User:Aircorn/Widely regarded

Widely regarded, widely considered and other similar constructs are commonly used in wikipedia articles. As of the creation of this essay there are over 10 000 instances where they are used in articles. They are often Weasel words and decent indicators of non-neutral editing or potential original research.

For something to be widely regarded a very reliable source needs to say that this is the case. More specifically it needs to use the term "widely regarded" or something comparable. Having multiple sources extolling the virtues or negatives of a particular person, concept or institution does not make it widely regarded, it just means that those sources describe it that way. If we combine the sources to reach the conclusion that something is widely regarded then we are committing original research, something which we should not do. If it truly is widely regarded a certain way then let another source reach this conclusion. There are many better ways to represent these sources, including "described as", "according to", "regarded by" etc.

In many cases there are no sources present and it is added by a fan or critic of the subject to balance the article to there own particular viewpoint.

My processEdit

I will generally try and follow a pattern when coming across this phasing to give editors a fair chance to address any issues themselves

  • If it is unsouced or poorly sourced and used to make negative claims about a BLP it will be removed
  • If it is unsourced I will add a citation needed tag to it
  • If the cited source does not adequately support the statement I will rewrite the sentence to more accurately reflect it.
  • If it already has an old citation needed template I will remove it.
  • I may not always follow this (e.g. if I am familiar enough with the subject to know it doesn't belong I may remove it without first asking for a citation)
  • If the term is not used in a POV way and seems appropriate I may well leave it or reword it (e.g. it can be used as a definition as it is in sex symbol)
  • As always I will follow consensus and work through the consensus processes as needed.