Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)

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

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

« Older discussions, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142


Infobox RFC

"Infoboxes are neither included or omitted by default" is the rough consensus choice. None of the additional proposals below the main poll received any significant support. So, it's back to discussions in the talk pages. - Donald Albury 15:18, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

In closing the Civility in infobox discussions arbitration case, the Arbitration committee recommended ...well-publicized community discussions be held to address whether to adopt a policy or guideline addressing what factors should weigh in favor of or against including an infobox in a given article and how those factors should be weighted. As an editor who has not previously been involved in favor or against infobox usage and therefore a (hopefully) neutral party, I'm opening this discussion here. A prior call for discussion did not clarify standards for infobox usage. That leaves two policy questions in this latest recommendation:

  1. Are infoboxes necessary for articles generally
  2. How editors decide if infoboxes are necessary on particular articles

It seems logical to decide the first before the second.

The spectrum of options for the first question logically runs from "infoboxes everywhere" to "infoboxes nowhere". The previous infobox Arbitration decision, however, found that: [t]he use of infoboxes is neither required nor prohibited for any article by site policies or guidelines. The extreme policy options of "every article should have an infobox" and "no article should have an infobox" are therefore not offered as options here. The spectrum of remaining options is:

  • Infoboxes are used by default on most articles – removing one from an article with one requires talk page consensus
  • Infoboxes are used by default on broad class(es) of articles (e.g., biographies, biological species, etc.) – removing one from an article with one requires talk page consensus (Note: the obverse is therefore also true, articles not in the defined class(es) by default omit infoboxes.)

*Infoboxes are used by default on some more-restricted subset(s) of articles (e.g., music biographies, invertebrate species, etc.) – removing one from an article with one requires talk page consensus (Note: the obverse is therefore also true, articles not in the defined subset(s) by default omit infoboxes.)

  • Infoboxes are neither used by default nor omitted by default – adding one to an article without one or removing one from an article with one requires talk page consensus
  • Infoboxes are omitted by default on some more-restricted subset(s) of articles (e.g., music biographies, invertebrate species, etc.) – adding one to an article without one requires talk page consensus (Note: the obverse is therefore also true, articles not in the defined subset(s) by default include infoboxes.)
  • Infoboxes are omitted by default on broad class(es) of articles (e.g., biographies, biological species, etc.) – adding one to an article without one requires talk page consensus (Note: the obverse is therefore also true, articles not in the defined class(es) by default include infoboxes.)
  • Infoboxes are omitted by default on most articles – adding one to an article without one requires talk page consensus

Wikiprojects would be the most logical place to determine which articles come under the "broad classes" and "some more-restricted subset" options, where active projects exist.

Request to !voters: To assist the future closers of this RfC in assessing consensus on so many options, it is requested that editors only place a support !vote in the subsection below that most closely aligns with their preferred option. Oppose !votes are not necessary and should be assumed for the remaining other options. I recognize that this "support only one option" request eliminates nuanced views but this is by design. Previous discussions have not yielded much clarity, so clarity is preferred here over nuance. Discussions to determine the exact parameters of the selected option, as well as question #2 listed above, will be presented later. Thank you in advance for your help. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 21:13, 28 March 2018 (UTC)

Infoboxes are included by default on most articles

  1. This is the de facto status quo (and thus, this !poll is unhelpful) - the issue being around what is meant by "most", and under what conditions exceptions should apply. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:56, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
  2. Support inclusion of Infoboxes wherever possible but agree with Pigsonthewing that "most" need to be clarified. Capankajsmilyo (talk) 16:19, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
  3. There's a lot to be said for standardization. And hobgoblins.--GRuban (talk) 14:21, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
  4. - with reserve: Mostly per Andy's description of current practice, 'this is the de facto status quo', but 'the issue being around what is meant by "most", and under what conditions exceptions should apply' is open to further discussion, so I'm not sure that 'de facto' is entirely accurate and that it should be adopted as a guideline. 'Default' means that there can be exceptions and there are serious exceptions as I've mentioned in another section below. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:53, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

Infoboxes are included by default on broad classes of articles

  1. Consistency between similar articles is helpful, both to us editors and to the readers. And this consistency can best be achieved by consensus at the WikiProject level, where the discussion can also address exceptions to whatever general rule might be fashioned there. NewYorkActuary (talk) 16:11, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
  2. Something that had been brought up in a previous discussion is the use of infoboxes when it helps to place people or other topics in a system that has a very strong hierarchical nature. For example, politicians, professional athletes on teams, leading executives of public companies, etc. That's usually where there's a lot of detail that doesn't need to be repeated word for word in the lede prose, but should be summarized quickly for placing that person or topic in this strong hierarchical structure. That's principally the only cases where such infoboxes should be a requirement, but that should be decided prior by appropriate discussion. Outside of this, the use of infoboxes should not be mandated (for or against inclusion), and decided on a more narrow basis. --Masem (t) 18:03, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
  3. Handling the issue at the Project level is the only option that makes sense. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 19:30, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
    Most articles fall under several wikiprojects.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:15, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  4. For many classes of articles, infoboxes present data far more efficiently than prose. feminist (talk) 12:58, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  5. It does depend on the topic--many topicsare unsuitable. That does not mean giving the editors at a project the final say; as in other matters, their view of what a project requires needs at least acceptance confirmation by the general community to be effective. (As examples, among the sorts or articles I thin should always require an infobox are all biographies in all fields, regardless of the views of the editors in that particular field.) DGG ( talk ) 08:47, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  6. - with reserve. We have many different kinds of articles and where, just for example, taxonomy, bios about politicians, human settlements, geo features, and schools, benefit from infoboxes and probably should have them, some bios such as for example (IMHO) Edward Elgar look more serious, formal, and cleaner without one. So there will always be exceptions. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:43, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
  7. Infoboxes add a third "layer" to the article in addition to the lead and the body content. Some readers may only want the most basic facts, some readers want a summary, and some readers want the full information and articles should be written to suit all of these readers. Esquivalience (talk) 02:53, 1 May 2018 (UTC)

Infoboxes are neither included nor omitted by default

  1. For the umpteenth time this is the only "default" option that makes sense. It is the only option that truly is "one size fits all". Since the last time one of these came up I have edited on several thousand articles that don't have infoboxes and they don't have enough info to support one. There should not be a policy forcing one on them. It is my hope that this ends the repetitive nature of this. MarnetteD|Talk 21:30, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
  2. As per above and below. Only in death does duty end (talk) 21:58, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
  3. I think the current policy is perfectly fine. A small subset of editors have behavioral issues in following existing policy, but that doesn't mean the policy is bad. I think ArbCom did a disservice by trying to advise the community that they should change policy when it's not clear that there are any current issues with it. This discussion is itself likely to get contentious, and I doubt anything will change. ~ Rob13Talk 00:21, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
  4. This will have to be determined on each article's Talk page, I'm afraid. --K.e.coffman (talk) 01:21, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
  5. If an RfC can help (which I doubt), it's not about policy. Policy can't decide if an article is better with infobox or without. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:47, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
  6. Infoboxes obviously make sense on some articles (e.g. Golden Gate Bridge), they obviously do not make sense on other articles (e.g. Memory), and on other articles the answer is not obvious either way. Therefore this is the only policy about their default inclusion or exclusion that can actually work in practice - and it has been working. The problem around infoboxes is one of behaviour not of policy. Thryduulf (talk) 14:09, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
  7. Isn't this what we have always, consistently come up with? Consensus over many years of discussions has ALWAYS been that Wikipedia policy is agnostic on the use or non-use of infoboxes. There is no way to reliably predict which articles it is appropriate in, and which it is not. As noted several times above, the problem is not the infobox per se, the problem is that some people aren't willing to work well with others; the problems in this field have always been with behavior. People who have been sanctioned about infobox wars would have been sanctioned for something else anyways. We need to continue with the default, existing, stable position we've always had, which is "Wikipedia has no position for or against the use of infoboxes in articles". The realm of when and how to use them is the scope of the Wikiprojects and of talk page discussions. --Jayron32 14:17, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
  8. This has already been discussed to death. Natureium (talk) 14:21, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
  9. Infoboxes should be included if they are useful in a particular article according to local consensus. This proposal seems unnecessarily WP:CREEPY. AdA&D 14:53, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
  10. This really needs to be stated again?! How many nails does this coffin need? Jbh Talk 16:09, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
  11. Any BLP, or geographic location, or many other classes of articles should have an infobox. None of the alternatives in the RFC seem to cover this properly. If someone adds a useful infobox then it should not be removed. Certainly to get a B class or GA or FA rating there should be an info box. But for stubs, it is not expected. It should not be "required" for articles, but their absence proves the immaturity of the article, and demonstrates their lower quality. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 12:47, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
  12. Agree that it's down to an article-by-article basis. The !vote above on a quality bar has been dismissed before on several grounds (rightly, in my opinion), and to claim a lack of IB somehow demonstrates lower quality is laughable, given the large number of GA and FA articles without. The presence or absence of an IB is not, and never has been, any indication of quality. - SchroCat (talk) 13:42, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
  13. First, we are not writing a database, we are writing an encyclopedia. Articles are just fine without as long as they contain what they encyclopedically speaking should contain. There is no need to introduce an infobox to have a good article. That being said, for certain subjects having an infobox summarizing the key 'immutable' data certainly has encyclopedic value (and I am a strong believer that having a machine-readable infobox can help us in protecting and identifying the subject directly). On certain classes of subject it makes sense to, nearly standard, include one (as sometimes they include data that is senseless to put in prose, but is encyclopedically relevant) (e.g. as a chemist: unique identifiers for chemicals are senseless in prose, but are needed in the document as to uniquely identify, help in expansion and to be able to uniquely find it from outside Wikipedia). On other subjects it is less relevant as there is no (or not a significant amount of) unique/identifying/immutable data (memory, or as a chemist again, chemical reactions). So as a rule: certain classes of subjects should (not must!) have an infobox. That is to be decided on a per-class basis (which could be guided by WikiProjects) but with the strong realization that within said classes there will nearly always be odd cases within a class where an infobox does not make sense. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:58, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
    Seen some !votes on the 'Infoboxes are included by default on broad classes of articles' I want to clarify myself here on a point: strictly speaking, 'classes of articles' do not exist. Yes, it makes sense to have an infobox on all living people (after all, they have some immutable data like a day of birth), but there will always be exceptions. 'Things' can fall into different classes, where one class is a 'generally yes', and another class is a 'depends strongly' - or some 'things' belong strongly to two classes where both classes are a 'generally yes', but would have distinctly independent infoboxes (chemical compounds are sometimes classified both as a 'chemical', but also a 'drug' (which is a chemical after all), when the situation is 'more drug than general chemical', then a drugbox is included, if the situation is 'a drug, but more general chemical', then a chembox is included - but there are chemicals which both have a strong drug-use and a strong chemical (Lithium is an extreme example, it is an element, a chemical and a drug). Many chemical elements have mainly a chemical use (and the elemental form is not encountered in real life), still we do not chose a chembox. And whereas metals are elements, chemicals (and sometimes drugs), mixtures of metals (alloys) are also chemicals (and some have distinct chemical use in chemistry), still this 'class' of articles does not have infoboxes (and IMHO, should not have).
    All those cases need independent discussion, even when belonging to multiple infobox-wielding classes, and independent solutions need to be found. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:49, 3 April 2018 (UTC)
  14. This is really the only choice and it reflects current editing guidelines. It's a great foundation but falters amidst the guideline for its failure to formally recognize "consensus through editing".--John Cline (talk) 15:28, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
  15. Editors are capable of determining which articles would benefit from an infobox in each article's talk page, without need for some global rule. Whatever wars start up over infoboxes are problems of individual editor behavior, not flawed policy. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 16:13, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
  16. This is a behavioral issue that follows a familiar pattern: An editor goes around to dozens of articles adding/deleting infoboxes, changing every instance of "analyze" to "analyse", realigning photos or what have you. When reverted and asked to explain themselves, they act like you just told them that they should wear their pants inside out and give some variation of WP:IJUSTDONTLIKEIT ("Disrupts the flow", "Looks atrocious", "it's disrespectful to summarize this person's life this way"). It's a tremendous time sink as editors are made to justify basic, commonly-accepted practices. I'm not sure if we have a specific policy for this, but it's the type of disruption that we should shut down immediately rather than humoring with endless content discussions. –dlthewave 17:41, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
  17. - whether any given article should have an infobox (or not) should be determined on an article by article basis. For some there is an obvious benefit to having an infobox, for others there is a benefit to not having one, and for yet others it does not really matter one way or the other. So no default... decide on an article by article basis. The key is: If reverted (in either direction) -DON’T EDIT WAR over the issue... instead, go to the talk page and discuss it. Blueboar (talk) 18:38, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
  18. This is clearly the site-wide consensus, and anything other than this risks driving some contributors to abandon the project. There are a variety of factors that can take a part. We should be talking about what factors to use, trying to break it down into a clear and consistent formula, not debating a general rule that won't work. Tamwin (talk) 05:55, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
  19. There cannot be a rule about it. Infoboxes are suitable for some articles but not others and their use must be determined by consensus on a case by case basis.Smeat75 (talk) 12:56, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
  20. Don't micromanage style. Carrite (talk) 13:27, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
  21. Needs to be decided on a case by case basis. Kaldari (talk) 03:20, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
  22. This can only be done on a case-by-case basis. AIRcorn (talk) 05:14, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
  23. Agree that this can only be handled cogently on a case by case basis. TransporterMan (TALK) 16:24, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
  24. Must be case by case. -- Iazyges Consermonor Opus meum 17:55, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
  25. While ideally my preference would be to include infoboxes in broad classes of articles (the option above), I wouldn't be fond of a strict implementation in practice. Like, are infoboxes necessary for very short articles? I think they're useful and articles should ideally have them, but absolutely requiring them is unnecessary and editors should have at least some common sense on when they're needed and when they're not. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 00:48, 3 April 2018 (UTC)
  26. I'm sympathetic to the idea of having them on broad classes of articles, but I think such a thing is probably unworkable. I'd prefer a situation in which an infobox is only added where it can be shown that it is superior to a well written lede in imparting information to the reader. Lankiveil (speak to me) 03:27, 3 April 2018 (UTC).
  27. Qualified support: The originator stated this as: "Infoboxes are neither used by default nor omitted by default – adding one to an article without one or removing one from an article with one requires talk page consensus" which clearly conflates two separate questions:

    (a) Whether "Infoboxes are neither used by default nor omitted by default" - and this is the only option that makes sense; and

    (b) Whether "Adding one to an article without one, or removing one from an article with one, requires talk page consensus" - and this is an unduly heavy-handed approach. It tries to legislate the behaviour of editors who are clearly (in the main!) capable of reaching consensus without talking a topic to death - often silence implies consent, and many unexceptional edits are made daily to articles that require no further discussion at all.

    Also, while it seems that we're likely to find an infobox on most biographies of public figures, there are a few about whom we don't have enough facts for them to be useful - think, for example, of the founders of the major world religions, about whose lives little is known with factual certainty. Infoboxes do give facts at a glance, and aid categorisation and automated maintenance. They can also act as useful prompts to editors researching new articles, as to what facts to look for. An article is not automatically unencyclopaedic or of lesser quality because it lacks an infobox. Conversely, it's not automatically better with one. How about relying on the common sense of editors, and assuming good faith? yoyo (talk) 05:13, 8 April 2018 (UTC)

  28. Support - I don't think any other policy can account for all the situations we encounter in articles. As I have mentioned earlier, we need to focus our discussion on what factors should weigh in favor of or against including an infobox in a given article and how those factors should be weighted., as suggested by arbcom. BillHPike (talk, contribs) 13:15, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  29. Don't micromanage style. Local consensus decides. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:16, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  30. As (nearly) all experienced editors know. Johnbod (talk) 19:28, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
  31. "Don't micromanage style" sums it up for me. Maybe if we came up with a way to make infoboxes less intrusive: smaller type, collapsing by default, less "white space" hogging the page, etc. then the lions could lie down with the lambs and this issue would resolve itself. Carrite (talk) 02:02, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  32. Seems the most sensible of the options on offer. Personally, I would like to see the death of the infobox, which gives Wikipedia a child-like appearance and, in the case of more complex subjects, often gives a misleading and sometimes, wholly incorrect summary.--Ykraps (talk) 09:55, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
  33. Should be on a case-by-case principle. We have many different kinds of articles and where, just for example, taxonomy, bios about politicians, human settlements, geo features, and schools, benefit from infoboxes, but some bios such as for example (IMHO) Edward Elgar look more serious, formal, and cleaner without one. As Gerda Arendt says: "Policy can't decide if an article is better with infobox or without". Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:38, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
  34. Support. Personally, I don't like infoboxes. For one thing, they're magnets for vandalism and unsourced editing—many are the times I've had to deal with unsourced numerical changes (populations, etc.), reports of death in biographical articles, and changes in other fields that aren't reflected in the body of the articles. I recongnize, however, that they're not going to be eliminated. Editorial discretion is the way to go, especially if some editors can be convinced to abandon their notion that no article is complete without an infobox. Deor (talk) 19:08, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

Infoboxes are omitted by default on most articles

  1. Support This is just how much I dislike the misinformation that is spread by infoboxes. Omit be default; gain consensus to add them on an individual basis (not a WikiProject basis). A medical article should not be forced to have an infobox whose parameters force inaccuracies into the article. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:46, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  2. Oppose. Sorry Sandy, but infoboxes are already generally included as a de facto default (per Andy above) on most articles. Nevertheless I do perfectly accept that there are clear examples where infoboxes are best left out. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:59, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
    I'm sorry too :) I can still object to the inaccuracies they introduce! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:10, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

Additional proposals

Here are some additional proposals for the community to chew on. Maybe they'll let us get something out of this RFC. Tazerdadog (talk) 21:22, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

Talk Page Template

After a discussion on the inclusion or exclusion of an infobox in a page has finished, a template should be placed near the top of the associated talk page. At a minimum, this template should include a link to the discussion, the date that the discussion concluded, and the result of the discussion.

  1. This will allow editors to quickly see if there is an existing consensus for an infobox on any given article. Tazerdadog (talk) 21:22, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
  2. I wouldn't make it policy, but it wouldn't hurt to have a link at the top of a talk page to an earlier conversation about an infobox or any other detailed discussion that results in consensus on that specific article. Jack N. Stock (talk) 22:26, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
  3. I think infoboxes clearly are special in this regard, otherwise we wouldn't have been discussing them for this long. This provides a clear record of prior discussion so that hopefully avoid discussing things over and over again, or at least make people think twice about starting another discussion without a good reason. Tamwin (talk) 06:02, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
  4. I support a some type of logging process for all RfC discussions at the top of the relative TP, not necessarily a template just for infoboxes. Example in use: Talk:Donald_Trump also includes open RfCs and decisions as well as local consensus. Atsme📞📧 13:18, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  1. Oppose - WP:CCC, and hammering a talkpage with discussion like this is just plainly disruptive. Infoboxes are not special. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:43, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
  2. I agree with Dirk Beetstra. Segregating all things infobox from routine editing is merely continuing in the wrong direction at an accelerated pace.--John Cline (talk) 06:45, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
  3. Oppose as noted above, the problems with infoboxes are the problems with the people editing disruptively, not with infoboxes in general. If the people involved just stopped being a problem (either voluntarily or with some "help" from the community) this would all go away, and we wouldn't need to remind people of these discussions. If we need to have the discussions, have them, but otherwise there's nothing inherently controversial about infoboxes. --Jayron32 14:30, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
  4. Oppose For the most contentious cases, an {{faq}} is sufficient. BillHPike (talk, contribs) 15:46, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
  5. Weak Oppose Per Beetstra, and because there's already so much at the top of many talk pages that folks ignore it. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 16:28, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
  6. Oppose per Beetstra, this isn't a long term solution. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:10, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
  7. Oppose When discussion on any issue has ended, why not make it a good editing practice (not policy or guideline!, just something that thoughtful editors do) to make a final entry summarising the apparent consensus at that time? That would be helpful. If more of us did this, we'd all save a lot of time trying to digest pages and pages of historic discussion now of no particular moment, in order to see whether an issue that concerns us has been canvassed before. yoyo (talk) 08:31, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  8. Oppose consensus can change, talk pages are already too cluttered, and infoboxes aren't worthy of further talk page template clutter. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:47, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  9. Oppose . As far as new pages are concerned, most patrollers don't even check the the talk pages, if one has been created, and anyway, are we going to further complicate the issue for new users by including more bureaucracy? Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:06, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
  10. Oppose, normal talk and referring to it is enough. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 14:00, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

Discussion intervals

Unless the article has changed extensively since the last discussion, a discussion on the inclusion or exclusion of an infobox should not be repeated within X months of the previous discussion closing.

  1. As proposer Tazerdadog (talk) 21:22, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
  1. Oppose - per above, WP:CCC, and there is no time-limit for that. It takes only one diff to significantly expand an article whereupon an infobox may be warranted. However, hammering a talkpage with these discussions may be disruptive. Infoboxes are not something special. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:45, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
  2. Oppose - per Dirk Beetstra. yoyo (talk) 08:22, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  3. Oppose, instruction creep. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:48, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  4. Oppose - it doesn't happen often, and if it does, it tells you something about the lack of consensus. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 14:02, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
Proper value of X

Six months seems like a good floor, I don't think consensus is likely to change that quickly.

Non-stub biographies default

If a discussion on including or excluding an infobox in a non-stub biography reaches a result of no consensus, the result should be:

Include the infobox
  1. The vast majority of non-stub biographies should ideally have infoboxes. This nudges the process in that direction. Tazerdadog (talk) 21:22, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
Exclude the infobox
Maintain the status of the longstanding version before the discussion started
  1. As for pretty much every other sort of discussion where no consensus can be reached. Lankiveil (speak to me) 03:28, 3 April 2018 (UTC).
  2. Yes Johnbod (talk) 19:31, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
  3. Support, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:49, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

Other discussion

N.B: The "broad classes" and "some more-restricted subset" options given above include to some extent their own obverse interpretations. The reason that I have given both options is that defining these groups by inclusion or by exclusion may yield different results. Thank you. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 21:13, 28 March 2018 (UTC)

Yes, this again. The ArbCom proceedings haven't gained any clarity and it keeps coming up over and over again. If we don't try to nail down something it will just keep going and going... Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 21:48, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
Its going to get 'no consensus to do anything about infoboxes whatsoever' again because infoboxes are a subjective content decision that is highly variable depending on the article content, and so cannot be mandated yes or no on a site-wide basis. The very premise goes against consensus article writing. Which is why it hasnt gone anywhere previously and is unlikely to go anywhere now without a mass-exclusion of people from both sides of the constant infobox argument from participating. And the more choices in an RFC the less likely any sort of firm consensus will appear. Only in death does duty end (talk) 21:58, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
The options in this RfC don't really make much sense. As far as I can tell, every single option amounts to the same thing: "Infoboxes should be used on some articles but not others". Using nebulous terms like 'broad' and 'most' are not going to stop discussions on individual pages, even if consensus could be reached (it wont). RfC's with multiple options almost always fail, but in this case I don't even really see more than one option. In any case, just more wasted time arguing about infoboxes. The RfC could have asked something simple like: "In the case of articles where there is no consensus about whether to include an infobox, the default should be to include/exclude the infobox." (i.e. override the current situation of 'maintain the status quo when there is no-consensus'). In that case it might have been food for thought (not that I would expect a consensus anyway). But as written, this RfC is even more of a time waste than the infobox discussions themselves (no offence meant toward Eggishorn). — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 22:35, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
@Insertcleverphrasehere:, no offense taken, although I think that summary misses the explicit requirement to get consensus before changing infoboxes. I tried to present options based on prior discussions. From what I can tell, the pattern has been: raging argument on some page -> AN/ANI community -> punts to Arbcom -> Arbcom Case/AE -> ArbCom punts back to community -> around we go again. If this RfC fails, well, so be it. At least its then clear that RfC's won't work. I obviously hope that editors will read the options closely and pick just one. Maybe they will, maybe they won't but at least it will have been tried. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Eggishorn (talkcontribs) 19:01, March 28, 2018 (UTC)
  • This RfC should be withdrawn as it cannot help and is only another place to berate opponents. Either infoboxes are mandatory or they are not. Anything else cannot solve the problem of what happens when drive-by editors add an infobox to an article they have not developed and do not maintain. Johnuniq (talk) 23:20, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
I have simplified the options based on the feedback so far. SInce nobody has indicated preference, I doubt this changes anything. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 00:00, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
But what should happen when a drive-by editor adds an infobox to an article they have not developed and do not maintain? Johnuniq (talk) 00:09, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
@Johnuniq: whatever happens to any other "drive-by" edit. Drive by edits have no inherent lack of worth and article maintainers have no ownership of articles. If the consensus was that adding an infobox required talk page consensus, then one added without discussion, whether by a drive-by editor or not, would be removed. If the consensus was that adding an infobox was the norm, then one added without discussion would be an improvement. It's no different from drive-by BLP edits, for example. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 00:26, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
It's easy to say that, but here we are after years of fighting. Johnuniq (talk) 01:01, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
There are also drive-by infobox removers. The real problem has been that, until now, edit-warring has been the usual way of deciding on infoboxes. Requests for Comments are a better way of deciding than edit-warring. I am aware that there will be a lot of RFCs. Robert McClenon (talk) 14:44, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
Can we give this a break for awhile? It hasn't been very long since the last discussion/RFC, so I dont think you're going to consensus if you haven't already. Please try again later. RudolfRed (talk) 00:22, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
  • The extreme options not being offered due to ARBCOM commentary is way off the mark (mind you, I doubt you'd find consensus for them), as ARBCOM wasn't saying "the community is not allowed to require such" (they don't get to decide that), ARBCOM was saying that "these !rules literally don't exist right now, so anyone acting as if there are !rules on the matter is offbase". --Izno (talk) 04:58, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
  • As much as I don't like it. It appears as though an 'article by article basis' is the only way. An across the board rule, just isn't going to get an agreement :( GoodDay (talk) 12:02, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
  • This RFC won't solve anything. My opinion is that talk page consensus should only be necessary for inclusion or exclusion if an infobox is disputed, with the "no consensus" outcome dependent on how long the infobox was in place for. IffyChat -- 13:21, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
    I fully agree. Unfortunately, unless WP:INFOBOXUSE is changed, this kind of sensible approach is superseded by the guideline. A review of this discussion can shed light on the kinds of argumentation one can continue to expect unless the guideline formally recognizes "consensus through editing" which it currently does not.--John Cline (talk) 15:28, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
@John Cline:, I believe that the results here, being a more high-profile and better-attended area of the project than the MOS talk pages, can be considered adequate to modify the Manual of Style section. For example, this page has 3,235 watchers and the MOS talkpage has 243 watchers. Please correct me if that conclusion is wrong. Thank you for your comment. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 16:01, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Eggishorn, I take issue with the phrasing of option three, Infoboxes are neither used by default nor omitted by default – adding one to an article without one or removing one from an article with one requires talk page consensus.
What happened to WP:BRD? As far as I'm aware, the status quo is that people can usually add an infobox to an article without taking it to the talk page first. AdA&D 15:03, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
@Eggishorn and Anne drew Andrew and Drew: BRD does apply in practice - in almost all cases where someone adds an infobox to an article it is uncontroversial and no discussion is required because people, by and large, don't add infoboxes to articles where they are not appropriate. The addition or removal of specific fields in an infobox requires discussion more often, but again this is a minority of cases overall. Thryduulf (talk) 15:30, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment It would be best if this RFC ended with a consensus on what factors should be weighed in the decision to add an infobox. I think there is a broad consensus that arguments to the effect of "I don’t like how infoboxes look" are not valid reasons to exclude infoboxes (WP:IDONTLIKEIT). In contrast, I feel many editors would likely agree that infoboxes should be excluded if the proposed content is subjective classifications for which WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV applies. BillHPike (talk, contribs) 04:08, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
    • @Billhpike: I agree that your first example is "IDONTLIKEIT", however your second example is not a good one as the answer depends on context - e.g. what other fields are the in the (proposed) infobox? (i.e. one subjective field does not alter the objectivity of other fields), is or can the subjective content be attributed? (infoboxes can contain references), how relevant is this to the subject's notability? is there an alternative way of expressing the information that is (more) objective (e.g. putting "the hardest-working man in showbusiness" as a nickname rather than known for)? How controversial is the subjective statement? (e.g. if essentially everybody agrees that Major General Smith was the most flamboyant commander of the Fooian Wars that's very different to describing someone as the most controversial president of the 20th century (a quick google search suggests arguments are made for JFK, Nixon and FDR at least)). Thryduulf (talk) 10:56, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
@Billhpike:, I thought, in structuring the RfC, it would be best to determine inclusion status before inclusion factors. That is, if the "all by default" or "none by default" options were to gain consensus, then that would create a different follow-up question than if the "broad classes" option were. I hope this helps. Thanks for your comment. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 16:01, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment All the options seem to want "talk page consensus" to add or remove an infobox. Personally, I think they are helpful to some articles, and I have added them without realizing that talk page consensus is expected. They don't usually contain contentious or dubious content, so why do we need "consensus" to put verifiable facts into a concise format? If I put a proposal for an infobox on a talk page, do I need one person to agree? Ten people? Do I wait a week and add the infobox if nobody replies, assuming that means there are no objections? Or does it take a month? On the other hand (although I'm not sure why anyone would remove an infobox if the entire content is relevant and verifiable), if someone wants to remove an infobox, do they need one person to agree? Ten people? Wait a day, a week, a month? This makes what I thought was a routine inclusion in various articles (such as buildings, companies, locations, people) into a contentious issue, despite the fact that I don't remember ever seeing anyone object to an infobox on my watchlist. I've never had a dispute with anyone about either adding or removing an infobox, and rarely even about the content of an infobox. Why are we having this discussion? Jack N. Stock (talk) 16:20, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
    • No you do not need to 'consensus' first. You only need consensus when someone objects. If no one has objected previously, and no one objects to you after adding it. Consensus is considered to be implicitly given. WP:EDITCONSENSUS - the likely explanation is that you have not added an infobox in a topic area/article where it doesnt really suit. If so, great. Only in death does duty end (talk) 16:26, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
@Jacknstock:, thank you for your comment and to add to what Only in death says, the reason we are having this discussion is the Arbitration Committee decision linked in the RfC statement above, which is actually the second time the issue of inclusion or omission of infoboxes has been brought to that committee. There have also been innumerable other infobox disputes, AN/ANI threads, and other disruptions as some of the above comments and !votes indicate. There is a Manual of Style page on infoboxes which says: The use of infoboxes is neither required nor prohibited for any article and that inclusion or exclusion is determined by consensus. You've been obviously complying with that already. The options here add to that the explicit requirement of talk page discussion to add or remove one and also clarify whether infoboxes should or should not be considered the default option. The rest of the questions will (optimistically) be clarified in later discussion. I hope this helps. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 16:39, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
I imagined "talk page consensus" was different to implicit consensus (i.e., involving an actual talk page discussion). Only in death does duty end seemed to say that was not the case, in which case I can go on my way and consider this no further. However, Eggishorn has muddied this by saying that "the options here add to that the explicit requirement of talk page discussion to add or remove one." So, I'm still confused. The current consensus seems to be that I can WP:BOLDly add an infobox. All the options offered seem to involve adding to policy "explicit requirement of talk page discussion" before I can add an infobox. Jack N. Stock (talk) 16:51, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
@Jacknstock:, Only in death is correct, you don't have to change anything in your editing at this time. Whether you will in the future or not is still undetermined. Even if the RfC determines that talk page consensus is required, then simply stating you have added one is likely enough in the articles you have been editing (see (WP:SILENT). Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 16:58, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
The problem is that all four listed options include "requires talk page consensus." Another option is to keep the current policy that does not require talk page consensus. I support this fifth option. The vast majority of editors implicitly (there's that word again) support the status quo; if not, we'd already have literally millions of discussions about infoboxes on talk pages, yet, from my experience, it appears the vast majority of articles with infoboxes do not have a discussion about the infobox on their talk pages. Jack N. Stock (talk) 18:36, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment The Arbitration Committee recommends that well-publicized community discussions be held to address whether to adopt a policy or guideline addressing what factors should weigh in favor of or against including an infobox in a given article and how those factors should be weighted. A possible outcome of this discussion would be "No, do not adopt any policy", but the RfC jumps right into "What should the policy be?". I believe that the ArbCom remedy will be sufficient to address disruptive behavior that is already counter to our community standards without adopting additional policies. –dlthewave 18:59, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

I'm very concerned that everytime this is brought up, there is a broad group of editors very interested in shutting down any type of discussion about it, it doesn't seem right and it prevents us from having a meaningful discussion. Perhapse we need an administration intervention to start a discussion where users are not allowed to criticize the meta aspect of the discussion itself.I think, at this stage. this is the only way this can be sorted out. --Deathawk (talk) 00:39, 1 April 2018 (UTC)

It looks like this is going to go close as status quo as I really don't see any huge movement to change things. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:23, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
As I mentioned above, I feel that the best resolution would be for us to reach a consensus on how different factors should be weighed in closing individual infobox discussions. If we reached such a consensus about meta issues, we could avoid much of the acrimony in discussion about infoboxes in individual articles. BillHPike (talk, contribs) 13:04, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment despite all the sturm und drang here, there actually is a consensus in most areas of the project as to where infoboxes are useful (with figures in the entertainment industry (actors, composers, etc.) being the primary exception). I don't see any of these options being beneficial at this time. power~enwiki (π, ν) 04:00, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikidata/2018 Infobox RfC

An RfC on the use of Wikidata in infoboxes has just started. Please !vote and/or comment on the RfC page.--Moxy (talk) 18:05, 7 April 2018 (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.

Specifying the code of football at first reference in team articles

Should articles on professional football teams (any sort of football) specify what kind of football the team plays, at first reference? 19:42, 11 April 2018 (UTC)


The use of the word "football" is contentious, particularly among sporting fans from different countries. Wikipedia long ago came to an accommodation whereby the main football article would cover all kinds ("codes") of football, rather than choosing one of them to have the unmodified name "football".

The question here is what should be done about articles on football teams. In general, articles on professional American football teams specifically say "American football" at first reference. However, many articles on professional association football ("soccer") teams simply say "football" at first reference, albeit usually with a piped link to association football. I have not checked in detail about the practice for other codes (such as Canadian football, Australian rules football, rugby union, rugby league, Gaelic football).

There are related questions about other articles related to one of the codes of football (the most obvious one is players) but I prefer not to raise those here. That brings in a complication with the word "footballer", which is arguably specific to association football (or at least not used much for American football), so it is possibly less of an issue. Also I prefer to concentrate on professional teams, to avoid having to worry about the locution college football, which is arguably specific to American football.

Survey question

Should articles on professional football teams visibly call out the code of football, at first reference?

Straw-poll: Specifying the code of football at first reference

  • No - because in the vast, vast, vast majority of cases it's not ambiguous. GiantSnowman 19:46, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Actually, in the vast majority of cases, it is ambiguous to me, and to many others. This is because the vast majority of articles are about soccer, and in my mind "football" means something else. You already know this from the previous discussion elsewhere. Why do you repeat your false claim here? Very poor behaviour. HiLo48 (talk) 23:57, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. Or failing that, we should stop doing it for American football. --Trovatore (talk) 19:50, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes It is ambiguous for most of the major primary English-speaking countries (Australia, USA, Canada, Ireland) who have other football codes (and as far as I know there is rugby also in the UK, though I have no idea if it is referred to as football there). Furthermore the first reference should be full, just as the first mention of a person's name is their full name and afterwards they are referred to by the family name. --SuperJew (talk) 20:37, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
At least in this bit of the UK, you would only use "football" to mean rugby if it was obvious from context that you didn't mean association football. And even then it would be a touch strange. Kahastok talk 22:23, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
If I remember correctly, Andy Capp used to refer to rugby as "football". At least I think it was rugby. It was some ball sport where you carried the ball. The comic strip appeared in our paper when I was a boy. A lot of the cultural references were lost on me, I think. --Trovatore (talk) 22:46, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes per the ambiguity concern. Usually other context makes it fairly obvious, but sometimes not. --Izno (talk) 20:41, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • No this appears to be primarily a gridiron problem. For the vast majority of football related articles, a football team means association football. It seems ridiculous to specify the type of football played in a Kenyan professional football team article because Americans use the term to describe a purely American sport. SportingFlyer talk 20:56, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • @SportingFlyer: As I mentioned above, it's ambiguous in at least Australia, USA, Canada, and Ireland, which all have other football codes as well as association football. --SuperJew (talk) 21:18, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Even if a majority of football articles may be about association football, but for about half of English Wikipedia's readers, the term is ambiguous at best (or misleading at worst). --Ahecht (TALK
    ) 16:37, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. I prefer to avoid piping when I can, so [[association football]] rather than [[association football|football]]. It takes only a little writing skill to avoid repetition like "American [[American football]] player." I don't see much point in editing every football-related article to achieve this, but it should be the preferred style and corrected when convenient. Jack N. Stock (talk) 21:08, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • No For countries that it maybe ambiguous then sure use what will be easier identified for those articles like what already happens in Australia with WP:NCFA but in countries like Germany, England, even my country New Zealand, piping Association Football to football is fine. NZFC(talk) 21:59, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
    • Is it obvious to non-New Zealanders that this is the case, when visiting an article on an NZ club? --Trovatore (talk) 22:06, 11 April 2018 (UTC) I think if you asked most people here to name a "New Zealand football club", they'd look puzzled for a second, and then come up with the All Blacks. --Trovatore (talk) 23:31, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
      • No most could name a football club and would name either the Wellington Phoenix or Auckland City as the two they would know if they knew very little about football in this country. All Blacks and everything else like them use Rugby. Competition is called Rugby Championship, Super Rugby, they don't use football. Also one of the reasons New Zealand Football officially changed their name from New Zealand Soccer to New Zealand Football in 2007 as it was more commonly used term for the sport in the country. NZFC(talk) 23:21, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
        • I think you missed the use by Trovatore of the word "here". HiLo48 (talk) 23:36, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes per MOS:COMMONALITY and per WP:PARIS. On first reference (and only on first reference in general) it makes sense to make it clear what sport we mean. I accept of course that most people know that football in Germany generally means association football, but not everyone will - young people or people less familiar with European sporting traditions may well be unaware - and those people may be using Wikipedia as well. Kahastok talk 22:23, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Addendum: my comment assumes that the common term to be used is "association football". If the word to be used is "soccer", then this changes. MOS:COMMONALITY says that we should "prefer vocabulary common to all varieties of English". The word "soccer" is not used in British English - the variety most likely to be appropriate on these articles - and so MOS:COMMONALITY does not apply. Kahastok talk 17:58, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
The word "soccer" used to be used in British English. That's where it came from! Has it really completely disappeared? When? Why? HiLo48 (talk) 23:10, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
The British English word for this sport is "football", and is not ambiguous 99.9% of the time. "Association football", the name of our article by consensus (after exhaustive discussion that I see you have been part of), is a sensible compromise if for some reason "football" is not clear (e.g. you are at Rugby School). You'd only use "soccer" if you were actively mocking Americans - you'd probably be putting on a fake Appalachian accent at the time. Kahastok talk
  • No - In general, the code of the game is not ambiguous when you consider the context of the article (i.e. any obvious national ties the subject may have), and in cases where it is ambiguous, the link should be sufficient to allay that. If that means articles about players of American football start referring to their subjects as "football players" whereas before they would have said "American football players", I'm okay with that. – PeeJay 23:10, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
To a fan of another football code, it is always ambiguous, until one reads enough of the article to figure out the context. Why put that load on readers? HiLo48 (talk) 00:10, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes — given the sudden and inexplicable movement, within the Australian press, apparently driven by the death of one Johnny Warren, to sequester the term "football" for soccer. Lindsay658 (talk) 23:40, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes Players of Australian Rules football are universally described as "footballers" by fans of that game and in local media coverage. The sport itself is described as "football" by its fans. The clubs (many of them older than almost all Association football clubs, beginning in the late 1850s), are similarly described as "football clubs". In relevant articles on Wikipedia efforts are made to make the sport involved 100% clear at first mention. The same should apply to Association football articles. HiLo48 (talk) 00:05, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes Why risk ambiguity, when it can easily be avoided? It is highly unlikely to be ambiguous if a German reader reads and article about a German footballer, but much more to be so if an Australian reader reads about an Irish footballer (Does he play association football? GAA football? Aussie Rules football?) Avoid ambiguity as soon as possible. By the way, Encyclopædia Brittanica seems to always refer to it as "football (soccer)" eg. in this article, which seems sensical. TheMightyPeanut (talk) 00:59, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I would personally agree, but for reasons I have never understood, a lot of soccer fans seem to actively dislike the name "soccer", at least here in Australia. It's stronger than simply preferring the name "football". I have even been told "soccer" is offensive, but have never been told why. (These discussions can be quite difficult.) HiLo48 (talk) 03:06, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
My understanding is that the "soc" part of "soccer" derives from "association". So etymologically at least, soccer is an informal colloquialism. In America, it's the name of the sport, notwithstanding the efforts of a few extremists enthusiasts to popularize the name "football" for it. I gather the same may be true in Australia. But it's not an Americanism or an Australianism. It is arguably informal, at least in origin, and I can understand why the more serious sort of fan might not like that. --Trovatore (talk) 04:25, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
That makes some sense, but it's only a recent thing in Australia. Until 2004, the peak competition in Australia was the National Soccer League. I have felt like it's a form of Newspeak to which we are all expected to conform. HiLo48 (talk) 04:37, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes - if it's an article about a football club/team of any code is "obvious" enough to not need the code mentioned, it's also obvious enough to not need the sport mentioned. Everyone who knows that Juventus is an association football club also by definition knows that Juventus is a football club, so why do we even mention that? The answer there is that we include it because - despite the presumptions of some comments here - many people have no idea what Juventus is, and more importantly because it's a very important piece of information about the club that is appropriate for an encyclopedia. Even if we want to pretend that it's immediately obvious to everyone on earth what Hungerford Town F.C. is, Wikipedia has no policy that something which is deemed obvious should be excluded from articles. In fact, WP:OBVIOUS states precisely the opposite. For example, Hand currently says "The human hand normally has five digits", and Sky has "During daylight, the sky appears to be blue [...] At night, the sky appears to be a mostly dark surface". I don't think that "Tokyo Verdy is a Japanese association football club" is an unreasonable clarification. SellymeTalk 03:36, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • No The first sense of the term is the one that is most popular in the world. All others may need some clarification, such as American football, Australian football, which in my corner of the world is called Australian rules football, Canadian football, and any of the other variants. It's appropriate to set it up as [[association football|football]] in the vast majority of articles as that makes it clear which code is being discussed in case it's not clear from the rest of the context of the rest of the first sentence. And why is this in the policy section rather than proposals? Walter Görlitz (talk) 05:25, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
    • Taking the last point first, this is the "policy and guidelines" sections; this would be a guideline. As to your main point, frankly, that's the attitude on the part of association-football fans that's most objectionable, namely that association football is "real" football and everything else needs qualification. That's not the agreement that was reached at football all those years ago. --Trovatore (talk) 05:50, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
    • (On a less emotional level, no, the link does not in fact make it clear. You can't assume people will follow links. Context has to be established in the visible text. Links are good for background, but the reader needs to have notice that there's some background information required.) --Trovatore (talk) 05:54, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
    • The question isn't whether it's the most popular in the world, since this is a discussion purely about content on the English Wikipedia. According to the latest stats, 51.8% of enwiki readers are from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and South Africa, where association football is refered to as "soccer". --Ahecht (TALK
      ) 16:44, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes There are enough fans of different codes around the world that this can become ambiguous. Although a lot of articles would have enough context to state which code it is, most readers generally only read the very beginning of an article (unless there is a strong specific interest to read on), therefore, I don't think it hurts to provide clarity by adding one or two words to the first reference of football. Flickerd (talk) 07:45, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes - I think User:SuperJew, User:Kahastok, and User:Sellyme have articulated several good points. --Khajidha (talk) 11:33, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • No A blanket rule like this is pointless and will be in conflict with WP:ENGVAR. If an article begins with the sentence "Footown United is a football club based in Footown, England", then there's no ambiguity as to what is meant by the word "football" in that case. Number 57 13:24, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
    • For the editors claiming that "association football" would be less ambiguous, do you think editors who don't understand what code of football is being referred to in articles by the context are more likely to know what "association football" is? The sport is very rarely called by that name – it's either football or soccer, and as I noted in the section below, when I asked someone what association football was, the answer I got was "rugby". As such, I don't think "association football" is any less ambiguous than simply "football" because I'd guess that fewer people are likely to recognise that name for the sport than understand what "football" is meant by the context. Number 57 11:33, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, articles should be written for a wide audience, not only for people who already know that in a particular locality "football" means one particular variety. olderwiser 13:29, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes MOS:COMMONALITY directly applies here. The essay WP:POPE is also relevant. Anomie 13:37, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes per BKonrad - no good reason not to (it seems the reason given is 'too much information', which is rather bizarre for a brief mention and also rather bizarre for writing an encyclopedia) and this is generally helpful in use of language for a broad audience (no one has ever been harmed by learning multiple words for the same thing, and they have most likely been helped.) -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:19, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes To avoid ambiguity. As in the - slightly altered - example of User:Number 57 If an article begins with the sentence "Footown United GAA is a football club based in Footown, England", then there's no ambiguity as to what is meant by the word "football" in that case.. In fact I doubt that severely. How many non-Europeans would understand straight away that this is about Gaelic football? The Banner talk 14:36, 12 April 2018 (UTC) By the way NFL is also not necessarily about American football as there is also the national Football League run by the GAA, as you can expect for Gaelic football.
    • Unfortunately I think that example is a bit of a straw man because you're combining Gaelic football and England. "Footown United GAA is a football club based in Footown, Republic of Ireland" would have been a proper comparison. Number 57 14:40, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Whatever y'all decide is fine with me and I mean that!--Paul McDonald (talk) 14:37, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment the issue I have with this is the areas where football has multiple meanings already have been disambiguated. Sydney FC or Columbus Crew SC call themselves a soccer club in their article - for people in Australia and the United States, this is a much better descriptor than association football. North Melbourne Football Club call themselves an Australian Rules football club as well, but the continuing and constant disambiguation in Australia is normal (personally I've heard "footy" used to describe it much more than "football"). I'm not sure most Americans would know what "association football" is. (Columbus even call themselves a soccer team!) Shamrock Rovers F.C. Also, nobody uses the term "association footballer," a Google search shows it's only used basically twice and on Wikipedia. My concern is in the interests of clarity, we will actually cause more confusion. SportingFlyer talk 14:38, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, except for cases where context already addresses the ambiguity (i.e. prefer "The Toronto Argonauts are a Canadian football team..." over "The Toronto Argonauts are a Canadian football team from Canada..."), and preferring [[association football|soccer]] to describe North American association football clubs ("Toronto FC is a soccer team..."). With the exception of a handful of defunct teams in Category:Canadian football teams in the United States, there is no cross-border overlap. Australian rules football teams seem to already describe themselves as "Australian rules football teams" ("football" doesn't predominantly describe Australian rules football in Australia the way that "football" describes gridiron football in North America, at least it seems that way to me) so that doesn't seem to be an issue. Doing this would match the treatment in other sports: for example, North American hockey teams are most commonly described in the lede as "xxx is an ice hockey team" even though ice hockey is the strongly predominant form of hockey played in the continent. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 14:40, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
You really must visit my home city of Melbourne, Australia some time. You may get a surprise. The word "football" alone is used to describe the game invented there almost universally in local media and in conversation. (OK, it's also shortened to "footy" quite often.) We add "Australian" and sometimes "rules" when we know we have a broader audience. That is all we are asking of soccer and its fans. HiLo48 (talk) 22:57, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • No not because this would necessarily be a bad thing to do, but because it doesn't need to be policy. Especially because it might conflict with MOS:ENGVAR and specifically MOS:ARTCON and MOS:TIES. The sport of association football is referred to as "football" by the English and others of those that follow that sport, including those readers that do not come from Anglosphere countries e.g. Germany, France, Spain, various African countries, South America, etc. I don't see why the readership of other anglosphere countries means this should be rigid policy. The main reason this particular proposal isn't so bad is that it is referring to clubs rather than players. Imagine David Beckham being referred to as an "association footballer." No one would understand what that means or why it's different from just calling him a footballer. Whereas with a club there might be some ambiguity for those that haven't heard of a major club like ACF Fiorentina or Brescia Calcio. But since the lede then refers to the specific code of football, should the rest of the article use that code? Once using association football to describe a club, does one then use "football" for simplicity or "association football" for consistency? I don't see how this kind of blanket change is helpful.
As a side note, I think the discussion above referring to the pushback against soccer, and equilibrating it to Newspeak as HiLo48 did is entirely inappropriate. This is not the place to be having such discussions. Jay eyem (talk) 15:24, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
User: Jay eyem: Just saw your last question above, about what to do at second reference. The question doesn't specify, but my assumption is that, once context is established, articles (about all codes) will fall back to just saying "football". There is no consistency problem here; calling out the code at first reference establishes what you're talking about, and after that you use a natural style.
(Though I suppose this would be modified for cases like soccer clubs in the US; for those articles you would use the common term for the English variety. Similarly, if there are American football teams in the UK, I would expect those articles to keep repeating "American football".) --Trovatore (talk) 03:45, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
1. Can you explain the "pushback" against "soccer"? I would truly like to understand why something acceptable for over a century suddenly became unacceptable?
2. Players of Australian football are (outside Wikipedia) known simply as footballers. Does that make David Beckham a player of Australian football? Please realise that what you see as common around where you live is NOT common everywhere. HiLo48 (talk) 23:03, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Because "footballer" is most commonly used to refer to association football internationally. If it is used in Australia, then that would make it the exception, not the rule. And I'm not answering your question about the pushback against soccer since you are competent enough to google that and see for yourself rather than making pointed arguments about it. Not only was that swipe at a large group of people unnecessary, you are starting to WP:BADGER people that disagree with you. You need to not respond to multiple comments, such as you did to GiantSnowman or NZFC and now to me, without trying to create more substantive arguments. Please watch your tone before responding to me again. Jay eyem (talk) 00:00, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Please drop the threats. My arguments are strong in this subject area. They have been well tested in other discussions. Please discuss what I say, rather than telling me to stop saying it. HiLo48 (talk) 07:44, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
I'm not threatening you and you know that. You made a callous swipe at GiantSnowman and literally likened those pushing back against the word soccer to Newspeak. That's remarkably inappropriate for this discussion. And once again you have failed to bring anything substantive to the argument with this response. You repeating that "football" means something else to you several times in this thread already contributes nothing to the discussion. We are all aware that "football" means something different to people in different countries. You insisting that I answer your question about the pushback against the word soccer has no place here and you know it. You google the word "footballer" and every link you see for several pages only relates to the sport of association football. You are badgering others and not demonstrating good faith. So unless you are going to make a substantive argument, rather than accusing others of threatening you for calling out your behavior, don't respond to me again. Jay eyem (talk) 15:00, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Google tailors results for you based on what it knows you're interested in. The result of your search there is meaningless in a global discussion. I did not insist on anyone answering any question. I asked it, because I would truly like to know the answer. (Do you know the answer?) I keep repeating the fact that "football" means something different to me because I keep seeing posts here claiming that it's never ambiguous, even after I have pointed out that it is (maybe people should read other's posts first), or that it doesn't matter if it is because the people to whom it's ambiguous don't matter because they are a minority. I will respond to you or anyone else as often as I feel necessary, because I think facts and logic are important in Wikipedia. HiLo48 (talk) 22:37, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
The objection to "soccer" boils down to WP:ENGVAR. "Soccer" is not a word that is used in this context in British English and if we were to use it it would rather imply that the article was written in American English or for an American audience. In British English Manchester United is a football team. "Association football team" sounds neutral and appropriate if disambiguation is needed. Calling it a "soccer team" is not far off referring to Shane Warne as a "pitcher" Kahastok talk 09:22, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
Sorry. Thanks for trying, but that doesn't work for me. I am Australian. In Australia we had a National Soccer League until 2004. I grew up in the 1950s and 60s surrounded by English immigrants who happily called the game soccer. They enthusiastically played the Soccer Pools, hoping to make their fortunes. Now soccer fans hate the word. Something changed. What? Why? When? HiLo48 (talk) 11:46, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
In Australia we had the Victorian Football Association for nearly a century. For most people "association football" means "Australian football". Hawkeye7 (discuss) 12:50, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
I'm not Australian, so I can't tell you what happened in Australia. Maybe your English immigrants just accepted that "football" meant something else in Australia and were integrating. An English immigrant to the US might do the same. I can believe that the change might just have been a marketing decision that kinda took hold among the Australian fanbase. (Wasn't it around the time of the Greek Euro 2004 win? I seem to recall that being far more significant in Australia than previous European Championships had been.)
But more pertinently, I would note that the case that I have endorsed above for disambiguating to "association football" doesn't apply to "soccer", as you can't use WP:COMMONALITY to insist on a word that is not used in the variety of English you're claiming to be writing in. Kahastok talk 16:54, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
No, what happened was that the different codes of football are all descended from a common and recent ancestor. Complaining that they are all called football is like complaining that half your cousins share your surname. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 00:07, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
At this point I'd just like to mention that the question is about visibly calling out the code of football at first reference; it doesn't specify how. I have been consistently saying "association football", for that code, because "soccer" seems to engender a fair amount of dislike in some ambits. But if "soccer" is the better word for Australian articles (as I think it is for US articles), I think that counts as specifying the code. --Trovatore (talk) 03:31, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
Australian teams almost aren't the issue here - that ambiguity is something we should already be handling per WP:ENGVAR. The principle point of contention here is the use of "football" without disambiguator on articles about teams in Europe and South America, that are using British English per WP:ENGVAR (otherwise they wouldn't be using "football"). "Soccer" is unacceptable on these articles per WP:ENGVAR because it is not used in British English. Kahastok talk 19:05, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
How does this explain why Australian fans of association football switched from "soccer" to "football"? Kahastok talk 19:06, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
It doesn't. This was a marketing exercise that kicked off in 2004. The peak body, the National Soccer Federation, was struggling throughout the 1990s with the fact that soccer was an ethnic sport, and had not been embraced by mainstream Australia. The competition had been revamped, with the old ethnic-group-affiliated clubs swept away and replaced with new, regional ones. The culmination of the process was to re-brand the sport itself in an attempt to remove the ethnic association. The term "football" was chosen precisely because the term could not become synonymous with soccer. A multi-million dollar advertising campaign was launched, "Football, but not as you know it". As you can probably guess from the comments on the page, the effort has met with mixed success. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 04:50, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Your final seven words may just be the understatement of the year. HiLo48 (talk) 04:55, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes per user:older ≠ wiser among others. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 15:54, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes per Hilo and others. Like it or not, the term football is ambiguos for a large portion of the English-speaking world. Calidum 17:32, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes to prevent ambiguity. By the way, the same policy should apply to "hockey". — Stanning (talk) 18:50, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I'll second the suggestion about hockey. --Khajidha (talk) 18:54, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • No, unless we're going to pipe to [[association football|football]], which would be fine. A vast number of people don't understand that "association football" means the normally understood code of football to 90% of the world's population. If we don't pipe, we're going to get a lot of timesink with people changing it back, and I don't see the utility of messing about with thousands of articles where for the the vast majority the sport is obvious. Black Kite (talk) 19:02, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
    • What you mean? We cannot link to football, there. Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:05, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
      • I don't understand what you mean. I am saying that we should pipe association football -> "football" except in the minority of (association football) cases where there may be ambiguity (i.e. teams in Australia, Ireland). Saying that "Manchester United are an association football club" sounds simply ridiculous. Black Kite (talk) 19:08, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
        • But "Manchester United Football Club is a professional association football club", sounds fine. Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:06, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
          • No, it's spurious. The article is completely fine as it is. We don't need to specify "association" where it is obvious, and should only be doing it where there is the danger of confusion. This is just another pointless change that will cause a timesink for many others. To begin with, there are 16,660 articles in the "Association Football Clubs" category alone. Black Kite (talk) 22:25, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
            • Who is going to define those times when it is obvious, and when there is danger of confusion? To me, the word "football" means Australian football, because that's what I was brought up with. Therefore, every time I see the word, I am potentially confused. In fact, you should be too. If not, you are pretending there is only one meaning. And that's the problem here. People who cannot see things from the perspective of others. HiLo48 (talk) 23:10, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
              • I don't think I've ever confused an article about a UK football club as being about a different sport. But then, why would I? For the UK example, the very small amount of such articles that aren't about association football (i.e. London GAA) make it very clear what they're about, for obvious reasons. Obviously, articles about Australian (and possibly Irish) teams are different, and there's absolutely no problem there with making it clear. But in countries that have few or no professional football clubs of other codes, what's the point? Why mess about with tens of thousands of articles where it is perfectly obvious what their subject is? Black Kite (talk) 23:39, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
                • You haven't. But then, you apparently write on UK-specific topics (your user page mentions a couple of articles on British Rail or some such), so if not British yourself, you apparently have an interest and likely expertise in British culture. So the disambiguation is not for your benefit, but for the benefit of readers less familiar with British culture. --Trovatore (talk) 23:45, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
                  • You're missing the point. If I was reading an article on an Australian football club (or an Irish one, for that matter), then yes I would expect the article to tell me explicitly what code of game it is. But that doesn't arise in 90%+ of countries. But I'm pretty sure that Australian readers, if they come across an article on a football club in the UK, or Germany, or Brazil (or pretty much everywhere else) are unlikely to be suddenly confused that it might be about an Australian rules team. There's also an issue of WP:ENGVAR and WP:COMMONNAME here. The COMMONNAME in those countries is "football", not "association football", and changing them all would appear to be against those guidelines. Black Kite (talk) 23:52, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
                    • Part of WP:ENGVAR is WP:COMMONALITY, which in my view supports naming the code of football at first reference. As for COMMONNAME, this is just disambiguation. Once the term is unambiguously explained (with text, not a link) I have no objection to falling back to "football" in the rest of the article.
                      By the way, in the States, the common name of American football is also just "football". So should articles on American football teams drop the "American"? That would be a possible way to restore equal treatment between the codes. But it would do it by removing information rather than by adding it. I would prefer to add information. --Trovatore (talk) 00:00, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
                      By the way, COMMONNAME is actually about article titles, which are not under discussion here. --Trovatore (talk) 00:02, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
                      • I can sort of see your point, but my view remains that it's an enormous amount of work for little return. Black Kite (talk) 00:05, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
                        • As with style guidelines generally, there's no work required of anyone. There is no proposal to immediately go correct all articles, or anything like that. It just would allow someone who wanted to make the correction, in a particular article, to do so, and to be able to point to this outcome as justification. --Trovatore (talk) 00:22, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
          • It sounds very pedantic, honestly. “Manchester United” “Association Football” brings up 720k results on Google, while “Manchester United” “football” -“association” brings up 6.6 million. Seems the pedantry largely extends to historical articles and academic journals. SportingFlyer talk 22:31, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
              • You mean it's used where people are explaining things, like in an encyclopedia, we could go with "football (soccer)" [1], but since we have association football to distinguish the type of football it seems nice for people wanting to learn to do that. Alanscottwalker (talk) 03:13, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes where it might be ambiguous, but no otherwise. In other words, we don't need a guideline for it. We just use common sense. I regularly create shitty stubs when newbies start at ITFC, and I always say they're an association football player but invariably pipe it because we never say "association football" any longer. But I get the issue, that some odd gridiron fan or Australian will be so confused by the article I've just written that they'll immediately assume that it means Australian Rules Football. Or, when I was a Sea Scout, we did a lot of crab football (which hurt, but made you a stronger man, and whose link ironically redirects to "crab soccer"). 99.5% of the time this disambiguation is not required in articles, but if piped appropriately I see little harm in giving the code of "football" in the opening sentences. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:37, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
    • The point is specifically not to pipe it, but to call it out visibly, as the question states. --Trovatore (talk) 22:38, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
      • Why, though, if the article is unambiguous? Why are we making pointless work for volunteer editors with nil return from it? Black Kite (talk) 22:48, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
          • A "yes" answer would not require any work from volunteers. It would just establish that this is the way articles ought to be written. Eventually. There is no deadline.
            As for them being unambiguous, that is far from clear. While I understand that if an article about a UK club says "football", it almost certainly means association football, you can't count on that being clear to all readers. Articles on professional American football teams almost always say "American football" at first reference, and I just think American football and association football should be treated the same. --Trovatore (talk) 23:11, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
        • Indeed, okay well forget it then. I don't want all the trad association football articles needing to state "association football" when it's not needed. I was already erring towards the common sense argument, if for some reason some individual played in two different codes of "football" then that would need to be addressed but otherwise, it's looking unlikely that we need to do this. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:52, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
          • I say again. "To me, the word "football" means Australian football, because that's what I was brought up with. Therefore, every time I see the word, I am potentially confused." And I do read widely. (That's why I'm here.) HiLo48 (talk) 23:41, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
            • I also read widely and am a big Australian football fan and I literally have never come across this potential confusion. It’s pretty clear when an Aussie rules footballer is an Aussie rules footballer on this site. Same with clubs. And you also know any international article is hugely unlikely to be an Aussie rules team. SportingFlyer talk 23:24, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
              • It's your use of qualifying words such as "pretty" and "unlikely" that prove my point. While at a rational level I know differently, over half a century of living somewhere where the word "football" means nothing but Australian football means that it's what my irrational mind automatically tells me the word means every time I see it. HiLo48 (talk) 23:41, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes: At a cost of 12 extra characters, it reduces ambiguity for a large number of our readers. It basically costs nothing to make Wikipedia more useful. --Jayron32 02:30, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. Simple way to avoid any potential confusion with minimal effort. The undisambiguated "football" means different things in different parts of the English-speaking world, so including the specific code only can serve to clarify. oknazevad (talk) 02:48, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. Maybe there's a hint at WP:LEAD which says "A good lead tells the reader the basics in a nutshell". Disambiguating the code is a surely a basic. Moriori (talk) 03:32, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes per MOS:ENGVAR, WP:NPOV & the avoidance of ambiguity. Cabayi (talk) 16:29, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • No. The survey question says "visibly", and there's generally no need to spell out "association football" in the visible text in the lead of an article. In most countries where "football" would be ambiguous, the article would use "soccer" per ENGVAR. Of course, even for Manchester United F.C., it's useful to link the word "football" to the specific type of football; this is the benefit of being a hypertext encyclopedia. power~enwiki (π, ν) 00:29, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
    • The thing is, readers may not know in what countries "football" is ambiguous, or what it means in a given article or country. If all our readers were American, we could always say "football" for American football and "soccer" for association football. If they were all British, we could always say "football" for association football and "American football" for American football. But our readers are from all over. We have to assume that articles on English clubs will be read by Americans, articles on American teams will be read by Brits, articles on Australian teams will be read by Canadians. It seems reasonable to give all of them a heads-up as to what the article is talking about. --Trovatore (talk) 03:06, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
      • The problem with this logic is we have different guidelines for different countries. If "association football" were called "soccer" everywhere, this would not be a problem, but we already disambiguate the sport based on where the club is located, and it's not really a big concern. I would not mind a guideline for players making "football (soccer)" a disambiguator where a disambiguation would be welcomed, as this to me is strongly preferable to association footballer, which is a ridiculous phrase. SportingFlyer talk 05:41, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
        • So the thing to note here is that WP:ENGVAR includes WP:COMMONALITY. It is perfectly fine for an article to be written in the English variety of an English-speaking country with which it has "strong national ties", but it still needs to be understandable for readers from all varieties. That's why the RfC refers to calling out the code of football at first reference, not for the whole article.
          As for players, though it's a related question, it's not strictly speaking in the scope of this RfC, which is about teams. --Trovatore (talk) 06:34, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes per Black Kite. I don't want to see the clunky intrusion of "association football" in thousands of articles when the vast majority of readers will know that Liverpool F.C. or Ronaldo play that particular code of football. Use the piped version, that way everyone wins. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:25, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
    • I think you already !voted, but in any case your answer seems to be "no". The RfC is about calling out the code in visible text. Obviously I don't agree that "everyone wins" with the piped version; that's why we're having the discussion. --Trovatore (talk)
  • No per the confused Rambling Man - piping is enough in the vast majority of cases. Gridiron teams in UK, soccer teams in Australia etc would need to do it. Johnbod (talk) 19:39, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
    • So just to clarify, you're fine with articles on American football teams dropping the American at first reference, as long as there's a piped link? As I say, that would be another solution, though it seems a slightly Harrison Bergeron type of equality. --Trovatore (talk) 20:43, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes, if they want to, and don't mind risking confusing Hispanic & other global readers. Presumably they do it because they know what the world means by "football", despite the local situation. Johnbod (talk) 23:09, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
I'm confused by the label Hispanic. HiLo48 (talk) 08:03, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
So by extension, are you saying you don't mind confusing American readers? --Trovatore (talk) 03:56, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
I don't have a problem if a similar football code policy in place in Australia gets implemented to US articles, if it does not already exist, which calls football "football" with a pipe. SportingFlyer talk 04:10, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
I assume you mean "calls American football 'football' with a pipe", correct? That would at least remove my irritation about the disparate treatment of American and association football. But it seems to me it would do it the wrong way. What's wrong with being more specific, rather than less? --Trovatore (talk) 06:04, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • No per Black Kite for teams/players in countries where American, Australian, etc. football forms a very small minority of all references to "football", which is most of the world. Unlike American football, to many people it's probably unclear to what "association football" refers. The first few times I saw this term (and I haven't seen it anywhere outside Wikipedia) I believed it referred to gridiron. Therefore, I believe it's not going to lead to extra clarity for people unaware of the meaning of the term, and those who are probably already know which countries overwhelmingly practice other forms of football (there being about 5-6 of such countries ignoring tiny ones like Samoa). DaßWölf 01:11, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
What do you mean by "football"? HiLo48 (talk) 08:05, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
What are you referring to -- the preferred form of football in my own speech, or is there something ambiguous in what I wrote? DaßWölf 00:03, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
It was a kind of rhetorical question, highlighting that you, probably quite innocently, used the word "football" twice in your first sentence, without making it clear what on earth you were talking about. It made your whole post ambiguous. HiLo48 (talk) 08:04, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
I thought it was obvious what "American, Australian, etc. football" is supposed to signify -- non-soccer. The second time I was referencing the word "football", not any sport. I didn't expect this would need an explanation... DaßWölf 17:34, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
On second thought, I suppose it might not be obvious to everyone that I was grouping American, Canadian, Gaelic etc. football, which are all capitalised and named after countries or regions, as opposed to association football, which just has a plain old noun adjuct. DaßWölf 23:39, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes as the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Ireland, where just the term "football" is ambiguous, make up 51.8% of traffic on enwiki. If a simple change can make wikipedia more understandable for over half of our readers, shouldn't we make it? --Ahecht (TALK
    ) 16:34, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes because many readers will not know the context, it will be a service to them. Those that do not already know about the game the team plays will be assisted. Those that know the sport will not be disadvantaged. We should have it as a guideline, although we won't be forcing the soccer fans to make the change to say "association football", we will expect them not to change it back to simply "football". The argument for the non-English speakers is bogus, because they would be preferring their native language name for the game, and they too will be educated by seeing a more specific name of the code played, rather than an ambiguous name, that may be mistakenly disambiguated in the reader's mind. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:16, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • No per reasoning below, related to numerous policies, guidelines and essays but mostly leaning on what's the problem this solution is fixing? It isn't clearly defined as to how our user base are clamouring for this solution. Hiding T 12:00, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
What? See, Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. Just because you are all up on buffalo, it's self-referential to expect everyone else in the world to be, and being self-referential in writing an encyclopedia is undoubtedly a problem. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:35, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
I would suggest you tone back your own self referentiality. There is no well defined problem here beyond I Don't Like It. I don't see the problem and see the proposal as therefore lacking in utility. Hiding T 17:15, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
What are you referring too? See, football if you don't understand the well defined problem, it's quite well defined. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:20, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
This isn't the solution to whatever problem you might have with the football article that you have still not defined. I still don't see the problem we're trying to solve here. Where's the voice of our readers who allegedly have a problem? It isn't here, therefore it is a made up problem and the solution proposed is to fix an I Don't Like It issue. Hiding T 18:55, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
What? It has nothing to do with liking or not liking anything, it has to do with football which has multiple meanings that's just a fact (are you saying you don't like facts) - and distinguishing is the common and ordinary way to fix when a word has multiple meanings. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:52, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
What? We do distinguish it. It's outlined in the proposal how we currently do it, and it is done in a way the proposer doesn't like, therefore they are suggesting we change it. I am rejecting that change for exactly the same reasons as WereSpielChequers. Hiding T 16:50, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
Hiding - You ask "Where's the voice of our readers who allegedly have a problem?" It's all through this discussion. Have you actually read it all? HiLo48 (talk) 07:48, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes I have. Can't see it. Only that of editors who Don't Like It as it currently is. Hiding T 15:35, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Usually a good idea, but no to mandating it The wording should be simply what is needed to communicate clearly to the reader. If the context makes it obvious, no need, if not, put it in. It's likely that some folks have a second promote the idea that one particular style of football has "dibs" on the term by saying that the term with no qualifier automatically means their style. Wherever it may exist, that consideration should be dropped; an encyclopedia is to inform readers. North8000 (talk) 20:50, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, Wikipedia is also for people who do not know the content of the article before reading it. Adding a word to the lead to clarify is totally reasonable. We have readers who do not know the difference between the various types of football so we tell them. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 17:46, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
  • No, because the country is sufficient for almost all readers and piping resolves things for the rest. Of course the occasional American Football team in England along with any other team which plays a game that is unusual in their area should display the code visibly. But spelling out Association football on every team in the UK, that would be a bureaucratic rule, a violation of ENGVAR and a gross disservice to our readers. ϢereSpielChequers 09:34, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
    • It's not a violation of ENGVAR. ENGVAR actually supports it, in the WP:COMMONALITY subsection. --Trovatore (talk) 21:19, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • No per The Rambling Man - this suggestion just adds to the WP:CREEP while giving nothing of value to the encyclopedia. IffyChat -- 10:50, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes - Readers come form multiple countries, and each country has teams of multiple codes. Just saying "football" on first mention is ambiguous. --NaBUru38 (talk) 19:39, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

Discussion: Specifying the code of football at first reference

One question I have is whether readers would be more likely to know what "association football" means than understand what "football" means in specific contexts (I have just asked my partner what "association football" was and the answer was "rugby"). I suspect that more readers would be in the latter category than the former, which makes me think that removing the piping would probably be a net hindrance than a benefit. Number 57 14:22, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

It's unfortunate that there is no perfect disambiguator for association football. As you say, association is little used "in the wild". Everyone knows what soccer means, I think, but it seems to be actively disliked by association-football fans, so it's probably out, except for American and Canadian clubs.
But I don't buy the argument that, just because there's no ideal disambiguator, we shouldn't disambiguate at all. If nothing else, if a reader is unfamiliar with the term association football, they at least have notice that there might be something to learn by following the link. If they think they know what football means, why would they bother to click on it? --Trovatore (talk) 05:36, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
What do you think "football" means in Sydney, Australia? HiLo48 (talk) 14:34, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I don't know, but I also don't really see what that has to do with the point I was trying to make about a blanket usage of "association football" not necessarily being an improvement on using simply "football" where it is pretty obvious from context (perhaps your point is that Sydney is somewhere where it isn't obvious, in which case it might be an improvement, but as I said in the section above, a blanket rule is going too far). Number 57 14:47, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
In Sydney, I think it means soccer to many people in the west and footy to the rest. I don't think people confuse it with rugby league unless you start getting really formal or informal. SportingFlyer talk 14:40, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
And what is "footy"? --Khajidha (talk) 14:48, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
That'd be Australian rules football, which is a bit like rugby except the players are required to bounce the ball on the ground, like in basketball, while running with it. --Jayron32 14:40, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
In Sydney, they have The Footy Show, which is about rugby league. HiLo48 (talk) 22:41, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • There's much, much more to the world than Australia, and it only seems to be Australian editors who are pushing this. And indeed, other than Australia or Ireland and US/Canada to a much, much lesser extent, there aren't any countries where 'football' has multiple meanings and so, for the vast majority of readers/editors/articles, there's no ambiguity with codes. 'Football' has one meaning in the UK, for example. Same with France, Germany, China, Peru, Egypt... GiantSnowman 15:57, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
The proposal is from an American, not an Australian. HiLo48 (talk) 22:44, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
I think this is ultimately what is being ignored: the fact that other non-Anglo countries use the English wikipedia is extremely relevant. Many, and probably most, of these countries do not recognize the term "football" being used to describe anything other than association football. The fact that some readership that is also Anglo may have some confusion doesn't mean that this should be a necessary policy to implement. Jay eyem (talk) 17:08, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
What? -- just where do you think readers of English live. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:11, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
All over the world. See List of countries by English-speaking population. And we need to counter systemic bias even if those people do not use the internet. Jay eyem (talk) 19:05, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Since they live all over the world, and all over the English world "football" is used variously, then it would only show bias if you don't write with precision by acknowledging that there is association football and other codes, as the world of football is diverse. Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:53, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Well except that it isn't really used variously all over the world. In most non-Anglo countries the word "football" refers only to association football. Pretty much all of Africa and Latin America use "football", as do much of Asia and Europe. Many of those countries would probably not understand what "association football" is, they wouldn't recognize that term. I don't see why that shows bias, if anything it is a common name. For the record I am largely neutral, and only slightly opposed, to these changes being made. What I am largely opposed to is making this policy, which I've discussed below. Jay eyem (talk) 15:13, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
We are not writing in a non-Anglo language we are writing in English, and in English our football article say Football' is used variously and commonly in a number of ways in English, as does: "Football, any of a number of related games all of which are characterized by two persons or teams attempting to kick, carry, throw, or otherwise propel a ball toward an opponent’s goal.. . .For an explanation of contemporary football sports, see football (soccer); football, gridiron; rugby; Australian rules football; and Gaelic football."[2]. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:38, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
The vast, vast, vast majority of English-speaking people understand the word "football" to mean "association football" only. Of course there are other uses for the word football in the English language, I'm well aware of it. I grew up in and live in the US. But the way that most people understand the word "football" is singular around the word, whereas rugby (league or union), gaelic, Aussie rules, Canadian, and American are actually exceptions to that rule. Again, and I'm sorry about emphasizing this, my main opposition to the proposal is not that I think it's a bad idea (I'm largely neutral), but that I think it shouldn't be policy. Jay eyem (talk) 15:51, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
You have a funny definition of "vast vast majority". According to English language, there's roughly 400,000,000 native speakers of English. Given that there are about 237,800,000 native English speakers in the U.S. (per Languages of the United States) and 21,500,000 native speakers in Canada (per Languages of Canada), that means that, of Native English Speakers, roughly 259,300,000/400,000,000 native speakers live in countries where "football" means something other than association football. That's more than 50%, which means your statement isn't even true if you remove the hyperbolid "vast"s. If we just go to "working knowledge of English", that's about 1,100,000,000 speakers, of which some 272,900,000 live in the U.S. and 28,400,000 live in Canada, and while that's no longer a majority, that's still roughly 1/3 of speakers of English who live in countries that would recognize "Football" to mean something other than association football, too large to be insignificant, and again, not a "vast majority" who would know it as only "association football". --Jayron32 16:07, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Yeah you see how I wrote about systemic bias earlier? That would include not biasing towards native English speakers. ALL speakers of English should be taken into account. Jay eyem (talk) 16:10, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Right, which is why 1/3rd of them cannot be called a "vast vast vast" minority; that is not insignificant, and alienating 1/3 of your readership to save 12 characters of text is bad policy for any international encyclopedia. It costs nothing to be more precise, detracts nothing from readibility, and allows better understanding for a sizable proportion of the readership. Insistint that we deliberately confuse 1/3 of the readership of the encyclopedia for no gain is beyond silly. --Jayron32 16:16, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
You're right, and I will strike out the "vasts" because they are hyperbole, but the majority certainly remains true that most speakers of English only understand "football" to mean "association football", and would not recognize the term "association football." As an Anglo who understands the differences, the changes wouldn't affect me, but it might not represent how people actually understand the word "football". And I don't see how you came to the conclusion that this is done with the intention to "deliberately confuse". It's just as much "deliberately" confusing to force the specific code in the introduction. There is a clear cost in that changing "football" to "association football" is confusing for those that don't understand what the latter term is. Jay eyem (talk) 16:21, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
It's no more confusing than using terms like "American football" or "Australian rules football" in those contexts. The phrase "American football" is also unused in the U.S.; but we use it here because we have the expectation that some sizable amount of our readership benefits from the elaboration. Likewise, while not a majority, enough of our readership benefits from the elaboration of "association football". --Jayron32 16:41, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
I think we've reached an impasse. I appreciate your points and for correcting my error, and I'm interested to see where the rest of the conversation continues and its result. Cheers. Jay eyem (talk) 16:45, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
(e/c) If there's a cost to learning the phrase "association football", then its no more than the cost of learning (which is provided free),-- providing more knowledge about the world is rather our purpose - as it is a purpose for writing an encyclopedia in the first place ('the sum of all knowledge', as they say). -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:55, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
The exact same thing could be said as an opposing argument i.e. that you can just learn the codes themselves and leave the pages just saying "football." That doesn't address that it isn't how most of the world actually understands the word "football" or how it should be represented on the given pages. Jay eyem (talk) 00:04, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
I really don't follow this. "Learn the codes themselves"? You mean, the readers are supposed to know all the different things that are called "football"? How is that even close to the "exact same thing" as what Alan is saying, which is that we tell you what kind of football we're talking about? --Trovatore (talk) 10:37, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
Because most people don't understand what "association football" is or what "American football" is and instead only understand it as "football". The same could be said for rugby union/league, Aussie rules, Gaelic etc. It's not a huge step to assume that people can just as easily learn all of the codes and where they are referred to as such since it's literally on the football page. Especially if it's not ambiguous, like Chelsea F.C. or the Cincinnati Bengals, you don't need to call out the code because people already understand it. People know that Chelsea is association football and that the Bengals are American football, and most people wouldn't need the disambiguation of the specific code. It would be easier just to pipe it to the specific code and then people could click on a link to that code, specifying the code by writing it out would just make it more confusing for people not understanding the idea of different codes and their specific terminologies. Jay eyem (talk) 16:15, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
No. They will just be informed, which is our job. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:53, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
@Jay eyem:It's not really "all over the world". We can break it down exactly using, which lists country of origin for traffic on the English Wikipedia. According to, the term soccer (or varients of it) are used in the US, Canada, Ireland, Japan, the Southern Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa (plus smaller countries like Papua New Guinea, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe). From the stats, we can see that that makes up 53% of readers of English Wikipedia (plus whatever fraction of "Other" those smaller countries make up). That means that, while your assertion that most of these countries do not recognize the term "football" being used to describe anything other than association football is probably correct, it is not true that most readers of English wikipedia do. In fact, it's pretty close to a 50/50 split. --Ahecht (TALK
) 21:49, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
While I hate to bring it up again, I will again link to WP:SYSTEMIC and specifically the section about those not having internet access. You need to take into account more than just the people using Wikipedia. Using Wikipedia views and readership as a global representation of how the word is used seems like a dishonest representation. Jay eyem (talk) 00:04, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
I really don't see how users who don't have Internet access (?) can be confused by anything we write here. We want to serve our actual audience. That, by definition, is people who use Wikipedia. That's not bias. Of course we don't want to fail to sufficiently cover people who don't have Internet access, but we don't have to worry about writing for them as readers.
In any case, the demographics are a bit beside the point. We're not deciding who's "right" about the use of the word "football". We do have a desire to accommodate all major English varieties, and that's where failing to visibly specify the code of football falls short. --Trovatore (talk) 09:48, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
I completely disagree that there isn't a bias issue here. That's exactly what WP:SYSTEMIC discusses. The goal is to be a representation of a global encyclopedia, not just people who use said encyclopedia. People do not understand these various sports as being associated with their specific code and its specific name, they understand them as "football". I also completely disagree with the notion that failing to specify the code is somehow less representative of a variation in English when people don't even understand the various codes. Nobody refers to the sport with their specific code name in mind in their own country, they just refer to them as "football". Again, I don't see how specifying the code is more helpful than just piping the specific code in question. Jay eyem (talk) 16:22, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
Oh, there is a bias here, and its in your argument that everyone just understands football. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:53, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
Then they can learn that the English language uses football for multiple things. Putting the disambiguating term on soccer teams should mean that they would be less confused when they see "football" used elsewhere for something else. --Khajidha (talk) 17:14, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
In Canada at least and probably also in the US, "football" does not really have multiple meanings, except for people who are already sports aficionados. Football is the gridiron sport played in the NFL and CFL. Association football is not a thing, it's called soccer, so much so that our top-level league is Major League Soccer, although several teams in the league do call themselves "football clubs". When people from abroad immigrate to our countries and learn English, they learn that the English word for the sport they know from their own countries is "soccer".[citation needed] Yeah, people are generally aware that what we call soccer is called football in other parts of the world, but it's the sort of thing that people point out to be pedantic, or that comes up at trivia. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 17:36, 12 April 2018 (UTC) -- written from a part of the country where neither football nor soccer predominate
@Ivanvector: - I only mentioned US/Canada because of NFl v CFL - I'm fully aware that in those countries 'football' is gridiron, just as 'football' in the UK (and most of the world actually) is soccerball. Just goes to show that only Australia/Ireland have this confusion. GiantSnowman 18:44, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Right, I think we're trying to make the same point. As for CFL vs. NFL, in my experience in Canada "football" refers to either one depending on context, i.e. the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Buffalo Bills both play football, but it's recognized without needing to be clarified that the two teams play different sports. But really they're just two somewhat different rulesets for the same sport. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 18:59, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Indeed, the gameplay and equipment for Canadian Football and American Football are similar enough that most North Americans consider the two to be variants of the same basic sport, in a family along with games like touch football and Arena football. --Jayron32 14:42, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
That's not a strong argument why it should be made policy though. For the record I am not opposed to the changes being suggested, I am opposed to the notion that it must be policy. Jay eyem (talk) 19:05, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
How strictly are you using the word "policy"? I agree it should not be "policy", in the strict WP sense of the term. If the RFC passes, I will propose adding a guideline somewhere, probably in the Manual of Style. (I suppose I could have raised the question specifically at the MoS, but that's a fairly specialized group of editors — the question seems likely to be of interest to people who aren't particularly interested in what kind of dash to use in Mexican–American War or how to capitalize The Who.) --Trovatore (talk) 23:23, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I was in fact interpreting "policy" strictly to refer to the policy of Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines. I'm not 100% clear on what this discussion entails (it's my first time engaging in such a discussion), so I just wanted my personal take, as far as that's relevant, to note that creating a policy would be unreasonable. I'm somewhat neutral on whether or not it needs to be a guideline but I think it unquestionably should not be a policy as outlined at Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines. Cheers. Jay eyem (talk) 00:04, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
I agree. It wouldn't be a "policy" in the WP-specific sense. It's not the sort of thing that policies deal with.
Note though that this page, Wikipedia:Village pump (policy), is for both policies and guidelines. --Trovatore (talk) 00:52, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
I discovered this after posting some of my other comments on this page, but I thank you for directing my attention to it anyway. Cheers! Jay eyem (talk) 15:03, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

Association football is the title of the article on the sport known commonly in the United Kingdom as football and in the United States as soccer. Due to ENGVAR as well as the sheer volume of articles referencing it, it's for all practical purposes impossible to change that. Piped links (or linking to a redirect) are generally the solution to any problems that may arise. power~enwiki (π, ν) 00:33, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

The problem is that piped links are not sufficient to establish context. You can't assume people will follow links. The solution is to mention the code of football being discussed, explicitly in visible text, once in each article, at first reference. --Trovatore (talk) 03:00, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

I want to make a point here, one that some editors have attacked me for repeating above in a certain style of comment in the Straw Poll section above. So I shall make it once in this section int the hope it gets read by newcomers before they post above. The most recent example of this comment includes the words "In most countries where "football" would be ambiguous, the article would use "soccer"". My point is that Wikipedia is a global encyclopaedia. I, as an Australian, read articles about things and people in many countries, particularly but not only the various European countries from which my ancestors came. That comment rightly acknowledges that "football" could be ambiguous to Australians like me, as it would to Americans, and Canadians, and South Africans, and...? So what happens when someone from one of those countries happens upon an article about a player of "football" from a European nation? Obviously the word is still ambiguous. Fans of Australian football reading this may be surprised to learn from Wikipedia that "Gary Ablett was an English professional footballer". (I certainly was!) Others will almost certainly be surprised to learn that two other people with that name (father and son) have been professional Australian footballers. (Both very successful and famous ones too.) All three have Wikipedia articles. The articles on the two latter gentlemen both say, right at the start, that they are/were Australian rules footballers. The article on the English gentleman just says he was a footballer. So, of course, were the Australians. I have looked at all three articles. I hope all reading this can see that the article on the English gentleman is ambiguous in a global encyclopaedia. HiLo48 (talk) 03:13, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

  • Having come from a similar background, I still disagree with you. Gary Ablett (not Jr. or Sr.) has the title (English footballer) on the title of his page. To me, this is not only obvious, this is enough of a disambiguator. (To those of you not familiar with Aussie rules, Gary Ablett Jr. and Sr. are of the most if not the most famous father/son duo to ever don a footy jumper.) SportingFlyer talk 05:38, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
    • So can I simplify the articles on the two Australians by simply saying they are Australian footballers? No linking/piping, etc? Would it be obvious to all which sport they play? HiLo48 (talk) 21:00, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
      • Confusing isn't it. "Matildas star Sam Kerr is the Australian football player the rest of the world is talking about right now" Moriori (talk) 21:53, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
        • It's a good thing it would be off-topic for me to complain about meaningless names for teams too, wouldn't it? HiLo48 (talk) 07:59, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

Can someone make a count how many footballers article, football club article, Football in X country article , national football team article are there in wikipedia? It would probably a single massive change that related to WP:ENGVAR and MOS:COMMONALITY. As i was stated in WP:Football, even in Australia the use of the word "football" and "soccer" for association football were both observed, SBS, a major broadcaster, used just football for their UCL and UEFA Europa League live match, so there is not possible to have Australian assuming football meant Aussie-rule or American football only. Most argument was in fact within WP:ENGVAR, and if people assume German football club meant for code other than association football, it seem more likely to based on their narrow world of view, as most country only had one code of football, association football as well as rugby is called rugby. Those wording difference was solved by automatic word changer in zh-wiki, but until such featured was introduced in en-wiki, both color and colour were used in en-wiki and depends on the article was more likely to associate to UK-English and US-English, those wording difference is existed everywhere in en-wiki. Matthew_hk tc 13:07, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

So, you would have multiple sentences of, 'X is a football . . . .', meaning some different football, and you would rely on how much the reader loves football to grasp the point? Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:47, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

Leaning heavily to oppose simply based on the wrong version. The argument to change seems to boil down to some people are confused as to what code of football is being referred to in an article. To my mind, if someone can't infer from the context of the article, I'm unclear why using the particular code will help as they won't be able to understand that context either.

There also seen to be a lot of OWN issues on both sides, it reads to me that there's an expectation that all US readers will base their assumptions on outdated comic strips removed from cultural cues that they read in their youth. So I'm not sure our personal habits, opinions and upbringings can be brought to bear, because we can't say to someone you're wrong because you were brought up in the UK, I was brought up in Australia so I'm right.

Is there a problem we need to fix? Are readers confused? Is there a survey or a mass IP editing consensus to suggest this confusion? Or is it one of our making as editors who are over thinking?

I also like the use of statistics, in that 51.8% of Wikipedia readers come from these geographical places. Last I checked consensus needed to be stronger than that, and that presupposes all 51.8% of the population of those places think the same just to get a small majority.

So I guess I think there's no real need to change for the sake of change, no need to make something else a guideline that will bite us in the backside, no need to stir this particular best of wasps, or hornets if you prefer.

My alternate suggestion is to redirect all references to Football like so football. Hiding T 11:47, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

I know there's a lot to read here, and I will forgive you for not having read it all, but saying "Are readers confused"? without having read it all is pretty darned rude. Almost every time I see "football", "football club", "footballer" or "F.C." I am potentially confused, because for all of my longish life I have lived in a place where those terms refer to Australian football. I know there are other forms of football, but my brain automatically thinks Aussie Rules first, just as yours probably thinks soccer first. Once I realise I am reading something in an international context I have to put in extra rational thought to work out which form it might be. I have already written this fact multiple times here, and been growled at for doing so, but comments like yours make it necessary to repeat it again, and again, and again, and again....... I note that it's only soccer fans who insist that no-one will ever be confused, and I really wonder why. HiLo48 (talk) 07:42, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
Intriguingly you are only potentially confused. That's not actually confused. I'm not going to argue with a potential. I may potentially not be confused, and so may all other readers. Your position, you prove it. I have no burden of proof here. Hiding T 15:37, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
I am confused every time I see the undisambiguated term "football" used in an article that has not previously specified which code is being discussed. I do not know what countries may be primarily soccer, primarily rugby, primarily Gaelic, etc. Or even primarily some variant of football that I am completely unfamiliar with. Nor should we expect our readers to know this. --Khajidha (talk) 15:55, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
THIS! With the added hurdle that, in my dialect, "footballer" is nonsensical ("Football's a verb now?" "How does one football?") and F.C. is basically unknown. --Khajidha (talk) 11:13, 18 April 2018 (UTC)

Does the community agree with WP:CIR?

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

Greetings. I recently attempted to change the template on Wikipedia:Competence is required from "essay" to "explanatory supplement to WP:DE", reflecting my perception that the page is not just an opinion piece, but a thoroughly established, widely accepted concept that WP:DE itself references in its very lede. I was reverted on the basis that 'many editors' have a 'huge problem' with that page, and that it should not reflect any sort of community backing. Thus, I'm seeking a straightforward yes-or-no clarification on these conflicting perceptions: does WP:CIR have the community's backing, as its inclusion at WP:DE suggests? Thanks to all in advance. Swarm 02:37, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

  • Obvious support practice is policy and CIR is frequently used as justification for blocks. This is evident elsewhere even if not labeled CIR: unsourced blocks, copyright blocks, and any other indefinite block that is not based on someone being a jerk or vandal is a competency block. CIR is just a general principle that we apply daily. TonyBallioni (talk) 02:41, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Before seeing this I reverted the revert because people are blocked for CIR reasons. That will forever be the case because all the good faith in the world cannot help if an editor is unwilling or unable to follow advice about procedures. In the end we don't care if disruptive editing is due to obstinacy or incompetence, because an indef is often the kindest outcome to protect the community and CIR is an accurate and understandable reason. Johnuniq (talk) 03:24, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
    • Ironically, the essay says it isn't a good idea to tell people who lack competence that they lack it, so pointing to the essay as a basis for blocking goes against the essay... Nonetheless, if someone is, for whatever reason, unsuited for collaborating in Wikipedia's community, I agree it's kinder to disengage, rather than offering false promise. isaacl (talk) 03:36, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support People are and should be blocked under WP:CIR. It definitely warrants the status of explanatory supplement to WP:DE. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 04:26, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support This deserves to be, and is already treated as, more than just an essay. What are these huge problems it is claimed that many editors have with CIR? I can see a discussion on what constitutes sufficient incompetence to warrant a block, but does anyone actually think that there is no level of incompetence sufficient to warrant blocking? That's taking "anyone can edit" too far. For example, I write only English and French, and would deserve (and expect) the equivalent of a CIR block on any other language Wikipedia if I were to attempt anything other than the most trivial of edits. Meters (talk) 04:45, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, with the caveat that the practice of CIR blocks should be applied taking the essay into account. Users should be given specific feedback when they are blocked, and not simply linked to the essay or be accused of lacking competence (as the essay suggests). Such blocks should be made for repeated behaviour that demonstrates a lack of understanding of our policies and guidelines, when there is no indication that the blocked individual will change their behaviour. Maybe someone who is better at prose construction than I am can come up with a more concise way of saying that. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 05:00, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - Such blocks are clearly preventing disruption to article space. Now it is possible that something akin to a "standard offer" should be considered since some of the editors may gain competence over time though I would not know where to begin in adding this possibility to the CIR guidelines. MarnetteD|Talk 05:12, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Competence is definitely required to actively edit here. I'd be interested to learn why Oiyarbepsy objects to the hatnote change. Has anyone tried asking him? I looked at User talk:Oiyarbepsy/Archive 16 and User talk:Oiyarbepsy and didn't see a thread off-hand.
    Swarm, is there a reason you didn't post this discussion to Wikipedia talk:Competence is required? That seems like the more natural place, with a pointer from here. Or at least have a pointer from Wikipedia talk:Competence is required to this discussion. (I've now handled pinging Oiyarbepsy for you with this note.) --MZMcBride (talk) 05:35, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support of course. Double sharp (talk) 06:08, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per Hawkeye7. Chris Troutman (talk) 06:08, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per supporters. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 06:14, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Dear god YES Obvious support, at least on principle. While it is nice to be able to immediately spot a disruptive wikilawyer by their invoking the "It's just an essay" meme in relation to this particular page (and WP:BRD), or even refer to its citation as "uncivil" or a "personal attack" (when it is in fact the most AGF explanation for a lot of problems), obviously this makes sense. Hijiri 88 (やや) 06:37, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, it's definitely more than an essay. SarahSV (talk) 06:48, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per all the above. It's one of those things that should go without saying, but sometimes it needs to be said! Lugnuts Fire Walk with Me 06:54, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support – Yes, I also agree that "explanatory supplement" is an accurate description of the community's views on the page. Mz7 (talk) 07:00, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
I would like to clarify my comment a bit for the editors who feel that the essay is uncivil. I agree that in general, it is not okay to tell someone, "You're incompetent", on Wikipedia, especially in response to something like a content dispute. I think, however, that the page is useful in practice as a supplement to WP:DE because it is a more coherent way to express the principle that "a disruptive editor can still be sanctioned even if they are contributing in good faith". It is not a tool to be used as an argument in a content dispute (that would be a personal attack), but guidance in cases where we have a good faith editor who is persistently being disruptive. I would generally advise admins to avoid using WP:CIR directly in a block reason and instead explain exactly what the disruptive edits were, and indeed, the page itself sort of recommends this practice as well (WP:CIR#This essay...). However, as a matter of being there for guidance, I think "explanatory supplement" is an accurate description of the page. Mz7 (talk) 19:29, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - per all the above. - SchroCat (talk) 07:28, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support yeah, basically reflecting practice and common sense Galobtter (pingó mió) 07:30, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support already possessing competence is not, and should never be, a requirement for starting to edit here. But willingness to acquire it is, and should remain, essential. Peter coxhead (talk) 07:43, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Hell, I'd make it a policy. Yunshui  08:08, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Second that. Ping me when the day comes. Hijiri 88 (やや) 08:50, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support If I did not support this, I would be saying that incompetence is acceptable, and that would make me incompetent. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 08:13, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Yes. I saw it in action in the attempt by several experienced and patient editors to onboard a new user and ex-univ. professor, which ultimately foundered on the shoals of CIR despite everyone's best efforts. A frustrating but enlightening experience, but another proof, if one was needed, of this indispensable facet of being a successful editor.
That said, if this motion passes as it appears to be doing, I'd like to request that the lead be tightened up. Normally, one can expect a clear statement of what the essay or guideline is about in the first sentence or at least the first paragraph; imho however, the real meat about what CIR means is first mentioned only in the second half of the third paragraph. In the meantime, this proposal deserves our support. Mathglot (talk) 08:20, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Of course. The one-sided edit-warring on Wikipedia:Competence is required was inappropriate and border-line disruptive. Ironically, competence comes to mind! SilkTork (talk) 08:59, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. I'd make it a policy too. I've handed out my fair share of indefinite blocks where the underlying reason is insufficient proficiency in English (the symptoms being copyvio and failure to communicate). MER-C 09:10, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes I think it needs some cosmetic work before being established as policy, but I support that as well. It's not my favorite, and might be insulting or a candidate for over-use, but the fact remains that, more than anything else, it is true; it will be applied regardless of its existence. Anyone can edit, but once we get into some weightier discussions or disruptions, competence is required, and the stronger and clearer we make this the better and less ripe for abuse it will be. ~ Amory (utc) 09:51, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yup GMGtalk 09:55, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes As a community which seeks to be inclusive we have to draw lines somewhere. I also like the recent change elevating the status of that rule from "essay" to "supplement". Blue Rasberry (talk) 10:01, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
The trouble is that "competency is required" doesn't draw a line, certainly not a fine line. It draws a ridiculously broad line. Bus stop (talk) 00:16, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) Comment: Per WP:SUPPLEMENTAL, "In comparison to policies and guidelines, information pages, like essay pages, have a limited status, as they have not been thoroughly vetted by the community." Considering we are having a thorough discussion about this now, shouldn't we consider making it a guideline instead? On a side note, I restored the "essay" tag for purely procedural reasons since the discussion is still ongoing and should conclude before the tag is changed to avoid appearance of bias. While the consensus seems pretty clear so far, the RFC has not even been open for half a day, so let's allow those challenging the change to make their argument as well before we decide whether to make a change. Regards SoWhy 10:10, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support because obvious is obvious... Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 10:14, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:CREEP. The difference between an essay and explanatory supplement is inconsequential – we should not have so many levels of complication and nuance. And the page itself is imprecise and unclear with irrelevant tangents about other issues such as the bearing of grudges. Competence in a general sense is clearly not required as we generally encourage new editors to be bold and even veterans have many gaps in their knowledge. For example, the editor Giano is dyslexic but has worked on many FA-level pages and so teamwork and collaboration is more important than omniscience and virtuosity. My impression is that what's really wanted is not competence but some other traits such as compliance or conformity. Until the page makes this clearer, it should not be used as a vague, blank cheque for arbitrary sanctions. Andrew D. (talk) 11:41, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
@Andrew Davidson: Dyslexia =/= incompetence. Most of the time I've seen CIR invoked (in ANI discussions), it rather describes an editor who is incompetent to engage in teamwork and collaboration: this is actually the case in an ANI thread you just commented on earlier today and another earlier in the week. Hijiri 88 (やや) 12:22, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
When I commented, the page in question clearly stated that "language difficulty" was a valid example. When the page was first written, it talked of "language incompetence". Now I notice that the page is being massively rewritten so who knows what it will say by the time the RfC is over? We're getting a pig in a poke now and so the RfC should be voided until we have a stable text. A consensus cannot be claimed for a text which has been changed partway through the process. Andrew D. (talk) 17:58, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
The "language difficulty" thing clearly referred to non-native speakers of English who have difficulty communicating, or even editing articles without copy-pasting large chunks of text. Nothing to do with dyslexia -- everyone is a non-native speaker of some language, so implying that there was something ablist about the text of the essay seems like a needless attempt to smear it. On top of this, it just came to my attention that AD has himself recently been issued with a threat of sanctions for CIR behaviour,[3] in editing in specialist topic areas without familiarizing himself sufficiently with these topics (and perhaps should be warned more broadly than on just the Indian castes topic); whether or not this has coloured his perception of CIR and he is acting out against it as a result can be left in the air, but the fact that editors can be sanctioned and AD definitely knows this is just evidence that CIR already has, in principle, the status of a policy. Hijiri 88 (やや) 00:53, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. This is a collaborative project. The ability to work cooperatively with other editors is a must. An inability to do so, whatever the underlying reason, is unacceptable, particularly when it wastes our most precious resource - volunteer time. ♠PMC(talk) 12:38, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. A well-established essay that is already a de facto official recommendation. Experience shows that this is one of the most essential "rules" on Wikipedia.—J. M. (talk) 12:45, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose Regardless of its intended purpose, in real life, this essay serves to insult people who happen to disagree with another person's edits. There is no fucking way in hell that this essay, a blatant violation of everything we claim to believe about civility, should be promoted to be anything more than an opinion. The multiple deletion nominations should be a huge red flag that there's a big problem with this. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 12:54, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
There is nothing uncivil about the essay at all. It is extremely polite and restrained. This is the same thing as WP:VANDAL, WP:DISRUPTIVE or WP:SOCK. Sure, in reality, there are (incompetent) editors who wrongfully accuse others of vandalism, disruptive editing or sock puppetry (for example because they disagree with them). This doesn't mean that WP:VANDAL, WP:DISRUPTIVE or WP:SOCK shouldn't exist or that these essential rules are impolite. Wikipedia cannot work properly without them.—J. M. (talk) 13:11, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
@Oiyarbepsy: Your last sentence is curious. The page has been nominated for deletion twice (not "multiple" times like you claim): once in 2011 and once in 2015. In 2011, the nomination was universally opposed and withdrawn by the nominator. The 2015 nomination was supported by you and one other (a sock-abuser whose account was globally locked the same day they !voted) before being closed as SNOW keep. Essentially what it seems like you are saying is that the page should not be promoted because you and three other users (one of whom is blocked for socking) don't like it. Hijiri 88 (やや) 06:00, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
If it makes you feel better, I added a bit back in January to try to better address exactly your point, and it seems to have stuck fairly well. GMGtalk 13:25, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes The idea that we would knowingly permit incompetents to edit the encyclopedia is simply bizarre. Sadly I have had to block a handful of editors on CIR grounds and the one and only editor I have placed under WP:ACDS editing restrictions was for CIR reasons. IMO WP:CIR is so widely accepted and cited, it constitutes a de-facto guideline. -Ad Orientem (talk) 13:14, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree CIR is an accepted issued throughout WP and do not disagree that we should warn editors when they show CIR behavior. But raising past an essay to a guideline, meaning that it can start to be enforced, raises several issues that could see action taken against newer editors, those with english as a second language, or other situations where their editors trying to learn the ropes of how to work with WP could be seen as incompetence and lead to premature admin actions. CIR in association with other problematic behavior is certainly a blockable issue, but CIR alone should be very very carefully judged before a block issued against CIR is used. --Masem (t) 13:29, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
I think that the misunderstanding here is that WP:CIR should be a guideline. It will not be a guideline because it is not a guideline (and it was never written as a guideline). It is an explanation, and that is exactly what this suggestion is about: make it an official explanatory supplement to WP:DE. WP:CIR will not stand on its own, separated from guidelines such as WP:DE.—J. M. (talk) 13:47, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - This is not the opinion of a handful of editors. This is a de facto policy which has been pretty much agreed upon by the entire editing community - competence is required. If you are not competent to edit, you do not edit. Simple.--WaltCip (talk) 13:31, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit. The mission statement does not include qualifications. Mr Ernie (talk) 15:38, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Of course there are qualifications. There are clear rules such as no spamming, no vandalising, no disruptive editing. That's why the blocking policy mentions editing privileges, not editing rights. A disruptive user (whether intentionally disruptive or just incompetent) may lose their editing privileges. WP:CIR merely explains one form of disruptive editing: unintentional disruptive editing. But disruptive editing is disruptive, whether it is intentional or unintentional.—J. M. (talk) 15:59, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
That is an excessively legalistic interpretation of "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit". It is true, anyone can edit Wikipedia, relative to an actual paper encyclopedia in which only a select body of writers and editors can make changes. I can go onto the Donald Trump article right now and put that he's a big orange-haired lizardman from space. I can do this. That does not mean that I should. That "anyone can edit" does not in and of itself mean anyone who demonstrates proclivities contrary to the mission of the project can be allowed to continue editing interminably. And subsequently therefore, anyone who demonstrates an inability to edit competently will, as J.M. stated above, lose their editing privileges. Theoretically, they can still edit under a different IP address, though we obviously don't endorse this.--WaltCip (talk) 17:19, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Anyone can edit is not the same thing as Everyone can edit. ~ Amory (utc) 01:01, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - While WP:AGF is a principle, there does come a point where it's unreasonable to distinguish between bad-faith disruptive editing and good-faith but incompetent disruptive editing. It is not an excuse to bite new editors or punish the occasional mistake, but if an editor is truly editing and learning in good faith then their own actions should eventually exempt them from CIR being applicable. If nothing else, we need CIR to dissuade trolls from just claiming over and over that they're "only learning." Ian.thomson (talk) 13:40, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support In many discussions at Wikipedia, for many a year, WP:CIR has been given weight to indicate that the community clearly considers it good guidance. The terminology at the page should reflect that, as being more than a mere essay. --Jayron32 14:23, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose endorsing essay beyond its current station. It already achieves more by its measure than rightfully due. Sadly, I've seen it misused to bludgeon competent editors unwilling to conform and prefer that such proffering not be done in my name. 90% of the competency required to edit Wikipedia is evident by the edit's manifestation. It's the remaining 10%, more closely scrutinized, where problematic editing is born. Over reliance on this essay is a sign of incompetence itself; a lazy refusal or inability to cite the actual problem at hand. Let us not encourage it more.--John Cline (talk) 14:50, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
    I will note, by comparison, "vandalism" is frequently misused as a term to bludgeon ones opponents in a dispute, but that is not rationale to downgrade WP:VAND to an essay; by comparison CIR is as valid a principle as "don't vandalize Wikipedia intentionally" is; that people misuse doesn't mean it isn't valid. We have to deal with that for every concept at Wikipedia. The rationale that this concept is any different only because people may misuse it doesn't make it different than any other. I have no objection to a well reasoned oppose here, but you're hanging your entire rationale for opposing on spurious grounds. --Jayron32 15:05, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
    Having been on the receiving end, I don't accept that my rationale hangs on spurious grounds. I resent having to defend my stance and will not acknowledge further prompting. Best regards.--John Cline (talk) 19:32, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Peter Coxhead summed it up most eloquently. Blackmane (talk) 15:04, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support CIR hasn't just been an essay for a long time. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 15:07, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support upgrade; policy and our documents should reflect rather than define actual practice. Stifle (talk) 15:26, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support make this into a supplement. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 15:29, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • No telling a person they are not competent to edit is a personal attack. Mr Ernie (talk) 15:37, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
It isn't. When we block a vandal for vandalism, a diruptive editor for disruptive editing, a spammer for spamming, it is not a personal attack to call them vandals, spammers, or to call their edits disruptive. This is what we do every day. A spade has to be called a spade. And since WP:CIR is just a supplement to the already existing WP:DE guideline, an incompetent editor will be blocked only if their edits are disruptive. WP:CIR is not about telling people they are incompetent.—J. M. (talk) 15:47, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
You're making my point for me. You don't need to call the editor incompetent but the edits disruptive. Mr Ernie (talk) 16:39, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Please comment on the content, not on the contributor. TheDragonFire (talk) 13:01, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Since you're here, it's only been eleven years. Have you found mainspace yet? GMGtalk 16:44, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
How does attacking me have any relevance here? There's no edit count requirement to participate here. We're all here because we love Wikipedia and want to see it succeed. Mr Ernie (talk) 17:21, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Ah. So no. Here's a helpful link then. You know, being here primarily for the purpose of having an opinion doesn't actually really help us build a better encyclopedia all that much. GMGtalk 17:26, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
I'm under the impression that people who are criticizing WP:CIR didn't actually read it. Calling people incompetent is absolutely not the point of WP:CIR and the essay actually says that explicitly and clearly. It merely discusses one aspect of disruptive editing in more detail, which is very useful for recognizing and dealing with certain behavioral patterns.—J. M. (talk) 16:56, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support making WP:CIR an explanatory supplement to WP:DE per the arguments of others above. This just clarifies what is already common practice: on a collaborative project, repeated incompetence (whether badfaith or not) is disruptive. Ajpolino (talk) 15:43, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oh, yes. Sandstein 16:25, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, some level of competence is absolutely necessary. bd2412 T 17:05, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Obviously an important factor. OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 17:59, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Idiots have their uses, I guess...but not on Wikipedia :) talk to !dave 18:06, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Here's to all the idiots, 'cause what would life be without idiots like you and me? Mz7 (talk) 19:05, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support If I could travel back in time I would name that essay "Abilities are required". If you join a volunteer choir you need the ability to show up for rehearsal, remember the words, and sing. If you consistently show you can't hold a tune, you're going to be asked to leave (or "promoted" to administration - hmmmmm). Same thing here. If you don't show or can't learn basic technical, language, and social abilities then eventually you're going to get blocked. This is different from disruptive editing where you possess the required abilities but don't care to use them, for a variety of reasons. --NeilN talk to me 18:30, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps "Capability is required". Being able and being capable are 2 different things. Blackmane (talk) 02:13, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I have some qualms with some of the wording, but an explanatory supplement is not one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community. It's clearly more than an essay. power~enwiki (π, ν) 18:34, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I have seen too many editors not having a clue how to write in the English language. (and other failings) The Banner talk 18:36, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) Support Jayron32 version per above. While CIR may not fit a dictionary definition of "disruptive editing", it appropriately discusses the disruptive editing norms on Wikipedia. wumbolo ^^^ 18:37, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • OPPOSE in the strongest possible way Wikipedia has gotten by pretty well without this as a policy, so I'd suggest we don't need it right now. It's instruction creep and bitey, and against the very raison d'etre of Wikipedia. We all remember what wiki means, and the point of anybody being able to do anything. You don't need this as policy, you just need to issue a good trout slap. Hiding T 20:52, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
When you are opposing something (especially in the strongest possible way), you should know what you are opposing in the first place. Nobody suggests this as a policy. (BTW, competence is required for trout slapping, too. Not only for the person who whacks someone, but there is no point in whacking an incompetent person with a trout, as a really incompetent person is incapable of realizing they are incompetent or that there is anything wrong with their actions. This is the Dunning–Kruger effect mentioned in WP:CIR.)J. M. (talk) 21:07, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Actually, several editors in this thread have suggested to make it a policy, but that is not the matter under discussion here. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 22:15, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Given the overwhelming community support for this page, I'm regretting not proposing we formally upgrade it to a guideline. Perhaps a followup RfC is warranted? That said, this isn't an RfC on making this a policy. @Hiding: Perhaps you should have read the RfC question before opposing a completely unrelated concept? Swarm 22:55, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
@Swarm: @J. M.: Five people before I entered the discussion commented to the effect this should be a policy. The discussion is not limiting itself to the question raised in the rfc, and I am engaging with the discussion and seeking to guide consensus. An I not within my rights to disagree with those people in this debate that risk to have this made policy or guideline and express that here? I note nobody has challenged those editors the way I have been. Curious... Hiding T 08:25, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
See straw man.--WaltCip (talk) 11:26, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
See aristocracy. The real problem with WP:CIR is its non-specificity. It makes more mysterious what is called for. Its use generates aristocracy—an "in" group and an "out" group. I can think of no reason we need to invoke WP:CIR. All that is called for is a specific articulation of the problem. This clarifies for the problematic editor and it re-articulates those best-practices for all onlookers. WP:CIR is a broad cudgel when specific articulation is called for. There are good-natured guidelines and there are invective-oriented guidelines. Compare WP:Assume good faith to WP:CIR. One is positive while the other is caustic. It is OK to use broad language if it is not hurting anyone. But when true negative criticism is called for, we should try to be specific. (I'm using the term "guidelines" loosely, whether or not these are truly "guidelines".) Bus stop (talk) 12:06, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
Every single policy, guideline or supplement on Wikipedia that rejects unacceptable traits in editors (such as promotional or tendentious editing, vandalising or simply chronic lack of competence described also in the broad "Clearly not being here to build an encyclopedia" description, which is one of the common rationales used by admins for blocks, too) generates an "in" group and an "out" group, if you really, desperately want to look at it that way. There is nothing inherently wrong with it. It is inevitable. "Good-natured guidelines" like AGF are limited and cannot describe things described in the more negative ones. WP:CIR is not invective-oriented (there are no invectives in it at all, it is purely descriptive, observational and largely very positive), and definitely not written from an aristocratic point of view. It only describes the problem, neutrally but accurately, without judging people as "superior" and "inferior". Describing the problem, naming it, is necessary. Problems thrive in an environment where naming them is prohibited. This is a proven historical fact. Basically, there are only two types of Wikipedians: those who haven't met an incompetent editor, and those who have been here for some time. Experience confirms that dealing with incompetent editors is one of the most painful and desperate ways of spending time here. This is where WP:CIR comes in so handy. As a description, explanation, guidance, and last but not least, as moral support.—J. M. (talk) 13:06, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
You say that "Describing the problem, naming it, is necessary". WP:CIR does not describe the problem, except very broadly. You say "Problems thrive in an environment where naming them is prohibited." The problem is always more specific than that "competence is required". It is repetitiveness (of which I'm guilty now) or spamming or copyright infringement or incivility or some other specifiable problem. Please tell we why we would need to invoke the broad heading that is WP:CIR. Bus stop (talk) 13:26, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
The problem is that it is not written as a guideline ("Guidelines are sets of best practices"). It would have to be substantially rewritten, and I'm not sure how. I think WP:DE should actually be expanded and introduce two main categories of DE: intentional and unintentional (and explain that in the end, it does not really matter if the disruption is unintentional). The latter should offer a brief overview and point to WP:CIR as the main article.—J. M. (talk) 23:08, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. WP:CIR has long been used. Yes, it is not a red cape to wave in front of a difficult editor, but it is something to use when considering how best to protect the encyclopedia. Glrx (talk) 21:57, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is a terrible idea. The WP:ESSAY known as Competence is required is bad enough. It needs no greater heft. We all have a burden to bear. That burden is that of accommodating other editors. Some of us have learned to express ourselves verbally and others are still learning to do so and are struggling with it. This essay is too broad. The burden is on every one of us to articulate a complaint tailored to the exact problem observed. Nothing is accomplished by referencing a broad essay like this one. And brief blocks are called for to alert the would-be editor of the need to interact socially in this collaborative environment. Bus stop (talk) 23:04, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
    • Does Wikipedia has to bear the works of an editor who does not understand the principles of copyright. And when explained ten times, refuses to adhere to copyrights? The Banner talk 23:08, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
      • Of course not. And long before the tenth time they should be blocked. This essay is verbal abuse. It is preferable to block the editor. Why do you suppose the page needs the cautionary advice "Be cautious when referencing this page, as it can be insulting to other editors"? Bus stop (talk) 23:12, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Mr Ernie. You cannot call someone incompetent without also insulting them on a personal level. If anything, CIR should be amended such that it doesn't read so arrogant - whoever wrote that clearly deems himself or herself "competent" but some unnamed parties "incompetent" (read: inferior). Banedon (talk) 23:57, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
I still wonder where people get the idea that WP:CIR is about calling people incompetent. It just isn't. In fact, it is already so cautiously amended, edited and diluted with courteous benevolence that it almost doesn't say anything anymore. When you have to block someone for disruptive editing, incorrigible incompetence, vandalism, spamming etc., you have to say they are blocked for disruptive editing, incorrigible incompetence, vandalism, spamming etc. And yes, there are demonstrably people who are competent and people who are not. Policies, guidelines and supplements should naturally be written by the former, while many of our policies, guidelines and supplements inevitably describe features of the latter—there is nothing arrogant about it, and this applies to many standard guidelines like WP:VANDAL or WP:DE. If a vandal, spammer, disruptive or incompetent editor takes offense at being called a vandal, spammer, disruptive or incompetent editor, I don't think that's anything Wikipedia should be concerned about.—J. M. (talk) 00:28, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
You say you wonder where people get the idea that WP:CIR is about calling people incompetent, yet you use the word "incompetence" later as well. I don't see how saying "I'm blocking you because of WP:CIR" does not carry the implication that "I'm blocking you because you are incompetent". Of the other examples you raise, vandalism & spamming violates good faith and so are different. "Disruptive" is a less loaded word. Incompetence is almost always bad, but disruptive isn't - disruptive innovation is actively good. Banedon (talk) 00:49, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
Using the word "incompetence" in a general discussion does not mean calling people incompetent. This is not what WP:CIR is about at all. Disruptive editing on Wikipedia is always bad. Even if it occurs in good faith. Incompetence itself is not a reason for blocking anyone. Disruptive editing is. (To give you one more controversial example: Pedophilia is not evil by itself. Child sexual abuse is. If an incompetent editor does not make any edits or only makes simple edits that are not disruptive, there is no problem.) The only point of WP:CIR is explaining this specific form of disruption in more detail. Calling people incompetent is not its purpose at all. The word incompetence only naturally occurs in the essay because you cannot discuss the issue without it.—J. M. (talk) 01:40, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
I'm not saying that you are calling me incompetent, but your agreeing that you cannot discuss CIR without using the word incompetent backs my point up. Quoting CIR on anyone implies they are incompetent, and that word is too loaded to not offend. There's no way to avoid it. Disruptive editing is always bad and blocks should be handed out for that, but the block should be because of disruptive editing and not because of incompetence. You can argue that CIR's purpose isn't to call anyone incompetent, but that's what it comes across as. Banedon (talk) 21:12, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
J. M.—labels can be problematic. Can't an editor be blocked for a specific problematic behavior, or do we need reference to a broad category of behavior? You mentioned spamming. You say to that editor that they are using Wikipedia as an advertising vehicle, and if they don't stop, they will be blocked. In other words you use plain English to endorse our commonly understood practices about the contrived placement of material meant to advertise some entity that an editor may be linked to. You don't need the broad tract of writing called "competence is required" to accomplish that. You don't need to use a nuclear weapon instead of a flyswatter. Bus stop (talk) 00:53, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
An editor should always be blocked for specific problematic behavior, but sometimes incompetence is exactly the specific problematic behavior, or at least the most accessible description. You can warn a spammer or a vandal, and sometimes it even helps. The typical problem with incompetent editors is that they ignore everything and everyone, they are often incapable of understanding the problem. So, as WP:CIR explains, you give them a couple of chances, but when they keep doing the same things and ignoring everything, using the broader WP:CIR rationale in the block summary may be a suitable option. But again, calling editors incompetent is not the point of WP:CIR. The purpose of the essay is describing this common pattern of behavior, and giving advice on how to handle it. It specifically says it is meant for internal discussion (which is very useful—you cannot discuss and fully understand the issue without naming it), not primarily for public labelling.—J. M. (talk) 01:40, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
The essay is unnecessary. There are commonly understood problematic behaviors and they can be addressed with blocks of increasing length. You say "sometimes incompetence is exactly the specific problematic behavior". No, incompetence is never the specific problematic behavior. Incompetence is a general heading for a collection of problematic behaviors. Bus stop (talk) 01:56, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
I agree somewhat in regards to the labeling of editors. Certain words have become triggers for editors such that when any one of them is used, it triggers the recall of an essay/guideline/policy which can be used to slap down or block another editor . CIR is an obvious one, Tendentious and Disruptive are others. In many cases, the blocks and sanctions are justified but WP does tend to overuse such terms. Blackmane (talk) 02:32, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Regardless how one feels about the status of CIR. This edit certainly does reflect the attitude and consensus of the community, and therefore should be made. (I do agree with it though CIR ‘’’is’’’ important).—-AdamF in MO (talk) 00:16, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, per Cullen328's brilliant comment. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:13, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Have you been reading my latest essay by any chance? In fact, I'd support its promotion to a guideline. It is certainly an essay in name only. Adam9007 (talk) 01:49, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - I haven't ever used this "against" somebody but this is the English WP and competence to write clear in clear English is required. Also I have been involved in discussions with editors who obviously have not the slightest knowledge of the subject they are editing in.Smeat75 (talk) 02:25, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support as an overdue change that should have been made a long time ago. In an educational collaborative setting where virtually everybody is allowed equal chance to edit then CIR issue is inevitable and this essay discuss that aspect brilliantly. In addition, (like some comments above), I think this change is largely inconsequential and this site-wide RfC has the prerogative of upgrading this well-established essay WP:CIR to guideline (or even a policy, per Yunshui et al.) which will be more effective and meaningful. Nonetheless, the proposed change is better than none. It is a one step forward. –Ammarpad (talk) 06:29, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - CIR should definitely be elevated to a higher standard than an essay, and in doing so I think it will be more clearly and effectively used. ZettaComposer (talk) 13:11, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support including it as an explanatory supplement to WP:DE, for the many reasons mentioned above. Competence is required for the project to function successfully. Richard0612 13:45, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion as a explanatory supplement to WP:DE. Over at WP:ANI editors are blocked using this rationale as it's part of disruptive editing. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 13:50, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - In some ways I disagree with it because it does come across as a personal attack or I guess could be perceived as such ... but on the other hand as noted above we call vandals = vandals, spammers = spammers and the choir example by NeilN is a great example too - You need to have the competency to edit here (just like you would with a job),
Also CIR has always been more than just an essay and as noted is a supplement of DE so we may aswell "approve" it, Overall I support. –Davey2010Talk 14:02, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
So why would we use a "personal attack" as a standard tract in our reasoning to be leveled against a potential editor? This is counterproductive. If the editor is engaging in vandalism then it follows that we should level the specific charge of vandalism against them. If the editor is engaging in spamming then it follows that we should level the specific charge of spamming against them. I haven't read this entire thread, but has anyone explained why the broad heading of "incompetency" is needed? I have always found it ridiculously offensive. It fails to provide constructive criticism. Even terms like "tendentious" and "disruptive" illuminate a sort of problem that can be rectified. But "incompetence" seems permanent and beyond the possibility of remediation. Bus stop (talk) 14:46, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
Too me I just feel it is, "You've been blocked because you're an idiot" is realistically how i see it, I'd rather not get bogged down in whether this is a PA or not that's just how I see it really. –Davey2010Talk 15:12, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
I guess a lot of editors favor the implications invoked in calling a potential editor "incompetent". Judging by the number of supports there is little inclination to use more specific language. Bus stop (talk) 15:32, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - As one of the most explanatory pages on conduct that highlights concerns with numerous types of misconduct that frequently occurs here. The page on WP:CIR is one of those pages that show how to deal with editors. We have handed blocks for WP:CIR[4] as well. Capitals00 (talk) 16:25, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - We all have limitations. Most of us have some awareness of our limitations and attempt to operate within them. It's destructive and costly when an editor persistently fails to do so, and we need a way to deal with that. For example, there is no policy against introducing grammatical errors or just unacceptably poor wording, and there needs to be a way to say, "We're sorry but we can't allow you to edit the encyclopedia anymore, and this is why." For now, CIR is it, and it merits higher status than a widely-held opinion—I haven't given it much thought before now, but it's wrong to indef people with an essay as the main basis. While we try to accomplish both, Wikipedia's mission is to build and maintain an encyclopedia, not to give people something rewarding to do with their spare time. The product must come before the personal needs of any individual, and nobody has a constitutional right to edit. I'm sorry if that's too tough a stance for some folks.
    As for "the encyclopedia anyone can edit"—it's a marketing slogan, not one of the pillars, and marketing is never completely and literally true. The few editors taking the slogan literally should stop doing so. ―Mandruss  16:30, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
A marketing slogan? I guess I'm guilty of Drinking the Kool-Aid. Bus stop (talk) 16:40, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support As reflecting already established practice. Blocking or banning for incompetence is no fun for anyone involved, but sometimes it must be done, and it is, so this move makes perfect sense. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:59, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I really much rather oppose but that would require actually thinking up some rationale, and try as I might,t he best I can come up with "we've gotten along without it" which completly lousy. And the rest of the opposes are not that good. Act right or go night night. L3X1 ◊distænt write◊ 19:34, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I don't see how you can dispute the assertion that there is some level of competence required to edit Wikipedia in a non-disruptive way, and WP:CIR does a pretty good job of outlining what that is and how editors who don't have it should be dealt with. If labelling disruptive editing as such was considered an unacceptable personal attack then it would be impossible to deal with at all. Hut 8.5 20:33, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • No and yes. Is competence required? Absolutely. But should that particular essay be promoted? No. It's written like an essay. To make it anything other than an essay requires a complete rewrite. (Also, I would remove the "social" subsection, which, though it does make an important point, is too easily turned into a requirement for conformity of personal style.) --Trovatore (talk) 21:07, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
    It should be noted that WP:CIR is not protected from editing. We could do a rewrite of it to make it more compliant with the expected tone of such a page. I myself have been doing so in bits and pieces. You (or anyone else) is allowed to also. No one has tried to stop you... --Jayron32 12:16, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Conditional Support. Change wording from "competence", which from its legal use connotes something you must possess to be considered a functional human being, to a word such as "diligence". Dhtwiki (talk) 22:28, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
    That’s rather silly. This clearly is not using it in the legal sense but rather the commonly understood meaning in spoken and written English. Beeblebrox (talk) 02:59, 27 April 2018 (UTC)

    No, it's not silly at all. It's simply a minority view. What is silly is when Wikipedia's leadership shows a preference for alienating the smallest minority of the Community when the entire CIR mission can easily be met with no such alienation at all. Do you really think this person came here to !vote so he or she could be told how silly his or her comment was?

    It's intuitive that as people come to our site they will individually have their own personal understanding, and inevitable that some will interpret incompetence as an offensive pejorative. And they will bear that offense until someone of higher competence comes along and tells them how silly they are; teaching them the wiki-way (or they may leave instead).

    Perhaps this is reflective of volunteer leadership because competence really is required to be paid, and no employer would pay for this kind of leadership; forgoing a lexicon of effective, stigma free, verbiage for its inflammatory counterpart. What's even more silly, is that I am preparing to post this comment, knowing it will alienate me, a little bit more (all for a lil ole essay with a cutesy wootsy name).

    Professionally, it should have been renamed something like Collaboration is required a long time ago. IMO.--John Cline (talk) 08:23, 27 April 2018 (UTC)

    "Collaboration" doesn't cut it either. It is only one area of competence that is required.—J. M. (talk) 19:08, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
    No, it's entirely possible to diligently make the encyclopedia worse. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 13:31, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
    Exactly. Competence and diligence are two very different things. Diligence without competence is useless for improving Wikipedia.—J. M. (talk) 18:55, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
    Ah. So that's why some people find the word competence to be insulting. Some folks are thinking they are being told they are lacking in mental capacity or intelligence. Perhaps it might be worth making clear that we mean something closer to Four stages of competence, and that users who remain at stage one unwittingly cause damage to the encyclopedia. SilkTork (talk) 22:17, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
    Well worth clarification indeed. I havn't seen the four stages link until today. Pardon my learning curve, and my misplaced zeal.--John Cline (talk) 00:07, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
    "In 2006, Swartz wrote an analysis of how Wikipedia articles are written, and concluded that the bulk of the actual content comes from tens of thousands of occasional contributors, or 'outsiders', each of whom may not make many other contributions to the site, while a core group of 500 to 1,000 regular editors tend to correct spelling and other formatting errors." Are these "tens of thousands of occasional contributors" competent? Well, yes and no. They are highly competent in their particular area of interest. But they would likely be somewhat incompetent in the areas that involve putting polish on an article and in general maintaining the highest standards of quality. Bus stop (talk) 01:25, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
    Bus stop, I'm not sure from the various comments that you have made on this page, and - indeed - the amount of comments, that you have quite got what CIR is about. I replied to you earlier, but I'm not sure if you've read that yet. CIR is not about people who are not experienced Wikipedians, or are only skilled in one areas. CIR is about those people who are at stage one of Four stages of competence, and no amount of advice has brought them out of stage one, so in their well meaning ignorance they are damaging the encyclopedia. CIR was written to show to admins that it is acceptable to block these well meaning people who through their inability to see that they are a problem, and their unwillingness or inability to learn, are causing a problem. By our ethos, our guidelines, and significantly by the nature of the sort of people who work on Wikipedia, we give people a chance, help them, and assume good faith. CIR was written to say that we should not extend "assume good faith" so far that we end up assisting someone to damage Wikipedia on a daily basis. Once it is established that someone is locked on stage one of Four stages of competence, and we have tried to bring them out of that but failed, then the best thing we can do in order to prevent further damage is to block them. The aim is not to remove people who are doing good in minor ways (such as those contributors you mention above) in order to make room for the big contributors who write Featured Articles. The aim is to remove disruptive people who are damaging Wikipedia by making repeated mistakes, and are not responding appropriately to offers of assistance. All of us here make mistakes, and we all have a different learning curve. The incompetent people we are talking about make mistakes, but don't have a learning curve, so they keep making mistakes. After offering them advice our only options left are to allow them to keep on making mistakes, and to go round after them mending their mistakes, or to block them. CIR allows us to block them as the most effective remedy. SilkTork (talk) 02:30, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
    SilkTork—I have read both of your responses to me. In my opinion the only question is whether an admin can articulate a reason for blocking an editor. This essay is only serving the dubious purpose of sparing the admin the required analysis of a problem and the required crafting of a response that makes clear to the problematic editor and to all onlookers what our standards are and where the would-be editor is falling short of our standards. This need not be a lengthy response but it should be appropriate to the problem at hand. In my opinion part of the job of an admin is an educational one. I consider this essay possibly detrimental because of its potential for bypassing the necessary verbal articulation of a specific problem. It is a cookie-cutter solution. It is a shotgun approach. It covers all bases—and that is precisely the problem. Bus stop (talk) 08:00, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
    Bus stop, I don't think your complaint is about CIR, because of all pages articulating dealing with disruption, it is the one - and has been since it was first written in 2008 - that lays out the most that we should help other users before blocking them. It has always emphasised that. It might be worth your while to read it through carefully. Spend some time with it. Look at its history. Get to understand it. Learn about it. Your concern, that an admin should be able to articulate a reason for blocking someone, applies to all blocking actions. CIR is one of the articulated reasons for blocking someone, and blocking someone for CIR generally comes at the end of a period of having offered assistance and guidance. It doesn't need to be the blocking admin who has offered that assistance, but there should be evidence of at least one person having spoken to the user without positive response before they are blocked. Other forms of disruption do not require as much evidence before an admin can block, though only in the most egregious cases of damaging vandalism does an admin block without someone having reached out to that person first, and at least given them a warning. CIR is generally one of the most time-consuming rationales for blocking someone, as it is expected that there will be a pattern of the user having not responded to assistance or advice. Your complaint therefore does not apply to CIR. Before responding again to me or anyone else on this page, I would advise you to spend some more time learning about CIR, you might then see what its intention is, and how it works. SilkTork (talk) 08:50, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support marking CIR as explana tory supplement to WP:DE. Broadly supported, extensively vetted, useful, and already de facto treated as such. Alsee (talk) 23:39, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment I made a new link (WP:CIRNOT) that lists what this essay is NOT. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 01:31, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support- sadly it's sometimes necessary to block or ban people for CIR grounds. Some people perform weird mainspace edits that make articles worse, or waste people's time in discussions with bizarre argumentation that bears no resemblance to reality, and it's often unclear whether they're being annoying on purpose or just genuinely inept. Whatever the reason, there's a limit to how much disruption we should have to endure. And CIR bans reflect the fact that ongoing disruption doesn't become OK even if we assume it's being done in good faith. Reyk YO! 06:14, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
You say "it's often unclear whether they're being annoying on purpose or just genuinely inept". The fact of the matter is that you never know if this sort of thing is being done inadvertently or deliberately. We need only be concerned with the problem. We do not need to find out whether it is inadvertent or deliberate. It is the problem that must be addressed. The problem is a specific thing. It may fall under the umbrella term of "incompetence" but it has its own name, specific to that problem, whether it be vandalism or spamming, or failure to get consensus for a disputed change to an article combined with a refusal to use the Talk page in conformance with our Talk page guidelines to try to resolve the editorial dispute. There is always a specific reason that can be cited for warning and then blocking an editor. This essay, Competence is required, merely puts all those specific reasons under one umbrella term. That is all that it accomplishes. Why would we choose a chainsaw as tool to do delicate surgery? This is counterproductive and yet the vast majority of editors favor this approach. Is there some reason so many are so enamored of this essay? I mean, seriously, no one is saying why an umbrella term is preferable to the specific name of the problem at hand. And by the way, we already have fairly general terms such as "tendentious" and "disruptive" that can serve to cover problems that are difficult to define. "Incompetent" is far more broad in meaning than either of those terms. My argument is that we should prefer terms of appropriate specificity. I contend that "competence" is an overly broad term for any use that can be contemplated at our project. This essay should not be given the status of "explanatory supplement to WP:DE" as that would be a step in the wrong direction. Bus stop (talk) 12:46, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
That’s a self-defeating argument. Policies, guidelines, etc are supposed to reflect what we already do as opposed to dictate what we should do, and you acknowledge that we do already treat this essay as a supplement to DE, so whether you happen to like that or not just is not relevant. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:43, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
I understanding what you are thinking, but you seem to be looking at this from the wrong end of the telescope. Disruption is the broad term; incompetence is one example of how people can disrupt the project. We can certainly break the incompetence down into finer areas, which is what the page does, but incompetence will always remain a specific and discrete subset of disruption which needs to be tackled in a specific way. People may be disruptive because they get angry with a particular user. People may be disruptive because they have strong views on a certain topic. People may be wilfully disruptive. People may be disruptive because they are making mistakes and are not learning from their mistakes even when people help them. We have essays and guidelines to deal with all these different sorts of disruption. CIR is the essay that tells an admin that it is acceptable to block a user who does not learn from their mistakes. Without CIR, because the user is making the mistakes in good faith, we might continue to assume good faith and the encyclopedia continues to be damaged. CIR gives admins the confidence that the community says it's OK to block those users who are disruptive because they are unable to learn from their mistakes. SilkTork (talk) 22:41, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, common (and good) practice to sometimes stop editors on CIR grounds. I am not opposed to improving the name if that is possible. —Kusma (t·c) 12:08, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support the concept as it's generally been used rather than any specific one of the 20 versions it's been through since this RfC started. Cabayi (talk) 13:35, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. It's a supplement that should be developed into policy. Let's work toward that end. Good faith is not a suicide pact, and well-meaning editors can still cause so much disruption, even on talk pages, without making any article edits, that they should be blocked, topic banned, or even fully banned. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 14:08, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Competence is required for doing almost everything and certainly for contributing to online encyclopedia. This place is unique because everyone can start editing without any credentials or even experience. It often happens that some people can not operate in this editing environment. This environment is "difficult" because it has no efficient mechanism for resolving content disputes, such as editorial boards in "real life". If anything, we need to establish a better mechanism for excluding contributors who are not competent. My very best wishes (talk) 14:26, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per Swarm. Competence is required for everything and certainly for contributing to a live online encyclopedia.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 18:57, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support the concept and the existing essay, oppose changing its status from an essay, at least in present form. Those opposers who complain about its use as a label have a point but I wonder if that ambiguity might not be cleared up by explaining in the essay that no one can be sanctioned because they are, per se, incompetent. They can only be sanctioned if it is demonstrated that they are editing disruptively. That is, if there could be a clarification that a lack of competence may be a voluntary or involuntary cause of disruptive editing but it is the disruptive editing which will, after appropriate warnings, cause an editor to be sanctioned (with the speed with which that happens dependent upon the degree of disruption and the nature, if any, of response by the editor — greater incompetence may result in a faster block or ban but it's only because the disruption is greater and obviously less likely to be corrected). If that clarification were made, then I could support it as an explanatory supplement as well because it would then explain that while competence is required that it is disruptive editing, not incompetence per se, which can cause an editor to be sanctioned. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 19:48, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
    I've tended to see the page as giving advice to admins rather than giving advice to those who are being disruptive. It's undergoing some serious editing changes currently, but it was originally written to support the notion that there is only so much "assume good faith" we can give to those who are damaging the project "in good faith". I'm not sure how much help it would be to show the essay to someone who would typically have already been shown several guidelines specific to the problems they are causing, none of which they have understood. The point at which they would be shown CIR by an admin would be the point at which they are being given the final warning, or are being blocked. Of course, other users may flash CIR around (perhaps in an insulting manner, much as people used to flash Dick around), but the essential message was intended for admins. Rewriting it as a guide for both admins and the disruptive users it is talking about is a reasonable thing to do. But for those stuck at stage one of Four stages of competence, their main problem is that they don't understand or accept they are incompetent. If they knew, they would start learning, and so they wouldn't be a problem. SilkTork (talk) 23:05, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support "explanatory supplement" status. Strongly oppose guideline/policy status. Best, Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 22:08, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. I'd have to think about making it a guideline or policy, but as an explanatory supplement, it's entirely appropriate. Let's face it, competence is required in real life. And the project has grown to where our greatest need is increasing content quality. Wikipedia may be "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit", but it is not "the encyclopedia that anyone can keep editing no matter what". --Tryptofish (talk) 22:29, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - I'd rather it was a policy than a guideline, but we takes what we can gets... I was surprised to learn this was just an essay... Carrite (talk) 22:56, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support as a guideline. It's something commonly used by many administrators, which usually are on a sound basis. Of course, it'll need to be expanded to be more guideline-like and encompass all possible situations that WP:CIR could be used before it's removed from essay-status, but I think something along the lines of WP:CIR should be available as more than an essay. Vermont (talk) 23:33, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose There are significant concerns raised in above by other contributors regarding the uncivil nature of using the pejorative "incompetent" to label editors that have not adequately been addressed, and it is concerning that some admins have used this essay as a reason to block editors. Some people might be disruptively editing, but I see no suggested procedure to ensure that they have enough time and guidance to learn before this is applied as a block. I'd like to see at least an indication of some aspect of community reviewing, like a consensus achieved on ANI or a similar process, before a user is blocked due to being incompetent, so that it would remain a last resort measure. Acebulf (talk) 01:44, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose- I frequently see this essay used by editors to insult and attack other editors, making it a guideline will not help. Obviously people who are incompetent should be blocked, but their repeated bad behavior will get them blocked anyway, there is no need to cite WP:CIR. Calling someone incompetent is very subjective. People should be blocked for objective reasons. For example if someone violates the 3RR rule after being warned repeatedly, does it really matter if they are incompetent and don't understand the rule? The fact of the matter is they broke the rule and got banned, it doesn't matter why they broke the rule.--Rusf10 (talk) 02:02, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
@Acebulf and Rusf10:, Ironically, non-admins who indiscriminately evoke CIR, may themselves not be wholly competent. That said, may I be permitted to believe that you may not in fact have encountered many instances where the CIR theory has been evoked. Admins who handle many cases of incompetency on a daily basis do not necessarily need to bring the cases to ANI. One dictionary defines 'incompetent' as not having or showing the necessary skills to do something successfully and most competent English users will agree that the adjective is used almost universally as a pejorative term. There comes a point where competency (also 'competence'), the ability to do something successfully or efficiently, is certainly lacking in some users and if they are not able to improve, then they must stop editing. It is interesting to note that while many editors, especially long-term prolific ones, go through their Wiki careers without complaints, the talk pages of some users become studded with expressions of disapproval and warnings almost from the very beginning. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:23, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
Excellent point, Kudpung. Editors who maintain this encyclopedia spend enormous amounts of time debating fifth or seventh chances for tendentious, disruptive and incompetent editors. And all around us are productive and collaborative content creators, and we need to take the time to thank them, and give them barnstars and other awards. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 07:01, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose It is what the editors do that is important. If they are incompetent at templates and stay away from them, that is fine. If they don't know English but can upload and use fair use images that is fine by us too. So it is important that users stick to their competence, but as an essay commonly used, that is enough. It can be linked from the disruptive editing page, but is not a policy or guideline in itself. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 02:13, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Nobody is trying to make this into a policy or guideline though. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 04:47, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
Indeed not, but Template:Supplement as proposed is a good idea. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 06:27, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - CIR is a necessary safety valve that is a fixture in blocking/banning debate. We need some way to remove good-faith but hopelessly unconstructive/unhelpful editors from the project. Tazerdadog (talk) 16:49, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I understand that some may feel it's abrasive (though I don't, reading the first two easily understood sections) and perhaps it can be reworded to be more "professional" (I like the Four stages of competence link), but I'm not sure if those opposing this request have spent hours of their life trying to work a disruptive editor—acting in good faith—into a competent editor. Competence is a combination of many things, but someone who can't get past the "two stages" of incompetence in the "skill" that is Wikipedia isn't going to be a net positive to the project, so it seems more important than an essay. Rhinopias (talk) 22:58, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support-Essay as of oldid=838714192 as a lesson learnt from the recent drama created by User:A Den Jentyl Ettien Avel Dysklyver — FR+ 03:38, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
@Force Radical: It's worth bearing in mind that although CIR was mentioned several times during that "drama", it was not used as the blocking reason, nor was it particularly applicable. The issue was not a lack of competence, but actually some WP:IDHT and non-compliance with core guidelines - a specific disruptive editing issue. He didn't listen about his flawed deletion noms, and he didn't listen about the ARBCOM election, and that is a clear WP:IDHT issue. (Obviously the later ban for massive sockpuppetry didn't help), but his later sockpuppets had almost perfect competence, precision deletion and tagging work, a completely different and correct view on policy, etc, making the fact the whole drama was deliberate trolling pretty clear. (talk) 21:51, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
I have been looking into the blocking of Dysklyver and reaching similar types of conclusions. I think is analyzing the problem that is the account of Dysklyver and formulating a verbal response that is tailored to fit that one account. My argument in my multiple posts in this thread, and I apologize to all for posting too many times, is that WP:CIR is problematically nonspecific. Bus stop (talk) 00:40, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
Bus stop(IP user)-I will quote from the WP:IDHT guideline to prove my point: Disruptive editing is not always intentional. Editors may be accidentally disruptive because they don't understand how to correctly edit, or because they lack the social skills or competence necessary to work collaboratively. The fact that the disruption occurs in good faith does not change the fact that it is harmful to Wikipedia. - I agree that this may not be the case with ADJEAD's sockpuppetry which was clearly trolling, but it was certainly the major reason to get him blocked in the first place. The reason for his blocking was the fact that he absolutely refused to listen too any advice given to him and his tendency to create long-drawn arguments in favour of his interpretation of what was right. This is a textbook example of CIR (Competence in working collaboratively and taking advice aboard was clearly lacking). Additionally I believe that elevating CIR to the status of an explanatory supplement is justified because as shown by my quote above, parts of CIR are already covered in other guidelines, CIR is only an assimilation of all of them in one place — FR+ 09:55, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per above. Obviously beneficial. -FASTILY 03:52, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support: competence is obviously a requirement and far more than just being beneficial. I personally take much time weeding typographical errors from my own work, due to some cognitive decline of a minor state. I do not wish to have even a hint of inability to work well and utilise my experience of writing skills and IQ acuity. I would voluntarily close out my pages and leave, if I began being taken to various complaint boards here. Incompetence comes in many shades on Wikipedia and all are a detrement to the good established editors and even the MOS watchkeepers, whom I sometimes wish weren't so rabid in their insistence on adherence to those established rules. Personally I believe there should be some guarding of the gate to editing by testing. Where else may one apply for a job, be admitted to an institution of education, get a driver's license (there is a written test before one may take an examiner on the road). Fylbecatulous talk 13:23, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support: no need to add to the explanations above. Johnbod (talk) 15:24, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes it has community backing but oppose attempts to make it a guideline or policy.
    I think Wikipedia never solved the problem of how to organize itself in a way that didn't lead to mob rule. On the one hand, it isn't a mob at all. It's highly organized and structured and there's a lot of rules, so it seems like the very opposite of that, right? But on the other hand, the way that the community is organized isn't codified or decided upon in any type of constitutional way. So there might be some people who selectively apply rules according to positions that other people take on their pet issues. And that's inherently unfair, right?
    Because the wording of CIR is extremely vague and sloppy, such as "[editors that] are not capable of contributing in a constructive manner", it is used interchangeably with "I don't like it". WP:DE already addresses all the cases where CIR might be used, and it's phrased much more accurately. Because the Wikipedia community has extreme issues with mob-mentality and playing fast and loose with policy, CIR is supported by many Wikipedians, but mostly because they use it to justify their bad behavior and article ownership. Bright☀ 15:57, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
Agree fully that it doesn't need to be made a guideline or policy because WP:DE addresses its concern, but I think it would be appropriate as an explanatory supplement to elaborate on #Examples of disruptive editing. Especially because it's referred to in that section under WP:LISTEN, and it could clarify the meaning and *its proper use* without being redundant. Rhinopias (talk) 02:54, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - I agree with BrightR that it could use more careful editing, but wholeheartedly agree that this should be an explanatory supplement. Daask (talk) 16:43, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support both in concept and as an explanatory supplement. If you're volunteering your time at the local food bank, it's expected that you know the difference between perishables and non-perishables, if you're volunteering at a animal shelter, it's expected that you won't kick the dogs because they bark at you. Simply put, there are some people who simply are not in any way beneficial to Wikipedia and we have no reason to waste our time keeping them on the project. --Joshualouie711talk 05:14, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
Joshualouie711—when you prevent someone from volunteering at a food bank for failure to distinguish between perishables and non-perishables, or you prevent someone from volunteering any longer at an animal shelter for kicking the dogs, isn't it preferable to cite the infraction specifically rather than say something of a general nature such as "competence is required"? Let us bear in mind that discussion leading to blocking takes place publicly on our notice-boards. Such a moment is an opportunity to articulate what is allowable and what is not allowable at Wiki. The problem I have with CIR is that it covers so many things. I fail to see the wisdom in saying something of a general nature when we are perfectly capable of articulating a reason for blocking that is tailored to the infraction of a particular account. It seems like a lost opportunity to state with exactitude why this action is being taken, necessitated by an impermissible editing pattern. Bus stop (talk) 12:09, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
It is impossible to cover every possible action that might lead a user to being blocked. We can try and mention the most common ones, like vandalism, spam, POV-pushing, legal threats, etc., but there are always gaps. If we have a user who doesn't fall under any of the categories in WP:WHYBLOCK, yet who is obviously disruptive to the project through their own lack of competence, that's when CIR comes in and the user gets blocked (as has happened several times before, for example with UNSC Luke 1021). We can't make a new policy every single time someone gets blocked for something not previously mentioned. --Joshualouie711talk 04:34, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
Look at it this way: blocking for CIR is blocking for what an editor is, something that cannot be measured unless you somehow inspect the person off of Wikipedia. Blocking for DE, or disruption, does indeed cover everything that occurs on Wikipedia, so it's blocking an editor for their actions instead of your perceptions of their actions. Blocking someone "because they're incompetent but not disruptive" is simply blocking someone because you don't like them. If they're disruptive, you can block them for that. If they're not, don't. Bright☀ 07:08, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support as a move in right direction. Wikipedia should give up its antielitism. Also, Arbcom should be replaced with something like an Editorial board, the idea that the Arbs do not intervene in content issues and only consider behavioural issues makes no sense.Miacek (talk) 10:59, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose right now While in general I support the nature of this essay, I feel that it will be too easily used as a ban hammer. I'd like to see this essay improved to emphasise even more inclusivity-before-CIR-quoting and to make sure we avoid 'I don't want to deal with this newb now'-sentiments of our editors/admins. Basically, per Bright☀ —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 11:12, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support CIR is already treated as policy in many scenarios. Let's make it official, since policy pages are to reflect community norms. Bellezzasolo Discuss 12:02, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - competence can separate an editor from a vandal. Kirbanzo (talk) 16:26, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
    Actually, it cannot, because a vandal is a user who is deliberately trying to harm Wikipedia, while an incompetent editor is one who is trying to help in good faith, but lacks the correct abilities to do so. Thanks for your support, but your rationale makes no sense. --Jayron32 17:47, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Just common sense. However, we may want to add a sentence to WP:CIR advising admins to carefully think about if a CIR block is warranted. ThePlatypusofDoom (talk) 00:33, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Competence is required, yes, but making WP:CIR a policy could have a potentially very destructive outcome as admins could just plainly justify their block by CIR. Removing user rights if not used well could be OK but blocking and citing CIR would be very WP:BITEy, even with established contributors. So, I agree that competence is required, but making it a policy could have the same effect as making WP:IAR grounds for blocking. CIR is very evasive and can be interpreted in many ways, so using it as a rationale for blocking is, in my opinion, not a good idea. L293D ( • ) 02:03, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
    Just as a point of order, it has been used in community discussions for years (probably up to a decade or so) as a justification for blocking or banning a user. It is hardly novel, and we're only asking to update the page to correlate with existing practice, which is not very novel at all. --Jayron32 02:21, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
    By way of example, it took be 30 seconds of searching to find it invoked here in 2011, here in 2012 in a topic ban, here in 2012 for an indefinite block, and really, I'm getting tired of searching, because you can find dozens, nay, hundreds of such discussions. If we're already using it this way, it only makes sense to codify it so people know what to expect. We're also not asking to change any existing practice, merely indicate that yes, we do really sometimes ask people to be able to not destroy Wikipedia because they aren't capable of not doing it. --Jayron32 02:30, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
    Blocking a user should be done for disruption, not lack of competence, as there is almost certainly a domain where the editor will have some competence. If it has been done in the past, then so be it. Removing user rights could be justified by CIR, but blocking have the same effect than blocking with IAR as a reason. Morever, almost every 2 days-old user will be incompetent to improve actively the encyclopedia, so would that mean we could block them for CIR? No, but we can for disruption. L293D ( • ) 12:38, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
    This is not a debate to have CIR made policy. Please re-read the proposal.--WaltCip (talk) 13:03, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
Yes it is not, but as standard in these things, people support and oppose something else entirely from the question that was RfCed. You can see that the first three replies, and by extension all the per them below them, support CIR blocks and completely disregard the disastrous effects of blocking editors based on nebulous accusations of competency, as opposed to blocking editors for something concrete like disruption. Such is the decision-making process on Wikipedia... Bright☀ 07:01, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
I'm not concerned about what is supported outside of the original proposed question. I'm more interested in the consensus to have this essay designated as an explanatory supplement. Whether or not you like WP:CIR, and you may certainly have your own valid reasons for opposing it, you cannot deny its existence and the fact that many administrators reflect upon it as a linchpin for dealing with editors who are not constructive to the community. Indeed, "nebulous accusations" shows me that you really haven't read the page as it explains quite clearly what "competence" is in relation to Wikipedia.--WaltCip (talk) 11:05, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
many administrators reflect upon it as a linchpin for dealing with editors who are not constructive to the community Has this been shown in this discussion? I can only find three links (above) to years-old discussions and I don't think these examples constitute a "linchpin". How many CIR blocks have been handed in the last month, and what percentage are they of overall blocks? it explains quite clearly what "competence" is in relation to Wikipedia On the surface that appears to be the case, but WP:CIR isn't quoted when one of the four specified cases occurs—introducing incomprehensible text, introducing unreliable sources, inability to form consensus, introducing significant errors to articles. These four cases are already covered by their respective policies, WP:CIR is used as a catch-all for "I don't like this editor so I'll vaguely claim they're incompetent" with no relation to the four listed reasons. For an immediate example see Cullen328 above saying, paraphrased, "not supporting WP:CIR makes you incompetent"... Bright☀ 05:52, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Competence is required, but it is unnecessary to argue over the changing of one template, and it is not policy nor guideline so using the page to further arguments is just inviting more flame. Esquivalience (talk) 02:47, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. I'll even support in changing it into policy. KingAndGod 15:15, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose changing status of the essay As became apparent in this discussion, this would just be used as a stick to bite, er, beat the newbies. Also, this RfC is flawed, because it asks one question, while apparently seeking to make a change which is not in that question. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:19, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Again, this is not a proposed status change, but a status clarification. CIR’s inclusion on an official guideline page ‘’already’’ gives the implication that it represents the community’s consensus (as an aspect of said guideline). The updating of the template was meant to ‘’reflect’’ this, but it was contested based on the allegation that community consensus does not in fact support CIR. With no on-record consensus either way, a community discussion was needed to settle the disagreement. I don’t know how more up front and clear about the context and intent of the question I could have been, whilst confirming to the RfC guidelines. Swarm 08:34, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support—for the same reason I support the removal of driving licences from drunken drivers. Incompetent though well-meaning editors cause much disruption on WP. Baffle gab1978 19:31, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
We should block drunk editors from Wikipedia. Bright☀ 05:56, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - per "D'oah"! I honestly do not get any of the opposition here. Is competence required? Of course it is; it's required in any and every endeavor one undertakes. Do you seriously think otherwise? Perhaps this Kumbaya, sit around the campfire and pass joints, everyone loves everyone and Wikipedia is our perfect little world crap worked out at one time; it sure doesn't now. We've become the world's go-to choice for facts. We are putting the paper encyclopedias out of business. At some point, we've got to move past the notion that we the editors are what matter and focus on the fact that we are creating a product. It's the product that matters. If competency isn't required, how about you pay me $19,000 to build you a garage? I promise it will fall down ten minutes after I leave. Oh, what's that real world example got to do with this discussion? WAKE UP. Wikipedia is a vital part of the real world. And in the real world, COMPETENCY IS REQUIRED. John from Idegon (talk) 06:18, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
We should definitely block people who make Wikipedia crash ten minutes after they leave. Bright☀ 09:38, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Esperanza and its tortuous history basically is a perfect example of the point you're making, John.--WaltCip (talk) 11:35, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
Esperanza was deleted because it was a social platform ("cabal") on top of Wikipedia that disregarded consensus, which is perfectly unrelated to point John is making, and in any case such behavior is already covered by existing policies. All these arguments really reinforce the notion that people see WP:CIR as a catch-all for opposing anything they don't like. Bright☀ 12:03, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
Not at all unrelated. Point he's making is that focusing indiscriminately on editor care and retention ends up being a net negative to the project, which Esperanza was.--WaltCip (talk)
Esperanza wasn't deleted because it focused on editor care and retention, it was deleted because it created a social platform and disregarded consensus. You are confusing its stated purpose (which it did not fulfill) with the reason it was deleted. The support not-votes use WP:CIR in the way WP:CIRNOT tells them not to use it. There is nothing wrong with civility and editor retention, and editors use CIR to excuse their incivility and to bash other editors for anything they dislike. If you act in a way I don't like, you're incompetent. Bright☀ 12:28, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is focusing indiscriminately on editor care and retention. The central concern here, in my opinion, is that the concrete is preferable to the general. Editor care and retention is irrelevant to stating concretely why the editor should be blocked. Of course competence is required. But incompetence is evidenced by what? That, I think, is our central question. Bus stop (talk) 15:49, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support with major qualification: "competence" is not the right word to use. If you must refer to an editor as incompetent, doing so by pointing to a publicly viewable page such as WP:CIR is exactly the wrong way to do it. Just do it behind their back (e.g. via email) or think it in your head. Calling new editors incompetent in this way will just drive them away whether their intentions are malicious or not, and so calling this "competence is required" seems to violate WP:AGF. However I'm not sure what else it should be called...maybe just that they don't understand WP yet? Every morning (there's a halo...) 21:36, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
Have you actually read WP:CIR?—J. M. (talk) 22:11, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
Honestly, not in a while, but I know it stands for "competence is required", and I have seen it cited enough in discussions here that I think I understand what it means (namely, that an editor who has demonstrated that they are not sufficiently competent to edit Wikipedia in a way that does not reduce the quality of our articles). Perhaps I am wrong and there is some aspect of it my comment above that displays my ignorance. But I would like to clarify that competence is definitely required to edit Wikipedia, and if it is impossible to teach someone to edit competently, then blocking is the only option. Every morning (there's a halo...) 01:28, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
The page says not to call editors incompetent, so it agrees with you. isaacl (talk) 02:35, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
Furthermore, it does not violate AGF, because CIR is all about AGF ("incompetent" editors disrupt Wikipedia in good faith).—J. M. (talk) 12:18, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
  • support Per TonyBallioni. --Dlohcierekim (talk) 02:38, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per TonyBallioni and Yunshui. I trust the admins that block on CIR grounds to continue using their good judgment when blocking on CIR grounds within reason, and to do it in a way that doesn't WP:BITE constructive new users. OhKayeSierra (talk) 02:40, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Merge WP:CIR into WP:DISRUPTSIGNS as a single bullet point and merge WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT and WP:TENDENTIOUS as bullet points while we're at it.
    Wikipedia has an extensive supplement industry
    These essays take specific and identifiable problems that can be attributed to an edit or a group of edits, and generalizes them into an intangible quality of the editor. This creates a convenient way to levy accusations against editors without having to point to any specific actions they took. Merging essays into bullet points will (1) cut down the already-excessive "explanatory supplement" industry, and (2) prevent editors from making vague accusations when they really mean "I don't like it". Bright☀ 06:06, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
    • You're proposing that two fully-developed pages be reduced into bullet points. This is a terrible idea. Swarm 07:04, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
These essays elucidate nothing and pile on more verbiage. There is nothing in those essays that's not already included in WP:DE and can't be sharpened with a bullet point, instead of blurred with sloppy wording. Bright☀ 16:26, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support the community already treats CIR as if it has official weight behind it, and I see no reason why we shouldn't reflect that reality on the page itself. Lepricavark (talk) 18:11, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong support - It's no longer 2005, not everyone has the skills needed to contribute to what has become the premiere initial source of information on the Internet. If we're going to continue to safeguard that position, we need to be able to weed out editors who just don't have those skills, at least as of yet. Beyond My Ken (talk) 20:12, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
It's no longer 2005. The year is irrelevant. The onus always is on the blocking admin to tailor a response to the case at hand. The individual is understood to bring good qualities as well as unacceptable qualities. We are not rejecting everything they bring to their editing methodology. There is a burden on us to state the reason(s) in their particular case that they are being blocked. Bus stop (talk) 14:19, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Yes, there are some good thoughts and concepts in WP:CIR, but there is a whole lot of stuff in there that should not be elevated into pseudo policy as this would do, and a lot of other flaws in there......for example, saying that someone needs to have all of those capabilities to do any editing in English Wikipedia.....they certainly don't need the ability to evaluate sources to to do gnome editing on grammar and spelling. So, even though there are good thoughts and concepts in there, it would be a massive case of wp:creep to create about 10 new flawed rules as this would do. North8000 (talk) 14:50, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Time for a snow close. This has been running for over two weeks and is currently one of the clearest "white as snow" RfCs I've seen in a long time. How about closing this now? -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 15:02, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Sure, it's passing, but no need to dis (disregard) the 15 editors who spoke up against it with good points. Dicklyon (talk) 15:07, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  •  ?? I have said nothing about other commenters. Feel free to delete your slur and this response. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 15:24, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  • slur? Oh please. Even "disrespect" would not be a slur, and parenthetically they wrote "disregard". How is that a slur? Also, you are calling for a "snow close" immediately after "North8000" weighed in with an "oppose" !vote. Bus stop (talk) 15:42, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Dicklyon wrote: "... to dis (disregard) the 15 editors who spoke up against it with good points. "
To "dis" means to "put down". I had not commented on or thought of anything but the fact that this was an overwhelming snow situation. There wasn't even any "disregard" for those editors.
The immediately preceding !vote had ZERO to do with my comment. The timing was simply a fluke. Try to AGF. There is no justification for any aggression. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 04:09, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
They said there is no need to dis (disregard) the 15 editors who spoke up against it. We have whiteout conditions, also known as WP:SNOW conditions, when almost all !voters take one side on an issue. They were saying, if I can paraphrase, that it is premature to declare whiteout conditions when 15 oppose !votes can be seen in the blizzard wearing non-snow-colored outerwear. Bus stop (talk) 06:42, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Close as no consensus - Any time we are changing the status of an essay, the consensus needs to be more or less unanimous. Such is not the case here.--WaltCip (talk) 17:24, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
As someone who hasn't voted here.....I say perhaps all read over {{Supplement}} and WP:INFOPAGES. As for consensus.'s pretty clear the vast majority think change the essay tag is a positive things. In fact it seems like most of the opposing votes seem not to understand that the proposal is about changing the type of essay tag/banner.....not promoting the page to a policy or guidline.--Moxy (talk) 05:43, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
Which opposing votes seem not to understand that the proposal is about changing the type of essay tag/banner...? Bus stop (talk) 06:25, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
As seen above this was pointed out by others on more the a few occasions. I think the proposal is the problem....and the length of this talk...we really are not going to expect all to read the wall of text to see the clarification are we.--Moxy (talk) 06:42, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
    • That is a messed up attempt to dismiss a strong consensus. First, opposers need to quit misrepresenting the question as an attempt to upgrade this to a policy, when it was a straightforward attempt to clarify the allegation that the community doesn’t agree with the essay (in spite of the inclusion on an official guideline page). That allegation has been overwhelmingly proven to be false, rendering the matter resolved (pending the formality of a close). Second, even if it ‘’was’’ what you’re misrepresenting it as, your claim that it needs to be near-unanimous is nothing short of fabricated and not grounded in any sort of policy or precedent. I’m seriously offended at this attempt to willfully misrepresent consensus. Swarm 07:41, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment - I think that the essay focuses on each person's current competences, as if they are fixed. I think that it should be rewrittn, so it encourages people to learn new competences. --NaBUru38 (talk) 19:46, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment regardless of whether an editor is competent or incompetent, calling them incompetent is a personal attack, and moreover, as User:NaBUru38 points out, is very counter to the best practice of encouraging growth mindset. I think that we should move away from relying on this essay as it is unnecessarily inflammatory, and the issues it addresses can be dealth with more sensatively. CapitalSasha ~ talk 22:12, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support as "explanatory supplement to WP:DE". Makes sense and quite useful. --K.e.coffman (talk) 00:50, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Neutral. On the one hand, practice is policy, but on the other, the title is a bit on the BITEy side, so I can't support. — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 17:49, 10 May 2018 (UTC)

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

The mess of actors by medium

I tried to start a CfD on this issue. It can be reached if you go to Category:Film actors and follow the lead. So far, it has very little participation, and one long winded, mean spirited objection. This despite the fact I literally went through 100 articles in preparation for the nomination, and demonstrated that in over 90% of those television actress articles there was overlap with other mediums. I also pointed out multiple cases, such as Star Trek, where the same actors played the same roles in both TV and film. This is about the only case where someone woould be so rude in response to someone having literally posted 79 categories to the nomination. Then there was a complaint about not posting to projects. Well, I tried to post to projects, but the guidelines on CfD in no way make it obvious how to post to projects. I tried to post to individual editors too, but the posting heading provided was just not working. This needs a wide discussion, but the general response exemplified by some commentators at CfD to just be rude to those who do not do the impossible of posting a proposal onto thousands of categories is troublesome. With the rise of categories like Category:American web series actors do we really want to categorize actors by how the creatin they were in was distributed. What are made for TV film actors? What about films first released on netflix? Where are the lines?John Pack Lambert (talk) 18:34, 5 May 2018 (UTC)

The original poster refers to this. --NaBUru38 (talk) 19:47, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

Solve legal uncertainty of Wikidata

Hello everybody,

There is a phabricator ticket on Solve legal uncertainty of Wikidata that you might be interested to look at and participate in.

As Denny suggested in the ticket to give it more visibility through the discussion on the Wikidata chat, I thought it was interesting to highlight it a bit more. Please be bold in fostering the word wherever it might seems appropriate to you.

Cheers, Psychoslave (talk) 08:03, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

Articles about survivors of the Parkland shooting

It seems to be a violation of WP:BLP1E to have articles about the survivors of the Parkland shooting. I'm uncertain whether this extends to survivors who have been involved in major activist movements surrounding the event (my intuition is that they too do not pass WP:BLP1E, which would mean removing David Hogg and others). Regardless, the case of students who are only notable for expressing opinions on television, such as Kyle Kashuv, seems to be a clear violation of WP:BLP1E.

Because of the multi-article nature of this issue and its inherently political nature, I figured that it was best to come here first, as opposed to filing a dispute on those pages right off the bat. When Kyle Kashuv was nominated for deletion, editors voted to keep on the grounds that Kashuv was a "conservative media darling". However, their status as a darling is only relevant in connection to the event that made them famous, and doesn't seem to be sufficiently distinct from it to not violate WP:BLP1E. David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez were nominated for deletion toward the end of February, and the decision was keep due to the fact that media coverage had yet to wane. I'd argue that this itself is a violation of WP:TOOSOON, but that point is moot. Media coverage has now waned, and the activists of Never Again MSD have yet to be known for anything not related to that event.

These articles amount to self-promotion; it's absurd that teenagers who have been politically active for all of three months already have extremely detailed Wikipedia pages. Yes, part of this is due to the media attention and not necessarily the conceited work of promoters, but Wikipedia is not a news source and we should not be blindly following the lead of mass media sources and creating personality cults around teenagers. The fact that self-promotional content has been removed to provide a relatively neutral POV does not address the issue that creating the article in the first place was an act of self-promotion. Rosguill (talk) 08:01, 9 May 2018 (UTC)

Why are you saying that the creation of the articles was an act of self-promotion? Did the subjects of these articles create them? It seems to me that the news coverage of these individuals is more based on their activism than on their role in the shooting, so it's not clear to me that BLP1E applies. CapitalSasha ~ talk 09:03, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
Having nominated Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/David Hogg (which I do not regret - I still think it should've been deleted at the time) - I do think Hogg passes WP:GNG for multiple events presently - as evidenced by a simple search for in google news - he is continuing to receive significant coverage for his activism (which is separate from the shooting, though drawing on it). I do however suspect that some of the other student survivors may not be notable going forward - but it is probably best to assess that in a year or so - seeing they (or many of them) passed AfD.Icewhiz (talk) 09:08, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
I agree with these statements. My original reason for arguing that even the more prominent activists are BLP1E is because I viewed their activism as essentially belonging to the same event as their original cause of notability.Rosguill (talk) 17:05, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
Frankly I find your rationale for deletion for articles such as David Hogg based on them being "teenagers" to be somewhat puzzling. I await your call to delete Lamiya Aji Bashar's article.--WaltCip (talk) 13:08, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
I would say that it's less that they're teenagers, and more that they've been politically active for less than half a year, around a single cause, directly related a single event without which they would not have received attention. Lamiya Aji Bashar has won a significant award, which is an immediate criterion for inclusion. Rosguill (talk) 17:05, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
Many notable people can probably trace much of their career back to a single event. BIO1E says that we shouldn't have articles about people who are only notable for their role in a single event. But if that event leads to other things, then that's not just one event anymore. CapitalSasha ~ talk 20:03, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
  • I find disturbing the presumption that because a person is a survivor of the Parkland shooting, they now become permanently ineligible to have an article at Wikipedia about themselves, regardless of whatever else they do with their lives. It is self-evident that both of the cited examples, Hogg and Gonzalez, have articles that clearly demonstrate that they have done much more than simply being in the building when the shooting happened. If it were true that all that had been written about them was their presence in the building that day, then the OP may have a point, but in choosing examples to support their thesis, they have completely invalidated it. Hogg and Gonzalez have both received ample coverage of events in their lives which happened besides the shooting. If a specific individual were only noted in reliable sources solely because of their presence there, I would support deletion of that article. But the idea that because they were there, then their article should be deleted regardless of what else has been written about them seems very odd. I can in no way support such a notion. --Jayron32 14:01, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure where you see that I argue that any of these people are permanently illegible. My original position was that despite receiving attention from multiple news sources over the course of weeks, this attention was all sourced to a single event and its direct aftermath, and that it's misleading to conclude from this that they thus have lasting relevance beyond this event.Rosguill (talk) 17:05, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
Every person you have cited above has information on coverage of multiple events which have occured at different dates, times, and places than the shooting itself. For that reason, they have perfectly legitimate reasons for supporting an existing article. To claim otherwise would be like claiming Martin Luther was ineligible because he was known for one event (nailing a piece of paper to a door), and that everything he did after that was related to that one event. --Jayron32 17:12, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
  • They're not actually being covered as "survivors of the Parkland shooting". Our article is quite clear - there were about 900 students in the building, if we were just covering the survivors we would have 900 articles, while we only have 10 or so, and they weren't really that involved in the event itself. They're being covered as activists related to gun safety (or gun rights). Being an activist is not an event, it is more of an occupation - we've lots and lots of articles about activists. So they happened to become activists because of an event very near them, that doesn't make them unique, plenty of activists become activists because of some specific event. --GRuban (talk) 14:30, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
This argument convinces me with respect to the more prominent of the leaders of Never Again MSD.Rosguill (talk) 17:05, 9 May 2018 (UTC)

Policy based RfC

An RfC of probable interest is published at Wikipedia talk:Appealing a block#RfC about appealing a block and Wikipedia "standard offer". Thank you and please act accordingly--John Cline (talk) 16:53, 10 May 2018 (UTC)

Edit notices in mainspace

List of countries by intentional homicide rate currently includes two mainspace notes about article maintenance which are visible to all readers ("Note: Please update the UNODC tables only with UNODC data.", "Data from other sources will be removed."). As I don't recall seeing any such permanent editorial meta-comments in other articles, I'd like to know if there is a policy or guideline about them.--eh bien mon prince (talk) 16:05, 12 May 2018 (UTC)

Wikipe-tan RFC

There is an RFC at WT:Wikipe-tan#RFC about including verbiage about the proposed deletions of WP:Wikipe-tanBillHPike (talk, contribs) 18:29, 12 May 2018 (UTC)

Cutting down the excessive length and inconsistency of Wikipedia policy supplementary essays

Closing before this turns into drama. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:18, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

What is being done to reduce Wikipedia's excessively long loose collection of "explanatory supplements" that are inconsistently applied in antagonizing and persecuting ways? Bright☀ 09:52, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

Happening now at WMF HQ
A crack team of WMF secret against are working on it right now. I believe the plan is to parachute into the servers at night and begin asassinating rogue explanatory supplyuments, which, as your question has conclusively proven, are a huge problem in need of immediate drastic measures. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:05, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
Bad tactics Beeblebrox, typical of WMF. They're sure to get tripped up by the flow of bits and bytes created by people trying to build an encyclopedia. John from Idegon (talk) 18:15, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
That's a good start on typing "agents", but the rest needs some work. Supplyuments is beyond help. ―Mandruss  10:41, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
Agree. We don't have to dot the i's and cross the t's. Bus stop (talk) 13:32, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
This dismissive attitude is toxic to the improvement of Wikipedia. Bright☀ 14:16, 16 May 2018 (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.


Why was the above section locked? Bright's question seemed sincere, but was followed by some flippant remarks, so then the whole thing was closed by TonyBallioni? Am I missing something here?Egaoblai (talk) 16:52, 16 May 2018 (UTC)

Because the only thing keeping it open would have led to was more hurt feelings and drama. TonyBallioni (talk) 16:57, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
I think the fundamental issue with the question as phrased was its vagueness. There may indeed be a problem about too much rules and instruction on Wikipedia, but it would be more helpful if a specific rule or instruction was identified so that we could discuss it more substantively, as opposed to remaining in generalities. Mz7 (talk) 02:00, 17 May 2018 (UTC)

WP:SYNCing the section "AR-15 style rifle" of the article "Colt AR-15" to the lead of its parent article

Forum shopping. --NeilN talk to me 22:43, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should the section Colt AR-15#AR-15 style rifle be a (verbatim or nearly so) copy of the lead of its main article AR-15 style rifle, as per WP:SYNC? Waleswatcher (talk) 21:28, 16 May 2018 (UTC)


There has been a lot of controversy over whether articles on specific firearms or classes of firearms should include information on crimes and mass shootings. Briefly, those in favor of inclusion argue that these events are extremely notable so that it would violate NPOV to leave then out, and further, that a large fraction of users coming to these articles are either looking for information on the shooting itself or seeking further information on the gun that was used, and would benefit from confirmation that they reading the right article. Those opposed feel the articles should focus on the characteristics of the firearm itself, and therefore, that information on crimes committed with them is out of place. (This brief summary obviously does not do justice to this debate!) Recent discussions of this include Talk:Colt AR-15#RfC: Port Arthur Massacre and Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 142#RfC: Coverage of mass shootings in firearms articles, both of which turned out in favor of inclusion of mass shootings, and a long and exhausting discussion on the current talk page Talk:Colt AR-15.

This RfC is not intended to settle this debate. In fact, it is entirely neutral with regard to that question. Instead, it is just a policy question asking whether WP:SYNC should apply to Colt AR-15#AR-15 style rifle. The virtue of this would be that as a copy of the lead of another article, there would no longer be any need to debate the content of that section. Instead, debate on this could focus exclusively on the lead of AR-15 style rifle. If a consensus is reached and the lead of AR-15 style rifle changes (for instance, to remove information on mass shootings), the section Colt AR-15#AR-15 style rifle could be changed too without any additional debate. So this is simply a technical mechanism to save time for everyone. (I included the language "verbatim or nearly so" to allow for a little flexibility in case some wording needs to be adjusted to make sense for a section rather than a lead, but not to allow so much freedom that there are arguments over what counts as close enough.)

Note that the recent discussion Talk:Colt AR-15#AR-15_style_rifle_subsection, which ended with editors split 10-10, was on a related but different proposal (to add some content taken from the current lead of AR-15 style rifle, but only some of the content and not to sync the articles "permanently").

Survey question

Should the section Colt AR-15#AR-15 style rifle be a (verbatim or nearly so) copy of the lead of its main article AR-15 style rifle, as per WP:SUMMARY and WP:SYNC?

Straw-poll: Yes or no?

  • Yes, per the motivation above. Waleswatcher (talk) 21:29, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
  • NO, I recommend that Waleswatcher read Wikipedia:Forum shopping.--RAF910 (talk) 21:49, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
  • NO There was already a lengthy discussion about this on the Talk:Colt AR-15 page, over the past few days (and still technically active), there was no consensus to support this edit, so now this user is resorting to forum shopping. We need an uninvolved admin to close this now, review and close the discussion there and perhaps have a policy and guideline review with the OP here. - theWOLFchild 22:38, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
It's not the same proposal, as noted above. This poll is over whether the content should be synced with the content of the lead of AR-15 style rifle, not what that content should be. 22:53, 16 May 2018 (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.

Admin. supported agenda pushing at WP:N

Don't use this venue to forum shop, or cast unwarranted aspersions against editors you disagree with. Reyk YO! 11:01, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The notability guideline is supposed to be for the benefit of all of Wikipedia. However, we have a small group who want to "get the guideline to match what we do over at AfD" for the sole benefit of only the folks over at AfD. The most troubling part about this is that one of the group is an admin. who is supposed to represent the interests of everyone, yet they insist that they ignore all the rules over at AfD and what they practice over there (their specific agenda) should be pushed over to the guideline. The relevant discussions are here and here. Huggums537 (talk) 10:17, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

Requesting more eyes at the ongoing discussion here concerning the above referenced matter. Thanks very much. Huggums537 (talk) 10:17, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

  • Wow. Huggums537: if you have an issue with any of my actions, take it to WP:ANI, not VPP. We’re talking about the removal of one sentence that is covered in the guideline better elsewhere, has support for removal on the talk page, and where removal matches current practice. While I find your assumptions around my diabolical nature intriguing, this really is how Wikipedia works, and I’m pretty experienced in this regard. Also, I think someone should close this RfC as you aren’t actually asking a question and are just ranting. Like I said, take me to ANI if you have concerns. TonyBallioni (talk) 10:57, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

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

RfC about user page guideline WP:POLEMIC

WP:POLEMIC currently states: ‘’Material that can be viewed as attacking other editors, including the recording of perceived flaws. The compilation of factual evidence (diffs) in user subpages, for purposes such as preparing for a dispute resolution process, is permitted provided it will be used in a timely manner.’’

Please select one of the following choices to keep, remove or modify the phrase “timely manner”:

  1. Keep as is
  2. Replace with: ‘’ not permitted as it could be misused or misconstrued as a threat or WP:HOUND
  3. within 30 days
  4. within 45 days
  5. within 60 days

Thank you...Atsme📞📧 14:10, 18 May 2018 (UTC)


  • 2 - history indicates that such compilations have been used (perceived or otherwise) to threaten and/or hound editors who represent “the opposition” in controversial articles. Atsme📞📧 14:10, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 3- although the use of user space to compile a dispute resolution case is legit, leaving it as "in a timely manner" is basically an invitation to let it languish forever. A strict time limit needs to apply. Reyk YO! 14:29, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 3 - Pretty much agree with Reyk, though I would consider more of a 15 days since last substantial edit to the page, 30 days from initial creation. My reasoning is that I think 30 days is a little too long unless you are actively preparing some sort of dispute resolution case. --Kyohyi (talk) 14:38, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 1 - It is better for that drama to just "sit" and die off somewhere in userspace. Do we really want an automatically started incident thread, 30 days after every such thing? wumbolo ^^^ 15:38, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 1 or 60-90 days. These things can take time. Because the target is (in this case) attempting to sabotage the collection of evidence (just as Trump is attempting to dictate the terms of the Mueller investigation), the clock should be restarted and the diff collector given even more time. That should teach the target to not obstruct justice. See my comment below. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 16:11, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 1 "Timely" should not be a hard-and-fast rule. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 16:14, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 1. What is an appropriate time will vary based on the situation. Natureium (talk) 17:15, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 3 Seems like the best fit, I like the spirit of timely but it is to open to gaming. Perhaps a provision for an extension after 30 days if a good explanation is provided, otherside it festers and creates problems. PackMecEng (talk) 17:40, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 1.5 - I don't like arbitrary time limits, but I also don't see any reason for such material to stay visible outside of when the user is actively working on it. I would add a provision to the current version like A page containing such material should be blanked upon request when not actively in use.. While the user is working on it (in their current session), they can restore it from the edit history of the page, and while they are not working on it, its hidden from view to avoid the polemic nature. -- Netoholic @ 17:52, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 0.5 - remove the "provided..." clause or keep as is. DexDor (talk) 18:53, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 1 or 5+ these things take time. If a case is to go to ArbCom one needs to demonstrate both prior resolution attempts and a long term pattern. There can be months from the time a problem becomes apparent until it can be sufficiently documented for ArbCom to do something about it. Such pages should not be kept on prominent display, e.g. do not collect/post evidence on your user page, but having such a sub-page where others must go looking for it should be OK.
    Beyond that, if there is a long term issue one wishes to document it can take quite a bit of time to dig through various editor and page histories to find diffs and figure out how to properly present the information. Most editors will not want to drop everything simply to research and write up a case but instead will work on it as time permits. Thirty or even sixty days is not very long considering this is a volunteer project and that documenting misbehavior is not why people want to spend their time editing here. Jbh Talk 19:55, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 0.5 per DexDor. Such a list can be a useful thing to have in your back pocket as a way to document and recognize problematic editing patterns, which may or may not lead to dispute resolution etc. It should be kept discreetly on a user subpage without prominent links or polemic commentary.
If such lists are being used problematically, then the problematic behavior should be addressed. In particular they should not be trotted out during talk page discussions unless a formal complaint or accusation is being made. –dlthewave 22:08, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 1 I think such lists can be an element of hounding, but in of themselves they aren't hounding. For example, if you made a list like this and then went around posting links to it on article talk pages or other discussions with the target editor, then that'd be hounding. Not quite the same thing, but some editor took part of a discussion I had with him and featured it prominently on his user page (presumably to make some kind of point) but I only happened to see that by coincidence and we haven't otherwise interacted, so why should I care? Same with a list of diffs like this. If they're just keeping the list on their page, then what harm is it? Just don't go to their user page if you don't like it. Also, there's a very easy solution: if you don't want someone to make a list of diffs of you violating policy, then don't violate policy. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 04:34, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 1 per WP:AINTBROKE and the note at the top of this page about not using this page to settle disputes about implementation of policy. POLEMIC is working just fine. As the discussion bellow is showing, the line between good-faith collection of evidence for dispute resolution versus malicious persecution is not a bright one, and is best decided on a case-by-case basis. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 10:53, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 1 It's fine. Dispute resolution can be protracted and subject to changing deadlines/late closures/etc. No need to put a hard deadline on something. As Ivan said, if it ain't broke... ~ Amory (utc) 12:02, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 2 there's no reason for this kind of stuff to be publicly accessible, keep it on your own computer until you're ready to stand behind it. CapitalSasha ~ talk 13:54, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 1 defining hard limits is rarely useful. If it wasn't good on day 31, it also wasn't fine on day 29. 2 would be my second choice. --Jayron32 14:44, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 1 (or 0.5) - There's no need for a strictly-defined time limit. Much wasted time could be avoided if some users would simply refrain from snooping though other user's subpages for whatever drama that they can stir up. We should also stop misusing the word "polemic", which has nothing to do with the compilation of factual evidence (diffs). - MrX 🖋 12:52, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
  • 0.5, remove time constraint completely. Why on earth is this not given as an option? Such apparent bias compromises the credibility of the RFC. The intro says: "Please select one of the following choices to keep, remove or modify the phrase “timely manner”", but there is in fact no remove option. Johnbod (talk) 15:32, 21 May 2018 (UTC)


  • "Hounding" obviously can't apply. That applies to not only aggressively and pointedly following another editor around, but actually disruptively taunting them and/or disturbing edits they have made which were uncontroversial and proper. (Watching disruptive editors, socks, and vandals and fixing their errors is not hounding, even though it involves following them around. That is actually our duty as editors. We must protect the encyclopedia.) An editor's subpage which is not advertised and only known to a few is not a threat or hounding. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 14:21, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
I disagree - I've known instances where one editor starts the diff page, then follows the target editor to collect "add-as-you-go" diffs each time they "believe" the target editor does something they don't like, especially if the diff collector is a seasoned editor who knows how to game the system. I've even seen diffs collected that were not representative of incivility at all - just content disputes, and even legitimate actions were added to the collection, knowing few admins have/take the time to read them all but it looks bad nonetheless - and that is HOUND. Atsme📞📧 15:34, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
Quietly collecting diffs is not hounding. Hounding involves public action negative to their target, which the target immediately knows about, as described above. And it doesn't include what the target "perceives" as simply negative, but what normal others would perceive as "unjustly" negative. The perceptions of paranoid people, or those with a guilty conscience, don't count. You're misusing the term.
It especially doesn't apply to the situation upon which this whole thread is about, a target going to the diff collector's private userpage and loudly and publicly complaining (Streisand effect!!), and then starting an MfD. That's like Trump complaining about the Mueller investigation, and then getting all his staff to complain as well. (He's supposed to ignore it and never talk about it.) That's what's happening. Trump (and the target here) should not talk to the diff collector about it or mention the investigation (or the diff page). Obstruction of justice is a crime (which can be committed by completely innocent people), and interfering with the collection of diffs for a possible noticeboard or AE case is a form of obstruction. It's wrong to do that. The target needs to stay away from the very topic, and the private userpage, since this was done very discreetly. It was the target who publicized it. They exercised bad faith by making it public.
Having some reasonable time limit is another matter. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 16:05, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
  • There is a difference between privately collecting diffs for a complaint and keeping a bunch of diffs or quotes around to shame, harass or poison the well for others dealing with an editor. The later, which includes keeping unattributed quotes and/or quotes stripped of context on one's user page is much, much worse than collecting diffs on a page which no one who is not looking for it will see it. Jbh Talk 20:04, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
  • I tend to use this template for nearly everything in my userspace:
  • {{NOINDEX|visible = yes}}
I suggest it should be used for the type of page under discussion. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 20:14, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
User pages and subpages already have <meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow"/> in their HTML heads.- MrX 🖋 13:02, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
  • @Atsme and Bullrangifer: I take it this is related to an ongoing dispute involving some sort of "target"? –dlthewave 22:09, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
It's a proposed change for a guideline based on a history of disputes for the same/similar issues and it has become clear that the guideline needs clarity. Read the options and cast your iVote - try to imagine yourself in the shoes of the page owner and the targeted editor, and make your decision. Atsme📞📧 22:28, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
That is nonsense. The issue concerns this MfD. Johnuniq (talk) 23:40, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
Are you considering it nonsense based on your personal experiences as a targeted editor, Johuniq? If the latter is the case, please substantiate your "nonsense" position by providing the diffs so others can weigh-in. It would be quite helpful. Atsme📞📧 03:02, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
That's just a CIVIL auto-response that evades the issue. Someone asked if the proposal here was related to a dispute, and I provided the link to show where the dispute can be seen. The close of the MfD specified a date beyond which the diff-collection will be regarded as polemic and deleted so, once again, Wikipedia's model of not trying to specify rules that precisely cover every situation is shown to be working. Johnuniq (talk) 04:12, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
Your preconceived notions are not helpful. My position is still NO, and your naming that MfD for WP:POINT was not only wrong, it was disruptive. Stop reflecting your POV onto me. This RfC is the product of other incidents I recalled with a measure of trepidation, dating back at least 3 years - an accumulation of incidents that have caused disruption. I’m of the mind that waiting and watching one’s opposition for the purpose of collecting diffs-on-the-fly is the same as HOUNDING, and an impediment to an editor’s ability to express free thought for fear it will be misconstrued or taken out of context and wrongfully used against them. It’s one thing to collect diffs that already exist in preparation of filing at AE or ANI which should not take more than 30 days...not to mention the fact that a simple text program off-WP will serve the same pupose without creating a hostile environment in an effort to rid oneself of the opposition. Atsme📞📧 13:37, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
Your opinion about what is and isn't hounding is far from being a reasonable interpretation of the policy. And frankly, someone who has a history of problematic behaviour refraining from said behaviour because they know it will be recorded is a good thing. There should be a hostile environment for them. Oh and lastly: you have no right to express free thought on Wikipedia. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:49, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
RfCs don't usually come out of the blue, and anyone proposing a change to a guideline should present a compelling reason to do so. @Atsme: If you're aware of a history of issues related to this, or a particular discussion that your concerns arose from, it would be helpful to post links here. This is usually done as part of opening the RfC. –dlthewave 14:24, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
No one said this RfC came out of the blue, but I’m not going to mislead anyone by saying it was the result of one specific MfD. I already explained my reason...and quite frankly, I see some of these polemic pages as nothing more than “opposition research” but I’m just 1 iVote. The community will decide, and it doesn’t require me providing links to deleted pages or past MfDs that once caused some editors grief. I’m trying to avoid disruption and retain editors, which happens to be my main motivation for this RfC - eliminating the ambiguity by setting a time limit or disallowing the practice all together. Based on my years editing here, it is quite obvious that when an editor is truly disruptive, it won’t be difficult to provide 4 or 5 diffs as evidence without any need for explanation, and that’s something that can be kept in a text file off-WP. If it takes months to collect diffs, and you’re doing it on the fly in an effort to provide evidence that isn’t plainly evident, that’s the first 🚩. It’s a poop or get off the pot process. Atsme📞📧 15:15, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

It seems that I am in the minority but I feel pretty strongly that these sorts of pages should not exist. It cannot be a nice feeling to have a page in existence that is accumulating evidence of your supposed misdeeds, when you have no way of challenging this evidence or otherwise defending yourself. Even if the page is not being publicly waved around, if the editor in question knows of its existence then the effect is nearly the same. Editors who want to complain about other editors' behavior should assemble a case in private, take it expediently through the proper channels, and obtain a swift resolution. They shouldn't be allowed to make public lists of others' behavior that they don't like with the threat of someday using it to lodge a complaint. CapitalSasha ~ talk 21:19, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

Anyone concerned about the existence of polemic pages (aka diff collections or shit lists) can relax because they are prohibited and will be deleted. The only point of contention concerns the period of time allowed before such a compilation is used on a noticeboard, whereupon the original compilation should be deleted (and will be deleted if taken to MfD). Clearly six months is too long, and one week is too short. The closing statement for the MfD that led to this discussion has it exactly correct. Another potential problem concerns someone who makes it known that they have a diff collection, for example, by posting a link to it. That would be a sign of battleground behavior that would encourage deletion of the page. Johnuniq (talk) 00:10, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
I don't really understand the difference between what is being discussed here and a diff collection. Even if someone doesn't advertise that they have a collection, it still shows up in recent changes and so may be noticed by others. These lists should be private, i.e. off-wiki. CapitalSasha ~ talk 04:34, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
Lots of sub-optimal things happen at Wikipedia and collecting evidence in public is one of them. However, such activity is accepted as sometimes necessary because it is important to get the wikitext correct and tested before inflicting it on a noticeboard. If anyone knows of a page like that which is more than a couple of months old, please provide a link for assessment in order to have the page deleted per WP:POLEMIC. Johnuniq (talk) 07:20, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
I don't find this argument at all convincing. Checking that the wiki text is correct is what page preview is for. Fixing the formatting definitely doesn't take weeks or months as is being discussed. It seems to me that the benefit of creating these sorts of public diff lists is the psychological feeling that other people are reading the evidence that one is compiling, even if outwardly one says they aren't advertising it. This strikes me as behavior that should be banned. CapitalSasha ~ talk 19:57, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
Getting the wikitext for complex evidence correct is a lot harder than it appears, however my purpose in posting in this section was merely to report current procedure and I wouldn't mind a speedy-delete category for a page with a diff collection older than 7 days. Johnuniq (talk) 22:51, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Johnbod - see #2. It removes the time frame. Also, MfD is used to delete dubious collections and there appears to be some concern for anything longer than 2 wks to a month is obliquely used to HOUND. Atsme📞📧 16:27, 21 May 2018 (UTC)

Suspend page move rights for new editors?

 Administrator note: The account in question below was autoconfirmed, having been registered for 4 days with at least 10 edits, just noting that "new editors" below the confirmation threshold are already prevented from moves. — xaosflux Talk 14:38, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

L_O_M_G_B_O_Y_E registered 3 days ago and was able to do this. While I appreciate that we don't want to make editing too restrictive for new users I can't think of any good reason why we would want a brand new account to start moving around articles. Is it worth considering suspending page move rights for a month or two until the editor beds in? Betty Logan (talk) 05:36, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

It's still the encyclopedia anyone can edit. I doubt this is necessary just because of occasional vandalism from Milly on Mheels. They'll find other things to do if we block this. (those things not listed per WP:BEANS) power~enwiki (π, ν) 05:40, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
It happens far too often with India-related stuff. No idea about other topic areas. - Sitush (talk) 05:44, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
It's just another form of the low level of vandalism that's inherent in being an open encyclopedia. I don't see any reason to block this particular form of it. CapitalSasha ~ talk 05:47, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
It isn't always low level, eg: articles with few watchers being moved to POV titles. - Sitush (talk) 05:50, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
To add to that it is a specific type of vandalism that sometimes causes massive inconvenience. For example, if they had simply vandalised those pages in the conventional sense then any run of the mill editor could have reverted the edits, but sometimes page moves can be a real hassle to get fixed. Betty Logan (talk) 05:51, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
Betty's is a key point. If page moves were always easy to revert, there would be little problem, but too often these moves create a significant mess, one which an average, even experienced user cannot fix with ease. HiLo48 (talk) 05:56, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
A recent example was Mannanars (Thiyya Dynasty), which was one of several pov moves made at that time. - Sitush (talk) 05:58, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

Some functions should be reserved for experienced editors, and that doesn't impinge on the ability of unregistered and new editors to make actual edits. This is one function which should be off-limits to them. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 05:48, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

Agree. L_O_M_G_B_O_Y_E was able to move 20 pages to nonsense names within 5 minutes, and I guess would have continued if he hadn't been caught and blocked at the end of that time. As Betty says, 'ordinary' vandalism is a nuisance, but page-move vandalism can be a real pain; and as BullRangifer says, there's no particular reason for new users to be instantly able to move pages.
L_O_M_G_B_O_Y_E was presumably autoconfirmed. Perhaps page move rights should be delayed until a user reaches extended-confirmed status? — Stanning (talk) 10:13, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
One user moved a couple dozen pages. Not the end of the world. As has been alluded to above, we've faced far worse and managed to stay afloat. AC is a fine limit, and while EC would certainly be harder to get to, it would stop a lot of good, new editors from contributing. Besides, vandals gonna vandal. ~ Amory (utc) 12:05, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
Amory, let's not use the exact same "logic" the NRA uses to keep AR-15s in the hands of those who can use them to cause much damage. Newbies will not suffer from a lack of the ability to move pages. It will not impinge on their ability to edit and improve the encyclopedia at all. If they really feel the need to move an article, they can ask on the talk page and it will be done, if it's a good idea. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 14:17, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
@BullRangifer: Nice sarcasm. NRA does exactly what Amory opposes. Guns only for the experienced, mature, clean and documented civilians. wumbolo ^^^ 14:32, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
Would you kindly rephrase? You seem to be comparing a silly vandal to mass murderers, with me abetting such crimes. That's inflammatory at best, and insulting at worst, and I do not believe it helps your argument. ~ Amory (utc) 14:39, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
I'm only referring to the logic being used. That's all. Change the names and it becomes a combination of NRA talking points, especially the last do-nothingism because vandals/criminals will always do what they're going to do, so let's not do a thing to prevent it. That type of logic isn't useful when we can easily prevent this type of problem without impinging on their ability to do actual editing. BTW, from what's written below about a filter, this may all be a moot point now. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 14:53, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
Except guns kill people, and page moves don't kill people. power~enwiki (π, ν) 22:28, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
Except guns don't kill people, people kill people. wumbolo ^^^ 22:30, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
Way to parrot an NRA talking point. People kill people, but guns broadly and greatly expand the number of people who can kill other people. Seriously, a bit of critical thinking wouldn't hurt.--WaltCip (talk) 11:11, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
@WaltCip: and therefore minimize the number of people killed, by preventing violence. wumbolo ^^^ 12:39, 21 May 2018 (UTC)

Page moves for the last ten years have been well managed by Filter 68. I suspect the feature is currently experiencing a bug, else it would have been picked up, prevented, AND auto-reported to AIV. In any case the filter is the ideal tool for this as opposed to various blunt restrictions; requested adjustments to the filter can be made at WP:EFR, but like I say, I think it's just experiencing a bug. -- zzuuzz (talk) 14:26, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

OK, having looked a bit deeper there may or may not be a bug, but all that's required is a subtle adjustment to the filter. -- zzuuzz (talk) 14:33, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
I see no reason why page moves can't be pushed to EC, as long as article creation is still at AC. Creating a new page doesn't damage anything, while page moves can screw up a lot if the editor is intent to disrupt. If an AC editor needs a non-controversial page move, that should be handled by a edit request. --Masem (t) 15:11, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
  • I will also totally support upping the ability to move pages to Extended Confirmed. There's no urgent need that can make it necessary to allow a 4-day old account and 10 edits to just start moving pages, some of which cannot be reversed by established editor of 10 years who is not an admin and not a pagemover. "It is encyclopedia, everyone can edit" is a banal cliche which is being far and far from the truth evey day, the reality is "you can only edit what you're allowed". And restricting page-move to EC will not leave us with " hundreds of misnamed pages". –Ammarpad (talk) 11:13, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
  • I agree that mainspace-to-mainspace moving should require EC (moving isn't "editing", so Wikipedia would still the encyclopedia anyone can edit), but limiting draftspace-to-mainspace and userspace-to-mainspace moves would essentially be turning ACREQ into ECREQ, as it would force non-EC users to either create ther articles directly in mainspace (and get them speedied), going through AfC, or doing a copy-and-paste move (which is discouraged for copyright reasons). --Ahecht (TALK
    ) 14:37, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose no real reason for this. Page move vandalism is a pain, but the ability to move pages is key to editing: typos, realizing a page you created could be at a better title, actually knowing more about the MOS and title change policy than established editors and doing uncontroversial moves (this is a thing). Restricting a core function of the MediaWiki software to extended confirmed on all pages is too much for me to swallow. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:42, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose yeah, EC is too much for just the ability to move a page. Also, all this appears to be over an issue that is fixed, at-least according to Zzuuzz, per his comment about "it would have been picked up, prevented, AND auto-reported to AIV" Galobtter (pingó mió) 14:50, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Question: Would those editors opposed to the proposal support a confirmed account being allowed to perform an A->B->C move then? If a new account performs a vandalistic page move isn't the ability to revert the move also "key to editing"? It seems to me that if we are going to permit new editors to make such moves then it is equally reasonable to expect the software not to bar reverting these moves. Betty Logan (talk) 14:58, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
    • So long as the auto-created redirects haven't been edited, anyone can just move it back C->B->A. At least half of the page-move requests I see in Category:Candidates for uncontroversial speedy deletion and never, ever touch (due to bad experiences with people complaining at me about the move afterward, instead of the person who requested it) could have been moved by any autoconfirmed user if they hadn't been tagged with {{db-move}} instead. —Cryptic 15:16, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
      • This. I think perhaps folks don't know about overwriting a redirect? At any rate, it's maddening to see. ~ Amory (utc) 20:11, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Seems to me that the solution we're looking for is to throttle page moves - say, to one per minute (+talk page) for autoconfirmed and five or ten per minute for extended-confirmed - rather than bumping the permission up to EC outright. I had vague recollections of this being made configurable back in the bad old days of WoW, but I can't find any evidence of it now in mediawiki source, alas. —Cryptic 15:16, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Making it part of the EC rights package seems sane. There is very little utility in a user moving a page on their first day. After a month and 500 edits, that would filter out 99% of the vandalism while the overwhelming majority of new users wouldn't even know their right was restricted. Moving pages just isn't something new users do a lot of legitimately. Dennis Brown - 18:31, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Seems like an ad hoc solution to a nonexistent problem to me. I am also not convinced that there is a benefit, and the attitude that new editors' rights have to be restricted more and more ad nauseam with never any good justification is bothering me. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 18:34, 21 May 2018 (UTC)

Question about sourcing

I know that the Wikipedia policies declare social media as an unreliable source and I understand why, but what if an original post from the official account of the subject was used as a source, what then? Is it still not reliable?--◂ ‎épine 17:53, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

If this is an officially attributed account of a notable person X, it can reliably source what the opinion of X on the subject is.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:11, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
Note, however, that this would be a primary source for their opinion, which would be less preferred than a secondary source. CapitalSasha ~ talk 21:15, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
@CapitalSasha: it doesn't necessarily have to be an opinion. Let's say for example it's an album release date disclosed on Facebook, it is acceptable to use it, right?--◂ ‎épine 02:08, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
Hello, Épine. Self-published sources (including social media) are generally considered reliable sources about themselves, provided that they are not being used to source controversial or exceptional claims. You can read more about this at WP:ABOUTSELF. NewYorkActuary (talk) 02:48, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
Regarding upcoming release dates... make sure to read WP:CRYSTALBALL, and WP:NOTPROMO... Reliability is not the only question here. While we may be able to use an official Facebook page to reliably source a statement like: "According to the band's official facebook page, they plan to release a new album in June of 2018 <cite facebook page>"... that does not answer the more fundamental question of whether we should mention the new album in the first place. If the only source to mention that a band is planning to release an album is the the band's own self-published facebook page, we should at least question whether it is appropriate to mention that album. Blueboar (talk) 15:15, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA