 2018-08-29: born 1986/1987
  • Age 35 on 2020-09-02: born 1984/1985
That still leaves a discrepancy, but is it possible that she had a birthday between being interviewed and one of these pieces being published? Very unlikely for the CBS source, given the nature of the story, but the other two it is plausible in the abstract. However, if the 31 October birthday is correct then it is unlikely as there would need to be almost a year between interview and publishing given the dates of the pieces - not impossible, but unlikely. It's not implausible that one was published a couple of months earlier than anticipated or it could simply be a typo - which adult is going to bother to correct an article saying you are one year younger than you actually are? However, how reliable is the 31 October date? Politico is described at WP:RSP as "reliable for American politics", but Ms Lorenz doesn't seem to be involved in politics. All in all, I'd say leave it out as there is no apparent way to arrive at an accurate figure without original research. If it really must be included, say "born circa. 1984-1987"). Thryduulf ( talk) 13:00, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
I concur with Thryduulf and Aquillion. The argument ( link) to choose Fortune over the others because the publication is "by far [the] most credible" and because it gives the oldest age is literally based on personal opinion and original research, as is saying that she lied (itself a baseless aspersion and OR at this point) and then putting a version of that in the article. (The rest of the rationale for unilaterally restoring the age content is also problematic, as I broke down at Talk:Taylor Lorenz#Birthdate, which started this thread.) What Thryduulf pointed out about Politico in RSP and where it is reliable also raises a new concern for me that it is being used outside of its current determined purview.
I do, however, agree that the line located in Taylor Lorenz#Personal life about her being witness to a murder is WP:TRIVIA. However, the CBS source shouldn't be discounted when it comes to this discussion and the concerns raised related to age. We simply have no real way based on reliable sources to determine her age appropriately at this time. As was mentioned earlier in this thread, going into the future we also must keep citogenesis in mind. -- TheSandDoctor Talk 14:55, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
@ Thryduulf: Politico has reported Taylor Lorenz's birthday as October 21 every year since 2016; here's 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2020 again. Politico reports on the inner goings-on of the media biz (especially in D.C., New York, and along the Northeast Corridor) and to suggest that that subject is somehow outside of the scope of their reliability, or even that the business of journalism is somehow completely detached from the topic of "politics", strikes me as absurd.
@ TheSandDoctor: You returning to the point that I suggested Lorenz lied. I'll admit that may have been uncharitable of me, but as I've already said it's not central to my argument at all. I'm not out to prove Lorenz lied and I don't have to. The discrepancy in reporting could just as easily be explained as being a typo, or getting notes mixed up, and ultimately whatever happened it does not matter anyway. We don't actually know why the different ages were reported, they just were. I merely suggested a plausible explanation given that Lorenz is almost certainly the only person they would have asked for her age for those stories, which were—after all—not about Lorenz in any significant sense. Personally, I don't care whether or not Lorenz lied about her age and even if she did, honestly, good for her, I celebrate that. I really have no anti-Lorenz ax to grind here whatsoever.
But my question, again, is: why should we trust the CBS News story or the New York Times story over the Fortune story? Note carefully: this is not about the publications, as we all agree that those three publications are all reliable, but what about those three stories. Is there any indication that for that fact exist solely in the CBS or NYT stories, but not in the Fortune story? The answer seems to be no, so instead the argument becomes: "two normally reliable sources got this fact wrong in the margins while reporting on other matters, therefore the most recent and only actually biographical source must also be wrong on this fact." It makes no sense. — BLZ · talk 05:22, 18 March 2021 (UTC)

An example of what we have done in a somewhat similar situation after a few RFC,s is seen at Joan Crawford.-- Moxy- Maple Leaf (Pantone).svg 05:10, 18 March 2021 (UTC)

There are some fundamental differences from the Crawford situation, most notably that in Crawford's case, we have third-party coverage of the uncertainty of the date; that uncertainty becomes part of the story. It's not just a matter of we Wikipuddlians finding conflicting sources. (Also, last I checked, Ms. Crawford remained outside the blanket of BLP, although so many weird things went on in the past year that I may have missed some news on that regard.) -- Nat Gertler ( talk) 12:54, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I would just like to add that Wikidata pretends to know the birthday of Taylor Lorenz, and just says "21 October 1984" with no indication of synthesis ( d:Q89135464). But Wikidata is great at presenting conjecture as fact (my favourite is d:Q55072099). — Kusma ( t· c) 16:23, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
    @ Kusma: That was added by the original proponent of that date/year in this discussion, Brandt Luke Zorn. -- TheSandDoctor Talk 16:42, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
    TheSandDoctor, and now I've removed it. Better not to present conjecture as fact. (No idea what to do about B. Traven, though, so I'll keep that as an example for Wikidata's lack of subtlety). — Kusma ( t· c) 16:48, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
    @ Kusma: I agree that conjecture as fact is problematic. What troubles me is that the disputed information has been re-added and my revert reverted citing this discussion as being dead and ignoring the direction that it appears to be going. -- TheSandDoctor Talk 16:51, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
    @ Kusma: removing the information is not a valid solution. Wikidata has Qualifiers for a reason. -- bender235 ( talk) 16:53, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
    Bender235, that's nice. I wasn't aware of these. I still think removing potentially inaccurate data is better than keeping it in unqualified, but I don't mind giving the best available data as long as we state that there could be doubts about it. (Thus my addition of "likely" to the infobox on here). — Kusma ( t· c) 17:00, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
    @ Kusma: generally I'm in favor of keeping all the information (together with qualifiers on how they're contradicting each other) rather than none of the information. Both on Wikidata and here on Wikipedia. -- bender235 ( talk) 17:05, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
    Bender235, Wikidata now says "possibly". If you know a better qualifier, by all means change that. — Kusma ( t· c) 17:49, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
    ( edit conflict) A major problem though, at least here on Wikipedia, is presenting one of them as fact to the reader by including it in the infobox and lede without qualifying it as being at most a guess (which Kusma has now partially addressed). When sources utterly conflict on info like this though and it isn't widely published, it probably shouldn't be prominently displayed, if included here at all. We need to get it right, not synthesize conflicting reports and decide one is clearly "right" unless RS also notes the issue and makes that determination. Personal opinion and original research don't belong in Wikipedia articles or as justification to include such material. -- TheSandDoctor Talk 17:50, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
    DOB's (or any other biographical fact for that matter) aren't presented as fact when there's a prominent footnote (or other comment) explaining discrepancies. Case in point: Fred Trump's article mentions the fact that there are conflicting sources about his ancestry: some RS claimed it was German, others (including himself) claimed it was Swedish. By your logic this contradiction of RS implies we cannot include either, whereas the common practice on Wikipedia so far has been to include both (or all), and comment on the veracity etc. -- bender235 ( talk) 18:06, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
    Aye, but there is a range in that one. What is being advocated for here is a single date/year be included in the body/lede. That is what was restored. -- TheSandDoctor Talk 18:42, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
  • It cannot be a precedent as was stated in the summary of this edit to the RfC question unless consensus was established; two editors agreeing with each other isn't widespread consensus conducive to a precedent either, nor is one editor's opinion precedent on its own. Going into what was stated though in the discussion bender linked, contrary to what bender stated above, Jayron32 offers two possible solutions: include everything in the lead or nothing at all in the article. Both of these solutions are not what is being advocated here/what started this discussion, which is the inclusion of a single date/year as being the only correct one due to personal opinions, speculation, and original research. (Worth noting that both personal opinion and speculation are literally WP:NOT.) I would be fine if all three were mentioned/cited in the lead or, as Jayron32 stated at the time, none were (i.e. how it is at the current moment/timestamp of writing this comment). -- TheSandDoctor Talk 18:09, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I really don't get why this is such a contentious issue as to require so much discussion. Surely we should simply say what is verifiable. If a birth date is agreed among reliable sources then we should say it in the lead. If it is not agreed we should not say it there. If there are reliable sources reporting a disagreement then we should say so, but if not we can't go beyond saying that reliable sources do not agree. Isn't this simply basic verifiability, which all edits should follow? Phil Bridger ( talk) 18:22, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
    @ Phil Bridger: that is what I have been saying all along. WP:ONUS also applies. No two sources state the same information about her birth year and no source I have found has mentioned this disagreement between other sources. Despite this some others here seem to think otherwise, wanting to pick one as being correct and having continued to add it in the article despite this ongoing discussion. -- TheSandDoctor Talk 18:48, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
Again, mind the Vernon Jarrett precedent: conflicting (reliable!) sources existed and neither "mentioned a disagreement", so a judgment was required; and it was not based on the number of sources citing one date, but on the most plausible one. WP:SYNTHESIS does not require us to be brainless zombies, unable to decide which source is more credible than another. In fact, WP:RSCONTEXT points out that weighing RS and judging "whether it is reliable for the statement being made in the Wikipedia article" in pretty much exactly the way Brandt Luke Zorn did in the table above, is exactly what we should do. -- bender235 ( talk) 22:19, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
Two editors does not exactly make a strong consensus, let alone a particularly convincing precedent. Vernon Jarrett doesn't fall under BLP and therefore has different standards which must be satisfied; with that said, the Jarrett article also has a date/year range included in the lede, which is not what has been repeatedly restored by yourself and Brandt Luke Zorn. As I have also previously stated in this discussion, I would be happy to compromise with a date range in the lede and a note. However, implying that you are advocating for that is misleading when, on the same token, you restored back twice in favour of a singular date (the same one that started both the Lorenz TP discussion and this one) during this discussion. While this was in disregard of the ongoing discussion here and the responsibility to gain consensus bestowed by WP:ONUS, it also was not in line with the end/actual result of the Jarrett discussion that you have cited both here and in edit summary. -- TheSandDoctor Talk 02:55, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
At some point I have to assume bad faith in your constant misrepresentation of my position. I wrote multiple times already that I'd prefer the most plausible date to be listed in the opening paragraph, plus a footnote (as in Vernon Jarrett) to point out that conflicting sources exist. -- bender235 ( talk) 14:46, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
@ Bender235: There is very clearly no consensus in this discussion (or any other that I'm aware of) that any one source for a singular date is more reliable than any other. Any use of a singular date in the article is therefore inappropriate WP:OR and/or WP:SYNTH. Thryduulf ( talk) 11:14, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
I think we can all agree that The New York Times one is not as high quality as the other two, and when there are better sources than that we should use them. Unfortunately they two conflict in this case. Emir of Wikipedia ( talk) 14:36, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
@ Emir of Wikipedia: I am not sure we can all agree that. We have three sources that all disagree with no external indication about the accuracy or inaccuracy of any of them for this particular fact. Any statement that one of those dates is more or less reliable than the others can be no more reliable than our own original research. Thryduulf ( talk) 18:03, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
I am not really sure what you mean. There is a table comparing the sources side by side. Emir of Wikipedia ( talk) 19:01, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
The opinions of one Wikipedian based on original research (of them and/or other Wikipedians), which is what the table presents, is not an external indication of the accuracy or inaccuracy of any of these sources for the birth date. It is noted that two substantive errors in the NYT article have been corrected, but doesn't specify what those facts are nor whether they have any relevance to the birth date. It also implies that at least one other round of fact checking has been done on the article, then if so it might make it the most reliable for the other facts it contains - or it might not. The point is that we have no way of knowing. Thryduulf ( talk) 21:27, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
@ Thryduulf: Did you even look at Talk:Vernon_Jarrett#Date_of_birth? Do you think a wrong decision was made? If so, which one would be better? -- bender235 ( talk) 14:46, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
Regarding Vernon Jarrett, it seems the 19 June date is clearly supported so that's not at issue. I'd have said something like "circa 1917-19 (sources differ), the 1921 in some sources is probably erroneous" There was a whole heap of original research and primary sources involved in that discussion and we should never be treating the results of that as more reliable than secondary sources. Thryduulf ( talk) 17:59, 28 March 2021 (UTC)

RfC: Attribution when copying within Wikipedia

Copying within Wikipedia: Should hyperlink attribution be allowed?

Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia#Hyperlink says:

"A statement in the edit summary such as copied content from page name; see that page's history for attribution will direct interested parties to the edit history of the source page, where they can trace exactly who added what content when. A disadvantage with this method is that the page history of the original article must subsequently be retained in order to maintain attribution."

Do we want to consider this to be proper attribution? - Guy Macon ( talk) 16:57, 21 March 2021 (UTC)

  • No: as proponent. In my opinion, this creates a copyright land mine. Requiring that a page never be deleted because someone made a copy isn't reasonable. It would be too easy to miss the one edit summary that makes the page undeletable and delete it anyway, thus creating an inadvertent copyright violation. Making a page undeletable could be abused by someone who opposes deletion. -- Guy Macon ( talk) 16:57, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Yes. It's one of the three methods of attribution explicitly allowed in the Terms of Service. I think we can trust WMF Legal in their interpretation of the license. –  Finnusertop ( talkcontribs) 17:14, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
    • No it isn't. That page says "a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to the page or pages you are re-using" (along with two other ways to do it) A hyperlink to a page that no longer exists does not qualify. If you allow hyperlink attribution, you must make the page you hyperlink to undeletable. -- Guy Macon ( talk) 17:49, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
      • I'm simply not convinced that this is a problem unless you get WMF Legal to say that it is. –  Finnusertop ( talkcontribs) 18:53, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Yes. As Finnusertop points out, including a link to the original source page is one of the three explicitly mentioned methods of attributions allowed under our legal policies. As ProcrastinatingReader mentions below, if you are legitimately concerned that the source page may be deleted at some point in the future, you could add {{ Copied}} to the source page's talk page to inform deleting admins of the copyright issue. In the event that someone uses this strategy to game the system to make a page that should be deleted undeletable, the situation could be repaired by moving the page out of the mainspace, e.g. to a subpage of the destination article's talk page, and then updating the attribution accordingly. In practice, this seems to be an issue very rarely, and I would want to see evidence that this is an actual recurring problem before considering a change to our guidelines here, as well as a viable alternative solution beyond the "list of authors" idea. Mz7 ( talk) 17:24, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
    • A link to the a the original source page or a link to the missing page where the original source page used to be before it got deleted a year later? -- Guy Macon ( talk) 17:49, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
      If the page were deleted, that would of course be problematic, but the situation would not be irreparable: we can simply undelete the page and move it to an obscure location, then add a new dummy edit with an edit summary that links to the new location of the page history. If we had to do this constantly, then perhaps I might support some kind of process reform, but as it stands, I doubt this scenario happens more than a couple of times every year. Mz7 ( talk) 19:22, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
      And just to add to this, I'm not suggesting this out of thin air. This repair process is documented at Wikipedia:Administrators' guide/Fixing cut-and-paste moves#Parallel versions: This is sometimes done by moving the page history to a subpage of the talk page of the destination page. An example can be found at Talk:Compilation of Final Fantasy VII#Old page history. Mz7 ( talk) 19:29, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Yes. This is already allowed, and recommended, in the copyright policy. The alternative – tracking down and listing authors – is often impractical. The biggest problem is not source pages getting deleted, but editors not providing attribution in any way when copying, and this is not going to get any better if we make the required process more burdensome.
    As for preserving histories - this is done not just for attribution, it's best practice anyway. I really don't see any issue with "undeletables". If the source page needs to be removed for whatever reason, then it's history should just be kept under a redirect, possibly at a different title. There's no benefit to deletion here. If under some exceptional circumstance the page does need to actually be deleted, then the deleting admin can extract the list of authors and mark it on the destination page; there's no need for this to be forced in all other cases. – Uanfala (talk) 22:50, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Well, I would be disappointed that deleting admins don't know what it means and what happens when they delete page history. I think, I was aware of what happens on deletion in wiping out history very early. Has not someone written instructions for admins about preserving history, when needed? -- Alanscottwalker ( talk) 23:44, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Yes, obviously this should be allowed. Despite the policy page saying there are "three" methods, two of them are "hyperlink" based. The third method is listing every individual contributor. Listing every contributor in the edit summary is often impossible due to character limits, and is always inconvenient. So as I understand it, this will often make splits/merges impossible. There's already a template for talk pages when there is substantial edit-history relevant to content on other pages, so accidental deletion isn't really a concern. (power~enwiki, π, ν) 00:54, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Yes no good reason to change the status quo. Elli ( talk | contribs) 05:40, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Yes per Mz7. -- TheSandDoctor Talk 16:35, 26 March 2021 (UTC)

Discussion (attribution when copying within WP)

  • Does this exclude the use of oldid/diff links? I understand the concern to the base bare article name, but using links w/ oldid/diff that contains the text that was copied should be fine? -- Masem ( t) 17:03, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
    • Would that make the original page undeletable? I am not sure if the diffs work after deletion. An edit summary like "Added 'I like cake!', originally posted by User:Masem" along with the diff would preserve attribution even if the diff no longer works. -- Guy Macon ( talk) 17:27, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
  • How else would we maintain attribution when merging articles or copying content? –  Joe ( talk) 17:05, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
    • Merging deletes the source without deleting the history, so we would have no undeletable article. For short sections of content, see my answer to Masem. If someone wants to copy a large page with many editors, preserving the history for attribution is an absolute requirement; failing to do so violates the CC BY-SA 3.0 License. -- Guy Macon ( talk) 17:28, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
  • This is the only feasible way to do attribution in many cases. For example: copying a template or another page into a sandbox. I'm not going to sit and dig through the page history and write down the name of everyone in the edit summary every time I create a sandbox. It's not really reasonable to expect when splitting or merging pages either. {{ Copied}} exists to make sure the page doesn't get deleted. ProcrastinatingReader ( talk) 17:09, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
    • Then you are saying that it is OK to make the page you copied from undeletable. Preserving the history for attribution is an absolute requirement; failing to do so violates the CC BY-SA 3.0 License. I don't like it either, but following copyright rules is not something that we abandon when it becomes inconvenient. -- Guy Macon ( talk) 17:29, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
      • It's well and good that you say this is an absolute requirement, but that is really a question for the Foundation's lawyers. If they feel it necessary, a list of editors who contributed to a deleted article could be provided for compliance, avoiding all the practical problems of the proposal. In practice, these pages are generally kept as redirects with revision history. (power~enwiki, π, ν) 00:57, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Could we have some background, please, like what exactly is the issue and where have the previous discussions on the topic been? Does the proposal aim to ban editors from linking, or to force them to always provide a list of authors? This can work if the number of contributors is small, but how do you trace all the contributors to a section of a large established article when splitting it out? Also, a list of contributors may be sufficient for copyright purposes, but having the actual history of that content is always preferable: it shows how the content has developed, it allows in principle to see who wrote what exactly (helpful, for example, if one of the contributors later turns out to have been partial to creating hoaxes), and it preserves a record, in the edit summaries, of justifications for parts of that content.
    And why would the original page need to be deleted? It can always be turned into a redirect (and also potentially moved to a different title), preserving the history, and if there's anything actually nefarious in that history, it can be revdeled. And as for inadvertent deletions, when are these actually likely to happen? The copying is normally indicated in a talk page template, or sometimes in the edit summary of the source page; even if it's not, then the source and the destination pages would almost always have some obvious connection, like one being a redirect to the other. – Uanfala (talk) 17:23, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
    • Re: "And why would the original page need to be deleted? It can always be turned into a redirect (and also potentially moved to a different title), preserving the history", that's not the problem. The problem is when you copy a chunk of a page to another page using a hyperlink for attribution and then years later the original article gets deleted at AfD. Bam. Instant copyright violation.
    The problem is real. Not allowing hyperlink attribution is one solution. Making an ever-increasing number of pages undeletable is another solution (but we would need some way to keep track of which articles can never be deleted). I would love to hear a solution that is better than the above two, but "Ignore the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License and purposely create copyright violations because it is convenient" is not an acceptable solution. -- Guy Macon ( talk) 17:41, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
    Not allowing hyperlink attribution is not a solution by itself; we still need a way to attribute the text. Should we be dumping the authors to a list and including it on, say, a subpage of the corresponding talk page? It would be helpful in that case for the software to provide additional support for this. isaacl ( talk) 18:02, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
    Another possible software enhancement would be for it to support a "link to history" mechanism, so you could link a new article to the history of any ancestor articles. If an ancestor was deleted, then the software could provide a way to still extract the editor names. But something else still has to be done until any new feature work gets planned, scheduled, implemented, tested, and delivered (if it ever happens). isaacl ( talk) 18:06, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
    Because Guy didn't answer, this is clearly related to the DRV topics discussed at WP:AN#Review of DRV supervotes by King of Hearts. Izno ( talk) 18:27, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
    You may think that it is "clearly related" but I wasn't aware of the above until just now. This has pretty much nothing to do with the general question I am asking, but see Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User:Frobozz1/PA-design, Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#I feel personally attacked for good faith edits - MfD my user page, Incident threats, BRD disruption - still learning, am I wrong? and Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Parental Alienation if you really want to get into the weeds. -- Guy Macon ( talk)
    The relevant bit in the AN/DRV threads – as far as I can tell from all the layers of procedural wrangling – is to do with the Squid article, and the fact that an admin was presumably aware of the issue of attribution, but decided to delete the article anyway. As for the MFD case, as far as I can tell from a quick glimpse, what is at stake is the deletion of a target of a merge, and not its source, so attribution shouldn't really be an issue at this stage, should it? – Uanfala (talk) 19:53, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
    Thus my statement, "This has pretty much nothing to do with the general question I am asking". I original ignored your request for "context" because there is no context, just a general question about our policies. Then Izno answered for me and got the answer wrong. None of this has anything to do with the question I am asking in this RfC. -- Guy Macon ( talk) 20:12, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Does this not have legal implications? Is this not an office matter? Emir of Wikipedia ( talk) 22:57, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
    • No, for two reasons. First, Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia#Hyperlink is an English Wikipedia editing guideline controlled by Wikipedia editors. Second, you only have to contact legal when allowing something forbidden by legal or lifting a restriction mandated by legal. We are perfectly free to add restrictions. We could decide that nobody is allowed to use the letter "E" and legal would have no say in the matter. -- Guy Macon ( talk) 23:27, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
      You must be a fan of Georges Perec. Mathglot ( talk) 08:44, 24 March 2021 (UTC)

A potential solution

  • What it sounds like we need is a mechanism to handle the following situation:
  1. Article X is created and expanded over time
  2. Article Y takes a sufficient amount of article X to require attribution (eg not just a citation, but like a whole paragraph). Attribution is added by linking of some time
  3. Sometime after this content is added to Y, article X is sent to AFD and determined to be deleted (not merged nor redirected, nor where it would make sense to history merge X into Y).
So that the deletion "breaks" the attribution that was on Y that pointed back to X that would have been there by X's page history, which would likely still be there to admins but not to regular users. We need to find a way that keeps the history of X available but without having the article of X there. Perhaps when we know that there has been some copying done (can it be possible to automate this check?) that we cannot delete articles but make a deleted target a redirect to some common special page that talks about the history being retained for proper attribution and how the user can go back to the redirect's history to explore that? -- Masem ( t) 18:12, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
That's essentially what I was brainstorming as a possible software enhancement, though I don't see how the check can be automated, so I think the editor creating page Y would have to explicitly link to the history leading up to a specific version of page X. Note this applies to all Wikipedia pages, not just articles. isaacl ( talk) 18:19, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
I'm sure there's a few checks that can be made if the {{ copied}} template is found on the talk page, or if the history edit summaries contain a diff or oldid (which is uncommon, so this could at least be a list that can be checked manually). But we're likely going to miss other ways that the current language currently allows for (the plain hyperlink w/o oldid or diff), so maybe there's almost a need in Wikimedia that if someone clicks on an oldid/diff of a page that is deleted, that they are taken to a special page to explain what they may be able to do from there; thre we can explain they can contact an admin to help - and if we have this redirect system in place, then the admin can restore+redirect to suit the purpose. I can't see any easy way to do a full Wiki-wide search this way, but we can set up processes to prevent the issue in the future and respond when the need from past deletions comes up. -- Masem ( t) 18:25, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I mean by needing an editor to explicitly link the history, whether it is through the {{ copied}} template or a new user interface. To help reduce the window for race conditions, I think a new user interface would be better. isaacl ( talk) 18:29, 21 March 2021 (UTC)

RfC: Can editors request community review of the blocks of others?

Can editors request community review of blocks of other editors, particularly problematic and/or out-of-policy ones? ProcrastinatingReader ( talk) 16:33, 22 March 2021 (UTC)

Proposal (block review)

In July 2019 a section titled "Appeals by third party" was boldly added to the Wikipedia:Appealing a block guideline stating that appeals may only be made by editors subject to a currently active block; other editors may only discuss the block with the blocking admin (but cannot request review). This text was removed a few times by different editors, but was restored by Sandstein who stated consensus is needed to remove or modify the text. Talk page discussions to remove/alter the text didn't reach a consensus on whether to retain the text. [1] This section is currently in conflict with WP:ADMINACCT and WP:Blocking policy, namely: If editors believe a block has been improperly issued, they can request a review of that block at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents. Some editors have tried to cite this section in WP:AN block reviews, as a rationale for why the review cannot happen. De facto, block reviews still occur with some regularity.

This RfC is started to get broad community consensus of this addition, with three presented options:

  • Option 1: ( text) Retain the current text: Appeals of blocks may be made only by the editor under a currently active block. Other editors may discuss the block with the blocking admin. The WP:Blocking policy should also be altered to this effect, to resolve the conflict.
  • Option 2: ( sample text) Blocks should generally only be appealed by the editor subject to the block. Additionally, other editors may request community review of blocks they believe are problematic or out-of-policy (per WP:ADMINACCT) after attempting to discuss their concerns with the blocking admin first.
  • Option 3: Remove the section entirely.

Survey (block review)

  • Option 3, second preference option 2: The text at Wikipedia:Blocking policy is just fine and this section unnecessary. In my opinion even option 2 does not accurately represent the status quo (I only tried adding it in an attempt to compromise with Sandstein). I find the position advanced by some admins to be concerning, as illustrated by one example: last year I came across a problematic indefinite full protection which an admin made after receiving a phone call from the subject, saying that all future edits should be run through the talk page as edit requests. The protection was totally out of line with policy, but was defended by some admin wagon-circling on some low-watched talk pages. Once it reached AN, it was near-unanimously overturned. [2] I've also successfully requested block reviews before for good-faith but problematic blocks, which would likely have remained in place had a review not been made. That editors can request review of admin actions to the wider community is a fundamental safeguard against any kind of 'miscalculated' admin action, and this safeguard shouldn't be weakened by bold attempts to introduce a non-consensus change into a low-profile guideline page, which is in direct conflict with policy and precedent. ProcrastinatingReader ( talk) 17:06, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1. There are good reasons why only the blocked editors themselves are and should remain be able to appeal their blocks.
    • First, it's a matter of basic individual self-determination and autonomy. Blocked editors are people, not the objects of our entertainment. They are the persons best able to decide whether, when and how they want their block discussed in public - including, of course, their own presumably disruptive or embarrassing conduct that led to the block.
    • Second, and in the same vein, it's a matter of enabling the blocked editors themselves to frame the unblock discussion, including its timing and forum, and the arguments they want to advance. They may want to discuss the matter with the blocker first, or let another trusted editor do so. They may want to make arguments that might not occur to whoever else makes an unblock request, or they might want to ensure that any unblock discussion occurs at a time when they are available to participate. They might want to have the discussion individually with {{ unblock}} reviewers on their talk page, rather than in a public forum.
    • Third, it's a matter of protecting blocked editors from well-meaning, but incompetent or detrimental unblock requests by others. If a poorly thought-out or disruptive unblock request by others is rejected in a public forum, any subsequent unblock request might be rejected out of hand because there is a perceived community consensus in favor of the block.
    • Fourth, it's a matter of not wasting the community's time with unblock discussions that presumably even the blocked editor themselves considers meritless (or they'd have made the unblock request themselves).
    • But, fifth, and perhaps most importantly, serious unblock discussions are impossible without the input of the blocked editor. A core principle of our sanctions mechanisms is that blocks are preventative, not punitive. Unblock requests are not about "does the punishment fit the crime?", they are about "is the block needed to prevent disruption to the project?". And this, in turn, means that we need to know whether the blocked editor themselves considers their own conduct at issue to be a problem, and whether they intend to continue with it when unblocked. Without hearing from them in their own words, we're in pure punishment mode, not in damage prevention mode, and I don't think we want to be there.
    Insisting that unblock requests are only made by the blocked editor does not prevent admin accountability at all, because it does not foreclose any avenue of appeal. It just makes sure that a useful and productive discussion can be had that takes into account the interests of the blocked editor as well. Sandstein 17:38, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3. The other two options reflect text that was recently added to the guidelines, which contradicts the already pretty detailed policy section Wikipedia:Blocking policy#Unblock requests. I know a few admins are unwilling to countenance feedback on blocks coming from third parties, but this unwillingness leaves the impression of avoidance of accountability. (This impression may not be correct, but the fact that it's there already undermines trust in the system). I imagine that these admins' assumption is that all blocks are good, and so the only conditions under which they can be lifted is when the blocked editor themselves shows readiness to change their ways. But not all blocks are good. There may, for example, be a misunderstanding, and this is sometimes easier to catch by an experienced observer than by the involved party. We should be aware that there are different temperaments as well – some editors would rather leave for good than swallow their pride and ask to be let back in, particularly if they don't agree with the block. Sandstein makes some good points above, and they show it's important to always let blocked editors take part in any discussion about their block. However, this misses the fact that in most cases where third-party appeals are on the table, it's not so much the blocked editor's conduct that's in focus as the blocking administrator's. – Uanfala (talk) 17:57, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2, with possibly Option 3 as the second choice. The basic principle of WP:ADMINACCT demands that every admin action, including a block, be accountable to and reviewable by the community. There may be many situations where a block was abusive or just bad and against policy but where the blocked editor is for some reason unavailble or unwilling to lodge an appeal. New editors in particular may not understand how to do that. Editors may get sick or have family or other types of real life emergencies or committments making them unavailable. Or they may simply wish to avoid the drama. If a block was bad and against policy, the community still has an interest and the right to hold the administrator who issued that block accountable. That's why a community review of a block needs to remain available as an option even if the blocked editor does not appeal their block. Nsk92 ( talk) 18:13, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3 per WP:CREEP, WP:IAR and the points made by the OP. Also, the blocking admin or the blocked editor might not be available for a variety of reasons. Andrew🐉( talk) 18:58, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I support keeping the existing text where blocked editors are the ones empowered to appeal their blocks. As they are the ones who face the consequences of an appeal, they should retain control over when and how an appeal is made. Generally, due to community fatigue, there is one initial chance to word an appeal optimally. Other editors should not be allowed to preempt blocked editors from being able to craft their own appeals, in their words and when they are available, or to explicitly delegate this responsibility. I do appreciate there is overlap with the community's responsibility to provide oversight of administrator actions. Nonetheless I feel it is important to allow those most affected by an appeal to be able to manage their appeal. isaacl ( talk) 19:53, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2 Policy says there can be a review, I agree with that and I also agree that it is desirable that an appeal come from the blocked party in the first instance. Selfstudier ( talk) 20:01, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2 per the points made above. Sea Ane ( talk) 20:41, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2 as the full rationales for blocks are often not disclosed on-wiki, having unrestricted third-party appeals will be problematic. Having third-party appeals to change a block "to time served" often will not help the editor blocked. For blocks that are made in error, there isn't the same problem. (power~enwiki, π, ν) 23:02, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3, with Option 2 as a second choice. The user who is blocked is just a witness to the event; they are not necessarily equipped with the knowledge, skill, or equanimity to argue policy to defend themself. I point to my improper block from December which was overturned because I was lucky enough to have support from others at my appeal when I felt helpless and lost (although I did make the initial appeal statement). Kolya Butternut ( talk) 23:08, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2, with Option 3 as a second choice. Admins must be accountable to the community, and that includes having blocks they make reviewed by the community. It is generally preferable that reviews are initiated by the blocked party, but there are exceptions - not least because admins are humans and humans make mistakes. The only reasons why it is acceptable to review a block without having discussed it with the the blocking administrator first are where that administrator is unable or unwilling to discuss it (e.g. they don't have time, they apparently aren't around, or are just not responding) or have indicated that they prefer it to be discussed in a wider environment right away. Option 2 is the one that best captures this imo. Thryduulf ( talk) 23:53, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment - Would contemplate an appeal by another member of the community besides the blockee, but only with a short time limit (i.e. a week or month). One should not appeal the blocks of others 3 months, 6 months, or a year(s) after the fact (i.e. after a community member has not been around for a middling to substantial period of time) because that would be problematic in various ways. That aside, once in a while disagreement over blocks metriculate to AN rather quickly by interested parties; would prefer a just slighly softer wording of Option 1. —  Godsy ( TALK CONT) 02:41, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 - anything else would potentially open up a Pandora's Box of frivolous appeals. Beyond My Ken ( talk) 03:04, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
    I see option 2 as a line of defence against such appeals, which I agree are undesirable, but would happily support something explicit. I currently have no good suggestion for how to word that though. Thryduulf ( talk) 03:39, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 Unless there is some other iron-clad way that the blocked user is informed and explicitly consents to be being dragged through a high profile AN. Alanscottwalker ( talk) 23:24, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2 Before I had experience on arb com I would have said option 3, but we encountered several instances where the blocked party did not want to be unblocked, and did not even want the matter discussed again. At least one or two of these was clearly a matter of someone else trying to harass the individual who had been blocked, which is of course entirely unfair. There has to be some discretion involved here, and #2 is a good compromise solution. DGG ( talk ) 01:58, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
    @ DGG: has this been a problem on AN before, though? (if so, any links/examples?) I presume someone harassing someone under the pretence of unblock requests would face a harsh WP:BOOMERANG? ProcrastinatingReader ( talk) 17:19, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
    like this normally fall under arb com. DGG ( talk ) 17:59, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2 An administrator's actions have to be reviewable by others. If a block is grossly out of policy, it should be brought to the community's attention. I hope this does not become a regular occurrence, but it should be possible when needed. Tamwin ( talk) 06:08, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3 largely per ProcrastinatingReader and Kolya Butternut. A blocked user may not always have sufficient know-how to file an effective unblock request. A third-party review request is likely to be more convincing as its initiation by itself means there is at least one person who feels that the block is wrong and cares enough about it to request a review. – SD0001 ( talk) 11:05, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2 mostly per Power and DGG, though I'm sympathetic to the arguments of option 3's proponents regarding forced compromise and would certainly prefer it to option 1. Vaticidal prophet 13:53, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 per Sandstein, Option 2 to seems fairly reasonable too. wikitigresito ( talk) 19:33, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 per Sandstein. ~ ToBeFree ( talk) 22:53, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2 or 3 - I think those esteemed members of our community who have passed RfA and have never before been blocked dont quite get how infuriating it can be to be blocked for what you feel to be a bogus reason. Now in my lengthy block log there's only one or two that I felt that way about, and those definitely were not ones I was going to file an unblock request for. It felt almost demeaning to request to be unblocked for something that I felt I should never have been blocked for. And demanding that somebody do that strikes me, as somebody who has been on that side of things, as just one more affront. If a block is improper it should be lifted. It should not matter who makes the formal request to determine if the block is improper. We should not be demanding that people be contrite when they have been wronged, and yes some blocks are wrong. nableezy - 00:33, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2.1 If a bad block drives someone off the site, then as it is, there isn't really a set-up to call it to the attention of the Community. Unblock requests are also difficult for new editors to fully get, especially if they're doing so while impacted by the block. I personally don't mind third party reviews. However, as well as prior contact to the admin, I would also require a) the 3rd party ask the blocked editor if they want to appeal and, if not, do they mind the 3rd party appealing? b) Wait 48 hours after a. If there is no response, or the blocked editor goes "no, and no", then an appeal can be made. If the blocked editor doesn't want the appeal (or makes it themselves) then obviously the 3rd party shouldn't be able to make one anyway. Nosebagbear ( talk) 11:48, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3, with option 2 as second choice. I have been the victim of a bad block and I can fully understand why someone who's received one would quit. Under the current rules, this leaves the community with no jurisdiction to deal with the matter. We must be empowered to supervise, review and give feedback on blocking sysops' use or misuse of the tools. Some sysops are considerably more block-happy than others which leads to significant levels of inconsistency in our block-related decisions. As of now, any attempt to address problem blockers is hamstrung in every case where the sysop has successfully driven off their target. I believe that there should be a dedicated forum, separate from the Administrator's Noticeboards, for block reviews.— S Marshall  T/ C 10:05, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2 Seems a good compromise between conflicting concerns.-- agr ( talk) 12:32, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3 1st choice, Option 2 2nd choice. #3 because, more or less of instruction creep: we don't need to have this section specify who can make the request and under what circumstances; there isn't a problem of bad block appeals that we need to head off with instructions on a policy/guideline page. The PAGs should be as short as possible and this just doesn't make the cut for me. Option 2 as a second choice, because if we are to have a written rule about this, Option 2 is what it should say. Levivich  harass/ hound 03:38, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 as first choice; mix of option 2 as second so I think the reason there are so many "Option 2"s above is that we already have a mix of option 2 in practice. We allow third party appeals in extraordinary circumstances already, and what I'm concerned about with the wording use for the option 2 is that it would expand past the existing practice, which is somewhere in between option 1 and option 2. In other words, alleging your friend's block violated policy to appeal on their behalf will be much easier if we don't word an update correctly.
    In other words, I generally agree with Thryduulf above, but I would prefer this be eased into the existing wording rather than seen as something new. I don't see this as new (it can happen as an outside the norm thing when there's a serious error or something similar already.) Making sure that it retains the sense of being not-the-norm would be something I'd want to see in any wording. TonyBallioni ( talk) 20:56, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2 seems like the best option. This is not a "never" or "always" situation. Some blocks should NOT be overturned if the blocked user does not request it. Some blocks should. We neither want to encourage wikilawyering and excessive hounding of admins in cases of uncontroversial blocking, but neither do we want to hinder community review of bad blocks, even un-appealed ones. This is a case-by-case issue. For garden-variety, bog-standard blocks, it would be unusual to allow a third party to request an overturn, but practice CLEARLY dictates that we discuss controversial blocks at WP:AN, even if the blocked user does not request it. We're already basically doing 2, and that represents what has been standard practice for years. -- Jayron 32 16:42, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
    • Not commenting on the merits here, but I just want to note that RfC's are supposed to be able to change practice. Admins are supposed to follow the will of the community, especially when formally expressed in a well-advertised and -conducted RfC. -- Trovatore ( talk) 18:51, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
      • Yes, you're right, but your point is irrelevant. What I am saying is not "never change practice". What I am saying is "the alternatives proposed by the current RFC to current practice are bad. Don't do them. What we have works and is best". -- Jayron 32 11:15, 30 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2, now that I've had a chance to look at the merits. The problem with Sandstein's argument is that it assumes that there is something about the blocked editor's conduct that does need to change. This is not always the case; sometimes the block is just incorrect, and never should have been made in the first place. In that case it should not be necessary for the editor to come hat in hand and ask for review. -- Trovatore ( talk) 19:00, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2 followed by 3, per Jayron32 and S Marshall. No such user ( talk) 08:13, 30 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2. I think that Option 2 harmonizes the best with other policy pages, and it also is the most reasonable way for us to go about it. It's a sensible middle. Option 1 is too rigid and is insufficient for the correction of mistakes, and is inconsistent with other policy pages. Option 3 needlessly opens up too many ways to game the system. But Option 2 sets the right balance, with self-appeals the norm, combined with appropriate ways to have more eyes on a problem. I endorse Nosebagbear's suggestions about including some sort of requirement that third parties attempt to get permission from the blocked user before going forward. -- Tryptofish ( talk) 18:51, 30 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2 (second choice option 3) as there should be no prohibition on discussion bad blocks or reviewing them by others. Frivolous requests are not encourage and can be quickly concluded. Graeme Bartlett ( talk) 22:38, 30 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2 first choice; option 3 otherwise. While third-party requests for reviews of blocks – or any other sanctions – are uncommon, there's not a central policy basis to forbid them, and in fact they are accepted sometimes, including by ArbCom (I've seen it happen at least twice at WP:AE, including once within the last year or so). The most obvious reason they should be permissible is that a restriction against one editor is often going to secondarily restrict another (e.g. bring a halt to a then-ongoing collaboration, or restrain the other editor in what they may discuss with the editor subject to explicit remedies). Given the lack of anything like a disruptive firehose of third-party unblock-related "noise", there is no actual reason for the page in question to attempt to excessively nit-pick about these matters, especially as a) WP:ISNOTABUREAUCRACY and b) our policies exist to serve us, not the other way around, and should not be restraining good-faith editorial action of any kind without very good reason (cf. WP:EDITING policy). Whatever option is selected, yes do make sure there is not a WP:POLICYFORK going on between these pages. PS: I agree with Sandstein's criticisms, below, of the phrasing of the RfC question, but I think most of us understood the meaning and intent without any difficulty. But do try to write RfCs more neutrally, per instructions at WP:RFC.  —  SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  05:29, 31 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 per Sandstein Majavah ( talk!) 12:25, 31 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2. The community is able and must be able to override almost everything else by consensus, if need be. Policy stating otherwise would be just plain wrong. Mentioning that possibility in policy will help a review actually get started when necessary, while telling editors to first try to take it up with the blocking admin before starting an ANI thread will help prevent things from being blown out of proportion when maybe they could have been resolved much more simply. I agree with some others' secondary proposal that the blocked user should have to be asked first – starting a discussion on somebody's behalf only for it to turn out they didn't even want to be unblocked would be disrespectful of them and a waste of time. Finally, frivolous requests happen anyway, and this RFC isn't going to change that, regardless of outcome. –  Rummskartoffel ( talk • contribs) 21:42, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2: any administrator action should be open to community review, blocks included. A community member may have a legitimate concern about an administrator action even if they were not the target of the action, and even if the target of the action does not wish to appeal it. An editor having a concern about an administrator action should discuss the action with that administrator first, and only bring their concern to the wider community if that initial discussion failed to resolve it. Mr248 ( talk) 05:00, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3 first choice. Option 4 (just let us make third party requests} real first choice (were it available). We already have ADMNACCT and the blocking policy that is very clear, and we have trusted it to tell us we can make these appeals if we think there is problem. We should either support that policy in other places, or remove it from the other places where it conflicts. Huggums537 ( talk) 09:36, 2 April 2021 (UTC) Also, most of Sandstein's arguments are based on the assumption that a blocked editor would somehow have no way at all to have any say so in the matter, or otherwise have no way to participate in the third party review process of their own block. There is no evidence of this because most blocked users still have talk page, and email access available to them, and even if they don't, they can still email someone. So, I have to disagree with his points based on that alone. Huggums537 ( talk) 03:46, 6 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2 simply brings WP:AAB in line with the policy page it's meant to supplement and as such can't be reasonably opposed. Option 3 is my second choice—a very close second choice. Iaritmioawp ( talk) 22:12, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2 If a user appeals their block there is usually no reason to prevent discussion at the noticeboard. For example there is support for unblock at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive1008#Meatpuppetry at Spygate from r/The Donald but not a specific proposal to unblock; when a review is started Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive308#Block review of KeithCu by Feezo it is closed almost immediately. Option 1 allows administrators to close any attempt at discussion, a decision likely to be influenced by the administrator's opinion of the blocked editor, of the blocking administrator, or of the editor requesting the review, or by politics, as much as by purpose of the block and the policies and guidelines. Peter James ( talk) 12:19, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2 – The wording that is most conducive to handling unblock discussions on a case-by-case basis. Kurtis (talk) 13:04, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option three. Administrators have to be accountable to the wider community with regards to the actions they take and sanctions have to be subject to review. Where the editor that has been blocked is unfamiliar with relevant policy or generally-accepted practices, it would be unfair to expect that editor to be able to compose an unblock request with a good chance of success. I feel that option one is incompatible with the ideas of accountability, while option two is unnecessary advice that unfairly constrains those who wish the block to be reviewed. Sdrqaz ( talk) 20:49, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3 - The section was improperly added without a formal consensus and it never should have been added in the first place. That's not how policy works, we just don't write up new policy based on vague "previous discussions" and say "feel free to revert". The clause is completely illegitimate. ~Swarm~ {sting} 22:28, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
    • I think you make an excellent point here Swarm. The proof the entry was invalid is the fact it has been much objected here or challenged so many times since it was added, and even if it were somehow valid by some stretch of the imagination, I agree with comments made by Trovatore above that the arguments for it made by Sandstein and others make too many unrealistic assumptions about the circumstances involving blocked users as pointed out in my vote above as well. Huggums537 ( talk) 03:00, 10 April 2021 (UTC)
    @ Swarm: I agree that the said provision might have been "sneaked" into the policy without due consensus but your opposition based on that mere fact should bear no weight here since the very consensus may be build regardless of the way it was initiated. (please reply into the discussion below) -- AXONOV (talk) 11:14, 10 April 2021 (UTC)
    Sorry, but that's not how any of this works. New policies must be proposed and require a high level of consensus from the entire community to be implemented. You can not simply add text without meeting this requirement, that itself is the community's policy requirement for the creation of new policies. This RfC does not frame the existing policy clause as an illegitimate policy in need of retroactive community validation, it frames it as an existing status quo to either be maintained or changed or removed, while glossing over the fact that it is not, in fact, even a real policy to begin with. ~Swarm~ {sting} 00:13, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
    As I said elsewhere, I feel this change was an instance of this. Other editors discussed it in good faith on talk in October, but it blatantly failed to get consensus and was still being forced in. This is not how we should be editing policies. It's worrying, the idea of non-consensus text added to policies like this and then (according to Nsk92 below) used in discussions. More generally: portions of PAGs are quoted in dispute resolution all the time and used as a basis for sanctions / resolving RfC disputes, but some of these texts don't even have consensus, and most people don't use WikiBlame all the time to figure out when the text was added and after how much conversation. This can result in bad outcomes. ProcrastinatingReader ( talk) 14:22, 10 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2 - I hate indefinite bans. We shouldn't deprive third-parties from an opportunity to bring controversial bans (or evidence of wrongful ones) under the light of broader community reviews. This should be a first step preventing all sorts of hard-to-notice WP:GANGings-up and witch-hunts, make the process of behavioral-scrutiny more transparent and harder to misrepresent victims altogether or harder to make non-appealable bans. Considering that application of this provision may involve broader community attention it won't be abused. The lack of thereof would certainly embolden those with ill-intent. The WP:ARBCOM also routinely reviews some blocks so I don't see why community should be prohibited from doing so. This is a good proposal.-- AXONOV (talk) 11:14, 10 April 2021 (UTC)

Discussion (block review)

The question posed in this RfC ("Can editors request community review of blocks, particularly problematic and/or out-of-policy ones?") is not neutral or sensible. It should be rephrased as "Can editors request the community review of blocks of other editors?". The question omits that this RfC is only about blocks of others, not of one's own blocks. And presumably everybody who appeals a block believes that the block is problematic or violates policy, else why appeal it? This qualification is therefore also not needed. Sandstein 17:46, 22 March 2021 (UTC)

Some questions: (1) If there is an improper block, and after discussion with an administrator it is not resolved, does that mean a discussion has to be about whether there should be action taken against the administrator? (2) Sometimes an satisfactory unblock request is declined because an administrator has not read it properly (3) There can be other exceptions such as misunderstandings [3] or blocking the wrong user. The unblock process is too slow, there is at least one unreviewed request from January. Peter James ( talk) 18:13, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
I see your point on the first (that it should be clear it's about other editors); I will tweak. On the second point: I think the qualification is necessary. There are different reasons to appeal/review, such as on the basis that the block is no longer necessary or that the editor has learned, etc, which doesn't mean that the original block was out-of-policy (though, it could still be misguided). Such discussions also happen with some regularity. I feel like introducing these two separate details directly into the RfC question will make this discussion a slight WP:TRAINWRECK. I have no particular opinion on appeals for other reasons and am happy with the actual status quo as it exists at AN. ProcrastinatingReader ( talk) 18:23, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I have always assumed that if an administrator takes an action against another editor, and I see a problem with that action, I could contact that admin to discuss it... and (if need be) I could post a thread at WP:AN to discuss the issue with the rest of admindom. Is this not the case? Blueboar ( talk) 18:50, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
    Not when it comes to blocks. Or at least the situation is unclear when the matter comes to blocks. I am pretty sure that every time I have seen a community review of a block being started at AN/ANI without the blocked editor requesting an unblock, Sandstein brought up this particular provision of Wikipedia:Appealing a block ('third-party block appeals are not allowed'), usually resulting in protracted discussions of the matter. Nsk92 ( talk) 23:19, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
    • What if there is a potential pattern of bad blocks? Surely we should be able to discuss the individual blocks to determine whether there is a pattern of poor judgement on the part of the admin. SOME flexibility is needed here. Blueboar ( talk) 00:44, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
  • It seems like a potential other option is to require the blocked person to consent to a third party requesting review (or to provide a window of time in which to object). I think some of Sandstein's objections are persuasive, but also know that blocks are emotional and confusing times, such that third party review is potentially extremely helpful to some users who don't feel equipped or otherwise feel overwhelmed/uncertain about the situation. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 19:45, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
    I do appreciate that being blocked is a confusing time, and I sympathize with blocked parties feeling overwhelmed. I think it is important, though, to try to guard against this becoming a situation where they agree out of distress to a third-party appeal, without taking time to consider what is the best course of action. In a different context, Bilby suggested having advisors provide guidance to aggrieved parties on possible future steps. This could be useful for this scenario. isaacl ( talk) 20:01, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • If I understand the intent of Option 1 correctly, I think it is a reasonable description of common practice that doesn't necessarily conflict with WP:ADMINACCT or the blocking policy, although it could definitely be worded better. Essentially, whenever a third-party editor posts on AN or ANI asking for a block to be reviewed, the community will generally want a statement from the blocked user that explains their view on the situation. Outside of situations where a block is a clear error or clear misapplication of policy, I can't think of a situation where we would unblock someone without hearing from the blocked user first. The intent is not to give administrators carte blanche to make bad blocks with impunity as long as the blocked editor refuses to appeal their blocks, but merely to convey that in the wide majority of cases, appeals will be unsuccessful if we don't have a statement from the blocked user themselves. Mz7 ( talk) 21:24, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
    Block reviews are generally distinct from appeals (usually being made on the basis of being out of policy; Sandstein reverted this change too so I presume he disagrees with it). The community is generally inconsistent on what to do about actual third party appeals ime, often it depends on the editors participating in a given discussion on a given day. ProcrastinatingReader ( talk) 21:51, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
    Hmm, having looked into this a little more, I think I better understand the context of the dispute here. I would agree with you that if a third-party user comes to ANI asking that someone else's block be reviewed, e.g. accusing the administrator of being WP:INVOLVED or some other clear policy violation, we should not dismiss their argument just because it did not come from the blocked editor themselves. The rationale for this would be WP:NOTBURO: in legal disputes in the United States, it is not uncommon for a court to dismiss pending litigation purely on procedural grounds before reaching "the merits", e.g. if the plaintiff lacks standing to bring the case; Wikipedia is not a court, however, and NOTBURO states that A procedural error made in a proposal or request is not grounds for rejecting that proposal or request.
    With all of this being said, I think I would still support adding language that discourages most forms of third-party block appeals/reviews, unless a block is obviously flawed. The status quo seems to be fine, but I am concerned that with this RfC, we will inadvertently tip the status quo towards encouraging more third-party reviews to the detriment of our time and energy. Among the options here, it looks like Option 2 is the closest to my views, although I feel that a bit more emphasis should be placed on the "should generally only be" part. Mz7 ( talk) 22:31, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
    The problem is a bad appeal can ruin the opportunity for a reasonable appeal in the short-term. It's not an issue of ignoring arguments, but letting the party most affected by the appeal manage when and how those arguments are made. It's unfair to blocked editors to allow anyone to make an appeal, without any co-ordination on its form, wording, emphasis, or other aspects. isaacl ( talk) 22:42, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
    I think trying to invoke WP:NOTBURO or WP:IAR as a reason for allowing is not an ideal approach. It tips the scale in favour of editors who understand community norms, or editors with lots of TPWs of such editors, who can reconcile different policies together and know how the community responds to different issues in practice. Guidelines should reflect that status quo, documenting it so that people less familiar with back-office operations can also request the community review issues (and indeed, many times such editors have picked up on valid problems). It's probably undesirable not to make this clear for all editors, and unacceptable to provide a misleading image of this (which is what the current section does). I am aware folks get overly cautious on 'tipping the scales' too far, which is why I tried to compromise with Sandstein in what was, in my opinion, a careful worded change opening the door to block reviews for out-of-policy issues but not too wide. (my actual opinion is slightly more wide, though acknowledging isaccl's concerns on something too wide.) None of the choices explicitly say "any editor can appeal for any reason they want". So at best option 2 is still carefully worded and option 3 just reverts to whatever editors believe the status quo is (without documenting such) (which is pretty much in WP:BP: you can, but use common sense). ProcrastinatingReader ( talk) 22:44, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
    I'd add that, in my experience, the admin making the allegedly problematic action rarely ever backs down in local discussions (possibly because they firmly believe in their action, or the saving face aspect, or both). Indeed, in all the actions I've appealed to AN that were overturned the admins all declined to reverse themselves. This isn't really an indictment of the admins (people can naturally disagree on application of policy), just the fact that I think "you can discuss with the blocking admin" (from the current text) is toothless/unhelpful in practice. ProcrastinatingReader ( talk) 22:54, 22 March 2021 (UTC)

Regarding those supporting option 3 as editors may not know how to appeal or are overwhelmed: I dislike the community making an appeal on their behalf without discussing it with them first. Communication is a bedrock principle for a collaborative project. We should be attempting to work with the blocked editor to determine the best path forward, and not assuming we know best. isaacl ( talk) 23:29, 24 March 2021 (UTC)

IMO: the immediate problem with that view is [4]. There are several secondary issues, ranging from confrontation and high-profileness (similar to fears against running RfA), to the community's role in admin accountability (if a poor action is so painful it causes an editor to quit, and other editors can't request review with the community, is ArbCom now the only choice?). Blocking is the pointiest stick in the toolbox. It should also be the one used most cautiously, and subject to the most avenues of review when it is not. ProcrastinatingReader ( talk) 23:34, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
There are always special circumstances that can be handled differently. This does not warrant, in my view, removing any restrictions (as per option 3) on who can initiate an appeal. When it is possible to communicate with a blocked editor, we should be trying to do so, and it poses no significant barrier for reviewing an administrator's actions. isaacl ( talk) 00:16, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
I presume you don't object to option 2, then? As I feel like your statement does lead to significant barriers if you also oppose option 2 (it would mean ArbCom is the only viable option [though, per remedy 5.x, that viability is in question]).
For option 3: I've seen thoughtful appeals come from third parties, like Ritchie333, which have helped in cases (in some they don't, but usually because editors say third party appeals bad, which comes around into a loop to this very RfC). I believe WP:UBCHEAP can apply in many cases, and more importantly don't really believe the art of crafting a persuasive block appeal / wider community relations has much to do with whether someone has learned and can be a productive editor. ProcrastinatingReader ( talk) 00:46, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
I don't like trying to list specific circumstances; I think individual cases should be evaluated on their own merits. I don't like that there isn't any mention of trying to work with the blocked editor. There have been fine third-party appeals; I've also seen poor third-party appeals. It's not about the blocked editor having to learn how to do the lobster quadrille. It's inconsiderate to take an action on someone's behalf without even trying to co-ordinate with them and understand what they want to do next. isaacl ( talk) 01:00, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
On the second half that's a fair point. It's worth noting that both option 1 and option 2 were each mostly written by a single editor without being churned through stages of policy-writing (hence my emphasis on sample text). I didn't feel extra specifics mattered because in this particular RfC I'd like to see the broader ideological issue resolved. I agree to adding text regarding best practices in third party appeals if option 2 passes. Although, I do think block reviews or criticism of the blocking admin is distinct from appealing on behalf of a person (a fine line, admittedly). On the first part I still don't follow; surely with option 1 cases can't be evaluated on their own merits, since it's a blanket ban on third party appeals? ProcrastinatingReader ( talk) 01:16, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
On general principle, special circumstances can always apply to any guidance; start listing some exceptions out, and people can start thinking those are the only special cases. In this particular case, "problematic" is so broad that almost anything could be put into that category. isaacl ( talk) 01:31, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Genuine question, could I ask the option-3 !voters why they think option 2 (or whatever tweak someone might want) wouldn't be your preferred choice? If it's just "prefer not to have more rules" that makes sense, but presumably any block someone would question they must think is problematic? Nosebagbear ( talk) 13:58, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
    Because the community needs maximal freedom to address issues of poor sysop judgment. If I see a sysop handing down a problematic block, I would like to be completely free to raise that with the community. And it might well be that my unprompted, disinterested expression of concern about a block is more convincing to the community than the target's concern.— S Marshall  T/ C 18:03, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
    @ S Marshall: but you say it's a problematic block, so it would fall within proposal 2, surely? Nosebagbear ( talk) 16:28, 31 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Just as a general note; I didn't see a fourth option available to just simply allow for third party requests regarding block reviews. This didn't seems to offer an entirely unbiased amount of options to everyone from a totally neutral point of view. Huggums537 ( talk) 09:03, 2 April 2021 (UTC)Strike that last part. I don't like the way it sounds. I was just curious why a fourth option wasn't thought of that's all. No offense to the OP. Huggums537 ( talk) 10:27, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Also, I've been gone from the project for a while. What's all this first choice, second choice crap about? How's a closer supposed to tally that up? Huggums537 ( talk) 12:58, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I've seen a great deal of people talk about adjusting the guideline according to what the "regular practice" and "current norms" are, but what does that really have to do with anything? That's like saying, "Our crime rates are very low, and it is the current norm to have little crime so we should write our criminal laws to notate that crime is not the regular practice." It makes no sense whatsoever, and really serves no obviously valid or useful purpose. It also begs one to wonder why anyone would want such notations in the guidelines. Huggums537 ( talk) 01:19, 5 April 2021 (UTC)

Define "recently" for CSD R3

Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion#R3: "This criterion does not apply to redirects created as a result of a page move, unless the moved page was also recently created."

Here, "recently" is undefined, which caused Fastily to be screamed at for performing an R3 deletion on a redirect just shy of a day old.

Proposal: define "recently" as "less than a month ago". (i.e. if a page is created on 2 February, last day to be eligible for CSD R3 is 1 March) — Alexis Jazz ( talk or ping me) 15:32, 23 March 2021 (UTC)

I think a month is about right. The big hurdle for R3 should really be the obvious implausibility, not the exact recentness - and something that made sense in 2006 might look implausible now but should be discussed, but something that looks implausible now probably still looked implausible in February 2021. I've previously not really thought this needed to be codified, but if people are really raising a stink on the basis of recentness when it happens to a day-old redirect, maybe it's worth making an actual solid line. I'd also like to mention that I just can't read {{ db-redirtypo}} without my brain reading it as "re-dirty-po". ~ mazca talk 15:47, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
  • As I indicated at WP:VPI#Define "recently" for CSD R3, I'd prefer a bit longer, but this is acceptable. I'd also prefer if we didn't have to spell it out, but clearly we do - not so often in practice about people complaining about the speedy deletion of days-old redirects as about people complaining about the declination of years-old ones. — Cryptic 16:07, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
This has come up lots of times at RfD over the years and the rough consensus has always been that there isn't a firm cutoff but it's measured in weeks not months (or, by implication, days but I don't recall that coming up). Generally the more implausible it is the more lenient people generally are about recentness. If there is really a need to define it rigidly then certainly 1 month is acceptable, but I'm not convinced that there is such a need. Simply writing down the consensus of "weeks, not months" as guidance somewhere would seem sufficient to me. Thryduulf ( talk) 16:54, 23 March 2021 (UTC)

There's not real problem here, just Fastily being more conservative than they need to be. The redirect in question probably could have been speedy deleted as a request by the only creator of the page anyway. No big deal, let's move on with our lives. Oiyarbepsy ( talk) 17:24, 23 March 2021 (UTC)

I'm with Oiyarbepsy on not seeing any problem here, unless one can be shown by a link to the actual screaming rather than a second-hand report of it. Like most things its best left rather vague because bright lines tend to lead to gaming. Phil Bridger ( talk) 19:39, 23 March 2021 (UTC)

Regarding "link to the actual screaming", Alexis Jazz already asked for it, and I declined because this site really doesn't need the extra drama. Let's keep the focus on defining a suitable interval based on its own merits please. - FASTILY 22:41, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
  • This gets brought up from time to time (for example, in these two discussions from 2019). One month is consistent with most people's views, but my impression has been that there is broad agreement that flexibility is good and that having an explicitly set cut-off point is undesirable. – Uanfala (talk) 11:57, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
@ Uanfala: The problem is that some people interpret "recently" as "24 hours" and others as "a few years". (Wikipedia is 20 years old, so anything created in past 2 years was recently created) My personal interpretation was about a week, but I'll use a month as a guideline now that I've seen that that is how most people interpret it. Couldn't we at least change "recently" to "recently, typically about a month" or something to give readers a ballpark? — Alexis Jazz ( talk or ping me) 05:36, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
Given that others have caused a concern, perhaps putting a suggestion would be a good thing. -- TheSandDoctor Talk 05:46, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I'd support noting in the documentation something along the lines of "Users and admins are expected to show discretion, but a rough guideline for 'recent' should be one month". Elli ( talk | contribs) 01:48, 31 March 2021 (UTC)
  • well that previous discussion was closing in on 30 days being added to the text, But now the debate starts all over again. I think we should add that 30 days in to give a guide and a bar. It many mean that the deleter has to check when the redirect was created, but I hope they already do that! Graeme Bartlett ( talk) 07:21, 31 March 2021 (UTC)


It seems odd to me that there is a policy on merging articles, but apparently nothing on demerging. In other words we can go through a lengthy merger discussion and come to a consensus to merge, and then a single editor can undo the merger. While the merger discussion is preserved on the Talk Page, there apparently no guideline about explaining the reasons for the demerger or even documenting it in an edit summary. Apparently, if other editors disagree with this single editor, they have to go through the whole merger discussion again, and then that single editor can demerge again without discussion... Is that correct?-- Jack Upland ( talk) 07:44, 24 March 2021 (UTC)

It's covered by WP:BRD and WP:CONSENSUS just like anything else. So while no, an editor shouldn't unilaterally undo a merge that has strong consensus, assuming you're talking about Goldberry, the "lengthy merger discussion" was three brief statements, opened and closed by yourself – not exactly an ironclad, let's-never-talk-about-it again result. Haleth made an appropriate bold edit to restore the article with additional sources, and the correct course of action now is to discuss whether it should remain, not get hung up on process. –  Joe ( talk) 08:53, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
I agree with Joe's assessment of the situation: it wasn't a strong merge consensus to begin with, but the onus was rightly on me to present the sources that would justify the topic being kept as a standalone article. This topic area does not currently have a lot of active regular editors, though the most active editor Chiswick Chap, who has produced numerous GA class articles within the scope of the project, have concurred that the article should remain since there are ample good quality sources to write the article from, perhaps up to GA status even. Because consensus may change, there are plenty of precedents where even a strong prior consensus from AfD's are not "ironclad, let's-never-talk-about-it again results", as articles have been kept, redirected or deleted contrary to the previously established consensus. Haleth ( talk) 14:31, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
Wow Village pump (policy). Yes, it was BRDed and we've been discussing amongst ourselves to reach CONSENSUS just as Joe says. I actually wasn't at all enthusiastic about Haleth's resurrections, but it has been an illuminating time discovering the wealth of sources available and using them to make the articles as informative and robustly-sourced as I could. The result has certainly been to widen and deepen the Project's coverage of women, and indeed of sexuality, somewhere I never expected to go. The merger discussion was indeed minimal, and there was no visible attempt to make the case for the defence, which would have been strong. I agree with Joe that if anything is needed now, it's discussion, but to be honest the article now shows that such a remarkable number of scholars have voiced clear and diverse opinions about Goldberry that deleting her would be a flagrant failure of process - she passes the GNG with a flying leap (over flowering pots of water-lilies) - and merging her to Tom Bombadil would be extraordinary - she is a fully-formed character in her own right, and a glance at the two articles would convince 99.999% of known editors who've ever looked up a source that we have here two fully-fledged article subjects. Far from just mirroring each other, they, the scholarship about them, and indeed their appearances in Bored of the Rings, are in harmony yet strikingly individual. It all feels very right and proper. All the best to you guys, Chiswick Chap ( talk) 17:43, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
No, obviously I was NOT talking about Goldberry!!! I deliberately made a general comment with a scenario that DIDN'T fit Goldberry. ASSUME GOOD FAITH!!!-- Jack Upland ( talk) 18:59, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
It's disingenuous of you to assert that it is "obviously" not about that topic when you never brought up a concrete example in the first place, and it isn't unreasonable for others to look at your most recent edits to get more context on what you are trying to say. It's not a case where you brought up Korean Peninsula first, only for someone to dig up your comments from the talk page for Goldberry in response. Your outcry about good faith is also inconsistent with the uncivil remarks you made against other editors on their talk pages, in direct retaliation to their remarks in this discussion after you realized that this discussion is not going the way you intended. Haleth ( talk) 01:45, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
To address the general point: I'd say reverting a merger that was approved by a strong consensus is a bit like recreating an article after it has been deleted. If the article is identical to the deleted one, it can be speedily deleted, but a new article that does not have the deficits addressed in a previous AFD should be considered on its merits. So a simple reversion of a merger with no changes can be simply reverted with WP:BRD telling the de-merger to discuss. In the case at hand, a total rewrite showing independent notability means that a fresh merge consensus would be required. — Kusma ( t· c) 17:50, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
Insert routine agitation to remove RFMerge as a clearly useless process. Izno ( talk) 18:11, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
On the general point, I agree with Kusma that no special process is required; as long as there's good reason based on the sources available, which of course may have increased in number and quality since the merger, then everything's fine. (And lots of shouting and exclamation marks don't help any; people can rightly assume context, since we have one here, without in any way assuming bad faith.) Chiswick Chap ( talk) 21:11, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
This discussion is not about Goldberry. Please stop assuming that it is. I have a perfect right to raise issues about policy. However, since you bring up the "Goldberry scenario", I think that scenario is obviously very different from the scenario I originally raised. I think that scenario relates to a page with very few active editors, of which possibly none are actively watching the page on a long term basis. In this scenario, you can have a merger supported by (say) three editors and a demerger supported by two editors a few months later. I have encountered this situation at Korean Peninsula and many other pages. Potentially, this scenario could play out over many years, with the "consensus" changing depending on the handful of editors who are there at that moment. As I understand it under the merger rules a single editor can close a merger discussion after one week if there is no merger discussion and perform the merger. I've certainly done this. This scenario is I think equally problematic, but it is less asymmetrical. The only difference is the editor proposing the merge has to go through a process and provide a reason, while the demerger doesn't. This may just be an inevitable consequence of low editor involvement. It still seems problematic to me that there is no obligation on the demerger to explain why he or she is demerging. (Of course, this wasn't the case in Goldberry.)-- Jack Upland ( talk) 21:54, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
As I just said, I'm not assuming any such thing, and my last comment was in fact a general one. I'd also commented elsewhere that you seemed to have followed policy in the specific instance, so I have no issue there; what I do think is that adding more policy to demerging in general will not improve things in any way, and I'd oppose any increase in bureaucratisation there. Chiswick Chap ( talk) 22:17, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
So why not remove the bureaucratic procedure about merging?-- Jack Upland ( talk) 22:22, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
The bureaucratic procedure is optional (any editor can merge anything at any time, but most such merges will be immediately reverted). It exists because it can be helpful to advertise and then have a formal discussion for contentious issues. I don't fully understand your point about asymmetry, as WP:MERGE and WP:SPLIT both can be done boldly or with discussion, and can both be undone boldly or with discussion. — Kusma ( t· c) 23:18, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
Thanks, Kusma, that's helpful. Yes, the correct term is split, not demerge... I guess then my question is is a split discussion warranted if it's been preceded by a merge discussion. I would tend to say yes. I would also tend to think it should be the other way round too, of course. That really clarifies the issue.-- Jack Upland ( talk) 00:48, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
I did provide a detailed explanation in my initial edit summary why I split the article back out. You immediately objected both to my rationale, and to the topic itself being revived as a standalone article even though the contents had been significantly expanded from the version that was merged and numerous sources have been added. Your position still hasn't changed going by your comments on its talk page almost two months after the split. So I find it hard to fathom that you are now saying "this wasn't the case in Goldberry". As I understand it now, it isn't prohibited to close your own merge proposals after 7 days (unlike AfD's), or for a merge discussion to be closed with less then a handful of participants who all provided one sentence responses. But I would say it isn't best practice, as both scenarios create a weak level of consensus that can be bold overturned or rebutted provided it is done with good reason by the editor who invoke WP:BOLD. Just as these kind of bold edits are confirmed to be acceptable custom by Joe, Kusma also pointed out that there's also no stopping other editors from boldly reinstating the already weak consensus if they are unconvinced by the substance of the additional sources or split rationale, which can be observed when looking at the edit history of Korean Peninsula. Haleth ( talk) 01:45, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
Because my query was not about Goldberry and it wasn't the case in Goldberry that the split wasn't explained. Anyone who is interested can read your edit summary and decide if that is "best practice".-- Jack Upland ( talk) 04:59, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
  • First note that you do not need to go through the AFD procedure to merge two articles... it can be agreed upon informally by those working on the two articles. However, you do need someone like an admin to carry it out. There is a very simple reason for that... maintaining copyright. The merged article needs a record of what has been merged and where it came from. Blueboar ( talk) 22:57, 24 March 2021 (UTC)
I have been following merger policy which says that I can conduct the merge myself...-- Jack Upland ( talk) 00:30, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
  • With regard to my comment about explaining reasons for splits etc, I think on reflection this is a matter of etiquette and good record-keeping. I think if there has been a previous discussion on a talk page and you have decided to take the article in a different direction, then you explain why you have done so. At the very least it is good to provide a signpost so that a later editor can fathom what has happened. I see many talk pages where it is very difficult to understand what has happened. But, as I say, this is a matter of etiquette.-- Jack Upland ( talk) 04:50, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
  • See also WP:N, WP:LENGTH, WP:SPLIT, WP:SUMMARY, WP:CFORK. If a subtopic that has been merged into a broader topic is not independently notable, it should not be split back out again, unless the main article is so long and complex that it needs to branch out into "child" articles with concise summaries left behind at the main article. (And even that doesn't necessarily mean that the subtopic in question must be one of those that needs to be split out. Plus care has to be taken not to produce a content fork much less an outright PoV fork. The "story" of whatever that subtopic is needs to clearly "live" in a single place, with any other summaries and mentions of it clearly pointing back to the place and not contradicting it).  —  SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  05:16, 31 March 2021 (UTC)

Descriptions of political groups

I have been involved in a number of lengthy discussions over the years about how to describe groups outside the political mainstream. Some examples are the English Defence League, the Proud Boys and antifa. There doesn't seem to be any relevant policy or guideline, other than Contentious labels.

In my opinion, categorization of political groups requires expert opinion found in writings by political scientists and other social scientists or in watchdog groups with a reputation for this. However, many editors consider it appropriate to use news articles or passing mention in academic writing.

Journalists have no special expertise in political categorization. We rely on them to tell us what happened. For all we know they get their descriptions from Wikipedia.

Should there be a guideline for this?

TFD ( talk) 13:18, 24 March 2021 (UTC)

I don't think there needs to be any special guideline on this per WP:CREEP. Discussions like those are inevitably going to be contentious; all we can do is encourage editors to seek out the highest-quality sources available, remain civil, and abide by policies and guidelines like MOS:LABEL and WP:NPOV. {{u| Sdkb}} talk 21:13, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
I think this is missing the point – people's current understanding of policy leads them to make (what at least I would consider to be) questionable editorial decisions, like eschewing the academic understanding of political groups in favour of off-handed mentions of political labels in partially related news articles written by journalists. The solution to this isn't to just wish upon a star and hope people choose to interpret extremely general guidelines like WP:NPOV in a radically different way, it's to clarify policy guidelines.
I don't think any specific political expertise is needed to say what so and so group did, journalists are fine in this regard, but I don't think we should trust random journalists to accurately categorize groups political groups as say "neo-fascists but not white nationalists" or something. These are the kind of descriptions that should be left to experts, in a similar way to why I wouldn't trust a journalist's assertions about general relativity, but I would probably trust them to report on scientific consensus on the matter. -- Volteer1 ( talk) 08:39, 27 March 2021 (UTC)

RfC: Notability of fictional characters

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Consensus was reached that an award does not imply notability Consensus was reached that characters should not be presumed notable simply because the portrayer of the character has received a major award for their work. However, that doesn't mean the character is non-notable. theleekycauldron ( talkcontribs) ( they/them) 21:22, 27 March 2021 (UTC)

Should a fictional character in film or television be presumed notable if the portrayer of the character received a major award for their portrayal of the character? theleekycauldron ( talkcontribs) ( they/them) 07:01, 27 March 2021 (UTC)

  • No — the award means people have praised the actor. That doesn't mean the character is notable.-- Jack Upland ( talk) 07:53, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Enough for an individual article for the character? No. There needs to be ample coverage on the character's conception, characterization and reception. — El Millo ( talk) 08:02, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
  • No, the award of the actor does not imply notability of the character. For an example, I don't think anyone would reasonably presume that the character Hal Fields in Beginners is notable enough to warrant an article, despite the actor who portrayed him, Christopher Plummer, receiving an oscar for his performance. -- Volteer1 ( talk) 08:52, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
  • No - Acting awards rewards just that, acting. There's little to no connection between how well a character is played and how notable that character is. Volteer1's example above is right on the money. PraiseVivec ( talk) 10:56, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Of course not. It is instructive to look at Academy Award for Best Actor and see how many of the roles portrayed do not have standalone articles (the vast majority of bluelinked roles are not fictional characters). — Kusma ( t· c) 11:15, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
  • No, and suggest snow close. {{u| Sdkb}} talk 14:11, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
  • No - The fictional character needs to be notable themselves; the notability of the actor who plays that character is not so important. Agree with the comments above. Netherzone ( talk) 14:37, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
  • No As per other editors, the character has to be notable because of articles and reviews, not because someone played them won an award. Characters like Lady Macbeth and Bill Sykes have pages because they have been discussed and written about. Davidstewartharvey ( talk) 14:57, 27 March 2021 (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.
  • A late comment - I agree with the above comments, with one addition: There is a reasonably good chance that if the actor portraying a character has won an award for the portrayal, the character has also received at least some coverage. Do a thorough search for that coverage WP:BEFORE nominating. Blueboar ( talk) 21:32, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
    Yes, that's a good point. Emir of Wikipedia ( talk) 22:41, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
  • @ Theleekycauldron: Could you please clarify the close statement? Right now it technically states that someone winning a Grammy isn't notable nor someone who won a Nobel prize etc. Those things can make someone notable on their own for having received it per WP:NMUSICIAN/NBAND, Wikipedia:Notability (academics), (parts of) Wikipedia:Notability (sports), and WP:ANYBIO/NBIO itself. The close statement should oull specifics from the question to indicate its scope (i.e. something like "Consensus was reached that a fictional character in a film or television series is not presumed notable solely due to the real-life portrayer of the character having received a major award for their portrayal of the character.") -- TheSandDoctor Talk 04:06, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
    @ TheSandDoctor: yep– sorry, i'm a dumbass sometimes. I'll modify the closing statement. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Theleekycauldron ( talkcontribs) 08:18, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
    @ Theleekycauldron: All good! We all make mistakes etc. Thanks for fixing the scope of the closing statement. Face-smile.svg -- TheSandDoctor Talk 08:56, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
    @ TheSandDoctor: mo problem, thank you :) theleekycauldron ( talkcontribs) ( they/them) 20:31, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
  • LOL. This one was pretty obvious. VP need not be mired in predictable-outcome RfCs. Just look for extant examples that prove the case. E.g., Linda Hunt (unquestionably notable actor) received an Oscar (unquestionably notable award) among other awards for her cross-gender and cross-ethnic role in The Year of Living Dangerously (unquestionably notable film). But the character is not independently notable and pretty much no one remembers the name. Similarly, Fisher Stevens (notable actor) played a cross-ethnic role in Short Circuit (notable film) and (with the character's surname inexplicably changed in a pointless retcon) its straight-to-video sequel Short Circuit 2 (marginally notable film). Yet the character, whose confused name no one remembers either, is not independently notable – despite a great deal of controversy around these portrayals, which even resulted in Stevens being indefinitely persona non grata banned from traveling to India. Such fame and notoriety adhere to the actors, not the characters.  —  SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  05:11, 31 March 2021 (UTC)

What is a genuine secondary source for birthdates?

MOS:BIRTHDATE says that all biographies should open with a paragraph containing the date of birth of the subject, but WP:BLPPRIMARY prohibits using primary sources for this kind of information and instead requires that the information "has been discussed by a reliable secondary source." (Further WP:BLPPRIVACY demands that this source is "widely published," whatever that means.) A secondary source, according to WP:SECONDARY, "provides an author's own thinking based on primary sources" and "contains an author's analysis, evaluation, interpretation," etc. But except maybe for pseudo-controversies like Obama's birth certificate, a person's birthdate is never "discussed" by published sources to the extend that it merits the rank of a secondary source. So my question is: what do WP:BLPPRIMARY and WP:BLPPRIVACY actually imply, and which sources are permissible?

Let me give some examples:

  • Is NBC Sports a primary source for the DOB of a marginal NFL player like Tae Crowder? It doesn't give the source for the information, neither does the site evaluate or discuss anything.
  • Are the Library of Congress Authority Files a primary source for the DOB of a university professor like Kannan Soundararajan? LOC generally states the source of the information (e.g., "Info. from Princeton University Archives") but generally doesn't contemplate the information in any form. And presumably the Princeton Archives themselves aren't permissible sources either.
  • And I presume a self-published CV doesn't qualify as a valid source for Mark Duggan's birth date either, because obviously primary.
  • How about short profiles in a niche academic journal? It is published, but is it widely published? Also, the author's reflection on the DOB seem to be missing once again.
    My point is: how does a genuine secondary source for birthdates actually look like? If our policies set the bar this high, we should be able to clearly define this standard. Or can someone at least give an example of a reliable source that passes both WP:BLPPRIMARY and WP:BLPPRIVACY? -- bender235 ( talk) 16:33, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
I believe only the first one, NBCSports, would definitely qualify as a secondary source as we operate on the presumption they have done fact-checking. LoC does not engage in fact checking or have editors so they would not satisfy secondary on their own. CV would certainly be Primary. The last one likely satisfies secondary as they have an editorial team in place, though I am not familiar with the specifics of them. Slywriter ( talk) 16:48, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
On what basis exactly can we conclude that NBC Sports conducts a more thorough fact checking than does the Library of Congress? -- bender235 ( talk) 17:49, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
MOS:BIRTHDATE does not say that all biographies should open with a paragraph containing the date of birth of the subject. You missed out the all-important word "usually". Reading back to MOS:OPENPARABIO shows that this is an explanation of the sentence "dates of birth and death, if found in secondary sources." If the date is not found in such sources it should be omitted. Phil Bridger ( talk) 17:06, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
But that is precisely my question: how does such a secondary source look like? -- bender235 ( talk) 17:47, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
On the narrow question of the difference between a secondary source and a primary source, every single one of the sources you note above are secondary sources. A primary source is a source like a birth certificate, a baptismal certificate, census records, etc. Whether or not any of the sources you cited are good secondary sources for this information, I will not comment on, but news organizations, employer profiles, and even CVs are secondary sources because they report on what would be in the primary sources. -- Jayron 32 16:26, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Commenting re "widely", an example would be Mick Jagger. Example sources (no particular order/as they showed in my google results): New Yorker, CNN, USA Today, The history channel, Today,, iHeart Radio, and Vogue. I could keep going, that was about 3 minutes of searching, each one providing both the date and age at that time; none disagreeing on the date/year/age etc. Without listing example sources, Taylor Swift would be another example. -- TheSandDoctor Talk 18:34, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
    Yes, those people are super-notable, so there will be such sources. Maybe MOS:BIRTHDATE should use a weaker word than "usually". I haven't done the necessary research, and I doubt whether whoever put that word into the MOS has done either, but I somehow doubt that a large majority of notable subjects has reliable secondary sources for the birth date. I have commented elsewhere about Wikipedia editors' obsession with including a subject's national identity in the opening sentence even if it is not well sourced. The same goes for a birth date. In most cases the important thing is the location and timeframe in which a subject achieved notability, not such details. Phil Bridger ( talk) 19:10, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
    If those are the standards, 99% of biographies on Wikipedia have to be without date of birth. I mean, try to find this many news media sources for a random track & field athlete, actor, or judge, and so on. Because again, we're not talking about one reliable source (per WP:RS), but multiple widely-published secondary sources. -- bender235 ( talk) 19:40, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
    Use WP:COMMONSENSE/ IAR when the rules result in weird output. -- Green C 19:44, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
    @ GreenC: not an option. People tend to be very zealous in their application WP:BLPPRIVACY, in pursuit of privacy theater to protect supposedly sensitive information that is in fact already public. -- bender235 ( talk) 15:00, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
  • ( edit conflict) They are two of the most accomplished musicians in modern history, so definitely. I would support a weaker word than "usually" per the reasons you list, Phil Bridger. -- TheSandDoctor Talk 19:50, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
  • DOB can also be cited to a decent WP:BLPSELFPUB source, assuming such exist. Checkmarked Twitter etc. The OP:s Mark Duggan CV fits "published by reliable sources, or by sources linked to the subject such that it may reasonably be inferred that the subject does not object to the details being made public." Personally, I don't have a problem with 99% of BLP:s not having date of birth. Gråbergs Gråa Sång ( talk) 20:06, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
    I agree with Slywriter. It comes down to expected fact-checking. I'd expect NBCSports to fact check. I don't expect the Library of Congress entries to be fact-checked, and have encountered articles where we've disregarded LOC as a reliable source for dob. Short profiles are questionable, as the info often comes from a questionnaire or form sent to the subject that gets no independent fact-checking. If there are disagreements with different sources, the refs where we can expect fact-checking should be given precedence. -- Hipal ( talk) 21:02, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
  • The only time it would be incorrect for a biography to have no date of birth information would be when their date of birth is/was the subject of significant commentary ( Traci Lords is the first example to come to mind), but by definition that means there are multiple reliable sources in which it features so there are no problems. For people whose birth date is uncontroversial and there is no evidence they object to it being public, a primary source can be used if there are no reliable secondary sources available. Whether such a primary source should be used is a matter for consensus at each article.
    Where sources contradict and there is no discussion of the contradiction, then present options/a range (applying qualifiers like "most sources state X" if that is true) or just omit it. Thryduulf ( talk) 11:25, 28 March 2021 (UTC)

The policy WP:BLPPRIMARY forbids using public records as the main source of information about the birth date of a living person. This limitation does not apply to dead people. So this thread should really be divided into two different threads, one for dead people and one for living people. Jc3s5h ( talk) 14:07, 28 March 2021 (UTC)

That is a good point. Emir of Wikipedia ( talk) 14:37, 28 March 2021 (UTC)

I think it is perfectly acceptable to use a self-published source for a person's date of birth, if the person is otherwise notable and if they are okay with that information being present in Wikipedia. On the other hand, just because a person publishes their date of birth in their CV on their website, they may not necessarily want it included in their Wikipedia article. If the article subject turns up (whether as an editor or through OTRS or however), their preferences about whether the article should include their date of birth or not ought to be respected. Mr248 ( talk) 23:49, 31 March 2021 (UTC)

I mean of course you can use the person's birth certificate as a source for their birthdate. In fact it's the most reliable source. Even birth certificates aren't always correct, but they're more reliable than any other source, so using any other source is deliberately introducing a greater chance of error. Don't do that. If there's a rule against it, well, there are a lot of rules here, and that one's silly, so ignore it.
If the person doesn't want their birthdate published, that'd different of course -- you'd want to honor that, if you can. I believe the assumption is that putting in birthdays at the top of the article is OK unless the person specifically requests us not to. It's very key to getting a basic grasp of the subject (well, the year at least). If you're looking up an actor, or an athlete, or whatever, it's key to know right off if they're 20 or 45 and so on. This is why we always do it. I've never seen it not done except when the info isn't know or nobody's gotten to it yet. This is what we do. Rules are supposed to codify best practice. Ignore silly rules. Herostratus ( talk) 07:30, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
Herostratus, There is a rule against using birth certificates. It isn't a silly rule at all. If a person's date of birth is not already public knowledge, Wikipedia should not be making it public knowledge. If an editor somehow comes upon an article subject's birth certificate, they should not be adding information from that document to the article which is not already public. In many (but not all) jurisdictions, birth certificates will only be issued to the person and their close relatives (their parents, sometimes other relatives such as children), so they are kind of private documents, and you shouldn't be putting private information about someone on Wikipedia. (It might be different if everything in their birth certificate was already known to the general public, through media sources, etc – but that is probably only going to be true for very famous people.) Mr248 ( talk) 03:08, 5 April 2021 (UTC)
User:Mr248, alright, I see your point. It's a privacy issue, a WP:BLP issue. That's different, and fine, yes that makes sense. I was thinking about the (somewhat silly IMO) admonition in WP:RS not to use primary sources generally.... to avoid cherry-picking mostly I guess. It's hard to cherry-pick birthdates tho.
BLP, in its "Privacy of personal information and using primary sources" is equivocal. It says using the birth year is OK, and it's kind of unclear on whether you should or should not assume that that subjects don't want their vital info published if they've made no indication of that.
But if the presumption is that we shouldn't, we probably shouldn't usually use secondary sources either. The fact that somebody else dug up someone's vital stats and published them doesn't affect us all that much. For one thing our articles often come up high in google results for a person and are thus a big part of their public face, and for another our data will probably persist and follow the person around for a long time. There's a big difference between the Terra Haute Times-Dispatch publishing a person's birthdate and us doing it. In the first instance, one can find the info if one really wants to and is digging for it (at least now -- but maybe not in 20 years), in the second instance it's put right up in the world's face forever. Big difference. Herostratus ( talk) 04:52, 5 April 2021 (UTC)
I guess one concern with the birth date is identity theft. That's why BLP says giving just the year is more OK. Still, a lot of people don't want their age to be known, or anyway trumpeted worldwide by us. Place of birth also, maybe -- T S Eliot was born in St Louis, and Ezra Pound was born in Hailey, Idaho Territory, and it's quite possible they'd rather the world forget that (if they were alive).
Still, I've basically never seen an article where any of the vital stats are deliberately elided... It's general practice. Even for Jackie DeShannon, we give her birth year even though I think she'd like people to think she's younger. That's... not good. But general practice is to do that.
I'm liberal and expansive on subjects' BLP rights, so on reflection, I've changed my mind from my statement above, and for my part I'll avoid adding vital stats except nationality to any more (living) bio's I write. But BLP doesn't really require that, at least not clearly, and I expect other editors will come along and add it in. I can't control that, but I can control what I myself do anyway. Herostratus ( talk) 04:33, 5 April 2021 (UTC)
Herostratus, I agree in general, but I'd make two points. Firstly with But if the presumption is that we shouldn't, we probably shouldn't usually use secondary sources either – it does depend somewhat on what the source is. For example, for a university professor, if their official biography posted on the university website includes their date of birth, it is probably okay to use it. Whereas if some obscure newspaper published it, maybe not. Secondly, I think it also depends on how much of a public figure someone is. For someone who is very much a public figure, like a senior politician, I think there are less concerns about privacy, than someone much more obscure – such as an artist which many people have never heard of. (Your cited example is one of those – I've never heard of her before, and I'm sure I'm not the only person in that category.) Mr248 ( talk) 04:46, 5 April 2021 (UTC)
Are privacy concerns even applicable if the primary source document can readily be found by any person using the internet? LOC records, for starters, are readily accessible. BD2412 T 04:48, 5 April 2021 (UTC)
User:BD2412, yes. MOS:BIRTHDATE and MOS:BIRTHPLACE are guidelines, but the presumption of privacy is more important. WP:BLP is a policy and trumps guidelines. It's equivocal about when it's OK to publish vital info, but it says "Wikipedia includes full names and dates of birth that have been widely published by reliable sources..." (emphasis added). "Widely" is open to interpretation, but BLP should be interpreted liberally in presumption of privacy.
"Can readily be found" I guess means "If a person wants to dig" (I don't know what a LOC record is. If it's not a high result on a google search on the person, it's not "readily found".) There's a lot of difference between "a person who really want to know it can find it" and our screaming it to the world forever. Otherwise BLP kind of doesn't make sense. Herostratus ( talk) 05:02, 5 April 2021 (UTC)
User:Mr248, right. There's no need for us to elide Emmanual Macron's birthday or whatever. As to the official college bio... I guesssss.... it's kind of the persons public face already, probably. If you have to dig to find it, maybe not. It's possible that the person is of the mind "Ugh, I can't stop them from publishing my vital stats, but I'd rather the world not know that I'm 60". It doesn't really demonstrate permission, I suppose.
Interestingly, an unvetted interview (where the person gives her birthdate or year) is a good indication that she doesn't mind our publishing it, but it's not a good source itself. People are not good sources for their own birthdates. We'd have to find another source (and it would have to match what the person said). Herostratus ( talk) 05:12, 5 April 2021 (UTC)
On the Jackie DeShannon thing, if you just put in no birthdate... somebody's going to come along and be like "oh, vital stats missing, I'll add them!" and then put in either her real birth year (BLP violation) or the one she put out (giving the reader false info). So don't know the solution there. Herostratus ( talk) 05:19, 5 April 2021 (UTC)
Articles can contain notes to editors in html comments saying things like "do not add birth date, see talk" with an explanation on the talk page of why the article contains no birth date. If someone does add it then it can be reverted. I don't know it is possible to search for these easily, but Anoushay Abbasi contains a note in the infobox "<!-- Do not add a date of birth without citing a reliable source in the text. -->". Thryduulf ( talk) 10:48, 5 April 2021 (UTC)

Sourcing for obscure technical topics

Many topics goes under reported in the software world, with discussion limited to github issues, forums and reddit. But there is a wealth of knowledge that is undocumented on Wikipedia because of the way the sources are percieved as unreliable. Is there any way we can make them reliable, say through a Wiki vetting service that would allow this valueble “cyberfolk” knowledge to be cited? After observing many afds go the wrong way over the years I feel that a proper process needs to be set up here. The same process could be used to extract infromation from systemic bias affected topics and also convert COI sources into neutral ones. ( talk) 15:54, 28 March 2021 (UTC)

If a technical area is not covered by secondary sources, its not appropriate for WP to cover it. Software topics are obscure because they only appeal to a small number of individuals -- Masem ( t) 15:57, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
Per Masem, coverage by reliable sources is what makes a topic worthwhile fodder for a Wikipedia article. If something is not substantially covered by reliable sources, it is not an appropriate Wikipedia article topic. Having a lot of people talk about it on Reddit is not sufficient. -- Jayron 32 16:37, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
Subject-matter experts can be cited, even from generally unreliable sources. OwO ( what's this?) 09:09, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
There's another factor here as well: the ability of volunteer editors to craft an accurate encyclopedia. We aren't experts. We aren't reporters. But we are careful readers. Wikipedia only works if we are using reliable secondary sources that consult multiple experts, do reporting, and fact check their work. I could easily deceive people outside my field by pointing to a grab bag of not-great sources, especially if the language was technical enough. And you could deceive me as well, in your field. But if the topic has a bunch of regular press about it, someone with google would be able to sift out the fringe theories. That sounds extreme, but it used to happen a lot. You may have been around long enough to see this too. Before WP:MEDRS, WP:COI and similar WP:PRIMARY reforms, obscure companies would put their shady health products on wikipedia, quote three studies they sponsored of 15 people each and make their shady claims in wikipedia's voice. Since they were totally obscure, there were no contradicting studies. They only thing that got this film-flammery out of wikipedia was insisting on higher quality sourcing. All that said, I do agree with you that in software there are a lot of things that are not well covered because of this. But software also has some of the strongest free-knowledge communities out there. They are more chaotic that wikipedia. But they might become even more chaotic if they were tasked with deciding on a single "right answer" on certain topics with no authorities to cite. (Programming language discussions, anyone?) Chris vLS ( talk) 16:20, 10 April 2021 (UTC)

Where to appeal a discussion close

This is a question that arose at Deletion Review. There was a discussion on a policy talk page, and someone closed the discussion. Another editor took issue with the close, and appealed it at Deletion Review. I thought that Deletion Review was the wrong forum to appeal a close other than of a deletion discussion. I said that I thought that WP:AN might, be default, be the proper forum, because it is the forum for the appeal of closes of Requests for Comments. The closer then self-reverted the close, reopening the discussion, which resolved the question of whether DRV was the right forum. So my question is where any future appeal of a discussion close should go. Robert McClenon ( talk) 14:58, 29 March 2021 (UTC)

That is an interesting question to raise. At this point, I would agree that WP:AN would most likely be the appropriate venue since it is for RfCs. — TheSandDoctor Talk 16:09, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
Unless another board already exists for such a discussion, WP:AN is the default board for it. -- Jayron 32 16:19, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
( edit conflict) afaik DRV only deals with deletion discussions from XfD venues or speedy deletions. Any other discussion close goes to AN (see Wikipedia:Closing_discussions#Challenging_other_closures). ProcrastinatingReader ( talk) 16:21, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
I concur with all the above that WP:AN is the right venue since DRV is only for XfDs. There are also some other specialized review pages, though, like WP:MRV for move/rename ( WP:RM) reviews.  —  SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  04:57, 31 March 2021 (UTC)

Discussion (not a formal RFC yet) on candidate boxes in UK election articles

Hi all. If discussing policy around the prospective parliamentary candidate boxes in UK election articles is your thing, a new discussion has been opened by me here. at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Politics_of_the_United_Kingdom#Policy_discussion:_Candidate/results_boxes Many thanks. doktorb words deeds 23:20, 29 March 2021 (UTC)

Are official companions to TV shows independent sources?

The specific example here is this book. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Theleekycauldron ( talkcontribs) 04:53, 30 March 2021 (UTC)

For the purposes of notability, I'd say definitely not if produced directly to accompany the show by or for the production company/network. In my opinion they are usually going to be reliable (mostly) primary sources for the purposes of verification, but WP:RSN is the better place to ask that question. Whether it is an appropriate source though will depend on how and why you want to use it. Thryduulf ( talk) 11:53, 30 March 2021 (UTC)
They do not establish that the subject is suitable for a standalone article, but insofar as that has been established by other sources, they are perfectly acceptable for information about the TV show in question (i.e. episode summaries, character biographies, etc.). Non-independent sources can be (and often are) very reliable for information, but insofar as the information does not show that other people have taken note of the subject it doesn't establish notability. -- Jayron 32 14:03, 30 March 2021 (UTC)

Particularly given their example, I think OP is asking just for purposes of using it for information to add to an article, not for determining whether a show should have an article. postdlf ( talk) 16:44, 30 March 2021 (UTC)

  • On the question of using it for information in an already notable article, yes it is fine, but it should be used reasonably sparingly to fill in high-level details that may not be readily sourcable to secondary material; that type of work should not dominate the sourcing for the article. For example, I can see such a work to establish, for an already notable character, where they were born and what high-level schooling they got; details that may be buried in a few episodes but easier to just point to that, before the article moves onto details of characterization and the like that we pull from secondary coverage. -- Masem ( t) 17:25, 30 March 2021 (UTC)
    Yeah, that was my question. I was looking more for the in-depthness– I'll have to dig for other sources, than. theleekycauldron ( talkcontribs) ( they/them) 18:39, 30 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Obviously not WP:INDY, any more than the producer's website is, or an interview with the author, a film's director, a game company's lead developer, or whatever fits the scenario. This is all WP:PRIMARYSOURCE and WP:ABOUTSELF material. It can be used, with caution, but only for certain kinds of claims, mostly "bare facts" matters, and only when there's nothing controversial or aggrandizing about it. ("Development started on May 13, 2001, at our Boston office" is probably not a controversial claim, for example.) When it comes to plot points, explanation of game features or system requirements, production/development anecdotes of a game/show/film, etc., official companion sites and books are probably relevant and reliable enough for trivial matters, but secondary sources would be better. And they can't contradict solid secondary sources that proves them wrong about something. Nor even better primary ones, like the published version of the work itself, which is more "canonical". An example close to my heart: My first ever companion book was one for Star Wars (the original film), and I got it before the film actually came out. It was in story-book format with film stills as illustrations. Early on, it shows Luke meeting with Biggs and his other friends on Tatooine. I would not be able to use that as a source to write those happenings into the film plot on Wikipedia, because they did not make the final cut of the film. However, a surviving copy of that book would be a good source (maybe for a note in the production section) for that material (also part of the plot of the novel version) having been part of the plot of the in-development film at some point, having been at least partially filmed, and what some of it looked like. (Not that we need it, since the deleted footage is all over the place on the Internet these days, of course. But it's still a good example.)  —  SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  04:54, 31 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Exactly what User:SMcCandlish said. They aren't independent, they are WP:ABOUTSELF, which is exactly what the "official" means. As SMcC points out, these are ok for bare facts, but not for the puffery you might find there, like "first show to show..." or "highly acclaimed" etc. Ideally, you can search for the most interesting tidbits or stories and find secondary sources that have published (and fact-checked) them. Chris vLS ( talk) 16:35, 10 April 2021 (UTC)

Rewrite Wikipedia:Citizenship and nationality

This failed proposal is based on a false assumption – that "citizenship" is a legal status but "nationality" is not. In fact, both are legal statuses. Nationality is a legal relationship between a natural person and a sovereign state, whereby the natural person owes the state a duty of allegiance and the state owes the natural person a duty of protection. Citizenship is a legal status of having political rights in a sovereign state, such as the right to vote in elections. Most of the time, the two go together, but more rarely it is possible to have legal nationality without legal citizenship. US law, for example, has a concept of "non-citizen nationals" who possess US nationality but lack US citizenship – this means they are eligible for a US passport but can't vote in US elections. Right now, the only people who are "non-citizen nationals" of the US are American Samoans, although there is a court case challenging the constitutionality of that. Similarly, the UK has a class of nationals known as " British subjects without citizenship" who possess UK nationality but lack UK citizenship. Current UK law makes it impossible to acquire this status, so it is eventually going to die out–most of the people with it had some connection with former colonies but for whatever reason did not acquire the nationality/citizenship of the newly independent state at independence. (Many of those people are people of South Asian origin in Africa and Southeast Asia–their ancestry in India/Pakistan was too distant for Indian or Pakistani citizenship, and those newly independent states sometimes denied citizenship/nationality to these minorities, leaving them with a UK non-citizen national status as a not very useful fallback.)

I was talking about this on the Talk page and WhatamIdoing was suggesting that some people in the UK use "nationality" to refer to one being English or Scottish or Welsh or Northern Irish. I don't believe that is an official use – all official documents I've seen from the UK government only speak of "British nationality", not of "English"/"Scottish"/"Welsh"/"Northern Irish" as "nationalities" – some UK government forms speak of them as "ethnicities", which is probably the more appropriate term. However, it probably makes sense to note that this usage exists, even if though it is not an official or legal one. I think one shouldn't use this sense of "nationality" in Wikipedia articles however, since it is likely to confuse non-UK readers and produce the false impression that English/Scottish/Welsh/Northern Irish are legal nationalities, when legally speaking they are not nationalities.

Anyway, I think, even marked as a failed proposal, having something in the Wikipedia namespace which is factually incorrect is problematic. I think the proposal should be written to make clear that both nationality and citizenship are legal statuses, and that with rare exceptions anyone who has one status also has the other. This in turn implies that having separate "Nationality" and "Citizenship" parameters in Infoboxes is a bad idea since they very rarely will differ, and I think if you look at the cases where those two parameters are being used, very rarely are they being used with different values (or one being chosen over the other) because of an actual legal situation of having nationality-without-citizenship. The rare status of non-citizen nationals could simply be expressed as a parenthetical remark in the "Nationality" parameter rather than needing a separate "Citizenship" one. @ SMcCandlish: since you wrote the proposal I'm proposing we rewrite. Mr248 ( talk) 03:26, 31 March 2021 (UTC)

Huh? 01011000 ( talk · contribs) wrote it; I just moved it to a more sensible page name, and cleaned up some of the most obvious issues in the text. Honestly, I think the outliers you mention above could simply be covered in footnotes with little impact on the overall gist. "Nationality" and "citizenship" as normally used in everyday writing and as typically understood by the vast majority of our readers have the meanings outlined in that proposal. Uncommon legal technicalities are simply exceptions to note in passing, in a footnote. Alleged vernacular British usage to distinguish between the UK as a "meta-nation" country and England, etc., as sub-national "countries" is another footnote. So is use of "nation" to mean "ethnic heritage" or "political movement", and there are probably some others. "Nationality" (in the usual sense and even most of these other senses, with narrow exceptions) usually is not a legal matter; it's a socio-cultural and sometimes socio-political construct (like gender roles, and like what passes for " race").

The typical solution is to move a failed proposal to a name like Wikipedia:Citizenship and nationality (failed proposal). However, it is possible that this piece can be "massaged" into an explanatory essay (which is mostly what it is already) without trying to also be a rule (which it was already rejected as). The problem I see is that the extant text is pushing an overly simplistic viewpoint, while you are pushing a "missing the forest for trees" nitpick-it-to-death viewpoint from the other direction. The solution is to retain the generality approach to the main text of it, then cover technicalities in footnotes, so they are there but do not mire it down in usually-inapplicable details.

But if this work isn't done to produce a sensible essay, I agree it would be problematic to retain it at the current name, since it purports to lay down rules or at least advice, and people can link to sections or anchors in mid-page, such that people cannot see the failed-proposal banner. So, it should either have "failed proposal" in the page name, or stop giving erstwhile advice/rules. PS: It requires no consensus discussion to just go do it and re-work the page to no longer be a failed proposal but instead an informative essay. Just try to ensure the resulting text will actually meet with agreement and serve an informative purpose with regard to most editing situations, not be a just a bunch of hair-splitting about oddball exceptions (footnotes, footnotes). See also the fallacy of equivocation; we all know any given word can have multiple meanings, and we have to keep them separated; making an argument about what "nationality" is and means in the usual sense of that word, and then changing the definition in mid-stream to something that only pertains to American Samoans, for example, and arguing from that basis ("Nationality is also a legal matter", etc.) isn't going to produce anything useful.
 —  SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  04:41, 31 March 2021 (UTC)

SMcCandlish Huh? 01011000 ( talk · contribs) wrote it; I just moved it to a more sensible page name Sorry for the confusion, I misread the edit history. "Nationality" and "citizenship" as normally used in everyday writing and as typically understood by the vast majority of our readers have the meanings outlined in that proposal I disagree. As normally used in everyday writing and as typically understood by the vast majority of our readers, "nationality" and "citizenship" are synonyms. Normal usage does not attempt to draw any clear distinction between the two, neither the technical legal distinction I am talking about nor the purported distinction the proposal presents. Mr248 ( talk) 06:18, 31 March 2021 (UTC)
They can't be synonyms if much of your and my and 01011000's point is that they're distinguishable even in everyday use. You can't simultaneously argue to keep and improve the page, which is all about these distinctions, and also argue for a lack of distinction. We have to trust that our readers are more-or-less fluent and know how to use a dictionary. Observation of usage of these terms clearly shows that people do in fact use them differently. So, I'm really not inclined to argue in circles with you about this. Especially since your response ignores everything substantive about what I said; more nit-picking. The goal here is to arrive at a solution for this page, not out-nitpick everyone. Other editors, as they care to comment, can either support the idea to essay-ize this page, which will hopefully produce an essay people agree with and find useful, or they won't, in which case I or someone else will nominate it for a rename that ends with "(failed proposal)". Or I suppose someone could try to re-draft it in a way that actually made sense as a guideline and re-propose it, though I give that a snowball's chance in Hell.  —  SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:31, 31 March 2021 (UTC)
Let me clear about my point of view – in technical legal terminology, yes there is a reasonably clear distinction between "nationality" and "citizenship"; however, in everyday language, there is no clear or standard distinction between the two terms – many speakers treat them as synonyms; a small number of speakers (who are familiar with the technical legal definitions) will use the technical legal definitions even in everyday language; yet others draw some other distinction between them which is different from the technical legal distinction. You (and 01011000) seem to be arguing that a distinction between them, which is different from the legal distinction, is standard in everyday use, which is where I disagree. I guess the question is, what evidence (even reliable sources) do we have on how the two terms are consistently distinguished in everyday use, if in fact they are? Mr248 ( talk) 08:39, 31 March 2021 (UTC)
As I say, I'm not inclined to pursue circular argument about this. No one but you has said anything about "consistently distinguished", and if we had that as a criterion half the project pages on the system would have to go away, starting with, say, WP:Consensus, WP:Harassment, and WP:Civility. The fact that terms can have multiple meanings has never impeded us writing about them or being specific as to a "WP meaning", we just have to be clear about it. And none of that equates to "are synonyms" as you claimed. But let's just move on to more the constructive approach below.  —  SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  12:47, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
@ SMcCandlish, I don't think the page is correct. Here are a few lines from the ==Definitions== section:
  • Nationality, on the other hand, denotes where an individual has been born... – No, where you were born is your national origin, [5] not your nationality.
  • Nationality is obtained through inheritance from his/her parents... – So is citizenship, for most people, but I think you meant national identity.
  • An example of nationality is Italian to a person with Italian roots born in the United States... – No, that's an example of ethnicity.  A person born in the US is a US national and a US citizen.
It is true that many people use these terms imprecisely. WhatamIdoing ( talk) 18:56, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, where you were born is your national origin I think the definition you linked ("the place of birth of an individual or of any of the individual’s lineal ancestors") applies for some legal purposes, but a person might not consider the country where they were born their "national origin". A good example of this is US Senator Ted Cruz – he was born in Canada, to an American mother and a Cuban refugee father, his parents had met in the US and only later moved to Canada, and his parents moved back to the US when he was four years old and thereafter he grew up in the US. Even though Canada is the country of his birth, he probably wouldn't consider it his "national origin". In fact, when he found out (as an adult) that he was a Canadian citizen, he renounced his Canadian citizenship. Mr248 ( talk) 03:41, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
What a person believes about themselves is their national identity. In the case of Ted Cruz, his national origin is Canada (birth place), America (maternal lineal ancestor), and Cuba (paternal lineal ancestor). You don't have to have a single claim to a national origin. WhatamIdoing ( talk) 16:00, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
I agree with the definitions that "national identity" is about subjective identity (what you believe about yourself, how others identify you), whereas "national origin" is defined in more objective terms. That said, I don't expect everyone is going to make that distinction – some readers will probably use the terms interchangeably, and hence may use "national origin" in the subjective sense as well. Mr248 ( talk) 22:06, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
I agree these definitions are half-assed at best, and I have no objection to improving them, as long as what results is something editors are apt to understand and agree with, which means it has to be cognizant of meaning variance instead of trying to hide the variances and suggest that each of these words can only possibly every have one specific sense. We know that simply isn't true. The very fact that they're potentially confusing is one of the reasons to avoid relying on them at Wikipedia as a means of conveying information we expect to be consistently understood by different readers. Even simpler concepts like "country" often mean very different things to different readers.  —  SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  12:47, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
I agree with you that there is value in helping editors remember that people (especially people from different parts of the world) often use these terms to mean different things. WhatamIdoing ( talk) 16:02, 2 April 2021 (UTC)

I tried to rewrite this essay to be accurate. Here is what I came up with – User:Mr248/Citizenship and nationality. What do people think of the relative merits of the current essay here to my draft? Mr248 ( talk) 13:53, 31 March 2021 (UTC)

Strikes me as a vast improvement, structurally and conceptually, though I have not pored over every word of it. My main concern would be that many of the definitions given are not ones many readers or editors will be familiar with or even encounter, so the first part of the essay should focus on the most common meanings. PS: My assumption is that your intent is to replace the failed proposal with a viable essay, not create a new guideline proposal.  —  SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  12:47, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
I claim no special expertise in this area, BUT, nationality in the UK frequently relates to whether one is English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish. These are distinct nations, and although membership of any one has neither any legal basis nor legal definition and confers no benefits or rights - one cannot dismiss this usage. Legally this may merely be 'national identity', but the usage is very deeply rooted, but the essay ignores this use of nationality. Secondly, not all countries automatically confer 'nationality' to all those born within the country. Germany for example only awards nationality and consequent citizenship to the children of German citizens (the children of 'guest workers' or refugees are not legally German, even if born there from parents legally resident in Germany - they must apply for naturalisation). The essay implies that only the children of illegal immigrants (plus diplomats and armed forces) are ever excluded from gaining nationality by virtue of place of birth, this is not the case. I don't pretend to know what the problem is that the essay attempts to solve, but I have to say I find the essay confusing rather than clarifying. Pincrete ( talk) 18:01, 4 April 2021 (UTC)
Pincrete, but the essay ignores this use of nationality It doesn't ignore it. It talks about it in the section User:Mr248/Citizenship_and_nationality#UK_constituent_countries.
The essay implies that only the children of illegal immigrants (plus diplomats and armed forces) are ever excluded from gaining nationality by virtue of place of birth, this is not the case It doesn't. It says "Some states reject jus soli and hence a person born on their territory to non-national parents does not acquire the state's nationality no matter for how many generations their ancestors may have lived in that state". That's exactly the case of Germany, I just didn't mention Germany specifically as an example of it. I'll add that. (Edit: Actually, contemporary German law does grant children born in Germany to legal residents citizenship, at least in some cases – what you are saying is historically true, but no longer true since the 1999 legal reforms.)
I don't pretend to know what the problem is that the essay attempts to solve, but I have to say I find the essay confusing rather than clarifying The problem it tries to solve is (1) a lot of Wikipedia editors have a poor understanding of the variety of meanings that "citizenship" and "nationality" have; (2) the existing essay Wikipedia:Citizenship and nationality contains factual errors and to a great extent just reflects a single editor's questionable personal opinions, and I'm trying to replace it with something which is factually more accurate and more neutral. But if you have either concrete suggestions for improvements to the text, or you think you can do better, please go ahead. Mr248 ( talk) 02:53, 5 April 2021 (UTC)
I sympathise with the problem, but wonder if a universal solution is even possible - beyond the one we already use, which is that we refer to individuals nationality as WR:RS do. I admit I was wholly wrong about the 'German' situation, though I don't know how common such withholding of rights is. I think I am at least partially right about the UK-Eng-Sc-Welsh-Irish situation (which certainly is inconsistent and muddled at times, but which I recognise is often very important to the individuals written about). Merely by saying that nationality has a legal definition (and describing its properties), you contradict a major country where nationality has distinct definitions, most of which have no legal basis and confer no rights or privileges or protections whatsoever. Mentioning UK later cannot undo what has already been stated. Pincrete ( talk) 07:50, 5 April 2021 (UTC)
Pincrete, which is that we refer to individuals nationality as WR:RS do reliable sources very often call people "American" or "French" or "British" or "English" or whatever. But is that ascribing to them a nationality? Or a national identity? Or a national origin? Rarely are reliable sources specific about which of those three related concepts they are talking about, and to read a source as being about nationality specifically, as opposed to one of those other related concepts, when it isn't being explicit about which one it is talking about, is to run the risk of reading into it something which isn't actually there.
Merely by saying that nationality has a legal definition (and describing its properties), you contradict a major country where nationality has distinct definitions, most of which have no legal basis and confer no rights or privileges or protections whatsoever Did you read the introductory section of the essay? It says: Both are legal terms, and this essay will endeavour to give an overview of the legal distinction between "citizenship" and "nationality"; both are also used in non-legal contexts in ways distinct from their legal use, and this essay will also attempt to provide an overview of the different non-legal ways in which those two terms are used. It is being quite explicit that the terms have both legal definitions and non-legal definitions, and that those definitions are distinct, and it treats them separately – the whole essay is organised into two major sections, one dealing with legal definitions, the other with non-legal definitions. I don't understand the criticism you are making here. Mr248 ( talk) 22:41, 5 April 2021 (UTC)
I'm not going to quibble with you - good luck with this. Pincrete ( talk) 06:48, 6 April 2021 (UTC)

@ Pincrete and Mr248: If I may intervene a bit:

Pincrete: "Mentioning UK later cannot undo what has already been stated." That's a fair point, so using example like that earlier on to make it clear that these definitions are not universal to every context and party would be reasonable. So, Mr248 is correct that it's not "ignored", but where is placed may be, as Pincrete indicates, too little too late. We can't really assume everyone at this page will read all of it. It's important that the top-matter summarize the overall gist of it well.

Pincrete: "The essay implies that only [odd cases] are ever excluded from gaining nationality by virtue of place of birth"; Mr248 "It doesn't. It says 'Some states reject jus soli and hence [more explanation]'. Again, I'm going to agree with Mr248 technically, but Pincrete in spirit. Is there not a way to juggle some material around so that it's clearer? I don't think Pincrete has dain bramage, so if one of our editors is finding this confusing there's a good chance that others will and that it could use some wordsmithing, which may be about word choice, placement in the piece, or both. That is, let's try to massage the material to resolve the dispute rather than just argue until someone gets angry and leaves.

Just something as trivial as changing "Both are legal terms" to "Both are sometimes legal terms" or maybe even better "Both have various legal definitions", might help a lot, by making it clear from the very first words that no absolutist definitions are going to be offered. I know enough from usability work I did in ye olde tymes of the early Web that users of websites have a strong tendency (in LtR languages) to start at top left of the content proper, read just enough to be sure they're at the right place, then start skimming around rapidly for what they're here for, and will not settle into reading in earnest (if at all) until they've latched onto something of interest. So, there's a good chance someone will see "Both are legal term", conclude "Ah HA! Just what I was saying!", jump down the page to look for something pertaining to this that bolsters some point they're arguing about, find what they want and read it (without reading past it), then copy-paste some material quoted out-of-context and return to their fight. LOL.

I try to write essay material in ways that thwart this pattern, especially by avoiding statements that seem absolute and that are then later qualified, since people are apt to see and make use only of the absolute part. (It's also one reason that in guideline material we don't lead with a bunch of exceptions and then give a general rule at the end. We want people to latch onto the general rule and apply it unless there's a codified exception. If we led with exceptions, people would latch onto one of those and try to over-generalize from it, and never reach the actual rule, or ignore it if they do, hoping it doesn't really pertaining to their situation.) I know this is a lot of UE psych, but it's worth thinking about in the latter drafting stage.
 —  SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:15, 10 April 2021 (UTC)

I think that is an improvement that could be done after @ Mr248 gets the already-an-improvement version pasted into the page. Maybe just add a big box that says "Watch out particularly for people from the UK saying that their 'nationality' is English/Irish/Scottish/Welsh, even though their own census form calls that 'national identity' instead of 'nationality'"? WhatamIdoing ( talk) 01:33, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

Religion or Race in "Early Life" sections of biographical articles

I've noticed something. In any biographic article, if a person is of Jewish descent or ancestry, that information is prominently displayed; but this is not true of other religions. A bio never points out that so-and-so is an Episcopalian. Or that someone-else is Hindu. It's only if they are Jewish when this is brought up. At first, I thought that this was because of race and not religion, but you won't find similar markers for Black, Asian, or any other race mentioned, so this mentioning must only be because of religion. Which then bring me back to the question: who is going around sourcing every Jewish person on WP to specifically add information that really isn't integral to the article. Are we to actually care if a person is or is not a particular religion? Is that germane to the person's life?

It seems a little forced to me, and unnecessary to point out. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ( talk) 13:45, 31 March 2021 (UTC)

Wikipedia's guidance on noting a person's religion and race is located at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Biography, which states under the shortcut WP:ETHNICITY "Ethnicity, religion, or sexuality should generally not be in the lead unless it is relevant to the subject's notability. Similarly, previous nationalities or the place of birth should not be mentioned in the lead unless they are relevant to the subject's notability." Whether or not a person has or has not followed that guidance in any one particular article or not will vary from article to article. If you find that an article does not follow this guidance correctly, WP:SOFIXIT, but in cases where there is an active dispute (i.e. if someone objects to your changes), then please discuss your rationale for the changes at the talk page per WP:BRD, and if there is an impass, use Wikipedia's dispute resolution system to get outside help. -- Jayron 32 13:56, 31 March 2021 (UTC)
Someone is "going around sourcing every Jewish person on WP to specifically add information"? evidence? you might also notice that American BLPs display a clear obsession with "ancestry," but that's the result of a socicultural preoccupation with "heritage" in the US and not the result of one individual going around sourcing this irrelevant information. Acousmana ( talk) 14:13, 31 March 2021 (UTC)
Well, it can be a subject of discussion at any particular article -- not too long ago, iirc, there was a dispute involving a WP:BLP in which the living person took exception on the basis of relevance and that had to be worked out. It also seems sometimes people confuse "nationality" which should generally be in the first sentence, with "ethnicity", which should go later, if at all. I would note also, that the OP asked about the "Early Life" section, which is usually the first section below the lead, and the OP is right that it should not seem "forced", so perhaps reword it, or if there is a dispute discuss it. -- Alanscottwalker ( talk) 14:55, 31 March 2021 (UTC)
@ Alanscottwalker: Well, the term "nationality" can be confusing because it has multiple meanings. On the one hand, it can refer to ones legal nationality – which usually (but not universally) goes hand-in-hand with legal citizenship. On the other hand, the word can also refer to " national identity", which is about whether a person subjectively identifies with a particular "nation", and whether others identify them as such. This is not a legal concept, and something which counts as a "nation" for purposes of subjective national identity may not be accepted as an independent sovereign state under international law. For example, a Kurdish nationalist may view "Kurdish" as their national identity even though there is currently no Kurdish nation-state; an Arab nationalist may view "Arab" as their national identity even though the Arab world is currently divided into 22 separate sovereign states. And "national identity" has an unclear relationship with " ethnicity", since what some will call a "nation" others will limit to the status of an "ethnic group"–the question of whether something counts as an "ethnicity" or a "nationality" is often the kind of political question which various flavours of nationalists will fight over. As I mentioned in another section above, I've been working on an essay which attempts to unpack all these complexities in an unbiased way, with the hope that it might replace the current Wikipedia:Citizenship and nationality essay (which is full of factual inaccuracies, and in my opinion is trying to push a particular POV). Mr248 ( talk) 23:34, 31 March 2021 (UTC)
The point of nationality, is primarily context of place in the world, to quickly answer for the reader the 'from where' question. So, best not to complicate it, but sure there will be edge cases. Alanscottwalker ( talk) 00:36, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
I think part of the problem is that many people think that the answer to "from where" has to be the name of an recognised independent sovereign state (or possibly a dependent territory) – a person may be from McMinnville, Oregon, but nobody would call that their "nationality". However, that collides with others who think that their nationality is something other than a sovereign state or dependent territory, such as a subnational division (a "nation-within-a-nation" such as "English", "Scottish", "Québécois", etc) or an ethnic identity such as Kurdish ("I'm a Kurd from Kurdistan"). And then the first group of people respond with "that's not a nationality, that's an ethnicity!". Deciding what counts as a "nationality" and what counts as an "ethnicity" is often a very political question. Mr248 ( talk) 01:23, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
Less often than general, and general practice is just that, general, while in edge cases, there are often several ways of finessing it. -- Alanscottwalker ( talk) 03:07, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
well that is interesting, so there is evidence. Personally, I don't think any of this kind of stuff (religion/ethnicity/ancestry etc.) should be listed in BLPs unless it can be shown - via reliable sourcing - that: 1) individuals self-identify with one or other label; 2) that said label is a notable aspect. Acousmana ( talk) 16:52, 31 March 2021 (UTC)
The culture someone is raised in, or the church their family went to, or the ancestry of their parents, is relevant biographical information for any person. This is not the same as "labeling them", because what they later practice or not identify with or not as an adult is a separate question. "Smith was raised in an Episcopalian household" ≠ "Smith is an Episcopalian". postdlf ( talk) 23:43, 31 March 2021 (UTC)
relevant only in so far as WP:RS sources support worthiness of mention, otherwise, the "culture someone is raised in, or the church their family went to, or the ancestry of their parents" is fluff, people obsessive over this stuff, why? because they like to pigeonhole folk, it's BS unless the subject themselves lends importance to these aspects of their lives, and if they do, RS will probably reflect this. Acousmana ( talk) 11:57, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
Of course we are only talking about verifiable information. But I don't get the view at all that we should limit ourselves to only what the subject thinks is important about them, or that anything not on a CV is "fluff". We write biographies of human beings, not bullet pointed resumes. postdlf ( talk) 17:33, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
just don't think it's necessary to detail aspects of someone's past if it has zero to do with why the individual is notable. I've seen some particularly egregious "ancestry" examples that have just left me scratching my head. Acousmana ( talk) 18:00, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
I think one issue about that article in particular – there is a long and horrible history of antisemitism, and the article author is concerned that describing article subjects as "Jewish" may have antisemitic motivations, or may have the consequence of encouraging antisemitism even if that was not the Wikipedia editor's intention. By contrast, there is no significant "anti-Episcopalianism" in the contemporary world which wants to harm or denigrate Episcopalians, or blame the world's ills on a shadowy Episcopalian conspiracy. Maybe the author's concerns then are more specific to the Jewish identity – and possibly other identities which may be on the receiving end of a similar degree of hatred – than concerns about identity in general. Mr248 ( talk) 01:48, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
antisemitic motivations would certainly be problematic, and would no doubt warrant attention. Acousmana ( talk) 16:09, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
Part of it is the general trend that someone being Jewish (or another minority ethnicity) is (usually) considering an "interesting fact" about a person by reliable sources in most White Anglophone countries since being a White Anglo Saxon Protestant is the default. (not many people care about the denomination a Protestant Christian is since most people know nothing about the theological differences). e.g. Sandy Koufax is famous in part for being the greatest Jewish baseball player of all time (Airplane! had a joke about pamphlets of famous Jewish sports legends), Barry Goldwater is famous in part for being the first ethnically Jewish candidate for president in the US, etc etc. Non Jewish examples include Derek Jeter and Tiger Woods being mixed race. While this could be seen as reflecting systemic bias in the sources we're using that's the way this enyclopedia works. We're not here to right great wrongs.
There's also other cases like Bernie Sanders whose religious views are explained due to it being a topic discussed by many reliable sources (there has been speculation on if he's an atheist; it's necessary to include the context that he was born a Jew and that he identifies as one as this has been a significant topic discussed in reliable sources). There's also Larry David or Jerry Seinfeld whose Jewishness provides necessary context to their work. These aren't really cases of systemic bias.
That being said there's a lot of cases where people have been identified as Jewish in their articles and this topic hasn't been discussed at all in reliable sources; or editors have found obscure sources that state someone is Jewish and don't acknowledge that WP:DUEWEIGHT means they shouldn't be ID'd as such. While I'm not going to mention anyone in particular since it would go against the spirit of BLP here; there's a lot of media executives or people in the banking industry with Jewish-sounding names (who may or may not be actually Jewish) are getting mentions in the Early Life section despite no reliable sources actually commenting on their perceived Judaism. It really makes me think about if there's some kind of (((tagging))) campaign targeted at Jews in certain industries. Chess ( talk) (please use {{ reply to|Chess}} on reply) 20:46, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
Can confirm: I just got done bringing up one such instance on a Talk Page and outright removing another from David Solomon after a casual CTRL+F of the sources cited. -- Umbire the Phantom ( talk) 23:16, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I think there's lots of different phenomena happening here, and it's often impossible to tell which is responsible for any one instance of content. There are antisemitic people, largely on the far-right, who wish to paint a picture of Jewish conspiracy and so might add the label to someone who they see as part of the "mainstream media", "liberal elite" or another political enemy—notice it's a sort of " one-drop rule", that someone is considered Jewish by these people if one of their great-grandfathers was Jewish and the other seven great-grandparents were Protestant. There are also, completely unrelatedly, lots of us who enjoy repetitive categorisation-based activities, which is why AWB and other semi-automated tools are so popular. Someone of this vein may go on a hunt for sources/BLPs to identify as Jewish, even if, like in the other case, it's rather a stretch in many cases. This was the situation for the Commentary article case.
    On one hand we have a neo-Nazi, on another we have a well-intentioned editor and if you've got a third hand you can put some Jewish people who proud of their culture and heritage who are also prone to over-categorising. I've seen several websites/news media by well-meaning Jewish people who over-categorise public figures as Jewish— Dave Gorman once did a stand-up bit about such a source categorising him as such, though he's not Jewish. So even in the cases where someone is unduly categorised as Jewish, but not any of the other descriptors that are equally (ir)relevant, it could be a case of anti-semitism, an editor who's completely neutral on the topic, or even an over-eager Jewish person. Very tough situation to deal with, but the overall effect is often an anti-semitic bias on our BLP pages (all of the over-categorisation will heighten this "Jewish conspiracy" mentality and lend it false credence), so it is a phenomenon we all need to be really aware of. — Bilorv ( talk) 00:29, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
I think there can be a kind of inverse bias of the one you're mentioning above that people should also be aware of – while nazis, overzealous Jewish people and overzealous categorizers (probably) end up giving undue prominence to the fact that people are Jewish throughout Wikipedia, I think knowing that fact can make you more hostile to the inclusion of the fact that someone is Jewish in early life sections than you would otherwise be. Especially for articles about an American subject, being any religion other than Christian in the US is probably perceived as noteworthy in and of itself, and as Acousmana pointed out, there is a kind of sociocultural obsession with ethnicity in America that leads people to care a lot and be very interested in people's ethnicities.
Take for instance the first paragraph of the early life section of Joe Biden: The oldest child in a Catholic family, he has a sister, Valerie, and two brothers, Francis and James. Jean was of Irish descent, while Joseph Sr. had English, French, and Irish ancestry. This doesn't make me look twice at all, these kind of categorisations: Catholic, Irish, etc., are genuinely noteworthy information for a BLP. You should just be careful not to overcorrect for the bias you think people particularly fond or particularly averse to Jewish people create, for an article of a sufficient length most of the time the fact that someone is Jewish is noteworthy information relevant enough to include in an early life section, no one should be batting at eye at the Jewish equivalent of Joe Biden's biography and thinking "darn those dastardly pro/anti Jewish crusaders" – most of the time it really is fine. ‑‑ Volteer1 ( talk) 17:00, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
Stepping away from the context of the United States, we have some categories for rather fine ancestry-based groupings like Category:Lebanese people of Iranian descent. Is categorising people like that generally problematic, or generally okay? In some cases you won't find a direct source stating "X is a Lebanese person of Iranian descent", you may even have to do a little bit of WP:SYNTH ("X is father of Y", "Source Z says X is of Iranian descent", ergo "Y is of Iranian descent"). I don't know the cultural context of how being of Iranian descent is viewed in Lebanese society – might there be concerns about feeding anti-Iranian sentiment, much as there are concerns about labelling people as being of Jewish descent in the American context? Or does nobody over there care? I guess I'm concerned that Wikipedia is a global resource, and so whatever rules we come up with have to make sense globally, not specific to American (or even Anglophone or more broadly Western) concerns. Mr248 ( talk) 22:56, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
Those hyperfine categorizations I feel are usually problematic. Take for instance this argument about whether or not Louis C.K. fits into the category Category:American people of Mexican-Jewish descent and how that fits in with Category:American people of Hungarian-Jewish descent. I really just can't imagine any reader genuinely interested in scrolling through the "American people of Mexican-Jewish descent" category, and I can't imagine anyone at all looking at Louis C.K.'s page and saying "oh yes I'd be interested in seeing more American people of Mexican-Jewish descent show me more of that please Wikipedia". They spawn rather silly, WP:SYNTH-y, WP:OR-y arguments for effectively no gain at all to the project. ‑‑ Volteer1 ( talk) 05:03, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
Indeed. Categories should be defining and a good test for this is "would a reader click on this category because they'd like to see more articles meeting this criterion?" I similarly doubt many of these types of categories pass this test. Unfortunately, in practice categories can often just be busywork, sources of conflict and a collection of internal pages for editors rather than front-facing content for readers. — Bilorv ( talk) 18:37, 4 April 2021 (UTC)
The thing about politicians (usually American ones) is that their religious views get discussed a lot in the media and oftentimes forms a central part of their public character. Biden often mentions in public statements that Christianity is about caring for people or whatever and he's had to address the situation of being between the Catholic Church's position on abortion or birth control and his party's position. His Irish roots are also remarked about as well in reliable sources; but Irish people aren't as much of a target (anymore) of white nationalists conjecturing a Hibernian Occupational Government trying to infiltrate the American political obsession. Chess ( talk) (please use {{ reply to|Chess}} on reply) 01:32, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
Just mass move all BLPs about Jews to triple parentheses. Chess ( talk) (please use {{ reply to|Chess}} on reply) 01:32, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

The OP said "but you won't find similar markers for Black, Asian, or any other race mentioned". However, that is incorrect. Almost every Canadian Inuit bio, living or dead, will state in the first line that the person is Inuit. I've seen that for Métis and First Nations and the more generic indigenous. It's used in articles about Sherpa people and Indigenous Australians. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Huliva 01:42, 4 April 2021 (UTC)

Muslim is also almost always mentioned in UK/European articles (and categorised) - which I appreciate is not an ethnic term, but in the vast majority of cases is synonymous with "non- European" and "non-white" ancestry and heritage. There are sometimes good reasons why we mention the religion or ethnicity of a person (particularly an elected politician perhaps) - it would be remiss for us to fail to state that Obama was different from all previous US presidents in at least one very obvious respect - but religion and ethnicity are sometimes included when they have zero relevance and aren't covered much by sources. A scientist, medical person or academic or similar may well be entitled to keep (and may have succeeded in keeping) their ethnicity or religion as their personal business. Pincrete ( talk) 07:03, 6 April 2021 (UTC)

Debundling sysop rights

Closed to unfork as requested by Xaosflux. Tol | Talk | Contribs (formerly Twassman) 19:54, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I would like to work on a proposal to debundle all rights that normal users can apply for from the administrative toolkit. I know auto patroller is an example, but I'm not sure what other rights are included in the administrative toolkit that normal users can also apply for. I want this proposal to make it so that administrators no longer have automatic access to the extra rights, and instead they can ask a normal granter of those rights to grant them at any time. ( So if an administrator had auto patroller + the toolkit you could take away auto patroller individually while letting them keep the rest . )I definitely need other people to help flesh out this idea, though. Jackattack1597 ( talk) 23:04, 31 March 2021 (UTC)

  • Note: To add a little additional detail, I would like to propose that all user rights aside from the 3 core administrator rights ( Delete pages , block users, and protect pages), are no longer automatically given to administrators, and administrators have to apply for those user rights at the regular forum. ( The point of this is to enable taking away certain rights from administrators without requiring a formal Desysop by Arbcom) The main technical question is whether the ability for an administrator to grant themselves the newly unbundled user rights could be disabled while keeping the ability for admins to grant those rights to other users. I assume that this would probably take a formal RFC, and I am seeking a coauthor to help draft an official RFC proposal. Jackattack1597 ( talk) 23:47, 31 March 2021 (UTC)

@ Jackattack1597: This is a frequent topic. Please read Wikipedia:Perennial_proposals and Wikipedia:Unbundling administrators' powers for some of the previous disuccsions. If you have a new and different on this topic, and I suggest starting at WP:VPI and to discuss and get the details worked out with other editors. RudolfRed ( talk) 00:08, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
In practice, bits and pieces have been done over time, which is why we now have so many kinds of user rights. BD2412 T 02:32, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
@ Jackattack1597: quite a lot of this has happened already. For example, I'm a template editor and a page mover, allowing me to edit high-use templates and move pages over redirects - and I'm not an administrator. The core features of deletion and blocking are unlikely to ever be unbundled - and if someone is trusted with those, they better be trusted with everything else (also, there's interface administrator, a role that not all admins have, for interface pages - that used to be bundled into adminship). OwO ( what's this?) 09:08, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Strictly speaking, this actually has a different facet to the perrenial - that of removing certain standard bundled rights. Except, the issue there is...why? Lots of the ancillary rights are needed to bits of the workflows - admin background tasks are quite a bit broader than the traditional core three. There are certain rights where this would be good - I'd actually like to disable autopatrol on articles I move to mainspace, rather than endeavouring to remember to depatrol (though I've seen a better idea of using a bot task that admins can opt into). Nosebagbear ( talk) 11:13, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
    @ Nosebagbear: The bot task would be interesting. I'd even be interested in taking/tempted to take a crack at it. -- TheSandDoctor Talk 15:24, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
    TheSandDoctor: Just so you don't duplicate efforts, DannyS712's bot already does this task; would simply need to be given a new set of rules, such as whether the user opted in, and with which settings. – xeno talk 00:53, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
    @ Xeno: Thanks for the heads up. DannyS712 I think that this would be a good task to have. --- TheSandDoctor Talk 05:11, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
    @ TheSandDoctor: Will file a BRFA if/when any admins ask me to unpatrol their creations DannyS712 ( talk) 05:23, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
    @ Nosebagbear, why do you want to depatrol articles that you move to mainspace? Do you think we shouldn't trust you, or are you trying to make extra work for others on purpose? WhatamIdoing ( talk) 16:16, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
    @ WhatamIdoing: while I somewhat appreciate a second look at my articles, it's particularly there for my AfC reviews. AfC has long had a bit of an ideological split as to whether reviewers who are also patrollers should also patrol. A trade of work vs 2nd opinion. Both sides have a basis to them. Autopatrol effectively shifts me to the side I don't stand on. To answer your actual question, I'd proffer a third option: I wilfully make choices that are not fully trustworthy. As a reviewer I use a rough guide of "Is it 80% likely to be kept at AfD? If so, move to mainspace and let the Community decide", others do similar. It is these cases that (as well as general community viewing) that I think are most beneficial to have a second pair of eyes in the form of an NPP patroller. While manually depatrolling is an option, it's easy to miss them. Nosebagbear ( talk) 17:12, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
A good suggestion in my view. Emir of Wikipedia ( talk) 23:20, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
  • As I wrote in the parallel Idea Lab thread, I believe it would be useful to create a new "vandal fighter" userright that regular editors can request at Wikipedia:Requests for permissions. The userright would include the ability to issue short term blocks (up to 72 hours) to IPs and non-autoconfirmed users for vandalism and severe disruption, and to semi-protect pages for up to a week. Noticeboards such as RPP, AIV and 3RR are regularly backlogged now and it often takes hours to get action on a report there, even while active vandalism is ongoing. We need to give regular editors a new tool to address the situation. Nsk92 ( talk) 01:19, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
Another example, from today's thread at User talk:Explicit#CfD Category:Aldrich family, shows that due to large and persistent backlogs at CfD, the de-facto practice there has become to ignore the WP:NACD guideline and to allow NAC "delete" closures in non-controversial cases. For such closures the actual deletions are still performed by an admin later on, but the NAC closing statement for the relevant CfD remains. I don't know if it's technically possible to create a userright only allowing a user to delete categories rather than articles or other types of pages and files, but if yes then it might be worth doing. Nsk92 ( talk) 16:55, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
  • @ Jackattack1597: I would support making some rights, most notably autopatrol, but potentially others like NPR and template editor, optional in the way that edit filter is currently optional. From what I understand this could be achieved technically fairly easily. Best, Barkeep49 ( talk) 16:35, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Can we UNFORK this discussion? I see it is also at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(idea_lab)#Adminship_rights_debundling_(_Posted_here_after_pointed_away_from_VP:_policy). Perhaps collapse this and point to the other? — xaosflux Talk 16:39, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
  • If there is an issue that those that can grant access are doing so inappropriately, they shouldn't be allowed to do it at all. Saying "Xaosflux may not grant +account creator" to Xaosflux" via technical controls won't stop be from granting it to "Xaosflux2". If policy says I shouldn't do either, but am - I shouldn't have access to granting tools. — xaosflux Talk 18:00, 2 April 2021 (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.

New guideline

April Fools! {{u| Sdkb}} talk 03:52, 2 April 2021 (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.

Hi all! In response to the flood of recent non-notable mailbox articles at AfC, I am pleased to present for your consideration Wikipedia's newest subject-specific notability guideline: Wikipedia:Notability (mailboxes). - {{u| Sdkb}} talk 00:09, 1 April 2021 (UTC)[ April Fools!]

I expect this will be put up not for AFD, but for RFD. -- Nat Gertler ( talk) 00:20, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
It should outlast other similar documents as any request for deletion must be posted. To a very cool mailbox. Nosebagbear ( talk) 11:16, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
Ah, yes. It is april, isn't it. Notability mailboxes to the rescue! Face-smile.svg -- TheSandDoctor Talk 15:30, 1 April 2021 (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.

Notability of presidential executive orders

Are all Executive orders from the President presumed notable? Or do they have to pass WP:GNG?— Preceding unsigned comment added by Theleekycauldron ( talkcontribs)

I guess the big question is – do secondary sources discuss the executive order? If yes, clearly it is notable. If you have some highly obscure executive order which secondary sources don't discuss, maybe not. If all you have to base an article on is primary sources, then you don't have notability for an article. It is like the US Congress sometimes passes acts to rename post offices. I think in general US Congressional legislation will be notable, but an act to rename a post office probably isn't individually notable (although you could justifiably have an article on that type of legislation collectively). And I think you will rarely find secondary sources individually discussing such acts. You may well find that there are types of executive orders which are similarly obscure/trivial. Also keep in mind that there are over 200 countries in the world, and many of them have something equivalent to executive orders – if all executive orders of a US President are notable, do we apply the same standard to all the executive orders (or whatever they are called) of the President of Uzbekistan? And what about the executive orders of US state governors? Mr248 ( talk) 02:18, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
I'm assuming this closes the discussion– while executive orders are likely to pass WP:GNG, there's no presumption of notability. theleekycauldron ( talkcontribs) ( they/them) 02:27, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
I agree. I wanted to add, here is an example of an Executive Order which probably isn't sufficiently notable for its own article – EO 13970. Every year, without fail, the US President issues an executive order to adjust pay scales for US federal employees. While that sequence of executive orders may be notable enough for an article, the individual annual members of that sequence quite possibly are not. It might make sense to have an article about this type of executive order (I'm assuming reliable sources covering the topic of US government pay would cover it, but I haven't really looked into that), but I'm less convinced we actually need an article on each such annual executive order. Maybe just an article on the type/series, and then redirect the individual members of it to that type/series. Mr248 ( talk) 03:02, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
Either a redirect there, or a redirect to a list of that president's executive orders, or a soft redirect to Wikisource. OwO ( what's this?) 09:05, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
While alone they may not become notable enough for standalone articles, referenced orders will typically be appropriate in a list. — xaosflux Talk 10:27, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

Articles where (almost) every section is marked as needing references

I occasionally run into articles where it seems every section is marked as needing references added (except maybe one or two sections.) Is it reasonable to remove the individual section templates and put one template at the top that the article needs more references? RJFJR ( talk) 18:41, 1 April 2021 (UTC)

@ RJFJR: I would think so. I imagine that it would also fall under WP:BOLD. -- TheSandDoctor Talk 05:35, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Yes. {{u| Sdkb}} talk 23:43, 2 April 2021 (UTC)

Arbcom members' freedom to discuss active cases on outside forums

This is already closed. — xaosflux Talk 15:43, 3 April 2021 (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.

RfC opened here. Thanks, Lourdes 06:47, 2 April 2021 (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 hyphenation of "virtual reality" and other similar phrases

There is an RFC on WT:Manual of Style on whether phrases like "virtual reality" when used as an attributive adjective such as in "virtual reality headset" should be hyphenated or not. -- Masem ( t) 06:07, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

Inconsistent lists of protected classes

FYI – Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see: Wikipedia talk:Harassment#Inconsistent list of protected classes
Summary: the lists of protected classes (race, religion, etc.) at WP:Harassment#TYPE and WP:No personal attacks#WHATIS do not agree.  —  SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:46, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

(Un)paid votes in Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Rt Rana

According to this edit, users were told that they would be paid for voting "delete" (it looks like "salt", too). However they weren't actually paid. I however don't want to talk about paid editing or scam but wanted to say that the discussion seems to be manipulated. I'm not sure if anything should be done now. FF-11 ( talk) 13:26, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

This seems more suitable for WP:AN, but I'm not a VPP regular so I'll hold off on moving this. GeneralNotability ( talk) 18:54, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

RFC on issues with airport pages that violate policies

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.

Apologies if this is posted in the wrong place (please move if it is). I am requesting a RFC regarding two issues on pages regarding airports that perhaps are running afoul of WP:NOTTRAVEL and WP:RAWDATA. I am posting here as the previous one on the WP:AIRPORTS talk page has gotten virtually no traction.

1. On the "Airlines & Destinations" tables in airport articles, we need to consolidate the mainline/regional carriers (i.e, American Airlines/American Eagle) under the marketing carrier (i.e, just American Airlines). This has been discussed before and was last attempted around 2 years ago. The consensus at the time was to leave it separated, but the problem is, there were really no valid arguments made from a purely encyclopedic standpoint as to why they need to be separated. It also did not address the inconsistency as to why we allow it for some carriers (such as KLM/KLM Cityhopper, Air France/HOP, etc), but not for others (i.e, American Airlines/American Eagle, Delta Air Lines/Delta Connection, etc). The COVID-19 situation has drastically exasperated the ongoing problems with maintaining the tables, and there is so much error as to which destination is mainline and which destination is regional (see O'Hare International Airport for example). At the end of the day, it is still American/Delta/United regardless of whether it is mainline or regional. When the average Joe flies, they aren't going to care whether or not it is American Airlines or American Eagle, they just know it is American. American still does the background work for the flight, they just contract out the actual flying, but they still consider it an AMERICAN destination. Why must from a purely encyclopedic standpoint they continue to be separated? This is getting extremely frustrating to deal with. Already the tables are very close to violating WP:NOTTRAVEL, but perhaps this would help bring them more in line.

2. The annual traffic tables on airport pages have gotten too long in a lot of cases, and come really close to, if not outright, violating WP:RAWDATA. We already list the previous years annual traffic in the infobox, with a link where they can (presumably) see historical data. We need to either remove the tables or figure out a way to condense the information (as long as it is properly cited) so it doesn't go off the page. Blissfield101 ( talk) 21:24, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

For #1: The entire table at O'Hare International Airport#Passenger reads like a travel guide IMO, not encyclopaedic content. Besides, if people want an up to date version of the list of routes flying out of an airport, surely there are more reliable and maintained sources than an encyclopaedia article? (certainly, Wikipedia is not the first place I would begin to look.) ProcrastinatingReader ( talk) 23:00, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
Although... perhaps some airports have more information available about them than others do? For #2 I feel like graphs of historical information are useful information. ProcrastinatingReader ( talk) 23:07, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
As a note, as the airport data (passengers/etc.) is non-copyrightable, you can create .dat tables over at Commons for this information and just use graph functions to show the trends. That would cut down the length of those tables.
I agree that the example airlines section at O'Hare is overkill and something easily outdated. It is likely better to simply group carriers to an airport among "Current" and "Former" carriers, and among those, those that consider that airport a hub (such as United at O'Hare, or Delta at Atlanta) verses those that just include that airport among its destinations. There is zero need to include the list of possible connection cities there. (I can see this being the case of regional airports that can really only take puddle-jumpers, where there's only a handful of possible airports that they connect up with). -- Masem ( t) 23:14, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
I agree the Airline and Destination tables have probably outlived their usefulness, but removing them is going to cause a huge firestorm. Blissfield101 ( talk) 23:46, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
This discussion has already been started at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Airports#RFC:_Mainline/Regional_and_Annual_Traffic, so even if I am the only respondent so far it should probably be continued there. I am not aware of other sites with flight destinations in this format and would vehemently oppose its removal. These actually are kept very well up to to date, and this is in fact the first place I look for direct flight routes. Reywas92 Talk 22:22, 4 April 2021 (UTC)
That depends @ Reywas92:, usually they are, but sometimes they aren't. It depends on the airport page and how much traffic it gets. The primary issue with them is the mainline/regional difference and how it is very difficult to keep track of which is which, hence, why I strongly believe they need to be consolidated down to just the marketing carrier. Last time we tried a RFC on this, the users never gave an encyclopedic reason as to why they need to be separated, only aviation related ones. I'm neutral on keeping them overall though. Blissfield101 ( talk) 23:57, 4 April 2021 (UTC)

@ ProcrastinatingReader: What would be the best course of action here to get some more discussion? There isn't a lot of movement on this, and it's becoming a bigger problem as time goes on. Blissfield101 ( talk) 18:30, 6 April 2021 (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.

DefaultSort for full name redirects

Should redirect pages from full name have a DefaultSort template? For example, should a redirect page titled "John Frederick Smith" (to "John Smith" -- added 22:24, 5 April 2021 (UTC)) have a DefaultSort of "Smith, John Frederick"? How does it work for redirects from and/or to non-humans? Recently returned from lurking, DePlume ( talk) 01:24, 5 April 2021 (UTC)

I have requested comments at Talk:Michael John Graydon Soroka, the page concerned. Please comment there, DePlume ( talk) 02:15, 5 April 2021 (UTC)
The relevant policy page is Wikipedia:Categorizing redirects, which says When the title being redirected is a person's proper name, consensus is to modify the sort key from its default action, (usually sorted by {{PAGENAME}}, the redirect title in this case), to instead sort it by surname. Of course many redirects are not categorized at all. User:力 (power~enwiki, π, ν) 22:32, 5 April 2021 (UTC)
I have expressed knowledge of the green text in the Soroka discussion already - thank you none the less. As for the redirects sorted by first names (e.g. Michael John Myers), should they be the ones changed instead? -- DePlume ( talk) 22:34, 5 April 2021 (UTC)
The text on that page from {{ R from birth name}} says be sure to include {{DEFAULTSORT:(surname), (given name)}} for correct category sorting of this person's name, so yes. User:力 (power~enwiki, π, ν) 22:36, 5 April 2021 (UTC)
Important: May I propose a category for redirects tagged with {{ R from birth name}} but not {{ DEFAULTSORT}}? -- DePlume ( talk) 22:43, 5 April 2021 (UTC)
Nobody can stop you from proposing it. I don't think it is technically possible, but if it is possible it's probably a good idea. User:力 (power~enwiki, π, ν) 22:47, 5 April 2021 (UTC)
This is a complete waste of time. An RfC was started at Talk:Michael John Graydon Soroka without any mention of this existing thread, and it went through several convoluted revisions. No RfC was necessary, a simple question at either WP:HD or WP:Teahouse should have sufficed, where a simple answer would have been provided, along the lines of "use {{DEFAULTSORT:Soroka, Michael John Graydon}} per WP:NAMESORT". -- Redrose64 🌹 ( talk) 22:56, 5 April 2021 (UTC)

Universal Code of Conduct – 2021 consultations

Universal Code of Conduct Phase 2

The Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) provides a universal baseline of acceptable behavior for the entire Wikimedia movement and all its projects. The project is currently in Phase 2, outlining clear enforcement pathways. You can read more about the whole project on its project page.

Drafting Committee: Call for applications

The Wikimedia Foundation is recruiting volunteers to join a committee to draft how to make the code enforceable. Volunteers on the committee will commit between 2 and 6 hours per week from late April through July and again in October and November. It is important that the committee be diverse and inclusive, and have a range of experiences, including both experienced users and newcomers, and those who have received or responded to, as well as those who have been falsely accused of harassment.

To apply and learn more about the process, see Universal Code of Conduct/Drafting committee.

2021 community consultations: Notice and call for volunteers / translators

From 5 April – 5 May 2021 there will be conversations on many Wikimedia projects about how to enforce the UCoC. We are looking for volunteers to translate key material, as well as to help host consultations on their own languages or projects using suggested key questions. If you are interested in volunteering for either of these roles, please contact us in whatever language you are most comfortable.

To learn more about this work and other conversations taking place, see Universal Code of Conduct/2021 consultations.

-- Xeno (WMF) ( talk) 20:45, 5 April 2021 (UTC)

English Wikipedia Request for comment: Universal Code of Conduct application

Further to the above, I've opened an RfC at Wikipedia:Universal Code of Conduct/2021 consultation, and community comments are invited. Xeno (WMF) ( talk) 22:40, 5 April 2021 (UTC)

Protection templates excessive in article pages

The recurrent use of {{pp-protected}} and {{pp-protected|small}} (which adds the lock image next to the title) is quite redundant and is NOT mandatory according to Wikipedia:Rough_guide_to_semi-protection. What's more pages are a little heavier to process and the image of a lock can discourage users from editing. Implicit protection (you can see it by trying to Edit Source or in Page Information) should be fair in the free encyclopedia, united to encouraging creation of persistent and trusted user accounts. Vaunting of protected articles through images of a lock is not the way to free encyclopedia. Brainfrogk4mon ( talk) 20:10, 7 April 2021 (UTC)

My general view is that it's worth presenting a piece of information to readers if it affects the reading experience. In this case, I think having the padlock icons could help in some cases assure readers that a controversial article is at least somewhat protected from vandalism, so there is some benefit. {{u| Sdkb}} talk 04:17, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
I doubt that any of them notice. WhatamIdoing ( talk) 01:37, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

RfC on FA protection

Snow close (with the outcome no blanket protection) as a perennial proposal where the reasons for previous rejection have played out again. No need to spend a month more discussing something that has been discussed many times before with no new angle. ( non-admin closure)Bilorv ( talk) 23:11, 10 April 2021 (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.

Should featured articles automatically receive some level of article protection? Sungodtemple a tcg fan !! 1 ! 11 !! ( talk) 14:38, 8 April 2021 (UTC)

  • No. Our front page says "Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit." FAs are supposed to exemplify our finest work; making it so not anyone can edit them makes them pretty bad examples. -- GRuban ( talk) 14:51, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
  • No. Without an open "anyone can edit" policy, with protection only being used where strictly necessary, we wouldn't have so many FAs in the first place. Phil Bridger ( talk) 15:10, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
  • @ Sungodtemple: Why? Leaky caldron ( talk) 15:20, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I'm torn on this. On principle, no of course not. We should seek to minimize protections where not necessary. In practice, however, I'd be curious to see research about how many new users' edits to FAs stick. We should consider that, as with active controversial topics, there is more pressure for editors to edit without even small mistakes and/or discuss before changing anything. Whether that reality is codified doesn't affect new user experience. There's something to be said for maximizing a new user's chances at success, and jumping into an FA decreases that likelihood. In other words, I think a new user who decides to get started with an FA is more likely to get discouraged by their first experience than someone who begins elsewhere. Seems like something that could use some data, though. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 15:25, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
    • Hmmm. I'll try to collect some data about long-term degradation of featured articles from slightly unconstructive edits. Sungodtemple a tcg fan !! 1 ! 11 !! ( talk) 17:09, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
      • This raises a different question: is your proposal that once a featured article is featured it would become permanently protected? Chris vLS ( talk) 14:28, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
  • No, Wikipedia is about being a place where "anyone can edit". Also see WP:PEREN#Protect_featured_articles. — csc -1 15:50, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
  • No Reviewing the stability of an FA article for it's continued status as an FA relies on the ability of editors to edit the article. Selfstudier ( talk) 16:00, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
  • No In the past, no one has ever shown that FAs receive an inordinate amount of vandalism, even while on the main page. The OP has also failed to show that. Given that it doesn't seem necessary, I see no reason to change this long-standing policy. -- Jayron 32 16:10, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
  • No theoretically, if the FA process worked better and pending-changes worked better, I would consider this. As it is, it won't help the project. It's also unclear that there is a problem this solves. When specific articles have problems with vandalism, POV-pushing, etc., they are protected through the regular procedures. User:力 (power~enwiki, π, ν) 16:21, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
  • No. Like any other article, an FA should be protected as a reaction to vandalism or other abuse, and only at the minimum level and duration needed to deal with the problem. -- RoySmith (talk) 16:41, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
  • No; also, aren't we already discussing something very like this at VPR? -- Redrose64 🌹 ( talk) 19:19, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
    I was going to mention that other discussion myself. ~ ONUnicorn( Talk| Contribs) problem solving 19:49, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Absolutely not. The WP:FAC wikiproject (and it is a wikiproject, it just doesn't happen to be named "WikiProject Featured Article Candidates") is already a WP:OWN / WP:VESTED problem factory, so much that for several years I've pondered proposing that it be shut down and replaced by some other, more transparent process that doesn't work like a self-righteous and un-wiki good ol' boy's club. The thought of using page protection to cement the content-control hegemony of participants in that project, and of particular "this is my article!" editors at particular pages, is just fucking unconscionable. If any particular FA is being subject to ongoing streams of unconstructive input like vandalism and PoV-warring, it can be short-term (and sometimes fairly long-term) protected, like any other article (and is already more likely to receive that protection than non-FAs anyway). This is a solution in search of a problem.  —  SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  19:47, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment: Sorry if the message didn't get through. What I meant was that long-term damage by unexperienced editors putting in original research, not keeping to a NPOV, etc. leads to a significant portion of article demotions. In the case of Bhumibol Adulyadej, revisions such as led to the problem and subsequent stripping of featured article status. Now, protecting the article makes people not contribute to the Wiki, but, in my experience, there are many IPs and new users that don't understand how to edit Wikipedia properly, and then are bitten by experienced editors, which eventually results in them leaving. It seems like a case of 'pick your poison' here: Either drive away potential editors, or bite them and eventually scare them away. Sungodtemple a tcg fan !! 1 ! 11 !! ( talk) 02:14, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
    If you're concerned about an article losing its FA status, fix the article. You are an experienced Wikipedia user; you know what to do. Don't protect the article, instead do the work necessary to fix the problems with it. -- Jayron 32 14:21, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
    'Zac'ly.  —  SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:20, 10 April 2021 (UTC)
  • No, featured articles need the least protection because there are good editors well involved with the page. Summoned by bot. All articles are vulnerable to bad edits. Featured articles less so, because the thing that removes bad edits are editors who care and are watching, and featured articles are more likely to have those. It might feel like a featured article is "done," but they can get better. And featured articles are often popular, and new editors are more likely to jump in and learn from a popular article topic (with editors who will teach them) than obscure ones (where they are not interested and no one is around to teach). A well meaning proposal, but the counter-intuitive wiki approach has more strengths than it seems. Chris vLS ( talk) 14:37, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
  • No as per the comments above. Sea Ane ( talk) 10:28, 10 April 2021 (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.

Proposed MoS addition on optional stress marking in Russian, Ukrainian, Japanese, Korean, etc.

FYI – Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#RfC?, for a proposal relating to optional characters/marks for indicating vocal stress, used in some foreign languages, include "ruby" characters for Japanese and Korean, and znaki udareniya marks in Ukrainian and Russian. The short version is that, based on a rule already long found in MOS:JAPAN and consonant with WP:NOTDICT policy, MoS would instruct (in MOS:FOREIGN) not to use these marks (primarily intended for pedagogical purposes) except in unusual circumstances, like direct quotation, or discussion of the marks themselves. Target date for implementation is April 21. PS: This does not relate to Vietnamese tone marks.  —  SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  19:41, 8 April 2021 (UTC)

Policy for creating stubs

This has been moved from WP:ANI, see Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Mass-creating articles based on one unreliable source for context-- Ymblanter ( talk) 14:35, 11 April 2021 (UTC)

Administrator note I left this section open (separate from the close above) as I believe this discussion is badly needed. However it's not a discussion that requiers admin attention, and should probably be moved elsewhere. Ivanvector ( Talk/ Edits) 14:13, 11 April 2021 (UTC)

Is there are any interest in drafting a policy which would determine when standalone stubs of locations are allowed, and when they must be bundled into lists? Does anybody knows whether such a policy has been attempted, and whether it is an evergreen proposal? Pinging @ Iridescent: who might know this.-- Ymblanter ( talk) 07:40, 9 April 2021 (UTC)

Just to make it clear, list vs standalone articles is a very broad scope questions; I am now only talking about localities (which I guess has at least some chances to be considered seriously).-- Ymblanter ( talk) 07:42, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
  • We've been discussing this here: Wikipedia talk:Notability (geographic features)#Mass-created village/neighbourhood Geostubs. FOARP ( talk) 09:22, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
  • In addition to better notability guidelines, it would be helpful to have a policy that actually requires editors to demonstrate notability at the time of article creation. Many of Lugnuts' Cricketer stubs were created under the assumption that there must be significant coverage out there somewhere for anyone who has played in a certain number of matches at a certain level, and several editors are !voting Keep at AfD based on that premise even when the only source found is a database entry. – dlthewave 15:18, 10 April 2021 (UTC)
Even WP:GEOLAND carries this implicit assumption (this is why it uses the language "typically presumed to be notable" rather than "are notable"). Even for legally-recognised populated places, we are only presuming they can make a WP:GNG pass if someone does the research deep enough. Maybe this behaviour was OK when simply doing this based on for e.g., pole-vaulters (I don't think it is, but the consensus hasn't historically been against it), but as soon as you try to do GEO articles the same way you end up with something like the Iranian "village" case because geography is much more complex than sports statistics. The amount of grief we've had over the assumption that X in Persian/Azeri/whatever is the same as "village".... FOARP ( talk) 18:50, 10 April 2021 (UTC)
Well, let us not overdo things. I have created for example this article today, and it is currently sourced to two databases (well, to one statistical document and one government dadabase-like site). I will return to it later (which may well be over several years) to bring it to this stage. However, I do not think any sane person can argue that it has notability issues, or even that it would be more beneficial to have it as am element of a list. My argument is that at some stage of the development (which needs to be formalized, but something like the article about a locality only contains the name, the native name, administrative division the locality is in, population, and coordinates), it is more advantageous to have it as an element of a list and not as a standalone article. Such article should be redirected to the list.-- Ymblanter ( talk) 19:17, 10 April 2021 (UTC)
"Presumed notable" under notability guidelines does not mean that this necessarily needs to show the type of sources that meet SIGCOV, only that the article can be shown to meet criteria that is likely to lead to more SIGCOV for notability. Most notability guidelines are merit based (like winning a Nobel prize) and this approach makes sense, but the issue are cases in GEOLAND and NSPORT where simply proving something/someone existed at a certain level is a presumption of notability (in the case of NSPORT, having played a professional level game is the presumption that the person had to have a prior career to get to a professional level that can be documented). I'd also note that any approach like this would have to be aligned with CSD which has purposely rejected any "notability" factors and uses a far lower bar to allow articles to be kept. -- Masem ( t) 14:42, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
I would support such a policy, especially if it applied to sports as well. How hard is it to find one SIGCOV source? If you don't have access to refs but expect them to exist, it seems much more reasonable to put the subject in relevant lists and make a post in the relevant wikiprojects asking if anyone else does have access. JoelleJay ( talk) 20:28, 10 April 2021 (UTC)

As pointed out above, this discussion duplicates Wikipedia talk:Notability (geographic features)#Mass-created village/neighbourhood Geostubs. Please comment there instead. – Uanfala (talk) 15:04, 11 April 2021 (UTC)

Whereas my intention was to restrict the discussion to purely articles on localities, the discussion went more broadly and would not fit to Wikipedia talk:Notability (geographic features)-- Ymblanter ( talk) 15:09, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Do you consider a locality as a place falling under WP:GEOLAND? Part of the lack of clarity here comes from the definition of WP:GEOLAND, I think. SportingFlyer T· C 15:10, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Yes, localities fall under GEOLAND, but there are a lot of other things which fall there, and which can not be treated the same way.-- Ymblanter ( talk) 15:17, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
My biggest gripe with geographic (and sport) stubs is not there existence but its that they clutter random and will discourage any reader/editor from pressing the button more than a few times. Quality articles have little chance of being discovered when they are drowned out in all the noise. So I would support any attempt to reign in stubs and replace them with descriptive lists.
For localities, Stub policy should be modified to explicitly prohibit creation of an article when the only information is available is database entries. A minimum of a history, geography, or other informative section should be required. Slywriter ( talk) 16:19, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
I second what you've said above. Störm (talk) 21:46, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
@ Slywriter: I'm not sure about this. I've found our locality stubs on US locations are pretty good, say Lake George Township, Hubbard County, Minnesota (selected at random). Sure, it's not great, but it's better than nothing. I'm pretty sure everything in said article, other than the name history (which isn't really significant), came from databases. Would your proposal be against that type of article? Elli ( talk | contribs) 22:25, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Elli, it's better than Meryemköy,_Çıldır but all the reader has learned is the US census data and outdated census data at that. So unless someone bothers to update that article next year, it will be two censuses behind current times with little hope of anyone every updating. A list of townships in Hubbard or Minnesota with links to us census, wikidata or other data points would serve readers better long term as a single page can be updated to point to the most current data and preserve historical data. Slywriter ( talk) 23:26, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
I'll third the Random button comment. It serves no purpose at this point unless you want to discover dozens of stubs of football players and plant cultivars. JoelleJay ( talk) 03:25, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

Not limited to stubs, not limited to locations; every new article creation should cite at least one reliable, indepth source. Articles lacking this should be tagged for improvement, and then (after a week or so) either moved to draftspace or redirected to a list (if a relevant list is available). Fram ( talk) 07:56, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

Why doesn't Wikipedia require editors to be 13 or older?

Most websites with user interaction require the users to be 13 or older. I think that having a minimum age would somewhat reduce the amount of vandalism on the website. How come Wikipedia doesn't have a minimum age? Félix An ( talk) 14:39, 11 April 2021 (UTC)

I suppose you could ask people to state that they are 13 or older, such statements might not be true tho. Selfstudier ( talk) 14:42, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
This is impossible to enforce. One can add such a clause to the terms of use, but vandals do nt care about terms of use anyway.-- Ymblanter ( talk) 14:43, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
"Most websites ..."[ citation needed] Most vandals don't log in anyway. And readers can use accounts for other things than editing. PrimeHunter ( talk) 14:56, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Websites do that because the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act limits what personal data can be collected from those under 13. Wikipedia is not in the habit of collecting information, so it doesn't have that particular age concern. -- Nat Gertler ( talk) 15:02, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Not only does WP not actively collect the kind of user information that such laws and regulations are concerned about, we actually advise young Wikipedians to not reveal their age or other private information. Roger (Dodger67) ( talk) 16:06, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, has no qualifications on who can edit other than accepting the terms of use. This is one of our founding principles. Ivanvector ( Talk/ Edits) 15:05, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Nobody should be pre-judged to be a vandal simply because of their age. And most vandalism by under 13s would not be very subtle, so would be easily spotted and reverted. It's the subtle, more hidden, vandalism that we need to worry about most, and most of that comes from older editors. If we are to ban people from editing because they might be a vandal we will have to ban everyone (even me, aged 63) from editing. Phil Bridger ( talk) 15:50, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
As noted above, we don't really have a mechanism for enforcing an age verification requirement for WP editors on the scale suggested by the OP. We do have the WP:CIR guideline which in practice does weed out most very young editors. Personally I believe it would make sense to have a minimal age requirement for the admins, if only for legal reasons. Nsk92 ( talk) 16:14, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
@ Nsk92: there is such a requirement for Checkusers, Oversighters, and ArbCom members. Elli ( talk | contribs) 21:04, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
@ Félix An: why should it? A minimum age wouldn't reduce vandalism in the slightest, from what I can tell (I'm sure wanna-be 12-year-old vandals would just lie). Elli ( talk | contribs) 21:04, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
The reason many websites have a requirement for the minimum age (13) is because of COPPA, which does not apply to Wikipedia as we do not collect, use, or disclose a user's age. Izno ( talk) 23:02, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
For what it's worth (and this is peripheral), I believe that in the early days of Wikipedia there were administrators that were even younger than 13 and I can think of an incumbent who was 13 when they passed RfA. Questions of age of course come up in RfAs, with many voters unwilling to vote for minors. There's also the case of on the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. Sdrqaz ( talk) 17:10, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
@ Sdrqaz: Yes, see my comments at User talk:Iridescent/Archive 41#sidetrack-within-a-sidetrack on age. Graham 87 10:10, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
Ah, that's an interesting bit of history, Graham (with a bit of commentary regarding Malleus sprinkled in). Are you aware of any successful RfAs for minors in the "modern" era? I'm reminded of this 2015 RfA, which I had stumbled on a week or so ago, where about half of the opposes were about age (and the candidate was older than many of the more extreme examples too). Sdrqaz ( talk) 12:41, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
@ Sdrqaz: Nope, I don't know of any. Graham 87 13:40, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I think I remember one editor who made good edits to dinosaur articles was less than 13 when they started, so I'm not sure why we need to exclude them on that basis. FunkMonk ( talk) 14:00, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I'm nine years old, in dog years. - Roxy the sycamore. wooF 14:03, 12 April 2021 (UTC)