Template talk:WikiProject Death

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WikiProject Death (Rated Template-class)
This template is within the scope of WikiProject Death, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Death on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 Template  This template does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.

Pls add portal!!!!!Edit

WOW even i cant edit this template ..must get vandalism alot!!!

We need to add the new portal to this template ..I will make it simple !!! Portal:Death =..So the code to be added is ..
|PORTAL = Death
..........Thank you if anyone see this !!!! ..If not i will ask to unlock it so i can add this in a few days if not done..just not sure if any watchers here!!

UPDATE ..Sorry guys i did not see this -->Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Death#For the record' talkBuzzzsherman 18:48, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

OK we are still in the process of fixing up the portal and the project - and yes we have this on watch - thanks for your help anyways buzz :) SatuSuro 01:35, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Edit requestEdit

{{edit protected}} Guess this went unnoticed..Moxy (talk) 06:35, 9 March 2011 (UTC) We need to add the portal to this template ..!!! Portal:Death =..So the code to be added is ..
|PORTAL = Death

The portal of death has been added. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 13:10, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Edit request on 11 December 2011Edit

The banner needs a task force parameter, as agreed here.


|tf 1={{{suicide|}}}
 |TF_1_LINK           = Wikipedia:Wikiproject Death/Suicide task force
 |TF_1_NAME           = the Suicide task force
 |TF_1_NESTED         = Suicide
 |TF_1_TEXT           = This page is within the scope of the [[Wikipedia:WikiProject Death/Suicide task force|Suicide task force]].
 |TF_1_IMAGE          = File:David - The Death of Socrates crop.jpg
 |TF_1_QUALITY        = yes
 |tf 1 importance     = {{{suicide-importance}}}
 |TF_1_ASSESSMENT_CAT = Suicide articles
 |TF_1_MAIN_CAT       = Suicide articles
|TF_SIZE              = x30px

Add the ^above after this line in the existent code:


— Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 13:50, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

  Done - I had not set this to |answered=yes because had detected two problems with the above - |TF_1_LINK=Wikipedia:Wikiproject Death/Suicide task force and |TF_1_IMAGE=File:David - The Death of Socrates crop.jpg should have been |TF_1_LINK=Wikipedia:WikiProject Death/Suicide task force and |TF_1_IMAGE=David - The Death of Socrates crop.jpg respectively; and I was also updating the documentation. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:47, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for catching and fixing those, sorry for the trouble. XD — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 17:18, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Edit request on 14 October 2012Edit

In patrolling the recent apparent Suicide of Amanda Todd talk page, I noted that this template is used (appropriate, as the Suicide Task-Force is a part of this project). The standard project image (human skull) is somewhat abrupt on a recent suicide article and I suggest a replacement be found for articles with the Suicide parameter set.

I request replacing:

|IMAGE_LEFT = Caucasian Human Skull.jpg


|IMAGE_LEFT = {{#if: {{{suicide|yes}}} | David - The Death of Socrates crop.jpg | Caucasian Human Skull.jpg }}

and removing:

|TF_1_IMAGE = David - The Death of Socrates crop.jpg

Tgeairn (talk) 16:40, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Good catch. -- Zanimum (talk) 17:34, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
Oops. There's something wrong with my suggested change. It looks like that replaced the image in all instances, not just where Suicide=Yes. --Tgeairn (talk) 17:41, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
It appears that the line should be:
|IMAGE_LEFT = {{#ifeq: {{{suicide|}}}| yes | David - The Death of Socrates crop.jpg | Caucasian Human Skull.jpg }}
Tgeairn (talk) 18:01, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
I was just about to do this but Jc37 (talk · contribs) did it first, see see here. However, most WikiProject banners have parameters where the values (but not always the param names) are case-insensitive - this is no exception, and |suicide=Yes is legal, so I put in a further fix. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:50, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the sensitive catch! --Tgeairn (talk) 18:51, 14 October 2012 (UTC)


Having two images (a photograph and drawing) of human skulls in this template, which is used on the talk pages of articles about recent murders other fatal incidents, is tasteless in the extreme. I've removed them or now, but better alternatives need to be used. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 22:14, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

"Tasteless" is a point of view. The skull is a universally recognized symbol of death, and these images were discussed and agreed on years ago by members of WikiProject Death. You are making an unjustified disruption prior to discussion. You should undo your edit, then make a suggestion either here or on the main Talk page. Describe the issue and possible solutions. Discussion will commence and consensus will be reached. - Boneyard90 (talk) 22:11, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
WP:IDONTLIKEIT of a single editor is not a consensual decision for a project and how it is portrayed - there is no precedent for a single editor to provide a personal way to understand taste/preference - a discussion (or for that matter a check at the death project where this has been through before) is better first - JarrahTree 00:25, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
I have reverted this good faith edit pending discussion, since Boneyard90 has indicated that these images were chosen by consensus of project participants. It would be helpful to provide a link to prior discussions in order to support that assertion.
If the discussion results in editors affiliated with the project wanting to replace these images with diferent ones (or with no images), ping me and I will be happy to implement the edits in question. – Jonesey95 (talk) 04:15, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
While I haven't found the discussion specifically about the image in the template, relevant discussions on imagery occurred regarding Death portal images and there were discussions on if WP:Death is "appropriate" to some articles here and here. However, this may not be conclusive. Other editors like User:JarrahTree might remember how the image of the skull was decided at the beginning of the project. If there is a need to discuss the image of the skull, I suggest the editor start a new discussion, provide reasons for the change, and any relevant policies so that we can discuss the change and possible solutions. - Boneyard90 (talk) 04:54, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
@Jonesey95: As can be seen below, there is little support for these images, which are generally thought inappropriate. Please undo your revert of my removal of them, while we discuss more suitable replacements. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:58, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Needlessly causing upset to victims of incidents like the recent Paris shootings or plane crashes is unacceptable; and avoiding doing so is not what is discussed at WP:IDONTLIKEIT. Past discussions held by members of one project (much less a project with only 41 members, several of whom are no longer active) do not equate to current consensus across Wikipedia; nor are they a license to posts such images on a wide variety of article talk pages. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:04, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Please go to the Death project Talk Page, this has all been visited before 5 years ago. It is very simple. Someone is upset, you dont remove the image. You use Banner template. Simple as that. Please. JarrahTree 06:43, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

In the 2010 discussion linked to by - ironically - Boneyard90, above, user Polargeo said:

The policy cited here such as "don't like it" "Not censored" is all to do with content. This issue has nothing whatsoever to do with content and everything to do with the sensitivity of wikipedians. Placing a grinning skull and a "this topic comes under wikiproject death" with a link to a nice black gothic wikiproject on the talkpage of articles that detail events where people have recently lost loved ones is not a wikipedia content issue at all. It is a wikipedians behaviour issue relevent to the way wikipedia is presented and will be percieved. I went to the main wikiprojects who deal with those articles and informed them of the issue [...] I have seen and talked to relatives of those killed [in Bosnia] and I have witnessed excavations of mass graves. It is not me who is personally offended by a skull picture. I am simply considering the image of wikipedia in the light of my real life experience and trying to have some empathy for what it would be like for a relative to see this banner.

I endorse those comments; it's a pity they weren't heeded at the time. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:12, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

In some cultures it is highly offensive to show bones/skeletons to depict death. (There is a reason World of Warcraft was *required* to replace the dead player skeletons with little tombstones in China for example) Suffice to say the pictures add nothing, serve no purpose, and have the potential to upset/offend, especially on articles involving the recently deceased. I highly doubt at any talkpage involving deaths of living people you will get consensus to slap skulls over it. Only in death does duty end (talk) 16:35, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Although just to be clear, while a wikiproject can design whatever it wants into its own banner, it cant force usage of that elsewhere. I highly suggest having a separate template sans pictures for use in more sensitive articles. Only in death does duty end (talk) 16:41, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Ah I see Bannershell can be used to enclose it. Well thats useful at least. Only in death does duty end (talk) 16:44, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Bannershell displays the templates before collapsing them; and the problem still exists when the reader clicks "show". It's no solution. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 23:43, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Agree with Andy; the images are insensitive and unnecessary. Johnbod (talk) 17:14, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  • i am the one that used the current skull...I dont care if it stays or not...but..The human skull is an obvious and frequent symbol of death, found in many cultures and religious traditions. Skeletons/skulls are not censored in Chinese culture, or considered taboo in Chinese culture...no guess work pls....that said just have a RfC on the matter...more real sources will arise over guess work on cultural significance.
Jack Tresidder (2012). The Watkins Dictionary of Symbols. Watkins Media. p. 223. ISBN 978-1-78028-357-9.
George Ferguson; George Wells Ferguson (1959). Signs & Symbols in Christian Art. Oxford University Press. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-19-501432-7.-- Moxy (talk) 17:28, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Agree with Jonbod and Andy, my preference would be no image - is an image really necessary? Gmcbjames (talk) 18:28, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  • First, skulls don't grin. Second, the skull is a universal symbol of death. I still don't have a clear idea why it's insensitive, even in cases of recent deceased. The "recently deceased" won't look anything like a clean, bleached skull. So that being said, the skull is a symbol of death, and death is the topic of the articles we're trying to improve. It is what it is. As to the point of necessity, I find a relevant image completely necessary. It's the concept associated with the wikiproject's scope and name. This is the Death Project. The project banner isn't a comic cartoon skull, or a metal-looking Grim Reaper, or a zombie, or showing some graphic decomposition, nor is it stocked with religious symbolism. We take the subject seriously. But on the topic of death, the skull is about as neutral and non-graphic as you can get. - Boneyard90 (talk) 20:23, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Glennys Howarth; Oliver Leaman (2003). Encyclopedia of Death and Dying. Routledge. p. 416. ISBN 978-1-136-91360-0. -- Moxy (talk) 16:39, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
"Universal symbol"[failed verification] Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 23:28, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Ok I will help you it says "it is universally recognizable as a portent of human motlality" - portent = symbol - motlality = death -- Moxy (talk) 23:55, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps more to the point, if it weren't a widely recognized symbol of death, then people wouldn't worry about it being distressing to the tiny fraction of readers who look at the talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:06, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Side issue on nature of Wikiprojects
  • I do not believe that WikiProjects should "claim" articles in the aggressive way they currently do and have done for many years, by placing banners on talk pages. A number of problems arise from this estate-grab - the current debate is just one example. It would be far better if WikiProjects kept their records of articles in their own namespace rather than invading the article talk pages. In the general spirit of "don't be a dick", such banners should certainly be removed when there is opposition to their placement. Samsara 21:43, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
    • I think I see your point, but at the same time, the projects are one way we maintain neutrality in an article (so that undue weight does not favor one editor's side), and with a project like WP:Death, it's one way we maintain consistency across numerous similar articles. I think what you want is a very fundamental change in how Wikipedia operates, and I'm not sure this is the place to do it. I'm sure there are more comprehensive talkspaces that address and engage a cross-section of contributing editors. I understand your democratic stance, in saying if a consensus is against participation by one project out of "sensitivity", then that project's editors should bow out, due to "Don't be a dick" considerations. But that has its problems. I mean, if there is an article on a contentious battle or - let's say a massacre, and some editors from a project representing the victims argue that a project representing the alleged perpetrators should not be allowed to contribute, because it's "disrespectful to the victims", then is that fair? That would not represent a neutral point of view without allowing all concerned editors weigh in on the different perspectives. I think in the interests of all concerned, under the policies and practices currently in effect in Wikipedia, using the WikiProject Banner Shell is the optimal solution. Covers up the skull, and allows us to continue, until such time as concerned editors find a way for projects to track articles without appearing to "lay claim" to them. - Boneyard90 (talk) 22:11, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
      • No, the point is not about project participation. It's about banner placement. Participate in the article, but leave your banner at home. Samsara 22:29, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
      • Samsara, I am not sure you have an understanding of what wikipedia projects are about - the whole structure of wikipedia can be seen where talk pages are open for allocation to a relevant project (or projects) so that they can be identified, and in turn evaluated and assessed. There is a metric where the whole range of articles can be captured in context of whether they are stub, or up to GA or FA. There is a whole architecture, and it is nothing to do with aggressison, simply assessment. JarrahTree 22:39, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
          • Well that's the theory. The thing is, this project is virtually moribund (look at the project talk), and essentially parasitic over most of the articles it claims, which are written by people with nothing to do with the project. In these circumstances it ought to be even more careful than usual about causing offence. Johnbod (talk) 00:05, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Andy - one thing to raise the Bosnia item from 5 years ago, but the banner suggestion you seem to ignore.. why? JarrahTree 22:41, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
    • I ignored nothing. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 23:43, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
      • ah I missed your comment ....Bannershell displays the templates before collapsing them; and the problem still exists when the reader clicks "show". It's no solution - fair enough this page is getting a bit cluttered. cheers JarrahTree 13:44, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict)I agree the skull should be removed. The pages linked to the skull image are at File:Caucasian Human Skull.jpg. Doug Weller (talk) 16:50, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Both images should be removed. The images are cup (if |suicide=yes) and skull (otherwise). Decorating talk pages is not helpful for the encyclopedia, and these images are offensive in at least some cases. Johnuniq (talk) 23:44, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree that the skull images should be removed. Respect for widely held cultural sensitivities is part of making Wikipedia an engaging place to read and work, part of making the transition from a insular (and shrinking) community of editors to a welcoming one. Wikilawyering this behind NOT#CENSORED, rather than asking "Does generating feelings of revulsion help or hurt the encyclopedia?" is a sign of the project's all too frequent immaturity.--Carwil (talk) 15:09, 19 December 2017 (UTC)

On the question of consensus regarding the skull imagesEdit

I have followed the above (very civil, for which I am grateful) discussion, and the consensus of that discussion appears to be weighted toward removing the large skull image that is on the left side of the template. I will do so in the next day or so unless I am demonstrably incorrect in my assessment (which is quite possible). Please ping me if I forget.Jonesey95 (talk) 16:35, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

I have struck out part of my note above. I thought that the discussion was winding down, but it's just getting started. – Jonesey95 (talk) 04:45, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree with this point so far about the "vote"....but not one sources backing up the claims of it being offensive...in fact we have 3 sources thus far that explain how important the symbol is. Think it will take a bit more then a few that dont understand the symbol to force the project to change. As mentioned before a RfC may be best because its about doing right by the sources....not a vote because of personal POV's. -- Moxy (talk) 16:51, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
"a few that dont [sic] understand the symbol" It appears to be you who lacks understanding. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 23:23, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Both image, not just one. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 23:23, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
I do as I have read the sources and understand procedure ....thus far we have sources explaining its significant's and lack there of for any opposing view. As per the sources its a main symbol of death and is not taboo in China as mentioned above. As I said I dont care about the image ..but don't like seeing Wiki-projects being told what to do when the reason is simply a POV and not based in policy. Its clear some people do care about the image ...but for all the wrong reasons....like images of Muhammad just because some dont like it does not mean we dont have it. As I said before RfC is best as so many article are affected. -- Moxy (talk) 23:52, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Rather than characterizing the issue as someone telling a wikiproject what to do, a more realistic summary would be that a wikiproject cannot decree what is acceptable on multiple talk pages—a wikiproject should not attempt to tell the entire community what to do. Per not bureaucracy, we don't attempt to have a policy to cover every situation. Johnuniq (talk) 00:43, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Actual discussion has been underway for a little more than 48 hours. The project members themselves weren't even notified 48 hours ago, and I have just notified WikiProject Council (which has expertise on the issue of non-participants making demands on other volunteers) and WikiProject Medicine (the most closely related large WikiProject). I think we should wait at least a week before assuming that a consensus has been reached. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:22, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree that more time should be given for discussion should be allowed before consensus is determined. The template instructions say, "When adding this template to articles about recent (defined as having occurred on or after January 1, 1970) deaths, please envelope the banner within {{WikiProjectBannerShell}}." This rule was decided a few years ago for exactly this purpose; to hide the potentially distressing image of a skull in relation to a recent death or large death-related event. --Geniac (talk) 01:54, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
This canard has already been refuted, above. Though the existence of the supposed "rule" does, as you say, confirm that the image has potential to cause distress. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:37, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment a human skull is a common representation of death. I see nothing wrong with using it. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:33, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
    • Agree with Doc James. Not offensive at all. I also strongly disagree with the claim "the consensus of that discussion appears to be weighted toward removing the large skull image". I suggest a proper RfC, well-publicized and closed by someone uninvolved in order to demonstrate consensus. --Guy Macon (talk) 10:14, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
      • Skulls have been used to represent mortality for centuries (millennia?). Look at Yorick in Hamlet or paintings like [1]. There is also Memento mori. I don't see use of a skull here as callous or abnormal. Sizeofint (talk) 05:03, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Incidentally if we're looking for something more historic/artistic this might be better. Sizeofint (talk) 06:53, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Two imagesEdit


Andy, you said above that there are "two images (a photograph and drawing) of human skulls". Here are the two images. Only one is a skull. There is no drawing of a skull. Do you also object to the drawing of a cup? WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:28, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

I also see a drawing of a skull in the Portal link:
Maybe that is what is being referred to as "a drawing" above. – Jonesey95 (talk) 04:43, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
That must be it. He removed both of the main images in his edit a little while ago, so I assumed those were the two he was concerned about. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:59, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
skulls have always been used to represent this topic,(I don't see a problem...IMO),,,,the portal "drawing" could be done better--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 08:09, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

-yes, I think we all know that, but it really isn't the point. Johnbod (talk) 17:07, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

So... thus far the problem is its offensive - not to scholars or artist - just to some here. However... this is not a reason for removal.. (WP:GRATUITOUS) = "Wikipedia editors should not remove material solely because it may be offensive, unpleasant, or unsuitable for some readers". (Wikipedia:Content disclaimer) = "Wikipedia contains many different images, some of which are considered objectionable or offensive by some readers". (WP:CENSORED) = "Wikipedia may contain content that some readers consider objectionable or offensive—​even exceedingly so. Attempting to ensure that articles and images will be acceptable to all readers, or will adhere to general social or religious norms, is incompatible with the purposes of an encyclopedia." ........ I find the swastika offensive but like a skull its the main symbol to represent the topic. --- Moxy (talk) 17:35, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Anyone caring to read a few words at the linked pages will see they (obviously) concern article content. Those guidelines/policies are totally irrelevant for how talk pages are decorated. Why does the template documentation state that WikiProjectBannerShell should be used on articles for recent deaths? Johnuniq (talk) 00:11, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Our guidlines are our principles appllied to all aspects of editing and interaction. --Moxy (talk) 03:49, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
The instructions about using the banner shell were added by User:Geniac in this 2010 edit after this conversation, which was apparently triggered by a single editor improperly removing the project's banners due to a belief that lots of people would be offended by the images. It was also noted accurately that this project's scope overlaps with other projects so frequently that banner shells should normally be used anyway. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:05, 28 November 2015 (UTC)


This has been resolved by the addition of a |image= parameter. Please be sure to set |image=no to suppress the images on pages about recent deaths. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:38, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

I've asked for a bot to apply the parameter on relevant articles; see Wikipedia:Bot_requests#Death template parameter. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:48, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
Update: the parameter does not resolve the issue, because people adding the template are not using it. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:31, 19 December 2017 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 19 December 2017Edit

At Talk:2017 Washington train derailment the issue was raised that the Death project banner on the talk page displays an image of a skull. Because this is a recent disaster, people unfamiliar with Wikipedia are likely to see this page when they try to help edit this article, and would be distressed by the macabre image. While this reasoning is problematic to me for several reasons, it's an unnecessary distraction when trying to edit a current events article. WikiProject Death is obviously highly relevant to a fatal train wreck.

The simplest solution is to add a {{WikiProject Death|no_image=Y}} option so that the banner can be displayed with no image, thus not exciting a sideshow controversy over the skull. A more gentle death image like a cemetery or some flowers or something could be used as an alternative, but the least controversial way to get on with editing would be to have no image at all with the no_image flag set to Y. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 20:51, 19 December 2017 (UTC) Dennis Bratland (talk) 20:51, 19 December 2017 (UTC)

@Dennis Bratland:   Already done Such a parameter was added more than a year ago, see #Redux above. Pigsonthewing (talk · contribs) has already observed that people are not using it - even when such usage would be appropriate. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:41, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
I’m sorry I missed it. On most templates image= is where you put the image file you want to display. Can we call it show_skull= Y/N so it’s self explanatory? Thanks! Dennis Bratland (talk) 22:43, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
To be precise, the image showed only if you manually clicked on the [Show] button, to see more about the WikiProject, because the entire template was collapsed. Now, even if you click the [Show] button, you won't see the image.
It looks like the /doc page needs to be updated, to make this information easier to find. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:53, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
Return to "WikiProject Death" page.