Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard

Welcome to the reliable sources noticeboard. This page is for posting questions regarding whether particular sources are reliable in context.
Before posting, please check the archives and list of perennial sources for prior discussions of the source. If after reviewing, you feel a new post is warranted, please be sure to include the following information, if available:
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  • Source. The book or web page being used as the source. For a book, include the author, title, publisher, page number, etc. For an online source, please include links. For example: [].
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Jewish ChronicleEdit

Which of the following options should apply to the Jewish Chronicle with regards to Left-wing organisations and individuals and Muslims and Islam.

  • Option 1: Generally reliable for factual reporting
  • Option 2: Unclear or additional considerations apply
  • Option 3: Generally unreliable for factual reporting on these topics.
  • Option 4: Publishes false or fabricated information on these topics, and should never be used in relation to them.

Boynamedsue (talk) 10:41, 13 March 2021 (UTC)

Survey (Jewish Chronicle)Edit

  • Option 4 re the British left, Option 3 re Muslims. The Jewish Chronicle has in recent years been found to have libelled, or contravened IPSO regulations regarding misrepresentation, on at least 7 occasions. It is also being currently investigated by IPSO with regards to allegations against a member of the Left-wing Jewish organisation Jewish Voice for Labour. Its general view of the Labour Left is extremely critical, and its coverage, even when no direct lies, factual inaccuracies or actionable misrepresentations are present, is exceptionally biased.
Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
7 of the above cases relate to organisations on the British left, primarily the Labour party. Three of the 8 cases mentioned above related to false claims against British Muslims, and it frequently publishes the work of individuals highly critical of Islam such as Melanie Phillips, and claimed islamophobia did not exist. It is my view that it should be treated as being generally unreliable with regards to claims made about living Muslims, Islamophobia and Islam generally. Boynamedsue (talk) 11:57, 13 March 2021 (UTC)
The evidence consists mostly of IPSO rulings. I see that they have issued multiple rulings against other newspapers, including The Times and The Telegraph, so what makes these complaints special and would warrant a topic-deprecation? Alaexis¿question? 10:58, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
Between 2018 and 2020, there were 7 breaches involving left-wing individuals, plus one in which the newspaper was required to add information to its story as a result of IPSO mediation. This constituted all the breaches and mediated settlements imposed by IPSO. JC is a weekly newspaper, so we can compare to other weekly titles. In the same period, the Mail had 4 breaches and 3 mediations, one was related to the British Left. The Sunday Times had 1 breach relating to a member of the British left and 1 mediated correction, out of 9 breaches and six mediated corrections. The fact that the Jewish Chronicle has a problem with its reporting on the left is pretty clear from these numbers. --Boynamedsue (talk) 15:25, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
As far as I understand the IPSO is voluntary organization and having IPSO overview giving additional layer of reliability if you think that JC is biased we can always attribute. --Shrike (talk) 15:42, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
I don't remember you taking the same position on the two much less serious IPSO rulings against the Canary. I would say that both are biased sources, but Canary is more accurate in its factual reporting. Boynamedsue (talk) 16:04, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
FWIW I was against deprecating/"unreliabling" the Canary as well. If breaches found by IPSO is such a big deal, should we consider The Times unreliable as well who have 3 breaches in 2019?
There are no IPSO rulings against The Canary as it is not regulated by them but by IMPRESS. Being regulated by IPSO is generally seen as a sign of reliability, whereas IMPRESS has yet to establish a reputation. If IMPRESS rulings alone were the problem with The Canary, reliability wouldn't be an issue; there were several other issues raised about The Canary - are there other issues with the JC? BobFromBrockley (talk) 09:53, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
Is there really a problem of multiple editors trying to base information about Islam on it? Alaexis¿question? 21:43, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
No. BobFromBrockley (talk) 09:53, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
Sorry, somehow I missed BobFromBrockley's comment here. Yes you are correct about the Canary, IMPRESS is viewed as much stricter than IPSO, fully implementing the Leveson Inquiry. My mistake. IPSO on the other hand regulates such paragons of virtue as The Sun, The Star and the Daily Mail, which are deprecated on this website. IPSO membership is not an indicator of reliability.Boynamedsue (talk) 06:16, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 prior to 2010, no opinion afterwards. It seems that the incidents in question have been pretty recent, so I find no reason to doubt that the paper's historical coverage, dating back to 1841, is unreliable. I expect for such a long-running newspaper that it did have a strong reputation for providing accurate news for almost all of its history. For Islam generally, there is a great deal of scholarship on the issue, no reason to use any newspaper for that. (t · c) buidhe 03:48, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
The incidents of libel against the left actually go back to the late 1960's, but it does seem to be only in the last few years when the exceptional level of IPSO judgments start.--Boynamedsue (talk) 09:39, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
Could you please provide any source to your accusations? --Shrike (talk) 13:05, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
Sure, above there is a post which links to the comparative figures for the Mail on Sunday, which had far fewer decisions against it in the same period, only one of which related to the British left. The Sunday Times had slightly more in total, as it carries much more news, but only 2 were against the British left. --Boynamedsue (talk) 15:42, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
I didn't found anything about 1960 please could point in what link they talking prior 2010? --Shrike (talk) 15:45, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
Sure, no probs. hereBoynamedsue (talk) 16:00, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
In this incident, Mayhew's complaint was REJECTED by the press council. Finding ONE incident over the course of 40+ years is hardly evidence of non factual reporting. Kenosha Forever (talk) 16:21, 14 March 2021 (UTC)blocked by Bradv as a sock of NoCal100
He received a public apology in the High Court. That is a fairly strong indicator of false information being published. However, I agree the problem relates specifically to recent years.--Boynamedsue (talk) 06:22, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 Like Alaexis said there are similar ruling against other UK news outlets. Being member of IPSO give them additional credibility. For example The the Guardian its not part of IPSO at all. Does it mean we should depreciate it? -- Shrike (talk) 13:03, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2/3 Attribute re Labour party(3), Palestinians(3) and Muslims(2) generally. Recent change in ownership not really had time to bed in. But the sources are clear enough: and "The findings make clear that the reporting of the Jewish Chronicle and journalist Lee Harpin fall far below the professional and ethical standards expected of journalists working today — particularly as pertains to accuracy and fact-checking (the most basic principles of reporting)." Seems there is another trouble brewing:- Changed my opinion a bit after this piece.Selfstudier (talk) 18:23, 14 April 2021 (UTC)

  • Option 1 - A paper in publication for nearly 200 years is bound to have some complaints directed against it, and some of them upheld. The fact that it published corrections in response is a point in its favor, not against it. Kenosha Forever (talk) 16:21, 14 March 2021 (UTC)blocked by Bradv as a sock of NoCal100blocked by Bradv as a sock of NoCal100
It has had 8 false stories in three years, relating to the British left. The preceding 197 years I am less worried about. Boynamedsue (talk) 16:27, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
It did not publish "8 false stories". It had 8 complaints upheld against it for inaccurate claims (e.g it claimed a left-wing person was expelled for his anti-Semitic views, when the available evidence did not clearly or explicitly show that) or failure to produce evidence for some of its claims, and it addressed them by publishing corrections. These exaggerations seem to indicate that you are on some sort of personal crusade here. I suggest you let editors, whose input you are presumably soliciting here, provide such input, without bludgeoning them with commentary when they fail to toe your line. Kenosha Forever (talk) 16:48, 14 March 2021 (UTC)blocked by Bradv as a sock of NoCal100
Sorry, I must watch my tone. I was actually agreeing with you in part. I don't see that writing off their entire past content is justified. Boynamedsue (talk) 16:58, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 4 for the Brleft, per Buidhe for the rest; it hasn't always been so reactionary, and for most of its existence has been a paper of record for the community. It's mainly under the current regime that the malleability of facts begins. As Buidhe points out, there's unlikely to be a need to use it as a source ert Islam, except for its own position. ——Serial 16:38, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 4 A newspaper which regularly publishes libels, and which has published articles in defense of Islamophobia. The Daily Mail is sensationalist, but unlike the Chronicle it did not accuse charity organizations of having ties to terrorism. I would not want the Chronicle used as a source in any BLP article. Dimadick (talk) 18:13, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1. The opening statement is incredibly biased for a RfC, making this RfC inherently flawed. It also contains false statements, for instance link 8 is to JVL's website, a highly criticized organization, saying it lodged a complaint with IPSO. However ISPO actually ruled there was no breach - after investigation. The JC has been facing targeted complaints (by groups accused of antisemitism) in recent years. Despite this, the number of complaints upheld is not particularly large. This is a long running news organization that is highly reputable. As for Interpal's terrorist designation, while the UK's Charity Commission on its own investigation did not find Interpal to be supporting terror, it is still designated as terrorist by the US, dating back to 2003 (Guardian coverage in 2019). Money transfers to Interpal have been blocked in 2020 by HSBC,[1] and their bank accounts were closed by multiple other banks in the past.[2] This is not a black and white situation, and rulings here vary by country.--Hippeus (talk) 19:31, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 A newspaper as old as the Jewish Chronicle is bound to have some complaints from time to time. The press in Britain doesn't have the same First Amendment protections as in the US, so libel lawsuits are much more common there. And the IPSO has been extensively criticized for being an overly bureaucratic regulator. Nevertheless, JC issued corrections and/or full retractions whenever they did make an error, which is a sign of a good WP:NEWSORG. It would probably be a good idea to use attribution for matters concerning the Labour Party. Dr. Swag Lord (talk) 21:14, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
While this doesn't necessarily cancel out your point, I would just state that most criticism of IPSO is based on the point of view that it is insufficiently strict and run by the newspapers rather than being truly independent. --Boynamedsue (talk) 23:12, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 this is one of the oldest Jewish newspapers in the world and of course they may get one or two things wrong. Should we now depreciate CNN and the NY Times for the same? Sir Joseph (talk) 14:48, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
    The argument is not that they have "got one or two things wrong" over the last two centuries, but that over the last 3 years they have published at least 8 articles regarding a specific subject that are, allegedly, false and inaccurate. I don't currently have an opinion about how reliable it is, but "it's old" is not a useful comment. Thryduulf (talk) 15:05, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
If we started sanctioning every news sources that gets something wrong X times in Y years, that is an axe to which the community will flock, keeping score, the forest of sources we rely on will be quickly chopped down. Sanctions need to be treated with care because in fact every news sources in the world gets things wrong, on a regular basis, such is the nature of it -- GreenC 15:20, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
That's another straw man. The argument here is that there has been a signficant change in the reliability of this specific source, either generally or with regards to a specific subject. That's not unique to this source (see for example the RSP entries for Huffpost (more reliable since 2012), (unreliable since 12 March 2014), Human Events (unreliable since May 2019), etc. The argument from those concerned about the reliability of this source is also not "they got a few things wrong" but that they have published multiple articles with very significant factual errors that allegedly demonstrate, at best, a lack of fact checking - the exact basis on which we evaluate reliability of sources. Thryduulf (talk) 15:35, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3 but with the caveat that this is strictly within the context we have been asked to consider and is not my judgement of the source’s body of work. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:10, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 The paper is reliable, specifics need to be hammered out on talk pages if a particular author or fact is reliable for a given citation. -- GreenC 15:20, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1, per GreenC, Sir Joseph, and Hippeus. The opening statement of this RfC has false statements (A post on JVL website that was rejected), the newspaper has a very long positive track record. 11Fox11 (talk) 06:42, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3 for both, but Option 1 for the newspaper historically as per the discussion above. It would worry me greatly to think that some of the multiple unsubstantiated or false statements they've published only in the last few years were used in a BLP. Volteer1 (talk) 14:51, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3 for both per Horse Eye's Back and Volteer1. Possibly even Option 4 for reporting on the Labour left, specifically since 2018. (IPSO noted "significant concerns" about the handling of certain complaints and referred the JC to the IPSO Standards department as a result.) 7-8 complaints (with more on the way). in a fairly short period of time is significant for a non-national weekly publication.--DSQ (talk) 13:19, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3 in the topic-areas mentioned. It is unequivocally a WP:BIASED source in those areas (I don't see how anyone could argue otherwise; they're very, very upfront about their policy goals and outright declared that they were seeking to eliminate Labour's leadership), but that alone wouldn't make them be unreliable; and as others have said, a few unrelated IPSO judgments against them wouldn't be unusual. The problem is that they have a significant number of IPSO judgements that all point to very specific unreliability in the context of their bias, which demonstrates a consistent willingness to skip fact-checking and accuracy when it fits their ideological goals; in other words, they show a systematic problem which makes them a poor source to use in those topic-areas. Its track record on other topics does not change this. --Aquillion (talk) 19:48, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1. The fact that it is properly regulated and complies with regulator's decisions is an index of reliability. Some of the breaches are more serious (the first listed) while others less so, so it is not really fair to lump them all together. In the case of the 8th example, IPSO did not uphold the complaint: Two of the examples relate to British Islamist organisations, so it seems a very big leap to "Islam". If people think two corrected articles on Islamist organisations indeed require additional considerations on topic-specific unreliability, I'd phrase it more narrowly. The more serious issue would be in relation to the left. However, considering the huge volume of articles the JC published about Labour antisemitism in this period, five upehld complaints leading to corrections doesn't amount to an awful lot. BobFromBrockley (talk) 10:11, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1, as BobFromBrockley points out it is properly regulated and has a good reputation, the amount of upheld complaints is small in relation to scope of reporting, and the 8th example is actually a rejected complaint.Nyx86 (talk) 14:10, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2. It's usually reliable but has to be treated with caution on certain hot-button issues, where WP:ATT would apply. Guy (help! - typo?) 21:36, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1: it's as reliable as any other newspaper on these topics, which is not to say that the origin of information/opinion does not sometimes need to be attributed to the source. It is also not to say that the source does not have a bias (every source does): in this case it has at least an anti-left wing political stance (I don't know enough about its reporting on Islam). Boynamedsue calls it "exceptionally biased"—but I think this whenever I read The Guardian or The Times. What's new? Every source has a strong selective bias (and almost all of those biases clash with my own). The number of complaints seem unsurprising for such a major publication, while the membership of IPSO is a point in its favour. There's a clear fact-checking process with editorial oversight and a corrections process. Bobfrombrockley makes some good points. — Bilorv (talk) 11:29, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
It has double the number of IPSO rulings against it than the deprecated Mail on Sunday, a paper several times its length. The only weekly title with more IPSO rulings against it is the Sunday Times, which again is much, much longer. The crucial difference with other newspapers is that their errors are randomly scattered by topic, whereas every single one of the JC's errors relate to falsehoods published about the British left, including 6 about the same woman! (dealt with as a single case) This shows a systematic pattern of publishing false news about a particular group, rather than the normal errors one finds in the process of news gathering. As for IPSO, well they regulate seven deprecated publications, so membership is no guarantee of reliability. --Boynamedsue (talk) 12:26, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 Further to the questions about IPSO's reliability, I notice that IMPRESS hasn't yet taken forward very many complaints. IPSO has published its external review naming the directors of the funding company and the editors' code commmittee, and IMPRESS will publish its own review in 2022, so at this stage I don't think there are sufficient grounds to make negative comparisons between regulators. At any rate, I'd say membership of either regulator would demonstrate a public commitment to the external regulation of accuracy and ethics. I'm not sure how many IPSO cases we'd expect to see in the seven years since records start in 2014 for a comparable publication from a religious / cultural / ethnic minority in extremely turbulent times, but I counted 17 which struck me as pretty low. As pointed out above, there are rulings in similar vein for other publications which are accepted as credible sources here, so there would need to be more to this proposed deprecation than just rulings. As stated above the opening statement here is out of date - further to the JVL complaint the JC was cleared (see IPSO ruling 28437-20). Moreover, for half the cases against and a third of those against the Jewish Chronicle in the same timeframe, the ruling was that there had been no breach of the Editor's Code. Meanwhile JC has published and continues to publish articles by left politicians, activists and commentators, so I don't find the claim a track record of systematic hostility convincing. I take all this to indicate that standards are generally being met. In summary the JC seems comparable with other credible sources here. TrabiMechanic (talk) 23:09, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3 As per the responses from Aquillion, Horse Eye's Back and Volteer1 and for all the points Boynamedsue has also made. It has been very faulty concerning its reliability regards many British Left-wing organisations and individuals, Muslims and Islam and Palestinians. Its exalted age and past quality track record on other topics does not give it a free pass. Historically (prior to 2010) and in other areas it might well be Option 1 or 2, but for the specific question of this RfC it is undoubtedly Option 3. ~ BOD ~ TALK 01:05, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1, per the analysis by TrabiMechanic and BobFromBrockley. Longstanding organization that has been under an organized attack, and even so the amount of complaints and their contents are not particularly significant.--Droid I am (talk) 07:04, 4 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3 for recent coverage of the British left and Palestine/Palestinians (do not use material from ~2016 onwards and be extremely careful with stuff from around 2010 to around 2016). Option 1 generally reliable for other matters, but strongly consider attributing for content related to Islam/Muslims. This is based on the totality of evidence and comments presented and linked in this thread. The source is clearly currently problematic regarding a specific subject area, and it's long track record does not excuse that. Outside of that single topic area though there is no evidence that it is any less reliable than before. Thryduulf (talk) 11:17, 4 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3 or Option 4 for broadly anything coming under the ARBPIA topic area. As has been said, other sources which are as or more reliable have been found to be unreliable or deprecated. It's normal for news organisations to have clear biases, but much of its content is so far beyond the bounds of accuracy as to be propaganda. Rather than just carrying out reportage, it has political agendas. It criticises the Board of Deputies of British Jews, no shrinking violets, for not being hardline enough and, indicating its priority isn't impartiality, calls on the Israeli government to produce better hasbara. Its articles are sloppily written, showing little fact-checking rigour. Writers often show a lack of knowledge. Having been heavily criticised for its editorial standards by the press regulators, the claim that the paper is "well-regulated" is fairly risible. It disregards normal journalistic ethics, altering articles after publishing without noting the changes, sometimes deleting them altogether. On Wikipedia, its content is cited to excessively ram biographical articles of those disliked by supporters of Israel full of uncomplimentary material, editors doing so showing, if anything, the inclination to do the complete opposite in articles on those for whom they have a liking and also not showing any real appreciation for other points of view. Really, I think that the ARBPIA area would probably benefit from setting the bar high on sourcing standards as is done in articles related to Eastern Europe. As many of the sources which take a view opposed to that taken by papers such as the Chronicle have been judged to not be reliable, that means that much non-factual material is presented as fact. In the long term, I expect that much current material sourced to papers such as the Chronicle will be pulled as books become available.

    Currently I'm involved in a talkpage discussion involving the reliability of articles inluding one from the Chronicle in which a number of untrue or inaccurate factual statements underlie a claim of antisemitism being made against Kerry-Anne Mendoza, editor of The Canary.

    An article which I happen to be reading currently and is I think, through the people and organisations supported, rather telling about the position of the paper on the extremity spectrum. It's by Lee Harpin, whose Jewish Chronicle pieces have, by my count, been on the losing end of at least three recent court cases or press standards complaints for libel. Editors might like to Google: Labour Against Antisemitism (LAAS); Saul Freeman (an LAAS member); GnasherJew (its Twitter feed was recently suspended); David Collier[3][4][5]. A couple of potential results which I think are worth reading: [6][7].

    Example smear: In January 2010, the Chronicle phoned Jenny Tonge early in the morning for comments on a piece in the Palestine Telegraph, of which she was patron, which mentioned YouTube videos which made claims that an IDF team in Haiti was involved in stealing body organs for transplant. Tonge expressed support for the team and, in response to a question, suggested that, to prevent the allegations going further, the IDF and the Israeli Medical Association should establish an independent inquiry (“To prevent allegations such as these – which have already been posted on YouTube – going any further, the IDF and the Israeli Medical Association should establish an independent inquiry immediately to clear the names of the team in Haiti”). The transcript of the phone conversation no longer appears to be on the Chronicle's website, although parts of it are quoted in later articles. The Chronicle then, by stages, transformed Tonge's suggestion as to how to stop the allegations going further into a demand for an independent inquiry: see the headline here, "Tonge: Investigate IDF stealing organs in Haiti"; see the headline and text of the article here, "Nick Clegg has sacked Jenny Tonge as the Lord's health spokesperson over her demands for an investigation into organ trafficking in Haiti by the IDF "; see the blog piece here, "I was lost for words when I read that Jenny Tonge wants Israel to disprove allegations that its medical teams used the opportunity to harvest organs while on a humanitarian mission in Haiti." The smear that Tonge demanded an inquiry has been repeated frequently, making a recent appearance in David Baddiel's book "Jews Don't Count."

    The following link is to a current example of a highly biased 'news' article which would skew Wikipedia if used as a source of fact rather than opinion. Note the use of polemical words such as 'denial', 'thrall', 'toxic', 'rampant', 'cancer', 'hate', 'madness' and 'poison'. Note that the BDS movement is controversial, but not the EHRC report (which "proved the Labour Party broke the law in its treatment of Jewish people") or Ian Austin, who is quoted at length, and his organisation Mainstream UK. Article: The Jewish Chronicle - Jake Wallis Simons - EXCLUSIVE: 70% of Labour members still think the party has no problem with Jew hate and don't want Corbyn expelled, 30 March 2021. (For comparison and a different viewpoint, see this article in the Electronic Intifada, a source which was found to be unreliable, partly on the grounds of partisanship, with the probable participation of a number of the contributors here.)

    From "The Candidate: Jeremy Corbyn's Improbable Path to Power", Alex Nunns, OR Books, 2018, page 741 of 1132 in the electronic edition: "The most powerful smears deployed during the campaign worked by suppressing all context, isolating a particular comment or association, and presenting it as evidence of Corbyn’s villainy. In its most grotesque form, this involved pulling out examples from Corbyn’s long history of advocacy for the Palestinian people in order to tar him as anti-Semitic. These claims were slightly different from the later anti-Semitism allegations levelled against the Labour Party in spring 2016. In those cases, there was an attempt to brand the Corbyn phenomenon as inherently racist based on the social media posts of a few mainly low-ranking party members, most of which were made prior to Corbyn’s tenure. The smears created during the leadership contest were more ambitious but less plausible as their subject was Corbyn himself. The Jewish Chronicle newspaper led the charge ... ."

        ←   ZScarpia   02:32, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

  • Option 1 per Hippeus, Dr. Swag Lord, and TrabiMechanic. GretLomborg (talk) 15:31, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 - Again, another poster-child for why these "should this source be banned forever for being baddy-bad-bad and saying nasty things about people I like" RFCs should never have been permitted in the first place. There are things that JVL probably isn't the most reliable source on (like, how good is their sports coverage?) but voting any other way on this RFC takes away editors' rights to decide how to use this source in general. IPSO reports taken in isolation aren't a good measure of reliability - you have to compare how many reports JVL received compared to sources regarded as reliable received. Simply having a position that is critical of the left and of Labour is not an indicator of unreliability, not unless the plan is to simply ban right-leaning sources from Wiki. Had this been linked to an actual content dispute (e.g., something specific in an article about Israel-Palestine?) it's very possible that I might vote differently, but the broad scope of this discussion leaves me with only one option. FOARP (talk) 12:08, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1, it's a major newspaper and the complaints are not so significant, the intro here also passes off a JVL complaint as having weight when IPSO rejected it. In hot-button issues on the UK far-left, if other sources have a different the attributing sources would be the wya forward.--Artemis Seeker (talk) 06:02, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Interesting that you recently removed the mentions of a number of complaints and rulings against the paper from its article.[8]kashmīrī TALK 08:45, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
  • It's a major newspaper. It is a newspaper, which puts it into one of the least reliable classes of source. Given its relatively tiny circulation and very narrow focus, I doubt that its justifiable to describe it as a 'major' newspaper. The UK's largest circulation newspaper is The Daily Mail, which, of course, is a deprecated source. In my opinion, at least in those subjects which encroach on its rather deep prejudices, the Chronicle shares many of the Mail's faults: sloppiness, disregard for fact, chauvinism, fairly extreme bias, sensationalism.     ←   ZScarpia   00:07, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Bad RfC. See top of this page: "Before posting, please be sure to include any of the following information that is available ..." -- as opposed to accusing it of "libel against the left", suggesting that failure to censor Melanie Phillips is a reason to censor it, etc. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 22:18, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 per buidhe.--SoaringLL (talk) 05:11, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 but as with all news sources, exercise caution, corroborate the material, attribute as necessary, and remember context matters. Atsme 💬 📧 00:22, 20 April 2021 (UTC)

Discussion (Jewish Chronicle)Edit

  • See The Jewish Chronicle --Guy Macon (talk) 16:16, 13 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Deprecation requires an RfC, which this discussion is not correctly formatted as. If intended to be an RfC, then the opening statement is a clear violation of the requirement to Include a brief, neutral statement of or question about the issue. Hemiauchenia (talk) 10:58, 13 March 2021 (UTC)
Hemiauchenia Apologies, and thanks for pointing out the mistake. I was not necessarily wanting to create a formal RfC, but I do support deprecation in that limited area. Reading the guidelines however, I'm not even sure it is possible to deprecate in a topic area. What is your suggestion of the best way to proceed from here? Boynamedsue (talk) 11:45, 13 March 2021 (UTC)
Reformat this into a general RfC about the reliability of the Jewish Chronicle, move your current opening statement to your vote and provide a new brief, neutral opening statement. Hemiauchenia (talk) 11:50, 13 March 2021 (UTC)
Reformatting into an RfC is not required. All Boynamedsue has to do is change "Option 4: Publishes false or fabricated information, and should be deprecated" to "Option 4: Publishes false or fabricated information, and should be deprecated (which would require a followup RfC).
If, for example, there is a strong consensus for option 1, an RfC implementing option 4 would be a waste of time. --Guy Macon (talk) 15:35, 13 March 2021 (UTC)
Thanks Guy Macon. Is it possible to deprecate a source on a topic-by-topic basis, or am I misusing the term "deprecate" here? Boynamedsue (talk) 15:46, 13 March 2021 (UTC)
It's possible to prescribe usage for specific topic areas. For example, Fox News is listed by consensus somewhere between Options 3 and 4 for "American politics" and "scientific" issues, ostensibly leaning toward three. But by default, Option 4 applies when there are more reliable sources. It's otherwise reliable in other topic areas. Symmachus Auxiliarus (talk) 15:58, 13 March 2021 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Take a look at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Perennial sources#Legend. In general, if a source is deprecated you can't use it for anything. For what you appear tpo be looking to do, a consensus of "Publishes false or fabricated information about Left-wing organisations and individuals and about Muslims and Islam" is all you need to stop it from being used as a source for those topics. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:16, 13 March 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for the info, I have changed the question to remove any use of the term "deprecate", Option 4 now has wording similar to that suggested by GM. Boynamedsue (talk) 16:32, 13 March 2021 (UTC)

I'm not sure we can use IPSO decisions uncritically. In one of the links provided above it's said that:

Now it's very easy to see that Interpal has been designated as such by the US [9], [10]. Alaexis¿question? 11:24, 14 March 2021 (UTC)

”In its apology, The Chronicle said: “We accept that neither Interpal, nor its trustees, have ever been involved with or provided support for terrorist activity of any kind”.
“We apologise unreservedly to the trustees for any distress caused and have agreed to pay them damages for libel.”
“The Chronicle also apologised for wrongly claiming that Interpal chairman of trustees Ibrahim Hewitt (pictured) held “extremist views” in the report”.
Burrobert (talk) 13:01, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
I read the article, I'm trying to understand what they wrote which turned out to be not true. English defamation law is rather special and the court rulings do not constitute the absolute truth. Alaexis¿question? 14:30, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
If you are publishing a story in Britain and state a legal organisation supports terrorism without evidence, you are not a reliable source. All 7 cases reveal an out and out disregard for fact-checking, they simply publish false information with an astounding regularity for such a slim volume. The motivation for this is ideological, the paper has a strong pro-Conservative, pro-Israel line. Boynamedsue (talk) 15:56, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
But in this case there IS evidence- Interpal has indeed been designated a terror-supporting organization in the US Kenosha Forever (talk) 16:25, 14 March 2021 (UTC) Clear case of not fact checking.Selfstudier (talk) 18:34, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
is it, or is it a case of insufficient checks by the UK Charity commission? Kenosha Forever (talk) 19:41, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
No, the US were asked for evidence and produced none.Selfstudier (talk) 19:55, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
that's not supported by the source you provided. And it is irrelevant, in any case. A news organization can rely on official designations by, e.g the US government, to claim that a charity is connected to terror. Kenosha Forever (talk) 20:19, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
From the source "In all three investigations, the Commission had asked for a legal or evidential basis for the designation but the U.S. government has declined to do so each time." Guess you missed it. And last time I checked the JC operates in the UK not in the US.Selfstudier (talk) 20:26, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
That is a claim , by the Charity Commission, not a fact, that evidence was not provided to it, not that evidence is not available. The US may gov't may feel it is not obligated to reposed to the Charity Commission, or it may have good reason for not divulging its sources. But you completely missed the point: if multiple governments have designated an organization as supporting terror, a news outlet can reasonably claim the same in its reporting, regardless of where it operate (UK vs US - a wholly irrelevant Red Herring) Kenosha Forever (talk) 20:55, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
I'll take their claim over your opinion if that's OK with you. The JC has also printed that Interpal has no terror connection, are they lying?Selfstudier (talk) 21:18, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
You're free to do as you wish, but your personal preferences have absolutely zero bearing on the reliability of a news organization referring to published designations by multiple government agencies. Kenosha Forever (talk) 21:23, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
They are trying to stay true to British libel law. Yet, it's RS to say there are ties to terrorism, the US includes the charity on its sanctions list. Sir Joseph (talk) 14:49, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
As far as the UK Charity Commission goes, note that from October 2012 to February 2018 (the Interpal case was concluded in September 2019), it was chaired by William Shawcross. As the article on Shawcross says, "in 2011 he joined the board of the Anglo-Israel Association and was appointed to the board of the Henry Jackson Society." The Henry Jackson Society, rightly or wrongly, is often seen as "a leading exponent of neoconservatism in the UK."[11] Shawross is now part of the consortium which owns The Jewish Chronicle.[12]     ←   ZScarpia   00:53, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment: if JVL told me it was raining, I'd stick out my hand to double-check. Given their track record of defending open anti-semitism (e.g. Ken Livingstone's holocaust denial, Jackie Walker's Farrakhan-esque conspiracy theories on the slave trade, etc), I'm very loath to take an RfC that relies on them seriously. Sceptre (talk) 12:42, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
So the 7 examples where IPSO found the JC to publish false information in 2 years don't count? Boynamedsue (talk) 14:22, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
Back to the crusade, I see. Didn't you say you are going to watch this tone, above? I repeat - It did not publish "8 false stories". It had 8 complaints upheld against it for inaccurate claims (e.g it claimed a left-wing person was expelled for his anti-Semitic views, when the available evidence did not clearly or explicitly show that) or failure to produce evidence for some of its claims, and it addressed them by publishing corrections. See the discussion below re: CNN and WaPo, which has very similar characteristics (inaccurate reporting, which some are calling "false"), corrections issued by outlets). Kenosha Forever (talk) 14:13, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
I would kindly ask you to keep it WP:CIVIL, I find the word "crusade" to be dismissive, inaccurate and offensive in view of its historical connotations. The JC published 7 stories which contained factual inaccuracies about living people, which was proven to the satisfaction of a press regulatory body. That means we should be careful about using it to source claims, especially on the subject about which it is most frequently inaccurate, the British left. The user I was responding to chose to ignore these inaccuracies, I asked them about it. You choose to believe these inaccuracies don't matter, given that this board is all about the accuracy of information provided by a source, I find your view hard to understand but pawb at y peth y bo.Boynamedsue (talk) 17:04, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
The press regulatory body is one that the JC, unlike other British papers, voluntarily participates in. It responded to complaints by publishing corrections, which is a point in its favor, no to its detriment. That is one of the criteria for evaluating reliable sources- "Signals that a news organization engages in fact-checking and has a reputation for accuracy are the publication of corrections ". Kenosha Forever (talk) 19:10, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
No other paper, not even deprecated papers like the Sun and Daily Mail that also participate in IPSO, has had 7 judgments affecting it relating to the same organisation in 3 years. This is a display of systematic bias which likely reaches into other articles that do not relate to specific individuals who might be defamed and make a complaint. The Daily Mail(!) has less judgments against it covering all topics in the same period than the JC has, despite running twice as many stories every day than the JC does weekly. And those papers that choose not to participate in IPSO do so because they consider it to be biased in favour of the newspapers, not because they want to avoid its scrutiny.Boynamedsue (talk) 20:37, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
If the JC had decided, like the Financial Times, The Independent and The Guardian, not to participate in IPSO, what would this RfC be based on? Nothing. You are taking the fact that an organization voluntarily agrees to be regulated, and then acts to correct issues identified by the regulatory body as evidence against its reliability. It is absurd. Kenosha Forever (talk) 20:49, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
The Guardian, Financial Times and Independent would argue that they regulate themselves to a higher level than IPSO. However, that is not really relevant to the matter at hand. Being a member of IPSO is not, of itself, enough to state a source is reliable, given some deprecated sources are members. However, a large number of decisions against a newspaper for false information, taken by a body which many believe to be too soft on false information, is strong evidence that false information is regularly published by said paper. This is especially noteworthy when, unlike all the other longer and often more frequently published papers, the JC systematically chooses one exceptionally specific group of people to defame. Boynamedsue (talk) 21:53, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
Regardless of what they would argue, the fact that The Guardian, Financial Times and Independent decided not to submit to IPSO's regulation makes any argument along the lines of "JC is worse than all the other longer and often more frequently published papers" (who are not members) meaningless. Membership in IPSO is not , in itself , evidence of reliability, but "Signals that a news organization engages in fact-checking and has a reputation for accuracy are the publication of corrections " - which is exactly what we have here. Kenosha Forever (talk) 22:37, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
You shouldn't put things I have not said in inverted commas, it is misrepresentation. If you have genuine doubts about the reliability of the Guardian et al, you should certainly start a section about them detailing your reasons. However, it is not possible to state that membership of IPSO establishes that "a news organization engages in fact-checking and has a reputation for accuracy". IPSO includes among its members no less than 7 deprecated publications, all of which publish corrections when IPSO mandates them. The JC doesn't reach their nadirs of quality, except in its recent coverage of the British Left and Muslims, which is why I have not asked for full deprecation. Boynamedsue (talk) 23:17, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
I don't see that this RfC is relying on JVL. It's one of several things that participants are considering, and afaict only two people seem to see it is as a significant aspect of the discussion (and one of them is you). Thryduulf (talk) 16:10, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
You wrote: "e.g. Ken Livingstone's holocaust denial, Jackie Walker's Farrakhan-esque conspiracy theories on the slave trade, etc" And which exactly were the sources from which you formed your views about those matters Sceptre?     ←   ZScarpia   01:38, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Note I have resotored this discussion from the archive as it would benefit from formal closure. I'll list it at WP:ANRFC shortly. Thryduulf (talk) 17:37, 26 March 2021 (UTC)

RFC Forbes AdvisorEdit

Restored from archive to close. Closure requested at WP:ANRFC (permalink). The consensus below considers this new type of source to be unreliable. P.I. Ellsworth  ed. put'r there 11:11, 19 April 2021 (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.

A new type of Forbes "Advisor" source that has been proposed to be used and is discussed here Talk:Ethereum#Vis-à-vis_Bitcoin. The source appears to be novel, in that it contains both a contributor and an editor, as well as an advertiser disclaimer (click the "Advertiser Disclosure" link at the top of the page):

The Forbes Advisor editorial team is independent and objective. To help support our reporting work, and to continue our ability to provide this content for free to our readers, we receive compensation from the companies that advertise on the Forbes Advisor site. This compensation comes from two main sources. First, we provide paid placements to advertisers to present their offers. The compensation we receive for those placements affects how and where advertisers’ offers appear on the site. This site does not include all companies or products available within the market. Second, we also include links to advertisers’ offers in some of our articles; these “affiliate links” may generate income for our site when you click on them. The compensation we receive from advertisers does not influence the recommendations or advice our editorial team provides in our articles or otherwise impact any of the editorial content on Forbes Advisor. While we work hard to provide accurate and up to date information that we think you will find relevant, Forbes Advisor does not and cannot guarantee that any information provided is complete and makes no representations or warranties in connection thereto, nor to the accuracy or applicability thereof. Here is a list of our partners who offer products that we have affiliate links for.

There is RSP on related issues at WP:FORBES and WP:FORBESCON.

QUESTION: RS on Cryptocurrency articles? Jtbobwaysf (talk) 09:06, 9 April 2021 (UTC)

Survey (Forbes Advisor)Edit

  • NON-RS Forbes' disclaimer says "we receive compensation from the companies that advertise on the Forbes Advisor site...we provide paid placements to advertisers to present their offers" This clearly says it is a paid contribution, and regardless if it has been edited by an 'unpaid' editor (noting the editors salary was still paid with the paid content). WP:QUACK QUACK QUACK Jtbobwaysf (talk) 09:06, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Caution due to potential paid writing. Check their list of disclosed advertisers. Not all their writing appears to be paid and I don't see how this particular instance was. Generally unreliable due to paid writing. I missed a few things here initially. --Chillabit (talk) 10:11, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Chillabit, the list is incomplete (Below is an example of advertisers who offer products that we have affiliate links for on Forbes Advisor). This specific article has a section entitled How to Buy Ethereum, and has direct links to crypto-exchanges. How is that not an ad? As I explained in my response, they just succeeded in fooling you to confuse it with a legitimate Forbes article. JBchrch (talk) 10:38, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Unreliable. Forbes, man, how low will they go? From what I could gather, Forbes Advisor publishes articles that present themselves as legitimate financial advice, but which incorporate some form of paid advertisements. It looks like it was specifically designed to blur the lines between journalistic content and advertising: most article are made up of both informative, factually correct content and ads. The problem is that it's impossible to know if what you are reading factually correct, Forbes-grade content or if you are reading the actual ad. Two examples illustrate this. What Is Ethereum And How Does It Work? was, I think, written to sell ads to crypto-exchanges such as Coinbase or Gemini: as such, it mixes correct and useful information about cryptos, with ads. Here, the ad part is obviously the section entitled How to Buy Ethereum combined with the "Featured Cryptocurrency Products" section. Same concept, more or less, with Who Needs A Business Checking Account?. Now look at Marcus By Goldman Sachs Review or American Express National Bank Review: this is pretty much all ad, masquerading as a "review" and pretty much indistinguishable from the more legit content. In my view, any outlet that fails to distinguish clearly and distinctly journalistic content and ads cannot be considered reliable. JBchrch (talk) 10:33, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliable I mentioned this on the Talk page but: I think this particular article[1] is a RS because it was written with editorial oversight per WP:FORBES. Specifically, a Forbes Editor is a co-author (Benjamin Curry).[2] After reviewing Forbes' disclosures, they made clear that they still remained editorial independent and objective. I don't even see where the advertisements are on the page, except for links to other articles with information on how to buy cryptocurrencies. Please note that I am the original editor who cited this article on the Ethereum page. Hocus00 (talk) 11:42, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
  • It depends, but edge on unreliable If the article is strictly only written by an Advisor (or as they are still being called Contributors), that's the same original problem with Forbes contributors. That said, it is clear there are staff positions within the "Forbes Advisor" section and articles written by them (eg [13]) and those should be taken as not having the Contributors stigma. Same with those with an Advisor Editor. That would apply to the article in question which has an editor as co-author. But all that said: the bulk of headlines that I see out of this-- I wouldn't call clickbaity but they are of the type intended to seed SEO and draw search results, and many have paper thin content. (eg [14]). Ad in JBchrch's comments that the site related to advertising facets, and I would definitely try to go elsewhere first for the same information. --Masem (t) 13:31, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Generally unreliable: When the publisher distances itself from the accuracy of its own articles, there is little room for a publication to develop reputation for fact-checking and accuracy (WP:REPUTABLE): Forbes Advisor does not and cannot guarantee that any information provided is complete and makes no representations or warranties in connection thereto, nor to the accuracy or applicability thereof. If I have misunderstood what could be legalspeak instead of an editorial disclaimer, there is still the issue of unclear delineation between paid advertising content among its articles as already noted in this discussion. The end result here should be very similar to WP:FORBESCON, with only slightly more (albeit still inconsistent and nontransparent) editorial oversight and therefore marginally more reliability. — MarkH21talk 13:50, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Generally unreliable. It's advertorial, with the ads mixed in unmarked with the factual content - even if it's written with a staff member. We can't trust advertorial for Wikipedia. The publication is explicitly distancing itself from these articles; we have no reason to take them seriously as sources. File with the contributor blogs - David Gerard (talk) 13:07, 10 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 2/3 I agree with Masem. I'd compare "Forbes Advisor" to Dotdash (RSP entry), as Forbes Advisor seems to primarily consist of SEO-driven reference-type (i.e. tertiary source) articles. feminist (talk) 11:37, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Generally unreliable since it's difficult to tell paid adverts from anything else. Barca (talk) 15:03, 13 April 2021 (UTC)

Discussion (Forbes Advisor)Edit

  • The disclaimer clearly says "we receive compensation from the companies that advertise on the Forbes Advisor site...we provide paid placements to advertisers to present their offers" This means that someone/something may (probably) have paid for Forbes to write this, and then Forbes will include it. It will lead to the promotion of all kinds of non-notable cryptocurrencies and other investment schemes, regardless if an editor has reviewed the placement's grammar. Specifically, in this case, Hocus00 is using the source to WP:PUFF a comparison of Ethereum to Bitcoin and tomorrow we will have comparisons of Litecoin to Dogecoin, etc. In the past, we have clamped down on these promotion issues with WP:GS/Crypto as well as an informal ban on all crytpocurrency-zine sources, blogs, WP:UGC, etc. This appears a novel attempt to skirt that ban that could also lead to the inclusion of non-notable products and services as notable on WP. It is possible that Forbes recognizes that should this pass it might accomplish an end-run around our currently in place notability filters. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 09:06, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
Please stop suggesting that my edit was made to "skirt" the crypto restrictions or puff the Ethereum article. The article appears to comply with WP:FORBES as an Editor was a co-author. If this new type of article is deemed to be unreliable, then so be it. As mentioned on the Ethereum Talk page article, you bullying editors into deleting their edits, posting frivolous Talk page warnings and made-up Wiki policy violations is completely inappropriate. Hocus00 (talk) 12:11, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
I was referring to Forbes deploying a novel tactic to get contributor content included in wikipedia again. Paid placements by new tokens seeking WP notability could generate good 'advertisement' revenue for forbes... Jtbobwaysf (talk) 15:47, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
  • They seem to disclose a list of advertisers here. I don't see anything directly cryptocurrency related. That disclaimer link appears to show on all their articles in this section of the site, regardless of topic matter — see here, for example. Have I missed something? --Chillabit (talk) 10:11, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
Advertisers list says "Below is an example of advertisers", it doesnt say it is a complete list of advertisers. However, it seems clear here that the main issue is paid placements, which undermines our attempts at determining WP:DUE. Normally paid placements are advertorials and we dont use them. Right? Jtbobwaysf (talk) 10:26, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
I did miss a couple things here actually including the "an example of" on that page, thank you. If they had a full list of advertisers specifically disclosed we could probably parse whether individual articles are usable decently well and I would apply a 'caution' label. Doesn't seem to be the case. --Chillabit (talk) 11:01, 9 April 2021 (UTC)


  1. ^ Rodeck, David (26 March 2021). "What Is Ethereum And How Does It Work?". Forbes Advisor.
  2. ^ "Benjamin Curry". Forbes Advisor.
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. A great source dressed up like a bad one?Edit

On List of power stations in Scotland I noticed a bunch of links to and the website name got my attention. It goes to the Gazetteer for Scotland's website which is rather old-school and very yellow, and contains some entries that appear almost user-generated in feel.

However, closer examination reveals it to be an academic work by what seem like appropriate leading experts. An FAQ page reveals "specialist authors" are employed (presumably on a voluntary/unpaid basis) to write the articles, that they "try to use multiple sources to substantiate facts", and use impressive primary sources combined with professional experience. It also reveals the two lead academics hold joint editorial control. The editorial team are also all identified.

So on the whole it seems like it may in fact be an excellent source. I can think of many uses for citing pesky details on all sorts of things. But it all hinges on if I'm right that the authors and their results are actually reliable, and if I'm right to conclude it's not self-published. Am I? (talk) 23:56, 9 April 2021 (UTC)

  • Does nobody have an opinion? That's... Not very reassuring. (talk) 17:33, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
Idk about this at all but one test is to search in books and see if obvious RS make use of the source and it seems they do Selfstudier (talk) 17:46, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
Thanks, it helps just to know I'm not talking utter nonsense. (talk) 00:05, 13 April 2021 (UTC)

Results of research: mentioned a lot but no real resultsEdit

Inspired by poking around here and the perennial sources list, I went off on a very deep (at least to me!) scour to see what I could find by way of other assessments by Wikipedians:

I have made some minor corrections to my links. All that typing and I never bothered to preview, wow. That's the result of nearly an hour of searching, searching, searching by me. Maybe I'm doing it wrong but it seems to me like there's no clear sense for or against reliability. It's used a lot, but mostly by the same handful of editors. Some concerns have been noted, but other editors seem to see it as excellent. What a mess. (talk) 13:27, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

  • I've used that source occasionally in articles. The fact that it's maintained by Edinburgh Uni and the RSGS gives it some sort of academic credibility in my view, although I confess that I don't really know who the contributors are, or how much editorial input the academics who set it up are able to exert. I wouldn't use it to support any kind of contentious assertion, or to back up a claim of notability, but I wouldn't raise my eyebrows very high if I saw it being used to flesh out an article on a building or a river. GirthSummit (blether) 13:36, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
That seems to accord with my own rough view from reading all that plus my own initial look: Great source for fiddly details, but use carefully; too broad in scope for notability arguments and not great for anything controversial. Thanks. (talk) 14:00, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
  • No comment on the issue of the source itself (personally, it seems good to me, but what do I know?) but would like to tell our unregistered friend that this is a quite good job of investigating the usage of a source. You love to see it! jp×g 17:30, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
  • @JPxG: Apologies, thought I'd replied ages ago. Thank you very much! Posting here's been a big learning experience because checking back has sent me down rabbit holes, I'm considering signing up and doing some work checking sourcing for things. I feel a lot more confident about it all now. (talk) 21:46, 21 April 2021 (UTC)

Brian Dunning (Skeptoid Media): Reliability as a sourceEdit

Brian Dunning, “science writer and author, and also the Executive Director of Skeptoid Media”[1] has been used as an ostensibly reliable source[2] to support a claim made in the WP Grey alien article.[3] I submit however that Brian Dunning should not be considered a reliable source for the following reasons:

Brian Dunning plead guilty to and was convicted of felony wire fraud (2014), scamming eBay out of an estimated $5 million dollars.[4][5] With his Skeptoid podcast, Dunning purported to defend the wider public from fraud even while committing fraud himself[6] – indeed, according to many commentators, including blackmailing a co-conspirator[7] and defrauding his own Skeptoid supporters in the same scam.[8] A further indication of Dunning’s character and reliability has been highlighted, also from within his own constituency: “I did not think it was right to gloat when the cultural opposition falters or ceases to be an issue as when Sylvia Browne died. I do not think it proper, or rational to gloat when a skeptic has faltered either.”[9]

I would like thank the community and ask for a consideration of this matter. Tesldact Smih (talk) 05:11, 11 April 2021 (UTC)

Tesldact Smih, Dunning is a respected expert on this topic. His issues with eBay are not as simple as appears on the surface: he was basically stitched up, but acknowledged that he should have realised that what he was doing was impermissible. That's not relevant to his expertise on the subject of ufology folklore. Guy (help! - typo?) 15:23, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
@JzG: what are your sources for these claims? - Scarpy (talk) 19:08, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Scarpy, I think it's all; covered at Brian Dunning (author). I should note that I first knew him as a FileMaker Pro guru, I listened to Skeptoid for about a year but stopped after his conviction because I was uncomfortable with the lack of judgment it implied. Guy (help! - typo?) 19:29, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Guy, I have to agree with Scarpy. What are the sources you rely upon for that assessment? If it is Dunning’s explanation (then talk to the guilty and and they will always plead their innocence to you), please see A Critical Analysis of Brian Dunning’s Explanation[10]
And Dunning is certainly not a reliable source, his DDT fail is a perfect example.[11][12][13]
Nor is he particularly respected by his own supporters, who tend toward outrage. “The outrage, however, comes from knowing that I enjoyed Skeptoid enough to do the $4/month donation for several months, finally caving to Dunning’s frequent postscript pleas for money. The donation requests were interesting, since Skeptoid once billed itself as “the only podcast that does not accept donations or sponsors,”[14]
And a duplicitous hypocrite… In an interview with Alex Tsarkis, after Tsarkis has questioned Dunning about why he will not debate his opponents, Dunning argues the principle that it is easy to throw out false or misleading “one-liners”, but to prove them false often takes a great deal of time and effort.
“They’re [whoever Dunning’s opponent of the moment is] not limited to anything. They can say whatever the heck they want. They can throw that stuff out way faster and make it up way quicker than I could ever keep up with or respond to. I’ve found that many debates go that way. I attend a debate sometimes. I watch them.”
However, a few minutes later, after Dunning has engaged in the precise practice that he has just berated his opponents for, Alex Tsakiris politely notes Dunning’s hypocrisy: “You are fulfilling [laughs], you are fulfilling your prophesy about debate. You just laid out about ten points there that would have to be deconstructed and handled one at a time.
A few minutes later, Alex Tsakiris notes Dunning’s habit of lying by omission: “So you just mentioned Scargle’s commentary. Why don’t you mention Nelson’s response to it, published in the Journal for Scientific Exploration, a peer-review journal that he wrote a response to that? Or, the additional papers that have been published since then as a response to it? We have two folks debating here. Don’t we want to hear both sides of the debate?
Brian Dunning: Certainly. I don’t have that in front of me. I can’t read that for you right now.
Alex Tsakiris: I think it’s also an interesting context that do you remember where Scargle’s criticism, where that’s published? It’s published in the same Journal for Scientific Exploration that Nelson and Raden published their articles…”[15]
Dunning is implacably biased…and the problem with Dunnings wilful ignorance of (potentially) falsifying evidence is that one must forever after be fact-checking whatever the man says. Demonstrably the man cannot be relied upon to provide an honest appraisal of whatever he is talking about.
Oh, and Guy, just because you know someone as a "guru" in one field (Filemaker), does not make them an expert in ufology, nor in FileMaker apparently... Dunnings self-proclaimed qualifications as revealed in his FBI interview prior to his charging and conviction (Dunning plead Guilty btw ETA: ...and he went to prison):
”Summary from FBI record of interview 19 June 2007 which records Dunning's statements: / 1. He has had very little formal education. / 2. He does not have a college degree. (He quit college.) / 3. He attended classes at BYU, UCLA, and UC Irvine. / 4. He is not an experienced administrator. 5. He depended on employees at Rackspace to do most of his technical server work. / 6. He does not have any formal training in computer science or any related technical field. 7. His [claimed] expertise in Filemaker Pro is self-learned.”[16]Tesldact Smih (talk) 22:48, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Tesldact Smih, see also poisoning the well. This has nothing to do with his reputation as an investigator of claimed paranormal phenomena. Guy (help! - typo?) 20:49, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

Comment. For anyone interested, context for this section of RSN is available here, here, here, and here. JoJo Anthrax (talk) 23:23, 12 April 2021 (UTC) Comment. Sorry JoJo Anthrax, you forgot to indicate the primary context, that is here in relation to here.Tesldact Smih (talk) 01:43, 13 April 2021 (UTC)

Guy, you made the claim that Dunning was some sort of "guru" - I was merely pointing to some pertinent facts to indicate Dunning might not be a "guru" after all. Those facts were directly relevant to the point you raised.Tesldact Smih (talk) 01:50, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
Tesldact Smih, I get it, you hate what Dunning says and are looking for a reason not to include it. My comment stands: he is a well known and respected figure within the skeptical community, and this is in his wheelhouse. Guy (help! - typo?) 09:06, 13 April 2021 (UTC)

Sorry Guy, you are an unreliable judge. That is, your opinions are biased - you termed Dunning a “guru”. Clearly, he is not a “guru” in anything.

You also claimed Dunning was “stitched up” – when he actually plead guilty, was convicted and was sent to prison. He also had a co-conspirator who he tried to blackmail - and who was also convicted and got an even lengthier sentence. That bias of yours, alone, disqualifies you from any input into a decision in this matter, let alone the following considerations.

And where are your sources for that claim? You don’t seem to grasp WP guidelines. If you want to make claims such as "stitched up, “this is his wheelhouse”, etc., you need to provide reliable sources for you claims. All claims require evidence, and unless you can supply that evidence, we are entitled to dismiss your claims as unfounded.

You also stated Dunning “is a respected figure within the skeptical community” However, my sources cited above come from within the skeptical community and they seem to be somewhat outraged, as they should be, as every thinking skeptic should be (you should see what some of the skeptical forums have to say about him - would you like me to supply more sources in that direction?). Yet you seem to laud the man, a convicted felon, convicted for fraud (!) no less, perpetrated on his own followers as well as eBay, as some kind of hero.

Further, with your poisoning of the well statement “you hate what Dunning says,” means you do not “get it" at all. You totally misjudge my character and purpose - go to at my talk page for example or read my comments on the Grey alien article in question, or the the article I constructed in my sandbox… (have you done any of those things btw?) ...besides, you have presented no evidence for that claim, which is in fact the commission of the fallacy of ad hominem. All claims require evidence. If you cannot support your claims with evidence, then we are entitled to dismiss them as unfounded.

So on those grounds I do not accept your ”my comment stands". Tesldact Smih (talk) 22:27, 14 April 2021 (UTC)

  • What we can say, for sure, is that Dunning's fraud conviction is totally irrelevant to whether he's a subject matter expert, as it would be for any other person. If, to take a random example, Klaus von Klitzing was to be found guilty of fraud tomorrow, would it make him no longer an expert in quantum physics? Of course it wouldn't, that would be silly. The only thing that decides whether Dunning is reliable or not is whether he is described as such in reliable sources. Black Kite (talk) 22:53, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
A counter example: Jan Schön Schön scandal was considered to be a shining star of condensed matter physics. He was later found to have faked his work and is now not considered to be an expert on anything. Xxanthippe (talk) 02:45, 16 April 2021 (UTC).
With all due respect, this strikes me not so much as a counter example and more of a non sequitur. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 03:11, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
It is a real counter example to a fictional speculation. Xxanthippe (talk) 05:16, 16 April 2021 (UTC).
The Dunning question is: if someone did something wrong in one area, can they still be a reliable source in another area?
You gave an example of: if someone did something wrong in one area, can they still be a reliable source in that same area?
Totally different questions. That is why it is non sequitur. --Hob Gadling (talk) 08:46, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Dunning was committing fraud while claiming to protect people from fraud. Xxanthippe has presented a valid counter-example. Tesldact Smih (talk) 10:31, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
Xxanthippe, that isn't a counter argument at all. Schon isn't reliable in that area because he faked his work in that area. What is being claimed here is that Dunning isn't reliable in the field of skepticism because he was convicted of wire fraud. Black Kite (talk) 09:49, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
Notified: Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard. — Newslinger talk 22:44, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
If a person has cheated in one thing they have lost their credibility and cannot be considered to be reliable for anything else. Xxanthippe (talk) 12:01, 17 April 2021 (UTC).
  • Comment. It is clear that Skeptoid or Dunning cannot be considered to be reliable sources for Wikipedia.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Xxanthippe (talkcontribs) 00:20, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I agree that eBay fraud has nothing to do with source reliability. For the earlier episodes/material of Skeptoid, I think we'd have to abide by the rules for self-published sources because it's not clear what oversight Dunning had in his research and his main academic qualification is in engineering. On the pro side, Skeptoid 1. now has a board of directors, presumably meaning its information is not sourced to one person's judgment, 2. and Dunning's work has been syndicated/republished and covered by reliable news sources.[17]Wingedserif (talk) 00:43, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
    • Wingedserif, just to clarify, Dunning doesn't have any academic qualifications. - Bilby (talk) 01:34, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
      • Nor does Skeptoid lauding Skeptoid count as a reliable news source. Tesldact Smih (talk) 10:40, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
        • Having a board of directors and being syndicated by news sites are surely not exceptional claims. Per WP:ABOUTSELF, it's fine. —Wingedserif (talk) 13:38, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
  • On Wikipedia, especially for fringe topics, WP:PARITY matters. Dunning is notable for reality-based criticism and can generally be used as such. WP:ATTRIBUTE as necessary if controversial. —PaleoNeonate – 00:57, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
      • You will of course have reliable sources available for "Dunning is notable for reality-based criticism"? All claims require evidence. If you cannot support your claims with evidence, then we are entitled to dismiss them as unfounded. Thank you. Tesldact Smih (talk) 10:40, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliable per Guy, Black Kite, and PaleoNeonate. Attribution as necessary. JoJo Anthrax (talk) 02:32, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

Point of order: Again and again in the discussion above I am seeing the word "convicted". See our article on Conviction. The correct term is "pled guilty as part of a plea bargain", See our article on Plea bargain. The reason this makes a difference is that there are two common cases where what someone agrees to in a plea bargain is radically different from what the result would have been in a fair trial.

  1. Case one: The jury would have almost certainly convicted on charge A but to save court time and costs and to avoid the possibility of acquittal the prosecutor offers a plea deal for lesser charge B. This may also happen if the defendant has information the police wants or is willing to pay back money that would otherwise be safe in an offshore account. Low level drug dealers often get a far lesser charge, zero time and no fine if they cooperate in bringing down the big fish.
  2. Case two: The jury would have almost certainly not convicted on charge A but the prosecutor offers a plea deal where the accused gets a far lesser punishment. Imagine if you were accused of crime A which you didn't commit. You are given a chance to go to trial and serve 40 years if convicted, or plead to a lesser charge and get six months probation. Your lawyer says that you will probably win in court but that you are rolling the dice with a jury. Also, whichever way it goes you will lose your life savings in legal fees and spend months on the front page. Remember, in this imaginary scenario you are 100% innocent. Are you sure you would take a chance on the 40 year deal?

For these reasons we should always specify whether someone accepted a plea deal or was convicted in a trial. It is an important distinction.--Guy Macon (talk) 03:13, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure this is actually relevant to the disucssion, but pleading guilty does not mean you are not then convicted. When you enter a plea of guilty a judgment is entered without a trial, but you are still convicted of the charge you plead guilty to. - Bilby (talk) 04:04, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
  • That isn't correct. A guilty plea is often followed by a conviction but not always. For example, it may be followed by adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, which may be followed by dismissal after adjournment in contemplation of dismissal. This happens when a decision is made to put off the convict/dismiss decision for a certain amount of time and if you keep out of trouble during that time, complete drug rehabilitation, or some other condition, your case is dismissed. Always check to see if there was an actual convicyion instead of assuming that there is one besed upon a guilty plea, Even if there is a conviction after the guilty plea it is important to distinguish a conviction by plea bargain from a conviction by trial. --Guy Macon (talk) 06:44, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
  • All interesting, but in this case it was followed by a conviction and 15 months imprisionment. Thus saying he was convicted of fraud is accurate. You can, if you wish, say that he was convicted after pleading guilty, but both the statement "he was convicted of fraud" and "he entered into a plea bargin" are true. - Bilby (talk) 07:04, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Not to lengthen a digression, but I have to side with Bilby here. It is quite correct that dispositions other than conviction are possible after a plea, but where the disposition includes conviction it seems appropriate to couch it in those terms. Cheers. 12:51, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliable with attribution. Imagine that we were using OJ Simpson as a reliable source on something football-related, Bill Cosby on something comedy-related, or Harvey Weinstein on something movie-related. Would they become any less expert because they committed crimes unrelated to their fields of expertise? Brian Dunning is a well respected as a skeptic, even by people who say that they now have no respect for him as a person. --Guy Macon (talk) 04:02, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I'm finding this a bit difficult to answer. Is he reliable in regard to any fringe topic? No - that's far too broad. Is he reliable in terms of the history of UFOs? That depends on what expertise he has in the field, but given that I'm not aware of academic qualifications needed to be a UFOlogist, I'm leaning towards saying he is as qualified as anyone else can claim to be. Is Skeptoid reliable? It's a podcast, and seems to be (like many podcasts) self published, so it isn't reliable for BLPs, and has made at least one significant error in the past, so I'd be wary of using it in general. - Bilby (talk) 04:17, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliable. There is no connection between the conviction and the texts used as sources. If you want him to be classified as unreliable, you will have to find a much better reason. --Hob Gadling (talk) 08:46, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliable with attribution To be honest, I am not a big fan of the man personally, but Skeptoid has been cited and seems well-known. I don't know that it has been cited enough for general blanket reliability, however. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 12:49, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
    Dumuzid, yes, that's exactly my point. Dunning does have a reputation for putting the effort in, he cites his sources, and his show is not sensationalist. It's not SGU, but it doesn't need to be. Guy (help! - typo?) 10:47, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliable with attribution. Here is the sentence that we are being asked to determine if Dunning is a reliable source for: According to science writer and skeptic Brian Dunning, the Hill's alleged abduction introduced the gray alien into popular culture, although popular use of the term "greys" would follow years later. Dunning continues to be quoted by news and media as a scientific skeptic and subject matter expert: [15], [16], [17], so yes, he's a WP:RS for what he's being used for. As Guy Macon said, someone doesn't become any less of an expert because of a crime unrelated to their field [18]. - LuckyLouie (talk) 13:00, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment: I am sorry, but I cannot sit idly by while complete and utter fabrications in Dunning’s defence are promulgated.
Dunning directly admitted he was guilty on numerous public occasions and in official FBI interviews. For example: [18] and ”Dunning pleaded guilty on April 15, 2013, to a Superseding Information charging him with wire fraud. In pleading guilty, Dunning admitted that, between approximately May 2006 and June 2007, he engaged in a scheme to defraud eBay through so-called “cookie stuffing.” According to the plea agreement, commissions paid to Dunning’s company, Kessler’s Flying Circus (KFC), which Dunning owned jointly with his brother, totaled approximately $5.2 million during that period from eBay’s domestic Affiliate Program. The parties stipulated for sentence purposes that between $200,000 and $400,000 of those commissions were the result of the fraudulent scheme.”[19]
A critical analysis of Dunning’s statement in his own defence can be found here.[20][21]
And if you are still in any doubt about whose version of events to believe, the court documents are available. For example (a selection):[22][23][24][25]
…and if you are still in any doubt as to Dunning’s or Skeptoid’s character and reliability, please see [26][27][28][29]
Other references you may find useful: [30][31][32][33][34]
Hopefully by injecting some facts into the debate, we can forestall all misleading speculative opinion about Dunning and Skeptiod that is being promulgated above. Facts matter. Opinion not supported by reliable references may be dismissed as unfounded (and the old excuse that "Oh, we all knew him as a good guy, the life of the party, a pillar of the community, a stalwart for the cause... was said also about many wife beaters and serial killers ...the neighbors and colleagues are always surprised and many go into denial - a pattern I see repeated above. However, it is not a valid argument on which to base a judgement in any case, let alone this one.
The man is a convicted fraudster who has admitted his guilt. One cannot claim to be fighting fraud on behalf of the public while committing fraud at the same time and expect to be taken seriously as a credible source of information. On all the evidence above the man is utterly unreliable. Thank you. Tesldact Smih (talk) 05:44, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
Nice to hear from an obviously neutral and dispassionate observer who clearly has no emotional stake in the matter. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 05:47, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Sorry, just need to add this then I'll shut up again.
Let’s take a closer look at LuckyLouie's referenced links. Dunning says Nostrodamus was unreliable. That is what makes him a reliable source? My 10 yr old could have told you that about Nostrodamus, but I wouldn’t trust him with scientific skepticism. Dunning says the best explanation for the “WOW!” signal is a radio signal from the direction of Saggitarius? That is mere unsupported speculation. But notice something? The WOW! signal was a radio signal and it did come from a particular direction …so in essence Dunning has said nothing at all. Is it that that makes him a reliable source? And Dunning says the US Navy Videos are an optical illusion? So, let me get this straight, all the people involved, including the pilots and the technicians and scientific support staff – that is, the technical expertise, might and resources of the US Navy, could not work out what the objects were, but Dunning breezes in and claims they were an optical illusions? “Oh,” the Navy says, slapping their collective palms to a forehead, “why didn’t we think of that! This Dunning guy must be an absolute genius!” Perhaps Dunning should speak to the pilots and witnesses who were actually involved?[35][36] Given everyone actually involved is at odds with Dunning, your reference in this regard shows Dunning to be completely unreliable. He speculates an entirely implausible explanation that flies in the face of all the evidence and is not supported by any evidence itself. Just because Dunning claims something, does not make his claim valid. All claims require evidence. Dunning rarely supplies evidence for any of his wild speculations. Is it that that makes him reliable?
And then, what is this? Dunning said about his prison sentence ,“…he likened to life in a college dorm”. Soooo obviously no regrets then …and privileged much? Poor him. And ” Dunning recommends “getting in front” of the story and being completely open about one’s criminal record.”. Oh please, he has obfuscated and has been utterly disingenuous and self-serving about it.[37][38]
Please. Can we just stick to the facts and apply some critical thought. There is nothing in what Lucky Louie linked to that might indicate Dunning as a reliable source – in fact, quite the opposite.
ETA: Sorry to Guy Macon, but Dunning committed fraud. And that is directly related to his alleged field of expertise. Moreover, if you claim Dunning is well respected, then you will be able to produce the reliable sources that say so. And precisely who are the people who have no respect for Dunning as a person, yet maintain respect for him as a skeptic? This is Wikipedia. I have been lead to believe (in no uncertain terms) that WP requires that all claims are verifiable by reliable sources. What is good for the goose must also be good for the gander, surely? Thank you in advance. Tesldact Smih (talk) 06:40, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
Bullshit. Dunning committed fraud but it is only "directly related to his alleged field of expertise" in your fevered imagination. Why don't you tell us what your real problem is with Brian Dunning. I will be gobsmacked if it doesn't turn out that you strongly believe something that Brian Dunning says isn't true. Could this possible be related? --Guy Macon (talk) 10:33, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
Language, young man. Oh, and apologies for my “fevered imagination”… Dunning was committing fraud while claiming to protect people from fraud. What sort of character does that make him in your eyes? Reliable?
ETA: And yes indeed, my essay, as you so helpfully reference here has quite a lot to do with it actually. Why, is there anything about it that is factually incorrect or unreliably sourced? Tesldact Smih (talk) 10:48, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
Dunning does not claim to protect people from fraud. here is someone who actually protects people from fraud. You miss the point of my referring to your sandbox; even if it is 100% accurate and Dunning is completely wrong I think that your real problem with Dunning is that he disagrees with you, and I think your outrage against cookie stuffing is feigned. I may be wrong -- I can't read your mind -- but it would be very unusual for anyone who isn't involved in affiliate marketing to get so upset about something that only affects affiliate marketers. But aside from all that, cookie stuffing has zero to do with Quackery, Popular cultural misconceptions, Urban legends, or Religion and mythology. --Guy Macon (talk) 13:40, 17 April 2021 (UTC)

Oh I don't believe this. I just noticed ...LuckyLouie is lying by ommission. It is actually this statement that Dunning is being relied on to support.

"In 1965, newspaper reports of the Betty and Barney Hill abduction made the archetype famous. The alleged abductees, Betty and Barney Hill, claimed that in 1961, alien beings had abducted them and taken them to a flying saucer. Under hypnosis, Betty Hill produced a "star map" which she claimed located the home planet of her abductors in the Zeta Reticuli star system (allegedly the third planet of one of the stars of the Zeta Reticuli binary system). Betty thereafter began to refer to them as Zeta Reticulans. According to science writer and skeptic Brian Dunning, the Hill's alleged abduction introduced the gray alien into popular culture, although popular use of the term "greys" would follow years later."

I really don't appreciate such tactics and I don't believe Wikipedia should tolerate them either. Particularly in that I trusted Lucky Louie to at least be fair minded. I am sorry this debate seems to have taken such a negative turn, but that is not my doing. Tesldact Smih (talk) 09:32, 17 April 2021 (UTC)

convenience breakEdit

Comment. Yesterday I added two mainstream sources here, including The New York Times, to the intro of the Grey alien article that also support the accuracy of the line that uses Dunning as a source. In this instance, then, Dunning was a reliable source. What he said was true and had already been reported years earlier in The New York Times. 5Q5| 12:20, 17 April 2021 (UTC)

Request for closure and consideration of block. In this thread User:Tesldact Smih has engaged in WP:BLUDGEON, has cast WP:ASPERSIONS against editors acting in good faith here (complete and utter fabrications in Dunning’s defence are promulgated and misleading speculative opinion about Dunning and Skeptiod [...] is being promulgated above), and worst of all has twice made egregious personal attacks against a specific editor here (LuckyLouie is lying and I trusted Lucky Louie to at least be fair minded). The target of those personal attacks, I must point out, has earlier bent over backwards to help Tesldact Smih (e.g., here and here, to identify only two examples). Enough is enough, and the consensus is clear. I request that an administrator close this thread and consider blocking User:Tesldact Smih now, before things get even worse. JoJo Anthrax (talk) 16:47, 17 April 2021 (UTC)

  • Support closure, Oppose block, for two reasons. First, this is the wrong noticeboard to have such a discussion. Second, the user has not received sufficient warning. Tesldact Smih, please consider placing Template:Uw-npa3 on the user's talk page and if the problem continues after that, post a report with diffs of the warning and post-warning behavior at WP:ANI. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:15, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
Thanks Guy Macon. I will take those steps immediately. JoJo Anthrax (talk) 17:31, 17 April 2021 (UTC)

5Q5, I decided to remove the text I originally wrote here. It was somewhat intemperate of me and inaccurate. What I should have stated was that it was false to assert that those references supported Dunning. A subtle difference to be sure, but I do not want to be accused of making false accusations. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

JoJo Anthrax, you just stated that I accused Lucky Louie of “lying.” I actually stated that Lucky Louie was “lying by omission” – which he was. So even when the text is right in front of everyone’s eyes, for all to see you cannot prevent yourself from committing a lie of omission. IMHO that indicates a zeal to achieve a certain negative outcome for me rather than a passion for doing something to improve an existing WP article that does not conform to WP guidelines.

And yes, I have been conversing with Lucky Louie and many times he has pointed out how and where I fall foul of WP guidelines (whether his intent was to be helpful or not comes down to a value judgement), but I always responded to him in good humour and I believed we had developed a relationship of respect, wherein, even though it was clear that we were on opposing sides of the debate, that at least we would treat each other in a fair minded way. Lucky Louie was also the one who suggested I come to this forum to get Dunning considered an unreliable source. That is what made it so galling for me to see his comments – it was a betrayal of trust.

Perhaps though, we might all take a deep breath, cool our heads, and return to the actual substance of the debate? Ignoring and kicking up a vexatious fuss to distract from the substance of the debate will not make it go away. There is a legitimate debate to be had here. Can we please return to it? Thank you in advance. Tesldact Smih (talk) 21:19, 17 April 2021 (UTC)

Accusing someone of "lying by omission" is, by definition, accusing them of lying. You could say "left out crucial context" or "didn't mention" if you wanted to make the same point without calling someone a liar. I would advise that you consider that sort of rhetoric. What you have said here just sounds like doubling down, which is rarely helpful. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 21:46, 17 April 2021 (UTC)

Yes thank you Dumuzid, you are correct and WP is doing my head in. Ha.

Actually, I support Guy Macon and closure. (...and forgive me Dumuzid, one last "double down")

It is increasingly clear that one cannot use reason to dispel false beliefs that have not been arrived at by reason. Such a situation, where evidence and logic conflicts with fundamentalist beliefs, is a no-win situation for any scientist who is guided by logic and evidence. The outcome can only be negative for me - and I cannot see how that will improve by keeping this debate open any longer.

So let’s close this debate. Let WP keep the convicted fraudster as a reliable source, it hurts WP more than it does me (shrugs). Nevertheless, I admit I have made some mistakes in this debate that will not be repeated and I have learned some valuable lessons that I can carry forward. I can assure you, an exercise such as this unwise little venture will not be repeated in the future without a much deeper consideration. Thank you.

ETA: Ughh… even that sentiment is misguided. What hurts WP, by extension and association, hurts me as a WP editor. Which then makes it even more galling… ha. Ah well, lessons learned. Tesldact Smih (talk) 22:16, 17 April 2021 (UTC)

In my experience, request to close a discussion work best if the person making the request immediately ceases commenting in the discussion. I know it is tempting to get in one last word, but doing so sends the message "I don't really believe that this topic should be closed." No need to respond to this comment. You can reach me on my talk page if needed. --Guy Macon (talk) 00:44, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
Now at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Tesldact Smih: Battleground behavior, aspersions, personal attacks, and more. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:03, 20 April 2021 (UTC)

References (Skeptoid)Edit


  1. ^ Dunning, B. (2021) Author Bio: Brian Dunning. Retrieved from, 11 April 2021.
  2. ^ “Dunning, Brian. "Betty and Barney Hill: The Original UFO Abduction A critical look at the original UFO abduction story, that so many people take for granted". Skeptoid Media, Inc. Retrieved 5 March 2021.”
  3. ^, In popular culture, History, paragraph 3, Reference #4
  4. ^ Edwards, J. (2013) How eBay Worked With The FBI To Put Its Top Affiliate Marketers In Prison. Business Insider Australia. Retrieved from, 11 April 2021.
  5. ^ Mehta, H. (2014) Brian Dunning, Host of Skeptoid Podcast, Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison for Scamming eBay. Friendly Atheist. Retrieved from, 08 April 2021.
  6. ^ Watson, R. (2014) The Worst Thing Brian Dunning Has Done for Skepticism. Skepchick. Retrieved from, 08 April 2021.
  7. ^ Thibeault, J. (2014) The sophistry and revisionist history in Skeptoid Brian Dunning's statement. The Orbit. Retrieved from, 11 April 2021.
  8. ^ Thompson, G. D. (2017) Skepticism About Skeptics. Retrieved from, 08 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Nigel St. Whitehall", H. (2014) Recent thoughts on Mr. Brian Dunning. The Skeptical Review. Retrieved from, 11 April 2021.
  10. ^ Watson, R. (2014) A Critical Analysis of Brian Dunning’s Explanation. skepchik. Retrieved from, 12 April 2012.
  11. ^ tlambert (2010) Skeptoid fact check part 1. ScienceBlog. Retrieved from, 12 April 2021.
  12. ^ Pearson, G. (2010) Brian Dunning’s DDT Fail. Bug Gwen. Retrieved from, 12 April 2012.
  13. ^ Watson, R. (2010). Brian Dunning’s DDT Fail. Skepchick. Retrieved from, 12 April, 2021.
  14. ^ Dubito Ergo Sum (2011) The Indictment of Brian Dunning. Retrieved from, 11 April 2021.
  15. ^ Tsakiris, A. (2017) 73. Skeptoid’s Brian Dunning Finds Global Consciousness Project Lacking. Skeptiko. Retrieved from, 11 April 2012.
  16. ^ Thompson, G. D. (2017) Skepticism About Skeptics. Retrieved from, 08 April 2021.
  17. ^ "About Skeptoid". Skeptoid. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  18. ^ Edwards, J. (2014) Web Marketer Facing Prison Claims EBay Turned A Blind Eye To A $US35 Million Alleged Fraud. Business Insider Australia. Retrieved from, 17 April 2021.
  19. ^ Department of Justice (2014) Laguna Niguel Man Receives Fifteen-Month Prison Term For Defrauding eBay. U.S. Attorney’s office, Northern District of California. Retrieved from, 17 April 2021.
  20. ^ Watson, R. (2014) A Critical Analysis of Brian Dunning’s Explanation. SkepChik. Retrieved from, 12 April 2012.
  21. ^ Thibeault, J. (2014) The sophistry and revisionist history in Skeptoid Brian Dunning's statement. The Orbit. Retrieved from, 11 April 2021.
  22. ^ United States of America (2008) Application for Jury Trial. United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division, No. CV 08-4052 PVT. Retrieved from, 17 April 2021.
  23. ^ United States of America (2010) Order (1) Denying Motion to Stay Civil Action Pending Resolution of Criminal Proceedings and (2) Granting With Leave to Amend Motion to Strike Answer of Defendants Kessler’s Flying Circus, Thunderwood Holdings, Inc., and United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division, No. C 08-4052 JF (PVT). Retrieved from, 17 April 2021.
  24. ^ United States of America (2013) United States' Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Suppress Evidence. United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division, No. Cr 10-0494 EJD. Retrieved from, 17 April 2021.
  25. ^ United States of America (2014) Case No. Cv 08-04052-Ejd-Psg Stipulation and [Proposed] Order Dismissing Defendants Kessler’s Flying Circus, Thunderwood Holdings, Inc., Brian Dunning, And With Prejudice. United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division. Retrieved from, 17 April 2021.
  26. ^ Watson, R. (2010). Brian Dunning’s DDT Fail. Skepchick. Retrieved from, 12 April, 2021.
  27. ^ Pearson, G. (2010) Brian Dunning’s DDT Fail. Bug Gwen. Retrieved from, 12 April 2012.
  28. ^ Watson, R. (2010) Eating Disorders, the Media, and Skepticism. SkepChick. Retrieved from, 12 April 2012.
  29. ^ tlambert (2010) Skeptoid fact check part 1. ScienceBlog. Retrieved from , 12 April 2021.
  30. ^ Watson. R. (2014) Brian Dunning Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison for Fraud. SkepChick. Retrieved from, 12 April 2012.
  31. ^ The Magical Land Of Oz! Retrieved from, 12 April 2020.
  32. ^ Tsakiris, A. (2017) Brian Dunning, Is the “Skeptical Thing” Over? |363|. Skeptiko. Retrieved from, 12 April, 2021.
  33. ^ Lousycanuk (2014) Fraudster skeptic Brian Dunning's shell game. The Orbit. Retrieved from, 08 April 2021.
  34. ^ Dubito Ergo Sum (2011) The Indictment of Brian Dunning. Retrieved from, 11 April 2021.
  35. ^ Howell, E. (2017) Navy Pilot Was 'Pretty Weirded Out' by Encounter with Unidentified Object in 2004. Live Science. Retrieved from 17 April 2021.
  36. ^ McMillan, T. (2019) The Witnesses. Popular mechanics. Retrieved from, 17 April 2021
  37. ^ Watson, R. (2014) A Critical Analysis of Brian Dunning’s Explanation. SkepChik. Retrieved from, 12 April 2012.
  38. ^ Thibeault, J. (2014) The sophistry and revisionist history in Skeptoid Brian Dunning's statement. The Orbit. Retrieved from, 11 April 2021.

Star-Ledger op-edEdit

The question related to the article on The Hurricane (1999 film). I used an op-ed published by the Star Ledger. <> This piece was written by a columnist employed by the paper and identified by name. It is not being used to establish facts other than the fact that he criticized the film for historical accuracy errors. Since the paper is clearly a RS, the author is an identified employee of the source,clearly identified as opinion and the piece is being used to verify the statements attributed to the author (WP:RSEDITORIAL) I think it is usable. Another editor questions the inclusion <> because the author is conservative and makes statements that are opinion. What I am using the source for is to support the sentence "The Star-Ledger discussed the film's inaccuracies about Carter's earlier incarceration and the depiction of the Giardello fight." Those inaccuracies and the depiction of the fight are supported by other RS's. Niteshift36 (talk) 17:14, 14 April 2021 (UTC)

Not really a reliability issue. You don't have a magic "get out of consensus free" card here. The source may be reliable in general, and the opinion piece may be correctly quoted and cited, but you would still need to establish that it is relevant to the article in question. In saying that, I'm not saying it is NOT relevant text, and in saying THAT I am also not saying that it is relevant text; if there is an objection to the text on relevance grounds, you'll need to establish consensus that it is relevant; having a reliable citation is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for including something in an article. Good luck, but it's not really an issue of reliability here. It's an opinion, and the relevance of the opinion is established by other means that any sort of reliability test. --Jayron32 17:22, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Wasn't looking for a magic card. I'm not sure what gave you that impression. The editor that contested it cited "This column is not something I would regard as a reliable source for facts on the accuracy of the film." That's why I brought it here. Niteshift36 (talk) 18:27, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
I agree with Jayron32 that this is not an RSN issue. If you do get consensus to include the info, the opinions should probably be attributed to the author instead of the paper. Firefangledfeathers (talk) 17:47, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
The Star-Ledger is certainly a generally reliable WP:NEWSORG, but the op-ed would definitely constitute opinion. In other words, it's totally OK to use it for attributed opinion. That being said, not all opinion pieces published in newspapers constitute due weight, though that isn't an RSN discussion, as previous editors have pointed out; discussion on due weight is more appropriate on the article talk page than here. — Mikehawk10 (talk) 18:18, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Apparently I wasn't clear. I understand that merely being in a RS doesn't mean it belongs in an article. The editor that contested it did so with the comment "This column is not something I would regard as a reliable source for facts on the accuracy of the film.". That's why I brought it here. First I wanted to discuss the reliability, then deal with the rest. It's pointless to discuss weight and other things if the source is ultimately not going to qualify as a RS, right? Step one: Establish reliablity. Step two: Determine relevance. Step three: Determine weight. I'm here about step one. Niteshift36 (talk) 18:27, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
    With new emphasis: "This column is not something I would regard as a reliable source for facts on the accuracy of the film." Since the column is an op-ed, that editor is correct. Firefangledfeathers (talk) 18:35, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
    But you aren't using the source to cite factual inaccuracies. The statement you wrote says that Star-Ledger's op-ed section noted the factual inaccuracies. That's different than saying that there were factual inaccuracies. The one is paraphrasing or quoting the Star Ledger's statement, and the other speaks in Wikipedia's voice. The Star Ledger's opinion on the matter may or may not be relevant, but the factual part of the statement is that "The Star Ledger said X". There is no presumption that "X" itself is correct. --Jayron32 18:41, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
  • So actually using more specific info from them makes a difference for this discussion? Ok, I can do that. Niteshift36 (talk) 19:51, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Per WP:NEWSORG, Editorial commentary, analysis and opinion pieces, whether written by the editors of the publication (editorials) or outside authors (op-eds) are reliable primary sources for statements attributed to that editor or author, but are rarely reliable for statements of fact. In other words, it's totally fine to write that the op-ed author said that the stuff was not accurate, provided that the commentary is attributed to the author. There also might be some leeway in citing the writer for facts if the article's author is a subject-matter expert (we allow self-published sources from subject matter expert to be cited for facts, and I don't see a meaningful reason that reliability would be different for an op-ed written by an SME). At the same time, it doesn't appear that the columnist for the Star-Ledger is an SME. (On a side note, it also wouldn't be correct to say "The Star Ledger said x", since columnists and op-ed writers do not represent the view of the Star-Ledger itself. If the content is due weight, it would be better to say "Person A, a columnist for the Star-Ledger, argued that X was false/misleading/other descriptors for Y reasons." The structure isn't super strict here, but you should be clear that the columnist isn't speaking on behalf of the paper when attributing opinions.)Mikehawk10 (talk) 19:09, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Aren't op-eds from the staff considered part of the editorial voice of the paper? Niteshift36 (talk) 19:51, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Not necessarily. Sometimes columnists that work at the same paper disagree, and a single column doesn't necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board. Newspapers will publish opinion pieces that they disagree with sometimes (USA Today makes a habit of publishing a piece to oppose its editorials, for example). — Mikehawk10 (talk) 23:54, 14 April 2021 (UTC)

Pinging all the editors involved in this discussion: @Jayron32, Firefangledfeathers, Mikehawk10, and Niteshift36: I actually have a problem with most of that "Accuracy" section because of poor sources (except for the info on the Giardello fight, which is well-sourced). It seems like the rest of the section is built on some sketchy sources combined with some WP:SYNTHESIS, with the purpose of making Rubin Carter seem like he really committed three murders, which, as I pointed out on the article talk page, is something the legal system decided he was wrongfully convicted of. I started with the Star-Ledger sentence because that was the most egregious example. I would appreciate, if anyone has the time, if some more eyes could look at the other statements made in that section and see if the sources support it. I personally don't think the section is good as it stands right now. JimKaatFan (talk) 20:21, 14 April 2021 (UTC)

  • What you call poor sources are all reliable sources. Irish Times, the Guardian, Star-Ledger are all reliable sources. Larry Elder is a notable columnist and so his syndicated column is reliable, even if you don't like the outlet that carried it. I won't address your implication of innocence here, since this is about reliable sources and not content. Niteshift36 (talk) 12:37, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
  • @Niteshift36: In general, opinion columns are reliable the fact that the author wrote something). Per WP:RSEDITORIAL, When taking information from opinion content, the identity of the author may help determine reliability. The opinions of specialists and recognized experts are more likely to be reliable and to reflect a significant viewpoint. If the statement is not authoritative, attribute the opinion to the author in the text of the article and do not represent it as fact. Reviews for books, movies, art, etc. can be opinion, summary or scholarly pieces. It's not clear to me that Larry Elder is an subject-matter expert here, so I would tread with caution if you are using the source to support non-trivial facts. — Mikehawk10 (talk) 08:41, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I think I'm not being clear. The fact being supported is that news orgs and critics criticized the accuracy. I am supporting that fact. I've made no attempt to correct a specific accuracy issue in the movie, except for the fight, which has a well documented issue that isn't in dispute here. Niteshift36 (talk) 12:26, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
You are not listening to what people are telling you. The question isn’t: is the paper a reliable (primary) source for the fact that someone criticized the accuracy of the film (it is). The question is whether this is a fact that is worth mentioning in the first place? THAT isn’t a reliability issue... it is a DUE WEIGHT issue. Blueboar (talk) 12:57, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I'm hearing people answering something I'm not asking. If you refer back, you'll see that the editor who opposed it did so partially on the grounds of reliable source. I understand the DUE issue. I didn't really ask that. Thanks for your response. I'll mke the appropriate edits. Niteshift36 (talk) 15:09, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
  • @JimKaatFan:To be a bit frank, if there are this many review/opinion columns that were printed across multiple countries and saying similar things, then it might be WP:DUE to include some of them with attribution. I would personally recommend creating a "reception" section that would encompass views on how the movie was received writ large, including its box office successes, its critical reception, and the public discussion about its accuracy. This seems like the best way to include due opinion content without running into the sorts of WP:NPOV/WP:SYNTH issues that you are bringing up. — Mikehawk10 (talk) 08:41, 18 April 2021 (UTC)

RfC: Coda StoryEdit

Coda Story is a 501(c)3 U.S.-based non-profit news organization with offices in New York City and Tbilisi, Georgia. It is a member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network and the Institute for Nonprofit News. Which of the following describes Coda Story the best?

Mikehawk10 (talk) 20:37, 14 April 2021 (UTC)

Survey (Coda Story)Edit

The recognition of its reliability by a diversity of reliable news sources across several countries, who gone so far as to directly republish and cite reporting from Coda Story for facts, when coupled with multiple awards received for its journalism lead me to conclude that Coda Story is a high quality, generally reliable news organization. — Mikehawk10 (talk) 20:37, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
  • RfCs are only for perennial sources, so this RfC is inappropriate: Looking through the archives, I cannot find any previous discussion of Coda Story. @Mikehawk10: Do you have a specific question about reliability of Coda Story in a particular context? If so, then ask that specific question. However, this RfC is premature and should be closed without further ado. -Thucydides411 (talk) 21:10, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
    • RfCs are perfectly appropriate where there are disputes over the reliability of the source, as they bring in outside editors. The source is used in over a dozen articles on Wikipedia, so it might be useful and proper to get input from the community on this. — Mikehawk10 (talk) 21:15, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
That's not how RfCs work here. This is a forum for questions about reliability of specific sources in specific contexts. If a source is repeatedly discussed, then there can be an RfC. A standard RfC here is supposed to begin by listing previous discussions of the source - there are none. If you have a specific question, then explain the claim you want to make, and link to the specific article you're citing. -Thucydides411 (talk) 22:17, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
Can you point me to the pertinent rule/guideline/instruction regarding RfCs on this page? I know it can be hard to judge intent on the internet. I am asking not to challenge you, but because I want to learn! Firefangledfeathers (talk) 05:14, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
There is no rule, guideline, or instruction that forbids RfCs on this page. There is a note in the banner on the top of the page that provides "a common format for writing the RfC question", although the format is optional. — Newslinger talk 07:10, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Thanks! Firefangledfeathers (talk) 12:40, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
@Firefangledfeathers: RSN is supposed to focus on use of sources in context, not in general. The header at the top of this page explains that posts are supposed to include:
  • Source. The book or web page being used as the source.
  • Article: The Wikipedia article(s) in which the source is being used.
  • Content: The exact statement(s) in the article that the source supports.
The header notes that, In some cases, it can also be appropriate to start a general discussion about the likelihood that statements from a particular source are reliable or unreliable. There is a long-standing understanding on RSN that this refers to sources that are perennially discussed, and that the point of the RfC is to include the source in WP:RSP. A recent discussion of the misuse of RfCs can be found here. Still, even with an RfC, one is supposed to include examples of editing disputes that show why you are seeking comment on the source. Mikehawk10 has not done so.
Based on my interaction with Mikehawk10 at Talk:Uyghur genocide, I think that this RfC is a round-about way of asking whether a specific piece published by Coda Story can be used to make a specific, highly controversial claim (labeling living persons "genocide deniers" for questioning the US government's allegations that China is committing a genocide against the Uyghurs). Mikehawk10 should explain that context, but they have chosen not to do so. I suspect that there would be more scrutiny of this request if Mikehawk10 were to explain to editors here what the actual proposed use of this source is. Instead, we have a vague discussion about Coda Story in general, with no idea about the very specific context that actually motivated this request. -Thucydides411 (talk) 14:19, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for your response! I would support a meta-RFC on clarifying the language in the header. We might also tweak the language at WP:RSPCRITERIA to "two or more significant discussions about the source's reliability in the past, AND an uninterrupted request for comment" (that AND is currently an OR). I sympathize with your (and others') point about RFC spam. Firefangledfeathers (talk) 14:32, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
The header text RfC is at Wikipedia talk:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 6 § RfC: Header text, and I would caution that requiring an RfC for a source's inclusion on the list would increase the number of RfCs on this noticeboard. — Newslinger talk 13:04, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
Also, the notion that RfCs are "only for perennial sources" seems to be confused, seeing as the fact that a source is not on the WP:RSP board doesn't preclude us from having an RfC regarding its reliability. Otherwise there could... never be new perennial sources. — Mikehawk10 (talk) 21:22, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
That's plainly not the case. If a source is repeatedly (you might even say "perenially") discussed here, then there can be an RfC. "Perennial sources" at WP:RSP are "perennial" because they've been repeatedly discussed at WP:RSN, not because there's been an RfC. -Thucydides411 (talk) 22:23, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
Is someone disputing the reliability? Selfstudier (talk) 21:54, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
@Selfstudier: It appears that Thucydides411 is challenging the reliability of reporting regarding The Grayzone on Talk:Uyghur genocide. — Mikehawk10 (talk) 22:15, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
If your specific question is about use of a piece in "Coda Story" to label people "genocide deniers" or something similar, then you should ask that specific question. RSN RfCs are for sources that have been repeatedly discussed. They're not to be used whenever there's a discussion anywhere about whether or not to use a specific source for a specific claim. -Thucydides411 (talk) 22:20, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
I generally agree with Thucydides411 on this one. If you have a question about whether a source can be used for a specific claim, and it's not a perennial source, you should usually start by asking that specific question, especially if the issue is that it is potentially WP:EXCEPTIONAL or BLP-sensitive; avoiding mentioning the specific claim under discussion, in a situation where the people you're in a dispute with have specifically raised questions of bias, WP:BLP, and other things very specific to what you're trying to cite, comes across as a bit eyebrow-raising in a way that makes the RFC mostly useless to answer the actual question you're trying to answer. You're asking a question with a seemingly obvious answer, with (as far as I can tell) the intent to then try to turn it around and use it as the answer to something less-obvious, in a context where many of the people who answered the RFC may not have accepted the source's use even if they think it is generally reliable. Even with a generally-reliable source, the question of whether they can be used as the sole source for something that is both exceptional and BLP-sensitive should require specific consideration, especially in a context where it might be WP:BIASED - a bare "generally reliable" isn't going to answer the hidden question you're trying to resolve here, not when the objection is very specific to the claim you're trying to cite and you didn't make that clear when bringing it to the noticeboard. --Aquillion (talk) 22:18, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 - Summoned by bot. I'd never heard of them, and had to read up a bit (and add their logo to their article). They are a minor publication, and don't show up on the media bias charts [[19]] that have been recently floating around. But, from reading their site, and their related Wikipedia article, Coda Media, it seems that they are neutral and don't have an obvious political agenda. I'd use their articles as sources for my articles. In general, I'd trust them. That being said, no publication is perfect, and everything has to be considered on a case by case basis. For example, Jayson Blair didn't cause the NY Times to lose their reliability - it just took a temporary hit. So I agree with Thucydides411 that if this is for a specific article and a specific claim, you're better off being more specific with your request for comment. TimTempleton (talk) (cont) 22:33, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
Regarding neutrality: Coda Story is funded by the US government, through the National Endowment for Democracy (created in the 1980s to give overt support to pro-American political groups overseas, such as opponents of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua). But I think that this RfC is actually prompted by a very specific question about a proposed use of a particular Coda Story piece for a specific claim in a specific article. Rather than running an RfC on a small outlet that's never been discussed at RSN, that specific question should be posed, so editors can weigh in on the actual proposed use of the source. -Thucydides411 (talk) 22:43, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
And this is where the WP:USEBYOTHERS argument comes in; if it's widely used in reliable sources for without comment for facts, then we have established that reliable sources believe the source to be reliable. Direct republication is one of the strongest ways of conveying confidence in a publication's reliability. — Mikehawk10 (talk) 23:32, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1- I also dislike when users jump straight into an RfC for a source that has never been discussed before. However, it doesn't look like this RfC is gonna be withdrawn anytime soon. Coda seems to have a pretty solid editorial team and I see no evidence of failed fact-checks/promoting falsehoods. Nieman Lab speaks well of it, and it's frequently cited by reliable sources as Mikehawk pointed out. I don't see a strong ideological bias either. In-text attribution may be appropriate in certain circumstances. Dr. Swag Lord (talk) 04:52, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1. Coda Story (from Coda Media) is an acclaimed publication with a track record for reliable coverage of international news. In addition to the awards that Mikehawk10 mentioned, Coda Story was also a finalist for the 2016 Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Small Newsroom, award from the Online News Association for its reporting on homophobic violence in Kyrgyzstan, and a nominee for the 2018 European Press Prize Innovation Award for its documentary on the persecution of social media users in Russia.
    Coda Story has collaborated on stories with a large number of reliable sources. Adding to Mikehawk10's list, Coda Story has also partnered with The Moscow Times (scroll to "Media Partners" at the footer), the Mail & Guardian, and Wired (RSP entry). A full list of partners is on its About page. — Newslinger talk 06:03, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment I have not heard of them but I can't see any obvious reason not to accept this source, it seems better than many I come across.Selfstudier (talk) 08:55, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1, per arguments already made above. BobFromBrockley (talk) 13:40, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose Option 4, this should not even be suggested without a seriously good reason. If there is a dispute between editors the onus is on them to prove it should be deprecated, but obviously be cautious with BLPs. Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 17:43, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Invalid RFC per my objections above; see here for the actual dispute at issue. It is clear that this RFC is actually being used in an effort to get an answer on whether a source can be used for a specific claim that is patiently both WP:EXCEPTIONAL and WP:BLP-sensitive (and which therefore requires specific consideration), in a context where it can reasonably be considered WP:BIASED, and in a situation where nobody seems to have challenged the general reliability of the source - the actual objections there are related to WP:DUE and whether the source actually supports the statements it is being used for, yet it is obvious that, by asking for an answer to a much more straightforward question that nobody has actually raised, Mikehawk10 hopes to turn around and use that to override those very specific objections. Reliability is contextual, and while we use broad assessments of reliability for sources that come up frequently, this is a case where the context is particularly important; I would also argue that while there are a ton of sources that are so unreliable as to be barely useful outside of WP:ABOUTSELF exceptions, very, very few sources are so reliable as to be universally usable, unattributed, for any claim in any context; this source, generally reliable or not, is obviously not one of them. The claim in question, which relates to the US policy position on the Uyghur genocide and people who have questioned it, directly cuts at the source's own bias, since it is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, which exists to advance US interests. Based on that I would answer the unstated question that this source - which, while probably reliable in a general sense, is also patiently WP:BIASED - absolutely cannot be used to describe or characterize positions on the Uyghur genocide without in-line citation that specifically identifies its funding, and is probably WP:UNDUE even with that in-line citation. --Aquillion (talk) 22:18, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 Per the above discussion. Sea Ane (talk) 03:33, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1, not sure an RfC was necessary but this is clearly a well respected high quality source. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:21, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Agree that this is a bad RFC and Option 1 - The absence of any real context makes this a bad RFC. Yes, these general "let's ban source X" RFCs are bad but they are supposed to be for widely-used sources (though even the original Daily Mail one was not really very widely used). In the absence of any context that might give meaning to this RFC and an explanation as to why it has been brought, since it appears to be a source used by reliable sources without serious caveats as to its neutrality as discussed above, I vote for the option that gives editors the maximum freedom to decide whether or not to use it. FOARP (talk) 13:42, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 1 per arguments stated above by Mikehawk10 and others. Eccekevin (talk) 02:04, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

Discussion (Coda Story)Edit

Reports in Al Akhbar and Asharq Al-Awsat for an alleged Israeli massacreEdit

1. Sources (nb. these are AR-language articles but the Google translate version of them is relatively clear albeit with the usual warning that it may appear clear but still be a mistranslation):

  • Asharq Al-Awsat (2001): [20]: Article title: "The only resistance who survived the Al-Zararia massacre tells Al-Sharq al-Awsat the details of the confrontations with the Israelis"
  • Al Akhbar (2018): [21]: Article title: "Zrariyeh ... the witness and the martyr"

2. Article: Zrarieh massacre.

3. Content: At present these are the only sources potentially showing WP:LASTING coverage of this "massacre" as required by WP:EVENT. However whether or not these are reliable sources independent of the subject is disputed (see AFD discussion here). FOARP (talk) 11:59, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

Discussion (Al Akhbar and Asharq Al-Awsat)≠Edit

  • To take the Al Akhbar translation here, I cannot see major contradictions between what it says about the attack and the available English sources. Arab News says the source is pro Hezbollah and "among the most read and respected newspapers in Lebanon". So perhaps a bit of bias but otherwise OK.Selfstudier (talk) 18:00, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I have no real reason to doubt the London based Asharq Al-Awsat translation other than for matters Saudi related which this is not.Selfstudier (talk) 18:12, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
  • To also recap objections to these sources from the AFD argument: they are eye-witness accounts from "resistance" participants written in propagandistic language ("martyrs", "entity", "murderers", etc.) and not independent of the subject. FOARP (talk) 18:23, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Asharq Al-Awsat is one of the most well known Arabic newspapers on the planet. See for example this NYT rundown of Arabic news sources for why the idea that it is unreliable or not independent to an Israeli raid in Lebanon is not accurate. Al-Akhbar is on the same level as many Israeli sources, yes it uses language that represents a POV (martyr, resistance), whereas Israeli sources often use language that represents the diametrically opposed POV (terrorist, etc.), but POV does not make a source unreliable. See no reason these dont qualify as WP:NEWSORG given there are no sources brought that demonstrate any issue with their reliability, just an editor disliking their politics. Im not all that enamored with the politics of the Times of Israel or the Jerusalem Post, but they remain widely used on our pages as reliable sources. nableezy - 18:32, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Asharq Al-Awsat has substantially documented issues, including issues regarding their factual reporting (our article about them describes a particularly egregious incident in 2016), and should probably not be considered reliable. Al-Akhbar is openly pro-Hezbollah, and reliable sources that discuss them consistently mention their biases, so statements sourced to them should at a bare minimum be attributed as is standard with openly biased sources. NonReproBlue (talk) 07:20, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
That incident resulted in a correction and the firing of the journalist who reported it. Issuing corrections and taking such actions is an indicator of reliability, not unreliability. nableezy - 20:14, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
It's not the only problem with their reporting, but this also goes beyond just a simple "correction". It's not like something was misstated but basically true (like the recent correction in the WaPo that has quite a few people up in arms), it was an entirely false story concocted for malicious reasons. It would have never held up under even a minimum amount of editorial oversight. The fact that a "journalist" such as that was ever hired speaks to the problematic nature of the publication, and I doubt that any retraction would have been issued, nor anyone fired, had there not been such a public rebuke from the supposed source cited in the article. "Corrections" are understandable. Publishing obviously fabricated stories is not, and does not speak to the robust fact checking and editorial oversight required of reliable sources. NonReproBlue (talk) 07:04, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
And the reporter was fired and a very visible correction was made. Again, issuing corrections and taking such actions is an indicator of reliability, not unreliability. Your doubt on a hypothetical is interesting, but not all that relevant as it is indeed entirely hypothetical. nableezy - 23:27, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
You are entitled to your opinion, but I disagree. There is a substantial difference between correcting an error in an otherwise correct story (which could be an understandable lapse for an editor to have missed) and retracting entirely an article that was completely and maliciously fabricated (which is absolutely indicative of a nearly complete lack of editorial oversight prior to publication). On the balance of coverage in reliable sources, it seems that their editorial oversight system is much more concerned about ideological purity than journalistic integrity and accuracy. NonReproBlue (talk) 05:53, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
Well it isnt my opinion, it is Wikipedia's. From WP:NEWSORG: Signals that a news organization engages in fact-checking and has a reputation for accuracy are the publication of corrections and disclosures of conflicts of interest. Publishing corrections is an indicator of reliability, not unreliability. nableezy - 16:16, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliable Note that Al-Akhbar is not pro-Hezbollah, it has been publishing As'ad AbuKhalil articles since 2007 and he criticizes Hezbollah, Nasrallah, Iran and Syria.[1][2] Also the massacre has nothing to do with Hezbollah as Israel claims it was targeting Amal. -- Maudslay II (talk) 17:48, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Unreliable Its Hezbollah mouthpiece that used for propaganda and anything negative about Israel goes in --Shrike (talk) 18:01, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
Huh???? Who is "Hezbollah mouthpiece"?? The Saudi-controlled Asharq Al-Awsat, or the leftist Al Akhbar???? Huldra (talk) 22:15, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
Probably Al Akhbar. I don't know that "mouthpiece" is completely accurate, but they have a well documented bias in favor of Hezbollah (New York Times says "They are a remarkable blend: the paper champions gay rights, feminism and other leftist causes, even as it wholeheartedly supports Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shiite movement") and the court decision against them (for exposing the identity of purported witnesses against Hezbollah) is particularly damning: "With respect to the nature and gravity of the offence for which Mr Al A min is convicted, I find that the contemptuous behaviour here was particularly egregious: Mr Al Amin published the names, photographs and significant personal details of 17 purported confidential Tribunal witnesses and, after what was acknowledged by Mr Al Amin as public outcry and claims from various members of the public that his previous publication had infringed the law, he then published a second article with the photographs, names and personal information of a further 15"..."Furthermore, I have already concluded that portraying the 32 individuals as witnesses against Hezbollah is generally prohibited by principles governing the media and serves no journalistic value or pressing social need, and that in the impugned articles the author did not place himself as a neutral observer simply reporting on the results of an investigative inquiry but rather as a political advocate. Moreover, ample evidence demonstrates that the Accused's actions were inconsistent with investigative journalism." NonReproBlue (talk) 07:19, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
Interesting; so we have a "Hezbollah mouthpiece", which allow atheist like As'ad AbuKhalil to publish in its pages? Lol, Huldra (talk) 23:56, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Unreliable. Al Akhbar is a provacative anti-capaitalist rag that according to the New York Times has "news pages that often show a loose mingling of fact, rumor and opinion". Asharq Al-Awsat is bettet, but has major problems as well, in particular in issues opposed by its firm editorial line.Free1Soul (talk) 18:39, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliable, in this case: I would doubt anything Asharq Al-Awsat writes about the Saudi Royal family, but I see no reason to doubt them on this; neither do I see any reason to doubt Al Akhbar here, except a severe case of WP:IDONTLIKEIT, Huldra (talk) 22:15, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Unreliable. Propaganda outlets with a clear agenda, not acceptable to report facts and events.--SoaringLL (talk) 05:14, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliable Both newspapers are RS and mainstream media in the Arab world. They're not marginal party propaganda or loony Islamist ranting, they are top selling daily newspapers. If they are critical of Israel, I don't think anyone should be particularly surprised or holler 'foul' - that's really just down to a partisan WP:IDONTLIKEIT bias. The Arab world has every right to a voice and these mainstream media are as close to that voice as you're going to find, TBH. Best Alexandermcnabb (talk) 14:39, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Unreliable, closely affiliated with the terrorist organization Hezbollah:
    1. "Hezbollah-backed, pro-Aoun daily Al Akhbar"[22]
    2. "Al-Akhbar, a Lebanese daily newspaper, is widely considered a mouthpiece for the terror group Hezbollah."[23]
    3. "Pro-Hezbollah mouthpiece Al-Akhbar" [24]
    4. "Lebanon's pro-Hezbollah Al-Akhbar newspaper"[25]
    5. "A newspaper affiliated with Hezbollah, Al-Akhbar,"[26]

It publishes shock news and messages from Hezbollah.--Geshem Bracha (talk) 10:42, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

It is undoubtedly pro-Hezbollah and leftist, too. And I don't particularly agree with that. It has a political stance - what decent newspaper doesn't? But 'Affiliated'? And offering up the Times of Israel as a source on the reliability or partiality of Arab media is a hoot, to say the least. Al Akhbar is one of the top selling newspapers in Lebanon and as a source its known stance should be taken into account. But completely dismissed? No. Best Alexandermcnabb (talk) 11:28, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

Rolling Stone Brazil the same as Rolling Stone?Edit

Is this the official Rolling Stone Brazil? If so, does it carry the same status as Rolling Stone? --TheSandDoctor Talk 18:08, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

Purely going from the websites (I have no particular prior knowledge), I see that they've got different publishers (Perfil in Brazil, Penske Business Media for the English-language website). The English-language site articles always seem to have bylines, but the Brazilian site has lots of articles without them; those that do have bylines all have Portuguese names, so it's obviously not just a translation of the English-language website. I can't tell whether it's really part of the same organisation in any meaningful way, or if they've sold rights to use the name to another company.
Different publisher, different authors, presumably different editorial team - I think it would have to be assessed separately in terms of reliability. GirthSummit (blether) 18:30, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Portuguese Wikipedia has an article about Rolling Stone Brasil which confirms that is the official website for this magazine. According to a 2006 article from O Globo, there used to be a pirated Brazilian version of Rolling Stone that was created in 1972 without permission from Rolling Stone, but the Rolling Stone Brasil that launched in 2006 is an official international edition of Rolling Stone. O Globo reports, "As a non–United States edition, the Brazilian 'Rolling Stone' will have half of the content translated from its American parent, and half produced by the local newsroom." ("A exemplo das edições fora dos Estados Unidos, a 'Rolling Stone' brasileira terá metade do conteúdo traduzido de sua matriz americana, e metade produzido pela redação local.") This is a standard practice for all international editions of Rolling Stone, which "typically reproduce 50 percent to 80 percent of the American version of the magazine, in their own languages, and supplement the rest with local content".
The publisher of the 2006 version of Rolling Stone Brasil is Spring Communications (Spring Comunicação), a media company also known for its acquisition of the broadcast network of the Brazilian media conglomerate Grupo Abril and for its ownership of the technology-oriented Loading TV channel. According to the Portuguese Wikipedia article (without a cited source), in 2018, Rolling Stone Brasil was sold to Grupo Perfil. (I can't confirm the date of the sale, but the website of Rolling Stone Brasil does state that it is currently owned by Grupo Perfil.) Grupo Perfil owns a number of publications, including the tabloid newspaper Perfil, the women's magazine Caras, the entertainment magazine Contigo!, and the history magazine Adventures in History (Aventuras na História). Rolling Stone Brasil then became online-only and opened a sister site, Rolling Stone Country ( — Newslinger talk 05:02, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Notified: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Brazil. — Newslinger talk 05:04, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
I've little doubt that it's the official Brazilian version of Rolling Stone. It's pretty much as Newslinger says - RS have marketed their brand name to create official versions of the magazine in several countries around the world, which are up to 80% US content... I live in Colombia, and the Colombian version is extremely difficult to find in stores, but it essentially consists of translated versions of the interviews and articles in the US version, plus a few pages of reviews and other local news (unlike the US version, it's very short, usually no more than 30 to 36 pages per issue). I'm sure Victor Lopes will want to say something here, as an active editor of music articles who's from Brazil. Richard3120 (talk) 02:55, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
Thank you, Richard3120! I don't know if there's much more I could add, though. There's no doubt it's an official publication (i.e. authorized by the parent company). I've been using it as a source both here and on the PT Wikipedia for years and never had the slightest reason to question its reliability. Articles lacking bylines (or signed by "Redação", which is Portuguese for "newsroom") are usually (but not always) reproductions of press releases, so take notice of this when searching for independent information. Victor Lopes Fala!C 16:30, 21 April 2021 (UTC)

Should journalists be discounted as reliable sources on historic topics because they're journalists?Edit

Running into a curious issue with the article on World War II era American diplomat Leland B. Morris.

As with anything from the past, we can only learn about historic events based on writers, researchers, documenters and other forms of communicators, sometimes primary but mostly secondary. In this case we have the case of a pivital moment in world history - the moment the United States was officially notified on the German declaration of war against the United States. It was when Joachim von Ribbentrop handed the formal declaration of war to Morris.

In 2016 I included the following content...

Upon handing Morris the declaration, Ribbentrop said, "Your President has wanted this war, now he has it."[3][4][5]

  1. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Toughill, Thomas (2004). A world to gain: the battle for global domination and why America entered WWII. Clairview Books. p. 75. ISBN 978-1-902636-51-1.
  4. ^ Nagorski, Andrew (2020). 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War. Simon and Schuster. p. 283. ISBN 1501181130.
  5. ^ Best, Nicholas (2016). Seven Days of Infamy: Pearl Harbor Across the World =Macmillan. p. 277. ISBN 1250078016.

Naturally it was sourced, in this case the book A World to Gain The Battle for Global Domination and why America Entered WWII [27] by author Thomas Toughill. (The other two sources were just added today.)

In January 2021, editor Beyond My Ken removed this content simply stating the source was not reliable.[28]

Not knowing why Beyond My Ken challenged Tourghill, I restored the content with the source and added two more sources, the books 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War' by highly respected journalist Andrew Nagorski and Seven Days of Infamy by author Nicholas Best.

Beyond My Ken reverted again yet again. On the talk page to justify their removal of the content, they wrote original research things like "I have never come across in my reading on the subject" and dismissing the authors reliability by opining that the authors "are not subject experts, both journalists, again with no reputation or credibility regarding the history of World War II." (Their full text can be read here.)

I'm finding this all curious. Not only is the editor making the assumption and judgment that these journalists are not experts on the topics they are covering, this is striking the principle of the role of journalists and their research and critical analysis abilities.

If there is a journalist or author who has a negative reputation for shoddy research, liberties with historic facts or simply bad writing, I understand the reason to discount them. But in this case there is nothing presented by the editor of a sort. As a matter of fact, external reliable sources like the the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, give ‘1941’ Review: The Year Hitler Lost the War excellent reviews [29][30]. Likewise, the Christian Science Monitor and Kirkus Reviews give Seven Days of Infamy: Pearl Harbor Across the World excellent reviews. [31][32]

Accolades by reliable sources are reputation and credibility setting.

So here are the questions:

1. Is the above content not allowed based on the editor's opinion of the multiple published sources?
2. Are we to ignore the accolades of reliable sources on other sources and ban historic content if the sources are considered "journalists"?

Oakshade (talk) 00:29, 17 April 2021 (UTC)

  • The question is ridiculous as posed. Journalists are, of course, very frequently extremely reliable sources under many circumstances, but when it comes to the incident in question, a story which sounds and feels apocryphal, only the most reliable sources should be used. Further, bringing this here when the discussion on talk page has only just started is highly inappropriate. RSN is not a substitute for consensus building on the article talk page. A trout for Oakshade. Beyond My Ken (talk) 01:21, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
Beyond My Ken is a highly productive editor and I agree with their analyses much of the time, but not this time. In this case, we have three books by three notable journalists who also write books about history. At least two of the books received positive reviews in reliable sources. It may be true that articles in peer reviewed history journals and books by academic historians published by university presses are superior sources, but that does not mean that other sources are therefore unreliable. In this case, we are reporting on what happened in a December, 1941 meeting between an American diplomat and a Nazi diplomat, in the biography of the American. No grand, sweeping claims are being made that would affect the narrative of the early days of American involvement of World War II, and I believe that the account of this conversation that appeared in three presumably reliable books ought to be accepted as reliable. Of course, if Beyond My Ken can bring forth reliable sources that offer a different contradictory account of the Morris-Ribbentrop meeting in Berlin, we will be obligated to wrestle with the contradictions. Or, if Beyond My Ken can provide links to reviews that call the accuracy of these books into question, then that is worth discussing. Absent any such contradictory information, I believe that the content should be considered reliably sourced. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 01:29, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
Not when the story feels like one of those "factoids" that you get fed in the "documentaries" on the History Channel. Then, when it starts to smell a little you need real quality sourcing, and non-subject experts just won't be sufficient. I have asked on the article talk page -- where this discussion should rightfully be taking place -- for what sources the authors of the three books in question gave for their information, if any. There's only a limited number of people who could have heard the remark (if it took place), and one of them has to be the ultimate source, so who do these three non-specialists say that it came from? Journalists and general non-fiction authors are only as good as their sources -- academics, too, but they always cite those sources, so we can verify their information. Have these authors done that? Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:39, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
Just because an editor "feels" content sourced by reputable writers is not a basis to remove content. If sourced content is challenged the onus is on the content challenger to offer an alternative based on reliable sources which the community would by happy to explore. We can't be deleting content that's heavily sourced by reputable sources based on the fictional WP:ITFEELSWRONG guideline. Oakshade (talk) 16:41, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Not citing sources is a big red flag. It is strongly preferred that secondary sources cite their sources. I wish it were a requirement. It would simplify a great many time consuming disputes over reliability when editors challenge mediocre sources because they prefer high quality ones. Spudlace (talk) 13:23, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
  • The issue is that high quality reputable sources, not mediocre ones, are being challenged because an editor doesn't see footnotes (all of these sources do have extensive bibliographies) and the same sourced content "feels" to an editor not to be true and are suddenly holding the content to a higher vague standard of "experts on the subject," implying that otherwise reputable sources are not to be trusted.Oakshade (talk) 19:25, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliability seems like a relevant question here however. Is the journalist in question reliable or not? If yes, then why would you think the quote is fake? That would mean they aren't reliable as a journalist and the entire source as a whole is questionable. SilverserenC 01:30, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
  • As I said above, it really all depends where they got their information from. Is it a verifiable and reliable source, or are they simply recycling the kind of apocryphal anecdotes that float around these subjects all the time? Since they're not experts on the subject, their reliability as journalists is about how accurately they repeat what they've read or been told, but our concern is how accurate the information is in the first place, so where did they read it, or who told it to them? That is key. Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:45, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
I will take that trout and fry it up for lunch tomorrow, and garnish it with sliced almonds, lemon wedges and parsley. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 01:34, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
Hah!Oakshade (talk) 01:43, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Additions - Just for added information, we also have historian Richard Collier who supports this content and he includes the original German ("Ihr Präsident hat diesen Krieg gewollt ; jetzt hat er ihn") in the book The Road to Pearl Harbor--1941 (p. 236) as does historian Ross Gregory in his book America 1941 A Nation at the Crossroads (p. 289).
    More support for the content is from the American diplomat George Kennan penned Memoirs 1925-1950 which also includes Ribbentrop's original German. No sources put Kennan at the Morris-Ribbentrop meeting but Kennan was working closely with Morris at the US Embassy in Berlin during those dates. These authors don't use footnotes as the editor challenging this content is demanding (Gregory does but I can't read the footnotes in the limited access), but again, this goes to the principle challenge of journalistic reliability. Oakshade (talk) 08:19, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
No, your question about journalistic reliability is a red herring, and I'm not asking for footnotes, per se, I'm asking for sources. However the additional citations are better, especially Kennan. Collier not so much - he's another writer of popular books, not a subject expert, just look at the list of his books.
Why aren't you posting this information on the article talk page where I asked for it, and where this discussion should be taking place so that a consensus can be found? Beyond My Ken (talk) 16:23, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
  • When an editor removes content sourced by reputable sources and employs original research statements like "I have never come across in my reading on the subject" and calls multiple reputable notable authors and historians "non-reliable" because they are "journalists" and then demands only vaguely defined "experts on the subject" as sources for content, this stopped being just a content dispute on a single article and became a much broader issue on the types of reliable sources we use. These same challenges at reputable reliable sources can occur on any article, possibly fundamentally changing the method we treat content and the sources that support it and so deserves the community to weigh in on such discounting of reputable sources. Oakshade (talk) 21:11, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Thanks, your comment helped me make a decision. Beyond My Ken (talk) 04:22, 18 April 2021 (UTC)

Why doesn't Rebel News appear on the list?Edit


Per recent reporting from the US Government ([33]):

The GRU operates InfoRos. InfoRos calls itself a news agency but is primarily run by the GRU’s 72nd Main Intelligence Information Center (GRITs). GRITs is a unit within Russia’s Information Operations Troops, which is identified as Russia’s military force for conducting cyber espionage, influence, and offensive cyber operations. InfoRos operates under two organizations, “InfoRos, OOO” and “IA InfoRos.” InfoRos used a network of websites, including nominally independent websites, to spread false conspiracy narratives and disinformation promoted by GRU officials. Denis Tyurin (Tyurin) held a leadership role in InfoRos and had previously served in the GRU.

I believe these should be blacklisted in the same way as Southfront (also mentioned int he same story and blacklisted per Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 281 § RfC: Deprecation of fake news / disinformation sites.. Guy (help! - typo?) 10:07, 17 April 2021 (UTC)

Support. I'll add some more: Inforos was founded by Association of Business Communities Joint Center for Business Operation SCO (Russian: Ассоциация Предпринимательских Сообществ Объединенный Центр Делового Сотрудничества ШОС). This association was founded by Sergey (or Sergei) Kanavsky (Канавский Сергей Вадимович), Denis Tyurin (Тюрин Денис Валерьевич) and Alexandr Starunsky (or Starunskij Aleksandr; Старунский Александр Геннадьевич). Kanavsky worked as a Russian diplomatic officer in Scandinavia and then as a deputy chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation).[34]. Starunsky allegedly also worked for the GRU (just like Tyurin).
Inforos is headed by Ilyashenko Andrey Vitalievich (Russian: Ильяшенко Андрей Витальевич), former RIA Novosti deputy editor in chief and former columnist of Voice of Russia (now Sputnik (news agency)). which spread COVID disinformation, is owned by Inforos. Read this: [35], [36], [37].--Renat 11:45, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
Comment. I think Wikipedia won't lose anything if these were deprecated, especially considering that they are used only 4 times. From the procedural point of view, it would be good to have some kind of independent assessment of its (un)reliability, rather than relying on the US government assessment. After all it also has an agenda. Alaexis¿question? 12:12, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Support We really shouldn't have a shady Russian government "news" website as a source in any way, shape, or form.Jackattack1597 (talk) 23:18, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Support It's not like we would lose anything by not using them. Heiro 23:23, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Support - No need to use this as a source anywhere. If needed for short WP:ABOUTSELF, whitelisting a particular page is possible. —PaleoNeonate – 01:16, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Support, this is a revolving domain name of Russian government disinformation.--Droid I am (talk) 08:46, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Support, disinformation outlets are the only sources I support deprecating/blacklisting, and this is a clear-cut case of that. ThadeusOfNazerethTalk to Me! 23:18, 18 April 2021 (UTC)

Wowhead and Quinton FlynnEdit

  • Source: Wowhead/, specifically this article:
  • Article: Quinton Flynn
  • Content:

    Players have been exploring undocumented changes, but a specific change in 9.1 has caught the attention of players: All voice lines of Kael'thas Sunstrider have been re-recorded by a different voice actor....It is currently unknown who is the new voice actor for Kael'thas, or why all his lines in WoW were re-recorded. It is currently speculated that the new recordings are due to the original Kael'thas voice actor, Quinton Flynn, recently coming under fire due to allegations of sexual harassment and grooming.


  • I was referred here from the Teahouse. [38]
  • Wowhead is considered a reliable source within the World of Warcraft community.
  • The post linked from Wowhead is written by someone who has contributed to the site for four years and is doing so in an official capacity; this is not a forum post.
  • The change is not in the official patch notes for the game or the PTR (public test realm) server; it is an undocumented change.

Is this a reliable enough source? Thank you for your time. Pecanurdu (talk) 21:22, 17 April 2021 (UTC)

This is a self published source. I don't know if it comes under WP:BLPSPS, as it doesn't make a claim about a living person, but the contents of a game. Hemiauchenia (talk) 10:28, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
Fan speculation is not reliable, no. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 10:41, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

RfC: Best Gore (

Which of the following best describes the reliability of Best Gore? (talk) 23:23, 17 April 2021 (UTC)

Survey (Best Gore)Edit

  • Option 4 I am genuinely disturbed and upset to see {{cite web}} going around links to this website in multiple places. For a website that made the claim to be devoted to the truth to the most extreme limits, a claim many have believed, it has no real relationship with (and possibly a restraining order from) the truth. (talk) 23:23, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3 and possible blacklist. Similar to LiveLeak (RSP entry). As a self-published blog, is generally unreliable. Shock sites like are frequently used inappropriately on Wikipedia for vandalism, and I've requested a COIBot report at WP:RSPAM § to see whether this is the case for — Newslinger talk 01:16, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
    Option 4, with blacklist instead of edit filter. Mikehawk10's link to the Toronto Sun article contains a quote from the site owner's lawyer saying that "He put it up to see if it was fake or real. Once it was determined it could be real, it was taken down." This is a problem because it suggests that only takes content down when it is "real", and leaves content up when it is "fake". COIBot isn't able to generate a report for; this happens from time to time and I'm not familiar with the technical reasons. However, I've reviewed the past discussions linked by below, and it's clear that editors have previously tried to link to this website in an inappropriate manner. It is also unclear whether the content on constitutes copyright violations, which we would prohibited from linking to, per WP:COPYLINK. — Newslinger talk 01:50, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3: It shouldn't be used for factual claims, it has no credibility.Sea Ane (talk) 03:07, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 4 and blacklist. It's a self-published blog and it is an unreliable shock site without sound editorial controls. The blog owner's counsel has admitted in court that the blog owner has put videos onto the website not knowing if they were real or fake. To me, this indicates that the blog is utterly indifferent to true reporting and raises extremely high suspicion that the site publishes false/fabricated materials. It also indicates that its owner has no confidence in what the site publishes, so I don't believe there's any basis to believe that Wikipedia should have any confidence in it either. — Mikehawk10 (talk) 07:11, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 4, this is a site that publishes snuff.--Droid I am (talk) 08:44, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3 or 4 and blacklist. If they don't know whether stuff is real or fake, it's obviously unreliable for any content. I can't think of a valid reason to link to it. GirthSummit (blether) 11:05, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 4, I know am I usually against Option 4 but it applies here. --Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 15:29, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 4 with blacklisting probably not a bad idea. Very hard to imagine a legitimate use. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 17:22, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 5 - completely worthless. Guy (help! - typo?) 19:57, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 3 or Option 4 with blacklisting that is a worthless self-published, shock site, which sometimes using Best Gore for vandalism and/or disruptive editing. Chompy Ace 22:52, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 4, this site just publishes crap.PrisonerB (talk) 11:17, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Option 4, Truly an awful site both morally and intellectually. I have no objections to Blacklisting. Scorpions13256 (talk) 17:54, 21 April 2021 (UTC)

Discussion (Best Gore)Edit

Okay. Calling an RfC is waaayyyy out of my comfort zone. I hope it's the right move and I don't upset anyone. You may need to fix any mistakes but I took a long time trying to get it right. Sorry if I didn't.

Best Gore is generally viewed as a "shock site" dedicated to images of death and injury. They see (saw?) themselves as a "reality news site" and so too have various editors. They'd post little descriptions of each item they catalogued. This staggering GQ article notes the website's operator is a Holocaust denier, and notes that "Most traditional media, including newspapers and television broadcasters, are bound by internal sets of guidelines addressing things such as[...] racism" whereas Best Gore is/was not. On Canadian cop opined thus: "I would describe the website, myself, as my personal opinion, as a racist website, inciting hate, hatred, violence – violence above and beyond anything normal, anything close to what we’ve seen here".

On their homepage one can read a disturbing testimonial: "For example, it is thanks to the internet that so many people became aware of the fact that prior to the COVID-19 plandemic, the holocaust was the greatest hoax of all time." This comment goes on to praise Best Gore's editorial model.

Incredibly, this site has been used as a source. Right now it's on barefoot as a reference for content on standard techniques for hostage murders by terrorist group ISIS. On Deaths in December 2012 it's used to cite details about Anatoliy Zayaev. It's also an external link on Stephen Clancy Hill.

It's also been fought and advocated for (and also fought and advocated against) here in the past. Talk:Murder of Jun Lin/Archive begins with an assertion Best Gore is "a very informative primary source." Talk:Murder_of_Jun_Lin/Archive_5#Montana attorney describes it as "reporting" although in fairness doesn't suggest it's reliable and Talk:Murder_of_Jun_Lin/Archive_5#Split discussion suggests Wikipedians view the site if they can stomach it, though it's not an entirely serious claim. Talk:James_Foley_(journalist)/Archive_1#Police warn sharing James Foley killing video is a crime sees argument in favour of a Best Gore video link, and initially the only concerns were copyright and UK legality. Talk:Murder_of_Jun_Lin/Archive_6#Relationship With Clinton Teale is upsetting in that an apparently new editor cited it to support adding some information to the article, and nobody questioned or criticised that. Talk:James Foley (journalist)/Archive 2#Is there really consensus for adding the video? features more suggestion to link and/or cite Best Gore. Talk:Christchurch_mosque_shootings/Archive_2#Who was the first hero? again uses it to back factual assertions, while Talk:Christchurch_mosque_shootings/Archive_2#Video sees it mentioned in another discussion about censorship rather than source reliability for Gest Gore specifically. Talk:Murder_of_Jun_Lin/Archive_3#Links question documents discussion around another link from mainspace to Best Gore. Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)/Archive_115#ISIL beheading videos sees further debate for and against Best Gore's suiability as a source.

There are multiple editors in the "for" camp, but one name keeps cropping up and I bring them up only because their talk page contains contextually important outrage. User_talk:Ianmacm/Archive_12#July 2015 documents additional uses of it as a source.

Both on and off Wikipedia endless debates about the extremities of morality have distracted from a big issue: This mass-read source is a dangerous purveyor of extremist hoaxes and falsehoods. Currently, all but the homepage seems to be down. I didn't feel like trying to verify that myself, obviously. That is said to be "probably" indefinite, not that I'd trust the owner on that. Yet it remains used as a Wikipedia source and if archived mirrors exist, it isn't really gone. The door is left wide open for a swift return anytime and if it happens attempts to justify its inclusion will increase still further. Morality aside, there's an arguable much much more serious problem: The distracting value of shock has diverted Wikipedia away from realising the dangerous misinformation being linked to.

I feel ill after reading and writing all that. Wowee. (talk) 23:23, 17 April 2021 (UTC)

Bestgore is a shock site with no good encyclopedic use. I would just go straight to spam blacklist. Hemiauchenia (talk) 01:21, 18 April 2021 (UTC)

Ideological Turing testEdit

This article has been a redirect since 2017, but an editor recently resurrected it. I removed what I believe to be unreliable sources including: blogs on TypePad, Wordpress, Econlib (mainly by the inventor of the term) and Patheos; commentary at LessWrong and The Volokh Conspiracy; and a primary-sourced video from a libertarian think-tank.

This has all been reinserted by the same editor. I really don't think these sources are acceptable, and I am unable to find, in the ~140 unique GHits for the term, anything approaching a genuinely usable source on a supposedly academic concept. But maybe I am wrong - maybe The Volokh Conspiracy is reliable for economics? Guy (help! - typo?) 23:26, 17 April 2021 (UTC)

Yeah I don't think so either... so I just said it should be deleted. Hopefully, it is deleted in the future. --Historyday01 (talk) 21:36, 18 April 2021 (UTC) and illoz.comEdit and are two websites that allow illustrators to post their work or portfolio. They are operated by user:Rezimmerman, who has added these sites about 100 times or so as external links and references (example) over the past decade (The COI implications of that are being discussed at WP:COIN). Setting the COI aside, would we consider these to be user-generated WP:SPS? Do they have any value towards notability? (I'm fairly sure the answer to that is no). I guess I am wondering overall what editors think of the quality of these sources, as we have to remove or fix a lot of them.--- Possibly (talk) 17:06, 18 April 2021 (UTC)

Looks like they're group blogs. The repeated usage of drawger at your example page is definitely unacceptable, although linking to the site in External Links should be fine, as that seems to be where the artist posts his own work. Definitely no value in determining notability. Firefangledfeathers (talk) 17:17, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
Just a note that I'm going through the illustrator biographies I've added or edited with this in mind. May take a bit to clean all these up but I'm working on it.Rezimmerman (talk) 20:50, 18 April 2021 (UTC)

Is this Bellingcat article reliable for this specific BLP claim?Edit

This question relates to contested claims about a BLP subject in the Andy Ngo article. The edit in question is here [[39]]. The Bellingcat article claims Andy Ngo put out a deceptive series of tweets during the unrests in 2020 [[40]]. At the end of the article BC tries to claim that Ngo did the same thing in 2019 during a confrontation between members of Patriot Prayer and Cider Riot patrons. This content is at the bottom of the BC article and includes the following claim, " In 2019 Ngo reported in-person on a mass brawl at a Portland area bar named Cider Riot. His tweets framed it as an unprovoked assault by anti-fascists.". To support their claim BC includes a photo of the offending tweets [[41]]. My concern is the tweets are only Ngo stating that he was personally assaulted and asking for help to identify the assailant. The tweets do not say anything about who started the larger melee. Since the tweets do not support the specific claim I think the source is not reliable for this claim especially since it is making a negative claim about a BLP subject. Looking for additional input. Springee (talk) 02:30, 19 April 2021 (UTC)

"The tweets do not say anything about who started the larger melee." The tweet: "Was assaulted... by masked Antifa thugs", with no comment on Patriot Prayer. I'm not seeing what's wrong in their reporting here. Saying he "framed" the brawl as such is pretty clear: he portrayed himself as the victim of an attack by antifascists, and didn't discuss Patriot Prayer, who per the Bellingcat source were the true aggressors of the conflict. AllegedlyHuman (talk) 07:52, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
You quoted the retweet. The original tweet was a request for help to identify the person who assaulted Ngo. "I was sprayed in the face point blank with pepper spray outside CiderRiot, where Antifa had massed. They cheered as I was blinded. Before that, they threatened me & brought up my mother's name. A woman helped me across the street. Please help me identity this person [video embedded in tweet]". This is clearly Ngo asking for help to identify his assalent. Classifying this as something about the larger PP-CiderRoit patron fight is simply false and should not pass RS standards needed to claim, even with attribution that a BLP subject framed the PP-CR fight as an unprovoked attack by one side vs the other. Springee (talk) 12:06, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
Yes, reliable. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 13:03, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
Please justify this statement. Your claim of "reliable" carries no merit if you can't explain why a tweet where Ngo states that he was personally attacked is actually framing Patriot Prayer as attacked by antifacists. Springee (talk) 13:09, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
  • To me, the article seems reliable. First, the tweets are not used to claim "Patriot Prayer was attacked without provocation"; the article contains the more neutrally worded "Bellingcat stated that Ngo's tweets framed the brawl as an unprovoked assault by anti-fascists." The tweets are preceded by this sentence His tweets framed it as an unprovoked assault by anti-fascists. "It" refers to the fight as a whole. The fact that Ngo wrote his tweets to describe no action on anyone other than antifa's part supports that claim. Second, as for how this relates to Patriot Prayer, the article includes other sources to make that link: Video recorded before the fight at Cider Riot clearly shows members of Patriot Prayer checking their weapons and discussing their plans to assault the bar. One person standing near Ngo says clearly: “There’s going to be a huge fight,”. He did not report on what he had heard while marching to Cider Riot. and Based on the strength of those leaked videos, six members of Patriot Prayer were charged with felony riot incitement. So BC is using both the video itself and the fact that it lead to a felony riot incitement charge to say that Ngo's framing is misleading. Since that kind of intentional misdirection has been established as a key part of Ngo's journalistic practice, I don't think it's an extraordinary claim. —Wingedserif (talk) 14:23, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
But the tweets don't talk about the fight as a whole, only about the assault on Ngo. How can that be taken to suggest Ngo's claims regarding the larger picture? We can take for granted that PP started the fight and still find the claim that Ngo said otherwise to be false because the tweets presented as evidence don't support the claim. Springee (talk) 14:46, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
My point was that your presentation of the claim did not mention other information contained in the article, specifically that Patriot Prayer expected a fight and "[discussed] plans to assault the bar." BC then mentions that those details are entirely absent from Ngo's reporting on the event. With that additional supporting information, I don't think the claim is unreliable. I'm with Horse Eye's Back below in thinking that we'd need sources that contradict BC to say more. —Wingedserif (talk) 15:00, 19 April 2021 (UTC)

Quick summary of the dispute (not exact quotes). Ngo tweets, I was personally attacked, please help me identify the attacker. BC claims that actually means, Patriot Prayer was attacked without provocation. Is that interpretation truthful enough include as a negative statement about Ngo's reporting in his BLP? Springee (talk) 13:43, 19 April 2021 (UTC)

Yes, it's reliable. This isn't math class and we don't require reliable sources to show their work. Bellingcat is likely basing their statement on the tweet thread as a whole: after the screenshotted tweets, Ngo goes on to say that anti-fascists were "using business as base to prep attack" and then referred to the event as the "#antifa May Day riot". That Ngo was referring to the event as a whole and not only his assault seems like a reasonable conclusion to me. And for all I know, there could have been other tweets as well. But it doesn't really matter because reliable sources don't have to say how they arrived at a conclusion or provide any evidence at all. Woodroar (talk) 14:33, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
BC showed those specific tweets, nothing else. Even looking at the thread as a whole you would have to arguing to a conclusion vs arguing from evidence to make BC's claim. Also, no source is universally reliable and BC has a very limited history on which to base any reliability claim. A comment that cast such negative light on the motives of a BLP subject really needs clear evidence, not circumstantial evidence combined with an argument to a conclusion. Springee (talk) 14:46, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliable, both in general and in this specific case. Bellingcat does insanely in-depth research... Most of which is not detailed in their reports. Unless another WP:RS directly contradicts them I’m not seeing your point Springee. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 14:52, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliable. Bellingcat show that Ngo was with a group of Patriot Prayer who attacked a bar in an incident he misleadingly described as if it was him who was personally attacked (he uses first person singular) by anti-fascists without mentioning they were defending themselves from the people he was with. As Bellingcat is a trusted reliable source, quibbling over interpretations and saying we know better than they do consitutes original research. As Woodroar says, Bellingcat may be basing their statements on evidence additional to the tweet they chose to embed. In any event, Dlthewave's edit attributes to Bellingcat so challenging it on this basis is even less worthwhile. BobFromBrockley (talk) 15:00, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
Ngo was personally attacked. The video shows Ngo being attacked and does not show Ngo attacking or taunting others first. Conflating what is happening to Ngo himself vs the bigger story is misleading on the part of BC. Bob, I think its worth noting your user page includes an Antifa support banner. Springee (talk) 15:04, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliable. Agree with above on Bellingcat in general. For the author Robert Evans in particular, a wide variety of RS have used him as an expert to interpret right-wing groups and right-wing internet phenomena. A recent example is his 2020 coverage of the boogaloo movement, which was used in sources ranging from the SPLC to the Middlebury Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism to Jlevi (talk) 15:27, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliable, per a lot of the above. While I understand the concern here, the small inferential leap we're talking about is one that an RS is entitled to take, in my opinion; Bellingcat is not restrained to simply reporting things verbatim. While it is negative in the larger picture, the context of this actual claim is less dangerous to me (i.e., he certainly claimed they attacked him unprovoked). All that said, I think it is appropriate to use it with attribution, as was done here. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 16:08, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliable I think the above comments to that effect pretty much summarize where I come down. Journalistic reporting doesn't always include every data point that backs up a given statement within the text itself; this can be a weird mode of writing when one is accustomed to scientific papers or even literary analysis, and not appreciating it can lead to a lot of missing the forest for the trees. Play it safe with in-text attribution. XOR'easter (talk) 20:20, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliable This is a valid interpretation by a reliable source. It's fair to say that the tweets were describing the overall brawl, even though Ngo misleadingly framed it as an unprovoked attack on himself. As others have mentioned, sources aren't expected to "show their work" as an academic paper (or a Wikipedia article, for that matter) would be, and analysis by a reliable source takes precedence over analysis by Wikipedia editors. –dlthewave 01:11, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Unreliable in this case. Doubly so in falling short of the higher bar for BLP The particular statement logically looks like a baseless derivation/creation. It's not even reliable enough for wp:ver much less the higher standard for BLP. A negative claim about the person with no basis shown. North8000 (talk) 14:16, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
  • A question (and this would apply broadly) is if Bellingcat is the only source that is reporting on the incident in depth that Ngo is talking about, or if Bellingcat is one of several RSes that have discussed the event with Bellingcat's coverage being the broadest or most in-depth? (This would be excluding RSes that are re-iterating Bellingcat's point). If it is the latter case, where there is corroborated sourcing to give the version of events as Bellingcat gives, then there's no question to reliability here per the above. But if it is basically Bellingcat's coverage (or any other quality RS) against what Ngo himself said what happened, with no other sources able to independently explain events around Ngo that night, this should be presented as attributed he-said-she-said rather than putting Bellingcat's statements in WP-voice. That said, at least the current version [42] appears to support that only Bellingcat is discussing the event that Ngo was involved with, and appropriately their statement is attributed, so this is perfectly fine. If there were more corroboration from independent RSes, the attribution would become unnecessary. --Masem (t) 15:55, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
To the best of my knowledge BC is the only source that has made this specific claim about Ngo's tweets with respect to this specific event. The content in question appears at the very end of BC's article. The majority of the article is BC arguing Ngo falsely portrayed a different instance. In that case BC shows a long series of tweets and events that support their subjective POV. The mention of the 2019 incident was at teh very bottom of the article as a way to say, "this wasn't a one off thing". However, a significant difference is in most of the article Ngo is tweeting about something where he was not physically involved or assaulted. In the 2019 case Ngo was personally assaulted. The video does not show Ngo engaging anyone prior to being pepper sprayed and at least one of the sources in the Ngo article specifically said Ngo does not engage in any physical altercations. That Ngo would fixate on the attack against himself seems understandable to me. It is not clear if the larger melee had started before or after Ngo was sprayed. If after that could also explain why he didn't tweet much about the actual fight as he was likely recovering from being sprayed. Regardless, I agree that this is attributed and if BC is wrong then we aren't saying it in Wiki voice. However, that could raise a question of DUE. If this is a claim made by a little known source and who's presented evidence for the claim is weak they is the material DUE? When this content was first proposed in February there was not consensus that it was due. Given the flaky nature of the claim I still don't think it is but this isn't the place for that debate. Also, at this point DUE is often a !vote count and the outcome would depend on how many of the currently active editors are on which side of the debate this week. I won't raise it at NPOVN since I think it would be seen as forum shopping (though both the question of RS and DUE have been raised on the talk page). Springee (talk) 16:17, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
If the incident (specifically Ngo's involvement) is only sourced to Ngo's account and Bellingcat, that is a fair question of UNDUE; we are not here to list out every incident a person may be involved in just because it can be documented. The sourcing is fine if this meets UNDUE, but the UNDUE factor is a separate question. And as to the differences between what Ngo said happened and Bellingcat reported, unless the differences are clearly obvious (eg if Ngo said he was hit by a guy in a green shirt, and Bellingcat said he was hit by a guy in a red sweater), we at WP really can't be there to judge the differences in the video and Bellingcat's take, per OR/SYNTH. We simply can attribute them to Bellingcat. --Masem (t) 16:33, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
I don't think this is like "Ngo said red, BC said white" rather "Ngo said red, BC said wet". Instead we might think of it as scope. In the cited tweets Ngo said he was personally attacked/sprayed with pepper spray. So he is talking about his little part of the bigger picture. BC says the bigger picture is PP attacked Cider Riot patrons and Ngo's tweets suggested PP was the attacked without provocation. Ngo's cited tweets didn't say anything about PP or who started the larger melee, only that he personally was attacked. This is why I feel the gab between what is being reported ("Ngo portraying the fight between PP and the patron as unprovoked") is too much a subjective stretch from the evidence provided (or even the tweet string provided by an editor above). Perhaps in some other reporting on the subject BC's claims would have merit but as presented I can't see how we could say BC, a source with limited reputation and weight, has supported their claim. Since the claim is something negative about a BLP subject I think the standards for reliability should be strict hence why I see this as an unreliable source for this specific claim. My view would be different if we were talking about the tweet stream that was the primary focus of the BC article. Springee (talk) 17:59, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliable. Bellingcat has gained an impressive reputaiton in a short time. Guy (help! - typo?) 19:51, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Reliable Providing context for primary sources is exatly why we encorage the use of secondary ones like BC (WP:RSPRIMARY)—blindlynx (talk) 18:29, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment Bellingcat has, as Guy says, gained an impressive reputation for investigative journalism, and in a short time. But, this smacks of the gossip pages. Springee's reasoning gives a good argument for not using it in a BLP and per Masem there are UNDUE issues. We could use it attributed but I don't think we should. Encyclopedia articles are not for "he-said-she-said" rumors. Spudlace (talk) 13:36, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
    • More importantly, if Bellingcat is the only RS that has talked about this particular incident (in depth or as part of a larger picture around Ngo), its a problem to call it out that was, regardless of how reliable Bellingcat is. Even if it was the NYTimes reporting that way with its impeccable reliability, we shouldn't include it as we should not be a laundry list of every news article that mentions a person. --Masem (t) 23:56, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

Open Council Data UKEdit

Does anyone have a view on whether the above (website here) is WP:RS, or is WP:SELFPUB and if so whether it comes within the exception. It provides data on the composition of UK elected local authority bodies, including in Scotland. I believe it’s widely used on WP - and latterly at Alba Party#Representatives. The only information on its provenance is on this web page. DeCausa (talk) 10:02, 19 April 2021 (UTC)

  • It's a one-man band, deffo self-published, and no sign of subject matter expertise. It seems to be updated automatically for the most part from the subject matter's own websites, so in reality it's a mirror of primary sources but with minimal factchecking that it even mirrors them accurately. The manually-completed remainder are, as mentioned, self-published. While it is a useful resource, we should be citing the primary sources it is drawn from and not the website itself, and even then only when suitable secondary sources are unavailable. (talk) 14:49, 19 April 2021 (UTC)here are all 84 articles using it as a source (talk) 15:17, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
  • As the website owner says, there is no site that offers the information in the way that his does. It's a very useful resource, and although I appreciate it would be better to cite the primary sources, good luck to whoever wants to take that on. The alternative is to have a plethora of secondary sources, each one (mostly) reporting just one councillor. Messy. Psychomike (talk) 18:03, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
  • That would require the author to be regarded as a subject-matter expert, who could generally be relied upon. We can't make our own judgements on this, we need them to effectively adopted as such by another source already considered reliable. Because of what you said about the difficulties of citing this any other way I did a couple of brief searches and found this article by Democratic Audit which criticises their accuracy (by way of omission) in what they call an "exceptional instance" whereas otherwise they consider the source "particularly comprehensive, and any errors usually minor and inconsequential." They're kinda small and hard to verify the accuracy of, but they have editorial processes and oversight, and have published a book; they seem to be taken seriously. Therefore, I suggest the source probably can be used, with appropriate caution: Nothing controversial, and only where better sources are unavailable. (talk) 18:46, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Thank you for your time in research. I also looked for other publications citing the website. They exist, but nothing of particular note. I don't think this source is being used for anything other than a running total of councillors and their political allegiances. Nothing particularly controversial. In the case of the Alba party, I guess the section in question will be replaced by the results of the 2021 elections after May 6, 2021. But then, in any case, the question arises of the source to use for any changes after the elections. Thanks again. Psychomike (talk) 19:19, 19 April 2021 (UTC)

Possible citogenesis from the Tehran TimesEdit

I've just added the following to Wikipedia:List of citogenesis incidents:

In 2016, an IP-editor added three unsourced statements to Chamaki, a place in Iran: that 600 Assyrian used to populate the village, that the language spoken was Modern Assyrian and that the local church is called "Saint Merry". [sic] In a 2020 article from the Tehran Times, these same three statements were repeated.[1] No other sources have been found for these statements. While sources in Farsi may or may not exist for the population and language, this is unlikely for the "Saint Merry" spelling. The Tehran Times article was briefly used as a source before the likelihood of citogenesis was realized.

For "DYK" statements, I highly suspect the Tehran Times cannot be trusted. In this example, I think it is reliable for the fact that the church is being repaired. Just not for stuff they looked up to pad out the article. @4nn1l2: courtesy ping as this came up on AfD. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 08:22, 20 April 2021 (UTC)

  • The art of copy&paste has flourished in Iran, and Tehran Times is a key contributor :) The Merry misspelling is ridiculous, as fa:مریم is the famous Mary, mother of Jesus. The number for population seems baseless too. According to the 1956 census (the first census in Iran), Chamaki's polpulation was 164 people (83 men and 81 women)[2]. The population has since decreased to 33 people in 1986 and exactly 0 in 2016. So the number 600 is nonsense.
  • Not only Tehran Times, but also any other "newspaper" or "news agency" in Iran [the world?] is not a good source for statistics. Use the figures published by the Iranian statistical centre. They are reliable. 4nn1l2 (talk) 08:58, 20 April 2021 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Historical churches in West Azarbaijan undergo rehabilitation works". Tehran Times. 2020-08-04. Archived from the original on 2021-01-25. Retrieved 2021-04-18.
  2. ^ p. 17


I seek your guidance.

I would like to know whether the aforementioned website is an acceptable form of source for DOB’s for members of the UK Parliament. The first time I asked this question I did not get a very good response as most of the commentary was on a completely irrelevant subject, but I will let that pass for the moment. On every single page I have looked at, at least 100 of them, they take words verbatim, not just similar, but verbatim transcripts from Wikipedia. I have yet to see a single example of where this is not the case. The policies are clear: Wikipedia is not a source, and the very limited information and credibility of this website makes this very questionable source, indeed. Only one response relevant to my question was given last time I raised this, and they agreed with me that it is a poor and unreliable source. I have therefore marked all MP’s with this poor source indicated with “better source needed” tags, and this is the very least that needs to happen. I don’t think this source has any reliability whatsoever for the reasons set out, and it should be removed quickly.

Hi, I noticed your [better source needed] tags against MPs' dates of birth and followed you here to understand what you were doing. I'm not sure how reliable is and will be interested to hear others' views. I cannot see your earlier discussion about the same issue. I can say though that not all the text for MPs on is identical with that on Wikipedia. Stuart Anderson (politician), for instance, whom you have tagged, has a much shorter description on than his Wikipedia article, though I guess it is possible that Politics is mirroring an earlier version of the Wiki article. Daisy Cooper, also tagged by you, also has a much longer entry on Wiki than at (And please remember to sign your contributions here with four tildes.) Tacyarg (talk) 21:47, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
JBchrch (talk) 21:52, 20 April 2021 (UTC)

Firstly, apologies on the comment signing. I completely agree with your comments, that it will be interesting indeed to see what others think and to have a proper consensus for or against this ghastly source. My charge remains steadfast: almost all (feel free to point out more individual cases where this is not the case) of these articles copy the words of Wikipedia verbatim. I believe any differences reflect what the Wikipedia articles said as the time of the publication of the source, and I have checked those examples mentioned above which confirmed my suspicions, and they taken parts out of subsections of the respective articles. Wikipedia itself is not a reliable source. In those circumstances, I fail to see where this source would even have a leg to stand on.2A02:C7F:B416:3000:C87D:DAA6:F3C9:28 (talk) 21:57, 20 April 2021 (UTC)

I can assure you all I will be raising this issue until a consensus is reached for or against this shabby source. I believe it is an affront to our policies if this source is continued to be used without any legitimacy as to its credibility.2A02:C7F:B416:3000:88A5:9E62:F968:31B9 (talk) 00:14, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

MySpace, Instagram, etc.Edit

There are numerous sources been cited as user-generated content, which makes it considered unreliable than other social media websites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter). --Frontman830 (talk) 23:43, 21 April 2021 (UTC)

Be mindful of WP:SELFSOURCE/WP:ABOUTSELF when deciding if an individual ref is acceptable for the claim it is said to support. WP:CONTEXTMATTERS is also of interest. (talk) 12:03, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

Defending HistoryEdit

Is this a reliable source?--Ymblanter (talk) 15:34, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

The best I can tell, it's a blog run by Dovid Katz. It's a bit of a tricky call for me, since Katz appears to have academic credentials in the area of Yiddish studies and Jewish studies, but his thesis and formal education appears to be more reflective of a linguistics background with a focus on Yiddish. The site seems to be an activist site created to fight back against the double genocide historical theory and it doesn't appear to have evidence of a strong and detailed editorial process, so I think it's probably the case that the site should be treated WP:SPS. That being said, it appears that the site also has many writers who could reasonably be considered subject-matter-experts, so the inclusion articles written by the experts to show their opinions might constitute due weight in some cases, but I would hesitate to use it as a source for facts without attribution to the author.— Mikehawk10 (talk) 17:38, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
Multiple references to this site are found in google.scholar: [43].
  • Kristen Ghodsee (A Tale of "Two Totalitarianisms": The Crisis of Capitalism and the Historical Memory of Communism, Source: History of the Present, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Fall 2014), pp. 115-142) used the DH article by Monica Lowenberg (“Riga, Capital of European Culture: Waffen SS, Stags and Silence?”, February 4, 2014), and the context she used that article is as follows:
"European debate about the history of communism is not merely an academic skirmish about the past; it serves a wide variety of contemporary political purposes. In this essay, I explore the recent ethnographic history of this debate through three distinct moments: its roots in the late 1980s with the German Historikerstreit [historians’ battle]; Pierre Nora’s defense of the French refusal to publish a translation of Eric Hobsbawm’s TheAge of Extremesin the 1990s; and the broader political context of the Prague Declaration. The current upsurge in East European commemorations for the victims of communism originates from a regional desire for victimhood status. The victims are not simply constructed discursively as the direct heirs of their own totalitarian pasts; the double genocide language produces a historical narrative wherein post-Soviet and postsocialist nations become martyrs—nation-states sacrificed by the West on the red alter of Soviet imperialism. In countries such as Latvia where local populations and Nazi-occupied govern-ments participated in the systematic murder of domestic Jews, the double genocide narrative mitigates their culpability by questioning the uniqueness of the Holocaust."
We can see that Ghodsee is using DH as a source of information, and there is no criticism of its content.
Katchanovski, I. published a paper in DH: Katchanovski, I. (2011). “Owning a Massacre: ‘Ukraine’s Katyn’,”, November 28,
These facts demonstrate that renown scholars are using this web resource as secondary sources (and, importantly, not for criticism), and even publish articles there. If they are using DH, I see no reason why we cannot do the same.
However, DH is criticized by some EE scholars, but it seems the criticism comes from those authors whose views are a primary target of HD.
AI believe all said above demonstrates DH is generally a reliable source (except for the cases covered by WP:REDFLAG. However, as far as I know, DH does not publish anything that directly contradicts to multiple high quality RS; obviously, EE sources do not fall into that category).--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:06, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
This is reasonably considered a "self-published subject matter expert" source, and I think that the guidlines at WP:SPS cover this pretty clearly

Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established subject-matter expert, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable, independent publications.[8] Exercise caution when using such sources: if the information in question is suitable for inclusion, someone else will probably have published it in independent reliable sources.[9] Never use self-published sources as third-party sources about living people, even if the author is an expert, well-known professional researcher, or writer

. Whether or not its usuable depends entirely what it is being used for, and it should never be used for claims regarding living persons. Hemiauchenia (talk) 18:12, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
Not exactly. When ONE expert publishes their own views, that is definitely SPS. However, DH publishes articles authored by many scholars, and these articles are being cited by real peer-reviewed publications, and it seems DH is treated by them in the same way as other RS. In connection to that, I am wondering where is a borderline between a true scholarly (online) journal and web sites like DH. The latter seems more reliable and more widely cited that Galukopsis (which has all formal traits of a scholarly peer-reviewed journal). --Paul Siebert (talk) 18:34, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

China: Ministry of health and environnementEdit

Please see background here and here. As we all know, the Chinese government is infamous for its propaganda. My question is: is a press release (what this is) suitable as a primary source for a statement such as "Chinese biosafety laws were updated in February 2021, which, according to a release by the Chinese ministry of health and environnement, was "spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic"." - I fail to find independent acceptable sources for this, but governments are usually acceptable sources for simple statements about their actions if we attribute them. Your opinion? RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 19:20, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

As a primary source, it cannot be used to attempt to imply a link between that statement and anything else - including the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though they said they were "spurred on by the ... pandemic", the most we can do is put it in a reactions article with a quote - we should not be putting that in a misinformation article with a primary source because the primary source doesn't say anything about the misinformation - and putting it in the "lab leak" section provides the unsupported implication that "spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic" means "because it leaked from their lab" - which is not what it says. So TLDR, use would be acceptable in another article maybe but not in the way linked on that article. -bɜ:ʳkənhɪmez (User/say hi!) 19:50, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

Ann-Margret - Wikipedia (area that discusses Early Life of Ann-Margaret, 5th paragraphEdit

Off-topic here. Feel free to move this to the article talk page. RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 19:46, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

In the 2nd sentence, 3rd line, that mentions: ".....through agent Georgia Lund, they secured club dates in Newport Beach, California and Reno, Nevada." I would like to add that the group (Suttletones) with Ann-Margaret performed at the Mapes Hotel in Reno at that time (summer of 1960) as I happened to be there at the time getting ready to go through Air Force Survival School at the then Stead AFB just NW of Reno after having recently graduated from AF pilot training in the summer of 1960. Also, at that time Lili St. Cyr was the featured performer on the top floor of the Mapes Hotel in Reno, and I can also remember, at that time, while watching Ms. St. Cyr perform also being able to look out the big picture window on the other wall while her perform there was a huge forest fire on the side of the mountain just west of Reno - a scene that I will never forget! And, of course, remembering having seen Ann-Margaret sing with the Suttletones and recalling it a few years later when she became well known!

                      James Fleming  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 
What a great memory to have! Unfortunately, our personal knowledge and memories aren't sufficiently verifiable to support content in an article. Schazjmd (talk) 19:45, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

Wordpress on critical reception from writer already quoted in pageEdit

Hey there, I'd like to in include this article on Kaworu Nagisa, Critical reception section. Kraiser is used as reference #97 in a explicative article for IGN. I argued his personal blog could be used again as per WP:SPS but not everyone agrees. I understand this is less than ideal, but the article already has a lot of sources from sites I personally don't have a high opinion of and I think have a very clickbait line for these past few years, mainly Comic Book Resources, with more than a few very inaccurate articles showing opinion or fan theories as fat and making multiple mistakes. So I think this piece of critical reception is acceptable. What do you think?FelipeFritschF (talk) 05:54, 23 April 2021 (UTC)


Israeli website Debkafile is used as a source on WP well over 100 times. As far as I can see it was last discussed at the RSN over a decade ago, with no clear consensus. An anon IP or two has been inserting it as a source into the Civil uprising phase of the Syrian civil war. I don't know anything about it, but it does not look like a good source to me. More informed views welcome. BobFromBrockley (talk) 09:39, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

Just looking at their Wikipedia article and the site itself, apparently they have a pronounced bias and there are some concerns about the lack of attribution but they haven't published outright lies. With regards to the Syrian civil war article, I think that WP:EXCEPTIONAL applies: if they are the only source that says that NATO supports the opposition it's probably not good enough. Alaexis¿question? 09:55, 23 April 2021 (UTC)


Sputnik-Abkhazia is a subsidiary of Sputnik which is a deprecated source known for publishing propaganda and conspiracy theories. An article published in Sputnik-Abkhazia was used as a source in the article about Kodori Valley for the current population of the valley and the occupation of the inhabitants. I have searched for an alternative source for this information and have found none as this is a rather obscure topic. Per WP:DEPRECATED, deprecation is not a blanket ban on using the source and I believe that an exception can be justified here on the following grounds:

  1. The information is consistent with what is reported in reliable sources about the flight of the Georgian population from the valley following the 2008 war and the results of the 2011 census in Abkhazia. To the best of my knowledge, no sources contradict it.
  2. If anything, the fact that only 5% of the pre-war population is left portrays Abkhazia and by extension Russia in a negative light
  3. Going over examples of issues with Sputnik reporting, they don't seem to be about getting simple numbers wrong

Once a reliable source publishes something about the Kodori Valley inhabitants, we would obviously use it. Alaexis¿question? 09:45, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

Is The Art of Manliness a reliable source, and is Brett McKay an expert source?Edit

Cleantheshymn wishes to use a podcast description by Brett McKay as a source at Jack Donovan for this edit. Cleantheshymn, and others on that talk page, have said they believe that Art of Manliness in general is a reliable source. Cleantheshymn gave as reasoning: "The Art of Manliness is not a blog. It’s an independent online men’s magazine. McKay is one of the founders. He is also a writer for the site, which has more than 10 million unique readers every month." They also state that McKay is "a noted expert on masculinity and manliness", presumably arguing that his opinions on Donovan should be included per WP:EXPERTSOURCE, though they have not provided any sources for this claim, nor could I find any.

I had previously reverted the edit, thus removing the source, with the summary "ce, remove poor-quality source with WP:PROMO quotes (see WP:FORBESCON)". I think I was mostly referring to the Forbes contributor article in that summary, but in my view both sources are poor quality. Art of Manliness appears to me to publish mostly self-help and clickbait articles (a look at the homepage right now shows "The Spartan Way: The Mindset and Tactics of a Battle-Ready Warrior", "How to Ram Through a Vehicular Roadblock", "The Top 8 First Date Ideas", etc.) I could see including McKay's opinion if he is an influential voice in "masculinity and manliness", but have seen no indication that he is.

See further discussion at Talk:Jack Donovan (writer)#Brett McKay / The Art of Manliness. GorillaWarfare (talk) 15:14, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

well my first question is Who? He is such a notable expert we do not seem to have an article on him.Slatersteven (talk) 15:16, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
  • The Art of Manliness is a bottom tier source, unless this somehow falls under WP:ABOUTSELF in some way I am unaware I don’t see it flying in that context. Mr McKay does not appear to have any qualifications not related to the aforementioned The Art of Manliness, which is to say none that matter for our purposes here on wikipedia. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:21, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
It strongly appears to me that "The Art of Manliness" is not a reliable source for facts. It has two editors listed on the masthead - Brett and Kate McKay. Neither have any notable academic or journalistic credentials. Searching for other, obviously reliable sources citing "The Art of Manliness" or Mr. McKay, I was unable to find any, except for a puff-piece in the Tulsa World, which describes The Art of Manliness as a blog [44]. Using this source for anything related to a fringe political figure seems wildly inappropriate to me. Hipocrite (talk) 15:24, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
The WP:FORBESCON article and Brett McKay themselves call The Art of Manliness a blog [45]:

In the interview McKay talked about why he originally started the blog and how it's evolved [...]

Dan Schawbel: Why did you originally start your blog and how has it evolved since then?
Brett McKay: I started the blog back in 2008 when I was a second year law student.

As a result, I see no reason to treat this podcast any differently than The Needle Drop/Anthony Fantano, which is not considered a reliable source. JBchrch (talk) 15:41, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
@JBchrch: The Needle Drop is now considered a self-published subject-matter expert per Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Perennial_sources#The Needle Drop. That said, I agree that The Art of Manliness seems like a low quality source that has a strong POV, probably undue. Hemiauchenia (talk) 16:05, 23 April 2021 (UTC)