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Welcome to the reliable sources noticeboard. This page is for posting questions regarding whether particular sources are reliable in context.
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RfC - CoinDesk as a sourceEdit

Should CoinDesk be removed as a source from all articles on Wikipedia? --Molochmeditates (talk) 13:49, 29 May 2019 (UTC)

Survey (CoinDesk)Edit

Previous Discussion: Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_251#RfC_on_use_of_CoinDesk

RSP Entry: CoinDesk RSP Entry

Please note: Wikipedia:General_sanctions/Blockchain_and_cryptocurrencies

There is currently no consensus on whether CoinDesk should be considered a [[questionable source. Therefore I do not support the blanket removal of CoinDesk references especially in cases where it leaves statements unsourced and articles incomplete (including several criticisms). Instead, editors should refer to WP:CONTEXTMATTERS.

An experienced editor is removing all CoinDesk references from cryptocurrency related articles on Wikipedia. My question is simply whether there should there be a blanket removal of all CoinDesk references from Wikipedia, even in cases where it is not used to establish notability, irrespective of context? Here is a small sample of 10 affected articles, in no particular order (there are too many to sort through):

So the question is,

  • Yes all references to CoinDesk should be removed from Wikipedia irrespective of context
  • No do not remove all references to CoinDesk per previous RfC, and instead use the context to determine whether to use the reference or not (e.g. do not use CoinDesk sources to establish notability).

Note: This is not an RfC for individual article cleanup. I am sure we can all agree that many of the cryptocurrency related articles can be improved. --Molochmeditates (talk) 01:42, 29 May 2019 (UTC)

Remove it - speaking as the editor in question, here's what my thinking was:
  • In general: cryptocurrency/blockchain articles are magnets for spam and advocacy. And crypto news sites are bad sources, per the previous discussion on this topic - they appear to be specialist press, but function as advocacy. You will see every possible thing being spun as good news for cryptos. We don't need crypto sites - there's plenty of mainstream coverage and peer-reviewed academic coverage to establish notability. Using crypto sites as sources in your article is a bad sign at AFD, and using mainstream RSes and peer-reviewed academic RSes is a good sign at AFD - so the observed working consensus of Wikipedia editors in practice is strongly in this direction.
  • In particular: Coindesk has a terrible habit of running articles on things that don't exist yet, barely-reskinned press releases and so on. There are plenty of refs that are entirely factual content! But you can say the same about blogs, wikis and other sources that aren't trustworthy in any practical sense. And this is even though Coindesk has an editor, I know a pile of the journalists and they're honestly trying to do a good job, etc. Quite a lot of the Coindesk refs I removed were to puffed-up nonsense articles, or in support of blatantly promotional article content. So the argument that editors will check the context doesn't work in practice - using the Coindesk articles that happen to be properly-made news coverage only encourages the use of their bad stuff, on the basis of WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS, which is the most frequent AFD argument from crypto spammers.
  • I urge those thinking about this to reread WP:GS/Crypto. Just think what sort of editing would cause that harsh a community sanction to be put into place. Those conditions haven't changed. Letting just a waffer-thin crypto site in the door will invite the spammers back.
  • I must note I'm arguably speaking against my own interest here - I make some money as a crypto journalist, often publishing in these very sites. I know my stuff is good and my editors are good! But I also know there's excellent reason it's not good for Wikipedia - when we have mainstream sources. If some subject or fact isn't notable enough to make it into mainstream or peer-reviewed sources, perhaps it's not notable enough for Wikipedia.
  • For a recent example that did make the crypto press, check this out. (I spoke to them with my Wikipedia editor hat on for once, not my crypto journalist hat.) That's about spammy interests trying to weasel their stuff into just one page. Repeat for a large swathe of the crypto articles on Wikipedia, 'cos that sort of thing is entirely usual. Mainstream-only is good in practice. (cc Retimuko and Ladislav Mecir, who are also mentioned in that piece.)
  • And, really - you think crypto sites should be used for BLPs? We have super-stringent BLP rules also for excellent reasons. I can't see how a crypto site would ever be acceptable as a source for a BLP, except maybe as an accepted subject-published link or similar - David Gerard (talk) 17:36, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
- David Gerard (talk) 17:18, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
@David Gerard: I'm skeptical of your claim "I must note I'm arguably speaking against my own interest here", considering that you published Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain, a book that is highly critical of cryptocurrencies. How would your !vote to remove all references to CoinDesk go against your own interests? Since you "make some money as a crypto journalist", wouldn't removing all references to CoinDesk effectively eliminate your biggest competitor and/or adversary from being mentioned on Wikipedia? — Newslinger talk 12:39, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
I mean that my own work in the ones I write for (which include Coindesk) wouldn't be citable. If you think you have a substantiable claim of COI on my part, you know where WP:COIN is, else I'll file that with all the other unsubstantiated claims that not being an advocate means I should stop editing in the area - David Gerard (talk) 17:05, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. Your statement makes more sense alongside the fact that you have contributed to CoinDesk. Ironically, the fact that CoinDesk published your opinion piece "2017: The ‘Butt’ of Bitcoin’s Joke" makes them less biased than I had previously assumed. — Newslinger talk 18:58, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Unreliable source - beyond the issues that David Gerrard lays out above, crypto news sites also have had issues with content being gneerated for pay but not noted as such. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 20:19, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
    • to be fair, Coindesk has never been credibly accused of pay-for-play, and there's no good reason to think they'd do that. However, their editorial line has long been basically boosterism for cryptos (IMO) - David Gerard (talk) 06:56, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
      That is fair. However, beyond that for all the reasons you've mentioned, which I didn't bother to repeat since you'd laid them out in depth, I continue to believe it is an unreliable source. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 14:53, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
Keep (do not remove all references to CoinDesk - here's my thinking and take on the matter:
  • The previous RfC did a good job of getting consensus on how to treat CoinDesk articles. It clearly stated that CoinDesk shouldn't be used to establish notability but otherwise isn't barred from being used as a source. Why the sudden change in this policy by one editor deciding unilaterally that they no longer wish to adhere to this consensus?
  • Yes, we all know the usual criticisms of crypto press. That's already debated and known to editors. If there are individual instances to consider incorrect usage of CoinDesk, e.g. to establish notability, by all means they should be deleted. But as long as it isn't the policy, I don't support a blanket removal of all the material from literally hundreds of articles affected.
  • A lot of the material that's been removed is actually criticism of the projects. The bias is easy to understand - a lot of the overly promotional puffery has been removed by diligent editors already. This means removing all the CoinDesk references has made the problem of crypto-puffery much worse.
  • Several instances of purely encyclopedic content was removed for using CoinDesk as a purely descriptive secondary source (e.g. discussion on popular standards). This hurts the quality of the articles from an encyclopedic perspective.
  • This blanket removal of CoinDesk references already goes against the general consensus previously reached. There are literally hundreds (probably thousands?) of edits to go through, and I don't think it's feasible to go through them all to determine if the removal was justified. In many cases I've reviewed, I think the removal was unjustified, and in several other cases, it was totally justified. It's very hard to review now after these edits.
  • In conclusion, yes, there is a problem with crypto puff material entering the articles, but the solution isn't to ban crypto press. Crypto press both has the puffiest pieces and the most critical pieces on crypto projects. As editors, we want to see a balanced article, but that balance gets lost of we cannot cite the criticisms. One editor shouldn't decide to remove criticism and encyclopedic content especially going against previous consensus

I am of course happy to comply with a consensus view that CoinDesk should never be used as a reference on Wikipedia, if that's what comes out of this RfC. In that case, we should edit the RSP entry to reflect this consensus. Also, a lot of articles now have material that are unreferenced. There is a good amount of work to be done to go through these and remove the unsourced material or find other sources. --Molochmeditates (talk) 19:39, 31 May 2019 (UTC)

  • Keep as a source per Molochmeditates. CoinDesk's role in promoting the use of cryptocurrencies is no different from PinkNews's role in promoting acceptance of LGBT communities worldwide. Recognise their bias, and use discretion when citing the source; but do not systemically reject an entire topic area from Wikipedia just because it is in some way problematic or difficult to write about. feminist (talk) 07:28, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Most of them should be removed. But it should be done more carefully. A lot of them can be replaced by mainstream sources. Examples:
Andreessen Horowitz -
Wall Street Journal "blog" about the same thing.
Initial coin offering -
"The SEC ruled that celebrity ICO endorsements must disclose the amount of any compensation paid for the endorsement." Covered by Reuters.
BitLicense -
"In July 2016, San Francisco-based Ripple was awarded the second BitLicense." Covered by Reuters.
There should be zero coin news references used in an article if possible. Like do you really need to use CoinDesk to write a good article about blockchain?
So if it's an important detail, look for a mainstream source. If it's only on a coin news site you should explain why it's needed on the talk page or edit summary. Blumpf (talk) 21:18, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Delete all references from Coindesk and other cryptopropaganda I'd thought that this was already a settled matter. There are reliable references to cryptomatters, e.g. Bloomberg, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Financial Times, BBC, CBC and sometimes in Fortune and some of the cable news networks. There's no reason not to just use these sources. The cryptopropaganda network is all shills all the time as far as I'm concerned. Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:58, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Do not delete all references. There is not enough evidence to indict CoinDesk as a source that publishes false or fabricated information. While CoinDesk is a biased and non-independent source due to the cryptocurrency holdings of its parent company (Digital Currency Group), I don't consider the content in CoinDesk to be sponsored content, and I don't think a removal of "all references" to CoinDesk is justified. In my opinion, a source only crosses the line when it publishes calls to action that support its interests. CoinDesk's articles do not contain that type of promotional language. CoinDesk is much closer to TorrentFreak (RSP entry), which is another specialist publication that assumes the role of an advocacy organization, than The Points Guy's sponsored content (RSP entry), which contains actual sales pitches. However, CoinDesk should not be used to establish notability (per existing consensus), and editors should consider whether content from CoinDesk constitutes undue weight before including it into an article. — Newslinger talk 12:39, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    To "delete all references" to a source "irrespective of context" is a very serious action that is only taken when a source is listed on the spam blacklist. The "Yes" position in this RfC goes further than deprecation, because deprecation respects WP:CONTEXTMATTERS while the "Yes" position here does not. If CoinDesk is not eligible for the spam blacklist, then there is no valid reason to "delete all references" to it "irrespective of context". — Newslinger talk 01:34, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Remove all, but try to replace with mainstream sources when at all possible, per Blumpf and others. The FRS/Legobot sent me. EllenCT (talk) 19:17, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Remove all. Mainstream sources are fine. Coindesk is biased, and most editors don't have context to identify the cases where they might be able to be a neutral source. – SJ + 03:22, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    • SJ, WP:RS says that sources can be WP:BIASED and still reliable. Do you mean "Remove all, because I don't trust editors to use this source in a neutral way"? That's a rather different statement from the question above about whether the source's reliability is WP:QUESTIONABLE. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:41, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes - Remove all, unreliable is unreliable, context doesn't magically make dishonest reporting honest. They have form. Bacondrum (talk) 06:42, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes - Remove all, for the reason stated by SJ. Peter K Burian (talk) 15:35, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes - Remove all - Coindesk and publications like it are effectively WP:PROFRINGE sources advocating a worldview about cryptocurrencies that is not reality-based. We should be blacklisting it. Simonm223 (talk) 19:20, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Keep as source per feminist. Mainstream sources are preferable, and coindesk should not be relied as a central source, but it's reasonably WP:THIRDPARTY, and often contains details that can't be found elsewhere. Forbes72 (talk) 19:00, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Remove all. It's kind of like using the Discotute as a source for the validity of creationism. Coindesk writers have drunk deep of the kool-aid and assiduously maintain the kayfabe of crypto. Promotional or uncritical commentary on cryptobollocks is pretty much the last thing we need here. Guy (Help!) 10:42, 25 July 2019 (UTC)

Discussion (CoinDesk)Edit

I think we need to be cautious here. Crypto/blockchain is a rather large field, but awash with people fighting over virtual dollars so sources are going to be iffy. But in other fields - for example, video games, we also know there is a lot of specialized media and a LOT of "blogs" trying to be big news sites that we at the VG project reject. That said, reviewing lists of crypto news site lists, a lot are owned by companies directly involved in the crypto game so yes, COI/self-promotion has to be a factor here. Coinbank seems to fall into that but its also the first major site after you get past CNBC and Forbes (which includes their contributors) in this list (which of course may also be suspect). I think we need some strong guidance to white/black-list sites and make it clear that sites that are knownly run by crypto backers should be considered generally a non-RS and certainly not independent for notability concerns. --Masem (t) 23:35, 30 May 2019 (UTC)

"sites that are knownly run by crypto backers should be considered generally a non-RS and certainly not independent for notability concern" - but that's literally all the crypto news sites, though. Every single one. Is there an exception you had in mind? - David Gerard (talk) 07:21, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't know, I have not had any good chance to review them in any depth, their connections, and how others see those sources. For example, if we have non-crypto-based RSes routinely quoting facts from a crypto source, even if that source is not truly independent, that still suggests that that source would be seen as authorative. All the concerns related to WP:NORG obviously should be applied to any crypto-related article, but it still doesn't mean throwing the entire work out if others see part of it as reliable. But I have spent literally only like 10 minutes looking into this, nothing I would consider suitable to say such exist.
I do worry that this rush of mass removals without a clear consensus is into WP:FAIT territory, even though I suspect 95% of them removals would be proper, at the end of the day. --Masem (t) 14:06, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
I think your point about RS quoting something like CoinDesk is a fair point and I would hope that David Gerrard has stopped removing CoinDesk as a reference while this RfC is being conducted. However, because Crypto/blockchain is a substantial field we have non-industry sources covering notable organizations/developments regularly. We can rely on them without having to figure "Is CoinDesk acting as a booster of the industry here or is it reporting news of significance?" Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 14:57, 31 May 2019 (UTC)

No, do not remove all references to CoinDesk. As always, reliability is determined in context. Per Obsidi, "They have an editorial staff and an editorial policy. They do issue corrections". Benjamin (talk) 00:34, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

  • I see one very rarely indeed. A recent worked example of Coindesk being a sloppy and misleading source: [1] It's particularly egregious because literally nothing they claim is new - including the precise technical claim, which was detailed in InfoQ (which is a specialist RS) two years ago and its application to blockchains the same year (though that's a primary source, not an RS, it's the counterexample that Coindesk has repeated a marketing lie unexamined). Will Coindesk correct it? Still waiting ... Coindesk has a long history of repeating any press release nonsense that sounds like good news for blockchain. This means that a Coindesk reference cannot be safely used unless the editor has separately verified that this time they're not just repeating boosterism - at which point you're doing original research and should either find a RS or just not do that - David Gerard (talk) 17:13, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
As this RfC has run for 30 days, I've submitted a request for closure at WP:RFCL § Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#RfC - CoinDesk as a source. — Newslinger talk 19:46, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

RfC: The American ConservativeEdit

There is very little comment on this publication. It is self-evidently somewhat to the right, but that is not an impediment to being accepted as a reliable source (given that all non-scientific publications will always carry some degree of bias). It has variously been described herein as a "major site", "reliable source", and "reputable yet biased". It includes much comment from academics and current and former (mostly the latter) intergovernmental agency and government staff members. Seeking comment as it is a significant site. Cambial Yellowing(❧) 11:19, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

oops. ta-da!
Most if not all of the magazine is opinion articles, which are generally not considered reliable sources. Note for example the first article in your link, by Robert W. Merry, which says, "The Democratic contenders want open borders and free healthcare and to pay for it by hiking taxes." In fact none of them call for open borders and most of them oppose free health care. TFD (talk) 11:46, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
"Most if not all" is based on your reading the strap line of one article then, by this veteran former WSJ reporter. I noted that it takes a right-view above. So option 2 additional considerations is reasonable. But it includes much serious reporting e.g. Cambial Yellowing(❧) 12:06, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
I really wish people would stop knee-jerk repeating "opinion pieces are bad" as if they were repeating policy. See also WP:CONTEXTMATTERS. GMGtalk 14:33, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
The American Conservative is the largest outlet in the heterodox paleoconservative movement, a small right-wing movement in the US, and a very valuable source for paleoconservative ideas. However it is still mainly an opinion outlet and has faced criticism on issues of race. I would say it is useful for opinion but should be used with caution on general reporting due to its inherent paleoconservative bias. Toa Nidhiki05 12:08, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

The American Conservative exists to promote a “Main Street” conservatism that opposes unchecked power in government and business; promotes the flourishing of families and communities through vibrant markets and free people; and embraces realism and restraint in foreign affairs based on America’s vital national interests.

I would use The American Conservative with caution, which is how we currently treat media from most advocacy organizations, including the Cato Institute (RSP entry), Media Matters for America (RSP entry), and the Media Research Center (RSP entry). As the publication is biased or opinionated, in-text attribution is recommended. — Newslinger talk 20:00, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I would argue it is quite similar to Cato, even more so because it is the only major paleoconservative outlet. It’s basically the flagship publication of that movement and was even founded by Pat Buchanan himself. It’s not really a “straight news” or even news-opinion publication imo. Toa Nidhiki05 20:19, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Absolutely. I would treat both similarly. — Newslinger talk 00:33, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
User:Cambial Yellowing, what you call serious reporting is actually an opinion piece. The author is commenting on a story that appeared in the New York Times about Trump's plans to increase the nuclear stockpile. There is absolutely no reason why we would use this as a source instead of the New York Times article that reported the story. GMG, it's not that opinion pieces are bad, but that policy says they are rarely reliable sources. Mostly they repeat facts already reported in reliable sources. When they report original information, they are not subject to the same editorial control as news reporting. So one writer may say Trump is a Russian agent while another says he did not collude with Russia. One may say climate change will destroy the world in 10 years while another will say there is no climate change. TFD (talk) 00:53, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
What policy says is Sometimes non-neutral sources are the best possible sources for supporting information about the different viewpoints held on a subject. But I have also seen this argument used to delete at AfD, and used to argue against using attributed statement of opinion from independently notable authors, writing opinion pieces in iron clad reliable publications. GMGtalk 01:32, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
That's from Biased or opinionated sources. I was referring to News organizations: "Editorial commentary, analysis and opinion pieces...are reliable primary sources for statements attributed to that editor or author, but are rarely reliable for statements of fact." The two points are consistent: opinion pieces and biased sources are reliable for what their authors say. Some biased sources may also be reliable for facts as well, if the publishers made sufficient steps to ensure accuracy. Academic papers and books for example are almost always biased, which is why they are written. TFD (talk) 02:24, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
Indeed, usable with attribution especially if the author has a particular reputation (for weight). Some independent analysis report it as "unfair interpretation of the news", "hyper partisan right", so unreliable for statements of fact. —PaleoNeonate – 02:56, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
  • The American Conservative is fine for accurately reporting the opinions of its writers and we can presume its stories are honestly the writing of those to whom they're bylined; it has a legal personality in a jurisdiction in which it can be held liable for libel and it has a stable and consistent history of publication. However it does not have, nor does it claim to have, newsgathering capability and is essentially an opinion publication. One of the standards we should use to evaluate reliability is whether unambiguously RS cite its reporting. When I do a Google News search for "according to the American Conservative" or "the American Conservative reported" I don't get any meaningful results. So I would say it's reliable for attributing statements to its own writers but I would not use it for Who/What/Why facts like the size of a brush fire in Montana. Chetsford (talk) 16:25, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Seems professional, center-right publication. Mostly seems to be a venue for collected articles rather than in-house reporting, so editors should focus on individual author reputation and specific articles. Quality if biased contributors seem the rule, so would expect that it is informed and well-written but is not balanced or comprehensive. Editors should refer to WP:CONTEXTMATTERS and be aware this is an advocacy like SPLC and others used as RS -- and like those, typically attribution should be used per WP:BIASED. CHeers Markbassett (talk) 07:16, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Bad RFC - what is the reason for raising this RFC? What is the actual concrete issue that we are supposed to be addressing? These general RFC on reliability of sources are swerving into WP:FORUM territory. FOARP (talk) 09:28, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
As this RfC has run for 30 days, I've submitted a request for closure at WP:RFCL § Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#RfC: The American Conservative. — Newslinger talk 22:59, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Users should apply WP:CONTEXTMATTERS. Except in extreme cases, which this is not, it's far preferable to a blanket rule that thus-and-such a source is or is not WP:RS.Adoring nanny (talk) 01:54, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

RfC: Taki's MagazineEdit

I've seen Taki's Magazine listed as a source a number of times recently and I'm worried by its use, it appears to be something similar to Breitbart. Before I go removing it and related claims from articles I'd like some feedback regarding its reliability. Which of the following best describes the reliability of Taki's Magazine?

  1. Generally reliable for factual reporting
  2. Unclear or additional considerations apply
  3. Generally unreliable for factual reporting
  4. Publishes false or fabricated information

Cheers Bacondrum (talk) 00:56, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

  • Pure opinion, not reporting--and not particularly good at it. It's not as reckless as Breitbart, but that isn't saying much. Opinion is never a reliable source for anything other than the view of the author, and I don't think their authors are notable enough to have views worth including. DGG ( talk ) 05:27, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Absolutely unreliable - it's well-known for publishing racist garbage. Its managing editor was once noted neo-Nazi and white supremacist Richard Spencer, and it counts among its contributors a number of fringe extremist racists such as Peter Brimelow and John Derbyshire (fired from National Review once his white supremacist work at Taki's Mag became publicly known) [2] NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 06:00, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 3 or 4. Taki's Magazine (a.k.a. Taki's Mag or Takimag) occupies a similar niche as VDARE (RSP entry), which was deprecated in December 2018. The site is biased or opinionated, and its published opinions are very likely to constitute undue weight. Taki's Magazine's reputation has been panned by a number of reliable sources:
Quotes about Taki's Magazine from reliable sources
Besides his podcast, Goad’s main platform is Taki’s Magazine, an extreme right-wing publication with an irreverent tone that promises its “only ideology is to be against the junk culture foisted upon us by Hollywood and the mainstream media.” Along with Goad and McInnes, it publishes authors like John Derbyshire, who was fired from the conservative National Review (RSP entry) after he wrote an article for Taki’s about advising his teenage children to “stay out of heavily black neighborhoods.” It described black people as “ferociously hostile to whites” and is now listed in the “greatest hits” section on Taki’s website.

Taki’s contributors overlap with those at the hate site VDARE, including Steve Sailer — cited four times by TRS users — whose writing is largely dedicated to opposing immigration and drawing a false link between race and intelligence.

"McInnes, Molyneux, and 4chan: Investigating pathways to the alt-right", Southern Poverty Law Center (RSP entry)

The article that got him fired wasn't actually posted at National Review but at Taki's Magazine, an outlet run by millionaire paleocon Taki Theodoracopulos that was formerly edited by outspoken white supremacist Richard B. Spencer and has run articles by Theodoracopulos in support of the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn.

This has been the trend for paleoconservative writing in the past decade or two. It's largely turned from mainstream conservative outfits to openly racist venues like VDARE, Taki's, American Renaissance, and the Occidental Observer. Admirably, the American Conservative has held the line and resisted crossing over into open white nationalism, but they're basically alone in that.

"Paleoconservatism, the movement that explains Donald Trump, explained", Dylan Matthews, Vox (RSP entry)

After being fired, Spencer moved on to a new job as the sole editor of Taki’s Magazine, the online vanity publication of Taki Theodoracopulos, the scion of a Greek shipping magnate who was notorious for his racist remarks.

In Spencer’s telling, he steadily evolved Taki’s into a magazine aimed at white nationalists. By 2009 he’d published essays by Jared Taylor and was regularly using the term “alternative right” in its pages to describe his youthful brand of anti-war, anti-immigration, pro-white conservatism.

"Meet the White Nationalist Trying To Ride The Trump Train to Lasting Power", Mother Jones (RSP entry)

Unfortunately, Taki morphed from a harmless snob into a nasty purveyor of alt-right venom. His Taki’s Magazine is regarded as the leading alt-right outlet after Breitbart News (RSP entry). Quite recently he praised the ultra-hard-right party Golden Dawn as mostly “good old-fashioned patriotic Greeks”.

"How Alexander Chancellor’s magazine became the home of the British alt-right", Harry Eyres, New Statesman

Peter “Taki” Theodoracopulos
The proto–Gavin McInnes.

An elderly Greek playboy who named one of his dogs “Benito,” once spent three months in jail for cocaine possession, and runs the leading publication for hepcat paleoconservatives and cosmopolitan racists: Takimag, which prides itself on telling hard truths about the superiority of whites without being “boring” about it.

"Beyond Alt: Understanding the New Far Right", New York (RSP entry)

— Newslinger talk 09:09, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
Of course, WP:ABOUTSELF allows us to use questionable sources, including this site, as a primary source equivalent for uncontroversial self-descriptions in the rare case that the claims are due and covered by reliable sources. Outside of WP:ABOUTSELF, there is little to no reason to use Taki's Magazine. — Newslinger talk 20:42, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • We should not be using this. I am loathe to option-4 this without clear indication of fabrication - however it is fairly obvious we should not be using a far-right publication - mostly UNDUE for opinion, and lacking a reputation for fact checking.Icewhiz (talk) 09:17, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Bad RfC. The claim is it was "isted as a source a number of times recently" but not a shred of a hint of where or how. No evidence that there is a dispute requiring an RfC. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 13:49, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
Not claiming anything, I'm asking about the general reliability of a source. Bacondrum (talk) 00:40, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
You did indeed claim to have seen it used, or you wouldn't have been considering this post. But here on Wikipedia, we have no such thing known as "general reliability" of sources: sources are evaluated based on their ability to support various types of claims. A research study on the efficacy of aspirin is not "generally reliable" for the miracles of Jesus; the Gospel of Luke is not "generally reliable" for the efficacy of aspirin to treat headaches (despite Luke being a physician.) So this gives rise to the perennial objection to these generalized and context-free RFCs about "general reliability" of sources - yes, some sources like the Daily Mail are "generally unreliable" but we can't claim the converse: we need context about what type of claims are being made, in order to correlate them with the purview of the source in question. Only then can we evaluate reliability. So I hope you will understand the necessity of you producing some context, such as where this source was cited, and for what types of facts it is being invoked. Thanks. Elizium23 (talk) 00:46, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
Okay, so what if I never saw it used, what difference would it make? I want to know if other editors think it's reliable, it's called seeking consensus...What on Earth could possibly be wrong with that? Bacondrum (talk) 07:06, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
I can't see how it makes any difference - if the source is unreliable, then that's what it is, but here's the version of the page that I first saw it on. I removed it as it was obviously not even close to good enough. Upon reading the source I was shocked at the quality of the publication (or lack thereof), I then noticed the same crappy source used on related pages (all of which appeared to have suffered from extensive tendentious editing), so I made the request, to see what other editors thought of the thing. Bacondrum (talk) 07:24, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
"here on Wikipedia, we have no such thing known as "general reliability" of sources: sources are evaluated based on their ability to support various types of claims" Obviously false, as demonstrated here and here. Yes, context absolutely matters, but we do have standards for general reliability, claims to the contrary are demonstrably false. Bacondrum (talk) 07:32, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
I was going to respond here, but my response is better suited for the RfC below (RFC: Moratorium on "general reliability" RFCs), which focuses on this matter. — Newslinger talk 01:24, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
A week ago I removed cites for "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" and "2010s in fashion" and Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City" and nobody complained, indicating that there is nothing controversial there requiring an RfC. The cites for "God Is Not Great" and "The New Art Gallery Walsall" are of a book review and an architecture review, i.e. opinion pieces, so this is an attempt to prevent cites of opinions not cites of facts. Read WP:NOTCENSORED. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 15:18, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for removing the citations. Opinions published in questionable sources (including Taki's Magazine) written by non-notable people are almost always removed as undue weight when they do not qualify for WP:ABOUTSELF. Taki's Magazine's opinions in God Is Not Great should be removed if consensus in this RfC determines that Taki's Magazine is generally unreliable, questionable, or worse. — Newslinger talk 22:32, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Terrible source that shouldn't be used for anything, except limited primary source use, e.g. the article in Takimag that got John Derbyshire fired from National Review - David Gerard (talk) 16:19, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Use only for attributed statements of opinion, with in text attribution per David Gerrard. Adoring nanny (talk) 14:32, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Question Is there any evidence they have A reputation for poor fact checking?Slatersteven (talk) 09:36, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
    Slatersteven, not that I have seen. It looks like the reasons that this source is being considered unreliable is due to some editors not liking the views of some of the sources contributors, it occupying a similar niche to sources widely considered unreliable, and due to being "far-right". Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 16:58, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
Have a look at the articles, mostly opinion, much of it is overtly racist. It's clearly a highly-partisan site which ignores general principles of journalism in order to attack perceived ideological opponents and defend perceived ideological allies. If this is the standard for a reliable source then anything and everything should be considered a reliable source, including editors personal opinion, YouTube and Facebook. It was edited by out and out Nazi Richard Spencer. You'd be setting your standards very low to callthis anything but completely unreliable, IMO. Bacondrum (talk) 21:11, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
So no then apart form its POV (and no the reason we do not allow YouTube and Facebook is because they are full of out and out falsehoods, So then at worst its RS for its own opinions, and at best it in fact does not have a reputation for poor fact checking. So I have to go with Unclear or additional considerations apply.Slatersteven (talk) 12:20, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
Being "highly-partisan" is not evidence that a source has a reputation for poor checking. If you are claiming it ignores general journalistic principles then please provide evidence, otherwise it will come across as you trying to say this source is unreliable because you disagree ideologically with it. YouTube and Facebook are completely different. Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 19:36, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Don't you have that backwards? WP:RS requires that a source have reputation for fact-checking an accuracy, not that nobody can prove they're inaccurate. If you want to defend the use of a source, you are the one who has to present proof that they have the fact-checking and accuracy WP:RS requires - eg. descriptions in other sources, or use in high-quality sources in a way that clearly reflects a trust in their content. I'm not seeing that here; if the best people can say in its defense is "you can't prove it's unreliable!", it probably doesn't pass WP:RS. I think that partially this discussion might be confused because we usually discuss sources that might otherwise pass WP:RS if it weren't for evidence they were intentionally publishing falsehoods (eg. Breitbart, the Daily Mail, etc.) - but this source is different. It doesn't pass even the baseline. A source with no reputation for factual reporting at all fails WP:RS completely, so you have to prove it has some sort of reputation before you can demand that others find evidence it's screwed up. --Aquillion (talk) 00:09, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
I am not trying to prove anything, I just am not sure that "its biased" is a valid justification (and in fact " However, reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective."). That was my pointSlatersteven (talk) 08:42, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

Here's the quotes again regarding Taki's as provided by Newsliinger if you need more:

Quotes about Taki's Magazine from reliable sources
Besides his podcast, Goad’s main platform is Taki’s Magazine, an extreme right-wing publication with an irreverent tone that promises its “only ideology is to be against the junk culture foisted upon us by Hollywood and the mainstream media.” Along with Goad and McInnes, it publishes authors like John Derbyshire, who was fired from the conservative National Review (RSP entry) after he wrote an article for Taki’s about advising his teenage children to “stay out of heavily black neighborhoods.” It described black people as “ferociously hostile to whites” and is now listed in the “greatest hits” section on Taki’s website.

Taki’s contributors overlap with those at the hate site VDARE, including Steve Sailer — cited four times by TRS users — whose writing is largely dedicated to opposing immigration and drawing a false link between race and intelligence.

"McInnes, Molyneux, and 4chan: Investigating pathways to the alt-right", Southern Poverty Law Center (RSP entry)

The article that got him fired wasn't actually posted at National Review but at Taki's Magazine, an outlet run by millionaire paleocon Taki Theodoracopulos that was formerly edited by outspoken white supremacist Richard B. Spencer and has run articles by Theodoracopulos in support of the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn.

This has been the trend for paleoconservative writing in the past decade or two. It's largely turned from mainstream conservative outfits to openly racist venues like VDARE, Taki's, American Renaissance, and the Occidental Observer. Admirably, the American Conservative has held the line and resisted crossing over into open white nationalism, but they're basically alone in that.

"Paleoconservatism, the movement that explains Donald Trump, explained", Dylan Matthews, Vox (RSP entry)

After being fired, Spencer moved on to a new job as the sole editor of Taki’s Magazine, the online vanity publication of Taki Theodoracopulos, the scion of a Greek shipping magnate who was notorious for his racist remarks.

In Spencer’s telling, he steadily evolved Taki’s into a magazine aimed at white nationalists. By 2009 he’d published essays by Jared Taylor and was regularly using the term “alternative right” in its pages to describe his youthful brand of anti-war, anti-immigration, pro-white conservatism.

"Meet the White Nationalist Trying To Ride The Trump Train to Lasting Power", Mother Jones (RSP entry)

Unfortunately, Taki morphed from a harmless snob into a nasty purveyor of alt-right venom. His Taki’s Magazine is regarded as the leading alt-right outlet after Breitbart News (RSP entry). Quite recently he praised the ultra-hard-right party Golden Dawn as mostly “good old-fashioned patriotic Greeks”.

"How Alexander Chancellor’s magazine became the home of the British alt-right", Harry Eyres, New Statesman

Peter “Taki” Theodoracopulos
The proto–Gavin McInnes.

An elderly Greek playboy who named one of his dogs “Benito,” once spent three months in jail for cocaine possession, and runs the leading publication for hepcat paleoconservatives and cosmopolitan racists: Takimag, which prides itself on telling hard truths about the superiority of whites without being “boring” about it.

"Beyond Alt: Understanding the New Far Right", New York (RSP entry)

  • Avoid. Only as limited primary source may be of some help. Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 10:37, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Bad RfC as per Peter Gulutzan. --Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 16:56, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Terrible source - unreliable Autarch (talk) 20:32, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally unusable for statements of fact (3) and not generally great as an opinion source, either. There's no evidence (as far as I'm aware) that it engages in outright fabrication, but that alone is not enough to get a source past WP:RS, which requires an actual reputation for fact-checking and accuracy that this source lacks. It's clearly a WP:FRINGE outlet that posts entirely opinions; there's no evidence they do any investigation or fact-checking at all. It also lacks the reputation that would make opinions posted there automatically notable (it was difficult to find sources for its article, and the ones that came up were often critical or only mentioned it in passing), so it doesn't have much use as an opinion-piece outside of places where the author is directly the subject of the article. --Aquillion (talk) 00:03, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally unusable for statements of fact (3) - only because even a broken clock can be right every once in a while. It's putrid garbage, and should probably be blacklisted from Wikipedia. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 04:35, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Bad RFC - No concrete instances of this source actually being at-issue with relation to article content have been raised. This is simply a WP:FORUM discussion. FOARP (talk) 09:56, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
As this RfC has run for 30 days, I've submitted a request for closure at WP:RFCL § Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#RfC: Taki's Magazine. — Newslinger talk 17:51, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support referencing opinion pieces. The subject magazine is quite clearly a publicationn of opinion and not reportage. (And, by the way, whether we disagree or agree with the opinions expressed in it is entirely irrelevant.) Therefore, options #1, #3 and #4 simply do not apply; they cannot even be considered. The publication cannot be used as a source for facts. But it can be used as the source of an opinion that is added to an article. For example, if commentator Pat Buchanan writes a piece in Taki's Magazine attacking certain ideas or a politician and Buchanan's stance is assessed to be carrying value as information, there is no reason whatsoever not to use that. In so many words, we are in #2, with the subject to be potentially used exclusively as the source of original opinion material. -The Gnome (talk) 13:01, 23 August 2019 (UTC)

RFC: Moratorium on "general reliability" RFCsEdit

  • Should we agree to halt the use of RFCs containing four options for "general (un)reliability" of a source, particularly when said RFC contains no specific instances of claims or citations?
  • While it may be useful to deprecate heavily-used and clearly-unreliable sources, the corollary is not true: Wikipedia is unable to promote a source to "reliable for any assertion about any topic whatsoever"; reliability is always assessed based on the nature of the claims being made.
  • With these parameters in mind, is it futile for us to continually open RFCs here on WP:RSN if an outcome of "generally reliable for everything" is counter-productive and misleading?
    • Sub-question: should such RFCs be permitted as long as they include at least one concrete example of an assertion of fact, such as one which is currently in dispute on an article's talk page?

Elizium23 (talk) 00:53, 14 July 2019 (UTC)

Survey (moratorium)Edit

  • @Elizium23: Could you provide a couple of examples of the types of RfCs you think should be halted? 01:09, 14 July 2019 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nikkimaria (talkcontribs)
    Sure: WP:RSN#RfC: Quadrant Magazine, WP:RSN#RfC: Daily Graphic and, WP:RSN#RfC: The Herald (Glasgow). I didn't even have to visit our archives for them. I am not sure where this template originated, but it has rapidly become the de facto method for opening discussions here on RSN, and I do not like it, no sir, not one bit. Elizium23 (talk) 01:13, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  •   Comment: This RfC is related to the RfC at WT:RSN § RfC: Header text, which affects the header text of this noticeboard. — Newslinger talk 01:19, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose halting RfCs. By generally reliable, we're referring to sources that have a strong reputation for accuracy, fact-checking, and error-correction. They usually have a reputable editorial team, and tend to be endorsed or used by other reliable sources for factual information. Context always matters, and the consensus shown in some discussions on this noticeboard restrict the scope of what a source is generally reliable for (e.g. The Verge RfC).

    Note that the word generally means "usually" in this context, not "always". The general classification of a source is only the starting point for evaluating reliability, and specific uses of a source can always be brought to this noticeboard for a more targeted review. If a source frequently publishes articles outside of its circle of competence, like in your example about science and religion, then the source should not be considered generally reliable. — Newslinger talk 01:21, 14 July 2019 (UTC)

    Then perhaps the question we should be asking is: Is there evidence that [source] have a reputation for fact-checking and editorial oversight? If a source meets these criteria, and independence from the topic, etc., then per WP:NEWSORG we may deem it to be generally reliable for statements of fact. But I do not think it is useful to whip up boiler-plate RFCs directly asking whether [source] is 'generally reliable' (and it's interesting that the qualification for statements of fact is, here on RSN, often missing from this question. Elizium23 (talk) 01:31, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
    For what it's worth, The 3 RfCs you have linked (Quadrant, Daily Graphic, The Herald) do include the "for factual reporting" qualifier after "Generally reliable". If this is not descriptive enough, then I agree that it would be helpful to provide more detailed definitions of each option in RfCs of this type. — Newslinger talk 01:45, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
    For what it's worth? Zilch. Newslinger opposed directly quoting or pointing to the RfCs, successfully. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 23:07, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
    Your reference and link to a discussion on edit filters have nothing to do with generally reliable sources. — Newslinger talk 03:44, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
    @Newslinger: If "generally reliable" is supposed to mean "usually" it should be worded differently, because "generally" sounds like it means in the broadest sense. "In general" is not equivalent to saying "in the cases where this source is applicable as a potential RS". If Scientific American is "generally reliable" then it would be reliable for politics too. —DIYeditor (talk) 23:22, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
    Thanks for bringing this up. I've started a discussion at WT:RSP § "Generally" in search of a less ambiguous word than generally. — Newslinger talk 23:56, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
    As a result of the above discussion, "Generally reliable" has been changed to "Generally reliable in its areas of expertise" in WP:RSP § Legend. — Newslinger talk 14:49, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
    I am neutral on the restriction ("include at least one concrete example of an assertion of fact") suggested in the sub-question. While we should encourage editors to provide examples of how a source is being used, a question on the general reliability of a source shouldn't be unduly focused on one specific use of that source. — Newslinger talk 01:45, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose halting RfCs. What's wrong with seeking a consensus as to the reliability of a source? I thought we were aiming to have high quality reliable sources? If an outlet is unreliable, it is unreliable WP:SPADE. I personally think it's a very useful means to ensure quality citations and avoid myriad edit wars and content disputes before they happen. Bacondrum (talk) 07:03, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment Isn't the whole purpose of this noticeboard to ask questions regarding reliable sources? Bacondrum (talk) 07:13, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment Shouldn't this discussion be held somewhere else? This is the reliable source noticeboard, isn't it? Perhaps the talk page would be more appropriate? Bacondrum (talk) 08:16, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose halting RfCs. It's appropriate to have one big discussion about a source's reputation for accuracy, fact-checking, and error-correction since this doesn't usually change from article to article. This doesn't prevent us from discussing its appropriateness in a specific instance where things like attributed quotes or scientific/medical claims come into play. –dlthewave 12:00, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose, though there are a tad too many of these lately. Generally a RfC here on the general use should be preceded by a discussion on a particular use (here), and also demonstrating that we have a general problem (e.g. We use source X in 100 articles, despite source X being described as Y....). Lately - there have been some RfCs here that jumped the gun on proper pre-RfC discussions. However, we definitely shouldn't have a moratorium on RfCs of these type generally - as discussions sources is exactly what this board is for. Icewhiz (talk) 13:15, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Be more careful Don't reach straight for the RfC unless other options have proved fruitless. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 14:45, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. RfCs should only be used in order to cleanly remove/"deprecate" currently in-use sources. For sources where no formal action is envisaged, start with a standard discussion. feminist (talk) 14:55, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support as there ahave been far too many in a short period so that the discussion is often truncated, undetailed, lacking participation and depth of investigation, regards Atlantic306 (talk) 16:53, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. The four-way question is deceptive and not consistent with WP:RS. It misleads by claiming to be a "deprecation" so people who know this dictionary definition will think it's about "disapproval" but in fact the intent (not necessarily implemented) is that an edit filter will result in a message that references are generally prohibited. It misleads by claiming to be "as in the 2017 RfC of the Daily Mail" but in fact the Daily Mail closers didn't say "deprecating", said the prohibition is of use as a reference, and said opinion pieces are okay. It misleads by causing links to essay-status pages as if they have some sort of authority, when the real authority is WP:RS policy (the one that says to always take context into account). The Herald (Glasgow) RfC is an example of misuse -- an editor included the question about treating like The Daily Mail, not with evidence that serious people might think that but it's in the four-way question. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 20:31, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
Excuse me, sir, but "misuse"? I felt The Herald belongs on WP:RSP. What is the process if not posting here and getting consensus? It was my first time at this noticeboard. I saw the "four option" query being used here as if it was a template or standard format, so I followed suit. Other contributors even thanked me for the submission or said they thought The Herald was already on the list of perennial sources. And since this is policy currently being voted on, I don't think I was wrong, so I thank you not to characterize my submission as misuse or abuse of the noticeboard. --SVTCobra 20:46, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
SVTCobra Indeed, all this talk of misuse and dishonesty is way out of line, what happened to the assumption of good faith? I too saw that NEWSLINGER had used that format and I thought it was a clear and efficiant way to get feedback, I never asked for anything to be depreciated. Isn't this notice board precisely for asking about the reliability of sources? I've seen very little reasoning used here, just claims that too many people are asking questions or that those who ask are being dishonest. Should probably get rid of this noticeboard then, why have it if you aren't allowed to ask too much or your going to be accused of dishonesty. Bacondrum (talk) 22:09, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
Neither of the Daily Mail (RSP entry) RfCs (2017 nor 2019) concluded that "opinion pieces are okay". See Wikipedia:Citing sources for what reference means.

Even deprecated sources qualify for the WP:ABOUTSELF exception, which allows their use for uncontroversial self-descriptions in the rare case that they are WP:DUE and covered by reliable sources. The reliable sources guideline is being honored in all of these RfCs, because context matters in each of the four options. (The only exception is the CoinDesk RfC, and I opposed the proposal in that RfC's statement because this criterion was not met.) WP:DEPS defers to WP:RS and explicitly states, "reliability always depends on the specific content being cited, and all sources are reliable in at least some circumstances and unreliable in at least some others". If there is any confusion about what deprecation means, a link to WP:DEPS will clarify.

When an editor asks about a low-quality source, we should be able to say that it is questionable, and that it generally shouldn't be used on Wikipedia. Repeatedly debating the inclusion of poor sources that have earned abysmal reputations for repeatedly publishing false or fabricated information, conspiracy theories, or pseudoscience is a waste of the community's time. RfCs of this type allow us to make decisive evaluations resulting in consensus that endures until there is evidence that the source's reputation has changed. Consensus is a policy. — Newslinger talk 21:49, 14 July 2019 (UTC)

I said "misuse" correctly but should have emphasized it was innocent misuse, which is obvious. I said "and [Daily Mail RfC closers] said opinion pieces are okay" because despite Newslinger's irrelevancies it is a fact, see the NPOVN archive of a May 2017 discussion and look for the words "Attributed opinions of the author were not considered in the RFC, and a reasonable exception from the ban appears correct here." Nobody said anything against "we should be able to say that it is questionable" because that's not the topic. Consensus is not a policy that allows overriding WP:RS because WP:CONLEVEL. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 23:07, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
At Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard/Archive 65 § Daily Mail, the full statement from Tazerdadog (one of the 2017 Daily Mail RfC closers) was:

Attributed opinions of people other than the author were considered in the RFC and were included in the ban (IAR notwithstanding). Attributed opinions of the author were not considered in the RFC, and a reasonable exception from the ban appears correct here.)

The attributed opinions of any article's author are covered under WP:ABOUTSELF, which applies to all questionable (and deprecated) sources, although due weight should also be considered. If you don't like the results of the two Daily Mail RfCs, you can try to convince the community that "its use as a reference" should not be "generally prohibited". Overturning the current consensus would require a third RfC on the Daily Mail, which is not advisable right now because it's highly unlikely to succeed.

Nobody is suggesting that WP:RS should be overridden; the type of RfC being discussed here uses WP:V and WP:RS to identify questionable sources for what they are: "generally unreliable". — Newslinger talk 08:42, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

WP:ABOUTSELF is "about self", an honest title that has nothing whatever to do with Newslinger's assertion. But that doesn't matter since now there's no dispute that the closers said attributed opinions are okay, which is one of the reasons the question is misleading. I said nothing in this thread about overturning WP:DAILYMAIL, perhaps Newslinger mixes that up with my remarks that one shouldn't say something is like The Daily Mail and its RfC when it's not. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 14:27, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
Please re-read WP:ABOUTSELF. Using the example from the NPOVN discussion, the article that Katie Hopkins published in the Daily Mail qualifies under WP:ABOUTSELF as an uncontroversial representation of what Hopkins's own opinions are. However, this is only due in the article on Katie Hopkins (and if it were more prominent, it would be due in the Daily Mail article). It is not due anywhere else. Claiming that "the closers said attributed opinions are okay" is extremely misleading, since it conflates WP:RSOPINION (which the Daily Mail does not qualify for, because it's not considered a reliable source) with WP:ABOUTSELF (which is a restrictive exemption granted to all questionable sources and self-published sources). — Newslinger talk 20:25, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
The closer remarks that I pointed to made no mention of WP:ABOUTSELF, Newslinger while claiming to quote "the full statement from Tazerdadog" quoted only one full statement, another was "However, the DM does not have a reputation for altering the words of the author of the piece, so this can be taken as one of the exceptions we tried to write into the close.", the point at issue wasn't secretly WP:ABOUTSELF unless one believes that when Katie Hopkins wrote "Britain is faced with some hard questions ..." the word Britain was a synonym for Katie Hopkins. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 22:28, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
That is covered under WP:ABOUTSELF, because the claim is that Hopkins wrote the statement in the Daily Mail, not that the statement is true. It is used in the Katie Hopkins article as a primary source equivalent, but is not due anywhere else. Since WP:ABOUTSELF covers this situation entirely, no additional exceptions were made for the Daily Mail beyond what is normally allotted for questionable sources. The 2017 Daily Mail RfC does not support the use of the Daily Mail for all "opinion pieces", but the ones eligible for WP:ABOUTSELF "were not considered in the RFC". — Newslinger talk 00:33, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
I asked a closer, Primefac. The reply is here. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 19:45, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying with Primefac. The Katie Hopkins case was not the ideal example, since it falls under WP:ABOUTSELF in the Katie Hopkins article. I will defer to Primefac's explanation for attributed opinions of Daily Mail authors in articles other than the article of the author, although due weight still applies. — Newslinger talk 21:18, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
If the term deprecation is an issue, anyone can submit a requested move from Wikipedia:Deprecated sources to Wikipedia:Highly questionable sources or some other name. The name makes no difference to me. However, I get the impression that you're not objecting to the name, but to the adoption of edit filters and other mechanisms that discourage the use of highly questionable sources. There is consensus that RfCs are the preferred process for determining whether these mechanisms should be implemented. You can verify this through the 18 successful RfCs that deprecated 17 different sources, and you can also read this paragraph from the closing statement of the 2019 Daily Mail RfC:

Finally, a number of editors argued that other publications were similarly, or more, unreliable than the Daily Mail. We note that the unreliability of a different source is a reason to remove that source, and is irrelevant here; regardless, these other publications are outside the scope of this RfC, and if there are lingering concerns about other tabloids or tabloids in general, a separate RfC is necessary to assess current consensus about them.

— Newslinger talk 08:14, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
There was absolutely zero "lingering concern" that something like The Herald (Glasgow) is a tabloid meriting removal, but there is concern here about the misuse of a misleading 4-way question that was never suggested in WP:DAILYMAIL closing remarks. As for "identifying questionable sources" -- great idea, because it's normal behaviour following instructions at the top of this WP:RSN page, i.e. it's not an RfC with four fixed questions. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 14:27, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
As of right now, nobody in the RfC for The Herald has claimed that it is a "tabloid meriting removal". WP:RFC lists a number of accepted uses for an RfC: "Requests for comment (RfC) is a process for requesting outside input concerning disputes, policies, guidelines or article content." The type of RfC under debate solicits input on whether a source generally meets the requirements of WP:V (a policy) and WP:RS (a guideline). Outside of the instructions in WP:RFCST, declaring whether an RfC format is or isn't "normal behaviour" for other editors is excessively bureaucratic, and Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. — Newslinger talk 20:43, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
You brought up "lingering concerns about tabloids", I observed there was no lingering concern, so the excuse that you brought up doesn't hold. You brought up how good identifying questionable sources was, I said that's normal and in keeping with WP:RSN, I don't think I need to excuse that. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 22:28, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
These 18 RfCs, some of which you participated in, show ample "lingering concerns" regarding a wide variety of sources, including tabloids. One of the goals of these RfCs are to identify low-quality sources like InfoWars (RfC), Breitbart News (RfC) (which you defended), and Occupy Democrats (RfC) as sources that should be discouraged from use. — Newslinger talk 00:27, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
I assume the closer of this RfC will be capable of noticing that Newslinger changed the subject instead of addressing the point. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 19:45, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
You're ignoring the 18 RfCs that showed consensus for deprecating the source (including two tabloids, The Sun (RfC) and the National Enquirer (RfC)) and cherry-picking one RfC that doesn't. I've addressed your point. — Newslinger talk 21:18, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose as per dlthewave. François Robere (talk) 20:37, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - David Gerard (talk) 21:06, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose also per Dlthewave. Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 21:16, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment - those kind of RfCs are appropriate for sketchy sources which are widely used. Like Daily Mail or Fox News kind of stuff. They are not appropriate for more narrow topics or sources.Volunteer Marek (talk) 21:45, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Newslinger and others, with the added notes that 1) this should probably take place on the talk page for this board and 2) there's already a discussion under way there on an overlapping topic. signed, Rosguill talk 22:01, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Let's have a moratorium on RfCs about RfCs. Softlavender (talk) 03:52, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
Hahaha! My thoughts exactly, thanks for the chuckle.
  • Oppose but I agree with Icewhiz about the need to first establish that a source has specific reliability issues before going for a general RfC. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 08:24, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per my comment above: These RFCs are useful to get a very rough barometer for how a source is seen by the community and how specific questions about it are likely to be evaluated. Unless an RFC is worded as an outright ban (which is very rare, and generally invoked as a last resort), I don't think any outcome is taken to mean "always reliable, can never be questioned" or "always unreliable, remove on sight"; rather, they provide editors with a quick reference point so they know where they're starting from and the mood of the room if they want to argue for or against using a particular source in a particular context. Additionally, while it's accurate to say that we should judge each case individually, the reality is that we can't reliably get enough people to weigh in on each of them to ensure consistent assessment of sources; going entirely case-by-case with no broader RFCs would result in inconsistent and sometimes random responses based on who happened to weigh in. In particular, one of the requirements of WP:RS is that a source have a "reputation for fact-checking and accuracy", often the most difficult thing to assess - and one that usually doesn't vary much from use to use (or, if it does, it does so in a consistent expected way that can be noted during the RFC.) These RFCs can't predict or account for all possible uses of a source, but they're absolutely useful in terms of giving us a consistent, reasonably well-grounded definition of "does this source, on the whole, have the baseline reputation for fact-checking and accuracy that WP:RS requires?" --Aquillion (talk) 08:32, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
The problem is that a source may have a “baseline reputation for fact checking and accuracy” in one area, and not have one in another area. This was pointed out in the several Daily Mail RFCs... the DM is accurate when reporting on sports... not when reporting on politics and celebrities. This is why I am not a fan of these RFCs. They don’t examine context. Blueboar (talk) 11:07, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
So, several things. First, and most importantly, the Daily Mail RFC was one of those "last resort" things I mentioned - it's different from most of the RFCs we use here. Because a few people kept trying to use the Daily Mail as if it were a top-tier New York Times-quality source despite a very clear informal consensus that it was generally not reliable (and even though it kept coming back to WP:RSN and getting basically laughed off the page), we took the unusual step of formalizing that consensus into a general banned-by-default RFC. Those are and should be extremely rare, reserved only for when people keep insisting on trying to use a source in clearly unworkable ways over and over (ie. when a source both rarely passes WP:RS and is extremely popular for controversial topics where it clearly fails WP:RS.) It wasn't a gauge-the-general-room-temperature-for-the-Daily-Mail RFC, it was a we're-at-wits-end-and-need-this-to-stop RFC. Those are a separate thing, but I think they're justifiable occasionally; even in sports, I don't feel there much we would want in Wikipedia uniquely sourceable to the Daily Mail that can't be found elsewhere. But for the more common sorts of "what does the community think of X?" RFCs, things like this can be noted in the RFC, if it's true. We're not limited to binary yes / no options - the purpose of those RFCs is to collect a general measure of the community's consensus on a source in one place; if you look at the RFCs above, they're generally cautiously worded and lead to fairly cautiously worded entries in WP:RSP to provide guidance to editors, not strict bans or the like. Also, you are more likely to have someone contribute who knows those details in a large month-long RFC with a lot of people contributing than to have it come up in a tiny brief discussion with only a few people - what makes you think that if you come here saying "I want to use the Daily Mail as a source for Joe Sportsman", you'll get anything but "hahaha the Daily Mail? No." from the vast majority of responses? In this sense the RFCs are useful because they're more likely to turn up someone who says "wait, source X is actually usable in situation Y!", which (if they convince people in the RFC) can then be noted down on WP:RSP as something that came up and will then be available to editors who wouldn't otherwise have known it (and may not have discovered it, if they just poked WP:RSN and got a response from a handful of random people for their exact issue, which seems to be what the support voters here want us to go back to.) --Aquillion (talk) 16:59, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose It is what is says on the box: an RfC about general reliability. ANY website is reliable for the material it says about itself, but we try not to use / should be very careful with the use of those (primary) sources in the first place. It is a good thing that we establish as a community that a certain source is generally reliable, sometimes/often reliable or generally unreliable. The ones that the community decides that they are generally unreliable should be removed for non-primary sources, and the use as primary source should be scrutinized and may need removal. The use of such unreliable sources should be strongly discouraged and sometimes plainly be made 'impossible' (i.e. only be possible after a consensus discussion). --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:18, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Alternate proposal - define and restrict General Reliability RFCs to cases where they actually make sense:
    • A General Reliability RFC is useful for adding a source to the list of perennial sources.
    • A General Reliability RFC is only appropriate if there have been at least 3 previous RSN discussions on the same source, each linked in the General RFC. This establishes that there is a genuine purpose for a generalized discussion, and it ensures at least previous three disputed cases for examination as well as that previous ground work of research and analysis. A general RFC on a source no one ever heard of, which no one will ever bring up again, and with no substantial evidentiary basis, is a bad use of other people's time.
    • The instructions and documentation should prominently state that that the outcome of a General Reliability RFC does not resolve any open dispute about any particular usage at any particular article. RSN already lays out separate instructions and requirements for that. Alsee (talk) 13:43, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
  • At least in as much as it applies, I have long said that we should not be having RfCs or even dedicated threads purely for the purpose of listing a source (one way or the other) on WP:RSPS. See also Goodhart's law. GMGtalk 14:09, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support strongly. If someone cares about looking into a sources reliability and answering questions about it they can go here. RfCs for sources which have not been brought here before just bludgeon the process and waste everybody involved's times. Sources should only be brought to RfC if there was no consensus or the consensus was not wide enough. Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 16:55, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support While some publications are more reliable than others, it's not as if some sources are gospel truth while others are heretical. Above, we are spending time on the American Conservative which publishes conservative opinion. Policy is however clear. Opinion pieces are rarely reliable unless written by experts. What point is there in having an argument about what people think about these opinions? TFD (talk) 17:10, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support The whole idea of a broad brush for a source is badly flawed. First every source varies in reliability. Second, reliability varies with respect to the text which supports it. Britney Spear's sister's book might be reliable as a cite for a "Britney's favorite color is.." statement, but not for a statement on particle physics. North8000 (talk) 17:35, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Honestly all the RFCs without having discussion first is disruptive and not very helpful in general. A RFC should be a last resort and not a first try. It also ignores the general ideas of what we consider a RS. PackMecEng (talk) 22:12, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per PackMecEng. The number of frivolous RfCs on this noticeboard discourages widespread participation, which undermines the possibility of them being authoritative answers, and encourages users to start an RfC every time they have a question about a source, or a gripe with one. Further, the wording of "generally reliable" which I take to mean "in general" conflicts with the primary meanings of "general" and may be misleading. Only an encyclopedia, which is a tertiary source anyway, would be "generally reliable". The RfCs are stamping a "general" seal of approval on sources that may have only narrow applicability. —DIYeditor (talk) 23:43, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - These "Is X a terrible source which should be banned from Wiki" RFCs have been like a rash on this page since the DM ban, which was the original instance of banning something just because the power existed to do it. There is no reason to classify every single potential source here, and by doing so we store up potential problems for the future (bad decisions made without any context, which when applied to an actual case are clearly wrong in the context of that case). Just apply WP:NEWSORG. FOARP (talk) 09:08, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
PS - I also think a good argument can be made that these general discussions of source-reliability are against WP:FORUM. Unless there is a concrete issue related to article content being discussed, then ultimately these are just forum-type discussions about media in general. FOARP (talk) 09:31, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
These discussions don't violate WP:NOTFORUM, since they affect article content. They also affect how editor conduct is evaluated in areas subject to discretionary sanctions. — Newslinger talk 01:58, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Only in the sense that a contextless discussion on what countries, politicians, or political parties are "bad" might do - and I'd hope that we would be able to identify that as as a WP:FORUM discussion. FOARP (talk) 07:29, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
The context is all of the articles the source is cited in, which can be found through an insource query or Special:LinkSearch. And this entire noticeboard focuses on evaluating whether sources have adequate reputations for fact-checking and accuracy. We're not determining whether various entities are "bad", but whether sources meet Wikipedia's standards. If these discussions were just forum discussions that didn't impact article content, there would be no incentive for you to post "Bad RfC" in all of the other RfCs on this page. — Newslinger talk 08:12, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Yes, folks, stating that something is a Bad RFC means it must be a good RFC. My incentive cannot possibly be to point out that they are bad RFCs - I must be doing it because they are good ones!
Similarly, discursive, context-free discussions about sources that frequently reference the imagined political bias of the source and rarely cite meaningful evidence of general unreliability are not actually a determination of the source being "bad" in any sense - other than having the potential effect that they cannot be used. FOARP (talk) 12:39, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Some sources are plainly unreliable for any factual information, and we shouldn't have to make a request for each and every article in which they are used. --PluniaZ (talk) 04:37, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose if prior discussion - I don't see why a full-blown RfC is needed if there hasn't been a prior general RSN discussion on it. However, if there has, why not seek out consensus? Nosebagbear (talk) 10:12, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose halting RfCs: such discussions and WP:RSP heuristics (which marks many sources as "Generally reliable in its areas of expertise") are exceptionally helpful to newer users and those less experienced in determining if a source is reliable. Saying "reliability is always assessed based on the nature of the claims being made" tells a new user nothing. It's a rule for experienced users to bear in mind in edge cases, but not helpful to someone who wants to know whether they should go to The Register (yes) or Forbes (yes unless it's /sites/) or Breitbart (no) when they need a reliable source for something. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 17:37, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
/sites/ is now used for staff articles too not just contributors. example. --Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 21:09, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
Ooh, good to know. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 12:58, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support as a general concept. Actually, I wonder whether we should stop declaring sources to be generally unreliable, and instead start pointing out the specific ways in which certain common sources fail the guideline. The Daily Mail, for example, is generally unreliable because it's reputation for fact-checking and accuracy is poor, not because we don't like it. Declaring sources to be generally unreliable (beyond saying things like "DM doesn't meet the WP:RS guideline's definition of a reliable source – specifically, it fails point #1 in WP:NOTGOODSOURCE") overlooks the importance of WP:RSCONTEXT and usually is more of a question about WP:DUE weight anyway. (Yes, that website/fringe news site/politician actually did say that [which means the source is "reliable" under the WP:RS definition for narrow statements like "This source said that"]. But so what? There's no need to put any of that in this article in the first place.) In several cases, I think that these "GUNREL" declarations have actually been "tiny minority" declarations, and muddling the two concepts is a bad idea for anyone who wants to be able to think clearly and logically about content policies.
    Specifically, while I think we should stop having these RFCs, I am willing to perhaps consider the occasional RFC in contentious cases that have repeatedly appeared here at RSN and where RSN has had difficulty in resolving those discussions. (RSN regulars are perfectly capable of repeating "No, you can't use that anonymous HIV denial website to support a claim that HIV doesn't exist" as many times as necessary, without anyone starting an RFC.) As a practical matter, I also think we should stop having these "banned sources" RFCs on this page (use a subpage if you need to). Any of the alternatives that sound approximately like "Stop the RFCs unless you genuinely can't get resolve your content dispute any other way" would work for me. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:37, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose this proposal as too rigid, but favor some minimal threshold. I would favor, as a general rule, that an editor starting a "general reliability" RfC would need to provide diffs showing (1) that the source was cited at least 5-10 times in article space (either presently, or in the recent past) and that there has been some of sort actual dispute about the reliability of the source. (I would not, as some suggest, require 3 different noticeboard discussions or anything like that—but I would require some sort of actual evidence, via reversion, talk page discussion, or noticeboard discussion, that the reliability of a source has actually been disputed.). Neutralitytalk 01:46, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support – sources should be evaluated in connection with a specific claim in a specific article, and not generally. Levivich 01:59, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There is obvious utility in maintaining the list of generally unreliable sources. Obviously some people do not like the fact that some sources are generally unreliable. That is largely the point. Case by case review of Breitbart would be a titanic waste of time, and we'd need a {{still no}} template as well. Equally, a source that is a legitimate review case by case, is probably not right for deprecation. There should not be many deprecated sources but there absolutely should be deprecated sources, and managing this through RFC is the only obviously practical way of doing it. Not every new user can be expected to be familiar with our arcana, so the edit filters minimise bite, and again, we have to have some way of managing that. You could make a case for triaging, and putting those which meet the threshold for a proper debate at WP:CENT, but we have to have the RFCs. Guy (Help!) 10:29, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose- Although I can see the arguments for dialing back the RfCs a little, I worry that forbidding all discussion is just going to make every mendacious propaganda site decreed reliable by default while preventing anyone from doing anything about it. Reyk YO! 10:35, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose the main question. I do agree that they're mainly for unreliable sources, though, rather than setting rules for what is reliable [in general]. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 02:27, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Autarch (talk) 18:59, 3 August 2019


  • Just a quick count of votes to date: 19 OPPOSE and 11 SUPPORT Bacondrum (talk) 02:17, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose moratorium, while supporting the inclusion of several specific examples whenever raising a general question about a particular source. — JFG talk 19:54, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support the opinions of North8000 and FOARP appear to be persuasive. The use of a source should be on a case by case basis, per article. Looking back on some of these RfCs a case of IDONTLIKEIT appear to have created consensus to ensure that sources are no longer utilized, which leads to due to the reduction of available resources, some content taking on the weight of views of the remaining sources, while excluding the views of other sources thus leading to, well meaning but, non-neutral content. Thus as others have suggested CONTEXTMATTERS.--RightCowLeftCoast (Moo) 11:04, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Per the many reasons already noted. Having a more structured discussion seems useful. I’ve been in a few roundabouts where the core issues are ignored and productive movement is derailed , on purpose or not, to the detriment of getting consensus.
    I also find it very useful to know if given a choice of multiple sources to use, which ones are more reliable. Presumably we should be getting sources that will last and not be just good enough for the moment. Gleeanon409 (talk) 22:45, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Second thoughts 10:08, 2 September 2019 (UTC) - sources are used for verifiability so it depends on what needs to be verified - see WP:V To discuss the reliability of a specific source for a particular statement, consult the reliable sources noticeboard, which seeks to apply this policy to particular cases. It is a core content policy to which we should adhere. Atsme Talk 📧 02:36, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
As this RfC has run for 30 days, I've submitted a request for closure at WP:RFCL § Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#RFC: Moratorium on "general reliability" RFCs. — Newslinger talk 17:58, 17 August 2019 (UTC)


Some editors have suggested restrictions on when an RfC on the general reliability of a source would be appropriate, as well as changes to the commonly used 4-option RfC format. For more coordinated discussion, please list your suggestion in a new subheading under this "Workshop" section, so other editors can comment on them individually. — Newslinger talk 21:01, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

Emir of Wikipedia's proposalEdit

I still oppose option 4 of the "commonly used" format. In my view an RfC on reliability is only appropriate if there has not been a discussion here which generated clear consensus, or if there has been discussion scattered around Wikipedia which needs centralising in an easily referable place. --Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 21:07, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

Alsee's proposalEdit

Alternate proposal - define and restrict General Reliability RFCs to cases where they actually make sense:

  • A General Reliability RFC is useful for adding a source to the list of perennial sources.
  • A General Reliability RFC is only appropriate if there have been at least 3 previous RSN discussions on the same source, each linked in the General RFC. This establishes that there is a genuine purpose for a generalized discussion, and it ensures at least previous three disputed cases for examination as well as that previous ground work of research and analysis. A general RFC on a source no one ever heard of, which no one will ever bring up again, and with no substantial evidentiary basis, is a bad use of other people's time.
  • The instructions and documentation should prominently state that that the outcome of a General Reliability RFC does not resolve any open dispute about any particular usage at any particular article. RSN already lays out separate instructions and requirements for that.

Alsee (talk) 13:43, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

  • Support some combination of this with GMG's proposal below being added to instructions at top of this noticeboard. —DIYeditor (talk) 00:06, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Alsee's proposal ensures that general reliability RfCs are decided on at least four rounds of examination (three previous discussions plus the RfC itself), and directs attention to sources that need the most input from editors. It delineates the difference between the general case and specific cases, and does not place undue weight on any single use of a source. RfCs are most useful for reducing the volume of discussions on sources that are discussed too often. This proposal is likely to make the greatest reduction on editor workload by ensuring that there are not too many RfCs nor too many discussions on this noticeboard. (A requirement of 4–5 discussions instead of 3 also sounds reasonable to me.) — Newslinger talk 00:59, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose, too WP:CREEP-y. An essay to this effect might make sense, but these discussions are useful to gauge the general temperature of the community's views on a particular source, which helps people decide whether to open specific discussions and how to word them if they do (eg. letting people know the starting point and whether they need to argue a particular usage is an exception to the general community opinion on a source in one way or another.) More specific RSN discussions are useful but not sufficient for our purposes on their own, since they usually have very little participation and can therefore produce extremely swingy results between similar sources based on who happens to weigh in. --Aquillion (talk) 18:58, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
    • Fair enough, maybe best left for an essay (or some mildly worded friendly advice at the top of this page). I think that formal RfCs exacerbate the problem of these swingy results because if there are 10 active RfCs on here all the time, people watching for RfCs may just start to ignore them. So while it being an RfC may give the impression of being authoritative or representing general consensus, the flood of them may make that not true. Or is that off base? —DIYeditor (talk) 19:20, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. François Robere (talk) 18:04, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support if original proposal not passed - This is a good alternative since it would still address the problem of people simply treating this page as a forum for discussing which sources are, in their view, "bad" in some contextless sense. FOARP (talk) 07:24, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Supt.-2nd Choice if "GreenMeansGo's proposal" below does not pass, see my reasoning there. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:45, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The list of perennial sources should have its own inclusion criteria based on past RfCs. Assuming that were based on multiple past discussions, it's unclear what this proposal would allow for in the case of general reliability RfCs. I generally support the idea that we shouldn't jump to one of those RfCs without previous discussions of a source, but I'm reluctant to suggest codifying that rule or, as I've already implied, the necessary involvement of RSP, which should remain a meta resource rather than play a role in the consensus process. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 02:32, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

GreenMeansGo's proposalEdit

You shouldn't open threads about a source unless there is a specific content dispute. You shouldn't open a thread about the universal reliability of a source unless there is a preponderance of threads dealing with specific content disputes where they have decided the source is unreliable. GMGtalk 23:07, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

^^^^ !!!! Volunteer Marek (talk) 01:34, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
Yes - though I'd loosen this somewhat. I think it is OK to discuss a widely used source prior to article level discussions (however that shouldn't be a RfC - but a request for input - and should have specific examples - e.g. source W is used for X, Y, and Z. I have concerns because of A, B, C. In any case not universal). A blanket deprecation RfC should only be opened if there is an indication of a problem on Wikipedia (e.g. Daily Mail - was widely used). Icewhiz (talk) 05:28, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support --GRuban (talk) 19:43, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support – This should become policy. Levivich 02:25, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support CThomas3 (talk) 03:08, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support adding to instructions at top of noticeboard. —DIYeditor (talk) 23:48, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose, too WP:CREEP-y. Perhaps as a general suggestion, but not as a rule - as discussed above, it is useful for editors to gauge the general "temperature" of opinion on a particular source, and I don't think we should have any hard restrictions on them doing so. --Aquillion (talk) 18:55, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
    • Full disclosure, I didn't add the header above and keep getting surprised when I see this section pop up on my watchlist. But I'm not sure I at all understand the reference to CRUFT, which you seem to have made twice now. GMGtalk 19:08, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Aquillion. And honestly there are sources out there that people try to use that are beyond the pale in basically any circumstance. So while no source is always reliable, being able to find out if a source is always unreliable is useful. Simonm223 (talk) 18:59, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
    • A more specific issue, which came up for the Newsweek RFC below, is that the precise wording of this suggestion would bar people from making general RFCs when a source is frequently discussed and frequently found reliable. (It would also bar RFCs when a source is frequently discussed with no consensus, which is utterly absurd, since those are the situation that most desperately requires a broader high-participation RFC that might reach some sort of consensus.) Having a broad RFC to settle perennial discussions of all sorts is general policy. I'm not sure we even can bar future RFCs of that nature per WP:LOCALCONSENSUS and WP:CCC. The whole idea of "let's have an RFC to set the rules under which people can make future RFCs" seems both WP:CREEP-y and sketchy. --Aquillion (talk) 19:09, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
      • 100% on the issue of perennial discussion and general policy. Simonm223 (talk) 19:11, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
      • That makes sense, we cannot change the rules for RfCs without an RfC advertised as doing such. I was thinking more along the lines of "advice" at the top of this page. Something to the effect that starting a formal RfC for every question about a source may overload the RfC process and limit participation. —DIYeditor (talk) 19:15, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
    • The problem is... no source is ever “always unreliable”... if nothing else, every source will be reliable for citing a quote from that source (and is, in fact, the MOST reliable source for that purpose). Blueboar (talk) 19:26, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
I disagree with the exception for quotes and opinion statements that is often trotted out. If a quote hasn't been repeated by reliable sources, it fails W:WEIGHT; if it has, why not just cite the reliable source? –dlthewave 17:51, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
If we're at a point where we're discussing whether a source is "always unreliable" or just "mostly unreliable", then we shouldn't use that source. François Robere (talk) 19:10, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
  • This is incorrect on two points. First, there are, in fact, "always unusable" sources, ones that can never be cited in any context; in particular, WP:USERGENERATED sources can never be cited, fullstop - no context exists under which it is ever appropriate to cite one. But more generally, most of these RFCs and discussions are asking about whether a source can be used for anything except the opinion of its author. There are a huge number of sources that are clearly not usable outside that extremely specific context. Context matters for some aspects of WP:RS, but not all of them - there are ways to fall RS severely enough to render a source totally unusable in any situation. --Aquillion (talk) 02:13, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose for the following reasons:
  1. There's value in discussing the general reliability of a source - be it a writer, a publisher, or a specific creation - which may or may not have a reputation for reliability among experts. Do musicologists often cite Peter Schickele? No (though not for lack of talent), and the current rules allow me to reflect that with an RfC if the question arises.
  2. The proposal assumes general RfCs are wasteful in terms of editors' time and effort, but the fact of the matter is that one general RfC is much less wasteful than a whole bunch of specific ones. If one is only allowed to bring fourth a general RfC after a "preponderance" of specific threads have been opened, then how much time would we have we wasted on those threads? And this is assuming good faith.
    1. BTW, how much is "a preponderance"? Is five a preponderance? Ten? Do you really want an editor to be "legally" able to open five threads on a bogus source in five different articles before someone is able to bring them here?
  3. The purpose of RfCs is to resolve disputes, but by requiring that previous threads "have decided the source is unreliable" we'd be preventing disputes from ever reaching the RfC stage. After all, what's the point of an RfC if we already have a consensus? Just ban RfCs altogether.
Bottom line: if you really believe there's a problem with too many general RfCs being brought in, then there's a much better proposal on the table by Alsee. François Robere (talk) 19:07, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support It's the closest thing that approaches the purposes of WP:V judging in context, and it would tend to avoid the WP:NOTAFORUM stuff these open ended queries get. Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:34, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Seems to not only be about RFCs; too bureaucratic for a noticeboard. —PaleoNeonate – 01:05, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support The note at the top of this noticeboard clearly says that discussions should be about whether sources are reliable for specific purposes. Also, WP:V and other sourcing policies clearly state that reliability can only be judged in context. I don't think these general RFC should be completely banned, but people are opening them on sources that have never been discussed on the noticeboard, or for sources that are essentially never used in articles anyways. That just clutters up the noticeboard with useless junk. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 01:30, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Prefer Alsee's proposal, which applies the same treatment to the entire reliability spectrum. — Newslinger talk 01:49, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose "preponderance" - some level of prior consideration might be worthwhile, but the phrasing indicates that a more significant number is needed, perhaps unnecessarily restrictive Nosebagbear (talk)
  • Mixed (mostly support Icewhiz's modification): I agree that opening an RFC in the absence of any indication that anyone has ever attempted to use a source is kind of waste of time, but asking editors to open multiple WP:RSN discussions about an obviously unreliable source before finally having an RFC would be an even bigger waste of time. If I have a dispute over a source that reaches a point where it's necessary to open a noticeboard discussion, then why not just go ahead and deprecate to save everyone the trouble of revisiting a clearly terrible source in the future? Specific content disputes should be the starting point, but maybe we should make allowances for editors (emphasis on the plural) to agree to broaden a discussion if a particular source looks like it warrants it.Nblund talk
  • Support - absolutely! It's in our PAGs. Atsme Talk 📧 02:38, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

Aquillion's proposalEdit

I suggest discouraging any repetitive objections to such general-purpose discussions and RFCs that aren't clearly backed up by whatever outcome we reach here. If there's no consensus to remove them, or if we've agreed to allow them under certain circumstances, then posting near-identical comments to several of them at once objecting to them in identical terms, like this is WP:POINTy. (Not to call that one set of edits out - it's the most recent example, but others have done similar things in the past.) The reality is that such discussions have been accepted practice for a long time, and absent an actual RFC against them or some other indication that that practice has changed, trying to shout them down by responding to all of them at once with identical objections isn't constructive. The appropriate way to halt a common practice you find objectionable is to first try and establish a centralized consensus against it, not to try and force through an objection that lacks such clear consensus through disruptively repeating your interpretation as fact even when after it's failed to reach consensus. Posting identical "bad RFC!" messages on a whole bunch of discussions at once isn't the way to move forwards, especially if there isn't really a clear consensus backing that objection up. Merely having a strong opposition to particular sorts of discussions, or strongly believing that they're against some policy, isn't sufficient justification for disrupting them like that if there's no clear consensus backing you up. Obviously this would just be a general guideline - people could still object to individual ones they feel are particularly unhelpful, but mass-copy-pasting an otherwise off-topic objection to every single RFC of a particular type that you think we shouldn't be having ought to require at least some consensus to back you up. --Aquillion (talk) 01:09, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

  • Support as proposer. The whole point of this centralized discussion is to settle this in a clean fashion so it doesn't constantly spill out and disrupt other discussions with meta-arguments. --Aquillion (talk) 01:09, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. The constant obstruction caused by these objections, written into multiple unrelated discussions without consideration of the sources being discussed, is indeed disruptive. The results of this RfC should settle this matter definitively. — Newslinger talk 01:40, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Bad question. You refer to use of the words "bad RfC" (in this case by FOARP but I have done it more often). You are alleging that saying that is "disruptive" and that someone has tried to "shout down" others. These are conduct accusations. Replying "oppose" to a conduct accusation is (I believe) an error, since it implies acceptance that the proposal is legitimate in this context. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 01:54, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Bad Proposal If the outcome of this RfC is that we shouldn't have those types of RfCs, then that objection is the correct objection to make. It doesn't matter if you're objecting to 1 bad RfC or 10 - they would all be bad RfCs. If the outcome of that RfC is that we should have those types of RfCs, then that objection shouldn't be made even once. Galestar (talk) 02:01, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Right, but what happens if (as seems extremely likely at this point) this RFC is closed with no consensus? Those discussions keep happening, and the same few people keep posting the same few identical objections on all of them? I don't think that that's a reasonable way to proceed. --Aquillion (talk) 04:22, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Your proposal starts with Regardless of the outcome of this RFC. This proposal is only even possible if 1 of the 3 outcomes is arrived at... Galestar (talk) 04:24, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
And ends with ...that aren't clearly backed up by whatever outcome we reach here. Most of the proposals above would allow them under certain circumstances, so I worded it broadly in the sense of ie. obviously comments reminding people of a clear outcome here would be fine. (And, obviously, you are incorrect about 1 of the 3; there's also the situation where none of the options reach a clear consensus.) Nonetheless, I'll remove the first bit to avoid confusion. --Aquillion (talk) 04:29, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Okay I guess I didn't quite understand some of the nuance at first. I still think that this proposal should only be considered once its decided what kind of objections are allowed/disallowed/undecided. Maybe I just think too linearly and don't want to jump ahead to the part where we decide how many objections at a time are okay when we haven't yet decided (or failed-to-decide?) which objections are okay. Galestar (talk) 04:47, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Bad proposal - WP:NOTAFORUM is a pretty basic rule on Wikipedia, and if people on this page want to repeatedly flout it by engaging in context-free, discursive "Which media sources do you feel are bad?" style discussions, then you betcha I'm going to point that out. It also clearly states what should and should not be RFC'd on this page right at the top, pointing out that an RFC flouts this can be no more wrong than pointing out that an AFD nomination fails WP:BEFORE, or that an RFC is wrongly factored (both of which are very common). FOARP (talk) 07:16, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Support as per proposer. Bacondrum (talk) 23:00, 27 July 2019 (UTC)

  • Oppose as consensus can change and the proposal to disallow further RfCs about past RfCs doesn't allow for CCC. --RightCowLeftCoast (Moo) 11:04, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
    This proposal does not "disallow further RfCs about past RfCs". It discourages "repetitive objections to such general-purpose discussions and RFCs". — Newslinger talk 11:19, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Adoring Nanny's Concern and proposalEdit

The problem I see with blanket rules about what is and is not reliable is that it replaces using one's brain to figure it out. Effectively, WP:CONTEXTMATTERS carries no weight. See this discussion where I was in effect told that it was inappropriate to actually examine the evidence in the various sources and come to an evidence-based conclusion, which is exactly what WP:CONTEXTMATTERS implies one should do. Instead, the accepted thing appears to be to blindly follow certain rules about what is and is not reliable. And that makes people cynical about Wikipedia. Therefore, I suggest that what needs to happen is that WP:CONTEXTMATTERS needs to become policy that is actually used, rather than merely a "policy" statement that sits there but doesn't carry any weight in a decision about what is reliable and what isn't. Adoring nanny (talk) 01:35, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure what you're proposing. WP:V, a policy, already states that "The appropriateness of any source depends on the context." In the same paragraph, it defines the reliability spectrum: "The best sources have a professional structure in place for checking or analyzing facts, legal issues, evidence, and arguments. The greater the degree of scrutiny given to these issues, the more reliable the source." WP:CONTEXTMATTERS states, "In general, the more people engaged in checking facts, analyzing legal issues, and scrutinizing the writing, the more reliable the publication." Reliability depends on context, but some sources are more reliable in general than others. — Newslinger talk 01:58, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
    Additionally, your application of WP:CONTEXTMATTERS in Talk:Daniel Holtzclaw § Undue weight and fringe viewpoints (your linked discussion) is incorrect. You said in Special:Diff/893517711, "The soundness of one's conclusions -- the question of whether or not they follow logically from the evidence one is examining -- trump everything." That is against policy; we must "fairly [represent] all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources" (WP:DUE). WP:CONTEXTMATTERS is not a trump card that allows us to elevate a fringe opinion that is not supported by other reliable sources. If a person is convicted in court, and nearly all reliable sources report that they are guilty, it would be improper to grant a false balance to the minority perspective of a news reporter who claims that they are innocent, when that perspective is not corroborated by other reliable sources. — Newslinger talk 20:06, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Hi Adoring nanny, I just read the discussion you are referring to and I thought "Everyone in prison is innocent", if the court found him guilty and reliable sources report as much, that's the end of the story as far as Wikipedia is concerned. If he contests the conviction and it is overturned, then he is vindicated, otherwise it's just another in a long line of criminals claiming to be innocent. Any personal assessment of the evidence is original research. Bacondrum (talk) 22:58, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
Also, context matters should be applied to sources that are generally unreliable, in that if a source is generally unreliable it should be seen in context as generally unreliable...hope that makes sense? ie: a dishonest source may tell the truth from time to time, but they cannot be trusted because they are generally dishonest. Bacondrum (talk) 23:03, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

RfC: Bellingcat (August 2019)Edit

I am seeing a numerical as well as weighed consensus to treat the site as generally reliable and use it, preferably with attribution.
I am not at all convinced that the funding aspects are points strong enough to affect wholesale reliability. In addition to the rebuts already provided in the arguments [ (a) funding is indirectly provided and (b) various national governments do indeed fund scores of highly reliable media units to some extent], I do note that WP:BIASED mentions Reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective.
I was more bothered about weighing the arguments from !voters concerned with the lack of relevant academic qualifications of the authors but multiple un-disputably-reliable sources praising their work indeed serves as a valid and near-equal negation.
Thankfully,WBGconverse 14:12, 15 September 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.

Is Bellingcat a reliable source? Snooganssnoogans (talk) 17:46, 4 August 2019 (UTC) I am here to request that Bellingcat be considered a RS. Here is information about the website which indicates that it is deserving of RS status:

  • Reliable outlets overwhelmingly describe Bellingcat as an investigative journalism website (or synonym) and cover its stories favorably: NPR (Bellingcat “ has meticulously investigated conflicts around the world”)[3], Guardian (“Bellingcat has been responsible for revealing key aspects of some of the world’s biggest stories”[4] + “in its short life has broken scoop after scoop”[5]), Wired (“ just the latest in an ongoing series of reve¬lations the Insider and Bellingcat have made”[6]), CBS News[7], New Yorker (“Bellingcat’s news-making investigations”[8]), Australian Broadcasting Corporation[9], AP[10], NYT[11], Reuters[12], DW[13], AFP[14], and BBC[15][16].
  • In an article for the NY Review of Books, University of Stirling journalism scholar Muhammad Idrees Ahmad said in June 2019, Bellingcat “ has chalked up an impressive record of breakthroughs… Its alums either lead, participate in, or support every notable open-source journalistic enterprise currently in operation. ”[17] According to Ahmad, Bellingcat is not only notable for its methodological sophistication but for the transparency of the process involved in uncovering stories. He notes that this has influenced legacy outlets to add greater transparency to their own reporting. INews writes, “Although most investigative journalism is shrouded in mystery, the [Bellingcat] platform shows their workings, detailing how they found out the story and which techniques they used”[18]
  • Favorable coverage by reliable outlets such as CJR[19], Poynter[20], the Tow Center for Digital Journalism[21], Nieman Lab [22][23], Foreign Policy magazine[24], and Human Rights Watch[25]. Poynter: "In the verification business, Bellingcat is a website on a hill... for fact-checkers and other journalists, Bellingcat has an open-source list of tools that are essential for any online investigation."[26] Bellingcat research has been cited in the International Court of Justice[27]. The Guardian described Bellingcat’s Skripal scoops as “a series of blockbuster investigations”.[28] The Financial Times described Bellingcat's podcast about its own reporting on MH17 as "Extraordinary in detail, tenacity and execution, you can practically smell the sweat that’s gone into making it."[29]
  • Major scoops and reports which were covered by establishment news outlets: Evidence that Russia was behind the MH17 downing[30][31], “broke the Skripal story”[32][33], "a comprehensive and contextualized report on the motives and movements of the Christchurch killer"[34], uses of chemical weapons in Syria[35], locating The Netherlands’ most-wanted criminal using Instagram,[36], a Russian troll factory website[37], a project to track military vehicle movements in Ukraine[38][39], . The International Criminal Court used information uncovered by Bellingcat in the arrest warrant for [[Mahmoud al-Werfalli].[40] and Bellingcat was “praised for the groundbreaking investigation” into a mass-killing in Cameroon.[41]
  • Bellingcat staff are frequently cited as experts[42][43]. The Tow Center for Digital Journalism recommends that journalists and journalism students see Bellingcat for how to report on user-generated content.[44][45] Poynter recommends a Bellingcat guide for using LinkedIn data.[46] This study recommends a Bellingcat guide to open-source investigations.[47] The Poynter Institute's International Fact-Checking Network published "A 5-point guide to Bellingcat's digital forensics tool list"[48].
  • Bellingcat staff have collaborated with the BBC[49][50]. Peer-reviewed books on digital journalism have chapters authored by Bellingcat journalists on how to conduct digital forensics.[51] Outlets such as the New York Times have hired Bellingcat staff as reporters.[52] Bellingcat’s Eliot Higgins sits on an advisory board for the International Criminal Court on the use of technology in ICC cases.[53]
  • According to Ahmad, Bellingcat has had an influence on journalsm: “Bellingcat’s successes have encouraged investment in open-source research capability by much larger and long-established media institutions (such as The New York Times Visual Investigations), human rights organizations (Amnesty’s Digital Verification Corps; Human Rights Watch’s soon-to-be-launched OSINT unit), think tanks (the Atlantic Council’s DFR Lab), and academic institutions (Berkeley’s Human Rights Investigations Lab).”[54]
  • Per Bellingcat, it has won the following awards: “Bellingcat has won The Hanns Joachim Friedrichs Prize in 2015, the European Press Prize for Innovation in 2017, the Ars Electronica Prize for Digital Communities in 2018, the European Press Prize for Investigation in 2019, and the London Press Club award for Digital Journalism in 2019. Bellingcat has also been involved with award winning collaborative projects, most recently the BBC Africa Eye investigation, Anatomy of a Killing, which has won multiple major journalism awards, including a Royal Television Society Award and Peabody Award.”[55]
  • Bellingcat has corrected news stories by legacy outlets such as the AP and NYT[56].

Snooganssnoogans (talk) 17:46, 4 August 2019 (UTC)

Survey: Is Bellingcat a reliable source?Edit

  • Generally reliable. For the reasons presented above. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 17:46, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • See also: Talk:Douma chemical attack#RfC: Bellingcat coverage VQuakr (talk) 14:58, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally reliable per Snooganssnoogans rather comprehensive overview above, as well as my own past experience with its coverage. Bellingcat is one of the best things to have happened in independent journalism in recent years. signed, Rosguill talk 20:47, 4 August 2019 (UTC) 20:09, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong No unless qualification included to indicate Bellingcat is a “grant-making organization that receives an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress through the Department of State” which gives, at minimum, an appearance of bias. (About BellingcatNED FAQs) Humanengr (talk) 22:27, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
I think perhaps you have confused Bellingcat with the NED, from which Bellingcat receives a grant, but as far as I can tell, has no other relationship? Dumuzid (talk) 22:44, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
Not confused. Bellingcat receives government money via NED, regardless of claims of independence. That suffices to taint. Humanengr (talk) 22:49, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
But would you agree with me that Bellingcat is not a "grant-making organization"? That is NED. Dumuzid (talk) 22:56, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
Doesn’t make a difference if they are or aren’t. It’s that their existence and function is supported by government. As far as making grants, I do see on that link that, at minimum, they have staff. So in that sense, they admit to providing grants. Humanengr (talk) 23:11, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
It makes a difference to me in that I believe in the quaint notion that facts matter. Again, you are being unclear. In your view, does Bellingcat or NED "admit to providing grants"? Dumuzid (talk) 23:16, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
What ‘facts’ are you referring to? And no, I don’t see where Bellingcat verbatim “admit to providing grants.” Humanengr (talk) 23:25, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
The fact I mean is that you asserted that "Bellingcat is a 'grant-making organization that receives an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress through the Department of State.'" This is simply untrue. They receive a grant from the NED, which fits that description. That may be enough for you to deem them unreliable, but it does not change the fact that they are independent organizations. Bellingcat, so far as I can tell, does not make grants, nor does it directly receive an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress through the Department of State. Would you agree with me to that extent? Dumuzid (talk) 23:49, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
The money trail — U.S. -> NED -> Bellingcat — is obviously indirect. Independent? The Board makeup gives a different impression. But, yes, I do agree that “Bellingcat, so far as I can tell, does not make grants” per se, “nor does it directly receive an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress through the Department of State.” Humanengr (talk) 01:27, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
Thank you. Dumuzid (talk) 01:34, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
What does that have to do with its reliability? Reliable sources such as NPR, PRI, PBS, and Journal of Democracy are funded in part by the US government, as are countless peer-reviewed studies. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 22:58, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
Opposing nation’s media would be / are lambasted for similar appearance. Fair is fair. Thx for the list. Humanengr (talk) 23:06, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
If you are referring to propaganda outlets like RT, Sputnik and TeleSur, the difference is that none of those outlets have a reputation for reliability and fact-checking whereas NPR, PRI, PBS, Journal of Democracy and Bellingcat do have reputations for reliability and fact-checking (as well as state-funded news outlets such as BBC, DR, SVT, NRK, CBC, ARD, YLE, RÚV, Sveriges Radio, Radio France etc. - [57]). That they are government-funded is not the reason per se why they are unreliable. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 23:12, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
’Reliable’ only as conferred by a self-reinforcing loop. Humanengr (talk) 23:23, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
At this point it seems like you have a fundamental issue with WP:RS. We define reliability based on a source's reputation among a network of other reliable sources; if you feel that the entire mainstream media is flawed and unreliable, you've fundamentally rejected WP:RS in favor of trying to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS. --Aquillion (talk) 02:39, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
How about we start by applying WP:RS evenly? Any media that receives government funding gets treated the same, be it U.S.-allied or other is treated alike — banned, approved, approved w an attached caution. Humanengr (talk) 20:28, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
As far as I'm aware of there's not a single source that has been downgraded in RS status for the sole reason that it's in some way funded by a government entity. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 20:35, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
I believe you had mentioned RT, Sputnik and TeleSur. On what basis have judgments been made re those? Humanengr (talk) 22:41, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
They are not RS because they repeatedly publish falsehoods and conspiracy theories. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 00:15, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Yes, past discussions on RT (Russia Today) (RSP entry), Sputnik (RSP entry), and Telesur (RSP entry) criticized these sources for spreading propaganda and disinformation. In particular, there are 30 in-depth reliable sources that explicitly describe RT as a propaganda outlet. The fact that these sources are closely connected to their respective governments indicates that they are partisan sources, but does not directly impact their reliability. Their low reliability is tied to their poor reputations for accuracy.

Now, TASS (RSP entry) is another case in which some editors questioned its reliability solely because it is operated by a country with low press freedom (Russia). However, other editors did not think that was the primary factor and expressed a range of opinions on different grounds. In any case, the US is not a country with the same scale of press freedom problems, and the same arguments would not apply here. — Newslinger talk 04:18, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

@Newslinger, re "the US is not a country with the same scale of press freedom problems" — not sure how one makes a judgment on that from within the medium. (McLuhan re fish) Humanengr (talk) 02:36, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm deferring to the judgment of the Press Freedom Index. In 2019, the US is ranked #48 ("noticeable problems"), while Russia is ranked #149 ("difficult situation") out of 180 countries. — Newslinger talk 03:06, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
─────────────────────────Difficult to respect that ranking (even from within the fishbowl) given their methodology's 'indicators'. #2 is 'Media independence': "Measures the degree to which the media are able to function independently of sources of political, governmental, business and religious power and influence." Do any Western media operate independently of Western intelligence sources wrt accusations against non-Western-allied nations? #1: Pluralism: "Measures the degree to which opinions are represented in the media." Do any express doubts about Western intelligence from unnamed sources? etc., etc., Humanengr (talk) 04:12, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
On what grounds do you distinguish ‘bias’ from ‘propaganda’ (Snooganssnoogans‘s term above)? Humanengr (talk) 23:37, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally reliable. That said - I must ask why the question comes up - David Gerard (talk) 06:15, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

Request requires amendment There are instructions at the top of this page and the create new section editing page. Please add links to the previous discussions in the archive to your request, the most recent of which I note is highly unfavorable and suggests a certain degree of consensus as generally unreliable. Please provide a link to the specific blog post on the bellingcat site you are seeking to cite. Finally please indicate the WP article in which you want to cite bellingcat and the text in the article you want it to support, either as quote or diff. (edit:piped link) Cambial Yellowing(❧) 07:25, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

Looking through that previous discussion, it appears that occurred in 2015, when Bellingcat was just under a year old and there wasn't a track record of RS using its reporting or otherwise commenting on it. While the call of self-published/unreliable was the correct judgment at the time, we now have a sizable body of evidence that Bellingcat conducts reliable journalism. If you have more recent coverage suggesting that it's unreliable, then that's a different matter. That having been said, I do agree that it's a bit weird for an editor to come to RSN to make an argument about a given source without a context--generally the procedure is to either get wider feedback on a dispute involving a source's reliability, or someone with no familiarity with a source trying to get a basic sanity check on whether it's usable. signed, Rosguill talk 17:12, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
@Rosguill: I added a link to a current article talk space discussion and RfC regarding this source. I presume that discussion is what prompted this post here. Maybe the "general" presentation of the query here was to mirror the similar presentation of the 2015 discussion? VQuakr (talk) 17:34, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally reliable per Snooganssnoogans. David Gerard, the reason that the reliability of bellingcat is being discussed is likely because Cambial Yellowing, a three-month-old account, has been attempting to purge bellingcat's highly reliable coverage of the Douma chemical attack from that article, citing an RSN discussion from 2015. Furthermore, this account has continually and falsely characterized bellingcat as a "highly dubious blog." (As an aside: Cambial Yellowing, if you have previously edited Wikipedia as another account or an IP, you might want to disclose that now.)TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 08:23, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
Please stay on topic, TheTimesAreAChanging. The age of my account, as you know, is totally irrelevant. I will thank you to refrain from making thinly-veiled and groundless accusations. That is not a form of argument, and is inappropriate behavior. You have given your opinion; there is no reason to pretend others' opinions are, in your view, "false". You are, presumably, not a child. Cambial Yellowing(❧) 08:39, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

  • Generally reliable per Snooganssnoogans, et al. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 10:08, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally reliable, with the obvious caveat that context matters. I would expect WP:EXCEPTIONAL to be carefully considered here. VQuakr (talk) 14:54, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Reliable in general as per all the above comments. Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 16:55, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally reliable per Snooganssnoogans, Rosguill, and my own experience with them. - GretLomborg (talk) 18:14, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally unreliable Lol, if anyone thinks that the US government gives money to "neutral" sources/information, they need to think again. Or read, say Who Paid the Piper? or a zillion other such works. Eliot Higgins was an unemployed guy with ZERO academic background in the Middle East area, and then he got funding as he wrote what "some people" liked. (BTW, I was just re−reading about the 2001 anthrax attacks and Bruce Edwards Ivins: please note all those American WP:RS who reported that "this was the chemical signature of Iraqi-made anthrax". A complete lie. Heh, not to mention the Nayirah testimony: US sources a have a LOOOOOOOOOONG history of falsification when it comes to any military conflict that the US is involved in. Sorry, but that is just the facts.) Huldra (talk) 21:34, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
Just to be clear, Bellingcat does receive a grant from an organization funded by the U.S. government. It receives no government money directly, as far as I can glean. Moreover, it also receives similar grants from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and is headquartered in the U.K. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 01:34, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
And.....? Do you think a single one of the writers/authors who were paid by the CIA during the last 70 years were paid directly by the CIA? Not that I can see, And do you really think that the US is the only government playing these games? Huldra (talk) 21:13, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
And who are you, Mr/Ms, who knows me so well? And yes, I do recall, say, Judith Miller, working for The New York Times, getting a Pulitzer prize (together with the rest of the NYT team) in 2002, for (among other things), "proving" that Saddam Hussein had WMDs at the time ....One could roar with laugher, ......if it hadn't been for all those hundred of thousands civilians Iraqis killed, and millions who became refugees (many in Western Europe, where I see you are?) As the expression goes: "Fool me once: shame on you. Fool me twice: shame on me". Huldra (talk) 21:13, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally reliable per Snoo's exhaustive research. Neutralitytalk 00:12, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally unreliable but with occasional reliable for attribution content. The site's main author offers many attempts at analysis of highly technical subjects under the rubric of open-source investigation. These analyses lack scientific detail and rigor. They have undergone no peer review process nor scientific editorial control. The author, Eliot Higgins, is an education dropout with no scientific training and no qualifications in any scientific field. The site's editor is a journalist and poet with a BA in English and no scientific background. While Snoogans has collected an extensive list of journalists and serious journalism-related sources which support the site, notably absent is a single reference from a scientific publication or scientific organization working in the technical fields in which the author is claiming to offer serious analysis. The author's work has come under severe criticism, including from qualified and recognized experts in those fields. Its response has often been far from scholarly.
Just as we would not cite the London Telegraph or the New York Times on the copenhagen interpretation or flash suppression, Bellingcat is not a scholarly source for the technical areas on which it frequently seeks to comment — determining weapons delivery trajectories, chemical dispersal, aircraft physics, and so on.
The site has some content which is not technical, but simply careful work in non-technical areas done online. Some of this content appears useful and potentially reliable, though there is little attempt made to test the provenance and integrity of the image content which it is examining "forensically". Such on-the-ground investigation would be fundamental to any serious professional forensic investigator's examination of such material.
There is some content which is written by individuals with subject expertise, and therefore useful with attribution. It comes with the caveat of also having undergone no peer review process nor scientific editorial control. Just as we would not rely on papers written by specialists but unpublished and unreviewed, the articles of this type can similiarly not be relied upon for material in Wikipedia voice.
As I stated before, the request above needs to include the specific content that editor is seeking to reference and the text they wish to support, per the instructions at the top, in order to form a proper assessment. Cambial Yellowing(❧) 01:11, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Oppose findings of general reliability or unreliability for government-funded organizations. (Yes, I know the NED is a private foundation receiving money from the US Congress, which then finances -- inter alia -- Bellingcat). In my experience even the "best" sources can turn out to have been unreliable (NYT, for example). I believe we should proceed on a case by case bias... is // Elliot Higgins // a reliable source for // X // claim... Here I assume the real issue that prompted opening this "general" reliability thread was Higgins publishing on 4 Aug 2019 a negative piece about Tulsi Gabbard. This explains why the thread was opened on 4 Aug 2019 by the principal author of Tulsi Gabbard's BLP. (as of 4 Aug 2019) 🌿 SashiRolls t · c 15:47, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally reliable, but some cautions exist. The concerns about its funding and potential bias stemming from that are not generally an issue to using a source (for instance, we rely on the CIA World Factbook), provided there's no indication that that potential bias has caused them to release inaccurate or misleading information; but they do have to be considered when evaluating WP:DUE weight or WP:EXCEPTIONAL claims, so it's still worth keeping in mind. Regarding the concern that it's not as reliable as an academic paper written by a specialist - I mean, that's a pretty high bar? But also, it's important to remember that those papers also have issues - they're frequently difficult for non-experts to assess or weigh, and rarely provide the broad overviews that we need for our articles; it's very easy for papers, taken out of context, to produce a misleading view, which is one of the reasons eg. WP:MEDRS urges caution. Secondary high-quality analysis sites like this, while they obviously have their own limitations, are important to fill the gap between "breaking news stories" and "in-depth technical papers by experts". --Aquillion (talk) 19:29, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
What you describe as a "pretty high bar" is the standard set by sourcing policy. Secondary analysis means review articles, monographs, textbooks or other materials written by experts, which reference the relevant specialist material. It does not mean amateur sleuths who have no training in the field, and make no reference to the relevant specialism and literature. Cambial Yellowing(❧) 22:08, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
WP:RS doesn't say what you say it does. You are citing a subsection of the section WP:SOURCETYPES, which lists several different types of sources. If our sourcing of specific historical events from the last few years was limited to peer reviewed articles, our coverage would be scant indeed. The actual definition of a secondary source, as used on Wikipedia, is at WP:SECONDARY. VQuakr (talk) 15:30, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Questionable Strong Oppose - after reading NPR article and seeing dependence on social media as their source - can't believe it is even being considered as a source. 12:41, 12 August 2019 (UTC) - editorial board filled with reputable professionals? No...uhm, so where does the information come from - has he subscribed to a newswire? Surely he doesn't go out in the field and do investigative journalism, or does he? What makes it reliable - what makes any source "reliable"? Stick with academic sources and stop depending on RECENTISM. Atsme Talk 📧 21:42, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
The links above (for me, especially this one) do a pretty good job of answering your questions. It may not convince you of reliability (or indeed may convince you otherwise), but at least some light may be shed. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 21:48, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
  • ‘IFFY - IT DEPENDS’ - I’d say maybe, depending on context. This seems more like one persons blog that grew into a sophisticated Blog, rather than meeting the usual RS criteria of press sources. I’m seeing no announced self statement on their website, no editorial controls, no retractions evidencing good practices and self-admission when wrong. The articles look to be hard fact-oriented analysis, but I’m not seeing a stable topic focus or staff that built expertise up.
  • Acceptable with attribution, whether undue or not would be decided on a case by case basis, for the reasons laid aout above. NPR says "an international Internet research organization that has meticulously investigated conflicts around the world". I don't think we get to decide it's unreliable just because it documents a Trumper being radicalised in a very short space of time. Guy (Help!) 21:36, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally unreliable Granted, I'm an IP user so you don't have to listen to me, but anyone could sit at home and use Wikipedia and Google Maps to build enough scaffolding around whatever the State Department's line is in order to support it. "Open-source investigation" is a euphemism for "amateur Internet detective work", and Bellingcat is only well-regarded because it gives any point being made the appearance of rational, researched, nonpartisan, and civilian legitimacy. (talk) 19:32, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally reliable for news topics. Bellingcat's favorable reputation for fact-checking and accuracy has been confirmed by a large number of reliable sources. The evidence presented by Snooganssnoogans shows that Bellingcat is frequently used by other reliable sources. The site's open-source intelligence methodology allows its research to be easily verified by other reliable sources, and has earned the site ample credibility despite being new. We do not require academic peer review for news topics unrelated to biomedicine. As always, caution and in-text attribution are recommended for controversial claims. — Newslinger talk 05:01, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Not really familiar with Bellingcat, but in any case I prefer attribution for controversial statements for this kind of work. Open-source investigation is not free from bias, as verifiability does not necessarily imply full coverage and neutrality. DaßWölf 05:49, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Users should apply WP:CONTEXTMATTERS. Except in extreme cases, which this is not, it's far preferable to a blanket rule that thus-and-such a source is or is not WP:RS.Adoring nanny (talk) 01:55, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment: As I mentioned above, the article that appeared the day this blanket reliability thread was opened is sharply critical of Tulsi Gabbard.[1] It is unclear if this is the article that we are meant to be evaluating the reliability of. Nevertheless, I think it is worth spending a moment looking at it. Though the article spends a lot of time discrediting MIT weapons expert Theodore Postol, it oddly completely glosses over the publication of his strong denunciation of the OPCW report after an engineering assessment was leaked to the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda, and Media <-- why is this red?? in May 2019.[2] Since then both Postol & former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter have been sharply critical of the mainstream media's criticism of Gabbard's skepticism.[3][4] Neither Postol (who points out how easy it would be to shoot helicopters flying at 50-100m above a building in Douma) or Ritter (who addresses Khan Shaykhun saying the Douma airstrike has already been "largely debunked") bother to spend too much time addressing Higgins' messy piece directly, though in time it seems pretty clear (to me at least) that the surprising lack of discussion of this major development (and the attempt to discredit Postol) will end up having been quite damaging not only to the credibility of this Bellingcat piece, but quite possibly to Bellingcat's general reliability as well. 🌿 SashiRolls t · c 19:40, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
I don't see anything at Talk:Tulsi Gabbard that would suggest this article is being considered to support a statement there. Hard to draw any conclusion about suitability without seeing the specific claim that Bellingcat would be used to support. Caution would indeed be warranted per WP:BLP, and for discussion of her position on Syria we have lots of top-tier sources to choose from instead. VQuakr (talk) 01:24, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally reliable - of course with all sources context matters but generally it is a reliable source. The accolades it has received from other reliable sources exceeds most sources, the evidence of its reliability exceeds most other reliable sources. -- GreenC 16:25, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally reliable, but attribution sometimes should be provided per RS considering it reliable. Nevertheless, Bellingcat is sometimes the only investigative source available that deeps into a specific aspect of an event, attribution is recommended.--MaoGo (talk) 09:01, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally reliable - Bellingcat has an excellent reputation for factual reporting and they acknowledge when they get it wrong All this talk about government funds rendering outlets unreliable by default is absolute, total and utter nonsense. Sure, state broadcasters like RT or "news" outlets like Granma are simply propagandists, at the same time much of the highest quality reportage globally is produced by public broadcasters like the Public Broadcasting Service. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Special Broadcasting Service, the Public Broadcasting Service, Al Jazeera and the British Broadcasting Corporation are some of the most respected news outlets in the world. The ABC and the BBC in particular are outstanding, probably the highest quality outlets I can think of. The ABC and the BBC are both 100% government reasonable person would dispute their general reliability (the acts relating to the ABC enshrine the highest journalistic standards, in law). Why would a commercial outlet be more reliable? They are beholden to people with their own agendas (Murdoch for example, runs blatant political campaigns and his outlets routinely publish falsehoods), owners, shareholders and advertisers. The quality of the source must be judged on the quality of it's reporting, not where the funding comes from. Bacondrum (talk) 22:10, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
  • (bot-summon) Most of the "not reliable" arguments seem to come in two flavors: "government-funded hence partisan" and "all mainstream media is crap because Iraq war". For the former, Bacondrum's refutation is on-point: reliability is evaluated from the results, not political or economical allegiances (of which no newspaper, scientific journal, or any type of source is free). For the latter, yeah, most media is crap (and not just when disinformed via a massive government campaign), but it's the least crappy we have; if you are seriously saying the New York Times should be considered "generally unreliable", you are advocating for 99%+ of WP articles about post-2000 events to be nuked since no source would ever be reliable enough. TigraanClick here to contact me 08:43, 29 August 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Elliot Higgins (August 4, 2019). "Tulsi Gabbard's Reports on Chemical Attacks in Syria -- A Self-Contradictory Error Filled Mess". bellingcat.
  2. ^ Institute for Public Accuracy (June 6, 2019). "Postol on Syrian Attacks: OPCW Guilty of "Deception"". Institute for Public Accuracy.
  3. ^ Aron Maté; Theodore Postol (August 15, 2019). "Top scientist denounces smears of Tulsi Gabbard on Syria". The Grayzone.
  4. ^ Ritter, Scott (August 14, 2019). "Tulsi Gabbard Gets Some Vindication". Truthdig. Retrieved August 17, 2019.

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.

Seeking acceptance of reliability of UK progressive online only news sites - The Canary, Evolve Politics and SkwawkboxEdit

UK progressive online only news sites such as The Canary, Evolve Politics and Skwawkbox have been described by the BBC as making a huge impact and earning a massive following."[1] They are all subject to a state approved regulator, IMPRESS and receive a positive rating from NewsGuard.

They are relevant across a range of articles relating to British current affairs.

Using these sources in Wikipedia articles aids in NPOV as they present a progressive viewpoint and content often absent from the mainly conservative mainstream media, which is owned and directed by commercial companies. Even the non commercial Guardian is not a consistent supporter of the current Labour Party, which is the offical political opposition in Parliament. While this is a subjective view on my part, it may be that these sites were originally more sensationalist to establish themselves and over time have become more reliable. However, some editors still regularly delete content from these sites, on the basis that they are fringe. Can we have a consensus that they are sufficently reliable as per Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Perennial sources to be used? Jontel (talk) 20:52, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Even as I may like them, I have a certain trepidation about a blanket declaration that they're solid RSes for all purposes in Wikipedia. With-attribution, as the partisan sources they are maybe. But I'd like some evidence of actual reliability as sources. And being signed up to IMPRESS doesn't really mean much - "No national newspaper has signed up to the new regulator" - David Gerard (talk) 14:49, 1 September 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Rajan, Amol (13 June 2017). "Five election lessons for the media". BBC. Retrieved 30 March 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
You say "some editors still regularly delete content from these sites". Why not identify these editors and the article talk pages where you have tried to discuss with them? Peter Gulutzan (talk) 15:01, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
I have to echo Peter’s comment. Reliability always depends on context. The same source can be reliable in one context, and unreliable in another... so we would need to see HOW these sources are being used (what they are being cited FOR) before we can say whether they are reliable or not. Blueboar (talk) 15:45, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. I would say that these sites are typically useful as a source for quotes and statements by progressive politicians and activists to whom the sites are sympathetic, meaning that the sites will likely be reliable for this, when attributed, when these quotes and statements are not covered elsewhere. There is no need to use them for the facts of significant events, as that is available from more mainstream sources. Nor would their opinions carry much weight. They have small staffs, but that is not such a handicap for online publications. I would invite the views of Icewhiz, Bondegezou, Bellowhead678, RevertBob Slatersteven and Bangalamania without making specific assertions. Also, G-13114 Here are two discussions: Talk:Antisemitism_in_the_UK_Labour_Party/Archive_3#The_Canary and Talk:Antisemitism_in_the_UK_Labour_Party/Archive_7#RfC.4_IJV/JSG/JVP_/_Oryszczuk Regarding providing evidence of accuracy as requested by David Gerard, what would that be? On NewsGuard standards, they rate The Canary 8/9, Evolve 8/9 and Skwawkbox 9/9. On Impress complaints unheld in whole or in part over three years, The Canary has two, Evolve one and Skawkbox five. A 2019 survey by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism found that The Canary was trusted by its readers more than publications such as Buzzfeed News, the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, HuffPost, The Independent, Sun and regional press, and almost equal to the Daily Telegraph.[1]Jontel (talk) 16:28, 1 September 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Digital news Report". Retrieved 26 June 2019.
Meh... “trusted by readers” may be another way of saying “bias confirmation”. I would be more interested in what critics say. Blueboar (talk) 17:10, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
Critics are typically political opponents or competitors and usually both, so plenty of motivation for bias. However: [Press Gazette] [Buzzfeed][News Stateman] This critiques MSM coverage of UK Labour Party, so making a case for additional sources. [Media Reform] Jontel (talk) 17:56, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

I agree with Jontel's comment that they are acceptable sources for left-wing politicians' comments on issues, but not much else. However, even in this context we still should be wary. Just because a comment is true, doesn't mean it should be included, and I am not convinced that being covered in the Canary is enough to warrant inclusion of comments into articles not about the politician in question. Bellowhead678 (talk) 18:26, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

@Blueboar:I am curious as to these comment of yours."I have to echo Peter’s comment. Reliability always depends on context. The same source can be reliable in one context, and unreliable in another.". How can a source be reliable and not reliable? How about the New York Times or Washington Post? Can they be reliable in one context and not reliable in another context? What then is the criteria upon which reliability is judged?Oldperson (talk) 18:39, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
Well, for example, a tweet from Donald Trump that says X is an idiot, is an RS that DT tweeted that, but not an RS that X is an idiot. WaPo and NYT are great for lots of stuff, but when you get into the area of WP:MEDRS the desired bar is often higher. This [58] is WaPO. It's still only RS for the authors opinion. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 18:50, 1 September 2019 (UTC) Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 18:44, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Nooooo, not hardly. These are no better than the likes of the Daily Caller. Popular <> accurate or trustworthy. Remember: millions of people trust te Daily Mail. The ususal rule applies: if a better source exists, us it, if it doesn't, it's probably bollocks, or at least its significance is exaggerated. Guy (Help!) 18:52, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • These are entirely the opposite of "reliable sources" - they are deliberately highly partisan, often loose with facts, sometimes engaging it outright fantasy... The Land (talk) 18:56, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • They are not remotely reliable. They are highly partisan. (Yes, in very limited circumstances, they might be reliable for certain quotations, but, generally, no.) Look at The Canary: here's a current article, entitled "The BBC’s pro-Johnson propaganda is so absurd even a former Tory deputy PM has had enough". We consider the BBC RS. If we accept The Canary's view, the BBC is not RS, it delivers "pro-Johnson propaganda". We can't have an RS list including both! Now read the actual article: it misrepresents what Heseltine says to fit an agenda. Read The Skwawkbox, it's just non-stop pro-Corbyn spin. Bondegezou (talk) 19:52, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I have to agree with what has been said above. Appropriate perhaps for quotations or the personal views of RS figures in limited circumstances, but that's about it. These websites have been criticised for clickbait and fake news from across the political spectrum, not just political opponents. The Skwawkbox's page notes that it has been used by Corbyn insiders to get its messages across, so there may be the occasional instance where it's relevant, but I'm not 100% sure on that one. Whatever the consensus view is on these sites, I do think they warrant a listing at the perennial sources page. --Bangalamania (talk) 08:38, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Not reliable for news. These serve the same niche in the eco system as Guido Fawkes (website) - just from the Left. The have all sorts of interesting leaks, intentional leaks, and breaking news - however the more noteworthy stuff gets picked up by mainline sources a few hours later (e.g. Guardian, Telegraph, BBC, etc.). In some cases they might have a notable opinion piece - and they are probably OK for that - but in most case they are WP:UNDUE (if you can't get it published somewhere else....) - it might be DUE in a more obscure article of ours if there is someone senior behind the op-ed. (they also have some very far-out news and oped pieces). In this academic book - Skwawkbox and The Canary are described as "dubious sites". In this academic book The Canary and Evolve Politics are described as producing "tabloid style hit-pieces". All these outlets -are part of a network of similar sites supportive of the Corbyn wing in Labour - [59]. In this academic book and this one they are described as alt-left (for Americans reading this - in the US the alt-left isn't much of a thing - a myth even. In UK politics - things are flipped around - including Russian support (traditionally, and continuing today, to leftward elements in Labour) - much of what has been going on in the alt-right stateside, has been alt-left in the UK (of course - the UK has its own fascists - hard right - but they are enjoying (thankfully!) less popular support in the recent past). Icewhiz (talk) 13:18, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
A "Marxist critique"! Any port in a storm? A book written by two academics and published by a specialist in academic literature, certainly. It would be nice, though, if equal enthusiasm was shown for work produced by academics under the imprimatur of universities ([60][61]) who don't share the viewpoint of Bolton and Pitts.[62][63][64] Note the bit in Political Communication in Britain just above where you linked to where it says:"A study conducted by LSE confirmed what many on the political left had suspected, finding coverage concerning Corbyn was disproportionately negative, and, while acknowledging the democratic importance of media scrutiny, deemed the print media to have regularly strayed beyond its purview as 'watchdog' to an 'attackdog' position."     ←   ZScarpia   19:04, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Not reliable There is a difference between bias and propaganda.This a propaganda sites with fake news as shown in this thread --Shrike (talk) 19:22, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  • These sites are OK as far as they go, left POV and I would say exactly the same if they were right POV. The mainstream news is politicized right and left, so a little bit more right and left isn't going to make that much of a difference. They are kind of like a web based Fox News for the left, I don't regard them as propaganda, just ideologically driven. I would say use with caution.Selfstudier (talk) 13:04, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Not generally reliable, and in particular The Canary is problematic - Private Eye has highlighted numerous issues relating to it over the last couple of years. Please note that being a member of IMPRESS means little. - Sitush (talk) 13:10, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose this whole RFC - we are supposed to assess three sources for reliability, regardless of what they are relied on for. Context matters and you haven't given us anything except "these sources are left wing and I think we should allow left wing sources". Answering this is inevitably going to involve a lot of "I like this"/"I don't like this" (for the record , I don't like these sources and don't think them particularly reliable) which renders the RFC pointless. FOARP (talk) 15:53, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I am quite familiar with the Skwawkbox and the Canary. The Skwawkbox is a valuable resource for information on the inner workings of the Labour Party. It does support Corbyn and is generally critical of what is calls the centrists and Blairites. It also publishes examples of state and corporate media bias against Corbyn. The Canary provides a useful perspective on current events. I have not seen any problems with the reliability of either outlet and would use both the Skwawkbox and the Canary as sources of information with attribution. I have not read Evolve enough to comment. Burrobert (talk) 16:58, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I doubt that we would have considered Militant to be a reliable news source three decades ago when the Militant Tendency was doiong what it did and the activities of the present Momentum group, which these websites generally promote, is claimed to bear many similarities, in particular in terms of machinations for take-over of constituency parties and indeed the central party administrative and policy mechanisms. They're propaganda organs posing as news sources. - Sitush (talk) 19:58, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Unreliable - Based on arguments presented above. From what I've read and seen, these sources may be skewing facts to confirm their worldview. Red flag for a source - it may suggest the source is propaganda or publishes information for some ulterior agenda. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 01:02, 16 September 2019 (UTC)

Leigh RaymentEdit

We have a large number of links to Leigh Rayment's pages - in the thousands - and even a template, {{Rayment}}. I have some concerns.

  • The site has obvioualy been hit by a keyword stuffing hijack, Google his name.
  • The biography shows no evidence of reliability.
  • Many of the links appear to be functionally useless, e.g. to /baronetage from dozens of articles on baronetcies - isn't a source for text on the article as it claims (e.g. Albert Spicer) and doesn'#t appear to be that useful.
  • Much of his content cites no sources. When he does, it's to things like The Newgate Calendar, a rather lurid populist book which would definitely have been prone to embellishment, especially in its days as a penny dreadful.

The template was created by Kittybrewster, a valued and delightful man who nonetheless has a history of adding articles of questionable significance. A few citations to an L. Rayment exist in the literature, but this is Louise, not Leigh, and they are English, whereas the bio says he's Australian. Many of the links were added by Tryde (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log), who has left the building so I can't inquire further.

On balance, I think this template should be deleted and the links nuked as a self-published source. Guy (Help!) 18:27, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Zero input, I have no further info from off-wiki, I will start tagging as {{sps}} if nobody objects? Guy (help!) 17:03, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
I've been removing Rayment sources for years now. I thought it was already determined to be unreliable and SPS. Don't know where I got that idea from but I do agree with it being so! - Sitush (talk) 13:12, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
Valuable corroboration, thanks Sitush. Guy (help!) 20:03, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

Jim Saleam's PHDEdit

Jim Saleam is a well known Australian neo-Nazi, a holocaust denier and a criminal - convicted of involvement in racist hate crimes (including attempted murder) also convicted of fraud.

On release from prison, for an attempted racially motivated murder, Saleam attained a PHD. His PHD thesis was being used as a citation for analysis of the 1930's proto fascist movement, the New Guard. To my knowledge no one ever reviewed or republished Saleam's thesis, it never went anywhere, it's been ignored by the broader academic community. He is not notable for anything other than fraud, neo-Nazism and attempted murder.

I do not believe this is a reliable source by any measure. What do other editors think of this source? Bacondrum (talk) 22:42, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

If the thesis was reviewed by qualified experts and the doctorate was awarded by a legitimate university that followed its normal policies and processes then the document is almost certainly a reliable source. What the author has done otherwise isn't relevant. However, if no one else has ever cited the document then it probably doesn't merit inclusion in an encyclopedia article on the grounds of due weight. ElKevbo (talk) 01:21, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I see his thesis is used for this edit: [65]. So... work of a far-right extremist used to "balance" the article about a far-right organisation of the 1930s. Joke of the day? In any case, he is not a renowned (and respected) expert in this field of study, his opinion is certainly undue. Pavlor (talk) 07:27, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I believe it has due weight. Please see the concerning article's talk page under "Jim Saleam's PhD" for my argument. AwakenedWorld (talk) 08:40, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
It is obvious Saleam is object of study for historians you mentioned, not renowned expert for 1930s Australian politics. His personal history aside, he is only some no name graduate with PhD (thousands of these in the world...), there is really no reason to have his opinion in the article. His thesis may be useable for uncontroversial facts, but certainly not for the edit, you tried to push through. Pavlor (talk) 08:51, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
To compare him to the swathes of PhDs in the world, and hence to invalidate his opinion in the article, would be to ignore his heavy role in the Australian far-right scene since the 80s. He's not a no-name by any stretch of the imagination, being someone with so much experience. AwakenedWorld (talk) 09:32, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
He has next to no scholarly renown. As you wrote himself, his only notability is based on his political activity - and even here he is only a marginal voice (1.2 % best electoral result...). Once he becomes accepted as a scholar (or successful as a politician), his opinion may have some weight. Until then, he is certainly not the source we are looking for. Pavlor (talk) 09:46, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
He clearly has been accepted as a scholar, as evidenced by his citations. Given that it's the responsibility of editors to uphold WP:NPOV, I would be happy if another source representing a similar minority view is added. This would settle the dispute and achieve the same utility as Saleam's dissertation, hopefully without further hiccups. However insofar as that minority view is not represented, I argue strongly in favour of due weight for Saleam. AwakenedWorld (talk) 09:51, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
I fear your understanding of NPOV and due weight is not compatible with policies you cite. If you want to add this POV to the article, simply find better source. Pavlor (talk) 10:08, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Red flags aside, this thesis does not appear to have had any significant scholarly impact. Almost every time it is cited in academic literature, the author is actually writing about Saleam himself, not referring to his research. I think it can be safely discarded. It's entirely reasonable to consider modern neo-nazi perspective in a legacy section of an article on a much older far right group, but that can be done from the point of view of authors who are not neo-nazis. There are even a couple of historians who mention Saleam's opinions in this respect. Someguy1221 (talk) 10:28, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Indeed? I think combining those historians' opinions with Ivar the Boneful's solution could work. AwakenedWorld (talk) 10:55, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
I think it's had about as much scholarly impact as your typical PhD thesis on a niche historical topic. I don't think you're correct about how his thesis has been cited. Google Books and Google Scholar both turn up several instances of his thesis being cited and his arguments mentioned or discussed by other historians of the far-right. Ivar the Boneful (talk) 10:59, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

The University of Sydney doesn't hand out PhD's willy-nilly. Many works about the histories of obscure/extremist political movements are written by those involved in the movement or sympathisers, it doesn't mean they're not necessarily scholarly. I don't see a particular reason to reject this source across Wikipedia, and I see it is already cited on half a dozen other Wikipedia articles"the+other+radicalism". His political affiliation could be noted more clearly. Possibly having a whole paragraph in the article lends undue weight to Saleam's views and it could be condensed into a couple sentences. Have any other scholars responded to his argument? If so that could be a way of balancing his views. Ivar the Boneful (talk) 10:44, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

I agree. I think that would be most appropriate. AwakenedWorld (talk) 10:46, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • We don´t reject (well at least some of us) this source as unreliable, we reject its particular use in the article as undue. As Someguy1221 wrote above, extremist POV can be covered by works of more mainstream historians. Pavlor (talk) 11:20, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
In that case, would its pairing with other sources of the same minority view be suitable in your opinion? AwakenedWorld (talk)
I mean use one high quality source to present this POV. If some good source mentions Saleam´s opinion, then this may be useable - with proper attribution. Pavlor (talk) 12:06, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
I'd like to hear Bacondrum's opinion before proceeding with a draft. I'd prefer to have some consensus here. AwakenedWorld (talk)
I'd accept one high quality source to present this POV or a source that mentions Saleam´s opinion - with proper attribution. But, if the section is merely about Saleam's view of things then it is undue. Bacondrum (talk) 12:40, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Excellent, I'll prepare something in a few days. I invite you both to keep a watchful eye on the page, and please interject with your own improvements if necessary. AwakenedWorld (talk) 13:19, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, sorry if I got my hackles up. I hope you can understand where I'm coming from in objecting to the use of this vile and hateful man as a source. Bacondrum (talk) 23:17, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
I can understand. AwakenedWorld (talk) 00:14, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
It meets rs per Scholarship. But all that means is that the facts presented in the thesis can be considered reliable. That does not mean that any of the opinions expressed in the article should be included. That is determined by Due and undue weight: "each article [should] fairly represent[] all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources." If reliable sources have ignored these opinions, then they fail weight for inclusion. TFD (talk) 20:43, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
I agree with TFD. It is a PhD, that's the beginning and the end of what can be said for this offered source. It's not notable and is ridiculously UNDUE for the purpose of "balancing" the article. And I'll mention that "activist", as AwakenedWorld wishes to designate Saleam in the New Guard article, is also ridiculous. If Saleam ends up being mentioned in the article, which I'm strongly against, I suggest using our article Jim Saleam to indicate what Saleam is actually notable for: "Australian far-right extremist Jim Saleam", or "convicted criminal and neo-Nazi Jim Saleam". I blinked in disbelief when I saw AwakenedWorld's argument on Talk:New Guard that talking about Saleam's "purported" [sic] Neo-Nazism (AwakenedWorld considers Neo-Nazism "a vague phrase") constitutes "an an attempt to poison the well".[66] What? No, not at all. Also, as long as we're on the subject of New Guard, why have we been allowing elaborate self-promotion in the article, by quoting their program at length? What is all this about loyalty to the throne, uniting all loyal citizens, maintaining the full liberty of the individual, etc, etc? We don't do that for any political organisations, or indeed any organisations, because then they would all appear wonderful. Compare Wikipedia:Avoid mission statements. I've removed the section, with an explanation on talk. Bishonen | talk 09:38, 7 September 2019 (UTC).



Article: Tim Ball


On 22 August 2019 the court dismissed the action against defendant Ball,

on grounds of delay


Rakeroot (talk) 06:22, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

To clarify, my quesiton is: Is the source reliable for to the grounds of dismissal?

I don't find this information anywhere else. Rakeroot (talk) 08:02, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

The insertion was here by Dave souza. The climatecasechart page says that is "According to the media and statements from Michael Mann and his lawyer" without pointing to what media and what statements, so could be depending on blogs and tweets (that's all I've seen about this detail so far). Poorly sourced. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 15:06, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
Am inclined to agree that this source only presents hearsay in its statement that "According to the media and statements from Michael Mann and his lawyer, on August 22, 2019, the court dismissed the case on account of delay." On that basis, this isn't a reliable secondary source for the court's dismissal of the case. . . . dave souza, talk 14:54, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
I argue that, the fact that the case is dismissed is not disputed so the source could be used for this. Rakeroot (talk) 11:53, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  • You know, I would say that site is RS for factual claims. It does not seem to editorialise, it is backed by a reputable and identified group of people, it comes under the auspices of Columbia Law School's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, and it backs everything with citations to original material. So as a source of for a summary of the legal outcome of a case or filing, it is appropriate. Wikipedia doesn't apply the hearsay rule, because we're not a court. Guy (help!) 12:27, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

He Did Not Fear: Xusro Parviz, King of Kings of the Sasanian EmpireEdit

He Did Not Fear: Xusro Parviz, King of Kings of the Sasanian Empire [67]

Not too sure about this one - it's first time I've seen this author. He seems to be relatively new in the academic world and quite young. The publisher is Gorgias Press. --HistoryofIran (talk) 16:40, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

The book meets rs. What that means is that we can assume the book is factual. An academic publisher has had other academics read it and chosen to publish it. That doesn't mean that the opinions or conclusions expressed in the book are necessarily significant, although they should be well-reasoned. TFD (talk) 22:14, 7 September 2019 (UTC)


Can the website of the organization bestowing a literary award be used as a source for who received that award, and who was on the jury awarding it? Specifically asking for recipients of the Raja Rao Award formerly given by Samvad India Foundation ( Thanks. Hyperbolick (talk) 05:17, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

    • Yes, provided the site is not user-generated but it does not prove notability of the award, imv Atlantic306 (talk) 16:29, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Atlantic306, many thanks. I do have other sources for the notability. Website has a page for each award recipient with a very thorough biography, for example this biography of Yasmine Gooneratne. Want to be sure this is usable as one of the sources for these, though not as a sole source. Thanks again! Hyperbolick (talk) 14:54, 9 September 2019 (UTC)


Hello everyone! I was wondering if this source here would be considered reliable enough for inclusion on Wikipedia? I would be using it for theLittle Eva: The Flower of the South article, and I would be specifically citing this sentence: "The creepiest, easily, is Little Eva, Flower of the South, an 1853 children’s book in which the title character is saved from drowning by Sam, a slave.".

The site is self-published through WordPress, but according to the about page here, Mark Athitakis has been published in both The New York Times and Washington Post. I know self-published blogs are generally not considered reliable, but I was wondering if this individual's other publications would his blog suitable for Wikipedia. I thinking more on the negative side, but I would like to get some feedback/input. Thank you! Aoba47 (talk) 04:21, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

Commission de Toponymie for statement about earliest official namingEdit

In the article Jumbo Lake, it is asserted that

Lac Jumbo was officially named on 3 October 1972.

sourced to Lac Jumbo, Commission de toponymie de Quebec, retrieved 2019-09-01

The Commission de toponymie source shows a "date d'officialisation" which is presumably reliable for assertion that this lake was listed in their database of names on that date in 1972. However is it reliable for assertion that the lake was first officially named on that date? (Q1)

And, if experts here could please venture into notability as well, does it seem appropriate to include such a statement into every article about towns, cities, natural features in Canada? (Q2a) Or should the Commission de toponymie's date be mentionable only when the act of naming is shown to be notable in a different source, such as for a renaming of street to honor a fallen firefighter or whatever, when the source is commenting about the naming date specifically? (Q2b)

  • Comment. (Adapted from discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Jumbo Lake.) I believe that the statement is possibly completely false, if it is meant to establish the first official recognition of "Jumbo Lake" or "Lac Jumbo" for this lake. I believe that mentioning it at all is giving outrageous salience to a non-notable bureaucratic action, and is trivial beyond a degree acceptable to mentioned in an encyclopedia. It is true that The Commission de Toponymie source about Lac Jumbo does include "Date d'officialisation: 1972-10-03". But I do not believe at all that the lake was named in 1972. I think that was when the Toponymie commission added an entry into their database. This is similar to how WikiProject SHIPS editors incorrectly believed for a long time that a date entered into the DANFS database (or into some other U.S. ship commission office) was the christening date for a ship, when it could be shown by news reports sometimes that the launching of a ship and its christening happened on a different, earlier date. It turned out the DANFS database (or whatever) date was the date that a government unit got around to entering it into their database, only. Here, I disbelieve that this was the first official recognition of the name of this lake, and it is not worth mentioning that this was the date that one bureaucratic unit "recognized" it. I have some familiarity myself with another lake in Quebec, "Sixteen Island Lake", from well before the "officialisation" date in 1996 reported in Commission de Toponymie source about Lac-des-Seize-Îles (but maybe that is supposed to establish the official date for just the post office?). IMHO, there is no way in hell that this lake was not officially recognized in many ways, previously, before then, and before the 1968 date given in this other Commission de Toponymie source about Lac-des-Seize-Îles. For 16 Island Lake, the Wikipedia article mentions, based on other source(s) that its name was in use by 1898 for the post office. Am I "daft" for asserting that this sentence should obviously be removed from the article (and/or from an area article which may cover the topic of the lake)? It was asserted in the AFD that my view is "daft" and that "Government websites may have mistakes, but we generally treat them as reliable sources."
Thank you for considering this question. I think this is my first time raising questions at wp:RSN, so please forgive me and direct me if I should be posing this differently somehow. (Also should this be registered as an RFC somehow?) --Doncram (talk) 00:21, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
So, this is just my opinion, for the little it is worth, but I share your concerns about the bureaucratic nature of the labeling. That said, I also think it is inherently notable that the government is making these assertions (even if sometimes dubious). Thus, for me, the best middle road would seem to be using such statements with attribution, and presenting conflicting information where it is available. On the other hand, we need to be careful not to venture too far into WP:OR territory. Reasonable minds may differ. Cheers! Dumuzid (talk) 00:27, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. For another example, Édifice du Club-Universitaire-de-Montréal is about a club founded in 1906, whose building was built c.1912, and was listed as a monument historiques du Quebec on September 29, 1986. The "Date d'officialisation" is May 7, 2003. I don't think it is fair or appropriate to state the 2003 date in any way in an article about the club (long-needed, just created). --Doncram (talk) 00:34, 9 September 2019 (UTC) --01:52, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
I do think you are a bit overthinking "date d'officialisation," as it seems to obviously simply mean the date said name was accepted by the Commission, and not the date of original naming or even government usage. Still, I understand the frustration. Dumuzid (talk) 00:39, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
The Commission de toponymie du Québec, a government agency, checks place names in Quebec and gives a stamp of approval. They say they made "Lac Jumbo" official in 1972. I see no reason to doubt them. There are over 2,000 citations to them, so we have a massive clean-up job if they are dodgy. Aymatth2 (talk) 02:23, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

Ghion JournalEdit

I found an article from Ghion Journal. I can't be sure whether the source is appropriate for Cold War II (renamed as Second Cold War). The source has POV commentary against the US mainstream media. I don't know which other sources have the same view as that source. -- George Ho (talk) 07:16, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

Copies of reliable sources on blogsEdit

I am looking for clarification regarding scans of reliable sources on personal blogs. Specifically, would the scanned stories at qualify as "reliable" despite being hosted on blogger.

I reverted an editor for sourcing a claim sourced to the second image on the blog page on the basis of WP:BLOGS. However, the editor insists the original Newsday story is the source and not the blog. I can't find a policy or guideline addressing this issue directly but Youtube video clips are discussed by WP:NOYT: "YouTube and other video-sharing sites are generally not considered reliable sources because anyone can create or manipulate a video clip and upload without editorial oversight, just as with a self-published website. However, official channels of notable organisations, such as Monty Python's channel, may be acceptable as primary sources if their authenticity can be confirmed, or as a secondary source if they can be trace to a reliable publisher."

Following the advice at WP:NOYT would indicate that at screencap of a reliable source on a blog is not a reliable source. That said I highly doubt somebody has faked a screencap of a 50-year-old source about some uncontroversial information about a film so it is almost certainly a genuine rendering of the original news story. It is a essentially a DIY archive.

Is there a specific policy or guideline or general practice that governs this type of thing? Betty Logan (talk) 09:50, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

In the case of Robert Stewart (saxophonist) there was a personal webpage with pressclippings, including WaPo, JazzTimes etc. Editors at the time felt these could be used to some extent, citing the publication, not the webpage. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 10:02, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Since these stories are from 1972, and there is no indication that the owner of the Blogger (RSP entry) blog has the right to republish the Newsday content, I would consider this to be copyright infringement. Per WP:COPYLINK, we should never link to material that infringes copyright. You can still cite the original Newsday articles, and it would be best if you could confirm the contents of the articles from a more trusted source (e.g. the actual Newsday book, or a trusted database like or NewspaperArchive – available through The Wikipedia Library, and can be linked to), since it's difficult to determine if these scans are altered. However, don't link (or provide a URL) to the blog in the citation. — Newslinger talk 10:22, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

Is a biography on a micronation's website a reliable source for a BLP?Edit

The BLP in question is Igor Ashurbeyli and the website is here. The micronation is Asgardia (a bit of a mess that I cleaned up a bit - mainly sourced to its website and a journal where he is editor-in-chief run by something he founded, Asgardia Independent Research Center). It looks as though it is used in other BLPs as well.[68] As a side issue, why can't I find the articles using ROOM[69] and with External links search? [70] I'm dubious about either of these being used as sources. Doug Weller talk 10:38, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

I do not see any information where that site is used on its own, or at least it is always part of a string of over-citation so there is really no need to keep it. To answer your question though, I would say it could be used with the same restrictions as an ABOUTSELF source. I would not use it as a source for his receipt of The State Science and Technology Prize or Gold UNESCO Medal. Jbh Talk 13:46, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
Concur with JBH. For non-controversial ABOUTSELF claims it's probably fine. For anything significant, no. Simonm223 (talk) 13:48, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

RfC at Andy NgoEdit

There is currently an RfC Talk:Andy_Ngo#RfC:_Do_sources_support_calling_Ngo's_statements_on_the_hammer_attack_"false"? at Andy Ngo that may be of interest to people who participate on this noticeboard. Simonm223 (talk) 12:35, 9 September 2019 (UTC) blog as a reliable source?Edit

It is a blog. Although it lists 4 contributors in addition to "editor" Brad Linder in the about page, in reality Brad Linder is essentially the only author in 2019 (1 exception), and there have been only 2 authors since February 2016.

I've been recently tempted to use it as a source, a couple times, to change a primary source to a secondary source, like magic; however, this seems wrong.

It was suggested to bring it up for discussion:

I'd appreciate other views. Below are more details. Thanks.

It has been used as a source for many articles in Wikipedia:

95 results

Sometimes it is called "blog" in Wikipedia References, sometimes not.

I believe it mostly re-words and repeats press releases, and blog posts by companies. An example, recently:


In the liliputing blog post above, comments seem to confirm this:

"Some Guy: ...Also, this article seems to have been posted before anything about this is on purism’s website."

"Brad Linder: I guess someone forgot to tell them that the embargo lifted at 11:00AM 🙂"

"Daily Deals" are almost indistinguishable from "articles."

The about page calls Brad Linder editor; however, he is also the primary author, and the ONLY author for the last 8 months, with one exception by Lee Mathews on 8/26/2019.

It says, "Liliputing has been mentioned on hundreds of news, and technology web sites," and gives 11 examples. However, 1 - Computer World is a broken link, most are several years old, and 1 - Techmeme, "works by scraping news websites and blogs,..."

57 results

Lee Mathews Last article 08/26/2019, but this is the first since 12/26/2018.

1 result

Lory Gil Last article 02/05/2016

K. T. Bradford Last article 08/20/2014

James Diaz Last article 09/16/2011

The site warns: "Disclosure: Some links on this page are monetized by Skimlinks and Amazon's and eBay's affiliate programs."

It is heavily loaded with affiliate javascript from MANY different sources, as seen with noscript, etc.

-- Yae4 (talk) 18:31, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

  • Ugh. That site is basically a collection of advertisements. Guy (help!) 21:52, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally unreliable. Liliputing a group blog. Its about page lists 5 staff members and occasional mentions in more reliable sources, which makes it a bit better than other group blogs of this size. However, the blog posts on this site tend to be short and promotionally toned, nowhere near the editorial quality of established blogs like Engadget (RSP entry). I don't think Liliputing is a good source for technology topics, and I definitely wouldn't count its articles toward a subject's notability. — Newslinger talk 02:58, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

Example of editing by readers:

Victor C: Brad, just letting you know, the WIN is mono. They had to remove the left speaker for the fan...

Brad Linder: Whoops! Fixing that now. , Reference 14 here: -- Yae4 (talk) 16:55, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

RfC: "The Western Journal" (September)Edit

Should The Western Journal be deprecated?   Or listed as generally unreliable?   Or something else? X1\ (talk) 20:34, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

For the, see earlier Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 271#Western Journal, and Wikipedia talk:Reliable sources/Perennial sources#The Western Journal for comments on The Western Journal's reputation. Note: I have only been in a previous "rating", and haven't kept up on potential process changes here. X1\ (talk) 22:56, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

I pulled it from Mikhail Abyzov (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) and Kyle Kashuv (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views). The first is a blatantly bad ref and use of that ref. The Kashuv ref isn't remotely as bad, but appears to be the type of warmed-over press that the NYTimes identifies.
I'm only seeing 12 uses as references at this time --Ronz (talk) 17:09, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
Thank you. I see    . X1\ (talk) 00:46, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

Survey (The Western Journal)Edit

  • Unreliable as a source for facts, and too extreme for opinion in most cases. It should be deprecated as a source. -- BullRangifer (talk) 01:42, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Deprecate it This analysis by the NYT seems to be all that needs to be said about this disinformation outlet. Simonm223 (talk) 12:37, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • This probably doesn't need an RfC - it's obviously not a reliable source for anything other than ABOUTSELF. Guy (help!) 21:50, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Same as BullRangifer (above), agree with u:Simonm223 and u:JzG. X1\ (talk) 21:22, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Unreliable based on the Times coverage and the fact that it managed to get itself blacklisted from Google News. --Aquillion (talk) 08:01, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Unreliable per the RS on their wiki page. However, per those same RS, their corrections page is a recent addition and they did retract an article that was wrong. In light of this, deprecation is going too far. Adoring nanny (talk) 11:08, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Unreliable getting blacklisted from two major news aggregators is bad enough, but the NYT coverage nails it for me. Doug Weller talk 15:18, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Unreliable - NYT story makes clear that the site does not have any actual reporters of its own, and that its content is essentially just aggregated and rewritten stories from other conservative sources such as Breitbart. There is thus no reason to use the site regardless of reliability - anything they publish can be found elsewhere in original format if we wanted it. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 15:38, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Deprecate. Clearly identified as unreliable by several sources. Furthermore it generates little or no original reporting, any citation should point to the actual original news report (with Reliability evaluated in terms of that source). There is therefore little or nothing lost by deprecating this source. I considered just closing this as unanimous WP:SNOW. However given the social-media footprint and strong partisan affiliation, this case warrants burial under a large strong consensus to firmly put to rest any attempts to re-litigate this issue. Alsee (talk) 15:34, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Unreliable. Utter garbage. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 15:35, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

Discussion (The Western Journal)Edit

  • Comment Their corrections are here. [71] They also say at the bottom of every article that they are "committed to truth and accuracy in all of our reporting." This certainly gives an impression of reliability. However, prior to voting, I am interested in what evidence others may bring to the table. Adoring nanny (talk) 02:50, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
Fox News had "Fair And Balanced" as a strapline. That was bullshit, by common consent. Guy (help!) 21:51, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
@Adoring nanny: Have you followed Western Journal long? It appears, per their wp page RSs, that had serious credibility issues regarding wp standards for RSs. Can you speak to how they now intend to use the section? If they don't correct the articles themselves, a separate page will often be ignored. X1\ (talk) 21:17, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
No. Hence my interest in other people's evidence. Adoring nanny (talk) 00:09, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
@Adoring nanny: Some references used used previously here. X1\ (talk) 19:01, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
@Adoring nanny: Has Western Journal ever retracted an article? Do they use credible references within their articles (citing them as sources)? X1\ (talk) 21:20, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

Science journal magazines (e.g. Nature, Scientific American (SciAm), Science, etc.)Edit

Hello, I just tell that reliable sources for science journals. In some cases, science journal articles including Nature, Scientific American, and Science. magazines should be verified, when it is reliable or not. --TaleofTalisman (talk) 06:02, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

As peer-reviewed journals, Nature and Science set the standard in WP:RS. Scientific American meets RS as well. Walter Görlitz (talk) 06:09, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Is there a specific issue you would like to discuss? Someguy1221 (talk) 06:14, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

MEK set fire to a busEdit

Is the following sources enough to confirm the verification of this material?

Material:According to the report of Kayhan, in October 1981 when the MEK set fire to a bus in Shiraz, 15 passengers included2 child and a 17-year- old girl had been burnt to death.
Sources: Islamic Revolution Document Center's website, this one, page 13 (it was provided by user:Pajz in wp:RX), Iranian news agency as well as I have the archived version of Kayhan newspaper belongs to the report of burning of bus to email to every one who wants.Saff V. (talk) 07:44, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Well, this newspaper is a mouthpiece of the Iranian regime, so its reliability is dubious. Isn´t there other (foreign, non-Iranian) source writing about the same story? Pavlor (talk) 07:52, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
@Pavlor: they (this one, this one, page 13) don't belong to Iran, it was written "Original from: Indiana University".Am I wrong?Saff V. (talk) 11:19, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Indiana University (eg. its library) is a source of the original physical copy of this "journal" used for scan, not its publisher. Looking at the previews, source you propose looks like a pure propaganda garbage, certainly not suitable as a RS. Pavlor (talk) 12:30, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
You shouldn't use news media, which is the best source for what happened today, for events that happened decades ago. Their expertise is in current events, not historical events. TFD (talk) 04:31, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

Are ,, and RSs?Edit

  • Rajavi and the MEK supported the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and opposed the Afghan mujahedin struggling against it.[1]
  • Iran experts Flynt Leverett wrote[2][3]:

    Since when did murdering unarmed civilians (and, in some instances, members of their families as well) on public streets in the middle of a heavily populated urban area (Tehran) not meet even the US government's own professed standard for terrorism?

The above has just been added to the People's Mujahedin of Iran article (a controversial subject). Can someone please share their thoughts on whether the sources are reliable enough for inclusion? Thanks all. Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 16:38, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

  • Consortium News is of course unreliable, and tends to WP:FRINGE. The Guardian's op-eds (in the "Comment is Free" section) probably can't be used for statements of fact, but could be used for statements of opinion, usually with attribution (due weight considerations would of course have to be met). Neutralitytalk 16:50, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  • No. All blogs. Guy (help!) 17:28, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Meforum reliable per WP:BIASED there are editorial board and also its seem the author Michael Rubin seems to have expertise on the topic --Shrike (talk)
    • WP:BIASED allows sources that would otherwise be reliable to remain reliable despite having a bias; it does not say that we can use an otherwise-unusable source like this because it is biased. They have no reputation for fact-checking or accuracy, and were founded by a WP:FRINGE figure in order to republish fringe things from similarly nutty places. The idea that they could ever be reliable for statements of fact is patiently absurd (I don't think they're even usable for opinion due to the obscurity combined with the fringe opinions, but rando think tanks with no reputation don't automatically become WP:RSes just because they list editors. Anyone with the money can set up a think tank to argue any position they want; using them as an RS for statements of fact - especially for controversial topics like the Middle East - requires that they have a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy, which this one lacks, especially if they're going to do things like repost stuff from Frontpage Mag.) --Aquillion (talk) 04:04, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I doubt Meforum is reliable, but the post in question is from reprinted from Frontpage Mag, which has a very poor track record and is run by an anti-Muslim extremist. I agree that Consortium News is fringe. Greenwald's op-ed in The Guardian may be reliable for statements attributed to Greenwald, but probably not for contested claims of fact. Nblund talk 19:20, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Context matters. I would not use news media for events that occured years ago or for reporting expert opinion. Imagine you were a professor lecturing on the assassination of Caesar in 44 B.C. Would you use a newspaper for your source or would you consult a history book? Now the newspaper is probably right, but it would be harder to explain getting the facts wrong than if you used a history book. TFD (talk) 03:53, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
  • None of these are reliable for statements of fact, and in particular meforum or Consortium News should be removed on sight in any place where they're used to cite controversial claims. The Guardian's op-eds are often usable for opinion, with an in-line citation (since it's noteworthy to be published there.) Consortium News is a personal webpage and can't be used for anything. Meforum is the personal webpage of a think tank with no reputation for fact-checking or accuracy, created by a WP:FRINGE figure to advance his position, and seems to repost articles from similar fringe outsets, so it similarly cannot be used for anything. Reliability is contextual, but the last two in particular should never be cited for statements of fact under any circumstances, and generally aren't any use for statements of opinion (since they add no weight to anything published there due to the lack of a reputation and the extremely WP:FRINGE nature of their views.) --Aquillion (talk) 04:01, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
  • meforum tends to post material that is aligned with a pro-Israeli position especially Middle East Quarterly articles by favored contributors such as Efraim Karsh. Use with care.Selfstudier (talk) 10:54, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

Is this a reliable source?Edit

I can't figure out if this source is reliable. It was recently used on the People's Mujahedin of Iran article to add contentious material. Thanks for the feedback as always. Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 23:39, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

Stefka Bulgaria are you talking about the Jamestown Foundation as a whole or just that one article? ~mitch~ (talk) 23:53, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Just that one article. It just doesn't look right to me, so thought I'd ask for some feedback here. Thanks :-) Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 23:55, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
The Jamestown Foundation has a fairly good reputation, so I would lean towards “reliable”. Of course, even the best sources can get specifics wrong. Do other reliable sources contradict? Blueboar (talk) 00:11, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
I see this as in the same league as opinion pieces in news media, hence reliability depends on the writer, rather than the publisher. In this case I don't see that as being established. In any case, partisan think tanks like this are poor sources, because they often are selective in the facts they report since they begin with a conclusions then assemble facts to support them, while ignoring facts that don't. Peer-reviewed sources are better, because they are more likely to catch glaring omissions. TFD (talk) 03:38, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
@Blueboar: and @The Four Deuces: Doesn't it needed to provide the material of the People's Mujahedin of Iran article linked to this source?Saff V. (talk) 06:42, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

Usable. The source has been effectively republished by a government agency, and is reliable if fully cited and attributed. We do not label sources as "partisan think tanks" unless we have a reliable source doing that labeling. Labeling sources is not a reasonable function for Wikipedia unless we have outside sources doing that labeling which have not been labeled themselves . Simple. I find sources, in fact, calling that foundation "non-partisan." etc. Unless having people associated with Joe Biden is horridly right-wing, of course. Collect (talk) 08:09, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

We did have a conversation a while back about Think Tanks and their varied reliabilities. Some feedback we had:
  • "According to criteria established by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program of the University of Pennsylvania, the Brookings Instiution is ranked in their 2017 report as the #1 think-tank in the world,... and the Jamestown Foundation is not listed." - Beyond My Ken.
  • "Any think tank which perfoms its own creative thinking or research and then publishes it will be a primary source for its own views".- Andy Dingly.
  • "I would agree that they are reliable for what they think, not for it being a fact". - TDF.
  • "I would avoid them. The problem is not that their facts are wrong, but that many are selective in what they report." - Slatersteven.
  • "reliability does not require non-partisanship. While we (the editors of WP) need to be non-partisan (neutral), our sources do not. To maintain our own neutrality, we must present the various non-neutral views on a topic, giving them DUE weight according to the prominence and predominance of the viewpoint." - Blueboar.
  • "I would say that they're generally not WP:RS for the things people want to cite them for. Normally, anything a think-tank publishes directly is going to fall under WP:SELFPUBLISH; a very small number of high-profile think tanks may have the reputation that would let us use them, but even then, I'd consider them WP:PRIMARY sources for their own views and would generally try to avoid using them for anything controversial." - Aquillon.
The People's Mujahedin of Iran is indeed a controversial subject, and this Think Tank source is being used to include controversial statements. Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 10:00, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
As you have mentioned earlier on this post, we are discussing "Just that one article"; not the Jamestown Foundation. let alone judging Think Tanks as a whole.--Kazemita1 (talk) 14:12, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
The disputed edit is ""According to Chris Zambelis senior middle east analyst of Jamestown Foundation, MEK's use of tactics such as mortar barrages and ambushes in busy areas have often resulted in civilian casualties." That's awkward phrasing since the claim is not a matter of opinion but a matter of fact. It happens to be true, so mentioning the source in text is wrong. The full sentence in the source says: "The group has never been known to target civilians directly, though its use of tactics such as mortar barrages and ambushes in busy areas have often resulted in civilian casualties." It seems therefore that the remarks are taken out of context. MEK has killed civilians as collateral damage. That's a fact. Different observers may find that to be acceptable or unacceptable. After all, civilians are killed in most wars and revolutions. You need a source that explains the general opinion of their actions, which this source does not do. TFD (talk) 14:43, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

Is a secondary-source ref that _begins_with_ copying a company merger PR announcement OK if it also quotes/paraphrases the CEOs of the merged businesses and gives analysis?Edit

(I originally posted this comment to the Wikipedia:No_original_research/Noticeboard, which was not the place I intended.)

The refs are to, to, and to articles. Cris Mellor, the author of the article, is also an editor for The Register, which is a Situation Publication sister website.

I would think the answer to this question would be an obvious "yes". Even primary-source refs are OK for an article about a business given the caution that "The organization's own website is an acceptable (although possibly incomplete) primary source for information about what the company says about itself and for most basic facts about its history, products, employees, finances, and facilities." In this case the ref'd articles start with a PR announcement of the merger of Retrospect Inc. and StorCentric. However all three articles includes direct quotes and paraphrases of the two CEOs' remarks about those same basic company facts, as well as the CEOs' reasoning behind the merger. The article includes analysis by Chris Mellor of where the merged companies would fit into the industry, which one would expect in a secondary-source ref.

However Guy doesn't think so. He deleted the entire fourth paragraph of the former History section of the Retrospect (software) article because for the entire article “There is clear consensus on ANI and elsewhere that the level of detail here is excessive, the content promotional, and the sources lack intellectual independence”.

I'll discuss Guy's claim of "consensus" for the entire article in another section on this page. However IMHO it's clear that any "consensus" should not be used as an excuse for the deletion of a paragraph about the merger using the above three references. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 10:28, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

WP:FORUMSHOP. Your relentless insistence on puffing out this article, your sole focus of editing for a significant part of your limited wiki-life, is disruptive. Find third party sources that are intellectually independent of the company. If you can't find such sources, accept that the factoid is not significant and omit it. Guy (help!) 10:44, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
The page on which I started this section was not the page I intended; I've now made that even clearer in the bolded part of my section-starting parenthesized first sentence. There was no forum-shopping involved; I just made a mistake, Guy, which is something you seem to have a problem admitting to.
I wouldn't call the Retrospect-StorCentric merger "a true but brief or trivial item of news or information". AFAICT as an outsider, a number of long-time Retrospect Inc. employees lost whatever ownership stake they paid for in 2011. I consider Chris Mellor "intellectually independent of the company". The merger was only announced on 25 June 2019. Pending longer-term analytic reviews, here is a fourth technology review expressing an immediate reaction to the merger.
I expect will come out with a new review of Retrospect that will cover the merger, shortly after Retrospect 16.5—featuring a Web-based Management Console that has real two-way functionality—is released around the end of this week. The upgraded Web-based Management Console should erase much of the UI distinction between Retrospect Windows and Retrospect Mac, so I will no longer need most of the primary-source cites that have been the only way of explaining that distinction. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 16:28, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
At this point you are a disruptive WP:SPA functionally indistinguishable from a spammer. Guy (help!) 21:15, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
If anyone looks at my latest 500 contributions, they will find that "at this point" only extends back to 26 August 2019—which is when I started responding to the criticism of the Retrospect (software) refs by Guy. Before that I was working on mostly on the Backup article, which had been IMHO messed up starting in late May 2019 by User:Pi314m. I did not write most of that 7-screen-page article, but in the fall of 2017 I added a 2-screen-page section onto its end. In a Talk:Backup RFC discussion, it was agreed that it would be best if I split that section off into a separate article to discourage Pi314 from making the ignorant "internal merges" that had messed up Backup. Pi314m had also done an un-discussed destructive external merge-in of Continuous Data Protection, so after an unsuccessful ANI I re-established that article. I think that recent history establishes that I am not "functionally indistinguishable from a spammer" except in being "disruptive" to Guy's so-far-unjustified version of the Wikipedia rules. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 04:10, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
I think main issue here was inclusion of too many trivial facts in the article and overlall ad-like article structure (not judging sources used yet). I recommend only mention most important features and critical reception, there is certainy no need to have an 30K+ article for such kind of software. Pavlor (talk) 05:30, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Here's the last version of the article before Guy got his hands on it. It was less than 2 screen pages exclusive of Notes and References. The Notes and especially References are what make the disk space used by the article, and its overall length, so large. I used the commented pages= parameter or pseudo-page-number at= parameter extensively in the four primary-source references and the Kissell 2007 reference (they're books with 170-670 paper pages, release-numbered notes, or a collection of named articles), and put an extensive quote into the Mitchell 2019 reference because it validates so many features. All three features sections were intensively slimmed-down under JohnInDC's direction in the fall of 2017; at the same time the first two features sections were extensively linked to other related articles at Scope_creep's insistence. All three (deleted by Guy) features sections of the article took up about 0.8 screen pages, whereas the equivalent sections in the Backup Exec and NetBackup articles take up 2 screen pages and 1 screen page to mention mostly-equivalent features. Most of the (deleted) "trivial facts" in the History section concerned the existence of and reason for the difference between the package's Windows and Macintosh UI, which is anything but trivial but will probably be only a memory after the 16.5 release at the end of this week. My and the two other backup application articles do have ad-like structures; what else do you expect in articles about application software packages? DovidBenAvraham (talk) 13:20, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
It is obvious we (myself and Guy) don´t share your opinion. Less is more in this case, or in other words: The secret of being a bore is to tell everything. We should select only important facts/features etc. and ignore trivial ones. Having 3 (!!!) sections for features (Small-group features, Enterprise client-server features, Editions and Add-Ons) is certainly - to put it mildly - undue. Trimming the article was definitely an improvement. Pavlor (talk) 16:29, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
But Guy left no "important facts/features etc." in the Retrospect (software) article. All that he left, aside from a 7-screen-line lead, is a History section that omits the fact that Retrospect Inc. was merged into StorCentric nearly 3 months ago. Guy deleted that fact because he characterized all the websites that carried that news as PR blogs. He thus ignored this WP policy for primary sources that for "An article about a business ... it will be acceptable for some simple, objective descriptions of the organization including annual revenue, number of staff, physical location of headquarters, and status as a parent or subsidiary organization to another." Why does the repetition of that status in PR blog articles disqualify the merger news from mention on Wikipedia, especially since those articles quote statements from the CEOs of Retrospect Inc. and StorCentric confirming the merger?
After the History section of the article, Guy deleted—I hope temporarily—all the 0.8 screen-pages mentioning Retrospect features. He did that because 14 out of the 100 cites in the entire article are of four user-manual primary sources, and—when I refused to immediately delete those 14 cites—Guy wrote on his personal Talk page "The onus is firmly on you to demonstrate that any challenged information is significant, and the only way to do that is to show it has been covered by independent sources. Not Tidbits reprinting a press release, not the user manual, but independent sources. You must now demonstrate competence to edit within the rules that everyone else but you seems to understand." He then essentially declared that every cite in the 3 features sections of the article is "challenged", by deleting those sections. BTW TidBITS is not a PR blog, and has been publishing Macintosh-related books (spun-off to a Contributing Editor author in 2017) as well as articles since 1990.
There's a historical reason for my having 3 sections for features in the article. In the fall of 2017, other editors—led by JohnInDC and Score_creep—insisted that I cut the article down to 2 screen-pages. In order to do that I deleted every mention of an enterprise client-server backup feature, and moved those mentions—adding references to equivalent features in competing applications—to a new section at the end of the Backup article. After several months, JohnInDC reluctantly agreed that I could add 13 screen lines of links to those features. As for the 11-screen-line section listing Retrospect's extra-cost Editions and Add-Ons, I had to argue with JohnInDC about whether I could explain Editions and list each Add-On. As I pointed in my 13:20, 16 September 2019 (UTC) comment, the Backup Exec article takes 2 screen pages to mention what are essentially the same features and Add-Ons as are in Retrospect, and the NetBackup article takes 1 screen page to mention features and Add-Ons that I cover in 0.8 screen pages. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 05:02, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Guy also eliminated an IMHO non-boring story from the old History section. The story was there in the text and references; here it is again, a bit more spelled-out: EMC bough Dantz Development Corp. in 2004, when Retrospect had 90% of the Mac backup market and equal sales in the Windows backup market. EMC's refined first release of Retrospect Windows in 2006 added performance features needed by SMBs. The shutdown of EMC's Insignia division in 2007, after Apple introduced Time Machine, led to Retrospect being briefly "end-of-lifed". Then Retrospect programmers, some of them rehired, were given a brief chance to upgrade Retrospect Mac with Retrospect Windows' performance features and a new GUI. Their rushed release was "premature" (rather than "botched" as Guy would have it). After that the programmers tried to add the same type of GUI to Retrospect Windows, but found that security settings added to Windows Vista and Server 2008 made it impossible to use Retrospect Mac's design approach. Thus Retrospect has since been marketed in separate Mac and Windows variants, with the same underlying code but the Windows variant retaining the old (klunky) GUI. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 11:12, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

Signing translationsEdit

I remember seeing some place (I don't remember where) that, if you add a phrase or paragraph from an external source that is in a foreign language and you translate that phrase using your own words, you add something like "translated by user". Not sure exactly of the wording, but I do remember seeing something like that. In any case, would it be appropriate to say "Translated by (here inserted name of user who did the translation, for example Maragm). Many thanks, --Maragm (talk) 12:21, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

Maragm I don't recall any guideline or policy matching what you describe. In general we don't put usernames into articles. I would just note in the edit summary that you (or whoever) preformed the translation. While someone could challenge the accuracy of your translation, I think that's pretty rare. Alsee (talk) 18:29, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
It also would violate OR, it may be how you translated it but it may not be how someone else might. Translations should be made by third party sources, not users.Slatersteven (talk) 18:32, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

Using of primary genetics sources at Uyghur (and many other Eurasian pages)Edit

The genetics section of Uyghurs (Uyghurs#Genetics) is currently entirely sourced to primary sources. This is against WP:SCIRS, which clearly states

A primary source, such as a report of a pivotal experiment cited as evidence for a hypothesis, may be a valuable component of an article. A good article may appropriately cite primary, secondary, and tertiary sources. Use of primary sources should always conform to the No original research policy. However, primary sources describing genetic or genomic research into human ancestry, ancient populations, ethnicity, race, and the like, should not be used to generate content about those subjects, which are controversial. High quality secondary sources as described above should be used instead. Genetic studies of human anatomy or phenotypes like intelligence should be sourced per WP:MEDRS.

However, two users in the discussion currently held at Talk:Uyghurs#No primary sources argue that SCIRS is just an essay and thus the article is under no obligation to follow it, neither is any other article on human genetics. They have various arguments, mostly related to other sourcing requirements that I think I'd best let them explain themselves. These are both veteran editors, so I think their opinion matters.

I will note that this passage in SCIRS came about after an RFC on this board.

My questions is thus:

  1. How binding is SCIRS?
  2. If it is not binding, how would one attempt to gain the "vetting" to turn SCIRS from an essay into a policy (perhaps with alterations)? Is this desirable?

--Ermenrich (talk) 13:40, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

Pinging @Hunan201p:, @Calthinus:, @Joshua Jonathan:, @Wario-Man:. Feel free to ping anyone else/post about this where interested editors might be found, I've hit the Wikiproject Science, Genetics, Asia, Central Asia, East Asia and the talk for WP:SCIRS.--Ermenrich (talk) 18:00, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
Worth noting: simialr discussion is happening at Talk:Turkmens and conflict has errupted over a large number of Eurasian articles over this issue.
Adding pings for participants in previous RfC @JzG:, @Johnbod:, @XOR'easter: @Jytdog:, @Nocturnalnow:, @Billhpike:, @Nick Moyes:, @David Eppstein:, @Double sharp:, @Beyond My Ken:, @Joe Roe:, @Iazyges:, @Kirbanzo:, @Shock Brigade Harvester Boris:, @Tryptofish:, @Insertcleverphrasehere:, @DGG:, @Agricolae:, @Maproom:, @BrightR:, @Lawrencekhoo:, @Sitush:, @Rhoark:.--Ermenrich (talk) 21:04, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
To keep things organized so we don't have increasingly nested replies, I recommend we format like this and give a brief overview. On Uyghurs, I believe the specific dispute between myself and JJ on one side, and Hunan on the other, is actually mostly resolved -- there is agreement that it's not WP:DUE to give Li et al, the more recent study, so much text and a blockquote, and in fact all references to the study have been removed by Hunan without any protest [[72]]. He also wants to remove Xu et al which he calls "competing" (see edit summary in the last one) -- no one has explicitly voiced support or opposition to this, but as I noted on the talk page, even SCIRS cannot justify such an edit because you could simply replace references to Xu et al with any of the 100+ studies that secondarily cite it, some of which are themselves very influential [as I explain in this diff].
Now, regarding SCIRS, I have no opinion on it in physics or chemistry. In genetics, and also in linguistics, I think it is at best unnecessary, and at worse something that could blow up in our faces. As explained by myself and by JJ, WP:DUE should already cover any possible cases where a "primary" study is getting too much weight especially on a controversial issue, so its hard to see why SCIRS is necessary. Worse, it could lead to other problems besides just adding more complexity to the policy set that newbie editors must learn. We could lose plenty of valuable info that is totally uncontroversial and this effect could be much harsher in areas that are undercovered if the policy was symmetrically applied everywhere. Of course, it is unlikely to be symmetrically applied, meaning that it would likely become a mask for IDLI behavior. Hunan seems to think primary sources are the main problem in the genetics topic area. I could not disagree more. My main experience with tendentious editors has been such editors -- mainly of white nationalist or some other form of nationalist, often Chinese -- simply deleting info because it "must be wrong" or is part of some plot. Well, now they'd have a policy to back them up. Then, there's the issue of how the balance changes once we remove these. Generally a genetic study that is RS and published by a reputable journal will be fairly reliable (there are some that had errors but most stand the test of time, and sampling factors are always made transparent). The same cannot be said for the most easily accessible replacement (as not everyone has a subscription to PubMed etc etc) : news media, which often is way off the mark. You can see Talk:Uyghurs for more indepth discussion of these points, and perhaps Joshua Jonathan can make them and some others more eloquently.--Calthinus (talk) 20:24, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
Two notes: 1) SCIRS doesn't call for using news articles, I quote:

A secondary source is a source presenting and placing in context information originally reported by different authors. These include literature reviews, systematic review articles, topical monographs, specialist textbooks, handbooks, and white papers by major scientific associations. News reports are also secondary sources, but should be used with caution as they are seldom written by persons with disciplinary expertise. An appropriate secondary source is one that is published by a reputable publisher, is written by one or more experts in the field, and is peer reviewed. University presses and other publishing houses known for publishing reliable science books will document their review process. Do not confuse a scientific review (the article/document) with peer review (the activity).

2) Linguistics isn't included under SCIRS, so no need to worry there.--Ermenrich (talk) 20:56, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
Ermenrich SCIRS does not call for media articles yet at the same time, it positively forbids using primaries to "create content" yet doesn't apply the same restriction to media. Which means the likely result is an increase in the relative reliance on news media. If you're looking for ways to improve SCIRS, applying that same restriction to news media (unless written by an expert) would be one suggestion.
I would also like to bring up an example I did on Talk:Uyghurs. Sometimes the available secondary studies are disproportionately coarse in viewpoint, meaning SCIRS could lead to a "big picture" bias that misses the details. A possible example of this would be a fairly widespread haplogroup that is widely agreed to peak in one population. But lets say studies of that remote population alone often remain uncited. What if one well recieved and reputably published but not particularly cited (because of lack of utility elsewhere) study on that population reveals that the population actually has a very low internal diversity for that haplogroup, and suggests it is a bottleneck. Well, I'm sure before long a new paper on our haplogroup in question, let's call it haplogroup Z, will acknowledge this. But our editors might not be aware of or have access to that paper, and even if they do, what about the time before it is published. I don't think we, if we have our study implying a bottleneck on hand, should suppress it. Instead I think we should present it as it is-- a single primary study that found a relevant result that would challenge the view that our bottleneckese population was originally some relatively undiluted hapl Z group, rather than a formerly more diverse group that experienced a bottleneck. Informed readers understand about primaries, so as long as we're transparent about what they are, I think this is a much better way to handle such a situation. Ermenrich, perhaps SCIRS could state as much -- if a primary study published in a reputable journal gives valuable information to consider, it can be included, but should explicitly be called a primary study -- until we come across a secondary study that takes it into account. What do you think of that?--Calthinus (talk) 14:08, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Calthinus, making it clear that they are primary sources (in Uyghurs and elsewhere in Eurasian topics) would certainly help, however, I note again the controversial nature of the topic. If nothing else comes out of this, I hope clear marking of primary sources does. I certainly don't want to encourage newspaper articles.--Ermenrich (talk) 20:46, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I am commenting here in response to the ping. I've looked at the page section, and the sources that it cites, and I've briefly and superficially looked through the article talk page; this is probably the most that I will do. All of the sources in the page section are indeed primary research studies, and not secondary sources. They are, however, in good quality scientific journals. (Note: on looking back a few minutes later, I see that there is an edit war going on, so I cannot really characterize the sources at any given moment.) I see mention on the article talk page that the genetics of Uyghurs is controversial. I think that the decision here comes down to how controversial the cited sources are (which I don't know). You don't have to rely exclusively on SCIRS, because this is also a matter of WP:DUE, which is policy. I do think that SCIRS gives good advice about the dangers of using primary sources for content about human genetics and human ancestry, saying that these topic do tend to be controversial. So: if the cited sources, taken together, provide a balanced and noncontroversial overview of the subject, I'd say they are good enough for that. However, if as I suspect, the topic is a controversial one, then the entire section needs to be pretty much scrapped, and needs to be written only insofar as secondary sources, in this case scientific review articles, can support. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:43, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I also got pinged, but am not in the mood to read through another such content dispute right now, so I will just say this. In my opinion, we should not be reporting conclusions based solely on primary reports using haplotypes to draw conclusions about population origins. This is an area where even established scientists have a tendency to over-interpret their data, and to follow their own personal interpretation while ignoring other possibilities. When a field is undergoing such a revolution, as is happening now with the contribution of ancient DNA studies to population histories, reviewers struggle to keep up and the quality of the review process is not always what it should be, even for established journals. I think we would be better serving the readers to stick to review articles, where a second expert has had the opportunity to reevaluate the conclusions, rather than trying to present the bleeding edge by abstracting controversial conclusions from primary sources. I guess that means I think SCIRS represents best practice, even if not technically binding. Agricolae (talk) 22:16, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
we should not be reporting conclusions based solely on primary reports using haplotypes to draw conclusions about population origins - that's an interesting and usefull criterium. Compare Narasimhan et al (2019), which, as a preprint, was the most downloaded paper at BioRvix in 2018, and drew a lot of media attention. The 2019 version has over 100 co-authors, including archaeologists, and draws not only on a huge number of samples (500+), but also on mainstream archaeological and linguistic research. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:40, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Not sure what I am to be comparing to Narasimhan. Neither BioRxiv downloads nor media attention are the best indication of scientific acceptance. Nor is peer review - the criterion used by a reviewer is whether the conclusion is reasonable given the data, not that it is the only possible one (that is how we got an upside down Hallucigenia, the author was allowed to pick the way he thought would be 'cooler'). Likewise with this number of authors - while ideally every author will have independently confirmed all of the conclusions, it doesn't really happen for 'big science' papers with a hundred authors. Plus it is the rare scientific group leader that is able to evaluate their own conclusions dispassionately - everyone is convinced by their own arguments, not so the other guy's.
In general, there is a superficiality and 'bleeding edge' nature to the conclusions of many haplotype papers that does not age particularly well. Further, all primary papers are based on the state of knowledge when they wrote it, but a year and a half later when it is finally published there will have been numerous studies published that may bear on their interpretation (this sometimes results in interpretations in papers being 'dead on arrival'). Usually genomic datasets are not released when the preprint was uploaded, only when it is formally published. It is often when someone else takes the genomes and runs the analysis independently with different software that interesting things can happen, such as the discovery of data entry errors or bias in the way their computer ran the analysis (such as order-of-addition effects). With this paper specifically, their core result is based on a single sample. Any conclusion based on a single sample must be viewed with extreme caution.
The true test of any science (and the best basis for Wikipedia articles) is how it is received and contextualized by the field, not by the original authors, and that is what mention in reviews from independent researchers gets you.Agricolae (talk) 02:56, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Aren't you confusing the Narasimhan-paper (500+ samples) with the Shinde-paper (one sample)? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:50, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
  • As I was pinged, I will add my own two cents. If these primary sources are indeed published in reputable scientific journals, by all means they should be used; they are wealthy sources of information if they are used correctly. However, we should try to avoid primary research studies that a) are not published in reputable scientific journals or b) drastically rail against current consensus, unless consensus has changed in favor of such a bleeding edge report. We should also make sure they are peer reviewed, since peer reviewed papers are more reliable than those that are not - they did survive being scrutinized by multiple people with expertise in the field, after all. In general, I'm a bit of a middleman - WP:SCIRS should be followed, but in some cases can be a hinderance to sourcing, and should just be ignored. However, cases where it is ignored should be few and far between (i.e. where there is no other sources availible)- it's the execption, not the rule. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 00:48, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Scientific papers typically are a mix of primary and secondary information. The primary information in the narrow sense is the experimental results. Their interpretation by the author in the context of other work is a combination of primary and secondary interpretation, and the validity depends upon the reputation of the author as much as of the journal's peer review.The peer-review is supposed to show that it is plausible, not that it has been actually verified, or that the reviewer necessarily agrees with the conclusions. In biological linguistics, there are many published aberrant results. Nothing published in a journal article in this field can be assumed to be generally accepted by the scholarly consensus just on the fact of it having been published. In essence, I agree with Agricolae--it is quite possible at this time to find experimental results in respectable journals to support almost any hypothesis in some areas. including the ones likely to be disputed here. In particular, haplotype analysis relies upon statistical methods that do not necessarily have general agreement. I have enough background to be able to see and usually understand the disagreement--I do not have the necessary current knowledge to attempt on my own account to resolve it, and even if I did, it would be OR. (This is apart from the general fact that all science is tentative depending on future discoveries. ) DGG ( talk ) 02:11, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Let me add to this that the Introduction section of a paper, where an author summarizes the state of knowledge prior to the experiment, is entirely secondary (though not always independent - some authors use introductions to bump up their own citation index by citing as many of their own prior papers as they can possibly shoehorn in). Agricolae (talk) 02:41, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Also called by ping. I have not much to add to the discussion about genetics sources at Uyghur. Generally however, I would echo DGG's sentiments. Peer reviewed papers should not be seen as only primary research. Especially review papers, but also the literature review sections of most papers, can be considered as secondary sources. If a particular result is referred to as "well-known", "foundational", or "seminal", it can be referred to as such in Wikipedia, referenced to papers that refer to it as such. LK (talk) 03:06, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Pinged here. The WPIndia project has for some years taken the line that genetics studies should be avoided in caste-related articles for a whole variety of reasons. Those include that they're usually primary, the science is changing fast, the survey populations tend to be small and rely on self-declaration of ethnicity, and too many of them have a bunch of caveats which the citor tends to ignore and which makes them ultimately pointless. The project also tends to deprecate secondary reports when they appear in mainstream news sources beause such reports usually hang everything on some sensationalist hook. To my knowledge, the most recent instance of this is that discussed at User talk:Deepcruze#Noting in the last few days. - Sitush (talk) 03:39, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Joshua Jonathan - I'm positively surprised by the nunaced responses here. we should not be reporting conclusions based solely on primary reports using haplotypes to draw conclusions about population origins (Agricolae) is an interesting and usefull criterium, which touches on WP:DUE and WP:NPOV. In my reading, it also implies that studies which draw conclusions solely based on haplotypes, without giving due consideration to a sound theoretical (archaeology, linguistics, et cetera) framework to interpret those results, are less usefull than stdies which draw on a maintstream scholarly framework. a balanced and noncontroversial overview of the subject (Tryptofish) ("controversial" would not include 'controversial' as perceived by fringe-theorists, I suppose; we're talking here about mainstream scholarly views) also touches on this .good quality scientific journals (Tryptofish), that is, WP:RS, is also usefull. What's also relevant is WP:AGE MATTERS:

Especially in scientific and academic fields, older sources may be inaccurate because new information has been brought to light, new theories proposed, or vocabulary changed. In areas like politics or fashion, laws or trends may make older claims incorrect. Be sure to check that older sources have not been superseded, especially if it is likely the new discoveries or developments have occurred in the last few years. In particular, newer sources are generally preferred in medicine.

Fears of WP:RECENTISM are balanced, of course, by the other policies mentioned above and below, and the criterium of scholarly consensus on the underlying theoretical framework used to interpret results (compare Indo-Aryan migration theory versus Out of India, and the origins of R1a).
Regarding the recurrent argument that genetic studies tend to produce ever-changing results and conflicting interpretations: Narasimhan et al. (2019) found that the the Iranian farmer-related ancestry in the IVC predates the origins of farming. While surprising, previous research also found that this Iranian-related ancestry must be quite old; see, for example, Metspalu et al. (2011), Shared and Unique Components of Human Population Structure and Genome-Wide Signals of Positive Selection in South Asia:

... regardless of where this component was from (the Caucasus, Near East, Indus Valley, or Central Asia), its spread to other regions must have occurred well before our detection limits at 12,500 years.

See The Antiquity of West Eurasian Ancestry in South Asia and The Origins of the Neolithic in the Indian subcontinent (both blogs) for further links on similar findings. So, contrary this often used argument of ever-changing results, there are results which are replicated.
A strong personal objection against WP:SCIRS would be that it could be used to ban any info on archaeogenetics as published in journal articles, because of pov-pushers. Bad editors are not a valid reason to reject reliable sources and relevant topics. We already have WP:RS, WP:NPOV, WP:DUE, WP:REDFLAG, et cetera. Sources and topics should be judged on their merits, not on abuses of pov-pushers. Using WP:SCIRS to ban recent research on archaeogenetics would run counter to two fundamentals of Wikipedia: Wikipedia provides an overview of relevant scholarly information and insight; and Wikipedia trusts on the self-correcting power of collaborating volunteers to have this info presented correctly. Invoking WP:SCIRS to ban archaeogenetics would be a huge bone to pov-pushers. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:20, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Instead of engaging in rhetoric about "banning" sources, just do what SCIRS already gives guidance on. Stick to secondary sources like literature reviews, meta-analyses, etc. If a particular idea hasn't gained traction to get such mention, including it would violate WP:DUE, and if it's too new of research to get mention, then WP:AGEMATTERS policy applies instead. In uncontroversial topics, the introduction and some parts of the discussion section of a primary research article can possibly be used with care, but this doesn't sound like such a topic. Kingofaces43 (talk) 19:16, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

Lambda Alpha Journal for Man - published by an international student honors societyEdit

Lambda Alpha is the international honors society for students of anthropology and the national headquarters publishes a journal, eg[73] which is used as a source here.Hambiliya. We seem to use it a lot.[74] What do people think? Doug Weller talk 19:07, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

I would consider it reliable because it was edited by an academic. The author of the source mentioned was herself an academic when the paper was published (1981) and the following year became a lecturer in anthropology.[75] My only concern would be the age of the publication - information in the article could be dated. TFD (talk) 19:56, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
The actual title of the journal is Lambda Alpha Journal of Man, and the general link for it is [[76]]. It sems to have ceased after 2011. DGG ( talk ) 00:01, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
The quality varies. The "academic" is sometimes an undergraduate. But as TFD says, sometimes the author will be a reliable authority --it needs to be checked each time. I suspect it's mainly used because it will show up for things with little other internet presence.--its use for the Hambily article is totally unnecessary as its just a mention, but it does no harm. More interesting is the use in the article Anachronisms in the Book of Mormon. The paper linked to is a paper jointly authored by a student and their professor [77] --the professor B.K. Swartz, Jr. is a reliable authority. Unfortunately, the statement purported to be supported does not appear in the reference--it is an unstated inferences from the 7 species discussed that there were no others. It might well be found in some other of Schwartz's works. The use in WP is an example of out typical careless referencing. I have not examined anhy of the other uses. DGG ( talk ) 01:53, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
@The Four Deuces and DGG: so lack of peer review isn't an issue? The website DGG points to says "The journal is made possible through the efforts of the Journal editorial staff residing at the founding chapter, Alpha of Kansas". I also worry about the age of both sources as both are over 30 years old. Doug Weller talk 15:40, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
While peer review would be preferable, editorial oversight by an expert would make it as reliable as articles and books by journalists, which meet rs. Having said that, editors should always use the best sources available, which would be peer-reviewed articles or academic books. And as I said above, the age could be an issue. TFD (talk) 16:48, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
That was the way I was thinking also. DGG ( talk ) 06:43, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
It depends on the subject - I wouldn't use journalists as a source for genetics or quantum physics, and I wouldn't use them for archaeology either except perhaps in very rare instances. Doug Weller talk 18:53, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

Gold toilet or just gold-plated?Edit

Your input is welcome at Talk:America (toilet). Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 07:06, 16 September 2019 (UTC)

I see this as a POV problem, because the sources are very good.
My OR is that it's plated, but I don't think we have sources to state it in Wikipedia's voice. Maybe a footnote. Definitely worth investigating. --Ronz (talk) 16:14, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

The Internet Speculative Fiction Database as a source for BLP dataEdit

The issue of whether this is a reliable source for BLP data was raised on my talk page by an IP - see User talk:Doug Weller#WP:BLP question and the use of ISFDB as a BLP source. I did some research and found it spoken favorably of in a few reliable sources and that it has some system of verification. I looked at our archives here and found that the issue was raised some time ago twice by User:Mike Christie - neither had a response, the latest is at[78] where he makes some good points. There does seem to be some sort of editorial control, but is it good enough and complete? It's mentioned here. But if you read their faq and look at the bits that mention verification[79] and at how authors are added[80] I'm thinking that the verification process does not include biographical details, which means probably usually ok for bibiliographical details but not biographical. Take a look at Robert Heinlein's author page[81] which shows no sign of verification, but if you look at one of his book pages[82] it does. The IP, Mike and I agree it 's ok for bibliographical data but not biographical. I wanted to bring it here to see if we missed anything and because User:SyFyGuy removed tags added by the IP.[83] - I think the IP is right to have added them and as there has been this disagreement it's probably time to settle it. --Doug Weller talk 16:00, 16 September 2019 (UTC)

I agree with Doug's summary -- it's OK for bibliographic data but not biographical data. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 17:07, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
As far as I know, most of the dates come from bibliographic sources, i.e. the copyright pages of books, where you sometimes see birth years given (Doe, John, 1946-) .--Auric talk 18:23, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
such data is usually provided by the author. It may or may not be correct. There's no point in checking LC or OCLC, because they copy whatever the books says without attempting to think. There will therefore often be more than one date in international bibliographic records. And, of course, nowadays, everyone including LC just copies the date from Wikipedia. What this means is that there are for most authors no actually reliable independent sources for basic biographic data. It's therefore reasonable to take the information from anything that seems at least a little reliable, because nobody without extensive research can do any better. DGG ( talk ) 06:49, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
@DGG: "usually" isn't enough for a BLP so far as I'm concerned. And so far as DOBs are concerned, WP:BLP says "With identity theft a serious ongoing concern, people increasingly regard their full names and dates of birth as private. Wikipedia includes full names and dates of birth that have been widely published by reliable sources, or by sources linked to the subject such that it may reasonably be inferred that the subject does not object to the details being made public." Thus there is no way we could use this as a source for a full DOB and I'm still unhappy with using something that doesn't have editorial control for biographical information. Doug Weller talk 18:52, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
I was thinking more about years, than dates. We use the best available sources, but all sources have errors. There are no absolutely reliable sources, however we may pretend otherwise. There are better and worse sources , for particular data in particular cases. (And the subject of a bio is usually not a RS for anything except what they want to say at the time. ) DGG ( talk ) 03:13, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Agree. I've never found the Internet Speculative Fiction Database a reliable source for biographical information. It's WP:USERGENERATED and it even says here that "the ISFDB cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. The content of any given database record may recently have been changed, vandalized, or altered by someone whose opinion does not correspond with the state of knowledge in the relevant fields."--Tenebrae (talk) 18:57, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
Any evidence his is more than corporate self-protection? ``

Two sourcesEdit

Is the following sources enough to confirm the verification of the material?

  • Also, Operation Aftab was carried out by Army of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization in the western part of the country on 1988.source and another source
Thanks! Saff V. (talk) 10:21, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
To make clearer, Saff V. is requesting to know if and opinion piece at are enough to support the claim that "Operation Aftab was carried out by Army of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization in 1988". Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 10:32, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

Suicide and the WHO reliable sourceEdit

Is a reliable source to be used at the suicide article? It appears to be very reliable. If it is reliable should we not say what that reliable source says or can editors just paraphrase in a way that is not at all accurate to what the reliable source says. Currently in the opening paragraph of the article it says "Some suicides are impulsive acts due to stress, such as from financial difficulties, troubles with relationships, or bullying" However the reliable source specifically says "relationship break-up" Relationship break-up is something quite distinct from an argument within a relationship for example. It is when an intimate relationship has ended. I tried to include relationship break-up, true to the source but this was overturned with no proper explanation based on the rules for editors at Wikipedia. Please provide some direction. Thank you so much. Patriciamoorehead (talk) 06:47, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

Online gaming in ChinaEdit

I'm a bit uncertain as to the reliability of this source in the article Online gaming in China, which was written after the publication of this (of which I'm uncertain as to its reliability either). Is a Chinese speaker able to help me with this? I can't decide if its simply out of date information or potentially dubious / unverifiable.

Related discussion here.

Interestingly the wiki article was cited here. --[E.3][chat2][me] 12:15, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

The first source is a WP:PRIMARY source; and I'm a bit dubious about the host so I'd leave it out. The second is fine. And anecdotally, China has been pretty hardcore about combating what it perceives as addictive video gaming behaviours at least as far back as 2015, so it allso passes the sniff-test. Simonm223 (talk) 12:22, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Thanks --[E.3][chat2][me] 12:46, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
I haven't done much on that specific article but I have done work on Video gaming in China which may have better sources for claims in that. --Masem (t) 14:48, 18 September 2019 (UTC)