Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 106

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Archive 105 Archive 106 Archive 107


Pdf of a letter acceptable?

See the two pdfs in this edit [1]. I'd say they aren't as there is no proof they are original. Dougweller (talk) 18:36, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Looks like someone's spent a lot of time on the article. I'd say the pdfs pass RS, but the material should not be included in the article per WP:PRIMARY, because they do nothing to establish that the activities they describe are noteworthy for inclusion in an encyclopaedia. The article already goes into sufficient detail about every single other thing the subject has ever done. --FormerIP (talk) 18:49, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia depends to some degree on the honesty of its editors when it comes to obscure citations like those in specialized libraries. Were the pdfs being used right, I would say they are innocent until proven guilty. BeCritical__Talk 19:54, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Official facebook notes

I'm drafting an article about a recently deceased biologist and found this obituary published by Connecticut State Museum of Natural History which the subject was the founding director of. The only thing is that it is only found on facebook and I am apprehensive about using it because of this. Does this count as reliable? (If I reference it I will archive a copy so that it can't go dead). Thanks SmartSE (talk) 20:26, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

What if you contacted them for confirmation? BeCritical__Talk 20:36, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
I could, but based on this it is pretty obviously official and other facts match up, it's just that I wouldn't normally consider anything published on facebook as reliable! SmartSE (talk) 20:42, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Yeah I saw that too. It technically falls under self-published, but it actually looks like the policy is out-dated and was made before institutions started using facebook. The source looks reliable to me, without actually reading it. If you really think you'll be questioned on it, I guess you better get confirmation, but if it were me I'd use it but be ready to defend having used it. Just my opinion though. BeCritical__Talk 20:59, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
On the Museum's main page, they have a 'Follow us on Facebook' link.[2] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:02, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
[3] BeCritical__Talk 21:06, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Cascadia Cup

There are references to old results that are given on a fan site. I understand that the tournament was started as a competition sponsored by supporters (fan) groups, but is this an acceptable source? The results seem to have achieved consensus in any case. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 00:00, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Patrin and Hammer to Nail

  • Is Hammer to Nail a reliable source for commentary on indi movies? The site is prominent in the indi circuit. It was co-founded by Ted Hope, one of the prominent figures in the scene Its editors are notable enough to have pages in indieWire too. In particular, Michael Nordine, who wrote the review for Korkoro, also writes for LA Weekly and Slant Magazine(LA, Slant and indieWire). Another indi movie magazine, Filmmaker (magazine) quite often features Hammer to Nail reviews such as this. I was also able to find this review published in Film Independent's website, which presents the Independent Spirit Awards. It is also not so uncommon to find Hammer to Nail's comments listed in the press releases of movies along with mainstream magazines. So, can we use Hammer to Nail for indi movie articles?
  • Patrin is widely recognised as a reliable source by the academics for Roma studies. With google, I was able to find lots of academic papers using Patrin as a source, such as this University of Arizona paper and this Oxford paper. Stanford university lists Patrin as a reliable source for information on ethnic conflicts. Lots of books on the Roma have used Patrin as a source. (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5). United Nations High Commission for Refugees recognises this as a reliable source. There have been articles on BBC and Natgeo too, using Patrin as a source. So, is Patrin a reliable source for articles on Roma history?

Thanks morelMWilliam 02:18, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

I see no problem with Patrin's credentials as a source. From what I can see, Hammer to Nail has a fixed staff and editorial oversight, which would elevate above being considered a blog/fansite. That would satisfy me as to its reliability. Though, to be fair, I'm not exactly an expert so another opinion might also be useful if anyone wanted to agree with me or dispute me. GRAPPLE X 05:04, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Patrin definitely appears to be reliable; I see numerous citations for it in academic journals. I am not as sold on Hammer to Nail. I'd consider Michael Tully's opinions to be notable for commentary, but I don't see the website being consistently referenced by other sites. I'd say it is conditional and only use it for the opinions of Michael Tully or other notable figures, and not use the one for Korkoro or use the website for factual information. --Odie5533 (talk) 13:08, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
Hammer to Nail caters to indi cinema; it HAS been consistently used for the reviews in Filmmaker (magazine). I don't get it when one expects an indi movie film review site to be referenced in mainstream ones. Moreover, Michael Nordine, who wrote Korkoro's review, is a Los Angeles based film critic who writes for Slant Magazine and LA Weekly too. So, a review written by Michael Nordine in Slant can be used while the one written by him for Hammer to Nail cannot be? Am I the one who misunderstood the WP:SPS? It states "with the exception of material on such sites that is labeled as originating from credentialed members of the sites' editorial staff, rather than users.". Hammer to Nail is not a user generated content site and all its writers are film critics in other magazines too. As it is a website for film criticisms, it would usually be used with attribution in the text body. So, no question about factual information.
There are a few questions here: 1) Is the source reliable for facts? 2) Is the source reliable for opinions? 3) Is the source notable? 2 generally gets a pass unless the source is proven to publish false interviews or something really low like that. I haven't really established 3 entirely, but my initial impression is that the publication itself is not notable. Thus, the opinions of the publication as expressed through its writers are not really that notable either (you could argue fringe cases I suppose). When Michael Nordine writes an article in a larger publication, he isn't just publishing his own work but he has the backing of the reputation of the entire publication. Is Michael Nordine such a notable person that all of his opinions are notable? I do not believe so. Although you don't specifically ask to consider the first question (your question was if it was a "reliable source for commentary"), I'll say that I don't think the site is reliable for factual information either. They don't have an editorial policy (do they watch the movies they review?), they don't have a list of editors, and I don't believe they have built a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy within the industry. Do they edit any of the articles they post? One would like to assume so, but based on the objective facts they do not appear to.
I am curious, is "indi" short for "independent" (which I usually see abbreviated as "indie") or is it short for "indian" or something else? --Odie5533 (talk) 22:18, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
Regarding the notability of Hammer to Nail, did you miss the press release of a movie that I linked in my first post? Why would a not so notable website's comments feature in such many movies' press releases? Here is a reference to it on The Wall Street Journal. Here is a reference to a Hammer to Nail interview in Senses of Cinema. Here is a coverage of the launch party for Hammer to Nail on Variety (magazine). You could have done some googling than assuming on its editorial policy. There is an indieWire link that I provided in my first post which states that Michael Tully is indeed the editor cum head writer. Here is a Filmmaker (magazine) article stating the same, along with introducing the site to its readers and its new policy to host critical commentary from then on, with content from Hammer to Nail. I was also able to find coverage on the Hammer to Nail awards presented by the site on Filmmaker (magazine) (this), GreenCine Daily(this) and on indieWire(this). The site has received mention in multiple third party sources. That makes it notable. And it does have an editorial policy! By the way, weren't you able to infer from the site on which indi I was talking about? I was indeed referring to Independent Cinema. Thanks. morelMWilliam 11:16, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Based on a few of the sources you provided, it appears marginally notable but perhaps not very reputable. Movie press releases do not count for anything; advertising agencies will seek out any source imaginable to find someone that will say that the thing they are selling is worth buying. The reference from Senses of Cinema and GreenCine are trivial and do not support the notability of Hammer to Nail. The only two that support notability are the indieWire and FilmMakerMagazine articles. You stated that Hammer to Nail does have an editorial policy. I would very much like to read it. Where can I find it? Also, please WP:AGF in the future. --Odie5533 (talk) 11:52, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
I did assume good faith. What about the reference on WSJ? I wouldn't buy your sermon on the advertising folks. They wouldn't find it suiting to include some nondescript source in the limited space that they have to use. The references, though trivial, acknowledge the commentary that goes on at Hammer to Nail, and well, it also means that these sources used Hammer to Nail for supporting their facts. GreenCine daily had many other articles too, quoting the comments by reviewers at Hammer to Nail. These establish the way HTN reviews are being received. You stated earlier that they have no list of editors and now are asking for its editorial policy. We can only think what an editor is supposed to do. Here is what I found on what he thinks of his role and here is a comment by a staff writer. And every article gives attribution to its writer. Moreover, Senses of Cinema has writers who also write for Hammer to Nail, and these articles introduce the writers as Hammer to Nail contributers. If it had been some non notable SPS, I don't think it would have deserved such mention. Every other reference to Michael Tully introduces him as the head writer/ founder / editor of HTN. I wouldn't regard it wise to introduce a rather notable person with a not so notable website. morelMWilliam 13:00, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
I could not read the WSJ reference. I concede that the site is weakly notable, but I am still concerned that it is not reliable. I can not determine that it has a history of fact-checking and accuracy. You stated earlier, "And it does have an editorial policy!", but now you're saying that the policy maintains a more figurative existence. I recommend not using the site for factual information, and I would personally not use the site for reviews except for ones written by Michael Tully. --Odie5533 (talk) 15:46, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
While you might personally choose to not use HTN for reviews, it has other takers such as WSJ. Here is the part which refers to HTN : " Writing on the Hammer to Nail film blog in 2009, "Tiny Furniture" director Lena Dunham—who was born 16 years after "David Holzman" was produced—speculated that the slyly self-conscious conceit presaged a "future of webcams, reality TV and Slacker culture." GreenCine Daily too has quoted the comments by HTN writers. It has coverage in multiple third party sources such as Filmmaker, indieWire and WSJ. How would that make it 'weakly notable' as per WP policies? Or is it an another personal comment? Regarding the editorial policy, do you expect to find something like 'I sweep through my staff writers' criticisms. So, I am the head writer/ editor' from Tully? morelMWilliam 07:27, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
What I would expect for a site to really prove notability is a sizable review or analysis of the site published by a reliable source. They are quoting comments here and there. Even the quotes some of the sites make are just "Michael Tully writes" and then the citation says that it was written in the Hammer to Nail. The WSJ reference again uses the author's reputation in addition to stating where the comments were written. That is why I said it is weakly notable, and I stand by my assessment. Here is the New York Times's editorial policy. --Odie5533 (talk) 01:53, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

In regard to Is the source notable?, do we require that sources be notable? Most of the sources we use are not notable, or are written by non-notable people. In regard to Hammer to Nail, I don't think it is inherently reliable, as it seems like a group blog, but I think it might be used with care for non-controversial statements such as plot summaries, much in the limited way we allow use of IMDB. I would add that any articles there posted by recognized experts should be considered reliable per WP:SPS, which says Self-published material may be acceptable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications. So if an article is written by someone with a history of publications in magazines and journals, I think that would be considered reliable. --Nuujinn (talk) 10:00, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

In that case, the writer of the article that has been used for Korkoro, who also writes for Slant Magazine, Reverse Shot, LA Weekly and Not Coming to a Theatre Near You, becomes eligible to have his commentary used in Wikipedia. Another point to be noted is that all the writers at HTN are either notable film makers or film critics who also write for other publications. morelMWilliam 12:22, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
In regards to Nuujinn's comments: I would not say most sources used on Wikipedia are not notable, but I'd agree that some are not notable (how can one maintain a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy without having any reputation to speak of?). The question I posed is to help determine whether or not the commentary of a publication is useful for inclusion in Wikipedia. I do not believe the comments of a non-notable publication are, well, notable for inclusion as comments of anything. However, if the source is determined to be reliable, then perhaps the comments are not useful but the facts are. Others might not agree with my assessment here, but I think the question at least helps to determine what commentaries are useful for inclusion because commentaries from unreliable sources are sometimes still useful as opinions. I hope this makes sense. --Odie5533 (talk) 21:19, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
In regards to MorelMWilliam's comments: In the article, Korkoro, it states "Hammer to Nail wrote that [...]". If you are basing the inclusion of the comments on the author's reputation and not on the publication's reputation, I think you should change it to "Michael Nordine wrote that [...]" or at least include his name. --Odie5533 (talk) 21:19, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
I think the latter makes good sense. --Nuujinn (talk) 00:41, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Michael Nordine is now given the attribution for HTN statements in Korkoro. But the question now rests on HTN's notability. With coverage in multiple third party sources, which includes full featured articles in Filmmaker and indieWire and references to criticism published in HTN in multiple other sources, why isn't it notable? Thanks for the NYT editorial policy link. Could you fetch LA Weekly's too for me? Also, for a film criticism site isn't it common to have disclaimers that free the editors from holding responsibility for the authors' statements published? morelMWilliam 06:25, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
"Could you fetch LA Weekly's too for me?". Your words are insulting; I am not your dog. Let me know when you wish to continue actual discussion. --Odie5533 (talk) 13:07, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Is this piece from the Rolling Stone Culture Section a RS?

"The Neverending Nightmare of Amanda Knox" by Nathaniel Rich is used for several sole-source statements in the Murder of Meredith Kercher article. While Rolling Stone is generally a reliable source, this particular piece seems to be a partially fictionalized account of the murder.

Of many questionable passages, the most egregious is on page 5 where there is an extended dialog of Knox's interrogation which the author himself admits, further down the page, was never recorded. It seems highly likely that the author imagined it.

Those of us who edit MoMK are used to sources with factual errors, but at what point can we agree that the author has taken too much literary license and deem the piece as a whole unreliable? Brmull (talk) 18:44, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

There is no evidence that any part of this is fictionalized, and the passages that this is used to source are not particularly controversial. Quite honestly, if this editor wished to work collaboratively rather than disruptively, I'm sure we can find second sources for some of the statements in the article. For those editors not familiar with the article, there are several editors on each "side" of this issue which contribute regularly, and no one else had a problem with these edits because the source is obviously a RS and it comports with other accounts. The reason the source was used as much as it was is because it was a good "summary" article at a time when most article were "update" articles. But as I said, because none of the statements sourced in here are particularly controversial and because they comport with other accounts, everyone at the article talk page ok'd these edits, despite the fact that discussions over there can be quite contentious.LedRush (talk) 20:43, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
You sure haven't lost you incivility, have you...TMCk (talk) 21:26, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
Would you like to make a constructive comment on the subject?LedRush (talk) 22:15, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
Also, it seems that the RS source is used 4 times in the article. In 2 of those times, it is used with another source, and two of those times it is used as the sole source. For one of those sources, it makes a direct quote of one of the prosecutor's which is easily checked on the internet, and we use the source with direct attribution to Rolling Stone. That leaves only one statement. "Knox has maintained that she was with Sollecito at the time, but during police questioning after 10 pm on Monday November 5th 2007, Sollecito said that he could not be certain she was with him when he was asleep." This generally comports with the other accounts and RSs on this subject.LedRush (talk) 22:15, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
I'd like if possible to get others' input on whether this is a RS. We've already tried to collaborate on specific cites which I'll summarize again on the talk page. Brmull (talk) 22:50, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
"It seems highly likely that the author imagined it" original research unless you have an RS which states this.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► 00:17, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, the assertion that Berean points to above caused me pause as well, and I am also curious as to the support for it.--Epeefleche (talk) 17:07, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Rolling Stone has a long tradition of in-depth coverage on topics of interest to its readers that would make it more of a reliable source than the many superficial tabloid newspaper accounts and blog articles strewn throughout the article. That's where the real problem with fictionalized versions of events exists. Based upon the editor's previous actions, it seems clear that he wishes it were not a reliable source solely because he disagrees with its conclusions, largely based upon opinions formed from reading early tabloid reports that have since been proven erroneous. DreamGuy (talk) 01:02, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
As someone who knows a bit about the case, I'd say this article presents a good case study for the "verification vs truth" debate. It's full of inaccuracies, but RS is an RS, so what can you do? At present I'd say it's pointless worrying about the state of the MoMK article, because the appeal verdict is so imminent and, whatever the outcome, the article will soon need a serious revamp. --FormerIP (talk) 01:13, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
It's not original research if the same page that has the purported dialog says that the dialog was not recorded. It's self evident that it was made up. That goes beyond "truth versus verifiability". It goes to question of "truth versus fiction." Brmull (talk) 06:14, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
The article makes it pretty clear that the quotes were Knox's account of the interrogation. There is no discrepency at all between reporting what happened (via Knox's account) and saying there was no recording done. Your issue seems to be that the author believes Knox's account, and not the police account. Seeing as the Italian Supreme Court threw out the "confession", it seems that maybe they also didn't believe the police account.LedRush (talk) 15:22, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
You say it's "pretty clear" (on what evidence I don't know) that the quotes were Knox's account of the interrogation. Then isn't it also pretty clear that the paragraph immediately preceding, which describes Sollecito's interrogation, is also a defence account, and should be attributed as such in the article? Brmull (talk) 19:46, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
If you read the article, you'll seAmanda-Knoxs-note.htmle that it says "The most remarkable thing about Knox's account of the interrogation is that, even as she signed her confession, she didn't realize that she was a suspect." It says this right after the section in which he relates what happened in the interrogation.LedRush (talk) 20:02, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Okay, if that interpretation is correct, then where does Paxton's account of Knox's account begin? Does it include the sentence, "Sollecito finally stated that Knox could have left his apartment for several hours on the night of Kercher's murder while he was asleep"? Because that is most certainly false, according to Sollecito's confession released by the police and published in Corriere and several British newspapers. Brmull (talk) 09:31, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
No, Knox's account does not include Sollecito's account, obviously. And I don't see a conflict with Sollecito's other statements as reported in reliable sources and this. I would like to remind you that the police accounts of interrogations are not the only accounts, and that participants in interrogations on both sides often elaborate on what transpired afterward. You not liking a statement doesn't make it false, and it certainly doesn't make an unquestionably reliable source into an unreliable source based on your opinions and misunderstandings.LedRush (talk) 11:48, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I agree with User:FormerIP, User:DreamGuy, and User:LedRush. Rolling Stone is a reliable source, obviously, and this article meets every criteria under WP:RS, specifically WP:NEWSORG. The article does not appear to be a fictionalized account, but rather Knox's recounting of the interrogation. Knox was in the room at the time, so her account of the interrogation/interview should not be branded as "fiction." Also agree with Borean, that "It seems highly likely that the author imagined it" appears to be WP:OR. ColorOfSuffering (talk) 21:45, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Are resume's and CVs reliable soruces for BLPs?

Reviewing the article George J. Borjas, it appears that some of the article is sourced to his 2005 curriculum vitae: [4]. Are CVs appropriate sources in general, and BLPs in particular? Are there any specific guidelines on what they can be used for? aprock (talk) 20:45, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

CVs are not suitable for use for establishing notability. They are, however, useful as references as they may provide useful disambiguation information (to distinguish between multiple people with the same or similar names) and personal information (ethnicity, religion, etc). Stuartyeates (talk) 21:14, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Agree w/Stuart, as a general matter. Though, for certain claims, we would want something other than a CV. We treat them as a primary source (to be used with care), and the same way we would use a personal blog from a notable person.--Epeefleche (talk) 21:27, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
A note about CV's, they can sometimes be a little embellished. You can also have cases where the person updates them constantly. For instance, my brother did research work for this odd woman who had a 72-page CV. Though I guess that is something we like if we are looking for more info. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 27 Elul 5771 21:42, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Just as a small aside, an academic's CV can run into many pages because all classes taught, research projects, consultancies, conference papers, journal papers and other publications are listed. The CV on the university website is the best one to go with because it is most likely to be accurate, although it is actually supposed to be embellished. Itsmejudith (talk) 10:38, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes they are reliable sources on education and job history, publications and personal info such as date of birth. However we need to be sure that the CV is in fact made by the person it claims to be made from so they should come from a an official website for that person. That can be a job or a site that is clearly affiliated with him/her. As a rule you don't find CV's for dead people.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:49, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

A book about textbooks

Is a book describing and quoting school textbooks a reliable source regarding history?

The book:Schissler, Hanna; Soysal, Yasemin Nuhoğlu (2005). Berghahn Series. The nation, Europe, and the world: textbooks and curricula in transition. Berghahn Books. p. 55. ISBN 157181549X claims (allegedly) that something (probably transfer of Germans) was the "largest population transfer in history". It's probably a quotation from a German textbook so the statement informs about German nationalistic indoctrination rather than compares population transfers in human history. Population transfers in China were several times bigger than in Europe. Xx236 (talk) 13:44, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Sounds like an over-generalization that text books are notorious for or the general ignorance of the author on the issue. The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 17:36, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
If a textbook claims that the editing nation is the best I become cautious. European textbooks used to be and many still are nationalistic or ethnocentric or West-centric. France and Germany did fantastic work rewriting textbooks after WWII, Poland and Germant too, but there is no symetry - Poland implements the agreements, German lands are authonomic. When a German textbook claims that Germany was the main victim in history - I don't believe the story. Xx236 (talk) 19:55, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Imho you will however be hard pressed to find a (proper) German textbook claiming such thing. Afaik even older textbooks (50s, 60s) usually dealt with "unpleasant" topics by ommission rather than making dubious claims. --Kmhkmh (talk) 01:21, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
But I have found the statement about the "largest population transfer in history". I'm not able to check the original context, I doubt any library in Poland has the discussed book and the quoted textbook. It's part of rewriting history. Hahn and Hahn quote this Wikipedia article as a prove of the rewriting. Xx236 (talk) 07:08, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Well but what is the exact textbook? All i understood so far there might be some textbook that might claim.--Kmhkmh (talk) 17:10, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
What's the article concerned, and the statement it would support? Itsmejudith (talk) 17:49, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–1950) and the statement is that the expulsion of Germans were the biggest. There are different opinions regarding details - the biggest ever, in modern history, in Europe, in the 20 century, the biggest ethnic.Xx236 (talk) 19:44, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

In general (high)school textbooks may be (temporary) acceptable sources, but they are often not a good source and almost never an optimal source. All content that is covered in such school books, is covered in academic (university level) literature as well and the latter is the source that ultimately should be used.

Potential pitfalls with highschool books, that might render them unusable as a source in individual cases, have been mentioned in the postings further up already. In many countries or cases they can have a strong national or religious bias and are often politicized (see school book battles in the US over evolution, religion, race for instance). In addition even school books not subject to those problems may contain oversimplifications for didactical/pedagogical reasons, which are not appropriate for an encyclopedia such as WP.--Kmhkmh (talk) 01:14, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

I don't know the overall answer to this, but one thing to consider is the issue of trying to contradict the claim by comparisons that may or may not be appropriate. On the talkpage or the article, the OP talks about population transfer in China at a certain time being greater. Assuming that is true, though, the question is might raise is how a "population transfer" is normally defined. The Chinese and German cases appear to be different in that the first consists of transfer within a country whereas the second is a case of transfer between countries. Is there a standard way that the phrase "population transfer" should be used? --FormerIP (talk) 01:27, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
The problem with the "Expulsion" is that the Expulsion isn't defined and the documentation by Schieder was politically motivated, it wasn't an academic work. Read texts by Hahn and Hahn aboout Mythos Vertreibung. Germany created a myth and still supports it. The numbers of deported and dead persons are undefined, the place is described as "The East", even if Germans came also from the West and any other direction. BTW - there weren't exactly countries in 1945 but occupation zones. Germans themselves claim that lands obtained by Poland in 1945 were only provisionally administered, so big transfers took place inside Germany.Xx236 (talk) 07:08, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Per arguments above, especially Kmhkmh's point about oversimplification in school textbooks, avoid this book for this article. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:40, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

The book is available:,+Hans-Georg+(1997).+Geschichte+kennen+und+verstehen&source=bl&ots=iqu4jVXrDz&sig=IK-WtIAUO4koEHSJzsc8Bwl4SRo&hl=pl&ei=jzOETr_NMcit8gPDj51Q&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&sqi=2&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=largest&f=false

As far as I understand, the texbook statement "the largest" describes population transfers in Europe, not only the ones regarding Germans. So the Wikipedia editor misquoted and I'm removing the quote.Xx236 (talk) 09:17, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Reality check

In this edit, I removed from the article Azerbaijani American -- on the basis of WP:CRYSTAL -- a paragraph speculating about what the new U.S. Census results will show about the number of Azerbaijani-Americans,. While the paragraph was heavily referenced, with general studies about ethnic undercounting and media reports of numbers fed by pro-Azerbaijani sources, none of the sources provided could, in my view, be considered reliable on the specific subject of what the Census will show about the number of Azerbaijani-Americans. All that was presented was speculation on what the Census would show, or, more precisely, what the editor who added the material (User:Saygi1) hoped the study would show -- a precipitous rise in the number of Azerbaijani-Americans.

In any event, my understanding of WP:CRYSTAL is that we should not be presenting speculation as information -- the Census will be released, and it will say what it says, and that information can then be added to the article.

I'd appreciate it if someone could look at my edit to see if I'm off base here. Beyond My Ken (talk) 00:18, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

User:Saygi1 notified. Beyond My Ken (talk) 00:20, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Discussion here and here. Beyond My Ken (talk) 00:28, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Think you were correct with the removal. There's no way that wasn't synth. If there has been significant media coverage of the specific hot topic of how many Azerbaijani-Americans will show up in the census, that should be brought to the table and the content restored. --FormerIP (talk) 00:30, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
BMK, removing a large paragraph with some 18 (!) reliable and verifiable sources cruicial to the article about an ethno-national group of people in U.S., by citing an exaggerated concern of "a paragraph speculating" is an overkill, don't you think? You've done it 3 times: [5], [6], and [7].
  • For starters, you can simply re-phrase any sentence you feel "speculated", instead of just reverting.
  • Secondly, there is no attempt to predict what the Census will say - all the article said is: "The 2010 U.S. Census results, to be released by the end of 2011, are expected to reflect a more current official estimate on the number of Azerbaijanis in the U.S." How's that a "prediction"? Naturally, a 2010 Census would give figures up till 2010 - more current than 2000 figures. How's that an "attempt to predict"? Although, Census results can only show an increase as is clear from the cited facts, such as annual statistics of naturalizations between 2000 and 2010 (the years of Census) and the fact of natural growth (more births over deaths) typicaly for this community. However, since it can border on WP:OR, it can be re-phrased, and I will do so to alleviate any possible concerns. Again, you could have simply re-phrased just one sentence to make a good-faith edit instead of removing a huge block of sourced material like you did.
  • Thirdly, there are virtually no "pro-Azerbaijani sources" cited - some 95% of sources are American newspapers, news sources and other U.S. government, media and NGO sources. Only one source is from an Azerbaijani source - an article by Dr. Paul Goble, an American citizen, ex-CIA analyst and RFE/RL high ranking executive, that was published by the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy.
  • Yet even if there would have been many Azerbaijani sources - that's OK, too, as the article is about Azerbaijani-Americans, and naturally, Azerbaijanis would research or comment on that topic most. Sounds quite logical, don't you think? I think it's natural that Italian Coppolla makes films about Italian culture, Jewish Spielberg about Jews, Scottish Gibson about Scotts, Nobel-prize winning Turkish author Pamuk writing about Turks, Russian authors writing about Russians, Arab-American Dr. Zogby famous for his research on Arab-American community, etc. As I've shown, Asian-Americans testify in the US Senate about census undercount of their community, Latino's about undercount of their community - and they are all reliable sources.
  • If by "pro-Azerbaijani sources" you mean the fact that Azerbaijani-Americans were interviewed or published by the U.S. newspapers and sources - so? Is that prohibited? Who else should give interviews, or know more about their own community - the people themselves, or someone else? How's a statement from John Doe about Azerbaijani-Americans any more reliable than a statement from a Azer (a typical Azerbaijani name) about Irish-Americans or a statement from Hans (a Germanic name) about African-Americans, or Jose (Hispanic name) about Chinese-Americans?
  • Fourth, the claim "general sources about undercounting in the census, with no mention of application to Azerbaijanis" and that being "non-reliable cites" is really a wild overstretch. All these sources clearly state that Census undercount affects primarily minorities (as well as poor, which many immigrant minorities are in the their first 10 years of life, before earning more income than average citizens, and children, which affects everyone). None of the census undercount studies need to cite all the ethnic groups ("minorities") by name in order to be valid sources for citing in Wikipedia. It's enough that they all concur that minorities, especially immigrant minorities, are particularly affected by this, and then proceed to cite several cases, such as undercount of Brooklyn, NY residents (where a large number of Azerbaijani-Americans lives), or undercount of Iranian-American community (which is very close to the Azerbaijani-American community as is proven by multiple sources).
  • Fifth, per your previous complaint [8], you don't know what "Boro Prez" does or signs. If you visit all their websites or call them, you will find out that 1) they don't always issue such documents, and can refuse, and do refuse all the time; 2) they do their own research and verification. But more importantly, they, being a government source, are a reliable and verifiable source. And we have not one, but three (3) such government proclamations. It's just as reliable as a census, for example, since we already have shown that census routinely undercounts, and then shown the State Department and the White House ignore the US Census figures and cite much larger figures for the, for example, Iranian-American community (e.g., if the 2000 census reports smth like 338,000 Iranian-Americans, then White House and State Department say there are 2 million Iranian-Americans).
  • Sixth, I re-phrased some of the sentences in the new version, along with restoring the paragraph with 18 valuable, reliable and verifiable sources that BMK blanked out [9]. Also, per the Census undercount discussion, note that I added 3 new US Census Bureau studies on the undercount as well as one study of the effect of undercount on the US Congress and one testimony in the US Senate about the Census 2010.
  • Seventh, you did not remove (blanked out) the paragraph with heavily sourced info per WP:CRYSTAL as you try to claim again, as there are no speculations there, and you could have easily discussed it with specifics on the Talk page and then re-worded it. You removed it per WP:REVENGE, pure and simple. You removed, once again, a lot of sourced information that several other editors and admins have not removed over the past month - and they can read and think, too. So please, stop such disruptive editing, especially since you admit on your own talk page that "the topic area is so far afield from my natural haunting grounds", i.e,. a WP:LACK. Add to that WP:BATHWATER and WP:RUSH although they are about deleting the whole article, and in this case, half of the article. --Saygi1 (talk) 00:34, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Saygi1, TLDR in general. "are expected" indicates to me that we don't yet know what the census reports will be, and thus CRYSTAL seems to apply. Also, please refrain from characterizing editor conduct here, it's not helpful. --Nuujinn (talk) 00:41, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Please see the last version that BMK reverted, there was no such wording [10]. There was smth to that effect in an older version of the article [11], which literally said smth different than what BMK alleges: "The 2010 U.S. Census results, to be released by the end of 2011, are expected to reflect a more current official estimate on the number of Azerbaijanis in the U.S." [12]. (BMK claimed above this: "paragraph speculating about what the new U.S. Census results will show about the number of Azerbaijani-Americans") As you can see, there is no prediction of Census results of Azerbaijani-Americans even in the older version of the page, before it was re-written, but simply informing the viewer that there was a recent Census and its results will be available soon. What kind of results, it does not say and does not speculate. Yet it was still reverted by BMK, improperly citing CRYSTAL. Even if there would have been a speculation over the number of people, that's not a license to blank the page and remove 18 sources along. There is no CRYSTAL violation here. He could have simply removed one word or re-phrased one sentence. But he preferred to revert the page 3 times in one day, despite my repeated pleas on his talk page and the talk page of the article itself. --Saygi1 (talk) 01:04, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Let's see, looking at this version:
  • The 2010 U.S. Census results, to be released by the end of 2011, are expected to reflect a more current official estimate on the number of Azerbaijanis in the U.S. But ethnic communities in the U.S. are still grossly underestimated by censuses mostly due to poor participation, assimilation or misclassification. Azerbaijani-Americans are not an exception in this regard, as both unofficial and semi-official estimates show that there are more Azerbaijanis living in the United States than claimed in the 2000 Census. The sources,,, and, do not mention Azerbaijanis at all. Linking the three statements is WP:SNYTH, as the sources do not directly support the first and third statements. At most, you could use those sources to make general statements to the effect that some group believe that the census numbers will turn out to be inaccurate, and that does strike me as fitting CRYSTAL in this context, since a conclusion is being drawn about a particular group not mentioned in the sources.
  •,,,,,, none of these are reliable.
  • may be reliable, but they attribute the figure of 400K to USAN, which is not, I think reliable. Likewise attributes a figure of 200K-500K to Elin Suleymanov, the consul general for Azerbaijan. I'm not sure he's reliable on this topic. attributes a 400K figure to Javid Huseynov, a doctorate student at UC Irvine. School newspapers are not generally considered very reliable sources, and in this case the person to which the statement is attributed does not appear to be an expert. appears to be a press release from the AAC and lists 400K as an "unofficial figure", which does not lead me to think it is reliable, either.
  • may be reliable, but looks weak--Facts on File is a publishing group oriented towards public libraries and schools, and the source seems to be of textbook quality. No footnotes or bibliography.
Throwing lots of weak or non-reliable sources doesn't help in terms of referencing. I haven't looked at all of the sources, but what disturbs me is that no source presented attributes a number backed up other than by a raw assertion by some individual or group. Where are these number actually coming from? Is there a study, a survey? Or it is just the case that numbers were plucked from thin air and shopped around? --Nuujinn (talk) 10:45, 28 September 2011 (UTC)


  • the source from Margaret Kaeter has bibliography, you just cannot see them in Google Books preview. And can you please provide more detail on your judgment whether it is a textbook or research work?
  • The proclamations from various U.S. government offices are also reliable, as they are issued based on scrutinized review of information. What is concerning is that some of the users disputing at Talk:Azerbaijani American are actually claiming that the claim to unofficial figure of 400,000 is made by lobbyists or Azerbaijani government agents, which neither Missouri Lt Governor nor Brooklyn Borough President are.
  • The U.S. Census links listing organization as Census partner are meant to assert exactly that listed fact, that both USAN and AAC were Census partners. What is not reliable about that?
  • The figure provided by AAC officer in UCLA Daily Bruin is meant to reflect, again, an unofficial estimate, already confirmed by several other sources listed. How is it not reliable when other sources, unrelated to AAC or Daily Bruin, say the same thing? Atabəy (talk) 14:27, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Kaeter's work has a table of contents, and that is visible, and does not list a bibliography. There are no footnotes that I can see, and I base my judgement on the publisher's web site, see The book is part of a 15 volume set. This is not a high quality work published by an academic press.
  • Why do you say that proclamations are "based on scrutinized review of information"? That is generally not the case with such proclamations, which are pretty much just "feel good" documents. In any case, Lt. Governors and Borough Presidents are mid level politicians, not experts in census data or demographics.
  • I do not doubt that USAN and AAC were census partners, but that fact is not a source for the numbers being bandied about, and that fact does not make the USAN and AAC experts census data or demographics.
  • No source seems to actually confirm a number, they seem rather to simply repeat it, and that makes me nervous. If a source referred to where that number came from, how that number was arrived at, it would be a much different matter. If there were a study or survey done by researchers that was referenced, it would be a different matter.
I hope that all makes sense. I think we could put a statement in that there is are unofficial estimates, but we should attribute the sources and be very careful about how to do that. But these really are weak sources, so we'd have to be very careful about attribution. --Nuujinn (talk) 22:44, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Since editors continue to restore the speculative material to the article despite the consensus of uninvolved editors, I have brought this issue to WP:AN/I, [here. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:15, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Nuujinn, you've used the wrong version of my edited article, I've specifically warned against that and said to use the last version I edited, where I re-phrased some of the sentences and notified the admins about it [13]. Your exclusion of a bunch of sources, like the US Census Bureau, three US state government proclamations, opinion of a Consul General, and multiple newspapers from all across the country as "unreliable" is of course hard to even consider. There was no speculation about Census 2010 (Beyond My Ken's original complaint), and the 400,000 was clearly indicated as an estimate. Like with other minority communities, there are always estimates, and they deserve to be reported if they represent the majority of opinion and thus pass Wikipedia's requirements. All of the sources and the paragraph in question comply with WP:VERIFY and WP:CITE among other. It is more reliable than similar articles like Iranian American and Armenian American - would you care to analyze them as well, and compare to Azerbaijani American? --Saygi1 (talk) 23:51, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
I have looked at the demographic coverage in Iranian American and find nothing there to complain about: citations from CNN (quoting the 2000 Census and independent surveys), the Wall Street Journal and NPR all seem reliable and support the statements made. The only statement about Iranian organizations in relation to the Census says that they are banding together to educated Iranian-Americans about the Census. There is no synthesis and no attempt to predict what future numbers will be. It's all straightforward use of citations to support straightforward statements.

I haven't looked at Armenian American, the article more difficult to parse. Beyond My Ken (talk) 00:11, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

BMK, you are not exactly a neutral editor here. Secondly, it is funny and shows once more the double standard you exercise. Because it was me who edited the Iranian American article and placed information you are citing, including the US Census undercount, which you don't seem to mind there (which is based/referred to the information from an Iranian NGO), and several references to Iranian (not American, but Iranian) newspapers, such as Payvand, and others. Also, a dispute tag was removed without much hesitation and explanation, and no one seems to object to that. --Saygi1 (talk) 00:47, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
In that case your edits fell within policy, in this case they did not, so in that case I have no objection, and in this case I removed them. Why is that so difficult for you to understand? Beyond My Ken (talk) 01:29, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
I took a look at [14], and pretty much everything I said above applies to that version as well. Do you have any notion what the figure is based on? Also, please be careful how you state things--a proclamation from the President of the Borough of Brooklyn is not in any way a US State Government proclamation, as the Borough is more a city level entity. And I am in no way excluding the US Census Bureau, as their figures are definitely reliable. Some of the sources could be used, but carefully, with attribution. My suggestion would be to look for just 2-3 of the best sources you can find and suggest a conservative edit, rather than throwing a mass of poor and unreliable source up and linking sources not directly related to the subject (thereby violating SYNTH). --Nuujinn (talk) 00:37, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
By three US state government proclamations I did refer, among others, to the Brooklyn proclamation - it is a city in the state of New York and is fully under/within/part of that state, and can't declare independence/secede (unlike a US state that can declare independence from the union, from USA, and thus be outside of federal government's reach). But let's call it "local government" if it's better - doesn't change much, as it's still a (local) government source, still authoritative, still reliable, still verifiable. Meanwhile, the last version of the article I pointed to your attention does not have the lines that BMK complained about, and does not speculate. More importantly, it would have been simply re-phrased by him, but he chose to blank it out and remove 18 sources. Also, those sources are all cited appropriately and are verifiable. The article is about an ethnic group, relatively new one, not about some complex topics like nuclear engineering or rocket science. The fact that 95% of sources are U.S. sources only adds to credibility. Of course being about Azerbaijani-Americans it would rely often on various Azerbaijanis about it. The 400,000 is available in Google Books source as another user showed. That along with 3 (local or state) government sources and others (such as statement from a Consul General, whose job is to know such things, as they have to deal with visas, passports, and other demographic questions all the time) and organizations like AAC and USAN that were specifically chosen by the US Census Bureau for the Census 2010 partnership, makes that estimate more than worthy of inclusion. Especially when you compare and look at the Iranian American page, and check the MIT Iranian Student Group survey (a poll or survey done by Iranian-Americans at MIT - that's a scholarly source), that at least 11% of Americans from Iran are actually ethnically Azerbaijani.[15] Since the U.S. Government (White House and State Department) say there are 2 million people from Iran, that's some 240,000 Azerbaijani-Americans just from Iran alone. Doesn't include Azerbaijanis who came from Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, etc. So as you can see, there is plenty of evidence, direct and indirect. But more importantly - these sources and that paragraph specifically should not have been removed/blanked out by Beyond My Ken without explanation. --Saygi1 (talk) 00:47, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
The Consul General, local government officials, state officials, members of congress, supreme court justices, and even the President would not be experts in census data and demographics, and thus not really reliable sources. I think your assertion about AAC and USAN being partners and thus reliable sources for these estimates would have to be supported by sources--if you read, you see that census partners help ensure participation in the census, and are not sources of data themselves, and from what I've read, the census program encourages all interested groups to participate in the partnership program, so partnership in the census says nothing about an organizations's ability to accurately assess or generate population figures. I'm simply not concerned or interested in the Iranian American, as what is there is not relevant to this discussion. Pulling data from various sources and drawing your own conclusions is OR, and we cannot use the results from that OR in articles, plain and simple.
The most I think you can do with the some of the sources you have presented is to say that specific groups or individuals have themselves made the claim that the number is X, Y, or Z, depending on the specific group or individual. Finally, I would point out that this venue is not appropriate for discussion of editor conduct, and you should take those concerns elsewhere. --Nuujinn (talk) 00:29, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
For the sake of accuracy, Saygi1's statements above about Brooklyn etc. are incorrect. Brooklyn was an independent city up until the turn of the 20th century, when it merged with New York City (Manhattan) and other jurisdictions to become "Greater" New York City. Now, Brooklyn is one of 5 boroughs of New York City, each of which is coextensive with a county. (That is, NYC is not within a single county as most American cities are, but has within it 5 county-level entities.) Brooklyn is Kings County, but there is no "Kings County" govermental structure, it is all handled by the Borough President. Thus, the Borough President of Brooklyn is equivalent to the County Executive of other U.S. Counties, but somewhat less so, since many of his dutues are ceremonial, all the real power residing in the Mayor of New York and the City Council.

Next, neither counties, cities, nor states can secede at will from the higher-level entity above them -- the American Civil War was fought over just that issue on the state/Federal level. The victory of the North established that secession of states from the Federal union is not allowed. So there's no way that a state can "be outside of federal government's reach". Lower down the hierarchy, there has been, over the years, popular support for New York City (and perhaps the surrounding counties) to secede from New York and become the 51st state, but to do that there woul have to be (1) a vote in the seceding counties, (2) a vote to allow the secession in the New York State Legislature, approved by the Governor of the state and (3) A vote in Congress or votes in 3/5s of the American states to accept the new state. For these reasons, it's never going to happen -- for one the state legislature will not approve it.

This has nothing to do with the current issues, of course -- except for the fact that the Brooklyn Borough President is neither a high official, nor an expert in American ethnic demographics -- I just hate to see such blatant mistatements of fact be bandied about. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:03, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Author profiles

If a publisher provides profiles of its authors, are those reliable sources? Are they considered independent of the author? The relevant example is William Lane Craig and the participant profile provided by Closer to Truth. Huon (talk) 04:17, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

The correct publisher is Closer to Truth, not Closer to the Truth. Maiorem (talk) 05:44, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Correct, thanks. I've updated the link above to avoid confusion. Huon (talk) 09:53, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

No, especially not for a BLP, since the publisher is not independent of the author. --Nuujinn (talk) 10:03, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

On what basis do you claim that the publisher is not independent of the author, especially in regards to author profiles? Even in terms of primary sources, shouldn't their reliability be determined by the context of their statements rather than simply by their being primary sources, per WP:PRIMARY? Maiorem (talk) 12:31, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

This wouldn't be a RS for a BLP, but ordinarily the subject's blog would be a RS for info about himself. Brmull (talk) 10:28, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

I think that standard BLP criteria apply, in particular the self-sourcing standards that

it is not unduly self-serving; it does not involve claims about third parties; it does not involve claims about events not directly related to the subject; there is no reasonable doubt as to its authenticity; the article is not based primarily on such sources.

Applying those standards carefully, I think the profile is far from an ideal source for the material it is cited for, although it is better than similar citations to the subject's own books, which appear to be OR/synthesis from primary sources. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 23:20, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

First of all, please explain how Closer to Truth is considered "self-sourcing". Do not just say "This wouldn't be a RS" or "I think the profile is far from an ideal source" but explain in what way is it lacking as a reliable source. In addition, citations from the subject's own books are not OR/synthesis from primary sources. Please take a look at WP:OR to understand what is OR/synthesis:
The term "original research" (OR) is used on Wikipedia to refer to material—such as facts, allegations, and ideas—for which no reliable, published source exists. This includes any analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position not advanced by the sources.
In this regard, there is no OR/synthesis when citing from the subject's own books. Please do not make baseless allegations concerning the sources or the citation of sources. Maiorem (talk) 03:33, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
To me it seems possible to sometimes use such author notes, but it is not ideal. I think that it makes sense to treat it like information on an author's webpage (indeed author's webpages are often based on the same types of texts that appear on their books) and indeed the main thing to be careful of then is to avoid anything un-duly self-serving or promotional. It seems better than nothing.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:02, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Is the interview at a reliable source for Davina Reichman, who is being interviewed there? Dream Focus 08:41, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Looks like a fairly simple website outfit, with two people named, one of whom conducts that interview. They also do not explain their editorial techniques which makes it important to try to find out whether any other sources cite them as if they have a reputation for accuracy. So does not look good for controversial stuff at first sight, but this particular interview looks like one that the living person involved has attended voluntarily, which means we can perhaps use that interview like we would use that person's personal webpage: i.e. ok for anything which is not obvious self-promotion. As in all such cases of people in their own words, bu on the internet, the main concern apart from self-promotion would be whether there is any chance that it is fraudulent, and not really involving the individual we want to write about. It does not seem likely in this case.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:48, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Reliability of Executive Biographies on

If I wanted to state that Michael H. Jordan had been a Director of Young & Rubicam, Inc., would BusinessWeek's Executive Profile and Biography of Michael H. Jordan be a reliable source? (Be sure to click the "Read Full Background" link to disclose the hidden text.) Thanks (talk) 22:20, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

BusinessWeek is WP:RS and so, absent conflicting information, this material is also RS. Cheers. Collect (talk) 23:06, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
The concern is represented by the footnote: "*Data is at least as current as the most recent Definitive Proxy", as there is no Definitive Proxy for private companies, such as one currently under discussion, BlackLight Power. The concern is whether the BW summary is based on more than just BlackLight's website. Given that there is another published source (NYTimes) indicating that he's no longer among the living, the odds of him serving on Y&R, BLP or any other boards seem pretty slim. Accordingly, I must conclude that BW is not a RS for such details. LeadSongDog come howl! 03:48, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Reference to RSA debate in article on The Spirit Level

Participants in the Spirit Level mediation would like an opinion from RSN on the inclusion of a citation about a debate concerning the book The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better held by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). Participants in the mediation have been unable to agree on whether or not to include a citation about this debate. A third opinion was requested, but two of the three participants disagree with the 3O. As mediator, I consider that a ruling from RSN would be helpful in resolving the dispute.

  1. The source in question, including link: Royal Society of Arts (22 Jul 2010) RSA Debates the Spirit Level.
  2. The article in which it is being used: The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better
  3. The exact statement in the article that the source is supporting:

In July 2010, a debate hosted by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), took place between Christopher Snowdon, Peter Saunders, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, and was subsequently uploaded to the internet.

4. Links to relevant talk page discussion:
  • Information about the debate was added to the article on 30 June 2011 [16]
  • There has been considerable discussion about adding a link to the RSA debate on the article talk page [17]
  • A third opinion was requested and provided on 26 June 2011 [18]
  • The mediation began on 7 September 2011 [19]
  • The objection to the third opinion, that neither WP:Notability nor multiple sources are relevant to this addition, was summarized by one of the participants [20]
  • The counter argument, that there is no reliable third party source to establish notability (WP:V#notability) is summarized by another participant [21]

All three participants in the mediation have signed their agreement with the above request to RSN and will take a considered opinion from RSN seriously. [22] We ask that any reference by RSN to "notability" be supported by directly citing the relevant wording in policy. Thank you very much for your consideration. Sunray (talk) 17:24, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for filling out the template properly, but it doesn't appear as if anyone is questioning the reliability of this source. Instead, the debate seems to be centered on:
  1. Weight - whether the content belongs in the article. Are secondary sources required to establish weight?
  2. Value - Does this content actually provide the reader with any useful information?
Both issues are debatable and I don't think there are any easy answers. First, let me clarify one point: WP:WEIGHT and WP:NOTABILITY are two different policies. Editors frequently confuse the two. In fact, it happens so often, I usually just ignore it and focus on the substance of what an editor is trying to say. But since it seems to be a point of contention in the debate and editors are quoting from policy verbatim, I'll spell out the difference:
  1. WP:NOTABILITY applies to an article's existence. Should an article be deleted or not?
  2. WP:WEIGHT applies to content inside an article. The article exists, but does this content belong in it?
So, to address the issue of weight, the central question is whether secondary sources are required to establish weight. Some editors insist that primary sources also be covered by secondary sources to establish weight. Some don't. In my own editing, when an editor wants a secondary source, I try to honor that request. Unfortunately, the wording of WP:WEIGHT doesn't specifically state "secondary" but I think that meets the spirit of what that policy is trying to say. (Just so this isn't taken out of context, that doesn't mean primary sources should never be used. I can and do cite primary sources, but for non-contentious content.)
The second issue is about value. Does the reader gain any useful information from this content? I'm sympathetic to the argument made by Sunray that simply saying "The RSA held a debate" doesn't really tell the reader anything informative. Somedifferentstuff does a nice job explaining why they think the content is important, and if the content actually contained this analysis, it might be a different story. But it doesn't. In order to include this analysis, we would need a secondary source to do it for us. That said, I don't think that it doesn't necessarily hurt the article to keep it. It's not as if the article is too long and content needs to be trimmed. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:13, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, A Quest For Knowledge, for your thoughtful response. I appreciated your mention of WP:WEIGHT as the definitive policy in determining whether content should, or should not, be included in articles. When the others have had a look at your response, there may be some follow-up questions. Would you be willing to entertain such? Sunray (talk) 05:52, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
[Cross posted from RfM the Spirit Level (book)] Would User:A Quest For Knowledge or another contributor like to comment further on whether the source is primary or secondary a) in general for this article, b) for the proposed sentence?
Can they say any more about the implication of WP:WEIGHT? My interpretation is that since WP:WEIGHT is a section in WP:NPOV, and since its purpose is to ensure that small-minority views aren't unduly represented in articles, and since it is certain that RSA doesn't represent a small-minority view, then we do not have to worry about violating WP:WEIGHT. Do they agree with that? (If they don't have any more to add, and if we don't have consensus in this mediation, we might take that to the NPOV noticeboard.)
Is this summary by the RSA reliable as a summary of how the book was received?
Much broader, and they may not have much to say without more detail, are they able to comment on whether, in principle, statements made by participants in the debate are reliable sources for the views of the book's authors or critics? Itsmejudith (talk) 08:01, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for responding. I want to discuss Value, which there is no applicable WP policy on. My assumption is that this is probably intentional. When you look at the article as a whole, you see this:

Peter Saunders, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Sussex University, published a report for the think tank Policy Exchange questioning the statistics in The Spirit Level. He claimed that only one of the correlations in the book—that between infant mortality and income inequality—stood up to scrutiny, and that the rest were either false or ambiguous.[24] Wilkinson and Pickett published a response defending each of the claims in the book and accusing Saunders in turn of flawed methodology.[7]

Christopher Snowdon, an independent researcher and adjunct scholar at the Democracy Institute,[25][26] published a book largely devoted to a critique of The Spirit Level, entitled, The Spirit Level Delusion: Fact-checking the Left's New Theory of Everything.[27] One of its central claims is that Wilkinson excludes certain countries from his data without justification, such as South Korea and the Czech Republic. It also argues that Wilkinson and Pickett falsely claim the existence of a scientific consensus when much of the literature disagrees with their findings. Wilkinson and Pickett released a response to questions from Snowdon[28] and responded to similar criticisms in the Wall Street Journal.[22] Snowdon has in turn responded to their criticisms on his blog.[29]

This establishes context for two of the people mentioned in the proposed addition. If someone reads the article, they'll see the two sections cited above, and then learn that a debate was held featuring these two guys along with both of the book's authors, in an event that was videotaped and subsequently uploaded to the internet. The question I have regarding this is: How does this content not provide useful information to the reader? Somedifferentstuff (talk) 14:33, 23 September 2011 (UTC) ("videotaped" would need to be added to the material.) Somedifferentstuff (talk) 18:27, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
And my question is: How does it provide useful information to the reader? What is the supposed useful information in this? What do they learn? You talk about context, what context?
I also interpreted WP:Weight as only concerning NPOV. To me it would make sense to interpret it so that secondary sources are needed about these kinds of statements that are in themselves neutral. --OpenFuture (talk) 05:02, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
  • It would be considered a primary source.
  • Determining WP:WEIGHT is a judgement call and editors editing in good faith can reasonably disagree. There isn't necessarily a right answer or a wrong answer, but simply a disagreement of opinion.
  • At one point, WP:NPOV said that WP:WEIGHT applied not just to points of view, but to other content as well. But I can't seem to find this part in WP:NPOV. I'm not sure if this change was intentional or not. (I don't recall having a discussion about this, but it's hard to keep up with all the different discussions on Wikipedia.)
  • Although it might be an accurate summary, no, it's not a reliable source for how the book was received. We should use secondary sources which are independent of the topic.
  • Yes, statements made by participants in the debate are reliable sources for the views of the book's authors or critics. But again, we should try to avoid too much reliance on primary sources and instead try to use secondary sources to make this determination.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure any of this is particularly helpful. Like I said, there are no easy answers and this is a judgement call. I think that the current article works both with and without this content. I think that somebody proposed that we simply have an external link to the debate. This seems like a very reasonable compromise. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:06, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Thank you once again. This is helpful. I think we can resume the mediation discussion and hopefully wrap this up now. Sunray (talk) 07:05, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! It's extremely helpful, as it supports what most external opinions has been saying all along. --OpenFuture (talk) 09:06, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Are El Nuevo Diario and El Universal (Mexico City) reliable?

I'm personally not familiar with the news services of central and south America; therefore, I'd like to find out if El Nuevo Diario (from Nicaragua) and El Universal (Mexico City) (from Mexico) could be regarded as reliable. I'm trying to support a sales figure of a Mexican singer Luis Miguel at the List of best-selling music artists with these two articles, one by by El Nuevo Diario and the other by El Universal. I would appreciate it if someone with knowledge about those two news agencies could confirm their reliability.--Harout72 (talk) 01:41, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

  • I don't see these newspapers as being problematic themselves (admittedly, I'm not familiar with them, but they don't look unreliable). However, these newspapers have the same problem with reporting career sales figures that many newspapers throughout the world do -- namely, it's likely that when they report the worldwide sales figures for an artist, they are probably relying on information supplied by the artist's management or record company, not on actual research by the newspaper. I would recommend following the same practice required at Talk:List of best-selling music artists for other artists -- namely, accept the sales figure reported by the newspapers (60 million) only if the artist has record certifications to support a sufficient percentage of the reported figure. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 20:33, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Infoboxes, "opposed" and sourcing

In reviewing infoboxes for various economists, I came across a curious "opposed" field. This field ostensibly lists other academics to which the economist was in some way "opposed". However, the sourcing for this opposition is generally flimsy to non-existent. For example, the article Arthur Cecil Pigou lists him as being opposed to Lionel Robbins. However, that is the only mention of Robbins in the article. Looking at Lionel Robbins, there is no mention of Pigou at all, though it does list him as opposed to Marshallian Economics economics. Maybe this is a by product of the high degree of infighting in the field of economics, but all of these poorly source "opposed" fields somehow feel misplaced. Thoughts? aprock (talk) 05:27, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Sounds like a dubious practice to me. I would say that if this box is filled in then it should be explained and sourced somewhere in the article. I would suggest tagging or trying to start talk page discussion on this basis.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:40, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Well, it's not just this infobox, but a good dozen or so. I'll open discussions on talk pages. aprock (talk) 14:33, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia takes a long time to finish doesn't it? :) --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:35, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Jyjou*

Hello, I sent this article about a french mime to AfD because I've been unable to find sources independant from himself. Some advice would be appreciated over there. Thank you, Comte0 (talk) 15:08, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

As long as I'm here...

What's the reliability quotient on this source? I'm in the middle of a big merge and this is the only source for some information in one of the pages. Serendipodous 18:46, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

I don't see how that's a reliable source, but admittedly I also don't see why we would want to list all the occultation events in the first place. Anyway, the website looks like a self-published source, and for all I can tell, the author is a hobby astronomer, not an acknowledged expert. Huon (talk) 21:39, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Zee News

This link [23] from Zee News, a notable Indian channel says that Bodyguard is the second highest grossing Indian film. As per general agreement, the Indian film industry is divided into the Bollywood (North) and the Southern film industry (though there are many more) and the majority of the sources say that the top three highest grossing films are Enthiran ($60-90 million), 3 Idiots ($70 million) and Dasavathaaram ($55 million), out of which Enthiran and Dasavathaaram are south Indian films. Then Bodyguard, with a gross of $52 million must be naturally fourth. Zee News is credible, I agree, but no source is 100% perfect and this is a mistake they have made. It should state that "Bodyguard is the second highest grossing Bollywood film" and not the second highest grossing Indian film. I'll try contacting the site and ask them to change it, but for now this source is not reliable. I tried changing the sentence, but User:Scieberking doesn't seem to accept the statement. Accept with good faith, but please accept the facts and get it right. Secret of success Talk to me 12:12, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

I only said Zee News, by all means, is a reliable source. And of course I realize that there are several film industries in India, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu etc. I've changed it to "Bollywood's second", instead of "India's second", which was not even my edit, addition or selection of words anyway. Just misleading and an unfortunate attempt. Scieberking (talk) 14:01, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't know anything about Zee News's reliability but if you are skeptical you can either not include it at all in the article (provided no other editor wants it included) or you can include it but state that, "According to Zee News, Bodyguard is the second highest grossing Indian film." Finding another source would be great, even one that just says "the top grossing indian films are..." Also note that WP:V states, "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth". Personally, I'd include the statement but also state in the prose that Zee News said it. --Odie5533 (talk) 01:36, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Zee News as per my view is a reliable source, but no idea about their info on film articles. Karthik Nadar (talk) 06:50, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster

There has been some debate as to whether this source should be used in the Casualties section: [24]. Some editors feel it is a published source by an expert, others say it is an unpublished PowerPoint slide presentation. Johnfos (talk) 18:16, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

That source appears to be a self-published slide presentation and is not reliable for factual information. --Odie5533 (talk) 15:40, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. Per WP:SPS; "Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications." Peter F. Caracappa has been previously published in Health Physics and Physics in Medicine and Biology, both peer-reviewed journals. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and the Christian Science Monitor. He seems to be an expert in the field, so I would not dismiss his "slide presentation" as immediately not-reliable. ColorOfSuffering (talk) 22:33, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Do we have any supporting documentation regarding the meeting? Also, a pdf of a powerpoint presentation is not the same as the presentation itself, and much of this data seems raw. I would strongly suggest that this is really a primary source, and should be handled with caution. --Nuujinn (talk) 23:28, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Richard Robert Madden

I just wanted to know if Richard Robert Madden author of a number of books the most notable being The United Irishmen, their lives and times (1843, 7 Vols.), which are listed in his bio, would be considered to be reliable source on the subject. Madden is the most cited author on most if not all books on the subject of the United Irishmen and 1798. I would suggest that unless Madden as a source is challanged, or contradicted by a contempory source it can be used. If however a source can be found which dose challenge Madden possibly both should be used, but that is only a suggestion. When Madden is supported by contempory sources, would it be advisable to use Madden or the contempory source, or can we use both? Thanks, --Domer48'fenian' 16:05, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

In terms of pure general principle all the answers you provide to your own questions seem reasonable, but not necessarily always correct. But you do not give any specific examples. Is there a controversy somewhere about a citation of him? In general, modern secondary sources are preferred for subjects like this, but older more "primary" sources are often very handy to have also, as a good straightforward to source what people said and thought in their own words, and sometimes this is necessary. Older and more primary sources normally become more controversial if they are being used in order to make a judgement style of statement about historical events, as if it is clear that modern neutral researchers would agree. In many cases the controversy can be avoided by making the wording an attributed citation and not just something "in the voice of Wikipedia" for example instead of writing that "group X tended to be rich people" you could change to "according to a contemporary member of group Y, group X tended to be rich people".--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:56, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Andrew for taking the time to have a look at this. It is my contention, based on the source, in this case Madden, that the origins of Irish Republicanism lay with Irish Volunteers (18th century). All I would like to establish at this point, is that first a)that this is the case, and b)Madden is an acceptable source for this. I will offer contemporary sources to supplement this view. But first Madden:
That the Irish Volunteers (18th century) did indeed contain republicans:"It is not inconsistent with truth, though it may be with the military glory of this institution of the Volunteers, to say that it combined in one great national phalanx the talent, the intolerance, the chivalry, the extravagance, the prodigality, the embarrassment, the republicanism, and patriotism, for one brief epoch, of all ranks and classes". The United Irishmen, their lives and times Vol. 1 first edition Page 147
Another quote in the same vain:"The republicans and the reformers had been united under the common name of Volunteers, without very distinctly perceiving that there was any difference in their designs and objects, until the progress of the French Revolution began to fill the Irish whigs with alarm; they seceded from the Volunteers ; many of them began to oppose the projects of reform which they had previously advocated, and once more the party to which the country I had looked for redress of legislative grievances was broken into hostile fragments." The United Irishmen, their lives and times Vol. 1 first edition Page 17
Now as to the origins of republicanism:"In 1793, an order from government to disperse every assemblage of that body by military force, gave the death-blow to the Volunteers: they made one faint effort in Antrim for their last review; the army was marched out of Belfast to prevent its taking place, and, in prudently giving up the review, the great body of the citizen-soldiers of Ireland gave up the ghost. But their principles were not then doomed to perish; they rose from the ashes of the Volunteers, and the course of reproduction was but a short transition from languor and hopelessness to activity and enthusiasm, and, with a perilous excess of energy in both, their principles became those of the United Irishmen in 1791." The United Irishmen, their lives and times Vol. 1 first edition Page 153
Again in the same vain:"The preceding pages were intended to show the vast influence over the mind of the nation and its rulers, which the Volunteer association at one period exerted; the failure of the only measure effected by it, namely, the independence of the Irish parliament, and the necessity for reform, more than ever felt at the time of its suppression. The society of the United Irishmen was formed with a view of accomplishing those objects which it had failed to carry into effect." The United Irishmen, their lives and times Vol. 1 first edition page160
Now the supplementary sources:"A paramilitary tradition in Irish politics was launched by the Volunteers of 1782 and that tradition, whether nationalist of unionist, loyalist or republican, has continued to shape and delimit the contours of Irish political activity. The force of argument had been trumped by the argument of force". Ireland: A History, Thomas Bartlett, Cambridge University Press, 2010, 9780521197205, page 190
And again:"If Irish nationalism dates from Strongbow, or even the Danes, Irish republicanism was an offspring of the Volunteers of 1782 and owes much to the external influences of the American and French revolutions." Fenians and Fenianism, Maurice Harmon, Scepter Publishers Limited, 1968, Page 65.
Now a contemporary or Madden: "This republican temper of a large portion of the Protestant population of Ireland was the germ, first, of a growing parliamentary opposition to the measures of the English Government, and ultimately of the Volunteer Association and the revolution of 1782". IRELAND IN '98, J. BOWLES DALY, 1888 Page 21
"The first Society of United Irishmen grew out of the ashes of the Volunteers and the disappointed hopes of the legislative revolution of 1782; the Volunteers grew out of the parliamentary and popular opposition to British government which had shown itself at intervals almost from the beginning of the century, and had gone on steadily widening and deepening from the accession of George III to the American war".
"The Republicans and Reformers joined under the common name of Volunteers without at first perceiving that their designs and objects were identical. The French Revolution filled the Whigs with alarm; they seceded from the Volunteers, some opposed the projects of reform, and in this way broke up the party. The Republican section in Ulster sought a reconciliation with the Catholics of the South, with the view of obtaining equal rights on equal terms with the Catholics". IRELAND IN '98, J. BOWLES DALY, 1888 Page 64
Another contemporary"After the publication of another philippic against Government, a meeting of the United Irish of Dublin was dismissed by the sheriff, as persons holding seditious and republican views. Thus, in 1794, terminated the legal existence of the last of the Volunteers of 1782; convened, under their new name, two years and a half previously." The Croppy: A Tale of the Irish Rebellion of l798, John Banim, James Duffy, 1865, Page. 5"
Based on the above, would it be consistent with the sources to say that Irish Republicanism had its origins with the Volunteers? The next issue I'd like to address is did the Irish Volunteers call themselves "volunteers"? That however is another issue. If you need additional information let me know and thanks again. --Domer48'fenian' 20:01, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
After a quick perusal I would suggest using attribution for this type of historical commentary, such as "According to 19th century historians such as X, Y and Z, ....". If you do not use attribution you may end up with someone tagging you for using an old secondary source that MIGHT not still be something modern historians agree with. Ideally though, I would try to find a more recent source to add to what you have.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:44, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for having a look Andrew and offering your advice. I understand the use of attribution, having used it quite often, but in a case were there is no contradictory source is it still necessary? For example it is not disputed that "The origins of Irish Republicanism lay with the both the American and French revolutions. Morgan Llwelyn, Irish Rebels, O'Brien Press, 2001, pg 29, ISBN 0 86278 857 9 and Sean Cronin, Irish Nationalism: A History of its Roots and Ideology, The Continuum Publishing Company, 1980, pages = 1-2, ISBN 0 8264 0062 0. Again it is not disputed that the Volunteers were established in response to the American revolution, therefore is it consistent with the sources to say that Irish Republicanism has its origins in the Volunteers, and that these sources could and do indeed support such a suggestion:"A paramilitary tradition in Irish politics was launched by the Volunteers of 1782 and that tradition, whether nationalist of unionist, loyalist or republican, has continued to shape and delimit the contours of Irish political activity. The force of argument had been trumped by the argument of force". Ireland: A History, Thomas Bartlett, Cambridge University Press, 2010, 9780521197205, page 190. "If Irish nationalism dates from Strongbow, or even the Danes, Irish republicanism was an offspring of the Volunteers of 1782 and owes much to the external influences of the American and French revolutions." Fenians and Fenianism, Maurice Harmon, Scepter Publishers Limited, 1968, Page 65. If this is the case, I would like to address the issue surrounding the name used by members of the Irish Volunteers to describe themselves, namely 'volunteer.'? Thanks again for taking the time to work with me on this it is very much appreciated. --Domer48'fenian' 09:14, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
There is nothing stopping you from not using attribution. It is partly just to avoid it drawing drive by tagging and the like. I have no idea how other editors knowledgeable in this field will feel about it and in the end consensus is the aim. If there are no contradictory sources, then you have either looked at modern sources, in which case I suggest naming a few, or else maybe they just haven't been looked at yet and maybe that can be a long term aim.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 15:51, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Techno Management

Are these sources reliable? unsigned comment left by User:Wessam Fawzy Comte0 (talk) 21:11, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Reliable for what? --Nuujinn (talk) 23:21, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Using autobiographies

One of the main sources I have used on the Katharine Hepburn article is her autobiography, now I'm worrying people will say this is not a reliable its usage okay? I am primarily using it to reference details about her life, and I figured this is pretty much the most reliable source you can use seeing as she wrote it herself. But it seems people may view it as biased. I want to put the article forward for GA soon so I want to check up on this, would appreciate some input and advice (I'm not experienced with this place). --Lobo512 (talk) 14:50, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

I'd advise caution. For uncontroversial statements or for Hepburn's opinions, it can be used without problem. But secondary sources would always be preferable. Ater all, an autobiography is the best place to put a positive spin on your own life's events. The relevant policy is WP:PRIMARY. Huon (talk) 16:12, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
SELFPUB. Wifione Message 16:54, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
So autobios do count as a primary source? Okay I didn't realise that. I think that primary source page should mention it. I'll try and make sure I only use it for the things you said. --Lobo512 (talk) 17:36, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
It does. Wifione Message 17:39, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

References to soure material added for James Palumbo

Reliable references to souce material have now been added to the James Palumbo Wikipedia page...

How do we go about having the notice requesting reliable sources removed from the top of the page? [Anon]

The proper Wikipedia answer is, "be bold". If you are confident that the sources are appropriate and deal with the points of possible controversy, then remove the notice.
You can put a comment on the talk page saying you';ve done this, and inviting anyone who has doubts to say so. Or you can ask here specifically about any source or assertion that seems questionable. Andrew Dalby 19:08, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Alex Jones'

Would Alex Jones' website be considered a WP:RS as regards conspiracy theories? I'm thinking in particular of is fringe, does not meet our sourcing guidelines and should not be used this article], a "New World Order Report" by Jonathan Elinoff. It has been cited in the Conspiracy theory article. Jayjg (talk) 08:19, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

For obvious reasons it can be quite difficult to get impeccably reliable sources on one side of a conspiracy theory. :-)
Infowars is not something I would consider reliable for statements of fact about the real world, but it should be mostly OK to use them for statements about their own position or about groups/ideas they're connected to, and the Conspiracy theory article seems to be doing that (more or less), so I can live with it. I think the "Alex Jones InfoWars list itself shows the problem..." paragraph has some serious textual problems but the best answer there could be rewording rather than removing it. bobrayner (talk) 09:39, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
No, it is not rs. However, the website contains mostly links to publsihed articles which may be rs, for example if they are from mainstream media. TFD (talk) 13:41, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
If it isn't, then WP:RS is broken (in the ways I specified here). It would definitely be preferably to have a third-party, non-conspiracist, academic or mainstream media source to establish the existence of a particular conspiracy theory, using sources like Infowars/Prisonplanet/Alex Jones as a primary source for their summations. When that isn't available, treat it like a self-published source: it establishes that an opinion is held by some segment of the conspiracy theory community, but it doesn't show it is true or considered important outside that community. —Tom Morris (talk) 17:47, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Could be a RS to confirm that a conspiracy theory exists, but not prove the theory itself. Q:Is the website a blog?--JOJ Hutton 17:54, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Alex Jones and his outlets are definitely not RS (not watter what format (blog, website, radio).--Kmhkmh (talk) 18:01, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Jayjg is omitting how Alex Jones is being used so here is the context to better judge it:
An article in the New York Times points out "Other historians argue that past government lies, particularly in the past half-century, have helped fuel conspiracy theories, by giving Americans reasons to suspect their leaders. (“See, I’m not paranoid, I’m right.”)" using Alex Jones InfoWars list is fringe, does not meet our sourcing guidelines and should not be used “33 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out to Be True”] as an example. (Zernike, Kate (April 30, 2011) "The Persistence of Conspiracy Theories" The New York Times)
Alex Jones InfoWars list itself shows the problem with trying to group all conspiracy theories together because in addition to the fully documented conspiracy theories of the Dreyfus Affair, Sicilian Mafia, Project MKULTRA, Operation Mockingbird, Watergate, Tuskegee syphilis experiment, Operation Northwoods, Nayirah (testimony), Iran-Contra Affair, CIA drug trafficking, Business Plot, Project Valkyrie, 1953 Iranian coup d'état, Operation Snow White, Operation Gladio, and Black Sox Scandal there are several often regarded as tin foil hat nonsense such as the New World Order (conspiracy theory).
How that you can actually see the context of how it is being used how do you evaluate the reliability of Alex Jones given it is used as an example of how conspiracy theory is defined by the New York Times?--BruceGrubb (talk) 21:55, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Actually, a New York Times article is used as an excuse to coatrack in the Infowars material. That doesn't make the Infowars website reliable. Jayjg (talk) 23:32, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I think it is an editorial not an article. In any case it does not refer to Watergate, etc. as "conspiracy theories". That is Alex Jones' writer trying to present a parity between his conspiracism and rational thought. The effect is that we are promoting Jones's viewpoint, rather than presenting it as his opinion. TFD (talk) 01:08, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
So is this more of a wording and weighting issue?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 06:50, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I would agree with that. bobrayner (talk) 07:22, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Peter Knight's Conspiracy theories in American history ABC-CLIO has the following in it: Sicilian Mafia (pg 451), Project MKULTRA (pg 490), Operation Mockingbird (pg 486), Watergate (pg 725), Tuskegee syphilis experiment (pg 38, 45, 538), Operation Northwoods (pg 117), Iran-Contra Affair (pg 349), CIA drug trafficking (pg 237), Business Plot (pg 625), and Operation Gladio (pg 231) and even flat out states "Watergate is a Ur-text of US conspiracy theory, evidenced by the ubiquitous use of the suffix “-gate” to denote any major conspiracy." on page 725.--BruceGrubb (talk) 08:14, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

That infowars article by Jonathan Elinoff is terribly sourced, one-sided and wrong. There is no way it can be used at Conspiracy theory. Binksternet (talk) 08:49, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Infowars is not a RS. None of his sites are reliable. Just because they get it right sometimes doesn't equal reliability, broken clock twice a day and all that. Niteshift36 (talk) 15:19, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
No, it's not a reliable source. At best, it's a primary source which - generally speaking - should be avoided especially for contentious content such as this. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:38, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
User:Binksternet did that and I did this. Do read my edit summary. Apart from a mistaken date (publication instead of event?), the obliterated information had been reasonably accurate (as the 'diff' before/now proves). In case Binksternet's edit would not have been spotted quickly, without the inadvertently wiped content, it would have been impossible to do a search on sufficiently specific sub phrases or terms and have prevented finding a proper source - thus de facto having vandalized decent content.
I am not going to run behind the long list of Binksternet's edits that refer to this here section, but expect all those pages' content for which there is no clear and urgent reason to delete, to become restored. While a {{cn}} tag should be placed, the RS-questionable source needs to remain (e.g. in a hidden <!--...--> comment that also refers to this here section) to assist helpful editors in finding useful phrases/terms for their productive internet searches.
WP:RS clearly asks for common sense. I found it lacking in that systematical quick-and-dirty series of apparently tendentious and disruptive edits, which all too drastic action had not found consensus in this here section.
▲ SomeHuman 2011-09-20 07:33 (UTC)
You followed my "citation needed" tag with the proper citation and the proper quote, for which you should be thanked. I removed the direct quote of infowars, "A criminal act for security personnel to touch a person’s private areas without probable cause as a condition of travel or as a condition of entry into a public place", which was not useful as it was not the text of the legislation. I think we both improved the article.
In chasing down infowars references on Wikipedia, I'm keeping all the information that is attributed, and deleting the stuff that is simply using infowars as a supposedly neutral news source, without attribution. You can follow along behind or not, as you wish. Binksternet (talk) 13:13, 20 September 2011 (UTC), in general, is a terrible source. But I'm not so sure about this edit.[25] Self-published or questionable sources may be used as sources of information about themselves, especially in articles about themselves. In this particular case, we have a film made by Jones and we are citing a web site run by Jones about that film. OTOH, I wonder if "The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off" meets our notability policy and if the article should be deleted.
BTW, if you're going after, don't forget about and the other sites Jones runs. (For example, the use of in Paul Craig Roberts is probably OK from a verifiability standpoint.) A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 13:54, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
I will search for prisonplanet on Wikipedia. Thanks for the note! Binksternet (talk) 14:10, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Just be sure never to immediately delete content that became supported by Infowars, Prisonplanet or any other unRS: The reliability of sources being questioned does not make those sources and all that these ever stated blatant lies or wild fantasies. The content having been supported by such source must not be assumed wrong, in fact it will often be supported by WP:RS if one bothers to look for such, which often takes only a moment. Whomever found and cited a source that later became questioned or of which the contributor is most likely not aware that its reliability had been questioned, did not add something without a reference and thus that content needs to remain and only tagged by {{cn}} for at least as long a time as it takes on average, for probably some incidental other editor to become interested and, to provide a more reliable reference, or to fail at finding such upon which he/she should delete the unattributable content. Until then, as I explained yesterday at 07:33 (UTC), the UnRS needs to remain as a hidden comment to facilitate finding a replacer RS.
▲ SomeHuman 2011-09-21 09:34-10:51 (UTC)
I'd suggest a rule of thumb: Never delete unattributed or to an unreliable source attributed content that already survived article edits by at least five different contributors. Such content requires a {{cn}} tag. In case this tag survives for a duration equal to the timespan between the first of these five edits until the tag was inserted, and also newer edits by at least five different editors have occurred since the tag was inserted, only then one can assume the questioned content to be incorrect, hard to prove, or too trivial for anyone to care; and it should then be deleted. But not earlier. I think this combines highest article quality with least controverse.
▲ SomeHuman 2011-09-21 12:46 (UTC)
Except for WP:BLPs, of course. Binksternet (talk) 13:08, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
A rule of thumb typically recognizes exceptions. Here: following WP policies (which override all guidelines), or after careful consideration while using all the common sense one can grab and then still realizing that one's motivation for a deletion is free from POV. If in any doubt and yet unable to accept the rule of thumb, tag it, and open a WP:RfC or if less urgent put it up on the article's talk page.  ;-)
▲ SomeHuman 2011-09-21 13:32-13:45 (UTC)
  • With regard to the reliablity infowars and prisonplanet, way back in 2007 administrator User:Tom harrison went on record that he felt authorized to immediately block, without warning, any contributor who used infowars, prisonplanet, or any other site on his personal blacklist -- yet he was unwilling to make his personal blacklist public.

    I felt then, and feel now, that immediate blocks, without warning, are an excessively heavy-handed substitute for a good faith explanation of what is wrong with a reference to a blacklisted site. Geo Swan (talk) 18:40, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

2012 phenomenon

Two years ago an astrologer named Raymond Mardyks made an anonymous edit to this article, attempting to claim credit for originating a mystical idea about 2012. Mardyks had a personal grudge against the astrologer who is usually given credit for it and was trying to use Wikipedia as a means to "correct" the situation. However, his edits were reverted on the grounds that the source he used, The Mountain Astrologer, was not valid. This led him to shift his vendetta against the editors of the article, leading to a two-year talk page battle and multiple blockings. Now however, there seems to be a shift in consensus, and The Mountain Astrologer is being considered a reliable source. I would like an outside opinion. Serendipodous 08:53, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

I'll go out on a limb and say it must be a reliable source for some things and not for other things. You need to explain what is being used for. OTOH, your posting makes it seem like you are possibly most interesting in asking whether, because a source has been considered useless for one purpose, it should be considered useless for all purposes. If that is your question, the answer would be no.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:41, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Mardyks has been regularly spamming in several places using various IPs trying to promote himself. The discussion about this is at Talk:2012 phenomenon#Mardyks, a section I started asking people to delete his posts, but if you read the posts by Hoopes you will see the arguments for inclusion. I think Maryks is posting again with an IP and signing Jimini Cricket (see also the following section he started again promoting Mardyks and a Britney Spear YouTube video. You can ignore the hype about Mardyks' posts on the Aztlan mailing list, it doesn't reflect the beliefs of the list members whose posts I've read. Also see User talk:Hoopes#Uh, Hoopes where Professor Hoopes enlarges on his rationale for including it. Note that I was asked by Professor Hoopes to intervene and it is at my suggestion that Serendipodous brought his request here. Dougweller (talk) 10:43, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
The Mountain Astrologer is the primary source on what, exactly, was published in it. As such we can certainly cite it specifically for that fact.
The other question, which I think Hoopes and Serendipodous discussed some way back, is not really for this board; it's whether the information (i.e. the publication and existence of Mardyks's piece in TMA) is notable. It will be notable once Hoopes has published about it, as he promised to do. Till then, I think what would be needed is some other reference to Mardyks's piece, as demonstration that it's notable. But, as I say, that's not a reliability question. Andrew Dalby 13:34, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the thoughtful discussion. Mardyk's piece in TMA has been cited in several books that address the 2012 phenomenon, including the book Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 by John Major Jenkins. I think this makes it notable. I think the discussion above of Wikipedia:RSN#Sources_at_Astrology is also relevant. As noted, The Mountain Astrologer is the primary source on what was published in it and when. Hoopes (talk) 19:24, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Is (and in general) a reliable source? It seems to me to be one of those write-articles-with-little-editorial-control sites, but I could be misreading it. It was recently used to support several statements in Gurley Novelty. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 18:37, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

You'll need to come up with something a bit more concrete than "It seems to me to be". Do you have any proof that the information contained is unreliable? It seems pretty knowledgable to me. - Ken keisel (talk) 19:08, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I think it's the other way around - I don't think we presume that any given website is "reliable" without some indication that it satisfies the general requirements of reliability. At least that's how I read the discussion. Also the burden of reliability is on the person asserting the fact. This is pretty lightweight stuff - no reason to think it's not true - but if the information is true and concerns a notable company, there should be something suitable out there to cite. JohnInDC (talk) 21:08, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
The magnifying glass always comes out whenever the subject is contentious. In this case it's just a novelty company that manufactured millions of tiny holiday candles that virtually everyone in the 1960s-1970s bought. If you can find any published references please add them. - Ken keisel (talk) 21:45, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
That gets WP:Burden precisely backwards, I think. Also, I was alive during the 1960s and 70s and never heard of the company until this article. Of course that doesn't prove much of anything but as I said before, if virtually everyone in the country bought this company's products then it shouldn't be too hard to come up with some sourcing other than arts & crafts blogs. JohnInDC (talk) 01:28, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
JohnInDC, no, it doesn't. It means you aren't familiar with the proper use of {cite} tags. If you are challenging the validity of a statement you may add the appropriate {cite} tag to the statement to give other editors an opportunity to explore supporting references. What you are describing are situations where the statement is false or the result of vandalism, and that is clearly not the case here. Wikipedia is full of articles that could benefit from better references, but we don't scrap half of our articles waiting for a reference to show up. You make do with the best you can find. As for not being familiar with them. I don't know how experienced you are with collectibles but in the future, if you're unfalimiar with a collectible and concerned about its existance I suggest you check out a site called eBay. It's an online auction. If the collectible in question ever existed you shoul;d be able to find it there pretty quickly. In the case of Gurley candles there are literally hundreds of them listed at any given time. As for books on Gurley candles, there was an interesting discussion that happened on eBay about two years ago on just that subject. You can find it at - Ken keisel (talk) 18:17, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
My objection is to creating articles based on unreliable or blacklisted sources and then calling upon other editors to find better ones if they express concerns about the poor sources you provided. As the author of an article it is incumbent upon you to get it right - or at least close - from the start. Other editors aren't here simply to clean up what you start! JohnInDC (talk) 18:59, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
I would advise editors to switch over and view JohnInDC's recent comments on User talk:Ken keisel. He is now challenging the contents of a book he admits he doesn't own and has never read. JohnInDC also challenged the notability of popular Navy bandleader Anthony A. Mitchell, and tried to have the article deleted, to which he was unanimously outvoted. - Ken keisel (talk) 20:26, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
Considering Ken keisel stated that it "took him a trip to Amazon" to find the information, and that instead of answering JohnInDC's question about whether he owns the book, he tried to switch the topic to an article that was discussed months ago, and that he originally stated that pages 68-70 were "devoted entirely" to Gurley Candles, when there's only a passing mention on the first of those pages, I'm prepared to draw certain conclusions about the source and the editor.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 20:54, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Love to know's editorial policy suggests minimal oversight on the articles, my feeling is that we would have to base reliability on a given article there on the expertise of the author, not the site per se. Not reliable in this case as far as I can determine, and the article seems a fit candidate for AFD. --Nuujinn (talk) 22:05, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

I removed this source from the subject article and substituted a slightly better one. There's one other - - that also seems questionable and if anyone cares to opine on that, I'd welcome it. Otherwise, Sarek's original question seems to have been answered and addressed - JohnInDC (talk) 21:52, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Rodda Smoke Burner

Titus Salt states that Salt tried and failed to get other mill owners in Bradford to use a device called the Rodda Smoke Burner. In 2007 I failed to find any references for this, and challenged it with a {{fact}} tag. This July, User: added a link to, which User:Keith D then converted to a proper citation. I noticed this and added a comment to the talk page, but did then not take further action. I claim that the source is not reliable: first because it is a website of unknown authorship, with no references; and secondly because I showed here that it makes two statements which, while I cannot definitely disprove them, would appear to be inconsistent with the published sources I have referenced.

I would appreciate other opinions about the reliability of that source. --ColinFine (talk) 21:48, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

The Spartacus site is not of unknown authorship - see [26]. John Simkin is a credible writer of the kind of history source that would be used in a school curriculum - the facts will all be there, the dates will be correct, but one would look elsewhere for in depth analysis. As for the Rodda smoke burner, I've a couple of books about old Titus hanging about the house (he being a local chap) - I'll have a look to see if this is mentioned. Elen of the Roads (talk) 22:38, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Communist terrorism

Is the following quote "The Soviet Union under Stalin sided with the proletariat, but, as it prepared the way for industrialization and communist internationalism, it perpetrated the most brutal acts of terrorism against its own population, particularly the peasants." from "Gellately, Robert. Kiernan, Ben. (Editors) (2003) The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective Cambridge University Press ISBN 978-0521527507" suitable to support this statement "Communist terrorism is a term that has been used to describe actions carried out by communist states against their populace" given that the USSR were a communist state? The Last Angry Man (talk) 22:52, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

No, as it doesn't "describe actions carried out by communist states against their populace", only acts of terrorism carried out by Stalin's regime. I have not looked at the source, so I am making no claims about it's general reliability, just that the quote provided does not support the statement. --Nuujinn (talk) 23:20, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
The quotation you provided supports the claim that at least one communist state used terrorism against its own population.
But as it does not use the term "Communist terrorism", it is difficult to see how it could support the claims about how the term "Communist terrorism" is used.
What you need are some sources that used the term "Communist terrorism", and see what they meant by that phrase.--Toddy1 (talk) 23:28, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
This still comes back to the precise definition of terrorism. It is used so often as a politically loaded term. I'll bet Stalin didn't call his actions terrorism. HiLo48 (talk) 23:33, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
Actually, he did. The Last Angry Man (talk) 16:17, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
It sounds like someone wants to add a statement in their own words and is looking around for a text to support that statement. The correct way round is to ask if the source is right for the article and if it is then to try and summarise its argument faithfully. Itsmejudith (talk) 23:48, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Hang on here a moment, you people are actually saying that a source which clearly states the USSR carried out terrorist actions against it`s own populace does not support the statement that communist terrorism has been used to describe actions by communist states? The USSR were a communist state, source says they carried out actions of terrorism. Please explain why the source does not cover that? @ Judith, a cn tag was added for the statement in question hence the search for a source. Now we all know that many actions carried out by communist states have been called terrorism, Pol Pot`s actions or the Holodomore being a prime examples. This is a sentence which should not even need a source for gods sake. The Last Angry Man (talk) 00:59, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

You are providing a source to support your statement about the use of the term "communist terrorism", but your source does not use the term let alone explain how it is used. Essentially you are defining the term yourself, which is prohibited as original research. TFD (talk) 01:05, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
Do not tell lies regarding my person again, it is not my statement. It is in the article and a cn tag has been slapped on it, so naturally I went looking for a source. I am not defining anything it is common sense that actions carried out by communist states have been called terrorism, it should not even need a source. The Last Angry Man (talk) 01:13, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
That is the source of your conflict with other editors. You have a viewpoint you want expressed in articles, then search for sources that support them. However the sources you provide either do not support your viewpoint or are unreliable. A better approach would be to read relevant quality literature about topics and then ensure they are presented with proper weight to different viewpoints. TFD (talk) 03:00, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
Whoa! This is the RS/N noticeboard, not the "sins of editors" noticeboard, and sidetracking legitimate issues with attacks on others impresses no one here. The source as presented is quite sufficient for the linkage it makes, and your charges now are inapt here or on any Wikipedia noticeboard. Cheers. Collect (talk) 03:08, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
Care to comment on TLAM's accusation of another editor of "lying"? Any reason for using bold text? TFD (talk) 03:24, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
OK everybody needs to settle down and focus on the source question. By the looks of it there is clear consensus against using it in this manner, a position I support as well for the obvious reasons that you can't define a term based on a source that doesn't use it, and indeed doesn't generalize about a concept that is synonymous at all, but merely provides facts about a specific series of historical events.Griswaldo (talk) 17:14, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
'Stalin was a communist, he practised terrorism, therefore he was a communist-terrorist'. 'Stalin had a moustache, he practised terrorism, therefore he was a moustache-terrorist'. The latter is clearly nonsensical - so why isn't the former? Or if you think that is a ridiculous argument, try substituting 'male' for 'communist', and then look at the history of terrorism - you might think it is relevant, irrelevant, or beside the point, but that is your opinion, not that of the source cited. If we are going to use sources to make 'linkages' they don't explicitly state, we are opening up Wikipedia to all sorts of special pleading. Unless the source says that Stalin's 'communism' and his 'terrorism' were linked, we shouldn't. This is hardly contentious - it is at the core of Wikipedia policy. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:26, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
Exactly right.Griswaldo (talk) 17:14, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Re definition of terrorism, the following quote can be useful:

"Jeffrey Simon highlights that there are at least 212 different definitions of terrorism in use throughout the world, with 90 of them used by governments and other institutions. In one of the most rigorous attempts to define terrorism, Alex P. Schmid and Albert J. Jongman examine 109 different definitions of terrorism. Thereby they identify 22 elements in these definitions, calculate the frequency of their occurrence, and issue a lengthy consensus definition incorporating most of these elements.
In a more recent study, Leonard Weinberg, Ami Pedahzur and Sivan Hirsch-Hoefler examine 73 definitions of terrorism from 55 articles in three leading academic journals on the topic, and come to the conclusion that “[t]errorism is a politically motivated tactic involving the threat or use of force or violence in which the pursuit of publicity plays a significant role.”"(Alexander Spencer, Questioning the Concept of ‘New Terrorism’ Peace Conflict & Development, Issue 8, January 2006)

I looked at the Weinberg's article (Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol.16, No.4 (Winter 2004), pp.777–794), and I found that among 73 definitions he examined there were no "Communist terrorism". --Paul Siebert (talk) 03:53, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

The editor is not seeking to say "Communist terrorism is a tactic used by communist states against their populace". He's seeking to say "Communist terrorism is a term that has been used to describe actions carried out by communist states against their populace". Very different. The latter is essentially just defining a term -- a very narrow task. And for that, he would definitely need sources that use that exact term ("communist terrorism") and define that way. Herostratus (talk) 04:12, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
  • It comes down to whether we believe State terrorism is possible or a contracdition in terms. I think the suggestion of including this in Communist terrorism is misguided and confuses two topics. Terrorist acts commited by communist insurgent groups and state oppression which is of course not exclusive to or necessarily motivated or condoned by a communist ideology. We could justy as well make an article on capitalist terrorism and cite all the books describing scorched earth strategies used by capitalist states against socialist insurgents. It makes no sense.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:33, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
With Nuujinn. One shouldn't come to wikipedia with a monocular bee in one's bonnet. Nearly all historic states have carried out terrorism against their populations, and it's called State terrorism, which is a contradiction in US law, as Maunus implies, but not a contradiction in terms, since states are widely founded on war and consolidated by terror, and empires sustain themselves, at times, by pure terror. Do we need Spartan terrorism, French terrorism, German terrorism, Russian imperial terrorism, Australian terrorism (genocide in Tasmania), US terrorism (hundreds of incidents like the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898). If you want an index of statistics on the use of state terror in post Civil War US, look up Michael Mann's The Sources of Social Power, vol. 2: its systematic institutiona violence exceeded that of Tzarist Russia; if you want a theoretical survey of terror as integral to stat formation look up Barrington Moore Jr., or any number of historians. Alexandre Kojève in a famous footnote said Communist terror-driven industralization did capitalism's dirty work with more efficiently than a liberal state could have managed, and thus unwittingly served the global system. Nishidani (talk) 17:21, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Please supply a full citation including the authors of the chapter, the page range, and the title of the chapter. Fifelfoo (talk) 04:07, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Verification failures

I posted the following on the Adminstrators Noticeboard but was advised to bring it here:

The article Hitler's Pope contains the following text "Some commentators have characterized the book as having since been "debunked".[2][3][4][5]" There is no doubt that particular points of the book had been subject criticism (most obviously the very title) and these are included in the article. I cannot find in the cited text that the whole book has "been debunked" so I deleted the text with the reasons given in the edit summary. This was reverted and following an unproductive exchange with the editor who reverted I placed an appeal on the article talk page asking if anyone would please paste the text on the talk which substantiates that the book has been "debunked"[27]. On receiving no reply I proceeded to delete the text once again but user Mammalujo has reinserted it on the basis that "Deletion of well sourced text did not fail verification and is against consensus"[28]. In terms of bias I am no defender of Cornwell's book and particular dislike it's title but it seems to be stretching it to say that Ronald Rychlak who is cited as having debunked the book himself uses Cornwell as a reliable source on numerous occasions in his own book (at least seventy times) even though he has a separate chapter detailing his objections to those issues he disagrees with in Cornwell's book. The editor in question appears to have had a number of accusations relating to his use of sources but these have been deleted from his user talk page. I don't know how to proceed and any help would be appreciated to break a cycle of reverts.Yt95 (talk) 09:49, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Yt95 (talk) 14:19, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Dalin seems to make the claim -- the word "some" is a bit encompassing -- as long as a second is found to use the term, it is hard to deny the claim as stated. A claim of "all" or"most" would require substantially better sourcing. Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:41, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Sorry if I appear to be a bit dim but can you copy the text of Dalin that says the book has been debunked. Obviously he doesn't accept Pius XII was Hitler's Pope but that isn't the same as claiming the book in total is debunked. Yt95 (talk) 15:08, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
This seems to somewhat of a language issue. If you call a book or piece of work debunked, that doesn't mean you've debunked any single claim in them but merely that you've debunked (most of) their major claims or principal notions.--Kmhkmh (talk) 15:50, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Note your comments but all I'm looking for is the text that supports what the article currently states with multiple citations, especially when it's given as a direct quote "debunked" I'm not interested in what a religious apologist would like them to say. ThanksYt95 (talk) 16:15, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm a little concerned by the sourcing there. A lot of Catholic newspapers (really going to be reliable secondary sources on this?), and three of the sources are actually referencing the same author. It looks like padding to me. "Debunked" anyway is not encyclopedic for something like this. "criticised" is far better. Cornwell's own comments on his book shouldn't be used as a source here. Instead they should be given their own prominence separately.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 05:06, 6 October 2011 (UTC) has been used at HSS 1500 to add a reference regarding the controversial term "British Isles". I consider this a case of WP:SELFPUBLISH but seek opinion here. Bjmullan (talk) 17:14, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Definitely WP:SELFPUBLISH and nothing that would lead us to suppose the author is an expert on usage of the term. Barnabypage (talk) 17:32, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I added the reference, and looking at it now I agree it is self published. A couple of points do need be be made; the term "British Isles" is not controversial, apart from to a limited extent in the Wikipedia community. The small number of editors that object to its use sometimes tag the term for a reference, presumably as a means of getting it removed. This may, or my not, be the case here. I wonder if the term British Isles was not used, and instead "UK", for example, was used, whether it too would have been tagged for reference; again maybe it would, so I'll AGF. Van Speijk (talk) 19:15, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

The above site was used as a source on the article Time travel urban legends Particularly relating to the section Modern man at 1941 bridge opening however it has recently been removed on the basis that the site is Self Published. Whilst the site appears self published, it is regularly cited as an expert source in the field of pseudo science and a quick google reveals that magazines and journals on both sides of the Pseudo Science debate cite the site regularly. More importantly, Knowyourmeme states that the forgetomori article was an important article both in bringing the legend to a wider audience (such as the specialist press), and Fortean Times (normally regarded as an RS, but used with care) not only cites forgetomori but repeats the conclusions that forgetomori draws (issue 263, May 2010, "Future Imperfect", Bob Rickard). Whilst I could use FT as a *reliable* source, here it is only tertiary with Forgetomori being the secondary source and carrying out a far more detailed investigation. Furthermore a published research paper into this case (Harkness, D., et al., The Mystery of the "1940s Time Traveller": The Changing Face of Online Brand Monitoring. In J. Trant and D. Bearman [eds]. Museums and the Web 2011: Proceedings. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics. Published March 31, 2011. Consulted March 31, 2011.) specifically cites Forgetomori as authoritative about the subject in question. From this I would consider that the site is considered expert per the allowances of the self published sources section of Verifiability. The source is only being used to reference the fact that the items regarded as anachronistic in the case did actually exist at the time, it does this by citing primary sources from the period which we cannot directly use without engaging in original research and we repeat no hard (fringe or otherwise) conclusions about the case from forgetomori. The removing editor has replaced the source with {{fact|date=September 2011}} templates which do little to improve the article or benefit the project in comparison to use of this source, yet he refuses to allow the source in on Self Published grounds - some independent consideration of this source and it's usage would be helpful. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 14:22, 22 September 2011 (UTC) Further to Above: Link to Article Source [29] The source was used to support the following statements:

Further research suggests that the modern appearance of the man may not have been so modern. The style of sunglasses first appeared in the 1920s, and in fact Barbara Stanwyck can be seen wearing a similar pair in the film Double Indemnity three years later. On first glance the man is taken by many to be wearing a modern printed T-shirt, but on closer inspection it seems to be a sweater with a sewn-on emblem, the kind of clothing often worn by sports teams of the period. The remainder of his clothing would appear to have been available at the time, though his clothes are far more casual than those worn by the other individuals in the photograph.


Debate centers on whether the image genuinely shows a time traveler, has been photomanipulated, or is simply being mistaken as anachronistic.

Discussion on a number of sources related to this legend including the source above can be found at [Talk:Time travel urban legends#Hipster Time traveller story] Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 17:48, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Hello? Any thoughts on this from third parties appreciated. I suppose we could go with this on an IAR basis. ScottyBerg (talk) 16:21, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Unlike Scotty I disagree that this is an IAR situation - the rules regarding Self Published Sources are only strict when they are discussing a living person - where that is not the case (as here) WP:SPS is far less strict and it is clear that sources should be weighed up rather than dismissed outright. As Scotty seems to agree that the source has worth despite being Self Published then should it's Self Published status be a barrier to inclusion? Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 18:06, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Tapani Koivuniemi

It'd be nice if some people more experienced in evaluating the reliability of foreign language sources to chime in at this afd: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Tapani Koivuniemi. It's a Finnish BLP (although it should be renamed to be about the group after the AfD closes) that has no available English language sources. There is extensive coverage in Helsingin Sanomat, a documentary on YLE, and coverage in other Finnish sources. There's not currently agreement at the AfD about whether or not foreign language sources can be considered reliable. Kevin (talk) 23:22, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

The reliability of foreign language sources is judged on the same basis as English language ones. There are plenty of people around here who can translate from Finnish. Itsmejudith (talk) 11:08, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Agree with Judith. Perhaps the discussion would be helped with someone posting a few sample translations (maybe to a subpage, if that's possible) to show the issue.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 11:24, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

SF Site

Is SF Site, a webzine, a reliable source? The article in question is, which I noticed while reviewing Obernewtyn (novel) at Wikipedia:Peer review/Obernewtyn (novel)/archive1. Cunard (talk) 23:39, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

SF Site is a published website, but an open one in which the contributions/contents are not under the control of the site administrattion. More over, in the site, I found that the content is copyrighted to "Victoria Strauss". --Freknsay (talk) 07:15, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
So there is no editorial oversight of submissions by authors like Victoria Strauss? Would you provide the link for where you found that the site administrators do not control the content? A lack of oversight would indicate the site is unreliable. Cunard (talk) 07:21, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
There might be editorial screening of the contents being submitted. But, the content need not be under the control of the site management. For instance, the content in the link you provided is copyrighted to Victoria Strauss. I have not judged that the site is not reliable. While using the information in the article, you may mention "as per review on sf_site", or some thing close to that. (Similar to movie articles using reference to Rotten tomatoes). I hope you got my point. --Freknsay (talk) 07:37, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying my misinterpretation. I will tell the article's main contributor about your suggestion.

There is an editor listed at, so the source likely passes the reliable sources guideline. Cunard (talk) 07:44, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Is this reliable ? ShahidTalk2me 10:00, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Reliable for what? It could possibly be reliable for some purposes. There's no such thing as absolute reliability; it depends on the type of material you want to source. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 11:05, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Is 15th August 1984. Kurdish Armed Freedom Struggle Begins reliable ? Neutral ? (from

This link is used in the article Turkey – Kurdistan Workers' Party conflict. Takabeg (talk) 10:44, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

No way. Itsmejudith (talk) 11:10, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
No.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 14:34, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Time to axe the Daily Mail

Once a source starts putting up fake news stories, surely it's time to nip it in the bud. If the verdict had been the one they expected, then that story would have stayed up with the fake quotes, and the fake reactions. A complete farce. Time to strike it off as a reliable source. Betty Logan (talk) 01:34, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Damn, the one time I wish the Fail was right. But yes, I support the withdrawal of any and all support for the Daily Mail as a reliable source. It's often been seen by John Q Public as suspect to say the least, and their habit of attack journalism has always shaded them as untrustworthy to me. If a self-published source were to engage in this shoddy a level of journalism, they'd never be allowed as a reliable source. I fail to see why circulation numbers should change that. GRAPPLE X 01:40, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Yup. Pathological liars. Any publication can get things wrong occasionally, but all the evidence suggests that the Mail just doesn't care. Print what people want to hear, and ignore reality... AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:49, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
The Chicago Tribune once published the wrong winner of a US presidential election.[30] That doesn't mean that the Chicago Tribune as a whole is unreliable. Reliability, as always, depends on context. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:47, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
The 'context' is the history of the Daily Mail - littered with crap they invented themselves... AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:50, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
There is a difference between calling something wrong (i.e. a mistake) and putting up an entire fake article with reactions and repsonses, which clearly must have been invented (i.e. fabrication). Mistakes are acceptable to a degree, and the job of RS is to determine to what degree; outright fabrication crosses that line. Betty Logan (talk) 01:56, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Dewey Defeats Truman was a mistake made by overestimating a set of statistics; it was not a fabricated story with colourful invective and potentially libellous (I say potentially only because the Mail story was taken down) material. A simple "Knox declared guilty" headline is a mistake. A full article with fabricated statements is disgracefully poor journalism. GRAPPLE X 02:04, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
[ Terri's 'death' mistakenly reported by CBS News]. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 03:54, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Considering even the NYT was caught with "fabricated stories" I suspect that there are no "sufficiently reliable sources' for every topic under the sun. That is not, however, a reason to toss the baby out with the bathwater, so the Daily Mail and all other newspapers remain WP:RS but not WP:TRUTH. Cheers. Collect (talk) 02:00, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

It's not so much the fact that they got the story wrong that's the problem; some of us remember the major US paper reporting the selection of Gepheart as John Kerry's running mate. It's that the story is so plainly an invention, not simply getting the facts wrong, but inventing them out of whole cloth. The phony quotes are crushing evidence of unreliability. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 02:06, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Is the Daily Mail a Murdoch rag, or is it from some other fine and reputable publisher? HiLo48 (talk) 02:03, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
It's a tabloid aimed at housewives. Sensationalistic and unreliable to the extreme. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 02:10, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
My view is that if you need to use the Daily Mail to source information (ie no better source covers the matter) then the information is suspect enough already. Its political agenda interferes with its news reporting far too much. A couple of recent cases: compare this BBC report and this Daily Mail coverage of e-petitions regarding the death penalty. The Mail headline accompanying the paper edition "MPs to vote on death penalty" was not actually true - it was a possibility in the future. The Mail article omitted mention of petitions opposing restoration completely, giving the impression of this "clamour". (There's a note at the bottom of the article "We have been asked to point out that there are also petitions in favour of retaining the ban on the death penalty" - but not that a petition to retain the ban was also (one of the) most popular.) Then there's this piece implying that the BBC was dropping all references to BC/AD, which it wasn't. These are front page stories, not oversights at the bottom of page 37.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 02:44, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. Nick Pisa is a reputable freelance reporter. He writes the same stuff for other newspapers. Obviously they put up a draft report by accident. It's true Daily Mail should be avoided if better sources are available, but it's a RS on a case by case basis. Brmull (talk) 03:06, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
A draft report wouldn't have falsified comments in it, though. It's not an innocuous occurrence. GRAPPLE X 03:10, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Brmull pretty much got here before I did; most newspapers have two versions of a story - especially murder trials and the like, with sourced information on either side of the verdict, so as to make deadline a helluva lot less chaotic. That The Mail screwed up royally would seem enough to remove it as a RS, considering the speed at which news to print can happen nowadays. I think that while the Dewey/Ike reference is a fair comparison, we live in different times. Internet makes what could just be seen as a misinterpretation of results (the presidential race too close to call at deadline meant a reasoned guess) versus some jackass wanting desperately to scoop someone else by a few seconds gambled on being right.
Something that brought me here is an aside made by an editor at Talk: Karen Gillan. Gillan is the ref-headed woman in Doctor Who reported to be wandering nude down the halls of a New York hotel she was staying at. The Mail reported teh incident; no one else has, though the question has been followed up on talk shows with an almost 'aw shucks' non-response from Gillan. I don't know if The Mail made it up, but it is currently a RS, meaning the incident can be reported in the article. I'm not married to the matter one way or the other, though I am leaning towards allowing it in,for while we are not character assassins, we are not our subject's fairy godmothers or guardian angels, either. Celebs are often dumber than a sack of hammers (redacted names) - many examples spring to mind; we aren't making it up, and until The Mail is considered less than a RS, we take them as true. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 03:20, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Minor point--WP:BLP applies here, too, so it's probably not cool to specifically name two celebrities as being "dumber than a sack of hammers". Qwyrxian (talk) 03:49, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Oops, you are right, Qwyrxian. I had thought that non-article space allowed for candid discussions. As per WP:BLPTALK, I was incorrect in my assertion. I am redacting/rewriting that bit. Thanks for the heads-up. Nice to learn something new today. :) - Jack Sebastian (talk) 13:49, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Well apart from
And and and Slatersteven (talk) 13:56, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Regarding Brmull's comments - it's not the journalist we assess, it's the newspaper that has the track record that determines whether it is a reliable source. Even established experts' own blogs are suspect as RS.
Quotes, descriptions, all fabricated, make it pretty clear that it not a good idea to use the Daily Mail without agreement by other editors, particularly for BLPs, where if the Daily Mail is the only source it's probably, right or wrong, not apppropriate to put it in the article. I don't see how a 'draft report' can be an excuse for making up quotations, which would almost certainly have been printed if the verdict had gone the way the original story said it did. Dougweller (talk) 05:14, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oh, and it's quite obvious what happened here. It's straight out of the movie Chicago. They printed up articles for both possible decisions ahead of time, getting quotes from relevant people in advance in terms of what their reaction would be if it went one way. Thus, they would be able to release their article immediately after the verdict is announced and be the first ones to dominate the news. But, clearly, they got the wrong information just ahead of time on what the verdict was and put up the wrong version they had made. Once they realized their error, they took it down and ultimately decided that they would save themselves further embarrassment by not putting up the other version. It's pretty classic, actually. SilverserenC 05:31, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
"Getting quotes from relevant people in advance in terms of what their reaction would be if it went one way". Bollocks - nobody is going to give out such quotes. Or do you have a source to the contrary? AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:36, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
How do you know the quotes aren't real? Or do you have a source to the contrary? I see no reason why they wouldn't give out their quotes ahead of time if asked. Asking "If the verdict comes back as guilty, what would your thoughts be on that outcome?" isn't really that hard to believe at all. SilverserenC 05:42, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
The Daily Mail report said: "Amanda Knox looked stunned this evening", "she sank into her chair sobbing uncontrollably while her family and friends hugged each other in tears", "A few feet away Meredith's mother Arline, her sister Stephanie and brother Lyle, who had flown in especially for the verdict remained expressionless, staring straight ahead, glancing over just once at the distraught Knox family.", "Following the verdict Knox and Sollecito were taken out of court escorted by prison guards". Except, you know, none of this happened. It was all made up. —Tom Morris (talk) 08:19, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
None of that seems like anything specific. It all seems like general information. So, yes, it's made-u, but it's made-up in the sense that it is extremely likely to occur if the verdict was guilty. Again, this is what happens when you make both sides of a possible news article ahead of time. SilverserenC 15:48, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
No, this is not at all typical. At least once a year, for example, a prominent news organization accidentally looses a prepared-in-advance obituary for a prominent person who hasn't, in fact, died. Those pieces never include fake "reaction quotes." Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 16:13, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Do obituaries generally contain quotes? I didn't think they did. If you consider a number of news stories that are released pretty much immediately when some known event occurs, if not ahead of time, you can assume that all the quotes in that article were obtained beforehand. I feel very confident in saying that all major news organizations do it. This time, however, the Daily Mail accidentally released the wrong version. Very embarrassing, yes, but it really doesn't mean anything overall. SilverserenC 16:36, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Saying she "sank into her chair sobbing uncontrollably" isn't "specific"? It gives the feeling that it is direct reportage, as in a reporter in the courtrooom or watching on TV actually saw her do this. What if she had been found guilty and she acted completely calmly and nonchalantly? (I know, not the most natural of reactions to being told you are going to prison for life) The Mail would have still published this story, because the causal link between what actually happened and what they reported is not there. The whole reason people are making such a fuss about it is because it goes beyond just prewritten-obituary/prepared-story mistakes. This is completely false reporting of basic facts. I'd say this destroys the Daily Mail's credibility, but that would suggest they had some to start with. —Tom Morris (talk) 09:18, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support axing the Daily Mail for good. The evidence here is damning -- made-up quotes, made-up reactions from prosecutors and family. It's just not "reliable". --JN466 09:39, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose as the proactice of getting quotes in advance is both common and widespread - and has been for a very long time. In fact, the practice is absolutely necessary if one applies an ounce of logic to writing a thousand+ word story in five minutes or less with dozens of quotes. See comments in next section. Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:21, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Undecided - a series of very public blunders make me doubt who's actually in the room during the verification process in the newsroom, but the practice of pre-writing a story is as old as news reporting itself. Just because its an English "tabloid" doesn't make it non-reliable. Major news stories have been broken by just these sorts of media outlets. I think I need more convincing. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 14:15, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support axing – Interestingly, both The Guardian and Sky News reported the incorrect verdict but stopped short of including "quotes". If there were any pre-released quotes I'm pretty sure other news accounts would have inlcuded them. This isn't a case of jumping the gun, publishing a draft, or just getting it wrong, this is an issue of fabrication. If the Mail were indeed to clarify that they had obtained these quotes in advance then fair enough, poor practice but probably acceptable, but there is nothing to indicate here they did not fabricate the quotes, nor have they set the record straight. Until it is ascertained that they did not fabricate the quotes, then they should be struck off. Betty Logan (talk) 16:51, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
We have no evidence the quotes are made-up, and much as I dislike being in the position of defending the Daily Mail, I don't see why it should have to assert that they weren't. As several people (I think) have said, and I will echo, obtaining quotes in advance on a what-if basis is not uncommon. If you look at the original article on Google Docs, the only thing the reporter must have made up is Knox being taken to a police van. (The family may have also misinterpreted the first guilty verdict, and reacted in the way that he describes, although I grant it's quite possible that was made up, or shall we say "anticipated", too.)
That was wrong of him, but are we going to sacrifice an entire major newspaper as a source forever because of one fabrication of a fairly irrelevant detail by a freelance reporter? (After all, if she had been found guilty, which presumably he genuinely albeit mistakenly believed, it wouldn't really be a major consideration whether she was taken to a van or a car or a helicopter or what-have-you...) Barnabypage (talk)
    • Comment Absent any reason to believe other than what is known as common practice was followed, the supposition is inapt. Such quotes are routinely obtained, and routinely used in articles, and while I know some editors have iterated distaste for the Daily Mail, such distaste should not be then used to find something other than what logically occurs on many newspapers - including the Guardian, New York Times etc. Cheers. Collect (talk) 17:02, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
      • They cannot have got the bit about Knox "sobbing uncontrollably while her family and friends hugged each other in tears" in advance though - it was an outright lie. And yes, I have an "iterated distaste for the Daily Mail" - because they routinely do this sort of thing. If Knox had been found guilty, we would have 'RS' for her sobbing, based on journalist's imagination. Crap like this may be good enough for the Mail, but it isn't good enough for Wikipedia. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:11, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Thet are not alone on this (action or incident).Slatersteven (talk) 17:14, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Current issues aside, the Daily Mail has been around for over a hundred years. We should not create a rule which disallows material from earlier eras before it and the other UK tabloids descended to their current depths. However I agree that under its current editor it must be considered unreliable.   Will Beback  talk  23:01, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
    • That sounds like a useful distinction. --JN466 23:43, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. I've just read Nina Burleigh's The Fatal Gift of Beauty: The Trials of Amanda Knox (2011). Burleigh describes very well the misogynist, and highly inaccurate, tabloid reporting that fed this case, and which even now hasn't died down entirely. As the Daily Mail seems to have been at the forefront of it, it would be wrong of us to continue to use it as an RS for this or anything else. And for anyone willing to help edit Murder of Meredith Kercher, I highly recommend Burleigh's book as a source; it seems it's currently not used in the article. She nails down the myths of the case, explains how they originated and spread, and what effect they had on the outcome. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 05:37, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Burleigh is a radical feminist whose opinion about anything that involves the persecution of women needs be viewed in a very skeptical light. Brmull (talk) 06:06, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure you're using the term radical feminist correctly. It doesn't simply mean "feminist". Burleigh doesn't appear to be a radical feminist at all. In any case, one would have to establish her unreliability, which is independent of her political beliefs.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 06:23, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support axing - Already mentioned above but if we're tallying votes now I may as well stick it down unequivocally. GRAPPLE X 05:40, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Absolutely oppose - No source is correct all the time or wrong all the time. I don't even think this forum has the authority to ban a source used by literally affect tens of thousands of articles. There is a certain "usage rule" that applies. Brmull (talk) 06:06, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Unless we're going to also get rid of a number of other major Western newspapers that do this sort of thing as well (not as outright embarrassing as this, but the same thing overall), I see no reason why the Daily Mail isn't still an RS. Especially for its past 100 years of history and news. SilverserenC 16:33, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

No newspapers say they write the truth

Not since Fox News won the court case against Jane Akre in the Court of Appeals, arguing that under the First Amendment they should be allowed to print whatever information they want, even if they know it is false. The court agreed, saying that the FCC rule on truth-telling was just a "policy", not a law. Therefore, the ruling stated that all news organizations (in the US) are allowed to print articles that they know contains false information and they can't get in trouble because of it. And I know the Daily Mail is from the UK, but the point still stands in terms of US news organizations. We have no way of knowing if any information fed to us from US news organizations is correct. SilverserenC 05:26, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

The US constitution may very well defend the right of the media to lie through their teeth - but what exactly does this have to do with the question as to how we assess the reliability of the Daily Mail? AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:40, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I think the first thing we should be doing is waiting to see if the Daily Mail releases an apology and statement on their incorrect news report, unless you are going to say that making a false news report automatically puts you on the banned list. If so, then we should add the Los Angeles Times, New York Post, and so much more. SilverserenC 05:53, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
SilverSeren, are you honestly arguing that all newspapers anywhere should be treated as equally (un)reliable because of a US Supreme Court judgement? That would make editing Wikipedia rather more problematic.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 06:00, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Well, obviously not. :P I'm saying that all newspapers, especially the major ones, make false news reports every once in a while, most often because their sources gave them bad information. And I don't believe we should write off one of a country's major newspapers just because of one article that was removed once they realized their mistake. SilverserenC 06:05, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Neither would I, but I wouldn't have treated the Daily Mail as RS before this anyway. I think it proves the point that many people have been making about the Mail for a while. It's not their sources that's the problem, it's what turns up on the pages themselves. That BC/AD thing I posted above - it was entirely based on a comment made on discussion thread by someone managing the religious affairs section of the BBC website talking specifically about that particular section.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 06:23, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Except the Daily Mail isn't even close to being the only news organization that puts out news of this nature. Seriously, if this goes through, I feel like I have a boost to try and get Fox News labeled as not an RS once and for all, after all of the prior discussions in that vein. Considering that they've done false and incorrect news reports just as much, if not more so, than the Daily Mail, it should be an easy sale after this one goes through. SilverserenC 06:33, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
This isn't just putting out a false story: this is a journalist doing false reportage. False story is one thing: having a prepared obituary or prepared stories about a major story with background information, that's fine. Having a story lined up with made up reportage that gets accidentally published is pretty damn surprising. If they hadn't overturned Knox's appeal and found her guilty instead, they would have published this story with the false reportage and nobody would have noticed. That other newspapers pull this kind of stunt too doesn't justify it (any more than WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS does). The Daily Mail is a major newspaper, sure, but not a reliable one, especially here: this is a source that could potentially have had huge BLP implications if Knox and Sollecito had been found guilty. As someone who handles BLP issues frequently, I'm sure you understand the implications of sources that contain completely made up rubbish about living people. —Tom Morris (talk) 08:25, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I suggest it is germane that other newspapers do it. It points to the fact that this is an inherent issue - or potential issue - with all newspaper sources, from which the logical next steps are (a) live with it and guard against being caught out by it (for example by multiple-sourcing) or (b) don't use newspapers at all. Banning the Daily Mail as a non-RS doesn't appreciably minimise the danger of it happening again, and thus limits our sources without really achieving anything. Barnabypage (talk) 14:40, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
It isn't about correctness or rules: in this case, it is very simple. It is about attitude to truth. Here we have an embarrassing, clear as day example showing that the Daily Mail's attitude to truth and honest reporting is non-existent. All newspapers are suspect of lying and deception (just as we all are: everyone on the planet has told a lie once in a while) but the sheer chutzpah of this story undoes any claim of reliability we can place on the Daily Mail. As for the other newspapers? Just you wait. They'll do the same eventually, and then we'll be justified in tossing them out too. —Tom Morris (talk) 08:41, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Appalled by this. We can't and shouldn't cite newspapers who make up news. It's the very definition of not reliable. --JN466 09:23, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
The "Daily Mail as a reliable source" joke has been stale for a few decades. This latest event only confirms that it is not a reliable source except maybe for soccer results and the day of the week. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 09:36, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
There is some context here which explains why not only the Mail but also other news outlets including The Guardian and Sky News got the story wrong at first. I'm no fan of the Mail, but I therefore don't think this particular incident justifies its RS status being removed. I agree it should be used with caution, especially on politically-charged stories and on medical stories. Barnabypage (talk) 10:12, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
The problem isn't so much getting the outcome of the trial wrong; it is the wholesale invention of detailed events that never happened, and surely would have remained in the article. [31]. We are better off relying on other sources. --JN466 10:49, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
But as someone mentioned above, it's quite possible that the quotes were obtained in advance (on a "what-if-this-happened" basis), which is not uncommon. It's quite possible that the reaction that occurred in the courtroom did, in fact, initially occur in response to the guilty verdict on slander...while it's also of course possible that it's made up, or exaggerated. We really don't know. The bylined writer, Nick Pisa, is not even a Mail staffer as far as I can tell. It doesn't add up to evidence of systematic, regular falsification at the paper. Barnabypage (talk) 11:06, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I am sorry: "As Knox realized the enormity of what judge Hellman was saying she sank into her chair sobbing uncontrollably ...", "Following the verdict Knox and Sollecito were taken out of court escorted by prison guards and into a waiting van which took her back to her cell ...", "Both Knox and Sollecito ... said they would take the case to the third and final level of appeal". These things did not happen. [32] A newspaper that is happy to report as fact things that did not happen (this is by no means the first time) is not a reliable source. Period. If it's important, some more reliable source will have reported it. --JN466 11:24, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't think anyone would contend this is a fine example of news reporting. At best, it's an unfortunate combination of a misunderstanding and some slightly naughty but (as others have said) extremely widespread journalistic shortcuts. My point is that it is nowhere near the scale of the falsifications perpetrated by, say, Stephen Glass at The New Republic or Jayson Blair at The New York Times or Janet Cooke at The Washington Post, all of them regarded as highly reliable sources. It's just not enough to justify excluding everything in a major newspaper as a RS.
Can I also add one observation: we have all, many times, read similar stories to this where the reporter didn't make an error in understanding the judge's verdict. They have probably appeared in the newspapers we like most and consider most reliable. How can we possibly be sure that the reporters hadn't written those stories ahead of time, obtaining what-if quotes and inserting imagined "facts" on the basis that they were almost certainly going to be accurate if the verdict was guilty (the shocked family, the removal in a police van...)?
It is inherent in using newspapers as sources at all that we run the risk of sometimes relying on stories that have been assembled in this way. And, if we are going to have articles on current events, we have little option but to use newspapers as sources. Barnabypage (talk) 13:17, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Might I suggest that the Mail (and maybe Fox, for that matter) be treated as RS when it comes to judging weight (notability or due content), but not be used themselves for actual sourcing of information? Does that make sense?VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 11:38, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Fact: Reporters frequently do get "quotes ahead of time." And the quotes are not "made up" but simply gotten on a "suppose this result" basis. I have had journalist relatives (and newspaper owners) and this is not all that strange. The mad rush to get a thousand+ word story out in under five minutes pretty much requires this practice. Do you really think any human reporter can get a dozen quotes in interviews in under five minutes? The Internet exarcerbates the problem - but it has always existed. The principle is that the press is not set to run until they have some confirmation -- but please note Wikipedia itself has given obits for people who are not quite dead <g>, as have almost all major newspapers (which have obits and the like already set in type well before a person dies, and sometimes including quotes from others about the person.) Sorry folks - this is "da facts." Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:18, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

  • True enough; I once cited an obituary whose writer had died well before the person whose death he was reporting, and I think we all understand that. But besides any quotes which one might charitably assume had actually been obtained beforehand, the Mail story contained colourful details which were simply made up. That's not good enough. There was also this: the Sunday paper in question was the Mail on Sunday. The Mail on Sunday was the only paper to run that story, which actually originated partly in Wikipedia and was again completely made up (and nearly ruined the man's marriage). Enough is enough. --JN466 12:37, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I note they did on fact take it down. Now I am with the "if one paper is not RS for making stuff up (and It may have ben a mistaken posting)" then that shouold apply to any newspaper or news organisatio that makes things up.Slatersteven (talk) 12:44, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Collect is right. I remember reading a book (I think) about Dan Rather, The Camera Never Blinks written back in '84, before the internet was anything of a controlling factor in the news, and he criticized how reporters would have their stories half-written before they even started looking into the facts. So, the practice is lazy, but it isn't a recent event. Of course The Mail committed an Epic Fail, but one that every paper or news outlet has committed (while perhaps not as spectacularly) at one point or another.
The subsidiary problem to arguments of this sort is that news organs feed off one another. One paper might lead a news story, but everyone else follows, the idea being that if they don't report it (after quickly checking the provenance of the sources), they look like they are a sack of nincompoops. Presumably, the other papers have an editorial board that stipulates what is required by way of verification before they go to print. I have no idea at all what this entails, but these requirements are there. Sure a tabloid broke the story about Prince Charles' infidelities with Camilla Parker Bowles, but the other news organs picked it up and ran with the story because they were able to verify the sources. I have a LOT of difficulty believing that any outlet would blindly follow another outlet's breaking news without verifying it first. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 14:10, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
If you were following online news sources when Gabrielle Giffords was shot, that would not be terribly difficult to believe. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 15:53, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I wasn't, but I am not surprised. As I said, I can see both sides of this discussion; during a breaking story, it's clear that news outlets appropriate each others' stories in the hopes of building on them. This is how Watergate and Iran-Contra unfolded; seemingly innocuous page 19 stories that were picked up by another outlet and developed further. That is the nature of the beast as well. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 16:04, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I would say that this is correct. Journalists do write stories beforehand on the basis of counter-factual assumptions, and they also get quotes that have been gathered under these assumptions. But that is not really "made-up" in the sense of the article in question. The Daily Mail here not only wrote the story under counter-factual assumptions, which is acceptable, and an accident if published. What they did do was invent factual details that didn't happen and even in the case of the verdict turning the other way, might never have happened. In summary: Writing under assumptions is entirely acceptable. Inventing "factual" details is not. The last part makes the RS status of the newspaper void or at the very least extremely suspect. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 18:28, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Let's just slow down

Read this, please. Do you see the sections that state things like "As with many high profile stories, a few publications prepared copy ahead of the verdict’s delivery" and "A source from the paper said the quotes were given by the prosecutor in advance" and especially the last paragraph of commentary by the author "It’s possible that the publications heard the judge tell Knox she was guilty of defamation and jumped the publishing gun before hearing that she was innocent of the murder charge. In the highly competitive and fast-paced world of online journalism, this is more than likely what happened. But at least for these publications the correction could be made quickly. The Chicago Tribune didn’t have the same luxury in 1948." I would hope this clears a lot up. Especially since if we do this to Daily Mail, then we have to do the same for the Sun and Sky News, since they put out similar stories. SilverserenC 17:14, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Ok, if you are going to quote from the Washington Post article, how about this: "The Daily Mail, called by detractors the Daily Fail, has been criticized for lifting quotes, photos and even whole stories from other publications. Last month, the Mail was accused of rewriting Post writer Steve Hendrix’s story about an F-16 pilot ready to sacrifice herself on 9/11 and then contacting him to look for photos". And no, we don't consider The Sun as WP:RS. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:21, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Lifting stories doesn't make you unreliable. It's not like those stories are unreliable originally. It does mean that they can get sued by the people they lifted it from, but that has nothing to do with us. As for the Hendrix story, which i've read about, that was more just really, really rude what they did. Beyond rude. But the rewritten story wasn't inaccurate, just hyperbolic. SilverserenC 17:27, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Well, I'm no lawyer (etc...), but I'd have thought that maybe treating a source we know routinely plagiarises others as reliable might have legal implications too: What if we attribute a quote to the Mail which they have purloined from elsewhere? In any case, if they can't be trusted to report where they get there stories from, why should we trust the stories? AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:34, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Again, this would lead to excluding virtually every British publication, and many in other countries. It happens, all the time, on a modest scale, although of course some publications are more prolific offenders than others. FWIW I think editors on Wikipedia generally (I'm not pointing the finger at any individuals in this discussion) have a very exaggerated, or perhaps I should say idealistic, view of the depth of reporting and level of fact-checking that actually happens day in, day out on a modern newspaper. Of course it takes place to All the President's Men standards occasionally on big, big stories. But the routine process of news-gathering and editing is nowhere near so thorough. Barnabypage (talk) 17:41, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, and that is why we need to be even more careful regarding treating newspapers as reliable sources - and why we have to make decisions based on their "reputation for fact-checking and accuracy" ([[WP:RS)). The Mail has a deserved reputation for not checking its facts, and being inaccurate... AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:14, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree, it is a source that needs caution, especially with certain subjects (not particularly court reporting, as it happens - ironically, this particular mess-up is not the main kind of problem with the Mail; I'd be more concerned about its extremely, ahem, imaginative science and medical reporting). I'm merely concerned that we don't exclude a whole source, and open the floodgates to excluding a whole further slew of sources, on the basis of one not-really-that-significant incident. If there were a WP:SOURCES_BATHWATER I'd cite it! Barnabypage (talk) 18:28, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Kindly examine WP:Baby and Bathwater for what I think is the point you wished to make - in any case, edit it so it does conform with your position. Cheers. Collect (talk) 19:29, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
@Collect - yes, that's more or less my position. I may edit your essay at some future point. I would wish to form first a firm view on when occasional, bearable unreliability becomes systemic unreliability, and how that can be detected. I don't, in fact, have a strong view as to whether the Mail would pass such a test or not; what I do know is that this incident doesn't on its own constitute failure. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Barnabypage (talk) 19:37, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
This error reflects badly on the Mail, but our view of its reliability as a source depends on more than just this one occurrence. RS guidelines used to say of newspapers "especially those at the top end of the market". I'm not sure why that was taken out. Mail is definitely not at top end of the market, nor is the Sun. These papers are still reliable for a few things, although usually a better source can easily be found. I think we still need to judge case by case. Itsmejudith (talk) 12:56, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
The simple truth is, no news source is going to be reliable 100% of the time... and no news source is going to be unreliable 100% of the time. Reliability depends on context. We should never ask: "Is Newspaper X a reliable source?" because the answer is always going to be: "sometimes, but sometimes not" ... Instead we need to ask: "Is Newspaper X a reliable source for statement Y?. Blueboar (talk) 14:40, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
There are a number of articles and books by journalists that refer to systemic fabrication of article contents, mis-representation of quotes and use of quotes from individuals with no authority or inherent reliability.
Andrew Marr in his book "My Trade" talks about an example of an entirely fictional interview undertaken in UK that related to another fictional individual in North America, can't recall whether it was the US or Canada. A newspaper at that end was asked to obtain an interview and delivered one.
That is not to say that news media can be dismissed entirely, if the content is corroborated elsewhere. There should be caution about what that corroboration actually consists of as equally many of the news outlets source their stories from the same originators; Reuters and AP etc.
ALR (talk) 14:53, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

"pre-prepared stories"

Wikinews has a slew of pre-prepared obits and other stories.

Also some news services have, in fact, errantly released obits, from the time of Mark Twain onwards:

[33] Steve Jobs obit.

[34] The Washington Post, for instance, reportedly has about 100 obituaries of major figures on file, whereas the Associated Press news wire has close to 1000.

See also List of premature obituaries shoing a large number of "relaible sources" doing the same thing.

[35] explains a bit -- Knox was found guilty ... of slander. Thus fooling The Sun and The Guardian as well, by the way.

So the whole brouhaha about the Knox verdict is tempest in a teapot at best. IMO. Collect (talk) 17:59, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Sure, pre-prepared obituaries are not the issue. You can write a pre-prepared obituary by basically getting together all the sources on the person's life. But if you had a pre-prepared obituary that then went on to describe the exact manner of the person's death and had "deathbed quotes", that would be more like the Daily Mail situation. I've written a pre-prepared obituary on Wikinews for someone, and it's all basically background information. When the time comes, you still have to fill in the blanks with the actual details of the person's death. —Tom Morris (talk) 09:13, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
And for about-to-be-live stories, the reporters ask for quotes ahead of time - there is no way to get a dozen quotes in five minutes otherwise. Cheers. Collect (talk) 19:51, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
There is no way to get stories about how Knox "sank into her chair sobbing uncontrollably while her family and friends hugged each other in tears" in advance either, without engaging in blatant fabrication. Why are you defending this clearly unreliable source? AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:13, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
An error in release != anything much. Consider the newspaper which printed all of Johann Hari's "interiews" which were shown to have problems ... ought it be "axed"? I suggest we simply accept that no source is the WP:TRUTH in every case - that all we can so is trust that balancing sources gets us close to a reasonable article. Cheers. Collect (talk) 23:55, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
+1--Kmhkmh (talk) 00:18, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but it wasn't an 'error in release', was it? A journalist intentionally created details about something that hadn't happened. The 'error' was in him/her submitting a false story. Other newspapers print retractions, apologise, and sanction the journalist involved. That the Mail doesn't is clear evidence that they don't give a toss about journalistic standards. They are not a reliable source, self-evidently. From now on, If I see anything at all contentious sourced to the Mail, I'm going to treat it as the dubious trash it frequently is - anything the Mail reports that is worth reporting, can be sourced elsewhere. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:22, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Agree with Andy. Note that if we had used that standard in October 2009, we would have saved ourselves this embarrassment. --JN466 00:43, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Just another example

This is just another example of why we ought to be less reliant on the press in general. Don't get me wrong The Mail seems to be bottom of the barrel, but all kinds of more reliable "news" publications are pretty crap in a variety of ways. Unfortunately the news media is the only place for the now generation to get its instant encyclopedia entry fix on so what are you going to do?Griswaldo (talk) 00:33, 6 October 2011 (UTC) Blog omnivoracious

In Obernewtyn (novel), I have used a direct quote from an interview posted on this blog. Though a blog, as it's About Us page states it is run by the book editors of, is it a reliable source for this purpose? --Limolover talk 11:25, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

I think the quotation from "Omnivoracious" is appropriate for usage, provided, in your prose, you mention the blog as the source of the quotation, as noted here. --Togna bologna (talk) 19:53, 7 October 2011 (UTC) (alias

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

The so-called critic by the name of Taran Adarsh who has been reviewing films for Bollywood is being disputed on his so-called reliability which seems to be driven away by the fact that he plainly promotes a film industry rather than acting like a critic or calculating genuine box office figures. Recent examples of his marketing schemes can be seen in recent Bollywood hit films, like Wanted, Dabangg, Ready Bodyguard, Singham and Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. Another instance of his tomfoolery can be found on the fact that he has posted a review of a film a day before its worldwide release here, naturally with a high rating. His film ratings of 4/5 and 4.5/5 seem to be opposing more experienced and recognized critics who panned most of the above films. I wish to get more opinions on whether his ratings and figures can be used on WP, which is NOT an advertising medium. Thank you! Secret of success Talk to me 17:47, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

I completely agree to the post above, his reliability is highly questioned whether is for Critical reception or Box office figures. He should not be considered a reliable source for both CR & BO here at WP --Meryam90 (talk) 17:56, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Agree with both of you. I remember a few months ago, some even said that, we cannot take the statements of producers when it comes to budget or gross of a film. As statements made by this man are highly disputable, don't think this can be taken into reliability. --Commander (Ping Me) 18:42, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
What's been happening here...? "Shouldn't be used" per what policy or "highly questioned" by whom? You're clearly misunderstanding WP:SOAP, which doesn't say anything about third-party sources and/or reliability of sources. Taran is a leading film critic and trade analyst of Indian cinema and Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. His work has been featured on indiaFM, Zee TV, Zee News, Times of India, Hindustan Times and countless other highly esteemed publications and mass media. Even international names like BBC, The Guardian and Variety have cited him, or used his reports in an indirect or direct way. Nothing an individual says can put him in a bad light or make him a dishonest critic. Pauline Kael is considered a controversial figure in film journalism, but, at the same time, she's still one the greatest and most influential film critics in history. No direct, germane comparisons, though. Secondly, I suppose, you can't write something like "he plainly promotes a film industry rather than acting like a critic or calculating genuine box office figures" on Wikipedia, including even the talk spaces, without citing or quoting some third-party, for WP:BLP reasons. Thanks. Scieberking (talk) 19:02, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
There is a difference between "critics" and just plain "reviewers". Have you ever seen Taran Adarsh criticize a film in any way as the other people do? Secret of success Talk to me 05:31, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
That's your own decrepit theory, but to answer your question, yes, many a times. 1, 2 and 3 are just a few examples. Scieberking (talk) 06:14, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
These examples clearly prove that he judges films based on whether they will score at the BO or not, unlike a critic who is someone who manages to criticize a film to the greatest possible extent he/she can(regardless of BO expectations)! Secret of success Talk to me 06:55, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Again, that's your POV. There's nothing more to it. Scieberking (talk) 08:02, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Well, its not my personal opinion. I'm quite sure User:Vensatry and User:Meryam90 will agree with me. Anyway, we have lots of other critics and notable media working for Bollywood, so there will be not much of a change if we remove this guy's reviews. Secret of success Talk to me 08:30, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

On what basis or Wikipedia policy? I guess that would be totally unacceptable removing a highly reputed film critic's reviews for totally illogical reasons. Scieberking (talk) 09:08, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

I don't know anything much about the guy, but I have seen many references to him on Wikipedia. If he is very popular, and is often cited by mainstream media, I see no reason to ban his reviews. It should be fine to say that he gave film X 4 stars, but reviewer Y only gave it 2 stars. If he always gives inflated reviews people will figure it out on their own and take what he says with a grain of salt. BollyJeff || talk 11:52, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
He may be highly popular here on wiki, but that doesn't change the fact that he's not taken very seriously by the people, esp when it comes to stars' films...some films has been panned globally, yet he gives them 4s & 5s just because he thinks they will do well at the box office. What I have an issue with is his BO numbers and verdicts. he had a famous dispute on twitter with Abhishek Bachchan over budget of Bbuddah... Hoga Terra Baap and just very recently, he called Mausam below average when it's an obvious Hit and Shahid kapoor also reacted to him. and let's not forget the infamous ATBB verdict for Ready when it's only a BB... --Meryam90 (talk) 14:03, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I think its time to bring in the Wp:IAR policy here. Adding dubicious ratings is in no way encyclopedic. Secret of success Talk to me 06:25, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
Again, misinterpretation of a policy. If you think Taran is "dubicious", provide third party reliable sources that report he is. Otherwise, don't push your POV here. For the record, Mausam has been declared a FLOP by BOI. Scieberking (talk) 08:23, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

I don't think we should debate whether his critique of films is reliable or not. As a matter of fact, none of them are inherently reliable, not Nikhat Kazmi, not anyone else. This is simply because critiques are his/her personal opinion. Whether Taran Adarsh is biased or not, we should not care. If he is a reputed film critic, he should be mentioned, regardless of whether he called Mausam a hit or a flop. If other external sources doubt his credibility, then alone can we decide upon inclusion of his critiques. Lynch7 14:27, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Exactly my point. How can you call a leading critic's work "dubious" without providing third-party reliable sources? And of course the Mausam verdict is irrelevant here, and for the same reason, I used "for the record". Scieberking (talk) 16:39, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
That was my point to! Since his opinions prove undesirable, I suggested a ban only on his reviews and not on his BO calculations and interviews. Secret of success Talk to me 16:43, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
Un"desirable"? To whom? Lynch7 16:48, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
Look at this. Taran has quoted that "On the whole, SWADES disappoints. At the box-office, the film may appeal to a handful of critics [await the 5-star ratings!] and those who believe in this form of cinema, but for a majority of viewers, SWADES will be remembered as a good opportunity gone waste. " Doesn't it prove that he himself doesn't consider his role as a critic?? Hope I have given sufficient explanations. Secret of success Talk to me 07:34, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
You took seven days to ingeminate the same stuff. The thing is, you've totally missed the points made above by MikeLynch and me. That's the end of it as it's not productive and helpful or even relevant in any way. Scieberking (talk) 13:06, 8 October 2011 (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.

First Council of Ephesus

Is this a reliable source for the statement that the emperor did not appoint any one to preside at the First Council of Ephesus: "The question has been raised by what authority Cyril thus opened the council, acting as though he was its acknowledged president. That the mass of the bishops at the time accepted the fait accompli without any sign of protest--even the sixty-eight signatories--is certain. It was also traditional that Alexandria was the first see of the East. Its bishop being present at a General Council, and neither pope nor emperor having named another to preside, he was surely its inevitable president. Nestorius, in the memoirs he wrote, many years later, says: 'We expected that he who exercised authority (the emperor, through Candidian) would have chosen the president. No one thought you would have taken it for yourself.' But from the 159 bishops who were in the church as the day's work began there was not a sign of objection to Cyril"? The source is a chapter of the book The Church in Crisis: A History of the General Councils, 325 - 1870 by Philip Hughes.

Is this a reliable source for the statement that the emperor did appoint someone (Candidian) to preside at the Council: " Theodosius II. appointed the Count Candidian, Captain of the imperial bodyguard, the protector of the council, to sit in the room of the Emperors. In making this appointment he addressed an edict to the synod which will be found in the Concilia and of which Hefele gives the following synopsis. (Hefele, Hist. of the Councils, Vol. III., p. 43.) Candidian is to take no immediate part in the discussions on contested points of faith, for it is not becoming that one who does not belong to the number of the bishops should mix himself up in the examination and decision of theological controversies. On the contrary, Candidian was to remove from the city the monks and laymen who had come or should afterwards come to Ephesus out of curiosity, so that disorder and confusion should not be caused by those who were in no way needed for the examination of the sacred doctrines. He was, besides, to watch lest the discussions among the members of the Synod themselves should degenerate into violent disputes and hinder the more exact investigation of truth; and, on the contrary, see that every statement should be heard with attention, and that every one put forward in view, or his objections, without let or hindrance, so that at last an unanimous decision might be arrived at in peace by the holy Synod. But above all, Candidian was to take care that no member of the Synod should attempt, before the close of the transactions, to go home, or to the court, or elsewhere. Moreover, he was not to allow that any other matter of controversy should be taken into consideration before the settlement of the principal point of doctrine before the Council"?

Note: There are abundant sources that say Cyril presided. No source has been produced that says Candidian presided. Esoglou (talk) 08:32, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

In view of the following comment, I should make explicit that, although the cited source says Candidian was appointed "to sit in the room of the emperors" (it is disputed whether that means to preside at the council), no source has been produced that says he actually did preside. Esoglou (talk) 09:11, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
Esoglou wrote

"the emperor did appoint someone (Candidian) to preside at the Council:" sourced it with link [36]

Esoglou wrote

" No source has been produced that says Candidian presided."
Esoglou is doing this kind of stuff, being dense like this and disruptive on the article Ecumenical councils. What corrective action can be taken to protect other editors from this form of disruptive incompetence? Also the source saying the Candidian person presided is Philip Schaff, are we to stop using him as a source now cause esoglou does not like that he uses the word preside? Yes esoglou is arguing that he doesn't like the word preside. Please note esoglou has been pleaded with to provide an acceptable (to him) alternative word and has instead of providing one come here and posted his complaint. Pleaded with to please give us a word he'd be happy with. PLEASE.

Here's a recent comment made to administrator Ed Johnston about Esoglou's conduct here on Wikipedia in general
<<<<<[37]>>>>>>>LoveMonkey (talk) 08:50, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
Regarding the second question - "did appoint someone (Candidian) to preside" - my answer is that the citation given is equivical. It's possible to say from the citation that he represented the Emperor, further, that he acted in loco the Emperor. The main problem withthe citation is the the very previous page has the following: "After, therefore, the bishops and Nestorius himself were come to Ephesus, the universal Council began, Cyril being president, and representing Celestine, as being appointed by the Pontiff himself to execute his sentence.". So while Candidian convened, opened and policed the Council, the moderator or director of discussions was Cyril (per this source). This does not exclude the possibility that Candidian sat in Council, indeed may have sat in the place of honour - "the room of the Emperors". How else could he have exercised his other function - to ensure that no other matters were discussed beyond the two essential questiions - if he were not present. So then, the source may be relied on for saying that (1) Cyril presided, (2) Candidian convened, pened and policed, (3) both were present and exercised authority proper to their spheres - Candidian in the temporal or civil sphere, Cyril in the spiritual of ecclesiastical sphere. Laurel Lodged (talk) 16:16, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
In fact, Candidian did not sit in the council, still less sit in a place of honour, still again less in the place of honour. The bishops told him to get out: see page 79 of this source. So does the source about which the second question is asked here actually say that Candidian was appointed to preside, rather than just to maintain order and to police? I don't think so. Esoglou (talk) 20:56, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
The source says that Candidian was appointed to be the emperors' deputy at the meeting (but not to speak on points of doctrine) and to police certain issues both in the chamber and in the city. The source does not say that he was to preside.
If what everyone wants is a phrase, I think "to attend as the emperors' deputy" might be the kind of phrase you want.
I shouldn't need to say this, but: If this source doesn't say "preside", but Philip Schaff does, that doesn't magically turn Philip Schaff from reliable into unreliable. On contentious issues, sources and interpretations often conflict. Wikipedia editors have to take account of the sources, use judgment, and, if there is a significant conflict, mention it. Andrew Dalby 09:23, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

It seems that nobody questions the reliability of Source 1 (Philip Hughes) for the statement "the emperor did not appoint any one to preside".

Discussion about the reliability of Source 2 (Schaff) for the statement "the emperor appointed Candidian to preside" has wandered from the point "Did Schaff say the emperor appointed Candidian to preside?" to questions such as "Can we find a compromise expression?" and "Did Candidian actually preside?" Nobody has defended the claim that Schaff is a reliable source for the statement "the emperor appointed Candidian to preside". What is a reliable source for the statement "the emperor appointed Candidian to preside" is instead Garry Wills, Why I Am a Catholic, p. 82. Speaking of the emperor, it says: "He appointed his officer, Count Candidian, to preside over the council". Esoglou (talk) 10:30, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

My last sentence, above, will serve as my reply. Andrew Dalby 10:49, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
And of course we all agree that Wikipedia editors have to take account of the sources, use judgment, and, if there is a significant conflict - as between Hughes and Wills - mention it. Esoglou (talk) 10:56, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
OK, my sentence is a cop-out. But there's a reason. I hoped the editors on that page would know the background and details better than I do :) You see, (a) I don't know on what grounds Cyril took charge, (b) Schaff and Hughes probably had a better understanding of how these councils used to run than any of us do, and (c) none of us know what the emperor thought or intended.
If I were writing this article, I would say that Theodosius II appointed Candidian to attend the council as the emperors' deputy. And cite the primary source as summarised by Hefele and quoted by Schaff [38]. And then say that Wills takes this to mean that he was appointed to preside, and cite him (cite others, too, if they say this: I don't see where Schaff says it); but that Hughes takes it the emperor appointed no one to preside, and cite him. And then say that in the event Cyril presided, and tell the rest of the story.
There need be no conflict over "in the room of the emperors". It's just an over-literal translation from some other language; the correct English would be "in place of the emperors". Andrew Dalby 12:25, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

The Local East Village

Is this blog/newsblog/whatever a reliable source? See here for its use. Also, see this discussion about the source. Skip to the bottom because the first part of the extended (and contentious) discussion is not about The Local East Village.--Bbb23 (talk) 23:43, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Officially On its face, The Local East Village is a collaborative experiment between a learning institution, the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University, and a newspaper, The New York Times — but it’s much more than that.<The Local has been conceived and designed to help foster a journalistic collaboration with a third partner, our neighbors in the East Village. The site is designed to reflect our community, report on its issues and concerns, give voice to its people in a wide-reaching online public forum and create a space for our neighbors to tell stories about themselves. [39]
Unfortunately it also means that the material uploaded is much more in the nature of a blog than of an editorially reviewed newspaper. At best, it is the equivalent of a "student newspaper" (maybe) but it does not meet WP:RS for substantial news. Cheers. Collect (talk) 16:39, 9 October 2011 (UTC) Reliable source?

Can be used to add ancestry to BLPs? An editor, user:GMA7 Powers 2008, is using it to contribute to articles. If not, I, or someone, need to give warning. Please advise. BashBrannigan (talk) 02:33, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

It appears to invite user contributions: if so, like a wiki, it is not reliable. But I only dipped a toe in. Others will know this site better, and probably there have been earlier discussions. Andrew Dalby 08:30, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Moby Games

What's the latest consensus for Moby Games from a reliability standpoint? In their Wikipedia article I read

"Anonymous contributions are not allowed, each item is tracked to a user account for auditing purposes. Furthermore, all information submitted to MobyGames is individually verified by users with Approver access before it goes into the database."

So, does this verifiaction of submitted information by an "Approver" act as a sort of acceptable oversight? Schmidt, MICHAEL Q. 18:49, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

It might be better to discuss this in the portal for (video) games. Games are a special area where there general guidelines might need to be adapted. Moreover editors there are likely to have a better knowledge of moby games to assess its reliability and overall quality. Also note that in terms of reviews it is for the most part not really a question of reliability but notability instead.--Kmhkmh (talk) 20:08, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
My question was more for consideration of WP:V for its video content, not for notability. But thanks... I'll ask over there. Schmidt, MICHAEL Q. 00:13, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
For the content (similarly to books and movies) you can even cite the game itself and imho it is rather unlikely that you will encounter reviews with a false content description, hence i see no real reliability issue here. However as far as technical analysis and technical information on the game is concerned, there might be reliability issues.--Kmhkmh (talk) 01:30, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
WP:VG/RS lists a bunch of video game sources, and whether or not they are reliable. MobyGames is listed as unreliable, and there are links to a number of discussions about its reliability. Reach Out to the Truth 03:07, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Broken IOC website links

While editing several articles on Olympic Games and the IOC (in particular Olympic sports, 117th IOC Session) I noticed that several sources from IOC website no longer exist at the URL that they were when the sources were added. I assume there are hundreds of this kind in Olympic-related articles, as the website has been renovated. This problem has to be attended, either by researcing for those sources in the IOC website, or looking for alternative sources.--Nitsansh (talk) 07:50, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

References required for 117th IOC Session

I expanded this article, especially the section that deals with the decision on sports for 2012 Olympics, but had no references immediately available. I assume they should be looked for primarily in IOC press releases (if I had kept E-mail messages from 2005 and the links would be still valid it was no problem for me) and secondarily in media reports from the days around July 8.--Nitsansh (talk) 16:51, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

GameFAQs and Gamespot shared database

I am bringing this here as there seems to be a double-standard applied to the reliability of these at WikiProject video games. Both sites allow for user submissions and both require credible evidence to be shown before any changeds will be made aside from very obvious mistakes (like a video game remake being released in 1892 when its original was in 1988). However, recent the project found that GameFAQs was unreliable inspite the evidence of this critiera. However, inspite info from GameFAQs itself that they share the same database and evidence found by other members that Gamespot uses similar practices in asking members to find evidence for data, Gamespot is still considered reliable. The argument given by Odie5533 is that one cannot confirm that GameFAQs uses all the same material. My contention is that if they say they share databases, you should assume they do, unless stated otherwise. (I'll note that Odie5533 says we shouldn't use either, but both sources have been used to support many feature articles and lists, especially Gamespot and their seems to be community conensus there that Gamespot is reliable, but not GameFAQS inspite very clear evidence from the horses mouth that they share the info.

So I'd like to get this ironed out, are they both reliable or are neither reliable for that info?Jinnai 14:29, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Could use some opinions here, especially as this could affect numerous feature articles and feature lists.Jinnai 19:47, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
I tend to think we shouldn't use either, but I see that GameFAQS says "Gamers themselves publish almost all of the content on GameFAQs", so it seems more akin to a moderated forum than anything else. --Nuujinn (talk) 23:07, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
I always thought that the information was a RS for stuff with editorial oversight, which would include the Gamefaqs info which originates from the shared database.LedRush (talk) 23:15, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
@Nuujinn - that is how its done at Gamespot save on a more transparent forum. Neither site takes anyone word for it; they require proof and do mention they do use their own discretion. I don't know if that meets editorial oversight, but its not like other sites that sit on their laurels when someone notes something. They also tend to have a very high accuracy rate. I'd say is 95%+, similar to any formal database.
@LedRush - yes there is some level of editorial oversight and fact-checking, but I don't know if its enough save the fact that their dates tend to speak for themselves. The shared database with Gamespot uses similar mechanism.Jinnai 22:18, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

On what basis are the judgements regarding the sharing of data and editorial oversight being made? The links above seem to establish neither, really. --Nuujinn (talk) 08:04, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

As one of the most prolific data contributors on GameFAQs, I do not believe the site's verification process is adequate for Wikipedia. Submissions from prolific contributors like myself don't receive as much scrutiny as others. I've been able to get stuff approved with sources that would never be considered reliable here, sometimes with no sources at all. Even if we try to avoid data contributed by GF users, we can't be sure it's not user-contributed. There's the GameSpot thread, which is at least transparent. But that thread also contains an e-mail address for suggesing changes, which isn't transparent at all. I therefore do not believe GF/GS to be reliable for release data. If a more reliable source can't be found, the game probably isn't notable. Reach Out to the Truth 23:35, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
@Nuujinn - obviously you can't read if you checked those links because GameFAQs clearly and uniequivably says they share database with GameSpot. As for the editorial oversight, that's what we are discussing here, ie is it enough.Jinnai 15:43, 11 October 2011 (UTC)


Mucipedia (used in the article Yurukikos) is not a reliable source. Takabeg (talk) 16:27, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Opposed on this, of course.. *Musipedia includes music records and sufficiently key informations about the music of the nation. Lolojore (talk) 16:43, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
That looks exactly like a wiki, which are not considered reliable sources. Please read through the RS page and explain how that site meets the criteria because I'm not seeing it. Ravensfire (talk) 01:11, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
It isn't necessary, because musipedia most used mainly just for the documentation of the self-evident informations concerning in article.--Lolojore (talk) 16:28, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
It's a wiki that makes use of user-generated content = it's not a RS. --Cameron Scott (talk) 16:44, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

Is a reliable source?

1. A full citation of the source in question: 2. The article in which it is being used: Northern Cyprus

3. The exact statement in the article that the source is supporting.

"Northern Cyprus or North Cyprus is a self-declared, nominally independent state"


Thank you23x2 (talk) 17:08, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

For the same statement:

"Northern Cyprus or North Cyprus is a self-declared, nominally independent state"

. The below essay:

Thanks again 23x2 (talk) 17:12, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Neither are reliable. The first appears to be an opinion piece published in some newspaper or magazine that is re-posted on a website of a political think-tank. The second may be a scholarly essay but it is impossible to tell from this pdf. Itsmejudith (talk) 11:26, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
Thought so, thank you! 23x2 (talk) 20:48, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

Sources cited in Adventure Time article

Recently, Mythic Writerlord (talk · contribs) cited following sources as the evidences of the so-called lesbian controversies over an Adventure Time episode titled "What was Missing":


However, I doubt the reliability of first two sources above. Especially, I see one is just a fan opinion. And I don't think the whole episode caused controversy, but a portion of the now-wholy-removed Channel Frederator podcast about Adventure Time did.

Also, I see some part of the article relies on Formspring answers. But can we consider someone's Formspring answer a reliable source, even if it is directly from the crew members themselves? JSH-alive talkcontmail 09:55, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

There is, of course, also the official Frederator video recap that can still be viewed online despite being taken of the main site. It has resulted in rather major online coverage (including a few sites tagged as "news" on google search) and resulted in the show's producers and production team giving an official reaction. Such an official reaction surely is a reliable sources, coming from the main staff and producers themselves, and can easily be verified as such. Mythic Writerlord (talk) 10:07, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
Besides, in the main text of the article I only wrote about a "allegedly implied relationship" causing controversy (which it did, fact). That's pretty neutral, I would say. Never did the character page mention the words lesbian or romantic - it was the sources that mentioned those things, the description in the article was short and very neutral. Abovementioned "implied relationship" could just as easily be a friendly, platonic one as in, a friendship. Mythic Writerlord (talk) 10:11, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
The official reaction is a primary source; ideally we'd need a secondary source establishing the fact of the controversy before we use it. Can anyone testify as to the reliability or otherwise of Autostraddle? (toonzone is not a good source to use).VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 10:25, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
I believe autostraddle to be a decent, reliable and rather well-known source of news. There was also another source, to a page on TvRopes, and multiple others. There is indeed the official reaction and there are plenty more from both producers and the staff. Another detail is that the employee (who went by the nickname "Mathematical") who created and uploaded the official recap got fired as a result of it. Also for that, there are sources to be found including a statement from this employee himself. Mythic Writerlord (talk) 10:28, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
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