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RfC - lawsuitEdit

There is consensus to include a description of the 1993–1996 lawsuit in the article, as most editors believe that it constitutes due weight. Between the two options presented in the RfC statement (B and C), the majority of editors preferred option B and disliked the lengthiness of option C. Some editors supported using option B as a starting point, and then expanding the lawsuit's description to be between the lengths of options B and C. — Newslinger talk 07:09, 28 January 2019 (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.

Previous discussion - Talk:Anti-Defamation League#Use of primary sources - 1993 "spying" - UNDUE. Which of the following should appear in the article:

A: Nothing.


In 1996, the ADL settled a federal civil lawsuit filed by groups representing African Americans and Arab Americans, that alleged that the ADL hired agents with police ties to gather information. The ADL did not admit any wrongdoing, but agreed to a restraining injunction barring the ADL from obtaining information from state employees who are forbidden by law to divulge such information. The ADL also agreed to contribute 25,000$ to a fund that funds inter-community relationship projects, and cover plaintiff legal costs.[1][2][3]

C: The content present in this diff.

Please indicate A, B, or C + a reason. Icewhiz (talk) 07:07, 23 December 2018 (UTC)


  • A, possibly B. The content in C contains BLP violations (various assertions of wrong-doing towards BLPs who were merely investigated - not convicted of anything - charges were dropped) and is based on breaking news reporting on a police investigation that ended up with nothing (all charges dropped a few months later in 1993 - NY Times), stmts from opposing groups, and on a source widely accused of antisemitism. There is little subsequent WP:SECONDARY coverage in RSes (ignoring conspiracy theorists and sources accused of antisemitism) of this incident which ended with a minor nuisance settlement in 1996. Devoting 11,114 bytes (out of 77,622) - or 14% of an article to this minor affair (which generally is not covered in sources on the ADL - definitely not at this length), while repeating the same content copy-pasted a few times in the articles, has Wikipedia resembling a conspiracy site. Icewhiz (talk) 07:14, 23 December 2018 (UTC)
  • B - B is a concise summary of the incident, without all the unnecessary (and confusing) details. We're not here to re-litigate the event, but to report on an incident on ADL's history. If they had a subsequent, or previous, track record of doing this sort of thing, then more detail might well be justified, but there's no indication that this is the case. We are not here to either condemn or condone what the ADL did, simply to report it objectively. Beyond My Ken (talk) 08:18, 23 December 2018 (UTC)
  • A, possibly B. From reading the above, I'm not convinced that this incident is significant enough to mention—seems pretty run-of-the-mill and isn't covered in sources focusing on the history of the ADL. I'm also concerned about BLP violations. Catrìona (talk) 15:09, 23 December 2018 (UTC)
  • B. Nuisance payoff, BLP, report briefly, point to reliable sources. A big foo-foo that resulted in nothing other than some lawyers getting paid. --jpgordon𝄢𝄆 𝄐𝄇 16:05, 23 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Something between B and C. C is way too detailed, while B seems too concise. Debresser (talk) 19:51, 23 December 2018 (UTC)
  • C, possibly some shortened down. B is way to short: no mentioning of the 175.000$ ADL agreed to pay the opposing party's simply do not agree to pay such sums unless there was some serious wrongdoing, (NB, note that this was back in 1996: the total 200.000$ was quite a bit more then, than now.) Put it another way: you don't hand over 200.000$ in a settlement for "nothing"...unless you are a complete idiot. And no: I do not think the leaders of ADL are idiots, Huldra (talk) 23:46, 23 December 2018 (UTC)
  • None of the above. B is too short and vague, while C is too long. Instead, the source Joel Beinin (2004). "The new American McCarthyism: policing thought about the Middle East". Class and Race. 46 (1): 101–115. ticks all the boxes for a reliable secondary source and should be used as the main basis for an account of about 100-150 words. Zerotalk 00:53, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
    A (long) paragraph in a paper by the former president (2002, paper from 2004) of MESA complaining of criticism of MESA (by the ADL and several others) following 9/11. The author is also a founder of JVP which has also been involved in conflict with the ADL (e.g. recently - here). Hardly a neutral or un-involved source - as Beinin himself makes clear in the first page of his article. Icewhiz (talk) 07:21, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
Icewhiz thinks that only admirers of the ADF are welcome on the ADF article. That's more invention of policy by Icewhiz. Zerotalk 08:51, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
I did not say that - I merely pointed out that this is a highly WP:BIASED source - the former president of MESA (clear disclaimer in first page of article) which is involved in a long-running dispute with the ADL (documented in the same article).Icewhiz (talk) 10:22, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
  • B is a good start. If @Zero0000: wants to add something about the ADL acting as a nefarious spy or foreign subversive agent he should post the text he wants here.Jonney2000 (talk) 07:23, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
There is no obligation on me to post text first here. Zerotalk 08:51, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
  • A As a first choice and B as a second choice.I am not sure the incident should be included at all as it very minor incident but if it should be included option B is the best of the presented as per WP:DUE --Shrike (talk) 09:48, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
  • A Institutions settle lawsuits all the time. Here, as always, the two sides had very different accounts of what happened, and very different interpretations of the reasons for settling. This sort of thing is ROUTINE and keeping it on the page is WP:UNDUE.E.M.Gregory (talk) 18:01, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
User:E.M.Gregory Though option B have its drawbacks as compromise you should reconsider it at least as the second choice --Shrike (talk) 08:08, 25 December 2018 (UTC)
  • C - but tightened down a bit. B - is just a preferred version of the inquiring editor, so that could be considered as well but only with an option of additional expansion if needed, not as a final version. GizzyCatBella (talk) 19:49, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
  • B is the closest to what we'd want, and we don't have any BLP-violating name-dropping. It could certainly be expanded a little bit. We have to consider both WP:recentism and the fact that this was widely reported initially – such situations usually end up with a compromise, not A. Still, I'm not sure that we have enough retrospective analysis to know for certain how much to include. (I am not watching this page, so please ping me if you want my attention.) wumbolo ^^^ 22:03, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
  • None of the above per Zero0000, but C is the best of three bad choices. — MShabazz Talk/Stalk 22:25, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Out of all the current choices I'd go with B as is now. Sir Joseph (talk) 00:30, 26 December 2018 (UTC)
  • B, maybe with some minor tweaks or additions. Sufficient sourcing for a brief mention, not enough for the ridiculous wall of text in C. There's room for a little bit more if people feel something vital is being left out or whatever, but turning a huge chunk of the article into this and giving such a detailed blow-by-blow in the main ADL article is obviously silly. --Aquillion (talk) 21:20, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Something between B and C. C is too detailed and not always coherent, while B seems too concise and to misrepresent the incident in significant details. The sum ADL agreed to pay out was not 25k, but 275k, 11 times as much. The first 75k of this was specifically quid pro quo as part of the agreement for the dropping of all criminal charges ( Smith agreed not to prosecute the organization in exchange for its payment of up to $75,000 to the County of San Francisco to fight hate crimes). Even assuming honourable motives on the part of both prosecutor and ADL - this is not a conventional 'charges were dropped' situation. Surely, no court has ever examined the records improperly held by ADL, nor ascertained whether any were illegally obtained, but it should be possible to give a fuller account without loss of neutrality. Pincrete (talk) 10:56, 1 January 2019 (UTC)
    A court actually did determine that the ADL "had certain legal protections as a journalistic organization"LA Times, 1993 - which made the probe rather moot in 1993 - the 75k (nusiance) settlement was not the deciding factor behind that per the LA Times. The sums paid (the 75k in 1993, the 25k + 175k legal costs repayment in 1996) are nuisance sums - employing a legal team.... costs more, much more than this. Icewhiz (talk) 14:09, 2 January 2019 (UTC)
  • A As a first option, and B as a second. Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 07:26, 3 January 2019 (UTC)
  • B, with perhaps minor expansion down the road, based on secondary RS, let's say one additional para (roughly). This would obviously depend on high-quality RS being available (not primary sources from the time of the incident). --K.e.coffman (talk) 02:19, 4 January 2019 (UTC)
  • B. At least B. Another 100-300 words summarizing the material in C would be appropriate.--Saranoon (talk) 16:44, 8 January 2019 (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.

Section "Origin"Edit

This section is in poor shape. Some short phrases as existing so far do not reflect the basic situation that led people to found ADL. The whole historical plot is missing. Information on the origin should be profound and comprehensive, not short and superficial, and especially not citing some commonplace, plattitude or even shibboleth. -- (talk) 18:45, 2 January 2019 (UTC)

Well, we’re not paying homage to the subject. Anti-Semitism is mentioned 55 times. I think the organization’s raison d'être is well covered. O3000 (talk) 19:06, 2 January 2019 (UTC)
Well, information taken from advertising does not reflect the actual origin of an organization and a "raison d'être" does not reflect the actual history of origins. -- (talk) 19:16, 2 January 2019 (UTC)
Make a suggestion, or boldly edit. O3000 (talk) 19:39, 2 January 2019 (UTC)

Antisemites' Criticism of the ADLEdit

The rejection of the material I am trying to include is a bizarre effort to hide antisemitism. Clearly, antisemites attack the ADL in an antisemitic way. Drawing the boundaries of that antisemitic "criticism" is essential in any discussion of criticism of the ADL. For one thing, it gives important context to understanding the antisemitic undertones of Finkelstein's critique. (It helps when you don't hide that he called Foxman "worse than Hitler"...)

The ADL has come under criticism from antisemites for nearly its entire history. As one scholar opined, "White supremacists have long "portray[ed] the organization as a powerful, subversive arm of Zionism that endeavors to fetter the rights of Americans." In the 1920s, Henry Ford's The International Jew accused the ADL of "bulldozing methods."[1] The influential antisemitic publication also objected that the ADL "knows how to put the screws on anyone who disparages the Jews."[2] In 1949, Rep. John E. Rankin introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would have made it "unlawful for any individual to be a member, or to participate in the activities, of the un-American subversive organization known as the Anti-Defamation League."[3][4] Jack Tenney penned a 1953 pamphlet "Zion's Fifth Column" that contains a chapter on the ADL. He described the ADL as "the nerve center of a world-wide net-work whose tentacles reach into every Gentile activity."[5] Liberty Lobby regularly objected to the ADL, at one point publishing a book alleging that the ADL was engaged in a campaign against freedom of speech and thought in America.[6] Lyndon LaRouche, according to investigative reporter Dennis King, "took the final plunge" into the extreme right by "declaring war on the Jewish lobby, the international Jewish bankers, Jews in the U.S. government, and (most especially) the Anti-Defamation League."[7] LaRouche said he would "crush" the ADL, which one of his publications blamed for an epidemic of drug addiction.[8] Kiseitehilot (talk) 11:20, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

  1. ^ Ford, Henry. "The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem".
  2. ^ Ford, Henry. "The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem".
  3. ^ Lobbying, direct and indirect. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1950. |first1= missing |last1= (help)
  4. ^ Cohen, Oscar; Wexler, Stanley; League, Bʹnai Bʹrith Anti-defamation (1987). "Not the work of a day" : Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith oral memoirs. New York, N.Y. : The League. p. 134. ISBN 9780884641100.
  5. ^ Tenney, Jack. "Zion's Fifth Column".
  6. ^ "Conspiracy against freedom : a documentation of one campaign of the Anti-Defamation League against freedom of speech and thought in America". Washington, DC : Liberty Lobby. 1986.
  7. ^ King, Dennis. "Our Town's Lyndon LaRouche series by Dennis King, Parts 1-3".
  8. ^ "The Ugly Truth About the ADL". Executive Intelligence Review.
This is a copyright violation from this opinion piece. Absolutely unacceptable. Zerotalk 11:49, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
You have (falsely) created a catch-22: I can't cite the facts in an opinion piece because it's an opinion piece, and neither can anyone ever again refer to any facts mentioned in that piece because it's a "copyright violation." That's absurd. Kiseitehilot (talk) 12:13, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
The point is that you either need a non-opinion source making the argument you're trying to make, or you need to convince people that that opinion piece is WP:DUE for inclusion with inline citations ("Andrew Mark Bennett, writing in Forward, argued that...") Sop far you've tried to just cite the opinion piece as fact, and then, when people objected, you've tried to lift its argument and drop it directly into the article with only primary sources. Even if you rewrote it to avoid the copyvio problem, the core issues would still be:
  • You're implicitly describing all these people as antisemites in Wikipedia's voice; that's definitely something that raises WP:BLP concerns - if you want to do that, you need a strong, independent, non-opinion source explicitly stating, for each and every person in the list, that they're an antisemite. Even with such sourcing people might insist on an in-line citation based on the quality of the source and how uncontroversial the description appears; but you absolutely cannot cite a WP:PRIMARY source and say "here, this shows them being antisemitic" - you need a WP:SECONDARY source drawing that conclusion. To be fair, for many of these people I suspect it wouldn't be hard to find such a source, but you still need to include it. WP:OR generally forbids us from making such interpretations.
  • Even with such sources, if you want to structure these into an argument ("the ADL has been criticized by antisemites"), you'd need to cite a source stating so specifically. Taking a bunch of people you can find cites for describing them as antisemites, then quoting them criticizing the ADL in order to make that point is WP:SYNTH. The opinion-piece you're trying to lift the argument from constructed its argument out of primary sources; but you can't perform such original research here - our job is to report what the best sources say, not to use those sources to construct additional arguments or to make additional points.
Some of this is probably doable, but the main thing is that you first ought to read the policies on WP:RS, WP:PRIMARY sources, WP:BLP, and WP:SYNTH. The copyvio issue aside, the key problem with the paragraph you're trying to add now is that you're performing your own personal interpretation of primary sources. That's actually worse than just citing the opinion piece directly. Realistically, your options are to say "here's Andrew Mark Bennett's opinion" (and convince people here that Bennett is such a noteworthy person that his personal opinion is WP:DUE) or to find a non-opinion source stating the same general points that he did. And - even if you described it as just Bennett's personal opinion - I think you'd have trouble convincing anyone to devote such a large paragraph to what's essentially one random op-ed. --Aquillion (talk) 21:59, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

Tom Gerard listed at Redirects for discussionEdit

An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect Tom Gerard. Please participate in the redirect discussion if you wish to do so. DuncanHill (talk) 21:50, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

YouTube CensorshipEdit

I think it is important to mention that the ADL has played a role in determining what content to remove from YouTube. There are several sources that point to this: They even admitted to partnering with Google and YouTube themselves: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Drbogatyr (talkcontribs) 20:36, 3 October 2019 (UTC)

BigLeaguePolitics is not a journalistic outlet, it’s a partisan blog in the model of DailyKos - it cannot be used to support claims of fact. Sure, the ADL has worked with YouTube to remove extremist content - we can mention that. But your spin on it doesn’t appear to be supported by reliable sources. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 21:26, 3 October 2019 (UTC)

I wanted to use BigLeaguePolitics as an example of a partisan criticism of the policy. I added a source in which a law professor argued that social media censorship may constitute a breach of the public trust, because of promissory estoppel. Unfortunately that got edited out of the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Drbogatyr (talkcontribs) 00:38, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

The Wired source does not mention the words "Anti-Defamation League" anywhere in the article. To use it in this article as inferred criticism of the ADL is prohibited original synthesis. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 01:14, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
First of all, NPOV requires that if we are going to offer opinions about something, we include both negative and positive views.
Second of all, Big League Politics is, as its Wikipedia article discusses, an extremist far-right website known for promoting false and defamatory conspiracy theories. It's not usable as a source here at all whatsoever - we literally don't care what they say. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 01:29, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

Why did you remove the other source then, the one that mentioned ADL's discrimination against BDS? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Drbogatyr (talkcontribs) 02:32, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

September 2019 editsEdit

Regarding this edit insert that the ADL is a "far-left" organisation, based on:

The first source says exactly the opposite: that ADL is used against left wing causes. The second source is Bethany Mandel, who I am not sure count as WP:RS for this article, Huldra (talk) 23:25, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Not to mention that calling the ADL far-left is totally ludicrous. Zerotalk 07:43, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
Agree we need really good sources for it per WP:REDFLAG --Shrike (talk) 08:01, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
Return to "Anti-Defamation League" page.