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RFC "Bias categories" and whether we can categorize people, groups, organizations, and media under them
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.
2011 Bias categories RfC upheld and clarified, specifically "Bias categories must not include articles about individuals, groups or media that are allegedly so biased.".
The clarification is from the closer's own words put into the involved categories immediately after performing the closing.
majority voices to uphold
WP:CATDEF and WP:NONDEF: "A central concept used in categorizing articles is that of the defining characteristics of a subject of the article. A defining characteristic is one that reliable sources commonly and consistently define the subject as having..."
WP:OPINIONCAT: "Avoid categorizing people by their personal opinions, even if a reliable source can be found for the opinions. This includes supporters or critics of an issue, personal preferences (such as liking or disliking green beans), and opinions or allegations about the person by other people (e.g. "alleged criminals"). Please note, however, the distinction between holding an opinion and being an activist, the latter of which may be a defining characteristic."
However, unlike what the opener seems to believe, I don't think this will involve emptying and deleting many categories, for example the top level of the first one listed, Category:Ageism, has maybe five entries about persons or groups accused of ageism which would be removed, while the remaining... fifty? ... are about non-person or group subjects, or about groups specifically dedicated to combating ageism (i.e., "activist" from WP:OPINIONCAT), not accused of it.
Should this RFC from 2011 be upheld, i.e. should it be forbidden that we categorise people, groups, organizations, media under at least the above mentioned categories and "bias categories" in general?
(restarted RFC) --Mvbaron (talk) 15:47, 14 December 2021 (UTC)
-- Mvbaron (talk) 07:27, 25 October 2021 (UTC)
Hello, I hope this is the right place. This is an RFC to re-evaluate consensus from 2011 which forbids categorizing “people, groups, organizations and media” under so-called “bias categories” (and similar categories) and all sub-categories. I suppose this is a BLP issue. Either outcome will have at least somewhat far-reaching consequences: either a number of categories will need to be emptied and deleted, or a great number of categories will be allowed to be filled.
Affected categories: (I label categories that do not seem to follow the above-mentioned consensus explicitly, but all would need cleanup if the ban is to be upheld)
Category:Antisemitism (massive category, does somehow follow the consensus, subcategories do generally not, but does have a notice on top stating that individuals should not be filed under it. no idea)
Category:Homophobia (has been at the centre of the 2010/11 RFC but does in general not follow its own consensus)
The RFC from 2011 upheld a ban for individuals, organizations and media from being categorized under so-called "bias categories". This includes sub-categories.
All (or at least most) of the above-linked categories have either an explicit notice stating that It must not include articles about individuals, groups or media that are allegedly anti-XXX (e.g. Category:Antisemitism) or a banner disallowing the same (e.g. Category:Anti-Catholicism).
Most categories do (even though they have the above notice) in fact have people, groups and media categorised under them. (see the list above)
Some categories do not have people, groups and media categorised under them. (see the list above)
RFC: Should the above-linked RFC from 2011 be upheld, i.e. should it be forbidden that we categorise people, groups, organizations, media under at least the above mentioned categories and "bias categories" in general?
This is a new RFC... Mvbaron (talk) 10:34, 25 October 2021 (UTC)
Uphold and ban bias categories in general. There's no perfect solution. It's always going to be a headache, and contentious. It's kind of a lose-lose situation. But, in this case generally: better less info than false info. (That goes triple for WP:BLPs). Summoned by bot. Herostratus (talk) 12:41, 25 October 2021 (UTC)
Uphold. For Category:Climate change denial the words "This category is not to be used for biographies." were added after much discussion. It was just too easy to put people in since no citing is required. I think I was pinged because I asked about a possible misuse of categories for a group, with reference to WP:CATDEF, yesterday. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 14:13, 25 October 2021 (UTC)
@Slatersteven: Categories don't get cited, but they must be verifiable. That is, if a page is in, say, Category:2021 deaths there must be something in the article's prose that states that the person died in 2021, and that portion of text should be cited in accordance with WP:V. It's the same with any other category - if a page is in Category:Blind politicians, the article must have sourced statements that the subject is blind, and that they are a politician. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:21, 25 October 2021 (UTC)
So in effect they can't just be added on a whime, RS must have said this about the group or person, its must be in the article.Slatersteven (talk) 21:34, 25 October 2021 (UTC)
That’s why the 2011 RFC makes no sense to me. If we can (verifiably) say in the article that someone is a neo-nazi, or a Holocaust denier, or a homophobe - it makes no sense that there’s a global ban of using that very same category for the article. Mvbaron (talk) 05:46, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
Because, first of all, we usually can't verifiably say these things. Most people don't say "yup, I'm a homophobe". We seldom have articles state "Smith is a homophobe". It's usually more like, putting forth some of his statements and letting the reader decide, or writing "Many observers such as X, Y, and Z have accused Smith of being a homophobe" and like that.
And then so you also get an unbalanced category. If you have one guy say "The Holocaust was made up. Never happened" and another guy who says "I think we need to question the accepted narrative here. These numbers just don't add up. All I'm saying is that there's a lot of disinformation put out there for political reasons, blah blah blah" They're both Holocaust deniers, but the first one goes in the category and the second one doesn't. Herostratus (talk) 08:24, 27 October 2021 (UTC)
But we do have plenty of people RS say just thaT About, they are Climat change deniers (for example). So if we have RS (and our article says) they are (using your example holocaust deniers) why cant we include that category?Slatersteven (talk) 15:17, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
Bilorv listed (see above) the affected categories for this RfC and the relevant discussions. The climate denier category isn't in the lists, so the decisions made about it can't be changed by this RfC, but can be an inspiration for it. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 17:36, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
actually this is only a selection and the 2011 RFC is also vague. It applies to the listed categories And so on, and so forth... the RFC effectively applies to all categories that are "bias categories" (whatever that is) plus all sub-categories... Mvbaron (talk) 09:36, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
Mvbaron: No it doesn't. People have already !voted. The RfC applies to what you listed. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 13:01, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
... don't wikilawyer. the RFC question is if the RFC from 2011 is to be upheld and that RFC applies broadly. Mvbaron (talk) 13:45, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
Mvbaron, and Slatersteven, and User:Herostratus as Gulutzan mentions, this RFC is about listed categories, if that affects your position. I note that’s also a practical difference since categories of action (denials) or membership in an organization (nazi) are objective facts but whether someone has a bias is a judgement call. Beyond that, it also highlights a difference of description - these are categories of what the bias is, not of who has it. Holocaust denial is not the same category as holocaust deniers. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 00:30, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
Well but it says "a great number of categories will be allowed to be filled" if we overturn 2011, and the short list of categories is just a few that will have to be addressed there's no consensus to overturn 2011. So lot of categories are in play?
So... we could maybe change category names, maybe divide the categories more finely too. "Allegations of Anti-[religion]ism" or "Possible Anti-[religion]ism" or whatever. I don't know if that would help.
I looked at a sample, and there don't seem to be any living individuals at the category which is good (and the category pages should basically prohibit that). But right off I see that Death of Christine Dacera is in Category:Misandry, which is one of the categories not characterized as problematic. So, for starters, there's nothing about misandry in the article. Apparently the Manilla Police may have lazily ascribed a natural death to rape and murder and refused to reconsider cos that's how police departments roll; doubtful that the Manilla Police are especially anti-male. My vibe is that the article writer may be on a men's-rights type mission. You don't get these kinds of problems with, you know, "1921 births" or "Detroit Tigers players" etc.
It's not a super-easy call because categories do two things, help readers find a class of articles, and also help the reader of individual articles quickly get a handle on what are the key things about the entity. Different needs being shoehorned into one thing. So, tough question. I'm not changing my vote at the moment. Herostratus (talk) 01:48, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
Hej, I don’t know what you mean by a “listed category”, could you explain? About the other points: if we uphold 2011, then the category “islamophobia” needs to be emptied of people, organisations and media, and the category “islamophobes” should not exist. which is fine, it’s just not something we *do* consistently- hence this RFC. Mvbaron (talk) 06:47, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
Category:Islamophobes should definitely not exist and Category:Islamophobia should indeed be emptied of living people at least. If for some reason it was allowed to exist, there must be a demand that that the categorization then and there with the precise refs with quotes or something like that, e.g "[[Category:Islamophobes]] <--per [particulars of ref], 'I hate Islam'-->". I'd recommend that for organizations and dead people too. Herostratus (talk) 12:37, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
Uphold mostly for a pragmatic reason: too many articles are added to this sort of categories for which it is quite a stretch to be able to assess objectively that they belong there, or in other words the categories attract too much cases of WP:SYNTH. "Critics of" categories (such as Category:Critics_of_Ahmadiyya mentioned above) might be kept or evaluated on a case-by-case though. Marcocapelle (talk) 17:43, 25 October 2021 (UTC)
The pragmatic reason you cite is actually a reason for overturning the RFC. The fact that most categories do NOT follow consensus can’t be a reason for keeping that consensus alive, right? Mvbaron (talk) 17:51, 25 October 2021 (UTC)
The problem is the existence of WP:OPINIONCATs themselves. It's a lot easier to police the existence of categories than it is who should/should not be added to them. You typically get people adding all members of a certain political tendency to a category en bloc regardless of whether the article even says anything about that opinion. The classic one for me is "anti-fascism", which seems to be one that people on the far left get added to regardless of whatever opinions they ever expressed about fascism (if any) during their lives. I'd also point people to WP:NONDEF as well, as these categories are too often used to categorise people based on throw-away statements that are not by any means definitive of the subject. FOARP (talk) 11:08, 8 November 2021 (UTC)
FOARP thank you for the comment, but I don't quite understand what your reasoning has to do with my discussion with marcocapelle. If this RFC goes to uphold, then we need to empty and delete a great number of categories - and I argued that a pragmatic argument would be to overturn in order to keep with what people actually do (i.e. populate these categories against consensus). Best -- Mvbaron (talk) 11:47, 8 November 2021 (UTC)
RFC: Should the above-linked RFC from 2011 be upheld, i.e. should it be forbidden that we categorise people, groups, organizations, media under at least the above mentioned categories and "bias categories" in general? This would be it. Can I just move the roc template down so that it works? I didn't know that there was an issue with the bot. Mvbaron (talk) 20:10, 25 October 2021 (UTC)
Thank you, redrose, for your fix. I think I understand now how it works :) Mvbaron (talk) 05:49, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
Uphold - one might seek to edit the guidance on categories as well to clarify not to categorize people this way. In general, an article text for a person or organization may mention (as supported) some issue or behaviour which has a bias lebel, but the the person or organization should not have a LABEL category put on them. WP:BLPSTYLE and WP:LABEL as well as the definition in the categories (e.g. agism) are supports to upholding the prior RFC, and Marcocapelle mentions pragmatism issues. I think it's just not good categorization and is a slippery slope to name-calling by subjective whim. For example, I thik it's acceptable for to include OK boomer but categorizing every person who ever said it is silly and useless, and gaps in categorization leads to credibility issues of fact or bias. Similarly, naming one organization leads to questions of why isn't AARP there. No, it's a good ban to uphold. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 04:12, 27 October 2021 (UTC)
Overturn - I am aware of problems with this kind of categories, occasionally, but was unaware of this guideline, which must be one of the most ignored guidelines on WP. The usual problem, as others point out, is over-readiness to include, based on trivial/transient events. What I have also encountered is a situation where an individual was high-up in an undoubtedly racist, extreme-right organisation, but no refs supported THIS individual being racist, but another editor insisted that merely being a 'leading-light' in the racist org made him racist. I took the attitude that inclusion was pointless at best, apart from BLP issues, since the aricle contained no info about this person's antipathies. Despite these problems, the ability to 'group' people or orgs for whom, for example, anti-black racism is a significant factor, is valuable info. Perhaps we should be more precise in our inclusion criteria and stricter in enforcing categorisation of all kinds being a defining characteristic of the individual or group - and of course the article having actual textual content about the person's antipathies which have justified the inclusion. Pincrete (talk) 15:11, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
Pincrete - Surely in the above case the solution is just to put them in the cat for membership of that organisation, and to describe the nature of that organisation in the article? It's not like people are going to have many doubts about what the nature of someone's views are if the article say "X is a senior grand wizard of the KKK, a known white-supremacist group" and is in the KKK-members cat. FOARP (talk) 09:47, 8 November 2021 (UTC)
If I remember correctly, it was a UK fringe-y far-right org which did NOT have a membership category. Had there been, of course, there is all the difference in the world between being a member of X party/organisation - which is/is not a fact, and assuming an individual endorses every belief of that organisation. There aren't many people high-up in any organisation that don't share the core beliefs of that organisation, but we either avoid 'guilt by association' regardless of what people's political beliefs are, or we don't! Pincrete (talk) 15:11, 8 November 2021 (UTC)
I'm getting a heavy "right great wrongs" vibe about this. If this was some tiny fash group, such that it was so small that there weren't enough members on wiki to fill a membership category, then why isn't putting "Mark Nobless is a senior member of the English Demonuts, a known white supremacist group according to X" in the article sufficient? I mean especially given how some of these smaller parties get hijacked by (even more) crazies - for example the old SDP, formerly a large UK political party, is now apparently a vehicle for various Toby Young-esque eugenicists.
It's very obvious where this ends up: wing-nuts edit-warring by adding every left-winger to the "anti-American" category and every right winger to the "racist, homophobic" category based on their interpretation of what their views actually entail. FOARP (talk) 11:45, 9 November 2021 (UTC)
Uphold Putting an individual in such a category is a broad negative judgement that WP should not be making. Categories give no room for nuance--if we use them we will have difficulty distinguishing between someone who once used a slur that got into the newspaper from someone who has made a career of bigotry. Categories need to be unambiguous in order to avoid endless disputes about where to draw the line. It can be difficult enough with other categories--how much acclaim does someone need to be called a "singer"? If a person ran for a primary once in their life, are they a "politician", but an error here is not the sort of thing that can have negative consequences. The basic idea of BLP is "do no harm" and putting someone in these categories would in most cases do them harm. We can of course cover these things in bio articles, and the place to draw the line for what to include can be difficult enough to evaluate, but at least there will be an immediately visible RS., and some clarity about the evidence. DGG ( talk ) 17:06, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
Overturn The decision from 2011 was a poor one, and requires Wikipedians to ignore reality. Such discriminatory practices are always defining. Dimadick (talk) 18:17, 28 October 2021 (UTC)
Overturn As there is (and cannot be) any valid policy-based argument for including a category not supported in the body I think those objections based on this are invalid. If this was the basis of the old RFC it should be overturned. If RS say someone is X so should we, if RS (And only RS count) do not we can't, it really is as simple as that.Slatersteven (talk) 09:46, 29 October 2021 (UTC)
Hi Slatersteven. The issue I have here is this leads to e.g., everyone who is a member of the communist party being categorised as e.g., an "anti-fascist", even if e.g., they supported the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and thought that the US and the Hungarian insurgents of 1956 were "fascists". Categories are binary, you're either in them or you aren't, so people use their subjective interpretation of the facts to use them to say something about someone that no actual reliable source supports. FOARP (talk) 09:47, 8 November 2021 (UTC)
Uphold DGG's reasoning is sound. Categories are binary, either you're in the category or you aren't. Rather than litigating every close case, it makes more sense and is more inline with the general spirit of BLP to simply ban these kinds of categories from being used in BLPs. You can write as much nasty shit as you want in the article itself. Mlb96 (talk) 02:16, 4 November 2021 (UTC)
Uphold and Extend to all opinion-based categories - What you too often see is people being categorised due to a (possibly temporarily-held) view, or due to a subjective interpretation of that person's view based on membership of an organisation. It becomes a way of saying something that no reliable source actually supports. The area I have seen this most is the near-systematic definition of everyone on the far left as being "anti-fascist", including, for example, supporters of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, or people for whom "fascism" meant the Hungarian insurgents of 1956 or the United States, or many people who never actually took part in any actual anti-fascist activism. By all means say in the article that they criticised this-or-that, or that they were a bigot, or whatever, if the reliable sources say that. If you want to say some one was a racist, then say this in the article relying on the sources, but opinion-based-categories are the wrong place to do this as literally anything can be interpreted subjectively to place people within it or without it. Membership of an organisation is a different thing - anyone who the RS's says belongs to the KKK or the Nazi Party should be added to the relevant category and the reader can easily draw from that what their views are. FOARP (talk) 09:47, 8 November 2021 (UTC)
PS - can I emphasise right here that we also have WP:OPINIONCAT saying don't do this, and this isn't just about this 2011 RFC. FOARP (talk) 10:36, 8 November 2021 (UTC)
Overturn if someone is notable for being opposed to something, than categories that reflect this should be in said article. For example Chick tract is well notable for being against Catholicism and Islam, and has garnered a lot of coverage for this. To remove these categories from the article would be damaging to Wikipedia's ability to function as a proper encyclopedia. While a rather weak argument, WP:EDITCONSENSUS also has to be evoked if very few editors can be bothered to follow the 2011 consensus, than it evidently wasn't much of a consensus after all. Inter&anthro (talk) 00:02, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
The problem is that far fewer people ever look at the categories than look at the body-text of the article, and the categories are often spread around thoughtlessly. Trying to build a WP:EDITCONSENSUS out of what is often only a step-or-two above vandalism ("person X belongs to party Y, I think party Y is anti-Z, so I'm going to add person X to the 'racist against Z' category") doesn't cut it. FOARP (talk) 11:09, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
Uphold and extend to all opinion-based categories, per FOARP. Adding to a category is equivalent to asserting, in Wiki's voice, that the name of the category is an attribute of the subject of the article, and if WP:VOICE would stop us doing that in the article text, then we shouldn't be doing it with a category. -- DeFacto (talk). 11:27, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
Yes, but this is already policy. (the old RFC doesn't change anything in your example). BUT the old RFC forbids the reverse. If (per VOICE) we are allowed to add the attribute to the article, then the old RFC nevertheless forbids adding the category... Do you intend that? Mvbaron (talk) 11:37, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
Every time I see this it is typically someone just trying to say something about someone that isn't actually supported by the article, let alone by reliable sources.
For example, nearly everyone in the English anti-fascists category (Category:English anti-fascists) doesn't really belong there because very few of them are actually anti-fascist activists, some did no more than at one point say that fascism was bad, and others didn't even do that but editors have added them to that category simply because they were members of the far-left. In nearly every case nuance is totally lost/ignored by adding them to an opinion category and it is simply the subjective analysis of a single editor that puts them there - do all communists really belong there? Even if they supported the Hitler-Stalin pact? What about people who were at one point supportive of fascism but later opposed it? Does Winston Churchill really belong in this category? I mean sure, he fought WW2, but he was also an admirer of Mussolini, so does membership of this group really make sense? But then what's the point of having a category for anti-fascists that does not include the guy who actually fought the war against fascism?
The actual number of cases where reliable sources will classify people uncontroversially by an opinion that lines up exactly with a category that we have on Wikipedia is exactly zero. Much better to classify people by acts/membership of groups where there are objective facts we can rely on. FOARP (talk) 16:05, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
Overturn Because the old RFC is illogical.
(A) If it is forbidden (per WP:V, WP:VOICE or anything else) to add the "bias" attribute to the article, then it is also forbidden to add the category (per WP:CATV). (In other words: if we can't verifyably say that a person is X, then we can't categorize the article as X).
(B) If it is allowed (per WP:V, WP:VOICE etc) to add the "bias" attribute to the article, then it is also allowed to add the category (per WP:CATV). (In other words: if we can verifyably say that a person is X, then we also can categorize the article as X).
So, the old RFC, which banned categorizing anyone (verifiable or not) as X, does nothing in case (A) - policy already forbids adding the category. And in case (B), it runs counter to WP:CATV - we are allowed to say that a person is X, but we can't categorize said person as X.
Additionally, current editing practice does not respect the 2011 consensus - it seems consensus has changed since --Mvbaron (talk) 11:52, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
"Current practise" includes a lot of basically vandalising pages by adding people to "bad categories"/"good categories" that aren't detected until years later because people tend not to look at the categories articles are in. As far as I can see opinion categories are being widely used to heap praise/criticism on people that the references cited in the articles do not support and it's much better to simply ban opinion cats for at least BLP and probably bio articles in general. FOARP (talk) 16:14, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
Uphold and remove people from it. I will grant that it's possible that there might be an "Activist" category as defining, but that should be a separate category - e.g. Anti-Catholic activisim, for when this is a major focus of the person's life, and not merely having "usual" anti-Catholic views for the time and place. These categories are a BLP minefield if not treated very carefully, and should not have specific people in them unless, again, they're an outright activist about it. Categories should not be used if there's any doubt about their applicability, and this is definitely a case where there's more harm than good. SnowFire (talk) 04:22, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
Overturn - I don't buy the argument that categories cannot be policed. Every change is clearly marked in the history, it's pretty easy for anyone with a page watched to see categories being added or removed. And for the sake of argument, even if I accept that it is difficult to police this, this policy does nothing. Because if it's difficult to police, then with this policy it's STILL difficult to remove. Without this policy, all we're doing is saying that when you find such a category added, we should analyze whether it should be removed instead of knee-jerk removing it. So it comes down to this: is the claim of the person being part of so-and-so category verifiable? Is there enough RELIABLE sourcing to declare that a person is notable for being anti- whatever? Is this information, in fact, part of the article, or more relevantly, the LEAD of the article? Perhaps even the opening sentence? If so, then we should be able to categorize the person under the category just as well as anything else. BLP can, and should, be given more scrutiny for this. We could make a rule that consensus should/must be obtained first before adding the category, but there should not be a blanket ban. Fieari (talk) 00:09, 17 December 2021 (UTC)
I'm starting a discussion section because I believe that there are some points that need to be debated, and consensus found. Can someone !voting "uphold" please explain how a blanket ban on categorization helps prevent vandalism? I notice some arguments stating that, as it is, people ARE being categorized despite the ban, so we should uphold the ban. This argument makes no sense to me. If a bad edit is made, it can be unmade. If we can notice BLP being added to categories for the sake of this RfC, we can notice them other times. And if we can notice them and remove them, we can also notice them and rationally determine whether the reliable sources support them being in that category as well. I don't mean this to be a rhetorical question... I just don't see the counter argument to this. Fieari (talk) 00:26, 17 December 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for starting this discussion Fieari. I disagree with your characterisation of the Uphold arguments. Specifically, our argument is that the way in which this rule is presently being flouted shows the good sense of it. People are adding opinion-categories to bio articles, including BLP articles, for which there is no basis at all in the actual article, let alone in the reliable sources. Typically these are based on an OR interpretation of what one editor believes the opinions of the person who is the subject of the article are/were. Categories are much less likely to be policed as people tend not to look at them, so there is a high risk of inaccurate and down-right defamatory categories being added to someone's article.
Throwing this to individual page discussions is simply an invitation to individual editors to edit-war inaccurate/defamatory categories into bio articles, knowing that the standards for having a category are de facto laxer than those for baldly stating in the article that X person was anti-Y (see above where people are saying "I couldn't find anything saying this guy was actually anti-ABC but he was a member of XYZ so I think it's OK to add him to that category").
Upholding this rule (and extending it to all opinion categories) would confirm that such categories can be removed and the problem (including the legal risk) averted. FOARP (talk) 09:37, 17 December 2021 (UTC)
If Categories are much less likely to be policed then adding an additional rule (the rfc in question) to the already existing WP:V doesn't change anything. Upholding this rule (and extending it to all opinion categories) would confirm that such categories can be removed - this does nothing, undue categories are already forbidden per our standard rules. Mvbaron (talk) 09:42, 17 December 2021 (UTC)
Restating what Mybaron just said... without this rule (that I !voted to overturn), anyone can remove the categories and we can confirm that they can remove the categories with the existing core principle of "verifiability". With this rule, we are forbidden from adding categories that do meet the standards of verifiability. If an edit war ensues, the person removing a bad category has policy on their side already. The incorrect party would have to argue for verifiability, not truth, not OR. If there's an edit war, they're not arguing on the talk page. If they are arguing on the talk page, policy and references can be cited.
On the other hand, if they have sneakily put in the category and no one noticed... no one has noticed! Whether this rule is in place or not, no one has noticed, and it might as well be "sneaky vandalism". The rule changes nothing. Without the rule, you can still remove these bias categories. The trouble only appears when there is strong, uncontroversial, third party reliable citations regarding the anti-whatever position. It does our encyclopedia disservice to not have the categorization for those. Fieari (talk) 01:26, 20 December 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.
Category:Citizens of X through descent
When should this category be used (e.g. Category:Citizens of Lebanon through descent)? Only in case someone became a citizen (through descent) later on in their life, or even if they were born citizens of that country, but abroad? Nehme1499 21:34, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
I have no idea when this category should be used. You yourself created it... Mvbaron (talk) 16:13, 8 November 2021 (UTC)
Mirroring the 27 other categories in Category:Citizens through descent (which is under this wikiproject). I just want to make sure that I'm not adding articles to the category that shouldn't be added. Nehme1499 16:25, 8 November 2021 (UTC)
Not sure why I was pinged, but I have no interest in this issue, so don't expect any insight from me. Mlb96 (talk) 17:34, 8 November 2021 (UTC)
I have nominated Joel Selwood for a featured article review here. Please join the discussion on whether this article meets featured article criteria. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. If substantial concerns are not addressed during the review period, the article will be moved to the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Delist" the article's featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Bumbubookworm (talk) 01:43, 18 November 2021 (UTC)
German musicologists of the 20th century often have biographies in the MGG, sometimes written by themselves. I see two problems with using these biographies as the main sources of an article: 1. Self-written biographies are usually not good sources, and I'm not convinced that the editorial oversight of the MGG changes that. 2. I feel like the MGG has lower notability standards than we do (WP:NACADEMIC), so there are cases like Helmut Loos which end up as BLPs relying on only one source, which doesn't seem right. Am I overthinking this or is there a (minor) problem here? --126.96.36.199 (talk) 16:05, 18 November 2021 (UTC)
Hmm good question... Maybe discuss it also at WP:RSN? I would say we can generally trust the editorial oversight of the MGG, but if the only source (and thus source for notability) of a person is an entry in the MGG written by themselves, then that's not enough. Basically, if someone is notable enough, there should be more sources to be found than a self-written entry in the MGG, right? Mvbaron (talk) 19:06, 18 November 2021 (UTC)
I have nominated Sasha (DJ) for a featured article review here. Please join the discussion on whether this article meets featured article criteria. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. If substantial concerns are not addressed during the review period, the article will be moved to the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Delist" the article's featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Hog FarmTalk 17:30, 20 November 2021 (UTC)
The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Taner Edis until a consensus is reached, and anyone, including you, is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.
Users may edit the article during the discussion, including to improve the article to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the article-for-deletion notice from the top of the article.
I am "advertising" this RfC more broadly to relevant pages because someone selectively notified three socio-political wikiprojects that are likely to vote-stack the RfC with a single viewpoint, and the article already has a long history of factional PoV editwarring.
Central matters in this discussion and the threads leading up to it are labeling of Rowling, labeling of commenters on Rowling, why Rowling is notable, what is due or undue in the lead section, and whether quasi-numeric claims like "many", "a few", etc. in this context are legitimate or an OR/WEASEL issue. — SMcCandlish☏¢ 😼 01:37, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
The idea of WikiProject Feminism and WikiProject Women Writers are likely to vote-stack the RfC with a single socio-political viewpoint suggests BLP issues on the part of the one posting. :p
But by all means, we do need fresh eyes on the lead of an article, which has seen so much whitewashing and FALSEBALANCE POV-based editing against the BALANCE of RS provided. Newimpartial (talk) 02:26, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
This Wiki Project used to have an A-class review system, which is now marked historical. Various articles were rated A-class. Is there currently any procedure of delisting an A-class article, such as Alan Keyes, which I don't think meets the A-class criteria of, say WikiProject Military History. – Kavyansh.Singh (talk) 10:11, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
@Kavyansh.Singh: The MILHIST people suggest that you drop a note at WT:MHC if you feel that an A-Class article no longer justifies that rating. I'm not aware of any similar mechanism for other WikiProjects. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:58, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
Is it just me, or there is a whole lot of categories which are misused to a point which obviously fails WP:NONDEFINING? Category:People by ethnic or national descent seems to be a prime example: this is often times based on some ancestor, whether a parent or grand-parent, but is not an important aspect of the actual article subject's notability (in the cases where it is, Category:People by ethnicity (which isn't itself entirely unproblematic) is probably more relevant. A random example would be John George Bourinot (younger) (who was classed as "Canadian people of Jersey descent", something which was not mentioned in the article at all...); or Howard Krein (someone notable for a few things, but not for his religion or his ethnicity).
These two also had the common problem of the "alumni" categories (where someone went to university/which university they thought is rarely a defining characteristic of the kind described at WP:NONDEFINING - and then you get to extreme examples like Einstein, which needs a whole lot of trimming...).
In any case, if there are others willing to try and address this issue, that'd be a nice start (and would help remove some of the excessive category bloat which can be seen on many pages). Cheers, RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 01:59, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
I agree entirely re Category:People by ethnic or national descent. Any rename or upmerge cfd discussions on such will include 'delete the lot of them' remarks; not the case with alumni categories, particularly for universities. 'Descent by' does produce category clutter as some people (eg Ethan Ampadu) are in many of these whereas 'alumni' does not as most are in 1 or 2. Oculi (talk) 10:31, 6 December 2021 (UTC)
RFCs on Talk:Éric Zemmour
I would like to alert you to the RFCs currently active on Talk:Éric Zemmour. Fresh eyes would be helpful and this Wikiproject is relevant. Munci (talk) 05:52, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
I'm working on User:RoySmith/drafts/Claremont Park. A confusing aspect is that the family name has changed over time. Zborowski and Zabriskie are the ones that seem the most common, but https://archive.org/details/zabriskiefamilyt01zabr_0 also notes Zaborowskij as the original. Any thoughts on the best way to handle this? It would be easy if each person had a specific spelling, but sometimes I find sources which conflict on which version was used by a specific person.
I grew up in Northern NJ and used to go past the Zabriskie house in Paramus all the time. I was vaguely aware that he was an important historical figure, but not until I got into writing this article did I really learn anything about him. So, hurrah for Wikipedia :-) -- RoySmith(talk) 18:10, 3 December 2021 (UTC)
Has a big filmography. Was a silent film star. Appeared in movies for five decades. Certainly there are obituaries. For search purposes, he appears best known as Vesey O'Davoren. 7&6=thirteen (☎) 19:13, 5 December 2021 (UTC)
Sumerian King List has an RFC for possible consensus. A discussion is taking place. If you would like to participate in the discussion, you are invited to add your comments on the discussion page. Thank you. Zoeperkoe (talk) 12:33, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
A question of notability and sourcing. 7&6=thirteen (☎) 13:58, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
Could someone familiar with commons remove File:Monglolian rats.jpg -- I have removed the article in which it was used DGG ( talk ) 05:58, 8 December 2021 (UTC)
If it's a non-free image, it will be automatically deleted. If it's on commons, we don't remove images that aren't used in articles (the overwhelming majority), and it's actually commons' purview, not ours. Kingsif (talk) 21:26, 9 December 2021 (UTC)
FAR for Barthélemy Boganda
I have nominated Barthélemy Boganda for a featured article review here. Please join the discussion on whether this article meets featured article criteria. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. If substantial concerns are not addressed during the review period, the article will be moved to the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Delist" the article's featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. (t · c) buidhe 05:38, 11 December 2021 (UTC)
I have a question for those more familiar with writing biographies and non-free images than I am. I have been in a multi-month email exchange with the World Archery Federation about them releasing a photograph of their former president, Inger K. Frith, for use in her article. I have been quoting commons licenses etc and whilst they were initially very positive to the idea, I get the impression someone there is loath to release control a picture completely. Could someone here familiar with the use of non-free files for biographies of deceased persons please advise the relevant enwiki policy for use of non-free images. If appropriate I will instead quote that to them and see if they are happy to release a picture with conditions. Kind regards, Cavalryman (talk) 02:08, 16 December 2021 (UTC).
@Cavalryman: You don't need to inform a copyright holder when you are using a photograph under fair use (the non-free policy on en.wiki to which you refer). Once a person is dead and there are no free images of them, and it is clear it will be difficult to find free images of them, fair use is quite easy to claim. I suppose if you have been talking to these people for months it would be polite to tell them that, without a free image, you will be using a non-free image, properly attributed, under fair use, but you don't have to. I also wonder if they may be backing off because they realize they don't hold the copyright to photographs they own: if the person you are contacting is not the photographer (or, in certain situations, first publisher), they cannot release the image to you themselves. Another question is, based on Frith's year of birth, there may be some images you could find on the internet that were taken before a certain date that may mean, based on the country in which it was taken, the image has fallen into the public domain (whether someone claims to have copyright or not). Kingsif (talk) 02:43, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
Many thanks. The easiest would be to cut down and upload the photo in this article. I have searched pretty extensively and this is the only picture I have found. I might send them one more email explaining this course of action. Kind regards, Cavalryman (talk) 03:09, 16 December 2021 (UTC).
To what extent is a non-notable master's thesis by the subject worth mentioning in an article?
Hi! I am currently editing an article where there are 2 paragraphs worth about ~1400 characters dedicated to her master's thesis. The thesis is not notable nor influential in and of itself. How much space should it be given in the article? And a secondary question, should its abstract be copied into the bio as a quote? Thanks in advance for your response. Santacruz⁂Please ping me! 15:37, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
Hi, A._C._Santacruz sorry for the late answer, you will find the policy about that here: Wikipedia:Reliable_sources#Scholarship, where it says: Masters dissertations and theses are considered reliable only if they can be shown to have had significant scholarly influence. In other words, they are not reliable unless specifically shown to be (by other reliable sources). Short link: WP:SCHOLARSHIP Best, -- Mvbaron (talk) 06:51, 17 December 2021 (UTC)
Mvbaron, I don't think this answers Santacruz's question. As I read it, A._C._Santacruz's question is not about whether it's a reliable secondary source, but whether an article about a notable person should contain 2 paragraphs about the thesis. That is, if a person is notable, is their work notable enough to be mentioned? Notable, not reliable. I think the answer could be found in WP:NOTINHERITED, but I actually think this is better answered case-by-case by the article's authors, or perhaps by an RfC. Because it could be a notable part of the person's career or outlook, which would be useful in describing the notable person... or it might not be useful. Case-by-case, as I said. But WP:NOTINHERITED would be a useful essay to read regardless, and might influence the direction of consensus. Fieari (talk) 07:26, 17 December 2021 (UTC)
Hmm, not sure about that. If the master's thesis is not notable (and therefore not reliable), then it shouldn't be used in the article simply per WP:V and WP:RS. We can't cite the master's thesis (per WP:SCHOLARSHIP and there are no secondary sources, so how is any more than a mention of it justified? I can't see that. The essay you mentioned WP:NOTINHERITED seems to be about arguments at AdF. Not sure if that applies here. Mvbaron (talk) 07:35, 17 December 2021 (UTC)
This actually has nothing to with notability or reliability, but is a question of due weight. That is, do independent biographical sources about the person commonly put a lot of weight on their master's thesis? If so, then we should too. If not, then we shouldn't. The notability, reliability, influence, etc. of the thesis itself doesn't matter: only what others write about it. – Joe (talk) 10:34, 17 December 2021 (UTC)
Instead for master's theses their reliabality is exactly measured by their notability. Per WP:SCHOLARSHIP: Masters dissertations and theses are considered reliable only if they can be shown to have had significant scholarly influence. But yeah, agreed on everything you said otherwise, WP:DUE is relevant. (This discussion is about Sharon_A._Hill btw for context.) Mvbaron (talk) 10:39, 17 December 2021 (UTC)
Notability is wikijargon. It's unrelated to "significant scholarly influence". Sometimes influence is a factor in determining notability, but you'll confuse everyone and wind up with arguments that don't make sense if you use "notable" to mean anything other than "what's been written about sufficiently to have a Wikipedia article about it" (a very different bar than the influence a particular paper might have). — Rhododendritestalk \\ 15:57, 29 December 2021 (UTC)
An editor has nominated J. K. Rowling for a featured article review here. Please join the discussion on whether this article meets featured article criteria. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. If substantial concerns are not addressed during the review period, the article will be moved to the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Delist" the article's featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Extraordinary Writ (talk) 04:04, 18 December 2021 (UTC)
FAR for Demosthenes
I have nominated Demosthenes for a featured article review here. Please join the discussion on whether this article meets featured article criteria. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. If substantial concerns are not addressed during the review period, the article will be moved to the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Delist" the article's featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. (t · c) buidhe 04:22, 18 December 2021 (UTC)
Meaning of "from"
Many of our biography categories include the term "from". E.g., Category:People from Florida. There was recently a discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject College football#Lingering question on the meaning of "from" about what this means. There were varying responses as to whether "from" in these categories refers to a person's place of birth, the place where they grew up and completed their education, or their place of principal residence. I've generally assumed that "from" in this context is equivalent to "originating from" and have thus used place of birth, but there doesn't seem to be a standard practice. Nor have I found any official or unofficial guidance. Should we try to reach consensus and provide guidance on what is intended here? What do others think? Cbl62 (talk) 13:45, 20 December 2021 (UTC)
Most people, if asked, will know where they are 'from'. I for instance am from Sheffield, although I was born in Cambridge and lived in Leeds until I was 8. This said, it is difficult to work out from an article where someone might be from. I doubt if John McEnroe thinks he is from Germany or whether John Lennon thought he was from New York (he was categorised 'from the Upper West Side' in earlier versions). There were categories 'natives of' (ie 'born in') but these were deleted around 2007, which I took to imply that 'from' and 'born in' were considered to be different. Oculi (talk) 14:10, 20 December 2021 (UTC)
I believe this is a well-justified use of constructive ambiguity, allowing the question to be decided by the balance of available sources and editors' judgement, rather than hard-and-fast rules. – Joe (talk) 14:15, 20 December 2021 (UTC)
Except drive-by editors and wikignomes will, say, see it applied as a birthplace in one article and then mass edit to apply it as such to others. However, if it is to be intentionally ambiguous, the category page descriptions should be updated to convey this.—Bagumba (talk) 14:26, 20 December 2021 (UTC)
If we do leave it to editor judgment, it might at least be helpful to offer examples of particular edge cases and principles as to how they should be resolved. E.g., (i) Joe Smith born in Chicago but moved to St. Louis at age six and lives in St. Louis thereafter for his entire life would be properly classified as "from St. Louis", (ii) Bill Jones born, raised, and educated in Boston, moves to Dallas at age 40, properly classified as "from Boston". We could also clarify that its fine to use multiple "from" categories where the nexus is strong with more than one location. Cbl62 (talk) 14:53, 20 December 2021 (UTC)
From can be taken to be synonymous with hometown, which is defined as "the city or town where one was born or grew up. Also : the place of one's principal residence". Those might be candidates for subcategories.—Bagumba (talk) 14:38, 20 December 2021 (UTC)
It's so subjective. I'm from suburb A adjacent to city W. I was born in a hospital in N but never lived there. I grew up in several places: six years in M, nine years in G, three years in B. (N, M, and G were all suburbs of large city Y.) Then there was college, when I technically lived in G again, but was at college in E.
When someone where I live asks me "Where are you from?", sometimes I reply "G" but more often I say "the Y area". When I'm traveling and someone asks me the same question, I'll probably answer "W" (even though I don't live in W, though I did over two non-consecutive periods totaling seven years), but sometimes, more accurately, "A".
So, quick: If I attained notability, where would Wikipedia think I was from?
If, on a related note, we felt the solution should be to disaggregate "from" categories into "born in" categories, "has lived in" categories, "lives in now" categories, etc., my article could categorize me under "People born in N", but what would the point be? It would be a fact, but it would also lead to no understanding of anything relevant to my being. It would be akin to "People who were in [place] on their third birthdays." Largoplazo (talk) 17:37, 20 December 2021 (UTC)
Clarification on Birthplace details
Recently an editor has been removing the local parts of a birthplace in favour of the just city name with the edit summary of "City only, per guidelines", eg:
Could someone clarify as to if this is correct? I cannot find any guidelines as such, and the only pointer I can find is in Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Biography/Archive 36, Seeking info on birthplace convention. There a reply that states "The most relevant question is what do the sources say?" So it would appear that if the source for a persons birth states it in full, that should be used, not a trucated city only version (Assuming good faith in the editor who wrote that section). Is this correct? Sciencefish (talk) 18:15, 24 December 2021 (UTC)
All three of the pages you mentioned still contain the "local" part of the birth place (and even include the street or hospital for the birth place), and not just the city. I assume you are instead referring to the removal of content only from the infobox, and that is supported by the infobox guidelines, which say that the birth place should be "city, administrative region, county". See Template:Infobox person. – wallyfromdilbert (talk) 02:26, 25 December 2021 (UTC)
Yes, infobox, and thanks for the pointer, it was right under my nose. Sciencefish (talk) 09:26, 25 December 2021 (UTC)
BLP mentions of contracting covid-19
Is there any precedent on WP that if an individual has C19 it must be stated on their page? Or is it in specifically notable cases, like if the person almost died from it, made donations to a fund following their recovery, donated their antibodies for research (eg. Tom Hanks), or contracted it after making controversial statements regarding the virus (eg. Brian May)? And is there a particular type of wording that should be used/avoided? Like if a label releases a statement concerning one of its artist's getting C19, and an editor writes that the label "claimed" the artist was negative at a certain date before quarantining after getting a positive result at a later date? -- Carlobunnie (talk) 03:34, 26 December 2021 (UTC)
Must be? No, there is no requirement that any specific aspect of any person's life be reported in an article about that person.
If you meant to ask whether it may be stated, I'd say that unless a major impact on that person's life was reported, taking WP:NOTNEWS into account, it may in the near future come to seem the same as reporting whether a person has had chickenpox or the flu. In that light, it would make sense to mention it only in out-of-the-ordinary situations. I'm not stating this as a rule to follow, just suggesting a way to look at the question. Largoplazo (talk) 03:55, 26 December 2021 (UTC)
Additions like this and this were made to those respective BLPs and to me it doesn't seem necessary since, as you put it (which is also my sentiments on the matter), no "major impact on that person's life" has been reported in either case so far, just that they tested positive. If something more serious were to come of it however, I'd have no question about that being noted. But I didn't/don't want to remove them prematurely in case it would be wrong to do so. -- Carlobunnie (talk) 04:22, 26 December 2021 (UTC)
The wikibio for Bangladeshi Major General AKM Nazmul Hasan is currently at AfD. The article has numerous references with passing mentions of recent activity but little on his career. I suspect this is because the sources needed are in Bengali. I have posted at the Bangladesh WikiProject to ask for any editors who can read Bengali to look at the present reference 2 to a Government Weekly Gazette to check on what that reference says, to have a look for any Bengali-language sources that are more substantive, and to contribute to the AfD thread. It occurs to me that members of this WikiProject could ask have useful thoughts to offer on the article and the AfD. Of course, any and all contributions with whatever perspective are welcome and invited to both the article and the AfD, whether from Bengali-speakers or not. Information that suitable sources cannot be located would be just as useful to that discussion as locating suitable sources as the bio should not be preserved if Nazmul Hasan is not WP notable. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 23:50, 27 December 2021 (UTC)