Wikipedia talk:Consensus

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Q: When was WP:CONEXCEPT, which says that editors at the English Wikipedia do not get to overrule the Wikimedia Foundation on issues like server load, software and legal issues, first added?

A: It was added in January 2007 by User:Circeus, after a brief discussion on the talk page in the context of whether this page should be a policy rather than a guideline. It has been discussed and amended many times since then, e.g., here, here, and here.



Request for Comment - add subsection to WP:Local consensus about consensus levels

The consensus is against including the "scale" subsection.

Cunard (talk) 02:04, 19 November 2017 (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 "scale" subsection below be added to the WP:Local consensus section of WP:Consensus? Bright☀ 10:14, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

Scale

Though consensus is not a vote, the amount of community participation and agreement indicates the level of acceptance of a consensus. Usually, participation follows this rising order:

See also the preliminary discussion of this topic. Bright☀ 10:14, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

Survey re add subsection to WP:Local consensus

  • Very strong oppose - Totally unnecessary attempt to impose on the community one editor's idiosyncratic and inflexible views of what consensus is. Beyond My Ken (talk) 20:23, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose without a clear statement of the claimed underlying problem. There is only one "consensus", but there are different ways of estimating the consensus position. Experienced editors can often guess what consensus would be from previous cases. An unchallenged edit shows consensus by silence. Agreement among regulars on a talk page indicates local consensus. However if the conclusions from these methods of estimating consensus varies, a wide community discussion is needed for a better measurement. Johnuniq (talk) 22:25, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
This won't change your !vote but everything you said actually supports this addition, which clarifies exactly that. Bright☀ 09:47, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose per the law of unintended consequences. Suggest it is placed in a WP:ESSAY. --Tom (LT) (talk) 22:26, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per others above. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:29, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Completely erratic attempt to establish a one editor's view on consensus. KGirl (Wanna chat?) 02:04, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose, appears to be a solution looking for a problem. Stifle (talk) 16:14, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support when implemented as shown below (i.e. in this edit). While I share some of the concerns mentioned by the opposes, I think this correctly summarizes the policy and is useful as a summary, since the proposal links to the relevant parts of the policy. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 16:59, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose per the views expressed above. I also feel it doesn't correctly preserve or explain the current language of the page. Gestrid (talk) 18:21, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - there are some highly volatile issues that many editors refuse to partake in...such as politics and religion...many don't want to be "labeled" for expressing their views so they say nothing. I agree with BMK regarding the one editor's views and inflexibility. I also believe that unless the topic is expressly about changing a policy/guideline, consensus to waive it in a particular instance should not override existing PAGs. Atsme📞📧 00:25, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - splitting hairs by the shades of gray. Yes, consensus is not a vote, end exactly for that reason consensus is established by the scope of arguments, not by scope of participation. If someone wants hierarchy, we have WP:Dispute resolution escalation process. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:43, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Attempts to define, quantitate, or scale consensuses, as a result following a presume question, misconstrue the meaning of consensus. Consensus decision-making involves re-formulating the question to avoid dividing conflicts, and these almost-but-not-quite consensus usually involve a failure to re-examine the question following later input, and thus should be regarded as unconcluded discussions. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:45, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I appreciate the intention, but I can envision this being misused for wikilawyering. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:45, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
  • I'll be that guy – Support. Unless I'm completely missing something, this is a perfectly accurate description of how we handle conflicting consensus: global trumps local, and the more participation led to a consensus, the "firmer" that consensus is, in the sense of requiring a higher bar to overturn it later. Right? I really don't understand the wave of opposition here, nor do I see good arguments being made – I mostly see personal sleights and non-sequitur slippery slope arguments, which a sensible closer will ignore. As Bright pointed out, the complete 180 in support from the initial discussion to this one is...very curious. —swpbT go beyond 13:27, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
If this is what we already do without this text, is not adding the text WP:CREEP and liable to provide warriors some other verbiage to weaponize? I have not yet stated a WP:!VOTE because I'm still waiting for someone to explain what problem would be solved by the additional text to make the unknown risks worth it? Open mind here. If you move the discussion part of your comment to the discussion section, @Swpb:, please move my reply as well. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 16:31, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
CREEP is a particular type of new guidance, concerned with finicky details that should be left to editor discretion; this proposal doesn't resemble that at all. This is making a fundamental standard practice explicit, because leaving it implicit has invited too much re-litigation. I also don't see anything to "weaponize" here, and I think anyone worried about that has the burden to demonstrate what such abuse would look like, because I can't see it: this guidance emphasizes that wider participation carries more weight, which totally undermines the lone warrior getting their way by browbeating a few users in an obscure discussion. —swpbT go beyond 18:50, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
Would you our @BrightR: be able to show examples of the "relitigation" this might have prevented or at least helped to resolve?NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:49, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
I have about four examples with my own personal involvement (with some of the oppose voters here!) of discussions with arguments of "community consensus doesn't matter because there's no local consensus." To avoid the personal angle, I'll round up some randomly-found "local consensus" examples, but please mind that this issue has no searchable keywords ("consensus" or "local consensus" or "community consensus" give endless results...)
From personal experience, I find it's relatively frequent that an article owner would say something in the lines of "your consensus is not binding!" True, consensus is "not binding", but it's still better than non-consensus or not-consensus, and broader consensus is better than local consensus. This is all the proposed addition is saying. Bright☀ 05:50, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose for taking number of contributors as a too exclusive criterion, see my more detailed explanations below. --Francis Schonken (talk) 13:39, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
  • comment (oppose) What would be the main point of classifying RfC's outcomes as "broad", "local", and so on? To know how strongly it is established and how hard would be to change it or to go wp:IAR about it. I think we could do that much better if we make past RfCs (and RfC-like) discussions easily available. I am not sure about the exact way but, as an example, talk pages could have a linked index of past RfC's with one liner description of the subject, outcome, and date. While policy pages should have "sources" pointing to the latest discussion(s) about each topic. Currently, almost only "the initiated" know how consensus was reached and with what arguments. And I presume having sources should also apply to policy pages for the very same need of verification. - Nabla (talk) 02:59, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support To me, this seems to be a suitably high level description of what everyone who's been here a while has already realized about how consensus actually works. Does anyone really believe that a non challenged or discussed edit has more consensus than an issue that's been discussed on the talk page? Or that something that's been discussed by broadly attended RfC with high attendance doesn't have more consensus than an informal discussion with three involved editors on the talk page? Or that something in a policy has more consensus than an RfC at the article level? There is a concern about gaming, but BRD relies on a consistent understanding of what the first BOLD edit is, which is at least partially related to whether there was a form of consensus for the content to begin with. I believe adding a little more clarity to what is established practice here could serve to reduce the lawyering that goes on in some of these cases. Scribolt (talk) 06:28, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Agree with Scribolt, this matches my experience on how consensus is established beyond discussion over a particular article, and I think that a similar description could help newcomers understand what's going on in larger discussions. Maybe if the section was written in a way that emphazises that it's being descriptive, not normative, people would agree to it better? I.e. not to be used as a reason on itself to support arguments, but merely as a summary of policy that is expressed elsewhere. After all, the proposed text roughly follows the approach at Consensus-building and WP:Dispute resolution.
I like Nabla's suggestion above to routinely provide links to previous discussions that informed a particular policy or guideline. I've seen this approach working very well in {{Old AfD multi}}, the RS noticeboard archives, and Wikipedia:WikiProject Video games/Sources#Checklist. Diego (talk) 13:26, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose Seems like an unnecessary restatement of "levels of consensus". James (talk/contribs) 15:59, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per various above, especially Staszek Lem. --LukeSurl t c 14:54, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There's either consensus, or there's not. It's that simple. If there are any caveats to the ultimate result of the close, it should be stated in the closer's closing statement, which already happens. Steel1943 (talk) 16:10, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose, and REPEAL all "levels of consensus" language because I feel like it exists solely to handcuff WikiProjects. — Mr. Guye (talk) (contribs)  02:58, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
    If we actually could do that, it would be a tremendous boon. They served out their usefulness for the most part back around 2008, and have mostly been a mechanism of exclusion and dispute generation since then.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  16:06, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose as wrong-headed. It's just not an accurate model of what consensus is, how it works, or what WP:CONLEVEL is getting at. This is another attempt to make WP into a vote-based direct democracy. That isn't consensus in the WP sense. It's not a matter of how many heads turned up to spout yea or nay, it's about the quality of the reasoning that went into it formulating general agreement on something, and how broadly across the project the agreement is recognized. Otherwise, any wikiproject with a big pile of participants like WP:MILHIST would have their WP:PROJPAGE guidance essays – by sheer dint of editor numbers – trump site-wide policies like WP:EDITING that have few direct contributors and which have not aroused much discussion in years, but which are 10000% more central to the project than is wikiproject trivia like how to arrange tables of battles or how to abbreviate military ranks. (No, I don't mean to actually pick on MILHIST; it's one of the few wikiprojects left that actively serves anything approximating an open, encyclopedic purpose.)  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  16:06, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

Discussion re add subsection to WP:Local consensus

Can you be a bit more explicit about how it would be added? As I've said before, I can't support anything which doesn't preserve the current language. If this is an addition to the current language, I'll be able to support it; if it replaces the current language, then I'll oppose it; it it modifies the current language then my position will vary based upon exactly how it does so. Best regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 16:47, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

The first two paragraphs below already exist in the policy. The proposal would add the text in the "scale" subsection. This note added by me.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 16:36, 13 October 2017 (UTC)

Levels of consensus

Consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale. For instance, unless they can convince the broader community that such action is right, participants in a WikiProject cannot decide that some generally accepted policy or guideline does not apply to articles within its scope. WikiProject advice pages, information pages and template documentation pages have not formally been approved by the community through the policy and guideline proposal process, thus have no more status than an essay.

Wikipedia has a higher standard of participation and consensus for changes to policies and guidelines than to other types of pages. This is because they reflect established consensus, and their stability and consistency are important to the community. As a result, editors often propose substantive changes on the talk page first to permit discussion before implementing the change. Changes may be made without prior discussion, but they are subject to a high level of scrutiny. The community is more likely to accept edits to policy if they are made slowly and conservatively, with active efforts to seek out input and agreement from others.

Scale

Though consensus is not a vote, the amount of community participation and agreement indicates the level of acceptance of a consensus. Usually, participation follows this rising order:

Bright☀ 09:25, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
  • One thing is missing... we need some discussion of RFCs would fit into all this. The problem, of course, is that an RFC may get a small turnout or a large turnout... and yet an RFC is considered an "official" reflection of consensus (and is a recommended step in WP:Dispute resolution). Blueboar (talk) 17:11, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Pinging NewsAndEventsGuy, Scribolt, and Moxy who participated in the preliminary discussion. Strange how the preliminary discussion had almost complete agreement and now the RfC has almost complete opposition, and even people whose survey rationale supports the addition, oppose it. Bright☀ 09:45, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

Suggest you put the first two paragraphs in a grey box and add a title bar to the whole thing that says Existing text in grey box, proposed new text in green box. I'm not convinced everyone realizes the first two paragraphs are already part of the policy.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 10:51, 12 October 2017 (UTC) Also, I share others concerns how this new text will possibly be fodder for arguments where one side may try to frame the debate around he levels in this scale. Do you think that might happen? Is this supposed to be a tool to help resolve disputes? As a said in the protracted discussion I hadn't studiend the wall of text, though I'm sure there were lots of good points made by many. I was waiting for the distillation in this RFC. I kinda expected a new-and-improved succinct explanation what problem this is trying to solve, but all I see is the naked proposal. As it stands, I'd have to oppose, but you haven't provided your reasons yet. In 50 words or less if possible, why? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 11:59, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
The problem, as stated before very succinctly, is editors who try to enforce local consensus (or local no-consensus) in the face of broader consensus. To take the Daily Mail example, it's like an editor insisting on using the Daily Mail as a source inappropriately despite broad community consensus that it should not be used. What's more, I don't know if anything I can say can sway any of the oppose not-voters because some of them explicitly repeat what the addition says and yet vote against it: "An unchallenged edit shows consensus by silence. Agreement among regulars on a talk page indicates local consensus. However if the conclusions from these methods of estimating consensus varies, a wide community discussion is needed for a better measurement. Oppose." When someone says almost word-for-word what the proposal says, and yet opposes it, I get the feeling this proposal is not being weighed on its merits... Then there are oppose not-votes that say "look at a the Daily Mail consensus, which was among a limited number of participants" - technically I guess "a hundred" (30 oppose, 68 support, plus several comments and several more closing admins) is limited... anyway I find that the not-votes here are very much divorced from reality. Bright☀ 15:39, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
When people go "meta" (by discussing the discussion instead of the merits) I quickly lose interest. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 16:59, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
That's because the proposal is so simple and the rationale is so brief that explaining it takes one or two sentences. It's the replies that I find utterly inconsistent and demonstrably wrong. Bright☀ 10:10, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose – "number of contributors" is the wrong entrance to make this discrimination. Compare the RfC that outruled Daily Mail as a general-use RS (limited number of participants, nonetheless a clear decision); Compare high participation discussions where the majority "wins" with a small margin (may be defined as consensus, but not a "broad" one); Compare Gamergate-related decisions (often high numbers of participants ushered in from elsewhere: despite their numbers they didn't weigh on these decisions); etc. --Francis Schonken (talk) 12:36, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
Disagree, keeping with a very strong opposition to the proposal. --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:21, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
The wording specifically and explicitly mentions that consensus is not a vote... The mention of the Daily Mail example is particularly puzzling since it was discussed hundreds of times by countless editors before a final decision was made. And even if you discount all those presumably no-consensus discussions, the final discussion and consensus was made among a very large number of editors. Not that it'll change your not-vote, but you both mischaracterize what the suggested addition explicitly states, and you mischaracterize the very examples you provided. Bright☀ 15:27, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
Re. Daily Mail "discussed hundreds of times by countless editors before a final decision was made" – yet, after the decision was made commentators outside Wikipedia wondered how come that such a small percentage of Wikipedia editors can make a decision that applies to Wikipedia as a whole. To which was replied that these outside commentators didn't understand how Wikipedia's decision procedures work (read: no clue about the WP:CONSENSUS policy). Let's not give such outside commentators ammunition to torch Wikipedia's decision procedures. So, no, can't accept this proposal, also because of what you point out now: it seems internally inconsistent with the current policy ("not a vote" includes, indeed, not counting the overall number of participants). --Francis Schonken (talk) 15:42, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
How can what non-participants think have any bearing on Wikipedia policy? How can you call a consensus among 100+ editors (with about 2/3 supporters, 1/3 opposers) "limited"? "not-vote" doesn't mean that the number of supporters and opposers doesn't matter. It means that a discussion has to take place, and it's perfectly fine to hold a straw poll after a discussion has taken place, see this very RfC or the Daily Mail RfC, and in fact pretty much any community-wide discussion. See WP:WIKINOTVOTE. This addition does nothing to encourage more voting or not-voting. It collects existing wording from WP:CONSENSUS and arranges them from the narrowest consensus to the broadest consensus, in order to emphasize that a local consensus cannot override broader community consensus.
  • Wording that already exists in WP:CONSENSUS:
    • Consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale.
    • Wikipedia has a higher standard of participation and consensus for changes to policies and guidelines than to other types of pages. This is because they reflect established consensus, and their stability and consistency are important to the community.
    • Consensus is a normal and usually implicit and invisible process across Wikipedia. Any edit that is not disputed or reverted by another editor can be assumed to have consensus.
    • If an edit is challenged, or is likely to be challenged, editors should use talk pages to explain why an addition, change, or removal improves the article, and hence the encyclopedia.
All this already exists in the policy and the proposed addition merely collects it all into one place, in order to avoid editors who insist that their local implicit consensus (or lack of consensus) overrides broader community consensus. Imagine, if you will, that I collected all these existing policy snippets and put them in a section called "local consensus" that reads like this. And then I get really weird oppose not-votes like "this is one editor's view" (which apparently is already part of Wikipedia policy, albeit spread across four or five sections), or "you can't use the phrase 'number of contributors' because of what people outside Wikipedia think of the Daily Mail consensus, which was limited" (to about a hundred participants, which is a very large discussion by Wikipedia scale), or an oppose not-vote that repeats the proposal almost word-for-word and yet opposes it...
This is already part of the policy, I'm simply trying to make it more accessible so editors would not insist that their local-consensus/local-no-consensus overrides broader community consensus. Bright☀ 16:03, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
None of what you quote above has the slightest indication that all of a sudden starting to count participants in a discussion ("...number of contributors..." as the proposal has it, as an instrument to compare "levels of consensus") has any merit. Keeping to my, in the mean while very strong, oppose. --Francis Schonken (talk) 16:13, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
It's already in the policy: Many of these discussions will involve polls of one sort or another; but as consensus is determined by the quality of arguments (not by a simple counted majority), polls should be regarded as structured discussions rather than voting which parallels Though consensus is not a vote, the amount of community participation and agreement indicates the level of acceptance of a consensus; and Consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale. which parallels Local consensus, among a small number of contributors and Broader community consensus, among a large number of contributors. polls [are not] votingconsensus is not a vote; limited groupsmall number; wider scalelarge number. The proposal is not encouraging voting. It discourages local consensus (among a limited group, which is a small number of editors) used to override broader community consensus (which has a wider scale, which means a large number of editors). It's already in the policy. The proposal is collecting it into one place. Bright☀ 16:28, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
"wider scale" does not (necessarily) mean "large(r) number of contributors". Some "wider scale" consensus procedures (e.g. WP:DRN) do not necessarily imply a larger number of participants. They can be even less numerous to come to a "wider scale" decision. --Francis Schonken (talk) 16:45, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
Can you show me a single example of consensus that was reached on a "wider scale" with less participants? Logically, it's inescapable that the second you involve more people, you have a larger number of people involved... By appealing to DRN you involve more editors... Bright☀ 10:10, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
Nah, again, not necessarily. E.g. an editor takes a content dispute to ANI, with multiple editors commenting, after which it is decided it should go elsewhere as a content dispute: wherever it is taken the new consensus may emerge with less participants in the discussion. So, no, your proposal is principally flawed on this point. --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:19, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
new consensus may emerge with less participants in the discussion - but it's not a broader consensus, it's just a consensus. The proposal doesn't say "new consensus HAS TO HAVE MORE PARTICIPANTS". It says that a broader consensus is usually among a large number of participants. You're somehow interpreting that as "any consensus has to have a larger number of participants than the previous consensus". No. The proposal doesn't say that. Bright☀ 10:24, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
It can surely be a broader consensus: in the example above, the ANI discussion may have yielded a 4 against 2 consensus on the content matter, while in the subsequent discussion on a more appropriate content noticeboard, with 5, in the end they all agree on the prior minority viewpoint: by all means a "broader" consensus, although there was one participant less. --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:37, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Lets consider the following scenario.... a dispute arises at an article over whether X should be considered an exception to guideline Y. An RFC is filed to resolve this dispute. 50 editors respond to the RFC, with 44 saying "Yes, make an exception" and 6 saying "No, don't". I think most would agree that there is a clear consensus for making the exception.
Now, let's assume that the dispute is subsequently taken to the relevant guideline talk page or noticeboard... where only 5 editors discuss, but unanimously say "No... don't make an exception". A clear counter-consensus for Not making an exception.
So here's the question: Which discussion reflects the consensus of the "broader community"? The far larger one formed on the "local" article page... or the far smaller one at the "non-local" guideline page? Blueboar (talk) 11:52, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
"Where" the consensus is reached is not an exclusive criterion either. The RfC OP may have been tendentiously worded, The RfC may have been inappropriately canvassed, etc.; In the second discussion the fact that the discussion was going on may have been insufficiently announced, its section title may have been misleading about its true objective, the editors of the article where the preceding RfC was held may have been unaware that the second discussion was targeting that article specifically (then they can still claim a local exception was possible and agreed upon), it may have been left unmentioned that a preceding RfC already determined consensus on the matter (so that the new discussion is in fact a WP:CCC determination), it may have been closed too soon, etc...
No, all these attempts at defining consensus levels by a too limited set of "countables" are going nowhere. The wider a discussion is announced with a clear presentation of the discussion at hand, without being rigged in any way (no socking, inappropriate canvassing, etc, etc..), the more it is presumed to be representative of the editor community as a whole. The larger the part of the editing community that *had an opportunity to participate* the broader a consensus generally is (although also there, there are exceptions: does an ArbCom decision establish a "broader" consensus than an ANI discussion with more participants? Yet, ANI decisions can be taken to ArbCom if a participant doesn't agree with the outcome at ANI...).
It happens that I arrive at a discussion about an issue about which I have no strong views. The option which I would probably favour most has about 60% support. In such event I might decide not to participate in the discussion (really, when that is the situation I usually don't): does that mean that the outcome of the discussion would have a less "broad" consensus? I would support the outcome, whatever that outcome is (I had the opportunity to participate), wouldn't I? That means that a broader part of the community supports the consensus, which makes the consensus broader without my participation in the actual !vote. --Francis Schonken (talk) 13:22, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
by all means a "broader" consensus ArbCom is explicitly not part of the Wikipedia consensus process, but even if it were, what you are describing is a new consensus, not a broader consensus. If 4 people agree on a topic, and then a marginally larger or smaller group (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, no need to exactly quantify, but on a similar scale) later come to a different agreement on the topic, it's merely a new consensus, not a broader consensus. But regardless this is the third time you bring up an irrelevant "counterpoint" since ArbCom is not part of the Wikipedia consensus process—WP:CONEXCEPT. Bright☀ 02:08, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
does that mean that the outcome of the discussion would have a less "broad" consensus? the RfC is not remotely worded in the way you suggest ("a consensus with n+1 people is broader than a consensus with n people"). While a broader consensus will have more participants, a consensus with more participants is not necessarily broader. This "n vs n+1" attitude does not exist in the text, you are forcing it where it doesn't exist. Take this existing wording: The goal of a consensus-building discussion is to resolve disputes in a way that reflects Wikipedia's goals and policies while angering as few contributors as possible. Now imagine someone raising, like you, an objection to this on the grounds that "if consensus A angers 60% of people, and consensus B angers 60%+1 people, then this policy implies A the true consensus." Of course not. Consensus is not a vote. And the suggested addition to policy literally starts with a link to WP:WIKINOTVOTE. Bright☀ 02:30, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Does not fix any of the major problems in the original proposal. Lipstick on a pig.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  16:07, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

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

Error In Definitions

The term "Consensus" means: 1. general agreement, unanimity. 2.group solidarity in sentiment and belief. (Miriam Webster's Dictionary). Therefore, the notion that "Consensus" does not require a notable measure of democracy is clearly errant by definition of terminology. Policy needs to be revised to reflect a more accurate term than "Consensus", or else edited to reflect the value of "democracy", as under the current indication of policy that "Consensus is not democracy" is patently inaccurate to the terminology, and therefore, the policy as stated is misleading at best. 108.201.29.108 (talk) 08:29, 19 November 2017 (UTC)

Enjoy tilting at windmills, do? Since when does "solidarity" mean "democracy"? - And many democracies are not in "general agreement" about much of anything.
Suffice it to say that we do not operate by the definition of "consensus" preferred by Merriam-Webster, we operate by the definition of "consensus" as outlined in this policy. It doesn't matter if you call it "consensus" or "snigglblock", it's our policy, defined as this policy page defines it. If you want to change that, you're going to need a good snigglblock to do so. Beyond My Ken (talk) 08:46, 19 November 2017 (UTC)

Linkbox clutter

[1] User:Beyond My Ken, why are you reverting in support of linkbox clutter of mediocre shortcut jargon to sections that are fluffy descriptions, not authoratively worded policy? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:19, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

You say "only 2 or 3" uses of the links per day, but that means about 700 - 1000 people are helped to find this page each year. That's more than enough to justify what is not really "clutter" in any meaningful sense of the word. This is a functional page, it's not out to win any awards for visual design. Please don;t remove the linkbox again unless you have a consensus to do so from this discussion -- right now, you do not. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:27, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
You seem to be working one the assumption that the linkbox enables the shortcuts to work? They don't. Possibly you are confused between the functionality of the linkbox and of Template:Anchor. Definitely, a lot of people with a passion for theses linkboxes seem to misunderstand. The Linkbox and its entries have nothing to do with helping 700 - 1000 find the page. Those people found the page by clicking on a shortcut typed by someone, usually on a talk page or a noticeboard. The shortcut links from old talk pages and noticeboards will work perfectly fine without all these linkboxes.
A more important reason to remove the linkboxes is that they are jargon, encourage jargon, and most importantly, create the appearance that the editor may use the linkbox advertised shortcut as an accepted link to policy. For these sections, that is wrong. These sections contain brief summaries of what people may mean when they say "no consensus" or "level of consensus", but they do not contain policy-level prescription/description/definition of the terms. The sections are unworthy of "policy" in isolation, they should not be referred to as policy in isolation, but taken to be explanations in the context of the policy page. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:58, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
Nice try, but I'm actually just a tad smarter than that - I know how shortcuts work. However, no shortcut box, and no one knows what the shortcuts are; no one knows what they are, no one uses them; no one uses them, they have to stagger around playing blind man's bluff to get where they want to go.
And, in case you haven't noticed, Wikipedia runs on jargon, just like any other community of people with a similar focus: scientists (each in their own specialty), engineers (again, by specialty), journalists, corporations (by business type), lawyers, criminals, druggies, etc. etc. It helps speed up communication within the community. You want to mount a campaign to get rid of jargon? - do so in articles, where it's inappropriate, not in the shortcuts that help people navigate the system. Beyond My Ken (talk) 01:21, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
I concur with BMK. Best regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 01:29, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
That's nice TransporterMan. I think you both underappreciate the role of jargon in creating barriers for newcomers.
Sorry Ken, if that was cheeky, of course you know this stuff, but the words you used implied otherwise. Linkboxes do not help people got to pages. You have to be at the page already to see the linkbox, and it confers no functionality, unlike template:Anchor, which I do believe may many linkbox-entry-adders misunderstand.
Yes, Ken, jargon is good for efficiency. Good for efficiency, but a barrier for newcomers. Surely you would know, as the amount of jargon increases, people decreasingly know the jargon by heart, the additions to efficiency decrease, and the barrier heights increase. Surely? So, it is a matter of balance. I use jargon professionally myself. Internal communications are replete with jargon. But I also know to control the jargon. Jargon needs to be reduced for general audiences. It needs to be reduced for client communication where it is likely that the messages will be repeated, and quoted, sometimes out of context. Who is the intended audience for this page?
I am not against shortcuts, linkboxes, or linkboxes advertising recommended shortcuts. I am trying to improve the balance. WP:CCC, for example, is an extremely important shortcut. It has a very long and strong history of use, including use in very important historical discussions. Anyone interested in WP:Consensus and who might read an archive needs to know the meaning of the jargon WP:CCC.
The four linkbox-advertised-shortcuts I was attempting to remove, they are very very different in level to WP:CCC. I don't think they are justified for the clutter, for their dilution of the prominence of the important shortcuts.
Linkbox shortcut advertising has massively proliferated on project pages, usually without justification, never from what I find with a explicit demonstration of consensus to add them. I think there should be some onus on you to at least assert that these four shortcuts are important enough to recommend for use. I think they are shortcuts to policy bloat, sections that don't really say much on their own, and when I purse their past uses (using WhatLinksHere) I see them (unlike CCC for example) having been used clumsily and for no real effect.
Yes, I campaign to reduce this jargon-clutter. I think it has passed the crest of efficiency increase and the poorest advertised shortcuts are encouraging significantly dumbed-down one-word shouly VAGUEWAVE policy referencing discussions. Do you use these four shortcuts? I expect not, because clueful Wikipedians do not use barely known shortcuts.
Articles? Yes, I am more gently pushing back against excessive hat-noting. These hat notes consume extremely valuable real estate at the tom of articles, and so often exist to ameliorate bad titles. Often, RM regulars support minimalist titling with the justification that a 3rd or even 4th hatnote line can be added. Hatnotes are also confounding to screen readers used by the visually impaired.
However, the existence of other problems elsewhere doesn't mean that an identified problem here should be ignored. These top-level policy pages are supposed to be early-reading pages for newcomers (not high-language wiki-philosophy forums as happens). A newcomer, perhaps a few weeks in, should be expected to be able to read a policy like this without receiving the message that this page is not intended to be comprehended by them. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:06, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
Doing dispute resolution, I use the links to the "No consensus" section far more often than I ever use CCC. I agree that the use of shortcuts to policy in communications to newcomers without explaining what the underlying policy requires or forbids is far less than ideal (though I also certainly understand the fatigue caused by having to explain at length the same damned thing over and over and over again). I do not agree that their visible presence in the policy makes it substantially more forbidding or difficult to comprehend. Best regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 15:24, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
That sounds like a good reason to keep WP:NOCON in a linkbox. Not sure about the others. I hadn't noted use in DR pages (are the discussions blanked on resolution?). If used in DR, it makes sense that recipients of the message find the shortcut at the target section.
Linkboxes advertise the best shortcuts to use for a particular page or section. IF WP:NOCON is a good shortcut for backroom Wikipedians to use, then it should be in the linkbox. Is the same true for WP:NOCONSENSUS? Why two? Do they have different purposes, like the many parallel shortcuts found in the Linkboxes at WP:NOT? I should track down DR uses of these shortcuts before commenting further. What I had noted is that their uses on article talk pages usually involves a clumsy use, and where the section linked did not really support the person's argument. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:19, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
If you think the number of links should be limited (to one?) you need to get consensus for that. There have been a few discussions about this and no consensus for the "right" number of links. Bright☀ 04:11, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
No, there is no magic number. The guideline says two, but in cases, such as at WP:NOT, many more than two are justified. I recognise that and I don't remember seeing any discussions on it. I think rarely used, unintuitive, and redundant shortcuts should be removed from linkboxes. I admit that removing removing NOCON was a mistake. Not sure about the rest. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:19, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
Finding these discussions is very difficult (searching for "shortcut" or "linkbox" or "redirect" is no help) but from the results I did get, it seems the best way to get rid of excessive redirects is to raise the issue on Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion, which is probably the most appropriate forum for these discussions. Bright☀ 04:42, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
The mention of RfD reinforces my impression that many people mistakeningly think linkbox entries are required for shortcuts to work. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:51, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
But if I understand correctly, SmokeyJoe doesn't want to get rid of the shortcut redirects themselves, he just wants to get rid of the boxes on the policy or guideline pages which tell people what the shortcut redirects are. Beyond My Ken (talk) 05:12, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
No, I do not "wants to get rid of the boxes on the policy or guideline pages", but just reduce them. Or at least reduce their contents. I went too far yesterday, got it. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:49, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

There is no compromise between fact and fiction :

IP sock of indef blocked editor User:Edward Palamar Beyond My Ken (talk) 18:45, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

and to uphold this is a legal responsibility of the WMF, something which it is failing to do. - 100.14.81.196 (talk) 15:04, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

Such accusations usually come with more details. Perhaps you could let us know what article(s) you are concerned about. Blueboar (talk) 15:10, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
You might also provide the legal theory under which you believe the WMF is "legally reponsible" for "upholding fact", other then the laws against libel, which is not a criminal matter but a civil one, and which therefore can be ignored with impunity unless someone decides to sue. Beyond My Ken (talk) 18:07, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
This might be related to this on Jimbo Wales' talk page, in which case this may as well be archived, as this is not a serious inquiry. Beyond My Ken (talk)
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