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Help talk:Maintenance template removal

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Template removal after conclusion of an RFCEdit

Criteria for removing the template include:

2. Upon determining that the issue has been resolved.
4. When there is consensus on the talk page (or elsewhere) as to how to address the flagged issue.

This text is potentially unclear when an RFC concludes as no consensus to change the existing text. On one hand there is no consensus that any problem exists, and it has been resolved that we address the issue by retaining the current text. On the other hand those who dislike the result of no consensus are still unhappy with the article text. There can be disagreement over adding/removing a maintenance template after an RFC concludes.

When RFC concludes, there is no maintenance work to be done. Maintenance templates should be removed if there's nothing to do. The template also contains a "call to action" for people to go to the talk page, however it is disruptive to call people in to continue arguing immediately after an RFC has concluded. Closers sometimes write "no consensus for the proposal" as a less confrontational equivalent of "consensus against the proposal". No-consensus for a requested change is very often the permanent endpoint of many disputes. We don't want to leave leave the template in place indefinitely.

It seems the sole purpose of leaving the template in place after an RFC concludes, by those who dislike the RFC result, is to direct the tag towards readers. The only purpose is as a badge of shame.

I suggest we more explicitly address this case. I suggest criteria #4 be revised as:

When an RFC has concluded or there is consensus on the talk page (or elsewhere) as to how to address the flagged issue.

Alsee (talk) 23:58, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

I propose to not change the text per WP:KISS. Debresser (talk) 20:18, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
User:Alsee I would like you clarify. A RFC can conclude in many ways. It would be inappropriate for this instruction page to (effectively) say "no matter how an RFC concludes, remove tags". This stuff is much better handled by... the people involved in the RFC. Or am I misunderstanding you? (I suspect you have a specific article in mind - perhaps you need to bring your grievance up there instead? What I mean by this is that we don't want to make site-wide decisions based on individual cases.) Regards, CapnZapp (talk) 11:09, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
I noticed the language on tag removal was ambiguous because there was edit warring to add/remove the NPOV tag at White_Helmets_(Syrian_Civil_War), after this RFC closure of no consensus for anything wrong with current text. The story in a nutshell: Countless Reliable Sources across the globe describe the White Helmets as a humanitarian rescue organisation. However Russia Times, along with a bunch of blogs and conspiracy theory sites, spin wild and contradictory stories that White Helmets are terrorists. Russia Times is a government controlled "news" organisation. Our article on it says RT has been frequently described as a propaganda outlet for the Russian government and its foreign policy. RT has also been accused of spreading disinformation by news reporters, including some former RT reporters. At ReliableSourceNoticeboard, Russia Times has repeatedly been said to be not Reliable. According to countless Reliable Sources across the globe, Russia Times has been running a disinformation campaign to paint the White Helmets as terrorists. We keep getting bombarded with conspiracy-theory types arguing that all Reliable Sources are part of a "Western Media conspiracy" to suppress WP:The Truth. The only purpose for the NPOV tag is because conspiracy theorists want to direct it at readers, despite the fact that there are zero reliable sources disputing the current article text.
I made exactly one edit removing the tag, and so far no one has disputed it. But the ambiguous language here is bad. Even if the warring has ended at this article, we don't want warring on some other article when one side is unhappy with the result of an RFC. Alsee (talk) 05:20, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, won't touch a flamingly sensitive issue like that with a ten foot pole. Oppose any changes originating from hotspot subjects like that. CapnZapp (talk) 14:40, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
I understand your concern. However I'd like to note that the tag was added three times by a single editor,[1][2][3] and removed by three different editors.[4][5][6] I'd also note that my rationale seems to have been successful in bringing the dispute to an end. There has been no conflict over the tag in the week since I posted this edit summary: Removing maintence template. An RFC on the issue just concluded. We have a result: The current text is to be kept. There is no maintenance work to do here, directing people to the talk page to continue debate immediately after an RFC has closed is disruptive, and tags are not permitted to be directed at readers to shame the article just because someone dislikes the result of the RFC. Alsee (talk) 13:07, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

Redundancy in "When to remove"?Edit

What's the difference between the first two points of §When to remove?

 1. When the issue has been adequately addressed;
 2. Upon determining that the issue has been resolved (perhaps by someone else);

It looks like the original version was:

 1. When they have addressed the issue the template has raised
 2. When they notice that the issue has been resolved (perhaps by someone else)

But (1) has lost the 'by them' meaning. Could (2) be dropped, and perhaps (1) reworded to cover the 'you or someone else' bit?

 1. When they or someone else has adequately addressed the issue

› Mortee talk 17:57, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

I think we can preserve SilkTork's original distinction = having one bullet point for having fixed it yourself and another for noticing the issues had been fixed (perhaps by others). A more immediate concern is that the article generally addresses the reader directly ("you"), but not here. Suggestion:

Maintenance templates are not meant to be in articles permanently. Assuming no conflict of interest you may remove a maintenance template in any of the following circumstances:

  1. When you believe you have fixed the issue;
  2. If you determine that the issue has been resolved (perhaps by someone else);

...

Regarding the first point, we want to encourage editors to boldly fix things. Removing the template should be a signal that says "I fixed this" (or, longer, "I believe in good faith I fixed it").

CapnZapp (talk) 21:00, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

Addition to "When to remove"Edit

Hello, I would like to suggest adding a new part, that would be #8 and the current #8 (that includes "lastly") becoming #9: I have ran across several tags, many up to several years old, that were vague (no clear edit summary or talk page discussion), as opposed to clear tags with no explanation needed, and the reasoning for the tag(s) was not evident. I feel there is justification for removing such tags. "IF" someone has an issue it will usually result in a discussion which would be a good thing. I have also exchanged some tags for more relevant tags leaving a clear edit summary and talk page discussion.
  • #8: If there is a vague tag that has been added, with no clear edit summary and no discussion on the talk page, especially an "aged" (career) tag, and an editor cannot determine why the tag was placed (as opposed to a clear tag such as the examples above), it may be boldly removed but would be appropriate to initiate a discussion on the talk page. If a discussion does not follow after a few days (optional: 7 days) then it would be discretionary to remove the tag leaving an edit summary and the reasons in the talk page section. Examples: "Removed unclear and undiscussed maintenance tag, see talk.". Talk page section: "Unclear maintenance tag": 1)- Comments on unclear tag and, 2)- Reasoning for removal.
I feel this would help give a solution not mentioned, concerning instances when a reviewing editor cannot determine the rationale behind a maintenance tag (edit summary or talk page), and the article history doesn't seem to offer anything. I have run into several of these and why I call them career tags as their only job appears to be to just hang on an article. This is just a thought if someone would care to weigh in on it. Otr500 (talk) 00:58, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
Nothing wrong with your proposal, but first: why, in your view, isn't #3 and #6 adequate for this? CapnZapp (talk) 13:33, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
Though thank you for not suggesting we giving blanket approval to tag removal without explanation/discussion! However, specific and elaborate instructions for how to have a talk page discussion is out of scope for this article, I would say. CapnZapp (talk) 13:37, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
I would think suggestions (Examples) should not be out of scope for a "information or how-to page" but this can be omitted. I do not like added or removed tags that do not have some form of communication for rationale. I think all tags that are not very specific are "a type that requires support". Many tags have a clear purpose but oftentimes the reasoning for placement may not be clear and this creates a career tag (my term) with dates of from 8 to 10 years. This can be because an article has not had any or recent activity, is not on a watch list, created and left with no apparent interests from others, or tag removal seems complicated.
Maybe adding some content from #6 to #3. "Discussing the matter with the original placer of the template is advised, or initiating a discussion on the talk page' would help.". Possibly adding in that if a tag appears vague, especially long term tags, then bold removal might be necessary with an edit summary of reasoning. My thoughts are not to just place or remove tags but hopefully generate improvements. Some editors may delve into article maintenance issues but many times it is a visiting editor that can help make a change. An article is supposed to be written for everyone that are the readers. An editor that reads an article many times becomes a reviewer.
Under Wikipedia:Template messages/Cleanup it states "Cleanup tags are meant to be temporary notices that lead to an effort to fix the problem, not a permanent badge of shame to show that you disagree with an article, or a method of warning readers about an article.", and a reason why there should never be an article with a career, especially a 5 to 10 year tag.
To me, as it stands now, #3 is specific to notifying the placing editor and #6 presents questions of which tags may be "a type that requires support". If there is a long term tag and the issue is unresolved, then there needs to be something done. This is likely not the area for that discussion but boldly removing the cause of the tag is a desired solution, or per #8 the article may not be acceptable, but there is a difference between tags clearly placed and those vague (maybe not to the placing editor but to others or over time) and I just feel there are far too many of these long term, long ago dated tags that are, and will likely just remain, a "permanent badge of shame".
My "suggestion" is meant to specifically target vague tags, tags with no explanation as to reason for placement, or long term tags that a reviewing editor can not readily determine placement reasoning, that can be considered for bold deletion with reasoning. At the very least such an action may result in a revert, communication of reasoning, or some other action that would be more beneficial than a 10 year old maintenance tag. It is only a suggestion and can be modified as needed. Otr500 (talk) 04:55, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
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